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Reason Spuriously Accused by Conspiracy Theorist of Institutionally Supporting Apartheid in the 1970s and ‘80s

This is what supporting apartheid looks like, according to Mark Ames. |||Mark Ames, the anti-libertarian conspiracy theorist with a history of generating apology notes and speedy take-downs among those journalistic outlets still reckless enough to publish him, ran a piece in Pando Daily yesterday alleging, among a variety of dot-connecting claims involving other libertarian-leaning people and institutions, that "Throughout its first two decades, in the 1970s and 1980s, Reason supported apartheid South Africa, and attacked anti-apartheid protesters and sanctions right up to Nelson Mandela's release, when they finally dropped it." The allegation, not surprisingly, is false.

How thin is Ames's case? Among his handful of supposedly damning citations, mined from a searchable archive that has dozens of other pieces about South Africa, is this glowing December 1980 profile of Leon Luow, who was an anti-apartheid activist. Here's the opening of that article, which Ames quotes as a gotcha:

It is possible that in the past decade no country has moved further toward a libertarian society than South Africa has. Yes—South Africa.

Provocative? Definitely. True? While I seriously doubt it, I have no earthly idea. You can quickly move long distances from miserable starting points; the government had recently issued a series of economic and racial decontrols (about which see more below), and author Patrick Cox did issue the qualifer "it is possible." More germane to the argument, was this evidence of pro-apartheid sentiment? It was the opposite, actually. Here's a longer excerpt from Cox's piece:

Because nothing says "supporting apartheid" quite like a guy who writes anti-apartheid books blurbed by Winnie Mandela! |||Many South Africans are aware of Louw only as a crusader for civil and economic liberties for blacks, who make up 70 percent of South Africa's population. Conditions for blacks have been improving dramatically but "not fast enough," says Louw. "I'm an abolitionist. What's wrong is wrong. Freedom is the first principle. You cannot justify restrictions by saying there will be uncomfortable effects during the process of change."

Black economist Walter Williams, who has visited South Africa extensively, says of Louw and the South African move toward a nonstatist society, "If you had to pick somebody on the continent that played a significant role, surely it would be Leon and the Free Market Foundation." The Foundation, says Williams, "is forcing people to view the problems of apartheid." [...]

The most powerful labor union leader in South Africa has started working with Louw and the Foundation and has come out against racially segregated unions and closed shop laws (a barrier to black employment). [...]

Louw says his biggest enemies are not Marxists, who are relatively easy to deal with once the issue of coercion is put on the table. The real enemies are those who say, "I am a capitalist, and in a capitalist society, you have to control morals. These are the most poisonous enemies," says Louw, because they say they're for free enterprise or freedom or libertarianism, but they're not.

Emphases mine. Read that final paragraph again, slowly, then look at this ludicrous Ames claim:

Majority rule and socialism were one and the same; for Reason, apartheid was the only thing safeguarding "liberty." The logic was insane; but it was accepted as a matter of faith in the pages of Reason.

Because nothing says supporting apartheid like naming Nelson Mandela one of your 35 Heroes of Freedom! |||If defending apartheid was a "matter of faith" in Reason during the '70s and '80s, you would expect editors and staffers and contributors to routinely make that case when the subject of apartheid came up. Instead, from the editor in chief to the writer of Brickbats to book reviewers to the anti-apartheid activists themselves, the South African policy of forcible racial discrimination was described as "bigoted," "repressive," "thoroughly racist," an "absurd anachronism," "an anathema," "bad for business," and worse. Essayists wrote treatises on "how to dismantle apartheid"; feature writers celebrated developments they hoped "ultimately destroys...apartheid," Editor Robert Poole asked Zulu leader Gatsha Buthelezi questions like "What's the best thing the United States government could do to help end apartheid?", and on and on.

Fuller excerpts and links are provided after the jump. I invite readers of all persuasions to mine the archive and assess for themselves.

The meat of Ames's case comes from three pieces by a single author, the South African Marc Swanepoel, in 1973, 1976, and 1977 (Swanepoel also wrote a relevant article in 1975). That two decades of an institution's journalism–let alone the content and motivation behind a political conference in 2014, which is the proximate target of Ames's fire–can be characterized, let alone discredited, by the work of a single foreign correspondent speaks volumes about the thin evidentiary reed we're on here. Still, there is plenty in those four pieces that stings our modern eyes.

For instance, this bit near the close of Swanepoel's 1973 essay: 

Throughout this article I have remained uncritical of the apartheid situation and this may leave me open to some severe criticism from other libertarians. I consider myself to be in the position of someone who has to choose between a more severe or a less severe dictatorship. The dictatorship in this instance is unlimited majority rule. The less severe dictator is a group of 4 million mostly educated people. The more severe dictator is a group of 16 million, mostly ignorant people. The fact that the average person of the one group is distinguishable the average person of the other group is an accident of nature. The object of criticism should be the dictatorship, and not the colour of the dictator. Abolish the source of all the evil: omnipotent government, whether in black or in white hands! 

I (and I think history) disagree with Swanepoel’s "less severe dictator" prediction, and I wince at the description of "mostly ignorant people." But let's remember the central Ames accusation here–that "Reason supported apartheid South Africa," and that the apartheid=safeguarding liberty formulation "was accepted as a matter of faith." The lone relevant witness Ames calls to this prosecution considered the apartheid regime a "dictatorship," and called for the abolition of "omnipotent government, whether in black or in white hands." With "supporters" like these, no wonder the system was dead within two decades. And note, too, that Swanepoel (quite unlike Ames) knew enough about his audience to anticipate "severe criticism from other libertarians," which he indeed received in the form of dissenting letters to the editor.

More on South Africa from the Reason archive after the jump.

Here are links to and excerpts from 20 Reason pieces about South Africa from the 1970s and '80s. If there's a throughline in them, it's that apartheid was repressive and morally unjustifiable, that economic sanctions against the country were counter-productive, that the best policies going forward were broad decentralization and economic liberalization, that the situation was more complicated on the ground than portrayed in the American media, that Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners should be freed, that conditions in neighboring countries were frequently worse (and always less-publicized), and that blacks deserved full equality under the law. No fair reading of these articles can lead to the conclusion that Reason institutionally supported apartheid.

1) The first long Reason article about apartheid was published in August 1971, by a South African-born U.S. resident named Terence Honikman. It was titled "Boycott South Africa?"; it denounced the "absurdity" and "bigoted arguments for" apartheid, and it ended like this:

Boycotts set people against each other. Free trade and communication bring  people together for mutual benefit. Since there is no one to benefit mutually  with the South African government in the maintenance of apartheid, contacts with that body for trading will accomplish what boycotts never have–the demonstration of apartheid's futility and stupidity.

(Interestingly, Honikman later repudiated this paragraph as being too emotional in a follow-up letter to the editor, which suggests that the magazine's underlying "matter of faith" regarding apartheid was rather negative.)

2) Brickbats, a collection of items usually involving governments behaving badly, has been a beloved Reason staple from way back. In the April 1978 issue, Brickbatter Bill Birmingham included this dart:

In an interview with New York Times correspondent John Burns South African Minister of Justice James T. "Jimmy" Kruger claimed: "I'm very, very sinerely for press freedom, and so is my Prime Minister. We are adherents of press freedom in its full sense." This appeared October 23, 1977, four days after Pretoria shut down The World, South Africa's largest black newspaper. "From outside South Africa such formulations read suspiciously like Orwellian doublespeak. Yet to those familiar with this confused and troubled land, there is little doubt that the Afrikaaners of the Nationalist Party who hold a monopoly of political power believe what they say. The problem is that their concept of freedom, whether in press matters or anything else, is subordinate to their reverence for the State." Their concept of freedom is subordinate to their reverence for the State. Exactly!

3) That same issue of the magazine also had a four-paragraph item titled "Apartheid: Bad for Business," that ended thusly:

Gradually, the inexorable force of (dare we say it?) self-interest is chipping away at the absurd anachronism of apartheid.

4) Economist Walter Williams in August 1978 was definitely not enthusiastic about the "white racist unions in South Africa":

The notion that it is sometimes necessary for some individuals to lower their price in order for some kinds of transactions to occur is offensive to the sensibilities of many people. These people support the minimum wage law as a matter of moral conviction, out of concern for equity in thedistribution of wealth. These people should know, however, that white racist unions in South Africa have also been supporters of minimum wage laws and equal-pay-for-equal-work laws for blacks. In South Africa, black skilled workers in the building trades have been willing to accept wages less than 25 percent of those wages paid to white skilled workers. Such a differential made racial discrimination in hiring a costly proposition. That is, firms who chose to hire whites instead of blacks paid dearly-$1.91 per hour versus 39 cents per hour. White racist unionists well recognize that equal-pay-for-equal-work laws would lower the cost of racial discrimination and thus improve their competitive position in the labor market.

5) An August 1979 item, co-written by Editor Robert Poole, lauds a series of recent, mostly little-known reforms in South Africa, some of which surely informed the December 1980 enthusiasm about the country moving in a more libertarian direction. Among the positive developments that Poole cited:

Two recent commissions have made strong recommendations for repeal of racially restrictive laws. The 14-member Wiehahn Commission urged that laws reserving certain job categories for whites be abolished, that laws requiring workplace segregation be repealed, that trade unions be open to all races, that the closed shop be outlawed, and that black unions be given legal standing (the same as white unions). The government's labor minister accepted the recommendations "in principle" and scheduled early parliamentary action. A week later the Riekert report proposed a number of changes aimed at reducing apartheid restrictions, including an easing of strict controls on entry of nonwhites into urban areas (the hated "pass laws"), ending the ban against wives without passes living with husbands who have passes in cities, and allowing more businesses in black urban residential areas. The report was declared "acceptable to the government" by its economic affairs minister.

6) In a June 1981 review of James Michener’s South Africa-based The Covenant, Frances Louw identifies the original (white) sin of her country:

Michener does not mention here that most of the Voortrekker Republics had limited-government constitutions. What he does point out correctly is that they sadly never recognized that other people too might desire the freedom they pursued so ardently. Their bible told them that they were to be the masters of the promised land, and they were determined to impose this belief on the colored (people of mixed blood), Hottentot, and black peoples who surrounded them. Thus the seeds were sown for the conflicts of today.

7) In an August 1981 editorial bemoaning the "Freedom to Suppress," Poole noted this troubling development:

In January, the government of South Africa "banned" two leading black journalists and permanently shut down two black-owned newspapers.

8) In December 1984 Robert Blumen celebrated the writing of South African exile Tom Sharpe, author of (among other things) "an acidic criticism of the excesses of racist South African police," and a satire about "government surveillance in the name of anticommunism."

9) John Blundell, in a long April 1985 feature on the semi-autonomous South African region of Ciskei, enthused that such then-controversial homelands "may just turn out to be a Trojan horse that ultimately destroys...apartheid."

10) In a May 1985 editorial, Poole suggested that "peaceful political change is more likely to come as a result of an increasingly prosperous black population asserting its rights than through an attempt by well-intentioned American politicians to force South Africa into economic isolation."

11) In a January 1986 editorial arguing against economic sanctions, Poole advocated a different method for changing the policies of the "repressive" South African government: 

Dare we imagine the impact of thousands of American investors and millions of American tourists in Cuba and South Africa, bringing: American political and cultural values with them? It is widely acknowledged that US firms have been a major force against economic and social discrimination in South Africa. How much more could be accomplished by large-scale interaction with ordinary Americans? Wherever we go, we bring our culture along with us–our abiding individualism (disregarding race and class), the work ethic, diversity and choice, and tolerance of others' views and lifestyles. American music, movies, TV shows, and consumer products are powerful implicit expressions of these values...which add up to one thing–freedom.

12) In a March 1986 Q&A with South African Zulu leader Gatsha Buthelezi, Poole asks questions like "What's the best thing the United States government could do to help end apartheid?", and "Is it possible for blacks and Afrikaners eventually to live together peaceably in South Africa, or is the legacy of apartheid too great?"

13) In a January 1987 essay, South African activist Frances Kendall (formerly Louw) proposes a roadmap for "how to dismantle apartheid without pitting race against race, tearing apart the nation, and destroying the economy." Among Kendall's recommendations are freeing Nelson Mandela, drafting a new constitution that outlaws discrimination, and including a "bill of rights protecting such basic rights as freedom of movement, speech, association, religion, and–unlike most countries' constituions–property ownership."

14) In July 1987, Virginia Postrel celebrated the success of the Frances Kendall/Leon Louw book South Africa: The Solution, from which that January 1987 essay was derived:

The Solution has received wide support from black leaders and from business. Winnie Mandela, wife of imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, has not only endorsed the book but also written a forward to the Swedish edition. KwaZulu chief minister Gatsha Buthelezi, reports Time, has said, "Amid a sea of anger and tension, The Solution may prove to be a rational, workable answer to South Africa's unique problems." And Sam Motsuenyane, head of the country's leading black business association, sits on the board of trustees of Groundswell, a foundation established by Kendall and Louw to promote their ideas.

15) In an August 1987 investment piece, Mark Tier was withering in his criticism of apartheid:

Unfortunately, the South African state is very well entrenched, very powerful within the country, and very effectively pursuing a policy of divide and rule amongst the white and nonwhite communities. [...]

It's important to consider the moral questions before making any investment there. The system of apartheid is an anathema, and I have no desire to support it in any way, shape, or form. [...]

[T]here is one form of investment...that combines the desire to make a profit with the desire to help effect peaceful, libertarian change in South Africa. Then you can have the best of both worlds: make money by promoting freedom.

16) In July 1988, Walter Williams interviewed Louw and Kendall about their book After Apartheid. Among his questions:

Americans are by and large decent people, and they find that apartheid and legalized discrimination is offensive. What can Americans do to help in the situation?

17) In March 1989, Robert Poole traveled to South Africa for an eyewitness report. Among his observations:

The big question is how and when [black South Africans] will achieve full equality before the law. [...]

[T]he South African government goes out of its way to obstruct the free flow of information. Under a three-year-old state of emergency, it has banned TV coverage of disorders in the townships, for example. And when I truthfully answered a question on my visa application indicating that I had had articles published, I was required to provide samples and to submit a notarized statement that I was going to South Africa only as a tourist.

The government repeatedly squelches legitimate efforts to build the kinds of social and political structures necessary for democracy. Last fall, the fledgling (mostly white) End Conscription Campaign was banned. And the government has leveled charges of high treason against leaders of the Alexandra Action Committee, a black self-help organization in one of Johannesburg's townships. [...]

I left South Africa with a mixture of hope and anger. Hope that the dramatic and rapid changes of the past few years will continue, bringing urban blacks into the mainstream of economic life, giving them a stake in the system as a precondition of new political arrangements.

18) In June 1989, Walter Williams reviewed the posthumous memoir of anti-apartheid activist Alan Paton. Excerpt:

In Journey Continued, Paton grapples with the question of how Afrikaners, who are devout Christians, could promote the thoroughly racist policies of apartheid. [...]

His troubled country...is really only a special case of a much larger phenomenon in which powerful elites determine social goals. If individual liberty, property rights, and the rule of law interfere with the achievement of these social goals, then individual liberty, property rights, and the rule of law are ruthlessly suppressed.

19) In July 1989, Reason ran a cover story by Andrew Clark titled "Quiet Revolution: South Africa's Blacks are Realizing Their Economic Power. Can Apartheid Survive?" Needless to say to anyone except Mark Ames, Clark was not rooting for apartheid's survival. Excerpt:

South Africans from across the country's numerous divides are struggling to build an economy unhindered by the state's all-pervasive restrictions. [...]

[R]ecent cracks in the edifice of apartheid have unleased an entrepreneurial energy that is forcing the 40-year-old National Party government to successively abandon its racial policies and rethink its options regarding the future. It is against this background that "black economic empowerment," a phrase on the tips of so man South African tongues these days, can be seen for what it is: a truly revolutionary force that could finally push South Africa into the developed and civilized world, eroding the laws that deprive its people, black and white, of prosperity and freedom.

20) And in an August 1989 editorial, Poole again made the case against economic sanctions as the tool for dismantling apartheid (along with its totalitarian counterparts in the communist world):

Peaceful change is far more likely to come to South Africa by the continued progress of black economic empowerment, as reported in these pages last month. (See "Quiet Revolution," July.) Millions of upwardly mobile black entrepreneurs, skilled workers, and managers–who are also a huge consumer market–are the key to bringing about legal and political equality. [...]

Instead of sanctions and disinvestment, we should encourage American investment, travel, and tourism in repressive societies. With our fax machines and PCs and MTV, we will liberate South Africa–and eventually, China and Russia too. 

These 20 pieces are not the only non-Marc Swanepoel references to South Africa in the 1970s-'80s Reason; the biggest category I left out were the Reaganite proxy-war correspondetry of Jack Wheeler, which had much less to do with South Africa's domestic policies, and more with its role in the Cold War (which, as I argued in my Nelson Mandela obituary this year, had the effect of warping America's policy and values toward apartheid). Most of the rest were passing comments about either investment climate or American political rhetoric. As stated before, please mine the archive for yourselves.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Doesn't matter. Ames' drive-by tactics are an attempt to lie loudly enough so that it becomes truth. As a gunsel in service to the Progressivist powers-that be, it's his job to misinform through agitprop. And since the speed of the Internet news cycle is measured in MiliFLOPS, Ames can be guaranteed to suffer no negative consequences.

  • Irish||

    He's already suffered negative consequences. He has been published in Playboy and The Nation in the past, neither one will publish him any more after his idiocy required them to pull articles and apologize.

    All he can do now is scream impotently on Alternet or Pando because no legitimate organization will publish him.

    Also, I don't understand how anyone can talk about Mark Ames without talking about the fact that he's an admitted rapist.

    When I went back into the TV room, Andy pulled me aside with a worried grin on his face.

    “Dude do you realize…do you know how old that Natasha is?” he said.

    “Sixteen?”

    “No! No, she’s fif-teen. Fif-teen.” Right then my pervometer needle hit the red. I had to have her, even if she was homely
    “What will you do, kill me?” she said, laughing nervously.

    “Maybe, yeah,” I replied. “I’ll throw you off my balcony. I’ll make it look like an accident.”

    She started to cry, but I was relentless. I told her that if she had the child, she would be killing me, so it was an act of self-defense. And if I didn’t kill her, then I would flee Moscow and she’d never find me. Her child would be fatherless. He wouldn’t have an Oedipal complex like the other kids; his complexes would be monumental, guaranteed to make her life a living hell … I wore her down for hours during the night, KGB interrogation-style …
  • Irish||

    Yeah, that's Mark Ames coercing a woman into having an abortion she doesn't want by threatening to murder her or render her child fatherless.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Ames is a sociopathic scumbag.

    I wouldn't have guessed.

  • ||

    Right then my pervometer needle hit the red. I had to have her, even if she was homely

    Holy shit. It's one thing to be attracted to someone and sleep with them in spite of them being fifteen -- though still wrong (sorry not sorry, Plopper).

    But to sleep with them because they're fifteen? That's all kinds of fucked up.

  • Irish||

    Dude, that's like the least offensive part of the article on Ames that I linked to.

    He said that Russian girls 'want you to rape them.'

  • John C. Randolph||

    Isn't that the kind of thing that should get him ostracized by the entire left-wing establishment? I mean, this asshole really is a rapist and a rape advocate.

    -jcr

  • C. Anacreon||

    Hey Carl, I was at a Reason event this week and met a young lady who lurks on HnR but does not post. I asked her if she had any favorite posters and she immediately said you. She really liked when you had the 'check mark' in your handle.

  • ||

    Haha, that's awesome. Was there any reason beyond that?

  • ||

    ("that" being the checkmark)

  • C. Anacreon||

    I think she just thought it was cool how you did that, and it made her notice your posts that much more.

    I asked her if she liked Apatheist's monocle built into his name, and she didn't know what I was talking about.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Was she.....

    Nevermind.

  • ||

    Was she... indeed.

  • ||

    BTW, why the hell are you here but not on HipChat?

  • C. Anacreon||

    I don't know if you mean me or Plàya, but I don't know what HipChat is....

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It's chat, for hipsters.

    You wouldn't have heard of it.

  • ||

    Is that why you haven't sent me your deets yet? Hipster hate?

  • ||

    Heroic Mulatto|7.19.14 @ 3:07PM|#

    It's chat, for hipsters.

    You wouldn't have heard of it.

    Thanks for that. I now want to drown puppies.

  • ||

    I mean Playa.

    HipChat is a service upon which we (read: I) set up a chatroom after talking about it on the TI thread last night.

    So far we have myself, Playa, Serious Man, Jesse, Jesus H. Christ, Mad Scientist, Pathogen, and Sweating Gin registered.

    You are welcome to join in, of course. Email me from an address you are comfortable being seen by other users there and tell me what you would like your "full name" (real or fake) to be.

  • ||

    Oh, and I just added a custom LOBSTER GIRL emoticon.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    How exclusive *is* this group?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    No Katlicks!

    ;-)

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Did I *say* I wanted to join your stupid club? Get lost!

    *Sobs*

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I'm not a member either Eddie.

    Maybe we can form our own club. The Katlick/Atheist Foundation for Liberty

    Whacha think?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Sounds like a good idea...I only hope we can find a phone booth large enough...

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Incidentally, can you Spot the Catholic in that picture?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Incidentally, can you Spot the Catholic in that picture?

    I'm guessing Canoe is the member of your cult.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Your club sounds interesting to me and I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • ||

    Flyin under the radar! If anybody was wondering how I put it in there, I just copied and pasted it.

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    That's satire. Worthless, pre-4chan, pomo satire fueled by ennui and nihilism, but satire.

    (this isn't an apology for Ames, who is the archetype of the despicable Emanuel-esque character drawn to political assholery)

  • Irish||

    That's satire. Worthless, pre-4chan, pomo satire fueled by ennui and nihilism, but satire.

    Ames explicitly stated at the beginning of that book that all the events were true. If they aren't true, then he's a fucking moron for writing something that could so easily be used against him.

    And what is he satirizing? I don't think fucking 15 year old Russians is such a common occurrence that it demanded the Jonathan Swift treatment.

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    And what is he satirizing? I don't think fucking 15 year old Russians is such a common occurrence that it demanded the Jonathan Swift treatment.

    Nothing that Ames writes needs to be written. He's an aging narcissist whose every piece is an attempt to convince himself and the world how punk-rock he really is. If you're willing to waste an hour of your life, read one of the magazines Ames edits and contributes to and see if it's anything other than surrealist, bored-yuppie masturbation.

    Ames is a Berkeley-bred nihilistic "artist," and this is how these people behave.

  • C. Anacreon||

    As someone who lives just over the hill from Berkeley, rest assured that 99% of the people living there are like this.

    I hate Berkeley. It practically takes gunpoint for me to go there for something, especially one of their dreadful five-star restaurants filled with old hippy ladies in gauze dresses with uncombed gray hair to their waists, and bald guys in tie-dye shirts whose only hair is a long white ponytail.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Good food, though. I tried to get in to Chez Panisse for my wife's birthday, and it burned down or something.

  • ||

    If all libertarians can be called pro-apartheid because of some ambiguous language in couple of articles found in reason magazine in the 70s and 80s then can we now call all statist leftists child rapists?

  • Virginian||

    Majority rule has not been sunshine and rainbows for SA. With the death of Mandela, who via sheer charisma and force of will was able to restrain the anti-white violence which has characterized so many "liberation" movements in Africa, I worry about the future of SA.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    With the exception of AIDS, most of South Africa's woes were existent before apartheid, and, in many cases, were exacerbated when in the 70's middle-class Blacks and Indians were forced to move into the slums with their ethnic brethren. The World Net Daily meme of "Negroes running wild" post-apartheid is a myth. The situation of South African Whites is nothing like Zimbabwe, and baring a black swan (no pun!) event, is not likely to turn that way. Your average South African Black has more negative opinions of the African illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, etc. than their fellow White citizens.

  • Virginian||

    Right and that's due mostly to a couple decades of deliberate policy of Mandela's. The comparison to George Washington isn't perfect, but it's not far off either.

    Although violent crime has shot through the roof, making SA incredibly dangerous, it doesn't take the form of political violence per se.

    My worry is that whoever ends up running the show in the next couple years will decide to whip up some ethnic hatred as a diversion from the ongoing economic hiccups.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I don't discount the possibility, but I believe things would have to get worse. the South African economy has shown steady growth and it is already the 2nd biggest in Africa. China is happy to fuel their economy in exchange for sweet, sweet rare earth elements and the poverty rates for Blacks has been slowly decreasing. Yes, they have what we would consider to be a high unemployment rate; however, what we consider to be high, Spain and Greece consider to be a Tuesday.

  • Virginian||

    Right but it only takes a couple bad quarters, and then you get some demagogue calling for blood.

  • Calidissident||

    "Although violent crime has shot through the roof"

    Is this actually true? According to Wikipedia (which in this instance has sources that appear to be trustworthy), the homicide rate, while still very high, is less than half what it was in 1994-1995, which was just after apartheid ended.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....ica#Murder

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Minority rule before was worse.

  • ||

    If you are selling a turd you must represent it as something other than a turd. You must also represent your competition as something they are not.

    Dammit, I ran out of wonton wrappers so I am off to the store.

  • Aloysious||

    mmmm... dumplings.

    Which is better: steamed or pot stickers?

    My favorite is whichever I happen to be eating at the time.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Hybrid. I have 4 kinds in my freezer that I get at a Marukai. The best kind is the spicy beef with cabbage, simmered in a chicken/veggie broth, and finished in a skillet with peanut oil and salt.

  • ||

    Deep fried. Crab and cream cheese filled. Crunchy on the outside, creamy and soft on the inside.

    It seems Libertarians are smeared with endorsing everything they don't. It is truly an amazing exercise in dishonesty.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I endorse pot stickers and gyoza. I just wanted to go on the record as having said that.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Mark Ames: Quite possibly an even bigger asshole than Bill Maher.

  • Irish||

    Well, to my knowledge, Bill Maher has never raped a 15 year old in post-Soviet Russia or threatened to throw a girl off a balcony if she didn't have an abortion.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    True. I imagine that Maher has done some pretty sleazy stuff, but at least he knows not to brag about it.

  • ||

    I'm thinking definitely a bigger asshole than Bill Maher.

    When you get to Ames levels of derp, you have to wonder whether it's a strategy, as HM suggests, or if he's actually disturbed.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Check out the smugness in his reply to Adam Levine's lawyer:
    http://observer.com/2007/08/ma.....va-gossip/

    I can't even see his face and I want to punch it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Bill Maher spent five minutes attacking the militarization of US police last night:

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/mah.....monologue/

    It is amazing how Team Red hates on someone that is so spot on so often - just TEAM!!!! counts.

  • ZR||

    Yeah, like the flu vaccine, wealth redistribution, and regulation, and taxes, and the second amendment needing to be abolished (he owns guns only because other people own guns), support for the NSA data collection, single payer health care and his board membership on PETA speaks volumes of his spot on'edness.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you...

    Almost there.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I would disregard this guy entirely. It's like debating the homeless guy at the bus station. Or Bo. It's like debating Bo.

  • ||

    Blue Tulpa doesn't debate. He masturbates. All over you.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I know. I had to clean my face off with a wet-nap yesterday. I always learn things the hard way.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The problem is that Welch is dealing in facts.

    I doubt the guy that wrote this hit piece cares about facts.

    The important thing is that people believe libertarians are racists.

    ...the facts are a secondary concern.

    Maybe Welch should go more on the offensive with this stuff: How racist was it to oppose libertarianism during apartheid?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Nah, no need to take this guy seriously. Nobody else does.

  • Ken Shultz||

    But the accusations stick.

    I've come across more than one person who seems to think that libertarians are some kind of racist, extreme Teapublican.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Oh, don't me wrong, there are certainly some credible people doing that sort of thing, and it needs to be refuted.

    I just wouldn't roll around in the mud with this particular guy.

  • Irish||

    The accusations from Ames don't stick. Ames is so toxic that even leftists don't take him seriously.

    Again, he writes for Pando and Alternet. Salon wouldn't even publish him at this point.

    His last article in both The Nation and Salon come from 2012.

    He does not write for Rolling Stone like his fellow traveler Matt Taibbi, Playboy hasn't published him since they were forced to retract one of his articles entirely, and virtually no mainstream magazine publishes his work.

    Ames really is a nobody. Even progs ignore him.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    It's gonna get a lot worse, Ken. And it will come from both Teams.

    We are now a threat, to be dealt with as all politicians deal with threats...discredit them with lies. Shouldn't be a surprise.

  • Paul.||

    It's not so much that this guy has credibility, it's that he's adding the word RaCIsT! to the word cloud on libertarians.

    No one cares or hears that this or that instance of the word came from Ames, it's just out there... in the cloud.

    On the other hand, libertarian writers need to quit denying the charge. Go on the offensive.

  • ||

    the best policies going forward were broad decentralization and economic liberalization,

    ....

    No fair reading of these articles can lead to the conclusion that Reason institutionally supported apartheid.

    Pretty sure the statist left's fair reading of "decentralization and economic liberalization" is the same thing as apartheid.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Yes, because some people might not prosper and that's just not fair!

  • GILMORE||

    This is the Mark Ames scumbag who wrote that ridiculous partisan-hacking hit piece on Radley Balko a while back?

    Color me shocked. That guy and his cohort are the world kind of sewer-pipe sucking hack in print. He repeatedly demonstrates zero journalistic standard or ethnics, yet sees fit to throw poop on anyone who's so much as attended a Young Republican wine-and-cheese mixer as SLAVES TO THE KOCHTOPUS CORPORASHUN MACHINE.

    he seems to have latched on to the "360-degree shit-throwing"-school-of-journalism early on in his career. It was probably mildly amusing when it first started. At this point you'd think he'd have found a new shtick.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    I agree that nobody takes him seriously, even on the left. If Salon thinks you are unreliable and a detriment to the brand it's a safe bet you've lost all credibility in you shit-flinging abilities.

    As Editor-in-Chief Matt has an obligation to defend Reason from outrageous attacks like that but beyond that he deserves zero attention. The only people that would take him seriously are too deranged to get through too.

  • John C. Randolph||

    If I ever meet Mark Ames, I'll be sure to ask what he's ever done to get any innocent black man released from prison. Ames isn't fit to shine Balko's shoes.

    -jcr

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    In other, more pleasant news, Twogging: Twerking with a Dog is a thing.

    A thing that is strangely intriguing.

  • ||

    More twerking? Your fascination puzzle me.

    Didn't you marry an asian woman?

  • ||

    I concur. Twerking is gross.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yes, but not this one, unfortunately.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    unfortunately.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Nancy Reagan's "just say no" is way hipper than that nonsense.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Listen. Pudgy, sunglasses wearing, 60-year-old men soft-rock crooners are viral.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Funny, It's the black labs that care the least.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    That's not apathy. They are silently expressing heartache and despair over the appropriation of their culture.

    Check your homo-privilege.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Bravo.

  • Irish||

    Clap, clap, clap.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    HM, you frighten me.

  • briannnnn||

    Woah woah woah! Is Welch actually trying to say that the people that took over after apartheid werent/arent ignorant dictators that are fucking the country more than the intelligent (racist asshole) dictators? Because thats retarded.

  • Los Doyers||

    Retarded? I'll show you retarded.
    http://youtu.be/eOBoKxEcVAA

  • kibby||

    So my stupid job had us wandering around Tempe last night to take pictures for our equally stupid "graduation" ceremony in a couple of weeks once we're out of transition.

    On the way back there was a man lying handcuffed on the sidewalk in a pool of blood, with a Tempe PD officer standing over him & laughing. Very depressing sight. I can't find anything about it today but geez, man.

  • briannnnn||

    That sounds like some sort of libertarian, apartheid shiy to me!

  • GILMORE||

    Tempeh sucks

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    What do you have against drunk, young, hot women?

  • Los Doyers||

    The fact that they live in Tempe?

  • Warrren||

    But they want to f.u.

  • Los Doyers||

    *checks google maps for travel time* Be back in a bit everyone.

  • GILMORE||

  • RishJoMo||

    Man I truly loved the 70s and 80s!

    www.AnonToolz.tk

  • DrAwkward||

    I've been a Reason subscriber for almost 20 years. I've noticed a lot more of these attacks against Reason or libertarianism recently, which I view as a positive development. Way better than being ignored.

  • GILMORE||

    Mark Ames on The Constitution=

    "Ever read the preamble to the Constitution?

    There’s nothing about private property there and self-interest. Nothing at all about that. It’s a contract whose purpose is clearly spelled out, and it’s a purpose that’s the very opposite of ...the libertarian ideology so dominant over the past few generations. This country, by contract, was founded in order to strive for a “more Perfect Union”—that’s “union,” as in the pairing of the words “perfect” and “union”—not sovereign, not states, not local, not selfish, but “union.” And that other purpose at the end of the Constitution’s contractual obligations: promote the “General Welfare.” That means “welfare.” Not “everyone for himself” but “General Welfare.” That’s what it is to be American: to strive to form the most perfect union with each other, and to promote everyone’s general betterment. The definition of an American patriot is anyone promoting the General Welfare of every single American, and anyone helping to form the most perfect Union—that’s “union”, repeat, “Union” you dumb fucks....

    .... We must be prepared to identify those who disrupt and sabotage our national purpose of creating this “more perfect union” identifying those who sabotage our national goal of “promoting the General Welfare”—and calling them by their name: traitors. "

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    That means “welfare.” Not “everyone for himself” but “General Welfare.”

    I always knew Gouverneur Morris was a socialist!

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    And when the 1A refers to the right of "the people" to assemble and petition the government, it doesn't refer to individuals, but "the people."

    That's "the people," as in the pairing of "the" and "people"--not Sam, not John, not Tom, not George, not any individual or group of individuals, but "the people," all of them.

  • Irish||

    I love that he looks at the preamble for the constitution, which has no actual outlined rules for the government, and ignores all the actual articles of the Constitution that outline our system of government.

    Probably because if he went and read the parts of the Constitution that actually outline what powers are given to the government, it would conflict with his moronic argument.

  • GILMORE||

    His entire exegesis of the preamble seems based on the answer of "no" to his initial question.

  • GILMORE||

    Another thing i'd note =

    is the popularity of "Slam-poetry"-level analysis amongst people on both the radical and proggy-left.

    They will take 'texts' and, in a highly dramatized process, extract a few key phrases, then do a series of word-associations leading to some completely illogical and unsubstantiated interpretation.

    Sort of like this (through about 00:36)

    What is more absurd than the playschool-intellectualism by itself is the fact that they'd honestly expect anyone to take it seriously. Radicals used to at least bother with a bunch of Marxist hoo-ha that required a modicum of intellect to deconstruct. This crop of retards doesnt bother with that, and just insists that The Constitutions means something the opposite, *Because We Said So*

    The audience for this kind of thing (and i used to read the Exiled!) seems to be a strain of the left that thinks the regular political-Left is WAYYY too corporatey and *no one* is hardcore enough anymore! They're the punk-rock communist/anarchists of yore who've never quite figured out their established dogma, but sure as fuck know what they *aint*

  • The Original Jason||

    the General Welfare of every single American

    The word for that is "particular welfare", not general welfare.

    General welfare is the welfare of the group, particular welfare is the welfare of the individual.

  • Tony||

    As if anything has changed. You are still highly suspicious of democracy because it lets brown-skinned socialists have a say in things. You still care far more about capitalism than freedom. And you have living, breathing spokespeople with overt ties to racist movements. And you seem to think it advantageous, as the piece you so wordily react against notes but that you don't mention, to ally yourselves with bigoted theocrats. Even if I agreed with all the tenets of libertarianism I'd find association with the movement far too sullied by its John Birch-esque associations.

  • GILMORE||

    Who are you talking to, Tony? You are yelling at clouds again.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Troll Grade: C-

    Comments: You are showing improvement. The use of the rhetorical figure of mesarchia, as demonstrated by the word "you" was mildly effective in keeping the attention of the reader. However, it wasn't powerful enough to distract from the fallacious premises behind your argument. Despite what some might thing, tu quoque can be effective at times when attacking the ethos of your interlocutor. Still, ethical appeals are best dealt with in the exordium and not in media res, if you will.

    I will note that your paragraph structure has improved; however, you rely too much on simple sentence structure. I recommend that you revise some of your sentences to employ compound or complex structure.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Despite what some might thing*

    Think. God, I need to stop writing in English while simultaneously conversing in Thai.

  • Tony||

    As an editor-writer I sometimes press "submit" too soon, evidenced by the poor structure of my last sentence, but I need lectures in writing from you like I need a tax cut for the Kochs.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Troll Grade: D

    Comments: When one hits a nerve, you need to do a better job at hiding it. The petulant tone of your submission is grating to the eyes of the reader. Likewise, your understanding of how clauses work in a sentence seems to have deteriorated between your prior submission and this one. I would work on improving this, as it will make your trolling easier to parse.

  • Andrew S.||

    You're pretty generous with the grades there, HM. We having grade inflation issues at Reason?

  • John C. Randolph||

    You are still highly suspicious of democracy because it lets brown-skinned socialists have a say in things.

    No, shithead: we're highly suspicious of democracy because far too many people like you want to vote for a handout instead of earning a living.

    -jcr

  • The Original Jason||

    And you don't find Progressivism's ties to eugenics and racism too sullying?

  • SForza||

    As someone who lives just over the hills from Berkeley, it's a total mystery to me.

    So many interesting things come out of there, so many people exploring interesting ideas. And yet, almost to a (wo)man, they tell me how the local government shits all over their ability to run a business or do anything innovative. And needless to say, traveling through Berkeley to get to these various interesting businesses requires wading through a swamp of retards.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Mark Ames just goes to show that all the booze, whores and drugs a shithead can get his hands on won't turn a no-talent hack into Hunter Thompson.

    There is no reason for any libertarian to give a shit what that leftard douchebag has to say on any subject at all.

    -jcr

  • RishJoMo||

    Sometimes thats jsut the way the cookie crumbles.

    www.AnonToolz.tk

  • Cedrick Delaney||

    Mark Ames, after having it shoved in his face that he boasted of raping a 15-year-old, backed down like the serial coward he is and claimed it was "satire."

    Sadly for the completely discredited pathological liar, it's published in a book that claims to be "a work of nonfiction" (check the Copyright page):

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Exil.....mes+taibbi

    The passage in question was cited in the Chicago Reader. Search for the word "pervometer":

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/c.....oid=902762

    Writing in The Moscow Times, Owen Matthews also slams Ames for his "lack of balls" in admitting he's a rapist. They only let you post two links here, so search for the article "The Gonzo Classic That Wasn't" from The Moscow Times to find the "lack of balls" passage.

    Bring these facts up wherever and whenever his name appears. There’s a reason no “name” publications will touch him anymore. Let’s continue shoving him into complete obscurity.

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