“When we gained power, the country was at the edge of the abyss; since, we have taken a great step forward.”
—unnamed African government minister

Tocqueville in the 19th century, and Solzhenitsyn in the 20th, noted that conformity of thought is powerfully prevalent among Americans.  I have always thought that a strong justification for freedom of speech and press is the possibility, however small, that a lonely voice telling an unwanted truth might be heard.  Such a speaker requires intellectual courage—the rarest of all forms of courage.  The feisty, independent-minded libertarian columnist Ilana Mercer has that courage—in spades—as she chronicles the drawn-out murder of civilization in her native South Africa.  She not only describes what is happening, she tells us how it came about and what it means.  This is one libertarian who knows that the market is wonderful, but it is not everything.

Ah, those were the days, my friend!  And not so long ago, too, when democracy dawned in southern Africa!  The queen danced with Sir Robert Mugabe, Nobel Prizes were handed out, and the U.S. Congress fawned over the foreign terrorist Mandela.  (Who could be bothered to care if that old fogey Solzhenitsyn was barred from the White House?)  The media celebrated a brave new world.  American do-gooders,  governmental and nongovernmental, swarmed over the end of the no-longer Dark Continent to show the natives how they, too, could implement the hallowed American achievements of integration, affirmative action, and one-man one-vote.  It was almost like Selma and Martin Luther King all over again.

It seems the party is over, and the departed guests have rather rapidly become uninterested in the post-party debris.

Mercer’s title is only slightly hyperbolic, for indeed traditional African customs and proclivities are staging something of a postcolonial comeback.  Surprise, surprise.

We all know that statistics can be disputed, but the cumulative impact of what Mercer describes is persuasive and terrible.  The “new democratic South Africa” is becoming a one-party dictatorship.  The rule of law is disappearing.  Violent crime is rampant and unpunished, much of it deliberately orchestrated to inflict dhimmitude on the white population.  Police are so uncaring, incompetent, and corrupt that private white security companies are hired to protect their stations; healthcare is crashing, and AIDS, officially blamed on white treachery, is endemic.  Infrastructure is deteriorating, so that oil lamps are once again in common use.  Islam is growing apace.  All who are able fly away (on non-South African airlines, preferably).  Last year South Africa, for the first time in her history, became a net food importer.  The new democratic government ministers of the noble African National Congress are copying their peers across the continent—shipping billions in loot abroad to safe white banks for their enjoyment in the day when the gold-laying goose is dead.

The Dutch and French Protestants who created South Africa were not colonialists, immigrants, or imperialists—terms that are now hopelessly confused by propaganda distortions.  Like the founders of what became the United States, they were part of the Settler Revolution of the 17th and 18th centuries—when hardy, brave, enterprising Christians went out from Western Europe and made the barren places of the earth to bloom.  South Africa was not created by imperialism, although she suffered the imperialism of white over white in the British conquest of the Boers and the more recent destruction of the old regime by American and European wealth and power.  The founding people of South Africa, cousins to the founders of America, are not welcome in the United States, unlike Mexican criminals and Middle Eastern terrorists and “the Lost Boys of the Sudan”—even though they are, per capita, the most likely murder victims on earth (murder customarily accompanied by rape and torture).

This should not be among our surprises.  The early settlers of the United States are now routinely despised by those who squat on their accomplishments.  The descendants of the Settlers are today everywhere outnumbered by immigrants and ruled by imperialists.  The West retreats and diminishes.  This is one of the greatest changes known to history.  It is hardly even noticed, and, where noticed, it is celebrated.

The Settlers’ first encounters with savages (a type today greatly overrated) brought on some unpleasantness, but in some cases settlement was a net benefit for the natives.  This was far truer of South Africa, which black people have always queued up to get into, than of North America or Australia, where the natives were nearly annihilated, or South America, where they were enslaved.  Except that in South Africa the blacks were not natives but immigrants, who arrived at the same time as or later than the Settlers.

So we must wryly conclude that “the new democratic South Africa” is at best a mixed blessing for the black masses.  Despite massive affirmative action, their per capita income, employment, and longevity, all of which improved steadily under apartheid, are falling measurably.  Mercer refers to a study showing a nine-year fall in life expectancy.

The debacle of the “new” South Africa was obvious and predictable.  Indeed, it was inevitable.  In that sense, we may say that the destruction was a deliberate act on the part of the Western elites, the American ones especially.  The same cowardly, shortsighted, and irresponsible ruling and chattering classes of the West that brought about this encroaching heart of darkness remain in power and unrepentant.  The same delusions, and most of the same legal framework, that achieved this result prevail unchallenged in the United States.  Indeed, most of these things were invented here, following a sort of trial run in the now sanitized and sanctified enormity of Reconstruction.  The only differences between the United States and South Africa are the relative numbers and the fact that a massively expanding part of the American population is neither white nor black.

As the saying goes, what goes around, comes around.



[Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa, by Ilana Mercer (Seattle: Stairway Press) 319 pp., $24.95]