by Stephen B. Young, 7/20/08 • It is Friday July 19, 2008, and Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday. I am in Cape Town, South Africa, and can see from my hotel Robben Island where Mandela spent 27 years in prison.
His crime: opposing a regime using the powers of a police state to impose an ideology. Ideology is conformist; it is communal righteousness that can brook no challenge from independent thought or mere personal whim. Certain truths apparently so brittle that they can’t survive a rough passage through the storms of human needs, passions and perceptions.