Zimbabwe: ISO popular frontism

Philip Ferguson plf13 at SPAMit.canterbury.ac.nz
Thu Mar 8 20:16:06 MST 2001

Patrick writes( in relation to Jared):

>All the most serious lefties in Zim are either in the MDC or are in
>civil society groups connected to it. They say the battle for
>its heart, soul and programme isn't over. I'm pretty sure it is (and
>that they have got to go back to the grassroots). But I live 1200 km
>away from Harare, and 5-6 visits a year aren't enough to do their
>argument justice. But I've laid out some of the competing arguments
>about the balance of forces and urgency of replacing Mugabe with a
>democrat, in an article forthcoming this month at

Hi Patrick,

I'll take a look at your article.  I think you are right about the
Zimbabwean left and the MDC.

What is surprising - although, then again, perhaps not - is that the
Zimbabwean left seems to have learnt nothing from the experience of the
South African left and the ANC.  The ANC became a mechanism for drawing a
load of lefties to the right and is now administering South African
capitalism every bit as enthusiastically - and probably more effectively in
certain ways - that the old apartheid crowd.

Given the IST's criticisms of the ANC and of cross-class political fronts
(popular frontism), it is amusing, but also depressing, to see their
Zimbabwean section stuck right into popular frontism.

It is also kind of curious to see the Australian DSP, which has been so
highly critical of the ANC and this kind of politics in South Africa,
supporting the Zimbabwean ISO and pretending the MDC is a 'fledgling labour
party'.  (Still, the DSP think imperialist armies are anti-imperialist
armies, so. . . )

Still, perhaps the DSP know the MDC is a popular front but they just want
to get close to a few IST sections to pick them up when the *big* IST
fall-out takes place.


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