Saturday, 18 August 2012
The myth of the "Good Prince".
Thursday's brutal killing of thirty four South African miners echoes the worst days of the apartheid regime and is a lesson to all about the true class nature of ANC rule; but already apologists are saying that Mandela would never have allowed this tragedy to happen on his watch. It's a lament as old as history. If only good King Richard had known what was going on Prince John and the Sheriff Of Nottingham would never have been able to force Robin Hood into fleeing to the greenwood. You can still find people who looking in dismay at today's East End declare that, "The Twins would never have allowed this". Why there are even those who maintain that the horrors of Stalinism had nothing much to do with Uncle Joe but were all the work of those scheming apparatchiks. Others might try to convince us that Hitler was far too busy defending the fatherland to realise what was happening in the camps. This is not to say that history does not throw up good men and women; clearly it does. Nor am I suggesting that Nelson Mandela is not one of those good men but simply that our fate can never be left to powerful individuals no matter how well intentioned they might be. By the same token the redistribution of wealth and the emancipation of the working class is not something that can be postponed until some historically correct moment in the distant future. The Good Prince will not step in to save us - he never has and never will.