More than a year ago, my colleague Martin van Staden wrote a very similar article to the one I am writing now. The South African political scene is a minefield of toxicity at the moment. Many ordinary freedom loving people are unable to find a home in any of the three establishment parties.
Why you shouldn’t vote for the ANC
The perpetually optimistic convince themselves that there is sufficient distance between the rhetoric of the ANC and its actions. This is a short-sighted and perhaps even arrogant view to take. Many assume that the ANC is lying to its base (the people they depend on to stay in power) when they say that land will be expropriated, the SARB will be nationalised, etc., but believe they’re being honest when they say the opposite at Davos or in front of agricultural associations.
The political analyst RW Johnson said that the ANC cabinet would be unable to effectively run a small town in Europe. This can be seen by the general creeping decay around us. Eskom and SAA are at the point now where not even privatisation can save them. Incompetence is, however, only one leg of the problem. Malice and a twisted ideology is the other.
Coming out of a relatively peaceful political resolution in 1994, South Africa, with the grand persona of Mandela had moral clout internationally, was the country others could look up to in their time of crisis.
Whatever moral capital we have once had has now been spent. We now find ourselves in a bloc with all the undesirables of the world, usually voting with the likes of North Korea and Venezuela. The bastion of integrity, Tony Yengeni, recently visited the tranquil utopia of Venezuela. He made a point of saying how well things are working there, and how much we can learn from Maduro and company. We can only assume that Tony had his eyes closed as he traveled from the airport to the presidential palace, not seeing the victims of socialist torment eating their pets.
The ANC mentality is stuck in the Soviet era. It is one of control. The party cannot see that things can happen and problems can be solved without government intervention. It is in the ANC’s DNA to control. It cannot deregulate. It cannot privatise. For the ANC to remain relevant, the revolution can never end.
Perhaps that explains why the likes of Maduro and Mugabe are revered by the ANC, for the fact that those countries have been ruined by their dictators is beside the point for the ANC. The ANC sees the Zanu-PF and the USPV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) as role models. These are parties that came to power through revolution, and have remained in power. The ANC sees the decimation of these countries’ respective economies is a fair price to pay in order to stay in power.
We need to face the reality that many names on the ANC election list and NEC are not Cyril loyalists. What happens if the ANC gets ‘only’ 56% in the election and they decide to recall him for that reason? What comes next? Imagine the panic among citizens, investors and currency traders if Ace, Mabuza (and Malema?) take full control of the state.
Why you shouldn’t vote for the EFF
Jordan Peterson once remarked that it may have been the case that Hitler didn’t want to win the Second World War. Peterson’s reasoning being that Hitler should not have spent the resources he did on exterminating Jews and gypsies. The ‘logical’ thing for him to have done would have been to enslave them and focus on taking over Europe, and then do the dirty work after he’d won the war. It therefore must be the case that people with psychopathic tendencies have chaos as their ultimate goal. In other words, the desire for power is an indicator of antisocial personality disorder.
I’ve always had the idea that a lot of people are attracted to socialism not because they sincerely believe that socialism works, but because it is the clearest political pathway to power – the type of power that pathological personalities crave. It is not about the poor, or about inequality. If we lived in a universe where it was capitalism that gave people unchecked power, Malema et al. would be devout capitalists. Malema had a hunger for power long before he knew who Karl Marx was.
Whereas the ANC can be criticised for having been mentality stuck in the Soviet era, it is safe to say that the EFF’s socialist tendencies are more than latent. Their self-professed role models are literally the worst of the worst: Mugabe, Castro, Chavez, Lenin, etc. These are characters that no decent person should ever be able to relate to.
You get the feeling that if it wasn’t for the EFF, expropriation without compensation would not be on the agenda. It is important to note that the EFF has no intention of returning land to any individual. Instead, they intend on nationalising ownership and leasing it. You can only imagine the double-dealing that would take place if the leasing process is run by those who ran the VBS scam.
Rational Standard has produced many detailed articles countering the EWC narrative. In short, even if you get to the point where you accept that all of the land was ‘stolen’ and should be ‘returned’, then you still have to explain how agriculture’s 3% of GDP would significantly benefit the living standards of 50 million people.
It would be good if we could say that the EFF is a 10% party and will remain so, but I fear not. Whether it is possible for such an extremist party to ever win an election outright is questionable. The real risk lies in the ‘kingmaker’ role they may end up playing as South Africa enters the age of coalition politics. With Zuma out of the way, the road is clear for the EFF to tie up with the ANC in the future.
“We would love to have Julius Malema back in the ANC. He is still ANC down‚ deep in his heart.” – Cyril Ramaphosa
Why you should not vote for the DA
I think the typical Rational Standard reader would’ve typically been inclined to vote for the DA. They are the party that historically, at least, somewhat stood for libertarian values. You could always rely on them for taking a stand on principle, and being able to back up their principles intellectually.
Today, the only principled stance they have consistently taken in recent times is against corruption. This is good, however, it will only get you so far. Making a scene in Parliament about corruption on a regular basis is not that impressive when you realise that there are 50 million South Africans out there who would also happily throw a tantrum about corruption. The DA does not give us a vision of what the future could look like if they were in charge. They criticise too much and offer too little.
In a recent article, Frans Cronje posted some tough questions for the DA. He did, however, have some valid compliments for the party:
“From its humble origins, the DA has grown to become South Africa’s largest opposition party and the party of government in one of South Africa’s nine provinces. Its efforts at opposing counterproductive ANC policy, and exposing corruption, have generally been taken for granted and its role in fostering a culture of opposition is quite unappreciated. Yet the party has drawn much criticism from liberals for its seeming flip-flops on race, and has even been described as ANC-lite.”
According to the latest polls, the DA seems to be flat at best, showing no growth since the last election. This is dismal for a party which has shown an astonishing growth trajectory between 1994 and 2016. The ANC could not have provided more fertile ground for opposition to their misrule over the past 10 years than it has, yet the DA is languishing.
The trouble is that the DA has an identity crisis of sorts. Their history has fairly strong liberal roots – rule of law, property rights, equality of opportunity and that sort of thing. The current DA contradicts its founding spirit. They lack clarity on core issues such as affirmative action and free education. It is ironic that many people have become as blindly loyal to the DA as they frequently accuse ANC voters of being blindly loyal to the ANC.
It seems that the DA has changed strategy and decided that what they need to attract more black voters is to shift more to the side ‘social democracy’, and away from classical liberalism. This means that they are not the strong defenders of the free market that they used to be, and that identity (race) has become more important for the party. If you look at the polls, this has backfired. This is mainly because the black vote does not consist of a single block of people who all think the same. There is a big market for classical liberal ideas, but the DA has decided to give it up for a strategy that does not seem to be paying off. Remember, the DA was on a trajectory of strong growth – it did not need to change anything.
You can see that the DA is in an uncomfortable space simply by looking at its leader, Mmusi Maimane. His persona feels somewhat contrived. He does not look confident or comfortable, and he can’t keep the party together. Party members like Phumzile van Damme also do not do herself or her party any favours when she frequently exhibits the Twitter etiquette of a woke second-year humanities student.
If the percentage of votes the DA gets declines, or even stays the same nationally, as seems will be the case, a lot of hard questions will have to be answered by the party’s leadership, and they would possibly even have to reconsider their positions.
There is however one man in the DA that I think would be an asset going into the future: Herman Mashaba. He has a strong reputation as someone who does not stand for corruption, and who works very hard. I think South African voters find this kind of character appealing. He is also clearly very intelligent, and understands the value of the free market. If the EFF goes full red and kick Mashaba out as Mayor of Johannesburg, there ought to be a bigger role for him to play in the party.
Despite all my criticism, I should say that the DA is an infinitely better run party than the ANC, and a lot of the criticism they get, while valid, is due to the fact that they are held to a higher standard than other parties due to the hope so many South Africans have for them, and the expectation that it’s their job to keep the forces of darkness at bay.
Why you should consider voting ZACP
The launch of the Capitalist Party was a very pleasant surprise to those who like freedom. They are not like anything we’ve seen before. Their branding is very distinctive and immediately identifiable. Their principles are straightforward (but radical in 2019 South Africa) and easily understandable (I recommend checking out their website). Their candidates have no political history, all of them being accomplished people in their own right. I know a few of the candidates personally, and I can safely say that they are trustworthy and intelligent.
If enough people can see through the “don’t vote for a small party” nonsense and vote for a party like ZACP, we may see something interesting. Their views are totally contrarian to most in Parliament, and if they get onto a few parliamentary committees, they may have some positive influence.
Either way, we’re in for very interesting and probably scary times.