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JaseyBoi

Nelson Mandela Good v Bad

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I know next to shit-all about South African history (as do 90% of anyone who is commenting on the man's death online) but i'm pretty sure he was a lot of good and a wee bit of bad. Bad at governing but good at everything else. Like, he had no clue what to do with his country's natural resources, would get hospitals and schools built by 'calling in favors' here and there rather than properly planning infrastructure, etc. Sounded like he was up for fecht back in the day too. But, he redefined what it meant to be South African and was a symbol of hope and all that. So yeah, he was a bit more of a hard-cunt than Ghandi, less clever than Abe Lincoln but more likeable and 'of the people' than almost anyone else you could compare him with.

 

Definitely a top-10 world figure like

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I know next to shit-all about South African history (as do 90% of anyone who is commenting on the man's death online) but i'm pretty sure he was a lot of good and a wee bit of bad. Bad at governing but good at everything else. Like, he had no clue what to do with his country's natural resources, would get hospitals and schools built by 'calling in favors' here and there rather than properly planning infrastructure, etc. Sounded like he was up for fecht back in the day too. But, he redefined what it meant to be South African and was a symbol of hope and all that. So yeah, he was a bit more of a hard-cunt than Ghandi, less clever than Abe Lincoln but more likeable and 'of the people' than almost anyone else you could compare him with.

 

Definitely a top-10 world figure like

 

 

 

:laughing:

Edited by Max Fenig

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All the Facebook love-in stuff bugged me. I bet some folk had a link to 'Free Nelson Mandela' on You Tube at the ready at all times since he went into hospital.

But having read a lot of the stuff in the papers over the past few days, my admittedly pretty low knowledge of the man was filled out a bit and my thought remains as it was - a good guy.

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Odd that people aren't aware of him, or are taken aback by the accolades (though I'm in Poland atm and am not noticing all that much). I recall his release and election being sufficiently massive for my primary teachers to talk to us about it and it's probably the first political affair I can remember. He was surely one of the most famous men in the world throughout the '90s, but I think any coming-out-of-the-woodwork feel to the press on his death is perhaps due to the fact he's been pretty reclusive the last decade or so. Also, perhaps his star has faded a bit because the things associated with him - the ANC, the South African presidency, have pretty much gone to shit, and the euphoric optimism that greeted his release/election hasn't really been borne out.

 

Regards the "terrorist" label, on the one hand Mandela unilaterally turned the ANC away from non-violence but he did so towards the bloodless sabotage of things like electricity pylons and was in any case pretty promptly locked up; the "typical" terrorism to which Thatcher referred (I think a relative handful of bombings and more frequent necklacing of suspected informants) was committed a decade or two into his prison stretch by another generation of militants. On the other hand, I think it's interesting that the ANC and Mandela were very atypical terrorists in that they nevertheless had pretty broad and uncontroversial support internationally despite (?) any terrorist methods. I recall reading a book by Chomsky recently where he did his usual thing of pointing out US acts of "terrorism" as exemplars of just that, and then arguing that the ANC should be called something other than "terrorists" because he happened to agree that the ends justified the means in its case. 

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Margaret Thatcher said he was a terrorist but at the same time she was friends with Pinochet.  This automatically means he was a good egg.

 

 

 

Meh - Mandela was pretty friendly with Gaddaffi and Castro.

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How is there even a debate about his? He was a key figure in bringing down one of the most wretched policies in world history.

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How is there even a debate about his? He was a key figure in bringing down one of the most wretched policies in world history.

 

Not sure what the debate the OP referred to was about, but I imagine it had something to do with the ANC engaging in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necklacing (pretty horrific, tbh) as well as occasionally just blowing up civilians. As I said Mandela had long been jailed at the time but was still a nominal leader, and retook the reigns of the same organisation when he got out. He also took the ANC towards violent resistance in the first place, albeit the destruction of infrastructure rather than actual killing.

 

Much as I agree he was an amazing and dogged freedom fighter, and one of the very finest among so many post-colonial leaders in the latter 20th century, in terms of his presidency and governance I think he failed to deliver the kind of society he talked about, beyond just getting universal suffrage. 

Edited by scottyboy
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The suggestion that he was a terrorist is one that stems from the ANC's actions when he was in prison, and the milder actions of the ANC before he went to prison which is what he got jailed for in the first place. There are tonnes of people out there who just see him as a terrorist, but the fact of the matter is he was fighting apartheid, whether terrorist methods were used or not, it's hard to see any other way they could have reached their ends with out the acts that they used in order to make a stance. 

 

But he was definitely a good egg, after being released from prison he denounced the acts of the militant ANC and his younger self and asked not to be put on a pedestal, as he himself didn't consider himself to be perfect. But he truly believed in equality, he didn't seek revenge for what he had gone through after prison, he was humble and forgiving which is the true nature of himself and his politics. So he has to be credited for that over the acts he committed when he was a young man. 

 

And yet your man David Cameron wanted him hanged, what position does that leave you in? 

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Yeah i have also seen the pictures of David Cameron wearing a hang Nelson Mandela T-shirt while people around him had banners and posters...

 

 

I also read that how can a guy be so bad for 55 years ..Then so good for 44 years and still be seen as a saint.

 

His wife ive read is a bit of a dodgy mare anaw.... 

 

I read One article that actually claimed some of the necklacing and bombing were direct commands from Nelson... True or false i have no idea but there is so much reading out there regarding his bad side and his Organisations terror tactics...

 

Im neither a lover or hater of the guy myself like...Just so many contradictory stories regarding his early years (the first 55 years) . . .

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And yet your man David Cameron wanted him hanged, what position does that leave you in? 

 

It's an unsubstantiated claim, the claim states that Cameron was a member of the federation of Conservative students, something there isn't actually any proof of as apparently Cameron didn't really get involved in politics at any level until he was a bit older (the posters came out when he was 19), that being said the second claim, that Cameron took an all-expenses paid trip to South Africa in 1989 while working on policy for the Conservatives, and that it was paid for by a lobbying company that opposed sanctions, is true. Many Tories opposed sanctions during the 1980s, something a lot of them - including Cameron - have publicly stated they regret since then.  There is plenty of reason to hate Cameron enough without these false accusations against him.

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