NEW COLUMN is “Apartheid In Black And White: Survivalism, Not Racism” (Part 2). It’s now on Townhall.com. You can also read it on the Unz Review and WND.Com.
Monomaniacal Westerners—they have one thing on their minds: it begins with an “R”—have come to think and speak of apartheid as a theory of white supremacy.
It was not.
The policy of “separate development,” as it was admittedly euphemized, was not a theory of racial supremacy, but a strategy for survival.
But first: To perceive the fundamental way in which the Afrikaner and American creeds differed early on we must first examine the former’s ideas of what a nation and a state were, respectively.
America, being a rib from the British ribcage, was built on liberal individualism; Afrikaner culture was first and foremost grounded in the survival of the Volk.
This is not to say that Afrikaners were not fiercely individualistic; they were, even more so than early Americans.
For the Boers, however, the nation encompassed “the land, the culture, the terrain, the people.” The state, on the other hand, had no such prestige for the Boers, who regarded it as just “the coercive apparatus of bureaucrats and politicians.” Against this apparatus, above all, the Boer rebelled.
The 19th century found him still resisting majority rule, by which time Americans had thoroughly submitted to it. Although the Boer’s outlook remained passionately political, his preference was for parochial self-rule.
It might be said, then, that if in the Americans the vagaries of the frontier bred an atomistic individualism, those same vagaries bred in the Afrikaner a very different attitude, namely, a keen sense of the collective and the need to preserve it. “The worth of the nation is even higher than the worth of the individual,” exclaimed one Volk philosopher.
To the existential threat which they faced on the Dark Continent, Afrikaners therefore responded by circling the wagons metaphorically (much as they had done, literally, during the 1830s) and devising the corpus of racial laws known as apartheid.
“We shall fight for our existence and the world must know it. We are not fighting for money or possessions. We are fighting for the life of our people,” thundered Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd (1958 – 1966).
Prime Minister D. F. Malan (1948 – 1954) had already used different words for the same sentiment, announcing his devotion to, “My God, my people, my country.”
Malan’s successor, Prime Minister Strijdom (1954 – 1958), believed unswervingly that if they were to survive as a group, the whites of South Africa would need to retain a position of guardianship, and that ultimately, white hegemony was indispensable for the good of all.
The Cape Town-Stellenbosch axis of the nationalist intelligentsia, which was the most influential lobby in Malan’s National Party (NP), almost without exception defended apartheid not as an expression of white superiority but on the grounds of its assumed capacity to reduce conflict by curtailing points of interracial contact. …
… READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN is “Apartheid In Black And White: Survivalism, Not Racism” (Part 2). It is now on Townhall.com. You can also read it on the Unz Review and WND.Com