Surviving State Collapse: Lessons From South Africa

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by Portfolio Armor
Tuesday, Feb 28, 2023 - 13:31
Street violence in South Africa

South Africa's Present: America's Future? 

In a post here a couple of years ago (Is South Africa's Present America's Future?), I wrote about why Americans ought to pay attention to South Africa: 

Eleven years ago, author and urban futures scholar Joel Kotkin wrote optimistically about America's demographic trajectory: 

An ongoing source of strength for the United States over the next 40 years will be its openness to immigration. Indeed, more than most of its chief global rivals, the U.S. will be reshaped and re-energized by an increasing racial and ethnic diversity.

Working to advance that trajectory, the Biden Administration announced in May that it would prioritize Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia for refugee resettlement. With that in mind, it's worth paying attention to another country which prizes its diversity, the Rainbow Nation of South Africa. 

In addition to its 80% African population comprised of several different ethnolinguistic groups, and its shrinking white population, South Africa also has a significant South Asian minority. Although cheerleaders of demographic change in the United States generally don't predict we will end up with a majority African population, if we commit to continued mass immigration, and the UN projections graphed by Steve Sailer below prove accurate, it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility. 

So it's worth paying attention to what's happening in South Africa now. 

The rest of that post detailed the chaos engulfing South Africa at the time. Apparently things have gotten even worse there. 

State Collapse In South Africa

The thread below details the state collapse occurring in South Africa now. Following that, we'll look at some steps Afrikaners are taking to survive it, lessons that may be useful to minorities (and future minorities) elsewhere. 

The thread goes on to describe the breakdown in the healthcare system and other sectors, but a key point the writer makes is that the South African government has said it's not obligated to provide basic services such as power to its people. This highlights the problem of centralization, something the documentary below addresses. 


"Selfbestuur" means "self-management" in Afrikaans. The main political point this short documentary makes is that you don't want to rely on a distant central government to provide the necessities of life for you: electricity, sewage treatment, policing, etc. That's been a problem in South Africa, where the central government is increasingly corrupt and incompetent. 

The first part of the documentary (which is mostly in Afrikaans but is subtitled in English) deals with the ideal political solution to this: federalism, with authority devolved to local areas. They offer a successful example of this: the province of South Tyrol in Italy. South Tyrol was a part of Austria given to Italy after World War I, and for years after, the Italian government attempted to Italianize the province (move Italians from the south into it; make the Tyrolians only speak Italian, etc.). About 50 years ago, South Tyrol negotiated an autonomy deal with the Italian government, where it basically sends 10% of its tax collections to Rome and otherwise manages its own affairs.

Today, it's the richest province in Italy, so Rome does well on its 10% cut, and the Tyrolians get to maintain their distinct culture. 

That's sort of an aspirational goal for the Afrikaners, but the second part of the documentary deals with the practical steps they're taking today, in communities like Orania: paving their own roads, building their own power and water infrastructure, fielding their own police force, etc. Basically, trying to make their communities oases of order within the broader chaos of South Africa. 

Some food for thought here for the rest of us. 

In Case You Missed It

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