Have you ever wondered how one of the most well educated, intelligent nations in the world could follow a narrow minded dictator like Adolf Hitler and then go on to commit some of the worst atrocities in history?
It is accepted by historians that unresolved issues of the First World War led directly to the Second World War. These issues include ridiculously penal war reparation debt repayments which led to an economic meltdown. Another vitally important issue was that most of the WW1 veterans never felt that they had lost the war in the first place.
That is a lot easier to explain than you may think. Germany hardly lost a significant battle in WW1 and was still about 200km into enemy territory when the war ended. The enemy never got close to threatening German borders and all of the fighting was in France, Belgium and Russia. Suddenly the war was over and they lost. You could be forgiven for thinking that you have won the war. Well Hitler believed this as did a significant number of military generals.
The Germans were not alone. In 1974 Hiroo Onoda, a Second World War Japanese intelligence officer caused a sensation when he was persuaded to come out of hiding in the Philippine jungle, unaware that the war was over and Japan had surrendered to the American forces 29 years earlier. He could never adapt to life in post war Japan and emigrated to Brazil a year later unable to deal with a vastly changed country.
How do you lose a war and yet never own up to the fact that the enemy won?
South Africa has a similar problem.
While international communism was collapsing, South Africa had released Nelson Mandela and was embarking on a legitimately democratic pathway. Our communists who were very influential in the ANC, were about to assume control and for reasons similar to Germany in the 1930s and jungle based Japanese soldiers, they were so busy in SA that they were seemingly unaware that the world had changed. Nelson Mandela also proved to be very successful in keeping everybody believing that everyone had won the war and the peace.
The SA Communist Party in the past decade under the misguided leadership of Blade Nzimande has begun to behave as if communism won. He seems to think that the first thing that happened after the Berlin Wall fell was that West Germans flooded into East Germany to buy the unreliable, plastic Trabant and stand in line for bread.
South Africa has also, rather worryingly, begun treating the USA as if the Russians won the Cold War and the Americans are the bad guys. This is not always a good strategy and they should have asked their mates; Muammar Gadhafi and Sadam Hussein how this strategy worked out for them!
The reality is that the world over; communism was exposed as a bad idea. It produced an economic system which cannot work in the real world despite what your long-haired university professor may have said. The fatal flaw of a communist system is that it can only work if the good lord above granted us all the same amount of intellect, ability and motivation.
People are all different and want different things. Some want to own a 10 roomed house, while some people are happy to live in a one-roomed flat. One person may only feel truly comfortable in the back seat of a million rand German SUV surrounded by outriders with blue lights, while other may be happy to drive a 1978 Volksie Beetle. We haven’t even discussed the lengths that most men would go to in order to impress a long legged woman dressed in black!
The South African Minister of Finance recently presented his gloomy, tax and spend annual budget. This followed on the heels of our President’s annual State of the Nation address. Both of these “business plans” for our vexed nation include the hopeful, expensive and ultimately doomed plans of more government expenditure and more state intervention as a way out of our self-inflicted economic nightmare. Both of these politicians have to answer to the communists and it is unsurprising that they should think that the state is the answer.
The problem is that this plan won’t work.
Soon enough, the small but effective free market portion of our country will decide to take their talents elsewhere. The 11% of the population that generates all of the business and the bulk of the taxes may soon take their transportable skills to a country in which the schools and hospitals work and where you don’t need to hire private security.
As the overused saying goes: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”
It seems like the South African government, under the control of the SA Communist Party, will not even know that they may have won a battle, but lost the war. They will try to turn back the clock and re-engineer the failed communist experiment with the same, predictable disappointing results.