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Thread: South African Land Invasions

  1. #21
    wetback Space Invaders Champion Fitz's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    What did they expect to happen? If you can't defend your shit someone's gonna eventually roll up and take it from you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post

    Genocide is the only way to assure dominion of conquered territory. Anything less is like stopping in the middle of a course of anti-biotics.

  2. #22
    singularity precursor Limes's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
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    If only there were someone that was actually from South Africa, who could weigh in on this discussion with their opinion...but who[m]?

  3. #23
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    Birmingham: England's Philly.

    I like that I now live somewhere that I can sit and think on a park bench and not be bothered by some pasty backwards baseball cap-bedecked d-bag that probably voted for Trump harassing me for "smoking weed near his kids". Smoking without a lighter, matches or vape pen on me... what a feat! I'd feel bad about judging people like that for being dumb if they weren't such dicks on top of it.

  4. #24
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
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    There's a fairly strong historical argument to be made that many of the issues that have driven racial tensions in the United States since the end of the Civil War could have been averted or at least mitigated if the federal government had implemented a policy of land redistribution in the former Confederate states during the Reconstruction process.

    There was legislation along these lines floated in Congress--the typical approach would have been to confiscate land owned by anyone who also owned slaves, and then give deeds to the confiscated land to the person's former, now-emancipated slaves. (Who had typically already been working the same land for generations, and would now merely become resident-owners of portions of it, and therefore entitled to keep the profits from their own labor, or otherwise capitalize their equity in the land, rather than quasi-serfs with all the value produced by their labor accruing to their master/landlord instead of themselves.)

    Though such proposals never gained much political traction outside the specific faction known as "Radical Republicans" and were rather summarily shot down, so it's a big "what if" of counter-factual speculation.

    It's a compelling analysis, though, because over the same time period (the mid-19th century, both before and after the war), the federal government was already running a huge problem of land grants where both white people, mainly those living in northern industrial cities, as well as immigrants from Europe, could generally receive deeds to plots of land sufficient to establish "family farms" in western frontier territories, either for free or at least at far below the land's theoretical market value.

    The main aim of this policy was to quickly re-populate areas seized from indigenous societies (who were typically expelled from the land they formerly inhabited upon being conquered) in the various 19th-century wars and other events where land was seized by the US government, establish a large white population in these areas, and expedite their economic development and integration into the US economy.

    However, whether an intended objective or not (probably a whole other discussion), one of the effects of this policy was a rather sizeable transfer of wealth into the hands of people who had been 'proletarianized' (meaning lost any significant capital assets they or their ancestors had ever had) during the economic shifts (and sometimes political conflicts) of the Industrial Revolution, both in the more industrialized and urbanized regions of the US and in European states whose crises were driving a mass wave of refugees across the Atlantic.

    Among other things, the western land grants played a major role in expediting the process of these European immigrants--and white internal migrants from eastern cities--assimilating into American society and quickly establishing themselves as members of the economic middle class.

    No such program of capital distribution on this scale has ever been pursued toward emancipated African-American slaves or their descendants, and this discrepancy has in turn played a major role in the intractability of disparities between the median economic position of the African-American population and that of the European-American population.

    E.g. had such a program ever been implemented, this plausibly might have forestalled or at least significantly shrunk the early 20th-century 'Great Migration of southern African-Americans into northern urban centers that created communities such as Harlem--i.e. concentrated communities of black migrants and their descendants living in high-cost urban areas but suffering from severe levels of endemic poverty given that they typically arrived without any significant capital assets and did not have the "release valve" option to reduce their populations (and thereby drive up wages for those who remained in industrial employment) through economic migration out of the cities to subsidized agricultural endeavors on the frontier.

    I guess I don't know all that much about South Africa, but to the extent that the end of Apartheid seems fairly analogous to the two great achievements of African-American emancipation--the abolition of slavery itself, and then the abolition of 'Jim Crow' segregation laws a century later--I might hazard a guess that they're likely to be facing some analogous issues relative to the lingering societal after-effects of a segregation system that was only abolished a couple of decades ago. (Even later than the abolition of the Jim Crow system in the US.)

    Namely, the extensive, long-lasting, and inter-generational effects of a long-lasting system of caste division don't just magically disappear the moment you formally abolish that system.

    If the bulk of the valuable productive economic capital (e.g. farmland, though there are others) still remains the property of people whose ownership stakes in it originated under the Apartheid system and predate that system's abolition, it would actually stand to reason and be one of the most predictable outcomes of abolition for a great deal of the social tension created by that system to still be prevalent, and even somewhat intensified by the relative political empowerment of the formerly marginalized and politically suppressed segment of the population.

    Ad hoc, extralegal seizures of land by members of the marginalized population aren't necessarily (or even likely, IMHO) a particularly rational response to such a situation, but it may well indicate that the government needs to be more proactive about how they're going to address the issues stemming from Apartheid which haven't been fully resolved by simply declaring the former subjugated group to be fully free citizens.

    Especially if that happened so recently that you're likely to be dealing with the same people who had these problems while the old system was still in place, and thus have directly personalized resentments about it that would usually tend to gradually dissipate among later generations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

  5. #25
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    Roger Mexico came back to write an essay for us!

    Too bad, Lady Une. You were far too lenient.
    As a soldier, yes. But as a civilian I lived an austere life.

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