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This Will Not End Well

 
Julius Malema, leader of South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters party.

Do you pay much attention to events in Africa? Me neither. It appears, however, that South Africa is determined to head down the same bloody path as Zimbabwe – that of radical Land Reform and racial retribution.

On February 27, the South African parliament voted 243-81 to begin the process of amending the country’s constitution to allow for confiscation of white-owned land without compensation. The motion was put forward by the Marxist party — the Economic Freedom Fighters — and supported by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party and the new president Cyril Ramaphosa (who just took office on February 18). This is bad news, not just for the white landowners but also for ordinary South African citizens and especially the poor (of which there will be more if this policy is implemented). It is also bad news for the entire African continent as South Africa is one of the few African nations with anything resembling a modern economy.

Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) gained its independence in 1980 and, to date, that first day of independence was probably the high-water mark for the nation. It quickly became a one-party nation run by the far-left Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and its demagogic leader Robert Mugabe. Early on, he implemented a toxic blend of statist economic policies, racial resentment and retribution, and government corruption, culminating in the confiscation of white-owned property.

In 1973, the per capita GDP of Rhodesia was $1,432 which has fallen to $1,081 as of 2017. I’ve included a couple of graphs which illustrate this economic decline but economic statistics tell only part of the story. In recent years, Zimbabwe has experienced epidemics of diseases such as cholera (not to mention malaria and plague) which have long since been brought under control in the developed world.

This 2005 article by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof describes how ordinary black Zimbabweans wish they could get back the white, racist government that had oppressed them prior to 1980 in order that they and their families might have enough food to live and survive. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe, which peaked shortly after the 1980 independence at 60.97 years (men & women combined) fell precipitously to a low of 44.06 years in 2002, although thankfully it has begun to rise in the last few years.

The first graph shows the GDP per capita for South Africa, Zimbabwe, and several other African nations from 1960 to 2012 as a percentage of the world average GDP per capita. The second graph compares the GDP per capita of Zimbabwe to other sub-Saharan countries from 1980-2014 with certain recent eras of Zimbabwe color-coded (pink = Land Reform, grey = Hyperinflation, light blue = government of national unity).

It seems that South Africa, under the leadership of Nelson Mandela, has been able to avoid the sort of racial acrimony experienced in Zimbabwe upon the end of the archaic and evil apartheid system and the start of majority rule. Unfortunately, it looks as if that will not remain the case. There are few worse policies any nation can pursue than to murder and/or run off its most productive citizens but that appears to be the path that South Africa is set to embark upon. This article provides a much more knowledgeable take on the situation than I could.

I came across this story on the Instapundit website a couple of days ago and since then I’ve been searching without much success for articles about this in the US press. That is disturbing to me because this seems like a very big deal.

There are 108 comments.

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  1. Thatcher

    I read about this vote, and I felt very sad. There is no way that seizing land from the very people who grow your food, and employ workers is going to end well.

    • #1
    • March 3, 2018 at 5:31 pm
    • 14 likes
  2. Inactive

    tigerlily: I came across this story on the InstaPundit website a couple of days ago and since then I’ve been searching without much success for articles about this in the US press. That is disturbing to me because this seems like a very big deal.

    It flies in the face of everything they have claimed concerning racial strife, colonialism, and culture.

    • #2
    • March 3, 2018 at 5:38 pm
    • 9 likes
  3. Member
    tigerlily Post author

    Stina (View Comment):

    tigerlily: I came across this story on the InstaPundit website a couple of days ago and since then I’ve been searching without much success for articles about this in the US press. That is disturbing to me because this seems like a very big deal.

    It flies in the face of everything they have claimed concerning racial strife, colonialism, and culture.

    Yeah, maybe. Still it’s a potentially important international story and if you ever listen to journalists talk – one of their hobby horses is the American peoples alleged lack of interest in foreign affairs.

    • #3
    • March 3, 2018 at 5:41 pm
    • 5 likes
  4. Coolidge

    It is also true that white apartheid ended quite a while ago. Many of those whites who were the worst offenders against the blacks simply left So Africa some two decades ago. So divvying up the real estate when so much has probably already been worked out in terms of economic, social and spiritual dimensions does not seem wise.

    Actions that come about due to resentment are often counter productive.

    • #4
    • March 3, 2018 at 5:54 pm
    • 11 likes
  5. Coolidge

    All I can think of is: Cry the Beloved Country.

    • #5
    • March 3, 2018 at 5:56 pm
    • 9 likes
  6. Thatcher

    CarolJoy (View Comment):Actions that come about due to resentment are often counter productive.

    True statement.

    • #6
    • March 3, 2018 at 6:01 pm
    • 4 likes
  7. Member
    tigerlily Post author

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    It is also true that white apartheid ended quite a while ago. Many of those whites who were the worst offenders against the blacks simply left So Africa some two decades ago. So divvying up the real estate when so much has probably already been worked out in terms of economic, social and spiritual dimensions does not seem wise.

    Actions that come about due to resentment are often counter productive.

    Yeah, you’re right – many whites left when the new majority rule came into power in 1994. I wonder, though, how many may have returned when they saw things were not like Zimbabwe? Plus, according to the article announcing the vote, whites still own something like 70% of the land which is a lot of land (and wealth) to confiscate.

    • #7
    • March 3, 2018 at 6:03 pm
    • 1 like
  8. Thatcher

    How many white farmers will defend their land with firearms? How many blacks will die trying to confiscate white farmers’ land? How many white farmers will salt the earth of their farms before leaving?

    • #8
    • March 3, 2018 at 6:18 pm
    • 3 likes
  9. Thatcher

    A tragedy if this happens. Also interesting to see in your first graph how well Botswana has done since its independence. I’ve read a number of articles citing it as one of the few undisputed success stories.

    • #9
    • March 3, 2018 at 6:25 pm
    • 7 likes
  10. Inactive

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):
    All I can think of is: Cry the Beloved Country.

    In reverse.

    • #10
    • March 3, 2018 at 7:25 pm
    • 1 like
  11. Member

    tigerlily: Specifically, on March 27, 2018 the South African parliament voted 243-81 to begin the process of amending the country’s constitution to allow for confiscation of white-owned land without compensation.

    I assume you mean February.

    • #11
    • March 3, 2018 at 7:31 pm
    • 1 like
  12. Coolidge

    Stina (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):
    All I can think of is: Cry the Beloved Country.

    In reverse.

    Yes

    • #12
    • March 3, 2018 at 7:32 pm
    • 2 likes
  13. Member
    tigerlily Post author

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    tigerlily: Specifically, on March 27, 2018 the South African parliament voted 243-81 to begin the process of amending the country’s constitution to allow for confiscation of white-owned land without compensation.

    I assume you mean February.

    Yeah, thanks MFW.

    • #13
    • March 3, 2018 at 7:43 pm
    • Like
  14. Member

    The Left has been advocating this type of resentment politics for decades. It’s worked so well in Africa, Venezuela, the Soviet Union, etc. James Delingpole had an interesting discussion of foreign aid in his most recent podcast with Harriet Sargeant.

    • #14
    • March 3, 2018 at 8:51 pm
    • 10 likes
  15. Member

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    tigerlily: I came across this story on the InstaPundit website a couple of days ago and since then I’ve been searching without much success for articles about this in the US press. That is disturbing to me because this seems like a very big deal.

    It flies in the face of everything they have claimed concerning racial strife, colonialism, and culture.

    Yeah, maybe. Still it’s a potentially important international story and if you ever listen to journalists talk – one of their hobby horses is the American peoples alleged lack of interest in foreign affairs.

    I haven’t been following the story that closely. Thanks for the post.

    This week, while I was in California for work, I saw a homemade sign on the back of a truck that said the US media is complicit in the genocide going on in South Africa. That’s a stretch but it should be getting more coverage here.

    • #15
    • March 3, 2018 at 10:24 pm
    • 6 likes
  16. Coolidge

    Here’s a question – if the RSA government tries to engage in ethnic cleansing like this, is there any reason the US should not sanction them? Or even send in small arms?

    The Boers are not Dutch, they are certainly not British (the British put them in concentration camps), they are South African. If a majority of them had not voted to end apartheid, it would still be in effect. This is spitting on Mandela’s legacy.

    • #16
    • March 4, 2018 at 2:44 am
    • 13 likes
  17. Member
    tigerlily Post author

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    Here’s a question – if the RSA government tries to engage in ethnic cleansing like this, is there any reason the US should not sanction them? Or even send in small arms?

    The Boers are not Dutch, they are certainly not British (the British put them in concentration camps), they are South African. If a majority of them had not voted to end apartheid, it would still be in effect. This is spitting on Mandela’s legacy.

    Well, one thing the USA could do is stop whatever foreign aid, if any, we currently send to South Africa. Oh, and here’s another question – For the past 15 or so years there has been a movement called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS Movement) aimed at Israel for alleged violations of international law with all the usual suspects in support including many US colleges. How many of those institutions will be involved in a similar BDS movement aimed at South Africa if it proceeds with confiscation of white-owned property? My guess – zero.

    • #17
    • March 4, 2018 at 3:47 am
    • 11 likes
  18. Member

    It’s When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, Peter Godwin’s sad reflection on what was and what might have been. That sun has been eaten before and likely will be eaten again.

    • #18
    • March 4, 2018 at 4:39 am
    • 3 likes
  19. Contributor

    I suspect it’s not in the media here because (1) black will be terrorizing whites and it would be racist to criticize them, and (2) it fits the Marxist ideal of redistributing wealth. Isn’t that the orientation of our unjournalistic media? Thanks @tigerlily.

    • #19
    • March 4, 2018 at 7:07 am
    • 17 likes
  20. Thatcher

    Disgrace by Coetzee will one day be considered the founding epic of South Africa. Sort of their “O Pioneers”.

    • #20
    • March 4, 2018 at 7:09 am
    • 1 like
  21. Member

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    How many white farmers will defend their land with firearms? How many blacks will die trying to confiscate white farmers’ land? How many white farmers will salt the earth of their farms before leaving?

    Whole series of videos on this topic…

    • #21
    • March 4, 2018 at 8:30 am
    • 4 likes
  22. Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I suspect it’s not in the media here because (1) black will be terrorizing whites and it would be racist to criticize them, and (2) it fits the Marxist ideal of redistributing wealth. Isn’t that the orientation of our unjournalistic media? Thanks @tigerlily.

    Oh yeah. the Pravda will do everything possible to bury this story, or twist it into somehow being justice served.

    • #22
    • March 4, 2018 at 8:31 am
    • 7 likes
  23. Contributor

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I suspect it’s not in the media here because (1) black will be terrorizing whites and it would be racist to criticize them, and (2) it fits the Marxist ideal of redistributing wealth. Isn’t that the orientation of our unjournalistic media? Thanks @tigerlily.

    Oh yeah. the Pravda will do everything possible to bury this story, or twist it into somehow being justice served.

    Thanks for the video, @kozak. It was horrible but enlightening. It reminds me of the brutality in Rwanda, too.

    • #23
    • March 4, 2018 at 8:46 am
    • 3 likes
  24. Member
    tigerlily Post author

    Kozak (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    How many white farmers will defend their land with firearms? How many blacks will die trying to confiscate white farmers’ land? How many white farmers will salt the earth of their farms before leaving?

    Whole series of videos on this topic…

    Thanks for posting this Kozak.

    • #24
    • March 4, 2018 at 8:56 am
    • Like
  25. Thatcher

    As a boy, I was influenced by Leon Uris, especially his book, Exodus. Herman Wouk had a similar influence.

    What I picked up the most is that the Jews in Nazi Germany who saw all the warning signs as things tightened up, but stayed until it was too late. Some did leave, but so many didn’t.

    If I had been a white man in South Africa, I would have picked up and left a long time ago. A good ten years ago. I can feel sorry for the whites in South Africa, but in the end, they let events overtake them. It’s their foolishness.

    As for the blacks there, they will pay a price. They are becoming less free, and I expect their economy will get much worse. It already has been going down hill.

    • #25
    • March 4, 2018 at 10:00 am
    • 4 likes
  26. Member

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    If I had been a white man in South Africa, I would have picked up and left a long time ago. A good ten years ago.

    I know some South Africans. You basically have to decide to leave everything behind . My wife’s friend goes back periodically and tries to convert her remaining assets in SA to jewelry that she then wears out of the country.

    • #26
    • March 4, 2018 at 11:04 am
    • 10 likes
  27. Member

    tigerlily (View Comment):
    How many of those institutions will be involved in a similar BDS movement aimed at South Africa if it proceeds with confiscation of white-owned property? My guess – zero.

    How many were involved in the BDS movement that was aimed at SA in the 80’s? I’m guessing all of them…

    • #27
    • March 4, 2018 at 11:06 am
    • 3 likes
  28. Thatcher

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    If I had been a white man in South Africa, I would have picked up and left a long time ago. A good ten years ago.

    I know some South Africans. You basically have to decide to leave everything behind . My wife’s friend goes back periodically and tries to convert her remaining assets in SA to jewelry that she then wears out of the country.

    Jews leaving Nazi Germany had a similar problem.

    • #28
    • March 4, 2018 at 11:08 am
    • 5 likes
  29. Member

    Maybe Wakanda can grant the white farmers vibranium.

    In all seriousness, should we grant white farmers status as refugees? They speak English, understand democracy and will advocate for robust property rights. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of downside to letting them in.

    • #29
    • March 4, 2018 at 1:24 pm
    • 10 likes
  30. Member

    Lest we think that the politics of resentment exist outside the West, I urge you to read about the seeds of it growing in a sleepy English town.

    https://www.city-journal.org/html/speakers-cornered-15662.html

    • #30
    • March 4, 2018 at 1:52 pm
    • 2 likes
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