Sunday, 11 November 2018

The life cycle of a voluntary organisation

By Trevor Watkins


For my sins, and my vanity, I have been involved in starting up or serving on many voluntary organisations during my lifetime. I have observed a recurring cycle in the lifetime of these organisations, which I describe below. The reason I have written this down is to remind myself and others that all these things have a season, and that is the way it should be. Nothing lasts forever.

Stage 1 – Enthusiasm

The first and most fun stage of forming an organisation, characterised by wild enthusiasm, excitement, animated discussion, grand plans and few obstacles. This stage usually lasts about 9 days, and is often very productive. Committees are elected, constitutions drawn up, letterheads and logos designed, meetings held, bank accounts opened, websites set up. Everyone is keen to help, nothing is too much trouble, bonhomie abounds.
Everyone knows everyone, and everyone loves everyone.

Stage 2 – Establishment

All good ideas devolve into work. This is the tough 2nd stage, where enthusiasm must be translated into progress. Procedures and protocols need to be agreed upon. Differences in expectations need to be resolved. Formal responsibility structures need to be approved. Real work taking real time needs to be allocated to specific people. This stage usually last about 9 weeks, or 3 months. The scope of the task ahead becomes apparent. Some are discouraged and leave. Disagreements arise. Competing egos emerge. Some become disillusioned and leave. Those that remain submerge their egos into the aims of the organisation, work hard, achieve a few early successes, and settle down for the long haul.
Everyone knows everyone, but not everyone loves everyone.

Stage 3- Consolidation

The organisation is established, its has an identity and a footprint in the target community, it is providing useful services. The original grandiose plans are much reduced, the membership is growing but nowhere near the target, the cashflow is weak, the successes limited and the failures many. One or two individuals are carrying the organisation along, but are showing signs of strain. This stage occurs about 9 months from initial setup. This is the critical point at which the organisation either continues and grows, or shrivels and dies. If the load is shared equitably across active members of the executive, if people take responsibility for their portfolios, if the organisation is achieving its aims, however modestly, if there is enough money, members and goodwill, then the organisation may survive. If the load is being carried by just one or two, if they are exhausted and disillusioned, if everyone is just going through the motions, then better the organisation dies. Things always end badly, because when they are going well, they do not end.
In the worst case, no one knows everyone, and no one loves anyone.

Stage 4 – Survival

If the organisation can get through its first year, its first AGM, if it can elect a new and rejuvenated committee, if it can convince its membership to pay a fee for a 2nd year, then it has a fair chance for survival. Now the organisation takes on a life of its own, independent of the current leader or executive. The members see more value in the ongoing existence of the organisation than in its demise. The next big milestone is to survive for 9 years. Not many make it, but some do.

Now, many know and love the organisation.

Stage 5 – Division

If the organisation turns out to be successful, if its membership grows and its cashflow improves, then sooner or later someone will decide that the organisation could be better managed, at less cost and with greater results. Commonly that person will be a disaffected member of the executive, or a disgruntled existing member. Sometimes a completely external party will decide that this is a profitable model worth hijacking. Allies will be sought, aspersions cast, issues invented, and the energies of the organisation will be spent on internal bickering. Finally, after much thrashing around, the organisation will split, and a new, reformed wing will hive off and begin operations in competition with the parent body. Although painful, this process is a useful measure of the health of the organisation, and is rather similar to cell division in living bodies. Competition breeds efficiency and innovation, and the overall purpose of the organisation is enhanced.

The market has worked its magic and now provides a choice of similar organisations.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

2018 - 33rd Libertarian Seminar in Wilderness

Libsem 2018 presentations on Youtube

Huge thanks to Stewart Clark for recording and posting the following videos.

Rex van Schalkwyk - Central banking: the enabler of inequality

Sihle Ngobese of IRR (@BigDaddyLiberty)

Martin Brassey - Libertarianism and Racism

Ivo Vegter - Fashionable Food Fears

Colin Bower - Libertarianism - a personal lifestyle choice and not a policy

Garth Zietsman - Diversity

Frans Rautenbach - Educational Crisis

Andrew Kenny - History of Land Ownership

Leon Louw and Kelvin Kemm - Nuclear Safety Lies!

Martin van Staden - Expropriation without Compensation

Trevor Watkins and George Werner - Individualist Movement

10 minute presentations:-
Martin Fey - The Servile Mind

Ron Weissenberg - Makana Revive


Leon van Wyk - State of Local Government

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Economics is Childs' play


10 children are invited to a birthday party. As they arrive, they are each given 3 golden tokens. The host explains that they will play various games with great prizes using these tokens.

In the first game the prize is a brand new bicycle, which the host says he will give to whichever child offers him the most tokens.
This is the supply of desirable goods.

Nine of the ten children desperately want the bicycle. The tenth child is weird and says she’d rather walk. They all offer one token, then two then all three of their tokens for the bike.
This is demand driving up price.

There is stalemate, as no one can offer more than anyone else. Then 2 clever kids get together and agree to pool their tokens, allowing them to make an offer of 4 tokens.
This is capital formation, and contractual agreement.

The other kids think this is a good plan, and there is a flurry of shouting and screaming as various alliances are formed, tokens are pooled, and offers for the bicycle are made.
This is called the stock exchange and joint stock companies.

Finally one little consortium is able to make a better offer than everyone else, and they become the joint owners of a shiny new bicycle.
This is called investment.

All the shareholders have a ride on the bicycle, while the other kids look on.
This is called envy.

Some kids mutter resentfully and demand that everyone should have an equal share of the bike and the rides.
This is called socialism.

The kids who own the bike get bored with riding after awhile, and go for a swim, leaving the bike lying on the ground.
This is called a non-productive asset.

One of the consortium, a skinny kid who doesn’t enjoy swimming, gets the idea of selling rides on the bike to the other kids for a token per ride. Soon everyone has had a turn on the bike , and the skinny kid has a bundle of tokens.
This is called return on investment leading to capital growth.

Now the host starts the next game. For this game the prize is a Playstation 3, and the rules are the same, the best offer wins. The kids go crazy, because this is an exceptional prize. They quickly start bidding against each other, but the members of the original consortium have no tokens left, and are therefore excluded from the bidding, except for the skinny kid. Although they frantically try to sell the bike, one of the renters has broken it, and there are no takers.
This is called risk.

The weird kid, who didn’t want to ride the bike, and the skinny kid get together and make the best offer for the Playstation, and become the proud owners. The skinny kid immediately starts renting out turns on the Playstation, and soon has more tokens than anyone else.
This is called stinking rich.


The other kids hate him, but he doesn’t care. Some kids now have no tokens, no share in the bike and no share in the play station.
These are the poor, and everyone somehow thinks they are the hardest hit.

For the last game the host announces that the prize is a trip to Disneyland. However, this is really expensive and the host wants his nephew to win the prize. He notes that the stinking rich weird and skinny consortium has 10 tokens to their name, and his rather dense nephew has only 1, having spent his other tokens on a bike ride and a go on the play station. He tells the kids he will pay them with new tokens to clean up the mess from the party, then have the Disneyland auction. All the kids clamour for a job to do, but the host gives his nephew 10 tokens and tells him to organise the cleanup.  He immediately gives his 3 buddies tasks to do for 1 token each, and tells everyone else that they don’t qualify.
This is called nepotism and affirmative action. The velocity of money supply distribution comes into it, too.

Previously the maximum possible bid for the Disneyland prize was 30 tokens, the total number in circulation. Now the maximum possible bid is 40 tokens.
This is called price inflation due to increase in the money supply.

In reality, due to the fact that the prize could only have one winner, competition between the kids means that the best potential offer for the prize is the 10 tokens of the weird and skinny consortium. However, the nephew and his 3 buddies can make an offer of 11 tokens, using the nephew’s 8 and 1 each from the 3 buddies. Since the nephew has provided the lion’s share of the offer, he would naturally get to go on the trip.
The weird and skinny consortium’s holdings have been devalued due to the inflation of the token supply, and the nephew could win the prize due to favouritism and collusion.

However, the skinny kid is not stupid. While the cleanup is in progress, and before the bidding for the Disneyland trip starts, he offers to borrow tokens from the other kids, promising to give them a 2 for 1 return within an hour. Three kids agree.
This is called banking and interest.

The W & S consortium can now offer 13 tokens for the Disneyland trip. The nephew sees what is going on. Initially he whines to his uncle about the evil capitalistic W & S consortium. However, the uncle still has a semblance of dignity to maintain, and the other parents are watching too. He tells the nephew to make a plan. So the nephew loudly announces that he will pay 3 tokens in an hour for every token borrowed now. Two kids agree.
This is called raising the interest rate, or the price of borrowing.

Both the nephew and the W & S consortium can now offer 13 tokens for the Disneyland trip. The host announces that his nephew wins the tie because the skinny kid had already won shares in the bike and the play station.
This is called government interference in the market.

The host now announces that he is in charge of the interest rate, and he has increased the rate to 4 tokens per hour, in order to restrict inflation.
The W & S consortium go bust, and the nephew goes to Disneyland.

Everyone except the skinny kid thinks this is fair.
This is because they are all stupid.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

The death of politics

The decline of politics, political correctness and democracy in a post-liberal world.

by Trevor Watkins

Donald Trump has killed politics. He has made a complete mockery of politicians, political correctness, and democracy in general. It was a timely and appropriate execution.

The democratic system of governance leads to the uncontrolled growth of politicians, like slime under a damp rock. Hiding under the illusion that democracy shares power with the masses, a particular class of sociopaths uses popularity to capture the reins of power and influence within society.

Trump largely bypassed the traditional trappings of democracy, the political parties, backroom deals, lobbyists and influence peddlers, biased media. He went straight to individual Americans using Twitter technology, and created a new governance paradigm. Raw as it may be, his message goes directly into the minds of 22 million followers, unfiltered. Although he still derives his now vast power from the state and its structures, he does not appear to have used these powers to further a private agenda, like most of his predecessors. So far, he has started no wars, raised no taxes. He has reduced regulations, protected borders, punished hypocrites at the UN and EU and NATO. He appears to have the respect of Russia and China, no small feat.

The state justifies its existence by insisting on

  • looking after the poor, who they create in ever large numbers
  • regulating everything, except themselves
  • maintaining law and order through favours, force and intimidation
  • collecting taxes, because they could never sell their services otherwise
  • protecting us from enemies by sending us to fight them
It is a myth that a hierarchy of party political structures can adequately represent the interests of millions, based on a fixed and fraudulent counting of noses every 5 years. Our political systems are a gangster enterprise run by mafia chieftains. They are sustained by the gullibility of the brain-washed millions, who have been convinced that there is no alternative.

So what will replace the democratic political process? Two words, individual choice. The Free Market System delivers largely unfettered individual choice to more than half the world already, at least for material needs. Every attempt by the state to provide goods or services ends in failure, due to graft, incompetence and lack of motivation.

In a post-politics world, individuals will

  • contract with each other privately for everything they need, including
    • accommodation
    • safety and security
    • education
    • food, information, entertainment, health
  • Render political structures obsolete, just by ignoring them and refusing to pay for them
  • Use trade to resolve interstate conflicts
  • Use charity to care for the poor
  • Use property rights to resolve immigration issues.
All of these things are already done to a greater or lesser extent throughout the western world.

How will you get to this individualist fantasy land, skeptics ask? Revolutions in the past have always sought to take over the entire state, to replace one bad system with another. Individualists do not seek revolution, but rather exodus. Like the Hebrews in the distant past, the Afrikaners 2 centuries ago, and the soviet client states in modern times, we will seek our promised land elsewhere and on our own terms.

In the South African context, secession will become an ever more attractive and viable option. Already many wealthy gated communities have effectively seceded from their surrounding and incompetent municipalities. Orania has demonstrated a successful secession strategy for years. The availability of cheap solar energy and power storage has removed one of the biggest state dependencies for independent communities.

I believe that de facto partial secession by smaller, homogenous communities will be more successful than large scale secession plans, as advocated by the Cape Party for the Western Cape. Like all political parties, the Cape Party seeks to replace the old government with their new one, while subjecting many non-consenting inhabitants to their views. Rather, invite successful smaller communities to join a confederation of states, like cantons in Switzerland.

In the coming post-liberal, post-democratic future, individual freedom will be best protected by providing an array of competing tiny jurisdictions for individuals to choose from. Each small state will be too weak to oppress its own citizens or its neighbours, and will have to compete for their citizens loyalty with many other attractive states. Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Latvia, Andorra, Cayman Islands are good examples of such states.

I look forward to moving to Libertaria in the Confederation of Cape States within the next 10 years.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Why Does the Left Want Universal Health Care? Britain’s Is on Its Deathbed


Why Does the Left Want Universal Health Care? Britain’s Is on Its Deathbed


http://fortune.com/2018/07/10/nhs-70-years-uk-britain-single-payer/


The U.K.’s government-run healthcare system, the National Health Service, turns 70 this month. There’s not much to celebrate.

The NHS is collapsing. Patients routinely face treatment delays, overcrowded hospitals, and doctor shortages. Even its most ardent defenders admit that the NHS is in crisis.

Yet American progressives want to import this disastrous model. About one in three Democratic senators and more than half of Democratic representatives support single-payer health care.

Why? The British experiment with socialized medicine has been a monumental failure. It would be foolish to repeat that mistake here.

Single-payer is fundamentally flawed. It relieves consumers of any obligation to pay for their care, at least directly. If the price of care is zero, then every patient can demand an infinite amount. The supply of care, meanwhile, is limited. And the amount of money the government can spend on health care is finite.


In a functional market, patients would demand care and providers would furnish it at mutually agreeable prices. If prices were too high, patients would demand less care, and marginal providers would exit the market. If prices were too low, patients would demand more care, and new providers would enter the market to supply it.

These basic market-clearing principles cannot operate in a single-payer system. Governments must forcibly cap demand at whatever level they’re willing to supply—that is, to pay for it.

The NHS experienced these problems from the start. In its first year, the service went well over its budget. Prime Minister Clement Attlee even begged citizens not to overuse health services. Staff shortages, caused in part by low pay, have plagued the system for decades. The NHS started recruiting doctors en masse from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in the 1960s to address the issue.

Nevertheless, shortages persist. One in 11 NHS posts is currently vacant. Four in five NHS staff worry that these vacancies jeopardize patient safety. The NHS has among the lowest amount of doctors, nurses, and hospital beds than any country in the Western world on a per-capita basis, according to a report from the King’s Fund.

Simply put, the NHS is unequipped to care for its citizens.

A simple influenza outbreak last winter plunged the system into chaos. The NHS canceled 50,000 non-emergency surgeries to make room for an influx of people with the flu. Still, nearly one in five patients had to wait more than four hours in the emergency room.

Such nightmares have grown routine. The British Medical Association recently reported that the NHS now faces a year-round crisis, with waiting times and hospital bed shortages at record levels. An NHS Improvement survey of data from the first three months of 2018 found that 2,600 patients had waited more than a year for elective treatment—a nearly 75% increase from the previous year. It’s no wonder that about 10% of Britons hold private insurance coverage. They simply can’t count on the NHS s.to deliver quality care in a timely fashion.

The NHS’s supporters claim that the system just needs more money. That was the rallying cry for thousands of Britons who took to the streets this past February and again in late June.

But the British government doesn’t have unlimited resources. More funding for the NHS would require raising taxes. And Britain’s tax burden is already the highest it’s been in 20 years, according to the Adam Smith Institute.

Further, funding for the NHS is already at record levels. It’s projected to grow an average of 1.2% percent per year through 2020-21, to an annual tab of nearly $170 billion. Overall, government spending on health care has surged from about $340 per person in 1950 to $2,985 per person today.

Despite the crisis in the U.K., some Americans continue to be entranced by single-payer. The Democratic Party’s newest superstar, New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, made her support for universal government health care a cornerstone of her campaign. Rep. Keith Ellison, the Democratic National Committee’s second-in-command, recently led a three-day strategy session in Minnesota on how to push for single-payer.

American health care has its problems. But the NHS offers 70 years of evidence that single-payer will not solve them.

Sally C. Pipes is the president, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith fellow in health care policy at the Pacific Research Institute. Her latest book is The False Promise of Single-Payer Health Care. Follow her on Twitter @sallypipe

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Liberalism for South Africa



Op-Ed – Number 1


Name: Clive Coetzee
Organization: Individualist Movement
Country: South Africa





Liberalism for South Africa





The social and economic problems facing our beloved country are not “new” or “unique” problems. Many countries have faced them in the past and at present. Some have been very successful and some less so. The problems boil down to slow economic growth, high unemployment, rising inflation and increase in inequality. The prescription you (the country) follow and will use depends pretty much on which “doctor” you listen to. It is also common practice for people to get second and third opinions in such cases.


In economics the same basic principle also applies. There is NO one magic prescription that can or will solve our social and economic problems over night. The people of SA are lead to believe that a centrally planned system based on a development state philosophy is the only cure. This is a politically attractive philosophy founded on the teaching of the very “famous” economist John Maynard Keynes. One simply has to ask if this system and philosophy has worked over the past number of years and if doubling the doses will achieve results any different?


However this is by no means the alpha and omega in economic thinking and teaching. An alternative view which is very seldom mentioned or advocated because of its political unpopularity is liberalism. Liberalism is a system and the ideological belief in organizing the economy on individualist lines, meaning that the greatest possible number of economic decisions are made by individuals and not by collective institutions or organizations. It includes a spectrum of different economic policies, such as freedom of movement, but it is always based on strong support for a market economy and private property in the means of production. Personal responsibility and private charity is amongst its key elements.


There is much evidence that countries that have followed the libertarian ideology have in general performed much better over the past 100 years in creating economic prosperity for all its citizens, including significant gains in social issues. Contrary to popular belief and arguments from socialists, economic liberalism and freedom are not crony capitalism, worker exploitation and monopoly power. Economic freedom is not based on insiders excluding outsiders from the economy as is the case in SA. The rules of the game must be such that all have equal rights to participate in the economy and that private individuals engage in voluntary transactions and are not forced to engage in involuntary transactions that they would most probably not choose.


Is it not time therefore that we get a second opinion on the economic system and philosophy that we so dearly are hanging on to? Is it not time to fundamentally change our thinking about economics in our beloved country and prescribe liberalism as medicine for the many non-market ills we have in our beautiful country. We must put our faith and hopes in the people of SA and the free market.





“The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem”.





M Friedman


Economic Freedom as the Corner Stone of a Prosperous South Africa

Op-Ed – Number 2

Name: Clive Coetzee
Organization: Individualist Movement
Country: South Africa

Economic Freedom as the Corner Stone of a Prosperous South Africa

The Bill of Rights as contained in the Constitution of the Democratic South Africa enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. It further states that the state must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights. All of us therefore has the right to freedom and security of the person.

The great Adam Smith in his famous work “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations”, published in 1776 argue that free economies will be more productive and innovative. Smith further states that freedom is considered to be the ultimate incentive for the optimal utilisation of scarce resources, by developing a favourable economic and political environment for sound competitiveness and incentivising, and empowering human creativity and innovation.

Freedom and in particular economic freedom matters. It matters a great deal in that the evidence shows that Countries that pursue greater levels of economic freedom reap resounding benefits. The data could not be more clear. Citizens die, on average, 20 years earlier, suffer more from poverty, battle greater unemployment, receive lower average incomes and suffer higher inflation in countries with governments that follow policies opposed to economic freedom.

Friedrich Hayek so elegantly demonstrated in his famous book the “Road to Serfdom” that the road away from greater freedom will only lead us down the road to serfdom. In the book Hayek warns of the danger of tyranny that inevitably results from government control of economic decision-making through central planning.

Policies currently proposed by the governing party puts us directly on the road to serfdom. It carries all the hall marks of greater government control over our daily lives. The proposed introduction of a national minimum wage, the expropriation of land without compensation, the national health insurance scheme, the mining charter and many more are policies designed to take away some of our most basic rights. They are by their very nature contrary to the spirit of our constitution. Yes, we should be very alarmed about the encroachment of government into our private lives. In this way our society will mistakenly try to ensure continuing prosperity by centralized planning, which inevitably leads to totalitarianism. No country has ever achieved long lasting prosperity for all through central planning.

There is no evidence to suggest that it will be different in South Africa. In fact the experiences of the past 15 years cannot be blunter. Government has become bigger and bigger demanding ever more resources. Resources are diverted at an alarming rate from private individuals and businesses towards government programmes designed to improve the lives of ordinary South Africans. The results are shocking. Not only has the economic growth rate totally collapsed but unemployment, poverty and inequality has blossomed. Government in fact has become the biggest producer of misery sadly. All this is done on the premises that government how what is best and can do it the best. All in the name of the poor.

The only true solution my friends and fellow South Africans is freedom. Just ask yourself, would you rather live in Switzerland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Finland, Norway or Denmark or in Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Venezuela or Syria. Or, would you risk the lives of your family by taking a small boat across the Straits of Florida from America to Cuba. Or would you risk everything travelling across the Mediterranean Sea from Europe to Somalia, Iraq or Afghanistan? The answer is most obvious, No, No and No. Millions of people are risking their lives and the lives of their families escaping totalitarianism. Economic free countries are by far the choice of the poor, the desolate, the marginalized and the vulnerable for hundreds of years.

Our children deserves to live in a prosperous society. A society build on the principles of freedom. Not as serfs. Our choice is easy.

“I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice”.



FA Hayek

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

The future

Few would dispute that South Africa is stalled at a crossroads, watching other competing states zip by as we run the battery flat frantically trying to start our dead engine.  Even Ethiopia, the poster child for malnutrition, is purring along with an 8% growth rate.  So what does our future hold, apart from being flattened by the truck of history if we don’t get our economic engine started soon?
History has this annoying habit of repeating itself. No matter how special we may think we are, we will get the same results as last time if we repeat the same mistakes. To think otherwise, Einstein tells us, is the very definition of stupidity. And that is one thing we have in plentiful supply.
Here are three scenarios.

Greek scenario

Timescale
Description
Consequences
Late 2018
The “Incident” occurs. This might be an Eskom or SAA loan default, a natural disaster, an assassination, a major riot, an epidemic.
The fragile fiscal house of cards collapses.
The government runs out of money. Salaries, grants, creditors cannot be paid.
Financial panic, stock market tumbles, widespread rioting.
Government applies for urgent IMF loan. Agrees to virtually all terms.
Payments restored, rioting winds down, stock market 60% down.
ANC splits into verligte wing, committed to market friendly policies and economic recovery, and verkrampte wing committed to ongoing socialist policies.
Verligte wing absorbs most black members of DA, forms the DANCe party. Remains titular government under Ramaphosa.
Verkrampte wing (called the ANC Loyalists League) merges with the EFF, forms the EFFALL party.
Remainder of DA becomes a liberal party with minuscule support..
Early 2019
IMF flexes its muscles. Insists on changes to labour law. Parliament under huge pressure to pass changes, unions are apoplectic. Government unable to pay salaries and grants again.
Widespread rioting. Economy close to collapse.
State of emergency declared by Ramaphosa.
Elections delayed indefinitely. Labour law changes passed in emergency parliamentary sitting.
Riots move from dusty townships into leafy suburbs. Army deployed to curb riots, but ineffective. Death toll in riots exceeds 1,000.
Many middle class suburbs form armed militias, close off access, erect major barriers to entry.
Many union leaders, EFFALL officials, rioters taken into custody. International concern expressed at deteriorating situation and potential for civil war.
Riots begin to abate. Separatist movement in Western Cape gains strength. Tax revolt in Western Cape.
Basic services in northern provinces severely compromised.
Mid 2019
Country is effectively under lockdown. State of emergency continues. IMF imposes many further conditions before approving payments, including 30% reduction in state salary bill.
Western Cape groups begin serious secession planning.
Late 2019
As IMF conditions begin to take effect, business and investment climate slowly improves. Overseas investments improve. State of emergency dropped. Elections scheduled for 2020.
Unemployment drops for first time in 10 years. Rioting stops. Growth rate ticks up to 3%.
Serious famine conditions emerge in northern provinces.

Zimbabwe scenario

Timescale
Description
Consequences
Late 2018
The “Incident” occurs. This might be an Eskom or SAA loan default, a natural disaster, an assassination, a major riot, an epidemic.
The fragile fiscal house of cards collapses.
The government runs out of money. Salaries, grants, creditors cannot be paid.
Financial panic, stock market tumbles, widespread rioting.
Government applies for urgent IMF loan. Refuses to agree to virtually all terms. IMF withdraws.
Government announces new settlement currency, called COMRADEBONDS(CB). All available foreign currency assets seized. Bank assets placed under government management. Draconian wealth tax imposed.
SOE bail outs continue. Salaries and grants paid in CBs.
Several farms and businesses targeted for expropriation without compensation.
Currency blackmarket emerges instantly. Capital flight from SA becomes a flood. Most overseas companies freeze all further investments, begin looking for buyers at any price. Emigration applications triple.
Early 2019
Early elections announced. Ramaphosa under huge pressure from radical elements in ANC and EFF. In order to curry favour with ANC base, several businesses and farms expropriated in high profile cases.
Court cases challenging expropriation ensue.  DA is enraged. Massive inflation in value of CBs. State employees and grant recipients demand payment in dollars. Many strikes followed by riots occur.
Elections take place. ANC wins 51% majority, EFF 25%, DA 19%.
Economy continues to crumble. Growth rate is negative 3%. Zero new fixed investment. Unemployment reaches 50%.
Radical wing splits from ANC, forms new party (ANC Loyalists League).
Separatist movement in Western Cape gains strength. Tax revolt in Western Cape.
Basic services in northern provinces severely compromised.
Mid 2019
ANC no longer enjoys parliamentary majority, must enter into coalitions with EFF or DA. .
Service delivery rioting increases around country. Riots move from dusty townships into leafy suburbs. Army deployed to curb riots, but ineffective. Death toll in riots exceeds 1,000.
Many middle class suburbs in Western Cape and Gauteng become walled cities with own management, independent of state entities.
Tax collections plummet, adding to pressure on fiscus.
Late 2019
Ramaphosa declares state of emergency. SA defaults on most foreign loans. Economy in free fall.
South Africa is labelled as a failed state.  Appeals for international aid to feed starving citizens. Warlords arise in northern provinces and take control of state assets.

Ramaphosa scenario

Timescale
Description
Consequences
Late 2018
The “Incident” does not occur. Eskom or SAA do not default on their loans, there is no natural disaster,  assassination,or epidemic.
The fragile fiscal house of cards remains intact.
The government manages to borrow enough money to avoid catastrophe. Salaries, grants, creditors continue to be paid.
The rand declines, the stock market declines, service delivery protests continue.
Ramaphosa’s government continues to strengthen, prosecutes corruption, reduces size of cabinet, makes reassuring noises on EWC.
The delicate juggling act begins to pay off for Cyril.
EFF and the Zuma faction become ever more hysterical, and irrelevant.
The DA continues to flounder.
Malema’s star begins to wane. Internal dissensions in EFF mount. Court cases takes their toll on Zuma and Malema.
Early 2019
Early elections announced. Ramaphosa under huge pressure from radical elements in ANC and EFF. In order to curry favour with ANC base, several businesses and farms expropriated in high profile cases.
Court cases challenging expropriation ensue.  DA is enraged. Ratings agencies threaten further downgrades.
Elections take place. ANC wins 55% majority, EFF 15%, DA 20%.
Economy continues to crumble. Growth rate is negative 1%. Little new fixed investment. Unemployment reaches 50%.
ANC splits into verligte wing, committed to market friendly policies and economic recovery, and verkrampte wing committed to ongoing socialist policies.
Verligte wing absorbs most black members of DA, forms the DANCe party. Remains titular government under Ramaphosa, with narrow majority.
Verkrampte wing (called the ANC Loyalists League) merges with the EFF, forms the EFFALL party.
Remainder of DA becomes a liberal party.
Separatist movement in Western Cape gains strength. Tax revolt in Western Cape.
Basic services in northern provinces severely compromised.
Mid 2019
DANCe party encounters major internal strategic and philosophical differences. Majority dwindles due to desertions.
Service delivery rioting increases around country. Riots move from dusty townships into leafy suburbs.Many middle class suburbs in Western Cape and Gauteng become walled cities with own management, independent of state entities.
Tax collections plummet, adding to pressure on fiscus.
Late 2019
Ramaphosa remains president of a deeply divided country.
South Africa stumbles along with no major policy shifts and poor future prospects.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Launch of the Individualist Movement

Jeffreys Bay, 5th June 2018.

by Trevor Watkins    (You can view a video of the launch here.)

Why did we invite you here today? Well, a movement is like a rocket - pretty useless if you don’t launch it. So we wanted a specific moment in time and a specific place where history could record the start of the Individualist Movement. We wanted to test our message on a typical audience and gauge the reaction. While we would love to recruit you as a member, that is not our first priority tonight. Rather, we hope to entertain and enlighten you in a pleasant atmosphere.

Today is the 74th anniversary of D-Day, the launch of the Normandy landings in 1944, when many of our forefathers fought and died to ensure the survival of our western civilisation. They laid down their lives to preserve the ideas we take for granted today - rule of law, individual freedom, government by the consent of the governed. It is a stark reminder that ideas matter, and bad ideas have dreadful consequences. Three generations later, what sort of a job are we doing to protect the legacy they fought for?

The vast majority of people spend their lives providing a service to others. Whether you sell coffee or cars you engage in a voluntary transaction for the benefit of yourself and others. As a nurse or doctor or policeman or priest you provide Social Services in order to make a living. You volunteer to assist your family and friends and community for the spiritual rewards it provides. You are not the problem with our society.

Some people crave power over others and often disguise this as a service, most notably politicians. They are easy to spot. If you have no choice but to do their bidding, to follow their rules, to pay their taxes, then you have a power seeker, and a problem.

What you believe influences your worldview and how you act and react with others. Robert Heinlein put it well, “The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” Either individuals are free to choose, or others, individuals and groups, make their choices for them. In my opinion, these views are mutually exclusive, there is no middle road. Either your rights as an individual are respected, or you are subject to the interests of the group. Either you ask for consent, or you use force. It is a binary choice, it is right or wrong, it is true or false.

Who here believes that the interests of their preferred group, their nation, their church, their municipality, their family, should take precedence over the rights of any one individual?

Who here believes that others should always ask for your consent before doing something that affects you?

Who answered yes to both questions?

Why is this important? Throughout history tyrants have used the greater interests of the group, any group, to justify doing stuff to individuals against their will. Kings and conquerors, mayors and councillors, always appeal to the greater interests of the group, while almost always advancing their own private interest. It is the oldest of all the myths - the commonest lie. And yet we believe it everytime. As Ronald Reagan said, the scariest words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you”.

So what is to be done? The American founding fathers took a giant step for individual liberty when they produced their Declaration of Independence. This resulted in the freest and most prosperous country in history, despite its modern difficulties. Many constitutions, South Africa’s included, pay lip service to individual rights, but always with critical exceptions that favour groups. Most western countries support democracy, which replaces the tyranny of the one with the tyranny of the many, as South Africans know only too well. Can human nature be changed? Is it worth even trying?

I have been trying for the past 33 years. And I am trying once again. Some people think this is very trying. Earlier this year I realised that the communists have had a communist manifesto since the late 1800’s, which became the basis of the communist movement, an epic disaster for humanity. What is the polar opposite of a communist? An individualist. This thought prompted me to write down the Individualist Manifesto, which merges the predominant ideas of classical liberalism and libertarianism into a single short document. When I showed this document to my friend George Werner, he suggested we start the Individualist Movement to publicise the ideas therein. And here we are today.

Although the manifesto is deliberately as short and simple as possible, I think there may be some value in explaining some of its terms.

I am a sovereign individual. I am a nation of one.

While many may think the idea of sovereign individuals is a pipe dream, we already live in a world of sovereign states which enjoy all the privileges that we seek for individuals. There is a general agreement among states, backed by treaties, to respect the independence of other states, to avoid interfering in their affairs without consent, to respect their boundaries, to treat their representatives with dignity and respect. Any attempt by one state to coerce another will quickly result in retaliation and possibly war. Likewise for any attempt to seize property unlawfully, or cross agreed boundaries. This respect for sovereign states should simply be extended to sovereign individuals, to nations of one.

Respect me, respect my independence

Most conflicts arise from a lack of respect for others. We fear people who are different to us and favour those who are the same. We don't have to love other people, we don't even have to like them. But if we don't respect them and their differences we will end up fighting them.

Request my consent

Consent is at the core of the Individualist Manifesto. Consent enables all voluntary human interactions, and forbids all involuntary or coerced interactions. No one may make decisions on my behalf without my consent, no matter how well-intentioned.
Recognise my property

The rule of law and the recognition of property rights is the fundamental basis of the free market system. It is a hot button in South Africa at the moment because the collectivists and communists know this well. Without secure property rights there can be no market, no prosperity, no future

Resolve disputes by jury

Job 5:7 says that “Man is born to trouble as surely as the sparks fly upward”. Things fall apart. Conflicts will always arise. In the past conflicts were resolved by the king. Nowadays they are resolved by courts and judges appointed by politicians in government. This critical function is now beyond the control of the individual and often beyond his reach financially. We suggest that conflicts between individuals should be judged by other individuals in the tried and trusted jury system.

Consequences

Although brief and simple, the consequences of these principles are profound.
  • No one may take your life except you.
  • No one may decide what you eat or drink or do to yourself.
  • No one may tax you without your consent. Without taxation the nation state will wither away.
  • No one may impose regulations upon you without your consent.
  • No one may decide how you use your property unless it affects them directly.
  • You may defend yourself with vigor against anyone acting against you.
  • Disputes will be resolved by juries of your fellows, with up to three appeals.
  • Providing aid and assistance to your fellows is a personal moral decision, not an obligation.

Conclusion

Respect, request, recognise and resolve; These are the 4 R’s that are the basis of the manifesto, and make up the logo of the Individualist Movement.

They describe how you wish to be treated,and how you will treat others. They place a limit on the power of groups. We invite you to become a sovereign individual.

Authenticity

By Trevor Watkins 24/5/2020 Some of what I have to say here is derived from a Wikipedia article entitled “ Authenticity ”. What is real? I...