[Marxism] Stating obvious, SADC says Zimbabwe vote not will of people
Jscotlive at aol.com
Jscotlive at aol.com
Mon Jun 30 00:10:56 MDT 2008
Fred Feldman wrote:
The blocking of the resolution is a contribution by the South African
government to the possibility of a just outcome in this situation.
Imperialist hands off Zimbabwe!
To which Patrick replied:
Right Fred, Subimperialist hands on Zimbabwe! Voetsek workers and the
poor! Unity of the venal elites in Cairo this week!
I don't know what the news coverage of Zimbabwe and Mugabe's regime has been
like elsewhere, but if anything like here in the UK, Mugabe has now assumed
the mantle of international pariah, joining the likes of Milosevic, Saddam
Hussein, Kim Jung Il, Fidel, and Hugo Chavez.
I tend to get suspicisious when the news coverage of a head of state is
uniform in its condemnation and vilification, and more especially, when it is
aligned with my own imperialist government's vilification to the point where
there's no separation at all.
Missing from the coverage of Mugabe and his regime, even by the BBC, is any
attempt at historical analysis or economic analysis with regard to the role of
the imperialist powers in the decimation of the African continent and their
I agree with the sentiments expressed by Fred. Something stinks about this
deluge of calumny being directed at Robert Mugabe, who at one time was a
darling of the West, especially the Thatcher govt. It reeks of the same process we
saw with regard to Milosevic and the break-up of Yugoslavia, and Saddam and
the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
I wrote a piece on Zimbabwe which appeared in the Morning Star some months
ago. I've just amended it to suit recent developments and have pasted it below.
For the past year, culminating in his controversial swearing in as president
of Zimbabwe yet again on Sunday June 29, Robert Mugabe has worn the mantle
of international pariah. In this he joins a long list of other heads of state
who’ve fallen foul of the ‘international community’ - the likes of the now
departed Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein, and the currently still living
Kim Jung Il, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Palestinian
people in their entirety; in short any regime, nation or leader who dares
offer resistance to the world order as determined by plutocrats in Washington
Mugabe has held power in Zimbabwe since the nation gained its ‘independence’
from the former white supremacist, apartheid state of Rhodesia in 1980, but
it's only been in the last few years or so that he's been vilified and
calumniated in Washington DC and major European capitals. Charges of imprisonment
without trial, torture, voter intimidation and even the control of scarce
food supplies to starve his opponents and their supporters into submission have
been made against Mugabe and his regime.
Even on the left, voices have been raised to the point of crescendo in
condemnation and vilification of the Mugabe regime, as they were against Milosevic
in the former Yugoslavia, before its breakup, and as they were against
Saddam Hussein in Iraq in advance of a war and occupation which, to date, has
accounted for countless thousands of Iraqi lives, has ushered in material poverty
of an extreme previously unheard of in that country, and has completely
destroyed any vestige of infrastructure or civil society.
But, as in the case of the aforementioned regimes, is Robert Mugabe's crime
that he refuses to allow fair elections and rules with an iron fist? Or is it
in truth that, with a series of controversial land expropriations, he dared
to attempt the redistribution of wealth from a privileged elite (in
Zimbabwe's case a white elite) to millions of landless peasants, many of whom fought
in the country's protracted and righteous struggle for independence and the
overthrow of the previous neo-colonial state of Rhodesia, in which, as with
South Africa, racism was institutionalized and enshrined in the country’s
constitution and legal code?
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the West's relationship with Mugabe wasn't always
this way. Indeed back in 1980 a veritable honeymoon period followed the
Lancaster House negotiations, during which the incipient nation's constitution was
written (Zimbabwe's constitution being written in consultation with its
former colonial masters in London). One of the most important provisions in that
constitution, at least from the point of view of the white farmers and
businessmen determined to retain control of the nation's wealth, was ‘willing seller
willing buyer’ clause with respect to land, whereby the British government
agreed to fund a land reform policy of the Zimbabwean government but only in
cases where the existing white landowner agreed to sell. This effectively
blocked the nascent Zimbawean government’s ability to institute measures of
social or economic justice in a nation in which over 70 percent of the most arable
land was owned by the white minority, a transplanted ascendancy much like
the Loyalist ascendancy which existed, and still exists, in the Six Counties in
the North of Ireland, and the Zionist ascendancy in the occupied territories
Initially, Robert Mugabe proved a faithful servant to the interests of
international capital; and just like every other former colonial possession in
that tortured and long-pillaged continent, he duly accepted IMF structural
adjustments as a precondition of desperately needed capital loans and investment.
The poverty wrought by this savage neo-colonialist control reached a nadir in
the 1990s, by which time the Zimbabwean economy had been reduced to tatters
with allegations of state and private corruption being made against the
regime by a coalition of trade unionists, students, clergymen, and others. It was
a process which led to the formation of the opposition MDC in September 2000.
However, lest anyone be under the impression that the alternative offered by
the opposition be an improvement on the current state of affairs, let the
words of the MDC's economic spokesman, Eddie Cross, spoken in advance of
Zimbabwe's 2000 parliamentary elections, leave them under no illusion.
‘We are going to fast track privatization. All fifty government parastatals
(a government-owned company or agency) will be privatized within a two year
time frame, but we are going far beyond that. We are going to privatize many
of the functions of government. We are going to privatize the Central
Statistical Office. We are going to privatize virtually the entire school delivery
system. And you know, we have looked at the numbers and we think we can get
government employment down from about 300,000 at the present time to about
75,000 in five years.’
Mugabe, responding to the threat posed by this new opposition back in 2000,
unleashed the expropriations and confiscations that have so attracted the
fury of governments and free market demagogues in the West. His motivation for
doing so undoubtedly had its roots in opportunism, being nothing less than a
desperate measure designed to maintain and solidify his grasp on power.
However, that in no way diminishes the justice of such expropriations, which in a
very real sense have involved the expropriating of the expropriators.
In short, Mugabe's real crime was not one committed against the white
privileged minority with land expropriations, it was the crime committed against
the Zimbabwean people back in 1980 with the passing of control of Zimbabwe's
economy to the IMF and the World Bank, thus ensuring the continuance of a
legacy of exploitation and pillage begun by Cecil Rhodes in the 19th century, and
subsequently carried on with vigor by successive British governments
Indeed the entire history of Africa is written in the architectural splendor
of European capitals, monuments and palaces paid for in the blood of
millions of African men, women and children, either forced to work extracting the
wealth of the most resource rich continent on the planet, or sold into slavery,
at the behest of that breed of savage gentlemen colonizer whose exploits
throughout the African continent have accounted for more innocent lives than
Hitler and Genghis Khan combined.
This is the reality of Africa, one which all the insincere platitudes about
the crisis of debt in that continent cannot refute.
Rather than be vilified for undertaking the expropriation of land and the
confiscation of farms belonging to supporters of the former colonial regime,
Mugabe should in fact be vilified for not allowing more expropriations,
repudiating the debt and confiscating the industry and businesses in Zimbabwe that
continue to be owned and controlled by foreign interests and corporations.
Robert Mugabe, with his fixation on retaining power no matter the cost to
his people, is clearly not up to the task. It is to be hoped, however, that the
consciousness instilled in the Zimbabwean people as a result of the
expropriations that have taken place thus far has equipped them to continue a process
which constitutes the only way forward, not only for Zimbabwe but for the
entire developing world.
More information about the Marxism