- Capitalism and Alternatives -

My shamelessly ad hominem attack on Freedom House

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( PCC, MA, USA ) on July 16, 1999 at 00:39:41:

There is a "think-tank" in New York called Freedom House. Every year they issue a ranking of teh liberty levels in different counrties, ranking them as free, partly free or unfree. What an excellent cause. What an inspiring name, don't you think? Their latest cause is defending the christians of teh world from the brutal egimes that persecute them. Who could argue with that?

there may be more, under the surface, hwoever, that Freedom House and teh mainstream press don't wnat you to know. I don't remember where I read this, but if you consult Freeodm House it shouldn't be difficult to verify. Apparently in the '80s, Freedom house not only recognized the 4 "Homelands" of Southern Africa, biut actulaly called them "Partly Free"!

A little background is in order here. The Homelands comnprised 13 percent of South Africa's land, mostly barren desert wasteland that the Boer-English ruling class didn't want. With teh stroke of a pen, they suddenly dictated that millions of black South Africans were suddenly citizens of these "homelands", and that the "homelands" were independent countries (governed by South African puppets of course.) Naturally, the homelands were economically dead so the Africans were forced to work in South Africa as migrants. This fiendishly clever system meant that the black people were officially not citizens of South Africa and thus could be denied their rights, while at the same time providing the whites with a reserve army of labor. This policy destroyed millions of families, caused horrible sufferng and political deisenfranchisement, but hey, it was good for the whites!

This, then, is apparently the system that "Freedom" house endorsed during the '80s. they had the nerve to call Bophuthatswana or one of the other 4 homelands "partly free"- the same as India, teh world's largest democracy! If it were up to me, I would say that such a claim is fully as stupid as teh Russians' claim, in 1945, that Ukraine and Byelo-Russia under Stalin were "free and idnependent" nations. But no, Freedom House has spoken, and as a "non-partisan" organization, they must be right- right?

Am i being obtuse here? What do you all think? Shouldn't thsi be publicized, so that when Nina shea or Adrian Karatnycky makes a statement people will know to take it with a few shakersful of salt?

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