‘It is no exaggeration to say that on President Ramaphosa’s shoulders rests the future of the African continent.’ Lord David Owen, former UK Labour MP and Cabinet Minister, The Daily Maverick.
Maybe it was the sudden upturn of illegal land occupations. Or the continued revelations of the torture and violence perpetrated against farmers. Or the shock of the international press. Or meeting new Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and hearing about his plans to bring back white farmers to his country.
I suspect that it might have been seeing the DA, along with many of its newfound black allies, stand up to the nakedly racist and fascist rhetoric of Julius Malema, that maybe jolted Ramaphosa and the ANC leadership back to reality.
Together, the ANC and the EFF are attempting to alter the Constitution in order to allow for state grabbing of land. For both party leaders, Ramaphosa and Malema, the issue at stake is not justice, but power.
Cyril Ramaphosa was meant to be our messiah, the second coming of Mandela.
But now he is working with Malema to turn our country into Zimbabwe, a country with 90% unemployment.
Both have signed onto a motion to begin the process to change Section 25 of the Constitution which forbids expropriation of private property without compensation.
Malema asserts that this is only justice after centuries of colonial dispossession. Ramaphosa argues that this is necessary for radical economic transformation.
Both really see the issue as a means to maintain or gain power, and to capture the faction of the population which believe Mandela’s reconciliation project has either not worked or was a sell-out of the revolution right from the start.
Or, how I left the upside down.
I used to think I kind of understood affirmative action, BEE, quotas etc.
The argument made me feel good about myself as an enlightened white person. I now realise that made me a kind of intellectual accomplice of some of the worst ideological thinking present in our country.
Initially, accepting affirmative action seemed like the pragmatic thing to do in the post-apartheid era. Of course, we need to pay for our sins. Of course, we need to create an aspirational class of black executives and sportsmen.
I still think there is a pragmatic argument to be made here – especially from a white perspective. Yet philosophically, it is more important now for the whole country and the whole world to break the spell of identity politics.
‘Don’t worry darlin’, now baby don’t you fret/ We’re livin’ in the future and none of this has happened yet.’ So sang Bruce Springsteen. In the spirit of the Boss, it’s time to live in the future, and not let the bastards keep us down.
I am tired of hearing about the ANC presidential race, as their destruction of SAA, education, public trust etc, continues unabated. When you’re on the Titanic, the name of the captain is not highly relevant.
One thing I am convinced of: the ANC, because of its inherent ideology of ‘party first’, has no mechanism of reform. It will crumble – the only question is what it takes down with it.
In other words, for the few remaining patriots out there, the fight for the future of the country must not be fought on the turf of the ANC. Instead, a creative minority of non-partisans must begin solving our country’s problems outside of the world of political parties.
Every time a multi-millionaire spends a ridiculous amount on private schooling, we should all applaud.
Every year, somebody posts on Facebook how much South Africa’s most expensive schools cost, and people, as is their wont, take glee in expressing outrage that our country has lots of wealthy people in it willing to spend massive amounts on schooling.
And every year, I wonder why the same outrage is not directed against people shopping at Woolworths, buying their own car or house, or going to private hospitals.
The reason why is fairly clear, I think – we all recognise how powerful a quality education is. And thus we fear elitism in education more than in any other sphere.
Watching CNN over the weekend led me to believe that Trump is a Nazi and is about to be overthrown. Then why on earth does polling in the US show he is just as popular as he was the day he was elected? What is going on?
Respected research organisation, National Journal, has released data that show the media’s coverage of the Charlottsville white supremacist march as being insane at best, nefarious at worst.
First of all, a sizable majority of Americans want old Civil War statues to be maintained – including 44 per cent of black Americans. And 43 per cent of Americans agree that Trump was right to point out that the so-called ‘antifa’ or ‘alt-left’ movement, which counter-protested the white supremacist, also contributed to violence. (It must be remembered that the ‘antifa’ have not killed anybody…)
Most tellingly, Trump is still viewed favourably by almost 40 per cent of America, which is the same number as just before the election. (It seems polling companies don’t have the phone numbers of people who vote Trump, Brexit etc.) In fact, as terrorists continue to create distrust and fear in public places in Europe, it is likely that Trump’s ‘America First’ rhetoric will probably become more popular.
After the failed no confidence motion, Jacob Zuma has at a Free State conference told a group of ANC ‘cadres’, that “our revolution is under attack”. Intriguingly, he seemed to pin the blame on his alliance partner, the South African Communist Party, yet then proceeded to bemoan a lack of Marxism in our national politics.
Wow. Where to start?
First of all, it is beyond dispute – Marxism as an ideology has been responsible for more murders and violent deaths than any other belief system in recorded history.
Lenin, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot – the list goes on. In fact, it is worth noting that even Hitler was head of the National Socialist party and urged state control of industry. It is arguable that Hitler was ideologically a racial parody of Lenin, and learnt the bloody art of totalitarian rule from his Communist enemies.
The chief problem of Marxism is that it falls to the revolutionary party to organise the whole of the economy, and indeed society, which becomes an arena for an all-encompassing class struggle. What could possibly go wrong? A lot. Ask the 100 million people killed by various Communist Parties last century.
Time for South Africa to choose – do we worship the Lord of the Flies or not?
White privilege, black tax, black first land first – you know a country is in trouble when the sloganeering begins. Slogans divide. Their content is almost incidental.
In the words of Josiah Bartlet, one of America’s best presidents, you need something after the ten words of a campaign slogan if you’re going to govern a country.