Friday, April 18, 2008

Denialism and crises

At least we have certainty about one thing. The next time there will be critique on a politically sensitive issue in South Africa, chances are good that it will be denied. It becomes a trend:

HIV does not cause AIDS (see here and here). There is no electricity crises (see here, that was 2006!). Poverty in South Africa is not increasing (see earlier blogpost). There is no crises in Zimbabwe (see here). There is no looming water crises (see here), and the latest:

Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has rejected the findings of a report showing SA is not on track to meet its millennium development goals for reducing child and maternal mortality. (see article and earlier blogpost)

When the crises hits, just blame something entirely different (for instance 'a very significant rise in demand for electricity', see here).

Denialism is dangerous. Acknowledging problems is the first step in addressing them. Yes, the world is complex, yes, cause-effect relationships are often not that obvious, yes data may tell lies and data can be manipulated, but it becomes very hard to believe that all critique is wrong all the time. 

It reflects a crises in leadership and, if one is not careful, rapidly deteriorates into a crises in morality.

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