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How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa



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Published by meggyhimself
slavery, colonialism and so on...
slavery, colonialism and so on...

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Published by: meggyhimself on Jul 30, 2009
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How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973
Chapter OneSome Questions on Development
In contrast with the surging growth of thecountries in our socialist camp and thedevelopment taking place, albeit much moreslowly, in the majority of the capitalist countries,is the unquestionable fact that a large proportionof the so-called underdeveloped countries are intotal stagnation, and that in some of them the rateof economic growth is lower than that o population increase.‘These characteristics are not fortuitous; theycorrespond strictly to the nature of the capitalistsystem in full expansion, which transfers to thedependent countries the most abusive and barefaced forms of exploitation. It must be clearlyunderstood that the only way to solve thequestions now besetting mankind is to eliminatecompletely the exploitation of dependentcountries by developed capitalist countries, withall the consequences that this implies.Che Guevara, 1964.
1. 1 What is Development?
Development in human society is a many-sided process. Atthe level of the individual, it implies increased skill andcapacity, greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline,responsibility and material well-being. Some of these arevirtually moral categories and are difficult to evaluate – depending as they do on the age in which one lives, one’sclass origins, and one’s personal code of what is right andwhat is wrong. However, what is indisputable is that theachievement of any of those aspects of personal developmentis very much tied in with the state of the society as a whole.From earliest times, man found it convenient and necessaryto come together in groups to hunt and for the sake of survival. The relations which develop within any given socialgroup are crucial to an understanding of the society as awhole: Freedom, responsibility, skill, etc. have real meaningonly in terms of the relations of men in society.Of course, each social group comes into contact withothers. The relations between individuals in any two societiesare regulated by the form of the two societies. Their respective political structures are important because theruling elements within each group are the ones that begin to
dialogue, trade or fight, as the case may be. At the level of social groups, therefore, development implies an increasingcapacity to regulate both internal and external relationships.Much of human history has been a fight for survival againstnatural hazards and against real and imagined humanenemies. Development in the past has always meant theincrease in the ability to guard the independence of the socialgroup and indeed to infringe upon the freedom of others -something that often came about irrespective of the will of the persons within the societies involved.Men are not the only beings which operate in groups, butthe human species embarked upon a unique line odevelopment because man had the capacity to make and usetools. The very act of making tools was a stimulus toincreasing rationality rather than the consequence of a fullymatured intellect. In historical terms, man the worker wasevery bit as important as man the thinker, because the work with tools liberated men from sheer physical necessity, sothat he could impose himself upon other more powerfulspecies and upon nature itself. The tools with which menwork and the manner in which they organise their labour are both important indices of social development.More often than not, the term ‘development’ is used in an

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