Zimbabwe: "Land Reform" and Imperialist Hypocrisy

Reprinted from Workers Vanguard No. 803, 9 May 2003.

Zimbabwe today is a country on the brink of famine and total economic collapse. Since last year, inflation has skyrocketed at a rate of 228 percent and unemployment stands at more than 60 percent. Tobacco production, which generates 31 percent of the country's foreign currency, is projected to plummet by a third. And with no seed for corn, Zimbabwe's primary food source, at least 60 percent of the population faces food shortages--this in a country which was once one of Africa's largest exporters of foodstuffs.

When the government, pressed for funds, raised gas prices by at least 200 percent, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) launched a three-day general strike in late April, to which the government responded in its usual repressive fashion, using troops to force closed shops to open. Dozens of ZCTU officials have been rounded up, including nearly the entire union leadership in the city of Bulawayo. The previous month, the British-supported "Movement for Democratic Change" (MDC) staged a two-day strike, which was followed by a government crackdown where hundreds of MDC supporters were arrested.

The current crisis in Zimbabwe is largely a product of the imperialists' cutoff of economic aid for the country after President Robert Mugabe initiated his program of seizing land owned by white farmers, remnants of the former colonial occupation. The bourgeois press in Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial master, has accused the African leader of unleashing "mob savagery" against the white population. In the U.S., Republican Congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the House Committee on Africa, denounced Mugabe as "a power-crazed, aged dictator literally burning his country down."

Yet for almost two decades Mugabe was regarded and occasionally praised by London and Washington as a "moderate" African leader because he perpetuated the economic dominance in both agriculture and industry of the former white colonialists. Western bourgeois politicians and the media scarcely noticed, much less protested, when in the mid 1980s the Mugabe regime waged a war of extermination against the forces of a rival nationalist movement based on the minority Ndebele people. The Zimbabwean army massacred at the time an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 villagers in Matabeleland, homeland of the Ndebele. As long as Mugabe's regime did not touch, indeed enhanced, the wealth of the white propertied classes, the men who run the City of London and Wall Street couldn't care less what he did to Zimbabwe's workers and peasants.

The backdrop to the current crisis was the economic austerity program carried out by the Mugabe regime in the early-mid 1990s at the dictate of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. This provoked a series of mass strikes spearheaded by government employees like teachers and nurses. So in the name of "fast-track land reform," Mugabe sought to divert popular hostility away from his own regime and toward the white farmers, the core of the former colonial ruling class in what was then called Southern Rhodesia, who still owned 70 percent of the country's most fertile land. Almost all of the older white farmers had been officers or non-coms in the Rhodesian army, which fought the black liberation forces led by Mugabe and others. These white colonialists killed some 40,000 black Africans, many of them unarmed and defenseless rural villagers.

A Dutch journalist of evident left-wing sympathies, Bram Posthumus, neatly cut through the cant and hypocrisy on both sides:

"Most 'Rhodies' are unreformed racists and I would not want to be in the company of any of them.

"On the other hand, the Zanu-PF [ruling Zimbabwe African National Union--Popular Front] top brass was cashing in on white largesse when it suited them. They did not question the economic models that they now claim were foisted upon them by the IMF and World Bank. Why should they? Capitalism has suited them fine ever since they came into power....

"The point here is, very basically, that neither of these two groups, white farmers and Zanu-PF chiefs, deserve a shred of sympathy, let alone support."

--New African, February 2002

The land seizures in Zimbabwe have resonated strongly in South Africa, where white farmers still own 80 percent of the land even though Nelson Mandela's bourgeois-nationalist African National Congress (ANC) replaced the white-supremacist government in 1994. Indeed, in the countryside the conditions of the black toilers have changed little from the days of apartheid. In some ways they're even worse. Seeking to forestall land seizures, white farmers have evicted increasing numbers of blacks from land they have worked for generations. At the same time, South African president Thabo Mbeki has acted as the "soft cop" for British and American imperialism vis-à-vis Mugabe. While Mbeki and Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo are loath to publicly denounce Mugabe, as this would reveal them as pawns of the imperialists in Africa, they are currently embarked on a visit to the Zimbabwean capital of Harare to press Mugabe to resign.

An article by our comrades of Spartacist South Africa, titled "Hue and Cry over Land Seizures in Zimbabwe" (WV No. 741, 8 September 2000), explained:

"In countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa, the burning democratic tasks such as agrarian revolution, equality for women and tribal/ethnic minorities and breaking the yoke of imperialist domination can only be realised through the Trotskyist programme of permanent revolution: the seizure of state power by the proletariat standing at the head of the peasantry and all the oppressed....

"Especially in a small country like Zimbabwe, a socialist revolution would inevitably and almost immediately pose the task of international extension--in the first instance to neighbouring South Africa, which supplies most of Zimbabwe's petrol and electrical power, and beyond that to the imperialist centres."

South Africa holds the key to the future of all of sub-Saharan Africa. The rule of the capitalist ANC means continued brutal exploitation and oppression of South Africa's black, "coloured" (historically derived from the offspring of Boer settlers and the indigenous Khoi people and later Malay slaves) and Indian working masses by the white racist bourgeoisie and the enforcing of the imperialists' plundering of the region. Under a workers government, South Africa's industrial and mineral wealth, as part of an international planned economy, would be used to develop the vast resources of the region for the benefit of the former colonial slaves in a socialist federation of southern Africa.

Zimbabwean ISO in Bloc with White Farmers, Capitalists

The counterpart to the current hostility of Western, especially British, imperialism to the Mugabe regime is the imperialists' support for the MDC. The MDC is an unholy alliance between black trade-union bureaucrats, represented by former ZCTU head Morgan Tsvangirai, and white capitalists and farmers. Currently, the regime is staging a sham trial of Tsvangirai, who during last year's presidential elections was riding a wave of popular support as an MDC candidate. Tsvangirai and two others are accused of plotting to kill Mugabe. The regime's star witness in this frame-up is a former secret service agent who admits to being on Mugabe's payroll.

For its part, the MDC's main economic spokesman is Eddie Cross, former vice president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, who is an ardent champion of "free market" neoliberalism and a strong advocate of IMF/World Bank guardianship over the Zimbabwean economy. The MDC receives financing from the likes of the London-based Westminster Foundation for Democracy, which in turn is partly funded by the British government.

A group that occupied the left fringe of the MDC until recently is the Zimbabwean International Socialist Organisation (ISO), part of the British-centered international tendency founded and led for many decades by the late Tony Cliff. While claiming (at times) to uphold the Leninist and Trotskyist tradition, the Cliffites are in fact left social democrats, i.e., a pro-capitalist, pro-imperialist tendency which falsely claims to represent the interests of the working class.

The social-democratic character of the Cliffite tendency was clearly exposed in Zimbabwe, where they were in a political bloc with the colonial-derived and imperialist-backed white propertied classes against the Mugabe regime. In 2000, Munyarardzi Gwisai, then a senior leader of the Zimbabwean ISO, ran for and was elected to parliament as a representative of the MDC for the Highland district of Harare. At the time, Gwisai & Co. portrayed the MDC as some kind of workers party which could be pressured into carrying out radical socialist policies. An ISO "Action Programme" for the first MDC congress proclaimed: "MDC is primarily a working people's party: that is workers, the unemployed, peasants and students and it is they who must fund and lead the party" (Socialist Worker [Zimbabwe], December 1999). Although the mass of white farmers supported and some joined the MDC, the Cliffites ludicrously demanded that its parliamentary representatives "must vote in support of the taking of farms without paying compensation for the land" (Socialist Worker [Zimbabwe], August 2000).

By the time of last year's presidential elections, it was no longer credible to deny that the MDC was a right-wing, pro-imperialist bourgeois party. Alex Callinicos, a central leader of the Cliffite tendency internationally, now lamented that Tsvangirai had fallen under the influence of evil advisers: "Despite his origins as a union leader, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has, with the encouragement of both Western governments and local bosses, adopted a neo-liberal programme that amounts to handing the economy over to the IMF" (Socialist Worker [Britain], 19 January 2002). Nonetheless, the Zimbabwean ISO still supported the MDC leader in the election against Mugabe. Gwisai stated: "We will vote for Tsvangirai because it will mean more space for us to operate.... We want to strengthen the anti-capitalist elements in the MDC" (Socialist Worker [Britain], 9 March 2002).

Interestingly, Callinicos came from the white colonial stratum in Rhodesia/ Zimbabwe before emigrating to England. There is, of course, nothing reprehensible in that. Many left-wing leaders (Engels, Lenin, the anarchist Peter Kropotkin) and militants came from socially privileged backgrounds. But they then sought to lead the struggles of the exploited and oppressed against the propertied classes into which they were born. However, Callinicos and his Zimbabwean colleagues were in a bloc with white landowners against a black bourgeois-nationalist regime which, for its own ignoble reasons, is expropriating them.

The April 2002 issue of International Socialism, the main Cliffite theoretical journal, has a major article, "Crisis in Zimbabwe," by Leo Zeilig. Predictably, he directs almost all his fire at Mugabe with only the mildest criticism of the MDC, that it "holds none of the answers to the poverty and misery crippling Zimbabwe." This is scarcely surprising for a party which represents the main body of (white) agrarian and industrial capitalists in Zimbabwe and their British imperialist godfathers.

Zeilig points to and implicitly criticizes the propaganda campaign in British ruling circles against Mugabe. But he then concludes in this regard: "There is not much to choose between the violence and repression of a dying regime, and the hypocrisy and colonial morality of [Britain's] New Labour." This self-styled revolutionary socialist here equates British imperialism with a bourgeois-nationalist government in an African neocolonial country. That is, he equates an imperialist state with a semicolonial country.

But in fact Zeilig, Callinicos and Gwisai do choose between British imperialism and the government of Zimbabwe. They choose the former. Indeed, in his article, Zeilig boasts of Gwisai's parliamentary victory in 2000 as a representative of the MDC--a party openly financed by the British ruling class--writing: "The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) won an important seat in a working class area of Harare in the 2000 parliamentary elections as part of the MDC and, despite continued opposition from the party leadership, remains in the organisation."

As is often the case, what the International Socialism article omits is just as telling politically as its content. Zeilig does not mention that all Western governments have cut off economic aid to Zimbabwe mainly to strengthen the hand of the MDC against Mugabe. Nor does he mention that the Blair government in Britain is campaigning for international economic sanctions against Zimbabwe. These omissions amount to tacit support or at least non-opposition to imperialist economic warfare against the impoverished southern African country.

From Ian Smith's Rhodesia to Mugabe's Zimbabwe

Having preserved and protected the white farmers for almost two decades, why did Mugabe then turn on them, thereby provoking the wrath of British and American imperialism? To answer that question, it is necessary to review the history of Southern Rhodesia/Zimbabwe from the last period of colonial rule through the present.

In the mid 1960s, Britain, with America's backing, moved toward a standard neocolonial solution in Southern Rhodesia, i.e., the smooth transfer of governmental office to a pliant black regime. However, under the leadership of Ian Smith--who professed his support for the MDC last year--the white colonialist stratum, though only 4 percent of the population, rebelled against this policy and declared "unilateral independence" from Britain. "Independent" Rhodesia was supported economically by white-supremacist South Africa, the most powerful state in the region.

Seeking to overthrow white-colonialist rule, the black nationalist forces launched a rural-based guerrilla insurgency which convulsed the country during the 1970s. However, the Ian Smith regime, with South Africa's backing, was able to hold at bay the black insurgency while resisting pressure from London and Washington to come to terms with the insurgency's leaders. The black liberation struggle was also weakened by a murderously hostile tribalist division between Robert Mugabe's ZANU, based on the majority Shona people, and Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union based on the Ndebele.

Finally, in 1979 Thatcher's Britain brokered a compromise--the Lancaster House agreement. Mugabe's ZANU took over the government while the whites retained control of the economy. The Lancaster House agreement stipulated that for ten years the government could not take over white farmland without the consent of the owners, and then compensation had to be in "hard" (Western) currency. The property rights of the white colonialists were also written into Zimbabwe's new constitution.

A recent book on the Zimbabwean economy by two British academics described the structure of ownership at the time of independence:

"Although they made up only 3.8 per cent of the population, at Independence the modern sector of the economy was almost entirely owned and managed by whites. For example, over 90 percent of marketed output came from white- (or foreign-owned) farms, which provided 35 per cent of formal-sector employment and over one-third of exports. The manufacturing and financial sectors were also almost exclusively a white preserve."

-- Carolyn Jenkins and John Knight, The Economic Decline of Zimbabwe: Neither Growth Nor Equity (2002)

In the decade after independence, little had changed in this respect. Academic studies in Britain indicated that the white propertied classes were economically better off after ten years of Mugabe's rule than they had been in the last years of the Ian Smith regime.

While maintaining the wealth of the white propertied classes, the Mugabe regime also built up a privileged black elite via the state treasury. A large government bureaucracy was formed under ZANU-PF's patronage. Outright corruption was systemic and massive while the government set up and financed numerous black-owned businesses. The Mugabe regime therefore consistently ran large government budget deficits even in fairly prosperous years. These deficits were initially financed by borrowing heavily from City of London and Wall Street banks at commercial rates of interest. Consequently, the burden of foreign debt doubled from a third of Zimbabwe's gross domestic product (GDP) in 1986 to two-thirds of its GDP by 1994.

The counterrevolutionary destruction of the Soviet Union in 1991-92 led to the intensification of imperialist bloodsucking in Africa, and with it increased starvation and bloodshed. Specifically, the IMF and World Bank demanded payment on the money they had previously given to these African countries as a counterweight to Soviet influence during the Cold War. In order to roll over Zimbabwe's foreign loans, the IMF/World Bank demanded the standard combination of fiscal austerity and "free market" liberalization: slashing expenditure for social programs; eliminating or cutting back the wide array of government subsidies; dismantling tariff protection for the country's manufacturing industries like textiles, clothing and footwear.

The effects were predictably devastating for almost all sectors of the urban-based labor force. Employment in the textile industry fell by half, from 25,300 in 1990 to 12,400 in 1995. Also hit hard were the more privileged ("middle class") sections of the black populace which had hitherto been the core support for the Mugabe regime--government functionaries, university students expecting upon graduation to get government or government-subsidized jobs. Some 25,000 civil service jobs were eliminated by 1995.

The stage was thus set for mass labor struggles for the first time since the black bourgeois-nationalist regime replaced white colonial rule a decade and a half before. A successful strike of public-sector employees in 1996 was followed by a general strike, with broad popular support, against increased taxation at the end of 1997. Immediately thereafter food riots led by working-class women erupted in Harare. The ZCTU emerged as a potent oppositional force enjoying substantial and increasing popular authority, especially in the cities.

Mugabe responded by seeking to refurbish the regime's nationalist credentials by declaring economic warfare on the white farmers. The ZANU-PF tops demagogically revived the rhetoric of the 1970s independence struggle, denouncing "white racism," "Western imperialism" and "the heritage of colonialism." The ZCTU bureaucracy under Morgan Tsvangirai played into the regime's hands, especially among the peasant masses, by forming a political bloc with the white farmers and other capitalists through the MDC.

The Land Seizures and Economic Collapse

The land seizures began in early 2000 with the invasion of white commercial farms by veterans of the independence struggle and unemployed urban youth. In several instances, this resulted in violent clashes with farm workers fearful of losing their jobs. Today, almost all the white farmland has been taken over and many of the former owners have left the country.

An apologist for the Mugabe regime, Gregory Elich, recently declared:

"Temporary economic dislocation is an unavoidable by-product of land reform, but genuine and lasting progress in Zimbabwe can only be achieved through land redistribution.

"In the West, the gross imbalance imposed by colonial theft is accepted as the natural order in Zimbabwe, with the indigenous population lacking any claim to the land. The government's fast track land reform is intended to rectify historical injustices and to ensure a more equitable division of the land."

--New African, October 2002

To begin with, the redivision of the land has been far from equitable. Of the first 600 white farms taken over three years ago, 200 of the largest were given gratis to officials of the ZANU-PF and to Mugabe's cronies and relatives, including his wife. Inspecting her new 2,500-acre estate, Grace Mugabe announced to the assembled agricultural laborers: "I am taking over this farm" (Guardian Weekly [London], 21-27 November 2002). Only such members of the post-colonial black ruling elite have the money to operate the commercial farms at a profit. The mass of black peasants who now occupy much of this land in most cases don't even have seeds to plant next year's crop to feed their families.

Let us consider the arguments of Mugabe apologists like Gregory Elich at face value and assume the Zimbabwean government is genuinely committed to bettering the conditions of the black peasantry through an equitable division of land. Where would it get the financial resources to supply seeds, fertilizer and farm machinery to hundreds of impoverished black smallholders? The country is already massively in debt to British and American banks. And one can hardly expect the British ruling class to subsidize the expropriation of Zimbabwe's white farmers with whom, in some cases, they have family as well as financial ties.

In an interview in December with the state-controlled newspaper The Herald, Mugabe admitted: "We took it for granted that the supplies would be adequate." But, he continued, "it then proved that we were mistaken. Seed is short, fertilizer is short and tillage is inadequate." According to UN sources, more than half the government's tractor fleet--which was supposed to plow fields for poor farmers--is out of service because of shortages of spare parts and fuel.

During the 1990s, Zimbabwe produced an average annual grain (corn and wheat) crop of almost two million metric tons. Last year, the grain crop was less than half a million tons. (A contributing factor was lack of rainfall, which resulted in crop failures throughout southern Africa.) One doesn't have to be an apologist for the white farmers or Western imperialists to recognize that millions of people in Zimbabwe now face conditions of famine. Indeed, it is a measure of the bankruptcy of Mugabe's neocolonial regime that the transparently direct benefactors of British imperialism, the MDC, could have any level of popular support.

Agriculture in Modern World Capitalism

In his Herald interview, Mugabe triumphantly proclaimed: "For us, the most valuable resource and source of our wealth is our land." But land as such is no longer the most valuable non-labor resource in agricultural production. Chemical fertilizer can enhance the natural fertility of the soil. Irrigation can supplement inadequate rainfall. In general, a modern commercial farm, producing for the world market, employs a level of technology comparable to that of an industrial enterprise producing for the world market. To effectively manage such a "factory in the field" requires years of specialized education and training.

The development of modern agriculture was projected a century ago by Karl Kautsky, then considered the leading Marxist theorist, in a major work, The Agrarian Question (1900). Lenin regarded The Agrarian Question as a very important contribution to a Marxist understanding of the changing world capitalist economy. (Kautsky's later rightist revisionism and hostility to the Bolshevik Revolution does not negate the value of his earlier works.)

Kautsky recognized that just as developments in science and technology had transformed small-scale handicraft manufacturing into large-scale mechanized industry, similar developments, albeit later and more slowly, were occurring in agriculture:

"Within a few years agriculture, traditionally the most conservative of occupations, nearly devoid of progress for almost an entire millennium and utterly devoid for several centuries, suddenly became one of the most revolutionary branches of modern industry, if not the most revolutionary. This transformation meant that agriculture progressed from being a handicraft, whose routines were passed down through the generations, to being a science, or rather a complex of sciences, undergoing a rapid expansion in both its empirical and theoretical knowledge. Any farmer not fully at home with such sciences, the mere 'practician,' will be helpless and baffled in the face of current innovations, yet cannot continue in the old ways." [emphasis in original]

Kautsky pointed out that the economic size of a modern capitalist farm is to be measured not in acreage per se but rather in capital per acre, which is directly related to crop yield per acre:

"The law according to which the more intensive the cultivation of the farm, the smaller its area must be for a given volume of capital also works in the same direction. An intensively farmed small estate represents a larger enterprise than a large, extensively cultivated one."

While Kautsky foresaw the direction of agricultural development, he misjudged its pace. Small-scale, traditional peasant farming remained economically viable even in West and Central Europe, not to speak of more backward regions of the world, for several decades. His description of a scientifically managed, mechanized farm was not so much an empirical picture of European agriculture at the time as an anticipation of the future.

Following the Second World War, the revolution in agricultural technology, the beginnings of which Kautsky had analyzed, radically altered both the structure of agricultural production and pattern of trade throughout the capitalist world. The United States came to dominate the world market for basic foodstuffs, including rice and soybeans, the traditional staples of East Asian civilization. At the same time, a number of major "Third World" countries (e.g., Mexico, South Korea, Indonesia) now export industrial products and cash crops and import foodstuffs, mainly from North America.

For a Socialist Federation of Southern Africa!

The desperate plight of Zimbabwean peasants who now occupy the former white-owned commercial farms was described in Kautsky's classic work on the agrarian question:

"The independent peasant farm has become untenable: it can only continue by being associated with a large establishment. If a nearby large industrial enterprise employs peasants as wage-labourers, or specialised workers, they will become its slaves. Where no such establishment exists, the peasant needs a large agricultural enterprise to avoid sinking into extreme poverty."

In all likelihood, most peasants on the former white farms will revert to the kind of subsistence agriculture which they practiced on the so-called "communal" lands. Since agricultural produce (especially tobacco) has accounted for half of Zimbabwe's export earnings, a large-scale reversion to subsistence farming will lead to further massive contraction of the modern urban-based sectors, from factories to universities. What then is to be done? The answer does not lie purely within the boundaries of this poor southern African country.

However, across Zimbabwe's southern border is South Africa, the one relatively industrialized country in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, South Africa generates more than half the electric power in the entire continent. The key force for social progress throughout the region is South Africa's large, powerful and combative proletariat, predominantly black but with important coloured and Indian components. What is key is to mobilize that power in a struggle for socialist revolution.

But to realize that program, black workers must be broken from their current political allegiance to the ANC regime, the black front men for the white capitalists who still own the country's factories, mines and farms. Spartacist South Africa, section of the International Communist League, seeks to build a Bolshevik workers party that will lead the struggle against all forms of national and social oppression--the mass homelessness in the black townships, the hideous conditions of millions still trapped in the former "tribal reserves" (bantustans), the degradation of women through reactionary tribal traditions such as lobola (the bride price), government persecution of and vigilante attacks on immigrants from other African countries.

The land question is an important motor force for socialist revolution in South Africa. Some 55,000 white commercial farmers own 250 million acres of the most fertile land upon which work about a million black agricultural laborers and their families. At the same time, 1.2 million black households, numbering some seven million people, are crowded into 40 million acres in the former "tribal reserves." Here are concentrated the poorest of South Africa's poor. Largely women, children and the aged, they are mainly supported by remittances from husbands, brothers, sons and other relatives working in the country's factories and mines. Insofar as the inhabitants of the former "reserves" earn their own money, it is mainly from seasonal, migrant labor on nearby white-owned farms. The large majority of South Africa's rural toilers are thus agricultural proletarians rather than smallholding peasants. A workers revolution in South Africa would expropriate the highly mechanized and capital-intensive white-owned farms and transform them into modern, large-scale collective and state farms, thereby providing a decent living for South Africa's rural toilers.

The agrarian question in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in southern Africa is significantly different. While 350,000 agricultural laborers and their families worked on the white-owned commercial farms, their number was dwarfed by the six to seven million peasants engaged mainly in subsistence farming in the "communal" lands. As we have seen, the Mugabe regime was able to exploit and manipulate the land hunger of these dispossessed peasants against the MDC opposition (and also against the agricultural laborers).

A workers and peasants government in Zimbabwe, in the context of a socialist federation of southern Africa, would establish soviets (councils) of rural toilers, both poor peasants and agricultural laborers, which would democratically determine which land was organized as collective or state farms and which was kept by (or distributed to) individual peasant families. But a workers state in such a backward country will be immediately faced with the problem of how to acquire items like tractors and other farm machinery, which are essential to the collectivization of agriculture. The solution to this fundamentally lies outside the borders of Zimbabwe or, indeed, southern Africa as a whole. Only an expanding collectivized economy, based on the necessary extension of proletarian revolution to the advanced industrial countries and an internationally planned economy, could provide the necessary resources and technology to free rural workers from backbreaking labor while absorbing in industry or construction those former peasants and agricultural workers no longer needed to work the land.

It is not only the land question which unites the Zimbabwean and South African masses. The Ndebele people, for example, reside on both sides of the border, which was arbitrarily drawn according to the interests of British colonialism. Furthermore, Zimbabweans make up a sizable proportion of migrant workers who slave in the mines and on the commercial farms of South Africa. These face constant persecution and deportations by the state and murderous attacks by anti-immigrant vigilantes, and are used as scapegoats by the ANC for the massive unemployment. At the same time, the migrant workers are a living link between the South African proletariat and the toiling masses throughout the region. Spartacist South Africa fights for the labor movement to take up the defense of migrant workers and all immigrants, demanding full citizenship rights for all immigrants.

This is part of our larger struggle for a socialist federation of southern Africa, in which there will be a place for all the myriad peoples of the region, including those whites who accept the rule of a government centrally based on the black proletariat and rural toilers. Only workers rule can break the yoke of imperialist domination. This program is necessarily linked to the perspective of proletarian revolution in the advanced capitalist countries of North America, West Europe and Japan. A workers revolution in Zimbabwe would spark revolutionary upheavals throughout the area, particularly in South Africa. And a proletarian victory in South Africa would inspire workers across the world, not least black workers in the U.S. To fully provide the resources and technology to liberate the peoples of Africa from famine and desperate poverty requires the international extension of the revolution.

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