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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Ideological Formation of the Zimbabwean Ruling Class
Author:Moore, David B.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:political ideologies
political elite
History and Exploration
Abstract:Much debate on the nature of Zimbabwean politics and ideology has focused on whether or not the 'revolution failed', and whether or not the petit-bourgeois leaders of the struggle for national liberation had the intention or were capable of transforming that battle into a socialist one. Most of such analysis has been contradictory. The petit bourgeoisie is either simultaneously reviled for betraying the revolution and relied upon to bring it to a successful head, or its 'revolutions' are simply added to a multitude of others on the road to postcolonialism. It is the contention of this article that a detailed historical exploration of the political and ideological 'making' of the Zimbabwean ruling class, beginning with the first moment of colonial contact and ending with the successful resolution of nearly fifteen years of liberation war in 1980, informed by Gramscian perspectives on hegemony, intellectuals, and the State, can cast more light on the nature of Zimbabwe's 'revolution'. The author demonstrates that Zimbabwe's recent political history was indeed constituted by a single, albeit contradictory, successful revolution. The main ideological contradictions experienced by the intellectuals on the road to power - an early form of 'populism versus elitism' and a later one of 'Marxism versus capitalism' - were resolved in favour of the latter tendencies through a process of physical sidelining and discursive absorption. There is little reason to believe that the contemporary ruling class will not continue to maintain its position in such a manner. Notes, ref., sum.