Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Death of Johannesburg

A couple of days ago a reader sent us a link to “The Death of Johannesburg”, a blog run by a fellow who calls himself the Real Realist. It’s not just a single blog; it’s a series of photo galleries set up as separate blogs to reduce the bandwidth drag for readers who load the pages. When you go over there, you’ll want to click your way through the various gallery links and spend some time browsing through the various photos.

The end of apartheid in South Africa in the early the 1990s was a cause for celebration. After Nelson Mandela became president, and national reconciliation became the order of the day, most of the world’s attention turned elsewhere.

But South Africa didn’t turn into a multi-racial paradise. It hasn’t yet gone the way of Zimbabwe, but there are ominous signs that it is heading in that direction.

The Real Realist has taken it upon himself to document the changes in South Africa as exemplified by the city of Johannesburg. There are few before-and-after photos in his galleries — his effort has been to record the current state of the city. But the damaged, filthy, gutted, and ruined modern buildings speak plainly enough about the decline of the city.

Here’s one of the few before-and-after comparisons:

Joubert Park was one of the first open spaces for Johannesburg’s inner city, proclaimed in 1906 but planned in 1887 and named after Boer War hero, Commandant-General PJ Joubert. It used to be a place where the city council put up Christmas lights, where choirs would sing Christmas carols…

Joubert Park

nowadays it’s just a slum with squatters living there…

Joubert Park

We’re used to photos of city life in squalid Third World backwaters: the trash in the streets, the shantytowns, the filth and sewage, disease and poverty and degradation. But these scenes in Johannesburg are startling because the same reduced way of life has been overlaid on a modern and prosperous city only a decade and a half after the end of white rule.

What is arresting here is the idea of what the city used to be, versus what it has become.
 The Death of Johannesburg
A common sight in these photos is the bricked-up business. Affluence and modern commerce have all but disappeared; that which remains might be called the “bodega economy”, a series of small informal businesses that can be run in questionable neighborhoods with little capital investment, since no one in his right mind would want to risk real money in places like these.

It’s obvious that capital has fled abroad. South Africa has yet to raise up its own version of Robert Mugabe, a thug-dictator who will expropriate what’s left of the country’s prosperity. But much of South Africa’s wealth has departed voluntarily.
 A bricked-up business
 A commercial street
- - - - - - - - -
Many of the high-rise towers in downtown Johannesburg that were once polished and gleaming are now decrepit and filthy, inhabited by squatters, with broken windows and laundry hanging from the formerly fancy balconies. The streets around them are filled with garbage, broken furniture, and abandoned appliances. The businesses that used to occupy the ground floors are gone.

This seems to apply to apartment buildings, office towers, and hotels alike. Unless the owners have somehow managed to successfully barricade their properties, the buildings have all suffered the same fate.

Here’s what the Real Realist has to say about the Carlton Hotel:

Once the Carlton Hotel was a rich status symbol for Johannesburg; an internationally renowned establishment where the moneyed and the famous wined, dined and slept in style… The 600-room hotel, which took seven years to build, opened in 1972, and closed in 1997 — because it became too dangerous for people to stay there, attacked as they were if they dared venture out into the surrounding streets.

Today it stands empty, a slowly crumbling and deserted ruin, stripped of its finishings, symbolic of the New South Africa, just waiting to die...

Astonishing to think this building, which once hosted banquets, the world famous Three Ships restaurant, world personalities, is today totally empty. It is the second highest building in Johannesburg...
 A high-rise building
 An apartment building
 The Carlton Hotel
An abandoned hotel

It’s easy to bring race into this situation, and I’m sure there are plenty of people, both in South Africa and elsewhere, who see the situation through the prism of race. But I won’t even go there; I don’t think that’s what this is about. Neither black self-government nor a legacy of white racism is what’s responsible.

South Africa stands out because it was the most prosperous country on the continent, but it has hardly been unique in its decline under non-white rule.

Culture plays a large part in the process, as it has all across sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the Third World. The end of colonial rule in Africa left the natives — with no experience in self-government above the tribal level — to their own devices. The predictable results have been poverty, dictatorship, and rampant corruption.

But the primary culprit in the current degradation of Johannesburg is Socialism. It’s important to remember that the ANC is a Marxist organization that enjoyed the patronage of the Soviet Union right up until the fall of Communism. The ANC apparatchiks who have governed South Africa since the end of white rule loathe capitalism and are fond of statist solutions. Like Robert Mugabe, they are indifferent to the general welfare of their own people, and they nurture a form of governance which encourages corruption and dictatorial rule.

The consequences came to Harare first, but Johannesburg is well on its way.


Conservative Swede said...

"But the primary culprit in the current degradation of Johannesburg is Socialism. It’s important to remember that the ANC is a Marxist organization..."

Yeah, sure. Quite as the main culprit of the problems in Iraq under Saddam was socialism (the ideology of the Baath party). Without this influence of socialism both pre-2001 Iraq and post-1993 South Africa would have been prosperous places.

Well, I know there are a lot of people around with an emotional need for believing in such fairy tales, but I'm not one of them. Sorry Baron, but you are running an obsolete auto-pilot on this one. I've been in Joburg myself. I can tell you that socialism is not any of their main problems.

Above mentioned site also links to this site: Farm Murders in South Africa (from 1994-present). In the lower two thirds of this page you find very graphic images.

Baron Bodissey said...

Mr. Swede, I beg to differ.

Back when the ANC first took over, I remember clearly one of their leaders (perhaps Mbeki; it was pre-internet so I don't have a link) declaring his antipathy to capital. He was promoting socialism as alternative to the repressive regime that preceded him. I cannot believe that this attitude has had no effect whatsoever on the state of affairs in SA.

That said, though, I tend to think that culture is more significant, though there's no way for me, as an ignorant amateur, to be certain.

The "socialism" of the ANC is the same as the socialism throughout the Third World, with Arafat and the Baath states included, namely: baksheesh is to be paid to the kleptocrats in charge, who agree to hold it in escrow for "the people". Heh.

IOW, time-honored despotic corruption under a shiny new ideological name.

Sagredo said...

If the horrific pictures of farm murders referred to by the Conservative Swede are supposed to prove a point about the black Africans and the role of race in the decline of South Africa, then what will pictures of Auschwitz prove to us about white Europeans?

Incognito said...

Is it a combination of both?

Interesting, though, how *socialism* seems to plunge previously prosperous countries into depths of poverty. Burma is an example. One the most prosperous countries in Asia, it is now one of the poorest, if not the poorest.

Unknown said...

Socialism decouples the risks from the rewards in capitalism. If you take a higher risk, and it pays off well, you can expect a high reward for your effort. In socialism and communism, it doesn't matter, as "to each according to their need".

This has completely failed to work over the course of history. The failures come about from a combination of human nature, and the rise of klepto-thugocracies taking over the socialist states. Everyone is equal, though some are more equal than others.

Countries advance when they create opportunities for their people, giving them tools for taking risks and creating wealth. Countries regress when they remove opportunities, decouple risk and reward.

The ultimate failure of socialism and communism comes from the fundamental problem, that an able bodied worker can make the same money resting on their ass as they do working hard. What is their incentive to work hard and create wealth when they don't get to keep it?

Capitalism isn't fair. That is its nature, it is competitive. Who said life is fair?

Look at all the socialist or trending socialist economies in the EU. What is happening in France, in Italy? Not economic growth.

Unknown said...

Either way, it's horrifically sad. Giving democracy to African blacks in the manner we (the west) did was the moral equivalent of giving a table saw to a 7 year old.

We need a non-racist word for normative white, Christian, productive, English speaking civilization.

Unknown said...

I find it remarkable how those pics of joburg are so similar to parts of detroit, sadly, there is a commonality that cannot be ignored.

jwbaumann, there is no term that can exist for "white, christians" that wouldn't be considered racist. If you are a white Christian (particularly male) then you are automatically guilty of every crime imaginable because you belong to a class that is guilty of every crime imaginable.

This is the basis of how political correctness functioned in the USSR, this is the basis of how political correctness now functions in the west. The ability to demonise entire institutions and social structures is an important methodology used by the proponents of PC.

Concepts such as "tolerance" have been "weaponised" by so called "progressives" and is being used with great effect against us. Futher interesting reading on this subject can be found here - "Multiculturalsm and Marxism".

Bert Rustle said...

The case of Detroit is relevant.

Regarding black crime rates worldwide see Cross-national variation in violent crime rates

From the discussion:

"These results first corroborate predictions ... that Blacks average higher rates of violent crime than do Whites and East Asians and ... people
of East Asian descent commit relatively fewer acts of violent crime than
do those of European or African descent. Present results show that the population patterns in crime found within Britain, Canada, and the United
States are more generalizable than is often supposed. This implies that some of the causes of race differences must be sought beyond the local conditions of particular countries or even groups of countries."

The black on white violence/rape/murder rates in the USA Color of Crime To quote:

Crime Rates

• Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder, and eight times more likely to commit robbery.

• When blacks commit crimes of violence, they are nearly three times more likely than non-blacks to use a gun, and more than twice as likely to use a knife.

• Hispanics commit violent crimes at roughly three times the white rate, and Asians commit violent crimes at about one quarter the white rate.

• The single best indicator of violent crime levels in an area is the percentage of the population that is black and Hispanic.
Interracial Crime

• Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.

• Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Forty-five percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are black.

• Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.

• Blacks are 2.25 times more likely to commit officially-designated hate crimes against whites than vice versa.

• Only 10 percent of youth gang members are white.

• Hispanics are 19 times more likely than whites to be members of youth gangs. Blacks are 15 times more likely, and Asians are nine times more likely.

• Between 1980 and 2003 the US incarceration rate more than tripled, from 139 to 482 per 100,000, and the number of prisoners increased from 320,000 to 1.39 million.

• Blacks are seven times more likely to be in prison than whites. Hispanics are three times more likely.

The implicit assumption that everybody has the same potential is false. The following links raise serious doubts that Western Civilization will persist without Westerners.

IQ and Global Inequality From the Preface: We address ... major theories of economic growth ... and introduce the 192 countries of this study ... we define ... intelligence ... showing that intelligence is a determinant of incomes and ... educational attainment and socio-economic status ... this is the basis of our theory that ... intelligence likely to be a determinant of per capita incomes among nations ... tested by empirical evidence ... results are checked by exploring the impact of latitude and annual mean temperature on human conditions ... national IQ is correlated also with many other variables ... and concludes that the racial identity of the population is the major factor. etc.

Unknown said...

If you add many bullet holes in the walls, it would look like Angola.
I thought that the amount of destruction in Angola was a result of the war but maybe it is not so.

John Savage said...

As the Baron has grudgingly admitted in his comment, these outcomes have a great deal to do with race and culture, which are the causes of the corruption that he associates with socialism. Socialism in the West has not created outcomes such as these, except when there's been immigration of Third-Worlders. So let's not kid ourselves about which is the really important variable here.

Good comment by Conservative Swede, too.

Unknown said...

Culture is a function of race - the problem for South Africa is Blacks for whatever reason don't want to live as/can't live as white Europeans do - and why should they?

Bert Rustle said...

There are quantifiable behavioural differences between racial groups relevant to violent crime rates.
Racial and ethnic differences in psychopathic personality


This paper proposes that there are racial and ethnic differences in psychopathic personality conceptualised as a continuously distributed trait, such that high values of the trait are present in blacks and Native Americans, intermediate values in Hispanics, lower values in whites and the lowest values in East Asians. Part one of the paper sets out the evidence for this thesis. Part two applies the thesis to the unresolved problem in The Bell Curve that racial and ethnic differences in a number of social phenomena such as crime, welfare dependency, rates of marriage, etc. cannot be fully explained by differences in intelligence and proposes that some of the residual disparities are attributable to differences in psychopathic personality. Part three of the paper integrates the theory with Rushton’s r-K theory of race differences.

For a user-friendly scientific explanation by Professor J. Philippe Rushton, download the abridged English version of RACE, EVOLUTION, and BEHAVIOR: A Life History Perspective . For versions in Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German etc see here .

Sagredo said...

People who explain the near-infinite complexity of human societies and their different histories and customs, on the basis of one simple factor--'race'--(a concept rather discredited by science in any case) are ignorant fools whom history has shown it is impossible to educate. And I know enough to resist the urge, though I cannot help but wondering their conclusions concerning the Oriental 'race' if they were aware of the utter degradation and inferiority, morally as well as otherwise, into which the Chinese had fallen for many centuries previous to which the were so evidently racially superior to the smelly, hairy, Europeans.

But perhaps words can reach these people when one points out that they are earning the epithet 'racists' hurled at them from the Islamicists/Left, and thereby undermining their own cause, when they display their views as applied to Moslem immigrants to Europe. When and if these Moslems succeed in overruning Europe, it may seem to many somewhat like those Russian Mongol soldiers overruning Hitler's racially superior ubermensch at the end of WW2 and many will think "too bad about the women and children but those damned racists asked for it".

Bert Rustle said...

Sagredo wrote ... --'race'--(a concept rather discredited by science in any case) ... This statement demonstates that you have either not read or not understood the references I have provided to the work of Professors Lynn and Rushton.

The egalitarian “equal outcomes pro rata to population” is putting the (conclusion/theory) cart before the (empirical observation) horse and naturally leads to debating “how many angles can dance on the head of a pin”. A gentle broaching of the subject can be found in Before the Dawn by Nicholas Wade, a NY Times journalist. Intelligence, Race, and Genetics: Conversations with Arthur R. Jensen is helpful as it is a question and answer session between a renowned academic and a well informed journalist, pitched at the intelligent layman.

Unknown said...

THis subject is particularly close to me, so I feel compelled to comment. Unfortunately, alot of what is said about Johannesburg is true. However, things are not declining I think as rapidly as its made out to be in this article.
What happened to Joburg in the early 90s was basically a hyper transfromation of what happened to many American cities thirty years ago, except in much sharper contrast. As black squatters moved in from (very) poor areas like Soweto and Alexandria, they ended up making the Johannesburg CBD basically uninhabitable and extremly dangerous. So naturally, there was a white flight- Johannesburg's Central Business District has gone down the tubes, but places like Sandton and the East Rand have really cleaned up. The white people just moved north and east- the Johannesburg stock excahnge, for example, is now in Sandton.
Its true, alot of white people did emigrate, but according to some data I have seen, the emigration rate has about equalled out to rate of people returning to SA. There are still about 4 million white people in South Africa, who pay about 90% of the taxes, and as corrupt and socialist as the ANC is, I dont think they are going to kill their golden goose by redistricuting land and confiscating property (at least not very quickly- Namibia already has already begun taking 'Boer' farms). It really all depends on whether Jacob Zuma gets elected or not. If so, I think SA could seriously go Zim's way.

Vlad Z. said...

"There are still about 4 million white people in South Africa, who pay about 90% of the taxes"

Hmm, sounds a bit like the USA. Out top 10% pays about 80% of the taxes. They number 13 million. I'm not aware of stats on race of the top 10%, I don't think the IRS collects that information.

In any case it is quite sad, and the similarity with Detroit is interesting. It was riots that drove the 'white flight' and subsequent decline of Detroit, along with industrial relocation. The empty factories came before the empty apartments and stores. This seems to be reversed in SA.

One hopes that they can find away to turn things around and not end up like Zimbabwe and all the other horror movie nations in Africa, but how?

Conservative Swede said...

I'm not sure what is culture and what is race here, but I also think this is beside the point 'cause culture floats as slowly as glass.

My last paragraph was not necessarily connected to the rest of the text. I added it primarily because it was a highly interesting piece of information to complete the picture. However, it further suggests that socialism is not the issue. Adandoned houses in decay looks like socialism, but not this. Brutally violent crime coming from under is not what we see in socialist societies. Their signum is typically the opposite, the stifling of such crime. Also so in Saddam's Baathist Iraq. Instead the violence comes from above. I suppose some people think that socialism is hell itself and dream up these kind of graphic pictures as part of the complete and ultimate evil, but this is not the face of socailism, not even in North Korea. Communists, quite as Nazis, have a preference of killing people in a "clean" way.

The reaction of Sagredo is so typical and so depressing. He sees these mutilated bodies and the result is that it triggers white guit within him. If anyone else than a black person had committed these acts of sadism, it would have triggered his rage. It's very sad that Sagredo cannot take a race blind view upon these events, but robotically reacts as the racist he truly is.

Also we see, with Sagredo, how the Holocaust is hardwired to the Original Sin. I'm not suggesting that black people are inferior to whites. I'm not suggesting anything. Rather, it looks more like the black people are superior to us. They wage this kind of violence against whites, and the whites feel guilt. That's being superior. Quite as the Muslims are superior to us. And the more they brutalize us the more guilty the many Sagredos among us feel.

If the blacks see the whites as another race, as the other, as aliens--we saw it during the O.J. Simpson trials--that's reason enough for these actions. We need not jump to conclusions. Let's just acknowledge what's at the very surface of the events. That's enough to act upon.

Conservative Swede said...

I'm also left wondering why the results in Detroit looks like coming from socialism. Maybe the Baron has the answer? Could there be other reasons for houses in decay? How many other cities in the U.S. have this appearence of socialism? Is the U.S. turning into a socialist paradise? Is there any correlation between "socialist" houses in decay and the proportion of blacks in such cities? (I'm just asking. And if that is the case must we feel white guilt about it?) Must we stipulate that they have a socialist rule in such U.S. cities, for the theory to hold?

Baron Bodissey said...

Mr. Swede,

I know you love to be provocative, but I'll answer your question anyway.

Yes, the large cities of the United States are socialist enclaves, some of them indistinguishable from EU-Soc paradises. San Francisco is probably worse than most European socialist playpens.

There is a lot of variation, of course. But the most socialistically-inclined cities -- e.g. Washington D.C. -- are the worst off.

You can correlate this with race as well, because blacks and other minorities congregate in the devastated urban cores, but that doesn't mean that race is the cause.

It also doesn't prove that socialism is the cause. In either case, correlation doesn't prove causation.

Now y'all go ahead and argue about it.

Hal K said...

When and if these Moslems succeed in overruning Europe, it may seem to many somewhat like those Russian Mongol soldiers overruning Hitler's racially superior ubermensch at the end of WW2 and many will think "too bad about the women and children but those damned racists asked for it


How bizarre. European countries have allowed mass immigration from Muslim countries out of the goodness of their hearts in many if not most cases. Of course, what happened in WWII was completely different, and I don't need to go into details.

This reminds me of a comment by Vanishing American at the following blog post:
The 'third great revolution'

"I am not sure when we first began to follow the twisted version of Christian morality, in which we are supposedly guilty of the wrongs of our ancestors and we can find redemption only in capitulating to our supposed 'victims.'"

Sagredo said...

The Conservative Swede:
".......I've been in Joburg myself. I can tell you that socialism is not any of their main problems.

Above mentioned site also links to this site: Farm Murders in South Africa (from 1994-present). In the lower two thirds of this page you find very graphic images."

(and then in his second post claims)

"My last paragraph was not necessarily connected to the rest of the text. I added it primarily because it was a highly interesting piece of information to complete the picture. However, it further suggests that socialism is not the issue."

My reaction is that anyone who believes his reference to murders by blacks, immediately following his statement that socialism is not the main problem and believes that these two are not meant to be 'necessarily' connected probably but is open to the idea that these point "suggests that socialism is not the issue" (oh how sly he is, how subtlely he intimates) is probably as obtuse as Mr. Swede evidently thinks commentators here to be.

But all the subsequent posts detailing how much crime is associated with Black populations seems to indicate that my fellow readers of this blog are not obtuse; they get Mr. Swede's point very clearly indeed!

But I must admire his chutzpah in then calling me a racist--he is clearly a Goebbel's Class propagandist.

All these social science data people have brought are, as the Baron has pointed out, only correlations. Social Science is not a science in any sense remotely like the experimental sciences and one should not be fooled by their use of math/statistical data in thinking so. That Blacks have many grave cultural impairments and difficulties adjusting to the modern world is well known and is what these statistics tell us. They say nothing directly about Black genetics. Genetic implications are what have been scientifically quashed.

As for my remark about Russian Mongol invasion in WW2 it seems to have been completely misconstrued. I am not wishing for such a disaster to hit Europe. I am only pointing out that racial hatred by Europeans (and there is sure a lot of, it did not all disappear when Hitler shot himself)will decrease sympathy for Europeans if they fall prey to the present threat. They undermine their cause byh exposing their racism.

Europeans are not guilty of their parents wrongs but they are stuck with them. It is part of their heritage. You don't cry when you inherit all the glories of European civilization do you? Well do not be so quick to cry when you inherit the not so glorious stuff.

Darrin Hodges said...

"That Blacks have many grave cultural impairments and difficulties adjusting to the modern world is well known and is what these statistics tell us. They say nothing directly about Black genetics."

It does, it tells us that they are unsuited to European cultural expression in the same way that Europeans would be unsuited to African cultural expression. It's not a question of superiority or not, it's about the difference.

As a spiders web may be considered part of a spider's extended phenotype, then culture can be seen as the extended phenotype of humans. As not all spiders webs are the same, not all human cultures are the same and problems arise when you try to mix humans who are incompatible at the most fundamental levels.

The different races express themselves through their respective cultures, this of course is the basis of human diversity and it is wonderful to behold, however it falls down when you try to compress it all into one place as stipulated under that most evil of ideologies - multiculturalsm.

Hal K said...


I don't think I have entirely misconstrued your comment, although I am glad that you do not relish the prospect of a Muslim takeover of Europe.

Based on their immigration policies, it is clear that Europeans as a whole are the least racist people in the world. The question is whether some comments have crossed a line in making negative characterizations based on race, and whether there is some reason why they shouldn't have done this (if they did).

The real reason why people should be careful about making racist remarks is that it can reflect badly on them, which can be to their disadvantage if they are trying to win people over to their side of an issue. At the same time, it is risky to say that we can't make any negative characterizations about race, etc., because this leads to a loss of touch with reality it a certain sense, which can be harmful. An example of this would be the mindset that led to liberal immigration policies throughout the West, which may well end up resulting in the sorts of hostile takeovers that you warned us to fear.

The point is that we should be realists now, and fight for reductions in immigration, and not be cowed into a preemptive surrender by the prospect of the very outcome we should be fighting against.

As far as "crying" about inheriting the "not so glorious stuff," it is difficult to respond without putting things in context, which I prefer not to attempt right now. The quote I gave summed up the mindset of many who have argued for liberal immigration policies. If it the quote does not apply to you, then fine, but I think it might.

Conservative Swede said...

Sagredo is still very upset that I linked to the pictures of very brutal farm murders in South Africa. He considers this a sort of a crime by me, for which my collective guilt for the Holocaust has to be brought up, as a punishment.

I was merely lifting up a link from the site that the Baron recommended us to read, with the intention to make it part of the discussion. If Sagredo thinks that there's anything wrong with this site, and that facts from it should not be brought up (based on PC standards), then he should direct his anger against the Baron. I was not the one suggesting this site to be authoritative.

Sagredo continues to make a big thing out of this link and is examining with microscope what I wrote before and after, in trying to prove what an evil person I am. It's really pathetic, and it shows how little he as to go on, and how little substance there is to his PC tirades. This time he calls me Goebbels. Next time I suppose I'll be Hitler.

Yolanda said...

I'm not expecting to see my comment appear on your blog, but wow, this blog is quite something. I was looking for info about joburg rehabilitation, and i find this blog! I knew South Africa was not going well these days, but if people still use racial statistics to explain crime and acknowledge no legacy of decades of oppression, then yes SA is nowhere near freedom :)And damn I laughed when I saw that socialism was responsible for the ills of our societies! the post and comments were made in 2007 though, so when I think of the failures of our capitalist system today and all the poverty it has brought these past couple of years becuase of the financial crisis, I laugh even louder. Man, is this for real that people can think that way today. And they say that black people are uneducated and behave like children,... dear me!

Anonymous said...

I think this is an interesting question that deserves an honest answer: why IS SA declining?

I am an ex-South African. I don't believe in racial theories. (Professor Rushton was mentioned by someone -- in Canada he is a considered a fringe crackpot, not a serious scientist).

I also do not accept that socialism is to blame for this decline -- firstly, it's important to note that the ANC has NOT been particularly socialist. They did not nationalize any of the main industries, nor did they alter the laws of private property or those governing commerce. They have been by in large friendly to foreign investment, etc.

As a matter of fact, you should understand that Apartheid, like Nazism, was a socialist system. Apartheid provided for whites and for Afrikaners by enacting a vast program of social engineering involving government classification of people by "race" as well as forbidding sexual contact between the "races" and forcing people to live in designated areas. Apartheid was a typical Statist enterprise in line with any Communist or Fascist totalitarian system.

That being said -- that (1) ANC is less socialist than the Afrikaners ever were and (2) Racial theories are crackpot BS (people need to be judged as individuals, full stop) -- we are still left with the question, why the decline?

I could offer many theories. But I think the main thing to note is that this is an extremely complex question, and whatever I say I am more than likely to be wrong. Because everyone else usually is too.

I will say that it's important to note that a successful prosperous liberal democracy is a rare achievement on this planet. Rare for a reason -- because a confluence of factors, including history, culture, geography, the influence of great individuals -- all have to come together to create the beautiful and delicate accident of a successful and free country.

Russia, for example, is a white country that is nevertheless a mess, and always has been. Why?

I don't know; but all I wanted to say to those who think they have the answers is that it's complicated.

Regards . . .