Infinity: The Views of a Dreamer
Re-Analyzing the National Question
Written by Aaron Peterson
Amilcar Cabral, the revolutionary leader of Guinea once remarked: “Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward and to guarantee the future of their children.” In a modern revolutionary perspective at creating progress in the interests of the oppressed and working class in the current era what should be the position of those who hold the line in solidarity with the creation of better conditions and new solutions? It breaks down to whether the revolutionary anti-colonial struggle has ceased to be of importance. Has it ceased to be of importance, have the conditions truly changed? When taking a brief look at the world, with a glimpse the re-domination of Africa can be seen one conquest at a time. Libya, perhaps one of the most notable examples. Libya, a nation founded on the basis of a revolt against anti-colonialism and later the monarchy, was torn apart through the proxy backing of foreign rebels to lay destruction to Libyan society. Once the holder of the highest GDP in Northern Africa, ahead of Egypt… Now reduced to rubbles of the previous society in the name of ‘humanitarian’ intervention. The new phrasing to resonate with a new generation of the masses in the countries doing the meddling, is the use of humanitarian wording to make the enemy seem as inhumane as possible. People fall easier into the trap of morality, it motivates such people to think they are supporting a type of just crusade against the forces of evil. It was George W. Bush who coined the term “Axis of Evil” in reference to so-called rogue states that were militarily incapable of threatening the United States but under the doctrine of the White House for the “betterment of humanity had to be destroyed.” Spooky language, the type of language that draws in people to circle around and wave flags not thinking of any potential consequences of action. In fact, who thinks about it in the long run? It certainly doesn’t seem to be one of the considerations at all… More or less, it’s a spur of the moment action with no thought for the future.
The scrambling for colonialism the first time around created artificial borders and new ruling classes. The British notoriously did this throughout the Middle East in the aftermath of their victory against the Ottoman Empire. Tribal groups were backed and funded to become sole nation states that served and worked in the interests of Britain and other Western states. The division of the Middle East, of course would not last in it’s current form. It was doomed from the beginning with the peoples of the land being artificially divided. Resentment grew and when the first series of anti-colonial revolutions came around war sparked with people pitted against each other violently reacting to the circumstances that were created by colonialism. Was the fight for the vague idea of a nation in the anti-colonial struggle or some greater idea? While certainly guided by the ideology of self-determination and liberation throughout the region, the rise of Nasserism in Egypt. The struggle represented something more, it represented a striving for land, land for the people who had no land before. The slogan that went along with the anti-colonial struggles was agricultural reform, it was reform for the people who had been worse off. People fought for the sake of their land to belong to themselves, what had once belonged to the greedy compradors and colonialists. In Africa’s de-colonial struggle, the same was fought for. The African masses rose up in great numbers for the sake of independence. Independent nations to serve oppressed people, independent nations that were revolutionary in their statements.
Behind every revolutionary anti-colonial rising, every great one whether of Algeria, Egypt or Vietnam comes the same necessity… Land and materials, the people need more than what they are given, the colonial regimes historically were unable to give the people what they needed. With this, the people had to rise up and take what they needed through whatever force possible to regain their sense of dignity that had been trampled on. The age of revolution in Africa marked the independence of the majority of the African continent… It also marked the beginning of a domino reaction of civil wars and chaos between the peoples of Africa.
A land mind invented by the colonial drafters of the borders set to imprison the people into serving colonialism caused portions of society to attack the other. Borders served as static boundaries in order to hold back the self-determination of oppressed groups. But what can be said of these borders in the current age which linger from the colonial era? The borders that still cause the issues of colonialism? Is it not a necessary right for the people who have been oppressed to struggle for their dignity? In regards to Amilcar’s statement, do the people still need to struggle for material gains in the modern age?
The continual encroachment on Africa by the forces of neo-colonialism and imperialism puts this question into full force. The African people although Africa is a rich continent with material resources find themselves betrayed by national leaders whom do not serve the interests of the African people. Mismanagement is rife, the same exists for the people of Latin America and Asia. Privatization by foreign companies takes a lead role with the idea of ‘free trade’ being promoted. Except, at the cost of the people in the nation, just as it was during the times of colonialism. It is not the people who stand to benefit from the current exploitation in regards to free trade and privatization, it is outside interests specifically foreign capital that stands to profit in the face of this.
And so to respond to Amilcar’s statement, the situation still exists for the movement of revolutionary anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movement. When the conditions of economic exploitation still exist with governments serving outside interests, the reason for anti-colonial rising in the period before is still relevant. It will remain relevant while material resources are held by the hands of the few against the needs of the many.
Infinity: The Views of a Dreamer
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