Africa as the Next Frontier in the Quest for Growth

On Alternet today, we find the following headline:

Billionaires and Mega-Corporations Behind Immense Land Grab in Africa
20+ African countries are selling or leasing land for intensive agriculture on a shocking scale in what may be the greatest change of ownership since the colonial era.

It seems that there is a massive land-grab going on in Africa:

An Observer investigation estimates that up to 125 million acres of land — an area more than double the size of the UK — has been acquired in the last few years or is in the process of being negotiated by governments and wealthy investors working with state subsidies. The data used was collected by Grain, the International Institute for Environment and Development, the International Land Coalition, ActionAid and other non-governmental groups.

This is all part of a larger pattern, it seems. Lately, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the IMF went to Africa saying in a speech:

All across the continent, we can see signs of life, with rebounds in trade, export earnings, bank credit, and commercial activity. In 2010, the IMF expects growth of around 4½ percent.

[…]

The twin challenges for Africa are to revive strong growth and reinforce resilience to shocks.

So Africa becomes the next – and possibly final frontier – on Earth in the capitalists’ quest for world domination. I again cite from a historical document:

The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere.

This is from the Manifesto of the Communist Party in 1848. Marx and Engels were on to something, weren’t they.

It is really worthwhile reading some of these old writings even if you don’t share the worldview propagated therein. There might be lessons in there for you anyway, you know.
Nowadays, we delude ourselves that we have made progress and that we have improved as humans. Read the old documents and you will see that they had figured out the source of the problem hundreds or even thousands of years before our time. It always has to do with greed and with a certain type of personality.

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