To write against the racial policies of South Africa is not a difficult undertaking; through its discriminatory legislation, the South African Government provides plentiful material for the use of its critics. To write reflectively not about the black but about the white population is not easy and can lead to misunderstanding. Yet there is room for an explanation of South Africa as many or most of its white inhabitants see it. In any event, an explanation is not a justification.

South Africa's isolation from the rest of the world is a source of mounting bitterness within the country. Last October, Prime Minister Verwoerd received what seemed a stinging rebuff when the prime ministers of the Scandinavian countries turned down an invitation to visit South Africa to see it for themselves. Their refusal sharply illuminated South Africa's estrangement. Since Dr. Verwoerd is not a stupid man, he can hardly have been surprised at the refusal; but some interpreted the incident as a painful evidence of the willingness of South Africa's critics to condemn without any knowledge of the real facts of the country.

The real facts, as the average South African sees them, are the events, the atmosphere, the tempo, of his own daily life. The outside world, he believes, has a distorted focus on his country. His own picture of himself comes back to him, reflected in hostile debates in the United Nations, in images so misshapen that he feels himself to be the victim of a deliberate plot of misrepresentation and slander.

How does a South African who feels that the outside world is unfair to him see himself? What is his own focus upon his daily life? His view is not much different from that of the Southerner in a quiet suburb of Nashville or Atlanta who has an easy, friendly way with a Negro gardener. The fact that the personal warmth and kindliness which the white South African feels is part of a master-servant relationship sustained by the laws of the land does not occur to a housewife who gives her kitchen boy her husband's old shirt or who drives him in her own car to the pass office. One of the most remarkable facts is the manner in which the great range of discriminatory laws and the severity of their application to Africans are masked and submerged. They seem to exist at a lower level of comprehension and significance, like automobile accidents. This is so in spite of the still remarkably outspoken English language press.

This is not a colonial land. Its inhabitants are not colonists. They are at home here. Their earliest forebears came not very long after the Pilgrim Fathers came to America. The father of his country is Paul Kruger. His birthday, October 10, is a combination of Washington's Birthday and the Fourth of July. For the Afrikaner there are the same parades and proud patriotic speeches, the same reminders of past suffering, present accomplishment and future promise. The year 1964 is only the fourth year of the Republic, of full, unqualified, independent nationhood.

It is with bitterness and resentment that the Afrikaners hear the demand that this precious prize of independence be yielded almost as soon as it is won. Why should the fruits of over two generations of effort after the Boer War, of nearly five generations of effort since the Great Trek, be diluted and drowned at the demand of angry men at the United Nations? What other nation in what other continent of the entire world is being asked to give up so much?

Against those who cannot or will not see as they see, hope as they hope, South Africans-or certainly a great majority of them-have feelings of bewilderment, even outrage. Having themselves so intensely in view, the rest of the world is out of focus for them. To the resentful South African, it seems that the eye of the State Department, the British Foreign Office or the Kremlin flits casually over Viet Nam, the Berlin Corridor, Cuba, Kashmir, Laos, only to fix itself balefully on South Africa.

If the South African's view of himself is distorted, so too is the outside world's view of South Africa. The average man in the United States or the United Kingdom reduces the complexity of South Africa to simplicity. The thoughtful and conscientious South African liberal is baffled in trying to discern any feasible and acceptable course of progressive action. Yet outside the country the comfortable assumption prevails that there is no need for discussion; the obvious wrongness of the South African position must be matched by an available and self-evident Tightness of immediate action.

South Africa's critics, particularly those in the Afro-Asian bloc, have already scored a major propaganda victory over South Africa. They have changed the whole frame of reference in which South Africa is judged. They have destroyed the concept of South Africa as a normal modem state and have gone far in substituting an African or Pan-African concept. In the view of average South Africans, South Africa is in Africa but not of it. They would prefer to compare their country with a small European nation or an American state; they do not like or accept the equation with other African states. Sometimes the Afrikaner likes to be compared with Israel, also a holy and beloved land, also beleaguered.

An even greater diplomatic triumph has been gained in forcing South Africa's domestic policies into the forum of international debate, even possibly onto a road leading to international action. The world feels that South Africa cannot be permitted to stand aside from the great current of change in Africa, that it cannot be absolved from the responsibility of yielding freedom, dignity and opportunity to men of all races within its borders.

To the leader of the new African state, the South African situation is an intolerable moral blot on his continent. The doctrine of white supremacy, perpetuated by a network of laws and police action, forces him into a radicalness of speech and action which admits of no other consideration than the overwhelming issue of human rights. In the winy atmosphere of new- found dignity and independence, African leaders are understandably provoked by the gospel of apartheid into defining the whites of South Africa as an intrusive expatriate element; and from that premise into making demands for changes so swift and sweeping that they inevitably seem prescriptions for chaos and disaster.

In Africa the time schedule for change has become extremely brief. Thirty or forty years ago even the most advanced and liberal thought on the future of Africa and the African would have placed the achievement of political independence far in the future, certainly beyond the middle of this century. Today the demand for independence and political rights brooks no delay and rejects the slow years of preparation that seemed natural earlier. Backwardness, primitiveness, economic unpreparedness cannot be accepted as reasons for slowness in removing political unfreedom, legal disabilities and economic restraints in the remaining areas where they prevail. The backwardness of the population of Angola or Mozambique, for instance, is absolutely no excuse in the eyes of independent African leadership for any delay in granting these territories their independence.

White South Africa still adheres to the old time scale, so abruptly rejected in Africa to the north. "Give us time and we can find an answer" is a most common plea or assurance one hears in conversation with the intelligent South African man in the street; and often it is more sincere than evasive or complacent. The African and the South African time schedules are too utterly apart for any chance of agreement or adjustment.

The South African Government and its opponents in the Afro-Asian bloc are therefore engaged in a strange race. South Africa wants all the time, delay and postponement possible; time is needed to reveal the weaknesses of its opponents, and to confirm the practical wisdom and establish the success of South African policies. The generalship of the Afro-Asian bloc, on the other hand, cannot afford to wait until the new African states have established their own stable political and economic systems. Since they cannot run fast at home they must try to run as fast as possible abroad. Just as the politics of independence came before the economics of independence, so now does the diplomatic battle against South Africa come before the capacity to apply real pressure through their own matured national strength. The acquisition of African nationhood was of necessity followed by a request for the international financial and technical assistance that would provide independence with its social and economic foundations. The declaration of diplomatic warfare against South Africa also called for international aid, not in money but in votes in the United Nations, official expressions of sympathy, pressure through diplomatic channels and maybe still more tangible action in the form of boycotts, embargoes and sanctions.

The leaders of the Afro-Asian bloc instinctively feel the season of their advantage may be short. Already there is some impatience in the United Nations corridors over the stridency of their discourse, concern over the erratic and unpredictable character of political development in many African states, disillusionment at signs of oppression and dictatorship in some of them, concern over the heavy international bill yet to be met to insure stable economic growth and apprehension at the innumerable points of actual and potential friction among the African states themselves.

For the time being, however, most of the Western world still maintains a strong feeling of sympathy for the African states, an attitude of tolerance for the asperities of their domestic and foreign policies. At almost every conference on African matters Westerners show a nervous anxiety not to give offense to African leaders, to avoid bluntness in talking with them, to compromise the matter in hand to avoid ruffling individual susceptibilities. In this kid-glove treatment of African leaders the South African senses discrimination. The flow of financial support from governments or private foundations, the gentle tone used by American scholars in discussing the politics of various new African states where corruption and force are obviously rife, the almost deferential treatment given African politicians even when they are sulky and importunate-all this gives these critics an impression that the Western nations are acting emotionally, uncritically, even blindly, as if from a sense of guilt and fear. Although Washington and London must and do place the highest value on helping independent Africa to attain a more viable and prosperous footing, many of their acts and policies look sentimental, hasty and unrealistic when seen through South African eyes.

Finally, South Africans of all degrees find it difficult to understand the success of the diplomatic generalship of the Afro-Asian bloc, when so many fingers can be pointed at the generals themselves. Dictatorship in Ghana and the Sudan, the tragedy of tribal massacres in the Congo, bloody strife in Zanzibar, the perversion of one democratic system after another into a one-party government, arrests and expulsions of dissenting leaders without pretense of trial by law-what title do these facts give African spokesmen at the United Nations to talk about the police state in South Africa? Why this harsh isolation of South Africa when in fact she has so much company on the same continent, not to mention phenomena elsewhere like the caste system in India and America's own civil rights crisis that might give critics of apartheid pause? To South Africans it is an inescapable reflection that there is much hypocrisy abroad and much unfairness to South Africa. Dr. Verwoerd emphasized this feeling when he said that the difference between South Africa and much of the rest of the world was not in the practice of racial discrimination and separation but in the fact that South Africa used laws to carry it out while others did not. This is, of course, an overwhelmingly vital point of difference, and it did not escape Dr. Verwoerd's critics.

II

Future historians may describe the break-up of the colonial system in Africa in terms of the emancipation of mother countries from their empires rather than the emancipation of colonies from their mother countries. More was involved than the progressive grant of independence to former colonies; there was also the withdrawal of strategic power. In the case of Britain it was the closing of the protective umbrella held over British possessions, among them the Union of South Africa.

Two men, neither of them English, saw most clearly the new logic of African historical developments. The first was de Gaulle, who recognized that France would not have sufficient freedom and resources to become a leader in the new Europe unless she were emancipated from Africa. The second was Dr. Verwoerd. When he took the Republic out of the Commonwealth he was a step ahead of the inevitable moment when it would be plain to all that Great Britain no longer would exercise its power on behalf of South Africa.

For his act Dr. Verwoerd paid a price. South Africa's diplomatic defenses were greatly weakened, and its exposure to the offensive of hostile powers increased. But he gained a reward, which he accurately predicted. The declaration of a republic, he said, was the necessary first step toward uniting the country. He was right. As the grim truth became evident that Great Britain was, in impolite language, scuttling the traditional responsibilities of empire, the English-speaking South Africans entered a strange and lonely world. Familiar symbols faded; the comfort of having the Union Jack at hand was gone. As the pace of change in the rest of Africa increased, they pondered Dr. Verwoerd's warnings that South Africa was on its own and had to defend itself by its own strength. The traditional dividing line in South Africa had always been between Boer and Briton. The withdrawal of British strategic power and the propaganda war with the rest of Africa have blurred that division. Correspondingly, events of the last decade have given far greater prominence to the dividing line between white and non-white.

There are other reasons why the English-speaking community has changed some of its views of Dr. Verwoerd and his government. The Prime Minister himself exemplifies the statement that the Afrikaans-speaking section of South Africa is especially capable of throwing up men of great strength of intellect and will power. At the time of the Boer War and for a long time afterwards, the English-speaking South Africans had a low opinion of the business acumen and the managerial skill of the Afrikaner population. Now they behold men who handle their affairs with boldness, shrewdness and even imagination, and with practical consequences matched by no previous administration in this century. Comparisons between Dr. Verwoerd and the stern, headstrong but deeply imaginative leader of France are by no means absurd.

Even in the bitterly controversial area of race and language the Prime Minister's team is admitted to have acted with vigor and resourcefulness. Once South Africa had a native problem because few people thought seriously about it and nobody did anything much about it. Today the native problem is in the center of political thought and action. Quite apart from the debatable character of its basic assumptions and principles, this administration stands far above any previous government in the attention which it pays to the great issues of the nation. Whatever the ultimate outcome, good or evil, it will not be due to neglect. The government's activities range over the eradication of some urban slums, sanitary and police measures (although at great cost to human dignity), the creation of a Bantustan in the Transkei, the establishment of border industry and much more. Its fiscal policies have also improved the favorable balance of opinion. The financial panic after the Sharpeville massacre led to the prediction that matters would get worse if the Republic left the Commonwealth. But against the flight of capital and a collapse of confidence the government acted promptly and most firmly.

The effectiveness of the government's fiscal controls separated the sheep from the goats. Before the elections of 1960 it was possible for liberals to think of selling out and getting out. Now the government's firm administration of fiscal controls has forced many people to weigh their political beliefs against their economics, to consider what degree of sacrifice they are willing to accept. To what extent marginal and complacent adherents have left the liberal ranks is impossible to say. But it is quite certain that considerations of purse and property caused a new thoughtfulness about Dr. Verwoerd and his policies.

This tendency became deeper when the announced collapse of confidence did not after all take place. For a while the stock market sulked at lower levels; orders and inventories dropped; housing starts and commercial building lagged. But then stagnant capital, unable to take flight out of the country, flowed back into circulation. Stocks became good buys, building spurted, order books filled up, confidence returned. There was even quite suddenly a skilled manpower shortage. The white community was busy at work and had money to spend. For such prosperity the government reaped its reward. As a political dividend it was all the more valuable because it came from the business and industrial community. In South Africa the errors of politics have almost always been corrected by the triumphs of economics.

It is impossible to give any reliable measure of the new support that has moved behind Dr. Verwoerd. Yet very clearly Dr. Verwoerd is stronger politically by far than he was when the Republic was established. His political opponents are not at present a threat to his hold on office.

The independent African states are engaged in an effort to convince the rest of the world that Portugal and South Africa are a threat to world peace. In so doing they have handed the South African Government the means of declaring that not its policies but the words and deeds of its opponents constitute a menace to domestic peace. Ben Bella's threat to train saboteurs strengthens the government's claim that it must be given special powers in order to maintain domestic security. A leader in one of the African states may only be orating before a home audience when he talks menacingly of an invasion of South Africa, but his words none the less confirm South Africans in the belief that the crisis is real and that the government must use its police powers, even at the expense of the rule of law, in order to maintain the security of the state. As a result, fewer people than before are unhappy about the great increase of police powers now exercised over the entire population.

With each foreign attempt to hedge South Africa in, the government secures support from the individual or group that feels hurt. There is the scientist who has done invaluable work for the whole of Africa, but cannot pay a visit to Uganda; the Catholic who must fly around Africa to get to Rome now that South African airplanes have lost the right to land at Nairobi or Khartoum; the merchant who cannot send his goods to Dar es Salaam; the technician or official who must fight efforts to expel him from non-political international gatherings-such individuals are less inclined than they might once have been to side against Dr. Verwoerd, at least on matters of foreign policy.

It is not true to say that Dr. Verwoerd has acquired a stable, single- minded, resolute addition to his following. But it is true to say that a variety of considerations-property, fear, indignation, admiration-have become lines of sympathetic communication between his government and sections of the population which traditionally have opposed him and his predecessors of the Nationalist Party.

The government has also gone far in eliminating another kind of opposition. Even after Sharpeville any visitor who was enterprising enough could meet native leaders in variety. Now any effort to do so is met with a blank stare and a shrug of the shoulders. Most of the known African leaders are in prison or under strict surveillance; if there are others they are in hiding. There probably is a steady trickle of escapees over the borders, of whom some certainly will end up behind the Iron Curtain. African leaders who undertook to state their case within the country, to seek adjustment by discussion, to be available for negotiation, have landed in jail; the others almost certainly will seek harsher and less compromising means to their ends. What is true is that South Africa is destroying those with whom it could deal and breeding a generation of exiles with whom it will not be able to deal.

III

The liberal forces in South Africa are overwhelmingly the single most vital element of light in darkness and of hope in despair. Since South Africa as a whole is out of focus, its liberal elements are out of focus too. The cloud of resentment produced by South Africa's racial policies hides the liberal elements in its murk. They feel abandoned, and some have become bitter and angry. Many marginal liberals, that is, liberals of speech rather than deed, have fallen away or become mute. But when all deductions and qualifications have been made, there certainly remains a most significant and in numbers not inconsiderable group of anxious, thoughtful, responsible and conscientious minds. Although the English are numerically preponderant in their ranks, liberals cannot be ranged on one side of the linguistic fence.

The South African universities contain a special and highly important group of liberal-minded men who suffer acutely from the isolation and the unpopularity into which their country has been thrust. Not all university men by any means are liberals; one is much more likely to meet liberal colleagues in the English-speaking than in the Afrikaans-speaking universities.

A recent conference at the University of Cape Town illustrated the courage with which some of the South African liberals are facing the grave predicament in which the universities in South Africa find themselves. The conference was on the very matters that concern South Africa most deeply. The absence of emotional excitement, the intellectual integrity, indeed the generosity and impartiality of utterance, revealed the determination of an academic community to be its proper self, to maintain an atmosphere of free and scholarly inquiry no different from that in centers of learning anywhere else in the free world. Visitors from abroad felt grateful to their South African colleagues for evidencing the existence there and in other parts of South Africa of the questing spirit that controls and emancipates through knowledge and understanding. These men made it clear that the word liberal is the strict opposite of the word servile. Despite all the perversion and distortion of meaning inflicted on this word in South Africa, it remains the proper description of those who believe that freedom, justice, opportunity, health and nourishment are riches that can be mined without depletion and that increase the more intensively they are mined. During the exchanges at Cape Town it was impossible to avoid a sense of sadness and even a sense of sharing in guilt, because the shadow that fell on their country's policies fell upon them too. They were isolated. They found it harder to find recruits to fill gaps in their ranks with first-rate minds. Above all, the flow of funds from foundations and other donor agencies in the outside world had dwindled to a trickle.

At another university there was a second but more informal confrontation with a senior academic group so opposite to the foregoing and so depressing in its meaning as to create the deepest sense of pity and of tragedy. What began as pleasant chatter at a dinner table suddenly turned into angry accusations and denunciations of the American "stab in the back." Reason was swept aside in an assault on the American Government, foundations and universities, on African study programs in American universities and on South Africans who had accepted posts in African universities. Almost animal anger was directed indiscriminately against American support of African universities and also against the alleged American support of Afrikaans universities, as showing that American policy illogically supported both Dr. Verwoerd and his African opponents. In the face of this sort of anger, reason and explanation sounded thin and made no headway.

What mattered was the discovery of the loss in a university of the liberal, reflective temper, the dulling of its edge and the degradation of its goals. Decent men were turning to narrow xenophobia. Their justification was that the heavy weight of world opprobrium had fallen indiscriminately upon them too, or so they felt, even though they had battled for the open university and spoken loudly and clearly on the right of men of color to the opportunities of education. Therefore, in spite of the sourness of the occasion, it was possible to come to the same conclusion as after the sweeter discourse at the University of Cape Town.

The conclusion is that it is destructive and wasteful to neglect the sources of thought and liberal debate in this laboring land. When the intellectual leaders of a country become demoralized and perplexed or feel repudiated, they can become, despite themselves, even without knowing it themselves, converts to the heresies they have battled. For any country this is a moment of tragedy. We have a responsibility to give companionship and encouragement to those who have not fled the battle and do not wish to sheathe their swords.

It is from the thoughtful spirits within and without the South African universities, and not from the speeches of government ministers, that one must try to make a new appraisal of government policies. Their voices are little heard overseas, but it is they who show that the gross oversimplification of the South African crisis is misleading and dangerous. It would be provocative and unhelpful for any outsider to be too specific or too doctrinaire in defining the appropriate direction or pace or timing of liberal action in South Africa. Anyone who says that he knows the answer shows that he does not understand the problem. This is why the sweeping and doctrinaire statements of political leaders outside the country do not always command the expected respect of the serious South African liberal.

His search is for change within the framework of an economic system which is greatly dependent upon the presence of the white population. He cannot ignore the fact that the white population is responsible for the investment of capital, for scientific and technological skills, and for the organization through which they can effectively be exercised. He must even consider the fact that the stable environment suitable to economic growth and development, the atmosphere favorable to capital formation and capital imports, in turn depend upon an efficient system of public safety, upon the preservation of domestic law and order.

In the modern world, it is totally unacceptable to argue that these economic prerequisites justify the claim to an exclusive white hegemony. It would be equally unrealistic not to recognize that abrupt and violent political change could disrupt the conditions needed for economic development. The South African liberal therefore is searching desperately to find a way between the two unacceptable alternatives of economic chaos and human despair.

That his search is a lonely and sometimes desperate one cannot be denied. But it is important for all who know the extreme gravity of the South African problem to know also that the land has its ferment. Thoughts are flowing and new forces are at work beneath the surface. Much that is happening represents a mood of some concession and flexibility in face of the pressure for change from the outside world. Outspoken liberals even welcome the severest censure of South African policies abroad as a method of bringing their country to terms with the main currents of world political development.

At the same time, certain liberals of unquestioned integrity are thoughtfully attentive to some of the acts of Dr. Verwoerd and his Government. They even show respectful interest in the concept of independent or quasi-independent Bantustans. For anyone coming from the outside this is distinctly surprising. The idea that Bantustans could ever be a homeland or a series of homelands for the Africans is still absurd. Even with a measure of self-rule and economic development they do not offer a major solution to black and white relationships in South Africa. The most liberal provision of land and political privilege for those in separate areas still leaves totally unaffected the lot of those living in towns and on farms. Even though the border industries fostered by the Government would give employment and income to the residents of the so-called Bantustan areas, this does not alter the fact that the African labor force is the essential basis of the whole national economy. Nor are those who favor giving up the whole of the Transkei, Natal and Zululand and in addition Basutoland, Bechuanaland, Swaziland and a part of the northern Transvaal doing more than buying time by temporary concessions and expedients, shuffling open spaces on a map without regard to the people in them or to how the people in them can adequately share in the opportunities of the modern world.

Thus in a few sentences one can dispose of the dream that white and black areas can produce an acceptable apartheid of viable white and black states. The proposed Bantustan solution is a measure of the despair of those who admit that the great majority of the whites refuse to share political power with the non-whites. Nevertheless, for certain liberals who reject the principle of Bantustan, or the even more radical division of South Africa into white and black areas, the Bantustan experiment has some appeal because it promises an enlarged political experience and establishes an enlarged area of experiment. The end is abhorrent; but the means offer relief from the political rightlessness in the white areas. These are considerations that should not be too summarily rejected.

IV

Even in the areas reserved by laws and police measures for white domination the black population is not stagnant or hopeless. Political rightlessness and social segregation do not result in economic stagnation as well. Thus there is evidence of the emergence of an African lower middle class, meaning people who are urbanized, wage-earning, some way up the ladder of industrial skills, westernized in many of their tastes and cultural attributes. Despite the lines of legal separation, there continues an upward rise of the African population and an interweaving with the European's economic institutions. In the history of the Negro in America there came a moment when he became an American and was no longer an African. There is reason to believe that in a special but most important sense Africans are becoming South Africans. To students of South Africa there is nothing startlingly new in the growing interdependence of black and white. It is not only economic but increasingly cultural and, according to the leading South African anthropologist, emotional as well. South African refugees do not feel themselves at home in Dar es Salaam or Accra. They come from an environment where even for themselves there is a higher standard of living, one which is more sophisticated and culturally more complex. The South African refugee frequently finds it hard not to feel superior to the Tanganyikans whom he meets. Paradoxically, he often feels more alien where he is free than where he is unfree.

In other words, not all the legislation of apartheid can separate classes, races and colors from one another, nor can it prevent Africans from gaining in knowledge and experience. The law is a heavy crust, but beneath it there is a ferment of change and adjustment that ultimately might reduce the inequities and discrimination against which so much of the world protests.

In making this point, some South Africans feel that they present a telling argument in favor of letting the customary pace of their history carry on its work of improvement and adjustment. Unfortunately the argument is not complete. By imprisoning and gagging the African leaders the government has made it difficult for South Africans to recognize adequately another advance in the sophistication of the non-white population, namely the advance in political self-awareness. This advance can be described as a grim and continuing movement of estrangement between white and black and the piling up of ever greater masses of explosive material. The effort to draw or dampen the fuses of African leadership cannot diminish the latent explosive power that already exists. No censorship or detention, no Bantu Education Act or frontier patrol, can prevent the African population from reading and understanding the story of its condition.

Every student of South Africa has participated in the guessing game on when and how the explosion will arrive. Some may exaggerate the nearness of the crisis, others its remoteness; few will predict no crisis at all. The crisis could come by summer 1965 in international form as a consequence of the pronouncement of the World Court on the status of South-West Africa. A peremptory mandate from the United Nations or an inflexible response from Dr. Verwoerd's Government could set in motion severe economic or other coercive pressures on the Republic. It is necessary also to pay the closest attention to the rising temperature over Southern Rhodesia and, above all, Portuguese Angola and Mozambique. The forward diplomatic and political push of independent Africa has not been checked; new challenges and predicaments for the South African Government are on the way. Some sort of cataclysm may be an historical inevitability. Yet any mind guided by compassion and by the certain knowledge that black and white alike will founder in the same cataclysm must persist in raising the question whether there is still an alternative. The question becomes even more pressing when it is recognized that a crisis or tragedy in South Africa would throw great shock waves into the rest of Africa, and, farther still, into the cold war.

One must concede that with each year Dr. Verwoerd's Government further depletes the stock of understanding and concession available in the outside world. Yet in the spirit of the statesmanship which continues to negotiate in the very teeth of imminent war, there is wisdom as well as generosity in struggling to maintain whatever contact is possible with the forces of liberalism in South Africa, and also with the other worried men there who have begun to wonder whether there is much time left in which to compose their differences with the outside world. It was an African liberal, Chief Luthuli, who explained that in a new South Africa an even deeper coöperation between black and white would be indispensable.

The late President Kennedy left us with two lessons that could be relevant to the South African problem. The decision of his Administration to support the civil rights movement by word and deed was necessary to break the deadlock caused by Southern resistance and inertia. But then he proceeded to the argument that the full citizenship of the Negro would be advanced most surely if there were compliance and consent in the minds and the hearts of all Americans. In order to apply these lessons to South Africa one must assume that in a country brought into step with the rest of the world there will still be a real place for the labor, the talents and the dedication of the white population. On this critical point some leaders in Africa as well as in the free world have already spoken with tolerance and discernment. In perhaps paradoxical language, this requires an involuntary reaction both to the sting of criticism from without and to the irritation, thoughtfulness and self-examination within. If there is still room for a plea that the United Nations show patience and moderation in the difficult times that lie ahead, it is not because patience and moderation will certainly produce a cure, but because nothing but patience and moderation, without sacrifice of principle, has a chance of mitigating the severity of a crisis if it comes and strengthening the elements of coöperation which remain vital to any solution worked out within South Africa.

You are reading a free article.

Subscribe to Foreign Affairs to get unlimited access.

  • Paywall-free reading of new articles and a century of archives
  • Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
  • Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions
Subscribe Now