Marxism Archives - ROAPE
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Marxism Tag

Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa is a masterpiece. In this review of the new edition of the book by Verso, Andy Higginbottom celebrates a classic that has lost none of its power. The book brings together in a broad narrative the history of the African continent from a perspective that is at one and the same time Pan-Africanist and Marxist. For all of those interested in Africa’s history and future, the book must be studied once more. Review of Walter Rodney (2018) How Europe Underdeveloped Africa  (London/New York: Verso) By Andy Higginbottom This book is a masterpiece. Walter Rodney wrote How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (HEUA) in his late twenties while a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The book brings together in a broad narrative the history of the African continent from a perspective that is at one and the same time Pan Africanist...

The revolutionary left in Sub-Saharan Africa (1960’s-1970’s): a political and social history to be written   Background The reason for this symposium stems from the following observation: while the revolutionary left movements of the 1960s and 1970s in Europe, the United States, Latin America and elsewhere have been the subject of abundant literature, similar movements that emerged during this period in Africa are still unknown. There are two main reasons for this ignorance: firstly, it was often an underground history with actors operating in hiding, and secondly, it is also a long-concealed history, either because of defeat (political and sometimes military), or of a certain form of self-censorship due to the subsequent reconversion of former revolutionary actors within the ruling elite or other reasons of ‘disavowal’ of this left-wing activist past. The symposium is therefore meant to help reveal the invisible, forgotten and retrospectively compressed history of these...

In a powerful defence of Marxist political economy John Saul argues that ‘facing down the hulk of capital that presently bestrides the world was never going to be easy.’ Though as ‘powerful and ill-intentioned as capitalists’ might be ‘as they destroy the world, environmentally and morally’, everything, in Africa and elsewhere, continues to depend on the struggle of the oppressed. In this contribution he blends his on-going work on Africa with a more general analytical and theoretical consideration on progressive political economy. The fruitfulness of this approach is exemplified in his forthcoming book, Revolutionary Hope vs Free-Market Fantasies: Towards the Revival of Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa (to appear in 2019). There readers can see a more elaborated model of the method of both learning and communicating – in exploring the juxtaposition between theory on the one hand and ‘practice’, in the chapters 'southern Africa...

Ahead of the third ROAPE workshop in the series on radical political economy, to be held in Johannesburg in November, Peter Lawrence looks at the debate on the legacy of Julius Nyerere and socialism at the second meeting in Dar es Salaam. The Dar workshop, as was the case with the first one in Accra, was distinguished by the serious analysis by both scholars and activists and those who are both, of the prospects for a radical shift in political economic strategy. The gathering in Tanzania faced head on the issue of imperialism in its contemporary form and what radical forces of the socialist left are up against. The conversation will continue in South Africa. By Peter Lawrence In my interview with Issa Shivji at the Dar workshop he referred to the proceedings as a ‘conversation’ and urged that the conversation be continued. Although I started this...

In the second part of Matt Swagler’s blogpost on the Russian Revolution, he focuses on how Marxist ideas became central to African political organizing from the late 1940s through the 1970s—a development which took place at the same time that the Soviet Union emerged as a new global superpower. In the first part of Swagler’s article posted on roape.net last year he argued that the 1917 Russian Revolution had important repercussions in Africa, notably in the new connections formed between Black Marxists from the Americas and trade unionists and anti-colonial figures on the African continent. In the second part of the post he looks at how the USSR (and Soviet doctrines of Communism) began to exert the most profound influence in Africa precisely at the time when the incredible emancipatory potential of the 1917 Russian Revolution had been obliterated by Joseph Stalin’s campaigns of mass...

In a major critique of dependency theory, Esteban Mora continues the debate on the nature of imperialism on roape.net (and specifically the blogpost by Walter Daum). He argues that while inequalities and unevenness in the world market exists, with both strong nation-states and weaker ones, this is not a division based on countries or regions, nor geography or ethnicity, but on relations of production. We must unearth the mechanisms of mutual profiting across all regions to see a class divided world market, as part of an international system of states where every single state is an agent of financial capital....

Samir Amin, a ROAPE contributor and comrade, died last week, we post tributes from some of his comrades, students and friends. Ray Bush, Peter Lawrence, Issa Shivji, Ndongo Sylla, John Saul and Natasha Shivji celebrate the work and life of a rebel in the Marxist citadel. As Ndongo Sylla points out, Amin's life quest was to mark out what alternative paths can lead the ‘wretched of the earth’ towards an authentic human civilisation that capitalism can only refuse them. ...

In 1981 a radical journal was launched on the side of 'struggling people' and against so-called 'African socialism'. The Journal of African Marxists published articles, reviews and briefings but also organised conferences and local committees across the continent. The journal sought to 'to stimulate the debate on the correct path appropriate to the conditions of Africa.' David Seddon celebrates the eleven issues of an unusual and important forum for African Marxists that survived briefly more than three decades ago. ...

Early in the year Donald Trump described various South American, Caribbean and (apparently all) African countries as ‘shitholes’ during a meeting on immigration with senators in the White House. ROAPE’s Reginald Cline-Cole argues that the comment reminds us of the continued need to provide radical analyses of trends, issues and social processes in Africa, with a particular interest in class dynamics and social movements and the meaning of capitalism and imperialism. He hopes that the journal and the website will be read as a demonstration of the sustained vitality of Marxist analysis....

In a contribution to the roape.net debate on imperialism, Andy Higginbottom argues that the neo-colonial form of imperialism underpins elite corruption in the Global South. He asks if eurocentric Marxism can continue to deny the fact that capitalist imperialism involves the systemic plunder of the working class in the Global South?...