An invitation to support a Kindred Spirit

I was recently sent this invitation and so I am forwarding it to you. Perhaps you will take it up.

Dear Kindred Spirit

Recently, I spent a night in jail in a cell with about 15 black men who had all allegedly committed some crime or another. This is an account of why and how that happened to me and what I learned through this experience, which was certainly one of the most profound of my whole life. So how on earth did I manage to end up in jail, you may be asking yourself? To really understand how and why this happened and to create a context within which you can more fully appreciate what I have written in this article, I would suggest you read the article I wrote that was published in the quarterly ezine I send out a couple of months ago entitled ‘Freedom – the Eternal Call of our Hearts’ in which I outline how and why the vast majority of humanity is currently being controlled through a vast array of mostly arbitrary and senseless statutory laws passed by seemingly democratic legislative bodies in most countries throughout the world, but in fact are controlled by powerful vested interests such as banks and other large corporations.

We may have the illusion we are free, but this is just that – an illusion created to trick us into continuing to comply with these laws that are really enslaving us and humanity as a whole. If we dare to contravene one of these laws, we can be fined or imprisoned, which is what I discovered when I recently dared not to renew my driver’s licence and my car’s vehicle licence and continued to drive on public roads. Both of these acts are offences in terms of the National Road Traffic Act in South Africa, which mandates that we all pay a Government authority for the privilege of driving on public roads that belong to us, the public, and have been financed by our taxes already.

Last month, I was driving sedately along a public road in the town of Mtuba-Mtuba in northern KwaZulu-Natal with my vehicle that had the licence plate ‘I AM FREE’ on the back and drove past a traffic officer’s vehicle, who noticed my number plate and followed me into the parking lot of the Pick ‘n Pay supermarket, where I was stopping to do some shopping for a Dolphin Alchemy retreat I was about to run in Mozambique. The officers parked behind my vehicle and proceeded to demand that I produce my driver’s licence and ask why I had no vehicle registration disk or official number plates on my vehicle. After showing them my own self-created licence and vehicle registration disk and my publicly notarised ‘Claim of Right’ document in which I claimed my common law and constitutional right to travel freely through the land and much discussion, during which they struggled to understand and did not accept my point of view, they called two members of the South African police, which is short for ‘policy enforcement officers’ in case you didn’t know, who forcibly handcuffed me, removed me from my vehicle, put me in the back of a police van and sprayed me with pepper spray, all of which amounts to the common law crime of assault in the name of the enforcement of the State’s policy and is completely opposite to what their true function as peace officers – quite obviously, keeping the peace – should be.

I was held in a holding cell in the police station for a couple of hours while they formulated the charge sheet. Opposite the holding cell on the wall was a picture of a hand gripping the word ‘crime’ that was being squeezed in the middle and bulging out from above and below the hand with a caption beneath this picture that said ‘Squeezing Crime to Zero’. This picture and the slogan, which you can view online by clicking here, is indicative of the prevailing level of consciousness of the police force that creates a polar opposition between the police and crime, thus making both real and simply perpetuating the problem of crime rather than solving it, which of course is necessary otherwise there would be no need for a police force. The truth is that the police need criminals and crime to give them a function and more importantly, an identity, just as criminals need the police and the criminal justice system to catch and punish them for the sinful, guilt- inducing things they think they have done.

Continue reading “An invitation to support a Kindred Spirit”

 

Redirecting Julius Malema

Clem Sunter futurist Anglo AmericanYou have to hand it to Julius Malema. He is a headline-grabber of note; he sticks rigidly to what he believes in; he delivers his popular message with such ferocity and charisma that he attracts truck-loads of adoring fans; and he knows when to say sorry.

Moreover, he has done one thing for which he should be given credit. He has taken the Establishment – political, business and other – completely out of its comfort zone by focusing on the point that radical measures have to be implemented to turn a highly unequal, exclusive, lop-sided society into something which the writers of the Freedom Charter would be proud of. For me that is common cause; but where I differ is on the tactics to get there.

Nationalisation and land grabs – with or without compensation – are dead-end policies. Nationalisation without compensation will result in sanctions being re-introduced against South Africa by the US and EU, as it will be perceived that their citizens – the ones who have invested here – will have had their assets stolen from them by the South African government. International travel restrictions on members of the Cabinet will probably be applied as well.

Nationalisation with compensation at fair value will mean that a trillion rand will have to be diverted from health, education, welfare and law and order to purchasing the targeted assets. In other words, the opportunity cost will be enormous. The only alternative is for the government to borrow the money – if they can – which will send South Africa’s national debt to GDP ratio through the roof.

Land grabs, on the other hand, will in the worst case scenario precipitate a civil war. People who sing liberation songs like “Kill the Boer” should remember that the first modern freedom-fighters were the Boers – well before Swapo, Zanu-PF and the ANC. They effectively held the British imperialists at bay for the first half of the Boer War at the turn of the previous century. It was only when Kitchener introduced concentration camps and herded their women and children into them with an absolutely appalling loss of life, that the war turned in Britain’s favour.

Neither being a pariah or highly indebted state in the case of nationalisation nor being a country riven by civil war in the case of land grabs will sort out the problems of unemployment and living on desolation row. The only way the problem can begin to be resolved is to follow the philosophy of Steve Biko, an equally charismatic character, who before he was cruelly murdered in the 1970s basically expressed the view that handouts do not improve your self-esteem: doing it for yourself does. That is as true today – in the world of Facebook and Twitter which have enormously increased the power and freedom of individuals – as when he said it in the 1970s.

So if I were Julius, I would take Steve’s ideas on board because they are so much more inspirational and relevant to the members of Generation Y than the old-fashioned and discredited policies that the state should become the centre of everything. I say this coming from a family in the UK where my socialist ancestors not only wrote nationalisation into the Labour Party constitution (Beatrice Webb), but actually implemented it across the board (Stafford Cripps who was Chancellor of the Exchequer in the late 1940s and made Julius look positively unambitious by comparison). Needless to say, everything is back in the hands of the private sector apart from the National Health Service which in retrospect was a worthwhile initiative.

Rather than trying to destroy Malema, I would urge him to consider redirecting his energy down the path outlined by Steve Biko. I would be asking him actively to engage with Business Leadership SA and AgriSA as to how a more inclusive and participative economy can be created and how one can transfer an appropriate proportion of land from white to black farmers without diminishing agricultural productivity. All of this will take time. It cannot happen overnight in one quantum leap. Perhaps he and his colleagues in ANCYL should also go on a leadership programme at GIBS. Get out of the confines of the ANC into the real world.

Furthermore, instead of harping on about expropriation of this or that asset which will not create one extra job for the youth of this country, I would like Julius to change his pitch and demand three things:

  1. We raise the quality of education in this country to give young people the power to do their own thing;
  2. We provide the entrepreneurial space in this country so that young people have the freedom to do their own thing; and
  3. We celebrate South African pockets of excellence like Siyabulela Xuza (who has a minor planet named after him by NASA) in order to give young people the confidence to do their own thing.

That is just so much more funky a vision than having everyone work for the state or be dependent on the state. As Michelle Obama said a few days ago at the Regina Mundi Church in Soweto: “You are your own liberator.” Amen.

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