Rational Standard https://rationalstandard.com Free Political Commentary for the dissenting South African Thu, 20 Jul 2017 15:35:14 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 https://i2.wp.com/rationalstandard.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/cropped-RS-Logo.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Rational Standard https://rationalstandard.com 32 32 94510741 A rumble in the jungle (Part 2) https://rationalstandard.com/rumble-jungle-part-2/ https://rationalstandard.com/rumble-jungle-part-2/#comments Tue, 18 Jul 2017 22:35:06 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5532 A Rumble in the Jungle Part 1 The tragedy of these empires was due to three big blunders in Europe, namely, the First World War, communism, and Nazism. These had […]

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A Rumble in the Jungle Part 1

The tragedy of these empires was due to three big blunders in Europe, namely, the First World War, communism, and Nazism. These had to be liquidated much too early.

Even (and especially) in Latin America, it was a tragedy that, at the beginning of the 19th century, they had overthrown the Spanish. Brazil became independent but had the very good idea of remaining a monarchy with one Austrian archduchess playing an important role as Empress. This empire abolished slavery and its monarchs went about a lot of rational, enlightened reforms. But guess what? Some latifundistas revolted and founded the republic. Sad – very sad.

It would have been good for Africa and its people to have remained under colonial rule for more time, at least one hundred years more.

Who abolished slavery? The European powers, at the Congress of Vienna in 1814.

Who fought the Arab slave hunters – who had, in fact, been the biggest slave hunters through centuries in Africa?

At least the European traders paid the local potentates for the slaves sold. The Arabs just robbed them. Have you heard about any compensation claim directed against the oil-rich Arab states? They must have good attorneys, or they just bribed the representatives of the toiling masses.

I do not intend to say that all was merry, soft and nice. Uppish and rebellious natives had been shot, native labour was abused – I would not have liked to be in a gold mine 100 years ago. That is all admitted. English and French soldiers plundered the imperial Chinese summer palace in 1860 and ran roughshod over China and East Asia. But you have to see the overall input and the tendency. The investments, the medical doctors, the teachers, the missionaries, the infrastructure. To undergo the changes to a modern industrial civilisation was also not easy for the Europeans. It cost blood, sweat and tears, some generations toiled heavily so that we – their heirs – can enjoy wealth and prosperity. Due to lack of character some forget that, become degenerate, and develop silly nihilist ideas. So it goes.

“I am an admirer of the parliamentary system of the West. The Magna Carta, the petition of rights and the bill of rights are documents held in veneration… throughout the world. I have great respect for British political institutions and for the country’s system of justice.”

That was said by a certain Nelson Mandela. Surprise, surprise.

Look, ladies and gentleman of the DA. Your task is not to make a policy which the progressive crowd of makers, shakers and formers of political and social opinion agree with, like the ANC does. Just be more efficient. ANC slogans minus 20 percent and the whole thing, a few years later, is not a recipe for success. In their opinion you are ‘coconuts’ and ‘Uncle Toms’ and ‘sell-outs’ anyway. So please enjoy the incentives and make a rational, proudly counter-revolutionary policy.

But the whole business it is not only about political domination. It is about culture and the essence of civilization. Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians – whoever – have no problem with adapting to the technologies, science or methods of the West. Many Japanese adore classical (European) music, especially classical Austrian music. Have they stopped being Japanese by doing that? No. A lot of Asian nations adapted and adopt European instruments and techniques, sometimes to our disadvantage. They know it assists them in becoming stronger. They do not complain – at least not too much. They just assimilate and learn and work. That might be quite a good recipe; except for the eternally-annoyed crowd in socialist, communist, nihilist, and academic ranks and realms. Or does anyone really believe that the billions of non-Austrian listeners to the Viennese New Year concert are endangered in their cultural stability?

The result of systemically anti-imperialist thinking can be seen in Haiti.

Independent since 1802, Haiti has thrown off the joke of French colonialism and plantation slavery. The result? As poor, as inept, as bankrupt, as miserable, as dependent on aid as ever. But very good in complaining about a certain ‘legacy’. The Japanese and the Germans after 1945 did not complain; instead they started anew, raised from horrible ruins and disaster. But that must have been an imperialist racist conspiracy. Or constipation? Whatever…

Sure, this crowd does not fight a certain political domination or philosophical domination. By the way, why do these ‘progressives’ orientate themselves on Karl Marx and other revolutionaries and enlightened progressives? Aren’t those also ‘dead white European men’? The most poisonous legacy of Lenin and the early Bolshie rule was to galvanize the Oriental (later called the Third World) masses, recognizing that they would be the real revolutionary proletariat serving the power greedy needs of those intellectuals as the European workers had lost revolutionist impetus due to the many social reforms in Europe and the influence of the reformist wing of the socialist movement.

This crowd of nihilist intellectuals are fighting culture, especially the European culture as it developed and evolved on the fundamentals of Greek philosophy, Roman law, Christian faith, and ancient techniques blossoming especially from the Renaissance onward. They just hate it. Full stop. That they are themselves products of the very system they hate does not factor in their minds. I do not know why. The last bimbo walking out of the bush into town to get a job there and make a living has more sense and respect for culture and more industry and productivity in himself than they have. Why this self-hate, this longing for a common cultural suicide exists – I do not know; maybe psychologists have an answer for that.

Nihilists are approaching us and academic cowards throw away their defences at the slightest show of arms, or are behaving as enemies and traitors (or even commanders?) intra muros.

It would be quite interesting to know why – with all the real challenges and real poverty we have to deal with –  the productive ones shall suffer under a nihilistic class – the most useless class in history:

It is the power mad political waltz of the “autistic liberated from being talented possessing matric certificates desired by school statistics” [17]

 “The nihilists consists of matric proletarians, of half baked people, the surplus which is donated by the high schools to civil life without that being able to digest this surplus … it is the over production of half educated people which has the … nihilistic effect. After having dreamed of a life on the top their stipends run low and they can be glad to become night watchers or something similar … Look at these persons . No real worker among them … partly well educated people among them …  Anyway corrupted students, unspoiled fantasists … and quite rich ones … [18]

The dirty foam of European Nihilism and Communism touching South Africa coasts under the mask of – you won’t believe it – Anti-Colonialism and anti-Imperialism. It would be funny if not so potentially dangerous and obnoxious.

Nobody said it better than the great Austrian literate and philosopher Egon Friedell [19]. As the French revolution and psychoanalysis – the world wide attack on what is basically the Occidental European culture – is done by the typical representatives of the scum of any revolution or radical and speedy evolvements, it is a pale, parasitic underworld assassination attempt by ideological vampires on anybody and anything which is straight, clear, rational, elegant, dignified and industrious. It is the paranoid and fanatic slave revolt against culture.

Summarized the whole anti-colonialist outcry is just a fake; it is not about political independence or freedom. It is a power play; a systematic moralistic blackmail. It is the revolt of the eternal low-life gutter boys (and sometimes g-girls) against all that is elitist, superior, advanced, and structured. This is what you get if half-witted guys visit half-done schools receiving a half-baked matric certificate and are then let loose on universities and real life. There, they can exhibit their system of jargon as a science clothed in a lot of phrases. Out of a correctly-stated inferiority they make their resulting resentments then a measurement for all others. Professional complainers then turn into professional politicians being the ‘scourge of modern times ’. [20]

Look scum and assorted rabble, if you want to retreat to the caves or the huts, so be it. Do it. But please leave us alone and do not destroy, destruct, and diminish valuable work done by generations. Out and off you go and shut your mouth. Dixit. Fuori il barbari!

1) For the definition of essence please study Thomas Aquinas De ente et de essentia” and you will find a precise definition. Read it in Latin. You cannot ? Little, silly barbarian you are out. Return to your bloody hut and feel ashamed.

2) A nice term used by Carl Schmitt in the forward to his famous  book “The essence of politics” meaning giving it shape, form, meaning and limits. And then have something useful which might serve as a fundament for a meaningful debate.

3) That was under the cold sun of the Hapsburg rule (this word coined by the novelist Joseph Roth) who since Empress Maria Theresa in the mid of the 18th century ordered to build up a school and university system  which was at its time world class.

4) Stowasser, Latin-German dictionary, 1971, p 114

5) As Churchill pointed out in his “History of the English speaking people,” the standard and the comfort of living was for many many centuries below the standard in Roman times.

6) You surely find this hilarious scene on Youtube and if not I do not care … take the video out.

7) Come on. Do not always think automatically of the bad bad Nazis …

8) Essad-Bey, Oil and blood in the Orient, DVA, Leipzig 1930, p 151f

9) Goergen, 500 Years Latin America, LIT, 2nd edition, 1993 and Hugh Thomas, The conquest of Mexico, Pimlico 1993. All right, you have to study and read about 1,000 pages. So what? Beyond your brain capacity? Get a few bottles of South African wine, relax, take a timeout, catch a babe and start living.

10) Theodor Mommsen, World Empire of the Caesars, Buechergilde Guttenberg, 1955, p 450

11) Long walk to freedom, Abacus 1995, pp 436,437

12) but I may just refer to the Nubian High culture of Meroe, the kingdom of Kush, some centuries B.C. ago located in what is now Northern Sudan. Interesting that the super-uber-ultra African ideologues do not know too much about that interesting culture, very similar to the Egyptian one. By the way: dug out by European and North American archaeologists. What would they know if we would not have worked with the spade. But envy only sees the blossoming garden, never the spade…

13) (No, not Charles Darwin but) Friedrich August von Hayek, Evolution and spontaneous order, lecture at Zurich, 1983

14) You would be surprised how ingenious they had been. Just look at the aqueducts and start thinking how they got the water moving …

15) The usual suspects hate it. Look at Gillian Schutte (I deliberately don’t help you with contact details, find out for yourselves) how she defines ‘racism’ in her nice little polemic spittle about “All whites are racist”.

16) An amusing book about that phenomena I may recommend is  “The Comet” telling the story  of Europe without a 1st and 2nd World war, with the institutions and monarchies intact and with Stalin and Hitler just being obscure figures.

17) Not formulated by me but nevertheless definitely witty. Source: “Maerchenwaldzwerg”” in the blog www.sezession.de , 28th of May 2015.

18) this coined by Otto von Bismarck, another “great white man”, speech before the Reichstag, 9th of May 1884, quoted by Hans-Joachim Schoeps, Bismarck, Ullstein, 1981, 304.

19) in his book:  The Culture history of modern times, C.H. Beck, Muenchen 1974, pp 866f and 1518.

20) recommend in this regard is the analysis by Paul Johnson, A history of the modern world, J Ball paperbacks, Johannesburg 1985, especially chapter 14 ‘The Bandung generation”

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Consider that capitalism is the real problem https://rationalstandard.com/consider-capitalism-real-problem/ https://rationalstandard.com/consider-capitalism-real-problem/#comments Tue, 18 Jul 2017 17:00:08 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5831 A recent op-ed in Fast Company urges us all to reconsider capitalism as the system we want for building our future society. The tacit assumption is that capitalism is responsible […]

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A recent op-ed in Fast Company urges us all to reconsider capitalism as the system we want for building our future society. The tacit assumption is that capitalism is responsible for plenty of malaise. More explicitly, capitalism is criticised according to the following identified maladies:

  1. Opinion polls show that millennials no longer drink the capitalist Kool-Aid.
  2. Capitalism is viewed as a system that churns nature and humans into capital, regardless of the costs to human well-being and the environment.
  3. Even well-meaning CEOs are hampered by the system of capitalism, so they cannot fix this hopeless system from the inside.
  4. By some measures, inequality, poverty, and hunger have all risen thanks to capitalism.

The conclusion is that we should consider alternatives, and even reconsider systems like socialism. So let’s drink someone else’s Kool-Aid instead.

But what about the alternative facts?

I am primarily concerned with promoting the process of scepticism, as opposed to promoting the conclusion of a particular belief system.

I took issue with the facts and the line of reasoning used to arrive at the conclusion. The conclusion does not follow from the evidence presented, partially because most of the facts are false, and the standard for evidence employed allows opinions to suffice as evidence. This piece made me go:

Opinion polls are a poor substitute for evidence

Opinion polls are just that: An aggregate of opinions. Opinions rank very low on the hierarchy of evidence. That opinion polls return negative reviews of capitalism merely tells us that people are second-guessing capitalism. It does not mean that capitalism as a system has failed any more than it shows how successful the system of capitalism is when opinion polls give it good ratings. Or that North Korea is a successful system when polls in North Korea show that Kim Jung-on is the number one supreme ultimate leader.

Capitalism churns nature and humans into capital

I am guessing the author aimed at commodity fetishism. Suggest that humans like you and I, and our natural environment, are just capital.

Inadvertently, this means that you and I have value in a capitalist system. We are valuable, if only in terms of how much we are objects of trade in a market economy. Deplorable, but what is the alternative? To consider us all as having inherent value, but not really of value to anyone to any degree in particular? We just have value, but this value does not amount to anything tangible.

We may all have value as individuals – equal value, in fact – in alternative systems. These alternative systems refuse to treat you and I as something with tradeable value on a market, but they do view our skills and our abilities as valuable, though we are not allowed to profit from them. From us according to our abilities, and to those others without those same abilities according to their needs, in a command economy, like the one enjoyed by Kim Jon-un in North Korea.

Given that capitalism is a system of private ownership of capital, it means that you and I own our own property, our own labour, and our own capital goods. We are free to trade with each other, and free not to trade with each other as well. The alternative is publicly-owned goods, which in effect means government-owned goods and services, with no freedom to choose who benefits from our abilities, and no choice regarding whose needs are being filled, or how much they are filled, or even identifying what those needs are.

Do you want labour camps? Because this is how you get labour camps and one car that is the best car by virtue of the fact that it is the only car.

The Trabant. Uncomfortable, slow, noisy, dirty, but still the best car available in a system where people are not commodities with market value and get shot for suggesting otherwise.

Well-meaning CEOs are not corrupt, they do corrupt things. Because evil capitalism

It is worth following the citations in the op-ed.

For example, besides the long-standing joke that you should never invest in airlines, airlines have been having a tough time to make ends meet since more governments implemented stringent controls following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Airlines are probably the worst example here, since airlines continue to enjoy bailouts and struggle to earn profits for their shareholders.

Regardless, let’s just take the cited example without the broader context. The author claims that the evil capitalism has been punishing a well-meaning CEO for paying his labourers more. The full story cited shows that airline shares in general have declined on Wall Street, their credit ratings were downgraded as a result of labour deals, and also that Warren Buffet invested in three airlines.

The moral of this full story is that this ‘evil capitalism’ gives us various different results for the price of one: Namely, you can both take your money away from companies that you view as being unfair towards shareholders when they decide to give their workers increases, and you can also put your money where your mouth is and decide that this is a good thing and invest in such companies.

In fact, there is an entire branch of investing known as impact investing that focuses on exactly that. Max Keiser, warts and all, has started a hedge fund called Karmabanque that does this sort of thing.

I am not familiar with impact investing ever being a thing in a command economy. Perhaps someone can cite some examples whereby the non-private capital owners were punished for not making their shareholders or their customers happy in a command economy? I can’t recall that the shareholders or the producers of the Trabant ever went bankrupt for producing a product with a reputation for being uncomfortable, slow, noisy and dirty? Great equality, though!

But hang on! There was a CEO who did exactly that. Dan Price paid all of us workers a minimum wage of $70 000 per year. Great thing, right? All his shareholders must have bailed, right? No. Not exactly. As expected, he was inundated with job applications from those for whom that’s a lot of money to work for, and his ‘most valued’ employees who thought that it’s unfair decided to quit. Point being, since he is the owner of capital in a capitalist society, he is free to do so. Good luck to him!

Did inequality, poverty and hunger all rise due to capitalism?

The short answer is no. At least not according to people like Hans and Osla Rosling who work with the data. Watch their TED talk entitled, “How not to be ignorant of the world” for more information regarding this.

What about particular answers, such as China and Ecuador mentioned by the author?

It is well-known and often cited that China’s labourers only started doing better thanks to economic reforms – that is, after they became more capitalist. Their income inequality did go up, though. It is worth reading up on income inequality in China, and noticing what is causing this.

In China’s case, poverty and hunger became alleviated, while inequality became worse. This means there is something fishy about inequality – both in how it is measured with the Gini Coefficient, and in the concept. The truth is that people don’t really care about inequality. People care about fairness. Ask Dan Price about that.

“… I’m sorry to say we’re capitalists, and that’s just the way it is”

There is a fair point made in the op-ed, and that is that just-so answers are unacceptable. If millennials raise doubts about capitalism, then they deserve substantiated answers to address those doubts. What the opinion polls do show, if they are reliable, is that millennials doubt capitalism, however defined.

Just like those who oppose capitalism enjoy the burden of proof to substantiate their claims, the rest of us who support capitalism should also be willing and able to get the dialogue going – and able to substantiate our answers.

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Opposing Decolonization Means White Supremacy? Hold Your Horses, Social Justice Warriors! https://rationalstandard.com/opposing-decolonization-means-white-supremacy-hold-horses-social-justice-warriors/ https://rationalstandard.com/opposing-decolonization-means-white-supremacy-hold-horses-social-justice-warriors/#comments Tue, 18 Jul 2017 01:04:15 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5789 “Social justice writer and blogger” Luke Waltham recently wrote an article for The Daily Vox titled, “Those who are against decolonisation are white supremacists”. The average reader whose mind is […]

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“Social justice writer and blogger” Luke Waltham recently wrote an article for The Daily Vox titled, “Those who are against decolonisation are white supremacists”. The average reader whose mind is not clouded by preconceived, prejudiced, and collectivist notions of what people think by virtue of being of a certain race, would immediately notice the problematic thesis put forward in the title. Indeed, the title is enough to reject the entire article outright, as any argument which proceeds from such flawed premises would always also be flawed in and of itself.

However, given that I am not a philosopher, I have entertained Waltham’s short rant, and, even after reading the whole piece, I have arrived at the same conclusion.

Waltham’s entire article is one, big strawman argument, wherein he not only misrepresents the very valid arguments against so-called ‘decolonization’, but he ignores them entirely. Other than being a strawman, the entire article is also a non sequitur argument, in that his conclusion does not follow from what he attempted to argue. Let’s take his piece apart.

“The reality of the decolonisation debate, and the views argued, is that there is an exceptional amount of ignorance and lack of understanding from the majority of those who argue against it.”

This first excerpt was presumably inserted by a Vox editor.

So, according to this editor, opponents of decolonization are ignorant and don’t understand the concept. Sure, that’s one view. But based on this, how can Waltham later conclude that opponents of decolonization are ‘white supremacists’? Would a Zulu be considered racist if he were unable to speak French to Frenchmen? Would an extra-terrestrial alien be speciest if they were unable to make heads or tails of English literature? No? Then how can someone be a ‘white supremacist’ if they fail to understand decolonization?

They can’t.

White supremacy is the notion that the white race is superior to all others. It does not depend upon an understanding or lack thereof of concepts which emanate from the social justice left. A true white supremacist would be a white supremacist regardless of whether or not they understood the notion of decolonization. And those who aren’t white supremacists cannot be called white supremacists if their only error is not understanding.

“If someone were to ask you for the name of a well-known black scientist, professor or academic, you would most probably find yourself stuck, unable to answer.”

This is true, although there are some notable exceptions. Walter E. Williams, author of South Africa’s War Against Capitalism, is a brilliant black academic. Thomas Sowell, who once remarked that he is not a ‘professional black man’ but rather a professional economist, is a similar brilliant mind, who many within libertarian circles regard as virtually unmatched.

The lack of notable black scientists, professors or academics, however, has nothing to do with decolonization, unless one argues that ideas are racial.

Decolonization, as Waltham later defines it, is about opposing “the notion that our society and our education system should be based solely off of Eurocentric ideas.” I agree with this definition.

Why, then, is the race of these intellectuals questioned? Waltham, a white man, is a proponent of decolonization. Presumably if he were to become a law lecturer and later a legal intellectual, he would incorporate the ideas of decolonization into his work. Would he not qualify as part of the decolonization movement, then?

Thomas Sowell – a radical capitalist and individualist – is a black economist who would likely oppose decolonization with all the fiber of his being. Does he, however, qualify as an academic who is black? Or will he be discounted because his ideas don’t line up with the narrative?

Clearly, confusing race and ideas is problematic, and social justice warriors carry on doing it regardless. To them, as we know, being ‘black’ is not a matter of skin color, but a mentality. (This same rule does not apply to whites, however. If you are white, you are cursed with it for life.)

“The first ignorant, white supremacist response would be, ‘Yes, that’s because all the best inventions, discoveries and ideas have come from Europe and the West.’ This, of course, is wrong.”

Waltham continues to confuse ideas and race. Thinking that the best ideas have tended to come from the West does not make one a ‘white supremacist’. Thomas Sowell and his ideas are a product of the West. Does my belief that Sowell’s economic ideas and analysis are vastly superior to that of his peers in Africa make me a white supremacist? Surely not.

But Waltham also confuses ideas and geography.

“Europe” is a place; “the West” is not. The West is an intellectual tradition – or, at least, that is what it became. Sowell is a Westerner, but not a European. I am a Westerner, but not a European. Half of my black lecturers at university were Westerners, but not Europeans. My 98% black colleagues at African Students For Liberty in West and East Africa are Westerners, but not Europeans.

I agree with Waltham, however, that it’s ignorant to attribute ‘the best ideas’ to Europe. Communism, Critical Theory, Critical Feminist Theory, and Critical Race Theory are all products of Europe, after all. And yes, it would be ignorant and, indeed, white supremacist for someone to claim that the best ideas come from whites. But that is rarely said by any serious intellectual. It’s a strawman.

“Regardless, it is extremely important that as an African state and as people living in Africa, we oppose the notion that our society and our education system should be based solely off of Eurocentric ideas.”

I agree on the point about Eurocentrism, and that is why I have dedicated my life to fighting against Marxism, lite socialism, and Critical Race Theory – all products of Europe.

But Waltham’s argument that ‘as’ an African state and ‘as’ people living in Africa, we should follow a particular mode of thinking, is silly, dangerous, and totalitarian. As an individual, I will think according to whatever system I choose. If Waltham’s argument is that we should not impose these systems of thought on our children, then I agree. I am a big proponent of privatizing education and giving education firms and individual schools the ability to decide for themselves what they will teach. Ditto universities. I would love it if students could tick ‘Afrocentric,’ ‘Eurocentric’, or ‘Westocentric’ on their university application forms.

Waltham, of course, is not arguing for that, and I suspect he is likely a big fan of state-provided education. In other words, he wants to force kids as well as university students to learn according to an imposed curriculum with no real choice in the matter. So what he and other proponents of decolonization propose is no less authoritarian than what we currently have, and what they claim they are fighting against.

Saul Alinsky

“Instead, we need to create an inclusive, open system that composes of African ideas, African education and African knowledge.”

Yep – authoritarian, but also doublespeak.

An “inclusive, open system” but that imposes “African ideas, African education and African knowledge”? How exactly is it open and inclusive if I have no choice in the matter?

“It is nonsensical to argue that there is nothing we can gain from integrating African knowledge and education.”

Another strawman argument. Nobody has seriously argued against integrating African knowledge and education where it is relevant. Teaching African philosophers alongside European and Asian philosophers is a great idea. Replacing European philosophers with African philosophers in the curriculum is, however, not such a great idea.

What is important at the end of the day is a diversity of ideas, not of origins and races.

“Our society needs to deconstruct systems of white supremacy and instead, uplift and equalise the ideas, knowledge and sciences of both black and white people. “

Quite, but let’s not ‘deconstruct’ those things which are not “systems of white supremacy”. In South Africa, we are fortunate that all of our systems of white supremacy – collectively known as ‘Apartheid’ – have already been deconstructed.

Of course, Waltham and company will argue that capitalism and a host of other ideas are part of ‘white supremacy’, which really makes his entire article irrelevant. He might as well have simply said: “Only those who agree with a certain ideology are good, and the rest are white supremacists.”

Lastly, ‘ideas’ cannot be ‘uplifted’ and should certainly not be ‘equalized’. An idea has no dignity – it cannot be offended or harmed, so it doesn’t need to be ‘uplifted’ or ’empowered’. You can advocate for a certain idea, but that idea has no independent right of existence. If people like the idea, they will accept it. If not, they won’t. And ideas are certainly not equal nor are they supposed to be. The ‘idea’ that a woman need not consent to sexual intercourse for it to be fine is not equal to the idea that consent is imperative. Ideas should be debated and argued on their own merits – not abstractly ‘equalized’.

Conclusion

The non sequitur in Waltham’s article should be evident.

It does not follow that favoring Western thinking equals ‘white supremacy’. It does not follow that being a black person means one supports decolonization. It does not follow that integrating African knowledge means imposing it on people. It does not follow that ‘deconstructing’ white supremacy means deconstructing everything the social justice warrior disagrees with.

Similarly, Waltham attacked a strawman. Virtually nobody has campaigned to exclude the ideas developed in Africa from education. What people have opposed, however, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Let’s find a compromise. Those universities and schools which want to ‘Africanize’ ideologically should be allowed to do so. Those universities and schools which want to ‘Westernize’ ideologically should be allowed to do so. Those which want a perfect 50/50 balance should be allowed to do so. This, however, means that government needs to lose its monopoly on education and allow the people to decide for themselves in the open marketplace.

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SACP goes in alone: Will they survive? https://rationalstandard.com/sacp-goes-alone-will-survive/ https://rationalstandard.com/sacp-goes-alone-will-survive/#comments Sat, 15 Jul 2017 17:33:37 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5824 The South African Communist Party (SACP) has announced its decision to contest future election on its own. This is a breakaway from its usual strategy of acting as a parasite […]

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Logo of the SACPThe South African Communist Party (SACP) has announced its decision to contest future election on its own. This is a breakaway from its usual strategy of acting as a parasite in the Tripartite Alliance, relying on its more successful cousin (the African National Congress) for appointments and power.

The decision is allegedly due to the SACP’s view that the Tripartite Alliance is broken. It comes as more of an ultimatum, as the party stated that they will remain in the alliance if it is “reconfigured” to allow equal power between its members. This must, of course, be equality in name only, as the pitiful SACP could never truly be politically equal to the gargantuan ANC or even the fading trade union COSATU. If the demands are to be more than in name, then this ultimatum will result in the SACP going alone in the future.

Freeing the ANC

This decision is ultimately good for freedom-lovers.

The SACP represents a bloc of the ANC that continues to espouse disastrous policies that wreck our economy. If there is a genuine fight between the SACP and other ANC blocs, the left-wing economic policy so strong in the ANC may weaken and potentially be replaced with more pragmatic policy, friendlier to the free market.

As is the case with all splits, the move will be disruptive. Voters may become split between the SACP and ANC. It will be an easy choice for most, however, as the vast majority will continue to vote for the ANC as they always have. Where disruption may become noticeable is in the leadership echelons, where the likes of Blade Nzimande and others may find their relations strained with their ANC counterparts.

This could result either in the complete breakdown of interrelations within the leadership structures of government, or just a breakdown in the left-wing bulwark in what was the Tripartite Alliance, allowing a more reasonable block to fill the gap.

Their odds

SACP electoral oddsAs for electoral performance, I don’t have high hopes for the SACP doing well, and that is a good thing. Communism is abhorrent. I don’t want any party claiming to support it to gain an inch politically.

From the numbers, SACP membership as of 2015 was around 220 000. Many of these are no doubt also members of the ANC. It is not clear how many would cross the floor and maintain membership with the ANC. For now, let’s be charitable and pretend that all of them will remain with the SACP and then vote for them.

A seat in the National Assembly requires roughly 47 500 votes. If all SACP members voted for them, that would give them around 4-5 seats. This would be above the minority parties, but below the ANC, DA, EFF and the IFP and NFP. It would be relegated to a role as a minority party.

How much power does COPE, Agang, the PAC and similar smaller parties have? Not much. If the split from the ANC is truly a split, and SACP leaders lose their connections with ANC appointees, then the SACP will go from a fat parasite to a weak party with no reasonable ability to enforce its ideology.

And that’s just what we want.

But, many SACP members are ANC members. No doubt many of them will remain with the ANC. Non-member voters who vote along ANC lines also tend to be ANC loyalists for reasons other than ideology, so will remain. I doubt the SACP will be able to garner enough votes even for 4 seats.

On the contrary, however, hype may allow the SACP to wrest more seats. COPE was initially quite popular and the EFF managed to cinch 25 seats despite their niche nature. If the SACP markets well as an alternative to the corrupt ANC and a true representative of the struggle, they may be able to garner more votes.

While this will result in Communists gaining more power in the legislature, they will no doubt still have less power than the other parties, and be relatively toothless. On the bright side, they may also take a large chunk of EFF and ANC voters with them, weakening both those parties.

Conclusion

Overall, I find this a welcome move by an unwelcome party. The SACP does well because it doesn’t have to do anything. Becoming independent will probably break them. Above this, without a strong communist bloc within the ANC, more reasonable members may be able to enact logical change from within. So, take this as my blessing for the SACP’s secession. I wish them luck.

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What business can do to save South Africa https://rationalstandard.com/business-can-save-south-africa/ https://rationalstandard.com/business-can-save-south-africa/#comments Fri, 14 Jul 2017 11:06:13 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5807 It is frustrating being an advocate for pro-market policies in a country where some of the primary agents of the market refuse to defend it. These primary agents are, of […]

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It is frustrating being an advocate for pro-market policies in a country where some of the primary agents of the market refuse to defend it. These primary agents are, of course, businesses. Despite claims by conspiracy theorists and left-wing nutjobs, business in South Africa is pretty complacent, much less domineering over our politics. As a result, anti-business policies rule, destroying the economy and damaging businesses. Even then, businesses refuse to save South Africa.

Firstly, it is not the responsibility of business to do anything other than obey just laws and maintain ethical practices. Business in South Africa has been decried for not doing enough to contribute to economic growth, employment and transformation, and I have rebutted those condemnations more than adequately in an earlier article.

While business has no responsibility to save South Africa, or contribute to a pro-market agenda, it does have an inherent interest in doing so. Then why has it not?

Biggest challenges to SA business and why they need to Save South Africa

Businessmen are risk-takers; they’re smart and they’re hard workers – but they’re ultimately survivalists and reactive. And the best way to survive is simple: keep your head down.

I honestly don’t blame businesses for not openly condemning the government. They’re scared. The state has already showed its willingness to attack businesses, and reward loyalty. As desirers of survival and profit, it is to be expected that businesses will not bite the hands of government, who could easily shut them down, or reward them for good behaviour under the regime.

But we’re approaching, or have since past, the line where business should no longer be able to abide a state that is taking us off the cliff. As the treasury dries up, and only the most corrupt cadres get tenders, business will hopefully start to realise that there is no longer any profits to be made from the corrupt halls of the Union Buildings.

There have been a few attempts to incite business to oppose the state. In truth, most business leaders are anti-ANC. That is an incorrect principle, as they should be anti-statism and anti-communism, but it is a start. This opposition is toothless, due to the aforementioned reasons, however.

Nonetheless, there have been three suggestions, so far, on how businesses should show their disdain for the state of the country.

Tax Revolts

In principle, I support tax revolts.

When the government fails to uphold the social contract, even the most draconian of political philosophers believe the people have the right to revolt. In theory, tax revolts are also very effective. If done strategically and competently among business and the middle class as a whole, it would strip the state of their ability to enforce any form of punishment.

But there is a problem in choosing to revolt, as there is no guarantee that other tax payers will also revolt. We’re all scared of being held up on tax evasion. If one company revolts, but another does not, the entire revolt falls. This is an example of a Prisoner’s Dilemma that will probably never be overcome, as there are too many cogs and too little trust.

Business Shutdown

This idea was one of the worst I have ever seen. It is classically South African, which is not a good thing. It takes both our protest culture and combines it with our general inability to analyse costs and benefits.

The strategy basically argued that if businesses shut down, it would pressure the government into behaving. What this strategy forgets is how many people rely on businesses functioning to survive. This isn’t some hobby that you can take a break from. People starve when businesses aren’t open. Employees aren’t paid. Goods aren’t made. Families are flung into poverty. The #NationalShutdown was thoughtless, and I’m glad businesses were smart enough not to participate.

The government, especially an African government, can survive far longer than disparate businesses can. Businesses have to work to survive. Governments merely have to pillage. Governments don’t care if businesses aren’t open. They’ll just continue looting.

Save South Africa

A coalition of civil society, business leaders and public figures came together to continue to misdiagnose the problems of the South Africa. They see Jacob Zuma as the only thing wrong with the country, ignoring the pre-Zuma legislation that strangles our economy and the looming threat of communism from within and outside the Tripartite Alliance.

Save South Africa is no way to truly save South Africa. It is a half-arsed politically correct club that accomplishes very little. They have no guts, and no real knowledge of the real threats to this country.

Real Solutions

So, what should business do to contribute to saving South Africa if they so wish? Here are five meaningful and non-risky strategies that businesses can use to contribute to meaningful change in South Africa.Business Strategies to Save South Africa

1) Be Honest

Business leaders in South Africa are schmoozers and liars. The biggest victim of these lies are themselves.

They tell themselves that South Africa just needs optimism, and that openly discussing our dire economy is bad for investment. They’re right, but investors know about the dire straits regardless. What business should be doing is being honest to politicians that they are not happy. They need to admit that the country is falling apart, and be honest about why.

Honesty is not only a refusal to lie. It is also the growth of guts. Businesses need to be honest with higher education, telling them that protesters will not find jobs in their companies. They need to be honest with unions, and say ‘no’ outright to their unreasonable demands. With this honesty, they can start acting as active stakeholders in the country, and not just pawns in a politician’s game.

2) Criticise Policy

Businesses are second-class entities in South Africa. They are decried by our left-wing politicians and abused by trade unions. Above all, they are victims of large swathes of legislation and regulations that strangle their ability to function.

Businesses must, in the spirit of being honest, criticise the policies that damage them. Instead of lying down and letting themselves be beaten by the likes of increased taxation, labour regulations, BEE and a myriad of other regulations, business needs to take an active role in publicly condemning these damaging policies. Business must stop being patsies, and truly work towards their own survival.

3) Refuse to work with the corrupt state

This is a lot harder than the other principles, but will work out very well for businesses in the long run.

The reason it is hard is that politicians and the state use coercion and their political gravitas to push businesses into working with them. But as you work with the beast of corruption, you can never truly escape.

The solution is to refuse.

No matter how big the tender, if it comes with the baggage of working with corrupt cadres, or coerces you into taking on corrupt BEE appointments, refuse. Thrive the way a business should – through pleasing consenting customers and clients through great service and products. It is safer in the long run, and you don’t lose control of your business or your soul.

4) Work with pro-market organisations

Businesses are busy. It’s in the name. They don’t have the will or the time to complain about policy or lobby for better legislation. Thus, they should be working with civil society organisations that have their best interests at heart. There are swathes of decent civic organisations in South Africa that want to create a better economic landscape for business, but very few businesses actually support them in any form.

Businesses need to show their moral, financial and political support for these organisations. They need to fund them to keep them lobbying, but also throw their open support behind them to construct a pro-free market bulwark against the rising socialist tide.

Some of these organisations, besides the Rational Standard, are Ineng, Free Market Foundation, and the Institute of Race Relations. Contact them, offer your services or even just your moral support. Make them know that they aren’t just defending your rights in vain.

5) Realise that Capitalism is the best way forward

Business and capitalism is integral. Without a free market, businesses are just departments in a command economy, destined to fall. It is within the interest of businesses to be pro-capitalism. It is insufficient for them to support it in their actions – they also need to openly support its principles.

South Africa is dominated by those calling or a slave economy, whereby businesses are serfs under cadres and the commands of the “People”.

It is within the interest of all businesses to oppose calls for nationalisation, increased regulations and all Marxist-leaning rhetoric. Business needs to take a stand for the principles necessary for its survival.

To save South Africa, business needs to embrace the free market, which it requires to function. It needs to realise that South Africa’s problem isn’t one man and one family, but an ideology that despise freedom, success and prosperity. For a successful South Africa, business needs to take a stand and openly support the capitalism that they require for their existence.

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Labeling Opponents of Decolonisation ‘White Supremacists’ Amounts to Little More Than Kafkatrapping https://rationalstandard.com/labeling-opponents-decolonisation-white-supremacists-amounts-kafkatrapping/ https://rationalstandard.com/labeling-opponents-decolonisation-white-supremacists-amounts-kafkatrapping/#comments Thu, 13 Jul 2017 19:13:00 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5811 In his recent piece on The Daily Vox entitled “Those Who Are Against Decolonisation Are White Supremacists” Luke Waltham, whose disclaimer says that he is a social justice writer, rejects […]

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In his recent piece on The Daily Vox entitled “Those Who Are Against Decolonisation Are White Supremacists” Luke Waltham, whose disclaimer says that he is a social justice writer, rejects the need for a comprehensive, respectful and plural views particularly on a topic such as decolonisation. There appears not even a possibility of debate and facts. And if it would be possible for individuals to defend the debate without being labelled as white supremacists, even more conspicuous his piece denies the particularities of black people who may not share his views.

But if indeed we are to have a frank discussion, I believe our ideas should be geared towards persuasion, contestation and the rehabilitation of freedoms. Of a misinformed conviction, the intimated author’s article commits what novel The Trial later conceives as ‘Kafkatrapping.’

At The Daily Bell Wendy McElroy briefly explains it as follows: “Kafkatrapping twits reason and truth into self-parodies that serve victimhood ideologues who wish to avoid evidence and reasoned arguments upon which truth rests”, and this among other things, applies a single standard to everyone, which the author does par excellence. A true believer in kafkatrapping becomes increasingly isolated from people who are seen as “the enemy” because they disagree; the true believer becomes increasingly unable to even communicate with or have empathy for a broad spectrum of people. He makes the following assumptions:

“This superiority argument can be seen as racist and dehumanising towards black Africans…”

As an applied sciences sophomore in my high school days, I never felt offended nor dehumanised learning about Isaac Newton. He, like many physicists, put forward theories that could probably be proven otherwise with the evolution of time, respectfully his geographical ancestry or race mattered less to me. As a learner, this was important for my intellectual growth and not for the attrition of my black identity. And it is for the former that some of my previous classmates pursued the engineering discipline after school.

Instead, we need to create an inclusive, open system that composes of African ideas, African education and African knowledges.”

Waltham probably attempts to remind us to do less with Eurocentric curricula but dares not to define what “African ideas” mean, conveniently because him and proponents do not even agree what decolonisation should be about. Some, such as Chumani Maxwele in an interview with Chris Barron on the Sunday Times believe: “I don’t have to justify anything to a white male or a white institution. Nothing whatsoever”. But, interestingly, China has been involved in building campuses along with the European and US partners in order to increase access that the decolonialists want to destroy.

It therefore comes as no surprise that Waltham’s ambitious guilt-quenching would see it fit to sucker decolonisation dissidents into the “white supremacy” box yet never bothered to ask black people, like me, who share different views on the subject matter.

Perhaps all is met with goodwill, but we have here a cri de couer which is misguided and illustrates why the silencing of views makes for bad activism.

It is difficult to spot the differences between Waltham and the ignorant individuals he seeks to admonish because to him giving in to his view is all that matters, even if it is at the expense of debate and accuracy. What should matter is not who is right but what is right. With that said, his piece is the antithesis of what he wants to achieve – “opportunity to learn crucial, vital lessons and ideas”.

The premises of the decolonisation campaign is that of self-styled social justice activists, politically-correct ideologues and racial identitarians who believe that transformation can only ever be secured if dissenting voices are silenced. To make transformation work, however, we must sit down with those we differ, make rational arguments, and change their minds, lest we are called supremacists.

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National Health Insurance will be a disaster unless there is clarity on funding https://rationalstandard.com/national-health-insurance-disaster-funding/ https://rationalstandard.com/national-health-insurance-disaster-funding/#comments Tue, 11 Jul 2017 16:32:50 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5767 National Healthcare Insurance, or NHI, is a system designed to promote equity amongst all South Africans, regardless of their socio-economic status, with regard to access to quality, effective and efficient […]

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National Healthcare Insurance, or NHI, is a system designed to promote equity amongst all South Africans, regardless of their socio-economic status, with regard to access to quality, effective and efficient healthcare when they need it. It is a way of providing access to healthcare to those South Africans who, at present, can’t afford it due to a variety of factors. Its aim is to allow all South Africans the opportunity to get the healthcare they need, when they need it, including reproductive healthcare, without having to worry about their health needs affecting their other financial obligations. It stipulates that cosmetic and unnecessary, non-healthcare related treatments won’t be covered, and specialists won’t be paid for, unless referred to by a primary healthcare facility and it is deemed necessary. If deemed necessary, it will be provided free of charge.

The NHI is said to be implemented over a 14 year period so as to allow time for the budget to accommodate it and state, with specificity, where the funding will come from. In addition, the effect on South Africa as a whole also needs to be assessed as whether this system is beneficial to the country or not.

The NHI hasn’t done a great job currently, as state hospitals still leave a lot to be desired when compared to their private counterparts. It indicates initial stages of a potential growing problem opening the door to bureaucracy and corruption.

According to the budget speech in February, the next phase of the NHI will be the implementation of a fund to improve ante-natal care and maternal health, improve health services for the mentally ill, provide glasses and hearing aids through its school programmes and improve health services for the disabled.

Funding sources for the NHI aren’t as clear as they should be, but indications and speculation point towards various taxes being imposed and using tax subsidies currently granted to medical schemes to help pay for the system.

All indications and previous examples already implemented in other, more economically developed countries (such as that in the USA, with Obamacare, and the National Health Service in England), indicate that it won’t work out the way it is intended. Government hasn’t clearly indicated where funding for this service will come from. In a country like South Africa, with massive and growing debt, an increasing dependency group and increasing unemployment (not to mention the corruption and fraud) a National Health Insurance does not seem viable.

If it does carry on on the trajectory it is headed, serious compromises, with regard to the quality of the health services received, will probably have to be made. Compromises such as the increasing costs of medical services, which will increase national debt (as seen in the USA with Obamacare) or a decrease in the quality of the healthcare provided (for example, longer waiting periods, which can be fatal, or a ‘brain-drain’ of competent healthcare professionals seeking higher pay and better services as seen in England).

Nothing is ever free. Costs are either hidden or lower quality goods and services are produced as the costs can’t just disappear. As American economist Thomas Sowell said, “It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

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Who Gets To Define Racism? https://rationalstandard.com/gets-define-racism/ https://rationalstandard.com/gets-define-racism/#comments Fri, 07 Jul 2017 12:01:00 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5727 In our current global political climate, it is often said that white people should not determine what is and what is not racist. We have heard this narrative on television, […]

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In our current global political climate, it is often said that white people should not determine what is and what is not racist. We have heard this narrative on television, radio and social media throughout the world, from the United States, Europe, and all the way to our sunny shores in South Africa.

For some, these arguments have been accepted purely out of political correctness, but it remains important to counter what is being purported.

Many debates on the right vs left political spectrum, as well as the libertarian vs authoritarian spectrum, tend to provide ample room for discussion. Political content by its very nature remains open to interpretation as long as a communal point of reference exists. The same is true when it comes to race and racism. Yet, when we accept without scrutiny the notion that only some of us get to define race and racism and layout the communal points of reference, we are on a slippery slope.

In a conversation about the meaning of words, there will obviously always be a variety of interpretations, yet these will be based on concepts with universally, or at least widely, accepted definitions. In the debate about the meaning of the word ‘racism’, the contemporary view that racism is ‘new’ and ‘unique’ to this day and age severely limits our thinking and ability to find solutions. And to take the view that it is a ‘one-way street’, where only certain groups can be at the receiving end of racism is reductionist thinking that deviates from the points of definitional reference so crucial for constructive debate and discussion.

Racism started long before Europe colonised Africa and America. Slavery, based on race, existed in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, ancient China, pre-Columbian America and (dare we admit it) in pre-colonial Africa. In the long history of humanity, division, suppression and dehumanisation have been based on race, religion, sex, ethnicity, nationality and numerous other identifying or exclusionary ‘characteristics’. Racism has been part of our human history as an extremely prominent blade of the division. It has been part of our most tragic histories, and we South Africans still feel and see the cuts and scars of the sharpest knives of some of the most efficient dissectors. Yet, it is inherent in the most fundamental understanding of racism, that the knives of racist division can be wielded by any group of people misled or villainous enough to do so.

Describing racism solely within a ‘black and white’ context is therefore deceitful. More importantly, it leaves us vulnerable to repeating the most abhorrent ways in which racism have shaped, destroyed, carved, hewed and skewed the world we still live in today.

Holding prejudiced dehumanising, insulting and derogatory opinions or stereotypes about particular groups of people is bigotry – no matter who you are. Treating people unjustly based on these prejudices is discrimination. If your prejudice is based on race then you are racist. If you treat people unfairly based on racist prejudices, it is racial discrimination. Any attempt to fudge or negotiate away this most fundamental understanding of discrimination based on race betrays an intellectual dishonesty, a devotion to narrative rather than truth, a pettiness and a lust for score settling rather than truthful, honest debate and discussion.

Racists acts remain racist, no matter who the perpetrator. When we say that the most important aspect in considering whether or not a person is a racist, is the race of the person making the claim – are we not guilty of racism ourselves?

Granted, racism is often about power and influence, and it has certainly evolved over time. But power and influence are shifting, and in South Africa significantly so.  The ‘prejudice plus power’ exclusionary redefinition is therefore also dangerous. We should be able to call out racism in all its forms at all times, regardless of who holds power.  Racism is a ground on which people hold prejudices and discriminate. To wield the knife and carve asunder because of skin colour is always raced-based discrimination, and we all should have the guts to say it. Whether or not the person holding these prejudices and acting discriminatory holds any power is only secondary in terms of its contextual relevance. It is primarily about prejudice and discrimination.

In our modern world, words are being unashamedly and crudely redefined constantly. Dictionary definitions of words do not aim to ‘fix’, to set in stone that which it defines, but rather aim to capture with accuracy what is meant with its use. These widely-accepted meanings of crucial words are the communal points of references without which any and all discussion degenerates into the impotent and irrelevant making of sounds and etching of symbols.

Despite the best efforts by ideologically-motivated academics and some of their followers, the word ‘racism’ will for most of us remain to mean race-based prejudice. South Africans using the ‘dictionary’ meaning of the word racist, should still hold anyone who has white supremacist views accountable.  They will also react when racism takes on new forms and manifestations. A single overarching principle that applies to everyone and which proclaims that prejudice and any categorisation that assigns superiority or inferiority to anyone along racial lines, comes down to racism.

Responding to racism with racism leads to social regression and dampens progress. As South Africans, we also need to challenge the term “reverse racism”. Racism is racism irrespective the direction or trajectory of its travel. If a person murders the grandchild of the person who killed their parents, it is not reverse-murder. The same applies to racism.

The basic definition of racism is perfectly up to the task of describing any South African who holds race-based prejudices. To seek alternative meanings to hide behind poisons the well of the harmonious society all South Africans can draw from.

It is time to call out the racists of all races and smoke them out from their holes of historical ignorance or dishonest definitional convenience. We need to call a spade a spade, otherwise, we’ll all just plunge deeper into the hole the racists are digging.

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#MenAreTrash and the Oppressive (Wo)man-Babies https://rationalstandard.com/menaretrash-oppressive-woman-babies/ https://rationalstandard.com/menaretrash-oppressive-woman-babies/#comments Thu, 06 Jul 2017 17:36:34 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5753 I have just read a public statement by PASMA (Pan-African Student Movement of Azania) at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The statement announces the suspension of one of its […]

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I have just read a public statement by PASMA (Pan-African Student Movement of Azania) at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The statement announces the suspension of one of its Student Representative Council (SRC) caucus members for sexual harassment – the kind of quick action and accountability rarely seen among our politicians of various stripes and something to be lauded, you might say.

It doesn’t end there, however.

The statement is even more extraordinary in that it goes on to reveal the facts of the alleged ‘harassment’ on which both purported victim and alleged perpetrator are agreed, though not on the consequence of those facts.

These are the facts according to PASMA and on which both the alleged victim and perpetrator are agreed:

“The student alleges that they were drinking at one of the popular drinking joints in Rondebosch and they both agreed to go and have consented sex in comrade Masixole’s room in Liesbeek. The story is relayed as follows; at Liesbeek they first had a smoke and it was after the smoking that the student said that they no longer wanted to have sex. It is then alleged that comrade Masixole was unhappy about this decision and did not talk to the student for the rest of the night and turned his back on her while they continued to sleep in the same bed.”

That’s right; sulking at not receiving sex is considered ‘sexual harassment’ now.

Why else would “the comrade” be suspended when both complainant and accused are agreed on the facts? It is perhaps instructive that this event would occur within UCT student politics, given the fallist revolution ripping apart that once mighty bastion of higher education in South Africa. UCT has seemingly chosen accommodation with insanity and, surprise surprise, madness is the result.

There is an intellectual background to all of this, involving cultural Marxism and all the structural nonsense that has so poisoned our discourse.

You see it in assertions by Black First, Land First that blacks can’t be racist, you saw it in the Shelley Garland saga, and you saw it when all men were called “trash” for the actions of a few evil individuals. In short, we have a strand of thought that classifies whole groups in society as victims and individuals in these groups are then given the right not to be intellectually challenged on any of their ideas due to their status as victims. The status and thus the right to go unchallenged changes according to the identities of the parties involved in each particular circumstance.

It is not inconceivable for example, that had Comrade Masixole been interacting with a white woman, he would have been well within his rights to force her to have sex and it wouldn’t be rape. Am I sure about that? No, but when it comes to these people, it’s hard to be sure about anything. They have an unlimited capacity to surprise me, it seems.

White privilege and male privilege are both concepts that denote the relative power between any two individuals and thus the classification of the outcome of their interaction no matter what the facts are. So Comrade Masixole is guilty because his male privilege overpowered what I assume to be a black female student. My white male editor telling me my writing is not good enough would be an example of white privilege and for that reason Martin must publish every piece of nonsense I write, without question (neither of us would stand for that bullshit, I kid!).

We have a situation where our universities, especially UCT, seem to be reinforcing the notion that people shouldn’t be challenged on their ideas because they are somehow babies that didn’t get to grow up when the other children did. No wonder we had the violence of #FeesMustFall – the precious little children needed to express themselves and all of us must understand. What’s that, you say? Critical thinking and being able to consider views that oppose your own? Don’t be silly! That’s the university of yesterday – the institution that entrenched structural oppression – we’re in a brave new world now.

If anyone is interested, the UCT SRC is now calling itself the “Black UCT SRC,” because white privilege and structural stuff.

The politics of victimhood need to stop. Enough is enough.

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South Africa’s oppressive banking system and why you need to buy Bitcoin now https://rationalstandard.com/south-africa-banking-buy-bitcoin/ https://rationalstandard.com/south-africa-banking-buy-bitcoin/#comments Thu, 06 Jul 2017 08:20:02 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5746 If you’re like most working people, you get a salary in rands every month and you use this to meet you and your family’s needs and some of your wants. […]

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If you’re like most working people, you get a salary in rands every month and you use this to meet you and your family’s needs and some of your wants. You probably feel some financial pain as prices rise but it’s not too bad because good companies know that prices will rise and increment their employees salaries to at least match the increases in the basket of goods tracked by government through the Consumer Price Index. This is not perfect, but it does allow you not to get left too far behind.

You might have asked yourself at one point or another, wouldn’t it be great if prices went down instead of up for an extended period of time? Your living standards could rise without any need for a salary increment.

So why doesn’t that ever happen? Why do prices only ever go up?

The answer has to do with basic economics and how money is created. Money is actually a product, like everything else in the market, and because of the law of supply and demand, an increase in the money supply means a decrease in its value, since rands are used to denominate the value of every other product and service.

How do we know if the rand is gaining or losing value?

We can measure it by the rand value of everything else we buy: things becoming more expensive in rand terms does not necessarily mean those products or services have become more valuable, just that the rand has become less valuable. Therefore, inflation is happening because the quantity of rands is increasing over time. The Reserve Bank is responsible for this increase and they also measure how much currency is out there through their M0, M1, M2, and M3 measures; the different designations just denote the different forms money can take (i.e savings, deposits, coins, notes, etc.) and all of these different measures show an increase over time as can be seen here, here, here and here.

No wonder the rand value of things keeps going up, but the rand is not unique in this respect.

The problem is the globally accepted system of central banking, which is the dominant system used in most countries. In the United States, it’s the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England in the United Kingdom, and the Reserve Bank here.

This system became popular because it allowed politicians to get access to money without having to raise taxes. Banks also favour this system because it allows them to make profit by charging interest on money they don’t have. The mechanism of how all this happens is an article on it’s own, so I won’t discuss it here; but essentially central banking is favoured by politicians and bankers because it frees them from the limitations imposed on both groups by the previous system of resource-backed money (whether the resource was gold, silver or some other resource) even though it guarantees unending inflation.

The implications of this for savers is that they get worse off over time if the returns on their savings don’t beat the inflation of what they would use the money for it means workers have to keep fighting for an increment otherwise they become worse-off while working just as hard or even harder in some cases. This is all by design. The value you lose is captured by politicians and bankers due to the fact that they are the ones who get to spend new money first. It’s a win-win for them.

The custodians of this system are bankers, and this group understands the importance of not overdoing it, lest the sheep – sorry – the hardworking citizens, revolt and upset their cozy arrangement. That’s why, for example, South African bankers are committed to an inflation target of 3-6%.

In comes the new Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

She recommended that Parliament abandon constitutional currency protection and thus, that the Reserve Bank abandon inflation targeting. This would upset the balance between bankers and politicians. Both groups are in it for their own short-term gain, but bankers realise the importance of maintaining this system while politicians only care about votes. Zimbabwe upset the balance as well, and this resulted in runaway inflation and rapid destruction of wealth.

I’m no fan of either group, and that’s why I’m glad we live in a world where technology is making it increasingly easier to escape this oppressive system.

We now have secure crypto-currencies, including Bitcoin, allowing ordinary people a means of protecting the value they’ve accrued with governments having little power to do anything about it. It has all the advantages of something like gold with the added benefit that all transactions and ownership are all anonymous and opaque to big brother. Get yourself some Bitcoin now, before it’s too late. Just ask a Zimbabwean.

The post South Africa’s oppressive banking system and why you need to buy Bitcoin now appeared first on Rational Standard.

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