The political economy of Zimbabwe-Focus on the creation of a proletariat: Implications for the labour movement

Sibanda, Arnold Elson (1992) The political economy of Zimbabwe-Focus on the creation of a proletariat: Implications for the labour movement. UNSPECIFIED.

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The Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies has been asked to present a paper to this important seminar on the topic: The Political Economy of Zimbabwe: Implications for the Labour Movement. This, as the letter of invitation from the Assistant General Secretary notes, is a very broad topic indeed. Basically, every issue relating to, or of concern to the labour movement in this country cannot be understood outside the framework of an understanding of the political economy of Zimbabwe. Fortunately, the invitation letter guides ZIDS to focus on the process leading to the creation of the proletariat as a class in Zimbabwe. Even that is still a wide topic and does not provide a specific focus. The first thing to note is that when we are talking about the development of a proletariat - a class of people who live by no other means but by the sale of their labour-power to those who own the means of production - we are really talking about the development of capitalism in Zimbabwe, the development of a historically specific system of production and of gaining the means of life. We will define capitalism later on, but the point is - the proletariat is the specific class of capitalism and capitalism cannot, can never exist without this class of people. But we should not forget that every class has its opposite number, like every coin has two sides. So when we talk of the development of a proletariat, we are really talking of one side of the coin; the other side being the development of a bourgeoisie. There is no coin without two sides; similarly there cannot be capitalism Without two main classes. The class which is the opposite side of the proletariat is the bourgeoisie. That class, by virtue of its ownership and control of the means of production (things which make life possible, which are necessary for human life), lives by hiring the proletariat to do wage labour for it. So, then, when we talk about the development of a working-class, of a proletariat, we must always have in mind the development of the bourgeoisie and the struggle between these two core classes.

Item Type: Other
Uncontrolled Keywords: political economy,proletariat,labour movement,Zimbabwe
Divisions: Universities > State Universities > University of Zimbabwe
Depositing User: Mr. Edmore Sibanda
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2015 14:17
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2015 14:17

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