Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Leo Zeilig on the crisis in the Congo

The history of the UN in the Congo is a story of complicity with imperialism. The UN’s first military intervention was in the Congo in 1960. The country’s first prime minster, Patrice Lumumba, hoped that the UN would force foreign mercenaries to leave the country. Instead it collaborated in his assassination. The UN is not the solution to the fighting. Nor is the "responsible investment" advocated so adamantly by the NGOs that have detailed the human rights abuses in the eastern DRC. Further involvement and "investment" from Western companies would be a disaster. The war has been fought by armed groups connected to a globalised market of looted minerals bought and traded by multinationals in the West.

The pillage of the African continent is accelerating. The scramble for mineral and oil wealth is the product of a renewed round of imperialist competition. Multinationals and governments from the US, the European Union and China are competing for access to the continent’s extraordinary wealth. This is a disaster for millions of people across Africa.

Weeks before he was murdered by Belgian and Congolese agents, Lumumba wrote:

"History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that Brussels, Paris, Washington, or the UN will teach… Africa will write its own history, and it will be, to the north and to the south of the Sahara, a history of glory and dignity."

This alternative looks to the resistance of those living in the region, free from the intervention of the West.

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