Interesting books you should read: Rhodesians never die.

The War Against Reality.

The War Against Reality.

There are around 125,000 Church of Ireland adherents in the country. Supposing they were the only people allowed vote, and made up the vast majority of members of the Gardai, the army, the judiciary and the civil service, and owned 50% of the land by law, including all the land in Dublin and Cork county.

That was Rhodesia. In Peter Godwin and Ian Hancock’s book, “Rhodesians never die” the story of the quixotic struggle of Rhodesia’s 278,000 whites to maintain control over a nation of five million is told in fascinating detail. In particular, the authors tend to put paid to many of the myths perpetuated by apologists of the Smith regime about the non-racial aspects of the nation. Indeed the general image the regime liked to portray was of a country of hardy white settlers who had “built” Rhodesia when in fact only 40% of white Rhodesians were actually born there. If anything it was the unwillingness of the white population to adapt to a sacrificing concept of total war and ongoing conscription (And not fleeing the country.) that contributed to the eventual collapse of white rule. What is particularly striking was that Ian Smith recognised relatively early after UDI (Where Rhodesia broke away illegally from Britain because Britain demanded one man, one vote. Imagine the shinners trying to dance around that particular pinhead, although it must be stressed that the British were not applying the same fastidiousness in the North of Ireland at the time.) in 1965 that majority rule was inevitable, but was slow to prepare his own (white) people. One of the great ironies, of course, was that Rhodesia probably could have held out longer if it had not been abandoned by the then racist government of South Africa, which attempted to sacrifice it to black Africa in return for detente.

Curiously, when I was reading it I was reminded not of Africa but of a lot of the dream scenarios of the Irish far left, where they espouse the confiscation of the productive elements of the economy, as Mugabe has done in his 29 year reign. In 1979 there were 278,000 whites in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. Today there are less than 50,000. Is Zimbabwe a better place without them? Would Ireland be a better place without the businessmen and entrepeneurs that the far left despise? Perhaps Robert Mugabe, the wealthiest man in Zimbabwe, would, like the self avowed socialist that he is, agree. After all, the average Zimbabwean is better off now than he was in 1980, right? If there was one thing the Mugabe regime did well, it was to teach the ANC in South Africa how not to do it.

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