200 Years of Imperialism in 4 Minutes

CAPITALIST uneven development – imperialism – speaks for its racist self.

… a large proportion of the so-called underdeveloped countries are in total stagnation, and… in some of them the rate of economic growth is lower than that of the population increase.

These characteristics are not fortuitous; they correspond strictly to the nature of the capitalist system in full expansion, which transfers to the dependent countries the most abusive and barefaced forms of exploitation. It must be clearly understood that the only way to solve the questions now besetting mankind is to eliminate completely the exploitation of dependent countries by developed capitalist countries, with all the consequences that this implies.

-Che Guevara, 1964
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4 responses to “200 Years of Imperialism in 4 Minutes

  1. It’s telling that he can talk excitedly about progress going into the future while still using Sub-Saharan Africa as the putative bottom-line for health and wealth.

  2. Word James…….I wish he would have done the same INTERNAL breakdown of the US, UK i.e. other imperialist countries that he did of China, to show that lifespan in the US is highly, highly class and race stratified…..rather than being all the same. Would better get at the relations between countries corresponding to relationships between international capital and the international working class.

  3. all true. but the point he is trying to make comes at the very end. it is possible for all the world to be in the healthy wealthy corner and not in the poor sick corner; the trajectory is toward health and wealth, basically because of advances in productivity. personally, i agree that productivity is good, i dont know about you all. we do know that politics is the variable he leaves out. that makes all the difference. by not mentioning political formations or types of states, he reveals his bourgeois bias.

    i agree that it is possible for the whole world to be healthy and wealthy but only through communist revolution everywhere, resulting in networks of revolutionary states: global federation of dictatorships of the proletariat. africa should be the barometer of the liklihood of worldwide communist revolution, as it becomes the only really peripheral zone on earth, increasingly targeted for foreign direct investment which desperately seeks new spheres for accumulation. is this still investment still happening even as the crisis deepens? what will the implications of investment in africa be for revolution in the US?

    why are all the blue african dots so segregated from the red asian ones today, whereas in 1948 they were way more mixed? because asia has been integrated more into the system through its metropolitan centers of production.

    after world war II you can see a lot of the blue african dots jump up, showing their life expectancy go way up. this is due to de-colonization and the state managed economies assuring development to an unprecedented degree. considering that capitalist class relations persisted throughout the USSR and China aligned era of African socialist-nationalism, and that we can see the undeniable positive benefits the whole “socialist” world saw up to through the 1970s, shouldn’t we be favorably disposed to the concept of a STATE apparatus following our revolution? what improvements might we see in right here in the US in urban/rural literacy, infant mortality, and leisure with the state playing a strong proletarian role in revolutionary society? the stalinist versions of socialism are smashed on a lot amongst the best marxists today, but i wonder if it throws the baby (state) out with the bathwater (totalitarianism) in its search for a “libertarian” critique of the state. none have the answer to the question “if not the state, then what?”

    i hope this is the appropriate place to pose that. i think it is, because we can clearly see the suffering african continent find some relief only in its strong state phase where it had accountability to the masses due to the masses’ militant self-activity AND where it had internationalist relations with similar regimes centered around USSR and China. true stalinism in ussr and china had pretty bad consequences for much of their populations, but its consequences on africa were the most favorable that the continent has seen in 500 years. does that matter?

    being a critic of state-ism, stalinsim, maoism, and even trotskyism, myself, i would attempt to answer that by saying that the USSR in particular, held many potential communist movements in check and defeated them in favor of crypto-social democracy. i know thats the pattern we see everywhere in the world with Communist Parties and its probably true in South Africa, but again, i am not study enough to say whether or not there were non-stalinist revolutionary groups of any consequence anywhere in africa that stalinism actually undercut. i imagine there must have been.

    thanks for indulging this tangent. despite the video’s bourgeois bias, this was fascinating data to see and inspires many opportunities for dialog.

  4. I think “state” is most clearly on to something when he/she mentions “masses militant self-activity.” In a way the ideologies surrounding this are less important, since we know (as revolutionaries) that people use ideas as much as certain ruling ideas have sway over the masses. I’m not sure what lessons for the future are contained in the Stalinist or Maoist influence on African development during the Cold War. The “strong state phase” in Africa is also the “popular decolonization” phase, providing energies from below which had everything to do with socialist initiatives succeeding. Socialist ideas, oppression, and the potential for liberation motivated the masses more than the promise of state power. I agree with the analysis of the inhibiting effects of world Stalinism. To find out about non-Stalinist African radicals, you might check George Padmore’s Pan-Africanism or Communism (if you can find a copy) or Brent Edward’s chapter on “the Blsck International” in The Practice of Diaspora.

    The state is just an organization with tremendous power but precarious legitimacy. In my opinion we can throw that baby out while simultaneouly building another kind of organization built on radical principles and practice, and, dare I say it, love.

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