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His answer was a single word: Yes. Even today, many people, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau among them, fawn over Cuban dictatorship, because of its delivery of supposedly free health and education to the masses. Teachers, who feel the same, promote the children of doctors in order to get better access to health care. This process goes all the way down the food chain.

Often, bribery and theft go hand in hand. In socialist countries, the state owns all production facilities, such as factories, shops and farms. A butcher, for example, steals meat in order to exchange it for vegetables that the greengrocer stole and so on. Under socialism, favours can be obtained in other ways as well. In East Germany, for example, people often spied on their neighbours and, even, spouses. The full-time employees of the secret police and their unofficial collaborators amounted to some two per cent of the entire population.

Once occasional informers are accounted for, one in six East Germans were at one point or another involved in spying on their fellow citizens. Socialism, in other words, is not only underpinned by force, but it is also morally corrupting. Lying, stealing and spying are widely used and trust between people disappears.

Far from fostering brotherhood between people, socialism makes everyone suspicious and resentful. I have long held that the greatest harm that socialism caused was not economic. It was spiritual. Many of the countries that abandoned socialism rebuilt their economies and became prosperous. The same cannot be said about their institutions, such as the rule of law, and the behaviour of their citizens, such as the prevalence of corruption.

Prosperity is a consequence of removal of barriers to exchange between free people.

The Right to Ignore the State

But how does one make a society less corrupt and more law-abiding? Hence, given the instabilities of whiteness as a "contingent and situated identity" Nuttall , and the contested nature of white hegemonic masculinities that characterised the colonial and apartheid periods, idealised configurations of heteronormative whiteness need to be actively produced and policed.

Gevisser notes that in order to "consolidate] Afrikaner 'Christian National' control over the country, [the South African government had to] expel from the laager anything that was deemed threatening to white civilisation" which included both interracial and same-sex sexual relationships. As my reading of the texts will show, the contraventions of the Immorality Act in Kraak's and Mda's novels situate the body as a site of legal transgression and symbolic subversion.

The Madonna of Excelsior. Despite the multiple sexual relationships that are represented in The Madonna of Excelsior, the novel focuses particularly on the experiences and perspectives of Niki, a black woman who lives in a racially segregated township in Excelsior. Niki becomes part of a group of black women in the town who engages in sexual activities with prominent white men.

The extent to which this sex is consensual is sometimes uncertain and may be described at different points as forced, coerced, transactional or voluntary. Niki's rape earlier in the novel is located within a broader culture of violence and violation in which black female bodies are marked as fodder for the production of a racialised patriarchy.

Then, perhaps not unexpectedly, Niki and some of the other black women who participate in these sexual activities become pregnant and they ultimately give birth to what would have been classified as coloured children. These children form the evidentiary basis on which the state pursues charges of contravening the Immorality Act. As evidence of the interracial sex, the children make the community's claims of an unblemished whiteness untenable.

Reflecting on Mda's novel, Ralph Goodman 63 insists that "[t]he Immorality Act was an attempt at colonial eugenics, appearing to even-handedly prohibit any mingling of race, but covertly constructing black South Africans in particular as so degenerate that their genes had to be contained, lest they damage the fabric of society". Thus, uncontaminated whiteness is seen as essential in preserving the Manichean divisions on which apartheid ideology relied. There is a significant tension that is staged in the novel between interracial sexual desire as an exceptional anomaly that needs to be excised on the one hand, and interracial sex that is widespread and indeed constitutive of cultures of Afrikaner patriarchy on the other.

Politics Trumps Religion: The Immorality of Republican “Christian” Morality - gyqacyxaja.cf

In his reading of the novel, Goodman 63 indicates just "how crucial it was to the state to maintain the [racial] binary system it had established, attempting to naturalise it by labelling any breach of the system as abhorrent". The ironic narrative voice teases out this tension between desire as an aberration and desire as natural by highlighting the pervasiveness of this lust-and the absurdity of its prohibition-in the following extract:.

In various platteland towns AAfrikaner magistrates were sitting at their benches, listening to salacious details, and concealing painful erections under their black magisterial gowns. Afrikaners prosecuting fellow Afrikaners with cannibalistic zeal. Afrikaners sending fellow Afrikaners to serve terms of imprisonment. All because of black body parts. Young Afrikaner boys were eager to taste what their fathers were eating on the sly. They went out on hunting expeditions for what they called swart poes.

Mda So, beneath the veneer of an ostensibly perfect whiteness lurk illicit desires that need to be concealed. Mda's comic satire depicts and then ridicules the extent of interracial sexual desire-staging itself here as "painful erections under their black magisterial gowns". This points to the hypocrisy on which the state's moralist regulation of sexuality depended. Sex as an expression of power is reinforced here by the invocation of imagery of hunting and devouring to depict the fetishised desire that is seemingly both constitutive of and an anathema to Afrikaner masculinity.

The significance of interracial desire in the ontological and sexual constitution of white Afrikaner men is unpacked with greater specificity earlier in the novel. The reader learns about the activities of a clandestine sexual orgy grouping controlled by white men in the community which meets regularly for prohibited sexual encounters.

The passionate and pleasurable "romps on the hay" Mda 55 are described as "a cacophony of moans [and] howls" Mda The heightened exoticised desire for black women is evidenced when one of the peripheral black characters notes that "[w]hite men have always loved us. They say we are more beautiful than their own wives.

We are more devastating in the blankets" Mda Ratele "Apartheid" warns in this respect against overlooking "racist sexualisation" or "[s]kin fetishisation" in which Othered bodies become objects of desire because of rather than despite their Otherness. What makes the transgressions even more significant is the fact that the narrative centres on a group of prominent white men-situated within what Swart 78 calls "the sanctuary of white male privilege"-many of whom held positions in the legal, political or religious orders that legitimised or mandated the Immorality Act. The narrator notes that "the white accused [in the trial] include the secretary of the local branch of the National Party and some of the wealthiest farmers in the district" Mda 72 , the former mayor, a police officer, and the church minister who, according to the unnamed narrator, "preached obedience to His laws [ Klein-Jan Lombard, a police officer who has previously had sex with black women himself Mda 78 , even volunteers to assist in the prosecution of his own father, thereby performing the role of defender of the volk.

The dissonance between sexual desire and political convictions and the extent to which interracial desire is wilfully blind to these convictions reveals the futility of sexual and moral policing and the inevitable impossibility of separated racial taxonomies. In broader terms, Mda's novel complicates dominant ways in which racial and gendered power is rehearsed and performed in colonial and white supremacist contexts. The text revises the racial scripts of sexual predator, seductress, and victim, and interrogates notions of agency more generally.

Although she draws on particularly American discourses and representations of the relationship between these gendered and racialised tropes, they resonate equally in South Africa during the apartheid period. Frankenberg writes that.

Mikhail Bakunin, "The Immorality of the State"

White Woman is frail, vulnerable, delicate, sexually pure but at times easily led 'astray'. Man of Color [ And, finally, Woman of Color [ This "cast of characters" is a useful resource against which the novel can be read. In this text, the black male predator is replaced by white sexual predators; it is black women in need of protection from the lecherous sexual advances of white men; white women are forced to the periphery of relevance; and rather than being defenders of the nation, white men's uncontrolled sexual desires challenge the very separate-ness and racial purity on which the white Afrikaner nation has been constituted.

In addition, the black women are not, in most cases, positioned as seductresses but rather as victims of sexual assault and exploitation. Using satire, Mda confronts the supposed corrupting influence of the black female seductress throughout the novel, where the cohesion of the Afrikaner identity-implicitly conservative, white, male and heterosexual-is said to be under threat by supposedly hypersexualised black women. The devil had always used the black female to tempt the Afrikaner.

It was a battle that was raging within individual Afrikaner men.

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A battle between lust and loathing. A battle that the Afrikaner must win. The devil made the Afrikaner to covertly covet the black woman while publicly detesting her. The character's exaggeration and outsourcing of moral culpability and agency satirises the hypocrisy that characterised the Dutch Reformed Church and other cultural institutions during apartheid.

Of significance here is not so much that interracial desire is identified as a threat to an individual, but rather that it is a structuring subtext to hegemonic Afrikaner masculinity more generally. Desire for black women is again seen simultaneously as definitive of and antithetical to particular configurations of the Afrikaner body politic. Similarly, this suggestion that it was in fact the spiritual purity and morality of white men that were under threat by interracial sexual desire-over which, it was insisted, they had little agency-is echoed by the way in which the novel begins and ends.

The opening line of the novel-"All these things flow from the sins of our mothers" Mda 1 -is echoed in the final line of the text when the narrator says "from the sins of our mothers all these things flow" Mda Mda's ironic framing of the narrative ridicules the oft-repeated suggestion that the responsibility for the illicit sexual acts can be projected onto the hypersexual black women and that white men were mere victims of these sins. The narrative voice ironically reflects that "[t]he devil was on the loose in the Free State platteland. Grabbing upstanding volk by their genitalia and dragging them along the path strewn with the body parts of black women" Mda In addition to the dehumanisation suggested by black women's dislocated body parts, the hyperbolic narrator also exposes the absurdities and disavowal of agency often used to excuse interracial desire in white supremacist contexts.

Particularly relevant here is Goodman's 67 assertion that much of the text is characterised by "an exaggerated air of innocence which immediately undermines itself and declares that its intentions are subversive". Furthermore, Mda 89 writes that "wily as Lucifer might be, he was not going to succeed in his designs to consign the volk to eternal damnation".

The importance of idealised ways of being white is clear here, reinforcing the need to expel interracial sexual desire. The shifting meaning of the word volk in Mda's text-referring both to people and then to the nation -highlights the imbrication of the individual or family in the broader discourse of nationalism. This confirms Swart's 80 insistence that "[t]he white Afrikaans-speaking heterosexual family unit is seen as the minima of civilisation". The trope of white men as victims of sexual desire in need of protection from nefarious sexual advances, an idea which Mda satirises, is evident in earlier fiction on the Immorality Act.

In Alan Paton's famous Too Late the Phalarope , for example, the protagonist is a white police officer who is tormented and disgusted by his feelings of lust for black women. He describes his sexual desires as a "mad sickness" that would "strike [him] down if it could" Paton 46, italics in original. Significantly, the black woman in Paton's novel with whom the police officer has sex, and whom Raditlhalo calls a "temptress" in his reading of the text, exposes the illicit affair to his superiors, but is ultimately denied narrative agency.

Rather, she is reduced to a mere conduit for the political and ontological downfall that results from the protagonist's torturous desires. In contrast to this, Niki in Mda's novel responds to the regular sexual advances made by different men in a more judicious way. As a young woman she first has transactional and forced intercourse with Johannes Smit and later chooses to have sex exclusively with Stephanus Cronje, the owner of the butchery where she works.

On hearing that Niki may have been intimate with another one of the farmers, Stephanus Cronje clearly articulates his desires when he "frantically" states: "Dammit, Niki [ Johannes Smit's libidinal investment is also made clear when the narrator notes that he "died of desire every time he thought of her. Especially when he imagined all the things she must have done with Stephanus Cronje" Mda After being criticised for his "unsportsmanly" refusal to share Niki with the other white men, Cronje remarks "with a tinge of boastfulness in his voice" that if the other men in the orgy "banish us from here, Niki, we'll just do our thing in the sunflower fields" Mda The competition that ensues between these two white men for the beautiful Niki suggests an inversion of the register in which race and desire have been represented.

As a rule, the dominant representational mode dictates that "[b]lack female bodies are sites of ungovernable lasciviousness [while white] female bodies become sexual territory to be displayed, fought over, and protected" Stokes Niki's initial reticence contradicts the stereotypically uncontrollable lust attributed to black women, while at the same time her black body displaces the centrality of white women in the economy of sexual exchange, who, incidentally, become marked by humiliation and inaction in the novel. While Niki does not seduce the white men, in fact resisting their advances a number of times, her participation in the sex is unexpectedly informed by a deeply articulated sexual agency.

The narrative voice asserts that of all the women involved in the interracial sex orgies, Niki "seemed to be the only one of the women who had full awareness of the power packed into her body. And she was using it consciously to get what she wanted" Mda For Niki, sexual intercourse is a complex entanglement of pleasure and power, sensual "ecstasy" Mda 56 and revenge. Though her motivations and consent in her earlier encounters with Johannes Smit are either absent or uncertain, the narrative focalisation of Niki makes her reasons for agreeing to have sex with Stephanus Cronje very clear.

After being falsely accused of theft by Madam Cornelia Cronje and forced to strip down fully to be searched, "anger was slowly simmering in Niki. A storm was brewing. Woman to woman" Mda During sex with Stephanus Cronje, Niki "did not see a boss or a lover. She saw Madam Cornelia's husband, with the emphasis on Madam. And she had him entirely in her power" Mda The "emphasis on Madam" also subverts Frankenberg's trope-ic cast of characters by pointing to the political agency and complicity of White Woman in sustaining the victimisation and oppression of Black Woman.

Niki's erotic agency and the disassembled cast of characters invert stereotypical power relations and undermine the mythologies of racial purity and sexual moralism that were integral to heteronormative whiteness. Ice in the Lungs. Kraak's novel similarly interrogates sex as a site of power and transgression as it explores the experiences of its primary narrator Matt in the antiapartheid movement in Cape Town in The narrative centres on his romantic and sexual involvement with Paul, an antiapartheid unionist and activist. However, as Paul becomes increasingly immersed in politics, Matt's exploration of sex in the city exposes some unexpected overlaps and political contradictions.

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The initial intensity in the relationship between Matt and Paul is undeniable and offers a celebratory disavowal of heteronormative whiteness. The obvious sexual passion between the two men occludes the moral oversight of the state. Following Matt's acknowledgement that there was the "painful, hot-blooded knowledge that [he] wanted Paul" Kraak , he describes kissing him:. Then he put his hands into my hair, inclined my head backwards, and covered my mouth with his.

I entered into a heady communion, a silken comprehension of the membranes of his cheeks, the smooth ridges of his teeth-a merging of sensations that came in waves of giddy sensation from my abdomen, groin, and the back of my head.


The celebratory sensuality and intimacy of Matt's narration-differing sharply from the satirical mode of Mda's text-reveals sincerely the desire between the two men. Kraak parodies the language of religion when he celebrates same-sex intimacy as "a heady communion". By doing so, Kraak challenges the ubiquity of religion in political and social discourse and in the production and insistence on heteronor-mativity. The affirming and celebratory eroticism that characterises several depictions of same-sex intimacy in the novel emphasises the ethical bankruptcy of both homophobia and the Immorality Act's policing of desire.

While high levels of homophobia existed within white society, it is indeed the apartheid government that is positioned as the custodian of heteronormative whiteness. In fact, insistences on conservative moralism appear to be inextricably bound to the defence of the state. This ideological convergence is made clear when police officers vandalise the outside wall of Paul's flat: he wakes up to find graffiti painted on his wall with the words "Paul Hudson, moffie, holnaaier, kaffirboetie, Kommunis, woon hier". That the graphic evidence of Paul's sexual dissidence and his progressive political attitudes appear on the wall alongside the infamous symbol of communism, the hammer and sickle, frames as treasonous his transgression of the codes of heteronormative whiteness.

In other words, the ideologically rigid Christian sexual moralism is represented through the police actions as being inextricably entangled with the state's broader propaganda campaigns. The novel further identifies the apartheid-era military as one of the most significant sites for the re production of racial and gendered power. Tax dodging will not be fixed by simplifying the tax code or by a crack-down - it can only be fixed by a revival of the belief that we are together in a project that we wish to put our hearts into.

The New Statesman carries an empassioned plea by Willard Foxton that we all pay our taxes. He opens provocatively, for his likely audience in the left-leaning magazine:. I must confess, I am a tax-dodger. As I am a Tory, and you are a New Statesman reader, this may come as no surprise. My sin was grave - last night, on my way home from work I bought some biscuits on a two for one deal, thus avoiding several pennies of VAT.

But what he goes on to argue - that the way in which the rootless super-rich and the rootless multinational play the system by making full use of the mobility of their capital and their lifestyles will strike a chord both left and right:. In conclusion, this isn't a left-wing problem or a right-wing problem - it's a huge cancer eating at our democracy, our business community and our ability to pay down the deficit. Our tax code is fundamentally broken, easily abused by the unscrupulous, and HMRC is absolutely not fit for purpose.

These are crucial national problems that can't be swept under the rug. In a completely knee-jerk way, it is hard for me to read the language of "cancer" I know, deep inside, that if that division were to become politically potent again, I'd want to be on the side of those who don't belong. I must confess that I am usually on the side of the rootless, pretty much regardless of their income level. I am steeped in a post-Holocaust, post-Stalin culture that is endlessly suspicious of the coercive powers of the rooted. Echoes of accusations of "rootless cosmopolitanism" send me rushing for the exits.

However much my refugee father tried to create an assimilated Englishman in me, for some reason what stuck was a great attachment to the un-attached. For the modern rootless rich, the nation is a club whose membership is in fact, and not just in contractarian theory, by mutual agreement. A sexist formulation - better to replace it with "solidarity". Without solidarity- the idea that what we are creating together is valuable, and is a project in which each of us has a valued role - you cannot expect the mutual agreement that must be the basis of taxation either of those who owe no traditional allegiance to the State or those whose allegiance is not forced by circumstance.