Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Boiling the Frog in South Africa | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on July 22, 2021

Since the beginning of African National Congress (ANC) rule in 1994, South Africa has been the anticolonial movement’s great success story. While other African countries fell victim to coups and civil wars, South Africa carried on. Yes, it was a one-party state, corruption was rife, violent crime was out of control, and unemployment hovered between 25 and 33 percent—but somehow the country muddled through.

Alas, muddling through is a tactic that can only work for so long.


Boiling the Frog in South Africa

Dire predictions about ANC rule are finally coming to pass. JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – 14 JULY: A woman and a young girl walk through debris in Vosloorus, Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by James Oatway/Getty Images)

July 21, 2021|

Helen Andrews

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa is now claiming that the unrest that has wracked his country since July 9 is an organized insurrection. “It is clear now that the events of the past week were nothing less than a deliberate, coordinated, and well-planned attack on our democracy,” he said in an address to the nation. Twelve “persons of interest” have been identified, he said, and at least one of these ringleaders has already been taken into custody.

It would be convenient for Ramaphosa if this eruption of lawlessness, which has left more than 200 dead and threatened food and gas supplies in the provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal, were the work of a dozen malcontents. It would even be tolerable if it were a political protest aimed at freeing former president Jacob Zuma, whose arrest in connection with corruption charges was the spark for the riots.

Unfortunately, talk of an “insurrection” is a distraction from the real cause of the violence, which is deeper and harder to solve. South African society has been lurching toward dysfunction for a long time. This month’s violence is a sign that the country’s chronic problems may have finally reached a breaking point.

Since the beginning of African National Congress (ANC) rule in 1994, South Africa has been the anticolonial movement’s great success story. While other African countries fell victim to coups and civil wars, South Africa carried on. Yes, it was a one-party state, corruption was rife, violent crime was out of control, and unemployment hovered between 25 and 33 percent—but somehow the country muddled through.

Alas, muddling through is a tactic that can only work for so long. There are about 14 million registered taxpayers in South Africa, out of a population of nearly 60 million. The bulk of income tax revenue comes from just 574,000 individuals. The ANC’s wager has always been that this tiny tax base could be squeezed for all it’s worth in order to fund lavish social benefits for the rest of the population.

Ramaphosa has articulated this gamble explicitly, according to the posthumous memoir of Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, a longtime MP for the Inkatha Freedom Party who died in 2014. During negotiations over the post-apartheid constitution in 1994, Ambrosini wrote, “Ramaphosa told me of the ANC’s 25-year strategy to deal with the whites: it would be like boiling a frog alive, which is done by raising the temperature very slowly.” Under majority rule, “the black majority would pass laws transferring wealth, land, and economic power from white to black slowly and incrementally, until the whites lost all they had gained in South Africa, but without taking too much from them at any given time to cause them to rebel or fight.”

Ramaphosa got the timing right, give or take a few years, but he forgot about the third option: Rather than fight or stay and be boiled, the white minority could always just pick up and leave. When Nelson Mandela came to power, doomsayers predicted a mass exodus similar to that of the Algerian pieds-noirs. Contrary to forecasts, millions of white South Africans stayed, either because they were committed to making the “Rainbow Nation” experiment work or simply because they were too settled to emigrate. That generation is now dying, and their children are constrained by no such inertia.

For a long time, South Africa’s natural resource wealth worked in the ANC’s favor. Gold and diamonds are where they are; you can’t outsource a mine the way you can a factory. However, in 2020, AngloGold Ashanti, a successor company of Anglo American, sold its last remaining operations in South Africa, which meant the end of an unbroken streak that had lasted since Ernest Oppenheimer founded the company a century ago. Even a mining firm’s patience has limits.

The taxpaying minority’s endurance might be greater if in exchange for their money they received basic services, but these days they cannot even count on the electricity staying on. Every suburban home in Johannesburg has a generator in case of “load shedding,” or unscheduled blackouts. Most also have high walls topped with barbed wire or motion sensors. With the police unable or unwilling to do anything about break-ins and robberies, home security has become a luxury for those who can afford to buy their own. South Africa has three times as many private security guards as police.

Last week, Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula admitted that government forces did not even try to protect shopping malls from looters because they assumed private security would take care of it. “It never occurred to us that we should move to areas such as malls, particularly because in malls, anywhere, there is always a contract between business itself and private security companies,” she explained. Even if order is restored, a dangerous lesson has been learned about the state’s inability to perform the basic functions of government in a crisis.

When the historian R.W. Johnson published his book How Long Will South Africa Survive? in 2015, he was mocked for his sensationalist title. All of the problems cited in the book—corruption, tribal tensions, a bloated public sector, gangsterism, political assassinations—had been around for years without turning South Africa into a failed state, critics said. But time may yet prove Johnson right. Ramaphosa is a weak president, well suited to a caretaker regime. If he pardons Zuma, as some have urged him to do, he might be able to end the current violence and restore the pre-COVID status quo. The question is how long that status quo can last. It is not sustainable forever.

about the author

Helen Andrews is a senior editor at The American Conservative, and the author of BOOMERS: The Men and Women Who Promised Freedom and Delivered Disaster (Sentinel, January 2021). She has worked at the Washington Examiner and National Review, and as a think tank researcher at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Yale University. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, First Things, The Claremont Review of Books, Hedgehog Review, and many others. You can follow her on Twitter at @herandrews.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

South Africa – The First Country Built on “Critical Race Theory” – Officially Implodes – Revolver

Posted by M. C. on July 19, 2021

South Africa is disintegrating.

After the jailing of Jacob Zuma, supporters of the former president took to the streets, ostensibly to protest but actually to simply plunder at will. The official death toll already runs into the dozens, but in a country as violent as South Africa (57 murders a day) the real toll will likely never be known for certain.

JUST IN – At least 72 people have been killed, hundreds arrested, and countless properties looted so far in spiraling unrest in South Africa triggered by the jailing of former president Jacob

— 🚨 (@disclosetv) July 14, 2021

Rioters have plundered shops and entire shopping malls. When they run out out of normal goods, they steal livestock. When it’s too heavy to carry by hand, they bring a forklift.

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Erie Times E-Edition Article-Virus variants likely behind latest surge across state

Posted by M. C. on April 10, 2021

The state is refusing to release data. Is it because she hasn’t been programmed on what to say or just doesn’t know? One thing I think I know-that stuff you allowed to be pumped in your arm is no good (having to anti-social distance and wear masks after “vaccination” is a clue). Boxing used to go 15 rounds. How many will you go?

Jo Ciavaglia Pocono Record | USA TODAY NETWORK

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is refusing to release data about where emerging and more contagious COVID-19 infections are occurring, including one that medical experts are attributing to the recent surge in new cases.

Department spokeswoman Maggi Burton acknowledged COVID-19 cases involving variants of the virus are increasing in the state, but she referred questions about counties in which the variants are circulating to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pennsylvania is currently sending biweekly positive COVID samples to the CDC for the complex and time-consuming genome sequencing, a tool that provides the genetic code of a virus and allows scientists to detect mutations.

Several commercial and hospital labs have also started sequencing positive specimens and they have identified most of the variants in the state so far, Burton said. She added the department is working to build the infrastructure to do sequencing in-house.


Continued from Page 1A

As of Thursday, the CDC has detected the so-called U.K. variant in 672 Pennsylvania COVID-19 cases, more than triple the number as of March 30. Six cases of the South African variant and one case of the Brazil variant have also been detected in the state as of Thursday.

On Thursday, the CDC declared the more contagious and potentially deadly U.K. variant has become the dominant strain in the United States, but added that the three FDA-approved vaccines offer some protection against the strain.

Statewide, COVID cases have jumped 75% since mid-March, with new cases jumping from an average of 2,500 daily to more than 4,600. The U.K. variant is suspected to be primarily behind the recent jump.

The percentage of positive COVID tests in Pennsylvania has also spiked dramatically in the last three weeks, from 5.7% to 9.4% on April 1, suggesting that community spread is increasing.

Currently, 45 of the 67 Pennsylvania counties were in the substantial level of community spread, including Bucks and Montgomery counties.

The CDC has identified five COVID-19 variants – from the U.K., South Africa, Brazil and two detected first in California – which seem to spread more easily, and quickly, than other variants, which could result in a rise in new cases.

Mutations change proteins on the surface of a virus. Those proteins attach to human cells, allowing the virus to enter the body.

Those variants can cause milder, or more severe, illness; they can make available treatments and vaccines less effective, which makes it harder to prevent community spread. Current testing methods may not be able to detect a new mutation of the virus, allowing it to spread quickly and widely.

Current COVID vaccines available in the U.S. are 70% effective against symptomatic COVID from the U.K. variant, but only 28% effective in protecting against asymptomatic disease from that variant, meaning those who are vaccinated can still spread it.

Clinical trials for the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine show it’s only 57% effective in stopping symptomatic COVID from the variant that originated in South Africa.

Pfizer says its new data shows its vaccine is 100% effective against the South African variant.

The Moderna vaccine is also effective against the two California variants, B.1.429 and B.1.351, which are spreading quickly in the U.S., according Duke University researchers. Novavax, a vaccine candidate the FDA will be considering soon, also performed well against the California variant, according to the researchers. The researchers did not test the Pfizer vaccine’s effectiveness with the California strain but said the Moderna findings would be comparable because it used similar technology.

Both vaccines showed “significant declines” in effectiveness against the South African variant, according to the Duke researchers.

The National Institutes of Health has started testing a booster shot from Moderna against the South African variant, and it could be available by the end of this year.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Reading and Raging – Taki’s Magazine

Posted by M. C. on September 17, 2018

by Taki Theodoracopulos

…And speaking of things changing, signaling in tennis by coaches is nothing new, not that it works. I remember that when I was on the circuit, coaching by friends—there were no pro coaches back then, only countries behind the Iron Curtain employed them—was a no-no. The Yugoslavs did it nonstop and a South American player friend of mine, Eduardo Argon, playing a Serb at Wimbledon, told the Serb coach Palada time and again to stop it. What the ghastly Mouratoglou was signaling to Serena was quite important, however. None of the pundits got it. He wasn’t telling her to go to the net, but to play the center theory—hit it back deep and in the middle of the court, thus cutting down Naomi’s angles.

I felt very sorry for little Naomi Osaka, who beat the bully fair and square but had to put up with the Williams bullshit of being a mother—if I hear one more thing about her giving birth, I swear I will climb the Matterhorn and throw myself off it. The crowd booing a little Japanese girl who had beaten the big bully was as disgraceful as it gets. The woman who was giving the prizes and called the bully a class act reminded me of a used-car salesman’s spiel. Tora, Tora, Tora, Osaka won and Noo Yawkers should go back and have some more hamburgers. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »