The Roman Bread Circus

It has become clear that global terrorism and organised crime, as reported daily by the corporate mainstream media, have systematically and strategically been rolled out to stimulate Western economies and financial institutes.
It is thus important to analyse South Africa’s socio-economic and political developments in 2013.
It has become obligatory now to follow the money trail. Here is a country with two elites: the super-rich, old and established elite, which own the economy; and just below that historic oligarchy are the new “crony elite”.
This new upper-middle class has been artificially created, strategically serving as buffer between the very few exclusive super-rich – the architects of colonial-apartheid, also known as “captains of industry” – and the victims of their structured abject poverty, the majority of the population.
Together, the super-elite and their crony-elite drive a national uprising as well as a discreditation-campaign against the ruling African National Congress and its President, Jacob Zuma.
They strategise full-on regional instability to create a “dustbowl economy”. The unbridgeable gap between them and the poor masses lends itself to such criminal efforts.
Confusion, propagated by corporate mainstream media, academia and their collaborators in the banks, industry and the churches, seems quite deliberate. Poverty is confused with inequality.
Meanwhile, the poor have become weaker despite there being sufficient resources to uplift their situation. Those include social and maintenance grants, pensions and other subsidies.
The new crony-elite hail from the poor living areas.
The poverty stricken masses observe through the media a huge gap between them and the newly pampered beneficiaries of money from the architects of apartheid. The masses left behind, observe the relative deprivation, rightfully viewing the new crony-elite as undeserving recipients of stolen wealth.
Greed, jealousy force those hurtful inequalities into the open, creating fertile ground for a so-called “North African-style Arab Spring”.
Former President Thabo Mbeki started the first round of a “Roman Bread Circus”.
In order to keep the masses happy, the Emperor and his governors started huge bloodletting by sacrificing slaves in the lions’ dens first. The gladiators’ then showed their fighting skills – usually in fights to the death – and afterwards the Emperor and his governors would signal for bread to be thrown to the crowds. The people would thus spend their days watching the bloodletting and then cheer as bread was thrown to them.
Their problems, though, were not addressed.
South Africa’s masses have received the bread. But, they want more, seeing American bling-bling and cronyism in daily television soap operas. The benefits of social grants however, are over.
Any form of uprising therefore, is not based on poverty, but on inequality, created by black crony-capitalism.
The extended families and their friends witness the vulgar wealth display by the beneficiaries of the architects of apartheid. The masses forgot their social grants.
When will the next round of the “Roman Bread Circus” be rolled out?
This is when the authorities would have to raise taxes to find more money. A three-pronged approach to this problem would be the solution. Social grants would be escalated, combined with a massive rollout of infrastructural development plus more free services in education and medical care.
The apolitical middle class would have to carry the consequences through heavier taxation and higher living-costs. It would most likely shrink, as many would leave for greener pastures.
Neither the elite, nor the corporates have ever paid taxes, nor will they. This would lead to the weakening of the Rand currency value and the eventual implosion of the taxed classes.
The stage would be set for a showdown.
Subsequent unrests would however, be fragmented, scattered and not cohesive. The state has enough resources to clamp down and to stop such unrests. Public protests would flare elsewhere, to be squashed again and again.
In other words, there will be no room for any form of a so-called “Arab Spring-style uprising”.
Those discredited mischievous ‘academic commentators’ in the media do not know and therefore, do not understand the situation on the ground.
It is obvious that they have no idea of the state’s security establishment and its ability to clamp down on any effort of destabilisation.
There is not enough discontent to mobilise the people on the ground. In fact, it will be very difficult to incite and mobilise the masses, giving them sufficient cause to rise up as a selfless and sacrificial nation.
Meanwhile, the opposition will coalesce over night.
It has lost the “Marikana moment” and the rollout of mass action, as it was too fragmented.
One of the additional strategies is to use the demarcation board to split densely populated living areas up, to whittle down the vote for the ruling ANC in future elections. This will cause much friction. A national uprising in South Africa will however, not happen.
In the run-up to the next elections in 2014, the opposition will attempt to disrupt the ANC wherever it can to discredit and undermine it. The opposition’s drive to secure three provinces in the forthcoming elections in 2014 will bring about a rapid formation of a coalition of almost all political parties in the opposition.
Those provinces include the Western Cape, Northern Cape, and the industrial Gauteng Provinces.
The corporate media, the advertising industry, banks, industry and the churches will hasten to assist. By the opposition’s own admission, their long-term strategy is to take over government by 2019.
There seems to be sufficient power to control South Africa. Long-standing vested interests would not allow much room for a so-called “Arab Spring”. But, those interests will work hard at breaking the ANC up.
• Udo W Froese is a political and socio-economic analyst and columnist, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can follow him on Twitter: @theotherafrika, and visit his blog at

February 2013
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