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n Historia - N.P. van Wyk Louw and the moral predicament of Afrikaner nationalism : preparing the ground for reform

Volume 54, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0018-229X
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Abstract

This article argues for the continued relevance of the ideas of N.P. van Wyk Louw in debates among Afrikaner intellectuals during the height of apartheid in the 1960s and 1970s. It discusses the moral equivocations of the Verwoerd era and conflicts around questions of race and ethnicity that ensued during the Vorster period. At the heart of these moral debates, it is argued, was the question of state policy in regard to "coloured" People (arguably culturally Afrikaans, but racially other). The article looks less closely at a parallel silencing of debate about inclusion of urban Africans. After the Soweto uprising in 1976, however, intense intellectual contestation reached a high point through advocacy in Afrikaner cultural circles of "reform" by Gerrit Viljoen (Chairman of the Afrikaner Broederbond). Efforts to implement reform after 1979 failed dismally in the 1980s, but the shape of F.W. de Klerk's "leap forward" in 1990 would have been inconceivable without these earlier debates and their halting implementation by P.W. Botha.


Hierdie artikel betoog dat die idees van N.P. van Wyk Louw, soos dit gedurende die hoogtepunt van apartheid in die 1960's en 1970's in die debatte van Afrikanerintellektuele na vore gekom het, steeds relevant bly. Dit ondersoek die morele dubbelsinnighede van die Verwoerd-era en konflikte rondom vrae oor ras en etnisiteit gedurende die Vorster-tydperk. Daar word aangevoer dat die vraag rondom staatsbeleid ten opsigte van "kleurlinge" (moontlik kultureel Afrikaans, maar van 'n ander ras) sentraal in hierdie morele debatte gestaan het. Die artikel kyk ook minder intensief na 'n parallelle verswyging van debat oor die insluiting van stedelike swartes. Na die Soweto-opstand van 1976, het die intense stryd in intellektuele kringe egter deur Gerrit Viljoen (voorsitter van die Afrikaner Broederbond) se voorspraak vir "hervorming", 'n hoogtepunt bereik. Pogings na 1979 om hervorming te implementeer, het in die 1980's jammerlik gefaal, maar die aard van F.W. de Klerk se sprong na vore in 1990 sou in die afwesigheid van hierdie vroeëre debatte en hulle gebrekkige implementering deur P.W. Botha, ondenkbaar gewees het.

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/content/hist/54/1/EJC38346
2009-05-01
2016-12-09

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