After posting an article on News24.com yesterday, reproduced also on Praag.org, I mostly got favourable comments. However, there are two species of local critics who are always ready to accuse one of being racist or backward for not agreeing to the current corrupt and violent system in South Africa.
One is the radical black communist or nationalist who supports the ruling ANC and South African Communist Party. In his eyes, they can do no wrong, no matter how unjust and negative their policies. The other is a kind of radicalised English colonial who seems to have accomodated himself to the new system and somehow looks down upon his fellow whites, especially Afrikaners. They consider themselves to be arbiters of being “South African”.
In my reply to one such person on News24.com, I wrote:
What exactly is the identity of the “South African” in its current usage? A propensity to kill, rob and steal? An attachment to Britain? I sometimes think this country is ruled by ghosts or interlopers who just happen to be squatting around here. Who are you, for god’s sake?
Then, regarding a certain Lebeau Harper’s insinuations that I am really aspiring to “English standards”. I have to disappoint you there, milord. I am quite happy to be out in the bush with my fellow Afrikaners and like most of our poets and thinkers, I am much more attracted to the Continent of Europe than to the rather anaemic and decaying little tradition of the British isles. Uys Krige introduced Nadine Gordimer, another identityless Afrikaner-hater whose only talent is for stereotyping, to literature. Without Afrikaners, there would have been no classical music in South Africa, no modern indigenous architecture, no boerewors and koeksisters. We would have been just another Kenya full of colonial souls dreaming of a lost Empire, and being very philistine about it. Believe me, there is almost nothing of interest that has every been produced by your expatriate tribe on these shores, except your resentment and envy of the Afrikaner. Read Nietzsche on “ressentiment”, then you might understand both your mentality and that of the SA black elite, that oh so English ethnic group who share your pirate’s values. Just remember that Elizbeth I set off the Empire by embracing the pirates… No wonder you feel so at home in the criminalised New South Africa.
Apart from our attachment to European music and high culture, we have a lot more in common with Americans than the British. We are both pioneer nations who share a love of guns, horse-riding and candour. Our experience and that of the South is very similar, having both lost a war and later being subjected to affirmative action, dispossession of our schools and universities and so on.
But ultimately, of course, we know exactly who we are and have developed our own unique African civilisation that is very different to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, being founded on a Western aesthetic and a self-help principle, unlike the curio-type “African look” with its masks, drums and hides and the aid culture of so many African states.