In this essay Dan Roodt explores the country’s “new” English identity which is founded on the old colonial identity of the nineteenth century when the redcoats invaded the Cape of Good Hope. Although there are only one million “real” English people in South Africa, thanks to the global Anglo-Saxon Empire, the country is anxious to model itself on present-day England and America. Political correctness and anti-racism are but two of the fads slavishly followed by South Africa’s media, academic and political elite.
Read the excerpt from the book here.
Although the country tries to recreate itself as an inverted mirror image of its so-called “apartheid” past, more and more it is looking like a giant bantustan, with casinos and Afro-kitsch shopping centres being built everywhere. But also its English authors and critics still regard England as “home” and aspire to become global sovereign individuals. So no-one is really “South African” anymore.
Roodt situates the extreme social violence that has characterised South Africa since 1994 also within the ambit of its identity crisis. A society in which fathers are absent, where many people speak no defined language but various forms of broken English, will produce the very high murder rates that South Africa has.
Afrikaners, who have their own centuries-old identity forged within the country, are suffering from the revolutionary new ersatz “English” identity being imposed on everyone. Afrikaans institutions have been appropratiated by mostly white and radical English-speakers who regard Afrikaners as foreigners or interlopers in their own country.
The cause of the revolution in South Africa has been the radical children of conservative British immigrants in the country who were re-educated at the very left-wing universities and so espoused “Boerehaat” or hatred of Afrikaners, along with the ideas of sixties-America and cultural Marxism.
The author analyses Nelson Mandela’s stature in the wider English-speaking world where he is seen is a kind of demi-god or king.
Length: 27 500 words, 128 pages for the paper edition.
Table of Contents
- From Vanuatu ‘our’ flag and penchant for imitation
- The importance of being English (with an apology to Oscar Wilde)
- ‘One nation, one beer’
- The Sovietization of South African English
- The black hole of identity
- A new morality, or Cromwell’s curse
- ‘We are the world’, and the consequences thereof
- Conclusion: the raw Englishman and the cooked
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