- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on December 04, 1999 at 17:36:21:

I don't know if I should even bother answering the recent posts about Zimbabwe and South Africa. Considering that the South Africa post quoted a real live neo-Nazi, it's hard to thinkn that it even deservbed recognition. (A side note that is telling; one of the world's biggest Nazi associations is called the World Anti-Communist League. As teh Progressive Labor Party puts it, anti-communism seems to lead invariably to fascism.)

But in any case, i think soem facts need to be put on the table. First of all, Frechy was inaccurate when he said that the 'leader' of Zimbabwe called on the African people to engage in violence against the white minority. Even if you conceded the triuth of teh article- i don't, not necessarily- it was the WHIP of ZANU/PF, not the PRESIDENT. Did teh article mention that Mugabe has given the green light to this? I didn't think so.

Second of all, this pales in contrast to the kind of race warfare and exploitation taht goes on every day throughout much of teh capitalist world. Singapore and Malaysia are probably the best examples today of Eugenicist states. In Singapore, the presidnet emiritus has instituted financial rewards for 'smart' Chinese people to have more kids, and for 'stupid' Malay women who choose to have fewer. Moreover, he is basing admission to the ebst schools on how rich your parents are, on teh theory that smarter people are the wealthy ones, so tehir kids will be smart too. Singapore has gone way beyond the inequalities in the US, because it now sees fit to enshrine these ineqalities into law. And then teh bastard sees fit to tell us that America's problem is taht we expect black and white people to perform at the same level. FUCK HIM I say.

In any case, Zimbabwe remains a success story. In America, the leaders of one of the largest churches in the nation recently called fro teh wholesale conversion of Jews and Hindus, and denigrated teh followers of tehse religions. Does this eman taht America is crawling with intolerance? Of course not. Nor do the diatribes of a certain Whip mean that Zimbabwe is acountry full of racial hatred. Although if there was racial gahtred expressed on the part of the black people, it woudl still pale in comparison with the vitriolic diatribes still spouted out by that @$$6*!# Ian Smith, or with the repression that characterized all of the white colonial states that plagued soutehrn Africa until recently. Whites still control a vastly disproportoiaonate share of teh wealth and power in Zimbabwe. How can anyoen in tehri right mind say that Whoites are a perseciuted class?! If anyoen in Zaimbabwe is persecuted and oppressed it's the small black peasants. How come Frenchy&co are always willing to come to teh defense of a largely exploitative and privileged segment of the population (White Rhodesians, Cuban exiles) but couldn't giev a damn about teh Nicaraguan people or the Zimbabweans?

Zimbabwe has been the only country in Africa to industrialize while still maintaining a relatively eqiuitable and high standard of living for the black people. It has been a democracy since its inception as a nation. It has maintained extensive rights and protections for all minorities, including representation for Whites in parliament that was 1000% in excess of their numbers. Until the recent AIDS outbreak, black people in Zimbabwe lived significantly longer than in the United States or South Africa. The literacy rate is the highest in continental Africa with the exception of the Congo (I think.) Zimbabwe also took a bold interntaional stance,c oming to the defence of liberation movements worldiwde; they were especially important in Mozambique, where they helped crush a terrorist movement that was making it impossible for the government to provide health acre and education. Zimbabwe has had good food production and nutrition levels, while at the same time redistributing land from tha wealthy estates owners to the people.

In short, I don't see that what you ahve published about Zimbabwe tells us anything valuable about the merits of this socialist experiment. Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Guyana, Kerala, Burkina FAso, etc. were all socialist, democratic, progressive states that combined substantial economic grwoth, remarkable gains in the quality of life for their people, elimination of inequalities and participatory democracy. Sure, every country has problems. The biggest problem I have with Zimbabwe today is their persecution of homosexuals (wonder why you didn't bring taht up Frenchy?) But really, put these in perspective. All countries have their problems, only the capitalist ones seem to ahve more flaws than most. Was it it the Zimbabweans who sponsor terrorists and overthrow legitimate democratic governments all over the world, from Nicaragua to Pakistan? No, it was the US. we live in a society where the number of homeless has skyrocketed after the abolition of rent control; where we'd rather keep bars open late than keep poor children fed; where soem can't afford health care while others spend large sums on cosmetic surgery, etcetera etcetera. The developing capitalist nations are far, far worse. I notice you never mention capitalist nations like Pakistan (which murdered 3 million Bengalis), or Indonesia , or South Korea, or Chile, or El Salvador, or Guatemala....I could go on.

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