From the book: The Eye of the Needle by Richard Turner
South Africa is an unequal society. The inequalities are the result of the skilful use of power in their own inÂterests by whites, who acted thus because they had inÂternalized the capitalist human model, a model incompatible with Christianity.
Political and economic power is concentrated in white hands. The result is a situation in which merely removing the apartheid brakes on mobility and ending racial discrimination will not fundamentally alter the position of the black people of South Africa. A real change can be brought about only by a fundamental redistribution of wealth and of power.
These two factors cannot but be associated. A fundamental redistribution of wealth will require, first, a massive and rapid redistribution of resources to remedy the social disadvantages of the blacks: large-scale investment in schooling, housing, and public health schemes. The gap between white and black in respect to these basic needs is so great that such a scheme will require the substitution of a planned economy for a free-market economy. In a just society whites cannot hope to retain their present standard of living.
Second, economic power cannot be dissociated from ownership. A redressing of the imbalance in property ownership between white and black could also only occur through public intervention. Although land could be redistributed among the black peasantry, industry cannot be redistributed. Black "ownership" can come about only if private (white) ownership is replace by (black) public control. That is, for ownership to change hands, public, political power must also change hands.
Universal suffrage is a prerequisite for a just society. It will certainly seem odd to most people, including most South Africans, actually to have to produce arguments for universal suffrage. But nevertheless it is worth looking into the arguments, as most white South Africans have not understood them. Neither of the main white political parties makes much pretense that their franchise policy is aimed at anything other than white dominance. The Progressive Party, however, has more universalistic aims. Nevertheless, it wishes to have, international terms, a highly restricted franchise based on a combination of education and income qualifications. PP spokesmen that under these limitations about 15 percent of the electorate would initially be black have claimed it. That is, over 70 percent of the population would remain voteless. Two arguments are advanced for adopting this position: (1) a tactical argument: The white electorate is not likely to accept anything more radical than this; (2) an argument from principle: Individuals can exercise the vote in a responsible manner only if they have been educated. We will ignore the first argument. The second argument rests on a misunderstanding about the nature of politics, and a misunderstanding about the nature of education.
It is assumed that there are (1) a definable common good, (2) discoverable non-political technique realizing that good, and (3) a common aim on the part of all citizens to find that good. It follows from this that politics should be left to those best qualified for the discovering the good and these techniques. But this is nonsense.
The "common good" cannot be defined or discovered unless people have some public means of expressing their needs, desires, and perceptions of reality. The techniques for achieving this good include political techniques, as we have seen from our analysis of parÂticipation. And, most important of all, the idea that each citizen wills the common good is a sociological naiveté of the first order. By this I do not mean that people are necessarily selfish, although they very often are. But even unselfish people tend to perceive society's needs, and other people's needs, from a specific and limited point of view. There is a conflict of interest as well as a conflict of perspectives between various groups. Franchise proposals that limit the vote to certain groups result in those groups legislating, consciously or unconsciously, in their own interests. Politics is not the abstract universal search for a common good. It is the process of synthesizing a variety of interests within a common policy, and only those interests which appear in the political process get included in the final policy.
The Progressive Party seems to suffer from some sort of schizophrenia here. On the one hand, its spokesmen argue convincingly that South Africa is an inherently unstable society because the blacks have no institutionalized ways of expressing their grievances and interests, and are therefore likely to express them in uninstitutionalized ways such as riots, violence, and subversion." But they then offer a policy that will still leave 70 percent of the population in the same voiceless position. They seem to believe at one and the same time "at those blacks who are enfranchised will act as spokesmen for the others, and also that they will join with the whites in forming a "stable middle-class," that those that they will represent class interests rather than race interests. A cynic might argue that the real objective of the Progressive Party policy is to do just this, to co-opt the most articulate and successful blacks into the white groups so as to deprive the black people of one of their most likely sources of effective, change-oriented leadership. However, given their own clear warning the dangers of leaving the black people politically voiceless, it is probable that this interpretation is an over simplification. It is more likely that they are simply confused, partly by the difficulties of escaping from their own middle-class, white perspectives and partly by the difficulties of working within all-white political institutions.
The misunderstanding about the nature of educate involves the beliefs (1) that there is some relationship between the formal education received in South Africa schools and the formation of political competence, and (2) that formal education is the only kind of meaning social learning process. Both these implicit assumption need only to be stated to be recognized as absurd. Most of the facts people know about their society are not learned in school. The process of education involves much more than simple, formal learning. Literacy is, of course, of some importance, but its importance has been exaggerated. Most literates do not read the political sections of the newspapers anyway, and illiterates have other important sources of information, through radio and television, and also by word of mouth.
There is, therefore, no justification for restricting suffrage either to the wealthy or to the educated, two groups which, in any event, roughly coincide in an unequal society. Universal suffrage is a necessary condition both for political justice and for political stability. But it is not a sufficient condition. There are still problems both of justice and of stability even with universal franchise. I have already shown that if other political resources are unequally distributed the equalizing effect of the franchise may be offset. We now need to look at the social preconditions for political stability. There are two basic conditions: (1) there should be no sharp division into social groups with contradictory interests in a number of different spheres. (2) The citizen should be adequately integrated into the political system; they should be capable of operating the political system and should recognize it as the major means of solving social problems.
In South Africa the major cause of conflict is the unÂequal distribution of wealth. This unequal distribution coincides almost exactly with color or race differences, and, somewhat more roughly, with cultural differences. Neither cultural nor racial differences are in themselves inherently causes of social conflict, although they can, through ignorance and prejudice, become causes of conflict. In South Africa, this basic cause of social conflict and tension is overlaid by race and cultural prejudice in a potent mixture. Prejudice can be cured by education. Contradiction of interest cannot. However, if the wealth gap is done away with, there will no longer be any inherent reason for conflict. Cultural or racial groups can and do co-exist when they are not also divided by different economic interests. The maintenance of their cultural identity by white South Africans is a reasonable wish, but it is not dependent on their maintenance of economic privilege, and should not be confused with this.
How can the citizen be integrated into the political system? We have seen that the vote does not of itself do this. If I merely vote once every five years I have no meaningful control over decision-making. I am not involved in politics between elections and therefore do not acquire the knowledge on which to base my decisions. The structural political relationships are much more important than is formal education in determining Political knowledge. Nor am I in any position to prevent various organizational oligarchies from arising. There is a danger that the very political parties established to provide for mass political participation will become such oligarchies. The leadership controls the financial and communications resources and is in a position to use these resources in bidding for personal power, rather than to ensure popular involvement. Once this happens individuals, faced with steamroller political vote collecting- machines over which they have no control become even further alienated from the political process.
In this situation of popular alienation from the political institutions we get a condition that has been described as "the mass society." One sociologist has defined the mass society as follows:
...an agglomeration of individuals socially isolated but not physically isolated from one another. They are subjected to same influences, especially those of propaganda, but because of social isolation have no opportunity for the rational discussion of these influences. They are thus moulded by these influences-all pretty much in the same way-without having any independent individual reactions. Also, because of social isolation, the individuals in a mass society are lonely and need belong to some group movement. They are without loyalties and are weak on ideals, but desire both-at least unconsciously (Arnold Rose, The Power Structure [New York Oxford University Press, 1967]).
Individuals in this situation of social isolation, or atomization, come into frequent contact with one another, but have no organized relationship with one people in pursuit of a common goal. Because their relationships with other people are so fragmented, they see society as a whole as strange and incomprehensible as a set of disconnected pressures to which they have to submit. Materially and psychologically frustrate wanting to belong with other people but continually being forced apart from them again, their only social outlet is likely to be in sudden and irrational acts that provide a release for their frustration and the satisfaction of at least temporary total identification with the crowd: rioting, lynch-gangs, and similar "mob actions" are characteristic of the mass society. The alternative to mob action is the apathy of total withdrawal into self, an apathy which, being based on social frustrations, is inherently unstable and can turn back into mass violence.
Unless a society provides a rich variety of intermediate institutions between the individual and the government, it is likely to be both oligarchical and inherently unstable. The case of many independent African states illustrates this. These states tend to lack intermediate institutions between the old village community and the new central government. Because most of the economy is at subsistence level, there are not even economic institutions linking the capital city to the countryside. As a result, "politics" becomes limited to the capital city. In the city there are a large mass of disorganized, disoriented, unemployed or semi-employed individuals who have left the tribal rural areas and are not yet either socially or economically integrated into the city. Facing them is a small number of elite groups-particularly the bureaucracy and the military-which sometimes compete and sometimes collaborate. The city mass may be used as an occasional tool by one of these groups against the other, but essentially "politics" becomes a struggle among the elite for the spoils of office, with no mass involvement, and no way in which the people can check corruption and exploitation. As a contrast to this pattern, Tanzania has a Political structure which, through the Ujamaa villages and the existence of an organized mass party, can integrate both the peasantry and the city-dweller into the national political process.
The above analyses indicate that there are two main causes of political instability: gross social inequalities, and the absence of institutions effectively integrating the individual into the social decision-making process. It is necessary to point out that South Africa has both qualities in abundance.
The effect of participatory democracy is to do away with both these evils. It will do away with the main cause of race conflict by abolishing social inequalities based on race, and it will provide the range of institutions that will integrate the individuals into society and will enable them, through the practical education of participation, to understand in the quickest and most thorough way possible how society works.
To summarize, in South Africa participatory democracy would involve, first, the replacement of private ownership of the means of production by workers control in industry and in agriculture. By "worker, be it noted, is meant every individual who plays a part in the production process, from manager to cleaner. Group discussion of industrial management on a basis of equality between all these would provide the quickest way of passing managerial skills down to workers. The stereotype of the ignorant black worker is false. Most black workers who have spent a considerable time in an industry know enough to look after its day-to-day running. What they do not know is what has been kept them, not what they are incapable of knowing: the details of the commercial network linking the factor the rest of society and some of the more refined technological details connected with basic maintenance and long-term planning. But those who do have the skills, under the political supervisions, could do elected Workers' Council this. Initially, the bulk of the workers would probably be more concerned with wages and their own welfare, but through participation they would gradually develop the capacity to handle the more technical problems. A large-scale adult education program communicating technical skills and explaining the operation of society would give a strong boost to this managerial personnel would work for three months of the year on the factory floor, to ensure that they became acquainted as rapidly as possible with the "workers perspectives and problems,
Naturally there would be no compensation paid to the previous owners, since their control of the means of production is, as we have seen, a function either of inheritance or have personal skill in exploiting others neither of which, in terms of the Christian human model are deserving of reward. But of course, people like financers, stockbrokers, property speculators, advertising executive, and absentee farm owners should be given assistance in using their undoubted skills in adjusting to a life of productive labor.
Second in South Africa participatory democracy, workers' control of industry and agriculture would occur within the context of a political system based on universal franchise and maximum decentralization, wit a real powers being given to local and to provincial authorities. At each level there should be a close relationship between bodies elected on the normal constituency basis and bodies elected on an enterprise basis. This would help to integrate the common and the particular interest. The central government would keep a balance between the various regional interests, and would perform the planning functions outlined in Chapter 5.
The object of this scheme is not to tell people what they want, or what they ought want. It is give individuals the maximum possible amount of control over what happens to themselves and hence the maximum possible of freedom to decide what they want, and then to act to get it. Its object is to free the individual both from the direct power of others and from the power of hidden social forces. It is not a choice, but a framework within which choice becomes possible.
It is relatively easy to sketch out the above picture of an ideal possible society in South Africa. It is, I must stress, a possible society, in that there are neither imperatives of organization nor imperatives of human nature which would prevent such a society from operating once it came into existence. Moreover, it is the only form of society that would be compatible with the Christian human model, in which human beings would be free both in them and for other people, in which love and real communication would not be made impossible by prejudice, by hierarchies of authority and habits of obedience, or by relations of exploitation.
But the problem is how can we bring this society into existence? Perhaps the most important step in bringing something about is that of becoming aware that it could exist. And probably all I can hope to do here is to convince you of this.
However, it is necessary at least to look at some of the problems involved in bringing about change. If we return to what was said earlier about socialization, it becomes clear that there is a vicious circle involved. For the effect of the socialization process is to shape indiÂviduals to the needs of the particular social system, to train them to want what the society can give them, and to expect what is likely to happen to them. This tendency for the socialization process to narrow potentialities into one limited human model was at the basis of the whole social analysis of chapter 2, and hence of the criticism of capitalist society and of the suggestion of an alternative. But if individuals are in a very real sense created by the society for its needs, who is going to change society?
The answer is two-fold.
First, the socialization process is never entirely successful. Every individual's experience is in some way unique, and in this uniqueness lies the possibility that the socialization process may fail.
Second, the problems created for the individuals by the particular internal dynamic of the society may be such as to push them in new directions of thoughts action. An obvious example of this was the growth of the trade union movement in Western Europe. Although the socialization process of capitalist society push the direction of obedience to authority and competition with one's equals, nevertheless the pressures and con flicts within the factory pushed the workers in the opposite direction, in the direction of solidarity with their fellows and of rebellion against their masters. Once this tradition was established, there then existed also a new socializing agency encouraging ways of behaving which were opposed to the social structure.
There is an intimate relationship between change in consciousness and organization. Consciousness develops along with organization. To be effective, organization must be related to the way in which people see the world and must help them to see the world in a new way. There are three essential elements in this new way of seeing the world. I must come to see the world as able to be changed. I must come to see myself as having the capacity to play a part in changing it. And I must see that my capacity to do this can be realized only in cooperation with other people. To grasp these three facts involves a fundamental shift in psychological attitude toward the world, rather than a simple change of intellectual awareness. Such a shift only occurs once I find myself involved in action.
In a situation of oppression, most people see the social order as being part of the natural order of things. They may very well hate it, but it does not occur to them that it could be changed, any more than could the seasons. "They experience themselves as powerless, as being sublet to the operation of external forces, rather than as being independent centers of action. And, in addition, the tensions and scarcities involved in such a life often lead them to distrust their neighbors. Only if organization begins from the immediate problems that I experience in my everyday life can I begin to learn in practice that world can be changed, that I can change it, and that to do with my neighbor. The process of political change through the development of organizational solidarity must itself be a participatory experience if people are to become conscious of the possibilities of freedom.
In South Africa there are a number of possibilities) connected with the two ways in which the conservatives effect of socialization may fail.
1. There is still in existence an effective "counterculture," embodying communal and person-oriented values incompatible with the values of the dominant, capitalist culture. This is the culture of tribal society, which was essentially communal and egalitarian. The work unit and the social unit coincided. Work was communally organized. There was a recognized responsibility for mutual aid. Land was tribally owned, and so it was not possible for a class of landless poor to emerge. In du Rand's striking phrase, men at work were "men-in community," rather than "men-in-competition." Political and administrative decisions were taken by the tribe or at least the adult males of the tribe) as a whole, thro ugh a process of discussion and consensus. The chief or headman did not issue commands. He had no greater official status than any other individual in the process of discussion. His special role was simply to give formal expression to an agreement that had already been reached.
It is obvious that this tribal structure has not survived totally intact. For the migrant laborer the won unit and the social unit no longer coincide. They are obliged, though du Rand suggests still often against their will, to become "men-in-competition." They subject to the socialization process that places possess more goods above solidarity with one's fellows. It is equally obvious that even if the tribal culture did survive in its entirety it would not of itself be adequate the needs of a fairly complex industrial society. It is small clan and tribal units would have to be integrated into the wider society, and so wider loyalties would have to be developed. But nevertheless the tribal culture has not been totally destroyed, and it provides the basis for a communal ethic of human solidarity. Particularly in agriculture the tribal-type unit could easily be used as the basis for cooperative farming, benefiting both from the advantage of working with large units and at the same time doing away with the vast class of landless poor who make up the bulk of the population of the large-scale farming areas.
The forthcoming independence of the "homelands" will of itself bring about no meaningful change in South Africa's power imbalance. Black workers will still create wealth in white-controlled areas for whites. Both their problems and the financial means for solving these Problems will be in the white-controlled areas, beyond the Jurisdiction of the "homeland" governments. But there is one creative role the "homelands" could play. "By developing examples of communal work, through worker-controlled agricultural cooperatives, through "edit unions, and through communal education schemes, they could show the continuing possibility of work as "men-in-community," develop communal solidarity and encourage the growth of organizational skills. By integrating agricultural work with small-scale intermediate technology" industry they could also indicate the possibility of a move away from the highly centralized capitalist model of industrialization in the direction of a model of industrialization which, placing a greater emphasis on all-round human needs than on crude criteria of economic efficiency, would introduce the increase in productivity brought about by technology without too great a destruction of the social fabric and without the environmental disasters of the great cities.
2. The growth of the concept "black consciousness" among students and intellectuals indicates an important breakdown of the socialization process. The black South African Student Organisation(SASO) states in its manifesto that "the basic tenet of Black Consciousnessis that the Blackman must reject all value systems that seek to make him a foreigner in the country of his birth and reduce his basic human dignity. The Blackman must build up his own value systems, see himself a-self-defined and not as defined by others." This statement recognizes that what is needed is not the "assimilation of blacks into an already established set of norms drawn up and motivated by white society," but rather the creation of a new type of society embodying new values.
What are those new values to be"? So far, proponents of black consciousness have not spelled this out in any detail. They have stressed the fact that being black has its own virtues, and this is an important point to make a world in which "black" is associated with evil and "white" with good. But being black is not a political program. Several SASO leaders have referred with approval to Leopold Senghor's concept of "Negritude. It is illuminating to analyze the role that this and similar concepts played in the struggle for independence in Africa in the 1950s. For at least some of Africa's problems today have their roots in the nature of the p independence political struggle, in the type of organization, and in the ideology of that struggle.
The pre-independence political movements had an essentially negative orientation. Their objective was to push out the colonial rulers, and they mobilized people with slogans and principles geared to this end. Although some of the leaders theorized about postcolonial problems, there was rarely any attempt to build a positive mass movement that could not only push the imperialists but also provide the basis for a society. As a result, most of the political parties apart after independence, leaving a leadership that could neither mobilize the people for further change nor is kept in check by the people. We saw some of the consequences of this in an earlier chapter.
The role played by "Negritude" in this process was as ambiguous one. Its central orientation-black is as good as, if not better than, white-helped to articulate the idea of independence and to mobilize the people against foreign domination. But the very stress on blackness helped to obscure certain problems of post-independence society. In particular it implied that the comÂmon interest that united all the people against colonialism would continue after independence. It tended to idealize the egalitarian tribal past, and thus obscure the fact that colonization had brought class differentiation to Africa. Even Julius Nyerere could write in 1962 "the idea of 'class' or 'caste' was non-existent in African society" (Freedom and Unity [Dar es Salaam: Oxford, 1966], p. 170). But by the end of the decade he was writing that Tanzania "still contains elements of feudalism and capitalism-with their temptations. These feudalistic and capitalistic features of our society could spread and entrench themselves" (Freedom and Socialism [Dar es Salaam: Oxford, 1968], p. 233). He Pointed out that "had we continued along the road to capitalism the members of our Civil Service, Local Government Service, our Army and Police, our doctors, auditors and administrators, and so on, might well have been among the privileged class of Tanzanians." And he reassessed the independence struggle:
"My leaders of the independence struggle . . . were not against capitalism; they simply wanted its fruits, and saw independence as the means to that end. Indeed, many of the most active fighters in the independence movement were Motivated- consciously or unconsciously-by the belief that only with independence could they attain that ideal of individual which their education or their experience in the modern actor had established as a worthwhile goal. . .This lack of ideological content during the independence struggle often served to maintain unity among the anti-colonist forces, or to prevent a diversion of energies into the difficult question of socialist education. (It was not only selfishness which made the leaders think only in terms of Africanizing the capitalist economy of the colonialists; often they had no knowledge of any alternatives.) But it can present a serious problem in the '"dependence period (ibid. pp. 27-28).
South Africa there are certain overriding interests that all blacks have in common. They are all politically powerless and they all suffer from racial discrimination But there are also potential conflicts of perspective and of interest. Coloureds and Indians have on the average a slightly higher standard of living than do Africans, and this is connected with a relatively favored position in regard to education, job opportunities, and trade unions rights. They are gradually moving into more and more skilled industrial and lower grade white-collar jobs. To the extent that they are motivated by purely material values, they may well be tempted to react to Africans as threatening competitors for skilled jobs, rather than as potential allies against white supremacy. Similarly, at least some members of the slowly growing African middle class may decide that they have more to gain from the limited certainties of the status quo than from the perhaps unlimited uncertainties of change. And by its very existence such a class at least seems to offer the possibility of salvation by individual upward mobility, thus discouraging attempts at group mobility. Finally, within the Bantustans there exists the possibility of a clash of interests between the peasantry and a middle class" of traders, politicians, and civil servants.
Thus an assertion of the dignity of blackness is not enough. It must be accompanied by an analysis of the conflicts of interest among the black people and by positive orientation toward a future society. And it is necessary that this should include a specific rejection of the materialist values of capitalist society. For in South Africa it is the acceptance of such values that is the most potent threat to the unity of the black people.
3. The very difficulties experienced by Africans, bound by the pass laws and low wages, in integrating themselves into the industrial system may discourage them from internalizing the consumer values of industrial society. As in nineteenth-century Europe, it is likely that, despite legislation, trade union activity will develop and the black urban workers will discover the communal solidarity of class organization. The striking Ovambo workers in South West Africa have recently shown the potency of this mixture of worker and tribal solidarity.
4. Finally, there are even some counter-socializing forces operating among the whites, and it is vital to understand these. We have seen that the main motive for white dominance is material self-interest. But we have also seen that acting in terms of one's material self-interest is not a necessary result of "human nature". It is the result of having internalized a particular human model. The whites are, in an important sense, themselves victims of the very system that they fight to preserve. For in becoming racialists and exploiters they become closed off to important areas of human experience. We have already discussed in general terms what is meant by the injunction "love your neighbor as yourself, you must love your neighbor. The question is what do you become if you fear and hate your neighbor? The essential thing that white South Africans lose is openness to the future and to other
To maintain political control of South Africa a certain type of government is required, and it is impossible to separate completely what it must do to blacks from what it does to whites. A minority cannot rule a majority by consent therefore be prepared to use force to maintain and this in turn requires a cultural climate sanctions killing. It must be continually on subversion" and be prepared to react to it rapidly. This requires a centralized authoritarian governmental system and an organization to discover subversion a secret spy service. The secret police are the creation of the National Party. They are the creation of white supremacy.
The spies must inevitability is among the whites as well as the blacks, for dissent anywhere may be contagious, and hence fatal. A climate develops in which people who are not even white dissenters fear to speak of politics or openly to criticize government policy. In many people's minds government policy and law become synonymous. We end up with the absurd picture of white cricket officials refusing to make any comment about multiracial sport because it is "against government policy." Thus the political cost to whites of maintaining economic privilege is that they lose control over many other areas of their lives and become subject to an external authority. Of course, to the extent that they have accepted the overriding importance of wealth they do not notice what they must give up to maintain it. The political fear and loss of freedom is accompanied by an even more insidious cultural unfreedom. Psychologically insecure individuals are threatened by change. They turn in upon themselves, blindly assert their importance, their own identity and their own cultural traditions, but are not capable of opening themselves out toward the future. They are incapable of using the cultural tradition as a basis for creative thought, rather than as an excuse for repetition of the past. Race prejudice prevents intelligent thought about the nature and functioning of society. And where intelligent thought is not available as a possible way of handling to change, the only recourse is to authority. It maybe to the authority of specific individuals, or of a particular tradition, or of a religion that has lost its transcendence. The authoritarian structure of the education system with its stress on discipline and on fact learning is not a mere coincidence.
We have seen that love requires understanding of oneself and of the other. But it is not possible to understand to stand myself or the other without the use of reason, without thinking about myself and my society, Unless I can see the way in which social forces impinge upon me and structure my relationships with other people I cannot escape from mere role-playing, from patterned of responses to the other. The stereotypical reaction of white to black is only the most obvious expression of society in which all relationships, from courtship to commuting, become stereotyped. All relations become rituals. The paradigm for human relationships in white South Africa is the tea party in which the white ladies coo properly over the maid's cakes and circulate pre-digested opinions about "the servant problem." Not an idea not a moment of communication, troubles the smooth, empty atmosphere.
The excitement of self-discovery, the excitement of shattered certainties, and the thrill of freedom: These are experiences that are closed to white South Africans. The price of control is conformity.
But these patterns can be broken. And it is important try to break them. It is important to show the whites they have to gain from a free democratic society. Once cultural preservation and development becomes freed from the preservation of privilege it becomes possible to visualize a society in which cultural identity not imply exclusivity and fear.
Until white South Africans come to understand that Present society and their present position is a result not of their own virtues but of their vices; until they come to see world history over the last five hundred years not as the "triumph of white civilization," but simply as the bloody and ambiguous birth of a new technology, and until they come to see these things not in the past but in hope for the future, they will not be able to communicate with black people, nor, ultimately, with one another.
The major force that could work in such a direction is the church. If the Christian churches can rediscover their transcendence and show the meaning of love to white South Africans, then a peaceful resolution of the struggle will be possible.
Within and without the church, we can all work for change South Africa in the following ways:
- First, on the personal level we all need to learn to live in a way that embodies our preference for people over things. We must realize that love and truth are more important than possessions. We must do this to be human. We must also do it because, in South Africa, our own attachment to possessions makes us vulnerable to intimidation. What we are afraid of determined by what we value. If we love people we will when faced by intimidation, fear the loss of our openness toward other people more than we fear anything the intimidators can do to us.
- We can learn to live differently as individuals, and we can also learn to live differently in small groups by a experimenting with types of communal living based on the sharing of property. Only if the new culture is embodies in the process of moving toward the new society will that society work when we get to it.
- Second, on the cultural level we can try to propagate and develop the critique of the dominant South African values that I have attempted here. We must attack racism, but we must also attack the unquestioned acceptance of material values underlying racism. We must try to show to all those who accept the dominant values how much they lose in this society and how much they could gain in a good society, "Self-interest" and "material-interest" are not the same. In fact, they are often' compatible.
- Most black South Africans probably have an awareness of this, but we are unlikely to convince the major of white South Africans who describe themselves as Christians that they should actually be Christians Nevertheless, the attempt to do so is important, ever only because it will weaken the obstacle to change constituted by white intransigence. Any attempt to educate people must start from their own experienced problems. The two most important areas in which whites actually recognize that they are experiencing problems as a suit of the reification of human relationships are not connected with race at all. These are man-woman relationships and formal education. By helping whites articulate and understand their problems in these areas we can help them to understand the wider significance of the dehumanizing nature of authority structures, Predefined social roles, and inequality of all kinds.
- Third, on the organizational level we must ensure that all organizations we work in them prefigure the future. Organizations must be participatory rather than authoritarian. They must be areas in which people inexperience human solidarity and learn to work with one another in harmony and in love. The churches must be made into such organizations.
Workers' organizations are a crucial element in the development of solidarity and of power. The Bantustans, while they cannot possibly develop as autonomous and viable states, are nevertheless areas in which small-scale models of the future can be tried out in it cooperative agriculture, education, and industry.
The churches have large sums of money that they invest in various business enterprises. There is no reason why they should not invest some of this money in worker-controlled enterprises in the homelands or in urban areas. And, finally, there is no reason why Christian business people should not practice Christianity by handing their own enterprises over to the workers .