The enigma of bourgeoisie in African revolutions.

Was the armed struggle designed to remove the white men, so that black rulers could freely butcher their own people? It seems the so-called SADAC countries are good, only at speechifying after their regular regional meetings. How could they honestly treat such barbarism as business as usual, when everything deteriorates this far in Zimbabwe? Why should they be comfortable, when such things are happening in one of their neighboring countries? Apparently, the bourgeoisie mentality seems like the one to blame, but unbeknown to many people.

Nothing is as disturbing as watching videos of the three women assaulted by the police, this week. But what is even more disturbing is that the Western nations are the ones expressing abhorrence of such behavior. The rest of the African leaders appear as having obviously shown solidarity with the incumbent president. Had this been perpetrated by a white man’s government, they would have screamed to high heavens, showing how racist such a government would be.

Those African leaders would have been driven to see the callousness of the white man. His Excellency, E. D. Mnangagwa is considered as one of the luminaries of the liberation struggle, awaiting to be interred in Heroes Acre. The terrorists used to perform such barbarisms are considered as defending the revolution. Truly, we live in a world of insanity.

The bourgeoisie mentality emanated from the colonialists, who treated the black people as inferior. The ruling class would do everything to trample the people who are disadvantaged. The bourgeois would take the position that those being treated badly would be deserving of it. As long as they, themselves, would be living comfortably, everything would be normal. In fact, their view would be that everything should continue unabated, as long as their own families would be fed.

The cause of high criminal activities does not concern the bourgeois, as long as their homes would be insured and securely dura-walled. Theirs is a life of no concern for what happens to their neighbors. Meanwhile, those at the top, seek to ensure that the middle class is secure. It is the middle class that sustains their supremacy. A nation having reached that stage is as dangerous as agitating for a new armed revolution.

Bourgeois Bourgeoisie Stock Photos & Bourgeois Bourgeoisie Stock ...

All revolutions were born out of such staid conditions. The working class could not help, but seeking to topple those in leadership. A nation that does not question how those earning less than the prescribed minimum wage to survive, is as callous as a robber is callous. The bourgeoisie mentality was planted by the colonialists. Their segregation machinery sought to give exclusive privileges to the white families, at the expense of the black people. The revolutionary activities were born out of this irregularity.

The privileged whites could not see anything wrong, even though clearly aware that they were unfairly treated as superior to their black counterparts. Ian Smith’s government took away some of their comforts by forcing them to go for military national service. Most of those critical of Smith’s policies were only driven by discomfiture with the national service idea. Their disparity with Smith had nothing to do with disagreement with the segregation policies. They desired to remain comfortable in the privileges accorded to the white people.

They decried the guerrilla warfare, assuming it as unjustified. But at the same time they did not want to be called up for national service to preserve peace. The problem was neither from the freedom fighters nor the government policies. It was the bourgeois mentality, among the privileged white settlers. Things were normal, as long as their own interests were protected.

The governing authorities were the minority. The middle class comprised the privileged white majority in that system. It could not have been possible for Smith’s government to pursue bourgeoisie policies, without the support of the middle-class whites. In their struggle, the blacks saw an unfair system, favoring whites, at the expense of blacks. The privileged white bourgeois saw an unreasonable black group with unjustified complaints.

In short, this describes the cause of the vicious armed struggle that gave birth to our national independence in 1980. Most of those whites saw no reason to continue living in Zimbabwe. They sought greener pastures in other countries, leaving Mugabe to perpetuate the bourgeois system that they had planted. The middle-class blacks took over the privileges, previously enjoyed by the white settlers.

The freedom fighters who had taken over the reins of leadership left the working class unrepresented. The working class became more vulnerable after independence. Those who dared complain were viewed as reactionary. The propaganda machinery labeled such people as being used by the former white settlers. Through the charismatic leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai, a formidable opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was formed, in 1999.

Unfortunately, the opposition parliamentarians began to, obviously, benefit from the bourgeois system. The propaganda machinery continued to bombard them with the puppetry label from the former colonizers. This bombardment sidetracked the ordinary populace, failing to understand what was happening on the ground. The parliamentarians became important, as to be accorded with terms like, “Honorable members of Parliament.” The crafty black government had sought to appease them with attractive parliamentary privileges.

All failures of the MDC should be viewed as emanated from the status of importance in parliament. That describes the idea of bourgeois mentality, now also adopted by the opposition parliamentarians. Nothing appeared as wrong. After all, the former colonizers were practicing the same culture in their own countries. Copying and pasting from them is what was seen as progressive. Although the black Africans were yet to develop to the level of developed countries. The black parliamentarians became superior to those they represented. In other words, they became absorbed in the ruling class, as to enjoy bourgeois privileges.

The middle-class population remained intact, characterized by relocation to former white suburban areas. It became fashionable to settle in former white suburban areas. While a few of the high ranking MDC officials were harassed, the majority of the poor people, carried the brunt of an evil system. No-one could adequately represent the poor, in the fight against the repressive system.

Throughout their struggle against ZANU PF, the MDC parliamentarians never mentioned the term bourgeoisie, in their vocabulary. But the bourgeois system remained intact, causing Tsvangirai’s failure to focus on implementing necessary changes for the democratic dispensation, during GNU. That failure had nothing to do with ZANU PF intransigence, as much as most people would like to believe. The bourgeois mentality was at play. The MDC MPs assumed being different from ZANU PF. But their difference was just as ZANU PF had factional differences in its own ranks.

The so-called new Constitution, drawn under COPAC, had a clearly defined expenditure, enjoyed by the parliamentarians. But, even a layman could easily perceive that COPAC was most compromised. I suppose, the rejected Constitutional document of 2000, was probably better than the new Constitution adopted in 2013. Professor Madhuku’s position was technically rejected, considering that the main opposition had connived with ZANU PF in the new constitution. The poor could do nothing, except to accept going along with those, supposedly representing them.

Just like any loser, MDC would like to insist that they contributed much during GNU. But, they actually, benefited more, as individuals, but not for the benefit of the country. The MDC party came from the working class. But they found themselves in the luxury of driving the most expensive cars, previously inaccessible to them. That which had been the reason for being elected into parliament lost value. The ordinary people who had voted for Tsvangirai got tricked into adopting GNU in 2008. The memorandum of agreement had stipulated that GNU was to be an equally shared power, between the two major parties.

However, the crafty President Mugabe remained as State President. On paper, he could not implement anything without Tsvangirai’s agreement. But, as everything is now history, I suppose even Mugabe was surprised having had a political opponent as weak as Tsvangirai. The governors and the crucial ambassadorial positions could not go the MDC way. Someone must have told Tsvangirai that his compromises displayed statesmanship, rather than buffoonery.

The new Prime Minister was to be awarded a beautiful mansion in one of those exclusive expensive suburbs. Without knowing the mechanics of the bourgeois system, most people thought that this was a sign of GNU workability. Those in the propaganda machinery tried to expose Tsvangirai, for having corruptly acquired the property. I suppose they were right.

However, those from the opposition thought that Mr. Tsvangirai deserved to be given such a mansion. But the most informed could see that this was the political shenanigans, designed to keep the opposition under the ZANU PF control. The bourgeois system was at play. The problem with the bourgeois system is that it remains undetected, as sustained in personal entitlement.

The opposition politicians might have had the verve to fight the cause of emancipation. But the silhouette bourgeois system made it impossible for them to remain focused. As mentioned in my previous articles, the idea of perceived value in acquiring expensive low-density suburban homes appears innocent. But we have to ask the question of what the person would be trying to achieve with that locational initiative. The low-density residential areas had been reserved for the white bourgeois class.

The cause of that segregation is what fueled the liberation struggle, after all. Or else, we have to ask the question, as to what was wrong with the white supremacist system? As long as not clear in answering that question, the idea of coming out of the dilapidated conditions remains remote. Was the purpose of the liberation struggle for replacing white settlers with just a few blacks, as bourgeois? Obviously, the answer cannot be affirmative. The liberation struggle was for egalitarianism.

I am personally agreeable with those tossing the idea of disbanding the MDCA when considering its existing historical challenges in its ranks. Let those who find the gravy train packages appealing than siding with the general populace be allowed to go. A new political party should be formed, from the people who understand the significance of representing the poor working class. Hopefully, that would be the only time that we can hope for a new dispensation, in this country.

The bourgeois will continue to play the game of blaming ZANU PF, using the MDC ticket. Yet enjoying going along with the gravy train, through those parliamentary privileges. The new party ought to re-strategize, coming up with the new set of governing principles that make those considered ordinary, very important. We need people who honestly represent ordinary people, in parliament, not the opportunists. We need a party that represents the needs of poor people. Not a party that seeks to perpetuate the impoverishment of the ordinary people.

There is, actually, no organized patterns in the bourgeois system in the world. Those selfish people may not even be aware of their insatiable greed. The greedy people are often unaware of their wrong behaviors. As far as the person is concerned, everything would be normal, as long as he is well-fed. He does not care about what happens next door. In short, these are the people who answer the question: “In all my toiling on this planet have I been happy that I live?” They are different from those answering the question: “In all my toiling on this planet, have most people been glad that I live?”

Self-centered people are very good at advertising themselves. When not aware of the mechanisms of the bourgeoisie mentality, one could, actually sympathize with such people. I was fascinated, listening to Komichi, the other day. Appealing for sympathy, that he had been jailed for defending Chamisa, in 2018 election results. This was notwithstanding that he could not show good reason for jumping ship.

The self-centered people think more in terms of what benefits them than thinking about what benefits other people. Their instinct is to always defend their positions, more than defending the position of the poor working class. It takes real characters to understand the principle of defending ordinary people, at one’s expense. It took the character of Nelson Mandela to go for twenty-seven years in prison, without contemplating to loot large sums from government, for his own benefits, during his time in power.

The bourgeois could be few in numbers. The only problem is that they influence the thinking pattern of the ordinary people. In our African continent, heroism is considered in terms of how a person accumulates money, only for himself. This is a bourgeois mentality obtained from the former white settlers, only to be institutionalized by the former freedom fighters. Yet it is the one that has reduced the entire continent to be a laughing stock, when compared with the other nations.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.

The print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99

Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com  for $6.99

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar