Inside an enclave: the dynamics of capitalism and rural politics in a post-land reform context
George T. Mudimu, Ting Zuo, Nkumbu Nalwimba
Corresponding authors: Ting Zuo， e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Journal of Peasant Studies, 2020(Published online)
Abstract: There is no doubt that Zimbabwe’sFast Track Land Reform Program resulted in repeasantization. As several studies point out, it also resulted in accumulation from below by a majority of the resettled peasantry. Our study focuses on an area where counter-agrarian reform is in motion and accumulation from below is constrained. In this location, we argue that repeasantization is severely being contested as indicated by the re-emergence of a dual-mode of production and the subsequent ‘virtual’ dispossession and proletarianization of the land reform beneﬁciaries. Our ﬁndings shed more light on the dynamics of capitalism and agrarian politics in a context where land reforms are implemented under neoliberalism. In this enclave, peasants after accessing land through the land reform collectivized their land and parceled it to the downsized and nearby capitalist farming system. The capitalist farming system engages in spatio-temporal ﬁx by moving from one rural site to another as it follows the dictates of accumulation. While the possibility of full-scale land dispossession exists, the current state ownership of land and the peasantry’s resistance provided some brakes to full-scale land dispossession. At the same time, the state’s limited support to land reform beneﬁciaries fuels this localized land dispossession. The peasantry’s exploitation in this enclave ranges from corvee labor to coercion into the miniland enclosures; these are implemented by village heads, who are local state functionaries. This study also recasts the relevance of the Marxist framework in understanding rural dynamics more speciﬁcally; it revisits Karl Kautsky’s arguments on the coexistence thesis of the peasantry and capitalist farming and illustrates the Zimbabwean state’s ambivalence with regards to the conditions of peasant and capitalist farming.
Keywords: Capitalism; dispossession; peasant farming; capitalist farming; semi-proletariat; land reform
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2020.1722106