All posts by dintoday

Paris April 15: Decolonizing The Mind and ecology.

On April 15 DIN, Verdragon, Maison de l’Ecologie Populaire and L’Observatoire Terre-Monde (OTM) are organizing an event around the theme of Decolonizing The Mind and ecology. Speakers are Sandew Hira, Malcom Ferdinand of OTM and Fatimah Ouassak of Verdragon.

Sandew Hira recently published his book Decolonizing The Mind – A Guide to Decolonial Theory and Practice. Malcom Ferdinand is the author of the book Decolonial Ecology – Thinking from the Caribbean World. Angela Davis wrote a preface in the book. Fatima Ouassak is a well known activist and writer in France.

The event is held in Paris in Verdragon.

Reading group Decolonizing The Mind

DIN is organizing a reading group on the book Decolonizing The Mind  – A Guide to Decolonial Theory and Practice by Sandew Hira. You can order the book here. For twelve years Sandew Hira has been working on this book. Now there is a 600 page publication with detailed theories and facts that require time and discussion to digest, criticize and develop. Information about Hira’s interaction with academics and activist can be followed here.

Pursuant to the book’s publication, DIN now invites the readers, in progress or completed, and interested readers to come together in a web-based forum to discuss the book’s contents. Our aim is stimulating people as individuals or in groups to further develop the narrative and its specificities worldwide and in their locality, leading to an educational framework for decolonization theory, with its own formalization and course work. Our hope is that this forum will promote critical thinking and literacy giving rise to new ways of thinking about the human condition and society.

For an effective group discussion, we anticipate 5-8 members in each group. Larger enrolments will be accommodated in two or more groups. The groups will meet twice a month (first and last week) and discuss the book’s contents in one segment per each session. Every segment is 50 pages, more or less.  The preliminary segmentation of the book can be arranged as follows, but can also be revised on recommendations

1 Introduction; Background; Eurocentric Philosophies of Liberation 12-68
2 Mental Slavery; Colonization & Mechanisms 70-123
3 Epistemology; Knowledge Production 123-166
4 Theory of Racism 167-224
5 Decolonization: Mathematics & Natural Sciences 224-253
6 Decolonization: World History 253-285
7 Decolonization: Economic Theory 285-339
8 Decolonization: Social Theory & Political Theory 339-408
9 Decolonization: Political Theory 408-473
10 A New World Civilization 473-522

The individual members of the group are invited to select two segments that they will present (20 minutes each) to the group, before group discussion for the remainder of the hour.  The discussion will be facilitated by Raj Mathur. Dr. Raj Mathur is a retired materials scientist & engineer whose career has involved patented innovations in the aerospace, automotive, electronics and chemical industrial sectors. Born in India and a citizen of the USA, he is now retired and lives with his wife in the Netherlands.

Mathur will also post a summary and the highlights of each session online, as well as mailing it to individual members of the group for critical review. Finally, the facilitator will submit the group’s activity and summary to the author and invite the author to interact with the group in a final session. Adding up the sessions, it will be a six-month long commitment and exploration of decolonization.

Click here to register for the reading.


Ramon Grosfoguel visits the Pope

Ramon Grosfoguel saying goodbye to Pope Francisco after a long week staying in his home in the Vatican

On March 30-31 the Vatican led by the Pope organized a seminar on colonialism, decolonization and neocolonialism. Ramon Grosfoguel, chairman of the board of the Decolonial International Network Foundation, was one of the invited speakers. You can watch the 10 hour conference here. After the conference the Vatican issued a statement repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery,’ which was used to justify colonialism. The doctrine was invoked as a legal and religious standing by Europeans who “discovered” new lands and violently seized it from people who had been living there for generations.


Decolonial Reparations Conference April 22-23

On April 22nd and 23rd, 2023, Aralez and Decolonial International Network (DIN) are organizing a decolonial reparations conference in Ru Paré, Amsterdam. During this 2-day meeting, community organizers are invited to formulate demands and actions aimed at repairing colonial damage. The first day is aimed at making an analysis and inventory of the damage caused by 500 years of colonisation. The second day focuses on formulating concrete demands, actions and strategies to bring about reparation. The conference will be the first edition of a yearly returning gathering in april, we specifically aim to inspire coalition building and actions surrounding reparations and global south solidarity.

Practical information

Date: Saturday April 22nd and Sunday April 23rd, 2023
Time: 10am-5pm on April 22 and 11am-5pm on April 23 (with optional dinner afterwards on saturday)
Location: Ru Paré
Address: Chris Lebeaustraat 4, 1062 DC Amsterdam
Entrance: € 15 per day including lunch
Sign up: can be done here via the sign up form.
More information: the program time-table can be found hereMore information and details about the speakers and content wil follow soon!

Why this conference?
This conference has two intended outcomes. The first is a collective manifesto with concrete demands that can be introduced into the public debate when it comes to reparation and repairing colonial damage. The second is concept plans for concrete campaigns to achieve the reparation demands that have been formulated. The conference focuses on grassroots organizations and individuals who want to contribute to the decolonial movement and/or have concrete initiatives aimed at repairing colonial damage in the Netherlands and/or in solidarity with initiatives from the Global South.

The conference will take place on April 22nd and 23rd, 2023. These dates were intentionally chosen in the spirit of the Bandung conference, which took place from April 18-24, 1955 in Bandung, Indonesia. It was the first conference that united former colonized countries from Africa and Asia to develop a strategy and vision for a new decolonial world civilization.

With the HERSTEL decolonial reparations conference, Aralez and DIN aim to organize an annual conference to continue to monitor and further develop the reparation initiatives that will be formulated in 2023.

International book tour Sandew Hira

Sandew Hira has completed the first phase of his international book tour. On March 15 he was in London. On March 18 and 19 was in Scotland, in Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively. On 27 March he was in Birmingham. Information about all meetings can be found here.

The meeting in Birmingham led to a new invitation. The Business School of the University of Birmingham will host a one-day conference on July 29 to mark the publication of Hira’s book. He will give a keynote speech, after which various working groups will discuss the various topics in the book in more detail.

On April 15, he will be in Paris where his book will be presented with two environmental organizations: L’Observatoire Terre-Monde en Verdragon, Maison de l’Ecologie Populaire.

From 1 to 27 May he is traveling in Africa, in particular South Africa and Zambia.

A decolonial critique of Ten Theses on Marxism and Decolonisation by Vijay Prashad

Sandew Hira, The Hague February 21, 2023


On September 20, 2022, Vijay Prashad published an article with ten theses on Marxism and Decolonisation. It is an important article because it addresses the question of decolonisation from a Marxist perspective and that can be a good starting point for a conversation between Marxists and Decolonial theorists on the relationship between Marxism and decolonial theory.

I come from a Marxist tradition and have evolved to decolonial theory. Vijya Prashad is a firm believer in classical Marxist theory. He is doing great work in the anti-imperialist movement with the Institute for Social Research (Tricontinental) of which he is a director. I respect and admire this work. We are in agreement on issues like the need for a global unity against imperialism and the fight against capitalism. Where I disagree with him is his analysis that Marxism is the only correct theory of liberation and socialism is the only solution for capitalism. I argue that outside the Eurocentric Western Enlightenment – that produced Marxism – there are other philosophies of liberation possible and necessary (decolonial theory is one of them) and thus Marxism is not the only or even the correct one. I explain this proposition in my critique of his ten theses and in more detail in my book Decolonizing The Mind.[1]

In this critique I make a distinction between classical Marxism with basic concepts such as the labor theory of value, historical materialism, class and class struggle etc., and modern Marxism that still looks at socialism as an ultimate goal, but don’t base their arguments on classical Marxism. One example is Deng Xiao Ping in China who introduced the concept of market socialism which basically discard the labor theory of value whose direct policy implication is a planned economy. Prashad is clearly a classical Marxist.

Thesis One: The End of History

Prashad rightly criticizes the liberal concept of the “end of history” as articulated by Francis Fukuyama. His critique is that capitalism is not the end of history. The concept of the end of history is actually an old concept and was put forward by German philosopher George Hegel (1770-1831) in his notion that Europe is the pinnacle of human history, the end of history, or as Hegel puts it: “the last stage in History, our world, our own time.”[2] History has come to an end with the rise of European modernity. Hegel wrote this in 1830. Since then a lot has changed. He is an important philosopher in the history of Marxist philosophy. Fukuyama repeated this claim more than 150 years later in 1989. Since then a lot has changed. The decline of the Soviet bloc led to “the weakened confidence of millions of people with the clarities of Marxist thought,”[3] says Prashad. My decolonial critique of this thesis is that it uses the same concept of the “end of history” as was articulated in the European Enlightenment, but then it is not capitalism, but socialism, or more exactly, communism, that will be the end of history.

But the idea of the end of history is problematic. It has a unilinear view of world history. History moves from a lower to a higher form of social organization. In Marxism communism is the highest form of social and economic organization based on the concept of mode of production. In my decolonial view history moves like a spider web web and is based on the concept of civilization, not on mode of production.

A civilization is a collection of economic, political, social and cultural institutions in a society with a common cultural base. The common cultural base is a combination of a variety of elements: knowledge production, cosmology, religion. An empire is a political unit that operates from a specific geographical center (a country, an urban center) and controls nations and communities outside that center through an elaborate system of economic, political, social and cultural institutions. Liberalism and Marxism are based on the European Enlightenment. Both are Eurocentric theories of the world that claim to be universal.

In my decolonial view of world history, civilizations develop like a spider web in different directions. The colonial world civilization – in which industrial capitalism was part (not vice versa) – imposed its cultural base on the colonized world, but we are now in a phase that it is losing its power and other civilizations are re-emerging. My critique of Marxism is that it also has a concept of the end of history, and that this whole concept is false.

Thesis Two: The Battle of Ideas

Prashad refers to Fidel Castro’s campaign of the battle of ideas which proclaimed that “people of the left must not cower before the rising tide of neoliberal ideology but must confidently engage with the fact that neoliberalism is incapable of solving the basic dilemmas of humanity… the political forces for socialism must seek to offer an assessment and solutions far more realistic and credible.” Prashad holds that there are two tendencies that continue to create ideological problems in our time:

“Post-Marxism. An idea flourished that Marxism was too focused on ‘grand narratives’ (such as the importance of transcending capitalism for socialism) and that fragmentary stories would be more precise for understanding the world…

Post-colonialism. Sections of the left began to argue that the impact of colonialism was so great that no amount of transformation would be possible, and that the only answer to what could come after colonialism was a return to the past. They treated the past, as the Marxist José Carlos Mariátegui argued in 1928 about the idea of indigenism, as a destination and not as a resource.”

So the battle of ideas is between Marxism and Liberalism on the one hand and between Marxism and these two schools of thought that criticize Marxism. Apparently he does not acknowledge that there is another school of thought that criticizes Marxist theory: decolonial theory. In the theoretical framework of Decolonizing The Mind (DTM) I criticize Marxism and Liberalism for their Eurocentric views on world history, and their economic, social, political and cultural theories. My basic argument is that from a civilizational approach Marxism and Liberalism are not scientific theories, but theories of ethics. Other civilizations had developed ethical theories with concepts of social justice that is not based on the Marxist idea of surplus value, which I regard as an ethical concept, not as a scientific concept.

So what does the battle of ideas mean if we talk about Marxism and decolonization? In my decolonial view there are two dimensions of ideological struggle: a battle of ideas and a dialogue of civilizations. The battle of ideas has to do with how knowledge production has been colonized by the European Enlightenment and the need to battle these ideas by decolonizing the mind. Marxism, as part of the European Enlightenment, has made important contributions to emancipating oppressed people across the world. These people have different civilizational backgrounds. Another part of the ideological struggle is a dialogue between civilizations: how to build a new and just and pluriversal global civilization with ideas from different civilizations.

Thesis Three: A Failure of Imagination

Prashad says that in the period from 1991 to the early 2000s, the broad tradition of national liberation Marxism felt flattened and was unable to answer the doubts sown by post-Marxism and post-colonial theory. Prashad: “Platforms that developed to germinate left forms of internationalism – such as the World Social Forum – seemed to be unwilling to be clear about the intentions of peoples’ movements. The slogan of the World Social Forum, for instance, was ‘another world is possible’, which is a weak statement, since that other world could just as well be defined by fascism.” This is a lack of imagination. But it is a lack of imagination on the part of Prashad to think that there are no valid narratives of envisioning a new and just society outside Marxism and Liberation. I show in my book that these narratives have been there in many civilizational traditions from Islam and Buddhism to Indigenous philosophies in Abya Yala and Africa.

Thesis Four: Return to the Source

Prashad: “It is time to recover and return to the best of the national liberation Marxist tradition. This tradition has its origins in Marxism-Leninism, one that was always widened and deepened by the struggles of hundreds of millions of workers and peasants in the poorer nations.” Marxism has inspired many people, including myself, to become active fighters against imperialism, capitalism and colonialism. I believe that this experience gained more relevance as revolutionaries dared to go beyond the sources and develop new ideas. Che Guevara thought of an alternative for the Leninist vanguard party in the form of the guerilla army. Deng Xiao Ping, in my view one of the greatest decolonial thinkers, managed to dramatically change the face of China and the world by introducing concepts like breaking with mental slavery, developing policies based on facts and not dogmas and using market socialism to eradicate poverty. Hugo Chavez experimented with the concept of socialism of the 12st century. By going beyond the sources they have managed to make contributions that we can now acknowledge as being part of a new philosophies of liberation.

Thesis Five: ‘Slightly Stretched’ Marxism

Prashad: “Marxism entered the anti-colonial struggles not through Marx directly, but more accurately through the important developments that Vladimir Lenin and the Communist International made to the Marxist tradition. When Fanon said that Marxism was ‘slightly stretched’ when it went out of its European context, it was this stretching that he had in mind… The dual task of the revolutionary forces in poorer states that had won independence and instituted left governments was to build the productive forces and to socialise the means of production.” Well this has been done, and the results are not great. Socializing the means of production according to the “Marxist sources” means bringing all the means of production into the hands of the state and setting up a planned economy that does away with the market as an instrument of allocation of goods and services. This policy is based on and is a direct outcome of the Marxist Labor Theory of Value that says that in capitalism the capitalist is the exploiter who extracts surplus value from the worker through the combination of the labor market and the ownership of the means of production. So according to Marxist economic theory the only just economic order is a planned economy. Well, it did not survive the first social revolution in the world and it went down with the dissolution of the Soviet system. In the largest country in the world, China, it underwent a drastic transformation. Capitalists play a crucial role in uplifting the economy and eradicating absolute poverty. In Cuba it survived and was probably even necessary because of the US blockade. With these experiences I think there is a need to rethink rather than to stretch Marxism.

Thesis Six: Dilemmas of Humanity

Prashad argues that neither post-Marxism nor post-colonialism addresses the fact of illiteracy, ecology and other big problems of humanity. Prashad: “The theory of national liberation Marxism, rooted in sovereignty and dignity, however, does address these questions.” I would add: and so does Islamic Liberation theology or Bhuddhist social and economic theory. The idea that a theory of liberation should be an exclusive Marxist theory is basically a Eurocentric idea. It stems from the analysis of the European Enlightenment as the exclusive source of science and social theory.

Thesis Seven: The Rationality of Racism and Patriarchy

Prashad: “It is important to note that, under the conditions of capitalism, the structures of racism and patriarchy remain rational.” He explains that apart from the two forms for the extraction of surplus value that Marx has distinguished (absolute surplus value and relative surplus value) there is a third form: super-exploitation. Prashad: “How are the suppression of wages and the refusal to increase royalty payments for raw material extraction justified? By a colonial argument that, in certain parts of the world, people have lower expectations for life and therefore their social development can be neglected. This colonial argument applies equally to the theft of wages from women who perform care work, which is either unpaid or grossly underpaid on the grounds that it is ‘women’s work’.” Racism is reduced to the justification of the super-exploitation. There is huge difference with our DTM theoretical framework of racism. In our framework racism is not a matter of justification of economic exploitation. It is a matter of civilization. The colonial world civilization has experienced three forms of racism, whereby racism is defined as the collection of economic, social, cultural and political institutions that organizes society along lines of superiority and inferiority. The three forms are related to the authority of knowledge production: theological racism that is related to Christian theology that argued between 1500-1650 that superiority/inferiority is organized along theological lines. Between 1650-1850 we have biological racism where superiority/inferiority is organized along biological lines and is related to the rise of the European Enlightenment philosophy and natural sciences. After 1850 we have cultural racism where superiority/inferiority is organized along cultural lines and is related to the rise of social sciences. This theory of racism is much more elaborated and fundamentally different from the Marxist economistic approach, because it is based on the concept of civilization.

Thesis eight: Rescue Collective Life

Prashad: “The breakdown of social collectivity and the rise of consumerism harden despair, which morphs into various kinds of retreat. Two examples of this are: a) a retreat into family networks that cannot sustain the pressures placed upon them by the withdrawal of social services, the increasing burden of care work on the family, and ever longer commute times and workdays; b) a move towards forms of social toxicity through avenues such as religion or xenophobia. Though these avenues provide opportunities to organise collective life, they are organised not for human advancement, but for the narrowing of social possibility. How does one rescue collective life? Forms of public action rooted in social relief and cultural joy are an essential antidote to this bleakness.” And public action is socialist action: Red Book Day, socialist manifestations etc.

This is a very narrow and Eurocentric view of how to look at collective life. It regards religion as a backward phenomena. The Iranian revolution shows how religion can be a strong anti-imperialist force in the world. By limiting the rescue of social life to socialist culture is really doing a disservice to the millions of people outside the socialist movement who are anti-imperialist and decolonial.

Thesis Nine: The Battle of Emotions

Prashad: “A degraded society under capitalism produces a social life that is suffused with atomisation and alienation, desolation and fear, anger and hate, resentment and failure… Since human experiences are defined by the conditions of material life, ideas of fate will linger on as long as poverty is a feature of human life. If poverty is transcended, then fatalism will have a less secure ideological foundation, but it does not automatically get displaced… It is, after all, through class struggle and through the new social formations created by socialist projects that new cultures will be created – not merely by wishful thinking.” His economistic approach runs into an empirical problem. If ideas of fate will linger on as long as poverty is a feature of human life, then the eradication of poverty will lead to the defeat of ideas of fate. The rise of fascism in Europe and North America is not among the poorest of the population about among white people living an affluent life style! And again, by claiming that only socialism can create new cultures is a Eurocentric denial of the contribution that other civilizations and culture have made to philosophies of liberation. Only look at the African philosophy of Ubuntu that is based on a culture of promotion social life (“I am because we are”). Why should we dismiss these contributions and position socialism as the only way to elevate culture?

Thesis Ten: Dare to Imagine the Future

This thesis goes back to the first thesis of the end of history. Prashad: “One of the enduring myths of the post-Soviet era is that there is no possibility of a post-capitalist future. This myth came to us from within the triumphalist US intellectual class, whose ‘end of history’ sensibility helped to strengthen orthodoxy in such fields as economics and political theory, preventing open discussions about post-capitalism… Certainly, socialism is not going to appear magically. It must be fought for and built, our struggles deepened, our social connections tightened, our cultures enriched. Now is the time for a united front, to bring together the working class and the peasantry as well as allied classes, to increase the confidence of workers, and to clarify our theory. To unite the working class and the peasantry as well as allied classes requires the unity of all left and progressive forces. Our divides in this time of great danger must not be central; our unity is essential. Humanity demands it.”

Earlier I criticized the concept of the end of history in both traditions: the Liberal tradition that sees the end of history in capitalism and the Marxist tradition that sees the end of history in communism. There are more views of world history possible that these two views. For Islamic Liberation Theology, African Ubuntu philosophy or Aymara vision of the relationship between humans and nature a vision for the future goes beyond Liberalism or Marxism. It requires a non-Eurocentric imagination to see this.

I think that moving from classical Marxism to other philosophies of liberation including philosophies that still see socialism as a larger goal would strengthen the anti-imperialist movement as a whole.

[1] Hira, S.: Decolonizing The Mind. A Guide to Decolonial Theory and Practice. Amrit Publishers. The Hague, 2023.

[2] Cited in Hira, S. (2023), p. 476.

[3] Prashad, V. (2022). All his citations are from this source.

Book distribution network

The new book by Sandew Hira on Decolonizing The Mind are distributed by different agents in the different countries. Here is a list of distributors. If you are a bookshop or book distributor who wants to distribute his books in your country, then send an email to Check the update of distributors here.

The Netherlands and Belgium

Any retailer (bookshop, webshop) that is a member of Centraal Boekhuis (CB) – the clearinghouse between publishers and retailers – can order the book via CB. The overwhelming majority of the retailers in these countries are a member of CB. The book is in the catalogue of these retailers in the Netherlands and Belgium, so a consumer can order the books through any retailer.

The United States of America and Canada

Retailers and consumers in the USA and Canada can order the book by:

Eastwind Books of Berkeley
2066 University Ave,
Berkeley, CA 94704

Retailers can mail to:

The link for consumers is here.

United Kingdom

Retailers and consumers in the United Kingdom can order the book by:

IHRC Bookshop
202 Preston Road
Telephone+44 208 904 4222


Join the 2023 Decolonial Summer School in Barcelona (in person) with excellent Decolonial thinkers!!! This year it is going to be held in Barcelona face to face with the faculty.

Date: FROM Monday July 3 to Friday July 7, 2023


Faculty: Ruthie Gilmore, Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Ramón Grosfoguel, Linda Alcoff, Alejandro Vallegas, Roberto Hernández, Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Ashraf Kunnummal and many others.

Website: You can find all of the information here:

Online application form is here:

Book launch Sandew Hira at Genocide Memorial Day in Amsterdam

Finally, after twelve years of hard work, Sandew Hira will present his book titled Decolonizing The Mind – a guide to decolonial theory and practice in Amsterdam on Genocide Memorial Day on January 15, 2023.

His book is about the rise of the colonial world civilization based on genocide. Genocide Memorial Day (GMD) is a day dedicated to commemorating man’s inhumanity to man. It takes place every year on the third Sunday of January and is initiated by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, a founding member of the Decolonial International Network Foundation.

The theme of the book’s presentation is: Let’s start decolonizing our mind. In an interactive session with the audience, the mechanisms to colonize the mind are discussed. It also looks at the ways in which these mechanisms can be combated in social struggles, how decolonizing the mind influences the strategy of social struggle and how it influences the issues of solidarity.

More information about the book (table of contents and introductory chapter) can be found at:

Date: Sunday 15 January, start at 2 p.m., doors open at 1 p.m.

Location: Theater Ru Paré, Chris Lebeaustraat 4, 1062 DC Amsterdam

Entrance: €10.


The book Decolonizing The Mind costs € 35, but is available on that day for € 25. The author will be present to sign.

Another view from Iran

Aralez, a pan-decolonial network in the Netherlands and an official partner of DIN, has organized a decolonial learning session on the situation in Iran with Setareh Sadeqi. Sadeqi is Iranian based activist who lives in the city of Esfahan. She’s a Ph.D. and an independent researcher. She works as translator and a teacher. Setareh studied the US Civil Rights Movement and propaganda analysis as part of her Ph.D.

Click here for the online session. Sadeqi has a podcast with many interesting interviews and analysis of the situation in Iran from an anti-imperialist point of view. Click here for the podcasts.