Such uncritical self-congratulation, though, needs some qualification which could spoil the overall impression and prevent us from breaking out the imagined well-deserved champagne, for the simple reason that the ultimate task is far from finished yet.
This isn’t meant along the lines some labour unions are now apparently thinking, wanting the country to adopt a minimum wage for all alongside a radical overhaul of collective bargaining, in the process supposedly addressing all lingering iniquities.
Instead, one senses the very opposite may in fact be needed as we don’t want to eliminate (labour) competition, but rather enhance it (the first of Ferguson’s killer apps), as much in business as among all factors of production.
I am not qualified to give an assessment of the manner in which the South African state is implementing its rule of law. Suffice it to say, though, that whereas a majority of citizens may be greatly pleased with certain changes (for instance the repudiation of all the hated apartheid strictures and their unfair consequences) there are daily aspects of the legal system that give one pause.
It may be difficult to precisely define the presence of effective rule of law, but as the learned High Court Judge opinioned about pornography "you will recognise it when you see it". Or notice for that matter its gradual deterioration or absence.
Next to these legal concerns, however, are other concerns regarding the second requirement.
We may be a participatory political system (a functioning democracy), but it isn’t quite succeeding in doing its most crucial job, namely "forging economic organisations in which all members of society can participate".
In a way this is strange, for in a self-regulating democracy one would expect the main outcome to be the promotion of work for all most of the time.
Yet that isn’t the case yet in this country, and may not be the case for a long while, creating all kinds of exposures to wild detours and political adventure, not all of which would necessarily be viable and which, if elected for any length of time, may not bring us general societal happiness as deserved by our constitutional achievements (but indeed something much more dismal).
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