Rational Standard https://rationalstandard.com The Logical Alternative Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:36:12 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 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 Kenya’s Political Fuss https://rationalstandard.com/kenyas-political-fuss/ https://rationalstandard.com/kenyas-political-fuss/#respond Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:37 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5339 Kenya is about three months away from the 7 August 2017 general elections. A special sitting of Parliament to debate changes to the electoral law ended with a fist fight […]

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Kenya is about three months away from the 7 August 2017 general elections. A special sitting of Parliament to debate changes to the electoral law ended with a fist fight on the House floor. Kenyan politicians are still wrangling over how the Electoral Commission should carry out the process.

The opposition insists it will have its own tallying center. According to them, the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) lacks the capacity to conduct free and fair elections.

African politicians thrive on hurling insults at each other as a winning tool for elections. The leadership suffer a lack of political wisdom on how to go about garnering votes without hoodwinking citizenry into turning against each other. Politicians generally employ all manner of divisionary tactics, including gas lighting and word salads, in a bid to divide the country along tribal lines.

Propaganda is often driven by politicians on existing challenges, such as unequal distribution of national resources, discrimination in the allocation of government jobs, unresolved historical land injustices, religion, gender inequality, and nepotism, among others. It has been very interesting to watch a series of events unfold towards the crucial exercise. Kenya has also seen violations of human rights and liberties during and after a number of political rallies.

There are many such violations to write home about, but top of that list is the deprivation of freedom of expression and association for fear of contradiction and possible execution. A group of politicians from both political divides equate individual opinions to hate speech. It has, therefore, become difficult for lovers of politics to freely commentate on political issues without receiving insults from people opposed to their views, threats of arrests and actual arrests by the police. For instance, some Members of Parliament have been arrested and ordered to record statements with the police following remarks considered demeaning to the Presidency.

SEE ALSO: South Africans Must Stop The Hate Speech Bill by Olumayowa Okediran

Bands of the far- right are busily marching up and down the streets, shouting emotional slogans and carrying provocative banners. The ruling class politicians are employing tribal scare tactics to strengthen their re-election bid. Opposition leaders defect to the ruling party at a glimpse of ‘Kitu Kidogo’. This ‘Kitu Kidogo’ is often large sums of money, mostly from government coffers. Sad.  Some are threatened with physical harm if they don’t comply.

Political aspirants are being eliminated. It is alleged that some find their opponents too much competition and they must therefore eliminate them to clear their way into political positions. Recently, a ward representative and a parliamentary aspirant from Tiaty were shot dead at a night club in Marigat, Baringo South. Loyamorok ward representative, Kibet Cheretei, and Tiaty parliamentary aspirant, Pepee Kitambaa, were killed by unknown attackers at around 12.30 a.m. at a bar where they are said to have been having a chit-chat on political issues.

Another life was lost when Edison Natembea, a Komarrock ward member of the County Assembly was shot dead. Members of the fourth estate have not been spared on by the deadly virus. A section of the  mass media are in top gear whipping up emotion against the opposition by giving prominence to pro-government views and employing words like “treason”, “uncouth”, “offensive”, “disloyal” and “rebellious” to refer to leaders who cannot stand the current stench in government.

The canonical tradition of employing intimidation against the weaker side is rampant. The intimidation is glaring, and with law enforcement also pitching in, such tactics invariably result in total success for the ruling class. This would explain why a section of the youth is used by our politicians to barricade roads and even show up in rallies uninvited and cause mayhem to the detriment of the other party.  This is Neanderthal politics at play.

Watching keenly, you would notice that politicians from both political divides are always willing to use foul means to achieve political goals to safeguard their vested interests. The ruling class is heavily implementing anti-minority policies while at the same time mounting a sustained campaign to demonize the minorities. Politicians are now zoning regions as their strongholds a few months to the general election, a move strongly condemned by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC). According to its Commissioner, Gitile Naituli, having political strongholds is a move aimed at dividing Kenya.

“Having a Jubilee or an opposition stronghold is a misunderstood concept that aims at manipulating the masses,” Prof Naituli said.

As a way of promoting cohesion and integrity in the country, Prof Naituli said all aspiring candidates should feel free to manoeuver in every part of the country and sell their agenda without fear.

More baffling is the manner in which people vote. The majority of Kenyans’ political choice is informed by opinion leaders. People suffer from lack of knowledge and there is hardly any civic education to address that. People vote tribe as opposed to good leadership. Some are indecisive as to whether they should vote. Members of the National Assembly use Parliament as a platform to settle scores. Most legislation is based on vested interests as opposed to safeguarding the interests of the ordinary Kenyan.

Elections will come and go, the ruling elites will only use money to manipulate the unsuspecting poor class as pawns in their game of power. We must rise as a people to fight for our civic right and make Kenya great for all.

Author: Belinder Odek is a communications and journalism graduate from Moi University, Kenya.

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Freedom Day: The Price of Eternal Vigilance is Still to be Paid https://rationalstandard.com/freedom-day-the-price-of-eternal-vigilance-is-still-to-be-paid/ https://rationalstandard.com/freedom-day-the-price-of-eternal-vigilance-is-still-to-be-paid/#comments Thu, 27 Apr 2017 10:24:29 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5360 The American classical liberal and president Thomas Jefferson said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Freedom is not a fixed state of affairs, and we can be robbed […]

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The American classical liberal and president Thomas Jefferson said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Freedom is not a fixed state of affairs, and we can be robbed of it at any time. This is why we are supposed to have a free press: to be eternally vigilant, especially with what government is concerning itself with. But ordinary people, too, need to be vigilant, especially when the press has manifestly abandoned its core mandate.

SEE ALSO: South Africa Blind-sided by Nicholas Woode-Smith

On 27 April 1994 all South Africans, for the first time, went to the polls together to elect this country’s first democratic government. The outcome of that election had long been a foregone conclusion, but the electoral process being done in a democratic fashion was part of the package of a free society. Freedom, after all, is a slow process, which it has often been indicted for by dictators. “Parliament’s endless bickering is hindering us from progress!” was the essence of the twentieth century fascists’ justification for dictatorship. Even in the United States, the most libertarian society, Barack Obama and his successor Donald Trump make use of so-called ‘executive orders’ to implement their agendas rather than waiting for Congress to give the go-ahead. And Congress, which has long since abandoned its duty of eternal vigilance, acquiesces.

South Africa’s parliament, unfortunately, has never been vigilant. While this was fair enough during Apartheid, as Parliament was elected particularly to defend that horrid system, our democratic parliament has no excuse. When Members of Parliament are sworn in, they do not take an oath to implement their political program; no, they take an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution. This means that the mere fact that Jacob Zuma remains President of South Africa, is that Parliament has not followed through with their promise to South Africa. On the contrary, Parliament has actively and consciously violated their oath. Two days before Freedom Day 2013, Parliament passed the Protection of State Information Act. This legislation will, when eventually signed by Zuma, among other things prohibit press outlets from reporting on any state activity, if government deems it in the ‘national interest.’ More recently, Parliament passed the Expropriation Act – similarly waiting for Zuma’s signature – which makes it easier for government to steal private property for its own ideological programs.

Parliament aside, the press media has oftentimes concerned itself with sensationalism rather than keeping an eye on government. Advocate Mark Oppenheimer recently spoke at the Free Market Foundation about this very phenomenon. Oppenheimer points to December 2015, when Zuma fired finance minister Nhlanhla Nene; the press media faithfully reported on it, but once an unknown and obscure tannie from the forests of KwaZulu-Natal wrote something racist on Facebook, all the attention was given to her. Nenegate and the destruction wrought on our economy became a story second to an irrelevant person who said something offensive. The social justice lobby, naturally, was happy with this state of affairs. “Only white people care about Nene – black people still live in shacks and a weakening rand changes nothing” is what they said when South Africa expressed its outrage about Nene being fired. To the social justice activists, Nenegate was a diversion from their own agenda, and Penny Sparrow brought them back into the limelight.

SEE ALSO: Editorial: Don’t be Distracted – Media, not Roodt, are to Blame

Just two days ago, Radio 702 similarly showed its contempt for South Africans’ intelligence by referring to Rhodes University as “University Currently Known as Rhodes”. Here you have a media outlet which cares not about its mandate to keep an eye on government; instead, they care about virtue signalling and advancing their own doctrinaire commitment to social justice ideology. This is not the first time the press has ‘renamed’ things to fit their narrative. Nicolai Haussamer wrote in September 2016 about how News24 casually went about renaming buildings on various South African university campuses – names chosen by social justice activists in the #FeesMustFall campaign. Oppenheimer also gave some insight into this press phenomenon, saying that university journalism schools no longer produce journalists – they produce activists. These activists then enter newsrooms with an ideological agenda, rather than a commitment to providing South Africa with the news.

Without the help of the legislature, the press, and with a constantly-beleaguered judiciary, our only hope for the protection of our individual rights and freedoms is ourselves. If 2017 is to be the year of’ anything, I hope it will be the year of vigilance – the year we came to understand that red herrings and petty distractions are not worth losing our freedom over. The days of concerning ourselves only with our careers and putting bread on the table have long past – we have all been silently dragooned into being the guardians of our own liberty. To reject this state of affairs is to acquiesce ourselves with tyranny.

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The die is cast https://rationalstandard.com/the-die-is-cast/ https://rationalstandard.com/the-die-is-cast/#comments Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:00:21 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5311 ‘Radical economic transformation’ will lead South Africa to bankruptcy. Then comes the IMF and the World Bank crisis loans as well as structural adjustment programs (which are nothing but an […]

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‘Radical economic transformation’ will lead South Africa to bankruptcy. Then comes the IMF and the World Bank crisis loans as well as structural adjustment programs (which are nothing but an attempt to shield irresponsible governments from the consequences of their actions). The IMF and World Bank will then be blamed for the social unrest that will inevitably follow as civil servants lose their pensions, some are laid off, as well as the cuts to the social welfare budget.

The government will then probably capture the Reserve Bank in order to print more money as a way of easing the pressure off themselves. This will, of course, lead to hyperinflation and even worse poverty – possibly even famine. We’ll continue blaming the West as those are aware of what’s really going on try to leave the country. Government repression will increase and our constitution, as we know it, will go out the window.

The poor will become poorer, the rich will immigrate to where there is more economic freedom, and we’ll all be much worse off. Out of desperation, government will implement price controls, exchange controls, and productivity will crash. After all, what idiot would continue busting their back for ever-diminishing returns?

We’ll add more groups to the category of “people to blame for all our problems”, and this, of course, will mean taking rights away from more people. Our relatively-independent judiciary will need to go, too, as we can’t have anyone stopping our glorious economic project, after all.

The sad thing will be that we did it to ourselves – but most of us will never acknowledge that; always seeking a new bogeyman to blame. The social justice left in the West will blame corruption and their own governments, but no one will ever think that maybe – just maybe – spending more than you have, while making your productive industries unproductive, is a really bad idea.

This is going to happen and it has started already.

The only thing that could stop South Africa’s collapse is an honest assessment of the problems government has caused and taking immediate steps to resolve them. This would include selling state-owned enterprises, doing away with restrictive labour laws, firing some public servants (it would be a good idea to start with those who aren’t very good at their jobs), progressively cutting the pay and benefit packages of those who remain, cutting expenditure on social welfare, eliminating the budget deficit and begin paying off our debt, cutting taxes and regulations to allow the economy to be productive and absorb the people who lost their jobs and their government welfare.

That won’t happen, however, because it would require not voting for your local Marxist-socialist. It will require voting for a party committed to fiscal sanity, such as the DA or the IFP. It will require citizens to exercise their right to vote rationally, and it will require the abandonment of myths like ‘white monopoly capital.’

I write this knowing that it won’t make a damn bit of difference, but I write it nonetheless. Maybe some part of me wants to have the cold comfort of knowing – as I stand in a line waiting for the next USAID food parcel – that I tried to warn them.

Author: Mpiyakhe Dhlamini is an important person to his two friends on Facebook. He is also a web developer who has recently developed an unhealthy obsession with Angular, a front-end web framework.

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Racialism is a nasty but profitable business https://rationalstandard.com/racialism-is-a-nasty-but-profitable-business/ https://rationalstandard.com/racialism-is-a-nasty-but-profitable-business/#comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:00:28 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5325 Races among humans are artificial, perverse constructs generated by misapplying the taxonomic category subspecies or by arbitrary socio-political construction. The subspecies, as a biological category, was formalized by Carl Linnaeus, […]

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Races among humans are artificial, perverse constructs generated by misapplying the taxonomic category subspecies or by arbitrary socio-political construction.

The subspecies, as a biological category, was formalized by Carl Linnaeus, the 18th-Century “father” of taxonomy. Linnaeus and contemporary racist theorists popularized human subspeciation using morphology and “demeanour” to divide us into a handful of “races”.  Homo sapiens europaeus was described as “white, sanguine, muscular”; Homo sapiens afer as “black, phlegmatic, relaxed”.

Racialism – the beginnings

‘Racialism’ was probably employed by the earliest humans.  Post-Linnaean racialism was further misused to identify a multitude of ‘racial’ groupings sharing a common language, religion, culture, class and/or national affiliation.  Within the “First People”, the Southern African KhoiSan, the pastoral Khoi (khoi literally means “People”) regarded morphologically similar, hunter-gatherers as “San” (“Others”).  The ‘San’ (perhaps the earliest genetically-definable modern humans), in turn, have no collective name for themselves and are highly diverse linguistically and genetically – self-identifying as more than ten ‘nations’.

World-wide, over 200 ‘races’ have been recognized. Within Haiti alone, local people employed more than 100 different racial terms. In extreme instances, ‘races’ in power used their ‘superiority’ (and inferred threat) to ’justify’ their hyper-oppression and even genocide of the ‘others’.

Regardless of the number of  races ‘recognized’, the primary purpose of human ‘taxonomy’ is to denigratee ‘others’.

This is unjustifiable: biologically, culturally, educationally or socio-politically.

Nature: biology

Since World War II, there has been widespread agreement that human races have no biological basisHomo sapiens evolved once, in Africa about 200,000 years ago, and cannot be subdivided further. So, pioneer Pan-Africanist Robert Sobukwe hit the racial ‘nail’ on the head in 1959: “There is only one race to which we all belong, and that is the human race”.

Genetics: Humans all share the same set of genes.  The DNA of any two human beings is 99.9% identical.  In stark contrast, genetically distinct populations of our nearest living relative, the Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes – confined to Central Africa and sometimes less than a mile apart – are more genetically distinct than humans that live on different continents.

There is greater genetic variation within human populations confined to a given continent than between populations from different continents. For example, within KhoiSan-variation exceeds that among populations form throughout much of ‘non-Africa’, and many Brazilian “whites” have more African ancestry than some US “blacks”.   In short, we are all genomic ‘kissing cousins’.

If ‘genomists’ were forced to ‘discover’ geographically distinct groups from randomly-sampled humans, only a handful of African ones would emerge.  The rest of non-African humanity would fall within one or other of these groups. In short, non-African modern humans are genetic ‘paleo-refugees’.

The major human genomic groups are not Asians/Africans/Europeans/Native-Americans!  Studies claiming the opposite (e.g. newsman Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History) and that societal differences reflect differential evolution in intelligence, impulsivity, manners, xenophobia, etc. are a “mountain of speculation teetering on a few pebbles”.

‘Racial genomists’ confirmed ‘racialization’ because they first separated the studied-humans by geography and ‘race’, avoiding individuals that don’t easily fall into these categories. Afterwards, they searched for the few rapidly-evolving, adaptively neutral, bits of “junk DNA”  that can discriminate amongst them.  This ‘strategy’ may recover some traditional racial groups.  But they are fabrications based on ‘cherry-picked’ samples.  Furthermore, if one pursued this genomic strategy to the extreme, humans could be ‘racialized’ much, much more finely – providing the apartheid-kindred with results that they could have used to ‘justify’ “separate development”.

Genetic genealogy

This genomic capacity has been exploited by a growing, aggressively-advertised, genetic ‘ancestry’ industry. One can even get a ‘certificate’ indicating your ancestors’ geographical provenance and your geographic (read: racial) genetic makeup. As far as I can understand, this makes some sense as a probabilistic, forensic scientific statement. But, the accuracy of the ‘diagnosis’ depends inter alia on the markers used and the scale of geographical coverage of the comparative material. One thing is certain: this ‘genetic astrology’ is not legally actionable evidence of ‘racial’ or genealogical identity. For example, markers derived from one source (e.g. mitochondrial DNA) might place ‘roots’ in one area and suggest a certain ‘racial signature’, and those from Y-chromosomes others.

A noteworthy example of human genetic ‘connectedness’ is the finding that millions of Americans may be descendants of the 4th century Irish King, Niall of the Nine Hostages. During an Oprah Winfrey Show, eminent African-American Harvard historian and ardent ‘genome-genealogist’ Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. announced that he and an Irish-American police officer (who arrested him for trying to gain entry to his locked home) are among them!

Also based on this ‘diagnostic capacity’, some 21st century ‘decolonist’ researchers, e.g. South Africa-based philosopher, Achille Mbembe, seem to advocate the biological rehabilitation of human races.  Mbembe maintains that: “ongoing re-articulations of race and recoding of racism are developments in the life sciences, and in particular in genomics” and allow delineation of human races, making them “amenable to optimization by reverse engineering and reconfiguration”. This assertion is based on the above-mentioned blatant misuse of forensic genomics.

Morphology (overall anatomical form) and Physiology:  Humans vary strikingly in whole-organism ‘appearance‘.  Potential diagnostic features include, inter alia, tolerance to alcohol, body odour, earwax, cold adaptations, eyelid folding, head hair structure, height/mass, high altitude oxygen metabolism, HIV resistance, microbiomes, menarche, pigmentation, steatopygia, prevalence of sickle-cell anaemia and other genetically-based diseases, ability to sense bitterness, toxin tolerance and osteology (especially of the cranium). But, such physical and physiological variations tend to change clinally (geographically gradually), rather than abruptly, and are generally inherited independently of one another. Furthermore, the clinal variation in one trait generally does not parallel that of others and those of genetic markers.  In short, they are ‘discordant’; rendering any attempt to establish lines of division among human populations both arbitrary and subjective.

For example, skin pigmentation results from natural selection operating differently in different parts of Earth.  As early as the 14th century, the Islamic sociologist Ibn Khaldun proposed that dark skin in humans was an adaptation to the hot climate of sub-Saharan Africa.  Modern research ties this to protection against melanoma-inducing sunlight in lower latitudes, and selection for lighter pigmentation at higher latitudes to allow production of vitamin D in the skin. Indeed, darkly pigmented skin can be rapidly lost evolutionarily and regained (over as few as 100 generations, or about 2500 years) depending on the ultra-violet radiation in areas ultimately ‘colonized’ by dark-skinned humans that emerged from Africa.

Nurture: culture, sociality and politics

Some South African humanities scholars, e.g. University of Cape Town sociologist Xolela Mangcu, media personalities (Eusebius McKaiser), NGO leaders (Andile Mngxitama) and politicians (Julius Malema) advocate continuation of official and de facto use of ‘race’. Their goals are to socially justify material redress, ‘affirmative action’ or even violence to offset past or continuing socio-economic oppression and to effect ‘Afrocentric’ educational and political “decolonization”.

‘Race’ is re-conceptualized from a social perspective based on “self-identification” according to shared attributes including pre-colonial nationality, history, language, religion, myths, behavioural norms, values, traditions, common expressive symbols, etc. Radical South African university student/staff ‘protesters’ (fallists) have even taken on the mantle of ‘race’ to justify the establishment of quota ‘race’-based academic appointment policies and the creation of racially exclusive associations.  Extreme fallists employ racial defamation, illegal intimidation, vandalism, destruction and extreme violence to ‘topple’ real or imagined, ‘white’ supremacist/capitalist “hegemonies”.

‘Racialist philosophy’

To give racialism academic/legal ‘credibility’, based on the premise that racism and ‘white supremacy’ remain engrained in the institutional fabric of society, social scientists and legal ‘scholars’ developed Critical Race Theory (CRT) “a [Eurocentric] collection of critical stances against the existing legal order from a race-based point of view”. CRT attacks the very foundations of South Africa’s internationally acclaimed Constitution, the non-racial, academic-freedom ‘dream’ of legendary UCT Vice Chancellor T.B. Davie and its implementation by subsequent VCs Stuart Saunders and Mamphela Ramphele. CRT advocates assert that the “values” underpinning constitutional law and academic freedom have no enduring basis in principle and are mere social constructs calculated to legitimize “white supremacy”.  They amount to nothing more than ‘false promises’. In effect, CRT seeks racial emancipation by replacing broadly consensual systems of law with racial power.

UCT is currently advertising a professorship restricted to “black South African” applicants proficient in “critical theory” and has, without advertisement and apparently approval by Senate, formally recognized the racially-defined Black Academic Caucus as a structure on par with other long-standing societies.

Debunking a menacing myth

Nowhere are the fallacy and nefarious actions of this racist philosophy better exposed than by UCT’s (and arguably Africa’s) greatest ‘racial scholar’, Crain Soudien, in his final public address as an employee at UCT in 2015. According to Soudien, human ‘races’ have no essence/ontological-status: biologically, culturally, socially or politically. He elaborates on this in his book Realising the Dream: “Race is an invention” … “only being framed in opposition to whiteness” … “an ideological smokescreen” … “viscerally inscribed in our heads and in our bodies”.  In short, racialism is a relational concept, having no inherent reality in the absence of an antithesis – whiteness, blackness or some ‘otherness’.  To get a handle on the even harder-to-demonstrate “whiteness”, I could refer Mangcu et al. to Rachel A. Dolezal and/or Dylann Storm Roof or, better still, Nell Irvin Painter, professor emerita of history at Princeton University and author of The History of White People.”

To my mind a nonsensical use of the racial term ‘black’ is that proposed by Black Consciousness advocate Steve Biko (and implemented at UCT) to socio-politically ‘encompass’ dark-skinned African (‘Bantu’ sensu Verwoerd), Asian and ‘coloured’ South Africans. The only common ‘character’ of this subset of humanity is their ‘non-whiteness’ defined by long-gone segregation/oppression-based Apartheid Laws.

Regardless, of how ‘racial’ identity is allocated, assigned or assumed, in the end, the favoured ”group” will use its ‘status’ to dominate/victimize the “other(s)”.  To allow the rehabilitation of ‘race’-motivated rule in post-Mandela South Africa defaces the non-racial Constitution for which he was “prepared to die”.  Nevertheless, realizing Desmond Tutu’s dream of a Rainbow Nation requires the ruthless eradication of racialism’s inevitable spawn – racism, its ‘sister-isms’ and xenophobia.  That cannot be achieved by the emerging ‘neo-racism’ advocated by Wade, Mbembe, Mangcu et al. and extreme fallists.

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Hurrah – the party of genocide! Hurrah – the party of misery! https://rationalstandard.com/hurrah-party-genocide-hurrah-party-misery/ https://rationalstandard.com/hurrah-party-genocide-hurrah-party-misery/#comments Mon, 24 Apr 2017 07:00:10 +0000 http://rationalstandard.com/?p=5242 ‘Stop that nonsense with me’ – Lady Astor to von Rippentrop, German ambassador to the court of St. James, giving her the ‘Nazi’ salute In the Sunday Times issue dated 26 February, […]

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Stop that nonsense with me’

– Lady Astor to von Rippentrop, German ambassador to the court of St. James, giving her the ‘Nazi’ salute

In the Sunday Times issue dated 26 February, we were spoiled with an article from the pen of our dear and beloved ‘uber-comrade’ Blade Nzimande, who lectured us about a young South African communist revolutionary (deceased since 1991) whose work he maintains is still able to teach us capitalist-minded dwarfs  much – no, muchissimo – of wisdom.

Internet rumour has it that this gentleman, the honourable Minister of Higher Education and Training “on Monday afternoon launched South Africa’s first school of schools of witchcraft and wizardry. The school which is located in Durban KwaZulu Natal, has opened its doors as of today.” (National news bulletin, 12 March 2017).

It may be a long way to Tipperary but obviously it is a short way from Marx to Muti.

Comrade Blade introduces us this intellectual giant as a “prophet of true radical economic transformation”.

Prophet? Did I read prophet? Well, from time to time I receive leaflets introducing a certain kind of prophets and doctors and professors to me who are all able to look through water and mirror, bring back lost lovers, help with small manhood, and bring back lost money. I am not quite sure which kind of ‘prophet’ Comrade Blade has now in mind taking into regard his taste for ‘alternative science’.

Let us assume that he used or tried to use this term in the classic meaning. Even then he got it wrong. Contrary to popular belief and widespread misunderstanding – of which a Minister of Higher Education should be aloof – a ‘prophet’ is not one who tells the future but as we know from the Good Book is commanded by God to tell the people uncomfortable truths and asks them to change their habits and repent. For example, a ‘prophet’ in the field of economics should tell us  that all forms of Socialism do not work; that scientific and any kind of dogmatic socialism or communism has only brought misery, destruction, hunger, mass murder, tyranny and genocide to all people and nations who had the dubious luck to be under the magic spell of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin-Mao-whoever muti.

Let us return to the introduction of Mr “Mzala” – nickname not explained – given to us by comrade Blade.

“..neither a celebrity thinker nor a self-aggrandizing personality”. What the hell did he then do among the bolshie bunch?

“He died young” – my condolences anyway; I do not like to make fun of him but of others – “…just as his intellectual activity was starting to flourish and reach maturity”. If so I am sure he would have quit scientific and dogmatic socialism within a very short time.

Comrade Blade informs us about all the schools Mr “Mzala” attended and that he was then able to study law at the University of Zululand. That is interesting. On the one side they tell us how bad “Bantu-Education” was and on the other side their heroes go to good schools, excel there and then are allowed to enter universities. Something is wrong about those stories…

I rather guess that the narrowness and stupidity in some fields of the past system bred rebels and made critical and industrious minds revolting.

The ‘trick’ Comrade Blade and a lot of radical lefties display now is that only communism was the true alternative to Apartheid. This is a very simple hedge attorney trick and bluff, played on us since many decades ago; it is therefore one that was and is very successful.

No, we have to say it loud and clear: Apartheid is and was and can be criticised and analysed effectively from a Conservative, a Libertarian, a Christian Democratic, a Liberal, a free market, or an anarchist point of view. Nobody needs advocates of a sterile dogmatic commando system of social engineering to overcome  another system of social engineering.*

So an intelligent, maybe idealistic young man who should have found a place in a productive system naturally possessing some tolerance – otherwise it would not be productive one – was deeply annoyed by the atmosphere of the sixties and seventies and turned bolshie. That is an argument against that system but not a valid one in favour of communism.

“… Mzala left South Africa … From the time he went into exile he read voraciously the works of Marx and Lenin, as well as the literature of the ANC and the SACP…” (emphasis mine)

The miracle word is ‘voracioulsy’. That is a wonderful description of the attitude, the power politics, the habit and strategy of scientific and dogmatic socialism and communism. Voraciously, Lenin took power in a ‘putsch’ against a liberal-social democratic government; voraciously, he overran Russia, mercilessly destroying every opposition, including left opposition; voraciously, the sailors of Kroonstad were massacred in 1922; voraciously, the Tscheka murdered middle class and aristocrats; voraciously, Stalin murdered six millions of Ukrainian peasants; voraciously, Stalin murdered hundreds of thousands of party comrades civil servants, officers in his big purges; voraciously, communist tyrannies had been established in Eastern Europe after 1945; voraciously, the Hungarian revolution was put down 1956; voraciously, the “Prague Springtime” was suppressed; voraciously, revolts by Polish workers in 1956, 1972 and 1980 had been suppressed; voraciously, Mao Tse-Tung took power in China; voraciously, dozens of millions of Chinese had been murdered; voraciously, in the “big leap forward”, destruction and misery were created; voraciously, the cultural revolution destroyed wide realms and artefacts of culture, of schools, of universities, and murdered hundreds of thousands.

Voraciously, voraciously , voraciously… also in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia , Cuba, Venezuela, Ethiopia, by the 68-ers in Western Europe and the U.S. and so on. The voracious atrocities of scientific and dogmatic socialism and communism fill books – for example, the “Black book of communism” – and compared with the endless lessons about fascism we receive, it is still quite concise.

“In the Soviet Union, Mzala received training … would make time to read books on a wide variety of topics … deployed to …  he was sent to advanced ideological and political training to the German Democratic Republic…” So he received classic communist indoctrination – I wonder how ‘wide’ the ‘variety’ of topics was he was allowed to study was – Maybe hundreds of boring speeches by the party grandees or something similar but certainly not a universitas of information and knowledge from all kinds of ideological backgrounds. So he was on his best way to become an apparatchik and politruk. Sorry to say, I am not impressed…

“Mzala had a reputation as an independent thinker unafraid to differ sharply with leaders … while always remaining fiercely loyal to the ANC and the SACP.” How does that go? Is there any example in the history of communism in power that a real independent mind was tolerated within the organisation? What happened to Milovan Diljas, Heinz Neumann, Margarete Buber-Neumann, Wolfgang Leonhard, Ernst Fischer – to name just a few? In the very moment one really became independent minded and un-dogmatic he was spit out of the party and destroyed, at least in reputation (if not physically)!

“He also wrote … on the relationship between the national and class struggle in South Africa.” So he entered the field of combining nationalism and socialism – that George Sorel and Benito Mussolini did many decades ago already. A dangerous mine field we enter now. So be it!

“In 1977 Mzala was working on a simplified book on Marxism-Leninism in Zulu”.  So the Zulus can only stomach and digest simplified books? Blatant racism that is!

“…it was he who recruited me to the SACP.” Sorry dead comrade, all forgiven but not this! Not this! That after many years of studies and training in the various provinces of the empire of evil he did not discover this roving rural rustic may not be forgiven. Didn’t they have standards ? “Hate speech”, according to the new, proposed bill, my attorney whispers in my ears. I apologize…

“…medical treatment in London…” Not in Leningrad or Kiev or Moscow? The comrades did not trust their own medical system and doctors. Fighting against Capitalism but in doubt seeking medical treatment in private hospitals in capitalist countries. Sometimes these guys are funny…

The radical economic transformation Comrade Blade demands is just an old smelling fish, a recipe that ruined a lot of nations and states, including Venezuela.

“…basic wealth and the basic resources are at the disposal of the people as a whole” means if we look at the history of communist commando systems at the disposal of  the party apparatchiks. “… and are not manipulated by sections or individuals be they White or black.” That clearly means that free markets, independent actors and transactions in the markets are ruled out. What the bolshies call “manipulations” are just normal, free actions of free participants in a free economy. That they will never understand. That the price a bakery charges for a bread and a buyer willing to pay are not results of evil manipulations but of considerations by millions market participants within the system of spontaneous order as described by Friedrich August von Hayek. That independent minds are able to act responsibly and freely will never be understood by materialistic and historicist minds. This should be Bad luck for them, but unfortunately since 1917 it was bad luck for a multitude of nations and peoples.

A radical economic transformation in South Africa can only mean a drastic reduction of taxes (2-10 percent income tax, 10 percent corporate tax and 5 percent VAT and that is it – not one cent more!), a drastic reduction of state activities, selling all SOE to private enterprises, reducing red tape and all kind of mindful but impractical legislation and completely leaving health services and education within a general legal frame work to private activities on free markets and closing down 80 percent of the bureaucracy and the state departments. Why 80 percent? According to Wilfredo Pareto, dead wood always amounts to around 80 percent.

And now I may tell you, dear readers, that I have enough of bolshies ‘innocently’ telling their stories and advertising their ideology. Their ideology and parties mean tyranny, genocide and misery. I am fed up that all the scientific and dogmatic socialist and communists got away with all their crimes. The history of these systems is a trail of moral and material destruction and devastation. We cannot hang the red tyrants any more, as the allies did with Nazi leaders in Nuremberg (in the meantime they all died more or less peacefully in bed). But we can still hang them in effigy and despise them and their ideology, power and command system and tell all their remaining functionaries, fellow travelers, and intellectual miscreants who constantly play down the horrible effects of communism and assorted academic nitwits: Your time is over. Stop that nonsense with us!

*To make it clear: Apartheid was by far not as worse as anything that scientific or dogmatic socialism and communism produced but nevertheless a waste of time, energy, human possibilities and resources.

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HuffPost SA Editor-in-Chief Verashni Pillay Resigns https://rationalstandard.com/huffpost-editor-chief-verashni-pillay-resigns/ https://rationalstandard.com/huffpost-editor-chief-verashni-pillay-resigns/#comments Sat, 22 Apr 2017 18:57:21 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5319 Tonight, 22 April 2017, Huffington Post South Africa’s Editor-in-Chief, Verashni Pillay, resigned, according to News24. This comes after a statement by the Press Ombud, who condemned the editorial actions of […]

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Tonight, 22 April 2017, Huffington Post South Africa’s Editor-in-Chief, Verashni Pillay, resigned, according to News24.

This comes after a statement by the Press Ombud, who condemned the editorial actions of Pillay in her acceptance and defence of an article that called to remove the white male franchise. Pillay has been the subject of much scrutiny since defending the piece and it later being revealed that the article was submitted by an individual who meant to entrap the site.

While the Post attempted to draw attention away from their own failings by demonising Marius Roodt, the author of the trap-piece, this was evidently not enough. Roodt resigned from his employment because his actions, and now Pillay has done the same.

The Post was ordered to apologise for its publishing of the piece by the ombud, Johan Retief. He argued that the piece incited hate speech and breached the Press Code. He further argued that Pillay’s pulling of the piece was not due to any editorial sensibility, but because they had found out that they had been trapped by an imposter. All blame for the publishing of the piece rested on the editorial team and the editor.

It was made obvious that Pillay was supportive of the article’s ideas when in her defence of the article she stated that the content was “pretty standard for feminist theory”.

Retief wrote:

“The blog was discriminatory and denigratory to white males, and impaired the dignity of some men in this group. By publishing, she also impaired the dignity of some white men, a breach of Section 3.3 of the code which cautions the media to ‘exercise care and consideration in matters involving dignity and reputation…”

It is worrying that dignity and reputation apparently have to be protected, but it is clear that Pillay violated the Press Code and may have violated the Huffington Post‘s own editorial guidelines.

The piece was also condemned by Retief for further damaging the media’s reputation, by allowing an entrapment article to be published.

What is not clear is if Pillay’s resignation was pressured or purely voluntary. The same remains unclear as to Roodt’s resignation.

Editorial control of the site will be reassigned to Ferial Haffajee and Pieter du Toit until a new editor is appointed.

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Editorial: Don’t be Distracted – Media, not Roodt, are to Blame https://rationalstandard.com/editorial-dont-distracted-media-not-roodt-blame/ https://rationalstandard.com/editorial-dont-distracted-media-not-roodt-blame/#comments Thu, 20 Apr 2017 09:17:42 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5312 South Africa’s left-wing media has done it again. It has managed to divert attention away from its own ethical bankruptcy onto a scapegoat individual. That individual – who, oddly enough, […]

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South Africa’s left-wing media has done it again. It has managed to divert attention away from its own ethical bankruptcy onto a scapegoat individual. That individual – who, oddly enough, is always a white male – in the left-wing fanatical tradition, is now unemployed and humiliated. But Marius Roodt, like Gareth Cliff and Chris Hart, has done nothing but stand up for the values of a free and liberal society. And he has been crucified for that.

Roodt was recently outed as the infamous ‘Shelley Garland’, a vociferous Huffington Post South Africa contributor who called for the disenfranchisement of white males. The Post’s inquisitors allegedly tracked him down by “tracing his email” and using “facial recognition” technology. The effort it expounded in this witch hunt clearly indicates that it was the identity of the blogger, rather than the vile content of the article, which concerned the Post most.

In a recent ‘expose’ by the Post, they posted a video of Roodt being caught off-guard (finishing a snack, awkwardly) by inquisitors Ferial Haffajee and Pieter du Toit. What follows is a cringeworthy video where blame for the entire episode is shifted onto Roodt, when he was merely the vehicle for exposing the intellectual vileness of South Africa’s social justice-inclined media.

Roodt claims that the article was aimed at testing the quality of South African journalism – a test which South African journalism failed. As was to be expected, the Post, which is known for shifting between tabloid swill and left-wing doctrine, published the article. After a strong media backlash, they embraced a red herring to distract readers from the real issue – not that Shelley Garland is a fake, but that the Post is willing to publish blatantly racist and nonfactual articles.

The video is painful to watch, as a man obviously not used to the camera is scolded by holier-than-thou fanatics in the same manner someone may scold a toddler. There is no attempt at compromise or understanding from the Post inquisition, only condemnation and vitriol in hushed tones.

The Post, having published its expose, did not at substantively own the fact that it published such drivel. Its initial half-hearted retraction of the article included a generic commitment to the ‘universal franchise’ without delving into the intellectual and ethical nefariousness of the modern feminist theory which underlies the article. Editor Verashni Pillay herself admitted, in no uncertain terms, that the article represented accepted ideas within modern feminism.

Pillay did venture an ‘apology’ in the immediate wake of Post’s expose, admitting that publishing the content might have been a mistake. While a commendable attempt, she did, however, write the following:

“Despite the pressure for me to recant my thoughts in my initial response I cannot, authentically, do that.

I still believe that despite the gains for equality and universal human rights in the last century, the fact is that white men still enjoy disproportionate power. And yes, I believe that a loss of oppressive power is necessary to create a truly level playing field.”

That she still sticks to her initial defence of the Garland piece is praiseworthy – consistency on the left is to be admired on the rare occasions it appears. What Pillay appears to not acknowledge, however, when she calls for “fewer accusations and growing suspicion of each other and eventual, authentic healing,” is that it is more often than not the media which causes division and tension between South Africans. This was all but confirmed in the recent media bias report by the Solidarity Research Institute.

SEE ALSO: Reject Racist News by Nicholas Woode-Smith

South Africa’s left-wing-inclined media persists in hiding behind the veil of objectivity and ethical journalism. Both Business Day and the Mail & Guardian have published editorials giving light to the underlying philosophy of editorial committees, yet have not attempted to redefine themselves as a consequence thereof.

Nothing in this RS editorial, of course, should be construed as calling upon the Huffington Post or other South African media outlets to ‘be objective’ or ‘be more thorough’ with fact-checking. In fact, we regard objectivity as nigh-impossible and defer to in-house editorial standards for the level of fact-checking. After all, RS does not as a general rule fact-check guest contributions – we believe firmly in giving authors the intellectual space to outline their position. If they dig their own grave in the process, so be it.

SEE ALSO: Editorial: Why we need a Rational Standard

Furthermore, anonymous or pseudonym contributors are a staple of journalism.

What matters is that the Post deemed the Garland piece appropriate to fit their editorial guidelines – taking on an article that echoes many of the thoughts the social justice left espouse daily. Only after sufficient condemnation did they apologise, and pretend they had bungled. Au contraire, they very much meant to publish such a piece and get behind its ideas.

What bothers us about this episode, is transparency and honesty. Nothing, as of 22:50 PM on 19 April 2017 on the Post’s website elucidates the fact that that publication takes an explicitly progressivist, social justice, Critical Theory, postmodernist, or any other related school of thought approach to journalism, when, in reality, they do. In contradistinction, the Rational Standard has made it clear, from the outset, that we take a distinctively libertarian, free market approach, and we restate this continuously in articles.

Had the Post been open about its blatantly-obvious bias, the Garland piece would not have been newsworthy in the slightest, because the lens through which we would have approached it would have been different. We would have known that an authoritarian left-wing argument was being made on a left-wing platform. Instead, an authoritarian left-wing argument was made on a platform masquerading as an objective outlet adhering to journalistic ethics, when, in fact, we know that any article even hinting at the disenfranchisement of anyone except white males, would have been binned by whatever sub-editor received it first.

In the video inquisition of Roodt, Ferial Haffajee attempts to lay the blame of the article firmly at his feet, as if he actually supported what he wrote. She is, of course, ignoring the fact that he wrote it to test the Post’s journalistic ethics – that they failed. Haffajee continues to defend Pillay’s defence of the fake Garland piece, when Haffajee herself condemned calls to disenfranchise anyone. While the latter is to be commended, the former highlights the fact that tracking Roodt down had nothing to do with author verification, but was a mere witch hunt to ensure the Post’s is able to divert attention away from what truly matters in this episode.

It is a travesty that Marius Roodt resigned and was publicly humiliated in a tale where he is the protagonist. He did what many rational, level-headed individualists around the world have wanted to do for years – show the left the toxicity and authoritarianism of their own philosophy, by using their own words and logic. He pulled it off, and should be commended. Even though Roodt claims not to be a libertarian, he is certainly now a worthy activist and proponent of journalistic transparency.

While the rest of the world is waking up to the horror and authoritarian nature of the social justice movement (unfortunately, often replacing it with equally authoritarian right-wing thought), South Africa sadly lags behind. Calls for ‘radical economic transformation’ and condemnation of bogeymen have placed us further down the road to serfdom, as the African National Congress grasps desperately to retain its relevance against an opposition that tends to just be a ‘lite’ version of itself.

South Africa does not have a healthy intellectual discourse and our lack of journalistic transparency does not help. Outlets such as the Post and others have not succeeded in encouraging healthy discourse – on the contrary, South African media has succeeded in drowning out rational voices in favour of hysteria. The Post, The Daily Vox, Daily Maverick, Mail & Guardian, etc. have as a substantial majority of contributors individuals who toe the social justice line. RS and a worryingly limited amount of other publications continue to pursue an explicitly classical liberal approach where the freedom and dignity of the individual is placed center-stage.

The Huffington Post South Africa, however, must be commended, as it has hereinto had a far cleaner, more respectable portfolio than its American counterpart, where articles of the nature of the Garland piece are a weekly occurrence. Pillay’s maturity in taking responsibility for the questionable publication of the content (author aside) is furthermore a tentative indication of the Post’s commitment to rectify some of the problems which led to this episode.

The Editor

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ANC ‘rebels’ without ‘claws’ https://rationalstandard.com/anc-rebels-without-claws/ https://rationalstandard.com/anc-rebels-without-claws/#comments Tue, 18 Apr 2017 07:00:32 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5303 An article describing recent hijinks within the African National Congress (ANC) as a “rebellion” is fatuous, to say the least. The article is surprisingly naïve, given that its author is […]

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(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

An article describing recent hijinks within the African National Congress (ANC) as a “rebellion” is fatuous, to say the least.

The article is surprisingly naïve, given that its author is a highly-knowledgeable political scientist and a long-serving, savvy member of the ANC. This is obvious from the first sentence which focuses only on the last nine “tumultuous” months of the Zuma administration. Jacob Zuma’s rapacious and corrupt skulduggery can be traced back on a scale of decades. Moreover, Zuma was not “swept into power” as President of the ANC by overwhelming support from rank and file members of COSATU and the South African Communist Party (SACP) – it was through a political conspiracy instigated and implemented by an oligarchy within an already-corrupt Tripartite Alliance. The members of a corrupt cabal decided that they could get more from Zuma’s kleptocratic trough, than they were getting from Mbeki’s. Mbeki’s attempt to cling to the ANC presidency was a last-gasp effort of a once highly-respected leader who had apparently lost interest in the poorest of the poor and may have become unwilling or unable to satisfy the greed of incompetent kleptocrats, while he hopelessly pursued Pan-Africanism and black nationalism.

Make no mistake about it, Mbeki’s criminal failure in dealing with the threats of HIV/AIDS and his disproportionate interest in Pan-African matters (including propping up the genocidal dictatorial leader of Zimbabwe) more than warranted his removal both as leader of the ANC and the country. But, the reality was that Mbeki’s political assassination was nothing more than two ruthless politicians interested in personal ideology (Mbeki) and sheer greed (Zuma) fighting to the ‘death’. It had nothing to do with “disciplined members” of a reputable party seeking to help the oppressed masses to become self-respecting and self-sufficient members of a non-racial society. In a matter of months, Mbeki was removed from the pinnacle of political power in Africa and effectively became an historical footnote.

The author’s description of the process that transpired using ‘praiseworthy’ words such as “outvote, outflank, and outmanoeuvre”, is disingenuous at best.

To suggest that Zuma could stay on as President of South Africa after 2019 is simply poor scholarship, since the South African Constitution limits an individual to two full terms. Zuma may have delusions of grandeur, but he is not so arrogant to believe that he can amend the Constitution.

Suggesting that the SACP’s motives for removing Zuma are justified by his involvement in state capture is also disingenuous. The Communist mini-oligarchy in this case is acting because it has correctly discovered that it has ceased being the puppeteer of the Tripartite Alliance. It is fighting a rear-guard action to find a new marionette who is ideologically similar to Mbeki.

The author cites a list of ‘powerful’ individuals (Ramaphosa, Mantashe, Mkhize and important foundations) and some of the paleo-ANC members who retain dignity, honesty and respect as a ”groundswell of opposition” within the ANC. The most senior of these ‘overwhelmers’ is a BEE billionaire tainted by his undisputed association with the Marikana massacre. Regardless, this “rebellion” was vaporized in a matter of days by Zuma and fellow kleptocrats, described as “loyalists” by the author. The author then goes on to characterize the retention of ‘efficiently corrupt’, incompetent, parasitic ministers by implying that this is the norm “elsewhere in the world”. Yes, there are such individuals. But there are also stellar examples of senior leaders (Thatcher, Nixon, Agnew and almost Clinton) who have been removed for much less egregious behaviour.

The author then ‘recalls’ the Mbeki recall, writing that Zuma “supporters” are “sit[ting] on the fence”. Why not call a geotome a shovel and replace “supporters” with kleptocratic sycophants and “sitting on fences” with poised between troughs of public funds?

Staying true to form, the author closes with: “Opponents who wish to remove him will have to organise a coalition”. Once again, please cease fannying about. What may (but probably will not) happen is simply one corrupt cabal will instigate yet another conspiracy to replace the existing one which controls an even more profoundly corrupt and uncaring oligarchy who control a once highly-respected political party that abandoned the marginalized oppressed masses more than a decade ago.

These largely very young and very old victims will have to emulate the desolate masses during the US Great Depression and sing: “The rich get rich and the poor get children.  In the meantime, in between time, ain’t we got fun”.

The even greater tragedy for South Africa is that the parties in opposition offer little in the way of improved, honest, principled and effective leadership.

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White Male Trolls ‘Social Justice’ Press Media – Calls for Disenfranchising White Males https://rationalstandard.com/white-trolls-social-justice-press-disenfranchising-white-males/ https://rationalstandard.com/white-trolls-social-justice-press-disenfranchising-white-males/#comments Sun, 16 Apr 2017 14:04:31 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5297 The now-infamous blog post on The Huffington Post South Africa calling for the disenfranchisement of white males appears to have been written by a white male, in an attempt to […]

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The now-infamous blog post on The Huffington Post South Africa calling for the disenfranchisement of white males appears to have been written by a white male, in an attempt to expose the state of journalism, according to an exclusive report by The Renegade Report.

News of the controversial article titled “Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?” by one “Shelley Garland” quickly spread across the world, with such figures such as provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, InfoWars’ Paul Joseph Watson, and liberal Dave Rubin taking note and expressing their disapproval. Even Fox News ran a report on the article. The article has since been taken down.

HuffPost SA’s Editor in Chief, Verashni Pillay, expressed her support for article, writing “there was nothing in the article that should have shocked or surprised anybody…” She continued, ” Those who have held undue power granted to them by patriarchy must lose it for us to be truly equal. This seems blindingly obvious to us.” Pillay’s defense of the article has also been taken down since it was revealed that “Shelley Garland” was not a real person.

According to information obtained by The Renegade Report, it turns out that “Shelley Garland” was a pseudonym used by a white male – who identified himself as “Nick Shannow” – who wrote the article.

Shannow indicated to the Report‘s Roman Cabanac and Jonathan Witt that he believed “one could write any kind of collectivist tripe, as long as the target was white men,” and set about testing his theory by submitting the infamous article. He turned out to be correct. “This is an indictment on South African journalism in general, and the Huffington Post in particular[,]” wrote Shannow.

“Although [Verashni Pillay], claims that her website does not necessarily agree with what I said, it is unlikely that she would publish a piece with the same sentiments but aimed at a different race group written by someone ostensibly from the other side of the political spectrum[,]” noted Shannow aptly.

In January 2016 we wrote the following:

“It has become increasingly common to see editors, who are supposed to maintain a rational standard and ensure all publicised views are logically-informed, liberally allow the commentariat to say what they want, adhering to no sense of reason. While we believe, strongly, that people should be able to say whatever pleases them, we do not think it is responsible nor ethical for editors to entertain and host such fallacious diatribes.”

It would appear that this has remained true, especially for clearly-ideological publications such as The Huffington Post which hide behind the facade of responsible journalism.

HuffPost SA should join the Rational Standard in being open and honest about its political-philosophical biases, lest humiliations such as “Garlandgate” continue.

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Release the Lion https://rationalstandard.com/release-the-lion/ https://rationalstandard.com/release-the-lion/#comments Fri, 14 Apr 2017 09:41:16 +0000 https://rationalstandard.com/?p=5270 We don’t have to be stuck between two mythical deities known as white monopoly capital and state capture, both are an attempt to frame all our problems around one single […]

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We don’t have to be stuck between two mythical deities known as white monopoly capital and state capture, both are an attempt to frame all our problems around one single problem – with government the solution in both cases. This is plainly not a true assessment of the situation we find ourselves in. Yes, we had colonialism and apartheid which caused serious problems in this country; both of those severely curtailed the potential of black people. That does not mean that those who fought this system had all the right answers. We’re human, and we make mistakes, but you need to have a sustained process of rational engagement with the ideas you are generating to fix your problems. Look at history to see what works and what doesn’t.

The ANC played the biggest part in uniting this country after 1994 as well as solving some of the most pressing economic problems with apartheid. Mbeki and Manuel’s Gear policy did help create the black middle class, through liberalising our economy and allowing people to trade more freely with each other (they could have gone even further: the economy was still hamstrung by labour laws, exchange controls, sectoral minimum wages, and our unaffordable welfare system).

Then we allowed the populists to take over – and they believe in solving problems through spending and raising taxes (Gordhan is part of this populist crowd). Yes, firing him so suddenly was bad for the economy but only because it signals a shift further towards increasing deficits, higher taxes and inflation. Never let something as stupid as race distract you from paying attention to the economy!

Equally, corruption is really bad for good fiscal management, but the bigger the government role in the economy, the higher the dividend for trying to corrupt state officials – people like Brett Kebble, the Broederbond and, our good friends, the Guptas.

The real big idea we haven’t explored is whether it is better to shrink the state to its bare minimum, providing a judiciary and police, with both functions localised to the municipal level, national defence, and prosecutorial services also established at the municipal level. The national government would only take voluntary contributions from the municipalities to fund an agreed-upon level of defence and capacitating the foreign affairs service. There would be absolutely no role for government in business – someone from the townships can think of an idea and just start running with it because the idea is a good one and everyone who wants to make money will invest in that idea and make money.

Economics is not a zero-sum game – a lot of economic transactions are about someone conceptualising something new and trying to sell that thing for as close to the conceptualised value as possible. He engages in negotiation with his neighbours trying to prove the thing’s value, so both parties win if both are right, i.e. that the thing really has the value they agreed on.

It is time to release the African lion into the world. Markets are ripe for conquering by people who have our survival skills. Let’s not be pussies. Let’s seize the moment and define ourselves instead of always seeking validation from someone else.

I challenge you: build something that makes the world around you better. Let’s throw away the shackles of government and make money together. It’s not a finite pie – imagination is the limit.

Author: Mpiyakhe Dhlamini is an important person to his two friends on facebook. He is also a web developer who has recently developed an unhealthy obsession with angular, a frontend web framework.

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