Hubert Collins, American Renaissance, November 23, 2018
Dan Roodt is a South African author and activist. He studied at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and at the University of Paris. In 2000, he founded the Pro-Afrikaans Action Group (PRAAG) and, together with singer Steve Hofmeyr, has been active in protesting against farm murders and anti-white discrimination in South Africa. He has been writing for American Renaissance since 2004. He frequently travels to Europe and the USA on speaking engagements, and has spoken at two American Renaissance conferences. He is writing a book on the African population explosion which, if unchecked, will change the world forever, creating a “global South Africa” in which five billion Africans would dominate a tiny European minority.
Hubert Collins: Social scientists use a number of indicators to assess how well a country is doing. In South Africa, most all of them are bad.
Homicide: Thirty-four murders for every 100,000 citizens every year, the fifth highest rate in the world.
Rape: Official statistics are hard to trust, but South Africa has one of the highest—if not the highest rape rates in the world. Around half a million women in South Africa are raped every year. The rate per 100,000 citizens is around 132.4 (America’s, which is considered high by international standards, is 27.3), and children in South Africa are more frequently raped than nearly anywhere else. It is estimated that about 40 percent of all women in South Africa will be raped at some point in their lives. Moreover, I have heard that rapists in South Africa are treated with considerable leniency, often only serving a few years.
Gini Coefficient: This measures income inequality, South Africa is ranked as the most unequal economy in the world.
Gross Domestic Product, per capita: Lower than even a number of poor Latin America countries, such as Mexico and Colombia.
Unemployment: South African joblessness varies between 20 and 30 percent.
At the same time, South Africa scores well on certain indicators. It does very well in the areas of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and free and fair elections. The neoconservative think tank Freedom House calls South Africa a “free” nation, one of the freest in Africa, and freer than many countries in Latin America and Asia. The libertarian Cato Institute also considers South Africa fairly modern by its largely economic measures: property rights, freedom to trade internationally, minimum economic regulation, dependable currency.
This is a striking dichotomy. In certain structural terms, South Africa can look like a model nation, but when you consider the things that most impact residents—crime, unemployment, corruption—the rosy picture fades. In this way, South Africa can seem like the nation most emblematic of our era: an economic system that pleases economists, a political system that pleases politicians, and chaos on the ground for everybody else.
Is my perception correct? Is there any other nation like this?
Dan Roodt: I would say your outline is 99 percent correct, and those statistics are substantially accurate. Probably, no other nation such as this has ever existed, and South Africa represents a unique experiment in world history: a bit like Brazil, it is both First World and Third World, but mainstream commentators dishonestly hide or erase this dichotomy. The financial system, the legal system, the so-called “formal economy,” press freedom, and the democratic system were all created by whites, but are now presented as “Afro-democratic achievements.”
The one other country American dissidents greatly fear becoming is Brazil, which has similar rates of murder and corruption to South Africa, and a similar GDP (per capita) and Gini coefficient—though considerably less unemployment.
Right now, Brazil is 47.7 percent white, 43.1 percent pardo (mixed black, white, and Amerindian), 8 percent black, and one percent Asian. South Africa is 80.2 percent black, 8.8 percent coloured (a mix of white and black), 8.4 percent white, and 2.5 percent Asian. America in 2100 is much more likely to be like Brazil than South Africa; indeed, Brazil has been called “another America.”
However, the foundational myth of South African today is “anti-racism,” and this is another facet of South Africa that makes it emblematic of our time. So much of its government policy and arts and entertainment obsessively revolve around “anti-racism.” America, and the Protestant countries of Europe, are heading down that same path with great speed. Brazil, it seems, is not—hate speech laws and land grabs seem a long way off. When I pessimistically imagine America’s future, it looks like the demographics of Brazil with the government of South Africa.
Do South Africans ever view Brazil as Americans do, as a place strangely similar to their home? Do you think that if the United States becomes Brazil, it will avoid becoming South Africa politically, since it is Hispanics and Asians—not blacks—whose share of the population will rise?
DR: Yes, I think the US will be slightly better in that Asians and Hispanics have shown that they are more successful than Africans. After all, despite being a corrupt, crime-ridden country, Mexico still has a large economy. South Africa will be a failed state in a few years, while places like Mexico and Brazil might just muddle along, with the USA becoming another half-Latin, half-Asian country, with its highly successful European population slowly fading away and losing influence.
What hope can white South Africans have for their future? The black supermajority makes a democratic/political solution next to impossible and a race or civil war would end badly for the same reason. Only migration and secession seem like options. Would you agree? Which of the two do you see as more viable? On the one hand, mass migration is a good way for a people to lose its culture. On the other hand, a sort of Israeli-style Afrikaner microstate somewhere in the dark continent seems far-fetched.
DR: I can only confirm what you say. South Africa is, realistically, almost hopeless since we have fallen so far behind in reproduction. According to the latest data, there were 989,318 births in South Africa in 2017. These were not broken down by race, but my estimate would be that only 2 to 3 percent of those births were to whites. Only in 1960, South Africa was still 30 percent white. Sadly, many whites refuse to see this reality and imagine that they can continue living in gated communities and illusory pockets of Western-style opulence while around them the country is sliding into the kind of social and economic chaos typical of post-independence Africa. During my recent trip to Europe, I realized how far we have actually slid behind the First World; we may still have flashy cars and clothes, but there is no planning, no sense of orderly development or state administration. You see it in the vast and growing traffic jams, economic stagnation, anarchy, crime, and violence, as well as the corruption and incapacity of the state to fix even simple problems.
In Afrikaans, there is a kind of rhyming slang expression summing up the dilemma of the white South African: bly of gly, literally stay or slip (away). Some are making plans to emigrate, while others want to stay and “sit it out,” awaiting some kind of deus ex machina. Staying may mean simply enduring the current anomie and slowly disappearing in a slow war or protracted white genocide. Many people all over the world now agree that the South Africa’s black-on-white violence is not just crime, but something deeper: ethnic, racial and civilizational. SA blacks are outspoken in their open rejection of the West, and their embrace of “Africa for the Africans” in a racial sense.
But both migration and secession are difficult. Western countries continue to shower South Africa’s black government with praise and aid money, while they make it very difficult for us to emigrate. If you are too old, lack a university degree in a sought-after field or do not have enough money, the EU, the USA, and even Australia will make it well-nigh impossible for you to immigrate.
NATO bombed Serbia in order to support the secession of Kosovo’s Muslim population, but NATO will not do the same for us. So if we are to secede, we will have to do it ourselves, against all odds, including opposition from the African countries, the EU, and probably the USA too, especially if Trump is not in office. Many Afrikaners and even some of the English-speaking whites have been talking about secession for years but the process has not advanced.
In a sense, the success of whites make secession difficult. Whites have created two or three urban economies in the country, in Johannesburg-Pretoria (the so-called “Gauteng Province,” a horrible new African name imposed after 1994), the Western Cape, and Durban-Pinetown. Just as Greater London or the Île de France or the Dutch Randstad (not to mention Toronto, New York, or Chicago) attract people because there are jobs and housing, so those areas keep whites glued to the multicultural nightmare.
I do not believe an Israeli-style Afrikaner microstate is as far-fetched as you suggest. Many people talk about it all the time. In the near future, it will be the only survival model left. There is also something else, in that we will not really be assimilated, the way the Portuguese have been in Brazil or the Spanish in Latin America. We are more like Southern Americans who attach value to being recognizably European or white, for better or for worse. It made us very unpopular in the late 20th century, but there may come a time when endogamy or clinging to one’s ethnic identity might become normal rather than something to be denounced and punished.
What do you expect to see happen in South Africa in the next 20 years? What are the best and worst possible developments?
DR: I think the economy will decline, the currency will become extremely weak—not quite as spectacularly and suddenly as in Zimbabwe—but we will go down that path. It is already happening. The black elite will continue to loot the state’s coffers. Even liberals now write books about how we have been looted over the last 20-odd years. When you look at the more extreme possibilities, yes, we could face a sudden and dramatic collapse as in Zimbabwe, Liberia, Sierra Leone and other African countries where crises broke out. We could even face a Rwandan-style mass slaughter. Certainly, the more radical black politicians such as Julius Malema or Andile Mngxitama are already in a dog-whistle campaign to their followers to “eliminate whiteness,” as Malema famously put it.
A best-case scenario—less likely but not impossible—would arise from a greater sense of Western or European solidarity; we could then easily throw off the yoke of Afromarxist rule. You must remember that the ANC was a creation of the South African Communist Party that in turn was run by East-European immigrants. However, the modern ANC of the 1980s and 1990s was funded by the West, by the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, and Canada. The US and UK also played significant roles in bringing the ANC to power here. Jimmy Carter’s administration funded a propaganda campaign against us.
The West created the Afromarxism that has, by and large, taken over the whole African peninsula south of the equator: Angola, the former South West Africa, the Rhodesias, Mozambique, as well as South Africa. So if there were major change in the West, the whole Afromarxist edifice made up of former terrorist movements (ANC, SWAPO, FRELIMO, MPLA, ZANU PF) could come under pressure. In that case we could be liberated. We could re-establish an independent state of Israel for us in this part of the world, and we could play a major pro-Western strategic role in Africa as we used to in the early to middle 20th century. We could rebuild our population and accept new immigrants from Europe. Although the ANC has destroyed most of our infrastructure through neglect and corruption, parts of it could still be rescued.
How do South Africans see America? A racist imperial power? A model multi-racial democracy? How much does this view vary between blacks and whites, conservatives and liberals?
DR: That is a very interesting question. Generally speaking, Trump is well-liked by Afrikaans-speaking whites, despite our media being overwhelmingly hostile to him. Among the English-speaking whites, the view is more mixed to hostile. With one or two exceptions, the English media in this country are extreme-left and anti-white, so their standard approach is to ridicule Trump and his supporters in America. Our local liberals loathe Trump and think he is deranged. The radicalized black middle class considers the US racist—except for ultra-liberal whites and black celebrities. The ANC regime is also hostile to the current American administration; its preferred international partner is China, which has a similar “capitalism-with-communist-rhetoric” ideological model.
You rarely write about religion or Jews. Do these subjects not interest you?
DR: I do not know much about theology except the basics. For better or for worse, the West/Europe is Christian, or at least has Christian traditions. Attempts in France or Soviet Russia to eradicate Christianity have failed, although one has to admit that Western Europe today is largely secular, as opposed to Eastern Europe, the US or white South Africa, where Christianity still plays a major role.
Because I was educated in Johannesburg and spent most of my youth there, I was friends with many Jews and came into contact with both conservative, decent Jews, and others who were rabid communists and Boer-haters. South African Jews have published many books on what they saw as their leading role in bringing the ANC to power here. On the other hand, white-ruled South Africa used to have a very close relationship to Israel, so I do not think there is any hard and fast relationship between us and Jews.
One other thing I might mention is that unlike in the US, France, Britain, or other countries, Jews have never played a significant role in Afrikaans or Afrikaner culture because it did not interest them. It was too Calvinist, conservative, rural, and Germanic. They have always preferred English which, especially nowadays, is urban, liberal, and multicultural.
Where do you stand on the so-called “Jewish Question” and the works of Kevin MacDonald?
DR: As I have already suggested above, one should be careful not to generalize about Jews. On the other hand, one would have to be blind to ignore the fact that many ethnic groups cooperate among themselves and practice some form of endogamy, including Jews. I do not think the basic tenets of Kevin McDonald’s theory are controversial. In a way, the Afrikaners of South Africa had a similar in-group strategy during the 20th century, which made us the most powerful and successful group on the African continent, but in the end our leaders betrayed us in a way that few Jewish leaders, if any, would ever do.
What role do you think religion, or its absence, has played in the fall of the West? Some of us feel that Protestantism, particularly Calvinism, easily morphed into white guilt and the destructive philosophies of multiculturalism. This is more-or-less the thesis of Paul Gottfried’s Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt—to which I am very sympathetic. Others consider atheism and postmodernism to be the foremost handmaidens of the West’s decline. What do you think?
It is a truism to say that we have a Judeo-Christian, Greco-Roman, and secular culture in the West. It was not always so (look at the Crusades, for example), but in our time the universal and altruistic elements of Christianity have become overemphasized, something which Nietzsche fulminated against. For example, some of the worst ideologues in South Africa are professors of theology. In a way they, have swopped the Bible for Das Kapital, or more precisely, interpreted the two in such a way that there is no difference between them. On the other hand, Nietzsche liked the Old Testament, which on a certain level, might be seen as a nationalistic parable, a struggle for survival and against assimilation by a racial and religious minority. So there are still some lessons there.
Interestingly, the historical religious fervor of the Calvinist South African Boers seems to be matched only by one other white settler people, who also have a complex and mostly tragic history of racial power struggles: the old South of the United States. Coincidence? Similar to my question about Brazil, do the whites of South Africa, particularly the Boers, feel a certain kinship with America’s South?
DR: I think we definitely do. People here have always had an admiration for Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Georgia, the Carolinas, and everything south of the Mason-Dixon line. Until recently, when the local Afrikaans music became very popular, we used to listen to American country music to such an extent that some of the more decadent, drug-inspired rock musicians used to mock us for it. In the early 1960s, a Texan country singer called Jim Reeves became hugely popular in South Africa and did tours here. He even released an album of Afrikaans folk songs, the first time they were ever recorded with a strong Texan accent!
More fundamentally, I think there is a real sense of our parallel histories. We both fought valiantly but lost against a more powerful and numerically superior enemy in the 19th century. Then in the 20th century we experienced depression and drought. Later on, we were dispossessed of our schools, neighborhoods, and cities in the name of anti-racism. I maintain that Southern Americans and South Africans have a unique experience of and insight into the psychological makeup of Africans: the strange Jekyll-and-Hyde personalities they seem to have, combining arrogance and subservience, sociability and sociopathy, docility and aggression. To most other Europeans, including Northern Americans, this seems well-nigh incommunicable. Or even when they encounter this personality, they seem to deny the evidence of their senses or refuse all rational analysis.
One of the coloured, as we say, (meaning mixed-race) liberals here wrote a book called Knowledge in the Blood which I haven’t read, but apparently it also refers to a kind of racial or ethnic knowledge transmitted from one generation to the next. I think both in the South and in South Africa, we have a deep experience and understanding of racial issues, a knowledge that the West desperately needs if it is to confront some of the existential problems facing it, regarding immigration as well as the demographic winter we are facing.
If you could recommend only one work of nonfiction, one novel, and one film to help an outsider understand South Africa, what would they be?
DR: There was a book in the 1970s, written by an Afrikaner author, W.A. de Klerk, in English and published in Britain called The Puritans in Africa, which I found very interesting as an overview of our history and problems. Then as far as fiction is concerned, not so long ago, I read an old Afrikaans novel from the early 1960s, by Elsa Joubert called Ons wag op die Kaptein (“We are Waiting for the Chief”), which alludes to all the dark elements of Africa, the black magic, miscegenation, disorder, and racial violence. Unfortunately, it has not been translated and is therefore only in Afrikaans. Even in South Africa it has sunk into obscurity, eclipsed by Elsa Joubert’s later, more overtly political and liberal novels.
The closest thing in English containing similar themes would be Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee who received the Nobel Prize for literature in 2003. But his message is almost written in code and despite being extremely subtle and politically correct, he still got accused of “racism.” But it is a novel that describes some of the degradation and hopelessness of the current South Africa.
As far as movies are concerned, it is difficult. A movie that deals explicitly with the theme of farm murders is Treurgrond which stars my friend Steve Hofmeyr and has English subtitles; one would find it online or on DVD. It has received prizes at European film festivals. Otherwise, the South African director Neill Blomkamp has made the science fiction movie District 9 which was shot in South Africa and which one could interpret in various ways.
As an American, I feel confident that I surely have missed something important. What are some things to know, or watch for, about South Africa that are generally overlooked or underappreciated?
DR: There is quite a lively popular culture scene in South Africa, although our airwaves are also clogged up with American rap music: Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, etc. However, I would say that the “high culture” that we have produced over the last century or so is interesting, such as our modern architecture, made for this warm and sunny country, as well as more classical music, opera singers, and our vast body of poetry. Many of our painters have been derided by leftists for being “too white,” etc. but their works still fetch high prices at auctions in London. They seem to catch the spirit of this country and the unique civilization that we have created—Western but in an African setting. The only problem is that our entire tradition has been under attack for such a long time that one tends not to see it in its entirety; or you do not dare to see it. But it is there, if you are prepared to dig a bit. (Appendix below.)
If a wizard waved his wand, and you suddenly found yourself addressing the whole assembly of the United Nations, but only could hold the floor for a minute or two, what would you say?
DR: I would say that South Africa has been misunderstood for a long time, and that all of the outside intervention in our country has only made matters worse. Instead of the utopia that outsiders thought would come about if South Africa became “just another African country” and jettisoned its Western culture and traditions, it has become a violent and nightmarish dystopia. Like any other country, we have the right to be sovereign and free and to order our society in such a way that it would be just and workable, something which it is not at the moment. It might be controversial in the present context, but I could quote Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd‘s words to the visiting British Prime Minister Harold McMillan after his “Wind of Change” speech on 3 February 1960 in Cape Town:
The tendency in Africa for nations to become independent, and at the same time to do justice to all, does not only mean being just to the black man of Africa, but also to be just to the white man of Africa.
We call ourselves European, but actually we represent the white men of Africa. They are the people not only in the Union but through major portions of Africa who brought civilisation here, who made the present developments of black nationalists possible. By bringing them education, by showing them this way of life, by bringing in industrial development, by bringing in the ideals which western civilisation has developed itself.
And the white man came to Africa, perhaps to trade, in some cases, perhaps to bring the gospel; has remained to stay. And particularly we in this southern most portion of Africa, have such a stake here that this is our only motherland, we have nowhere else to go. We set up a country bare, and the Bantu came in this country and settled certain portions for themselves, and it is in line with the thinking of Africa, to grant those fullest rights which we also with you admit all people should have and believe providing those rights for those people in the fullest degree in that part of southern Africa which their forefathers found for themselves and settled in. But similarly, we believe in balance, we believe in allowing exactly those same full opportunities to remain within the grasp of the white man who has made all this possible.
As depressing as many of us in the United States and Western Europe find our situations to be, objectively speaking, South Africa is in a much worse state. How do you keep your spirits up?
DR: We live in a kind of war zone where you have be on guard all the time. For example, along the main road near my house I discovered a new sign the other day: “Warning: smash and grab hotspot.” Fortunately, my car has so-called “smash and grab film” on the windows, so it offers me some protection from a criminal attacking me in the morning traffic to grab valuables from my car. One has to be careful all the time, think about where you walk or drive, park your car, etc., so as to minimize risk. When I go to Europe and find myself in some French village where people leave their front doors open or leave a cell phone on a restaurant table while they go to the restroom, I am amazed. It takes me days or weeks to become less paranoid. Likewise when I return, I have to readjust my habits. I think Bill Gates also once said, in relation to his business competition: “Stay paranoid.” That could well be our motto here in South Africa. Otherwise, we really enjoy our homes that are literally our castles, since we have made them safe. There is something to be said for that: to live one’s life at home, in relative safety. And as Friedrich Nietzsche says, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”
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Appendix: Dan Roodt’s Guide to White South African Art and Culture:
Poets: Eugene Marais, J.F.E. Celliers, Totius, N.P. van Wyk Louw, D.J. Opperman, Elisabeth Eybers, C.M. van den Heever, Uys Krige, Breyten Breytenbach, Wilma Stockenström, T.T. Cloete, as well as the English-speaking Roy Campbell.
Novelists: C.M. van den Heever, Johannes van Melle (Dutch-born), Etienne Leroux, Hennie Aucamp, Chris Barnard, Alba Bouwer, J.M. Coetzee (wrote in English but in a modernist Afrikaans style, Nobel Prize 2003), Abraham Jonker, Anna M. Louw, D.F. Malherbe, M.E.R. (Maria Elisabeth Rothmann), Gustav Preller, Sir Laurens van der Post (wrote mostly in English), Sangiro, Karel Schoeman.
Twentieth century classical composers: Hubert du Plessis, Stefans Grové, Peter Klatzow, Hendrik Hofmeyr, David Hönigsberg, Chris Lamprecht, Hannes Taljaard, Niel van der Watt, Péter Louis van Dijk, Etienne van Rensburg, Vincent van Rooyen, Arnold van Wyk, Awie van Wyk, Kevin Volans, Dimitri Voudouris, Martin Watt.
Classical-music performers: Mimi Coertze (head soprano of Viennese State Opera for 20 years), Willem Botha (opera tenor), Tessa Uys (pianist), Anton Hartmann (conductor), Zanta Hofmeyr (violinist), Niel Immelman (pianist), Petronel Malan (pianist), Ben Schoeman (pianist), Steven de Groote (pianist).
Before the ANC took over and closed it all down in their anti-white fervor, South Africa had four provincial arts councils that sustained at least four opera houses, in Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Cape Town. and Durban, as well as about 10 symphony orchestras.
In addition, there are hundreds if not thousands of popular Afrikaans musicians, of whom many perform French-style chansons or American-style country songs of great beauty with poetic or patriotic lyrics. They give concerts, large and small, all over the country. Some of the names are: Koos du Plessis, Laurika Rauch, Koos Kombuis, Steve Hofmeyr, Bok van Blerk, Juanita du Plessis, Kurt Darren. There are many others, listed with pictures on this page. As readers will notice, they are almost without exception white. It is a paradox of our time that in the Western country with the largest white majority, the US, so many popular singers are black, whereas in South Africa where we have been demographically overwhelmed by blacks, our singers have remained white, which I think says a lot about the Afrikaner mentality and loyalty to our own people and culture.