Friday, 30 December 2011

Speech delivered by Aaron Kahland at Orania Burgervergadering ( = Citizens meeting)

By Aaron Kahland, ambassador of Orania in Germany.

I’d like to start by telling you a story from the country where I live, Germany.  It is the story of Max Planck, the great German physicist.  In 1918 Professor Planck won the Nobel Prize for his work on quantum theory.  With this new fame he was asked at universities throughout Germany to give speeches on his discoveries.  One evening he was due to give a speech in Munich.  On the way there, Planck was having a discussion with his driver and his driver asked him if he had prepared the speech he was to give that night.  Planck answered ‘no, I haven’t prepared, I have given this speech so many times that I can tell it by memory.’  His driver responded, ‘I have heard your speech so many times I could probably give it.’  Hearing this, Max Planck thought for a moment and then said to his driver, ‘why don’t we test your theory and you dress nicely and give the speech and I’ll sit in the front of the audience and pretend to be your driver and we’ll see if anyone notices.’
And, according to their plan, when they arrived Planck’s driver got up in front of the audience and gave a speech on very complicated physics in front of an audience of Munich’s scientific community.  He delivered it so well that no-one noticed that it was not Planck himself.  However, after the speech was given, there was time for questions from the audience.  Sure enough someone from the audience stood up and asked a question on Planck’s quantum theory.  For a moment the driver stood still and then he slowly shook his head and said, ‘I was led to believe that Munich was a sophisticated and intellectual city.  So it surprises me that someone from this audience could ask me such a simple question.’  The driver then pointed to Max Planck in the audience and said ‘Indeed it is so simple that I am confident that even my driver could answer it.’
The reason I told you this story is that today I feel a little bit like Max Planck’s driver because I have been asked to speak a little about Afrikaner history.  I am an economist by trade but I shall do my best and hopefully, I can introduce something new to you anyway.
I’d like to begin by going back in time to the mid seventeenth century when the Dutch state established a mercantilist outpost in Southern Africa whose mission it was to establish a port to provision Dutch trading ships travelling between Europe and the Dutch East Indies.  In 1652, around two hundred Dutch East India employees and indentured servants arrived to create a settlement that would later become Cape Town.  I want to emphasize that this was not some colony of free settlers but that the people brought over were in an initial state of semi-slavery and were provided very few freedoms.  In 1657, 40 of these indentured servants were freed by the Governor.  These freed men took up farming and grazing.  These activities were permitted by the Dutch East India Company who wanted food to feed their growing town.  Any other activities were strictly regulated and attempts by freemen to engage in free enterprise were forbidden including trading with the local KhoiKhoi though this happened despite the regulations.  The monopolist V.O.C. did not allow the establishment of a free market but instead fixed the prices for goods produced by the burghers.  These fixed prices often did not cover the costs of transportation and left free burghers economically impoverished.  To escape this tightly controlled economic environment, many burghers began trekking east beyond the company’s control.  The company then forbade migration or trade with the natives, a law that was  introduced in 1677.  The law wasn’t terribly effective because the government reintroduced similar laws in 1727, 1739, 1770, 1774, and 1786.
I have to say that I very much admire the attitude of your ancestors towards stupid laws restricting their freedoms.  A very healthy attitude in my view.
I want to return to the Boer treks a little later but first I want to take a little look at what else was happening in the world at around this time.
The most important political development at this time was the growing rebellion against British rule in North America which had broken out in 1775.
Around a year after the outbreak of war against Great Britain the Declaration of Independence was issued which outlined the reasons the American colonists now considered themselves free of political ties to the former motherland.
The most often quoted portion of the declaration is the following,
‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,[75] that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’
These words were largely borrowed from John Locke a philosopher of the Enlightenment who wrote that man had the right to life, liberty and property.
Perhaps more important than this part of the preamble however is the means of achieving them.  So wrote Thomas Jefferson,
‘That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.’
These words are very powerful and help to make this document, I feel, one of the key political writings of Western Civilization.  Peoples have a God given right to rebel against their government.  This was the principle upon which the United States of America was founded – and according to Thomas Jefferson, a principle which all men were granted.
Going back to the Cape now, it wasn’t long after the US achieved independence that the first Boer attempt to break-away from Dutch colonial rule was attempted with the creation of the short lived Graaf-Reinet republic along the frontier.  By the time the British returned to the Cape in 1806, the Boer national consciousness was well established and with it the concept of self-rule.
In 1815, some frontier Boers began a renewed revolt against British rule at Slagters Nek after colonial authorities attempted to enforce British law along the frontier.  In the trials following the failed rebellion, which led the execution of five men, one of the defendants stated before the court, ‘I am a young man who does not yet know what a Government is, as I was never near one.’
If the young man’s statement in his defense is representative of the motives for rebellion then this early Boer rebellion is illustrative of something very interesting.  Unlike the American rebellion against British rule which established the right to rebel and form a new government, this early Boer rebellion was a fight to remain free from government.  This is an important distinction.
The idea that a people can live without government seems, in our day and age, a difficult concept to accept.  People tend to think of chaos and lawlessness.  However, living without government, or living without a state, is not the same as living without governance.  I believe that the early Boer experience is a good place to look to find evidence of this.
Indeed the American historian Joseph Stromberg wrote of the early Boer ideal as maatskaapy, a society of ‘free and independent men.’  A Boer felt that he required 6000 acres to be economically independent and as Stromberg writes, ‘Boers would move each generation, and would trek large distances to get away from unwanted government supervision.’
Stromberg also writes that ‘The Boers were united as maatskappy, a loose community of individual proprietors, the commando, a volunteer military arm their society, and as co-relioginists.  More supervision than this they did not want.  A Boer patriarch, sovereign on his own plek, with his wife, children and retainers, and armed for defense of his family and property, corresponded quite well – like the Anglo-Celtic Southerner – to the ideal citizen of classical republican theory.’
Indeed, Stromberg was right.  The old Boers very much represented the ideal citizen of classical liberalism which was promoted most prominently by many of the founding fathers of the United States, and in particular, Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson believed that an agrarian society was one which offered the best prospect for a free society.  Despite being well known as an author, he only wrote one book, titled ‘Notes on the State of Virginia,’ written in 1781.  In it he wrote,
“Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever he had a chosen people,
whose breasts he has made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue. It is the focus
in which he keeps alive that sacred fire, which otherwise might escape from the face of the earth.
Corruption of morals in the mass of cultivators is a phenomenon of which no age nor nation has
furnished an example. It is the mark set on those, who not looking up to heaven, to their own
soil and industry, as does the husbandman, for their subsistence, depend for it on the casualties
and caprice of customers. Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of
virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition. . . . “
Thomas Jefferson as US president went to great lengths to achieve his vision of a free people in a new land.  He reduced the size of government, cut taxes and avoided conflict with foreign nations as best he could.  He wrote that,
‘Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.’
Jefferson’s ideal of an agrarian republic was best illustrated in the south of the U.S., including his native Virginia, where society was dominated by independent farmers.   This is a society that shared some similarities with the Boer republics established in Southern Africa.
Stromberg wrote however that, ‘unlike the Southerner, the Boers were of a simpler school.  Their nearest approach to liberalism was the notion of covenant.  Thus it makes sense to think of the Boers as patriarchal, pastoral Calvinists living out a practical frontier anarchism.’
Now, I realize the word anarchist might seem unusual but what Stromberg means here anarchy in its true definition which comes from the original Greek meaning ‘without a leader’ or ‘without a state.’  Living without a state today seems like an unusual concept however what is it we speak of when speaking of a ‘state’?  The German philosopher Hans Hermann Hoppe defines it as such,
‘A state is a territorial monopolist of compulsion, an agency which may engage in continual, institutionalized property rights violations and the exploitation of private property owners through expropriation, taxation, and regulation.’
So a state affords itself a monopoly on violence so that it can exploit those living within its territory of control.  And so it is here South African government that has forbidden the use of the age old Commando system of voluntary self-defense.  The Commando threatens the state’s monopoly on violence.
Piet Retief wrote in his manifesto before undertaking his Great Trek that he and his followers had decided to ‘quit this colony with a desire to lead a more quiet life than we have heretofore done..  under the full assurance that the British government had nothing more to require of us, and will allow us to govern ourselves without its interference in future.’
Hermann Giliomee writes that Retief emphasized in his manifest that ‘those undertaking the trek would take no-ones property but would defend themselves against attacks on their lives and property.  They would make laws to govern themselves and would make their intention to live in peace clear to the black tribes amongst whom they settled.’  Retief wrote in his manifesto that ‘We desire to be considered a free and independent people.’
So off the Voortrekkers went to free themselves from Imperial state control.  When they undertook their monumental trek, it is important to note that they did not travel without purpose.  They intentionally avoided areas already settled.  So they did not travel directly to the North where they were aware the Griqua lived.  Nor did they travel to the East where the main Xhosa areas were.  Instead the wagon trains headed North East into territory that had been decimated by a violent Zulu war of extermination against neighbouring tribes – a war that is estimated to have killed up to one million Africans.
So when the Voortrekkers set-off to live free of British rule they intended from the outset to find land on which to live that would not bring them into conflict with existing inhabitants.  This is something that is largely unique in the history of the New World.  Unlike Northern European settlers in North America, Australia, or New Zealand, the Boers did not engage in the extermination of already established peoples in order to settle a new land for themselves.
If the right to political secession is the finest political tradition in Western Civilization then it is no exaggeration to acknowledge that the Great Trek, an example of peaceful secession through migration, is one of the greatest of them all.
But if peaceful secession is our civilization’s finest political tradition then so too we must acknowledge that Empire, ruling over others who do not wish to be dictated to, is also morally unjustifiable.
In today’s South Africa, it is the ANC who have inherited the Empire.  Their constant talk of themselves as a liberation movement echoes the empty propaganda of the British Empire in crying injustice at the treatment of the Uitlanders and blacks living within the Boer republics.  As soon as they assume power, their motives become clear – enriching themselves economically through political means.  Their talk of righting the wrongs of Apartheid and their active discrimination against the Afrikaner minority are only convenient distractions from their true intentions.  Their project, like that of the British before them, is doomed to failure.
So where does that leave today’s Afrikaner?  Many have chosen to secede from South Africa through migration.  But I feel strongly that it is secession through migration within Africa that offers the best hope for the Afrikaner.  To once again take the trek that Piet Retief and others took, to build a new home that offers the best chance of reviving the ancient Boer ideals of freedom.
Recently in Germany, I bought this postcard.  It is dated the 10th of March, 1902, only weeks away from the end of hostilities with the British.  It shows German volunteers fighting for the Boer republics and the motto of the unit is showing as,
Wir kämpfen nicht um Ruhm und nicht um Ehre,
Wir kämpfen nicht um gold und Edelstein,
Wir kämpfen nur um heimath, Weib und Kinder
Und um die Freiheit nur allein.
We fight not for glory, not for honor,
We do not fight for gold and precious stones,
We are fighting only to home, wife and children
And for freedom alone.)
 I think these words are a good description of the historical quest for the Boer’s quest for freedom which today is best exemplified in the this little town we find ourselves in today.  Boer freedom to be achieved through a sovereign homeland is a worthy cause and I am proud to be a little part of it.  Thank you very much.
Hat Tip: Laager
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  1. Republic of Orania is the future

    Uit die blou van onse hemel,
    Uit die diepte van ons see,
    Oor ons ewige gebergtes
    Waar die kranse antwoord gee.
    Deur ons vêr verlate vlaktes
    Met die kreun van ossewa.
    Ruis die stem van ons geliefde,
    Van ons land Orania.
    Ons sal antwoord op jou roepstem,
    Ons sal offer wat jy vra:
    Ons sal lewe, ons sal sterwe,
    Ons vir jou, Orania.

    1. The sky may be blue, the sea you will not see, mountains you will not trek over(at least similar to the Boers - unless you also believe the lies of SA history aka Retief), the echo's of silence from the desert, again you seem to already see your future of emptiness, but you will ditch the oxwagon this time .....
      The voice .... and then again answer as all did in 1994, it only took a handfull of your own people(unless you are not yet Boer by re-identity) to do it again, for Orania as of the old Orange Unification poison.

  2. Do you wish a return to Apartheid?

    1. It will be the best way to protect the breed, like when you do not mix your dog, cat, cattle, horses, pigeons etc etc to keep their bloodline pure, or is it pedigree or breed. It is called Genetics, some would call it Genesis.
      By your question and method of asking it, it seems you would not mind to mix your children's bloodline with that of others with a different bloodline.
      The whites(and blacks) have come thousands or millions of years without disappearing, but you would like to see them become extinct, it is not tragic, it is idiotic. The start of the end of all of mankind. (but I presume you can not see beyond the end of the week - pay is probably your only livelihood)

  3. No, not particularly, however, I suspect a lot of South African blacks do, most were considerably better off, and better treated under Apartheid

    1. I must(and can only) agree with the latter part, many have told me that, without having been probed to say it, they know it, but the propaganda is huge, so it will not help in any struggle for freedom(?) by the whites.

  4. Somehow I doubt that anyone with dark skin is straining at the leash for the return of Apartheid. I look upon such a scenario as roughly equivalent to American blacks longing for the good old days when they could be beaten to death for refusing to give up their seat on the bus for a white man.

    1. Doubt ? so you do believe some may. Are you a politician by chance ?
      Maybe the Americans should have written a proper constitution, if they listened, as suggested by most of their great men present at the time, then there would not have been any American blacks today, Lincoln it was who legalised it to send them back to Africa. Oh where, oh where would you have been today ?

  5. Fowl Ideas speaks of "the good old days when (American blacks) could be beaten to death for refusing to give up their seat on the bus for a white man." Can he cite any facts to back that up? I sincerely doubt that ever happened. I lived back at that time, I remember segregated buses. Blacks always rode in the back. But I sincerely doubt that anyone was ever beaten to death over a bus seat. That simply was not the nature of race relations at that time, at least not in the South. That would have been much more likely to have happened in the North, if at all, but I really doubt it. I think your imagination is working overtime, and therefore challenge you to produce facts to support your allegation.

  6. I have no specific incident to cite, but it was not unusual for blacks to be victimized and even murdered for the pettiest of reasons in the old South.

    Enjoy the Soup by the way.