Thursday, July 25, 2024
Into the Cannibal’s Pot:
Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa  Source  

Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from post-Apartheid South Africa is a polemical work anchored in history, reality, fact, and the political philosophy of classical liberalism. It is a manifesto against mass society, arguing against raw, ripe, democracy, here (in the US), there (in South Africa), and everywhere. Into the Cannibal’s Pot follows Russell Kirk’s contention that true freedom can be found only within the framework of a social order. It is a reminder that, however imperfect, civilized societies are fragile. They can, and will, crumble in culturally inhospitable climes. The tyranny of political correctness, so unique to the West plays a role in their near-collapse. Advanced societies don’t just die; they either wither from within, or, like South Africa, are finished off by other western societies. Ilana Mercer delivers a compelling book; it is required reading for thinking people who care about the destiny of western civilization.


Dedicated to my Afrikaner brothers betrayed, and to my African sisters, Nomasomi Khala and Annie Dlahmini, whose lives touched mine.

Publisher’s Note

This is a book about ideas and ideology. When losing an intellectual argument, there are despicable people who point an accusing finger and shout racism. In our dark times where mob rule and collectivist ideas resonate with so many, this appalling strategy can be very effective.

To those who support colorblind civil discourse, rule of law, equality of opportunity, freedom, the golden rule (do unto others as you wish them to do unto you), liberty, freedom of expression and religion and private property rights…regardless of skin color or ethnic background (black, red, white, yellow, brown, green or violet), we extend the hand of friendship.

To those who support all forms of thuggery—including totalitarianism, collectivism, fascism, extremist fundamentalism, unequal treatment under law, income redistribution, nanny state government programs and the soft bigotry of low expectations—your skin color and ethnicity are irrelevant…and your ideas belong in the dustbin of history.

Abbreviations Used

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
African National Congress
Black Economic Empowerment
Central Business District
Congress of South African Trade Unions
Firearm Control Act
Human Sciences Research Council
Inkatha Freedom Party
Movement for Democratic Change
South African Medical Research Council
Dutch Reformed Church
National Party
People Against Gangsterism and Drugs
Progressive Federal Party
Palestine Solidarity Committee
South Africa
South Africa Institute for Race Relations
South African Police Service
Supreme Court of the United States
Transvaal Agricultural Union
University of South Africa
White Anglo-Saxon Protestant

It is no surprise that a manifesto against majoritarianism would not find favor with the mission of most American publishers. Opposition to mass society was once an accepted (indeed, unremarkable) theme in the richly layered works of iconic conservatives such as Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, and James Burnham. Today, by contrast, such opposition is considered as damning as it is impolitic.

And don’t even think of writing a less-than hagiographical account of Nelson Mandela. Time magazine’s Richard Stengel has serialized his tributes to Saint Mandela. (Stengel has completed two. Perhaps a third is planned?) But an opposing voice to the media paean for the democratic South Africa and its deity, written by a dissenting South African exile—this cannot be countenanced.

“What menaces democratic society in this age is not a simple collapse of order,” forewarned Alexis de Tocqueville, “but a tyranny of mediocrity, a standardization of mind and spirit and condition.” In the context of post-apartheid South Africa, this sameness of mind and spirit manifests in a convergence of opinion—even in the neatly bifurcated America.

Thus, while almost every other postcolonial insurgency in Africa has been scrutinized, rival views of post-apartheid South Africa are unwelcome. Despite the country’s body count since “freedom,” the foundations of what was a joint Anglo-American undertaking are not to be faulted or questioned.

The loss of 300,000 innocents murdered since democracy dawned is therefore regularly diminished. People slide into extenuation: “We have our problems, but we now have, I’m proud to say, a working, wonderful democracy in South Africa.” These words were uttered by the roaming Justice Richard Goldstone, who—unlike this writer’s father—attached himself to the anti-apartheid cause only once it became fashionable, safe and professionally expedient.

In itself, the tale of the publication of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa bears telling. For while this polemic respects no political totems or taboos, it is faithful to facts. These facts cried out to be chronicled. They should not have had a struggle to find their way into print.

Yet struggle they did.

“Ilana, if you’d only give me something like Corinne Hofmann’s Back from Africa, publishers would pounce,” promised one literary agent. Hofmann’s salacious account of her time as the sexual plaything of a virile African tribal chief was described by The Times Literary Supplement as “a dated tale of exotic desire and disillusionment.”

As the PC pecking order stands, Into the Cannibal’s Pot might also have been pounced upon had its author been more like economist Dambisa Moyo of the trendy Dead Aid. That popular book consists of derivative deductions which had been reached decades ago by Peter Thomas Bauer, the doyen of development economics. (To give Ms. Moyo her dues, Dead Aid is dedicated to the late Lord Bauer.)

The following is an assessment from a well-known academic publisher whose stock does not exactly fly off the shelves:

I’ve long been aware of Mercer’s writing. Though I rarely agree with her, she’s quite a presence on the right side of the blogosphere. This is an extremely well-written and provocative work. I was riveted as I read it. …The problem here is that the market for a book with such a clear political bias is that much smaller. So I just don’t think we could take it on.

“There is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea,” said Dr. Johnson. This is my position with respect to political parties stateside and in South Africa. How can a book that discounts the venerated vote and disavows all political parties have a political bias? Into the Cannibal’s Pot is manifestly against politics! A partiality for small government and big society—in other words, for civilization—is not a “political bias.” No, the prejudice was that of the petitioned publisher; his was a prejudice against an unorthodox perspective that comports with the classical liberal philosophy, and with reality.

Another publisher made the following excuse:

We recently had the chance to review your manuscript. Like everything you do, it is well-written and worthy of publication. However, we do not believe we can successfully market it.

This particular editor added that the imprint would be concentrating instead on the timeless topic of the Olympic Games in China. Obviously that is a far more inspiring subject than this writer’s “unhealthy” preoccupation with the methodical ethnic cleansing of the Afrikaner farmer.

Other respondents lavished praise on a “closely argued stylish effort” (for which, of course, they did not care to make an effort).

To go by the Left’s postmodern strictures, truth is not immutable but subject to a process of discovery. As a practical matter, then, how is a synthesis of the South-African situation to emerge if the antithesis is disallowed?

Let us not discount the publishing world’s ongoing drive for the bottom line and the lowest common denominator. (The publisher who refused to bear Christian Witness, citing the prospects of poor profits, is an example.) This uncompromising dedication does not lend itself to contrarian material, not even when the facts are pressing (and almost too horrible for words). After all, a complicit publishing establishment can shirk responsibility and seek comfort in the fact that the marketplace for books no longer adjudicates the product’s worth. Actually, nowadays this marketplace does no more than offer an aggregate snapshot of the millions of subjective preferences consumers demand and publishers deliver. Mackenzie Phillips’ squalid story of incest and insanity outsells Ludwig von Mises’ pearls of wisdom. For some this cultural foot-and-mouth will be faith-inspiring, for others deeply distressing.

Introduction: Rambo Nation

When South Africa was governed by a racist white minority, it was scorned by the West and treated as Saddam Hussein was, with boycotts and sanctions. Now that a racist, black-majority government controls the country; that it is as violent as Iraq, Liberia, or the Congo and rapidly becoming another Islamist-friendly, failed African state, it is the toast of the West.

Indeed, world leaders and the liberal lickspittle media seldom speak of the embarrassment that is the democratic South Africa—the crumbling infrastructure of this once First World country, and the out-of-control crime—down to an ongoing mini-genocide. Rocker Bono certainly isn’t moved to tears over the seemingly systematic extermination of the Afrikaner farmers of South Africa. The cultural cognoscenti in the US are equally silent about the New South Africa’s unparalleled, radical, race-based wealth-distribution policies.

As Into The Cannibal’s Pot demonstrates, South Africa’s democratically elected African leaders are as committed as their political predecessors, apartheid-era Afrikaners, to restructuring society around race. With one distinction: more people are murdered in one week under African rule than died under the detention of the Afrikaner government over the course of roughly four decades.[*] Consequently, the much-maligned Western stronghold established in South Africa under Boer—and before that British—rule is rapidly reverting to type. Gone is the European strongman who suppressed the seething African kraal. What has arisen instead is best captured by Joseph Conrad’s Kurtz: “The horror, the horror.” Dubbed the “Rainbow Nation,” for its multiculturalism, South Africa is now, more than before, a “Rambo Nation.”

Americans, who take for granted their domestic tranquility, can’t afford to finesse the fate of the dying Christian civilization at the tip of Africa. Into The Cannibal’s Pot compels them to stare into “The Heart of Darkness” that is the New South Africa, and by so doing, offers a cautionary tale: in their unqualified paeans to the will of the majority everywhere, Americans must understand that traditionally Western legal institutions, however flawed, are preferable to institutions riven by tribal feuds, fetishes, and factional loyalties.

[*] See Chapter 1, Crime, the Beloved Country

Universal suffrage is not to be conflated with freedom.

As the democratic South Africa (and Iraq) amply demonstrates, political rights don’t secure the natural rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness; ink-stained fingers don’t inoculate against blood stains. Extant societal structures that safeguard life and property can always be improved upon. But once these bulwarks against mob rule and mayhem disintegrate, they are seldom restored. A civilized society, ultimately, is one in which the individual can go about the business of life unmolested. If he can’t do that simple thing, of what value is the vote?

Post-apartheid South Africa serves as a reminder that such societies, however imperfect, are fragile. They can, and will, crumble in culturally inhospitable climes; the new South Africa reminds us that, for better or for worse, societies are built slowly from the soil up, not from the sky down. And by people, not by political decree. Sadly, the facts as this writer tells them indicate that, while the Old South Africa could only have improved; the New South Africa can but decline.

So why is this book so very crucial at this juncture? Simply this: Although grisly horror stories have percolated into the popular press, the emetic facts about the New South Africa have never before been told. They must be! Into the Cannibal’s Pot fills this knowledge gap. This book, moreover, is crucial in curbing the naïve enthusiasm among American elites, and those they’ve gulled, for radical, imposed, top-down transformations of relatively stable, if imperfect, societies, including their own. As the example of South Africa demonstrates, a highly developed Western society can be dismantled with relative ease. In South Africa, this deconstruction has come about in the wake of an almost overnight shift in the majority/minority power structure.

In the U.S., a slower, more incremental transformation is under way. It began with a state-orchestrated, historically unparalleled, mass importation of inassimilable ethnic groups into a country whose creed is that it has no creed any longer. American institutions no longer assimilate immigrants.

Rather, they acculturate them to militant identity politics aimed at doing away with merit. Dissolving the American people and electing another, to paraphrase Bertolt Brecht, will likely erode American institutions further, and may well replicate on American soil the terrifying conflicts that mar the Third World. Ever the source of deafening demagoguery about the virtues of democracy, American leaders might wish to consider that, “Severely divided societies are short on community,” and “community is a prerequisite for majority rule.”1

Still, American leaders refused to rest until South Africa became a democracy. And before that Zimbabwe. And after that Iraq. (They were not alone. I trace that chain of culpability in Chapter Seven, “The Anglo-American-Australian Axis of Evil.”) The consequences in each case have been catastrophic. While all people want safety and sustenance for themselves, not everyone is prepared to allow those whom they dislike to peacefully pursue the same. This maxim applies both to Mesopotamia and to Azania (the term once used for South Africa by the governing African National Congress). The time is historically ripe to challenge some of the central tenets of liberal democratic ideology through the prism of another democratic disaster: post-Apartheid South Africa.

If the sanctity of life is the highest value in a civilized society, then the New South Africa has little to recommend it. Societies are only as good as the individuals of whom they are comprised; individuals only as good as their actions. Democratic South Africa is now preponderantly overrun by elements, both within and without government, which make a safe and thriving civil society impossible to sustain. The salient feature of mass politics in the New South Africa is a government unable to control itself and unwilling to control a sinecured criminal class. As a consequence, sundered is the individual’s right to live unmolested.

Our unhappy trek through the wreck of the New South Africa begins with the facts, nothing but the facts. The realities of crime-riddled democratic South Africa are relayed in Chapter One: “Crime, the Beloved Country.” The title parodies Alan Paton’s poignant tale titled Cry, the Beloved Country. The story of the life of Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo was to apartheid South Africa what Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was to antebellum America.

1 Donald L. Horowitz, A Democratic South Africa?: Constitutional Engineering in a Divided Society (Berkeley: California,1991), p. 99.

Victims of crime in South Africa garner some sympathy, but it is sympathy on a sliding scale. Thus, worldwide, the press extended liberal pieties to liberal Nobel Prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer. She had survived an attack in her Johannesburg home. The Prince of Wales bewailed the murder of another prominent liberal, Anglo-Zulu War historian David Rattray. He was killed by six armed Zulus. When the nephew of South Africa’s finest novelist (no; it’s not J. M. Coetzee), the liberal André Brink, was shot and killed in front of his wife and daughter, The Economist took note:

‘First he thought it was a mouse, then a rat—and then the rat shot him in the face.’ That is how André Brink, one of South Africa’s most famous novelists, described the recent killing of his nephew Adri, at home at 3am in the morning.2

Former First Lady Marike de Klerk, brutally stabbed in her Cape Town apartment, received a fair amount of international attention too. Not so the Afrikaner farmers who are being culled like springbok in a hunting safari. This brings us to the mini-genocide underway in the democratic South Africa, chronicled in Chapter Two, “The Kulaks of South Africa Vs. The Xhosa Nostra.”

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) is largely composed of the Xhosa Bantu tribe. The Xhosa are also well-represented among the Africans armed with automatic weapons, who roam the countryside killing Afrikaner farmers. These rural folk—who, by law, must battle their ubiquitous assailants with only a shotgun, a handgun and a legally limited number of rounds at their disposal3—are convinced that the assaults are state-sanctioned, the ANC’s idea of an early eviction notice; “land reform,” if you will. The evidence suggests that they may have a point, hence the title pitting the “Kulaks” against the “Xhosa Nostra.”

But before we recount how upward of 3,000 members of this once 40,000-strong community—almost ten percent—have hitherto been exterminated, we explain who the Boers are and provide a brief, action-packed, history of Boer, Briton and Bantu. Americans will want to hear this! Decades of emasculation—legal and cultural—have created a hunger among American men, especially, for heroic, historic narrative. The story of the South African settlers, circa 1652, is every bit as epic as that of the American settlers. Despite their comparable foibles and frailties, the last haven’t been blackened by historians as much as the first.

It is commonly argued, in defiance of emerging facts to the contrary,4 that crime is an equal opportunity offender in South Africa: whites, blacks and browns are all in it together. What is incontrovertible, however, is that, where economic opportunities are concerned, the minority that dare not speak its name is on the wane. White males, strictly speaking, are not supposed to comprise more than ten percent of the payroll in a South African company. As during apartheid, a class of people is being dispossessed because of their pallor.

Chapter Three, “Dispossession is Nine-Tenths of the Law,”explores this legal attack on property known as Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). BEE is yet another unique feature of the South African democracy, whereby racist labor laws have made for what Robert Guest, Africa editor of The Economist, has charitably termed “The world’s most extreme affirmative action program.”5 The upshot of such a coercive transfer of private wealth from those who create it to those who consume it is that societal institutions—state and civil—are being hollowed out like husks. South Africa’s gutted institutions serve as a harbinger of things to come in the U.S., where affirmative action is still dismissed as a “minor irritant,”6 but ought not to be.

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2.  “Between staying and going,” The Economist, September 25, 2008.

3.  Ilana Mercer, “Self-defense: A universal right,”, June 25, 2004, (accessed October 20, 2009).

4.  Carvin Goldstone, “Who do criminals target in SA?”, IOL, August 4, 2007.

5.  Robert Guest, “The World’s Most Extreme Affirmative Action Program,” Opinion Journal, December 26, 2004.

6.  Ibid.

South Africa is a microcosm of what America could become, unless it returns to the principles that made it great. If American institutions continue to subordinate their raison d’être to politically dictated egalitarianism, reclaiming them from the deforming clutches of affirmative action will become harder and harder. Sadly, it is probably already too late for South Africa, where the majority opposes a meritocracy. Americans, however, must once again embrace merit and individualism. Be it in the U.S. or in South Africa, preferential treatment, enforced by legal fiat and rooted in the characteristics of a group (race) rather than the value of the individual, flouts justice in every respect.

The West has grown accustomed to Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s refined former president. Having spent most of his adult life abroad in exile, Mbeki has the mannerisms of an English gent, not a man of the people. But the baton has been passed from the pukka proper Mbeki to the populist polygamist Jacob Zuma, whose favorite jingle is called “Bring Me My Machine Gun.” (It only has two lines; the second beseeches, rather politely, “Please bring me my machine gun.”7) In a country in which crimes are seldom prosecuted, the newly-installed President Zuma has the dubious distinction of having stood trial on 783 charges of corruption, racketeering, tax evasion, and rape.8

Against Mbeki’s reserved style, there is Zuma’s unbuttoned conduct, dancing half naked in tribal dress. In one of his Noble-Savage moments, after forcing sex on an HIV-positive acquaintance, Zuma promised, disarmingly, that he took a shower as a prophylactic against AIDS. It has been suggested that Zuma has done for South Africa’s international image what Borat Sagdiyev has done for Kazakhstan.9 With one distinction: Borat is a fictitious character, the product of Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedic genius; Zuma is “for real.”

Since Zuma’s ascension, wealth transfer in South Africa is expected to accelerate considerably and to resemble ever more closely the unabashed confiscation and dispossession brought about by Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. “Mandela, Mbeki, And Mugabe Sitting In A Baobab Tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G,” or Chapter Four, analyzes the significance of the unqualified support Zuma’s predecessors, Mandela and Mbeki, have lent the Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe over the decades. “If you want to see the future of South Africa, it might not be a bad idea to look at the present in Zimbabwe.”10

The Old South Africa had been governed by Puritans. But as Christianity receded in influence after the 1994 transition, the void left has been filled by Islam. The unintended consequences of bringing the Old South Africa to its political knees, to the detriment of American interests, are covered in Chapter Six, “Why Do WASP Societies Wither?”

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7.  Peter Hitchens, “He has four wives and he faced 783 counts of corruption,” Daily Mail, March 31, 2009.

8.  “Zuma: South Africa’s comeback kid,” BBC News, December 28, 2007.

9.  “Wounded Nation,” The Herald [Glasgow], February 9, 2008.

10.  Andrew Kenny, “The Future Looks Black,” The Spectator, April 9, 2005.

America, a humane society, ought to take pity on the persecuted descendants of another Protestant patriarchy. However,even if American immigration policy welcomed white South Africans, which it doesn’t, Afrikaners would find it hard to leave. The Boers (and British) built the place. Like Heidi away from the Alps, Afrikaners tend to wilt when separated from their homeland. Not for nothing have the Afrikaners been dubbed “The White Tribe of Africa.”11 They are as African as black South Africans. What is to be done, then, in light of the fact that Afrikaner farmers, in particular, are being killed off at alarmingly high rates? While it remains for the secessionists to “give territorial content”12 to their aspirations, secession is one of the escape routes suggested in the conclusion, “Saving South Africans S.O.S.”

Into the Cannibal’s Pot is topped and tailed with hard evidence that allows conclusions vis-à-vis the aggregate characteristics of South African society. Although not necessarily politically correct, such conclusions are perfectly proper. With this in mind, a word about the titular tease. Cannibalism, attests Leonard Thompson, author of The Oxford History of South Africa, was widespread during the upheaval associated with rise of the Zulu Kingdom in the 1820s.13 These days, in northeastern Congo, two prominent militias, the Lendu and the Hema, delight in demonstrating to UN observers their culinary creativity with human hearts and livers.14 While cannibalism—motivated by aggression, ancestral reverence, or survival—has seldom been an athema in Africa, Into the Cannibal’s Pot is meant as a metaphor, and is inspired by Ayn Rand’s wise counsel against prostrating civilization to savagery:

In America, religion is relatively nonmystical. Religious teachers here are predominantly good, healthy materialists. They follow common sense. … The majority of religious people in this country do not accept on faith the idea of jumping into a cannibal’s pot and giving away their last shirt to the backward people of the world. Many religious leaders preach this today, because of their own leftist politics; it’s not inherent in being religious.15 [Emphasis added]

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11.  David Harrison, The White Tribe of Africa (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1981).

12.  Hermann Giliomee, “Liberal and Populist Democracy in South Africa: Challenges, New Threats to Liberalism,” p. 18, Presidential Address, Delivered in Johannesburg on February 15, 1996. p. 30.

13.  W. A. de Klerk, The Puritans in Africa (London, 1975), p. 35.

14.  Tim Taylor, “Unpalatable but true: cannibalism was routine,” Daily Telegraph [London], October 20, 2003.

15.  Robert Mayhew (ed.), Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q&A (New York, 2005).

Daniel Etounga-Manguelle, a Cameroonian thinker, and a former adviser to the World Bank, contends that “What Africans are doing to one another defies credulity. Genocide, bloody civil wars, and rampant violent crime suggest African societies at all social levels are to some extent cannibalistic.”16 Why? In part, because of the inveterate values held by so many Africans. These, and other causes—and excuses—are examined in Chapter Five, “The Root-Causes Racket.”

Based on the evidence presented in this book, both Ms. Rand and Mr. Etounga-Manguella would have agreed that South Africans had been tossed into the metaphorical cannibal’s pot. Washington and Westminster insisted that the country pass into the hands of a voracious majority. Unwise South African leaders acquiesced. Federalism was discounted. Minority rights for the Afrikaner, Anglo and Zulu were dismissed. Ironically, America’s founding fathers had attempted to forestall raw democracy by devising a republic. Yet under the wing of the American eagle a dispensation was negotiated in this writer’s former homeland, the consequence of which is the raw, ripe rule of the mob and its dominant, anointed party.

Since Into the Cannibal’s Pot stands for peaceful, progressive, and sustainable change, it will resonate with those who saw the folly of imposing majority rule on Iraq. Democratizing Mesopotamia has resulted in horrifying material destruction and lasting moral damage. Democratizing Azania has, similarly, made it abundantly clear that the franchise is not to be equated with freedom and that political rights do not safeguards natural rights. The cause and the consequence of the almost over-night, top-down transformation of South Africa is a society where might makes right.

In the interstices of this polemic, the reader will find my story and the story of those I love and had to leave behind. Above all, this tome is a labor of love to my homelands, old and new.

16 Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington, Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress (New York, 2000), p. 74.


Dedication … ii
Publisher’s Note … iii
Abbreviations Used … iv
Preface … v
Introduction: Rambo Nation … vii

1. Crime, the Beloved Country … 1
“Jackrolling” … 2
Adapt and Die … 3
“Apartheid Nostalgia” … 4
Crime Desegregated … 5
Suffer the Little Children … 6
Your Home: the ANC’s Castle … 7
Who’s Killing Whom … 8
     Sexual Subjugation … 9
     Only Filling Their Crime Quota … 10
     White Hot Hatred … 11
An Existential Crisis … 12

2. The Kulaks of South Africa vs. the Xhosa Nostra … 13
     The Lord Saved Her … 14
     “Kill the Fucking Whites” On Facebook … 15
The White Tribe of Africa … 16
     “I am an Afrikaner!” … 17
     “Methods of Barbarism” … 18
     Going For Gold … 19
     From Muldergate to Mandela … 20
Apartheid in Black and White … 21
     A Strategy for Survival … 22
     Up Close and Personal … 23
Land, Language and Landmarks Lost … 24
     Eminent Domain or Domination? … 25
     The Law of the Land ‘Indigenized’ … 26
     Killing God’s Creatures … 27
     Tot Siens (Farewell) To The Taal (The Language) … 28
Intra-Racial Reparations? … 29
Recompense or Reconquista? … 30

3. Dispossession Is Nine-Tenths of the Law … 31
Black Diamonds … 32
     Cops Call Robbers … To Chat … 33
Reverse Apartheid … 34
Affirmative Action À La America … 35
     What Would Martin Luther King Jr. Say? … 36
     Thou Shalt Not Discern … 37
     The UCLA Race Racket … 38
     To Hell with Honky … 39
     Civil Wrongs … 40
Toward a Merit-Based Society … 41

4. Mandela, Mbeki, and Mugabe Sitting In A Baobab Tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G … 42
One Man, One Vote, One Time … 43
The Che Guevara of Africa … 44
     Rebranding Socialism … 45
Saluting the Alpha Male … 46

5. The Root-Causes Racket … 47
The Colonialism Canard … 48
     Africa BC/AC (Before and After Colonialism) … 49
     From Bauer to Belich … 50
     Slavery: The White Man’s Cross … 51
      Aiding and Abetting Underdevelopment … 52
Culture Counts … 53
     Voodoo for Values … 54
How the Settlers Saved South Africa … 55
Desperately Seeking Bollywood’s Brangelina … 56
Free Will and the Will of the Free … 57

6. Why Do WASP Societies Wither? … 58
A Fighting Faith … 59
     Cross and Crescent Collide on the Dark Continent … 60
     The Hebraic Bond … 61
A House at Peace with Islam … 62
     PAGAD: A Populist Reign of Terror … 63
     COSATU: Carrying the Torch for “Durban I” … 64
     The “Running of the Jew” at Durban I & II … 65
The Pathos and Paradox of the Puritan … 66
     Reconciling Pietism with Power … 67
     Protestant Death Wish vs. Jewish Defiance … 68
Africa Cries Out for Christianity … 69

7. The Anglo-American-Australian Axis of Evil … 70
Betrayed … 71
Sidelined … 72
     Less-Than-Sexy Statistics … 73
Racial Voting Coming to a Polling Station Near You … 74
     “Democracy: The God That Failed” … 75
     Property Rights vs. Political Rights … 76
     Democracy and Prosperity … 77
     The Franchise: A Foolish Fetish on a Good Day … 78
Acorn with Machetes … 79
The Notional Afro-Saxon Nation … 80

8. Conclusion: Saving South Africans S.O.S. … 81
From Fellini-Style Consumption to Puritan-Worthy Production … 82
Emigration … 83
Secession … 84
The Most Precious Thing on Earth … 85

About the Author
Biographical Note from the Book

Ilana Mercer has been lauded by iconic author and psychiatrist Thomas Szasz as “dangerous … intelligent, informed, independent, courageous.” Historian, and New York Times bestseller-list author, Thomas Woods has called her “one of the few writers on earth whose talents I truly envy, adding that, in his opinion, “She should be a household name.” Joseph Farah (CEO of has described her as “standing out like a beacon in a vast sea of punditry. She’s always hard to pigeonhole. She’s always witty and incisive.” Paul Gottfried (historian and author of such books as Conservatism in America) wrote: “Ilana takes on indelicate cultural, social, and political issues and challenges her opponents to rethink their positions.” The outspoken libertarian broadcaster Ron Smith of Maryland’s WBAL Radio has called her “a refreshingly original writer on the issues of our time.”

As the only writer to have defended NFL quarterback Michael Vick on the basis of libertarian (propertarian) principles—or so said Fox News TV commentator Sean Hannity—she was invited, in 2007, to debate the matter with Mr. Hannity, after which he commented:

Having read your columns throughout the years, I think I know you a little bit—I know you come from a very intellectual point of view, an intellectually honest point of view—you have given the most articulate argument I’ve heard on the other side of this [animal rights issue], one that is consistent with many of the views you have.

Ms. Mercer was born in South Africa—her father, Rabbi Abraham Benzion Isaacson, was a leading anti-apartheid activist eventually forced to leave the country—and spent her formative years in Israel. In the 1980s she returned to South Africa, where she married, had a daughter, and after completing her degrees, including a double major in psychology and Hebrew, worked as an AIDS counselor. In 1995, she and her family immigrated to British Columbia, Canada, before moving with her husband to America’s Pacific Northwest, which she calls home. Ms. Mercer left South Africa with the proceeds from the sale of her apartment stashed in the soles of her shoes. Had she been apprehended smuggling her property out of that country, she’d have been jailed together with her husband; they both stood taller on that trip. Ms. Mercer, who happens to know what living without freedom is like, has seen first hand the same oppression sneak-up on unsuspecting Americans. (For instance, the South-African model of detention-without-trial is slowly becoming a fixture of the American legal landscape.)

Her book Broad Sides: One Woman’s Clash with a Corrupt Culture (2003) was hailed by the late Aaron Russo (former libertarian presidential candidate) as the work of “a true warrior—a modern-day Joan of Arc—in the fight for freedom.” A Fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, and the Jeffersonian think-tank Free New York, Inc., she has appeared as a guest on scores of broadcast talk programs: including those of Sirius Satellite Radio’s Mike Church; of the late, legendary talk-show host George Putnam; and of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In addition to appearing on RT, the global Russian television news network, she was among the participants in the 2003 Public Network television series America At War, debating the media’s dereliction of duty during the invasion of Iraq.

Ms. Mercer is—and has been for the last decade—a featured columnist for (which, according to Web monitoring site Quantcast, had one million daily visitors as of September 2009). Other publications where her articles, essays, columns, editorials, book and film reviews have appeared are The American Spectator, The American Conservative, The Orange County Register, Insight On the News (an affiliate of The Washington Times), London’s Jewish Chronicle and Quarterly Review, The Ottawa Citizen, The Calgary Herald (for which she penned a regular weekly column),the two Canadian national newspapers, the Financial Post and the Globe and Mail, The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Free Life: a Journal of Classical Liberal and Libertarian Thought, and the Foundation for Economic Education’s Ideas on Liberty.

Ms. Mercer’s work has been cited by The New York Times, the Boston Globe, and Time’s European edition, among other prominent publications. She maintains a popular blog, where she comments on the issues of the day. In her role as proprietor of the libertarian Barely A Blog (BAB), she has attracted such contributors as Tibor Machan (Cato Institute adjunct scholar), George Reisman (emeritus economics professor at California’s Pepperdine University), and the aforementioned Thomas Szasz.

From the website of Ilana Mercer

Ilana Mercer

ILANA Mercer is a paleolibertarian writer and theorist based in the US. Her acclaimed, weekly column, begun in Canada, has been going strong since 1999. (Articles Archive.) Ilana is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June 29, 2016), the first libertarian book of Trump, and of the seminal Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011).

Ilana’s weekly column appears in The Unz Review, WND.COM, for which she has penned WND’s exclusive “Return to Reason” feature (now called “The Paleolibertarian”) since 2001,, American Greatness, Britain’s Ludwig von Mises Centre For Property and Freedom, London’s Quarterly Review, founded in 1809, and

She has also contributed to the Mises Institute’s Wire, as well as to its Power & Market Blog; to the Ron Paul Institute, the Abbeville Institute, The American Thinker, The Daily Caller, The Liberty Conservative, The Heartland Institute, The Hudson Institute, to Intellectual Takeout and to Chronicles, a magazine of American culture.

Under the handle “The Paleolibertarian Column” or “Paläolibertären Kolumne,” in the German, Ilana’s weekly column was featured respectively on Russia Today and in Junge Freiheit, a German weekly of excellence, for some years. Likewise did the column run on Taki’s Magazine. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Ilana is a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies (an award-winning, independent, non-profit, free-market economic policy think tank).

Since the late 1990s, Ilana has written for The Financial Post, The Globe and Mail (Canada’s National Newspapers), The Vancouver Sun, The Report Newsmagazine, London’s Jewish Chronicle and Quarterly Review, The American Spectator, The American Conservative, The New Individualist and the Foundation for Economic Education. Her work has appeared in The Ottawa Citizen, The Orange County Register, The Colorado Gazette, and in other Freedom Communications, Inc. newspapers across the United States, including The Valley Morning Star, The East Valley Tribune, Jacksonville Daily News, Washington County News, Holmes County Register.

Ilana’s work has also been published in The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Free Life: a Journal of Classical Liberal and Libertarian Thought, the Foundation for Economic Education’s Ideas on Liberty and in Insight On the News (a former affiliate of The Washington Times), for which she has penned essays in symposia debating intellectual property.

Ilana has written weekly columns for the conservative Calgary Herald, Vancouver’s North Shore News. As was she an analyst and commentator for Free-Market News Network, founded by the late Harry Browne, one-time libertarian presidential candidate.

Ilana’s commentary has been mentioned in the European edition of Time (see “Trading Places” by Peter Gumbel, appeared in the print edition of March 28, 2005), cited in the Boston Globe (“The Downside of Diversity” by Michael Jonas, August 5, 2007); the New York Times’ Economix blog (“Are Federal Workers Overpaid?” by Prof. Nancy Folbre, October 13, 2009), and featured on web sites such as the Ludwig von Mises Institute,, The Hudson Institute, The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Laissez Faire City Times, Rational Review,, Frontpage Magazine, and, an acclaimed “online ideas-and-culture magazine.”

Ilana, who supported Ron Paul for president in 2008 and 2012, was asked by the Paul campaign for a written endorsement. Here it is:

“Ron Paul stands alone among the presidential contenders for a solvent, sovereign America—he has the will to stop the squandering of men and matériel in Iraq and the intellectual wherewithal to salvage an ailing currency, fortify forsaken borders, and restore individual liberties.”

John Derbyshire, formerly of National Review Online, called Ilana’s case for the Texas Republican “Pauline Gospel at its best”:

The most persuasive Paul booster remains the ravishing, brilliant, and eloquent Ilana Mercer. I don’t say you’ll agree with her, only that this is the Pauline Gospel at its best. If you won’t buy it from Ilana, you won’t buy it from anyone.”

Ilana is the founder, editor, and creative force behind This aesthetically pleasing thematic website, on which ilana’s essays are archived conveniently, reflects her vision, transformed into pixels. She is also the proprietor of the weblog Barely a Blog (BAB), to which prominent thinkers such as Tibor Machan (RIP), George Reisman, and the late Thomas Szasz have contributed. (Mercer contributed a dust-jacket blurb to Professor Szasz’s book, Coercion As Cure.)

Ilana has been a guest recently (May 1, 2021) on Michelle Malkin’s “Sovereign Nation,” on Newsmax TV (“it’s systemic anti-whiteness”), ABC Radio (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation), and on radio stations across America. These include “Talk Back,” the nationally syndicated show of the late, legendary George Putnam, The Mike Church Show (aka the “King Dude”) on the Sirius Patriot Channel, and Sean Hannity’s nationally syndicated radio show, on which she appeared, regrettably, to defend NFL quarterback Michael Vick (honest thinkers admit to mistakes). About Ilana’s work, Mr. Hannity said this:

Having read your columns throughout the years, I think I know you a little bit—I know you come from a very intellectual point of view, an intellectually honest point of view—you have given the most articulate argument I’ve heard [‘In Defense of Michael Vick’‘] on the other side of this, one that is consistent with many of the views you have. (August 17, 2007)

As has Ilana appeared on Russia Today (RT), most recently to mine the legacy of Mandela, and on the Public Network’s television series, “America at War” (#434), where, in 2003, she debated the media’s dereliction of duty during the invasion of Iraq. Her analysis of Martha Stewart’s legal travails, “Convicted for Fearing Conviction,” was voted among the best articles of 2004. In the same year, she received the “Ron Paul Liberty in Media Awards (LIMA)” for the essay “Wartime Socialism.”

Ilana was born in South Africa, which her father, Rabbi Ben Isaacson, decided to leave pursuant to harassment by the South African security police on account of his anti-apartheid preaching and activism. (Ilana herself, on return, decades later, fought petty apartheid tirelessly.) The family departed in the 1960s for Israel, where Ilana spent her formative years. She returned to South-Africa in the 1980s, married and had a daughter. The family emigrated to Canada in 1995, and then went on to settle in the US.

Described as an engaging, iconoclastic polemicist by National Post editorial writer Lorne Gunter, Ilana typically marshals powerful analytical argumentation in support of her case. “All I can tell you is that you can’t win an argument with this woman. I’ve tried and failed,” said Victor Niederhoffer, Ph.D., in May of 2012. Dr. Niederhoffer is a noted stock-market investor, a former business partner to George Soros, and founder of the New York City Junto liberty forum.

In a review titled “The Passion of Principles,” the Objectivist magazine The Free Radical called Ilana’s first book, Broad Sides: One Woman’s Clash With a Corrupt Culture, “a perfect mix of reason and rhetoric.” (Here are part 2 & part 3 of the review.) The late great Ron Smith of WBAL Radio, Maryland, had described her as “a refreshingly original writer on the issues of our time.” Others have praised Ilana as a particularly strong stylist, with “no less powerful an intellectual punch as Ayn Rand, only wickedly funny.” (Citations are here and here).

Ilana’s latest book is The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June 29, 2016). It was the first serious analysis of the Trump phenom, and certainly the first libertarian book of Trump. Released in June of 2011, her second book is Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from post-Apartheid South Africa. Into the Cannibal’s Pot is a polemical work anchored in history, reality, fact, and the political philosophy of classical liberalism. It is a manifesto against mass society, arguing against raw, ripe democracy, here (in the US), there (in South Africa), and everywhere. “Into the Cannibal’s Pot” follows Russell Kirk’s contention that “true freedom can be found only within the framework of a social order.” It is intended as a reminder that, however imperfect, civilized societies are fragile. They can, and will, crumble in culturally inhospitable climes. The tyranny of political correctness, so unique to the West—plays a role in their near-collapse. Advanced societies don’t just die; they either wither from within, or, like South Africa, are finished off by other western societies.

All is not grim. Ilana does pause to turn the arrows in her epistolary quiver away from the state—the Thing the inimical Sir Humphrey Applebee of the British satire “Yes, Prime Minister” called a disorganized criminal organization. She covers popular culture, mainstream media, Hollywood, and pseudo-science. From sex to music, it’s all here, minus the unpalatable pabulum served by the mummified media.

When she is not expatiating upon the issues of the day, Ilana enjoys running outdoors. She has been a long-distance, recreational runner since the mid 1990s. Parrots are another passion—in particular, the plight of psittacines in captivity and in the wild. Ilana supports parrot rescues in the community. So too is the cause of the near-extinct Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus) close to her heart. Ilana is owned by an adorable hookbill called Oscar-Wood (Poicephalus fuscicollis).

Then there is Music. Chamber music and Bach—any Bach—are her first loves, but she finds the hard core, intricate and masterful brilliance of progressive rock outfits like Symphony X, Dream Theater, Magnitude Nine, and Kamelot (sic) as alluring, to say nothing of neoclassical wizards such as Sean Mercer and Tony MacAlpine.

For a fun quiz conducted with Ilana read “The Third Degree à la Germany: Answering To Junge Freiheit” (November 11, 2016).


(Click to expand – click again to close)


Via Wikipedia's "The environment and climate change" segment:

"Mercer is not what is known pejoratively as a 'climate denier,' and considers herself a conservative environmentalist. Or, as she put it in a May 22, 2017 post, a "reincarnated Southern agrarian.' [69] Nevertheless, she had observed, in 2006, that the problem with 'the theory of global warming is that it’s unfalsifiable. The theory cannot be falsified or tested and is, therefore, irrefutable. Evidence that contradicts the global warming theory, climate Chicken Littles enlist as evidence for the correctness of their theory; every permutation in weather patterns—warm or cold—is said to be a consequence of that warming or proof of it.'[70]

Referencing Karl Popper, Mercer further noted that, 'A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific.'[71] However, Mercer qualified her 2008 observations in 2014, by saying that, 'This is not to say that man is not destructive to the environment, or that we should not cherish and take care of nature. We certainly should by understanding that government is not a panacea for the problem.'[72]

'The root of environmental despoliation is the tragedy of the commons,' claims Mercer. In 'the absence of private ownership in the means of production, government-controlled resources go to seed. There is simply no one with strong enough a stake in the landmass or waterway to police it before disaster strikes.' Mercer advocates 'private property rights in waterways, or riparian rights in water that abuts private property—these are the best protectors of the ocean and of other state-controlled expanses of water [and land]."[73]


Affirmative action, the equal representation of women everywhere (including in sports), progressive teaching paradigms emphasizing group think; the banishing of competition (for which boys are hardwired) and moral instruction (which they generally crave); the demonization of the greatest writers, scientists, and explorers because they were men, the chemical castration of boys via Ritalin, the banning of BB guns and ‘bang-bang you’re dead,’ and the ‘Girls Gone Wild’ of North America”—Ilana credits the woman’s movement for all of these.

She has also pondered whether the discovery of late that testosterone levels in men are falling might be linked to “the feminization of society over the past 20 to 30 years.” As she puts it, “Feminists once aimed to unseat men, now they are actively engaged in queering them.” Ilana observes that “the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is a delicate homeostatic feedback system, intricately involved in regulating hormones and stress.” She then wonders out loud whether “it [has] become the axis of evil in the war on men.” Indeed, the feminization of society, brought about just as well by “Y chromosome carriers,” is a theme Ilana frequently returns to: “CNN’s Anderson Cooper is a major culprit in changing the face of news. Forehead furrowed into a perpetual I-feel-your-pain frown, Cooper’s broadcasts are an interminable kvetch that elevates feelings above facts.”

The Silly Sex?” is how Ilana, controversially, titled an essay explaining “women’s relatively scant accomplishments in the second half of the 20th century, as quantified objectively by Charles Murray.”


Ilana opposes mass immigration. “Immigration policy by definition,” she notes, “amounts to top-down, statist, central planning. But the least invasive policy is one that respects a nation’s historical and cultural complexion and the property rights of its taxpayers.”

To Ilana, unfettered immigration and the interventionist state cannot coexist. "The reality is that the American welfare state is accreting, not shrinking," she writes. The reality is that the more libertarians support the importation of impoverished minorities, with a tradition of aggressively manipulating the political apparatus to obtain property not theirs—the more intractable the welfare state will become. How better to diminish property rights and accelerate wealth distribution and, with it, the death of the republic, than to add to the 'union' each year the equivalent of a New Jersey, powered by identity-politics, and peopled predominantly by tax consumers seeking to indenture taxpayers? She further observes that, “It’s especially absurd for libertarians to assert that the multitudes streaming across the Southwestern border at a rate of one immigrant every 30 or so seconds are here with the consent of American private property owners, simply because many find employment once in the US.”

As Ilana sees it, “the sole emphasis of late on border security has helped open-border advocates immeasurably”—leading to a consensus whereby “the security risk newcomers pose is the only permissible topic for conversation. Americans will thus never be allowed to assert their right to determine the nature of the country they live in and, by extension, the kind of immigrants they welcome,” she avers. Indeed, to Ilana, the debate over immigration is meaningless without reference to “borders and to the thing they bound—a nation, to wit, the voluntary bonds that unite members of a civil society in common purpose.” She accuses George W. Bush of being oblivious to this glue, and sums up the President’s “borderless” worldview as one that “Invites an invasion by foreigners and instigates one against them.” These “are two sides of the same neoconservative coin," she quips.

Ilana is in favor of a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border: “If you really want to see an immigration liberationist rise on his hind legs,” she taunts, mention such a fence. “Hysterical yelps of ‘tear down this wall’ will ensue. Irrational minds have transformed a defensive wall à la the Emperor Hadrian’s, intended to keep the ‘barbarians’ out, into the Iron Curtain or the Berlin Wall, constructed to keep people in.”


Ilana has opposed the invasion of Iraq from the get-go. Norman Singleton, aid to the Republican Congressman Ron Paul, has said this about Ilana’s “Classical Liberalism and State Schemes”:

"Ilana Mercer presents one of the best refutations of liberventionism I have read. Mercer demonstrates how support for global crusades for ‘human rights’ are fundamentally incompatible with a belief in small government, individual rights and a skepticism about state power. Particularly good is Mercer’s argument that war is a giant redistribution program.”

Indeed, “at bottom, ‘philanthropic’ wars and nation-building are transfer programs—the quintessential big-government projects,” Ilana expatiates:

"Smart and principled conservatives understand, moreover, that top-down central planning—economic or political—is always doomed to fail. The inverted, perverse incentive structure that invariably characterizes such endeavors guarantees failure. To wit, as a government project, the multi-billion enterprise in Iraq is bankrolled indefinitely by taxpayers and shielded in perpetuity from bankruptcy. Wrongdoing and incompetence in government are rarely punished, but are, rather, rewarded with budgetary increases. Government departments and fiefdoms accrete through inefficiency. Failure translates into ever-growing budgets, powers and perks—for the top dogs, not for the grunts on the ground.

In the ramp-up to war, Ilana argued that in “mere months” the Bush administration managed to “break down and even invert certain civilizing precepts, which only a short while ago united” Americans. As is evident from her many essays on the topic, she was referring to a respect for the natural law and the prohibition against unprovoked aggression, the Constitution (it prohibits the President from declaring war), Just War Theory, and what “the Founding Fathers provided.” To wit, “a limited, constitutional republican government, by definition, doesn't, cannot, and must never pursue what Bush is after, … a sort of ‘21st-century Manifest Destiny.’"

Ilana has responded to what she terms the “creativepost-hocarguments… made to justify the unnecessary war, waged on a sovereign nation that had not attacked us, was no threat to us and was certainly no match for us,” first with facts. She has pointed out repeatedly that, “there were many experts—credible ones—who absolutely rejected the contention that there were WMD in Iraq. They were as numerous as the loud voices who promoted this lie. However, the media shut us out.” Next, Ilana has galvanized analytical arguments to dispel falsities about the invasion: “To say that Saddam may have had WMD is quite different from advocating war based on those assumptions,” she reasons. “It’s one thing to assume in error; it’s quite another to launch a war in which thousands would die based on mere assumptions, however widely shared.”

Ilana rejects accusations of pacifism leveled at her: “I supported going after al-Qaida in Afghanistan,” she ventures. “That was a legitimate act of retaliation and defense, accommodated within St. Augustine's teachings, whereby a just war is one ‘that avenges wrongs, when a nation or state has to be punished, for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects.’”

Finally, Ilana characterizes the stay-the-course prescription as tantamount to “persisting in what is impossible to accomplish. Faction fighting in Iraq is as old as the sand dunes, and tyrants as ubiquitous as the Tigris,” she states, adding that, “Hussein’s reign was one of the more peaceful periods in the history of this fractious people. What a shame it’s too late to dust Saddam off, give him a sponge bath, and beg him to restore law and order to Iraq.”


Ilana, who grew up in the Middle-East, rejects the “religion of peace” appellation. “Our adventurous foreign policy might be a necessary precondition for Muslim aggression but it is far from a sufficient one,” she argues. The reason why “Muslims today are at the center of practically every conflict in the world—and were slaughtering innocent, pacifist Jews in Israel well before the Jewish state was a figment in the fertile mind of Theodor Herzl”—can be found in the Qur’an, she states.

“The Muslim holy book,” moreover, “doesn’t brook interpretation or reformation, because, as the Islamic tradition has it, the Qur’an is not Mohammed's word; it is God’s eternal word, seen as something sent from Heaven, never to be adapted or altered,” Ilana explains.

“The Qur’an counsels conquest, not coexistence, especially in its later edicts, which override the earlier ones,” she observes. In an essay for The New Individualist, Ilana concludes that, if anything, “Osama bin Laden has heeded, not hijacked, Islam.” In the same piece she also argues that “[t]he Quran’s ruthless particularism runs counter to the universal concepts of justice and love of the Hebrew and Christian bibles.”

Naïve Westerners, who’ve been raised to believe The Other is just like them, don’t understand Islam and its adherents. Or, for that matter, the meaning of “Taqiyya—the seldom-discussed Islamic practice of lying to non-Muslims in order to win political battles and protect Islam.” As Ilana demonstrates, media “malpractitioners” uphold “this Scheherazade-worthy charade.”


As both a libertarian and a Zionist (a position for which she has been attacked), Ilana argues that Israel does itself no favors by conflating America's unlimited worldwide war on Islamic terror with its own narrowly delimited and legitimate battle for survival, conducted since that country’s inception.

The Palestinian Authority, she notes, has established itself as an anarcho-terrorist territory.Left-liberal, root-causes thinking blames the thriving society (Israel) for the dysfunctions of the “savage” one adjacent to it (PA). But asIlanaputs it, “human action is the ultimate adjudicator of moral worth;societies are only as good as the individuals they comprise.” No amount of words, maintains Ilana, is going to change that Palestinians don’t live under the rule of enlightened Western law, don’t have a free and ferociously critical media or liberal courts, canonize suicide murderers, sanction the ‘honor killings’ of women and their subjugation, and are more likely to approve when their coreligionists strap on belts of nails and dynamite and blow up innocents.”

By making concessions to such an entity, Ilana argues, Israeli leaders have abandoned the national interest and their obligation to ensure the nation endures.

Conversely, Ilana strongly condemned Israel’s recent “leveling of Lebanon” and the “collective punishment of innocents” during that operation. She advised, instead, that Israel “consider stationing on the borders the best of its special-operations units … trained in precision, deep-penetration operations.”

Ilana categorically opposes foreign aid handouts to Israel. Israel ought to stop sacrificing its sovereignty and cease being a US satellite state. Independence, she observes, means cutting the Gordian Knot once and for all.


Via Everypedia:

Mercer has argued that “Inviting an invasion by foreigners and instigating one against them are two sides of the same neoconservative coin;” traditionalist Lawrence Auster noted that this concept was “first articulated by Ilana Mercer and then turned into a neat slogan by Steve Sailer.”

Indeed, on January 16, 2004, Mercer's “Return To Reason” cyber column encapsulated the scheme as, “Inviting an invasion by foreigners and instigating one against them.”

Later, on January 25, 2004, Steve Sailer, “turned [that idea] into a neat slogan,” naming the policy, artfully, as “invade the world/invite the world.” This radical strategy permanently destabilizes the homeland and the world and gives western governments all the power, everywhere.


Mercer views neoconservatives as having corrupted the constitutionally-prescribed use of the American military, employing it as a force “to patrol the borders of Kosovo, Korea, and Kurdistan” while “our own borders remain perilously porous.” These “conservative poseurs,” she notes, seek to remake America into “a disparate people, forced together by an abstract, highly manipulable, coercive, state-sanctioned ideology,” in effect, a “propositional nation” that overrides the traditional nation in which Americans shared language, customs, faith, and culture. Mercer states that an aversion to the concept of nationhood arises from “an inability to distinguish the nation from the State,” the common values, culture, and traditions of the former having once been conducive to liberty in the U. S..“The real individualist,” she adds, “ knows who he is and whence he came.”


“Patriotism,” writes Ilana, “is a very modest thing. Here’s what it’s not: it’s not an allegiance to the government of the day, or to its invariably un-American policies. It’s an affinity for your community; it’s an understanding of the great principles upon which this country was founded—which have been excised by successive governments, Republican and Democratic alike. And it’s a commitment to restoring the republic of private-property rights, individual freedoms, and radical decentralization.”

The Therapeutic Society

In her book, Broad Sides , Ilana underscores that “a free society cannot function unless its members assume or are made to assume full responsibility for their actions.” Indeed, an abiding theme in her work is individual free-will and the exploration of causality and culpability vis-à-vis crime, misconduct, and immorality. In particular, Ilana opposes and exposes the "medicalization of misbehavior.""In the progressive’s universe, evil actions don’t incriminate, they mitigate."The pop “experts,” she says, “work to place bad behavior beyond the strictures of traditional morality, making it amenable to ‘therapeutic’ interventions. The Drew Pinskys of the worldconjure so-called mental diseases either to control contrarians or to exculpate criminals.”

In “Mel’s Malady; Foxman’s Fetish,” Ilana writes this, with reference to Gibson’s alcoholism:

"The Delphic oracles of the disease theory of delinquency (the ‘experts’) have slapped all manner of misconduct with diagnostic labels. At the root of this diseasing of behavior is the eradication of good and bad. Placing bad behavior beyond the strictures of traditional morality, moreover, makes it amenable to external, ‘therapeutic’ or state interventions.

Liberals first, and conservatives in short succession, have taken to the idiom of disease like ducks to water. Left and right now insist, based on wispy pseudoscience, that just about every human excess is an illness as organic as cancer or diabetes.

A teacher who seduces her underage pupil has to be ‘sick,’ or else she’d not have indulged her fantasies. The same post hoc illogic is applied to the morbidly obese: if you overeat, you’re diseased!

Are you a dad who dotes on his kids when they are around, but fails to mail them child support money when they return to mom? There’s a Harvard professor by the name of Dr. John Ratey who’ll cheerily diagnose you with ‘Environmental Dependency Disorder’: you remember your kids only when they are present.

And so it goes: the arsonist has ‘pyromania,’ the thief is inflicted with ‘kleptomania,’ and Bill Clinton was not promiscuous, but a ‘sex-addict.'

No Szaszian thinker will miss the thread that holds “Rah-Rah for Rioters” together:

"Whether the mediacrats are applying their cerebral sinew to individual or group-orchestrated crime; to psychological or sociological ‘causal factors,’ bad deeds are invariably caused—never committed. And they are caused by factors outside the perpetrators. …

And this from “Coddling Killers”:

Root causes are the rationalizations liberals give—usually after the fact—for their immoral actions or for the immoral actions of others. The paradox at the heart of the root-causes fraud is that causal theoretical explanations are invoked only after bad deeds have been committed. Good deeds have no need of mitigating circumstances.

The Deep State

Via Wikipedia's "Managerial State" entry:

"Ilana Mercer has connected the concept of the 'Managerial State' to that of the 'Deep State,' bandied about in the Trump era. The Deep State Mercer speaks of as,

... the intractable, permanent state—the bureaucracy, or the unseen, unelected Juggernaut that reflexively maintains the status quo in government departments … those extra-constitutional processes and forces that make voter-supported change near impossible.[11]

On the Left, observed Mercer, the Public Broadcasting Service's Bill Moyers had spoken about the concept 'Deep State' in 2014. On the right, James Burnham wrote about the 'Deep State' in 1941, except, says Mercer, Burnham called it the 'Managerial State.'"

With Gratitude

To the publisher of this volume to whom added appreciation is due.

To Thomas Szasz, Thomas DiLorenzo and Erik Rush—firm friends all.

To my proof-reader and copy-editor R. J.Stove: The manuscript was polished for publication by the epistolary Wizard of Oz.

To James Ostrowski and Nebojsa Malic for useful comments.

To researcher Rhona Karbusicky, who provided unstinting assistance.

To a nineteen-year-old homeschooled, consummate professional named Aaron Sleadd.

To my dear daughter, who helped me through a punishing publication process.

To my sweet mother, Ann-Wendy Cumes, and my beloved father, Rabbi Abraham Benzion Isaacson, for their backing.

And to my husband, Sean Russell Mercer, who kept me going.

~ Ilana Mercer

© 2011 Ilana Mercer

All Rights Reserved

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

The moral right of the author is asserted

Visit Ilana online:

Library of Congress Cataloguing-in-Publication data
Mercer, Ilana
Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa/by Ilana Mercer, 1st ed.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. United States – Diplomatic history - Foreign and general relations.
2. Social Sciences – Social pathology - criminology.
3. Law – Natural law – property.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2011930725

Cover Design by Guy Corp,
1500A East College Way #554
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

  Chapters 1-7

1. Crime, the Beloved Country
chapter 1

It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority…from the absolute will of an entire people there is no appeal, no redemption, no refuge but treason. —Lord Acton[*]

If a young South African were to ask me whether to stay or leave, my advice would be to go. —Breyten Breytenbach[†]

The Williams family is emigrating—leaving South Africa for good. The family will be departing for the UK without their twelve-year-old daughter. Emily Williams was killed at seven in the morning on her way to school, a victim of an armed robbery underway at the home of a classmate who was being fetched by Emily and her mother. Many of the family’s friends are following Roger Williams’ lead. An executive director and chief financial officer at AECI, a South African chemicals group, Mr. Williams believes “everybody should have the right to go about their business and go to school without worrying that you’re going to become a victim of crime.”1

René Burger is the little sister of Schalk Burger, a young rising star in South African rugby. Twenty-year-old René, a medical student, was headed for classes at the Tygerberg hospital in Cape Town when she was abducted from the well-patrolled hospital grounds by three men. They drove her to a remote location and gang-raped her at knife-point.

Young Noah Cohen emerged from soccer practice in time to watch his father die. Sheldon Cohen had been sitting in his car outside a Johannesburg sports stadium waiting for Noah when he was shot by “three young men.”2

An elderly Jew is murdered on his way to synagogue in Johannesburg on Saturday morning, shot for refusing to hand over the “valuables” in his tallit bag, the pouch in which an observant Jew carries his prayer shawl.3

A family friend writes: “Crime is out of control down here—you hear of truly horrific stuff all the time. Johannesburg is particularly bad. I recently sold my house and moved into a security village where all the houses are accessible only through one entrance. There are guards who phone you if someone you know wants to get in to see you. Insane!”

This is a snapshot of life in suburban South Africa circa 2008, fourteen years since freedom. Ordinarily, case studies do not a rule make, but you’d be hard pressed to find a family in democratic South Africa whose members have not been brutalized. The travails of this writer’s extended family are fairly typical. They tell of the lives of good people ruined by rubbish: A sister’s partner suffering permanent neurological damage after being brutally assaulted by five Africans; a brother burglarized and beaten in his suburban fortress at two in the morning by an African gang (his wife and infant son were miraculously spared); a father whose neighbor was shot point-blank in front of his little girls as he exited his car to open the garage gates; a spouse, two of whose colleagues were murdered (one shot by African taxi drivers in broad daylight, left to bleed to death on the pavement near his girlfriend’s place), and whose cousin and uncle were hijacked, aunt raped and beaten within an inch of her life. Sean Mercer, Ph.D., found out recently that a fondly remembered professor at his alma mater had been beaten to death with an umbrella by an angry African student.4 A Cambridge graduate, Brian D. Hahn was a prodigious applied mathematician at the University of Cape Town.5 He is no longer, but his webpage is still online. Hahn, it states, was born in November 1946 in Cape Town, born again in August of 1966, and died in February of 2005. His colleagues tell of a humble man who practiced his profession and faith faithfully. Rest in Peace.

“The circle narrows,” mourns Afrikaner poet and former anti-apartheid activist, Breyten Breytenbach in an essay for Harper’s Magazine:

The grandmother of a close friend—she’s as old as [Mandela]—pleads with her robbers not to be sexually violated, she even claims to be infected with a communicable disease; the nephew of a fellow writer is shot in the face, killed in his own house by a night intruder whom he mistook for a rat; the son of my eldest brother is stabbed in a parking lot outside a restaurant, the blade pierces a lung, the police never turn up, he is saved because his companion calls her boyfriend all the way in Australia by cell phone and he could summon a nurse he happens to know in Johannesburg. (The woman is on a first visit to the country; she leaves the next day and swears never to return.)6

This writer and her immediate family, presciently, left South Africa in 1995, shortly after the white minority ceded power to a black majority. A year prior, we had voted in South Africa’s first democratic election. In 1990, I’d been on the Grand Parade in Cape Town, among a crowd of thousands, to witness Nelson Mandela’s release after twenty-seven years in prison (it was a riot, literally). In previous decades my father, Rabbi Ben Isaacson, had been a well-known anti-apartheid activist. With him I attended the inauguration of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and met and took afternoon tea with the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Nevertheless, the writing was on the wall.

When we departed, South Africa was still a country with a space program (on which my husband Sean Mercer worked), gleaming skyscrapers, and department stores that rivaled Macy’s. The Central Business District in Johannesburg bustled. Crime was controlled, or at least confined. When mobs stoned cars en route to the D. F. Malan Airport in Cape Town (geographical names across the country have since been changed to expunge Afrikaner history), a tough and competent police force sprung into action. An equally impressive Western system of Roman-Dutch law, and a relatively independent judiciary, dished out just deserts in response to the ubiquitous “muti-murders” (African ritual killing, including human sacrifice in Venda7), and to“necklacing” (the more contemporary African custom of placing a diesel-doused tire around a putative offender’s neck and igniting it). Or to the rape of babies. To borrow from Gen. Sir Charles Napier: Before 1994, when African men raped infants because they considered the “practice” a traditional salve for AIDS, South African policemen followed through with their custom: they tied a rope around the rapist’s neck and hung him. “Afrikaner rule,” the noted liberal historian Hermann Giliomee has observed, “was characterized by an obsession with imposing restrictions through proper legislation and with due process in executing these laws … The government did not attempt to cover up deaths in detention, despite a torrent of unfavorable publicity. Although political opponents were at the mercy of their interrogators in prison, both the policeman and the prisoner knew that neither was outside the law.”8

It goes without saying that a condemnation of the New South Africa is not an affirmation of the Old. More crucially, realism is not racism. The undeniable reality is that, a decade since this abrupt transfer of power, the rule of the demos has turned a once-prosperous, if politically problematic, place into a lawless ramshackle. The BBC World’s John Simpson recently—and reluctantly—disclosed that South Africa jostles with Iraq and Colombia9 for the title of most violent country in the world. So violent is the “free” South Africa that, for a period, the freewheeling ANC government imposed an official blackout on national crime statistics. It now releases them once yearly.

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[*]  The History of Freedom In Antiquity, 1877.

[†]  The Afrikaner poet who was incarcerated for anti-apartheid activism.

1.  Sheree Bega, “We just don’t feel safe anymore,” The Star, May 10, 2008.

2.  Amir Mizroch, “Cries from the Beloved Country, Part II,” Forecast Highs, February 8, 2008.

3.  Moira Schneider, “SA Jews worried,” SomethingJewish, March 19, 2008, (accessed June 2008).

4.  ”UCT prof dies of injuries,”, February 5, 2005,,,2-7-1442_1658014,00.html (accessed June 2008).

5.  Brian D. Hahn, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics & Applied Mathematics, University of Cape Town, (accessed June 2008).

6.  Breyten Breytenbach, “Mandela’s Smile: Notes on South Africa’s failed revolution,” Harper’s Magazine, December 2008.

7.  Rob McCafferty, “Murder in South Africa: a comparison of past and present, first edition,” United Christian Action, June 2003.

8.  Hermann Giliomee, The Afrikaners: Biography of a People (Charlottesville, Virginia, 2003), pp. 623-624.

9.  NationMaster, Murders per capita per country, (accessed June 2008).


The surfeit of crime statistics, say those who chronicle crime, can be misleading because “crime definitions vary from one country to the next.” This is an argument that the African National Congress’ grotesquely mistitled Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula often seizes upon, to conceal the blood-soaked facts of violent crime in his country. Following its chief’s example, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has developed an agile facility with misleading statistical comparisons. To diminish crime under its jurisdiction, the SAPS is fond of drawing skewed comparisons between low-crime spots in South Africa and high-crime spots in otherwise low-crime countries.

Juxtaposing the incidence of murder in low-crime Pretoria and high-crime Washington, D.C (29.1 per 100,000 inhabitants10) is an example of the practice. The same sources like to point to the incidence of rape in Canada: evidently one of the highest per capita in the world, having surpassed both the U.S. and Zimbabwe.11 But the only way First World Canada—with its 1.77 murders per 100,000 population12—can lay claim to this dubious distinction is by legally redefining rape. The cause of this is the baleful influence of feminist Catharine Mackinnon on American and Canadian jurisprudence. The consequence of it is that a woman can seek and find in the law a legal remedy to the regret or rage experienced following an impromptu romp between the sheets.

The redefining of rape in American and Canadian law is the product of the collaboration between advocacy groups and feminist stakeholders, and has been exposed by John Fekete in Moral Panic: Biopolitics Rising. Undergirding this sub-science are statistically promiscuous surveys such as Statistics Canada’s 1993 “Violence Against Women” survey, and its American equivalent. As Professor Fekete has demonstrated, this voodoo consists of single-sex surveys with no input from men; is fraught with problems of unrepresentative sampling, lack of corroboration, a reliance on anecdotes, and a use of over-inclusive survey questions. Suffice it to say that, contra North America, in South Africa, where a rape occurs every twenty-six seconds,13 the crime of rape is unlikely to mean mere sexual harassment or sexual disappointment. Very many South African young men consider rape a form of recreation, their rapacity even finding expression in the vocabulary: gang rape is jocularly referred to as “jackrolling.”14 Ironically, the provincial chauvinism of the cloistered gender feminists of the West has helped trivialize the plight of their African sisters.

Ultimately, murder in all its horrible finality cannot be statistically finessed. This is why, in proportion to population size, it is the best gauge of the precariousness or safety of life in a given society. The U.S. Bureau of Justice concurs: “Homicide is a fairly reliable barometer of all violent crime.”15

Let us, then, survey homicide statistics for South Africa. They are easy to understand, if hard to digest.

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10.  The Disaster Center, “District of Columbia Crime Rates 1960–2006,” (accessed June 2008).

11.  NationMaster, Rapes Per Capita By Country, (accessed June 2008).

12.  Gordon Barclay and Cynthia Tavares, International Comparisons of Criminal Justice Statistics 2001, October 24, 2003, (accessed June 2008).

13.  Barnaby Phillips, “Baby rapes shock South Africa,” BBC News, December 1, 2001.

14.  “South Africa’s rape shock,” BBC News, January 19, 1999, (accessed June 2008).

15.  Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Homicide trends in the United States,” (accessed July 2008).

Adapt and Die[*]

Between April 2004 and March 2005, 18,793 people were murdered in South Africa (population 43 million). In comparison, the “high-crime” United States (population 299,398,00016 ) suffered 16,740 murders. Put differently, South Africa has sixty homicides per 100,000 people; the US approximately six.17 The European Union (population 728 million) has approximately 1.59 homicides per 100,000 per year.18 On average, in South Africa, sixty-five people are murdered every day, three times that number are raped; and 300 are violently attacked and robbed daily.19

These official figures, say other researches, are more serendipity than science.

According to Robert McCafferty of the United Christian Action, Interpol had pegged South Africa’s murder rate at “114.8 murders per 100,000 inhabitants,”20 roughly double those released by the South African Police Service (SAPS). In 1995 and 1996, Interpol counted 54,298 annual homicides to the SAPS’s 26,883. While slightly more optimistic, the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) corroborated the trend Interpol uncovered. It reported approximately a third more murders in South Africa than the official police statistics reveal,”21 tallying an average of eighty-nine daily deaths, or 32,000 a year. A discrepancy of over 10,000 murders is, shall we say, more than a margin of error.

McCafferty, whose data is a distillation of information from criminology journals, the SAPS, Crime Information Analysis Centre (CIAC), Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Interpol websites, and “the major newspapers on crime statistics and related issues,” concluded that “what sets South Africa’s crime apart from basically every other country on earth is the incredibly high levels of violent crime”—murder, attempted murder, serious and common assaults, rape, and all categories of robbery: that is, robbery with aggravating circumstances, armed robbery, and car hijacking.

During his term of office, former president Thabo Mbeki wielded the “racist” ad hominem deftly. Mbeki ignored the BBC’s otherwise incontinent exhilaration about everything else South African, choosing instead to frame as racism the network’s newfound realism vis-à-vis crime.22 Mbeki countered a BBC crime exposé by asserting that “nobody can show that the overwhelming majority of the 40-50 million South Africans think that crime is out of control. Nobody can, because it’s not true.”23 It so happens that South Africans are fed up (“gatvol” in Afrikaans) with crime, as is evident from the petitions, protests and vigils staged across the brutalized country. Asked about their feelings of safety compared to 1994, a majority (seventy percent) of South Africans surveyed by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in 2001 answered that South Africa was “not safer than it was before 1994.”24 Even if Mbeki had been able to get most South Africans to concede that crime was insignificant, that would not settle the matter. Unfortunately for Mr. Mbeki, truth is not adjudicated by majority vote.

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[*]  Dan Roodt, “Adapt and die—South Africa’s New Motto,” Praag, November 2004.

16.  Infoplease, United States, Population by State, (accessed July 2008).

17.  Demographics Studies, “United States Crime Rates 1960-2006,” (accessed July 2008).

18.  Gordon Barclay and Cynthia Tavares, op. cit.

19.  John Simpson, “Battle over Jo’burg crime,” BBC News, December 12, 2006.

20.  Ibid.

21.  Rob McCafferty, op. cit.

22.  Jon Williams, “Is the BBC Racist?”, BBC News, February 20, 2007.

23.  Thabo Mbeki, “Propaganda and reality: The truth as the first casualty of war,” ANC Today, Volume 7, No. 6, February 16-22, 2007.

24.  Institute of Security Studies, National Victims of Crime Survey, Chapter 4, July 2004.

“Apartheid Nostalgia”

To most Western observers, the new dispensation in this writer’s old home engenders unconditional praise the world over. For them, not knowing whether you’ll survive the day is but a spot of bother. Conservative columnists are as prone as anyone else to be nonchalant about the present situation. One of them described South Africa as “the greatest triumph of chatter over machine-gun clatter. It’s not perfect, and crime is at an all-time high in South African cities, but at least the massacres are a thing of the past and life goes on much better than before.” If by “massacres” our correspondent meant Sharpeville, where in 1960, panic-stricken policemen of the apartheid regime shot dead sixty-nine black demonstrators, why, in democratic South Africa that’s the daily carnage quota.

Few realize that during the decades of the apartheid regime a few hundred Africans in total perished as a direct and indirect consequence of police brutality. A horrible injustice, indubitably, but nothing approximating the death toll in “free” South Africa, where hundreds of Africans, white and black, perish weekly. Nor did apartheid’s casualties come close to the ANC’s during “the armed struggle.” Freedom’s forebears “necklaced” 400 non-combatants, and murdered hundreds more—Zulu opposition, state informers and witnesses, rural headmen, urban councilors, “and others perceived to be collaborators of the system or enemies of the ANC.”25 “Between 1976 and 1994,” writes Giliomee, “state agents deliberately killed between two hundred and three hundred people active in the struggle against the state.”26 It takes the free agents of democratic Azania only five days to deliberately kill as many of their fellow citizens.

Still fewer realize that during the decades of the repressive—and reprehensible—apartheid regime, which ended officially in 1994, crime rates in South Africa were overall much lower; in whites-only areas they were not dissimilar to those in other Western countries. McCafferty, whose brief it was to compare “the number of murders in the ‘Old South Africa’ (under apartheid) … to the ‘New South Africa’ (post 1994),”27 counted 309,583 murders over the forty-four years spanning 1950 to 1993. In the first eight years of the “new democratic dispensation,” 193,649 people were murdered. In other words, under apartheid, on average, 7,036 people were murdered each year, a small number compared to the carnage under the ANCniks: 24,206 annually. The latter is the South Africa Police Service’s low-ball estimation, which both Interpol and the South African Medical Research Council have disputed.

The ANC government now claims that matters have improved and that it is winning the war on violent crime. The Democratic Alliance disputes this. The tiny, tokenistic, opposition to the “all-powerful black majority party” puts the ostensible drop in crime down to the fact that fifty-one percent of victims no longer bothers to report crime, given that corruption is rife, arrests rare, and prosecutions and convictions still rarer.28 Recent findings suggest that the SAPS’s optimistic, homicide statistics are not to be believed. As reported by The Economist, the Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation has confirmed the existence of a “pervasive pattern of (police) manipulation of statistic.” By an amazing coincidence, the reported decline in violent crime and the government’s 2004 announcement of its intention to cut such crime have dovetailed.

Doctored or diminished, the SAPS’s statistics spanning 2006 to 2007 reveal that 19,20229 South African lives were lost (population 43,786,11530 ) compared to the United States’ 16,57431 (population 303,824,64632). A yearly average of 19,202 murders (under democracy) still constitutes almost three times as many as 7,036 annual murders (under apartheid). Clearly, the era of apartheid remains a Golden Age with respect to the sanctity of life, for blacks and whites alike.

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25.  Martin Meredith, The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence (Sydney, 2006), p. 658.

26.  Hermann Giliomee, op. cit., p. 511.

27.  Rob McCafferty, op. cit.

28., “DA sceptical about latest crime statistics,” June 30, 2008, (accessed June 2008).

29.  South African Police Service, “Crime Situation in South Africa,” June 2007, (accessed May, 2008).

30.  “South Africa,” CIA World Factbook, (accessed June 2008).

31.  Approximated by the author from the reported two percent decrease in murder rate since 2006, thus 0.973×17034=16574.

32.  “United States,” CIA World Factbook, (accessed June 2008).

Crime Desegregated

McCafferty’s numbers notwithstanding, such an unsettling claim is usually met with this brittle argument: Murders are not more numerous under majority rule, but merely more evenly spread. Let us celebrate, for democracy has desegregated crime! In his searing 1986 critique of apartheid, Move Your Shadow: South Africa, Black And White, Joseph Lelyveld (a former New York Times editor) surmised: “Apartheid [ensured] that the victims of most black violence [were] black and the victims of most white violence white.”33 At the time, Lelyveld avoided further damaging deductions, such as that apartheid separated the high-crime from the low-crime communities. The Group Areas Act of 1950, the basic statute that had guaranteed absolute residential segregation under apartheid,34 served to confine crime to the black townships. Ditto influx control laws: “Africans who had not established a claim to be in urban areas were given only seventy-two hours in towns and cities to find work and were compelled to register at a government labor bureau for this purpose.”35 Let us not beat about the bush; violent crime in the New South Africa is predominantly black on black and black on white. Since the demise of apartheid, it has both increased and spread from slum to suburb. However, even assuming that violent crime has not increased but is only more “equitably” distributed, why is that good or even tolerable? Does parity in the probability of being victimized constitute progress? Does the fact that whites are now as likely as—data36 suggest more likely than—blacks to be slain herald a more just dispensation? An answer in the affirmative evinces a quest for vengeance, not fairness.

While it is true that “there is nothing new about hideous, sadistic, violent crime in SA,”37 the Afrikaner National Party, for all its faults, kept the lid on the cauldron of depravity now bubbling over. At the time, Lelyveld, and left-liberals like him, inveighed against the heavily armed “plainclothes white security cops who cruise[d] around the major black townships in big Fords and Datsuns.”38 But, among the many demonstrators forever punching the air, most distinguished between “ordinary (good) police and riot (bad) police.” Or so wrote the late Fredrik van Zyl Slabbert, leader of the former anti-apartheid opposition, the Progressive Federal Party (PFP). In The Last White Parliament, Slabbert attests that “Without exception, [blacks wanted] ordinary police to remain in the townships and help with [much needed] crime prevention.”39

Dubbed the father of apartheid, Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd was certainly “[k]eenly interested in urban security.” To that end, “township streets were purposely wide so police could control movement easily.”40 Indubitably, law and order in the townships of Old South Africa was less a function of the Boer’s brotherly love for the Bantu than of his orderly habits. But it was subject to investigation by a relatively independent judiciary; reports tabled often finding against the police. For example, Justice Kannemeyer’s report (which was debated in parliament) of the response to the riots that erupted in 1985 was, to quote the headline in the Johannesburg-based Star,at the time, a “‘devastating indictment’ of police.”41 The only “devastating indictment” of Jacob Zuma’s police force issued these days emanates from outside the government and well beyond its vengeful reach. (Try as I did, I was unable to get white policemen and women—old hands working deep in the guts of the reconstructed SAPS—to talk about the “workplace”: they were afraid.) The ANC’s response to a police force shot through with corruption has been the dissolution of the crack, anti-corruption unit known as the “Scorpions.”42

The Afrikaner’s quaint and quintessentially Western practices are etched vividly in journalist Keith Richburg’s Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa. Just before Afrikaners “surrendered without defeat,”43 Richburg, Africa bureau chief for The Washington Post from 1991 to 1994, journeyed to South Africa from the killing fields to the north, on assignment. In the course of his duties, he filed a report from the scene of a tribally motivated killing near Johannesburg. Zulu and Xhosa were embroiled in pre-elections strife. Twelve people had been gunned down. A small massacre by African standards—at least, so thought Richburg, who has described Africa as a continent where everywhere black bodies are stacked up like firewood. Imagine his astonishment when “the police, mostly officious-looking white officers with ruddy complexions—came and did what you might expect police to do in any Midwestern American city where a crime has occurred. They cordoned off the area with police tape. They marked the spots on the ground where the victims had fallen.”44 Topping this CSI-worthy protocol was a statement to the press “promising a ‘full investigation.’” This civilized routine Richburg characterized as utterly misplaced on a continent where nobody counts the bodies; and where chasing down and charging a man with murder is like “handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500.”45

The Old South Africa was the odd man out in Africa. Maligned by Joseph Lelyveld, the Afrikaner’s presence in high-crime localities was why a semblance of law and order was maintained and common criminals pursued and prosecuted to the benefit of all.

Little wonder then that “pollsters note a small but growing number of blacks experiencing ‘apartheid nostalgia.’ ‘It’s not that they want to return to apartheid, but in retrospect it was a time when things worked better,’” says Robert Mattes, co-director of the Afrobarometer poll.46 That’s an understatement. Certainly back then soccer moms and dads were never shaken down during a match—a common occurrence these days. Back then The Christian Science Monitor’s South African correspondent did not compose his dispatches from behind “ten-foot walls, electric fencing, burglar bars,” and within reach of “at least one panic button wired directly to an armed-response team.”47 Back then shopkeepers were not compelled to cower behind iron bars, as they do now. Gun battles were unheard of on the streets of South Africa’s major metropolises, some of which have come to resemble Mogadishu, pavements strewn with garbage, skyscrapers overrun by squatters, and landmarks vandalized beyond recognition. To wit, the Impala Stampede, a “giant bronze statue that used to adorn the entrance to Anglo American’s offices, was torn down and destroyed by the rampaging gangs.”48

In the New South Africa, rising prices at the pump corresponded to a rising body count, as petrol attendants are targeted for crude.49 An attendant trend did not accompany the steep gas prices during the 1987 oil embargo against South Africa. This writer would safely fill the tank and travel to Hillbrow to lunch with her late grandfather. Hillbrow was then a hip, cosmopolitan, Johannesburg suburb. Today it is South Africa’s Harlem, before gentrification. Equally uneventful for this writer was the walk to work from the Eloff street bus terminal in Johannesburg’s city center, where the magnificent five-star Carlton Hotel was open for business. It closed in 1997; the safety of the guests could no longer be guaranteed. The green glass Garden Court Hotel and the Great Synagogue have suffered the same fate.50 Fearing for its safety, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, once “the tenth largest in the world,”51 joined the exodus from the Johannesburg Central Business District (CBD) to the suburb of Sandton.

Defiantly and heroically, a consortium called “Business Against Crime” (BAC) has undertaken to beat back the dirt and decay that had blanketed Johannesburg’s CBD. These intrepid entrepreneurs aim to restore the “mothballed” monuments, reopen boarded-up buildings, and replace brothels and shebeens with legitimate businesses. These are not guys with guns: The BAC’s frontal assault on crime relies on a system of closed-circuit TV cameras! The Economist has proclaimed this “public-private partnership” a success. At the same time, the magazine has conceded that conviction rates in South Africa still hover at a “dismal” eight percent and have only just begun to inch upward.52

Optimism aside, it is hard to see how the prospects of being caught on camera would deter a hardcore criminal for long since he has a ninety percent chance of getting away with murder. Considering that the country now has one of the world’s highest murder rates and lowest conviction rates, a South Africa thug can safely pursue his vocation without fearing the consequences, confirms criminologist Neels Moolman.”53 Since freedom, the SAPS, a reconstructed, racially “representative” force, has relaxed the pursuit of criminals. Besides, the democratic South Africa’s criminal class is unlikely to flee before the regiments of an ill-trained, illiterate and corrupt outfit. If anything, evidence abounds of cooperation between criminals and cops, starting at the top. Jackie Selebi, the SAPS’s national police commissioner is a bent and brutal man who’s been linked to the mob54 (and was eventually dismissed by President Zuma).

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33.  Joseph Lelyveld, Move Your Shadow: South Africa Black and White (Johannesburg & London, 1986), p. 207.

34.  Ibid., p. 82.

35.  Hermann Giliomee, op. cit., pp. 623-624.

37.  Andrew Kenny, “Why is our country so violent?”, The Citizen, December 18, 2006.

38.  Joseph Lelyveld, op. cit., p. 55.

39.  Fredrik van Zyl Slabbert, The Last White Parliament (New York, 1987), p. 151.

40.  Hermann Giliomee, op. cit., pp. 506-507.

41.  Derek Catsam, “The Langa Massacre and State Violence in South Africa,” SERSAS Meeting, Contemporary History Institute, Spring 2000, April 14-15, 2000,

42.  Peter Clottey, “Mixed Reaction from Dissolution of South Africa’s Anti-Corruption Unit,” VOA, February 13, 2008, (accessed June 2008).

43.  Hermann Giliomee, op. cit., p. 586.

44.  Keith B. Richburg, Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa, (New York, 1997).

45.  Ibid., p. 198.

46.  Simon Robinson, “The Second Revolution,” Time Europe, April 11, 2004,,9171,610026,00.html (accessed June 2008).

47.  Scott Baldauf, “In South Africa, home sweet fortress,” The Christian Science Monitor, December 6, 2006, (accessed February 2007).

48.  “Public-private partnerships have worked wonders in fighting crime,” The Economist, April 8, 2006.

49.  Nondumiso Mbuyazi, “Petrol attendants stabbed, shot as price skyrockets,” Cape Argus, June 29, 2008.

50.  Jon Williams, op. cit.

51.  Martin Meredith, op. cit., p. 649.

52.  “Public-private partnerships have worked wonders in fighting crime,” The Economist, April 8, 2006 (accessed July 2008).

53.  YouTube, Farm Murders, “Carte Blanche,” 2007, (accessed August, 2008).

54.  Mohammed Allie, “SA’s controversial police chief,” BBC News, January 11, 2008.

Suffer the Little Children

The swirl of statistics tends to conceal the casualties of crime. One such casualty is Baby Tshepang. “Tshepang” means “have hope.” If Tshepang has hope it is against all odds, for she was raped and sodomized, in 2001, when nine months old. The culprit was a twenty-three-year-old man—Tshepang’s sixteen-year-old mother’s former lover. Rape of infants in South Africa has reached “epidemic proportions,” writes Linda M. Richler in the Child Abuse Review, and “occurs with unacceptably high frequency.”55 Roughly ten percent of all rapes in the country—52,425 a year56—are committed against children under three years of age. In the span of the two months following Baby Tshepang’s rape, another five children under twelve months of age were raped. In two of the cases, media reports suggested the child’s caregivers might have accepted money for making the child available to the perpetrator.57

Sexperts and sociologists have a habit of sanitizing savagery with odd-ball pseudoscientific assertions: “To penetrate the vagina of a small child,” writes Richler ponderously, “the perpetrator must first create a common channel between the vagina and anal canal by forced insertion of an implement.”58 In the gaping wound that was Baby Tshepang before she was sewn back together, Richler has detected a technique where there was only brute, libidinal force. She offers no forensic evidence for her claim. Richler’s less iffy inference has it that this nauseating crime wave may well be rooted in the “virgin cleansing myth”—the idea that sex with a virgin cures HIV/AIDS and offers protection against acquiring the virus. (Seen in the context of the late Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala-Msiming’s espousal of beetroot, garlic and lemon as antidotes for AIDS,59 this makes perfect sense.) Oddly enough, when epidemiologists speak of mapping the spread of the epidemic in a country in which one in five adults is infected,60 they are somehow parted from their critical faculties, rarely mentioning epidemic sexual violence as a vector of transmission.

Thankfully, for the victims, political correctness doesn’t plague the private, entrepreneurial sector. “The connection between violent crime and AIDS in South Africa was underscored by ‘rape insurance’ policies launched in November 1999,” write Dave Kopel and Drs. Paul Gallant and Joanne Eisen of the Independence Institute. LifeSense, a medical benefits organization underwritten by Lloyds of London, has been offering a “Rape Care” package to rape victims which “provides a top-up policy should the rape survivor become HIV-positive as a result of rape. Dr. Angus Rowe, a spokesperson from LifeSense, stated that ‘in an environment where rape is so pervasive we need to extend protections to rape survivors in the families.’ Rape Care policy holders will have access to counseling and medical treatment, ‘an anti-retroviral starter pack, the home delivery of the full 28-day anti-retroviral treatment, and HIV testing for one year.’”61 Had the private sector not similarly—and speedily—moved to palliate the South African people’s desperate need for protection against criminals, who knows how many more would be ravished or killed? There are now 400,000 “guardian angels” in private security toiling to make up for the state’s failure to protect its citizens.62

One doesn’t have to be an HIV/AIDS counselor to conclude that endemic sexual violence increases the spread of the disease. It so happens that this writer was such a counselor at the Cape Town chapter of ATIC, the AIDS Training, Information and Counseling Centre. The African women I counseled there were educated and well turned out, yet they giggled like girls when prophylactics were mentioned. African patriarchs disdain protection, they told me, coyly cupping their mouths and laughing—at me. They were, however, deadly serious. For these women, insisting on your, “like, reproductive freedoms”—uttered in staccato, tart tones, indigenous to North America—meant risking the wrath of quick-fisted husbands. At the time, the counseling model used at ATIC was developed for gay American men. Based on my experience with these urban, urbane women, I recommended—and was commended for—changing the laughable, gay-centric guidelines. If sophisticated African women were afraid to suggest sheaths to their men, all the more so their rural, uneducated sisters.

One tenet of the gay-centric counseling model applies to Africa in spades: the reality of rutting, rampant sex. When the puritanical apartheid government “finally stirred into action, launching AIDS education and prevention programs, it met considerable resistance,”63 attests historian Martin Meredith. Anti-apartheid activists accused the government of wanting to prevent Africans from having promiscuous sex so as to retard population growth and “check the advance of African liberation.” AIDS, they joked, stood for “Afrikaner Invention to Deprive us of Sex.”64 Although Mbeki persisted in the belief that AIDS is a conspiracy—Big Pharma having replaced the Afrikaner as culprit—there isn’t a corner in post-apartheid South Africa that has not been missionized by AIDS educators. Still, infection rates remain, for the most, unaffected. Rocker Bono, the warbling modern father of foreign aid, has praised Africans for being a “rare and spirited people.” Sadly, if the spirit didn’t move them in so many wild ways, rates of infection in Southern Africa might not have reached twenty to 33.7 percent of the adult population. Africans are having unprotected sex irrespective of the mortal dangers of AIDS, a phenomenon which Austrian economists might explain with reference to time preference rates. In this case, time preference rates signify the degree to which different people will discount the future in favor of immediate gratification. Time orientation, agrees Lawrence E. Harrison, an associate at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, is a central value in progressive as opposed to static cultures.65 Educational efforts aside, the number of people infected in Southern Africa bespeaks a high time preference: the habit of consistently risking the future for fleeting fun. Put it this way: The Catholic Church’s consecration of condoms will likely have the same overall effect on African AIDS infection rates as its condemnation of sex outside marriage.

Let us not forget these child victims. Certainly Breyten Breytenbach does not. Breytenbach, the exiled Afrikaner poet “who served seven years in South African prisons for his anti-apartheid activities,”66 invokes for our remembrance South Africa’s children at large, and Meisi Majola’s two-year-old boy in particular. The tot was snatched from his home and his genitals mutilated. “To be used as muti…a potency potion.” Little Courtney Ellerbeck’s broken body mirrors the unremitting violence inflicted on the most innocent members of South African society. The child hobbles about cheerfully with the aid of calipers with lockable knee joints, metal hips, and a walker. She is the country’s youngest crime victim. Courtney was born a paraplegic after being shot in utero by a hijacker.67

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55.  Linda M. Richler, “Baby Rape in South Africa,” Child Abuse Review, Vol. 12, 2003, pp 392-400, at p. 395.

56., Crime Statistics, “Rapes (most recent) by country,” (accessed June 2008).

57.  Linda M. Richler, op. cit.

58.  Ibid.

59.  Barry Bearak, “South African Ministers Resign, Then Return,” The New York Times, September 23, 2008, (accessed September 23, 2008).

60.  AVERT, HIV & AIDS in South Africa, (accessed June 2008).

61.  Dave Kopel, Paul Gallant and Joanne Eisen, “South African Stupidity: Disarming the citizenry is not the answer,” National Review, October 11, 2000, (accessed June 2008).

62.  “Public-private partnerships have worked wonders in fighting crime,” The Economist, April 8, 2006 (accessed July 2008).

63.  Martin Meredith, op. cit., p. 667.

64.  Ibid.

65.  Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington, Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress, (New York, 2000), p. 299.

66.  Breyten Breytenbach, op. cit., p. 39.

67.  Gill Gifford, “Brave Courtney cherishes first steps,” IOL, July 1, 2009, (accessed July 1, 2009).

Your Home: the ANC’s Castle

Because the ANC disregards the importance of private property and public order and the remedial value of punitive justice, innocent victims of crime often defend themselves in their own homes on pain of imprisonment. The Amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act demand that, in the course of adjudicating cases of “private defense,” the right to life (the aggressor’s) and the right to property (the non-aggressor’s) be properly balanced. “Before you can act in self-defense,” remonstrates Anton du Plessis of the Institute for Security Studies, “the attack against you should have commenced, or at least be imminent. For example, if the thief pulls out a firearm and aims in your direction, [only] then you would be justified in using lethal force to protect your life.”68 In a country where, as columnist Barry Ronge noted, husbands and children are routinely forced to watch while mothers are raped, victims must now “calibrate the extent of the menace” before defending loved ones. Why, even for giving chase, victims may now be prosecuted as aggressors.

Between a rock and a hard place, to use that cliché of in-betweenness, is where Jaco Swart found himself when confronted at two o’clock in the morning with two intruders in his homestead. The twenty-six-year-old Swart hails from Delareyville, a small farming community in South Africa’s northwest. This town is named for General Koos de la Rey, hero of the Boer War. Young Swart is a hero too. But for choosing to defend home and hearth in the New South Africa, he was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder. Swart had dispatched the one assailant and injured the other with a licensed firearm. Not only can self-defense be an offense in the new constitutional democracy, but it may be considered racist when practiced by whites. COSATU, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, under whose auspices, presumably, home invaders fall, accused Swart of racism.69

The sixteen-year-old son of Len Parkin of Pretoria was awoken at three in the morning by two armed men, and instructed to lead them to where his parents slept. The boy complied. The criminals shot his father. Despite his injuries, Len Parkin seized his handgun and managed to hasten the descent into hell of the one assailant. An opprobrious police inspector, one Paul Ramaloko, said: “Because Parkin is in hospital, he hasn’t been arrested. The public prosecutor will now decide whether the victim was using his firearm in self-defense or not.”70

An elderly couple—he seventy-seven, she seventy-three—may spend the rest of their days in jail for attempted murder. The plucky pair had overpowered an intruder who had grabbed their pistol and was poised to pounce.71 Not far from where these heroes reside live my in-laws. I used to rest easier knowing that if a thug entered their Western Cape home, my elderly mother in-law could easily dispatch him with her six-round .32 Special. It was comforting to know that in the unlikely event of her requiring further firepower, my father-in-law could weigh in with his .38 Special. But with the advent of the Firearm Control Act of 2000 (FCA)—whose constitutionality is currently being challenged—the Safety and Security Minister unveiled “an arsenal” of stricter gun-control laws, decreeing that “gun-toting cowboys”72 such as my elderly mother and father in-law would no longer be tolerated, and “non-threatening” home invaders would no longer face on-the-spot justice. Should my in-laws awaken to find a malefactor beating down the door, they shall have to hold their fire and attempt to ascertain his manifestly acquisitive—and almost certainly murderous—motives.

Lucky are the outlaws in the New South Africa. Less lucky are the in-laws.Their licenses, “granted under the old Arms and Ammunition Act,” were supposed to be valid for life and mandatory renewal unconstitutional.”73 Now, they, and each of South Africa’s three million legal gun owners, have been required, under the FCA, to re-apply for permits. If she wishes to keep her handgun, my mother-in-law will have to trundle to the only licensed gun seller in the region and, for a fat fee, acquire registration forms and a booklet, which she must study and prepare to be examined on. Once she passes the exam, she will head to the police station, where again, she will be fleeced and forced to fill in more forms that’ll be sent to the capital. There, an ANC official will decide whether she truly needs a handgun for “self-defense.” This process can take years. Kopel, Gallant and Eisen predicted that Mbeki’s FCA would outlaw ninety percent of lawfully owned firearms currently in civilian hands.74 Preliminary reports appear to substantiate their estimate with respect to new applicants as well.75

In a country where almost everyone knows someone who has been raped, robbed, hijacked, murdered, or all of the above, the reasons the revamped SAPS gives for denying an application are: a “lack of motivation,” “your husband can protect you,” “the police will protect you,” “you are too young.”76 Talk about an “eff-off” attitude! The applicant must also prepare for a house call from their protectors for the purpose of inspecting the safety deposit box. Since my seventy nine-year-old infirm mother-in-law has forfeited the pleasure of this procedure—my father-in-law will soldier on—she must surrender her handgun to the police. In this way it can be sold by the notoriously corrupt officers of the law to other industrious trade union workers. For giving up her gun, she will get no official receipt or acknowledgment. If the thing is used in a crime, she’s liable. Ditto if she tampers with the mechanism to render it unusable.

As would increasingly be the case, there are those who dismiss as “right-wing scaremongering” any claim that the right to self-defense is seriously circumscribed in a country that needs it more than any other. A case in point is Professor Anthony Minnaar of the Department of Security Risk Management at the University of South Africa (UNISA), my alma mater. Placing “the perpetrator” in irons following a “shooting” in said “perpetrator’s” home, and irrespective of the circumstances, is standard—and proper—police practice,[*] maintains Minnaar. In case you wonder, “the perpetrator” in Minnaar’s nomenclature is the proper term for a victorious victim of an assault. Besides, admonishes Minnaar, charges are, for the most, dropped. Or if the charges are imposed, they are commuted to a lesser charge such as culpable homicide with a self-defense plea. Beleaguered South Africans, however, need fewer Minnaars and more laws that exempt them from any criminal or civil liability if they are forced to use deadly force in self-defense.

Worlds away from South Africa, Americans have also been subjected to a state-orchestrated volcanic change in their society, the consequence of the unchecked flow of millions of Third World illegal immigrants into the country. As Heather Mac Donald, scholar at the Manhattan Institute, has documented in detail, the sturdy American castle is being catapulted by criminal aliens, although not yet sufficiently so as to make Americans fret over the erosion of the Castle Doctrine. However, as a number of landmark cases would suggest,“Make My Day Laws”77—a favored American sobriquet for Castle Laws inspired by the Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry character—will become more important commensurate with rapidly changing demographics and the attendant spike in crime.78

A man’s home is not mere property—it is his castle. In defending his home, an individual is defending a safe haven for his most cherished belongings: his person and his beloved. Someone eager to violate another’s inner sanctum will be more than willing to violate the occupant. This applies in spades to South Africa, where life is snuffed out for a cell phone or for the simple pleasure of it, and where home invasions are on the yearly rise, and frequently culminate in torture, rape and murder.79 Confronted with a home invader, there’s precious little a homeowner can do to divine the intentions of the intruder. This is the distinctively American subtext of the Castle Doctrine, which is unevenly applied across the U.S., despite the fact that the Second Amendment to the American Constitution affirms a natural right to self-defense (recently reaffirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Heller vs. The District of Columbia).

Not that you’d know it, but South Africans have a right to live free of all forms of violence, “public” or “private” in origin.80 Section 12 of their progressive Constitution protects the “Freedom and Security of the Person.” Clearly “progressive” doesn’t necessarily spell progress: Nowhere does this wordy but worthless document state whether South Africans may actually defend this most precious right. A right that can’t be defended is a right in name only—implicit in the right to life is the right to self-defense. The South African Constitution is descriptive, not prescriptive—full of pitch-perfect verbal obesities that provide little by way of legal recourse for the likes of Messrs Parkin, Swart and all the other good guys with guns.

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[*]  Email correspondence, September 25, 2009.

68.  Anton du Plessis, “When Can I Fire? Use of lethal force to defend property,” Institute for Security Studies, SA Crime Quarterly, June 8, 2004.

69.  Nicolize van der Walt, “‘It’s self-defence, not racism,” Beeld,, May 21, 2008,,9909,2-7-1442_2326050,00.html (accessed July 2008).

70.  “Man charged after intruder dies,”, January 23, 2006,,,2-7-1442_1867951,00.html (accessed July 2008).

71.  Llewellyn Prince, “Elderly couple hit back,”, May 25, 2007.

72.  “Police muzzle 90% of new gun license applications,” Cape Argus, June 23, 2004, (accessed July 2008).

73.  B. Nortje, “Firearm registry chaos,”, April 29, 2008,,,2-2127-2128_2313826,00.html (accessed July 2008).

74.  Dave Kopel, Paul Gallant and Joanne Eisen, op. cit.

75.  “Police muzzle 90% of new gun license applications,” Cape Argus, June 23, 2004.

76.  Ibid.

77.  “Castle Doctrine in the U.S.,” Wikipedia, (accessed July 2008).

78.  Heather Mac Donald, “Crime and the Illegal Alien: The Fallout from Crippled Immigration Enforcement,” CIS, June 2004.

79.  Johan Burger & Henry Boshoff, “An Overview of Crime in South Africa,” Institute For Security Studies, 2008.

80.  “Freedom and security of the person,” Constitution of South Africa, (accessed July 2008).

Who’s Killing Whom

“A typical white woman” is how Barack Obama flippantly dismissed the woman who had raised him with a great deal of devotion: his white maternal grandmother. Richly revealing was the way Obama tarred the late Madelyn Dunham with the taint of racism because she “once confessed her fear of black men who passed her by on the street.” Obama’s grandma had still not acquitted herself for expressing a visceral fear rooted in the brutal reality of crime in the U.S. Eric Holder, the first African-American to hold the position of Attorney-General, seconded the commander-in-chief’s reservations about “typical” Americans. Mr. Holder has called America a nation of cowards and commanded Americans to have an honest conversation about race.

White Americans can be forgiven for cowering. The civil rights division of Holder’s Justice Department recently ordered the dismissal of one of the worst cases of voter intimidation to come before it, because, according to a Justice Department attorney, those menaced with batons, instructed to brace for The Black Man’s rule—and promised that their babies would be butchered—were “honkies” and “white whores.” These were the epithets the defendants, members of the New Black Panthers, used. They were decked up in “black berets, combat boots, battle dress pants, and rank insignia,”81 and had flanked the entrance to the polling location commanding brothers to kill “crackers” and their kids.

I suspect that rather than a two-way exchange about race, what Mr. Holder really craves is more of the same: a one-way “conversation,” where brothers like him, joined by the journalistic herd, talk at the errant American people—a people that harbors no racial animus and has elected a black man because they believed he was the right man.

Be that as it may, there are certain facts that will never make it into this highly colored exchange.

According to the 2005 Bureau of Justice’s Statistics (BJS) of “Homicide trends in the U.S,” blacks were seven times more likely to offend than whites.82 In that year, 8.8 percent of all murders were of whites by blacks; 3.2 percent of all murders were of blacks by whites.83 Blacks murder at a rate of 26.5 per 100,000 people; whites—whose criminality the state statistician often inflates by conflating them with Hispanics—committed 3.5 murders per 100,000.84 As to “Homicide Offenders by Race”: Despite blacks comprising a mere 12.3 percent of the population in the US, to whites’ 75.1 percent,85 in 2005, there were 10,285 black murderers to 8,350 white murderers.86 From the BJS’s “Prisoners on death row by race” chart,87 it can be extrapolated that a black is 4.6 times more likely than a white to be on death row.88 Similarly, blacks are more likely to murder whites than the reverse. This likelihood is a trend which the BJS downplays by emphasizing the “intraracial” nature of most murders. Black-on-white murder is, moreover, increasing steadily. Not so white-on-black murder.

Still, if you publicize these unexceptional, government-crunched numbers, you run the risk of being treated as though you yourself had committed the crimes that you were reporting. Amicable race relations in the U.S. have come to depend on attaching disproportionate racial significance to the act of dangling a noose—an impolite and impolitic form of expression, admittedly, but hardly more than that. A black man beating a white man to a pulp is deemed racially neutral. Thus the affront du jour to the feelings of blacks is debated ad nauseam; felonies committed by blacks against whites are debated not at all. Accordingly, there isn’t an American who hasn’t heard of errant broadcaster Don Imus and his “nappy-headed hos” ugly utterance.89 There’s hardly an American who has heard of the habitual, endemic gang rape of white men by black and Hispanic prisoners in the country’s prisons.

Although black-on-white crime is more common than the reverse, the category of hate crime applies de facto to white-on-black crime. “Whitey” is invariably—and by default—viewed as the chief repository of racial malice. The establishment media, especially, have made a mockery out of real racial hatred. To listen to them, you’d think that being maligned is more hateful than being maimed or murdered. American jurists and journalists, politicians and pundits were oblivious, for the most, to the deep and dark reality buried in the hearts of the individuals who butchered twenty-one-year-old Channon Christian and twenty-three-year-old Hugh Christopher Newsom in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 2007. Five blacks—four men and a woman—anally raped Hugh, then shot him to death, wrapped his body in bedding, soaked it in gasoline and set it alight. He was the lucky one. Channon, his fair and fragile-looking friend, was repeatedly gang raped by the four men—vaginally, anally and orally. Before she died, her murderers poured a household cleaner down her throat, in an effort to cleanse away DNA. She was left to die, either from the bleeding caused “by the tearing,” or from asphyxiation. Knoxville officials would not say. She was then stuffed in a garbage can like trash.90 White trash.

Young, white, and poor: The savage crime against Channon and Hugh was not a statistical outlier. The Bureau of Justice Statistics issued a report, in 2005, the product of a combined effort of the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCV) and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR).91 Accordingly, an annual average of 191,000 hate crimes was documented since 2000. The NCV data is drawn from a 77,600-strong nationally representative sample. The UCR data is collected by 17,300 law enforcement agencies. Youngsters like Channon and Hugh were more likely than any other age group to be well represented among the reported victims.92 As defined by the report, “an ordinary crime becomes a hate crime when offenders choose a victim because of some characteristic—for example, race, ethnicity, or religion—and provide evidence that hate prompted them to commit the crime.”93

Hate crimes are extraordinary in unexpected ways. In addition to being among the most serious crimes, NCV data show that approximately eighty-four percent of these assaults are violent—“a sexual assault, robbery or simple aggravated assault.”94 Blacks are less likely than both whites and Hispanics to be targeted for reasons of racial hatred. A significantly higher percentage of victims of violent racial hatred say their attackers were black.95 Nine out of ten of them identify their race as the reason blacks targeted them. “For victims reporting white offenders, [only] about three in ten victims cited race as a motive.”96 Moreover, and this is crucial, “The number of black hate crime victims was so small, that is statistically insignificant, that it precluded analysis of the race of persons who victimized them.”97

So much for the libel of a racist America; Americans are not remotely racist. If anything, they are remarkably naïve about human differences—cultural or racial. Alas, as one wag said, “Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.” Relentless propaganda, enforced by the tyranny of political correctness, helps explain why most Americans believe racism saturates their society. As they see it, in electing Barack Obama, they’ve begun to atone for their original sin.

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81.  The United States Of America Vs. New Black Panther Party For Self-Defense, Civil Action No.: 09-0065, July 25, 2008.

82.  Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Homicide Offending Rates per 100,000 Population by Race,” 2005,

83.  Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Percent of All Homicides by Racial Composition of Victims and Offenders,” 2005, (accessed July 2008).

84.  Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Homicide Offending Rates per 100,000 Population by Race,” 2005, (accessed July 2008).

85.  U.S. Census Bureau, “2000 Census of Population and Housing,” 2000, (accessed July 2008).

86.  Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Homicide Offenders by Race,” 2005, (accessed July 2008).

87.  Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Prisoners on death row by race,” 2006, (accessed July 2008).

88.  Blacks on death row (1352) divided by total black population (34658190) multiplied by 100000. The same was done for whites on death rows. The ratios derived were divided: 3.9/0.9=4.6.

89.  Ilana Mercer, “Mob Gives Imus the Ol’ Heave-Ho,”, April 13, 2007.

90.  Christopher Plante, “The Untold Knoxville Murders,” Human Events, May 21, 2007.

91.  Joseph Farah, “Hate crime’ victims: Young, poor, white,”, February 22, 2006.

92.  Ibid.

93.  Caroline Wolf Harlow, Ph.D., “Hate Crime Reported by Victims and Police,” Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2005, (accessed February, 2009).

94.  Ibid., p. 3.

95.  Ibid., p. 7.

96.  Ibid., p. 8.

97.  Ibid., p. 8.

Sexual Subjugation

The crime of rape is most certainly anything but “intraracial.” Every year, approximately 37,460 white women are raped by blacks. As the BJS’s 2005 “Criminal Victimization Statistical Tables” reveal, blacks, at 12.3 percent of the population, were responsible for thirty-six percent of the 111,490 incidents in which whites were raped. And blacks committed 100 percent of the 36,620 incidents in which blacks were raped. The legendary miscegenation of the much-maligned white male: could that be a myth too? Not one black woman or man—0.0 percent—was ravished by a Caucasian.98 Human Rights Watch confirms that these unidirectional victimization patterns endure behind bars. “White inmates are disproportionately targeted for abuse.” (Rape Human Rights Watch euphemizes as “sexual abuse.”) The report titled “No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons” states: “Inter-racial sexual abuse is common only to the extent that it involves white non-Hispanic prisoners being abused by African Americans or Hispanics.”99 “A form of revenge for white dominance of blacks in outside society” is one of the causal factors cited by Human Rights Watch for the sexual subjugation of white by black inmates.100 In 2008, the United Nations voted to classify rape as a “war tactic,” “a systemic means of spreading terror and encouraging displacement.”101 Does the designation extend to jailhouses in America, or does it apply only to hellholes in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

South African authorities, universities, and think tanks no longer provide information about victimization patterns by race of victim and offender. And while the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) claims to possess such data, it would not share it with this writer unless she forked out a subscriber fee of US $1712 or US $3933. Questionnaires which are used to collect data—many of these questionnaires having been compiled by the UN—do not make provisions for obtaining such demographics.

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98.  Bureau of Justice Statistics, Criminal Victimization in the United States, “Victims and Offenders,” 2005, (accessed July 2008).

99.  Human Rights Watch, “No Escape: Male Rape in US Prisons,” (accessed July 2008).

100.  Human Rights Watch, “No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons,” (accessed July 2008).

101.  Toby Lichtig, “Ruined,” The Times Literary Supplement, May 7, 2010, p. 18.

Only Filling Their Crime Quota

Some South African advocates for criminals claim that blacks are merely filling their crime quota proportionate to their numbers in the population. In 2004, at 76.6 percent of the population, blacks committed 76.4 percent of “intimate femicides” (defined as “the killing of a female person by an intimate partner”). And they committed 68.3 percent of “non-intimate femicides”: “the killing of a woman by someone other than an intimate partner.” (That snippet came courtesy of a not-yet-binned Medical Research Council report.102) Tardy whites are proving woefully inadequate to the task of filling their pro-rata crime quotas: At less than nine percent of the population, the corresponding numbers for white South Africans are 3.9 and 2.6 percent respectively. Whites underperform again with respect to incarceration rates. According to the South African Department of Correctional Services, 113,773 criminals had been sentenced as of June 2008, of whom only 2190 were white.103 Whites make up only 1.9 percent of the number of sentenced criminals. Weighing in with 90,013104 sentenced individuals—approximately 79.1 percent of the total number of criminals sentenced—blacks more than fill their per-population crime allotment.

The minority that dare not speak its name is on the wane. Of the approximately forty-eight million South Africans, whites number only 4.3 million;105 blacks more than thirty-eight million. By the estimate of the SAIRR, the white population had shrunk from 5,215,000 in 1995 to 4,374,000 in 2005. Almost a fifth.106 “Since 1996,” reports The New York Times, “the black population has risen to a projected 38.5 million from 31.8 million.”107 (Submerged in this sentence is the fact that the same population has been increasing since Europeans settled South Africa.) While the number of whites is shrinking as a percentage of the total population, their proportion among the scalded, shot, sliced and garroted is growing. Constituting less than nine percent of the population, whites nevertheless made up ten percent of the 33,513 “non-natural deaths,” recorded in 2007 by The National Injury Mortality Surveillance System, a project of the MRC and UNISA. At around eighty percent of the population, black “Africans constituted seventy-six percent of all cases.”108 Are whites beings purposefully sought out by the swelling black criminal class that has turned crime into a sinecure? Is it any wonder that the most pressing problem in the lives of whites is violent crime, causing an exodus of those who’re able to leave?

As the old adage goes, “figures don’t lie but liars can figure.”

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102.  Mathews S., Abrahams N., Martin L.J., Vetten L., van der Merwe L. and Jewkes R., “A national study of female homicide in South Africa,” South African Medical Research Council, 2005, (accessed July 2008).

103.  Department of Correctional Services, “Inmate Gender and Racial Composition as on the last day of 2008/06,” (accessed July 2008).

104.  Ibid.

105.  Wikipedia, “White South African Demographics,”

106.  South African Migration Project, “Where have all the whites gone,” Queen’s University, October 2006, (accessed November 2008).

107.  Barry Bearak, “Post-Apartheid South Africa Enters Anxious Era,” The New York Times, October 6, 2008.

108.  Medical Research Council/UNISA, “The Ninth Annual Report of the National Injury Mortality Surveillance System (NIMSS),” November 5, 2008, (accessed November 18, 2008).

White Hot Hatred

The SAIRR categorically denies that there is a racial component to crime in South Africa. Its thinking, presumably, is that the handiwork of the demons who do the deeds described doesn’t conclusively prove white hot hatred. Such motivation can only be properly ascertained by the administration of, say, standardized questionnaires to a representative sample of killers, with all the methodological pitfalls such tests entail. On the rare occasions that the Institute’s scholars have deigned to pair race and crime, it has been in the context of “the killing of four blacks by a white youth in Skierlik, near Swartruggens,” in the country’s northwest.109 Or, the “murder of a black man in 2001 by four white teenagers from the wealthy suburb of Waterkloof, in Pretoria.110 These statistical anomalies notwithstanding, a study conducted by the market research company Markinor for the ISS reveals: “Only thirty-two percent of all blacks questioned knew someone who was a victim of crime,” compared to sixty-six percent of Indian adults and fifty six percent of white adults.111 By logical extension, “there were also marked differences in feelings of safety between the race groups. Indians followed by white South Africans were least likely to feel safe.”112 Conversely, thirty-two percent of black South Africans were likely to know someone who made a living from crime while less than seventeen percent of Indians and just seven percent of whites said this was the case.113 As of June 2008, the South African Department of Correctional Services reported that 90,013 blacks had been sentenced. Conviction rates stand at a dismal eight percent.114 The black criminal class is thus 1.13 million strong, at least one million of whom are still at large.115 The SAIRR would have evinced a modicum of intellectual honesty had it argued that wealth was a confounding variable in crime: Because Indian and white South Africans tend to be wealthier than blacks, the theory runs, they are likelier than blacks to be targeted.

To counter evidence for the hue of hatred here at home, America’s own self-styled anti-racism activists will typically claim that whites make up most of the population and are therefore natural targets for crimes. The probability of a black encountering a white is simply many times the reverse,116 their argument goes. However, interracial encounter rates do not account for the sheer hatred manifested in the appalling attacks on white South Africans. Similarly, they fail to explain away what was done to the white American couple from Knoxville. Or to the four whites from Wichita, Kansas, who were slain by blacks in 2000.117 Probabilities belie the stalking and savaging, in 2008, of a Columbia University student at the hands of Robert Williams; he black, she white. Her nineteen-hour ordeal ended with Williams setting the twenty-three-year-old student on fire. It began with Williams raping the girl orally, vaginally, and anally, pouring bleach in her eyes, boiling water on her body, slicing her face and slitting her eyelids with a carving knife.118

The American student and Daleen Pieterse, a prototypal South African victim of racial hatred, have parallel fates. And Williams and the Pieterse assailants share a modus operandi. Indeed, wealth disparities fail to explain away the sadism invested in the onslaught against white South Africans like Daleen. From the liberal Cape Argus: “Pieterse’s husband was tortured with a hot kettle, stabbed and finally strangled with shoelaces. She and her ten-year-old son were viciously assaulted with molten plastic; her calf muscle was lacerated, clothes cut off and a knife forced between her legs. Her three-year-old daughter was threatened with abduction and rape.”119 The Pieterses of the North-Western Cape are but one South African family among thousands; run-of-the-mill victims of black crime.

Still harder to finesse are the telltales of racial hatred seared into the mangled white bodies of over three thousand dead Afrikaner farmers. More about that in Chapter Two.

In all, no color should be given to the claim that race is not a factor in the incidence of crime in the US and in South Africa. The vulgar individualist will contend that such broad statements about aggregate group characteristics are collectivist, ergo false. He would be wrong. Generalizations, provided they are substantiated by hard evidence, not hunches, are not incorrect. Science relies on the ability to generalize to the larger population observations drawn from a representative sample. People make prudent decisions in their daily lives based on probabilities and generalities. That one chooses not to live in a particular crime-riddled county or country in no way implies that one considers all individual residents there to be criminals, only that a sensible determination has been made, based on statistically significant data, as to where scarce and precious resources—one’s life and property—are best invested.

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109.  John Kane-Berman, “Fight against crime is a race against race hatred,” South Africa Institute of Race Relations, March 20, 2008.

111.  Carvin Goldstone, op. cit.

112.  “National Victims of Crime Survey,” Institute for Security Studies, July 2004, (accessed July 2008).

113.  Ibid.

114.  “Public-private partnerships have worked wonders in fighting crime,” The Economist, April 8, 2006.

115.  Department of Correctional Services, “Inmate Gender and Racial Composition as on the last day of 2008/06,” (accessed July 2008).

116.  Tim Wise, “The Color of Deception,” November 19, 2004, (accessed July 2008).

117.  Denise Noe, “The Wichita Horror,” truTV Crime Library, (accessed July 2008).

118.  Nicholas Stix, “Assailant Gets 422 Years for Attack on Raceless Victim,”, July 27, 2008, (accessed July 2008).

119.  Rodney Warwick, “Is SA crime a ‘race war’?”, Cape Argus, April 5, 2008, (accessed July 2008).

An Existential Crisis

Whites have been told to accept their lot. Or “[to] continue to whinge until blue in the face,” as Charles Nqakula counseled those who carp about crime.120 Securing subjects in their lives and property has not been a priority for the ANC. South African historian Rodney Warwick believes that the state’s stout indifference does not exist in a void. Ditto the steady, anti-white venom the ANC cobra-head keeps spitting. “The de facto situation is that whites are under criminal siege explicitly because of their ‘race,’” he writes in the Cape Argus. “The black criminal collective consciousness understands whites are now ‘historical fair game.’”121 Warwick sees the physical vulnerability of white South Africans as flowing from a confluence of historical antecedents that have placed them in a uniquely precarious position. “The white minority,” he writes, “surrendered [its] political dominance for non-racial constitutional safeguards.”122 By foreswearing 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,123 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 exactly the product of the people currently dismantling it. Instead, it was the creation of British and Dutch colonists and their descendants. For what they’ve achieved and acquired—and for the sins of apartheid—they are the objects of envy and racial enmity.

A chronicler of Africa, the observations of African-American journalist Keith Richburg agree with Warwick’s. 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 Tutsis, who had dominated them on-and-off since the fifteenth century, and whose facial features the lovely supermodel Iman instantiates. 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.”124 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 do know: Empowering majorities in Africa has helped, not hindered, the propensity of hostile masses to exact revenge on helpless minorities.

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120.  Rory Carroll, “South Africans told to stop ‘whingeing’ [sic] about crime,” The Guardian, June 21, 2006, (accessed July 2008).

121.  Rodney Warwick, op. cit.

122.  Ibid.

123.  Hermann Giliomee, op. cit., p. 586.

124.  Keith B. Richburg, op. cit .

2. The Kulaks of South Africa vs. the Xhosa Nostra
chapter 2

…the disappearance of nations would have impoverished us no less than if all men had become alike, with one personality and one face. Nations are the wealth of mankind, its collective personalities; the very least of them wears its own special colors and bears within itself a special facet of divine intention. —Alexander Solzhenitsyn[*]

My people will not listen unless they are killed. —Cetshwayo, Zulu King, 1878

The farmers of South Africa are being killed off at genocidal rates,” I said to broadcaster John Safran during a 2007 interview on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Was I being hyperbolic? For the answer, an incredulous Mr. Safran quizzed Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, who heads “Genocide Watch.” Stanton confirmed what scant few among Western media care to chronicle. “The rates at which the farmers are being eliminated, the torture and dehumanization involved—all point to systematic extermination.”1 Since the dawn of democracy, close to ten percent of farming South Africa has been slaughtered in ways that would do Shaka Zulu proud.

The reader will be accustomed by now to gauging murder rates per units of 100,000 people. In low-crime Europe, that rate stands at two murders per 100,000 people a year. In American inner-city ghettos it rises to about forty and above (according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, in New Orleans it’s fifty six per 100,000). By Chris van Zyl’s assessment—van Zyl is safety and security manager for the Transvaal Agricultural Union—Boers are being exterminated at the annual rate of 313 per 100,000 inhabitants,2 3,000 since the election of Mandela in 1994;3 two a week,4 seven in March of 2010,5 “four times as high as is for the rest of the [South African] population,”says Dr. Stanton. This makes farming in South Africa the most dangerous occupation in the world. (Miners, by comparison, suffer 27.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers.6)

But no one who matters is counting. And some are even denying it, the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR), for instance. Back in 2004, The Economist had already counted 1,500 rural whites dead “in land-related violence.”7 By 2010, the deniers at the SAIRR were finally willing to concede that “not all murders in the country are a function of simple criminal banditry.”8 They still put the figure “conservatively” at only 1,000, even as most news outlets are reporting upwards of 3,000 farmers murdered. The 3,000 figure consists of “some 1,000 white farmers, along with 2000 of their family members.”9 Perhaps the SAIRR has forgotten to factor in the families. The uncomfortable fact that South Africa’s farmers are conservative, Christian, and Caucasian might help explain why the likes of CNN’s Anderson Vanderbilt Cooper have yet to show up in fashionable fatigues to report from this unfashionable front.

As Carte Blanche, a South African current affairs television program, has documented, the victims of this onslaught are almost invariably elderly, law-abiding, God-fearing Afrikaners, murdered in cold blood in ways that beggar belief. The heathens will typically attack on Sundays. On returning from church, the farmer is ambushed. Those too feeble to attend Sunday service are frequently tortured and killed when the rest are worshiping. In one crime scene filmed by Carte Blanche, Bibles belonging to the slain had been splayed across their mangled bodies. In another, an “old man’s hand rests on the arm of his wife of many years.”10 She raped; he, in all likelihood, made to watch. Finally, with their throats slit, they died side by side.

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[*]  From his Nobel Prize speech (1970).

1.  “A Bloody Harvest,” Carte Blanche, June 29, 2003, (accessed November 29, 2009).

2.  Shannon Sherry, “Farm Murders: Fertile soil for friction,” Financial Mail, February 1, 2008.

3.  Aidan Hartley, “South Africa World Cup 2010...and the shooting’s already started,” Daily Mail, September, 10, 2009, (accessed April, 2010).

4.  Mail Foreign Service and Jane Flanagan, “Nazi salutes and swastikas as hundreds gather for funeral of murdered white supremacist Eugene Terreblanche,” Daily Mail, April 10, 2010.

6.  Rachel Zupek, “World’s Most Dangerous Jobs,”, December 17, 2007.

7.  NewsHourOnline, “South Africa’s Land Programs,” April 14, 2004, (accessed April, 2010).

8.  “Statement by the South African Institute of Race Relations on the ramifications of the killing of Eugène Terre’Blanche - 6th April 2010,” (accessed April, 2010).

9.  The Economist, “The Price of Freedom,” June 3, 2010, p. 7.

10.  “A Bloody Harvest,” op. cit.

The Lord Saved Her

There’s an ethereal quality about Beatrice Freitas, who has survived two farm attacks. Her equanimity belies the brutality she has endured. Beatrice and her husband immigrated to South Africa from Madeira forty years ago. They built a thriving nursery near the Mozambican border. It supplied the entire region with beautiful plants. Some people build; others destroy. Beatrice tells her story as she drifts through the stately cycads surrounding the deserted homestead.

When the four men attacked her, Beatrice says, her mind “disappeared.” She and her permanently disabled husband, José, were tied up while the home was ransacked. When the brutes were through, they wanted to know where she kept the iron. They then took her to the laundry room, where two of them raped her, coated her in oil, and applied the iron. They alternated the iron with kicks from their boots. When they were through, twenty five percent of Beatrice’s body was covered in third-degree burns. They suffocated her with a towel, and left her for dead, but she survived. She says the Lord saved her. No one was ever arrested—not then, and not after the couple was attacked three years later. This time José died “in a hail of bullets.” Arrests and convictions are rare. Carte Blanche tells of Dan Lansberg, shot dead in broad daylight. Members of his courageous farming community caught the culprits, but they “escaped” from the local police cells.

Sky News11 sent its correspondent to the northern province of South Africa, where viewers are introduced to Herman Dejager. Before retiring every night, Herman prepares to fight to the death to protect what’s his. He checks his bulletproof vest, loads the shotgun, and drapes ammunition rounds on the nightstand. You see, Herman’s father died in his arms, shot in the face by intruders.

Kaalie Botha’s parents were not so lucky: “You can’t kill an animal like they killed my mom and father. You can’t believe it.” The Achilles tendons of Kaalie’s seventy-one-year-old father had been severed, so he couldn’t flee. He was then hacked in the back until he died, and his body was dumped in the bush. His wife, Joey, had her head bashed in by a brick, wielded with such force that the skull “cracked like an egg.”

Murdered farmers are often displayed like trophies. According to Dr. Stanton, who was “responsible for drafting the UN resolutions that created the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda,” there are eight stages of genocide. Dehumanization is the third. Stanton is convinced that these “hate crimes” amount to genocide under the convention.12 “Genocide is always organized, usually by the state,” he has written at Genocide Watch’s website. The farmers believe, seconds Sky News, that “these attacks are a government-sanctioned attempt to purge South Africa of white land owners, as has already happened in Zimbabwe.”13

“Rather than simply reflecting SA’s overall high crime rate, murders against farmers,” contends van Zyl, “… are part of an orchestrated strategy to drive white farmers from their land.”14 This verdict accords with the truth that for these murders, robbery is seldom the motive. Rarely is any valuable item removed from these grisly crime scenes. For the edification of “racism”-spotters in the West, the assailants, confirms Stanton, are as ethnically distinct as their victims.

Reluctantly, the South African Human Rights Commission agrees. Its commission’s report fails to break down their figures by color; but it does admit that “the majority of attacks in general … are against white people” and that “there was a considerably higher risk of a white victim of farm attacks being killed or injured than a black victim.”15

Conspiracy is difficult to prove; depraved indifference less so. That the ANC plans to dismantle the Commando System is damning—the Commandos are a private Afrikaner militia that has existed since the 1770s, and is the sole reliable defense at the farmers’ disposal. Contrary to the pro-forma denials issued by the ANC’s fulsome officials, the Daily Mail newspaper confirmed, in February 2006, that the government is still set on forcibly seizing the land of thousands of farmers, should they refuse to settle. By the year 2014, a third of Boer property will have been given to blacks.

True to the dictum that the victim must always be denounced, lodestars for the left like the SA Human Rights Commission, the ANC, “development organizations,”16 and the malfunctioning mass media the world over blame the farmers for mistreating their farmhands, who, understandably, retaliate. Much to its disgrace, America’s Ford Foundation goes as far as to fund “local land NGOs in their efforts to encourage people to claim productive farmland, in many cases without legal basis.”17 However, the Helen Suzman Foundation—whose mission it is to continue the life’s work of the famed progressive parliamentarian for which it is named—found that ninety three percent of farm workers indicate their relationship with their employers is good.”18

In one respect, and in one alone, the excuse-making industry is right: the crimes are indeed personal in nature. As mentioned, theft is seldom the motive. The trouble with excuse-makers is that the extent of such violence is far worse under democracy than it was under apartheid. Back then, farmhands were presumably treated more inhumanely than they are now. But also, back then, those who perpetrated capital crimes were very likely to get caught, and the threat of the scaffold loomed over them. Sixty-nine-year old fourth generation Natal farmer and stockman Nigel Ralfe was but a lad when an elderly farming husband and wife, the Lowes, were murdered by three men who worked near the victims’ Natal-lowlands farm. Once the culprits were eventually captured and tried—not before they had sliced a guard’s throat with a bread knife—their families were ferried to Pretoria for free to see their sons swing on the gallows. Years elapsed before another such crime was committed in that area. The occasion of Mr. Ralfe’s reminiscing? In March of 2010, his own wife Lynette was shot to death by laborers. Given that South Africa now has a political system which, as Mr. Ralfe puts it, is “run by jailbirds,”19 he does not expect his Lynette to get justice.

Could it be that killers kill not because of “racism” or “oppression,” but because they can? Perish the thought.

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11.  “Sky News report on racist farm murders in South Africa,” YouTube, July 19, 2006, (accessed November 29, 2009).

12.  Carte Blanche, op. cit.

13.  Ibid.

14.  Shannon Sherry, op. cit.

15.  Aidan Hartley, op. cit.

16.  Ibid.

17.  Philip du Toit, The Great South African Land Scandal (Centurion, South Africa, 2004), p. 263.

18.  Ibid., p. 252.

19.  Farmer’s Weekly, A community shaped by murder, July 30, 2010.

“Kill the Fucking Whites” On Facebook

In the new South Africa, there is a renewed appreciation for the old slogan, “Kill the Boer, kill the farmer,” chanted at political rallies and funerals during “The Struggle” (against apartheid). ANC youth leader Peter Mokaba is credited with originating the catch phrase. Mokaba went on to become a legislator and a deputy minister in the Mandela cabinet. By the time he expired in 2002 at the age of only forty-three (rumor has it of AIDS), Mokaba had revived the riff, using it liberally, in defiance of laws against incitement to commit murder. Given the mesmerizing, often murderous, power of the chant—any chant—in African life, many blame Mokaba for the current homicidal onslaught against the country’s white farmers.

Mokaba’s legacy lives on. Late in February of 2010, a senior member of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC)—a competing socialist, racialist political party whose motto is “Africa for the Africans”—set-up a page on the social networking site Facebook. For all to see were comments such as the following, written by one Ahmed El Saud:

Kill the fucking whites now!!! If you afraid for [sic] them, lets [sic] do it for you. In return, you can pay us after the job has been done…text us… We are not afraid for [sic] the whites like your own people…its disgrace [sic]…he ask you and you dont [sic] want to…we will do it Mandela! [sic].20

Other messages matched the savagery of El Saud’s sentences, if not their syntax. One boasted of “an army of 3000 people ready to kill white people within a day if it were called upon to do so.”21 Western Cape PAC chairman Anwar Adams, the responsible functionary, refused to remove the page. Needless to say, his sinecure has not been affected.

The ANC took a pixilated page out of the PAC’s Facebook. Days later, the following eloquent post appeared on a Facebook page under the name of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema:

You fucking white pigs. Malema is our leader. He will kill [President Jacob] Zuma within the next six weeks. “Look ahead, my fellow black people. We will then take our land, and every trespasser, namely white whores, we will rape them and rape them till the last breath is out. “White kids will be burned, especially those in Pretoria and Vrystaat. Men will be tortured while I take a video clip and spread it on YouTube,” read one post. It continued: “Its [sic] true what Malema said, silently we shall kill them… Police will stand together…our leader will lead us to take our land over. Mandela will smile again. “White naaiers, we coming for you! Households will be broken into and families will be slaughtered.22 [Emphasis added]

Was the murderer of seventeen-year-old Anika Smit, also in March of 2010, a Facebook friend of Malema? When Johan Smit bid his bonny daughter goodbye, before leaving the home they shared in north Pretoria, he did not imagine he’d never again see her alive. Once he had returned from work, he found the naked and mutilated corpse of his only child. Her throat had been slashed sixteen times and her hands hacked off.23 She had been raped.

Eugène Terre’Blanche, leader of the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) that seeks the establishment of a homeland for the Afrikaners,24 was alone on his homestead, over the Easter 2010 period,when two farmhands bludgeoned the sixty-nine-year-old separatist to a pulp with pangas[*] and pipes. To leave the old man without a shred of dignity—Crimen injuria in South African law—they pulled down his pants, exposing his privates. Based on hearsay, the pack animals of the Western media insisted that the motive for the murder was a “labor dispute.”

In Malema’s defense, the ANC claimed he was not responsible for the Facebook page. The youth leader might be hard to track down in cyberspace, but Malema performed in person at the University of Johannesburg, stomping about with a group of students and singing, in Zulu, “Shoot the Boers, they are rapists.”25 ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe spin-doctored Malema’s live performance by choosing to dismiss the power of “Kill the Boer.” He maintained, implausibly enough, that the killer phrase does no more than pay homage to the Party’s illustrious history and is “not meant as an incitement to violence against whites.”26

No one who remembers the role of Radio Rwanda (first) and Radio-Télévision Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM), next, in galvanizing the Hutu to exterminate the Tutsi “inyenzi” (“cockroaches”) in 1994, can shrug off what is under way in South Africa. Many South African blacks have a pathological preoccupation with variants of “Kill the Boer; kill the farmer” (which is why it is naïve to imagine that banning an incitement to murder will do anything to excise a dark reality embedded so deep in the human heart). In its hypnotic hold on the popular imagination, the mantra resembles the “Kill them before they kill you” slogan that helped excite Hutus to massacre 800,000 of their Tutsi fellow countrymen. In Rwanda, it was the old media that transmitted older hatreds; in Mandela’s South Africa the new media are doing the same.

Is Facebook the face of incitement to genocide in South Africa?

Peter Mokaba’s funeral was attended by Jacob Zuma (not yet President) and his two predecessors, Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela.27 At the sight of the coffined Mokaba, the crowd roared, “Kill the Boer, kill the farmer!” Witnesses will not say whether “Madiba” (to use Mandela’s African honorific) partook, but to dispel any doubts about the esteem in which Mokaba is still held despite his savage slogan, the ANC named a soccer stadium, built for the soccer World Cup, after this son of the New South Africa.

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[*]  A kind of machete.

20.  Cedric Mboyisa, “‘Kill whites’ Facebook page not ours—PAC,” The Citizen, February 25, 2010.

21.  Ibid.

22.  Cedric Mboyisa, “Savagery posted on Facebook,” The Citizen, March 21, 2010.

23.  Hilda Fourie, “Murdered girl’s hands cut off,” Beeld, March 12, 2010.

24.  AWB (The Afrikaner Resistance Movement), “Information,” (accessed April 5, 2010).

25.  Peroshni Govender, “South Africa’s ANC defends ‘Kill the Boer’ song,” Reuters, March 30, 2010.

26.  Ibid.

27.  Wikipedia, “Peter Mokaba” (accessed March 30, 2010).

The White Tribe of Africa

So “who are the Afrikaners, or Boers, as they are often called?”, mused Afrikaner activist Dan Roodt. “A hundred years ago, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the popular British writer of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, asked [and answered] much the same question in his book”:

Take a community of Dutchmen of the type of those who defended themselves for fifty years against all the power of Spain at a time when Spain was the greatest power in the world. Intermix with them a strain of those inflexible French Huguenots who gave up home and fortune and left their country forever at the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The product must obviously be one of the most rugged, virile, unconquerable races ever seen upon earth. Take this formidable people and train them for seven generations in constant warfare against savage men and ferocious beasts, in circumstances under which no weakling could survive, place them so that they acquire exceptional skill with weapons and in horsemanship, give them a country which is eminently suited to the tactics of the huntsman, the marksman, and the rider. Then, finally, put a finer temper upon their military qualities by a dour fatalistic Old Testament religion and an ardent and consuming patriotism. Combine all these qualities and all these impulses in one individual, and you have the modern Boer—the most formidable antagonist who ever crossed the path of Imperial Britain.28

In a recent translation of Tacitus’ Annals, a question was raised as to whether “there were any ‘nations’ in antiquity other than the Jews.”29 Upon reflection, one suspects that the same question can be posed about the Afrikaners in the modern era. In April of 2009, President Zuma infuriated the “multicultural noise machine” the world over by stating: “Of all the white groups that are in South Africa, it is only the Afrikaners that are truly South Africans in the true sense of the word. Up to this day, they [the Afrikaners] don’t carry two passports, they carry one. They are here to stay.”30 As a white South African who traded her passport for another, I have to agree with the president. A social conservative and a proud Zulu, Zuma has exhibited a far greater understanding of—and affinity for—the Afrikaner than did his deracinated predecessors.

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28.  Dan Roodt, The Scourge of the ANC: Two Essays, PRAAG, (Cape Town, 2004), pp. 95-96.

29.  Barbara Levick, “Tacitus: Annals: translated by A. J. Woodman,” The Times Literary Supplement, February 11, 2005, p. 28.

30.  Jenni O’Grady And Natasha Marrian, “Zuma: ‘It’s only the Afrikaners who are truly South African,’” Mail & Guardian, April 3, 2009.

“I am an Afrikaner!”

How formidable an antagonist “the modern Boer” was could have been deduced from history well before Conan Doyle wrote. Admittedly, the first European ever to see South Africa was not a Dutchman but a Portuguese: Antonio de Saldanha, back in 1503.31 Saldanha Bay still bears this sea-captain’s name. For all practical purposes, though, South Africa’s white history begins a century and a half later, with the first Dutch settlement in the region (and the foundation of what would become Cape Town) occurring in 1652. The Puritans have 350 years of history on the continent of Africa—as long as their American cousins have been in North America.

Despite the climatic problems that Dutch settlers found locally—poor soil, few local industry prospects, extreme distance from major world markets, and nothing like the trading opportunities supplied by other outposts of the Dutch empire, such as the East Indies (today’s Indonesia)—a robust spirit of independence and patriotism soon manifested itself. As early as 1707, a youth named Hendrik Bibault, of Stellenbosch, defied the local authorities who had come to arrest him for a misdemeanor by shouting “I am an Afrikaner!” (“Ik ben een Afrikaander!”).32 That exclamation has become epochal in tracing the birth of Afrikaner nationhood. Woe to those Britons who underestimated such pride. The great age of the voortrekkers—that is, Afrikaners seeking to leave British-controlled territory to settle what would afterwards become Natal, Transvaal, and the Orange Free State—started in the 1830s. Most notable of all was the 1836-1837 Great Trek, which included among its participants the very young (eleven years old) Paul Kruger, future Boer President. Affectionately known by his supporters as “Oom [Uncle] Paul”, Kruger would achieve world fame in the 1890s for the Old Testament-derived fervor which he shared with so many of his compatriots—a fervor analogous to that of American Puritans in the seventeenth century—and for his tenacious championship of Boer rights against anyone who might threaten them.

The Grahamstown Manifesto, issued in February 1837 by Afrikaner leader Piet Retief, became a founding document of the Afrikaner heritage. It set out the grievances which Retief and his people felt at the way Britain had treated them as second-class citizens: particularly in the matter of slavery, which Britain had recently abolished without adequately compensating Afrikaners. Overall, the Boers favored a “loose master-servant relationship.” “What they could not accept,” explains historian Donald R. Morris, “was the concept that their servants were their legal equals.”33 Matters were further inflamed by the influx of missionaries who “displayed more zeal than common sense,” and began laying charges of murder and maltreatment against the Boers. “Most of the accusations evaporated in the cold light of evidence,” but “the very fact that a man could be forced to leave his family unprotected while he traveled to a distant court to defend himself against the capricious charges of an irresponsible Hottentot was deeply disturbing”34 to the Boers.

The following year, Zulu king Dingane slew Retief and one hundred of his followers. Retief “had proceeded openly and carelessly, and made no effort to understand Dingane. The Zulu monarch was in a state of deadly fear, and he had no intention of allowing an armed European folk who had beaten the Matabele—something the Zulus had tried to do but failed—to settle in numbers on his borders.”35 But a terrible revenge came at the December 1838 Battle of Blood River (Slag van Bloedrivier, to quote the Afrikaans phrase). There, 3,000 Zulus perished at the hands of Retief’s fellow Boer general Andries Pretorius.

For as long as white rule lasted, this victory (attained by a spectacularly outnumbered force, it should be noted: Pretorius commanded only around five hundred men, not a single one of whom was killed) retained a sacred significance in Afrikaner culture. Especially notable was Pretorius’s defense strategy: the laager, whereby wagons would be placed to form the shape of a circle, with horses and cattle on the inside of the circle, to protect them from marauders. Pretorius did not invent this method himself. After all, there are records of similar formations being made by rebels in Bohemia (the modern Czech Republic) as early as the fifteenth century. But he used the method to devastating effect. In 1949, as an act of homage to Blood River’s heroes, the government unveiled a Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, the city which owes its very name to Pretorius. The dome of this monument’s roof is structured so that at noon on the anniversary of the battle, a ray of sunlight falls directly onto the cenotaph.36

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31.  W. A. de Klerk, op. cit., p. 41.

32.  Hermann Giliomee, op. cit., p. 22.

33.  Donald R. Morris, The Washing Of The Spears: The Rise And Fall Of The Zulu Nation, (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1998), p. 127.

34.  Ibid.

35.  Ibid., p. 138.

36.  David Harrison, The White Tribe of Africa: South Africa in Perspective, (London, 1981), p. 15.

“Methods of Barbarism”

With the discovery of gold and diamonds in the late nineteenth century, dreams of Anglo-Saxon empire made a British-versus-Afrikaner conflict inevitable. In the 1899-1902 Boer War, a guerrilla-dominated force of no more than 87,000 Afrikaners—who had been perfecting guerrilla strategies for decades—held at bay, for nearly three years, no fewer than 447,000 troops from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as well as Britain. Through sheer frustration, British commander-in-chief Lord Kitchener established concentration camps in which approximately 26,000 Afrikaners, mostly women and children, perished.

The outrage which these camps inspired burned itself into the Afrikaner soul, and remains vivid there even now.[*] Surviving photographs from the camps can still give today’s beholders—however desensitized they might be by the legacy of two world wars and countless other massacres—a salutary shock. They suggest nothing so much as emaciated Jewish victims of Nazi atrocities. During the early twentieth century nothing like these pictures had ever been imagined in the West before. As a result, the condemnation which the camps provoked in Europe and America was fully matched by British censure of them. Britain’s future Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman called them “methods of barbarism.” Boer commander Louis Botha subsequently paid tribute to Campbell-Bannerman’s outspokenness: “Three words made peace and union in South Africa: ‘methods of barbarism.’” It deeply impressed Botha that “the leader of one of the great English parties had had the courage to say this thing, and to brave the obloquy which it brought upon him. So far from encouraging them [the Boers] to a hopeless resistance, it touched their hearts and made them think seriously of the possibility of reconciliation.”37

By the Treaty of Vereeniging (May 1902) Afrikanerdom finally surrendered. Representatives at the surrender ceremony included three future South African Prime Ministers: Louis Botha, Jan Smuts, and J. B. M. Hertzog. Nevertheless, reconciliation proved superficial. Conan Doyle saluted the Afrikaners as valiant opponents; such generosity of spirit was all too rare among the British elsewhere. Britain’s High Commissioner in South Africa, Lord Milner, announced his intention to “knock the bottom out of the great Afrikaner nation.”38 The preferred method took the form not of violence, but of petty slights. South African schools thereafter had to conduct instruction in English, save for three hours a week in Dutch, with severe and humiliating punishment for any schoolchild caught speaking Dutch outside those hours. “I am a donkey—I speak Dutch,” was the sort of sign a refractory Dutch-speaking schoolchild would be compelled to wear in public.39 Admittedly, during World War I both Botha and Smuts favored Britain; but beneath the Anglophile surface an increasing Afrikaner linguistic consciousness simmered, particularly after Afrikaans became an official tongue in 1924.40 There occurred a new emphasis on Afrikaans in literary and academic contexts. As one leading recent historian puts it: “Afrikaans became one of four languages in the world—Hebrew, Hindi and Indonesian are the others—which, in the course of the twentieth century, were standardized and used in all branches of life and learning.”41

With World War II’s outbreak, Prime Minister Hertzog, openly neutralist, lost office; Smuts (espousing a renewed alliance with Britain) took his place; and many who found both men insufficiently radical formed their own movement, the Ossewabrandwag (OB), which—while clandestine—succeeded in pulling Afrikaner opinion toward the political right. Smuts, more popular abroad than at home, fatally underestimated his opponents, telling the Rand Daily Mail newspaper in 1948: “I anticipate victory in the election.”42 That year Smuts’ United Party lost easily to the rurally-oriented Nationalist Party, led by hard-liner Daniel Malan.[†]

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[*]  Which has not stopped Andrew Roberts, veteran apologist for British governmental crimes, from attempting (A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900, London, 2007) to deny the camps’ horrors: “The ‘war crime’ [Roberts wrote] for which the British have been most commonly held responsible during the Boer War was the supposed [sic!] ill-treatment of Afrikaans women and children in camps there. In fact, these ‘concentration’ camps – the term had no pejorative implication until the Nazi era – were set up for the Boers’ protection off the veldt, and were run as efficiently and humanely as possible … A civilian surgeon Dr Alec Kay, writing in 1901, gave a further reason why the death rates were so high: ‘The Boers in the camps often depend on home remedies, with deplorable results’” (p. 31). Further details of (and quotations from) Roberts’s propaganda can be found in R. J. Stove, “Court Historian,” The American Conservative, September 22, 2008.

[†]  Smuts’s defeat infuriated King George VI, who conferred on him the Order of Merit at Cape Town the following year. Nationalist leaders boycotted the ritual, and “the King burst out characteristically, ‘I’d like to shoot them all!’ to which the Queen [Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother] replied in her voice of gentle remonstrance, half-smiling, ‘But Bertie, you can’t shoot everybody’—as though he could at least shoot some.” (Elizabeth Longford, The Oxford Book of Royal Anecdotes, [Oxford, 1991], p. 483.)

37.  J. A. Spender, The Life of the Right Hon Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, 2 vols. (London, 1923), p. 351.

38.  David Harrison, op. cit., p. 48.

39.  Ibid., pp. 52, 55.

40.  Hermann Giliomee, op. cit., p. 376.

41.  Ibid ., p. xvii.

42.  David Harrison, op. cit., p. 151.

Going For Gold

Under Malan (Prime Minister till his retirement in 1954), apartheid in the true sense began. His government outlawed mixed marriages, banned sexual relations between races, and set up the Group Areas Act to regulate internal migration. J. G. Strijdom, Malan’s successor as Prime Minister, continued such policies from 1954 to 1958 (he died in office). So did Strijdom’s own successor, the more charismatic and intellectual Hendrik Verwoerd, who had a philosophy doctorate from Stellenbosch University. Once Verwoerd assured an interviewer that he always slept well, however demanding the circumstances, since “one does not have the problem of worrying whether one perhaps could be wrong.”43 Confirming his enviable self-confidence is his portrait—published August 26, 1966—on the cover of Time magazine: a publication which, it is fair to suggest, would not dream of even attempting to discuss such a figure disinterestedly these days.

“South Africa,” Time conceded in its accompanying article, “is in the middle of a massive boom. Attracted by cheap labor, a gold-backed currency and high profits, investors from all over the world have plowed money into the country, and the new industries that they have started have sent production, consumption—and the demand for labor—soaring.” Again, from the same article: “Verwoerd often boasts that the blacks of South Africa are better off than anywhere else on the continent. Economically he is right. What with decent paychecks (minimum daily wage for an unskilled laborer is $2.80) and easy credit, many an urban African can afford to buy … wood furniture for his dining room, neat school uniforms for his children, and in some cases even a car for himself. Every year countless thousands of blacks from nearby countries flood into the republic looking for work.”44 Despite or because of these facts, Verwoerd became personally detested overseas, as his predecessors had not been: particularly after the 1960 Sharpeville shootings (in which sixty-nine blacks perished), South Africa’s withdrawal from the British Commonwealth, its move to republicanism, and the 1964 sentencing of Nelson Mandela to life behind bars for terrorism. (Who would have guessed back in 1964 that Mandela would, in little more than a generation, be regarded as everyone’s favorite cuddly role-model?)

Yet Demitrio Tsafendas, a parliamentary messenger who stabbed Verwoerd to death in Cape Town (September 1966), had no political agenda. He blamed his action, instead, on “a huge tapeworm with serrated edges, which tormented his body.”45 This being surely the most surreal alibi any killer had hitherto provided (though California’s 1979 “Twinkie Defense” subsequently rivaled it), a bemused court spared Tsafendas the supreme penalty; and he eventually died of natural causes in a mental home.

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43.  Hermann Giliomee, op. cit., p. 520.

44.  Anon, “The Great White Laager,” Time, August 26, 1966.

45.  Alexander Hepple, Verwoerd, (Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England, 1967), p. 203.

From Muldergate to Mandela

Upon Verwoerd’s murder, former Police Minister J. B. Vorster—whose ultra-rightist background and OB membership had sent him to prison during the war—became head of government.46 In foreign affairs he modified his predecessor’s policy by doing what to Verwoerd would have seemed unthinkable: abandoning support for white Rhodesia. Since 1965 Rhodesia’s Prime Minister Ian Smith had defied Western elite opinion by refusing to countenance black majority rule for his country; and for the decade after 1965 he had been able to count on South African support for his policy. Then Vorster altered course, deciding that in order to get black African nations on side, it would be needful to abandon South Africa’s support for the Smith government. Some might see—certainly Smith, when writing his memoirs, saw—in the subsequent fate of Vorster’s party a lesson on the theme “What goes around, comes around.”[*]

In home affairs, nonetheless, Vorster kept his promise “to walk further along the road set by … Verwoerd.”47 It is now known that under Vorster, South Africa covertly began a nuclear weapons project.48 What drove Vorster from power was a domestic scandal which quickly became known as “Muldergate,” after Vorster’s Information Minister Connie Mulder. Three of the cabinet’s most powerful men—Vorster himself, Mulder, and Mulder’s deputy Eschel Roodie—were using, it turned out, funds secretly siphoned off from the Defense Department, in order to subsidize ostensibly “independent” English-language pro-government newspapers. Nowadays, when terms such as “spin-doctors,” “astroturf” and “sock puppets” have entered common discourse, such media tactics by a beleaguered political party would surprise nobody; but in 1978 even those who most detested white rule in South Africa assumed that it was run by personally incorruptible individuals. All the greater was the public outrage at the discovery that this personal honesty no longer prevailed. (Americans in 2010 scarcely have the right to complain about the methods of “Muldergate,” since Iraq’s Radio Sawa—controlled by the U.S. government—has always operated on much the same principle, while still being considered perfectly legitimate by neoconservatives. As part of “exporting democracy,”conquered Iraqi youngsters were flooded with the sounds of J.Lo’s caterwauling and Jay-Z’s gutter grunts, piped through American-controlled airwaves.)

Suitably disgraced,Vorster resigned from the Prime Ministry in 1978 to make way for P. W. Botha, yet another wartime OB member (and, incidentally, someone who had opposed the Muldergate chicanery from the start). Although Botha modified apartheid legislation, sometimes softening it, the international campaign against white rule—involving shrill demands for disinvestment—intensified. In 1984 Botha (made President under a new constitution) declared a state of emergency; but the domestic situation grew worse and worse, while the practice—particularly among the Xhosa—of “necklacing” suspected police informers attained international ill repute. (This has already been alluded to in Chapter One of the present book.) According to a 1997 statement by the South African Press Association, the first-ever necklacing was of a girl named Maki Skosana, who in July 1985 was necklaced after being accused baselessly of involvement in the killing of several youths.49 “With our boxes of matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country,” proclaimed Mandela’s increasingly deranged wife Winnie to The New York Times on February 20, 1989.50 Between September 1984 and December 1993 the death toll from civil strife amounted to 18,997, including approximately 600 white deaths.51

A severe stroke forced Botha from power in 1989. Nothing in the background of his successor, President, F. W. de Klerk, indicated the revolutionary policies he would pursue. Among much else, De Klerk scrapped the ban on the ANC and other opposition parties; freed Mandela from incarceration; acceded to Namibia’s independence; and junked the nuclear weapons. As is mentioned in Chapter Seven, a 1992 referendum, asking white voters if they favored de Klerk’s reforms, resulted in sixty eight percent of respondents saying “yes.” And for good reason: de Klerk had made his views clear to constituents: “negotiations would only be about power-sharing.”52 At the time, these respondents generally trusted de Klerk, who had specifically condemned majority rule. “While quite prepared to abolish apartheid and remove obstacles to negotiations, de Klerk did not envisage competitive elections and a system that could reduce the NP to a perpetual opposition party.”53 By the time the average “yes” voter discerned the fact that de Klerk had no intention of maintaining this opposition when push came to shove, it was too late. With Mandela, de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize the following year; and a Transitional Executive Council was set up, to oversee the forthcoming general election. This event, occurring on April 27, 1994, brought Mandela to power with over sixty percent of the vote.

Of course, the election was scarcely the peace-and-love-fest you might have gathered from Jimmy Carter or his fellow Western pundits. Even the election report issued by the Library of Congress, hardly a hotbed of Afrikaner sentiment, admitted that “in ANC-controlled areas, some of that party’s activists intimidated IFP, NP, and even liberal Democratic Party (DP) organizers and disrupted their campaign rallies, despite ANC leaders’ pleas for tolerance.”54 The harsh truth is that “large-scale intimidation made it nearly impossible for rival parties to campaign in the African townships.”55 (More about the racial aspects of the 1994 poll can be found in Chapter Seven.) Severe class divisions also marked the poll, and would go on to mark subsequent polls in 1999 and 2004.56 No such considerations have been allowed to impinge upon the typical cosseted Western journalist, for whom dreams about the “Rainbow Nation” continue as a substitute for reality. So much about modern South Africa is reminiscent of the famous line in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

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[*]  Ian Smith, Bitter Harvest: Zimbabwe and the Aftermath of Independence, (London, 2001), quotes acidly (p. 194) a South African politician who “had worked with all four National Party prime ministers—Malan, Strijdom, Verwoerd and Vorster—since 1948. With the first three, when they gave an undertaking they kept it, he said; but Vorster would tell you one thing today, and do the opposite tomorrow…too cunning by half!”

46.  Christoph Marx (trans. S. Gordon-Schröder), Oxwagon Sentinel: Radical Afrikaner Nationalism and the History of the Ossewabrandwag, (Pretoria, 2008), p. 325.

47.  Martin Meredith, Nelson Mandela: A Biography, (New York City, 1998), p. 323.

48.  Hermann Giliomee, op. cit., pp. 576-578.

49.  Anon., “Truth Commission Looks At First ‘Necklace’ Murder,” South African Press Association, February 4, 1997.

50.  Martin Meredith, p. 375.

51.  Hermann Giliomee, p. 632.

52.  Ibid.

53.  Hermann Giliomee, “Democratization in South Africa,” Political Science Quarterly, (Volume 110, Number 1, 1995), p. 93.

54.  Library of Congress Report, “The 1994 Elections,”

55.  Hermann Giliomee, “Democratization in South Africa,” p. 103.

56.  Carlos García-Rivero, “Race, Class, and Underlying Trends in Party Support in South Africa,” Party Politics, Vol. 12, No. 1 (2006), pp. 57-75.

Apartheid in Black and White

How paradoxical, then, that a people, “who are widely credited with having fought Africa’s first anticolonial struggles, who are native to the land and not colonist in any normal sense, came to establish [what came to be considered] one of the world’s most retrogressive colonial systems.”57 But so the Afrikaner leadership did. The honing of apartheid by the Afrikaner National Party started in 1948 after Daniel Malan assumed the Prime Minister’s post, although elements of the program were part of the policy first established in 1923 by the British-controlled government. There was certainly nothing Mosaic about the maze of racial laws that formed the edifice of apartheid. The Population Registration Act required that all South Africans be classified by bureaucrats in accordance with race. The Group Areas Act “guaranteed absolute residential segregation.” Pass laws regulated the comings-and-goings of blacks (though not them alone), and ensured that black workers left white residential areas by nightfall.

Easily the most egregious aspect of flushing blacks out of white areas was the manner in which entire communities were uprooted and dumped in bleak, remote, officially designated settlement sites—“vast rural slums with urban population densities, but no urban amenities beyond the buses that represented their slender lifelines to the cities.”58 Still, apartheid South Africa sustained far more critical scrutiny for its non-violent (if unjust) resettlement policies than did the U.S. for its equally unjust but actively violent mass resettlement agenda in South Vietnam. Between 1964 and 1969, the American army uprooted 3.5 million South Vietnamese, the process including massacres and the razing of numerous villages.59

Nor should we forget previous American military misdeeds. There was, for instance, the 1890 Wounded Knee bloodbath in South Dakota (where a U.S. cavalry regiment wiped out, within an hour, between 150 and 300 Native Americans, women and children included). A decade later occurred the war in the Philippines, where a million Filipinos perished at American hands. The 1990 book In Our Image, written by historian Stanley Kurnow, reports that at least 200,000 of the dead Filipinos in that war were civilians. Many of the civilians breathed their last in disease-ridden concentration camps which were known as reconcentrados. Conservative writer Michelle Malkin credits herself with shattering the “liberal” libel of equivalence between America’s World War II internment camps and Germany’s World War II death camps. Other than Holocaust deniers who claim the gas chambers were really Jacuzzis, no one thinks Manzanar or Minidoka matched the horror of Majdanek. The fact is, however, that between 1942 and 1945, the FDR administration dispensed with habeas corpus in order to relocate en masse, and confine in camps, some 112,000 Japanese aliens and American-born citizens of Japanese ancestry. That the Japanese internees were not gassed, starved or shot does not justify penning them in camps, often for years, without charging them with any crime, and while freezing their bank accounts. Nothing in Afrikaner rule, even at its least enlightened, can match such episodes in American history.

The offending Nats, as they were known, began to dismantle apartheid almost a decade before the transition to democracy; by 1986, the party had already brought down apartheid’s pillars. “Beginning in the early 1980s, the South African government expanded democracy by drawing colored people and Indians into Parliament.”60 By the end of the 1980s, the pernicious influx control laws had been scrapped, public facilities desegregated, and racial sex laws repealed. “Blacks were allowed full freehold rights to property,”61 and admission to historically white universities.

As the vignette following the next will attest, I was still doing battle with what remained of apartheid in 1995.

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57.  Joseph Lelyveld, Move Your Shadow: South Africa, Black And White, (Johannesburg, 1986), p. 54.

58.  Ibid., p. 120.

59.  Sophie Quinn-Judge, “Lawless Zones,” The Times Literary Supplement, February 26, 2010.

60.  Hermann Giliomee, “Liberal and Populist Democracy in South Africa: Challenges, New Threats to Liberalism,” The South African Institute of Race Relations, address delivered February 15, 1996, p. 4.

61.  Hermann Giliomee, The Afrikaners, p. 613.

A Strategy for Survival

America, being a rib from the British ribcage, was built on liberal individualism; Afrikaner culture was first and foremost grounded in the survival of the Volk. This is not to say that Afrikaners were not fiercely individualistic; they were, even more so than early Americans. However, to perceive the fundamental way in which the Afrikaner and American creeds differed early on we must first examine the former’s ideas of what a nation and a state were, respectively. For the Boers, the nation encompassed “the land, the culture, the terrain, the people.”62 The state, on the other hand, had no such prestige for the Boers, who regarded it as just “the coercive apparatus of bureaucrats and politicians.”63 Against this apparatus, above all, the Boer rebelled. The nineteenth century found him still resisting majority rule, by which time Americans had thoroughly submitted to it. Although the Boer’s outlook remained passionately political, his preference was for a parochial self-rule.64 It might be said, then, that if in the Americans the vagaries of the frontier bred an atomistic individualism, those same vagaries bred in the Afrikaner a very different attitude, namely, a keen sense of the collective and the need to preserve it. “The worth of the nation is even higher than the worth of the individual,”65 exclaimed one Volk philosopher.

To the existential threat which they faced on the Dark Continent, Afrikaners responded by circling the wagons metaphorically (much as, during the 1830s, they had done literally) and devising the corpus of racial laws known as apartheid. Monomaniacal Westerners have come to think and speak of apartheid as a theory of white supremacy. It was not. The policy of “separate development,” as it was euphemized, was not a theory of racial supremacy, but a strategy for survival. “We shall fight for our existence and the world must know it. We are not fighting for money or possessions. We are fighting for the life of our people,” thundered Verwoerd.66 Malan had already used different words for the same sentiment, announcing his devotion to “My God, my people, my country.”67 Strijdom believed unswervingly that if they were to survive as a group, whites would need to retain a position of guardianship,68 and that ultimately, white hegemony was indispensable for the good of all. Those intellectuals who heralded from the University of Stellenbosch phrased the issue thus:

The granting of political rights to the Bantu, of the kind which would satisfy their political aspirations, was altogether impossible in a mixed community, since such a step would endanger the present position and survival of the European population. If this danger was to be avoided, and at the same time the Europeans were not to violate their own conscience and moral standards, a policy of separate development would prove the only alternative.69

To that end, a “tortuous social structure” was erected to keep blacks from forming a political majority in South Africa proper. Africans were assigned to homelands in accordance with tribal affiliation, still a central organizing principle across Africa. These “black satrapies”70 were to function as “national and political homes for the different Bantu communities;”71 in the “Bantustans,” blacks were to exercise political rights.

Hermann Giliomee—whose grand historical synthesis, The Afrikaners: Biography of a People, is referenced extensively in this work—agrees that Afrikaner anxieties were overwhelmingly existential, rather than racial. Giliomee is adamant that the apartheid policy did not spring from “racist convictions or antiquated religious doctrines” (even if these convictions were at times present in specific Afrikaners themselves), but from an overriding need for security.

For leading thinkers in the NP such arguments almost completely missed the point because the security of the Afrikaners as a dominant minority, and not as a race per se, was what concerned them. The Cape Town-Stellenbosch axis of the nationalist intelligentsia, which was the most influential lobby in Malan’s NP, almost without exception defended apartheid not as an expression of white superiority but on the grounds of its assumed capacity to reduce conflict by curtailing points of interracial contact.72

Giliomee contends that “apartheid was not uniquely abhorrent and had much in common with Western colonialism and American segregation.”73 Another of the historian’s apparent heresies has it that “attempts to depict the nationalist leaders as proto-fascists showed a poor understanding of both the Nazi and the Afrikaner nationalist movement.”74 Giliomee’s deviationism has prompted a critical mauling, courtesy of Patrick J. Furlong—another liberal historian, an expatriate safely ensconced in the U.S. since 1983. Furlong accused Giliomee of coming close to “perilously defending the system that he so long opposed”—even growling at Giliomee for becoming an “outspoken champion of the Afrikaans language and culture” (as if these were intrinsically bad).

In retrospect, it is easy for me to see the merits of Giliomee’s argument for “the essential moderation of Afrikaner nationalism.”75 Anybody who lived, as I lived, among Afrikaners during the apartheid era can testify that crime and communism were foremost on their minds. To rationalize the cruel, Kafkaesque laws of apartheid, Afrikaners spoke of the Swart Gevaar (which meant the “Black Threat”), and of the Rooi Gevaar (the “Red Threat”). My Afrikaner neighbor would regularly admonish me for my incipient liberalism: “You want Black rule so badly, look around you at the rest of Africa! Anglos like you simply don’t understand what’s at stake.”

We didn’t. But when the going got tough, the Afrikaners, stayed behind; we upped and left, leaving those we loved. One beloved person was Ethel, whose Xhosa name was Nomasomi.

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62.  Ilana Mercer, “Nation, State & Mass Immigration,” WND.COM, April 7, 2006.

63.  Ibid.

64.  Donald R. Morris, op cit., p 247.

65.  Ibid., p. 250.

66.  W. A. de Klerk, op cit., p. 246.

67.  Ibid., p. 236.

68.  Ibid., p. 230.

69.  Ibid., p. 248.

70.  Joseph Lelyveld, op cit., p. 64.

71.  W. A. de Klerk, op cit., p. 248.

72.  Hermann Giliomee, The Afrikaners, p. 497.

73.  Ibid., p. 208.

74.  Ibid., p. 211.

75.  Ibid., p. 208.

Up Close and Personal

I was on time; Ethel, my longtime housekeeper, was early. That was her habit; her work ethic. She and I had arranged to meet at the equivalent of what is today the Department of Home Affairs in Cape Town. Before departing for Canada (and then the U.S.), I had paid Ethel a lump sum in lieu of a pension. However, I wanted to see about getting government retirement benefits for her. Ethel doesn’t know this book is dedicated to her, among others. We corresponded for years. I’d send self-addressed envelopes and bank drafts; she, brief, achingly beautiful letters. Ethel was near illiterate, but the power of her idiom was enough to punch a hole in my heart. She addressed me as “My Dear Eyes.”

Dressed to the nines, Jim (Ethel’s husband) and the children sat on the bench waiting. To claim welfare benefits one had to be in The System. Although this was 1995, by which time apartheid was all but dismantled, these were early days still. The laws on the books had not caught up with de facto law. At this stage, most blacks remained assigned to a specific Bantustan, and as a result, they were officially considered to be aliens in South Africa proper. This would explain why Ethel and her family did not appear on the lists of South African citizens. The lady clerk raised an eyebrow; our little group must have made quite an impressive spectacle. I knew we were in for a tussle when said clerk told me that there was no trace of the family in “The System”—and certainly no birth certificates. If the family wished to claim benefits, they’d have to “go home” to their designated “homeland,” Transkei. It was going to be a long day.

“The Cape is their home,” I told the clerk. They have been here for a generation. I introduced each child to the clerk by name, and suggested that she bring them all into official existence by issuing them with birth certificates. “Start with the youngest, Peliwe, please.” We would not be budging without these items. The clerk left and reappeared with the requested certificates.

Ethel’s children were now in The System and eligible for a variety of assistance programs. I persisted: “What about Mr. and Mrs. Khala?” Jim had a debilitating, work-related lung ailment and would need disability benefits. He could hardly walk more than five feet. The clerk was coy: “Mrs. Mercer, the two are not married. They must have had a tribal ceremony.” “Well then, let’s have us a wedding,” I smiled, as it appeared, winningly. For I won. The woman was beginning to understand what it would take to be rid of me. She departed and returned accompanied by the in-house magistrate. With me as their witness, Jim and Ethel solemnized their twenty-five-year-old union.

Land, Language and Landmarks Lost

To the orgiastic killing spree that threatens the “Teutonic folk who have burrowed so deeply into Africa,”76 recent years have added the horrors of a Stalinist land grab. The ANC regime is preoccupied with redistributing white-owned land to poor blacks.77 By 2015 (so the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights has promised), thirty percent of all agricultural land will have been handed over to blacks. It looks as if, in the ANC leaders’ eyes, the fewer farmers there are to negotiate with, the better.

76 Arthur Conan Doyle, The Great Boer War, Chapter I (London, 1902).

77 The Economist, op. cit., p. 9.

Eminent Domain or Domination?

Simon Barber, “the United States representative of the International Marketing Council of South Africa,” categorically rejects the common perception that South Africa “looks set to sail the same course as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe in pursuing a policy of ‘uncompensated expropriation of land held by whites for black resettlement.’”78 Barber wants there to be no misunderstanding about the “South African government’s land restitution and redistribution policies.” He’d like Americans to think of the process—which has seen thousands of white citizens turned out of homesteads which their black compatriots covet—as no different to the eminent domain process in the United States.

Sadly, he has a point. Eminent domain abuses in the U.S. are wide-ranging. Although the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution sanctions taking for public use only and with just compensation, as with all things constitutional, case law has intervened to redefine and broaden the meaning of public use. There exists, however, one big difference between the two countries. It is this: America’s eminent-domain depredations notwithstanding, the U.S. has yet to establish a legal procedure to effect the forcible transfer of property from one private owner to another in the name of social justice.

More closely resembling the American eminent-domain laws was the apartheid-era Expropriation Act of 1975. The new “improved” Expropriation Bill of 2008 is a different matter entirely. Enforcing this procedure took longer than expected, but the ANC finally tired of the old-style courts-adjudicated legal system (with its long-standing mixture of Roman and Dutch traditions) as it applied to land restitution, replacing it with a blend of tribal and totalitarian laws. These laws duly dispensed with pesky due-process formalities, such as matching a willing buyer with a willing seller and arriving at fair compensation. With the 2008 Bill, the dominant ruling party had empowered itself—and “any organ of state, at any level of government”79—to take ownership and possession of property “simply by giving notice to the expropriated owner.” “The state would make the ‘final’ determination of the compensation due, subject only to a limited form of court review.” Both movable and immovable property is up for grabs—“livestock and farming implements, residential homes, business premises and equipment, patents, and shares.”80 The 2008 Bill, shelved temporarily before the 2009 elections but not forgotten, has led in short order to talk about nationalization.

However short the shrift the SAIRR gives to the evidence of racial rage imprinted in the ravaged remains of thousands of rural white South Africans, it is, mercifully, willing to disbelieve Zuma and his Land Reform director-general. Despite the evidence to the contrary, they claim they do not intend to nationalize farm land. The facts speak otherwise. In March 2010 a plan was tabled in Parliament for turning “all productive land into a national asset leased to farmers.”81 Such sentiments are hardly new. True to a promise made in its 1955 communistic Freedom Charter, the ANC has already nationalized the “mineral wealth beneath the soil,” and the water rights. And now, to supplement the Expropriation Bill, the Party has published a policy paper that suggests two land-use models other than the system of freehold title, and warns of the need to water-down the already weak property-rights provision in the Constitution.

This should pose no great problem. The entrenchment of a property clause in the South African Constitution has angered judicial activists, who conflate the protection of private property with the entrenchment of white privilege. Their fears are overblown. I wager that nationalization might not necessitate a change to the South African Constitution, since the latter allows a good deal of mischief in the name of the greater good, including land expropriation in the “public interest.”

The Hobbesean choice which the ANC plans to present to white farmers is between making them mere tenants of the state (by declaring all productive land a national asset under state control) and, on the other hand, “placing a ceiling on how much land individual farmers can own.”82 Which, in practice, limits economies of scale, and with them successful commercial agriculture. “One farmer, one farm” was how Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF described this policy. The government still asserts that it is merely putting in place a “mechanism for taking back failed farms from black farmers.” But the SAIRR has exposed such assurances as “a red herring to conceal the State’s more plausible intention to wrest control of agricultural production from white commercial farmers.”83

Channeling the ANC, The Economist has mouthed about the alleged need for “making white farmers transfer forty percent of their farms by value to black shareholders.”84 This magazine endearingly describes the ANC as a “friendly monolith.” Friendly? The ANC has already nationalized water and mineral rights, has tabled the Expropriation Bill of 2008, and shares with its Western governmental cheer-squad a willingness to “sacrifice performance for racial ideology.” So talk of further anti-white economic persecution is only logical.

As a matter of daily practice, white farmers are currently being terrorized and threatened with land claims. As if this were not bad enough, they can now expect nationalization. In case Zimbabwe is a distant memory, the nationalization of South Africa’s farms will increase unemployment in the agricultural sector, and with it, rural poverty. That will guarantee mass migration to the cities, with all the attendant problems which this exodus poses. Also, it will undermine South Africa’s ability to meet its food needs and deter investment in the country. And these, so help us, are the positive aspects of land parity.

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78.  Simon Barber, “Land ‘expropriation’ in context,”, May 5, 2006.

79.  South African Institute For Race Relations, “Institute calls for Expropriation Bill to be withdrawn,” May 15, 2008, (accessed April 2010).

80.  Ibid.

81.  South African Institute For Race Relations, “Warning bells for South Africa,” March 18, 2010, (accessed May 2010).

82.  South African Institute For Race Relations, “Warning bells for South Africa,” March 18, 2010,
( (accessed May 2010).

83.  Ibid.

84.  The Economist, op cit., p. 9.

The Law of the Land ‘Indigenized’

When former farm laborer Mooiman Elias Mahlangu came before Justice Antonie Gildenhuys’ Court, in 1996, to initiate proceedings against farmer Breggie Elizabeth de Jager—claiming her house, land, bakkie (pick-up truck) and other possessions of which he had availed himself during his tenure on her land—Justice Gildenhuys searched the plaintiff’s affidavit for facts. He looked high and low for evidence to support the claims. In what was a harbinger of things to come, Mr. Omar, the plaintiff’s lawyer, asserted that the mere fact of Mahlangu making allegations shifted the burden of proof to the respondent. Justice Gildenhuys, in a crisp, concise decision, reminded Mr. Omar that “substantive law determines where the burden of proof lies,” and that “such a burden is not shifted in the course of the litigation.” The Judge granted the applicant leave to renew the application when all relevant facts had been placed before the Court.85

The same search for facts and fairness is evinced in the claim on Macleantown, a small hamlet approximately forty kilometers northwest of East London, which “was declared a white group area” during 1970. Land owned by blacks was expropriated. The residents were not compensated for the land they lost, and received no title to the land on which they were resettled. The same Court, Justice Gildenhuys, affirmed that the expelled residents had a right to be compensated and ruled that “the forced removal during 1970 had been clearly established.” Once “the involvement of each of the claimants” had been properly shown, alternative state-owned sites were set aside for the purpose of restitution.86

In 2005, by which stage apartheid was little more than a memory, individuals calling themselves the Popela community laid claim to farms in the Moketsi area of the Northern Province, on the grounds that they were dispossessed of their land rights by racially discriminatory law. They cited, in particular, the abolition of the labor tenancy system on the farms, and the institution of a wage-earning system. But Gildenhuys did not oblige them. He ruled that this conversion could not be considered racially discriminatory, and did not constitute grounds for a land claim.87

These decisions exemplify the South African Land Claims Court at its inception, when rules of procedure and evidence applicable in civil actions and familiar to the West were still followed. Some decisions are for the plaintiff; others against him, as expected. This was the law before it was thoroughly “indigenized.”

Cut to 2010. Gildenhuys and his ilk are increasingly marginalized in decision-making. The most fashionable judge today is Fikile Bam. On his résumé, under “National Service,” Bam lists “political prisoner on Robben Island during apartheid.” Now judge-president of the South African Land Claims Court, Bam is presiding over the transfer of the opulent Eastern Cape Fish River Sun Resort owned by “Sun International” over to the “Mazizini Community.” Even he concedes that the community does not presently possess the financial or managerial wherewithal “to maintain the existing developments and improve upon them.” For this, “public money” will be allocated. Yet after acknowledging “the many instances where the beneficiaries of restored land have failed dismally to sustain, let alone develop, commercial projects on the land”—Bam cheerily grants the Mazizini Community its wish. The validity of the Pedi Tribe’s right to the seafront fishing, hiking and golfing retreat is nowhere debated in Bam’s 2010 decision, other than in a vague statement that “the grazing rights which the claimants previously enjoyed were, in themselves, commercial activity.” Particularly tragicomic—and certainly instructive in matters of law—is the claimant’s assertion, during the proceedings, that the “bellowing of cattle to Africans was like the jingling of the coins in the pocket of a European.”88

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85.  South Africa: Land Claims Court, “Mahlangu v. De Jager” (LCC1/96) [1996] ZALCC 1 (25 April 1996).

86.  South Africa: Land Claims Court, “Macleantown Residents Association Re: Certain Erven and Commonage in Macleantown (LCC12/1996) [1996] ZALCC 3 (4 July 1996).

87.  In the Land Claims Court of South Africa, In the matter between the Popela Community, Department of Land Affairs, and Goedgelegen Tropical Fruits (Pty) Ltd, June 3, 2005.

88.  Mazizini Community v. Emfuleni Resorts (Pty) Ltd and Others (LCC 23/07) [2010] ZALCC 3 (12 March 2010).

Killing God’s Creatures

The putative pleasure which some Africans derive from the “bellowing of cattle” extends increasingly to the sounds of the beasts in the throes of death. Farm attacks on animals have been every bit as cruel as the onslaught on their owners, with one exception: the expiration in agony of animals is more likely to move the animal-loving West to tears.

No sooner does a “tribe” or an individual launch a claim with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, than squatters—sometimes in the thousands—move to colonize it, defile its grounds and groundwater by using these as one vast toilet, and terrorize, often kill, its occupants and their animals in the hope of “nudging” them off the land. Dr. Philip du Toit, a farmer (with a doctorate in labor law) and author of The Great South African Land Scandal, speaks of recurrent attacks on farm animals that “hark back to the Mau Mau terror campaign which drove whites off Kenyan farms.” Farmer’s Weekly is packed with pitiful accounts of cows poisoned with exotic substances, battered with heavy metal bars, their Achilles tendons severed, writhing in agony for hours before being found by a distraught farmer.

“Encroachment is the right word,” a farmer told du Toit. “They put their cattle in, then they cut the fences, then they start stealing your crops, forcing you to leave your land. And then they say: ‘Oh well, there’s vacant land, let’s move on to it.’ It’s a very subtle way of stealing land.”89 According to AgriSA, an organization representing small and large-scale commercial farmers, “Up to 121,000 livestock, worth about R365 million [about $48.5 million US] was stolen in the 2008-2009 financial year alone.” “When there is a farm claim I say ‘Look out!’ because attacks may follow to scare the farmers,” says Piet Kemp, the regional director of the Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU).”90

The ANC’s old Soviet-inspired Freedom Charter promised this: “All shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose.” And so they do today. The adapted, indigenized law allows coveted land, owned and occupied by another, to be obtained with relative ease. It signals a free-for-all on the lives of white owners and their livestock. Because of legal claims which they are powerless to fight, squatters whom they cannot fend off, and cattle, crops and families which they can no longer protect, farmers have been pushed to abandon hundreds of thousands of hectares of prime commercial farmland.

“Since the end of apartheid in 1994, when multi-racial elections were held,” writes Dan McDougal of the London Times, “fifteen million acres of productive farmland have been transferred to black ownership. Much of it is now lying fallow, creating no economic benefit for the nation or its new owners. Last year South Africa became a net importer of food for the first time in its history.”91 “My visit to Mpumalanga came immediately after crossing the frontier from Zimbabwe,” attests Aidan Hartley, also of the Times, “and what struck me was how similar the landscapes were after redistribution had taken place. Once productive maize fields now grow only weeds. Citrus orchards are dying, their valuable fruit rotting on the branches. Machinery lies about rusting. Irrigation pipes have been looted and farm sheds are derelict and stripped of roofing. Windbreak trees have been hacked down and roads are potholed.”92 Dr. du Toit has traversed the “beloved country” from the Limpopo to the Cape, from Natal to the North West to document the transfer and consequent trashing of the country’s commercial farms. Without exception, splendid enterprises that fed the country many times over have been reduced to “subsistence operations with a few mangy cattle and the odd mealie patch.”93 (Mealie is Afrikaans for “maize,” deriving, apparently, from the Portuguese word milho.) In even the best-case scenario, farms belonging to the whites who feed the country and produce surpluses are being handed over to subsistence farmers who can barely feed themselves.

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89.  Philip du Toit, op cit., p. 82.

90.  Aidan Hartley, op cit.

91.  Sunday Times, “Jacob Zuma warns ANC to halt racial anger,” Sunday Times, April 11, 2010, (accessed March, 2010).

92.  Aidan Hartley, op. cit.

93.  du Toit, op cit., p. 114.

Tot Siens (Farewell) To The Taal (The Language)

“He who controls the past controls the future.” So wrote Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four. The ANC now commands past, present and future. Yet, The Economist derisively dismisses Afrikaner discontent over the loss of “status, flag, party, geographical place-names and most of their schools.”94 What will the magazine mock next? Will it consider ethnic cleansing campaigns against farmers to be screamingly funny?

It may be a trifling issue to deracinated sophisticates, but landmarks in the country’s founding history are slowly being erased, as demonstrated by the ANC’s decision to give an African name to Potchefstroom, a town founded in 1838 by the Voortrekkers. Pretoria is now officially called Tshwane. Nelspruit, founded by the Nel Family (they were not Xhosa), and once the seat of the South African Republic’s government during the Boer War, has been renamed Mbombela. Polokwane was formerly Pietersburg. Durban’s Moore Road (after Sir John Moore, the hero of the Battle of Corunna, fought in 1809 during the Napoleonic Wars) is Che Guevara Road; Kensington Drive, Fidel Castro Drive. Perhaps the ultimate in tastelessly hip nomenclature is Yasser Arafat Highway, down which the motorist can careen on the way to the Durban airport.

The Afrikaans tongue, in particular, has come under the ANC’s attack, as the government attempts to compel Afrikaans schools to adopt English. Afrikaans-speaking universities have been labeled “racist” in the New South Africa, and have been forced to merge with “third-rate black institutions so that campuses may be swamped by blacks demanding instruction in English.” On the supplanting of the Afrikaans language, Dan Roodt relates: “Not so long ago, an Indian employee at my local branch of the Absa Bank demanded to know if I was a legal resident in South Africa upon hearing me speak a foreign language, Afrikaans.”

The ANC’s attempt to tame and claim South African history mimics the effort by American elites to deconstruct American history and memory, documented by Samuel P. Huntington in Who Are We?. Wishing to purge America of her “sinful European inheritance,” bureaucrats, mediacrats, educrats, assorted policy wonks and intellectuals trashed the concept of America as melting pot. In its place, they insisted on ensconcing multiculturalism, inherent in which is a denunciation of America’s Western foundation and a glorification of non-Western cultures. This mindset does not permit pedagogues to reject Afrocentric faux-history outright. They dare not—not if the goal of education is to be achieved, and that goal is an increase in self-esteem among young Africans, in particular. Other self-styled victim groups, notably natives and women, have had their suppurating historical wounds similarly tended with curricular concessions. Thus, of the 670 stories and articles in “twenty-two readers for grades three and six published in the 1970s and early 1980s … none had anything to do with American history since 1780.”95 The trend, documented by Huntington, accelerated well into the year 2000, when Congress, alarmed by the nation’s historical Alzheimer’s, made an anemic effort to correct decades of deconstruction. It allocated more funds to the Department of Education, which was a lot like letting the proverbial fox guard the historical henhouse.

Historical veracity certainly has little to do with the Texas State Board of Education’s perennial haggling over a social studies and history curriculum. In the Lone Star State’s 2010 political match, America’s Judeo-Christian history, its authentic Founding Fathers, and the defining concepts of a “constitutional republic” and a gold standard won the day. For now, at any rate. But we shouldn’t get our hopes up overmuch. Forces of commonsense might have won this particular battle; winning the overall war is a different matter. No doubt, multiculturalism, “democracy,” and funny money will gain curricular ascendancy when, once again, progressives outnumber Republicans on the Board.

As a subject in South Africa’s school syllabus, history was initially neglected during the transition to majority rule. The establishment of the “South African History Project” changed that. The Project aims, according to Sasha Polakow-Suransky of the Chronicle of Higher Education, to resurrect “the subject as a prominent field of study in the national school curriculum.” Unfortunately, and following the American academy’s example, the trend has been away from “the pursuit of objective historical truth,” toward history from beneath.

In America, this postmodern tradition regularly lifts from obscurity heroes featured in academic works such as “Quilting Midwives during the Revolution” and “Hermaphrodites and the Clitoris in Early America.” (These, incidentally, are not parodies. They were seriously intended academic dissertations, which Britain’s Times Literary Supplement cited as an indication of how absurd certain historical studies have become.). In this tradition—and judging from the televised, raucous exchanges—the Lone Star educators would have bargained over the Texas syllabus like this:

Democrat did act to Republican troglodyte: “Throw in Juan Seguín (minor “military figure of the Texas Revolution and Republic of Texas”), and we’ll let you keep Thomas Jefferson (major political philosopher and American founding father).”

Republican troglodyte: “Please, please, please can we have John Adams?”

Democrat didact: “Only if you throw in Crispus Attucks.” (Crispus Attucks, since you asked, was allegedly the first victim of the 1770 Boston Massacre. He is variously identified by historians as black, mulatto, Native American, tall, and short. By the time this reaches print there might well be textbooks upholding him as a heroic lesbian, a pioneering abortionist, or perhaps America’s first martyr to “homophobia.” He seems to be a veritable Rorschach blot upon which fashionable scribblers can project their fantasies of political correctness.)

Adapted to the public school system and its mission, the teaching of history (whether stateside or in South Africa) seeks to be more palliative than factual. The historian has been forced to turn himself into Doctor Feelgood.

In South Africa, the politically correct reconstruction of historical events aims to foster “certain values,” in the words of Kader Asmal, the Minister of Education in 2000. According to Pieter Kapp, a retired professor of history at Stellenbosch University, “You have books appearing that interpret the history of South Africa only according to the perspective of the liberation struggle.” Indeed, “Since 1994, tales of European conquest are slowly beginning to disappear from the nation’s classrooms, giving way to epic accounts of black anti-apartheid heroes,” writes Polakow-Suransky. Of course, in reality, the modern marvel that is South Africa was not the handiwork of the black nationalist movement now dismantling it, however praiseworthy that movement’s struggle might have been.

The Afrikaner’s “right to culture” and country has been similarly usurped, the first by a “nation-building project aimed at a single hegemonic culture;”96 and the second, his own country, by a government which has been encouraging “Afrikaner doctors, teachers and accountants to emigrate, while various ANC government ministers enthusiastically import replacements from India, South Africa’s sister country in the Commonwealth.”97 Indeed, if you imagined that successive American governments were unique in their efforts to displace their own citizens through unfettered, mass immigration, you would be wrong. The ANC comes close. However reprehensible the ANC is in encouraging white flight, as the party of the black majority—ninety-two percent of whom vote for it, compared with only four percent of whites—it is at least showing a certain consistency in doing so. This cannot be said for America’s Republican Party, which supports policies that aim to replace the historical majority it ostensibly represents and upon which it relies for reelection.

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94.  The Economist, op cit., p. 7.

95.  Samuel P. Huntington, Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity, (New York City, 2004), p. 174.

96.  Hermann Giliomee, “Liberal and Populist Democracy in South Africa,” p. 32.

97.  Dan Roodt, “Cleaving the Boks in two could aid nation-building,”, October 28, 2007, (accessed July 22, 2009),

Intra-Racial Reparations?

There was bitter blood on Bantu lands well before the settlers arrived. The all-time PIG (Politically Incorrect Guide) to Zulu history notes correctly that the Bantu, like the Boers, were not indigenous to South Africa. They “dribbled south” from some “reservoir in the limitless north,” and, like the European settlers, used their military might to displace Hottentots, Bushmen, and one another through internecine warfare. We’ve committed the little San people of Southern Africa (the Bushmen) to folkloric memory for their unequalled tracking skills and the delicate drawings with which they dotted the “rock outcroppings.” The San were the hunters, but they were also among the hunted. Alongside the Boers, Hottentots “hunted down Bushmen for sport well into the nineteenth century.98

The PIG in question is Donald R. Morris’s epic, The Washing of the Spears: The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Nation. In “the book to end all books on the tragic confrontation between the assegai and the Gatling gun,” Morris places Cape Town’s founder and Dutch East India Company official J. A. Van Riebeeck, on landing at the Cape in 1652, 500 miles to the north and 1,000 miles to the west [sic] of the nearest Bantu.99 Joined by other Protestants from Europe, Dutch farmers, as we have seen, homesteaded the Cape Colony. Shaka Zulu himself considered the European clansmen to be the proper proprietors of the Cape frontier, with whom he would need to liaise diplomatically if he wished to subjugate his black brethren, the Xhosa-Nguni100 peoples, on the southern reaches of his empire abutting the Cape. (And boy, did he subjugate them!) Indeed, the white civilization which formed south of the Orange River101 did not encounter the black civilization in the interior for some time. And during that time, the coastal clans warred against one another, continually raiding other kraals, driving off the cattle and exterminating the victims.102 Before the consolidation of the Zulu empire, eight hundred or so distinct Nguni Bantu clans vied for a spot under the sun in the Natal region between the mountains and the coast. Where are these lineages today?

Particularly brutal was the period spanning the early 1820s known as the Mfecane, “the Crushing.” Up to two million natives died “in a decade that depopulated what is today the Orange Free State.”103 This death-toll was partly, but not entirely, the fault of Shaka, who destroyed the clan structure in Natal—the Zulu paramount chief was a monster of psychopathic proportions who once sated his scientific curiosity by dissecting seven hundred pregnant women. The tribal warfare caused mass migration, whereby “not a single clan remained in a belt a hundred miles wide south of the Tugela River; in an area that teemed with bustling clans only thousands of deserted kraals remained, most of them in ashes. A few thousand terrified inhabitants [hid out] in the bush or forest in pitiful bands, and cannibalism flourished,”104 as it did whenever the kraal economy was demolished in ongoing warfare. Yes, “cannibalism, which was fully repugnant to Bantu civilization as it is our own, became common, and reached the point where entire clans depended on it and nothing else to feed themselves.”105

Mobs on the move marked their “aimless tracks” with (DNA-rich) human bones. Was there never a duty to divine these bones for purposes other than soothsaying—say, to do the devoured justice? These days, white South Africans supinely accept their obligation to give up the lands they are supposed to have stolen, on the grounds that it holds ancestral remains. Should not the relatives of cannibals who gobbled up their black brethren be held to the same standards? The Bushmen have been barred by the Botswana Bantu from claiming their ancestral lands in the Central Kalahari. Where’s the international uproar? Should we not be discussing intra-racial reparations?

Penetration into Natal in the early 1800s was confined to Port Natal, where a small trading post operated at the pleasure—and with the permission—of Zulu kings such as Shaka and Dingane. Port Natal settlers succored the natives. The post soon became a sanctuary to which the “detribalized natives” fled in their thousands, on the run from the daily depredations of tribal life. These natives soon came to see in the settlers “a fine defensive shield,” under which they themselves could “re-establish a semblance of normal kraal life in the open.”106 How, we must ask, have the descendants of these benefactors been rewarded?

Ask the Dunns of Durban. They descend from John Dunn, a Bantuphile who settled in Natal in the mid-1800s, and to whom King Cetshwayo gave “a large tract of land along the coast north of the Tugela with full rights of a chieftain.”107 There John Dunn lived and loved like a Zulu man, with as many wives. The King’s kin have sabotaged and subverted the great Cetshwayo’s wishes, subjecting Dunn’s descendants, Pat Dunn and her family, to “just about every ‘gross violation of human rights’ which Amnesty International defines”108—land invasion, intimidation, arson, attempted murder.

John Dunn was a white trader and adventurer. A settler. Alexander Merensky and Heinrich Grutznerwere were German missionaries. Ask their descendants how they are faring.

The year was 1865. These two missionaries built a mission station and church on a Middleburg farm in the Eastern Cape. The natives called the mission Botshabelo, “place of refuge,” because the missionaries sheltered tribespeople fleeing the local Pedi chieftain and his impis. Botshabelo became known far and wide “as a witness to Christian teaching.”109 The desperate refugees were saved both spiritually and existentially—taught literacy and crafts and converted to Christianity. How have their progeny honored the memory of the righteous men who rescued them from a gory death? By laying successful claim to the historical site European missionaries built—a place that was never traditional tribal land. The graves of members of the missionary families are buried on the land. Evidently, respect for ancestral remains does not cut both ways.

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98.  Donald R. Morris, op cit., pp. 21-22.

99.  Ibid., p. 26.

100.  Ibid., p. 96.

101.  Ibid., p. 56.

102.  Ibid., p. 37.

103.  Ibid., p. 60.

104.  Ibid., p. 57.

105.  Ibid.

106.  Ibid., p. 76.

107.  Ibid., pp. 197-198.

108.  du Toit, op cit., p. 87.

109.  Ibid., p. 25.

Recompense or Reconquista?

He who believes he has a right to another man’s property ought to produce proof that he is its rightful owner. “As the old legal adage goes, ‘Possession is nine-tenths of the law,’ as it is the best evidence in our uncertain world of legitimate title. The burden of proof rests squarely with the person attempting to alter and abolish present property titles.”110 It is to this potent principle that democratic rule in South Africa has taken an axe—or, rather, an assegai.

The question of land ownership deeply concerned the nineteenth century trek Boers, as they prepared to decamp from the British-ruled Cape Colony and venture north.111 Accordingly, they sent out exploration parties tasked with negotiating the purchase of land from the chieftains, who very often acted magnanimously, allowing Europeans to settle certain areas. Against trek Boers, it must be said that they were as rough as the natives and negotiated with as much finesse. On the high veldt, at least, trek Boers did “drive organized clans off the lands they wanted, retaining only a few families of squatters on each farm to provide labor.”112 However, the narrative about the pastoral, indigenous, semi-nomadic natives, dispossessed in the seventeenth century of their lands by another such people, only of a different color—this is as simplistic as it is sentimental. When Boer and Bantu finally clashed on the Great Fish River it was a clash of civilizations. “The Bantu viewed the land as entailed property that belonged to the clan. A chieftain might dispose of the right to live on the land, but he could not dispose of the land itself. The European mind in general could not grasp this concept and regarded a land transaction as a permanent exchange of real property.” As Morris observes in his matter-of-fact way, “The Bantu view insured European encroachment and the European view future strife.”113

Perhaps inevitably, twenty-first-century “restitution” is not dominated by individual freehold owners reclaiming expropriated land. Instead, a group of blacks scheming on a particular property will band together as a “tribe,” and pool the taxpayer grants which its members have received gratis for the purpose of purchasing occupied land. “This has complicated the process,” says restitution advocate Dr. Clarissa Fourie of the University of Natal, “as evidence of these rights is not as easy to assess, since there are no title deeds to substantiate these claims.” This by the admission of an advocate. If unambitious, the band may claim a commercial farm as its own. If ambitious, members may “claim the sun, the moon, the stars, and the oceans.”114 “Some of the claims are on very high-value land,” admits Fourie. “There is one claim that has been made which covers 129 citrus farms in the Mpumalanga Province.”115 Another shoots for central Pretoria, the capital.

The dearth of original documents deeding the claimed areas to the claimants has not stopped claims from proceeding to court. A claimant’s assertion that his tribe’s cattle once grazed in an area will often suffice before the bar of law to back the “historical inquiry.”116 As a leader in the Democratic opposition put it, “We are moving from the rule of law to the law of rule.”

Where blacks owned freehold land and were evicted subsequent to the 1913 and 1936 Land Acts—these prohibited natives from “hiring or acquiring” land outside the “scheduled native areas”117—restitution ought to have been possible, based on title deeds kept on record. By now the approximately three million Africans forcibly resettled under apartheid policies ought to have been compensated financially.

It seems to me patent that land that has been farmed intensively and scientifically must never be given to men whose capacity and craving is for kraal life: a small herd of cattle and the labor of as many wives as can be afforded.118 Considering this very reality, and where a land claim has been shown to be valid, financial compensation is the only just restitution.

The “tribe” or band of individuals claiming these vast tracts of land most certainly does not have a right to the installations on them. Deeply corrupt and corrupting is the notion that a claimant inherits both the land and the improvements upon it; that a successful land claim will put a claimant in possession of everything the dispossessed man has worked to build in the course of a lifetime and which has increased the value of the farmstead many times over.

Take Theo de Jager. This jolly, rotund man—the chairman of the Land Affairs committee of AgriSA, the national agricultural trade association founded back in 1904119—has forfeited two farms in the Limpopo Province, “northernmost province of South Africa.” Lost first was the land purchased around 1998, and claimed by (ambitious) locals together with other farms in the area. When the farms failed, the farm hands burned them to the ground in a show of frustration. An American reading these words in the comfort of his Nebraska ranch house or his Manhattan brownstone might well be left incredulous at the sheer crudity of this process. But in the New South Africa it has been extremely common. De Jager picked up the shards of a broken life and bought another farm. The Lords of the Land saw that it too was good, and lunged for the man’s land again.

A farming family like de Jager’s has built the home and filled it with memories. Preparing to move into the homes of white private property owners is an act of conquest. The signal message conveyed by legitimizing such proceedings in law is: covet and you shall be rewarded.

Even if received opinion is accepted without question—that early Afrikaners had no right to homestead vast expanses of unoccupied land or, thereafter, repel marauders—and even if we deny that the subsequent development and capitalization of the land has benefited all the country’s inhabitants in the form of employment and abundant foodstuff; even if we readily concede the justness of every single claim adjudicated in the Land Claims Court of South Africa; even if these incorrect assumptions go unchallenged—at some stage we must question the sheer waste and wholesale destruction of wealth which this supposed justice entails. Whether you believe land reform in South Africa is always and everywhere a case of returning stolen property to its rightful owners, or that it is theft plain and simple—whichever is the case: “to the extent that massive stealing becomes the order of the day,” warns libertarian theorist Walter Block, “a social breakdown is the inevitable result. Not for nothing do the Ten Commandments “prohibit not only robbery, but even coveting the property of others.”120

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has admitted that ninety percent of redistributed farms were “dysfunctional,” to put it mildly. Dr. du Toit observes that there is not one instance of a successful land handover in the entire country.121 At some point, wanton destruction on such a scale can only be considered unjust, if not plain criminal. A sufficient difference in degree constitutes a difference in kind. Enlarge a motorcar enough and it becomes a minivan. Depending on the number of casualties, murder bleeds into a massacre. Destroy enough land and lives and you may no longer claim to have done so in the name of restoring rights. All you have done is to mock the very idea of rights out of meaning.

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110.  Walter Block and Guillermo Yeatts, “The Economics and Ethics of Land Reform: A Critique of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’s ‘Toward a Better Distribution of Land: The Challenge of Agrarian Reform,’” Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Law, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2000, p. 5.

111.  Donald R. Morris, op cit., p. 122.

112.  Ibid., pp. 170-171.

113.  Ibid.

114.  Ibid., p. 44.

115.  Dr. Clarissa Fourie, “Land And The Cadastre In South Africa: Its History And Present Government Policy,” Paper presented as a Guest Lecture at the International Institute of Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences (ITC), Enschede, The Netherlands, November 1, 2000.

116.  Walter Block and Guillermo Yeatts., op cit., p. 39.

117.  The Natives’ Land Act, No. 27, 1913, vol. 10, pp. 135-68.

118.  Donald R. Morris, op cit., p. 171.

119.  Eric Beauchemin, “Land ownership in South Africa,” 07-03-2008, Radio Netherland Worldwide.

120.  Walter Block and Guillermo Yeatts., op cit., p. 42.

121.  du Toit, op cit., p. 103.

3. Dispossession Is Nine-Tenths of the Law
chapter 3

In the United States, at present, only whites can be racists since whites dominate and control the institutions that create and enforce American cultural norms and values…all white individuals are racist.[*] —Carolyn Pitts, American affirmative action officer

It is imperative to get rid of merit as the overriding principle in the appointment of public servants.[†] —Mario Rantho, ANC parliamentarian

Known in South Africa as Black Economic Empowerment, “BEE” is the equivalent of the racial quotas Barack Obama champions, only with many times the sting. Like affirmative action, BEE aims to take “jobs away from one group in order to compensate a second group to correct injustices caused by a third group who mistreated a fourth group at an earlier point in history.” This droll, but depressing, distillation of discriminatory, collectivist hiring practices, courtesy of Edwin Locke of the Ayn Rand Institute, doesn’t do justice to South Africa’s enormously ambitious BEE program. BEE, and its latest permutation, BBBEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment), makes property ownership for whites in the democratic South Africa a misnomer. The country’s current rulers can and do demand that a percentage of a white-owned company be taken over by blacks, on pain of it being closed down. This goes well beyond racial quotas.

Race-based wealth distribution, and in particular racist labor litigation, is yet another unique feature of the South African democracy. This phased process requires that all enterprises, public and private, make their workforce demographically representative of the country’s racial profile. By the year 2014, the transformation must have been completed. The penalties for non-compliance promise to be stiff. Currently, if a company wishes to bid for government contracts, it has to take on a black partner. Private companies operating in South Africa cannot win government contracts if they are not co-owned by blacks. If they want to engage in any prospecting whatsoever, all mining companies must part with a portion of the company.

[*] Frederick R. Lynch, Invisible Victims: White Males and the Crisis of Affirmative Action, (Westport, Connecticut, 1991), p. 32.

[†] As related in CBN Archive, All affirmative, no action, July 1997,

Black Diamonds

For the global mining giant De Beers the term Black Diamonds has assumed new meaning. To comply with the ANC’s black economic empowerment rules, the famed company, founded by Cecil Rhodes and long viewed by blacks as “a symbol of white might,”1 has been forced to create a “black-controlled diamond mining company.”2 De Beers had already “sold” twenty-six percent of its South African business to a black-owned company—the word “sold” is in quote marks because, in line with the BEE aim of facilitating direct black ownership in the company, the white proprietor is often required to loan the “BEE partner”3 the funds to buy him out at a convenient price. That is if “the Industrial Development Corporation, a self-funding, government-backed development bank,” hasn’t picked up the tab.4 In this case, the De Beers sale came at a discount of 100 million rands.

“Private companies above a certain size are obliged to try to make their workforces ‘demographically representative’ (i.e. seventy-five percent black, fifty percent female, etc.) from factory floor to boardroom,” explained Guest in a Wall Street Journal editorial. The impending requirements have done wonders to boost foreign investment in South Africa.5 (Here the reader is invited to conjure all clichés of improbability such as: And Britney Spears will cultivate a voice. Or wear underwear.)

In Africa, the extractive view of politics prevails: People seek personal advantage from positions of power. The Daily Mail has recently estimated that $187 billion has been illegally removed from the continent by national rulers since the colonial powers departed.6 “The black tycoons who made fortunes by parlaying political connections into a share of someone else’s business are the most insidious effect of the new racial laws.”7 For a shakedown share of a company, oleaginous ANC officials thus regularly rent themselves out as BEE front men to the country’s large companies, forced to bring on blacks so as to win government contracts. The “New South Africa” is, after all, not so new. It is being wrecked by the very “cronyism that has wrecked the rest of Africa.”8 The diamond-in-the-rough chairing Black De Beers Inc. is no other than a senior member of the ANC, Manne Dipico.9

Once again, the principle of expropriation, per se, faithfully observed by the ANC, has failed to irk commentators in the West. Rather, stealing for the few rather than for the many is what has stuck in the western commentariat’s collective craw. BEE, like all state-run affirmative action subventions, has enriched the ANC’s dynastic families to the exclusion of the mass of African men and women. Now that party members are rich beyond imagination, they’ve seen fit to extend the “racial spoils system.” Enter the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act of 2003. BBBEE, a creative bit of casuistry, conflates color-coded preferential policies with the constitutional right of blacks to equality. The Act also equates global competitiveness and national unity among all South Africans with the exclusive promotion of the economic interests of black South Africans only. To this end, the relevant cabinet minister is granted sweeping powers to issue “codes of good practice” and “transformation charters.”10 And, in fact, to “make regulations with regard to any matter necessary… to ensure the proper implementation of the Act,” the goal of which is to achieve “substantial change in the racial composition of ownership and management structures and of the skilled occupations of existing and new enterprises.”11

In the course of what ANC officials refer to as the “deracialization”12 of the economy, BBBEE offers up an Orwellian racial taxonomy: A “Black Company” is more than fifty percent owned and managed by blacks; a “Black Empowered Company” more than twenty-five percent black-owned; a “black influenced” enterprise less than twenty-five percent.13 The BBBEE Act and its assorted charters address all sectors of the economy, requiring detailed scorecards according to which firms are rated and a timetable by which they must have placed a certain percentage of blacks in senior, middle and junior management, at the executive level, and on the board of directors. Businesses must keep paperwork documenting their pigment-driven poaching, to be submitted to a “Charter Council” as proof of compliance with the latter’s dictates. Exempt from the Charter Council are enterprises employing fewer than fifty people, or making less than ten million rand.

To be fair, this is a generous exemption when compared to the draconian American Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Like BEE, Title VII severely curtailed the contractual freedoms of individuals and enterprises. Unlike BEE, it applies to all institutions and enterprises with no more than fifteen employees engaged in interstate commerce or doing business with the federal government.14

Grudgingly, The Economist has conceded that in the process of creating a “bureaucracy that would reflect the new dispensation…many experienced white civil servants left or were pushed out, “severely hurt[ing] [the administration’s] ability to deliver at every level.”15 This understates the insoluble crisis engulfing ministries, hospitals, schools and municipalities. Hiring by color, rather than merit, is all in a day’s work for the government, because it has no competitors and cannot go bust—at least, not just yet. This is nice for the blacks it employs, but not as pleasant for the much larger number who depend on the state for health care, water, roads and pensions.16 Thus, as the old guard was given the proverbial pink slip and the new, racially correct civil service ensconced instead, basic services and infrastructure began to crumble. “Public healthcare, the railways, ports and road infrastructure bear testimony to the insidious effects of racial preference on South Africa.”17 Refuse collection is erratic. The electrical grid has been degraded at every level: generation, transmission, and distribution. Since distribution is now entrusted to the local, increasingly inept, authorities, candles and paraffin lamps have made a come-back in my home town of Cape Town as well as in other cities. Daily power outages affect industries and services across the country. Rolling blackouts—“load shedding” is the local euphemism—are now as typical of Cape Town’s landscape as the tablecloth of clouds that cascades over the majestic Table Mountain.

Another imported practice of dubious provenance has seen South Africa’s financial institutions forced to provide loans to blacks with lower credit ratings. Shades of the American subprime fiasco. So too must debt-financing services be delivered to South African companies owned by blacks with low credit ratings. In addition, BEE mandates special blacks-only training programs, down to the amount of post-tax operating profits that must be invested in black betterment. Ultimately this is about the transfer of white-owned businesses to blacks—in financial institutions, a minimum of twenty-five percent black ownership was to be achieved by 2010’s end.18 Increasingly, “in South Africa, property is defined as something a black person owns,” writes Afrikaner commentator Dan Roodt. “A black may own a piece of land or a business outright, whereas a white may own it only in partnership with a black, or subject to conditions such as black empowerment or training for blacks so that they may eventually take it over.”19

In case the boardroom was not enough, the bedroom is up for grabs too. The Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act of 1951 was repealed and replaced with legislation giving squatters a legal lien on the land they invade and occupy. Born-again as “unlawful occupiers,”20 squatters cannot be evicted without Court mediation. The lengthy, costly procedure is borne, naturally, by the owner. The interloper has a right to be apprised of the owner’s intention to evict him, and be afforded the opportunity to “defend the case.”21 Woe betide an owner who attempts to evict a “household headed by women,”22 in contravention of their “rights and needs.”23 This law, unlike BEE, can afford to be blind to the color of a man’s epidermis. The reality of property ownership in the country ensures that, like prosperous businesses, farms and homes owned by white South Africans are the likeliest targets of trespassers.

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1.  Simon Robinson, “The Second Revolution,” Time Europe, April 11, 2004.

2.  “De Beers to sell 26 percent of SA unit,” BBC News, April 5, 2006.

3.  Government of South Africa, “Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, 2003,” Government Gazette, January 9, 2004, (accessed August 18, 2008), p. 12.

4.  Simon Robinson, op. cit.

5.  Tom Masland, “A Good Life For a Few; Critics say economic empowerment policies have created a black elite but done little to help the masses,” Newsweek, January 24, 2005.

6.  Max Hastings, “Africa: Thy Name is Death & Disease,” The Daily Mail, August 13, 2002.

7.  Robert Guest, op. cit.

8.  Ibid.

9.  “De Beers to sell 26 percent of SA unit,” BBC News, April 5, 2006 (accessed August 22, 2008).

10.  Government of South Africa, op. cit.

11.  Ibid.

12.  Donwald Pressly, “Pressure builds for BEE enforcement,” Business Report, August 19, 2007 (accessed August 18, 2008).

13.  Department of Trade and Industry, “Financial Sector Charter of Black Economic Empowerment,” February 9, 2007, (accessed August 20, 2008).

14.  Richard Pipes, Property and Freedom: The Story of How Through The Centuries Private Ownership has Promoted Liberty and the Rule of Law, (New York, 2000), p. 267.

15.  “The long journey of a young democracy,” The Economist, March 3, 2007, p. 32-34.

16.  Robert Guest, op. cit.

17.  Dan Roodt, “Affirmative action is ruthless looting,” The Times (South Africa), September 7, 2008.

18.  Department of Trade and Industry, op. cit., p. 14.

19.  Ibid., p. 111.

20.  “Prevention of Illegal Eviction From and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act,” June 5, 1998.

21.  Ibid.

22.  Ibid.

23.  Ibid.

Cops Call Robbers … To Chat

Also retired by the African National Congress was the old South African Police. Instead, the ANC set about reconstructing a politically correct—and representative—force. In the renamed South African Police Service (SAPS) a dwindling number of the old law-enforcement guard labor under a form of racial dhimmitude, with no hope of promotion. The demotic orgy of crime reflects the capabilities of the reconstructed force. As does the unremarkable ordeal of Robert Scheepers, aged fifty-three, and his wife, Dagmar, aged fifty-seven, of Pretoria. By the time the two were attacked for the second time in four days by the same gang of armed robbers, they had resolved not to call the police. Is there any wonder? The couple had called the 911-equivalent emergency number after the first attack, which they survived because a goon’s gun failed to fire. The number was out of order. The police did eventually call back, but not Mr. and Mrs. Scheepers—the intrepid SAPS contacted the robbers on the cell phone which the latter had stolen from the couple. Evidently, the purpose of the call was a congenial chat since this lot of law-enforcement officers was incapable of tracing the call. Buoyed, the robbers returned to the Scheepers’ home for seconds. This time, unable to spell the street address, the 911 dispatcher sent the police to a different location.24 The Scheepers moved out. (The robbers likely moved in.)

Hands up if you knew that, every year, millions in taxpayers’ money are forked out to private security firms to protect the new South Africa’s police stations. “South Africa’s protectors can’t protect themselves.”25

Under the same watchful eye, pylons and poles are routinely flattened, stolen, and then smelted. Indeed, blackouts and blowouts are intricately connected to the breakdown of law and order. “Up to 100 miles of cables may be going missing every year, destined for markets such as China and India where booming economies have created insatiable demand for copper and aluminum,”26 reports Britain’s Daily Telegraph. “The result has been entire suburbs plunged into darkness, thousands of train passengers stranded, and frequent chaos on the roads as traffic lights fail.”27

As The New York Times saw it, “[t]he country’s power company unfathomably ran out of electricity and rationed supply.”28 (My emphasis.) Not quite. I’ve lived through Highveld thunder storms and Cape, South-Easter, gale-force winds. Few and far between were the blackouts. (I purchased a generator in the U.S., after experiencing my first three-day power outage.) No, Eskom, the utility that supplied most of the electricity consumed on the African continent, did not run out of juice. It just ran out of experienced, skilled engineers, expunged pursuant to BEE. “‘No white male appointments for the rest of the financial year,”29 reads an Eskom Human Resources memo, circulated in January of 2008, and uncovered by the Carte Blanche investigative television program. The same supple thinking went into destroying the steady supply of coal to the electricity companies. Bound by BEE policies, whereby supplies must be purchased from black firms first, Eskom began buying coal from the spot market. Buyers were to descend down the BEE procurement pyramid as follows: buy spot coal first from black women-owned suppliers, then from small black suppliers, next were large black suppliers, and only after all these options had been exhausted (or darkness descended; whatever came first), from “other” suppliers. The result was an expensive and unreliable coal supply, which contributed to the pervasive power failures.30

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24.  Cobus Claassen, “Couple attacked 2× in 4 days,” Beeld (South Africa), January 3, 2008.

25.  Carvin Goldstone, “SA’s protectors can’t protect themselves,” The Star, December 20, 2008.

26.  Stephen Bevan, “Power line theft leaves South Africa in dark,” Daily Telegraph, Jun 24, 2007.

27.  Ibid.

28.  Barry Bearak, “Post-Apartheid South Africa Enters Anxious Era,” The New York Times, October 6, 2008.

29.  “Eskom’s darkest hour Date,” Carte Blanche, January 27, 2008, (accessed October 20, 2008).

30.  Andrew Kenny, “Eskom are now desperate,” The Citizen (South Africa), March 25, 2008.

Reverse Apartheid

This declared discrimination on the basis of color has issued from a party that came to power promising to create a non-racial society. Instead, the ruling clique has institutionalized “apartheid in reverse.” “White unemployment has risen by almost 200 percent in five years,”31 notes an Australian television broadcaster. According to Reuters’ Finbarr O’Reilly, it doubled between 1995 and 2005. “Solidarity,” South Africa’s oldest trade union—and the only union left which is founded on Christian, as opposed to socialist, principles—says that the number of white South Africans living below the poverty line is 450,000, namely, ten percent of the country’s total white population. And even these figures are over-optimistic. BEE policies have, in practice, barred a segment of the population from the formal economy for good. The individuals most likely to be affected by the ANC’s determination to make the work force reflect the population’s complexion are the Afrikaners whom the ANC especially disfavors. In the years shortly after 1900, the problem of poor white Afrikaners was endemic. By and large, it resulted from the Afrikaners in question being “forced off the land by the disasters of the [Anglo-Boer] war,”32 and having their homesteads and crops razed by the British. For a long time, successive governments’ pro-Afrikaner policies eradicated the poor white Afrikaner class. Now this class is once again burgeoning. Bethlehem in Pretoria is an example of an informal settlement where Afrikaners, by and large, live in huts without sanitation or electricity.33 Coronation Park, in Krugersdorp west of Johannesburg (where I spent the first year of my life), is another.

When he was quizzed about the pervasive “quota culture,” Essop Prahada, Minister in the Presidency (whatever crony appointment that is), barked: “You cannot have transformation without pain.” At the same time, Prahada has insisted that BEE is not motivated by race but by socio-economic considerations. When asked why poor whites were not eligible for BEE privileges, Prahada blasted the aforementioned Australian reporter: “You are sitting here worrying about whites. Our main concern must be the millions of our people living in poverty.”34 (Again, my emphasis.)

Prahada’s racial solidarity is not misplaced in the democratic South Africa, where redistributive “justice” is a constitutional article of faith. The country’s constitution has a clause devoted to “Limitation of Rights.”35 Apparently, the constitutional scholars who compiled the document saw no need to protect the rights of minorities “that [had] not been victims of past discrimination.”36 The possibility that the fortunes of hitherto un-oppressed minorities might change did not occur to the occupants of the Bench. Neither did this cross the “mind” (my tongue is firmly in my cheek here) of President F. W. de Klerk in the early 1990s. De Klerk turned the screws on his white constituents, failing to fight for—and secure—a power-sharing dispensation, wherein black and white interests would be balanced.37 Instead, he acceded to crude majoritarianism, thereby forfeiting equal treatment for white South Africans within a democratic South Africa.

Was not apartheid a form of affirmative action for the Afrikaans minority? It most certainly was. “Afrikaner nationalists implemented one of the first and most successful affirmative action programs in the form of their ‘civilized labor policy’ of job reservations for white Afrikaners.”38 However, I am here concerned with reality, not race. Res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself). Preferences for Afrikaners targeted a minority of the population. During the apartheid era, moreover, the most skilled workers were invariably Boers or Britons. This was true too in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), RIP. Unfair as apartheid was—and maybe in no small measure because of it—overall, such preferences for a relatively skilled minority did not destroy government and civil society. Conversely, non-merit based quotas for a preponderant segment of society still lacking in commercially useful skills is doing the trick, as the major beneficiaries of BEE form a numerical majority.39 “One-third of all municipal councilors controlling budgets in the billions are illiterate.”40 “[B]arely one percent of black high school students pass higher grade math, and very few opt for tough subjects at university, such as science or engineering,” avers Guest. “Less than two percent of chartered accountants, for example, are black.”

Mathatha Tsedu, the black editor of the Sunday Times, South Africa’s largest-circulation weekly, recently stung his subscribers by writing the following: “It pains me to say this, but my African colleagues who manage large companies or government departments tell me that to get a job done, you usually have to employ a white.”41 Alas, white males, strictly speaking, are not supposed to comprise more than ten percent of the payroll. Consequently, fifty percent of all white males are self-employed, “waging a constant struggle for survival in small businesses run from homes and garages without pension schemes, medical aid or access to capital, which is largely reserved for blacks.”42

With wealth distribution usurping wealth creation, it is no surprise then that, by Newsweek’s telling, the average black household income shrank by nineteen percent between 1995 and 2000.43 According to the Cato Institute’s current estimation, “The number of people living in absolute poverty has doubled since the ANC came to power in 1994.”44 Or since democracy.

Other than to gum up commerce and retard economic growth, the pragmatic upshot of “legislating outcomes”45 for blacks has been to increase exorbitantly the wages of a small pool of highly courted, qualified blacks—a “black managerial aristocracy”46—and to disenfranchise some of the ablest white workers. Or, conversely, to subjugate them. The ANC has contributed to the creation of a unique cognitive caste system. Throughout the work force, explains Roodt, white subordinates with graduate and postgraduate degrees are doing the hard-core intellectual and technical work for their black bosses. The latter often have no more than a tenth-grade diploma but are paid a great deal more than their intellectual skivvies. A black matriculant (possessor of a high-school diploma) is perfectly poised to climb the corporate structure; yet a white, in order to have a ghost of a chance at remaining employed, had better possess the Masters or the Ph.D. degree.47 Given their pallor, promotion for whites is unlikely.

Lost in all this minute-made “justice” are the natural laws of economics. Taking from those who produce wealth to give to those who consume it is bound to decrease wealth production and increase its consumption. Lost too is the idea that wealth needs to be created; that the Good Life is won not through gifts but through graft—education, skills, merit, and hard work over generations.

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31.  YouTube, “Poor Whites - South Africa,” (accessed August 27, 2008).

32.  David Harrison, op. cit., p. 66.

33.  Peter Biles , “South Africa’s hidden white poverty,” BBC News, July 29, 2008.

34.  YouTube, “Poor Whites - South Africa,” (accessed August 27, 2008).

35.  Bill of Rights, “Limitation of Rights,” South African Constitution, (accessed August 18, 2008).

36.  Margaret A. Burnham, “Constitution-Making in South Africa”, Boston Review, December 1997-January 1998.

37.  Hermann Giliomee, The Afrikaners, p. 639.

38.  Kanya Adam, “The Politics of Redress: South African Style Affirmative Action,” The Journal of Modern Africa Studies, 35, 2 (1997), pp. 231-249.

39.  Ibid., p. 233.

40.  Dan Roodt, op. cit.

41.  Mathatha Tsedu, “Why Can’t Africans Measure Up to the Job of Leadership?”, Sunday Times (South Africa), July 13, 2003.

42.  Dan Roodt, op. cit.

43.  Tom Masland, op. cit.

44.  Marian L. Tupy, “Mbeki’s Legacy,” Cato Institute, September 22, 2008, (accessed September 24, 2008).

45.  Kanya Adam, op. cit., p. 245.

46.  Ibid., p. 239.

47.  Dan Roodt, Scourge, p. 110.

Affirmative Action À La America

South African Black Economic Empowerment is extreme all right, but it is also extremely upfront—there is no mystery about its aims. Supported by most black South Africans, BEE is undeniably democratic, as is it constitutional. The popular will is seldom an embodiment of natural justice. In South Africa, neither is the Constitution. South Africa’s Bill of Rights is contemptuous of equality before the law; it enshrines group rights and allows for compensatory and distributive “justice.” The state’s confiscatory powers may be used to redress “past injustices;” “…To promote the achievement of equality, legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination may be taken.”

No such jerry-built justifications can be advanced for affirmative action in America, where it is both undemocratic and unconstitutional (not that this fact imposes any perceptible limits on its scope). As I write, America is caught up in the judicial jiu-jitsu of a Supreme Court confirmation, Elena Kagan’s. President Obama’s pick before Kagan was Sonia Sotomayor, a self-proclaimed “wise Latina” federal appellate Judge. Ballyhooed for her brilliance, Sotomayor, by her own admission, is an “affirmative action baby,” whose test scores were not comparable to those of her Princeton and Yale colleagues.48 As The New York Times divulged, “to get up to speed on her English skills at Princeton, Sotomayor was advised to read children’s classics and study basic grammar books during her summers.”49 This revelation prompted Patrick Buchanan to ask: “How do you graduate first in your class at Princeton if your summer reading consists of Chicken Little and The Troll Under the Bridge?”50 I am sure that Americans, who oppose minority preferences by a margin of eight to one,51 would love to know the answer to this question. (It’s fair to say, though, that the answer, whatever it might be, has precious little connection with anything our Constitution permits.)

Although the federal bureaucratic behemoth acts otherwise, the American Constitution “gave the government no license to set quotas for hiring personnel by private enterprise or admitting students to institutions of higher learning.”52 The affirmative action subterfuge has come about in the teeth of popular opposition and constitutional injunctions against unequal treatment under the law. As such, it is a betrayal of the country’s founding principles.

The institutionalized American quota culture” has been imposed by administrative fiat, courtesy of the “The Power Elite”53—that engorged “administrative state” under which Americans labor.54 For the purposes of conferring affirmative action privileges, American civil servants have compiled over the decades an ever-growing list of protected groups, “as distinct from whites.”55 In addition to blacks, the list entails mainly minorities such as Hispanics—Chileans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, and Mexicans—Pacific Islanders, American Indians, Asian/Indians, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Cambodians (and homosexuals).56 It goes without saying that “those who came to this country in recent decades from Asia, Latin America and Africa” did not suffer discrimination from our government, and in fact have frequently been the beneficiaries of special government programs,” averred Senator Jim Webb[*] in a recent Wall Street Journal article. “The same cannot be said of many hard-working white Americans, including those whose roots in America go back more than 200 years.”57 Ostensibly crafted to correct “the injustices endured by black Americans at the hands of their own government … not only during the period of slavery but also in the Jim Crow era that followed,” affirmative action has taken a very different turn, starting in 1965, “when new immigration laws dramatically altered the demographic makeup of the U.S.”58 In short, the policies of racial redress were extended to all “people of color,” and shifted “from remediation toward discrimination, this time against whites.”59

First to forewarn about the “immigration-with-preference paradox”60 was Frederick R. Lynch, author of Invisible Victims: White Males and the Crisis of Affirmative Action (1991). The perspicacious sociologist noted that once mass immigration became a bipartisan policy, millions of imported non-black minorities were—and still are—given preference over native-born American citizens.”61 No sooner do these minorities cross the border, legally or illegally, than they became eligible for affirmative action privileges.

The present ideology on immigration considers all whites, rich or poor, a privileged, “fungible monolith.” This outlook brooks little or no consideration of lives lived in penury for over a century. In particular: it overlooks the descendants of poor white Southern sharecroppers who did not own slaves, but were devastated by the War Between the States both “in human and economic terms.” Even now, this sizeable segment of the South has yet to recover; its attainments with respect to education and income mirror those of the region’s African-Americans, with one distinction: poor whites are barred from affirmative action programs. Much is known about the groups that inherit the earth; much less about the disinherited.

At least today we have the benefit of a study that explains, with lots of statistics, the manner in which set-in stone racial set-asides operate to the detriment of poor whites in U.S. academia. According to Princeton sociologists Thomas Espenshade and Alexandria Radford, as reported on in a 2010 column by Patrick Buchanan: When “[e]lite college admissions officers prattle about ‘diversity,’ what they mean is the African-American contingent on campus should be five to seven percent, with Hispanics about as numerous.” Naturally, “Forty to fifty percent of those categorized as black are Afro-Caribbean or African immigrants, or the children of such immigrants.”62 Wealthy white kids can still do satisfactorily, even if they border on cretinism, as with Meghan McCain or Barbara Bush. Poor whites, on the other hand, come to a great deal of diversity-driven grief. “At America’s elite schools” a tacit admissions rule exists among Ivy-League recruiters to advance the advantaged. “Lower-class whites prove to be all-around losers, at these schools. They are rarely accepted. Lower-class Hispanics and blacks are eight to ten times more likely to get in with the same scores.” In essence: “poor whites need not apply.”63

In the U.S., the minority is targeted for affirmative action; in South Africa it is the majority. Granted, there’s a world of difference between compelling minority recruitment to equal the proportion of minorities in the population, and enforcing majority recruitment to equal the proportion of the majority in the population (seventy-five percent in the case of South Africa). Nevertheless, South Africa’s hollowed-out establishments are a harbinger of things to come in the U.S. If American institutions have not yet collapsed under the diversity doxology’s dead weight it is because the restructuring of society underway is slower, and the complexion of the population much different. To wit, South Africa underwent an almost overnight political transformation. One day a white, relatively well-educated minority dominated all institutions; the next a skills-deficient black majority took over. In the U.S., where the native Anglo-Protestant community and its values still prevail, the shift has been gradual.

Alas, this, as I have repeatedly stressed, mass immigration is rapidly changing.The “immigration-with-preference paradox,” moreover, has also ensured a constant downward pressure on the meritocratic nature of American institutions. In State of Emergency (2006), Patrick J. Buchanan prognosticates that “our two largest minorities, African-American and Hispanics, which now number together seventy-nine million or twenty-seven percent of the population, are leaving school with achievement levels three, four, and five grades behind white and Asian students. [A]s their combined share of the U.S. population…rises toward 40 percent in 2050, they will use their political clout to demand equality of results: racial and ethnic quotas and affirmative action in all profession.”64

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[*]  Previously Navy Secretary under President Reagan, and former Vietnam veteran courageous beyond even the call of U.S. Marine duty (he won the Navy Cross, the Silver Star and two Bronze Stars), Senator Webb and I once corresponded briefly. Before he became a Senator, Citizen Webb, like this writer, was a member of a beleaguered minority that had incurred the wrath of the Republican Visigoths for opposing Genghis Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003.

48.  Sonia Sotomayor, “I am a product of affirmative action,” YouTube, early 1990s (accessed July 13, 2009),

49.  Patrick J. Buchanan, “Miss Affirmative Action, 2009,”, June 12, 2009, (accessed July 13, 2009).

50.  Ibid.

51.  Richard Pipes, op. cit., p. 268.

52.  Ibid.

53.  Frederick R. Lynch, Invisible Victims: White Males and the Crisis of Affirmative Action, (Westport, Connecticut, 1991), p. 141.

54.  Ibid., p. 178.

55.  Ibid., p. 150.

56.  Ibid., p. 148.

57.  James Webb, “Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege,” The Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2010.

58.  Ibid.

59.  Ibid.

60.  Frederick R. Lynch, op. cit., p. 148.

61.  Ibid., p. 148.

62.  Patrick J. Buchanan, “Bias and Bigotry in Academia,” WorldNetDaily, July 19, 2010.

63.  Ibid.

64.  Patrick J. Buchanan, State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and the Conquest of America, (New York, 2006), p. 42.

What Would Martin Luther King Jr. Say?

Thomas Jefferson worried whether it was “desirable for us to receive at present the dissolute and demoralized handicraftsmen of the old cities of Europe.”65 Jefferson feared that immigrants under “the maxims of absolute monarchies”—and he was not talking about the monarchies of Buganda or Ethiopia—may not acclimatize to “the freest principles of the English constitution.”66 What would he say about inassimilable arrivals, welcomed into a self-loathing culture that dismisses the nation’s founders and distorts its founding principles? These days, Jefferson, the Founding Father who most clearly affirmed the natural right of “all men” to be secure in their enjoyment of their “life, liberty and possessions,” is mentioned mainly in the context of slavery and miscegenation.

Today, the Obama White House would be at odds with no less a Democratic luminary than President John F. Kennedy for holding, in 1962, a “dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners of the Western Hemisphere.”Still less would President Kennedy’s witty introduction have met with President Obama’s approval. JFK said:

I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.67

Indeed, “What Would Jefferson Say?” is hardly an abiding concern for the custodians of cultural consensus in America. “What Would Martin Luther King Jr. Say?”: now that’s an entirely different question. What King—the nation’s reigning philosopher-king—would say certainly matters. The historical elevation of the democratic socialist Martin Luther King Jr. above the Founding Fathers is significant, since Jefferson’s libertarianism is inimical to King’s egalitarianism—never the twain shall meet. The attempts by many a modern conservative to conflate the messages of the two solitudes don’t pass muster. That King advocated a color-blind society is a pipe-dream exploded by historian Thomas E. Woods Jr. “Contrary to the sentiments he expressed in his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, King favored racial quotas. In fact, he called for massive government spending [on blacks] to make up for centuries of discrimination against them—‘a broad-based and gigantic Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged.’ Late in his life he grew more radical, calling for a socialist system in America.”68

Affirmative action in lending is just the kind of program King would have commended. If jobs could be handed over to less qualified minorities,69 why not mortgages also? Legislating away the risks of mortgage lending, and mandating that credit be extended to those who are not creditworthy, minorities overwhelmingly: now this is probably what King was getting at when he spoke of exacting payment “for centuries of discrimination.”

The subprime mortgage morass that has gripped the country was precipitated, by and large, by successive administrations, egged on by ethnic interests,70 who took the fact that “blacks were less likely to receive loans than whites”71 as incontrovertible evidence of racial prejudice, and demanded “remedial” legislation. In view of this crisis, my original optimism that American institutions had a distance to go before buckling under the weight of affirmative admits might have been overly optimistic. That the lion’s share of foreclosures is concentrated in California and Florida, followed by Texas, Georgia, and Michigan, is certainly demographically telling.72 The rest of the country is paying its bills—and the bills of the defaulters—in the form of billions in bailouts.

Was there really a need to cripple the country even further in this winter of our discontent in order to remedy alleged root-and-branch racism in the lending industry? Not according to Woods: “[A]lthough whites are approved for mortgages more often than blacks, Asians are approved more often than whites.”73 “Are we to conclude that systematic pro-Asian, anti-white bias” pervades American society? Hardly. “When net worth and other qualifying factors are figured into the equation, the lending disparity all but disappears.”74 This is more than can be said of the laws that have encouraged home ownership for those who could ill afford it and credit for those who were not creditworthy.

You had the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) colluding with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide taxpayer-subsidized home loans to illegal immigrants, no questions asked. You had the 1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the 1975 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, and the U.S. Fair Housing Act—all arrows in the quiver of the federal government and the Department of Justice, aimed at forcing banks to throw good money after bad by lending it to those with low credit ranking. “Deserving families who have bad credit histories” is how George W. Bush characterized funneling hundreds of millions of dollars per year in down payments for affirmative buyers under his American Dream Downpayment Act of 2003.75 President Obama surely cheered his predecessor when this latter approved the “‘zero-down-payment initiative,’ which was much as it sounds—a government-sponsored program that allowed people to get mortgages without a down payment. More exotic mortgages followed, including ones with no monthly payments for the first two years. Other mortgages required no documentation other than the say-so of the borrower.”76

Founded as it was on quicksand, Bush’s “ownership society” subsequently metamorphosed into the bailout society. It’s a bacchanalia that Barack is continuing, as he works to appease and empower multiplying voting blocks and their energetic advocates, and, in the process, construct the World’s biggest debtor nation.

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65.  Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, Q.VIII, 1782. ME 2:118.

66.  Ibid.

67.  John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, White House Diary, “Dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners of the Western Hemisphere,” April 29, 1962.

68.  Thomas E. Woods Jr., 33 Questions about American History You’re Not Supposed to Ask, (New York, 2007), p. 15.

69.  Ann Coulter, “They Gave Your Mortgage To A Less Qualified Minority,”, September 24, 2008.

70.  Steve Sailer, “Karl Rove—Architect Of The Minority Mortgage Meltdown,”, September 28, 2008.

71.  Thomas E. Woods Jr., op. cit., p. 150.

72.  CNN, “US Foreclosures By State,” February 18, 2009.

73.  Thomas E. Woods Jr., op. cit., p. 144.

74.  Ibid., p. 150.

75.  “President Bush Signs American Dream Downpayment Act of 2003,” December 2003, (accessed Jan 25, 2009).

76.  Zachary Karabell, “End of the ‘Ownership Society,” Newsweek, October 20, 2008.

Thou Shalt Not Discern

Proficiency tests discriminate between the better and the lesser applicant. They are a reminder that individuals—and groups—differ in their abilities to accrue wealth. To cultivate amnesia about individual and group differences, tests have been downplayed or discarded.

Consider: Some people are richer than others. (For example, Chinese and Japanese American males have higher incomes than white American males.77) Others don’t like it. That’s envy, not inequality. The quest to reduce these differences, or to soak the rich, is a good indicator of the state of liberty, or lack thereof, in a society. Ditto the length to which a government will go to pacify the multitudes by mulcting the few, or to placate the envious by taking from those they envy. Substitute wealth with another individual difference: beauty. Is it fair that some are fairer than others? Should government, perhaps, compel supermodel Heidi Klum to subsidize plastic surgery for the congenitally ugly? And why, pray tell, is difference, rather than “inequality,” deployed to describe the “unfair” beauty advantage?78 Just as the ugly are not ugly because the comely have robbed them of looks, the same is true for the poor; they are not poor because the rich have deprived them of wealth. Be they in athletic ability or acquisitiveness or attractiveness—differences are differences, not inequalities.

When one is taught to reject the harsh reality of inequality—of not having everything one covets—then the demand for “social justice” becomes a demand for redistribution and revenge. This the rulers achieve by making the more “fortunate” fork over their fortunes to the less fortunate. Be it possessions or pulchritude, there is a sense that someone ought to pay for the pain of being without. Ultimately, egalitarianism is inimical to liberty, we must learn to live with and accept enduring and “important differences between individuals and groups.”79

Whatever the cause of the differences yielded by a standardized test that is both statistically valid and reliable; reason dictates that someone with a higher score has more of the thing the test measures than the man with the lower score. Because, overall, blacks and Hispanics score lower on various proficiency tests, these are often considered, post hoc, discriminatory. A test will be discarded if it does what it’s supposed to do particularly well—screen out less able candidates—and if more of those candidates are black than white. Take the Prudential insurance company. It used to administer to job applicants a ninth-grade reading test. Because blacks were less likely than whites to pass this onerous test, the courts ruled that Prudential may not require its applicants to pass it.80 The case, naturally, set a precedent for posterity.

Across the American workplace, the importance of “meritocratic criteria” such as test scores or “minimum credentials” has been downplayed, if not downright eliminated as “inherently biased against minorities.”81 In 2003, Frank Ricci, a firefighter from New Haven, Connecticut, was denied a promotion because he bested all the blacks in the department on a test seventy seven other candidates took. The test determined that Ricci was more suited than his less-qualified colleagues to fighting fires and dousing departmental flames. City officials didn’t like the results, so they voided the test, and put the promotion on hold until a less sensitive test could be developed—one that better screened-out proficiency and ability. In government, such confidence-inspiring measures as dropping entrance exams have been taken too. The U.S. government hasn’t had an entrance test since 1982. It abandoned both the Federal Civil Service Entrance Examination and the Professional and Administrative Career Examination (PACE) because blacks and Latinos were much less likely to pass either of them.82 In academia, law schools have lowered the bar in admissions and on the bar exam. Universities run a “dual admissions system”; “one admissions pool for white applicants and another, far less competitive, pool for minorities.”83

When given the opportunity to exercise their democratic will, the American people have passed popular proposition ballots banning state governments from any race or gender consideration in hiring, contracting or educational policies. All the same, the decades-old race racket just went underground. Byzantine college bureaucracies, teeming with scheming academics, have simply used subterfuge to thwart the popular will. The sclerotic, California university system is one such example.

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77.  Thomas Sowell, Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study, (New Haven & London, 2004), p. 175.

78.  P.T. Bauer, Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion, (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1981), p. 11.

79.  Richard A. Epstein, Forbidden Grounds: The Case Against Employment Discrimination Laws, (Cambridge, Massachusetts & London, England, 1995), p. 503.

80.  Frederick R. Lynch, op. cit., p 12.

81.  Ibid., p. xiv.

82.  Ibid., p. 29.

83.  Ibid., p. 12.

84.  Ilana Mercer, “UCLA Bureaucrats Subvert Anti-Quota Law. But Where Is GOP?”,, September 18, 2008.

The UCLA Race Racket

Ask Senator John McCain to free-associate and in response to “illegal aliens” he’ll blurt “God’s children,” and vice versa. This apparently irresistible combination surfaced again in his 2008 convention address: “Everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential,” McCain bleated. “[F]rom the boy whose descendents [sic] arrived on the Mayflower to the [likely illegal] Latina daughter of migrant workers. We’re all God’s children and we’re all Americans.”84

God, no doubt, moves in mysterious ways. But McCain needs to be reminded that the boy whose forefathers settled the country he professes to love has not been in the good graces of government for quite some time. The Latina daughter of illegal migrants is another matter entirely. She’s benefiting big-time—at least at a top government school like the University of California, Los Angeles.

Before Californians passed Proposition 209, in 1996, it was standard practice at the University of California campuses in Los Angeles to admit minorities with low scores, while denying admission to whites and Asians with top grades and test scores. “Prop. 209” was meant to ensure that race would no longer be a deciding factor in who gets into top government schools. It was introduced by Ward Connerly, president of the American Civil Rights Institute. Connerly is the force behind the drive to rid America of the invidious “race preferences, set-asides, and quotas,” and also the man who has placed the issue on the ballot in states such as Nebraska, Arizona, and Colorado. The libertarian Connerly’s stated aim is to restore the primacy of individual merit to American institutions. Or, as he told an unsympathetic correspondent for the public broadcaster: “to do what’s best for the country.” Alas, never underestimate the tenacity of diversity devotees. The preachers and practitioners of “benevolent” discrimination were not about to relinquish the color-coded preference system they had worked so hard to institutionalize.

Undaunted, Californian university administrators proceeded to fashion an admissions process that utilized “stealthy surrogates for race.” As Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald has documented in detail, “Tutors in the university’s outreach programs [teach] students to emphasize their social and economic disadvantages in their application essay.”85 Minority applicants have become adept at belaboring the pigment burden in the essay section of the admissions process.86 Evidently, administrators are equally good at picking up cues that help them color-pick candidates.

“For several decades,” chronicles Mac Donald in Elites to Anti-Affirmative-Action Voters: Drop Dead, “the university had divided its applicants into two categories: it admitted one half only by objective tests of academic merit, such as standardized test scores and honors classes; it evaluated the other half subjectively, weighing such factors as race, economic status, or leadership. From this tier, where racial preferences had free rein, the vast majority of blacks and Hispanics were drawn.” Consequently, “[t]he median SAT score of blacks and Hispanics in Berkeley’s liberal arts programs was 250 points lower (on a 1,600-point scale) than that of whites and Asians.”87 Due to the high dropout rate of affirmative-action beneficiaries—and to prevent further attrition—UCLA had also created a bunch of BS majors. Examples are Critical Race Theory and Black Studies.

After “Prop. 209” passed, the number of “underrepresented minorities” accepted at UCLA dropped by half. Consequently, energetic ethnic advocates framed the piecemeal retreat from affirmative action as a grave injustice. To increase artificially the Lilliputian number of minorities, admission standards were thus lowered for all students. For example, the importance of LSAT scores was diminished in the admission to UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law. Similarly, students graduating with top marks from failing schools that award As purely for showing up were considered just as eligible as—if not more so than—students graduating with honors from highly competitive secondary schools. In an attempt to net yet more minorities, “all students in the top four percent of their high school class, regardless of their standardized test scores,”88 were accepted.

But UC Berkeley was not quick enough to adopt bush-college standards. The measures taken by California university campuses failed to yield the critical mass of minorities for which ethnic lobbies were clamoring. So the university, “incredibly,” began ignoring altogether “its applicants’ objective academic rankings,” and considering a “holistic” method of assessment. Academic scores are currently “contextualized.” To wit, an applicant with a lower SAT score who mentions having taken a bullet or quit a gang will be given preference over a high-scoring applicant burdened by a two-parent family.

The accommodation of elites to racial preferences has been studied extensively by Lynch, who found that when polled, corporate, political and academic elites mostly foreswear quotas and affirmative action, but seldom resist their implementation. Lynch explains this paradox in terms of the need to ward off “legal action by government agencies or lawsuits by members of minority groups.”89 But developing the ability to ward off the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton also confers a powerful evolutionary advantage.

Republicans, the consummate drag queens of politics (no offense to drag queens), are no different. These days McCain, a Johnny-come-lately to conservatism, disavows affirmative action—sort of. But in 1998 he supported it. And in 2003, the Bush administration filed a brief challenging racial preference in student admissions at the University of Michigan. The university was awarding candidates twenty points out of 150 for having the right complexion (non-white) and only twelve points for the right cerebral cortex (a perfect SAT score).

Bush’s was a most unusual brief because, as it transpired, the administration’s challenge was a cover for the kind of racket run at UCLA. Race, the administration’s Solicitor-General Theodore Olson conceded, could be a factor in admissions under certain conditions. Racial cue cards in the form of “a statement people can make about whether they’ve overcome hardship” were quite kosher.

Barack Obama’s honest support for affirmative action may be more irksome. But is there really a dime’s worth of difference between the parties?

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85.  Heather Mac Donald, “Elites to Anti-Affirmative-Action Voters: Drop Dead,” City Journal, Winter 2007.

86.  Timothy Groseclose, “Report on Suspected Malfeasance in UCLA Admissions and the Accompanying Follow Up,”, August 28, 2008.

87.  Heather Mac Donald, op. cit.

88.  Ibid.

89.  Frederick R. Lynch, op. cit., p. 144.

To Hell with Honky

Optimists (or ignoramuses) like to point out that while the government, most American undergraduate institutions, as well as law schools and medical schools have somehow stumbled into the practice of affirmative action, any public institution so doing exposes itself to Fourteenth Amendment due process and equal protection claims. But such claims just won’t fly. “White males,” contends Lynch, “very rarely win in reverse discrimination lawsuits; the [landmark] Bakke and Johnson cases have been exceptions, not the rule … elites and their institutions clearly have the upper hand.”90 The “spiral of silence”—spurred by the belief, uncontested by the media, that affirmative action is widely supported by the public—has been compounded by the fact that with few exceptions, jurists, journalists, politicians, pundits and social scientists have ignored the impact of these systemic practices on white men, treating it as a look-away issue.

The media monolith rarely covers quotas except to mock the men who complain about them. In seeking redress in the courts against the “Jim Crow liberals of New Haven” who punished him for excelling, the aforementioned Frank Ricci had done the unthinkable. He had not petitioned for special favors but against them. Yet petition he had. For asking that the city accept inequality of outcomes, the dyslexic Ricci, who came sixth among seventy seven test takers, was libeled by liberals. Having embraced the role of the state as socialist leveler, some libertarians even called Ricci a sore loser for wanting to win. After all, did the city not toss out the test results for winners and losers; white and black alike?91 “Elites are … aware that the odds for legal action by individual white males are small and that the chances of white males winning a reverse discrimination lawsuit are even smaller.”92 They know that, rather than confront the system, Anglo-American males, like their South African counterparts, are inclined to “suck it up” and go gentle into that good night. This, and the clandestine, top-down nature of the policy, accounts for why business has forged ahead with affirmative action programs. Across the U.S., job fairs are held from which whites are excluded.93 Hollywood studios, major newspapers and automakers provide special slots for non-white workers.94 The Mead Corporation, Xerox, and Corning all calculate executive bonuses partly on the basis of how many non-whites have been hired or promoted.95 “In its own executive searches Kentucky Fried Chicken keeps separate lists of white and black candidates and then hires from each list.”96 Care is taken not to pit blacks against whites, sparing them the competition.

It is no surprise, then, that race-based affirmative action à la South Africa has avid backers among American elites, who see nothing wrong with the fact that many Africans are being propelled into key positions by fiat, not talent. “South Africa,” puled Time magazine, “depends on a successful handover [emphasis added]. If it fails, the country will remain one of the most unequal in the world, and economic growth is likely to stagnate as crime and poverty grow.”97 This is a non sequitur, as it assumes causes not in evidence, namely, that continued white dominance of the economy will also undermine it. (Zimbabwe is a test case for that assumption, now, isn’t it?!) The assumptions that Time makes are economically and morally inverse and perverse, and certainly empirically so. The only empirical certainty of a “handover” is the creation of vast bureaucracies for monitoring and enforcement in government, educational institutions and business.98 Writes George Bornstein:

Thomas Sowell studied the effects of affirmative action programs under a variety of names in almost twenty countries, including the oldest modern ones in India, as well as in China, Britain, Nigeria, Indonesia, Israel, Canada, Pakistan and the former Soviet Union and its successor states. After initial success, such programs tend to stall. New opportunities harden into permanent entitlements. Sowell did not find a single affirmative action program that ever disappeared because it had succeeded.99

The American founders, the followers of John Locke, understood that if individuals were to flourish, life, liberty and property would have to be protected. Wealth redounds to all members of society, irrespective of color or creed, when all are free to produce and trade safely and fearlessly. Individual differences in the capacity to accrue wealth are not the source of South Africa or America’s undoing, but the coercive efforts to eradicate these differences will be.

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90.  Frederick R. Lynch, p. 146.

91.  Justin Raimondo, “Nationalists Without a Nation,” Taki’s Magazine, May 28, 2009.

92.  Frederick R. Lynch, op. cit, p. 147.

93.  Thomas E. Woods Jr., op. cit., p. 146.

94.  Ibid.

95.  Ibid.

96.  Ibid.

97.  Simon Robinson, op. cit.

98.  George Bornstein, “A New Tyranny?”, The Times Literary Supplement, January 16, 2009.

99.  Ibid.

Civil Wrongs

In a free society—one not silhouetted by the State—honored is the right of the individual to associate and disassociate, invest and disinvest, speak and misspeak at will. Contrary to the civil servant, the private person’s “refusal to deal”100 ought to be sacrosanct. I therefore second Richard Epstein, of Forbidden Grounds: The Case Against Employment Discrimination Laws fame, that, “Voluntary affirmative action is perfectly acceptable by private firms, but far more problematic when undertaken by government.” As do I concur with Epstein’s cleverly and closely argued case against the federal Frankenstein’s “unconstitutional interference” with intrastate businesses under, first, the guise of regulating interstate commerce, and then, cloaked as “an employment discrimination statute such as Title VII.”101 Where we depart from Epstein, an impassioned and ingenious opponent of antidiscrimination laws, is in his concession that federal power extends to enforcing the Fourteenth Amendment’s injunction against discrimination in the states. The Bill of Rights, very plainly, did not grant the federal government any powers. Prior to the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, the federal government had no authority to enforce the Bill of Rights in the states. The Fourteenth reversed this preordained scheme by placing the power to enforce the Bill of Rights in federal hands, where it was never meant to be. As Felix Morley observed in Freedom and Federalism, the Fourteenth nullified “the original purpose of the Bill of Rights, by vesting its enforcement in the national rather than in the state governments,”102 with the result that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments were sundered.

In the encroaching American State, the right of free association has been circumscribed by crippling codes of hiring, firing, renting, and money lending. The culprit is the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the “most radical law affecting civil rights ever passed by any nation.”103 Through it, incontinent legislators have marked their territory by invading ours. There can be no doubt that civil rights laws coerce individuals, often against their better judgment, into involuntary associations, as is it indisputable that under antidiscrimination law private property owners have lost a great deal of control over what is rightfully—and naturally—theirs. Yet conservatives, no less, reach for the smelling salts each time an attempt is made to explore the effects on liberty of this overarching and overreaching bit of legislation.104

“Far and away the most egregious form of government interference with the contractual rights of private persons and organizations is carried out in the name of affirmative action—the laws and regulations enacted since 1964 under the capacious category of ‘civil rights,’” observers Richard Pipes in Property and Freedom: The Story of How Through The Centuries Private Ownership has Promoted Liberty and the Rule of Law. “Initially conceived as a means of enforcing principles of nondiscrimination in regard to black citizens mandated by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, [affirmative action] was soon extended to other groups … and ultimately turned into a vehicle for reverse discrimination against whites and males.”105

The test for discrimination in the U.S. is underrepresentation. If an employer has failed to recruit minorities in proportion to their numbers in the vicinity, then he can be found legally liable for discrimination. His intent is considered irrelevant: intent be damned. Yet defenders of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 insist that all the Act did was to “mandate equal treatment of individuals.”106

Not quite. Here’s an excerpt from Title VII:

Nothing contained in this title shall be interpreted to require any employer … to grant preferential treatment to any individual or any group because of the race, color, religion, sex or national origin of such individual or group on account on an imbalance which may exist with respect to the total number or percentage of persons of any race, color, religion, sex or national origin employed by an employer.107

Nothing in the act requires racial and ethnic quotas, but then, nudge-nudge, wink-wink, nothing prohibits it, does it? As Pipes concedes, the Act, “and several executive orders” signed by President Johnson,” provided the “legislative basis for affirmative action.”108 First came Title VI, which severely curtailed the contractual freedoms of individuals and enterprises in all institutions receiving federal financial assistance. Title VII followed with restrictions on the freedom of association of “trade unions, employment agencies, and all enterprises with more than fifteen employees engaged in interstate commerce or doing business with the federal government, among others.”109

Above all, civil rights laws have been enforced strictly in favor of protected classes, in a manner that flouts equal treatment before the law.110 The claim that this was not their original design is unconvincing. For if, as a condition of letting you live unmolested, an all-knowing central planner retains a lien on your life and on what you acquire in the course of sustaining that life—you own diddly-squat. Can there be any doubt that civil rights law and other loot-and-distribute legislation render ownership symbolic, subject to the whims and “wisdom” of the sovereign of the day?

In addition to curtailing freedom of association and private property rights, as well as messing with the concept of merit, Title VII facilitated a segue from equality under the law to equality of outcomes for protected species; “from individualistic ideals to the collectivist philosophy of proportional representation.”111 This is in line with a regrettable shift over “the past two centuries,” from “equality before the law, through equality of opportunity, to equality of result.”112

Inherent in private property is the right to include or exclude. If a private school wishes to privilege African-American albinos, that’s the prerogative of private property. Similarly, white people ought to be able to exclude blacks; and blacks, whites. Wait a second; blacks are permitted to oust whites from their associations. Blacks-only clubs are viewed as objects of ethnic pride; whites-only cliques are said to signify Nazism on the rise.

In this context, meditating on the meaning of rights might be appropriate. Sometimes the law of the state coincides with the natural law. More often than not, natural justice has been buried under the rubble of legislation and statute. This is the case with antidiscrimination law: “[T]he observation that every private person is entitled to deal with whomever he wants on whatever terms he sees fit” is perfectly consistent with a commitment to equality under the law.113 This is because “the universal liberty to own and contract” with whomever one pleases is a natural right which antedates the state. The right to be employed, housed, educated, and loaned money to—these are ersatz rights manufactured by the state.So why exactly is the right “to own and contract” (property and freedom of association) a universal liberty, but not the right to avail oneself of another’s business, rental apartment and school? Simply this: the former imposes no obligations on other free individuals; the latter enslaves some in the service of others.

In an attempt to shape society in politically pleasing ways, private property owners have been coerced into liking, hiring or renting against their will. Denunciations aside, quotas are a perfectly logical, if diabolical, extension of the regulation of private property courtesy of the Civil Rights Act. This was certainly not what James Madison meant when he wrote in the Federalist Papers—the key to the Constitution—that the first object of government was the protection of the “diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate.”114 The Father of the Constitution also warned of the dangers to the nation of factions that would institute “… an equal division of property, or … any other improper wicked project.”115 Never did Madison imagine that government would emerge as the primary faction propelling such usurpations.

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100.  Richard A. Epstein, op. cit, p. 16.

101.  Ibid., p. 137.

102.  Felix Morley, Freedom and Federalism, (Indianapolis, 1981), p. 86.

103.  Richard Pipes, op. cit., p. 267.

104.  Ronald Bailey, “Grande Conservative Blogress Diva Ann Althouse Among the True Believers—What Really Happened?”, Reason, December 29, 2006.

105.  Richard Pipes, op. cit., p. 266.

106.  Thomas Sowell, op. cit., p. 115.

107.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, “Unlawful Employment Practices,” SEC. 2000e-2. [Section 703], (j).

108.  Richard Pipes, op. cit., p. 267.

109.  Ibid.

110.  Richard A. Epstein, op. cit., p. xiii.

111.  Ibid., xiv.

112.  P.T. Bauer, op. cit., p. 11.

113.  Ibid., p. 133.

114.  James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 10, p. 46.

115.  Ibid., p. 52.

Toward a Merit-Based Society

What South Africa has become today, America is on the verge of becoming, unless it returns to the principles from which its greatness sprang. Sadly, it is already too late for South Africa. Americans, however, must once again embrace a merit-based individualism. Enforced by legal fiat, preferential treatment that pays tribute to a type, not to the individual, flouts justice in every respect, and is profoundly un-American.

As we have established, in the U.S., the government already presides over an elaborate system of reverse-racism laws. Being black guarantees special privileges. The coolness of being black and the considerable leverage the identity affords those who cultivate it is why celebrities like Obama, Halle Berry, and Alicia Keys have chosen to identify with the fathers who abandoned them over the (devoted, liberal, white) mothers who reared them. Berry, Keys, and Obama have embraced this politicized racial identity. To do so is smart, because in America, black is indeed beautiful. Yet in an America that has placed Obama in the Oval Office, the prevalence of alleged deep-seated racism is still inferred, post haste and post hoc, from the fact that African-Americans lag behind Anglo-Americans in academic achievements and socio-economic status.

In a court of law, statistical data is taken as both proxy for and proof of discrimination. Creedal multiculturalism simply doesn’t admit of the possibility that aptitudes and abilities may vary by culture or ethnicity, as well as from one individual to another.116 According to this view—pervasive in bureaucracy-stiffened business and government agencies and in teaching institutions—racial and ethnic groups must be reflected in academia and in the professions in proportion to their presence in the larger population, if justice is to be achieved. (Although the NBA or the 100-meter dash will not be forced to better reflect America.) The absence of such perfect representation is blamed on endemic white racism. But in professions and academic pursuits where mathematical precocity is a factor, white Americans trail Asian-Americans. And white Gentiles lag behind Ashkenazi Jews. By logical extension, these realities must imply a systemic bias against whites in the U.S., which is nonsense on stilts.

Malaysian governments certainly adopted this illogic toward their Chinese population, whose starting status as indentured laborers didn’t stop it from rising to dominate business, the academy, and the professions. To achieve “racial balance,” pro-Malay affirmative action laws were mandated in all government-controlled institutions. This is the same logic to which Hitler had awoken. In proportion to their numbers, Jews were grossly over represented in Germany’s economic, professional, and cultural life, a reality Hitler sought to amend. He used the state apparatus to find a “Final Solution” to the Jewish advantage. Indeed, be they apartheid, affirmative-action, or the “Final Solution,” policies of racial discrimination have generally issued from the state. It’s hardly hyperbolic to say that Hitler’s “Final Solution” was a reductio ad inferno of affirmative action for Aryans. Not for nothing were the Chinese of Malaysia and Southeast Asia referred to by King Rama VI of Thailand (reigned 1910-1925) as “The Jews of the East.”117 The pogroms waged against them, and the persecution of the over-achieving Indians of East Africa—these were condoned, if not facilitated, by respective governments.

But here’s the paradox of state-mandated racial preferences; individuals will do business with people they dislike, even circumvent the law, if such circumvention turns out to be lucrative. Thus, despite the Malay disdain for the Chinese, Malaysians are more likely to patronize Chinese professionals and businesses. Malay-owned-and-run banks make more loans to the more creditworthy Chinese, Indians and owners of foreign enterprises.118 Ditto black-owned banks in the U.S. Since they are “under less pressure than white-owned banks to consider race and ethnicity,” explains Steven Farron in the Journal of Libertarian Studies, they “direct a considerably smaller proportion of their investment to black neighborhoods, black-owned business and black individuals than do white-owned banks.”119

Despite the incinerating antipathy toward Jews in Nazi Germany—antipathy far in excess of the alleged racism African-Americans complain of nowadays—Jews remained active in the German economy until the state shipped them off to the ghettos and the death camps. Writes Farron: “Even though collective German public opinion regarded Jewish overrepresentation in the professions as a serious problem, the aggregate German individual preferred employing Jewish lawyers and doctors despite the impediments placed in their way. After her suicide attempt, Eva Braun, the Führer’s mistress, was treated by a Jewish doctor.”120 Wallach’s famous drapes adorned both the Göring and Hitler abodes. And Nazi party members purchased goods overwhelmingly at Jewish stores.

In Apartheid South Africa, white industrialists—miners especially—“put continual pressure on the South African government to allow them to use more black labor.”121 Afrikaner farmers also chose overwhelmingly to ignore racial job quotas, despite their own racist predilections, and also despite high unemployment among rural Afrikaners. Well before the official dismantling of apartheid laws (carried out, incidentally, by the white minority government), the agricultural sector, skilled and managerial jobs included, came to be dominated by blacks. As was the semi-skilled labor market—clothing, furniture, millinery, sheet metal, construction, mining, baking. Clearly, whites, acting as individuals, chose to subordinate ethnic advancement to optimize their livelihood.

Free market economists (the only kind worth consulting) have long since insisted that the rational, self-interest of individuals in private enterprise is always not to discriminate. “The market is color-blind,” said Milton Friedman. “No one who goes to the market to buy bread knows or cares whether the wheat was grown by a Jew, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim or atheist; by whites or blacks.”122 As Thomas Sowell put it so well, “prejudice is free, but discrimination has costs.”123 And as expounded by Professor Farron:

[P]eople demand that their governments restrict the economic and occupational success of specific ethnic or racial groups. However, when the same people act as individuals or business owners, they actively resist and/or circumvent these restrictions. The reason is a fundamental economic principle … If an individual or business, while engaging in economic activity—hiring, money lending—considers any non-economic factors, the person or business will suffer economically… When individuals buy products or services, few practice discrimination, no matter how desirable they think it is and no matter how eagerly they want their government to enforce it.124

Arguably, however, the good economists, while certainly not wholesale liars as are their Keynesian counterparts, are still offering up a half-truth. Rational self-interest does indeed propel people, however prejudiced, to set aside bias and put their scarce resources to the best use. But to state simply that “discrimination is bad for business”125 is to present an incomplete picture. This solecism stems from the taint the word “discriminate” has acquired. The market, by which we mean the trillions of capitalist acts between consenting adults, is discriminating as in discerning—it is biased toward productivity. Hiring people on the basis of criteria other than productivity hurts the proprietor’s pocket. Thus, we can be fairly certain that, absent affirmative-action laws, the market would reflect a bias toward productivity. In other words, what the good economists are loath to let on is that a free market is a market in which groups and individuals are differently represented. Parity in prosperity and performance can be achieved only by playing socialist leveler.

In America, a return to the republic of private-property rights, individual freedoms, and radical decentralization is predicated on rejecting infringements on property. This entails not compelling property owners to part with their real estate or rightful revenues in the name of affirmative action. And in turn, this entails recognizing what is flippantly called political correctness for the codified and legalized theft and coercion it really is.

In South Africa, the pool of haves is destined to be drained, or shrink to an unsustainable size. Driving this development is the Marxist-Leninist zero-sum analysis that sees wealth as having been attained at someone else’s expense. Propelled as it is by envy, this false and dangerous proposition has brought about the persecution of “ethnic minorities … which have achieved prosperity from poverty—Jews in Europe, Levantines and Indians in Africa, Chinese in south-east Asia.”126 And now, Europeans in South Africa.

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116.  Frederick R. Lynch, op. cit., p. 152.

117.  Steven Farron, “Prejudice is Free, But Discrimination Has Costs,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Summer 2000, p. 194.

118.  Ibid., p. 189.

119.  Ibid., p. 216.

120.  Ibid., p. 230.

121.  Ibid., p. 199.

122.  Corinne Sauer and Robert M. Sauer, Judaism, Markets, and Capitalism: Separating Myth from Reality, (Acton Institute, Grand Rapids, Michigan,2007).

123.  Ibid., p. 179.

124.  Steven Farron, op. cit., p. 181.

125.  Robert P. Murphy, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism, (Washington, D.C., 2007), p. 29.

126.  P.T. Bauer, Dissent on Development: Studies and Debates in Development Economics, (London, 1971), p. 158.

4. Mandela, Mbeki, and Mugabe Sitting In A Baobab Tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G
chapter 4

When we gained power, the country was at the edge of the abyss; since, we have taken a great step forward. —Anonymous African government minister

Our party must continue to strike fear in the hearts of the white man, our real enemy.[*] —Robert Mugabe

The West has already abetted the destruction of one other western outpost in Africa: Zimbabwe. Conveniently, the American chattering class has reduced Zimbabwe’s collapse to the shenanigans of one man: Robert G. Mugabe.1 In lengthy policy papers and assorted disquisitions (including a State Department Human Rights Report2), politicians and pundits alike have expounded over the years on the tragic tribulations of Zimbabwe. Strong language (and active verbs) are routinely deployed to implicate Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party henchmen for banning political protest, suppressing “freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, and academic freedom,”3 rigging elections, rounding up and torturing opposition leaders, to say nothing of detaining them without trial, and displacing people in their hundreds of thousands by turning them out of their shanties.

The Marxist Mugabe did all that and more. He instituted a Soviet-style command economy, nationalizing industries, the press included, and turning what was once Africa’s breadbasket into its dustbowl. This entailed abolishing private property and distributing the commercial, white-owned farms that fed the country—“employed one-third of the wage earning labor force”4 and generated all its exports—to rabble, who looted them and then let them fall into disrepair. Like a house of cards, farm-dependent industries soon collapsed. Famine and widespread starvation ensued, making Zimbabwe aid-dependent. Mugabe responded by fixing prices, which caused severe shortages and killed off what little economic activity that still took place in that country. “The population of thirteen million Zimbabweans was ten percent poorer by the end of the 1990s than at the beginning.”5 Because fewer Zimbabweans are now capable of substantial production, the amount of goods in the Zimbabwean economy keeps decreasing. But while the economy contracts, the money supply keeps increasing, as Mugabe continues to print money promiscuously. The result has been hyperinflation which, at the time of writing, stood at a staggering five sextillion percent.6 The natural laws of economics cannot be suspended by man, but Mugabe is no ordinary mortal. The torqued-up tyrant bolstered his economic planning with the attendant massacres, slaughtering his political opponents, among whom were free traders. Rigging elections was another of Mugabe’s pastimes, and still is. Zimbabwe’s infrastructure is falling apart. The smell of sewerage hanging over the capital Harare is more than metaphoric—the treatment facilities, like the power grid, are no longer maintained.

The dirigiste direction in which Mugabe took Zimbabwe has met with circumscribed condemnation in the West. Commentators have not protested the evils of property confiscation under Mugabe—they did not cavil over the fact that land transactions were not “conducted on a willing-seller willing-buyer basis.”7 Rather, the chattering class in the West fumed that prime, commercial farmland has ended up in the hands of Mugabe’s cronies, rather than being “fairly” redistributed to all black Zimbabweans.8 Similarly, when Mugabe first lunged in the 1990s for land that was not his, Britain, the United States, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund had not been terribly exercised. Land grabs per se were fine, so long as “fair payment” was offered. The process “lacked transparency,” one pointy-head snorted, as though theft—expropriating from Peter in order to lavish on Paul—transparent or clandestine, was ever above board.

At some point in the reams of repudiations and recommendations issued authoritatively about Zimbabwe, American writers will shift mysteriously to the passive voice. Text is layered with oblique references to a Zimbabwe where all was sweetness and light. One is told that once-upon-a-time this helter-skelter of a society used to export food. That not so long ago, life expectancy, now thirty-three years, was sixty years; that in that bygone era, unemployment, now over eighty percent, was extremely low. Veiled vocabulary describes a Zimbabwe that had the “best health care system in Africa,” and the highest literacy rates. Mugabe reversed all that, we are told. But who was the Prince among Men who presided over the good times before Zimbabwe’s Dantean descent into hell? Chroniclers of Zimbabwe seldom overburden themselves with the inconvenient details.

Enter the phantom Ian Smith, prime minister of Rhodesia, RIP, whose rule brought about economic prosperity that benefited all his compatriots. A native of Rhodesia, Smith became the leader of the former British colony, declaring its independence from Britain in 1965. Smith resisted the tide of black nationalism sweeping Africa and insisted that “there would be no majority rule, ‘not in a thousand years,’ in Rhodesia. Black Africans, Mr. Smith said, were not ready for self-government.”9 For opposing raw democracy—Smith insisted that the white man had “built [Rhodesia], and intends to keep it”10—this Anglo-African was ostracized by the international community, which refused to recognize his minority white rule, and punished Rhodesians with boycotts and sanctions.

To be fair, the U.S.’s policy toward Rhodesia had been slightly more nuanced during the Cold War, given that America equated African majority rule with Marxism. Anticommunist crusader Ronald Reagan pursued a foreign policy of “constructive engagement”11 with South Africa. For this he was maligned by many an American academic, who more often than not also rooted for the proxies of Cuba and the Soviet Union in the region. U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger promised apartheid-era South Africans to “curb any missionary zeal of my officers in the State Department to harass you,”12 for which he, in turn, was castigated by Christopher Hitchens.13 But once Jimmy Carter was elected, Marxism was no longer considered an impediment to mob rule. The U.S. joined the UN, the United Kingdom, and the rest of the international community in a commitment to ensconce Mugabe. Acting in cahoots with the United Nations and, yes, South Africa, the U.S. eventually pressured Smith to concede to majority rule. However, Smith’s 1978 power-sharing negotiations with moderate black leaders did nothing to assuage the unholy alliance acting with the international community’s acquiescence. The West would not rest until Smith ceded power to Mugabe and his nationalist guerrillas.

The Lancaster House accords paved the way for “the transition from Smith’s evil regime to the independent black-run nation of Zimbabwe,”14 writes Keith B. Richburg in his remarkable “journalistic tour de force,” Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa. Remarkable, because, were this Washington Post reporter not a black man, he’d be labeled a racist by America’s liberal literati. A racist, or a self-hating African, or both. Having experienced Africa, and then daring to describe its horrors in doleful detail, Richburg got down on his knees and thanked God that “his nameless ancestor, brought across the ocean in chains and leg irons,”15 made it out to America. Remarkable yet, because despite witnessing every atrocity imaginable north of Zimbabwe during his tenure as the paper’s Africa bureau chief, Richburg—bystander as thousands of bloated, disemboweled bodies floated down the Kagera River into Lake Victoria from Rwanda; witness as ordinary moms and pops in Nairobi laughed and lopped off the limbs of a petty thief; friend to colleagues “shot, stabbed, beaten to death by mobs”16—despite all that, Richburg still held out hope for Zimbabwe in the mid-1990s. By then, Mugabe had been killing to consolidate power for a considerable time.

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[*]  As related in “Zimbabwe's Whites Face Genocide” by Samuel Francis, Middle America News, August 2002, p. 23.

1.  George H. Wittman, “African Suicide,” The American Spectator, April 16, 2008.

2.  The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (Zimbabwe),” March 6, 2007, (accessed October 20, 2009).

3.  Brett D. Schaefer, “The Crisis in Zimbabwe: How the U.S. Should Respond,” The Heritage Foundation, March 23, 2007.

4.  Martin Meredith, The State of Africa, (New York, 2006), p. 681.

5.  Ibid., p. 634.

6.  Martin Fletcher, “Nothing to lose: how Mugabe’s banker turned Z$1,000,000,000,000 into Z$1,” The Times, February 3, 2009.

7.  Martin Meredith, op. cit., p. 619.

8.  Ibid.

9.  Alan Cowell, “Ian Smith, Defiant Symbol of White Rule in Africa, Is Dead at 88,” The New York Times, November 21, 2007.

10.  Ibid.

11.  J. E. Davies, “Constructive Engagement? Chester Crocker and American Policy in South Africa, Namibia and Angola 1981-88,” (Athens, Ohio, 2007).

12.  Niall Ferguson, “Trials of Heinz,” The Times Literary Supplement, May 30, 2008.

13.  Ibid.

14.  Keith B. Richburg, op. cit., p. 212.

15.  Ibid.

16.  Ibid.

One Man, One Vote, One Time

Elections across Africa have traditionally followed a familiar pattern: Radical black nationalist movements take power everywhere, then elections cease. One man, one vote, one time. Or, if they take place, they’re rigged. When Mugabe was elected leader for life in 1980, he celebrated Britain’s vote of confidence by eliminating over 10,000 innocent Ndebele in Matabeleland, with whose leader, Joshua Nkomo, Mugabe refused to share power. Nkomo, who had much the same status then which Morgan Tsvangirai has now, refused to accept the 1980 election results and his supporters, from the Ndebele tribe, retreated to their stronghold of Matabeleland, and launched a low-level campaign of terror”17 aimed at the still-substantial white population. The Ndebele death toll remains indeterminate because, as Richburg wryly observes, “Zimbabwe had graduated into the ranks of an independent black African country, and one of the criteria for membership in the club is that you stop counting the bodies.”18

Certainly, members of “Africanist circles abroad”19 chose to discount the rising body count and the one-party putsch in Zimbabwe. On college campuses across the U.S., Mugabe was a hit, never a hit man; his liberation war was not to be tarnished by the inevitable reality unfolding on the ground. “Peace has come to Zimbabwe, Third World’s right on the one,” belted singer Stevie Wonder on the 1980 platinum album, “Hotter than July.” Youngsters around the U.S. retorted: “Now’s the time for celebration, Cause we’ve only just begun.” Naturally, vanity diplomacy was a favored pastime of the West’s “Sexy Beast,” Mugabe. The revolutionary freedom fighter was spokesperson and cherished idol of the anti-apartheid growth industry abroad. It took decades and piles of dead bodies before Robert Mugabe lost luster in the eyes of the American mainstream media. By the time the megalomaniac Mugabe was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II (1994)—and given honorary doctorates from the Universities of Edinburgh (1984), Massachusetts (1986), and Michigan (1990)—he had already done his “best” work: slaughtering all those innocent Ndebele in Matabeleland (1983). Western conventional wisdom was no wiser. (And the UN responded invariably by … condemning Israel.)

As the dictator Mugabe hangs on to power for dear life, reasonable people are being persuaded by the pulp 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 popular analysis that once Mugabe is dislodged, dies, or agrees to divvy power, the leader of the Zimbabwean opposition party will not deign to commandeer the state’s security forces to subdue his opposition as his predecessor has done. The pundit peanut gallery’s latest modish messiah is the aforementioned Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Thus, late in 2007, when Mugabe passed a new bill designed to “move majority control of foreign-owned companies operating in the country to black Zimbabweans,”20 nobody noticed that members of the MDC, the party of Mr. Tsvangirai, protested—but not against state-sanctioned theft. Like its western supporters, the MDC faulted the measure for failing to empower the people sufficiently.21

The MDC’s rickety political plank promises indubitably what the majority of Zimbabweans want, including “equitable” land reform. A euphemism for land distribution in the Mugabe mold, this concept is an athema to private property rights. The latter are nowhere to be found in the MDC’s agenda for Zimbabwe.22 Conversely, the right to housing, food, education, health care, and enriching employment, ad infinitum, makes Zimbabwe’s opposition party’s platform almost as ambitious as Barack Obama’s, down to the Manna From Heaven Healthcare windfall he has implemented. Like the American Democrat, Mr. Tsvangirai is promising Zimbabweans everything they want. Similarly, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change doesn’t seem to understand that his country is bankrupt and that, unlike the mighty U.S.A., 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.23

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. Tsvangirai 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. Entirely absent from Mr. Tsvangirai’s “philosophy” is an understanding that only the rule of law and the protection of individual liberties, private property—especially of wealth-creating whites—can begin to reduce the dizzying scale of Zimbabwe’s problems.Without these building blocks and bulwarks of prosperity and peace—Zimbabwe cannot be rebuilt.

The seductive narrative about Zimbabwe gets this much right: There is nothing new about “Robert Mugabe’s feared militiamen”24 and their “rampage through Zimbabwe’s last productive farms,” as they threaten “to drive the country to starvation with a campaign not just to reclaim white-owned land but to destroy the farming system.”25 Still less novel is the meaningless game of musical chairs enacted throughout Africa like clockwork. The Big Man is overthrown; another Alpha Male jockeys his way into his predecessor’s position and asserts his primacy over the people and their property. Westerners whooping it up for Tsvangirai are hip to the former, but not to the latter.

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. 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, now Prime Minister, 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 is now being scavenged by two thieves and their posses, instead of one. 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 have consolidated power by siccing Christians onto Muslims. While General Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda, preys—in league with Rwandans—on the Congolese, Joseph Kony, a Ugandan Homie, butchers his compatriots. The reputation of the Janjaweed militia of Sudan precedes it.

The good news now is that Zambians, under their latest leader Rupiah Bwezani Banda, are no longer dying in large numbers through ethnic clashes. The bad news is that they’re 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,”26 observes historian Martin Meredith. One can only hope that Zimbabwe’s Tsvangirai measures up to Zambia’s relatively 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.27 In all, Meredith singles out only South Africa and Botswana as well-managed African democracies.28 Still, Sideshow Bob Mugabe’s epic villainy was, evidently, nothing but a detail of history. An anomaly in the annals of Africa south of the Sahara. There were no lessons to be learned relevant to averting the destruction of another—this time the last—Western outpost in Africa.

Juxtaposing the malevolent Mugabe with his eternally suffering people affords the wags of the West yet another bogus bifurcation: the long-suffering African people vs. their predatory politicians. While ordinarily Africans do seem to be 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 Mozambiquean president Samora Machel” had given him “well before independence. Machel told him simply, ‘Keep your whites.’”29 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.”30 Despite this, as Richburg notes, “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.”31 Restless natives would have none of it. Armed with axes and machetes, gangs of so-called war veterans proceeded to fleece 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.”32 They assaulted farmers and their families, writes Meredith, “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.”33 The “occupation” was extended to private hospitals, hundreds of businesses, foreign embassies, and aid agencies. The looting of white property owners continues apace—even as, in 2009, a power-sharing agreement to divide what remains of Zimbabwe between Mugabe, Tsvangirai, and another nascent player, Arthur Mutambara, was brokered. At the time of writing, another seventy-seven of the country’s 400 remaining white-owned commercial farms had been invaded and occupied.34 A unity government has meant that Mugabe and partner are seizing white-controlled farms in unison.

This may come as news to the doctrinaire democrats who doggedly conflate the will of the people with liberty, but these weapons-wielding “mobs of so-called war veterans” converging on Zimbabwe’s remaining productive farms express 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.”35 Sooner or later,” The Daily Mail’s Max Hastings has surmised,

[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.36

That’s what Mugabe discovered.

In quick succession, Tsvangirai withdrew from Zimbabwe’s runoff presidential election and sought shelter at the Dutch embassy. “We can’t win; save yourselves” was his message to his supporters. To suppress the results of the latest elections, Mugabe and his blood-besmirched junta continued to do what they do best: kneecap—and when necessary kill—members of the opposition. Across the Limpopo River, Mugabe’s pals—first Thabo Mbeki, and then Jacob Zuma—kept their lips zipped. At the time, the former South African president, Mbeki, chaired a special session of the United Nations Security Council, during which he ventured that there was no crisis in Zimbabwe. Western 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.”37 How deeply silly. Whatever one may think of Mbeki, the man led the most powerful country on the continent; Mugabe the least powerful. The better question is: Given the power differential between the two, why would Mbeki, and Mandela before him, succor Mugabe? Was Mandela Mugabe’s marionette too? Yet another preposterous proposition.

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17.  Keith B. Richburg, op. cit., p. 212.

18.  Ibid.

19.  Ibid.

20.  BBC News, “Zimbabwe targets foreign business,” September 26, 2007.

21.  Ibid.

22.  Movement for Democratic Change, (accessed October 20, 2009).

23.  J.C., “Laughing at Lenin,” The Times Literary Supplement, June 6, 2008.

24.  Catherine Philp, “Zimbabwe faces starvation as mobs rampage through farms,” Times Online, April 9, 2008.

25.  Ibid.

26.  Martin Meredith, op. cit., p. 687.

27.  Keith B. Richburg, “Zimbabwe shows Africa is still in the despots’ grip,” The Observer, June 22, 2008.

28.  Martin Meredith, op. cit., p. 686.

29.  Ibid.

30.  Ibid.

31.  Ibid.

32.  “Zimbabwe squatters’ leader says land grabs to continue,” CNN, April 14, 2000.

33.  Martin Meredith, op. cit., p. 637.

34.  BBC News, “Scores of Zimbabwe farms ‘seized’,” February 23, 2009.

35.  Max Hastings, op. cit.

36.  Ibid.

37.  “The Zimbabwe impasse,” The Washington Times, April 16, 2008.

The Che Guevara of Africa

A liberal commentariat that hangs its hopes on one Mr. Tsvangirai is not that different from fashionable celebrities in search of a cause célèbre, the Che Guevara of Africa. To some extent, Mandela’s legend has been nourished—even created—by sentimental Westerners. The measure of the man whom Oprah Winfrey and supermodel Naomi Campbell have taken to calling “Madiba”—Mandela’s African honorific; Winfrey and Campbell’s African affectation—has been determined by the soggy sentimentality of our MTV-coated culture. “Madiba’s” TV smile has won out over his political philosophy, founded as it is on energetic income redistribution in the neo-Marxist tradition, on “land reform” in the same tradition, and on ethnic animosity toward the Afrikaner.

Guru and gadfly, sage and showman, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is not the focus of this monograph. Boatloads of biographical stuffing can be found in the odes penned to the man. Concentrating on Mandela, moreover, in a narrative about South Africa today would be like focusing on Jimmy Carter in an account of America of 2010. Going against the trend of hagiography as we are, it must be conceded that, notwithstanding Mandela’s agreement with the “racial socialism”38 currently contributing to the destruction of South Africa, his present role in his country’s Zimbabwefication is more symbolic—symbolic such as his belated, tokenistic condemnation of Mugabe to an intellectually meaty crowd of “moody models, desperate divas and priapic ex-Presidents,”39 who convened to celebrate Nelson’s ninetieth. The focus of our attention is, then, not the aging leader but his legacy, the ANC. Or “The Scourge of the ANC,”40 to quote the title of the polemical essay by Dan Roodt.

The patrician Mandela certainly deserves the sobriquets heaped on him by the distinguished liberal historian Hermann Giliomee: “He had an imposing bearing and a physical presence, together with gravitas and charisma. He also had that rare, intangible quality best described by Seamus Heaney as ‘great transmission of grace.’”41 Undeniably and uniquely, Mandela combined “the style of a tribal chief and that of an instinctive democratic leader, accompanied by old-world courtesy.”42 But there’s more to Mandela than meets the proverbial eye.

Cut to the year 1992. The occasion was immortalized on YouTube in 2006.43 Mandela’s fist is clenched in a black power salute. Flanking him are members of the South African Communist Party, African National Congress leaders, and the ANC’s terrorist arm, the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), which Mandela led. The sweet sounds of the MK anthem mask the ditty’s murderous words:

Go safely mkhonto

Mkonto we Sizwe

We the members of the Umkhonto have pledged ourselves to kill them—kill the whites

The catchy chorus is repeated many times and finally sealed with the responsorial, “Amandla!” (“Power”); followed by “Awethu” (“to the People”). Mandela’s genial countenance is at odds with the blood-curdling hymn he is mouthing. The “kill the whites” rallying cry still inspires enthusiasm at funerals and at political gatherings across South Africa, and has been, in practice, a soundtrack for the epic murder campaign currently being waged—however seldom it is acknowledged—against the country’s Boers. This is a side of the revered leader the world seldom sees. Or, rather, has chosen to ignore. Indeed, it appears impossible to persuade the charmed circles of the West that their idol (Mandela) had a bloodthirsty side, that his country (South Africa) is far from a political idyll, and that these facts might conceivably be important in assessing him.

Thanks to the foreign press, an elusive aura has always surrounded Mandela. At the time of his capture in 1962 and trial in 1963 for terrorism, he was described as though in possession of Scarlet-Pimpernel-like qualities—materializing and dematerializing mysteriously for his spectacular cameos. The reality of his arrest and capture were, however, decidedly more prosaic. (At the time, the writer’s father had briefly sheltered the children of two Jewish fugitives involved with the ANC’s operations. The family home was ransacked, and the infant Ilana’s mattress shredded by the South African Police.) About the myth of Mandela as a disciplined freedom fighter, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes wryly:

[A]s a newly qualified attorney [Mandela] was known as a big spending ladies’ man rather than as a focused political activist. To the horror of his African National Congress (ANC) colleagues, he even fancied becoming a professional boxer, so some of the ANC sighed with relief when he went to jail.44

Nor was the ANC very good at terrorism—it certainly had nothing on the ascetic, self-sacrificing Salafis who man al-Qaeda. “Without East European expertise and logistics, not to forget Swedish money, [the ANC] would never have managed to make and transport a single bomb across the South African border,”45 avers Roodt. There was certainly precious little that would have dampened Joseph Lelyveld’s enthusiasm for “The Struggle.” But when the former (aforementioned) New York Times editor went looking for his exiled ANC heroes all over Africa, he found nothing but monosyllabic, apathetic, oft-inebriated men whom he desperately tried to rouse with revolutionary rhetoric.

In any event, the sainted Mandela was caught plotting sabotage and conspiring to overthrow the government. “Mandela … freely admitted at his trial, ‘I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation.’”46 Confirms Giliomee: “Under the leadership of Nelson Mandela, the armed wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe, embarked on a low-key campaign of sabotage.”47 For that he was incarcerated for life. In 1967, the U.S. had similarly incarcerated the Black Panther’s Huey Newton for committing murder and other “revolutionary” acts against “racist” America. The FBI under J. Edgar Hoover proceeded to hunt down his compatriots who were plotting sabotage and assassination. Were they wrong too? The South African government later offered to release Mandela if he foreswore violence. Mandela—heroically, at least as The New York Times saw it48—refused to do any such thing; so he sat. At the time, the Pentagon had classified the ANC as a terrorist organization. Amnesty International concurred, in a manner; it never recognized Mandela as a prisoner of conscience due to his commitment to violence.49 In 2002, “ANC member Tokyo Sexwale, … was refused a visa to the United States as a result of his terrorist past.”50

Mandela has not always embodied the “great transmission of grace.”51 The man who causes the Clintons, rocker Bono, Barbra Streisand, Richard Branson, and even Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands to fall about themselves, was rather ungracious to George W. Bush. In 2003, Bush had conferred on Mandela the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom. Mandela greedily accepted the honor, but responded rudely by calling America “a power with a president who has no foresight and cannot think properly,” and “is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust … If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care for human beings.”52 If the then eighty-five-year-old Mandela was referring to the invasion of Iraq, he must have forgotten in his dotage that he had invaded Lesotho in 1998.53 Pot. Kettle. Black.

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38.  Dan Roodt, Scourge.

39.  Anon.,“The luvvies’ big night out,” The Daily Mail, June 27, 2008.

40.  Ibid.

41.  Hermann Giliomee, The Afrikaners, op. cit., p. 630.

42.  Ibid.

43.  “Nelson Mandela Sings about Killing Whites,” YouTube, July 21, 2006, (accessed October 20, 2009).

44.  Anon., “Medal of Honor for a Terrorist,” The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 27, 2003, (accessed October 20, 2009).

45.  Dan Roodt, op. cit.

46.  “Medal of Honor for a Terrorist.”

47.  Hermann Giliomee, op cit., p. 533.

48.  John B. Battersby, “Mandela Release In 4 Weeks Seen,” The New York Times, August 21, 1988.

49.  National Post, “Mandela’s mixed legacy,” January 20, 2009.

50.  “Tokyo Sexwale,” “Controversies,” Wikipedia, (accessed October 20, 2009).

51.  Hermann Giliomee, op. cit., p. 630.

52.  Ibid.

53.  “Mandela defends Lesotho intervention,” BBC News, September 24, 1998.

Rebranding Socialism

History is being extremely kind to “Madiba.” Since he came to power in 1994, approximately 300,000 people have been murdered.54 The “Umkhonto we Sizwe” rallying cry is, indubitably, emblematic of the murderous reality that is the democratic South Africa. For having chosen not to implement the ANC’s radical agenda from the 1950s, Mandela incurred the contempt of oddball socialist scribes like the Canadian Naomi Klein.55 Were Ms. Klein—the author of No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies—more discerning, she’d have credited Mandela for brilliantly rebranding socialism.

His crafty Third-Way politics aside, Mandela has nevertheless remained as committed as his political predecessors to race-based social planning.

An important element of our policy,” he said at the fiftieth ANC Conference, on December 16, 1997, “is the deracialisation of the economy to ensure that … in its ownership and management, this economy increasingly reflects the racial composition of our society … The situation cannot be sustained in which the future of humanity is surrendered to the so-called free market, with government denied the right to intervene … The evolution of the capitalist system in our country put on the highest pedestal the promotion of the material interests of the white minority.56

Wrong, “Madiba.” If anything, capitalism undermined the country’s caste system; and capitalists had consistently defied apartheid’s race-based laws because of their “material interests.” Why, the “biggest industrial upheaval in South Africa’s history,”57 the miner’s strike of 1922, erupted because “the Chamber of Mines announced plans to extend the use of black labor. By 1920 the gold mines employed over twenty-one thousand whites … and nearly one hundred and eighty thousand blacks.”58 White miners were vastly more expensive than black miners, and not much more productive.

One of the mining chiefs, Sir Lionel Phillips, stated flatly that the wages paid to European miners put the economic existence of the mines in jeopardy. … Production costs were rising so the mining houses, entirely English owned and with no great sympathy for their increasingly Afrikaner workforce, proposed to abandon existing agreements with the white unions and open up for black workers…jobs previously reserved for whites.59

A small war ensued. Bigotry led to bloodshed and martial law was declared. Although a defining event in the annals of South African labor, the General Strike exemplified the way South African capitalists worked against apartheid to maximize self-interest. Mandela clearly looks at business through the wrong end of a telescope.

Problematic too is Mandela’s Orwellian use of the world “deracialisation,” when what he was in fact describing and prescribing is racialization—a coerced state of affairs whereby the economy is forced, by hook or by crook, to reflect the country’s racial composition. Duly, the father of the Rainbow Nation also fathered the Employment Equity Act.60 It has seen the ANC assume partial ownership over business. Mandela’s comrade-in-arms, the late Joe Slovo, once dilated on the nature of ownership in the New South Africa. In an interview with a liberal newsman, this ANC and Communist Party leader suggested an alternative to nationalization which he dubbed ‘socialization.’” With a wink and a nod Slovo explained how the state would—and has since begun to—assume control of the economy “without ownership”:

The state could pass a law to give control without ownership—it can just do it. It can say the state has the right to take the following decisions in Anglo American [the great mining company]. You can have regulations and legislation like that, without ownership.61

All of which is under way in South Africa. Mandela, moreover, has provided the intellectual seed-capital for this catastrophic “racial socialism.”62 (And who can forget how, in September of 1991, “Mr. Mandela threatened South African business with nationalization of mines and financial institutions unless business [came] up with an alternative option for the redistribution of wealth”?63)

If the values that have guided Mandela’s governance can be discounted, then it is indeed possible to credit him with facilitating transition without revolution in South Africa. Unlike Mugabe, Mandela did not appoint himself Leader for Life, and has been the only head of state on the Continent to have ceded power voluntarily after a term in office. If not aping Africa’s ruling rogues is an achievement, then so be it.

Granted, Mandela has also attempted to mediate peace around Africa. But, “not long after he was released from prison,” notes The New Republic’s assistant editor James Kirchick, “Mr. Mandela began cavorting with the likes of Fidel Castro (‘Long live Comrade Fidel Castro!’ he said at a 1991 rally in Havana), Moammar Gaddafi (whom he visited in 1997, greeting the Libyan dictator as ‘my brother leader’), and Yasser Arafat (‘a comrade in arms’).”64 One has to wonder, though, why Mr. Kirchick feigns surprise at—and feels betrayed by—Mandela’s dalliances. Mandela and the ANC had never concealed that they were as tight as thieves with communists and terrorist regimes—Castro, Gaddafi, Arafat, North Korea and Iran’s cankered Khameneis. Nevertheless, and at the time, public intellectuals such as Mr. Kirchick thought nothing of delivering South Africa into the hands of professed radical Marxist terrorists. Any one suggesting such folly to the wise Margaret Thatcher risked taking a handbagging. The Iron Lady ventured that grooming the ANC as South Africa’s government-in-waiting was tantamount to “living in cloud-cuckoo land.”65

In The Afrikaners, Giliomee also commends Mandela for his insight into Afrikaner nationalism. Mandela, Giliomee contends, considers Afrikaner nationalism “a legitimate indigenous movement, which, like African nationalism, had fought British colonialism.”66 This is not persuasive. Forensic evidence against this romanticized view is still being recovered from the dying Afrikaner body politic. Judging by the ANC-led charge against the country’s Afrikaner history and heroes—landmarks and learning institutions—Mandela’s keen understanding of the Afrikaner was not transmitted to the political party he created. Of late, local and international establishment press has showered Mr. Mandela with more praise for serving as the mighty Springboks’ mascot.

The Springboks are the South African national rugby team, and the reigning world champions. Not that you’d guess it from the film “Invictus,” Clint Eastwood’s “over-reverent biopic,” but Mandela has never raised his authoritative voice against the ANC’s plans to force this traditionally Afrikaner game to become racially representative. Conversely, the absence of pale faces among the “Bafana Bafana,” South Africa’s equally celebrated national soccer team, has failed to similarly awaken the leader’s central planning impulses. Has Mandela piped up about the ANC’s unremitting attacks on Afrikaans as the language of instruction in Afrikaner schools and universities? Or about the systematic culling of the white farming community? Has that paragon of virtue, Mandela, called publicly for a stop to these pogroms? Cancelled a birthday bash with “the hollow international jet set”—“ex-presidents, vacuous and egomaniacal politicians, starlets, coke-addled fashion models, intellectually challenged and morally strained musicians”67? Called for a day of prayer instead (oops; he’s an ex-communist)? No, no, and no again.

Bit by barbaric bit, South Africa is being dismantled by official racial socialism, obscene levels of crime—organized and disorganized—AIDS, corruption, and an accreting kleptocracy. In response, people are “packing for Perth,” or as Mandela would say, the “traitors” pack for Perth. The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) was suitably dismayed to discover that close to one million whites had already left the country; the white population shrank from 5,215,000 in 1995 to 4,374,000 in 2005 (nearly one-fifth of this demographic).68

Chief among the reasons cited for the exodus are violent crime and affirmative action.69 Alas, as the flight from crime gathered steam, the government stopped collecting the necessary emigration statistics.70 (Correlation is not causation, but …) The same strategy was initially adopted to combat out-of-control crime: suppress the statistics. The exact numbers are, therefore, unknown. What is known is that most émigrés are skilled white men.71 Also on record is Mandela’s message to them: He has accused whites of betraying him and of being “traitors” and “cowards.”72 Had “Madiba” wrestled with these defining issues, perhaps he’d be deserving of the monstrous statues raised in his honor. These too are in the socialist realist aesthetic tradition.

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54.  Dan Roodt, op. cit., p. 15.

55.  Paul Seabright, “It’s Chicago’s Fault,” The Times Literary Supplement, April 11, 2008.

56.  Steven Farron, op. cit.

57.  David Harrison, op. cit., p. 78.

58.  Ibid.

59.  Ibid.

60.  “South Africa Tries Affirmative Action,” CNN, October 8, 1998. (accessed October 20, 2009).

61.  Dan Roodt, op. cit.

62.  Ibid.

63.  Robert H. Phinny and Dan Burton, “South Africa Doesn’t Need Communists,” The International Herald Tribune, November 19, 1991.

64.  James Kirchick, “South Africa’s Betrayal,” The Opinion Journal, August 8, 2007.

65.  Dan Roodt, op. cit.

66.  Hermann Giliomee, op. cit., p. 630.

67.  Breyten Breytenbach, op. cit.

68.  South African Migration Project, “Where have all the whites gone,” October 2006, (accessed October 13, 2008).

69.  Human Sciences Research Council, “Skills migration and the brain drain in South Africa,” February 25, 2004.

70.  The Economist, “Between staying and going,” September 25, 2008.

71.  Bronwynne Esbach, “Who’s packing for Perth?,” Sunday Argus, August 5, 2007.

72.  John Carlin, “A saint’s patience is tried, and found wanting,” New Statesman, January 1, 1999.

Saluting the Alpha Male

Back to the original question: Why have the leaders of the most powerful country on the continent (Mandela and Mbeki) succored the leader of the most corrupt (Mugabe)? The luminaries of Western café society were not the only ones to have given Mugabe a pass. So did blacks. “When Mugabe slaughtered 20,000 black people in southern Zimbabwe in 1983,” observes 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 he killed a dozen white farmers and pushed others off their farms, it caused tremendous excitement.”73

When he socked it to Whitey, Mugabe cemented his status as hero to black activists and their white sycophants in South Africa, the US, and England.

“Whenever there is a South African radio phone-in programme [sic] 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 criticise [sic] Mugabe,”74 who is revered, never reviled, by South African blacks.

Left-liberal journalist John Pilger and classical liberal columnist Andrew Kenny concur: bar Zimbabweans, blacks across Africa and beyond have a soft spot for Mugabe. While issuing the obligatory denunciations of the despot, Pilger makes clear that Mugabe is merely a cog in the real “silent war on Africa,” waged as it is by bourgeois, neo-colonial businessmen and their brokers in western governments. From his comfy perch in England, this Hugo Chávez supporter preaches against colonialism and capitalism. Writing in the Mail & Guardian Online, Pilger 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 come-uppance.”75

South Africa’s strongmen are saluting their Alpha Male Mugabe by implementing a slow-motion version of his program. One only need look at the present in Zimbabwe “if you want to see the future of South Africa,” ventures Kenny.76 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.”77 Although most farmland in South Africa is still owned by whites, the government intends to change the landowner’s landscape by 2014. “Having so far acquired land on a ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ basis, officials have signaled that large-scale expropriations are on the cards.”78

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 peaceful Mugabe-like program is already in progress in South Africa.79

Except that it’s not so peaceful. South Africans are dying in droves, a reality the affable Mandela, the imperious Mbeki, and their successor Zuma have accepted without piety and pity.

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73.  Andrew Kenny, “The Future Looks Black,” The Spectator, April 9, 2005.

74.  Ibid.

75.  John Pilger, “The silent war on Africa,” Mail & Guardian Online, July 7, 2008.

76.  Ibid.

77.  David Blair, “Zimbabwe’s white farmers in new land grabs,” The Daily Telegraph, April 9, 2008.

78.  “Country profile: South Africa,” BBC News, February 29, 2008.

79.  Andrew Kenny, op. cit.

5. The Root-Causes Racket
chapter 5

The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself. —Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Did we ever seriously intend to bring about a democratic dispensation in South Africa, with its checks and balances and accountability? Or was it about settling old colonial scores? —Breyten Breytenbach

The It Girl of foreign Aid can be quite the village scold. Actress Angelina Jolie was asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper (not quite in these words) why she thought Africans butcher, mutilate, and rape their compatriots with clockwork predictability. Why do grown, Sierra Leonean men hack off the arms of small Sierra Leonean girls and rape them to shreds? Why is this repeated in Uganda, Sudan, the Congo, Rwanda, Somalia—you name them? “We have…we colonized them,”1 stammered Jolie. She also offered up this tautology: It’s “from the violence”—“they had their limbs cut off from the violence.” Or if you find that last redundancy meaningless, Jolie whipped another rabbit from her hat: blame “drugs, perhaps.”

When discussing crime and culpability (punishment is altogether problematic), the likes of Angelina Jolie prefer the passive voice. In the progressive’s universe, crimes are caused, not committed. Evil actions don’t incriminate, they mitigate. Perps don’t do a crime, but are driven to their deeds by forces beyond their control. Or so the experts tell us. As a popular television ad blares, “Genocide is ravaging Darfur.” In truth, Arab gangsters with genocide on their minds—the Janjaweed—are ravaging African Darfurians. (Muslim racial violence gets the same sympathetic treatment from mainstream opinion makers that black African racial violence does.)

Indeed, Angelina was parroting a widely shared misperception. In their capacities as U.N. goodwill ambassadors, or Time magazine “Persons of the Year”; in the free access they enjoy to popes and presidents, Brangelina (Jolie plus Brad Pitt), Bono, and their enablers in the media (such as the aforementioned Anderson Vanderbilt Cooper) are dictating the cultural and political script vis-à-vis Africa. To cite columnist Peggy Noonan: “These people have read an article and now want to tell us the truth, if we can handle it.” According to these self-styled social reformers, underdevelopment and poverty; perennial genocides, and spiraling crime—these are indirectly our doing. Or so the sanctimonious stars claim when they let down their guard. When it comes to development aid, we’re stingy and indifferent. If colonialism was our original sin; capitalism is our cardinal sin. Our voracious system of production is a zero-sum game. To wit, the standards of living we enjoy come at the expense of Africa’s poor. Or so these professional do-gooders will typically claim. In short, the West is responsible for African misdeeds and misadventures.

The paradox at the heart of the root-causes fraud is that causal explanations are invoked only after bad deeds have been committed or failure is a fait accompli. Good deeds and success have no need of mitigating circumstances. Confronted with people who perpetrate evil and live chaotic lives, lefties will toss free will to the wind. They acknowledge human agency only if and when adaptive actions are involved. (And even then only half-heartedly, as left-liberals are forever exalting man’s basest instincts and debasing his most exalted. Trust a liberal to see God in cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal and the devil in the Pope.)

American pseudo-intellectuals—that generally means the tele-experts—have been tireless in developing the “science” of excuse-making, where misbehavior is medicalized or politicized and aggression seen, invariably, as a symptom of oppression (for which the putative oppressor should be blamed). Their exculpatory idiom in the case of the common criminal is “Daddy didn’t love me.” In the case of the Jihadist du jour it’s “America loves Israel more than me.” And the Boer killer is a “victim” of apartheid.

Placing bad behavior beyond the strictures of traditional morality makes it amenable to “therapeutic” or state interventions; pharmacology or foreign aid, take your pick. In the case of South African criminals, Time magazine exemplifies the root-causes reasoning, having asserted, in a 2004 article, that unless a successful handover takes place in South Africa, crime will persist.2 By Time’s reasoning, crime is caused by deprivation and not depravity. Therefore, accelerating race-based wealth distribution will remove the reasons for crime.

Here we arrive at the crux of the transformation underway in South Africa. “Even assuming that…improvements were possible under conditions of hard-core affirmative action, it must be admitted that criminal justice treats the symptom and not the cause of social violence.”3 Better policing, more efficient courts and more secure prisons—these are valiant but vain efforts. Violent crime cannot be easily curtailed, not now that an entirely different set of values and norms has permeated South African institutions and society at large. The point can be illustrated by way of an American example:

During the neoconservative-dominated Bush administration, Americans were lectured that the democratic impulse was universal and a democratic heart throbbed in every thorax. With enough “persuasion” (and a little shock and awe), Afghani and Iraqi alike could be fashioned into global democrats, citizens of the world. Struck by historical and philosophical Alzheimer’s, leaders like Condoleezza Rice took to comparing the carnage in Iraq to the constitutional cramps of early America. This unlikely comparison was made by those who take for granted, or don’t know, their own philosophical heritage, and are ignorant of the history of others. Then as now, there exists no philosophical connection between the feuding Mohammedans (Iraqis) and the heirs to Baron de Montesquieu’s classical liberalism (early Americans). Faction fighting in Iraq is as old as the sand dunes, and tyrants as constant as the Tigris. Similarly, the new dispensation emerging in South Africa has very little to do with the birth pangs of a fledgling Western democracy, and a great deal in common with age-old enmities seen elsewhere in Africa.

Western civilization, and the legal philosophy of liberalism that evolved within it, may be defined in terms of the continuous development—revived in western Europe, circa A.D. 700—of certain distinctive institutions, beliefs and values, including “certain ideas concerning the nature of reality and of man,”4 to borrow from James Burnham. These ancient traditions cannot easily be grafted onto other cultures. Where they have taken root, it seems to have been the result of colonization and imperialism more than emulation.

The ideas of human rights—the dignity of the individual and the respect for diversity—are distinctly Western, an outgrowth of the Enlightenment. “European mores are unavoidably the basis of modern life.”5 If not for Africa’s bumptious encounter with the West, these concepts would still be as alien there as the jejune Jolie (who claims “she has found her place among these people in need,” but face it; even if Jolie chose to relocate to a mud hut, wear grass skirts, and carry groceries on her head, she’d still be immune to every cruel contingency plaguing Africans). The same goes for the ever-endangered democratic institutions which the West has planted in that continent’s blood-soaked soil. The fate of South Africa and Iraq gives rise to the depressing thought that perhaps liberal civilization has spread about as far as it’s going to do in the foreseeable future.

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1.  Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees, “Angelina Jolie: Her Mission and Motherhood,” CNN, June 20, 2006.

2.  Simon Robinson, “The Second Revolution,” Time Europe, April 11, 2004.

3.  Dan Roodt, “Adapt and Die - South Africa’s New Motto,” Praag, November 2004.

4.  James Burnham, Suicide of the West, (New York, 1964), p. 16.

5.  Kenneth Minogue, “Us and Them,” The Times Literary Supplement, February 19, 2010, p. 28.

The Colonialism Canard

“Pseudo-scholars such as Edward Said and legions of liberal intellectuals have made careers out of blaming the West for problems that were endemic to many societies both before and after their experiences as European colonies,”6 observed Australian historian Keith Windschuttle.

The truth is that colonization constituted the least tumultuous period in African history. This is fact; its enunciation is not to condone colonialism or similar, undeniably coercive forays, only to venture, as did George Eliot in Daniel Deronda, that “to object to colonization absolutely is to object to history itself. To ask whether colonization in itself is a good or bad is the same as asking whether history is a good or bad thing.7

“The decolonization process” in Africa “was substantially completed by the end of the 1960s,” attests Lawrence E. Harrison, in Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress. Yet half of the more than 600 million people south of the Sahara live in poverty. In at least eighteen countries life expectancy is below fifty years, and half or more of women are illiterate. In at least thirteen countries, half or more of the adult population is illiterate.8 Since the colonial powers decamped, economic conditions have declined across the Dark Continent. Democratic institutions have been slow or have failed to emerge.9

Four decades since decolonization, colonialism, dependency and racism no longer cut it as explanations for Africa’s persistent and pervasive underdevelopment. These highly politicized, Marxist-Leninist constructs describe underdeveloped nations as having been “bilked by rich capitalist countries.”10 According to these socialist, zero-sum formulations, one person’s plenty is another’s poverty. The corresponding antidote invariably involves taking from one and giving to the other—from rich to poor; from North to South. The notion, however, of a preexisting income pie from which the greedy appropriate an unfair share is itself pie-in-the-sky. Wealth, earned or “unearned,” as egalitarians term inheritance, doesn’t exist outside the individuals who create it; it is a return for desirable services, skills and resources they render to others. Labor productivity is the main determinant of wages—and wealth. People in the West produce what they consume—and much more; they don’t remove, or steal it from Third Worlders. Wrote seminal development economist, the late Lord Peter Bauer: “Incomes, including those of the relatively prosperous or the owners of property, are not taken from other people. Normally they are produced by their recipient and the resources they own.”11

The concept of a wealth gap is an extension of the politically contrived construct of exploitation—rich of poor, North of South. Politicians are perpetually promising to do their level best to level the playing field. However, David Dollar and Aart Kraay, authors of a study titled Growth Is Good for the Poor, offer evidence that when average incomes rise, the average income of the poorest fifth of society rise proportionately. Their study spanned four decades, used a sample of ninety two countries, and yielded results that hold across regions, periods, income levels and growth rates.12 Just as there is no such thing as a preexisting income pie, the same is true for economic growth—it is not static. Nor is it confined to those who generate it. Rather, economic growth redounds to all.

The colonialism humbug, unhelpful in explaining and hence helping the Third World, was once “conventional wisdom that brooked no dissent.” Now, promised Harrison, it is rarely mentioned in intellectually respectable quarters. “For many, including some Africans, the statute of limitation on colonialism as an explanation for underdevelopment lapsed long ago,” he notes. “Moreover, four former colonies, two British (Hong Kong and Singapore) and two Japanese (South Korea and Taiwan) have vaulted into the First World.”13

A former USAID official,”14 now at Harvard, Harrison, author of Underdevelopment is a State of Mind, knows what he is talking about: “Over the years, the development assistance institutions have promoted an assortment of solutions,” from land reform, to sustainable, and culturally sensitive, development. Billions of dollars later, “rapid growth, democracy and social justice” remain rare in Africa.15

Another process that has eluded Africa is detribalization.

The beginning of the English nation began with Anglo-Saxon colonizers who massacred the Britons, recounts historian Kenneth M. Newton. “The descendants of these Anglo-Saxons went on to colonize America, replacing the ‘Red Indians.’” “The “bloody nature of the various colonizations in the past” notwithstanding, in the case of England, what emerged was “a distinct identity for a people descended from diverse ethnic groups that had previously tended to slaughter each other.”16 That nation produced Shakespeare, Newton, and George Eliot. The American founding fathers were sired and philosophically inspired by the same Saxon forefathers—and the ancient rights guaranteed by the Saxon constitution. They went on to forge a constitution that transcended their tribe.17 Would that Africans were, at least, more economically interconnected; if that ever happened, they’d be less likely to keep cannibalizing one another as they do. But tribe burrows deep in Africa’s marrow and infects its lymphatic system.

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6.  Keith Windschuttle, “In Defense of Colonialism,” American Outlook, Summer 2002.

7.  Kenneth M. Newton, “Second Sight: Is Edward Said right about Daniel Deronda?”, The Times Literary Supplement, May 9, 2008.

8.  Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington, Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress, (New York, 2000), p. 65.

9.  Ibid., pp. xvii, xix.

10.  Ibid., p. xx.

11.  P. T. Bauer, Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion, (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1981), p. 12.

12.  David Dollar and Aart Kraay, “Growth Is Good For The Poor,” Journal of Economic Growth, March 2002.

13.  Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington, op. cit., p. xx.

14.  Ibid., p. xiv.

15.  Ibid., p. xx.

16.  Kenneth M. Newton, op. cit.

17.  Ibid.

Africa BC/AC (Before and After Colonialism)

From their plush apartments, over groaning dinner tables, pseudo-intellectuals have the luxury of depicting squalor and sickness as idyllic, primordially peaceful and harmonious. After all, when the affluent relinquish their earthly possessions to return to the simple life, it is always with aid of sophisticated technology and the option to be air-lifted to a hospital if the need arises. (By the looks of it, “climageddon” has not restricted Al Gore’s fluids and food intake.) Is there any wonder, then, that “the stereotype of colonial history” has been perpetuated by the relatively well-to-do intellectual elite? Theories of exploitation, Marxism for one, originated with Western intellectuals, not with African peasants. It is this clique alone that could afford to pile myth on myth about a system that had benefited ordinary people.18

What is meant by “benefited”? Naturally, the premise taken here is that development is desirable and material progress good. British colonists in Africa reduced the state of squalor, disease and death associated with lack of development. To the extent that this is condemned, the Rousseauist myth of the noble, happy savage is condoned. Granted, Africa’s poor did not elect to have these conditions, good and bad, foisted on them. However, once introduced to potable water, sanitation, transportation, and primary healthcare, few Africans wish to do without them. Fewer Africans still would wish to return to Native Customary Law once introduced to the idea that their lives were no longer the property of the Supreme Chief to do with as he pleased.19 It “is an absurdity to assert that cannibalism, slavery, magical therapy, and killing the aged should be accorded the same ‘dignity’ or ‘validity’ as old-age security, scientific medicine, and metal artifacts,” notes anthropologist George Peter. “All people prefer Western technology and would rather be able to feed their children and elderly than kill them.”20 And the West largely eliminated “many of the worst endemic and epidemic diseases in West Africa.”21 Ask Moeletsi Mbeki, the brother of South Africa’s former president Thabo Mbeki. He has said that “the average African is poorer [today] than during the age of colonialism.”

Even so—and whether they stay or go—the blame for all the ills of this backward and benighted region falls on Westerners. One dreadfully off-course notion has it that the colonial powers plundered Africa and failed to plow back profits into the place. This manifest absurdity is belied by the major agricultural, mineral, commercial and industrial installations throughout the continent. The infrastructure in Africa was built by the colonial powers. Far from draining wealth from less developed countries,” as Bauer richly documented, “British industry helped to create it there.”22

Another widely canvassed, equally implausible, accusation is that the West, which was streaks ahead of sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia well before colonization, got rich on the backs of poor nations. How then do we explain the fact that the Scandinavian countries, Switzerland and Australia have achieved some of the world’s highest living standards? After all, none of these nations had any colonies (except Australia, which after World War I acquired sovereignty over the former German territory consisting of what is now Papua New Guinea). They were rich without any meaningful ties to the undeveloped world. The wealthiest and most advanced countries were themselves colonies once: North America and Australia. As Bauer conclusively proved, the West’s human resources, and not any exploitation of the backward world, account for its innovation and achievements. The West is what it is due to human capital—people of superior ideas and abilities, capable of innovation, exploration, science, philosophy. Human action is the ultimate adjudicator of a human being’s worth; the aggregate action of many human beings acting in concert makes or breaks a society. Overall, American society is superior to assorted African societies because America is inhabited by the kind of individuals who make possible a thriving civil society.

Much less is it legitimate to claim that contact with entrepreneurial Europeans and Asians has enervated Africa. Regions that have had the greatest commercial contact with the West are far and away more developed than regions that had little such contact. Compare the people of West Africa, parts of East and Southern Africa, and the inhabitants of Africa’s ports, with desert and rainforest dwellers like the Bushmen and pigmies. Or with never-colonized Liberia, Afghanistan, Tibet and Nepal.

We can’t lay the blame for Africa’s tragedy on the much-deplored exploitation of natural resources either. Most natural resources are useless lumps of nothing. Without the ingenuity of men—Briton or Bantu—iron, aluminum, coal and oil would lie purposeless and pristine in the wildernesses, and the matter and energy abundant on earth would come to naught. Such a state of affairs describes pre-colonial Africa, to which the colonial powers introduced the wheel and wheeled transport.

“Much of British colonial Africa was transformed during the colonial period,” writes Bauer, in Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion:

In the Gold coast there were about 3000 children at school in the early 1900s, whereas in the mid-1950s there were over half a million. In the early 1890s there were in the Gold Coast no railways or roads, but only a few jungle paths. Transport of goods was by human porterage or canoe.23

Before colonialism, sub-Saharan Africa was a subsistence economy; because of colonialism it became a monetized economy. Before colonialism, there were only bush back roads through which men trekked with goods on their backs. During colonialism roads were built. In pre-colonial times the absence of public security made investment in Africa too risky. Post-colonialism, investment flowed. With the colonial administrations came scientific agriculture, introduced by the colonists and by “foreign private organizations and persons under the comparative security of colonial rule, and usually in the face of formidable obstacles.”24

‘In British West Africa public security and health improved out of all recognition … peaceful travel became possible; slavery and slave trading and famine were practically eliminated, and the incidence of the worst diseases reduced.’ Mortality fell, population increased, communications and ‘peaceful contact within Africa and with the outside world’ increased in British colonies.25

As uneven and problematic as progress often was, “everywhere in Black Africa modern economic life began with the colonial period.”26 “Economic modernity could not have been effected without a mediated imperial structure,”27 maintains Niall Ferguson. In Africa, colonial governments encountered “conditions unfavorable to material progress,”28 to wit, civil and tribal war and slavery. By establishing the rule of law, protecting private property and enforcing contractual relations, building infrastructure, and organizing “basic health services,” and introducing modern financial and legal institutions—the colonial powers enhanced, rather than hindered, progress. Although—or perhaps because—all these advancements interfered with traditional customs, they also advanced the continent materially.

Clearly, political independence doesn’t go hand-in-glove with material progress. But grievance-based explanations have a way of evolving. Before independence, Africa’s backwardness was attributed to colonialism. After independence, neocolonialism replaced colonialism as the excuse du jour for the failure of African leaders to ameliorate their people’s plight. Neocolonialism encompasses any unhappy condition that can no longer be attributed to colonialism. Pizza Hut opening an outlet in Lima can easily be framed as the modern equivalent of Pizarro descending on the Incas, to paraphrase Henri Astier.29

On rare occasions the interests of an African politician and his people will converge. On one such occasion, and in desperation, the president of Sierra Leone, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, where life expectancy is now just thirty-seven years, “asked a visiting British politician, in the presence of journalists, if it might be possible for his country to become part of the British Empire again.”30

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18.  P. T. Bauer, op. cit., p.4.

19.  Donald R. Morris, op cit., p. 175.

20.  Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington, op. cit., p. 132.

21.  Ibid., p. 72.

22.  Ibid., p. 68.

23.  P. T. Bauer, op. cit., p. 165.

24.  Ibid., p. 167.

25.  Ibid., p. 165.

26.  Ibid., p. 166.

27.  Dennis O’Keeffe, Edmund Burke (New York, London, 2010) p. 29.

28.  P.T. Bauer, Dissent on Development (London, 1971), p. 149.

29.  Ilana Mercer, “Don’t Silence Ward Churchill, Sack Him,”, April 20, 2005.

30.  Max Hastings, “Africa: Thy Name is Death and Disease,” The Daily Mail, August 13, 2002.

From Bauer to Belich

The dominant historical prism through which the Anglo-Americanization of the world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has been described is “imperialism,” with its connotations of power and domination and exploitation of the periphery by the center.31 In Replenishing the Earth: The settler revolution and the rise of the Anglo-world, James Belich (of Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand) offers a countervailing paradigm. The “migration of British [and northern European] people over the globe, including North America,” Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa—was not expressly to dominate. “Rather, the aim was to reproduce British-type ‘free’ societies, usually freer than Britain’s own, in what were conveniently regarded as the ‘waste’ places of the earth.”32

Belich’s achievement is to “uncouple” “settlerism” from “imperialism,” and show that the first “was a far more important influence than what is generally understood as imperialism on the whole course of modern history.”33 Replenishing the Earth, says its author, posits “a resonant interaction between the American, French, and Industrial Revolutions and an underestimated ‘Settler Revolution’. The Settler Revolution, it is argued, was itself a synergy between ideological and (initially non-industrial) technological shifts.”34

Anglophone elephantiasis, Anglophone divergence; propensity to giganticism: this is the kind of expansive language which the New Zealand scholar uses to describe the Anglophone expansion across continents. Belich’s depiction of the Settler Revolution in all its dynamism makes for a pleasant change. From my vantage point, it is perfectly true that, at least in its Anglo form, the process brought about crimes. The horrors of British concentration camps during the Boer War have already been mentioned in this book. And there is little enough to be said in extenuation of Britain’s Zulu Wars, which may be summarized in an extract from the once-famous 1930 historiographical parody 1066 And All That: “War Against Zulus. Cause: the Zulus. Zulus exterminated. Peace with Zulus.”35

Besides, the difference between Anglo and Dutch attitudes to South African settlement is something Belich fails to emphasize nearly enough. The Dutch genuinely thought of themselves as locals, rather than as Europeans who just happened to have taken up living in South Africa. Still, Belich’s enthusiasm for a population movement from the West certainly clashes with the contemporary reverence for immigration into the West, which is a thematic imperative in the writings of Belich’s progressive contemporaries. As I see it, post-colonialism affords the West the opportunity to redraw the frontiers at its own borders—if it has the will to do so.

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31.  Bernard Porter, “Giant Vegetables,” The Times Literary Supplement, September 25, 2009, pp. 8-9.

32.  Ibid.

33.  Ibid.

34.  James Belich, Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-world, (Oxford, 2009), p. 9.

35.  Walter C. Sellar and R. J. Yeatman, 1066 And All That, (London, 1930), p. 105.

Slavery: The White Man’s Cross

Also attributable to Europeans is the demise of the slave trade in Africa. In The Slave Trade, historian Jeremy Black highlights the “leading role Britain played in the abolition of slavery [as]… an example of an ethical foreign policy.”36 Britain agonized over this repugnant institution, failed to reconcile it with the Christian faith, and consequently abolished it. Professor Black condemns the exclusive focus on the Atlantic slave trade to the exclusion of the robust slave trade conducted by Arabs across the Sahara Desert. Or across the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea to markets in the Middle East. This focus, however, “fits with the narrative of Western exploitation.”37

Bauer bolsters Black’s point: “The slave trade between Africa and the Middle East antedated the Atlantic slave trade by centuries, and far outlasted it.”38 “Tens of millions of Africans were carried away—north through the Sahara, and from East Africa, by Arab and Muslim slave traders, well before Europeans took up the trade from West Africa.”39 Arab affinity with slavery, ethnic prejudice and purges lives on in the 2000s, in the treatment of blacks in Darfur. Considering Europeans were not alone in the slave trade, Black also queries “the commonplace identification of slavery with racism,” given that, like serfdom, slavery was a device (an inefficient one) “to ensure labor availability and control.”40 At its most savage, child slavery still thrives in Haiti in the form of the “Restavec system.” Children are kept in grinding poverty and worked to the bone. In the West this would be considered perverse in the extreme; in Haiti owning a Restavec is a status symbol.

Even less is said in scholarly circles or by media about the vibrant, indigenous slave trade conducted well into the nineteenth century in the interior of West Africa.41 This savagery owed a lot to the rivalries and relationships between Africans powers.42 “Both Arabs and Europeans worked in collaboration with native polities that provided the slaves through raids and war carried out against their neighbors.”43

For the Atlantic slave trade, contemporary Americans and Britons have been expiating at every opportunity. But more than engendering a cult of apology, the Atlantic slave trade has been instrumental in the effort to control and define the past as an “aspect of current politics,”44 not least in shaping the historical treatment of the Civil War, the South, and the Founding Fathers. Jeremy Black shuns ritual apologies as empty ploys, which “all too often conform to fatuous arguments about ‘closure,’ resolution, and being unable to move on until we acknowledge the past.” In reality, they entail the opposite of all these, and, instead, involve the reiteration of grievance.”45 Grievance is leveled at a collective for infractions it did not commit: Africans who were not enslaved are seen as having an ineffable claim against Europeans who did not enslave them.

The cult of apology that has gripped America and Britain is, nevertheless, uniquely Western. What other people would agonize over events they had no part in, personally, for damages they did not inflict?

At its core, the argument against racism is an argument against collectivism: avoid judging an entire people based on the color of their epidermis. Why then is it acceptable to blame another people based on the lack of pigment in their skin?

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36.  Jeremy Black, The Slave Trade, (London, 2006), p. 9.

37.  Ibid.

38.  P.T. Bauer, Dissent on Development, p. 72.

39.  Azar Gat, “Is genocide a modern phenomenon?”, The Times Literary Supplement, March 23, 2007.

40.  Jeremy Black, op. cit., p. 139.

41.  Ibid., p. 140.

42.  Ibid.

43.  Azar Gat, op. cit.

44.  Jeremy Black, op. cit., p. 133.

45.  Ibid., p. 136.

Aiding and Abetting Underdevelopment

Angelina Jolie has some nerve. The actress complained in a Refugees op-ed (this magazine is a publication of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees), that it was “a scandal, really, in such a rich world, that we are not even finding a way to help feed refugee families properly.”46 While the actress crowed, the Bush administration proudly committed seventy cents out of every one hundred dollars earned by Americans to corrupt Third-World coffers. In the approving estimation of New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof, Bush spent “three times as much on aid to Africa as the lowest figure during the Clinton years.”47 American conservatives no longer have choice words for foreign aid. It used to be “money down a rathole” (the late Senator Jesse Helms), and amounted to “putting Ghana over Grandma” (Tom DeLay, former Republican leader in the House of Representatives). While not nearly as principled as the late Lord Peter Bauer’s opposition to “taxpayer’s money compulsorily collected…outside the area of volition and choice”48—these quips nevertheless reflect bygone, conservative attitudes toward aid.

Ample Western funding aside, even Kristof, an evangelist for foreign aid, has written of clinics, donated and equipped by the West, standing empty. “Go on to the market,” he laments, “and there you may see the clinic’s stock of medicines for sale.” Stolen! “Bridges built with foreign aid over streams” are so poorly constructed that the result is “erosion on both banks.” “In Ethiopia, you greet parents cradling hungry babies and explaining that they have no food because their land is parched and their crops are dying. And two hundred feet away is a lake, but there is no tradition of irrigating land with the lake water, and no bucket; and anyway the men explain that carrying water is women’s work.”49

In the cited essay, “Aid: Can It Work?”, a frustrated Kristof has detailed many a failed effort to convince Southern Africans, for example, “to grow sorghum rather than corn, because it is hardier and more nutritious.” But because it has been given “out as a relief food to the poor… sorghum [has] become stigmatized as the poor man’s food, and no one wants to have anything to do with it.” Hand out infant formula to HIV-infected women so that they don’t transmit the virus to their babies via breast milk, and the women will dump it before they reach home: “Any woman feeding her baby formula, rather than nursing directly, is presumed to have tested positive for HIV, and no woman wants that stigma. In the heart of poverty-stricken Congo,” complains Kristof, “wrenching malnutrition exists side by side with brothels, beer joints, and cigarette stands.” The men splurging in these fleshpots cannot be persuaded to put their income toward their flesh-and-blood.

Kristof and his ilk struggle with this reality because they’re unprepared to accept that people differ in economic aptitude and in the values they hold. Thus, where there are vast differences, Kristof and company construct vaster injustices.

As argued by Bauer, “You couldn’t force a country to grow economically by just injecting money” (in Peter Brimelow’s rendition). “There had to be the right incentives and institutions.”50 Injected monies notwithstanding, since decolonization, Africa’s share of world exports has declined by two-thirds.51 Although rich in natural resources, Africa’s people remain impoverished. Africans have failed to adopt the institutions of capitalism. Their governments are growing by the day, many industries remain nationalized, taxes are prohibitive, regulation rampant, and price controls a cause of ubiquitous shortages. Private property rights, the cornerstone of prosperity, are precarious, at best. The World Bank concurs: The high costs of trade on the Dark Continent constitute the main barrier to trade liberalization—from transport and transit to customs procedures; the trade-related business climate is abysmal.52

As a government-to-government transfer, foreign aid is directly responsible for enriching Africa’s political class at the expense of the productive private sector. The wanton purchases Third-World plutocrats are known to make with aid monies are properly described as “the three M’s of development aid: monuments [in the dictator’s likeness], Mercedes and machine guns.”53 Understand: Governments do not create wealth; they only consume or spread it. A “visionary” bureaucrat is invariably a voracious one; and the grander the government, the poorer and less free the people. Helping to grow governments abroad, as the West does, reduces capital available to their people; an increase in the number of mandarins, managing the foreign aid apparatus, will invariably come at the cost of real, sustainable, consumer-driven jobs in the private economy. As the size of the African governments (and their Zurich bank accounts) increases courtesy of the West’s bureaucracy-accreting schemes, the growth of real GDP will decrease. The extent to which government growth as a share of GDP coincides with a decline in GDP growth was quantified by economists James Gwartney, Randall Holcombe, and Robert Lawson, in a paper entitled “The Scope of Government and The Wealth of Nations.” To be precise: “A ten percent increase in government expenditure as a share of GDP results in a one percent point reduction in GDP growth.”54 A drop of one percentage point might not sound all that much, but it’s a decline that Africa can ill afford.

While the West lavishes welfare liberally on undeveloped countries, it is illiberal in its trade practices toward them. The developed world imposes high tariffs on goods imported from developing countries. Also, it institutes quotas and antidumping penalties to curb the selling of products below market prices. Equally harmful are calls from Western busybodies to impose sanctions on developing countries for not adhering to requisite labor and environmental standards.

The least the West can do for Africa is to avoid foisting democracy on it, or funneling aid to it. The best the West can do for Africa is to liberalize trade with it: to quit the protectionist practices, and the patronizing demands for homogenization of labor, patent and environmental laws.

Other than the conduct of African governments themselves, the most proper object of scrutiny in the question of Africa’s underdevelopment is the “expulsion and slaughter of productive minorities.”55 This has been a factor in Zimbabwe’s demise and in South Africa’s increasing economic insecurity. In both countries, life for the productive European minority is perilous. Although Bono, Brangelina and other benefactors of Africa are not in the habit of expressing compassion for groups that are persecuted for their agency and self-sufficiency, they really ought to try and understand this small thing: strangle the geese producing golden eggs, and economic conditions will worsen for their protégés, the poor.

More than anything, Africans need to develop great institutions—the institutions of private property and the rule of law, freedom of expression and worship. Without those advantages, their plight will only worsen.

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46.  Michelle Malkin, “A Refugee Reality Check For Angelina Jolie,”, October 17, 2006.

47.  Nicholas D. Kristof, “Aid: Can It Work?” New York Review of Books, October 5, 2006.

48.  P.T. Bauer, Dissent on Development, p. 126.

49.  Ibid.

50.  Peter Brimelow, “In Memoriam: Peter, Lord Bauer,”, May 03, 2002.

51.  The World Bank, “Why Trade Costs Matter to Africa,” June 17, 2008,,,contentMDK:21808702~pagePK:64165401~piPK:64165026~theSitePK:469382,00.html (accessed Nov 27, 2008).

52.  Ibid.

53.  Peter Bauer is thought to have said this during a lecture.

54.  Gwartney, J., Holcombe, R. and Lawson, R. “The Scope of Government and the Wealth of Nations” (1998), The CATO Journal vol. 18 (2); pp 163-190.

55.  P. T. Bauer, Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion, p. 79.

Culture Counts

Let’s turn, by comparison, to our own country. Underachievement among Afro-Americans might have been understandable in light of segregation, and slavery before that, but the “racism” and “discrimination” explanations are no longer viable fifty years later. Hispanics have outperformed blacks in underachievement, yet have endured less discrimination—and “no more so than the overachieving Chinese and Japanese immigrants.”56

With racism, discrimination, and colonialism no longer credible causal factors in divining underdevelopment and delinquency, an “explanatory vacuum” has opened up among academics, and is being filled with reference to culture. In other words, to the “values, attitudes, beliefs, orientations, and underlying assumptions prevalent among people in a society.”57 Yet such a reference often comes at a cost. For example, the black establishment is angered by black scholars like the Manhattan Institute’s John McWhorter, who argues that “the problem has a cultural dimension and that academic achievement is simply not emphasized in the black community to the extent that it is among whites and Asians.”58

The idea that culture is benign and harmonious if not disrupted is a delusion, argues anthropologist Robert B. Edgerton,59 who also believes that in Africa, “traditional cultural values are at the root of poverty, authoritarianism, and injustice.”60 By taking account of culture, posits David Landes, a Harvard economic historian, and author of The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, one could have foreseen the postwar economic success of Japan and Germany. The same is true of South Korea (versus Turkey), and Indonesia (versus Nigeria).61

Not for nothing did Alexis de Tocqueville conclude “that what made the American political system work was a culture congenial to democracy.”62 A lesser luminary, Lawrence E. Harrison, has isolated some salient factors that distinguish development-prone from development-resistant cultures.

Progressive cultures emphasize the future; view work as a blessing rather than as a burden; promote individuals based on their merit; value education and frugality, are philanthropic, identify with universal causes, and have higher ethics. In static cultures individuals tend to be fatalistic rather than future-oriented; live for the present or past; work only because they need to do so; diminish or dismiss the value of education, frugality, and philanthropy; are often mired in nepotism and corruption; and promote individuals based on clan and connections, rather than capabilities.63

“I am because we are” is how one wag encapsulated the cog-like role of the individual in African culture. I would add that in progressive cultures, the individual, and not the collective, is paramount.

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56.  Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington, op. cit., p. xxi.

57.  Ibid., p. xv.

58.  Thomas E. Woods Jr., 33 Questions about American History You’re Not Supposed to Ask, (New York, 2007), p. 148.

59.  Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington, op. cit., p. xxv.

60.  Ibid., p. xxvii.

61.  Ibid., p. 3.

62.  Ibid., p. xxi.

63.  Ibid., p. 299.

Voodoo for Values

Easily the most controversial thinker on the causes of underdevelopment in Africa is one who has been briefly mentioned earlier in these pages: Cameroonian Daniel Etounga-Manguelle. In 1999, he attended a symposium on “Cultural Values and Human Progress” at Harvard. He had come to bury and not praise the cultures of the Continent. In a paper titled Does Africa Need a Cultural Adjustment Program?, Etounga-Manguelle quipped controversially that “The African works to live but does not live to work.”64 Another of his off-the-cuff remarks: “African societies are like a football team in which, as a result of personal rivalries and a lack of team spirit, one player will not pass the ball to another out of fear that the latter might score a goal.”65 Etounga-Manguelle was referring to what he perceives to be the culture of envy—the kind of all-consuming envy that, in the Rwanda of 1994, caused certain Africans (Hutus) to attempt to kill off other, frequently more industrious, better-looking brethren (Tutsis), and that makes it hard for Africa as a whole to rejoice in the success of its exceptional sons and daughters.

A former member of the World Bank’s Council of African Advisors, Etounga-Manguelle observes that in Africa, “divination and witchcraft”66 are integral parts of all aspects of state and civil society among all segments of society. Africans do not believe control over uncertainty is achievable through planning for the future and mastering nature; through reason, the rule of law, or technology. Rather, being by and large fatalistic and superstitious, they all too often resort to magical thinking to cope. The plight of witch children across Africa comports with Etounga-Manguelle’s paradigm. These children are blamed for every pestilence to plague the community.67 Zimbabwean tribal chiefs saddle angry ancestors in need of appeasement for everything from famine to inflation. The solution to the first “supernatural force” is to brutalize the bewitchers. To resolve the second, beer is brewed, drums are beaten and beasts slaughtered.68

Africans inhabit hierarchical societies in which “strength prevails over law,” and where “the best way to change a social system is to overthrow those who hold power.”69 The paucity of planning and future preparation in African life Etounga-Manguelle puts down to a suspended sense of time. The reverence for the “strongman of the moment” he roots in the sincerely held belief that these men harbor magical powers. Magic wins out over reason; community over individual; communal ownership over private property; force and coercion over rights and responsibilities; wealth distribution over its accumulation.

African totalitarianism was not born with independence, warns Etounga-Manguelle, who counsels the need for a mind-freeing, “cultural adjustment program” for Africa. Such a cultural adjustment program lacks the Compassion Chic that marks the present system for subsidizing dictatorial kleptomaniacs—in Bono and Brangelina it would not inspire the slightest enthusiasm—but Etounga-Manguelle knows whereof he speaks. When he talks of better values and freer minds, he deserves our attention, even if not necessarily our agreement.

Human behavior is, indubitably, mediated by values. Nevertheless, the cultural argument affords a circular, rather than a causal, elegance: people do the things they do because they are who they are and have a history of being that way. But what precisely accounts for the unequal “civilizing potential,”70 as James Burnham called it, that groups display? Why have some people produced Confucian and Anglo-Protestant ethics—with their mutual emphasis on graft and delayed gratification—while others have midwived Islamic and animistic values, emphasizing conformity, consensus, and control? Why have certain patterns of thought and action come to typify certain people in the first place? Such an investigation, however, is verboten—a state-of-affairs Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson blames on “a prevailing rigid orthodoxy,” which is the preferred academic phrase for political correctness:

Culture is a symbolic system to be interpreted, understood, discussed, delineated, respected, and celebrated as the distinct product of a particular group of people, of equal worth with all other such products. But it should never be used to explain anything about the people who produced it.71

Be it Africa or Arabia, liberals labor under the romantic delusion that the effects of millennia of development-resistant, self-defeating, fatalistic, atavistic, superstition-infused, unfathomably cruel cultures can be cured by an infusion of foreign aid, and by the removal of tyrants such as Robert Mugabe and the Palestinian Hamas leader Ismail Haniya. Bad leaders are not what shackle backward peoples. Not exclusively, at least. Africa’s plight is most certainly not the West’s fault. Rather, Africa is a culmination of the failure of the people to develop the attitudes and institutions72 favorable to peace and progress.

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64.  Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington, op. cit., p. 72.

65.  Ibid., p. 75.

66.  Ibid., p. 67.

67.  Faith Karimi, “Abuse of child ‘witches’ on rise, aid group says,” CNN, May 18, 2009.

68.  Robyn Dixon, “Zimbabweans say angry ancestors are behind road accidents,” The Los Angeles Times, May 23, 2009.

69.  Ibid., p. 68.

70.  James Burnham, op. cit., p.86.

71.  Ibid., p. 202.

72.  P.T. Bauer, Dissent on Development, p. 132.

How the Settlers Saved South Africa

Much as Americans are taught to react to the sins of slavery and Jim Crow, white South Africans treat apartheid as Sisyphus his rock: a burden that defines them. Forgotten in the recriminations over that contemptible caste system is the irony to which leading Africanists have called attention: “[T]he consolidation of a democracy was more likely in the ‘settler’ societies of Africa, where there was a tradition of electoral competition, than in neopatrimonial regimes like Zaïre or Rwanda where competition was outlawed.”

What do you know?

“[T]he existence of a democracy for whites, which for so long was seen as the insuperable obstacle to an inclusive democracy, turned out to be an asset.”73 (To be accurate, South African liberal institutions go back to nineteenth century Cape-Colony liberals, who “strove to free people from human bondage and to give whites and blacks the vote.”74) Moreover—and as Hermann Giliomee, who might be considered the David Hackett Fischer of South Africa, has observed—“to project the democracy and human rights of the interim constitution of 1993 as the kind of democracy the ANC has always fought for is indeed to produce a giant optical illusion.”75 For the kind of democracy and human rights espoused by the ANC in the 1980s was precisely the fraudulent “democracy” of societies like the USSR and Cuba. “Indeed the Freedom House ratings of 1980 scored Cuba and the USSR lower in human rights than apartheid South Africa!”76

For better or for worse, the National Party of the apartheid era was not a Chilean or Argentinean military dictatorship, “but a party re-elected by whites in successive elections.”77 The dominant-party despotic democracy that South Africa is fast becoming is not in this tradition. Still, “Everything that goes wrong with it is considered ‘a legacy of apartheid,’ writes an exacerbated Jim Peron, an American expatriate, whose idealism drove him to settle in post-apartheid South Africa. “The violence in the rest of Africa is a ‘legacy of colonialism.’ It’s a legacy that has gone on for almost forty years. Every time something goes wrong (and that happens constantly), the same litany of excuses is recited. ‘We inherited this problem from the corrupt apartheid regime.’”78 There’s another pesky problem with this particular blame-game: South Africa’s flourishing criminal class consists mainly of youngsters who’ve come of age and blossomed under black rule.

If anything, by staving off communism, the apartheid regime saved black South Africans from an even worse moral and material fate.

Except for Rhodesia before Mugabe, minority-ruled South Africa, with all its depredations, offered Africans more than any other country on the Dark Continent. Patterns of migration have always functioned as clues to social reality.79 Then as now, “black migration patterns into South Africa far exceeded black migration patterns out of South Africa.”80 Granted, entering African migrants were not “voting with their feet” for apartheid, but they were certainly voting for law and order and a livelihood.

In the “first twenty three years of apartheid, between 1948 and 1981, the South African economy grew at a rate of 4.5 percent.”81 Of course, in the famous words attributed to both Disraeli and Mark Twain, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. Duly, Marxists put the high growth rate down to exploitation. However, when “exploitation” was replaced with “liberation”—and Africans broke free of the colonial yoke to gain political independence—they promptly established planned economies, in whose shadow nothing could grow, plunging their respective countries into despair and destitution.

To the liberal West, Kenneth Kaunda and Julius Nyerere were the faces of black liberation, but both leaders cut a swathe of destruction through the rural economies of their respective countries, Zambia and Tanzania. One shudders to think what the ANC would have wrought on the sophisticated, industrialized economy of South Africa if given a chance. Had Mandela ascended to power in the 1960s instead of languishing on Robben Island and in Pollsmoor Prison, he would have nationalized the South African economy and banned private enterprise. That’s what the ANC’s Charter called for in 1955. That’s what South Africa’s black-ruled neighbors to the north did.

While black Africa and East Europe circled the drain due to communism, South Africa was experiencing an economic explosion, courtesy of the NP’s conservative economics,82 which columnist Andrew Kenny cautiously commends for “guarding some important aspects of private enterprise and protecting some vital areas of democracy,”83 to say nothing of maintaining the rule of law. An oasis in the African desert, South Africa’s economy grew at an annual rate of six percent during the 1960s. Time magazine, BPC (before political correctness), crowned H. F. Verwoerd, the architect of this prosperity—and of “separate development”—“one of the ablest leaders Africa has ever produced.”84

In his submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, F. W. de Klerk, who received a Nobel Peace prize for surrendering South Africa to the ANC, corrected the record: “Apartheid was not only about white privilege but also about development and redistribution of income from whites to blacks. The economy had grown by an average of 3.5 percent per year under apartheid, the black school population grew by 250 percent in the first twenty-five years of apartheid, and the black share of total personal income had nearly doubled from twenty percent in the mid-1970s to thirty seven percent in 1995, while that of whites declined from seventy one to forty nine percent.”85 As bad as the Bantu Education system was, it vastly improved black literacy.86 Twelve years into the Nationalist government’s rule, the rate of literacy among the Bantu of South Africa was already higher than that of any other state in Africa, or that of India.87

Indeed, the increase in the African population’s learning and longevity under apartheid attests to the constantly improving public health and government services for blacks. From the 8.6 million recorded in the 1946 census, the black population rose to 17.4 million in 1974 and 28.3 million by 1991. From the 1940s to the 1990s, life expectancy for blacks soared from thirty-eight to sixty-one years!88

Since the dawn of democracy in 1994, life expectancy has plummeted by nine years.89 Crime has reached crippling levels. As documented in detail earlier in this volume (above all in the chapter called “Crime, The Beloved Country”), crime in the New South Africa is second to none in the world and certainly much higher than in the Old South Africa. By Time’s telling,90 unemployment had jumped from nineteen percent in 1994 (before “freedom”) to thirty-one percent in 2003 (after “freedom”). Less damning data provided by an Economic Advisor to former President Mbeki puts unemployment in 1993 at 31.2 percent, steadily rising until, in 2005, it stood at 38.8 percent. The trend is consistent and persistent.91 Breyten Breytenbach has been breast-beating over the New South Africa’s barbaric criminality, the plague of raping, theft, and fraud, the indecent enrichment of the few, manipulation, redeployment as a form of impunity, public office as an exercise in scavenging, the breakdown of essential services, entrenched and continuing racism, the lack of public morals or even common sense … the irrevocable ‘progress’ of South Africa to a totalitarian party-state.92

Giliomee confirms that both the government and the private sector accelerated wealth distribution from white to black in the 1970s. By 1994, blacks were consuming taxes; whites were paying them: Blacks “contributed R23 billion to government revenue, and received R34 billion in cash-and-kind transfers from the government, of which the largest part went to social welfare, housing, health and education.” According to the International Monetary Fund, “whites in 1987 paid an average of thirty two percent of their incomes in tax, but received only nine percent in benefits.”93

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73.  Hermann Giliomee, “Liberal and Populist Democracy in South Africa: Challenges, New Threats to Liberalism,” The South African Institute of Race Relations, addressed delivered February 15, 1996, p. 4.

74.  Ibid., p. 14.

75.  Ibid., p. 9.

76.  Ibid., p. 9.

77.  Ibid., p. 12.

78.  Jim Peron, “Die, the Beloved Country (South Africa)”, April 18, 2000, (accessed October 19, 2008).

79.  Kenneth Minogue, op. cit., p. 28.

80.  Hermann Giliomee, The Afrikaners, p. 174.

81.  Ibid.

82.  Ibid., p. 539.

83.  Andrew Kenny, “How Apartheid Saved South Africa,” The Spectator, November 27, 1999.

84.  Hermann Giliomee, op. cit., p. 539.

85.  Ibid., p. 650.

86.  Ibid., p. 539.

87.  W. A. de Klerk, op. cit., p. 251.

88.  Hermann Giliomee, op. cit., p. 596.

89.  Dollie Brathwaite, “Elderly citizen’s perception of their health and care provided in a rural South African community,” March-April, 2002, Journal of The Association of Black Nursing Faculty, (accessed December 8, 2008).

90.  Simon Robinson, op. cit.

91.  Dr. Haroon Bhorat, Unemployment in South Africa: Descriptors & Determinants, University of Cape Town and Economic, Advisor to the President, p. 5, (accessed December 27, 2008).

92.  Breyten Breytenbach, op. cit.

93.  Hermann Giliomee, op. cit., pp. 600-601.

Desperately Seeking Bollywood’s Brangelina

There is a lot to dislike about the self-aggrandizing Brangelina of Benetton and their fashion accessories: couture, color-coded kids. But where is Bollywood’s match for these giving, gullible, Anglo-American do-gooders? Wherever you look, those perpetually demonized Europeans are untiring in doing the world’s good works, and saving the planet and its creatures.

According to Forbes Magazine, the largest charities by revenue in the United States [which, I suspect, means the largest in the world] are the Mayo Clinic, Salvation Army, YMCAs in the United States, United Way, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, American National Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Goodwill Industries International, and The Arc of the United States.94

Who were the worthies who founded these magnificent, munificent organizations?

Mayo was founded by William Worrall Mayo (hint: he was not from Bangalore or Beirut). The Salvation Army by William Booth (another WASP). The same goes for the YMCA (George Williams, yet another WASP). Two ministers and a rabbi brought the United Way to fruition. Drs. George Crile, Frank Bunts, and William Lower founded the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in 1921, and Clara Barton the Red Cross. We know who founded Doctors Without Borders or Médecins Sans Frontières. The most generous people in the world are Bill and Melinda Gates, founders of the Gates Foundation, the World’s largest charitable group.

The same sort of kindly humanitarians are at work at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto. Soweto is “the black satellite city outside Johannesburg,” South Africa. “Saving Soweto”95 is a superb documentary by the Arab television network Al Jazeera, detailing the heroic work undertaken at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital. Back when the present writer’s uncle, Professor Charles Isaacson, headed the Department of Pathology there, the place was just plain Baragwanath; nobody thought it essential, in that far-off era, to invoke in the hospital’s title an ANC Marxist leader like Chris Hani (who was murdered in 1993). But some things don’t change, even if names do. Today, as was the case under apartheid, “Baragwanath” is “the only hospital in South Africa’s biggest township.” Now as then, the staff members ministering to the multitudes in Soweto are supervised and mentored by selfless Christian and Jewish medical men and women. What would South Africa do without these good people?! Where in the world are their African, Asian and Latin equals? And why is their kind slandered so?

If anything is guaranteed to help freeze a people in time it is a culture of blame. Those who’ve had their fill of “black pain” will understand why the phrase is held here between the tongs of quotation marks. My family tree was rudely truncated by an event far more fatal than was slavery: the Holocaust. I do not carry this legacy with me. I blame only those, mostly long dead, who planned and executed the Final Solution. Members of my family have never ascribed their misfortunes and misdeeds to that contemporary calamity. They’ve owned their failings. Like American Japanese, who were interned en masse in places like Manzanar or Minidoka during World War II, Jews have gone on to become among the highest earners in the countries to which they migrate.

94 William P. Barrett, “The 200 Largest U.S. Charities,” Forbes Magazine, November 22, 2006.

95 “Saving Soweto,” Al Jazeera, January 2009, (accessed January 2009).

Free Will and the Will of the Free

In The Constitution of Liberty, Friedrich Hayek insisted that “The assigning of responsibility is based, not [necessarily] on what we know to be true in a particular case, but on what we believe will be the probable effects of encouraging people to behave rationally and considerately.”96

Another wise man, libertarian economist Murray Rothbard, counseled that “In dealing with crime … liberals are concentrating on the wrong root causes. That is, on ‘poverty’ or ‘child abuse’ instead of a rotten immoral character and the factors that may give rise to such a character, e.g., lack of respect for private property, unwillingness to work, and emphasis on short-run ‘kicks’ instead of forethought about the future.”97

Still another smart man, Thomas Aquinas, “believed we are free to be either virtuous or vicious and are responsible for being one or the other.”98 According to philosopher Anthony Kenny, Aquinas believed “freedom belongs to the will in so far as it is capable of acting on the results of deliberation about alternatives.”99

Be it in Africa or in America, the cornerstone of a free society rests on the concept of the individual as a responsible, self-determining agent. As long as this concept is under attack, free societies will be imperiled.

However, as essential as it is for the health and wealth of a free society, the idea of individual responsibility is insufficient. The values which people—and peoples—bring to the polity are inestimable, and they have such compounding impacts on social stability from generation to generation that they can all too readily be underestimated. Cultural influences cannot be tweaked out of existence like some unsightly nose-hair. Athena was sprung from her father’s head; democracy has grown slowly in the soil below. Athens became Greece became Europe became the West. And there it stopped. Africa has not become America.

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96.  Friedrich A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, (Chicago, 1960), p. 77.

97.  Murray N. Rothbard, “Hutus vs. Tutsis,”, June 1994, (accessed November 3, 2008).

98.  Anthony Kenny, “Just So,” The Times Literary Supplement, October 17, 2008.

99.  Ibid.

6. Why Do WASP[*] Societies Wither?
chapter 6

When I am weaker, I ask you for my freedom, because that is your principle; but when I am the stronger, I take away your freedom, because that is my principle. —Louis Veuillot[†]

To love the little platoon we belong to is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections. —Edmund Burke, 1790

The West’s insistence on bringing the Old South Africa to its political knees has had another unforeseeable outcome: an Islam redux. As the influence of Christianity receded after the 1994 transition, that of Islam increased. This is a great shame—and not only because it is to the detriment of America’s national interests. Islam is no tonic for a country wracked by unfathomable cruelty and violence. The continent cries out for a spiritual transformation. A belief system according to which the murderous, not the meek, shall inherit the earth—provided they’re Muslim—is not what the “Rambo Nation” requires.

South Africa was a staunchly traditional Christian country. Stores closed on Sundays, which was a holy day, not a holiday. Television came late to the place but so did pornography and the gay rights movement. “From liberalism to the creation of apartheid, Christianity has been of great importance in shaping many political ideologies,”1 notes the editor of a volume titled Christianity in South Africa. Christian mission schools were the engine of education in Africa,2 including the education of black, anti-apartheid leaders. Even more than “secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts,”3 Christian evangelism in Africa has helped change hearts.

The Christian faith has shaped the relationship between the European missionaries and the Africans, and it gave contours to the fight both to establish and abolish apartheid.

As for the establishment of apartheid: neo-Calvinist theology lent metaphysical and moral justification to the Grand Design of H. F. Verwoerd, also the architect of apartheid. In the Book of Genesis and in the “happenings at Babel,”4 Verwoerd and his devout coreligionists believed they had found the firmest foundation for “the idea of the nation as the ordination of God,”5 in general. And, in particular, for the notion that each nation needed to exist as well as maintain its distinct nature. “The fact that God had given the various nations their separate existences,” posited E. P. Groenewald, professor of New Testament Studies,“implied that they should remain separate. Israel itself was the proof of how God had willed national separateness.”6 Scripture itself, argued scholars of Groenewald’s ilk, “provided full support for this”. For one thing, there was Deuteronomy 32:8:

When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance

When he divided the sons of man

He fixed their bounds according to the number of sons of God…7

As for the abolition of apartheid: the struggle to reconcile the idea of separate development with the Christian Gospel moved other Christian intellectuals to oppose apartheid. And in particular, one of Afrikanerdom’s foremost anti-apartheid activists was Reverend Beyers Naude, who resigned his position as a Moderator and as minister in the Dutch Reformed Church (NGK),8 in protest against that body’s pro-apartheid stance. There were many others who, like Naude, believed apartheid had defiled their Christian faith. Examples are Dr. Reverend Allan Boesak and Reverend Trevor Huddleston.

The Judeo-Christian teachings underpinned great moral struggles in both South Africa and America, separate development in the former country, slavery and segregation in the latter. There, I said it. Like early Americans, the Puritans of South Africa had a deep affinity for the Mosaic faith and morals. In The Roots of American Order, Russell Kirk traced the influence on the New England Puritans of the Hebraic faith and traditions. For sustenance and guidance, the Puritans drew on Exodus—whose theme is the flight from bondage to freedom—as did they on Kings and Romans. Like the New England Puritans, the Dutch Calvinists who settled South Africa were steeped in “John Calvin’s Hebrew scholarship.”9 Both in Africa and in America, the Puritans saw in the children of Israel and the story of the Exodus a metaphor for their own quest; their Protestantism they considered as a continuation of God’s covenant with the people of the Old Testament.10 As they interpreted it, the preservation of their respective communities of believers and its cultural characteristics was preordained.11

If Deuteronomy furnished the NGK, mainstay of the apartheid state, with the theological justification for “ordained separation,” then devout, Jewish, anti-apartheid activists took away something entirely different from this early book—the fifth of thirty nine—in the Hebrew Bible. My own father was a leader in the Promethean struggle to end apartheid. Rabbi Abraham Benzion Isaacson’s fight for justice for South Africa’s blacks was inspired by the advanced concept of Jewish social justice showcased in Deuteronomy and in The Prophets. Deuteronomy is replete with instructions to protect the poor, the weak, the defenseless, the widows, the orphans, the aliens. This ethical monotheism, developed centuries before classical Greek philosophy, is echoed throughout the Hebrew Bible, and is expounded upon by the classical prophets, who railed so magnificently against power and cultural corruption.

Roared Isaiah: “There is blood on your hands; wash yourself and be clean. Put away the evil of your deeds, away out of my sight. Cease to do evil and learn to do right, pursue justice and champion the oppressed; give the orphan his rights, plead the widow’s cause” (1:11-17). Right or wrong, this was a role Daddy felt compelled to assume. As he explained to the editor of Cutting Through The Mountain: Interviews With South African Jewish Activists, his hatred of injustice “was greatly strengthened by the reading of the [Hebrew] prophets. They are the world’s teachers”:

I got it from the inner spark of the Torah; from the nineteenth chapter of Leviticus: ‘you shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.’ … whatever I did and have done up till now … was based on … Jewish teaching. Not Marxism, not Leninism, and not any other ‘ism, not liberalism. And not Zionism. But Torah.12

In the Hebrew prophets, in particular—from Amos to the second Isaiah—John Adams saw exemplars for the American order, political and private. “A vast majority of Americans at the time of the framing of the constitution”13 were intimately familiar with the Law and the teachings of the prophets. In Kirk’s telling, these laws were “not a set of harsh prohibitions imposed by an arbitrary tribal deity. Instead they are liberating rules that enable people to diminish the tyranny of sin; that teach people how to live with one another and in relation to God, how to restrain violence and fraud, how to know justice and to raise themselves above the level of predatory animals.”14 “The great prophets restrained the kings’ ambitions,”15 and constantly—at great personal risk—rebuked the king and the people for their transgressions.