Last month Reuters reported that :
More central banks in Europe revealed plans on Tuesday to hold yuan as part of their foreign currency reserves, highlighting the Chinese currency’s rise into an elite league of the world’s major reserve currencies.
News like this make an already relevant classic even more so which makes u s happy to publish this from 1998 by Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, Director IDPAP/Ghana (1998)
“Set a beggar on horseback and he’ll ride to the devil…”
(Congoleses) Tshiluba proverb
On the eve of the 21st century, Africa is up for sale at bargain basement prices. Many African states and Africa’s political leadership seem to engage in dead end diplomatic and economic activity because they perceive Africa as undeveloped rather than unorganized. African leaders have accepted the European concepts of power as hierarchical and external. Consequently, they have acquiesced to Eurocentric power paradigms, which marginalized Africa and wring their hands in despair while accepting the commandments of the IMP from on high. To some Africans desperate for hard currency and favorable foreign exchange selling Africa is just another game they play along with. After all “we are in power” they would declare” to anyone Black like them (as if it wasn’t obvious). Even so, the piecemeal sale of Africa is a game African’s can lose. “Shakespeare” had it right, “to be or not to be” is indeed the question confronting African civilization. Since decolonization began, African poverty, poor health care, environmental deterioration state bureaucracy, are all firmly institutionalized. Indeed, the malaise of African backwardness is as necessary to the ‘new world order” as debt and inflation are to governments. And one does not have to posses a Ph.D. from a prestigious western university to understand that time is running out for Africa.
We now stand at the threshold of a new century not unencumbered by the baggage of a bygone era. Africa is saddled with insecure elderly politicians trying to hold on to power. Our best minds and ideas are dragged down by outmoded thinking. Our resources and imagination burden by state bureaucracies staffed with uninspired bureaucrats. Often thwarted by the abysmal ignorance and miseducation of our people which also nourishes African disunity, the best of efforts to move Africa forward degenerate into boondoggles, or another dream deferred” development project. All of this and more has alienated the young and dulled their enthusiasm for progressive participation in African governance, while disenchanting many Africans both on the continent and throughout the Diaspora. The best minds, the very talented, innovative, and creatively aggressive flee Africa to breath or to survive. Africa is in need of her brightest children, but instead Africa retains mediocrity while driving away quality. Africa hemorrhages talent to Europe and has little to show for it except debt to European Finance Capital. Africa is facing the new millennium like a beggar on horseback – riding straight to the devil. Africa is in crying need of a “New African” personality ready to meet the challenges, which lay ahead – a New African for the 21st century.
Without Afro centric modalities of power, Africa and Africans can never effectively rise above the negative pressures of history and regain their dynamic historical personality. With each passing day the pressure increases for dynamic and revolutionary change on the African continent. Reform has come to the end of its rope, anything short of revolutionary change will amount to applying a Band-Aid to the ma1ignant tumor of African dependency. Time is pressing in upon us. Africa and African’s must seize our own destiny and emerge from the shadow of European power into our own light, or collectively sink further into the quagmire of political balkanization and the unmanageability of uneven infrastructural development. Let me therefore, place the context of this analysis in perspective with a quote from Amilcar Cabral a true son of Africa and brilliant Pan-African freedom fighter in who’s memory I dedicate the theme of this essay:
“We can state that national liberation is the phenomenon in which a given socio-economical whole rejects the negation of its historical process. In other words, the national liberation of a people is the regaining of the historical personality of that people. It is a return to history through the destruction of imperialist domination to which it was subjected.”
It is essential for the reader that the point of view of this analysis is understood. The objective of this paper is to initiate a process through which African opinion makers and Governmental leaders can be influenced into abandoning Eurocentric strategic paradigms and ascend from their self-contrived pit of “mutual cooperation” with Africa’s exploiters to a higher level of principled Pan-African strategic political thought and action. For too long Africa’s leaders have spoon-fed the suffering African masses the padlum of “development programs” and inauthentic perceptions of power to bolster their own political survivability and pay the bills of the “state”. Their shortsightedness is not ameliorated by good intentions because the consequences of their actions have saddled the whole of Africa with colossal debt and plagued Africa’s people with political institutions incapable of meeting their needs.
Africa cannot develop without an authentic power base. Africans ultimately want the power to determine their own collective destiny but they have been convinced that such a desire is unrealistic in their lifetime. And to assuage African’s desire for authentic self-determination they have been given stopgap inauthentic power derived through a combination of foreign debt – foreign aid – tourism – foreign investment – political chicanery and unbelievable miseducation. It is time to move past the “foreign aid” syndrome, and the “foreign investment “panacea. Africa must do for itself what African leaders have begged others to do for Africa.
THE CRISIS OF AFRICAN LEADERSHIP
African leaders and politicians need to practice occasional “truth in advertising”. A small example is how the existence of “corruption” in African governments and business is usually raised as substitute for political analysis and to avoid innovative thinking at the centers of power. The majority of African politicians, journalists, opinion makers, and moral leaders decry corruption as the number one enemy of “development”. While corruption in Africa is a problem, it is corruption which economically marginalized Africa – it’s European and United States Finance Capital and its political institutions and contrived global monetary system (which I may point out historically legalized corruption in the first place). If ‘corruption’ miraculously were eliminated tomorrow, Africa would still wallow in debt, underdevelopment, disunity, and wasted potential. Only with construction of Pan-African modalities of power can Africa transform itself from a wealthy continent with poor people, to a wealthy continent which meets the needs of its people. To accomplish the massive transformation of resources into better lives for ordinary Africans, we must construct a principled Pan African Paradigm to sustain and manage the social and political activities of African peoples while achieving systematic trans-national capitalization of Africa’s resources. Any other approach, in my view, is ultimately a waste of time and resources. Debates on corruption while useful do not address the fundamental issue and serves to conceal the real enemy of African development. That enemy is debt: That enemy is U.S. and European market controls and trade relations which rely upon African underdevelopment and dependency. Indeed, the European nation-state evolved as mechanism by which the ‘rich’ could “legally” steal the surplus value of working people’s labor and transfer it into their own pockets, hence, the “modern corporate state” can be seen as a legal artifice by which corruption and financial exploitation acquire political legitimacy. Ironically, this appears to be one of the few salient features of the European state culture African leaders have ‘Africanized’ with any degree of alacrity. Similarly, the international system of trade and commerce evolved along with the aggressive policies of European states, until what we have today are the rules laid down by former imperial powers made into international laws for everyone.
It is my belief that the African Diaspora will play an essential role in the success or failure of Africa’s economic emergence in the 21st century. Unlike any previous historical moment since decolonization, Africa can achieve the rapid Political consolidation of its vast economic potential. Despite the seeming global influence of U.S. and European Finance Capital, Africa is poised to move from the margins of economic and geopolitical impotency to the center stage of human development in the next millennium. We, Africans at home and throughout the Diaspora stand at the precipice of our own collective rebirth as a people, or we teeter precariously close to the abyss of ignoble debt, dependency, mediocrity and politically obsolete state structures. We must decide whether to bravely and boldly step toward our future, or slip into the darkness of obscurity and slouch into the 21st century – Beggars on horseback. The decision is entirely ours to make. African’s can decide to fashion a global Pan-African Syndicate (and international polity which would follow such an undertaking) and thereby transform the political character and economic importance of the largest Diaspora on the face of the earth. An integrated Pan-African global syndicate or association with economic and political roots firmly embedded in Africa’s political consolidation of its resources would provide Africa with invaluable economic and diplomatic leverage in pursuit of her objectives and policies. A consistent mode of Afro centric thought, a dedicated Pan African agenda, and determined mobilization of mass opinion among all progressive sectors of the African family are the necessary ingredients for termination of the decolonization process begun with Africa’s independence struggles and interrupted by the “cold-war”.
Between the independence of Ghana in 1957, and the end of White settler rule in southern Africa in 1992, the struggle for a united Africa and construction of an effective pan African movement have taken a back seat to cold war rivalry and the economic “development” of individual states. It is time for Africa’s leaders to understand that pan African unity is objectively synonymous with African economic development. Indeed, economic development is a delusion without the political reality on the African continent. An Afro centric paradigm can be transformative especially if it directs Africa toward independent and hitherto unexplored avenues of social and economic development – Pan African development! That is to say, such a paradigm can return Africa to its own historical process. But how is this possible? The criteria by which we can measure the effectiveness of an Afro centric paradigm is the extent to which it effectively challenges exploitive Eurocentric modalities of power and neutralize them
Similarly, “traditional” African” hierarchical structures and institutions of power, especially where those structures abetted the European and Arab colonial conquest of Africa, would also be subjected to the same Afro-centric criterion. This is because a political Afro centric Paradigm evaluates its cultural ally of “tradition” based upon how supportive a “traditional” practice is to Africa’s Pan-African consolidation and how it contributes to the process of Africa’s total liberation. In a word, tradition is only relevant when it is necessary – when it supports the need of the people to exercise authentic power. This may not reflect how cultural Pan-Africanism perceives itself or its role in the liberation of Africa and Africans. Generally speaking, cultural Pan-African exponents tend to treat “African tradition” as static and relegated to ritual celebration, rather than as a dynamic political and social force belonging to the present. Even so, cultural Pan-Africanism plays a crucial role in the development of a universal African socio-ethos essential to the formation of an authentic African power base. Moreover, because African tradition is often the ritualized reflection of the African’s multifaceted socialization and spirituality, cultural Pan-Africanism, if correctly oriented, serves as the cultural reservoir from which an Afro centric modality of power derives it subjective sustenance – its mass support. This would be consistent with the universal African precept that “events of the material world have a spiritual consequence” that one can ignore only at their own peril. Unsurprisingly then, this paper does not attempt to develop a phony trans-African pragmatism or achieve some opportunistic African “spiritual & material” synthesis within an exploitive global economy which consistently marginalized Africa. Neither does this paper promote indiscriminate depoliticalization of traditional modalities of power or accept reactionary cultural norms associated with ethnic rivalry.
The positions put forward here derive little satisfaction from conventional notions of what neither constitutes “sustainable development” nor are views expressed here in sync with currently fashionable economic trends, which are tantamount to the selling of Africa and prostitution of its peoples and resources. Time and time again, we have seen programs which facilitated Africa’s exploitation tied to its economic “development.” It is time to revisit the entire notion of economic development or put differently it is time we examined Pan-African arrested development.
THE PALE FACE BEHIND FINANCE CAPITAL SPEAKS WITH A FORKED-TONGUE
“Wisdom is just like a he-goat, if the elder is not wise, the younger will instruct him.”
The economic formulas governing Africa’s development are conceived by white boys with “three piece” mentalities and degrees from Eurocentric universities in the USA and Europe. They are the “new age” imperialist “whiz-kids” and administrators – hired academic mercenaries for IMF or World Bank policy makers. These “professionals” conceal themselves in the shadows away from the social unrest and economic stress caused by policies they fashion for Africa and the world. No amount of “meaningful north-south dialogue” can convince these nameless “experts” and theoreticians” to yield to African modalities of development or diplomacy. They employ the seductive power of money and reactionary political violence to achieve their ends. Their ‘crime partners’ are globe trotting financial advisors and poker face investment bankers who dictate to supervising governments’ of failing Third World economies the conditions of indentured servitude and “bail out” options. How are we to meet the challenges presented to us by these pale face theoreticians of New Age imperialism? What alternative strategies are there to their grand design of integrated global macroeconomics and their ‘forked-tongue’ policies foisted on the worlds developing nations as “appropriate austerity measures” and “structural readjustment programs?” In this paper, I attempt to explore a radical Pan-African diplomatic agenda and possible economic alternative to the current strategies practiced by governments and multinational corporations throughout Africa. I hope some of these ideas, though not new, will contribute to the resuscitation of a weak Pan-African movement and reinvigorate African diplomatic circles with a renewed sense of collective purpose. As it stands today, non-governmental Pan-African political activity is weak and unsupported by Africa’s governments and business community. While African “diplomacy” consists mainly of reacting to the policies and agendas of the developed industrial nations and their financial institutions. The African diplomatic corp., far from representing the second largest continent on the face of the earth, are reduced to common “flatfoot hustlers” in the global Marketplace, eager to sell anything in Africa for hard currency and corporate investments. African diplomacy should be about the business of empowerment, not about the business- of creating corporate client states.
Dhoruba Bin Wahad,
The views expressed here are not politically en y in post-cold war Africa – an Africa orphaned as it were by the rapid dissolution Soviet Union. Disappointingly, for some, the demise of soviet hegemony left many African nations to wrestle with the vestiges of subsidized and anemic national economies. Africa’s cold war betrayal was further compounded by misfortunes of history. Most, if not all, of Africa’s economies were significantly molded by cold war rivalry between European capitalism and a Eurocentric soviet “socialism.” Because of this Eurocentric rivalry a Pan-African paradigm could never truly develop. This alone could serve as yet another historical object lesson for African leaders who still believe Africa can benefit from economic formulas derived essentially from European dichotomies and geopolitical rivalry.
While it is my view that the former “Soviet Union” gave a good idea (socialism) a bad name, this paper is neither an attempt to debate and revisit old ideological arguments many liberation movements (now governments) wrestled with during the post WWII decolonization period or pass judgments on cold-war alliances. However, I think it would be helpful to point out that recent history has played a profound role in shaping current politics on the African continent. The “cold-war” imposed an “Either-Or” choice on many fledgling African states: Either a “centralized socialist” economy, or a “decentralize capitalist” economy as the modality for economic development. While international arms merchants, brokered state sanctioned deals with “Either” and “Or” – nothing like a little ‘nigger’ blood and graphic pictures of malnourished children on CNN to keep the wheels of international Finance Capital spinning. Both sides in the “cold-war” drama of ritualized military confrontation imposed upon African movements and governments “universal” European paradigms for “development”. Now only one “side” remains standing and that “side” – the USA and Europe – now impose a North-south economic Paradigm for Africa’s over all “Development”. Same old wine in a new bottle. During the cold war, from the pulpits of state government, Africa’s educated elite officiously pronounced their development policies as “scientific socialism” or “internationally accepted rules of free market capitalists economy” in much the same manner as today’s governments extol the virtues of VAT, Tourism, and corporate investment. Despite the fact that the western “science” of social economy was and is far from universally applicable, African leaders were convinced by their conditions of relative “backwardness” and “undevelopment” and dazzled by the arcane jargon of economics, that white folks, the authors of African underdevelopment somehow held the answers to Africa’s revival and salvation. Add to that Pollyannaish notion the “idea” harbored by many educated African’s that they inherited power from colonial institutions and it is little wonder African’s behaved as “beggars on horseback” – and rode straight to the devil.
As an example, most African ‘nations’ upon independence quickly joined the French and British “systems of volunteer neocolonialism while accepting legal and institutional devices put in place by the departing European colonial masters They didn’t reject
the paternalism of their conquerors but instead embraced it out of misguided desperation, much like the person condemned to death who is saved from fatal illness by the state in order to be officially executed. “Commonwealth status” saved fledgling African states from natural death, only to slowly economically “execute” them through debt and prolonged commercial marginalization until they could no longer represent the dreams and ambitions of African peoples. Saving nominally independent African states from themselves also spared Europe the significant economic dislocation a politically unified Africa would cause. No amount of maneuvering however can rescue European Finance Capital from its inevitable appointment with Africa’s “debt bomb” ticking away in the bank vaults of Zurich, London, Paris, Frankfurt and New York. – Africa’s shift from massive debt to independently capitalized assets in the 21st century is scenario, which terrify the ‘Big Willys’ of international Finance Capital. Africa and African leaders missed the enormous opportunity decolonization represented. Instead of choosing return to an African historical paradigm, and develop new modalities of Economic integration and political organization, Africa’s leaders instead opted to certify Europe’s balkanization of Africa. Africa’s leaders locked Africa into a legal, political and social morass, from which it has yet to emerge. Consequently, Africa is run by remote control. Africa is ungovernable as it is presently constituted. And none of Africa’s governments are honest enough to admit this simple fact. Perhaps if Africa’s leaders had moved toward authentic independence and freedom of choice, socialism and capitalism could have developed unique or transformative characteristics in an independent Afro centric milieu. But that is not what happened. Consequently, it can now be argued, that because the socialist and pseudo-capitalist paradigms failed to evolve into African socioeconomic systems, that both capitalist and socialist modalities were historically predetermined. That is to say, both sides in the “cold-war” sought to devise an integrated global economic order based on the centrality of European nation states and their interests. Africa was just along for another ride. This view is in fact supported by recent historical events. Is Africa still along for the ride now that the cold-war is over and suddenly everyone is a ‘born-again laissez-faire capitalist”. Or is history “repeating” itself during these waning years of the 20th century?
NATIONALISM VS. SOVIET HEGEMONY:
The rise of “Third world” nationalism in many instances assumed socialist objectives of Emancipative dimensions but in individual cases “nationalism” inevitably clashed with Eurocentric communism. Nationalist movements of Vietnam, China, Cuba, South Africa, Malaysia, North Korea, Both “Congo’s”, as well as nationalist insurgencies in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, and else where clashed with the racial arrogance of Euro communism. This dichotomy (Soviet style Communism vs. Third World nationalism) surfaced early during the “Cold war” especially when the Chinese communists ascended to power in 1949 and embarked on an independent (Sino-centric) path of socialist construction. Of course none of the Kremlin’s ideologue’s identified their own racism as a source of their ideological differences with Third World nationalists. Why should they? The United States and its cold-war allies never admitted race played any factor whatsoever in formulation of their foreign policies. Racism, like anti-Semitism, was opportunistically employed by cold-war adversaries to undermine each other’s moral legitimacy. Moreover, the racism of the “superpowers” and former imperialist states found its cold-war expression in Third World nations where ethnic or religious diversity, exploited during the colonial era, were manipulated to undermine the political coherency of newly independent states. This was case in Vietnam, Cambodia, the Congo, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Northern India, and elsewhere. Nonetheless, it was China’s independent brand of communism, which led to a so-called “split” in the socialist camp, not Euro communism’s reluctant anti-racism, or Western democracy’s suborning ethnic hatred in pursuit of their cold-war anti-Communist agenda. This so called “split” in the Communist/socialist camp was in part based on the decidedly Asian character of China’s revolution and history versus the decidedly Eurocentric orientation of the Russian “October revolution”. The Soviet Union’s consolidation (Stalinism) and Moscow’s hegemonic domination of international communism after the bankruptcy of the “COMINTERN” brought many Third World liberation movements in to-conflict with many Euro communist parties who regarded wars of national liberation as “violent adventurism and “nationalism” as “anti-worker jingoism” The result were that many Third World nationalist movements sought non-Soviet or Chinese support because of the “Third World character” of China’s revolutionary formula. The exceptions being Tito’s Yugoslavia, and Hoaxha’s Albania, both nations were officially “non-aligned” and militantly nationalistic and considered the Pariahs of Soviet dominated Eastern Europe.
I have drawn attention here to Cold-war rivalry, racism, and nationalism because subsequent references to Africa’s cold-war “mistakes” are not necessarily condemnation of African liberation movements, which allied themselves with former Communist/Socialists nations during the cold war. Nor is it my intention to condemn previous efforts at socialist construction on the underdeveloped continent of Africa. I am sure such a discussion and critique on Socialism and African decolonization would be beneficial in understanding Africa’s current situation; however, this paper does not an attempt to explore the historical efficacy of socialist “construction” versus capitalist “development”. Although there are scores of African, “born again free market advocates” who find bashing socialism the easiest way to ingratiate themselves into the good graces of Western financial institutions. Instead, this paper is offered as a discussion paper in furthering development of a coherent and revolutionary program for the political and economic participation of the African Diaspora in the development and empowerment of Africa. This is easier said than done. The extent to which the Diaspora can become organically involved in this process is extremely circumscribed because of the acute insecurity and distrust of African governments and political leaders. Developing a revolutionary Pan-African approach is one thing, translating that approach into political modalities and programs of unity is something else altogether. Neither will be easy.
CO-OPTATION OF PAN-AFRICAN ORGANIZA TION AND PRINCIPLES
Pan-African thought today is under attack by reactionaries of all stripe. But the greatest impediment to developing a sincere and effective Pan-African spirit of cooperation is the co-optation of Pan-African principles and ideals by reactionaries. I think the African Diaspora must be realistic. The greatest single impediment to creating a Pan-African paradigm of power is the paralyzing fear Africans in power have of the white mans technology and economic power. This almost mystical fear may seem incredible to those of us raised in crucible of white supremacist cultures of the United States and Europe. But it is a very strong deterrent to concerted independent action. Therefore, the tactic of Co-optation is more effective today than ‘divide and conquer’ was two-hundred years ago when such fear of European supremacy had yet to be translated into loss of African self-confidence. Modern Co-optation is much easier than the old tactic of “divide and conquer” because the former was based on subjective ignorance and objective misunderstanding of European intentions, while co-optation is based on clear knowledge and misapplication of Pan-African principles and ideals solely for parochial advantage.
As little as hundred-fifty years ago Africa’s comprehension of the scope and nature of European imperial aggression were limited and defined by a number of factors. “Information is intelligence” and Africans had little independent information of the Europe’s relations with other peoples of color. Do we think for one moment that early European traders would have been permitted to establish a foothold in Africa and expand their commercial enterprises into forts and strategic outposts if African Chiefs and leaders knew they would be subjugated by their erstwhile “trading partners” as their native American, East Indian, or Asian counterparts were subjugated by British or French colonialists? Technology has transformed how much we know and when we know it and this has greatly influenced the conduct of international relations. A Pan-African movement must take full advantage of communication technology to get across its moral and political message to the world. It is time to make an international case, in both the corridors of international diplomacy and on the streets of Dakar and Harlem, for African development based on the universal principles of reparations and the sound morality or absolution Africa’s debt owed Western lending institutions.
Today, Africa is part of an information “global village”. Europe, America, Asia, are no longer remote and obscure regions of the earth. Africa, although economically marginalized still occupy some “space” in most peoples consciousness. Unfortunately, the most widely held perceptions of Africa are often associated with picturesque wild life and some type of civil or natural catastrophe. It is of major importance that any Pan-African paradigm directly address the universally held misperceptions of Africa as if they are political and cultural issues and therefore require political and not cultural responses on the part of African governments. Unlike any other period before, United States and European global dominance is severely handicapped by the specter of African self-definition. Because the ability to define phenomena is at the root of any independent actions, Africa must redefine itself through the actualization of Pan-African modalities of power Africans must move beyond the confines of definitions assigned to them by European systems and political modalities. The industrialized nation’s fear of independent African thought, and authentic African modalities, are the main reasons behind the new liberal European and United States “development assistance programs” and not democratization or humanitarianism.
What would cause an African to believe that today, unlike in the past, Europe is concerned with African development and African humanity? If Europeans were so concerned about poverty and human suffering in Africa, they would dismantle their system of debt and dependency which constrict independent African economic growth and development – these are the root causes of African poverty and political dysfunction. But they will not do this, because it is Africa’s relative backwardness that buttress European prosperity and security. When the British abolished slavery it was not because they were suddenly overcome by “humanitarian reservation” to trafficking in African flesh, it was no longer economically necessary for them. When the British and French colonialist’s “withdrew” from Africa it was not because they truly believed “all humans are created equal” and therefore Africans should determine their own destiny, but because old style “just call me bwana” bush-jacket colonialism was no longer profitable for them. To put it succinctly, there has never been a “cracker” on the face of the earth that did anything for Black folks that wasn’t first in his own best interests. If serves no end therefore, for African’s to engage in demeaning displays of public gratitude for “investments” in Africa or donations and gifts from Africa’s plunderers as if liberal and private donations offset the theft of an entire continent and the hijacking of millions of lives. Such exhibits of over polite behavior serve only to perpetuate misinformation, and the miseducation of African youth. Donations and Gift giving doesn’t necessarily signify respect for African humanity or modalities of power. If Europeans really want to show concern and give up something – let them redistribute the wealth they stole from mother Africa! This plunder is documented. It’s worth calculable and quantifiable. Let European Finance Capital transform Africa’s debt into assets by the 21st century, not just extend payment deadlines and then lend African’s the money to pay them back the interest on the principal! It’s all a matter of moving numbers from one side of the ledger book to other anyway. But Europe won’t do this. Europe cannot leave Africa to its own political devices because Africans just might opt for Pan-African solutions to their collective plight, which would portent drastic consequences for Europe’s economies.
To international Finance Capital African unity is not profitable. Europe’s heads of state know that behind Media coverage of African civil unrest and political upheavals lurk the bogeyman of militant Pan-Africanism – coiled and ready to pounce on the slightest exhibition of European arrogance and intervention. This is how sensitive disenfranchised African’s are to the systems of government they “inherited” from colonialism. Nonetheless, the Western financial establishment feigns support for trans-African cooperation as if it were Pan-African unity, only inasmuch as the former facilitates the process of U.S. and European market globalization. Co-optation of Pan-African economical and political unity is the basic reason that Western governments, especially the racist United States government, employ prominent Black businessmen” Black sports figures, Black entertainers, and Black media personalities to front their right-wing agendas and represent U.S. business and political interests on the African continent. This old scam of “Black mask white cash” has caused an emphasis to be placed on class differentiation within the African Diaspora. To put it differently, the dichotomy between the “Black middle-class” and Black poor in America has now been internationalized as never before by the tactic of Pan-African co-optation.
It is true that class conflict has always been employed by oppressors to divide populations and it can be an equally effective tool in splintering a Pan-African political movement i it can achieve solidarity. Indeed, the majority of the “Black” entrepreneurs, politicians, and popular figures trouping back and forth to Africa today have little or no roots in the nationalist movements within the African Diaspora, let alone in the solidarity struggles that supported African liberation movements. Their natural ‘class’ ally on the African continent share a similar profile and are firmly ensconced either in positions of power and influence, or otherwise represent the leading lights of national “opposition parties” etc. Moreover, Black-middle class entrepreneurs from the USA and Europe (along with their African counterparts) tend to view their subjective (personal) participation in government or corporate financed development projects as a political rationale in and of itself, rather than as a individual contribution to an overall strategic agenda over which the individual exercise little or no power. In contrast, Pan-African activists who support African unity through their community work, and with fraternal organizations guided by clear political commitments to African independence but who lack corporate expense accounts, or the benefit of large private grants, are often chastised by Africa’s leaders for their failure to attract liberal funding and are basically marginalized in Africa.
Additional strategies for co-optation of Pan-African principles and economic progress are as equally evident in United States and European military policies toward Africa. For example, Europe and the United States, for some time, have called for creation of an “all African multinational” peace keeping force to be trained by Europeans and logistically supported by U.S. military. This is somewhat a “blast from the colonial past” and a New Age Imperialist innovation. Historically, Former colonial powers required a local “force du republique” to secure their colonial possession in Africa. It was that requirement which resulted in the creation of “territorial” militias, colonial police, and training of various “native” security personnel, especially after the Berlin Conference of 1878 at which Europe divvied up Africa among themselves. Each European colonial power felt the need to defend its African possessions. After the necessary “legal” hocus pocus and political maneuvering, the European colonial administrators created territorial militias and police forces to insure the public order and defend colonial territorial claims. Local colonial police and military units were raised from among the indigenous peoples. From those pre colonial institutions of organized force emerged many of today’s Armies on the African continent. Europe, and subsequently the United States have relied upon the sense of martial fraternity between African soldiers they have trained and their own military establishment. It is usually this “military affinity” that European and American policy makers rely upon when destabilizing an unfriendly African government or when secretly encouraging military coups. The “global village” makes it politically difficult for European governments or the United States to dispatch their own troops to Africa in pursuit of their foreign policy objectives. Nor does it play well in Washington or Paris for “democratically elected” governments to militarily-assist some despotic African regime or corrupt plutocrat in putting down civil revolt. Public opinion is now a component of diplomacy and war unlike never before. But recent history has amply proven that once Europe and the United States train African troops in their own image, Africans will protect European and American interests to last drop of African blood! Indeed, Post colonial military training and assistance programs have proven to be a very effective mechanisms for influencing governments that may be “thinking” about challenging European or American interest in Africa to quickly change their political ‘thought pattern’. This is relatively easy to do because all Governments, police, military establishments are outward reflections of fear and insecurity. This is because governments perceive power as completely external. Consequently, those government agencies are always fearful of losing their “power” and view those they are suppose to protect, regulate or control as potential enemies. This is the character of the modern European nation-state: It perceives its own citizens as potential enemies. Consequently, racism in places such as England, USA, France, Germany or Belgium while on the increase has acquired a sophisticated facade and odor of “legitimacy” which has been translated, into Democratic forms of ‘fascism’ and public tolerance for police repression. The United States and European states have created police armies and Law enforcement “rapid response teams” that rival regular Army commando units, ostensibly to “protect” the “human rights” of their citizens, combat terrorism, and control “civil unrest”. The public perception in Europe and particularly the United States that the face of malevolent street crime is predominantly Black (as opposed to nonviolent “white collar crime”) is so widespread that abuses of human rights and political repression are easily contained within “the war on drugs”, “anti-terrorism” and cries for “law and order”. Police ‘storm-troopers’ routinely abuse and terrorize Blacks, Arabs, and national minorities of color in Europe and the USA in pursuance of their “law enforcement” function. In the United States there are almost two-million people under some form of lock and key (prison) the majority of whom are of African ancestry. Dozens of Political prisoners languish in U.S. prisons stigmatized as common criminals. This “democratic” form of fascist repression readily translates into New Age imperialism on the African and throughout the developing world. And this is just the beginning.
NEW AGE IMPERL4LISM: KILLING AFRICA SOFTLY WITH DEMOCRACY
New Age Imperialism has its own modern day ‘moral’ crusade and ethical artifice of “respect for human rights” to conceal its ignoble agenda and capitalist greed. Unlike the “Old school” imperialism which relied on the ethical artifice of Biblical White supremacy and “Christianizing the African heathen” to rationalize cold-blooded exploitation, New Age Imperialism’s moral cloak is an unbelievably transparent and phony humanism and a cynical respect for “rule of Law”. This phony “humanism” though not religious based, nonetheless appeals to universal religious ethics of tolerance and thereby distort most people’s perception of its racist and imperialistic political objectives. Likewise, the developed nation which practice this New Age imperialism are endlessly lecturing poorer nations on the need to “respect the rule of law” while themselves employing “legal” artifice to justify military assassination of heads of state they disfavor, or to rationalize amoral economic embargoes of poorer nations, and secure unimpeded access to Third World resources. The New Age Imperialist consumes an inordinate amount of the world’s resources and are the major source of global pollution and toxic waste. Their ideals of ‘free market economy” and morality of conspicuous consumption are masked by the propaganda of “environmental friendly” multinational corporations. But despite their rhetoric, the Corporate managers of New Age Imperialism do not respect even the rule of “natural law” and derive maximum profits in a manner which pollutes the planet and deplete its ecosystem. New Age imperialist encourage greed, individualism, and selfish acquisition of power. Their ethos of conspicuous consumption appeals not just to the “rich and famous” but to the “down and out” who are encouraged to fantasize becoming wealthy themselves even though the dichotomy between rich and poor benefit only the rich. Finally, “New Age Imperialism” seeks to neutralize the need for Pan-African unity by further consolidating the political influence of capital over Africa’s incomplete decolonization process. With this perspective in mind the current upsurge of “democratic reforms” in Africa, takes on a more sinister role and reveals the hand of New Age Imperialism at-work on the African continent and the nature of its political agenda.
We can see that Finance capital (read dividends from colonialism] now require a new integrated global marketing system based on consistent recirculation of perpetual debts. This integrated (or organic) global system is meant to supplant the old imperialist economic order and alleviate the economic anomalies of cold-war rivalry between competing capitalists and socialist systems. Since the end of the cold-war, the introduction of “free market” measures on the individual “socialist” economies of Africa, were accompanied by shifts in the ‘political policies” of those African states toward a “volunteer” form of “new age” imperial controls and away from Pan-African interdependence. That is to say, what is supported by the major industrial and financial centers of global commerce is not “democracy” or promotion of human rights per se, but promotion of those Africans who support policies of “liberal investment opportunities” and “free market development”. This is because only by masking Euro centric “political democracy” as the only atmosphere conducive for “investment” can integration of Third World resources into a global marketing system that fully (organically) services the needs of U.S. and European finance capital be accomplished. Colonialism integrated Africa into European economic development while under developing Africa. New Age Imperialism does the same thing, but with a different twist: It integrates African “development” into European economic supremacy by regulating Africa’s markets, reinvesting African debt payments, and restricting Africa’s access to capital. It is my opinion that global economic integration as defined by the developed industrial economies represents the highest form of neocolonialism to date, which is defined herein as Imperialism because of its wholesale incorporation and co-optation of post -colonial progressive ideas.
Having said all this, it is also important to emphasize that this paper is not an attempt to discredit or subvert any particular African government or negate the achievements of progressive African regimes, especially those regimes which developed from the anti-colonial liberation movements of the sixties and seventies. The fact that this “clarification” is necessary in the first place indicates the relatively low level of support among African “Heads of State” for bold and revolutionary Pan-African initiatives and their deliberate marginalization of serious Pan-African proposals made by non-governmental organizations as “utopian” whenever such proposals do not coincide with their parochial “national” interests. Perhaps one possible explanation for this hostility to Pan-African political practice is the fact that many of today’s African leaders did not emerge from anti-colonial struggles as revolutionary nationalists, but instead assumed state power as a consequence of military coups, tribal based power struggles, European meddling in regional politics or a combination of all of these factors. For many such persons, “African unity” is concept best left in the realm of “theory” because only in a disunited Africa do these individuals achieve political “relevancy”. Indeed, because this paper questions the very proposition that the European archetype of government, the nation-state can provide for the empowerment of the African masses absent Afro-centric social, political and cultural foundations – let alone express the genuine interest of the African peoples – in itself may present a conceptual problem for some progressive brothers and sisters. After all, who wouldn’t be somewhat skeptical of an Afro centric paradigm emerging from Africa’s current political quagmire?
Unwarranted optimism aside, there undoubtedly are individual African leaders of good intent; therefore, the question needs to be asked: Is Africa’s destiny a matter of subjective leadership and personality alone, or is a matter of seizing the historical moment before the historical moment seizes all of us?
I fully understand that inevitably, whenever a Black person is critical of a political modality such as the European nation-state, he or she runs the risk of being marginalized by most African politicians – especially those who enjoy the class/caste privileges derived from administration of the post-colonial European state so cunningly grafted onto the African political mentality. Should opportunism, political or otherwise, persist as the raison d’être of African state power, it would not give anyone much hope for radical change in the conduct of African affairs. But should Africans genuinely interested in Africa’s total empowerment transcend their own petty differences and privileges, the conduct of African affairs will be transformed literally over night. But first we must understand that Africans and Africa are not the primary enemy even though there surely exist African enemies of the African race. We must learn to give each other the benefit of doubt, rather than certainty of condemnation. History is indeed the best subject to reward all research. We need to apply our history to the problems confronting Africa and act accordingly.
THE ENEMY WITHIN: HOW AFRICA AND THE AFRICAN DIASPORA VIEW THEMSELVES
By and large, African leaders have not drawn a clear demarcation line between Africa’s best interests and their personal and political ambitions. How is it then possible to expect these same leaders to expand their consciousness and create a Pan-African paradigm of power? Many influential Africans still harbor the delusion that Africa and her historical enemies share some common bond or some common history upon which a new beginning can be erected. Where is this common history shared by the oppressed and the oppressor? Is there such a thing? In fact, we should use the term “history,” advisedly when referring to oppressor-oppressed relationships. This is something continental Africans never consistently do. Many African leaders and regimes fully identify with the history of their oppressor (“History” when applied in this text refers to its functional or operative application to its academic definition). “Historically” the conquest of Africa by the Europeans reflect two different “perceptions of power”, different set of realities each at variance with the other. Claiming the history of one’s oppressor and conquerors as one’s own “heritage” is tantamount to a rape victim portraying the offspring of her assault as a “love child”. A sure sign that Africa’s major problem is neither economical, nor social, but first and foremost a problem of self-alienation. The real enemy lies within.
I am sure Africans at home on the continent are not the only ones who may find some ideas contained here “controversial” or even fantastic. It is extremely difficult for some people to expand their conceptual power to exclude that to which they have become accustom. This applies equally to both the slave and the colonial mentalities. Both of which find authentic African power paradigms inconceivable without the former slave master or ex-colonizer’s “endorsement” or tacit support. To this type of mentality, “don’t try it if white folks won’t buy it” is the basic rule of thumb. Many African or “Black nationalists” in the USA or England may also have some reservations with the wholesale critique of the European nation ate systems of political government. Albeit for different reasons. This would be unfortunate because the views expressed here are not “anarchistic” or per se “anti-nationalist”, and definitely not “anti-black self-determination”. Nonetheless, the capacity of the contemporary “nationalism” to express oppressed peoples’ genuine interest and desire for self-determination now appears questionable and equivocal. This was not the case during the anti-colonization period between 1945-1985. Nationalism was dialectically opposed to colonialism. There was no equivocation in the nationalist paradigm: Nationalism = self-determination = the needs of the people to control their own destiny. Those were simpler times. Back then, neither nationalism nor colonialism could politically coexist in the same place and time. Such is not the case today. This viewpoint has nothing to do with harboring “anti-nationalist” sentiment however, this view is reinforced by the political behavior and practice of many non-governmental “Black nationalist” organizations as well as by former African “nationalist movements” that have achieved statehood.
STATE AND STATELESS AFRICAN NATIONALISM, ARE THEY STILL RELEVANT?
By and large, the transition of Africa’s liberation movements into national governments was “curtailed” by the global system of European Finance Capital Newly formed African governments often found their domestic and foreign policies undermined by European and U.S. Finance Capital and their activities pressured into anti-Pan African policy initiatives.
Consequently, we have arrived at a geopolitical paradigm on the African continent where Nationalistic governments can in fact coexist with European non-nationalist controls over the parameters of their financial, commercial, and foreign policies. AU that remains of the African “state” after forty years of decolonization are the outward trappings of state power. All that survived from the militant anti-colonialism of the sixties and seventies is the pomp and circumstance of post-colonial state culture. Clearly, the equivocation of today’s brand of “nationalism” are seriously suspect.
The ‘nationalist’ sentiments often expressed by the African Diaspora are yet additional features of modern nationalism that seem misunderstood, especially by African governments who cannot manage to develop a diplomatic handle on how to effectively deal with the African Diaspora. Since the passing of the historical luminaries of Pan-African movement, Garvey, Padmore, Dubois, Malcolm X, Nkrumah etc., African governments almost by “default”, have dealt with the African Diaspora exclusively in a cultural context and almost never in a purely political partnership. African governments obviously confuse “interfering in another nations internal affairs” with a historically determined organic relationship to the African Diaspora. No other group of nations have this uniquely organic relationship to one race of people as does Africa to the African Diaspora. Yet Africa’s organic relationship to its Diaspora is relegated solely to the arena of cultural expression. By way of comparison, Europe’s relationship to expatriated or immigrant Europeans is not comparable due to Europe’s history as the global colonizer.
It is now very essential that African governments “get a grip on themselves” and seriously embark on official policies to assist and abet the Pan-African organization of the African Diaspora. To do so they must first recognize the historical legitimacy of stateless African/Black nationalism and the political relevancy of its analysis. “African/Black Nationalism” has always played a radicalizing role in development of progressive and reform movement in European settler-states, e.g. USA, Latin American states, and the Caribbean island nations. For those “national minorities” struggling for liberation from European colonial settler populations, e.g., Native American Indians, U.S. Black-Africans, Puerto Ricans, Indigenous South and Central American Indian populations etc., the struggle for national self-determination is also a struggle of cultural and political identification. In the case of Africa’s stolen children, “Black” nationalism served to crystallize Black radical political thought, especially in its ideological opposition to assimilation or integration into the dominant white culture. In that sense, “Black” nationalist sentiment has always been the political and cultural repository for the Diaspora’s sense of connection to Africa. Sadly though many African governments dismiss “Black” nationalist sentiments resonating throughout the Diaspora out of ignorance of the role Black nationalism play in constantly regenerating mass awareness of Africa’s problems and in exposing racism. Because many of Africa’s leaders are creatures of the mass media, they often mistakenly rely on media personalities for their interaction with the African Diaspora or to calibrate their support for Pan-African activists or “Black nationalism”. Popularity is not necessarily an accurate criteria upon which to base political judgment. That the entire minority population may not (momentarily) share the nationalistic aspiration of a few is irrelevant. African governments should understand that even under the most liberal of Eurocentric democracies “Black nationalist” organizations were denigrated, and in contrast to their Black assimilationist counterparts, were seldom permitted the freedom to proselytize. The histories of European settler states are replete with policies of “assimilating” subjugated indigenous populations (usually without their consent) into European cultural modalities while consolidating political sovereignty over the pilfered native territory. Often, as in South and Central America, this “assimilation” process was based upon physical complexion, with the “fair skin” European as the ideal: The lighter the skin complexion; the more social worth the person. The darker the complexion, the less social worth the person. This hierarchical classification is still reflected today in the fields of entertainment, fashion, and politics. African’s bleach their skin to appear lighter and therefore more attractive. In Africa, lighter skin individuals are usually accorded more deference (if not outright worshipped). Religious icons of a blue eyed blond hair spiritual Savior (Jesus) are also reflections of institutionalized assimilation and has been spread around the world by Christian organizations and bible societies. The Burning and conditioning kinky African hair to make it more “manageable” or thinning ones lips and nose to appear more “attractive” are all manifestations of a prevailing hierarchical system based on a European standard of beauty and social worth. In the “New world” colonies of the Americas, rape and separation of slave families were semi-political European policy and achieved a multiplicity of objectives, from creation of caste and class divisions within the African slave population, to the common domestication of slave labor. For Africans born in the Diaspora, the personal was always political. Clearly, assimilation was hardly the type of social conditioning supportive of Black empowerment or conducive for nurturing nationalistic sentiment. The result of a few centuries of such “integration” is the political supremacy of the light skin descendants of the conquistadors, and the almost universal impoverishment of darker skin natives and Blacks in every former European settler-state on earth. Those Africans kidnapped and consigned to colonial plantations were the most difficult to assimilate but their cosmetic integration into European settler states would prove essential in illegitimating future claims for economic reparations and political self-determination based upon a ‘prior condition of illegal servitude’ and genocidal victimization. Therefore, the question of self-determination for suppressed national minorities, especially Africans in the Western Diaspora, much like the issue of Palestinian self-determination can only be addressed forthrightly and from a concrete historical basis before it can be permanently resolved. If all peoples have a “right” to self-determination, then the definition of what constitutes a “people” is all that need be addressed. This is why I indicated at the onset that for oppressed nations within former European settler states, ‘the struggle for national self-determination is also a struggle of cultural and political identification’.
The objective of the analysis of this paper is to formulate restrictions on European paradigms of external power by presenting a Pan-African strategic vision that promotes a formula for African political unity. That formula, in my view, must consider construction of an independent Africa as a prerequisite for its people’s development and that the entire process of Africa’s transition from economic dependence to independence dialectically require Africa’s opposition to construction of a Eurocentric global economy as antithetical to features essential for Africa’s independence and development. To subject Africa’s development to the demands of European and United States market controls would be fatal for Africa’s future. Yet this is exactly what globalization intends to accomplish.
If we are sincere about African -development and building a future for our children then we must fully appreciate that Africa is on a collision course with Europe’s economies and Western civilization as currently configured. The dichotomies between rich and poor nations, north and south, will not continue down the primrose lane of diplomatic vacillation forever. Soon the struggle between “have and have nots” will turn ugly. Absent redistribution of global wealth, unresolved historical injustices will flare into recurring social and political crisis and violent confrontations. Africa’s relative underdevelopment gives it an advantage in the coming world economic crisis. Lack of sophisticated infrastructures, underdevelopment of social services, etc. give Africa an ability to cope economic dislocation better than the more technologically dependent societies. Nonetheless, without construction of an Afro centric paradigm as the basis for a Pan-African agenda, Africa’s potential advantage will be transformed into a disadvantage. Should we fail to build a Pan-African movement, it is my opinion that African continent will succumb to a “new and improved” recolonisation process during the next millennium. That recolonisation process, in my view has already begun. The question now is what are we going to do about it?
The failures of previous generation of African leaders to fully appreciated ‘historical moment’ and thereby advance the cause of a united Africa are documented for all to see. The sins of one generation are often visited on the next, and all of Africa now suffer consequences of political disunity. Now a new generation of African leaders and activists must emerge, uncompromising in Africa’s struggle against the historical baggage of colonialism. Africa bleeds for want of a generation dedicated to the complete liberation of the African continent and authentic empowerment of its peoples, and just to narrow national agendas. How much longer must we wait for Africans understand that “economic development” by itself is not a panacea for Africa’s woes and will not change the African quality of life Just as individual “freedom” does not necessarily translate into group freedom; the “development” in separate African nations does not readily translate into a free and prosperous Africa. Building roads, bridges, and improving medical facilities may marginally raise some African’s standard of living and must be undertaken, but Africa is far to poor for such infra structural construction to have a significant impact on the overall Quality of African life. Colonialism and neocolonialism institutionalized poverty on the African continent and therefore a syndrome of poverty has been inculcated in people’s minds. States can build sidewalks, but people will walk on the highways. Utilities can manage garbage disposal facilities but the institutionalize poor will dump garbage in the environment. Public Health programs can construct latrines everywhere, and yet people will urinate in public. Laws and ordinances never fundamentally change peoples attitudes, neither do elaborate taxing structures and grandiose schemes of econ omic prosperity change peoples perceptions of their actual relationship to power. Changing the “quality of life” for institutionalized poor require transformation of their social pp and self-perceptions To do this an entire generation of Africans must be educated to love themselves and motivated to authentically empower all that is African and progressive. We must raise a new generation of Pan-African warriors to carry forward the fight for Africa and world emancipation. END
PAN-AFRICAN THOUGHT, MOVING FROM MARGINS TO CENTER
If you’re white,
you’re all right,
if you’re brown,
but if you’re black get back!
Black ghetto rhyme, circa 1950’s
For over three centuries, the universal principle governing international relations was “White Might made right”. The European perception of power as external has shaped our economies, and much in our societies. The ability to control economies within communities and within nations, and the capacity to manipulate economic globalization are concentrated in the hands of a few people – predominately white and overwhelmingly male. But no institution or laws exist to protect the majority of the world from their excesses. To protect workers from the exploitation of the f bosses unions were created. To protect consumers from the unbridled greed of the few consumers demanded “regulatory agencies.” To contain and manage poverty, governments created welfare systems, although controlled by the few were intended to protect the many who are poor. To curtail civil rebellion of the working classes, the rich few devised the illusion of democratic power. But what global institution, what instruments are there to protect people of African descent from the virus of Eurocentric racism? None. All of this is a reflection of how we have come to see power as the possession of a few while the majority serve it as victims.
All of Africa’s institutions; social, economic and political, reflect the European perception of power as external. Money as an icon of power, confers personality and prestige. Money often stands in for power. Those who have the most money have the most ability to regulate their surroundings and those within it, while those who have the least money have the least ability to regulate their surroundings and those within it. In reality therefore, money has power and humans only have power inasmuch as they have money; However, money is made, lost, stolen, inherited and fought over. Money is transitory yet we derive a sense of security from its possession because it is an icon of external power and represents our capacity to control our environment. We fear the loss of money as we fear the lost of most things which are possessed and from which we derive a sense of security. But what we really fear is an increase in our vulnerability. This is all a consequence of perceiving power as external. When Africans view power in these Eurocentric terms, then they create hierarchical social, economic and political structures as well as a hierarchical construct of the universe which reflect European concepts of who has power and who does not: Those at top of society appear the most powerful and therefore are the most valued members of society: Those at the bottom are less powerful and, therefore, the most vulnerable and least valued. All ideologies of lesser and greater personal value result from the conception of power as external. It is this conception of lesser and greater personal value which is at the root of violence and exploitation. Indeed, a secondary reward derived from commercial competition and political rivalry is external power.
The Eurocentric perceptions of “power as external” divide the African psyche on all levels. Imposition of European power in Africa simultaneously reinforced Africa’s more reactionary hierarchical practices (those feudal practices which were in a condition of inertia when the Europeans arrived were placed in a state of suspended animation by Africa’s colonization) while simultaneously it separated African folk spirituality from accustomed avenues of political expression. The unity between religious and traditional forms and politics were crucial to the cohesion of pre -colonial African civilizations. Perceptions of Power as external affects the rural African villager as well as the entire village; it alienates citizens of African nations just as effectively as it divides the African Diaspora. Surely, there is little difference between acute schizophrenia and bloody civil war. The recent Liberian civil war was a study in social schizophrenia. Angola’s long civil conflict was tribal and neocolonial induced social schizophrenia. The genocidal massacre of Tutsi’s and Tutsi reprisals against Hutus, is acute social schizophrenia developed by the French and Belgian colonial psyche-doctors of “divide and conquer”. There is little differentiation between the distress of a tortured soul and the social distress of a tortured nation. All are at the mercy of the dynamics of human fear and vulnerability. The European imperial drive for physical dominance of global commerce and trade produced a type of psychotic materialism that has infected every aspect of Africa’s existence. It has affected our personal relationships and the relationship between nations and races, between classes and between the sexes. The natural evolution of the African tendency toward holistic and cooperative paradigms have been sidetracked and perverted by the Eurocentric perception of power as external rather than as authentically connected to the personality of African peoples. Africans must restore the dynamics of an African paradigm to perceptions of power as we would have wished authentic African power to have evolved, rather than how inauthentic African power has in fact evolved to comport with European paradigms of power.
The 21st century must witness evolution of a New African ready for the challenges of a new millennium in which historical injustices derived from the geopolitics of “white might makes right” are destroyed root and branch and the festering unattended wounds of racial division healed. It is our duty to bring forward those issues which will achieve that end. Regardless of how diligently the Northern hemispheric nations and their prodigies attempt to avoid reckoning for their past conduct and policies they must be held accountable for the consequences of their imperial ambitions and racist policies. Those Europeans who murdered and enslaved Africans are not among the living, so they cannot be brought to “book”. Nor are our ancestors present to exact compensation for the horrors they suffered. But the children of those who enslaved and tortured are alive to repatriate the profits of their blood drenched prosperity, and we, a new generation of Africans are here to collect the interest, compounded annually.
Africans are as organically connected to the tragedy of stolen and butchered ancestors as are Europeans organically connected to the benefits derived from the pillage by their ancestors. Technology assures that Africa’s settling of this long standing debt will play to a global audience – it will be a lesson for humankind and a crucial milestone in the struggle between the “haves and the have nots” for a fair and equitable redistribution of global wealth. The struggle between the “have and have nots” will not only be televised, it will be brought to all in “real time” and in living color as some nations find the “ World Order impossible to live under without becoming 21st century slaves and their peoples denigrated and maltreated as second class world citizens.
“Africa must think like the Lion and not like the Lamb”. Africans are currently compelled by conditions to analyze current European political developments from a purely African historical and contemporary standpoint. We can no longer afford the luxury of bogus “objective professionalism” western educated Africans often substitute for a neocolonial mentality whenever they grapple with Africa’s problems. There is no such thing as “objectivity” for the oppressed and downtrodden. What is an objective slave, except a subjective fool? What is an objective “economic program “dominated by a cabal of Eurocentric Financiers in Washington or Zurich? An objective slave is a self-alienated fool who will remain a slave forever. An objective economic program which reinforces an overall system of dependency is a fools delusions of “development” and a self-indulgent concession to the reality of externally imposed paradigms of power. You are “either part of the problem or part of the solution”. That’s “the Either-Or” ultimatum of the disenfranchised. It is that simple.
Developing an African geopolitical paradigm is not an indulgence in “objective” thought but an effort to define the African reality and change it through new and innovative Pan-African modalities Where those modalities do not exist, we must create them. Therefore, exercising the power of definition is the first step in developing an African geopolitical paradigm. In this age of global communications, one has only to turn on a radio or television to appreciate how effectively Europe’s opinion makers and cultural exponents have exercised the power of definition. They have created a generalized view of brutal European colonialization and racist depopulation of Africa as a “civilizing process.” Something akin to a “reluctant cultural exchange” between Europe and Africa – or “European curiosity about the nature of the earth (age of exploration) gone amuck”. Even some educated Africans hold this view of Africa’s colonization. This is best summed up by a banner at the West African slave fort of Cape Coast, Ghana, which proclaim the slave fort as a “crossroads of Commerce and Crossroads of cultures”. This banner was hung there by Africans themselves! Indeed, to many African’s “tourism” and making Africa acceptable to Europeans is synonymous with “development” rather than a consequence of conquest. If further proof of this massive brainwashing is required we would only have to examined the care taken by Africans to dignify the graves of British colonial administrators, while charging fees of entry to the children of the African Diaspora revisiting the horrors of their ancestors. African’s honor the builders of slave forts while dishonoring their own ancestors taken and sold into human bondage. As a consequence, it should come as no surprise that there are few expressions of universal outrage expressed by humankind over the African slave trade equivalent to the revulsion people express at the mere mention of Nazi concentration camps and Germany’s genocidal program for extermination of European Jewry. Despite the abundance of historical evidence which indicate that Europe’s designs for Africa were as criminal as the Nazi’s genocidal plan for European Jewry and others they considered “subhuman” contemporary portrayals of slavery are left-to Hollywood and the Stephen Spielbergs of the entertainment industry. Due to the consistent negative manner in which Europe has portrayed Africa, and the cavalier attitude with which Africans have treated their own historical experiences, the massive negative energy unleashed upon humanity by the horrors of the greatest holocaust in human recorded history has gone unattended for centuries. If African’s don’t compel Europe to account for its past crimes the reverberations of those crimes will stalk modern societies everywhere. The massive negative energy released by the African holocaust continues to yield violence, injustice, racial and ethnic divisions and consume the resources and creative energies of succeeding generations unless Africans act now.
Europe has portrayed the conquest of Africa, the enslavement of close to 150 million humans, and super-exploitation of Africa’s resources as not just a cultural exchange, but somewhat as of a force of nature as well. This view maintains the neo-scientific proposition that civilizations are imperialistic by nature, therefore, European genocidal rapaciousness, was merely the downside of civilization progress, for which we African’s should be eternally grateful. Africans in their eagerness for acceptance and “legitimacy” in a world order conceptualized by white supremacy have abetted this massive hoax. I will illustrate later in the text of this analysis how the “tourist industry” a major source of income for some African governments play into to the entire gamut of psychological dependency (see Commercialization of the Holocaust) Given such a self-effacing mentality is it any wonder that multinational corporations such as America’s AT&T could portray Africans as monkeys in their T.V. telephone advertisements and still are welcomed as “partners” in African development? It seem as though African leaders have fewer choices than a blue collar worker in New York City, who are forced to patronize a foul smelling overpriced subway system because its the only one in town!
By challenging racist historical revisionism, Pan-African advocates may be dismissed as “anti-European” by some Africans anxious to emulate Europe’s structures without similarly emulating Europe’s con quest of Africa and the advantages of primitive capital accumulation derived there from. After all, the economic “phenomenon” of United States and European industrialization derived an incalculable advantage from three centuries of free colonial slave labor and extraction of precious minerals approaching trillions of dollars. The capital accumulated during Europe’s epic “mercantile venture” financed development of European industrial infrastructures and launched an entire era – “the Industrial age”. Those infrastructures created by the surplus capital derived from slavery and colonial conquests supported European military superiority and help spread European influence around the world. For the Europeans, not only did political power grow out the barrel of gun so did economic prosperity, cultural supremacy, and religious influence. Surely these are “advantages” that even Europe’s African sycophants would find difficult to ignore. The capital, which financed Europe’s “industrial revolution”, was acquired the old fashion way – it was stolen! Are Africa’s politicians, free market entrepreneurs, aspiring capitalists, assorted Prophets, religious gurus and Europhiles so enamored of everything European and contemptuous of all that is African, prepared to “steal” back Africa in a similar fashion? Are they ready to reclaim the stolen “wealth of African nations” at gun point if need be? I doubt it. Are any of Africa’s many military establishments prepared to fight shoulder to shoulder for a geopolitical Africana against Africa’s historical enemies, as they are eager and ready to brutalize their own people? I doubt that as well. Before Africans can reclaim anything, they must first reject paradigms of vulnerability based on fear of the “white man’s technology” and discard the reverence with which they accord his ruthlessness. African’s must first reclaim their minds before they can reclaim Africa for Africans! This is not anti European it is pro-African.
A true Pan-African philosophy is deeply humanistic and could never advocate vengeful destruction of European society solely based on its genocidal aggressive past, but that Africa will not, and must not, continue to pay “interest” on the profits derived from European aggression nor continue to reap the whirlwind of social dislocation Eurocentric racism has caused the global African family. Nonetheless, there are few political, religious or social philosophies (of which Pan-African political philosophy is but one) that does not incorporate the principle of “reciprocity” in the search for justice. In other words, “What goes around – comes around” and Africans should therefore not fear change – but embrace it. But destiny still requires conscious thoughts and actions to come to fruition. In this sense, African’s must make “what goes around – come around “operate in their own best interest. History has amble evidence which should teach us that simply because a cause is “just”, or that one is on the “right” side, doesn’t mean in justice and “wrong” won’t last for centuries. Even something as seemingly impersonal as “fate” or “destiny” has a context in human social drama and human choices. In other words, we are only as free as we make ourselves – not as free as others’ make us. This is the essence of what is meant by a “beggar on horseback” riding straight to the devil. The ‘horse’ is a metaphor for destiny or fate, and only provide the beggar’s mentality with the more efficient means by which to pursue the source of its impoverishment. We make our own destiny first and foremost by the way in which we think.
West Africa, 1998
A BRIEF POLITICAL OVERVIEW
Part I: COMMERCIALIZATION OF THE AFRICAN HOLOCAUST
Although across Africa there are misguided policies (policies which are “guided” astray by advisors and experts) a good economic example of the “beggar on horseback” syndrome is how some African governments view “tourism”. It is no secret that were it left to some Africans desperate for the Yankee dollar – retracing the slave route would soon be on Club Med’s list of possible vacation options – ‘Hurry, Hurry’ these African’s seem to be saying, “step right up and take a plane to the slave ship and checkout the horrors of the Middle Passage! while enjoying all the comforts of home!” – The commercialization of the African holocaust not only blind many African officials to the p lessons of Africa’s interaction with Europe but has contributed to the denigration of the African Diaspora and Marginalization of its potential contribution. As pointed out earlier, nowhere is this attitude more sadly exemplified than at the various slave Forts along the West Coast of Ghana, where the descendants of Africans shipped off into bondage must pay a prerequisite “nonresident” entrance fee to revisit the legacy of their own ancestor’s horror. Poverty is no excuse for such ignorance but greed is.
At One Slave fort (Cape Coast) ,a huge Banner identify the site as a Crossroads of People – Crossroads of Trade”. As if the infamous” Door of No return symbolically represented “free trade” at its best rather than the traffic in Black flesh and the uprooting of African souls from the land of their ancestors for profit. How ironic it appears to visiting Africans from the Diaspora that buried within the inner courtyard of a Slave Fort (renamed to the racially neutral term “castle”) are the remains of the European that constructed it along with the faithful local who assisted in its administration! The moral outrage this represent lost on smiling African Tourist commissioners and Museum curators, who are thinking mostly in commercial terms and a user friendly environment for European tourists. By way of illustration, a similar memorial at a at a Nazis concentration camp would be unthinkable. No self-respecting Jewish museum curator would consider a memorial grave site at an extermination camp for its Nazi founder as anything other than a serious insult. Again, ignorance is not the reason for such insensitivity. Commercial considerations are the motivating factor even in the areas of tourism which are directly linked to colonial domination. Indeed, many African states see their colonial roots as part of “their own heritage” totally corrupting the meaning of the word “heritage” to comport with their subjective inability to reject the major political and cultural features of their conquest and subjugation and replace those features with Afro centric modalities. Many African leaders and opinion makers perceive the British, French, Portuguese et al., as their predecessors in rower rather than as their former oppressors and adversaries. This is a unique concept to Africans nurtured in the Diaspora because as descendants of African slaves there was never a significant period of time during which African refugees of the holocaust actually exercised independent ‘people hood’ or ruled their own territory, culture and society. The closest the Diaspora has come to this experience is Liberia, a state created by repatriated African slaves who were taken to the Americas. Everyone knows the tortured result of that experiment for the peoples inhabiting the area chosen for “resettlement” of former slaves.
The continental African experience was the exact opposite from that of the Diaspora: Peoples and territories had nominal continuity and historically determined political relationships. Because of this perception of power as a “legacy of colonialism” the income derived from Tourism is seen by many African ministers as “a sector of their economy” rather than as a consequence of their conquest and coerced trade relations. That Investment in Tourist infrastructure can be compared in certain ways to purchase of “junk bonds”, the advantage of which are a quick turnover for the investor at the expense of the bonded company’s liquidity, seems lost on most African policy makers. As are the lessons of feudal Africa’s first encounters with mercantile Europe.
Africa, throughout its modern relations with Europe was forced to provide slave labor, raw materials, and territory for Europeans anxious to start new lives and escape the constraints of Christian Europe. African-Caribbean historian, Walter Rodney points out in How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, that:
“When the Portuguese and the Spanish were still in command of a major sector of world trade in the first half of the seventeenth century, they engaged in buying cotton cloth in India to exchange for slaves in Africa to mine gold [ from their freshly conquered colonies] in Central and South America. Part of the gold in the Americas would then be used to purchase spices and silks from the Far East. The concept of metropole and pdependence automatically came into commerce. On one hand, there were the European capitalist market. As far as foreign trade was concerned, Africa was dependent on what Europeans were prepared to buy and sell”
Rodney’s assessment is emphatically the case today. “Tourism” did not exist in Africa as even a minor focus of colonial economic activity prior to decolonisation. It was only the political independence of many African nations did “attracting tourists” become a serious consideration in African economic planning. By the mid-i 960s “tourism” had become a major mechanism of currency exchange for some African nations, especially those nations with “integrated” (dependent) commonwealth status, or with economies basically designed to service-the markets of metropolitan Europe and the USA. “Attracting tourists” or “developing tourism” in post-colonial Africa was also a code word for “making Africa secure to whites”, who were haunted by the guilt of their rapacious colonial past and specter of possible African hostility and reparation demands.
The history of tourism, as an industry in Africa, had its determinism fashioned in the Postcolonial struggles of Africa. During Africa’s decolonisation struggle, many European settlers fled newly independent African states in anticipation of Black rule and dismantling of their White Settler privilege. Western European racism coupled with Europe’s cold war agenda, portrayed Africa’s wars of liberation as a menace to European civilization and depicted Africa’s independence as a descent into communist barbarism with pagan antichrist overtones. Classifying an African state safe for tourists became synonymous with “political stability” and signaled that a particular African nation was under political control and therefore prepared for the reintroduction of European debt financing and capital market controls This has meant that those African nations which relied on tourism subjected themselves to outside (read European) economic manipulation of their internal markets (which were then incorrectly configured to nurture tourism rather than support Pan-African infra structural development which could sustain long term evolution of peoples livelihood and environment. Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt are four cases in point. All four nations have highly developed Tourist sectors which suffered severe economic dislocation as a consequence of “political instability” and resultant “travel restrictions” imposed by Europeans. Each of these nations also served as regional “proxies” for Europe and the USA during the cold-war and that “proxy” status was reinforced by heavy European “tourist” and expatriate infrastructures in those countries.
But does “tourism” lead to real economic growth and development? A quick review of tourist industry marketing data indicates national development and tourism don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Only a small fraction of the “tourist dollars” trickles down to the average African wage earner. Tourist marketing data indicate, that over 76% of each tourist dollar goes for hotel, travel and basic accommodations, “service areas” where the average African worker are only marginally involved, but from which governments derive tax revenue. While the remaining 24% is spent on entertainment and shopping – the latter usually at special enclaves and shops that cater to tourist taste. Therefore, the notion that “tourism” benefits everyone or even the nation as a whole is confused at best. Tourism benefits a particular class or stratum within an underdeveloped economy but it first and foremost aids governments. Usually the class or social stratum that benefits the most from tourism is the one that is better educated and socially connected (the more “cosmopolitan native sector”). It is the sector of the indigenous African population that tend to be directly involved in the tourist trade as hotel managers, essential staff at banks, employees at tourist agencies, administrators of local corporations and as workers within the service sector etc. that derive a direct “income” from tourism. So tourism doesn’t even begin to level disparities between rich and poor by circulating “cash” through the local economy. Disparities between urban unemployed vs. urban managerial class, or between rural and urban unemployed, or between entrepreneurs living in exclusive “cash only” communities and the ordinary African worker commuting to work from semi-hovels on dilapidated public transportation are not alleviated by tourism.
However, tourism does generate plenty cash. Tourism is essentially a source of revenue (currency) for governments (which is why tourism is heavily regulated and monitored). Revenue derived from tourism may or may not find its way back into the local infrastructure. Generally, in the case of African nations, the largest portion of tourist revenues ultimately end up servicing national debts or balancing trade deficits. Again, partial reason for this is the underdevelopment of the manufacturing base in most African countries and the demand for imported manufactured goods. Further proof that “Tourism” is a consequence of super exploitation and not merely an economic sector in need of “development”.
Although modern tourism is a economic consequence of 20th century imperialism and should be seen and treated as such by sane Africans the opposite is in fact the case’ – many African governments believe Tourism is the best thing to happen to them since independence. Dignified African ministers and government consultants behave as though they were enthusiastic extras on a “Fantasy Island” serial anticipating tourist planes disgorging rich vacationers from Europe and the USA. This impression is overwhelming and it is not hard to imagine otherwise reserved government officials excitedly screaming “de plane boss – de plane!” in excited anticipation of tourist dollars flowing into government coffers. What would happen should planes from the rich “developed nations” cease transporting wealthy tourists to impoverished Africa, or when local hotels are forced closed, and regional economies reliant on steady tourist influx suddenly find themselves without patrons, seems too pessimistic for most African governments to contemplate at the moment. Because psychologically African self-esteem was customized to make Europeans feel comfortable and meet European cultural expectations, the connection between economics of tourism and the political socialization of Africans into a multifaceted syndrome of self-contempt is another salient characteristic of “tourist trade” which must be examined.
MISUNDERSTANDING THE AFRICAN DIASPORA
A spin-off of Commercializing holocaust is how it has distorted perceptions within the African family. In the minds of many African’s there’s a mercenary notion that the African Diaspora is only good for “investment” or injection of Western capital into the local economies, and anything short of this, is meaningless rhetoric. This had led to broad based feelings of distrust within the African family that is not ameliorated by mass education campaigns. Consequently, continental Africans neither respect the struggles of the African Diaspora or the evolution of anti-racist and Pan-African analysis which informed those struggles. Otherwise, why would the countless major achievements of the African Diaspora in the face of malevolent institutional white supremacy be perceived as an impediment to Africa’s entree to U.S. and European financial institutions, rather than as valuable tools in the forging an independent African paradigm? It is a sad commentary indeed that the African’s who fought the hardest to retain their connection to Africa (the African Diaspora) are by their continental brothers and sisters as ersatz Europeans (white) because for the ordinary African’s (institutionalized into abject poverty) “money” and the “white skin privilege” of the European colonizer are synonymous. The fact that descendants of African’s kidnapped by Europeans or sold by some African leaders into bondage now return to Africa in many respects materially better off than the descendants of the Africans who sold them off bespeak of the success of Africa’s Diaspora in the struggle for human rights and equality in America and Europe – not defeat or failure. The struggles of Africa’s Diaspora signified a determination that plumped the depths of the African creative potential. Africans exported into slavery thrived even under the worst circumstances of racist oppression- not because they desired to assimilate into a self-negating Eurocentric culture or economic system, but because they refused to be defined by that system and limited by its evil designs.
While tile African Diaspora fought for e of its African personality, Africa on the other hand, after considerable struggle, succumbed to colonialism and was reduced to dehumanizing poverty, marginalization, and virulent self-contempt. One consequence of colonization was inordinate belief in European superiority and African inferiority. An “objective” observer of both the struggles of African Diaspora and on the continent of Africa would have to conclude that those Africans kidnapped, sold, and transported across the sea learned a lesson or two that those remaining in Africa would do well to incorporate in their strategic thinking. Unfortunately, this is not the case today. Yet despite forces intent on dividing the African family, the global destiny of Africa and Africans is weaved from a common fabric of oppression into a common prerequisite for African liberation. Placing primary reliance on economic “marketing strategies”, whether in the areas of tourism or elsewhere cannot result in long-term benefit for Africa and Africans if those “strategies” negate African political unity and squander the pot resources of the African family. Africans must become more than beggars on horseback salivating over tourist dollars. Indeed, for Africa there is more to tourism and national development than meets the eye.
The African Diaspora stands astride two worlds – straddling both the cultures of Africa and the Western Europe – fully appreciated in neither – yet universally emulated in the fields of the creative arts, dance, literature, culture and sports. The African Diaspora must also decide whether to pursue individual “freedom” and “success” at the expense of their race, or advance their race at personal cost in hope of improving their collective condition and securing a future of their children. In this sense, African throughout the Diaspora also stands at a historical crossroads. A way must be found to incorporate the “revolutionary resistance” of the African Diaspora to (Eurocentric domination) with the collective struggles of African States for geopolitical integrity (Pan-African independence) of action.
African government need to abandon the archaic “top down approach” to organizing masses of people (while hypocritically castrating top-down traditional power modalities as politically archaic) in favor of a matrix of grass root education and Pan-African organization. African leaders should be the first to nurture Pan-African consciousness because such consciousness will sustain continental development and lead to fuller regional interaction between African governments and their peoples. Without Pan-African mass awareness, true development of Africa’s resources for the good of its people will remain elusive. It is toward this end that this paper is offered for discussion.
A POLITICAL OVERVIEW OF GLOBALIZATION: EUROPE IN SOCIAL DECLINE IN AN AGE OF TECHNOLOGY
Current statistical surveys of major European nations all indicate that European societies, with their rapidly aging populations, and the widening gap between rich and poor are becoming increasingly moribund when compared to the younger dynamic populations of most underdeveloped and emerging nations. But if Europeans are to preserve the advantages derived from 400 years of plundering other peoples resources and maintain their technological ‘leadership in the next millennium, they must do more than pool their resources into political union. Finance Capitalism, and the “free market economies” of the USA and Europe must out of necessity create a integrated and marketing base if they are to avoid precipitous decline in their commercial competitiveness and continue to exert global supremacy what use to be termed the “Third World”. Its this economic pressure that is translated into a political agenda which lay at the heart of Europe s drive for political union and which informs o all USA and EC foreign aid policy considerations This in fact is a “hidden” agenda which should concern Africa and Africans everywhere.
The globalization of Poverty is the next step in building a integrated production base for the Northern industrial states. Every major European financial institution is playing its role in this “creative” process, especially the World Bank and the International Monetary fund, two key institutions in the recirculation of Third World ‘debt into “First World” corporate loans and investment. Both of these institutions have forced Third World and Eastern European countries to facilitate the changes to the structures of the global economy necessary for the fulfillment of the “New World Order.” Each nation is to play a part in this ‘New World” economic order, much like vassal states of medieval times but this time the Empire is wired – connected by ‘computer and regulated by technology and a global policeman WSA and its NATO force. What is surprising is that none of this would be possible with out the willing cooperation of the future vassal nations themselves. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank are just two institutions charged with institutionalizing Third World vassalage, and many nations willing submit themselves to the supervision of the IMF and WE under the mistaken notion that they have no other choice if they are secure funds for development purposes. However, the consequences of IMF and WB policies are a matter of record. They have creatively institutionalized poverty and destruction of the environment in the underdeveloped world (with multinationals use of cheap child labor, imposed SAP agreements which deregulate and exempt Mining, Oil and Lumber companies from certain types of duties and obligations, the dumping of inferior products and often hazardous goods on Third World markets etc. ). IMF and WB policies have generated social forms of apartheid, encouraged racism and ethnic strife and subverted the rights of women.
Adding historical insult to contemporary injury, Africans almost unquestioning imitation of European state culture has transformed traditional African culture into a static, nonpolitical, and reactionary force in Africa, just as the epoch of the European supremacy is drawing to a close and Africa is confronted with unique opportunity to reclaim its own historical continuum for the first time since the advent of the Arab and European slave trade. Because this historical opportunity and moment will soon pass, Africa needs visionary and bold leadership. Leadership abetted by efficient organization of information, supported by mass mobilization of African people and empowered through the political organization of African resources. Only in this fashion can Africans seize the time, before the times seize Africa.
THE OAU, A SWORD IN NEED OF SHARPENING
One place to begin the process of removing the intentional shackles of Africa’s marginalization and dependency is the forum of the Organization of African Unity. The OAU, an organization created at the height of decolonisation and African’s struggle to break out of the imposed straitjacket of Europe’s historical continuum and colonial conquest, and reassert the African historical personality and continuum was hampered in this great endeavor by many factors of which three appear quite salient; first the geopolitics of the cold war”, second, the ideology of white supremacy which informed the superpowers world view and therein superpower diplomacy, and the colonial mentality of many of Africa’s leaders and political parties. The double handicap of global bipolar “superpower” rivalry, the not so subtle hand of European racism informing North-South economic “integration” and trade relations, combined to exert a devastating impact upon the African mentality already damaged by the debilitating internalization of three hundred years of European domination and indoctrination. Given such a handicap, the OAU’s initial weakness was not so much the material poverty of its constituents, but the inability of many African nations to transform their new found international status as a community of nations into a Pan-African voice desperately needed by Africans around the world. Instead of devising a diplomatic policy and coordinated strategy designed to garner, world sympathy for a systematic reparations and debt-forgiveness program for the entire African continent, the founders of the OAU pursued narrow nationalist agendas. The period immediately following WW II, which witnessed the breakup of old style European imperialism, offered an ideal historical moment to launch just such a strategy. However, the paradigm of the cold war forced the initial Pan-African impulse of the OAU into another less Afro centric direction; Third world solidarity against the last vestiges of imperialism congealed into what became known as the “nonaligned movement” – a movement circumscribed by East-West agendas and conflicts of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s became the major diplomatic forum of expression for Africa’s more outspoken and revolutionary figures, while OAU effectiveness was essentially reduced to protocols supporting guerrilla movements in Africa, and staunch condemnation of apartheid in South Africa.
From its very inception the OAU was plagued by enemies of African progress within and without. Time and time again, crisis after crisis on the African continent were manipulated and controlled by the anti-Communist, anti-revolutionary nationalist, foreign policy interests of non-African nations and the priorities of multinationals who hã derived much of their power and wealth from super exploitation and political balkanization of the African continent, while simultaneously so called “democratic” European governments administer municipal systems of civil, legal, and de facto discrimination designed to underdeveloped and socially marginalized entire segments of their African “minorities” until they are no better than second-class citizens enjoying nominal rights. Because European and U.S. neocolonial machinations in Africa were almost always hostile to African economic independence and Pan-African political unity, neocolonial manipulation would not have achieved its successes, in the Congo, Sudan, Kenya, Egypt, Algeria, Angola, were it not for African sycophants who in many cases reaped enormous profits from misrepresenting various competitive European interests on the African continent disguised as development Aid, economic stabilization funds, investment loans, and the favorite of Western international financial lending institutions, “structural adjustment plans”.
The OAU has never effectively intervened in a crisis on the African continent for a number of reasons, the most often lamented reason being, insufficient funds and resources to carry forward either military peace keeping operations or provide economic assistance to those areas of Africa wracked by civil wars, famine, social dislocation etc. Of course to a large measure the African states themselves have shown a woeful lack of imagination, courage, and functional unity, and most important a strategic vi based upon a global Pan-African perspective. Without such a vision and at least a principled commitment to bringing it to fruition, the OAU will always be subjected to the dictates of the developed Northern hemispheric nations and the machinations of their close allies in the Third World. As long as the OAU and especially its most revolutionary and progressive members fail to seize the time by carrying forward a continental wide policy which employs and utilizes the resources of the entire African family, both on the continent of Africa and in the Dias it will be subject to those profiteers who will Which is precisely what is happening today in this post cold war era.
Unfortunately, many African government officials, businesspersons, and leaders, have adopted the same mentality which gave birth to that very instrument of racist European imperialism – the European nation-state. That is to say, they see the African state as an instrument for the transference of social wealth (particularly control of the “means of production” and “surplus labor value’) from the laboring masses into their own pockets, and in the process place themselves above the people in who’s interest they claim to work. The more sophisticated African official or business person see their government service as an opportunity to position themselves in the so called “private sector’ of their poor nations economy through manipulation of government policies and contracts so that upon retirement or termination of public office they remain the power behind the political throne of state. On its face this may not be such a bad thing, especially in a developing nation where expertise, training, and managerial experience within large multifaceted operations are scarce., However, more often than not it is not in the interest of Africa, or even in the interests of narrow nationalist when African leaders approach their responsibilities in the same fashion and with the same mentality as their former colonial masters, when history and the present historical moment require a completely different approach and strategic vision. It is this lack of strategic vision on the part of African leaders, that transforms a neocolonial attitudes into venal opportunism. Moreover, this paucity of strategic African thought is compounded by the reliance of most African states on intelligence information from the very Governments and financial institutions which had and continue to have a vested interest in controlling Africa’s multiplicity of national economies from their own capitals in Europe and the U.S., and thereby marginalized the entire continent of Africa.
The African incorporation and internalization of the above-mentioned venal mentality is precisely what the European imperialist had in mind when they convened in Berlin in 1884 to balkanize Africa. Europe did not only balkanized the African landscape, and rearrange the political furniture of Africa, Europe also balkanized the African mind, while erecting a socio-religious system to constrain the African personality inside of a Eurocentric power paradigm’ In the U.S. there’s a saying which arises from the institutionalization of racism and poverty in the African-American ghetto: “You can always tell a “niggah” who never had anything”. This derogatory saying usually applied to a poor person who suddenly reaped a windfall of money, and immediately went and purchased the most expensive and garish car and suit available as “statement” of his new found stature and refurbished personality. So it was that the “niggah” mentality at work in Africa squandered the wealth of a continent on often garish and elaborate building projects, huge architectural monstrosities suitable only for the built up infrastructures of European cities and harsh European climates. Poverty stricken African states combined spent millions of dollars to operate individual Airlines which rely on European and U.S. logistical support to operate outside the African continent, when the creation of an all African international would have been more practical were it not for narrow nationalism’s strident support for the symbolism of national air carriers. Indeed, it seems as though when it comes to narrow nationalism Africans cannot even get that right!
Narrow nationalists traditionally overprotect their national interests and resources, most African governments are selling theirs to erstwhile investors in return for development projects, which never materialize, and if they do, these projects seldom empower the African on the lowest rung of the social order. – The balkanized African mind set is the current metamorphosis of the old neocolonial mentality. The balkanized mentality is the mentality with which any would be exploiter can do business without serious danger to exploitive access to African strategic natural resources (a “legal access” they “acquired” 300 years earlier). The poverty of African nations is not the poverty of material wealth and capital. It is a poverty of leadership with imagination and a sense of the historical moment. This poverty of imagination is partly a consequence of miseducation, lack of information, and a cultural value system jury-rigged to fit political instrument of control essentially antithetical to African empowerment and supportive of elitism, sexism, and non-collective bargaining. How can anyone expect Africa to take control over its own destiny with such paucity of imaginative and bold leadership prepared to challenge “conventional wisdom” when it is conventional wisdom which marginalized the African continent and paralyze its leaders?
Like all definitions which describe a phenomenon, terms such as” Undeveloped nation” define in ways which insure what is being defined act according to its definition. Indeed: most African do in fact act according to the definitions imposed upon them by their former colonial masters, especially in the affairs of state craft and the organization of their institutions. Most African nations grossly imitate their former colonial masters essentially because they suffer woefully when it comes to the “culture” of the modern nation state and rely upon the appropriation of that “state” culture from those who developed the European state as essentially a means of conquest and by which the transfer of wealth from the many to a few would proceed according “law”. Thereby insuring their continued servitude to the systems and legal framework erected to perpetuate the supremacy, control, and profit of the former colonial powers. Unfortunately, this myopia on the part of Africans is also compounded by a false sense of sovereignty and independence which falsely assumes that diplomacy is first and foremost a function of economics, that is to say, diplomacy is a means by which “foreign aid” is secured, or military assistance acquired. Sadly, for many Africans, access to technology means “development”, So it is, by way of example, that every Third World country has a national Airline, though its the former colonial masters (and their airline industry) who supply the support systems for African airlines abroad and thereby profit), while at the same time international agencies that regulate trade, travel, and commerce, discriminate against Africa and Africans on global scale making direct commerce with Africa extremely difficult and unprofitable without going through Europe or European business interests. To counter this economic isolation, African nations have turned to other Third World nations for meaningful commerce, only to have shoddy and cheap goods dumped on them, thereby increasing the cost of maintenance and for domestic goods of Sound quality. Africa has become the dumping ground for not only cheap items and goods, but also a dumping ground for the toxic waste of the “developed” nations. The absurd response of most African nations to such massive economic piracy are to pass domestic legislation which further invite the economic rape of Africa under the pretext of” attracting foreign investment”. Surely, nations defined, as “undeveloped” act is a desired fashion!
The reversal of conditions and circumstances, which dis-empower Africa and render African leaders incapable of meeting the needs of their peoples, will be a complicated and long-term process. However, the first principle that we as Africans must practice is the principle of Pan-African unity regarding issues and projects, which can bring the greatest possible rewards to the African people. The on going failure of the OAU to project itself into the world as the genuine forum for Africans everywhere – must be radically changed and unlike and 1960’s the African Diaspora must have a say in that process of change.
In my view the best means of achieving global Pan-African unity is for the OAU to first establish a permanent representative seat for the African Diaspora at the ministerial level. Second, for the OAU to pass a resolution granting all people of African descent the right of return to Africa. This would allow for the quick and universal passage by individual states of “dual citizenship” legislation and laws. With a universal right of return, organization of the resources and talents of the African Diaspora will become more systematic and project focused, as African’s world wide see their authentic power base in Africa. There can be no transfer of resources from the Diaspora to Africa without a corresponding transfer of political, and psychological allegiance. The OAU is uniquely situated to perform this task.
TOWARD PAN-AFRICAN ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE
Establishment of an Afrocentirc paradigm of power, authentic power as earlier defined must have an economic base from which it derives material and geopolitical relevancy. Let us therefore examine the current world economic order purely from the conceptual viewpoint that Pan-African economic unity is a dynamic of both Pan-African political unity and global economic revolution. Let us devise a theoretical construct based upon this viewpoint. Previously I reviewed Africa’s political and commercial relationship to Europe. Now let us briefly review the history of money as we have come to know it and suggest a course of action for Africa’s relationship to itself. Perhaps can construct an African economic and commercial paradigm which could accomplish both the authentic exercise of African geopolitical power as well as revolutionary redistribution of global wealth.
What is money? Dictionaries and experts disagree on the definition of money. Nonetheless, before we can discuss money, we must be able to agree on what money is and what it is not. For the purposes of this analysis will introduce a definition assembled from various sources intentionally designed j to reflect any particular school of Western economics or even what is called “classical economic theory”. My objective here is to reflect reality, not reinforce fancy.
Superficially speaking, money is whatever is accepted as a medium of exchange within a particular society. But every economic system relied upon essentially three different types of money at one time or the other: 1. commodity money; 2. promissory money; and 3. fiat money. In primitive societies (the first economic systems) “money possessed intrinsic value and it could be used as barter. It was its function as barter which gave it the status of “money.” Indeed, commodity money was the first “natural” money because it was naturally employed as a medium of exchange. An example of commodity money was the early use of livestock or possession of grain as a criteria for barter or to denote wealth. However, the ultimate commodity money was and is gold Many commodities were utilized throughout the evolution of human society, particularly livestock, as a medium of exchange, but in all epochs and in every land, gold evolved as the ultimate commodity money. This was due to not only its intrinsic value as a commodity, but also to a number of other factors as well: Gold was rare and therefore always in high demand; unlike livestock, it was nonperishable; Unlike Diamonds, it was divisible: and due to its rarity it retain high value in small space, unlike other metals such as copper or similar metals. Accordingly, almost all of the gold mined throughout recorded history is estimated at about 90,000 metric tons. That would fit into 19 cubic yards of space! These factors are still at work today in the valuation of gold. It is said 40% of all the gold mined in the world since the discovery of the America still exists in gold bars and coins. When the gold in jewelry and other items are added to that, the figure could well go over 70%.
It is important to understand that there is nothing “mysterious” or “mystical” about gold because understanding its intrinsic value will be important in understanding our subsequent Pan-African economic conceptual construct. Gold in and of itself is neither “bad nor good” It is merely a commodity with intrinsic value which although used in industry and art has unique qualities which lend themselves to its use as commodity money. It is not the commodity money (as we shall see when we examined the development of “minerals which are worth more money today than gold).
Another form of money is Promissory Money Briefly put; promissory money is an “I.O.U. in the form of bank notes or the checkbook equivalent, which carries the promise that the issuer will redeem its face value in gold or silver. It has no intrinsic value of its own. It is an extension of commodity. In other words, if there is no commodity behind it, there can be no promise of redeem ability. Promissory money is used because of its convenient although in practical terms we may think of promissory money as a different form of other types of money, in reality, with few exceptions, promissory money no longer exists and therefore it is of only historical interest here.
Finally, there is Fiat money. This is the money of today. It is also paper money but it doesn’t carry a quality of redeemable value for anything. It has no intrinsic value nor does it represent anything of value It doesn’t derive its value from a useful commodity or collective labor. It is literally produced out of thin air. It is created solely by government decree and defined by government edict. When all the Keynesian rhetoric is stripped away, fiat money is a legalized counterfeit mechanism by which people trade something (their labor) for nothing (pieces of paper). Therefore, as we shall see later, Fiat money is essentially a reflection of debt.
How is it that people accept Fiat money? Answering this question is the key to Africa’s development and economic viability. People accept Fiat money for essentially three reasons. The first is ignorance. As pointed repeatedly in this analysis, “information is intelligence.” People are generally ignorant of reality. They have little idea of what money is or what it fl be. When you ask the average person what is money it is obvious that most people have never even thought about it. They just took its existence for granted, like the common cold. With each succeeding generation, the collective (societal) recollection of earlier commodity money fades further and further away. We are now swiftly approaching the time when no one will remember anything except fiat money in its plastic form as credit cards and as digits on computer statement.
Ignorance of reality leads to blind Faith, the second reason that people accept and use fiat money. People have faith that others will also accept fiat money. Even people who are aware of the fraud fiat money represent are nonetheless self-assured that everyone else is going along with the scam. Such “faith in the system” (less pronounced in the Third world) ultimately rely on the same type of fear derived from Eurocentric perceptions that power is externally derived rather than the consequence of internal or self-realization. Thus, when faith in the system grows dim, people are coerced into accepting fiat money by legal tender laws and fear of legal prosecution and imprisonment. When the public confidence in the system is shattered, even government imposed laws and sanctions have little effect and revolt ensues. So ignorance, faith, and intimidation are the ultimate backing for fiat money.
Yet, despite the coercion of governments, fiat money always brings about economic collapse. Historically, there has never been an economic system based on fiat money that didn’t eventually loose the people’s confidence and collapse. In each instance the collapse of fiat money was accompanied by social and economic upheaval. The usual suspect in fiat money’s downfall is inflation which we can call “the mitt-game syndrome”: I call it the “mitt-game syndrome” because the “mitt-game” is a popular confidence scam aptly illustrate the nature of inflation. The primary feature of a good “mitt-game” is that it offers the victim the perception that they are getting something for nothing. Therefore, the victim’s own ignorance & greed leads to his or her downfall while the con-artists reap the benefit because they controlled the manipulation of the victim’s reality from beginning to end. Inflation works in much the same manner. No one describes the ‘mitt-game syndrome’ of inflation better than one of its early architects, John Maynard Keynes, in his book, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, Keynes succinctly points out:
By a continuous process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.
This Keynesian approach is exactly what the clique controlling international Finance Capital have done and continue to do to developing Third World national economies in order to create a profitable global cycle of debt from the inflation and deflation of flat money. How does this process work?
To understand how the ‘mitt-game syndrome’ of inflation works we must go back to the nature of fiat money. Fiat money is the product of government edict and not the result of human labor or effort. Consequently, there is always considerable political enticement to create money. Indeed, “fiscal constraint” has never been the watchword attached to fiat money. The supply of fiat money inevitably multiply faster than goods and services, which means that fiat money not only make inflation possible – it makes inflation inevitable. It can be said that fiat money has its own built-in self-destruct system. Fiat money systems will collapse. What European Finance Capitalist would like to do is macro-manage the global collapse of capital markets and reassert their control through a new integrated global production and marketing base. This process is already underway and the political representatives of finance capital are searching for the appropriate political crisis, which could justify ‘radical measures and reform of the world monetary system”. Which is partially why the European finance capitalist are moving away from their multiple fiat currencies and into cyber-banking and political coordination of cyclic inflation by establishing one currency – further obscuring the process of perpetual debt while renovating the global “marketplace.”
Robert Hemphil, a former Credit Manager of the United States Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta, in a candid foreword written over sixty years ago to Irving Fisher’s book, One Hundred Percent Money, said:
If all the bank loans were paid, no one could have a bank deposit, and there would not be a dollar of coin or currency in circulation. This is a staggering thought…Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation…when one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless situation is almost incredible, but there it is.
How It Works:
The first rule of a good confidence game is to suck the victim in through his or her own greed or desire to make easy money. This is exactly what inflation does by initially creating pressure for easy credit or borrowing. Easy credit means that those deepest in debt borrow more money because there is more money available than goods and services. Consequently, there usually are lucrative short-term rewards on the value of early inflationary investment and therefore, those deepest in debt reap the most reward on their reinvested loans – at least until consumer purchasing slumps and the value of investments plummet. Until that time however, everyone is sucked into the frenzied scam of easy credit and quick profit.
Once the climate is right and investors find themselves burdened with debt payment obligations they could never maintain in the event of the economy’s reversal, the wizards of finance capital reverse direction and tighten the supply of money, thereby, causing the economy to contract. Unemployment goes up, businesses go bust, consumers get stingy because money is tight, and finally the value of investments decline. The consequence of all this is that all of the early inflationary gains made by investors are wiped out because bankrupt businesses and real estate foreclosures exceed those early bookkeeping profits. Whenever this process occurs, the national assets are effectively circulated from the investor/business sector to those who created the fiat money which was lent to them in the first place. It is like fishing in a stocked fish pound. The periodic stocking and removal of fish, if done in cycles insure good fishing year around. The expansion and contraction of the money supply serves the same function. It provides for constant milking of the golden cow. Like the “mitt-game” of confidence fame, the victim is sucked in with dreams of quick money (easy credit), others seeing his or her quick fortune rush to partake in the credit largess, and then the entire process is reversed leaving the victim high and dry with an envelope full of useless paper instead of an envelope full of money.
The delusion of “now you see it – now you don’t” is the quintessential feature of fiat money. Inflation/deflation is a function of fiat money. But this function serves two masters, one political (government) and the other financial (banks). Both are in partnership. It should be noted that it is politically pragmatic for governments just to turn on the printing presses and start disbursing fiat money from the treasury. First of all, in most developing nations, especially in Africa, national government don’t print their own money, European financial centers are the authors of Africa’s fiat money supply. Second, even powerful national governments are not acting alone and therefore, it is better to conceal the process as much as possible.
To comprehend the delusion, we must understand that fiat money is created, not just by government alone or only by banks. It is a symbiotic endeavor, a partnership mutually beneficial to two entities, two groups of faceless professionals working together. Political experts (political scientists) and financial experts (monetary scientists), together they direct the powerful clique of western Finance Capital.
These two groups came together in the late 1600’s, although they had considerable familiarity with each other during the course of Europe’s assorted wars and imperialist ventures. However, it wasn’t until England’s half century war with France (War of the League of Augsburg) that the scheme which would change the face of European mercantilism publicly emerged. England was exhausted by civil strife and war with France and found itself in economic dire straits. King William’s repayment record with England’s bankers was poor. He had continuously borrowed money to finance his war with France and had not met the obligations of those loans. Reluctant to raise more taxes and risk further civil rebellion from a populace already weighted down with taxes, the House of Commons formed a committee to explore mechanisms by which money could be raised to finance the war and bail England out of its economic crisis. They represented the “wing of what would become a powerful Cabal. The
financial experts consisted of bankers who met to explore avenues of creating money at no costs. This group was heavily influenced by the Bank of Amsterdam, but in London, it was dominated by a Scottish financier named William Paterson. The early clique of Finance Capitalists was thus formed when these two groups agreed upon a 7-point plan. The 7 point plan was adopted and the political wing of the newly formed cabal issued a Charter to form the Bank of England in 1694, thereby creating the worlds first Central Bank. William Paterson in the Bank of England’s first prospectus boasted of its new charter:
“The Bank hath benefit of interest on all monies which it creates from nothing”.
With Charter in pocket, the first step taken by these two partners was the creation of the central bank system and development of esoteric language to obscure its devious functions. Consistent with their deceptive approach, a central bank of course was not really a bank at all. It was a monetary sanitarium [sic] with legal authority over all the nations banks. A central Bank is a peculiar arrangement. It can be a part of government or a non-government corporate entity, such as the United States Federal Reserve Board, whatever its bureaucratic configuration, central banks are setup in such a way that their power is removed from the process of the body politic. A Central Bank has much of the power of government but is a unique creature unto itself. Ask Allan Greenspan current Director of the U.S. Federal Reserve would he rather be President of the United States or Chairperson of the Federal Reserve, and one would get a fuller appreciation of the power and influence of this peculiar instrument of public thievery. Greenspan is neither a politician or particularly rich. He is a monetary scientist and represents the monetary interests of U.S. finance capital, while the U.S. government represents the political power of finance capital. This is consistent with dynamics of central banking set in motion by that first central bank of England. What was gained by the establishment of the first central bank that made political power subservient to the strategic interests of the early finance capital? Back to England for the answer.
The political representatives of early finance capital within England’s government had sought 500,000 pounds to finance the war. With its newly created charter, the Bank of England promptly issued to them 1,250,000 pounds, or two and half times what they originally requested. The Bankers for their part began with the relatively small investment of 72,000 pounds in gold. Therefore, the 1.250 million pounds in fiat money given to the government was seventeen times the amount of their initial capital. Were the supply of money honestly regulated the interest earned at 81/3% would have been around 6,000 pounds. But under the new central bank system, they earned 144% interest (compounded and annual) on their original investment or 104,000 pounds. Moreover, Paterson’s group of financiers still retained their original capital. Consequently, their real interest rate, was not 144%, it was infinite! This was how early European financiers created their political and financial power with the invention of the Central Bank system, and they still wield that power throughout the world today. All of the thieves who masterminded the first Bank of England were “knighted” for devising such an ingenious mechanism of deception, a poignant testimony to the political power of money. Today, people go to jail for similar pyramid schemes only because governments are no longer the beneficiaries of petty criminal activity – governments now have bigger fish to fry than counterfeiting a mere several million pounds.
Of course Finance Capital’s newly formed Cabal and their ‘golden goose” the Central Bank of England could not just continue printing and issuing fiat money without some consequence. The new money flooding into the British economy was multiplied by the pyramiding effect of the nation’s banks which utilized Bank Of England fiat currency as their reserves for generating loans, and collecting interest on those loans. After only 24 months of its existence prices for goods had doubled and people began to lose confidence in the money system. Inevitably, there was a run on the bank. This plunged England into yet another fiscal crisis.
But the cabal of financiers and politicians if nothing else formed a symbiotic relationship – a partnership with each component committed to protecting the other. With the run on the Central Bank and its inability to exchange paper money for gold became acute, the British government enacted legislation that permitted banks to “suspend payment in specie” i.e. gold. This was one of the most crucial developments in the modern history of money, because this tactic has become accepted economic practice ever since. In the United States, and Europe, Central Banks and their associate banks have always understood that their partners in government will come to their rescue when they get in trouble. Finance Capital is absolved from responsibility and restraint in its business practices. This is the of economic crisis facing the world today. Had the run on the British banks subsequent to issuance of England’s central Bank charter been treated honestly, and the defaulting Banks declared bankrupt, the system of fiat money as we now know it would have been very different or nonexistent entirely. But that is not what happened. Deception and duplicity is an integral part of the European Finance Capitalism. A brief examination of the role of finance capital’s support of conflicts and wars since the beginning of the 18th century reveals this pattern of duplicity for profit. As stated earlier in this text, modern finance capital rely on the perpetual debt of nations for its profits, and greatest debts are incurred by nations at war, or preparing for war. This “formula” was systematically devised by the early financiers of Europe, particularly the house of Rothschild founded by Amschel Bauer the son of a German goldsmith.
It was Amschel Bauer, who would later change his name to Meyer Amschel Rothschild who said: “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.” In his biographical study entitled The Rothschilds, Frederic Morton observed that the Rothschild dynasty conquered the world more thoroughly, more cunningly, and much more lastingly than all the Ceasars before or all the Hitlers after them. This is no hysterical assessment, European history bare out Mr. Morton’s conclusion. Citing a few examples of the ruthlessness of finance capital and its consistent geopolitical strategy of global domination through the manipulation of inflation, credit investment, deflation, debt, and most of all gold, would be appropriate. Because it is vital for Africa to comprehend how to defeat the historical and contemporary forces which now control its destiny by creating a new and unanticipated international economic paradigm.
AFRICA IS DOOMED UNDER THE PRESENT GLOBAL ECONOMIC SYSTEM
The present global economic modality dooms Africa, but Africa is in a unique position and in theory could refashion the global economic system overnight if it created a purely Pan-African capital base. This is something developed nations can never permit, but there’s little they can do to prevent it from succeeding should African nations embark on that course of action.
The greatest economic and political weapons available to the cabal of international finance capital is not economic sanctions or control of international funding institutions, but the ignorance of African governments and their hypnotic cooperation with the current global monetary system. Before we outline the specific features for assertion of a new authentic capital base, let’s review historical evidence which highlight the transnational nature of fiat money controlled by a clique Finance Capitalist.
How could a group of Financiers and their Political representatives entice governments for two centuries into debt and into servicing that debt by manufacturing paper fiat money? The answer is not derived from theoretical investigation of the laws of economics (as some Africans are disposed to believe). The answer was in fact developed in 18th century Europe and systematized during the industrial and imperialist era. The basic formula employed by Finance Capital in its rise to unprecedented power and control over governments evolved into the following general “principles” (or more appropriately what I call points of Strategic Disorder for Maximum Profit, herein after SDMP formula).
1. All nation states view power as control over the external environment. Therefore, the first duty of a nation-state is to survive. The ultimate test for the survival of a nation is war. If it can successfully pass this test it will survive, if it does not it will perish. Nothing is as important to a government as its survival, not its citizen’s rights, economic solvency, nothing. Governments will deplete their treasuries; sacrifice their citizens for sake of self-survival.
2. It follows therefore, that all that is required to insure that a nation maintains or increases its debt is to involve it in war, the threat of war, or provide an external enemy. The greater the perceived threat and the more destructive the conflict, the greater the debt requirements of the nation.
3. War is the continuation of politics by violent means, therefore, to insure nations are involved in wars, or the threat of war, there must be a political threat with credible military strength. If no such threat exist, or no such credible military threat exists, they must be developed. It may be necessary to provide money to a hostile, war like regime or subsidize a weak military establishment faced with a stronger nation’s intimidation.
4. The greatest impediment to the power of Finance Capital to in debt a nation is a government which refuses to cooperate and finance its wars by going into debt. This hardly ever happens, but should it occur, it will be necessary to inspire political dissent, insurrection, or revolution and the overthrow of that government and replace with a more cooperative regime. Political assassinations, coups, etc. are all good devices for this.
5. Establish and maintain international tensions and never permit any nation to become militarily stronger than its potential protagonists. This is called a “credible balance of power” and it usually requires financing both sides of political or diplomatic conflicts, subsidizing extremist factions if necessary. When war breaks Out, and whenever possible, insure that neither side attains decisive victory or suffers absolute defeat – the exception to this rule being the subjugation of non-European societies where absolute defeat of indigenous power structures are key to imperial domination and hence finance capitals expansion of influence.
BRIEF HISTORICAL OVERVIEW’OF SDMP FORMULA AT WORK
A brief review of some major events since establishment of the Bank of England may give the reader a better idea of how influential the early cabal of bankers, which constituted early Finance Capital, was in the affairs of European states. We can see their SDMP formula at work during four significant periods of conflict in Europe: 18th century England, the Russian (Bolshevik) revolution and both imperialist wars (WW I and WW II).
England’s history is almost a continuous account of war and conflict. However, it was not until the establishment of central banking did it become institutionalized at a high level with disciplined consistency. The following conflicts began precisely with the creation of the Bank of England as mechanism for financing her war:
1689 – 1697 The War of the League of Augsburg, (King William’s War)
1702- 1713 The War of the Spanish Succession (Queen Ann’s War)
1739 – 1742 The War of Jenkin’s Ear
1744 – 1748 The War of the Austrian Succession (King George’s war)
1754 – 1763 The French Indian War
1793 – 1801 The War against Revolutionary France
1803- 1815 The Napoleonic Wars
Over a period of 126 years, between 1689 and 1815, England was at war 63 of those years. That is one out of every two years in armed combat. The remaining years were preoccupied with preparing for armed conflict! Common to all of these conflicts was the hand of Finance Capital’s cabal of Bankers supplying money and financing to both sides. Also typical of these wars were their outcomes. None resulted in clear and decisive victory for one side or the other and the only concrete results were increased government debts for the belligerents.
Ample documentation and supporting historical evidence exist which also reveal the hand of Finance capital in supporting the Bolsheviks and other anti-Czarist elements of Russia prior to, during, and after the Russian revolution. Space does not permit a full exposition on Finance Capital’s role in supporting the Bolsheviks and the overthrow of the Czar, who by the way refused to permit Central Banking in Russia and government debt financing. But some salient events are worth noting in order to fully appreciate the transnational nature of the interests which motivate modern Finance Capital, and the unbelievable effectiveness of the SDMP formula.
Russian Revolution: Myth vs… Finance Capital
It is popular mythology, especially among socialist intellectuals, that the Russian revolution was a peasant and worker uprising against the Czar, and that revolutionary organization of a demoralized military by the Bolsheviks ultimately resulted in the storming of the winter palace etc. None of this is exactly true. In fact, significant planning, leadership, and financing of the Russian revolution came almost entirely from outside Russia, mostly from finance capitalists in Britain, Germany, and the United States. The Financiers of Europe and the USA first began to back bolshevism in their opposition to the Czar of Russia during the brief Russo – Japanese war in 1904.
Much of Japanese funding for its war effort with Russia came through one Jacob Schiff head of the United States investment-banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb, & Co. This financing permitted the Japanese to launch a surprisingly superior military campaign against the Russians and win the war. In recognition of his financial support Schiff was awarded “the Second Order of the Treasure of Japan” Schiff, it was reported, shipped to Japan over a ton and half of Bolshevik literature to be distributed to Russian POWs. He also paid for communist organizers sent into the prison camps to agitate and recruit Russian soldiers into the Bolshevik movement. At the end of the war over 50,000 soldiers (many of them officers) returned home as Bolshevik sympathizers or activists. They would play a pivotal role several years later in the overthrow of the Czar and early communist revolution in Russia. Schiff, of Kuhn, Loeb, & Co. also channeled money to the Russian “Nihilists” between 1905 and 1917 before their trans-configuration into Bolsheviks. This group was organized in New York. Leading lights of the Russian revolution like Leon Trotsky were subsidized and counseled by the cabal of Finance Capital. After Trotsky had been exiled from France, he went to New York to meet with Jacob Schiff – all of Trotsky expenses were paid for by Schiff. After arrival, Trotsky’s mass rallies in New York and transportation back to Russia were also paid by Schiff. Several million dollars were reportedly placed at Trotsky disposal by Schiff in a Swedish bank. Schiff also acted as Finance Capitals conduit of financing for the overthrow of the Kerensky government in October 1917. The United States government and European intelligence agencies knew of Schiff’s activities. A report from French intelligence at the time said that Schiff had given $12 million to the Bolshevik revolutionaries. Later it was determined that the figure was $20 million. Schiff wasn’t the only capitalist financier backing the Russian revolution. Leon Trotsky himself, in his book “My Life” tells of a British financier who gave him 21 million rubles. Evidence indicates that this “fiancer” was none other than Lord Alfred Milner, a leading member of Britain’s cabal of Banker politicians. Other sources of financial assistance were Olaf Aschberg of the Nye Banken of Stockholm, the Syndicate of Rhine Westphalen, and Trotsky’s wealthy father-in-law. German financial backing came through the banker Max Warburg, whose brother, Felix was married to Jacob Schiff’s daughter. Paul Warburg would later become the major architect of the United States Federal Reserve System.
After the Bolshevik revolution, Lenin and Trotsky became even more dependent on the support of Finance Capital. Consolidation of the Euro-Russian revolution and the power of the Soviets were a priority. The early Soviets occupied only 1% of Russia with the remainder in various forms of opposition. They needed food, arms, and money. All this was transshipped to the Russian revolutionaries by the representatives of Western Finance Capital (Bankers) who also contributed significantly to the engineering of Russia’s famous “Five Year Plans”. Meanwhile, in the United States, U.S. financiers carried out a campaign of silencing news reports and information regarding the repressive methods employed by the Euro-Russians in Sovietization of their power in Asia. This disinformation effort was spearheaded by none other than Colonel Edward Mandell House, one of the most influential men behind the Creation of the U.S. Federal Reserve system and personal advisor to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
come the Rockefeller investment firm of Dillon-Read & Co. In fact, Forrestal was a former Dillon-Reade
There is abundant historical evidence of Western Finance Capital’s support of the Russian revolution and the rise of modern communism. Perhaps the last word on this should come from a communist. A Former communist Educator and member of the CPUSA, Dr. Bella Dodd said during lecture in Indianapolis, Indiana:
“Every time we (CPUSA) desired policy on vital matters during the war (WW II), instructions were to see one of three men living at the Waldorf Towers (apartment section of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York). None of these men were members of the Party. None were communists. All three were highly successful businessmen.”
What was Finance Capital’s reward for its early financing of Soviet Russia? The long-term rewards would prove to be unbelievable. Initial rewards however were modest by today’s standards. For example, the largest contract awarded by the new government in Moscow went to Morris & Co. a Chicago (USA) meat-packer, for 50 million pounds of food produce. Edward Morris was married to Helen Swift of the Swift Foods dynasty, and her brother Harold Swift was one of the members of an earlier secret mission of U.S. Lawyers, investors, and financiers sent to Russia under the guise of the International Red Cross. Gold shipments were sent to the vaults of those financial institutions, which had contributed funds for the Bolshevik revolution. In the United States, approximately 600 boxes of gold, estimated at $20 million was delivered to Kuhn, Loeb & Co., melted down and stashed with J P Morgan’s, Guarantee Trust Co. The biggest payoff however may have been the Russian establishment of an international bank, a syndicate which included private Russian Bankers, plus bankers from Germany, Switzerland, Sweden. Britain, and the United States. This bank, the Ruskombank was headed not by a Russian, but by Olof Aschberg, an original provider of funds to the Bolsheviks from Sweden. The Banks director of its Foreign Division was also non-Russian, and the Vice President of Guarantee Trust Co. in New York, one Mr. Max May. But all this was just the beginning. Events leading up to WWII, and the subsequent cold-war would prove immensely profitable to Finance Capital’s bankers Fast forwarding to the cold-war, the magnitude of the power of Finance capital to manipulate events behind the scenes can be evaluated even further.
For example, it should be noted that at no time during the so called “Cold War” between Capitalism and Communism did the Soviet Union utilize its vast gold producing capacity (second only to Africa) to destabilize western capitalism, its avowed enemy. Indeed, the Soviet Union throughout the post war period routinely traded her gold on the world capitalist market for the balancing of trade and goods. Obviously destabilization of global capitalism was not an option. Remember the SDMP formula for inducing governments into debt? Create a credible external threat, and in war insure no final and decisive victory of one protagonist over the other. In a very fundamental sense the cold war was ritualized confrontation. I would also like to point out that it has been my view, from the perspective of an Afrocentirc paradigm, that this ritualized confrontation represented a false dichotomy between East and West designed to re-institutionalize the global supremacy of European capital and commerce. Once that this was achieved, the cold-war would be superfluous, unnecessary, indeed, an impediment to Eurocentric globalization. Moreover, the initial polarity between East and West that emerged after the defeat Nazism (and as we will see, Finance Capital’s bankers funded both sides in that conflict) served the exact same function as a real war – it plunged both East and West into debt financing in order to maintain huge nuclear arsenals and vast sophisticated war machines. The ritualized confrontation of cold war cost the peoples of the world trillions of dollars and indebted most both aligned and nonaligned developing nations. Royalties on this massive debt found their way into the coffers of Western Banking institutions. Western Finance Capital could indeed out last and outspend the Socialists camp because in part, they financed their existence! Finally, I previously illustrated, in the political analysis of Africa’s relationship to Europe, that the ultimate objective of United States and European financial institutions, e.g. IMF, World Bank, EU etc. is creation of an integrated global market that serves the interests of Western Finance Capital. It could assumed that both European Nation state global supremacy, and the creation of an integrated global market dominated and controlled by Finance Capital are the same thing. They are not. Despite the partnership between finance capital and the political apparatus of government, the ruthless Cabal at the center of international Finance Capital have no national allegiance, no faith in humanity, or fidelity to race or society. They believe themselves above pedestrian concerns such as “decent Education”, eradication of poverty or disease. They are content to leave such matters for missionaries, liberal reformers, and politicians. Napoleon said it best when he described the character of fiat money and the nature of Finance Capitalists:
“When a government is dependent for money upon bankers, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes… money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency, their sole object is gain.”
He should know. Napoleon had risen to power with the help of European finance capitalist, but when he became a threat to the desired “balance of power” necessary for a profitable perpetual state of war they also financed his defeat by Wellington. The point is that global supremacy of the European state and the global control of Finance Capital are not necessarily one in the same. The political interests of the state can and often do diverge from the interests of the wizards of economy. For instance, the cold war did result in a clear winner, the United States and Western Europe. It is doubtful that this was not anticipated by the cabal of finance capital. Considering their ultimate objective of world economic domination, and the inability of the remaining Eurocentric superpower, the United States, to politically dominate the earth alone and without a credible rival, the Cabal of Finance capital are erecting a European Super state (the EU) and a single integrated economic system and central bank of Europe. A European Super state along with the military power of a Eurocentric America can bring Finance Capital close to its goal of world domination. A European super-state unthinkable 100 years ago is almost a reality today. How is this possible? The answer is simple, the nature of the European state has changed somewhat. It is no longer a mere reflection of political nationalism and the political expression of insular national elite. It is at once a National Security state, and a corporate state. Four European national economies dominate the EC and the EC dominates Europe. Whether their economic domination will translate into political domination as well remains to be seen – undoubtedly we will find but soon. But whether Europe is dominated by a consortium of four nations or by one super state alone, it is of little real significance to Africa. Europe like Africa is a patchwork of nationalities and ethnic minorities. Unlike Europe however, Africa’s ethnic and nationalistic minorities which are recognizable and not organized still place considerable pressure on African governments because of colonialism’s legacy on the continent, while those groups which are organized make the political process in Africa unworkable because there is no common ideological root, other than narrow nationalism, from which to forge working unity. This is perhaps the main reason that even so called “strong” economic
development seldom translates into maximum utilization of peoples potential and usually lead to formation of selfish elite. In Europe this is no longer the consequence of ethnic rivalry.
WW I and its Aftermath
Returning to the period immediately following the end of WW I: (1920 – 1939) The terms of the Versailles Treaty were very hard on Germany. They created the kind of rampant inflation and economic chaos along with social unrest that inevitably give rise to a “messiah” or “savior” who personify the “will’ and “determination” to use draconian measures if need be, including war, to salvage the nation. If Adolf Hitler hadn’t come along, the clique of International Finance Capital would of had to invent him. It is a historical fact that “American” citizens were deliberately sacrificed by their political leaders in order to get the U.S. into WW I on the side of England and France, just as they had been duped less than 8 years earlier with the Sinking of the Battle ship Maine at Havana Harbor which led to the United States war with Spain. In both instances, U.S. and European Financiers and Bankers along with their corporate acolytes gave inspiration and direction to U.S. government imperial ambitions at the turn of the 20th century, and later to U.S. support for fading European colonialism. The United States first entered its first major war land war in Europe after the sinking of the British Liner Lusitania by German U-boats (submarines). It was this contrived incident that galvanized U.S. public opinion favoring U.S. entry into the war on the side of England and France. Declassified U.S. government documents reveal that the British loner Lusitania was loaded with munitions bond for England in violation of U.S. neutrality. The U.S. government was aware that the Lusitania was a munitions vessel but permitted innocent American civilians to book passage on her last fatal transatlantic voyage nonetheless.
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was a perfect political foil for American Finance Capital. His public anti-big business pronouncements and attempt to keep the United States out of World War I and use the country’s power to bring an early end to the war was duplicitous at best. Wilson believed as did the cabal of bankers and industrialists that a lasting “peace” would come only if a treaty could be made between equals where no one was the victor or the defeated. The classic SDMP’ formula for indebting governments to finance capital. However, the problem with that idea was that Germany and the Central Powers were bleeding England and France white and there could be no “treaty between equals” should Germany get the upper hand and win the war. Wilson had success with his phony neutrality scheme until Germany began unrestricted submarine warfare and sank several American ships. American and European financiers did not see eye to eye on the war in Europe. American business interests had effectively locked out their European competitors in Latin America. Wilson, who had built his political career on fighting banking and corporate control of U.S. politics had been an ideal cover for implementation and the re-establishment of a central U.S. bank. It is relatively certain, given the international consortium of finance capital’s pervasive influence (they were financing both the Allied and German war effort) that their agents informed the Germans of secret U.S., British and French machinations, thereby instigating the German decision to attack the Lusitania and unwittingly provide a plausible for U.S. official entry into thi war as a savior of democracy.
The war was profitable for U.S. and European creditors to their respective central banks. It plunged belligerents on both sides into huge debt. The U.S. alone doubled its supply of fiat money and suffered a massive devaluation of its currency by approximately 50% between 1915 and 1920. Which means U.S. citizens paid about half of the value of their entire money supply servicing government creditors of Finance Capital – on both sides of the Atlantic. Money was needed to pay the expenses of the armies and to loan to the Allies. Nearly 10 billion dollars was loaned to the Allies during the war. More than 21 billion dollars was advanced to the United States government by its citizens. This money came from the sale of “Liberty” and “Victory” bonds and represented government debt to the cabal of international bankers and financiers. The U.S. government increased its revenues by the passage of a new income-tax law to further help service this debt.
International Finance Capital and its political agents plunged the U.S. into WW I, a war which landed the U.S. government in debt, in an effort to save a faltering England and France, and preserve
the European “balance of power” It was that “balance of power” in Europe that guaranteed future confrontations in years to come and set the stage for WW II. The American people were hoodwinked into believing that their participation in the war was to “make the world safe for democracy.” Instead, what was really achieved was to make the world safe for the unscrupulous profiteers of banking, industry and commerce.
WW II: Finance Capital Reshaping National Economies in Its Own Image
Despite the popular folk version of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 the U.S. government had ample warnings and signals from Japan that a military strike was imminent. President Roosevelt and his advisors had prior knowledge of the impending Japanese attack but withheld from U.S. naval fleet commanders.
Japan had been goaded into attacking the U.S. by American embargoes and blockades. Of course when a nation is strangled it strikes back. Japanese imperialism by 1941 had already over ran much of China and Southeast Asia. Both United States and British interests were threatened by an expansionist Japanese industrial and military cabal, which did not have allegiance to European dominated finance Capital. As post war events would prove, this was the major reason for U.S. policies toward Japan on the eve of the Pacific war. As in WW I the Political representatives of Finance Capital sacrificed the lives of American citizens as a means of manipulating public opinion to support a war in Asia the US could have avoided. This entire strategy was t of the SDMP formula By December 1941 the war in Europe was over two years old. American and British Finance Capital had been financing the Nazis. The record is quite clear on this point:
1. English and American bankers supplied the money for Germany’s post WW I rehabilitation of its heavy industries. 2. Corporations close to American and British financiers heavily invested in Nazi Germany’s war industries. 3. I.G. Farben was the largest of the German industrial cartels and was the primary source of funding for Hitler, as well the brain and power center behind the Nazi war machine. It was Farben that organized, staffed, and directed Hitler’s intelligence section and which ran the slave labor camps). Farben even retained the New York Public Relations firm of Ivy Lee (John D. Rockefeller’s specialist) to help improve Hitler’s public image. 4. Capital for formation and expansion of I.G. Farben came from Wall Street, mostly from the National City Bank; Dillon, Read & Co., Harris Forbes & Co., and the Equitable Trust Co., part of J.P. Morgan’s empire. 5. Farben’s financial interests in the United States were centered in a holding company called American I.G. The board of Directors for this holding company consisted of prominent members of American Finance Capital:
C.E. Mitchell, Chairman of the National City Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Edsel Ford, president of the Ford Motor Co.; Walter Teagle, President of Standard Oil of New Jersey, (Rockefeller empire) and Paul Warburg, first Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and chairman of the Bank Of Manhattan Co.
U.S. banking and corporate interests in Nazi Germany also had an impact on the conduct of the war and of course its aftermath. During bombing raids over Germany, the factories and administrative buildings of I.G. Farben were spared on instructions from the War Department in Washington, instructions issued by men who, in civilian life, were connected with Wall street investment firms that financed the German industrial cartel and presumably retained substantial financial interests in it. For example, both the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of Navy, Robert P. Paterson, and James Forrestal respectively, had President.
United States industrial and military power (and its Corporate and financial institutions) defeated Hitler and the Japanese imperialists in an enormously costly war fought in practically every hemisphere of the globe. WW II was the first truly global conflict in the sense that the military strategy of both sides reflected the global distribution of natural resources vital to European industrial survival. By the end of WW I the cabal of Finance Capital, especially its American division had attained absolute global supremacy and complete independence of action. America had not been touched by the ravages of modern warfare, its infrastructures, industry, and cities remained intact. Europe on the other hand was devastated, its elite bankrupt. America’s Financial elite came to the rescue of their European counterparts. First, their political representatives in government covertly directed the victorious Allied de-Nazification program of occupied Germany. Many former Nazi financiers, industrialists, intelligence personnel and-businessmen were given a clean slate and permitted to resume their roles as “captains of industry and commerce” and bring about the economic miracle” of post war Germany, while the more visible political Nazis went before the Nuremberg War crimes tribunals and were publicly sent off to the Gallows, or covertly permitted to escape to the U.S. or Latin America.
The same script which was used to finance both sides in WW I and support the Bolshevik revolution, was modified and trotted out for post war Europe. Modifications had to take into consideration that unlike WW I, WW II left Europe’s elite were practically bankrupt and unable to repay any debts, in addition, their financial and industrial infrastructures were in shambles. But as indicated earlier, the cabal of Finance Capital is in partnership with political experts, not at odds with them. This partnership inspired and conceived the “Marshal Plan” for the economic and industrial revitalization of Europe, and the political revival of Japan’s financial and commercial elite. The Marshal Plan was nothing short of an unprecedented bailout of European Capitalism and its cabal of Finance Capitalist by the new American Superpower and its clique of Bankers, industrialists, and powerful corporate institutions. Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” never blocked Finance Capitalism’s transnational, trans-ideological character from maintaining its influence in the post -war Soviet empire. Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank financed 45% of the Kama River Truck Plant in the Soviet Union after WW II. The Trucks produced at that plant were employed for military use and seen on the streets of Prague, Hungry (when Hungarians thought they could shrug off Soviet domination) in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Korea, and elsewhere. The Bank of America headed the consortium that gave $25 million to the Sandinista dominated government in Nicaragua at the same time the American government was supporting the Contra rebels and their arms and drug smuggling operations. Thomas Theobald former Vice President of Citicorp Bank, when questioned in 1981 about lending money to the Polish government at the height of its so called “repression of freedom” was very straight forward when he said: “Who Knows which political system works? The only test we care about is can they pay their bills.”
The Lessons of history have been outlined here to make the following points; First, that fiat money is inflationary in its very nature because it represents debt;
Second, that debt creates war and war creates debt. They are transmutable, indivisible, one into the other, and that this is the kernel at the center of all strategies of Finance Capitalism to maintain its system of currency.
Third, that modern history, since the establishment of the Bank of England in the 17th century, has been determined to an inordinate degree by a clique or cabal of international bankers, political experts, and corporate interests, whose primary concern is profit derived from debt.
Fourth, that this international cabal exists today and control international commerce, trade between nations, and most importantly the debts of nations of nations in the Third World.
Fifth, that history clearly indicates the power of this cabal is not absolute, and its major weakness is the nature of commodity money itself, and particularly the centrality of gold as the ultimate commodity and its removal from their system of fiat money;
Sixth, That the European nation-state has become the modern National Security State Earlier I briefly examined this phenomena and concluded that its political and ideological dispensation was fascist, in that it represented the power of finance capital’s covert control of the political apparatus of state power. Because this control is isolated from the political process, the National Security State perceives its own citizens as potential enemies. This perception has somewhat reduced the necessity of external war or threat of war as the primary device by which governments legitimize their existence. Internal war or threat of internal instability will suffice just fine.
Deciphering the Post-cold war Terrain:
In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, because they recognized existence of common interests would limit the destructiveness of war. But common interests did not stop them from fighting each other and plundering the vanquished. In today’s world these national elite are no longer fighting against each other. Instead the war is waged by individual ruling groups against their own subjects and the objective of such domestic wars is not to conquer territory, or prevent invasion or national subjugation, but to keep the existing hierarchical structure of society intact. For example, United States political circles have used a phony “war on drugs” for the past 25 years to conceal racist containment of an underclass (people of African descent) and militarization of its civil police forces “to take back the streets from criminals” This militarization and politicization of law enforcement would have never been tolerated by an aware political constituency in a so called “democracy”. Moreover, The USA has internationalized its municipal “war on drugs” and police state mentality and techniques of police repression. The United States is not just an unwilling “international policemen” it is a willing international Police chief with police precincts around the world in the form of compliant governments. The international war on drugs, and anti-terrorism have been exceptionally effective governmental devices for maintaining the existing hierarchical social order while pretending to protect the moral fabric and values of society. The National-Security state has not only arrived it has transformed the social and political perceptions of legal violence” by manipulating racism and fear. Fascism no longer stands in opposition to democracy indeed, democratic fascism now substitutes for political democracy throughout the industrialized world. This could have never been achieved openly and without deception. Nor would people knowingly submit to benign totalitarianism via the ballot box. People have been frightened, misled, and kept in ignorance by the very instruments they thought served their interests. The common perception of power as external control over the environment, whether that environment is social, cultural, religious or political, have been potently contextualized by the tensions of cold-war ideology and social dichotomies created by racism and gender discrimination that have served European statism for so long and so well. Long ago the conceptualizes of modern economy, the cabal of European financiers and bank realized that there is a significant difference between what people need and what people want. The secret science of money focus on the difference between the two and exploit that difference. As a result, people are induced to want what they don’t need, and need what they don’t want, until needs and wants are indistinguishable from each other and the general welfare and well-being of society equally confused. This is the dead end of power which perceives itself as externally derived, rather than as authentically derived from the needs of people and society. This is the cutting edge between debt financing and honest financing of infra structural development. This is the difference between “quality of Life” and “standards of Living.”
The ritualized military confrontation of the cold-war evolved in today’s “moral” war against a potpourri of international “narco terrorists” “rogue states” and “international terrorist conspiracies”. Western Finance Capital has created new bogeymen by which to frighten the gullible public into opposing what they need and supporting what they are led to believe they should want. Supporting their own economic disempowerment while opposing authentic empowerment. The greatest instruments of this deception are governments and duplicitous private enterprise. As an example of this massive con game, I’ve illustrated that strong evidence supports the conclusion that the greatest distributors of drugs, and sponsors of terrorism are not groups and small organizations but “governments” and “states’. Yet the general perception is that people governments to protect them from the ravages of drugs and terrorism, rather than a restructuring of social priorities which make human alienation a “illegally medicated offense” and resistance to social and racial injustice a “criminal endeavor”. Nevertheless. Billions are spent in pursuit of solutions which can’t solve anything other than governments’ deficit. This is perhaps one reason why today’s international villains read like an all star lineup of what Western Finance Capital fear the most – the economic independence of, or embargo by, a consortium strategic mineral and energy producing nations of the Third World based on what those nations need not what they have been created to want. Today’s villains are Libya, alleged sponsor of international terrorism (oil producing nation), then there’s Iraq not only a purported supporter of terrorism, but also a supposedly maniacal military threat as well (it too is a predominately Muslim oil producing state in a strategically important region) then there is the amorphous dark foreboding threat of ‘militant Islam” lurking everywhere (Europe’s old geopolitical nemesis from the days of the Crusades is always a good “tension getter”) ready to pounce on “Christian human values” as personified by western vilification of Iran (which is not an expansive state) while Western interests support the aggressively expansionist European settler state of Israel. America has maintained a sadistic embargo of the Socialist Republic of Cuba as if Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution represented the “antichrist incarnate – rather than a thorn in the side of American hegemonic arrogance in the Western hemisphere. During the cold-war all of today’s’ “villains” “and threats to international stability” were at one time or the other client states of the west (particularly the U.S. and Britain with the exception of Cuba, which was a client of the Soviets) and were heavily supported by Western Finance Capital and their political agents in Western governments. As of this writing, each of the aforementioned states are currently udder some form of economic embargo, sanction, or boycott engineered by US and European Finance Capital and implemented as moral U.S./European “diplomacy”. Cuba, Libya, Iran, Iraq, and various nationalist movements have become stand-ins for the defunct communist monolith.; Recall that the system of fiat money rely on international tension, war and threat of war to derive its profits from government’s who feel threatened. There is a symbiotic partnership between the political (governments and the financial wizards (bankers/financiers etc.). One always comes to the rescue of the other in times of crisis. But it is not as easy as it used to be for governments to conceal their subservience to the external paradigms of power generated by European Finance Capital, and therefore new mechanisms of deception and artifice are always necessary.
Authenticating African Power:
Restricting the Influence of External Paradigms of Eurocentric Power
One major “political “ artifice created by the victors of WW II to regulate world tension and keep war at profitable levels was the United Nations. Far from maintaining peace, the United Nations made big power “gunboat diplomacy” of a previous imperial age acceptable once more and ushered in the novel concept of “peace keeping” and “police action” (as in Korea, Lebanon, Cyprus, The Congo, Somalia, etc.) and “low intensity warfare (as in Angola, Namibia, East African Great Lakes region, and elsewhere.” U.N. “peace keeping” missions to various parts of the earth almost always reflected “big power” politics and geopolitical rivalry. UN intervention in Lebanon, Korea, Republic of the Congo, and a range of UN Security Council decisions reflected the concerns and interests mainly of the United States and her allies (permanent security council members) or the Soviet’s and their allies. To effectively conceal international Finance Capital’s political agenda for post WW II hegemony, a protracted geopolitical crisis (ritualized military confrontation) was politically engineered between the political establishments of “East and West” which ultimately sapped the energies of entire generations and cost the taxpayers and world citizenry trillions of dollars in bloated defense budgets. The development of weapons of mass destruction made a conventional military confrontation unthinkable. Given governments willingness to do anything for sake of survival any military confrontation of credible dimensions would inevitably result in global nuclear devastation. Ritualized military confrontation was the acceptable substitute. It comes as no surprise therefore, that many Western Politicians reminisce about the cold-war era as if it were a period of peace and prosperity. Imperfect peace – but peace nonetheless. Prosperity derived from debt – but prosperity nonetheless. Technology while limiting the likelihood of conventional war between major powers, nonetheless, debt financing allowed those same powerful states to provide both guns and butter for their local “police actions”, or low-intensity skirmishes in remote corners of the world. The reason politicians hold such a phony nostalgia of the cold-war era is because for the first time in generations Europeans were not in a “hot” war with each other. The implication therefore, is that when Europeans aren’t being killed then “war” is somehow an aberration of peace, a low intensity conflict”. In reality however, no continent (Except North America and Antarctica) were free from war during the entire period of the cold war (1946- 1992). Both sides during the cold war financed and armed their proxies, who then did the dirty work of fighting and dying in “small brush fire wars” in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Today there are over 30-armed conflicts raging somewhere in the world. There have been over 150-armed conflicts since the formation of the UN (1946) to 1985 alone. It is not surprising therefore that the debts incurred by those conflicts have been prodigious, and the cost in lives estimated at 20 million people devastating. Era of Peace? Surely, the UN has been less than an efficient mechanism in this respect. It’s major political value has been to conceal the agenda and power of rich nations in international affairs. It represents the “low ground” on the diplomatic front of any serious Afrocentric power paradigm.
The End of an Era and the Beginning of Opportunity for Emergence of Afrocentric Paradigm:
After 53 years of ‘ritualized military confrontation’ created and maintained by Finance Capital’s arming and support for both sides during the cold war, European East-West rivalry has served its function. Cold-war rivalry consolidated the power of western capitalism in the hands of even fewer individuals than before, and saddled many European states with relentless inflation, offset only by Europe’s continued exploitation of the Third World resources and markets. If European finance capitalism was to survive, it had to abolish Europe’s economic differential between East and West and insure the supremacy of one type of fiat currency system. The cabal of Finance Capital realized that the “debt bomb” ticking away in their banking and investment institutions could very well explode in their face without having achieved their purpose- an integrated global economy based on one currency. For the cabal of Financiers and politicians it was time for change – time to reorientate the geopolitical landscape, so to speak. Level the playing field a bit to provide for global structural changes and political realignments suitable for the introduction of a global monetary system. The Soviet Union had outlived its usefulness as well. Out of nowhere and seemingly overnight ‘Glasnost” became the new political ‘modality”, and ‘perestroika” the economic dispensation replacing Russian state communism. One Superpower and its network of alliances remained relatively intact after 53 years of so called “superpower rivalry”. That was how it was intended from the beginning. In the West of the Soviet empire, the former Soviet “Union”, broke up into autonomous and historically nationalistic European states, while the Central Asian republics, many of them Muslim and mineral rich, were taken over by a “transformed” communist elite who vigorously opposed the nascent Islamic movements which sprouted like mushrooms in the wake of “glasnost”, or as in the case of Cheznia, gave rise to nationalist led resistant to Euro-Russian domination. Of course the “new” reconstituted Russia found the Finance Capitalists of the west ready to assist their “transition” to market economy, just as they had been ready to finance the rise bolshevism 75 years earlier. Russia magically became a full member of the European economic community, (EC) So much for the irreconcilability between the “evil” empire, and “corrupt” capitalism. Both proved to be cut from the same cloth.
Cold-war “polarity” provided incalculable riches for a myriad of interconnecting economic and manufacturing interests and saddled governments with stupendous debts. Without credible “threats to world peace”, neither Finance Capital nor its political partners could retain control and influence over nations and economies. Moreover, since the end of WW II, the Cabal of Western Finance Capitalists had invested heavily in the development of Third World Debt arid in supporting dependent and interdependent developing economies of Asia and the Pacific Rim. Remember Finance Capital derive its “income” from collection of royalties on debts and the investment of those royalties (loans) from which they then derive profit or interest. Should any major debtor economy succumb prematurely to the built in self-destruct mechanism of their fiat money, then the entire artifice of a debt dependent global currency system will begin to unravel like a poorly sewn garment. This is what is behind recent IMF and US “bailouts” of Mexican, Indonesian, Korean, Malaysian and South Korean currencies. The (ME provides fiat money in the form of loans to buttress worthless currencies in order to salvage their bad investments which not only increases the volume of IMF currency circulating throughout the global currency system – but drive debtor nations further into debt by devaluing their already marginal currencies. International Finance Capital doesn’t want system of currency to self-destruct (as it will certainly do) and create inexorable pressure for return to the gold standard. Indeed, the leading debtor government on the face of the Planet is the United States, with trillions of dollar owed Finance Capital. Therefore, the U.S. dollar definitely can riot stand a return to “specie” [backed commodity money. The strategists of International capital want to develop their integrated global production/market system first and fl ‘maneuver” a potential defaulting currency into the appropriate “trigger crisis” which would justify drastic structural “reforms” of the old global monetary system (at the point of a gun if necessary). Only with an international currency issued by an international central bank, can the cabal of Finance Capital gain control of the entire world economy without the possibility of some countries escaping their influence. Of course some institutional components of Finance Capital will pretend they are opposed to such a system (individual Banking establishments and Saving & Loans, and Investment Firms may even portray themselves as born again nationalists and consumer advocates) but for now, they are all content to play the game and create the conditions necessitating a global monetary meltdown of all nonessential currencies while those in debt scream foul. It is classic SDMP formula.
ESTABLISHMENT OF AUTHENTIC AFRICAN POWER AND AN AFRICAN PROCESS OF DEVELOPMENT
I have given an extensive overview of African disempowerment and economic marginalization. I have avoided abstract conspiracy theories and the evil nature of white folks as the basis for developing an Afrocentric paradigm. Instead, I have focused on European history to illustrate the necessity for revolutionary governance in Africa. I would like to now propose some general and immediate solutions to both Africa’s economic marginalization, and the historical legacy of balkanization, which currently render Africa incapable of fundamentally meeting the needs of its people.
- AFRICA MUST ESTABLISH ITS OWN SYSTEM OF MONETARY UNION
Africa contains over 70% of the worlds proven gold reserves. Central and southern Africa along with the former “Soviet Union” is the source of over half of all the 40 metals listed as “Strategic Metals”. Beryllium, cadmium, indium, lithium, and magnesium are produced in fewer than ten countries, mostly all of them in Africa. Africa accounts for largest known deposits of vanadium, chromate, cobalt, magnates, the platinum group of metals and others. By contrast, the Persian Gulf states, account for less that a third of the world’s oil production.
Moreover, of the 40 strategic metals, the United States is 50 to 100% import reliant on 27. Of the approximately 20 Strategic Metals posted as crucial to the developed industrial and technologically advanced nations, 14 are listed as having insignificant production within the United States or no production whatsoever. Japan and the EU are import reliant on alt of them.
Historically, political “unrest” in Africa has greatly influenced the production and distribution of Strategic Metals. Past examples of this have been East-West rivalry, which resulted in civil war that effected mining operations in the Congo, the liberation struggles in Zimbabwe, Angola, and West Africa; and Sanctions implemented against apartheid South Africa have all disrupted the flow of strategic metals. There have been many events, which have affected the availability of strategic Metals since. Nonetheless, all such occurrences resulted in substantial price fluctuations in the metals affected. This means that the very reasons these metals are defined as “strategic” is because of their uneven global distribution. Therefore, access to mineral resources in Africa is a trans-African political issue. This political concern can and should be translated in to the political and economic organization of a Federation of African Mineral Exporting States [FAMES]. Collective bargaining, regulation of mineral exports, and mutually supportive networks will force strategic mineral dependent states to deal with Africa in a coordinated and uniform fashion and thereby facilitate Africa’s transcontinental development and infra structural integration.
- ESTABLISHMENT OF A CENTRAL PAN-AFRICAN RESERVE BANK [CPACRS]:
Gold Grants Monetary Sovereignty. This is one reason why the private ownership of gold always is attacked by would be tyrants and dictators. Individuals who hold gold can be independent of the confiscatory policies of governments. Such individuals possess monetary sovereignty, which authoritarian states cannot tolerate. The right to own gold is indispensable to freedom. This applies equally to states. The creation of a Federated consortium of mineral producing nations is the basis for construction of an African central bank. Each African mineral producing member state will then commit a portion of its gold and/or strategic minerals (either their monetized unmined assets, or mined assets) to a central bank, which will then be authorized to issue to an African specie backed currency. This African currency herein termed the will function along the following lines.
- It will be used between all African nations as common fiat money, and as the basis for Africa’s currency transactions with non-African economies. Thereby, eliminating in one fell swoop weak African currencies and currency devaluation based on European economic fluctuations etc. However, in the case of the latter, redeem ability in specie, i.e. in gold, is restricted by an “underdevelopment tax” and the requirement that non-African interests hold lime deposit” accounts in the central African bank. This will compensate for the temporary lost in revenue derived from controlled (restriction of exported of gold and precious minerals and maintain a constant level of specie (gold etc.) in the central bank. Because “time deposits” are not redeemable on demand, the central bank will not suffer a “run” on their specie currency. This also would mean that non-African governments would be restricted in their ability to undermine the Africana based on their need for gold or strategic metals. Conversely, African nations will be able to acquire credit financing from the African central bank based on the monetizing of their non-mineral assets.
- When the African central bank issues promissory money in the form of a loan, African nations can put up something of intrinsic value to the rest of Africa as collateral to secure that loan. Let say, food produce, and farmland ready for specific cultivation, real estate, etc. All of these things are just as much commodities as gold. All that the bank is doing is issuing promissory money backed by say tons of foods instead of ounces of gold. This is common practice called monetizing assets, and if done honestly can be beneficial to economic growth. It provides flexibility in the money supply, especially in connection to agriculture with its seasonal demands for financing.
- African nations would be permitted to maintain “demand” accounts with the central African Bank. This means they will be able to exchange their promissory notes for specie (gold or strategic reserve mineral). However, the existence of FAMES guidelines and protocols should restrict the ability of one nation to use their privileged access to the central African bank in ways, which will undermine overall FAMES objectives or create a run on the bank.
- To avoid undermining FAMES initiatives and policies and maintain a strong monetary system, all money must be honestly labeled. Promissory money should be clearly identified as to whether it is a “demand” promissory note, or a “Time” promissory note. This means that both the Africana currency and checks or other-instruments of credit, must clearly state whether they are redeemable on demand or only after a specified period of time. This may lead to a double tiered pricing structures similar to the discount one often get in Western stores if you spend cash as opposed to payment by credit purchase.
- PAN-AFRICAN COMMON MARKET [PACMARK]
With the establishment of FAMES, and CPACRS or their equivalents, Creation of a Pan-African Common Market (PACMARK) is a logical progression. A Pan-African common market will help Africa become self-sufficient, i.e. feed, shelter, and clothe itself. In fact, such a system will rely first and foremost on Africa’s underdevelopment as its greatest asset. African underdevelopment, especially in the area of agriculture means that certain nations with abundant land and no resources to develop farming, can get loans and financing from a Central African bank in exchange for monetizing its agriculture assets. Entire regions suitable for food production can be created while other regions which produce minerals but import food produce can in turn “trade off” revenue from mineral production for food etc. Because 70% of African economic activity is agriculturally based, a common market is ideally suited for Africa. Moreover, countries who have destroyed their environments to sell Wood to Europe and the United states, can desist from such practices, and go into mass scale food production instead of commercial deforestation. Wood can also be used in Africa to build affordable housing instead of being shipped to Europe. The benefits of authentic African power versus the benefits of inauthentic power derived from subservience to a Eurocentric economic paradigm are immeasurable. We are the historical crossroads where authentic African empowerment awaits only bold initiative and unflinching courage.
If Europe can create literally fortunes from debt, and wealth out of thin air (fiat money), then Africa should be able to do a credible job of creating wealth out their natural resources and transform their debt in assets by the 21st century. I only hope that such a vision can be made a reality. Otherwise Africa and Africans face a bleak future.
Dhoruba Bin Wahad
Institute for Development of Pan African Policy
Ghana, W. Africa