The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Sunday, December 15, 2013

2013 in Retrospect

In the decades after the Second World War, the governments of the West adopted a number of policies that were bad enough on their own but taken together were disastrous for their countries. One of those policies was the anti-natalist social engineering, such as the development of cheap artificial birth control, abortion on demand, and the reduction of marriage to a contract easily broken and without penalty, that has driven Western fertility rates down below population replacement level. Another was liberal immigration, in which immigrants from non-Western countries have been admitted at rates that are unprecedentedly high and at times when domestic unemployment rates have also been high, in order to replace the children Western people are not having due to the previous set of policies. A third policy is multiculturalism in which the government decides that the country will change to adapt to the new immigrants rather than requiring that they change to adapt to their new country. Finally, there is the policy of squelching opposition to these policies by means that range from the relatively mild means of name-calling, i.e. labeling opponents of the policies as “racists” to the more draconian measures of anti-discrimination, “hate propaganda” and other so-called “human rights” laws. (1)

Those brave souls who have dared to speak out against this insane abuse of Western peoples by their own liberal, democratic, governments, have often found themselves occupying the role of Cassandra, the Trojan princess who, having spurned the advances of Apollo after he gave her the gift of prophetic sight, was cursed to go unheeded and ignored by those who needed the truths she uttered, but thought her mad for uttering them.

This year saw the sapphire and ruby anniversaries of two such Cassandra moments. The twentieth of April was the forty-fifth anniversary of Enoch Powell’s famous Birmingham address warning about the consequences of immigration that is still remembered and talked about as his “Rivers of Blood” speech. (2) This year was also the fortieth anniversary of the original French publication of Jean Raspail’s prophetic, dystopic, novel, The Camp of the Saints, which depicts a Western world, weakened by liberalism, unable to summon up the conviction necessary to preserve its own existence when faced with an invasion by those armed only with their own poverty and need. (3)

Less impressively, this year was also the eleventh or steel anniversary of the publication of the book in which Diane Francis presented arguments against Canada’s liberal immigration policies, the incompetency with which they are administered, and the failure of a refugee system that has made us the laughing stock of the world. (4) Written in the aftermath of 9-11, in this book the National Post editor and columnist made valid arguments on the basis of economic and national security concerns, while doing her very best to ignore completely the heart of the problem with liberal immigration, as I described it in my first paragraph. I mention this only because this year Francis has provided us with a much stronger argument for limits and restrictions on immigration.

Harper Collins has just released her new book, Merger of the Century. (5) In this book she argues, on the basis of the perceived economic advantage to both countries, that Canada and the United States should become one country. By doing so, she has by her personal example, given us an excellent argument for being more careful about whom we let into the country. Diane Francis is American born. She immigrated to Canada in the 1960s, so that her British born husband could avoid being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. Now, she has written a book length argument for a union that would in practice mean the swallowing up of her adopted country by her country of birth. The kind of immigrant that comes to Canada to advocate our take over by the United States is exactly the kind of immigrant we do not need. This is especially the case when they add insult to injury by making the proposal at a time when the United States is under the extreme mismanagement of a buffoon like Barack Obama.

This, incidentally, is an excellent reason for maintaining the law that requires newcomers to swear an oath of loyalty to our head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, and her heirs in order to obtain citizenship. Earlier this year, three malcontents sued the government in an attempt to get this requirement overturned, claiming that it was unconstitutional and violated their human rights. (6) Thankfully the judge that heard that case had the common sense, a commodity extremely rare these days, especially on the judicial bench, to rule against them. (7)

That common sense, unfortunately, is not shared by the man who, equally unfortunately, represents the constituency in which I dwell as our Member of Parliament. That man is Pat Martin for whom, I can thankfully say, I have never voted and, unless I am suddenly stricken by some form of insanity, never shall vote. Earlier this year, even before the court case referred to above had made the news, Martin had declared his desire for legislation that would remove the oath from our citizenship requirements. He was quoted as saying “It’s just so fundamentally wrong. These people are from all over the world — Paraguay and the Congo and the Philippines and Vietnam. Why are they swearing loyalty to some colonial vestigial appendage from the House of Windsor? It’s bizarre really.” (8) While this goes back to what I was saying earlier about the insanity of multiculturalism, in which a country decides to change its institutions and ways to accommodate new immigrants rather than require them to adapt to its institutions and ways, it apparently never occurred to Martin that these people from all over the world knew full well that in moving to Canada they were moving to a constitutional monarchy within the British Commonwealth and by so moving here indicated that this was not a problem to them and perhaps that it was part of what attracted them to the country in the first place. Martin, as the National Post article from which I took that quotation indicates, ultimately wants more than just to scrap the citizenship oath, he wants to sever Canada’s ties to the monarchy. This, and the utterly disrespectful language he used in speaking of that institution, is utterly inappropriate for a member of Her Majesty’s “Loyal” Opposition.

Of course, the monarchy is not the only Canadian institution that has come under attack from that supposedly loyal Opposition this year. Martin was expressing his own private views which are not officially endorsed by his party, the New Democrats. It is, however, the official policy of the New Democratic Party to support the abolition of the Senate, the upper house in the Canadian Parliament, and Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair made a major nuisance of himself this past fall by going across the country trying to win support for such abolition.

In doing so he was seeking to capitalize on the public exposure of the misdoings of now-suspended Conservative Senators Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin, both of whom seemed to be in the news more often this year over their alleged abuse of their Senate expense accounts than in their entire previous careers as broadcasters. Whatever the facts may be in the Duffy and Wallin cases, Mulcair, in using these cases to build support for the abolition of the Senate displayed the same astonishing lack of perspective and comparative judgement that he showed when he opposed allowing Canadian born, Canadian raised, Lord Conrad Black back into Canada because of his conviction in the United States for a financial crime while at the same time campaigning for the return to Canada of Omar Khadr, who, while born here, had been raised in Pakistan, and had been captured by the Americans in Afghanistan where he had taken up arms against Canada and her allies. Khadr’s claims upon Canada are far less substantial and more nominal than those of Lord Black, and his crimes far more serious, but such considerations appear to be of no consequence to Thomas Mulcair. Similarly, to make the financial misdoings of particular Senators a cause for abolishing the Senate itself, which as an institution is one of the three fundamental elements of our traditional parliamentary monarchy, is to grotesquely miscalculate the difference between the importance of maintaining our constitutional institutions and that of punishing the abuse of office. You do not throw out a time-honoured, traditional institution because one or two members of that institution have done wrong. Not if you have any sense of perspective.

If I know the NDP at all I suspect that Diane Francis’ new book is not likely to be well received among their membership. While this in and of itself speaks well for the socialist party, which is not something that can be said very often, it raises a curious question. Presumably, the objection which New Democrats would have to being absorbed by the United States is that Canada and everything that makes Canada Canadian would therein be lost, which is an excellent objection. How do the members of the NDP square their Canadian nationalism with their party’s hostility to Canada’s history, heritage, traditions, and most of its institutions?

An even bigger question is raised by those members of the Conservative Party who have indicated their support for the NDP’s call for Senate abolition. (9) The Conservative Party is supposed to be the party of continuity, tradition, and national institutions. Conservative thought is supposed to be rooted in classical political philosophy and medieval Christian political theology as mediated and interpreted in the traditions that have come down to us today. Classical political philosophy favoured a constitution in which the principles of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy were mixed and balanced, such as the parliamentary monarchy system that evolved in Great Britain and became part of our Canadian heritage. How can a conscientious Conservative support the abolition of an essential element of that constitution? (10)

Of course the Conservative Party of today is not the Conservative Party of yesterday. This year is the tenth anniversary of the merger which formed the present Conservative Party, uniting what was left of the Progressive Conservative Party (11) with the Canadian Alliance which had been formed out of a previous merger of most of the PC Party and the western populist Reform Party. When the merger took place, I, who had left the old Conservative Party to join the Reform Party in the 1990s out of disgust with the direction the old Party had gone under Brian Mulroney, declined to join the new party on the grounds that it was most likely going to combine the worst of both parties rather than the best of both parties. In other words it was likely to combine the anti-patriotism often present in the Reform Party and her frequent desire to abandon Canadian traditions and institutions for American ones with the Progressive Conservative Party’s refusal to take seriously the grievances of the western provinces against central Canada and her willingness to rubber stamp the intrusive progressive social engineering of the other parties. It should have combined the old Tory Party’s Canadian nationalism and respect for Canada’s traditions and institutions with the Reform Party’s support for pro-business policies and traditional social mores.

Ten years later, I think my prediction has largely been born out, although Harper’s Conservatives have on occasion surprised me. This summer, for example, they finally got their act together and passed the bill which will abolish Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act one year from the day it received royal assent. (12) Of course they should have abolished the entire Canadian Human Rights Act while they were at it. Passed into law by the Trudeau Liberals back in 1977, the only thing this vile piece of legislation does is allow Canadians who are members of groups deemed to be “vulnerable” and therefore needing protection, to accuse other Canadians of discriminating against them and sue them for it. It was and is a disgusting act of social engineering designed to program people so that they will think in ways that the progressive movement and the government approves and not to think in ways of which they disapprove. Thankfully, the death warrant for its worst clause has been signed. The Harper government continues, however, to support, on various pretexts, legislation for policing the internet that might, in the long run, prove even more dangerous in the hands of progressive social engineers than Section 13 was.

There is probably more that I will later wish that I included in this year’s recap but I am going to end it here on that admittedly less than positive note. This will be my last essay for this year, as I am going to be busy with Christmas celebrations in the next couple of weeks and wish to reserve the rest of my time for reading rather than writing. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and if the Lord tarries will resume posting early in the New Year.




(4) Diane Francis, Immigration: The Economic Case, (Toronto: Key Porter Books, 2002).

(5) Diane Francis, Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country, (New York and Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., 2013).





(10) There is a clear need for the institution to undergo some sort of reform. My proposals for a form of Senate reform that does not do violence to Canada’s traditions and constitution can be found here: I also recommend two articles that a blogger who goes under the internet handle “Alberta Royalist” recently contributed as a guest blogger at the excellent MadMonarchist blog: “The Problem With the Canadian Senate”, and “A Case For a Canadian House of Lords”

(11) “Progressive Conservative” is a contradiction in terms, but this contradiction, unfortunately, is the title under which the party which formed Canada’s first national government was known before it merged into the current Conservative Party. At the provincial level it is still called by this contradictory title.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Apartheid in Perspective

There are many evils that can be charged to the account of the late twentieth- century phenomenon that is commonly called political correctness. One of these is the growing inability to perceive certain historical figures, events, and institutions with anything worthy of being called perspective. In the last century alone, movements and organizations committed to the political philosophy of Marxist-Leninism murdered the bodies of over one hundred million people and the spirits of millions more whom they forced into the dreary, hopeless, slave like existence that passed for life in the police states that flew the red flag. Yet to this day it is far safer for someone in academic or media circles to praise a Communist government, to dismiss the fear of Communism as irrational paranoia, and to say that the Americans were the aggressors in the Cold War, than it is for someone in those same circles to say anything that could be construed as a defense of General Franco of Spain or General Pinochet of Chile even though there was far more freedom and prosperity for the average citizen under either of their regimes than in any Communist country and the number of people tortured and killed by their regimes was far lower than that of any Communist country. Any attempt to put both Communism and the anti-Communist regimes of Franco and Pinochet in perspective is likely to be met with widespread denunciation and accusations that one is engaging in apologetics for “human rights” abuses.

Virtually anything having to do with Africa is similarly protected from perspective by political correctness.

Take the slave trade for example. We know all about it, don’t we? The bad guys, the white Europeans, in the age of exploration came to Africa, where they began to capture and enslave black people, who they shipped overseas to Europe and the European settlements in the Americas, where they were oppressed as drudge labourers.

Suppose, however, we were to broaden our perspective on African slavery by including within our picture of it the fact that slavery existed on the African continent long before European ships arrived on her west coast, that African slavery had begun with African tribes going to war with one another and enslaving each other, that the Arabs had conducted a trade in African slaves centuries prior to Europe’s getting involved, and that one of the consequences of modern European expansionism, colonialism, and imperialism was that the imperial powers ended and outlawed the slave trade in the nineteenth century, and abolished slavery in the territory under their control? Suppose we were to broaden our perspective even further by pointing out that since the end of World War II, which had accomplished a geopolitical realignment around the two new superpowers of the USA and USSR, who forced the old imperial powers to withdraw, slavery has begun anew in parts of Africa where it had been abolished by Britain, France, and the Dutch.? Suppose we were to point out, as Professor Bruce Charlton recently did (1), that due to liberal immigration and multiculturalism slavery has been reintroduced into the birthplace of abolitionism and is largely being ignored by the leftists who promote multiculturalism in contradiction to their professed opposition to slavery in all forms?

From that broader perspective it no longer appears to be a simple Manichean morality tale of evil whites and pure, innocent, oppressed blacks does it?

There is probably no element of African history that is more lacking in perspective than that of apartheid. Apartheid is the word in the Afrikaans language that refers, as its sound would suggest to English speakers, the state of being apart or separate. In 1948, when the Nationalist Party came to power in South Africa, it adopted this term to designate its policy of racial segregation.

The government of South Africa picked a particularly poor time to institute this policy. World War II was over, the revelations of the atrocities of Nazi Germany had given racialism a bad name, the anti-colonial, anti-imperial era was beginning under the supervision of the new progressive superpowers, the Communists were at work trying to fan the flames of anti-racist sentiment into the fire of revolution, and in the United States, now the leading power of the liberal, democratic, West, the Civil Rights movement would soon be underway, which would lead to the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, the model for subsequent anti-discrimination legislation such as the 1968 Race Relations Bill in the UK and the 1977 Canadian Human Rights Act. The way the tides of opinion were moving, it was inevitable that apartheid would receive widespread condemnation. Interestingly, the one country that understood perfectly well where the Afrikaners were coming from, itself achieved its independence as a country that same year. After the Six Days War in 1967, Israel and South Africa forged a close alliance, signing the Israel-South Africa Agreement in 1975. Today, enemies of the Jewish state liken the measures she has taken to preserve her existence in the face of the constant threat of Arab and Muslim terrorism to apartheid. Her defenders reject the comparison as a calumny, perhaps because they, unlike the country they are defending, lack perspective on apartheid.

It is fitting, therefore, that of those essays with which I am familiar, the one which in my opinion best put apartheid into perspective, appeared in an extremely pro-Israeli publication. The author of the essay was British writer and historian Paul Johnson. In an article that appeared in the September 1985 issue of the American neoconservative monthly journal Commentary, (2) Johnson took the United States to task for the economic boycott of South Africa then underway. It was a “cruel absurdity”, he declared, for the richest country in the world to “deliberately set about destroying the economy of what is in some respects still a developing nation.” (3) The United States had nothing to gain from doing so and much to lose. The only explanation for this absurdity, Johnson argued, was that “assumption that the South African regime is a unique moral evil, whose wickedness is so great that the necessity for its destruction transcends all the rules governing relations between states and, indeed, the dictates of elementary common sense.”

He then proceeded to demolish that assumption by pointing out that South Africa, far from being unique, is “in many fundamental respects…a typical African country.” He gave six examples, the first four of which are 1) that like other African states it was undergoing a population explosion, 2) like other large African states its racial problems were particularly complex and not just a matter of black and white, 3) “population pressure on the land is driving people into the towns, and especially into the big cities”, and 4) like in other African states this creates problems for the government to which the response is typical:

So governments respond with what has become the curse of Africa—social engineering. People are treated not as individual human beings but as atomized units and shoveled around like concrete or gravel. Movement control is imposed. Every African has to have a grubby little pass-book or some other begrimed document which tells him where he is allowed to work or live. South Africa has had pass-laws of a kind since the 18th century. They have now spread all over the African continent, and where the pass-book comes the bulldozer is never far behind. Virtually all African governments use them to demolish unauthorized settlements. Hundreds of thousands of wretched people are made homeless without warning by governments terrified of being overwhelmed by lawless multitudes. In the black African countries bordering on the Sahara, the authorities fight desperately to repel nomadic desert dwellers driven south by drought. When the police fail, punitive columns of troops are sent in. (4)

The fifth example Johnson gave was that South Africa, like all African states, conducts its social engineering on a racial basis. He wrote:

All African states are racist. Almost without exception, and with varying degrees of animosity, they discriminate against someone: Jews, or whites, or Asians, or non-Muslim religious groups, or disfavored tribes. There is no such thing as a genuinely multiracial society in the whole of Africa…African countries vary in the extent to which their practice of discrimination is formalized or entrenched in law codes and official philosophies. Most have political theories of a sort, cooked up in the political-science or sociology departments of local universities. Tanzania has a sinister totalitarian doctrine called Ujaama. Ghana has Consciencism. There is Zambian Humanism, Négritude in Senegal, and, in Zaire, a social creed called Mobutuism, after the reigning dictator. All these government theories reflect the appetites of the ruling racial groups… Apartheid is not a concept which divides the Republic from the rest of Africa: on the contrary, it is the local expression of the African ideological personality. (5)

This, it should be noted, has changed since the change in power from the Afrikaner National Party to the African National Congress in 1994. Not only does the ANC, despite the false image of the “rainbow nation” generated by a deceitful media, practice discrimination against the white South Africans who are currently being eliminated in a Zimbabwesque manner, the ANC is not even representative of all South Africa blacks, being historically a primarily Xhosa organization, (6) although its current leader, Jacob Zuma, comes from the rival Zulu people.

The sixth way, in which Johnson said that South Africa was typical of Africa was in the way it had suffered “at the hands of its politically minded intellectuals”.

Having demonstrated that in all of these negative things Nationalist South Africa was a typical, rather than unique, African state, Johnson then identified four ways in which it stood out by differing from other African states. The first two of these were its wealth, “South Africa has by far the richest and most varied range of natural resources of any African country”, and the fact that it had used that wealth to build a modern economy, the only one of its kind in Africa. The third was that blacks were better off in white-governed South Africa than any other country in Africa. Here another extended quote from Johnson is in order:

Except for the Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Malawi, all the black African states have experienced falls in real incomes per capita since independence. But only in South Africa have the real incomes of blacks risen very substantially in the last quarter-century. In mining, black wages have tripled in real terms in the last decade and are still rising…This helps to account for the fact that there are more black-owned cars in South Africa than there are private cars in the whole of the Soviet Union. The Republic is the first and so far the only African country to produce a large black middle class. In South Africa the education available to blacks is poor compared to what the whites get, and that is one of the biggest grievances the black communities harbor; but it is good compared to what is available elsewhere on the continent…Thanks to mining, again, this modest but rising prosperity is not confined to blacks born in South Africa. About half of South Africa’s black miners come from abroad, chiefly from Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Botswana…The security fences South Africa is now rather anxiously erecting are designed to keep intended immigrants out, not—like the Berlin Wall—to keep people in. (7)

The fourth way in which Nationalist South Africa differed from other African countries is that was “in many respects a free country.” Johnson explained that:

Every other African country has become, or is in the process of becoming, a one-party state. None of them subscribes in practice, or in most cases even in theory, to the separation of powers. Both the rule of law and democracy are subject in South Africa to important qualifications. But it is the only African country where they exist at all. The emergency and security powers enjoyed by the South African government are so wide and draconian that they almost make us forget that the judiciary is independent—very much so—and that even non-whites can get justice against the state, something they are most unlikely to secure anywhere else on the continent. The courts are cluttered with black litigants suing the police, the prison authorities, or other government agencies, or appealing against sentences. (8)

To summarize, the things which the anti-apartheid movement most objected to in Nationalist South Africa – its official racial discrimination, its heavy handed government policing, etc., were all features that the South African government shared with all other African governments, that were not uniquely South African, per se, but rather were typically African. It made no sense, therefore, to single South Africa out for condemnation. The only difference was that in South Africa the governing group was white whereas in all other African countries – now that Ian Smith’s government had fallen and Rhodesia was being turned into Zimbabwe – it was black. Since the conditions for blacks were improving in Nationalist South Africa, to the point that they had an immigration problem from the rest of the continent, whereas they were rapidly declining in the rest of Africa, it made even less sense to condemn South Africa.

Since the ANCs rise to power in 1994, conditions in South Africa have deteriorated for blacks and whites alike. What was a first world country when governed by the Afrikaners is becoming a third world country, in which the white South Africans face genocide and the black South Africans face the deterioration of the rule and protection of law, a failing economy, and a decline into the conditions present everywhere else in Africa. Those South Africans who can, black and white alike, are now fleeing the country, while under Afrikaner rule they were struggling to get in.

What is apparent out of all of this is that South Africa was a better place to live, for blacks and whites alike, from 1948 to 1994, than either any other country in Africa was at the time or than South Africa itself has been ever since.

This does not mean, of course, either that the policy of apartheid made the difference between South Africa then and South Africa now, or that apartheid is somehow justified by all of this. What made the difference between South Africa then and South Africa now is that South Africa then, the prosperous, Western, country, was largely an expression of the Afrikaner people who built the country, established its institutions, and wrote its laws. As such an expression, the country of South Africa was a country that Afrikaners, other African whites, and African blacks all wished to participate in. Apartheid, of course, prevented the other people living in South Africa, other than non-Afrikaner whites, from full participation, and that is wherein its injustice lies. The difficulty is that apart from apartheid, that South Africa would probably have been impossible to create.

All of which must be taken into consideration if we are to even approach perspective, when it comes to apartheid and the whole South African situation.


(2) Commentary has been published since 1945 when it was founded by the American Jewish Committee as a replacement for the Contemporary Jewish Record. Its first editor was Eliot Cohen, who was succeeded by Norman Podhoretz in 1960. It was during Podhoretz’s editorship that the journal ostensibly moved to the right, when Podhoretz, initially a Cold War liberal Democrat, grew disgusted with the pro-Soviet, pro-Palestinian, New Left in the 1970s and realigned himself and his publication with the American conservative movement. Hence the label “neoconservative”, which in an American context generally refers to a member of the “New York Intellectuals” who moved from the left to the right in the 1970s and who is usually belligerently militaristic. Commentary gradually became independent of the American Jewish Committee. Its current editor is John Podhoretz, son of Norman Podhoretz, and it remains extremely, to the point of being obnoxiously so, pro-Israel.

(3) Paul Johnson, “The Race for South Africa”, Commentary, September, 1985. (if you wish to view this, you will have to part with some shekels, I am afraid, either a subscription price or the purchase price of the article)

(4) Ibid.

(5) Ibid.

(6) See Ilana Mercer’s Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (Seattle: Stairway Press, 2011) for more information about this.

(7) Johnson, op cit.

(8) Ibid.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mandela: Man and Myth

People all around the word love stories. Stories inspire us, entertain us, and teach us. The Greeks called them mythoi, and it is from this word that our English word myth is derived. Our use of the word myth has been largely shaped by positivistic thinking. The positivists believed that human thought evolved from an understanding of the world that is primitive and false to an understanding of the world that is advanced and true through stages of myth, theology/metaphysics, and science. Thus, today, we usually use the word myth in one of two ways. In ordinary conversation we use it to mean a story that is or has been believed to be true but is not actually true. There is a more technical use of the word in which it means a story shared by a large number of people who collectively find some deeper significance and meaning in the story that helps them to make sense of the world, their place in it, and how they ought to live their lives. This is how the word myth is used by various sorts of social scientists and critics.

Around the world today, many people are mourning the death of a man around whom a contemporary myth, in the second technical sense of the word, has been built.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, was born into the leading clan of the Thembu people in South Africa, on July 18th, 1918. On Thursday, December 5th, 2013, he passed away from a lung infection at ninety-five years of age. Much of the life he lived between those two dates is, for better or worse, a significant part of the history of the second half of the twentieth century. Like many who study and practice law, he was attracted to politics as a young man, and in particular the politics of the African National Congress. The ANC was a party founded a few years before Mandela’s birth that was Marxist-socialist in ideology and which was organized to be the voice and champion of the black African population of South Africa. The young Mandela became an activist for the ANC and in 1961 he was one of the founders and the first leader of the Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), an affiliate of the ANC that sought to obtain the party’s ends through guerilla warfare. Arrested the following year, on a charge of inciting strikes, he was later charged on several accounts of sabotage and conspiracy, and sentenced to prison. He would remain a prisoner until 1990, the bulk of his sentence being served at Robben Island, after which he was moved to Pollsmoor Prison and then briefly to Victor Verster from which he was released. After his release, he was made leader of the ANC and in 1994 became President of South Africa when the ANC won that first post-apartheid election. His party has remained in power in South Africa ever since, although he resigned the presidency and the leadership of the party in 1999.

Having briefly summarized the life of Mandela the man in the previous paragraph, let us now turn our attention to Mandela the myth. The first part of the myth has to do with his pre-1994 days as an ANC activist and a prisoner. According to this part of the myth, Mandela was guided by strict moral principles as he fought for a noble cause, and is arrest and imprisonment at the hands of the South African regime had nothing to do with any wrongdoing of his own, but was a politically motivated act of injustice, which so outraged people around the world that it inspired them to take up the anti-apartheid cause and demand both his release and a change to South Africa’s policies.

The second part of the myth has to do with his actions during and after his rise to power in 1994. According to this part of the myth, Mandela was a gracious and forgiving man, who was determined to heal the divisions in his country and create racial unity, and so he insisted upon a policy of fairness and forgiveness towards South African whites and imposed this policy upon those members of his party that wished to seek revenge against the whites until they came around to see the wisdom of his ways, and so created a paradise on earth.

The myth of Mandela is a myth in the sense that it is a story, shared and believed by people around the world, to which a kind of sacred meaning has been attached. The meaning of the myth is that racism can be defeated, that people can overcome the boundaries that divide them, and unite in a harmonious, post-racial, world.

Is the myth of Mandela also a myth in the sense of a story that while widely believed is untrue?

Ordinarily, I would not consider appropriate to ask this question when the man behind the myth is newly deceased. Chilon of Sparta’s maxim, de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est (1), “of the dead, speak nothing but good”, is social protocol that has the authority of prescription and tradition behind it, as well as common sense and common courtesy to those who are in their period of mourning. It should also be taken into consideration, whenever one sets out to debunk a myth, whether debunking the myth might actually do harm when the myth accomplished some good. In John Ford’s 1962 film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, after the funeral of John Wayne’s character Tom Doniphan, Jimmy Stewart’s character Ranse Stoddard, who had risen in politics to become an American Senator on the basis of the belief that he had shot down Lee Marvin’s villainous Liberty Valance, reveals out of guilt, that it was actually Doniphan that shot Valance. After telling the story, the journalist to whom he is speaking declines to report it, saying “This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

In this case, the myth is a pernicious one that both cloaks and feeds a tremendous evil and so it must be debunked. The evil to which I refer is the evil of genocide – the genocide of white South Africans.

Perhaps you are unaware that such genocide is taking place at this very moment. It receives little to no media attention. The Holocaust, which ended almost seventy years ago, is constantly discussed. Occasionally the Holodomor, the Soviet-made famine that killed millions of Ukrainians in the early 1930’s, will receive mention. Sometimes the Turkish genocide of the Armenians is discussed. In the 1990’s, the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda was headline news. Only a handful of brave writers ever mention the genocide of the white South Africans however.

Yet it is happening nonetheless. In the nineteen years since it took power, the African National Congress has slowly been recreating the horrors of the former Rhodesia after Robert Mugabe turned it into Zimbabwe. White farmers in particular, have been targeted for extermination and they live in terror of the gangs of thugs going around the countryside murdering them. One of the few mainstream media commentators to report on this, the BBCs John Simpson, wrote earlier this year:

There used to be 60,000 white farmers in South Africa. In 20 years that number has halved. (2)

While some of that reduction in number is to be attributed to white farmers fleeing the country in fear, murders take place on a daily basis. There have been at least 3,000 murders and they have been conducted in a particularly brutal manner, often with rape and torture thrown in. Last year, Leon Parkin and Dr. Gregory H. Stanton of Genocide Watch reported:

The South African Government for the last 18 years has adopted a policy of deliberate government abolition and disarmament of rural Commandos run by farmers themselves for their own self-defense. The policy has resulted in a four-fold increase in the murder rate of Afrikaner commercial farmers. This policy is aimed at forced displacement through terror. It advances the goals of the South African Communist Party’s New Democratic Revolution (NPR), which aims at nationalization of all private farmland, mines, and industry in South Africa. Disarmament, coupled with Government removal of security structures to protect the White victim group, follows public dehumanization of the victims, and facilitates their forced displacement and gradual genocide. (3)

It would appear that Mandela’s “Rainbow Nation” is not such a post-racial paradise after all.

There are, of course, many who would say that this is a matter of what goes around comes around, and that the white South Africans had this coming because of the way they oppressed black South Africans in the past. Usually those who think in this bloodthirsty, vengeful, way about an entire race of people are the same people who consider themselves to be too forward thinking and enlightened to believe in such things as the retributive model of justice for individual criminals or the death penalty for murderers, dismissing such ideas as barbaric and regressive. This is what comes from excluding all but one side to a question from polite discussion for decades.

Ever since the National Party in South Africa instituted the policy of apartheid in 1948, Western liberals have treated it as a one-sided affair and have sought to exclude other points of view from the discussion as being beyond the pale. They were not wholly successful in this during the Cold War when the South African government was a valued ally against the Soviet Union, but when the Cold War began to thaw, liberal opinion prevailed, and the West pressured South Africa into releasing Mandela, abandoning apartheid, and holding the general election that led to the rise of the ANC government. Since then all other viewpoints on the question of South Africa have been effectively squelched by the liberals through accusations of racism.

The supporters of Mandela, the ANC, and the anti-apartheid movement were correct to think that they were opposing an injustice, for apartheid was, undoubtedly, an injustice in many ways to the blacks of South Africa. It does not follow from this that the anti-apartheid movement was on the side of justice. True justice, involves doing right by all parties, but the anti-apartheid movement was only concerned with doing right by one party, the black people of South Africa. Piet Cillier of Die Burger once said “What you have unfolding in South Africa is a true tragedy – an irreconciliable struggle,not between right and wrong, but between right and right. The blacks are in the right, but so are the whites.” (4) William F. Buckley Jr. once remarked “Some day, when you have nothing else to do, come up with a solution for South Africa, won’t you? But remember the rules of the game. All the marbles have to end up each in a cavity—you can’t just throw a few of them away, to make the game simpler.” Coming up with such a solution, is precisely what the anti-apartheid movement was not interested in.

Ironically, apartheid itself was an attempt to come up with such a solution. It was not a successful attempt, of course, but it was an attempt, on the part of the National Party, to do right as best they could, by all the various groups that lived in South Africa. Western liberals refused to see any good faith behind the attempt. They insisted that the only just model of society and government was that of a race-neutral, one-person, one-vote, liberal democracy. This model, however, was as much of an injustice to the Afrikaners and other white South Africans (5) as apartheid was to black South Africans. Indeed, it was a greater injustice. Apartheid in theory involved a degree of self-government for other racial groups, however, imperfect that worked out in practice, whereas one-person, one-vote, liberal democracy could only mean the domination of the Afrikaners by the blacks. That liberal democracy, at least in the circumstances of South Africa, is a greater injustice than apartheid can be clearly seen in the fact that apartheid South Africa had a problem with illegal black immigration whereas white Africans have been fleeing from post-apartheid, ANC-governed, South Africa. Ultimately, of course, the greatest evidence that liberal democracy is a worse injustice than apartheid, and one that amounts to insurmountable proof, is the genocide of the white South Africans of which we have already spoken.

The myth of Nelson Mandela makes no sense apart from the idea that apartheid is the supreme injustice. As the organizer and leader of a group that he armed and trained to fight against the South African government, whose life sentence was handed down for acts of sabotaging the property of that government, Mandela was hardly a prisoner of conscience. These are acts that one would ordinarily expect a government to arrest and imprison people over and it is unreasonable to blame a government for doing so.

There is much more that could be said but now is not the time. My purpose here is to burst the myth which had done and is doing so much damage rather than to attack the man. Raised in the church, Mandela long ago abandoned the Christian faith when he embraced the atheistic doctrines of Marxist-Leninism. Let us pray that in his last hours he repented of his sins, turned back to the faith of his childhood, and experienced the grace and forgiveness of God in Jesus Christ.

(1) Chilon said it in Greek, of course, but it is best known in the Latin rendition.
(3) Leon Parkin and Gregory H. Stanton, “Why Are Afrikaner Farmers Being Murdered in South Africa”, August 14, 2012,
(4) Quoted by Sir Peregrine Worsthorne in his memoirs, Tricks of Memory (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1993), p. 195. The quotation was from a speech given at a braaivleis (barbecue) hosted by the Afrikaner head of the South African Bureau of Information for the media entourage during Harold Macmillan’s “Wind of Change” tour of Africa. Worsthorne had been assigned to the tour by the Daily Telegraph. He writes that only he and a single American reporter accepted the invitation.
(5) The Afrikaners are a specific nation, white, European in racial origin, Dutch Reformed in religion, who speak their own language, a form of Dutch.