THE INCREASINCi unrest in South Africa presents,westera nations, includiag)3ritain, with a dilemma which can only be resolved by fundamental changes in foreign policy.
That is the message of a neW pamphlet* published last week by the Catholic Institute for International Relations. It argues that the West must stop trying to impose its own political system on Third World countries and introduce measures to curb the economic_ activities of multinational corporations.
The author, Prof Peter Walshe, says that it it essential to understand that "the unfolding political and military struggles" in South Africa are not aimed simply at dismantling the colour bar: instead they show "an increasingly clear sense of systemic economic exploitation."
He says that black nationalism in South Africa has developed in a socialist direction and nationalists are now seeking to curb private ownership, reduce income differentials and redistribute land along communal lines.
He adds: "The political poWer to implement these changes is seen to inhere in mass movements and probably in one party system meticulously organised down to grass roots committee."
Prof Walshe criticises the "classical cold war stance" adopted by the United States towards southern Africa, whereby it supported "anticommunist" groups. This, he says, collapsed both in the Portuguese territories of Mozambique and Angola and most recently in Zimbabwe because "moderate" black leaders did not have enough support from the people.
"If such cold war policies persist as the United States responds to the predicament of South Africa itself, the result will be a prolonged and intensely violent civil war." he warns.
"There is an alternative approach for western policy, but it demands that we stop identifying populist and socialist movements with communist conspiracies, even if communist powers, like western powers, fish in troubled waters."
On multinational companies Prof Walshe urges action to bring them under governmental control. He says their way of operating should be changed so that they sign contracts to undertake certain specific tasks and then withdraw instead of having direct investments with Lontrolling interests.
"South Africa. a test case for the west" CIIR. I Cambridge Terrace, London NWI. price 50p.