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Old 08-13-2018, 03:55 PM
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Why is South Africa melting down?

One of the YouTubers I follow is from South Africa. While his channel isn't about South Africa, and he's moved away, he often will comment about how the country is melting down. I did a bit of digging and found out that crime, especially rape and murder are off the charts there, and the economy seems to be melting down as well. There are also some radical Marxist groups that are talking about seizing farms and businesses without compensation. No idea how powerful these groups actually are, but it reminds me a bit about the meltdown in Zimbabwe.

So, thought I'd see what 'dopers think. Why is South Africa in such straights today? What happened to put it where it is? Where is it headed? I assume that much of this has to do with past racial issues and current racial tensions that remain unresolved, but I want to see what all is happening and why.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:22 PM
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I'm not doubting you, XT, but I'd be curious what your cites are about the crime and the economic problems. I'm no expert on South Africa, but I think I'm fairly well read and the only thing I remember seeing in recent news about the country is the whole water crisis and impending Zero Day in Cape Town.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:29 PM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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I think it's a very big leap from "increased crime" to "country melting down".

South Africa isn't melting down, until you show that it is.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:35 PM
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https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/20/rama...pensation.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/10/w...10safrica.html

these are the only 2 non partisan websites I could find for the land issue
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XT View Post
One of the YouTubers I follow is from South Africa[...] he's moved away
right...
Quote:
, he often will comment about how the country is melting down.
It's still here AFAICT...
Quote:

I did a bit of digging and found out that crime, especially rape and murder are off the charts there,
Would those be the same charts that show most crime is significantly down from the highs of the 90s? Rape being an exception, although that might also be a reporting/awareness thing.

Quote:
and the economy seems to be melting down as well.
Define "melting down", please?
Quote:
There are also some radical Marxist groups that are talking about seizing farms and businesses without compensation.
This is true. I believe they call this "radical Marxist group" the Government...
Quote:
No idea how powerful these groups actually are, but it reminds me a bit about the meltdown in Zimbabwe.
South Africa is nothing like Zimbabwe.
Quote:
Why is South Africa in such straights today?
We are? I thought we legalized gay marriage way before the US.
Quote:
What happened to put it where it is?
Oh, I'm sure someone will hit on the white answer.

Oh, no, I meant the right answer. Don't know why I said that.
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Where is it headed?
Hell in a handbasket. Just like everyone else.

Last edited by MrDibble; 08-13-2018 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:49 PM
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Honestly, I don't know that much about South Africa aside from what I've read, and it's not a country that is usually in the news for good or ill. I'm basing the whole 'country is melting down' and high crime rate on some comments by a YouTuber I subscribe to (who actually lives in China these days) and some of his asides.

As for stats, the murder rate per 100k in South Africa is 33. To give that some context, in the US it's a bit under 6 (or, to say it a different way, in the US there were 17k murders the year these stats were made...in South Africa, a country with a smaller population it was 19k). While South Africa isn't the top country, it's certainly in the top 1/3. I can't really get good stats from earlier than 2015, but this site shows that murder and assault are up, but rape and drug offenses are down. (https://africacheck.org/factsheets/f...me-statistics/).

I don't KNOW if this indicates a melt down in progress, so I guess the thread title is misleading. My apologies for that. Economy wise, it seems that inflation is up, unemployment is up and the population is actually going down (which could mean people leaving or could just be part of their population dynamic). Also the population below the poverty line seems to be going up while the ease of doing business in the country is going down. Whether this means melt down or not I don't know.

(sorry in advance for lack of links, but I still can't figure out how to link easily without the ugly long ass URLs...most of the data above is from various Wiki pages though and is easy to Google)
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
right...

It's still here AFAICT...

Would those be the same charts that show most crime is significantly down from the highs of the 90s? Rape being an exception, although that might also be a reporting/awareness thing.


Define "melting down", please?

This is true. I believe they call this "radical Marxist group" the Government...
South Africa is nothing like Zimbabwe.We are? I thought we legalized gay marriage way before the US.
Oh, I'm sure someone will hit on the white answer.

Oh, no, I meant the right answer. Don't know why I said that.

Hell in a handbasket. Just like everyone else.
So, you agree that they are talking about (or doing it?) seizing farms and businesses...and you think this is a good thing? Or just it's ok because it's the government (I didn't realize it WAS the government btw...I thought it was just one of the factions). That seems...disturbing, unless I'm misreading what you are saying.

Not sure what gay marriage has to do with anything.

So, what you seem to be implying in your short answers is that it's a white issue that things are bad. I'm hoping you will elaborate, since you are one of the posters who actually lives in South Africa and should have a lot to say on this. I get the feeling you think my post is a gotcha or something, but really I'm curious. If you say it's fine and not melting down then just elaborate. Is it just white people who think it's an issue? Or is it not an actual issue at all? Really, you will have insights no one else on this board, afaik will have so please elaborate and discuss your country. It's not something that is in the news much in the US, and also it's not something that gets debated much on this board afaik so go nuts.

ETA (and sorry for the disjointed reply...again, it's a bitch not being able to cut and paste): Why is the situation nothing like Zimbabwe?
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Last edited by XT; 08-13-2018 at 04:57 PM.
  #8  
Old 08-13-2018, 06:27 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
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Not sure what gay marriage has to do with anything.
Because the word is actually "straits", not "straights".
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:30 PM
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XT: I think this topic got well poisoned not that long ago in this thread. You're probably experiencing the hangover. Not your fault, but there it is.
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
If you say it's fine and not melting down then just elaborate.
...why does MrDibble need to elaborate?

This is your thread. You have asserted South Africa is melting down. You need to back up your premise, not the other way around.
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:21 PM
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Land reform. Promised, but denied for two generations.

There I said it! That’s the answer you wanted, right?
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:09 AM
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So, you agree that they are talking about (or doing it?) seizing farms and businesses...and you think this is a good thing?
I'm neutral on the matter - it very much depends on how its done. I'm not against some forms of land reclaim without market compensation, yes.
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Or just it's ok because it's the government
No. Most of what my government does is not OK by me, in fact.
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Not sure what gay marriage has to do with anything.
It was a joke, like earbones said.
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So, what you seem to be implying in your short answers is that it's a white issue that things are bad.
Partly a legacy of apartheid and colonialism, partly a legacy of Marxist thinking. I think of both of those as sides of the same White coin.
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I get the feeling you think my post is a gotcha or something
No, but I do think relying on an ex-South African for any insight on current South Africa is ... not advisable, is the most charitable way I would put it.
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If you say it's fine
I didn't say it's fine. I said it wasn't "melting down". South Africa is measurably better than it was 20-40 years ago, especially on the crime front. Any current economic blips are not exclusively a South African phenomenon.
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Is it just white people who think it's an issue?
Naah. But mostly... funny, that.
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Or is it not an actual issue at all?
Not in any "melting down" sense, no.
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Really, you will have insights no one else on this board, afaik will have so please elaborate and discuss your country.
Because it gets tiresome
pointing
out
the same
shit
year
after
year.


I didn't reply to all of those, and one person is responsible for more than half of them, but maybe do some frigging research before just posting what "Some guy on Youtube" says, yeah?

Especially since quite a lot of White "ex-South Africans" left here post-94 for the most obvious reason. Not all, not even most, I'm sure, but many.
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it's not something that gets debated much on this board afaik
Like I've shown, you just haven't been paying attention.
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Why is the situation nothing like Zimbabwe?
Different demographics, different history, different geography, different economy, different political structure...I could go on, but I don't see the point.

Last edited by MrDibble; 08-14-2018 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:36 AM
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I'm basing the whole 'country is melting down' and high crime rate on some comments by a YouTuber I subscribe to (who actually lives in China these days)
I think you've answered your own question there.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:46 AM
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This is some pretty bizarre gaslighting MrDibble. The mainstream Western consensus view has been that Jacob Zuma was a disastrous leader for South Africa and, while there was brief hope that Cyril Ramaphosa might bring about saner economic policy, his forced land expropriation proposal is being compared to Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

Now you might certainly argue that Western media has its own biases and self-interests and is not reporting accurately on the ground but the idea that South Africa is currently going through a marked economic decline is not some fringe view, it's pretty much the consensus opinion as reflected through publications like The Economist, The Wall St Journal and The Financial Times (I've chosen to include only paywall only sites because they contain the most high quality analysis, you can find similar stories reflected in more mainstream news sources as well).

Just going by raw economic facts, South Africa's GDP peaked in 2011 at $400B USD and has now declined to $295B (mainly due to the devaluation of the Rand). GDP growth is hovering somewhere around 1% while inflation is at 5 - 6%, Unemployment has grown from ~15% in the 1990s to ~25% now but, more importantly, labor participation rate remains stubbornly low and the structural unemployment issues aren't being addressed: "The 2005 Labour Force Survey found that 40% of unemployed individuals have been unemployed for more than three years, while 59% have never had a job at all. In September 2010, over a third of South Africa's workforce were out of work, and so were more than half of blacks aged 15–34, three times the level for whites."

I get that different people can have different legitimate opinions on the issue and I'm more reporting what constitutes mainstream western orthodoxy rather than any particular stance I have on the issue. However, to act like the question has some hidden agenda behind it or that it's pushing some fringe conspiracy is kinda strange. It's a totally legitimate question, reflecting the viewpoints of a large group of people, and containing a lot of truth behind it. Yes there's a lot of racial and social politics behind the actual answers to the question but that doesn't mean it's not possible to have a reasonable debate about it.
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:50 AM
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White South African here. I don't blame MrDibble for reacting the way he has - topics on South Africa do end to bring out the racists. (Although the OP for once, does seem sincere and not a racist dipshit.)

There is a huge streak of racism amongst vocal expats; my money would be on the unnamed Youtuber being one of those.

Glibly comparing SA to Zimbabwe is also a favourite of racist dipshits; SA has been on the road to "becoming the next Zimbabwe" since 2000 according to same.

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Originally Posted by Shalmanese View Post
The mainstream Western consensus view has been that Jacob Zuma was a disastrous leader for South Africa
This is the mainstream middle class SA view too. I seriously doubt MrDibble was defending Zuma.

Quote:
and, while there was brief hope that Cyril Ramaphosa might bring about saner economic policy, his forced land expropriation proposal is being compared to Zimbabwe and Venezuela.
At this point "exproppriation without compensation" (EWC) is a vague principle, not a clearly formulated policy. There is currently no draft constitutional amendment, no legislation, no delegated legislation, no clear idea of what land is to expropriated and under what circumstances, who the beneficiaries are, how the benficiaries are to be determined, the form of title they will receive, etc. Right now public hearings have just concluded. Thats it. There is still a long process ahead, involving, inter alia, a report by a constiututional review committee, draft and publish amendment for comment, approval by both houses of parliament, repeat for legislation to give force to amendment. Don't forget delays due to court challenegs. This process will take years.

Ill also point out that land invasions were effectively authorised by decree, not law in Zimbabwe. Only after the fact was a law enacted, in a society devoid of substantively free and fair elections.

Ramaphosa has also stated repeatedly that EWC will not be implemented in a manner that threatens the economic stability or food security. In my opinion that will limit EWC to unused land, land fraudulently obtained and abandoned properties.

Quote:
Now you might certainly argue that Western media has its own biases and self-interests and is not reporting accurately on the ground but the idea that South Africa is currently going through a marked economic decline is not some fringe view,
Not disputed. Not a "meltdown" either.


Quote:
However, to act like the question has some hidden agenda behind it or that it's pushing some fringe conspiracy is kinda strange. It's a totally legitimate question, reflecting the viewpoints of a large group of people, and containing a lot of truth behind it. Yes there's a lot of racial and social politics behind the actual answers to the question but that doesn't mean it's not possible to have a reasonable debate about it.
Of course, but citing some expat rando on YouTuube and dropping a reference to Zimbabwe is a good way to posion the well from the get go.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Shalmanese View Post
This is some pretty bizarre gaslighting MrDibble.
Questioning a source is not "gaslighting".
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The mainstream Western consensus view has been that Jacob Zuma was a disastrous leader for South Africa
It's also the majority South African view.
Quote:
and, while there was brief hope that Cyril Ramaphosa might bring about saner economic policy, his forced land expropriation proposal is being compared to Zimbabwe and Venezuela.
It's a realisation of the demands on the ground, not some sort of trendiness. And distributive justice, of course.

It's fundamentally about the fact that it's bleedingly obvious to the majority here that the people who currently own the best farmland and make a fat living off it are the beneficiaries of land theft and forced removals. And they refuse to have anything to do with a willing seller-willing buyer model, so should they just be allowed to continue living off their cross-generational spoils of murder and rapine? In a country where they don't, actually, have any real political power any more?
Quote:
the idea that South Africa is currently going through a marked economic decline is not some fringe view
That's true (but so is a lot of the world) but that is not "a meltdown", nor was the OP an economic analysis at all. And when it comes to crime, the facts are the opposite of what the OP's anonymous, uncited Youtuber says.
Quote:
However, to act like the question has some hidden agenda behind it or that it's pushing some fringe conspiracy is kinda strange.
I don't think the OP has an agenda, I think his source does. And I don't think it's fringe at all. It's sadly all too common.
Quote:
Yes there's a lot of racial and social politics behind the actual answers to the question but that doesn't mean it's not possible to have a reasonable debate about it.
Maybe if the OP was more than "Some expat chicken runner in China on Youtube says...", we can have a "reasonable debate".

Last edited by MrDibble; 08-14-2018 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:39 AM
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As a South African, I can say that South Africa is most definitely NOT melting down. Things are going reasonably smoothly here and tending to improve.

There are a small number of people who love to predict disaster for the country. They are usually either far right-wingers, or expatriates who feel a need to justify having left the country, or both. They've been making shrill predictions that the sky is about to fall for the past 25 years. The objective facts don't support them.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:14 AM
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Well, I do seem to have opened a can of worms with this one. My apologies...I didn't realize it was such a touchy subject, nor that it had been trodden on before. I guess I missed all the other threads on it.

As for the YouTuber mentioned in the OP, here is his channel home page (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl7...jh4Ps8rhhh8XZg). He certainly doesn't seem like a racist to me in anything he's done or said. He also doesn't talk about South Africa that much...just every once in a while he'll bring up something about how South Africa is doing. He certainly is white, but I seriously doubt he left in 1994...if my rough estimate of his age is correct that would have made him about 5-10. While he doesn't give a lot of details, he has said his family is still in South Africa.

At any rate, it was obviously a touchy subject AND a poorly thought out OP. I basically was just connecting dots, hearing that South Africa was having major issues, did a few quick Google searches and saw the economic factors as well as crime stats that seemed to go along with stuff I saw on YouTube and was curious as to why it would be happening. I had heard about the water shortages in one of the major cities and thought maybe it was climate change, or maybe some other factor...perhaps hold over anger from the Apartheid days or something along those lines. I certainly didn't mean to fire anyone up or cause an explosion, was just curious.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:26 AM
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I had heard about the water shortages in one of the major cities and thought maybe it was climate change, or maybe some other factor
It's definitely climate change - my wife works in the field, I've done work on it in the past.
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:50 AM
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It's definitely climate change - my wife works in the field, I've done work on it in the past.
Similar challenges are beginning to become an issue in California. It's not as dire as South Africa's recent struggles, but it is increasingly a problem. It's quite possible much more erratic rainfall( either too much, resulting in flooding/levee breaks or not enough year by year )have become the new normal here and combined with a decreasing snow pack due to warming will result in more or less permanent water restrictions with real impacts on agricultural productivity.
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:05 AM
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They've been making shrill predictions that the sky is about to fall for the past 25 years. The objective facts don't support them.
It's an escape of bad hope!
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:22 AM
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I think that the OP would have been MUCH better off starting this inquiry by putting a thread in GQ asking for solid information about what exactly was going on in the RSA. A GD thread which posits that the country is "melting down" and asks to start a debate on the reasons (especially when the impetus for the thread is a YouTube channel that makes vague occasional references) was always going to create problems, even subtracting the racial issues. After all, a meltdown is what Venezuela is going through, and the RSA is hardly approaching that sort of economic and social crisis, even on a cursory glance at the situation.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:35 PM
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As for the YouTuber mentioned in the OP, here is his channel home page (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl7...jh4Ps8rhhh8XZg). He certainly doesn't seem like a racist to me in anything he's done or said. He also doesn't talk about South Africa that much...just every once in a while he'll bring up something about how South Africa is doing. He certainly is white, but I seriously doubt he left in 1994...if my rough estimate of his age is correct that would have made him about 5-10. While he doesn't give a lot of details, he has said his family is still in South Africa.
Heh, I knew when I first read your OP that you were referring to Winston Sterzel of ADVChina fame (at least that's the channel I first saw him on with his 'cohost' Matthew Tye, touring around China on their motorcycles). While Winston seems he's trying to be fair in his running commentary, clearly there's a number of things he has rather strong opinions on, including South Africa (as well as Chinese scammers). He was born in 1980, and came to China to live in 2005.

Last edited by SirRay; 08-14-2018 at 12:36 PM.
  #24  
Old 08-14-2018, 01:03 PM
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Forgot to address this bit
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He certainly is white, but I seriously doubt he left in 1994...if my rough estimate of his age is correct that would have made him about 5-10.
I didn't say "left in 94", I said "left here post-94". Mostly that happens a couple years after varsity. For some, when the realization hits that a white skin no longer guarantees quite as much automatic privilege in the workplace as it did for your fathers' generation.

But also, that same time any sane young adult would realize how provincial and geographically remote SA is from all the fun culture stuff that isn't bush and surf. So it's not all push, there's a lot of positive "move to the metropole" impetus to it. It varies from person to person.

There was a big exodus when I finished uni, back when young South Africans were still able to easily get into the UK for work, but then they changed the visa rules. Led to a lot of South Africans digging in their families for UK ancestry - and an uptick on migration to Oz, which is much easier.
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:32 PM
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I'm obviously far from an expert on this, but I have known a couple of South African ex-pats and I believe that the short version is this.

When apartheid ended and Mandela took over, he made it a point not to exact vengeance on the white minority who owned a lot of property and the long established businesses in the country. It was important, he said, that any transition be slow and measured as South Africa, despite its past policies, was still a first world government in Africa. Sort of a Lincoln-esque with malice toward none and charity to all.

All of his successors, however, said to hell with that and lets exact vengeance.
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:52 PM
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UltraVires
All of his successors, however, said to hell with that and lets exact vengeance.
I don't believe that, I believe Cyril Rhamaphosa is trying to co-opt the EFF narrative and keep the ANC relevant, but keeping it watered down from the radicalism the EFF is promoting.
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:57 PM
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Except, how exactly did the white minority end up with all the land and all the money and all the businesses? How did that happen? By coincidence?

If you have an unfair system--like, you know, apartheid--that operates for decades to enrich certain classes of people at the expense of other classes of people, it is plainly fair to abolish that system. But is it exactly fair to say that the spoils of that system that were acquired over various decades should just be left in the hands of the people who established that system?

In other words, supposed I pull out a gun and threaten to shoot you. I then enslave you and put you to work in my factory for 30 years. After 30 years are over, there's an election and it is decided that slavery is wrong. I reluctantly produce the keys to your chains, and tell you that you're free to go now.

Would it be vengeance on your part to ask for some compensation for the 30 years of slave labor you were forced to provide at gunpoint?

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Old 08-14-2018, 06:04 PM
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Redistributive justice, meant to correct for broad past injustice that resulted in great inequalities, doesn't need to be harmful to economies (and AFAIU, no serious South African proposals are as crude as mass land redistribution ala Zimbabwe). Just off the top of my head, a big family owned piece of land could become a corporation-owned piece of land, with the (white) family being the majority shareholder of that corporation, with the rest of the shares distributed among the (black and colored) families that have worked on that land for generations. Or something like that.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:17 PM
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I should note that I have no special knowledge of South African circumstances or politics beyond cursory reading and the posts of a handful of South African Dopers.
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:44 AM
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Redistributive justice, meant to correct for broad past injustice that resulted in great inequalities, doesn't need to be harmful to economies (and AFAIU, no serious South African proposals are as crude as mass land redistribution ala Zimbabwe). Just off the top of my head, a big family owned piece of land could become a corporation-owned piece of land, with the (white) family being the majority shareholder of that corporation, with the rest of the shares distributed among the (black and colored) families that have worked on that land for generations. Or something like that.
That's exactly the model being followed by some farmers, and it's been very successful in some cases. It would be great if the government looked to that as a model for future moves.
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:59 AM
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In other words, supposed I pull out a gun and threaten to shoot you. I then enslave you and put you to work in my factory for 30 years. After 30 years are over, there's an election and it is decided that slavery is wrong. I reluctantly produce the keys to your chains, and tell you that you're free to go now.

Would it be vengeance on your part to ask for some compensation for the 30 years of slave labor you were forced to provide at gunpoint?
This example doesn't really fit, because you're personnally responsible for the enslaving, so there's no doubt you should be held responsible and pay (and be sentenced for it, and in fact, in this case, a desire for vengeance would be perfectly legitimate).

Here, I guess it's more like : your greatgranfather enslaved my greatgrandfather. I'm poor, you're wealthy : should you pay?

On top of it, it's not like the only whites who benefited from the apartheid were the owners of big farms. I'm not sure why they should be the only ones who have to pay restitutions.

The issue of redress for past wrongs is clear as mud (grandchildrens of Palestinians expropriated in Israel, great grand children of victims of the Herero genocide, great great grandchildrens of American black slaves, great great great grandchildren of Australian aborigenes whose land has been stolen, etc, etc...). Seems just on the surface, but in fact the person currently asking for redress wouldn't even have been born if history had been different, so he didn't personnally really suffered any loss. Like everybody else, he owes his very existence to history having been what it has been, including these past wrongs.
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  #32  
Old 08-15-2018, 04:13 AM
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This example doesn't really fit, because you're personnally responsible for the enslaving, so there's no doubt you should be held responsible and pay (and be sentenced for it, and in fact, in this case, a desire for vengeance would be perfectly legitimate).

Here, I guess it's more like : your greatgranfather enslaved my greatgrandfather. I'm poor, you're wealthy : should you pay?

On top of it, it's not like the only whites who benefited from the apartheid were the owners of big farms. I'm not sure why they should be the only ones who have to pay restitutions.

The issue of redress for past wrongs is clear as mud (grandchildrens of Palestinians expropriated in Israel, great grand children of victims of the Herero genocide, great great grandchildrens of American black slaves, great great great grandchildren of Australian aborigenes whose land has been stolen, etc, etc...). Seems just on the surface, but in fact the person currently asking for redress wouldn't even have been born if history had been different, so he didn't personnally really suffered any loss. Like everybody else, he owes his very existence to history having been what it has been, including these past wrongs.
Pretty much all advocates of some sort of redistributing justice (including reparations in the US) believe it's necessary for current and ongoing oppression and injustice, as well as past oppression of the living, in addition to past injustices of the dead.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:26 AM
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Here, I guess it's more like : your greatgranfather enslaved my greatgrandfather. I'm poor, you're wealthy : should you pay?
A more important question is - should you get to freely pass on your stolen wealth to your own kids? If farmers are essentially in possession of stolen property (stolen by their own grandfathers), do they still get to enrich their descendants off that theft? In perpetuity? I don't think "I stole it, I get to keep it" has been a part of any sensible jurisprudence since, oh, before Hammurabi (It's different for governments, of course).

And before anyone brings up that they likely improved the land they stole - "I stole it, then I polished it, so I should get to keep it" doesn't sound any better than the short version.

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  #34  
Old 08-15-2018, 05:38 AM
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That's exactly the model being followed by some farmers, and it's been very successful in some cases. It would be great if the government looked to that as a model for future moves.
Thanks. Do you know how this model is viewed by the land owners? Are they terrified of it, resigned to it, or something in between, in general?
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:48 AM
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Thanks. Do you know how this model is viewed by the land owners? Are they terrified of it, resigned to it, or something in between, in general?
Other than the ones already trying it, I have no idea.

But sensibly, it would be better than the outright expropriation otherwise being mooted, I don't see how anyone would be against it in that regard. Well, anyone who passed the "learning to share" stage in kindergarten, that is.
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:09 AM
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I just want to point out that the land redistribution question is not just about farms. That has been the focus because it is the easiest to deal with but the many urban land claims were side-lined. And it is important to remember that these urban claims are not some relic of colonial era subjugation but forced removals and evictions from the early to mid twentieth century.

There are people alive today who can point to an empty plot, to the remains of their houses foundations, from where they were forcibly evicted. Or even more egregious to a million dollar mansion that they get no benefit from. It is those land claims that need to be dealt with. Farms are mostly owned or controlled by a handful of large corporations anyway.
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:06 AM
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A more important question is - should you get to freely pass on your stolen wealth to your own kids? If farmers are essentially in possession of stolen property (stolen by their own grandfathers), do they still get to enrich their descendants off that theft? In perpetuity? I don't think "I stole it, I get to keep it" has been a part of any sensible jurisprudence since, oh, before Hammurabi (It's different for governments, of course).

And before anyone brings up that they likely improved the land they stole - "I stole it, then I polished it, so I should get to keep it" doesn't sound any better than the short version.
I mean, there's pretty much the entirety of the United States, and so far, we're not giving it back.
  #38  
Old 08-15-2018, 07:20 AM
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I mean, there's pretty much the entirety of the United States, and so far, we're not giving it back.
Yeah, we noticed.

Some people don't consider "be more like the USA" a viable path for a sane country to follow, you know.
  #39  
Old 08-15-2018, 10:10 AM
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I just want to point out that the land redistribution question is not just about farms. That has been the focus because it is the easiest to deal with but the many urban land claims were side-lined. And it is important to remember that these urban claims are not some relic of colonial era subjugation but forced removals and evictions from the early to mid twentieth century.

There are people alive today who can point to an empty plot, to the remains of their houses foundations, from where they were forcibly evicted. Or even more egregious to a million dollar mansion that they get no benefit from. It is those land claims that need to be dealt with. Farms are mostly owned or controlled by a handful of large corporations anyway.
How is farm redistribution remotely "easier"? It needs to be handed off to very specifically skilled people in a vital industry. Maybe there's some political/propaganda reason that makes it the more obvious focus but the practicalities make redistribution of urban lots the easier effort I would think.
  #40  
Old 08-15-2018, 11:02 AM
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How is farm redistribution remotely "easier"?
Farms generally haven't been bulldozed down and had high-class developments and universities built on them in the 40-50 years since originally being expropriated without compensation*?

* Yeah, let's not pretend "expropriation without compensation" is something recent, that only leftist brown people do, shall we? Or I dunno, maybe there's a different name for it when White Rightists do it?

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  #41  
Old 08-15-2018, 11:19 AM
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Farms generally haven't been bulldozed down and had high-class developments and universities built on them in the 40-50 years since originally being expropriated without compensation*?

* Yeah, let's not pretend "expropriation without compensation" is something recent, that only leftist brown people do, shall we? Or I dunno, maybe there's a different name for it when White Rightists do it?
Are you saying it's ok to do it now because it was done in the past? I don't think anyone is pretending that this stuff didn't happen before. It's not just 'leftist brown people' who have done it...many leftist white people have done it all over the world. And many rightist white people too. And many yellow and brown people of various political stripes have done it too.

Because one group does it doesn't make it right that another group does. Nor is it a smart thing to do, in any case, whether it's right or wrong. From a pragmatic perspective, it's kind of stupid to do this today, and it was kind of stupid for them to have done it in the past as well. All it does is sew the seeds for future nastiness.
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  #42  
Old 08-15-2018, 11:45 AM
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A more important question is - should you get to freely pass on your stolen wealth to your own kids? If farmers are essentially in possession of stolen property (stolen by their own grandfathers), do they still get to enrich their descendants off that theft? In perpetuity? I don't think "I stole it, I get to keep it" has been a part of any sensible jurisprudence since, oh, before Hammurabi (It's different for governments, of course).

And before anyone brings up that they likely improved the land they stole - "I stole it, then I polished it, so I should get to keep it" doesn't sound any better than the short version.
I understand your point, but there has to be, for lack of a better term, a statute of limitations on this stuff. If it happened to you, or you remember it in your life? Then yes, that deserves some compensation/correction. If it is a matter of us sitting in Starbucks and we realize that one of our ancestors screwed the other person's ancestors over in 1878, then there has to be some "no harm no foul" doctrine come into place sometime, right?

I mean, history is filled with conquest. What year should we go back to which was the ideal and fair year where property and money was fairly divided and in the hands of who it should be in the hands of?

Should white people in the United States sail off back to Europe and let the Native Americans have it all in the name of doing what is right?
  #43  
Old 08-15-2018, 11:50 AM
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Farms generally haven't been bulldozed down and had high-class developments and universities built on them in the 40-50 years since originally being expropriated without compensation*?

* Yeah, let's not pretend "expropriation without compensation" is something recent, that only leftist brown people do, shall we? Or I dunno, maybe there's a different name for it when White Rightists do it?
So a farm is easier to hand over than a high class development? Will there be any serious national problems if the newbie owners suck at being property managers of a high class development? I can only imagine you mean farms are easier because there's less cash involved or something?
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Old 08-15-2018, 11:53 AM
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Should white people in the United States sail off back to Europe and let the Native Americans have it all in the name of doing what is right?
IMO, America as a state/nation should take responsibility for the incredibly poor plight so many Native Americans find themselves in, and take drastic action to rectify it. It's no coincidence that the two groups that were treated by far the worst in American history -- Native Americans and black Americans -- fare the worst in nearly every statistical indicator.
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:00 PM
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One enormous difference between the US and ZA is the amount of aboriginal peoples left; this shouldn't be taken as proposing a South African trail of tears. The ways you compensate a group which happens to still be the majority of the population, and one which is a clear and distinct minority, should be different because the situation is very different.
  #46  
Old 08-15-2018, 03:03 PM
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Expropriation of private means of production has been done many times in the past - and is usually followed by economic failure as people realize that the old owners were part of an ecosystem of information sharing and local knowledge and best peactices, and the new owners tend to be those with political pull rather than specialized knowledge. And even if they are people who know how to farm they know nothing about the specifics of the farm they just expropriated.

If there is widespread seizing of farms in South Africa, I predict a substantial drop in agricultural output.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 08-15-2018 at 03:04 PM.
  #47  
Old 08-15-2018, 03:54 PM
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Pretty much all advocates of some sort of redistributing justice (including reparations in the US) believe it's necessary for current and ongoing oppression and injustice, as well as past oppression of the living, in addition to past injustices of the dead.
You can't repair what has been done to the dead. They're dead.

OK, for instance, Amerindians are still in a bad situation by comparison to the rest of the US population. They have a legitimate claim over the whole of the USA. What would be a legitimate redistribution?
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  #48  
Old 08-15-2018, 03:58 PM
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You can't repair what has been done to the dead. They're dead.

OK, for instance, Amerindians are still in a bad situation by comparison to the rest of the US population. They have a legitimate claim over the whole of the USA. What would be a legitimate redistribution?
If you'd like to discuss reparations, I'd be happy to take part in a focused thread. Sorry for hinting at a hijack.
  #49  
Old 08-15-2018, 04:48 PM
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A more important question is - should you get to freely pass on your stolen wealth to your own kids? If farmers are essentially in possession of stolen property (stolen by their own grandfathers), do they still get to enrich their descendants off that theft? In perpetuity? I don't think "I stole it, I get to keep it" has been a part of any sensible jurisprudence since, oh, before Hammurabi (It's different for governments, of course).

As I already wrote, my first thought is that neither the descendant of the thief nor the descendant of the victim would be existing if history had been different. If your parents have been deported to Auschwitz, for instance, and you were yourself born in 1950, you haven't been victimized by the holocaust. Had the holocaust not happened, you wouldn't be better off : you just wouldn't have been born.


But apart from that, the first problem is : how far back do you go? You obviously can't redress all past wrongs, so where do you stop and why? You take away my farm because great granddad stole the land from African natives. OK, fine. Now a different group shows that this land had been taken away one century before by the people I stole it from from a different group of the same ethnicity. I assume the land should now go to their descendants. Now, history shows that this whole ethnic group moved in two centuries before, and displaced another ethnic group whose descendants are now living in terrible conditions in a different country across the border. Should they be allowed in South Africa and given the land their ancestors owned? Why or why not? The Zulus are originally invaders who took land away from the natives more or less at the same time when Europeans took land away from Amerindians. If someone belongs to an ethnicity who was living in what is now South Africa before the Zulus came in, should he get Zulu land? Why or why not? "I stole it (or rather, one of my ancestors stole it), I get to keep it" shouldn't apply to them either.

The second is : who "pays"? Let's say I stole land from native africans. My first son made his farm prosper, my second son sold his share of the inheritance and started a successful business, my third son blowed all his inheritance on cocaine and hookers. Nowadays, my great grandsons by my first son are wealthy landowners, those by my second son are wealthy industrialists, those by my third son are impoverished blue collars. Who should pay? At which point exactly does the situation becomes : "even though you have done nothing wrong, and aren't even benifiting from the "original sin", you still should be paying for what your close or remote ancestors did?"
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  #50  
Old 08-15-2018, 05:00 PM
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Expropriation of private means of production has been done many times in the past - and is usually followed by economic failure as people realize that the old owners were part of an ecosystem of information sharing and local knowledge and best peactices, and the new owners tend to be those with political pull rather than specialized knowledge. And even if they are people who know how to farm they know nothing about the specifics of the farm they just expropriated.

If there is widespread seizing of farms in South Africa, I predict a substantial drop in agricultural output.
So did this happen back in the old days when the whites were expropriating farms in South Africa? I guess we've moved past whether it would be FAIR to expropriate farms and businesses to whether it would be efficient.

And sure, it very easily might not be efficient. Although in cases where the landowners just extract rents from the actual farmers who have the actual specialized knowledge of how farms work, it could be the opposite.

So in cases where there is was a systemic past injustice, but the exact perpetrators and beneficiaries and victims of that injustice are hard to identify after all this time, specific restorative justice can be kind of difficult. So one solution is generalized restorative justice. You don't have to specifically expropriate the land of some guy who inherited his land from his white grandfather who chased off the former owners at gunpoint with the approval of the government. But how about a more general approach, like say, higher taxes on everyone to pay for restorative justice for everyone?

But in the actual case of South Africa, it's not so far in the dead past that we can't find specific perpetrators and specific victims. It's not hundreds of years ago that this stuff all happened. It was 1994.
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