Saturday 27 August 2022

South Africa's Brave New World - A Book Review

South Africa's Brave New World ' The beloved country since the end of Apartheid', is a political history of South Africa from 1994 - 2009.  I'm a bit late to the party with this book having first been published back in 2009, but it has some very interesting information and insights. Normally a reviewer talks about the good, then the bad but I think I'm going to start with the bad, then move on to the good and finish with some minor criticisms. 

The book is far to long, it could have conveyed much of the same information in half the pages and the main reason that it go's on is because it is disorganised. I was interested in what befell the police and the army after Apartheid and he does talk about these things. But as short detours in the middle of chapters that are quite large, unfortunately this is a recurring theme. The book could have really used a Dramatis Personae or list of characters. So many names are mentioned, who then reappear chapters later in a new job, it is very confusing and could have been done better.

The glossary at the start of the book, where all glossary's should be, was a big help.

But I actually think that this book provided a good deal of insight into South Africa, the ANC and the period of ANC rule up until 2009. One insight that I found interesting is his assertion that South Africa has since independence in 1910 been ruled by a Nationalist ideology. The first from 1910-1947 was British Empire loyalty, the idea that South Africa was British or in South African terminology 'English'. Which was replaced between 1947-1990 with a Afrikaner nationalism, that replaced loyalty to the Empire to one of loyal to Volk, particularly the Afrikaner Volk. Which in turn was replaced in 1994 with a Black African nationalism, which continues. The period between 1990-94 was one where much of the Afrikaner nationalism was being dismantled. It is an interesting idea that the current government is more of a continuation than a new start. 

He also writes about the different factions within the ANC that made up the first government in 1994. The smallest but most prestigious were the prisoners like Mandela, the second largest were the Exiles, who had lived outside of South Africa. Most of these where Communists who believed in the revolution and in the inevitable destruction of Capitalism. The largest group by far, but at the same time the least prestigious as well as the least influential where the Inxiles, who had remained in South Africa. It was to be the Exiles who benefited the most from the end of Apartheid. They were organised and unlike the Inxiles disciplined enough to take control of most of the senior government positions as well as those in the ANC. In effect the Inxiles were frozen out of the victory that they had struggled for, 

My favourite subtitle heading in the book is 'Crony Capitalism for the Comrades' as it sums up in one little phrase what happened when Communists realised that they could be rich!

Because now that they were back in south Africa they did realise that now was the time to make up for the personal sacrifices that they had made. It also helped that they had seized the commanding heights of the government and the ANC. Which means that much of the history since 1994 has been the efforts of the Exiles to consolidate their position, not just in politics but in money. BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) was meant to be a way for Blacks to get a foothold on the economic ladder. Companies would need Blacks to in effect 'legitimise' them. Which meant that the companies wanted the most powerful and connected Blacks, people like the Exiles. Which came to mean that in reality BEE helped a few hundred families in a country of about 50 million people.

The author is scathing in his criticism of BEE and Affirmative Action, I don't recall him having anything good to say about them. The ANC is not far behind in his criticism. He regards Mandela as a popular non-entity, a man who came to power when he was too old to influence events. To be far he did influence the peaceful transfer of power and he did believe in the 'rainbow nation'. Most of his contempt is directed towards Zuma, both as Vice President and as President. He blames him for much of the mismanagement that occurred during those 15 years and while I don't disagree with him. I do feel that the ANC and it's structure is the real issue that has not been addressed and maybe never will be. 

What I find interesting is that he is a Liberal and the Liberal promise of the end of Apartheid was that non-Whites would get to live the lives that Whites enjoyed. It was not that a new select group would arise and take the place of Apartheid, or that Apartheid in a new form would be enacted. But he realises that that is exactly what has happened. He also writes about how galling it has been to see the future that he wanted for South Africa not appear but that the 'racists' as he calls them were right. South Africa has become a richer version of the rest of Black Africa, a kleptocracy were theft is the reason that you go into government. mismanagement and race baiting.     

Part of the problem is that as a Liberal he keeps trying to be race blind and it is interesting to see him struggle with what he believes and what he can see with his own eyes. Africa is not just a product of it's past but also of it's present. The civilization that covers the world is not African it's European, which means that they are trying to government under the rules of someone else's civilization. The truth is that if South Africa was an all White country, it would be a lot more successful than if it was an all Black country, even if those Blacks were of the same ethnic group.

I want to leave you with an excerpt from the book about his attending an Anti-Racism conference in South Africa, September 2001. (p.350)

'Indigenous people' were invited from all over the world and the cause of ethnic minorities anywhere in the West was taken up with great indignation. Arriving in Durban for the conference, I found what could only be described as a crazed millenarian expectation and furious blaming. Black Americans, Roma, Inuit and many other minorities were there in strength and were all, apparently, angry. Even many of the whites attending the conference were anti-white. A great theme was the rights of indigenous peoples but this did not seem to work at all. Thus whites were condemned for colonialism abroad, and were also blamed for not making ex-colonial people welcome enough in their own countries. I asked many delegates whether there was anywhere that whites had rights as indigenous people themselves. There was apparently no such place.


Tuesday 23 August 2022

Feminists Love Capitalism

When we think of a Feminist we think of someone who is on the Left. Someone who supports radical ideas. In the 1800's they supported the abolition of slavery and the prohibition of alcohol. But one idea that they always seem to have supported and that you hear them talk about today is Socialism. They love collectivism, they love the idea of people working together without the profit motive, without people getting rich at other peoples expense, coupled with the idea of wealth redistribution. However there is a fly in that ointment.

If you take a look at the modern Capitalist economy you notice that it supports and propagates Feminist ideas. It does even more than that, it it filled with women living the ideal Feminist lifestyle, many of whom will tell you that they are Feminists. How is it that Feminists are so happy to be a part of Capitalism? 

I think the answer lies not in ideology but in women's nature. One of the interesting things about the division of sex into male and female is how each sex has different roles in life. One of the primary male roles is being a provider, providing economic resources that keeps the rest of his family alive. Whether in goods or in the form of money. The role of the female is to manage those resources, to put it another way she is a collectivist, someone who redistributes resources. The man provides, the women manages.

Which means that Socialism is a natural fit for women, they understand many of the basic concepts without even needing to think about it. It is simply the family upscaled to the entire society. In fact once women gained the vote the electorate took a turn to the left, where it has continued to go ever since. Although to be fair it only accelerated a process that was already underway. But at the same time there is a contradiction and that is that women manage the resources of their own family, not of other peoples families. So there are two powerful forces at work each struggling against the other. Women believe simultaneously all of society should act like a family, but that society should never take away resources from my family.

In the real world most women aren't Socialists, but they are sympathetic towards the idea.

Women also have mixed feels about Capitalism, they don't like the competitive nature of the beast, but they do like the results. It does something that they greatly admire and that is that it provides resources. Before Liberalism decided that it loved Feminism, something that it didn't always, men received those resources and they in turn gave them to women. The natural order was upheld. Over the past 50 years that order has been actively subverted, increasingly women have received those resources directly. Leading many women to believe that they don't need men.

At the same time while Liberalism said loudly that the thing that made Capitalism better than Socialism was it's competitive nature, competition was being curtailed. Today we live under Crony Capitalism, competition is increasingly side lined in favour of winners being picked. 

So far that has not meant a decrease in resources and while those resources keep coming in then women will continue to see Capitalism as something that they can get behind. Which includes Feminists.

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Tuesday 16 August 2022

Are Words Magical?

The Z Man has written about this as have I at various times, but it's a point that I thought should be highlighted again. The people who rule over us, the people who think they are our betters are highly educated, I would say highly overeducated. They do not think like you or I, or like most people because they believe that words are reality. That if you say or write something that that can and does override reality. Like writing a new computer program. 

But believing that words can change reality is a concept that goes back to Prehistory and we all know the name of this concept, it's called magic. 

One of the sub-concepts within magic is the ability to use words to change or control reality, we call these spells. Think about what we hear from the media, from government, businesses, churches and from the overeducated. We hear phrases repeated, we hear how they want the world to be not how the world is, we hear words that have solid meanings used in new and bizarre ways. All of these are attempts to change reality by changing words or by changing the combination of words, these are a form of magic, a spell. It has long been believed that the right words or sounds can produce magic. 

I don't want to push this idea to far, but it is important to understand that what they believe is not rational, even though it has a logic to it. It is magical thinking, that words can change reality. But it also fits right into an overeducated world. At school words matter, words decide how you get ahead. A better writer will get higher grades and respect than a not so good writer. They will also get better opportunities, which if you have struggled to get you don't want to pass up. So you accept ideas that are magical, you try to fit in and you do something that we told is wrong but that we all do anyway. You look down on others and while you talk about equality and inclusion, you discriminate and exclude those who do not think as you have learnt to think.  

The overeducated tell us that they love science but to them science serves the same purpose as magic. It allows them to justify their beliefs, but you might have noticed that they also use this to negate things that they don't believe. They also use science as a way to test for heresy, to keep their side in line and to keep unbelievers out. Because words create their reality.

Which is why they seek to stop others from speaking, it is not just that it offends them, it is also that they don't want to be seduced by someone else's spell. When they say that such and such a person or philosophy should not be allowed to speak they believe that these rival spell's should not be cast. That they should not be allowed to change reality because that is their right, no one else's.

So are words magic?

In a sense yes, but if you accept that as the only reality then you have missed the mark. All writers, such as I, believe that words have magic, that we can changes peoples minds simply by using words. That in a sense we can change reality or at least the perception of reality with mere words. We have all had the experience of being enchanted by a phrase in a song, poem, book. Some people will even tell you that a particular book changed their lives. In some sense the ability to write your thoughts and have people read them in some far away place or time is a type of magic.

But can you really change reality by thought or words?

The answer is of cause yes and no, you are more likely to succeed at a task or endeavour if you are positive about it. But you can be positive and still fail. It might increase your chances but it does not guarantee anything. 

In another sense words do change our reality, take the word 'gender' for example. It has replaced the much older and accurate word 'sex'. Sex refers to your biology, which no matter how much you interfere with you cannot change. But gender is a social construct, in other words it's made up. You can have 500 genders, you can change it and you combine it because it's not real. But today many people, including older people who really should know better, use gender as if it means sex. Which has helped spread the trans confusion. An example of words changing reality, at least for some.

We see this repeated over and over again, whereby words have their meaning in popular culture changed. But there is absolutely a limit to how much words can change reality. No matter how often or elegantly I write about how crime should end, it will not. Words, not mine not anyone's, can change reality that much. For the overeducated that lesson is still to be learnt.

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Friday 12 August 2022

Trump And The New Watergate

Politically the other President that President Trump resembles the most is President Kennedy , they were both Classical Liberals. But to the broad Left he resembles President Nixon, a figure that they love to hate, just like President Trump.

On the 8th August 2022 the FBI raided President Trumps home in Florida and the question has been why?

Officially the answer has been that he took documents, including classified documents, from the White House when he left office. In the discussion's that have taken place since the raid it seems that the law isn't as clear as it should be, as every President since 1977, when the law was passed has had this exact same issue. Apart from President Trump no search warrants have been sort or given and no FBI raids have been conducted, so why is this different?

Because the broad Left want President Trump to have his Watergate moment. When President Nixon was forced to resign, which was humiliating and it was the end of his political career. He effectively vanished from the scene and it was years before he reappeared and years more before his reputation was repaired. President Trump however has not gone away and everything that they hate about him is still around. If he had a Watergate moment whereby he was forced to admit that he was wrong, then he would lose his reputation and be forced by public opinion to disappear from public sight. The raid seems to be part of that agenda, just as going after his supporters and those who worked for him has been. 

But why do they hate him so much?

- He used to be one of them and your not allowed to leave the cult

- He turned against President Obama

- He sided with the Republicans

- He was rich

- He was only allowed to be famous because he was entertaining and he got above his station

- He said things that are not allowed to be said in polite society anymore, things that they feel should be illegal to say

-  He demonstrated that there was a lot more resistance to their ideas than they ever imagined

- He became the figurehead of the resistance to their ideas

- He refused to understand that he wasn't in charge 

- He said that the people who cheated in the election, cheated

- He has refused to go away

- He continues to inspire people through his rallies

- He continues to say things that they believe should be illegal to say

- He keeps hinting that he will rerun for President

- Ironically they hate him because they can't stop thinking about him

If something is found and he can be charged with a criminal offence, even a minor one, then they can disqualify him from office and call him a crook. If you remember they tried this when he was President with their constant impeachment threats. Which means that this might be a fishing expedition where law enforcement 'fish' for evidence, maybe they get a 'bite' and maybe they don't but you won't find out if you don't go fishing. 

Many are now suggesting that this raid has been a foolish move, that it has energised President Trump and his base. However the raid was designed to reenergise the Lefts base, to get them excited that his days may be numbered and to remind them that he exists. Hilary Clinton is already using this to raise funds. I also wonder if this is designed to get him to run, either because they believe that by hook or by crook that they can beat him, or to force the oxygen out of other Republican candidates. 

 What is clear is that no other former President has been raided and that this highlights the way that the law and law enforcement has been corrupted. It also puts a spotlight on why people are losing their trust in government and in the institutions of government. Both of which can only lead to a dark and dangerous place.

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Thursday 11 August 2022

The One Hundred And Thirteenth Month

Apart from low energy and sleeping longer, I no longer have Covid. I got my taste back and things are mostly back to normal. I have had a good month, although about half of that has been in the last week. I wish Blogger gave better information, all it tells me is that they are American, use Linux and that the website that they came from was 'other'...which is not very helpful.

Over the past month I have had 3,933 visitors, my worst day was the 20th July when I had 16 visitors and my best was the 6th August when I had 602 visitors. 

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Wednesday 3 August 2022

Women And The Army - The Slippery Slope

I wanted a way to highlight the problem of the Slippery Slope, the process by which things move in only one direction. How each thing builds upon the next thing and leads further and further until we are left wondering how did things get this bad. 

In Western armies women did not serve in any official capacity until the 1850's. Women were however present with nearly every army, they were a good portion of what were called 'camp followers'. Camp followers were all those people who followed the army camp and included wife's and children of the soldiers, girlfriends, prostitutes and all manner of men and women who thought that they could make money off of either the army or the soldiers. While they did not wear uniforms, were not paid by the army, did not fight and were rarely subject to military discipline. Women performed valuable service for the army, they took care of the sick and wounded, they found supplies for the army and they cooked. laundered and cleaned. 

During the 1800's that began to change as armies decided that they needed their own permanent supply systems, complete with all of the facilities that it would require in war. Women were no longer allowed to follow the armies. But at the same time that this was happening another thing was allowing women into the army. Before the 1850's most armies medical care was very rudimentary. Each regiment had it's own doctor and he had some staff and that was about it. During the Crimean War, the British army decided to sent female nurses to treat the wounded. This was not a popular decision as female nurses had a very bad reputation, one women was to change that, Florence Nightingale. Her efforts helped save many of the sick and wounded British soldiers during the war. 

The American Civil War saw more female nurses serve and while women were kept as far from the fighting as possible it now became accepted that women had a small place within armies. In WWI women's role's increased as the armies grew to an enormous size. The demand for manpower grew and grew, men were needed in the armed forces, in industry and in agriculture. The demand was so great that women were sort to fill any role that they could do so that a man would become available for military service. By 1917 that included Auxiliary military units, who wore uniforms, were paid by the government and were subject to military discipline, but they were not strictly part of the armed forces. They carried out roles far from the front and many were in what were regarded as women's jobs, such as Telephonists. Although they also did jobs that were regarded as men's work but which women could physically do, like clerking and other office based jobs. Just to give an example of how these positions were regarded, women who joined the US military were not regarded as soldiers, were not given medals and did not get pension rights until 1977.  At the end of the war all of these units were disbanded as a war time necessary. But it was a further move on the slippery slope.

Even before WWII began new women's services were created, like before they were to take over jobs so that men could be made available, not just for military service, but for combat. Because unlike in WWI the roles that women performed was greatly expanded, they were still to be kept away from combat, but now they did many technical tasks, mechanic, drivers, flying aircraft between North America and Britain, within Britain flying newly built aircraft from the factories to military airfields. Each country had it's own way of doing things.

In Germany women services were created, even though women were supposed to be wives and mothers only.

In Britain women served in mixed sex Anti-Aircraft batteries in semi-combat roles, men operated the guns, but women did the range finding and other tasks within the unit. In 1943 as the manpower shortage bit deep, women were conscripted for the first time in history. Unmarried women without children were liable for call up. Unlike men, women who were called up had a choice, they could serve in the Women's Land Army, in approved industrial jobs or in the women's services. Of those who served in the women's services very few served outside of Britain and while they were subject to military discipline, they were not treated as harshly as men were. If a women decide that she had had enough and wanted to go home, officially she was not allowed to, unofficially if she left they simply discharged her. If a man tried that it he would find himself in the infamous 'Glasshouse', the British armies military prison. 

The most interesting of women's service was in the Soviet army. At the start of the war there were no women in the Soviet army. But women lobbied to serve just as they had in other countries during WWII. The Soviets had plans to create over 50 Brigades of women, that's roughly 150,000 women but in the end they didn't even create one. They did however create 3 air regiments that were all female and they were combat units. Two were equipped with very modern aircraft, the third was given obsolete biplanes. These aircraft flew at night as they would have been destroyed if they had flown during the day. They would turn off their engines  and glide so that they could attack ground targets by surprise and then turn them back on after they had dropped their bombs. The Germans called them the Night Witches as it sounded like a witches cackle when they turned their engines back on. 

Most women served as first aiders, clerks and signal personnel and it was common for women to serve in otherwise all male units as specialists. Although the most famous Soviet soldiers were snipers, the number of these women was small, a few hundred. They received a great deal of attention both during and after the war, but it is interesting that as the war went on there is less and less information about them. 

The other combat task that women did was in the last year or so of the war to serve as drivers of the T-34 tanks. The drivers compartment was tiny and short men were the only ones who could serve in that role. But as the war went on there were less and less of these men, so women were called upon to fill that role. Again it is interesting that it is such a very specific role, women, at least officially, did not service in other tanks or in other roles within the T-34. At the end of the war women were discharged from the Soviet army and except for medical roles women did not serve during the Cold War.

I would like to tell you two small stories from Australia. In 1944 Australia's Prime Minister had a meeting with an Australian General, after the meeting he walked the General to his car. The driver got out of the car and opened the door for the General, the Prime Minister was shocked and exclaimed 'But she's a women!' Traditionally men open doors for women, women don't open doors for men. The General replied 'No Prime Minister she's a soldier!' 

In 1945 just after the war in the Pacific had ended the head of the Australian Army Nursing Service decided that she would fly and meet the Australian nurses who had been prisoners of the Japanese. She was shocked at how badly the POW nurses looked after their captivity. However they were also shocked at the appearance of the head nurse, she was wearing pants. Before the war respectable women didn't wear pants, men wore pants and women wore skirts or dresses. More motion on that slippery slope.

Unlike the Soviets, the Wests military leaders really liked the women services. Women who volunteered for military serve were generally highly educated, intelligent with low levels of ill discipline. They were generally middle class, where as most military personal were working class. Here was a segment of the population that served in wartime but not in peacetime and if they were female instead of male that had it's problems but it also had it's advantages. The military pushed hard to retain the women's services and they won. Women continued to serve during the Cold War. During WWII the vast majority of women did not serve outside of their own country. But after the war that changed, women now served overseas just as male personnel did. Another move on the slippery slope.

At many memorial services today you will often heard something along the lines of 'our men and women' who served or died and it gives off a very wrong impression. Now I do not want to give the impression that a women dying in war is not worth remembrance, it is, but the numbers should also be kept in perspective. 

In Vietnam around 2,500,000 Americans served and 58,000 died, of those 11,000 who served were women and 8 of them died, nearly 90% of the women served as nurses. A further 61 American women, all civilians, died in Vietnam, 38 of them in a plane crash in 1975 during Operation Babylift

520 Australians died in the Vietnam War, 1 of them was female, she was diagnosed with leukaemia while serving as a nurse in Vietnam, she died in Sydney, Australia. I should say that if she had been a man his name would also be included. I only want to put this into perspective.

But just as things were happening in Vietnam things were happening outside of Vietnam. In this case Feminism, which said that anything a man can do women should be able to do as well. So from the 1970's there grew a push for the roles that women did within the military to be expanded and for the end of the women's services. Today there are no women's services, they have all been disbanded and women reassigned to army units. At that time they were still forbidden from serving in combat, although in most countries women are now allowed to serve in combat units. But rarely do.

In Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Syria between 2001- 2021 152 American women died. below are those who died in 2009.


  1. Sgt. Simone Robinson, 21, IED attack in Kabul on Feb. 28, single mother of two year-old daughter, Mar. 1, 2009.
  2. Navy Lt. Florence B. Choe, 35, killed by Afghan soldier while running at Camp Shaheen, Mazar-e-Sharif, 3 year-old daughter, March 27, 2009.
  3. Air Force Lt. Roslyn L. Schulte, 25, IED hit on vehicle near Kabul, May 20, 2009.
  4. Air Force Senior Airman Ashton L.M. Goodman, 21, IED hit on vehicle near Bagram AFB, May 26, 2009.
  5. Staff Sgt. Tara J. Smith, 33, non-combat related incident under investigation, mother of two boys, 8 and 6, August 4, 2009.
  6. Sgt. Eduviges G. Wolf, 24, RPG attack on vehicle, wife and mother of two girls, ages 3 and 1, October 22, 2009.


  1. Spc. Jessica Y. Sarandrea, 22, mortar fire on forward operating base near Mosul, Mar. 3, 2009
  2. Staff Sgt. Army C. Tirador, 29, non-combat incident near Kirkush, Nov. 4, 2009.
  1. Pfc. Cwislyn K. Walter, 19, non-combat related, near Kuwait City, Feb. 19, 2009.
Mother of two year old daughter, 3 year old daughter, mother of two boys, 8 and 6, wife and mother of two girls, ages 3 and 1. These were not women killed in attacks on their homeland, these were women who were deployed into harms way. 

This is were the slippery slope has taken us and we are not off the slippery slope. The slope is still here and it is still slippery and it will lead us on to further horrors. Horrors which our rulers call progress.

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