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On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X


DUNBAR MOODIE, T.. N.P. van Wyk Louw and the moral predicament of Afrikaner nationalism: Preparing the ground for Verligte reform. Historia [online]. 2009, vol.54, n.1, pp.180-210. ISSN 2309-8392.

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.

Keywords : Afrikaner Broederbond; calling (roeping); civil religion; coloureds; democracy; ethnicity (volkseie); intellectuals; liberalism; loyal opposition (lojale verset); morality; National Party; nationalism; petty apartheid; public debate (oop gesprek); race; reform; sacred history; separate development; situation ethics; survival with justice (voortbestaan in geregtigheid).

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