In The Leopard, his great novel about the upending of Sicily’s social order, Giuseppe Tomasi — the Duke of Palma di Montechiaro and Prince of Lampedusa, no less — has a character utter the words: “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”

If this beguiling notion seems cynically paradoxical, it ought to resonate in SA. While most of us want to retain and nurture the freedoms delivered by post-1994 constitutionalism, we also want a wholesale alteration in our collective material conditions...

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