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Socialism Tag

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....

In an interview conducted in 2003, ROAPE’s Leo Zeilig spoke to Nelson Chamisa who was then the National Youth Chairperson of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) In the early 2000s, the MDC was a very different organization, founded by a mass movement, with a large working-class membership many in the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). Now leader of the MDC, Chamisa promises his supporters victory in the elections and resistance if he does not win. In 2003 the 25-year-old organizer of a mass party, reflects on his own activism as a student militant, his hope for socialist change and the struggles against neo-liberal forces in the new party....

In a reply to Esteban Mora’s contribution to the imperialism debate on roape.net, Walter Daum writes that the claim that the drain of value from South to North has been inverted, reversed, or merely leveled off flies in the face of reality. Daum argues that the Northern imperialists exploit the labour and resources of the South and this is all the more true today....

Remi Adekoya reviews a new book on the exploitation and underdevelopment of Africa. Extracting Profits by Lee Wengraf is a treasure-trove of facts and figures about Africa for anyone interested in the political economy of Africa’s past, present and future. However, Adekoya argues that for any systemic change to occur on the continent there must be a shift in the mind-set of those in charge, otherwise all that will be achieved is the replacement of one set of looters by another, only this time holding up different slogans....

Esteban Mora argues that the debate on roape.net between David Harvey and John Smith is flawed. We should not only be looking for a connection between ‘drained’ countries and countries who ‘drain’ others, but also a relationship of mutual profiting between an international bourgeoisie. Mora argues that dependency theories which underpins the debate are partial and cannot capture the totality of relationships in the international market, nor the operations of imperialism....

Abiodun Olamosu reviews the classic 1975 book, Economic Development of Nigeria: The Socialist Alternative by Ola Oni and Bade Onimode which will soon be republished. Oni and Onimode wrote about the underdevelopment of Nigeria and how the people were made poor. They also provided a programme for the country’s development which included the disengagement from international capitalism, the introduction of democratic planning, public ownership and control of the means of production, distribution and exchange. Olamosu provides a critical introduction to the book. ...