Socialism Archives - ROAPE
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The All-African People’s Conference: Accra 1958 Its Impact then and now ‘To young Africans like myself at the time, it was a moment at once defining and awe-inspiring.’ Bereket Habte Selassie, delegate from Ethiopia A conference to mark its 60th anniversary Thursday, 6 December, 10.15am to 7pm This conference will mark the 60th anniversary of the All African People's Conference (AAPC) held in 1958 in Accra, Ghana. Driven by Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Prime Minister of newly-independent Ghana, and George Padmore, his Adviser on African Affairs, it set out to advance the ideology of Pan Africanism through non-alignment, anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism and African unity. It has been hailed as a watershed moment in the history of Africa’s liberation from colonial rule and white supremacy. The speakers will examine the role of the AAPC within the framework of the Pan-African movement and will assess its significance, as well as its relevance today. Contemporary newsreels...

Tamás Szentes, Professor Emeritus of the Corvinus University of Budapest (the former Karl Marx University), elected full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, is ‘one of the grand old men of development economics.’[1] His first celebrated book in English, The Political Economy of Underdevelopment (published first in 1971, republished in nine languages and ten different countries, totalling altogether 16 editions in the first fifteen years of publication) was praised in ROAPE in 1974 as ‘a serious and comprehensive attempt at providing a true political economy of underdevelopment.’ For a while he was one of the contributing editors of ROAPE, and between 1967 and 1971 worked together with ROAPE activists and researchers such as Lionel Cliffe, Peter Lawrence, John Saul, and Issa Shivji, at the University of Dar es Salaam. In an interview for roape.net Tamás Gerőcs asks Tamás Szentes about the years he spent...

Free Access to ROAPE Connections Special Issue: Radical Political Economy and Industrialisation ROAPE held the first of three workshops in Ghana, Accra on ‘Radical political economy and industrialisation in Africa’, 13–14 November 2017. Our publisher Taylor and Francis have made the special issue from the workshop accessible until the end of the year. This Debate Special Issue from Volume 46, Issue 56 discusses the initiative of holding the Africa-based ROAPE meetings, why they are important and how they relate to historic socio-economic transformations, the most significant of which remains the great Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, whose centenary month coincided with the Accra workshop. This is the first of the workshops which ROAPE has sponsored across the continent in cooperation with local organisations. A similar version of the Accra meeting, held in Dar es Salaam in April of this year, will appear in a forthcoming issue. These workshops deliberately avoid an...

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...

Conference on Capitalism, Imperialism and Revolutions Volume 1 of Karl Marx’s Capital was published in 1867. In that volume, Marx’s major preoccupation was the analysis of the capitalist process of production where he elaborated his version of the labor theory value, surplus value and exploitation which would ultimately lead to a falling rate of profit and the collapse of industrial capitalism. Volumes II and III were published posthumously by Frederick Engels. Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism was written by Lenin in 1916 and published in 1917. It was in Zurich that Lenin wrote this important theoretical work. He argued that the merging of banks and industrial cartels gave rise to finance capital. According to him, in the last stage of capitalism, the pursuit of greater profits led to the export of capital. Capital export also led to the division of the world between international monopoly firms and amongst European...

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...

David Seddon examines a largely unknown chapter in Che Guevara’s involvement in the revolutionary anti-imperialist movements in Africa. He focuses on the question of how far Guevara was involved in promoting and encouraging the liberation struggle in what was to become Western Sahara. Did he contribute to the development of the POLISARIO Front which even today continues its struggle for Western Saharan independence? By David Seddon In my piece on Che Guevara in the Congo on roape.net and Jacobin, I observed that ‘the earliest Cuban aid effort went to the 1961 Algerian liberation movement when Castro sent a large consignment of American weapons captured during the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion. After the Algerians won independence in July 1962, they reciprocated by helping train a group of Argentinian guerrillas, even sending two agents with the guerrillas from Algiers to Bolivia in June 1963’. I also mentioned, in passing,...

Continuing our look at the life of Steve Biko, Heike Becker writes about two extraordinary events. The first was the formation of a Black organisation of student protest in 1968. The South African Student Organisation (SASO) was founded during a meeting exclusively attended by black students. Biko became the new organisation’s first President. The second was the astonishing friendship that developed between Steve Biko and Rick Turner. Together their political and philosophical ideas helped shape the massive strike wave in Durban in the early 1970s. Their murder – Biko in September 1977, and Turner in 1978 – put an end to the conversation between Black Consciousness and anti-capitalist notions of ‘participatory democracy’, which provided a brief glimpse of the possibilities of another South Africa. By Heike Becker In 2015 students at South African universities rose up in a mass revolt. Young women and men born after...

Free Access to ROAPE Connections Special Issue: Radical Political Economy and Industrialisation ROAPE held the first of three workshops in Ghana, Accra on ‘Radical political economy and industrialisation in Africa’, 13–14 November 2017. Our publisher Taylor and Francis have made the special issue from the workshop accessible until the end of the year. This Debate Special Issue from Volume 46, Issue 56 discusses the initiative of holding the Africa-based ROAPE meetings, why they are important and how they relate to historic socio-economic transformations, the most significant of which remains the great Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, whose centenary month coincided with the Accra workshop. This is the first of the workshops which ROAPE has sponsored across the continent in cooperation with local organisations. A similar version of the Accra meeting, held in Dar es Salaam in April of this year, will appear in a forthcoming issue. These workshops deliberately avoid an...

David Seddon celebrates Transition a publication that was established in Uganda in the early 1960s and became a forum for debate and controversy, precisely because it was run by and written by ‘amateurs’ – people who loved and were passionate about what they thought, what they said and what they read, and linked this passion not only to a concern to understand the world but also to change it. Seddon draws the lessons from the experience of Transitions for a radical publication on Africa today....