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View Diary: UPDATEDx2:  Roy Bennett abducted by Zimbabwe police (238 comments)

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  •  While it's certainly not my field of (0+ / 0-)

    expertise, another way would be to restrict the ability to devise the land, so that it would escheat to the state, and could then be made available to disenfranchised civilians.

    I'll be the first to acknowledge that the way it was carried out leaves much to be desired.

    I think that's being incredibly charitable. I recognize the serious problem of native Zimbabweans being shut out of land ownership, but marauding thugs invading and seizing property leaves one awfully unsympathetic to the plan.

    -1.50, -3.95 | VA 2009: Deeds / Wagner / Shannon

    by Red Sox on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 04:25:27 AM PST

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    •  "Marauding thugs" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Kresnik

      I presently live in Chiapas, Mexico which has a very rich recent history of land invasions by the poor. Its a very messy and complicated situation, but almost universally those who use this sort of disparaging language to characterize land-hungry peasants are defenders of the privileges of teh old oligarchy. Land reform is almost never a completely orderly process. It quite commonly involves a dual movement of land invasions from below and post-hoc legalization of those invasions from above. There are better and worse examples and it seems pretty clear that Zimbabwe was one ofthe worse ones. I would suggest, however, that this is in large measure a consequence of the accumulated rage when 25 years after the supposed overthrow of white rule white farmers still monopolized the country's best lands. It is important to always keep in mind in discussing these situations the actual degree of state functioning in many poor countries, that is to say the very ability of a regime to carry out something like land reform in a legal and orderly manner. In the real world once the floodgates begin to open on something like that a government is lucky if it can keep its head above water. This was especially the case in Zimbabwe where Mugabe had pretty much exhausted his political capital prior to the land takeovers.

      •  TRUE! (0+ / 0-)

        "the revolution for human rights is opening up unhealthy areas in American life and permitting a wholesome healing to take place." Martin Luther King Jr.

        by BlkPantherScholar on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:40:01 AM PST

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      •  don't be overly naive (0+ / 0-)

        Mugabe started the "Land Reform" in a bid to revive his political capital, as a bribe to the Army, both the officers and the enlistees.  The same pattern has happened since ... well ... Marius

        As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country. A Lincoln

        by TheGryphon on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:41:48 AM PST

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