Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Can South Africa Work?

Pretend for a moment that white flight is not happening, that the majority of white South Africans have not given up on a country that treats them as an inconvenience at best, and a cancer at worst.

Is there any hope on the horizon? Is all the negative energy unfounded?

To answer this is emotionally difficult, because to undertake such a hypothetical examination of the possibility of South Africa turning out well is to lay aside so much of the day-to-day realities there and attempt to fight through layers of well-earned cynicism and brute statistics.

As a hypothetical exercise, then, is there any hope for SA? Can, in fact, the country redeem itself and enter the world stage as a functioning, successful democracy?

Ironically, to achieve this, the so-called liberators and 'champions' of Democracy, the ANC, would have to make the biggest and most far-reaching changes. To many, this seems unlikely, as it is hard to see further than your own nose when it's buried deep in the trough.

But let us say the will existed. Let's say for a moment that immediate self-interest could be sidelined in favour of a proper programme of sustainable government. What would that programme look like?

Given that the ingredients of liberal democracy are firmly in place in the shape of the progressive South African Constitution, and the groundwork for such a democracy is firmly in place in the form of the judicial system, the infrastructure, and a relatively advanced economy with a free press and functioning civil society, the key to such a programme is to identify and change the elements that are holding back progress and freedom.

Having got the disclaimers out of the way, here are some ideas of ways to improve the country.

First and foremost, crime must be taken more seriously. A radical increase in visible policing, proper investigation and prosecution of violent criminals, as well as a repeal of gun-control laws and decriminalisation of local militias, will make life painfully difficult for would-be criminals. To reduce crime, the cost of crime must increase for criminals. At the moment, they are laughing at the victims because they kill and maim with impunity. But what would happen if photographs of bullet-ridden corpses of criminals, rather than victims, filled our newspapers?

Secondly, one of the main causes of crime, civil unrest and poverty in South Africa is increased migration to cities and overpopulation of slums. This is par for the course in Africa, India and other third world hellholes, but it is avoidable. One very simple way of preventing "inmigration" is to federalise welfare. In Canada, for example, health and other benefits only apply in your own province.

To apply this in South Africa would mean fixing people to their province of birth for all welfare payments. Therefore, only the employed and entrepreneurial, rather than the criminal and opportunistic, would migrate to urban centres.

Thirdly, democratise South Africa? Democratise taxes. No representation without taxation! Make everyone pay. Make everyone understand the true cost of running a nation.

Fourth. Less government. Rather than write a Libertarian tract on the subject, it may suffice to point out the ineffectiveness of local, provincial goverment, and the alarming overcentralisation of the national one. Less government is not just a rallying-cry for freedom-lovers, in practical terms it means demilitarisation, abolishing BEE and all affirmative action racism, less snooping on law abiding citizens to ensure they're "transformed" enough, and less attention paid to diversion tactics such as land "redistribution".

It also means limiting the damage that government can do. 66% needed to change the constitution? It should be 90%. A constitution should not be something that is easy to change. In the United States, the assent of two thirds of both Houses is required, combined with three quarters of all the States.

These changes are simple and effective, and aside from the behaviour of individuals and politicians, go a long way to creating a better South Africa. More economic freedom means more personal freedom, and more jobs.

Finally, end alliances with repressive regimes. No democracy can survive the stains of cosying up with the Axis of Evil. Two of the biggests causes of job losses in South Africa are attributable to increased immigration, and cheap imports. Both of these are the result of friendship with Zimbabwe in the first case, and China in the second.

Does the political will exist to implement any of this? Now that is the question.

12 Opinion(s):

Brandon Dienar said...

Viking,

This is a great article and I commend you for posting your views on how to improve the issues challenging our country. I use the term "challenging" as I have not given up hope in our country and believe that our democracy and constitution has matured to the point where many of the suggestions are realistic and achievable - as long as we keep focusing on these issues and maintain open debate on these issues.

More importantly, you proposed solutions without discriminating against race, sexual orientation or culture or religious belief...or delving into conspiracy theories on some mass media mafia with a hidden agenda to control the masses and drugs in the drinking water.

I would encourage you to continue raising questions such as these and proposing solutions to the problems.

It makes for far more enlightening reading, in my opinion of course.

I have more thoughts on the matter of race and governing but am limited by time to go into this in great detail right now but would like to continue this debate and want to hear the other readers' opinions on this post.

FishEagle said...

Viking, this is brilliant! I wonder if one should not do something to improve the education system as well. Achievers should be rewarded, which is not currently happening in the education system.

Exzanian said...

Nice article Viking.
Azania is now the most unequal country in the world. How would we narrow the wealth gap? How long can the few continue to carry the many? And how long will the many continue to put up with their lot? Where is the common denominator? When will Azania reach the end of this flux and "settle" or will there always be strife? One thing I know is that the whites remaining there have put up with a lot, but they are determined to succeed and will never give up. There is a lot of goodwill and genuine intent, willingness to sacrifice, change and give it a go. It may mean lowering expectations and achieving a lot less for even harder work. Whites will do that. I doubt that blacks have the same commitment. The past has slanted their perceptions and their expectations are grossly distorted. The vast majority of blacks remain trapped on the lowest rungs of the class ladder and those that aspire to more are easy victims to quick rewards; BEE, fast tracking to the top, golden handshakes for failure, the ubiquitous Race Card/ Victim Card and the Highest Moral Law in the history of the world: "THE STRUGGLE"

h said...

Well written article Viking. I like what you said.

Sadly, however, it is a pipe dream to expect any of it to happen in South Africa.

Wanna know why? Because it's Africa and it is cram-packed with black Africans that vote in a certain African way with rulers that rule over their populations in a certain African way.

With Africa's track record, and the current Marxist rulers in charge of South Africa, the ideals and concepts you outline in your article are ones that they do not understand or hold dear.

When we all die one day (all of us readers and contributors to ILSA), Africa will still be Africa and South Africa will be just another typical black-run African country.

I really wish it weren't so but unfortunately i think we all know what the inevitable outcome will be.

SA Greek said...

Personally, i think that South Africa as a republic is a lost case.I also believe that the ONLY solution is to start acting seriously in order to achieve an autonomous self governing white state within the SA republic for the beginning ( independence will come eventually as it always happens in such cases ).This of course is not easy and it will take time.Years.Maybe decades.Certainly it wont be for us but a responsible person always looks to the future and the next generations.There are historical FACTS and there is a CASE here.The western cape.Blacks cannot claim this particular region historically.The ONLY way out.But this requires the unity of the white SA population ( and the diaspora also ) and stopping the plans of Julius Malema and others in making the Cape another black hole with mass internal immigration from other areas.Look after Cape Towns greenbelts.Utopia?Perhaps.But i cant think of anything else that will ensure the long term survival of white south africans.Being a minority in a dominant black african country wont.

Vanilla Ice said...

Sigh. Like any good theory, you have to rely on assumptions. Which means this one, as intuitive as it seems, has no chance in hell.

Anybody would be hard pressed to point out anything that shows a remote probability of success.

The only hope SA has, is to pursue the mantra, that African culture is uniquely different and therefore the definition of success will need to change. Under that set up, they can define their track record as being a success.

But in a world order established around Euro-centric principles, which are used as the yardstick, South Africa is fast heading towards failed state status.

By the way, Euro-centric principles are the most open, and accommodating; and are essentially meritocratic.

Vanilla Ice said...

@Brandon. Just a suggestion, please visit the political profile page, by using the menu. We would like to place you on are map, to get a better perspective of your beliefs.

We are a diverse bunch, and you may just find that you are closely aligned to a few of us.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Viking.

You have covered many of the bases.

Here is my wish list:

1. Rescind simplistic one man one vote; introduce a qualified franchise based on personal income tax, without depriving poor people of some say.

2. Minority Rights. A certain number of guaranteed seats for Whites, Coloureds, Indians in a weakened National Parliament, as well as 'general franchise' seats.

3. Control over internal migration especially for the Western Cape and a Boer heartland in the OFS/Northwestern Tvl, both of which to enjoy semi-autonomy.

4. Restoration of the Death Penalty for murder, child rape and armed robbery and dealing in dangerous drugs.

5. Draconian birth control as in China, but adjusted for economic productivity.

6.A reasonable tax rate (40% MAX)

7.Aggressive prosecution of corruption.

8.A complete halt on illegal immigration. Mass deportation of illegals, staring with criminals.

9. A campaign to attract qualified, educated immigrants including diaspora South Africans.

10. Abandonment of reverse discrimination in all forms.

11. Encouragement of gun ownwership and self-defense clubs, neighbourhood watch and other forms of citizen empowerment. Protection of farmers by the army, as a national food security project of the highest importance.

12. Re-engagement with the civilized world and traditional friends.

13. Stopping land-grabs.

Pie in the Sky? Maybe. But if we don't try, it will only get worse.
ANY of these changes would help a lot. Including making life easier for upwardly mobile and competent blacks. Singapore/Taiwan/China, and other examples of quasi-authoritarian government might, not be attractive in many ways, BUT IT WORKS FOR THEM.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Face it; there are many people who are poorly educable, prone to degradation and not suited to high levels of personal freedom; and this is true more-or-less, of ANY race. Personal freedom should be earned.Productive people must be retained. In the end it is simply a ratio game; the self-disciplined, productive, law-abiding and generally smarter segment versus the rest who frankly cannot cope with an open society and need guidance and external control. Too few of the former, too many of the latter and the society is doomed. We have to restore the ratio.

Anon.

WHITEADDER said...

The difference of this vision and what is really happening in South Africa is just too great.
At present South Africa is moving every day further away from beeing a society based on merit.
The whites need to think very carefully if they want to expand their energy chasing a futile future in South Africa or if they want to expand the same energy in a first world country and with this action creating a steppingstone for their offspring.

Vanilla Ice said...

@Whiteadder. As a regular, don't you want to complete the political profile survey? I would appreciate it, if you can spare the time.

Fran├žoise said...

Not sure the current constitution is so good. Read Giliomee, 2nd edition of The Afrikaners, he criticizes its ambiguity and lack of protection of minorities.

WHITEADDER said...

@ Vanilla Ice

Hi
I did this political positioning thing . Results :

Economic Left / Right : 2.00
Social Libertarian/
Authoritarian : 1.18

Funny , this puts me more or less where Kevin Rudd is. Would not have considered myself that close.

Regards - Whiteadder