2018 was awash with fears surrounding expropriation without compensation and the continual descent of South Africa. Interest in Rational Standard articles reflected this, with a few notable exceptions returning to pre-2018 articles about ideology and timeless topics.
This article explores the top 20 read articles on the Rational Standard platform. They are listed in order of views received in 2018, as some articles are from previous years. Even so, this article serves as a great way to catch up on the news of the year, and what we’ve been reading in anticipation of 2019.
“It was a single sentence in a comment below a Politicsweb article on the verbal disagreement between Ashwin Willemse and his co-presenters Nick Mallett and Naas Botha that alerted one to what most South Africans are unaware of, have forgotten, or don’t want to know about. Ashwin Willemse creamed R61 million because he is a close friend of one of the alleged ‘New Guptas’, Gayton Mckenzie.”
“On 27 July 2018, Gun Owners South Africa (GOSA) asked the North Gauteng High Court for an interdict against the South African Police Service (SAPS) to protect firearm owners with licenses that have expired and were prevented from renewing by a combination of illegal and malicious acts by the SAPS. The court granted the interdict.”
“Alarmism shouldn’t be scoffed at in South Africa. More often than not, the alarmists are the realists in this dreadful country characterised by corruption and violence. But despite all the bad things that have happened, and all the times alarmists have been validated, they are still laughed at and condemned – until the hecklers are killed in the first volley.”
Martin van Staden
“Without government being required to pay compensation when it expropriates, no foreign investor will dare put a cent in this country. Local investors will start looking for ways to get their wealth out as soon and as quietly as possible. The poor will notice the changes the quickest, as prices will rise, wages will stagnate more than ever, and our trend of job losses will speed up. The narrow tax base that everyone talks about will all but disappear. The moment the first farm, or any other bank-financed property, is expropriated without compensation, will be a likely final nail in the coffin.“
Martin van Staden
““Dictatorship” is a very strong word. It is usually used to indicate the absence of a constitution and the presence of a ruler or rulers who do as they please, but this is usually an oversimplification.
South Africa, for instance, does have a constitution, but when a constitution is ignored or easily modified, the State in which it operates ceases to be constitutionalist.”
“South Africa is a country governed by chaos, violence and malice. There is no rule of law. Just a bunch of civil societies and weak-wine intellectuals pretending that everything is okay – when it really isn’t. We pretend that things are okay now that Jacob Zuma is no longer the President; that Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver us peace and prosperity. We tell ourselves this more from desperation than real belief.
Any half-way observant South African should know that things aren’t getting better. Zuma is gone, but he was just a symptom of a far greater disease. A symptom of a rotten ideology that has beset this country with violence again and again.”
Martin van Staden
“South African politics hasn’t been good to lovers of liberty over the last few years. The only party that once resembled a force for good in South Africa — the Democratic Alliance — has all but abandoned the requisite principles that make up a free society. The ruling African National Congress has continued its seemingly-obligatory chipping away of personal and economic freedom. And, the third biggest kid on the block, the Economic Freedom Fighters, has thrown its lot in completely with the tactics of thuggish terrorism. Oh, and its policies will kill us all.”
“Ever since speaking out against a controversial bill in the Ontario legislature, Professor Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto has exploded not simply across his home of Canada, but all around the world. A clinical psychologist, Prof Peterson has had fascinating things to say about the rise of social justice Left and how their ideology is somewhat paradoxical combination of neo-Marxism and postmodernism. He has also bravely spoken out against their harmful ideas in an incredibly conclusive and articulate manner.”
“Then there are those of us, the sane and the rational, who saw Winnie for what she was: a freedom fighter turned psychopath. Stompie was but one of Winnie’s victims. Today, I urge each and every person so ignorant of her crimes, to stop commemorating her as a hero. Winnie was no hero. She stooped to the levels of moral depravity of the old Apartheid leaders. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela endorsed and (allegedly) ordered the murder of innocent black individuals with the same lack of conscience that the National Party did.”1)
“Imagine South Africa had only a single grocer where all South Africans had to buy groceries. Imagine that this grocer was placed in this position because legislation placed it there and the same legislation prohibited any other grocers. Imagine this legislation was enacted because the government felt that everyone should be able to have access to groceries.”
“Despite its strong emotional appeal, there are two fundamental reasons why socialism cannot serve as a productive economic system. The most important of these, as identified by Ludwig von Mises, is that it is effectively incapable of generating an economically efficient price mechanism. To understand why this failure precludes socialism from fulfilling many people’s dreams for it as a viable and ‘fairer’ alternative economic system to free market capitalism, one needs to appreciate fully the essential role that prices play in any economy. The second reason is that the incentives that exist in a market economy are not present in a command economy.”
“Marxism is often used as a punching bag here, and not without good reason. It has inspired ideologies which have led to millions dead, created untold misery for many more and has ultimately failed as an ideology. But this may be uncharitable to the original premises of Marxism. Marx was not a socialist or a Communist. In fact, there is a school of thought that argues, convincingly, that Marx may not have been promoting his system at all, but rather writing a mere prediction. This is an unpopular view, however, and cannot really be confirmed, as Marx is not really around to confirm it.”
“Farm attacks are common in SA; one happens every day. What stands out about the case of Carl Gathmann of Kranskop farm in KZN is that, since the town of Coligny was scorched and looted, it is hard to recall an assault on white farming sympathizers who so obviously had it coming.”
“What is missing from this analysis, however, is the glaringly obvious fact that the political status quo relies on the revolutionary notion of an “eternal Apartheid” in order to legitimise and further its increasingly totalitarian ends. In their reductionism, proponents of revolutionary ideology are unable to recognise the point at which their ideas have usurped hegemony. Once this is accomplished, the mechanisms of the state, media and academia are used to control the way the public thinks about the past and the present.”
Martin van Staden
“Parliament may soon adopt a law barring South Africans from obtaining firearm licences for the purpose of self-defence. That is if one considers a leaked copy of the Firearms Control Amendment Bill as the final intention of the African National Congress government. Understandably, this has caused trepidation among the upward of three million South Africans who legally own firearms.”
“On the 6th of September 2018 I witnessed a shameful spectacle. A citizen was attacked by his representatives for presenting a reasoned argument on a proposed constitutional change that could fundamentally alter the basis of the entire Constitution. This was driven by a distortion of history and the African National Congress (ANC)’s reliance on the Communist Party for its ideology. Despite the abundance of horrific examples from Cambodia to Zimbabwe, the South African ruling party has never abandoned its commitment to this, communist, ideology.”
“There are no fences around Orania – the R369 runs right through it – and visitors are welcome. Perhaps it is because of these innovations that Orania – despite its negative press coverage – has been visited by a number of high-profile politicians. Nelson Mandela visited Hendrik Verwoerd’s widow Betsie in 1995, Jacob Zuma engaged with the community in 2010 and even Julius Malema, who was somewhat unexpectedly treated to some koeksisters and coffee when he arrived unannounced, and left on a more positive note. Orania is not a community that concerns itself with race, rather, it is cultural and linguistic preservation that it cares about.”
“If indeed the purpose of government is the protection of life, liberty and property, the South African government is on the fast-track to illegitimacy, cheered on by those champions of Western liberty like Theresa May, Bill Clinton and David Cameron, who recently told a South African audience to trust President Cyril Ramaphosa. Not that I don’t trust politicians; quite the opposite — I believe every word they say when they lay out their plans and Ramaphosa has made himself and the government he leads illegitimate by embracing the power to steal my property.”
“One that has been doing the rounds for over a decade is the idea of ‘white genocide’. It’s a dark, bitter narrative, with a following on the racial nationalist white right. South Africa’s white population, so its proponents allege, is facing an existential threat at the hands of a venal government and a vengeful black population. The violence directed against (white) farmers foreshadows their ultimate extermination.”
“When factual reporting is blatantly sacrificed on the pyre of pure propagandism like this, it utterly destroys the credibility of the journalist and publication in question. Giving airtime to only one side of any debate and ignoring or ridiculing the opposing side isn’t impartial journalism.”