We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

I don’t think the average South African looks at Zimbabwe and says “I wish we lived like that”. But I bet Ramaphosa looks at Mugabe and thinks “I wish I lived like that”. Ramaphosa’s wishes matter more than the average citizen’s.


11 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks

    Actually Cyril Ramaphosa is the relative MODERATE – he really is.

    He is scared that the radical wing of the ANC will replace him, or that the ANC will lose to the “Economic Freedom Fighters” (who really do “fight” economic freedom – i.e. they fight for tyranny).

    Sorry Mikesixes – but it is the “average South African” who is the problem, they want free stuff. The same is true with much of the population of Western countries.

    In such States as New Jersey at the start of the United States, Property Tax (the main tax of the time) payers had the vote – black people, women, all had the vote IF they paid the Property Tax, and people did NOT have the vote if they did not pay the Property Tax (again the main tax of the time).

    Perhaps that limited the demand for “free stuff” – although “the masses” could still have demanded a “redistribution” of land – as in Mexico after the Revolution of 1910 (village land ownership working sooooooo well in Mexico since the 1930s).

    At base this is a matter of CULTURE.

    What is the cultural reaction of most people to someone has inherited wealth (such as land) which they (“the masses”) have not got.

    If the cultural reaction is “they do not deserve that land (or money – or whatever) give it to us” then the society is DOOMED.

    Blaming X individual politician is silly.

  • Paul Marks (August 22, 2018 at 8:40 am), in Zimbabwe, Mugabe actually lost the relevant referendum but did what he intended anyway. (No-one tell Project Fear – it might give them ideas. 🙂 ) Afterwards, a New York Times correspondent said the saddest thing for him in Zimbabwe was the number of black people who told him they now regretted the passing of white rule. (For me, the starving children seemed the saddest part of his account – but I daresay he understood the NYT’s editors and readers would need the reassurance of his affirming that the damage to the narrative outweighed that – probably because he also needed to reassure himself.)

    The majority voters in South Africa are responsible for their current position, and may well deny themselves the consolation of ever voting against disaster in the time left before disaster ensures that, as in Zimbabwe, only the leader’s vote counts, but we’ll see.

  • bobby b

    There’s still a lot of foreign investment in SA, placed there by people not known for stupidity or naivete’, and I’m guessing that it’s Ramaphosa’s presence that is giving them the confidence to remain.

    He has to walk a fine line, balancing the lunatic promises and expectations of the radicals and their followers with the economic discipline necessary to keep that foreign money in hand, and so far it appears that they’re still betting on him. To the extent that SA has a viable economic future, it’s because of his influence.

    And I note the following from BusinessDay a few hours ago:

    “The ANC has committed to protecting property rights and to no land grabs being allowed‚ agricultural industry body Agri SA said on Tuesday.

    “Agri SA is encouraged by today’s productive discussion with senior ANC officials regarding agrarian reform and agricultural property‚” Agri SA said in a statement.

    The organisation met with deputy president David Mabuza and ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile, while President Cyril Ramaphosa met Agri SA president Dan Kriek in Cape Town on Tuesday.

    Agri SA said the ANC have committed to:

    • No land grabs being allowed.

    • The protection of productive agricultural land remaining a priority.

    • Fallow land being optimised for use in rural areas.

    • Property rights remaining a key priority in agrarian development.

    • The government finalising an audit of state land for transfer to black farmers.

    • Initiating production on 4‚000 farms currently in the government’s possession to unlock commercial value and create farming opportunities.

    Agri SA executive director Omri van Zyl said: “This historic meeting sets a foundation for a lasting partnership with the aim to sustainably transform and grow agriculture. However‚ our focus will remain on negotiating for tangible benefits for producers.””

    This could be an out-and-out lie on SA’s part, but it’s a more optimistic tone than we heard two days ago.

  • Slartibartfarst

    I don’t think the average South African looks at Zimbabwe and says “I wish we lived like that”. But I bet Ramaphosa looks at Mugabe and thinks “I wish I lived like that”. Ramaphosa’s wishes matter more than the average citizen’s.

    That seems like just such an unnecessarily hurtful comment.

  • Rich Rostrom

    The average South African doesn’t even know where Zimbabwe is. What he does know is that a relative handful of white people own about 3/4 of the land in South Africa, that those white people are much wealthier than he is, that for generations white people ruled South Africa, and that during that period state power was used to insure that white people owned the land and black people didn’t.

    Therefore he sees nothing wrong with blacks who now rule South Africa taking land from whites.

    He doesn’t know that much of the white-owned land was effectively vacant when whites established title, or that even allowing for different legal standing, whites have been more competent farmers than blacks, so that even in the absence of white political dominance, whites would owna disproportionate share of land, or that the black politicians who will administer any scheme of land redistribution will award the best land to their relatives and cronies.

  • That seems like just such an unnecessarily hurtful comment.

    Perhaps, but after Zuma it seems reasonable to keep expectations of Cyril Ramaphosa muted. The political mechanism which provides his base of support is eyeing white owned property greedily and doesn’t have to observe the same legal niceties as “The Buffalo”.

    The number of headline grabbing “Farm Attacks” has fallen in recent years, although there have been unconfirmed reports of an upswing since Ramaphosa took power. Whether this is a result of poor classification by the South African police (since it includes everything from theft to murder) or propaganda by minority interest groups is unclear.

    If I was a white farmer in South Africa today, I doubt I’d be sleeping very easily either way.

  • Mr Black

    Western nations should be offering cash money to white citizens of SA to resettle in civilised places. Everyone can see which way things are going and if mass slaughter and confiscation isn’t on the table this week, it may very well be next week. Get our people out and let Africa take the rest.

  • Ljh

    Mr Black: there is a great deal of mythology about White “Boers”. Until the 90s they were the most pampered subsidized, politically over represented group in the country, particularly the maize farmers of what had been the Boer Republics before the Boer War led to the unification of South Africa. With the withdrawal of marketing boards, less favorable loans from the Land Bank , the granting of rights to farm workers and the widening of trade , many became good competitive farmers. All, however, remain reliant on dirt cheap unskilled labour. The invitations by Australia and Russia to farmers recognises their ability to improvise in remote environments but fails to acknowledge their habit of getting someone else to do the hard physical work while baas drives around in his 4×4.

  • Julie near Chicago

    I am not sure that Slarti meant his words to be taken 100% seriously….

  • Slartibartfarst

    @ Julie near Chicago August 24, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    I am not sure that Slarti meant his words to be taken 100% seriously….

    Yes, that is correct. I suspect the more hurt the better in this particular case, because it could be well-deserved.
    Some people (not me, you understand) might say that, unfortunately for the African nations, since at least the Mau Mau Uprising (1952-1964) it seems that Africa may be destined to attempt to put itself through a repeat of something akin to the murderous history of Europe – but in its own primitive/tribal way and in its good own time; a baptism of fire. However, I couldn’t possibly comment.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Well, Slarti, I must say I enjoy the way you put things sometimes, as in both your comments above. ;>)