An letter to Against the Current

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Mon May 21 14:25:30 MDT 2001

> The presumption by Jenyan, Grinker and Nestor is that the Zimbabwean
> working class is simply duped in its desire for democratic rights.

Forgive me this, but I believe the question here is not A vs. B, but that people are
(myself included) concerned that the struggle for democratic rights not leave the
people of Zimbabwe with absolutely nothing. No one thinks that the workers of the
USSR, for example, were duped into wanting to lessen the strict reigns on them during
the last years of the USSR. Those feelings are good, human ones. But feelings alone
are not sufficient to mount a movement. In the collapse of the USSR, it was democracy
and neo-liberalism- spliced together- that ended up leaving the population with less
than nothing.

Unfortunately, sometimes one needs more defensive positioning than offensive. From my
vantage point- way the heck away from the ground in Zim- I see the same story with
different players: a democratic opposition and a fifth column that knows not where it
is taking the "national project", but is taking it ther just the same.

Good comrades make bad strategic decisions. That doesn't mean we have to follow them.


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