While pundits frequently address failed socialism in Venezuela, Cuba, and parts of Europe, few seem to remember or want to unleash the fact that nearly all of Africa was at one time Marxist and now has evolved to Socialism – in name only.
When African nations began gaining independence from the colonialists of Europe in the 1950’s to1960’s, they equated capitalism with colonialism and thus adopted what they were led to believe was better – Marxist Socialism.
Foreign companies were nationalized while state owned companies were created. Price controls were implemented on rent, trade, exchange, and agriculture. By 1961, the farmers in Ghana could no longer produce enough food for their own subsistence. Millions began to face starvation throughout the continent. And a culture of refugees was created as people fled to other countries for the privilege of food!
They called it African Socialism as distinguished from Marxism, and used the rationale as a call to mobilize and unite countries shedding colonialism. It was seen as a Movement, a freedom cry whereby these nations were now relieved of the oppression of their colonial warlords – the French, the British and the Spanish. These were the colonialists that confiscated Africa and ruled from within.
Under colonialism, Africans did not enjoy ‘private property’ and so when socialism was introduced no one objected because no one had ever known anything else. While they couldn’t really identify why African Socialism was any different from Marx, they proclaimed its equality factor, a classless society that would unify all under one status. Ultimately, that status was abject poverty, starvation, and death.
Materialism was ‘bad’, and collectivism was ‘good’. And it was seen as a Revolutionary Movement!
In Ghana, it took less than 10 years after gaining independence in 1957 for the economy to crash and the president to declare himself as president for life as a means of ensuring his own honor – and wealth preservation. And as is common in all transitions to socialism, a new Constitution had to be created to conform to the new dictums. The Constitutional Amendment declaring his life as president was approved by 99.91% of voters…
In 1966, while President Nkrumah was off on a visit with North Korea and China, a coup led by the military and police assured he would not be the monarchial socialist for life and he fled to exile. It is estimated that his wealth while president was more than $20 million. That would equate to roughly $150 million today.
But the fate of Ghana was only one of many countries that imploded relatively quickly. And despite those implosions, many African nations continue their ideology of socialism under rebranding.
For example: Angola rebranded as a social democracy wherein presidential elections are scrapped and instead the president and vice president of the political party that wins the election take office. There are no separation of powers, and the Constitution declares the government to be an ‘authoritarian regime’. Santos served as president for 38 years, his daughter became the wealthiest woman in Africa with an estimated net worth of over $3 billion. Somewhat like Congress in the US.
This is how Socialism works.
IN Angola, healthcare is free – sort of. It is severely underfunded, understaffed, and difficult to access – expats are highly encouraged to purchase private insurance. Most of the doctors in Angola are Cuban because, well Angola has no medical profession. Education is free – for eight years – but few actually go to school. During the last civil war 1975-2002 all the schools were destroyed. Factors for children not attending include poor health because the healthcare system is completely broken.
Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at Nigeria where the new and improved president political ideology is the All Progressives Congress. A fancy name for Socialism. IN fact their international affiliation is “Socialist International”.
Socialist International has members from 100 countries across the globe and was formed in Frankfurt Germany in 1951. Surprise. Presidents of this organization are borne from mostly European countries; France, Austria, UK, Denmark, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Finland, etc… The European Commission is – Socialist.
Mozambique, a destination for many tourists is also ruled under Socialist International having previously aspired to Marxist-Leninism. Foreign support for the current party has included; Somalia, Cuba, China, Soviet Russia, and the wonderfully socialist countries of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Its GDP per capita is $493 ranking as one of the poorest countries in the world. They have virtually no health care, and the completion rate for primary school was last estimated to be 90,000 children.
Equatorial Guinea is the wealthiest on a per capita basis serving under the authoritarian rule of a dictator who has been in office since 1979 and belongs to the Democrat Party which has no platform other than militarism rule. But then it is the only party.
Ever wonder why Africa remains so poor and stagnate despite industrialization and growth everywhere else? Despite vast swathes of resources? Despite UN monitoring elections? Despite billions of investment?
They have evolved from Marxism to Socialism by name only.
IF the media were to show how ‘well’ Socialism has contributed to the equality and wealth of African people, I wonder how it might be recognized for what it truly is by the youth market in the US – it is a means for creating absolute poverty while enriching the One, the president for life and his family.