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Letters: 'His Excellency', & 'Gig Economy'

His Excellency

Dear Comrades

I was shocked a few weeks ago when I read the utterances by a Mr. Steve Franke (said to work for a global group) in a local daily. He attributes President Mugabe’s socio-economic catastrophe to his Marxism. I wonder if anyone on Earth could be farther from Marxism than Mr. Mugabe: Mr. Trump is much better because he acquired his wealth outside of government office. Our own Mr. Excellency abused Marxism (equality/fairness) to win public support.

If you have access to the likes of Mr. Franke kindly put the following questions: Did not Marx say (if socialism is implemented) the state will wither away? While 99 percent of us (Zimbabweans) are literally starving is not His Excellency building a too large army and police force? Marxism? Add state-of-the-art military academies (and we are not under threat from anyone), new parliament, new capital city etc.

While we starve Mr. Mugabe was among the poor before going into public office, but his cabinet are Christian, did not Marx criticize religion? In fact, what I can say is that Marx overrated influential people’s morals and compassion. And while Christ and other religionists were dreamers, mysticists (selfish and arrogant) Marx was the best in terms of ethics, they (gullibly) believe they will join their god in the (imaginary) paradise. Although they now disown each other, law, politics, religion originate together, in a bid to make order to society; tragically the cunning and powerful abused power selfishly. Hence proponents of just, fair and ethical ideals like Marx were condemned while proponents of bigotry/dictatorship like Christ (read, e.g. Matthew 10:34-42 and Luke 9:59-60) are eulogised. An Almighty Dad (if he has the power; love and mercy he is said to have) would never subjected his son to barbaric torture.

Instead of facing reality (like Marx), mysticists waste time and resources wrestling an imaginary monster. Thus the very real monsters abusing power (the bully bigots exploiting and torturing 99 percent of the population) are ignored. Really, some churches are very well organised, help their members in need but, pathetically, if you are going in the wrong direction, you will never get to your destination, however graceful your pace may be.

Bigots wishfully think they can lock reality out of the front door. I am one of the many made destitute when our cruel and selfish leaders forfeited our savings (now I am unemployable due to age). Ironically, His Excellency wants to work beyond 2020, even if he is 25 years older than me, old enough to be my father. But ever since robbing us in 2008/9 they are bombarding us with propaganda ‘Empowerment! Zim asset’ instead of doing some good to us. They defrauded/robbed in 2008/9, once more they are squandering millions of US dollars telling us how good His Excellency is and how much good is in store for us come 2018.

A week ago: people were tortured and chased by armed police from demonstrating against the bond notes, but the Herald newspaper came out with ‘people ignore the planned demo…’ Yes, locking reality out of the front door, but they forget we live in the situation, although we have no access to the internet and we cannot afford phones, which can access Facebook, Google etc. Yes, religious propagandists are safer with their acumen to articulate and encourage the suspension of logic, hallucinate and infatuate congregants.

GODWIN HATITYE, Harare, Zimbabwe

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Gig economy

Dear Editors

I read the article 'Gigs and Umbrellas' in the December Socialist Standard. It was a very good article and made some excellent points about changing workplace conditions for us working folks, but it left out one relevant point that shouldn't be missed.

The last 15 years of my own career as an RN was spent as an independent practitioner for a nursing agency. In this situation, I met only my client(s), not my fellow-independent practitioners working for the same agency. Although independent practitioners generally get less pay and are taxed at a higher rate than other workers, there is little opportunity for them to share complaints about the work, the pay, the treatment received from management, etc.

In addition to all the problems cited by in the article, think of the effect this has on potential union activity: there is neither incentive nor opportunity for independent practitioners to form a union. Each one is an isolated individual. 'Solidarity forever' is becoming passé in this new world order.

Karla Rab, WSP(US)

Reply: Actually there have been attempts in Britain to organise workers who are the 'self-employed' such as motorbike couriers and Uber drivers. See: https://iwgb.org.uk/