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  • The Truth about South Africa

    A BRIEF HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

    South Africa has a long history of repression and internal conflict which started in the 17th century with colonialisation by the Dutch in 1652, followed by British occupancy in 1806 and later again in 1895 - 1910.

    This influx of Europeans led to a land hunger that resulted in white people migrating into the areas occupied by mainly black indigeneous peoples. The conflict over land rights gave rise to bloody wars that were dominated by the white people with their superior weaponry
    (Colliers 1995: vol 21).

    Black Labor White Wealth:
    After the discovery of diamonds in 1867 and gold in 1886 South Africa began to go through an economic and social revolution. This increased the need for manual labour and black workers were readily available to work in the mines and factories.
    The revolution brought about by mining and the conflict with the British Empire at the turn of the century roceeded rapidly and progressive urbanisation of both the Afrikaners and the Africans resulted. South Africans called for a secession from the British Empire and this was achieved just after the First World war.
    One of the great statesmen of South Africa, General Jan Christiaan Smuts, is regarded as one of the architects of the Commonwealth of Nations and played a leading role in the drafting of the constitution of the United Nations following the Second World War (Colliers 1995: vol 21).

    The South African government started to act through the introduction of repressive legislation,policies that protected the interests of the white people at the cost of the blacks, coloureds and Indians. For example, in 1913 the Native Lands Act was introduced that established the principle of separate areas within which white and africans were permitted to own land. This was later followed
    by various repressive acts like the Immorality Act in 1927; the Group Areas Act in 1950 and in 1959
    the Bantu Self-Government Act (Colliers 1995: vol 21).

    This legislation led to institutionalised discrimination against every person in the country that was not white. Apartheid (or racial segregation) was officially introduced in 1948 with the coming to power of the National Party.
    Resistance mounted in the country amongst the repressed peoples to object against apartheid. A campaign of non-violent resistance began in 1952 during which 10,000
    Africans were arrested and imprisoned. The campaign was defeated by the government which enacted legislation extending its powers.

    The Unequal distribution of wealth:

    Nearly 95 percent of South Africa's poor are Africans, five
    percent are Coloureds and less than 1 percent are Indian or white. Wealth in South Africa is unequally distributed.

  • #2
    Hi

    Was that a high school assignment you've posted here by any chance? Apart from a few minor inaccuracies and I suspect many deliberate ommissions it is truthful summary.

    "...followed by British occupancy in 1806 and later again in 1895 - 1910" That's very inaccurate. The British took possession at the request of Holland during the Napoleonic wars to prevent the strategic port at Cape Town from getting into the hands of the French. After the war the British briefly gave pack the territory to the Dutch but occupied it again.

    They then governed the Cape Colony until 1910 when it was incoporated along with the Crown Colony of Natal (ex Boer Republic) Zuid Afrikaanse Republike (TRansvaal) and the Orange Free State into the Union of South Africa, which was awarded dominion status within the B Empire along with Canada, Australia, and NZ.

    "...and black workers were readily available to work in the mines and factories. " Also false, the shortage of labour resulted in thousands of Chinese and Indians being brought to SA in the form of indentured labourers. Black Africans were in short supply initially.

    As regards the unequal distribution of wealth very true, you should look into the unequal CREATION of wealth. Also the Rand Strike in the 1920's is very important with regard to factions btw black and white mineworkers.

    Considering there are numerous texts on modern SA history, I am curious about your decision to post a superficial overview here? Also your ommission of the struggles between the Black bantu settlers and the indiginous Hottetot and San peoples who where all but wiped out (by both black and white settlers).

    Comment


    • #3
      Tiger, Sent your reparations money to Blair yet?

      Two cheers for colonialism
      http://196.2.128.38/Content/l3.jsp?a=14&o=3085
      Johann Hari

      10 May 2002

      CONTROVERSIAL, conservative Indian scholar Dinesh D'Souza argues that against its intentions the West brought things to the colonies that have immeasurably enriched the lives of the descendants of colonialism. Next week John Matshikiza retaliates...

      Colonialism has gotten a bad name in recent decades. Anti-colonialism was one of the dominant political currents of the 20th century as dozens of European colonies in Asia and Africa became free. Today we are still living with the aftermath of colonialism.

      Apologists for terrorism, including Osama bin Laden, argue that terrorist acts are an understandable attempt on the part of subjugated non- Western peoples to lash out against their long-time Western oppressors. Activists at last year's World Conference on Racism, including the Reverend Jesse Jackson, have called on the West to pay reparations for slavery and colonialism to minorities and natives of the Third World.

      These justifications of violence, and calls for monetary compensation, rely on a large body of scholarship that has been produced in the Western academy. That scholarship, which goes by the name of anti-colonial studies, post-colonial studies or subaltern studies, is now an intellectual school in itself and it exercises a powerful influence on the humanities and social sciences. Its leading Western scholars include Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Walter Rodney and Samir Amin. Their arguments are supported by the ideas of Third World intellectuals like Wole Soyinka, Chinweizu, Ashis Nandy and, perhaps most influential of all, Frantz Fanon.

      The assault against colonialism and its legacy has many dimensions, but at its core it is a theory of oppression that relies on three premises. First, colonialism and imperialism are distinctively Western evils that were inflicted on the non-Western world.

      Second, as a consequence of colonialism, the West became rich and the colonies became impoverished; in short, the West succeeded at the expense of the colonies.

      Third, the descendants of colonialism are worse off than they would be had colonialism never occurred.

      In a widely used text, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, the Marxist scholar Walter Rodney accuses European colonialism of "draining African wealth and making it impossible to develop more rapidly the resources of the continent".

      The African writer Chinweizu strikes a similar note in his influential book The West and the Rest of Us. He offers the following explanation for African poverty: "White hordes have sallied forth from their Western homelands to assault, loot, occupy, rule, and exploit the world. Even now the fury of their expansionist assault on the rest of us has not abated."

      In his classic work The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon writes, "European opulence has been founded on slavery. The well-being and progress of Europe have been built up with the sweat and the dead bodies of Negroes, Arabs, Indians, and the yellow races."

      Those notions are pervasive and emotionally appealing. By suggesting that the West became dominant because it is oppressive, they provide an explanation for Western global dominance without encouraging white racial arrogance. They relieve the Third World of blame for its wretchedness. Moreover, they imply politically egalitarian policy solutions: the West is in possession of the "stolen goods" of other cultures, and it has a moral and legal obligation to make some form of repayment. I was raised to believe in such things, and among most Third World intellectuals they are articles of faith. The only problem is that they are not true.

      There is nothing uniquely Western about colonialism. My native country of India, for example, was ruled by the British for more than two centuries and many of my fellow Indians are still smarting about that.

      What they often forget, however, is that before the British came the Indians had been invaded and conquered by the Persians, the Afghans, Alexander the Great, the Mongols, the Arabs and the Turks. Depending on how you count, the British were preceded by at least six colonial powers that invaded and occupied India since ancient times. Indeed, ancient India was itself settled by the Aryan people, who came from the north and subjugated the dark-skinned indigenous people.

      Those who identify colonialism and empire only with the West either have no sense of history or have forgotten about the Egyptian empire, the Persian empire, the Macedonian empire, the Islamic empire, the Mongol empire, the Chinese empire, and the Aztec and Inca empires in the Americas.

      Shouldn't the Arabs be paying reparations for their destruction of the Byzantine and Persian empires? Come to think of it, shouldn't the Byzantine and Persian people be paying reparations to the descendants of the people they subjugated? And while we're at it, shouldn't the Muslims reimburse the Spaniards for their 700-year rule?

      As the example of Islamic Spain suggests, the people of the West have participated in the game of conquest not only as the perpetrators, but also as the victims.

      Ancient Greece, for example, was conquered by Rome, and the Roman empire itself was destroyed by invasions of Huns, Vandals, Lombards, and Visigoths from northern Europe.

      America, as we all know, was itself a colony of England before its war of independence; England, before that, had been subdued and ruled by Normans from France. Those of us living today are taking on a large project if we are going to settle on a rule of social justice based on figuring out whose ancestors did what to whom.

      The West did not become rich and powerful through colonial oppression. It makes no sense to claim that the West grew rich and strong by conquering other countries and taking their stuff.

      How did the West manage to do that? In the late Middle Ages, say 1500, the West was by no means the world's most affluent or most powerful civilisation. Indeed, those of China and of the Arab-Islamic world exceeded the West in wealth, in knowledge, in exploration, in learning and in military power. So how did the West gain so rapidly in economic, political and military power that, by the 19th century, it was able to conquer virtually all of the other civilisations? That question demands to be answered and the oppression theorists have never provided an adequate explanation.

      Moreover, the West could not have reached its current stage of wealth and influence by stealing from other cultures for the simple reason that there wasn't very much to take. "Oh yes there was," the retort often comes. "The Europeans stole the raw material to build their civilisation. They took rubber from Malaya, cocoa from West Africa, and tea from India."

      But, as the economic historian PT Bauer points out, before British rule there were no rubber trees in Malaya, no cocoa trees in West Africa, no tea in India. The British brought the rubber tree to Malaya from South America. They brought tea to India from China. And they taught the Africans to grow cocoa, a crop the native people had never heard of. None of this is to deny that when the colonialists could exploit native resources, they did. But that larceny cannot possibly account for the enormous gap in economic, political and military power that opened up between the West and the rest of the world.

      What, then, is the source of that power? The reason the West became so affluent and dominant in the modern era is that it invented three institutions: science, democracy and capitalism. All those institutions are based on universal impulses and aspirations, but those aspirations were given a unique expression in Western civilisation.

      Consider science. It is based on a shared human trait: the desire to know. People in every culture have tried to learn about the world. Thus the Chinese recorded the eclipses, the Mayans developed a calendar, the Hindus discovered the number zero, and so on. But science - which requires experiments, laboratories, induction, verification and what one scholar has called "the invention of invention," the scientific method - that is a Western institution.

      Similarly, tribal participation is universal, but democracy - which involves free elections, peaceful transitions of power and separation of powers - is a Western idea. Finally, the impulse to trade is universal, and there is nothing Western about the use of money, but capitalism - which requires property rights, contracts, courts to enforce them, limited-liability corporations, stock exchanges, patents, insurance, double-entry bookkeeping this ensemble of practices was developed in the West.

      It is the dynamic interaction among these three Western institutions - science, democracy and capitalism - that has produced the great wealth, strength and success of Western civilisation. An example of this interaction is technology, which arises out of the marriage between science and capitalism. Science provides the knowledge that leads to invention, and capitalism supplies the mechanism by which the invention is transmitted to the larger society, as well as the economic incentive for inventors to continue to make new things.

      Now we can understand better why the West was able, between the 16th and 19th centuries, to subdue the rest of the world and bend it to its will.

      Indian elephants and Zulu spears were no match for British rifles and cannonballs. Colonialism and imperialism are not the cause of the West's success; they are the result of that success. The wealth and power of European nations made them arrogant and stimulated their appetite for global conquest. Colonial possessions added to the prestige, and to a much lesser degree the wealth, of Europe.

      But the primary cause of Western affluence and power is internal  the institutions of science, democracy and capitalism acting together. Consequently, it is simply wrong to maintain that the rest of the world is poor because the West is rich, or that the West grew rich off stolen goods from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The West created its own wealth, and still does.

      The descendants of colonialism are better off than they would be if colonialism had never happened. I would like to illustrate this point through a personal example.

      While I was a young boy growing up in India I noticed that my grandfather, who had lived under British colonialism, was instinctively and habitually anti-white. He wasn't just against the English; he was generally against white people. I realised that I did not share his anti-white animus. That puzzled me: why did he and I feel so differently?

      Only years later, after a great deal of reflection and a fair amount of study, did the answer finally hit me. The reason for our difference of perception was that colonialism had been pretty bad for him, but pretty good for me. Another way to put it was that colonialism had injured those who lived under it, but paradoxically it proved beneficial to their descendants. Much as it chagrins me to admit it - and much as it will outrage many Third World intellectuals for me to say it - my life would have been much worse had the British never ruled India.

      How is that possible? Virtually everything that I am, what I do and my deepest beliefs, all are the product of a world view that was brought to India by colonialism. I am a writer, and I write in English. My ability to do this, and to reach a broad market, is entirely thanks to the British.

      My understanding of technology, which allows me, like so many Indians, to function successfully in the modern world, was largely the product of a Western education that came to India as a result of the British. So also my beliefs in freedom of expression, in self-government, in equality of rights under the law and in the universal principle of human dignity - they are all the products of Western civilisation.

      I am not suggesting that it was the intention of the colonialists to give all those wonderful gifts to the Indians. Colonialism was not based on philanthropy; it was a form of conquest and rule. The British came to India to govern and they were not primarily interested in the development of the natives, whom they viewed as picturesque savages.

      It is impossible to measure, or overlook, the pain and humiliation that the British inflicted during their long period of occupation. Understandably, the Indians chafed under that yoke.

      Toward the end of the British reign in India, Mahatma Gandhi was asked, "What do you think of Western civilisation?" He replied, "I think it would be a good idea."

      Despite their suspect motives and bad behaviour, however, the British needed a certain amount of infrastructure to effectively govern India. So they built roads, shipping docks, railway tracks, irrigation systems and government buildings.

      Then they realised that they needed courts of law to adjudicate disputes that went beyond local systems of dispensing justice. And so the British legal system was introduced, with all its procedural novelties, like "innocent until proven guilty". The British also had to educate the Indians in order to communicate with them and to train them to be civil servants in the empire.

      Thus Indian children were exposed to Shakespeare, Dickens, Hobbes and Locke. In that way the Indians began to encounter words and ideas that were unmentioned in their ancestral culture: "liberty", "sovereignty", "rights" and so on.

      That brings me to the greatest benefit that the British provided to the Indians: they taught them the language of freedom. Once again, it was not the objective of the colonial rulers to encourage rebellion. But by exposing Indians to the ideas of the West, they did. The Indian leaders were the product of Western civilisation.

      Gandhi studied in England and South Africa; Jawaharlal Nehru was a product of Harrow and Cambridge. That exposure was not entirely to the good; Nehru, for example, who became India's first prime minister after independence, was highly influenced by Fabian socialism through the teachings of Harold Laski. The result was that India had a mismanaged socialist economy for a generation.

      But my broader point is that the champions of Indian independence acquired the principles, the language and even the strategies of liberation from the civilisation of their oppressors. This was true not just of India but also of other Asian and African countries that broke free of the European yoke.

      My conclusion is that against their intentions the colonialists brought things to India that have immeasurably enriched the lives of the descendants of colonialism. It is doubtful that non-Western countries would have acquired those good things by themselves.

      It was the British who, applying a universal notion of human rights, in the early 19th century abolished the ancient Indian institution of suttee - the custom of tossing widows on their husbands' funeral pyres. There is no reason to believe that the Indians, who had practiced suttee for centuries, would have reached such a conclusion on their own. Imagine an African or Indian king encountering the works of Locke or Madison and saying, "You know, I think those fellows have a good point. I should relinquish my power and let my people decide whether they want me or someone else to rule." Somehow, I don't see that as likely.

      Colonialism was the transmission belt that brought to Asia, Africa and South America the blessings of Western civilisation. Many of those cultures continue to have serious problems of tyranny, tribal and religious conflict, poverty and underdevelopment, but that is not due to an excess of Western influence; rather, it is due to the fact that those countries are insufficiently Westernised.

      Sub-Saharan Africa, which is probably in the worst position, has been described by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan as "a cocktail of disasters". That is not because colonialism in Africa lasted so long, but because it lasted a mere half-century. It was too short a time to permit Western institutions to take firm root.

      Consequently, after their independence, most African nations have retreated into a kind of tribal barbarism that can be remedied only with more Western influence, not less. Africa needs more Western capital, more technology, more rule of law and more individual freedom.

      The academy needs to shed its irrational prejudice against colonialism. By providing a more balanced perspective scholars can help to show the foolishness of policies like reparations as well as justifications of terrorism that are based on anti-colonial myths.

      None of this is to say that colonialism by itself was a good thing, only that bad institutions sometimes produce good results.

      Colonialism, I freely acknowledge, was a harsh regime for those who lived under it. My grandfather would have a hard time giving even one cheer for colonialism. As for me, I cannot manage three, but I am quite willing to grant two. So here they are: two cheers for colonialism! Maybe you will now see why I am not going to be sending an invoice for reparations to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

      Dinesh D'Souza is a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the author of What's So Great About America, to be published this month by Regnery...

      Comment


      • #4
        SOUTH AFRICA IN A NUT SHELL

        STOP TRYING TO RUN A 3rd WORLD COUNTRY IN A 1st WORLD, CAN'T DO IT PEOPLE ARE TO DUMB TO UNDERSTAND THAT OVER THERE.

        CAN'T HAVE PEOPLE RUNNING A COUNTRY THAT CAN READ OR WRITE THERE OWN ADDRESS AND CAN'T, TELL THE GOV., WHEN PEOPLE SEE THE LIGHT THAT THE ONE'S RUNNING THE COUNTRY CAN'T READ, THEN AND ONLY THEN CAN SOMETHING BE DUNE ABOUT IT.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by yank01
          SOUTH AFRICA IN A NUT SHELL

          STOP TRYING TO RUN A 3rd WORLD COUNTRY IN A 1st WORLD, CAN'T DO IT PEOPLE ARE TO DUMB TO UNDERSTAND THAT OVER THERE.

          CAN'T HAVE PEOPLE RUNNING A COUNTRY THAT CAN READ OR WRITE THERE OWN ADDRESS AND CAN'T, TELL THE GOV., WHEN PEOPLE SEE THE LIGHT THAT THE ONE'S RUNNING THE COUNTRY CAN'T READ, THEN AND ONLY THEN CAN SOMETHING BE DUNE ABOUT IT.

          You are a racist and obviously an idiot. I guess that explains why you were too stupid to turn off your caps lock.

          Comment


          • #6
            Jeez, this yank01 zonk should be ignored at all cost!

            Comment


            • #7
              yank01

              One day when YOU can read and write, properly, maybe you will understand Africa. Until then just try and finish kindergarten.

              Comment


              • #8
                Tiger I see u have still not answered my question.

                Have you sent your reparations to her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II or Tony Blair?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for posting that brilliant article by the Indian Dinesh.

                  Like he says, Hopefully ignorant 3rd world WILL be exposed to chaucer, locke, dickens AND, i might add, be exposed to:

                  Pope, Paine, John Adams, Dr. Franklin, Hazlitt, "Human Action" by Von Mises, "As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen, "Think and Grow Rich" by Napolean Hill, "The Fountainhead" & "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand, "Fire in the Minds of Men" by James Billington, "Antichrist" and "The Will to Power" by Neitchze, "Ninety Three" and Hunchback of Notre Dam" by Victor Hugo, the book "Christianity Exposed" and the brilliant essays @ the web site ISLAMEXPOSED.COM!!!!!!!!!!.............

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    to yank01

                    Our literacy rate is higher than yours.
                    So there. Waaaaalah!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by yank01
                      SOUTH AFRICA IN A NUT SHELL

                      STOP TRYING TO RUN A 3rd WORLD COUNTRY IN A 1st WORLD, CAN'T DO IT PEOPLE ARE TO DUMB TO UNDERSTAND THAT OVER THERE.

                      CAN'T HAVE PEOPLE RUNNING A COUNTRY THAT CAN READ OR WRITE THERE OWN ADDRESS AND CAN'T, TELL THE GOV., WHEN PEOPLE SEE THE LIGHT THAT THE ONE'S RUNNING THE COUNTRY CAN'T READ, THEN AND ONLY THEN CAN SOMETHING BE DUNE ABOUT IT.




                      you are talking about a country that can't read or write? by the looks of things you can't write either, mate. what a hypocrite!

                      anyway, i'm gonna say something which might offend people too. british rule in south africa was a GOOD thing. what would it be like today if the british never ruled it?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Tiger ?

                        Tiger, buddy, mate...

                        You're boring me.

                        Tell me something new, something interesting, something that we haven't discussed yet, at least something that we all disagree on.


                        b.t.w, what's your point?







                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Not sure if somone has already pointed this out (I really couldn't be bothered reading yet another treatise on how unfair everyone is to everyone else in SA, instead of just getting on with it) but just to answer the first post above by Tiger about poverty and unequal distribution of wealth:
                          These are the population demographics: black African 79%, white 9.6%, coloured 8.9%, Indian/Asian 2.5% (2001 census).

                          Now doesn't it make sense that the largest sector of the population has the most people living in poverty, just by virtue of sheer numbers?

                          Just a thought.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If would really thing you are right you wouldn´t shout on the other participants.
                            If you want to be heard must do at least these 3 things:
                            Say something interesting
                            Say something without hate
                            Don use capital letters

                            Peace before all.

                            Comment

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