Updated September 22, 2021
As Long As a Free Man Breathes There Will Always Be a Rhodesia
When I was growing up I admired plucky little Rhodesia from afar. It is now called Zimbabwe. Like the Weimar Republic or perhaps Camelot, it lives only in memory and myth.
Rhodesia was a colony of the United Kingdom in the 1960s until it broke away to form an independent nation. It became a pariah state like Chile under Allende or Israel under anybody.
Everybody hated Rhodesia. Why?
It had white supremacists. Racial injustice. Continuation of colonial rule. Blah, blah, blah.
Rhodesia’s origins go back as far as the 1650s with the establishment of Cape Town by the Dutch. And then the subsequent settling of southeast Africa by these people and other Europeans.
The native people of this thinly populated land were nomadic and for the most part hunters and gatherers. They built little in keeping with their constant hunt for food. All sub-Saharan Africa was this way, with no buildings of note in pre-Colonial times until you reached north to Giza and the Pyramids.
Rhodesians turned tractless scrub and veldt into a modern civilization which superpowers and future despots coveted for their own.
In the 1970’s two thugs named Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo led armies against Ian Smith’s government. Mugabe had money and munitions supplied by China and Nkomo was financed by the Soviet Union.
Everyone knew that both men would fight each other to control Rhodesia once whites were thrown out of power.
This racial injustice stuff was all nonsense and fraud.
The fighting was a power grab, a money grab. It was all about winning a nation possessing valuable natural resources and a vibrant, profitable economy. Mugabe and Nkomo claimed to be freedom fighters. Hardly.
Africa consistently produces oppressive and brutal strongmen who destroy any built up economy through corruption and in so doing plunge that country back into poverty. A nation’s treasury winds up in a Swiss bank account and the dictator goes to live abroad in a foreign country that he pays to protect him.
Critics charged that the black man did not fairly share in the wealth of Rhodesia that they helped create. Rhodesia was indeed largely built on the labor of the black man because they were the local work force. Would critics have preferred a Philippine or Malaysian workforce like the Saudis employ?
Besides enjoying regular employment, blacks were paid better than any other Africans except those in the R.S.A. Another country run by white folk.
But it’s not just labor. A country must be expertly managed and led. The administrators of all British Empire colonies, for example, had a low tolerance for bribes and corruption and an innate skill for running things. The Rhodesians also had these qualities which are essential to building up a country and going forward.
After the Roman Empire fell, villagers in every part of the former holdings tore down Roman walls and and buildings for stones to make their houses. They didn’t construct aqueducts or hot spring heated swimming pools or infrastructure to bring in water or take out sewage. No vision and no discipline existed to carry out the future and Europe plunged into the Dark Ages. But I digress.
The world agreed regime change was fine as long as blacks came into power. This was reverse racism endorsed and agreed upon by the entire world and the United Nations. Black man good, white man bad. All based on skin color.
China and Russia acted for their own strategic reasons. Rhodesia was just another piece in a giant cold-war game of chess. China still has their eyes on Africa. They may eventually control the continent with blacks in government just for show.
The Rhodesian Army gallantly fought against the world in a bush war of legend but the outcome was always certain.
Many foreigners enlisted in the Rhodesian army. Like the pilots who volunteered to help Great Britain before the United States entered World War II. Or like Orwell and others who fought with Spaniards against Franco in the Spanish Civil War.
End of Days found civilians taking automatic weapons with them before going to play golf or tennis. It was that bad.
And so The Great Experiment failed and another despot was installed. Another dictator who ruined everything positive that the former colonial power had brought about. Rhodesia is now a basket case and another welfare child nation of too many in Africa. Worse, it enslaves people and subjects its own countrymen to conditions never seen under white man rule.
This is from from the widely respected World Factbook (external link):
“Current situation: Zimbabwe is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Zimbabwean women and girls from towns bordering South Africa, Mozambique, and Zambia are subjected to forced labor, including domestic servitude, and prostitution catering to long-distance truck drivers; Zimbabwean men, women, and children experience forced labor in agriculture and domestic servitude in rural areas; family members may recruit children and other relatives from rural areas with promises of work or education in cities and towns where they end up in domestic servitude and sex trafficking; Zimbabwean women and men are lured into exploitative labor situations in South Africa and other neighboring countries.”
It didn’t have to be this way.
Europeans were criticized for carving Africa into colonies whose country boundaries did not reflect tribal boundaries, thus causing chaos and inciting misery. Well, white governance is long gone and the murderous thugs who control many parts of Africa don’t care about boundaries.
The World Factbook quotation above shows how freely human trafficking goes on between Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, and Zambia. These slave traders go anywhere they want to loot and pillage and war. Against other blacks.
Black on black violence has dramatically increased in all forms since white governance ended on the African continent. Blacks enslaving blacks, blacks killing blacks, blacks warring against other blacks. This isn’t racist invective, these are just the plain facts.
Rhodesia was making progress toward a more equal society but that is not discussed today. History is always written by the victors. (And their politically correct sympathizers.)
Gandhi’s nonviolence movement achieved independence for India because, ultimately, the British were a civilized people and would listen to reason. It wasn’t the power of Gandhi’s convictions. Forget that. After too many stupid and tragic mistakes to keep India within the Empire, Britain listened. Mountbatten could be talked to. Negotiations could happen because the British allowed them to happen.
Not so the Taliban, the Chinese communists or the illiterate and ultra-violent butchers that now control Rhodesia. Working toward equality could have been possible under Smith’s government but that was all thrown away in favor of people who would kill you for your wrist watch. After they force you to watch your wife being raped.
Is the black community in America and around the world happy now?
Cecil Rhodes was scurrilous and a white supremacist but he was also an empire builder. Note the word ‘build.” He left behind cities and roads and power plants and telephones in the wake of his never ending greed.
Nothing is getting built anew or maintained in Africa anymore. Leaders instead prey on their own people and existing resources. Burn down the Amazon rain forest for easy money. With no revegetation except a few pitiful replanting schemes financed by kind hearted people outside of Africa.
White rule was unacceptable to the world but it’s always good with the bad. Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) once asked how many Central and South Americans would renounce Roman Catholicism in favor of going back to the religions practiced before the Spanish introduced them to Christ and the Pope. I’m not seeing many hands going up.
Soldier of Fortune Magazine presented the only accurate reporting at the time and most of that writing is still available on eBay. Colonel Brown’s Paladin Press produced SOF and without it the memories of a gallant people fighting for their homeland would be completely lost.
As a final note, I had to look up how to spell Zimbabwe for this post. I don’t use it.
As long as a free man breathes there will always be a Rhodesia.