The state is the problem, not affirmative action

“South Africa is the only country in the world where affirmative action is in the favour of the majority who has complete political control. The fact that the political majority requires affirmative action to protect them against a 9% minority group is testament to a complete failure on their part to build their own wealth making structures, such that their only solution is to take it from others.”
~  London Times

This quote on the London Times came to my inbox today.  I have not verified who the author is and whether it actually appeared in the London Times, but it’s worth a comment in any case.

Democracy is redistributive by its very nature.  It is by definition characterised as rule of the majority over the minority.  Whether redistribution from whites to blacks, whites to whites, Christians to Muslims, smurfs to chipmunks, there is a redistribution from productive people to unproductive people in a democratic political system.

Saying that affirmative action is a way to “protect” the ruling class against a 9% minority group is a red herring.  The 9% minority group, if left to produce and keep the fruits of their labour and save and invest in ways they see fit by paying no taxes, would lead to more prosperity for the majority, not less.  However, the political elite, which is no bigger in terms of numbers than the productive people, will clearly be worse off than they are now.

The point is that by the ANC and the political elite taking over the primary redistributive mechanism available, the state, i.e. the monopolist of juridical and defence services in a geographic region without the consent of all, it becomes easier and inevitable that they will live at the expense of productive people.  Affirmative action is but one of the ways it can redistribute. Without the control of the state apparatus affirmative action is impossible.  But redistribution is just as easy when in control of the state, even without affirmative action.  Politicians could simply abolish affirmative action and can rule Russian-style of high-level cronyism.  The end result is the same: redistribution to a connected and chosen group of people.

What’s important is that all governments are redistributive and live off the production of others.  If we really want to live in a free and prosperous society, we need individual liberty for all, and no government.

5 Responses to “The state is the problem, not affirmative action”

  1. DeLaBoertjie says:

    I got that quote in my inbox too. Your final paragraph reminds me of the words of a young Dutch/Afrikaner frontiersman who, when when tried for his part in a failed rebellion 200 years ago against the British government in Cape Town, remarked: “I a a young man who deos not yet know what a government is, as I have never been near one.”

    May that become true once more.

    I got the quote from Joseph Stromberg’s insightful libertarian perspective on the Anglo Boer War, where he refers to the practical anarchism of Boer life on the edges of the Cape Colony before the Groot Trek.

  2. DeLaBoertjie says:

    Stromberg’s article can be found here:

  3. Goldman says:

    @DeLaBoertjie, thank you for the link…

    • JGalt says:

      Ja ditto, thanks for the link. Nothing like a bit of libertarian history, South Africa needs it so people can understand the true problems plaguing our society today – government – whether it be the DA, NP, or ANC in charge!

    • DeLaBoertjie says:

      Yes, JGalt, the problem is government itself. But this is SO difficult to get across (I failed once more today), because the people in the audience are still in another paradigm called “staatlikheid” – their ideas are limited by what the state-as-institution allows. I recently read a great book by a local author, prof. Koos Malan, on this. He’s not libertarian or anarchist and doesn’t link his theory to libertarianism, but he very illuminatingly dissects what he calls the “territorial state” to lay bare its coercive roots and the almost religious zeal with which people support this “mortal god.”