A reply to : Speaking to our parents: how is this freedom?

2017-08-18 10:57

On 2017-08-17 I read this posting by Ashanti Kunene : Speaking to our parents: how is this freedom? Read it here

I didn't really want to reply, since I read postings like these daily, but there is just something about this posting that is haunting. a Posting that cries for help, cries for a better world, cries for a better SA, cries for something to be done.

Writing postings like these, are easy, the difficult part is, how do you implement a plan, that will break out of all this heartache that Ashanti describes ? How do you get a whole nation to work for the greater good. And I agree Ashanti, what currently happens, does not work.

I know how it can be done, there is only one way, all need to work together, and you need a strong government whose sole intention must be to solve the problems of SA, and uplift the poor, and ensure a strong economy. And then obviously business and the rich must play their part to, in assisting government. Obviously ALL need to work together, and do their part, government can not do it alone, but government plays the most important part, as they have to drive the engine, they have to make things happen. And as you can see, it is not happening. It seems government for some reason expects the rest of SA, and business and the rich, to solve the problems, and drive to get it solved, and that they do not have to do anything. This can not work, obviously. This can work, but then government must not collect taxes, and let businesses use those taxes to drive things to the better good. This will obviously never happen. So what do you have, a government that taxes to much, and then on top they want businesses with what is left after taxation, to still fix all problems in the country. Is anyone surprised that this does not work ?

Now let me tell you what I see, I see a government that destroys SA. A government that make trillions in taxes over decades, yet waste it and throws it away like garbage. I see a government that is there for themselves, and not for the people of SA. I see poor leadership, I see a leadership that does not care, except what they can get out of it. I see a government that can not be held accountable on any issue. When I look at parliament, it is embarrassing what goes one there, and to think that these are the top leadership of our country, that behaves like spoiled children.

Ashanti, I know you want to believe, the problem lies with the rich. Are you sure that is where the problem is ? Let me sketch you a different world. Lets say it is possible, that all whites, and rich, leave SA today, they are all gone. And lets say they leave ALL the land, ALL the money, ALL the assets, they take nothing with them. Lets say this is possible. Ok, tomorrow they are all gone, so, who takes control of all the land, money, assets. I assume it would be government, if it is not them, who ?

So, if government now takes control of all land, money, assets, what happens now. You see yourself what they currently do with tax money, what do you think they are going to do with the new pot of money ? They waste 60%+ of all tax money, so, what is going to make them be more responsible now ?

What do you expect must happen. Are they going to say, ok, we now have say 100 trillion Rands , we have 5 millions houses, we have 100,000 farms, just examples, chose any figures you like. What happens next, are government now going to say, ok there are for e.g. 50 million people in SA, all poor, since all the rich left. Are they going to say, ok we are now going to divide the 100 trillion between the 50 million people, and give each an equal share ? Lets quickly do some sums. Very few people actually know how much a trillion is, just quick, 1 billion, is a 1,000 million, and 1 trillion, is a 1,000 billion, so a 100 trillion = 100,000,000,000,000. If every citizen now shares equally, lets say each citizen will get 2 million rand.

The money part is not to difficult, that is if government are able to let it go, to someone else than themselves :-). Now, the 5 million houses, ok, since all can not get a house, that means, 10 people would need to get\share 1 house. So, who decides, which 5 million get houses, and which 45 million, do not ? Good luck with that one. That can start a war on its own. Just don't know who you are going to blame then.


Also, I hope municipalities do not expect any taxes or income anymore, since the poor got all the houses, and they don't have money for municipal costs.

The farms, so there are 100,000 farms, yet 50 million people, so, who decides who gets 100,000 farms, and the rest, 49,9 million people, that do not get one. Another tough one. Or, is the plan to cut up the farms into pieces, so that each can get at least a chunk of land. How will this be managed and put into practice ? And will you be satisfied with you chunk of land where they give it to you ?

Come back to the money, do you imagine a government, that will sit on a pot of money like 100 trillion, are willingly going to divide it between 50 million people. I tell you no, isn’t going to happen, they are going to give themselves each a billion, and probably still give the poor in SA nothing. Not because we are bad people here in SA, I say no matter what country you are in, it WILL not happen.

Now lets imagine, all the rich left, government has all the land, money, assets, and they still give the poor nothing, what are you going to do now ? Who are you going to blame now ? The old rich will now just be replaced by a new set of rich. Are you now going to blame them ?

But, lets be positive, lets say, indeed, a new government, give each citizen 2 million Rand. Ok, now you have it. What are you going to do with it, and once you spend it, where do you get the next money from ? Don't forget, all the rich left the country, there is no more to take. When they left, they left all land, money, assets, but they are gone. So whatever businesses they ran, are now either not running, or running poorly ? So, who are running these businesses now ? Whoever had employment, our employment figure will immediately go up to at least 90%. What will happen is that the whole economy of SA will collapse immediately, simply because almost all knowledge and know how to run businesses, are now gone, and no knowledge is left. So, it is quite possible, that you might have 2 million rands, a house, maybe even a farm as well, and you can not buy a bread with your 2 million, as there are no shops that is selling bread. Immediately, the whole country will have no electricity, no water, no nothing, no businesses running. Forget about studying, there will not be universities anymore, don't forget, all the rich left, they are not there anymore to run things.

Think it can't happen, use our neighbor Zimbabwe as a case study. They tried most of the things that I described, in your view, how did it work out for them ? Are the poor better off ? Did they each get 2 million Zim dollars ? Did each get a house, or a farm, or a piece of land, or only the connected few ? Are they happy ?

As soon as no businesses run anymore, guess what, no tax is paid, so immediately government will collapse, as almost no money is coming in. As soon as that happens, police and law and order will collapse, as no one is going to work for free with no pay.

As soon as this happens you will have factions and gangs that run things, with utter and ultimate violence. There are many countries like these, even in Africa, that are run by the barrel of a gun. This is what will happen. Once this happens, those that can, will flee the land, much like Syria the last 2 years, and those that can't leave will live a life of utter fear. That day, compare with what there is now, how things are now, even definitely not perfect, with tons of problems, but still way better, than that apocalyptic world. Think it can't happen, won't happen, think again, it can happen easily and quickly. Go research in other countries where it happened, and show me one where it worked.

So, all these attacks on the rich, and the economy, and businesses be careful, the little that is left of the economy are run by these people, that get attacked daily. With all this I don't say, do nothing and accept all that happens, and be grateful for what we have, even though you might have a life of utter hell. I say absolutely, do question things, demand that it gets fixed and solved, hold government accountable, hold businesses accountable. I am just saying, are you sure you are looking at the correct place as to where the problem lies. Are you sure the problem is where you think it is ?

Lets look at some of your statements :

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>>>"Our parents were sold dreams in 1994, we are just here for the refund."

Yes indeed, many promises were made, and broken, but, who broke them, did businesses and the rich broke them, why are you angry at them, and not government ? And, are you asking refunds from those that broke them, or from someone else, that did not break them, that had nothing to do with it ? Who must pay your refund ?

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>>>For us, 1994 carries the weight of unfulfilled democratic promises.

Again, I agree, this is so. But, lets be honest, any government in the world would have had their work cut out to undo all the damage of the past and get to a happy outcome. The complexities that comes with this are so huge, we do not know them unless we are the ones that must solve them. I actually think it could have gone much more worse that it actually did. Anyone that thinks this solution is easy, get involved and try and solve it, and once you are the one that must help solve it, you will then see why it is so difficult. It is easy to sit on the sideline and criticize, a whole other thing to actually do the solving.

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>>>The 'rainbow nation' made us believe that even within our differences we are equal. But we are not.

Don't be to hard on our country, there is no country in the world currently, and there has never been a country ever, where all were equal. You will never have a country like this in the future, ever. There will always be inequality, simply due to the nature of man. But, define equality for us, what does that mean ? And how do you stop people to excel and work harder and be better than others, to not do it, and stay equal to all ? How do you control something like this ? There can never be equality, it is a fancy word dreamed up that has no meaning, can never be achieved.

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>>>The concept of the rainbow nation was an idea that our parents and grandparents could believe in. Needed to believe in. The promise of a rainbow nation was (and is) so much better than the brutal, unflinching unrelenting reality of apartheid beatings, rapes, teargassing, killings, oppression and daily terror.

Agreed, and you might not think it, but all races in the country longed for this, and still do.

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>>>We recognise that progress, we are grateful for this progress, we respect the gains made. But we have to ask, must ask: how is this freedom when the very land we now move freely upon still does not belong to us?

Like I said before, if the land does not belong to the current people that hold them, they will belong to other people, and the majority of the 50 million, will still not have the land. There is no government that is going to divide all land available equal between 50 million people. It is a dream that will never happen, can never happen. a New crop will take control and simply replace the old crop, take the land themselves, and give some to friends and family, and nothing will probably change.

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>>>How is this freedom when we still don't earn the same pay as white people? How is this freedom, when the black womxn* is still the face of poverty and unemployment in South Africa?

Indeed, very valid questions. But let me ask you this, forget race, if you start a business, and employ 2 people, and one works harder than the other, or one is better educated than the other, or has more experience than the other, are you going to pay them the same ? Think carefully now, forget race, simply look at what the employee can do for your business. As to how the 2 employees paths were to where they got, that obviously is the problem, some might have had an easier path to this point, that gave them the opportunities to be better skilled and educated. So, how do you fix it, must you pay all the same ? Start a business and try it, see if your business survives. You want businesses to right the wrongs of past. Unfortunately why this does not work is that businesses are there to make money, not to uplift the poor, and I now this sounds brutal and unfair, but that is simply the way it is. I say businesses will pay more to the ones that can do the job better than the other, has more education than the other, and has more experience than the other. In general I do not believe at all that businesses will pay differently between races who exactly the same skills and experience. But give it a try, start a business with the aim not to make money, but to employ people, and pay them equal, no matter their skill, and come tell me if you were able to do it. I think only if you are the business that must do this, then you will se and understand the complexities. If you have never done it, you do not know what the issues are.

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>>>Our agitation comes from the seeming lack of advancement for the marginalised, the slow pace of economic justice.

Absolutely I agree. Whose fault is it that this happened. But, how do you fix this, how do you make the pace of economic justice faster ? There is only one way, you need a SA economy with 10 million businesses, that gives jobs to ALL people in the country, and we will prosper. What do we have, a nation and government that fights businesses and the economy, and then are surprised when businesses close, or move out of the country. You will never thrive economically if you kill the heartbeat of the country, which are businesses. You can only succeed in assisting them, and creating an environment where they can do businesses without interference. If you don't believe me, you see the effect already, daily. Unemployment rising by the day, mines closing, businesses closing or moving out of the country. Why does this happen, because businesses, that drive the country, is seen as the problem. Again, look as to where the real problem is. I myself have the knowledge and ability to run various businesses successfully. I do not have any businesses, and the reason is, I do not have them, because I have no incentive in having them. Why would I run businesses if I have an avalanche of onslaughts against me daily. If SA does not learn this, get ready, as things WILL not improve. Anyone can demand all they want, demands will not fix the country.

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>>>That's not enough. It's not nearly enough; it won't solve SA's socioeconomic issues because you cannot eat a vote.

Absolutely, it is not enough, I agree. How do you fix it ? Lay out the plan for us.

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>>>We don't want to be included, to merely be allowed to walk upon this land 'freely'. We want to own our land, in every sense: as entrepreneurs, as business owners, as captains of industry, as owners of capital, with access to finance.

Ok, so who must make this happen for you ? Who must help you become an entrepreneur, a business owner, a captain of industry, a owner of capital, who must give you finance ? Who do you expect to do this for you ? How must this be done, lay it out for us ?

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>>>We know that restitution is needed. We just don't understand why no one is seriously talking about it.

What is restitution, lay it out. What must happen, who must get what, so that restitution will be successful, and even more important, who must pay it ? And once it was done, will it be enough ?

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>>>We want to be heard when we say there is a need to reimagine our political economy.

Absolutely, our political economy is in shambles, and must change, or reimagines, I agree, but I see it different than most. Most say, attack them (rich and businesses), close them down, annihilate them. I say, the other way, assist them, incentivize them to want to run businesses without interference and red tape, work together without threats. You have two routes you can go, which one do you chose ? And whatever you chose, how do you think you are going to force an economy into a certain way, if it can't work. How are you going to stop businesses from closing, and moving ? By threats, by burning them down ? Don't be surprised at the high unemployment level. This is what you get if you interfere in economies. People create businesses to make a living and profit, for NO other reason. If anyone created a business simply as a hobby, then you can know that person is rich already.

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>>>It is, rather, a rejection of compromising on true freedom; political freedom with economic freedom and epistemic freedom. It is a rejection of the notion that freedom is something to be negotiated, to be bestowed on us black, coloured and Indian people by those who (still) hold the economic power and agency to live lives of dignity, relative comfort and even prosperity.

If economic power is taken away by those holding it, who will the new owners of economic powers be, and, are they going to give you all that the previous ones did not give you ? Why would they. Who is going to police them, and check that they do the right thing. Have a look at our government. Can you see they have free reign, and no-one can do anything to them. They laugh at anyone that tries to discipline them. How do you change a culture like that ?

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>>>We must all fulfil our historical mission and not turn back until the mission is completed.

What is the mission Ashanti ? Merely defining it is no easy task. Defining it and making it work is a daunting undertaking indeed. Do you think it is possible, if so, how ? Define it, tell us what must be done, and by whom.

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Final thoughts. Every time I read a posting like this, I know the writer experienced many frustrations in the past, and frustrations now. Frustrations in that the world is so unfair, so cruel, so hard. And it is indeed so. It also took me decades to understand that the world (the whole world, not just SA) does not care, no matter your race, creed or gender. THE WORLD DOES NOT CARE. I found the best way around this is to as early as possible in your life to understand, and accept, this golden rule, that life does not care, that people do not care, except a few friends and family, and that a government does not care. Basically, it is a brutal world, where one is on your own, where you have to fight your battles alone. Yes, we all want to have that ideal that the world does care, that people do care, that governments do care, but I am afraid, it is not so. Just to say those words are cruel, but cruel or not, that is so indeed.

So, how does one get out of this, there is only one way, only you can get you out of where you are. Do not wait for others to solve the problems of the country, or the world, on your behalf. The cavalry is not coming, for you, or me, or anyone. No-one is coming. One can be angry, scream at the world, cry, get violent, try many things, and it is not going to make things better. I am sorry it is so.

Ashanti, I wish you well for the future, and thank you for your wonderful posting. I have no doubt you have great leadership potential.

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