Thursday, 5 December 2013

Mandela: Soft-pedal the hagiography. UPDATE

Let Mandela be remembered as a kindly old guy, who was not vengeful, didn't steal his country blind, and helped South Africa move away from Apartheid.  Soft pedal the hagiography as leaders great and small climb aboard the hallelujah train.  He was a Marxist dupe and slept with his Winnie who organized the murder of black opponents.  (He later divorced her).   I'm glad he played a role in recovering from Apartheid but his speeches are embarrassing to a conservative.  You can test this by seeing that the usual lefty suspects are loudest in his praise. I salute honourary Canadian, Nelson Mandela for a peaceable character but will follow neither his politics nor philosophy.

UPDATE: Read this PBS interview with South Africa's Justice Minister, Coetsee, who set in motion the talks with Mandela while in prison, met personally with him, and came to respect his character, more than just "a kindly old guy" as I wrote above.

UPDATE: A book draft Mandela wrote while in prison can be read on line.  This story points out he was an active member of the South African Communist Party and certain views he held were erased from the later book, The Long Walk.

Below, a nice picture upon Mandela's 1990 release from prison, found at the National Post. The smiling Winnie okayed the killing of political opponents with a burning tire necklace,  liked vengeance and went in for communism.  (Coetsee reports that Mandela's release was behind schedule because Winnie was at the hairdressers.)

Moderate and more appropriate encomiums upon his career (reproduced below) can be found  here at Instapundit and again  here, also at Instapundit.    (My education points to "encomia" but my heart to "encomiums".

RIP Nelson Mandela. No he was not a saint. He was not in the mold of Gandhi. If he was a communist that is a sin he will have to answer for.

1) Soon after his release from prison he divorced Winnie Mandela. She who apparently never turned from her support for vengeance, communism, retribution and hate. +1

2) When many anti-Apartheid people urged violence to topple the regime he no longer did so after prison. +1

3) Once the Apartheid government relented he was the most powerful and popular person in all of Africa. He ruled more moderately than his enemies predicted. +1

4) He protected and promoted the reconciliation process which granted more amnesty and forgiveness to his enemies than his enemies had any right to expect. +1

5) He stepped away from political power when even more would have been his had he only asked. +1

6) He did not however use his world acclaim and statesmanship to condemn Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. As an apparently great man he could have done more and should have. But we could say that of all great men.

There are folks who may object to what I am about to write, but I think I speak the truth in this:
I do not celebrate the death of Nelson Mandela. He seemed like a kindly old guy in his later years, and he's had his share of difficulties. Nevertheless, I do not celebrate his life either. He was most certainly NOT a Lincoln or Jefferson.
Mandela objected to apartheid. I don't blame him - it was a stupid system that wasted generations of talent and productivity. Nevertheless, he chose the wrong path for his people by choosing Marxism as the political ideology that would lead to his people's 'freedom.' It was very fashionable for the elite of third world societies to earn their higher education in London or Paris and attach themselves spiritually and ideologically to Marxism. The naturalness of the attachment stems from their observation that their respective homelands were, at the time they were getting their educations, likely still under the colonial rule of some western European nation, and the only political movement that seemed to have the strength to oppose the West was Soviet or Chinese Marxism. Ho Chi Minh, Castro, Pol Pot and a whole bunch of others came to that conclusion, and unfortunately so did Mandela.
It would have been vastly better for his people if he had instead simplified his thoughts and concepts on the just future for his people - a future where his people did not spend their energies trying to 'divide the spoils' of an overthrown apartheid regime, but instead used that overthrow to claim what was theirs truly by birthright - the individual fruits of their labor, the opportunity to pursue personal betterment in a financial or social sense, to exercise their INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.
Then, Mandela would have been a true icon for the ages.
Instead, he's just another failed Marxist ideologue whose nation gets more and more screwed up with every passing day, with the difference between pre and post apartheid being just that instead of having the creative and productive potential of their lives wasted by the imposition of a personally enslaving and degrading system imposed on them, they instead impose such a system on themselves.

If you're still with me, here's the kindly gentleman singing with some marxists about killing white people.  Maybe he was just going along for the ride that day.

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