Or The First Radical White Loser in the Western Society: "The Boers were the first European group to become completely alienated from the pride which Western man felt in living in a world created and fabricated by himself."
Die Groot Trek - The Long Trek
Both discoveries were actually made on the Dark Continent. Race was the emergency explanation of human beings whom no European or civilized man could understand and whose humanity so frightened and humiliated the immigrants that they no longer cared to belong to the same human species. Race was the Boers’ answer to the overwhelming monstrosity of Africa—a whole continent populated and overpopulated by savages—an explanation of the madness which grasped and illuminated them like “a flash of lightning in a serene sky: ‘Exterminate all the brutes.’”
I: The Phantom World of the Dark Continent
Up to the end of the last century, the colonial enterprises of the seafaring European peoples produced two outstanding forms of achievement: in recently discovered and sparsely populated territories, the founding of new settlements which adopted the legal and political institutions of the mother country; and in well-known though exotic countries in the midst of foreign peoples, the establishment of maritime and trade stations whose only function was to facilitate the never very peaceful exchange of the treasures of the world. Colonization took place in America and Australia, the two continents that, without a culture and a history of their own, had fallen into the hands of Europeans.
European countries tried time and again, it is true, to reach beyond the Mediterranean to impose their rule on Arabic lands and their Christianity on Moslem peoples, but they never attempted to treat North African territories like overseas possessions. On the contrary, they frequently aspired to incorporate them into the respective mother country. This age-old tradition, still followed in recent times by Italy and France, was broken in the eighties when England went into Egypt to protect the Suez Canal without any intention either of conquest or incorporation. The point is not that Egypt was wronged but that England (a nation that did not lie on the shores of the Mediterranean) could not possibly have been interested in Egypt as such, but needed her only because there were treasures in India.
While imperialism changed Egypt from a country occasionally coveted for her own sake into a military station for India and a stepping-stone for further expansion, the exact opposite happened to South Africa. Since the seventeenth century, the significance of the Cape of Good Hope had depended upon India, the center of colonial wealth; any nation that established trade stations there needed a maritime station on the Cape, which was then abandoned when trade in India was liquidated.
Slavery, however, is a very inadequate word to describe what actually happened. First of all, slavery, though it domesticated a certain part of the savage population, never got hold of all of them, so the Boers were never able to forget their first horrible fright before a species of men whom human pride and the sense of human dignity could not allow them to accept as fellow-men. This fright of something like oneself that still under no circumstances ought to be like oneself remained at the basis of slavery and became the basis for a race society.
Moreover, the senseless massacre of native tribes on the Dark Continent was quite in keeping with the traditions of these tribes themselves. Extermination of hostile tribes had been the rule in all African native wars, and it was not abolished when a black leader happened to unite several tribes under his leadership. King Tchaka, who at the beginning of the nineteenth century united the Zulu tribes in an extraordinarily disciplined and warlike organization, established neither a people nor a nation of Zulus. He only succeeded in exterminating more than one million members of weaker tribes. (13) Since discipline and military organization by themselves cannot establish a political body, the destruction remained an unrecorded episode in an unreal, incomprehensible process which cannot be accepted by man and therefore is not remembered by human history. Slavery in the case of the Boers was a form of adjustment of a European people to a black race, (14) and only superficially resembled those historical instances when it had been a result of conquest or slave trade. No body politic, no communal organization kept the Boers together, no territory was definitely colonized, and the black slaves did not serve any white civilization.
The black slaves in South Africa quickly became the only part of the population that actually worked. Their toil was marked by all the known disadvantages of slave labor, such as lack of initiative, laziness, neglect of tools, and general inefficiency. Their work therefore barely sufficed to keep their masters alive and never reached the comparative abundance which nurtures civilization. It was this absolute dependence on the work of others and complete contempt for labor and productivity in any form that transformed the Dutchman into the Boer and gave his concept of race a distinctly economic meaning. (17)
The Boers were the first European group to become completely alienated from the pride which Western man felt in living in a world created and fabricated by himself. (18) They treated the natives as raw material and lived on them as one might live on the fruits of wild trees. Lazy and unproductive, they agreed to vegetate on essentially the same level as the black tribes had vegetated for thousands of years. The great horror which had seized European men at their first confrontation with native life was stimulated by precisely this touch of inhumanity among human beings who apparently were as much a part of nature as wild animals. The Boers lived on their slaves exactly the way natives had lived on an unprepared and unchanged nature. When the Boers, in their fright and misery, decided to use these savages as though they were just another form of animal life, they embarked upon a process which could only end with their own degeneration into a white race living beside and together with black races from whom in the end they would differ only in the color of their skin.
Rootlessness is characteristic of all race organizations. What the European “movements" consciously aimed at, the transformation of the people into a horde, can be watched like a laboratory test in the Boers' early and sad attempt. While rootlessness as a conscious aim was based primarily upon hatred of a world that had no place for “superfluous” men, so that its destruction could become a supreme political goal, the rootlessness of the Boers was a natural result of early emancipation from work and complete lack of a human-built world. The same striking similarity prevails between the “movements” and the Boers' interpretation of “chosenness.” But while the Pan-German, Pan-Slav, or Polish Messianic movements’ chosenness was a more or less conscious instrument for domination, the Boers’ perversion of Christianity was solidly rooted in a horrible reality in which miserable “white men” were worshipped as divinities by equally unfortunate “black men.” Living in an environment which they had no power to transform into a civilized world, they could discover no higher value than themselves. The point, however, is that no matter whether racism appears as the natural result of a catastrophe or as the conscious instrument for bringing it about, it is always closely tied to contempt for labor, hatred of territorial limitation, general rootlessness, and an activistic faith in one’s own divine chosenness.
II: Gold and Race
Second in importance only, for the ultimate outcome, was the fact that this gold rush was not simply left to itself but was financed, organized, and connected with the ordinary European economy through the accumulated superfluous wealth and with the help of Jewish financiers. From the very beginning “a hundred or so Jewish merchants who have gathered like eagles over their prey” (35) actually acted as middlemen through whom European capital was invested in the gold mining and diamond industries.
At first glance, it is surprising that a violent antisemitism survived the disappearance of the Jewish financiers as well as the successful indoctrination with racism of all parts of the European population. The Jews were certainly no exception to this rule; they adjusted to racism as well as everybody else and their behavior toward black people was beyond reproach. (53) Yet they had, without being aware of it and under pressure of special circumstances, broken with one of the most powerful traditions of the country.
The full impact of the African experience was first realized by leaders of the mob, like Carl Peters, who decided that they too had to belong to a master race. African colonial possessions became the most fertile soil for the flowering of what later was to become the Nazi elite. Here they had seen with their own eyes how peoples could be converted into races and how, simply by taking the initiative in this process, one might push one’s own people into the position of the master race. Here they were cured of the illusion that the historical process is necessarily “progressive,” for if it was the course' of older colonization to trek to something, the “Dutchman trekked away from everything,” (58) and if “economic history once taught that man had developed by gradual steps from a life of hunting to pastoral pursuits and finally to a settled and agricultural life,” the story of the Boers clearly demonstrated that one could also come “from a land that had taken the lead in a thrifty and intensive cultivation .... [and] gradually become a herdsman and a hunter.” (59) These leaders understood very well that precisely because the Boers had sunk back to the level of savage tribes they remained their undisputed masters. They were perfectly willing to pay the price, to recede to the level of a race organization, if by so doing they could buy lordship over other “races.” And they knew from their experiences with people gathered from the four corners of the earth in South Africa that the whole mob of the Western civilized world would be with them. (60)
III: The Imperialist Character
The exaggerated sense of responsibility in the British administrators of India who succeeded Burke’s “breakers of law” had its material basis in the fact that the British Empire had actually been acquired in a “fit of absentmindedness.” Those, therefore, who were confronted with the accomplished fact and the job of keeping what had become theirs through an accident, had to find an interpretation that could change the accident into a kind of willed act. Such historical changes of fact have been carried through by legends since ancient times, and legends dreamed up by the British intelligentsia have played a decisive role in the formation of the bureaucrat and the secret agent of the British services.
Legendary explanations of history always served as belated corrections of facts and real events, which were needed precisely because history itself would hold man responsible for deeds he had not done and for consequences he had never foreseen. The truth of the ancient legends—what gives them their fascinating actuality many centuries after the cities and empires and peoples they served have crumbled to dust—was nothing but the form in which past events were made to fit the human condition in general and political aspirations in particular. Only in the frankly invented tale about events did man consent to assume his responsibility for them, and to consider past events his past. Legends made him master of what he had not done, and capable of dealing with what he could not undo. In this sense, legends are not only among the first memories of mankind, but actually the true beginning of human history.
The point is that these queer quixotic protectors of the weak who played their role behind the scenes of official British rule were not so much the product of a primitive people's naive imagination as of dreams which contained the best of European and Christian traditions, even when they had already deteriorated into the futility of boyhood ideals. It was neither His Majesty’s soldier nor the British higher official who could teach the natives something of the greatness of the Western world. Only those who had never been able to outgrow their boyhood ideals and therefore had enlisted in the colonial services were fit for the task. Imperialism to them was nothing but an accidental opportunity to escape a society in which a man had to forget his youth if he wanted to grow up. English society was only too glad to see them depart to faraway countries, a circumstance which permitted the toleration and even the furtherance of boyhood ideals in the public school system; the colonial services took them away from England and prevented, so to speak, their converting the ideals of their boyhood into the mature ideas of men. Strange and curious lands attracted the best of England’s youth since the end of the nineteenth century, deprived her society of the most honest and the most dangerous elements, and guaranteed, in addition to this bliss, a certain conservation, or perhaps petrification, of boyhood noblesse which preserved and infantilized Western moral standards.
Cromer went to Egypt because he realized that “the Englishman straining far over to hold his loved India [has to] plant a firm foot on the banks of the Nile.” (67) Egypt was to him only a means to an end, a necessary expansion for the sake of security for India. At almost the same moment it happened that another Englishman set foot on the African continent, though at its opposite end and for opposite reasons: Cecil Rhodes went to South Africa and saved the Cape colony after it had lost all importance for the Englishman’s “loved India." Rhodes’s ideas on expansion were far more advanced than those of his more respectable colleague in the north; to him expansion did not need to be justified by such sensible motives as the holding of what one already possessed. “Expansion was everything" and India, South Africa, and Egypt were equally important or unimportant as stepping-stones in an expansion limited only by the size of the earth. There certainly was an abyss between the vulgar megalomaniac and the educated man of sacrifice and duty; yet they arrived at roughly identical results and were equally responsible for the “Great Game" of secrecy, which was no less insane and no less detrimental to politics than the phantom world of race.
The outstanding similarity between Rhodes’s rule in South Africa and Cromer’s domination of Egypt was that both regarded the countries not as desirable ends in themselves but merely as means for some supposedly higher purpose. They were similar therefore in their indifference and aloofness, in their genuine lack of interest in their subjects, an attitude which differed as much from the cruelty and arbitrariness of native despots in Asia as from the exploiting carelessness of conquerors, or the insane and anarchic oppression of one race tribe through another. As soon as Cromer started to rule Egypt for the sake of India, he lost his role of protector of “backward peoples” and could no longer sincerely believe that “the self-interest of the subject- races is the principal basis of the whole Imperial fabric." (68)
In the following years, Cromer reconciled himself to the “hybrid form of government”; in his letters he began to justify it and to expound the need for the government without name and precedent. At the end of his life, he laid down (in his essay on “The Government of Subject Races”) the main lines of what one may well call a philosophy of the bureaucrat.
Cromer himself possessed all these qualities to a very high degree; his wrath was never more strongly aroused than when he was “brought out of [his] hiding place,” when “the reality which before was only known to a few behind the scenes [became] patent to all the world.” (75) His pride was indeed to “remain more or less hidden [and] to pull the strings.” (76) In exchange, and in order to make his work possible at all, the bureaucrat has to feel safe from control—the praise as well as the blame, that is—of all public institutions, either Parliament, the “English Departments,” or the press. Every growth of democracy or even the simple functioning of existing democratic institutions can only be a danger, for it is impossible to govern “a people by a people—the people of India by the people of England.” (77) Bureaucracy is always a government of experts, of an “experienced minority” which has to resist as well as it knows how the constant pressure from “the inexperienced majority.” Each people is fundamentally an inexperienced majority and can therefore not be trusted with such a highly specialized matter as politics and public affairs. Bureaucrats, moreover, are not supposed to have general ideas about political matters at all; their patriotism should never lead them so far astray that they believe in the inherent goodness of political principles in their own country; that would only result in their cheap “imitative” application “to the government of backward populations,”which, according to Cromer, was the principal defect of the French system. (78)
It is obvious that these secret and anonymous agents of the force of expansion felt no obligation to man-made laws. The only “law” they obeyed was the “law” of expansion, and the only proof of their “lawfulness” was success. They had to be perfectly willing to disappear into complete oblivion once failure had been proved, if for any reason they were no longer “instruments of incomparable value.” As long as they were successful, the feeling of embodying forces greater than themselves made it relatively easy to resign and even to despise applause and glorification. They were monsters of conceit in their success and monsters of modesty in their failure.
Of course every adventurer knows what Kipling means when he praises Kim because “what he loved was the game for its own sake.” Every person still able to wonder at “this great and wonderful world” knows that it is hardly an argument against the game when “missionaries and secretaries of charitable societies could not see the beauty of it.” Still less, it seems, have those a right to speak who think it “a sin to kiss a white girl's mouth and a virtue to kiss a black man’s shoe.” (87) Since life itself ultimately has to be lived and loved for its own sake, adventure and love of the game for its own sake easily appear to be a most intensely human symbol of life. It is this underlying passionate humanity that makes Kim the only novel of the imperialist era in which. a genuine brotherhood links together the “higher and lower breeds,” in which Kim, “a Sahib and the son of a Sahib,” can rightly talk of “us” when he talks of the “chain-men,” “all on one lead-rope.” There is more to this “we”—strange in the mouth of a believer in imperialism—than the all-enveloping anonymity of men who are proud to have “no name, but only a number and a letter,” more than the common pride of having “a price upon [one’s] head.” What makes them comrades is the common experience of being—through danger, fear, constant surprise, utter lack of habits, constant preparedness to change their identities—symbols of life itself, symbols, for instance, of happenings all over India, immediately sharing the life of it all as “it runs like a shuttle throughout all Hind," and therefore no longer “alone, one person, in the middle of it all,” trapped, as it were, by the limitations of one’s own individuality or nationality. Playing the Great Game, a man may feel as though he lives the only life worth while because he has been stripped of everything which may still be considered to be accessory. Life itself seems to be left, in a fantastically intensified purity, when man has cut himself off from all ordinary social ties, family, regular occupation, a definite goal, ambitions, and the guarded place in a community to which he belongs by birth. “When every one is dead the Great Game is finished. Not before.” When one is dead, life is finished, not before, not when one happens to achieve whatever he may have wanted. That the game has no ultimate purpose makes it so dangerously similar to life itself.
Purposelessness is the very charm of Kim's existence. Not for the sake of England did he accept his strange duties, nor for the sake of India, nor for any other worthy or unworthy cause. Imperialist notions like expansion for expansion's or power for power’s sake might have suited him, but he would not have cared particularly and certainly would not have constructed any such formula. He stepped into his peculiar way of “theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die" without even asking the first question. He was tempted only by the basic endlessness of the game and by secrecy as such. And secrecy again seems like a symbol of the basic mysteriousness of life.
Somehow it was not the fault of the born adventurers, of those who by their very nature dwelt outside society and outside all political bodies, that they found in imperialism a political game that was endless by definition; they were not supposed to know that in politics an endless game can end only in catastrophe and that political secrecy hardly ever ends in anything nobler than the vulgar duplicity of a spy. The joke on these players of the Great Game was that their employers knew what they wanted and used their passion for anonymity for ordinary spying. But this triumph of the profit- hungry investors was temporary, and they were duly cheated when a few decades later they met the players of the game of totalitarianism, a game played without ulterior motives like profit and therefore played with such murderous efficiency that it devoured even those who financed it.
When, at the end of the war, Lawrence had to abandon the pretenses of a secret agent and somehow recover his “English self,” (92) he “looked at the West and its conventions with new eyes: they destroyed it all for me.” (93) From the Great Game of incalculable bigness, which no publicity had glorified or limited and which had elevated him, in his twenties, above kings and prime ministers because he had “made 'em or played with them,” (94) Lawrence came home with an obsessive desire for anonymity and the deep conviction that nothing he could possibly still do with his life would ever satisfy him. This conclusion he drew from his perfect knowledge that it was not he who had been big, but only the role he had aptly assumed, that his bigness had been the result of the Game and not a product of himself.
He is a genius, man!
My "neighbor" in Hannover, Linden Nord Lindener Marktplatz 2
1. Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness” in Youth and Other Tales, 1902, is the most illuminating work on actual race experience in Africa.
2. Quoted from Carlton J. Hayes, A Generation of Materialism, New York, 1941, p. 338.—An even worse case is of course that of Leopold II of Belgium, responsible for the blackest pages in the history of Africa. "There was only one man who could be accused of the outrages which reduced the native population [of the Congo] from between 20 to 40 million in 1890 to 8,500,000 in 1911—Leopold II.” See Selwyn James, South of the Congo, New York, 1943, p. 305.
3. See A. Carthill’s description of the “Indian system of government by reports” in The Lost Dominion, 1924, p. 70.
4. It is important to bear in mind that colonization of America and Australia was accompanied by comparatively short periods of cruel liquidation because of the natives' numerical weakness, whereas “in understanding the genesis of modern South African society it is of the greatest importance to know that the land beyond the Cape's borders was not the open land which lay before the Australian squatter. It was already an area of settlement, of settlement by a great Bantu population." See C. W. de Kiewiet, A History of South Africa, Social and Economic (Oxford, 1941), p. 59.
5. “As late as 1884 the British Government had still been willing to diminish its authority and in1iuence in South Africa" (De Kiewiet, op. cit., p. 113).
6. The following table of British immigration to and emigration from South Africa between 1924 and 1928 shows that Englishmen had a stronger inclination to leave the country than other immigrants and that, with one exception, each year showed a greater number of British people leaving the country than coming in:
9. “Quoted from Paul Ritter, Kolonien im deutschen Schrifttum, 1936, Preface.
10. Lord Selbourne in 1907: "The white people of South Africa are committed to such a path as few nations have trod before them, and scarcely one trod with success.” See Kiewiet, op. cit., chapter 6.
11. See especially chapter iii of Kiewiet, op. cit.
12. “Slaves and Hottentots together provoked remarkable changes in the thought and habits of the colonists, for climate and geography were not alone in forming the distinctive traits of the Boer race. Slaves and droughts, Hottentots and isolation, cheap labor and land, combined to create the institutions and habits of South African society. The sons and daughters born to sturdy Hollanders and Huguenots learned to look upon the labour of the field and upon all hard physical toil as the functions of a servile race” (Kiewiet, op. cit., p. 21).
13. See James, op. cit., p. 28.
14. “The true history of South African colonization describes the growth, not of a settlement of Europeans, but of a totally new and unique society of different races and colours and cultural attainments, fashioned by conflicts of racial heredity and the oppositions of unequal social groups" (Kiewiet, op. cit., p. 19).
15. Kiewiet, op. cit., p. 19.
16. (The Boers’) society was rebellious, but it was not revolutionary" (ibid., p. 58).
17. "Little effort was made to raise the standard of Jiving or increase the opportunities of the class of slaves and servants. In this manner, the limited wealth of the Colony became the privilege of its white population.... Thus early did South Africa learn that a self-conscious group may escape the worst effects of life in a poor and unprosperous land by turning distinctions of race and colour into devices for social and economic discrimination" (ibid., p. 22).
18. The point is that, for instance, in “the West Indies such a large proportion of slaves as were held at the Cape would have been a sign of wealth and a source of prosperity”; whereas “at the Cape slavery was the sign of an unenterprising economy ... whose labour was wastefully and inefficiently used" (ibid.). It was chiefly this that led Barnes (op. cit., p. 107) and many other observers to the conclusion: “South Africa is thus a foreign country, not only in the sense that its standpoint is definitely un-British, but also in the much more radical sense that its very raison d'etre, as an attempt at an organised society, is in contradiction to the principles on which the states of Christendom are founded.”
19. This corresponded to as many as 160,000 individuals (Kiewiet, op. cit., p. 181). James (op. cit., p. 43) estimated the number of poor whites in 1943 at 500,000 which would correspond to about 20 per cent of the white population.
20 “The poor white Afrikaaner population, living on the same subsistence level as the Bantus, is primarily the result of the Boers' inability or stubborn refusal to learn agricultural science. Like the Bantu, the Boer likes to wander from one area to another, tilling the soil until it is no longer fertile, shooting the wild game until it ceases to exist” (ibid.).
21. “Their race was their title of superiority over the natives, and to do manual labour conflicted with the dignity conferred upon them by their race. ... Such an aversion degenerated, in those who were most demoralized, into a claim to charity as a right” (Kiewiet, op. cit., p. 216).
22. The Dutch Reformed Church has been in the forefront of the Boers' struggle against the influence of Christian missionaries on the Cape. In 1944, however, they went one step farther and adopted “without a single voice of dissent" a motion opposing the marriage of Boers with English-speaking citizens. (According to the Cape Times, editorial of July 18, 1944. Quoted from New Africa, Council on African Affairs. Monthly Bulletin, October, 1944.)
23. Kiewiet (op. cit., p. 181) mentions “the doctrine of racial superiority which was drawn from the Bible and reinforced by the popular interpretation which the nineteenth century placed upon Darwin’s theories.”
24. “The God of the Old Testament has been to them almost as much a national figure as He has been to the Jews. . ..I recall a memorable scene in a Cape Town club, where a bold Briton, dining by chance with three or four Dutchmen, ventured to observe that Christ was a non-European and that, legally speaking, he would have been a prohibited immigrant in the Union of South Africa. The Dutchmen were so electrified at the remark that they nearly fell off their chairs" (Barnes, op. cit., p. 33).
25. “For the Boer farmer the separation and the degradation of the natives are ordained by God, and it is crime and blasphemy to argue to the contrary" (Norman Bent- wich, “South Africa. Dominion of Racial Problems." In Political Quarterly, 1939, Vol. X, No. 3).
26. “To this day the missionary is to the Boer the fundamental traitor, the white man who stands for black against white” (S. Gertrude Millin, Rhodes, London, 1933, p. 38).
27 “Because they had little art, less architecture, and no literature, they depended upon their farms, their Bibles, and their blood to set them off sharply against the native and the outlander” (Kiewiet, op. cit., p. 121).
28. “The true Vortrekker hated a boundary. When the British Government insisted on fixed boundaries for the Colony and for farms within it, something was taken from him.... It was best surely to betake themselves across the border where there were water and free land and no British Government to disallow Vagrancy Laws and where wtl:ite men could not be haled to court to answer the complaints of their servants" (Ibid., pp. 54-55). “The Great Trek, a movement unique in the history of colonization" (p. 58) “was the defeat of the policy of more intensive settlement. The practice which required the area of an entire Canadian township for the settlement of ten families was extended through all of South Africa. It made for ever impossible the segregation of white and black races in separate areas of settlement ... By taking the Boers beyond the reach of British law, the Great Trek enabled them to establish ‘proper' relations with the native population” (p. 56). “In later years, the Great Trek was to become more than a protest; it was to become a rebellion against the British administration, and the foundation stone of the Anglo-Boer racialism of the twentieth century" (James, op. cit., p. 28).
29. In 1939, the total population of the Union of South Africa amounted to 9,500,000 of whom 7,000,000 were natives and 2,500,000 Europeans. Of the latter, more than 1,250,0 were Boers, about one-third were British, and 100,000 were Jews. See Norman Bentwich, op. cit.
30. J. A. Froude, op. cit., p. 375.
31. Kiewiet, op. cit., p. 119.
32. Froude, op. cit., p. 400.
33. Kiewiet, op. cit., p. 119.
34. “What an abundance of rain and grass was to New Zealand mutton, what a plenty of cheap grazing land was to Australian wool, what the fertile prairie acres were to Canadian wheat, cheap native labour was to South African mining and industrial enterprise" (Kiewiet, op. cit., p. 96).
35. J. A. Froude, lbid.
36. “The goldmines are the life-blood of the Union ... one half of the population obtained their livelihood directly or indirectly from the goldmining industry, and ... one half of the finances of the government were derived directly or indirectly from gold mining” (Kiewiet, op. cit., p. 155).
37. See Paul H. Emden, Jews of Britain, A Series of Biographies, London, 1944, chapter “From Cairo to the Cape.”
38. Kiewiet (op. cit., pp. 138-39) mentions, however, also another “set of circumstances": "Any attempt by the British Government to secure concessions or reforms from the Transvaal Government made it inevitably the agent of the mining magnates .... Great Britain gave its support, whether this was clearly realized in Downing Sreet or not, to capital and mining investments.”
39.“Much of the hesitant and evasive conduct of British statesmanship in the generation before the Boer War could be attributed to the indecision of the British Government between its obligation to the natives and its obligation to the white communities ... Now, however, the Boer War compelled a decision on native policy. In the terms of the peace the British Government promised that no attempt would be made to alter the political status of the natives before self-government had been granted to the ex-Republics. In that epochal decision the British Government receded from its humanitarian position and enabled the Boer leaders to win a signal victory in the peace negotiations which marked their military defeat. Great Britain abandoned the effort to exercise a control over the vital relations between white and black. Downing Street had surrendered to the frontiers” (Kiewiet, op. cit., pp. 143-44).
40. “There is ... an entirely erroneous notion that the Africaaners and the Englishspeaking people of South Africa still disagree on how to treat the natives. On the contrary, it is one of the few things on which they do agree” (James, op. cit., p. 47).
41. This was mostly due to the methods of Alfred Beit who had arrived in 1875 to buy diamonds for a Hamburg firm. “Till then only speculators had been shareholders in mining ventures ... Beit's method attracted the genuine investor also” (Emden, op. cit.).
42. Very characteristic in this respect was Barnato's attitude when it came to the amalgamation of his business with the Rhodes group. “For Barnato the amalgamation was nothing but a financial transaction in which he wanted to make money ... He therefore desired that the company should have nothing to do with politics. Rhodes however was not merely a business man. . . ." This shows how very wrong Barnato was when he thought that “if I had received the education of Cecil Rhodes there would not have been a Cecil Rhodes" (ibid.).
43. Compare chapter v, note 34.
44. The increase in profits from foreign investment and a relative decrease of foreign trade profits characterizes the economic side of imperialism. In 1899, it was estimated that Great Britain's whole foreign and colonial trade had brought her an income of only 18 million pounds, while in the same year profits from foreign investment amounted to 90 or 100 million pounds. See J. A. Hobson, Imperialism, London, 1938, pp. 53 ff. It is obvious that investment demanded a much more conscious long-range policy of exploitation than mere trade.
45 Early Jewish settlers in South Africa in the eighteenth and the first part of the nineteenth century were adventurers; traders and merchants followed them after the middle of the century, among whom the most prominent turned to industries such as fishing, sealing, and whaling (De Pass Brothers) and ostrich breeding (the Mosenthal family). Later, they were almost forced into the Kimberley diamond industries where, however, they never achieved such preeminence as Barnato and Beit.
46. Ernst Schultze, “Die Judenfrage in Sued-Afrika,” in Der Weitkampf, October, 1938, Vol. XV, No. 178.
47. Barnato sold his shares to Rhodes in order to be introduced to the Kimberley Club. “This is no mere money transaction," Rhodes is reported to have told Barnato, “I propose to-make a gentleman of you.” Barnato enjoyed his life as a gentleman for eight years and then committed suicide. See Millin, op. cit., pp. 14, 85.
48. “The path from one Jew [in this case, Alfred Beit from Hamburg] to another is an easy one. Rhodes went to England to see Lord Rothschild and Lord Rothschild approved of him” (ibid.).
49. Emden, op. cit.
50. “South Africa concentrated almost all its peacetime industrial energy on the production of gold. The average investor put his money into gold because it offered the quickest and biggest returns. But South Africa also has tremendous deposits of iron ore, copper, asbestos, manganese, tin, lead, platinum, chrome, mica and graphite. These, along with the coal mines and the handful of factories producing consumer goods, were known as ‘secondary' industries. The investing public's interest in them was limited. And development of these secondary industries was discouraged by the gold- mining companies and to a large extent by the government" (James, op. cit., p. 333).
51. James, op. cit., pp. 111-112. "The Government reckoned that this was a good example for private employers to follow ... and public opinion soon forced changes in the hiring policies of many employers.”
52. James, op. cit., p. I 08.
53. Here again, a definite difference between the earlier settlers and the financiers can be recognized until the end of the nineteenth century. Saul Salomon, for instance, a Negrophilist member of the Cape Parliament, was a descendant of a family which had settled in South Africa in the early nineteenth century. Emden, op. cit.
54. Between 1924 and 1930, 12,319 Jews immigrated to South Africa while only 461 left the country. These figures are very striking if one considers that the total immigration for the same period after deduction of emigrants amounted to 14,241 persons. (See Schultze, op. cit.) If we compare these figures with the immigration table of note 6, it follows that Jews constituted roughly one-third of the total immigration to South Africa in the twenties, and that they, in sharp contrast to all other categories of uitlanders settled there permanently, their share in the annual emmigration is less then 2 per cent.
55. Rabid Afrikaaner nalionalist leaders have deplored lhe fact thal there are 102,000 Jews in the Union; most of them are while-collar workers, induslrial employers, shopkeepers, or members of the professions. The Jews did much to build up the secondary industries of South Africa—i.e., industries other than gold and diamond mining—concentrating particularly on the manufacture of clothes and furniture" (James, op. cit., p. 46).
56. Ibid., p. 67-68.
57. More than 100,000 Indian coolies were imported to the sugar plantations of Natal in the nineteenth century. These were followed by Chinese laborers in the mines who numbered about 55,000 in 1907. In 1910, the British government ordered the repatriation of all Chinese mine laborers, and in 1913 it prohibited any further immigration from India or any other part of Asia. In 1931, 142,000 Asiatics were still in the Union and treated like African natives. (See also Schultte, op. cit.)
58. Barnes, op. cit., p. 13.
59. Kiewiet, op. cit., p. 13.
60. “When economists declared that higher wages were a form of bounty, and that protected labour was uneconomical, the answer was given that the sacrifice was well made if the unfortunate elements in the white population ultimately found an assured footing in modern life.” “But it has not been in South Africa alone that the voice of the conventional economist has gone unheeded since the end of the Great War ... In a generation which saw England abandon free trade, America leave the gold standard, the Third Reich embrace autarchy, ... South Africa's insistence that its economic life must be organized to secure the dominant position of the white race is not seriously out of place” (Kiewiet, op. cit., pp. 224 and 245).
61. Rudyard Kipling, “The First Sailor,” in Humorous Tales, 1891.
62. ln The Day's Work, 1898.
63. Lawrence J. Zetland, Lord Cromer, 1932, p. 16.
64. Lord Cromer, “The Government of Subject Races" in Edinburgh Review, January, 1908.
65. Lord Curzon at the unveiling of the memorial tablet for Cromer. See Zetland, op. cit., p. 362.
66. Quoted from a long poem by Lord Cromer. See Zetland, op. cit., pp. 17-18.
67. From a letter Lord Cromer wrote in 1882. Ibid., p. 87.
68. Lord Cromer, op. cit.
69. Bribery “was perhaps the most human institution among the barbed-wire entanglements of the Russian order." Moissaye J. Olgin, The Soul of the Russian Revolution, New York, 1917.
70. Zetland, op. cit., p. 89.
71. From a letter Lord Cromer wrote in 1884. Ibid., p. 117.
72. In a letter to Lord Granville, a member of the Liberal Party, in 1885. Ibid., p. 219.
73. From a letter to Lord Rosebery in 1886. Ibid., p. 134.
74. Ibid., p. 352.
75. From a letter to Lord Rosebery in 1893. Ibid., pp. 204-205.
76. From a letter to Lord Rosebery in 1893. Ibid., p. 192.
77. From a speech by Cromer in Parliament after 1904. Ibid., p. 311.
78. During the negotiations and considerations of the administrative pattern for the annexation of the Sudan, Cromer insisted on keeping the whole matter outside the sphere of French influence; he did this not because he wanted to secure a monopoly in Africa for England but much rather because he had "the utmost want of confidence in their administrative system as applied to subject races” (from a letter to Salisbury in 1899, Ibid., p. 248).
79. Rhodes drew up six wills (the first was already composed in 1877), all of which mention the “secret society." For extensive quotes, see Basil Williams, Cecil Rhodes, London, 1921, and Millin, op. cit., pp. 128 and 331. The citations are upon the authority of W. T. Stead.
80. It is well known that Rhodes’s “secret society" ended as the very respectable Rhodes Scholarship Association to which even today not only Englishmen but members of all “Nordic races," such as Germans, Scandinavians, and Americans, are admitted.
81. Basil Williams, op. cit., p. 51.
82. Millin, op. cit., p. 92.
83 Cromer, op. cit.
84. From a letter of Lord Cromer to Lord Rosebery in 1886. Zetland, op. cit., p. 134.
85. "The Indian system of government by reports was . • . suspect [in England]. There was no trial by jury in India and the judges were all paid servants of the Crown, many of them removable at pleasure. . .. Some of the men of formal law felt rather uneasy as to the success of the Indian experiment. ‘If,’ they said, ‘despotism and bureaucracy work so well in India, may not that be perhaps at some time used as an argument for introducing something of the same system here?' " The government of India, at any rate, “knew well enough that it would have to justify its existence and its policy before public opinion in England, and 'it well knew that that public opinion would never tolerate oppression” (A. Carthill, op. cit., pp. 70 and 41-42).
86. Harold Nicolson in his Curzon: The Last Phase 1919-1925, Boston-New York, 1934, tells the following story: “Behind the lines in Flanders was a large brewery in the vats of which the private soldiers would bathe on returning from the trenches. Curzon was taken to see this dantesque exhibit. He watched with interest those hundred naked figures disporting themselves in the steam. ‘Dear me!,' he said, ‘I had no conception that the lower classes had such white skins.' Curzon would deny the authenticity of this story but loved it none the less” (pp. 47-48).
87. Carthill, op. cit., p. 88.
88. T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Introduction (first edition, 1926) which was omitted on the advice of George Bernard Shaw from the later edition. See T. E. Lawrence, Letters, edited by David Garnett, New York, 1939, pp. 262 ff.
89. From a letter written in 1918. Letters, p. 244.
90. T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Garden City, 1938, chapter i.
92. How ambiguous and how difficult a process this must have been is illustrated by the following anecdote: “Lawrence had accepted an invitation to dinner at Claridge’s and a party afterwards at Mrs. Harry Lindsay's. He shirked the dinner, but came to the party in Arab dresses. This happened in 1919. Letters, p. 272, note I.
93. Lawrence, op. cit., ch. i.
94. Lawrence wrote in 1929: “Anyone who had gone up so fast as I went ... and had seen so much of the inside of the top of the world might well lose his aspirations, and get weary of the ordinary motives of action, which had moved him tiH he reached the top. I wasn't King or Prime Minister, but I made 'em, or played with them, and after that there wasn't much more, in that direction, for me to do" (Letters, p. 653).
95. Ibid., pp. 244, 447, 450. Compare especially the letter of 1918 (p. 244) with the two letters to George Bernard Shaw of 1923 (p. 447) and 1928 (p. 616).
96. George Bernard Shaw, asking Lawrence in 1928 “What is your game really?", suggested that his role in the army or his looking for a job as a night-watchman (for which he could “get good references") were not authentic.
97. Garnett, op. cit, p. 264.
98. Letters, in 1930, p. 693.
99. Ibid., in 1924, p. 456.
100. Ibid., p. 693.
, chapter i.
op. cit., p. 15.
103. As put by Sir Thomas Watt, a citizen of South Africa, of British descent. Se Barnes, op. cit., p. 230.
In: Hannah Arendt. The Origins of Totalitarism. New York, 1973, p. 185-221.