“First we must cross the river,” Benito was saying. “Do you believe me now when I tell you that you must not attempt to swim it, or even get wet from it, or must you try that too?”“What happens if I just dive in?”
“Then you will be as you were in the bottle. Aware and unable to move. but it will be very cold, and very uncomfortable, and you will be there for all eternity knowing that you put yourself there.”
Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle Inferno 1976
A long time ago there was a country called Rhodesia. It was the breadbasket of southern Africa however it was ruled by a white minority government. This was an injustice.
That government was eventually replaced by a black majority government under Robert Mugabe rightly allowing proper self-rule. It was renamed Zimbabwe and started on a new chapter in its history
Unfortunately after a while it became clear that Mr. Mugabe was more qualified as a revolutionary than as a leader and while his ruling parties cronies did well the people did not. In order to try to retain electoral popularity started targeting white own farms which produced most of the country’s food. Many farmers left to avoid persecution which eventually led to the government confiscating property owned by white farmers and dishing it out to others who did not have experience in large-scale farming in the name of righting past wrongs.
Unfortunately this not only led to economic calamity but it led to food shortages as Zimbabwe which was once a net food exporter suddenly could not feed itself. After two decades it’s actually reached the point where the country is considering giving land back to this farmers in order to keep itself fed:
Among remaining farmers who have been recommended for a reprieve of Mr Mugabe’s edict that whites can no longer own land in Zimbabwe is Elizabeth Mitchell, a poultry farmer who produces 100,000 day-old chicks each week.
Her farm, Barquest, which lies around 160 miles south of Harare in Masvingo Province, had been allocated by the government to Walter Mzembi, the tourism minister, but he recently retreated after the provincial leadership backed her request to stay.
Shuvai Mahofa, Masvingo’s Provincial Affairs Minister, has recommended five more white farmers be issued with 99-year leases because their operations were, she said, of “strategic economic importance”.
Decades later the country has still not recovered.
Yet today South Africa is poised to follow in their footsteps:
South Africa‘s parliament has passed a motion that could lead to the seizure of land from white farmers without paying them compensation.
Passed by an overwhelming majority of 241 votes to 83 votes against, the proposal to amend Section 25 of the constitution would allow expropriation of land without any financial recompense.
It was put forward by the radical left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, whose leader Julius Malema told the country’s parliament: “We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land.”
And the attacks on farmers have already begun, in fact they’ve been ongoing:
White farmers in South Africa claim they are being targeted in a series of brutal attacks over land that are being overlooked by police and implicitly encouraged by the country’s parliament.
Activist groups promoting the rights of white people in the country claim there have been 90 recorded attacks in 2018 so far, with one farmer murdered every five days on average.
There is no official data supporting the idea that white farmers are more likely to be victims of attacks in South Africa, and the government strongly denies white people are being deliberately targeted and says farm murders are part of South Africa’s wider violent crime problem.
But the sheer brutality of the reported attacks – and the growing anger of a community in South Africa that believes it is being persecuted – are increasingly raising concerns.
and others aren’t all that subtle about it:
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, who recently declared his party was “cutting the throat of whiteness”, denied white farmers were being killed. “We don’t know violence, we know negotiations,” Malema told a packed Human Rights Day rally in Mpumalanga Stadium on Wednesday.
“And we are very robust in our engagement sometimes. A racist country like Australia says: ‘The white farmers are being killed in South Africa.’ We are not killing them. Now Australia says: ‘Malema, EFF want to kill white farmers, they must come to Australia.’
“If they want to go, they must go. They must leave the keys to their tractors because we want to work the land, they must leave the keys to their houses because we want to stay in those houses. They must leave everything they did not come here with in South Africa and go to Australia.”
Why is South Africa not learning the lessons of Zimbabwe? Well I talked about the reasons 5 years ago at the time of Nelson Mandela’s death:
Without question the removal of the evil Apartheid laws was a positive good and franchise being extended to all citizens is simple justice. A People must have the right to govern themselves and a government that doesn’t reflect the consent of the governed is unjust.
What is not axiomatic is that a popularly elected government will govern well.
The people have freely chosen to elect The African National Congress for 20 years by landslide majorities. That party has failed to stem unemployment, has seen life expectancy drop by nearly a decade during their rule and been a haven for murder and rape.
Some have already sounded the warning alarms on this course of action:
If the South African government seizes private property for free, someone somewhere within the economy will have to pay, whether directly through loss in current and future on farm job opportunities as well as export revenues, or through protracted economic decline that will erode the purchasing power of money, losses in pensions and savings, and deindustrialisation that will destroy future economic growth and off-farm job opportunities for the current generation.
And have spoken basic truths aloud:
Mr Broad said an “even bigger humanitarian crisis”, like a food shortage, could emerge if the situation escalated.
“The great lesson from Zimbabwe is when you value your farmers, you have food on the supermarket shelves,” he said.
If the goal was a prosperous and well fed South Africa that advice and example from history would be noted but for Marxists and Socialists the goals are not a prosperous and well fed South Africa but a South Africa governed by prosperous and well fed Marxist Socialists.
And when such people fail to govern well, as they invariably do, a scapegoat is required to pacify the people and the farmers of South Africa have been elected, and if such a decision leads to economic disaster and famine among the people, as long as that result doesn’t affect the ruling parties, they will shrug it off and proclaim any who question their decision as racists.
The saddest thing about what is going to happen is that unlike Mugabe in Zimbabwe where he ruled with an iron fist and brought this disaster down upon his land South Africa had Mandela who choose not to be a dictator and left an actual democracy allowing the people to freely choose their own path and yet they have chosen the same path as Mugabe.
Democracies and Republics always get the Government’s they deserve, I had hoped that after decades of oppression by a minority and bad government by the majority South Africans might have decided they deserved better.