[Marxism] Zimbabwe's new primitive accumulation

Patrick Bond pbond at mail.ngo.za
Mon Nov 7 20:15:37 MST 2005

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Jscotlive at aol.com>
To: <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 9:17 PM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Can Zimbabwe Become Africa's Cuba? by Mukoma Ngugi
As a bourgeois nationalist, and with a monstrous track record on human 
with respect to gays in particular, he is clearly not up to the task. It is
to be hoped, however, that the consciousness instilled in the Zimbabwean 
as a result of the expropriations that have taken place thus far has 
them to continue a process which constitutes the only way forward, not only
for Zimbabwe but for the entire developing world.
· · · · · ·

PB: I don't know the writer, Ngugi, but that hope is misplaced, from my 
experience. In the public consciousness, Mugabe is ruining the word 
socialism and doing great damage to the cause of land reform, by virtue of 
the class project he's pursuing in talking left, walking right. This is from 
a piece a coauthor and I have in next month's MR:

In the face of the deepening crisis, favored ZANU-PF elements have gained 
new power in the domestic economy. High level state corruption dates to the 
1980s, but since 2000 has worsened because the "fast-track" land 
redistribution program entails reallocation of large-scale agricultural 
capital assets in a climate of low transparency and high partisanship under 
ZANU-PF's direction. Major political and economic benefits have accrued to 
ZANU-PF clients. These benefits range from the former white-owned commercial 
farms (nearly 90 percent of white and corporate-owned farms turned over 
since 2000) to sections of the once substantial collection of state 
corporations and public infrastructure, including the national power grid, 
public telephone and telecommunications network, national radio and 
television monopoly, national railway, and commercial plantations and 
forestry holdings. Several dozen of the major state corporations were slated 
for privatization during the early 1990s by structural adjustment planners, 
but only a few were sold off at the time, in a more or less public fashion. 
Currently, in contrast, key assets-energy, telecoms, and transport among 
them-are being quietly acquired by interests associated with the ruling 
party, through direct means and through other avenues such as special-access 
licensing, leasing, and insider trading. The opaque character of the 
reshaped ZANU-PF state leaves details about the full extent of asset 
stripping mostly unaccounted for. ZANU-PF's private fire sale has compounded 
continuing disinvestment by the state in institutions servicing the social 
sector-and moreover, the increasing diversion of public resources away from 
social spending towards the security sector. In the process, elements of a 
parasitical "briefcase businessmen" elite have emerged through renewed 
deepening primitive accumulation which will pose a major barrier to labor's 
agenda in coming years. 

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