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Mugabe, the protesters, and the totalitarian alliance
By G. Stolyarov II
The recent Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development was yet another grotesque ploy to subvert economic liberties in favor of coercive social planning, to surrender without reward the fruits of producers' minds through creation of bogus "rights" that non-producers supposedly possess to their work. Throughout this gathering, two conspicuous forces maintained intense activities. Although at first glance more radical than the "mainstream environmentalists" at the summit, their ideologies and consequent deeds are however precisely what the regulator mentality upholds and renders possible.
U.S. President George W. Bush had refused to attend this abominable session, but leaders of certain nations, considering themselves to possess a greater stake in the affair and increased chances of squeezing out petty favors at some other nation's expense, have manifested their presence to much acclaim. One of these men was Robert Mugabe, the "president" of Zimbabwe whose previous election campaign had been marred by violence and suspicious poll manipulations. A March 13, 2002 article by BBC News reveals that numerous voters had been forcefully barred from proclaiming their selection upon that day by Mugabe's security forces. Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe's chief opponent, had asserted that over a million voters, enough to bridge the fourteen-percent gap between himself and the dictator, were disenfranchised. The article also revealed a concern posed by Amnesty International, which "said it was deeply worried about almost 1,500 opposition polling station officials and independent election observers who had been detained during the election. It demanded their release, adding: 'We are deeply concerned for the safety of those arrested in the light of the well-established pattern of disappearances, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by Zimbabwean security forces.'" The government of Mr. Mugabe practices detestable terror and censorship against divergent viewpoints and against democratic elections, as it comprehends that it would not remain in power if the market of ideas became liberated as the first step toward liberating the market of goods.
What are the policies which Mugabe implements using his ironfisted stranglehold? Rationally speaking, one cannot expect a man who suffocates the freedoms of the people, which are their means to personal gains, to bring about personal gains for the people. Even absent specific awareness of the occurrences in the region one can properly declare that Mr. Mugabe is a practitioner of the altruist mentality, i.e. of sacrifice. In a free society individual rights guarantee that no man's well-being is surrendered to that of another, but in Zimbabwe, where such freedom is curtailed, it is because the parasites on government levels seek to thrive through the detriment of others. This is precisely the case when translated to the specific events in Zimbabwe following Mugabe's ascent to his "fifth term" in office.
The dictator's most recent initiative was the expropriation of white farmers within his territory. "Those do not deserve to be in Zimbabwe and we shall take steps to ensure that they are not entitled to our land," declared he upon his return to Harare from the summit. "Do not deserve" by what standards? Let us examine the matter. These farmers are men who have tended to their land, sown its seeds, nourished its produce, poured hours of their time and effort into reaping a crop for themselves and monetary profit from its sale. The land is theirs by right, as it would have been a barren veldt had their ancestors not brought to Rhodesia the modern agricultural techniques which transformed a wasteland of savage tribes into a settled, semi-civilized country. Their skin color does not automatically mandate their extinguishment from African territories, just as the skin color an individual African does not deprive him of the opportunity to exercise his rights unharmed by a European provided he does not initiate force against the latter.
Yet Mugabe, according to a September 4, 2002 Reuters report, proclaimed "some Zimbabwean whites were urging former colonial power Britain to tighten sanctions or send troops to topple him." Topple whom again? Topple the man who had brutally stifled any manner of ideological dissent and divergent voting? Topple the man who had overtly and self-professedly denied the farmers and their representatives a voice in determining (and limiting) the policies of their government? Mugabe had repeatedly threatened to imprison and censor Caucasian opponents, such as Roy Bennett, and David Coltart of the Movement for Democratic Change. Mugabe spoke of them, "The Bennetts and the Coltarts are not part of our society. They belong to Britain and let them go there. If they want to stay here, we will say 'Stay here, but your place is in jail'." Essentially, Mugabe is imposing a double bind of punishment upon his critics, condemning them to exile and censorship if they select departure, and the absolute deprivation of all political and economic freedoms, which entails censorship, should they decide to remain. For the sheer reason of their refusal to grovel in obsequy before the tyrant, they are "damned if they do and damned if they don't".
What other means of preserving their freedom from the brutality of the gun do the farmers possess? Escape to Britain is not an option as it would still result in the loss of their hard-earned land, precisely the scenario Mugabe is relying upon. Mugabe is an altruistic parasite. He depends upon the sanction of his atrocities by the producers, such as the farmers, via their compliance. He preaches the creed of submission and abdication because he expects to become the beneficiary thereof. The parasite does not create, but rather expropriates the creators. He thrives upon the suffering of others, who will relinquish their lives by practicing altruism and become deprived of them via the gun by resisting it. In the words of Ayn Rand, the parasites "do not want to live. They want you to die." It is no coincidence that Mugabe's professed philosophy is socialism, legalized collective theft, which he had absorbed during his university days at Fort Hare College in South Africa. Eric Young reveals that "there [Mugabe] was introduced to literature on communism, Marxism, and Gandhian passive resistance." He evidently has embraced all but the latter of those principles, as his "redistribution of wealth"-driven confiscations are virulent and intolerant of any manner of resistance by definition.
At the Johannesburg Summit Mugabe, according to Reuters, was received cordially and with acclaim. "Mugabe said his land reforms had received wide international support at the summit, except from Europe and the United States." In short, who supported Mugabe's initiatives? The denizens of semi-free European and American mixed economy nations at least possess in their intellectual arsenals a firm philosophical base for property rights and a recognition of their indispensability in regard to and concurrence with human rights. Mugabe's backing flows from Third World dictatorships infected with the same socialist looter mentality. In alliance with Mugabe they seek a firmer base and a moral sanction for their atrocities of legalized marauding. As these form a substantial fraction of the world and a majority of U.N. representatives, it comes as no surprise that the bullies would exhibit solidarity in regard to their victimization of civilized producers and civilized countries.
The entire summit's goal, not explicitly stated but showing through the transparent veil of supposedly "benevolent" policies, is to subordinate rights-respecting Western industrialized nations to dictates forced upon them from the bloodbaths, quagmires, and slums of backward totalitarian looter states. That is why the parasites ramble on about developed nation's "obligations" to the under-developed. They cannot produce themselves (because their people are barred from free market exchanges and regulated by the coercive savagery of men like Mugabe), and thus they seek to leech off those who can at the detriment of the latter. The same scenario Mugabe had imposed upon the competent, forward-thinking white farmers of his realm is now being played out on a global scale, with Mugabe and his Third World cronies shackling the competent, forward-thinking nations of the world into following a dysfunctional scheme which will eventually result in the deterioration of everyone's condition, even in that of the parasites after they strip the entire world of the sources of production.
Mugabe received another outpouring of support at the summit, from a horde of fanatical protesters apparently intimidating it because they perceived the gathering's policies to be insufficiently radical! A Chicago Tribune article of Sunday, September 1, 2002, declared that their primary goals were to receive "land for the landless and an end to privatization." Now, wait a minute. Upon retrospect, how can such initiatives benefit anyone? Land is a market commodity in free countries, and men who own it have deserved it through their productive labors. The fact of their ownership demonstrates their capacity to develop it, earn their own profit, and as a side effect benefit their clients and consumers through consensual commercial exchanges. To grant land to those undeserving is to create a deterrent effect for such men of action, who will realize that the further they refine their unstable property the more alluring a prize it would seem for "the landless", who had not cultivated their land nor possess the material commodities desirable to the owner in exchange for the land.
Essentially, their demand had been carried out by Mugabe in Zimbabwe, as he had expropriated prosperous farmers, nationalized their fields, and now may place there whomever he selects. And whomever he selects will be parasites, just like the landless looters which the protesters are. The Chicago Tribune article mentions that the origin of the vast majority of the demonstrators is from the slums. The slums had formed in the first place as a result of government wage regulations to bar men from working if their labor were below a certain mandated level, which had created a permanent underclass of government dependents, who had over generations been groomed to accept parasitism as a social and behavioral norm. The protesters merely translated it onto the world at large, seeking to transform it into one gigantic welfare bureaucracy with six billion helpless dependents constantly trembling for fear that they would not obtain a bite to eat tomorrow and therefore groveling at the heels of the omnipotent clerks at distribution points. Is that an optimal situation for these people? No. Had they lived in a laissez-faire capitalistic system, all of them would have been employed and prosperous in proportion to their merits and efforts exerted. Yet, that having been barred from their ancestors, they have been transformed into incapacitated parasites, whose only means of survival is expropriation of the producers. Was it not a convenient scheme for totalitarian governments or even mixed-economy regulators to inexorably degrade these people to the level where their only means of support is somebody else's ruin, and the only means to obtain that ruin is through the coercive hand of big, authoritarian government?
Indeed, big, authoritarian government was precisely the role model they had upheld. They cheered at Mugabe's land confiscations, extolling them as an example of the overall redistribution of wealth that they propagated. They have jumped onto the socialist bandwagon when it lunged into an abyss, and remaining there is their only bet for surviving a few seconds longer. They, however, are mere minions. The blame must be placed on the socialist governments of the world, who had imposed wage restrictions, or more radical dictatorships such as Mugabe's, who had incited parasitism by offering for free that which can justly only be bought. Mugabe's predecessors across the world, in the United States even, had established the conditions for a positive loop, an escalating cycle of dictatorships obtaining support from impoverished masses, resulting in increasingly oppressive dictatorships and increasingly impoverished masses, wherefore the level of totalitarian control rises once more and so forth. Parasites at the top have created parasites at the bottom, and the alliance grows. While this may seem only a practice of the radical left only, it is in fact manifested at every level of the summit.
Mugabe had rigged an election, but at least he is attempting to seem democratic, feigning his legitimacy. The bureaucrats of the United Nations and the majority of its dictators do not even pretend to have been elected by the people of any country. Their ambassadors have been appointed by governments, not selected through majority vote. The greatest rigging emerges from the fact that said officials, even from Western nations, endorse or passively resign themselves to backward regulatory proposals that their home countries' populations do not desire, and which would have been even illegal under the Constitutional rights of such nations as the United States. They fall into the trap crafted for them by the regulators and their mentality of altruism, which manufactures bogus "rights" such as those of education and housing. If the two cease being a market commodity and their providers are deprived of the right to accept or refuse a particular transaction, the teachers and the builders become bound in literal slavery, because they possess superlative skills which are in high demand. And, just as in the case of the farmers, ability will not be exercised, for men will realize that its practice merely augments their liabilities toward the ignorant and the homeless. Quality of learning and quality of building will decline, and living standards along with them, creating yet another horde of living corpses maintained solely by the rising tide of expropriation by big-and-growing government. The protesters may be clamoring for expropriations, but the Johannesburg Summit is already implementing them in a neat, tidy, bureaucratic fashion.
Only when the men of action are willing to surrender their profits without reward or customer selection power to the leeches can parasitism continue indefinitely. Only if nations such as the United States, Britain, Israel, and other fading bastions of the free world perpetuate their participation in the Third World conglomerate that is the U.N. will their intellectuals be censored by "planned educational curricula", their construction companies inhibited by "planned development zones", and the ultimate goal of the parasites ultimately come to the forefront.
The identity of that goal should be first pinpointed philosophically. The aim of altruism is the antithesis of the merit hierarchy, that is the penalization of virtue and the subsidization of vice. This, although cloaked by flowery moral rhetoric, is the ultimate repudiation of morality, that is, nihilism. In every dimension of existence, physical, intellectual or psychological, the consequence of nihilism is the plummeting of all men below the level of the parasites, into the relationship occurring between the expropriator, Mugabe, and the dependent, the protester from the slums. The parasite cannot elevate himself, but he yearns for power and luxury, even if they are relative to men around him dwelling in simple filth. Ultimately nihilism is to be a return to the dilapidated thatch hovels or skin tents of Paleolithic tribes, whose members were dependents of chieftains and witch doctors who retaliated brutally against any attempt to amend or improve upon stale, century-old dictates of primitive ritual.
The ultimate essence of nihilism is not control by each man of his own destiny, but submission to the whims of his surroundings, as was the lifestyle of stagnant tribes who did not bother developing agriculture, philosophy, and technology. To apply this to the Johannesburg Summit, what greater application of abdication mentality does there exist than man's subordination to barren, inanimate matter, or automatic unthinking animals, an elevation of their interests above his own through the curtailment of human expansion into their "habitat" at the expense of the freedom of the economy, of the amount of goods available to increase the quality of life, of technological progress, and of human life expectancy? In the animist spirit of the witch doctor the U.N. bureaucrats seek to dub green shrubs and dung beetles intrinsically sacred, and woe to him who dares to defy the superstition or even identify it as such! A "right" to a "pristine" or "untouched" environment is not identical to a healthy environment, which can be created by meritorious men of their own accord and using their own private property, but rather amounts to "a right to be barred from employing natural resources to ameliorate one's existence".
Only voluntary, private individual actions for adaptation of the environment to human needs are to be curtailed, however, not social planning schemes to grant precisely that amount of conveniences to a certain group of parasites as deemed expedient by the dictator or authoritarian committee for the sole sake of its remaining in power and resuming its higher-level parasitism. "They do not want to live. They want you to die." If they die along with you, their nihilism justifies it for them perfectly. After all, if the top of the lack of value hierarchy is to be the ultimate non-value, then death is precisely the aim that their power will lead them to pursue, yours, then their own. That is why mankind has remained in a quagmire of stagnation for the majority of its existence, and still lingers there in nations that have not seen the light of the Industrial Revolution and traces of free-market capitalism.
But the United Nations and its altruist, primitivist designs cannot exist without the sanction of the victims. Dr. Chris Matthew Sciabarra, author of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, explains: "[Rand] defined evil negatively, as rooted in a revolt against rationality. Evil has no power without the sanction of good. In cannot exist on its own, and depends upon the default of the good for its sustenance. Evil can only destroy, it cannot create. It requires that others create before it can expropriate their values. Good does not require the presence of evil, but evil is a parasite on the moral host." (p. 263) Thus, to separate themselves from evil, the United States, Britain, Israel, and any other European ally still conscientious of the liberties which distinguish it from the backward tyrannies of the third world, must withdraw from the United Nations! Here in America the work of Representative Ron Paul of Texas on this initiative should be appreciated and considered once more by Congress.
Dr. Paul had correctly mentioned in congressional debate on his bill, H.R. 1146, the "American Sovereignty Restoration Act", which, if passed, would withdraw the United States from the U.N., that "Our Constitution does not give us the authority to sell our sovereignty to an international body.... [E]ven under the treaty provisions of the Constitution, it is not permissible." Indeed, the unelected bureaucrats who sit at U.N. meetings, presumably on the behalf of the U.S., are so thoroughly indoctrinated into altruism, socialism, and rigid top-down planning that they relinquish the limitations of the very document which had served as a model for the remainder of the free world, which was the culmination of Enlightenment philosophy into a practical, functional, American system that had proved itself to be the most prosperous and progressive this planet had yet seen. Sniveling little dictators have been winning the battle for our ignorance of our Constitution too long now, and only because of the sanction of the victim. It is essential that the United States pass Dr. Paul's bill as soon as possible and that its allies introduce similar legislation within their lawmaking bodies.
What will then occur to the totalitarian alliance which has been dominating the United Nations? Having none to prey upon, as civilized nations will do no business with them and at last, not possessing vital interests at stake from membership in the same gargantuan organization, can impose crippling sanctions against anti-rational and anti-capitalist regimes in order to give the parasites, in the words of Ayn Rand, "the only death they had a right to seek, their own." The dictators, without victims, will possess two choices: to mend their ways or starve. In either scenario the burden will be much alleviated. Those nations which choose to genuinely adopt a free-market, individual-rights society, will speedily attain the level of prosperity they had always yearned for, from their own produce and the quality of their labor. Perhaps someday, when dictatorships become annihilated altogether, men can consider an international organization once more, this time fully under the United States banner and serving only the negative functions of an army, police force, and courts, the only proper faculties of government.
What can be advised to the oppressed farmers of Zimbabwe and to the British government? Keep resisting. As John Galt from Atlas Shrugged tells us: "If there are degrees of evil, it is hard to say who is the more contemptible: the brute who assumes the right to force the mind of others or the moral degenerate who grants to others the right to force his mind. That is the moral absolute one does not leave open to debate. I do not grant the terms of reason to men who propose to deprive me of reason. I do not enter discussions with neighbors who think they can forbid me to think. I do not place my moral sanction upon a murderer's wish to kill me. When a man attempts to deal with me by force, I answer him by force. It is only as retaliation that force may be used and only against the man who starts its use. No, I do not share his evil or sink to his concept of morality: I merely grant him his choice, destruction, the only destruction he had the right to choose: his own. He uses force to seize a value; I use it only to destroy destruction. A holdup man seeks to gain wealth by killing me; I do not grow richer by killing a holdup man. I seek no values by means of evil, nor do I surrender my values to evil." If the British government can grant military aid or economic support to its citizens and descendants thereof in Zimbabwe, it should seek such paths, but the most significant blow will emerge from European withdrawal from the U.N., which will effectively isolate Mugabe commercially and plunge his nation to a level of poverty the producers will not stand and be far more eager to amend.
As for the protesters from the slums, their outcry is a signal to the world that it must not heed their demands, which are to render it impossible to work and force all to mooch, but perform the contrary, that is, to render is impossible to mooch and hence force all to seek work! Every country possesses wage regulations and, henceforth, institutional unemployment of some sort. It is time that each one, individually, repeals these abominable shackles on the willing mind and puts an end to socially planned parasitism. The place to begin is here, in the United States, where minimum wages have soared to the draconian level of $5.15 per hour. By genuinely liberalizing the job market and at last eliminating true poverty at home, this nation, the world's superpower, will establish a potent example abroad.
We must not permit a totalitarian axis to enforce the will of Mugabe in America to overshadow the light of reason. President Bush was wise not to attend the Johannesburg Summit, but will he gather the courage to demonstrate commitment to the logical next step?
BBC News. "Mugabe wins 'rigged' Zimbabwe poll". March 13, 2002. Available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1870864.stm.
Goering, Laurie, Chicago Tribune Foreign Correspondent. "Summit protesters march to highlight needs of poor." Chicago Tribune, September 1, 2002, p. 8.
Reuters. "Mugabe Tells Whites to Leave or Risk Jail over Land." September 4, 2002. Available at http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20020904/wl_nm/zimbabwe_mugabe_land_dc_1.
Young, Eric. "Africa: Mugabe, Robert." Available at http://www.africana.com/Utilities/Content.html?&../cgi-bin/banner.pl?banner=Blackworld&../Articles/tt_351.htm.
G. Stolyarov II is a science fiction novelist and independent philosophical
essayist. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator,
a philosophical journal championing the Western principles of reason,
rights, and progress, to be found at http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/index.html.
He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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