Descent of Africa Tests the Honesty of the Politically Correct
But something happened along the road to paradise for South Africa. Things got worse for everyone except the few corrupt insiders within the ANC. Crime, corruption, disease, poverty, human misery, all much worse -- and worsening with time, just as in Zimbabwe under Mugabe. But if you try to get a leftist's honest opinion about the ongoing descent of South Africa, you may find the going a bit rocky, to say the least.
The central problem of writing about South Africa is that it is almost impossible to explain the country's slow-motion catastrophe in terms that make sense to foreigners... All power concentrated in the hands of an over-mighty President who attempts to prolong his rule. The decay of infrastructure through poor maintenance alongside a pronounced taste for prestige expenditures. Power cuts for the people, the arrogance of power for the elite and an ever-growing chasm of inequality between...
...When Mugabe took power in 1980, Zimbabwe [formerly Rhodesia -- ed.] was regarded as one of Africa's jewels, a country with good infrastructure, deep soil, and a thriving agricultural sector, whose exports were the country's largest sources of foreign earnings....Mugabe turned nasty, organizing mobs to drive white farmers off their land—a move intended to restore the dictator's popularity with the masses. Instead, it destroyed the country's banking system, which in turn led to soaring inflation and generalized economic collapse. With most of his subjects facing starvation, Mugabe and his generals resorted to naked repression.
...As for Mbeki, the godfather of the African Renaissance backed Mugabe from the outset, shielding him against condemnatory United Nations and Commonwealth resolutions and blocking the Human Rights Commission's attempts to investigate his atrocities. South Africans were told that Mbeki was working behind the scenes to prevent Zimbabwe's implosion, but the country imploded anyway, driving millions of refugees into South Africa, where they sat on street corners, attempting to exchange worthless billion-dollar Zimbabwe banknotes for bread crusts. Zimbabwe's implosion had become part of our implosion, and still Mbeki remained silent
...Elsewhere, we have FAILED BILLION-DOLLAR EDUCATION PROGRAM; WHISTLE-BLOWER MURDERED; WIFE OF NIA CHIEF ON TRIAL FOR SMUGGLING COCAINE, the NIA being our CIA. And finally, the story of the hour: The National Prosecuting Authority has abandoned its investigation into the whereabouts of $130 million in bribes generated by South Africa's notorious 1990s arms deal.
In the West, scandals of this magnitude would topple governments. Here, they are almost meaningless. Most will never be pursued or resolved satisfactorily. The electorate will not stand up and scream, "Enough!" In many cases, the alleged culprits won't even be investigated, and the incompetent bureaucrats who presided over the education fiasco will not be fired. In a week or two, these stories will be blown off the front pages by equally hair-raising scandals, most of which will also just fade away. It's been like this for years, and there comes a time when you stop paying attention lest the drumbeat of bad news drive you mad. _BookForum
Africa was colonised by several foreign powers, whose nation-building badly disrupted the tribal and language infrastructure which had existed in pre-colonial times. But then, when maintaining their colonies proved too much for European powers after WWII, their African possessions were "dispossessed" and left largely to fend for themselves.
But oddly, Africa did not rise out of poverty like Japan and Germany had done -- after World War II, or like South Korea did after the Korean War, or like China did after it rejected Maoism in favour of a more pro-business economic environment. No, Africa went downhill after de-colonisation, rather than upward.
Yes, you will see numbers claiming that certain African nations are growing economically, and certain to rise from poverty "any day now." But if you look more closely, you will see that the oil and mineral dictatorships of Africa are selling natural resources to outsiders -- the leaders then stashing their profits in overseas bank accounts. Not the kind of prosperity a nation could actually build upon to benefit most of its citizens.
Corruption, disease, poverty, violent tribal and ideological conflict -- everything that was true of the rest of Africa except Rhodesia and South Africa, suddenly began becoming true for Zimbabwe and majority-rule South Africa. How does one explain this near-uniformity of poverty, hopelessness, disease, violence, and near absence of achievement across an entire sub-continent? If one is a leftist -- once euphoric over the emergence of majority rule in Zimbabwe and South Africa -- how does one explain the ongoing collapse of once-rich and once-proud nations?
If one is not a leftist, he might look at such things as "race, genes, and disparity." Such biologically-based factors involved in the study of evolutionary human biodiversity may correlate far better with the actual conditions on the ground, in Africa, than more abstract concepts which are far more popular with the leftists and proto-leftists of media, academia, popular culture, and most political organisations. But the modern intellectual world has little tolerance for demonstrable, evidence-based theories, if they contradict politically correct dogma.
And for at least that reason, one cannot truly hold an honest discussion about Africa with most leftists. Of course, many evidence-based theories contradict politically correct dogma, so Africa is not the only topic which is verboten, in terms of honest discussion.
Anyone who wants to make his way to the higher levels of achievement in the politically correct world, must needs adjust his crap detector to its lowest possible setting, so as to be able to tolerate the PC crap which passes for common wisdom among most pseudo-intellectuals in academia, media, culture, and politics.
Those of us who are unable to make such adjustments will just have to create something better on our own.