Everything we need to know after the election:
1. Our government is now run by self-described revolutionaries – the EFF and the ANC. If Ramaphosa cannot sweep the ANC clean of its thugs and looting, the ANC will sink to below 50 per cent next election and then who knows what happens next.
2. The DA is a leaky vessel. It ran a Hillary Clinton campaign. Vague assurances and slogans about competence. They speak to nobody. They don’t offer any sense of identity. They imagine South Africans as atomized individuals.
3. We need parties like the IFP and Freedom Front to continue to rise. Read their manifestos. These parties are not radical or racist. They want to represent certain groups within a pluralistic country of nations, and restore our market economy. People are not blank slates. They have pasts, social ties, culture that need to be recognized. We will need parties that respect such identities in a national coalition after the next election. And they can both outflank the DA and the EFF to achieve greater growth by offering this sense of nationhood and fairness. But they will need fresh leaders capable of such a dramatic outreach.
South Africa is about to have another election. But we’re stuck in the same rut, and probably will be for some time. I think we need to go back to the old dream of a Rainbow Nation – distinct (not separate) colours all emanating together from one Light.
The truth is, our current system of democracy is failing.
And despite finding Julius Malema to be an exceptionally dangerous figure for South Africa, I have come to basically agree with his analysis of what Mandela, De Klerk, Mbeki, and Ramaphosa got wrong when they formed the New South Africa.
At the time, we were told we would become a rainbow nation, with eleven official languages, and cultural preservation and enrichment. Instead we find ourselves a fragmented nation with no real culture, losing at the game of globalisation. Keep reading
Over the weekend, Trump was exonerated by the Special Counsel investigating whether he is some kind of Russian Manchurian agent.
For months, we were told the case against him was pretty much a done deal. Mueller was going to lock him up.
I remember surveying a few acquaintances months ago, asking them the question, what do you think Trump’s collusion with the Russians entailed.
The people I asked were varsity graduates, who read the news. Almost all of them had somehow come to the conclusion that Russia had hacked into voting machines in Wisconsin, or had placed fake hit pieces on Hillary all over Facebook.
I had actually read deeper than the headlines and I knew that these accusations were laughable. Keep reading
‘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.
You cannot simply seize land in a fragile democracy and expect stability and order to remain. Keep reading
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. Keep reading
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. Keep reading
‘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.
What would such a future look like? Keep reading
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.
But that’s exactly the wrong attitude to have – elitism in education is not only necessary, but desirable. Keep reading