Leon Lemmer: Michael Arnheim se ontleding van die Suid-Afrikaanse situasie

Deel op

Arthur Keppel-Jones (1909-1996) het die verloop van die Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedenis in sy boek, When Smuts goes: A history of South Africa from 1652 to 2010 (Cape Town: African Bookman, 1947, 203p), voorspel. Hy was ‘n dosent in geskiedenis aan die Universiteit van die Witwatersrand (Wits), maar het hom in 1959 in Kanada gevestig. Hy was ‘n liberalistiese Anglofiel en ‘n Afrikanerhater. Hy het voorspel dat die Afrikanerbewind in 1952 (nie in 1948 nie), drie eeue ná die aankoms van Jan van Riebeeck, sou begin. Die magsoorname deur swartes sou in 1988 plaasvind (nie in 1994 nie). Die Afrikaners word deurgaans ongunstig voorgestel en so ook die swartes, bv: “Now the Kaffirs have got the country and they are destroying it” (p 193). Volgens die outeur sou daar ná Jan Smuts se bewind en dus die einde van Engelse mag ‘n distopie volg. Die teks dra swaar aan vooroordele en sommige van die voorspellings moes mettertyd ‘n verleentheid vir Keppel-Jones gewees het. Vir ‘n bespreking van hierdie boek: Praag 16.03.2014.

Die boek van Michael Arnheim (gebore in 1944) wat ek vandag bespreek, is van ‘n heeltemal ander aard. Arnheim het op 31-jarige ouderdom hoof van die departement klassieke aan Wits geword. In 1988 het hy ‘n suksesvolle regspraktyk in Londen begin. Hy het onder meer insiggewend oor menseregte-wette geskryf; dat die menseregte-sindroom deur elemente ter bevordering van eiebelang gekaap is. Ek het reeds hierna verwys: Praag 17.02.2018. Wat ek by daardie geleentheid nie kon doen nie, was om die volgende boek van Arheim te bespreek: South Africa after Vorster (Cape Town: Howard Timmins, 1979, 203p). Ek het die boek uiteindelik te leen gekry. Ek beperk my bespreking tot slegs enkele aspekte. Hou asseblief deurgaans in gedagte dat hierdie merkwaardige boek 40 jaar gelede en 15 jaar voor die ondergang van die blanke bewind gepubliseer is.

Anders as Keppel-Jones se boek het Arnheim se teks na verloop van veertig jaar glad nie verouder nie. Anders as by Keppel-Jones is daar geen teken van emosie-gebaseerde vooroordeel nie. Voortreflik beredeneerd en in duidelike taal bied Arnheim sy argumente en ontledings aan. Hiermee stel hy ‘n navolgenswaardige voorbeeld aan sy mede-akademici. Arnheim is goed ingelig, ook wat Afrikaanse werke betref, en haal uit bronne aan wat selde in ander boeke oor hierdie onderwerp te vinde is. Arnheim se boek het ‘n dieptegang wat meesal in opvallende mate in bv die koerantartikels en selfs boeke van joernaliste ontbreek.

“South Africa, it has often been said, has proved the graveyard of predictions – there has certainly been no shortage of them! Most of them have been prognostications of doom, generally in the form of violent revolution … Because of [the] close link between prediction and propaganda many predictions are really nothing more than examples of wishful thinking and may be safely ignored” (p 158). Keppel-Jones se boek is ‘n voorbeeld hiervan. Die eerlose oorgawe aan swart mag deur FW de Klerk en sy kornuite is so vergesog dat niemand bv die absolute gebrek aan beskermende maatreëls vir blankes (bv geen rassediskriminasie, gewaarborgde eiendomsreg) kon voorspel nie. Die gewelddadige ANC is toegelaat om die blankes/Afrikaners onder te ploeg. De Klerk & kie het reggekry waarin die Britte tydens die Anglo-Boere-oorlog nie kon slaag nie.

Arnheim poog om nie te trap in die gat van toekomsvoorspelling nie. “The object of this book is not so much to predict the future of South Africa as to lay bare the real possibilities … from which that future will emerge” (10). Die manier waarop Arnheim Suid-Afrika se toekoms voorsien, is nie op verbeeldingsvlugte of emosie gebaseer nie, maar is “rather the result of logical reasoning based on carefully examined historical evidence” (159). “It is not the aim of this book to take sides in the South African dispute or to advocate any particular line or policy. The object is merely to clarify the situation and to reveal the real issues involved. If my analysis of these realities differs from what may be read in most other works on South Africa, this is to be attributed to the special effort that I have made to avoid the elementary errors and blinkered assumptions that abound in so many works on political subjects” (136). Myns insiens kan sy boek steeds met vrug aan studente in politieke wetenskap voorgeskryf word.

Arnheim skryf: Uit die oogpunt van Afrikaner-nasionalisme “there was only one way to ensure the continued existence of the Afrikaner nation and culture, and that was by means of separation: separation not only between Black and White but even between English and Afrikaans, this latter form of separation being most noticeable in the sphere of education” (22). In hierdie verband skryf David Harrison: “Under what was called the ‘dual medium’ system, [Jan] Smuts proposed that all [white] children would receive their elementary education in their mother tongue, English or Afrikaans; gradually the other language would be introduced and would eventually become, in secondary school, not just a second language but a medium of instruction as well. In other words, Afrikaans-speaking children would eventually find themselves taking, for example, mathematics or chemistry lessons part of the time in English. English children would do the same in Afrikaans … Eventually separate single-medium schools would be abolished” (The white tribe of Africa, Johannesburg: Macmillan, 1981, p 141-142).

Smuts wou Afrikaans- en Engelssprekende blankes verenig en albei groepe tweetalig maak. Daarna wou die Nasionale Party-regering swart skoliere help met hulle toetrede tot die arbeidsmag deur albei amptelike tale, Afrikaans en Engels, as onderrigmedium te gebruik. Hierdie navolging van Smuts se beleid het egter in 1976 die Soweto-opstand tot gevolg gehad. Wat blanke skole betref het die NP-regering die teenoorgestelde van die Smuts-beleid voorgestaan: skole moet enkelmedium en nie dubbelmedium nie wees. Dieselfde voorkeur het vir blanke universiteite gegeld. Dit het die behoud van Afrikaans as onderrigtaal naas Engels verseker. Die ANC-regering is Afrikaners en Afrikaans egter vyandiggesind, gevolglik is Engels naas Afrikaans in histories Afrikaanse skole en universiteite ingevoer, met katastrofiese gevolge vir Afrikaans. Kruipsugtige pro-swart Afrikaanssprekendes het met onderrig in Engels aan die eens Afrikaanse universiteite begin selfs voordat FW de Klerk mandaatloos aan gewelddadige swart mag oorgegee het.

Verskeie toekomsscenarios was vir Suid-Afrika beskikbaar. Die volgende opsie is in 1961 uitdruklik deur Hendrik Verwoerd afgekeur maar dit is presies wat FW de Klerk met sy onderhandelinge oor “magsdeling” bereik het. “The White people of South Africa should sacrifice themselves, their possessions and the generations to come. They can do this by surrendering to Black rule, even if it became a dictatorship, and evacuate the country of their forbears, or by remaining and becoming an indistinguishable part of a Black nation” (48). By die plaaslike blankes was daar vóór 1994 in ‘n groot mate algemene eenstemmingheid dat ‘n swart bewind gebaseer op algemene stemreg nie ‘n geskikte oplossing vir Suid-Afrika se probleme bied nie.

Uit die geskiedenis van Afrikaner-nasionalisme blyk: “On each occasion it was always the more conservative and uncompromising faction which ultimately emerged victorious. It was General JBM Hertzog who scored a victory of this sort over the conciliatory [Louis] Botha and [Jan] Smuts; and it was Dr [DF] Malan who in turn triumphed over Hertzog” (60). FW de Klerk se nalatenskap gaan in teen die grein van nie net die geskiedenis van die Nasionale Party en Afrikaners nie maar eintlik van Suid-Afrika sedert 1652. Die veranderings in 1994 was revolusionêr; nie evolusionêr nie. In die Lenin/Trotsky-idioom word hierdie revolusie steeds voortgesit.

Sommige van die insiggewendste opmerkings in Arnheim se boek handel oor die Franse Revolusie, wat beskryf word as “the period 1789-1799 that saw the end of the monarchy in France. The revolution began as an attempt to create a constitutional monarchy, where the powers of the king would be limited by a parliament. By late 1792, however, demands for long-overdue reforms resulted in the proclamation [by the moderate Girondins] of the First Republic and the execution of King Louis XVI in January 1793. The violence of the revolution, attacks by other nations, and bitter factional struggles, riots, and counter-revolutionary uprisings across France severely weakened the republic. This helped bring the extremists to power, and the bloody Reign of Terror [by the Jacobins under Robespierre, 1793-1794] followed. French armies then succeeded in holding off their foreign enemies and one of the generals, Napoleon Bonaparte, seized power in 1799” (Collins World Encyclopedia, 2003, p 357).

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) is in die Engelssprekende wêreld veral vanweë sy boek, Democracy in American (1835, Kindle bv $0), bekend. Maar hy het ook ‘n ander uitstekende boek, The old Regime and the Revolution (1856, Kindle bv $1,14) oor die Franse Revolusie geskryf. Arnheim haal De Tocqueville soos volg aan: “For it is not always when things are going from bad to worse that revolutions break out. On the contrary, it oftener happens that when a people which has put up with an oppressive rule over a long period without protest suddenly finds the government relaxing its pressure, it takes up arms against it” (74). Arnheim vervolg: “Social dissatisfaction or disaffection, whether or not it reaches the stage of violent revolution, is the product of a sense of deprivation, but … this sense of deprivation is not something objective but is in fact subjective, or relative” (75-76).

“In the well-known folk-tale of The fisherman and his wife [1812], as recorded by the brothers Grimm, the firsherman himself has no sense of relative deprivation at all while his wife has what we might call a very high relative deprivation coefficient … this story … contains a very important kernel of truth, namely that the objective situation itself, whether political, social or economic, is not enough to enable us to predict people’s reaction to it” (76). Toegepas op Suid-Afrika kan gesê word dat die situasie vir swartes in Suid-Afrika nie so sleg was as wat bv Nelson Mandela en sy terroristiese meelopers verkies het om dit vir hulle en ander mense voor te stel nie. Weens sy opstandige geaardheid het Mandela geweld tot die enigste doeltreffende metode vir politieke verandering verhef, Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) gestig en op 16 Desember 1961 geaktiveer.

Die Nasionale Party se beleid is gekenmerk deur toegewings aan swartes, wat druk vir verdere toegewings veroorsaak het, totdat FW de Klerk se 1990/94-grondwetlike onderhandelinge wesenlik uit toegewings bestaan het. “It is precisely a policy of reform which produces a sense of relative deprivation, which in turn gives rise to revolutionary sentiments and thence to revolution” (92). “Where a situation remains unchanged for any length of time people come to accept it as normal and therefore do not tend to have expectations or aspirations very much above their actual level, no matter how good or bad that may be. It is change which produces the gap between reality and expectations or aspiration” (80). Toegewings in regeringsbeleid het teen 1979 ‘n relatief welvarende swart middelklas geskep. “Liberal White opinion … sees hope for the salvation of White South Africa in terms of the growth of a ‘responsible Black middle-class’ with a ‘stake in the land’ who would remain ‘moderate’ and thus prevent revolution” (83). “[They] believe that the dismanteling of apartheid will automatically lead to racial harmony and brotherhood” (182). Ondervinding in Amerika dui op die teenoorgestelde: “Forced integration has only resulted in bitterness and hostility on both sides” (182).

In werklikheid begeer die swart middelklas al hoe meer van wat hulle nog nie het nie, gevolglik beweer Arnheim: “A Black middle-class cannot but be revolutionary, or at least radical” (83). Hy skryf dit na aanleiding van die Franse Revolusie: “The middle class had been doing so well, especially on the economic front, that it began to aspire to political power to match its economic position” (72). Toegepas op Suid-Afrika: “Reform, whether political, economic or both, will not turn Black South Africans into docile servants of their White masters but will on the contrary politicise and ultimately radicalise them” (91). “Once a man is treated the same as others in certain respects, he will be all the more clamorous for equal treatment in all respects. In other words, political concessions are an inevitable concomitant of economic and educational reform” (183-184).

‘n Soortgelyke verskynsel doen hom by feminisme voor. “Women’s liberation is in fact very largely confined to the urbanised and industrialised countries of the West – in other words, the countries in which women enjoy more rights and privileges than anywhere else in the world. And, what is more, within those countries it is generally from among the richest, most educated and most influential segment of the female population that supporters of the movement tend to come” (79). In die konteks van feminisme is ook reekse toegewings gedoen, wat tot al hoe meer eise en militantheid aanleiding gegee het. Oor swartes en vroue mag daar deesdae kwalik negatiewe opmerkings gemaak word. In die Weste en die nuwe Suid-Afrika het hierdie twee groepe tans meer regte as blanke mans. Aan swartes en vroue word voorkeur by aanstellings en bevorderings gegee. Hulle mag eksklusiewe eie instansies stig en ter eie bevoordeling bedryf; iets wat eintlik nie vir blanke mans toelaatbaar is nie, tensy daar die bereidwilligheid is om deurlopend as onderskeidelik rassisties en seksisties uitgekryt te word.

In die nuwe Suid-Afrika is daar geen sprake van toegewings aan die blankes en veral die Afrikaners nie. In werklikheid word die skroef al hoe stywer aangedraai, soos by onteiening sonder vergoeding. Dit in sigself is verandering wat aanpassings in die gemoed van die slagoffers kan/gaan stimuleer. Wat Afrikaners betref moet daar liefs nie as’t ware met die leeu se stert gespeel word nie. Ná verloop van ‘n kwarteeu sukkel Afrikaners steeds om tot verhaal te kom en die volle implikasies van die 1990/94-verraad te begryp en verwerk. Maar op ‘n dag kan die Afrikaners se moermeters skielik in die rooi staan. Hulle sal dan nie toelaat dat hulle regte verder vertrap word nie. Dan sal daar tevergeefs gepoog word om hulle met allerhande beloftes van toegewings te paai.

Iets wat ek myself soms afvra, is of swartes werklik so sleg daaraan toe in die ou Suid-Afrika was. Dit is dalk ‘n persepsie wat enersyds deur die voorbeeld van bv die gewelddadige swart burgerregte-beweging in die veel meer welvarende Amerika en andersyds deur bv kommunisties-geïnspireerde propaganda geskep is. Pleks van onderdrukking het die plaaslike swartes heel moontlik bevoorregting in vergelyking met swartes in die buurstate geniet. Hulle kan selfs in so ‘n mate bedorwe wees dat hulle dit onnodig vind om optimaal in werksituasies te funksioneer. Desnieteenstaande is hulle geneig om op alles wat hulle begeer geregtig te voel. ‘n Hipotese soos hierdie maak dit verstaanbaar waarom bv Zimbabwiërs en Mosambiekers feitlik deurgaans deur die plaaslike blankes as veel beter werkers as swart Suid-Afrikaners ervaar word. ‘n Alternatiewe verduideliking, soos moontlike inherente bekwaamheid of onbekwaamheid, mag nie meer ter oorweging geopper word nie.

In hoofstuk 4 toon Arnheim aan hoe toegewings, aanpassings van 180 grade in beleid, die revolusionêre veranderings in Namibië en Zimbabwe en daarna in Suid-Afrika veroorsaak het. “In accepting the principle of ‘majority rule’ for Namibia she [the South African government] had practically invited pressure to be brought to bear upon herself to apply the same principle in South Africa” (101). Wat Zimbabwe betref: “There was never any doubt about the basic issue involved: Black ‘majority rule’. In other words, the South African government was consciously, deliberately and eagerly prodding Rhodesia into an acceptance of a form of government which Dr Verwoerd himself in 1966 claimed would ‘lead to destruction and chaos'” (105).

John Vorster kan vir die chaos in die polities onafhanklike Zimbabwe verantwoordelik gehou word. Maar dit is iets wat Vorster in ‘n buurland geskep het; nie in sy vaderland nie. Hoeveel swaarder moet die gewelddadige, rassistiese, mislukte nuwe Suid-Afrika met sy rommelstatus nie op die gewete van FW de Klerk en sy groepie meelopers rus nie? “The South African Government had turned its back on White Rhodesia” (107). FW de Klerk het tot die uiterste gegaan: Hy het sy rug op blanke Suid-Afrikaners en by uitstek Afrikaners – dink aan die status en behoud van Afrikaans, die kern van die Afrikanerdom – gekeer.

Aan die begin van hierdie rubriek is na Arnheim se boeke oor menseregte verwys. In hoofstuk 4 kom hy hierby asook die mite van gelykheid uit. ‘n Mite is ‘n “storie sonder grond; [‘n] fabel” (HAT). “The concept of human rights rests squarely on the belief in the equality of mankind. The rights that are envisaged must be equal for everybody – which can mean only one thing in a political context: one man one vote and majority rule … this demand was successfully made in the cases of the two neighbouring states of Zimbabwe and Namibia, and, what is more, the South African government concurred in the application of this principle to her neighbours even though she was somewhat less enthusiastic about its application to South Africa herself. But, even more important than this is the fact that South Africa’s most influential Black leaders are unlikely to settle for anything less than one man one vote and majority rule in a unitary state” (134).

Arnheim se jongste boek is Two models of government: A new classification of governments in terms of power (Black House Publishing, 2018, 373p; Amazon Kindle $11,49). Daarin keer hy terug na die kwessie van gelykheid. Hy onderskei twee soorte regering: oligargie, dus regering deur ‘n minderheid, en monokrasie, dus regering deur ‘n enkeling. In ‘n oligargie is daar noodwendig ongelykheid terwyl vryheid in wisselende mate voorkom. In ‘n radikale monokrasie, soos Fidel Castro se Kuba, is gelykheid moontlik maar dit geskied ten koste van vryheid. By Arnheim is daar hierdie versoberende insig: “Equality of opportunity must not be equated with equality. Equality of opportunity means an equal opportunity to become unequal.” Gedwonge, kunsmatige gelykverklaring in die sin van gelyke stemreg (een mens, een stem) is ‘n gevaarlike vergryp en ‘n fundamentele dwaasheid wat ernstige nadelige gevolge in baie lande en katastrofiese gevolge in ‘n land soos Suid-Afrika het. Ongelykheid wat sorgdra dat blankes in politieke beheer van die land bly, was en is blykbaar ‘n noodsaaklike voorwaarde vir ‘n welvarende, voorspoedige Suid-Afrika. Hopelik bespreek ek by ‘n latere geleentheid Arnheim se 2018-boek.

Veertig jaar gelede het Arnheim geskryf: “Though some Black leaders may be prepared to accept certain concessions at least as an interim stage towards Black rule, there can be no doubt that Black opinion will not be prepared indefinitely to stop short of complete control of the whole of South Africa … once Blacks are accorded equal rights with Whites, the road to Black rule will have been assured” (87-88). Reeds in 1909 het die South African Native Convention – sedert 1923 die African National Congress genoem – in Bloemfontein besluit “all persons within the Union shall be entitled to full and equal rights and privileges” (88).

Sedertdien is uit swart geledere druk hiervoor uitgeoefen. Die skandalige ironie is dat sodanige gelyke regte sedert 1994 nie deur die swart bewind aan die blankes gegun word nie. “The aspirations of Black leaders have always been the same – namely, to enjoy the same rights and privileges as Whites. Which … can only mean a Black-ruled South Africa – a prospect which, whether justifiably or not, is precisely what most South African Whites dread more than anything else” (89). Sedert 1994 het hierdie vrees van blankes geblyk absoluut geregverdig te wees.

Arnheim was nie met Suid-Afrika se buitelandse beleid beïndruk nie. “South African foreign policy to date has been stupid” (124). Die NP-regering het tradisioneel sy onbetwisbare lojaliteit teenoor die Weste betuig en sy bestryding van kommunisme beklemtoon maar tog geen aanvaarding van sy rassebeleid van daardie lande ontlok nie. Arnheim verduidelik dat ander lande die plaaslike situasie ontleed en vroeg besluit het watter groep die uiteindelike wenner sou wees en daarom eerder die swartes gesteun het. Blank Suid-Afrika moes dalk liewer onsekerheid geskep het oor waar sy lojaliteit lê, sodat Westerse en nie-Westerse lande om sy guns kon meeding; nie dat dit veel sou gehelp het nie.

“It was only in 1979 that the South African Government announced that it would in future adopt a neutral stance in what it rather archaically termed ‘the East-West conflict'” (131). “It may well be in South Aftica’s interests to foster what relations it can with the Soviet Union … This prospect is unlikely to appeal to many White South Africans at the present time, but the alternative to it is for South Africa to become a pawn and satellite of the United States of America” (118). “The plain fact must be faced that the Soviet Union is not a revolutionary state but indeed an extremely conservative one. If one puts aside all the ideological clap-trap, this is not particularly difficult to understand. After all, Russia is in effect the last of the great multi-national empires” (117).

Die outeur het dit geskryf nadat hy aangetoon het “how very little ideology matters in international relations” (113). ‘n Land se regering werk in die praktyk met ‘n ander land saam of ry hom in die wiele ingevolge sy persepsie van eiebelang en nie primêr ingevolge ideologie nie. Die ou Suid-Afrika is as Westers geëtiketteer en die nuwe Suid-Afrika is wat regering betref ongetwyfeld in ruime mate marxisties gesind. Op die persoonlike vlak jaag baie van die kommunistiese kamerade egter eie gewin, die ergste graad van materialisme, na, bv soveel moontlik geld en persoonlike besittings. “Is it really possible to be capitalists and socialists at the same time?” (147). Ja, dit het plaaslik deel van die daaglikse (politieke) werklikheid geword. Dit toon hoe min waarde daar in hierdie konteks aan ideologiese etikette geheg kan word. Voorheen: “To label urban Blacks as either ‘capitalists’ or ‘socialists’ is … misleading. They are neither. They are people who … feel aggrieved and are potentially revolutionary” (147-148). Hierdie geweldspotensiaal was – en is dalk steeds – van deurslaggewende belang en nie die ideologiese etikette wat aan swartes geheg word nie.

“It may indeed be disturbing, but it is also sobering, to realise just how subjective political policies and attitudes inevitably are” (138). Tydens die Koue Oorlog het dit telkens gebeur dat ‘n nuwe bewind in bv ‘n Afrika-land se amptelike lojaliteit van Wes na Oos, of omgekeerd, verander het. Die verandering van die ideologiese etiket word aan die land se regering geheg en weerspieël hoogs waarskynlik nie ‘n verandering in die mening van sy inwoners nie.

Daar is geen aanduiding dat Arnheim die verbrokkeling van die Sowjetunie voorsien het nie. Hy kon gerus ook duideliker tussen ‘n regering en die land se inwoners onderskei het. As hy in 1979 eerder die inwoners van Rusland as die Sowjetregering as konserwatief gekarakteriseer het, sou dit merkwaardig gewees het, want dit is iets wat eers na die verbrokkeling van die Sowjetunie in 1991 deur talle Westerse waarnemers aanvaar word.

In die ou Suid-Afrika is groot waarde aan wette geheg om ‘n ordelik funksionerende samelewing te probeer verseker. Beperkte sukses is behaal. Massa-aksie en geweld het op die lange duur wet en orde ondermyn omdat die regering toenemend minder gesag uitgeoefen het. “The [constitutional] fallacy essentially consists in a belief in the efficacy of laws, constitutional enactments and other formal documents as being able to solve political problems” (148). Dink aan hoe oorentoesiasties mense soos FW de Klerk (skynbaar) en Leon Wessels (werklik) in 1996 oor Suid-Afrika se nuwe Grondwet was; glo die beste in die wêreld, al is dit nie met alle ander grondwette vergelyk nie en al kan omstandighede van land tot land hemelsbreed verskil. Sedertdien word daar deur De Klerk en sy meelopers steen en been gekla oor die vertoking en toepassing van die Grondwet; bv dat na die letter, en nie na die gees van die Grondwet nie, gehandel word.

“Law, it is apparent, is incapable of solving political problems. A law can only reflect the realities of a power situation at a given time. If that power situation continues to exist, then the laws produced by it will continue to be valid. Where this occurs observers are often misled into talking of the efficacy of a constitution or of a law in achieving stability. In reality of course it is not the constitution or the law which has produced stability; it is stability which has given the constitution or the laws long-term validity … political power will cut its way through any skein of constitutional provisions” (152). Byvoorbeeld, ‘n oorweldigende meerderheid kiesers het die ANC aan die bewind geplaas. Uit sy magsposisie proklameer hy wette en pas hulle na goeddunke toe; des te meer omdat die regspleging, soos deur bv Hermann Giliomee aangetoon is, nie onafhanklik van die ANC-regering funksioneer nie maar eerder na sy pype dans. As die ANC ontevrede met die Grondwet is, kan hy dit aanpas, bv met die hulp van die EFF, soos met (blanke) onteiening sonder vergoeding gedoen word.

Arnheim verwys na Jack Greenberg (1924-2016), ‘n Jood en “legal adviser to the American National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People,” se besoek aan Suid-Afrika in 1979. Greenberg het geredeneer: “Black domination and discrimination against whites are not impossible outcomes. Black people are as imperfect as Whites, as experience in other African countries demonstrates” (155). Deesdae ervaar ons al drie hierdie verskynsels daagliks: swart oorheersing, diskriminasie teen blankes en die onvolmaaktheid van swartes. Suid-Afrika het ‘n manifes vir menseregte maar in die praktyk bied dit onvoldoende beskerming aan blankes, onder meer omdat die regte van nie-blankes by die Menseregtekommissie klaarblyklik swaarder as dié van blankes weeg. “A bill of rights is just so much scrap paper when it comes into conflict with power … The essential reason for this is that no law, or for that matter any other type of mechanical manipulation, can overpower the deep-seated psychological forces at work in human society, of which group-identity is probably the strongest” (155). Daarom stem swartes eerder vir mede-swartes as vir blankes. In die nuwe Suid-Afrika is swartes in beheer van die regering. Afgesien van wat ook al op die wetboek staan, sal die ANC-regering sorg dat swartes, dus sý ondersteuners, bevoordeel en blankes benadeel word.

In die laaste hoofstuk wys Arnheim daarop dat die NP-regering, deur ontrou aan sy tradisionele beleid van rassesegregasie en ongelykheid te wees en in te stem tot meerderheidsregering in Namibië en Zimbabwe, die weg vir oorgawe aan swart mag in Suid-Afrika voorberei het. “There can be little doubt that foreign pressure was also at least partly responsible for internal reforms” (161), wat druk om verdere hervormings en uiteindelik die ondergang van die blanke bewind verhoog het. Arnheim verwys na bv die Amerikaanse swartes se burgerregte-beweging “to prove that prosperity does not make for contentment and that revolution is more rather than less likely to occur amongst an upwardly mobile section of society” (162).

“It was precisely the advent of ‘the good life’ which was likely to whet Black appetites and ‘awaken their political fervour'” (170). Byvoorbeeld, “pay increases often raise expectations to such an extent that the Black workers feel worse off than before” (171). Die werkgewers verloor ook in hierdie proses omdat hoër salarisse nie noodwendig tot verhoogde produktiwiteit lei nie (171). “Where workers are given an increase in wages which they have not earned through higher productivity, they will continue to expect regular increases of the same type year after year” (185). Dit is presies wat sedert 1994 gebeur; dermate dat, anders as voorheen, personeel in die openbare sektor hoër vergoeding as in die private sektor betaal word sonder dat daar naasteby dieselfde druk op prestasie, bv doeltreffendheid en winsgewendheid, is. As swart staatsamptenare nie verhogings hoër as die inflasiekoers ontvang nie, dreig hulle om te staak. Die tradisionele bedoeling met jaarlikse bonusse was dat meer en beter werk as wat verwag kon word, verrig is. Deesdae word die reg op bonusse as ononderhandelaar beskou; ook in die geval van onder- en wanprestasie. Die 1994-magsoorgawe wás ‘n onderhandelde (eintlik toegee-) revolusie wat Suid-Afrika (feitlik) onherkenbaar verander het en sekerlik (in die meeste opsigte) nie verbeter het nie.

“We can now begin to understand a little more clearly why it is that the White economic élite [eg Harry Oppenheimer] should be so committed to political and economic liberalisation as to be able to ignore totally, or else to deny vehemently, the revolutionary threat that such a policy would inevitably create to themselves. It is now obvious that this commitment on their part to reform and social change is motivated neither by idealism nor even by any real concern for the people whose interests they generally claim to have a heart, namely the Blacks. Instead, what we have here is a much more basic and easily intelligible wellspring of motivation: self-interest” (169). Dieselfde geld vir sportlui wat destyds druk vir internasionale deelname uitgeoefen het sonder om ‘n flenter om te gee vir die politieke opset en dus soort regering wat Suid-Afrika moet aanvaar ten einde so iets moontlik te maak.

“The idyllic picture of social, political and economic harmony and prosperity resulting from a humane policy of reform, liberalisation and equal opportunity, is totally illusory. Not only is such a society impossible of attainment through the means generally suggested to this end, but it is in itself an impossible ideal, one which cannot be reached by any avenue … the tensions generated by group friction in multi-national, multi-racial or complex societies of any kind are such as to make conflict of one sort or another inevitable. The many power-sharing solutions which have been attempted have all failed dismally, and the inevitable result has always been the dominance of one group over the rest of the population. Where the out-group feels so seriously relatively deprived as in Malaysia [Singapore] or Canada [Québec], then it may even contemplate total secession [Boere-tuisland]. But even this may not solve the problem, as may be seen from the histories of the American and Nigerian civil wars, to cite but two disparate examples” (172).

“It is clear that no amount of reform short of total Black power over the whole of South Africa will satify Black aspirations. At the same time, however, a stepping-up of the reform programme will tend to radicalise the Blacks. This means that if en when South Africa comes under Black rule, it is more likely to be radical rather than moderate Black rule. Speeding up the rate of reform, which is sometimes recommended as a way of ensuring moderation, will only speed up the rate of radicalisation. Even if power is handed over directly to a moderate Black government, and even if this is done before the more radical elements have launched a full-scale guerilla war against South Africa, such a moderate régime is unlikely to last very long” (179).

Die ANC is van huis uit ‘n radikale, immorele en gewelddadige instansie. Deesdae sien ons hoe die EFF die ANC beïnvloed om selfs meer radikaal (bv rassisties anti-blank) te wees as wat hy tradisioneel is. “Marxism … does not admit the importance or even the existence of racial or ethnic identities. In Marxist theory the only significant groupings are classes” (183). Dit is om hierdie rede dat die kwessie van ras liefs nie in die nuwe Suid-Afrika geopper mag word nie. “It is partly the influence of Marxist ideology, especially on academic social scientists, that has caused [race and] ethnic feelings to be underestimated to the point of non-existence” (178).

FW de Klerk se belofte van magsdeling was ‘n illusie. “Any power-sharing formula can … only prove to be at best a temporary phase” (184). “A multi-racial power-sharing solution … is most unlikely to succeed” (180). “Only two alternatives remain: Black domination or White” (185). Laasgenoemde het ons voorheen gehad. Sedert 1994 ervaar ons op ‘n daaglikse grondslag die onverkwiklikheid van die ander een. In lands- en blanke belang sou dit beter gewees het as ons met blanke dominansie volstaan het. Soos Arnheim dit stel: “The less pretentious and much simpler policy of those dubbed by their opponents verkramptes … had in any case always struck a much more natural chord in the hearts of the mass of the White electorate” (176).

“All this does not bode well for South Africa’s future, but this book has been concerned to strip away illusions and to lay bare the realities of the situation, however unalluring they may be. The prospect that we have discerned in our brief glimpse into the future is indeed bleak: reform leading to a polarisation between White reactionaries and Black radicals, leading in turn to a Black régime. This is not intended to be a prediction, but merely a projection of likely developments on the basis of the forces at work in the situation” (181). Arnheim se toekomsprojeksie het geblyk ‘n akkurate voorspelling te wees. Dat hy werklik geglo het in wat hy in 1979 geskryf het, blyk uit die feit dat hy Suid-Afrika in 1988 verlaat en ‘n nuwe loopbaan in Engeland begin het.

Neem deel aan die gesprek en lewer gerus hier onder kommentaar!

L.W. U gebruik die Disqus-kommentaarafdeling op eie risiko en PRAAG, die redaksie of enige verwante persone of entiteite aanvaar geen verantwoordelikheid vir u kommentaar en watter gevolge ook al daaruit mag voortspruit nie. Terselfdertyd vereis ons dat u ter wille van beskaafdheid, redelikheid en die gerief van ander gebruikers, u sal weerhou van kwetsende taalgebruik, vloekwoorde, persoonlike aanvalle op medegebruikers, twissoekery en algemene "trol"-gedrag. Enigeen wat só 'n laspos word, sal summier verbied word en sy IP-adres sal insgelyks versper word. Ons sal ook nie huiwer om, waar nodig, kriminele klagte aanhangig te maak teen individue wat hulle aan dreigemente, teistering of intimidasie skuldig maak nie.