White Capital is not the great evil. It’s the great savior

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Photo: Marthinus Strydom

By now we all understand the concept of white privilege and white capital. Every second article in the press are about these two topics, and although it’s important to talk about these things it’s much more important to find solutions to our economic woes. There is huge disparity. Nobody can deny that. The majority of South Africans still live in poverty after 22 years of democracy.

The problem is how to fix it. The victim-hood narrative is not achieving anything. In fact it is polarizing our nation even more along racial lines. The constant appeals for a deeper social understanding of the psyche of black and whites is not going to bear any fruit in the short term. There are white racists and there are black racists. It will take many, many years to change the hearts and minds of racists. It won’t happen in my lifetime.

What can happen though is the exponential upliftment of the poor. This can happen. Look what Japan achieved after the Second World War. It is possible.

The way that South Africans can win the day, is to channel all this negative and divisive energy into creating a better future. This can only be achieved through economic growth. The first democratically elected government was the first step. The economic upliftment of the country is the second step. It is with this step that the country is failing miserably. The policies of our government are the single most important factor preventing us from achieving the equality most people seek. This sounds very much like the EFF strategy, you think. Far from it. Where the EFF calls for redistribution, I call for wealth creation through capitalism.

Capitalism is not the evil here. White capital is not the enemy here. Instead these could be the tools that can empower and uplift the rest of the country. But instead of using it effectively, blacks want to tear it down and destroy it, because it represents all that is evil.

It is exactly here that I have a problem with the mind-set of many black people. The calls for redistribution and the policies of the current government are at the core of the problem. You cannot economically uplift an entire nation by robbing Peter to pay Paul. You can sit in a hundred seminars and not achieve a thing unless you address the core issue.

Money is the core issue.

  1. Access to proper education is the key. But what is the government doing? It’s a disaster. Schools are in disarray. Education is a total mess. How can we even hope to grow economically if we don’t have the skilled labor force to do the work effectively? How can we grow businesses without trained and skilled leaders?
  2. Create businesses. Create entrepreneurs. Thousands of them. First educate them and then give them access to capital. White money will be invested in black businesses if those businesses will succeed. At the moment they don’t succeed. They can’t get funding because they don’t have any skills. They don’t have the knowledge and training to run businesses effectively. It’s understandable that they don’t succeed. Black entrepreneurs cannot get access to funding. Even highly skilled and trained black entrepreneurs are not able to get funding, because it is not a priority of the government. Change that and we will have tens of thousands of businesses in SA that thrive and compete internationally and, most importantly, create employment and economically uplift the masses.
  3. Economic upliftment happens when we earn money and we are able to lift ourselves out of our circumstance. As unpalatable as it may sound, if blacks took all the white capital tomorrow and chased every single white person into the ocean, within a few years most of the money will be gone and any chance of a wealthy future for this country will be lost. Not because blacks are somehow incapable, but because they do not have the experience and training of “white privilege”. We now need to “create” instead of just consuming.

This can be done in my lifetime. There is nothing that will uplift the moral of black people as much as financial independence. And that is the crux of the matter. Blacks can complain about the past and about the inequalities and about white privilege for years to come, but that in itself will not change anything.

We need to become competitive and the current socialist attitudes of our leaders need to be replaced by hard-core capitalist motivation – for the good of the nation.

In this world there are many injustices. Black South Africans are not the only ones that have had a tough time. The Jews and Japanese are prime examples of people that fought economically instead of militarily. Their battle was to create wealth and employment. They won because their leaders had the political will to drive the correct agenda and they had a workable strategy. But their strategy was not redistribution but sustainable economic growth through business.

We can do the same. We need intelligent, educated and savvy black people to stand up and drive the economic agenda.

Capitalism is not the great evil. It’s the great savior.

 

 

 

Facebook Faceoff – citizens unite!

Facebook Faceoff – citizens unite!

The power of Facebook is no more evident than in the role it played during the recent revolts that toppled governments in Tunisia and Egypt. Social media has become a platform for political lobbying as was demonstrated with the Barak Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, and more recently through citizen mobilisation. These two opposing camps are heading for a faceoff.

The recent Tunisia and Egypt uprisings were only the beginning, Facebook pages and groups have been setup to mobilise protesters in Algeria, Bahrain, Morocco and Syria with Twitter protests extending to Algeria, Bahrain, Iran and Yemen last month.

Already people are at risk from governments looking to hunt down dissenters as was experienced in Tunisia after government officials used a virus to obtain local Facebook passwords.

The question is will social media companies be able to protect the human rights of citizens from governments? Will governments flex their repressive muscles and force Facebook to capitulate? It seems not as the United States’ Obama administration announced a new policy on Internet freedom, intended to help people get around barriers in cyberspace while making it harder for autocratic governments to use the same technology to repress dissent.

According to the New York Times, “The State Department plans to finance programs like circumvention services, which enable users to evade Internet firewalls, and training for human rights workers on how to secure their e-mail from surveillance or wipe incriminating data from cellphones if they are detained by the police. The department has also inaugurated Twitter feeds in Arabic and Persian, and soon will add others in Chinese, Russian and Hindi.”

It remains to be seen whether this stance will be overruled should the US face such an ‘uprising’, not of its citizens but from its enemies.

Imagine this: Islamic activists mobilising on social media to co-ordinate a synergistic movement against the West? When you have freedom of speech and allow people of all nations to do what they want in the online world (except in countries like China, and Iran, which have restricted access), governments have absolutely no control. And governments are all about control. In this hypothetical case, can you see the US, and its security divisions, sit back and watch a threat mobilise on social media and do nothing about it? Absolutely not.

The argument is that social media can be a force that leads to democratic change, but cannot by itself bring down repressive regimes. Well that is the view by the West, however recent events in Tunisia and Egypt show otherwise.

It will be interesting to see how social networks will beef up security to protect its users and even help its users who trust them explicitly.

In South Africa, while the internet pool for social network politics is small, it certainly is not dull with the DA and ANC squaring off in what can only be described as petty squabbling.

More social media theatrics in South African politics reared its head with the Solidarity vs.  Jimmy Manyi, Spokesperson for the ANC and President of the Black Management Forum issue. Solidarity, a predominantly white union group, released comments Manyi made about coloured workers over a year ago on YouTube, just in time for the upcoming municipal elections. The DA quickly jumped on this bandwagon uploading on YouTube Manyi’s comments on Indians. And so it goes on.

While the Twitterverse may be alive with political party messaging and inter party jibes, there is a whole nation of young people who are accessing social media on their phones or through the internet and it is a matter of time before the waves of dissent hit our shores.

Marthinus