Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Zimbabwe: The Death of a Dream

Zimbabwe: The Death of a Dream is a Laissez Faire Books exclusive. The world has been watching the corruption and petty thuggery of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe. But most people ignored the warning signs for decades.

When Mugabe came to power the world applauded. The Los Angeles Times said “with Mugabe at the helm the future of Zimbabwe... is brighter now than at any other time in the past two decades.” We now see how dreary that future was. Margaret Thatcher praised Mugabe when he came to power and The Economist said: “Race relations are sunny.” In just a few short years all that optimism turned to tears.

But very few press accounts can tell you how or why this happened. They don’t explain how it was a series of government blunders by Mugabe that dragged Zimbabwe down. They don’t tell you that right from the start Mugabe considered himself a radical Marxist who promised to impose one party rule on Zimbabwe. They don’t tell you how they pooh-poohed those facts when they first were made public years ago. The crisis in Zimbabwe was in the making for decades but the media portrayed Mugabe as Zimbabwe’s saviour.

And when the whole charade fell apart in 2000 they misreported the facts. What was portrayed as an attack on “white farmers” was not that at all. The target was not a small number of white farmers but the tens of thousands of black voters who lived on the white farms. The farms provided them homes, schools and clinics. They were out of reach to Mugabe’s armed thugs and couldn’t be intimidated by force nor bribe by government “services”. The white farmers were attacked because they stood between Mugabe and black voters. This fact escaped most the media.

Zimbabwe: The Death of Dream explains in easy-to-read chapters how and why the collapse of Zimbabwe came about. But it does much more. It explains the role of “envy” in the socialist politics and how Mugabe used “hatred of the good for being the good” to create his dictatorship. It shows how Mugabe attacked all successful elements of his society, not just white farmers. Black businessmen, the educated, teachers, etc., were all objects of attack by Mugabe’s armed agents.

Jammed with facts this very readable book gives a libertarian perspective to an issue that is now prominent in the news. Written a few years ago it warned of the current crisis, predicted the famines that now plague Zimbabwe and accurately predicted how the crisis in Zimbabwe would be played out in South Africa as well.

The author, Jim Peron, is now general manager for Laissez Faire Books. His articles on African politics have been published around the world including the Wall Street Journal (Europe). Paperback, 152 pages, $14.95.

Bonus: Jim’s other book, Die, the Beloved Country? chronicles the decline of South Africa under the first years of governance by the African National Congress and Nelson Mandela. Also available for $14.95 the two books can be purchased as a package deal for $22.95 from Laissez Faire. To order call 1 800 326 0996.

1 comment:

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