Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Zimbabwe, The ANC And The Dead End of Revenge Politics
So Mugabe has resigned. Zimbabwe and Mugabe stand as lessons against Black power or Black Nationalist ideologies that rely on revenge as a long term policy. I have no problem admitting that in my younger days (some of which includes days far far away from what we'd call "youth") I had little problem with the idea of offing the settler and returning the land. Seriously. Matter of fact, I would be highly suspect of any black person who took the issues of colonialism seriously to not have had an agreement with such policies because I think any people, deprived of their land and liberty should have a reflexive human reaction to want to exact revenge and retribution. Where I and many of my contemporaries part ways is that I took, and take, nationalism seriously. Nationalism, Garveyite Pan-Africanism in particular to me were not a mere means of establishing self esteem at the cost of "white devils" and the like. I wanted, and want Africans to run their own ship and I want them to do it successfully. This meant that I took a great deal of time to think through issues. For example, What would be the national language of a Pan-African government? What do you do with groups who don't want to partake? What would be the qualifications for citizenship? Would it extend to black countries in the Caribbean? If so how do we integrate the economies? What of African-Americans who are culturally pretty far removed from continental Africans? What would the role of Islam be in such a country? Christianity? What economic system would be put in place? Since Africa is so huge would it be better to have regional governors? Would a "grand council" be better than single executive? Etc. etc. etc. I was concerned with governance, not with "where da white farmers at"? Unfortunately too many people in power in Africa, particularly directly after colonialism hadn't really through through the long term issue of actual governance. Instead they acted on their (understandable) wish to get back at those who had excluded them (and worse). But that doesn't run a country. That is not economic policy. To be fair to Mugabe and Zimbabwe, England had a part in the death spiral of Zimbabwe. It had agreed to land transfers where England would compensate the farmers. It reneged on that agreement and that was wrong. Period. Then came Zidera Which hurt the citizens of Mugabe rather than Mugabe himself who, along with his wife, continued to fly to Europe and spend massive amounts of money. Mugabe perhaps only rivaled by Mobutu. In the end though, it was the failure to actually govern. To establish rule of law. To smartly deal with the inflamed passions of the people that brought down Zimbabwe. The same is happening in South Africa under the ANC. Here again we see the killing of white farmers which brings absolutely no benefits whatsoever to South Africa or even to those who do the killings other than the emotional release of having gotten revenge. The ANC is literally running on policies that cuts off the hand it wishes to use to eat. In all of this, a new colonial master has moved in. Their attitude is currently "do whatever you want, just make sure we get our shit." Currently the focus on Europeans have blinded Africans to this new colonialism. The Chinese may have to worry about what happens when there are no more Europeans around for Zimbabweans to blame for their problems. But that's a whole other blog post. So in the end we see that revenge politics is a dead end. Whether that be in Zimbabwe or in America. Revenge politics does nothing to address the internal issues that hold back black communities and once the target of the revenge politics are removed even the temporary esteem boost that revenge politics fueled will give way to feelings of inadequacy and more violence and problems as new "oppressors" and "oppressions" are made of classes within black communities are created to distract from the mis-leadership.