MDC and cooption

Patrick Bond pbond at
Mon May 21 00:43:24 MDT 2001

> Date:          Sun, 20 May 2001 20:31:41 -0500 (CDT)
> From:          jenyan1 <jenyan1 at>
> Have not sanctions in the last decade become a most notorious weapon in
> the arsenal of the north, a form of silent warfare and genocide which can
> only be employed by the West and are only ever used against the South?

"Only"? Against the apartheid regime until 1994? Against the junta
ruling Haiti in Jean-Bertrand Aristide's place until 1994? Against
the Burmese SLORC today?

As you know, comrade, a Third World movement that calls for
international solidarity needs all tools at its disposal. And often
sanctions can weaken the internal bourgeois forces in the run-up to
the transition. I'd hate to think of how much further the ANC would
have sold out the cause, had we all not been responsible for evicting
Barclays, Standard, Citibank and the like during the late 1980s.

> It is sophistry, this shedding tears over the supposed inadequacies of
> Mugabe to legitimate an unholy and opportunist alliance between supposed
> "leftists" and the neoliberals in the MDC and to cover the imperialist
> agenda of this organisation.

Maybe you haven't read my efforts -- which I think are as rigorous as
anyone commenting on Zimbabwe -- to uncover the neoliberal and
imperialist role in the MDC. That's ok, I didn't put the correct URL
for the long article there (no internet access from home, sorry). But
if you want, I'll send you offlist the first left critiques written
of the MDC, which I started penning even before the formal launch of
the party and its leadership (e.g. in Monthly Review, July 1999).

But yes, sometimes a dictator is so very bad that a principled left
position is to accept imperialist backing to ditch him, or engages
in formal alliances with the West (e.g. against Hitler, or against
formal apartheid) to achieve a temporary aim. I worked for Aristide
in Haiti in 1995, and I think -- though may be wrong, of course --
that under the circumstances this aspect of tactical alliance was
also true then.

I don't know if leftists in Kenya have made any similar arguments
about how to ditch Moi in the short term, but maybe you can enlighten

> Bogey Men, third world "dictators" and other ogres are the favourite
> currency of liberal and humanitarian imperialists.

Come to Zimbabwe, comrade, and test the ogre by pushing a left line.

> Now, could you kindly explain why Russell or anyone here should
> consider it a loss that the former colonial power has withdrawn its
> financial support from the Privatisation Agency of Zimbabwe? Is the
> PAZ an organisation you support? This might explain a lot.

Comrade, you need to read and think a bit more carefully.

More information about the Marxism mailing list