Obamaism: Neo-Colonialism’s Last Gasp
I am not a Marxist (then again, neither was Karl Marx); however, to be totally dismissive of Karl Marx’s class analysis would be intellectually foolhardy. There may be room for debate as to whether or not “class” is THE motor force in human history, as Marx postulated, but, one thing is certain, “class” has definitely played a critical role in that history. Before we proceed, maybe we should define our terms. To paraphrase a definition that I borrowed from Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah “a class is the sum total of individuals, in a society, who share a common position and interest relative to the means of production, distribution and exchange, that, as a class, they are bound to preserve and protect”. Looking at this concept in its practical manifestation, Marx saw, in the ancient slave societies (i.e.
Egypt, , Rome etc.), a primary division, along class lines, between bond and free. A closer inspection of Greece , for instance, would reveal a Patrician class (rulers), Plebeians (free workers) and, of course, slaves. Rome
Without going into the details of the evolutionary development of class society that he documented and explained, Marx charted the transition of the ancient slavery system into the feudal system of the so-called “Middle Ages”. During this period, we witnessed the continuation of class domination, but, this time it was between the Aristocracy (landowner) and the Serf (landless). Regardless of the euphemistic label you affix to it (i.e. Patrician/Plebeian, Aristocracy/Serf), the relationship between the respective classes is exploitative. In other words, it is a master/slave relationship to the detriment of the latter. Since resistance is an inevitable consequence of oppression, class struggle becomes the order of the day; in other words, the friction which is engendered by the exploitative nature of the class arrangement, leads to slave revolts (i.e. Spartacus) and, in some instances, revolution (i.e. French Revolution). By the term “revolution”, I mean when one class seizes state power from another.
Capitalism is the global economic system which emerged from the class struggle between the European merchant class and the feudal aristocracy. When the Spaniards, under Ferdinand and Isabella, succeeded in driving the Muslims (Moors) from
Marx made predictions based on his class analysis of society. Marx believed that the class antagonism between the European ruling class (Bourgeoisie) and the European working class (Proletariat) would ultimately lead to the supplanting of Bourgeois power by a workers revolution. He saw European workers as being the “gravediggers of Capitalism”. By enlightening workers to the reality that they have no stake in a system which is rooted in their own exploitation, proponents of the Marxist ideology (Communists), armed with class consciousness, would be able to guide the working class to the seizure of state power. The famous maxim “workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains” became the Communist mantra.
Marx, with all of his brilliance, failed to foresee the role European global imperialism would play in muting the contradictions inherent in European class society. In other words, the European working class received larger “crumbs” from the pie of exploitation due to the super-exploitation of the peoples of Afrika,
Any student of history has to extend kudos to the resilience of the global white ruling class. When the capital of global white supremacy shifted from Europe to amerika, after World War II, amerika did not take it lying down when her hegemony became embattled both at home (Civil Rights, Black Power and Anti-War Movements) and abroad (Korea, Viet Nam, Cuba etc.). She responded with a brilliant subterfuge called Neo-colonialism. In short, Neo-colonialism is indirect imperial control via indigenous elites. Internationally, this means the Mother Country (Imperial Power) no longer plants its flag on the conquered soil but, rather, maintains its de facto control through some local thug (Somoza, Pinochet, the Shah, Marcos, Batista, Papa Doc, Baby Doc etc.), and his cronies, who they arm to the teeth. The colonizer still siphons off the wealth of the neo-colonized people, only it’s now done through the agency of a local puppet regime. Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah brilliantly described this in “Neo-colonialism: the Last Stage of Imperialism”.
Domestically, this same neo-colonial dynamic was manifested by “putting Black faces in high places”. I can’t articulate this point any better than our late, great giant Dr. Amos N. Wilson (“Blueprint for Black Power: A Moral, Political and Economic Imperative for the 21st Century):
“Black politics and activism without the Black ownership of and control over primary forms and bases of power such as property, wealth, organization, etc., is the recipe for Black political and non-political powerlessness.
The rather obtuse pursuit of political office and the ballot box as primary sources of power by the Black community and its politicians without its concomitant ownership of and control over important resources, has actually hindered the development of real Black power in America. More ominously, there appears to be a paradoxical and positive correlation between the number of Blacks elected and appointed to high office and retrogressions in the civil and human rights extended to Black Americans during the past twenty years.
Increases in homelessness, poverty, unemployment, criminality and violence in the Black community; disorganization of the traditional Black family, inadequacies in education, increases in health problems of all types, and a host of other social and political ills have all attended increases in the number of Black elected and appointed officials. That is, the more elected and appointed Black politicians, the more social-economic problems the Black community has suffered.
While we are not implying a causal relationship between the increase of the number of Black appointed and elected officials and the increased misery indices of the Black community, we are implying or asserting that their increase obscures those things which are responsible for and do little to ameliorate or uproot the increasing prevalence of social and economic problems in the Black community.
The community's concern with the election and appointment of Black political figures helps it to maintain false hopes that their attainment of office will significantly resolve its problems. The activities of Black politicians, given the current inadequacy of social organization and economic resources, harmfully distract the Black community's attention from recognizing and eradicating the true causes of its problems and the remediation of its powerlessness."
"The responsibility of the Afrikan American community [is to ensure] Afrika's economic development. The ignoring of Afrika by the Western nations provide windows of opportunity open to native Afrikans to drastically reduce the massive outflow or flight of capital, which has been estimated to exceed 80 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, and to reinvest it in their own countries.
Afrikan peoples and nations across the Diaspora must apprise themselves of a full, ongoing knowledge of the social, economic and cultural history of Afrikan nations as well as their contemporary status and reorganize their sociocultural and economic structures so as to initiate and fuel continental Afrika's growth and development.
The Afrikan American community, especially, should vastly overhaul and reconstruct its educational orientation toward a knowledge of the Motherland. It must realize that its own economic salvation is coterminous with or tied to that of Afrika's. It must invest money and human resources in Afrika's development and perceive its economic prosperity as its special responsibility and mission…
The Afrikan American community must become vigilantly and jealously interested in
Dr. Wilson also wrote:
“For Afrikan Americans, all the promises of the Civil Rights Era have been betrayed, everything has been reversed. The more Black officials have been elected the worse the Black electorate has fared; Black homelessness became a national scandal during the tenure of a Black Secretary of Housing; the Black community was overrun with AIDS, drug addiction, tuberculosis, all sorts of diseases and maladies during the tenure of a Black man as Secretary of Health; Black nations were overrun by the imperial armies of the United States while a Black man was Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the more Black judges appointed to the bench, the more Black men fill America’s prisons and the more Black-on-Black violence ravages America’s Black ghettos. While some 60 distinguished Black men and women sat on some 165 major corporate boards, Blacks were the only ethnic group who suffered net employment losses in major American corporations. At the same time when Afrikan Americans suffered net losses in employment and other minority groups and Whites achieved net increases, Black conservative men presided as the heads of the Equal Economic
“In light of the foregoing discussion we think it more appropriate and productive to critically look at the ideological orientation of certain types of leadership establishments which prevail or are emergent in the Afrikan American community today, than to critically analyze the individual leaders and their politics.”
The back cover of my book, “The Black Muslim Manifesto: From Inside the Belly of the Beast”, reads:
“The “Manifesto” takes the unabashed position that the “Obamamania”, which has been signed onto by most “recognized” Black “leadership”, is no more than a corporate controlled deception. It is a deception designed for international as well as domestic consumption. The American ruling class is faced with the “browning of
In light of the ideological groundwork laid out in this essay, I don’t feel it necessary to expound further on the aforementioned quote from “The Manifesto”; however, it is my fervent hope that imperialism will be unable to reach into its bag of tricks and pull out another deception. Hopefully, “Obamaism” will prove to be “Neo-Colonialism’s Last Gasp”.