Leon Lemmer: Die duiwels in polities byderwetse demokrasie

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Ons moet dikwels aanhoor dat Suid-Afrika sedert 1994 ‘n beter plek is omdat dit nou ‘n demokrasie is. Wat daarmee gesê word, is dat die swart ANC-regering beter is (bv in groter mate moreel regverdigbaar) as wat die vorige regering deur blankes was; dus dat die huidige regering uitmunt is geregtigheid (eerder as doeltreffendheid). By ‘n vorige geleentheid het ek my gedistansieer van die vorm wat demokrasie plaaslik aanneem. Myns insiens is dit ‘n heeltemal ongeskikte regeringsvorm vir Suid-Afrika. Ek het demokrasie met verwysing na Jason Brennan se boek, Against democracy (2016, Kindle $11.49), bespreek (Praag 7.05.2017). Brennan verkies epistokrasie bo demokrasie. “Epistocracy means the rule of the knowledgeable. More precisely, a political regime is epistocratic to the extent that political power is formally distributed according to competence, skill, and good faith to act on that skill” (Kindle 308). Later skryf hy: “A political system is epistocratic to the extent it distributes political power in proportion to knowledge or competence” (3682). Kortom, “Smart people should have the right to rule over others … because they know better” (344). Brennan het sy 2016-boek opgevolg met ‘n boek wat vertel hoe toksiese demokrasie deur verset beëindig kan word: When all else fails: The ethics of resistance to state injustice (2018, Kindle $17.68).

Naas Brennan is daar ‘n ander intellektueel van wie se werk in hierdie konteks kennis geneem behoort te word. Ek verwys na Ryszard Legutko (gebore in 1949) se skitterende boek, The demon in democracy: Totalitarian temptations in free societies (New York: Encounter Books, 2016/18, 192p; Amazon Kindle $11,49). Die oorspronklike Poolse teks is in 2012 gepubliseer. Aansluitend by die vorige paragraaf skryf Legutko: “Authors such as Spinoza [1632-1677], who wrote favorably about democracy, made their praise conditional on people’s first meeting high intellectual and moral requirements” (Kindle 425) – ‘n toets wat die ANC skouspelagtig druip. “Professor Legutko is both a prominent Polish and European [Union] statesman and a distinguished philosopher who … was once the editor of Solidarity’s underground philosophy journal” (90).

Hy is ‘n Poolse nasionalis wat die tradisionele kulturele identiteit van Pole wil bewaar, gevolglik is hy hoogs krities jeens die Europese Unie, oftewel “Eurocracy” (1726), ingestel. “The European Union reflects the order and the spirit of liberal democracy in its most degenerate version” (1644). “EU institutions exist, whereas European society does not” (1353). “The European Union has become the guardian of all diseases of the supranational liberal democracy while itself being the most vivid illustration of these diseases. It has led its institutions, actions, and human minds to such a level of dogmatization that any future remedial movements aimed at restoring freedom and reason will have conflicted with it” (1375). As dit sou lei tot “a European perestroika [transformation] … the European Union might not survive” (1380).

Legutko het Pole tydens die kommunistiese bewind en daarna as ‘n liberale demokrasie beleef. Die kern van sy betoog is dat daar eerder ‘n graad- as ‘n aardverskil tussen hierdie twee is; dat die kommuniste oornag (feitlik) naatloos liberale demokrate geword het omdat die twee stelsel in vele opsigte soortgelyk is. “The overwhelming presence of ideology in liberal-democratic and communist societies can be easily explained. The main cause is equality, which both regimes gave a status of the highest value … Both systems enforce the liquidation … of social hierarchies, customs, traditions, and practices that had existed prior to the emergence of the new political system” (2454). Gelykheid is ook die wagwoord wat die kommunistiese ANC as ‘n voorstander van (liberale?) demokrasie laat ontpop het.

“Because egalitarianism weakens communities and thus deprives men of an identity-giving habitat, it creates a vacuum [in and] around them. Hence a desire exists for a new identity … The ideologies fulfil this role” (2557). “As once when all major designations had to be preceded by the adjective ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’, so now everything should be liberal, democratic, or liberal-democratic, and this labeling almost automatically gives a recipient a status of credibility and respectability” (464). Dit is soortgelyk aan die nuutgevonde entoesiasme vir demokrasie van die plaaslike kommunistiese ANC-kornuite en die talle eens anti-kommunistiese elemente (insluitende Broederbonders) wat die ANC-regime deesdae as aanvaarbaar beskou en selfs ondersteun. Of iemand ‘n kommunis was of is, word deesdae plaaslik meesal as van geen belang beskou nie.

Legutko noem dat nadat Pole in 1989 van Sowjetbeheer bevry is, die liberale demokrate “displayed extraordinary meekness and empathy toward communism … a lenient stance toward communists and a hard one against anticommunists” (143). “From the point of view of ideology prevalent in Western societies, communism obviously did not have a good image, but the image it had was not the worst. It never incited the indignation that fascism did, the latter term having catapulted to almost diabolical notoriety and denoting the worst of political evil, always placed on the political Right. For this reason anticommunism did not acquire respectability even remotely comparable to that of antifascism … Perhaps the democratic liberals intuitively sensed that they had a deeper bond, no matter how unclear, with the communists than with the anticommunists” (2621).

“Liberals … showed weakness against terrorism and the left-wing dictatorships in the Third World, but many of them reacted with noticeable self-restraint when it came to the anticommunist activities of groups in the Soviet bloc countries. Their freedom-related account is therefore not overly clean” (921). Plaaslik ervaar ons iets soortgelyks. Sedert 1994 word die kommuniste en terroriste algemeen as aanvaarbaar voorgestel en die anti-kommuniste en diegene wat pro-blank en veral pro-Afrikaner is, word as verregs verdoem. “Communism and liberal democracy proved to be all-unifying entities compelling their followers how to think, what to do, how to evaluate events, what to dream, and what language to use” (180). Dit is ‘n geval van “blurring differences between people and imposing uniformity of views, behavior and language” (186), asook “hostility against all dissidents” (201). In die nuwe Suid-Afrika moet ons skielik almal as gelykes saamwerk om die land “te maak werk”, al het die ANC/UDF/SAKP dekades lank alles in hulle vermoë gedoen om die land soveel moontlik te benadeel.

Wat die wederstrewiges, wat teen kommunisme en liberale demokrasie gekant is, glo moet doen, is “crossing the Rubicon, severing the umbilical cord, growing up and leaving adolescence behind, and doing other similar things denoted by dozens of other more or less platitudinous metaphors” (245). Ons mag nie terugkyk na ‘n verlede wat beter was as wat die hede is nie. Ons moet liewer nie die ANC/UDF/SAKP se terrorisme onthou en ophaal nie. Ons moet glo eerder vorentoe beweeg, bykom en hande vat en van die land en al sy mense ‘n moerse sukses maak. Dit gaan om “greater freedom, openness en lightness of existence” (251), al voel ons oral onveilig, al mag jy nie eens sê wat jy dink nie en al het jou voortbestaan so loslit geword dat dit, wat die owerheid betref, opsioneel is. Legutko skryf: “The need for building a liberal-democratic society thus implies the withdrawal of the guarantee of freedom for those whose actions and interests are said to be hostile to what the liberal democrats conceive as the cause of freedom” (458).

In die praktyk skep die vryheid van die liberaliste ‘n dwingelandy. “If abortion means freedom, then we should raise the consciousness of those who think differently; force doctors to support this freedom and silence priests so they do not interfere with it. If same-sex marriage means freedom, we should then compel its opponents to accept it and silence fools who may have doubts about it. If political correctness is a necessity of life in the liberal-democratic society, then imposing it is, after all, nothing else but a measure of its emancipation for all. The groups that managed to capture this liberal phraseology and the logic that underlies it – such as homosexuals and feminists – have exerted a disproportionate influence on the government to the extent that the state institutions, including the courts, have taken upon themselves the task of breaking the resistance of less conscious and more stubborn groups – that is, of coercing them to freedom” (1298).

In die proloog tot Legutko se teks is daar ‘n aanhaling uit Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) se boek, Democracy in America (2 boekdele, 1835 en 1840; Kindle bv $0), wat soos volg begin: “I think then that the species of oppression by which democratic nations are menaced is unlike anything which ever before existed in the world … I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives” (64). Legutko skryf: “De Tocqueville finished his book on a clearly pessimistic note: democracy was more a problem than a solution. What he saw at the end of the democratic road was a new despotism, different from earlier despotic regimes, invisible but dangerously enslaving people’s minds, accepted willingly by the demos [citizens, voters] as the most genuine representation of the people’s desires” (1014). Demokrasie is “a highly imperfect system, and therefore requires great vigilance and implementation of corrective mechanisms that may also be undemocratic” (1042). Demokrasie, wat in Suid-Afrika deur swart mag gekenmerk word, moet dus nie verabsoluteer word soos die ANC-regime graag in sy retoriek doen nie. Jacob Talmon (1916-1980) sou na die ANC-regime as ‘n “totalitarian democracy” (1174) verwys het.

Die natuurlike elite, diegene met beter intellektuele vermoëns, word deur die middelmatigheid van demokratiese meerderheidsregering aan bande gelê; iets wat ons sedert 1994 plaaslik ervaar. “John Stuart Mill [1806-1873] and TH Green [1836-1882] … aptly perceived the danger of mediocrity that the democratic rule was inconspicuously imposing on modern societies” (632). ‘n Vroeëre filosoof wat hom oor staatkundige sake uitgelaat het, John Locke (1632-1704), was van mening:”Once the state is created … its main duty is to defend property, whose owners expand it through work” (1446). Maar deesdae sit ons met die absurde situasie dat die ANC-regime spesifiek die eiendom van blanke landsburgers sonder enige vergoeding wil onteien. Dit kan dui op die heeltemal verskillende maniere waarop Europeërs en Afrikane dink.

De Tocqueville se ander beroemde boek is, The old regime and the French revolution (1856, Kindle bv $2,86) waarin hy aantoon dat demokrasie in die praktyk burokrasie is, dus regering (politici en staatsamptenare) wat primêr hulle eie belange dien. Ook dit is kenmerkend van die nuwe Suid-Afrika. Legutko skryf: “In the final outcome the state in liberal democracy ceased to be an institution pursuing the common good, but became a hostage of groups that treated it solely as an instrument of change securing their interests” (1206). Oor De Tocqueville ook die volgende opmerkings. Algerië het in 1830 ‘n Franse kolonie geword. De Tocqueville het die land twee keer besoek en het rasseskeiding bepleit asook twee regerings: een vir die blanke koloniste en een vir die Moslems. Volgens hom moet die Franse regering nie poog om beheer oor die hele Algerië uit te oefen nie, maar slegs oor gekoloniseerde streke, soos die hoofstad Algiers en omliggende gebiede, wat dan eintlik ‘n blanke tuisland word. Op ‘n soortgelyke manier kon die Wes-Kaap ‘n Europese tuisland in Afrika gewees het, as daar wyse en bekwame staatsmanne was wat vooruit kon sien, maar hulle het helaas ontbreek.

John O’Sullivan skryf in sy voorwoord: “Legutko describes the oddity whereby former communists adapted far more easily and successfully than former dissidents and anticommunists to the new liberal-democratic regimes established in Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989” (81) – twee eeue na die Franse Revolusie. Die val van die Berlynse Muur het FW de Klerk aangespoor om sy noodlottige toespraak op 2 Februarie 1990 te lewer, wat meegebring het dat sowel blanke politieke beheer as ‘n rooskleurige toekoms vir Suid-Afrika in die slag gebly het. Sedert 1994 word hierdie nuwe staatkundige bedeling as heilsame demokrasie verheerlik terwyl ‘n klein groepie ANC-kornuite in werklikheid na eie goeddunke die meerderheid kiesers indoktrineer en intimideer om vir hulle te stem. Dit is ‘n skyndemokrasie ook omdat die ANC as politieke party en as sterk gesentraliseerde regering wesenlik outoritêr kommunisties is en doelbewus misleidend die beeld van ‘n liberale demokrasie probeer voorhou.

O’Sullivan skryf: “Like Marxism before it, liberal democracy is becoming an all-encompassing ideology that, behind a veil of tolerance, brooks little or no disagreement” (106). Die ANC se soort demokrasie weerspieël dus veranderings wat ook elders in die wêreld voorkom. Hierdie proses word transformasie genoem (106). Maar dit verskil wesenlik van tradisionele liberale demokrasie, wat gekenmerk is deur gewaarborgde “free speech, free association, free media, and other liberties needed to ensure that debate was real and elections fair” (106). Daar is allerhande taboes waaraan nie meer uitdrukking gegee mag word nie. Geen ras, etniese groep, individu, geslag of seksuele oriëntasie mag daarvolgens as meerder- of minderwaardig geag word nie. Almal word gelyk en ewe eerbaar verklaar.

“A generally acknowledged moral directive forbids looking down on people’s moral properties, because in the present society equality is the norm, not the hierarchy” (665). “Lowering the requirements is a process that has no end” (638). “The higher aspirations were being replaced by the lower” (671). Al hoe meer geykte woorde mag nie gebruik word nie. Plaaslik is daar ‘n Menseregtekommissie wat mense se uitdrukkingsvryheid (gedrag en taal) polisieer en selfs poog om wat gedink word, te beheer. As jy buite die voorgeskrewe mode-raamwerk tree, kan jy in die klassieke kommunistiese tradisie aan verpligte heropvoeding onderwerp word. As jy konserwatief, behoudend of regsgesind is, word jy maklik as ‘n rassis of nazi uitgekryt. As jy ‘n kommunis, oudterroris of ANC/UDF/SAKP- (politieke) misdadiger is, word dit jou nie toegereken nie. Dit dien eerder as ‘n hoogs positiewe aanbeveling. Myns insiens behoort daar in enige beskaafde samelewing met selftrots ‘n gesonde weerstand teen die vergoeiliking van misdadige gedrag te wees; des te meer as diesulkes nooit skuld erken of enige poging aangewend het om die skade te vergoed wat hulle aangerig het of om verskoning te vra nie.

Voorts skryf O’Sullivan: “Policy is determined both by electoral majorities … and a range of nonaccountable institutions such as courts that make laws rather than interpret them, transnational institutions such as the EU, UN treaty-monitoring bodies, and domestic bureaucrasies with wide regulatory powers” (123). “Paradoxically, this is both less liberal and less democratic than [traditional] liberal democracy” (128). Sedert 1994 is die duidelike onderskeid wat daar voorheen plaaslik tussen die wetgewende en regterlike magte bestaan het, stelselmatig afgebreek. Ook die tradisionele onderskeid tussen die uitvoerende magte (die staatsdiens) en die wetgewende magte. Plaaslik het die staatsdiens (sentraal, provinsiaal en plaaslik) vóór 1994 nie wesenlik of dadelik saam met die regering verander nie. Ná die 1994-verkiesing is die staatsdiens egter radikaal ooreenkomstig die wense van die ANC getransformeer. Die staatsdiens van weleer was ‘n funksionele uitvoerende mag. Die huidige staatsdiens is ‘n toonbeeld van (feitlik) magtelose ondoeltreffendheid en matelose korrupsie.

In Pole ná die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, soos in Suid-Afrika van 1994 af, was die oorgang na kommunisme revolusionêr; dus “a radical restructuring that would change everything and not leave anything as it was before. Such was the experience of the universities, schools and all organizations that, when restructured in accordance with the nature of the communist system, lost their heritage and acquired a new function and a new identity” (376). Dit geld ook die tradisionele gesin. Liberale demokrasie vereis eintlik ook die aanvaarding van die kulturele marxiste se ondergrawing van die huisgesin. “In a liberal democracy … a family will have to liberalize or democratize, which means that the parental authority has to crumble, the children will quickly liberate themselves from the parental tutelage, and the family relationships will increasingly become more negotiatory and less authoritarian … these processes … enhance equality and freedom … Thus there is no legitimate reason to defend the traditional family” (490) – wat in elk geval nie in die swartes se oorwegend enkelouergesinne weerspieël word nie. Die kohesie van gesinne word deur die ANC-regime verder afgebreek deur voor te skryf watter soort straf ouers en onderwysers mag uitdeel, bv geen lyfstraf nie; ook nie vir misdadigers nie. Dit is ‘n poging tot valse voorbeeldigheid deur ‘n instansie met ‘n geskiedenis van die opperste gewelddadigheid.

Naas die betekenisverandering wat liberale demokrasie ondergaan het, het talle ander woorde en frases nuwe betekenisse verkry. Legutko verwys in hierdie konteks na die woord “dignity”, in die sin van menswaardigheid. “Especially striking is a change in the meaning of the word ‘dignity’, which since antiquity has been used as a term of obligation. If one was presumed to have dignity, one was expected to behave in a proper way as required by his elevated status. Dignity was something to be earned, deserved, and confirmed by acting in accordance with the higher standards imposed by a community or religion – for instance, by empowering a certain person with higher responsibilities … Dignity was an attribute that ennobled those who acquired it. As noblesse oblige, dignity was an obligation to seek some form of self-improvement … The attribute was not bestowed forever: one could always lose it when acting in an undignified way” (676).

“At some point, the concept of dignity was given a different meaning, contrary to the original. This happened mainly through the intercession of the language of human rights, especially after the 1948 Universal Declaration. The idea of human beings having inalienable rights is counterintuitive and extremely difficult to justify” (682). “‘Inalienable’ by definition cannot [need not] be legislated” (692). “The concept of dignity … created an illusion of a strong view of human nature, and of endowing this nature with qualities nowhere explicitly specified but implying something noble, being an immortal soul, an innate desire for good, etc” (692). “Since the issue of the Universal Declaration dignity has no longer been about obligation, but about claims and entitlements. The new dignity did not oblige people to strive for any moral merits or deserts; it allowed them to submit whatever claims they wished, and to justify these claims by referring to the dignity that they possessed by the mere fact of being born without any moral achievement or effort … A right [of a human being] to be a pig and the right to be a Socrates were, in fact, equal and stemmed from the same moral (or rather nonmoral, as the new dignity practically broke off with morality) source” (698).

“Having armed himself with rights, modern man found himself in a most comfortable situation with no precedent: he no longer had to justify his claims and actions as long as he qualified them as rights … since having this dignity carried no obligation to do anything particularly good or worthy, he could, while constantly invoking it, make claims that were increasingly more absurd” (704). Die skynbaar onvervreembare aanspraak op allerhande regte word beklemtoon sonder dat hulle met verpligtinge gebalanseer word. Die werklose maak aanspraak op die reg op bv staatstoelaes en gratis dienste. Hy eis om in dieselfde mate as produktiewe werkers ontspanning en afleiding, bv vermaak, te geniet. “Entertainment became the most obvious and direct manifestation of freedom that liberalism offered humanity and, at the same time, the most tangible confirmation of the dominant status of the democratic man and his tastes” (790). “In today’s world entertainment is not just a pastime or a style, but a substance that permeates everything” (763); sekerlik in groter mate as produktiwiteit. “Our minds slowly get used to that fictitious reality, which we take for the real one and are lured by its attractions” (774). Vermaak “effectively dilute[s] a sense of the seriousness of existence” (784).

“Happiness – in classical ethics considered one of the central categories – fell out of use and was eventually equated, quite erroneously, with pleasure. Originally happiness was a quality that one could attribute to an entire life, not to its episodes or moments; under no circumstances could one reduce it to pleasure, a short and transient experience. Pursuing happiness meant planning one’s entire life so that it had its own moral consistency and internal harmony, both achieved through the inculcation of virtues. Bringing pleasure to the center of life engendered a different image of human nature. Human beings, in this view, no longer think of themselves in terms of the whole of their existence, but in terms of moments and episodes. It could not be otherwise because there is no such thing as the pleasure of life. One can talk about pleasures and pleasant moments that happen in life, and one can even encourage people to collect those pleasures and pleasant moments, the more the better. But the latter strategy, even if successful, does not predetermine whether this or that particular life in its entirety is or is not happy. It may have many pleasant moments, but these do not automatically translate themselves into a unifying moral scenario, nor make a life fulfilled. To have a fulfilling life it is necessary to give it a durable inherent meaning that may well coexist with having many pleasant moments, but is in no way a result of these moments, no matter how many … even if our lives are episodic, our selves are not. Hence the life dedicated to the accumulation of pleasures, but lacking an internal unity, will most likely not be a happy life because a human being cannot renounce his unity without negative consequences” (2051).

“The sexual revolution is arguably the most extreme manifestation of the episodic nature of man” (2067). “Sex became both the weapon to destroy the old order and the instrument to forge a new one. Having been elevated to such a high position, it began to penetrate all spheres of public life – education, art, culture, commerce, language” (2083). Dink aan die (onnodige) klem wat daar sedert 1994 op seks in die plaaslike skoolleerplanne geplaas word, selfs in die laer grade. Dit bevestig wat baie kenners, wat die swart psige beter as ek verstaan, beweer, naamlik dat swartes (veralgemenend) eerder op korttermyn tevredenheid, dus plesier, as op langtermyn voordele, wat gelukkige lewens tot gevolg kan hê, ingestel is.

In die kunste is ‘n verwante verwikkeling waarneembaar. “Captured by the ideological animus, both socialist and liberal-democratic, art abandoned the criterion of beauty – considered anachronistic and of dubious political value – and replaced it with the criterion of correctness. Ideas and works of art had to be ideologically correct” (2268). In Suid-Afrika het ons in die vorige eeu bv by skrywers, soos André P Brink, die versugting gevind om “betrokke” letterkunde te produseer, spesifiek leesstof wat apartheid veroordeel het. Wat daarvan gedink word, hang af van die individu se ideologiese oortuigings. “In Poland … the weakening of communism was accompanied by an extraordinary blossoming of culture” (2274).

“One encounters a similarly narrow intellectual space in today’s humanities [eg in universities] which, ultimately are dependent on liberal democracy to the same degree that the communist humanities depended on communism … Literary critics, writers, performers, filmmakers and theater directors imagine themselves to be listening to the voices of the excluded” (2301). “Today it is no longer enough simply to advertise a product; the companies feel an irresistible need to attach to it a message that is ideologically correct. Even if this message does not have any commercial function – and it hardly ever does – any occasion is good to prove oneself to be a proponent of the brotherhood of races, a critic of the Church, and a supporter of homosexual marriage” (2252). “Homosexual activists see Christianity as the original source of homophobia and feminists as the foundation of patriarchy” (2951).

Die volgende kan as ‘n opsomming dien van die politieke situasie waarin Suid-Afrika sedert 1994 verkeer: “The policy of equality was the best method to acquire electoral votes, to secure democratic legitimacy, and to stay in power. Thus a peculiar race began: on the one hand, the groups were inventing more and more effective means to influence the policies of the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches, and on the other, politicians, lawmakers, and judges were increasingly involved in a competition to see which would be the best provider of the new privileges and rights to those groups” (1222). Die NP-bewind word dikwels verwyt dat hy geen idee gehad het van wat in die swart bevolking aan die gang is nie. Maar ek dink daar was nog nooit voorheen so ‘n groot kloof tussen die relatief geïsoleerde (dink aan die korps lyfwagte) en weelderige leefwêreld van die politici en amptenare in die ANC-party en -regering, aan die een kant, en die swart gepeupel aan die ander kant nie. Die moontlikheid van ‘n opvolgrevolusie word myns insiens al hoe sterker.

Wat ook kenmerkend van Suid-Afrika geword het, is “groups officially anointed as oppressed. The status of being oppressed results from the ideological orthodoxy; bestowing it on this or that group is a purely political decision, with no regard to reality” (1841). Die toekenning van slagofferstatus geskied hoogs selektief, gevolglik kwalifiseer blankes nie daarvoor nie, selfs wanneer hulle geen effektiewe politieke inspraak of enige minderheidsregte het nie; ook nie as hulle eiendom sonder vergoeding deur ‘n moreel verderflike regering onteien word nie. “One does not have to be overly acute to see a strong resemblance between a communist activist on the one hand, and a feminist, a homosexual activist, and a liberal-democratic lumpen-intellectual on the other. Their opinions have the same tedious predictability, their arguments are based on similarly crude syllogisms, their styles are similarly vulgar, and their minds are equally dogmatic, unperturbed by any testimony from outside and prone to the same degree of zealousness” (2573).

Ná 1990/94 het Suid-Afrika ‘n inherente deel geword van die dwaasheid wat deur die sogenaamde wêreldmening as evangelie aanvaar word. “One cannot nowadays appoint an executive or elect a representative, be in politics, business, or art, without a prior selection according to sex, ethnicity or some other nonrelevant criterion” (1310). Dit geld natuurlik ook uitermate vir sport. Die raskwotastelsel wat in Suid-Afrika op bv rugby en krieket afgedwing word, word deur ‘n joernalis soos Gert van der Westhuizen geloof as die beste uitvinding sedert moedersmelk. Pas het die Suid-Afrikaanse krieketspan, wat ‘n voorbeeldige mengsel van wit, bruin, Asiatiese en swart spelers was, met die swakste denkbare vertoning in die toetsreeks teen Indië vorendag gekom.

Verder: Geslag is die afgelope dekades getransformeer van ‘n maklik herkenbare liggaamlike vastigheid waarmee jy gebore word, tot ‘n oppervlakkige etiket waaroor iedereen na goeddunke self kan besluit. In sport kan dit meebring dat ‘n naelloopster weens prostaatprobleme moet uittree of dat ‘n tennisspeelster haar knaters beseer wanneer sy oor die net probeer spring. Ons leef in ‘n tyd waarin ons kort-kort kennis moet neem van die eerste vrou wat dít geword het of die eerste swarte wat dát bereik het. Dit is seker nie meer ver in die toekoms nie, dat lofliedere gesing sal word vir die eerste selfdegeslagpaartjie wat ‘n kind verwek het. Weens die nieu-vloeibaarheid van geslag, kan dit, weens eie klassifikasie, twee mans of twee vroue wees wat dit vermag het. Hulle prestasie sal ‘n eerste wees, maar waarskynlik nie die laaste sodanige epogmaking nie. Enkele jare gelede is daar in Hongarye, teen hierdie stroom in, statutêr vasgelê “that marriage is a union between a man and a woman” (1814). Sodanige besluit “would be subjected to almost worldwide condemnation expressed in the rhetoric of rage and hatred” (1814).

“Another type of legislation, extremely dangerous and also illustrating ‘coercion to freedom’, relates to what has been called ‘hate speech’, and still another to ‘domestic violence’; these phrases tend to incriminate more and more acts of conduct and of speech, allowing for further drastic intervention by the government and the courts in family life, the media, public institutions, and schools” (1310). “The emergence of liberal democracy at educational institutions led – as elsewhere – to considerable restrictions of the very liberty that universities enjoyed previously. These developments are undermining a long and admirable academic tradition” (1336). Tydens apartheid het veral die plaaslike Engelse universiteite op akademiese vryheid en universitêre outonomie aangedring. Deesdae laat al die plaaslike universiteite toe dat hulle sonder protes ooreenkomstig die wense van die ANC-regime funksioneer, want as hulle daarteen in opstand sou kom, sou hulle owerheidsubsidie ingekort, opgeskort of weggevat word. Onderliggend: “The ominous presence of political correctness … makes the life of a dissident unbearable” (1348).

Oor (militante) feminisme laat Legutko hom soos volg uit: “Just as the ‘proletariat’, ‘women’ is an abstract concept that does not denote any actual existing community, but only an imagined collective made an object of political worship among feminist organizations and their allies. But the paradox is that this feminist woman, being an figment of political imagination, is considered by the feminists to be a proper woman, a woman in a strict sense, the truest woman, just as for the communists the Marxist proletariat was the truest representative of the working class. By the same token a real woman living in a real society, like a real worker living in a real society, is politically not to be trusted because she deviates too much from the political model. In fact, a non-feminist woman is not a woman al all, just as a noncommunist worker was not really a proletarian” (1780). “A woman who rejects feminism for its crude and destructive ideological content is a traitor to the sisterhood” (1802).

“There are other cases of bringing into alleged existence certain groups by giving them – from above, as it were – a political identity. Probably the most striking example are homosexuals, who by a political fiat gained a status of a transnational movement fighting for power and political influence” (1808). “This somewhat bizarre warmth toward homosexuals is probably fuelled by a persistent attempt to deconstruct family, the institution to which the Left has from the very beginning felt a singular hostility” (1846).

“Muslims are also privileged to some extent, but for a different reason: partly because of the real fear they arouse in liberal democrats, partly for doctrinal reasons, because granting them privileged status is believed to be the living proof of the viability of multiculturalist ideology, and partly as an exercise in moral masochism, as the attitude toward Muslims is sometimes regarded as a test – undoubtedly not an easy one – of liberal tolerance and openmindedness. But there are also less-fortunate groups, not privileged and often treated harshly, such as Christians [and (South African) whites], whom the liberal-democratic legislatures and courts clearly dislike” (1846).

“Even some ethnic groups exist today only insofar as they are seen by their assigned political role as fighters for group entitlements. Multiculturalism, an idea that has become extremely popular in recent decades, is nothing more than a program to build a society in which there exist not many cultures, but many political identities attached to many real or, more often, imagined collectives. Multiculturalism encourages what is today called identity politics. This term may be misleading. It has little to do with a defense of the rich fabric of societies and their historically constituted communities, but should be rather seen as a program of politicization of certain groups that could radically change the fabric of society” (1786). Byvoorbeeld, die Universiteit Stellenbosch roem op sy diversiteit, pluraliteit en multikulturaliteit, maar in werklikheid word daardie instansie onder Wim de Villiers se dwase leiding jaarliks meer homogeen swart en eentalig Engels. “Multiculturalism is not about culture, but about politics. In fact, they should be ‘polit’ (as in ‘politburo’) rather than ‘cultur’. And ‘mono’ rather than ‘multi'” (1808).

Ons word deesdae dikwels aangemoedig om die “hele prentjie” soos volg te sien: “Everywhere there are groups being denied their rights and therefore struggling for empowerment, and, more importantly, everywhere there are women, homosexuals, Muslims, gypsies, blacks, and representatives of other groups whom liberal democracy gave the status of political quasi-parties and upon whom it thrust the duty of settling scores with the alleged oppressors. Thus everywhere we encounter circumstances that make us aware of the need for cooperation and of securing the conditions that make it possible” (1868). Wat nie geduld word nie, is negatiewe persepsies van hierdie uitverkore groepe, want sulke persepsies word noodwendig as vooroordele beskou wat die beweerde swaar verdiende verhoogde status van hierdie groepe ondermyn (1878).

In hierdie konteks “everything is by definition political, and nothing that relates, however remotely, to these notions is trivial, minor, or irrelevant. A slight offensive remark must always be regarded as a manifestation of mortal sin. What seems a barely visible mark on the surface conceals underneath swirling currents of hatred, intolerance, racism, and hegemony. The body responsible for ensuring that these terrible things do not surface is the state, with all the instruments at its disposal. It is the state that should incessantly work to impose and improve cooperation policies by removing all real and potential barriers, creating a favorable legal environment, and reshaping public space and education in such a way that the people’s minds internalize the rules of politically correct thinking” (1895).

“Language was the first to go down this road: initially thought of as potentially descriptive and neutral, it soon came to be seen as the major political weapon used by the oppressors against the oppressed” (1906). “But because speech is just an expression of thoughts, emotions, and deeply hidden aversions, it must soon become obvious that the actual sources of evil, intolerance, discrimination [and] domination lie dormant in people’s minds, often deposited in their semiconscious layers; uncontrolled and unnoticed, these shape our language and, consequently, our bad habits and negative predilections. These habits and predilections lead to discriminatory laws and authoritarian politics, and in extreme cases, at the very bottom of this slippery slope, to persecution, the stocks, torture, and genocide. But at the beginning, at the very top, is the thought with which it all began – a thought-crime, a mental sin that constitutes the first act of disobedience to the holy political principles. Whoever seeks the remedy must start with the political therapy of people’s minds” (1911). “Patriarchy, white supremacy [not black supremacy], racism, [white] nationalism, and other terrible things” (1982), moet glo ten alle koste uitgeroei word as die geringste aanduidings daarvan in die gees van mense voorkom.

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