South Africa Post-Mandela

Yesterday Nelson Mandela, who led the African National Congress to the reigns of power in South Africa in 1994, passed away. Much of the global media is praising Mandela’s impact as a leader, but is claiming the right to control others the mark of someone who should be lauded? That question isn’t posed with Mandela alone in mind, but for anyone who believes it just to force their views on others at the barrel of a gun.

Government – and by that I mean an association of individuals who claim the right to steal money from others within an arbitrary political boundary, and who claim the sole ability to provide a certain goods and services (often included is protection, and thus police) – always suffer from perverse incentives.highwayman-police-lysander-spooner-copblock

Albert Camus wrote that, “Men who have greatness within them don’t go in for politics.” Yes, it’s clear that Mandela was charismatic and spoke to many people, but true, positive change can never happen through the ballot box – which is just a symbol to legitimize the double-standards claimed by one group over another.

Mandela’s government promised housing and better standards of living to millions, yet, unsurprisingly, that has failed to materialize. Again, that’s said not to castigate Mandela as a person, but to make clear the futility of granting allegiance to a coercive monopoly, despite the figurehead, banner or rhetoric. The sooner we each stop looking externally for what’s acceptable or not, and instead, govern ourselves and engage in consensual interactions, the sooner the problems government actors claim to address will be mitigated or eliminated.

The six weeks spent in South Africa as part of the Police Accountability Tour underscored to me that most people are generally good, and that the same factors exist everywhere – just to a different degree. For example, in South Africa, a police employee might demand from another a ransom, while in the states that ransom claimed happens only after a more polished veneer – a bureaucratic process or a visit to legaland. Some see the former as more barbaric and the latter more civilized, yet at the end of the day, both are still theft.

I’d rather live free with some peril than be a protected slave of government.
– Dave Duffy

Admittedly, the statements made above are a bit sweeping for inclusion here at (and to be clear, this is a decentralized project, they come from me alone), but broad as they may be, as is expounded-upon in the second video below Focus on the Institution, I believe it holds true not just for the provision of safety, but for every good or service.




Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability.

Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation.

In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.

  • steve

    Do you really think apartied is over in South Africa.

  • Alvin

    Oh boo hoo. Another dem/lib/commie has assumed room temperature. I for one am glad of it. The more of the boomer generation world-wide die of the better our world will become. All you leftists and commies can smootch upon my hairy ass.

  • John Q Public

    Pete, you have aspired to a new low by chastising a man who ended apartheid in Africa. And you are wrong about Mandela’s accomplishments, not surprising for a sovereign such as yourself.

    Under Mandela’s presidency, welfare spending increased by 13% in 1996/97, 13% in 1997/98, and 7% in 1998/99. The government introduced parity in grants for communities, including disability grants, child maintenance grants, and old-age pensions, which had previously been set at different levels for South Africa’s different racial groups. In 1994, free healthcare was introduced for children under six and pregnant women, a provision extended to all those using primary level public sector health care services in 1996. By the 1999 election, the ANC could boast that due to their policies, 3 million people were connected to telephone lines, 1.5 million children were brought into the education system, 500 clinics were upgraded or constructed, 2 million people were connected to the electricity grid, water access was extended to 3 million people, and 750,000 houses were constructed, housing nearly 3 million people.

  • Don Francisco

    That’s right, folks. Nobody in government will ever be able to do anything good, all because Peter says so.

  • AmigaJoe

    1. (To commenters)Screw you ignorant bigots.
    2. (To Author) Even a cursory look at World history, from Indigenous tribes to Monarchies and Empires, show that there’s ALWAYS someone ‘in charge’. People prefer it that way, and that’s not going to change. Government power would simply be replaced by Corporate power. Or warlords, depending on the location. I don’t understand why you don’t understand that. Living in a Western Democracy is the only reason you can carry on your ‘Voluntaryist’ pretense; anywhere else and you’d be unambiguously under someone’s control, like it or not.

  • Common Sense

    “It’s not ‘Lord of War’, it’s warlord.”

    “Thank you but I prefer it my way.”

  • Chris Mallory

    Mandela was a terrorist. He should have been hanged in 1964. He never renounced violence. He never held his followers to account for their many crimes, including the necklacing of political opponents. The world is better off without Mandela. Another tyrant rots in hell.

  • Keith

    Not a fan of the article, very ambiguous and a bit wrong. He was not a politician, never was. Just because he was elected, does not make him a polotician. He was a revolutionary, nothing more. He fought for black south africa when apartied was decimating them. He only became president as a move to reconcile his country, as when he got out of prison, anything else surely would have sparked civil war. These types of things are never cut and dry, he was a very complex man, so describing him in 3 paragraphs is an exercise in futility.

  • Keith

    …and t, you seem to love the open field argument you twat. My comment was in relation to the author saying the officer “drove” into his crops. It was a straight forward issue. Meaning, he didn’t just drive into an opening in the field, there were things planted. Nothing to do with the authority to search without a warrant. Disturbing the structure of the field would be like bringing in an excavator to look for remains. Guess what, that open field doctrine of yours wouldn’t cover that either. But hey, if you repeat it 10 or so more times, maybe it’ll sound better to you.

  • Shawn


    I’ve tried to explain that before. But ‘freemen’ don’t want to hear it.

    In a world where society doesn’t decide what your limits are, you are only as free as the next most powerful person allows. That is why society formed, to control the bullies.