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

Jscotlive at aol.com Jscotlive at aol.com
Mon Jun 30 11:20:43 MDT 2008

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

Well certainly not on the scale of Fidel or even, at present, Ahmadinejad,  
but by expropriating the white farmers he certainly hit a nerve in European  
capitals, where the colonial mindset remains very much in place. 
Louis writes:
So what are you saying? That the Western media is lying when it accuses  
Mugabe of these things?

Based on what we know from recent history - i.e., genocide and mass  ethnic 
cleansing in the Balkans; Saddam with an arsenal of WMD - I would say  there is 
a more than good chance that the facts on the ground are being somewhat  
embellished to suit a get-Mugabe agenda. The MDC have stated that 86 of  their 
members have been killed and thousands driven from their homes. If  this is true, 
whilst it is certainly an atrocity, it in no way qualifies  as the beginnings 
of a Rwandan type genocide. It reminds me of the news  footage from the 
Balkans that did the rounds, where a half starved man standing  behind barbed wire 
was presented as evidence of Serb concentration camps. It  later turned out to 
have been staged for the benefit of a gullible public, part  of the 
demonisation of Milosevic and the Serbian people preparatory to bombing  the shit out 
of them.
As ever, the truth will come out as and when the dust settles. Until  it 
does, I shall remain skeptical in the extreme. 
Louis writes:
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.

Well this is where we differ in our analysis. The current crisis in  Zimbabwe 
cannot be taken in isolation from the ravaging of that continent and  its 
economies by the West. Zimbabwe's current economic woes are a result of  Mugabe 
turning to the West for capital investment throughout the 1980s. The  crisis 
came to the fore by the late nineties, when charges of corruption were  laid at 
the door of his regime as the harsh realities of loan repayments and  
structural adjustment bit hard on the people of Zimbabwe. I have no doubt that  Mugabe 
and his regime is corrupt, but in any situation of economic scarcity  there 
will be a struggle for control of what what little wealth there  is.
As I point out in my piece, economically the MDC is committed to  deepening 
Zimbabwe's dependence on the West, which in no wise constitutes  progress.  
Yes, Mugabe is a thug, yes he is corrupt, and yes he should be removed. But  
the key aspect to this has to be agency. The UN is discredited as a de  facto 
agency of US foreign policy, so calls for its involvement should be  resisted. 
The Mugabe regime has arisen as a result  of the soft imperialism delivered 
through the IMF and  World Bank. I think it is incumbent on us to point this  
out, laying the underlying cause of the crisis in Zimbabwe at the door of  
European capitals and Washington DC where it belongs.
Louis writes:
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  

The issue of land ownership lies at the heart of this issue. The British  
government ceded political control of the country but, as with the rest of its  
former empire, maintained a semblance of control through its support for the  
white elite who remained in control of the nation's economy. The principal of  
expropriation is correct; however the way it was carried out, Mugabe's  
motivation, was not correct. He is an opportunist who attempted to distract  from 
the economic situation by unleashing a mob in the countryside. Ideally, if  he 
was truly interested in  instituting a land reform program in order  to foment 
social and economic justice, he would have nationalised the farms  and brought 
in agricultural experts, say from Cuba or Venezuela, to  train black 
Zimbabweans to run them. He even may have been able to persuade some  of the existing 
white farmers to assist in that process.
His methods were crude and panicked, revealing that his motives were  nothing 
more than desire to hold onto power regardless.  
Louis writes:
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.

Agreed, which I think I've covered in my previous response.
Louis writes:
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.

I don't think the article supports Mugabe at all. I also think it does  
adhere to Marxist principles, in the shape of a dialectical analysis of the  
current crisis. What it doesn't do is join in the mass vilification of Mugabe  that 
seems to be the sport of the week. 
No, the article doesn't support Mugabe at all. It does however lay the  blame 
for the economic crisis which precipitated Mugabe's degeneration at the  door 
of the West where it belongs.


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