African Yearbook of Rhetoric - latest Issue
Volume 6, Issue 2, 2015
Source: African Yearbook of Rhetoric 6 (2015)More Less
In the fantastical imagination Europe has of Africa and the South, the elephant and the obelisk enjoy a lasting presence. During the Renaissance the Elephant meant the energy of memory in heeding lessons of the past while the needle of the Obelisk emblematised the probing penetration of reason - the Elephant carrying an Obelisk was an evocation of lost or recondite virtues European high culture, at the very time of Portuguese descobrimentos, attributed to Africa or to the South, which in turn provoked a sharper investigation into Europe's place in a newly expanded humanity.
Author Philippe-Joseph SalazarSource: African Yearbook of Rhetoric 6, pp 5 –43 (2015)More Less
When, on 3 February 1960, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (1894-1986) addressed a supposedly informal gathering of the Houses of Parliament in Cape Town, at a "luncheon", he delivered a speech he had already given a month earlier in Accra. Barring a few changes. These changes alone catapulted the speech into another rhetorical dimension: it per-formed politics. Indeed, the speech delivered in Cape Town had an international impact its antecedent delivery in Accra could not, and did not have. It raised the Liberation movements' hopes for a steadfast support by Britain. It was a precipitating agent for a surge of revolt, and the repression that followed: the Sharpeville massacre took place shortly afterwards. It was the prologue to thirty years of emergency, until F.W. de Klerk's speech at the same Parliament in February 1990, and the liberation of Nelson Mandela. Macmillan's speech is an essential, if paradoxical moment in South Africa's rhetorical foundation. The version presented here is the exact transcription of Macmillan's own original type-script used by him to deliver his speech, together with hand written notes and corrections. It offers a unique insight in the rhetorical processes of speech delivery, and evinces a care for kairos that should never elude politicians faced with seizing up the moment and performing politics through rhetoric.
In support of a motion of no-confidence in the Prime Minister (9 July 1958) : South Africa - white voicesAuthor Michael CoombesSource: African Yearbook of Rhetoric 6, pp 45 –50 (2015)More Less
The year 1958 marked the ten year anniversary of National Party rule in South Africa, and their overriding policy of racial segregation known as Apartheid. On the day of the speech under discussion, the current Minister of Native Affairs, H.F. Verwoerd, was less than two months away from being sworn in as South Africa's seventh Prime Minister. During his time as the Minister of Native Affairs Verwoerd became known as the "Architect of Apartheid". As such, his position is diametrically opposed to that of Margaret Ballinger, an elected member of parliament since 1937 in the role of Native Representative. The Native Representatives held four parliamentary seats set aside for White representatives and voted for by Black constituents. Margaret Ballinger had served her constituency of the Eastern Cape for over two decades, but, as much as her international fame, and liberal attitudes towards racial policy were well established, she had not been able to achieve any significant impact in terms of guiding South African politics away from White-minority rule and international disapproval and condemnation. At this point in time Ballinger had largely lost the support of the leadership of the African National Congress, as the younger members, such as Nelson Mandela, moved the organisation towards a more radical, revolutionary uprising. Ballinger, who had advocated for peaceful resistance refused to concede that she was largely ineffectual. At the point of presenting this speech Ballinger and her three colleagues were also within two years of Verwoerd scrapping the Native Representative seats in parliament altogether, and with it their political careers. As a Native Representative, Margaret Ballinger fought tirelessly for the rights of the Black majority, who been increasingly marginalised and subjugated by successive Parliamentary Acts of the White rulers. After time spent studying at Oxford, Ballinger returned and taught history at both Rhodes University and the University of the Witwatersrand. A highly gifted speaker, Ballinger was credited by a Time magazine article in 1944 with being perhaps the best speaker in South Africa's parliament apart from Jan Smuts (then current Prime Minister) and perhaps his protégé Jan Hofmeyr. Ballinger's particular rhetorical style focusses predominantly on the use of logos and extensive substantiation in order to form very powerful arguments and claims. Through comprehensive research, she was able to create arguments that were very difficult to dispute on rational grounds. The choice to steer away from pathos arguments and to avoid ethos claims might initially seem strange, in particular when considered in the light of major ethical questions concerning the ill treatment of Black South Africans. However, the two Nationalist party leaders who had the greatest influence on Apartheid policy (D.F. Malan and H.F. Verwoerd) both held PhDs (in Theology and Psychology respectively) and were very intelligent men, and Ballinger understood they could not be successfully out-manoeuvred using either ethos or pathos due to their superior educational and religious standing. As such, she realised that the audience for her speeches were predominantly conservative, Afrikaner men amongst whom her use of ethos would not stand comparison, and due to the religious aspect, neither would the use of pathos. The other dominant aspect of Ballinger's speeches is her ability to couch her claims and warrants in terms of the best interests of the White men who formed the governing party. While she would express the importance of greater equality for the Black population she represented by ensuring that the argument always revolved around the benefit that would accrue to the White farmers, businessmen and population in general, should this happen, Ballinger was able to constantly undermine the Apartheid façade. Additionally, newspapers reporting on her speeches meant that it became increasingly difficult to contain the veracity of her arguments, and many Parliamentary rebuttals of her positions were no more than ad hominem attacks designed to detract from her ethos. The speech that is presented below is one given by Ballinger in support of a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister of South Africa, J.G. Strijdom, which was brought before the House by the Leader of the Opposition, Sir DeVilliersGraaff of the United Party. Ballinger's speech follows that of J.H. Abraham, the National Party MP for Groblersdal against the motion. Of particular interest in this speech is the manner in which she uses the information supplied by the National Party Government to substantiate her arguments. Unfortunately, the only version of this speech which exists is that of the Hansard transcripts of Parliamentary Debates, which do not clearly record all of the paragraph breaks. I have chosen not to change this, as it could possibly influence the reading of the speech and the interpretation thereof.
Source: African Yearbook of Rhetoric 6, pp 53 –54 (2015)More Less
The four speeches presented as founding in Argentina were selected using two criteria, which are based on the recognition of the performative power of words in a community. On the one hand, it has to do with constructing the audience, endowed with a certain identity and, on the other, about declaring the beginning of a new period in the country's history.
This is the suffering people that represent the pain of the motherland : Argentina - Argentine voicesSource: African Yearbook of Rhetoric 6, pp 55 –60 (2015)More Less
Juan Domingo Peron began to gain prominence in Argentina's political scene after the military coup of 4 June 1943, which overthrew the conservative president Ramon Castillo, who had come to power through fraud. In 1945, General Edelmiro Farrell was ruling the country and Colonel Peron was Secretary of Labour, Vice President and Minister of War. Due to the pressure coming from both civilian and military opponents, on 9 October 1945, he was forced to resign from all his posts and on the 12 October he was imprisoned. On 17 October, after a huge mass mobilisation calling for his release, and which according to Alain Rouquie gave the military the understanding that it was best to stand by Peron than to be on the sidelines of his indisputable leadership, he was released. In order to placate the crowd that had gathered in the Plaza de Mayo, at 23:00 Farrell himself presented Peron on the balcony of the Government House (Casa Rosada) to speak publicly. Peron fulfilled this purpose especially because he avoided giving the crowd information about what had happened during his imprisonment, and by asking them to quietly return to their homes and to go on strike on 18 October, as decreed by the General Confederation of Workers, as a public holiday (not as a protest). But the speech of 17 October, which lasted about half an hour and was broadcast throughout the country by the Official Broadcasting Service, is famous for other reasons. In it, Peron constructed his audience with the identity of the Argentine people. In successive rhetorical moves, Peron brought the workers into existence through expressions such as "the authentic Argentine people" and performs it by saying "This is the people". In various expressions Peron implied that one social sector claimed to be the people but was actually an inauthentic Argentine people, a false people. According to Peron's speech, the true and authentic people were the Peronist workers, so left-wing workers were excluded from it, as well as those of the Communist Party - not co-opted by Peronism - the middle class who were against his policies, and the upper class. In his 17 October speech there is a "conversion" of the identity of Peron that allows for a "transubstantiation with the people" and the rhetorical construction of its political leadership. Peron explicitly expresses that he is putting the uniform aside and putting on the civilian's coat to blend in with the sweaty masses. But while he mingles with the masses, by means of other rhetorical moves, he climbs up to a higher place in hierarchical terms (he formulates requests, advice and recommendations, positioning himself as an "older brother") until he ends his speech above the crowd, observing it from the balcony of the Government House. The tension between the fusion/division of the constitutive dialectic is manifested in the relationship itself between Peron and the crowd: he merged with it, but at the same time he ends his speech positioned outside of it, physically and symbolically above it as their leader. In his 17 October speech, Peron used the slang word "vieja" (old lady) to refer to his mother, saying "you have had the same pains and the same thoughts as my poor old lady", thus distancing himself from the conservative and dry language of his political opponents. It also builds the spoken scene rhetorically between Peron and the crowd in a familiar setting and re-semanticises political relations as family relations. Therefore Peron portrays himself as an older brother who gives advice to the mass. This older brother, who is wiser and more powerful, presents himself as a leader who communicates with the people without mediation. Thus, Peron represents his meeting with the workers by means of the expression "this true celebration of democracy", a phrase that separates the notion of celebration of democracy into a true celebration and a false one, which implicitly refers to the celebration of liberal representative democracy, where raw mediated relations between the representatives and the represented come first. The 17 October speech is constitutive of an enunciation device that establishes a verbal link between the leader and his audience without mediation, and which situates this crowd in an ambiguous place with regard to their own right to speak. The people ask Peron several times to tell them where he had been, but he says: "With all this new insistence, I request that you do not ask me". In an act of authority, Peron defines himself as sole administrator of his rights and duties as political speaker, and in the same act he defines the rights and duties of his audience, the acts of legitimate and illegitimate enunciation. My thanks go to Maria Sofia Vasallo, of the National University Institute of Arts, for facilitating the transcription she produced of the original audio of the speech of 17 October, preserved in the General Archive of the Nation, for her (unpublished) thesis for her Masters in Speech Analysis at the University of Buenos Aires. Unlike the written version that mainly circulates and which is archived on the educ.ar website, this audio includes the voice of the speaker who presented Peron and the part of his speech where he refers to his upcoming trip to Chubut. On the other hand, it allows us to notice the interaction between Peron and his audience and how at the end of his speech the people broke into a chant that would be repeated by Peronists at political rallies or demonstrations for the remaining decades of the twentieth century and even until today.
Source: African Yearbook of Rhetoric 6, pp 61 –64 (2015)More Less
Eva Peron (1919-1952) is one of the most important female political figures in the history of Argentina and is an essential reference when studying Peronism, on the one hand, and women's political leadership, on the other. As is widely known, Eva Peron (Evita) was the wife of Juan Domingo Peron, president of Argentina three times, 1946-1952, 1952-1958 (government interrupted by the military coup of 1955) and 1973-1974 (interrupted by his passing in 1974). Eva Peron played an active role as First Lady, as President of the Women's Peronist Party, President of the Eva Peron Foundation and "Spiritual Leader of the Nation". Her political action was specifically focused on achieving labour and social rights. Part of these achievements is the law of women's suffrage. During the period prior to the enactment of Law 13, 010, which established women's suffrage, Eva Peron's public participation was intense, through radio and print, in order to promote and defend it. The law was approved by the National Congress on 9 September, but its enactment was postponed until 23 September. Its text, only seven articles long, would allow women - four years later, in the 1952 presidential elections - to vote for the first time. The speech presented here was delivered on the balcony of the Casa Rosada, on 23 September 1947, immediately after the enactment of the law, which had been signed that day by President Juan Domingo Peron and Interior Minister Angel Borlenghi, within the framework of a popular celebration held in the Plaza de Mayo. In Argentina, the claim for equal civil rights for women, including women's suffrage, has its origin in the socialist and anarchist militants of the early twentieth century, among whom are Elvira Rawson de Dellepiane, Cecilia Grierson and Alicia Moreau de Justo. On the other hand, women's sectors of the national oligarchy were also in favour of voting rights for women, but with a marked selectivity that did not question the injustice of an established social order that held women back, a questioning that was at the core of Evita's messages. Part of that sector are Victoria Ocampo, Susana Larguia and Maria Rosa Oliver, who in 1936 founded the Argentine Women's Union. Earlier, in 1932, Carmela Horne had founded the Argentine Association for Women's Suffrage. In the decades leading up to 1947, over thirty more projects were started to promote women's voting rights, but none of them came to be discussed in the parliamentary bodies. The first one dates from 1911, driven by socialist MP Alfredo Palacios, and even predates the Saenz Peña Law of 1912, by which the electoral methods in Argentina are democratised, when the secret, compulsory and universal vote is instituted for male Argentine citizens over the age of eighteen years. However, with the Saenz Peña Law, political fraud could not be avoided, and this allowed conservative sectors to take power during the "Infamous Decade" until the military coup of 1943, an event that would facilitate the rise to power of Juan Domingo Peron three years later through institutional means. Eva Peron's campaign to achieve women's suffrage law is framed within this context and is projected towards the 1952 elections, in which women vote for the first time. While Eva Peron was driving a shared claim, both with liberal leftist leaders and those of the oligarchy, her speech is "founding" because it establishes, for the first time, a new recipient: it politically calls on women, all women, building a civic consciousness while maintaining the suitable indispensable condition as the "basic pillar of the home". That is, the symbolic space that is generated incorporates women into the political scene but without losing sight of the spiritual values or traditionally assigned gender roles. Eva Peron's speech announcing women's voting rights establishes women in a politically meaningful place, on a par with the place held during Peronism. In this sense, it builds a national future in tension with the political model of the oligarchic past and puts not only the role of the Peronist woman, but of all women as citizens, at stake. This differentiates it from previous speeches that promoted women's right to vote but were directed, in their claim, only at men or women who had "political awareness".
Author Mariano DagattiSource: African Yearbook of Rhetoric 6, pp 65 –67 (2015)More Less
"In late 1982, hardly any other country in the world was in a more alarming and unfortunate situation". This statement by David Rock, in his book Argentina 1516-1987, although it does not lack the pathos of hyperbole, concisely describes the political, social and economic crisis in Argentina after seven years of military dictatorship. On 2 April, 1982, General Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri, third de facto president of the self-styled "National Reorganisation Process", from the balcony of the Government House addresses a cheering crowd celebrating the momentary recovery of the Falkland Islands, after almost 150 years under British rule. National papers titled the news somewhere between verifying and celebrating it: "Argentine troops land on the Falklands" (Clarín), "Argentina lands on the archipelago of the Falklands" (La Nación), "Today is a glorious day for our country. Argentina rules in the Falklands" (La Razón), and, "Argentina strikes: the Falklands have been recovered" (Crónica). Two days earlier, on 30 March, 1982, the repression of a mass mobilisation to Plaza de Mayo in front of the Government House, hosted by leading Argentine unions under the slogan "Bread and Work", had revealed the decay of the living conditions in Argentine society and the decline of a dictatorship that had ruled cruelly and brutally since 24 March 1976, when it overthrew the constitutional president Maria Estela Martinez de Peron and closed all the fundamental institutions of democracy. In the early Eighties, the word "Malvinas" (Falklands) had multiple meanings in the collective memory of the Argentines: the colonial usurpation, the anti-imperialist struggle, sovereignty. From 1833 onward, that territory in the hands of Great Britain functioned in Argentina's culture and politics as one of the many metaphors of the Nation. The positions in favour of the recovery of the archipelago covered the most diverse political banners and were a constant in the national profiles outlined by national politics. Diplomatic and legal action was interrupted only during the Seventy-four-day war in 1982. After 1982, as suggested by Julieta Vitullo in Islas imaginadas, we say "Falklands" rather than "war". Between late December 1981 and early January 1982, the military junta had begun to outline plans to recover the islands. The purpose was to generate a stream of popular fervour to divert attention from current problems, as well as to regain lost credibility among large sectors of the country that would be sensitive to an action of patriotic interest such as this. The Falklands War sought to remember, as Leon Rozichner indicates in Las Malvinas: De la guerrasucia a la guerralimpia, "old lost glories: the British invasions and the boiling oil, the Mendoza ladies weaving flags". The Falklands would become a strong mobilising driver of English anti-imperialism, which indelibly fuelled the collective Argentine nationalist imagination and its irredentism.
Ensuring today and for all times, democracy and respect for human dignity in Argentina : Argentina - Argentine voicesSource: African Yearbook of Rhetoric 6, pp 69 –71 (2015)More Less
On 10 December 1983, Raul Alfonsin takes up the presidency of Argentina after seven years of military dictatorship. Forty days earlier he had been elected in the polls with almost 52% of the votes, in elections comparable to the plebiscite victories of Juan Domingo Peron or Hipolito Yrigoyen, undisputed leaders of the Peronist Party and the Radical Civic Union, respectively. Alfonsin decided to deliver his first speech to the Argentine people since the return of democracy on a particular day and place. International Human Rights Day is commemorated on 10 December, and the president, whose campaign speech contrasted with the dominant repressive discourse and had placed emphasis on the restoration of democratic values and on overcoming the authoritarian mentality, chose this date to start a new cycle. The choice of the town council, on the other hand, indicates a difference with the political tradition of speaking from the balcony of the Casa Rosada (Government House) and it restores the historical significance of that building, linked to the founding of the Argentine nation and the significant role of the people. Just as the date and space indicate the beginning of a political era of re-founding, Alfonsin's trajectory itself is linked to the shaping of a new subjectivity. In 1972 he led the renewal of radicalism through the creation of the Movement for Renewal and Change, a division closer to European social democracy, and during the dictatorship he distinguished himself from other politicians when he publicly confronted the military, took up the defence of political prisoners and the claims for the missing persons, and criticised the occupation of the Falkland Islands by the de facto government. Alfonsin's speech at the town council is part of Argentina's rhetorical history. It is a founding speech, or rather, one of re-founding, as it invokes the desire to form a national union, expressed for the first time in the 1853 Constitution, to which he makes explicit reference. Over and above conflicting interests, Alfonsin, before a multiparty and diverse popular demonstration, defines democracy as a collective construction. Through rhetoric, he constitutes a heterogeneous audience, composed of diverse political and ideological affiliations, into a homogeneous democratic subject, united around a civic ethic.