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A big no to communism

Ntate Sam did the right thing to want to speak to as wide a cross section of society as possible upon assuming office.  As per his inauguration speech, he has already held extensive meetings with the private sector, civic society, the media, among others, to try and get a feel of the direction Basotho want their country to take as well as how things can be improved from the days gone by.  A leader who engages his subjects is always a good leader, the risk of encountering zany ideas notwithstanding.

One reason I am enthralled by the Moruo project is that it comprises of many hard core capitalists.   I am a staunch disciple of capitalism. It’s the only ideology that has delivered the human race from primitive penury to its current state of modernity. I hate communism. I hate the grim trilogy of Marx, Engels and Lenin.

Communism (Marxism, Leninism) are scum ideologies that have confined the countries that practice them to a life of squalor for the majority of their citizens. Look Cuba, look North Korea, and until about 30 years ago, the rest of communist Eastern Europe.

It’s a no brainer that the most capitalist countries – the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the Scandinavian block and now almost the entire Europe enjoy high living standards  because of capitalism while those that have flirted with communism remain perennial laggards.  China is communist in name only. Its version of state inspired capitalism has delivered 400 million Chinese out of penury and created many billionaires.  Life is short. It must be enjoyed. Without money, you cannot enjoy life. The biggest lie ever told is that money cannot buy happiness. It does. In addition to money, you need to live in a good country with all the amenities capitalism has enabled.

The essence of capitalism is that if we (citizens) are left free to choose what we want most, we will get the most of what we want. Consequently, those who come up with the best ideas for anything, produce the best for humanity and themselves. Elon Musk – the boy from Pretoria – is now the richest man in the world because he has been able to achieve most of his excellent brain and abilities.

One of the most inescapable facts of human life is that we must choose among alternatives. That forms the basis of economic science and distinction. You are reading this article because you have made a choice among alternatives to read this article. You could have turned a television or picked a novel or opted to go to the shebeen. Instead you have chosen to read my views on the importance of capitalism because that’s the wisest thing for you to do at the moment.

If you go for your groceries tomorrow, you have a choice to go to Pick n Pay or Shoprite or Woolies or Usave or that corner spaza owned by Mr Xi, who chose to settle here, far away from Xi Xinping. You will buy your goods from these outlets as per your choices and at competitive prices. This because the owners of these outlets enjoy the freedom to source their goods however they want.

Contrast this with communism wherein these outlets would be required to charge the same prices under a command system of price controls.  Mad Robert Mugabe tried it. The result was empty shelves in all supermarkets. Mass hunger ensued. Under capitalism every man earns according to his abilities.  Communism – on the other hand – preaches equality regardless of individual capabilities. That is what makes it particularly foolish.

Any system in which you are compelled to take B when you want A is foolish. Any system in which you are forced to go to Pick n Pay when you want to go to Shoprite or vice versa is equally whacky. You are this time reading the Lesotho Times because of your conscious choice. If you have anything to advertise, and if you are a sane person or institution, you will have to choose the Lesotho Times because you want the best outcome in reaching the widest possible audience.  If you are half-sane or wholly insane, you will go to Lentsoe la Basotho.  

That is the beauty of capitalism. It allows creates room to make sane and insane decisions depending on individual preferences. Communism foists insanity upon all and sundry.  Human beings are different. We have different capabilities. A person who spends most of their days in a shebeen, sleeping or having sex cannot surpass a hard-worker who spends their time thinking hard and producing things that humanity needs like Elon Musk. Not that Musk does not enjoy sex. The man has 12 known kids for goodness sake. He is however astute at his allocation of time to ensure more is spent productively. In capitalism, we own property and material possessions according to our individual abilities and productivity levels.  Under communism ownership of private property is prohibited. The state owns everything supposedly on behalf of citizens. Again, Zimbabwe is an illustrative example. Mad Mugabe abolished all private ownership of land and vested it in the state. The result was that land could not be collateralized.  Farmers voted with their feet. Mass hunger ensued.  The evils of communism are there to see in Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela. The leaders of these countries dine on parsley and caviar, while the majority of their citizens eat rats. Kim Jong Un has become too fat for his bulky cheeks while a majority of North Koreans are emaciated. In Cuba, University professors wash clothes of their foreign students to supplement their meagre incomes.

I have proffered this extensive analysis of capitalism to try and illustrate why the  whole wise Scrutator in me can never understand the cognitive abilities of some of my fellow media “professionals” who attended the recent outreach meeting with Ntate Sam, his communications minister  Mme Nthati Moorosi at the Manthabiseng Convention Centre recently.

In their wisdom or lack thereof, some of these colleagues exhorted Ntate Sam and Mme Nthati to set up a regulatory body to oversee the print media. That regulatory body would also ensure an equal distribution of the government’s advertising business across all print media. Speak of wacky or zany ideas. They don’t come any better.

At the beginning of this article, I reiterated why I am enthralled with the whole Moruo project to Make Lesotho Great Again (MALGA). My belief in the MALGA project is because Moruo comprises of proven capitalists. Ntate Sam is a hard core successful capitalist. Mme Nthati herself is a successful capitalist.   Before her entry into politics, she established a hugely successful catering business, in addition to being a successful communications consultant.

Their successes are not only because of their individual abilities, but a system which enabled them to pursue their choices.

I cannot shudder to think what went through their minds as they listened to some of these media “professionals” asking them to ensure a communist style distribution of the government’s advertising business equally to all publishers.  The entire session must have been a major test of endurance.

But let’s suppose that for some strange reason, they adopt that proposed zany policy as suggested by these ‘professionals’.  Every new “publisher” who will emerge – in addition to all the existing ones – would then queue at Mme Nthati’s office every week to get their allocation of government advertising business? If there is little to spread around, Mme Nthati would then have to try and figure out how to generate this business for all these “publishers”? If she fails, the “publishers” would then call for her head.  I don’t think even the inventors of communism themselves ever had this sort of wackery in their minds.

Since a precedent would have been set, the construction sector can be expected to be next in line to demand an equal distribution of the government’s construction business to all construction companies in Lesotho.  Every Tsepo, Tsepiso and Tsepisang will rightly turn up at Polihali with their wheelbarrow, pick and shovel to demand a slice of the transfer tunnel or dam wall?

IT companies would then come in next with their demand for the government to buy an equal number of laptops from each one of them?

For once, I was not actually disappointed with the moronic ideas proffered by some of my media colleagues at this important meeting. It was a good thing that our new leaders experienced this prosaic mindlessness first hand. It will help them understand the core of the problem; an education system that does not produce critical thinkers.

Any properly educated critical thinker will know that any government is not a Father Christmas to distribute business to companies and individuals like confetti. The role of government is to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs to compete and flourish. The best succeed and the worst fail. In fact, failure is a good thing in capitalism. Failure encourages more innovation for success.

Government has no business trying to allocate its business equally to anyone. Business must only go to the best according to their abilities as determined by market forces. Why should Mme Nthati be expected to allocate advertising business to a certain Tshepo publishing their minuscule newspaper with no readers? Business should go to the publisher giving the most value as determined by the market.

The Conservative doctrine – which has seen many capitalist countries succeed – is premised on the need for little regulation of society by governments.  Governments should only play an enabling role for more Elon Musks, Sam Matekanes, Nthati Moorosis and Jeff Bezoss to emerge and thrive.  The very essence of capitalism and its underlying doctrine of choice is that the most competitive must succeed while the least competitive must fail.

Likewise, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Lesotho-Chapter) should be defending the media sector against any government intrusion. To the contrary, it’s calling for increased government regulation of the media in Lesotho.  Has Ntate Ntsukunyane (the MISA boss) ever thought what would happen to the media – he is paid to protect and defend – if we one day end up with a prime minister Tlali Kamoli with powers to regulate the media?  How does Ntate Ntsukunyane manage to get some sleep after he has called for the government’s regulation of the media?

The sooner common sense prevails the better. The sooner media “professionals” stop embarrassing themselves the better. A big no to communism and any government regulation of the media.