Tag Archives: Land Reform

U.S. Senator comes clean on Zimbabwe sanctions

Zanu-PF supporters march against imperialist sanctions.

The following article by Stephen Gowans is from his blog, What’s Left:

The received wisdom among Western governments, journalists and some concerned progressive scholars is that there have been no broad-based, economic sanctions imposed upon Zimbabwe. Instead, in their view, there are only targeted sanctions, with limited effects, aimed at punishing President Robert Mugabe and the top leadership of the Zanu-PF party. The sanctions issue, they say, is a red herring Mugabe and his supporters use to divert attention from the true cause of Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown: redistribution of land from white commercial farmers to hundreds of thousands of indigenous families, a program denigrated as “economic mismanagement”.

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Zimbabwe after 30 years of independence: Indigenization & gender equality on agenda

President Robert Mugabe

The following article by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire, is from Workers World:

Against all odds the southern African nation of Zimbabwe is celebrating its 30th year of independence from British settler-colonialism.

In February and early March of 1980, nationwide elections were held inside the former Rhodesia, named after racist colonialist Cecil Rhodes, in which the two leading national liberation movements, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the Zimbabwe African People’s Union-Patriotic Front, won the overwhelming majority of votes leading to the recognition by the international community of an independent state on April 18 of that year.

The elections grew out of a 14-year armed struggle waged by the African majority against the Rhodesian state headed by Prime Minister Ian Smith. After tremendous gains were made in the national liberation war during the late 1970s, the U.S. and British imperialism pressured the Smith regime to negotiate an end to the war.

These talks held in December 1979 resulted in what became known as the Lancaster House Agreements. A ceasefire was declared, and 16,500 guerrillas from the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, which was the armed wing of ZANU-PF, and 5,500 fighters from the Zimbabwe African People’s Revolutionary Army, the military section of ZAPU-PF, returned to the country.

The survival of Zimbabwe as an independent country committed to the empowerment of the African majority as well as an anti-imperialist foreign policy is a testament to the unity and fortitude of the ZANU-PF party, which merged with ZAPU-PF in late 1987. Over the last decade, since the imposition of the Third Chimurenga — a radical land reform policy that seized control of half of the farm land previously controlled by white settlers even after national independence — the Western imperialist states have enacted sanctions against the country and its leadership.

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African American Farmers Win in Battle with U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

The following article by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire, is being reposted here from Workers World:

After more than a decade of struggle
African-American farmers win compensation

On Feb. 18, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the latest settlement to provide compensation and resources to African-American farmers. An organization that represents African-American farmers, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund — founded in 1967 — welcomed the announced settlement.

Demonstrations took place during February in support of the demands put forward by African-American farmers seeking an end to land loss and the racist policies of the USDA, which have driven millions of people from the rural areas of the South for decades. Rallies were held in Washington, D.C.; Little Rock, Ark.; Memphis, Tenn.; Jackson, Miss.; Montgomery, Ala.; Columbus, Ga.; Columbia, S.C.; and Richmond, Va.

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India: A Year of Struggle in Lalgarh

The following article is from Sanhati:

A Year of Lalgarh
Partho Sarathi Ray, Sanhati

Lalgarh – the name resonates in the hearts and minds of struggling people all over India: adivasis and dalits, farmers and fisherfolk, workers and students. In West Bengal it has taken its place along with Singur and Nandigram in songs and slogans of resolve and resistance. Wherever people are fighting for their livelihoods and their dignity, resisting the onslaught of state and capital, Lalgarh now provides inspiration and courage. Most importantly, for the long-oppressed adivasis, Lalgarh has already entered the annals of legendary struggles of the likes of the santhal “hul” led by Sidhu and Kanhu, and the historic rebellions led by the likes of Birsha Munda, Tilka Majhi and Chand Bhairab.

It has been just over a year since the unprecedented uprising of the adivasi people took place in Lalgarh, triggered by the brutal police raids in the wake of the land mine attack on chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya’s convoy. It is a good time to look back on this year, and to learn our lessons from Lalgarh.

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The Peasant Question and its Relation to the Leninist Theory of Revolution of Two-Stages

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas - Peasant Movement of the Philippines

The following article was sent to The Marxist-Leninist by the author, Butch S. Espere:

The Peasant Question and its Relation to the Leninist Theory of Revolution of Two-Stages

By Butch S. Espere

(Author’s Note: This article, a spin-off from notes made by the author for a discussion forum at the International People’s College, Helsingor, Denmark, aims to trace the line of development of Lenin’s theory on the agrarian and peasant question in Russia, especially on the matter of how he arrived at the idea of nationalization of land as a line in the agrarian programme of the Russian Revolution and how the question is at the core of his theory of 2-stage revolution.)

Line of development of Lenin’s theory on the agrarian and peasant question:

In 1895, Lenin wrote The Development of Capitalism in Russia. In this article, he advanced the social analysis that Russia was already a capitalist society, demolishing the Narodniki myth of a “unique Russian case”. This laid the theoretical basis for the call that the proletarian revolution could already be launched in Russia.

In 1898, Lenin wrote The Tasks of Russian Social Democrats, a polemics against the “Economists” ensconced in Rabocheyo Mysl. This article broached of the democratic tasks of the proletarian revolution, prefiguring his theory of the proletarian revolution of two stages.

1901-1904:

When Lenin joined the editorial board of Iskra right after his release from Siberian prison, there were two things that engrossed his mind and to which he devoted his revolutionary energy. One was how to unite the scattered circles of Marxists (previously known as social democrats) around his idea of establishing a party that would act as the political centre of the working class movement. But it did not end there. Lenin’s idea of a party was that of a single whole, one that is united in a common programme, a common goal, and common strategy for reaching that goal.  

Lenin talking with peasants

At the time he was sketching his plan to realize the establishment of a party, the Marxists who were scattered in so many small circles inside and outside of Russia spoke in so many tongues, some of them championing ideas that, to Lenin’s sharp eyes, placed obstacles to the immediate launching of the Russian revolution. One strand which expressed this divergence of thought was on the issue: in the given alignment of class forces in Russia, with whom should the proletariat forge alliance in launching the Russian revolution?. The majority of Marxists in Russia, Plekhanov included, answered this question, “of course, with the bourgeoisie!”  

Lenin believed otherwise. At this time, he was still to develop the strategy for the course and direction of the Russian revolution but it was already clear to him that such alliance did not lie with the bourgeoisie. He perceived early that given the conditions and character of Russian society, it could not have produced a bourgeoisie strong enough to lead even its own (bourgeois) revolution. He therefore cast the lot of the proletariat with the peasantry. This was his second concern when he was into drafting the programme of the party and it was to this that he turned his writings on the agrarian and peasant question.  

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Video: Nepal Torch Rally and General Strike

The following is a video of the torch rally and General Strike in response to the killing of Maoist activists by the police.

Maoists Hold General Strike Accross Nepal

The following article is from the bourgeois press service, AFP:

General strike in Nepal over Maoists’ deaths
(AFP)

KATHMANDU — Nepal’s opposition Maoists on Sunday called a nationwide general strike to protest against the deaths of party activists in a clash with police, further raising tensions in the Himalayan nation.

Demonstrators burned tyres on the streets of the capital Kathmandu and set fire to cars and motorbikes, while shops and offices remained shut on Sunday — usually a working day in Nepal.

The Maoists’ action was sparked by the deaths of at least four party supporters in a clash Friday with armed police in the west of the country, where landless people had occupied a large area of government-owned land.

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Lessons of Zimbabwe

2366936986_4894c33587_mThe following is by Mahmood Mamdani and was posted at the London Review of Books. I am reposting it here because it confronts head-on many of the attacks against ZANU-PF and Robert Mugabe and provides an interesting analysis of the role of imperialism in the class struggles in Zimbabwe:

It is hard to think of a figure more reviled in the West than Robert Mugabe. Liberal and conservative commentators alike portray him as a brutal dictator, and blame him for Zimbabwe’s descent into hyperinflation and poverty. The seizure of white-owned farms by his black supporters has been depicted as a form of thuggery, and as a cause of the country’s declining production, as if these lands were doomed by black ownership. Sanctions have been imposed, and opposition groups funded with the explicit aim of unseating him.

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