In an oligarchy, taxes are not levied with a view to the general good of the community, but for the benefit of the ruling class; and this is the political conception of the Boers.
Dr. Kuyper says, in speaking of the Uitlanders:
“No one invited them here; they came of their own accord.”
Therefore they possess the right to be taxed, but nothing else.
Dr. Kuyper’s assertion is not strictly correct; for he forgets the invitation addressed by Mr. Krueger, in London in 1884, to all who were willing to take their abilities and their capital to the Transvaal, in which he promised them rights of citizenship and assured them of his protection.
But the matter of invitation is of little account. Let us allow that there was no invitation. Neither did Fra Diavolo invite the travellers he despoiled; ergo., according to Dr. Kuyper, he had the right to despoil them. The Uitlanders are travellers, at whose expense the government of Pretoria has the right to live, and to support the Boers.
Such is plainly the idea of Mr. Krueger and of the majority of the 29 members of the Volksraad, and we shall see that that idea underlies the whole of its political economy.
Mr. Krueger was, however, in error in supposing that he could practise this system indefinitely in these times of ours, and with respect to the citizens of a country which represents the modern conception of industrial civilization.
Professor Bryce, a strong opponent of the present policy of England, says in his Impressions of South Africa (p. 470):
“A country must after all take its character from the large majority of its inhabitants, especially when those who form that majority are the wealthiest, most educated, and most enterprising part of the population.”
Mr. Krueger has aimed at realizing this paradox: the oppression and plunder of the most enterprising, most educated, the richest and most numerous portion of the population by the poorest, most ignorant, most indolent of minorities.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GOLD MINES.
1.—That Gold is Mine!
Let us see in what terms Dr. Kuyper justifies the Boer policy of exaction:
“The Leonards and their set are very ready to tell us that the taxes in Johannesburg exceed in proportion those levied in every other country.... As to the quota paid by Uitlanders to the State, we beg leave to remind the British of two points: first, that they are exempt from all military service; secondly, that it is a far more serious matter for the Boers to pay with their lives, and the lives of their sons, than it is for these wealthy owners of gold mines to pay so much per cent. upon their enormous dividends; and that if they do pay the Transvaal some thousands of pounds, they pocket their millions. Moreover,