Afriforum Solidarity Movement

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Ernst van Zyl:

"The problem with constantly moving to higher ground to escape the rising tide is that you eventually run out of higher ground. If you recently emigrated, or semigrated to what you deem a more defendable position, you now have a duty to take root and hold your ground there. The harsh reality is that, at some point, you will have to make a stand. If not you, it will be your children. And isn’t there something abhorrent about “outsourcing” the responsibility of solving the biggest problems and challenges of your time to future generations?

Our mindset should be to fight for what we want to preserve in our towns, neighborhoods and communities. In its prime or in its decline, the crushing boots of advancing empires or the shockwaves of their collapse will always find you, as my Afrikaner ancestors have learned repeatedly throughout our volatile history. No wonder, then, that Southern Africa is also the home of AfriForum, one of the most developed proverbial trench-digging operations in the world.

The largest civil rights organization in the southern hemisphere, AfriForum unites 300,000 paying members behind a common cause. We have established over 150 neighborhood watches and many farm watches. We’ve developed emergency support services and we have more than 155 AfriForum branches across the country, which do everything from cleaning up neighborhoods to planting community vegetable gardens and trees and repairing potholes. AfriForum also has its own publishing company, film and documentary production company, and theatre. The broader Solidarity Movement, of which AfriForum is a part, established its own private institution of higher learning, Akademia, and built a world-class technical college campus, Sol-Tech.

The Solidarity Movement has pursued the ideal of becoming staatsbestand (state-proof) at every level by embracing a selfdoen (do it yourself) philosophy which prioritizes autonomy and pragmatism. This robust approach ensures the reliability of essential services and the integrity of institutions in an environment where state collapse, corruption and decay are widespread. It is the large, active and involved membership base, participating in what Flip Buys, Chairperson of the Solidarity Movement, describes as “creative renewal based on proven values,” that gives the Solidarity Movement its strength.

Paul Kruger, a former President of the South African Republic, said: “Seek out that which is good and noble from the past and build the future with it.” This sentiment dovetails with the prescription of Huntington at the turn of the previous century: “The West should not attempt to reshape other civilizations in its own image but preserve and renew the unique qualities of western civilization.” Men like Flip Buys reached the same conclusion in the 1990s and set out to achieve renewal as a matter of survival.

The time has come for Western communities to stop running and start digging trenches. These trenches will have to be dug in the field of parallel institutions and in the ground of identity and the mountains of heritage. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said: “To destroy a people, you must first sever their roots.” Just as a military and economic balance of powers facilitate world peace, a healthy pride in one’s own cultural identity is essential for coexistence with other cultures. We should encourage healthy cultural pride and a sense of identity in our own community, as well as in neighboring ones. When you remove the cultural heritage of any human being, you uproot them. Anchorless, they float with the currents into the boundless ocean, until one day they are spat out on an unfamiliar beach as driftwood and picked up by strangers as firewood.

The benefit of living in good times is that you have ample opportunities to live a comfortable life. The advantage of living in hard times is that you have plenty of opportunities to live a great life."