Hinc niger est, hunc tu, Romane , cavete

Horaz

marxismRecently I discovered a really interesting article through my friend Thulani Nxumalo titled “Entrepreneurs as Psychopaths: Towards a Marxist Social Psychology,” written by a certain David van Wyk. With displeasure I note that a certain breed of bolshie has developed in glorious South Africa: the Afrikaner bolshie.

Please, benign reader, study it, read it, read it twice. It is worthwhile.

That Bolshevists tend to declare their enemies as mad is nothing new. Under the great Comrade L.I. Brezhnev, under whom Russia prospered and became incredibly wealthy and only suffered every year from bad weather which demolished agriculture so that they had to import grain from the US and Canada; under this shining beacon of ‘real existing socialism’, dissidents had been put in lunatic asylums, as resistance against scientific socialism was considered madness. That is, until 1989, when the whole building built upon the systematic lies and mass murder and suppression, collapsed.

What Van Wyk basically maintains is that entrepreneurs are mad and that he hates capitalism. Alright, let us analyse: I do not know if he is a trained and studied psychologist, and therefore qualified to make such a study. But I am, in any event, qualified to criticize him.

First of all, he does not give definitions. Please, always define your terms if you want to have an honest discussion. I learned that in my law studies. I, as usual, Googled the term ‘psychopaths’, and this is what I found:

“a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behaviour, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.”

 That definition would appear to also apply to Josef Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Tse-Tung, Kim il-Sung, Pol Pot, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Bernie Sanders … but let us not get personal!

Now, the definition of ‘entrepreneur’:

“An entrepreneur, in the classic sense, is the founder and owner of an enterprise. He acts independently, responsibly and with a strong will. He accepts the highest responsibilities and therefore at the same time the highest risks. Entrepreneurs excel especially with a special mentality which assists them in handling insecurity and risks, and to lead their enterprise to success.”

Alright, then founders of all social reform movements, of trade unions in the 19th century , Nelson Mandela, Chris Hani e tutti quanti also have been entrepreneurs.

Can these two definitions be honestly connected?

Van Wyk gets a lot of things wrong historically. Once again, I do not know his qualifications. Any evidence aside from an extreme dislike of a certain economic order would be appreciated. Please, Estimado Don Davido, tell, what did you study, what did you learn, which academic qualifications you do possess, to rove and roam in the fields of economics, history, psychology, medicine and so on?

How does he describe an entrepreneur? He gives a lot of characteristics:

– “the willingness to take risks”.

Is that bad? The firefighter who saves people from a burning house is also willing to take risks!

– “complete disregard for the well being and safety of the others”.

That is nonsense. The Cape Colony was founded to give sailors a place to stay, be nurtured to avoid scorbutic disease, and to produce healthy food. From a pure military point of view Cape Town and its fortress was always too weak and had no blocking value at that time. This was proven by the fact that the English could conquer it easily with quite a small force.

– “a meticulous sense of planning and an eye for detail”.

Now that sounds evil! The capitalists are better at planning than all the wretched zombies of socialism – and that’s now an element of mental derangement. Wonderful, I like that!

– “absolute selfishness etc.”

German entrepreneur Werner von Siemens said that he does not pay good wages because he is rich, but because he pays good wages, he is rich. That is empathy! I do not deny that a lot of rough and tough things happened in the economic development from the 19th century onward. However, have other systems been more caring? Free market thinking created a lot of critics who had been able to reform the system. In fact, an open order seems to be far superior in recognizing faults and errors, and seems far more able to reform itself. It gives ample space for ethical considerations. Where in socialism has there ever been space for ethical considerations, sir?

– “an intensely competitive spirit”.

Alright – an entrepreneur is not content to be a street cleaner with a broom employed by the municipality from 8 am to 4 pm? Fine. But perhaps it was this sense of competition which got all of us out of the caves!

– “selfish accumulation of land , labour and resources”.

This is significant for feudalism and, worse yet, socialism. A free market economy aims at creating wealth and property for as many as possible.

– “systematic conversion of all living things into dead trade”.

The “Verdinglichung’” and “Entfremdung” argument of Karl Marx. That may happen in a materialistic environment, but which environment will that be ? Free market economies, or socialism? Socialism, by its very essence and definition is materialistic! On this I recommend reading Heleno Sano, a Spanish libertarian communist.

-“slavery”.

A tragic part of human civilization; slavery existed in nearly all cultures, ethnic groups, times and circumstances. That is, until the 19th century, when at the Congress of Vienna in 1814, slavery was outlawed. The more free market, the less slavery!

– “untrustworthy and unreliable”.

That is the opposite of the standard demanded by law in places like Germany and Austria. They require merchants to be orderly, reliable, correct, precise, honest, and especially honest with other people’s money. With that framework, great wealth has been created for nearly all citizens.

– “unable to maintain relationships or agreements”.

Van Wyk has to explain how I can build up and grow my business with that attitude. If I treat my customers in that way I won’t have any customers in the first place! With an autistic character like that you might be a successful socialist coffee house loafer, but not a successful entrepreneur.

– “charm”.

What is wrong about that? I am from Vienna, and to be charming is highly valued there. I am under the impression that it is also valued right here in glorious South Africa.

– “fearless dominance”.

Did Nelson Mandela not possess this trait during the “struggle”?

– “disdain for women”.

How can I create and sell design jewelry, having a disdain for woman. You are kidding!

– “resorting to lies in the pursuit of profits and power”.

No, definitely not. You cannot build up an enterprise and relationships to business partners and customers, on lies. That does not mean that such lies and other ugly things do not happen, but they only prove useful in the short term. In the medium and long term, lies prove disastrous for business.

– “massacre of the Ndebele people 1883  by CJ Rhodes”.

How many Ndebele would be alive and prosper today were it not for a certain Mr. M, who massacred them in 1983 in Zimbabwe by using the communist-trained 5th Brigade?

– “intense hated of capitalism”.

Freely admitted by the author. Come on, say that again with Jews! But maybe that will become fashionable again with the “Islamist-NeoBolshie-Neonazi” crowd. We will see!

– “obsession”.

Again, let us call in a proper definition:

“a state in which someone thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently especially in a way that is not normal.”

Reading certain books is not an obsession. Trying to analyze their content is not an obsession. Trying to act according to rational advice is not an obsession. I believe calling that an “obsession”, is an obsession.

– “reference to Machiavelli”.

The brilliant author Machiavelli is widely misunderstood, and Van Wyk can count himself among that group. May I propose that he correct this by reading the Ludwig Kroeberth-Keneth book Machiavelli and We? No, I won’t, because he won’t listen!

– “Colonialism, Imperialism, White male master discourse”.

Now all the goodies come in one bag! To put it short: Colonialism, Imperialism and so on, exist generally within the politics of all races and cultures. But maybe the European culture based on the Latin-Greek heritage and classic scholastic Christian thinking (then blossoming from the Renaissance) was  – with all its faults and shortcomings – a wonderful torch in the dark, an assembly of great achievements in science, technique, art, knowledge, philosophy, law and economy; a tremendous combination of faith, religion and reason! And I say all people and nations who had been ready to be influenced by this matrix of quality – even ancient and valiant cultures like the Chinese and the Japanese – prospered.

I think that Van Wyk described the character of Bolshie tyrants, and, according to the method of shouting “catch the thief”, attached them to entrepreneurs.

But we have two types of people, active ones and passive ones. The passive ones are perfect material for a socialist command system. The active ones – the creators, producers, fighters and conscious citizens – in one word, the ‘quirites’, are builders of a free order.

The “Marxist Social Psychology” ends like all these funny “Wunderwaffen” socialist systems: as an empty shot.

My conclusions from studying Van Wyk are: His considerations and conclusions are not part of a discourse between a thinking left and a thinking right, which is dialectically necessary. Rather, it is resent, and an attitude of an intellectualizing corner boy. It is not a rational input, but poison which, if analysed in a cool way, had in the past caused mass murder, genocide and all kind of most ugly suppression. No, dear sir, that will not be tolerated!

Dr.iuris Harald Sitta is an Austrian attorney emeritus and business owner who immigrated to South Africa in 2007.