tv [untitled] December 11, 2013 2:30am-3:01am EST
nelson mandela he was almost universally considered one of the greatest individuals of our time he was a prisoner of conscience and a living symbol conquering adversity however he was far more complex than most mainstream media are willing to admit when dylan's legacy is so much more than merely being a figure of inspiration and reconciliation. to cross-talk the legacies of nelson mandela i'm joined by my guest rajon men in new york he is a professor at the city college of new york and a senior fellow at the atlantic council in london we have jeremy keenan he is the author of the upcoming book dying for change as well as a professor real research associate at the school of oriental and african studies at the university of london and in seattle we cross to illinois mercer she is a paleo libertarian writer and journalist all right folks cross talk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want to lead if i go to you first in
seattle you got up early as for this program i've been all watching a lot of the coverage of the death and the funeral and the coverage of this passage of this really truly great man and it's basically two words he's an inspiration and he was a figure of reconciliation is that enough for you. no i'm also the author of a book called into the cannibals past lessons for america from post apartheid south africa and that is definitely not a hey geographic account of many nelson mandela i will leave it to your other guests to provide the oh yes and the graphic. biographical details of a very genial and impressive man but certainly his political legacy is not exactly impressive people often say that he was a someone who facilitated the peaceful transition to so-called democracy democracy rule which is really
a dominant party state in south africa and any democratic scholar worth his salt will tell you that a dominant party state is not a true democracy but nelson mandela did not require a revolution because when he came out of prison the anglo american axis of evil pretty much facilitated everything the a.n.c. negotiated for so there where so they you had america which is founded on a decentralized devolved federal republic advocating top down pure ror rank democracy over very little representation of veto power from the minorities no by cameral dispensation and. pretty much a very little devolution to the provinces so that is one of his legacy ok i don't want right now one second off right now rajan a new yorker if i go to you what kind of legacy is in your mind when you think of
nelson mandela because all of my courage right up front i mean i'm a child of the cold war and i remember him in the context of the cold war south africa fighting communism the global confrontation between the united states and the soviet union and. a great deal of his life before he went to prison was about that go ahead roger. right so i appreciate on a leaving the head geography to me in germany but i'm not here to do that. look when a man of this stature dies you will have in the press a great deal of her geography and it behooves those of us who pretend to be scholars to look beyond that so i'm not surprised about the geography now a lot of them mention the one party state that came about as a result of what she called the axis of evil well some historical downtown on saturday during the era of apartheid dominant power just
a dominant parties to let not just one hearted like if i could just finish you know john continue continue can you and you so you'll have a chance to continue so a dominant party state no it's passing strange that the same axis of evil had a rather tolerant attitude toward apartheid south africa during the worst years of part time it is certainly true and i think mandela would be the first to admit it because he was a much more introspective man that some of his. admirers who were not trying to lionize him as a man without fault that he was also facing a formidable structure in the form of apartheid south africa in the national party and so. much of what has happened in south africa i suspect was disappointing to mandela does he in some sense to bear some responsibility for those feel is absolutely so i think one of the striking things about mandela is whether it was as a husband and a father or as
a political leader he was not unaware of his faults and so he was not a self geographer if you will ok jeremy one of the things i find interesting in the coverage of mandela and his death is that there isn't the culpability of western countries and apartheid seems to be maybe not white wash but really. down the line here i mean western countries including the united states supported apartheid almost exactly to the very very end and it's their support now their way they adore mandela does that absolve them of their sins when i think you've touched on a very important point and that is that the west particular united states and britain whether they like to admit it or not where basically supportive of apartheid they were supportive of it basically by fighting against those things that might have damaged or destroyed it such as sanctions and if we take both reagan and thatcher in the one nine hundred eighty s.
they moved sort of literally heaven and earth to if you like destroy the pro sanctions movement bearing in mind that at that time most blacks in south africa all the various surveys that were done which were difficult to do but those that were done gave strong indication that the majority of blacks were in favor of sanctions against the apartheid regime knowing that that was really the one thing probably the only thing that would make it sit up and pay attention to to to the rest of the world and so the pair of them and reagan. were very strongly supportive if you like of the apartheid regime will do they wouldn't say it in so many words and that is something we must not lose sight of and of course with the problem that mandela had really he was in a sense between a bit of a. rock and a hard place as we might say when he was in a sense negotiating the transition he had i think very little to work with. in
a sense if the neo liberal agenda had not been put in place the world would have turned against south africa and the markets would have probably pretty well destroyed anything that may have appeared at it like if i go back to feeling of that in seattle here it's a very good. point the learned are so many delegates was the front man he was defeated i have to say go ahead go ahead roy jump in ken i just object to i think this is somewhat of a distortion here about the position of ronald reagan and margaret thatcher they believed in constructive engagement however much this was marked a gradual change. rather than a top. instant ten years transformation of majority minority dispensation so this was not throw a party it certainly boycotts were instituted there's a very valid argument against boycotts in terms of the economy of the country.
boycotts to hurt the poorest surely so should mrs thatcher was very adamant i mean she would have given anyone a handbag going to suggest that you transfer a country as industrialized and developed a cell for africa to a bunch of ragtag communists and that was the a.n.c. in the one nine hundred fifty s. the platform was nationalization and communism ok all right we're going to let me tap in here that are but i but i don't know if they jump in here but that didn't happen and that's a very interesting point roger if i go back to you i mean how do you think mandela saw the world in one thousand nine hundred after twenty seven years in prison because it let is absolutely correct when he went to prison there was a certain world view when he came out what he wanted to do with virtually impossible that's why i'm going back he was a perfect front man for this new agenda in south africa to end apartheid importantly go ahead roger where my views largely align with jeremy's although
alone and make some very very good points look we all have the luxury of twenty twenty hindsight when mandela emerge from prison on the economic side how do you followed the policies of robert mugabe or edi i mean and there had been massive white flight as it was about seven hundred fifty thousand people very quickly whites left south africa taking skill and capital with them curia lies that there would have a catastrophic effect on the economy the room any people who felt that some of his policies were not redistributive enough but i think you have to walk a fine line between redistributive policies and the need to avoid white flight that would have crippled the economy. also because i think he believed in a multi multi racial south africa on the political front he's been criticized for the truth and reconciliation process but i think the alternative might have been a race war which would have put sought after going to
a much much worse position than it is now so were these perfect strategies can we do what americans call monday morning quarterbacking after the fact of course that is true but i think it behooves us to put historical figures in the context in which we found them if not on the question of america american constructive engagement just jump in sorry it can i just jump in here quickly go ahead quickly peter can i just jump in here yes i well i think that he socialist sympathizers should not begrudge mandela because he rebranded socialism he was a very crafty third way a politician he has followed the neo marxist prescription to the teeth in terms of land distribution aggressive affirmative action social racialism socialized racialism in which companies have to be coordinate by cohen to buy blacks but not vice versa so i think
a socialist friend should not be so disappointed in the so-called neo liberal agenda he did not localize the economy threatened nationalization were featured lee so. as far as my myself i'm concerned as a free market i certainly general think. that it liberates go back to new york right before we go to the break here no matter you are going to give germany a chance and i'd like to respond you got ten seconds go ahead well let me give jeremy a chance perhaps you want to say something or i think we're going to go to a short break here all right after a short break we'll continue our discussion and nelson mandela stayed with r.t. .
how much more poison lies on the ground. behind this zone there is what we call the callet bank on which there was a deposit of plutonium left by security test which caused the dispersion of radio nuclides despite previous cleaning efforts there remains a deposit of a little less than two kilos of plutonium stuck in the rock and the coral reef is about ten meters down. the attests a never ending legacy. welcome back to cross talk were all things were considered i'm peter all about to remind you we're discussing the multiple legacies of nelson mandela.
ok jeremy like to go back to you in london in the first part of the program we actually are talking about in a sense is south africa a better place today than it was before mr mandela was reaping released from prison and i think we all agree that it may be the end of apartheid is an absolute good ok but you know there's income inequality there is poverty brings up a very good point about pluralism what kind of legacy did he leave behind for the average person in south africa jeremy in london please go. well i was in south africa last week and i was trying to answer this very same question and i think there are it's very difficult to do in a couple of seconds but i think there's two statistics that we need to remind ourselves of which haven't really changed since one thousand nine hundred four that is where when democracy began and that is that south africa has the highest maldistribution of income in the world or first or second possibly with brazil and
secondly it has the highest expenditure. of g.d.p. on. private security those two facts if you like obviously the two sides of the same coin now at least for the first ten years of post apartheid the argument was yes these figures are the legacy of apartheid well those figures are still there and now that argument no longer washes we are looking now at the legacy if you like of neo liberalism and very strong near liberal policies within south africa now mandela him. self may have threatened nationalisation of this that and the other but the point is that it never was it was never put in practice and the same goes today. and the impression i had last week was very very interesting it was and i worked through the eighty's which was the worst time of apartheid the impression i got last week talking very much to the youth members of the the a.n.c.
youth which has up to age thirty five i should add so these are mostly search year olds. and even amongst the sort of thirty percent of the the poor dispossessed there was no mention no pork even if even when i was trying to get it going any sort of socialist agenda all the various strategies and demands and so forth were in the context of a very strong sort of if you like right wing capitalism and a famous saying at the moment is we've already fought for our freedom now we're fighting for money so in a sense much of the i think the legacy of of the post apartheid era is to turn. racial capitalism into a class space capitalism and that is where i think the to fight is now taking place and i must say i have i was left with very positive feelings from my talks last week with the a.n.c. youth members and the members of the economic. freedom fighters. of this legacy
what needs to be done and where does gone wrong and i came away left the country before the day before mandela died with a very positive feeling for the first time in a long time when it could have been very much different because part of the negotiating strategy to have been dealt with needs in the first place b. and c. made this deal you know how the economy was going to be run it wasn't going to be. nationalization of the of the mines for example of factories it was going to be the the what was the flavor of the time no new liberal agenda so again you know i'm kind of stressing and i don't mean we do know that i don't want to be disrespectful to he was the face of the agreement that was made that he had probably very little to do with outside of you know i will represent this and i know i'm not. peter with due respect i'm not going to have capitalism but smirched all business including mines have to be co owned by blacks this is a different form
a mutated form of socialism it's racialize socialism in other words the mines have to take on black mostly from their leet a and c. clifftop to see they have to take on ownership so that to say that we have rampant capitalism is in is absolutely untrue the rate of distribution the rate of the proportion of tax payers to task consumers is is one to eleven in that country so you have a very energetic distribution distribution list scheme and the thing that net nelson mandela has never mentioned and i want to mention because we care about human rights and the quality of the individual's right in south africa and the new south africa is the ethnic decimation of the a for carnal population especially the rural community and the farming community he never raised his voice when i was i'm very quiet i'm very glad you mentioned that if we go back to new york that's
a very sensitive issue i have noticed that western with mainstream media absolutely doesn't want to talk about that but there is an issue in post apartheid africa south africa let's talk about distribution and redistribution in apartheid south africa there was also a highly distribution system. the whites controlled most of the economy and the blacks were denied political rights now let's not fight the legacy about why this was and so on and so forth when mandela came to power and i agree with peter i mean calling him some sort of radical redistributionist it's simply flies in the face of the facts but let's assume that some redistribution was done and i think peter is on point when he says not enough was done given the legacy of apartheid were blacks were systematically frozen out of political and economic rights and denied the basic tools that are required to thrive in any kind of system be it socialist
a capitalist something needed to be done i think all things considered the criticism of mandela on the part of many to surround and franchise of africans is that a lot of the problems that jeremy was talking about have not gone away income inequality has increased. racial segregation is not the law and now but it is de facto president alaina mentioned corruption she called it a cult plug kleptocracy i'll stay away from labels and names but there is a huge amount of corruption and. i wouldn't would mandela deny this i rather suspect that he would not but what i take issue with is this notion that he was some kind of a rabid socialist who wanted to topsy-turvy turn everything around were that the case we would see very different statistics in south africa today who control still most of the wealth in south africa if the redistribution has been so strong and
what is wrong with requiring that people who have been disenfranchised be given a seat at the table i'm going to do i want to change while we're running quickly run out of time and i want to change gears a little bit here jeremy if i can go to you i mean that is the only place we have to keep moving on jeremy in london if i can go to you three of his best friends. were castro gadhafi and arafat again you know western perceptions here i'm sure that's not being focused very much on on c.n.n. and b.b.c. you know because he's supposed to be with the spice girls and you supposed to be with rock stars when it was wonderful church city was wearing which were wonderful but this is again this kind of spinning mandela to the way we want to see him go ahead jeremy. well i think i'll just go back to a point i'd like to make here we've been talking mostly about the economy and the redistribution and so on and so forth and not a huge amount of change there in a macro level i think when it comes to me and i really don't think mandela himself
had a great deal to do with economic policy in the period when he was president he was much more concerned with what i think he would regard as sort of higher things and that is basically trying to stave off the violence that i think almost everybody thought would would would be characteristic of whatever sort of transition took place in south africa and i think without sort of being haiti graphic i think his great legacy is not so much on the economy because as we've been saying this to the lot to be desired there in some respects it's even got worse but. at the end of the one nine hundred eighty s. when apartheid was at its very worst i was working there then i think very very few people ever thought there could be a peaceful transition and i think what he has done at the expense of the economy perhaps was that he has brought about a degree of reconciliation where i think the idea of the sense of sort of
a race war is really highly unlikely and i think that is his great contribution to south africa. not so much on the economic front but i don't think he had a great deal to do with the economy to give him if you like him as a justice for the other people. yes he was a he was if you like suckered in. to a sort of neo liberal agenda but i think he was happy to be suckered into any think if you like on the economic front as long as he could bring about the reconciliation that has actually happened and i think that is the great great legacy. and let me go back. and see out of here because i think it's very interesting as in if he did if he wasn't given much control over the economy which i think is very likely here he actually had other things to do and that's foreign policy as well i mean he was very very much against the intervention the legal intervention into iraq for example a strong supporter of palestinian rights castro is what was one of his best looking
for careful black go ahead go ahead one jump all the parts kettle black. pot kettle black because he did invade le searcher in one thousand nine hundred eight after he criticized bush of course i agree with nelson mandela's pronouncements on washington's foreign policy but one thing about nelson mandela as a capitalist that is an absolute joke he repeatedly repeated the mantra that capitalism was the instrument of white of pression when i think the history of labor in south africa shows that capitalists acting in self interests especially in the strike of one nine hundred twenty two insists that only employing black laborers because they were as productive as white laborers and cheaper capitalistic always try to circumvent and bypass apartheid laws because right or wrong that it was in were also at a time when again rajon the last word in new york here what is history going to say about this man one hundred years from now look at your crystal ball first of all
well first of all nobody has called nelson mandela capitalist but let me answer your question i think you'll be seen as a mixed leader i think a person who himself recognized his. personal and political for both but to come back to a point the jeremy made what strikes me is that had men not steered the transition in the way that he did and embrace reconciliation things could have turned out to be far far worse politically ok that would have very strong not very positive now we have run out of time folks many thanks to my guest today in new york in london and in seattle and thanks to our viewers for watching us here darkie see you next time and remember.
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