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If only the people of South Africa had a modern-day historical reference available to show how horribly this is going to go for them --- MAYBE they would reconsider.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.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

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Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?

These days, when Americans decide to be outraged about something, we really go all out.

This week's outrage is, of course, the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy toward illegal immigration along the southern border. Specifically, people are upset over the part of the policy that separates children from their parents when the parents get arrested.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

Lost in all the outrage is that the President is being proactive about border security and is simply enforcing the law. Yes, we need to figure out a less clumsy, more compassionate way of enforcing the law, but children are not being flung into dungeons and fed maggots as the media would have you believe.

But having calm, reasonable debates about these things isn't the way it's done anymore. You have to make strong, sweeping announcements so the world knows how righteous your indignation is.

That's why yesterday, the governors of Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut declared they are withholding or recalling their National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border until this policy of separating children from their parents is rescinded.

Adding to the media stunt nature of this entire "crisis," it turns out this defiant announcement from these five governors is mostly symbolic. Because two months ago, when President Trump called for 4,000 additional National Guard troops to help patrol the border, large numbers of troops were not requested from those five states. In fact, no troops were requested at all from Rhode Island. But that didn't stop Rhode Island's Democratic governor, Gina Raimondo, from announcing she would refuse to send troops if she were asked. She called the family separation policy, "immoral, unjust and un-American."

There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

The governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York all used the word "inhumane" in their statements condemning the Trump administration policy. There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

In a totally unrelated coincidence, four of these five governors are running for re-election this year.

I've made my position clear — separating these children from their parents is a bad policy and we need to stop. We need to treat these immigrants with the kind of compassion we'd want for our own children. And I said the same thing in 2014 when no one cared about the border crisis.

If consistency could replace even just a sliver of the outrage in America, we would all be a lot better off.

I think we can all agree, both on the Left and the Right, that children who have been caught up in illegal immigration is an awful situation. But apparently what no one can agree on is when it matters to them. This past weekend, it suddenly — and even a little magically — began to matter to the Left. Seemingly out of nowhere, they all collectively realized this was a problem and all rushed to blame the Trump administration.

RELATED: These 3 things need to happen before we can fix our border problem

Here's Rachel Maddow yesterday:

I seem to remember getting mocked by the Left for showing emotion on TV, but I'll give her a pass here. This is an emotional situation. But this is what I can't give her a pass on: where the heck was this outrage and emotion back in 2014? Because the same situation going on today — that stuff Maddow and the rest of the Left have only just now woken up to — was going on back in July 2014! And it was arguably worse back then.

I practically begged and pleaded for people to wake up to what was going on. We had to shed light on how our immigration system was being manipulated by people breaking our laws, and they were using kids as pawns to get it done. But unlike the gusto the Left is using now to report this story, let's take a look at what Rachel Maddow thought was more important back in 2014.

On July 1, 2014, Maddow opened her show with a riveting monologue on how President Obama was hosting a World Cup viewing party. That's hard-hitting stuff right there.

On July 2, 2014, Maddow actually acknowledged kids were at the border, but she referenced Health and Human Services only briefly and completely rushed through what was actually happening to these kids. She made a vague statement about a "policy" stating where kids were being taken after their arrival. She also blamed Congress for not acting.

See any difference in reporting there from today? That "policy" she referenced has suddenly become Trump's "new" policy, and it isn't Congress's fault… it's all on the President.

She goes on throughout the week.

On July 7, 2014, her top story was something on the Koch brothers. Immigration was only briefly mentioned at the end of the show. This trend continued all the way through the week. I went to the border on July 19. Did she cover it? Nope. In fact, she didn't mention kids at the border for the rest of the month. NOT AT ALL.

Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not?

Make up your minds. Is this an important issue or not? Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not? Do you even care to fix it, or is this what it looks like — just another phony, addicted-to-outrage political stunt?

UPDATE: Here's how this discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.

Glenn gives Rachel Maddow the benefit of the doubt

Rachel Maddow broke down in tears live on her MSNBC show over border crisis.

Progressives think the Obamas are a gift to the world. But their gift is apparently more of the metaphorical kind. It doesn't extend to helpful, tangible things like saving taxpayers money. Illinois has approved $224 million to pay for street and transportation upgrades around the planned site of the Obama Presidential Center. The catch is that Illinois taxpayers will have to cover $200 million of that cost. For a presidential museum.

Eight years of multiplying the national debt wasn't enough for Barack Obama. Old fleecing habits die hard. What's another $200 million here and there, especially for something as important as an Obama tribute center?

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That's all well and good except Illinois can't even fund its pension system. The state has a $137 billion funding shortfall. That means every person in Illinois owes $11,000 for pensions, and there is no plan to fix the mess. Unless Illinois progressives have discovered a new kind of math, this doesn't really add up. You can't fund pensions, but you're going to figure out a way to milk the public for another $200 million to help cover the cost of a library?

It's hard to imagine who in their right mind would think this will be money well spent. Well, except for maybe Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who said, "The state's… investment in infrastructure improvements near the Obama Center on the South Side of Chicago is money well spent."

Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

The spending has already been signed into law, even though the Obama library has not received construction approval yet. Part of the holdup is that the proposed site is on public land in historic Jackson Park. That doesn't seem very progressive of the Obamas, but, you know, for certain presidents, you go above and beyond. It's just what you do. Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

Here's the thing about taxing the peasants so the king can build a fancy monument to himself – it's wrong. And completely unnecessary. The Obamas have the richest friends on the planet who could fund this project in their sleep. If the world simply must have a tricked-out Obama museum, then let private citizens take out their wallets voluntarily.

As the Mercury Museum proved this weekend, it is possible to build an exhibit with amazing artifacts that attracts a ton of visitors – and it cost taxpayers approximately zero dollars.