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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Southern African liberation movements as governments and the limits to liberation
Author:Melber, HenningISNI
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic term:Southern Africa
national liberation movements
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03056240903211190
Abstract:Since the French Revolution, liberators have often turned into oppressors, victims into perpetrators. Resistance movements normally adopt rough survival strategies and techniques while fighting an oppressive regime. Unfortunately, that culture takes root and is permanently nurtured. Victims, as liberators, may turn into perpetrators when in control and wielding power. They gave away their humanity and in return expect unconditional loyalty by others to a type of struggle which remains an ever-lasting act of patriotism and service. Such a mindset leaves no space for retirement. In governmental office, liberation movements tend to mark an 'end of history'. Any political alternative that does not emerge from within them will not be acceptable. This attitude explains the strong sense of camaraderie between the Mugabe regime and the governments of Angola, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa over many years. The degree of aggressive polarization emerging under former liberation movements challenged by new political opposition parties is a feature characterizing Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa in similar ways, but these governments never seem to even consider the possibility that their own shortcomings may be the reason why opposition forces are becoming stronger. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]