Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Parallels with Africa

Sometimes I post news and stories from other countries, especially South Africa, mainly because I have a deeper perspective of what's going on there than most Americans and because there is a correlation between what happened, and is happening, in South Africa and what is happening here. Some may retort that Africa has very little that correlates with the United States, but that is a head-in-the-sand response.

When Joe Slovo, one of the architects of South Africa's current communist government, said, when asked at a press conference about the abject failure of communism whenever it is tried, that they have now learned what Karl Marx, Mao Tse Tung, and other communist architects did wrong, rational folks had a hard time believing that he would say such a thing. A South African communist regime will implement communism in a manner that it will succeed avoiding the mistakes of the past, he said.

Needless to say, communism has reduced the life-expectancy from almost 70 years of age to below 50 and caused South Africa to be one of the most violent countries in the world with overall poverty still sky-rocketing. It took them all but 15 years to accomplish that and the numbers are still sliding south.

That was to be expected and those who toy with socialism and communism should expect nothing different as an outcome should such a disastrous transformation take place here.

There is, however, another correlation that one can easily overlook and write off as "an Africa thing." One has to look at the utterances of the South African president last week during a speech at an ANC (African National Congress, the ruling communist party) recruitment campaign. As head of state and head of the ruling party, the 30,000 people attending the campaign expected to hear substantive utterances from their great leader.

He treated them to an admonition not to abandon the ANC, whose popularity has been in decline recently, because, he said, abandoning the ANC would anger the ancestral spirits who will make deserters ill. In the West, one cannot help but giggle at such an outrageous statement, especially if it comes from the head of a state intended to be a serious admonition.

Seen in the context in which President Jacob Zuma made this statement to his followers, it is, on the one hand, a desperate attempt of a failing doctrine to stop the abandonment of the communist regime. On the other hand, it is a very well orchestrated play on his followers' deep-rooted fear of avenging, angry ancestral spirits.

Let's go back a bit into the history of their ancestors. This is only one account of many similar deceptions that took place in their history.

In the early part of 1856, a teenage girl named Nongqawuse went to fetch water in a river nearby where she lived. She returned claiming to have met with the spirits of her ancestors. She claimed that the ancestors told her that her people should destroy their crops and kill all their cattle, the only source of the nation's well-being. Two fears haunted her people at the time that made them believe in the veracity of the prophecy; more than they might otherwise have done.

Many of their cattle were dying because of a type of lung disease that raged at the time putting their continued sustenance and wealth in jeopardy; and the British were a threatening presence in their land.

Nongqawuse said further that the spirits also told her as soon as the killing and destruction was complete and obeyed by all, the ancestral spirits would rise up and kill the British invaders, replenish their granaries and give them abundant, healthier cattle than they had before. The chief, Sarhili, ordered his nation to obey the prophecy, not only fearing the wrath of the ancestors if they should disobey, but desiring the abundant reward if they should obey.

Nongqawuse dated the fulfillment of the prophecy as February 18, 1857 and such specificity gave the prophecy further apparent legitimacy, which struck further fear and urgency into the hearts of the people. Historians estimated that they killed almost 500,000 head of cattle in the carnage that followed.

The prophecy predicted that the sun would rise on that February morning and then turn red as a token of its fulfillment but on that summer day the sun remained bright and hot as it did on any other day.

It is estimated that about 80,000 people died of starvation in the aftermath of this catastrophe with evidence of cannibalism and other atrocities. Nongqawuse was jailed for a while and died of natural causes in 1898.

A tragic event, indeed, but how does this correlate with the United States in current times?

Principally, in the prophecies of a socialist utopia that is promised if only we would kill our so-called diseased wealth: capitalism and individual liberty. Where Nongqawuse's prophecy played on the Africans' irrational fear of angering their ancestral spirits, we are played to have a similar irrational fear of angering liberals and Muslims and be labeled racists, equating our faith in God and the U.S. Constitution with intolerance and even fascism.

Where the Africans were so convinced that their diseased cattle herds will be replaced with plentiful healthy cattle for everybody that they actually went into action destroying their herds, so we are also asked to be convinced that, first, our founding principles are our diseases, and second that the "spirits" of communism will reward us with untold liberty and wealth for all.

The call to believe the false prophets further became apparent when our elected officials said they voted on bills that they didn't read nor understand, and our Speaker said that we should first vote for a bill to find out what is in it. Or, we should first act and then find out later what we have done. Or, first kill your diseased wealth and only then can you be sure of true wealth later.

How is that different from Nongqawuse's prophecy?

How will the outcome be different?

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Seeking the truth until I find it.