July 31, 2008

The Long Struggle For Self Determination.

The Boers have had a long struggle to acquire self determination. A struggle which dates back to 1795 on the eastern Cape frontier when the first Boer Republics at Swellendam & Graaff-Reinet were established in rebellion to Dutch rule. The Boers would later achieve a high level of self determination after the Great Trek when numerous other Boer Republics were founded north of the Orange River. The main republics were the Transvaal Republic also known as the ZAR / the Vryheid Republic & the Orange Free State Republic. When the two major republics of the ZAR & the OVS were conquered by the British after the second Anglo-Boer War -the struggle for self determination resumed first during the Maritz Rebellion in 1914 which was triggered when the South African government sided with the British less than 15 years after the devastation of the British concentration camps which killed close to 50 % of the Boer child population. The Rebellion leaders were jailed & prevented from participating in politics. The movement to restore the Boer Republics resumed again during the 1940s but was crushed by the Afrikaner establishment & the government. Then in 1961 Robert van Tonder left the National Party to pursue the restoration of the Boer Republics full time. Later still during the 1970s this movement began to grow but was later curtailed again as well. The movement to restore the Boer Republics or to acquire some form of Boer self determination continues but is still facing strong obstacles & is often not represented in a fair nor accurate manner in the West.

The First Boer Republican Tri Colour.

The Orange White & Blue horizontal tri colour flag was not a Boer flag as it was the flag adopted by the National Party government in 1927 which represented the macro state as created by the British & in which the Boers were marginalized & outnumbered within the White population. The orange white & blue tri colour was initially the flag of the united Netherlands & was used in the Cape by the Dutch East India Co. The Dutch elites who ran the Dutch East India Co. took the ancestors of the Boers & the macro White Afrikaans people out of Europe during the mid 1600s who were mostly of German or Frisian ethnic origin with very little actual Dutch roots. Numerous French Huguenots refugees escaping political & religious persecution from France were later sent to the Cape from 1671 to 1726 who amalgamated with the other groups creating home grown Afrikaans speaking cultures of which French first names & surnames are still quite common. Therefore contrary to popular Western presumption: the White Afrikaans speaking peoples - particularly the Boer people- are not of Dutch descent - but are in fact a combination & amalgamation of German / Frisian / Danish & French origins. The Orange White & Blue tri colour therefore originally represented the flag of the oppressors of the Boer people. While this flag could be considered to represent those White Afrikaans speaking people who coalesced into a group in the south western Cape - this flag can not be considered to represent the Boer people who were formed on the frontier as their ancestors began to trek away from the Western Cape beginning in the late 1600s & all throughout the 1700s due in large part to the autocratic rule of the Dutch East India Co. & the fact that they were too poor to cope within Colonial society & would -by virtue of trekking inland- shape a new homegrown identity on the Cape frontier.

The Boers adopted their first flag when they declared their first Boer Republics at Swellendam & Graaff-Reinet in 1795 whereupon they adopted the Red White & Blue horizontal tri colour which was then being used as the flag of the Batavian Republic. This red white & blue horizontal tri colour motif was later used in numerous other Boer Republic flags such as: the Natalia Republic flag / the Lydenburg Republic flag / the Orange Free State Republic flag / the Transvaal Republic (ZAR) flag / & the Utrecht Republic flag. The red white & blue colour motif was also used for the Saltire flags of the Potchefstroom Republic / the Winburg Republic / & the Zoutpansberg Republic.

The Orange White & Blue horizontal tri colour flag made a comeback in 1927 when the Cape based Afrikaners inherited the macro state of South Africa - but not as a Boer flag as the Boers were conquered & marginalized due to being lumped in with the macro White population & being outnumbered by the Afrikaans speakers of the Western Cape. The flag was adopted by the Cape Dutch / Afrikaner JBM Hertzog & the National Party after a unanimous vote in Parliament. The flag was modified with a small British flag & small ZAR & OVS flags in the center of the White band. Future Prime Minister D F Malan - a Cape Dutch / Afrikaner - wanted to adopt the Orange White & Blue tri Colour as is without the 3 flag replicas at the center of the flag. Afrikaner Nationalists during the 1960s tried once again to adopt the plain Orange White & Blue horizontal tri Colour without the flag replicas at the center.

The Boers Did Not Create Apartheid.

There is a troubling trend among ignorant persons of attributing the creation of Apartheid to the Boers & the even more troubling rhetoric of that all of the Boers should have been killed by Britain during the Anglo-Boer War -in which Britain did kill an estimated 27 000 Boer civilians in concentration camps. Some of these bigoted racists are even calling for the genocide of the Boers who survived the genocide against them in the past from the British & are facing a current growing genocide against them now. These uniformed & hateful anti-Boer bigots erroneously claim that the total genocide of the Boers would have somehow prevented Apartheid. Nothing could be further from the truth. This shows both hatred & ignorance on the part of those racist anti-Boer bigoted fools since those who hatefully & arrogantly presume that killing off all the Boers "would have prevented Apartheid" demonstrate their ignorance on the matter since even if the British did kill off every single Boer: Apartheid would still have occurred!!!!! For the simple reason that the Boers did not devise nor pass Apartheid as it was invented by the British then later expanded upon during the 1950s mainly by the non-Boer descended Cape based Afrikaners who were often on the side of the British during the Anglo-Boer War. The main architects of Apartheid were: Cecil Rhodes: British Imperialist - financier - politician - Premier of the Cape. / Theophilus Shepstone: the British Secretary of Native Affairs in Natal. / D F Malan: Cape Dutch descended Afrikaner cleric - politician from the Western Cape. - Prime Minister. / Hendrik Verwoerd: Holland born naturalized Afrikaner politician who was educated abroad. Minister of Native Affairs & later: Prime Minister. This means that even if every single Boer was killed off in the concentration camps: it would still not have prevented Apartheid from occurring since Apartheid was not formulated by the Boer people. While there were some Boer descendents who assisted in the passage of Apartheid: one must remember that they did so as part of the Cape Dutch dominated Afrikaner coalition. The following is an excerpt of some relevant text from the American libertarian author Joseph Stromberg concerning this question.

    Although Rhodes did not live to see his work consummated, it is worth getting his “take” on the native question. Running for office in 1887, he said, “there must be Pass Laws and Peace Preservation Acts. . . . We must adopt a system of despotism, such as works so well in India, in our relations with the barbarians of South Africa.” Already in the policies adopted by the Chamber of Mines, the Rhodes-dominated mining interest group, we can discern the outlines of the state-capitalist pattern with which Apartheid ran wild. Political regulation of natives would keep labor below its free-market price; large-scale bureaucratic fiddling would replace the direct patriarchal style of management of the Boers.


Those ignorant bigoted persons who erroneously presume that the total genocide of the humble Boers during Anglo-Boer War would have prevented Apartheid should take particular & close note of that final & important line in the excerpted paragraph. The Apartheid system as devised by the British & the Cape based Afrikaners replaced the Boers' direct patriarchal style of management. How then can the Boers be to blame for a system that replaced their own form of management? How could the Boers have had any significant clout in the devising of Apartheid when most had been left impoverished after the war competing for jobs in the cities? The fact of the matter is that the Apartheid establishment had to actually work to get the Boers on board which began most notably after the Rand Rebellion when they tailored the "Colour bar" job reservation laws in an effort at preventing impoverished Boers from being a political obstacle to the plans of the Broederbond & the Afrikaner Nationalists who were working at co-opting the Boers into their camp.

I find it most alarming how anyone could call for the genocide of an entire people -especially when they do not even take the time to learn about the very people they condemn. This hateful rhetoric is even ironic considering where it often comes from: British neo-Imperialists. Further rich irony is noted when one considers the fact that Hitler actually admired the British Empire & its excesses inspired him.

The most brutal aspects of Apartheid were the oppressive top-down features that were devised by the British. When the Afrikaner Nationalist government later came to power & expanded these British segregationist laws: they even used the same names for the laws that the British gave them. As a matter of fact the main difference between the Afrikaner Nationalists version of Apartheid compared to the original British version was that the Afrikaner Nationalists created the option of granting outright independence to the various reserves [ built around the traditional settlements ] or the option of joining a confederation. While the British created segment of Apartheid on the other hand was total domination. The editor of the Johannesburg Star newspaper even stated in the 1960s that the Apartheid laws -as reformed by the Afrikaner Nationalists- were "an improvement" over the previous British created Apartheid laws. The Sharpeville Massacre was a prime example of the oppressive top-down nature of British created segment of Apartheid in action as the protesters were protesting the Pass book laws which the British brought into being with their pass laws.

There is also the nature of cause & effect. Without the brutality of the Boer civilian deaths in the concentration camps: there would have been little fuel for the later rise of Afrikaner Nationalism which was mainly used by the Cape based Afrikaners -who were not numerically affected by the camp deaths as the Boers were as they were not interned & were often on the side of the British- to first co-opt the Boers in order to prevent Boer secession (as was attempted by notable Boer Generals in 1914) & then to propagate Afrikaner hegemony over the new British created artificial macro State which lumped numerous nations & tribes under a single administration for the first time ever in the region.

Therefore those who hatefully & ridiculously assert that the British should have killed off all of the Boers do not seem to realize that not only would this not have prevented Apartheid -but that it would have made the situation even worse since the Afrikaner Nationalists would have had even more fuel on which to rise to power on the platform of ethnic domination. A program of domination which they effectively stole from the British since it was the original idea of the British to ethnically dominate South Africa with English speakers -but when that plan failed -they simply turned to the newly radicalized Cape based Afrikaners as collaborators to fill this role as the surrogate colonial power for the new macro State devised by the British.

The main reason the Afrikaner Nationalists even rose to power in the new British created macro state at all was due to the excesses of British brutality in the concentration camps which lead to the deaths of 24 000 Boer children - which was close to 50 % of the Boer child population - of which the Afrikaner Nationalists were able to effectively marshal a political response to in the mobilization of the greater White Afrikaans speaking population even though this also lead to the marginalization of the actual Boer people in question since the loose political association of the White Afrikaans speaking groups made the Boer people a minority under the control of the Cape based Afrikaners who only used the Boers' history in order to justify their control of the new macro State imposed by the British with the South Africa Act of 1909 onto the region.

Furthermore: the Boers fought two wars of independence against Britain & against the formation of the macro State of South Africa which made Apartheid the expansive centralized system that it was. The architects of Apartheid were formally educated -often abroad- while most Boers were often not formally educated -neither at home nor abroad. The architects of Apartheid did not even invent anything new as they simply went abroad to see how other countries were doing it & basically adopted the ideas & formulas of other countries. The Apartheid laws of South Africa were based largely on the Jim Crow laws of the American South / the strict separation along confessional lines of Holland & the Canadian Indian Affairs Act. With the addition of attempting & often granting independence to reserves turning them into independent states. The Apartheid establishment even poured money into them & built them up. Which makes it all the more ridiculous & inappropriate to call for the genocide of a people who often worked to develop other peoples. Though it would be inappropriate to call for the genocide of any people regardless of their past.