Articles – Rational Standard https://rationalstandard.com The Logical Alternative Wed, 24 May 2017 22:53:16 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 https://i2.wp.com/rationalstandard.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/cropped-RS-Logo.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Articles – Rational Standard https://rationalstandard.com 32 32 94510741 The General Motors disinvestment shows politicians that reality bites https://rationalstandard.com/general-motors-disinvestment-shows-politicians-reality-bites/ https://rationalstandard.com/general-motors-disinvestment-shows-politicians-reality-bites/#respond Mon, 22 May 2017 17:57:32 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5484 The recent announcement by General Motors (GM) that it will disinvest from South Africa after 2017 should not come as a surprise to South Africans. As much as we might […]

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The recent announcement by General Motors (GM) that it will disinvest from South Africa after 2017 should not come as a surprise to South Africans.

As much as we might want to rant and rave against GM, as much as we condemn their actions and look for ways to force them to stay in the country, reality simply does not match up to our emotions. Perhaps if we evaluated the actions of companies with the standard of reason and reality, and not emotion, the move by GM would not have caused such outrage.

Isuzu Motors SA will take over GM’s Struandale vehicle assembly plant in Port Elizabeth, and manufacture its own vehicles. 1,500 of GM SA’s 1,800 employees work at the Struandale plant, and talks regarding potential job losses have begun.

If I desperately want to buy a Chevrolet vehicle I will have to buy it from overseas, as these will no longer be sold in SA after 2017. According to the Minister for Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, the move by GM is not a surprise because its sales have been declining for several years.

I agree with the Minister: the disinvestment by GM should not be a surprise.

Every move by our government has resulted in the move, and will cause more companies to leave our shores. The international market may be tough at present, GM may be downsizing, etc., however, instead of looking at the problems they have caused, government does what government does best: blame outside forces.

Our government has done nothing to lessen its grip on companies and the South African taxpayer. Instead of making it easier to grow a company in this country, the government increases regulations. Instead of cutting government spending, and in turn lessening the burden of taxes on all South Africans, the government increases its reach, with Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services II regulation and the upcoming sugar tax the prime examples. Instead of making it easier for companies to open and operate here, we make it more difficult for them. Increasing regulations and burdens on companies, not wanting to attract investment and in turn economic growth defies logic, but this is exactly what our government does.

We have a prevailing philosophy that companies, to be moral, must ‘give back’ to society for the money they have made, for the privilege of existing. We need to commit to a complete revision of this position. A company’s profits indicate that its services or goods are valued by society. It does not force consumers to buy its products; it has to appeal to them. It has to convince them to part with they money. Government operates with force – this is its only avenue.

Time after time after time, the failures of statism are blamed on the free market, even though we have one of the biggest governments, and most regulated economies, in the world. Minister Davies will not point to government regulations as the problem; GM will profusely apologise and say their move is not because of government behaviour. When government is as large as ours, companies must do their best to please politicians. The socialist philosophy followed by our government results in the expected actions by GM; the more government grows, the more companies will leave because the cost of operation will simply be too great.

Businesses have to make a profit – this is their very nature. When it becomes too expensive for them to operate, they will seek more amenable markets. Yaron Brook explains that, “Our unprecedented prosperity and standard of living exist not despite but because of these [business]men. To shackle and tether such individuals with government regulations and interventions — to treat them as potential or actual Al Capones — is both unjust and self-destructive.” It would do South Africans well to do all we can to keep companies here; if we follow the socialist path, reality will bite back accordingly.

Non-permanent writers and guests can submit their articles to us and we’ll publish them. If a writer proves their writing skill, they may be invited to come on as a permanent writer.

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Decolonizing UCT: ‘trick or treat’ and ‘sticks and stones’ https://rationalstandard.com/decolonizing-university-cape-town-uct-trick-treat-sticks-stones/ https://rationalstandard.com/decolonizing-university-cape-town-uct-trick-treat-sticks-stones/#comments Sun, 21 May 2017 21:30:15 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5419 History For more than two years, the University of Cape Town (UCT) has lost direction and momentum in what used to be referred to as adaptive “transformation” of staff and […]

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History

For more than two years, the University of Cape Town (UCT) has lost direction and momentum in what used to be referred to as adaptive “transformation” of staff and student demographics, curricula sensu lato, racially offensive symbols, etc. Indeed, during this period, the “T-word” has been superseded by the variously defined ‘D-word’: “Decolonization”. Extreme critical, fallist decolonists favour ‘race’- and other ‘self-identification-based’ quotas concerning recruitment and advancement of students and staff, and academic ‘cleansing’ of the ideas of “dead white Eurocentric men”. The purpose of this piece is to discuss tactics fallists employ in achieving these goals at UCT: violent disruption of its functioning, suppression of free (especially academic) speech and character assassination.

Matters came to a head in 2016 at about the time of Halloween. Classes had been suspended for weeks. Libraries were locked. Academics hid in their offices within locked buildings or simply fled to their homes. This is because small numbers of individuals representing several factions of lawbreaking fallists controlled the campus, holding the UCT Executive (Vice Chancellor Dr Max Price, selected DVCs and an Executive Director) to ransom. Unlike the many justifiably aggrieved students and staff who peacefully expressed their “pain”, “suffocation”, overall neglect and, especially “silencing” by an uncaring Executive, masked fallist militants:

  1. bore stones, sticks, sjamboks and petrol bombs; and
  2. roamed the campus intimidating individuals (irrespective of gender or ‘race’), disrupting lectures, assaulting ‘adversaries’ and security personnel and burning artwork/buildings/vehicles.

While this was happening, the four-person Executive ‘negotiated’ with nine “progressive” individuals, mainly from one fallist faction – the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania, PASMA, a relatively poorly supported student group who feature strongly among the lawbreaking fallists. PASMA is an ideologically monolithic, revolutionary movement “guided by the philosophies of Pan Africanism and Marxism-Leninism whose goal is total liberation of all humanity through the working class revolution and establishment and construction of classless society”. It does not tolerate individualistic “opportunist elements”.

A “significant step”

A week after Halloween, the Executive and the fallists signed the November Agreement. VC Price heralded it as a “significant step in the right direction of addressing the underlying issues that have fuelled the protests for the last 18 months”.  The Agreement inter alia provided for potential conditional amnesty for lawbreaking fallists.  These included founder, faeces flinger, fallist and accused woman-assaulter Chumani Maxwele and a multi-arrested ‘Pasmanian’, Masixole Mlandu. More importantly, it set in motion the creation of a five-person Internal Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC) that could make recommendations resulting in radical and fundamental ‘decolonization’ of the non-racial, academically free university dreamt of by VC TB Davie and implemented by his successors Stuart Saunders and Mamphele Ramphele, who remain conspicuously silent.

Dissent

Many disagreed with the ‘negotiation’ process in general and the Agreement in particular.

To get a clearer picture of how alumni felt about this Agreement, I proposed a motion calling for members of the UCT Convocation to be consulted anonymously (but allowed to self-identify) to express their confidence in this Executive action.  This was supported (in amended form) by former UCT Student Representative Council president Ms Gwen Ngwenya, who referred to the Agreement as a result of “negotiations for non-violence”.  At the Convocation AGM in December 2016, the motion was mispresented as a personal vote of no-confidence in Price by Adv Geoff Budlender, Chairperson of the UCT Council and selection committee that appointed Price as VC.

When Gwen and I attempted to speak to our motion, we were prevented from doing so by fallists (including Agreement-‘clemencied’ Maxwele) who had illegally invaded the meeting. They had been allowed (based on a motion by Budlender approved by Convocation President BCM-founder Barney Pityana) to remain if they ‘protested’ silently. In fact, they shouted us down, defaming me as: “Jim Crow, racist, apartheid activist, killer of black people”, ultimately causing the meeting to be abandoned.

Soon after the abandoned Convocation AGM, fallists focused their attentions on Gwen, describing her as a “sell-out”, “porch negro”, “house ni**er”, and accusing her of lying about her academic qualifications.

So, rather than protest peacefully and debate, fallists resort to lawbreaking intimidation, lies, defamation and hate speech.

Another critic of the Agreement, politics/sociology (and now member of the IRTC Steering Committee) Prof Jeremy Seekings, challenged Price’s assertion that the academic year was “completed”, pointing out that “many courses [were] not concluded and a few not taught at all”, and emphasised that the Agreement would result in a significant loss of teaching time in 2017.  Like Gwen, he also pointed out that fallist signatories of the Agreement “secured the prospect of indemnity for their own actions, reinforcing a culture of impunity and perhaps encouraging similar disruptions in 2017”. Third, he asserted that Price and the PASMA fallists “agreed a list of commissioners … giving PASMA an effective veto over who would conduct this [IRTC] review of UCT”. Price subsequently recanted this agreement at a meeting of Senate, but it was reaffirmed at the IRTC Steering Committee meeting held on 18 April 2017.

Seekings also highlighted the actions of multi-arrested (for contravening a High Court order, malicious damage to property, trespassing, and intimidation), Agreement signatory, ‘clemencied’, PASMA leader Masixole Mlandu who had been incarcerated Pollsmoor Prison. His release (opposed by the State) was effected, in part, when he presented a letter from VC Price “not opposing” this action.

So much for ‘decisive action’.

Soon after Mlandu’s release, this PASMA ‘Primate’ (in the religious sense) outlined his organization’s goals: “We will usher into this country an attitude of black rage, black liberation, an attitude that threatened the foundation of whiteness”, “Revolution is the answer to our problem. … We must live up to our historical task … to change society from bottom up with no compromise”.

So much for peace on campus.

More defamation

Seekings and other colleagues at UCT who have criticized fallist behaviour have also been accused of racism. For example, in an expurgated letter published in the Sunday Independent on 21 August 2016 and in a much longer, unexpurgated Facebook post on the same day, Maxwele revealed that UCT Prof Xolela Mangcu had branded Seekings as a “racist”. This culminated in formal “stage 3” grievance and counter-grievances being lodged within UCT.  The adjudicator nominated by Price was a Deputy Vice Chancellor, eminent professor of law and a “leading international legal researcher” (“A”–rated by South Africa’s National Research Foundation). In short, Mangcu’s racism-related allegations were found to be “defamatory and unsubstantiated” and he should “publicly retract” them. On 4 September 2016, the Sunday Independent published a subsequent letter from Elijah Moholola (officially representing UCT) that ends as follows:

“Fighting racism is a noble act. Accusing individuals blindly and publicly without evidence is not.”

Neither Maxwele nor Mangcu have retracted their accusations. While (and after) all of this public defamation occurred, UCT’s VC, Registrar, Executive Director of the Development and Alumni Department and President of Convocation took no action to stop its perpetrators.

Fallist institutional capture

In February 2017, at the reconstituted Convocation AGM2, President Pityana moved again that ineligible fallists might attend and make a formal address.  The fallist speaker was commerce student Simon Rakei. He was one of the invaders of AGM1 and threatened to “slap” University Librarian Emerita Joan Rapp after she criticized his vulgar behaviour. He ended AGM1 by literally running down the lecture theatre from benchtop to benchtop, further disrupting the meeting.

During his address to AGM2, Rakei greatly exceeded his allocated 5 minutes, dismissed the legitimacy of the ‘white’-dominated meeting, ‘hate-speeched’ me again as “Jim Crow” and threatened that there “would be consequences” if the current Students Representative Council were not disbanded.

When I attempted to clarify my motion, Rakei and other fallists heckled me, Pitanya cut me short, my motion was once again misrepresented (once again by a pro-fallist alumnus lawyer) and it was voted down.

Convocation AGM2 was culminated by the election Ms Lorna Houston to succeed eminent scholar, liberation activist, former VC and professor Barney Pityana as Convocation President.

Ms Houston is a pro-fallist, anti-‘white’, disgruntled former employee of UCT who maintains that it retains an apartheid culture characterized by “invisible racism” – “the past is still present”.  According to her:

  1. “The UCT system managed to “disappear” and exclude many capable black staff; and instead nurtured mainly capable white staff by providing support, mentoring and the transmission of social capital to negotiate the system”.
  2. “That even though there are no ‘criminal’ charges against the university, it is a party to the conflict. Its tardiness and benign view of tardiness on behalf of university staff who did not implement its ‘transformation policies’ for 23 years, caused untold harm which is routinely denied, but persist to this day.
  3. “This [‘tardiness’] contributed to slow but invisibilised escalation amongst black students and staff over time”.
  4. “It therefore follows that students with charges and/or other possible actions considered against them, should not be regarded as ‘offenders’ with the institution as their ‘victim’.”
  5. IRTC commissioners “should ideally actively and emphathetically ‘listen for’ clues in narratives about how MANIFESTATIONS of violence [by Fallists] fit with PATTERNS of invisibilised institutional racism as violence; how these patterns fit within the institutional culture that isolates and alienates othered groups.”

Fixing this system his requires a “de-centr[ing of] whiteness”.

She describes fallists as “the progressive flank [employing “youthful tactics”] to support all efforts that deal honestly and decisively with trans-historical causes”. They form “a radical flank who provide the doves with cover to negotiate a just settlement” using an “expansive view” of “trans-historical restorative justice”.

To date, neither Ms Houston nor any fallist or member of the newly formally recognized Black Academic Caucus have identified ‘disappeared black’ and/or ‘nurtured white’ staff or exposed (with substantive evidence) any member of the UCT Community or an institutional structure as racist.  Moreover, none of the abovementioned have provided definitions/explanations for/of “decolonization”, “invisible racism”, “expansive trans-historical restorative justice” or “progressive” anything.

Ms Houston is also a key member of the UCT Alumni Advisory Board and the Steering Committee of the IRTC.

If you wish to read more on my views, consult my blog site: timguineacrowe.blogspot.co.za

Professor Tim Crowe is a descendant of oppressed Irish freedom-fighters from the United States working class. He is a first generation university graduate, non-settler immigrant alumnus, Elected Fellow and emeritus (40 years’ service) professor at the University of Cape Town. He is a Ph.D.-educated expert on evolutionary biology (covering everything from ‘race’ to deeply rooted evolutionary trees) and conservation biology (especially regarding sustainable and economically viable use of wildlife). He has published nearly 300 peer-reviewed scientific papers/books and is regarded as the world’s leading authority on game birds (chickens, turkeys, guinea fowls, etc.). About 70 of his graduated students have published their research and established themselves in their own right, including four professors.

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A few democratic reforms South Africa could benefit from https://rationalstandard.com/democratic-reforms-south-africa-benefit/ https://rationalstandard.com/democratic-reforms-south-africa-benefit/#comments Fri, 19 May 2017 10:31:54 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5454 South Africa is a country with a very diverse base of political support. The National Assembly is currently elected by proportional representation and thirteen different political parties have at least […]

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South Africa is a country with a very diverse base of political support. The National Assembly is currently elected by proportional representation and thirteen different political parties have at least one seat in this 400-seat house of Parliament.

Proportional representation is undoubtedly the most democratic mechanism for electing a legislature. However, we should not fall into the trap of thinking that more direct democracy is necessarily better democracy, after all, some of the world’s worst dictators were democratically elected. Even today, we still see fringe and extremist parties get representation, such as Golden Dawn – basically a neo-nazi group from Greece – which get seats in the European Parliament.

Democracy has many dangerous flaws, but at the same time it can be used as a way of keeping the government in check and getting the populace involved in the political system. This can only happen, however, if certain tweaks are made. Here I suggest two electoral reforms which South Africa could greatly benefit from.

Presidential: Two-round presidential elections

France recently held their election for their president and demonstrated how effective having a two-round system can be. The system works as follows: Parties nominated a candidate for president and voters vote for their best choice on the ballot in the first round. If no candidate wins a clear majority, the top-two face off in a runoff elections and whoever wins that, wins the presidency.

This a good system for a few reasons: Firstly, with the prospect of a second-round runoff election, voters can feel safe knowing that their vote will not be subject to the ‘spoiler’ effect. Like many countries, France had two parties which have dominated their elections for years, but with a two-round system, there was no fear that by voting for a party other than those two they would be spoiling their vote somehow (as was the case in the United States in 2016). Thus, this year neither The Republicans candidate François Fillon or the Socialist Party’s Benoît Hamon made it past the first round. This meant that voters felt safe to vote for a non-dominant party in the first round and decide on the lesser-of-two-evils in the second round, if need be.

While the ANC has been winning majorities in South Africa’s elections since 1994, it would still be a good idea to have a two-round system in South Africa as the mere prospect of a second-round election can change the mindset of voters.

Parliamentary: First-past-the-post

Currently, our parliament is elected by proportional representation from a party list. This just means that the percentage of votes a party gets is roughly the same as the percentage of seats it gets in Parliament (while there some more complicated calculations here, it is basically as simply as that).

While proportional representation is certainly the most strictly-speaking ‘democratic’ system of electing a legislature, there are a number of problems associated with it. The first great tragedy is that voters do not vote for a person, but rather a party. A party represents a set of views or an ideology, but the individuals in that party should be able to fully exercise their judgement. The parliamentary caucuses in South Africa are notorious for voting blindly along party lines, usually because of harsh punishments imposed on members who vote against party lines. We might as well simply have the chief whips occupy all of their respective parties’ seats and have them vote on behalf of their party.

This has been particularly bad in the recent case of the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma in the wake of his controversial cabinet reshuffle. Opposition parties are currently in a legal battle at the Constitutional Court simply to have court order the motion to be voted by members in secret. The outcome of this case will be crucial as there have been many rumblings from the SACP and COSATU of unhappiness with the President’s firing of Pravin Gordhan.

One of the most crucial roles of the legislative branch of government is to hold the executive branch to account. This is to ensure that the President does not abuse his power and if he does, the legislature duly acts against him. Without this check on power, we are a country with an open door to executive tyranny.

As the situation is presently, South Africa has a dismal record. Considering, as an example, the United States’ treatment of their presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, Jacob Zuma has been relatively untouched. The phrase “people have been shot for less” comes to mind when considering his sagas with Nkandla and the Guptas. Rational Standard contributors have written previously why Zuma himself is not the problem South Africa has, but it is nonetheless embarrassing that a liberal democracy such as ours cannot hold our executive to account as we should.

If we had a first-past-the-post system, partisanship would be far less of a factor as voters would now be voting for a person instead of a party. As an example, if a candidate is campaigning in a particular constituency, potential voters would be able to ask them if they would vote against party lines to hold their president to account and make their decision to vote accordingly. Likewise, should an elected MP break any of their individual campaign promises, constituents could simply vote them out in the next election.

In addition to this, the first-past-the-post system opens up the possibility of independent candidates to get elected to office. Independents can stand as people who voters will know do not have a partisan agenda and are not subject to the orders of a chief whip. It is yet another way in which citizens can run for office and truly vote their conscience in Parliament.

Our democracy is young, but sadly, we are beginning to see the flaws it has in enforcing it’s limitations on power, but with a few changes, this could be made to be far more effective.

Nicholas is a Senior Staff Writer at the Rational Standard. He is a Local Coordinator for Students For Liberty as well as an organiser of SAFREECON 2017. He takes great interest in the philosophy underlying classical liberal values as well as the Austrian school of economics. He is currently a student at Rhodes University studying towards a BA in Chinese and German.

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Liberty Needs To Reclaim Compassion https://rationalstandard.com/liberty-reclaim-compassion/ https://rationalstandard.com/liberty-reclaim-compassion/#comments Tue, 16 May 2017 22:20:10 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5448 During my years attending an all-boys school, many of my previous and currently-disproved political convictions were formed. As an adolescent, I watched the series The West Wing in awe of […]

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During my years attending an all-boys school, many of my previous and currently-disproved political convictions were formed. As an adolescent, I watched the series The West Wing in awe of the portrayed Democratic Party American president who, as I later realised quite ironically, was a fictional Nobel Prize for Economics laureate. Despite the fact that now, years and quite a few rewatches latter, I don’t agree with many of the portrayed policies of that award-winning series, I still look back on the series with fondness. It played a small, yet significant, part in forming my current political convictions. As one grows older your convictions, as well as opinions, are bound to be challenged and changed.

I have been fortunate enough to serve and partake in, and be involved with various student and youth organisations and structures. On the one end of the political spectrum, I have been part of progressive liberal leadership development programmes and right (excuse the pun) through to the other side I have served in classical liberal organisations. Although my various involvements may seem contradictory, I believe that there remains one common thread throughout all my engagements.

To advocate for free market principles and individual freedom does not seem to fit into the stereotypical idea of an involved and compassionate student. The perception exists that the only people who care about the poor and disenfranchised are the left or progressives. It, therefore, baffles many to see conservative or classical liberal youth being involved outside of their own communities and being involved in social upliftment, civic education and societal involvement. This view must, however, be corrected. The idea that social upliftment, civic education and societal involvement must happen through and by private citizens, fits squarely into right-leaning political and philosophical viewpoints; quite unlike most Marxist and progressive arguments that government should primarily play this role.

As an active campus student, many friends and colleagues respond with disbelief when I verbalise my political and economic opinions. Many often struggle to reconcile the idea that a free market exponent could come across as caring for the plight of those who struggle and those who are disadvantaged. This mistake is frequently made. It does not bode well with the contemporary political narrative that a person could care for the poor and disenfranchised while arguing for poverty-alleviating free market capitalist principles. In reaction to this, many political, as well as racial slurs, get hurled in our direction. Despite the obvious care for the poor, many then blindly and unthoughtfully attribute many other characteristics to you as a person, most of which are untrue. Just because I believe that the free market has the power to change our country and world, does not mean I deny many self-evident truths.

It would be ignorant and naive to deny that, historically speaking, the majority of our country’s people have been discriminated against and actively been oppressed. As a free market advocate, I do not deny this abhorrent tragedy of our history. I realise how easily I could have been in the position of the countless victims of our past, had it not been for things beyond my control such as melanin levels, or my gender. I acknowledge that I am privileged because of circumstances before and beyond my control. Like you and like everyone else, I had no control over where and to whom I was born.

Acknowledging this fact of history simply further motivates me to fight and seek freedom and liberty for all. Acknowledging the facts of our history does not entail supporting the view that, because of historical discrimination and disadvantage, I wish for the government to play the great role of equaliser. On the contrary, I would argue that a too powerful government is to blame for the current challenges and unfairness that we as a nation face.

As an example, I personally agree with the correctly-identified problem that many #FeesMustFall supporters fight for. It is an undeniable fact of our time that many students struggle financially at university. My critique of the #FeesMustFall, and the fallist movement in general, is not aimed at the merited, justified struggle that they believe they are fighting for affordable education. My critique of these movements takes aim squarely at their approach, philosophical background and the actions that necessarily flow from these. However, not supporting these movements does not boil down to not caring for students who struggle financially – just like not supporting a sports team coach’s tactics and decisions does not mean that you do not care for your team. On the contrary, your criticism is often because you want the best for your favourite team.

The difference is that, as a free market advocate, I believe that the surviving injustices of our past are best resolved by maximising individual freedom and opportunities – in society, in political debates, and in the market.

These same injustices were caused by a lack of individual freedom for all and by a lack of opportunities in the market. Oppression, by its very nature, always flows from an over-powerful, overbearing, liberty-destroying state. The solution to this, I believe, is the free market.

Nothing has done more to lift humanity out of poverty than the market economy. The apartheid state claimed the perverse power to dictate to us who can have ballots and what may be done with these ballots. How can a government today claim the perverse power to dictate to us who can have money and what may be done with it?

Examining human history over a time span of centuries and recent decades clearly illustrates the case that actual freedom, political, social and economic freedom, is the greatest liberator of the captured, feeder of the hungry and carer for the poor. The number of people in the world who live below the breadline has more than halved in the last twenty years due to the now-threatened increase in actual freedom.

This statement, however, does not fit the popular and dominant narrative. The previous paragraphs are sure to provoke reactions pointing to my privilege and oppressive capitalist opinions. But it is self-evident that accusations against me do not alter the facts on which I stand, nor the humanity on which I act. And this is a desperate concern in our time.

A person who holds different, perhaps unpopular views on how to solve poverty does not make them deplorable. It seems that what is, in fact, deplorable, are people who disregard diverse opinions about solutions because they do not fit their own personal worldview. This debate is a question about policy, not about the person.

As a lover of freedom, I have always felt comfortable in the company of all those who wish to make a difference in our country. I appreciate that thought goes into trying to solve problems. I appreciate the critique of my held political convictions just as much as I appreciate others being open to critique of theirs.

In the end, I, just like many of my red-bereted countrymen and women, wish to end the inhumane poverty in our country. We share this noble and vital ambition, yet our debates and discussions are polluted with needless hate and anger. Just because I do not agree with your means, does not mean that I do not agree with your ends.

Daniël is a Senior Staff Writer at the Rational Standard. He is currently part of the Democratic Alliance Young Leaders Programme, co-founded the Tuks Leadership and Individual Program, eCivix and the UP Debatsvereniging. Daniël is currently an academic associate at the University of Pretoria at the Department of Mercantile Law while completing his postgraduate Constitutional- and Cyber Law degree..

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Creating ideas vs harnessing White Monopoly Capital https://rationalstandard.com/white-monopoly-capital-southall/ https://rationalstandard.com/white-monopoly-capital-southall/#comments Mon, 15 May 2017 08:30:53 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5436 University of Witwatersrand sociology Prof. Roger Southall begins his recent piece on “White Monopoly Capital” (WMC) stating that “many” want to unjustifiably marginalize a notion he maintains is politically “indisputably […]

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University of Witwatersrand sociology Prof. Roger Southall begins his recent piece on “White Monopoly Capital” (WMC) stating that “many” want to unjustifiably marginalize a notion he maintains is politically “indisputably good for the country’s politics”. He attributes the tactics of its critics to the actions of ardent anti-communists who employ ad hominem arguments, e.g. dismissing WMC advocates as “mischievous political manipulators”.

He neither identifies some of the “many” critics as astute politicians and internationally respected economists (academic and Real-World) nor addresses their reasoned criticisms.

Then he points out an obvious continuing inequity in South Africa: highly polarized, ‘racially’-linked distribution of wealth that persists despite the existence of a democratically-elected, politically monolithic, ‘black’ (actually ANC) controlled government for nearly a quarter-century. He then provides another obviosity: 91.5% of South Africa’s population is Verwoerdian ‘nie-blanke’.

Then he connects this information by concluding (without providing evidence) that this “continuing inequity” is caused by ‘blanke’ “domination” of “the most productive parts of the economy” and is “an affront to social justice”.

He makes no mention of the existence of competing ‘black’ and non-racial parties who could have governed differently from the ANC or ‘real’ justice accessible to all emanating from post-Apartheid laws and a judicial system emanating from arguably the world’s most non-racial and socially just Constitution.

He then links the “implementation” (widely condemned by ‘racially’ diverse people within and outside of all non-ANC political parties) of ‘micro-waved’ Black Economic Empowerment with “employment equity”.

Then he focuses on the ‘socially justifiable’ anger of “black people at the bottom of the heap” and the actions of questionable “politicians who, for reasons good and ill, are willing to exploit that anger and mobilise around it”.

Other than by voting out a government that fails to deliver, he provides no “good reasons” to exploit the “anger” of oppressed ‘black’ masses.

Next, he specifically criticizes the DA’s and ANC’s (now passed) call for addressing the “continuing inequity” through economic development as a “mantra that … will lift all boats”, but only after “the tide has long been out”. In short, economic development is “stuck in the mud” and “the rise of the radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)” is “a major plus” that has “shake[n] the major parties out of their complacency by espousing a revolutionary assault upon WMC”. This is followed by a short history of the real WMC that existed during Apartheid and the inadequate efforts post-1994 that have failed to address the “continuing inequity”. This notwithstanding, he admits that “growth in black pension funds reflects the strong upward movement of black people into the higher ranks of the public service” and that “it makes far less sense to refer to [WMC], uncritically, as ‘white'”.

Nevertheless, he still asks:

“But, is the main issue here the racial patterns of ownership and control – or the growing power of financial institutions and their lack of accountability?”

Some ‘good news’

Fortunately for all South Africans, he dismisses calls for increased “nationalisation of WMC [a]s profoundly bad economics” and calls for “citizens” to “pose profound questions” and provide “innovative”, “inventive”, “de-racialised but democratised” solutions “to tackle the brutally unequal nature of its economy”.

Finally, he wisely concludes that this cannot be achieved simply by “overthrowing white monopoly capital”. It requires ‘careful thought’ that creates a viable replacement that actually stops the “continuing inequity”.

Sadly, other than “citizens”, the author provides no suggestions as to who (the EFF, his academically/ideologically suicidal Wits colleague Chris Malikane or inchoate Fallist students/academics?) can or should provide these solutions.

May I suggest to him that the people to do the job exist at South African research universities and NGOs and focus on economic theory that works in the real world.  However, this potential is rapidly being vaporized by unbridled ‘decolonization’ driven by Critical Race Theory.

Professor Tim Crowe is a descendant of oppressed Irish freedom-fighters from the United States working class. He is a first generation university graduate, non-settler immigrant alumnus, Elected Fellow and emeritus (40 years’ service) professor at the University of Cape Town. He is a Ph.D.-educated expert on evolutionary biology (covering everything from ‘race’ to deeply rooted evolutionary trees) and conservation biology (especially regarding sustainable and economically viable use of wildlife). He has published nearly 300 peer-reviewed scientific papers/books and is regarded as the world’s leading authority on game birds (chickens, turkeys, guinea fowls, etc.). About 70 of his graduated students have published their research and established themselves in their own right, including four professors.

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Nazi Matie Posters: Stop Playing Games https://rationalstandard.com/nazi-posters-stop-playing-games/ https://rationalstandard.com/nazi-posters-stop-playing-games/#comments Fri, 12 May 2017 08:20:42 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5429 South Africans of all political camps seem to have a tough time effectively communicating their ideas. This is to be expected in a political culture that values singing and dancing as […]

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South Africans of all political camps seem to have a tough time effectively communicating their ideas. This is to be expected in a political culture that values singing and dancing as a substitute for actual discussion. But it wasn’t the professional protesters who bungled up this time.

This week has seen the erection and subsequent condemnation of posters explicitly copying Nazi propaganda at Stellenbosch University.

The minimally adjusted posters called for readers to “fight for Stellenbosch” and mentioned such ludicrousness as “the Anglo-Afrikaner student” and “the New Right”.

As is customary in South Africa, a witch-hunt ensued and three suspects are being questioned. More on that later.

What immediately comes to mind with this entire debacle is not so much the genuine sense of worry that is rising from many around South Africa, and even the world, but rather anger that such idiots exist and thought this was a good idea.

While I do not wish to labour the point, I feel it is needed. What type of idiot puts up Nazi posters at a university, much less anywhere? Have these morons finally awoken from a pre-1940s slumber? Are they from an alternate reality where Nazism isn’t seen as widely distasteful and an all-round stupid system?

Unfortunately, I know the answer.

These idiots aren’t from another dimensions, or from any context that excuses this stupidity. They are a symptom of the ever-lasting edgy culture that deludes people into thinking that Nazism was a good idea because it isn’t mainstream. They are the beardless hipsters of political discourse. Contrarians for their own sake, with no real substance or sincere political agenda.

I cannot stress enough how stupid these posters were. In a climate of over-zealous racialism, even genuine neo-Nazis should have realised that this was a bad idea. The only rational actor that could have known this was a good idea would be a fallist or black racist who wanted to further stoke the flames of racial conflict to support their fallacious land theft agenda. A neo-Nazi should have realised that a race war will not end well, especially for them.

The True Intent?

But, as to be expected, this wasn’t some genuine neo-Nazi group erecting the 4th-Reich’s recruitment posters. The intent was much more symbolic, but not less ill-thought out. Dean Dart, not the erector of the posters, but a spokesperson for what he called “a social project,” had this to say:

“We were just hoping that people were going to arrive in protest and have a discussion about what is happening to the left.”

“We used extreme imagery because what has happened to the left is that they have become that which they despise. By not being allowed to speak, the crowd proved my point.” (MatieMedia)

Effectively, the escapade was aimed at opening the proverbial dialogue, and forcing leftists to interrogate their own intolerance and hypocrisy. By being condemned for posting up hate symbols, the perpetrators wanted to show the hypocrisy of the left-wing hegemon not simultaneously condemning calls for violence against whites.

But they failed.

How many times are we going to do this?

Even if this intention is sincere, it does not excuse it. Not because of the offensive nature of the posters, or the fact that they copied Nazi material (plagiarism is bad, kids), but that they should have known better. Too often, South African politics is based around vague symbolism, artsy statements and apparent clever hidden meanings. Very rarely do these ever succeed.

The left needs to introspect, but engaging them like this solves nothing. All it accomplishes is alienating third parties and driving them into the arms of the left.

Stop doing it! Stop trying to play clever mind-games. The left isn’t going to suddenly be tricked into having a brain just because you faced them with a Nazi poster. Pseudo-clever art and symbolism belongs in a modern art museum, not the political discourse.

What we need is to be explicit and honest. Business has realised this. You don’t force your market to think. You tell them what they need to know. Remove the steps to conversion. You don’t see a grocery store posting riddles and reverse psychology to get consumers through the entrance.

Politics shouldn’t be any different. The problem with the left is that they shut down discourse. The solution isn’t to troll them, or to attack the genuinely unproblematic views that they may hold – and it isn’t to use vague symbolism to spark introspection.

If the goal of this idiotic escapade was discourse, then the group should have attempted to start a genuine discourse. Find a lefty to argue with. Challenge them politely. Maintain etiquette. Be better than the enemy. This doesn’t mean steel-manning them (empowering their view), it just means ensuring an external aesthetic that makes you and your cause appealing to decent folk.

What this accomplished was demonising a cause and an entire institution. Nothing more. For the media doesn’t care about the symbolism of “Nazis” being shut down by the intolerant left. They’ve never cared, and they aren’t going to start now.

The Response

While the blame of this escapade is 99% on the shoulders of those who perpetrated it, I must add the 1984-feeling that I’m getting from a lot of the response.

It is the norm for speakers to be shut down on campuses. It is sad that it is the norm, but it is to be expected. My concern is with names. Throughout this debacle, each article was peppered with names of institutions that were very illustrative of the political state of the country.

The Equality Unit and the ‘transformation office’ are two poignant indicators of the pervasiveness of the left-wing hegemony. The Equality Unit stinks of a thought-police. The fact that is expends so much time and resources tracking down non-dangerous, at best, stupid, individuals, illustrates the concerns of an institution that is meant to be concerned with education.

The fact that there is a ‘transformation office’ is also troublesome, but to be expected. All it illustrates is the further legitimisation of a radical and dangerous ideology.

SEE ALSO: How ‘Transformation’ Is No Transformation At All by Martin van Staden

The Aftermath

It is clear by many articles that this event has only served to empower the vitriolic left. As to be expected by those with sense, the debacle did not instigate any sort of introspection of discourse. Rather, it has encouraged Africanist groups and pushed many moderates to truly believe that there is a white supremacist threat.

We need to stop playing games to start discourse. The battle of ideas is just that, a battle of ideas. Present your ideas – honestly! If the left doesn’t engage, find someone who does. Their loss. Go for moderates. Convert the reasonable majority. Don’t hang bloody Nazi posters!

If the goal is discourse, don’t play the modern art game. Compete in the arena. Spread your ideas. Live them. Be explicit. Otherwise, you get misunderstood, vilified as a Nazi (when you should be vilified as an idiot) and serve the enemy more than yourself.

Let this be a warning to the edgy among us. A 4th Reich is not thought provoking and dialogue isn’t started by risking a race war.

P.S. An advertising expert examined the poster and has condemned its use of a small font that doesn’t stand-out sufficiency from the dark background. In the future, please keep in mind good design-sense. And, you know, not hanging Nazi propaganda.

Nicholas is a co-founder and Marketing and Technical Director at the Rational Standard. He is a Council Member of the Institute for Race Relations as well as the Regional Coordinator for African Students For Liberty. Nicholas has written two science fiction novels. He is currently studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Cape Town.

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UCT Students Finally Reject Fallism Decisively https://rationalstandard.com/uct-students-finally-reject-fallism-decisively/ https://rationalstandard.com/uct-students-finally-reject-fallism-decisively/#comments Wed, 10 May 2017 08:00:00 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5423 On 4 May 2017, UCT announced an uncharacteristically strong message from its 30000 students. They are sick and tired of ideology and politics on campus in general and intimidating, violent […]

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On 4 May 2017, UCT announced an uncharacteristically strong message from its 30000 students. They are sick and tired of ideology and politics on campus in general and intimidating, violent and destructive fallist tactics against the UCT Students Representative Council (SRC) in particular.

By refusing to participate in a sham election overwhelmingly dominated by apparatchik fallist candidates and/or actually voting against them, nearly 90% of the students eligible to vote rejected intimidation-based representation on the SRC. In fact, even in spite of this boycott, all of the independent, anti-intimidation candidates were elected, finishing 1, 2 and 4 respectively in the final tally. The number 1 ‘vote-getter’ made her open mind crystal clear in her ‘vision statement’: “You can’t change a regime on the basis of compassion. There’s got to be something harder. If you asked me a month ago who the SRC was and what they do, I wouldn’t have been able to answer you. For too long has the SRC been a group of students merely in theoretical existence, who represented a student opinion which had no accountability”.

The competing ‘theoretical existentialist’ candidates largely represent the Pan-Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters Students’ Command (EFFSC), both of whose “basic programme[s] [are] the complete overthrow of a neoliberal anti-black system and the realisation of students’ power”.

The top fallist candidate (500 votes behind the leader) was Masixole Mlandu, the multi-arrested (for contravening a high court order, malicious damage to property, trespassing, and intimidation), ‘Black’ nationalist, Agreement signatory, ‘clemencied’ PASMA leader who had to be released from incarceration in Pollsmoor Prison to ‘negotiate’ the infamous November Agreement. But, by illegally occupying the Bremner Building at the end of March 2017, he violated his ‘clemency’. He received less than 5% of the potential student votes, and is noted for stating: “We will usher into this country an attitude of black rage, black liberation, an attitude that threatened the foundation of whiteness,” and, “Revolution is the answer to our problem. … We must live up to our historical task … to change society from bottom up with no compromise.”

Another SRC ‘winner’ and ‘clemency’ violator was EFFSC candidate Sinawo Thambo.

Given the clemency violations of two of the ‘winners’, Mlandu’s disturbing personal position statement, and that a 25% voter turnout is necessary for a legitimate SRC election, let’s see if the ‘elected’ slate will be ratified by the Student Parliament, the relevant committee of the Department of Student Affairs and then by the UCT Council, so that a new SRC can be inducted. This may take a while, since the current SRC vacate office on 30 June 2017. Then, of course, there would need to be a governing coalition between the EFF and PASMA which has not been the case on other campuses.

Why only boycott?

But why did most students choose to boycott and not participate in the SRC election? Some might attribute this decision to students’ disgust with the publicized disgraceful rejection by the UCT Alumni Association (AA) of a motion calling for “support for the [outgoing] Student Representative Council (SRC), celebrating the positive impact that they have had during very difficult times”. Initially, a vote by hand supported the motion. But this decision was challenged by an impassioned plea from Ms Lorna Houston (President of the UCT Convocation and key ‘player’ in its Internal Reconciliation and Transformation Commission). In the end, despite a rational rebuttal to it by an alumnus, meeting chairperson Ms Dianna Yach overruled the vote and unilaterally decided on an anonymous vote by ballot, resulting in the motion’s rejection. VC Price was present but contributed nothing to the debate on this motion.

The “difficult times” mentioned in the motion relate to unrelenting intimidation during 2016 of the anti-fallist SRC by PASMA-affiliated fallists and Mlandu in particular. Because of this, some described the failure of the Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (DASO) (which had been a dominant force in the SRC of recent years) to put up candidates as “gutless”. I countered this, arguing that students chose not to participate because of a collapse in their confidence in the endlessly-capitulating UCT Executive, academic staff and alumni.

The pro-fallist Cape Times described the election as a fallist “triumph”. Fallists comment inter alia that it was “an excellent outcome” and a result of voters’ “faith” in their ability “to fight for… marginalised peoples… involved in the struggles at the university” to “eliminate the monopoly held by the executive and the council of the university with regard to decision making”, thereby “strengthen[ing] gains already made.”

Should UCT’s Executive and Council once again capitulate to SRC fallists without a legitimate mandate, they will totally cede control to a visionless, violent and destructive minority bent on deconstructive “decolonization” of Africa’s finest university.

The students have spoken, but will the academics, alumni, executive and Council listen and act? Their silence is deafening.

Professor Tim Crowe is a descendant of oppressed Irish freedom-fighters from the United States working class. He is a first generation university graduate, non-settler immigrant alumnus, Elected Fellow and emeritus (40 years’ service) professor at the University of Cape Town. He is a Ph.D.-educated expert on evolutionary biology (covering everything from ‘race’ to deeply rooted evolutionary trees) and conservation biology (especially regarding sustainable and economically viable use of wildlife). He has published nearly 300 peer-reviewed scientific papers/books and is regarded as the world’s leading authority on game birds (chickens, turkeys, guinea fowls, etc.). About 70 of his graduated students have published their research and established themselves in their own right, including four professors.

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Could a simple plant end the opioid crisis in America? https://rationalstandard.com/simple-plant-end-opioid-crisis-america/ https://rationalstandard.com/simple-plant-end-opioid-crisis-america/#comments Mon, 08 May 2017 12:57:33 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5385 The marijuana leaf could be the key to ending the opioid crisis as we know it. Roughly 60 percent of the American population lives in the 28 states and Washington […]

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The marijuana leaf could be the key to ending the opioid crisis as we know it.

Roughly 60 percent of the American population lives in the 28 states and Washington D.C., where medical marijuana is legal. Where marijuana is legalized, there has been a drop in hospitalization rates for opioid painkiller dependence and abuse in these states.

A study published by Yuyan Shi from the University of California, San Diego in Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that as of 2017, in states with legalized medical marijuana, hospitalization rates for opioid painkiller dependence and abuse has dropped an average of 23 percent. Hospitalization rates for opioid overdoses also declined 13 percent, on average. Shi analyzed hospital records from 1997 to 2014 in 27 states that implemented medical marijuana policies. In an additional five different studies, declines in opioid use or opioid-related deaths have been shown to decrease in states with legalized medical marijuana..

But where does that take marijuana legalization in the future? South Dakota, Michigan, and South Carolina are just a few states discussing legalization of the drug. Currently, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, meaning it has no medical use, and a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule 1 drugs are ecstasy, LSD, and heroin, which are all among the worst classification of drugs by the government. Some Schedule II drugs are opium, morphine, fentanyl, and codeine. All drugs part of the opioid problem.

How marijuana and opioids help pain

Marijuana and opioids don’t help pain in the same way. In fact, they help a person to react to pain in very different ways. Opioids deal directly with the brain, the brain stem, and the spinal cord, and attach to opioid receptors, decreasing the release of pain signals according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teachers. They are very effective for eliminating pain, even in the worst of medical circumstances.

Marijuana works in a different way. Marijuana doesn’t reduce pain, but makes it more bearable, according to Medical News Today. The active chemical in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can be used in many different ways to make pain more tolerable. For example, THC can be consumed through smoking or orally through foods or pills. There is also the chance that people don’t respond to cannabis, though some respond very well.

The problem with opioids is that they are extremely addictive. They create withdrawal effects when cut out of a person’s daily routine. They produce a sense of pleasure and well-being to the consumer, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The body can become addicted to these drugs. These opioids can include anything from heroin, all the way to Oxycodone. Addiction signs can include any of the following:

  • Legal troubles
  • Missing social or work obligations
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Marijuana doesn’t affect someone in the same way. Marijuana isn’t addictive in the same way oxycodone is, but a person can easily become dependent. This means a person can still face withdrawal symptoms and some physical discomfort. However, there are still arguments about the addictive nature of marijuana.

The problem at large

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to flip a switch and make this change across the US. There are so many forces that make marijuana a Schedule I drug and many opioids legal. There are massive pharmacy companies that own the rights to opioids that market and have massive influence in questionable places.

For example, the most notable is OxyContin and Purdue Pharma. In a series of articles by the LA Times, Purdue Pharma was exposed. An extensive piece of journalism, this in-depth reporting by the paper implied that Purdue Pharma intentionally made the drug to not last as long as the 12 hours listed.

Here is a quote from the article:

“Experts said that when there are gaps in the effect of a narcotic like OxyContin, patients can suffer body aches, nausea, anxiety and other symptoms of withdrawal. When the agony is relieved by the next dose, it creates a cycle of pain and euphoria that fosters addiction, they said.”

These companies hold a lot of power in the country. A pharmaceutical company even donated $500,000 against the marijuana legalization effort in Arizona according to The Guardian. The company was Insys Therapeutics, which produces Subsys, an opioid painkiller derived from fentanyl.

The fight to find a new way to manage pain the the US is a long and difficult one. Between 2002 and 2015, there was a 2.8-fold increase in opioid deaths according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Whether it’s through marijuana or another type of medical intervention, something needs to be done about the opioid crisis, because it’s only a matter of time.

Non-permanent writers and guests can submit their articles to us and we’ll publish them. If a writer proves their writing skill, they may be invited to come on as a permanent writer.

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Why SA is failing to resolve its racial problem Part 2 – The costly illusion of racial superiority https://rationalstandard.com/sa-failing-resolve-racial-problem-part-2-costly-illusion-racial-superiority/ https://rationalstandard.com/sa-failing-resolve-racial-problem-part-2-costly-illusion-racial-superiority/#comments Thu, 04 May 2017 23:00:17 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5331 READ PART ONE HERE The political divide between black and white in South Africa since 1994 is widening at an alarming rate. If it continues to do so, the outcome […]

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READ PART ONE HERE

The political divide between black and white in South Africa since 1994 is widening at an alarming rate. If it continues to do so, the outcome is likely to be costly for black and white alike – both groups being heavily dependent on each other – whether they like it or not.

The ANC government has from the beginning been determined to follow a Marxist and collectivist economic and social programme that there is little reason to believe will be any more successful in solving South Africa’s poverty problem and preserving civil liberty than it has been for Zimbabwe, Mozambique, or Venezuela. There are three reasons why the ANC has chosen the course they have: Firstly, because the communist Soviet block was their principal supporter during their struggle against apartheid, rather than the liberal and historically racist West. Secondly, because as an African organisation, the ANC is inherently and culturally predisposed to the collectivist nature of communism rather than the individualism of liberalism. Thirdly, because South African whites have since 1994 singly failed to persuade the ANC leadership that a liberal democracy with a market economy would be far better for the country and the people as a whole than authoritarian communism. Given the worldwide, empirical evidence available to support the white’s contention, this is a notable failure on their part, and one which, from their position of political weakness, is likely to cost them dearly in future.

Just why have we failed in this regard? Why, if choosing liberal democracy over communism is, as they say, a ‘no brainer’, and a choice that most of the world has made, could we not persuade the ANC leadership of this, particularly as in 1994 the newly-negotiated South Africa had started out as a liberal democracy with a well-functioning market? Our failure is even more striking because the ‘economic transformation’ that the ANC calls for in order to eliminate black poverty is, in all probability, far more likely to be achieved by a democracy with an open market than by an authoritarian, Marxist economy.

There are two principal causes of this failure, and both are racially related. First is the difficulty, and sometimes unwillingness, of either of the two racial groups to fully understand and appreciate the worldview of the other. This problem is by no means insurmountable. The second cause is seemingly trite, but is, in fact, by far the more important: it is the white’s failure to show the appropriate respect to blacks on an individual, one-to-one basis, just as white’s automatically and generally do to one other, and as blacks generally and automatically also do to one another. Respect is an essential requirement if trust is to exist between people. No one will trust someone who clearly lacks respect for them. There has never been, therefore, any possibility of whites being able to convince the ANC leadership of the advantages of a liberal democracy.

This failure is a by-product of the delusion of ‘racial’ group moral superiority that arises from the emotional self-identification by the individual with their social or cultural group, described in Part 1. When addressing another individual readily identifiable as of one’s own cultural group, that individual is automatically assumed to possess the group’s defining moral virtues (unless there is good reason to believe otherwise). Accordingly, one is relatively at ease with them and naturally accords them the respect due to all those inherently possessing the virtues attributed to one’s own group. One assumes that they know and will adhere to all the standards and beliefs common to the group. Fruitful discussion and debate between different cultural or racial groups, however, is unlikely to succeed if one party is aware that the other does not regard it as a full moral equal or listen to it as such. The widespread lack of respect shown blacks by whites, and not only by white South Africans, but by whites worldwide, is a deeply unfortunate consequence of historical circumstances.

For countless millennia, Homo sapiens developed under radically different circumstances in Europe and Africa respectively. Climate was possibly the most significant of these. What differences exist between the black and white races today are certainly due to such circumstantial differences rather than to any inherent superiority or inferiority. The most obvious difference, skin colour, is clearly attributable to climate. And the popular white belief in their inherent superior intelligence is rebutted by the fact that even on intelligence tests designed by whites, many blacks score higher than many whites.

When Africa was colonised, the inhabitants were still in a relatively undeveloped state technologically and culturally in Western terms, due to their own particular and different historical circumstances. The colonisation of black Africa thus interrupted the natural course of cultural evolution on the continent. And because of the significant technological and cultural differences existing between the indigenous blacks and the white colonists at the time, the whites chose, and were able to enforce, a social, economic, and political order that largely excluded blacks, while at the same time exploiting them economically. The subordinated African society accordingly remained fixed in its relatively undeveloped state, unable to evolve. This relative technological and cultural backwardness is unfortunately often misattributed by whites to supposed inherent black inferiority – moral and cultural.

Faced constantly with the superiority of whites in regard to those factors which conferred power, many Africans duly developed a profound sense of racial inferiority which infects black consciousness throughout the world to this day. As expressed by the black philosopher Frantz Fanon, “The negro enslaved by his [sense of] inferiority, the white man enslaved by his [sense of] superiority, alike.”

While blacks, like everybody else, generally enjoy the sense of superiority provided by their self-identification with their social group, within their own tribal or clan affiliations, they generally do not do so in respect of the wider world.

It is this white delusion of inherent superiority and black fear of inherent inferiority, created by historical accident, that is unnecessarily poisoning black/white political relations in South Africa today. As a thriving and modern nation, South Africa in 1994 presented a unique opportunity for black and white, through cooperation, not only to create an integrated society, but also to disprove to the world once and for all the poisonous and archaic libel of black inferiority.

That this has not happened is to a large extent attributable to conscious and unconscious white arrogance. After 350 years of exploitative rule, having finally landed themselves in a very weak position at the foot of Africa, devoid of political power, the whites in 1994 duly handed the ANC the keys to the state. They then sat back on their untouched assets and subjected the ANC government to a stream of criticism, some of it justified but much of it contemptuous, unreasonable, and racially biased.

What on earth did we whites expect to happen in 1994? Did we somehow not understand that the whole object of gaining political power is to obtain wealth? What did we think that the blacks – impoverished, poorly educated, and largely unskilled after 350 years of neglectful and oppressive white rule – would do once all political power was in their hands? Perpetuate the status quo?

As the blacks’ only ready access to the capital and assets that all humans desire, and to which they now felt entitled, it was to be expected that the ANC leaders would exploit the State. It is highly unlikely that any other politicians in the same circumstances today, white or black, would do any differently.

Thanks to the presence of Nelson Mandela and other moderate ANC leaders, there was an early chance that the ANC could eventually be persuaded that the best interests of their people lay, not in an authoritarian, communistic economic and political system like Venezuela’s, but in a market-based, liberal democracy. For this to happen, however, the blacks had to be ready to listen to what the whites had to say. And for this to happen, the blacks naturally needed the whites to treat them and relate to them as moral equals; not to be condescendingly lectured to, but persuaded that what the whites contended was in fact correct. This has not yet happened, and is unlikely to do so, unless the widespread white attitude towards blacks changes soon.

So seemingly marginal a consideration as the failure of whites to regard and treat blacks with the same degree of respect that whites treat each other has caused the concept of the Rainbow Nation to abort. The constant offence and insult accorded blacks, much of it admittedly unintended and unconscious, has alienated many of them. It has also understandably lost whites the black leadership’s respect and, most importantly, has driven the black political narrative away from conciliation and racial inclusiveness towards reverse apartheid, where whites are regarded as undesirable and illegitimate outsiders. This has pushed the political middle towards the extreme and provided anti-white racial ammunition for radical, nationalistic politicians.

The current moral collapse of the ANC augurs badly for black and white alike in South Africa. To have any chance of avoiding the likelihood of Zimbabwefication, the leaders of society are going to have to get together to work out the best way forward. If whites are to participate usefully in this process, however, we have first to abandon our narcissistic arrogance and delusions of racial superiority, and exhibit a little of the humility and humanity embodied in the concept of ubuntu – now appropriate for our reduced station in the grand scheme of things.

Non-permanent writers and guests can submit their articles to us and we’ll publish them. If a writer proves their writing skill, they may be invited to come on as a permanent writer.

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Are white students at the University of Cape Town gutless? https://rationalstandard.com/white-students-university-cape-town-gutless/ https://rationalstandard.com/white-students-university-cape-town-gutless/#comments Wed, 03 May 2017 09:14:55 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5376 This is an e-mail to a colleague at the University of Cape Town who complained about the absence of ‘whites’ in the forthcoming Students Representative Council (SRC) election – describing them […]

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This is an e-mail to a colleague at the University of Cape Town who complained about the absence of ‘whites’ in the forthcoming Students Representative Council (SRC) election – describing them as ‘gutless’.  My position is that the ‘race’ of the candidates is of no consequence.  The real problem is that 90% of the candidates apparently are apparatchiks of PASMA, SASCO or the EFF, and thus not seeking office (let alone tertiary education) with open minds.

Dear …..,

You need not “beg to disagree” with my views on candidates for SRC election.  We simply disagree.  That’s what should be happening on a regular basis on our ‘horrible Moscow on the hill’.  The reality is that, 60 years ago, Vice Chancellor TB Davie stated, and, two decades later, ‘Prof’ Robert Sobukwe and Science Faculty Dean ‘Jack’ de Wet reiterated that, South Africa is an “African” country and UCT’s community must reflect that in their ‘lived experiences’.  Simply using the ‘race’ (or any other indefensible self-identity) criterion to achieve the necessary transformation is biologically meaningless, socially immoral and, especially, socio-politico-economically fruitless.

During the 1950-60s, UCT missed the super tanker (not just the boat) when it failed to back AC Jordan and literally betrayed Archie Mafeje.

During the 1970s, VC Luyt et al. failed to take cognisance of the Black Consciousness Movement and heed (let alone embrace) the pleas of ‘transformers’ like the young Geoff Budlender. This dismissal embittered Budlender, sending him and many other towards the pathway of radical transformation of UCT. This has culminated in today’s extreme fallists and others who are little more than hateful, hooligan anarchists, bent on ‘racial’ isolationism and destructive decolonization.

Then, also in retrospect, the generally highly admirable VC Saunders made several great mistakes during his administration.

From the early 1980s, he (perhaps on the advice of Martin Hall) ‘outsourced’ Chris Brink’s brilliant idea for academic support for Bantu-educated ‘black’ students to employ largely short-term contracted within an Academic Support Programme (ASP), neophyte lecturers led by centralized ‘educators’ with little or no experience in academic support.  Saunders should have shunted the funds/posts to core departments and, if necessary, forced their academics to adapt what they teach, how they teach and how they conduct research to embrace the needs of appropriate numbers of these kids. (This, in no way, should be interpreted as “dumbing down” the educational process and “lowering” academic standards.  It required a well-thought out, strategic, punctual transformation.)  Moreover, the academics in the then-Faculty of Education should have been at least drawn into the process, if not required to taking the lead. At best, they remained at the periphery.

Instead of nurturing these knowledge-hungry kids, UCT marginalized them into the ‘special’ gap-filling, slow-streamed programmes.  Had this opportunity been grasped then, we’d have many more competent (if not brilliant), Afro-relevantly educated ‘black’ academics so desperately needed now. Furthermore, their contemporary ‘white’, ‘coloured’ and ‘Asian’ colleagues in training would now be leading the university side by side with them and be far better attuned to the needs of today’s far-worse-off kids, much more poorly ‘prepared’ by the current totally dysfunctional Basic Education system.

When the ASP strategy failed, Saunders pumped more money into it, made many of the failed (yes, there are noteworthy exceptions) contract lecturers permanent, and then (under VC Ramphele) morphed it into an even more useless ‘faculty’ – Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED).

Current leaders of CHED will try to counter this argument by focusing on their limited successes.  But, the bottom-line is that ASP/ADP/CHED has not promoted the timeous and high-quality education and subsequent career success of Apartheid- (and now ANC-) oppressed ‘nie-blankes’, especially ‘blacks’.

While this was happening, the now-downgraded School of Education ceased to educate undergraduate teachers, contributing to the current dearth of outstanding school teachers and, especially, principals. With regard to teacher training, this is restricted to bachelor’s graduates or unemployable Ph.Ds, many of whom are not appropriately basically educated in their disciplines or see teaching as a ‘Plan B’.

At the same time, back in core departments like yours and mine, perhaps in an attempt to produce the next generation of academic ‘heroes’ with high NRF ratings, curricula became biased towards educating more specialized bachelors/honours graduates, better suited for continued post-graduate research than to become school teachers. This culled most of the remaining ‘nie-blanke’ kids from the system who carried the academic impedimenta from the Apartheid era.

Then Saunders let the politicians populate and start to control UCT by capitulating to the ANC-led academic boycott when he cancelled Cruise-Obrien’s lecture series. This laid the first paving stones of the path leading to the current toxic Students Representative Council and Black Academic Caucus situations.

While all this was happening, after their academic support ceased, these educationally-marginalized and still ‘disabled’ kids were thrown into the academic ‘deep end’ and taught in an “ego-centrifugally” manner by NRF-rating hungry people who were ill-equipped to cater for their needs and deficiencies.  Hence, most of them ‘sank’.

Equally harmful was Saunders’ probably inadvertent development of the ‘central committee’ at Bremner. This started the process of what has been described as hyper-centralized ‘managerialsim’, emasculating academic leadership within departments and faculties.  As outlined in a report “Matters pertaining to heads of academic departments at the University of Cape Town” by former science faculty dean, Cliff Moran, published in 2007, this process dates back to the 1990s.

Then came VC Ramphele. She developed some of Saunders’ many achievements: restructuring faculties, demanding academic excellence across the board, resisting the ‘basification’ of undergraduate education and resolutely dealing with sexism and general ‘indecent behaviour’ (including impractical demands for academic transformation) by students.  She also accelerated the recruitment of ‘nie-blanke’ academics like Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan. But, then again, she was a big fan of the malicious Mahmood Mamdani who clashed with malevolent ‘Old Boys’ like Martin Hall. Sadly, as outlined in the Moran Report, she also put the pedal to the metal with regard to managerialism.

If Ramphele had stayed as VC for a decade, there may have been rapid, progressive, meaningful transformation (including constructive decolonization and ‘inclusivication’).

Then came VC Ndebele, a brilliant and kind man bent on academic ‘peace’ and political correctness. He embraced massification (with inadequate financial and other support), promoted Bremner ‘managerialism, and allowed the introgression of radical left-wingers into Council and the academic emasculation of Senate. He commissioned, but took no action on, the Moran Report and lost an enormous opportunity to heal UCT when Brian Hahn was brutally murdered by a disgruntled affirmative action employee (now an associate professor at University of Limpopo). He effectively laid the logs on the hearth for the current conflagration.

Then came VC Price, the populist transformational Messiah. For the first six years of his reign, he mimicked Ndebele, providing the kindling for the conflagration.  He made no significant efforts with regard to adaptive transformation, pandering as a multifaceted populist to all sides.  When the faeces inevitably literally hit the fan, he jumped ship to the fallists, abandoning the “silenced” multi-‘racial’ majority to fend for themselves.  If this were not enough he’s set in motion a chaotic IRTC-process. While it, at best, limps along, he supports: formal recognition by UCT of the Broederbond-like Black Academics Caucus; the advertisement of the Mafeje Chair (restricted to a black South African who professes Critical Theory; and inviting Mahmood Mamdani (who described a UCT curriculum as “Bantu Education”) to give the TB Davie Lecture on Academic Freedom.

With regard to ‘white’ and (you fail to mention) non-fallist, political-party-independent, ‘nie-blanke’ students not having “the guts” to challenge for seats on the SRC, maybe we should also look to the Democratic Alliance (I’m copying this to the DA’s Belinda Bozzoli) and current academics (especially professors) for their displays of courage.  Their silence is deafening.

Ultimately, what is going on at UCT is not ‘blacks’ vs ‘whites’.  It’s about:

  1. admitting large numbers of educationally ‘disabled’ students who are not adequately supported financially and neglected by UCT’s administration;
  2. core faculties/schools/departments and academics who evaded (and still evade) appropriately educating these kids;
  3. these kids feeling marginalized by the people who should be educating them and treated shabbily by ‘outsourced’ academics and uncaring administrators;
  4. illegitimate ‘protesters’ (students/staff/outsiders) who care nothing for anything (least of all oppressed/’disabled’ students) other than destroying UCT without offering any viable (let alone preferable) alternative solutions;
  5. demoralized staff and students who just want to engage in unfettered education and research;
  6. radical, left-wing staff/students/councillors/administrators who want to dictate whom to admit/employ/promote within UCT and what should be taught and how to teach; and
  7. centralized all-powerful administrators who are bent on creating a ‘pluriversity’ populated by academics who are “organic intellectuals” and not internationally respected scholars.

If the nefarious individuals mentioned above have their way – bye bye UCT.  To stop them, concerned academics, students, alumni and donors need to take conjoint action.  UCT will not “weather this storm”.  The “buck’ has to stop somewhere.  Invoking racial ‘unity’ has nothing to do with this.

Professor Tim Crowe is a descendant of oppressed Irish freedom-fighters from the United States working class. He is a first generation university graduate, non-settler immigrant alumnus, Elected Fellow and emeritus (40 years’ service) professor at the University of Cape Town. He is a Ph.D.-educated expert on evolutionary biology (covering everything from ‘race’ to deeply rooted evolutionary trees) and conservation biology (especially regarding sustainable and economically viable use of wildlife). He has published nearly 300 peer-reviewed scientific papers/books and is regarded as the world’s leading authority on game birds (chickens, turkeys, guinea fowls, etc.). About 70 of his graduated students have published their research and established themselves in their own right, including four professors.

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