Atlas Shrugged in South Africa

Kevin V. writes:

The Los Angeles Times has one of those “the struggle for social justice continues in South Africa” stories. It has all the characters out of central casting. An old Afrikaner, an old farm, and a young black and his government working on separating the two.

In that regard, nothing unusual. But, buried deep down in the story is the following:

Even so, the effect on the country’s agricultural economy has not been overwhelmingly positive. Whereas the global trend is toward larger, more commercially successful farms, South Africa is breaking many of its large farms into smaller, less economically efficient pieces to meet the claims of new black farmers.

Partly as a result, South Africa in the last year has gone from a net exporter of food to a net importer. And, in another worrying trend, some of the whites who sold their farms have been recruited by other African countries, where their skills are much in demand. Now once-impoverished countries such as Mozambique are becoming more self-sufficient—and taking a share of South Africa’s export market.

Piet Kemp is the regional manager for the Transvaal Agricultural Union, which represents mostly white farmers in the province that includes the Meyer farm. He is skeptical of many of the land claims.

“You have a family that has farmed for 150 years and then you have a guy who worked on the farm for 12 or 15 years suddenly making a claim,” he says. “It’s not right. But in the end, many farmers don’t want to fight, so they sell.”

In some cases, whites have sold their farms without a fight because a neighboring property was divided into small pieces for multiple black owners; Kemp says the whites felt it would be too difficult to run their farm “next to a squatter camp.” In other cases, farmers have agreed to sell but the government has been slow to finalize the purchase.

“Much of the farming has come to a complete stop,” Kemp says. “In the end, we’ll be the same as Zimbabwe.”

Most telling in this passage is the American reporter’s characterization of white farmers simply leaving the country as “another worrying trend.” Why, exactly, is it worrying? They are free men and women, are they not? The new! improved! South Africa is a democracy, right?

Here we see the author’s unprincipled exception to his own liberalism. He mouths all the right words, says all the right things, but, at bottom, he acknowledges simply in passing that the departure of whites means ruin and disaster for the county.

Everyone knows this. No one is allowed to say it. And, so, the only quasi-functioning nation in sub-Saharan Africa, the engine that powers the feeble economics of that disastrous region, is itself slowly seizing up.

At which point, whites will be blamed and money will be sought from them to prop such countries and their miserable peoples up.

- end of initial entry -

Charles T. writes:

There is no arguing with liberals. If the whites stay in SA and have prosperous, successful farms, then they are oppressing the blacks who do not own land. If the whites leave, it is a worrying trend because the farming industry will fail in SA. Regardless of what the white business people do in SA, they will always be blamed for something by the liberal, self-hating whites in the media.

Stephen T. writes:

Funny how, when whites decide to immigrate away from a failing basket-case of a country, the media considers it “worrying” and stews over the possible ill effects of the out-flow on the race that’s left behind.

But when Mexicans bail out of their homeland to come where the whites are, we get rhapsodic articles with romantic titles like “Enrique’s Journey,” touting the wondrous benefits of ditching your country of origin, the universal “right to seek a better life,” and how very lucky is the country that’s on the receiving end of that glorious migration: family values, jobs nobody else can do, etc.

How come nobody says that about white migration?

LA replies:

Answer: Only nonwhites have moral value in themselves, while whites have moral value only in relation to how they treat nonwhites. If whites have the right relationship with nonwhites, they’re good; if they have the wrong relationship with nonwhites, they’re bad.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 22, 2008 02:01 AM | Send

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