Zimbabwe

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voice of the damned

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Though I do have to wonder: if intra-left sectarian invective is to be considered unacceptable, does that include a Trotskyist posting something like "social democracy is a disease"

The unwritten rules say that someone MORE radical can feel free to criticize or mock someone LESS radical, but not the other way around.

This is why, when some testosterone-head in a hoodie plays smashy-smashy at a demonstration, it's not OK to question his "diversity of tactics", but the next day, when the tear gas is out of everyone's nostrils, it's perfectly OK for him to describe peaceful protesters as "marching impotently on their knees".

 

Well, setting aside my example, the original point was that we shouldn't use "Trotskyite" because it's the term of abuse by Stalinists against the followers of Trotsky, and is thus offensive to them.

I'm not sure who would be considered more radical for the purposes of your "unwritten rule" there. Both factions in that debate seem to regard the other as being fake revolutionaries, if not outright reactionaries(I've heard Stalinists call Trotskyists agents of US imperialism, and of course the Trotskyist viewpoint on Uncle Joe is well-known).

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Both factions in that debate seem to regard the other as being fake revolutionaries

And the other 99% of the world thinks they're both right. 

Only on babble could anyone care.  And even here, it's only half a care.  IOW, don't disparage MY revolutionary tendencies!

I'm sure progressive17 was just playing devil's advocate.

WWWTT

voice of the damned wrote:

I guess the idea is that since Grace Mugabe's plan to succeed Robert was illegitimate, it was okay for the military to move in against her. I'd be curious to know, though, what if any laws Mugabe was breaking by trying to put her in power. (Since this is a court opinion we're talking about).

Ya that link you provided backs up my claim of how odd politics from Zimbabwe really are. Mugabe did commit the illegal act of firing Mnangagwa according to the judge that ruled the military acted legally.  I find it real odd that it’s the military that has to act when politicians there do something allegedly illegal. Why would the courts not do something first?  I guess no one there really takes the courts serious?  I can see how this can create total chaos. 

Then there’s the abuse allegations that the military committed. Zimbabwe sounds like a pretty rough place to live. They’re going to have to do a better job of establishing the rule of law. I’m guessing this is a symptom left over from colonialism 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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I find it real odd that it’s the military that has to act when politicians there do something allegedly illegal. Why would the courts not do something first?

The judicial branch isn't always as separate as it should be from the executive branch.

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I’m guessing this is a symptom left over from colonialism

That's a trite assessment.

Why would a slave, once freed, decide "now that I'm free, I'm going to pick some cotton for the master"?  If that actually does happen then, well, it's your freedom to use as you wish.  But sooner or later you'll need to agree that you no longer wear leg irons.

NDPP

Bitcoin Soars, Stock Market Rises in Post Mugabe Zimbabwe

https://t.co/KY0Aqt1tBj

"The price of bitcoin in Zimbabwe soared to a record $17,875 on the local exchange on Monday as investors continued to seek a safe haven for their money trapped in the banks...'

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

voice of the damned wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Though I do have to wonder: if intra-left sectarian invective is to be considered unacceptable, does that include a Trotskyist posting something like "social democracy is a disease"

The unwritten rules say that someone MORE radical can feel free to criticize or mock someone LESS radical, but not the other way around.

This is why, when some testosterone-head in a hoodie plays smashy-smashy at a demonstration, it's not OK to question his "diversity of tactics", but the next day, when the tear gas is out of everyone's nostrils, it's perfectly OK for him to describe peaceful protesters as "marching impotently on their knees".

 

Well, setting aside my example, the original point was that we shouldn't use "Trotskyite" because it's the term of abuse by Stalinists against the followers of Trotsky, and is thus offensive to them.

I'm not sure who would be considered more radical for the purposes of your "unwritten rule" there. Both factions in that debate seem to regard the other as being fake revolutionaries, if not outright reactionaries(I've heard Stalinists call Trotskyists agents of US imperialism, and of course the Trotskyist viewpoint on Uncle Joe is well-known).

And, of course, during the Spanish Civil War, there was the despicable claim by the Stalinists that the POUM(the vaguely Trotskyists, and more accurately independent left-Socialist militias) were secretly in league with Franco.  

​This, despite the fact that the POUM and the CNT-FAI(anarchist)forces actually did better in battle against the Falange than the Brigades managed to, defeating the Falange in numerous battles and liberating huge swaths of Spanish territory).

I would take issue with the argument that the Black Bloc types are "more radical" than those who don't use such tactics.  The Black Bloc have no agenda other than property destruction for the sake of property destruction, they generally achieve nothing other than alienating potential supporters, and, since it's impossible to identify them due to the masks, I've always felt it was likely that at least a large number of their supporters are state provocateurs or police academy cadets out to give the forces of repression a pretext for harsh policing methods.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Isn't a stalinite a geological formation?  Is it the one that points up, or the one that points down?

I think it may have been a group referenced in the New Testament:  "And Cyrus, a Stalinite from Damascus, said unto them..."

Rev Pesky

From Ken Burch:

I've heard Stalinists call Trotskyists agents of US imperialism, and of course the Trotskyist viewpoint on Uncle Joe is well-known.

I'll just point out that it was Stalin who had Trotsky assassinated, not the other way around.

voice of the damned

Rev Pesky wrote:

From Ken Burch:

I've heard Stalinists call Trotskyists agents of US imperialism, and of course the Trotskyist viewpoint on Uncle Joe is well-known.

I'll just point out that it was Stalin who had Trotsky assassinated, not the other way around.

That was me, not Ken Burch. And yes, as far as that goes, Trotskyists have been attacked by Stalinists far more than vice versa. I'm still not sure that that makes Trotskyists into an oppressed group deserving special protection from slur words, the way, for example, we think black people should not have to endure the N word, even though we don't get too upset if white people have to endure cracker.

Trotsky wasn't just some random bystander that Stalin decided to have murdered for shit and giggles. He was a member of the very same party that was doing the killing. That doesn't mean he's to blame for what took place under Stalin, but I also suspect that he bears some share of the responsibility for the way that party turned out. If the people that you yourself helped put into power eventually turn on you, I don't think it's everyone else's responsibility to police their own terminology just to spare you the indignity of hearing the epithets that those people liked to hurl at you.

And let's be honest here. There are very few Trotskyists today who are in any danger of being murdered by Stalinist agents.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Amusingly, though, we're wondering how many Socialists could dance on the head of a publically-owned pin, while talking about Zimbabwe.  Where Robert Mugabe gave the "repatriated" land to his cronies and supporters and war buddies.

"From each, according to his abilities.  To each, according to what I owe them for their unwavering support, or because I'm related to them".

WWWTT

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
I find it real odd that it’s the military that has to act when politicians there do something allegedly illegal. Why would the courts not do something first?

The judicial branch isn't always as separate as it should be from the executive branch.

Quote:
I’m guessing this is a symptom left over from colonialism

That's a trite assessment.

Why would a slave, once freed, decide "now that I'm free, I'm going to pick some cotton for the master"?  If that actually does happen then, well, it's your freedom to use as you wish.  But sooner or later you'll need to agree that you no longer wear leg irons.

I can't make much sence of either of your comments here??? The judicial branch I take is a refrence to judges and the courts. But the excecutive branch? Is this the military or the politicians? 

As far as comparing colonial Africa to actual slavery in the US, this isn't helpful in any way. Colonialism in Africa carved the continent up and created long lasting harm! An imense impact that I seriously doubt any white European in North America can ever phathom short of living an extensive period of time there. Now I have never lived in any African nation. Nor do I know of many people from there with first hand experience, but I wouldn't belittle why African nations rank so poorly in income and standards of living health care education and so high in crime rates and violence etc etc.

Comparing Asian and Asia/Pacific countries that were former colonies with African, the African former colonies are noticeably in worse shape. Now maybe my analysis is wrong or scewed. But I believe leaders like Mugabee (and/or former leaders I should say) seem to get a better foothold in a country that has more and bigger social economic problems (Trump would be included amongst these leaders!) Clearly the nations of Africa have their own unique problems that are impossible or near impossible to break free from. I'm suggesting that some problems created by rivalry European nations Portugal, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Britain (ya that's a fuckin long list actually!) are still lingiring. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The judicial branch I take is a refrence to judges and the courts. But the excecutive branch? Is this the military or the politicians?

The legislative branch (of politicians) makes the laws, and the executive branch carries out the business of the country based on those laws.

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As far as comparing colonial Africa to actual slavery in the US

I'm not suggesting that something is comparable to US slavery.  I'm only using the example of a freed slave continuing to pick the cotton to suggest that after emancipation, slaves didn't continue to pick the cotton!  And that similarly, it makes no sense to suggest that if an African nation that's been independent for decades and is free to enjoy that independence does something stupid, it's "because colonialism".  If colonialism really did, logically and reasonably, result in something then you actually have to do some homework and connect those dots.  You can't just say "well, COLONIALISM!"  and then "QED".

cco

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I'm not suggesting that something is comparable to US slavery.  I'm only using the example of a freed slave continuing to pick the cotton to suggest that after emancipation, slaves didn't continue to pick the cotton!

It's an example that's perhaps more apt than you intended, and I say this as someone who's not in agreement with WWWTT that colonialism excuses Mugabe. Lots of white Americans are under this high-school-history-class impression that slavery just ended in 1865, with the 13th amendment and the Confederacy occupied by Union troops (even more credit Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which only ever applied to Confederate territory, and was a shit-disturbing piece of war propaganda, not a legal instrument of liberation).

It's not quite that simple. The 13th amendment said slavery was illegal except as punishment for a crime, and big surprise: the Southern states quickly established penal codes that enabled them to declare most blacks criminals, for stuff like "vagrancy". Especially after Rutherford B. Hayes withdrew Northern troops in exchange for the South's electoral college votes, America quickly established "convict leasing" to near-identical effect, and huge numbers of former slaves who weren't "leased" to build the railroads went back to work on the same plantations as "sharecroppers", paid with a portion of the crops they grew in exchange for continuing their labours. The quantity of cotton picked didn't drop, nor did the workforce get whiter.

Better than literal slavery? Certainly. But not a night-and-day change where blacks were completely free and 100% responsible for the disadvantages their communities suffered. So it is with colonialism. European powers didn't withdraw completely from Africa on the date of independence and offer only wise guidance from across the Mediterranean. I agree with you that it's necessary to connect the dots, but I don't think they're all that difficult to connect.

Rev Pesky

From WWWTT:

As far as comparing colonial Africa to actual slavery in the US,

Don't forget that slavery was a well established practice in Africa long before Europeans got there. In fact, European slave traders had many willing accomplices amongst the indigenous people of Africa. 

WWWTT

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
The judicial branch I take is a refrence to judges and the courts. But the excecutive branch? Is this the military or the politicians?

The legislative branch (of politicians) makes the laws, and the executive branch carries out the business of the country based on those laws.

Quote:
As far as comparing colonial Africa to actual slavery in the US

I'm not suggesting that something is comparable to US slavery.  I'm only using the example of a freed slave continuing to pick the cotton to suggest that after emancipation, slaves didn't continue to pick the cotton!  And that similarly, it makes no sense to suggest that if an African nation that's been independent for decades and is free to enjoy that independence does something stupid, it's "because colonialism".  If colonialism really did, logically and reasonably, result in something then you actually have to do some homework and connect those dots.  You can't just say "well, COLONIALISM!"  and then "QED".

Ok it sounds like to me that you don't want to use the term "judicial branch" anymore. Or that term is now part of the excecutive? Either way, how the government, courts, police and military work/interreact in Zimbabwe is very different than in most western nations.

And as far as your second part of the comment with regards to slavery/colonialism, it appears your further drifting with strawmen suggestions, moving farther away from the facts that many if not all former colonial countries in Africa suffer from high unemployment high violence low education health care etc etc. Sounds like you want to blame the peoples of Zimbabwe and other African nations for not solving the problems colonialism has created fast enough? This is real rich comming from someone who lives in a country like Canada, where colonialism is a HUGE success story that would make the white racist Anglo Saxon French colonist masters of the past teary eyed with pride.

WWWTT

Rev Pesky wrote:

From WWWTT:

As far as comparing colonial Africa to actual slavery in the US,

Don't forget that slavery was a well established practice in Africa long before Europeans got there. In fact, European slave traders had many willing accomplices amongst the indigenous people of Africa. 

Since we're playing the "don't forget" game, here's another one we shouldn't forget.

The world suffers global recession, enormous inequity, hunger, deforestation, pollution, climate change, nuclear weapons, terrorism, etc. To those who say we’re not really making progress, many might point to the fact that at least we’ve eliminated slavery.

But sadly that is not the truth.

One hundred forty-three years after passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and 60 years after Article 4 of the U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights banned slavery and the slave trade worldwide, there are more slaves than at any time in human history -- 27 million.

From this link, but lots of links out there with similar info.

https://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/there-are-more-slaves-today-any...

WWWTT

cco wrote:

It's an example that's perhaps more apt than you intended, and I say this as someone who's not in agreement with WWWTT that colonialism excuses Mugabe.

I don't understand what it is you're implying here? Now when this thread started, I wasn't really sure who this Mugabe character was/is about. After doing a bit of research, I can see (if the links and info is true) that he's a rough character and probably a criminal. And he clearly has little/no respect for the rights of the peoples. And he probably has more respect for people who have wealth. In my opinion, because of colonialism, Zimbabwe has many many problems that need to be resolved and some serious development ahead of them! Characters like Mugabe (many to choose from past AND present) take advantage of chaos to seize power.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Ok it sounds like to me that you don't want to use the term "judicial branch" anymore. Or that term is now part of the excecutive?

No, it's still a branch, too.  Executive, Legislative, Judicial.  Ideally all separate.

The military isn't exactly a "branch" of government in the same way, but it too should be separate. 

Quote:
the facts that many if not all former colonial countries in Africa suffer from high unemployment high violence low education health care etc etc. Sounds like you want to blame the peoples of Zimbabwe and other African nations for not solving the problems colonialism has created fast enough?

One problem is that Zimbabwe used to have it pretty good.  Then, Mugabe took over.

The other problem is that Zimbabwe isn't suffering because of colonialism, it's suffering because of corruption.  As an example, Mugabe very popularly repatriated land back from the white farmers who had colonized Zimbabwe/Rhodesia.  That was a good thing.

Then, instead of giving the land to the people, he divvied the bulk of it up among war buddies, political cronies, friends and family.  And Zimbabwe went from being known as "the Breadbasket of Africa" to being hungry and dependent on food imports.  What, exactly, did colonialism do there, besides feed everyone until Mugabe became the new landowner?

WWWTT

No sorry from the research I’ve done I’m going to have to disagree here with you. Now I’m on my iPhone and not the greatest tool for posting links so I’ll have to do that part latter. But from what I’ve found the white farmers had a more commercial directive/use for the more fertile productive crop land that they possessed. They were more concerned with profit, opposed to committing crops to feed Zimbabwe. Just this one fact alone is a direct cause of colonialism. Clearly it had to be addressed and rectified! When it was addressed, this led to problems of inexperienced farmers not using the fertile farmlands properly(this has to be further researched) And then there’s a drought and poor weather/climate conditions that came at around this same time making the problems much much worse! This actually reminds me of a saying, “in order to get to heaven, you’ve got to go through hell”. Now I believe if that Mugabe was more of an intellect instead, and had a better team, they could have made the transition a lot easier/better! But that’s a real tough one to ask for. Mugabe’s job was to bring independence. He’s clearly gone way way past the point of when he should have left. However, Zimbabwe is a pretty rough and brutal country, and people’s like him will always do well in those conditions. The violence there really has to be reigned in. 

NDPP
progressive17 progressive17's picture

The actual number of people in modern slavery is more than 40 million. This organization seems to be doing more to campaign against this evil and rescue people than any other I am aware of: https://www.walkfreefoundation.org/

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
But from what I’ve found the white farmers had a more commercial directive/use for the more fertile productive crop land that they possessed. They were more concerned with profit, opposed to committing crops to feed Zimbabwe.

Like basically every farmer in Canada.  They grow it, we buy it.

What about the people that received some land?  Were they trying their darndest to farm it for free, or were they commercial farmers as well?

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When it was addressed, this led to problems of inexperienced farmers not using the fertile farmlands properly(this has to be further researched)

Seems their sole "qualification" was being a friend or crony of Mugabe, so is this a surprise?  Would it have maybe made sense to give the land to people who knew how to farm it?  Or kept it as a state property and allowed the people to use it?

WWWTT

Would it have maybe made sense to give the land to people who knew how to farm it?  Or kept it as a state property and allowed the people to use it?

I like the idea of keeping the land as state property. Perhaps this concept can be still revisited?

WWWTT

I should also point out that for part of my life I grew up on a small farm! Growing food geared for local consumption is not the same thing as growing crops strictly for profit. Almost all of the crops grown around where I lived was geared for livestock and horses. Humans don’t really eat clover alfalfa and corn sileage. But there is some cash crops of barley wheat and oats that can be used for either livestock or bread beer and whiskey or brewing other alcohols. Among other cereals. However I’m not entirely familiar with Zimbabwe diet and their food supply to insure a balanced healthy diet. How there crops where being balanced out by the white farmers and during the transition, there would have been needed a knowledge of crop management and a body with far reaching power to enforce what crops were grown where and why. Not even sure if the Zimbabwean government has an effective body in place now? I’m assuming that they must?

WWWTT
Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

progressive17 wrote:

The actual number of people in modern slavery is more than 40 million. This organization seems to be doing more to campaign against this evil and rescue people than any other I am aware of: https://www.walkfreefoundation.org/

 

Thank you for the link.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

self-delete.  dupe post.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

WWWTT wrote:

Would it have maybe made sense to give the land to people who knew how to farm it?  Or kept it as a state property and allowed the people to use it?

I like the idea of keeping the land as state property. Perhaps this concept can be still revisited?

I'd go with including a year or two of sustainable farming education along with the redistribution of land.  It could only be tragic if the land was all privatized and ended up going mainly to export crops.  No one but the wealthy in Zimbabwe would benefit from that.

It goes back to the great international mistake of pressuring developing countries to stop growing their OWN food, and pushing them to buy food from other places instead, thus leaving developing countries at the mercy of global agricorporate greed.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Ok here's some links about farming/land use in Zimbabwe.

Thanks for those.  I'll work my way through them when I can.

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I like the idea of keeping the land as state property. Perhaps this concept can be still revisited?

I think it would mean more land seizures, though.  This time, from the people Mugabe gifted it to.  But it's what should have happened in the first place, so maybe.

Quote:
I'd go with including a year or two of sustainable farming education along with the redistribution of land.  It could only be tragic if the land was all privatized and ended up going mainly to export crops.  No one but the wealthy in Zimbabwe would benefit from that.

My understanding -- and someone set me up with some links if I'm wrong -- is that the land is still basically privatized, except that instead of being in the hands of colonial white guys, it's in the hands of Mugabe's cronies.  It would, however, be fascinating to see it somehow shared, if not in deed then in use.  But I've no idea what land reform policies the newly, er, coronated President supports, nor whether he too owes a back-scratching to anyone.

 

WWWTT

The more I read about land crops and farming in Zimbabwe, the more apparent it becomes how important farming is to the country it’s people and it’s well being. To me, farming in Zimbabwe and the well being of agriculture is integral to solving 90% of the country’s problems. I also find that this is a complicated issue that will require huge investments of irrigation infrastructure and lots of money.  This money has to be borrowed. I think that’s a whole problem in itself.  This is a real mess the people of Zimbabwe are faced with. 

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