[Marxism] Stating obvious, SADC says Zimbabwe vote not will of people

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jun 30 07:17:07 MDT 2008


Jscotlive at aol.com wrote:
  > 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 
> DC.   

Since when has Mugabe offered resistance to the world order? Some 
analysis of the Zimbabwean economy is necessary to back up such an 
assertion.

> 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.  

So what are you saying? That the Western media is lying when it accuses 
Mugabe of these things?

> 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.   

We should be able to operate on two levels when it comes to the likes of 
  a Saddam Hussein or a Robert Mugabe. We should oppose imperialist 
sanctions, invasions, etc. but we have to make clear that Mugabe is an 
anti-working class thug.

> 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?   

I think we really need to get beneath the "land reform" claims of 
Mugabe. To begin with, there is hunger in Zimbabwe today while those 
nationalized farms are being used by Mugabe's cronies to produce for the 
export market, just as they were when they were owned by whites. Also, 
when you carry out such reforms, you are obligated to ensure their 
success. Stalin's seizure of Kulak land set Soviet agriculture back for 
decades.

> 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.  

This assumes that Mugabe was bent on land reform, like Fidel Castro in 
1959. This is not true. If he were, he would have found ways back in the 
1980s to expropriate the wealthy white farmers. His more recent moves 
were a cynical attempt to consolidate a voting bloc in the countryside, 
now that the Zimbabwean people were getting sick of ZANU-PF rule.

> 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.  

Nobody has any illusions in the MDC. However, we don't support Mugabe 
just because the West prefers the MDC. We have our own yardstick based 
on Marxist principles.

> 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.  

Again, it is not sufficient to expropriate the expropriators.

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

BYLINE: Craig Timberg; Washington Post Foreign Service
DATELINE: 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."

(clip)


> 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.  

I resent this typically Eurocentric attack on Genghis Khan. Shame on you.





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