Category Archives: Africa (anti-colonial struggle)

African hero

With Olof Palme

The evil of Julius Nyerere

Dalrymple points out that the Tanganyikan dictator was cultured enough to translate Julius Cæsar and The Merchant of Venice into Swahili. His influence, however, was

almost wholly pernicious.

He was able to preserve his reputation for sainthood in rich countries, and especially in Scandinavia,

because he shrewdly realised that, to assuage its guilt for its colonial past, the West had need of an African hero.

Pauperisation of an already poor country

He also recognised that his audience

would be far more interested in what he said than in what he did.

Such an audience of Western dupes

had no interest in the reality of the Tanzania he had created.

In praise of Rhodesia

The anti-colonial struggle in Africa, writes Dalrymple,

was not about freedom but about power and loot.

The sense in which it represented a political advance

was that it accorded with people’s natural preference for being ruled by a local rather than a foreign dictator, even if the latter were the better ruler by far. Many of the progressive pieties of the 20th century thus had within them a strong core of xenophobia and racism.

Dalrymple avers that Robert Mugabe

is a fine example of his genre: the liberator-turned-despot.

Compared to that of Mugabe, the régime of Ian Smith was infinitely preferable, being

  • considerably less ruthless
  • more willing to place limits upon its exercise of power
  • administratively vastly more competent

Mugabe, Dalrymple notes,

inherited a flourishing country, despite years of international sanctions, one that even Nyerere (no friend of Smith) called a jewel. Whoever takes over from Mugabe will most certainly not inherit a flourishing country.

Rhodesian whites are characterised by the ignorant as

  • lazy
  • spoilt
  • frivolous
  • anti-intellectual
  • beer-swilling
  • rugby-playing
  • thoroughly exploitative

The destroyers

Yet it is difficult, says Dalrymple,

to see how such a people could have left a bejewelled legacy.

A plague of locusts

Mugabe’s force and fraud

have had the opposite consequence of that of the whites: the bread-basket has become the basket case.

The whites

constructed something worthwhile.

Mugabe and his cronies have been

entirely parasitic.