Leon Lemmer: Manlio Graziano besin oor landsgrense

Deel op

Soos in die geval van mure kan grense van ‘n fisiese of geestelike aard wees. In Obadja, vers 7, staan: “Al jou eie bondgenote sal jou oor jou grense jaag en jou in die steek laat. Jou eie vriende sal jou oorrompel, mense vir wie jy kos gegee het, sal vir jou strikke stel waar jy dit nie verwag nie.” Obadja het hierdie woorde na aanleiding van ‘n oorlogsituasie geskryf. ‘n Mens kan dit op die terreur toepas waarmee die plaaslike blankes te make gehad het. Werk, kos en kolossale goedheid het geweld en vernietiging as reaksie ontlok. Die destruksie hou nie daar op nie. Binne die blanke- en Afrikanerdom is verdeeldheid gesaai, grense opgerig. Sommige blankes, insluitende Afrikaanssprekendes, doen deesdae alles in hulle vermoë om die blankedom, Afrikanerdom en Afrikaans te vernietig. Hulle funksioneer as nuttige idiote vir die ANC.

By ‘n vorige geleentheid het ek, met verwysing na Tim Marshall se boek, oor mure geskryf (Praag 29.12.2018). Hierdie keer skryf ek oor grense; ‘n verwante onderwerp. ‘n Muur kan immers terselfdertyd ‘n grens wees. Ek skryf vandag na aanleiding van Manlio Graziano (gebore in 1958) se boek, What is a border? (Stanford University Press, 2018, 110p; Amazon Kindle $9.19). Die oorspronklike werk is in 2017 in Italiaans gepubliseer. Die outeur het ‘n wye verwysingsveld en bied die inligting op ‘n interessante manier aan. Landsgrense is bekende voorbeelde van grense, maar binne lande is daar ook steeks- en ander gebiedsgrense, bv van stede en dorpe. Individue grens hulle eiendomme af en het soms honde wat sorg dat daardie grense eerbiedig word.

“[Borders] separate and bring individuals together … They are … zones in which conflict and contact alternate perpetually” (Kindle 36). “It is in their political and geopolitical guise that their intrinsic, ontological, and multifold character is expressed to the fullest extent” (43). By landsgrense gaan dit om “the control and regulation of the flow of goods and people” (195). Dink aan Donald Trump wat nie net bekommerd is oor die “vlugtelinge” wat oor die suidelike Amerikaanse grens wil insypel nie, maar ook bv dwelms. Vanweë hulle aktuele belang skryf ek veral oor landsgrense. Daar is egter ook bv sosiale, religieuse, kulturele en taalgrense (513). Van die inligting in Graziano se boek kom ooreen met dié in Marshall se boek. Daaroor het ek reeds geskryf, gevolglik word dit nie hier herhaal nie.

Die gewildheid van grense wissel afhangend van die mate waarin enersyds nasiestate en andersyds globalisme gekoester word. “Some borders are virtually ignored, while others are the subject of sharp-eyed surveillance; still others are outfitted with new and higher walls, new and deeper ditches, and new and sharper barbed wire. Some are drawn from scratch. While until recently, the general trend was that they were dwindling and being absorbed into larger regional units, we are now seeing a reversal of this trend. Borders are being reevaluated; they are increasing in number and function, and they are even being reintroduced in areas where they had been virtually abolished” (43). Soos Marshall met mure doen, vestig Graziano die aandag op die hedendaagse toenemende gewildheid van grense. Die nuwe Suid-Afrika het in 1994 ‘n bloeityd vir die oprigting van mure en allerhande ander soorte grense binne die land ingelui, asook die eksponensiële groei in sekuriteitsdienste. Suid-Afrikaners, veral die blankes, voel onveilig en gevolglik verplig om hulle teen die gevaarlike en hoogs misdadige werklikheid te verskans.

Landsgrense is produkte van die geskiedenis. Aan die einde van die Dertigjarige Oorlog is die Vrede van Wesfalië (1648) gesluit. Dit het die erkenning van die onafhanklikheid van die eerste nasiestate in Europa ingesluit. “[It] established a new political and territorial order based on the principle of cuius regio eius religio, which recognized the prince’s right to impose his religion on his subjects, that is, the right to exercise his supreme and exclusive authority (political, fiscal, judicial, and military) within a given geographical area, without the interference of other states. From a geographical point of view, the first corollary of the principle of sovereignty was an urgent need to establish clear dividing lines among princely territories, which set off a race for borders aiming at extending them* and, at the same time, homogenizing the peoples within them. The subjects of the same prince had to be able to recognize each other, understand each other, and obey the same distinctive characteristics and the same laws, In short, they had to become – even if the word only appeared much later – a nation” (223). “The principle of nationality – that is the separation of peoples – is still promoted as a unique recipe for peacekeeping” (339). Dit behoort duidelik te wees dat die inwoners van Suid-Afrika nie naasteby ‘n nasie is nie en die land dus ook nie ‘n nasiestaat is nie. Die ideaal van afsonderlike ontwikkeling was dat Suid-Afrika met ras en etnisiteit as grondslag ‘n konstellasie van nasiestate moet word.

[* Oor die koloniale en imperiale era kan gesê word: “a border marks a neighboring area to be integrated” (877). In normale omstandighede is daar egter “the inhibitory power of borders” (1253).]

Binne nasiestate word kulturele eendersmaking nagestreef. “How it [a border] shapes identity and people’s lives, remains largely unexplored” (127). “Ernest Gellner [1925-1996] defined the process of cultural homogenization as ‘the replacement of diversified, locality-tied low cultures by standardized, formalized and codified, literacy-carried high cultures'” (272). In Suid-Afrika beteken dit klaarblyklik dat die blanke kultuur as norm dien, maar slegs wanneer dit die swart meerderheid pas. Dit blyk bv uit die aanvaarding van Engels as prakties die enigste amptelike taal. In Frankryk “the ‘standardized, formalized, literacy-carried’ culture – that of Paris – was gradually imposed, thus eradicating the ‘diversified, locality-tied low cultures’. In 1539, Francis I adopted the Francien (the dialect of Paris) as the official language of France, replacing Latin” (272). Dwarsoor die wêreld is dit die ontwikkeldes wat die aard van die standaardtaal bepaal. Die standaardisering van Afrikaans is in hierdie opsig geen uitsondering nie. In werklikheid is daar in hierdie opsig geen onreg teen bruin Afrikaanssprekendes gepleeg soos deesdae dikwels valslik beweer word nie.

“Territorial unification and its cultural homogenization represents the condition for the creation and development of a domestic capitalist market. Because capitalism demands constant growth in order to survive, the need to expand the market beyond national borders soon collided with the symmetrical need to defend the national market’s borders. This irresolvable contradiction brought every continental state … to ‘regret not being an island, which does not have indisputable territorial limits that guarantee a theoretical absolute protection'” (230). Baie lande het die see of riviere as grense, maar die ironie is dat dit juis oor die Middellandse See is wat “vlugtelinge” deesdae veral Griekeland, Italië en Spanje in groot getalle binnedring.

In 1648 “the conceptual and legal foundations of statehood were laid” (195). “But even in the late nineteenth century, borders were more often mere lines drawn on maps than real barriers erected on the ground. They were a profound aspiration of nation-states, which at the height of their glory carved constitutions in stone proclaiming them ‘sacred and inviolable’. In these same years, however, they started to erode slowly but inexorably, the result of the ‘first wave of globalization’ (1870-1913) and the emergence of ‘international law’, a slow-release poison inoculated into the veins of the sovereignty principle. This erosion was sharply accelerated by the ‘second wave of globalization’, which began in the late 1970s and has led to the crisis of the political form of the nation-state and its institutions, including borders” (50).

As Italianer skryf Graziano teen die agtergrond van Italië en ander Europese lande se opheffing van sowel hulle grense as hulle onafhanklikheid as lidlande van die Europese Unie, wat vernietigende kulturele gevolge het, onder meer weens die instroming van “vlugtelinge” uit die Derde Wêreld. As polities byderwetse globalis verknies Graziano hom egter nie hieroor nie – kyk hier onder. “Borders are both obsolete and actual: they are obsolete because market integrations, migrations, intercontinental weapons, international law, and digital information have undermined the principle of sovereignty that borders used to guarantee; they are actual, because their weakening has coincided with a rupture of social equilibrium, with transformations in balance of power and a reshuffling of territories and identities” (77). “The idea that building a wall can ward off alarming realities is a powerful tanquilizer” (766). “As Michel Foucher has written, ‘restoring the visibility of borders calms (a sometimes imagined) cultural anxiety in the face of the clamor and fury of the world'” (90). Graziano noem hierdie proses “the rehabilitation of borders” (105).”

Histories is landsgrense veronderstel om die gebiedsintegriteit en politieke onafhanklikheid van ‘n land te verseker (134). “[Borders] are measured, drawn on a map, marked on the ground, and have a legal significance generally recognized by all parties involved” (195). Die voorstanders van inheemsheid veronderstel: “humans instinctively mark, isolate, and defend their territory, just like certain other animal species” (147). As daar geen grense is nie, word dit volgens Lewis Morgan “communism in living” (161) en word die betekenis van die begrip burgerskap (236) verwater. Volgens Friedrich Ratzel (1844-1904), die vader van geopolitiek, “the state is a living species, which therefore requires its own living space (Lebensraum)” (236). Voldoende eie lewensruimte is presies wat die nuwe Suid-Afrika nie aan Afrikaners bied nie. Selfs voortgesette lewe is nie vanselfsprekend ‘n gegewe in hierdie droewe land nie.

Tydens kolonialisme is nuwe landsgrense geskep, wat mettertyd tot dispute oor die eienaarskap van grond binne daardie koloniale gebiede gelei het. Die ANC en ander voorstanders van swart mag beweer dat al die grond in Suid-Afrika aan die swartes behoort en deur die blankes gesteel is. Graziano kom met belangrike inligting vorendag. Ek wonder hoeveel regsgeleerdes bewus van die volgende is, wat histories deel van die internasionale reg is en ook aansluiting by die Romeins-Hollandse reg vind omdat Hugo de Groot (1583-1645) De Vattel beïnvloed het. “Law shortly came to the rescue of the civilized in their battle against the savages; Swiss jurist Emer de Vattel (1714-1767) suggested that any land not cultivated by indigenous peoples be considered terra nullius, no-man’s-land, and therefore available for appropriation by those who would put it to good use. The English were the first to take advantage of this legal instrument when they began to settle in Australia, beginning in 1788. As late as 1971, the first judge of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory rejected the very idea of the right of the dispossessed Aboriginals to be compensated by the colonizers … claiming that at the time, the land in Australia was ‘desert and uncultivated’ because it was populated by ‘uncilivilized inhabitants in a primitive state of society'” (258). Hiervolgens is die blankes op die grond van swartes geregtig en hoef daar nie vergoeding daarvoor betaal te word nie. Die ANC probeer om ons presies die teenoorgestelde wys te maak. “Short-term enrichment resulting from the confiscation of the possessions of the harassed populations is outweighed by the medium-term impoverishment that results from the loss of irreplaceable skills” (360). Wat boerdery betref kan die konfiskering van plase rampspoedige kort-, medium- en langtermyn gevolge hê.

Graziano het myns insiens te veel simpatie met die ideologie van globalisme waarvolgens die onafhanklikheid van lande ondergeskik aan internasionale instansies (bv AU, EU, VN, Wêreldhof) gemaak word. “The irony is that the nationality principle remains the undisputed legal and ideological horizon of world politics, and at a historical time that is seeing the decline of the nation-state and the spread of globalist doctrines on the ‘flattening’ of the world* (the alleged leveling of social, economic, and cultural gaps among different states and especially different nations), which claim that borders have become an unnecessary thing of the past” (360). Binne Suid-Afrika, asook Suid-Afrika in vergelyking met bv Westerse lande, is daar bitter min wat op sosiale, ekonomiese en kulturele gelykheid/eendersheid dui. Daar behoort dus geen sprake van die afskaffing van landsgrense te wees nie, maar dit is presies die gevaarlik dwase beleid wat deur die ANC gevolg word.

[* “The ‘flat world’ proposed by Thomas Friedman in 2005, according to which the process of globalization tended to render historical , geographical, and cultural borders between states more and more irrelevant” (409).]

“The law of uneven development … shatters the cosmopolitan dream: the flattening process, if it exists, precariously concerns only some privileged areas, while the rest of the world, to quote Harm de Blij, is a ‘rough landscape’. The market tends to transcend national borders, but at the same time, it must defend itself from the intrusion of other markets. Some borders thus get flattened, while others get erected” (417).

Kosmopolitisme (of globalisme) word in die Encyclopaedia Britannica gedefinieer as: “A political-moral philosophy that posits people as citizens of the world rather than of a particular nation-state” (366). Dit is wat deur iemand soos Wim de Villiers aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch verkondig word. Die studente moet glo wêreldburgers word deur hulle van veral die Afrikanerdom en Afrikaans te distansieer deur onder meer Engels as voertaal te aanvaar. Wat die ANC wil hê, is dat Suid-Afrikaners eerstens burgers van swart Afrika en tweedens van die wêreld moet wees, dus dat Afrikaners hulle eie kultuur moet laat vaar. Dit is iets wat sekerlik makliker aanvaarbaar is vir diegene wat nie kultuurtrots het nie. Vir Afrikaners is Afrika- en wêreldburgerskap uit beginsel onaanvaarbaar. Burgerskap van ‘n soewereine etniese staat is veel eerder die Afrikaner-ideaal.

“‘Globalisation has gone out of fashion,’ said the Financial Times in April 2016, two months before the Brexit vote. ‘It has lost political legitimacy. And not only in the US: European populists of left and right share the Trumpian disposition to throw up the barricades’. The idea seems simple: if the opening of borders has brought us to where we are, the solution is to close them” (489). Die voortbestaan van die Europese Unie is in die weegskaal en dit is onder meer (selfs grootliks) meegebring deur die vloedgolf “vlugtelinge” wat hulle daar wil vestig. Die staatkundige opset in Europa is egter baie ingewikkelder as wat algemeen besef word.

“Three salient features of European geography – the dense network of mountains and valleys, the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, and the North Great Plain – give geopolitical meaning to the conflict between internal and external borders that is specific to the unification process in general and to the Schengen agreements (the progressive dismantling of internal borders and simultaneous mutual strengthening [of] external ones [since 1985]) in particular. Yet the Schengen Area,* despite being a pillar of the European Union, does not map onto the Union’s borders: it includes only twenty-two European Union countries, and four of the Schengen members (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) are not in the European Union. In other words, the Schengen borders, amended seven times since 1995, differ from those of the European Union, which in turn differ from those of the Eurozone,*** which do not correspond to those of the forty-seven countries of the European Council,**** not to mention the different borders of the European countries belonging to NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization]” (899). NATO is sedert 1949 ‘n interstaatlike militêre alliansie; deesdae van 29 veral Europese lande maar insluitende Amerika, Kanada, Groenland (‘n outonome gebied van die Koninkryk van Denemarke) en Turkye. Amerika is die hoofdryfkrag van NATO. Robert Kaplan noem Amerika “the political cockpit of the world” (1183).

[* “22 of the 28 EU member states participate in the Schengen Area. Of the six EU members that are not part of the Schengen Area, four – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania – are legally obliged to join the area, while the other two – Ireland and the United Kingdom – maintain opt-outs.** The four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, are not members of the EU, but have signed agreements in association with the Schengen Area. Three European microstates – Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City – are de facto part of the Schengen Area” (Wikipedia).

** “Currently, four states have such opt-outs: United Kingdom (four opt-outs), Denmark (three opt-outs), Republic of Ireland (two opt-outs) and Poland (one opt-out), [namely]: Schengen Agreement – Ireland and the United Kingdom; Economic and Monetary Union – Denmark and the United Kingdom; Defence – Denmark; Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union – Poland and the United Kingdom; Area of freedom, security and justice – Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom” (Wikipedia).

*** “The eurozone, officially called the euro area, is a monetary union of 19 of the 28 European Union (EU) member states which have adopted the euro (€) as their common currency and sole legal tender” (Wikipedia).

**** “The European Council is a collective body that defines the European Union’s overall political direction and priorities. It comprises the heads of state or government of the EU member states, along with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission”***** (Wikipedia).

***** “The European Commission (EC) is an institution of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU” (Wikipedia).]

Oor Afrika word interessante inligting verstrek. “Between 2015 and the first six months of 2016, six of the fourteen ongoing wars in the world that have caused more than 1 000 victims each were carried out in Africa; 88 percent of victims of all conflicts in the world between 1990 and 2007 are concentrated in Africa; and between 1960 and 2004, in sub-Saharan Africa, alone there were 227 coups, both attempted and successful (in the same period in Latin America, another continent notorious for coups, there were ‘only’ 42). These data, although fragmentary, reveal the term ‘stability’ to be inadequate to describe the political situation of the African continent” (983).

By die eerste byeenkoms in 1963 van die Organisasie vir Afrika-Eenheid (sedert 1999 die Afrika-Unie) is besluit om die koloniale grense te behou en eerbiedig, “for obvious reasons: over two thousand ethnic groups and a large number of potential claims … could have triggered a war of all against all on a continental scale. The Center for Global Development study integrates this explanation with the theory of ‘letterbox sovereignty’,* conferred on whichever capital and whichever leader the letters of the UN, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank were addressed to, and more generally, the letters of the ‘international system’ (primarily the former colonial powers), on whose generosity the existence of ‘new’ countries depended. ‘The new rulers had no incentive to change a system of which they were the main beneficiaries, and the Organization of African Unity adopted a convention in the 1960’s to treat colonial boundaries as sacrosanct'” (1014).

[* Ook “flag independence” genoem; dus skynbare en amptelike politieke onafhanklikheid maar glad nie ekonomiese, veral finansiële, onafhanklikheid nie.]

“The only two borders that have been modified with the consensus of the ‘international community’, both in Africa itself, have given rise to new states – Eritrea and South Sudan – … hold two unenviable records: the first is the country that, proportional to its population, has produced the highest number of political refugees in the world; the second has produced the greatest number of victims of a civil war” (1364). Adam Gaye, wat beskryf word as “one of the most celebrated African journalists”, skryf: “African leaders represent ‘a leader-dealer class, plundering public assests, and accomplices of an eagerly accepted re-colonization’. This complicity is in the nature of things: the lack of common national interest multiplies openings to outside influences. African and Middle Eastern ‘autocrats’ all look alike because they are the final and inevitable product of the same ‘original sin'” (1030).

Die landsgrens wat tans die meeste in die nuus is, is dié tussen Amerika en Mexiko. “In 2006, the [George W] Bush administration began construction of a physical barrier, which was suspended in 2010 after 640 miles had been completed, on grounds of excessive costs ($2.8 million per mile). That same year, a national survey revealed that 68 percent of Americans were in favor of building a barrier along the border with Mexico, a figure that certainly stirred the electoral appetite of Donald Trump. But facts have once again followed a different course from ideology: the number of rejected foreigners went from about 1.2 million in 2005 to 724 000 in 2008 and 463 000 in 2010, the lowest level since 1972. The comparison of immigration data between the two countries reveals that between 2009 and 2014, 1 million Mexicans left the United States and 870 000 entered, with a negative balance of 130 000 people. Due as well to the massive deportations under the Obama administration (from 360 000 in 2008 to 438 000 in 2013), the flow has been reversed” (1229).

Wat Graziano hier gee, is ‘n ander perspektief as die gewone. Maar dit lyk asof sy uiteensetting op amptelike syfers gegrond is terwyl die eintlike probleem in Amerika die waarskynlik groot getal ongedokumenteerde, onwettige immigrante/”vlugtelinge” is. Graziano is eerder ‘n progressiewe as konserwatiewe mens. Daarom skryf hy soos volg oor wat in die voorafgaande paragraaf staan: “Their disconnection from the facts does not prevent obsessions and ideologies from increasing, and becoming reality at times. Those the New York Times calls ‘borderline lunatics’ are more and more numerous, and they are riding the crest of the wave. Their compulsive rage for borders places them at the vanguard of a growing and widespread movement that demands isolation, protectionism, and autarchy [autocracy] at a time when isolation, protectionism, and autarchy are no longer possible – and not only in the United States” (1236).

Graziano hou nie van die verset teen inkommers wat in sommige Europese lande aan die opbou is nie. “In 2015, Poland had welcomed 100 times fewer refugees than could be found in Lebanon at the time. And yet Poland, whose GNP [gross domestic product] was nine times that of Lebanon and whose population was eight and a half times greater, was one of the countries that in 2015 had taken the lead of the anti-refugee front against the European quota system, despite the fact that its fertility rate was one of the lowest in the world (1.3 children per woman, 192nd out of the 200 countries taken into consideration by the World Bank)” (1308). Graziano ignoreer die kulturele kloof tussen Pole en Moslems, wat nie tussen baie van die Libanese (63% Moslem) en inkommer-Moslems bestaan nie. Dit is ook ‘n mite dat inkommers uit die Derde Wêreld die aangewese manier is om die ouer wordende Europese bevolkings met jongmense aan te vul. Die inkommers is dikwels werksku, misdaadgeneig en wil eerder op die inheemse bevolking parasiteer. Vir Europa is die afskaling van geboortebeperking en aborsies ‘n veel beter opsie. Ek het voorheen geskryf oor die destruktiewe gevolge wat Derde Wêreld-inkommers in Brittanje en Skandinawiese lande (Denemarke, Noorweë en Swede) het. Ek hoop om eersdaags in hierdie verband oor Finland te skryf.

Graziano sluit sy boek soos volg af: “In sum, borders are politically voluble and capricious things. They must be handled with care and wisdom so as not to become permanent threats hanging over humanity’s heads like the sword of Damocles” (1371).

Die gebrek aan doeltreffende beheer oor die landsgrense is een van Suid-Afrika se ernstigste probleme. Die land word deur inkommers verswelg. Polities byderwets is dit byna nooit tydens die afgelope algemene verkiesing deur politici geopper nie. Aan die volgende gebeurtenis is feitlik geen publisiteit gegee nie: “In March 2018 South Africa signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which calls for the free movement of goods, capital and labour throughout the continent, a clear attempt to emulate the formula that has made the EU a success.* No one can doubt that freer trade and investment across borders would be beneficial, but for South Africa any agreement to a free movement of labour would constitute an almost suicidal triumph of ideology over common sense … if one does nothing, immigration control will be forced in the end through the explosion of xenophobic violence” (RW Johnson, Fighting for the dream, Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 2019, p 166-167 – Praag 11.05.2019). Dit is een van vele opsigte waarin die ANC fluks besig is om Suid-Afrika onherroeplik op te donder. Graziano het tereg die volgende geskryf: “The life of borders depends on the life of the state the way skin depends on the life of an entire organism: when an organism [government/state] deteriorates, so does its skin [borders]” (1247).

[* Behoort die EU ongekwalifiseerd ‘n sukses genoem te word?]

 

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