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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

On-line version ISSN 2224-7912

Tydskr. geesteswet. vol.49 n.2 Pretoria  2009

 

Moraliteit as deel van Afrikanerwaardes

 

Morality as a part of Afrikaner values

 

 

J.P van der Merwe

Departement Antropologie, Universiteit van die Vrystaat, Bloemfontein jvdm@motheo.co.za

 

 


OPSOMMING

Wat is moraliteit? Die Verklarende Handwoordeboekvan die Afrikaanse Taal beskryf dit as: "Wat betrekking het op die gevoel vir wat goed en reg is: sedelik." Sedelik word weer verder gedefinieer as: "Ooreenkomstig die goeie sedes: deugsaam."
Vanuit verskeie geesteswetenskaplike artikels blyk dit dat die sosiale groep se moraliteit by tye deur óf God, óf die kerk, óf die staat, óf die stam óf anders deur al vier hierdie partye gesamentlik bepaal word. Skynbaar bepaal die sekulêre samelewing met sy post-modernistiese perspektiewe deesdae se samelewings se moraliteit. Verskillende sosiale groepe het met ander woorde om verskillende redes verskillende waarde-oordele op verskillende tye.
Die postapartheid Suid-Afrika met sy liberale grondwet en groter toeganklikheid tot die globale wêreld
2 help ongetwyfeld dat die hedendaagse Afrikaner meer vrydenkend raak ten opsigte van moraliteit en waarde-oordele. Jong Afrikaners begin toenemend tuis voel in die geglobaliseerde samelewing waar die postmodernistiese lewens- en wêreldbeskouings aan die orde van die dag is. Daar kan dus tereg vermeld word dat die blanke Afrikaner inderdaad besig is om sy eng konserwatiewe Christelike waardes en norme te ontgroei. Die vraag wat in hierdie artikel onder andere gevra word, is: In welke mate het ons Afrikaners se morele waardes sedert 1994, met die aanbreek van die post-apartheid era, verander?

Trefwoorde: Moraliteit, waardes, Afrikaner, post-apartheid, Suid-Afrika, godsdiens, postmodernisme, Christelik, nasionalisme, Afrikanerkultuur, globalisering


ABSTRACT

What is morality? The Verklarende Handwoordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal describes it as: "That which relates to the sense of what is good and right (moral)". "Moral" is further defined as: "According to good mores: virtuous."
The question that arises is: Who or what decides what is good and right, or what is virtuous? For example, there is a Khoi-San saying that goes: "Good is when I steal other people's wives and cattle; bad is when they steal mine" (Stewart 2004:184).
From the point of view of a variety of human-scientific articles, it seems that the social group's morality is dictated at times by God, the church, the government and/or the ethnic group - and now, it seems, by the secular community, with its post-modernistic perspectives. It also seems that perceptions regarding morality and virtuousness are relative in nature, because different social groups have different value-orientations at various times.
In Nietzsche's framework of thought, value is relative, provisional and time-bound. Nietzsche (1917:87) does not interpret the human being as a static, secluded substance. Moreover, the essence of human life does not lie embedded within the notion of self-preservation - it is contained in self-conquest and the realisation of the potential that is inherent within oneself. Thus, Nietzsche also refers to the human being as a creator. In the light of these convictions, according to Nietzsche, values are nothing other than perspectives that stimulate and direct the self-transcending triumph of the human being. In this sense, values comprise the conditions for the self-transcendent acts that are possible on the part of the human being. The existence of value lies in the fact that it guides the human being in his/her self-conquest. Values are not given objectively to human beings; rather, they originate from the subjective character of human life itself. This means that value is not an isolable entity that exists independently of the human being. What manifests itself as value, is that which stimulates the self-transcendence of human life, within a functional context (Menchken 1920:14-25 and Pitcher 1966:34-37).
Although commentators differ regarding the question as to what the full impact of the post-apartheid dispensation was - and still is - on the Afrikaner, it is indisputably true that the political and social transformation that South Africa has undergone since 1994 has indeed been far-reaching in nature; and to a large extent, it has taken the majority of Afrikaners by surprise. Clearly, Afrikaners were not prepared for the changes that ensued, with the result that now, after a period of 14 years; they are being urgently confronted with the need to reflect on their values, moralities, solidarity, role and place in the new South Africa.
According to this article, it seems that values and moralities, even amongst Afrikaners, are becoming increasingly dynamic in nature, and that individuals within Afrikaner ranks are diversifying to a greater extent, in terms of the determination of their own values and moralities. Professor P.S. Dreyer (in Nel 1979:39) writes: "In reality and in practice, however, it is always within a concrete situation of time and space that we must appraise, and obey or disobey, the demands of the prevailing values and moralities. The concrete situation of time, in the last instance, signifies history and space, as well as the state and condition of the country as the physical horizon within which the human being is obliged to live" (own translation).
The new South Africa, with its liberal constitution, has undoubtedly played a contributing role in causing the modern-day Afrikaner to become more free-thinking in respect of moralities and value-judgements. Young Afrikaners are increasingly beginning to feel at home in the globalised society in which post-modernistic life- and world-views are the order of the day. It can thus rightfully be said that white Afrikaners are indeed outgrowing their narrow, conservative Christian values and norms. This does not mean that young Afrikaners are less Christianity-oriented. All that it means is that Afrikaners' perceptions and value-judgements in respect of Christianity have also undergone a metamorphosis since 1994.

Key words: Morality, Values, Afrikaner, post-apartheid, South Africa, religion, postmodernism, Christianity, nationalism, Afrikaner culture, globalisation


 

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1 Desnieteenstaande die problematiek in die daarstelling van definisies, veral binne 'n postmodernistiese konteks, is daar tog besluit om in hierdie artikel van die standpunt uit te gaan dat die Afrikaner 'n blanke groep met 'n eie kultuur is. Afrikaners is waarskynlik een van die mees resente voorbeelde van etnogenese. Verteenwoordigers van verskillende volke uit Europa is in 'n bepaalde konteks, binne 'n bepaalde lokaliteit saamgevoeg en het 'n eie identiteit ontwikkel. Die rol van die lokaliteit (die suidpunt van Afrika) is in die geval van die Afrikaners van besondere belang en het 'n belangrike bydrae tot die Afrikaner se identiteit gelewer.
2 In die Apartheidsera was daar boikotaksies en sanksies, en as gevolg daarvan was Suid-Afrika grootliks van die globale wêreld geïsoleerd gewees.
3 Op 27 April 1994 het Suid-Afrika 'n volwaardige demokratiese staat geword, en kan hierdie gemelde datum tereg gesien word as die einde van die Apartheidsera. Gedurende die Apartheidsera het blanke Afrikaners oor alle mag beskik en het hulle ook talle wette daargestel wat diskriminerend was teenoor anderskleurige Suid-Afrikaners. Volgens Slabbert (1999:49-51) het daar tot en met 1990 'n amptelike Afrikaner-identiteit bestaan, wat grootliks bepaal is deur 'n meesternarratief wat gekonstrueer is rondom kerklidmaatskap, verbintenis tot politieke mag en partylidmaatskap, en lidmaatskap van kultuurorganisasies soos die Broederbond. Die verlies van hierdie amptelike identiteit ná 1994 het die Afrikaner, volgens skrywers soos Vosloo (Die Burger 28 Januarie 2005:12) en Roodt (http://www.praag.org/menings17072005.html - 2005/07/14:4 van 13), gemarginaliseer en in 'n bestaanskrisis gedompel. In hierdie verband word daarop gewys dat die Afrikaners se emosionele en intellektuele bande met die Afrikaanse kultuur, kerke, politiek en die Afrikaanse taal besig is om te verander, selfs te verskraal, en dat hulle toenemend 'n nuwe, kosmopolitaanse identiteit en leefwyse nastreef.
4 Die aard van die gevolgtrekkings van hierdie studie het voortgesprait uit induktiewe argumentasie. In hierdie geval het die premisse 'n groot mate van induktiewe steun aan die konklusie gebied, met ander woorde, daar kan beweer word dat die konklusie hoogs waarskynlik waar is (Salmon 1973:14). Dit beteken egter dat daar nog steeds die moontlikheid bestaan (hoe onwaarskynlik dit ook al mag klink) dat nuwe empiriese getuienis verkry kan word wat die teendeel kan bewys. Die konklusie in die induktiewe argument is dus nie logies noodwendig nie (Mouton e.a. 1988:13).
5 In die alledaagse lewe van die Afrikaner is daar, aan die een kant, sy/haar "private leefwêreld" waar Afrikanerwaardes, -kultuur, -identiteit en -moraliteit gekonsipieer en uitgeleef word. Aan die ander kant is daar die breë, intersubjektiewe Suid-Afrikaanse konteks wat gedeel word met al die inwoners van Suid-Afrika. Laasgenoemde verteenwoordig die transaksionele ruimte (soos geskep en in stand gehou deur die Grondwet) waarbinne die Afrikaner postapartheid Suid-Afrika beleef en ervaar.
6 Cathy Bruwer (dit is haar skuilnaam) was een van die informante in die gemelde studie. Sy is 'n voltydse mode-ontwerper in Bloemfontein wat op De Aar grootgeword het. Sy is deur haar moeder, 'n enkelouer, grootgemaak nadat sy buite die eg gebore is. Sy is haar ma se enigste kind. Haar moeder was al die jare werksaam as klerk by die Suid-Afrikaanse Weermag.

 

 

Jan Petrus van der Merwe is 'n doktorale student in Antropologie aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat. Die tema van sy doktorale studie is: Afrikaners in Postapartheid Suid-Afrika: 'n Antropologiese perspektief. Verder doen hy ook gereeld, op 'n deeltydse basis, navorsing vir die Universiteit van die Vrystaat, vir IIASIA (International Institute School for Institutes for Administration - kyk http://www.iiasiisa.be), die Afrikanerbond, en vir die African National Congress. Jan is verder 'n voltydse raadslid in die Mangaung Plaaslike Munisipaliteit, waar hy verantwoordelik is vir die portfolio van Ekonomiese en Landelike Ontwikkeling en Toerisme. Jan is in 2004 deur die Europese Unie versoek om as waarnemer op te tree tydens die Britse Algemene verkiesing.

Jan Petrus van der Merwe is a doctoral student at the University of the Free State, Department of Anthropology. The theme of his study is: Afrikaners in Post-Apartheid South Africa: An anthropological perspective. On a part time basis Jan is doing research for The University of the Free State, for IIASA ((International Institute School for Institutes for Administration - see http://www.iiasiisa.be), for the African National Congress and for the Afrikanerbond. Jan is a full time councillor for the Mangaung Local Municipality for the portfolio of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. In 2004 Jan was invited by the European Union to be an observer during the British General Elections.

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