May / June 2020
Automotive Business Review
Big Brother is Bullying You
I am writing this editorial on the afternoon of 13 May 2020, as the long-suffering citizens of South Africa endure the seventh week of a severe lockdown, and government overreach. How much longer do we have to suffer so unnecessarily? I pray that by the time our loyal base reads this at the end of May, the lockdown has ended, or at least it has been watered down significantly – but I have my doubts.
Circumstances have forced us to come out with a purely digital edition, and as these circumstances originated with the Covid-19 crisis, we have decided to call this May/June 2020 issue the Covid-19 edition. We do this with a heavy heart, not because we dislike digital publishing, but because we have been forced to do this, purely from the irrational actions of our government, which appears to be hell-bent on destroying our economy. Hyperbole? I think not, and the following paragraphs will explain my thinking.
My point of departure is the fact that for most of my adult life, I have been a libertarian. There are many people out there who do no fully understand libertarianism, so with the help of Wikipedia, here is the definition of this much understood philosophy, “Libertarians seek to maximise political freedom and autonomy, emphasising freedom of choice, voluntary association and individual judgment. Libertarians share a scepticism of authority and state power, but they diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing economic and political systems.” To truly get my particular brand of libertarianism across, would take a biblical tome, so we will just leave it at that, but it is a good starting point for what I am about to say.
The French Revolution from 1789 to 1799 was driven by extreme unhappiness with the feudal system in place at the time, and all one needs to do is to visit the Palace of Versailles to understand the excesses of French royalty, and why the citizens stood up for liberty, equality, and fraternity, even though the revolution morphed into violent excesses of its own. Lessons to be learned, and all I can say to our despotic leaders is that it is not too wise not to learn from history. Feudal systems are not unlike communism, which brings me to the obvious conclusion that we are currently experiencing a feudal/communistic response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our government, which historically has had an intimate love affair with communism, fully understands the ethos behind both feudalism and communism, and has been yearning to implement a hybrid system on the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, with a fanatical desire to bring its heavy hand to bear on the hoi polloi – in this case the hoi polloi is anyone who does not belong to the upper echelons of the ANC. The Covid-19 crisis was the ideal opportunity to bring this yearning to fruition.
We are now knee deep in this ideological implementation, and a well-known anecdote about Stalin springs to mind. Apparently, during one of his manic episodesStalin called for a live chicken and proceeded to systematically pluck out its feathers. As the chicken struggled in vain to escape, he continued with the painful denuding until the bird was completely stripped. Stalin placed the chicken on the floor and walked away with some bread crumbs in his hand. Incredibly, the fear-crazed chicken hobbled towards him and clung to the legs of his trousers. Stalin threw a handful of grain to the bird, and it began to follow him around the room. Stalin then said, “This is the way to rule the people. Did you see how that chicken followed me for food, even though I had caused it such torture? People are like that chicken. If you inflict inordinate pain on them, they will follow you for food the rest of their lives.”