[Marxism] Zimbabwe- the Ruthless Privatisation of All that Exists

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jul 17 17:13:12 MDT 2008

>In other words, the Ruthless Privatisation of All that Exists.

Yes, it does appear that the MDC wants to move Zimbabwe in the same 
direction as South Africa. As I have said from the beginning, there 
is not much to choose from between the MDC and ZANU-PF programs. One 
is neo-liberalizing and the other is a kind of patriarchal patronage 
system that gives "anti-imperialism" a bad name. There might be some 
tactical advantages in pushing for an MDC electoral victory in that 
it would probably put an end to the broken teeth debating style that 
comrade Mugabe has perfected. Economically, there's not much to 
choose from. With Mugabe, you get his cronies running the big, export 
farms so that the British middle class can continue to get pet food 
on the cheap. With the MDC, you get white power in the countryside 
but freedom for the unions to organize. Of course, with propagandists 
like Stephen Gowans on the loose, you'd get the impression that 
Mugabe is the second coming of Mao Zedong.

In Hungry Zimbabwe, Pet Food as a Priority
Exports Stressed Despite Shortages For Basic Needs

By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, March 3, 2008; A13

NORTON, Zimbabwe -- Meals come only once a day for Helen Goremusandu, 
67, and the six children she is raising. With prices for the most 
basic food products increasingly beyond her reach, that daily meal 
often consists of nothing more than boiled pumpkin leaves, washed 
down with water.

About a mile away, a Zimbabwean government grain mill is churning out 
a new product: Doggy's Delight. Announced by its creators in January, 
the high-protein pet food is aimed at the lucrative export market, 
one of the dwindling sources of foreign exchange in a collapsing economy.

The shift away from making food for humans -- or for pigs, chickens 
and other animals that humans might eat -- is just one of the more 
striking distortions in an economy ravaged by government price 
controls, hyperinflation and a severe food crisis. The World Food 
Program estimates that 4.1 million Zimbabweans, about one-third of 
the population, will need food aid this year.

Goremusandu is struggling to raise five grandchildren and one 
great-grandchild on her monthly salary of 1.8 million Zimbabwean 
dollars for part-time cleaning work -- worth about 30 cents in U.S. 
currency at black-market rates. The finely ground cornmeal used in 
sadza, the boiled white mush that is the nation's staple food, costs 
12 million Zimbabwean dollars for an 11-pound bag.

"People are hungry," said Goremusandu, a widow with deep-set eyes and 
large, calloused hands. "They should not be prioritizing making dog 
food when people are hungry."


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