Global financial collapse

Trouble

The global economy is heading for a massive amount of trouble in the months ahead.  Right now we are seeing the beginning of a credit crunch that is shaping up to be very reminiscent of what we saw back in 2008.  Investors and big corporations are pulling huge amounts of money out of European banks and nobody wants to lend to those banks right now.  We could potentially see dozens of “Lehman Brothers moments” in Europe in 2012.  Meanwhile, bond yields on sovereign debt are jumping through the roof all over Europe.  That means that European nations that are already drowning in debt are going to find it much more expensive to continue funding that debt.  It would be a huge understatement to say that there is “financial chaos” in Europe right now.  The European financial system is in so much trouble that it is hard to describe.  The instant that they stop receiving bailout money, Greece is going to default.  Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Spain and quite a few other European nations are also on the verge of massive financial problems.  When the financial dominoes start to fall, the U.S. financial system is going to be dramatically affected as well, because U.S. banks have a huge amount of exposure to European debt.  The other day, I noted that investor Jim Rogers is saying that the coming global financial collapse “is going to be worse” than 2008.  Sadly, it looks like he is right on the money.  We are in a lot of trouble my friends, and things are going to get really, really ugly.

The sad thing is that we never have recovered from the last major financial crisis.  Right now, the U.S. economy is far weaker than it was back in 2007.  So what is going to happen if we get hit with another financial tsunami?  The following is what PIMCO CEO Mohamed El-Erian said recently….

“What’s most terrifying, we are having this discussion about the risk of recession at a time when unemployment is already too high, at a time when a quarter of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, at a time then the fiscal deficit is at 9 percent and at a time when interest rates are at zero.”

Can things really get much worse than they are now?

Unfortunately, yes they can.

Not that things are not really, really bad right now.

In Los Angeles earlier this week, approximately 10,000 people lined up for free turkey dinners.

So how many people will be lining up for free food when the unemployment rate in the U.S. soars into double digits?

Right now there is so much economic pain in America that it is hard to describe.  According to a recent report from one nonprofit group, 45 percent of all people living in the United States “do not have enough money to cover housing, food, healthcare and other basic expenses”.

If this is where we are at now, how much trouble will we be in as a nation if a financial crisis worse than 2008 hits us in 2012?

The primary cause of the coming financial crisis will almost certainly be the financial meltdown that we are seeing unfold in Europe.

The economic downturn that began in 2008 caused the debt levels of quite a few European nations to soar to unprecedented heights.  It has gotten to the point where the debts of many of those nations are no longer sustainable.

So investors are starting to demand much higher returns for the much greater risk associated with investing in the bonds of those countries.

But that makes it much more expensive for those troubled nations to fund their debts, and that means that their financial troubles get even worse.

Over the past 12 months, what we have seen happen to bond yields over in Europe has been nothing short of amazing.

Just check out this chart of what has been happening to the yield on 2 year Italian bonds over the past 12 months.

And keep in mind that these bond yields have been spiking even while the European Central Bank has been buying up unprecedented mountains of bonds in an attempt to keep bond yields low.

There has been a fundamental loss of faith in the financial system, and it is not just happening in Europe.

Just check out this chart.  As that chart shows, credit default swap spreads all over the globe are absolutely skyrocketing and are now higher than we have seen at any point since the great financial crisis that shook the world during 2008 and 2009.

Panic and fear are everywhere – especially in Europe.  In fact, it looks like a run on the banks has already begun in Europe.

The following comes from a recent article in The Economist….

“We are starting to witness signs that corporates are withdrawing deposits from banks in Spain, Italy, France and Belgium,” an analyst at Citi Group wrote in a recent report. “This is a worrying development.”

Nobody wants to lend money to European banks right now.  There is a feeling that they are all vulnerable and could fail at any time, and this lack of confidence actually makes that possibility even more likely.

The following is a short excerpt from a recent CNBC article….

Money-market funds in the United States have quite dramatically slammed shut their lending windows to European banks. According to the Economist, Fitch estimates U.S. money market funds have withdrawn 42 percent of their money from European banks in general.

And for France that number is even higher — 69 percent. European money-market funds are also getting in on the act.

So what can be done?

Well, in a different CNBC article, Mitchell Goldberg was quoted as saying that even “a bazooka” is not going to be good enough to fix this situation….

“It’s too late for a bazooka,” said Mitchell Goldberg, president of ClientFirst Strategy. “Now we need inter-continental ballistic missiles. This is getting worse very quickly.”

This is kind of like watching a horrific car wreck happen in very slow motion.

The financial system of Europe is dying and everybody can see what is happening but nobody can seem to find a way to fix it.

Not that we are solving our own problems here in the United States.

The vaunted “supercommittee” that was supposed to get a handle on our debt problem was a complete and utter failure.

Barack Obama has shown that he has no clue what to do when it comes to the economy, and Ben Bernanke has been preoccupied with roaming around the country trying to get people to feel more “warm and fuzzy” about the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve actually has more power over our economy than anyone else.  But instead of fixing things they only keep making things even worse.

The only people that the Fed seems to be helping are the banksters.

What you are about to read should really, really upset you.  According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Reserve has actually been tipping off their upcoming moves to top financial professionals.  In turn, these financial professionals have been using that information to make a lot of money for themselves and for their clients….

Hours after an Aug. 15 meeting with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in his office, Nancy Lazar made a hasty call to investor clients: The Fed was dusting off an obscure 1960s-era strategy known as Operation Twist.

The news pointed to a boom in long-term bonds.

It was a good call. Over the next five weeks, prices on 10-year Treasury bonds soared, offering double-digit returns in an otherwise dismal year.

By the time the Fed announced its $400 billion Operation Twist on Sept. 21, the window for quick profits had all but slammed shut.

Ms. Lazar is among a group of well-connected investors and analysts with access to top Federal Reserve officials who give them a chance at early clues to the central bank’s next policy moves, according to interviews and hundreds of pages of documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal through open records searches.

You just can’t make stuff like this up.  The corruption at the Federal Reserve is totally out of control.  After nearly 100 years of total failure, it is time to shut down the Federal Reserve.

Not that Barack Obama should get a free pass for the role that he has played in this economic downturn.  He inherited a complete mess from Bush and has made it even worse.

Today, millions of business owners are so frustrated with Washington D.C. that they don’t know what to do.

For example, one business owner down in Georgia has posted signs with the following message on all of his company’s trucks….

“New Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone.”

The business environment in this country becomes more toxic with each passing year, and the federal government has already strangled millions of small businesses out of existence.

In addition, politicians from both parties continue to stand aside as tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars of our wealth get shipped out of the country.

During 2010, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day were shut down in the United States.  We are committing national economic suicide, and the top politicians in both political parties keep cheering for more.

Well, millions of ordinary Americans can see what is happening and they are preparing for the worst.

The following report comes from an article that was recently posted on the website of the local CBS affiliate in St. Louis….

A chain of three stores that sells survival food and gear reports a jump in sales to people who are getting prepared for the “possible collapse” of society.

“We had to order fifty cases of the meals ready to eat to keep up with the demand in the past three months,” said manager Steve Dorsey at Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters Inc. in Webster Groves. “That’s not normal.  Usually we sell 20 to 30 cases in a whole year.”

So are you prepared for the coming collapse?

If you still have a great job and things are still going well for you, then you should definitely be thankful.  Compared to the rest of the world, most of us are incredibly blessed.

But let there be no doubt, the U.S. economy is going to get a lot worse in the years ahead.

Just because you have a job today does not mean that you will have one tomorrow.

Just because you have a nice car and a big home today does not mean that you will have them tomorrow.

We all need to try to become a lot less dependent on “the system”, because “the system” is failing.

A whole lot of trouble is coming.

You better get ready.

Black Friday Violence Worse Than Ever

Black Friday Violence Worse Than Ever As American Consumers Fight Over Deals Like Crazed Animals

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/black-friday-violence-worse-than-ever-as-american-consumers-fight-over-deals-like-crazed-animals

We all knew that this was coming, didn’t we?  Each year Black Friday violence just seems to get worse and worse.  What does it say about American consumers when they are willing to fight like crazed animals just to save a few bucks on cheap plastic crap made in China?  Not that retailers are innocent in any of this.  It certainly seems as though many of them purposely create wild situations on Black Friday where customers will rush like crazy people into their stores and nearly riot as they fight over discounted merchandise.  The more Black Friday madness there is, the more of an “event” it becomes, and the higher the profits of the retailers go.  This year there was more Black Friday hype than ever and there was also more Black Friday violence than ever.  It is being projected that this year a record-setting 152 million Americans will go shopping between Thanksgiving and Sunday night.  That may be good news for the big corporate retailers, but the shocking lack of character being displayed by American consumers all over the country this weekend is very bad news for the future of this nation.

Most Americans would agree that there is a tremendous amount of selfishness and greed on Wall Street, but as the videos posted below demonstrate, there is also a tremendous amount of selfishness and greed on “Main Street” as well.

This year, Black Friday violence included robberies, gunfire and shootings, but the most shocking incidents actually happened inside the big retail stores.

For example, as merchandise was being unveiled on Black Friday night at a Wal-Mart in the Los Angeles area, one woman actualy pulled out pepper spray and sprayed it at other customers that were gathered around her.

Did she do this because she felt threatened?

No, according to the Los Angeles Times, authorities say that the woman was just seeking a “competitive” edge.

It is being reported that at least 20 people were affected by the pepper spray.

The pepper spray incident just added to the wild and frenzied atmosphere inside that Wal-Mart last night.

The following is how the Los Angeles Times described the scene….

Employees attempted to hold back the scrum of shoppers and pick up merchandise even as customers trampled the video games and DVDs strewn on the floor.

“It was absolutely crazy,” he said.

Another customer said screams erupted after about 100 people waiting in line to snag Xbox gaming consoles and Wii video games got into a shoving match.

Alejandra Seminario, 24, said she was waiting in line to grab some toys at the store around 9:55 p.m. when people the next aisle over started shouting and ripping at the plastic wrap encasing gaming consoles, which was supposed to be opened at 10 p.m.

“People started screaming, pulling and pushing each other, and then the whole area filled up with pepper spray,” the Sylmar resident said.

Pepper spray was used at a Wal-Mart on the other side of the country as well.  Over in Kinston, North Carolina an off-duty police officer used pepper spray as an unruly shopper was being subdued.  Approximately 20 people (including some children) were affected by the pepper spray.

Most Americans are not really concerned over the fact that this country is rapidly heading into the toilet, but they sure will get worked up into a frenzy over some good deals.  Just check out the following video that was filmed in California.  In the video, a huge crowd can be seen storming the entrance of Urban Outfitters in the Thousand Oaks Mall on Black Friday night….

There are lots of other crazy videos of Black Friday madness on YouTube today as well.  Just check out some of the following examples….

*In Fresno, California law enforcement authorities were barely able to keep a stampede at the entrance of one store from turning into a riot.

*In this next video, you can see people going absolutely crazy over memory cards at about the 1:20 mark.

*On Black Friday night, American consumers will riot over just about anything.  For example, there was a huge panic over Tupperware at one Wall-Mart last night.

*Of course electronics is probably the hottest category in most stores on Black Friday night.  In some areas, the fighting over video games became incredibly intense.

*Some of the worst Black Friday rioting goes on inside Wal-Marts.  Just check out this shocking video of what happens inside a Wal-Mart on Black Friday night.

*Also, what happened last night at a Wal-mart Supercenter in Greenville, North Carolina, was nothing short of idiotic.

If this is how the American people will act just to save a few bucks on cheap plastic crap made in foreign countries, how are they going to act when the economy collapses?

If Americans will literally fight each other over saving 20 bucks, what is going to happen someday when millions of them don’t know where their next meal is going to come from?

Thankfully the economy is still in good enough shape that most Americans can participate in these orgies of consumerism.  But the reality is that the global financial system is in a massive amount of trouble, and it looks like we could be on the verge of another global financial collapse.

Do the American people have enough character to be able to deal with a full-blown economic depression?

In a recent article entitled “22 Signs That The Thin Veneer Of Civilization That We All Take For Granted Is Starting To Disappear“, I commented on the declining character of the American people….

Instead of teaching our children to love and care for one another, we have taught them to be incredibly self-involved.  Today, way too many Americans deeply love themselves, deeply love money and are deeply addicted to entertainment.  Each new generation seems to be even more prideful, even more arrogant and even more violent.  As a nation, we are losing our empathy for others, our compassion for the needy and our respect for the elderly.  Our family units are breaking down and thousands of our communities are being transformed into hellholes.

Over the past several decades, the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world has enabled us to enjoy unprecedented prosperity.  But it has been a “false prosperity”, and it is frightening to think about what America is going to look like when the good times finally end.

The other thing that is really disturbing about Black Friday is the fact that the vast majority of the products that Americans are fighting over are made overseas.

As I pointed out recently, 23 manufacturing facilities were shut down every single day in the United States last year.

Since 2001, the U.S. has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities.

This country is bleeding jobs, bleeding businesses and bleeding wealth at a pace that is nearly impossible to fully grasp.

We are becoming poorer as a nation every single day, and yet Americans are seemingly more enamored with consumerism than ever before.

Most Americans could not care less about where something was made.  The only thing that matters to them is how cheap it is.

It doesn’t matter to them that a record-setting 2.6 million Americans slipped into poverty last year or that there are 10 percent fewer middle class jobs in America today than there were a decade ago.

We have become a nation that is so self-centered that it is hard to find the words to describe it.

Rather than caring about what is good for America, most of us only care about what is good for ourselves.

The madness that we see every Black Friday is just one more sign that our society is coming apart at the seams.

America has become a nation that is absolutely saturated with greed.  Unfortunately, all of that greed is going to make the hard economic times that are coming much, much more painful.

The Future of Europe?

The Future of Europe?

https://i0.wp.com/img196.imageshack.us/img196/3933/1241768102678.jpg

European authorities from Brussels published Monday June 29, 2009 a report showing the flux of immigrants will reach alarming numbers in Europe in the next years. By the year 2060, Italy will gain 12 million more immigrants than present.
In the entire EU zone immigrants will increase by 46,2 millions, informs the Italian newspapers Il Giornale.
According to Brussels, Spain’s immigrants will increase by 11,6 millions while Germany’s immigrants will increase by 8,2 millions.

Read the Full Story

Locust: This is America’s fate as well.




Swiss Cheese:  This is not going to turn out well, obviously. Race riots, civil unrest, civil war, and such, are in store for Europe. And the Reds are scratching their heads trying to figure out why neo-Nazism and nationalism are beginning to gain traction.

 

 

 

Eurocalypse

Eurocalypse

Morning shows seem to be a lot more interesting in Ireland!

 

There are two things to consider.

First, in the concentric circles that make up the international, dollar-based monetary system, a crash of the Euro would in all likelihood benefit the dollar, which is still the “safe haven,” until it isn’t.

Second, the European Monetary Union is kept together through a tug-of-war between “Core Europe” (which essentially means Germany) and “Periphery Europe” (that is, the rest).

The Euro makes sense for Germany to the extent that it can take advantage of a single market for its goods; for this, the Euro should be not too hard…not too soft…just right. (In other words, the Euro should be cheap enough to keep German exports attractive, but then dear enough not to raise the specter of Weimar.)

The Euro stops making sense for Germany when the above advantages are overwhelmed by the need to bailout the Periphery’s creditors and prop up its welfare bureaucracies.

The Euro is advantageous for Periphery countries like Greece and Italy in that they can borrow in Euros (that is, at low rates). It’s disadvantageous in that they must pay it back. The majority of Greek and Italian debt could be re-nominated into Drachma and Lira, allowing the countries to pay it off with their printing presses (an option not open to them while on the Euro).

What is clear is that the arrangement described above is highly unstable, as both Core and Periphery have very good reasons for wanting to get out.

I’m terrible with predictions, especially about the future, but my view is that the Euro won’t last another two years. And it’s demise will benefit Washington…for a while.

RSA-USA—Beloved, Benighted Countries

RSA-USA—Beloved, Benighted Countries

By Derek Turner

Into the Cannibal’s Pot – Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa
Ilana Mercer, Seattle: Stairway Press, 2011, hb, 319pp

 

Ilana Mercer is a well-known controversialist on the American right, who writes a deservedly popular WorldNetDaily column and somehow finds time to maintain both a website and blog.

Mercer_Ilana_-_Into_the_Cannibals_PotHer views are probably best described as paleo-libertarian. The book’s provocative title, which probably cost her potential readers, is borrowed from Ayn Rand, but the author tempers capitalist principles with respect for national identities and cultural traditions. Unusually amongst conservatives, she combines Israelophilia and dislike of Islam with trenchant opposition to American military adventurism. Unusually amongst libertarians, she is an outspoken critic of current US immigration policy as subversive of social order as well as fiscal responsibility. She has now turned her sights on her former homeland of South Africa – both for its own sake and because she feels its tenebrous present contains urgent indicators for America.

The author was born in South Africa, the daughter of a rabbi, but the family had to leave in the 1960s because of her father’s anti-apartheid outspokenness. They decamped to Israel, before the author moved back to South Africa in the 1980s to start a family. She was (and is) against apartheid; she recalls having tea with Desmond Tutu and being on the Grand Parade in Cape Town in 1990 to witness Mandela’s release. From there she went to Canada and eventually the United States.

Notwithstanding her anti-apartheid views, she feels duty-bound to show that the RSA reality was immeasurably more complex than the simplistic narrative which came to misinform the West’s policy towards its final African redoubt. In the old days, there were gross indignities and injustices, and yet in the African context the old SA compared favourably with its neighbours:

“When we departed, South Africa was still a country with a space program…gleaming skyscrapers, and department stores that rivaled Macy’s. The Central Business District in Johannesburg bustled. Crime was controlled, or at least confined. When mobs stoned cars en route to D. F. Malan Airport in Cape Town…a tough and competent police sprang into action. An equally impressive Western system of Roman-Dutch law, and a relatively independent judiciary, dished out just desserts.” (1)

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Cape_Town_-_DF_Malan_Airport_1950s

Cape_Town_1950s

By contrast, the “Rainbow Nation” so revered by postmodern moralizers is largely dysfunctional and becoming more so, in accordance with what has become a sad post-colonial African tradition. The consequences for South Africans of all races range from the inconvenient to the lethal.

Nelson_Mandela

The country which carried on space programmes now suffers regular electricity shortages. Once-reliable government services have become a kind of lottery, with even the wealthiest suburbs experiencing interruptions in basic services like postal delivery, refuse collection and sanitation, while one third of budget-administering municipal councillors are functionally illiterate. There has been an explosion of AIDS, thanks to tribal prejudices against science—to the extent that an estimated 20% of adults have the virus. The overall unemployment rate rose from 19% in 1994, immediately before the end of apartheid and at the end of a long period of economic stagnation, to 31% in 2003. It has subsequently declined to 25%, but this is still very high for a country so well-endowed with natural resources, and with much lower levels of debt than many other countries. Black household income shrank by 19% between 1995 and 2000—although it had started to recover prior to the global financial crisis. This is despite – or because of—Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policies which compel firms employing 50 or more staff to have a certain proportion of black employees and/or black investors. BEE has devastated whole industries, such as the mining sector (ironically, as Anglo-American was one of the chief instruments of ending apartheid) and have helped to force 10% of whites out of work and below the poverty line. Comparing past government performance with present, it seems as if the dearest wish of African National Congress MP Mario Rantho has already been realized:

“It is imperative to get rid of merit as the overriding principle in the appointment of public servants.”

There is less scope for wry humour when it comes to violent crime, although the author tries by entitling a section “Crime, The Beloved Country” in an allusion to Alan Paton’s classic anti-apartheid novel of 1948. Over 300,000 have been killed since the arrival of black majority rule as the erstwhile unjust but orderly regime became one which is theoretically just but with scarcely any order. Mercer cites BBC statistics from 2006 showing that on average, 65 people are murdered each day, 195 raped and 300 robbed with violence. Shockingly, she cites 2008 figures suggesting that more than 50,000 children under three years old are raped each year—10% of total rapes. By comparison:

“Few realize that during the decades of the apartheid regime a few hundred Africans in total perished as a direct and indirect consequence of police brutality. A horrible injustice, indubitably, but nothing approximating the death toll in ‘free’ South Africa where hundreds of Africans, white and black, die weekly” (author’s emphases)

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So ungovernable are some places that private security firms have actually been hired by the police to protect…police stations. The South African Police Service’s acronym of SAPS seems highly appropriate. Even high-profile liberals, like writer Nadine Gordimer, historian David Rattray and former First Lady Marike de Klerk, are not immune from murderous assaults. Arguably more deserving of sympathy are poorer, apolitical Afrikaners, singled out for attack because some among them once oppressed and dispossessed blacks. Now all Afrikaners are being oppressed and dispossessed – except more rapidly and much more finally.

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An economically and culturally significant subset, Afrikaner farmers (Boer of course means farmer), almost seems to be targeted for obliteration, with one tenth of them – over 3,000 – murdered since the end of apartheid, without anyone appearing to notice, let alone care. The author notes ruefully that “seals being clubbed to death on ice floes have garnered more attention” than what is widely accepted to be the actual genocide of these agriculturalists, often in circumstances of the most frightful cruelty. Statistically, farming in South Africa is more dangerous than mining. When Pretoria attorney Philip du Toit gallantly raised the unpleasant, unfashionable subject in his 2004 book The Great South African Land Scandal, he was brushed aside or condemned as the most verkrampte variety of bigot. The government, the semi-divine Mandela and the self-appointed “international community” all seem indifferent.

Boer_woman_murdered

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Many of the farmers who have survived thus far are quitting both the countryside and the country, defeated by physical assault, theft, sabotage and killing of livestock, incompetent police, corrupt officials and unjust land confiscations. By 2015, one third of farmers’ land will have been redistributed, and much of this acreage is already lying fallow or reverting to bush, because the new proprietors (often local tribal leaders or ANC party bosses) lack the interest or the skills to farm it. In 2009, South Africa became a net food importer for the first time. If or when famine strikes it will presumably be ascribed to the legacy of apartheid rather than the inadequacies of the nouvelle regime.

The white population decreased by 20% between 1995 and 2005, giving rise to the colloquialism of “packing for Perth” and causing even Mandela to snarl that they are “traitors”. Mandela’s Western worshippers may be surprised to learn that their demi-god would resort to such brusquerie, but after all he did lead the ANC’s terrorist wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) whose anthem contains the following un-neighbourly sentiment:

“We the members of the Umkhonto have pledged ourselves to kill them—kill the whites”

Even terrorists deserve a chance of redemption, but it is salutary to recall that Amnesty International—not generally considered a diehard conservative organisation—refused to recognize Mandela as a prisoner of conscience because of his continued commitment to violence, and that the country over which he hovers like some angelic presence early forged cordial links with the likes of Gaddafi, Castro and assorted Palestinian hardliners.

White flight has further skewed the imbalance between provider and provided for—today for every (disproportionately white) taxpayer there are no fewer than eleven (disproportionately black) voters. To add to this vast potential for class envy, many of these voters have been schooled to resent the whites on whom they depend. It is a volatile blend, fuelling radical redistribution policies and a sporadic ethnic intifada against whites—especially those who live on isolated farms far from police who might not come even if they knew what was happening, and would probably never catch the killers even if they did come.

I have used the word intifada because the Afrikaners always had an unusually intimate relationship with Israel. The author says of the Dutch Reformed Church to which most Afrikaners owe (or owed) allegiance—

“In their community they saw an extension of the covenant God formed with the Israelites.”

The material effects of this mysticism were decades of strategic co-operation between the two pariah-states, both hated for real or alleged racism, and both the objects of innumerable angry denunciations, UN resolutions and anguished editorials. Many in both condemned countries saw the situation as Mrs. Mercer describes it:

“It was SA and Israel against the world and against the forces of nihilistic liberalism intent on snuffing out civilized outposts at the tip of Africa and in the Middle East.”

Calvinist eschatological logic played a paradoxical part in South Africa’s trajectory—originally inspiring the Afrikaner expansion into the intoxicating-horrifying wilderness, then being used to justify and bolster apartheid before eventually turning in on itself, as the Afrikaners realized they

“…had become something they detested…the biblically blessed country became an Ishmael, an outcast.”

There was a consequent collapse of will in Afrikanerdom’s upper echelons. Big business always hated apartheid, there was little or no academic or artistic support, and when the church gave up in puzzled despair there was no more reason to resist—even though Afrikaners knew well that their quality of life would suffer. There is a revealing anecdote from the fraught final days of apartheid, when there were constant rumours of a military coup to forestall power-sharing. When General Constand Viljoen told General George Meiring that the army could take over the country in a single night, Meiring reportedly replied:

“Yes, that is so, but what do we do the morning after the coup?”

The author is particularly insightful on this subject, and en passant tells the little-known story of the slamse gevaar “(the Islamic threat”) in South Africa, as represented by the pro-Iranian revolution group known as People Against Gangsterism and Drugs, which almost unhindered carried out 80 bombings against civilians in 1999-2000 while the state security apparatus focused on a non-existent threat from white separatists.

The author’s father was against apartheid not out of Marxism or sentimentality but simply because he found the system to be inconsistent with the moral tenets he had imbibed from the Torah. Mrs. Mercer is at pains to explain his motivations, because it is her difficult duty to demonstrate that the country he and so many other well-meaning people helped create is in many ways inferior to the reviled Republic. Between the lines of the polemic there therefore crackles much unresolved tension, reflecting this balancing act between her loyalty to her father and her compulsion to attest to truths which will pain him. There is also a palpable sense of guilt—at fleeing from a once-beloved country, and leaving behind them fine people, black as well as white, who had not the Mercers’ good fortune of possessing a second passport and remittable funds.

“If only…” is her underlying refrain—if only the whites had insisted on minority safeguards—if only international opinion had supported the pro-Western Zulus rather than the pro-Third World “Xhosa Nostra”—if only the new reigning ideology had been capitalism rather than racial socialism—if only reform could have been achieved without this kind of miserable meltdown. She does not offer any SA solutions, although she quotes severally from the remarkable Afrikaner cultural activist Dan Roodt. She scarcely mentions contemporary Afrikaner parties like the Freedom Front Plus, or initiatives like the Afrikaner-only settlement of Orania in the Western Cape (which the new SA Constitution permits, and which Jacob Zuma visited last year).

Yet Cannibal is a klaxon of a kind—leaping frequently, if not always seamlessly, between the RSA and the USA. Mrs. Mercer seeks urgently to show how the perils of South Africa are being replicated in her new country of domicile. Both countries are roughly the same age, and both have frontier-taming, republican and Low Church traditions which are metastasizing into anxiety-utopian complexes. They also have large and mutually distrustful racial groups, a factor which militates against social cohesion and democracy because,

“A perquisite for a classical liberal democracy is that majority and minority status should be interchangeable and fluid.”

In America, as in South Africa, perplexed policymakers strive to address distrust through multiculturalism and affirmative action—perversely, because such policies all too evidently entrench rather than efface divisions. Both countries are wedded to what the author calls the “diversity doxology” and to globalisation; both are experiencing PC policy creep on social keystones like freedom of association (and dissociation), freedom of speech, strong families, self-reliance, fiscal rectitude, property rights and enforceable contracts. She feels that as some small recompense for America’s part in toppling the old balance of power, Washington should offer sanctuary to some of those whose livelihoods (and lives) they have ruined—one of her very few proposals, and one unlikely ever to make it into the US statute book.

The two countries’ situations are very different, and their destinies will therefore diverge—but there are strong similarities too, and she raises the powerful possibility what is happening now in South Africa is happening no less surely in her new beloved country.

 

NOTE

1. A rare and interesting cinematic idea of what the Cape Town of the 1960s looked and felt like may be found in the 1967 film The Cape Town Affair, starring Jacqueline Bisset and James Brolin

Restricting Voting Rights, Race, and Future Time Orientation

Restricting Voting Rights, Race, and Future Time Orientation

 http://onestdv.blogspot.com/2011/11/restricting-voting-rights-race-and.html

The left may actually have a grasp of race and politics than conservatives. In an article at NYTimes.com entitled The White Party, Columbia journalism professor Thomas Edsall writes the millionth article I’ve read summarizing racial voting trends. Seriously, I read this same article about once a week, basically just a list of statistics on what race votes for what party. Here’s an excerpt to show what I’m talking about:

Another way of looking at it is this: fully 88.8 percent of all ballots cast in 2010 for House Republicans were cast by whites, compared to 63.9 percent for Democrats.

The degree to which the Republican Party has become a white party is also reflected in the composition of primary voters. For example, on March 4, 2008, in Ohio — where non-Hispanic whites are 81.1 percent of the population, blacks 12.2 percent, and Hispanics 3.1 percent — the Republican primary turnout was 97 percent white. Hispanics were 2 percent and the black turnout was so low it was zero percent, statistically speaking. One percent was described as “other.”

In the Jan. 19, 2008, South Carolina primary, 96 percent of the Republican turnout was white, 2 percent black, 1 percent Latino and 1 percent other. The population of the state is 64.1 percent white, 27.9 percent black and 5.1 percent Hispanic.

Oh wait, I forgot the other part of this formulaic sort of article – castigate Republicans as racist merely on the basis of support amongst whites.

Now, moving toward what has all the markings of a historic ideological and demographic collision on Nov. 6, 2012, Republicans are doubling down on this racially fraught strategy.

But even Dr. Edsall admits Republican never make any explicit appeals to white voters, with this presumably the most basic justification of his characterization above:

While the subject of race and of the overwhelmingly white Republican primary electorate are never explicitly discussed by Republican candidates, the issue is subsumed in blatant anti-immigration rhetoric.

Ahh once again, the liberal mind-reading ability arises. Funny that liberals can so adeptly parse the hidden motivations of conservatives, including those of racist whites, institutionally racist businesses, women-hating men, and so on. Right after the above, Dr. Edsall notes a parallel strategy amongst Democrats, though the accusations of bias are conspicuously absent:

The major threat to the Republican “white” strategy is a revival of the high turnout among minorities that carried Democrats to victory in 2008.

But our intrepid Dr. Edsall does not stop there – he notes how those evil Republicans have enacted laws with the specific (though unstated) intention of reducing minority turnout:

Republicans, however, are taking advantage of their newly won control of state governments across the country to enact laws designed to suppress minority turnout. Republican legislators and governors are reversing decades of liberalized access to the ballot by passing laws restricting or eliminating election day registration, early voting, the broader use of absentee ballots and voting by mail…Liberal groups, including the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School, estimate that as many as five million men and women will be unable to vote because of these laws, which disproportionately affect minority voters.

OK, maybe we’re not supposed to question the premises of leftist academics writing for the NYbetaT. But may I ask why exactly, in the liberal paradigm of racial behavioral egalitarianism, would “restricting election day registration and early voting” disproportionately affect minority voters? I presume it does (see next paragraph), but these laws don’t disenfranchise felons, a class whose racial disparities liberals can at least blame on our racist society. These laws merely demand that people put a little effort into voting, undoubtedly an act of great importance and one that should be granted to those who can exhibit the most trivial amount of responsibility. What exactly about racist judges, racist schools, and racist police officers would make minorities less able to register ahead of time? One presumes that someone who has the ability and information to vote on voting day also has the ability to register prior to that day. Liberals can’t resolve this “conundrum” and it’s why articles such as Dr. Edsall’s rely on invective rather than analysis.

So why do blacks and Hispanics suffer disproportionately from these measures? (Let me just add that I love these laws.) They lack “future time orientation,” a concept well known amongst the HBD-osphere but surprisingly absent from academic discourse on intelligence. Two of the top Google results are from HalfSigma and Mangan. HalfSigma provides a great definition:

What is “future time orientation”? Presumably this refers to planning for a better future and placing future benefits over immediate gratification…The prisons are full of people lacking in “future time orientation,” because committing a crime to get some quick cash or get revenge at someone who pissed you off is an example of enjoying immediate gratification at the expense of one’s future.

One of the most well-known stereotypes about blacks, one that can’t be blamed on racist whites, is that they never show up on time. “Future time orientation” largely explains this as blacks lack the ability to analyze how present decisions will manifest as consequences for future situations. Blacks and Hispanics, due to their lower intelligence, have difficulty in planning, delaying gratification, and, most fundamentally, foreseeing future outcomes based on a perhaps complicated set of current data. Clearly then, blacks and Hispanics want to vote right when they’re able to, they don’t want to wait or plan ahead for something that won’t occur until a later date. Children think this way too, as evinced by the famous marshmallow study – they can’t temper their impulses in order to make rational decisions. As HalfSigma says, “the black man would rather hang out” than get off the stoop to do something for something else that won’t even occur for awhile later. (Do liberals get around this by having ACORN and other community organizers round up NAMs in the ghetto on voting day?)

However, even if this didn’t have the fortunate consequence of reducing minority turnout, I’d still support the measures. While I view democracy as an OK system, I still don’t want the listless classes having their say. I also don’t want a monopolized system of power, one largely confined to elitists living in the social Ivory Tower. I want a happy medium where the productive masses vote because they know what’s best and fair, not because they want a piece of the pie without working for it. By requiring a little bit of foresight in gaining voting rights, we ensure that the proper class of individual, non-criminal, mature, informed, and responsible, comprises the largest portion of the voting public. How can Dr. Edsall disagree with that? Oh wait, that’s waayyyccist.