Cape independence is viable, possible, and an imperative. A lot to absorb, I know. Phil Craig of the Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG) has already responded to and easily refuted Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader John Steenhuisen’s assertions that Cape independence is unviable.
An independent Cape is economically viable and perhaps even preferable, as the Cape will no longer need to be a cash cow for the rest of South Africa. Cape wealth can then be spent on Cape issues. As South Africa sinks under mismanagement and a fatal imperialist experiment that should have ended a long time ago, the Cape could be a bastion for liberty and prosperity, embracing the policies needed to create a free and rich country on a continent plagued by socialist failures and patrimonial corruption.
But how can this be achieved? Secession is not easy. Countries around the world do not want to create a precedent which will allow their own territories to secede and lose them power. This is why secession is painted in such a bad light by world governments, even if the secessionists in question are merely trying to escape the bloodshed of their broken parent countries.
Gaining Cape independence will not be easy. It cannot simply be voted on overnight and certainly won’t be achieved by only demanding independence on social media and repeatedly asking “When are we seceding?”
Supporters of independence all have to work towards it and follow a rational and long-term plan that will yield a new and free country.
Nothing can happen without manpower. Movements are built on individuals. They make up the leadership, the activists who host and attend events, the marketers who spread the word, the donors who grease the wheels of politics.
Too many secessionists want to sprint before they can crawl. Before anything can be done, a massive movement of people who support Cape independence must be built. Not only are these numbers needed to actually support independence in a possible referendum or election, but they are also needed to actively assist the independence cause.
Members of the movement range from mere supporters who spread awareness by word of mouth, to leaders who actively start and run projects to advance the cause. A massive and organised movement of individuals who will handle everything from social media campaigns, to marches, to funding, and lobbying for autonomy and independence on a political level is necessary.
Starting a movement is difficult, as it requires the organisation and incitement of a lot of people. But here are some of the things Cape independence organisations and you can do:
- Agree on a unified flag that isn’t divisive, sticks to good marketing aesthetics and symbolism, and is affordable to produce. Mass produce said flag and distribute it. Ensure as many people recognise the flag as possible. Flags are the first thing that many people think about when they hear about a country, and it is the most powerful tool in a secessionist’s arsenal.
- Don’t focus solely on politics. Particularly, not base your entire campaign around your enemy. Many parties and organisations in South Africa fail to do anything but complain about the African National Congress (ANC). This is a mistake. It is boring and alienates potential supporters. Cape independence is not a partisan issue. It is an issue of a united Cape people wanting to be free. The focus must be on the issues and topics that unites the people of the Cape, like sports and entertainment. Encouraging local athletes to fly the flag of independence will take Cape independence a long way.
- Be proud of the independent Cape. Just because it is not yet independent doesn’t mean one can’t be proud of the land striving to be free. Start thinking of yourself as a Capean first, and a South African second (if at all).
Fundamentally, activity is imperative. Don’t rely on just a few individuals in organisations to fight this fight. If you believe in Cape independence, get involved. Everyone has a skillset of some kind that they can volunteer to help the movement – even if it is just speaking to people and convincing them.
As we build a movement, the sheer number of supporters will start to attract political legitimacy. Numbers make things look impressive. But those numbers must be used well. CIAG has a great strategy of pushing the DA to adopt a pro-independence stance, the importance of which will be discussed below. The Cape Party also has a role to play even with CIAG’s strategy of appealing to the DA.
Politicians are fickle and practical beings and will only support policies they think can win. So, it is extremely important that Cape independence is seen as a viable policy worth supporting. This means not only convincing the DA with internal lobbying, but also electing pro-secession parties and candidates to prove that the constituencies want secession.
After securing enough manpower and resources to win an election and pressure local government, the most important step of secession will become relevant.
Secure Local Government
No secession is possible if the local government doesn’t support it. Even nations with overwhelming local support (like Catalonia) have struggled to gain independence. Without that local support, the secession won’t even get as far as a referendum.
Brexit wasn’t even a real secession but look at how hard it has been for Britain to truly break away from the European Union. The reason for this is because the British government has been extremely divided between being pro- and anti-Brexit.
Local government needs to be majorly pro-independence, and actively working with the secession movement to secede. This is why appealing to the DA is so important. The Western Cape is their stronghold. If they publicly and formally support independence, over half the battle would be won.
Do not underestimate the power of formal institutions. Referendums, polls, surveys, and petitions mean nothing if the local government isn’t on your side and waving the independence flag.
Lobby for Autonomy
Once the local government is pro-independence, they must start demanding more autonomy from national government. At this stage, seceding is still unlikely. Rather, the local government must be a thorn in the side of the national government, constantly making the Cape a burden, not a boon, on South Africa. Independent policing and increased power over provincial affairs must be demanded, and the money sent to the national government must be minimised.
Singapore seceded from Malaysia because Malaysia basically kicked it out. The Cape must become such an inconvenience for South Africa, the latter of which will then open the door for secession.
This is done through a pro-secession government with the willpower to keep demanding autonomy, increased federalisation, and eventually secession from the national government.
Securing Foreign Support
The ANC didn’t become the South African government by being the sole wonderful liberator after Apartheid. They won the position through an intensely adept diplomatic strategy. ANC leaders in exile were not hiding. They were lobbying for support from foreign governments, making deals and preparing the world for an ANC-run South Africa.
The Cape independence movement must do the same. After local government is on its side, fellow secession movements, foreign political parties, and foreign governments themselves must be approached, doing what it takes to secure their support and recognition when the Cape secedes. No country can survive without being recognised by the global community, and this is something that must be sorted out before secession becomes a possibility.
Declaring Cape Independence
So, there is a massive population of supporters. The local government wants independence. The Cape has been a thorn in the side of national government and has either been given increased autonomy or used the national government’s reluctance to bestow autonomy to incite more support for independence. And other countries have been won over to the cause. It’s time to secede.
The most popular form of secession among the Cape independence movements has been a referendum. In fact, most secessionists seem to think that the first and last step to secession should be a referendum – ignoring the rest of the steps outlined above. This is very dangerous.
If the South African government somehow agrees to a referendum now, without the other steps having been completed first, Cape independence will fail! The opportunity to secede would be squandered as the referendum loss will demoralise the populace and embolden anti-secessionists for generations.
If referendum is to be a strategy for secession, then it must be only done when there is 100% certainty that independence will win. Even then, a democratic vote is too uncertain and easy to rig. How the referendum question is posed by national government can itself lead to more no-votes than there truly are.
A referendum will only be allowed if the national government likes the results. So, the goal is to make the independence cause too powerful for a rigged vote to be allowed, and/or make the national government was the Cape to leave.
I am not a fan of referendums. They’re politically uncreative and extremely unreliable. They’re effectively letting the national government set the rules for the game.
So, how does the Cape secede?
All the other steps must first be achieved. That is non-negotiable. Doesn’t matter how long it takes. After that, there are three options:
- Referendum: If the Cape is basically acting independently in everything but formal law, then a referendum might But, if the national government rigs it or sabotages it (like Spain and Catalonia), then there will be nothing left but a violent way out. That option must not be entertained.
- Reacting to a black swan event: Politics and world history is chaotic. Many different things can happen, including an event that basically guarantees independence if there is a pro-independence government in power willing to take the opportunity. Cape secessionists must ensure that a pro-independence government is maintained in case an event like this happens. Who knows: Perhaps such an event has happened before, but the Cape just lacked a willing local government?
- Declare independence unilaterally: Simply, the Cape just secedes. It gives notice and discusses the terms of independence with the South African government and tries to break away as amicably as possible. This is only possible if the Cape is bleeding secessionist fervour. Basically, close to a 75% majority in the local government supporting independence, the independence flag being flown instead of the South African one, mass tax revolts. This option is difficult to pull off, but possibly the most reliable one. It only requires an extremely willing and powerful local government. Easy.
The time for debating whether the Cape should secede is over. It definitely should and definitely could secede! This roadmap serves the dual purposes of showing normal readers that secession is possible and how it can be accomplished, and also serves as a strategy guide for the many Cape independence organisations.
As a final message to the leaders of the secessionist movements: start working together. Compromise on your differences. Stop focusing on irrelevant policy issues. There is one issue that matters: Cape independence. If you as an organisation are unwilling to compromise on a single irrelevant policy, then you should not be a Cape independence organisation. Rather focus on that policy instead, as it’s obviously more important to you.
This can be done. All that it requires is professionalism, maturity, and activity. If this guide is successfully followed, then we will live to see an independent Cape.
Read this article on 10 Steps to a Breakaway State for more information on how to secede.
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