The 20/20 special peddled such obviously fraudulent lies as the allegation that Mandela’s African National Congress was “committed to nonviolent resistance.” Not a peep was made about the fact that Mandela was sentenced to prison not only for “treason”—which is the only charge the show mentioned—but that he pled guilty to an indictment accusing him of complicity in “the preparation, manufacture and use of explosives—for the purpose of committing acts of violence.” Nothing was said about the radical guerrilla army he founded called “Spear of the Nation” that was linked to hundreds of acts of violence and sabotage. Nothing was said about his claim that “violence in this country was inevitable.” Nor was it mentioned that he was offered freedom from prison in February 1985 if he agreed to foreswear violence but that he refused. And they certainly didn’t dare to show a clip of an ANC “necklacing” that’s one of the most brutal snippets of mob violence I’ve ever witnessed. Nothing was said about the Church Street Bombing or any of the other bombings and violent acts committed in the ANC’s name that in other contexts would have Mandela dubbed a violent terrorist. Instead, 20/20 referred to him with the much cheerier sobriquet of “freedom fighter.”
Much is made in PUA/Game circles about how chicks dig jerks. But I think the greater truth is that people in general dig jerks. Especially liberals.
More to the point, most of the so-called “great leaders” in history tend to be incredibly violent men. King David, most of the successful Roman emperors, and a decent number of US presidents (Washington, Lincoln, Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt), among a host of others. For whatever reason, people just seem to admire men who are brutally violent to their enemies, and take no shit from anyone. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Mandela has a fairly sizable fan club; he was a pretty violent guy.
So, perhaps it is true that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. I guess one’s perspective almost entirely depends on whether the leader’s violence is in opposition or in support of one’s personal beliefs and politics. The amusing thing, though, is that if the violent leader uses force to support your politics, he suddenly becomes a paragon of peace. I guess humans can rationalize anything for any man who is sufficiently alpha.