In my lifetime there have been several great victories for freedom from oppression, Nelson Mandela's release from prison and the ending of Apartheid in South Africa is among them. We should celebrate these victories.
Mandela began his speech as follows:
I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all.
I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.
And, he concluded his speech with these words:
I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
Before I had ever published anything on the Soviet economic system, I published an article on the Apartheid system (co-authored with Steve Horwitz and Dave Prychitko) in the very first issue of Critical Review in 1986 entitled -- "The Roots of Apartheid". Our teacher Walter E. Williams would publish his South Africa's War Against Capitalism in 1989. Williams demonstrates how the noxious racial policies pursued in South Africa were not due to free market capitalism, but instead to interest group politics and centralized political power. As Milton and Rose Friedman wrote in Free to Choose, the contrast is between the power of the market to expand choice and empower individuals or the tyranny of political control which restricts our freedom and makes us subjects to domination by whatever group has control of the apparatus of coercion. This is one of the most basic lessons of comparative political economy that there is to learn. The entire ugly history of South Africa is a clear illustration of this lesson. And we should never forget.