Apartheid, Fascism, and
the Golden Age
The old antithesis between "idealism" and the various brands of "realism" (such as Realpolitik and dialectical materialism) has plagued social science from the days of Hegel to the present via Marx, Weber, Pareto, Mosca, Parsons, and others. The safe, eclectic, compromise position inherent in the model of "multiple and reciprocal causation" has by now become one of the most common escape mechanisms to this dilemma, as indeed to most other dilemmas in social science. But unless one disentangles the amorphous causative cobweb created by the model of multiple and reciprocal causation and delimits the sphere and level of operation of the various factors, one cannot hope to proceed beyond the platitudinous statement that "it all hangs together."
The present chapter is a modest and crude attempt to disentangle the "idealist" and "realist" strains in South African Nationalist policies since 1948, with special reference to the "color policy." The latter has been interpreted with equal plausibility and onesidedness as either an honest (if misguided and impractical) attempt to solve the South African "color problem" or a deliberate, cynical plot to divide and rule. Both interpreta-____________________