|Perfect logic, total insanity|
|Wednesday, 25 April 2012 21:33|
For a good while because the people of Zimbabwe have now made an unequivocal distinction between the perfect logic of democracy and the total insanity of politicking, regardless of who is carrying out the politicking dramas.
It has become abundantly clear that the MDC-T, just like their colleagues in Zanu-PF, can impose election candidates against the will of the people, regardless of Tsvangirai’s vociferous sloganeering about democracy and respect for the will of the people.
Both parties lost between five and six seats each in the 2008 Parliamentary election simply because they fielded two candidates in single contests, one disgruntled people’s choice forced to run as an independent, and the other the imposed candidate, that way splitting the vote and handing away victory to whoever would have been second best.
The people of Zimbabwe are now more than aware that despite the perfect logic of the democracy that Lovemore Madhuku studiously supplicates at the National Constitutional Assembly, the organisation still has to put up with the same man’s insane violation of the NCA’s constitution, dubiously and arrogantly awarding himself exemptions to regulated term limits so he can be at the helm of that organisation for as long as he personally feels.
The people of Zimbabwe have in the MDC-T found themselves with a party that preaches with admirable probity the perfect logic of transparency and accountability, while profanely providing the insanity of 100 percent corrupt urban councils — largely run by spectacularly under-qualified political activists with no administrative or leadership experience whatsoever, this writer’s lucky but hopeless cousin included.
It is the same party that has given us the perfect logic of excellence, under the leadership of a man with a legendary legacy of inconsistency and embarrassing blunders, not to mention an equally eventful and controversial sexual life, made apparent after the tragic loss of his loving and cultured wife Susan, a woman who made our PM look a man of tremendous integrity. The other women have collectively made the man look like a marauding womaniser.
In 1991, the chief economist of the World Bank, Lawrence Summers, inimically demonstrated that the Bank should encourage polluting industries to move to the poorest countries. He reasoned: “The measurement of the costs of health-impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality.” The American economist continued: “From this point of view, a given amount of health-impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.”
On the morality of this view, Summers pointed out that any “moral reasons or social concerns could be turned around and used more or less effectively against every Bank proposal for liberalisation.”
After Summers’ memo was leaked, it goes without saying that it elicited fury from people in developing countries, with Brazil’s Minister of Environment, Jose Lutzenberger, writing to Summers: “Your reasoning is perfectly logical but totally insane.”
Lutzenberger’s conclusion leads us to this whole ironic reality in international affairs where perfectly logical arguments often lead to insane conclusions.
One can look at the perfect logic of UN Resolution 1973 and its proclaimed goal of protecting Libyan civilians, purportedly from the murderous wrath of Colonel Gaddafi, only to be concluded by the total insanity of massive Nato bombardment of Libyan cities, culminating in the killing of 50 000 Libyans, mostly innocent civilians and children. One can also look at the perfect logic of the United States going after Osama bin Laden in the aftermath of the 2001 September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers.
This logic has, however, not yet been concluded, almost a year after Osama was reportedly killed in Pakistan, and the United States and its Western allies are still pursuing the total insanity of war-ravaging Afghanistan, wantonly killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the process, now ostensibly on the basis of yet another perfect logic of democratising the country, or more precisely, freeing Afghans from their own religion.
George W Bush is quite notorious for his legendary lie upon which he invaded and ravaged Iraq for a good eight years starting in 2003. The perfect logic of stopping Saddam Hussein from possessing weapons of mass destruction resulted in the total insanity of invading a sovereign country on the basis of an absolute lie. America is still to pay the price for this insanity, like it has to for many other insane brutalities committed on various nationalities over the years.
Barack Obama’s perfect logic of stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons could be concluded with the insanity of a meaningless and unjust war if the vacuous and baseless emotive rhetoric against Iran remains unabated. Africa risks another mass-killing war in the Sudan as Khartoum employs the perfect logic of defending its oil fields from the occupying South Sudan, itself doing so under its own perfect logic of “self-defence,” a position so supported by the United States and other Western countries, as well as by US-allied African states like Uganda.
The insanity of another Khartoum-South Sudan war could be averted if only the perfect logic of US-Russia-China economic interests in the Sudan was not the insane but supreme factor in the scheme of things. Sudanese people from both the North and the South are mere pawns doing the bidding of superpowers.
Here is a statement recently attributed to Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti by the Voice of America:
“The biggest thing which we did was to restore trust in the market, because we have been predictable, we have been consistent, and I have said if there is anyone who is going to push me to carry out a measure that I do not agree with, if anyone is going to force me to retain the Zimbabwean dollar, I will quit and go back to my law firm.”
The minister was speaking at the Atlantic Council think-tank recently and he chose this occasion to proclaim his pride in the insanity of hailing from a country without a currency. The perfect logic of restoring “trust in the market,” and of being “consistent” is as laudable as Minister’s Biti’s feat as a competent lawyer, but to take pride in having no ambition or plan to restore a national currency is insanity of the highest order, from any number of angles. There is a huge difference between condemning the bringing back the Zimdollar at the wrong time and advocating never bringing it back again. Biti is a disciple of the later, or so it seems.
Commenting on Minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s spirited efforts at indigenising the economy of Zimbabwe, Minister Tendai Biti had this to say:
“You are just transferring shares from a few rich, white people, to a few rich, black people, so it is not democratisation. It is just elite transfer. So it was not well thought out. And the true due process is not sufficiently being followed, so I think it is a programme that we need to go back to the drawing board and then say genuinely how we can empower people.”
Again we see the perfect logic of democratisation overriding the total insanity of us putting up with the demeaning and humiliating reality of a white-controlled economy. In Biti’s view, if we cannot literally give the white-controlled firms to all Zimbabweans put together, then we are better off leaving the “few rich white people” in control. We are in this sense better off putting up with a few rich white people than a few rich black people. Better a foreign exploiter than your own brother, so the reasoning goes.
Zimbabwe is a capitalist state by practical definition and from that perspective “nationalisation of resources” must mean state capitalism, or the control of capital by a few rich Zimbabwean nationals, with the majority benefiting through the filter-down effect of jobs and taxation — the usual way of capitalism. This writer knows Tendai Biti from his socialist days at university, but is more than certain that the minister is not advocating for every Zimbabwean to acquire a share or two in foreign-owned firms. That would be myopic.
What the minister is doing is using the perfect logic of democratisation to protect the total insanity of foreign domination over our economy. He cannot stand out there and say: “Leave these few rich white people alone. They are our friends at the MDC-T.” That would be politically suicidal.
Minister Biti has a grand plan to get Zimbabwe out of the IMF loan bondage, an economic slavery suffered by almost every African country at the moment. He tells us we are US$140 million in debt arrears to the IMF, and that the total debt stands at US$550 million.
The minister’s clever plan is “to request co-operating partners for a concessional bridging loan or grant to settle arrears to the IMF.” And then what happens?
“He said clearance of ECF arrears would unlock new financing arrangements from the IMF, within the context of a fund supported financial arrangement, which would then be used to repay the bridging loan obtained from the co-operating partners.” This is a quote from The Zimbabwean.
So we have a Finance Minister whose idea of economic independence is to borrow money cheaply from some unspecified friendly lenders or donors, use that money to pay up arrears at the IMF, and once arrears are cleared, persuade the money shark organisation to add more millions of dollars to our US$550 million debt, then we take those borrowed extra millions to repay our lesser interest and friendly “co-operating partner” lenders. Very sound thinking indeed.
So you borrow at a lesser interest and use the money to clear arrears of an expensive loan, after which you ask for another expensive loan to go and pay back the soft loan, become good friends with the “co-operating partners,” at the expense of an expanded and expensive IMF loan. And you end up with a bigger IMF loan, mortgaging the country for decades under a financially murderous Bretton Woods loan regime.
We have a Finance Minister once rated ‘‘the best in Africa’’ and perhaps we should give this clever plan a chance. Maybe he will negotiate a write-off of all our debts at the IMF one day. Please not under HIPC arrangements! We are not poor.
A wholesale loan write-off would be the only logical way of getting us out of the IMF financial bondage that the minister wants so much to secure for us, or more precisely to add for us. So determined is Minister Biti to get us a bigger IMF loan that he actually has warned us to be at our behaving best if we are not to lose out. He said: “Zimbabwe will, however, need a track record of implementing sound macro-economic policies and assurances . . .”
Our Finance Minister seems not to have his eyes on wheeling up our production lines in a country so much blessed with all manner of natural resources, including a huge array of expensive minerals, and an agricultural potential only unique to ourselves in Southern Africa.
Rather he wants us to have it the easy but most brutally expensive IMF way, the way most renowned Finance Ministers are going in Africa, as what made Malawi such a widely praised “economic success” between 2004 and 2010, after which the economic success immediately disappeared with the back of an expelled British diplomat.
Biti’s reasoning is perfect logic for a recovering economy like that of Zimbabwe, but in all honesty it is total insanity when premised on the rationale of sustainability and building of the future for Zimbabwe’s coming generations.
Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!
l Reason Wafawarova is a political writer based in Sydney, Australia.