Forget, forget the 5th of November

Interesting article here from Boris, written with his usual flair….

It is precisely now, when the public mood is so bitter towards bankers, so hostile to profit, so seemingly brassed off with the very idea of wealth creation that we should remember how ghastly, grim and unworkable was the alternative – state-controlled socialism. It was a moral disaster, a system that extolled equality but entrenched the privileges of an unelected elite who luxuriated in their dachas and their Zil limos, roaring down their reserved lanes and splashing the people with contemptuous sludge.

And then there’s this passage….

Without the Fall of the Wall, Nelson Mandela would never have walked to freedom. How much the greatest political event it was in my lifetime, and how much the best.

….which serves to remind me of a conversation I had a few weeks back with a Johannesburg businessman, who highlighted just how inextricably linked the end of communism was to the collapse of apartheid. Once the cold war ended, he told me, the Americans were no longer concerned with proxy wars in sub-saharan Africa and said to the Jaapies, “Listen, you blokes, you’re embarrassing even us now. We can’t support this, or you, any longer.”

And hey presto! A miraculous tsunami of moral enlightenment (or perhaps simple pragmatism) swept through white South Africa.

Sadly, however, as we enter the era of the post-democratic Europe, yet again we seem to be ignoring the lessons that history has to offer us.



2 comments on “Forget, forget the 5th of November

  1. How lovely it would be, and how productive, if the Americans were to have the same word in Israel’s lug-hole.

    • One of several third rails in American Politics that no President will step on, I’m afraid.

      Even this one, despite all the high-minded talk about “change”, and particularly while he has his eyes almost exclusively on getting healthcare through Congress.

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