Sunday, December 27, 2009

Post-enlightenment Christians in an unenlightened South Africa

I found this post by Cobus van Wyngaard behind the times and horribly narrow minded. South Africa was at an advantage compared to the First World after the Enlightenment period. I suspect the First World embraced the less intelligent races in rebellion after the period of too much reasoning and too little spirituality. White South Africans never suffered from the confusion that followed the Enlightenment, until we were forced to abolish apartheid and embrace multiculturalism.

Professor Jurie le Roux is one of the unsung heroes of my life. He was the first who attempted to teach me the modern and especially the postmodern philosophers, all those French and German people, I think he failed in this. He also was the first to attempt teaching me the early Church Fathers, also in this I believe he failed. Not because of anything he did wrong, but because I don’t think I ever was a good enough student for this brilliant man. But he was also the one who taught me that South African has missed the enlightenment, and in this, I think, he did strike a chord with me somewhere.

The Enlightenment was a time amazing technological progress, a time of positivism, a view that all problems can be solved. It elevated the perception of human reason to an all-time high. It is a time of which postmoderns are extremely critical. And it is a time with which I agree a lot of critique need to be voiced. But it is a time which never should have been missed. This was the time when critical thought also grew into adulthood…

This was the time South Africa missed. OK, I’m aware that what I’m now saying applies to the European immigrants only. But while the enlightenment was going on in Europe, we were busy fighting the British authorities in the Cape, then the blacks in the Vrystaat and Transvaal, then the British in the Vrystaat and Transvaal. Then we had the poor-white problems, just trying to survive, trying to get the farms going, then trying to institutionalize Apartheid, by the time the Republic of South Africa was founded (1961), the Enlightenment was at an end, and we just started to catch on. But Apartheid wasn’t the best place for this critical thought to develop. In this environment church was always right, and state as well. 1994 came, and the floodgates of South Africa was opened for the world to come in.

We were suddenly opened up to postmodern and post-enlightenment thought, but we weren’t post-enlightened, because the enlightenment never hit home. We never learned a culture of critical reflection. We never learned the art of critically looking at a government of societal structure, not simply as an individuals, but as a society. We don’t like what is happening in current South African politics, but do we have the ability to critically react, for a critical societal voice to appear.

It’s a society that maybe still need to grow up. That need to get out of adolescent shoes of emotional shouting or giving those we are mad of the silent treatment. We need to find an adult reflection, a deep critical voice. This is not a cry-out for the “better old days”, but the reality is that being postmodern without having engaged with enlightenment thought is only na├»ve, not post-enlightenment.

52 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

I´m not sure why this was posted on here. Besides that, I didn´t understand one word.

WHITEADDER said...

Yes we had - and still have some enlightend ones. Its those that could see clearly what mess South Africa will be and left and with this act saved the future of their offspring.

Dachshund said...

@Anon 11:35 PM: That's because you were never part of the enlightenment period.

There was definitely at least some sense of the Enlightenment in English speaking schools and universities, but never at the Afrikaner establishments of learning. At Wits, for eg, you were taught how to think. At Stellenbosch University, you were taught what to think.

Islandshark said...

@ Dachshund: Wits was also the breeding ground for liberal bastards in South Africa. For those holding hands with the ANC today.

What exactly is your issue with Afrikaners? Whatever it is, I am getting fairly fed-up with it.

Dachshund said...

In what way am I anti-Afrikaner because I criticise rigid thinking, Islandshark?

Out with it, come on, don't bottle it up.

Exzanian said...

The only fault I ever found with the Afrikaaner was they were so steeped in religion it was positively stifling. On the other hand, we English Saffers lived our own lives and learnt to respect the grumpy, verkrampte Afrikaaners. I feel sorry for them today, refugees in their own country.

Viking said...

The author misunderstands what the Enlightenment is or was. Although this probably supports his argument. South Africa, or rather the whites who arrived in the seventeenth century, missed the events of the eighteenth in Europe, but were a product of the reformation which evolved into the Enlightenment. Contact with Europe was never lost, however much it may have been ignored or resisted.

The Enlightenment is usually considered to have ended with the Napoleonic Wars, not in 1961 as the author says! It brought us Liberalism (the good kind) while the 20th century brought us the bad kind (socialism, multiculturalism) which is Postmodern rather than Modern.

South Africa was never short on technological progress, being part of the largest empire on earth, and had every advantage that sprung from that.

Thought and Reason are only stifled by too much government, often authoritarian ones such as was in place from 1948 (until the present day, and counting).

It is black South Africa that needs to meet the Enlightenment, as Islam is doing now. And it is not going well ...

Viking said...

"Wits was also the breeding ground for liberal bastards in South Africa"

Maybe, but you never learn anything by refusing to learn something.

Critical thinking should teach people to be bright, right-minded individuals, not collectivist drones linked to the hive mind (sorry, been watching Star Trek).

Fundamentalism never helped anyone.

Islandshark said...

@ Dachshund: You weren't criticising rigid thinking, you had a go at the Afrikaner. So Wits was pro thinking, as opposed to a leftist movement that was against anything the government of the day proposed, because it wasn't liberal enough. Not that I was ever a supporter of the NP.

Your so called enlightened thinking at Wits is exactly what is causing the destruction of Britain today - that "educated", enlightened, liberal view which supports multiculturism and appeasement.

If anything, the Afrikaner only wanted to preserve his own culture.

@ Exzanian: So all Afrikaners are verkrampte refugees in their own country? Since when is it only English speaking Saffas making up the expat community in whichever country you are looking at?

Is this the type of critical thinking you are talking about?

Exzanian said...

IS, we're on the same side here mate LOL!
My comment is in respect of Afrikaners who either 1) Love SA so much they refuse to leave or 2) Have no remote prospect of leaving; they have no passport and no qualification. They have to grind it out in the new ZA. I myself have an afrikaans surname, so somewhere along the line I too have Afrikaner genes, although I have both a maternal and paternal grandparent born English. No sweat mate, I respect the Afrikaner, but you got to admit they were hugely influenced by religion, probably more so than any other community south of the bible belt in the US.

Dachshund said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dachshund said...

National Party education was a bit of a joke. I went to school in Europe and South Africa and, quite honestly, South African schools were way behind European schools, which was how I managed to skip two years of SA schooling and still get a respectable matric.

Of course South Africa suffered because of its isolation. We only got TV for the first time in 1976. Whether you got a job or not in government under National Party rule had more to do with your mother tongue than how well you did in school.

But today the education system is a lot, lot worse because of the totally obvious reason of the low intelligence of Africans.

I don't understand where Afrikaners are coming from when they say they want their own space in South Africa. Why do you want to carry the burden of the black man forever?

We all came here from Holland, Germany, France, the UK, Ireland, several centuries ago, and now it's time to push off because there's nothing left for us here. The longer whites remain in South Africa the more leverage blacks have to blame their inevitable cock ups on whites.

Africa is a continent that will continue to be messed up because of the low intelligence of Africans. Whites owe Africa nothing. It's as simple as that.

Viking said...

@Ex

maybe so - but of all the religions to be 'influenced' by, Calvinist Protestantism is probably the best one!

Viking said...

@Dachs
why are you still in South Africa? you can leave anytime.

My sympathies are strong for South Africans who can't leave, although it is a myth that most of those are Afrikaners - as those form the larger part of expats abroad.

People are being faced with leaving behind a way of life their ancestors created for them, but in reality the Transvall has only been settled the last 150 years or so, so it is relatively new, while the Cape itself has been European-influences for 350, the same time as North America.
Those involved might regard such a retreat as a surrender but in truth this is not so. After all, what does one do in times of trouble? gather together to face the common enemy, whether in the Cape or anywhere else.

To emigrate, as VI advised, get a qualification. I would add, learn better English; it will help greatly. To stay, abandon the notion that you are standing up for some tradition, and preserve your life and those of your offspring. You are not wanted in South Africa.

FishEagle said...

@Anon, 11.35. The Enlightenment gave rise to the concept of equality. So the problems that we've been complaining about, regarding South Africa's democracy (i.e. one man, one vote), was a consequence of the Enlightenment.

@Viking, you know much more about the specifics of that history than I do and I trust your judgment if you're a fan of the philosophy. (I concede that a meritocracy could never be possible without establishing democracy first.)

I don't think white South Africans experienced the Enlightenment, and subsequent philosophies, to the same extent as Europeans. We certainly didn't missed the impacts, like technology, but the modern or post modern philosophies simply never grew any deep roots here. I don't think the apartheid government was quite as oppressive as it is often made out to be considering how much South Africans complained on this blog, that there was no critical thinking in places like Canada, etc. The point is that South Africa found a balance between spirituality and reasoning, which was lost to the First World after Enlightenment. The author is wrongly advocating that we walk in the footsteps of the First World.

Exzanian said...

Viking, I'm not into self flagellation! LOL
I prefer a secular state where people can choose their own religion, and keep it to themselves without god bothering others. That is my only critique of the Afrikaner, their oppressive religion.

Viking said...

FishEagle -
you're right! critical thinking is limited in countries like Canada, where PC-ism is an oppressive, mind-numbing hindrance to such thought.

But it is not fair to say that "equality" is the root of our current problems. Enlightenment 'equality' led to the US Constitution, not to the USSR.

Equality is what makes meritocracy even conceivable, because it is the idea the people be judged on their actions, not their ancestry, birth or social status.

Without equality, great ideas are dismissed because the thinker does not wear the right hat, was born too close to Glasgow, or has the wrong accent. Britain ceded its technological supremacy to the USA for exactly this reason.

Equality is a legal framework, not a moral one. It means the centring of nation and society on the individual, not on class or other interest group. It is the antithesis of the Multicult, and the opposite of Communism :)

Viking said...

@Ex
absolutely, as do I!
If you read Weber, Calvinism gave rise to capitalism, and then secularim.
My SA history is very weak in parts, but I understood that the dutch reformed church kept very much to itself, and didnt try to convert the natives.

Exzanian said...

Viking, they made ascension day (May 13) and the day of the vow (December 16) public holidays...The latter now mutated to day of "reconciliation"

FishEagle said...

@ Exzanian, I think you know I grew up an atheist and only became religious after I became an adult. As a child I experienced the worst kind of judgemental prejudices from my Afrikaner school mates, something that Christianity ironically discourages, so I kept my atheism very quiet. The school almost didn't allow me to become to become a prefect because they knew. It was wrong, now doubt, but I'm not dead because of it. Lol.

Viking said...

Ex -
you don't like public holidays???

FE -
you? A prefect?!?!

Exzanian said...

FE Yah, and I've also said, you did not "grow up" atheist, you (and I and everyone else) was born that way...It's religion that intervened and twisted things...You were right from the start and it confirms the kind of prejudice you were subjected to in school.

Exzanian said...

Viking - 'Course I do...In fact I sometimes wish I was back in ZA because there's so many of them!

FishEagle said...

@Vikiong, equality is a legal framework, not a moral one. Ain't that the truth! But it seems like it's become a moral issue when everyone was given the right to vote, to have water, electricity, a toilet, a house, a BMW, a holiday house.....see where this is going?

Like I said, I concede that a meritocracy could never be possible without establishing democracy first.

It's time to go to the next level and leave behind the rigid, equality dogma and to find ways to improve governance by using a meritocracy.

Viking said...

"....born that way.."

Yes, but there's a reason we don't put babies in charge :)

Might have something to do with the mass murders perpetuated by atheists throughout history ... and that more people have died because of their religion than have killed others because of theirs !

FishEagle said...

@ Exzanian, no my upbringing made me very anti religious. VERY!

@Viking, LOL. Sod off! :)

Viking said...

Exactly, FE!

A 'right' is nearly always a negative. So, I don't have a 'right' to something that someone else has to pay for - and my rights involved things other people aren't allowed to do to me. At least that's how it should work.
South Africa has taken it to a new level, where people have a 'right' to a house.

P.J.O'Rourke said of Cuba, that Cubans have a right to a home as long as they build it and pay for it!
I think that is the way to go ...

Exzanian said...

Viking...Might have something to do with the mass murders perpetuated by atheists throughout history...
Inquisition? Crusades? Exodus 22:18 - How many millions of "witches"?
...Stalin killed for power, pure and simple, not because he was an atheist....

Exzanian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Exzanian said...

FE - No, I am not anti-religious, but it comes across that way to people who are religious, unfortunately. Atheism is not "anti-religious" It's outside that paradigm, in fact atheism does not actually exist. It's an abscence of belief.

FishEagle said...

@ Exzanian, I don't know if I believe that you are not anti religious. Are you being honest when you say that? I don't judge you either way. I'm comfortable in my own beliefs.

FishEagle said...

PS. I wish I had a good excuse for all my language and spelling mistakes today, like a good hang over or something. But I don't :)

Exzanian said...

FE, yes, straight down the line. Go over my comments and you will see there is nothing "anti-religious"...Theists label non-believers as "militant atheists" but to be honest, we are just being frank.
And thanks for an invigorating article. Ruffled feathers anyone? That's what it's all about! Perhaps the first Anon commentator is the wisest:

"I´m not sure why this was posted on here. Besides that, I didn´t understand one word.
27 December 2009 11:35 PM"

;-)

FishEagle said...

Exzanian, nothing you said under this post made me think you were anti religious.

Viking said...

In a truly secular society, religious and irreligious views would be respected, but of course the majority opinion would always hold more weight, which is why, I suppose we still have religious holidays. But then, there have always been festival days throughout history...

Yeh, FE, you even managed to spell my name wrong. nice ....

Ex, how many millions indeed?
And in truth, while Stalin and Mao killed for a variety of reasons, so did the Inquisitors! the multiplicity of motivations works both ways.
Even the crusades were not about religion, but were about taking back lands that had been stolen by Islam. Up until the Enlightenment -which is what this discussion was about - religion was not distinguished from culture or even ethnicity.

All of which is not to defend militant religious fanaticism, but to point out that secularists, like Hitler, Stalin and Mao, killed millions, certainly millions more than died under the inquisition or witch trials, and the message should be the mass murder for any reason should be a moral problem.

After all, if my religion tells me not to kill (it does), and I kill you because you are an atheist, what does that say about my religion? Does it even say anything about it, or does it say more about me? In that case, an absence of religion is the problem!

Exzanian said...

Voiking, Morality withoout religioun...MmmmM I think I'll go hunt down the last dregs of the Bells right now :~

FishEagle said...

Exzanian, I'm rolling on the floor with laughter!

Dachshund said...

Fuck you plague of atheists, I believe in God.

Island Shark, sorry if I offend you, but ever since Hendrik Biebouw in a drunken stupour said, "Ik ben niet Hollands, ik ben Afrikaans, dus kan je mij niet in de tronk zetten", I've had a laugh at silly Dutchmen.

I can laugh at this because I'm Dutch myself.

Islandshark said...

@Dachshund: I am not an Afrikaner. But I do have issue with anybody claiming the English speaking Saffas are the pro thinkers, whilst the Afrikaners are all a bunch of people incapable of thinking for themselves.

Your statements suggest you are confusing the goals of Afrikaners with those of Boers.

Boers always wanted their own country - hence the move from the Cape into desolate midlands, as opposed to Afrikaners chosing to stay under British rule.

I won't argue about NP education. It reflected their twisted ideologies. They also used religion in their "education" process.

I just think it is wise not to generalise when making certain statements. Specifically when we discuss issues around SA.

Anonymous said...

What interests me about Sub-Saharan Africa is whether there could have been any other way than what happened in the last 50 years.

I do not think the period from 1500 to about 1900 could have gone any differently, given the enormous technological difference in the European and African cultures. But after about 1900, I think we had choices. It could even be argued that we had a choice not to embark upon the ruinous Anglo-Boer War, and but for the arch-manipulator Milner, things would have turned out differently at least for whites.

The critical failure, from the perspective of Empire, is that South Africa was grossly under-colonised, say, compared to North America and Australia; later on, when the Nats had control, they catastrophically put a stop to white immigration post WWII Europe.
Had we not attacked them in the Boer War, this would not have happened, and Southern Africa would now have a 50/50 white /black population. Everyone, especially the blacks, would be better off.

If we honestly wish to hold on to South Africa, for Western Civilization (and I do NOT mean the re-introduction of apartheid, a failed "solution" if there ever was one), we need to bolster our numbers, and by "our", I don't just mean whites. Perhaps the solution is to look to India,or Asia, or anywhere there is a surplus of entrepreneurial and peaceful people since the real harm from atheism is not the collapse of morality but the cessation of child-bearing by affluent whites trying to be adolescents for ever, the craven denial of their own identity, and other grotesque manifestations of the PC suicide cult.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Anon.

FishEagle said...

Anon, 6.38. It's always a pleasure getting comments with so much content. Thanks for that. I agree with much of what you say.

Islandshark said...

@ anon 6:38pm - very valid comments indeed.

@ Dachshund - no worries, I am thick-skinned!!

Vanilla Ice said...

I seemed to have missed a lot of action here, whilst I was piling on the mince pies.

Personally I think the original article was so badly written, that it reflects poorly on the author.

South Africa was a little verkramped in the old days. So what. I miss it anyway.

FishEagle said...

@ Viking, regarding your comment, "South Africa has taken it to a new level, where people have a 'right' to a house," South Africans (and Africans, in general) never made nearly the same level of sacrifice for democracy like the rest of the world during WW1 and WW2. So we don't have the same sense of responsibility regarding a democracy. But we also don't have the emotional baggage that came with the sacrifices, which has made the First World egocentric and incapable of recognizing differences in races and cultures. The consequent guilt has driven the First World to naively embrace the less intelligent races, as if that could rectify the error in judgment.

When the First World realizes that the sacrifices made for democracy during WW1 and WW2 were worth it and something to be proud of - which can only be done by turning to history and culture - they can get over their baggage. They're not going to find answers in Africa or the rest of the world.

FishEagle said...

To add on to my last comment, every day that the First World allows their countries to be over run by Third World immigrants, their history and culture becomes eroded away. The chance of recognizing the value of democracy is becoming slimmer, and the sacrifices made during WW1 and WW2 may have been for nothing.

FishEagle said...

P.S. I don't think democracy is an end destination. But unless its value is recognized BY THOSE THAT MADE SACRIFICES FOR IT, it's going to become a turning point.

Viking said...

@FE

I've just reading a chapter of a new book (review to follow) where the author says exactly what you've just said.
Post-WW2 Europe was characterised by fear of conflict and self-hatred, not by love of the values for which the war was fought. France, Germany and the Netherlands in particular are guilty of this.
Fear of Nationalism and any kind of patriotism is used as a weapon for population replacement - in fact how can immigrants be integrated into a culture whose natives don't even respect it?

Anonymous said...

I suspect the time is fast approaching when the West will regain its common sense. I hope so, anyway. But it will not be easy and might involve a quasi-civil war in a major western territory. Some think the USA; but I think it will be avoided there, perhaps happen there in a different way. Rather, I think it will occur in Europe once the immigrant population reaches a certain threshold (ie very soon).

It will start, by the way, with a major airline (or airport) atrocity, coupled with anti-Semitic "incidents" which, as always, are the canary in the mineshaft. At that point the European Jews will wake up, stop trying to re-fight the Second World War, realize where the existential threat is now coming from, and start pulling strings. Then the rest of us will feel morally enabled to defend Europe and the West. But any serious defense of the West has to include massive pro-natalist programs by the governments.

I am sad to have to put it like this, and I wish it were otherwise, but I see little else in the future.

Anon.

Viking said...

One can only hope, Anon.

There have continually been anti-Semitic incidents, as a Rabbi was assault during Hannukkah in, I think, Austria, by a Moslem of course. Europeans need to seriously reconsider their desire to prevent another holocaust (by breaking up the ethnic homogeneity of Europe), as those who have been brought in for 'population replacement' are far more hostile to Jews than Europeans are.

"the Jews" need to start pulling their strings now, if they have any to pull, as they are in more immediate danger than women or gays who will also ultimately suffer under a new Caliphate.

I believe it will be a major antisemitic incident that sets off this culture war - as Europeans see attacks on themselves as merely 'a little bit of trouble'.

Only when their programme is shown to be horribly misguided (has it not already been?) will serious steps be taken to reverse this population replacement and Dhimmitude.

Anonymous said...

I am interested to know what you think the timeline on this will be.

Anon.

Viking said...

honest opinion?

Maybe five years, and the reason is because there needs to be a couple more elections before people really see they're having the piss taken out of them by the elite.
~For example next year, when UKIP and the BNP get seats in Westminster, there'll be trouble, and when Geert Wilders gets some serious votes, the Moslems will freak and blow up a synagogue or something and people will wake up.

But that's just conjecture, what do you think?
I do believe that European Jews are terrified, and in fact LOTS of them are moving out, to Israel and to Canada. And I can't say I blame them.

Anonymous said...

Here's the point; I'm not sure Canada will be safe much longer for the Jews either, and Israel is positively dangerous. Too dangerous for them all to be there, anyway, given the Iranian project.

Soon, there will be nowhere for them to go (South America?). Nowhere serious, anyway. The USA is moving in a very ambiguous direction. The Jews have already left South Africa en masse (thanks to their kindly and avuncular Joe Slovo, and the ensuing Durban II, not to mention the crime).[Note also the connection between Slovo and Milliband.]

It seems clear to me the time is approaching when they are going to have to stand and fight. And, critically, decide whose side they are on. And of course, we will be enlisted, as we should be (Google Michael Hart's Western Civilization Conference); and the only way that can happen is if we are educated to believe (correctly) that we are fighting for our own territory, culture and survival. As usual, Anglo-Saxons are defaulted to the relaxed posture, until it is almost too late, and need to be pushed.

I think it will be in Europe, and I give it about 3 years. The immigrants will not be able to resist overplaying their hand.
They never can. And eventually the middle classes in Europe will find their courage (forget the effeminate and corrupt Establishment).

Watch also for the role to be played by China and India in supporting the West. And, of course Fox News (I kid you not).

Anon.