Julius Nyerere dies

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Fri Oct 15 15:26:31 MDT 1999

I have a couple of other things to say about Nyerere, which I couldn't get
to earlier in the day when I was busy with some computer tasks at work.

I was in Tanzania in 1990 with a Tecnica delegation setting up meetings
with the ANC about computer volunteers from our organization. They were
still in exile at that time. After a couple of days in Dar-es-Salaam the
capital city ("City of Peace" in Swahili) and the surrounding countryside,
it dawned on me how limited Marxism narrowly understood is for this kind of
society. There are no factories anywhere. People shopped at open air
markets for the daily meals. These places were swamped, by the way, with
second-hand clothes from the US, which many African nationalists resented.
If you want to know where most of your thrift shop donations go, it is to
places like Tanzania and Haiti. There is no public transportation. At the
end of the day, you can see a steady stream of people walking along the
roadside to get back to their villages outside of Dar, in some cases 5
miles away and up.

The other question is how to regard a genuine "humanitarian intervention".
Tanzania went into Uganda and helped to depose the monster Idi Amin. This
intervention virtually bankrupted this desperately poor nation, whose main
cash crop is groundnuts. This intervention and Vietnam's into Cambodia to
throttle Pol Pot seem to be of a completely different character than
Australia in East Timor.

Louis Proyect

More information about the Marxism mailing list