The South African Way of Life: Values and Ideals of a Multi-Racial Society

The South African Way of Life: Values and Ideals of a Multi-Racial Society

The South African Way of Life: Values and Ideals of a Multi-Racial Society

The South African Way of Life: Values and Ideals of a Multi-Racial Society

Excerpt

For the past 150 years the history of South Africa has been a history of struggle and conflict. Conflict between black man and black man, between white man and black man, between white man and white man; struggle of white and black against a not over-generous nature--this is the background to its present problems.'

These words of Mr. Marquard's, which close the first chapter and begin the last, are borrowed without apology to stand at the opening of the book. They give the dominant theme. Indeed no better introduction could be made than by lifting a large part of the closing chapter bodily. For the strife motif is heard only too often. It is not that the writers write contentiously: they generally show great moderation, and where there is bitterness it is likely to come in the form of quotation. The South African Institute of International Affairs is by the law of its being debarred from taking sides; and, by the agreed condition of these studies, each writer advances his own point of view and speaks for others only as an individual, not as the accredited spokesman of a political party. It is in quotation that we hear from the Afrikaner Nationalist, Professor A. I. Malan (not the Prime Minister) of a fanatical will to survive--not by unity, but by dominating the British clement--and that 'the matter of survival has become an irresistible life force, a veritable obsession' (p. 137). We have yet to learn of fanaticism and obsession as wholesome things, and the will to survive looks here hardly less like a blind will to suicide. 'Why this fanaticism?' asks Professor Malan. Why indeed? It is far from the healing wisdom of Botha and Smuts. The latter, when Prime Minister, barred the civil service to members of the Broederbond.

Sport is declared to be the strongest and wholesomest bond between the two white races. One can only say, more power to their cricket and football!

The difficulties of the country deserve the most discreet and sympathetic understanding. The problems are too grave, and . . .

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