PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Markrschulz
 
Comments: 1
Article views: 179
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all Markrschulz's badges.
 

Brigandry on the Highveld

25 June 2014, 12:43

The ANC government has done it again. Intent on land reform and possessed by a zeitgeist of South African exceptionalism, they have trotted out some key phrases from their socialist manifesto also known as the ironically titled 'Freedom Charter' to justify what amounts to nationalisation through the back door.

Throughout the final draft policy, we are treated to platitudes and resolutions made by politicians. While referring to the aforementioned Charter, a UN resolution and the South African constitution, there is absolutely no trace or hint of any serious research or historical precedents for any of the conclusions or declarations that the authors of this policy may have considered. 

To be sure, there are many case studies made of failed land reform programmes from Pol Pot's Cambodia to Lenin's Soviet Union. However, either through negligence or intent, the authors make no mention of how the South African government will avoid the mistakes other socialist nations made when forcing farmers to give up their land.

In the Soviet example, the state would take livestock upon maturity, so farmers would eat the animals before they reached the appropriate age for  'redistribution'. As for growing food, merely knowing that the more crops they produced, the more the state would take from them, the soviet farmers did not have the slightest incentive to produce more than they needed for themselves. The result - a massive famine that killed millions of people, even forcing Lenin to backtrack on his reforms. What makes South African policymakers believe that they can succeed where other, much greater nations have failed before? The answer is that they can't.

Similarly, you don't have to be a scholar of history to know what you would do with an asset that will soon lose half of its value; you would sell it at the first opportunity, accepting any price greater than the one you know you will be forced to accept later. Furthermore, who is going to buy anything as an investment, where half of that capital is going to immediately be parcelled out to the workers you may or may not inherit with the property? Are people really expected to wait two or three generations until a return on that investment is seen while their workers enjoy the benefits of land ownership? That is not investment - that is 'forced charity'. The combined effect of these forces will be to compel people to sell their farms at rock bottom prices to get everything they can out, while very few potential buyers will want to invest in a South African farm while they could spend their money in places devoid of these ill-advised laws. The result can only be disaster for both food security and private property rights, as shuttered farms create a new wave of unemployed workers, forcing the government to even more drastic action.

Finally, this selective reading of the 'Freedom' Charter must be put to rest. During the early apartheid years, socialism was 'en vogue' with the anti-apartheid intellectuals, and the language of the document reflects a strong Marxist-Leninist ideology that underscores almost every point. It talks a lot about the rights of 'the people', and returning trade and industry to 'the people'. However, the vague writing does not make any attempt clarify who qualifies as a 'person' that deserves all of these rights. The result is that a phrase such as, 'All people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions.' stand in direct opposition to affirmative action - you would thing that 'all people having equal rights to work would leave little to interpretation. We also find that the Charter states, 'People shall not be robbed of their cattle..' do the farmers being forced to give up there land not qualify as human beings? What about their rights? In my opinion the Freedom Charter is a bipolar mishmash of populist rhetoric, born out of a time when the failure of its underlying ideologies had not been fully realised. After the fall of the USSR, such a document should not find its way into any policy whatsoever, unless as an advisory note on what not to do. Nevertheless, South African lawmakers will continue to elevate, and present, it as the 'gold standard' of policy directives. After all, they honestly believe that South Africa can succeed in three years where one of the wealthiest and most advanced socialist nations in the world could not bring about over nine decades.South Africa does not exist in a bubble, and it's high time our government officials picked up a book and read about the results of some of these hare-brained schemes.

In closing, I'd like to leave you with a quote by John Maynard Keynes, which I think perfectly sums up the current crop of South African 'leaders': “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist.” The South African government continues to be a slave to Marx and Lenin, long after their sell-by dates.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Joe Johnson789
Celebrity deaths bring violent cr...

The eyes of the world were on South Africa for about ten months the trial of Oscar Pistorius lasted. It was reported as one of the most watched media events in recent history. Read more...

7 comments 449 views
Submitted by
Manny Obi-Wan Meyer
The pleasure of finding things ou...

I have often wondered how the events of my past have structured my life in the present, my various skills and propensities, my way of reflecting upon the world at large. Read more...

7 comments 426 views
Submitted by
capetowndoll
God is tangible

I am writing this to let every atheist know what happened to me when I was deeply concerned about my mother. Read more...

242 comments 2426 views
Submitted by
Inspired Parenting
10 Tips for helping our matric st...

As more than half a million matrics in South Africa begin their exams, the hopes and dreams of our country rest on their shoulders. Read more...

9 comments 465 views
Submitted by
Percy_Makholwa
Mindless seriousness

The work place is at times defined by mindless seriousness, at least this is my experience in the South African workforce.  Read more...

5 comments 442 views
Submitted by
Enzo Ball
God ran out of time

We are constantly told that god is this that and the other, he is, he was and will be, plus other really amazing stuff.  Read more...

110 comments 1083 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

TV Series – 2 for R299

Loads of hot titles to choose from. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.