Sunday, May 6, 2012

Why Jeremy Cronin is wrong

The Sunday Times did not see fit to use my letter attacking Deputy Transport Minister Jeremy Cronin's article in the newspaper last weekend, although four other letters on the issue were used. This is what I submitted:

How convenient for Jeremy Cronin to ignore the numerous positive impacts which colonialism had on the world, including South Africa.

In “How history haunts us” (April 29), he bemoans the “introduction, from the outside, of an advanced, capital-intensive, mining-based, industrial revolution” in SA in the late 19th century.

He speaks of “500 years of colonial conquest” and “persisting patterns of global inequity and neo-colonial domination”.

Yet this begs the question: where would we have been without  European colonisation?

Colonisation was the product of human intellectual evolution, which just happened to place European powers in the ascendancy at a time when ships and navigation made huge strides about 500 years ago.

All manner of other scientific advances placed those nations at the forefront of the not-unsurprising quest to explore, and indeed conquer, vast swathes of the hitherto undiscovered world.

With those colonisers came all the technological, scientific, medical and other advances which today define a successful modern state.

Cronin’s anti-colonial tirade is little more than an attempt to conceal the failings of the ANC government over the past 18 years, especially in education, health, job-creation and safety and security. Another howling failure has been in the maintenance of the infrastructure bequeathed to it in 1994 by the very colonisers he decries. Just look at our roads.

Being a communist, one assumes Cronin’s idea of  utopia was the former Soviet Union, since he became a communist at a time when this repressive ideology was at its most powerful in that country.

How he can still cling to an ideology which is the antithesis of freedom is difficult to fathom.