Ilana Mercer`s Preface to Into the Cannibal`s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa



Peter
Brimelow
writes:

It seems clear that Political Correctness in MainStream
Publishing is getting more intense, but



Jared Taylor

and now


Ilana Mercer
show that the new technology is weakening the traditional
gatekeepers.

Ilana`s just-released new
book,



Into the Cannibal`s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South
Africa
, carries a
blurb from



John Derbyshire
upon which I cannot improve (although we can
add hyperlinks):

“Ilana Mercer calls her book
`a labor of love to my homelands, old and new.` The old
is



South Africa
, which the


author left in
1995
.
The new is the U.S.A. In both nations the founding
European stock yielded up their dominance in the
interests of justice and liberty. Instead of moving to
equal citizenship under fair laws, however, both
nations—in different style and measure but with
similarly dire results—have embraced official tribalism
(`
multiculturalism`)
and state-enforced racial
favoritism (`
affirmative
action
`).
For
South Africa the transformation has been fatal—
brutally so
for victims of the nation`s


swelling social disorder,

as Ms. Mercer documents in
heartbreaking detail. For the U.S.A. it is not too late
to change course. The lesson of South Africa, if widely
known, will help to open American eyes. Here is the
lesson, in a compelling and important book.”

-JOHN
DERBYSHIRE
,
novelist
,
National Review
columnist,



pop-math writer
, author
most recently of


We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism
,
and all-round bon vivant.

It is no surprise that
a manifesto against


majoritarianism
would not find favor with the mission of most American
publishers. Opposition to


mass society
was once an accepted (indeed, unremarkable) theme in the
richly layered works of


iconic conservatives
such as

Edmund
Burke
,


Russell Kirk
, and

James Burnham.
Today, by contrast, such opposition is considered as damning
as it is impolitic.

And
don`t even think of writing a less-than hagiographical
account of


Nelson Mandela
.


Time
Magazine`s

Richard Stengel has



serialized his tributes to Saint Mandela.

. (Stengel
has completed two. Perhaps a third is planned?) But an
opposing voice to the media paean for the democratic
South Africa and its deity, written by a dissenting
South African exile—this cannot be countenanced.


“What menaces democratic society in this age is not a simple collapse of
order”
,
as Russell Kirk


wrote
,
explicating


 Alexis de
Tocqueville
`s
thought, “but a tyranny of mediocrity, a standardization of mind and spirit and
condition”
. In the context of post-apartheid South
Africa, this sameness of mind and spirit manifests in a
convergence of opinion—even in the neatly bifurcated
America.

Thus,
while almost every other postcolonial insurgency in
Africa has been scrutinized, rival views of
post-apartheid South Africa are unwelcome. Despite the
country`s body count since
“freedom”,
the foundations of what was a joint Anglo-American
undertaking are not to be faulted or questioned.

The loss
of


300,000
innocents murdered

since



democracy dawned in South Africa

is therefore regularly dismissed. People slide into
extenuation: “
We had [in South Africa] an impossible situation and a certainty that we
were going to have bloodbath, and because we had good
leadership it was averted, and we now have, I`m proud to
say, a working, wonderful democracy.”
These
words were uttered by


the
roaming Justice Richard Goldstone,

[
CNN
Transcript
,
October 4, 2009]
who—unlike


this
writer`s father
—attached
himself to the anti-apartheid cause only once it became
fashionable, safe and professionally expedient.

In
itself, the tale of the publication of



Into the Cannibal`s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South
Africa

bears telling. For while this polemic respects no
political totems or taboos, it is faithful to facts.
These facts cried out to be chronicled. They should not
have had a struggle to find their way into print.

Yet
struggle they did.


“Ilana, if you`d only give me something like Corinne Hofmann`s Back From Africa,
publishers would pounce,”

promised one literary agent. Hofmann`s salacious account
of her time as the


sexual
plaything of a virile African tribal chief

was described by



The Times Literary Supplement
as “a dated tale of
exotic desire and disillusionment”
.

As the
PC pecking order stands, Into the Cannibal`s Pot might also have been pounced upon had its
author been


more
like

economist

Dambisa Moyo
, authoress of the trendy Dead Aid. That popular book consists of derivative
deductions which had been


better reached decades earlier

by


Peter Thomas Bauer
, the

enfant terrible
of development economics. (To give Ms. Moyo her due,
Dead Aid is
dedicated to the late Lord Bauer.)

The
following is an assessment from a well-known academic
publisher whose stock does not exactly fly off the
shelves:


“I`ve
long been aware of Mercer`s writing. Though I rarely
agree with her, she`s quite a presence on the right side
of the


blogosphere
.
This is an extremely well- written and provocative work.
I was riveted as I read it. …The problem here is that
the market for a book with such a clear political bias
is that much smaller. So I just don`t think we could
take it on.”


“There is no settling the


point of precedency
between


a louse and a flea
,” said

Dr.
Johnson
.
This is my position with respect to



political parties stateside

and


in South
Africa
.
How can a book that discounts the



venerated vote

and disavows all political parties have a political
bias? Into the
Cannibal`s Pot
is manifestly against politics! A
partiality for small government and big society—in other
words, for



civilization
—is
not a “political bias”.

No, the
prejudice was that of the petitioned publisher; his was
a prejudice against an unorthodox perspective that
comports with the



classical liberal

philosophy, and with reality.

Another
publisher made the following excuse:


“We
recently had the chance to review your manuscript. Like
everything you do, it is well-written and worthy of
publication. However, we do not believe we can
successfully market it.”

This
particular editor added that the imprint would be
concentrating instead on the timeless topic of the


Olympic
Games in China.

Obviously that is a far more inspiring subject than this
writer`s
“unhealthy”
preoccupation with the



methodical ethnic cleansing

of the


Afrikaner farmer
.

Other
respondents lavished praise on a
“closely argued
stylish effort”
(for which, of course, they did not
care to make an effort).

To go by
the Left`s postmodern strictures, truth is not immutable
but subject to a process of discovery. As a practical
matter, then, how is a synthesis of


the
South-African situation

to emerge if the antithesis is disallowed?

Let us
not discount the publishing world`s ongoing drive for
the bottom line and the lowest common denominator. (The
publisher who refused to bear



Christian witness
,
citing the prospects of poor profits, is an example.)
This uncompromising dedication does not lend itself to
contrarian material, not even when the facts are
pressing (and almost too horrible for words).

After
all, a complicit publishing establishment can shirk
responsibility and seek comfort in the fact that the
marketplace for books no longer adjudicates the
product`s worth. Actually, nowadays this marketplace
does no more than offer an aggregate snapshot of the
millions of subjective preferences consumers demand and
publishers deliver. High On Arrival,
Mackenzie Phillips` squalid story of


incest

and insanity, outsells
Ludwig von Mises`

pearls of wisdom.

For some
this cultural foot-and-mouth will be faith-inspiring,
for others deeply distressing.


Ilana
Mercer (
email
her) is a




weekly columnist
for WorldNetDaily.com, a fellow at the

Jerusalem
Institute for Market Studies
, and the author of



Broad Sides: One Woman`s Clash With a Corrupt Culture
, the

Foreword
to which was written by

Peter Brimelow
.
Her website is


www.ilanamercer.com
; her blog

www.barelyablog.com
. She writes in the introduction to her new book, Into the
Cannibal`s Pot, that
“the titular
tease is meant as a metaphor, and is inspired by Ayn
Rand`s wise counsel against prostrating civilization to
savagery.”