And egotism rule in SA
CAPITALIST values of individualism, selfishness and greed have taken over the psyche of people across all classes, especially blacks. There are far too few blacks who espouse or practise the much-vaunted ubuntu that supposedly expresses African humanism.
It’s every man or family for himself – and South Africa, for those who can get what they can for themselves.
The sharing of resources or redistribution of wealth is a thing of the past.
While few blacks continue to share resources with families and relatives – including during the festive season – the spirit of sharing has greatly diminished.
This happens as the black middle class grows and more blacks can share and spread resources.
The best example of this is the absence of educational institutions where blacks show a willingness for racial upliftment.
Instead, monied blacks would rather spend R200 000 for a child at an elite private school than spread that among 20 children at a reasonable former Model C school.
While blacks driving vehicles that cost almost R1 million will return as super-achievers and heroes to their dilapidated communities in the townships and rural areas, they don’t spend time and resources to improve infrastructure in the communities that produced them.
Instead, blacks who establish schools to address the education crisis are foreigners who are persecuted for allegedly running fly-by-night schools.
It’s clear to those with eyes to see that economically well-off blacks have no time for their fellow human beings.
The capitalist values and ethics of individualism, greed, selfishness and pursuing self-interest have convinced blacks that it isn’t necessary to share in the communal sense of ubuntu.
This is in contrast to pre-1994 times when blacks were condemned to live and support one another because of the Group Areas Act, among other oppressive laws.
It was easier to pretend to pledge or practise black solidarity and espouse rhetorical black unity.
To be seen as sharing and showing an outgoing concern for fellow blacks provided a measure of social protection.
It also helped to gloss over the inherent class differences that have always been part of black division.
But once the white government repealed racist laws, blacks did not hesitate to show their true colours: dark and black.
Once they could move to live where they wanted, they did not hesitate to turn their backs to abandon illusionary blackness based on skin colour.
There is, increasingly, clear class divisions in the black community that separate and divide the privileged from the underdogs.
The false bonds of black solidarity and unity have, at last, been shattered.
The desire is to assimilate into white mainstream society in order to entrench and promote capitalist values.
Worse is that the only time privileged blacks will tolerate being in the same space with poor black people is at family gatherings such as funerals and weddings.
Otherwise there is a strong, thick line that divides the black community according to class, even at family gatherings.
Those from the suburbs with fancy degrees, designer labels and cars from Europe are given preferential treatment.
Blackness defined by skin colour as espoused by the likes of Andile Mngxitama and Mzwanele Manyi has been thrown into turmoil. Instead privileged blacks who have embraced capitalist values don’t hesitate to display the same contempt for the black poor. The connectedness to capitalism doesn’t define brotherhood in terms of giving but what one can get at a cheaper price from the other.
For them the priority struggle isn’t the fight against class differences in the black community, but racism.
Thus over the past 25 years the black middle class – whatever black means – is more eager to orchestrate transformation that closes the gap with whites than forge closer relations with black people.
Black achievement and advancement is in relation to integration into white capitalism.
There’s enough evidence to confirm that the apartheid strategy of divide and rule has shifted from the ethnic paradigm to class.
In fact, class divisions are to be found in all tribal and/or ethnic groups.
When black activists talk about racism and a desire to confront the much-vaunted white monopoly capital, they aren’t interested in addressing the increasing economic inequality in black society.
Capitalism breeds economic injustice and perpetuates inequality, thus making it difficult for social cohesion to take place.
But the preoccupation and obsession with racism in the black psyche makes it easy to condone the economic system.
However, it is increasingly becoming difficult to explain black solidarity and black unity as political concepts when the inequality gap is so glaring.
The capitalist values and ethics of individualism have had an adverse effect on black unity.
The likelihood of black solidarity and unity has been permanently thrown into the dustbin of history. It doesn’t make sense to babies born in 1994.
UNITED NO MORE: Increasingly, there are clear class divisions in the black community that separates and divides the privileged from the underdogs. The false bonds of black solidarity and unity have, at last, been shattered, says the writer.