Full Circle


I was a freshman at university when Zimbabwe threw off colonial rule and Robert Mugabe came into power. That was a lifetime ago (above). Now, Zimbabwe has come full circle, throwing off a sclerotic regime and seeing what comes next. Maybe there is a cyclical absurdity to it all.

About a year ago I read John Updike’s 1979 novel The Coup, about regime change in Africa. I read it on Mexico’s buses and beaches. Of course Updike lampooned African politics, but he drove a deeper skewer into the American cloak and dagger types, and Kennedy types, who thought they could change things. The news of Zimbabwe reminded me of that good read.

I’m no expert on Zimbabwe and have never been there. In a perfect world, in a more complex world, there would be a multiplicity of regime types. But in our world they really come down to globalizing regimes and a tiny number of regimes that are anti-globalization (or seem to be, on the surface).

Unfortunately, the list of those systems include disappointments, failures, and places susceptible to failure (unless the tides are reversed). Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, etc… That being said, the majority of globalizing regimes have also failed to provide prosperity or security, and just seem to maintain people at a low level of existence and awareness. It’s easy for American statists and neo-cons to criticize Venezuela, and lose focus of more serious carnage in El Salvador or northern Mexico.

Southern Africa also reminds me of the deeply hypocritical stance taken by those in Washington’s Establishment, back in the days of apartheid, and back when Zimbabwe was also minority ruled: “No, we can’t have economic sanctions, we must continue to engage…”

These same tools – a motley crew of blue bloods, deep staters, and zionists – use the opposite logic and plead for sanctions when it comes to Iran and other places.

So Zimbabwe is having its Shakespearean moment. Finally, some drama. The world seems to be an awfully quiet place when you think about it. There are more than 7 billion people (supposedly) and almost 200 countries. But everything seems strangely tranquil.

Should there not be more mass upheaval? Or even, simultaneously, more positive vibrations – more striding purposefully into the bright and shiny future?

All is quiet on the human front.


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