Rhodesia was superbly administered

Dalrymple reflects:

The currency was stable and even strong, despite Smith’s defiance of the world. The infrastructure was, for its time and place, magnificent, and very well-maintained. The roads would make many of those in the USA today seem Third World.

He points to two factors:

  1. The population from which senior administrators and civil servants could be drawn was very small. Clever people in Rhodesia could not be wasted.
  2. The situation in which the country found itself meant that the scope for frivolous bureaucratic expansion was slight. The country was fighting for survival and the administrators were imbued with a real and immediate, and not merely abstract or theoretical, sense of higher purpose. Sanctions meant that they had to be pragmatic and not hidebound by fatuous procedures.

He notes that of course

the justice of the country’s social and political arrangements was another matter.

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