How Europe/America underdeveloped Africa

Is a book by the late Walter Rodney. It’s one of those books that everyone should read. It’s not written, for lack of a better term, to seek sympathy but as things stood then( maybe even now). And it is in this respect that I find it quite powerful.

The liberation of the European or American workers is tied to the liberation of the black body. And the same argument has been made about feminism. The American and European worker however has been bamboozled by the capitalist who has made some luxury goods available to them at a small price or accessible loans and has therefore co-opted them in maintaining a border regime that is antithetical to their interests and liberation from a system of exploitation.

In fact, the case of the American worker is worse. They celebrate Labour Day in September! A plot by the capitalists to fight an international workers movement.

But I digress.

You must be asking how the current border regime is antithetical to the interests of the American or European worker. Your capitalists have somehow convinced you brown people are taking your jobs, creating insecurity and so the government is justified in militarizing your societies. What this does is to force other workers elsewhere, whom you should be in solidarity with, to work in less than inhumane environments. It means Amazon can be valued at a trillion dollars but have workers who can’t take health breaks. If workers can move freely, no one will take a shitty job. Capitalists everywhere will be forced to pay a decent wage or shut down. Everyone benefits.

You must be wondering what this has to do with the title of the post. Well, Rodney wrote, and I quote at length

European workers have paid a great price for the few material benefits which accrued to them as crumbs from the colonial table. The class in power controls the dissemination of information. The capitalists misinformed and miseducated workers in the metropoles to the point where they became allies in colonial exploitation. In accepting to be led like sheep, European workers were perpetuating their own enslavement to the capitalists. They ceased to seek political power and contented themselves with bargaining for small wage increases, which were usually counterbalanced by increased cost of living. They ceased to be creative and allowed bourgeois cultural decadence to overtake them all. They failed to exercise any independent judgement on the great issues of war and peace, and therefore ended up by slaughtering not only colonial peoples but also themselves.

And this my friends, is the reason why those who have been more articulate than yours truly have argued that the liberation of the world depends on the liberation of the black body, but especially of women and children wherever they are to be found.

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