The Race Game – Democracy in Flagrante Delicto

2014-09-16 08:27

How the Ideology of Race Destroys Democratic Society. Despite what everyone says – and notwithstanding social and politically correct conventions inflicted on us - races are not equal. What is more, they never have been and there is no good reason why it should have been otherwise. For that matter no national, linguistic or religious group is equal to another - and all for the very same reasons. People – and groups of people - are simply different or, if you prefer, unequal.

What a dull world it would be if this were untrue. The notion of “Equality” thus becomes a sham.

“Equality” in our context is also an emotive concept, a delinquent notion with social costs milked by politicians for personal gain because in any multicultural or multiracial society the key should be to have peoples contribute what they can and play to their strengths - for that way everyone would learn from others and help everyone else. All would stand to benefit.

Sadly, ours is no such society.

That is why the South African narrative about racial equality, population proportionality and racial demographics in the workplace, sport or anywhere else in the public (and increasingly – private) domain, is unmitigated nonsense. The issues of race – whether one is addressing the topic itself; racial prejudices; racial discrimination; “political correctness”; or the incessant point scoring of tin pot politicians playing the race card to buy influence from low intelligence supporters – is toxic to society. It denies the individual space to grow and find expression.

Of course, there are some obvious historic reasons for our preoccupation with race.

• There was Apartheid

Apartheid raised resentment and was fundamentally unjust to many. Yet twenty years on “race” remains firmly on the nation’s agenda for reasons of political and economic gain by those incapable of moving forward - those lacking the capacity for intellectual and economic advancement. For them the only avenue for gain is confiscation – which they lack the intellect to attribute a cost to.

Such people cannot grasp that apartheid did not create inequality in the first place because inequality was a pre-existing condition. What apartheid did was formalize inequalities for the benefit of a white minority it misguidedly sought to protect.

To recognize this is key to the “equality versus inequality” debate, the legacy of apartheid question and understanding the current dysfunctional system of race driven politics.

• Then - before Apartheid - came Colonialism

Colonialism resulted from the efforts of intrepid voyagers who opened up the world in an age of discovery that unmasked global inequality on a grand scale. As the technologically developed world and one less so clashed, inequality was exposed and “races” became shorthand for the cultural and cognitive asymmetries between peoples.

So whilst “inequality” – now a well used mantra of politicians on the make - purports to be the original sin behind racism, history tells us something very different. Inequality was always there.

To understand these principles is fundamental. For had people been equal the world over, it would have been just as likely that Inuit conquerors could have colonised Europe; that the Amerindians might have overrun Spain and Portugal - or that Africans could have occupied Asia or Europe.

But they did not. Europeans colonized the globe instead.

So great was the technological imbalance that at times, tiny groups of men from Europe commandeered empires that were clearly not their technological equal. In this way – whether racial, cultural or geographical in nature and origin – inequality, once exposed, became a game changer.

So – if inequality is real and races differ from each other, why are the topics of race and inequality subject to political and social coercion in or society? Are we as individuals not justified in recognizing the healthy reality of people being different and making relative generalizations about them based on their race?

Why deny the fact that some are smarter, stronger, bigger, sportier, inferior, dumber than, or just plain different to others? To deny these facts is delusional.

It also inhibits our insights, for without an awareness of race, how can there be any respect for the differences that it embodies? Because if we fail to take note of differences between other peoples, cultures or ethnicities - or deny both the uniqueness and commonalities of groups of people from whom we differ - we deny ourselves access to intelligent conclusions about them.

That in turn denies us a chance to make sense of the world. If we want to be honest in our dealings with others, we need the capacity to recognize racial (amongst other) differences.

Not only are we all racially, physically and culturally different, but even national or regional temperaments can differ on account of factors as diverse and seemingly insignificant as climate or cultural and religious predispositions. So to be preoccupied with race and to use “social remedies” to engineer results to the liking of politicians - as is de rigueur in South African politics - deprives the individual of the freedoms necessary to build a decent nation.

Worse still, the socio-economic costs are dire, with the guiding political ethic in South Africa – underwritten and justified by the liturgy of “the Struggle” - simply amoral. Atonement for past “inequality” is not only misplaced because the causes given are untrue; it also harms those it claims to help by penalizing people who could make a contribution that might help them.

That the justification for state sponsored “remedies” as varied as racial quotas, affirmative action appointments in business and government, BEE, and more besides, are in place to address the legacy of apartheid is thus an uncomplicated lie - and dysfunctional for two reasons.

• Any historical comparison between the two systems (apartheid and democracy) is inappropriate.

Although whites received preference in the apartheid state, the government of the time openly acknowledged and promoted a policy of White Supremacy. It was elected on that ticket by a white electorate and was there to protect and promote the interests of (what it perceived to be) vulnerable whites who were hopelessly outnumbered. That is no secret.

Thus to compare the attributes of apartheid South Africa with a purported new democratic South African order is to compare apples with oranges. It is nonsense.

• On the other hand, the raison d’etre of our new constitution is – or purported originally to be - the security and protection of democratic rights for all in a non racial society. But it is nothing of the sort. Government defrauds minorities and many of its own constituency in the process.

Consider the following.

Inhibited by neither the constitution, nor history, nor economic logic, and following a recent Concourt ruling that it favoured, the Black Management Forum proclaimed that there will “be no peace in our land until all workplaces reflect national demographics”. It goes on “Employment Equity Act is one of the transformation instruments which is meant to redress the imbalances of the past discriminatory era of apartheid which denied black people opportunities. We also note and condemn the general reluctance for transformation and unwillingness to appoint black people in senior and top management as reported by the Employment Equity Commission.

We urge our fellow compatriots to respect the rule of law which includes the Employment Equity Act.”

It is both notable and iconic (not to mention ironic too) that on the very day the Black Management Forum proclaimed its glee at the court verdict giving rise to its statement, international statistics were released bearing testimony to South Africa’s dwindling economic competitiveness, its dirt poor standard of education and a debilitating labour regime that promotes unemployment and economic stagnation (Labour Relations: 144th out of 144 nations).

To make matters worse still the Concourt’s verdict in the Renate Barnard case further entrenches the racial nature of the ANC led state and invalidates any claims we might have had to being a democracy. Quoting from Dave Steward (F W de Klerk Foundation) – it institutionalizes “harmful discrimination against millions of South African citizens”.

Although opposition politicians have been disturbingly quiet on these issues, this probably signals the lowest point of the post ’94 era; perhaps they are in denial?

The façade of democracy, the anticipated benefits of personal merit, the concomitant prospect of potential prosperity and the sanctity of the individual – all prerequisites for a decent democracy – have been laid to waste.

Thus it seems that the ANC have succeeded in subverting the judiciary and state organs that should defend individual rights – and are well on their way to implementing their Gramscian Communist inspired National Democratic Revolution.

Where to Now?

It is of course easy to become despondent. But in a fast moving world maybe that is unnecessary and perhaps we would be better served by patience and ingenuity.

There is a fair bit that can be done by people with integrity and a grasp of how successful societies work. The starting point for us, I would suggest, is – how to stop a government with a low intelligence support base and an ideologically toxic value system from having it all its own way.

As I have suggested previously, the time may be ripe for economic activism – an economically driven initiative to address the negative effect to business of government policy. Unlike a civil disobedience campaign, it would rest on rational economic decision making as it withdraws support for government’s agenda – and exposes it to social and economic costs.

In the event that a cognitively attuned minority with resources could act in broad concert, considerable extra-parliamentary pressure could build up from those who generate much of the value and wealth that sustains the nation’s tax base. There must, in addition, be scope to reduce support for state institutions and parastatals and curtail contributions to initiatives from which government draws credit and political advantage.

By reducing remittances to state coffers through – for example - globalising economic activities and thinking twice before using state service providers; by defying quota provisions and other market distortions and eroding the ruling party’s support base from the bottom up through importing, mechanization and curtailing locally available options that promote the government’s cause – change can be brought about. It won’t be pretty, but it is necessary for our long term economic survival.

No one can - for argument sake - force another to pay for the services of a party or person whom he or she simply does not want to hire - regardless of laws, coercive incentives and browbeating.

The paymaster is always king.

Every decision is a trade-off and no law can coerce compliance - so quotas and affirmative action requirements can be invalidated with common sense. Likewise, it is not possible to force compliance with BEE provisions that one would sooner live without; rather hire no one, use a consultant or find another way to do the job. Scale down if needs be.

According to this strategy there will inevitably be opportunity costs for all. But the short term costs to the proletariat, the poor and the destitute - already reeling from unemployment of epidemic proportions (driven by government and trade union ideology) – are sky-high, with the only way to sustainably reduce the cost to them being to intensify financial pressure on government.

Given an electorate ignorant of the benefits of democracy, free choice and the sovereignty of the individual, there is no other way. It thus becomes the responsibility of those with the appropriate values and the resources to withhold, to bring about change.

May people of such mind embrace the challenge - and the force be with them.

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