[Marxism] Zimbabwe gov. defies regional court's support for whitefarmers

S. Artesian sartesian at earthlink.net
Tue Dec 2 20:29:45 MST 2008

What occurred in Zimbabwe has occurred before in other  countries, some with 
right-wing, some with left-wing, some with military, some with Bonapartist 
and quasi- bonapartist figures, all covering their left while walking right, 
by initiating land expropriations, agrarian reforms, etc.  only of course to 
have those efforts die in place as none of the revolutionary mechanisms 
required to support such "reforms" or "seizures" are put into place.

The MNR in Bolivia initiated an extensive reform in 1953, one which 
obviously was pretty unsuccessful-- and Barrientos, after the overthrow of 
the MNR built a peasant-military alliance to disable, isolate, the Bolivian 
miners and the workers' organizations.

Goni's first regime (93-97) in Bolivia actually pre-figured Morales' crusade 
to rewrite the constitution and legitimize the agrarian rights of the 
indigenous people, passing in 1996 Law 1715 recognizing and protecting the 
rights  of  the indigenous people to communal land ownership; exempting 
small and communal properties from land taxes, and from foreclosure.  The 
law also defined the basis for state seizure and redistribution of land to 
indigenous peoples, and recognized TCOs, --economic, but not administrative 
or governmental, formations of landed property belonging to the original 

It was in fact this law that was essentially repassed under Morales in 
November 2006, was used as the basis for , and provoked such fear and dread 
on the part of the media lunas,  the  distributions that have already taken 

Of course, the 1953 reform plan of the MNR, an attempt to create a peasantry 
that would morph into yeoman farming, failed, and propulation pressures 
caused the subdividing and subdividing of the individual allotments only 
increasing the rural povery of the already rural poor.

As for Goni's law-- well the World Bank provided a grant of about $27 
million in 1995-6 to get the program started, and begin "regularization" of 
land titles in order to create a transparent and accurate cadastre, 
catalogue of land ownerships,  areas, fertility, and values to "stimulate" 
the supply of credit, service, and technique necessary to "market farming" 
of small proprietors and provide a "rational," i.e. legal, basis for land 
titles to permit redistribution.  After 10 years, the results for the actual 
redistribution were, in the WB's own words, "moderately unsuccessful."

As for the regularization of land titles, estimates are that only 19% of the 
110 million hectares to be reviewed and regularized actually completed the 
process in 9 years.

Mugabe's redistribution is of different stuff than the MNR's  and Goni's, 
with similar results --  more than moderately unsuccessful, with no support 
available for actually organizing agricultural production despite 

Certainly no Marxist would advocate giving the land back to the wealthy 
white farmers. But what Mugabe has done in no way shape or form counts as 
even agrarian reform, much less revolutionary reorganization.

The issue of agricultural production is too important to be left to 
"nationalists," "reformers" and to those who think "land to the tiller" can 
resolve, or even start to resolve, the problems and limits of rural private 

This, the organization of rural property and production, is one of the, if 
not the, most complicated problem confronting any revolution and requires 
the most revolutionary, innovative, solutions.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Fred Feldman" <ffeldman at bellatlantic.net>
To: <sartesian at earthlink.net>
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 9:42 PM
Subject: [Marxism] Zimbabwe gov. defies regional court's support for 

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