The history and lives of South Africans are beset with ironic contradictions. As the saying goes: the more things change, the more they stay the same. In my life time alone, I have witnessed a white supremacist system of oppression obsessed with race replaced with an Afrocentric socialist system fixated on achieving equality through racial quotas.Left-wing racialist agendas have now completely conquered my erstwhile homeland and this system gets re-elected time and again despite its obvious and dangerous failings. Its re-election is mostly riding on a catalogue of grievances against the white community cynically exploited by black nationalist parties such as the African National Congress and the Economic Freedom Fighters. Some of them are genuine grievances, but others are simply divisive inventions and the antithesis to the non-racial society envisioned by well-meaning South Africans during the transition period from minority rule to democracy.
It is more likely that an increased understanding of the Empire will result in wide-spread ambivalence rather than outright revulsion. Its significance should provoke a healthy kind of intellectual dissonance by diminishing the current critical trend of ethical and ideological absolutism. We should be impressed by its feats and repulsed by its failures, and feel fascinated by, but unsentimental about, the triumphs and transgressions of its leaders.
I was recently interviewed by Max Klinger of the E2 Review Podcast about Political Activism in Education.
We need a debate about the curriculum and the knowledge we teach pupils in schools and later on at university level.
The decolonising the curriculum movement isn’t it.