Without wishing to alienate and disappoint my dedicated readership who more often than not come here to get their daily dose of fury , today I’m going to drop the “sass” and talk about something I consider to be a potential problem for our country.
If you will grant me a brief few paragraphs of self centered babble, I’ll come to my point.
When I think of the mesh of forces that make up the South African socio-political environment, I’m often torn between my ideals and the pragmatic realities that haunt them. My world view could easily be mistaken for liberal or even socialistic at times , because I appreciate and campaign for principles inherent to socialism. I want everyone to have a roof over their head , food , water , electricity, education and health care and I want the rich to pay for it. But that’s just the humanist or more accurately the psychologist in me. The problem is deep down I’m actually a stern Libertarian.
What is libertarian then ? A libertarian is kind of a hermit on steroids. I believe in the principle that all human beings have the capacity and inherent nature to govern themselves and should strive to do so. I believe that putting the power to govern in the hands of others not only hinders but clashes with our freedoms. Simply put , I want to right to be left the f#ck alone so long as I’m not bugging anyone. I want the right to be free to trade and interact with other human beings seeking only consent from the parties involved. I want the right to decide what to do with my money without having to entrust a third of it to get lost in a pool of beaurocratics and be exposed to the inevitable corruption inherent in human nature. I realize the need for a mediating party resembling a government/police force , but would rather have them community run affairs. So how then can I possibly promote the ideals of socialism/big government ?
A very smart man named Maslow once mapped out a basic pyramid of human needs. Towards the lower end of the pyramid are the basic human needs a person must fulfill before it becomes possible for them to engage in the types of behavior we associate with civilized society and personal responsibility. One doesn’t need a skinner box to know that hostile environments breed hostile behavior. I have supported the A.N.C because they have basically been nothing more than a populist filtering machine. They pander to voters by taking from the rich and giving to the poor. So that’s a nice little Robin Hood story and a warm and fluffy idea, and it has a pacifying effect on society. People who have something have something to lose and don’t engage in unnecessary violent behavior. Hence we’ve seen a steady decline in the murder rate correlating exactly as I always predict to the increase in wealth. I don’t for a second believe it’s fully motivated by altruism as much as pandering for votes, so I’ll withhold praise to the A.N.C for this.
However , where I’ll be quick to praise them is their economic policies. Under the leadership of Mbeki there lay an active understanding that the best way to bring about socio-economic change is through the free market system. While we saw some of the pandering for votes as I previously mentioned , untimately what we got from Mbeki was a thwarting of that trend. We saw privatization, growth and sound fiscal policy often at the expense of popularity. An intellectual understanding that the key to pulling the country out of poverty was not a quick fix aggressive wealth dispersal the people were demanding. Some of you will remember the promises of a suburban home and BMW were the “economic policy” of the A.N.C pre 1994. And Mbeki/Manuel were of course right and anyone with half a brain was thrilled about it. The very fact that we as an African country had leaders brave enough to stand up to what would have been the easy and popular option in the short term , but disastrous in the long term, has been something I’ve stood back in awe of. Enough so that I’ve been willing to ignore all the corruption scandals and witch hunts in the media.
The A.N.C , a party voted in on the premise that it was based in socialism/communism was allowing me to keep my property , trade freely etc was to me like winning the jackpot. Yet all around me I heard nothing but White people moaning. Moaning ?????? Think about it for a moment.
Did you not know what you were asking for when you called for Mbeki’s head ? You truly did not know how lucky you were to have Mbeki and the intellectuals he associates himself with. But I have the idea we’re just about to find out.
I guarantee you that the faction of people that wanted to see Mbeki go , chiefly did so because they do not adhere to his capitalistic policies. They maneuvered into power on the premise that they would bring faster change. We’re back to “BMW economic policies” my friend. The politics of populism : give the majority of people what they want even if means tearing down everything around you . It’s the politics that has brought down the foundations of every other African country around us and it’s here.
And here’s the really scary part. The more the government fails to deliver on promises , the more people will start to show allegiance to other parties. And the cycle begins, the deeper the government digs into our pockets to buy their voters with increasingly untenable policies. The more promises the government makes. The more we have of a government that’s going to stick it’s grubby hands into our homes and grow fat consuming our freedoms while the masses brey for the scraps.
And a government big enough to give you everything you want my friends……is a government big enough to take it all away.
And it’s with an uncharacteristic sense of despair that I offer the above warning.