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The Real Ballot Question in South Africa: How to Keep the Country from Falling Apart

South Africa’s sixth election since the introduction of universal suffrage in 1994 takes place on May 8. It has been 25 years since the country cast off the moral abomination of apartheid. But the noble and worthy dreams that took flight in the era of Nelson Mandela have been crushed by reality. Indeed, the dreadful irony is that Afrikaner nationalists’ dire predictions about majority rule seem to have come true.

The country is in a parlous state: A recent Bloomberg report found that on a wide range of indicators, South Africa has done worse over the last five years than any other country in the world save those in a state of war. Corruption is rampant at every level, starting with the police. The power cuts that began in 2007 have gotten steadily worse. And although the government has managed to keep the lights on for the election campaign, the most optimistic forecast is another five years of intermittent supply. This in a country that, in 1994, had an oversupply of electricity at some of the cheapest rates in the world. Aggressive affirmative-action policies have seen the skilled and experienced whites who once ran the power stations dispersed around the world. In their place are many thousands more workers on higher salaries but without sufficient technical knowledge. Eskom, South Africa’s national power supplier, has a debt burden so large that it cannot even pay the interest on its debt, let alone the principal.

Unemployment, which stood at 3.7-million when the African National Congress (ANC) came to power in 1994, now stands at nearly 10-million, and recent data show that South Africa is the most unequal country in the world when it comes to income, consumption and wealth. To be sure, the architects of apartheid bequeathed a society that already was not only racist, but unequal. Yet the situation has become exacerbated by the rise of a vast, overpaid bureaucracy and a corrupt political elite. The program of state-mandated black “empowerment” requires that companies effectively give away equity to silent partners who have no function but to balance the racial books. Few companies are willing to invest on such terms, so even many fabulously rich mines have been closing down, with jobs being lost in the process. South Africa is now in its fifth consecutive year of falling real incomes.

Social unrest is rampant. More than 80 major public-works projects are stalled because they are besieged by local syndicates demanding a share of operating profits. A major cyclone hit the province of KwaZulu-Natal recently, killing 70. The response of local public-sector workers was to cut off water supplies to the wealthier suburbs and threaten electricity cuts, too, as a means to leverage the crisis to advance their own demands. The government, whose army and police force both have become ineffective in recent years, seems powerless to stop such behaviour, even if it wished to.

The election itself is a foregone conclusion. The ANC, which still leans heavily on its credentials as the anti-apartheid party of liberation, likely will win nearly 60% of the vote. Polls suggest that the liberal Democratic Alliance will lose ground and that the extreme-left populist Economic Freedom Fighters will double their vote. The ANC government already has committed itself to legislate the expropriation of property without compensation, the growth of a completely unaffordable national health service, and a variety of other populist policies. But even as it is , government debt is climbing toward 60% of GDP, and two credit-ratings agencies have consigned the country’s debt to junk status. The main teachers’ trade union now sells teaching jobs to the highest bidder—and intimidates or even kills those who expose such deals. Hospitals and schools have decayed below apartheid levels. In many cases, medicines and blankets are sold off by corrupt hospital staff. Throughout the country, small towns are collapsing because ANC municipal cliques have stolen the available funds, leaving local authorities unable to repair or replace dysfunctional infrastructure, which is why one can see sewage flowing in the streets.

Such a situation might seem to augur well for the country’s centrist official opposition, the Democratic Alliance, which has gained steadily over the last 25 years. But this time around, it chose a young and inexperienced leader, Mmusi Maimane, who has failed to energize black voters or even maintain the party’s existing mainly Asian, “Coloured” and white constituency. If the DA goes backwards on May 8, he could lose his job and the party would be thrown into turmoil.

Meanwhile, ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa retains a 60% approval rating, and faces no viable rival within his party. He is an amiable and well-meaning man, but weak and quite unable to control the various ANC factions. Not only rank-and-file South African voters, but a good number of white businessmen (and even editorial writers at The Economist), placed high hopes on Ramaphosa following the 2018 resignation of Jacob Zuma. But there seems little prospect that he can fulfil such expectations. The ANC election list is studded with convicted criminals found guilty of grossly corrupt behaviour. These include Deputy President David Mabuza, the subject of a major New York Times exposé, and ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule, the subject of a 2019 book entitled Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture. (Magashule’s supporters  stormed into bookshops to burn copies of the book, and Magashule has threatened to sue, though as yet there is no sign of a writ.)

In theory, Ramaphosa could be forced out of the ANC leadership by forces loyal to his corrupt predecessor, Jacob Zuma. But even Ramaphosa’s foes realize that his popularity is about all the ANC has left. Perhaps the best case scenario is that, having reaffirmed his mandate, Ramaphosa could have South Africa apply for an IMF bailout once the elections are over. But the ANC is ideologically opposed to this, knowing that such a move would mean structural reform and a war on corruption. So the more likely scenario involves the government seizing pension funds and whatever other lumps of capital it can find, or forcing financial institutions to buy government bonds, as a means to strong-arm its way out of the mess—even though this would simply accelerate capital flight and push away the foreign investment that Ramaphosa is desperate to attract.

Another possible scenario is more apocalyptic. The downward spiral may be so pronounced that an increasingly desperate political elite will throw all blame on whites and Asians (who represent 9% and 2.5% of the country respectively), setting off the sort of full blown meltdown witnessed under Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. I am far from the first journalist to muse about this, and such fears have been motivating large-scale emigration by skilled and wealthy members of both communities for years.

Another cataclysmic scenario: The government will continue to lose control of the country, leading to a breakup of South Africa into its component regional parts. Frans Cronje, head of the liberal Institute of Race Relations, foresees a future in which a small white and black middle class will continue to live in a prosperous bubble in a few of the bigger cities; while the countryside is ruled by rapacious chiefs, and the rest of urban South Africa is run by murderous gangs. Some would argue that we aren’t far from that now.

Finally, it should be noted that while South Africa’s legacy of apartheid makes it unique, it is dealing with the same problem of uncontrolled migration that afflicts other, far wealthier nations. Border control has broken down, with the result that millions of Zimbabweans, Malawians, Congolese and others have flooded into a country that already doesn’t have enough jobs. Polls show that massive majorities say there are too many foreigners in the country, and some sporadic outbreaks of xenophobic violence have broken out. The government is desperately embarrassed by this situation, but has no means of effectual response. There is a terrible risk of truly catastrophic scenes of violence against new arrivals.

Needless to say, this is not the South Africa that Nelson Mandela and a happy world greeted with enthusiasm in 1994. It always was asking a lot of the ANC elite to step into the ruling role following generations of institutionalized white supremacy. But they have done far worse than anyone expected. If Ramaphosa has the nerve to seize the situation after the election, force through major reforms and start throwing his corrupt colleagues into jail, the situation could still conceivably be saved in the long run. But that is asking an awful lot of a 66-year-old man who still seems trapped within old-style African nationalist platitudes. The sad truth is that he seems more likely to preside over my country’s continued decline into poverty and chaos than avert it.


W. Johnson is a British writer living in South Africa.

Featured image: South African anti-corruption protestors in Cape Town, South Africa, 2017. 


  1. codadmin says

    Apartheid was about white self determination, not supremacy. Apartheid existed because the regime fore-sore what post-apartheid would look like like…they were 110% correct.

    Lots of people used to support apartheid, including Margaret Thatcher. They did so because they too understood what post-apartheid would look like.

    The Western world has a long way to fall and post apartheid South Africa is the destination.

    • Sagesse says

      O come on. The idea that apartheid was about white self determination is hogwash. It was simply one race exerting superiority over another, because it had all the paraphernalias of power under its control.
      South Africa has serious issues plaguing it today that is as a result of corruption, but to paint apartheid socio-economic and political tool whose aim was to control the descent of the nation into anarchy, instead of what it was, a racist policy by racist governments is laughable.

      • codadmin says

        That’s complete revisionism. Reducing the complicated situation to ‘white supremacy’ is racist itself. White people founded the state of South Africa, and it drew in millions of immigrants because of it’s prosperity.

        Imagine if Jewish people suddenly became a small minority in Israel because of mass immigration?

        The fact is the apartheid regime was an emergency measure designed to prevent The chaos we now see. The were correct.

        That’s not to say apartheid ( separate but equal ) was a situation that was sustainable. But what else were they to do? Just hand power over?

        But I suppose you think Israel is about Jewish supremacy and not Jewish self determination?

        South Africa needed a two state solution. The post apartheid situation is worse in every single regard, including it’s racism, which is now bordering on genocidal against the defenceless white minority.

        • Sagesse says

          Sorry, white people founded South Africa? Are you kidding me? Dutch immigrants come to a black continent and they founded a nation? The notion of separate but equal is bloody laughable. I should be the one accusing you of revisionism

          • Tim says

            Actually, the Southern part of Africa was indeed empty when the Dutch arrived. The Zulu and others migrated south at a later point in time. I’m not much of a white supremacist or anything, but the story in this case is pretty clear.

          • Andrew Worth says

            Tim, I’ll do you the courtesy of first asking you to support your claim with evidence.

          • codadmin says

            So who founded the nation of South Africa? The Chinese?

          • codadmin says


            Correct. Although, I would say it was sparsely populated when the arrived instead of empty, like all other stone age regions of the world.

          • Andrew Worth says

            The Southern Cape was inhabited by the Khoikhoi before European arrival, further East the inhabitants were the Xhosa, so not uninhabited at all.

          • Tulklas says

            That is like saying the european colonists didn’t found the USA. It must have been the native americans.

          • Johnny Appleseed says

            I’m absolutely no fan of apartheid and it certainly shouldnt have gone on the way to the freaking 90s but Turkas makes a pretty decent point when he wrote:

            “That is like saying the european colonists didn’t found the USA. It must have been the native americans.”

            I mean why should the US be considered founded by whites if South Africa is not? At least in hindsight it does seem like a two state solution (like what is sought with Israel) might have made more sense in hindsight at least. The euorpeans and Asians could have been given a little chunk of land alobg with middle class Africans while the rest SA was turned into it’s own full fledged country with complete autonomy. This could have been combined with a sizable reparations pay off by the euorpeans.

          • Academy 23 says

            Africa was a very sparsely populated continent when the Orange Free State was founded by Dutch settlers – maybe 100 thousand in the whole vast continent, that is not a lot of people in a vast space.

            Where the Dutch settled there were very very few people when they arrived.

            So yes Dutch colonists were able to come to Africa and found a nation without pushing others aside.

          • Andrew Worth says

            Academy 23: “Africa was a very sparsely populated continent when the Orange Free State was founded by Dutch settlers – maybe 100 thousand in the whole vast continent,”

            WOW, that must be a record, you’re out by three orders of magnitude. Africa’s population was actually over 100 million when the Dutch established a colony at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652.


          • Rick says

            The southernmost portion of southern Africa was not totally empty. As mentioned, the groups nowadays called Khoi and San used to be more widepsread and are in fact the indigenous population. The Kalahari is the only place they weren’t pushed out of (actually the Khoi are a partially ‘Bantu-ized’ sister population of the San, who took up the Bantu culture of cattle herding). The Bantu groups, notable examples including the Zulu and Xhosa, had only been around for a few hundred years when the Dutch showed up. They were inter-warring pastoral tribes, and they didn’t have a strong presence along the Southern and Western Cape, where the Dutch first settled. The Khoisan were there, though. They were hunter-gatherers, and didn’t fare well against Western diseases, guns, alcohol, land claims, etc. They had already been marginalized by invading/settling Bantu groups.

          • Who, according to you, founded South Africa? There were 2 million Zulus at the time the Dutch arrived. Do you genuinely believe that they wouldn’t have attacked a handful of the Dutch had they been anywhere where the Zulus were interested? No, they ignored the Dutch because they had nothing. When they built up the communities and the Zulu chiefs saw they had something, then, ahh, then it was ‘theirs’ that they ‘stole.’ Same thing in North America. Indigenous people demand payment in today’s value, in “white man’s money” for the value Canada has at today’s prices, which are a product of the “white man’s building.” But neither the money nor the value would even exist had the white man not come. In Africa, spears and huts would dominate to this day, and in North America, teepees and 60,000 human sacrifices killed just in one year to the blessed Huehueteotl/Xiuhtecuhtli. Praise be, praise be.

            When the British Congo Company initially explored the Congo looking for agreements to enter into, one story we discover of a village terrorized by flying demons. The Chief begged the British colonel to help. He, not being a man who thought much of superstition, on investigating, discovered that the local priesthood had played a trick on the population and the chief for several centuries in order to maintain their prestige in the tribe, by dressing up in some costume and standing on a ledge somewhere at a distance so it appeared they were flying. When the colonel brought the captured “demons” to the Chief, he, being so angry and grateful at the same time, agreed to the British request to have exclusive rights to resource extraction of the area, with, of course, the customary payment to the chief who likely spent it all on himself.

            The Europeans stole nothing. Payment was given to the local people. In North America, at least since 1763. It’s not our fault that your own chiefs were corrupt and your people choose to believe the lies of the Marxists rather than possibly learning something.


      • Era Vulgaris says

        The Boers established apartheid because they knew that democracy would turn South Africa into what it is. They were right. To call it racism is irrelevant.

        Yay, SA whites no longer rule a racist system. Now they’re the new n**gers. Good job, liberals.

        • Rick says

          It wasn’t only the ‘Boers’ who established Apartheid. British and other white European groups were generally favourable to the policy. Even many Indians, Malays and Coloureds were somewhat complicit. They didn’t like being placed ‘under’ whites, but were generally in agreement that they were above black Africans. Although as a generalization the Afrikaaners were usually more supportive of Apartheid than British, Jewish, Portuguese, etc. communities. That’s more because Afrikaaners were rural landholders (Boer = farmer), where other Europeans tended to be more urban.

        • The sad reality is that at the height of the apartheid millions of Africans were illegally crossing into the country because it was still better than where they were in the rest of Africa. I recently had a discussion with someone from Ethiopia in Canada about this. My goodness. And I thought our Native people were unreasonable. This man was, a. totally uninformed beyond the tropes of “white=bad” and “black=beautiful and good,” b. totally unaware at how dumb he was, c. extremely aggressive, d. unable to take any commentary or meet in the middle on anything, no matter what, e. entitled beyond anyone I had ever spoken to, f. despite being permitted to immigrate to Canada, absolutely fascistic in his hate of white people, g. angry at everyone, h. unwilling to do anything but have random and plentiful sex with different women all the time. I suggested that it was ironic that 80% of all the sperm bank inseminations were from Denmark, that it is the largest exporter of sperm and is the most requested in non-European countries. While simultaneously everyone hates on white people, I suggested people were actually guilty of resentment because when time comes to give their own children the best chance, they want a half Danish baby. My theory about this was about cosmetics and appearance, given that white people have features that are the most rare, so natural selection would be attracted to what isn’t common but is within the range of healthy. He was so crushed by this idea he started collapsing like aluminum foil being scrunched up going through all the stages of grief as he kept arguing with himself about what he is attracted to, what is attractive, yelling at me, yelling at some other random person, telling me to fuck off or he will kill me all in a span of a few moments as his own behaviour had demonstrated precisely what I pointed out, but nope, no ability self-criticize, it all came down to “White people forced me to be like this by constant stream of white culture and white movies.” Ya. Sure.

      • Leah says

        Sagesse….. your ignorance is bliss. Afrikaners were excluded by the British from the economy and the memory of the first nation to experience concentration camps of small pox blankets and poisoned food led to a “never again” subservient servitude …,,apartheid

    • Johnny Appleseed says

      Apartheid wasnt just about limiting the vote. It was a him crow style segregation.

      • Johnny Appleseed says

        Jim Crow not him crow obviously. Like I already said though I do think a two state solution might have made more long term sense where the the new Asian and European dominates country could provide a lot of financial support as repayment for their decades of repression to the new black South Africa.

        Not having whites in the country might have resulted in much less corruption among the African led governments since they couldn’t use white and Asiab citizens as boogeyman scapegoats to get corrupt politicians re elected all the time.

        • Dan Flehmen says

          Most African countries had very few whites at independence, and nearly all are crippled by stupefying levels of corruption and incompetence today. Blaming whites or Asians for African corruption is the standard liberal hubris that we are responsible for all things wrong in the world, and indigenous people are helpless vessels, merely reacting to whites and possessing no independent ability to determine their own behaviour.

  2. Cai Strickland says

    The saddest part of this post is that it is the truth.
    There really is precious little hope left. It seems Africa will be Africa after all

    • Johnny Appleseed says

      Nigeria is doing alright from what I hear.

      • Stephanie says

        A sizable portion of Nigeria is controlled by Boko Haram.

      • Dan Flehmen says

        Most Nigerians want to flee to Europe,

  3. dirk says

    In the first half 20th century, almost all african nations were ruled by Whites from Europe: French, English, Belgians, Germans. Now all are ruled by their own people. There are 3 possibilities:
    1. The Whites are thrown out, Zimbabwe, Congo, Uganda
    2. The Whites (remaining) are still there, working, investing and rather safe, though in compounds or guarded day and night. Kenya, Senegal, Ivory Coast
    3. The Whites are still there, farming, growing grapes, doing business but rather unsafe and not sure about a future for their children. S.Africa.

    Why think that white culture and work ethic is just a universal good , if only installed by laws , democracy and modern politics? I would think, if it took European nations many centuries to arrive at what they have now, why may one expect the same all of a sudden of African nations??

    • E. Olson says

      Dirk – you bring up an interesting issue, because over the past 200-400 years most of the world was ruled by whites from Europe, and have subsequently received independence from European rule, but the post-colonial success rates have been very different:

      The US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand were populated by mostly Northern Europeans to such an extent that they soon proportionally dominated the native peoples, and all have done well under post-colonial white rule and are generally considered among the best places in the world to live.

      Colonized Asian countries were never proportionally dominated by the mostly Northern European settlers, but have done pretty well to very well under post-colonial native population rule.

      Colonized Latin and South American countries were ruled by mostly Southern Europeans and the post-colonial leadership of many is still dominated by white bloodlines, but post-colonial success has been more mixed than in Asia, but better than Africa. Perhaps colonial and post-colonial success is enhanced when the colonizers are from relatively more successful Northern European vs less successful Southern European countries?

      African countries had the most successful period of their entire history in terms of economic and social conditions when under colonial rule by mostly Northern European settlers, but have been universal post-colonial disasters to the extent that the white populations have been forced from leadership positions due to their minority status. There are zero post-colonial African success stories.

      Could it be coincidence that colonized countries with relatively high IQ populations (whether imported or native) tend to do better as independent countries than colonized countries with proportionally dominant populations having relatively low IQs? Could it also be coincidence that colonized countries that have adopted Marxist/Socialist government/economics have generally done the poorest in their post-colonial histories?

      • dirk says

        I wonder, E.O., what in fact African socialism/communism meant or how you could define it. Look at Tanzania, 100s of millions support to build the nation, and even the factories there (7 complete cashewnut factories, all failures in the end, why?) and whether Marx would have called it communism. Also, I wonder what drove those white Zambians I visited on their impressive large farms, there was not even 1 similar black farmer, IQ? Farming is not so complicated or difficult, you don’t need a university degree for it (at the contrary, I often think). Of course, it’s something else, that has to do more with Weber’s work ethos, foresight and trust in institutions and marketing bodies. And about Latin America: yes, those white bloodlines have more kind of feudal, landlord type of attitude, not what we are used in the Northern West.

        • E. Olson says

          The Protestant worth ethic (or similar) seems to be an exclusive product of cold winter places with relatively high IQ populations, and is totally absent in warm places except among peoples who have emigrated from cold winter places.

          As for farming and IQ, I think you greatly underestimate the intelligence it takes to be a modern large scale farmer, which is not just planting seeds and watching them grow, but is managing a medium-large business with large capital expenditures, labor costs, and agronomy sciences that requires long hours and major financial, mechanical, science, and people skills to be successful (and some luck with the weather and commodity prices). Lazy, dumb farmers on the other hand, usually end up not even being able to feed themselves, much less create excesses that can be sold for profit to feed urban populations.

          • dirk says

            Where you talk about lazy and dumb, I heartily agree. But attitude and skill has little to do with IQ, more with passion, technical backgrounds (in my youth children with the lowest marks went to a technical school), perseverance , stubbornness (very important) and other such characteristics. I would never have been a good farmer, missing most of these qualities. Though, once gave classes to young farmers. The bright ones there, went for another job as the farm of their fathers, logically, too hard work.

          • Winston Smith says

            @ E. Olson you are always posting stuff which implies that Northern Europeans are superior to Southern Europeans:

            “The Protestant worth ethic (or similar) seems to be an exclusive product of cold winter places with relatively high IQ populations, and is totally absent in warm places except among peoples who have emigrated from cold winter places.”

            “Perhaps colonial and post-colonial success is enhanced when the colonizers are from relatively more successful Northern European vs less successful Southern European countries?”

            There are just your latest examples. If I combed through your comments I could easily pull up a dozen more. I remember one where you said that U.S. states with mostly Northern European populations and colder climates had better economies than other U.S. states.

            It’s a bit worrisome. When other whites aren’t white enough for you, you are taking racism to a whole different level. Besides, if Northern Europeans are superior to Southern Europeans how do you explain the cultural contributions of the classical Greeks and Roman empire, which pretty much birthed Western Civilization?

            We get that you’re proud of being a Protestant of Nordic descent but take it easy guy. You sounds like a literal Nazi!

          • E. Olson says

            Winston Smith, it is an honor to find that you have apparently committed to memory so many of my comments, but you seem to be a bit selective in your recall. For example, I don’t believe most real Nazis would agree with my frequent comments regarding the findings that NE Asians and Ashkenazi Jews have higher average IQ than white non-Jewish Europeans. I also don’t believe I have generally noted any major IQ differences between Northern and Southern Europeans, because the research suggests that at best the differences are very minor, but there certainly are cultural differences that are reflected in part by the Protestant and Catholic regions of Europe that likely explain economic and political differences in performance over relatively recent times (as opposed to ancient Greek and Roman times).

            As for differences in US state compositions and performance, I think my comments have been more about homogeneity of ethnicity and culture as explanations for the relatively low crime rates and other social dysfunction, as well as the typically fairly small and/or effective government that is found in states settled and dominated by Northern European peoples. Diversity is definitely not a strength when it comes to those types of outcomes, which is seen even more strongly in Africa where tribal rivalries are responsible for much of the violence and social and economic dysfunction.

        • Al R says

          Dirk, your view that “Farming is not so complicated or difficult” is sadly naive. I say sadly because most non-farmers have no clue about where and how their food arrives at their door yet have the arrogance to tell us what it takes to be a successful farmer.

          • dirk says

            Farming and studies around farming is my profession, AIR, and a history of many years on a university. I liked especially the theoretical aspects of it, but really fear the practice of doing it myself, and having to perform in the ruthless, competitive rural world . Imagine only, you have 100 dairy cows (the average now in the NLs) and some guy of the bank visits you and calculates you would do better with 200, by buying more land and building a bigger stable, with a mortgage of 2 million euro or so, and being his client until eternity. Horrible scene, but everydays reality in the NLs of 1000s. So glad I,m old now, and no longer having to think about such things!

      • Peter from Oz says

        I agree with the general thrust of what you say, but I would point out that Botswana has done well. It is of course the exception that proves the rule.

        • Ray Andrews says

          @Peter from Oz

          Yes, what is their secret? What does Botswana know and how might it be passed on? They say that one or two other countries aren’t doing too badly, like Ivory Coast.

          • dirk says

            Could it be, Ray, that the elites and the bosses in Botswana and Cote d’Ivoire are less racist and more white prone than in the other nations?
            Just only listen to this Malema ” they must be happy we are not calling for genocide”, funny? Or horrendous??

          • EK says

            Maybe it’s “The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency.”

          • Dan Flehmen says

            I don’t know Botswana, but it is ethnically homogeneous, which might be part of the reason that corruption is low by African standards. Plus it has vast diamond wealth, and a lot of white South Africans running businesses.

            This situation seems likely to continue as long as corruption is held at bay. Most of Africa has been mired in vast, crippling corruption since independence nearly sixty years ago, so three generations have grown up knowing nothing else. Given a lack of honest role models, corruption is not likely to disappear due to internal pressure.

      • Allison says

        I remember reading that countries that take their heritage from Protestant cultures like the British and the Dutch became the First World countries (US, Canada). Places that take their cultural heritage from Catholic dominated cultures, like Spain and Portugal, became third world countries like the ones in Latin and Central America. Someone commented on the Libertarian website FEE.Org that not too many decades ago, the IQs of people in the Anglican and Episcopalian churches was higher, by many points, than that of Eastern Europeans, Asians, and Jews. Sadly, that group has lost its pride about their accomplishments and has not become part of the self-hating, apologist, white people.

  4. Morgan Foster says

    Not sure why whites haven’t entirely fled from South Africa. It doesn’t seem like there will be much of a long-term future for anyone’s children and grandchildren.

    I’d much rather have them emigrating to the US than, for example, Somali tribal people with poor attitudes.

    • Robert says

      Simple, most countries like the US have very strict immigration policies making it near impossible to enter, and the cost to do so is iut of reach for most of the people.

      Rand to Dollars ratio is +-15 to 1, so if all and all it costs you $1 million to get there, if you ever are allowed through the gate, it means you need to prepare R15 million before you can get moving.

      That is more money than most will ever dream of getting, and by the time you do, you’ll be near dead in anycase.

      Add to that the fact that you get taxed to hell for everything and levied increases yearly because the corrupt elite ‘lose’ BILLIONS yearly (eskom recently wanted a 15+% electricity tariff increase to cover a 66 billion unaccounted for loss, and when it wasn’t granted they held the country hostage by physically switching off power in rotational loadshedding till they got the increase) , means there really is no escape.

      So, it isn’t in the least bit surprising at all.

      Banana republic all the way.

      • Peter Tom Oz says

        Do all the third world migrants have to pay all that cash to immigrate into the US, or only useful white people?

  5. bumble bee says

    Well I do not know enough of what is going on in SA, and this article only gives a small glimpse of all the issues they face. However, investing in infrastructure such as utilities, roads, buildings, education, construction of new and AFFORDABLE homes would bring quality of life up for the vast majority. Perhaps a short period where the government, lead by willing and selfless people, could oversee these areas of need to make sure they are done properly. This would also put people to work, allow them to develop skills, earn a living wage.

    The ravages of Apartheid will take generations to heal. They need to bring back their talents that have studied overseas to bring their knowledge and skills to not only teach, but to lead in their rebuilding. It’s possible that S. Africans are also going through an identity crisis, as they try to navigate who they are, what they want, how to build an equal society. Small businesses are often very helpful in providing income, stability, self determination, filling a need in society. Blue collar and white collar jobs, but especially blue collar jobs give the best opportunity to get people working with their hands as they learn new skills and trades that are more important in the immediate need than white collar jobs.

    • Big Ramifications says

      “However, investing in infrastructure such as utilities, roads, buildings, education, construction of new and AFFORDABLE homes would bring quality of life up for the vast majority.”

      Did you catch the bit about corruption being EVERYWHERE and at ALL LEVELS? You need to take it back a notch and explain how you’re going to fix this before you mention AFFORDABLE.


    • Cathy Kotzé says

      The ravages of the post apartheid era may never be healed. What this article doesn’t mention is the fact that half a million South Africans have been murdered since the ANC took over. Or that more than 50% of women and children can expect to be raped. It also doesn’t say anything of the thousands of White farmers who have been tortured to death on their farms. There have been more than 400 political assassinations. The English word for apartheid is segregation. This was imported by the British into all tof their colonies and practiced all over the world

    • Robert says

      It is clear you are not fully aware of the history. What you are saying, yeah, that was the manifesto 25 years ago.

      But as soon as they saw the could steal money, well, you have SA 25 years later.

      Affordable housing projects are backlogged to hell and have been for years, no investment on the government’s part into any infrastructure and those that have failed entirely have just picked a tree and setup under it. State owned power, airline, rail, broadcasting, etc all have a deficit of close to R600 billion.

      South Africa hasn’t produced enough food to sustain itself since 2007, which means no excess for export, a staple of GDP in years past.

      Social grants are given to anyone willing to grow the revolutionary population AND then since there is no census data or record keeping it is easy to borrow your 3 children and add them to my 2 to increase my grant payout.

      The list goes on. But you can surely find it all with even cursory searches on the net.

    • E. Olson says

      Bumble Bee – would you invest your pension savings in a country where the government steals everything, and existing infrastructure is allowed to deteriorate due to incompetence and lack of investment (because the government steals everything)? If you were an educated and competent South African expat, would you want to leave the relative comfort and stability of where you currently reside to return to chaos and danger of your home country (especially if you were white and knowing white people in South Africa are being murdered and having their property stolen)?

    • Andrew Worth says

      bumble bee, South Africa has a problem in that like many other formerly colonized nations it has a preponderance of people of low education but with high expectations and ideals. Such people, whether they’re in Africa, Europe or America have a belief that Government can and should solve all their problems, in better educated societies such naive idealists are mostly kept under control by the better educated majority of the population who vote down candidates that such people elect if they’re able to. Imagine the result of 30 years of rule of the US by the extreme left of the Democrat party.

      • Shamrock says

        Andrew Worth

        I am curious about how you reconcile this article with your claim in the comments on the Rwanda massacre article where you stated that Africa innd every metric is rapidly improving?

        • Andrew Worth says

          Shamrock, I’m staggered by the stupidity of your question. South Africa is a small part of Africa, you can obviously have a population as a whole doing well in every metric but still have a subset of that population not doing well, for example we might have the US doing well in every metric that can be applied to the country as a whole, but still have one state not doing well. Simple enough?

          • Shamrock says

            Andrew Worth
            Which countries are doing so well as to bring the average up? On the World Bank website when you look at GDP per capita, a good measure of how life is going for citizens of a country, more than half of black African countries have a lower GDP per capita in 2017 than 2014. How is that an improvement?
            Nigeria had a large decline in this measurement. Nigeria and South Africa are the 2 largest economies in black Africa.
            Factor in the near failing states of Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia and South Sudan how is Africa rapidly improving in every metric?

            Your she approved comments are laughable.

          • Andrew Worth says

            Shamrock, per capita GDP has nearly tripled in Sub Sahara Africa over the last 20 years, perhaps you’re cherry picking the years to build a sham argument.

          • Shamrock says

            The last 3 years of data is a perfect time frame as it shows the recent trends and, as the world economy was growing during this time period, it also shows Black African countries ability to grow during this time.

            Facts, Andy, not feelings, are what matter despite what your sjw group tells you.

          • Andrew Worth says

            Sham, You claim that “The last 3 years of data is a perfect time frame as it shows the recent trends and, as the world economy was growing during this time period, it also shows Black African countries ability to grow during this time.”
            But Here’s the World Bank graph for OECD countries:


            As you can see per capita GDP declined from 2014 to 2017.

            And here’s the World Bank graph of per capita income for the World.


            As you can see per capita GDP declined from 2014 to 2017.

            Enough of your sham data.

            Then you suggest I belong to a SJW group, I do not. Your incorrect beliefs about my ideological views and pretty much the real world are just further evidence that you don’t have a clue about reality and real people.

          • Shamrock says

            Oh dear Andy, how can you be so wrong time and time again.

            I stated “and, as the world economy was growing during this time period, it…” Here is the world Bank data on the world GDP growth :
            As you can see, it grew each year from 2014 to 2017 by 2.5% or more per year. This validates my statement.

            It’s a strawman argument to talk about world GDP per capita as I never mentioned it. I certainly didn’t say anything about OECD GDP per capita. But then that’s how you argue, strawman, sweeping statements, name calling and changing the subject.

            Your previous comment about how every metric shows Africa rapidly improving was a ridiculous one. No country or region has ever or can ever show rapid improvement in every metric. It’s impossible.

            State as factual what you want things to be rather than realty? Check
            Attribute comments to someone you disagree with that they didn’t make? Check
            Use strawman arguments? Check
            Use approved negative labels? Check

            You are indeed an sjw. Worthless.

          • Andrew Worth says

            You really are a shameless Sham aren’t you? So you’re using two different metrics, “per capita” in Africa, on the one hand and total world GDP growth – rather than per capita figures, on the other. If you compare like-with-like, total Sub Saharan economic growth, the annual growth figures are also all positive (rounded):
            2014. 4.68
            2015. 2.92
            2016. 1.21
            2017. 2.52


            Face it Sham, you’re addicted to using dishonest arguments and statistics because using an honest approach would destroy your racist case.

    • Brian says

      Bumble bee, all I see in your comment is a bunch of nice, empty platitudes.

    • neoteny says

      AFFORDABLE homes

      All homes are affordable to their owners/renters.

  6. David V says

    Anthea Jeffry’s book “People’s War” sheds light on how the ANC through the UDF sought to make South Africa ungovernable, and in doing so, undermine alternative black leadership which was already in existence. The alternative were either even more radical groups such as the BCM/AZAPO and the PAC. On the other hand, moderate black leaders such as Buthelezi and a few other Bantustan leaders who also commanded not insignificant support (Buthelezi was the most popular black leader in South Africa, and widely respected across racial lines at the time).

    You won’t find any of that in commonly available histories of South Africa or the continent in general. The West’s sense of “white guilt” largely enabled the empowerment of Communist and pan-Africanist movements who created failed states. Sekou Toure, Kwame Nkrumah, Robert Mugabe and others. Julius Nyerere was an honourable exception as he both voluntarily relinquished office and admitted his policies were a failure.

  7. Anchovy says

    SA does not have any other African states for examples of good government. It is time to get past political correctness and test other hypotheses.

  8. Sandile Thando says

    In South Africa the demographics of people with an IQ over 130 are around 400,000 for people of European decent vs around 1,500 for people of African descent.

    When you try running a society based on equality based on skin colour you end up with unnatural things happening where less intelligent people get management level jobs, when there are far more suitable candidates being overlooked because they’re of European or East Asian descent.

    As a black South African, I am ashamed that the great asset we have, in the form of highly intelligent people of European descent are so looked down on, we are lucky to have them here working for the country. We saw what happened to our neighbours in Zimbabwe as their country collapsed because they didn’t appreciate their European decent population for the assets they really are.

    No amount of unscientific diversity, inclusivity and equality training can change biology, some groups of people are smarter than others. We should learn to live with that fact rather than harm our societies be fighting against it with unnatural policies.

    • D.B. Cooper says

      @Sandile Thando

      Your candor pervades a level of provocation commensurate to the problem. That’s not to suggest your wrong. In fact, there’s good reason(s) to think you’re not. But the validity of your claim(s) is not what interests me. Not really. The nexus between race, intelligence, and socioeconomic success has been debated in one form or another by muddled thinkers and sober critics alike, in both good faith and in bad, and I doubt little more can be said (at least at present moment) that isn’t mark by rote memorization.

      What did interest me, however, is the nonintuitive nature of your pessimistic view – as a black South African – on South Africa reconciling its desire for socioeconomic equality with the implications of biological inequality. Surely, you’re in the minority, but even still, one can’t help but wonder how prevalent such views are among black South Africans. Is there any reliable polling data on this question? I would be shocked if there were, since such questions would almost certainly be anathema to the sensibilities of elites.

      • Robert says

        100% correct. And, no, there is no data on this for the reason mentioned.

        To the point where, as an outlier, he would probably move to a different suburb if his views don’t align with the narrative.

        Does it mean most people aren’t this wise? Nope, not in the least bit. They are actually quite the opposite but;

        1) you either close your eyes and play the game because at the end of the month you can stand in a queue to get your ‘share’ of the money, via grants etc. This is a drop in the bucket of what is actually being taken.

        2) You open your eyes, realise the fact, and move your self out of that position and taking ownership of what truly is in your haands. But by doing this you also realise that you might get into a world of trouble for doing so.

        SA has many smart and intelligent people from all backgrounds and cultures. That may be part of the problem since there is no alignment of goals, in my opinion, since every person in the grand scheme of things really only cares for him or herself.

        Not saying it is a bad thing, but communities do need to converge at some point to be sustainable and move forward with growth. What SA is doing is the exact opposite, and as mentioned by others, ironic given the system it replaced.

      • dirk says

        What Sandile explains here (and what would be higly un-PC in US and any European nation) is also what I sensed when on a mission for the Worldbank in Zambia (where many fugitives from SA have a large, prosperous farm with impressive irrigation systems and machinery) . However, you never hear such ideas outside an African nation. Strange, you would expect it to be the other way round, minority Blacks in the West having less faith in themselves, but the autochthonous Blacks, in their own young nations much more!

        • D.B. Cooper says

          Autochthonous! What a nice word. This is my first encounter. I always enjoy learning new words. Thanks!

      • Ray Andrews says

        @D.B. Cooper

        Nice to have you back DB. Now where’s K?

        Perhaps liberal democracy will end up being seen by history not as the inevitable goal of humanity, but as a short and very limited aberration. It is true that Africa appears to be incapable of it, but it seems more and more that the West is incapable of sustaining it too. How much difference is there in mental development between, say, some ANC zealot and you average SJW Victimologist?

        • E. Olson says

          Good comment Ray. I would say there is very little difference between the ANC zealot and the average SJW, because they both promise “justice” and “fairness” to get or remain in power, and then destroy all wealth producing entities through some combination of ideological blindness, corruption, or incompetence.

        • D.B. Cooper says

          @Ray Andrews

          Thank you for the warm greeting, although I’m not sure I follow your question on ‘K’?

          To your point on liberal democracies, if you haven’t already, I would suggest looking at Robert Putnam’s (and others) research on diversity’s effects on social capital. It’s not very promising.

          • Ray Andrews says

            @D.B. Cooper

            ‘K’ is a frequent participant here, who’s somewhat to my left and acts as a counter to the very many right wing voices at Quillette. I miss him when he’s gone.

            ” It’s not very promising.”

            Heretic! Diversity is like good health, one can never have too much. Or so they say. Personally I think it’s time to give unity based on unity another look.

          • D.B. Cooper says

            @Ray Andrews

            Heresy is matter of perspective, but as pejoratives go “Heretic” is an upgrade from where I’m sitting. So, thank you!

            I’m not sure what you mean by giving “unity based on unity another look,” but I do think there’s a categorical difference between manufactured and organic/emergent unity. I would argue that history suggests the former is unsustainable at best and potentially dangerous at worst. Rightly or wrongly, people self-segregate alone many different lines. To some degree, these impulses can be attenuated via social norms. Whether they should or not, is a different question. There’s good arguments to suggest they should, though these are value judgments without clear answers.

            Lastly, with respect to ‘K’, yes, I believe I seeing his post; although I don’t recall his political/social affliations. While ‘K’ may, in fact, be somewhat to your left, it’s not exactly obvious to me where you land on the political spectrum. At times, many of your post read right-of-center, while others suggest something different.

          • Ray Andrews says

            @ D.B. Cooper

            “Heretic” is an upgrade from where I’m sitting. So, thank you!”

            Ihr willkommen

            “it’s not exactly obvious to me where you land on the political spectrum”

            I belong to the political Rainbow Coalition. You can find me shoulder to shoulder with Che on some issues, and goosestepping with Himmler on others. I’m proud to be a Tommy Douglas socialist, an Edmund Burke conservative, a JS Mill liberal and sometimes even an Ayn Rand libertarian. Always a student of Twain, Rodgers and Mencken:

            “On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
            H. L. Mencken

            “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”
            H. L. Mencken

            “Communism, like any other revealed religion, is largely made up of prophecies.”
            H. L. Mencken

            “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”
            H. L. Mencken

          • D.B. Cooper says

            @Ray Andrews

            So, you identifiy with… a revolutionary, an occultist, a theologian, a theorist, a philosopher, and an egoist – and you’re a student of a humorist, an actor, and a critic. That seems a perfectly reasonable place to be.

      • Jaimes Beam says

        While different races CAN BE equal; the reality is often starkly False. This is not to say any race is more or less natively intelligent or motivated, but there are important cultural differences.

        In SA you have enforced equality putting unqualified people in power. There is a very strong cultural heritage of tribalism.

        Me first, my family first, my tribe first, to hell with the country is the basis of corruption. Oddly the same attitude has bloomed in the US; let’s hope it is short lived.

        You cannot go from a tribal culture where often might makes right to a successfull democracy in a generation. It just isn’t in their blood or culture yet. Regardless of how smart or the work ethic, it will take time to innoculate democracy, and unless nurtured it may never take hold. Just saying wa-la you are now an equal democracy just allows the worst people and behavior room to run wild. You see this all over the world, even Russia. This is why the US regime change wars have all been disasterous failures!

    • Paolo says

      It is an unwarranted stretch to attribute IQ differences to biology (i.e. genes). As it has been pointed out by experts also here at Quillette, we know for a fact that both genes and environment influence IQ. What we know very little about is the proportion of each influence.

      • Markus Hahn says

        “What we know very little about is the proportion of each influence.”

        Sorry that´s wrong. There´s plenty of evidence that the genetic contribution to the g-factor in adults is between 60 (minimal estimation) and 80 % (most say, near 80).

        • Andrew Worth says

          Markus Hahn, those figures assume relatively similar social environments, the more extreme the difference in the relative environments the higher “nurture” component of IQ, when you take things to the extremes of societies at very different levels of wealth or different times decades apart the nurture component becomes dominant. All very logical when you take time to consider it.

          • Markus Hahn says

            There are many scientists and many studies, which took all the time to consider it. But they find your claim neither logical nor correct, sorry.

            And there is empirical rebuttal of your claim by a long period of immigration from different regions, affirmative action schemes and adoptive sibling histories.

            There is in no situation a major “nurture” component of g-factor. Oh wait, it is. However only in downstaging (trauma, illness, hereditary disease).

            “Major nurture components” of g-factor are only artefacts in seminars of modern sociology und political science. I know, it´s hard to accept. It´s an insult of our enlightened worldview.

          • Andrew Worth says

            Mark Hahn, don’t be sorry, learn.
            “The most common way of assessing intelligence is IQ testing. The Flynn effect describes the phenomenon that over time average IQ scores have been increasing in all countries since the turn of the twentieth century (the earliest point in time for which data is available). The change in IQ scores has been approximately three IQ points per decade. One major implications of this trend is that an average individual alive today would have an IQ of 130 by the standards of 1910, making them more intelligent than 98% of the population at that time. Equivalently, an individual alive in 1910 would have an IQ of 70 by today’s standards, a score that would be low enough to be considered intellectually disabled in the modern world.”

        • E. Olson says

          C Young – don’t be too hard on Paolo, after all about 95% of the social science and humanities faculties at universities, and Leftist politicians world-wide apparently are also incapable of making a Google search before making assertions about the uncertainties and unimportance of IQ.

          • El Uro says

            @ E. Olson – Sorry, maybe the answer is simple: those who survived are smarter

        • Andrew Worth says

          C Young, there is solid evidence that in environments very adverse compared to the middle class contemporary West that IQ can be very depressed far below potential, by 30 points or more.

          • Andrew Worth says

            From the same link I fired at Markus Hahn:
            “Thomas Nechyba’s review in the Journal of Economic Literature points out the following flaw:

            The degree of IQ heritability, however, has no logical bearing on this issue [low IQ in poor countries]. Even if we take the authors’ reading of the literature as given and assume that 80 percent of IQ is heritable, the entire observed cross country difference in IQ may be environmentally rather than genetically driven. Consider, for instance, a plant variety whose size is known to be 80 percent heritable. If we grow genetically identical seeds of this plant in two plots under the same initial soil conditions and then fertilize only one plot, the dramatic differences in plant height that emerge will be entirely driven by environmental factors despite the high heritability of plant height. The fact that some countries score lower on IQ tests than others thus has nothing to say about the degree to which IQ scores are genetically predetermined or the degree to which they will change under different circumstances. Developed countries may simply be like the plants that received fertilizer earlier for reasons having nothing to do with IQ.”

          • C Young says

            IQ can be very depressed far below potential

            Yes, I am sure that is true. Plus there is the unexplained Flynn effect. On the other hand, many on the left deny that IQ is driven by genetics in any way.

      • Dan Flehmen says

        Paolo is absolutely wrong. Decades of research on the genetic basis of behavior in humans have consistently shown that personality traits, including intelligence, have a heritability of 50% or higher. That is, a person’s genetics are at least as important as environment, education, etc. in shaping critically important aspects of personality. A mass of studies have consistently shown mean IQ across Africa to be two standard deviations lower than the world mean. This obviously has major implications for the continent, but no one dares bring down upon their head the vilification and shunning suffered by James Watson, the last century’s most important biologist, who was foolish enough to mention this reality this out loud.

      • TarsTarkas says

        If IQ were genetic the measurement of IQ would never go up within demographic groups. The fact that it does go up (or down) shows that it is a cultural and sociological measure, not a measure of base intelligence.

        • C Young says

          Faulty argument. Everyone with eyes agrees height is driven by genetics. Height has been going up within demographic groups.

    • El Uro says

      @Sandile Thando – The problem you are white or black is not that big. “Justice” is a cancer

  9. Farris says

    Some governments view wealth as something to be created and nurtured. Others view wealth as something that should be carved up and passed around under the guise of fairness. Guess which ones succeed.

    • augustine says

      You put the stages in the right order, but it’s not the “government” that takes these views and actions. It is the people who developed and support the government. There’s really no hope for government per se, but for people, there is.

  10. Carl Geier says

    Sadly, the crocodile has eaten another sun.

  11. KD says

    I think SA’s problems could all be fixed if we sent Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro on a SA speaking tour. Jordan could remind everyone of the dangers of collectivism, and Ben could lecture on propositional citizenship, and both could remind that “Xenophobia is NOT who we are!”

    • Robert says

      Eh, you do know they are white and male, right? It is no lie that the stories told about white males in the communities are driving this corrupt engine forward. Fear mongering and threats to life and livelihood if you dare listen or follow white man.

      White men, to this day, still get blamed when things go south. Western civilization has only recently been on this train of blame the white supremacist. SA has been train head, rail and conductor for 25 years.

      • KD says

        Could we send Joe Biden instead, to restore the nation’s soul? I hear his best friend is Black.

  12. David V says

    It’s a bitter irony that South Africa’s contributions to the World War II effort is now forgotten. Not least South African troops aiding British troops in the liberation of Ethiopia from Mussolini – giving a country back to its Emperor and native inhabitants after occupation.

  13. Andrew Worth says

    Elected leaders reflect the beliefs and biases of those that elect them, you rarely get a poorly educated population brought up with hang-ups from past injustice and oppression electing leaders that believe in the ethics and processes that make Western democracies work. Germany elected Hitler as a result of Germans having unresolved issues with most everyone else in Europe.

  14. Malema says

    “We don’t back whites, we don’t care about their feelings. It’s our turn now. They must be happy we are not beating them up. They must be happy we are not calling for genocide. We are exercising our political freedom and we are hurting them the most…it is more hurtful, more painful than a gun, a spear. We hurt you and take from you without a drop of blood.”

    This is all premature, it’s not about this generation. It’s about the grandchildren of the people in power now. These are merely the growing pains of a prosperous, peaceful society in its infancy. Wealth transfer is painful to those whose wealth is being transferred away. You complain their bucket is being overfilled; they reply that the overspill fertilizes the ground for those yet to come. Sure it’s going to be messy for a while, but the future South Africa is a country run for blacks, by blacks, with a black middle class and a black ruling class. It’s like complaining mucus-soaked infant is ugly and useless.

    • I cannot believe you are being serious, unless this is a joke. Your bucket analogy is rather poetic, until you realise the ‘overspill fertilizing the ground’ can only possibly be to the benefit of a rapacious and endemically corrupt elite. Ok, they are now a black elite, which I’m sure is a great mental boon to the millions of people suffering from the endemic corruption and failing economy.

      These are not growing pains. Explain to me how state capture, endemic corruption and running your country so badly it collapses helps your grandchildren? If, as seems likely, the economy continues on it’s current path South Africa will need some form of bailout or loans to prop it up. The future generations for the ordinary citizen of South Africa you mention will be shouldering that burden for years to come. Growing pains also suggests that there is growth going on, i’d love ot hear the good news if you can provide some figures to celebrate.

    • dirk says

      I saw it, Malema, …..the power of democracy ……..yes, …..and the land back to the rightful owners……. But what does that mean in practice? How to transfer,divide it and hope it will stay productive (with a hoe and a mule?).
      Not to talk of the quality, export and mass production of wines. They should look at their neighbours the Zimbabweans. Without a drop of blood? Was he serious? Are farmers peacefully retreating from the lands they and their forefathers developed and made prosperous? I doubt very much!

      • dirk says

        Another one of Julius Malema: – Expropriation without compensation!-

        Did he ever speculate on what this means for production, work, incomes, housing and local welfare? BTW, are you related with this Julius??

    • Rue Bannister says

      Wow, as a South African this comment confirms there is no hope for the majority of people of South Africa. All the best to you and your impossible and distressing belief in a prosperous, peaceful society for your grandchildren. You have failed to identify a few imperative steps required for its creation. Effort, education, respectability, responsibility, nutrition, environment. Qualities rarely ever seen in our childish rather than infant country, Sadly your understanding of financial wealth is attached to the worlds prosperous years of the 70’s and 80’s. This is no longer true for the majority of humans across the globe, and when you realize you have made a error in judgement it will be too late as the rest of us have woken up and chosen to cut back, scale down, breed less, and skill up to survive.

  15. gabriel says

    I think this is a bit overblown. I don’t foresee widespread social collapse of institutions/towns/security given that there are countervailing forces correcting this slide, i.e. free and independent elections

  16. @StewyGriffith says

    Africans running yet another nation into the ground.
    This is my surprised face.

  17. Cynical Old Biologist says

    South Africa population in 1994: 41.2 million
    South Africa population in 2019: 58.1 million
    17 million more people demanding access to infrastructure, education etc. with less resources than in 1994 to provide for them. Get a grip on population growth first. Then try developing the economy.

    • E. Olson says

      African population 1900: 120 million.
      African population 2019: 4.4 billion.

      Withdraw all Western/Asian medical and economic aid and investment to Africa and the population problem would take care of itself just like in the old days before colonial rule. Western medical interventions and food aid to Africa have greatly decreased infant mortality rates and increased average lifespans, but for what purpose if African populations can’t effectively govern themselves or create prosperity for themselves?

      • E. Olson says

        Correction: 2019: 1.3 billion. Projected in 2100 at current trends 4.4 billion.

        • Ray Andrews says

          @E. Olson

          Certain folks, mostly IDW and conservative types, are currently fond of claiming that 3d world situations have hugely improved recently. Ok, but if one looks a bit closer I think one would find that most of the improvement is in Asia and overwhelmingly due to the Chinese miracle (which incidentally is a semi-controled economy, not a ‘free market’ one). Were one to make a dichotomy between the Asians and the African/Muslim zone, I think one would find that the African/Muslim zone is not doing quite so well, and might even be due for some sharp reversals. We see the slow death of SA, as in this article for example. And how are we supposed to feed 4.4 billion Africans? I suppose the infinite growth proponents are not worried.

          • E. Olson says

            Asia has a lot of brighter spots than China when you consider how poor Hong Kong, Taiwan, S. Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore were well into the 1960s. Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and India seem to be making some progress as well. Most of the laggards including China and India spent too much time trying to make some sort of communism work, and have only seen real growth when/if they have loosened up government control of markets. Islam in general also does not seem to be good for economic growth.

        • Dan Flehmen says

          Some demographers are now saying that the population of Africa could go as high as six billion by 2100, because the four billion estimate assumed that Africa would show the demographic transition seen elsewhere, by which education and improved livelihoods for women reduces the birth rate. Unfortunately, the demographic transition has not occurred widely in Africa.

          Of course, ugly Malthusian realities will intervene long before there are six, or even four, billion people in Africa, because the rest of the world can never send enough food to support them. Nor will Europe and North America be willing to admit and support the billions Africa itself cannot feed. When a population overshoots its food supply, it crashes precipitously; basic population biology predicts a human catastrophe in Africa unlike any the world has ever seen.

      • Sagesse says

        One would argue that Western aid and the interference of corporate organizations and western intelligence agencies have been one of the causes of the collapse of governance in the continent. With support for military regime changes, giving aids that make the nations become more reliant on aids instead of seeking ways to grow their economies internally.
        I am not saying the West is to blame for all of the continent’s woes. We are infact responsible for 90% of the problems we face, but we are getting there. It has been slow going with several mistakes made, but surely the future is not looking so bleak. Most people tend to forget that African countries are on the average about 50years old in terms of existence. The good thing going for the continent is that it has the largest youth population that has been exposed to what is happening in other nations espcially via social media and hollywood movies. And these are the ones that will drive the continent to greatness, because they have seen how good societies work, and they want same things for themselves and their children.

        • dirk says

          Maybe, Sagesse, that’s the whole problem ……that people want the same things for themselves and their children….. and not only in SA.
          This whole wanting thing , so not in the first place building and working for something affordable , but stressing the wanting factor,in fact, not yet known in my early youth, but now spreading all over the globe. Where will this end? Four billion Africans soon, wanting the same things (as they see elsewhere???)

          • dirk says

            Correction about that wanting not yet known in my early youth: not 100% so, of course, I remember myself saying now and then, walking with my mother and passing the Polar Bear icecream cart: -Mommy, mommy, I want a vanilla ice-cream, please!!…….-.

          • Sagesse says

            This is such a strawman. I never mentioned that people want things without working for them. If you ask the average youth in Africa, he/she will tell you that they just need the government to provide the basic infrastructure i.e. power, good roads etc and get out of the way, so they build their businesses and wealth themselves. No one wants anything handed to him or her. The backbone of our economies has been entrepreneurs, who have built whole industries from scratch without any form of help or government interventions. So when I say people see something and want it, I am not saying we want that thing handed to us, rather we see a thing, we acknowledge the work it takes to achieve that and we put in the shift required to attain those things. All I am saying is that after years of repressive dictatorships across the continent, it is going to take sometime, but give it a few decades and the diferrence between the west and Africa will become insignificant.

        • Brian says

          The problem is, “want” doesn’t necessarily translate to “work”. To many, it means “take”. We see that with mass immigration to the U.S. Those people “want” a better life, so instead of putting in the excruciatingly hard work to make it happen in their homeland, they move to where it’s nice and try to get a piece of somebody else’s pie.
          Or in the case of Zimbabwe or SA, they see their neighbor prospering and “want” that too, so they take it. Unbeknownst to the takers, it takes a heck of a lot of hard work to become prosperous.

          • dirk says

            But what is work, Brian? Not in the US, but in the continent of Africa?
            I think I know, it’s the mother with a baby on her back (no creches there like in Sweden), toiling with a hoe in her dusty maize or cassava plot, in order to feed her husband and children. Or that same woman, walking 5 miles home with a bucket of water on her head. Or the Zulu chiefs, conquering with their armies of healthy strong youngsters a nearby village or possession somewhere, and dividing the bounty among the most faithful warriors. I don’t say that this is still the general rule , but it was the common world and norm until quite recently.

          • dirk says

            Now, Sagesse, would you believe I really sympathise with you? And hope for the best? I just 1 week ago sent some money to a very nice woman in some African village who, I think, deserves it more than anybody else, she worked for me and did whatever I didn’t like to do, years ago . I went out fishing with the men there, fish, bananas, rice, ducks, chicken, goats, wood for the stove, everything was there. The only thing missing: material wealth that we think is necessary (and the rightful thing to spread) now all over the world. Here, I do not agree! But,best wishes, I really mean it!

          • dirk says

            I don’t mean they should stay at the stage of ducks and woodstoves, but that they work it all out at their own pace, with their own means, not at their wants, that spawns only stress and discomfort. Better look at Bhutan!

        • Stephanie says

          Sagesse, I’m not sure your desire to build your country up is widely shared. About a third of Africans in countries studied are considering migration, disproportionately the young and educated. Of those considering migration, 50% want to go to North America or Europe.

          These statistics paint a picture of a sizeable portion of the best of African’s next generation interested in cashing in on what Americans and Europeans have built instead of building up something for themselves.

    • Jay Salhi says

      What percentage of the population growth is attributable to immigration?

      How is a corrupt, incompetent government that cannot control its borders or take a proper census going to get a grip on population growth?

  18. Rue Bannister says

    Im one on the minorities mentioned in this article, and what a relief to read some intelligent take on our dysfunctional country.

    • dirk says

      What are you doing now there Rue, and what are you recent experiences on the matters ? Just tell us a few things! For me and many more on Quillette it is just something very far from our comfortable situations and lives here!

  19. neoteny says

    millions of Zimbabweans, Malawians, Congolese and others have flooded into a country that already doesn’t have enough jobs

    Because the country’s economy is depressed due to governmental corruption and private criminal behaviour. Private firms can’t operate successfully in such an environment; and the rest is socialism.

  20. Locketopus says

    Mandela was a Communist and thus, by definition, stupid, evil, or both. My money is on both.

    The inevitable sequelae of Marxism are playing out in South Africa now, just as they have played out in every other country where Marxist forms of government have been established. It’s merely taken a bit longer to run out of other people’s money, since South Africa was a relatively prosperous country in the first place.

    South Africa isn’t the first country to learn that living in an authoritarian (but prosperous) country may be preferable to starvation in a communist workers’ paradise, and it likely won’t be the last. Certainly it’s not going to stop as long as people like the author continue to give tongue baths to Marxist thugs like Nelson Mandela. He was just a shorter Robert Mugabe, dude, not any kind of saint.

  21. David V says

    More people were killed in Rwanda in 100 days than in South Africa in a 100 years covering both the Boer War and Apartheid. And Rwanda was not an episode that just happened suddenly, but the result of decades of anti-Tutsi ideology being inculcated by vengeful Hutu-led regimes (although many Hutu did not embrace this ideology). Similarly in Zanzibar, the 1964 Revolution which deposed the Sultanate was followed by killings of many of the Arab population.

    The Soviet Union, which supported the ANC and SACP, killed vastly greater numbers of people and forcibly removed far more people than South Africa did, and certainly far more than colonial powers are alleged by left-wing historians to have done in Africa. Which brings me to the conclusion the root of much of the postcolonial “white guilt” ideology poisoning Western discourse has its roots in Soviet propaganda designed to demoralise the West.

  22. sumpin' says

    “the architects of apartheid bequeathed a society that already was not only racist, but unequal”

    …and better in every way for all, everything considered. See what lack of humility, understanding, and wisdom has wrought, and weep.

    …or just deny this and claim racism.

    • Sagesse says

      Maybe better for the Afrikaans and other whites. Defintely not for the blacks. I just cant understand why we have to whitewash something that was defintely evil, just because the system that replaced it, is as evil and corrupt as the former. Both systems are bad and unsustainable. What South Africa needs is not apartheid or the current system, but rather something that serves all racial groups, black, white, indian, coloured and gives everyone the opportunity to make for themselves what the wish to be (equality of opportunity)

      • sumpin' says

        To be in “control” in time of utter decline which likely will result in massive amounts of suffering and death is better than being subservient in times of prosperity ONLY in the minds of the deluded and ignorantly idealistic. Subservience allows one to learn basics for sustainability over the due course of time, given sufficient attention and effort. To cut short this process is to invite and probably guarantee failure, and nature’s reward for failure is death.

        Look reality in the face. It’s not pretty, but the alternative is much worse, as is so well captured by the decline of SA over the course of ONLY 25 f’ing years.

      • Locketopus says

        “Both systems are bad and unsustainable.”

        South Africa was a near First World country. Now it’s Third World. And yes, everybody was better off before, including the blacks. This is true of most post-colonial African countries.

        I won’t say “all”, because I haven’t looked into them all, but it is the case for all the ones with which I am familiar.

        Where do you get the idea that being oppressed is somehow less horrible if the oppressor is the same color as you, even if the oppression is objectively worse?

        That’s just a completely bizarre point of view.

        • Sagesse says

          Locketopus, and where did you get the idea that being oppressed as long as there is a veneer of economic prosperity, which does nothing for the oppressed but empowers the oppressors is okay. Like a commentator said below, most of you are just plain racists hiding under a thin veener of science and faulty logic which when examined doesn’t hold water.
          Apartheid was good for blacks, SOD OFFF!!!!

  23. Andrew Scott says

    Have you people never read about the vague, barely-defined evolutionary concept of speciation? In order to support the theory, species of birds and fish living in adjacent regions with trivial differences in appearance and behavior are classified as different species, even though they can effortlessly breed together and often do.

    By this logic, black people and white people are different species. They have slightly different physical characteristics, make slightly different sounds, and according to many people commenting here, they have significantly different IQs. (I have a high IQ and I can tell you what a meaningless distinction that it.)

    According to what people here post, black people and white people are different species. (For emphasis and clarity, I do not believe that, not even a little bit. This is a load of crap.)

    But the whole point of this site is courageous intellectual honesty. Let’s see some. Put up or shut up. Are you prepared to assert that black people and white people are different species? I think I’ve found the limits of your so-called courage. I don’t think you can say it, even though it’s 100% consistent with how species are distinguished and your own professed beliefs. Prove me wrong. I dare you. You can’t say it.

    • Andrew Scott says

      To add some detail: Google “examples of observed speciation” and examine the results which include multiple species of Galapagos finches. They are indistinguishable to the untrained eye. Their geographic isolation is minimal. No one has ever done comparative tests of their intelligence. They can breed with each other.

      Black and white people have more distinct differences in appearance. On average black men are physically stronger than white men. One could say that they have different mating rituals. For most of history they have been geographically separated.Even when interspersed they gravitate toward breeding with their own kind. And, according to comments on this site, black people are genetically inclined to be less intelligent than white people.

      Similarly, grizzly bears and polar bears can and do breed. If they don’t it’s largely because of their geographic separation. No one questions whether we should consider them different species. It’s in every book. Anyone can tell them apart.

      If it wasn’t politically incorrect, we would have applied the same criteria and determined that black and white people are different species long ago. It’s a no-brainer.

      Those who comment here aren’t afraid of being politically incorrect. They courageously follow the evidence where it leads and call what they see. Those who don’t agree are disregarding scientific evidence in favor of political correctness.

      I’m curious to see who is willing to follow the evidence to its obvious, logical, scientific conclusion. If you won’t then you have become what you criticize and cannot lay claim to intellectual honesty.

      (Disclaimer: In case anyone has missed it, I do not believe that black and white people are different species. I’m highly skeptical of claims that there are differences in intelligence between white people and black people.)

      • Andrew Worth says

        Andrew Scott, I’ve always used this definition of species: “a group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding.”

        I’ve no doubt that the rate of inter-race human procreation is increasing and will continue to do so in the future, can you believe interracial marriage was actually illegal in some states in the US as recently as 1967?

    • Bob says

      Nobody wants to fight about words. What matters is facts: countries governed by populations with lower average IQ are systematically going backwards (in crime rates, in democracy etc). A powerful political area sticks to the wrong blank state ideology, and puts Western civilization at risk. Indeed, human intelligence is the most important natural resource, and the uncontrolled growth of populations with lower IQ combined with massive illegal immigration might lead to a disaster: Western countries could develop problems similar to South Africa and decline into crime, corruption, violence. Trump used the word “shitholes”. Try visiting some countries to see what this word means. This a serious problem that needs to be discussed, even if it is not politically correct.

      • Andrew Worth says

        Bob “countries governed by populations with lower average IQ are systematically going backwards (in crime rates, in democracy etc).” Simply not true, and IQ is increasing in those lower average IQ populations. IQ had until the 1980’s also been increasing in high IQ Western countries, the recent decline there is not, as I’ve no doubt you wish to believe, due to immigration.

        • Dan Flehmen says

          IQ might well be increasing (the Flynn effect), but when you start with a mean below 70, small increases are not going to accomplish much. Africa faces demographic disaster in the next decade or two, far too slowly for the Flynn effect to produce meaningful solutions.

      • Andrew Scott says


        I haven’t seen any statements about the IQ of the particular people in charge in South Africa. Why aren’t you arguing that they should find some of their more intelligent people to lead their government? If you feel that the problem is the IQ within the government, wouldn’t that be a perfectly logical suggestion? (I’d argue that anyone with a high IQ would have considered it.)

        But you didn’t think of that. Instead of such an obvious idea, you jumped straight to the conclusion that the problem is their alleged average inferiority to white populations. They don’t have an intelligent government because they’re all black and they can’t scrape together a few articulate, high-IQ specimens.

        Don’t you see how that points the finger back at you?

        I do have a high IQ. I assure you, it doesn’t mean what you think it does. It’s a convenience, like being tall. It’s also a questionable measurement because people can only devise tests according to how their own minds work. Intelligence manifests in many ways. Wisdom, not a high IQ, is what makes a capable leader.

        Why do you assume that I haven’t been to South Africa? I have, both the best parts and the worst.

        • sumpin' says

          AS, If you’re flaunting your experience with SA, why don’t you provide some concrete guidance to them, since there are obviously struggling, and these struggles appear to originate from within the country and the ruling inhabitants. All you provide here is righteous indignation, which is probably projection to a large extent.

          You are correct about one thing though; IQ is overrated, since without common sense, it is worthless. Overrated is not insignificant, however.

          • Andrew Scott says

            I don’t know anything about how to fix South Africa. It was suggested that I should visit some of the countries, as if I hadn’t.

            It seems fairly obvious that their government is doing a terrible job and making a mess.

            What I’m pointing out is that some folks in these comments are as racist as anything I’ve ever seen. They’re not stating the obvious, which is that South Africa’s government is corrupt. They’re saying that the problem is that South Africa is full of low-IQ black people and everything was great as long as they had white people with their genetically superior intellect to run things then everything was much better.

            There’s a weak attempt to hide this racism behind a veneer of reason and science, claiming that black people have lower average IQs. But when you scratch the surface it doesn’t hold up. It’s obvious that they could find some smart people to run their government unless someone thinks they’re all just a bunch of dumb animals. Is corruption really a sign of a low IQ, anyway?

            The racism isn’t in the article. But the comments are atrocious. They add up to, “What do you expect – they’re a bunch of stupid black people who should have left white people in charge,” followed by KKK propaganda about black people having low IQs.

            Quillette has a reputation for being edgy. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s some screwed up stuff going on and a lot of articles point it out.

            It’s also going to have a well-earned reputation as forum for racists to spout racist propaganda while allowing said racists to claim that they’re just being honest.

            Going back to my earlier assertion: If anyone believes that black people are different enough to have distinctly lower intelligence, then by any standard of species classification they should be considered a different species. There’s a distinct difference in appearance and other physical traits, geographic isolation, reproductive separation, and they’re less intelligent. If this was any other living thing on earth they’d easily be considered a different species.

            Some people commenting here clearly feel that way. The only reason not to say it is that it’s not politically correct. To say what you think when it’s unpopular is courageous, isn’t it? And isn’t holding it back cowardice? So just say it. They’re not homo sapiens. Or they are, and white people are homo-something-superior.

            (Disclaimer: In case anyone has missed it, I do not believe that black and white people are different species. I’m highly skeptical of claims that there are differences in intelligence between white people and black people.)

          • Stephanie says

            Andrew Scott misunderstands the concept of speciation, proclaims his high-IQ, and then accuses everyone of thinking black people are a different species. No attempt to understand the IQ statistics or the implications thereof, just self-righteous accusations of racism.

          • Andrew Worth says

            Stephanie, I believe Andrew Scott has a very strong argument buried what he says.

            If we’re trying to look at racial IQ scientifically we should be recognizing that because science is a process in which doubt always remains, people should not be claiming the differences in IQ that we see as case closed, such people simply are not taking a scientific approach in assessing the issue.
            It’s a fact that IQ measurements can change hugely with a change in environmental factors. Examples:
            (1) In the West average female intelligence was once judged to be significantly lower than male intelligence, and it wasn’t just males that believed that, most women and the test scores confirmed this theory, do you think it would have been scientifically sound conclude case closed, that females were less intelligent due to genetic factors?
            (2) During the Cold War IQ tests revealed a divergence in IQ between East Germans and West Germans, with, by the late ’80’s the East Germans being 8 IQ points behind their Western counterparts, I attribute this divergence to the various short comings of living under communism vs capitalism, do you think it reasonable for anyone to conclude that it was actually due to a West Germany genetic IQ superiority?
            (3) Koreans living in Japan, (where they’re looked down on by the dominant Japanese society) test far lower than the Japanese in IQ tests, when these Korean families move to America the children perform at the same level as Koreans that have migrated to the US from Korea and test similar to them in IQ, the obvious conclusion is that economic and social status in Japan depressed the Japanese Koreans academic motivation and self-belief, would you like to offer an alternative explanation based in genetics?
            (4) The Chinese in China on average had a lower IQ than white Americans 60 years ago, now they have a higher IQ, you’ll probably be happy to attribute the faster rise in IQ of the Chinese to genetics, it fits the popular race narrative, but I’m not buying it (not summarily dismissing it either) the Chinese on average push their kids to succeed far harder than Americans do, it’s part of their culture (the Ashkenazi Jews have a similar cultural focus on academic achievement) and for now that cultural aspect seems likely to me to be a factor in their higher IQ test results.
            (5) Spectacle wearers test higher for IQ than people with better unaided vision, genetic you think or a result of such people choosing academia over sport, or perhaps just them buying into the popular narrative that people who have glasses are smarter?
            (6) The Flynn effect as observed in the US and other Western countries. Black people living in Sub-Sahara Africa test about the same for IQ as Americans born 1900 did in 1920, since then the descendents of those Americans have improved over their ancestors of 100 years ago by 25 – 30 IQ points (unscaled test results), so in effect the average black African today has a similar IQ to Americans of 100 years ago. How do you figure that can be attributed to genetics?
            (7) The children of Black Caribbean and African people who’ve recently migrated to the US and Britain far out perform their Black US and British peers, in Britain they often out-perform their White British peers as well, cultural or genetic you think? Perhaps the reason is that those kids weren’t brought up in societies in which race branding (often I think having a huge affect on ones self belief) didn’t turn them away from academia, a huge proportion of successful black Americans eg Obama, Sowell, Powell have African or Caribbean parentage.
            (8) The average IQ of the people in India is around 80, but the children of Indians that Migrate to Western countries have far higher IQ’s anecdotally often higher than the average of their class mates, genetic? Or (my theory) the caste system in India depresses IQ in the same way that it did womens IQ in the West in past generations, how it does Koreans in Japan and Afro-Americans in the US?

            To be clear, I’m not attributing the depression of IQ of some minorities so much to imposed racism by the dominant culture/classes as much as to alienation and lack of self belief and false perceptions on the part of members of those minorities, something that won’t be fixed by claims of “white privilege” which could actually make the loss of motivation amongst minorities to get ahead an even bigger problem.

            Also just to be clear, The IQ depression through poverty, limited education and bad governance ( 1920’s America, Africa, East Germany), and the IQ depression through minority alienation (Black Americans, Koreans in Japan, lower castes in India) I see as different issues.

            In reality there’s a whole raft of factors that could influence group IQ test scores that we’ve barely even looked at.

    • Dan Flehmen says

      Andrew, you do not begin to understand speciation or the concept of species. The various human races, however finely you might choose to divide them, are perfectly good examples of the biological concept of subspecies: geographically separate populations which show measurable anatomical or genetic differences, and which interbreed freely where they meet. This entails no value judgement, for humans any more than frogs or mice.

    • Foyle says

      Sub Saharan Africa, like Australia, has been largely genetically isolated from the rest of the human race for something like 50000 years. We know this because they have no neanderthal ancestors (Europeans do ~2%). Similarly the presence of Denosivan DNA is almost unique to Asians 3-6% of their ancestry. Different parts of humanity have been effectively isolated a long long time, with little or no mixing. In that time certain attributes have been more strongly selected for amongst those branches. Europeans tend to be taller, heavier. Africans more athletically capable, North Eastern Asians and North Western Europeans smarter.

      • Andrew Worth says

        100 years ago Europeans weren’t as tall, heavy or as high in IQ as Europeans of today, in fact Europeans of 100 years ago were very similar in height, weight and IQ as Sub-Saharan Africans are today, so obviously there must have been a eugenics program imposed on Europeans that we’ve all forgotten about. /sarc.

        • Fuzzy Headed Mang says

          All your points Andrew Worth are very interesting and in fact cause me to think about IQ in a new way, how its dependent on many factors. I did not realize many of these points you make. The fact is there’s often less allele diversity among people of different “races” than among people of the same so called “race.” Studies at Stanford and other Universities have shown this. Race is an artificial construct based on surface features.

    • Foyle says

      It’s an ugly ugly reality but nothing other than eugenics can save Africa society at large from the problems created by their lower average intelligence.. Their problems could be fixed in a generation if the women there only bred with their population’s geniuses (sperm is cheap). Children of African geniuses can have average IQ nearing western mean (mean child IQ ~= mean(dad IQ + mom IQ + 2x population mean IQ)). Western standard childhood nutrition and medicine alone can only lift average IQ to 80-85ish (evidenced by children of African immigrants to west).

  24. Winston Smith says

    @ E. Olson I appreciate your thoughtful response. And I apologize for the Nazi comment.

    I agree with you that cultural heterogeneity is important. I’ll never forget the day my Kindergarten teacher taught us about “The Melting Pot.” And I’ll never forget how passionate and serious she was in explaining it. We were taught that one of America’s great strengths was that immigrants from all over the world had settled here and brought different parts of their culture, which were than contributed back to the common culture. An example of this would be the fine Italian cuisine that can be enjoyed in many U.S. cities as a result of having absorbed an Italian immigrant population. BUT –and this is absolutely CRUCIAL– the reason it works is that we all share the common culture. So some of us might speak Korean at the dinner table or observe any other myriad number of cultural customs, but in public we speak English. We wear bluejeans and we play baseball.

    Somewhere along the line, either the narrative changed or lots of people just didn’t get that email. Lots of people come here, reap all of the benefits of living here –including US dollars in their pockets– but they want to keep living in the old culture, speaking the old language, wearing the old clothes. That’s just a recipe for division and resentment.

    • E. Olson says

      Winston – you raise a very important point about the melting pot, which used to be rightly celebrated. It is also important to note that it was also product of the extreme limits on all immigration to the US from the 1920s to 1964. Cutting off the supply of new Italians, Greeks, Swedes, Germans, Japanese, etc. coming into the US during that era and keeping their individual languages and customs alive in nationality segregated ghettos, meant the earlier immigrants had to become English speaking, hot dog eating, baseball playing, flag saluting Americans. Assimilation only occurs if the new supply of people from any given nation/culture is extremely limited, and without assimilation you don’t get a national culture and decent amounts of social capital.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Winston Smith

      Not everyone in American history signed up for the “melting pot”, the Amish and ultra-orthodox Jews being among the most prominent examples prior to the ascendancy of Political Correction.

      Now we’re seeing Muslim immigrants forming exclusive communities as well, but they are by no means plowing new ground.

      • David V says

        The difference is that the Amish and Hasidic Jews, while not assimilated, are INTEGRATED into national life – there is a difference in terms here. They are separate, maintain their separate identity apart from outsiders. However, they are law-abiding citizens who participate in the political process, and do not seek to impose their will on others or compel society to make concessions to them at every turn. They do not play the victim card endlessly (even though both groups have a long history of being persecuted).

        • E. Olson says

          Very good point David – nobody is worried about the Amish shooting up a synagogue, church, or Mosque, or about Amish grooming gangs, or about Amish filling up our prisons.

  25. D. Moelling says

    I was in South Africa on an engineering project about the time of the turnover from Apartheid rule. I saw both Mandela and De Klerk on TV and was encouraged. But the biggest impression I got was that there was a tiny, sophisticated industrial economy superimposed on a larger colonial, agricultural country. There was always a high risk that the industrial, urban economy would not survive and it would be difficult to retain a high level of modern agriculture and restructure ownership. The traditional kinship based African culture is not well suited to modern commercial economies. Graft and corruption ruin all.

    • E. Olson says

      DM – thanks for sharing your personal experience – very interesting. One big problem for S. Africa was that if Nelson Mandela was their black George Washington, they didn’t have a bench with a black Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Ben Franklin, and other smart and honest founding fathers to back him up and keep things going after the elderly Mandela retired. Of course even Mandela would have been a disaster as leader if he had been let out of prison when he was still a firebrand Communist as he was in his pre-prison years.

  26. Morgan Foster says


    “Marxist thugs like Nelson Mandela”

    White bourgeois progressives love Marxist thugs. Che Guevara is still remembered fondly. Daniel Ortega, the Castro brothers.

    • Locketopus says

      Yeah, I’m old enough to remember when Mugabe was a big hero to them. Oddly, they don’t mention him much any more.

      • David V says

        Sekou Toure was one such “liberation hero” whose regime presided over the torture and murder of tens of thousands in Guinea, and a million Guineans as refugees in neighbouring countries as a result.

        Zimbabwe under Mugabe exported a higher % of its population than Syria has from war.

  27. Riaan Meyer says

    One day we shall realise the value and wisdom contained in the doctrine of forgiveness.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Riaan Meyer

      You know what happened to Jesus, right?

  28. Riaan Meyer says

    He also played the long game.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Riaan Meyer

      You don’t have the privilege of being the son of God. You don’t have a long game.

      If you’re skeptical, get yourself crucified and then tell us how forgiveness worked out for you.

    • Era Vulgaris says

      Once I’m resurrected, I’ll forgive everyone too.

  29. peterschaeffer says

    It turns out there are a lot of economic statistics for South Africa (the RSA). They are not great, but they do not point to impending collapse. Please note that these are economic numbers, not political. Perhaps the RSA will tear itself apart politically. That is a quite different issue.

    It turns out the RSA isn’t doing all that well (compared to its peers), but is not a basket case. To use some simple numbers (all in constant dollars), the GDP of the RSA grew from $360 billion in 1994 to $656 billion in 2014. Over the same period per-capita GDP grew from $5,475 to $7,525 in 2017 (constant 2010 dollars). Of course, per-capita GDP was as high as $6,624 in 1981 (a peak year).

    The growth the RSA has enjoyed since the year 2000 is probably a consequence (partial consequence) of the global commodities boom over the same years. Note that the global commodities boom accounts for some of the growth in Argentina and other nations as well.

    So how does the RSA compare with its peers? The first question/problem would be to name the peers. I don’t want to use China as a peer, because China is such a superstar, that make almost every other country look bad. So for this analysis I have chosen Malaysia and Thailand.

    Malaysia’s per-capita GDP (2010 dollars), rose from $3,463 in 1981, to $5,859 in 1994, to $11,528 in 2017. In other words, Malaysia was well behind the RSA in 1981 but is now well ahead. Overall GDP for Malaysia has grown from $242 billion in 1994 to $650 billion in 2014. Of course, Malaysia has grown more than the RSA. However, the gap in GDP growth isn’t that overwhelming.

    Thailand’s per-capita GDP (2010 dollars) rose from $1,457 in 1981, to $3,298 in 1994, to $6,126 in 2017. In other words, Thailand was once much poorer than the RSA but has come close to catching up (but hasn’t yet). Overall GDP for Thailand has grown from $502 billion in 1994 to $992 billion in 2014. Once again, Thailand has grown more than the RSA, but the gap isn’t that large.

    As it turns out, limited inequality statistics are available for all three countries. The RSA is far (far) more unequal and inequality does not appear to be going down. By contrast, Malaysia and Thailand are much more equal and inequality appears to be falling substantially.

      • Contrarian says

        Look up: 1. Flynn effect. 2. correlation between childhood infection rates and adult IQ 3. Reverse Flynn effect – drop in IQ in advanced western countries since 1990.

  30. Era Vulgaris says

    The most telling part about this entire story, and one that no one has commented on, is the utter indifference towards what’s happening to the whites of SA by the very Jews and white liberals who pushed the West to boycott the country until they handed power over to the blacks. Either total indifference or smug moral preening.

    It’s a great foreshadowing of what whites can expect in this country once liberals and (((liberals))) have had their way. And when it all goes pear-shaped, they’ll respond the same way: “You had it coming. You deserve this.”

    • David V says

      Why bring Jews into this? Jews in South Africa undoubtedly feel just as threatened, and the growth of black power and Islamist movements in the West and elsewhere also goes hand in hand with rising anti-Semitism. Logic and reasoning is not something anti-Semites are known for.

      • Quilt says

        Quillette needs to do something about sub-par contributors raging about “SJWs” and open anti-Semites coming here to vent.

      • Era Vulgaris says


        Because SA Jews were constant critics of whites in apartheid SA and provided crucial leadership in the anti-apartheid movement (both there and here in the US). And then when the wheels fell off their racial utopia, they’ve largely fled the country, leaving the whites to deal with the mess on their own.

        There’s no reason not to examine the Jewish role. We’re talking racial/group politics here, why they should they be exempt from discussion?

        • David V says

          The most radical proponents of identity politics in the West now are organised black and Muslim communities. Many of these are also virulently anti-Semitic. It would not make sense for there to be some kind of “Jewish conspiracy” to undermine society as anti-Semites are so fond of claiming.

        • EK says

          It’s a commonplace amongst Members of the Tribe that other Members are often their worst enemies.

  31. Johan says

    Maybe African states should put democracy on hold for a century. Western and Asian technocrats could run the countries until the populations change their culture…
    Maybe a futile idea. Colonialism went on for almost a century. Not much changed…

    • Dan Flehmen says

      Africa needed a few more centuries, and many generations, under benevolent East African style colonialism. The second worst thing Europe did to Africa was to colonize it. The worst thing was to give it independence after only a few decades of westernization.

      • Andrew Worth says

        Dan Flehmen, societies, like children, have to be given the chance to grow-up, even though there will be tears in the process, keep treating them like children and they’ll continue acting like children – just as SJW’s and ShamRock do.

      • dirk says

        Agree Dan, and the case Congo, where the whites were chased away (or retreating?) even more suddenly than what was the already hasty and chaotic original plan, was described marvelously by David Reybrouckin in -Congo-. Should read it. He writes that, before independence broke loose, there was not even one black doctor, engineer, agronomist or lawyer, but there was a frantic rush to enforce things. Some locals visited the villas of the last whites, and thought that not only the property, but also their white wives would be theirs after independence.

    • Morgan Foster says


      “Maybe African states should put democracy on hold for a century.”

      Maybe the rest of the world should leave Africa – physically and financially – and let whatever happens there, happen.

      • Johan says

        @ Morgan Foster…Why do you even say that the rest of the world should leave Africa and what does it even mean…Are you childish or is it a mind game? Playing around with “what if” can be fun but that’s all.
        Refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea…What kind of interaction do you propose?

  32. Era Vulgaris says

    “Maybe the rest of the world should leave Africa – physically and financially – and let whatever happens there, happen.”

    That sounds nice but here in the real world, nobody has ever been “left alone to work things out” by their neighbors and never will be. I hear Muslims say the same thing, “If the West and Russia would just leave the Middle East alone long enough to let us breathe, we could sort our problems out.”

    Which is laughable, of course. The rest of the world left sub-Saharan Africa alone for centuries. They were still using rocks for tools in the 19th century.

    • dirk says

      Development on your own -, then one must think on Ethiopia, the only African nation not colonized (though occupied for short time), any large differences with the other post-colonized ones?? In Asia, Japan, Thailand and also China (upto some points) are the left-alone ones. The Dutch, unlike in SA, never succeeded to have much influence in Japan, they tried so, but never came further than a small artificial Island, Decima Island. What can be the lessons here?

      • dirk says

        One lesson already struck my mind: Ethiopia is now carved out in parcels for European flower and vegetable growers, at the expense of the local inhabitants and cattle owners, their discomfort now and then shown in burning down those modern production centers (the government not taking sides with them, but with the European investors). So, whatever their non-colonized history might have been, modern times seem to belong to Era’s stances of the global interdependence and influences. Locality on the retreat, lamentably.

        What is the difference with SA and Ethiopia? In both countries the whites growing grapes, vegetables and fruits on large (much larger than in Europe) modern farms, and the locals either working there, or at the margins. BUT……in Ethiopia the whites are expats, in SA also locals, authochtones with old roots (centuries, like in US).
        Other difference: the government in SA siding with their own people, not so in Ethiopia.

  33. Daniel says

    It is really not as bad a picture as is painted by this article. There is some hope and elections are a time to be hopeful. Some South Africans are more optimistic than this.

  34. Hutch says

    I have to tell you that the sheer chaos and stupidity of this place is the most fun you can have with your pants on.

    If you think SWJ’s and criminal proceedings against pug owners is clown world, The honk honk honk noise down here would deafen you.

    You never get fully acclimatised to it but good food, weather and honk honk is all you need.

  35. dirk says

    SWJ’s, what can that be, Hutch? Silly Wasp Juveniles?

  36. Graham says

    Somebody needs to write about how the white farmers are being raped, tortured, and murdered en masse by racist blacks, who then proceed, a la Zimbabwe, to run their farms into the ground.

    Just a thought.

  37. dirk says

    Yesterday, news again on the ballots in SA, and comments about the main problems right now: inequality and unemployment! I wonder whether it is realised that these two problems are directly linked: less inequality in SA means automaticlly more unemployment and the reverse. If we follow Julius Malema and chase away the few rich white farmers ( ” Shoot the Boer……”) with their 100s of fieldworkers each, without a doubt (as happened in Zimbabwe) the equality in average incomes will increase, but the BNP will likely go from the 6000 dollar/yr/prs to 3 or 2000 dl/yr (such as in Chad or Mauretania). Unemployment will be even more than it is now (though, maybe, more self sufficient small peasants).
    Same thing in Ethiopia, but, big difference, there the rich white farmers are expats, so, ephemeral strangers, without a right to vote on the policy.

    • dirk says

      More precise: those white farmers have an average of 20 black fieldworkers, but the Kaap vineyards and fruit farmers of Natal much more than that!

  38. Quilt says

    Comment section right now is ugly, with white racists barely unable to hide their glee at the failures of a black South Africa.

    Having said that, failed it has indeed. South Africa is a paradoxical mess, first world on the surface but third world in substance. And it seems to combine the worst of the two.

    I suspect the cure is simple. South Africa needs to stop pretending that it is in the same league as developed countries, and pivot to a developmental capitalist regime that has helped Asia and is now found even in some isolated pockets of Africa. Modi’s nationalist-religious-capitalist BJP government in India could be the goal.

    The problem is, South African blacks will never accept this. Capitalism is associated with white people in the country, and for good reason, since white South Africans still do exponentially better than black South Africans. Economic growth will help them even more. The political majority of South Africa is just not getting behind the project of national renewal.

    So black South Africans will continue to drape themselves in the distribution-ist, revolution-ist rhetorics of far-left politics that ANC and EFF espouse. And due to the country’s deep historical connections with the West, they will always find cheerleaders amongst Western liberals (white and black alike).

    In conclusion, I see South Africa trending in its current course of utter mediocrity for the foreseeable future.

    • Andrew Worth says

      Quilt, good comment, if you look at the rest of Sub-Sahara Africa it has only in the last decade or so really started to get its act together, so it takes a couple of generations from colonialism for a country to shed the antagonism towards characteristics associated with the colonialists. So South Africa is only half way there, this generation has to f*ck things up with socialism for the next to properly learn the mistake.

  39. Era Vulgaris says

    Hey Quillette,

    Can we do something about these SJW slime balls like Quilt over here? You don’t want people like this coming in and demanding that you ban people with opinions they don’t like. This douchebag is exactly the problem that web sites like this were designed to rebut. Can we just ban her already?

  40. Nick E. says

    Does anyone actually look on a world map and see how BIG Africa is? Most every other country in the world would fit with room to spare.

    • dirk says

      Could it be, Nick, this is just the problem? Africa too big for human conditions? I lived and worked there, it’s amazing, you drive 100s of miles without seeing anything else as dust and shrubland, not even nice trees or grass, it’s unbelievable, what would have become of me, if borne there?
      And just look only at the landscapes from the link of Foyle, same dust and just a scarce shrub here and there, and yet there are white farmers with cattle, sheep and goats? How on earth do they manage?? They all deserve a Nobel price. Of course this is the inland, in the Kaap it is better.

  41. David V says

    South Africa became a popular cause for liberals because it became a way for them to express their feelings of “White Guilt”. Eventually, this was transferred into believing their own countries’ histories were an original sin – a phenomenon especially present in the UK, USA and Australia. Apartheid thus formed part of the canon of the Diversity Religion along with Nazism, colonialism and the Civil Rights Movement.

  42. markbul says

    I’d worry less about corruption than intelligence – or the lack thereof. You can run a revolution without intelligence, but you can’t run a modern nation state without it. Power plants need engineers – how many black South Africans were born with sufficient intelligence to leran engineering? Lenin said that any industry could be run by anyone knowing the first four rules of arithmetic. How did that work out for him? Guns will get you power – they won’t get you a reliable power supply. The truth is, the racist Imperialists were probably right. African really can’t run their own countries. Not now, anyway.

    • dirk says

      Now, hell, what nonsense Markbul, local, authochtone people can’t run their own people and territory? What is this? Imagine, somebody telling me that I can’t run my own household, because he has other ideas how this should be done. I know this exists, and is practiced, but don’t agree.

      The author of -Congo-, David van Reybrouck, had a talk with a local chief about the Belgian and UN idea about how the new nation had to be ruled: by democratic ballots! What nonsense, they told him, that would only bring misery, leave policy to the elderly and wisest men of the community, otherwise, total chaos.

      As a European, I think, wrong idea, but, maybe , after all, not so wrong for the African situation.

      • dirk says

        And , Markbul, the Africans ruled themselves , their smaller communities or larger kingdoms, for, let’s say, 10 or 30 thousand years. The problems start of course with colonisations and decolonisations, or with apartheid and de-apartheid all of a sudden. OK, in that case, you are asking for troubles.

  43. DCvoyeur says

    This is another Zimbabwe in the making. The leaders have promised the world and they have no way to deliver. It is the white mans fault so taking the white mans stuff will lead to utopia as promised by the SA leaders. As the farm land becomes less productive the people will get hungry. When they get hungry their great thieving leaders will blame the white mans sabotage and accelerate the confiscation of other industries and condos and cars. Cause taking responsibility for their incompetence and corruption would result in them being shot. The foreign investment will dry up since ownership laws are the foundation of capitalism and so will economic growth. Once ESKOM completely fails due to hiring 40,000 incompetent workers based upon their skin colors and the massive corruption and lack of maintenance and incompetent management then the real fun begins. Sewage is intermittently treated now and the shortage of water will be exacerbated as the pumps have no power. Disease will spread. The rest of the world will be called in to fix the problems (all caused by the white man since the black man is incapable of doing any wrong). The NYT and the Wash Pot will spin their narratives and demand more money be spent to prop up the newly created welfare state. Yes I think it is the future and you don’t need to be psychic ya just need to look at the players involved and their history in other situations.

    • dirk says

      If that happens, DC, I really hope that the interference of the west will take care first for the wildparks, otherwise, even the last elephants, hartebeests and other tasty wild will all be shot and eaten up. That would be a great pity!

  44. Paulo says

    “dreadful irony is that Afrikaner nationalists’ dire predictions about majority rule seem to have come true.”

    Why is it so ironic? Predicting that post-apartheid South Africa would look like the rest of sub-Saharan Africa seems to me a pretty straightforward and obvious exercise.

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