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Samizdata quote of the day

[Overheard on a train in UK]

Passenger 1: “Have you seen what’s happening in South Africa? The authorities have let order completely break down. It’s getting so bad even BBC is starting to show coverage.”

Passenger 2: “Yeah, it’s terrible, Natal is starting to look like Portland.

15 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • How racist of them to say Natal looks like Portland. The majority of Natal’s inhabitants are black. Portland is notoriously very white. It’s racist not to notice the racial angle in everything – and even more racist to notice that the effects of certain left-wing policies tend to be the same even when the races they target differ.

    Zimbabwe started out with Mugabe, who ran it into the ground with socialism. In South Africa, for almost four decades, the apartheid regime was much more hostile to the idea of transition to black rule than was Rhodesia’s Ian Smith. However the side effect was that, when they switched, they had Mandela to hand in jail, so could hand over to him. Mandela was better news than Mugabe – but of course a good deal older than when they’d first put him in jail. Mandela is not the only leader to fail to impart his own relative restraint to his party and the leaders they chose after he died. (Even Mugabe was a bit restrained at first – such agreed transitions inevitably are at starting – but I still think Mandela had more to him than Mugabe even after you discount all the hype.)

  • James Hargrave

    Had the 1961 Southern Rhodesian constitution been just allowed to rumble on, there would have been black majority rule eventually, a gradual thing – perhaps about 1980, but probably not under R G Mugabe.

  • bobby b

    Mandela had restraint? He’s a snake. Ramaphosa’s far better, and it would seem his admin is getting a handle on the Zulu uprising.

  • Paul Marks

    There is a similarity between Portland and South Africa that many have over looked – the legal system.

    In Portland and other places in the United States leftist rioters are not punished – but right wingers are. The two standards of justice that became infamous in New York City when Antifa attacked some “Proud Boys” (yes I know this organisation is infiltrated by the FBI – every organisation is, it is an old NKVD trick), but only the “Proud Boys” were punished by the courts, the judge and media (as if there was any real difference) sneering at the “racists” even though the wife of one of the defendants is black.

    In Portland (and many other places) it is the same – violent assault is fine, IF you are a leftist. The schools and universities have long taught “Social Justice” and “Progressive Social Reform” – so the use of violence by that side is winked at.

    In South Africa – the 1990s Constitution was written to protect private property and individual liberty, but the judges have “interpreted” it away.

    Yes the JUDGES – they had destroyed the protections for private property, long before the rural farm invaders and urban looters got out of control.

    A society, like a fish, goes rotten from the head – the Constitutional Court in South Africa had (de facto) embraced the evil of “Social Justice” long before the hacking off of the heads of rural farmers, and the burning of urban shops.

    And the United States is not far behind. Such organisations as the FBI have nothing but hatred and contempt for “reactionaries” and for ordinary people in general.

    Race is a division – just as gender and sexuality are diversions.

    The doctrine of Social Justice is that any inequality is proof of “exploitation” and “oppression”, and it rejects any rights AGAINST the state.

    When Joseph Biden expresses his contempt for the Bill of Rights he is not some sort of fringe figure – he is in the mainstream of the American establishment.

    And remember Mr Biden is not some lunatic standing on a soap box in a public park – he is declared by the media and the government and corporate bureaucracy to be “President of the United States” thanks to vast numbers of fake votes in a rigged election.

  • Paul Marks

    James Hargrave – the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia in 1979 (let alone 1980) was black. But they you know this.

    Indeed 80% of the army was black.

    But I know what you mean – in the old Southern Rhodesia (unlike Apartheid South Africa) voting was on a property qualification, not an an explicit racial marker.

    Establishing clear private ownership of land is a key thing in the development of a nation.

    Indeed the fact that people are unsure as to how-owns-what is what holds back many countries even today – for example Honduras.

    If it is not clear who, for example, rightfully owns a farm – what is the point of investing in it? Including investing time and work.

    If one looks at the island of Hispaniola divided between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, it is fairly clear who owns what in the Dominican Republic – they have a system of “Torrens Title” (named after the economist Torrens in South Australia) just as Bobby B’s Minnesota does, but it is very unclear who owns what in Haiti.

    It is not really race that leads the endless violence in Haiti – it is the unclear legal status of everything. The only way to gain property and to keep it is to make yourself FEARED – and that comes from violence. Torrens Title may not be a perfect system – but it is better than “I hold this because I have a big stick – till someone with a bigger stick comes along”.

  • Ramaphosa getting a handle on things? Maybe so, but not according to this by R W Johnson, recycled by Mick Hartley.

  • James Hargrave

    Paul. I do know, and probably better than you imagine.

    And the black president of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia in 1979, Mr Gumede, had an MBE from the old days which was included in his formal honours when his proclamation was read proroguing the parliament there in late 1979 as Soames made his way in from Salisbury airport.

  • My interpretation of comments above is that bobby b is analogising the first part of R W Johnson’s Quillette article to Portland, whereas Brian is drawing attention to the second part, which sounds more like an echo of Mugabe in Zimbabwe. I link to the original to encourage readers to consider the whole thing.

    The analogy to Portland is indeed strong in the first part, but though they do not need more problems, they sure have them.

    one hears on all hands unfavourable comparisons with the old apartheid government

    That’s very reminiscent of Mugabe.

  • bobby b

    My attitude towards SA stems from reading so much about the differences between Ramaphosa and Zuma. Zuma sounds like Mugabe. Ramaphosa sounds like what everyone outside of SA wants for SA – in theory. Sadly, he’s getting a hint of “ineffectual” about him that isn’t helping. But at least he’s not being accused of the corruption of Zuma.

    (One article came out recently, with a listed author of Clem Sunter. In it, Ramaphosa’s actions are defended as being smart in the face of a Zulu provocation. Sunter is someone worth listening to in regards to SA. Last night, I learned that Sunter has denied writing the article. He hasn’t specifically said he disagrees – but he didn’t write it, which is exceedingly confusing – who did, and why? In any event, “getting a handle on it” was my way of saying Ramaphosa appears to not be falling into the trap of becoming the violent authoritarian in response to the riots, which may leave him able to continue to function as leader of all sefricans. I note that the riots are decreasing.)


  • Paul Marks

    James Hargrave – I apologise, clearly you a man with local knowledge.

    Yes the supposedly “evil” internal settlement – where both the President and the Prime Minister were black.

    But they were not MARXISTS – so, as Joseph Biden would say, “you ain’t black”.

    I do not care how senile Mr Biden is – anyone who says that if a black person does not support him “you ain’t black” is repulsive. Mr Biden was not always senile – but he was always vile.

  • Paul Marks

    I take Brian Micklethwait’s view on the President of South Africa – he is a union type, he wants higher wages and better conditions BY LAW, and the trouble with that is that a lot of people get pushed out of employment entirely.

    Again I am reminded of Latin America where there are often lots and lots of “employment rights” and benefits, which means that vast numbers of people (sometimes the majority of the population) are pushed out of the legal economy – either into illegal employment (the “Black Economy”) or no work at all.

    Sadly many “advanced” countries are falling into the same trap.

  • bobby b

    I’ll not argue that Ramaphosa is not a dyed-in-the-wool socialist. He most certainly is. Given the present state of black-controlled SA following apartheid, I think it was predictable that it would fall into that route, at least initially. With 30%+ unemployment and mostly poverty and little education amongst the population, it will be a while before any entrepreneurial class develops and capitalism becomes possible.

    But he’s not a socialist thug, a thief, a dictator. He’s not a Zuma or a Mandela. SA is so far into a hole (most of which was Zuma’s and Mandela’s making) that they have a long ways to go before the precise form of their society becomes important. I think Ramaphosa has a better chance of getting them food and avoiding a descent into tribalism than anyone else on the scene. Not declaring an anti-Zulu state is one good step in that direction, if he can avoid it.

  • Bruce

    EVERYONE should read “The Washing of the Spears”, for starters.

    The LSM / wankerdemia “standard true view” of southern Africa is a total fiction.

  • Bee Boy

    Never expected to live in a time when part of Africa is described as getting as bad as part of USA 🙁

  • It is exactly these values that have brought South Africa to its knees. We created a society where nothing was expected of blacks save “blackness.”

    From a New York Post article (h/t instapundit) titled:

    How ‘equity’ ideology plunged South Africa into inequality and chaos”