Sunday, April 29, 2012

Alan Paton Apartheid Cry The Beloved Country

Way back in 1948 just before the nationalist party won the general election and apartheid really took hold, Alan Paton’s book, Cry The beloved Country was published. Because of its subject matter it was of course banned in South Africa being, a protest against the society that would shortly give rise to apartheid.
“I see only one hope for our country, and that is when white men and black men . . . desiring only the good of their country, come together to work for it. . . . I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating.”
The book has sold over fifteen million copies worldwide; been filmed twice, adapted for the stage and gave birth to a musical, Lost In The Stars. It is still used as a set book in some schools.
Does the sentiment of cry the beloved country still apply? The answer must be yes. Not because love has turned to hate except in some instances but although, like other African countries, it has not turned into a dictatorship such as the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe, it is poverty stricken, riddled with crime, nepotism, and corruption. The few rich get richer; the poor stay poor or get poorer, destruction of infrastructure mainly due to crime is rampant.  What made me think about this is an e-mail I received:-   LONDON TIMES - QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Interesting point of view regarding Affirmative Action: "South Africa is the only country in the world where affirmative action is in the favour of the majority who has complete political control. The fact that the political majority requires affirmative action to protect them against a 9% minority group is testament to a complete failure on their part to build their own wealth making structures, such that their only solution is to take it from others."
Finally, a word recently coined to describe South Africa's current political situation.

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc'-ra-cy)

- a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.
I passed this on to another South African and received the following in reply:- The Nats were so concerned with saving their language that they overlooked everything else. A white male doesn't have a snowball's chance of finding a job, and if he starts his own firm, half the directors must be from the "formerly disadvantaged" segments of the populace; the employees must not be chosen on ability, but also on racial principles. So racism is worse now than under apartheid, when ability did allow a non-white to get a job, start a firm or practise a profession.
Yes, it was inevitable, given the constitution.

Now I am going to say something that will cause the hackles of all liberals to stand vertically so please accept that I am not racist and I am not anti-Semitic. I can honestly say without tongue in cheek that some of my best friends etcetera. The Jews have contributed immensely to our world in art, in music, in literature, in science, in philosophy, what has Africa contributed that is of a benefit to mankind? I can’t help wondering, if colonialism hadn’t taken place what would sub-Sahara Africa be like today? Like it was four hundred years ago? It’s an interesting question.

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