Why I Admire Mandela

“Goodness, armed with power, is corrupted; and pure love without power is destroyed.”

Reinhold Niebuhr

Mandela was not a passivist. In 1955 Nelson Mandela reversed his position on non-violent protest and concluded that violent action would be necessary to end apartheid and white minority rule. This lead him to found Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC and to lead the armed resistance. He was ultimately arrested in 1962 and convicted and jailed in 1964. Some people criticize him for embracing the armed struggle, but it was a realistic response to a situation where the white minority government used the power of the state to maintain their entrenched interests. (more…)