Many things have been said about Mandela during the last week. One of the pieces I really liked was the one written by journalist John Carlin (here). His central thesis is that defining characteristic of Nelson Mandela, about and beyond his actions, was a crucial feature of his personality. As Carlin puts it, “The thing about Mandela,” he said, “is that you can’t see the cracks.”
Technically, we call that moral integrity. And the whole article is providing evidence in support of the claim that Mandela was a man of integrity. Those who believe that virtues do not exist, that situations rule our behavior, should read this piece and try to find a compelling explanation for why Mandela did what he did without appealing to his personality. They will have a hard time.