Track record of European Social Democracy viz. the Global South
”At the Sixth Congress of the Comintern in Moscow (July through September 1928), Social Democracy was high on the agenda. There Ercoli – Palmiro Togliatti, late head of the Italian Communist Party – made his detailed report on “Social Democracy and the Colonial Question”, to which reference has already been made…
“Most instructive is Togliatti’s documentation of Social Democracy’s specific record in, and policy toward, colonies. A summary of his documentation is essential context for all the discussion which follows:
“IN SYRIA, whose “complete independence” the Second International had once demanded, the French Socialist Party voted for the war appropriations for imperialist expeditions, during which French generals massacred the populations of Damascus and other towns.
“IN INDONESIA, the Dutch Socialists warned “their” government that a revolt was coming; and once it came, not only did they “not defend in parliament this bloody revolt”, they severely condemned the spirit of the revolt “whether it originated in Moscow or Canton”. When mass death sentences brutally suppressed the revolt, Dutch Socialists boasted of disapproving only death sentences “merely for propaganda”. That is, they approved death for workers and peasants who “gave cause”, i.e., who revolted.
“IN AFRICA, the record of British Social Democracy is too long to be covered in less than a book. The specific story of the Clement Atlee Labour Government from 1945 to 1951 has, however, been given in detail by Jack Woddis:
“IN SUDAN, the Labour Government sent warships to terrorize the population, instructing British authorities to “do everything necessary to maintain order”.
“IN KENYA, the Atlee Government record by itself is enough to damn Social Democracy once and for all. At Mombasa in 1947, the African Workers’ Federation and the Railway Staff Union called a general strike for higher wages and lower house rents. They were joined by hotel, shop and domestic workers. And what happened?
The Colonial Office under the Labour Government acted with the same ruthlessness as under any Tory Government. Police and troops were called in, the strike was suppressed, and the President of the African Workers’ Federation, Chege Kibachia, was banished without trial to a remote village in Northern Kenya.
“At Uplands Bacon Factory in September 1947, when another strike broke out the police were again called in. They fired on the workers; 3 dead, 22 arrested, including 20 sentenced to two years at hard labour.
“In September 1948, Makhan Singh, Secretary of the Labour Trade Union of East Africa, organised a Cost of Living Conference. Delegations came from more than 16 trade unions and associations, representing more then 10,000 African and Asian workers. The Labour “leaders” of Britain arrested Singh and deported him.
“During 1949 and 1950, new legislation was introduced into Kenya, of which the following six were typical:
1) A Wage-Freezing Bill, “The Compulsory Trade Testing and Wage Fixing Scheme”;
2) A Trade Union Registration Ordinance;
3) A “Slave Labour” Bill, introducing forced labour at starvation wages;
4) A Deportation Ordinance, giving Government increased power to deport;
5) A law banning strikes in “essential services”: all the Governor had to do to make any strike illegal was to add its industry to “essential services”;
6) The already-existing Emergency Powers Ordinance was amended to increase the Governor’s powers.
“The result, Woddis declared, was a series of attacks on Kenya’s trade unions, including the arrest of leaders of the East African Workers’ Federation, of the East African T.U.C., and an eventual ban on the latter on pretext that “it was not registered”.
“IN NIGERIA, official Social Democratic policy resulted in the shooting of coal miners at Enugu in 1949. 7,500 miners had struck for higher pay, allegedly a common Social Democratic demand. Outcome? 231 dead, 50 wounded. In the ensuing mass counter-demonstrations, further repressions and wholesale arrests took place.
“IN TANGANYIKA, strikes occurred in 1948 at Port Tanga, and in 1950 at Dar-es-Salaam, the latter involving the Dock Workers’ Union. The Labour Government promptly outlawed the union, confiscating all its funds and property, and arrested and imprisoned its leaders, During the same period, the leadership of African Cooks’ and Washermans’ Union of Tanganyika was removed as “unsatisfactory”.
“IN GHANA, a demonstration of unemployed ex-servicemen ended when police fired on it, killing three, In 1949 and 1950, a general strike as last push to independence saw mass arrests, including Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and others later part of Ghana’s first African Government.
“The colonial record of Harold Wilson’s Labour Government since 1964 is written in the names of countries it betrayed: Congo Kinshasa, Aden, Malaysia, British Guiana, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Southwest Africa, Bechuanaland – and on and on.
“Furthermore, these examples form a pattern by which Social Democracy in power fully reveals its real colonial policy: as in Wilson’s present Government, it does all in its power to make a mockery of such political independence as colonial countries had achieved despite all interference.
“Brutality, both economic and military, is the major weapon of Social Democracy’s colonialism, exactly the same – if not worse than – ANY imperialist government…
“Actually, brutal measures by Social Democracy against colonial peoples are quite logical considering what they accomplish for the metropolitan labor aristocracies whom Social Democracy represents. Precisely because the Labour Government had destroyed all attempts by colonial workers to improve their living standards, it could be recorded that
The economic position in Britain improved in 1952 because there was a world-wide fall in the price of food and raw materials which benefited the British economy.
“What the author neglected to add was that colonial economies depend heavily for their incomes precisely on “the price of food and raw materials”, and the benefit to the British economy resulted because colonial economies had been rendered more lopsided than before.
“SUCH brutality never seems to upset the Western Left nearly as much as the selfsame instrument turned against “its own” workers in the streets “at home”, when for some reason or other the colonial cushion has either been removed by military defeat or not attained because of later arrival by the specific ruling class on the capitalist world scene.
“Yet, surely it must be clear by now that Social Democracy will use brutality as one effective modus operandi whenever necessary to ensure continued super-profits. Even though new forms of colonialism have had to be devised to meet the advance of the Liberation movement throughout the subjugated areas of the world, the casualties go on; brutality escalates.”
– From Labor Aristocracy: Mass Base of Social Democracy by H.W. Edwards (1978)
have recently marked 50 years since a great man’s
removal from power, as a result of a successful coup enforced by the National
Liberation Council (NLC), led by LT General Ankrah. Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
is the man we all know as the father figure of our nation Ghana. We, as
Ghanaians, have been taught numerous times in school that he gained
independence for the country, as he worked tirelessly up the ranks from Prime
Minister of the Gold Coast to the first President of the Republic of Ghana. Dr.
Kwame Nkrumah is to Ghana as Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is to the Turks, as both shared similar visions for the good of their people, thus earning their trust.
“The military had
taken over the flagstaff house, which was the official residence of Dr.
Nkrumah, and then had gone on to take over the broadcasting station. It was announced
over the airwaves that there had been a coup d’état.
All the ministers of state, members of parliament, district commissioners,
chairmen and secretaries of the ruling political party as well as a long list
of other people of interest were requested to report to the nearest police station
for “their own
gathered a few things, got in his car and drove to the police station, where he
was sent into interrogation and then, much to everyone’s surprise, placed into custody”
In the quote above, incumbent President, John Mahama’s publication “My First Coup D’état - Memories From The Lost Decades Of Africa” details his personal experience during the detainment of his father E.A Mahama (then a minister of state) by the NLC during the chaos of the coup and his resultant journey around the country in an attempt to find his father and other family members through the chaos.
As you can imagine these were trying
times for Ghanaian political stability. The euphoria of independence from
colonial rule appeared to have worn off, and Kwame Nkrumah’s
vibrant image began to fade. Tales of corruption, economic mismanagement and an
unrestrained thirst for power, followed Osagyefo and his cabinet. For some, the
coup was incited by the fact he had turned Ghana into a one-party state,
creating an unchecked dictatorship rule with which the people were fed up. Years
later, the rumor that the CIA had a hand to play in this coup started to spread,
as some speculated that the capitalist west was threatened by his ambition to
unite African states under what they feared to be socialist ideologies.
The colossal figure shining upon us as
a beacon of patriotism and pan-Africanism ruled Ghana for 9 years, second only
to that of JJ Rawlings, which spanned from 1981, when he gained power, through
to 2001. Whatever the catalyst, Kwame Nkrumah’s time at the helm was cut short by
the coup of 1966. Since then, governments have come and gone, coups after
coups, election after election. A question most Ghanaians still ponder over is:
What would have come of this great nation if Dr. Nkrumah had been given more
time to execute his vision?
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, prime minister of Ghana, with Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle. Kwame Nkrumah became an international icon of freedom as the leader of the first African country to cast off the chains of colonial rule. He was a teacher by 15yrs of age, studied at Lincoln University, PA, USA, post-graduate in London, returned to Gold Coast, fought for independence from the British and built what we now know as Ghana.
Kwame Nkrumah came to power in 1957. He had visions. To make Ghana an industrial nation. But for Ghana to be industrialized. Ghana needed power or electricity. So he set out to build the Akosombo Dam which till this day provides Ghana and neighbouring countries with electricity.
He built University of Science and Technology so Ghana will be adept in science,technology and engineering,in other words,everything you need to be an industrial nation.A Pan African and pushing for the unity of Africa. An industrial Ghana means he was pushing for an industrial Africa. An industrial Africa equals Africa being an economic powerhouse.
Before his vision of an industrial Ghana and Africa could fully take shape, he was overthrown in a coup d’ etat orchestrated by the CIA. Patrice Lumumba suffered the same fate. Thomas Sankara suffered the same fate. It is here we realize.
Africa’s economic predicament is not an accident but by design. And it is our challenge is to find a way to navigate this economic entrapment imposed by the World Bank. The IMF. Along with the use of brute force.
Luckily they showed us the way. Africa is not the only continent fighting for it’s economic freedom.
At about 2-3 weeks old or around age one/2+ every ghanaian baby/child is blessed with this traditional (trad photo), its to mark the origin of who you are and where you come from and to bring forth colour into the life of a new born baby if not all Ghanaians have one majority of them do. ✊
we are not African because we were born in Africa but because Africa was born in us words of ghana’s late president Dr Kwame nkrumah👑✊
The Gold Coast was a British colony on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa that became the independent nation of Ghana (which means Warrior King) in 1957. Becoming the first African country to gain independence. Happy Independence to all our Ghanaian followers!
“The Independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up to the total liberation of Afrcia” - Dr Kwame Nkrumah (6th March, 1957)
“Forward Ever, Backwards Never” - Dr Kwame Nkrumah
In celebration of Ghana’s Independence Day, we will be putting up some of our favourite Ghanaian songs from last year plus a few old skool ones… Get Ready to Azonto!!
Oseeeeyyyyyyeeeeee ! It’s Ghana’s independence. Wow, 6th March, 1957, Ghana became independent from the British. Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah brought as independence. He fought for us. So far, we have enjoyed democracy and being on our own.
Currently, Ghanaians might not be loving the country because of the few issues. Let’s not get into politics here but we are Ghanaians, we get through everything. This can get better not just by the government but by the citizens as well.
Ghana is an amazing place not to be bias or anything but we are peaceful and we are THE GOLD COAST. So rain or shine, it will be our country. As a Ghanaian, i want to say as we turn another year, we stop whining and fight for our country. Let the stereotype “we depend on other countries to survive end” and do more for our country. As a country, we can achieve everything we want.
HAPPY 57TH INDEPENDENCE DAY GHANA. OUR BELOVED COUNTRY IS STILL FREE. KEEP HELPING GHANA EVEN IF IT’S NOT VISIBLE NOW. ONE DAY IT WILL BE.
Ghana History - E.K Kotoka receives his smallpox vaccination using a jet injector gun, Trade fair, February,1967. In April, same year, he was killed in an aborted coup code named “Guitar-boy”. Ghana’s major airport in Accra is named after him and his statue stands at the spot where he died. Kotoka, an exceptionally brave and intelligent Lieutenant General, was a national hero for his bravado in the Congo war. He is also famous for leading the coup d'état that overthrew Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in 1966.
Happy Independence Day to Ghana 57 years today, six brave men led by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah spearheaded the transition of Ghana from a long era of colonialism to becoming the first Independent nation in sub-Sahara Africa We remember their vision and commitment and wish all Ghanaians a Happy Independence Day