Uneven Zimbabwe: A Study of Finance, Development, and Underdevelopment
by Patrick Bond
This book explains development, underdevelopment, economic crisis, structural adjustment, and class formation in one of the most unequal societies in ... Show synopsis This book explains development, underdevelopment, economic crisis, structural adjustment, and class formation in one of the most unequal societies in the world. Intensified uneven development in Zimbabwe is mainly due to the periodic rise of financial capital -- banks, building societies, pension and insurance funds, the stock market, international lenders -- which has occurred, historically, in the 1890s, 1920s, 1950s, and late 1980s-early 1990s with effects evident across urban and rural space and geographical scale. Now, as then, finance-driven capital accumulation has shaped Harare's plush suburbs and "high-density" ghettoes, distinguished the countryside's flourishing commercial farms from barren peasant lands, and inspired an approach by which a handful of black elites have more recently joined white Zimbabweans at the economy's commanding heights. Finance, however, undermined production by attracting resources into untenable speculative outlets (such as the stock market and real estate); caused economic fragility; contributed to corruption; revealed the society's persistent white racism; and served as one of the country's most important sources of social power. The author anticipates, however, that the contradictions that finance generates might in turn catalyze a new round of democratic resistance.