Martin van Staden

Libertarian Jurisprudence & Free Market Policy

Transformationism and social engineering

In 2014, Martin authored “Assorted Fallacies and Institutionalized Hypocrisy”, laying the groundwork for his senior thesis on using the law as a tool for social engineering. In the essay, Martin focused on the South African legal academia’s overt support, or naive ignorance, of this use of the law, especially in light of South Africa’s Apartheid past. Transformationism is the dominant school of thought in South African legal circles that pushes for the law to be used as a tool of social engineering.

In 2016, his last year of undergraduate studies, Martin wrote a follow-up in the form of his senior thesis, titled “South African Law and Social Engineering”. In this paper, Martin compared the political doctrines of pre-1994 Separate Development (‘Apartheid’) and post-1994 Transformationism, which is ostensibly a departure from Apartheid thinking, but in fact a continuation thereof. The Free Market Foundation, Martin’s former employer, warned against permeating South Africa’s 1996 Constitution with provisions providing for social manipulation:

The second part of Martin’s Master of Laws (LL.M.) dissertation, “In Favorem Libertatis: The Prospect of Liberty in the Transformation(isation) of South African Law”, dissects Transformationism and compares and contrasts it with Libertarian Legal Theory. As of 2021, Martin has continued his inquiries into Transformationism in a doctoral study at the University of Pretoria.