South Africa 125

My last, flippant post on the death of Eugene Terre Blanche brought an interesting comment thread, in which not only did we attract some new South African commentators, we started up interesting disagreements along unusual fault lines between regular commentators. So I thought I might probe further with something less flippant.

I am not actually in favour of hacking people to death as a form of political action. But I am unrepentant at failing to be moved by the death of an out and out Nazi, who thrived in apartheid times in a system in which he was able to put his ideas of racial dominance into practice over his staff and black neighbours.

The apartheid regime killed many thousands, and dispossessed, disenfranchised and enslaved millions. Almost all white South Africans were implicated in it and enjoyed its benefits. Never forget that.

Through colonialism, apartheid and neo-colonialism, white people took control of Africa’s best farming land – in areas where white men could survive the climate – and its amazing mineral resources. Throughout Africa white people still reap the great majority of the economic benefit from African oil, gold, diamonds, rutile, bauxite, uranium etc. The backbreaking labour falls to black people and so does the pollution. That benefit that does come to Africans largely falls to tiny corrupt white-educated post-colonial elites.

In South Africa it is still the case that the large majority of the wealth of the nation. the controlling interest in the gold and other mineral resources and much of the best farmland still lies with white people.

There are some white South Africans who had a genuine moral abhorrence of apartheid and yet become unfortunate victims of violence whose root cause lies in massive disparity of wealth. There are however not many white South Africans lining up to shed their wealth meaningfully to black South Africans.

White dominance over African resources has been maintained brutally and often with the use of mercenaries – officered by the British upper classes and with South Africans doing the actual killing.

That is not to excuse corrupt African elites and misgovernment by the Mugabes of this world. But Mugabe being a dreadful old tyrant does not justify the continued white ownership of land stolen by force from the indigenous peoples. Indeed some of the worst white farmers are close to Mugabe, like Prince Harry’s appalling girlfriend’s family.

Even in a country like Kenya, the recent ethnic conflicts can be traced back to colonial land grabs by white farmers dispossessing one tribe into another tribes’ lands.

I cover all of this with vastly more depth and subtlety in The Catholic Orangemen of Togo. I do hope those commenting will read it.

125 thoughts on “South Africa

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  • Richard Robinson

    Stephen – “any idea of how much the English language has been influenced by external influences – if languages have bloodlines it is probably the greatest mongrel around. Long may it continue.”

    Do you know the saying “English doesn’t borrow words from other languages so much as it chases them down back-alleys and mugs them for them” ?

    It’s a working mongrel, for sure.

    (That probably isn’t the original phrasing, I don’t know who/where it comes from).

  • Alfred


    You say, “What Alfred of course does not appreciate is a nation’s strenghts and characteristics are not dependent upon its host population breeding sufficiently quickly to maintain its own bloodlines.”

    You could have left out the “of course”. Let the reader decide whether or not you are making a statement of the blindingly obvious.

    As for what I am supposed not to appreciate, what is its relevance?

    I am not proposing that the British should be treated as a poor bloodline to be improved by selective cross-breeding. That’s your idea, isn’t it? What I was suggesting is that the whole point of a nation, as viewed by itself, is just to carry on being what it is. The Brits have managed to survive in their small, cold damp island for something like nine thousand years. I’d like to see them just carry as they are. More to the point, that’s what 69% of the British population want, according to opinion surveys.

    You say, “… history shows that those which are isolated but maintain their ethnic purity usually end up as basket cases.”

    Talking about Japan, are you, the folks who sank the US Navy, now the world’s second largest GDP, probably the most technological advanced economy in the world.

    All that people like you who say they love diversity seem to want to do is to destroy it by mixing people up. Haven’t you noticed what beautiful noses Vietnamese girls have. I’d hate to see their genes mixed up with a bunch hairy big-nosed Brits. Although I am sure that happens occasionally, so before anyone takes offense, let me say in such cases: good luck to all concerned.

    You say, “One of the better features of both the UK and Us has been our ability to absorb and assimilate people and ideas from outside”

    To assimilate J.S. Bach, I don’t have to marry a German do I? Do try to talk sense.

    You say “has Alfred any idea of how much the English language has been influenced by external influences – if languages have bloodlines it is probably the greatest mongrel around. Long may it continue.”

    If you are going to be so personal in your attacks, do try to say something sensible. Modification of language is not a proxy for genetic change. An English-speaking Chinese is not an Englishman.

    You say “While not wanting to resort to name calling… ”

    Then why do it?

    As for Jack straw, according to his MI5 file from the time he was NUS President, he was believed to be a communist sympathizer. According to a letter to the Editor of the Independent, Jack Straw stated that in 1965 he had received instruction from “Mr Bert Ramelson, Yorkshire industrial organiser of the Communist Party.” In the same letter he asserted vehemently that he was not a “an old Trot” as had been asserted by Robert Fisk, thus establishing that his Communist sympathies were with the mainline Stalinist wing of the party.

    You could have looked that up for yourself if you know how to use Google.

  • Alfred


    You say “life’s too short [to discuss with me]” Then you ask “where are you from?”

    So I hope you will understand if I say life’s too short to go into personal details.

    But what the Hell. I’m British, is that not obvious? And Canadian.

    Canada is a wonderful country. But I think you said some weeks ago that you were from Canada, so you know.

    All those in Britain who really like the idea of a multi-racial society should come and live here. Well, if they’re young. Cultural adaptation is probably not easy for adults. Canadian society and the Canadian personality is different from the British in many ways.

    The bit about infantilization may have been prompted by the story about a boy legally too young at 14 to look after a goldfish.

    When I was a kid, I remember seeing a painting from World War I of the boy Cornwall, awarded posthumously what was perhaps the most famous VC ever, for refusing, though mortally wounded, to desert his gun aboard HMS Chester during the Battle of Jutland.

    Cornwall was just 16. More, it seems was expected of young people then. I think we do young people a disservice by denying them responsibility early in life. Though not in some stupid war for the New World Order and the erasure of the nations of the earth.

  • lamond

    I conclude from your comments that you are supportive of indigenous Africans taking back the land still owned by whites that was undoubtedly stolen from the Africans so long ago.

    Do you feel the same way about Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the USA, South American countries and Palestine! (to name but a few).

    How about giving England back to the Welsh and Scottish?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    ‘Do you know the saying “English doesn’t borrow words from other languages so much as it chases them down back-alleys and mugs them” ?’ Richard

    Excellent phrase. It rings a bell, but I’d forgotten it till you reminded me. David Crystal writes well on this subject.

    And I am the Don of muggers. On good days…

  • Richard Robinson

    Stephen – “I’m British, is that not obvious”

    I had been thinking so, till you said that ‘infantilisation’ thing, which made me wonder otherwise. But if you’re including yourself in that description I may have been wrong to read as such a sweeping dismissal.

    But I still can’t get hold of any coherent argument. re: Kenya, I remarked that one factor seems to have been competition over land, and ask how much larger numbers of settlers could have not led to more such; and next thing I know you’ve stopped talking about Kenya, it’s un-occupied land in Canada. About which history, I already said up above in this thread that I know

    little, so clearly I can’t take this any further forward.

    I think that’s the only thing I’ve said abaout Canada here on this blog. I’m certainly not from there (I’ve never even been, though I’d like to, sometime).

  • stephen

    I think your comments should have been addressed to Alfred although I’m British too.

  • Alfred

    Hey, Iamond,

    Give back England to the Scots and the Welsh? Ha ha.

    Your kidding, right?

    If the Scots and the Welsh hate Britain so much let ’em separate and the English can wall them off as the Romans did with the Scots.

    And any Scots living in London will have to get a visa which’ll take ten years to process during which time the applicant will have to go back to Hibernia and eat porridge.

    “I conclude from your comments that you are supportive of indigenous Africans taking back the land still owned by whites that was undoubtedly stolen from the Africans so long ago.”

    Why do you say “undoubtedly stolen from the Africans long ago”?

    South Africa, if that’s where your talking about, is a huge place and in 1704, when the ancestor of the dismembered Terreblanche arrived, there was practically no one there. There was hardly anyone there even a 100 years ago. So most of the land was vacant. Further, most of South Africa is extremely dry, too dry to grow trees — it is mostly dry grassland that originally supported a few Bushmen and, in favorable locations, more populous groups. So, no, not all the land occupied by white farmers was “undoubtedly stolen from the Africans long ago.”

    As for Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the USA, [and the] South American countries, obviously the clock cannot be put back without genocide on an unprecedented scale. Is that what you want? Kill every white American. Then kill every black American. Such talk is nuts.

    Palestine is different because the ethnic cleansing is ongoing and it is enabled by the US and the Lib-Lab-Con “Friends of Israel.” So, yes, I’d stop that one.

  • Alfred

    Richard, Stephen, whatever:

    Great confusion here. Sorry Richard, I confused you with someone on this blog a while ago who claimed to be from Calgary and subject to harassment by the RCMP, and MI5.

    Re: Kenya, My point, one of them anyway, was that the critical thing was relative numbers, not absolute numbers.

    The British colonization failed because Britain attempted to rule the rather small number of Africans present in Kenya at the beginning of the 20th century with an even smaller number of British colonists. In due course the Africans decided to kick the Brits out, which they were able to do, after a nasty struggle in which it appears that Obama’s grandfather probably sided not with the resistance but with the Brits. That seems to be the Obama family strategy “get along by going along” ?” but that’s another matter.

    So when I said Britain should have sent more colonists if they wanted to establish a permanent colony in Kenya, I was talking about establishing an appropriate balance in numbers of colonists and natives ?” that is, a balance that allowed continued British control. And if Stephen is attending to this, when I say “should” I am not talking of moral imperative, or my own personal judgment of imperialism, but what had to be done to achieve a certain end.

  • Richard Robinson

    Stephen – I’m very sorry, you’re quite right. It was indeed Alfred I was quoting and responding to.

  • Richard Robinson

    … and, Alfred – ‘Roderick Russell’, I think. Same initials.

    Confusion all round.

    Alfred – I suppose my bottom-line re Kenya is – it didn’t happen. We didn’t make the choice to do that.

    I think your counterfactual-history set of moral-free imperial mechanics would have resulted in your ‘certain end’ being a real nuisance for everybody else involved, and would have eventually come to the same conclusion but late, more bottled-up and consequently more explosive; and that this would have been a bad idea.

    Lebensraum is a raw resource, the material world is finite. Continued expansion sooner or later forces a choice between killing the competitors or learning to make deals. I favour the latter, and note that it’s easier to do before the situation becomes stressful.

  • Alfred


    Yes, I realized i was thinking of RR not RR.

    If you like wide open spaces, you surely enjoy visiting Canada. It’s 32 times the size of Britain with only half the population. Here, you’d see just how much space there is still is left. With 80% of Canada’s population confined to a dozen or so large cities, the place is almost totally empty — not good if you want to keep control of the territory, which is why Canada seeks immigrants.

    As for Kenya, I agree that hypothetical history is largely pointless. But although it is impossible to know what would have happened in history if people had acted differently, one can sensibly discuss political strategies and how they could affect the outcome of events.

    What prompted the discussion about Kenya was a technical question about how public policy affects the survival and dispersal of human populations. My contention is that numbers matter, and I sought to illustrate the point by reference to British Imperial policy.

    There’s no doubt that British Imperial policy in Africa was a failure, and there seems no doubt that this failure was due to a failure to grasp the importance of population. However, if as you suggest, the establishment of colonies where British people and their descendants could live indefinitely was an unattainable objective, then the whole project was pointless and should never have been undertaken.

    One might, as a matter of ethical choice or mere distaste, give up the struggle for Lebensraum, etc., but others will not, and in the long run the survivors will most likely be those who maintain the struggle. Either that, or Charles Darwin got it wrong.

    In fact, I suggest that Britain’s African imperial project was undertaken out of hubris, without much intelligent thought as to what was being done. People just like painting the map red, hunting big game and taking a P&O liner to visit with friends and relatives living in a warm climate on nice estates with lots of cheap servants. And best of all, they enjoyed taking up the white man’s burden. A chap from Oxford could go out to Africa at the age of 30 and more or less single-handedly rule an area the size of Britain.

    But universal abandonment to self-indulgence marks the end of most empires.

  • Stephen

    Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection does not support Lebensraum or similar. In fact the lack of success of those practising Lebensraum might point in the other direction. The very few academics you will find supporting Alfred’s viewpoint usually had pretty close links with Nazi Germany.

    What a shame Britain’s experiment in colonialism wasn’t done properly and ended in failure.

  • Alfred


    Re: the Canadian landscape

    Here’s the the sequence, filmed in Canada, from David Lean’s incredible movie Dr.Zhivago. It’s not quite as I remember it on the big screen when the film was released in 1965. But even on Youtube it’s awesome. The whole film is there in 18 parts.

    The forest scenes were probably filmed in Northern Ontario. The open prairie and the distant “Urals,” most likely in Alberta

    Julie Christie is a little too long-faced for my taste, but she has the most unbelievably beautiful eyes. Alec Guiness is excellent as always and Tom Courtenay is superb as the cold-blooded revolutionary.

    The film is a powerful illustration of my original thesis that power trumps morality, decency and all else. That is why the world seems to be going to Hell. Power, i.e., exercised by the psychopaths who rule, extends more and more broadly and thus impacting more and more aspects of life: the Soviet experience, brilliantly portrayed in Zhivago, providing the most graphic illustration the world has seen to date of the rule of psychopathic power.

  • Alfred


    I am fascinated by the way in which you assert bizarre conclusions without any supporting facts or argument.

    You say “Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection does not support Lebensraum or similar.”

    What on earth does this mean? Lebensraum is simply living space. You cannot practice that, and it has nothing to do with Charles Darwin.

    As for “the lack of success of those practising Lebensraum might point in the other direction”

    Perhaps you mean that those who struggle for territory always lose. But no, that cannot be right because those who own the world conquered it. So you really need to try and clarify what you mean.

    As for your Parthian shot “The very few academics you will find supporting Alfred’s viewpoint usually had pretty close links with Nazi Germany” seems to support my claim that the British are becoming infantilized. They have been so indoctrinated by the educational system and media that there are now some who are unable to think about politics except in politically correct slogans and permitted hate speech.

    Or are you, like Jack Straw, a Stalinist-trained provocateur. No I don’t think so. In which case you need to think your argument through more carefully and avoid resorting in every case to name calling.

  • stephen


    “One might, as a matter of ethical choice or mere distaste, give up the struggle for Lebensraum, etc., but others will not, and in the long run the survivors will most likely be those who maintain the struggle. Either that, or Charles Darwin got it wrong.”

    Alfred it was you who put Lebensraum etc. together with the theory of eveolution not me – so perhaps you should explain what you meant – or on the other hand you could stop being so obtuse. You are intelligent enough to understand the connotations around “Lebensraum” to know it does not just mean living space. Or, do you regularly slip into German phrases – which accidentally share a meaning with Nazi concepts – if so I would advise you follow Orwell’s advice and not use a foreign word when a perfectly good English one is available.

    Perhaps it may be possible for people to own their bit of the world without resulting to conquest. Most of the empires of the world have ultimately disintegrated in the end – largely because the local inhabitants have objected to being ruled by the colonial power.

    You may also want to look up the meaning of “Parthian shot” while you are at it.

  • Richard Robinson

    Stephen/Alfred -it was me that introduced the word ‘lebensraum’, and I rather regret it, because I didn’t intend all the connotations Stephen refers to, or think of the potential possibilities for heat-generation. Careless of me.

    My intention was “only” to point to a recent well-known example of what’s bound to happen with continual expansionism – it will always lead to the conflict eventually. Has to.

    Say it’s fine in Canada, say there was hardly anyone in Kenya in 19whatever, okay, maybe. But sooner or later, there *is* someone. There isn’t an infinite amount of empty space for a prolific population to expand into. There are other bunches of people out there (by Alfred’s definition) and why wouldn’t they be having exactly the same discussions, with us as the other ? Sooner or later, you are going to be moving into places that other people do want, and then what ?

    With regards to Darwinism, I think ALfred’s assuming his theories lead to success, rather than demonstrating it. I could equally well suggest a steady state based on “you don’t our land and we won’t try and take yours”. Which has also happened over various parts of the world and led to people not getting killed, and thus furthered the passing on their genes (which doesn’t altogether convince me as the most contructive/instructive/useful/amusing/interesting way of looking at these things, but it seems to be the rules of the game in this discussion).

    But tomorrow for the ramifications, I’m geting no further with this tonight. Good night.

  • Alfred


    Thank you for taking the heat for me on the word “Lebensraum”. I think it was entirely appropriate to use it as you did. We were talking of the struggle for existence, which can be nasty and brutish, a fact that should never be forgotten. Because of Hitler, the term Lebensraum is precisely evocative of the nature of the struggle. It was Hitler’s intention to exterminate the Poles, thereby creating Lebensraum for occupation by German farmers. The result was something like five million Polish dead plus some number of millions of dead Polish Jews. That the death toll due to the Germans was not greater is attributable to the fact that the Soviets occupied much of Poland where they carried out their own extermination campaign, beginning with the Katyn massacre of Polish army officers, and the much larger scale extermination of intellectuals.

    What it seems to me you are saying in your second and third paragraphs, if I can paraphrase, is that, first, if everyone adopts a Hitlerian approach to the world, which is actually a Darwinian approach, there will be endless conflict, and therefore, second, can we not come to some agreement where people keep what they have without coveting their neighbour’s property.

    As to the first point, you are absolutely correct. But endless conflict is what we have always had, so there’s nothing new about that. What is new in the modern age is the extent to which the resources of a nation can be mobilized for war and the destructiveness of the technology employed. This, naturally has prompted many people to hope that your second point can be made a basis of an effective security arrangement.

    So the important question is whether your proposal is feasible. The first attempt at such a solution was the League of Nations. It worked fine until there was a crisis, then, when League members were supposed to apply sanctions to Italy to prevent the Italian conquest of Abbyssinia (now Ethiopia), Britain and France made a secret deal to bust the sanctions (by allowing the continued flow of oil, the termination of which would have halted the Italian invasion). They did this with the aim of keeping Italy in the anti-German western alliance. However, Mussolini was so angered by the role of Britain and France in imposing even nominal sanctions that he transferred his allegiance from the Triple Entente to Germany.

    The next effort was the United Nations, but as one sees in the case of Israel, the Iraq war, the ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Kosovo, etc., the UN is largely ineffective, besides being deeply corrupt.

    So what options remain? The US plan is global hegemony, as spelled out in Zbigniew Bzrezinski’s crazy book “the Grand Chessboard.” Bzrezinski is said to be a power behind Obama’s throne, and has, as a long term objective, the Great Siberian War, which will see America’s chief opponents, Russia and China mutually destruct.

    I am sorry, therefore, to be unable to offer an encouraging outlook. My own science fiction solution is to use an artificially intelligent computer programmed to enforce a World Constitution by means of an adequate arsenal of missiles large and small, the missiles to be supplied and maintained by the leading powers on threat of being nuked if they fail to perform.

    Placing our fate in the hands of a machine is probably much safer than relying on the likes of Tony Blair, but somehow it seems scarier.

  • Alfred


    If you think anyone around here is obtuse, I suggest you take a look in the mirror.

    At least, I don’t have to correct you in your claim that I introduced the term Lebensraum, since Richard has honorably acknowledged his responsibility.

    Yes, it would be nice if everyone got to keep what was theirs and nobody got to steal stuff. But that is the issue we’re discussing. Can the struggle for survival, which has been going on since life on earth first appeared, ever be ended.

    And why should I look up the term “Parthian shot” since I know what it means. Obviously you don’t understand its figurative use. So why don’t you look it up?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Parthian Shot (C21st meaning): an hallucinogenic Iranian cocktail, with extract from the pineal glands of thoroughbred stallions.

    “It hits you like an arrow in the gut! It’s wild”

    Tracy from Ibiza

  • Stephen


    “if everyone adopts a Hitlerian approach to the world, which is actually a Darwinian approach”

    This is your theory – now please support it. This was my original challenge – that you continue to ignore. I think that an awful lot of scientists and historians would disagree that a Hitlerian approach was a Darwinian one. Natural selection is not just based on the “fight” mechanism – adpation and fleeing also have their roles.

    The “facts” that anyone takes as given usually give a pretty strong pointer to their values in my experience.

    Parthian shot – final riposte etc while in retreat – if you read the post you will see that the comment you refer to wasn’t either.

  • richard

    If you read anything about the “Second book” you will find that Alfred’s views regarding evolution have much in common. Darwin detailed a whole range of mechnisms by which adaption and natural selection is achieved – the nature of which varies according to the circumstances in which animals find themselves, hence the importance of the Galaphagos to his work. All species do not adapt by colonisation – and given that most colonies fail in the long run, I suspect that it is not a very effective method of adaption in Darwinian, let alone moral, terms.

  • Richard Robinson

    Heh. As “richard” above’s name is briefer than the one I use, so he makes a similar point much more concisely than I did. Neat.

  • Alfred


    Thanks for the formula for a real Parthian shot. I’d thought it was just lump sugar rolled in Paprika with Champagne poured over it, which is great for a hangover, but it does lack the aphrodisiac quality of the pineal gland.

  • stephen


    So, 5% of males are psycopaths – and all sovereign states are run by psycopaths. What is the source for this brave statement – or is it just “cod” psycology to add to your “cod” view of evolution. And you’re a 9/11 conspiracy theorist to boot.

    And as for “causus belli” – you could just as easily have said “justification for war” but then that wouldn’t have displayed the right level of “cod” sophistication would it? Something is very fishy here I’m afraid – how about being honest about where your political beliefs lie?

    Don’t worry I have no problem in revealing my support for the Labour Party – Keynesian social democrat tendency if anyone has worked that out yet.

    BTW if you really believed the garbage that you spouted – I think that the last place you would move to is a resource rich country with a small population and little visible means of defence – unless you are a psycopathic empire builder that is.

  • Alfred

    Hey, Richard,

    (That is the first of two Richard’s, as opposed to Richard Robinson. Or are all three the same person? This is like talking over the Star Trek viewscreen: “the image is breaking up, I’m seeing three of you.”)

    What is this about the “Second Book” and my views having much in common?

    Are you talking about the Second Book of Enoch? I don’t agree with Enoch. He was totally nuts. First he staffed 34% of the position in the National Health Service with folks from the Caribbean, then he starting ranting about the “Tiber foaming with much blood”, blood of the poor, hard-working folks from the Caribbean, presumably. He didn’t mind Indians though, since they are white, he said.

    Another thing I don’t agree with Enoch about is his silly idea that Jesus was not crucified but stoned to death, a claim without a shred of evidence to support it.

    As for adaptation by colonization, I never heard of it. Darwin’s idea was that adaptation was though selection among naturally arising variants.

    But if you are interested in population and animal survival (not adaptation) you might find David Lack’s book “the Natural Regulation of Animal Numbers” of interest. It used to be the standard text on the subject, whether it still is, I don’t know, but the facts will not have changed.

  • Alfred


    As you will realize, I omitted an essential ingredient from the recipe I gave for the Parthian Shot: Angostura bitters, in which the lump sugar must be soaked before being rolled in Paprika.

    Evelyn Waugh reported this formula from Athens, somewhat beyond the borders of the Parthian Empire, so it is probably not the real thing.

  • Richard Robinson

    Sorry, Suhayl, I beat you to the horse, I’m out of here now.

    But, I’m the one that started using my full name when I saw someone else here being a richard.

    [ do that thing with the coconuts, exit stage left ]

  • Anonymous

    Ha, another carping, or should I say “codding” moan from Stephen the Stalinist-trained provocateur.

    But I’m glad Steve to have you confession to being an agent of Commissar Straw. Now we can be sure that everything you say is total rubbish, and we no longer need wrack our brains, charitably seeking some grain of truth or logic in your “cod” comments.

    And what’s with this “cod” business, anyhow? Trying to add a little authority to your comments, or what?

    Concerning psychopaths … but “cod” it, why should I bother to inform a provocateur.

    As for your complaint that instead of “‘causus belli’ – you could just as easily have said ‘justification for war… ‘”, why can’t you be consistent, at least. Earlier your were boasting how English was world’s greatest mongrel language, always ready to shack up with another language and give birth to something new. Now you’re allergic not only to German but Latin too.

    Anyway, in the unlikely event that I waste any further time addressing you, I’ll confine myself to plain English: terms like “fuck”, oops, can’t say that (of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch fokken to strike). Well let’s see, one, two, three, no, derived from Ein Zwei, Drei, as enunciated by Adolph the bogy man.

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