Friday, December 13, 2013

Why the West Wants to Make a Flawed Mandela a Saint !

As you get old and wiser one realizes that there has, for a long time now, been an enormous Western longing to find and celebrate a Third World leader as a saint. Lenin, Stalin and Mao enjoyed such acclaim at various stage, but so did, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Yasser Arafat, Hugo Chavez, and various other deadshits. In every case, they were found to have feet of clay or worse, they were selfish tin-pots with no vision for their people.

In the modern era, two men have enjoyed uncritical acclaim: Gandhi and Mandela. Yet Gandhi was a failed lawyer who had to leave India for South Africa to make a living. He denounced railways, modern medicine, hospitals and most elements of modern life. He also regarded South African blacks as mere savages and defended the Indian caste system. Besides in later life he slept naked with prepubescent girls and drank his own urine. Nelson Mandela had his full share of failings.

But in the case of Gandhi and Mandela, none of that seems to matter. This canonization seems to depend on a bottomless well of guilt about slavery, colonialism, and mistreatment of people of colour down the years. This is so obviously allied to a pursuit of the ''noble savage'' (ignoring the universal warring, raping, and kidnapping between rival tribes) and a longing to discover that somewhere, somehow, the Third World has discovered a new model, a new way which will transcend our fault-riven capitalism and our dead-end communism. It is as if by devoting oneself to one of these ''superheros'', one can receive absolution from that crushing burden of guilt.

What no one can take away is that Mandela showed extraordinary courage and fortitude through twenty-eight years in jail, and he adopted a generous attitude of forgiving his enemies when he emerged from jail. Otherwise, people exhibit an extraordinary amnesia. His presidential term started with the Shell House shootings, when ANC militants on the roof of ANC's headquarters used AK-47s to gun down Inkatha Freedom Party marchers in the streets of Johannesburg. Mandela simply refused to hand over either the murderers or their weapons, and attempted to justify this wholesale murder. Mandela and his ANC were about to turn South Africa into a Marxist country when they were bought off by the American Democrats and big multi-national business who showered the new black rulers with wealth and favorable international media coverage.

Then early in his term, Mandela's government laid off all the country's most experienced teachers, a blow from which the school system has never recovered. Mandela's administration also saw the passage of perhaps the most extreme labour laws in the world and radical affirmative action laws that saw the ruination of the civil service by mass replacement of skilled whites and Asians by mainly dumbass unskilled Africans. The civil service has also never recovered. His government also presided over a scandalous and extremely corrupt arms deal. I don't know if Mandela profited personally from this; the presumption is that he didn't. But corruption was slowly creeping into his administration.

Near the end of his administration he gave probably the most extreme speech given by any South African president when he suggested that thee was a vast conspiracy of opposition parties, NGOs and criminal gangs, al trying to overthrow the government. The object of the speech, quite transparently, was to lay out the rationale for his highly repressive measures. On top of that Mandela was quietly told that his mentions of HIV/AIDS were unpopular with black audiences so he shut up completely about the subject thereafter. Thus, it was under his administration that the disease grew to epidemic proportions in the country. Similarly, when the press criticised his ANC government he attacked it for being ''white-controlled'', even though most editors were already blank. So, despite his reputation for reconciliation, he was not slow to play the race card when it suited him.

The Way I See was troubling to see Nelson Mandela's embrace of terrorism and - even as president - his lauding of corrupt dictators and men of violence. That's why I see Mandela's memorial service as a disgrace - a showcase of tyrants to honor a man who preached freedom. Speaking at his funeral was the Marxist co-dictator of the Cuban regime, a vice-president of the unelected Chinese communist party and the president of Brazil, who had once served in jail for being a member of a Marxist guerrilla group. The sole speaker from Africa other than Zuma was the socialist president of Namibia who congratulated  the brutal Zimbabwean scumbag Robert Mugabe for winning the rigged elections in July.

This white-washing of tyrants worked brilliantly, thanks in part to Barack Obama letting himself be used as a dupe:  Before he was caught taking "selfies" of himself  with British Prime Minister David Cameron and flirting with Denmark's pretty prime minister (much to Michelle's chagrin), Obama was on his way to the podium, when he unexpectedly stopped to shake hands with Cuban President Raul Castro and then President Mugabe. The crowd signalled its sympathies with the men of hate and oppression by giving them big cheers and massive applause but booed Zuma three times every time he and his four wives appeared on the big screens. Beware the sanctification of Mandela....beside his flaws, the good he did will be used to license evil.

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