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Nelson Mandela

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Ha! Well we will see about "most" after the elections next year...any bets?

Their intent or motivation, and its consequences, is my point. WE know force won't work and is immoral, but that doesn't stop immoral men. Authoritarians need people to appreciate 'the good' they are doing for them. Altruism-collectivism is their premise - reciprocated 'love' is essential to their pseudo self-esteem.

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My bet-ANC will loose a lot of votes, but will still win elections.

Yup. A reduced majority if Zuma stays, but if, in the small likelihood his Party dumps him (in favour of, say, Ramaphosa)- I estimate an increased majority.

Democracy always comes down to the 'cult of leadership' when principles are almost insignificant to the citizens - and the Constitution is marginalized by the State.

Edited by whYNOT
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It's on wikipedia. I'm not going to move Mandela's wikipedia page into the thread. Just look it up.

From the wiki:

 

 

 

Returning to Mqhekezweni in December 1940, Mandela found that Jongintaba had arranged marriages for him and Justice; dismayed, they fled to Johannesburg via Queenstown, arriving in April 1941.

 

In other words, please reference a part of his life that you think matches your claims. His wiki entry is larger than most others' and mostly filled with info that is irrelevant to your claims. I'm inclined to believe Mandela is not a good guy, and I'd like info that confirms my bias. Please help me.

Edited by FeatherFall
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From the wiki:

 

 

 

 

In other words, please reference a part of his life that you think matches your claims. His wiki entry is larger than most others' and mostly filled with info that is irrelevant to your claims. I'm inclined to believe Mandela is not a good guy, and I'd like info that confirms my bias. Please help me.

Umkhonto we Sizwe was the military wing of the ANC. It was founded and set up by Mandela, in collaboration with other left wing revolutionaries including Zimbabwean socialists and Cuban forces in Africa, to take over the government. Its specific purpose, from the beginning, was violent action.

Through the years, those actions included bombing campaigns against civilians, the mining of public roads (the vast majority of casualties were civilians), widespread, officially sanctioned torture and executions without trial.

The fact that Mandela was arrested before the MK was able to grow into a formidable force doesn't excuse his complicity in what they did. He was THE most influential figure in setting this group up and formulating its mission. It was his responsibility to set the principles and pick the leaders and collaborators to avoid creating a terrorist group. He never even tried, in fact everything I've read points to him agreeing with using terrorism, and forming this image of a peaceful opposition leader only at the prospect of western support.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umkhonto_we_Sizwe#Bombings

Edited by Nicky
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Umkhonto we Sizwe was the military wing of the ANC. It was founded and set up by Mandela, in collaboration with other left wing revolutionaries including Zimbabwean socialists and Cuban forces in Africa, to take over the government. Its specific purpose, from the beginning, was violent action.

 

Looks like what Mandela advocated was sabotage, not killing and terrorizing people. The aim was to attack the government, as was appropriate given the context of Apartheid. From your link: "The sabotage included attacks on government posts, machines, power facilities and crop burning." Any government would arrest him for sabotage, especially a racist government like South Africa at the time. Once he was in jail, how could he possibly control the MK and make sure it evolved in a way without resorting to killing civilians? If you know a source where Mandela said he approved of civilians being killed, please show me.

Edited by Eiuol
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From the same article, this is how Mandela describes his actions:
 

 

Firstly, we believed that as a result of Government policy, violence by the African people had become inevitable, and that unless responsible leadership was given to canalise and control the feelings of our people, there would be outbreaks of terrorism which would produce an intensity of bitterness and hostility between the various races of this country which is not produced even by war. Secondly, we felt that without violence there would be no way open to the African people to succeed in their struggle against the principle of white supremacy. All lawful modes of expressing opposition to this principle had been closed by legislation, and we were placed in a position in which we had either to accept a permanent state of inferiority, or take over the Government. We chose to defy the law. We first broke the law in a way which avoided any recourse to violence; when this form was legislated against, and then the Government resorted to a show of force to crush opposition to its policies, only then did we decide to answer with violence."


Mandela's government, as he described it, fails the test of dictatorship invoked by Rand's "censorship" razor. The civilian casualties all came while he was imprisoned. As I understand it, Mandela never called for an end to such acts of terrorism while he was in prison. That looks very bad, but I can think of a few legitimate reasons to stay quiet in such circumstances. If you think he maintained operational control over the MK while in prison, I'm willing to hear the evidence of or argument for that.

Edited by FeatherFall
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From the same article, this is how Mandela describes his actions:

 

 

Mandela's government, as he described it, fails the test of dictatorship invoked by Rand's "censorship" razor. The civilian casualties all came while he was imprisoned. As I understand it, Mandela never called for an end to such acts of terrorism while he was in prison. That looks very bad, but I can think of a few legitimate reasons to stay quiet in such circumstances. If you think he maintained operational control over the MK while in prison, I'm willing to hear the evidence of or argument for that.

I don't know if he maintained operational control while in prison. I know that he set up a terrorist organization with the help of known criminals (like the Cuban communist dictatorship), ordered them to start a bombing campaign, then was imprisoned, then released, then became President and rewarded the members of that terrorist organization with powerful positions in South Africa's military.

All that makes him an accomplice to the crimes they committed through the 80s, even if he didn't have control over them at the time. In any even remotely justice oriented country, he would've been at least put on trial again (and then found guilty or innocent depending on the details South Africa swept under the rug), instead of elected President.

Mandela's government, as he described it, fails the test of dictatorship invoked by Rand's "censorship" razor.

That doesn't justify murdering civilians. It doesn't even justify picking up guns at all. The only thing that would justify rebellion would be if the rebels were fighting for something better than the current regime. And they weren't, they were all die hard socialists, allied with Castro and various People's Revolutionary Armies around Africa.

P.S. I'm not even convinced that Ayn Rand's politics would allow the kind of "freedom" Mandela wanted. She was never in favor of granting political rights (such as the ability to form a political party, and run for elections), to communists. The South Africans of course weren't motivated by protecting freedom, they went after Mandela and his associates because they were black, but that is something we should judge the white supremacists for, not give gold stars to Mandela over.

Edited by Nicky
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I believe this is the idea that once freedom of speech is squashed, armed rebellion is justified.

I apologize. I wasn't clear with my question. I'm familiar with that stance, but I was unsure as to whether FeatherFall meant that the Apartheid government "failed the test of dictatorship" in that it was sufficiently tyrannical to warrant armed rebellion, or in that it was insufficiently tyrannical. Perhaps it's clear enough to others, given Mandela's quote, but I found myself able to read it either way, and I just wanted to make sure I understood his argument fully.

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Nicky, again, sources would help clear up the matter. The important details to source would be the specific people he placed in government and their relationship to the bombings you previously sourced. Once we have that information we can assess how much power Mandela actually had to put these people on trial and what the results would have been if he tried, or who would be the last man standing if he broke ranks from other leaders. We'd also have to weigh that against any moral legitimacy his presence gave to what came after him, and whether that was a consequence he could have predicted. A comparison of the regime the MC was fighting against to the replacement regime Mandela wanted to set up is necessary to obtain a complete moral evaluation. To get that we have to source some relevant figures about each side, and we've only begun to source the info from one side. 
Edited by FeatherFall
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Yup. A reduced majority if Zuma stays, but if, in the small likelihood his Party dumps him (in favour of, say, Ramaphosa)- I estimate an increased majority.

Democracy always comes down to the 'cult of leadership' when principles are almost insignificant to the citizens - and the Constitution is marginalized by the State.

Do you know that Mandela was very pleased that ANC didn't get 2/3 majority in the first election? He was afraid that comrades will re-write constitution. He knew already that they are not going to keep his vision as he expressed it in his Inaugural Speech as the President of South Africa on 5 October 1994:

 

“Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfil themselves. Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. Let freedom reign. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement! God bless Africa!”

Edited by Leonid
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“Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfil themselves. Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. Let freedom reign. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement! God bless Africa!”

I can't think of a single famous tyrant or mass murderer who hasn't taken the time to praise wonderful concepts such as freedom, justice, or truth. Just google "evil people, inspirational quotes". You'll find Hitler urging people to fight for freedom, Stalin declaring justice to be the greatest thing ever, Robert Mugabe talking about the virtues of healthy eating, etc., etc.

The notion that any of these men, including Nelson Mandela, actually believed in freedom pales in the face of every single fact about their actions.

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I can't think of a single famous tyrant or mass murderer who hasn't taken the time to praise wonderful concepts such as freedom, justice, or truth. Just google "evil people, inspirational quotes". You'll find Hitler urging people to fight for freedom, Stalin declaring justice to be the greatest thing ever, Robert Mugabe talking about the virtues of healthy eating, etc., etc.

The notion that any of these men, including Nelson Mandela, actually believed in freedom pales in the face of every single fact about their actions.

That is true. Only Mandela wasn't tyrant. And not only tyrants praised freedom and justice. American Founder Fathers did the same. Mandela did all what he could to prevent tyranny and he succeeded. One can say many negative things about SA today, but it's not a dictatorship. 

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That is true. Only Mandela wasn't tyrant. And not only tyrants praised freedom and justice. American Founder Fathers did the same.

America's Founding Fathers acted on their words. Mandela didn't. He never even knew the meaning of the word freedom. His idea of freedom was the same as Hitler's, Castro's, or Che Guevara's: the freedom of the collective to impose its will on individuals.

Mandela did all what he could to prevent tyranny and he succeeded.

Why are you changing the subject? We are talking about whether he believed in freedom or not, as reflected by his real, actual deeds, not hypothetical tyrannies he supposedly prevented.

This notion that he violated individual rights on a massive scale "to prevent tyranny" is ridiculous. He won the elections and implemented what he believed in (that would be socialism) to the extent his power allowed him to. That's what he did.

To hail such a person as a champion of freedom is to spit in the face of every hero who ever fought for actual freedom, and it's a classic example of what Leonard Peikoff termed disintegration.

Edited by Nicky
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America's Founding Fathers acted on their words. Mandela didn't. He never even knew the meaning of the word freedom. His idea of freedom was the same as Hitler's, Castro's, or Che Guevara's: the freedom of the collective to impose its will on individuals.

 

I think it's fair to say that it's a dis-integration of knowledge to equate Mandela to  Hitler, Castro, and Che. True, he's a communist sympathizer, and at worst he is guilty by association because he didn't try to denounce the MK he established. But he didn't murder anyone through his command, which those other people actually did. Nor did Mandela nationalize any industries! I'm calling your comparison an example of dis-integration because it is eliminating knowledge where Che's ideas inevitably leads to extreme violence, while Mandela's ideas didn't lead to those consequences.

Edited by Eiuol
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Nicky, you are simply wrong. Mandela was asked once what is freedom and he answered that it is an opposite of oppression. Mandela wasn't philosopher and was living by mixed premises but never violated individual rights on principle, never promoted any collectivist social system. He even disregarded ANC basic principles which called for nationalization of industries and land. 20 years after Mandela came to power SA is a mixed economy with strong private sector and land is not redistributed without compensation. Individual rights are preserved maybe even better than in America. You apparently mistook Mandela for Mugabe which is quite excusable for a person who is not familiar with African realities.

Edited by Leonid
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I think it's fair to say that it's a dis-integration of knowledge to equate Mandela to  Hitler, Castro, and Che. True, he's a communist sympathizer, and at worst he is guilty by association because he didn't try to denounce the MK he established. But he didn't murder anyone through his command, which those other people actually did. Nor did Mandela nationalize any industries! I'm calling your comparison an example of dis-integration because it is eliminating knowledge where Che's ideas inevitably leads to extreme violence, while Mandela's ideas didn't lead to those consequences.

This is true. Mandela didn't denounce MK. He simply dissolved it and integrated it with SA Defense Forces. Yesterday enemies became comrades in arms. Typical Mandelian way to resolve problems through reconciliation.

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What a silly, silly joke. You live in a parallel universe.

Maybe over on the other side, Fauxndela was enemies with MK. On this one, Mandela founded it. They weren't his enemies, they were his hit squad.

 

Um, that would require that he sent out his orders from jail, which is quite a claim. And if he sent no orders in jail, the MK is an independent entity. Mandela had the MK use sabotage, not killing any civilians. Once he was in jail, new MK leaders took it all in a bad direction. Hyperbolic comparisons don't help. A hit squad, comparisons to Hitler, saying he did things as bad as Lenin, I just... can't take your posts in the thread seriously, because your sources don't lead to the conclusions you are reaching. You read wikipedia, so did I, perhaps the difference is that I think Mandela was justified to do what he was jailed for as an enemy of the state. Absolutely, a communist sympathizer, but the mention of Andrei in "We The Living" earlier is a good comparison.

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