Zimbabwe reflections

A recent debate at Larvatus Prodeo brought to mind the exposure of Lemingist sects in The Life of Brian: “What did the Romans ever do for us?” The enlarging mirror at LP took the form of a well mannered pseudo-leftist, articulately holding to a consistently reactionary position with regard to Zimbabwe. Basically this fellow (John Tracey) supports Mugabe. The LP bloggers took him to task. But did they actually see their own features in that mirror?

‘No Mark, the developed nations standard of living is obscene and the root cause of African poverty.’ Oh dear.

When John Tracey didn’t stun people into silence he often forced them into distorting his position because much of what he bases his views on is what they themselves have argued for on LP. ( ie support for ‘small is beautiful’ right-wing green policies such as Perma-culture, rather than modern industrialized farming; defence of reactionary sovereignty rather than a developing internationalism; promoting ‘cultural exceptional-ism’ rather than being unequivocally in favour of universal human rights)

But on the issue of Zimbabwe, the regular bloggers at LP cannot stoop so low as to abandon the people of Zimbabwe and their struggle for democracy (nothing more than bourgeois democracy). In the crystallized situation that we see in Zimbabwe, LP regulars have chosen the correct side. They want the tyranny there to be brought to an end.Theoretically, John Tracey must also oppose tyranny, however his blinkered incapacity to see any progressive features in the bourgeois revolution that is required at this time and place puts him objectively on the side of a tyrant.

In posting in so detailed and such an intellectually consistent manner, John Tracey has done well. He has caused everyone to pause and shake their heads. How can such a view be described as left? Yet innocent novices who come across such reactionary twaddle mistake it for just that, and then quickly reject the ‘left’. But in doing so they are simply rejecting the quintessential pseudo-left and quite frankly, rejecting individuals suffering from a disorder. I don’t make that last comment flippantly either.

The thread that I am referring to became a monster thread http://larvatusprodeo.net/2008/06/18/zimbabwe/ and as the comments unfolded it became impossible to miss the total disconnect between John Tracey and reality characterised by his belief in himself and his abilities, as a substitute for any attempt to engage seriously with people who were making an argument against his stance.

Disbelief was palpable in the way the LP regulars responded to JT. Yet his conservative defense of Zimbabwean tyranny against international efforts of bourgeois forces to end it, with the required launching of a bourgeois democratic revolution is something that should be entirely familiar to them! They are caught on the horns of a dilemma. They appear to want intervention or at least are prepared to seriously discuss the issue in the case of this unfolding African nightmare (with Rwanda obviously in people’s minds), yet they are unanimous in their opposition to supporting or defending the democratic revolution in Iraq.

On the issue of Afghanistan they are pretty well reduced to silence since their beloved Rudd government still keeps the troops wandering around the wilds without the slightest evidence of any strategy with even a vague hope of ending that war in a victory.

John Tracey’s ‘open, honest, and above board’ comments (before they degenerated into more obvious delusional rants), while tedious, ought to have reminded everyone that one can construct all manner of clever arguments for not standing up for the oppressed against the oppressor but in doing so one leaves behind any left politics. However the issue of oppressor and oppressed has been consistently fudged at LP with most of the liberals, greens, and pseudo-lefts regularly hiding behind either a phony pacifism, or the pretence that no-one in Iraq is worthy of any support.

Amazingly, in the Zimbabwe thread, John Tracey called the Iraqi government and the politicians elected in the free and fair elections there ‘puppets’ and no one told him that this was rubbish! Mark, Katz, Kim etc all kept silent, as well they might.

I think they must now be starting to realize that such a view really is rubbish the Iraqi politicians are anything but puppets. However LP’ers still don’t dare call John Tracey’s bluff on this because of their failure to aid the Iraqi people in the past so they have just gone silent. The bourgeois revolution is now up and running in the Middle East. They failed to support the start of this revolution and they haven’t yet faced the task of revising their positions. But they are supporting it in Zimbabwe, so that’s a start….

After the difficult years of setbacks and slow progress in Iraq and Palestine (I ought to have been placing far greater emphasis on the protracted nature of this revolutionary war from the very beginning), a greater silence has begun to descend as the outline of these victories now emerge on the political horizon.

In my experience people who get a political issue wrong don’t often put their hand up and say “I was wrong”; nevertheless a change takes place and it starts once they are not able to think about the issue in the old way. As the confusion of emotions takes hold they go quiet and drift away from commenting on the issue. That is the phase that many in the shrinking anti-war movement are entering now, as progress in both Iraq and Palestine becomes harder to ignore.

John Tracey, apart from being a troubled mind is naturally, not any sort of genuine leftist at all. He is a classic green opponent of revolution; he hates the bourgeois forces and is delighted to put forward policies that would keep tyrants in place. But even a troubled mind can play a useful role when the result is shock therapy for people confronting a stark contrast in their attitudes to the protection of Zimbabweans and Iraqis.

Close to seven years after 9/11 and clearly neck deep into the struggle to bring bourgeois democracy to the Middle East along comes Zimbabwe and people are now prepared to screw their brain back in and think about the problems involved in overthrowing an armed tyrant. This is very good progress.

Compare to the foolishness of last year.




I think a united-front in opposition to the anti-democratic forces in Zimbabwe is called for. Armed forces must be ready to act, and governments around the world should be assisting the neighboring states of southern Africa prepare for a speedy intervention as well as joining them militarily. I acknowledge this would be more complicated than just a speedy act of liberation and would require years of restructuring and political reforms driven by an MDC (“Movement for Democratic Change” ) of some sort, so I am glad the Zimbabweans have one to start from.

What I know for certain is that I do not want to say nothing and turn my back as the bourgeois forces did when Rwanda broke wide open.  If people think it won’t get as bad as Rwanda they are probably right. But they ought to conceive of being wrong and prepare accordingly.

At any rate the much smaller numbers being beaten and hacked to death now for daring to vote the wrong way deserve soldiers to protect them NOW

John Tracey was quite right when he wrote;

‘It is unrealistic to expect this national revolutionary infrastructure to dissolve itself because its political opposition wins an election.’

People posting and commenting at LP are looking to the future in Zimbabwe and are realistically assuming that the bloodshed will get worse as the regime clings to power via ‘the barrel of a gun’. Mark who, as I recall, supports the armed struggle being waged in the wilds of Afghanistan (and the Australian intervention in East Timor) prides himself on being realistic, as do Katz and Kim. So we can assume that they all expect such a bloody tyranny to use whatever levels of violence it deems necessary against any sections of the Zimbabwean population that challenges “…this national (what I would term counter) revolutionary infrastructure…”’ for power.

Now that they have declared that they are not handing over political power via any method of voting, we can therefore ‘cast away illusions and prepare for struggle’. ZANU PF will not be defeated without armed struggle. Mugabe may well die soon but that won’t end the tyranny. Barbarism will continue and because free and fair elections can no longer be held, power will if not prevented, pass to the next tyrant.

Many in the west, especially those with an ‘anti-war’ and ‘anti-imperialist’ background will just shrug their shoulders and wish it wasn’t so. Some, perhaps most, will advocate that the unarmed masses in Zimbabwe liberate themselves and proclaim loudly that that is the only way it can be done; that there are no short cuts, and that the enormous difficulties and resultant casualties will just have to be lived with.

But others will advocate for armed intervention by the regional powers, notably South Africa.

I’m in favor of urgent military intervention, but I regret that the military intervention that I advocate and believe will ultimately eventuate, will not be anywhere near urgent enough!

I think a call by progressives urging the Australian government to send a military commission to southern African states to assist with contingency planning and pre-positioning of forces and material that may (but in my view will) become necessary is a no-brainer.

Australia has a reactionary government of backward looking millionaires and yuppies, so we can expect them to be late with support, and offer little. Offering instead miserable ‘sound bytes’ rather than preparing public opinion for the required effort. But progressive activists ought to at least ‘hold the blow torch to their bellies’. The slaughter has started already so nobody will be able to say later when it gets worse that they didn’t know even the very basics of what to do. We do know that contingency forces must be prepared now. We have seen sufficient atrocities unfold on the African continent to realize that international forces must prepare to step in and stop it.

A bloody crisis has arisen and Australia has a very large role to play (because we are capable of rendering assistance and it would be a crime not to). Bourgeois forces must help develop bourgeois norms throughout the world. Industrialized people who will not defend such a pathetic level of democracy in a timely manner (and do so in a global context rather than in a retreat from international responsibilities) could not possibly hope to go beyond this to any bright future (socialist or otherwise, and with or without cooler or warmer changes in the weather).

Defending the vote is basic stuff. This tyrant ought to be made to pay a consequence in order to intimidate tyrants the world over! Ending tyranny across the globe ought to be the goal of anyone claiming the title of progressive, but the way we eat such a large meal is as usual ‘mouthful by mouthful’. This mouthful is now before us and we either eat it or abandon the concept of progressive politics and slink off with John Tracey denouncing the horrors of the era of modernity we live in and the vast opportunities that industrialization provides (because ‘the planet’ won’t allow it no less!).

No leftist could remain silent in the face of this blatant attack on the basic democratic rights of people. It can’t be that the U.S., British, and Australian administrations could speak louder or clearer in support of the people in Africa than those who define their politics fundamentally as standing with the oppressed against the oppressor.

While people are still coming to terms with why a ‘Movement for Democratic Change’ is required, it’s well to remember that although it’s valid to criticize actual policies of the MDC as it exists, that criticism must be in the context of support for the majority parties forming the government. People can then remind us that in addition to free and fair elections a civil society is also required if a true democracy is to be defended, but they must remind us of this in the context of their support for voting and respect for its outcome!

John Tracey has provided a shock therapy for progressive political forces to address the question ‘who are our friends and who are our enemies’. His criticisms require detailed refutation and the anti-democratic foundations driving such thinking must be exposed along with vacuous anti- imperialism.

However, I do not believe he ought to be condemned to the category of enemy just yet. There are still large sections of the Zimbabwean population that are voting for ZANU and they have to be divided and divided again. The job is to unite the many to defeat the few. We should isolate the few beneficiaries of this tyranny. John Tracey is no such beneficiary although his views are toxic.

‘Democracy (he writes), is that process by which a citizen puts a mark on a piece of paper every several years is a British cultural structure and mythology imposed onto Africa. It is the democratic constitution itself that until recently entrenched white control of land in Zimbabwe.’…This ritual of choosing politicians in no way provides the structure for the will of the people to be expressed and executed, it is simply the justification, the authorisation of an elite to govern on its own terms and priorities.’

These views (utterly rejected in the case of Zimbabwe by LP posters) actually reflect the position many have taken toward the democratic government in Iraq. John Tracy believes the MDC are puppets just as he thinks the politicians in Afghanistan and Iraq (and even East Timor) are, and he has made a consistent criticism of the ways these forces have co-operated with imperialists.

As the democratically elected government of Iraq drive the men in black off the streets of Basra etc, people who formally expressed views like; ‘Don’t you see the genius of Moqtada’s political manoeuvres?’ are still coming to terms with how they got it so terribly wrong. Within another eighteen months we will see the next scheduled elections in Iraq and most of the world will welcome this for what it is – actual progress and part of the real process in turning another part of the globe into a place even remotely fit for human habitation.

It’s correct that democracy means more than just free and fair elections but it’s also true that it does not mean less than that.

14 Responses to “Zimbabwe reflections”

  1. 1 Ian Curr
  2. 2 John Tracey

    Hello Patrick,

    I find it amazing that a socialist can be calling for military intervention to support the interests of 4000 white families and their international backers against the native title rights and capacity for prosperity of 12,000,000 indigenous Zimbabweans.

    The discussion on LP was exhausting enough and I won’t repeat it here but I hope your readers read it to put your comments in perspective.

    However a point I repeated over and over again on LP is that despite your caracature I never said I supported Mugabe and go I go into some detail as to why he was a puppet of England and the World Bank until the war veterans began occupying farms and threatened war against Mugabe if he didn’t legislate for land reform after resisting it since independence.

    I did say I would vote for ZANU PF though, because it is the only party with a policy for land reform.  Your assesment of ZANU PF, apart from dismissing nearly half of the Zimbabwe population as stupid, is straight out of Rupert Murdoch’s vision.  Your comments that ZANU PF must be divided and divided again indicates the deep colonialism inherent in your perspective.

    You totally ignore the alienation and dissatisfaction from grass roots ZANU PF with Mugabe and his military advisors.  Many went into MDC but have not abandoned their commitment to land reform and some went to militant direct action against Mugabe such as the war veterans.

    Those who have joined the MDC simply to get rid of Mugabe are already being repressed and sidelined by the Tsvangarei machine.

    Consider this link from Sekai Holland

    Having websurfed Zimbabwe during the LP discussion I found a much different perspective of MDC than  Murdoch presents.  For a start there are 2 MDCs – MDC (Tsvagarei) and MDC (Mutumbara), and the Tsvangarei party has been negotiating with Mugabe in secret without the other factions.

    Many within the minority factions of MDC are calling for a GNU.

    The Mutumbara party are supporting the SADC and AU government of national unity proposal but Tsvangarei is going with the EU and U.S. for what looks like a military coup.

    MDC (Tsvangarei) ran in 3 by elections during the run off, for some reason these electorates did not constitute a sham.  The 3 by elections were called because 3 members of the Mutambara faction (including 2 sitting members) died after preselection.  They were replaced by Tsvangerei candidates.

    Which of the MDC parties is the real bourgoise revolution? 

     Do you stand with Tsvangarei   or with the  Mutumbara faction or Sekai Holland and the women’s movement, both presently being squeesed out of the process by Tsvangarei and his international advisors?

     Do you support land reform or not? 

    Have you read the MDC program?   It is for reinstituting white control of all the fertile land of Zimbabwe and for it to be reintegrated into the multinational agribusiness schemes that have for centuries been the cause of African poverty and exploitation – this is your bourgoise revolution!

      Or do you say economics and ownership of the means of production is an irrelevant side issue to the real agenda of bourgoise democracy?

  3. 3 John Tracey

    “Land reforms threatened by a reformist government” by Kuthula Matshazi.


  4. 4 John Tracey

    I’ve been looking around this blog Patrick.

    All you have done on this post is loyally regurgitated the ideological counter-template onto the Zimbabwe situation (and my analysis), dismissing and deflecting the obvious contradictions in your position as well as historical circumstance, just as the leninist sects do.

  5. 5 byork

    John Tracey says: “Do you support land reform or not? Have you read the MDC program?   It is for reinstituting white control of all the fertile land of Zimbabwe”Please, John, provide evidence from the MDC Program that supports your claim about the reinstitution of white control of all the fertile land of Zimbabwe. I could not find any evidence in the MDC’s 2008 election policy statement on its website. On he contrary, the document I perused specifically advocated land reform.Provide the evidence,Barry

  6. 6 John Tracey

    byork, read the LP discussion, its all there.  Comments 120 and 121 answer your question.

    MDC pre election platform
    Get past the warm and fuzzy but meaningless statements in their land reform policy and look at their agrarian reform policies.

    The “land reform” the MDC proposes is the same as the disasterous neo-liberal policies Mugabe pursued with the ESAP  program.

    Essentially this model of land reform gives land to those who have access to capital and markets to engage in global agribusiness.  Dispossessed landless people – the vast majority of the population get nothing.

  7. 7 John Tracey

    p.s. byork,

    read the Matshazi link above too.

  8. 8 byork

    There is no evidence in the MDC platform, as posted by John, to back up his claim that MDC seeks to reinstitute “white control of all the fertile land” in Zimbabwe. Unless he is willing to acknolwedge that he was, at best, drawing a very long bow, I’m not going to continue with him. (I’ve had this kind of experience before, and end up wasting too much time). One wonders why Mugabe needed to resort to vote-rigging and violent intimidation and murder of opponents if the MDC was campaigning on such “disastrous neo-liberal policies”. Leftwingers are the best defenders of democracy – the sooner Mugabe is overthrown the better. John’s use of “neo-liberal” is all that some people need to be convinced but for those of us who actually like to investigate, here’s the section of the MDC policy on Agriculture:

    From every aspect, agriculture always has been, and probably will remain, the cornerstone of the Zimbabwean economy. In addition, the great majority of our people are totally dependent on agriculture for their income and security. In the past it has been the largest employer and exporter in Zimbabwe, and it is expected to resume this status when its rehabilitation and recovery is complete. Without agriculture it is impossible to imagine recovery in industry, where over half of all industrial firms are wholly or partly dependent on the agricultural sector for support.
    The State of Agriculture
    The agricultural scene is presently characterized by the following factors:

    – A chaotic ‘fast-track’ land reform that resulted in the widespread violation
    of property rights of most commercial farmers, a precarious food-security
    situation, severe deprivation of 240,000 farm-workers and a general increase
    in political instability.

    – Zero production and large-scale deforestation on much of the expropriated
    land, with tobacco production falling to 20 per cent of previous levels and
    maize production declining to 40 per cent or less of national requirements.
    – Severe infringement on the socio-cultural fabric of rural Zimbabwe.

    -Critical shortages in farming input supplies.

    – Poor water management in resettled areas.

    – A collapse in rural infrastructure development, with an inevitable decline in
    agricultural extension services.

    -Expensive agro-financing owing to the current high-risk nature of the
    business and a lack of collateral.

    – Distorted marketing and pricing of the commodities produced.

    – A crippling energy and fuel crisis, partly attributable to loss of foreign currency
    earnings from agricultural and agro-based exports.

    – A significant, and not generally recognized, fall in output from the communal
    areas as a result of the collapse of commercial and industrial support services.
    I Sharp declines in agricultural research and extension.

    Recovery of the Agricultural Sector
    The MDC’s vision is to ensure the full recovery of agriculture and place it firmly on
    the path of enhanced productivity and strong sustainable growth so that Zimbabwe
    can regain its status as a leading agricultural country in Africa. To achieve this
    objective the MDC is determined to bring social justice and economic stability to the
    country by implementing a just, orderly and equitable land-settlement programme,
    66 facilitating the transformation of smallholder (communal) agriculture, and initiating
    a ‘people-centred’ agrarian-reform programme to ensure security of tenure, social
    recovery and the economic well-being of all Zimbabweans. ___

  9. 9 John Tracey

    No byork, no long bows, just the detail of the policy and perhaps more importantly the precondition of World bank aid and debt relief.

    You may well proclaim that my comments on LP (120 &121) do not prove anything but I am sure your readers are capable of making their own judgement on that matter.

    Instead of denying the obvious perhaps you could have the courage of your convictions as Patrick did on the LP discussion and say that capitalist development is essential for the development of the working class and the advancement of the backward peasants that make up most of the population.

  10. 10 byork

    John, “the precondition of World Bank aid and debt relief” is in no way evidence of a policy designed to “reinstitute white control of all the fertile land”. My challenge to you was to provide evidence that the MDC policy advocated that reinstitution.
    It’s not that your comments do not prove anything – they just don’t prove that the MDC platform contains such a policy. We already know, from your own admission at Larvatus Prodeo, that you support (ie, would vote for) Mugabe. Barry

  11. 11 keza

    I’ll say it!  Yes capitalist development is essential.  It’s far more productive than subsistence farming and cottage industry.  And not only that, it liberates people in a very deep way from the limitations of feudalism, tribalism, superstition and patriarchy.  In doing so it creates a working class which will eventually develop the capacity to take over and run things itself.

    With regard to Zimbabwe in particular,  how can you possibly argue that Mugabe’s land redistribution policies should be preferred to the policies of the MDC??  The fact is that the  people of Zimbabwe are starving as a result of Mugabe’s policies.  The link is clear.   Zimbabwe used to have a highly productive agricultural sector, now it doesn’t. People used to have food to eat, now they don’t.

    In the recent elections the majority clearly rejected Mugabe and supported the MDC.  Apparently that means nothing to you? 

    Of course you deny that you support Mugabe …due to overwhelming evidence you have been forced to concede that he has engaged in human rights abuses (a very mild description of what he and his henchman have perpetrated).  But you still insist that you would have voted for ZANU PF.

    That is support for Mugabe.

  12. 12 John Tracey

    Keza, thank you for your honesty,

    In short, I say you are committed to a racist colonial paradigm that assumes the cultural superiority of white Europeans,  Such philosophy is not new to Africa.  

    Can you please explain what you see is the difference between the MDC land platform and Mugabe’s from 1980 – 1996?  Or, like the rest of the capitalist world, don’t you think he was a tyrant before then?

    It seems you, like Patrick and Barry, are not able to get above your own preconceived boogie men which you so liberally apply to contrary perspective.

    Given the level of discussion here including your own assertion that I have been forced to concede that Mugabe has engaged in human rights abuse, it seems an intelligent conversation is impossible here.

    This blog seems to be a pit of shit throwing.

    If you read my comments here and on LP you will see that I say Mugube was a puppet of England and the World bank since 1980, engaged in ruthless factional massacres (ZANU) and has resisted land reform until the militant action of war veterans forced his hand.  He ruled over the English imposed land title structure and the World bank ESAP program which did indeed increase GDP but that money did not go to the people who in fact were engaging in food riots at the hight of the boom.

    Mugabe has brutally repressed his own enemies including those in ZANU PF

    If you cannot distinguish reality from the Murdoch press’s simplistic fictions about Zimbabwe or the difference between supporting land reform and supporting the brutality of state then I hope you enjoy your ideological wonderworld.

  13. 13 keza

    I’m going to start from the assumption that John’s views are honestly held and that he is in fact motivated by genuine sympathy for the oppressed.  In my view, most people who see themselves  as on the left are in fact honest people who want a better world.  In attacking pseudo-leftism I think it’s important to start from  the premise that people who embrace such  views are decent people with mistaken ideas. 

    John is a very interesting case because his views with regard to Zimbabwe show where pseudo-leftism leads if the driving ideas are followed consistently.  John is a very consistent person  and often  expresses his world view quite articulately.  Someone said to me recently, “if he didn’t exist we would have to invent him!”.

    With regard to Zimbabwe, John has got himself into a bit of a mess. He is trying desperately to avoid being mugged by reality.  The facts about Zimbabwe are that life expectancy has been almost halved during Mugabe’s rule, the people are starving, there have been massive human rights abuses by those in power and when the recent elections were held  and the  people of Zimbabwe chose  the  MDC it was prevented from taking power by sheer fascist thuggery.

    John wants to hang on to his views despite all this and this had led to him taking the ludicrous position that although he doesn’t have a glimmer of respect for Mugabe and is aware of his human rights abuses, he would still have voted for the ZANU PF.  When we say that this amounts to supporting Mugabe he flies into a rage and accuses us of distorting his views.

    His consistent pseudo-leftism has led him directly to having to say two contradictory things “Of course I don’t support Mugabe, he’s a very evil  man”   and  “if I were  a Zimbabwean  I would have voted for him”. 

    He will claim that this is because he could not support the “colonial” policies of the MDC and that somehow it should be obvious  that leaving Mugabe in power is a better option.

    This also puts him in the invidious position of having to (a) effectively support the appalling thuggery  used by  ZANU PF in order to stay in power  and (b) take the attitude that he knows better than the people of Zimbabwe what is good (or better ) for them.  The reality is that he has found himself forced to take a position which could be described  (albeit loosely)  as  a colonial one.  We shouldn’t forget that the justification for apartheid was always that the African people were not “ready” for civilization  and modernity and should be “allowed” to develop separately.

    He claimed that my position “assumes the cultural superiority of white Europeans”. In fact the opposite is true.  My position assumes that the people of Zimbabwe , just like Europeans are capable of  (and want) all the goodies which we take for granted.  This requires that they enter the capitalist world, just as our ancestors did. 

    What is interesting about John’s position is that it shines a light on the fact that while pseudo-leftists generally do have sympathy for the oppressed, their world outlook if followed to its logical conclusion,  leads them to give objective support to tyrants.  When this is pointed out to them, it is very uncomfortable. Something has to give .

    On Strange Times we want to engage in intelligent discussion aimed at sharpening our understanding of how the world really works and what we can do to make it better.   We aren’t interested in endless debate with people who simply regurgitate what are regarded as absolute principles such as  “leftists can never support anything done by an imperialist power” or “leftists oppose military intervention in the affairs of other countries”.

    These aren’t absolute principles.  Often it has been   correct to oppose the actions of an imperialist power – but not always.  The obvious example is our support for US and British imperialism in world war 2.   The same thing goes for our attitude toward military intervention.  Often it has been correct to oppose it, but not always.   There is nothing sacred about the idea that nations should stay out of each other’s business.  If something terrible is happening to people somewhere why is it wrong to intervene?  In everyday life we regard it as completely amoral to just mind our own business  if we happen to see someone being beaten up in the street or to discover that someone is abusing their children.  Why is it different internationally ??

    An intervention aimed at  enabling a captive  and  brutalised people to engage in genuine self determination  (as in Iraq)  and hopefully  ASAP in Zimbabwe  is something that the Left should support.

    If John wants to genuinely engage in discussion about these matters then something productive may come out of it.  But the first thing which needs to happen is for him to accept the possibility that he may be wrong about some things – in particular the fundamental “principles” which have led him to end up coming out in favour of Mugabe.

    (And no, John – you can’t wriggle out of it by saying “Yes, of course Mugabe is a brutal dictator, I’ve said so many times. How unreasonable of you to say that I support him”.  Just repeating that you don’t like him does not  refute  the claim  that  you have  given clear objective support to that regime. Your subjective feelings are  irrelevant here. )

  14. 14 John Tracey

    Just a last comment on this pseudo-left obsession that you all seem to have and proclaimed  unto me.

     It has been an aweful long time since anyone called me a leftist and even longer since I called myself one. On the LP thread Patrick reacted with glee when I said I wasn’t left as if he had cleverly cornered me into a confession – truly weird.

    As on the LP thread, I will go as far as defining myself as indigenist (different from indigenous as I am not, but it is a philosophical and ideological framework).

    I choose not to deal with indiginism here because of the, what I consider, racist and colonial underpinnings of your economic position.  I discuss this briefly on the LP thread if anyone is curious.  Look around Paradigm Oz, my old blog if you are more curious.

    I assume you have rejected Fanon but that is kind of where I am coming from.

    I left the left because of their ideological straight jackets and philosophical Eurocentrism.  

     But this putrid attack here, on some bloke who expressed an opinion on some blog, who speaks for nobody and is not a member of any organisation as some sort of expose of pseudo leftism has indeed been a self-expose of ST’s own pseudo-intellectualism.

    try knitting, its more fun.

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