Development, Part 4
La Via Campesina
The main linked download, below, today, is from a farmer called Rob Sacco. It is a 2005 letter from the bundu in reply to an e-mail that was printed by a friend and carried up to Sacco in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.
Sacco is a defender of the people’s history of Zimbabwe as he sees it. He seems suspicious of nearly everyone else, but he is articulate and serious and obviously a practical person. He writes of “development by marginal adjustment”, which sounds right, for peasants.
La Via Campesina means “the way of the peasant”.
While taking a swipe at the SACP for being “workerist” (which is certainly a bad mistake, but how would he know?) Sacco lays out his assessment:
“…the transfer of 10 million hectares plus of the best land from a post-colonial class perpetually externalizing wealth, to the mass of an African peasant class, and to an African petty bourgeoisie, generating indigenous wealth from the ground up, constitutes a genuine revolution.”
Sacco is not shy to defend the peasantry and the petty bourgeoisie. This is an example the Communist University needs for our current purposes. We need an advocate for the interests of the other masses, the ones that the working class needs as allies, so as to form an overwhelming popular majority, together.
If we are to be allies, we must be capable of understanding peasants and petty bourgeois in their own terms, and we must be able to learn from them.
Sacco has a sense of place and a pride in his ability to bring forth nourishment for people from the land, by work and by skill and by knowledge and experience.
There is a lot of personal history in this piece, and a lot of political history of structures and institutions, and even a cat that breaks a bottle of whisky. This is all quite typical of the peasant approach to life, which is always as much of a narrative as it is a collective.
The picture is of farmers in Mozambique.
- The above is to introduce the original reading-text: Peasant Revolution in Zimbabwe, Rob Sacco, 2005, reply to Bond.
- To download any of the CU courses in PDF files please click here.