The reconstructing of South Africa to make it survive

2014-03-09 18:06

Humankind has always deployed the interaction of all his thinking faculties to reconstruct for the better his environment since the dawn of history.

As we celebrate 20 years of Democracy we have to look ahead and ask ourselves deeper profound questions. Because on the whole and what it comes down to is that this country is not functioning as it should be; all sorts of things are going wrong. What is the root cause?

I am, in addition to other important  things I do, a philosopher by training and persuasion. The metaphysical anthropology of Martin Heidegger, the Idealism of Hegel, Immanuel Kant’s systematic philosophy, mathematical philosophy of Blasé Pascal, Husserl’s phenomenology, Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophical investigations, the nihilism of Friedrich Nietzsche, the African philosophical perspectives by the first African medical doctor James Africanus were all part of both my undergraduate and postgraduate “studiorum schemata”. Above all perhaps I am largely influenced by the mightiest simple novel that ever came out of Africa; Things Fall Apart by Onye Igbo Chinua Achebe.

The vision of the new democratic South Africa that was born in 1994 should not have been a war against prejudice and racism. One cannot successfully fight what happens to be the canvass of human perception. Prejudice in itself is not wrong or negative. It is neutral. But what is absolutely wrong is the arrogance of pejorative prejudice.

Apartheid system on its native original nature was not bad, the only thing that was bad with apartheid is where a particular strain of prejudice, arrogates itself and put on the borrowed robes of superiority to others. This is the extremism of prejudice or one particular corrupt strain of prejudice that was the problem and the issue with the old South Africa. This is the corrupt stream of prejudice that butchers other groups, or barbecues those it considers heretics out of existence. By failing to go beneath the surface on this issue the new South Africa was established on wrong foundations. Fighting what is reality and nature is like fighting the wind. Nelson Mandela was a great man and he meant well and good in all what he did. His intention was the ultimate aim of bringing peace to the people of South Africa. But this roadmap, namely; reconciliation and the concept of rainbow nation which speaks of non racialism and sameness has been the problem with South Africa; it has proven to be faulty foundation to which the country is resting. The whole might of Nelson Mandela orthodoxy of reconciliation that lies on the bedrock and foundations of philosophical prisms of deracialing and detribalizing South Africa should be reviewed as we are moving forward beyond the 20 years of Democracy. We need to ask deeper questions. We all agree that currently the country is operating at the average level and precipitating into below par slowly but surely. From the faulty philosophical foundations arises all sorts of things. To mention a few, rising tides of mass community protests are experienced everywhere, police pathological brutality, antagonism among the races shown by powerful chronic waves of racial attacks and racial conflicts. Who will ever even think that our universities will be seedbeds for Hitler Youths in the new democratic South Africa? I lived during Apartheid and I have never heard or seen racism to the low demeaning scale where people are given human urine for a drink. It could have happened but I never seen or heard it. Why are these things increasing in the new South Africa? We have the unthinkable pathetic inner decline of moral culture in this new South Africa where you find people having vulgar drunken parties during funerals and dancing with skimpy vulgar dresses on graves. Did such pathological things happened during Apartheid? And the HIV/AIDS in South Africa is the highest across the globe. Much as we may try to rationalize HIV/AIDS the fact remains that in the majority of cases it is the results of moral decay and moral illness . We need to rethink our behaviors. Lasciviousness also is morally crude repulsive ugly life even if you don't get HIV/AIDS.   Lasciviousness is the results of condensed crooked thinking.  With a lasciviousness life you get the impression that you are living big - but the reality is that you are living hollow and empty.

The country's national sports codes from Springbok to Bafana Bafana are cases of chronic neurosis and seem to cry for psychological help.

All these things might appear unconnected and unrelated with what I am saying. But at the quantum level there is nothing unconnected in this world. There is, clearly, a hidden faulty national code.We need to shake off the pillars and tear down the foundations. I think it was wrong to focus the whole South Africa on fighting prejudice in what was called reconciliation and rainbow nation. When errors in thinking, either by commission or default, rises up into people’s ways of life, and through a long process of time and practice, and perpetual reinforcements and concomitant validations those errors gain colossal strength and weight and become people’s conventional realities and life patterns. Prejudice or segregation is part of human perception. In Africa long before the White man came, each tribe has always had flippant stereotypes of other tribes.

Let me go through ancient history to illustrate the point. History has always been the best teacher;

Alexander the Great, who was 20 years of age when he succeeded his father Philip as King of Macedonia and all the Greek cities, was a student of the great philosopher Aristotle. In 334 BC Alexander led the Greeks and Macedonians into Asian countries and conquered all the Asian countries from Afghanistan and beyond into Africa where he conquered Egypt and Libya. Ultimately he conquered the whole known world, and he did this within 12 years. He sought greatness in everything he did and he was considered more god than man.

Alexander the Great created an all out Empire that was followed up with a programme of fusion and massive racial mixing and blending seeking to make the Greeks and the Asians one great everlasting  Empire. What you might call a rainbow Empire.

But no matter how great Alexander was, reality and nature could not be bent to obey him; the difference between the Greeks and the people in and around Asia was too great.

Although the Greeks and the Asians intermingled in the workplaces, and business centres, and there were a lot of intermarriages taking place between the races, but none of these integration and mixing went very deep. As I said the difference was too great. There was no true cultural synthesis to make one great non racial nation as Alexander the Great dreamed and desired. Both races remained suspicious and contemptuous from one another even though they lived side by side.

And when Alexander died the whole monolithic behemoth of a Rainbow Empire was mutilated and finally fell to pieces and was gobbled up by the Romans.

Learn then this basic lesson: Prejudice as a way of life is at the centre of human perception. Prejudice is not bad or wrong, what is the problem with prejudice is that strain of prejudice that rises itself up to Oedipal incest like what Apartheid was doing.

In the next article in this series of celebrating 20 years of Democracy we shall see how this is so and what measures should be taken to place and position South Africa on solid golden foundations beyond the 20 years.

This is only the opening salvo.

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