I am back. It has been over two years since I last penned an article for the Rational Standard. Since my last article for this wonderful publication a lot has happened and our South African political landscape has changed considerably. When I last wrote for the Rational Standard in May 2019, Ramaphoria was at an all time high, corona was still just a Mexican beer and I was just recently admitted as a bright eyed attorney. As former British prime minister Harold Wilson famously remarked “A week is a long time in politics.” Two years in politics is therefore almost a lifetime.
That being said, fast forward two years and a lot has also remained the same. Marxists still roam our institutions in their never-ending search for utopia while they still keep up the rich communist tradition of lining their pockets with taxpayer money. State owned enterprises continue to plummet into the insolvent abyss and South Africans continue to become poorer every day. The fight for liberty and economic success in South Africa is even more crucial now than it was two years ago, and even more crucial than it ever was before.
When I wrote my first article for the Rational Standard back in October 2016 the decolonisation movement in academia firmly had its grip on our campuses. At the time the Rational Standard was an outnumbered voice speaking out against the absurdities of the Fallist movements. Since then more and more people have come to reject the cultural Marxism that created wokeism and intersectionality and alternative media has taken up the banner in this critical fight. What started out as a reaction to woke culture has now transformed into a growing movement of individuals, organisations and communities who have taken a stance against ever encroaching authoritarianism in South Africa. The fight now is as important as it ever was.
The story of Marxism and all of its malignant branches and poisonous philosophical offspring has always been the conflict between groups and people and the destruction of social bonds and institutions that bring people together. This has been particularly true in South Africa. Despite what it ostensibly espouses, cultural Marxism (substitute wokeism, social justice, critical theory etc) is not a solution for justice. It is and has only been a catalyst for conflict and division.
It is exactly because of the threat that this fundamental characteristic of Marxism poses, that the broad church of individuals, organisations and communities who have rallied together to fight for freedom and peace have to stand together. Not as one unified and structured movement or alliance, with the potential to merely replace the existing threat, but as an assortment of principled individuals, organisations and communities who recognised the much graver threat posed by those who espouse hateful, divisive and destructive ideology.
During the past two years various unlikely loose-knit alliances have formed both here and abroad. A natural reaction to intersectionality that actively attempts to divide, label and exclude along an ever increasing number of lines. However, many have argued that a broad liberty-loving church is not sustainable. That the differences between libertarians, conservatives, classical liberals, communitarians, name whichever group you would like, is simply too big to overlook and overcome. However, viewing politics through the outdated lense of 20th century political labels is of little to no use in South Africa.
South African history has not been a story of conflict between groups with various political labels. Political conflict in South Africa has always been between those hoping to limit autonomy and those rejecting the intrusion of their autonomy. Be it the Voortrekkers or Zulu nation rejecting colonial subjugation, Afrikaners rejecting British imperialism or black South Africans rejecting the National Party’s limitation of their liberty, South African history is an ever unfolding story of this conflict between freedom and control.
More importantly, while liberty-loving groups have been bickering about who should and who should not be included within the broad freedom-based church, those who seek to limit autonomy and freedom continue to band together and expand the tent poles of their movement. Despite the fact that intersectionality attempts to cut society into the most granular level of differences based on distorted perceptions of oppression, it has succeeded in creating a unified movement, undeterred by its obvious inconsistencies and hypocrisy. For this movement posting a Palestinian flag next to the Pride flag on social media is not self-contradictory as long as all those united under its big tent coheres to its authoritarian and repressive goals. While those supporting freedom quarrels, its very serious opponents consolidate its power.
To argue therefore that libertarians, conservatives, classical liberals, communitarians or what have you, cannot and should not stand together against the Marxist behemoth, is therefore blind to the political realities that we face. Only when freedom of speech has been banned, property rights abolished and the monster Marxist movement become completely untouchable will the liberty-loving right realise that differences about tax policy and nuanced philosophical differences should have been the last of our worries.