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in ENGLISH, The White House and the Black Continent, Ideological Guarantees.

The White House and the Black Continent

Ideological Guarantees

 

US imperialist plans in Africa are being implemented with the ideological support that favours the United States, its multinational corporations and military departments. Nevertheless, it is an interesting fact that even though the main aims of the capitalist powers may coincide, their choice of ways and means to achieve them may differ considerably.

The Reagan administration, however, stubbornly holds to the thesis that "what is good for the United States, should also be good for its allies". And if any of its partners think differently, pressure of the crudest kind may well be put on them. Thus in June 1981 the Reagan administration made a proposal to "replace" France in certain African countries since, from the point of view of the White House, the former metropolis was insufficiently diligent in defending the common interests of imperialism. In his turn the President of France, Francois Mitterrand, in an interview with the BBC on September 9, 1981 declared that the United States looked at the developing countries only from the point of view of their strategic importance. The United States consider the African continent as a region which should provide uninterrupted supplies of raw materials, as a market, and, of course, as a zone where it could "divide" jointly and "rule" alone.

To achieve these objectives the United States continues to step up anti-Soviet and anti-communist propaganda in Africa and put pressure on the independent states, particularly those that have chosen a progressive road of development. For example, it has not only launched an extensive slander campaign against Libya and Ethiopia, but has even instigated conflicts between these countries and their neighbours and encouraged Somali aggression against Ethiopia. In Southern Africa Washington has encouraged South Africa to attack Angola and then vetoed the UN Security Council resolution condemning the aggressor under the ridiculous pretext of "maintaining neutrality". The silent approval from the White House for the racist attacks against Mozambique and Zambia has been accompanied by continual insinuations against those countries.

It was mentioned earlier that the Reagan administration equates the national liberation movements with "international terrorism". Certain Western commentators are inclined to see this thesis as a political paradox and as a demonstration of the political myopia of the present US rulers. If we look at the attempts that have been made to implement this thesis, then we can see that it is nothing other than a revival of the imperialist policy of putting down revolts, which, as Le Monde diplomatique noted, includes all military, economic, and political measures for "victory over the national liberation movements". And, as this same publication put it, the Reagan administration gives "prime importance to putting down revolutionary conflicts in the Third World".(1)

This doctrine is now not only incorporated into the global strategy of the United States, but has even been given a material base in the form of the Rapid Deployment Force, which was specially formed to crush national liberation movements.

The ideological offensive against the developing countries, particularly those countries that have chosen the socialist path of development, is now being conducted on an increasingly broad front. Central to it are attempts to convince these countries that similar view exists between themselves and the capitalist states on the question of development, to foist upon them bourgeois value judgements, and to instil the idea that Marxism is alien to democracy and therefore cannot and should not grow roots in Africa.

The myth of the anti-democratic character of Marxist-Leninist ideology is not new and has long been disproved by the whole course of mankind's historical development. Its revival today is designed to undermine the effort of the countries that have chosen the socialist path of development and to turn them against the USSR and the other socialist states. This myth is the same old anti-communism and anti-Sovietism, but done up in a new wrapper. Efforts are made to demonstrate the pointless-ness of socialist orientation and the hopelessness of the very idea silent approval from the White House for the racist attacks against Mozambique and Zambia has been accompanied by continual insinuations against those countries.

It was mentioned earlier that the Reagan administration equates the national liberation movements with "international terrorism". Certain Western commentators are inclined to see this thesis as a political paradox and as a demonstration of the political myopia of the present US rulers. If we look at the attempts that have been made to implement this thesis, then we can see that it is nothing other than a revival of the imperialist policy of putting down revolts, which, as Le Monde diplomatique noted, includes all military, economic, and political measures for "victory over the national liberation movements". And, as this same publication put it, the Reagan administration gives "prime importance to putting down revolutionary conflicts in the Third World".(2)

This doctrine is now not only incorporated into the global strategy of the United States, but has even been given a material base in the form of the Rapid Deployment Force, which was specially formed to crush national liberation movements.

The ideological offensive against the developing countries, particularly those countries that have chosen the socialist path of development, is now being conducted on an increasingly broad front. Central to it are attempts to convince these countries that similar view exists between themselves and the capitalist states on the question of development, to foist upon them bourgeois value judgements, and to instil the idea that Marxism is alien to democracy and therefore cannot and should not grow roots in Africa.

The myth of the anti-democratic character of Marxist-Leninist ideology is not new and has long been disproved by the whole course of mankind's historical development. Its revival today is designed to undermine the effort of the countries that have chosen the socialist path of development and to turn them against the USSR and the other socialist states. This myth is the same old anti-communism and anti-Sovietism, but done up in a new wrapper. Efforts are made to demonstrate the pointless-ness of socialist orientation and the hopelessness of the very idea of building socialism in Africa. The reason given for this is that the development of the African countries is supposedly impossible in principle without extensive economic aid from the capitalist states, while their foreign policy can only be a balance between East and West. David Rockefeller expressed himself on this subject in the above-mentioned interview thus: "I think socialism in Africa is more labels and trappings than reality. Most of the government leaders with whom we talked are very much in favour of foreign private investment." (3)

Statements of this kind show that those who make them have a very vague idea both about socialism and socialist orientation. The point is not in the use of foreign private capital. Countries that have chosen the path of socialist development can make use of foreign investments, but these investments are under the control of the national state. Their slogan is, "A reasonable profit for foreign capital and profit and control for the national state." After all, the socialist-oriented countries have not refused financial and commercial relations with the industrially developed capitalist states so long as they are on just and equal terms. In proclaiming scientific socialism as their ideological basis, they effect a number of transformations which include ending the domination of foreign capital, but they certainly do not refuse to make use of it.

The OAU documents state particularly that external resources are needed to complement the resources the African countries will mobilise themselves for their development activities. (4)

To achieve their political, ideological and economic goals in Africa, the imperialist countries, particularly the United States, make considerable use of the mass media. Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, and France Presse are the largest information agencies on the African continent, accounting for almost 90 per cent of all news broadcasts. As the well-known British journalist Anthony Smith noted, "the flow of media exports" from the West increases the dependence of these countries, since it "acts as a kind of ideological prerequisite for the flow of other material exports". (5)

In this connection the Benin delegate to the 21st Session of the UNESCO General Conference said that in Africa it is easy to hear the Western radio stations, whereas the Voice of the Benin Revolution and other African stations are not as advanced technologically. Africa is bombarded and inundated with information over which she has no choice and no control.(6) And it is significant that purely African themes occupy an insignificant place in all this flood of information. Thus an analysis of the content of Associated Press broadcasts showed 47 per cent related to the United States; 16 per cent, to Western Europe; 19 per cent, to Asia, and only 4 per cent, to Africa. (7)

Television broadcasts and programmes brought to Africa from the United States are designed to make the consciousness of the African peoples subordinate to the interests of imperialism. This relates equally to both political and entertainment broadcasts.

The plans and actions of the Reagan administration in Africa reflect the interests of the most reactionary section of the US bourgeoisie and the military industrial complex that is connected with it. These two groups have always fought against the national liberation movements, international detente, and the forces of peace and progress. In the final analysis the African policy of the White House aims to keep the liberated countries within the system of neocolonialist exploitation, hold key position in the strategically important regions of Africa, and guarantee the US monopolies unimpeded access to the African markets and raw material supplies.

 

(1) Le Monde diplomatique, No. 32;, April 1981.

(2) Le Monde diplomatique, No. 32;, April 1981.

(3) Africa Report, May-June 1982, p. 40.

(4) UN General Assembly, Doc. AJS-HJ6, 25 July 1980, p. 15

(5) Anthony Smith, The Geopolitics of Information. How Western Culture Dominates the World, Faber & Fabcr, London and Boston, 1980, p. 43.

(6) UNESCO. Actes de la Conference generate, XXI Session, Compte-rendu des debuts, Vol. 3, Belgrade, 1980, p. 559.

(7) Afrique-Asie, No. 247, August 31-September 13, 19S1, p. 52.

 

Strategic Significance - Back

Next - Chapter II THE POLICY OF UNDERMINING PROGRESSIVE TRANSFORMATIONS

 

Translated from the Russian
Designed by Oleg Grebenyuk
Белый дом и черный континент
На английском языке
Group of Authors: An. A. Gromyko (Editor's Note);
Ye. A. Tarabrin (Ch. I, III, Conclusion); V. P. Kasatkin (Ch. II
IX); V. Ya. Lebedev (Ch. IV); A. Yu. Urnov (Ch V)-
V. S. Baskin (Ch. VI); A. V. Prudnikov (Ch. VII)-
M. L. Vishnevsky (Ch. VIII)
Издательство "Прогресс", 1984.
English translation. Progress Publishers 1984
Printed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics



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