100 Years of Mandela – ENCORE

Wow, time flies!

It is 100 years now that Nelson Mandela had come into this world, and though his life has ended, his impact continues to reverberate … up to today.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionarypolitical leader, and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalized racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.
Source: Retrieved July 17, 2018 from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela

There are so many lessons that the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela offers to the modern Caribbean. One such lesson was provided in a previous blog-commentary from April 30, 2015. See an Encore of that submission here/now:

Go Lean Commentary – A Lesson in History – Royal Charter: Zimbabwe -vs- South Africa

Zimbabwe - Photo 2If presented the choice, which would you rather be granted: riches or power?

Many would conclude riches, because of societal expressions like the “Golden Rule: He who has the Gold… rules”. Yet the truth is riches can be created and destroyed quickly. This was the experience just recently during the 2008 Great Recession, where people in the US – the richest country on the planet – lost $11 Trillion in net worth in short order.

On the other hand, there is power. History shows that with power, the rights to riches can be granted, exploited and passed on, from century to century, generation to generation. Consider for example the African continent (in particular the southern region) and the Royal Charters that granted abundant wealth to a privileged few:

The English had been the first to adopt the approach of bundling their resources into a monopoly enterprise, with the English East India Company in 1600. This threatened their Dutch competitors with ruin,[15] so in 1602 the Dutch monarchy followed suit and sponsored the creation of a single Dutch East Indies Company and granted it monopoly over the Asian trade. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_East_India_Company#Formation_.281602.29)

CU Blog - A Lesson in History - Royal Charter - Zimbabwe -vs- South Africa - Photo 1The British monarchy has issued over 980 Royal Charters.[1] (A formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate). A specific charter was issued for the South African region.

The British South Africa Company (BSAC) was established following the amalgamation of Cecil Rhodes‘ Central Search Association and the London-based Exploring Company Ltd which had originally competed to exploit the expected mineral wealth of Mashonaland but united because of common economic interests and to secure British government backing. The company received a Royal Charter in 1889 modeled on that of the English East India Company. Its first directors included the Duke of Abercorn, Rhodes himself and the South African financier Alfred Beit. Rhodes hoped BSAC would promote colonisation and economic exploitation across much of south-central Africa, as part of the “Scramble for Africa“. However, his main focus was south of the Zambezi, in Mashonaland and the coastal areas to its east, from which he believed the Portuguese could be removed by payment or force, and in the Transvaal, which he hoped would return to British control.[1] (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_South_Africa_Company)

This historic information is being considered in conjunction with the book Go Lean…Caribbean; a publication designed to elevate the region’s economic (create 2.2 million new jobs), security and governing engines. Why would this “Lesson in History” matter in assessing today’s Caribbean status and fate?

It is of utmost importance. This discussion reveals how to reconcile the injustices of the past, and still build a better future. We have good models to consider, in this case the countries of Zimbabwe and South Africa.

In a previous blog/commentary, the issue of the origin of colonial entitlements was detailed at full length. A direct quote relates:

The most iconic of all the Papal Bulls [-“letters patent” or charters issued by a Pope, the Head of the Roman Catholic Church -] was the Inter caetera, a Papal Bull by Pope Alexander VI on 4 May 1493, which set a demarcation between the New Lands to Portugal and Spain; this granted to Spain all lands to the “west and south” … of the islands of the Azores … and all new lands to the East of this pole remained assigned to Portugal.

Just before this world-changing decree, there was an earlier Papal Bull that sealed the fate and would prejudice the African Diaspora for 500 years. The African Slave Trade and institution of “Slavery” was legally predicated on a Papal Bull from Pope Innocent VIII (Giovanni Battista Cybo) in 1491; just months before Christopher Columbus’s historic first voyage

From the origins of slavery, [colonialism] traversed the historic curves of social revolution and evolution. In the 1500, the Protestant movement took hold. As other European powers deviated from Catholicism, Papal Bulls carried no significance to them and compliance was ignored. England and Holland established their own Protestant Churches with their own monarch as head of Church and State; Papal decrees were replaced with Royal Decrees and Charters. The intent and end-result was still the same: territories and lands awarded (colonized) with the stroke of a pen by one European power after another. The Royal Decrees and Charters were then reinforced with a strong military presence and many battles…

[The resultant] “oligarchy” … power effectively rested with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, religious or military affiliation.

In this discussion of oligarchy, focus is given to powerful families. There are encyclopedic references that relate that oligarchy structures are often controlled by a few prominent families, who typically pass their influence/wealth from one generation to the next, even though inheritance alone is not a necessary condition for oligarchies to prevail…

This is the challenge that belies Caribbean society. Most of the property and indigenous wealth of the Caribbean region is concentrated amongst the rich, powerful and yet small elite; an oligarchy. Many times these families received their property, corporate rights and/or monopolies by Royal Charter from the European monarchs of ancient times. These charters thus lingered in legacy from one generation to another … until …

The form of rulership that dominated these times in history is that of Oligarchy; empowered by Royal Charters/Decrees. Today, oligarchy – rule by the rich[4] – is synonymous with another term commonly used, plutocracy.

Zimbabwe Photo 3The subject of oligarchs is very familiar on the African continent. This has been a real issue there. In many countries after colonialism, like Zimbabwe (1980), the cure for the oligarch disease was nationalization – forfeiting and seizing commercial farms and mines. This turned out disastrously for this country; the cure was worse than the disease. But, next door in South Africa (14 years later), the strategy, tactics and implementation was different. This country did not ascend to majority-rule until 1994; the first majority-ruled President there, Nelson Mandela saw the futility of the nationalization strategy amongst the precedent independent African nations, so he pursued an alternate approach to assuage White Flight and keep the capital and skilled labor in the country. But the continuation of the oligarchs ill-gained, and public-perceived-stolen assets forged problems in the reality of economic/wealth inequality. Majority-rule therefore brought no revolutionary change for the average man.

All in all, change is not easy. It is heavy-lifting. This is abundantly clear in the examination of the independent majority-ruled Zimbabwe and majority-ruled South Africa. See Chart in the Appendix of the comparisons.

The details of the Republic of Zimbabwe (1980) evolution are as follows:

The British South Africa Company was a Royal Charter, to administer “North-Western Rhodesia” and “North-Eastern Rhodesia” for White settlement; it was not under those names, but the names of the geographic parts—”Mashonaland”, “Matabeleland”, “Barotseland”, and so on. The collective territories were initially referred to as “Zambesia” – the name origins of both Zambia and Zimbabwe – but became Rhodesia as an international brand. While the White minority community resisted the transition to black majority-rule, the change inevitably came, empowering revolutionary leader Robert Mugabe. The new regime – due to spite, revenge and broken promises – began confiscating White-owned farmlands. This is widely blamed for leading to the deterioration of the Zimbabwean economy (societal abandonment of human and financial capital); this has plagued the country even until this day.[113]

The details of the Republic of South Africa (1994) evolution are as follows:

The Cape Colony was a British colony in present-day South Africa and Namibia, named for the Cape of Good Hope. The British colony was preceded by an earlier Dutch colony of the same name, established in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company – granted by Royal Charter from the Dutch Monarchy. The Dutch lost the colony to Britain following the 1795 Battle of Muizenberg, but had it returned following the 1802 Peace Treaty of Amiens. It was re-occupied by the British following the Battle of Blaauwberg in 1806, and British possession affirmed with the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814. The Cape Colony then remained in the British Empire, becoming self-governing in 1872, and uniting with three other colonies to form the Union of South Africa in 1910. Despite practicing racial segregation for most of its history, eventually integration and black majority-rule evolved in the Republic of South Africa. Despite their resistance to these changes, accommodations and reconciliations on the part of Nelson Mandela allowed for the continuation of the established societal engines; the minority White communities and business interests remained.

Zimbabwe - Photo 4Considering these case studies, the Failed-State status of Zimbabwe versus the economic successes of South Africa, we see a lesson in this history, an obvious appreciation for best-practices … for us to apply in the Caribbean. We can optimize these best-practices by applying regional strategies, tactics and implementations to benefit everyone – the Greater Good – and try not to disenfranchise any one group.

The masses of people in the democratic Caribbean now have the right to rule, not just some special group set aside by Royal Decree or granted power by a Royal Charter. Since there is the scientific fact that no one can go back in time and change history; we can only move forward, hopefully with wisdom from the lessons learned in history. The Go Lean book presents a roadmap on how to benefit from these lessons – good, bad and ugly – and how to empower communities anew; to use political power to impact the Greater Good. We therefore see a role for the Rich (One Percent – Page 224), the Poor (Page 222) and the Middle Classes (Page 223).

The consideration of the Go Lean book, as related to this subject is one of governance, the need for technocratic stewardship of the regional Caribbean society. This point was also pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12) with these acknowledgements and statements:

xi.   Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

xiii. Whereas the legacy of dissensions in many member-states (for example: Haiti and Cuba) will require a concerted effort to integrate the exile community’s repatriation, the Federation must arrange for Reconciliation Commissions to satiate a demand for justice.

This Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) to provide better stewardship for the 30 member-states of the Caribbean region, despite their European heritage. The book (and subsequent blog/commentaries) posits that we must not fashion ourselves as parasites of our previous European colonizers, but rather pursue a status as protégés.

Our past history feature much oppression and repression; European colonialism had been a villainous “dragon”. But we can train our dragons! We can make the most of previous bad history. This point was presented as a strategy for Direct Foreign Investments, asserting that we want to invite and attract investments. We can use their resources to elevate our own communities, while still providing a return/profit for the investors.

This is Pragmatism 101!

We, in the Caribbean, were not the only ones abused. Other indigenous people (Africans, Asians, Amerindians, etc.) also suffered, sometimes even more so. The goal should be to thrive despite the disabling legacy; (and if not for everyone, then make the most of the situation for the most number of people).

This is the community ethos of the Greater Good!

Globalization is now an ‘Agent of Change’ that we must contend with. We must “play nice in the sandbox” with people of other countries, especially those with capital resources. So if a minority group represents a faction that previously exploited our land and forefathers, we cannot expect to extract vengeance against them – Zimbabwe proved the futility of such a quest for justice and inequity. As related in the Go Lean book (Page 151), the best-practice for any governing entity to grow the economy is to protect all property rights; (real, personal or intellectual). This is the “new” New World; and the new formula for success.

Another formula, an economic principle, is that “voluntary trade creates wealth” (Page 21). This fact has often been overlooked in policy decisions for Africa. The following VIDEO portrays this dilemma, decrying the current migrant/refugee crisis in Europe, when the best-practice the continent can provide the African people is a more liberal trade policy, allowing markets for African agricultural produce. (Without this type of proactive strategies, the continent is being oppressed … all over again … by today’s Europe; this is a lesson learned from the Native American Reservations in the US).

VIDEO: UKIP Leader Nigel Farage Addressing European Parliament on African Culpability & Hyprocrisy – https://youtu.be/NTwOap7ohc4

Posted by Wednesday, April 29, 2015 – UKIP Leader Nigel Farage: speaks to the European Parliament on the EU suggestion that the continent should have a common asylum and migration policy. He felt it was important to represent the view that this is not just another attack on British sovereignty but also inherently dangerous.

In general, the Go Lean roadmap stresses key community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies necessary to transform and turn-around the eco-systems of Caribbean society. These points are detailed in the book as follows:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – Economic Systems Influence   Individual Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – Consequences of Choices Lie in   the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Manage Reconciliations – South African Model Page 34
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederate all 30 member-states/ 4 languages into a Single Market Page 45
Tactical – Separation-of-Powers – CU Federal Government versus Member-State Governance Page 71
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Ways to Foster International Aid Page 115
Planning – 10 Big Ideas – #4: Confederation Without Sovereignty Page 127
Planning – Ways to Improve Trade Page 128
Planning – Ways to Model the new European Union – Unified Economy Page 130
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Planning – Lessons Learned from 2008 Page 136
Planning – Lessons Learned from Indian Reservations – Audacity versus Absence of Hope Page 141
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy – Protect Property Rights Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage Natural Resources Page 183
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218

In considering this history and re-addressing the opening question: given the choice between riches and power, we choose power!

With the proper stewardship, we can “create real money from thin air”; establish trade networks to grow the economy, educate our people to be global leaders, foster development of products and services that the world demands. The “world would beat a path to our doors”.

Adherence to these best-practices – gleaned from this lesson in history – would help us make our Caribbean community a better homeland to live, work and play.  🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix – Comparative Analysis of Zimbabwe versus South Africa


South Africa

Economy – overview Zimbabwe’s economy is growing despite continuing political   uncertainty. Following a decade of contraction from 1998 to 2008, Zimbabwe’s   economy recorded real growth of roughly 10% per year in 2010-11, before   slowing in 2012-13 due poor harvests and low diamond revenues. The government   of Zimbabwe faces a number of difficult economic problems, including   infrastructure and regulatory deficiencies, ongoing indigenization pressure,   policy uncertainty, a large external debt burden, and insufficient formal   employment. Until early 2009, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe routinely printed money   to fund the budget deficit, causing hyperinflation. Dollarization in early   2009 – which allowed currencies such as the Botswana   pula, the South Africa   rand, and the US dollar to be used locally – ended hyperinflation and reduced   inflation below 10% per year, but exposed structural weaknesses that continue   to inhibit broad-based growth. South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an   abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal,   communications, energy, and transport sectors and a stock exchange that is   the 16th largest in the world. Even though the country’s modern   infrastructure supports a relatively efficient distribution of goods to major   urban centers throughout the region, unstable electricity supplies retard   growth. The global financial crisis reduced commodity prices and world   demand. GDP fell nearly 2% in 2009 but has recovered since then, albeit   slowly with 2014 growth projected at about 2%. Unemployment, poverty, and   inequality – among the highest in the world – remain a challenge. Official   unemployment is at nearly 25% of the work force, and runs significantly   higher among black youth. Eskom, the state-run power company, has built two   new power stations and installed new power demand management programs to   improve power grid reliability. Construction delays at two additional plants,   however, mean South Africa   is operating on a razor thin margin; economists judge that growth cannot   exceed 3% until those plants come on line. South Africa’s economic policy   has focused on controlling inflation, however, the country has had   significant budget deficits that restrict its ability to deal with pressing   economic problems. The current government faces growing pressure from special   interest groups to use state-owned enterprises to deliver basic services to   low-income areas and to increase job growth.
Population 12,973,808 54,002,000
GDP (purchasing power parity) $7.496 billion (2013 est.) $595.7 billion (2013 est.)
$7.265 billion (2012 est.) $584 billion (2012 est.)
$6.957 billion (2011 est.) $569.5 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP – real growth rate 3.2% (2013 est.) 2% (2013 est.)
4.4% (2012 est.) 2.5% (2012 est.)
10.6% (2011 est.) 3.5% (2011 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP) $600 (2013 est.) $11,500 (2013 est.)
$600 (2012 est.) $11,400 (2012 est.)
$500 (2011 est.) $11,300 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP – composition by sector agriculture: 20.1% agriculture: 2.6%
industry: 25.4% industry: 29%
services: 54.5% (2013 est.) services: 68.4% (2013 est.)
Population below poverty line 68% (2004) 31.3% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by   percentage share lowest 10%: 2% lowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 40.4% (1995) highest 10%: 51.7% (2009 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 8.5% (2013 est.) 5.8% (2013 est.)
8.2% (2012 est.) 5.7% (2012 est.)
Labor force 3.939 million (2013 est.) 18.54 million (2013 est.)
Labor force – by occupation agriculture: 66% agriculture: 9%
industry: 10% industry: 26%
services: 24% (1996) services: 65% (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 95% (2009 est.) 24.9% (2013 est.)
80% (2005 est.) 25.1% (2012 est.)
note: figures include unemployment and underemployment;   true unemployment is unknown and, under current economic conditions,   unknowable
Distribution of family income – Gini   index 50.1 (2006) 63.1 (2005)
50.1 (1995) 59.3 (1994)
Budget revenues: $NA revenues: $88.53 billion
expenditures: $NA (2013 est.) expenditures: $105.5 billion (2013 est.)
Industries mining (coal, gold, platinum, copper,   nickel, tin, diamonds, clay, numerous metallic and nonmetallic ores), steel;   wood products, cement, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing and footwear, foodstuffs,   beverages mining (world’s largest producer of   platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery,   textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship   repair
Industrial production growth rate 3.7% (2013 est.) 0.9% (2013 est.)
Agriculture – products corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, coffee,   sugarcane, peanuts; sheep, goats, pigs corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits,   vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
Exports $3.144 billion (2013 est.) $91.05 billion (2013 est.)
$3.314 billion (2012 est.) $93.48 billion (2012 est.)
Exports – commodities platinum, cotton, tobacco, gold,   ferroalloys, textiles/clothing gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals   and minerals, machinery and equipment
Exports – partners China 21.1%, South Africa 15.1%,   Democratic Republic of the Congo 12.1%, Botswana 10.8%, Italy 4.6% (2012) China 11.8%, US 8.3%, Japan   6%, Germany 5.7%, India 4.2%   (2012)
Imports $4.571 billion (2013 est.) $99.55 billion (2013 est.)
$4.569 billion (2012 est.) $102.6 billion (2012 est.)
Imports – commodities machinery and transport equipment,   other manufactures, chemicals, fuels, food products machinery and equipment, chemicals,   petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs
Imports – partners South    Africa 51.9%, China 10%   (2012) China 14.4%, Germany   10.1%, Saudi Arabia 7.7%, US 7.4%, Japan   4.6%, India   4.5% (2012)
Debt – external $8.445 billion (31 December 2013 est.) $139 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$8.765 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $130.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Exchange rates Zimbabwean dollars (ZWD) per US dollar   – rand (ZAR) per US dollar –
234.25 (2010) 9.576 (2013 est.)
234.25 (2009) 8.2031 (2012 est.)
9,686.8 (2007) 7.3212 (2010 est.)
note: the dollar was adopted as a legal currency in 2009;   since then the Zimbabwean dollar has experienced hyperinflation and is   essentially worthless 8.42 (2009)
  7.9576 (2008)
Fiscal year calendar year 1 April – 31 March
Public debt 202.4% of GDP (2013 est.) 45.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
244.2% of GDP (2012 est.) 42.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold $437 million (31 December 2013 est.) $48.46 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$575.6 million (31 December 2012 est.) $50.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Current Account Balance -$576 million (2013 est.) -$23.78 billion (2013 est.)
-$416.5 million (2012 est.) -$24.07 billion (2012 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate) $10.48 billion (2013 est.) $353.9 billion (2013 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment –   at home $NA $143.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)


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