I have always been under the impression that the black mans’ struggle, was for freedom, for equal rights and equal opportunity, as those that the white man in South Africa has been afforded. I now wonder if I have either misunderstood black South Africans’ reasons for their struggle, or, have I been lied to.
Some 20 years after democracy and ANC rule came to South Africa, lack of service delivery; low education standards, corruption, high unemployment and growing disenchantment amongst young black South Africans are all still blamed on apartheid. How so? What has a permanently blocked drain in 2013 or our presidents’ buddies that land at air force bases and run mines without licences; have to do with this “legacy of apartheid”?
An article written by a Kenyan asks why 50 years after independence, Kenyans are still blaming colonialism for its failures and underdevelopment and why Kenyans keep voting for those that merely promise citizens better futures, having never delivered on past promises.
The following explanation is offered. “The average Kenyan is extremely frustrated by their present situation. They feel that their lives are spoiled and cannot find any worthwhile purpose in self-advancement, so instead of doing the best with what they have, and seeking further education, experience and prospects – they would rather seek a new life, a rebirth, a chance to acquire new elements of pride and confidence.
The Kenyan political class are well aware of the average Kenyans feelings and so continue to dope voters with hope of the future while cheating them out of fulfilment in the present and blaming Kenya’s failures on colonialism. “
Nietzsche wrote the following.
“Ressentiment is a reassignment of the pain that accompanies a sense of one’s own inferiority/failure onto an external scapegoat. The ego creates the illusion of an enemy, a cause that can be “blamed” for one’s own inferiority/failure. Thus, one was thwarted not by a failure in oneself, but rather by an external “evil”; one suddenly conceives oneself to be oppressed rather than merely weak.”
One need only look next door to hear of own failures being blamed on external scapegoats. The mad, yet brilliant, Mugabe, claims that the evil British are the cause of most of Zimbabwe’s woes, (as per Nietzsche’s illusion of an enemy).
An imaginary enemy, many Africans are proud to say that Mugabe has defeated, by “taking back the land” from white Zimbabwean citizens and plunging the country into food shortages and economic chaos. All Mugabe has done is to infect Zimbabwean society with an evil that did not exist, and present himself and his party as the cure.
Just over 40% of the 5 million hectares Mugabe seized from white farmers are now owned by Mugabe and his cronies, including 16 high court judges. This has resulted in agricultural production falling by 60 % since “land reform” began.
Zimbabwe has no shortage of farmland for everyone who is able to farm responsibly. It just needs to be developed. Mugabe’s land reform was never about giving people land; it was about Mugabe staying in power. To accomplish this he bought loyalty from cronies by handing out confiscated farms and was able to take revenge on his imagined and created enemy, much to the delight of many.
It is amongst those that have a little, yet seek more, and have low self-esteem, that we find the people all too ready to blame their circumstances on an external evil. These too are the people that hate and fear freedom and equal opportunity.
They hate and fear a free society, because in a free market system one is continually tested and measured, and quickly shown up if they are lacking. What freedom hater’s want, is a society or an organization, they can hide behind, one where they cannot be seen as inferior and with a reason or enemy on which to blame their shortcomings.
Secretly, however, what they really desire, is revenge, and to become just like their oppressors- they want equality, not equal rights and equal opportunity.
Politicians in Africa know that the very poor will vote for them for the promise of a bag of maize meal, the very poor have no dreams; they have no complaints, and survive as best they can today.
African leaders know all too well that it is those with grievances and that can afford to, that bite the hand that feeds them. However, African leaders also know that those that bite the hand that feeds them are the very people that are most likely to kiss the boots that kick them.
Despots like Mugabe can awake each morning safe in the knowledge that he has the support of the very poor and also those whose loyalty he has bought. For those who lack self-esteem and seek vengeance, Mugabe has created an evil on which to blame their shortcomings.
Mad Bobs’ only two important decisions each morning, is whose loyalty to buy with confiscated property, and the other is to decide whether to “feed” those who have grievances against him and chance getting bitten, or whether to kick them and have his boots kissed. I don’t think that Bob Mugabe finds this a difficult decision to make.
Eric Hoffer wrote that the oppressed do not fight for freedom, but rather for power to oppress, and for retaliation. One only had to hear the cheers for Mugabe at Mandela’s memorial service to realize this as fact.
How can people champion a man whose country has 95% unemployment? How can people applaud a man, from whose country, millions of citizens have fled and are economic refugees? How can people cheer a man in whose country, human rights abuses carried out by the state, is the norm?
I believe that the Kenyan writer hit the nail on the head regarding Kenya’s, and Africa’s great problem. IE: That the people of Africa would rather seek a new life, a rebirth, a chance to acquire new elements of pride and confidence than take on the incredibly hard, but rewarding task of “fixing the present” and self-advancement.
African leaders and governments, therefor can, and will, continue to dope voters with hope of the future while cheating them out of fulfilment in the present.
So, black compatriots answer this whitey. Is the Kenyan writer, Nietzsche and Eric Hoffer correct?
And, was it REALLY freedom, democracy, equal rights and equal opportunity you struggled for, or is it the “equality” to be like your previous oppressors, that you now seek so passionately?
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