In a world where racial and ethnic wars are so prevalent, where it is so often politically more rewarding to exacerbate conflict than to reduce it, the most valuable resources are the peacemakers. They are the people who are endowed with an instinct for searching out the means that will bring people together and a capacity for bridge-building. Part of that capacity is an ability to place oneself in the minds of one's opponents and to look at the world, if even for a moment, as they see it.
A fundamental reconstitution of South African society -- including an end to statutory apartheid -- is inevitable. The forces for change inside South Africa make it so. That reconstitution may occur through a violent, sustained civil war whose human costs we cannot calculate and whose final outcome we cannot foresee. Or it can happen through a much less violent process of transformation that ends in effective power-sharing.
All depends on how quickly the peacemaking forces on each side of a vast gulf of separation can be brought together. . . . On one side of it is an immovable will to deny universal suffrage forever and to retain every essential power and privilege of government. On the other side is an irresistible drive for all power to the governed that spurns negotiation and has no patience for timetables. Between these extremes is a wide space with many varying paths for the peacemakers to explore. Those explorations must be encouraged. Every public opinion survey in South Africa reveals that a majority of the people -- black and white alike -- want nonviolent change. What we on the outside can do is to adopt policies that make our opposition to apartheid clear and that give full scope to the peacemakers.