THE words "brave new world" have an optimistic, inspirational ring to them. But of course they are best known as the title of Aldous Huxley’s 1930s novel, which foretold a dystopian future. The phrase was first used by William Shakespeare in The Tempest, where it also carried heavy irony, writes DIANNA GAMES.
So, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s description of the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals (SDGs) as a path to a "brave new world" had literary-minded listeners sensing that this wasn’t the most auspicious send-off for a praiseworthy initiative.
For Zimbabwe, under Mr Mugabe’s rule, has been a model of how not to run a progressive country and of how to frustrate attempts to lift people out of poverty, ignorance and poor health — in short, the opposite of the SDGs’ aims.
Yet, strip out the irony and a brave new world is precisely what the world needs right now. Read more ...
- Published in Business Day SA, 28 September 2015. Picture: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY.