Dissenting views on Nelson Mandela

By Joe Emersberger (Z Space)

Here are two excellent dissenting pieces on Nelson Mandela by John PIlger and Jonathan Cook.

I have a quibble with Cook’s piece. Cook wrote

It is an indication of what Mandela was up against that the man who fought so hard and long against a brutal apartheid regime was so completely defeated when he took power in South Africa. That was because he was no longer struggling against a rogue regime but against the existing order, a global corporate system of power that he had no hope of challenging alone.”

The most devastating part, to me, of Naomi Klein’s “Sock Doctrine” book is her depiction of the ANC’s turn to neoliberalism and how they rolled that out to their supporters.

Rather than collaborate extensively with their popular bases, as they had in the past, about the ANC policy platform, the turn to neoliberalism was plotted like a surprise attack on ANC supporters. Its very intention was to confuse and demoralize. Pilger’s article provides details about the ANC’s back room deals with apartheid profiteers that would trump previous commitments to the South African majority.

Could Mandela, like Hugo Chavez, have withstood the loss of numerous high level allies within the ANC by not betraying his people, and the demonization of the local and international media to name only two of the challenges he would have faced?

It is hard to say, but if Mandela would have failed, he would not have failed alone.

Jean Bertrand Aristide once said that “it is better to be wrong with the people than right without them”. Post-Apartheid, it seems to me that Mandela made the worst possible choice – to be wrong without the people.

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