Walter Rodney's Legacy
ROAPE’s Chinedu Chukwudinma speaks to Anne Braithwaite about Walter Rodney’s assassination, and the activism of the Working People’s Alliance-Support Group in the UK. As a founding member of the group, Braithwaite explains that though Rodney was betrayed, then assassinated, his body destroyed and concerted efforts made to tarnish his record, people around the world continue to develop and build on his immense legacy.
Discussing the extraordinary work of the Guyanese activist and historian Walter Rodney, Chinedu Chukwudinma describes how Rodney’s work remains a priceless weapon of theory and history that restores the dignity of African people. However, this blogpost takes issue with Andy Higginbottom’s review of Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa on roape.net and argues that Rodney’s version of dependency theory presents a flawed analysis of imperialism.
In this blogpost, Leo Zeilig looks at Walter Rodney’s journey from Tanzania, his return to Guyana in 1974 and then his extraordinary lectures in Hamburg in 1978. An astonishing scholar and activist, Rodney was constantly rethinking the question of working class agency and politics, and refused simplistic political statements or formulations. In Germany, Rodney asserted the central role of the working class in socialist transformation.
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.
Walter Rodney’s posthumous book The Russian Revolution: A View from the Third World sought to understand the significance of the Revolution in order to the strengthen liberation movements that Rodney was directly involved in. As Martin Empson explains in this review, these movements took place in the context of historical colonial exploitation or in underdeveloped economies, economies that Rodney argues had been depleted of their wealth, resources and population by Western capitalism.
Historical explanations advanced by Walter Rodney on early patterns of dependency resonate with contemporary social and economic realities of globalisation. Colonial legacies are very much alive and well across the African continent. In this blogpost Katie Barker argues that many of the old patterns of dependency prevail and illustrates the urgency to transform Africa’s structural position in the global economy, de-industrialisation and agricultural stagnation.