The Zimbabwe Lesson


  • Nathaniel Bobo





Particularly in the last two decades leftists in the big Western capitalist nations have correctly supported the liberation struggles of former colonies; we have celebrated each victory over colonialism, and then analyzed and criticized every turn toward neocolonialism. In April 1980 the celebration was inspired by the independence of Zimbabwe. The idea of another socialist state in Southern Africa is indeed attractive. But perhaps, in our anxiousness to see the final collapse of settler colonialism in Southern Africa, we sometimes do not pay enough attention to the victories achieved by the international bourgeoisie and its transnational corporations. From the transnational capitalist point of view, Zimbabwe, even before the final settlement which brought about independence, was destined to be the model for Southern African "development" under majority rule. Today Zimbabwe receives more soft aid from the United States than any other country in sub-Saharan Africa. Aid from the socialist countries is minimal compared to the amounts promised and delivered by the West. What does this fact imply? Most people on both sides of the international struggle would agree that what happens in Zimbabwe is vital to the future of Azania and Namibia. What, then, has happened in Zimbabwe?

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