Mining Mitt’s Apartheid Moment

Ilana Mercer, October 26, 2012


During the final presidential debate, Republican contender Mitt Romney got my hackles up (unnecessarily) with the following invocation of apartheid:

“I would also make sure that [Iran’s] diplomats are treated like the pariah they are around the world. The same way we treated the apartheid diplomats of South Africa.”

Why unnecessarily? Romney is unremarkable among Republicans. Pushing revolutionary radicalism on the Old South Africa was the goal not only in high diplomatic circles, but among most Republicans.

With a few exceptions.

As I document in “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa,” “For advocating ‘constructive engagement’ with South Africa, members of his Republican Party issued a coruscating attack on Ronald Reagan.”

Reagan favored ‘constructive engagement’ with South Africa, together with a tough resistance to communist advances in the Third World. But political pressure, not least from the Republican majority, mounted for an increasingly punitive stance toward Pretoria. This entailed an ‘elaborate sanctions structure,’ disinvestment, and a prohibition on sharing intelligence with the South Africans. In 1986, the Soviet Union, which had until the 1980s supported a revolutionary takeover of white-ruled South Africa by its ANC protégés, suddenly changed its tune and denounced the idea. Once again, the US and the USSR were on the same side—that of ‘a negotiated settlement between Pretoria and its opponents.’

Senator Lowell P. Weicker Jr., in particular, stated: “For this moment, at least, President Reagan has become an irrelevancy to the ideals, heartfelt and spoken, of America.”

South Africa was just one more issue on which Republicans had slipped between the sheets with the fashionable left. Today they are as eager as the next drug-addled supermodel to press flesh with Saint Nelson Mandela and the functionaries who run the dominant-party state of South Africa. That is, run it into the ground.

Having stood against the gradualism of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, vis-à-vis South Africa, members of America’s delinquent duopoly—Mr. Romney included—will be uninterested in the postscript to the West’s special project in that country. The rose-tinted view of South Africa is that it is a great success (in the tradition of Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan).

Writes a South African friend who doesn’t tart up the truth: “With the unrest in mining, cash flow has gone for a ball of sh-t. No one can hire. Practically all mining has come to a halt. Bloody f–king Malema. [Malema is the ANC’s Youth League president, also chief agitator against private property]! “Into The Cannibal’s Pot” says it all. Thank you.”

You don’t mince words when your livelihood is under assault (although you’d like to mince a few ANCniks).

As the Wikipedia source acknowledges, mining has been “the main driving force behind the history and development of Africa’s most advanced and richest economy.” And mining is dying in South Africa.

“The unrest in the mining industry is deepening, with militant senior trade unionists even talking about the expropriation of assets and nationalization,” warns Barry Downs, an American mining-sector investor, formerly based in South Africa. “Forty years ago, South Africa produced 1,000 metric tons of gold, annually. The yield has declined to only 200 tons a year.”

“Shares of SA gold and platinum mining companies are under pressure as many miners remain on strike and non-striking miners are being intimidated. The ANC government, meanwhile, appears powerless to turn the deteriorating situation around.

To its credit, the ANC has allowed mass layoffs to proceed apace. It is, however, powerless to stop intimidation. In South Africa, the sacked workers are in the habit of killing scabs who want to work.

About the programmatic destruction of the mining industry, brought on by socialist economic control and lawlessness, Downs further attests: “Just think, South Africa, over a 100 year span, produced 41,000 metric tons (1.3 billion ounces) of the only real money in the world, i.e., gold. They still have identified 6,000 metric tons of mineable gold, which, with high-powered exploration, will only increase reserves. Nationalization will mean that these 6,000 metric tons of gold reserves may never be mined, and the industry will just end up shutting down.”

Suffice it to say that the mining sector in South Africa is the canary in the proverbial mine.

It is futile to expect Americans, Republican or Democrat, to grasp the magnitude of the demise of mining—or the slide into socialism—in South Africa. Like Esau did, Americans have squandered the birthright bequeathed to them by their philosophical forefathers. “The Old Republic of property rights, freedom of association, and radical political decentralization” is how libertarian Lew Rockwell has described the gift of the (authentic) greatest generation.

Having frittered away their philosophic inheritance for a mess of pottage, my countrymen are incapable of comprehending the loss of South Africa.


October 26

CATEGORIES: Founding Fathers, Labor, Old Right, Republicans, Russia, Socialism, South Africa