Gabriel P Louw
Research Associate, Focus Area: Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa
Prof. Dr. GP Louw
Keywords: Afrikanerism, appraisal, Boers, development, factor, influence, leader, political, regime.
Ensovoort, volume 38 (2018), number 7:1
An Englishman apologizes when you step on his foot. A Frenchman berates you when he steps on yours.1:22
These words from Mort Rosenblum’s1 book Mission to civilize. The French Way, seem to innocently make fun of the French who are known for their frankness. However, there is something deeper to the quote. It gives us an idea of how people’s mindsets are formed, their possible inherent or learned dispositions. People’s mindsets influence how they think, plan, make decisions, and behave in the face of challenges, needs, demands and threats.
In Culture Shock! A Guide to Customs and Etiquette – France, Sally Adamson Taylor writes2:8:
The French have a profound sense of democracy. They believe that all people deserve equal consideration and that individual dignity is important. But like all rest of us they have their own definitions of what is dignified.
Her remark focuses the attention on the individuality found in the human race: there are factors that shape every person’s emotions and thinking and that drive the person to see things from a particular point of view. This phenomenon means that there are many dimensions to every situation. People handle situations based on inherent traits and group influences. When one compares the Frenchman’s view on the dignity of others to that of the Englishman, they seem to differ. The English show irrational hostility and aggression without provocation. However, this is predictable when one studies the internalized cultural factors present in the mindsets of Frenchmen.
Rosenblum1 unintentionally provides a good explanation of how humans show certain kinds of behaviours to others and how people experience such behaviours. His caricatures of the Englishman and the Frenchman present two generalizations, and the behaviours that accompany these generalized characteristics are predictable in most situations in terms of the English and French moulds. Certain attitudes, customs, thinking, views and opinions become apparent. These are determined by both genetics and experience.
The person who stands at the receiving end of the behaviours that Rosenblum describes, may ultimately have a negative view of the Frenchman and a positive view of the Englishman, which means that culture also experiences how groups are perceived.
Our exposure to different life experiences and examples cause internalized ideas, and the ideas become our disposition. What internal factor causes the differences in the behaviour of the Englishman and the Frenchman? How did they each acquire, select, master and internalize certain unique personal characteristics and behaviour? 1,2
Various researchers have ventured explanations for people’s behaviours. When it comes to political behaviours, there are for instance Herodotus’s3 view on revenge and counter-revenge, Palkhivala’s5 wooden-headedness and Martinez’s4 lottery of birth. These ideas are discussed in the results section.
From above it is clear that the factors that shape human behaviour are much more complex and comprehensive than what explanations can consider. The factors that form the foundation for the behaviours of Black and White South Africans and that drove the past and are driving the present are no exception. These complexities require focused analysis and description.
The aim of this article is to put the factors that influence the development of executive political leaders in perspective.
The research was done by means of a literature review. This method has the aim of building a viewpoint from the available evidence as the research develops. This approach is used in modern historical research where there is a lack of an established body of research, as is the case with the factors that influence the development and behaviours of executive political leaders and their regimes of governance in South Africa. The sources include articles from 2017 to 2018, books for the period 1961 to 2018 and newspapers for the period 2016 to 2018.6-8
The research findings are presented in narrative format.
3.1 The Herodotus Rules
Negative human behaviour can be explained in terms of the Herodotus Rules of Revenge and Counter-revenge3: a cycle where memories of traumatic experiences of the past, actions delivered by certain persons or groups become part of the conscious and unconscious worldview of an individual at the receiving end. When the two parties again encounter each other, the former victim retaliates, causing an action-reaction cycle. It becomes a vicious cycle of actions and reactions, often passed down to future generations.
The Herodotus3 rules are valuable for understanding and describing certain kinds of behaviour, but as a tool to reconcile groups.
Herodotus’3 six rules provide that we should keep to six rules to stay in power and to prevent future retaliation. The rules are:
- Always act with fairness and wisdom towards subjects;
- Empower each subject politically, legally, socially, and economically;
- Do not favour subjects or act in own interest;
- Act with self-control at all times;
- Do not be self-enriching at the expense of his subjects;
- Don’t abuse power or practice emotional and physical exploitation or abuse.
In practice these six rules mean: 1) history repeats itself; and 2) the contraventions of these rules create hatred that spells tragedy, even after many centuries had passed. People have the inclination to punish a certain group categorically, meaning that both guilty and innocent parties suffer. A good example is the mafia in Sicily’s tendency to take bloody revenge on certain families for generations.3
In South Africa the factors that resulted in Apartheid can also be explained in terms of the Herodotus Rules. As a result of conflict between Blacks and farmers on the border, travelling farmers and the Voortrekker Boers in the Cape Colony and the Boer republics, the Afrikaners developed many times a hatred for all Blacks. They therefore created a policy of discrimination. The internalized perception of Blacks being “dangerous” became further engrained in Afrikaners until they came to view their behaviours as justified and correct. It further intensified and the racism escalated into Apartheid and its atrocities against Blacks as revenge for the past. These internalized ideas were also inherent to the Afrikaner. It shaped the thinking, planning and behaviours of the political leaders. They had to satisfy their Afrikaner followers and their selfish interests.9
Since 1994 the Black executive political leaders (now the rulers of South Africa and the Afrikaners) have been caught in the counter-revenge part of the cycle. They see the Afrikaners as “bad” persons who deserve punishment for Apartheid.3,9
3.2 Palkhivala’s5 wooden-headedness
Nani Palkhivala5, a renowned Indian academic, lawyer, diplomat, politician, philosopher and writer reflects on the bad behaviour of political leaders from all races and ethnic groups, educated and less educated, rich and poor, urban and rural.5,9
Palkhivala5 sees the problematic behaviours of groups against other groups as a direct result of a variety of established negative traits, perceptions and dispositions internalized in the mindsets of aggressive groups. Political leaders use these traits of their followers to their advantage. Palkhivala5 sees this mechanism as part of the leader’s character. Leaders often act stupidly, self-promoting, and opportunistic. He16 defines this mindset as wooden-headedness.5,9
3.3 The inability of groups to repent and be humble
Mort Rosenblum1 unintentionally focuses the attention on a complex and comprehensive human problem, namely the factors that drive behaviour. The two gentlemen he describes are arguably human beings with good cognitive, conative and affective abilities who can learn from experiences and examples. Yet, as Rosenblum’s1 description indicates, they show different behaviours. What he describes is a universal phenomenon that cause problems when it is extrapolated to the collective.5,9
Rosenblum’s1 “Englishman-Frenchman behaviour model” merges the views of Herodotus3 and Palkhivala5 in identifying the possible determinants that steer the political actions of groups, especially the roles of their leaders. Rosenblum1 identifies a third dynamic that both Herodotus3 and Palkhivala5 failed to describe and that plays an important role in the reconciliation process. This dynamic involves pardonableness, forgetfulness, repentance, humbleness and life-enrichment9.
These five factors or determinants, separately or in combination, act as negative energies in political conflicts that are driven by a “wrong of the past.” It leads to further evildoing, worsening an already contaminated situation. Pardonableness, forgetfulness, repentance, humbleness and life-enrichment per se are sometimes present where persons or groups experience psycho-emotional growth due to suffering. They ultimately reach self-actualization and personal maturity so that they do goodness to others. This neutralizes aggression and hostility towards others. This positivity is in line what Herodotus3 prescribed for a good ruler. However, very few people in history have been able to master these skills.
The discussion now turns to two examples where suffering failed to bring such growth, namely that of the Israeli Jews and the South African Afrikaners. The lack of repentance, humbleness and life-enrichment and an inability to learn from sufferings is prominent here. The leaders in these two cases resemble Palkhivala’s wooden-headedness.5,9-12
3.3.1 The Israeli Jews versus the Arabs and Muslims
The Jews seem to repeat the same pattern of behaviour over and over. Despite their suffering during their exile to Persia and their enslavement in Egypt, or perhaps because of it, they commit the same atrocities and genocide that they suffered for so long at the hands of the Persians and the Egyptians. They have not learned from their experiences. In fact, they even topped the severity of the crimes committed against them.9-16
After the fall of Jerusalem in the 1000s, the Jews were once more displaced. They spread all over the world, but they suffered atrocities and genocide, especially at the hand of Hitler and Stalin in the twentieth century. After their slow return to their “New Israel” from the 1930s onwards and the subsequent creation of the State of Israel with Jewish rule, they started committing atrocities against the Palestinians and other Arabs inside Israel. Their behaviour showed the same pattern than their earlier murderous behaviour towards the inhabitants of Israel when they had returned from Persia and Egypt centuries back.9-16
This history makes it seem as if Jews are predisposed to such behaviour. Certain questions come to mind: Can the Israeli Jews’ pattern of behaviour be attributed to an inborn genetic trait that has been driving the Jews for thousands of years to do commit the same atrocities over and over?
There seem to be additional contributing factors to the behaviour of the Jews. Their repeated exposure to discrimination, cruelty and attempts at genocide over long periods in Egypt, Persia, Europe of the 1930s and onwards, as well as their direct confrontations with the Arabs and Muslims in Israel, may play a significant role in their treatment of non-Jews. Could their experiences have created preconceived ideas of how other groups would act towards them? 9-16
All the engrained perceptions resulted in a unique Jewish identity that includes Jewish knowledge, bio-heritance, beliefs, traditions and prejudices. One could ask whether Jewish behaviour stems from nature, nurture, or a mix. Their aggression is usually focused on Arabs and Muslims. Is this aggression an uncontrolled, unchangeable characteristic of Jews?
There is no explanation for why Menahem Begin10 (a Prime Minister of Israel) and Irgun Zvani Leumi killed seventy-six innocent Arabs at markets and other public places in Israel in July 1938 without any provocation or hostility from the Arabs (There are many similar pre-World War II examples of bombs placed in Arab movie theatres, sniping at Arabs and trains carrying Arabs, and murdering innocent Arabs in cold blood).10 It is as if an uncontrollable beast – driven by instinct but stripped of a sound mind – has been in charge of Jewish Israeli leaders. The South African writer and poet, NP van Wyk Louw, referred to this beast as Raka, the Beast.17
Years of suffering did not bring insight and positive growth for Jews so that hostility and aggression against Arabs and Moslems would be replaced by pardonableness, forgetfulness, repentance, humbleness and life-enrichment. They have lacked political leaders who could take the contaminated Jewish part out of the Jewish Israelite foundation or jihadism out of Zionism.9,13,15,16
Many Jewish Israeli leaders have used the Jewish identity to garner support for wrongdoing to Arabs and Muslims. They exploited the ordinary Jewish Israeli’s fear of the “Arab danger” and the “Muslim danger” to fire up countrywide wrongdoings against Arabs and Moslems inside and outside Israel. Any individual or group protest or resistance to these leaders was quickly and effectively wiped out. The present actions of the Jewish Israeli leaders against Palestinians are much worse than that of the Afrikaner Nationalist leaders during the heyday of Apartheid, and there is not a single indication that it would change as long as the “Jewish” Israel is in existence.13-15
3.3.2 The Christian Afrikaners versus the Christian Blacks
The Jews, it seems, are not alone in carrying some kind of a “gene” that causes them to constantly do wrong to other persons and groups. The proto-Afrikaners and Afrikaners, like the Jews, experienced suffering at the hands of the British Empire and native Black tribes, although over a shorter period and of far less intensity. The Blacks in turn also experienced suffering at the hands of the British Empire, but atrocities at the hands of the Afrikaners for a century or two was added to their fate. The tragic thing is that when the Afrikaners were freed from British oppression in 1908 and founded the Union of South Africa in 1910, they not only left the Blacks out in the political cold, but instituted a policy of suppression far more cruel than the suffering the Afrikaners endured under the British flag or from the Blacks. When the Afrikaners took political power in 1948, their behaviour against the Blacks became even worse. They did immense psychological and physical harm to Blacks with Apartheid. The Afrikaners did not learn anything positive from their own past experiences. Instead of altruism, they showed hatred against the Blacks and lacked sympathy and empathy. They showed no sign of psychological and emotional growth towards repentance, humbleness and life-enrichment or unconditional pardon and forgetting. The 1994-dispensation is not the result of insight, they did not have a choice but to surrender, but this time not to the rule of the hatred British, but to the “Black danger”.9,18-25
A pattern of behaviour is noticeable here, like with the Jews. The only difference is that the basis for discrimination is not religion, but race. The Blacks are predominantly Christian, like the Afrikaners themselves.13-15
When we look at the pattern of political, social, economical and psychological wrongdoing of the Afrikaners, we arrive at the same questions as with the Jewish Israelis:
- Can the Afrikaners’ pattern of behaviour be attributed to an inborn genetic trait that is unique to the Afrikaner identity and that drives them to commit the same atrocities over and over? Or;
- Do the actions of Afrikaners stem from the suffering they experienced, these memories being passed from generation to generation?
- Have the Afrikaners internalized early interactions as fixed irrational perceptions of how they should act towards certain groups?
- Do the Afrikaners’ genetic traits and experiences function separately as factors, or are they intertwined?
In my book on the Afrikaners, The crisis of the Afrikaners9, 2018, I debate the influence of genetic inheritance and life experiences on the Afrikaners’ racism towards Blacks, especially with reference to their executive political leaders promoting racism9:92:
The proto-Afrikaners and Afrikaners learned that certain actions and behaviours are crucial for survival as individuals and as a group. They learned this from their hardships, unhappiness and political experiences, and from broader negative South African events. They also had governments who set a bad example. As a result, they embraced negative behaviours despite the injustice it does to other persons outside the Afrikaner group. Over the years they came to see these behaviours as essential to their survival (especially during the era of the nationalist Afrikaners after 1948). Discrimination and ethnic domination of persons from mixed races, Blacks, and even Whites from other ethnic groups, however, inhumane and morally wrong, became a learned survival strategy. As a result of the successes, satisfaction and compensation it brought, it became entrenched as the most applicable and correct approach to other groups. The outcome for the Afrikaner has been and is to a certain extent that there is only a single golden rule for their political, economic, social and personal lives: ‘you are ruling’ versus ‘you are being ruled’ and ‘if you are the minority you must be the ruler as long as possible, regardless of the consequences’.
The skewed thinking of many Afrikaners during Apartheid is evident from their actions. The executive political leaders capitalized on this and offered a bad example. Their behaviour in the form of Apartheid is not a fatalistic outcome over which the Afrikaner leaders did not have any control. It was a considered act to gain power and to enrich themselves at the costs of the politically and economically defenceless Blacks. Indeed, the Afrikaner leaders used the past to create political will and justification for Grand Apartheid from 1948 to 1994.9,26,27
There are correlations between the Jews and the Afrikaners. Can we ever forget Eugene de Kock and his hitmen and the Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders who ordered him to do the killings? For some Afrikaner executive political leaders the Afrikaner “identity” was a dream come true: it gave them a way to manipulate the masses.9,26,28
The tragedy is that Raka the Beast also seems to have taken hold of many of the country’s current Black political leaders. Like the Afrikaner leaders, they are blind to realities of South Africa. They lack the ability to think beyond their cultural identities and histories. Many exploit Black citizens’ fear of the “White danger” to capitalize on reverse racism. In South Africa the vicious circle of racism is, like the religious cycle in Jewish Israel, just unbreakable.
3.4 Martinez’s lottery of birth
Raoul Martinez4, in his comprehensive book Creating freedom: power, control and the fight for our future, 2016, sees the past (which includes the two components life experiences and genetic inheritance) as a very strong driver of people’s daily behaviour and one of the main reason why people do the same things over and over.
Martinez4 argues that it is difficult for any group and its members who were born into an established society to break free from the past. The past offers specific internalized values, traditions, customs, beliefs, etc., to which people are exposed in a specific community from birth. This implies that if the same person were to grow up in a completely different community with contrary values, traditions, customs, beliefs, etc., that person could undoubtedly be formed according to that group’s own, different mould. In addition, each person is burdened with a genetic inheritance which limits and blocks certain successful behaviours.
Of course people can change with time, but only under certain optimal conditions. They have to gradually unlearn certain things and be desensitized to previous exposures and experiences. Martinez’s4 focus is on the fact that a group as a whole to can do some things and others not as a result of their established past. His focus is not so much on the group as it moves in the greater society. Martinez4 treats the individual who can shed his past as an exception to the rule of the group, which is imprisoned by their past and their genetics.
There are a few differences between Martinez’s views4 and my conclusions on people’s behaviours, including the behaviours of group leaders. The past plays a prominent role in both the opinions. For Martinez4 the past inserts many limitations for persons because of a rigid underbuild outside the person’s control and intentions. There is a strong focus on conditioning when he reasons on human behaviour. His view of some kind of “birth right” means that certain fatalism cannot be ignored in his hypothesis. I9 rather see the past as a point of departure into the future, not necessary an absolute limitation. This focus is influenced by cognitive and reality psychology.
The prominent question at this stage is still why many Afrikaners and Blacks, especially the executive political leaders, continue racist behaviour.
Martinez4 tries to explain this behaviour as a result of the specific environment in which people are born. He calls this the tragic fate of people as they have a basic inability to escape. Although he writes in general, this insight is applicable to the behaviours of Afrikaners and Blacks. He writes4:3:
We do not choose to exist. We do not choose the environment we will grow up in. We do not choose to be born Hindu, Christian or Muslim, into a war-zone or peaceful middle-class suburb, into starvation or luxury. We do not choose our parents, or whether they’ll be happy or miserable, knowledgeable or ignorant, healthy or sickly, attentive or neglectful. The knowledge we possess, the beliefs we hold, the tastes we develop, the traditions we adopt, the opportunities we enjoy, the work we do – the very lives we lead – depend entirely on our biological inheritance and environment to which we are exposed. This is the lottery of birth.
Martinez4 argues that the society in which people grow up absorbs them as members, taking their potential and shaping them (without much choice) into its mould (behavioural psychologists would say doctrine). He writes further4:3-4:
Early interactions, the treatment we receive and the behaviour we observe, begin the process of constructing an identity. Gradually, imperceptibly, we are induced into a community. We might have developed loyalty to any group, nation, ideology or religion, learned any language, practised any social customs, or partaken in any act of barbarism. Cultural transformation is a powerful process, one that produced both beautiful and ugly outcomes.
According to Martinez’s4 theory, one can argue that both the Afrikaners and Blacks were born into a certain society in a certain country at a certain time that was saturated with a racist pathology in its foundation from 1652. As Martinez4 puts it, they drew the wrong number when playing the lottery of birth. This doomed number was final and not returnable. The number gives as prize growing up as individual in a conflicting racial society. But Martinez’s4 view does not imply total fatalism: people can think for themselves and do things as they want, but they are to an extent “limited” by their genetic inheritance and life experiences. They are rooted in the communities into which they were born in the biological matter from which they had developed.
The billionaire Warren Buffett4 also postulates that most people find their destiny largely by luck (good luck if it leads to a good life; bad luck when it leads to a life of suffering). For Buffett4 people’s destinies are largely determined at the moment of their birth, where they were born, who had been their parents, their gender and their native intellect. These determinants steer people into domains (with some platforms) and on life paths (camped off by high fences most of the time). It is not easy to leave, while certain genetic determinants inherited from parents and learned perceptions forced down by the community rigidly determine the lives of most people. Political leaders know how to use these determinants to meet their followers’ needs (and limitations) and how to steer their followers’ behaviours in their, the leaders, own interest.
Thus, in terms of the above construct, let us call it the Buffett-Martinez concept4, most Afrikaners and most Blacks (and the leaders of both groups) were unlucky enough to be born in South Africa to Afrikaner or Black parents, to be raised in an Afrikaner or a Black society created initially by Dutch colonialism, saturated in European racism. Theoretically Apartheid and racism are sad outcomes that have been pre-programmed into the Afrikaners and Blacks by historical developments. They are doomed by their unlucky allocation of the wrong number in the lottery of birth; or, seen from another point of view, they are moulded as two specific racial groups caught in the South African society’s negative ideology. They were unwillingly and unfortunately caught in an ongoing racial conflict; a situation outside of their own control.4,9,24,25
4.1 Factors that influence the development of executive political leaders
The profiles of the various executive political leaders who governed South Africa from 1652 to 2018 are profoundly linked to racial and ethnic interactions and conflicts. At the centre there is domination and discrimination, mostly in an extreme form. The 1652 establishment of a refreshment station at the Cape, seen from a political view, was a non-racial and autocratic act. The management entailed that the early European workers were exposed to a Dutch governmental system without any political say or any representation. It was initially meant to be a temporary entity, similar to a modern business with an employer and a manager in charge of various employees. Initially the political relationship was White-to-White (workers from various European ethnic groups, but mostly Dutch, overseen by Europeans with more authority). The first class system was one of seniors and juniors, bosses and workers, although far less prominent than in established communities in the Netherlands. The informal management of the station changed to a more formal statutory system with its development into an agricultural colony by the 1660s. This heralded the slow import of Black slaves as labourers. The vague inter-ethnic social classification between Europeans was also extended to the Blacks, who, as slaves, were stripped of their civil rights and social status. The differentiation of social classes became sharply defined in terms of race. A “soft” racial differentiation started to make place for an “extra hard” racial differentiation. Class discrimination diminished compared with the new racial class differentiation where poverty and a dehumanization of Blacks started to play a dominant role. The Godske-declaration and other regulations on race relations prepared the way for Apartheid in the political, social and work environment. Discrimination against Blacks in time became entrenched as normal. Later Apartheid was born and it became a permanent part of the mindsets of Blacks and Whites.9,18,29
It is erroneous to argue that the Whites also had no political rights at the Early Cape. There were early attempts to give statutory protection to Whites. They were free to marry whom they chose and they were free to work for an income. Black slaves were stripped of their citizen’s rights and human dignity. They became objects, equal to animals (they could be bought and sold like animals). They were ostracized socially based on their unacceptable racial characteristics by the richer social higher classes, who were of course only White. Racial discrimination was born, with White assigned supremacy and Black inferiority, as Boon27 puts it directly and honestly: “Blacks are no good. Whites are good.” This led to the gradual spread of White racial discrimination against and domination of all the non-White sectors of the society in the Cape. It became a worldview amplified by the Whites’ particular brand of the Christian religion.9,21,26,27,32,38
However much it is being denied, it is still part of the lives of many Afrikaner Nationalists today. Their private conversations often contradict their public claim of non-racism. These racial influences shaped the politics up to 1994 and beyond. Apartheid itself understandably created a reaction to racial discrimination among Blacks, specifically the Afrikaners. This vicious circle of hate, driven by actions and counter-actions of the two opponents, still shapes the country’s politics – and not always for the good. On the other hand Blacks have good reason to be filled with remorse about pre-1994 South Africa. If the Herodotus Rules are anything to go by, South Africa has a long way to go.3,9,21,26,27,29,32,38
Within this environment, the abuse of the fears of the general population has become the primary tool of political leaders. Their own mental and social constructions also contaminate their ability to make sound political decisions and to be good executive political leaders.9,29
4.1.2 The impact of public ideologies on executive political leaders
Two overwhelming but opposing political dogmas played an important role in the formation of White–Black politics. First, it is important to take into consideration the Grand Apartheid of the Afrikaner Nationalists, created and driven by the NP and the AB’s executive political leaders since the beginning of the 1900s. Second, the ANC as a liberation movement active from the beginning of the 1900s is equally important in the formation of modern South African politics.9.26,29
Both political groupings reflect the ideas of an early core of political leaders who over time engrained their political views into their followers. The Afrikaner Nationalist ideology found expression in the Malan Manifesto, and the ANC’s ideology were formed around their various charters, of which the Freedom Charter is the most prominent.9,21,31,32
188.8.131.52 The influence of post-1948 Afrikanerism and Apartheid on the executive political leaders of the NP
The start of the Afrikaners’ political ideology on racial discrimination basically lies with the founding of the refreshment station at the Cape 1652. It was strengthened over time by the British discrimination against the proto-Afrikaners in the Cape Colony and the genocide of the Boers during the Second Anglo-Boer War. During all these phases of history the Black population was viewed as a threat to the existence of the proto-Afrikaners. The Blacks became the scapegoats for all that could go wrong in the country.9,23
When one looks critically at the period 1652 to 1902, the proto-Afrikaners’ political history reflects various traumas that contributed to negative racial beliefs.9,33-37
The most clearly formulated outline of the Afrikaners’ political ideology of racial discrimination is perhaps the DF Malan Manifesto of 194832 that introduced and directed Grand Apartheid up to 1994. The post-1948 Afrikaner behaviour is founded on this manifesto. It became the political Bible of the Afrikaner Nationalists preaching a redesigned history and identity. The Afrikaner Nationalists and their South Africa were depicted as a people similar to the Jews and Israel in terms of Biblical predestination: God’s chosen people. The 1948-leaders of the Afrikaner Nationalists very successful contaminated the minds of most Afrikaners, turning them into Pure Afrikaners. A young generation of Afrikaner Nationalist leaders spread Afrikanerism to every corner of South Africa. In the early 1950s Afrikanerism was already well established in the country.9,29,32,34,37
The Malan Manifesto is subsequently discussed to gain an understanding of the psyche of the Afrikaner Nationalist political leaders, starting with DF Malan, JG Strydom, HF Verwoerd, BJ Vorster, PW Botha and ending with FW de Klerk. The discussion also sheds light on their involvement in extreme political and human wrongs to Blacks, dissident Afrikaners and other Whites between 1948 and 1994.9,21,26,32
When comparing the political intentions of the Malan Manifesto with the political intentions of the Freedom Charter (or any of the other Charters) of the ANC, the Freedom Charter looks like an angel’s message directly from heaven. The Malan Manifesto was not much different from the manifestos of Hitler’s Nazis or Mussolini’s Fascists. One should remember that Malan, Strydom, Verwoerd and Vorster were all Nazi sympathizers. The Manifesto positions the NP and the AB as the liberators of the Afrikaners. Their intent was similar to those of the rising ANC in 1948, if not more extreme. Both political groups knew that factions ruled, not vision, and that the political policy that wins the race does not have to be the best one, but the one that is the best funded. Malan and his cronies knew this very well and knew to steer their political doctrine towards those people (the pure Afrikaners) who feel vulnerable and exposed because they do not control their own fate.9,21,26,31,38,39
What saved the NP and its radical political leaders in 1948 from counter-actions was the passivity of a war-tired world; strong sympathy from Europe and the USA for the Afrikaners as the last White race in Africa; the support of White supremacy worldwide; and possibly the most important, the presence of the world-class leader JC Smuts, who was still active in some way in the South African politics.
DF Malan was a Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde of sorts. This became clear as early as 1948 as some of his actions resembled the manipulations and false undertakings of Adolf Hitler before and immediately after he took power in Germany. This indicates the possible presence of personal, psycho- and social pathology, not only in Malan himself, but also his political partners who made Malan’s political, social and economical plans a reality in South Africa.9,21,22,27,32
In 1948, immediately after the NP took power with Malan as the executive political leader, he gave a parliamentary undertaking not to infringe on the democratic rights and freedoms that the people of South Africa enjoyed in 1948. He assured citizens that his government underwrites the “Western conception of democracy.” But if one reads more about what the Malan said in Parliament in 1948, then one reads after this his 1948 Manifesto, it becomes clear that he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The political events during his office testifies to this.9 Bernard Friedman21, in his book: Smuts, a reappraisal, writes an eye-opening account of the built-in principles of extreme political radicalism in the NP and the party’s intentions as a true liberation movement to destroy all established systems and to promote only the NP leaders’ aims from 1948 onwards. These radical intentions, are characteristics that stayed with the NP’s executive political leaders as long as the NP ruled South Africa.9,21,25,27,32,39
Friedman21 reports on Malan’s personal undertaking in the Parliament as follows21:75:
We also stand for the Western conception of democracy…The Western conception is that in the first place we must bear in mind the rights and freedom of the individual. The individual has human rights and nothing should be allowed to infringe upon his human rights… The individual has the right to live; he has the right of physical movement, of action. He has the right of freedom of thought; he has the right of exercising a free conscience; he has the right to freedom of religion; he has the right to express himself and his opinions. He can do so in public life where he takes part in the politics of his country. He can do so through the press; he can do so by taking part in the political struggle. He can call into being political parties and in that way join issue in public life with others whose views differ from his.
Nothing became of Malan’s promises, especially equality for Blacks under Apartheid (1948-1994). Malan was a political liar. What makes it so tragic is that he was regarded as god sent, a reverend and a God’s-man in the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC).9,21 However, this “religious” falsehood in public is not a surprise: radical racism was also part of the DRC Christian dogma, with one intention, as Friedman writes21:77:
To safeguard White supremacy and keep the Black man in his place.
It was the duty of every one of the Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders to spread the radical racism that formed part of the ideology and establish it, no matter how. Malan’s sober parliamentary promise of 1948 was swept from the table soon after with the promulgation of the NP’s draconian Suppression of Communist Act and the Terrorism Act.9,21,26,27,34,38
Radical Afrikaner Nationalism went very deep and was exacerbated by a kind of Christian Afrikaner radicalism. Since the society called itself Christian, the wrongdoings of Afrikaner leaders could be masked by a religious discourse, painting their actions as necessary for the safety of citizens and part of God’s plan. Groups that countered this included the African Christian Churches, the traditional Anglican and Methodist Churches, and Islamic churches, all institutes that opposed the false Christian dogma of Apartheid.9,26,29
It still remains a mystery why Afrikaners would vote the NP into government by a margin of six seats (but with 100 000 votes fewer) in 1948 solely on the Malan-manifesto as a good political policy, driven by a good political leader.9,21 It brings to the fore the thought of a collective psychopathology among many Afrikaner Nationalists. How could normally functioning people have accepted and underwritten the Malan Manifesto and follow a person with such absurd and radical political thinking on race and religion as that of Malan?9 This thought on psychopathology is further strengthened by the fact that Afrikaner Nationalists supported the racism of the leaders after Malan, like Strydom, Verwoerd and Vorster.9,26,27,31,32,40,41
The discussion now turns to the Malan manifesto in more detail in an effort to open a window onto the Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders’ mindsets and though patterns, as well as that of their followers.
The DF Malan Manifesto of 1948, as described in the book Geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika43 by the prominent historian, Professor DW Kruger, reads: 32:563:
The Party wanted to ensure the continued existence of the separate identity of each race in South Africa by means of Apartheid. Whites, Bantus, Coloureds and Indians were to be developed separately and parallel. The cultivation of a national consciousness, self-respect and mutual respect for every separate ethnic group was the declared policy of the Party and therefore also the new government [Own translation].
The impudence of the 1948 Malan policy on the politics and lives of Blacks further reads32:563:
With regard to the Bantu it was the declared policy to segregate the main ethnic groups into their own areas where they could develop as independent units. The reserves were to be seen as the national home of the Bantus. The Party further undertook to ensure that urban areas remain White with separate areas for Blacks, who were viewed as migrant labourers without equal social and political rights. The Party also vouched to control migration to urban areas by working with local authorities. Surplus numbers of Blacks would be sent back to their rural homes or to the reserves. With this aim in mind, a set of identification and control measures were put in place. This separation also applied to unions to protect the interests of White workers. The Party would see to it that the Bantu population received Christian and nationalist education, controlled by the state and administered by a separate state department. The Party recommended that the existing Bantu representation in Parliament and the Cape Provincial Council be abolished so that the Bantu population would be represented by seven White members of the Senate. However, these representatives did not have the power to vote on motions of no confidence, declarations of war or the amendment of the political rights of non-Whites. Instead of direct representation, the Bantus had a separate local government in the areas reserved for Blacks (Own translation].▼
▲ Please note that the author is aware of the fact that the word Bantu is no longer a suitable term. The term does appear in dated documents and is so translated for the sake of historical accuracy. It is also used in this article to reflect on some South Africans’ racial thinking, speaking and writing of sixty years and less ago. It is part of a collection of degrading names which especial Afrikaner political-historians used pro-1900s in their description of Blacks and needs to be reflected to bring racism prominent to the fore-ground. It does not represent the author’s view-point and he distances him totally from it.
Regarding the Coloured people, Kruger reports32:563-564:
The Coloureds occupy a position half-way between White and Black. In their case too the Nationalist government was in favour of a policy of complete separation – socially, residentially, industrially and politically – both between Coloureds and Whites and Coloureds and other non-White races. Marriage between Whites and Coloureds were prohibited. Coloureds were represented in the Senate by a White member appointed by the government. Cape Coloureds were removed from the voter’s roll, but they were represented by three White representatives in the House of Assembly. A Coloured Representative Council was created, but they had no power to vote on motions of no confidence, war declarations or the rights of non-Whites. There was also a Department for Coloured Matters. The Coloureds were represented in the Cape Provincial Council by three White members. They were elected by the Coloured Representative Council. The Coloureds could elect councils in their own areas to function within the framework of bodies with greater authority [Own translation].
On the Indians Kruger reports the intention of the Malan manifesto as follows32:564:
Regarding the Indians, the National Party was of the opinion that they make up a foreign, unassimilable element. The Party would repatriate them as much as possible, even with financial sacrifice. The rest were segregated from Whites and from other races. They had no representation in the legislative bodies of the Union. There was a segregation of residential areas and Indians could not own property in White areas. Trade facilities of Indians outside of Indian residential areas were strictly controlled. Indian dealers in Bantu areas eventually disappeared while trade rights for Bantus were reserved for these areas [Own translation].
For Afrikaners who grew up in the zeitgeist of the above ideology of White supremacy versus Black inferiority and forced separation from the other races who were “endanger their existence,” there was only one saviour of the “Afrikaner nation”: Apartheid and White supremacy. From 1948 onwards the younger generation of Afrikaner Nationalist leaders inside the NP-AB-DRC alliance all adhered to this ideology and it was entrenched as the only way to govern and lead. It became part of their religious belief system that supported their political intentions, beliefs and behaviours. The ideology that underlie Apartheid was forced down on every South African, both Black and White. No one dared to challenge it. It resembled Nazism.9,29,31,32,41
184.108.40.206.1 The Malan manifesto as a factor that affected the development of executive political leaders
The Malan manifesto was perhaps the most important influence on executive political leaders of Apartheid South Africa – far more important than the British pursuit of Afrikaners during the Second Anglo Boer War or the Cape authorities’ treatment of early Afrikaners. It formed the basis for the skewed thinking that supported all the Afrikaner political leaders’ actions during Grand Apartheid. This Manifesto made much of every suffering Afrikaners had endured since 1652, but it did not make anything of the Afrikaner’s contribution to historical events. Malan in this way manipulated the Afrikaners.9,26,27,29,32,38
The impact of the manifesto was profound: where the Afrikaners before 1948 showed unity in resisting oppression, the manifesto made clear that Afrikaners will rule and how they will go about it. Although past injustices were not all referenced in the manifesto, the style of the document is founded on these events. The Afrikaners refused to co-exist with others.
Despite the fact that the Afrikaners developed as an indigenous tribe to South Africa and Africa, the executive political leaders and their naïve Afrikaner Nationalist supporters failed to understand and accept the indigenous realities of South Africa and Africa.9,44 Louw writes9:167:
The settlement of the Afrikaner’s ancestors in 1652 at the Cape of Good Hope was geographically located on a massive African racial fault line. It is a giant demographic sinkhole that, when it opened unexpectedly more than 350 years later, hungrily started swallowing into its dark depths the psycho-political unprepared and bewildered Afrikaners of South Africa as one of the last of the two indigenous White tribes of Africa (with the Tuaregs being the other “White African” tribe). But this unpreparedness and bewilderment is the Afrikaners’ own fault. It was caused primarily by their unwillingness to understand, accept and appropriate the indigenous realities of South Africa into their Afrikanerism.
The Malan manifesto confirms this tragic failure. Also it confirmed in 1948 that White supremacy was central to their thinking. The Afrikaners were in power and they explicitly forced down White supremacy “legally”, “democratically” and by brute force.
When looking at Malan’s intentions, it is clear that he intended to capture South African politics and the economy for the Afrikaners. Without the one, the other one is lost. (The NP leaders played a trick on the ANC during the 1994 hand-over of their regime by giving them the political power, but keeping for themselves the economical power, causing the ANC to still struggle today).9,44-46
What made the impact of the manifesto so long-lasting was that it was not the random writings and propaganda of anyone, but a formal document issued by their supreme leader, the chief of the NP: an educated man, a man of God, a man with finesse, a man whose integrity you cannot doubt, a semi-god. He mesmerized the ordinary Afrikaners. The fact that Malan was so self-assured caused ordinary Afrikaners to follow him. This movement of Afrikaners simply annihilated all obstruction, later on by means of terrible atrocities. The people to a certain extent lost all logic in pursuit of a White utopia.
It must be noted that the group that became the Malan regime, the Purified Afrikaners, were well-organized and focused on changing South African politics long before 1948. This made it easier for them to captivate Afrikaners. South Africa’s participation in the Second World War under Smuts on the side of the passionately hated British against the Germans, gave the Malan group the opportunity to “come out of the closet.” They could use anti-British sentiment for their Afrikaner case and launch their radical politics with force. Malan gathered around him an effective team with clear views on their own political, personal and financial interests and that of their followers. They had the ability to match the two to obtain maximum results. They identified clear priorities and a sound strategy. They formulated an excellent plan of indoctrination, of delivering on the needs of the Afrikaner. They had skilled leaders, sound logistic planning and a delivery chain of middle-level leaders to make sure from day one that their political aims reach the Afrikaners on ground level. Malan and his team exemplified Afrikaner values, customs, habits and traditions, and they knew how to achieve the maximum gains. They knew the habits, traditions, customs and culture of the Afrikaners and how to use it. The way in which Malan utilized Afrikaner nationalism was comparable what Hitler did in 1934 in Germany to gain the upper hand. The unstable and infighting pro-British Afrikaner grouping that dominated the politics from 1910, were no match for Malan by 1948. From 1948 onwards the NP delivered on their promises when it comes to the interest of the Afrikaners.4,9,21,22,26,27,31,32,34,38,39,41,47
The manifesto was a well-planned piece of anarchy that excluded the opposition leader JC Smuts and his group of pro-British political thinkers. The ideology of Afrikanerism simply swallowed what was left of the British Empire in South Africa. The manifesto became the blueprint for Afrikaner behaviour for several decades.
220.127.116.11 The effect of terrorism and the liberation fight on the executive political leaders of the ANC
18.104.22.168.1 The ANC as a liberation movement
The ANC was founded as a South African liberation movement. The goal of the organization was to free Blacks from White domination and discrimination. Although its initial leaders were mostly Xhosas and Zulus, it was driven publically as an intertribal Black South African liberation organization. One of the main aims was to drive Whites physically from South Africa although Mandela later tried hard to deny this truth.26 The goal of overthrowing White dominance meant that any action was permissible, including murder of Whites. From the very beginning the ANC was not merely a political party with a goal of promoting the interest of its members.26,49-53
The actions and rhetoric of its present executive leaders clearly shows that the ANC still underwrites its early liberation intentions, now hidden from the public eye. Its culture of destruction, self-enrichment and self-empowerment by some of its executive political leaders, its failure to create new ventures to generate income for the inhabitants apart from wealth-grabbing from the rich Whites, (economic empowerment, Black economic empowerment and radical economic transformation), and the promotion of the interests, beliefs, opinions and views of the old ANC elite, provides evidence of a failed political party. This contaminating spirit has been transferred to the Black population from the 1950s onwards. From 1994, the party has been riding this wave in their effort to hold political power and to rule on the strength of an ideology and false promises to bring prosperity by grabbing wealth from Whites. A new younger generation of Black executive leaders have taken over these views since 1994. As a liberation organization, the ANC reached their goal in 1994. The organization should have ended there as a political organization and should have disbanded. South Africa needed a new Black political organization based on true democratic principles and not contaminated by the ANC’s liberation ideas.26,49-56
The destructive intent of the early liberation movement is still active inside the soul of the ANC. This is evident from the fact that since 1994 there has not been any real development for the general Black population – poverty, unemployment and unruliness are increasing – while the redistribution of White capital, taxes and wealth became the basis of their rule and the generation of wealth. Leaders like Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma were at the centre of the start of corruption and nepotism, for example with the Arms Deal. It is not so much that they initially profited from dishonesty, but they knowingly allowed unrestricted dishonesty as executive political leaders in charge of the country’s coffers. Zuma’s poor governance over the last few years is an example of a leader exploiting his own people. It is a blueprint of the ANC’s intention to be destructive in their pre-1994 anarchy. Nearly 800 charges of possible corruption against Zuma still have to be heard. This corruption comes from the earlier liberation mindset. Old liberation leaders put their own interests first before that of the ordinary Blacks. At the same time they keep playing the race card of the White danger, and they do so successfully. There is ample evidence of destruction in South Africa under the ANC-regime, something that is contrary to their noble talking.26,50-66
Mandela was opposed to any tribalism, any cultural collective that could lead to the kind of regime he overthrew, yet he kept associating with terrorist leaders, as evidenced by his many journeys as executive political leader of South Africa to countries linked to terrorism. These countries had supported him in the struggle. When the West warned him not to be naïve about these doubtful countries and their leaders, he dismissed them as arrogant to dictate to him who South Africa’s friends should be. When criticized for selling weapons to Syria (where Basher Assad was slaughtering thousands of Arab Muslims), he responded angrily26:562: “We will conclude agreements with any country whether they are popular in the West or not… the enemies of countries in the West are not ours.” Indeed Fidel Castro of Cuba and Muammar Qadaffi (Kaddafi) of Libya visited South Africa after 1994 and when visiting Muammar Qadaffi in Libya, Mandela awarded him the Order of Good Hope of South Africa. His liberation foundation clearly shone through in his public defence of the murderous Qadaffi.26:565 He said: “Not a single African, Coloured or Indian has questioned my going to Libya, but they regard the interests of whites as being the interests of the country, you cannot challenge the United states because the interests of the country are going to be harmed. Not one black man has said so, only the white parties.” Liberation leaders tend to sit on two chairs at the same time. The double standards of most liberators are best reflected by Mandela’s “praise of President Bill Clinton as a friend of South Africa and Africa, promising him loyalty, as he had done to Qaddaffi.”26:565
22.214.171.124.2 Liberation as a factor that affected the executive political leaders of the ANC
Mthombothi’s50 in-depth analysis of the ANC is helpful for understanding more of the “political heart” of the party and its leaders in 2018. He writes50:17:
Liberation movements have never been known, once in power, to bring about the nirvana they preached about while seeking to overthrow the status quo. It is not difficult to understand why. Their modus operandi, their raison d’être and what they’re good at, is to destroy rather than build. And it’s easier to destroy than to build. Even a fool can do it. No liberation movement in Africa, Latin America or East Asia has been able to run a passable government or greatly improve the quality of life of the people beyond giving them handouts. Instead of growing the cake, they redistribute what is already in existence. They also tend to overstay their tenure in government, either through their use of violence – which is, after all, the means by which they grabbed power or through the support of a significant part of the populace still grateful that they rid them of the hated ancient regime.
Mthobothi’s50 political dissection goes deeper into the psyche of destruction of the ANC’s current executive political leaders. It grew from their previous leaders, who were their examples. Disorder has become entrenched in these leaders50:17:
But the old rulers always leave a mess behind that others have to clean up. Also their departure from power creates a serious rupture in society because their madness and habits are embedded in all social strata. After all, the party is supreme; it is the vanguard of everything. It therefore cannot be uprooted without destabilising or tearing society itself, leaving deep scars.
This is the lens or tradition through which the ANC should be seen.
Du Plessis59 agrees with Mthobothi50 and emphasizes that the liberation culture was permanently fused into the “DNA and the political wiring” of the ANC’s modern executive political leaders through their earlier exposure to and experience of liberation actions and the corrupted ideologies of their previous leaders. In time it contaminated the ANC’s executive leaders so that they could not rule with effectiveness and wisdom from 1994 onwards.
The ANC leadership’s modus operandi, their raison d’être and their pre-occupation is to destroy all opposition and to stay in politics for their own interests. They are deliberately mismanaging the Constitution, the Parliament and other important statutory institutions and they capturing finances. Slowly they etched away the ethics of good executive political leadership. This is implemented by means of Luthuli house, which captured the country in 1994, centring all political power and decision-making in the ANC NEC and its ANC president.61-62,67-69
Comprehensive evidence on the person of Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, alias uBaba kaDuduzane Zuma, gives insight into the political mismanagement of South Africa since 1994. His behaviour was influenced by the ANC’s earlier development as a liberation movement and its accompanying political and social flaws. Their liberation tactics included murder, doing things to benefit them personally also became part of the party culture.26, 50-76
126.96.36.199.3 The impact of past injustices on today’s Black executive political leaders
The liberation foundation of the ANC has its roots in the first Black colonization of South Africa, which had resulted from Blacks moving from North Africa into Southern Africa in the 1600s. First they were simply seeking freedom and a better life, but it soon turned into fighting between incoming tribes and local tribes, like the KhoiSan. The land grabbing and murder of the legal owners of the territories by the incoming forefathers of the present-day ANC, was nothing else than terrorism. After this colonization, many new Black settlements with clear territories and political power were established. Over time their aggression turned to each other, terrorizing each other for territory, cattle and power. This led to the killing of more than one million Blacks between 1810 and 1840 in northern South Africa. The unique characteristics that are associated with the ANC’s executive political leaders are the same as those associated with their forefathers, like the Zulu king Shaka, who was without doubt a freedom fighter, terrorist and liberator. Shaka’s ruthlessness is evident from his habit of the murdering innocent women and other non-combatants as part of his constant wars against other Blacks. Some other shared characteristics are self-enrichment, oppression of subordinates, misuse of power, murder to keep power, lack of conscience, self-promotion, etc.9,27,29
Powell’s77 work on the role of terrorism in South African politics is informative. He writes that the emotionally laden concepts freedom fighter, terrorist, insurgent, revolutionary and guerrillas bring controversy to the discussion around terrorism. There is no consensus on the use of these names to identify the types of culprits. For instance in China and Russia, any action against the state would make the culprit an enemy of the state, treason and thus terrorism, which is more or less how the NP viewed the ANC.77
The official British description on terrorism seems to be the best suited to the South African situation. Powell77:9 reflects: “…serious violence against a person or serious damage to property; designed to influence a government or an international organization or to intimidate the public or a section of the public; with the aim of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause”.
The late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, also gave a good description of the ANC’s political leaders’ mindset. It reads77:9: “For whoever stands by a just cause and fights for freedom and liberation of his land from the invaders, the settlers and colonists, cannot possibly be called terrorist.”
From the British point of view Shaka was a terrorist, as were the tribes who came from the North of Africa to South Africa. Note again the characteristics of true terrorism: 1) serious violence against a person; 2) serious damage to property designed to influence a government or an international organization; or 3) to intimidate the public; 4) to intimidate a section of the public; 5) with the aim of advancing a political, racial or ideological cause. This could clearly include Shaka’s actions towards the then indigenous people, the KhoiSan.77
The behaviours of early Black tribes became part of a culture. The same plundering and murder were used against the Voortrekkers in the 1830s. The Blacks’ exposure to discrimination, domination and suppression awakened and strengthened their earlier established and internalized belief system that terrorism and freedom fighting are the solutions to their problems. In the circumstances of Apartheid, the Black liberator’s tendency towards terrorism was reawakened.9,19,22-27,29,77
Many of the behaviours of the current Black executive political leaders of South Africa are part of a culture passed on from their forefathers. Undoubtedly the oppression they experienced exacerbated this. These negative values, internalized as good customs, traditions and habits, were transferred also as good customs, traditions and habits in the mindsets of the later generations of executive political leaders. In modern South Africa leaders from this culture captured the instable political setup after 1994 to benefit them.50-54,60-76
Just like White discrimination and aggression influenced the Blacks’ mindset negatively, the Blacks’ political aggression and attacks on Whites negatively influenced the Whites’ view of Blacks. South Africa’s racial conflict comes from two sides. It would not be easy to change this. This situation is aggravated if a country’s political setup is in general unstable, as South Africa has been from the middle 1600s to today.24-27,29
188.8.131.52.4 Afrikaners and their freedom fighting and terrorism before 1948
The finger is often pointed to the ANC when it comes to terrorism, but the same could be said of Afrikaner Nationalists. They also manipulated the Afrikaner people solely for their own interest by positioning themselves as saviours of Whites and Christianity, the guards against communism, the solution to the “Black danger.” While the ANC wanted to gather heterogeneous Black groups into a large group, the Afrikaner executive political leaders followed the approach of a Whites-only policy by gathering together a small homogeneous group, the Afrikaners, through masterly manipulation of the politics of South Africa. From 1948 the Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders were elevated to Afrikaner heroes, good leaders and Afrikaner gods. The South African media was seized by the Afrikaners’ executive leaders to promote themselves and to distribute disinformation on Blacks as the enemies of the Afrikaners. A direct outcome of this was the suppression of non-Whites. However, this behaviour did not start with the Malan manifesto in 1948, it came from the distant past, as do the flaws of the Blacks.9,21,22,26,27,29,38,41,44,43
Given the political history of the Afrikaners, their NP-AB-DRC alliance could also be called a true liberation movement, also radical and often very extreme. Their modus operandi was based on the same liberation principles as that of the ANC, however much the Afrikaners would want to reject this truth. In their case the immediate enemies were the English because of their oppression of the proto-Afrikaners over centuries in the Cape Colony and later in the Boer republics. The growing “Black danger” later became the primary evil to fight. As with most liberation movements (typically with a lifespan of more or less 24 years), the NP-AB-DRC alliance failed disastrously in the end, chiefly because of the NP’s total collapse as a political party of integrity to serve all the South Africans. This leaves South Africa in an enormous political, social, economical and psychological mess, not only for the Whites, but also the Blacks, who were totally unprepared to take over the government in 1994.9,21,22,24,25,37,38,43,54,76
The Afrikaner Nationalists were indeed an active and destructive liberation movement long before the ANC through their Grand Apartheid and their Afrikanerism (1948-1994). Both groups had the same tendency to destroy the opposition.
When comparing the Afrikaners’ political actions with the ANC, the similarities are clear, namely77:
- violence against a person;
- serious damage to property;
- designed to influence a government or an international organization or to intimidate the public or a section of the public;
- with the aim of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.
This brings us back to Boon’s27 description of the characteristics of a political mobster27:75:
Selfishness; delinquent inclinations all-over; strategies total stripped of all democratic principles, traditions, thinking, planning and doings; absolute intolerant; anti- order; minorities are quickly eradicated; coercion actions characterized by destruction, threat, killings and brutalities; aim the creation of a delinquent mob-reign; aim the exclusive of executive political mob-leaders to reign the country.
Just like the history of Blacks in South Africa became part of ANC culture, the year 1948 laid the same patterns of corruption, mismanagement and racism into the mindsets of the Afrikaner executive political leaders, as the Malan manifesto confirms. The same kind of psychopathology became embedded in the mindsets of many of the Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders. This outcome is clear from the political reign of Malan, Verwoerd and Vorster. These Afrikaner-leaders quickly became the untouchable political masters of South Africa through their mobilization of White empowerment and White supremacy. The cold-blooded policy of Apartheid was in line with Powell’s77 British guideline on terrorism and Boon’s27 mobster association with terrorism. There is overwhelming evidence of the Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders’ political wrongdoings and they cannot escape the truth and the moral judgement that goes with it. What is more, there is no difference between the wrongdoings of the NP and that of the ANC’s leaders.21,21,25,37,38,43,76
The Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders’ radical behaviour has a much deeper aetiology. It is necessary that we look to the political inclinations of the so-called border Boers (Grensboere) and travelling Boers (Trekboere) living in the late 1700s to early 1800s at the Cape Colony. These persons, today mostly referred to as proto-Afrikaners, lived in less favourable situations and conditions than the more urban proto-Afrikaners, the Cape Dutch. They were undoubtedly less educated and less exposed to urban culture. They were forced to make a hard living in rural areas, populated by multiple groups of hostile non-Whites. The hard life of a farmer and their daily racial conflicts over land exposed them to bad experiences and bad examples. There was a lack of interest in their general welfare and a lack of aid in their defence from the Cape authorities. Their own efforts to survive include reprisals on Blacks for attacking them and stealing their livestock. This resulted in the normalization of bad behaviours.9,18,22,24,25
Certain deviant behaviour became the norm, behaviours that would not be acceptable to the Cape Dutch in the cultured Cape or by the Cape authorities. These behaviours became entrenched into the mindsets of the farmers. The conflict of the border Boers and travelling Boers with the authorities were undoubtedly often caused by the authorities’ negative and hostile attitudes towards these Boers. Often the hostility resulted from the Boers’ failure to abide by the law.9,18,22,24,25
The fact that the Boers moved northwards confirms that they wanted to do things in their “own way.” Their “own way” was not always within the law and resembled terrorism as described by Powell77 and Boon.27 Their behaviours reappeared during the Great Trek when the Voortrekkers started to occupy land that they saw as “uninhabited and ownerless,” while in reality it was the property of certain Black tribes who used it as hunting grounds and pasture for their cattle. Despite this the land was occupied by the Boers, often by brute force. This first forceful occupation of Black land north of the Cape Colony’s border took the same form as the migration of Black tribes southwards with their first colonization of South Africa.9,18,22,24,25
It is important to look at Powell’s77 description of terrorism again. When considering the actions of the Boers, it resembles Saddam Hussein’s unlawful occupation of Kuwait that caused the world to react. In modern times the behaviour of these early Boers would bring them before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for terrorism and murder.10,77
This initial aggression of the Boers went further with the large-scale occupation of Black territory by driving away and killing the Black owners. It was exactly the same terrorism that Shaka employed when taking over the land of other tribes and murdering them to get control over the area. When considering the official British definition77 of terrorism, the behaviour of the Boers seems to fit very well. This early “terrorist” occupation directly led to the founding of the two Boer republics, both of which supported racial discrimination, showing how much it had been internalized. 9,19-23,26,,36,79
In an effort to understand the Boers’ dehumanizing views of Blacks, developed and established either during their stay in the Colony or in the Boer republics, it is informative to read what the Chief Justice of the US Supreme court, the Honourable Judge Roger Brooke Taney declared in 1856, using the rule of law to advance the process of dehumanization4:355-356:
…that the black man ‘had no rights which the White man was bound to respect…the Negro might justly and lawfully be…treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic.
These words were expressed around the same time that the Boer republics were established.9,19-23,26,,36,79
The Boer terrorism and their dehumanization of Blacks were also intended to keep the economic system exclusively for themselves. Self-enrichment and self-empowerment were motives in their political policies. Chomsky says80:28:
Concentration of wealth yields concentration of political power. And concentration of political power gives rise to legislation that increases and accelerates the cycle.
The Boers could enrich themselves by dehumanizing Blacks. Martinez’s4 description of the unbreakable and intertwined determinants in general wrongdoing worldwide clarifies the Boers’ behaviour (and the Afrikaner Nationalists later) against Blacks. These unbreakable and intertwined determinants seem to still be cemented into some Afrikaners’ mindsets in 2018 as reflected by their unreasonable resistance to radical economic transformation (RET) and the surrender of rich white capital (RWC) by the Black regime. Not even the post-1994 dispensation could break down the unbreakable intertwined politics and economics of the Afrikaners.9,58,60,74
Dehumanisation has always been fostered to concentrate power and justify violence. How can a country grow rich on slave labour if its population regards slaves as fully human? How can military leaders destroy native populations and established new territories if those natives have equal rights? How can rich nations justify their hugely disproportionate consumption of the world’s resources without implicitly believing in their own superiority?
Dehumanisation has long been wired into the systems that dominate the world. Capitalism has to foster moral exclusion to justify the extreme inequality it creates. States are fictional entities that methodically constrain empathy through the cultivation of patriotism. If we are to reduce dehumanization in the world, we need to overcome the physical and psychological distance maintained by borders and bank balances.
After the fall of the two Boer republics, the Transvaal and the Free State, Boers again obtained the political upper hand with the formation of the Union of South Africa. They were still driven by their rigid racism (which includes dehumanization and economic capture). This negative energy was further canalized into the racial policy of the Union and from there into the Grand Apartheid of the Verwoerd Republic, only officially ending in 1994.9,18,22,24,25,58,60,74
It is a clear example of how flawed thinking became part of the very fabric of a people. The main tool the leaders of the border Boers and travelling Boers used to obtain new territories, to enrich themselves and to get political power away from the Cape authority at the cost of the Black inhabitants of Transvaal and Free State, was terrorism in an extreme form.
Researchers have thus far refrained from studying the land grabbing of the Boers in Transvaal and the Free State because it is so politically sensitive. The same goes for the earlier actions of Whites in South Africa. The South African situation does not differ much from the early Americans’ terrorism against the Native Americans (Red Indians) in their land grabbing. Martinez writes as follows about the ignored colonial history of the Americans4:151:
When freedoms clash, some must take priority over others. In the economy, the mechanism that determines which freedoms are prioritized is the property rights system. Property rights bestow the freedom to control and profit from what is owned. They determine who has decision-making authority over a given commodity. Ownership is necessarily exclusive: as soon as one person owns something, the rest of the world does not. When the Wild West pioneer claimed to own ‘newly discovered’ land and made it his home, he appropriated resources that had been the preserve of Native Americans for thousand s of years.
Martinez reports further4:153:
The history of colonialism and imperialism poses further challenges to the legitimacy of property rights today. From the fifteenth century onwards, European nations took control of much of North, Central and South America, large swathes of Asia and, by the twentieth century, most of Africa. Indigenous populations were wiped out or pushed off their land, communities were devastated and resources were appropriated for Western profit; and
There is nothing voluntary about this process. Indeed, it’s hard to see the original appropriation and privatisation of commonly owned resources as anything but theft.
Interesting is the fact that the White Americans seem not to have lost their internalized tendency to commit terrorism when there is occasion to profit, as is evident from their occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria for oil and minerals in precisely the same way they terrorized the Native Americans of the Wild West for profit long ago. The Afrikaners do the same.81
When looking at the political histories of the two main South African groups, their histories are undoubtedly intertwined. South Africa’s Blacks and Whites are twin brothers when it comes to freedom fighting and terrorism. The thing that made this relationship notorious is the fact that the two brothers fought each other instead of fighting together!
The leaders of the ANC and the NP can be thankful that they are living in comfort in South Africa. The International Criminal Court (ICC) decided different for Radovan Karadzic and Charles Taylor. However, they could still be held to account. The warning of the diplomat Mark Malloch-Brown37 is still applicable to the living and transgressing leaders of the ANC and the NP37:197: “Very bad rulers are discovering that they are accountable for their actions. Punishment can come this side of the grave.” All that has saved the ANC and NP’s executive political leaders so far is that they were not all bad.
4.1.3 The effect of environment on a leader’s mindset
184.108.40.206 The impact of the racial divide in South Africa on the executive political leaders
220.127.116.11.1 Physical and emotional distance
The physical and emotional distance that hostile groups put between them makes ill treatment of such groups easy, causing no anguish for the soul. Hurting and killing the political opposition became normal, justified, even necessary. Nelson Mandela himself declared this kind of behaviour by the ANC against the Afrikaners “justified actions.” This “moral” justification of terrorism by political leaders is sometimes framed in a religious context, for example the Christian terrorists of the Irish Liberation Army in their killing of the British. The Christian members of the security forces of the NP also gave a religious justification for killing ANC members.23-25,54-56
Martinez4 provides insight into how oppressors reduce the status of their opponent until they are less than human. In South Africa this made it easy for Afrikaners to maintain their racism. They had to keep Blacks “far away” as strangers, enemies that can be punished for good reason without moral guilt. The first step is to categorize these strangers into a bipolar classification of good versus bad, and then to start to dehumanized the “bad” human with different degrading descriptions and names.
This confirms that although abnormal psychological tendencies can play a role in phenomena like Apartheid and terrorism, the transgressors are not always psychopaths or psychiatric patients and can be “normal people.” They have all kinds of learned “abnormal behaviour” that come from examples or authorities forcing down behaviour that varies from asocial to antisocial behaviour within a specific social and political community or society. These behaviours are passed from generation to generation and become entrenched, and this is true of both Black and White in South Africa.4,9
On the role of stereotyping and the mechanisms involved in categorization, Martinez writes4: 350-351:
The way we relate to other groups and individuals is heavily influenced by how we categorize them. Our language abounds with labels that define and distinguish between people: believer/non-believer; illegal immigrant/citizen; criminal/victim; terrorist/civilian; patriot/traitor; black/white; man/woman.
The categories in which we place people reflect a hierarchy of human value. The philosopher Peter Singer uses the term ‘moral circle’ to describe how we place some beings in a privileged category – worthy of our full moral concern – and others outside it. Those within the circle of altruism become part of our moral community and, with respect to them, preferential principles of fairness, conduct, respect, resource, allocation and justice apply. The smaller our circle, the more people are excluded from it. Those who don’t make the cut are judged unworthy of the same level of concern, in which case a different ethical code applies.
Immigrants, foreigners, the poor, the working class, women, the unemployed, the disabled, the obese, the young, the old and prisoners are routinely described in derogatory terms that chip away at their status as human beings worthy of our full moral concern. Racism, sexism and classism are all ways of defining the boundaries of our moral circles in order to keep some people firmly out. Moral exclusion can run in both directions, however: the oppressed can dehumanize their oppressors as much as their oppressors can dehumanize them – the crucial difference being the power each group has to turn prejudice into persecution.
Language reinforces psychological distance. From Nazi Germany to apartheid South Africa, labels that reduce people to the status of animals have been a standard way of justifying persecution. People are called ‘beasts’, ‘dogs’, ‘pigs’ or ‘parasites’. Employing the clinical language of hygiene takes the process further so that people become objects of revulsion: ‘filth’, ‘scum’ or ‘trash’ that must be ‘cleansed’ and ‘eradicated’.
Language, used as a tool to dehumanize our opponents, reflects our masked racism to groups and individuals. Racially coloured language can be very effectively used to establish racism in children, with the primary focus on outsiders who we believe endanger our identity and future as individuals and as a group. In research on the Arab-Jew problem in Israel, children were asked about the meaning of the word “Arab.” Jewish children aged twenty-four to thirty months reacted with descriptions such as “violent and aggressive people.” Jewish children aged five to six showed a further depreciation of the “Arab” as a social class in the Israeli society and a higher resistance to social contact with them. The research also indicated that some children classed “Arabs” as “killers” and “murderers.” The research shows that the main creators of these negative classifications in the children’s mindsets were the Israeli Jewish parents themselves, who argue that this was implemented to safeguard their children against “Arabs,” although there was no evidence of any direct danger to the children.4
Worldwide certain groups are labelled as bad by other groups. The unlucky groups are usually labelled as “not human.” In today’s world the dehumanization is often more masked than was the case during the Second World War for instance. Martinez4 shows in his analysis of newspapers in the USA how implicitly derogatory racist terms are still used to indicate and evoke racism towards, although indirectly.4 By portraying the “enemy” as not fully human, the process of enslaving and killing them becomes easy. The Second World War offers a good example of the brain-washing of the masses. The enemy was indicated for instance with names like “rats”, “vermin”, “bugs”, “animals”, “pigs”, “apes”, etc. Germans were dehumanized in Russia after their war attacks with literature that would refer to the killing of Germans as follows4:353: “There is nothing more amusing for us than a heap of German corpses”.
Martinez4 comes to the following conclusion on the phenomenon of racial discrimination where dehumanizing became prominent. He writes4: 353-354:
There is a strong temptation to dehumanize those who dehumanize others, but the uncomfortable truth, as history teaches us, is that treating others inhumanely is very much in the scope of our nature. The evidence suggests that what separates us from those whose actions we deplore is not innate moral superiority but circumstances – and not just circumstances that shape our character but the circumstances that determine our options.
The same psychological mechanisms of dehumanization are at work whenever we encounter systematic killing, oppression or torture. In Rwandan genocide of 1994, hundreds of thousands of Tutsis were slaughtered by the Hutu majority. The underlying prejudices were consciously fostered by European colonialists, particularly the Belgians, as part of a ‘divide and rule’ strategy. Insidious theories of racial superiority were established and reinforced institutionally by political, economic and educational means. The Tutsi minority were granted privileges and invited to help rule the Hutu majority, fomenting the anger and resentment that eventually exploded into the violence of the 1990s. Examples abound. Dutch colonialism created the conditions for South African apartheid by systematically denying black South Africans fundamental rights and condemning them to humiliating and degrading conditions.
Many Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders engaged in this kind of categorizing and dehumanizing of certain ethnicities or races, especially from 1948 to 1994 (and even today) with the prominent use of specific degrading and delegitimizing names. They successfully entrenched these terms into their followers’ mindsets. DF Malan and his followers in 1948 started a well-planned scheme to categorize and dehumanize non-Whites, especially the Blacks. They filled the minds of Afrikaners with their false and contaminated ideology. Like the Israeli Jews, they knew very well that stereotypes could be firmly established in the mindset of children long before they develop the cognitive ability to question or doubt received information. The NP’s tactic was also to distance Afrikaners from Blacks as far as possible and to discourage socialization and miscegenation. The NP used the media and several organizations to indoctrinate Afrikaners with Afrikaner supremacy, including various cultural movements that focused on both the Afrikaner youth and adults. Afrikaner movements like the Voortrekkers, the Rapportryers, the Ruiterwagte, etc., became very prominent. Education became another main vehicle to establish Afrikaner supremacy and to cultivate Afrikaner-Nationalist patriotism.9,21,26,32
Martinez writes as follows about the political use of superiority4:358:
They careful demarcate a specific community to whom preferential principles apply. The careful and persistent cultivation of patriotism is, in effect, a form of state-sanctioned dehumanization aimed at not at eradicating empathy but to channelling it to where it is politically useful.
The style and content of DF Malan’s political approach of creating polar opposites with the Afrikaners as “good” versus the Blacks as “bad,” are reminiscent of Hitler’s efforts in 1934 after he took power in Germany. This indoctrination successfully sped up the implementation of the NP’s ideology of racism.9,21,32
The similarity between the approaches of Malan and Hitler becomes clear when one takes a look at Hitler’s modus operandi, as reported by Martinez.4 He writes4:97:
When Hitler took power in 1934, significant resources were expended on shaping the beliefs and values of the German population. Censorship was extreme, and the messages conveyed by the media – from films to books – were tightly controlled. Hitler, who devoted three chapters of Mein Kampf to the subject of propaganda, was acutely aware of the importance of shaping belief and opinion as a means of control. When the Nazis took power, the German education system was comprehensively revamped so that subjects were approached from the state’s ideological framework. History lessons focused on German military achievements, biology classes taught Aryan superiority and, across the board, Jews were demonized and blamed for the economic hardships Germany had experienced. Outside school, millions of children were signed up to the Hitler Youth by parents keen to appear supportive of the regime. By 1939 the organization had eight million members.
18.104.22.168.3 Restructuring of education system
As in Nazi Germany, evidence confirms that all the new incoming “undemocratic” countries of the 20th century, like Bolshevik Russia, Fascist Italy and Communist China, had one thing in common. They sped up political and social change by restructuring the education system to incorporate the ideologies of the new regimes into the collection of academic school subjects, the teachers’ thinking and youth organizations active inside and outside schools.4
The intention with the establishment of racism in the Afrikaner mindset was to make the Afrikaners suitable for the “new” post-1948 Afrikaner political system as designed by the Afrikaner Nationalist leaders. The racism and the growing dehumanizing of Blacks were not new. It was similar to the politics of the Great Trek and the Boer republics. This Afrikanerism with racism an essential element became the central idiom from 1948 and it determined the Afrikaners’ political thinking, planning and behaviour. In time it overwhelmed all rationality.4,9,21,22,32,60,79
This racism did not magically disappear in 1994. In present-day South Africa we, Black and White, are still racists in one or the other way, we still use racial terms to describe other South Africans, as our official documents confirm. When we are angry about political outcomes, we still call each other degrading names, although mostly in the secrecy of our homes. The complexity of the South African racial milieu is well described by Ela Gandhi, a granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi82:21:
I believe that we can only understand what is happening in South Africa if we acknowledge our racist history. Racist education and unbridled racial discrimination were entrenched in the various apartheid laws. Today, although most racist laws are rooted out, racist attitudes, prejudices, misconceptions and judgments remain within us.
Regarding these rigid racist attitudes, prejudices, misconceptions and judgements that Gandhi feels have remained within us and that are still strengthening the categorizing and dehumanizing of South African, she further writes82:21:
Academics define racialism as the recognition of cultural differences between race groups, as opposed to racism, which arises when members of one race group believe they are superior to the others and manifest this belief in a way that hurts others.
Perpetrators of racist pranks, utterances, assaults and insults often believe they have done no wrong, because the idea of their superiority is so deeply entrenched in their minds that others are not considered as humans with feelings and importance. With this kind of mindset, they automatically give vent to racist vitriol when irked by some incident. This kind of mindset also leads them to spur each other on to engage in violent group forms of racist behaviour.
The above also goes for the ANC’s executive political leaders. They also experienced a social, emotional and physical distancing from Afrikaners for centuries, leading to their own political wrongdoings, including terrorist acts against Afrikaners in pre-1994 South Africa.
Nils Christie4 also writes on the effects of distancing and dehumanizing. He studied guards who had worked in German and Norwegian concentration and extermination camps in the wake of the Second World War. He did controlled psychological experiments, upon which he concludes4:350: “Distance makes killing and torture possible…Distance makes it possible to lose sight of the victim as an ordinary human being.”
Apartheid’s distancing and dehumanizing made Afrikaners lose sight of Blacks as human beings, making it easier for them to commit atrocities against Blacks. Similarly, as with the Afrikaners, Blacks had a distancing and contaminated relationship with Afrikaners from early times. This is still present in the attitudes of Black executive political leaders.9,83
Both Black and White in South Africa should put these learned attitudes aside. They should take to heart the wisdom of the Italian proverb: After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box.
22.214.171.124 Exposure to ethnic and racial differentiation, domination and discrimination as factors that influence the behaviour of executive political leaders
A factor that adds to the effects of distancing and categorization is exposure to short and long-term traumatic events. Collective trauma can lie far in the past and still influence a group. Negative perceptions are transferred from generation to generation and they become guidelines on how to behave towards previously hostile and aggressive persons and groups or situations. The behaviour of the Englishman and the Frenchman illustrated earlier is a good example. The use of a language of fear by Jewish parents to instil negative perceptions of Arabs as persons in time become guidelines for how to treat Arabs.1,2,4,9
The DF Malan manifesto is an excellent example of how a group’s earlier political history and trauma could be shaped into a propagandistic document, mesmerizing people (victims) who feel that they have been short-changed in the past by certain persons or groups. Most of these discourses identify a culprit. In South Africa there is not a single tribe or groups that had not been subjected to suppression, atrocities and genocide at some time. Each group may have experienced it differently or vary in the degree of powerlessness they feel. The trauma experienced by a tribe or group has the ability to deform their mindsets. It also makes them susceptible to indoctrination by leaders. We see this with Stalin in Russia, Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy and Malan in South Africa.4,9,11,12,27,32
The wrongdoers of these tribes become monsters due to their own evil-laden internalized past. This is what Martinez4 refers to as our lottery of birth. It seems impossible to escape this dynamic.
Research confirms that many of the more radical leaders experienced traumatic events personally. Many racist political leaders seem to have grown up as children in racist homes. They had racist role models. Often what they learned amounts to psychopathology. The racial discrimination of many Afrikaners also leads back to the early history of the group as a whole.9,20-25-27,32-35,37,42
Hatred for the British due to their cold-blooded genocide of the Boer families during the Anglo-Boer War also influenced the racism of the early Afrikaners. In addition they were in competition with Blacks politically, socially, psychologically and economically. After their political emancipation in 1910, the enemy that remained was the “Black danger,” the last of the external dangers. Over the years, Afrikaners came to see the Blacks as the primary reason for trauma. It stands out as a determinant of the political and racial behaviour of Afrikaners. The stopcock of racial discrimination was opened on the Blacks in 1948.19-25,29,31,32,34,35,44,78,79
Louw9 shows how in South Africa the experiences of the different groups led to perceptions, and perceptions led to new behaviours to survive. Negative experiences caused negative reactions, and so the cycle continues. The racially discriminative examples set by government authorities and other supportive institutions and groups set the stage for discrimination as an approved and acceptable and even prescribed lifestyle. Decades of conditioning had people believe that the groups at the receiving end are getting what they deserve.4,9,21,22,33
Louw9 notes that negative experiences can stimulate or strengthen established racial attitudes and behaviours, an action-reaction syndrome. Belief systems that had been internalized over generations and which had become firmly established in individuals, groups and tribes, take a momentum of their own and remain part of a collective psyche long after the initial stimuli have disappeared. This applies to both negative and positive experiences. Such learned prejudices, shaped and maintained by conditioning, overrides even the soundest cognitive thinking and reasoning.9,30,49
Traditions, habits, custom, values and beliefs that have been established over generations become part of people’s characters and personalities. These elements are unchangeable as long as a group survives as a unit. Behavioural psychology shows that cultural, religious and political thinking gains a momentum of its own and remains present long after the initial cause has disappeared.9,84
When considering the Afrikaners’ racism and Apartheid, we should focus on the impact their executive leadership had from 1910, but especially from 1948. Louw reflects9:223:
The doctrine of racism and its constant impression on nationalist Afrikaners by the NP-AB-DRC alliance’s leadership led to a successful Afrikaner ethnic and racial despotism within half a century in South Africa. The NP-AB-DRC used methods such as ostracizing and punishing dissident Afrikaners for political deviation and anti-Afrikaner behaviour and compensating people for approved of pro-Afrikaner behaviours. This situation was never challenged or questioned by grassroots nationalist Afrikaners and was inculcated in the new generations of nationalist Afrikaners. Greed played a part in the start and continuation of conformity to racism.
Most Afrikaners grew up in this undemocratic political context. They obliged themselves to a lifestyle manipulated by the arrogant leaders of the NP-AB-DRC alliance. By means of parliamentary mandating, they indirectly took away the ordinary Afrikaners’ basic right to decide for themselves on their behaviour, thinking and planning. These are common rights in a democracy. Ordinary Afrikaners were trapped within a doctrine where discrimination against non-Whites and negative attitudes against other ethnic groups were regarded as appropriate, correct and morally justified. They adhered to the opinions, advice, viewpoints and integrity of the leaders of the NP-AB-DRC alliance unquestioningly, even if their own logical thinking contradicted it.
From 1994 onwards the NP-AB-DRC alliance started to collapse, taking with it the protection of the Afrikaner culture that they had mould since 1948 into a supremacist nationalist Afrikaner unity drenched in racism. Afrikaner supremacy, exclusive group interest and unselfish service to the Afrikaner nation formed the glue of nationalist Afrikaners up to that point. There used to be financial benefit in being a loyal Afrikaner. This changed in 1994, leaving the ordinary Afrikaner out in the cold politically speaking, saddled with Apartheid’s baggage. The fact is, membership of the Afrikaner “volk” was beneficial, but also made them responsible for what the larger group did.9,22,31,44
In 2018 Afrikaners have to function as citizens in a context where they are viewed as culprits and transgressors of human rights. In retrospect we can spot the emotional rhetoric that the Afrikaner people failed to see.9,22,31,44
The ordinary Afrikaner has to ask himself why he practised Apartheid without first asking himself whether it was right or wrong and what the ultimate price would be.
126.96.36.199 The use of selective amnesia and flattering myths to justify the behaviour of executive political leaders
Political leaders tend to cover up past mistakes with lies and misinformation. In this way they preserve their image so that followers would keep to belief in them. They often similarly glorify the history of the collective that they represent.9,19,20,23,32-35,41,78,79
Hitler used this tactic of selective propaganda to make the German history seem glorious. From 1934 Hitler launched a comprehensive onslaught on the German people to force down a stream of false and misleading information to strengthen the belief system he aimed to establish. The immediate aim of the leader was to motivate and to steer his followers within the ambits of his prescribed ideology to master certain tasks that would benefit them as a group and the masked intentions and interests of the leader. He first started portraying the Germans as superior. Secondly he identified the hardships of the Germans, pointing out why they suffered in the past. He identified events in Germany’s past that had to be avenged and rectified, like the war fines paid and land losses suffered by Germany after the First World War. Then he identified scapegoats, groups identified as responsible for the misfortune of the Germans. The primary focus was on Germany’s bad economy and the financial success of non-German minorities. In Germany’s case the Jews were targeted. In an effort to enrich the ordinary German, he implemented radical economic transformation (RET) and radical social transformation (RST). In this first place RST was implemented with the categorizing and dehumanizing of German Jews, followed by their capturing and termination, where after his RET followed easily.4,9-12,47
Hitler’s success has to do with the fact that he could draw the attention away from German flaws. He covered up Germany’s failed past and deliberately taught followers to forget the failures that the Germans brought over themselves.4,9-12,47
In South Africa the Malan-regime did the same from 1948. He moved the focus away from the shortcomings of the Afrikaner. He glorified the Afrikaners.9,21,32,41
The Afrikaners’ history was portrayed as honourable. They were unique as Europeans in Africa, this fact warranting racism. He fought off anything that could endanger the Afrikaner’s culture, rights and most importantly, their economic advantage. Central to this was the portrayal of the Afrikaner as a godsend to Africa, a group with a heroic history.9,21,32,41
Martinez4 pinpoints the power of ideology when he writes on the similarly manipulated British history and the British destiny in the Greater World. He points out that “flattering myths about the past buy legitimacy in the present.”4:263
To give truth to his statement, Martinez continues4:263:
A YouGov poll in 2016 showed that more Britons were proud of their nation’s colonial legacy than those who regretted it. This is unsurprising considering that the crimes of the British Empire are unknown to most people. There certainly has been no shortage of historians or political leaders ready to declare that the nation should be proud of its imperial past. That the empire is responsible for the deaths of ten millions of people, that it reaped huge profits from the slave trade, locked up hundreds of thousands in concentration camps (including many children), massacred civilians and is guilty of systematic brutality, torture and theft is not part of the nation’s consciousness.
Then of course was there was Britain’s slave trade or slave economy that created capital that is still supporting Britain today and keeps some of its prominent families in luxury.4 The British have become affected by a collective amnesia in this regard.4
The idea of the Afrikaners as a god-sent tribe in South Africa was only introduced after 1902. However, the Afrikaners’ racial purity as Europeans was contaminated from day one in 1652. The culture reflected so many times in Afrikaner historical books, is in reality the lifestyles of the border and travelling farmers of the Cape Colony, persons who were mostly living outside the established legal system of the Cape and its more cultured Cape Dutch people. The racism of these border and travelling farmers was founded on the religious idea of the Biblical struggle of the Jews with the pagan Middle Eastern tribes. This developed into an identity as a chosen people with Christian White supremacy. This ideology was carried to the two Boer republics and practiced during and after the Great Trek. Any challenge to Afrikaner supremacy in these earlier northern republics was seen as a challenge to their Christianity and Biblical right to rule over non-Whites, no matter where and when. Miscegenation was seen as sinful, even though mixed blood is an intricate part of the origins of the Afrikaners. Well-planned and thought out lies successfully isolated the Afrikaners from their own and real (dark) past.9,19,20-25,29,31,32,34,35,44,78,79
The education that Afrikaners received after the founding of the Union justified racism as a defence against the Black barbarians. The fights for survival by their forefathers against hostile Blacks in the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and Free State were portrayed as heroic. Their cruelty to Blacks was sold as righteous, while it was in reality a cheap solution to the labour problem. The unlawful occupation of the land of Black tribes in Natal, Transvaal and the Free State was reflected simply as the occupation of ownerless land. Battles that were not really won against the Blacks were reflected as heroic battles of the Boers. Early Boer leaders were presented as persons of high integrity and as visionaries, heroes in the many battles fought (and many times lost). This was all false propaganda that contradicts the facts. The cruelties of the British concentration camps against Boer women and children and the British bad treatment of the Boers after the Anglo-Boer War was used to show the suffering of Afrikaners (especially by the Northern Afrikaners, who later became the fathers of Apartheid) and the primary reason for the justification of racism and ethnic hate by the Afrikaners.9,19,20-25,29,31,32,34,35,44,78,79
Only the human, social, economic and political rights of the Whites were emphasized, while the non-Whites were reduced to non-humans. The Blacks were moved out of sight to distance them from the Whites, to conceal their immense poverty and the deliberately neglect of their development by the White rulers. Criticism on Afrikaner atrocities were either ignored or rejected as untruths (and suppressed by the security services). The Afrikaner leaders portrayed the history of the Afrikaner as righteous, good, glorious, while in fact certain actions of the Afrikaners should be despised.9,19,20-25,29,31,32,34,35,44,78,79
The Afrikaner was not a victim of Apartheid. The racism, self-enrichment, the abuse of non-Whites and opportunism were not the end result of a fate over which they had no control. Apartheid was a cold-blooded decision. Central to this is the Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leadership with their false ideology and manipulation of the Afrikaner people. Some of these leaders show psycho-pathology: they were dangerous as persons and as leaders; not only to the non-Whites, but also to dissident Afrikaners and even the Afrikaners as a group.9,19,20-25,29,31,32,34,35,44,78,79
188.8.131.52 Martinez’s lottery of birth
184.108.40.206.1 Role of the past
Martinez4 looks at people’s behaviour from another angle. He postulates that it is very difficult for individuals, groups and political leaders who were born into a rigid racial society to rid their thinking from the past. In South Africa this is valid for Afrikaners, Blacks, and their leaders. An individual’s place of birth, their parents and their immediate community all become part of the mould that shapes their personalities and actions.
Why could Afrikaners never break free from racism? They themselves experienced discrimination and marginalization at the hands of the Dutch and the English, yet they could not rid their own thinking from racist views. Did they plan the racial discrimination based on the experiences of their ancestors, or did the experiences of their ancestors condition them?
Martinez4 engages with these questions by arguing that people are not fully free to choose their environment, their religion, their parents, or their thought frameworks. He proposes that the knowledge people possess, the beliefs they hold, the tastes they develop, the traditions they adopt, the opportunities they enjoy, and the very lives they lead, depend entirely on their biological inheritance, their life experiences and the environment from which they come and to which they are exposed. He called this “birth right” the “lottery of birth.” For Martinez4 the societies in which people grow up absorb them, take their potential and shape it into their moulds (behavioural psychologists would say their “latent potential” is indoctrinated). He acknowledges that people could develop a loyalty to another group, nation, ideology or religion, they could learn other languages, practice other social customs or partake in acts different from what they were born into. Behaviour is therefore not absolute and unchangeable, but is determined to a certain extent by people’s unique initial environment (his biological inheritance also plays a role).
Martinez4 argues that people may not have defended the traditions they do or committed the transgressions they have if they were born into a different environment. However, it is possible for a person to change his thinking and behaviour after having lived a long life as part of a certain culture and society. Some people can completely transform, but it is difficult for an entire group to do so. The lower strata of the societal hierarchy of one community can seldom in totality move up the hierarchy in a single life-time. Class structures and leadership control limits the mobility of groups. If a group succeeds in creating such mobility for themselves, the lottery of birth would bring other outcomes for their descendants.
220.127.116.11.2 Societal hierarchy
Martinez’s4 societal hierarchy has a massive group of disempowered people at the lower level who are constantly steered and abused by a small group of immensely powerful persons at the top. The small group of lucky economical and political leaders maintains this hierarchy with selfish and opportunistic political, social, personal and economical behaviours. They engage in abuse, categorization of groups lower down the hierarchy, criminality, degradation, dehumanization, dishonesty, discrimination, inequality, injustice, slavery, suppression, theft, and they keep the masses uneducated and untrained. The haves abuse the have nots by using the mandate that the masses give to the few to rule. Martinez4 provides evidence to sketch the immense imbalances between the “haves” and “have nots.” He gives us a condensed summary of this dire situation, but also an indirect warning of the outcome that this could lead to. He writes4:59,65,73:
In terms of economic remuneration, talent and hard work mean little if they are not granted the right conditions in which to flourish. Human potential is squandered on an enormous scale because of the extreme inequalities of opportunities that exist in the world. Countless people have perished from preventable disease, died in senseless wars and starved in avoidable poverty. Billions have been denied the freedom necessary to be realize even a fraction of their promise. Many potential Shakespeares and Einsteins, Maya Angelous and Emmy Noethers must have lived and died without ever knowing the wonders of which they were capable (p. 65);
Disparities in wealth are so pervasive that it takes some effort of imagination to see things afresh, to understand that there is nothing inevitable about poverty or gross inequality in the modern world. There is no immutable law of nature preventing us from sharing things more equitably, so that everyone is fed, clothed, nourished, sheltered and educated. Human choices maintain the current distribution of wealth and human choices can change it (p. 59); and
The degree of inequality we see in the world is the outcome of policy. It cannot be rectified by trying to make markets look more like the highly abstract models so beloved of neoclassical economists. The growing concentrations of undeserved wealth are not a sign of market failure but a natural outcome of the power dynamics within a market system. In the real world, deregulated markets favour those who own capital. The state has the power to reinforce this advantage or curtail it. There is no value-neutral way to balance the power of workers and corporations: any attempt requires value judgements to be made and most of the time these simply reflect the power balance of competing forces within the society (p. 73).
18.104.22.168.3 Misuse of capitalism
The above abuse of political power and self-enrichment by political leaders, the rich and the capitalists to exploit the poor and the poor’s inability and powerlessness to break out of their modern-day slavery, is further discussed by Martinez4:83:
Humanity has the resources to eradicate starvation, illiteracy, extreme poverty and some of the world’s deadliest diseases; it has the means to deepen and expand human freedom for every person on the planet. So why does deprivation and inequality persist? Why do Earth’s bountiful resources and humanity’s endless creativity serve so few at the expense of so many? Not because the rewards in our society go to those who deserve them, not because it’s necessary to incentive people, and not because it benefits the whole of society. The great imbalance of wealth simply reflects the great imbalance of power.
The father of modern economics, Adam Smith4, postulated in 1776 that the security of property issued by civil government was in reality only instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or for those who have some property against those lacking anything at all. This is still applicable today, since little has changed in 250 years.
Martinez comments as follows on the limited chances a lower-level person has to break through the barriers of the lottery of birth that keeps most of the poor people stuck at the lower level4:20:
Some people defy every expectation, achieving remarkable things in the face of adversity. It is tempting to view such lives as evidence that we can, after all, be masters of our own destiny, but to do so would be a mistake. Forces beyond our control determine control the resources – psychological, physical and material – at our disposal to carve out a new path, and these resources, along with countless other twists of fate, ultimately determine how successful we will be in our attempt. For every unlikely success story there are countless people of equal potential who died in poverty and obscurity due to the crushing force of circumstances. Just because the odd person wins the lottery does not mean the game isn’t rigged for everyone else to lose.
Martinez4 is correct when he argues that the few who made were just lucky – after all, who can move up if they have the brains, but lack the finance to study or make their ideas work? He makes it clear why the lottery of birth exists4:64:
For instance, in the US, only 9 per cent of students in elite universities come from the poorer half of the population. Another study released in 2015 by the UK Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission exploded the myth of a meritocratic society. According to its findings, children from wealthier families with less academic intelligence than their poorer counterparts were nevertheless 35 per cent more likely to end up becoming high earners. Wealthy parents employ a range of strategies to ensure their children end up in ‘top jobs’ but, whether it’s by tapping into powerful personal networks or subsidizing unpaid internships, the result is the same: an absence of downwards mobility. And, because high-earning jobs are in limited supply, gifted students from less advantaged backgrounds face an uphill struggle to turn their potential into market rewards.
Coggan86 reports further in this regard that at universities such as Harvard and Stanford, 74% of students come from families with earnings in the top quartile. Only three per cent come from the bottom quartile. Furthermore, only 29% of poor students with high scores for mathematics in national tests go on to get a degree, compared to the 75% of rich students who do so. Goggan writes as follows about the rigidity of the American social hierarchy86: 200:
In addition, with more women now attending university, marriages are increasingly taking place within the same social group, leading to less mobility within the population. In the top 5% of the population by income, 75% of married couples each have university degrees; in general population, the proportion is just 25%.
When it comes to the riches of people of the upper level of the hierarchy versus the poverty of the people in the lower level, Martinez reflects a more gloom picture. He reports4:62:
To those who have, more is given’. There was a ‘significant correlation between the wealth of families five generations apart’. In other words, ‘What your great-great-grandfather was doing is still predictive of what you are doing now’. Today, the descendants of the nineteenth century’s upper classes are not only richer, but more likely to live longer, attend Oxford or Cambridge and end up a doctor or lawyer. And there is no sign of any let-up in the power of inheritance to shape the world. The wealth transferred via inheritance from one generation to the next is set to break all records. A report by the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy predicts that the US is set for the largest inter-generational transfer in history: $59 trillion passed down between 2007 and 2061.
The 27 richest Western countries reflect a clear internal discrepancy in income between their rich and poor citizens, reaffirming the block that the lower social classes experience in moving up in the hierarchy. Coggan writes86: 201:
In the 27 countries of the OECD (the rich economies’ club) the real average income of the top 10% of the population rose by 1.9% annually between the mid-1980s and the late 200s, whereas that of the bottom 10% rose by only 1.3%.
Martinez4 points out that ownership of capital (land, real estate, industrial equipment and money) allows the top level of the social hierarchy to become extraordinarily rich without doing anything. Liliane Bettencourt, the heiress of L’Oréal, the world’s largest cosmetics company, increased her fortune from $2 billion to $25 billion between 1990 and 2010 without having to lift a finger, reports Martinez. Inherited wealth in the US for the period 1970 to 1980 accounted for 50 to 60 per cent (it can be as much as 80) of the total wealth. Inherited wealth globally accounted for 60 to 70 per cent of the largest fortunes and some of these inheritances represent enormous transfers of economic power: for instance the well-known Walton family is worth $152 billion. In most European countries the top ten per cent of the population owns more or less sixty per cent of the wealth, while in the US the top ten per cent of the population owns just over 70 per cent of the wealth.4
This discrepancy is also reflected in the disparity in the income of the rich and the poor, even of the less poor and the rich. At the close of each day billions of people are rewarded less than $2 a day, while an American hedge fund manager like David Tepper bags more than $1 million an hour. The consequence is that the eighty-five richest people on earth own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population and the richest one per cent of the world now own more than the remaining ninety-nine percent combined.4
From the above it is clear where the world’s wealth is vested and why the poor remain stuck at the lowest level of the socio-economical hierarchy. Even the political leaders who say they advance the interests of the poor fail to bring these people to a point where they can better themselves. The rich and those political leaders in the top level of the hierarchy are exploiting the poor for cheap labour and for the minerals and agricultural wealth of poor countries. Through the chaos rule of poverty and political and the socio-economical instability of the lower level of the hierarchy, the poor is still ruled as in the days of colonialism and imperialism from London, Washington and Paris. The primary factors driving this human inequality is the self-enrichment and political delinquency of foreign executive political leaders. They are seated far away from the impoverish countries and their dehumanized people. The dehumanizing brought about by social and physical distance is still practiced today. A change to this rich man–poor man system will not be allowed. Rich countries will even go to war against poor countries to preserve the status quo, as has been happening now for years with the West’s exploitation of Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. The main culprit is here the USA.4,10-12,27
It is extremely difficult for the poor to move up the ladder in countries like Bangladesh and Peru. The fact is that in the US in general (without taking in account the race factor), mobility is also blocked. Coggan86 reports in 2004 that one in ten (1:10) of the richest one per cent of Americans start life in the bottom of 80 per cent of the population. This ratio was 1:7 in the 1970s.
One thing is clear: wealth generates wealth and poverty generates poverty. The system supports the rich. It is in this context that Warren Buffett4 with good confidence could postulate that most of the world’s seven billion people’s births, existences and destinies are pure luck. Buffett, a brilliant economist and billionaire, knows very well the permanent and devastating imbalance between the rich and the poor worldwide. For him the destinies of all people are predetermined by their moment of birth, meaning where they are born, who gives birth to them, along with their gender and intellect. If they are born into an overall poor community, are isolated from opportunities, are discriminated against politically, economically and psychologically, their chances – in spite of talent – is zero to advance to a better life. With this political, economical and psychological blockage comes the psychological trap of being lost and without hope as a result of long periods of suffering.
Mason87 adds an excellent insight87:102:
The means by which it did so are clear and well documented. Unequal trade relationships forced much of Latin America, all of Africa and most of Asia to adopt development models that led to super-profits for Western companies and poverty at home. Counties that tried to reject these models, such as Chile or Guyana, had their governments overthrown by CIA coups or, as with Grenada, by invasion. Many found their economies destroyed by debt and by the ‘structural adjustment programmes’ the IMF dictated in return for debt write-offs. With little domestic industry, their growth models relied on the export of raw materials, and the incomes of the poor stagnated.
Mason87 writes further87:290-291:
What happens to the 1 per cent? They become poorer and therefore happier. Because it’s tough being rich.
Convinced that only the smart succeed, they send their kids to expensive private schools to hone their individuality. But they come out the same: little versions of Milton Friedman and Christine Lagarde.
Beneath it all lies lingering doubt. Their self-belief tells them that capitalism is good because it is dynamic – but its dynamism is only really felt where there are plentiful supplies of cheap labour, repressed democracy – and where inequality is rising. To live in a world so separate, dominated by the myth of uniqueness but in reality so uniform, constantly worried you’re going to loose it all, is – I am not kidding – tough.
Buffett4 recognizes this psychological, social and economical stuckness of the unfortunate masses of poor by comparing himself as a rich person with the poor when he says:
If you stick me down in the middle of Bangladesh or Peru or someplace, you’ll find out how much this talent is going to produce in the wrong kind of soil. I will be struggling thirty years later. I work in a market system that happens to reward what I do very well – disproportionately well”.
As already indicated, the misuse of capitalism and the undisturbed activities of corrupted democratic governments and delinquent political leaders of the Western World are prominent in the efforts to keep development and riches away from the poor. The poor can never be winners in this setup.4,10 (The efforts to keep South African Blacks down followed the same dynamic from 1910 to 1994).9
Warren Buffett4 admits that his society (White US) was and is responsible for most of what he has earned. He compares himself in a fortunate extraordinary position in a supportive and rich society to the average poor in a good-for-nothing position in poverty-stricken, malfunctioning and disorderly society. He deduces two truths from this comparison, namely4:64: “to those who have, more is given; and wealth generates wealth”.
Of course, Buffett4 makes this prediction in a safe predictable environment: the US is a capitalist country, manipulating and corrupting global economics so that even the average American can make himself rich while the countries of Bangladesh and Peru are skeletons left after colonialism dictatorships. Both Bangladesh and Peru have undergone little general development, leaving their populations impoverished. The impoverished, struggling, underdeveloped and undeveloped Bangladesh and Peru are not exceptions in the economical world, they are the general and true face of how the most countries in the world are managed from outside by countries with capital and political power. It is financially near impossible for a Bangladeshi to move out of his community – he lacks opportunities, logistics, finance, training, etc. Migrating to another country is basically impossible. The average Bangladeshi became, in Martinez’s4 words, one of the “countless people of equal potential who died in poverty and obscurity due to the crushing force of circumstances.” Buffett,4 one of few billionaires in the world and free from the “crushing force of circumstances,” could move freely inside and outside the US, using the manifold opportunities, logistics, finance, training, etc., to enrich him further and give quality to his life.
The question is, what is it that causes Buffet to have opportunities that a labourer from the lower caste in India does not? Why can Martinez study at good universities and do expensive research and a displaced Syrian water seller could not? The answer is: Buffet and Martinez are both protected by Whiteness. Why are non-Whites all over the world still caught in the unlucky lottery of birth and not the colonial powers like the USA, the UK or France, which had abused and subordinated these non-Whites? Why are the Blacks of the USA on average also worse off than the White Americans? The American Dream and Martin Luther King’s dream have made place for the Black Lives Matter nightmare.4,10,11,15,47,77,80
Read what Martinez4 reports about the White world’s negativity about Blackness and non-Whiteness and the “racial unluckiness” of Blacks to be jailed in greater numbers in the USA. He writes4:46:
The skewed distribution of “racial luck” is particularly disturbing. Although black people make up only 12 per cent of the US population, they account for 40 per cent of its prison population. Across the US today, black people are more than six times as likely to be imprisoned than whites, 31 per cent more likely to be killed by a cop (and more likely to be unarmed when killed). Racial prejudice permeates almost every area of American society, greatly diminishing opportunities available to black people and ethnic minorities;
A white man with a criminal record is still more likely to be considered for a job than a black man without one. Analysis of US government data by the Pew Research Center shows that ‘When it comes to household income and household wealth, the gap between blacks and whites have widened. On measures such as high school completion and life expectancy, they have narrowed. On other measures, including poverty and homeownership rates, the gaps are roughly the same; and
A similar pattern is to be found among ethnic minorities in the UK, with black people five times more likely to end up in prison. The Equality and Human Rights Commission found that, when officers did not need suspicion of involvement in a crime to stop and search (under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994), black people were thirty-seven times more likely to be targeted. In fact, young black men are more likely to end up in prison than at an elite university. And Inquest, a UK charity that campaign against deaths in police custody, have found that, since 1990, over 4000 people from black communities or ethnic minorities have died while incarcerated or in the custody of police.
The above provides another point of view on the true and whole story behind the lucky/unlucky lottery of birth. We must take note of the racial component built into it. From the above evidence it seems as if non-White/Black is a synonym for poverty/crime/failure/uselessness/badness. The nonchalant attitudes often visible in the opinions on the poverty, discrimination, categorizing and dehumanizing of Blacks, are anchored in a negative characterization of Black human life and status a century or two ago. Just looking at the slave history versus the inheritance of wealth and capital ownership so deeply engrained in British mindsets makes it is easy to understand the conflicting social hierarchy of higher-level people versus lower-level people still in existence in modern society. The majority of non-Whites have been locked in the poverty class ruled from outside by opportunistic and delinquent leaders.
22.214.171.124.5 Exploitation and economic slavery
Slavery is not in the past. It is still here, it is now the exploitation of the freed but underdeveloped and untrained poor non-Whites, living mostly in Africa, South America and the Far East. Writings on the formal slave trade provide insight into how today’s informal slave trade is run. It still brings immense richness for the capitalists, the wealthy and political leaders.4,27 It is clear that the capital on which the modern world was built, was originally obtained through violence and exploitation of Blacks. It was slavery that rapidly accelerated the accumulation of capital in 18th century Britain and it was the profits of exploited slave labour that helped to develop Britain’s current infrastructure and money market. It is estimated that the contribution of the slaves’ unpaid labour in Britain amounts to ₤4 trillion. More than 20% of wealthy Victorian Britons derived all or part of their fortunes from the slave economy. When slavery was eventually abolished in Britain, more than 46 000 slave owners were compensated for their loss of “their property” or “Black Gold.” They received upwards of ₤17 billion worth in today’s money, while the slaves did not received any compensation.4 Between 1680 and 1700, British vessels transported more than 300 000 slaves from Africa and after the Asiento Treaty of 1713, the British entered into the South American trade slave “economy,” making the slave trade virtually a British monopoly.4,27
Poor workers are still controlled with violence as was done with the slaves. In 2012 thirty-four miners striking for a higher wage was killed by the South African police at the Marikana mine near Rustenburg. It is still widespread practice to control workers with illegal agreements between big enterprises to suppress the wages of hundreds of thousands of their employees.4,65
The theory of a lottery of birth just contains too many falsities. It is not true humans are in general unhappy with the lottery of birth and that they should just be satisfied with what they received upon birth. Of course, there will always people who will be unhappy with their context, but they are by far the minority. Most people are happy and satisfied, even in the most deploring of circumstances. We saw this very well in South Africa with the way in which Blacks adapted to the hardships created by Apartheid. Black South Africans have a tremendous capacity to be self-energizing to reach happiness. Life is not based on a fatalist system where human fate is predetermined4:29 by the gods, the stars in the heavens, or some other external forces. We can choose our destinies and actions with precise aims and intentions. Luck is not everything. The greatest limitation is still the human condition itself, death from old age, epidemics and disasters, outcomes that are equal applicable to the billionaire and the poor.4,9
The fact that people can leave their past behind is clear from the fact that many poorer communities have far better overall health and personal happiness, and show less violence and crime, better morality, better education and a smaller gap between with the richest and the poorest.4
When looking critically at the behaviour of individuals and leaders, it is clear that the modern world is not that much different from the world of five-hundred years or more ago. Politics and economics are still the age-old controls and abusive political leaders driven by self-enrichment and power are still central4:106:
In 1500, however, power and privilege was concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority of aristocrats and senior clergy who monopolized access to education, politics and wealth. Notions of individual liberty, privacy, freedom of thought and speech, universal education, rights for working people, equality before the law, representative government and universal suffrage were little more than distant dreams.
This leadership’s abuse of the poor for their “own interests” has undergone little change around the world. The names and titles of their corrupted leaders have changed, but nothing more. Still, those with power and privilege use convenient myths to justify their wealth, political power, behaviour and the consequences for the dehumanized poor. The suppressed poor is still denied access to external resources, education and science, and are subjected to psychological, social, emotional deprivation.4,10,11,27,47
126.96.36.199.6 Third World Takers
However, Western leaders are not lone culprits in this. They partner with the corrupted political leaders of poor countries, especially in Africa. Boon27 refers to these African leaders as Third World Takers. For Boon,27 these Third World Takers have no discipline and they have siphoned billions of American dollars to secret Swiss bank accounts, while at the same time aid money and relief funding are stolen by them. We see these takers in leaders such as Mobuto Sese Seko of Zaïre, Jean-Bédel Bokassa of the Central African Republic, Milton Obote of Uganda, Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, more recently Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and may others still in the making. These executive political leaders abuse their own societies in their search for the materialism of the First World. They are par excellence targets of foreign corrupted political leaders as they can be used in schemes to steal from poor countries. Massive corruption ties together the hands of these local political leaders and the foreign political leaders, as with the Arms Deal between France and South Africa in the 1990s, as well as the enormous state capture under the ANC. These takers became the darlings of the West, who in this contaminated concubinage further shower these countries with so-called “aid” to their habitants and other financing just to get corrupted contracts via state capture. They know very well that this kind of window-dressing just increases the riches of the corrupted and crooked executive political leaders and their cronies, while the poor are getting poorer.27,84,85
Boon27 describes these takers as follows in a discussion that focuses on South African Black leaders27:51:
Why have there been so many one-party states and coup after coup? The reason is that, in the past, many African leaders have been totally and unapologetically self-serving. Yet the First World does not view Africa as different from itself for fear of discrimination. It is fundamentally different because Third World Africa, which is led largely by Takers, has no discipline. It is not governed according to the same ethics and values as either the First World or the tribal world, and therefore does not respond to them.
It is the blatant rape of these fragile societies by fellow Africans that makes the issue even more repugnant. The third World Takers are far more insidious and warped than the colonials ever were, yet this is exactly the behavior and attitude for which colonial settlers were criticized and expelled. The takers obviously learnt their appalling, self-serving lessons well!
However, an aversion to the Western powers like America’s rape of impoverished countries is growing worldwide. Bremmer88 reports on the slow but clearly emerging power of countries like China, Russia, the Gulf Arab States, India, Brazil and Turkey. They are turning their backs to the political and economical abuse and bullying by the West, especially by the US. This has not yet helped the masses in poor countries – all that has happened is that these emerging counties extend their corrupted influence within their own regions, taking over the abuse and exploitation of the poor. The age-old vicious circle is repeated, with the poor countries sometimes in a worse position than before.
The Afrikaners seemed to have drawn a lucky number in the lottery of birth. The Blacks drew a very bad number in 1652, primarily because of their lack of Whiteness. They were submitted to the same despotic Cape Authorities that caused the Afrikaners to move, but they were also often fought not only by the English, but also by the Boers. They were subjected to racism from 1652, but it intensified from 1910, reaching a climax between 1948 and 1994. It was only in 1994 that the situation of their political, social, economical and political deprivation started to turn for South African Blacks. The hierarchy changed, slowly bringing the Blacks out of their immense poverty, moving some of them to the middle level and a good number into the top level. They had been impoverished, with no access to basic and tertiary learning, cut off from opportunities to develop themselves, restricted to a limited part of the country to live and work in, but this changed for the better.9,26,27,85
White racist discrimination was the sole reason why Blacks suffered, not their birth. Martinez’s4 lottery of birth was not a permanent situation for South African Blacks. The 1994-dispensation has changed their number in the South African lottery of birth. Situations can change if the contaminating powers creating them are neutralized: in this case the corrupted NP-AB alliance and their extreme racism. The whole exercise of extreme racism was driven and held in place by the use of a White military, security and economic power. As soon as the artificial political system collapsed in 1994 and the immense political power of the Afrikaner executive political leaders was erased, the political balance was reverted to a Black empowerment; a process that neutralized to a great extent the Blacks’ unlucky lottery of birth.9,26,27,85
The lottery of birth can change quickly. Apartheid was an artificial and cold-blooded creation. The Afrikaners were racist and power hungry. This situation has been rectified, yet one cannot in all honesty say that the Black government has the interest of all citizens at heart.4,9,26,27,38
It is time that Black and White executive political leaders take the words of John Adams (quoted by Coggan86) to heart and better the failed leaderships so common in South Africa. Adams writes86:144:
No sooner has one party discovered or invented any amelioration of the condition of man, or the order of society, than the opposition party belies it, misconstrues it, misrepresents it, ridicules it, insults it and persecutes it.
It is impossible at the moment to sort the Black and White leaders into Clowns and Jokers; they equally fit both destinies.86
Michael Barber47 quotes Ryszard Kapuściński’s description of the tragedy of the “honest and patriotic post-colonial leader” as follows47:xxiv:
Each one wants to do something good and begins to do it and sees, after a month, after a year, after three years, that it just isn’t happening, that it is slipping away, that it is bogged down in the sand…The politician begins to push too hard. He looks for a way out through dictatorship. The dictatorship then fathers an opposition. The opposition organises a coup. And the cycle begins anew.
Although there is much doubt if Kapuściński’s description of the “honest and patriotic post-colonial leader” is truly applicable to the level of integrity of most of South Africa’s executive political leaders, the leadership cycle he describes is surely applicable to South Africa. Most of our executive political leaders come into power on the strength of the promises they made, but it quickly becomes clear that they are ruling purely for their own interests and benefit. Often their rule deteriorates quickly and they resort to abusing the majority. Their small group of enslaved but benefitting followers are blinded by their leader’s false ideas and by their own gains, so that they remain uncritical. South Africa has been subject to such cycles for all of its political history from 1652 to 2018.
This article described various dissimilar and contrasting determinants that could possibly affect the functioning and development of executive political leaders. It is clear that certain determinants seem to be prominent, not only in shaping a leader’s leadership profile, but also in exacerbating immoral behaviour.9,11,12,20,22,24-27,29,31,35,44,47
South Africa’s problematic executive political leadership has made use of labels such as the Black problem, the Coloured problem or the White problem, depending on the racial identity of the ruler and the time of rule. It is a central political problem that is becoming more demanding and more complex to handle and it is intertwined with all the other political, economical and social conflicts. The growing incidence of political, racial, economical and social upheavals and conflicts are consequences of its executive political leaders’ immoral political thinking, planning and actions. South Africans are often still affected by flawed thinking that is strengthened by ideas that social opinion makers still hold. Flawed thinking is still very much part of our political leadership.9
It would be very difficult to solve South Africa’s legacy of racial, ethnic and political conflicts, especially by establishing good executive political leadership that could combat the flawed thinking and to nurture and support worthy persons who would serve every citizen well. The political problems caused by problematic executive political leaders must be addressed soon. It cannot be postponed liked JC Smuts did with the “Black problem” in 1908 when he said21:19:
When I consider the political future of the Natives in South Africa I must say that I look into shadows and darkness; and then I feel inclined to shift the intolerable burden of solving the sphinx problem to the ampler shoulders and stronger brains of the future.
Smuts, himself a brilliant person and an extraordinary executive political leader, failed to see that there is not a thing such as “stronger brains vested in the future.” Strong, good brains are always with us, the future depends on the courage we have to address this problem timeously. What Smuts should have done in 1908 was to have the courage to include human rights into the 1908 unification so that the equality of all the races of the country would be ensured. He should have prevented the inclusion of the biases of the Boers into the Constitution of the Union of South Africa. He paid more attention to the political needs of the Boers, and in ignoring the political, economical and personal rights of Blacks he put South Africa on the road to becoming a political minefield. Many of our executive political leaders seem to have this same inability for strategic thinking, risk-taking and reading the future. They tend not to do any introspection to see and to understand the true motives that drive their behaviour as executive political leaders.
Martinez4 states that decades of conditioning has taught people that greed is good, that society is an illusion and that people tend to get what they deserve. It became determinants driving our behaviour. Political leaders from both sides of the racial divide are guilty of this, basically because of their abuse of the masses in an effort to realize their own selfish interests. Martinez writes4:381:
We have been sold an impoverished vision of humanity, one that binds our imagination and erodes our hope. We are told this is freedom. Deep down we know this I a myth – one that is promoted to justify a world of destruction, exploitation and injustice. Behind the technical debates of economists, the ideological rows of politicians, the pursuit of corporate profit and the passionate protests of the public the most important question we can ask is: what is life for? To compete, accumulate and dominate? Or is it to love and be loved – to create, share and experience beauty?
The executive political leaders of both the Afrikaner Nationalists and the ANC have become involved with destruction, exploitation and injustice as part of their leadership. It is for this reason that we call their actions politically delinquent behaviour. It seems as if the mental and social distortions some of them held to have made it impossible to love and be loved, to create, share and experience beauty. In the meantime, the people of South Africa are suffering.4,9
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Not commissioned; Externally peer-reviewed.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The author declares that he has no competing interest.
The research was funded by the Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa.