Zimbabwe’s Plunge

Two decades after independence, fatigue associated with the ruling ZANU(PF) malgovernance and economic mistakes has finally reached break point.

But then what? Will the society shift from rule by an exhausted nationalist clique, replete with formidable tools of terror and intimidation, to ‘neoliberalism’, i.e. a free-market economy and withering welfare state, as advocated by international financiers and the big-business wing of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change? And beyond the ideological divide, there are long-standing, durable rural-urban and racial divisions that will hamper Zimbabwe’s recovery for the foreseeable future.

However, the choice is not necessarily so limited and pessimistic. Bond and Manyanya sketch an alternative political project, drawing upon the Zimbabwean povo’s own struggles for social justice. Indeed, what the Zimbabwean people face is not so different from others also beset by the dual, inter-related crises of international neoliberalism (‘globalisation’) and nation-state management. Likewise, what is needed is a strengthening of the social justice instincts that so many ordinary people, and courageous organisations, are exhibiting under terrifying political repression.

The social, political and economic lessons from Zimbabwe’s Plunge are thus relevant, the authors insist, to any other society in turmoil.

Zimbabwe’s Plunge
Exhausted Nationalism, Neoliberalism and the Search for Social Justice
Patrick Bond and Masimba Manyanya
Weaver Press with the University of Natal Press

ISBN 1 77022 005 7

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