Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Feb 4 09:13:10 MST 2002

>Mugabe is a caricature oppressor of the poor/working masses, in an oppressed
>nation, you'd agree? That helps explain the bizarre alignment of forces
>against him.

Unfortunately, there are some similarities between the "civil society" type
resistance to Mugabe and that which emerged in Yugoslavia. Both seem
beholden to George Soros's largesse. When Lupi Mushayakarara, chair of the
Soros-funded Institute for the Advancement of Freedom, formed a loose
opposition parties’ coalition, the United Democratic Front, with Ian Smith,
the former prime minister of Rhodesia, one gets a certain queasiness about
the "civil society"/NGO type opposition. Especially when the Institute for
the Advancement of Freedom is listed right next to the International
Socialists Organization on the Constituent Assembly website in Zimbabwe. I
hate to sound like a Leninist brontosaurus, but these types of cross-class
alliances seem kind of rotten to me.

That being said, I have stated my opposition to Mugabe frequently here. I
think that his record of cooperation with the IMF and western imperialism
is a matter of record (in contrast to Milosevic's rather defiant stand.)
But the opposition has to develop a much sharper class perspective in order
to convince me that it stands for the social transformation of Zimbabwe.

For example, if you go to the MDC website, you'll run across a rather
startling article by one Eddie Cross who defends commercial farming against
peasant agriculture.

>>This generation is not to blame for its history – they were the product
of that process and had nothing to do with what it contained. However we do
have choices to make with regard to what we do with the present. Do whites
have a future in Africa as Africans? Does commercial farming have a role to
play or are we going back to the traditional forms of peasant agriculture?
If so what are the consequences? Every African has to answer those
questions. I am a white African by decent – my family has been here for
over a century – we have 3 generations buried here and three still living
and working here. Everything we own is here, we love the country and its
people and would not choose to live anywhere else.

Peasant agriculture is unable to meet the needs of a modern state with a
rapidly growing population. It’s unable to protect the environment or to
feed the burgeoning cities. It's unable to meet the stringent standards of
export markets or to use modern technologies to lower food prices and raise
productivity. We dare not go back to what existed before 1900 or we condemn
all Zimbabweans living and still to be born to a life of poverty and
deprivation. What’s needed is to face up to that reality and to then get on
with the task of correcting the historical imbalances without destroying
what we already have or undermining the rights of our citizens and

As I stated yesterday, if Marxism can not divest itself from social
Darwinist distortions, it will never be an attactive force to the student
radicals of today. When a supposedly progressive organization like the MDC
to give space to such vile, patently self-serving propaganda from the white
gentry of Zimbabwe, one can only wonder what the purpose of Marxists in MDC
is for. We know that there are certain Kautskyist tendencies in Marxism
that refuse to go away, but for the life of me I can not understand how any
self-respecting revolutionary would want to belong to an electoral front
that has wretches like Eddie Cross in its midst. No to Mugabe! No to the
MDC *as presently constituted*.

Louis Proyect
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