via Zimbabwe’s black political bourgeoisie | The Zimbabwean 11 June 2014
As long as this political bourgeoisie has access to the resources of the state it will be difficult to dislodge them from economic and political power.
The liberation struggle political parties that sprouted from the ruins of colonialism have not done away with the class structure they fought against. They have just established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones. More and more, our society as whole is splitting into two great hostile camps – the black bourgeoisie ruling class and the poor masses.
Believe it or not, these were the observations of Marx and Engels in 1848 in the communist manifesto. History keeps repeating itself.
This picture, painted by years of propaganda and historical falsehoods, shall one day be corrected. However, as long as they live, they must continue to force this false history upon us so that they remain in power.
As the pressure on this class of capitalist predators increases to fulfil their own promises to alleviate poverty and create jobs, they have successfully reframed the problem. According to them, Zimbabwe is where it is at because of sanctions imposed by the West. They deny any role in creating the dreadful economic conditions that prevail today. This manipulative and clever excuse has successfully put pressure on the West to remove the restrictions – but the naked truth shall soon face us.
We all know that Zimbabwe is where it is today because of the theft of land framed as land reform. Of course the skewed distribution of land assets was never fair – but instead of rationalising and ensuring that our economy remained productive, large tracts of land lie idle and underutilised.
The side effects have, of course, been the massive unemployment of farm labourers and the deindustrialisation of the country. We now have a peasant majority who can only lease land and a black political bourgeoisie that has occupied large farms and replaced the white farmer. The only problem is that this bourgeoisie is not productive and has created the very exploitative labour relations that created conflict during colonialism. This will continue to feed the class conflict which remains to be resolved.
As if that is not enough, the very same black bourgeoisie, having repossessed productive land and made it unproductive, has moved on to plunder our mineral resources. Zimbabwe has been bled dry of mining revenues redirected to satisfy the eve- increasing greed of this political bourgeoisie that pretends to be a revolutionary force committed to the emancipation of the masses. That is a lie.
The slogan of this political bourgeoisie is now indigenisation and empowerment. But this will not resolve the inherent class struggle. All the masses hear is how these capitalists continue to amass personal wealth, pay themselves ridiculous salaries and live off the fat of the land.
This has happened in South Africa too, where black economic empowerment designed to placate the masses has dismally failed to redistribute wealth creation opportunities. In fact it has further fuelled division and mass poverty. The class struggle continues.
According to Marx and Engels, this class conflict can only be resolved by revolution and repossession of the means of production by the masses. I however doubt that this will be the case In Zimbabwe because the masses are disempowered and apathetic to their fate. They anxiously await another type of bourgeoisie to lead.
Zimbabwe must rebuild its productive base that has been decimated by the political bourgeoisie. In order to do so, we must reengage those with capital – the Western capitalist nations. The Chinese and the East have failed to ameliorate our condition as their interests are not to create employment opportunities for us – but for themselves. The East, it turns out, has not only exacerbated the exploitation of the masses and our natural resources, but has fuelled corruption and helped to entrench the economic interests of the very political bourgeoisie that has failed to deliver to the masses.
What then can we do? As long as this political bourgeoisie has access to the resources of the state it will be difficult to dislodge them from economic and political power. Only their removal from power will suffice – but they must be replaced by a new breed of leaders who seek to dismantle political and economic domination over the masses and replace it with a socialist democratic dispensation that serves the interest of the masses first.
The inherent class struggles in our society cannot be completely obliterated but access by the majority to economic opportunity and income can be genuinely addressed and thereby ameliorate their economic condition. – Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You can contact him at email@example.com