Julius Malema and the Deliberate Malevolence of Marxism

Over the past few weeks, England’s Daily Mail has published several articles about the growing political unrest in South Africa and the rise of Julius Malema, head of the Economic Freedom Fighters, an expressly “Marxist-Leninist” party calling for “seizure of private property without compensation” and nationalization of the country’s gold mines, banking institutions and other industries. Malema has declared his plans to “destroy South African capitalism” and turn the country into Cuba, which he describes as a “successful socialist state.”

Malema follows the Marxist playbook, demonizing entire classes of South Africans — mostly white farmers — and calling for their deaths. Malema has been chanting “Kill the Boer” at his massive rallies, and his followers are listening; in 2023 alone, there have been 42 murders of white farmers in South Africa — more than one a week.

Malema also displays the personal hypocrisy typical of Marxists. A multimillionaire who lives in an exclusive community, he is married to a supermodel who dresses in designer fashions; their child attends an exclusive private school; Malema has a fleet of luxury European automobiles at his disposal, and he shops at the world’s most expensive boutiques.

Despite his flagrant hypocrisy and overt calls for genocide, poor Black people in South Africa are flocking to Malema and his EFF. Malema’s party currently holds 44 seats in the South African parliament, and he is predicted to become vice president of the country in the next election. Young people interviewed by the Daily Mail say the same things: They are poor. They are desperate. They will vote EFF because the country’s economy is terrible and the other parties offer them nothing.

Alas, if Malema and the EFF gain control of South Africa, his supporters will be in for a rude awakening.

Those seeking a racially blind political and economic philosophy could find no more perfect example than Marxism. No matter where it has been tried, or by whom; regardless of the race or ethnicity or skin color of the leaders, subjects or victims, it has produced exactly the same results: economic collapse, famine, starvation, oppression, widespread imprisonment, human suffering and death on a massive scale:

— In Russia and the surrounding countries that comprised the former Soviet Union — at least 60 million people died due to famines, starvation, civil war, forced relocation, labor camps, imprisonment and execution.

— In Asia — between 40 million and 80 million Chinese died under Mao Zedong’s communist regime in China, killed by starvation, forced labor or mass executions. The communist Khmer Rouge regime was responsible for the deaths of between 1.5 and 3 million Cambodians, who were killed by disease and starvation in forced labor camps and by widespread executions. In North Korea, another communist dictatorship, famine created by the country’s Stalinist economic policies killed between 2.5 million and 3.5 million people in the mid-1990s.

— In Latin America — 65 years of communism in Fidel Castro’s Cuba has left the Caribbean nation economically devastated. Venezuela, once the wealthiest country in Latin America, has been destroyed by the socialist policies of Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro; 76% of the country now lives in “extreme poverty.” Nearly 8 million people have fled.

— In Africa — communist and socialist regimes in country after country — Angola, Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe — destroyed agricultural production, exacerbated poverty and lined the pockets of corrupt dictatorial leaders-for-life.

Historically, Marxists have exploited preexisting conditions — poverty, resentment, desperation — to drum up political support for their movements. Today, however, in the United States (and some western European countries), the leftists already in control of government are themselves creating the economic disasters that they believe will spur widespread support for Marxist-style regimes.

America has never really been fertile soil for leftist revolutionaries. Movements for unions and better labor conditions, activists for racial equality and other human rights issues, among others, have certainly had left-leaners among their leaders and in the rank-and-file. But Jacobin-style calls for a proletarian paradise have gotten little traction, not merely because the United States is a country where capitalism flourishes but because it is a country where entrepreneurial capitalism flourishes. The political liberty, economic freedom and individual ethics grounded in Judeo-Christian values produced a country where anyone — regardless of background, income, station in life — could come here, start a business and thrive.

But what we are facing now is the “climate change” grift for leftward drift. “Climate change” policy advocates call for the elimination of private property, single-family homes and ownership of transportation, massive reductions in agricultural and industrial capacity, the complete elimination of oil and gas, and unrestricted global migration from poor countries to wealthy ones, along with confiscatory taxation and mandatory wealth transfers. Oppressive regulation established by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats will place de facto control of the production and distribution of all assets into the hands of a small group of self-appointed elites who — like all Marxists throughout history — will be exempt from the privations they impose on everyone else.

The objective is the destruction of western democracies — the nation-states that provide their identity and political stability, as well as their (largely) free-market economies.

Those who are seeking the “fundamental transformation” of the United States have figured out that a strong middle class and the existence of millions of small business owners provide an almost unbreachable bulwark against the Marxist takeover of America. The only way to achieve their aims is to thwart the possibility of owning one’s own business; to make ownership of private property legally impossible or prohibitively expensive; to destroy the business owners within the middle and upper-middle classes and thereby destroy those classes themselves. That will collapse the U.S. economy and thrust millions into poverty from which there is little hope of escape.

That is the endgame. That is the climate in which Marxists thrive. That is the consequence that must be avoided at all costs.

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Laura Hollis

Laura Hirschfeld Hollis is a native of Champaign, Illinois. She received her undergraduate degree in English and her law degree from the University of Notre Dame. Hollis' career as an attorney has spanned 28 years, the past 23 of which have been in higher education. She has taught law at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and has nearly 15 years' experience in the development and delivery of entrepreneurship courses, seminars and workshops for multiple audiences. Her scholarly interests include entrepreneurship and public policy, economic development, technology commercialization and general business law. In addition to her legal publications, Hollis has been a freelance political writer since 1993, writing for The Detroit News, HOUR Detroit magazine, and the Christian Post, on matters of politics and culture. She is a frequent public speaker. Hollis has received numerous awards for her teaching, research, community service and contributions to entrepreneurship education. She is married to Jess Hollis, a musician, voiceover artist and audio engineer, and they live in Indiana with their two children, Alistair and Celeste.

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  1. Exactly right. I can see this exemplified in the Twin Cities, where I grew up. Many small businesses were damaged or destroyed in the 2020 riots and often not rebuilt or reopened. The Democrat government is working to block recovery by weakening the police so they cannot protect small businesses and middle class people living in the city centers. Of course the internet is also profiting from this, and that means the super rich entrepreneurs who own Amzon and other online sellers also benefit from the fear people have of going downtown. Or the big national chains. A very popular private camping equipment store that was profitable for almost half a century is closing due to online selling and the big chain camping equipment stores. So the small businessman and woman is suffering. And the political left is helping this decline of small businesses.

  2. I also remember the case of Rhodesia. The African dictator Mugabwe railed against white farmers, and many were forced to leave. The blacks did not start farming, however, they disposed of the farm equipment and left the land unused, so there was a food shortage. He blamed it on colonialism and called for international aid. But if he had helped support the farmers, there would have been food to spare. Fanatical dictators almost always appeal to the hope for a better life and end by making life worse or unbearable.

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