The Spectator has dropped a bombshell which confirms my previous report, The Real Mandela. Rian Malan’s article “What a lost prison manuscript reveals about the real Nelson Mandela” debunks to a large degree the liberal-left revisionist history of Mandela’s alleged non-violence—a history bought into even by many conservative and evangelical Christians today.
That view is nonsense. The manuscript contains sections revealing that Mandela never changed his views on Marxism, communism, revolution, or even the use of violence—all things whitewashed from the official PC version of Mandela.
Not without irony, somewhere in between Mandela’s own original manuscript and the edited version later published as his autobiography, all of those inconvenient truths disappeared from the text.
Perhaps also not without irony: the ghostwriter/editor of record for that “autobiography” is now Obama’s undersecretary for public diplomacy.
But to the point, Malan’s article relates, “Professor Stephen Ellis of the University of Leiden sent out an email saying: ‘You’ll never guess what I’ve just found in the online archive of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.’”
What he found, just last week, was that original manuscript! And the contents return all the scare and fire to Mandela’s carefully airbrushed image. First we learn—by Mandela’s own hand remember—that he indeed sided all along with the communists and atheistic revolution (so-called “dialectical materialism”):
‘I hate all forms of imperialism, and I consider the US brand to be the most loathsome and contemptible.’
‘To a nationalist fighting oppression, dialectical materialism is like a rifle, bomb or missile. Once I understood the principle of dialectical materialism, I embraced it without hesitation.’
‘Unquestionably, my sympathies lay with Cuba [during the 1962 missile crisis]. The ability of a small state to defend its independence demonstrates in no uncertain terms the superiority of socialism over capitalism.’
This is just for starters, however. Malan gives three examples of major redactions given in the publicized, made-for-consumption, rewrite of Mandela’s own words:
First, Mandela reveals that he was in favor of violence long before the official version says he was essentially forced into it with no alternative. He was seeking guns from Communist China seven years before the official story gives him reason to resort to violence, and at that time it was in violation of what Mandela’s group’s public advocacy of non-violence. Malan writes:
Officially, Mandela was a moderate black nationalist, clinging to hope of peaceful change until it was extinguished by the Sharpeville massacre of 1960. But in the prison memoir we find him plotting war as early as 1953, when he sent a comrade on a secret mission to beg guns and money from Red China, in flagrant violation of the ANC’s non-aligned and non-violent stance.
How Mandela himself expressed his lust for violent revolution, however, is even more revealing:
‘I was bitter and felt ever more strongly that SA whites need another Isandlwana,’ he explains. Driving around the country, Mandela constantly imagines rural landscapes as battlefields and cities as places where one day soon ‘the sweet air will smell of gunfire, elegant buildings will crash down and streets will be splashed with blood’.
Malan adds, “These vivid quotes did not make it into the bestseller.” Of course not!
“Isandlwana,” by the way, refers to an historic 19th-century battle in which Zulu forces overwhelmed British Imperialists in a rather bloody defeat for the British. It was seen at the time as the eradication of the White man from Zulu lands (although its effect was temporary).
Mandela, consequently, also advocated the use of force against opponents much earlier than told and without the standard story of provocation first:
In April 1958, the ANC called a three-day national strike which drew little or no support and had to be called off in humiliating circumstances. In Long Walk, Mandela notes that the strike was completely effective in towns where it was enforced by violence or pickets. ‘I have always resisted such methods,’ he says, but goes on to reason that coercion is acceptable in cases where a dissident minority is blocking a majority. ‘A minority should not be able to frustrate the will of the majority,’ he concludes.
The prison manuscript reveals the opposite: Mandela actually did desire the use of force, and that indiscriminately:
‘This is not a question of principle or wishful thinking,’ he says. ‘If force will advance [the struggle], then it must be used whether or not the majority agrees with us.’
Malan’s comments are vital to understand (emphases here are mine):
[I]t’s important to understand what you’re looking at here: the rewrite makes Mandela sound reasonable. The original is Stalinism. Who determines the course of struggle? It is the communist vanguard, imbued with higher wisdoms derived from the gospel of dialectical materialism. And if the majority talks back, they must be smashed. As they were in the final bloody phase of the struggle here. And everywhere else in Planet Soviet.
This propagandistic revisionism in favor of the communist cause harmonizes in the third aspect Malan notes: Mandela originally recorded that the ANC had actually prevailed with many peaceful strikes and protests, and that despite the advances made in this manner, the establishment authorities never reacted with violence or repressive tactics:
The cost in ANC lives: zero. ‘To the best of my knowledge,’ writes Mandela, ‘no individuals [meaning political detainees] were isolated, forced to give information, beaten up, tortured, crippled or killed’ prior to December 1961. . . .
But, Malan notes, December 1961 was “when the communists started their bombing campaign.” In short, Mandela and the communists turned to terrorism first. Authorities reacted with these more repressive tactics only after the terrorism. Malan comments,
Clearly, this could not be allowed to stand. It spoils the plot completely! . . . [So, the revisionist and Hollywood version instead goes like this:] Provoked beyond endurance by oppression, Mandela convinces the ANC’s timid old guard that it is time to fight back. With their blessing, he goes on to form MK, ‘military wing of the ANC’, which launches a bombing campaign against non-human targets.
Not so, say the modern scholars and researchers noted by Malan. The truth is, “The decision to go to war was actually taken by the Communist party. . . .” Mandela’s terroristic group had not grown organically from the ANC, nor did it have the blessing of the party president (who opposed violence), but “was the sole creation of the Communist party, and everyone involved in its high command was openly or secretly a communist.”
And again, Malan notes, you will find nothing of this in either Mandela’s official autobiography, or the Hollywood film version of the story. In fact, Malan notes that even he was moved by watching the film, but wholly laughed when he later took the opportunity to give the movie’s script a more rational analysis:
Then I borrow an electronic copy of the script and run a search for the word ‘communist’. Two scenes come up. In one, a white policeman jostles Mandela while saying, ‘Ag, everyone knows you’re a bloody communist!’ In another, a white police general appears at the scene of a bombing and says, ‘This is the work of communist terrorists….’ Both cops are clearly intended to be taken as racist buffoons. This is a perfect distillation of the traditional left-liberal position on Mandela. For decades it was gospel. Now, it’s inadvertently funny.
Better yet, it’s inadvertent comedy because of Mandela’s own candid hand.