[DEBATE] : In defense of Doug Henwood
tintinyana at gmail.com
Sat May 24 17:31:44 BST 2008
Thanks for the post Rob.
tintinyana at gmail.com
“Only intellectuals love poverty. Poor people love luxury” (from a
> From: RDavies at hsrc.ac.za
> Date: May 24, 2008 12:24:30 PM EDT
> To: debate at debate.kabissa.org
> Subject: [DEBATE] : Re: In Defense of Zimbabwe (Doug Henwood)
> Reply-To: "debate: SA discussion list " <debate at debate.kabissa.org>
> Doug Henwood wrote:
>> This is the sort of stuff about Zimbabwe that's floating around the
>> radio station where I do my show, WBAI.
> etc etc
> My response to this - and to the earlier request for sources on Zim to
> counteract the arguments of his pro-Mugabe colleagues - is to ask
> Why do you want to engage in debate with these people?
> This is a serious question. Clearly you feel there is some
> legitimacy in
> their arguments. You would never dream of responding to some red-
> neck who
> claimed that the problems in Zim are because there is a black
> government -
> because you would (rightly) regard such people and arguments as not
> engaging with. But (I think) because the arguments come from black,
> self-proclaimed anti-imperialists, you grant them some legitimacy.
> In my view there is no point in engaging in debate with people who
> a) insult the tens of thousands of people who died for the
> liberation of
> Zimbabwe by suggesting that Mugabe brought freedom to the country.
> It is
> bizarre that the "left" - who believe in class struggle and the
> of class solidarity - are willing to go along with the 'big man'
> view of
> history. Yes, Mugabe played an important role. But it is not
> that Zimbabwe's independence would not have happened had he not
> taken over
> the leadership of the struggle - let alone that he would have done
> it by
> b) feel that - even if a) is wrong - this heroic role in the past
> him the right to do what he is doing now. If I save a woman from a
> gang of
> rapists, that gives me the right to rape her myself?
> c) are willing to argue that the people - grass root activists - who
> being tortured and slaughtered as I write are somehow dupes of
> imperialism. The only evidence they have that Mugabe is
> 'anti-imperlialist' are his self-privileging claims. Why are they
> to take this as "the truth", but dismiss the views of others who
> were as
> involved in the liberation struggle - Wilf Mhanda, Paul Themba Nyathi,
> Dumisa Dabengwa, - and of the current young radicals?
> If these people had some political relevance - so that changing their
> views mattered in bringing about change in Zimbabwe - their might be a
> point in engaging them. But they are irrelevant.
> So, "Why?"
> In puzzlement
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