The Death of A Hero

I was not born in the generation of struggle. I am one of the generation born after the collapse of the USSR; not born in the years of courageous heroes standing up against oppression. The most notable of these heroes who recently passed away is Nelson Mandela. Mandela has become the apartheid movement, and there is no denying that his contribution and perseverance to help the struggle in South Africa is worthy of the fame he receives. The same cannot be said for another ‘hero’, Margaret Thatcher. Despite being among the most famous of British Prime Ministers, known for strong personality her stance towards the South African apartheid was shocking.

Thatcher called the hero a ‘terrorist’ at one point. After digging a bit deeper it became clear that our nation was the main supporter of the apartheid regime, refusing to enact economic sanctions despite huge international and domestic pressure. This was astounding to me, not because the political decision made by Britain was immoral, but because despite the near constant media coverage of South Africa and Mandela in recent weeks this was one thing omitted. The idea that the hero that British media now gives to us as the personification of freedom actually found Britain among his greatest antagonists is shocking. As much as we are not being told a mistruth, the avoidance of the truth is just as bad as a lie.

Aside from this it seems Mandela has become the icon of South African freedom movement. As much as he was hugely vital to the movement, it is disappointing to see the disregarding of others in the struggle such as Kgalema Motlanthe who spent 10 years in Robben Island prison, as well as the overlooking of the role of the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC once described by Thatcher as a ‘typical terrorist organisation’ is more than Mandela’s presidency and his platform to struggle against injustice. The ANC has been in power in democratic South Africa since 1994 and also is a self-declared social democrat party and a member of socialist international. With all this media coverage of Mandela, I was surprised to see that it is largely unmentioned that Mandela had aside from a pro-freedom and equality agenda, a socialist aspect to this agenda. Once again no mistruth has been told, but the whole picture is not being shown.

Generally these manipulations of the truth are plentiful and not rare in the slightest yet to avoid giving into these games, and in order to receive the whole story one must go out of their way and discover the complete truth for themselves. Sometimes heroes make ideologies, sometimes ideologies make heroes, whatever the case it is significantly easier to respect, honour and even kill a hero than an ideology. Ideologies are immortal, humans, even heroes the ‘best’ among us, are not. And when we personify an ideology in a single person, we slowly kill that ideology, for as the winters pass and the great memories fade, the hero becomes just another name in the history books rather than the great ideologies they stood for.

— Vahe Boghosian

  • Facebook

  • Our Monthly Newsletter

    Yeritasard Newsletter

  • Mailing List

  • Donate

  • —————————————————————-

    Get involved - click here