The New American – Although they are a small minority in the Republic of South Africa, white farmers own most of the land. Under an openly racist redistributionist policy announced by South Africa’s new president, Cyril Ramaphosa (shown), land will be taken away from whites and given to black South Africans — all without any compensation.
In an address to the parliament meeting in Cape Town a few days ago, Ramaphosa said, “The expropriation of land without compensation is envisaged as one of the measures that we will use to accelerate redistribution of land to black South Africans.”
He claimed that this will heal divisions and injustices of the past, arguing that the original European colonists took land away from indigenous black tribes 400 years ago.
Confiscation is another word for theft, all done under the cover of law — what 19th-century French philosopher Frédéric Bastiat aptly called “legal plunder.” Besides its dubious morality, this policy has predictable economic consequences.
All South Africans have to do is look next door to neighboring Zimbabwe, formerly known as Rhodesia. Rhodesia was another black-majority nation with a white minority that ran the government and owned most of the land, until pushed into opening the polls to the black majority. That is when Robert Mugabe, a self-proclaimed Marxist-Leninist, took over the country after winning the 1980 general election. Almost immediately, Mugabe began a land-redistribution program.
Land was taken from white farmers by the Mugabe regime, forcing the farmers off the land. At the time, Zimbabwe was a net exporter of food, especially to neighboring African nations. But as the professional farmers were driven off the land, and many chose to leave the country, food production plummeted. Now, the country relies on food assistance from the United Nations.
Under Mugabe’s socialist economy, Zimbabwe became a laughingstock, with a hyperinflation that destroyed the monetary system and led to a deep economic depression, now decades old. Finally, Mugabe was ousted in a coup d’etat in 2017.
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