A time for apologies and pleas for forgiveness

Numerous individuals in the western world campaigned to alter the evolved political structures in Africa in the 20 century.  These campaigns took many forms, including pressure on Western governments to impose economic sanctions designed to bring these nations “to their knees”.

Although a relatively small group, their influence was pivotal because their demands were so emphatic, unswerving and voiciferous.

Some decades after these political changes, and their failure to create stable societies, it is now apparent what the costs of these misguided and puerile endeavours have been.  The loss of life has been immense, although the concerned parties have been reluctant to produce figures because that would illustrate the dimensions of these catastrophes.  Deaths of entire groups by homicide, famine, and disease probably represent the single greatest loss of human life in history.  Immigration forced by the loss of social and commercial structure has irreparably reversed many previously stable cultures.

There is no end in sight for the disarray. The continued “Wars of Africa”, both internal and across borders, can be anticipated for the foreseeable future.

Many individuals, previously prominent in demands for regime change in Africa, have now recognized their fault.  It is refreshing that some still have the honesty and objectivity to do this.  However, the vast majority of erstwhile vociferous campaigners retreat instead into self-satisfaction.

The excuse given by these people is “we could only do what we thought best at the time”.

This is not the issue.  Their actions at that time were driven by arrogant self-opinion.  They were driven by self congratulatory righteousness and mostly they were driven by frank stupidity (often displayed at university level) in the assumption that “they knew better” about nations and peoples of whom they had no knowledge, information or contact whatsoever.

Another excuse has been “Apartheid was so evil that it had to be destroyed at any cost”. That is simply stupid. Apartheid was opposed because it wall alleged to be an oppressive system. It has been replaced by far more oppressive and destructive systems. Only the wilfully blind will not acknowledge that.

Sadly that arrogance persists in the western world and will continue to dishevel other societies which exist in a relative equilibrium by strategies evolved slowly, dealing with the all- prevailing entropic threats of the world about them.

Those who have confessed their errors have included the wife of the author of “Cry the Beloved Country”, the relatives of prominent politicians, and senior members of the South African “Black Sash”. These have all simply abandoned those lands of Africa in which they had chosen to meddle.

There will always be those who remain rigidly inflexible convinced of their own superior judgments. These rigid recalcitrants have crimped cognition, truncated intellect.  These are the dangerous dregs of democracy.

It is now the time for the others to apologise and plead for forgiveness.


About jp

Orthopaedic Surgeon
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