Leon Lemmer: Konserwatisme: ‘n bekoorlike verlore saak

Edmund Burke
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Richard West (1930-2015) was ‘n konserwatiewe Britse joernalis wat in talle lande gewerk het; ook in Suid-Afrika. Hy is onder meer die outeur van boeke soos The white tribes of Africa (1965), The white tribes revisted (1978) en The diamonds and the necklace: A South African journey (1989). Hy het twee seuns gehad wat hulle albei in die joernalistiek begeef het, Patrick (gebore in 1974) en Ed (gebore in 1978). Patrick is die outeur van onder meer The poverty of multiculturalism (2005). Van Ed is daar boeke soos die volgende gepubliseer: The diversity illusion: What we got wrong about immigration and how to set it right (2013, 288p; Amazon Kindle $9,19) en Small men at the wrong side of history: The decline, fall and unlikely return of conservatism (London: Constable, 2020, 432p; Amazon Kindle $11,94). Ek skryf vandag oor laasgenoemde boek. Wat duidelik is, is dat Richard se twee seuns sy konserwatisme voortsit. Die hooftitel van die 2020-boek is ontleen aan Barack Obama se karakterisering van Al Kaïda (Kindle 278). Ed West het ‘n omvattende, gesaghebbende en buitengewoon interessante boek geskryf. Oor sy belesenheid en sy myns insiens meesal gesonde insig behoort daar geen twyfel te wees nie.

Enersyds is daar die linkses (bv liberales, sosialiste, progressiewes, verligtes) en andersyds die regses (bv behoudendes, konserwatiewes, tradisioneles, verkramptes). Die verdeling links/regs kom uit die eerste ná-revolusionêre parlement in Frankryk (1789). “At the National Convention in Paris it became custom that the king’s supporters sat on his right and his opponents on the left, after which the divide between tradition and radicalism would always be defined along those lines” (950). Daar is die wydaanvaarde waarneming dat namate mense ouer word, hulle meer tot konserwatisme neig. Die outeur het desnieteenstaande tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat daardie era aan die verbygaan is, dat konserwatisme “a charming lost cause” geword het (3571); dat linksheid toenemend verswelgende afmetings aanneem.

“Conservative parties could still win elections, but conservatism was an endangered creed, as much in demographic decline as the Christianity from which it once emerged, and the degree to which it had become hated by anyone born after 1970 was intense and perhaps irreversible” (74). “On almost any non-economic issue most of my friends hitting forty were more progressive than in their early twenties; they might resent paying more tax and even dislike trade unions, but that didn’t make them conservative” (85). Die verwysing na “non-economic issues” is belangrik. In die plaaslike hoofstroom-inligtingsmedia is daar die neiging om die ANC-regime (later uitgesonderd Jacob Zuma) hemelhoog te prys. Daar is egter een area wat nie met dieselfde gemak wanvoorgestel kan word nie: die finansieel-ekonomiese sektor. Rommelstatus is ‘n werklikheid wat nie moeiteloos vir leuens en gunstige polities byderwetse retoriek vatbaar is nie.

West noem dat vroue meer linksgesind as mans geword het (145), onder meer omdat meer vroue as mans deesdae aan oorverligte tersiêre onderrig blootgestel word. Linkses het egter meesal ‘n konserwatiewe leefstyl (196). Daar is geen moontlikheid dat mense soos Willie Esterhuyse en Leon Wessels hulle in ‘n swart woongebied sou vestig nie. Wat ook duidelik geword het, is dat die feministe op die rug van die geweldpleging van die Amerikaanse swart burgerregtebewegings sukses behaal het. Op hulle beurt het die LGBT’s die suksesvolheid van die swartes en feministe misbruik om plek in die son en buite die kas te verwerf. Dit is die regses wat sedertdien al hoe meer in die kas gedruk word (242).

“Since the 1960s the West has gone through the biggest cultural shift in half a millennium” (254). Dit is globaliserende linksheid wat kultureel-geestelike dood en verwoesting saai, bv “supporting the EU means being part of the global community of liberals” (6070). “The Left has also developed a moral monopoly, so that those outside of the faith are under an unspoken obligation to prove their moral worth before their views can be considered” (196), bv “taking in more refugees [is] a quintessential moralised high-status cause” (219). “There is active competition to come up with ever wilder radical ideas, a trend that has sped up with the ‘Great Awokening’ of the 2010s, the acceleration of identity politics brought about by competing victimhood narratives on social media” (208). “Awoke” beteken “awake to social justice issues” (5634). “The Great Awokening almost certainly represented an authoritarian turn by the Left, ‘a spreading social, cultural, and ideological conformism … this relentless drive for conformism, which constantly works to extinguish the illiberal'” (5709). “Identiy politics” verwys dikwels na die belange van minderheidsgroepe, maar ook “European Right-wingers refer to themselves as ‘identitarian’ to suggest they don’t believe their homeland belongs to everyone” (5924).

“Left-liberalism has become the prestige faith with a moral monopoly” (231). “Religion simply becomes replaced by ideology” (3747). “A new faith arose, progressivism as Christianity 2.0, with ‘privilege’ a form of original sin and vulnerable groups the new sacred” (3903). Daar is nog ‘n groot verskuiwing wat in sowel die Britse as die Amerikaanse politiek plaasgevind het: “It is the upper class who are moving Left, and the working-class pushing to the Right” (4299). In Suid-Afrika is dit die armer blankes wat die ANC-regime se rassistiese beleid aan hulle bas voel; nie soseer die welgesteldes nie omdat hulle (in ‘n mate) hulle apartheid kan koop.

Die fiktiewe karakter, Bridget Jones, het van die Britse Arbeidersparty gesê: “Labour stands for sharing, kindness, gays, single mothers and Nelson Mandela” (242). Dit is die eerste verwysing in die boek, maar nie die laaste nie, na Suid-Afrika. Oor sy pa, Richard, skryf Ed: “By the time I was around he was deeply pessimistic and cynical, and seriously out of step with the prevailing mood over South Africa. Although he respected and admired Nelson Mandela, he thought the ANC a venal and extreme organisation that would eventually make the country even worse off than it was under apartheid (which he nonetheless thought morally indefensible)” (300). In die 1980’s “the anti-apartheid movement was ultra-fashionable, topping the charts and filling stadiums” (311).

“Look at the line-up of people who represent liberalism in the modern imagination: Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, JFK[ennedy] … Tony Blair and Barack Obama. Contrast with what people picture when they think of the Right: Richard Nixon looking sweaty and suspicious, racist 1970s comedians, South African security forces gripping their salivating Alsatians, semi-literate rednecks shouting at black people … And last but not least Donald Trump, a man who seems to possess the unique gift of having no redeeming human qualities whatsoever. Oh, and Nazis obviously” (430).

West het geen hoë dunk van Trump nie. Hy skryf selfs van “this awful man” (5787). “Trump seemed to be almost a caricature of Left-wing ideas about conservatives, brash, callous, casually racist, abusive towards women and absurdly rich thanks to his background” (5779). Ja, sy pa se geld het Donald aanvanklik gehelp, maar dit was hy wat op ‘n kundige manier sy jeugdige welgesteldheid in buitengewoon groot rykdom omskep het. West borduur voort oor Trump: “A three-times married serial adulterer and sexual predator who had probably broken at least eight commandments regularly” (5801). Nietemin, in konserwatiewe geledere word Trump se politieke oriëntasie waardeer. Hy het aan baie blanke Amerikaners hulle selfrespek teruggegee.

Die Nazi’s en die Twee Wêreldoorloë word dikwels as die slegte nalatenskap van die blankedom voorgestel. “The evocation of the Nazi crimes rubs a collective scar in Western societies” (1512). “The Nazi atrocities were also tied up in the collective imagination with the other great racial dramas, the US civil rights movement and apartheid South Africa … Having listened to my father and read his Spectator articles I obviously digested his pessimism about ANC rule” (1523).

Ek het die werke oor fascisme deur Benito Mussolini en Adolf Hitler gelees en kon daarin geen duidelike ideologie vind nie. West bevestig dit: “Fascism had few real intellectual thoughts behind it … Fascism … had no central texts or ideas” (1622). Mussolini was aanvanklik ‘n sosialis en dus linksgesind. “The Polish-Israeli scholar Zeev Sternhell [born in 1935] argued in The birth of fascist ideology [1989, 348p; Amazon Kindle $45,94] that fascism was a revolutionary movement, emerging from the radical left but ‘which became fused with blood and soil nationalism'” (1633).

Maurice Barrès [1862-1923] “coined the term déraciné, ‘deracinated’ [“ontras(sing)”], to denote someone who had lost contact with their ancestors” (1633) – ‘n verskynsel wat in die nuwe Suid-Afrika wydverspreid onder verloopte Afrikaners voorkom. “[The] state-worship aspect of fascism has given many conservatives the comforting idea that the philosophy was ‘Left-wing’, because true Right-wingers believe in a small state. In his entertaining book Liberal fascism (2008 [492p; Amazon Kindle $16,75]), Jonah Goldberg made a spirited attempt to show the extent to which Italian fascism and German national socialism had some common roots with the Left” (1633).

West skryf: “I could never muster any sympathy for people who committed violence” (2066). Hy verwys ook na “the violence of ANC-run South Africa” (3217). Tog is dit moeilik om die volgende paragraaf met die res van sy boek te versoen. “The Tories made no effort to ensure that history was kind to them, as Churchill put it, by ensuring that they wrote it. The real great figure of the era, the one who captured the public imagination, was not in Downing Street but rotting in a jail cell some 11 000 miles away. And today Nelson Mandela is the one with a statue in Parliament Square, while a similar proposal for one of Margaret Thatcher can’t be built because it would be vandalised” (1401). Dat ‘n terroris uit ‘n ander land met ‘n standbeeld vereer word, wat volgens die populêre siening nie geskend sal word nie, toon hoe verwerplik hedendaagse waardes geword het.

Mandela het in die tronk gefloreer. Hy is jare lank op staatskoste gehuisves, gevoed en geklee. Hy het hom selfs aangematig om ‘n langbroek pleks van ‘n kortbroek te eis. Hy het 95 jaar oud geword. In seker geen tronk elders in Afrika sou hy 27 jaar so geil oorleef het nie. Anders as wat meesal beweer word, was die “apartheidsregime” in baie opsigte (te) mensliewend. Dink ook aan hoe die NP-regering toegelaat het dat sommige kerke en moskees vestings van terrorisme geword het omdat hy nie die (skyn)heiligheid van daardie inrigtings wou aantas nie.

Met verwysing na 1994 toe Tony Blair die leier van die opposisie in die Britse parlement geword het, skryf West op ‘n nogal eienaardige manier: “While Blair shone, we appeared like the brooding, bull-faced Afrikaans [Afrikaner] watching the smiling black people’s dignified walk to the polling booth, cast as baddies in a morality play in which we would obviously end up the losers” (2677). “Blair hugely increased immigration and actively liked the idea of cultural diversity” (2797).

West is op stewiger grond as hy skryf: “I often see people on Facebook posting an inspirational Nelson Mandela quote: ‘Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.’ Which is pretty much the stupidest thing ever said by anyone – poverty is the most natural thing in the world, and until the nineteenth century the vast majority of people lived in it” (2968). In die 21ste eeu moet on(der)ontwikkeldes/agtergeblewenes (hulle is nie agtergesteldes nie) dus liewer hulle armoede as selfaangedoen aanvaar as om dit aan slawerny en apartheid, dus blankes, toe te dig. Waarmee Mandela hier besig was, was om skuldgevoelens by blankes te probeer wek ten einde geld ten bate van swartes uit hulle te pers.

“Right-wing … is an irredeemably tarnished identity, which is hardly surprising when two generations of educated people have largely been raised in environments where they have encountered few conservatives … From before their political awakening most middle-class people are given the message by the education system, the broadcast media and the wider political culture that to be Left-wing is to be generous, tolerant and forward-looking, and so to be Right-wing is to be selfish, uncaring and bigoted” (453). “Progressive television and cinema … are the prevailing cultural noises” (475). In die woorde van Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679): Die massa-inligtingsmedia strooi (“sprinkle”) hulle idees uit op die mense (653).

Oor ‘n ander filosoof, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), skryf West: “To conservatives his idea of ‘the noble savage’, primitive man living in peaceful abundance, makes Rousseau the godfather of all bad ideas” (653). Op sy onoorspronklike manier vertel Mandela dieselfde leuen: “The African people lived in relative peace until the coming of the abelungu, the white people” (Long walk to freedom, London: Abacus1995, p 27). Rousseau is ‘n held in linkse geledere. “Rousseau was perhaps the most influential thinker of his and our time, doing more than any other to popularise the idea that people are inherently good. Christian theology holds that we are all born with original sin, tarnished and imperfect from birth. Rousseau’s great idea was to see human behaviour as formed by social conditions, so that our wickedness comes not from within but the society we are raised in” (West 668).

Ooreenkomstig Rousseau se idees is die plaaslike vertolking dat wat ook al sleg by swartes mag wees, aan apartheid toegeskryf kan word. Dit is dus die blankes, veral die Afrikaners, wat sedert 1994 as oorvloediglik sleg voorgestel word terwyl al wat ‘n swarte is skynbaar inherent goed is. “Rousseau was … spectacularly wrong, perhaps the most wrong man who ever lived” (726). Wat ‘n mens is, word bv nie net deur sosiale omstandighede bepaal nie, maar ook geneties, dus deur oorerwing (kyk hier onder). Die armoede onder swartes in Suid-Afrika word deesdae graag maar verkeerdelik aan apartheid toegeskryf. Edmund Burke (1729-1797) was van mening: “Poverty always exists … it is the essential human condition, not a departure from it” (950).

Die leuse van die Franse Revolusie (1789), “vryheid, gelykheid en broederskap,” is in groot mate aan Rousseau ontleen. Al drie daardie begrippe is dermate oordrewe vertolk dat hulle uiters skadelike gevolge gehad het. “Real human freedom is limited by our own moral weaknesses and poor decision-making, and by the cues we pick up from society. We are morally imperfect, and out of ‘the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing could be ever made’, as Immanuel Kant [1724-1804] said” (1195). Geen wonder nie dat Burke baie skepties oor die Franse Revolusie was (Praag 2.05.2020). Die Franse agitator, François-Noël Babeuf (1760-1797), “concluded that ‘perfect equality’ and ‘common happiness’ could only be achieved by suppression of private property” (1051) – ‘n vroeë wegbereider van die ANC se beleid van onteiening sonder vergoeding.

Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821), ‘n ondersteuner van die Franse monargie asook sosiale hiërargie, vind daarenteen aansluiting by Burke met bv die opmerking: “Custom is the mother of legitimacy” (1156), waarmee die wettigheid van die ANC se beleid van onteiening sonder vergoeding teengespreek word. “Custom serve as a check on anarchy and the lust for power” (1169). Neem veral kennis van De Maistre se boek, Considerations on France (1797, 180p; Amazon Kindle $27,60). “He blamed intellectuals for inciting the violence, just as later there was widespread hostility to American liberals in the 1960s as crime and public disorder shot up” (1535).

In Suid-Afrika het skynintellektuele nie net ANC-terroriste in hulle kwaad gesterk nie. Hulle probeer steeds om die ANC-regime so goed moontlik voor te stel. Sulke Afrikaanssprekendes distansieer hulle deesdae van (die geskiedenis van) die Afrikanerdom. Tradisies en gebruike is (dikwels) sinvol omdat hulle die toets van die tyd deurstaan het. Soos ‘n Duise regsgeleerde, Justus Möser (1720-1794), dit gestel het: “After all, our forefathers were no fools either” (1156). Dit is waarom ons nie moet toelaat dat ANC-kamerade en hulle meelopers hedendaagse Afrikaners of ons voorgeslag verguis nie.

Ek vind die oorsprong van die benamings Whigs en Tories interessant. “Both names were originally insults, whiggamore being a (Presbyterian) Scottish cattle rustler and toraidhe a (Catholic) Irish highwayman, and these two groups much later evolved into the Liberal and Conservative parties (although the latter contained the more conservative Whigs, also). They represented cultural divisions, too, Tories being attached to established religion, the monarchy, tradition and a more pessimistic view of human nature. Whigs were more likely to be merchants than landed aristocracy, had the overwhelming support of Dissenters – Protestants too radical for the Church of England – and tended to believe in progress, so that the ‘Whig theory of history’ came to be one in which things slowly but steadily go from bad to good” (867).

“The Tories had first been referred to as the Conservative Party by John Wilson Croker in 1830 and they came to be officially known as such under Robert Peel [prime minister 1834-1835 and 1841-1846], who wished to allow in more moderates, uniting the middle class and old landowners” (1323). Die Konserwatiewe Party of Tories se siening kan soos volg opgesom word: “Humans are flawed, fallible creatures; reason is powerful, but prone to error; and tradition and prejudice are often good guides to social policy” (1119). “Conservatism is parochial, and drawn to attachments that are local and national rather than global” (1681). Die ANC-regime, daarenteen, verkies inklusiwiteit, bv wat betref swart Afrika en (liberaal-sosialistiese) globalisme.

Konserwatisme is nie ortodoks nie. Burke het dit reeds duidelik gestel: “A society without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation” (1119). Maar dit moet nie gaan om verandering ter wille van verandering soos by die ANC-regime nie; eerder om verandering ter onmiskenbare verbetering. Daar moet nie onnodig of oorhaastig gekrap word aan wat doeltreffend funksioneer nie. Soos die Britse filosoof, Roger Scruton (1944-2020), dit gestel het: “Conservatism is the politics of delay” (1169). CS Lewis (1898-1963) het die frase “chronological snobbery” gebruik: “the idea that previous ages were always more backward simply because of the date. Conservatives are more likely to see history in terms of cycles” (3864). In die konteks van Suid-Afrika is die volgende van belang: “Conservatives also see themselves as the conservers of civilisation against barbarism – which is after all the most ‘orthodox’ state of all” (1119).

Die benaming konserwatisme is in 1818 die eerste keer in ‘n Franse tydskrif gebruik. “It stated that it ‘upholds religion, the King, liberty, the Charter and respectable people’ … But from the start the philosophy varied across different countries. Liberalism is by definition universal, since it seeks to guide society under a set of principles, and so it tends to be quite alike around the world, while conservatism varies more from culture to culture, since it seeks to defend specific traditions” (1085). “Right-wing activists tend to stay in their own lanes and not work together, share notes, or reach out to one another’s followers” (3836).

“America, it was said, lacked a ‘conservative’ movement in the European sense, its Right-wing philosophy largely descending from the English Whig tradition, since Toryism was all but dead there and there was no established Church or landed aristocracy to defend … In England conservatism – and the party that came to represent it – was strongly associated with Anglicanism” (1094). “It was once famously said that the Church of England was ‘the Tory party at prayer'” (1106; ook 3616). In die retoriek van die Suid-Afrikaanse politiek is daar skynbaar geen oorspronklikheid nie. Die NG Kerk is male sonder tal daarvan beskuldig dat hy, toe hy apartheid ondersteun het, “die Nasionale Party in gebed” was.

“[There] are things such as ‘good manners, charity, duty and decency’ which are not the concern of the law” (1220). Maar dit beteken nie dat ons verplig moet voel om iedere modestroming na te volg nie, bv. die hedendaagse manie dat vreemdelingehaat/xenofobie uit die bose is. “Haat” is hier in baie gevalle sterk oordrewe. Dit gaan meesal bloot daarom dat inkommers onwelkom is; dat ‘n land sonder hulle beter daaraan toe sou wees. “Humans, conservatives believe, are prone to tribalism and nepotism. We prefer what is familiar to the distant, we favour family members to stangers and, to a lesser extent, compatriots over foreigners. And we are more concerned about friends and relations than ‘humanity’ in the abstract – and there’s nothing wrong with that” (1220).

In sy boek, Liberty, equality and fraternity (1873, 370p; Amazon Kindle $3,44), het ‘n Britse regsgeleerde, James Fitzjames Stephen (1829-1894), bedenkinge oor elkeen van die drie hoofidees van die Franse Revolusie uitgespreek. Hy was veral krities oor John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) se On liberty (1859, 120p; Amazon Kindle $0). “[Stephen] rejected the radical idea of a ‘brotherhood of man’, stating that: ‘It is not love that one wants from the great mass of mankind, but respect and justice … Humanity is only I writ large, and love for Humanity generally means zeal for MY notions as to what men should be and how they should live'” (1220).

In die tweede helfte van die 20ste eeu het die lewensomstandighede, bv veiligheid, van blankes drasties versleg; nie net in Suid-Afrika nie, maar ook in die Weste. “There was the underlying fear of barbarism at the door, an idea that forms a central part of conservative psychology. And yet it was not a totally irrational fear – crime had hugely increased from the 1960s to the 1980s. Britain’s crime rise was nothing like the rapid explosion of violence in America from the 1960s … The British have a sort of psychological awareness of the 1960s America as being the era of civil rights and freedom, yet this social change went hand in hand with an enormous rise in murder in urban America, unprecedented anywhere in modern times” (1451). In Suid-Afrika het ons eie Mandela op 16 Desember 1961 met sy terrorisme begin. Die toename in misdaad en geweld in Suid-Afrika, Brittanje en Amerika hou (onder meer direk) met swart aktivisme verband.

In Brittanje was daar “increased homelessness, and the growth of sink estates [“krotlandgoedere”] … fear tends to push people to the Right” (1462). “The housing lists had been literally that, a queue, in which people waited their turn, with good behaviour and reputation as bonus. It changed to one of ‘need’, which put more needy people such as single mothers or immigrants – as well as people with various pathologies – ahead of locals who had queued, and who often had deep roots in the area … Financial rewards for poor life choices can encourage more people to make them … As far back as the 1770s there were debates about the social sanctions against illegitimacy, with German social theorist Justus Möser arguing they were necessary because there needed to be incentives to marry” (1462).

In Suid-Afrika is daar eintlik nie sprake dat blankes by regeringsbehuising baat nie. Dit gaan om behuising vir swartes, waarvoor die blankes moet help opdok. Geboortebeperking word nie deur politici aangemoedig nie omdat dit glo teen (tradisionele) swart kultuur indruis. Die subsidiëring van ongehude moeders – “welfare queens as Americans called them” (2821) – word ‘n al hoe groter en toenemend onvolhoubare finansiële en maatskaplike las. Die ANC-regime misbruik selfs die huidige grieppandemie om van staatstoelaes ‘n al hoe swaarder meulsteen om die land se nek te maak. Die ANC se jongste skuif is om rassisme te verdoesel deur na die swart bevoordeeldes as die “kwesbares” te verwys.

West skryf: “Central to conservatism is the idea that radical change is almost always bad” (1246). Die Britse filosoof, Michael Oakeshott (1901-1990), “wrote that conservatism was ‘to prefer the familiar to the unkown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the suffient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopian bliss'” (1246, 6142). Volgens West “conservatives also believe in ‘epistemological modesty’, that there are limits to human knowledge, especially in politics, as human society is too complex for any one person or group to understand” (1270).

“Back in 1794 the romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, along with another wordsmith, Robert Southey, came up with the brilliant idea of an egalitarian community in which all ruled equally. They settled on the name ‘Partisocracy’, from the Greek for ‘equal government for all'” (1562). Die aartsfeminis, Amanda Gouws, wat wens dat bykans die helfte van die mensdom, die bose mans, liewer moet verdwyn, bied ‘n kursus aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch aan wat Susterkunde genoem kan word, met Ousiekunde as subdissipline. Vir Gouws se hartsbegeerte kan die benaming Broekiekrasie (“Pantycracy”) gebruik word. “Egalitarian utopias overlook people’s natural instinct to better themselves, while twentieth-century sexual utopias ignored the failures, disappointments and injustices that characterise human relationships” (1574).

Die goeie ou dae word gekenmerk deur die salige verskynsel dat elkeen sy (tradisionele) plek geken het. “The notion that everyone has their place … can arguably provide a coherent structure that makes the world seem less chaotic” (2001). Pleks van die bestaan van realistiese hiërargieë te erken, word eerder gelykheid en eendersheid gepredik. “With identity politics becoming so dominant some conservatives have accused the Left of being almost proprietorial about minorities, and holding non-whites to lower standards, called ‘the soft bigotry of low expectations'”(2015). Dit is presies wat aan bv die Universiteit Stellenbosch gebeur. Vir toelating tot mediese studie word laer akademiese prestasie van nieblanke as van blanke kandidate verwag. Daar is boonop ‘n kwotastelsel waarvolgens verseker word dat daar op ‘n rassistiese grondslag nog erger teen blanke kandidate gediskrimineer word (kyk op die internet).

Dit is veral die Italiaanse marxis, Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), se idees wat as “kulturele marxisme” bekend staan (2178). Ná die ontbinding van die Sowjetunie in 1991 het marxiste hulle aktivisme van staatkundige na kulturele ondermyning, met die oog op uiteindelike oorwinning, verskuif. “Cultural Marxism … views history as a question of power and privilege. What people mean by ‘cultural Marxism’ might be simplistically surmised as opposition to tradition and hierarchy; radical gender politics; the Marxist theory of race in which whites are the bourgeoisie and non-whites the proletariat; intolerance towards non-orthodox thinkers; the necessity of changing the language;* and the ideas that criminals are victims of society, marriage is oppressive and exploitative, and nations are artificial, imagined communities. It’s roughly synonymous with progressive politics, then, perhaps just a slightly crankier way of saying ‘progressivism'” (2178). “Progressivism … holds that everyone is essentially good” (2225) – insluitende misdadigers en gewelddenaars soos terroriste. Dit is waarom gevangenes in die nuwe Suid-Afrika stemreg het. “It is forbidden to forbid” (2249). Die resultaat is chaos en anargie, wat revolusie tot gevolg kan hê.

[* Dink aan al die geykte woorde met groot seggingskrag wat nie meer in die nuwe Suid-Afrika gebruik mag word nie. Ter sake is ook die Afrikaanse Taalraad (ATR) en Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging (ATKV) se ywer om Standaardafrikaans te herstandaardiseer en Afrikaans met onnodige Engelse woorde te besoedel deur Kaaps as die toekoms van Afrikaans te propageer.]

Oor politieke byderwetsheid/korrektheid (PC) skryf West: “PC could be called ‘political politeness’, since in the popular imagination it is associated with euphemisms about race, sexuality, disability or other perceived disadvantages, and as a consequence ‘politically incorrect’ has come to mean the same as rudeness. Except that wasn’t really the purpose of political correctness in policing the language. The aim in many cases was not to pressure opponents into being polite, but to stop them expressing their ideas altogether. PC, for want of a better expression, describes a set of acceptable beliefs, outside which it is not permitted to step [ie the Overton window] … Newspapers probably made it easier for PC’s real purpose – of censoring and controlling – to go unchallenged” (2453).

In die praktyk is daar talle voorbeelde van “[PC] gone mad … If you’re conservative it’s mad to start with … like the one about ‘Baa baa black sheep’ being removed for being insuffiently racially sensitive” (2441). Breinspoeling begin in die kleuterskool: “To my surprise they did actually sing ‘Baa baa woolly lamb’ there, rather than ‘Baa baa black sheep’, something I previously assumed was a tabloid myth” (4173). “At our local children’s library the entire front desk area was made up of hagiographies of Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela” (4375). “If you’re a conservative, then once you become a parent, you’re faced with the prospect of raising your children in a culture that is filled with simplistic, untrue messages about the world … Kid’s books and television give an interesting insight into where prevailing beliefs come from, regularly hammering home the message that borders are bad, stereotypes are wrong,* mankind is a menace to the planet and girls ought to be masculine … We are all basically good and others are just like us” (4385). “[They] make lovely neighbours and don’t in any way steal everything … Children’s books are culture war meme processors” (4396); “meme-processing propaganda” (4421). Ek onthou hoe ‘n plaaslike uitgewer ná ons “bevryding” in 1994 hiet en gebied het dat daar in iedere kinderboek minstens een swart karakter móét wees. “And books seem nothing like as obviously indoctrinating as films or TV” (4421).

[* “The … idea of stereotype accuracy, once assumed by the psychology profession to be largely wrong, has in recent years been shown to be resilient and accurate” (6021).]

Dit gaan eintlik om die gewilde standpunt dat ons almal “ideologically correct”, dus polities linksgesind, moet wees (2476). “One interpretation of PC is that it is the ‘paradox of tolerance’, promoting tolerance of historically disadvantaged or persecuted groups to such an extreme that it becomes itself another form of intolerance” (2538). In die HAT word ‘n groot aantal woorde as “rassisties” geëtiketteer, maar die verligte samestellers het dit darem nog nie met die volgende woorde gedoen nie: swartgallig, swartlys, swartmark, swartryp, swartskaap, swartsmeer. “One way a political group can come to dominate the culture is by dominating the language, creating neologisms that imply acceptance of their worldview and making other terms unfashionable or unsayable” (2573).

“Harvard’s Richard Herrnstein was called a racist for arguing, in 1971, that, because intelligence is partly inherited, then the tendency of clever people to marry other clever people will lead to stratification. He wasn’t even talking about race, but he received death threats and his lecture halls were filled with chanting mobs. Herrnstein and another academic, Arthur Jensen, were forced not just to cancel lectures but also to hire guards, because of their IQ research. Then there was EO Wilson, whose Sociobiology (1975 [2nd ed, 720p; Amazon Kindle $45,94]) concluded that some universal human attributes, including our moral sense, may be shaped by natural selection. The aim of the book was to explain human behaviour, such as violence and altruism, through evolution, yet a widely circulated article by a group of academics accused him of promoting theories that ‘led to the establishment of gas chambers in Nazi Germany'” (2512).

“Gramsci’s great theory was that of hegemony, ideological domination that extends beyond politics and into culture, which is far more important” (2166). Daar word dikwels na blanke oorheersing/hegemonie verwys in lande waar die blanke meerderheid in beheer is. In die nuwe Suid-Afrika word daar graag van “demokrasie” gepraat asof dit verkwikkende saligheid oor die land gebring het. In werklikheid het ons te make met swart oorheersing/hegemonie in die ergste graad, maar dit word (feitlik) nooit met hierdie benamings geëtiketteer nie. Die politiek en blanke/Westerse kultuur word op ongekende skaal deur marxisme gerysmier. Dit is bv waarom ‘n nuwe maar valse geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika toenemend ontplooi en Afrikaans so min moontlik ruimte gegun word. “The past … becomes another front in the culture war” (2955).

“Pretty much every aspect of human culture and the variation between us has a large genetic factor that makes equality of outcome impossible … Among the top-ten replicated findings from behavioural genetics are that ‘all psychological traits show significant and substantial genetic influence’ and ‘the heritability of intelligence increases throughout development'” (5974). “Even criminality has a genetic component … [and] all the variation in personality traits is about 50 per cent genetic … Even our political beliefs are to some extent hereditary” (5988). “Right-wing authoritarianism ‘in particular shows high levels of heritability'” (6005).

Linkses hou daarvan om wat ‘n mens (veral geestelik) is aan omgewingsfaktore toe te skryf. Dit baan dan die weg om vir bv apartheid die skuld te gee vir nie-prestasie en die armoede en ellende wat daaruit volg. Gelyke geleenthede sou na bewering na gelyke uitkomste lei. In die praktyk gebeur dit nie omdat genetiese oorerwing buite rekening gelaat is. “The vast area of twin studies has shown the variation in human intelligence to be around 50 per cent heritable, as are the five major personality traits [neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientionsness]. As for sex, there are vast amounts of evidence showing that average differences in temperament between men and women across cultures are the product of biology” (2388). Dit is dus ‘n dwaalleer om te beweer dat elkeen die vryheid het om self tussen manwees, vrouwees en bv transwees te kies.

Regerings openbaar dikwels heeltemal skeefgetrekte voorkeure. Die ANC-regime gee blatant voorkeur aan die belange van swartes en vroue in sy “nie-rassige en nie-seksistiese” nuwe Suid-Afrika. In Brittanje word voorkeur aan welsynsdienste gegee. “Britain is not a state so much as a hospital service with a TV station attached” (3359). Robert Conquest (1917-2015) het tereg opgemerk: “Any organisation not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing” (3371) – wie nie vir ons is nie, is teen ons. Dit verduidelik waarom daar feitlik geen regse instansies in Suid-Afrika oorgebly het nie. Amnestie Internasionaal was aanvanklik ‘n instansie wat geweier het om gewelddenaars te ondersteun. “In 1964 they refused to take up the cause of Nelson Mandela” (3419). Sedertdien het daar ‘n radikale verandering ingetree. “Recently the group has campaigned for members of al-Qaida, which is not exactly a non-violent organisation” (3419). “Violence is more likely to be forgiven if it’s done by the right people” (4016), bv deur ANC-kamerade.

Ons lewe in ‘n tyd wat deur dubbele standaarde gekenmerk word. “The inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009 was followed by eight years without a single joke on any BBC comedy show about the president of the United States” (4521). Ons word gereeld vergas op Donald Trump se oranje hare en Boris Johnson se hooimied, maar opmerkings oor Obama se hare was in die praktyk eintlik verbode. Die Amerikaners mag feitlik nie eens hardop gewonder het oor wat van Obama se geboortesertifikaat geword het nie.

By ‘n vorige geleentheid het ek ‘n uitdrukking aan Winston Churchill toegeskryf, terwyl die oorsprong daarvan nie so seker is nie. “If you are a conservative you have no heart and if you are a socialist you have no brain.” Hierdie uitdrukking “has been attributed to Victor Hugo, Bejamin Disraeli, George Bernard Shaw, George Clemenceau, Winston Churchill and Bob Dylan. The truism was probably first written down by nineteenth-century French political theorist Anselme Batbie, but he in turn attributed it to Edmund Burke” (4670).

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