Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"Liberated" Zimbabwe (updated)

When tragedy strikes, it's not enough just to mourn, or to say things like  'that's the way the world goes' -- it's essential to make sense of the world and to guard against future tragedies that lessons are learned from tragedies, and applied in our own context, especially if the tragedies are man-made.

One contemporary disaster that is entirely man-made, and entirely avoidable, is the destruction of Zimbabwe and its people.  Ed Cline describes its demise:

    [O]nce the “breadbasket” of Africa when it was known as Rhodesia (and for a few years after its “liberation” from white rule)[, it] is now a destitute, starving nation whose citizens choose flight to neighboring states in search of food and employment. Nearly a third of the country’s 12 million population has fled.
    The life expectancy of males has dropped from 60 years to 37, and for women, to 34 years. Unemployment stands at over 80 percent...  Over more than a generation, since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, adult literacy has fallen from 90 percent to about 40 percent...  Inflation is currently measured at 150,000 percent and climbing; it takes a wheelbarrow of paper money to buy a small bag of flour, when it is available...
    Once second only to South Africa as the most prosperous economy in Africa, Mugabe has reduced Zimbabwe to a condition only a slightly better than the Darfur region of the Sudan...

The country has gone from breadbasket to basket case in less than a generation, and there are many, many lessons to be drawn from that.  Ed Cline draws them in a succinct and pointed essay at his Rule of Reason blog: “Liberation” Ideology in Practice.  (If you're impatient, you might like to scroll down to the word 'Obama.')

UPDATE:  From breadbasket to basket case, and stolen election to an election now being stolen -- "a violent crackdown on opposition supporters ... and a cowed judiciary seem to be helping one of Africa’s longest serving dictators to live another day" reports Kenya's Daily Nation -- but South African president Thabo Mbeki insists there is "no crisis" here, nothing to see, move along, move along.  Mbeki made his "no crisis" comment after meeting with Robert Mugabe en route to a UN Security Council meeting that he chaired, and at which he managed to keep the issue of Zimbabwe's troubles off the agenda. 

Mbeki it will be remembered, achieved fame a few years ago for telling global media that

he does not know of anyone who has died of HIV-Aids in his own country, where about 6 million people are living with and are dying of HIV-Aids-related complications.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Annie Fox! said...

South Africa not doing so well at the moment either. With Jacob Zuma coming to power soon, more SA's are leaving or trying to remove money as quickly as they can. The Reserve Bank of SA is holding up monetary transactions because of the volume - so I've been told.

4/16/2008 06:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well that is an interesting article isn't it.
Sound's like Obama's mentor could slide into Labour or in particular the Maori Party.

4/16/2008 07:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Elijah Lineberry said...

I feel so sad about the situation in Rhodesia.

It is the perfect example of why granting independence to colonies was a foolish and unfortunate policy, and all throughout Africa, once independence was granted, certain Leaders showed they could not organise a 'piss up in a brewery'!

Everyone should have listened to Ian Smith 30 years ago as he warned what would happen if thugs and criminals took over.

4/16/2008 07:27:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

Thugs and criminals and marxists.

4/16/2008 10:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zimbabwe now, South Africa in less than 15 years. In the last 10 years more than 300,000 people have been murdered there, including 3000 farmers [1119 being white]. The ANC government's response? Disarm -via the Firearms Control Act-the farmer commando groups that protect each other. In 1994 there were 85,000 farmers producing off 8% of the land. Today less than 10,000 off 0.76%.

Mbeki and the ANC are another Mugabe. He just can't do it while the whites are armed. I take heart from the fact our old sporting adversaries have got something lacking in NZ; the guts to defend themselves from simian socialists. But they do face an uphill fight

4/16/2008 11:22:00 pm  
Blogger Annie Fox! said...

Elijah, tried to email you the other day, but your email isn't working. Can you send me your new one.

4/17/2008 10:44:00 am  
Blogger The Pamphlet said...

I'm not to sure that article can be trusted in full. It does however present some facts that people should research, but the fact that it's on the Weblog for the Advancement of Capitalism shakes my security a little. Yes, Obama is more left than the Hillary, but that's the point. I think democrats are becoming more and more afraid to leave the center. Soon We'll have two party's filled with the exact same people. Actually, we basically already do.

4/19/2008 06:54:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rhodesia was not capitalism Peter. Property rights were not respected and the British bankrupted the native Rhodesians/Blacks or whatever is the correct word, by taxing them 10 shillings per hut to pay for their exploits.

The racism in Rhodesia had to be seen to be believed according to my source. British used to run over blacks on the street and not stop. They used to shout out "Get off the footpath you black bastard". Men who were quite reasonable people from the UK turned into hateful bigots within 3 months - proof that you become like the company you keep.

I presume Cline was laughing when he wrote that piece. I can connect you with a British gentleman who worked as part of British Telecom in Rhodesia for may years it you want a TRUE account of the country - and of how Britain enabled Mugabe.

Colonialism if NOT good.

4/20/2008 04:42:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

anon-

Indeed, Rhodesia under Smith wasn't a place you'd want to be if you were black, but the situation -for everyone- is so much worse in Zimbabwe now.

However, I believe that the current situation in Zimbabwe is caused by socialism and tribalism, not de-colonization.

"In the last 10 years more than 300,000 people have been murdered there, including 3000 farmers"

Yes, SA is going the same way. SA's murder rate, per capita, is 121 times NZ's rate.

4/21/2008 11:29:00 am  

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