Independence Day (US) LO28808

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 07/09/02


Replying to LO28783 --

Dear Organlearners,

Rick Karash <Richard@Karash.com> writes:

>This is July 4th, Independence Day in the US. Over the
>past couple of years, my thoughts have turned from time
>to time to the grand ideas, radical ideas at the time, involved
>in the founding of our country. We may not always live up
>to these, but the ideals themselves are worthy of
>re-examination.
>
>Today, I went to find the original text, and found it
>refreshing and exciting. My wish for the health of the world
>is that all people can someday live in societies which attempt
>to be in accord with these values.
>
>Here are the most significant paragraphs of our Declaration:

Greetings dear Rick,

Thank you for copying the significant parts of the Declaration. I still
remember how I felt in 1968 after having seen the document for the first
time here in South Africa. I longed for something similar for our own
country divided by apartheid. But it took another 28 years before our
constitution for the new South Africa was signed into law on 10 December
1996.

For those interested , here is the preamble to our own constitution:
~~~~~~~~
We, the people of South Africa,

Recognise the injustices of our past;

Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;

Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and

Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our
diversity.

We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this
Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to ≠

     Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society
     based on democratic values, social justice and
     fundamental human rights;

     Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society
     in which government is based on the will of the people
     and every citizen is equally protected by law;

     Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the
     potential of each person; and

     Build a united and democratic South Africa able to
     take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family
     of nations.

May God protect our people.

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso.

God seŽn Suid-Afrika. God bless South Africa.

Mudzimu fhatutshedza Afurika. Hosi katekisa Afrika.
~~~~~~~~

History had such a different course for SA than for the USA.

Perhaps the most important reason was that the first European settlement
was begun in 1652 by the DEIC (Dutch East Indian Company). The next 150
years the vast and rich DEIC ruled the Cape with a firmer hand than any
Crown would have done. Settlers began to move out of the control of the
DEIC, but they could not actually claim independance from what was, after
all, a business company.

Then, unexpectedly to its inhabitants, the Cape Colony was annexed by the
British Crown. Only then settlers became aware that they had the right to
form their own government. So the Great Trek to the inland began. It ended
in the formation of the two independent Boer Republics ZRA and OVS. Their
years were numbered because soon afterwards first diamonds and then gold
were discovered. The diamond and gold magnates finally managed to engineer
the British Boer War (1899-1902) in the name of the British Crown. After
some fourty years the two republics lost their freedom. In 1910 the four
British provinces Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Natal and Transvaal were
allowed to form the Union of South Africa with limited self-government
under a governer-general from the British Crown.

In 1948 the white electorate voted for the policy of apartheid. In 1962
the Union became the independent Republic of South Africa so as for the
government to maintain its policy of apartheid. In 1992 apartheid became
axed by an electorate inclusive of all peoples.

In other words, it took 340 years for all the peoples of South Africa to
become truely independent. We have now 10 years of inclusive independence
compared to the 226 years of independence of the USA. The problems that we
now face are far more and far worse than the problems which faced that 13
independent US states after their first ten years.

ALL our own problems have one thing in common -- although we are an
independent nation, we cannot act as if we are independent from the rest
of Africa as well as from a global economy and global ecology. Jan Smuts,
father of holism and prime minister of the Union of South Africa (1936-48)
knew it too well. He acted accordingly, not imagining that he would lose
the elections to apartheid. The basic idea of apartheid was for white
people to live as independently as possible from the rest of Africa and
even Africans within its borders. After forty years it became clear to all
the peoples of South Africa that this is impossible.

Many of our problems have been caused by other nations serving their own
interests in the past. Many of these nations are now willing to help us
solve our problems, but again with their own interests still having
priority. This means only one thing -- the continuation and intensifying
of these problems rather than their solution.

I personally think that saving Africa has to begin by helping South Africa
to solve its most urgent problems without wanting anything back for it --
a kind of Marshall plan. South Africa is the door into Africa, the example
which all the other African nations can follow. South Africa is the place
where Wester, Eastern and African peoples are learning to join hands.

May Indepedence Day this year bring more hope and insight to the USA
nation.

With care and best wishes

-- 

At de Lange <amdelange@postino.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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