Category Archives: de-civilisation

In Africa, You Oust A Tyrant, But Not Tyranny


By ilana mercer

READERS were angry. I had rained on their parade by venturing that the appointment of a new party boss to head South-Africa’s dominant party was an insignificant game of musical chairs.

But perhaps it is I who should have been annoyed. Nobody with a modicum of cerebral agility should see in the new South-African Strong Man, union boss-cum-tycoon Cyril Ramaphosa, a significant change of the guard.

Surely by now it should be common knowledge that in Africa, you replace a despot, but not despotism; you oust a tyrant, but not tyranny?

There’s a reason Ramaphosa riles crowds at a South African Communist Party rally just as easily as he excites the head of Goldman Sachs’s South Africa office. (For a clue, ask yourselves how a union boss becomes a tycoon.)

In the tradition of dimming debate, the chattering class has reduced systemic corruption in South Africa and near collapse in Zimbabwe, respectively, to the shenanigans of two men: Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe.

Emblematic of this is a thematically confused  article in The Economist, offering a description of the dynamics set in motion by the Zuma dynasty’s capture of the state.

At first, the magazine explains the concept of “state capture” as “private actors [having] subverted the state to steal public money.”

Later, the concept is more candidly refined: “The nub of the state capture argument is that Mr. Zuma and his friends are putting state-owned enterprises and other governmental institutions in the hands of people who are allowing them to loot public funds.”

Indeed. Corruption invariably flows from state to society.

And, “state capture” is quite common across Africa, even if “unfamiliar elsewhere in the world,” which is all the “context” The Economist is willing to provide.

“To avoid a dire, two-decade dynasty of dysfunction, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress should ditch the Zumas,” the magazine concludes.

That’s it? If only.

The Corruption of South Africa,” courtesy of The Economist, hurtles between being an excellent exposé, yet providing nothing more than reportorial reductionism.

Continental context, if you will, is essential if one is to shed light on the “Dark Continent.”

To wit, elections across Africa have traditionally followed a familiar pattern: Radical black nationalist movements like the ANC take power everywhere, then elections cease. “One man, one vote, one time,” to quote the book, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Or, if they take place, as they do in South Africa, they’re rigged, in a manner.

For a prerequisite for a half-decent liberal democracy is that majority and minority status be interchangeable and fluid, and that a ruling majority party (the ANC) be as likely to become a minority party as the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA). In South Africa, however, the majority and the minorities are politically permanent, not temporary, and voting along racial lines is the rule.

So, as the dictator Mugabe hung on to power for dear life, reasonable people were being persuaded by the pulp and pixel press that if not for this one megalomaniac, freedom would have flourished in Zimbabwe, as it has, presumably, in Angola, Congo, Congo-Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, and the rest of strife-torn Africa south of the Sahara.

Reasonable people are also expected to infer from permissible analysis that now that Mugabe has been dislodged, his successor will not deign to commandeer the state’s security forces to subdue his opposition as his predecessor had done.

The pundit peanut gallery’s latest imperfect messiah in Zimbabwe is Emmerson Mnangagwa. His rickety political plank will promise indubitably what the majority of Zimbabweans want, including “equitable” land reform. A euphemism for land distribution in the Mugabe mold, this concept is anathema to private property rights.

Does Mnangagwa grasp that his country is bankrupt and that, unlike the mighty USA, Zimbabwe has no line of credit? Or that, as the great American writer Henry Hazlitt put it, “Government has nothing to give to anybody that it doesn’t first take from somebody else.” Or, that there are precious few left in Zimbabwe from whom to take?

The shortages and queues, courtesy of communism, exist in Zimbabwe as they did in the Soviet Union. Jokes from Hammer & Tickle, a book of black humor under Red rule, are not out of place in Zimbabwe:

“The problem of queues will be solved when we reach full Communism. How come? There will be nothing left to queue up for.”

Contrary to convictions in the West, any improvement experienced subsequent to the dethroning of the dictator Mugabe will be due to the West’s renewed investment in Zimbabwe and not to the changing of the guard.

For even if Mr. Mnangagwa proves no dictator-in-waiting, there is nothing in his political platform to indicate he will not continue to rob Peter to pay Paul until there is nobody left to rob.

Seemingly absent from the repertoire of both Mr. Mnangagwa and Ramaphosa is an understanding that only the rule of law and the protection of individual liberties, especially private property rights—for wealth-creating whites as well—can begin to reduce the dizzying scale of the two countries’ problems. Without these building blocks and bulwarks of prosperity and peace—Zimbabwe and South Africa cannot be rehabilitated.

The seductive narrative about the ANC’s new boss, Cyril Ramaphosa, gets this much right: There is nothing new about the meaningless game of musical chairs enacted throughout Africa like clockwork. The Big Man is overthrown or demoted; another Alpha Male jockeys his way into his predecessor’s position and asserts his primacy over the people and their property.

Mobutu Sese Seko ruled Zaïre ruthlessly, only to be overthrown by Laurent Kabila. Under Kabila nothing changed except Zaïre’s name; it became the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Sandwiched between Nigeria’s Strongman Sani Abacha and Olusegun Obasanjo was one more general. Then military rule was abolished and Umaru Yar’Adua elected. Yar’Adua died in May 2010. Two others have come and one has gone since, but ethnic violence continues unabated; instead of extracting oil from the earth, Nigeria’s factions quarrel and kill over crude.

Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki was opposed by one Raila Odinga. The latter is of the Kalenjin clan; the former of the Kikuyu. Even in one of Africa’s success stories it all comes down to tribal rivalries. A coalition was finally formed after Kenyan blood was spilled, and public office was soon being scavenged by two thieves and their gangs, instead of one. Last I checked, Uhuru Kenyatta had risen to rule, and Raila Odinga, the more progressive-minded Kenyan, had been locked out in an election declared invalid by the Kenyan Supreme Court.

The legendary Kenneth Kaunda oversaw the transition from a one-party state to the multi-party Zambia. But once the new Big Man on the block, Frederick Chiluba, was faced with an election, he banned the opposition parties—and Kaunda.

In Côte D’Ivoire, stability ended with Félix Houphouët-Boigny’s reign, after which a succession of leaders has consolidated power by siccing Christians onto Muslims.

While General Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda, has allowed some traditional institutions to make a comeback, he conducts massacres against the aspiring kingdom of the Bakonzo, in the West. In league with Rwandans, Museveni preys on the Congolese. Another Homie who has pride of place in Uganda is Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. The LRA is in the business of … butchering and enslaving its countrymen.

The reputation of the Janjaweed militia of Sudan precedes it. Epic as well is the corruption that has been visited upon Angolans by their gilded elites. A new president has finally usurped José Eduardo dos Santos, after his 38 years in power. The new guy is busy … driving out “his predecessor’s clan,” and ensconcing his own.

Good news came when Zambians, under leader Rupiah Bwezani Banda, were no longer dying in large numbers through ethnic clashes. The bad news was that they began dying in large numbers from hunger, instead.

“Even when regimes have changed hands, new governments, whatever promises they made on arrival, have lost little time in adopting the habits of their predecessors,” observed historian Martin Meredith, in The State of Africa (2005).

One can only hope that Zimbabwe’s new leader measures up to Zambia’s relatively, and commendably, benign Levy Mwanawasa, Banda’s predecessor, who died in 2008.

Of the forty-four countries of sub-Saharan Africa, The Economist’s democracy index lists twenty-three as authoritarian and thirteen as hybrids. Only seven, including South Africa, hold notionally free elections. Only two, South Africa and Botswana, did Meredith single out as relatively well-managed African democracies. And that was back in 2005!

Propounded by Duke University scholar Donald L. Horowitz, the arguments against democracy for South Africa, in particular, have considerable force. Finely attuned to “important currents in South African thought,” Horowitz offered up an excruciatingly detailed analysis of South Africa’s constitutional options.

In A Democratic South Africa?: Constitutional Engineering in a Divided Society (1991), Horowitz concluded that democracy is, in general, unusual in Africa, and, in particular, rare in ethnically and racially divided societies, where majorities and minorities are rigidly predetermined (also the dispensation presently being cultivated by craven American elites).

Prone to seeing faces in the clouds, the West, however, sees Sideshow Bob Mugabe’s epic villainy and Jacob Zuma’s confederacy of state-capturing knaves as nothing but a detail of history.

Lost in the din is the historically predictable pattern. Chaotic countries are hardly an anomaly in the annals of Africa south of the Sahara.

 

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly paleolibertarian column since 1999, and is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016) & Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & YouTube.

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A Short History of Man: Progress and Decline


By Andy Duncan

This excellent short book by Hans-Hermann Hoppe is perhaps one of his most under-appreciated works. Whereas ‘Democracy, The God That Failed’ has all the socialist enemy fighters closing in on full alert, this one sneaks stealthily under their shoddy radar.

What it basically details is how humans evolved in the last couple of hundred thousand years, particularly in the harsh glacial ‘ice age’ conditions, to later develop modern technologies, languages, and cultures, and particularly those ideas pertaining to liberty, property, and freedom. It then heads through to the industrial revolution and also the accompanying debasement of natural aristocracy into the poisoned fruit of democracy. In short, it is the evolutionary story of how human civilisation got distilled out of a primate inheritance.

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Godfrey Bloom vs. Socialist ‘Worker’


This morning, on the JVS Show, on BBC Three Counties Radio, Godfrey Bloom tangled with Tomáš Tengely-Evans, a socialist ‘worker’, while discussing the recent welfare story concerning Claire Young. This lady recently spent £2,000 pounds on Christmas presents for her children whilst living entirely on state welfare benefits.

If you’d like to listen to this debate, please click on the audio link below.

Mr Bloom actually stops speaking at 12:15, but if you would like to hear Mr Tengely-Evans being handsomely shredded by Jonathan Vernon-Smith, please keep listening:

Why All Three South-African Presidents Supported Robert Mugabe


By ilana mercer

On November 21, after 37 years in power, Zimbabwe’s dictator, Robert Mugabe, resigned in infamy.

By contrast, the late South African leader, Nelson Mandela, was revered in the West. His successor, Thabo Mbeki, was well-respected.

Yet over the decades, both Mandela and Mbeki lent their unqualified support to Mugabe.

When the baton was passed from Mbeki to the populist polygamist Jacob Zuma, the current leader of South Africa’s dominant-party state, little changed in the country’s relationship with Zimbabwe.

Why?

And what is the significance of the support Zuma and his predecessors, Mandela and Mbeki, have lent the Zimbabwean dictator over the decades?

Wags in the West love to pit the long-suffering African people vs. their predatory politicians. As this false bifurcation goes, the malevolent Mugabe was opposed by his eternally suffering people.

While ordinary Africans do seem caught eternally between Scylla and Charybdis, the government of Zimbabwe—and others across Africa—doesn’t stand apart from the governed; it reflects them.

Consider: Early on, Mugabe had attempted to heed “a piece of advice that Mozambican president Samora Machel” had given him well before independence. As historian Martin Meredith recounts, in The State of Africa (2006), Machel told Mugabe: “Keep your whites.”

Mugabe kept “his whites” a little longer than he had originally envisaged, thanks to the Lancaster House agreements. These had “imposed a ten-year constitutional constraint on redistributing land. … But in the early 1990s, with the expiration of the constitutional prohibition, black Zimbabweans became impatient.”

Nevertheless, noted African-American journalist Keith Richburg, “Mugabe remained ambivalent, recognizing, apparently, that despite the popular appeal of land confiscation, the white commercial farmers still constituted the backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy.”

Restless natives would have none of it. Armed with axes and machetes, gangs of so-called war veterans proceeded to fleece white farmers and 400,000 of their employees without so much as flinching. In the land invasions of 2000, 50,000 of these squatters “seized more than 500 of the country’s 4,500 commercial farms, claiming they were taking back land stolen under British colonial rule.” (CNN, April 14, 2000.)

These Zimbabweans assaulted farmers and their families, “threatened to kill them and forced many to flee their homes, ransacking their possessions. They set up armed camps and roadblocks, stole tractors, slaughtered cattle, destroyed crops and polluted water supplies.”

The “occupation” was extended to private hospitals, hundreds of businesses, foreign embassies, and aid agencies. The looting of white property owners continued apace—with the country’s remaining white-owned commercial farms being invaded and occupied.

This may come as news to the doctrinaire democrats who doggedly conflate the will of the people with liberty: These weapons-wielding “mobs of so-called war veterans,” converging on Zimbabwe’s remaining productive farms, expressed the democratic aspirations of most black Zimbabweans. And of their South African neighbors, a majority of whom “want the land, cars, houses, and swimming pools of their erstwhile white rulers.” Surmised The Daily Mail’s Max Hastings:

[M]ost African leaders find it expedient to hand over the white men’s toys to their own people, without all the bother of explaining that these things should be won through education, skills, enterprise and hard labor over generations.

At the time, former South African president Mbeki had chaired a special session of the United Nations Security Council, during which he ventured that there was no crisis in Zimbabwe. Some American analysts had therefore hastily deduced that Mbeki, who was president of South Africa from 1999 until 2008, was “a sidekick to the man who ruined Zimbabwe.”

How deeply silly. And how little the West knows!

Mbeki led the most powerful country on the continent; Mugabe the least powerful. The better question is this: Given the power differential between South Africa and Zimbabwe, why would Mbeki, and Mandela before him, succor Mugabe? Was Mandela Mugabe’s marionette, too? Yet another preposterous proposition.

The luminaries of Western café society were not the only ones to have given Mugabe a pass for so long. So did very many blacks.

“When Mugabe slaughtered 20,000 black people in southern Zimbabwe in 1983,” observed South-African columnist Andrew Kenny, “nobody outside Zimbabwe, including the ANC, paid it the slightest attention. Nor did they care when, after 2000, he drove thousands of black farm workers out of their livelihoods and committed countless atrocities against his black population. But when Mugabe killed a dozen white farmers and pushed others off their farms, it caused tremendous excitement.”

“Whenever there is a South African radio phone-in program on Zimbabwe, white South Africans and black Zimbabweans denounce Mugabe, and black South Africans applaud him. Therefore, one theory goes, Mbeki could not afford to criticize Mugabe,” who is revered, never reviled, by South African blacks.

Bar Zimbabweans, blacks across Africa and beyond have a soft spot for Mugabe.

Writing in the Mail & Guardian Online, left-liberal journalist John Pilger further untangled the mystery of Mbeki and Mugabe’s cozy relationship:

“When Robert Mugabe attended the ceremony to mark Thabo Mbeki’s second term as president of South Africa, the black crowd gave Zimbabwe’s dictator a standing ovation.” This is a “symbolic expression of appreciation for an African leader who, many poor blacks think, has given those ‘greedy’ whites a long-delayed and just comeuppance.” (July 7, 2008.)

One need only look at the present in Zimbabwe “to see the future of South Africa,” lamented Kenny. When Mugabe took power in 1980, there were about 300,000 whites in Zimbabwe. Pursuant to the purges conducted by the leader and his people, fewer than 20,000 whites remain. Of these, only 200 are farmers, five percent of the total eight years ago, reported the Daily Telegraph, in 2008.

Although most farmland in South Africa is still owned by whites, the government has signaled its intention to change the landowner’s landscape. “Having so far acquired land on a ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ basis, officials have hinted that large-scale expropriations are on the cards.” (BBC News, February 29, 2008.)

In South Africa, the main instrument of transformation is Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). This requires whites to hand over big chunks of the ownership of companies to blacks and to surrender top jobs to them. Almost all the blacks so enriched belong to a small elite connected to the ANC. BEE is already happening to mines, banks and factories. In other words, a … Mugabe-like program is already in progress in South Africa. (Citation in Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011), p. 150.)

This reality the affable Mandela, the imperious Mbeki and Zuma, their successor, all accepted without piety and pity. These South African strongmen were, in a manner, saluting the Alpha Male Mugabe by implementing a slow-motion version of his program.

Back to the original question: Why have the leaders of the most powerful country on the continent (Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma) succored the leader of the most corrupt (Mugabe)?

Simply this: When he socked it to the whites, Mugabe cemented his status as hero to black activists and their sycophants across South Africa.

 

Ilana Mercer has been writing a paleolibertarian column since 1999, and is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016) & Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube.

The Pretty Façade of ‘Freedom & Democracy’


By Andy Duncan

One of the most wonderful things you can do, just before Christmas, is to visit the street markets of Vienna, one of the grandest old cities in Europe. As well as being able to buy an endless supply of glittering colourful things, the best aspect is that every third or fourth stall you can fill up a copious mug with a delicious draft of hot mulled wine, simply to keep out the icy cold you understand.

What you might also see, if you were to visit this year, is something that looks like this:

ViennaDisguisedBarrier

What could this oddly-sized Christmas-wrapped thing be? A super-sized electric railway set? A particularly large racing bike? A gift perhaps from God Himself?

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Why Hatred Of Whites Is Here To Stay


By ilana mercer

Not so long ago, mere mention of the deliberate murder of whites in South Africa—country folk and commercial farmers, in particular—was called “racist.” “Raaacist!” the media collective brayed when candidate Trump retweeted a related “white genocide” hashtag.

It’s still “racist” to suggest that the butchering of these whites, almost daily, in ways that beggar belief, is racially motivated. Positively scandalous is it to describe the ultimate goal of a killing spree, now in its third decade, thus: the ethnic cleansing of white, farming South Africa from land the community has cultivated since the 1600s.

Be thankful for small mercies: At least the international media monopoly is finally reporting facts, such as that just the other day Andre and Lydia Saaiman, aged 70, were hacked to death in Port Elizabeth. (Imagine being chopped up until you expire.)

Or, that the elderly Bokkie Potgieter was dealt a similar fate as he tended his small, KwaZulu-Natal holding. Potgeiter was butchered during the October “Black Monday” protest, which was a nation-wide demonstration to end the carnage. Internationally reported as well were the facts of Sue Howarth’s death. The 64-year-old pharmaceutical executive was tortured for hours with … a blowtorch.

This black-on-white murder spree has been ongoing since a dominant-party political dispensation (mobocracy) was “negotiated in my homeland for South Africans. (Learn about “The American Architects of The South-African Catastrophe.“) But while the criminal evidence is at last out in the open, the motive for these hate crimes is only mumbled about for fear of offending the offenders.

In South Africa we find a criminal class, born into freedom after 1994, that burns with white-hot hatred for whites.

Why?

The South African state’s stout indifference to the plight of whites does not exist in a void. Witness the steady, anti-white venom the dominant-party cobra-head, the ANC, spits out. “The de facto situation is that whites are under criminal siege explicitly because of their race,” writes a South African historian, cited in “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa” (2011).

“The black criminal collective consciousness understands whites are now historical fair game.”

The physical, existential vulnerability of white South Africans flows from a confluence of historical antecedents that have placed them in a uniquely precarious position. “The white minority surrendered political dominance in return for non-racial constitutional safeguards.” By forswearing control over the state apparatus, whites ceded mastery over their destiny, vesting their existential survival in a political dispensation: a liberal democracy.

In a needlessly optimistic assumption, whites imagined blacks too would be bound by the same political abstractions, and would relinquish race in favor of a constitutional design as an organizing principle in the society they now controlled.

Having “surrendered without defeat,” for a tepid peace, Europeans are, moreover, particularly and uniquely vulnerable within this political dispensation because of their history on the continent. Remedial historical revisionism notwithstanding, South Africa—with its space program and skyscrapers—was not the product of the people currently dismantling it. Rather, it was the creation of British and Dutch settlers and their descendants.

For what they’ve achieved and acquired—and for the original sins of apartheid in South Africa; slavery in America—whites are the objects of envy and racial enmity.

The observations of liberal, African-American journalist Keith Richburg are particularly pertinent here. Richburg believes that on the Dark Continent, tribal allegiance trumps political persuasion and envy carries the day. He cites the fate of the Tutsi—an alien, Nilotic African people, who formed a minority in Rwanda and Burundi—among the Hutu who are a Bantu people.

The Hutu have always resented the tall, imposing, attractive Tutsis, who had dominated them on-and-off since the 15th century. When Hutus picked up machetes to slash to bits nearly a million of their Tutsi neighbors in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, they were, on a deeper level, contends Richburg, “slashing at their own perceived ugliness, as if destroying this thing of beauty, this thing they could never really attain, removing it from the earth forever.”

Are shades of this impulse alive in the savagery inflicted on the European “settlers” of South Africa (and Zimbabwe and the Congo before them)? Who can say for sure? This much I know: Empowering political majorities in Africa has helped, not hindered, the propensity of hostile masses to exact revenge on helpless minorities.

It would be a mistake to believe, as the American ruling Idiocracy preaches, that minorities in the US—soon to form a majority—will relinquish race and tribe as unifying principles, in favor of the US’s constitutional design.

Like South Africa, America is a creation of (northwest) European settlers. And it is in Man’s nature to dislike those who are unlike him—all the more so when they, as a group, have accomplished what he has not.

 

Ilana Mercer has been writing a paleolibertarian column since 1999, and is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016) & Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube.

Libertarianism and the Alt-Right (Hoppe Speech, 2017)


Libertarianism and the Alt-Right.
In Search of a Libertarian Strategy for Social Change 

Hans-Hermann Hoppe

(Speech delivered at the 12th annual meeting of the Property and Freedom Society in Bodrum, Turkey, on September 17, 2017)

HHH.jpgWe know the fate of the term liberal and liberalism. It has been affixed to so many different people and different positions that it has lost all its meaning and become an empty, non-descript label. The same fate now increasingly also threatens the term libertarian and libertarianism that was invented to regain some of the conceptual precision lost with the demise of the former labels.

However, the history of modern libertarianism is still quite young. It began in Murray Rothbard’s living room and found its first quasi-canonical expression in his For A New Liberty. A Libertarian Manifesto, published in 1973. And so I am still hopeful and not yet willing to give up on libertarianism as defined and explained by Rothbard with unrivaled conceptual clarity and precision, notwithstanding the meanwhile countless attempts of so-called libertarians to muddy the water and misappropriate the good name of libertarianism for something entirely different. Read more

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