The Idolatry of Nelson Mandela

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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A powerful essay from Jillian Becker on Mandela and Gandhi

“Nelson Mandela is a life-long Communist. He even cobbled together a little book called “How To Be A Good Communist”. He co-founded and directed a terrorist organization, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation). He never stopped admiring tyrannies and red dictatorships.

The Mahatma Gandhi was a rather cruel man. He deliberately kept the fifty or so poor Indian workers who labored on his South African farm – which he called “Tolstoy Farm” – on starvation rations, in pursuit of a theory that the body could learn to survive on virtually no food. He also paid them no wages, so it would not be wrong to call them slaves. He abandoned the wife and child he acquired during his years in South Africa, left them with no means of subsistence when he returned to India. In 1946 he commented on the Holocaust, “The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife.”

By his own confession he was a lecher before he conceived the theory that the body could learn to live without sex. Then to prove his ability to resist temptation, he would, as an old man, have nubile young girls sleep beside him without ever taking advantage of them. What the girls felt about the experiment has not been recorded. He was also a poseur. The image he liked to project of a man who needed nothing but a loin-cloth and a spinning wheel was belied by the colossal expense the British Foreign Office was put to in 1931 in order to meet his demand to “live among the poor” in the East End of London. They had to buy houses, repair them, guard them, furnish them comfortably while leaving the Mahatma a bare room in which to meet diplomats and the press. Had he demanded a whole floor of the Ritz Hotel it would have cost his hosts less.

Gandhi is long dead, and now it seems Nelson Mandela is dying. There will be obituaries and elegies extravagantly praising him – if also some criticism of him for being too soft or too hard, depending on whether it comes from the left or the right. But Mandela, like Gandhi, will be made as immortal as a mortal can be made.

The human race needs its heroic saviors. It needs its Mandela, its Gandhi, as it has needed its Moses, its Jesus Christ, its Muhammad, its Buddha.

Mandela must be the hero-martyr who bought black freedom from white oppression with his own long incarceration; who set an example of forgiveness; who remained peaceable despite intense provocation to resort to violence. He must be a model of patient virtue under racist oppression; the perfect unvengeful victim who rose to be the gentle leader of a new democratic South Africa.

That picture is false, like the one of Gandhi as a good and simple man. And Gandhi no more liberated India from the British Raj with his passive resistance movement than Mandela overthrew apartheid with his revolutionary leadership exercised from a prison cell.

But the truth about Mandela and Gandhi will not matter. It will not make any difference to what they must stand for in order to satisfy a human need. Mandela the Idol is bigger far than the real man, and so is the Idol named Gandhi. In each case the myth has already replaced the man.

Good saviors these will remain in the collective esteem, the personifications of dearly held ideals. As deeply as the ideals are needed, their personifications will be adored and celebrated, and can no more be allowed to have had weaknesses and vices than the ideals themselves can be forsaken. Our idols prove to us that our highest moral aspirations are attainable; that we are beings capable of perfection. It is our vanity that will preserve them.”

  • poetcomic1

    You forgot to trash Albert Schweitzer. What a pompous phony he was! He said that ‘Africans are like little children’ and treated them with classic colonial contempt. He had a rather kinky propensity for taking European nobility and upper class women and having them work under him in conditions of unspeakable deprivation for decades… and then taking all the credit. He was very enamored of himself – even rewrote his own version of Protestant Christianity to suit him better., never mind that it is patently heretical and rather strange. When a fairly decent modern charity hospital was built not too far away, all the natives wanted to go there and not to the filthy and ‘picturesque’ Schweitzer hospital known far and wide for its appalling lack of basic sanitation.

    • Howard

      Thomas Jefferson is an obvious parallel. At least in his case the bad is now as well known as the good.

      • ziggy zoggy

        Thomas Jefferson was a great man. Dip$hit.

        • Howard

          Clearly he must be to have so eloquent a defender!

          Jefferson also “rewrote his own version of Protestant Christianity”. You can look up the Jefferson Bible.

          He was also quite bloodthirsty when it came to his support of the French Revolution. Regarding the situation of Lafayette, he wrote, “My own affections have been deeply wounded by some of the martyrs to this cause, but rather than it should have failed, I would have seen half the earth desolated. Were there but an Adam and an Eve left in every country, and left free, it would be better than as it now is.”

          His taste for freedom, no matter how bloody, did not, however, extend to Haiti. As a slave-owner himself, he was much more concerned about actual slaves rising up and killing their masters. Perhaps it finally occurred to him that were there to be but an Adam and an Eve left from Virginia, he might not be the Adam.

          • Howard

            None of these men were ENTIRELY bad, by the way. They just were not equal to their reputations.

          • Bogdan51

            It is beyond ridicule to compare the 18th century man still influenced by a tribal mentality that dominated at that time with the individuals operating in the second part of 20th Century when the universal human rights expressed in the UN Human Rights Charter were supposedly perfectly understood by all the members of the UN who signed the above mentioned charter.
            Thomas Jefferson could be forgiven for his slightly archaic understanding of human rights and equality concept. Mandela and Ghandi not.

          • Howard

            So you’re saying that Jefferson had a “tribal mentality” that Gandhi and Mandela did not? And you’re basing this on the omnipotent calendar and the all-wise United Nations? Beyond ridicule indeed!

          • Bogdan51

            No it is pathetic to compare the 18th Century man with that of the 20th. In the 17th Century the concept of the universal human rights has not existed yet.
            Apart from that Both Mandela and Ghandi who were infatuated with the idea of omnipotent and world controlling “United” Nation were especially obliged to adhere to its basic charters.
            They both have betrayed it instead.
            No comparison.

          • Howard

            I do not share your belief that Jefferson was a benighted fool who lacked the wisdom of the age into which you, by an astonishing coincidence not at all smacking of egocentrism, happened to be born. Jefferson was a great man, although he was also a deeply flawed man. He certainly has no need of your pity.

    • OfficialPro

      I don’t believe albert schweitzer is as well-known as either Gandhi or Mandela.

      • Howard

        Maybe not, but he got to meet the young Indiana Jones.

  • Reason

    The near literary prowess of the author is diminished by his racist and chauvinist perspective. The same misguided arguements can be raised of Churchill, Lincoln etc. What a waste of talent!!!

    • Judahlevi

      The only way anyone could see ‘racism’ in this article is if they themselves were racist and projected their own values onto the author.

      What a waste of a mind.

    • ziggy zoggy

      Did Churchill murder children for political gain? Was Lincoln a luddite who set his country back a hundred years?
      Being a leftist means being a knee jerk.

  • poetcomic1

    One thing you got wrong – I am tired of hearing about Gandhi’s ‘ceiibacy’. He is
    what they call in NYC a ‘water freak’ – into enemas. He got off on
    lots and lots and lots of heavy duty enemas. He would talk about enemas and bowel health etc. for HOURS if you didn’t shut him up. My idol…not.

  • Larry Larkin

    I’m wondering where the Mandela’s multi-million dollar family trust funds come from.

  • Bogdan51

    I have never had any doubt that Mandela and Ghandi were both revolting frauds.
    Mandela’s silence on BARBARISM taking place in the neighbouring Zimbabwe speaks for itself and is one of the best proofs that Mandela himself is comfortable with totalitarian regimes of commune-fascist type murdering people in their millions.
    That has always been the part of the leftist strategy; The social reengineering of the so called “society” by physically removing its noblest, most productive, freedom loving sector, whether it was Soviet Union, Maoist China, Eastern Europe, Cuba or in any other place in the world where the commies have managed to grasp the power.
    Let’s don’t delude ourselves; If Obama and his as insane as barbaric cohorts get a much firmer hold on the power, America shall be experiencing the moments that the average Yanks couldn’t even imagine a couple years ago. Anything is possible, just read the latest Ann Applebaum’s book about the post WW2 takeover of Eastern Europe by the communists. It looks like the history is just about to repeat itself.
    Edgar Snow, the American “freelance” journalist used to describe Mao Tse-Tung as a benevolent social democrat when his victims were counted in millions already.
    So was Walter Duranty about Stalin when the HOLODOMOR in Ukraine claimed millions.

  • Bogdan51

    Another Grand Fraud of the XX Century was Picasso the alleged greatest painter in the history of humanity, promoted and elevated to the greatness by the Soviet Commintern and adored by the West European “useful idiots” of communism.
    One can obviously argue whether his works, induced by alcohol and drugs generated hallucinations can have any artistic value, however as a human he was certainly living in the lowest sector of a moral gutter.
    Ironically, Picasso and avowed commie who hasn’t apparently entirely lost his instinct of self preservation dared not to emigrate to his beloved Soviet Union knowing that the artists there who were doing the art resembling his own would end up being processed into fertiliser in the vast network of Stalin’s tourist resorts called GULAGS.
    He preferred to spout his mental vomit and torment his female as willing as enthusiastic slaves in France instead.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Magee/100001349588223 John Magee

      Picasso the “Communist” loved to tool around Paris and the French Riviera in his expensive sports cars. He was a good draftsman when he was a young artists. By middle age he scribbled sketches and the art world went ga ga over them and paid a fortune for each of the massive amounts of trash he pumped out called art. He was another 20th in s long line of 20th century left wing con “artists”.

  • AmericaFirst

    True, Nelson Mandela is (and hopefully soon-to-be was) a violent communist agitator. What the article conveniently omits is the jewish role in propping up and funding the ANC: http://balder.org/judea/South-Africa-Terrorism-ANC-Revolution-Jewish-Involvement.php When will you jew-loving White goyim get it? The jew is your ENEMY. Wherever White people are being displaced and slaughtered in their own lands by third-world savages and savage negro beasts, you can be sure that there’s a jewish hand involved. “Liberal,” “conservative,” “capitalist,” “communist”–a jew is a jew is a jew, whose bottom line is “Is it good for the jews?” And if it is, you better believe it’s bad for the average White man.

    • Bogdan51

      Seek the help of psychiatrist good man…

      • AmericaFirst

        I think Dr. Kikenschnozz is booked for the week. Besides, I hear he’s a quack…

        • UCSPanther

          You nazis are just another type of communist.

          Besides, commies aren’t exactly known to be friendly towards Israel either. Your hero Gamal Nasser can tell you that, seeing how both he and his allies were generously equipped with Soviet arms in the Six Day War…

          • AmericaFirst

            My previous post was deleted by the jewish commissars running the website, but put succinctly, I’m not a National Socialist (or a socialist of any kind); my politics are deeply libertarian republican (lowercase “r”). Ergo, your argument falls flat on its face.

            Unfortunately for you and your fellow tribesmen, many, many peoples besides the Nazis have awoken to the jewish question throughout history.

          • UCSPanther

            Too bad pal. You talk like a
            Nazi, so therefore if it quacks like a duck, it is a duck. I love
            pointing out the irony about neo-nazi rats like you claiming to be
            pro-american, when your ideology comes from a movement whose main ideals
            were the very antithesis of personal freedom. You are no libertarian.
            You are a totalitarian who has openly expressed a desire to gas a group
            of people because of propaganda that came from one of the worst
            dictators of the 20th century.

            And unfortunately for you and your fellow antisemites, lots of people
            have Jewish blood, but can easily pass as “Aryan Goyim” and are not the
            unarmed Jews of WWII…

          • OfficialPro

            You aren’t a Nazi, but you fell for their claptrap that sounds like it’s right out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? Dude they have no credibility nor should you grant them any by countenancing their words about jews with any sort of believability on your part.

  • Jeff Smithpeters

    You may be trying awfully hard, but you’re no Christopher Hitchens. If Mandela remained a communist all his life, why didn’t South Africa under his tenure not align with China, North Korea and Cuba? Why did it align with and court aid from members of NATO? Why did he not immediately appropriate all the Western-owned mining concerns for his government?

    • Bogdan51

      You’re not even trying. Mandela has maybe mellowed during his long vacation in a prison but he remained a totalitarian at heart. However, he decided that it was much more convenient to him to ally himself with diamond traders than communists.
      Perhaps it was also the madness and outright criminality of his “wife” Minnie and her participation in a murder of Stompie that has pushed him towards the more moderate position.
      Still it was under his watch that South Africa has degenerated from the most developed and wealthiest country in Africa to the hellhole where one in third young black woman has already been raped by the black man of course.
      Also, at the time Mandela was released, the communism was in a total retreat and on the death row so he could realise that he would be beating a dead horse if he turned towards the commies.
      Hitchens is dead so is your brain…

    • Pegon Zellschmidt

      I know you’re joking about NK and Cuba. The Soviet Union was history, and by 1990, Deng Xiaoping’s free market ideology was beginning to flourish. Mandela looked at the scenery and chose the closest workable ideology to his and selected socialist Europe.

  • Raj Arjan

    Gandhi allowed the British to hang Baghat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, and Sukhdev Thapar. Because they were stealing his thunder. For this act alone, he should be condemned to the dustbin of history!

    • truth

      what you wanted gandhi to do ? he was not in power? what your grand father was doing at that time? gandhi was not elected or appointed official..Gandhis way was NON violent action why you expect him to support violent action no matter how Patriotic it was.

  • gacl

    That Gandhi quote that the Jews should have offered themselves to the Butcher’s knife is taken out of context. I don’t think he was being anti-Jew. He said the Nazi murder of Jews is one of the greatest crimes of history.

  • Erik Jan Veldman

    Jesus Christ is not a hero, HE IS THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD…no need for a Mandela, a Gandhi or a Buddha…