[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 
of Palestine.  
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.  


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