South Africa is starting to mirror the rise of past totalitarian regimes

When you think about what led up to the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, the Soviet Union under Stalin or Mao in China, it’s easy to look back and wonder: how did their people fall in line and allow it all to happen?

Surely, there’s no possible way anything like that could happen today. We’re too smart... People aren’t that gullible.

What’s going on currently in South Africa mirrors the rise of every fascist or Marxist totalitarian over the past 100 years. Last week, the South African Parliament voted to confiscate land from white farmers without compensation. White farmers in South Africa are about to have their property forcibly seized by a government rapidly headed toward racism and bigotry.

Much like the violent antisemitic rhetoric from the German Workers Party back in the early 1920s, no one in South Africa over the past decade took the issue of land redistribution from white people seriously. A man named Julius Malema began proposing it around 2011, but back then, he was considered more of a thug and racist rather than a legitimate politician.

In 2010, Malema was kicked out of his political party and indicted in court for inciting violence toward white people. At one particular political rally, he led the masses gathered in the streets in a song called “kill the white man.” He would later be convicted in court for hate speech.

In 2013, Malema put all that behind him and created his own political party called the Economic Freedom Fighters. Malema’s EFF is a Marxist-Leninist group that also advocates Black Nationalism. You might think, “there’s no way something like that could go mainstream,” but today, they are the THIRD LARGEST political party in South Africa. Their political pull has grown so much, they were able to convince the entire parliament to do something EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM had scoffed at just seven years prior.

If only the people of South Africa had a modern-day historical reference available to show how horribly this is going to go for them --- MAYBE they would reconsider. Oh wait, their neighbors in Zimbabwe literally tried this JUST EIGHT YEARS AGO. Let’s see how that worked out for them.

The farm seizures were seen as long overdue by the war veterans.

Here's what Robert Mugabe, the former president of Zimbabwe, said in 2000, when his government began seizing the farmland of white citizens of Zimbabwe without compensation:

If white settlers just took the land from us without paying for it, we can, in a similar way, just take it from them without paying for it.

The “land reform” effort (such a nice way to put it) started as a populist movement organized by disgruntled Zimbabwean war veterans. It was a carefully-coordinated effort in which 3,000 large, white-owned farms were taken over by 170,000 Zimbabwean families.

Taking over white-owned land was something the people had been promised by Mugabe’s government ever since the country gained independence in 1980. The farm seizures were seen as long overdue by the war veterans who considered dispossession of their ancestral land to be the fundamental reason they fought a war for independence.

At first, Mugabe said he was opposed to the violent farm seizures, but when he saw how popular the takeovers were, he reversed his position. He legalized the farm seizures, then used the government to widen the effort. The farm seizure law, written by Mugabe himself, stipulated that Britain was obligated to pay for the land seized from the African people during the colonial period, and that if Britain did not pay, the Zimbabwe government could seize the land without compensating the white farm owners.

A few of the seized farms were owned by black Zimbabweans, most of whom were critics of Mugabe.

Once farms were confiscated by the government, they were parceled out in smaller plots and given to black citizens. Officially, no family was allowed to have more than one “land reform” farm, but Mugabe’s political allies each took several large farms.

Courts were so inundated with cases, it would have taken decades to resolve all of them.

Commercial farmers took the government to court over the land seizures. Courts were so inundated with cases, it would have taken decades to resolve all of them. So, in 2003, Mugabe amended their constitution to nullify all those cases.

Before the farmland was confiscated, that land provided 40 percent of the country’s export earnings. Those farms were also the largest single employer in the nation, supporting two million workers.

If for no other reason, the Zimbabwean experience clearly shows that taking land without compensation is a very bad idea --- because of the resulting economic nightmare.

In 1997, three years before the land seizures began, Zimbabwe’s economy was one of the strongest in Africa. Fifteen years later, its economic growth rate was lower than any of its neighbors. Between 2000 and 2009, agricultural revenue declined by $12 billion. Zimbabwe had eight consecutive years of economic decline, job loss and deindustrialization.

Zimbabwe was once called “the breadbasket of Africa.” Now it relies on international aid to feed one-fourth of its population.

Economists estimate Zimbabwe’s “land reform” cost the country $20 billion.

Zimbabwe consistently has unemployment rates over 90 percent. Now, the Zimbabwean government is considering retroactively compensating white farmers with $11 billion.

Several years after the farm seizures in 2000, with Zimbabwe’s economy in ruins, and agricultural output a disaster, black landowners quietly reached out to white farmers who were thrown off their land. Now, there are a growing number of partnerships in which black landowners retain their rights to the property but share the profits with whites, who live and work on the farms as managers or consultants, sometimes bringing their equipment as well.

Today, there are roughly 300 whites still operating their own farms in Zimbabwe. In 2000, there were 4,500.

Mugabe’s government seized 35 million acres of white-owned land. But he didn’t give the land to the poor black Zimbabwean masses as their “rightful inheritance” like he had promised. Instead, he gave 40 percent of those 35 million acres to loyal cabinet ministers, senior army and government officials and judges. He also gave himself 14 farms totaling 6,500 acres.

Late last year, the 93-year-old Mugabe finally resigned from office after ruling for 37 years. He resigned under pressure because the Zimbabwe Parliament was set to impeach him. Before he resigned, he negotiated a generous pension and security deal for himself and his family.

Horror and slaughter always follow.

Seizing land and demonizing a select group of people has been the playbook to power for fascists and radical leftists for decades. Horror and slaughter always follow.

After Mao seized farmland and went on a mass killing spree, his starving people had to resort to cutting the flesh off their inner thighs and feeding it to their children. One of Mao’s greatest admirers, Che Guevara, marveled at the way land redistribution led to the furthering of social justice. Che’s social justice to Cuban farmers often ended up with them staring down the barrels of a firing squad.

This is the direction South Africa is going in.

On Sunday, Julius Malema gave a speech where he voiced his plans to begin deposing white politicians. He said, “we are starting with this whiteness. We are cutting the throat of whiteness.”

If you’re in South Africa, or anywhere else in the world, and you see your country going down these dark paths, take a stand. Speak up. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a man that saw his OWN country deteriorate into evil and hate said it best:

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.

The same thing COULD happen again.

In the era of 'Fake News' and the 24 hour news cycle, knowing what stories are most important can be difficult. This story is one of the three things Glenn selected to share with you today that you won't hear anywhere else.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.