Wednesday, January 02, 2013
French neo-colonialism in Africa
I have started reading about French neo-colonialism and so far the love affair of American "progressives" with the European Union looks like an affair conducted at the expense of Africans. A dominant power in the European Union, France is one of those "social democratic" states that American "progressives" hold up as a model for the US. But, whatever merits French domestic policy may have regarding things like health care, the French state has consistently been more imperialist than the US. This is particularly true in Africa. American and other white "progressives" in places like Australia systematically condemn almost every single asymmetrical power relationship between the US and countries in the post-colonial world as being examples of imperialism. But, they almost never condemn French neo-colonialism. It is completely ignored. In Africa French colonial rule never really ended. The French just put puppet governments in power and granted formal and nominal independence to most of their colonies. The only real exceptions to this pattern were Guinea in 1958 and to a lesser extent Mali in 1960. Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Gabon, and other former French colonies received independence on paper, but not in substance. The French supported dictators in Africa have as a general rule amassed a very poor record on human rights and have used the natural resources of their countries to enrich themselves and the French rather than the general population. Yet because France is considered a "progressive" and "social democratic" state and thus a model of what US domestic and foreign policy should look like by many left liberals, there is almost no criticism of French neo-colonialism on blogs and other media of public discourse. Instead we are treated to a never ending litany of the evils of the US Republican Party's policies without any recognition that conservative white Republicans are not in fact the source of all evil.