Steve Biko on the institutional needs of the security services…

Steve Biko was a smart guy. And as far as the apartheid regime in South Africa was concerned, a dangerous one. Here’s an excerpt from an essay called Fear – An Important Determinant in South African Politics.

My premise has always been that black people should not at any one stage be surprised at some of the atrocities committed by the government. This to me follows logically after their initial assumption that they, being a settler minority, can have the right to be supreme masters. If they could be cruel enough to cow the natives down with brutal force and install themselves as perpetual rulers in a foreign land, then anything else they do to the same black people becomes logical in terms of the initial cruelyy. To expect justice from them at any stage is to be naive. They almost have a duty to themselves and to their ‘electorate’ to show that they still have the upper hand over the black people. There is only one way of showing that upper hand – by ruthlessly breaking down the back of resistance among the blacks, however petty that resistance is.

One must look at the huge security force that South Africa has in order to realize this. These men must always report something to their masters in order to justify their employment. It is not enough to report that, ‘I have been to Pondoland and the natives are behaving well and are peaceful and content.’ This is not satisfactory, for the perpetrators of evil are aware of the cruelty of their system and hence do not expect the natives to be satisfied. So the security boys are sent back to Pondoland to find out who the spokesman is whom claims that the people are satisfied and to beat him until he admits that he is not satisfied. At that point he is either banned or brought forward to be tried under one of the many Acts….

From ‘I Write What I Like

So, the beatings will continue until morale … gets worse…

For what it is worth, clock this from a satirical Australian novel called 2028 by a guy called Ken Saunders. ASIO are the Aussie spooks…

What had been devastating for ASIO was that the two perpetrators of the attack were ASIO agents on individual 20:20 Vision placements. Both thought they had penetrated the inner workings of the hard-core anarchist group both, in their activist guises, thought they had converted the other to the cause and each had fallen in love with the other. None of the actual anarchists, who had deemed the plot foolish from the start, were involved.

See also – article on The Uses of Anger by Audre Lorde.

2 thoughts on “Steve Biko on the institutional needs of the security services…

Add yours

  1. Steve Biko’s writing’s don’t just apply to “black people”, rather they apply to most people. The beatings aren’t always physical, rather they are mainly mental. Constant pressure via legislation, assisted by the media, reminiscent of Germany in the thirties. A constant barrage of misinformation and installed fear
    keeps the people in check. Democracy, what’s that?

    1. yep! So much to learn from what is done to those who have been on the receiving end of the West’s ‘civilising mission’…

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