Zimbabwe: Thoughts on Socialist Perspectives


By Daud Sibanda, Zimbabwe, 25 July 2019




Give the never-ending series of neoliberal attacks, one wonders that at what point are the poor people of Zimbabwe going to wake up and see that the measures being implemented are not meant to help them but instead these measures are meant to reduce them to beggars, who will always depend on the imperial comprador regimes and their masters for everything.


I guess this should be the task of the left ideologically conscious cadres and at the moment this seems to be a bankrupt conception. What is compounding our problem is that, whoever rises to question the wisdom of implementing neoliberal policies and who ever differs with the state on how the economy and politics should be conducted is incarcerated. Currently we have four activists who were nabbed from the airport coming from a seminar, and are being accused of plotting to subvert a so-called constitutionally elected government.


The level of paranoia which has gripped the ruling comprador elite regime has risen and reached alarming levels and has become very toxic, to an extent of thinking that every citizen who differs with them wants to remove them from power. This is not surprising though as it is a clear indication of what their rule is all about. It is just about clinging on to power and continuous looting and abuse of national resources and that of serving the imperial masters, without any shame or care of the effects and reparations thereof. It is up to the poor people the affected to think of the way forward and dig themselves out of the deep hole they have been thrown and buried into by the ruling elite.


Zimbabwean people have been reduced to paupers, by neoliberal fanatics who think that all economic solutions are solved by neoliberal austerity measures. Instead the Zimbabwean economy requires internal national solutions that address social problems faced by the ordinary people. These solutions require the state to first take control of the natural resources, exploit them for the benefit of the local market and to channel some of the resources towards the revival of the industries and farming. Promote home grown social programs, revive infrastructure, start trading intensively with other regional states. Production should be for local consumption first then sustainability, not profitability.


All of this points to one thing, what Karl Marx and many other philosophers inclined to the socialist ideology have been saying to the world and the world has not been listening. Only socialism can save this world from its own destructive ways and methods and systems. A world of equality and parity is possible and can only be realized when the people of the world discard the system of capitalism and all its vices.


This is not an easy thing to achieve but it can be done. Capitalism only serves but a few elites who have made it to the top through the exploitation of many. Thus if these many exploited unite and see from the same eye what is really happening to them, then can socialism be a reality. Firstly, the many exploited should unite from a national perspective, and challenge the comprador regimes installed by the imperial forces. This can only be achieved through a total revolution, total overthrow of the ruling elite and their systems, total shattering of the comprador bourgeoisie hegemony and control of the state and all other economic and political systems. Reconstruction of all system to suit the socialist narrative and outlook.


Constant guarding and building of a strong socialist system, just like what capitalism has done with their system. Treating everything as we are at war, and not being complacent and having illusions that capitalists can reform. Ensuring that the socialist ideology dominates all the areas of life and everyone and cleansing the world of all capitalists’ values and ideas and defeating those ideas outright. This is not a walk in the park though, it requires all socialist revolutionaries to be united and in sync and never faltering in any way because counter revolutionaries will always be there and very strong indeed as we have witnessed it in the countries that have attempted to reform capitalism.


Socialism is the enemy of capitalism, hence this is expected to be a brutal war, not like what other so called social democrats think when they are dealing with capitalism and attempting to reform it – this is delusional and a futile exercise. War is the only thing that will take down capitalism, war in every area, be it ideological, economic and political and military offensive. Huge resources are required in order to achieve this. Thus socialists should start learning to invest in the revolution and all its requirements and not having this donor dependency syndrome that is keeping them under the grip and spell of capitalism. Yes, socialist have been reduced to paupers but with collective effort, resources can be mobilized towards revolution and achievement of the socialist objectives. Every method should be used to acquire and seize resources.


It seems also that idealism informs the decision making processes of socialists, emotions and religious morality drives most of the actions and decisions made by socialists when planning for revolution and dealing with capitalists. Whereas the opposite is true for the capitalists: they treat socialists as enemies of war and at times label them as terrorists and deal with them as such


It is high time socialists also smell the coffee and heed the advice of the socialists philosophers who always criticized idealism represented by religion as a tool to manipulate and dominate the poor people. Socialists should act as if they are at war always. In most African countries religion has been domesticated in their constitutions making it a national and traditional dominant part of life of all the people of the land. This is how imperial colonialism has shaped most of their colonial subjects in order to maintain their hegemony remotely by creating a false sense of democracy and freedom while they have left systems in place that ensure their continuous dominance and rule.


This is the major cause why socialists’ revolutions have failed to materialize. They play on the conscious of socialists and always create a sense of morality about what is wrong and right to do, and about how they should fight a clean war without killing and hurting. Yet capitalism does not even pause to think twice when dealing with socialist subjects. Socialists resort to ritualistic activism and lobbying, and capitalists have become accustomed to this, because it is their creation in the first place, to keep socialists and other opposing elements in check and within their framework of control. NGOs also play a major role in ensuring capitalism remains intact and in continuous control, all of these are instruments created and used by capitalism to maintain its hegemony.


In light of this, what then should socialists do? I say that socialists should also plan and strategize and come up with their own tools and methods of fighting back and taking control in order to install the system of socialism.


This should be the major objective of socialists nationally and internationally. All effort should be put to foster unity and to push socialists’ ideas and to recruit and train as many cadres as possible. Also massive effort should be made to show the world that capitalism is the only alternative to capitalism. Meaningful and powerful platforms should be created by socialists so as to be able to effectively communicate and interact towards building a powerful socialist revolutionary movement nationally and internationally.


The situation in Zimbabwe is not unique to Zimbabweans but I have noted that world over, methods of dominance and oppression and exploitation are the same but disguised as different to confuse people so that they fail to find common cause to unite. However to fight individual ineffective battles which do no harm or damage to the system capitalism but keep people under the control of the system of capitalism. All over the world people suffer under the same system, people face the same predicaments, austerity measures implemented that hurt the people are the same. Poverty is the same, capitalists’ dominance is the same, inequality is the same, multi-national corporations’ environmental degradation with impunity is the same. Price hikes are the same. Corruption is the same, world over the working class is exploited and expropriated the same way.


Capitalism is continuing and reinventing while socialism is stagnant and no one is innovating it or finding ways to revive and present it to the world in a more upgraded and improved way in order to pose it as a challenge to capitalism. Capitalism has been tried and tested and people believe in it. Thus socialists should work hard to modify and improve socialism and present it to the people as a solid system informed by past historic mistakes made, and also informed by the bad aspects of capitalism. Socialists should stop playing good boy and start acting bold and firm and take on capitalism head on. Concrete action should be taken to begin to work on steps to challenge the current system of capitalism.


From the modes of production presented by Marx, we should learn how the systems have fallen and new ones risen. Elements contributing to the rise and fall of modes of production should be studied and observed and improved and implemented in order to defeat capitalism as it did with other systems.


This did not just happen on its own, it involved people and the realization that the system was not working and they were being oppressed and exploited hence the need to revolt and destroy the bad system.


In conclusion, we may cry, bicker, whine and complain endlessly but what’s required is that we should draw lessons from history. This should inform us on how to fight the system of capitalism and how to bring about into power the system of socialism in the 21st century going forward. Karl Max said workers of the world unite. He didn’t mean just mere unity, but unity of purpose, in order to effectively fight this solid sophisticated system of capitalism and which requires a closely neat unity with no airspace for any intrusions. Unity that brings together all the proletariat, the oppressed and underprivileged groups in any way possible. Unity that makes us realize that everything that is done to us, the bad is done to keep us poor and in order not to rise above the few elites favored by the current system of capitalism. Working as a collective should be our ultimate aim in our respective countries and internationally. Identity politics has been created to keep us apart, and this realization should drive us together. Divisions amongst ourselves should be sorted out and settled.


Currently there is no socialist state as envisioned by Karl Marx and other predecessor socialist philosophers. If we all agree on this and start working towards bringing real socialism to the world we will be able to conquer capitalism. This means we should ignore illusions and distractions created by capitalism. The big question is how do we do this in the advent of clear big rifts among socialists and the poor affected people in general? If only we could find ourselves and each other, and strike a common cord in the middle of this brutal adversity that is threatening to continuously confine us in the dark world of oblivion forever, a world which is fueled by capitalism and enhanced by its vices with its toxic environment that has infected us and confused us.


I am sure there is this one thing that is very common among us all, which at the moment seems elusive due to many obstacles thrown our way by capitalism and its agents, mainly the media, religion the education systems and the content we have been exposed to. The intellect we seek seems to be an obstacle too, we tend to try and understand the world in an awkward way to suit our own selfish aggrandizement leading to the squandering of the opportunity to change the world to the better and rid it of this evil bad beast devouring it daily gradually and threatening the extinction of everything. I wonder why that does not scare us. The debate and differences amongst us about imperialism and non-imperial states and the daily attacks we make on each other instead of focusing on fighting the real enemy is taxing the revolution in a very big way. If only we could expend that energy in trying to find ways to fight and bring down this beast called imperial capital, we would be doing the world and ourselves a great favor.


There is no point in trying to outsmart each other and also trying to display who understands a lot about imperialism, neoliberalism, capitalism this and that, if it’s not going to help us take down the monster and change the world. All that effort is futile and the suffering will continue while we continue bickering and quarreling endlessly and aimlessly. We continue to carry out demonstrations and strikes and other ritualistic actions that are thwarted by the enemy, and we are learning nothing from that.


We have an example in Sudan, where the imperial powers and the comprador regimes have teamed up to protect their interest and lured the revolutionary subjects to a deal that only benefits the system that has always existed. This is what we cannot do as socialists, to find common cause and team up to deal with capitalism the way capitalists do in order to deal with dissenting voices especially when threatened by socialism, they put aside all differences and fight together as one formidable force.


We need to begin suffocating the system of capitalism and ensuring that it doesn’t grow and spread any further while we try to take it down. We need to create powerful ideas that will knock down the current dominant ideas of the ruling elite and also create alternative formidable tools that will spread this socialist propaganda that will rival the current ruling ideas of the ruling elite class this will ensure that these ideas are accepted at large among people of different classes. This is what we should be seized with instead of expending the little energy we have in fighting each other. It is time we have our own powerful media houses, powerful entertainment media that captures and depicts the socialist narrative in an appealing way, music that portrays socialism as the only best thing that can happen to humanity.


We should also begin to mobilize resources towards building of social programs at grassroots level among the people as evidence of how the real socialist system works and provide practical evidence that it is a good system. And also carry out many more socialist activities and programs based on socialist values at a larger scale worldwide and in unity, working together in our different realities and coordinating and coming up with international organizations of socialists that will rival the likes of world Bank, IMF and other imperial institutions. This will build power for the socialists so as to be a force to reckon with, capable of challenging the current system at its core. Instead of trying to convince people with mere words it is time for meaningful action on the ground.