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Post-colonial dictatorships: what went wrong with the democratic revolutions

2:00am Sun 17 Apr

About this session

The movements against colonialism in the twentieth century shook the world and led to the creation of a number of new nations. These struggles, in many cases involving heroic mass movements and collective sacrifices, promised to revive national dignity and raise living standards as part of a broader project of national reconstruction and development. Marxists enthusiastically supported these national liberation struggles, politically and materially.

Yet decades later, most of the promises of these revolutionary movements have not been fulfilled. Democratic rights remain in short supply in much of the post-colonial world, and economic development has overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy minority. As well, many of the newly independent countries have not seen struggles of comparable popularity since achieving independence, casting some doubt on some arguments which predicted that achieving independence would clear the social terrain for the development of class struggles in the more traditional form.

Recommended Reading

The ABC of national liberation movementsby Hal Draper
"Consequentialism" (chapter)by Neil Davidsonin How revolutionary were the bourgeois revolutions?
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