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Zimbabwe leads the world

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, April 24th, 2009 - 38 comments
Categories: capitalism, International - Tags: ,

It seems that Zimbabwe is, after all, a world leader. Mugabe’s government which followed the IMF and World Bank’s neo liberal plan for their economy to the letter, has shown us all how these policies will finish up.

The austerity medicine prescribed for Zimbabwe by the world Bank, Included oppressive and harsh debt repayment, and massive tax cuts for the rich, all funded by the privatisation of virtually every public service and national asset, and by slashing the ‘social wage’.

(doesn’t this all sound familiar?)

The mantra was “Free Enterprise knows best” .

Now the whole world is learning the harsh lesson that the people of Zimbabwe have seen played out in their country.

As one commentator once said, “Free Enterprise – means free foxes in a free chicken run”.

It seems that most governments including President Obama’s and ours, instead of getting their shotgun, like any sensible farmer would do, is instead feeding the fox more chickens in the forlorn hope that this will make him satisfied.

The Zimbabwe example shows that this fox will never be satisfied until your economy is wrecked and your people are unemployed and starving.

– J

38 comments on “Zimbabwe leads the world”

  1. MikeE 1

    You’ve got to be ****ing joking.

    Do you honestly believe that nationalising the proporties of white farmers, putting in a race based government, printing so much money as to cause hyper inflation is even in the same galaxy, let alone the same planet as a free market, or anything to do with the IMF.

    Please, please can I have whatever you are smoking/railing/inhaling, as its gotta be good.

    Was almost expecting a “satire” tag…

  2. sean 2

    the farms weren’t nationalised, they’re not owned by the government.

    The hyperinflation and the farm seizures were a reaction (a stupid reaction) to an economy that was already in trouble in the mid-90s after a decade of follwoing the IMF forumla.

    • MikeE 2.1

      I’m sorry, the government just allowed “veterans” to take them from the property owners.

      You suggesting the hyperinflation (I have a zim 100 trillion dollar note in my wallet) had nothing to do with a crazy as shit dictator, with nutty economic policies (gononomics anyone) and absolutely zero respect for property rights.

      The standard writers can’t be this thick.

      • George Darroch 2.1.1

        I’m not an apologist for Mugabe certainly, but particular parts of history (and the present) are being whitewashed and distorted by media outlets who uncritically parrot the US and UK lines on the country.

        Mahmood Mamdani has a very good article on the subject.

        http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n23/mamd01_.html

  3. Quoth the Raven 3

    Did the fact that Mugabe and Zanu-PF are rabid neo-liberals just skip past the right?
    Of course I think there is a conflation in this post between neo-liberals, who are capitalists who seek to entrench privilige and rob the poor to enrich the already rich and real free market policies, which the likes of Rodney Hide know are not in the interests of the rich and so would never support. But it’s good to see that somebody has recognised Obama’s efforts to save neo-liberalism.
    The attacks on labour unions in Zimbabwe should clearly mark Zanu-PF as anti-market capitalists.

  4. djp 4

    actually the characteristics that are most associated with Mugabe are:

    1) Destroying personal property rights

    2) Inflating the monetary supply

    3) price controls

    you are dreaming if you think he is associated in any way with free enterprise

    • Quoth the Raven 4.1

      Price controls came in when the economy had turned to shit already. The farm seisures were meant to redress the land theft that happened under colonialism – it’s like saying that we should recognise the property rights of theives. The colonials didn’t recognise property rights. But of course it didn’t work out like that. The land just ended up going to Mugabe’s cronies. And the methods were obviously wrong. Inflating monetary supply – you could say the same about the US. But again the ridiculous amount of newly printed money happened when the economy had already gone to shit and consequently made things worse.

  5. jerry 5

    One of the wealthiest/healthiest countries in southern africa down the toilet because of a mad despotic corrupt leader, not socialism not capitlilism just a complete turd at the top who’s fucked it all up to kingdom come.

  6. Alex 6

    What do you mean by claiming the land went to “Mugabe’s cronies”? I live in Zimbabwe and I can tell you that over 300 000 FAMILIES have been allocated farms. The average family size in Zimbabwe according to the 2002 census was five. Theoretically this means over 1,5 MILLION people are now using land that was previously owned by 4 500 white farmers. And everyone in Zimbabwe knows that the economy started going south in the early 1990s when we swallowed the crap from the IMF and the WB. The situation was not helped by corruption, of course, which is bloody serious in Zimbabwe. But the West’s real problem with Mugabe started in 1998 when he sent troops into the DRC to protect the interests of a fellow regional State. It was an affront the West – which was funding and equipping the invading Rwandese and Ugandan mercenaries – could not stomach. It set a “bad” precedent in that it demonstrated that there were some African leaders who were prepared to tell rich and powerful nations to go hang and to back up their words with military action. And when Mugabe decided to go for the land it only made things worse and powerful people outside Zimbabwe decided that the man had to be cut-off quickly. But that has failed dismally because whether you like it or not there are millions of Zimbabweans who support Mugabe – just like there are millions who don’t support him. That’s the reality.

  7. Andrew 7

    It seems that The Standard Collective have hit a new low in allowing this bile to be printed. Normally we “wingnuts” on the right can just expect to agree to disagree on the majority of the posts but this post is truely appalling!

    Blaming the situation in Zimbabwe on the IMF and Free Enterprise Markets is about a f**ked up as you can get.

  8. You have to be desperate to be relying on a four year old article written by an ANC apparatchik on a US Marxist website.

    Have you not noticed the Zimbabwean economy has essentially been fully nationalised in effect if not by name by a ruling Marxist Leninist autocracy that has destroyed private property rights, decimated an independent judiciary, and has been going around murdering anyone who gets in its way? All the time that it prints a worthless currency and keeps its President and his hangers on in a life of luxury.

    How is this even remotely free market or neo liberal? Zimbabwe has never embraced free trade or privatisation, and has progressively chased away foreign investment by demanding that foreign investors share booty with the ruling party. All those North Korean trained soldiers must have been learning Hayek then.

    I guess Zimbabwe before 1980 was a model of socialism was it, or what was it that meant Zimbabwe did have a relative high average standard of living (beyond the obvious vile racism)?

    However go on, give the murdering thug Mugabe some apologies, I mean he is one of the left’s darlings, who proved what a tyrant he was in Matabeleland and so many turned a blind eye – now the consequences of his kleptocracy are obvious.

    Let’s look at Korea – one half adopted a relatively capitalist model (though only been liberal democratic now for 20 odd years), the other a harshly anti-capitalist model. Which one is a success? Which one has had the least bloodshed? Which one do people scramble to leave and get shot doing so? Which one has taken the country from an African style level of peasant poverty to a Western standard of living?

    • Quoth the Raven 8.1

      Scott – Just as the poster in this case is making a conflation between free market policies and neoliberalism as are you. I don’t blame Zimbabwe’s problems on free market policies, I blame it on right wing policies – cronyism, elitism, militarism, nationalism and another characteristic of right wing governments, a heavy, heavy dose of incompetence. If you look at the history of Zimbabwe it is clear that as the post asserts they restructured their economy as the IMF wanted and their were terrible consequences. The IMF’s model was a neo-liberal one. Many libertarians have criticised neo-liberalism and the IMF and world banks egregious attacks on third world countries. The fact that you can’t see your way clear from the neo-liberal ilk makes me doubt your sincerity in advocating free market ideals. Under neo-liberalism the state’s involvement in the economy did not shrink it just shifted and as the Reagan and Thatcher governments can demonstrate the size of government grew. The actions in recent years have been incompetent, top down reactions to a fucked up mess of an economy which, as anyone could have predicted, have made things worse. As to your comments on Leninism – I think there are many paralells to draw between the mangerialism in Leninism and modern day liberal corporatism. One only needs to look into the issues, instead of engaging in reflexive rhetorical attacks. You, just like many of those on the left, have set up these dichotomies in your mind that don’t hold to reality and hence don’t see things clearly as they are.

      • jerry 8.1.1

        Oh FFS …… There’s no real policies in Zimbabwe just mad old Bob Mugabe and his henchman who have stuffed what was a fertile and productive country to the point where they now have to import maize.

  9. gomango 9

    and lets take a look at how much of zimbabwes land has been sold to foreign corporations. This has nothing to do with any kind of economic policy aside from enriching mugabe and his cronies. Interestingly a lot of the buyers of land from Zimbabwe have been hedge funds and investment companies, including Renaissance Capital – one of Zimbabwes largest landowners no, and owned by a Kiwi. Hedge funds have been massive buyer over the last 5 years.

    Any superficial investigation will find most of the confiscated land has gone initially to politically connected zimbabweans who have then flogged it off to foreign investors.

    Not sure on this post who is the biggest joke – guest poster for posting complete crap, or alex for displaying his mental bewilderment. Or maybe it’s me for reading this shite.

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      The folks calling that what you describe, “marxist leninism”, must be in the running…?

  10. Nickc 10

    Wow you guys suck. Really badly

    You think that:

    1) Zero respect for or enforcement of property rights
    2) Inflating the dollar to pay for goverment spending (actually its Obama whos doing that at the moment)
    3) Government authoritarianism

    is (to quote the post) neo-liberal?!?!?

    Well quote the raven conceeds this is something else:

    “I don’t blame Zimbabwe’s problems on free market policies,”

    Well The Standard does

    “I blame it on right wing policies – cronyism, elitism, militarism, nationalism and another characteristic of right wing governments.”

    Your arguement boils down merely to a confusion of terms. You would say that Hitler for example was ‘right wing’, but his policies in no way resemble free market liberalism. And who says that those are right wing qualities? Chavez, Stalin, Castro etc all did those sorts of things, and all of them would be labeled left wing.

    • Quoth the Raven 10.1

      NickC – I support a free-market, and I criticised the poster’s conflation of terms in my first comment. Though, I’m not so deluded to think that neo-liberals actually represent free-market policies. I would say H1tler was right wing and his policies did in no way represent free-market liberalism, but they did represent cronyism and corporatism – hallmarks of the right’s economic prescriptions. I say they’re right wing qualities and many would agree with me. As I’ve pointed out before my idea of the political spectrum is that of Karl Hess’. Karl Hess: The left right specturm.
      Here’s an article that relates to the faux free market principles of the neo-liberals: The Myth of the Minimalist State Free Market Ambiguities.

      • Brad Taylor 10.1.1

        The differences between left and right collectivism (i.e communism/socialism and fascism/corporatism) are pretty insignificant compared to the differences between collectivism and liberalism. ‘Neoliberalism’ as most people understand it is not in the slightest related to the collectivist right. The left/right distinction is pretty unhelpful when it lets you group (even if not fully equating) market liberalism and fascism.

        • Quoth the Raven 10.1.1.1

          That’s if you mean state collectivism – beware of setting up false dichotomies. Neoliberalism is certainly corporatist and statist and this can be gleamed from even a passing look at the economic history of the last few decades. The fact that it has liberalism attached is a perversity of history. What the neoliberals call “free market” is a very statist form of corporatism.

  11. This is a bizarre posting about which I make a couple of comments here.

  12. Jesus Fucking Christ. That might just be the stupidest thing I’ve ever read, and I once tried to read Naomi Klein. Keeping anonymous is a wise move.

  13. Nickc 13

    Im guessing that this post was done by Gideon Gono?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_Gono

  14. ben 14

    And now we’re censoring comments.

    Your blog of course, do what you want, but it tells us plenty about the thinking here.

  15. Brett Dale 15

    I’m sure when ever people think of democracy and capitalism, they think of Zimbabwe.

    • bobbity 15.1

      Just like people thinking of The Standard when ever you contemplate balanced posts.

  16. emmess 16

    You know when I ‘ve wanted to see what the oppposition were thinking I’ve always wondered why my blood has been able to tolerate reading the Greenies mouthpiece blog (frogblog) but not the supposedly moderate Labour parties’ mouthpiece blog.
    Now I know why, if this is the kind of fucked up “thinking” is being endorsed by the future of the Labour Party, you guys are well and truly fucked.

    • BLiP 16.1

      You’re the one fucked up if you think The Standard is a mouthpiece blog for the Labour Party.

      • Andrew 16.1.1

        Yea, keep repeating that line over and over to youself and eventually it will be true.

  17. emmess 17

    Well have a look at the About page for a start, you don’t even need to scratch any deeper than that

    • BLiP 17.1

      I did and it proves my point:

      What’s your political ‘angle’?

      We come from a variety of backgrounds and our political views don’t always match up but it’d be fair to say that all of us share a commitment to the values and principles that underpin the broad labour movement and we hope that perspective will come through strongly as you read the blog.

      There’s even a handy link there if you’re struggling with what that means. In fact, given some of the ideas expressed in this post, anyone who believes that this blog is a mouthpiece for the Labour Party doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about. That would be you.

      • bobbity 17.1.1

        http://www.michaelbassett.co.nz/articleview2.php?id=206&yh=2009&yl=2008

        “Then there was the establishment of a blog called The Standard. The Labour Party ran a weekly newspaper from 1934 to 1959 that published political material. It was subject to the normal journalistic standards of the time. But the new blog version made no pretence at following even the reduced journalistic standards of modern times. Registered to an address in Helen Clark’s electorate, and operating out of the Beehive under ministerial supervision, it gave an airing to innuendo and false stories that ministers hoped might get picked up by the mainstream media. They often did. Indeed, several gullible reporters happily took their leads from the Beehive’s dirty tricks brigade. I saw an email sent by Ruth Dyson that had clearly been prepared by her apparatchiks. It denounced me, and urged her mailing list to protest to a newspaper that was running my columns. I’m told that the apparatchiks watched the news, made it their business to pick up material, true or false, and fed lines to people like Brian Rudman of the Herald. The same dirty tricksters fabricated a story about John Key that had Mike Williams rushing to Melbourne to check records, only to return empty handed, and red-faced, just before the election. ”

        “The significance of all this is that New Zealand’s Labour dirty tricksters were all on the public payroll. They operated mostly from the Prime Minister’s Office where Helen Clark appeared to operate a kind of training school for younger versions of herself: people with degrees and absolutely no experience of life. Graduates of student politics, they regarded possession of the reins of power as some form of divine right. Mostly in their 20s, they were designated “advisers to the Prime Minister’. Since they had little general knowledge, and consequently nothing to advise with, they were paid good money, and put to work on dirty tricks. Several are now on Labour’s backbenches, where they are still being supported by the taxpayer. The Standard still exists, but it has been hollowed out by the end of the Beehive’s funding.”

        • BLiP 17.1.1.1

          FFS! Basset!! Why not provide a link to one of the fecal matter swimming in the sewer at KiwiBlog!

          • bobbity 17.1.1.1.1

            I s’pose it could all be cleared up very quickly if the contributors posted under their real names – only Lynn does so at the moment and he is very open about being an active Labour party member and on the selection committee for Mt Albert.

        • Bill 17.1.1.2

          . All that unintelligent conspiracy and paranoia from a former holder of reigns of power just confirms my view that representative parliamentary democracy is an environment inhabited….overcrowded… by some of the less talented and less intelligent expressions of human potential.

          Why do us apes keep on voting for monkeys? Everything they do (supposedly for our benefit) we could do for ourselves, only much, much better.

          • bobbity 17.1.1.2.1

            “….confirms my view that representative parliamentary democracy is an environment inhabited .overcrowded by some of the less talented and less intelligent expressions of human potential.”

            I don’t think you need to stop at parliamentary democracy .. there’s plenty of chimps at the councils and DHBs …… come to think of it that’s a tad insulting to chimps.

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