Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An unexpected Rand citation.

Steve Hofmeyr is not well known in the United States, except perhaps with the South African expat community. He did tour New Zealand recently with large crowds but then I think half of South Africa has fled to New Zealand in recent years.

Hofmeyer was a singer/song-writer but he moved into television, film and even authoring books. He was a mainstay in the local major soap TV show Egoli.

I had a couple of businesses in a particular neighborhood there, actually the area where I lived at the time. And, I guess because it was close to the main television studios in the country, a lot of entertainers lived in the area. I can't say I was ever fan of his singing and didn't give much thought to his television appearance either. But he attracted a certain amount of attention and living in the area meant he would appear now and then at one of the businesses I owned. Having had several "celebrity" customers meant respecting their privacy to me. But his appearance did get a staff member rather excited.

What I did realize was that some of the ideas I was promoting seemed to take root with him, not that I'm saying he got them from me, but there is a good chance that he picked up some of the material we had on display. Recently he wrote a letter to The Sunday Times, the larger paper in South Africa where he made some points not popular with the Left.
"The only sane outcome of an open society is rich and poor people."

"If keeping what you earn is what a fair capitalist society is, ours is well doomed."

"Poverty will prevail for as long as we keep in power a government defined by nepotism, media and judiciary containment, golden handshakes, silent diplomacy, BEE charters, quotas, unprecedented unemployment, unethical grants, land grabs and tenderpreneurs.
I basically agree and his description of South African politics is spot on. What then suprised me more was that he qouted Atlas Shrugged.
One man's ability should never be a threat to another. This is what an open society is, sir. As Ayn Rand once said of Robin Hood: "He is held to be the first man who assumed a halo of virtue by practising a charity with wealth which he did not own, by giving away goods he had not produced, by making others pay for the luxury of his pity.

"He is the man that became the symbol of the idea that need, not achievement, is the source of rights, that we don't have to produce - only to want - that the earned does not belong to us, but the unearned does." (from Atlas Shrugged, 1957).

The colonised individual is an envious individual, isn't he?

Your merry Marxist ideals have been tried thoroughly and found untrue and somewhat devastating.
That surprised me, and pleased me a bit. Alas, it doesn't mean I like his singing any better. I still prefer my old friend Andre Schwartz instead. Since I prefer Andre's singing it is his video below. Last I heard he had the lead as Phantom of the Opera. Good on him.