What’s your take on Nelson Mandela and his legacy? A great leader? Or a political opportunist? How to tell fact from fiction in all the mainstream reports about him?
There are three main views on Nelson Mandela.
The dominant one, which we can safely call “the mainstream view” portrays Mandela as a martyr for the cause of liberty, democracy and fairness; a saintly, kind-hearted man, someone to emulate and revere. This is the Mandela which all major media promote and the likes of President Obama or David Cameron endorse and use as object lessons in the meaning of selfless sacrifice for the gullible citizenry.
A minority view, but since Mandela’s death rapidly gaining a lot of momentum, mostly promoted by the “alternative media” on the web, holds that far from being a saint, Mandela as a young man was a dedicated communist, a confirmed and unrepentant terrorist, someone who allied himself with the shadiest characters while still acting as a “freedom fighter”, and later after he became South Africa’s leader, he sold out to the global financial elites and helped reduce South Africa to the status of a third world nation. Alternative commentators such as James Corbett or Stefan Molyneux have recently exposed – or rather, brought back to light – some of those lesser-known historical facts about the man.
There is also a third view, currently the smallest significant minority, which acknowledges both of the positive and negative points summarized above, but does not try to categorically label Mandela as any of the above, but rather sees him as a multidimensional character whose lessons, both the good and the bad, are there for us to learn from. It holds that we’re all flawed, and no political leaders anywhere – ever – could aspire to perfection. Among those who espouse this view are the likes of Gerald Celente or Paul Craig Roberts, both with solid mainstream credentials, but who have been batting for the alternative side for years.
- There is NO denying that Mandela, like Yasser Arafat, definitely resorted to terrorist tactics during his early days. Historical documents, including tons of them from the mainstream media (which now seems to have forgotten all about them), overwhelmingly confirm that he had blood of innocents on his hands. But while I abhor terrorist tactics, I must be acknowledged that he was fighting a brutal regime which didn’t merely give as good as it got but it was in fact the original instigator and originator of the infinitely more brutal and relentless attacks on his people – also an overwhelmingly well-documented fact. From his perspective, more than likely, he must have reasoned that he had no other choice. Fighting evil with evil is NEVER a good thing, but we would be remiss if we overlooked the relevant historical background. Although he never officially condemned his former role or terrorist tactics, his actions later in life, to a large extent seem to confirm that he has undergone a philosophical and spiritual transformation, which enabled him to enter the larger “unifying role” he played after his 27-year ordeal in prison was over.
- There is also NO denying that South Africa used to be an economic powerhouse during its apartheid days, and that today it’s barely keeping it together. It’s also clear that the black population had a higher standard of living under Apartheid, if one looks at the material side only. On top of that today’s South Africa is rife with crime and corruption on a scale unmatched globally. It’s a matter of historical and economic record. And there’s no denying that a lot of that happened on Mandela’s watch. He got the ball rolling in this direction, in large part by allying himself with the global banking and corporate interests, as well as by pursuing populist and socialist-inspired economic policies. But, lest we forget, like any government leader in the world today, he was primarily a figurehead – and he couldn’t act without enormous hidden powers behind his “throne”. In that, he was as much as puppet of the elites as any other president, prime minister or chancellor is.
- There is NO denying that his best features are conveniently used by mainstream demagogues to serve their particular agendas. Obama uses Mandela as a model not merely because he thinks he was a “great man”, but rather because, among many other things, this reinforces his own image as a man of the people – just like his “hero”, Mandela. And there’s equally no denying that the Mandela-bashers benefit from their critique of the man if only because they present a “balanced” counter-view.
Personally, I don’t really believe in political heros. People are flawed, some more than others. The higher you rise, the greater your influence, the greater your flaws are likely to be.
When I think of Mandela, I ponder the day when I’ll have to speak to my now 6-year-old daughter about him. What will I tell her? Was he a “great” man? Was he a “terrorist”? Was he a good leader? Was he fair? Was he a “good man”? And I’ll have to tell her the truth: he was a man who was all of the above and none of the above. He was a creation of two forces: the elites and their pressures on him, and ourselves as well as our personal impressions of him.
Does he belong in some kind of a Hall of Fame of world leaders? No. But he’ll be there for the next few dozen years, or as long as keeping him there serves the elites’ particular agenda. Is he on par with a Thomas Jefferson? Not even close, though Jefferson too was flawed. Gandhi (another flawed character)? To some extent, perhaps, but on a much smaller scale. Yasser Araft? Now, there’s a lot more similarity!
Gerald Celente on MetalWoche
The Truth About Nelson Mandela ny Stefan Molyneux
Mandela’s Legacy, Eurozone Woes – Geneva Business Insider