Independence Day (US) - interdependence LO28861

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 07/18/02

Replying to LO28842 --

Dear Organlearners,

Jan Lelie <> writes
to John Dicus who wrote:
>>For sure we need less alienating and less destructive
>>governments, societies, and companies. To that end
>>interdependence, servant-leadership, and stewardship
>>are pathways to more benevolent, nurturing, and
>>generative environments.
>That hurts! If we need less alienating and less destructive
>governments ... companies, why don't we have them?
>What prevents us from creating these institutions, now?
>Not only in the US - home of the free and brave - but
>also in the rest of our little universe. Or are we still on
>our way to perfection?

Greetings dear Jan,

I keep on wondering why you wrote "That hurts!". I cannot see anything in
what John wrote which can hurt. Will you please explain it to me.

I agree with John that we need "less alienating and less destructive"
organisations in all walks of society. I agree with you that we have to
create them. Some we will have to create from scratch, but the majority we
will have to create out of existing organisations. This kind of creation
is usually called transformation.

Here in South Africa the ideology and policy of apartheid were the cause
of many "alienating and destructive" organisations in all walks of
society. The Afrikaans word "apartheid" itself means separation or
fragmentation. It is a deliberate denial of wholeness between people of
different races, pursuing the outcome of no-wholeness. In fact, the white
electorate in 1948 voted with a small margin for apartheid against Jan
Smuts' policy based on holism.

The fact that the electorate in 1948 were mostly white Europeans, was a
curious historical development. The Banthu and Xhoi people each had a much
different social system (education, economy, politics, jurisprudence,
etc.). They had no need for an European social system. Likewise the
European people had no need for an African social system. Consequently
Banthu, Xhoi and European people lived in separate regions, each adhering
to its own social system.

I need not describe the European kind of government based on democratic
elections. But let us compare it to the kind of government which Banthu
peoples (Zulu, Xhosa, .... 13 of them) had and still have in rural
regions. The smallest political unit was the "kraal". The "kraal" is a
small village with huts and a pen for cattle, surrounded with a fence to
keep out wild animals. The "kraal" had a head ("umnumzane" in Zulu), the
senior man from a kinship rather than elected by votes. A number of
"kraal"s formed a region with a regional chief ("isigodi" in Zulu), again
the senior man from a kinship rather than elected by votes. The regions
add together into a nation like the Zulus headed by a king. The
"umnumzane" was responsible to the "isigodi" while the latter was
responsible to the king.

It should be clear that Europeans and Bantus had no need for each other's
system of government. Both had an agrigarian based economy. This remained
the case until as late as 1880 after the discovery of gold. Suddenly the
trickle of industrialisation began, needing its faceless workers. Black
people began to move to the European owned gold towns to work as miners,
etc. But before they could even experience alieniation to their political
rights, the horrible British-Boer war (1899-1902) began. In 1910 the Union
of South Africa was formed with limited self-government -- based on
democratic elections for whites. In the rurals regions owned by blacks
their own system of government was still operating.

[The etymology of the English word neighbour is interesting. The "neigh"
comes from the Saxon "neah"=near and the "bour" comes from the Saxon
"bur"=farmer. The Saxon "bur" has become "boer" in Afrikaans.]

But as a result of the formation of the Union (an act of increasing
wholeness!), the trickle of industrialisation suddenly became a torrent.
Black people moved from their rural homes, imbedded in a rich Banthu
social system, to squat in so-called locations around white owned towns.
In such locations there was little, if any social system. Soon concerned
white people began to provide for them with their own European social
system, except for the political rights. Thus the blacks began to learn
the social ways of the whites. In 1910 a few hundred of blacks felt
themselves alienated from European politics. In 1912 some of them formed
the ANC (African National Congress) By 1948 they have grown exponentially
to hundreds of thousands, wanting to have what the whites have. No wonder
the ideology and policy of apartheid of the NP (National Party) were so
appealing to whites who wanted to protect their own interests. But in 1992
the ANC finally took control of government from the NP. The majority of
black wanted an European lifestyle and they outnumbered the whites by far.

The main reason why it goes much worse in countries north of South Africa
like Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Angola, Uganda, Tanganyika,
Kenia, etc., is that the European social system through colonialisation
had been forced upon them. They have little exprience of it. Meanwhile
that forcing disrupted their own African social system. Thus a fertile
ground for crime and poverty had been prepared while the European social
system is thrown away piece by piece. But what happens here in South
Africa is that a "Africa-Europe"-an social system is beginning to emerge.
Should the Western world wants to invest in Africa, the safest way is to
do it in South Africa and hence via South Africa.

There is no doubt in my mind that South Africa is the "umlomo"
(mouthpiece, commuter) between the Europe (West) and Africa
(especially Southern Africa) in the associative pattern
. Europe * South Africa * Africa
of wholeness. Should the former colonialising countries of Europe
want to heal the wounds which they have caused in Southern Africa,
they will have to recognise South Africa as the key to their success.

However, they will have to bear the great lesson of South Africans in
mind. Do not impair the wholeness of society, but rather increase its
wholeness. Impairing such wholeness leads to "alienating and destructive"
organisations in all walks of society. Jan Smuts firmly belived that his
holism ("increasing wholeness") was the solution for South Africa's social
problems. Yet he lost the election in 1948 to apartheid=antiholism. This
made him think deeply, more than ever before. What more than "increasing
wholeness" was needed? I think that should he have lived today and I have
explained to him that wholeness is one of the 7Es (seven essentialities of
creativity), he would have understood why he lost the 1948 election.

Jan, you ask "What prevents us from creating these institutions, now?"
With "these" you refer to "less alienating and less destructive"
organisations, or positively said, to "more friendly and more
constructive" organisations. In terms of our South African experiences, I
will dare claim one sure thing -- a lack of wanting to increase in

Independence without seeking wholeness is a surrealistic dream.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> 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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