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Old 12-12-2013, 11:09 AM
 
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This author gives his opinion related to this stuff about whether or not Mandela was a communist and he also points out the problems with viewing Apartheid South Africa as capitalist.




Quote:

But it would be a very curious capitalist country that encouraged the development of national monopolies at the expense of private enterprise. Restricted banking activity. Limited economic activity by geographical, ethnic and other arbitrary measures. And imposed heavy taxes on a small taxpayer base to prop up a system that was as inefficient as it was unfair. Far from being capitalist, at heart, the Apartheid system was fascist with all the traits of the “social democratic” systems of 1930s Germany and Italy...

Nelson Mandela's View Of South African 'Capitalism' Was Misunderstood By Left AND Right - Forbes
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:13 AM
 
Location: San Francisco
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Yes, it's puzzling that so many American ultra-cons express admiration for a system that told its citizens where they could and could not live, work, shop, or travel -- and forced most of them to carry internal passports or else go to jail.
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pch1013 View Post
Yes, it's puzzling that so many American ultra-cons express admiration for a system that told its citizens where they could and could not live, work, shop, or travel -- and forced most of them to carry internal passports or else go to jail.
I remember Milton Friedman once pointing out how the Jim Crow in the American south was coming from a racist Big Government. From that I figured that Milton must have felt that the south needed a good dose of libertarianism.
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
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Great article, thanks for posting.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:58 AM
 
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I thought he made a good point when he said that just because a government was anti-communist didn't mean they were capitalist in the way most free market people understand it. Mobutu of Zaire was anti communist but I thought anyone would view his Zaire as an example of a capitalist economy.
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pch1013 View Post
Yes, it's puzzling that so many American ultra-cons express admiration for a system that told its citizens where they could and could not live, work, shop, or travel -- and forced most of them to carry internal passports or else go to jail.
It's puzzling, and at the same time, not puzzling. It is puzzling in the sense that I've been taught that this is a wrong way to live. I've been taught that subjecting others to oppressive laws based on race is wrong, and rightfully so. And I've been taught some of this in school. Knowing all of this, being taught all of this, it still puzzles me why some people would want to support horrible things like apartheid in the first place.

On the other hand, it does not seem so surprising anymore. It is more disturbing than surprising to see someone support the apartheid governments. But then I realize said persons support anything that they feel benefits them. Some people support apartheid because they don't care what happens to Blacks or other non-White people.
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pch1013 View Post
Yes, it's puzzling that so many American ultra-cons express admiration for a system that told its citizens where they could and could not live ot work, shop, or travel -- and forced most of them to carry internal passports or else go to jail.
Well, back in the Cold War days, the US government was viewing other countries through the lens of Communism or anti-Communism, were they with us or were they with the Soviets. Which of course, is way too simplistic and led to a lot of miscalculations with dealing with states who didn't want to be seen in that way; that's where the Non-aligned Movement came about, and the Third World (before it became a disparaging word for developing countries). And the old South African government probably picked up on this US myopia by saying, 'hey, you need us as a bulwark against the Communists". So it's probably fair to say that a lot of foreign policy hawks then tended to support SA for that rationale (helped by the fact that South Africa had/has a lot of mineral wealth). And yes, it's pretty darned twisted when one decries the repression in Eastern Bloc countries yet turn a blind eye to other countries that aren't Communist but are just as repressive if not moreso.
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:49 PM
 
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the only thing puzzling me about this is the notion that some significant section of the American right, believes SA was capitalist before the ending of Apartide.

Never heard that one.

The only thing I have heard was the truthful statement that the ANC was communist.
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Old 12-13-2013, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
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Well, most countries have what are called mixed economies, which means that there is both public and private economic actors present. So it's a bit of a misnomer to call South Africa "not capitalist" in this context - though it's all a matter of degree. Even Hong Kong, which is Milton Friedman's wet dream of a freewheeling capitalist state, has substantial state intervention - such as public housing, and it's full of cartels and monopolies in retail, transport, banking and more.

Many developing countries have historically followed what's called state-led capitalism, which means that there is considerable private industry and capital involved in the economy but follws a lot of government guidance and intervention, with the aim of serving national development needs. Japan (under the Meiji era through the post war era) and South Korea have done this.

Apartheid-era South Africa is no different - but they had some environmental factors that made it critical/strategic for state control or management of key economic sectors---namely threats of isolation due to international sanctions. They set up a lot of parastatals in key areas - such as energy and heavy industry. SASOL was established to develop synthetic fuels for the aim of energy independence so that the country would not be dependent on energy imports. The SA government also developed a local defense or military industry for the same reasons.

These state run enterprises also served domestic political purposes, as major employers for the Afrikaners, given that much of private industry was dominated by the English-speaking whites back in the day.

Granted, SA achieved a fair measure of self-sufficiency in energy/power and certain industries, but at a high cost to the economy. Privitization efforts of some parastatals started in the 1980s even before the return of majority rule in 1994, and are still continuing, while the public debates the role of these state companies in the country's economy.

Last edited by silverkris; 12-13-2013 at 01:51 PM..
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Old 12-13-2013, 01:43 PM
 
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Sounds like a false dichotomy.

That South Africa was "not capitalist" because it wasn't 100% what the author defines as capitalist. That like every country in the world it was a mixed economy of many different ideas that people like to classify by their opinions.

Especially with that old cannard that because Nazi Germany called itself the National Socialist party, they were socialist...and communist (which are actually different systems). China calls itself democratic, and Anders Behring Breivik called himself a Christian knight while shooting children. Doesn't mean either are what they call themselves. Normal people realize that what groups and people call themselves, and what they are in reality, are much different things.
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