Apartheid In Black And White: Survivalism, Not Racism, Part 2
Monomaniacal Westerners—they have one thing on their minds: it begins with an "R"—have come to think and speak of apartheid as a theory of white supremacy.
It was not.
The policy of "separate development," as it was admittedly euphemized, was not a theory of racial supremacy, but a strategy for survival.
But first: To perceive the fundamental way in which the Afrikaner and American creeds differed early on we must first examine the former's ideas of what a nation and a state were, respectively.
America, being a rib from the British ribcage, was built on liberal individualism; Afrikaner culture was first and foremost grounded in the survival of the Volk.
This is not to say that Afrikaners were not fiercely individualistic; they were, even more so than early Americans.For the Boers, however, the nation encompassed "the land, the culture, the terrain, the people." The state, on the other hand, had no such prestige for the Boers, who regarded it as just "the coercive apparatus of bureaucrats and politicians."
Against this apparatus, above all, the Boer rebelled. The 19th century found him still resisting majority rule, by which time Americans had thoroughly submitted to it.
Although the Boer's outlook remained passionately political, his preference was for parochial self-rule. It might be said, then, that if in the Americans the vagaries of the frontier bred an atomistic individualism, those same vagaries bred in the Afrikaner a very different attitude, namely, a keen sense of the collective and the need to preserve it. "The worth of the nation is even higher than the worth of the individual," exclaimed one Volkphilosopher.
To the existential threat which they faced on the Dark Continent, Afrikaners therefore responded by circling the wagons metaphorically (much as they had done, literally, during the 1830s) and devising the corpus of racial laws known as apartheid.
"We shall fight for our existence and the world must know it. We are not fighting for money or possessions. We are fighting for the life of our people," thundered Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd (1958 - 1966).
Prime Minister D. F. Malan (1948 - 1954) had already used different words for the same sentiment, announcing his devotion to, "My God, my people, my country."
Malan's successor, Prime Minister Strijdom (1954 - 1958), believed unswervingly that if they were to survive as a group, the whites of South Africa would need to retain a position of guardianship, and that ultimately, white hegemony was indispensable for the good of all.
The Cape Town-Stellenbosch axis of the nationalist intelligentsia, which was the most influential lobby in Malan's National Party (NP), almost without exception defended apartheid not as an expression of white superiority but on the grounds of its assumed capacity to reduce conflict by curtailing points of interracial contact.
The intellectuals who heralded from the University of Stellenbosch phrased the issue thus:
The granting of political rights to the Bantu, of the kind which would satisfy their political aspirations, was altogether impossible in a mixed community, since such a step would endanger the … survival of the European population. If this danger was to be avoided, and at the same time the Europeans were not to violate their own conscience and moral standards, a policy of separate development would prove the only alternative.
To that end, a "tortuous social structure" was erected to keep blacks from forming a political majority in South Africa proper. Africans were assigned to homelands in accordance with tribal affiliation, still a central organizing principle across Africa. These "black satrapies" were to function as "national and political homes for the different Bantu communities"; in the "Bantustans," blacks were to exercise political rights.
Hermann Giliomee—author of the grand historical synthesis, "The Afrikaners: Biography of a People"—agrees that Afrikaner anxieties were overwhelmingly existential, rather than racial.
Giliomee is adamant that the apartheid policy did not spring from "racist convictions or antiquated religious doctrines" (even if these convictions were at times present in specific Afrikaners themselves), but from an overriding need for security. For leading thinkers in the NP such arguments almost completely missed the point because the security of the Afrikaners as a dominant minority, and not as a race per se, was what concerned them.
Giliomee, a liberal historian who opposed apartheid (as this writer did), contends that "apartheid was not uniquely abhorrent and had much in common with Western colonialism and American segregation." Another of the historian's apparent heresies has it that "attempts to depict the nationalist leaders as proto-fascists showed a poor understanding of both the Nazi and the Afrikaner nationalist movement."
In retrospect, it is easy for me to see the merits of Giliomee's argument for "the essential moderation of Afrikaner nationalism." Anybody who lived, as I had lived, among Afrikaners during the apartheid era can testify that crime and communism were foremost on their minds.
To rationalize the Kafkaesque laws of apartheid, Afrikaners spoke of the Swart Gevaar(which meant the "Black Threat"), and of the Rooi Gevaar(the "Red Threat").
My Afrikaner friends would regularly admonish the American mindset for its incipient liberalism: "They demand majority rule, but look around you at the rest of Africa! Anglos simply don't understand what's at stake."
**This is a historical account of how the Afrikaner intelligentsia viewed a policy against which the writer and her family fought. A writer need not agree with it to chronicle and analyze it.
Part 1 is "Apartheid In Black And White: Truth About The Afrikaner."
Note: This piece was previously published at IlanaMercer.com on September 6, 2018.
Apartheid In Black And White: Truth About The Afrikaner, Part 1
In a recent translation of Tacitus’ Annals, a question was raised as to whether “there were any ‘nations’ in antiquity other than the Jews.” Upon reflection, one suspects that the same question can be posed about the Afrikaners in the modern era.
In fact, in April of 2009, former South African President Jacob Zuma infuriated the “multicultural noise machine” the world over by stating: “Of all the white groups that are in South Africa, it is only the Afrikaners that are truly South Africans in the true sense of the word. Up to this day, they [the Afrikaners] don’t carry two passports, they carry one. They are here to stay.”
Indeed, the Afrikaners fought Africa’s first anticolonial struggles, are native to the land and are not colonists in any normal sense. Yet the liberal world order has only ever singled out Afrikaners for having established apartheid, considered by the Anglo-American-European axis of interventionism to be “one of the world’s most retrogressive colonial systems.”
However, while the honing of apartheid by the Afrikaner National Party started in 1948, after Daniel Malan assumed the prime minister’s post, elements of the program were part of the policy first established in 1923 by the British-controlled government.
There was certainly nothing Mosaic about the maze of racial laws that formed the edifice of apartheid. The Population Registration Act required that all South Africans be classified by bureaucrats in accordance with race. The Group Areas Act “guaranteed absolute residential segregation.” Pass laws regulated the comings-and-goings of blacks (though not them alone), and ensured that black workers left white residential areas by nightfall.
Easily the most egregious aspect of flushing blacks out of white areas was the manner in which entire communities were uprooted and dumped in bleak, remote, officially designated settlement sites— “vast rural slums with urban population densities, but no urban amenities beyond the buses that represented their slender lifelines to the cities.
Still, apartheid South Africa sustained far more critical scrutiny for its non-violent (if unjust) resettlement policies than did the U.S. for its equally unjust but actively violent mass resettlement agenda, say, in South Vietnam. (See Sophie Quinn-Judge, “Lawless Zones,” The Times Literary Supplement, February 26, 2010.)
Or, before that. In his magisterial “History of the American People,” historian Paul Johnson, a leading protagonist for America, details the rather energetic destruction and displacement by Andrew Jackson of the “the oldest American nations," the Indians.
Nor should we forget subsequent American military misdeeds. There was, for instance, the 1890 “Wounded Knee” bloodbath in South Dakota (where a U.S. cavalry regiment wiped out, within an hour, between 150 and 300 Native Americans, women and children included). A decade later occurred the war in the Philippines, where a million Filipinos perished at American hands. The 1990 book “In Our Image,” written by historian Stanley Kurnow, reports that at least 200,000 of the dead Filipinos in that war were civilians. Many of the civilians breathed their last in disease-ridden concentration camps which were known as reconcentrados.
It was the British, not the settler ancestors of the contemporary Afrikaners, who vanquished the locals with the express purpose of producing British-type “free” societies. The horrors of British concentration camps during the Boer War are well documented. And there is little to be said in extenuation of Britain’s Zulu Wars, which were summarized in an extract from the once-famous 1930 historiographical parody “1066 And All That”: “War Against Zulus. Cause: the Zulus. Zulus exterminated. Peace with Zulus.”
Why so many conservatives still defend Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt is a mystery. The fact is that between 1942 and 1945, the FDR administration dispensed with habeas corpus in order to relocate en masse, and confine in camps, some 112,000 Japanese aliens and American-born citizens of Japanese ancestry. These Japanese internees were penned in camps, their bank accounts frozen often for years, without being charged with any crime.
Nothing in Afrikaner rule, even at its least enlightened, can match such episodes in American history.
The offending National Party began to dismantle apartheid almost a decade before the transition to democracy. By 1986, the party had already brought down apartheid’s pillars. “Beginning in the early 1980s, the South African government expanded democracy by drawing colored people and Indians into Parliament.” By the end of the 1980s, the pernicious influx control laws had been scrapped, public facilities desegregated, and racial sex laws repealed. “Blacks were allowed full freehold rights to property” and admission to historically white universities.
Next week: “Apartheid: A Strategy for Survival”
Note: This piece originally appeared in Town Hall on August 31, 2018.
Once upon a time there were two politicians.
One had the power to give media and political elites goosebumps. Still does.
The other causes the same dogs to raise their hackles.
The first is Barack Hussein Obama; the second Vladimir Putin.
The same gilded elites who choose our villains and victims for us have decided that the Russian is the worst person in the world. BHO, the media consider one of the greatest men in the world.
Obama leveled Libya and lynched its leader. Our overlords were unconcerned. They knew with certainty that Obama was destroying lives irreparably out of the goodness of his heart.
Same thing when Obama became the uncrowned king of the killer drone, murdering Pakistani, Afghani, Libyan and Yemeni civilians in their thousands. That, too, his acolytes generally justified, minimized or concealed.
In June of 2008, Obama marked his election as “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.” Media did not mock their leader’s delusions of grandeur.
All the estrogen-oozing amoebas of mainstream media would do in response to the Obama charm offensive was to turn to one another and check, “Was it good for you? Did he make the earth move and the oceans recede for you, too?”
Recently, Obama romped on to the Third World stage “bigly.” He delivered an address in this writer’s birthplace of Johannesburg, South Africa. The occasion: the centennial commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s birth.
On that occasion, Obama praised “the liberal international order,” which is founded on inverted morality: Good is bad and bad is good.
Small wonder, then, that nobody—broadcaster Tucker Carlson excepted—was willing to shame Obama for lauding genial thug Cyril Ramaphosa as an inspiration for “new hope in [his] great country.”
President hope-and-change Ramaphosa has gone where his four peer predecessors had not dared to go. He led a wildly fruitful effort to tweak the already watered-down property-rights provision in the South-African Constitution. Theft of land owned by whites will now be permitted.
Other than their modern-day-messiah status, BHO and his hero Mandela share something else. Both were silent about the systematic ethnic cleansing and extermination, in ways that beggar belief, of South-African farmers, in particular, and whites in general.
Does the barefaced Barack care that white men, women and children are being butchered like animals, their bodies often displayed like trophies by their proud black assassins?
An example among thousands are Kaalie Botha’s parents: “You can’t kill an animal like they killed my mom and dad. You can’t believe it.” The Achilles tendons of Kaalie’s 71-year-old father had been severed by his assailants so he couldn’t flee. He was then hacked in the back until he died, his body dumped in the bush. The head of wife Joey had been bashed in by a brick, wielded with such force that the skull “cracked like an egg.”
A day in the life of farming South Africa.
Yet, there was Mr. Obama touting the new South Africa as the instantiation of the ideals promoted by Mandela.
Mind you, Obama might be on to something, in a perverse way. As stated, Mandela was mum about these killings, labeled genocidal by the expert Dr. Gregory H. Stanton.
As for “Madiba’s” fidelity to the cornerstone of civilization, private-property rights: In September of 1991, “Mr. Mandela threatened South African business with nationalization of mines and financial institutions unless business [came] up with an alternative option for the redistribution of wealth.”
Had he lived to 100, Mandela would likely be cheering Ramaphosa for authorizing a free-for-all on white-owned private property.
You know who’s not ignoring or minimizing those ongoing attempts at extermination and immiseration in South Africa? President Putin.
Russia has purportedly offered to give shelter to 15,000 white South African farmers, so far, recognizing them for the true refugees they are.
But Mr. Putin must be a racist. At least that’s what the cruel and craven African National Congress (Mandela’s party) dubs any nation daring to succor white South-Africans. The very idea that black Africans would persecute white Africans is racist in itself, say South Africa’s ruling Solons.
In fact, the ANC regularly intervenes to set aside findings made by Refugee Boards across the West in favor of South Africa’s endangered minority.
Putin, of course, has a history of such “racism.” Take his “unhealthy” fixation with saving Christians in Syria. Yes, that community is thriving once again because of the Alawite and Russian alliance.
True to type, “racist” Russia is now looking out for the Afrikaner settlers of South Africa.
In 2011, when “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa” was published, there were approximately 40,000 commercial South-African farmers who remained on the land of their ancestors. Minus about 3000 slaughtered.
The total number of commercial farmers who feed South Africa is now less than half the number of “refugees” the US takes in each year. To date, “there has been a trickle of South Africans applying for asylum in the United States on the grounds of racial persecution. Almost all have been deported.”
It should be news to no one that American refugee policies favor the Bantu peoples of Africa over its Boers.
As Obama would drone, “It’s who we are.”
Whichever way you slice it, on matters South Africa, Russia is the virtuous one.
Note: This piece was originally published in the Unz Review on August 9, 2018.
Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa”(2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube