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6 May 1994. Thought for the Week: 'There is a complete inevitability about the horrors to come (in South Africa) . the realisation will grow (in the years ahead) that white settlement was just an interlude . There is no hope for Africa, no hope at all. And in the end we are going to leave the Africans to their fate. Why don't we just cut the crap, and say so now?"
Matthew Pains (journalist), in The Times (London), April 11th
THE "NEW SOUTH AFRICA" TIME BOMB
by David Thompson
Reports from London indicate that the bankers are poised to "swoop" on South Africa, and snap up rich assets starved of operating capital when sanctions were declared upon the resource rich South Africa. South Africa produces 27% of the world's gold, but even more important is the near monopoly of manganese, platinum and chrome ore. Here is a treasure house starved of capital, and the multinational banks intend to cash in.
It is in the interests of banking groups and multi-national companies to see that the Government of National Unity survives to provide sufficient stability for the treasure house to be exploited. So, as Mr. John Stone notes in his Financial Review (29/4/94) column: 'The I.M.F., the World Bank and many Western governments, including our own, will provide external aid of one kind or another to try to avert the potential disaster that all of them have had a hand in shaping."
Such aid will be critical in controlling the other major force acting upon the G.N.U.: 31 million blacks with high expectations from "democracy". As in other parts of Africa where "the vote" has been hailed as a panacea for poverty and starvation, the various tribes of the new South Africa will find that "the vote" cannot be eaten, worn, lived in or ridden upon. It can be 'cast', and once cast in a system of majority rule the results must then be endured.
As John Stone implies, to his credit, Australia has had a hand in forcing this situation. Almost as soon as he was defeated in 1983, Malcolm Fraser was appointed to a cabal of "eminent" Commonwealth people, who pronounced that South Africa must have "majority rule". Having learned nothing from the disasters that he helped shape in Rhodesia, Fraser dogmatically followed the liberal/Marxist 'line' that the apartheid system must be smashed, and all injustice salved with "the vote".
MAJORITY RULE AND DEMOCRACY
The G.N.U. is scheduled to last for five years before, presumably, a second election will be held in South Africa. Black hopes for "majority rule" are high, because "democracy" is held to be synonymous with freedom, both political and economic. When the first experiments in democracy were made in ancient Greece, majority rule had some relationship to freedom, because the Greek city-state was numerically small, and most important of all, racially homogeneous. Neither is the case in South Africa. Already some of the minority groups in South Africa are afraid that "majority rule" may hold hope for "the majority", but not for others.
The Cape Republican Movement, made up of mixed-race and whites living in the Cape Town region, had their own form of self-rule between 1652 and 1910. Now they say they want their country back! Spokesman Tim Miller says, "We want to live in a country where minorities are protected, and free enterprise is encouraged..." The G.N.U. cannot provide such guarantees, either for coloureds, whites or the Zulus.
THE A.N.C. GOVERNMENT
For any clue to the stability of the G.N.U., the philosophical pedigree of the A.N.C. must be studied. It is avowedly and unapologetically Marxist. This is played down only in order to calm fearful whites who must continue to run the infrastructure, and potential foreign investors. Joe Slovo, leader of the S.A. Communist Party, is a major force in the A.N.C. It was Slovo's idea to frame an interim constitution including a power sharing agreement with the whites. Any student of Marxism knows that this is only a temporary arrangement until all power can be grabbed.
Other key posts in the A.N.C. Government are certain to be filled by a new breed of pragmatic young black Marxists, educated in Moscow or other centres of learning. For example, Pallo Jordan, head of the A.N.C's. Department of Information, was trained at the London School of Economics, and is reported to regard the Communist Party as dangerously right wing.
The A.N.C's. own record in "human rights" inspires
anything but confidence. Allegations of torture, embezzlement, and intimidation
have been either covered up, or explained away as the products of a
desperate people living in oppression. After the Shell House massacre
in Johannesburg on March 28th, in which Zulu demonstrators were shot,
David Beresford wrote: 'There was something particularly disturbing
about those lying next to A.N.C. headquarters on that sunny Monday morning.
Above them towered a skyscraper housing the organisation acclaimed as
the champion of the black oppressed. And at its foot lay the black oppressed
the building's occupants had just shot
Other matters have been covered up, including the suppression of an A.N.C. report that its own social welfare department was mismanaged by Winnie Mandela and her lover. A leaked copy of the report described "a litany of corruption and abuse of office". Mrs. Mandela is accused of defrauding the A.N.C. of tens of thousands of rand, but was then placed in charge of the A.N.C. Women's League, and given a prominent place on the A.N.C. ticket for the ballot. It is expected that Mrs. Mandela will be offered a Cabinet position, the likely portfolio being Social Welfare.
Majority rule has caused endless misery in African countries. It is a betrayal of African people that it should be forced upon them again. Perhaps Matthew Parris ('Thought for the Week") is right. As John Stone notes, any foreign aid to South Africa will easily be matched by many desperate whites spiriting their capital out in any way they can. The South African time bomb continues to tick.
"THE MARKET" IS OUT OF OUR CONTROL
The Treasurer, Mr. Willis, is expected to bring down a budget this week, in an environment where the market is described as "nervous". Although the inflation figures were favourable last week - showing a theoretical rate of 1.4% - the market is "worried" about inflation rising, and interest rates increasing to counter "inflationary" increases in the money supply. The Prime Minister was annoyed with the market, and one headline read: "P.M. lashes Market as C.P.I. falls".
The truth is that framing budgets of any value to Australians is now impossible, since Mr. Keating, as Treasurer in 1984, moved to deregulate "the market". All this means is that since banking was deregulated and the dollar "floated", the Australian Government has little control over financial conditions in Australia.
Foreign influences are now enormous. If Mr. Greenspan, of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, increases interest rates by one quarter of one percent, as he has done three times now, "the market" goes berserk in Australia. 'The market" has become a completely unpredictable law unto itself. The latest advice coming from the economic gurus of the United States is that the study of psychology can throw considerable light on apparently inexplicable "market" behaviour.
There are few absolutes in such a chaotic financial environment. One of these absolutes is unemployment, and as we go to press, the White Paper on unemployment is not expected to produce any useful suggestions on how it could be minimised. It is expected that, for electoral purposes, the Prime Minister will promise to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into employment projects, without any indication of where the money will come from. That will be left to the Budget this week. The ''market'' will not be impressed.
It is only occasionally that a shaft of sanity penetrates the madness of conventional economics. Late in April, Dr. Evan Jones, addressing the Sydney Conservative Speakers Club, stated quite bluntly that, as is widely believed, the unemployment rate of about 10% is only the official figure. The real figure, says Jones, is more likely about 17%. In a scathing assessment of his peers, Dr. Jones charged that conventional economics has failed, and that no answers can be expected from a profession that monopolises all economic thought and advice, and rigorously crushes all dissent within the "profession".
It was Dr. Jones who was quoted in The Bulletin in 1991, as saying that economists should cease to be employed as media columnists, and in the long term should cease to be employed altogether. Comparing economists with prickly pear and the cane toad, Jones said, "Extinction is a worthy end for a profession whose brief is rotten to the core.
Jones suggests that some new ideas be tried, instead of mimicking failures in other countries. He spoke at the opening of The Other Economic Summit last November in Sydney, sharing a platform with Professor John Hotson, visiting from the United States. While in Australia, Hotson was asked about Social Credit, and replied that Douglas' analysis had always been correct.
A completely new approach to credit and debt is required. To begin, Hotson suggests municipal authorities be offered long-term credits, created by the State at no interest. This, at least, is a step in the right direction.
The professional economists insist that economics is an exact science, like physics and that "the market" is rational in that it responds to fundamental, empirical information. If this is so, then unemployment-induced poverty is actually good. This is rubbish. Governments have a responsibility to ensure that the disadvantaged are protected from such forces as "the market". Some form of financial regulation is essential to protect Australians from global markets.
FEARFUL ALIEN NATION
from Herald-Sun (Melbourne), April 29th
"Surely it is the first duty and responsibility of every democratically elected Australian government to uphold the rights of their electorate, expressed at the ballot box. "When a party's election platform has included a specific policy position, it has a clear mandate to pursue that policy, once elected. 'In the case of Tasmania, the retention of existing laws on homosexuality happened to form part of the present Government's public election platform. 'That Government has a clear mandate, then, to carry out the will of their electorate on this matter.
"By trying to invoke the ruling of a non-elected U.N. committee, the Federal Government is trying to impose a foreign decision that tramples over the rights of the majority of Tasmanians. 'Yet it was not part of the Keating/Labor Party manifesto to usurp State rights, if elected. "It seems to many of us at the grassroots in Australia that the present Federal Labor Government, along with a majority of 'leaders and commentators' (Michael Lavarch, Herald-Sun, April 16) do not support the Tasmanian law. 'It's time that Labor (and the Coalition) sought the support of all Australians on the 'big picture' they have in mind, where the U.N. is concerned." (Concerned Australian, Box Hill, Victoria)
FAREWELL SOUTH AFRICA
from The Courier Mail, Brisbane. April
"South Africa, like its flag, will lose its name and disappear into history as will most normal, civilised standards. There will be no magical panaceas, no utopia. All the old divisions will remain and violence will intensify among the various black groupings.
'The do-gooders of this world - manipulated for
the gratification of the media - should hang their heads in shame as
a communist led, black majority takes over to place South Africa on
the road to the graveyard of African disasters north of the Limpopo..."
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