“Well you know, black people deserve what they get. They sold themselves into slavery!” How many times have you heard this reactionary claim that the reason Africans were enslaved is because of an inherent pathology hell-bent on genocide. I mean it’s that classic “blame the victim” mantra, a favorite reactionary past time I might add, that serves for the ideological foundation for why white people are so civilized and people of color are so poor . Educated in the same schools that laud slave masters as heroes of Western civilizations (by default, all civilizations), we are unequipped to provide an objective rebuttal against these blatantly racist axioms disguising itself as world history.
Class Struggle In Africa, takes an iconoclastic (I like that word…) look into these racist chauvinist attitudes, by debunking them with objective realities. What readers, African (black), European (white), will be astonished to find out when you read this book is that all black people do not think alike. Now you might think I’m making a crude, and even mentally retarded, statement, but I assure you it is not. Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated when you are trying to debunk perfidious statements masquerading around as scientific truth. Nykrumah’s objective thesis is, as with other cultures, Africa in the past, present, and in the future, is rife with class antagonisms. These class antagonisms are exacerbated by Western nations (Europe and America), for the sole purpose of the usurpation of Africa’s plentiful resources. The book accurately points out how a handful Africans, sellout the majority of Africans to the Western Imperial powers for short-term material rewards. That’s how you can explain the success of the African slave trade perpetrated by the West objectively. It wasn’t that Africans sold themselves into slavery, on the contrary as Nykrumah defines a class of Africans as a minority faction known as the African petty bourgeoisie, whose sole purpose is to live in service of their Imperial Western masters, this makes it possible for the majority of Africans to suffer endlessly, while ostensibly giving the appearance of African progress by means of representation in the colonial government.
Class Struggle In Africa, demystifies the notion of the backward African, and the patriarchal benevolent Western (white) world; the brain is allowed to disabuse itself of Western altruism and see it as it is, a wholesale supplier of corruption, grief, and terror; ready to overthrow any African nation, or put down violently a revolutionary people’s movement, that rejects their goods of mayhem. The West is a unifier of opposites for its profit driven exploitative benefit; denouncing and rewarding individual African petty bourgeoisie leadership, all at the same time (look at Mobutu, he was their boy when Lumumba needed to be killed, but when his atrocities against his people surfaced, the West feigned ignorance, and blamed the innate proclivities towards atavism in the African psyche, chalking it up to African ineptitude when it came to leadership).
One of the things I really enjoyed about Class Struggle In Africa, was that it had the ability to define esoteric objective analysis on Africa in a clear and concise manner, with extreme brevity (it’s only 88 pages!) I’m going to be honest with you, this statement may be blasphemous in the eyes of some comrades, but Marx and Engles can get boring and quite byzantine; not because of the subject matter, but merely because of the vernacular of the time it was written in. Someone doesn’t have to be imbued with Marxist rhetoric to understand what the African petty bourgeoisie is; Nykrumah defines and explains the concept clearly. I really enjoyed how the African was the true subject of his analysis, not merely some wretched being, referred to as a foot note of history (Western history and development). In his analysis of what is called “opportunity” for colonized people, he unmasks it for what it is; “opportunity” is to ascend in a highly stratified society, a society whose levels of stratification are defined by the colonizer.
Nykrumah defines this Judas minority class, the African petty bourgeoisie, as truly being nothing more than marionettes, existing to have their strings pulled by the West, their bourgeoisie status not merely being defined for the material possessions they acquire in selling out, but also how much they ape their colonizers culturally.
There are no blind spots in Nykrumah’s work on the class origins of Africa. It covers all the bases; from its pre-colonial, colonial, and finally within the context of Socialist revolution in Africa. It is the Socialist revolution that in Nykrumah’s final estimation, would free Africa of its class antagonisms and from Imperial domination. Class Struggle In Africa’s analysis, is invaluable tool that can used against the empire.
Derrick Jensen’s, The Culture of Make Believe, is the “IKNOKLASTIC MANIFESTO”! There are two books that have been responsible for my political awakening, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and The Culture of Make Believe. Yes, it’s that good. The underlying premise of the book is the perceived entitlement of what Derrick terms the “civilized” (white people, he makes no bones in exposing the historical atrocities of Western civilization) to exploit the world. The forward of the book will be the predictor if you like this book. Either you can handle the truth or you can’t. Jensen’s polemic on the Biblical story of Ham, I must admit was, for lack of a better word was an awe-inspiring analysis.
As far as writing style, Jensen is in a league of his own. In reading this book, you feel like you are having a conversation with friend or family member not reading an erudite book on political economy. Anyone can pick up this book, no political education necessary, and grasp the objective truth that society, must lie and exploit to maintain its perceived entitlement. Jensen’s doesn’t just recount periods of history and use quotes to support his premise, he utilizes is personal experience he has had with Western culture, literally it’s like just having a conversation with a friend! A lot of times, talking with comrades who understand political economy, people have the tendency to take for grant jargon that are thrown around in our conversations, that the average person might not beware of. Jensen doesn’t do that at all, he literally just has a conversation with you, and gets your mind working on its own.
I always read authors from the oppressor class with more critical then I would, a member of an oppressed class, because lets be real; white people have the tendency to marginalize the voice of oppressed people and not even beware of it. Jensen is aware of this contradiction, and even admonishes himself for lapsing into this behavior when he describes lynching of Africans and the death of a Wobbly organizer (not going to ruin it for you). I read a person’s review on Amazon.com, which stated they loved Jensen’s book, but said it left them in despair. Talk about missing the point altogether! The title is The Culture of Make Believe; one would think that they would feel more empowered by knowing the truth. By the end of the book Jensen doesn’t say, “Now you know the truth. Run out and be a socialist!” What Jensen does say is that now that you are aware of the truth, you must take action, and you must determine what action is best for you, and once you do, you will never want to live in a culture that’s based on make believe.
BIG BROTHER IS HERE! Race specific bio-weapons, tracking chips in everything we purchase, cameras watching our every move, it’s here! In Derrick Jensen and George Draffan’s Welcome to the Machine: Science, Surveillance, and the Culture of Control, they have managed to merge The Culture of Make Believe with the dystopian novel 1984. This book is downright scary for lack of a better word. In a world where Facebook is seen as the apex of human evolution, it easy to see how the powers that be can track and monitor society’s every move and people be totally unaware or just plain apathetic. “Facebook is only ment to meet people, nobody monitors it silly!” “Cameras make us safe from criminals!” Sound familiar? Ahhh it’s like I can hear people chanting “B.B.” or was that “OBAMA”, I get the two mixed up at times.
The book discusses how proponents of nanotechnology have designed it specifically for a trans-humanist agenda so people can merge with machines and live forever. I know that doesn’t even sound real; neither did the military designing armor that allows soldiers to deflect bullets and at the same time give them the ability to leap a tall building in a single bound, but they are. Let me put it to you like this; imagine the craziest, most Orwellian device that can be conceived and they probably already have it.
As always Jensen manages to keep these unimaginable inventions in their proper context. What I mean by that is that, these inventions are not created because some evil global elite wants to destroy America and your liberties (sorry Info Warriors), no, this is the logical trajectory of a capitalist society, the very virtue of its being must keep people (and animals) in control to suck the blood of the masses. This is a logical progression, Jensen states, of a parasitic system, in which an elite minority group must convert society into one big panopticon. Social networking can never be looked at the same after reading this book.