Myth That Democracy = Freedom
Thomas J. DiLorenzo
by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
by Thomas DiLorenzo: The
Trojan Horse of 'Happiness Research'
When the universally
reviled South African policy of apartheid was ended and majority
rule democracy instituted in that country there was great hope that
democracy would at long last restore freedom and justice that the
black majority of that country had been deprived of for so many
decades. Most Western elites unquestioningly assumed that the god
of democracy would work its usual miracles. It has not only not
done so, but has created a catastrophe in that country, as documented
by a new book by Ilana Mercer entitled Into
the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South
Mercer is a
native South African whose parents and other relatives still live
there. Her father is a renowned Rabbi who was for decades an outspoken
opponent of apartheid, which she herself condemns in no uncertain
terms as "the repressive – and reprehensible – apartheid regime."
She has written about a topic that the Western media have almost
completely ignored – the failure of post-apartheid South Africa
to move in the direction of peace, justice, and prosperity. She
hopes that her book will be a small contribution that can help turn
things around in her native land, while providing valuable lessons
to Americans as well.
One thing that
Into the Cannibal’s Pot demonstrates is that democracy alone
is not at all desirable if it is not attached to a culture that
highly values the protection of life, liberty and property. The
new rulers of South Africa do not. South Africa competes with Iraq
and Colombia for the title of "the most violent" country
of the world. The homicide rate in South Africa today is twenty
times what it is in the U.S., as Mercer documents. A rape occurs
every twenty-six seconds. The annual murder rate in South Africa
has increased three-and-a-half fold since the ending of the reprehensible
apartheid regime. There are more than 52,000 rapes/year in South
Africa today, ten percent of which victimize infants because of
the bizarre superstition that is widely believed there that sex
with a virgin is a cure for AIDS.
in sickening detail how the government of South Africa often looks
the other way when the white population is victimized by thugs and
criminals, apparently in a perceived act of racial retribution for
the sins of the past. There have been so many murders of white South
African farmers that it "makes farming in South Africa the
most dangerous occupation in the world," writes Mercer. "Arrests
and convictions [for murdering white farmers] are rare." This
is "land reform," South African style. The South African
government admits that 90 percent of the "redistributed"
farms are now dysfunctional.
of South Africa’s "diversity" policies, otherwise known
as institutionalized discrimination against white males, sounds
almost identical to the same polices that exist today in American
society. Such "diversity" has indeed become the mating
call of nearly every academic bureaucrat in higher education. Hiring
by skin color instead of by merit is mandatory in South Africa,
and increasingly so in the U.S.
has also adopted the housing policy of American Congressman Barney
Frank and his Democratic Party colleagues in that "South Africa’s
financial institutions [have been] forced to provide loans to blacks
with lower credit ratings," known in the U.S. as "subprime
lending" or "the Community Reinvestment Act." Thus,
reprehensible institutionalized discrimination against blacks has
been replaced by reprehensible institutionalized discrimination
comparisons to the U.S. Mercer recalls how U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Sonia Sotomayor is a self-described "affirmative action
baby" who did not have the academic qualifications to enter
Princeton and Yale. She was admitted anyway because of her ethnicity
and, according to the New York Times, was told at Princeton
to improve her reading skills "by reading children’s classics
and studying basic grammar books during her summers." Mercer
quotes Pat Buchanan as asking the obvious question: "How do
you graduate first in your class at Princeton if your summer reading
consists of Chicken Little and The Troll Under the Bridge?"
are silent about the various outrages occurring in South Africa,
Mercer argues, because they support and sometimes personally benefit
from similar policies in their own country. (Rather than attempting
to enact a policy of reparations from the politicians and others
who were responsible for the abuse of South Africa’s black population
under apartheid, there is blanket discrimination against all whites a
perfect definition of racism).
that Nelson Mandella, who was imprisoned before the worldwide collapse
of socialism in the late 1980s/early 1990s, is still a devoted socialist.
He gets the economics of apartheid exactly backwards, for instance:
It was a system of governmental laws and regulations instigated
by white labor unions, and was not an example of capitalism. This
was explained wonderfully in Walter E. Williams’ book, South
Africa’s War Against Capitalism. Nevertheless, Mandella
announced in a 1997 speech that "the evolution of the capitalist
system in our country put on the highest pedestal the promotion
of the material interests of the white minority." Wrong, Nelson.
As Mercer points out, the "biggest industrial upheaval in South
Africa’s history" was a 1922 miner’s strike that came as a
result of the fact that the capitalist mine owners wanted to hire
more blacks. The white labor unions whose slogan was "Workers
of the World Unite, Keep South Africa White," opposed this
and the power of the government was employed to enforce discrimination
against black workers. It was the capitalists who wanted to abolish
the apartheid system because there were profits in doing so. White
miners were paid much more than black miners even though they were
not much more productive.
takes on the hoary leftist "root causes" theory of crime
that has been used to excuse the explosion of murder, rape, and
other violent crime in South Africa in recent years. Assuming that
there is no such thing as free will, leftists routinely assume that
the last person who should be blamed for a crime is the criminal
himself. In the case of South Africa the excuse-making machinery
of Western journalists, academics, and even "celebrities"
like Angelina Jolie, blame colonialism and not enough "foreign
aid." Citing the work of economist Peter Bauer, Mercer skillfully
explains how decades of "foreign aid" has in reality only
served to enrich Third World politicians and plutocrats with little
benefit to the average citizen – in Africa and everywhere else.
As though criticizing
the holy grail of "affirmative action" were not politically
incorrect enough, Mercer has the chutzpah, in her concluding
chapter, to invoke the "S" word – secession. Whenever
a minority is politically prosecuted by a majority, secession is
one possible solution. This is certainly the case in the current
South Africa and may be the only hope for the Afrikaner minority
J. DiLorenzo [send him mail]
is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the
author of The
Real Lincoln; Lincoln
Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe
Capitalism Saved America. His latest book is Hamilton’s
Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution
– And What It Means for America Today.
© 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
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