PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Eugene King
 
Comments: 16
Article views: 1031
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Eugene King's badges.
 

The Mecca of Hyper Individualism

17 January 2014, 17:56

I consider myself a Pan Africanist, and also a young progressive South African. As a Pan Africanist, I hold a view that just as much as African people all over the world share a common history, they also in the same vain share a common destiny. In order words, I believe that the fate of all African people and countries is inextricably intertwined. Holding such a perspective in life helps me escape the narrow concern with self-interest and self-preservation.

As a young progressive on the other hand, I reject the obsession with archaic cultural and traditional practices. I believe human civilisation (wherever it is found), although repetitive in many aspects, it is a dynamic and flexible process in which humans use culture and tradition to serve a specific purpose in a specific time. In order words, cultural and traditional practices and thoughts are dynamic and progressive, not stagnant and limiting. In my view then, culture and tradition are slaves of man, and not the other way around.

So I’m an individual who is willing to learn from other cultures and traditions, and more than willing to exchange my cultural and traditional practises and thoughts for those that are superior and/or more effective at any given time.  

Growing up in a typical African home and community, I was able to assimilate a lot from the practices and thought processes in my family and my immediate community. Many things I learned about a typical African perspective of the world I picked up as I observed the world around me growing up, instead of being formally taught.

 In my short life thus far, I have been able to interact with many other cultures and worldviews, but none more so than the western perspective, owing to the history of South African colonization. Since I’m not an individual who takes up anything without any critical reflection, I have had to wrestle with (and still wrestling) with some (if not most) western values and views.

I’d like to use this as a preface to why over the years I have rejected many western values. I will specifically outline ‘Libertarianism’ in the context of this piece.

‘Libertarianism’ is a western political philosophy which upholds the primacy of the liberty of the individual as the highest political end. On the surface of it, this is very innocent and harmless, but when you dig a bit deeper you immediately see the rise of ‘hyper-individualism’.

‘Hyper-individualism’ can simply be defined as the tendency for people to think and act in a highly individual way, without any regard to the general society.

What does all this have to do with anything? Well, this here is actually the primary reason I decided to write this piece.

On Thursday, 16th January 2014, I read (with great sadness) an article written by Khaya Dlanga titled “I criticise the ANC, but I’ll vote for it”, in which he tries to give reasons why he will continue voting ANC, despite his criticism of it.

First of all, I must say it upfront that as a citizen of a democratic South Africa, anyone is at liberty to associate with, and vote for any political party of their choice. So I have no gripe at all with him voting for the ANC, but I’m still left to critically reflect on the reasons he has given to justify his choice.    

 In all the reasons Khaya Dlanga gives for his choice, he fails to give a broader perspective of the South African context. He fails to show the reader what the 20 year rule of ANC has meant for ALL South Africans. He fails to show what the GDP growth he so glorifies has meant for the ordinary and poor South African. He fails to show how the ANC has worked to meaningfully uplift many poor South Africans from poverty and hunger.

He fails to show us how the ANC has worked to reverse the effects of apartheid and colonisation in the dispossession of millions of Africans. He fails to show us how the ANC has worked to reduce unemployment and inequalities. He fails to show us how the ANC has worked to break the backbone of structural racism. He also fails to show us how the ANC has worked to bring about meaningful transformation in both the economic ownership and property relations.

No, instead Khaya Dlanga goes on and on about how he as an individual has benefited from the climate made possible by a democratic dispensation (which he misguidedly attribute to the ANC). The status quo seems perfectly fine with people like Khaya Dlanga, for as long as they as individuals have gone through the gate, all is well.

This has been the biggest shortcoming of the African middle class for a while now, they fail to locate themselves within the broader society; instead they see themselves as individuals with no connection at all to the collective. ‘Hyper Individualism’ leads to a loss of common purpose and a loss of empathy for the poor and marginalised.

Imagine for a second if Nelson Mandela held the same view. He was a rising star in the law fraternity, with a successful law practice. Imagine for a second he never looked beyond himself, and found extreme comfort in the benefits he was deriving for the system, and then concluded that there’s no need for a change of regime. Your guess is as good as mine.

The overarching attitude of some (if not most) of the African middle class in South Africa reminds me of a phrase in a song by one of the greatest ever kwaito artists, Zola, in which he says; “God for us all, Guluva for himself.”

@geno_brown       

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
16 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Terrylin Backpackers
The cheque is in the post

"I hear you are in bond collections. What are the latest excuses people are coming up with these days? I've run out of ideas." Read more...

4 comments 414 views
Submitted by
Meta
News in the digital age

How do you think that spreading your hate/bigotry and or intolerance helps anybody? Read more...

13 comments 950 views
Submitted by
Brian Faul
How and why a Dictator is born

One needs to remember looking back in history these hard times is when a dictator is more likely to get born. It is during these hard times that a dictator gets voted into power. Read more...

10 comments 1747 views
Submitted by
Prenisha Naidoo
I will be proactive...

This letter is in response to articles on the death of baby Jamie Naidoo, We have the tendency to be reactive…we wait for something to happen, then suddenly we care, writes a News24 User. Read more...

2 comments 427 views
Submitted by
woadstress
Celebration

Make a list of at least ten things that you can celebrate, and write two or three reasons why you can celebrate those things or events. Read more...

1 comments 149 views
Submitted by
Eric de Castro
Last squeak of the year

 Read more...

12 comments 203 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.