Thursday, February 26, 2015

Eugene V Debs - Another man jailed for sedition who stood for what he believed.

“Every solitary one of these aristocratic conspirators and would-be murderers claims to be an arch-patriot; every one of them insists that the war is being waged to make the world safe for democracy. What humbug! What rot! What false pretence! These autocrats, these tyrants, these red-handed robbers and murderers, the 'patriots,' while the men who have the courage to stand face to face with them, speak the truth and fight for their exploited victims — they are the disloyalists and traitors. If this be true, I want to take my place side by side with the traitors in this fight. Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder. In the Middle Ages when the feudal lords who inhabited the castles whose towers may still be seen along the Rhine concluded to enlarge their domains, to increase their power, their prestige and their wealth they declared war upon one another. But they themselves did not go to war any more than the modern feudal lords, the barons of Wall Street, go to war. The feudal barons of the Middle Ages, the economic predecessors of the capitalists of our day, declared all wars. And their miserable serfs fought all the battles. The poor, ignorant serfs had been taught to revere their masters; to believe that when their masters declared war upon one another, it was their patriotic duty to fall upon one another and to cut one another's throats for the profit and glory of the lords and barons who held them in contempt. And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose — especially their lives.
They have always taught and trained you to believe it to be your patriotic duty to go to war and to have yourselves slaughtered at their command. But in all the history of the world, you — the people — have never had a voice in declaring war. And strange as it certainly appears, no war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people.
And here let me emphasize the fact—and it cannot be repeated too often—that the working class who fight all the battles, the working class who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish their corpses, have never yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both.
They alone declare war, and they alone make peace.
Yours not to reason why; yours but to do and die!
That is their motto, and we object on the part of the awakening workers of this nation. If war is right let it be declared by the people. You who have your lives to lose, you certainly above all others have the right to decide the momentous issue of war or peace."
His words were later used to sentence him to prison for 10 years. It was from there that he received nearly 1 million votes for president in 1920, running as simply Convict No. 9653.  "I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world." — "When I Shall Fight," Appeal to Reason, Sept. 1915.
 "I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence." — Statement to the Court upon Being Convicted of Violating the Sedition Act, Sept. 1918

Debs' health deteriorated in the horrid prison conditions of the time, and eventually, his sentence was commuted when cooler heads prevailed in our country. He later died in a sanatorium, a kind of hospital for those with long-term illnesses.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Our songs of “kill the boer” and “fokken swartes” are louder than Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika.

We all flaunt the words “Capitalism, Communism, Fascism, and Socialism” as though we know what we are talking about.  But do we?   What is the definition of Capitalism, Communism, Fascism, and Socialism?  Are these concepts taught to the people at political rally’s or conferences?  Does the South African population even know what they are talking about when they say they belong to this or that political party?  Do they even know what the mandate of their chosen political party is? 

“Pay back the money…give us back our land…nationalise everything… blame it on apartheid…BEEE…AA…whites that…blacks this…kill the boer…fokken swartes…”are the calls from all the lunatic fringe groups but they sing the loudest song. 
The only way that we can teach these lunatics is to educate them politically and by teaching them to think for themselves, instead of blindly following political leaders whose propaganda is merely to increase their personal love for power and money, irrespective of who they hurt and damage in the process.    The most obvious problem in South Africa is the inability of the masses to think rationally and independently.  If each person could be given a chance to negotiate a rational and clearly thought political or world view, the lunatics and their lunatic leaders would be silenced.   At the very least, knowing what these terms mean, may assist people in debating politics rationally.  Political immaturity provokes emotional outbursts and race hate in this country.  

There are pitfalls in trying to simplify the definitions of capitalism, socialism, communism and fascism.  These concepts are complex because they involve not only government, but economics as well.  Another problem is that they are not mutually exclusive and finally, different times in history, the terms have been defined differently. 
Some of the terms refer only to economic systems (capitalism) while others refer to government and economic systems (communism and fascism).
 The United States is a Constitutional Democratic Republic that has long embraced both capitalism (free markets) and socialism (public schools and universities, and public works – parks, roads and highways, sewer and water, dams, harbours and social welfare.
Capitalism is an economic system in which all or most of the means of production are privately owned, operated and the investment of capital, production, distribution and prices are determined mainly by a free market and not by the state.  The means of production are operated for profit.
In a purely capitalist economy, there would be no public schools, no state owned or maintained roads and highways, public works, welfare, unemployment insurance, workers compensation or social security.
Socialism refers to state ownership of common property or state ownership of the means of production.   In a purely socialist state, individuals would own nothing, not even their labour.
However, almost all modern capitalist countries combine socialism and capitalism.
Communism refers to community ownership of property with the end goal of being complete social equality via economic equality.   It is generally seen by communist countries as an idealized utopian economic and social state that the country as a whole is working toward.  Such an ideal often justifies means using means that are authoritarian or totalitarian that is not communist ideals.  Therefore, to attain pure communism, it necessitates the violation of individual rights over the rights of the group. 
Basically, communism states that all labour belongs to the individual labourer, no man can own another man’s body and therefore each man owns his own labour.  All profit belongs in part to the labourer and not those in control of the business or the business owner.  Profit that is not shared is fundamentally tyrannical.
Fascism comes from the Latin word, “fasces”, meaning the bundle of sticks used by the Romans that symbolized their empire.  Hence, Fascism attempts to return the glory and social organisation of Rome to the land by a system led by a dictator who has complete power, who forcibly suppresses opposition, regiments all commerce and highlights aggressive nationalism and racism.   Fascism is almost the complete opposite to communism because it is opposed to state ownership and economic equality is not a goal.  All actions should not be motivated by economic motives and democracy is repudiated. Hitler justified dictatorship and Nazi anti-Semitism on the basis of fighting communism!  The churches also played a major role in the European fascist countries because they were opposed to the threat of godless communists.  

Capitalism and socialism refer simply to economic systems. They are amoral systems.  Communism and fascism refer to economics, governance and basic moral principles. They imply a total ideology, a morality (good or bad morals are dictated), an economy and a government.

Utilitarianism is my preferred political stance, although it too has its limitations.  Utilitarianism is a theory that holds the course of action must be the one that maximizes utility for the total benefit of man while reducing suffering.  It is an economic analysis that is human-centred and based on a moral foundation.  Actions are right if they are useful or benefit the majority of people (irrespective of various classifications).  The greatest happiness for the greatest number should be the guiding principle of conduct.  However, the problem with utilitarianism is that it focuses on the consequences of an action rather than the motive.  In addition, it does not adequately compare the happiness of different individuals and fails to account for the value placed on justice and equality.
That being said – I am sure that these are not insurmountable problems.  We can blaze our own path here in South Africa.  We do not need to follow long-dead theorists where the theory did not work in practice.

Perhaps it is time to re-read Plato’s The Republic

Monday, February 23, 2015


To steal from a white is not a crime … one bullet one settler … whites stole our land … whites were privileged and used us as slaves to enrich themselves…whites are dogs who do not deserve to live … I will never forgive whites for what they did … whites had the best land that they stole from us … whites must go back to where they came from … you are not African if you are not black … whites had the best of everything … whites are the scum of the earth … all white farmers are thieves … whites put us into over-crowded homelands that were nothing more than ghettos… whites locked us up by the thousands … whites killed us off like animals …whites should be grateful we allow them to live in SA or to allow them to live at all…whites still own all the riches…whites still own most of the land … whites can be called umlungu, dogs, whites, boere, boers, pigs etc. but blacks can only be called African.

South Africa is in a mess because of the whites…everything that goes wrong in the country is because of the whites…whites had the best beaches…whites had the most fertile soil…apartheid was a crime against humanity…Eugene de Kock killed blacks in the thousands…Mandela is a saint, and FW deserves recognition because he realised his mistake…the ANC won the fight for freedom. 

And so our Youth of all shades believe that white is bad and black is good.  If you happen to be of mixed race, you can call yourself black.  It is a much better skin colour to have.  White is bad.  White youth hang their heads in shame and accept with humiliation the honour of being allowed to live in SA.  Black youth have become the oppressors.   We have generations of people who have little or no education because the schools were burned, but that is also the white man’s fault.  Liberation before education!  Now we have freedom and no bread.  Now we have democracy and no work.  Now we have human rights but we can’t read our Constitution.  We have leaders who make us ashamed.  We cannot be proud of ourselves when the world laughs at our stupidity.  The oppressed have become the oppressors and that is fine because it is the white man’s turn to feel humiliated and they need to be punished.

I do not believe that separate development and the apartheid laws of keeping us apart were acceptable.  It was wrong – as wrong as the laws are in Israel/Palestine.   Both situations were based on the idea that one group of people were/are God’s chosen race.  The Jews believe they are the chosen race – the Afrikaners thought they were the chosen race.  Apartheid and the Broederbond did not only hurt and damage black South Africans, but also whites whose home language was English.  They even had to have seperate schools! Even in the army, to which all white boys were conscripted, the English boys were treated as inferior to the Afrikaners.  

Perhaps I was different to most.  I did not start fighting against Apartheid because there was discrimination against black people.  I started fighting when I was not allowed on a beach because the beach was for black people only.   How dare anyone tell me that I can or can’t go somewhere because of the colour of my skin?  How dare anyone tell me that I need a resident’s and work permit to continue to live in the land of my birth – because my skin was white and only black people could live in the Transkei?

And how dare people in our democratic and free country now write into law that I am prohibited from the job market because I am white?  How dare people categorise other human beings according to the colour of their skin??  And how could we have allowed this?

What happened to that feeling of pride we all felt in South Africa when we won the 1995 rugby world cup?  We should all hang our heads in shame because every country deserves the leader and leaders they have.  We have allowed this to happen … to our eternal shame.

For further reading – here is a little history from a German book published in 1988; from the time when we were not allowed to mix together, when only white people were given education … when it was the white man’s fault that SA was a police state, when only black people suffered!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A message to my Facebook friends

I can respect anyone who tries to walk their talk when it comes to religion. I don't care if you are a Hindu, a Muslim, a Baptist, a Buddhist, a Catholic or a Jew.  Just be the best kind of 'whatever' you can be.  I am so tired of being told to stop swearing and being judged as an atheist by re-born Christians on FB.  I cannot respect these kinds of people.  

Does it not say in their Holy Bible that you are to judge not lest ye be judged?  Does it not say in their Holy Book that the log should be removed from their own eyes before they try to remove the splinter from another? 

My connection with the Creator is between God and I.  It has nothing to do with anyone else.  When I leave this world, I will be alone with God.  You will not be there.   I do not feel the need to push my belief down anyone's throat in the hopes that it will confirm my own belief.   If you don't like my swearing - if you can't love me unconditionally as I love you - if you do not share the same values as I do that the golden thread that runs through us all is love, then please remove yourself as my FB friend.  Quite frankly, I don't give a shit, my dear ... whether you stay or go.  I do not need your approval.  It is God's approval I seek and by His grace I live and breathe.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Every fool and his aunty have an opinion about Eugene de Kock.  The media is mostly biased, and in more cases than not, barking up the wrong tree.  Where the journalists get their information from is anyone’s guess.  I think most of their information is taken from snippets that they read here and there, or bits that are overhead in conversations between idiots.  While things that are so ridiculously untrue that a kindergarten child would pay no attention, there are two issues that irritate me tremendously. 
The New York Times of 6th February 2015 has made the most concise and truthful statement about Eugene.  It states:  “Eugene de Kock, 66, was granted parole last week. It was arguably the greatest single act of mercy to emerge from the anguished debate in South Africa over reconciliation and justice that also seizes many other societies seeking to heal the scars of their past, from Rwanda to Northern Ireland”.   And in that beautifully constructed article we find the first of my irritations. “His friends say that, having once been an abnormal man in abnormal times, he is seeking a normal, if anonymous, life”.   His friends?  No!!  Only one person said that.

Having watched and worked over a number of years on the release of Eugene de Kock, I have found that there are circles upon circles around him.  It is as though he is overlapped by dozens of Venn diagrams.  Each of those circles are to be headed by one or more groups of concerned people.  Our Facebook group, FREE EUGENE DE KOCK, is one such circle.  Piet Croucamp is another such circle.  Each circle has worked on its own modus operandi for the benefit of Eugene. 

My issue is with the above sentence which states that His friends say that, having once been an abnormal man in abnormal times, he is seeking a normal, if anonymous, life” was coined by Piet Croucamp.  Dr Piet Croucamp does not have a degree in psychiatry.  Via Social networking and in comments to all newspapers carrying that statement, I disagree ferociously.  No one has the right to call another person abnormal.  Even a psychiatrist or psychologist would not repeat such a statement in private, and certainly not in public.   From that one statement, the news has spread around the world that Eugene is abnormal.  This is bullshit.  

Eugene was a normal man in an abnormal society doing a normal and unquestionable job, becoming the highest decorated policeman, in the history of the country.   He is still a normal man, having gone through 20 years of prison for doing a normal job in an abnormal society.  He will be affected by being imprisoned for so many years, he will be affected by having seen the evil of the apartheid government, he will be affected by his superiors denial that they knew nothing of what he did, he will be affected by the colleagues who stabbed him in the back to save their own miserable skins, he will be affected by the unfairness of being the only one to be punished for the crimes of an entire government, he will be affected by having requested and then asking forgiveness from the families of the victims, he will be affected by the continual lies spoken about him now he is paroled.  But all these effects are normal.  He is still a normal human being.

Abnormal is the behaviour of those who let him down and of those Judas's that on oath said they knew nothing of Vlakplaas.  Abnormal is the behaviour of those who have befriended him and benefitted in any way from his imprisonment.  Abnormal behaviour is from those who had a different modus operandi than wanting him freed on compassionate grounds.   Abnormal behaviour is the media who have published death threats on front pages, naming Eugene as the target and naming the person who wants to kill him. 

Eugene de Kock was a normal man and is a normal man.   Calling him an abnormal man in an abnormal society is unacceptable.  If that is true; then we were all abnormal in an abnormal society.   That statement that Piet Croucamp gave the media that Eugene de Kock is abnormal has become another one of the misconceptions about Eugene that is going around the world at a rate of knots. 

In Jacob Dlamini’s book, Askari,  Dlamini argues that Sedibe, the main character, occupied one position along a spectrum of betrayal and deceit. He faced choices many ordinary black (my italics) South Africans faced and was thus, in a sense, ordinary. It is a startling and powerful argument, one that required of its author enormous reserves of intellectual steel.

The second issue I have with the media is calling Eugene de Kock, “Prime Evil”.   It is a derogatory term coined by Jacque Pauw when the story on Vlakplaas broke, and for the last twenty years, Eugene has been called Prime Evil in any media report.   I have a huge problem with that, and I believe that Jacque Pauw owes him an apology.   Labelling someone as Prime Evil is prime evil behaviour.  The adage comes to mind – you have to be a thief to catch a thief.  We recognise in others what is in, or what we have the potential to have, in ourselves.

I have never met Eugene de Kock.  But I have come to know him from the inbox messages I have received from hundreds and hundreds of men who describe him as anything but prime evil.  He has been described as humble, honest, and loyal, gentle, an inspiring leader in the field, a fearless warrior, and exceptionally brave.  There is no one who is so good that they don’t have a little bad in them and no one so bad, that they don’t have a little good in them.  And the last sentence refers to me and to you. 

Monday, February 2, 2015



Date:   Monday, 02 February 2015

Subject:  Presidential Pardon for Eugene de Kock

Dear Adv. Mhuaga
I would like to begin by thanking Minister Michael Masutha for giving Eugene de Kock parole. The public, understandably, know nothing about his parole conditions.  However, Mandela stated that there is no such thing as half-free. One is either free or one is not.  Parole is half-free.

It is with a humble heart that I ask you to please consider giving Eugene de Kock an unconditional release or Presidential Pardon. 

As a previous warrior, His Excellency, President Zuma will understand that deep within every human heart lies generosity.  Previous enemies have respect for those who fought bravely on the other side.  Would you be kind enough to ask our President for a Presidential Pardon for Eugene de Kock please?  Or would you please consider an unconditional release for him?   This would be the final bridge we cross towards reconciliation for our beloved country.  It will also go a long way to healing the hearts of the thousands upon thousands of conscripted soldiers who fought so bravely in a war they were led to believe was right.  

We humbly ask you to help our people heal from the scars we carry.  We will never forget what was done; more so that it is never repeated; but we need the generosity and the compassion of the ANC, the South African government, and her people, to make this possible.   Eugene de Kock has been made the epitome of everything that is evil in a white man by the media.  Only a Presidential Pardon can give us back our humanity as members of this nation.  

We want to be a proud South Africans. We do not want to hang our heads in shame any longer.  We too, must stand up and take responsibility for eradicating hate and racism.  We too, must play our part in the reconciliation of our beloved land.  There can no longer be the oppressors and the oppressed.  We must be a proud nation, standing together with one voice, singing with abandon…Nkosi sikelel iAfrika!!

Thanking you in anticipation,
Yours truly

Dianne Lang 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Eugene de Kock's parole - and the FB fallout!

 The fall out from the parole of Eugene de Kock has astounded me.  While thousands of people have rejoiced, there are those who have resorted to vile and hateful speech and threats.  As most of you know, I have championed the cause to see Eugene de Kock freed via social media only because it is the only thing that I can physically do.    I am overjoyed by his release.  However, the fight is far from over.  Parole is half free.  As Mandela himself said, there is no such thing as half-free.  You are either free or you are not.  And that is why he was given an unconditional release.   Since we do not yet know of the conditions of the parole, we must carry the torch to get a Presidential Pardon for Eugene.   Hopefully, he has been unconditionally released, in which case, our job is truly done.  If not, we will continue to lobby for a pardon for him.  

While I am happy to answer inbox messages to the hundreds of people who inbox me about important things, I will NOT respond to inbox messages that contain nasty, untrue bullshit.  Why don't you call the President with your problems?  Don't make me the scapegoat for all your hateful racism or attempt to make me apologise for being white.  

These white people that walk around being ashamed of being white, hanging their heads in shame about things that they had no power over, things that were done by their grandparents (well those in government), or asking forgiveness for their ancestors coming to this land, apologising profusely for apartheid as though they brought it into being (for those who do not know - apartheid was just an adaptation of the British colour bar laws) and who believe that they are inferior and that they must beg to live in the country of their birth ... go read Steve Biko's philosophy and put yourself into those shoes.  You will see that you are doing no one any favours by your pathetic, apologetic stance.  There is no greater weapon in an oppressors hand than the mind of an oppressed people.  You white apologetists (don't even know if that is a word) are oppressed in your own minds.  It is time that you caught a wake up, and started walking with your head held high.   Start taking responsibility for shaping and making our country work for all of us.   No one is going to respect you while you hang your head in shame. 

You are not white, you are not black, YOU ARE A SOUTH AFRICAN.   Behave like one please.   We are one family.  We are one another's keeper.