Leon Lemmer: Horisontale Nêrensmense en vertikale Êrensmense

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In Suid-Afrika is leesstof feitlik uitsluitlik in twee tale, Engels en Afrikaans, beskikbaar. Die gebruik van Afrikaans neem af. Engels word al hoe meer gebruik, onder meer omdat die ANC-regering Afrikaans vyandig gesind is en swartes nie hulle moedertale aktief bevorder nie. Ek verkies om Afrikaanse boeke te lees, maar in die praktyk lees ek gewoonlik Engelse boeke. Dit is omdat die leesstof in die onderwerpe waarin ek belangstel meesal in Engels en geredelik beskikbaar is. Die literatuur wat ek lees is gewoonlik Amerikaans van oorsprong; nie dat ek dit só verkies nie. In 2017 was die Amerikaanse bevolking 326 miljoen teenoor 66 miljoen in Brittanje. Met ‘n bevolking wat vyf keer meer is, is dit te verstane dat meer boeke in Amerika (305 000 in 2013) as in Brittanje (184 000 in 2011) gepubliseer word. In 1995 is 5 418 boeke in Suid-Afrika gepubliseer. Op grond hiervan is dit duidelik waarom ek hoofsaaklik Engelse boeke lees en hulle daarby gewoonlik van buitelandse (meesal Amerikaanse) oorsprong is.

As gevolg hiervan is ek beter ingelig oor toestande in Amerika (bv die politiek) as in Brittanje. Massa-inligtingsmedia soos televisie speel uiteraard ook ‘n rol. Ek het die publikasie van David Goodhart se boek verwelkom omdat hy gesaghebbende inligting oor huidige toestande in Brittanje verskaf, hoewel ek my bespreking tot sy hooftema beperk. Die titel is: The road to somewhere: The new tribes shaping British politics (Penguin, 2017, 304p; Amazon Kindle $14.46). Dit gaan hier nie om die tradisionele onderskeid tussen die Konserwatiewe Party en die Arbeidersparty in Brittanje (of tussen die Republikeinse Party en die Demokratiese Party in Amerika) nie. In albei lande is daar talle kleiner politieke partye. In Brittanje is die oorheersende tweepartystelsel ná die stigting van die Liberaal-Demokratiese party in 1988 in groter mate as in Amerika afgebreek.

Die twee groepe wat deur Goodhart onderskei word, is die Anywheres (die wêreldburgers) en die Somewheres (die outentieke Britte). Ek vertaal hierdie twee benamings met Nêrens- en Êrensmense, met eersgenoemde (“Nowheres”) as die ietwat oordrewe benaming vir enige-plek-mense. Daar bestaan nie iets soos wêreldburgerskap nie, al wil misleide mense soos Wim de Villiers dit hoe graag hê, want die wêreld is nie ‘n staat of land nie. Die tweevoudige onderskeid wat Goodhart maak, kan met vrug op Suid-Afrika toegepas word, soos ek hier onder aantoon.

In die konteks van Goodhart se boek skryf Tim Marshall: “Britain’s Labour Party, the traditional party of the working class, is increasingly that of middle-class ‘progressives’, many of whom will lean towards the Anywheres’ world view. In the 1966 general election Harold Wilson’s Labour Party won power with approximately 11 million working-class votes and 2 million from the middle classes; in 2015 the figures stood at about 4.2 million working-class votes and 4.4 million middle-class ones. This changing pattern is down to a range of factors, not least the decline in traditional working-class jobs, but it is also because the party that traditionally concentrated on matters of vital importance to the working class – jobs, housing and crime – has appeared to focus more on other issues, including identity politics” (Tim Marshall, Divided: Why we’re living in an age of walls, London: Elliott and Thompson, 2018, 272p; Amazon Kindle $14.36, 2993).

Die Britse Arbeidersparty kan dus deesdae nie sonder meer met die laer klasse en die Konserwatiewe Party met die hoër klasse geassosieer word nie. Goodhart skryf: “Class cross-dressing between the two main parties continued, underlining one of the main arguments of the book that we are seeing greater political convergence between classes and value groups on economic issues and greater divergence on ‘security and identity’ cultural issues … Overall, better-off voters still tended to back the Tories [Conservative Party] but … the Tory working class vote rose dramatically from 32 per cent in 2015 to 44 per cent in 2017 which was higher than Labour’s share (42 per cent)” (Goodhart, Kindle 98). Dít het die ja-stem vir Brexit moontlik gemaak. “If there is a paramount reason for Britain’s shock decision to leave the EU it is the seething discontent of a large slice of public opinion created by twenty years of historically unprecedented immigration and the insouciant response of the Anywhere-dominated political class to this change – a change that never appeared in an election manifesto and was never chosen by anyone” (2350). “Attitudes to immigration have probably become the single biggest litmus test of Anywhere/Somewhere difference” (695).

Goodhart is ‘n joernalis wat ‘n lid van die Arbeidersparty en linksgesind was. “For most of my adult life I have been firmly in the Anywhere camp” (511). Anders as in Suid-Afrika, waar groot getalle blankes sedert 1994 in gewaande eiebelang en weens lafhartigheid hulle al hoe meer links voordoen, is daar in die Westerse wêreld, onder meer weens die intog van nie-Westerse inkommers, ‘n duidelike neiging tot konserwatisme en na regs. Goodhart het in lofwaardige mate polities tot inkeer gekom, veral vanweë die navorsing wat hy oor immigrasie gedoen het. “I … began to detach myself, intellectually, from orthodox liberalism” (511). “Liberalism … is stupid about culture … and belonging” (526). “While colour-blind liberalism demands, rightly, that everyone be treated the same, that does not mean that everyone is the same” (2520). “I became convinced that the left had got on the wrong side of the argument on mass immigration (too enthusiastic), and integration of minorities and national identity (too indifferent)” (519). “One persuasive anti-integration argument runs like this: given how important ethnicity evidently remains to both minorities and majorities (look at the extent of white flight) what is wrong with some degree of separation?” (2555). “We need to become more ‘integration literate’ and learn to talk about ethno-cultural differences in the same way that we talk about social class differences” (2660).

Nêrensmense is diegene wat geen sterk identiteitsaanvoeling het nie en vir lief met massa-immigrasie neem. Goodhart skaar hom in groot mate by Êrensmense wat etnies-kulturele groepsgebondenheid koester. Die twee groot gebeure in 2016 wat sy teks beïnvloed, is die verkiesing van Donald Trump as Amerikaanse president en Brexit, die referendumuitslag waarvolgens die Verenigde Koninkryk uit die Europese Unie gaan tree (72). “Illegal Mexican immigration into the US started as a tickle in the late 1970s and in another twenty years the US will be one third Hispanic – one of the factors behind the rise of Donald Trump. As Paul Scheffer has put it – we in Europe tend to underestimate our ability to control our borders and vastly overestimate our ability to integrate people into our complex, liberal, modern societies” (1763).

“My explanation in miniature ran like this. A large minority group of the highly educated and mobile – the Anywheres – who tend to value autonomy and openness and comfortably surf social change have recently come to dominate our society and politics. There is also a larger but less influential group – the Somewheres – who are more rooted and less well educated, who value security and familiarity* and are more connected to group identities than Anywheres. Somewheres feel that their more socially conservative intuitions have been excluded from the public space in recent decades, which has destabilised our politics and led to the Brexit and Trump backlashes” (72).

[* “Familiarity”: nie in die sin van familiariteit (vrypostigheid, opdringerigheid) nie, maar eerder in die sin van die soort vertroudheid of gemeensaamheid wat in bv gesins- en familieverband ervaar word terwyl kulturele marxiste juis hierdie verankerdheid wil vernietig. Dit sluit direk aan by massa-immigrasie: “the over-dependence on immigration, because of the economic and cultural bias against larger families” (162).]

Naas Goodhart se eie opsomming van sy boek (voorlaaste paragraaf hier bo) is daar die volgende bruikbare samevatting deur Tim Marshall: “‘Anywheres dominate our culture and society. They tend to do well at school and then usually move from home to a residential university in their late teens and on to a career in the professions that might take them to London, or even abroad for a year or two.’ The Anywheres can feel at home wherever they go, whether that’s Berlin, New York, Shanghai or Mumbai. On the other hand the Somewheres tend to have a much more clearly defined sense of identity. Like the majority of people in Britain, they live within 20 miles of where they grew up and identify with locality, region and country – they are more ‘rooted'” (Marshall 2979).

Marshall gaan voort: “Among the Somewheres are many whose jobs have slowly disappeared as a result of the economic changes linked to globalization and whose working-class culture has recently been marginalized, especially in national discourse. The word ‘cosmopolitan’ comes from Greek roots meaning ‘citizen of the world’. We are indeed all one people, but it is a challenge indeed to persuade someone who lives near where they grew up, has a strong local identity and does not possess work skills that are transferable across continents that they are ‘cosmopolitan'” (2986)

Marshall skryf: “Goodhart suggests that up to 25 per cent of the UK population are Anywheres, about 50 per cent Somewheres and the rest Inbetweeners. These are approximations and rough definitions, but they are useful in understanding modern Britain through the prism not just of class but of world view. Many ‘progressive’ Anywheres might be embarressed about expressing love of country, Somewheres less so – their world was an accepted ‘fact’ in British society until at least the late 1970s, but the rise of the multicultural society, parallel cultures [societies] and the spread of higher education has challenged it” (2986).

Marshall: “These different identities – whether global or more rooted – have been brought into conflict with one another in debates about identity, nationalism and, yes, immigration before and after the Brexit vote. For decades this was in many ways a hidden discourse, as political and media circles seemed to refuse to engage with it. But nevertheless, huge numbers of the population were discussing it the length and breadth of the land” (3000). (Verdere plekverwysings is na Goodhart se boek; nie Marshall s’n nie.)

“Anywheres regard society as a shop, while Somewheres regard it as a home” (262). Hiervolgens gaan dit by eersgenoemdes uitsluitlik of hoofsaaklik om rasionele oorwegings terwyl emosiebelaaide redes, soos kultuur en identiteit, by ander mense ‘n groter rol speel. As mense emigreer én vreemdelinge terselfdertyd op groot skaal ‘n land onassimileerbaar binnestroom, soos in die nuwe Suid-Afrika, vind daar etniese verandering en ‘n verlies aan kultuur plaas (288), bv by Afrikaners. Kruipsug by die ANC en ‘n afkeer van Afrikaans is verskynsels wat sedert 1994 op groot skaal hulle verskyning onder opportunistiese, blanke Afrikaanssprekendes gemaak het. Dit is soortgelyk aan baie Duitsers wat hulle van ‘n gediskrediteerde verlede probeer distansieer: “It is true that German Anywheres in politics and the media remain wary of normal national feeling and tend towards post-national political correctness, as we saw in the 2015 refugee crisis” (261). Goodhart verwys ook in ‘n ander konteks na winkels: Die tradisionele inwoners/ingesetenes “do not want to lose a sense of ownership of their area, a sense that people like them set the tone in the kind of shops and the way of life” (2380). Dink aan hoe veral die aard van plattelandse dorpe in Suid-Afrika die afgelope twee dekades getransformeer is met die baie (afsigtelike) winkels wat deur mense afkomstig uit bv Somalië, die Indiese subkontinent en China bedryf word.

Verskille tussen Europese lande lei tot spanning wat tot die aftakeling van die Europese Unie kan bydra. “The leading countries often have different priorities: Germany’s is privacy, France’s is preserving the national culture and the UK’s is security” (252), wat ernstig deur “home-grown terrorists” ondermyn is. “Smaller European countries like Ireland or Denmark have preserved a national intimacy that prevents Anywheres pulling away too far” (252). Ivan Krastev besin oor die onsekere toekoms van die Europese Unie (EU) in sy boek, After Europe (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017, 128p; Amazon Kindle $10,33). Die opbloei van bv nasionalisme, aangevuur deur veral massa-immigrasie, kan die EU se verbrokkeling veroorsaak. Dit is ‘n fragmentering wat baie wyer as die EU kan strek, soos die ekonoom Stephen D King aantoon in sy boek, Grave new world: The end of globalization, the return of history (Yale University Press, 2017, 304p; Amazon Kindle $17,24).

Die soort politieke stelsel wat ‘n land het, beïnvloed die mate waarin inwoners tuis voel. Byvoorbeeld, in Duitsland “the Länder system gives many people a strong regional identity and even a local dialect to go with it” (Goodhart 257). In Suid-Afrika is daar geen sprake van federalisme nie. ‘n Eenheidstaat sonder enige groepsregte is aan ons opgedwing. Boonop word die staatshoof deur die grootste politieke party gekies en nie deur al die kiesers soos in bv Amerika nie. Dit is ‘n resep om ons plaaslike blankes te verander van Êrensmense tot Nêrensmense, oftewel emigrante.

In Brittanje voel die meeste inwoners, soos die Afrikaners, vervreem van hulle land. “Nearly 60 per cent say that a neighbourhood that is one quarter ethnic minority or more would make them feel uncomfortable” (1001).”For several years now more than half of British people have agreed with this statement (and similar ones): ‘Britain has changed in recent times beyond recognition, it sometimes feels like a foreign country and this makes me feel uncomfortable.’ Older people, the least well-educated and the least affluent are most likely to assent, but there is quite widespread support from other groups too” (298).

In die literatuur is daar die neiging om die linkses, die kulturele marxiste, as oopkop te beskryf en die konserwatiewes of regses as toekop. “Much of the British commentariat see an ‘open vs closed’ divide as the new political fault-line” (305). “Anywheres … have portable ‘achieved’ identities, based on educational and career success which makes them gradually comfortable and confident with new places and people. Somewheres are more rooted and usually have ‘ascribed’ identities … based on group belonging and particular places, which is why they often find rapid change more unsettling” (314). Afrikaners het steeds nie werklik tot verhaal gekom na die verraad in 1990/94 nie.

“I have assembled a loose Anywhere ideology that I call ‘progressive individualism’ … Anywheres are comfortable with immigration, European integration and the spead of human rights legislation, all of which tend to dilute the claims of national citizenship” (342). “By contrast, the Somewheres are more socially conservative and communitarian by instinct … They are moderately nationalistic, and if English quite likely to identify as such. They feel uncomfortable about many aspects of cultural and economic change – such as mass immigration … and more fluid gender roles” (349). “They still believe that there is such a thing as Society” (403). “Most traditional societies are ‘sociocentric’, meaning they place the needs of groups and institutions first” (754). Êrensmense begeer “a more stable, ordered world” (410). “A better globalisation is possible and a world order based on many Somewhere nation states cooperating together is far preferable to one big supranational Anywhere” (448).

Kritiek is uitgespreek op Goodhart se “simplifying, binary Anywhere-Somewhere divide. It was certainly a useful simplification … But there is, in fact, plenty of light and shade in my more detailed description of the main value groups inside and I also describe a large Inbetweener group” (135) van 25%, soos hier bo genoem.

Goodhart se binêre benadering kan in talle opsigte voortgesit word. Lewende en nie-lewende voorwerpe/dinge kan onderskei word. Lewende dinge kan in plante en diere verdeel word. By diere kan mense en nie-mense onderskei word. Mense kan in blankes en nie-blankes verdeel word, maar deesdae klink heftige besware op as ‘n onderskeid op grond van velkleur gemaak word, asook as pogings aangewend word om sulke groepe fisiek/liggaamlik uitmekaar te hou. By plante is daar dié wat in skaduwee en ander wat in sonlig floreer. By mense is daar sommige wat in die duister en ander wat in die lig wandel. Sommige plante het baie water nodig en ander min. By mense is daar dié wat skaamteloos op aalmoese aangewese is terwyl ander trots daarop is om vir hulleself te sorg. Verskille by plante en diere (mense uitgesluit) mag uitgewys word. In die geval van mense is die hedendaagse kultuurmarxistiese gebod dat ooreenkomste beklemtoon en verskille geïgnoreer moet word. “Paradoxically, then, it would seem that we can best limit intolerance of difference by parading, talking about, and applauding our sameness” (805).

In Suid-Afrika word 1994 dikwels ons jaar van “bevryding” genoem; oënskynlik bevryding van apartheid, maar in werklikheid gaan dit uitermate oor bevryding/ontslaeraking van die blanke politieke bewind; dus entoesiasme vir en omarming van swart mag. Dit is nie (heeltemal) vreemd in Brittanje en die res van die Westerse wêreld nie: “The ‘great liberalisation’ of the past forty years [is] in attitudes to race, gender and sexuality” (396).

Op dieselfde manier as Goodhart kan Nêrens- en Êrensmense ook in Suid-Afrika onderskei word. Daar is diegene wat nie aan die land geheg is nie en hulle maklik elders kan tuismaak. Dink bv aan Jode wat hulle skynbaar met gemak van een land na ‘n ander versit as die plaaslike vooruitsigte minder belowend is. Andersyds is daar mense wat hier vasgegroei het en nie sal weggaan nie, selfs al laat die omstandighede veel te wense oor. Seker die onuitroeibaarste is die Afrikaners. Swartes beskou swartes in die res van Afrika as hulle broers en susters en sal dus nie so vreemd in ‘n ander swart Afrikaland voel nie. Engels-, Nederlands-, Duits-, Frans-, ens, sprekende blankes kan geneig wees om te dink dat hulle elders ‘n tuiste het, maar dit geld nie vir Afrikaners nie. Afrikaners is van hier en is hier om te bly. Hulle is in Afrika maar kultureel nie van Afrika nie.

‘n Mens is ‘n individu maar ook deel van ‘n groep, bv gesin, familie en in breër verband geheg aan ‘n bepaalde etnisiteit en kultuur, bv wat afkoms, geskiedenis, nalatenskap, tradisies, gewoontes, taal en religie betref. Groepbehorendheid het nie in 1994 verdwyn toe ons as Afrikaners ons groepsregte ontsê is en tweedeklasburgerskap aan ons toebedeel is nie. In 1994 en sedertdien is die Afrikanerdom in twee geskeur. Enersyds is daar die horisontales, die verloopte kruipsugtiges, die nieu-hensoppers, wat die nuwe Suid-Afrika “wil maak werk”, al word hulle verguis en geminag. Hulle het Nêrensmense geword wat hulleself nie meer herken nie, onder meer omdat daar geen duidelik band meer met hulle voorgeslagte is nie. Andersyds is daar die vertikales, die ongeboë Afrikaner- en Afrikaansgetroues wat koersvas ons tradisionele waardes aanhang en handhaaf. As konserwatiewes bly ons getrou aan die ideale van ons voorvaders en weet ons dat ons wesenlik altyd Êrensmense sal bly.

Sowel die Verenigde Koninkryk (VK) as Suid-Afrika het elk ‘n bevolking van sowat 60 miljoen. Daar is egter ‘n fundamentele verskil. In die VK is meer as 80% van die inwoners blank terwyl meer as 80% van die Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking swart is. Dit is vir blanke, Britse Êrensmense baie makliker om in die VK tuis te voel en lojaal aan hulle land te wees as wat dit vir blankes in Suid-Afrika is. Vir Afrikaners is die voorwaardes vir tuisvoel en lojaliteit enersyds selfbeskikking en andersyds ‘n eie vaderland. Daardie vaderland kan so klein soos Armenië of Israel wees, maar dáár sal dit moontlik wees om in vryheid Afrikanerskap uit te leef en sonder parasiterendes voorspoedig te wees.

Hierdie visie of utopie sal deur kulturele marxiste as rassisme afgemaak word. “Racism is a highly politicised and much abused term that has come to refer to any kind of racial stereotyping or mild partiality towards an in-group” (834). Die frase “any kind of racial stereotyping” is egter oordrewe. Polities korrek mag blankes as (fundamenteel) sleg gestereotipeer word terwyl swartes as goed, benadeel, uitgebuit, gepynig, ens, uitgebeeld moet word. Afrikaners behoort onkreukbaar ongetransformeerd te bly deur gesonde weerstand teen sulke misleidende retoriek en propaganda te bied.

“If it is wrong to discriminate within a nation [country] on the basis of the accident of race, why is it not equally wrong to discriminate in favour of one’s fellow nationals on the basis of the accident of nationality? … if the nation state is an illegitimate expression of bigotry, like racism, then the legitimacy of democracy and the welfare state, which today exist only in national forms, is also thrown into doubt” (2133). “The moral equality of all humans is taken by many Global Villagers to mean that national borders and boundaries have become irrelevant and that any partiality to one’s fellow nationals is morally flawed. But this is to conflate two separate things. It does not follow from the idea of human equality that we have the same obligations to all humans. Somewheres and Inbetweeners and even many Anywheres believe that this universalist ethos must be tempered by moral particularism: all humans are equal but they are not all equally important to us; our obligations and allegiances ripple out from family and friends to stranger fellow-citizens in our neighbourhoods and towns, then to nations and finally to all humanity” (2203). Dit is ‘n geval van “specialness but not superiority” (2246).

Hierdie etnies-kulturele eie identiteit word in die VK al hoe meer in eksklusiewe woongebiede uitgeleef, bv “white Londoners … have an identity they want to retain” (2860). “There is … a reality of ‘sundown segregation’ with many Londoners returning home to live in parallel, monocultural communities … Schools everywhere tend to be more segregated than the neighbourhoods” (2809). Gedagtig aan sy kolonies kan ‘n mens sê die Britte het rasse-segregasie uitgevind, hoewel dit eintlik nie ‘n uitvinding is nie maar bloot die vergestalting van ‘n hoogs natuurlike menslike ingesteldheid. Apartheid was ‘n voortsetting en verfyning van die Britse beleid van rasseskeiding. Ná die afskaffing van apartheid in Suid-Afrika het die VK toenemend multikultureel geword en rassesegregasie herontdek.

Teen die einde van sy boek probeer Goodhart op ‘n halfhartige of onoortuigende manier om ‘n Anywhere/Somewhere-sintese te bewerkstellig: “The philosopher Isaiah Berlin [1909-1997] said that people generally want many of the same things: security, recognition, love, meaningful work, sufficient wealth and freedom to live a good life in the many ways that can be conceived. And to achieve those things for the greatest number of people requires politics to be informed by aspects of both Anywhere freedom and Somewhere rootedness” (4400). Dit lyk asof Berlin hier poog om ‘n geykte Westerse siening universeel geldig te probeer maak.

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