By Pierre du Toit, Hennie Kotzé (auth.)
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Additional info for Liberal Democracy and Peace in South Africa: The Pursuit of Freedom as Dignity
P. 56 A second approach, rooted in social identity theory, also recognizes cultural diversity as being part of the obstacle to be overcome, but interprets it differently. Generally the theory holds that the dynamics of group identity and group formation are driven by the need of individuals to acquire and sustain positive self-esteem. This is the primary antecedent variable. Social status rankings (that is, hierarchies of prestige) are the outcome of the dynamics of comparative evaluations between groups competing for collective esteem.
This is of relevance to many Third Wave democracies with deep socioeconomic inequalities, and none more so than South Africa, widely acknowledged as having some of the steepest gradients in material inequality. For liberals this is, first and foremost, a human rights issue, as it has a direct bearing on the core value of equality. Poverty reflects inequality and provides the basis for the perpetuation of such inequality. It also undermines the dignity of people and is a source of material deprivation and potential revolt.
The first was the war of 1899–1902 and the way in which it was won by the British. Toward the latter half of the war, with the defeat of their conventional forces, the republics started a guerrilla offensive. To counter this, the British moved all the civilians (women, children, and farm laborers) from their farms into concentration camps. Conditions in these camps were of appallingly malign neglect; thousands died from disease and exposure. 3 Having lost their war of liberation, and having lost it in such a calamitous way, the surviving Afrikaner nationalists who gained citizenship in the new British Union were not only deeply embittered and humiliated but also determined to regain some sense of security and control over their political future.
Liberal Democracy and Peace in South Africa: The Pursuit of Freedom as Dignity by Pierre du Toit, Hennie Kotzé (auth.)
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