Robert Duigan reflects on recent events in South Africa, and how they may be a harbinger for the future of Europe and North America too. He calls it "Civilizational Brinkmanship", and he's not optimistic.
I want to disagree with Mr. Duigan, but in all honesty he argues his position very well indeed. He sees many parallels between what's happening in South Africa today, and what happened in Zimbabwe recently, and what's happening in the West - Europe and North America - today. I have to admit, he makes a cogent case. I hope he's wrong . . . but I don't know that he is. There are enough warning signs flashing all around us to make me fear he isn't wrong.
Here are a few points from his very long discussion, which I highly recommend you read in full. It requires serious reading, with attention, but I guarantee it'll make you think.
We [in South Africa] live on the brink of barbarism, and the West is following us every step of the way.
A nation may have a lot of ruin in it, but a poor nation has less ruin in it than a wealthy one. When a state collapses or undergoes revolution in the distant reaches of Africa or Asia, there is a certain social distance which prevents Westerners directly apprehending the significance of the social dynamics, the closeness of the dangers, the universality of the lessons, the pain and the tragedy of the loss.
But South Africa is different. South Africa is at once Western and alien to Westerners. Our constitution is Western. Our revolutionaries and our reactionaries and our racial cosmology is Western. Our highest aspiration is that of the West at large – a universal state which recognises no difference of class, race, or creed. And that is why when we observe South Africa, we stare into the abyss of Western civilisation and its global future. Each Westerner sees himself reflected in that void, from the national-socialist, to the anarcho-communist, to the black-nationalist and the bleeding-heart liberal.
And they are right to.
. . .
Why is it so hard to get real criticism of South Africa’s political system? Why don’t we ever hear about any of this? Our state is a crumbling torture chamber, but what we keep hearing instead is that everything is just fine, we just need to fix the inequality. This stuck record strikes a chord with international audiences, who like the good feel-good story our rainbow nation promised, and adore the knowledge that, no matter who you are, you are better than those horrid white South Africans. But at home, the climate of mandatory optimism is beginning to invoke an allergic reaction. And yet so many struggle to locate the cause of the itch.
South Africa is a Socialist country. Perhaps not in its current economic arrangement, which is a complex mixture of socialism, welfare-liberalism, idiocracy-style technocracy, neo-patrimonialism, feudalism and organised crime. But in the culture of the elites, and in the spirit of the constitution, we are indeed socialist. The preamble of our 1996 constitution itself dedicates the purpose of the document to the achievement of social justice, that strange and pernicious incantation that transforms the universal yearning for the transcendent value of justice into a scythe to sweep the tall poppies from the field.
. . .
But now the power plays are not for economic sectors, and they are not for local admin blocks. They are for the heart of the state. And that means shutting down everything, starting with the Johannesburg-Durban economic corridor, which forms the core of our economy, and the central artery to the mining industry at its heart. The state provided no defence, and the Minister of Defence has spent the past week contradicting the president in public. The army, corroded by decades of mismanagement and poorly implemented integration with the revolutionary guerrilla forces, are not capable of much, and are considered a joke by the whole nation.
The police had to be rescued by the impromptu civilian defence forces. In the current storm, everyone is finally feeling it – there is no shelter from the winds of change.
. . .
Just as the ANC funds the influx of black voters into urban minority areas to build shacks on squatted land, the West welcomes mass migration from the third world, total open-borders, to transform the electoral system against the interests of the native population who might have their own desires, against the grain of global empire. Every corporation and state in the Western world discriminated against whites in hiring. The CIA peddles Critical Race Theory and actively recruits sexual minorities. Colour revolutions can be spotted whenever the rainbow flag or black fist makes an appearance.
Today, the Democratic Party in the US openly looks to South Africa for inspiration in dealing with what Yarvin called the “outer party” – all conservatives are being purged from every institution, in a vast cadre deployment program to ensure the core of the establishment becomes forever untouchable. On the streets they have even begun to use the same tactics for control – deploying huge mobs to destabilise cities when election season is approaching.
Minimum wage rises funnel employment into companies in public-private partnerships with the state, like Amazon, who is part of the Enduring Security Framework partnership of the CIA (which includes Facebook and Google). The analogies between their experimental management strategies and collectivised central-planning are no accident – any company that aims for a total retail monopoly through state-subsidised negative-profit growth is merely another route to total control.
And as the nation and the state are decoupled, the liberal-democratic institutions are being geared toward the concentration of power and wealth, and a strategy of divide-and-rule, to create a cannibal economy.
. . .
Reliance on the state for services means they can’t be sacrificed – in the UK, the [National Health Service] has become essentially a religious cult, feeding the civil service, medical contractors, immigrants and the poor alike, in a financially unsustainable way, for decreasing returns. As Philip Bagus observed, the democratic pressures to maintain institutional support via this sort of patronage forces modern western states to take on ever more debt and expand taxation to the limits. This then must be offset by QE, which must be guaranteed by the central state at a rate that benefits the most fragile provinces of any empire so that the whole system does not collapse.
Finance and corporations benefit through the Cantillion effect, and corporate profits become easier through asset acquisition and mergers-and-acquisitions than productive development. Consequently, capital formation declines. A tiny ruling class who shares no real values with the ordinary people forms, forced to leverage sectional grievances to wield and consolidate power. This creates an entirely new class system. A client class of dependent poor, a state-employed class, a managerial class, and the vampire elites. And as the vertical loyalties erode and disappear, the need to concentrate power ever more in the hands of the elite accelerates, and the economy is plundered, liquidated to keep a grip on the bailey as the motte catches fire.
. . .
The same economic dynamics are present in the world at large – the share of GDP spent on welfare keep increasing, as does the debt-GDP ratio. Capital formation has been falling for decades, and chronic inflation is treated as a static phenomenon, which nobody dares reign in, because the entire system is dependent on low interest rates to keep the constant corrosive consolidation of the global market going full steam ahead. This arrangement results in the inflation of property prices as along term hedge against inflation which, when the plebs followed suit resulted in the 2008 bubble, when they tried to play the elites’ asset accumulation game with borrowed money.
Aside from asset accumulation, another way to seek profit and a hedge against inflation is through mergers and acquisitions and liquidations – an easy option since many tax codes incentivise this by encouraging investment. Most sought investment in emerging markets. But in these countries, the same factors are present, only more advanced. They experienced their own crises of sovereign debt, and the same printing sprees and capital flight to into hard assets followed. The ceiling on global growth in 2008, a result of the final stage of globalisation, has finally forced the elites to pursue investment in the lowest rung of Mazlow’s hierarchy – primary resources.
For years now, China and the Atlantic elite have been pouring money into commodities markets and land. This is no new trend. It was spotted by the infamous Michael Burry back in 2010 – the future is no longer in the construction of anything new, but in the hoarding of static resources. The elites are assembling their life rafts from the hull of a sinking ship.
. . .
But what many forsee in dreams of revolution and revolt, the breakups of massive crumbling empires, is not going to happen as they hope.
Instead, the state will protect the stability of the ruling class and its control over the levers of power at the core, bleeding everyone dry and terrorising them into submission ... The West is losing control of its ability to provide the kind of total state security required for this however, and has been reaching for a far more sinister method of control – the financial system.
And this is where all analogies break down, because what is about to happen here is unprecedented. The international Bank of Settlements has recently announced that they intend to use Central Bank Digital Currency to control the spending of all global citizens, and have the tech and the power to control each and every expenditure, and to shut anybody out of the ability to feed themselves if they so choose. But this movement to kick away the ladder and consolidate total control follows the same logic as Zimbabwe’s – the poor can only be fed for so long, but the ruling elite must be fed forever, or else the whole house comes down.
There's much more at the link.
I suggest it'll be well worth your time to read Mr. Duigan's essay in full. It's thought-provoking, to say the least.