This is what apartheid was all about in the first place

A quarter of a century ago black South Africans were living in squalor while most whites lived the good life in apartheid-era South Africa.
Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990 and four years later he took over as President from F W De Klerk and the pair shared the Nobel Peace Prize.
Apartheid – a grotesque and brutal form of government in which whites held all the power and blacks and other racial groups were segregated and oppressed – was condemned to the dustbin of history.
Nowadays there is a strange form of equality.
While the black South African middle class has grown and many live in big houses, with swimming pools and drive around in BMWs like their white peers; many poor whites live in squalid squatter camps just like their black peers.

South Africa always was, and still is by developed world standards, a low productivity economy. There’re thus going to be a lot of people who live pretty shitty lives in an economic sense. Apartheid was the structure which tried to make sure that who was decided upon the basis of skin colour (or race, description to your taste).

The whole point was not to make rich whites rich – it was to make sure that poor whites didn’t live like other Africans. And remove that racial distinction and there will be some whites living like other Africans. No, not because “Africans” but because it’s a low productivity economy and simply doesn’t generate enough income that all live those North Atlantic type economy lives.

One way of looking at this, an odd way to be sure, is that this is proof that apartheid has ended. When the privileged economic position that apartheid was meant to create no longer exists.

37 thoughts on “This is what apartheid was all about in the first place”

  1. You know they way we’re lectured by lefties that blacks can’t be racist because only people in a position of power over a minority can be racist, does that mean that white people in SA can’t be racist? Or have the leftards a convenient excuse so that even blacks when in power can’t be racist? I’ve never heard that explained by them.

  2. Dongguan – the selective appeal to history is one of the key weapons in the progs’ arsenal. You can see it at work when century old statues of Rhodes are oppressive but new statues of Shaka are inspiring.

    The structural narrative is that white people are the oppressors and ‘people of color’ are the oppressed. Reality doesn’t obtrude.

  3. Of courseif the Rainbow Nation hadn’t morphed into a kleptocracy with a spectacularly crap and corrupt education system there would be more to go around…

  4. In the book “The White Tribe of Africa” (a bit dated now but still well worth a read), apartheid is described as ethnic socialism. It was introduced by the Nationalists and supported by the white trade unions to protect poor whites.

  5. So why isn’t SA a first-world economy? Rubbish economic policy, one assumes; but which policies in particular are holding them back?

  6. Andrew M: The leader of the ANC has always been a senior member of the Communist Party which is why a negotiated settlement was only possible with the crumbling of hard communism post 1989. A lot of the problems flow from this.

    Key issues have been redistribution via BEE whereby the black “vanguard” have become extraordinarily wealthy by discounted share transfer in the largest companies of South Africa where they do not necessarily add value gained by experience to boards;
    the rise of the tenderpreneurs with political connections who hoover up all government contracts with variable delivery, kickbacks and margins: they are able to do this because the law requires that blacks be favoured;
    a truly awful and expensive education system in which the most qualified and experienced(ie white) teachers were paid to leave and be replaced by poorly trained, highly unionised black teachers to follow a new teaching method nobody understood;
    the failure to privatise state businesses(remember apartheid was socialism for white Afrikaners) such as electricity, telecommunications, rail, national airline: all of which are headed by political appointees and a mistressof the president, fail to deliver and suck up huge amounts of taxes;
    the loss of the discouraged white entrepreneurial and professional classes;
    first world model labour practices as regards hiring and firing and minimum wage legislation, leading to massive unemployment among the unskilled.

  7. “first world model labour practices as regards hiring and firing and minimum wage legislation,”

    That’s the one I zero in on. SA is a great example of what happens when the minimum wage is “too high”.

  8. TW

    I agree. countries at the stage of development of SA should not have minimum wages. There should be some minimum level of health and safety and a free market for labour.

  9. TIS

    Depends on whether they actually manage to grow. Poor quality policy choices plus resource curse and poisonous politics suggest not.

  10. Racism in SA isn’t merely denying someone a job or making them eat in a different caff.

    The racism practiced by persons of colour is that you kill Zulu and Bushmen.

    Of course, this is only temporary, as exemplified by the Bushmen.

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    No, not because “Africans” but because it’s a low productivity economy and simply doesn’t generate enough income that all live those North Atlantic type economy lives.

    Well yes, because they are Africans. Some Whites are simply not economically productive. They now live in poverty. But most Whites are highly productive. So White countries are besieged by everyone else fleeing their own dysfunction.

    To a first order approximation, the entire Black population of the world is not particularly economically productive. We can argue about why that is. I am most comfortable with a cultural explanation but it is what it is. Africans are poor because they are incapable of producing much.

    It is not as if production is external and separate from the culture it exists in and the individuals who create that culture.

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    ken – “IQ and development are endogenous. (eg causation is difficult to assess).”

    Causation is irrelevant. They cannot improve their IQs until they are richer and so can afford better diet, better medicine and better schools. But they cannot become richer until their average IQs improve. Countries with an average IQ of 80 cannot manage a modern economy.

    So there is no evidence that Africa is, can or will make any progress unless they import a ruling class.

    ken – “Depends on whether they actually manage to grow. Poor quality policy choices plus resource curse and poisonous politics suggest not.”

    Which brings us back to low IQs and poor culture. None of those factors, except perhaps the resource curse, is unconnected with low IQs. Norway and Canada do not have a problem with resource curses.

  13. SMFS: SA has a relatively expensive education system but is outperformed in both literacy and numeracy by Zimbabwe which spends far less per student.
    If the average IQ is really low, surely identifying and nurturing the brighter children early will raise the level of the workforce and productivity rather than allowing them to sink with the rest? With a more prosperous country, the Flynn effect would kick in.
    Culturally, subSaharan Africa is bedevilled by ancestor worship: those who prosper must provide for the rest of the clan leading to nepotism and corruption, and the death of the older generation consumes the wealth of the younger generation to provide a suitable entree to the afterlife from where the dead will provide protection: this makes accumulation of capital almost impossible and frowned upon, SA has been particularly impoverished by the AIDS epidemic.

  14. Get rid of the socialistic shite that rules SA and then we will see who is poor and from what groups.

    At present the impoverishing fog of socialism makes it impossible to say how has merit or not and where it has taken them.

  15. If the average IQ is really low, surely identifying and nurturing the brighter children early will raise the level of the workforce and productivity rather than allowing them to sink with the rest?

    You’ve already said most of it with the ancestor worship.

    But coupled with this is the nepotism: any programme which gives the brightest pupils special treatment will within 3 months be taking in the offspring of those who are well-connected, even if they are spectacularly stupid. The poor but bright won’t get a look-in.

  16. Tim N: I am not as pessimistic as you. A larger percentage of the South African population have made the transition to urban living. The ancestors are tied to a specific piece of land in rural poverty which becomes less attractive with each passing generation.

  17. “A larger percentage of the population” than elsewhere in SubSaharan Africa is urbanised with access to first world services/cultural practices including wifi and internet/functioning middle class either as observer or participant.

  18. @ The Inimitable Steve
    Average IQ of any credible figure does *not* provide an insuperable barrier to becoming a first-world economy when you have a dominant position in the production (well, mining and refining would be more precise) of gold and platinum and several platinum-group metals. What does is the endemic corruption (always associated with communists holding power but not being an exclusively communist failing).

    Your post reminds me that my wife got me to watch a TV drama with some excellent actingby an actor with Down’s Syndrome: IQ ain’t everything.

  19. Except there were poor Whites prior to Mandela’s long walk to freedom, and some wealthy Blacks – Mandela’s family for example – and middle class Blacks too with BMWs – and the average White, although comparatively wealthy to most Blacks was less so than Blacks in the USA and the UK.

    One of the advantages of actually visiting a place over a period of 20 years is you get a better understanding of what actually is going on, than when you rely on the media and people with an ideological axe to grind.

  20. @ Tim
    Actually Apartheid was originally – before the Boer War – about a small group of Dutch settlers wanting to protect their austere, almost Utopian (in the Thomas More sense) way of life from pollution by the English invading from the south and the Bantu invading from the north.
    A *lot* later it got hijacked by the white Trade Unions to enforce racial privilege in the name of racial separation. In the ’60s I was advocating (to deaf ears) the rigorous application of genuine apartheid which would deprive white mine-owners of black labourers and spoilt white women of black servants.

  21. Average IQ of any credible figure does *not* provide an insuperable barrier to becoming a first-world economy when you have a dominant position in the production (well, mining and refining would be more precise) of gold and platinum and several platinum-group metals.

    Well, that is certainly the prevailing wisdom. However, there still aren’t any examples of low average IQ countries building a first-world economy, either with or without mineral resources. So I would say the jury is still out at best.

    What does is the endemic corruption (always associated with communists holding power but not being an exclusively communist failing).

    Communism makes everything worse, there’s no doubt about that. But there’s a confounding factor here, since degree of corruption and average IQ are not, in practice, independent variables. Low IQ societies tend to be low trust, clannish societies – Me against my brother, my brother and I against my cousin, me, my brother and my cousin against the family down the street, etc. Solving the problem of corruption in places like that isn’t as simple as passing some anti-corruption legislation. It’s baked into the very fabric of society.

  22. @ JerryC
    Fair comment but I did say “insuperable” – corruption is more likely in low IQ societies but it isn’t inevitable if the Communists are not in power.

  23. Jerry C: South Africa is the original multicultural society so which society is corruption hardbaked into? In a lot of ways, given that the state is inefficient, day to day living requires more trust and generosity across class and culture barriers than occurs in, say, the UK, which is why I have returned here for my old age.

  24. “IQ and development are endogenous. (eg causation is difficult to assess).”

    Sub-saharan Africa is a mess; and blacks seem to sink to the bottom of every society they emigrate to. Why? Genetics surely plays a part here: a high IQ doesn’t help you survive in a traditional, tribal, hunter/warrior* milieu – whereas it does in a peaceful, complex society with the rule of law. And then there’s the loose family structure found in blacks worldwide – single mothers with children by several different men and absent fathers. IQ development requires socialisation and family support.

    *Relevant here is the 20x greater prevalence in many black populations (compared to NW Europeans) of the mutation of the MAOA gene that predisposes to extreme violence.

  25. “It is not as if production is external and separate from the culture it exists in and the individuals who create that culture”

    And culture also selects for particular types of people. That Africa has been a violent shithole since the year dot doesn’t favour the kinds of genes that function well in a complex first world society.

    “Relevant here is the 20x greater prevalence in many black populations (compared to NW Europeans) of the mutation of the MAOA gene that predisposes to extreme violence”

    Extreme violence mutations are probably useful in violent and barbaric cultures. Not so useful in first world societies. And not so sensible for such societies to import barbaric peoples with barbaric cultures and barbaric genetic makeup

  26. So Much For Subtlety

    Ljh – “SA has a relatively expensive education system but is outperformed in both literacy and numeracy by Zimbabwe which spends far less per student.”

    I am inclined to think it isn’t. Why do you think it is?

    “If the average IQ is really low, surely identifying and nurturing the brighter children early will raise the level of the workforce and productivity rather than allowing them to sink with the rest?”

    Sure. If that is possible. There are three problems. One is socialism. The South African Communist Party under the guise of the ANC is determined not to do that. The second is that what bright children? Educating the 90 IQ children is not going to do much to maintain a modern society. The third is that the damage may be done in utero or in the pre-school years. Poor diet as infants may preclude any useful education.

    What they actually need is a nobility who have several generations of good health and better feeding behind them. Then they would have a cadre to build a modern society.

    “With a more prosperous country, the Flynn effect would kick in.”

    But you cannot have a more prosperous country without people with a higher IQ. Chicken and egg again. Yet again South Africa is going the other way by driving Whites out.

    “those who prosper must provide for the rest of the clan leading to nepotism and corruption”

    That is true of China too but it is not holding them back.

    “SA has been particularly impoverished by the AIDS epidemic.”

    Which does not exist so it does not matter.

    Ljh – “A larger percentage of the South African population have made the transition to urban living.”

    African cities generate little wealth. They simply consume what it stolen from the countryside.

    Ljh – ““A larger percentage of the population” than elsewhere in SubSaharan Africa is urbanised with access to first world services/cultural practices including wifi and internet/functioning middle class either as observer or participant.”

    Good for them. But without the IQ to use these to best advantage, what is the point? It just makes raping and murdering said middle classes easier.

    Ljh – ” In a lot of ways, given that the state is inefficient, day to day living requires more trust and generosity across class and culture barriers than occurs in, say, the UK, which is why I have returned here for my old age.”

    That must be why the crime rate is so low and White women do not live in daily fear of gang rape. Because trust and generosity is so high. Come on now. You must be kidding.

  27. SMFS: you obviously have not been to South Africa, your vision of it seems to have been honed by media narrative, shorn of the lumpy bits of reality, and your own prejudices.
    Remember this is the country that was urged to copy Lebanon in the early seventies and Yugoslavia in the early eighties by smug outsiders.
    BTW I am a white woman and I haven’t been raped yet.

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