A warning to my fellow blacks: The EFF will bring you poverty and suffering

2016-05-01 08:03

In seeing pictures of the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) manifesto launch yesterday, I couldn’t help thinking, somethings are very hard to believe in life. Because I really couldn’t believe what I saw – the Orlando Stadium was fully packed with thousands of red t-shirts and berets. I asked myself, in exasperation, “Seriously? Is this really the South Africa of the 21st century?”

To see the EFF rising and thousands rallying behind it is very terrifying. For, of course, one main reason, these are socialists. And to see socialism appealing this way in South Africa is baffling. How could all those people who were at the EFF’s manifesto, and others who are members of the South African Communist Party (SACP), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), promote such a dangerous and destructive ideology? How could they?

I loathe academic jargon and intellectual theory - simply because I do not believe it is useful when communicating with the general public - which is the reason why I have always tried to keep my writings as simple as possible.

As a youth coordinator of the Free Market Foundation Youth and member of the South African Institute of Race Relations, I have been very fortunate to sometimes find myself engaging with very fascinating and knowledgeable people – which is one of the reasons why I’m grateful to be affiliated with these remarkable organizations.

On my two weeks stay in Germany in March this year, for one of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation’s seminars, I met Ruxandra Teju from Romania. She works for a think-tank that promotes free-markets and individual liberty in her country.

Ruxandra’s account of how destructive socialism was to her nation and her family was touching. Remember, Romania was one of the nations that were under the Soviet Union umbrella before the end of the Cold War in early 90s. So it’s one of the countries that endured a repressive, social, political system, under the socialist Soviet Union Empire.

She said the law enforcement was directed at the citizens. Two or more people could not chat in public; if they were seen doing so, they would be probed. She told me it’s the elderly in villages who still bear the scars of Soviet’s socialism. Many of them can’t speak English and are not used to people of other races. They lived much of their lives sealed off from the world during the Cold War. There were restrictions on what they could watch on television, what they could buy and sell, and what they consumed.

In listening to Ruxandra’s story, I said “Oh my God! I can’t imagine the pain her parents and grandparents had to go through. It was touching. It reminded me of a gentleman I met at the Free Market Foundation in Bryanston, more than a year ago. He grew up in what was then called East Germany, which was another Soviet Union’s protectorate, and migrated to South Africa in 1984.

He said people risked their lives escaping into the then capitalist West Germany. He told me his father escaped without even a toothbrush, because had he carried bags with him the law enforcement would have easily spotted and captured him, and only God knows what would have happened thereafter.

People never escaped from the capitalist West Germany into socialist East Germany, they escaped from the socialist East Germany into the capitalist West Germany.  That alone explains a lot.

These are personal stories of the people I met. They are, like me, astonished by socialism’s appeal to millions of South Africans, especially blacks.

What I think is very important to point out, is that by the time the Cold War ended in early 1990s, all the countries that had been allies with the socialist Soviet Union, were politically dysfunctional, poor, corrupt, and with no free press. While most of the countries that rallied behind the United States of America were much better.

Today, just look at South Korea and North Korea. The South, which was America’s ally during the Cold War, is democratic, open to global trade, prosperous, and one of the giants of Asia. While the socialist North is run by desperate tyrants who have denied their citizens the opportunity to be part of the modern, globalized world.

The socialist Venezuela, a nation with the world’s biggest oil reserves, is poor. When Hugo Chavez came into power in 1999, he nationalized all the industries, imposed price controls, and subsidized each and every Venezuelan’s consumption needs – which is what the EFF wants to do when it takes power.

Today, Venezuela struggles to keep the lights on, crime and inflation rates are astonishingly high, the shelves in shops are empty, no milk, no toilet paper, and political opponents of the ruling party are thrown into jails. A beautiful nation has been destroyed. Destroyed by what? By socialism.

It seriously saddened me to see thousands of people at the EFF’s manifesto lunch yesterday. Do they have an idea on how our country would look like if the EFF were to come into power? Have they familiarized themselves with the history of the EFF’s ideology? I don’t think they have. In fact I doubt they even understand the history of the Cold War, and of socialism.

What pains me even more is that all the people who were at the manifesto launch were black. I’m black. And we blacks endured great pain during times of apartheid. For decades we were denied the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to our country. And today, bafflingly, with our support for the EFF, it seems we want to go back to the times of political and economic repression.

Because the EFF has already started, they are already inciting violence and threatening people’s properties. And it’s not surprising because to maintain a socialist system, violent methods are needed. Socialism and violence are intertwined. This was true in the Soviet Union, and is true in today’s North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba.

My fellow black South Africans, I’m warning you all about the EFF. This is not a party we need to overcome the socioeconomic problems we face. In fact, should we vote it into power, things will get worse for our country. We will slip into destitution and tyranny. Do we really want that after so much pain we went through during the apartheid years?

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