Category Archives: News

Ramon Grosfoguel: 8 Theses on USA Imperialism and Anti-Imperialist Struggles in the 21st Century

by Ramón Grosfoguel

[As a continuation of the monthly conference “Ciclo Internacional: Nuestra America en los
Planes del Imperialismo” (“International Colloquium: Our America in the Plans of US
Imperialism), in the event “Una Mirada desde América del Norte” (A Gaze from North America)
celebrated on August 25th, 2020, by the Caracas Movement of Social Scientists “Simon Bolivar,”
we share the lecture delivered by Ramon Grosfoguel entitled “8 Theses on USA Imperialism and
Anti-Imperialist Struggles in the 21st Century.”]
Thesis 1: The cycle of American hegemony in the world-system has entered into a terminal
crisis. The American hegemony that began shortly after WWII in 1945, has come to an end in
2020. The new center of the capitalist world-economy has shifted towards China. With the
highest death toll in the world and the more than 50 million people having lost their jobs over the
last 12 weeks, the United States of America remains the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic as
well as the epicenter of a Global Great Depression of global capitalism.
Thesis 2: In the long run, the decline of U.S. empire is good news for the world at large, but in
the short run bad news for Latin America. After losing the wars in the Middle East, and after
having lost the trade war with China in Africa and Asia, the U.S. empire has retreated to the only
zone that remains, its historical periphery: Latin America and the Caribbean. This means that as
the fall of empire accelerates, U.S. foreign policy in our region will be more hawkish and more
aggressive. The empire seeks to monopolize the markets and natural resources of the region and
it looks to recuperate the countries it has lost to preserve and hold onto its imperial status in the
world; hence the wave of soft and hard coups d’etats of the last decade, the last ones being
against the government of Evo Morales in Bolivia last November, and the 4th Generation War
against Venezuela.
Thesis 3: Over the course of the next few months, Venezuela will experience great tension. The
Trump administration is coming up against an election in which it fears losing. In the midst of
the presidential election, the administration, in an act of desperation, is using Colombia, with its
neocolonial, narcopolitical, and parapolitical puppet government and neighboring neocolonial
governments to escalate tensions and if possible manufacture a conflict that will divert attention
away from domestic issues. This has always been a classic move on the part of US empire:
diverting the discussion of its internal problems through warlike adventures abroad. If in the
Middle East they deployed the rhetoric of “Islamic terrorism” to justify their imperialist statesanctioned
terror to destroy countries and murder millions of human beings, in Latin America
they use the rhetoric of “narco-trafficking.” We have already witnessed their use of “fake news”
to invent a cartel (the “Los Soles Cartel”) and accused President Maduro along with other
members of the Bolivarian government of heading the cartel. Using this false accusation, the
USA emited a warrant calling for the arrest of the Bolivarian leadership in Venezuela. This is all
a pretext for global public opinion, but above all, for public opinion consumption inside the
empire. Thus, the war of information becomes fundamental and we must brace ourselves for the
worse so that we are met with no surprises.
Thesis 4: The Empire is torn between two versions of white supremacy: (1) the version of
apartheid with an open and blatant racism represented by Donald Trump and the terrorist white
supremacist militias that follow him and (2) the version of a new form of liberal multicultural
apartheid currently headed by Joe Biden. The multicultural liberal apartheid version of the
Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations seeks to put a multicultural and multiracial face on
white supremacy so that nothing changes.
Thesis 5: These two versions of white supremacy constitute the two different responses to the
fact that White Americans will soon become a demographic minority within the next two
decades.
Latinxs are the fastest growing population. The response on the part of Trump’s version
of classic apartheid is to put up a wall on the southern border to stop the Latinx demographic
growth. The liberal multicultural response is to give the empire a multiracial face by integrating
elites from racialized groups into the administration while the white racial state and the white
capitalist elites continue to rule over and further impoverish and exploit the Black and Latinx
populations which the integrated elites claim to now represent. This is why we now have Black
and Latinx political elites, a former Black President and today a female Black vice-presidential
candidate with no significant change in terms of race relations, capitalism, or imperialism in the
United States. What is important to note here is that these two versions of American White
Supremacy are simply two sides of the same coin. The differences are secondary and relate to the
domestic politics of empire. As for the imperialist foreign policy there is no difference. For this
reason we should have no illusions about any American president: be it Donald Trump’s version
of classic apartheid or Joe Biden’s version of liberal multicultural neo-apartheid. In its decline,
the empire’s aggressive policy toward Latin America will intensify, above all against Venezuela,
regardless of who wins the presidential elections. As long as the WHITE house continues to be
WHITE, it matters little who occupies the presidency. The state will remain a white supremacist,
imperialist, and racial capitalist institution.
Thesis 6: The demographic growth of non-white people is slated to be a majority inside the
empire in the next 15 to 20 years and has the potential to strengthen anti-imperialist struggles
within empire and move towards a decolonization that can put an end to the imperialist barbarity
of the U.S. racial capitalist state, in hopes of transforming the country into a civilized member of
the international community that behaves itself in solidarity, peace, and equality with the rest of
the peoples of the world. These struggles have been rendered essentially invisible outside of the
United States as a result of a media blackout. But regardless, these anti-imperialist movements
exist inside the empire and contain a lot of strategic potential. Let us remember that the war in
Vietnam was won not only through the heroic struggles of Vietnamese people but also by the
mass anti-war mobilizations that occurred inside the empire. The empire will only fall as a result
of the efforts made by anti-imperialist struggles within its borders joined together by efforts of
anti-imperialist struggles abroad.
Thesis 7: Facing the 21st Century, we cannot conceive of anti-imperialist struggles without
coordination with anti-imperialist struggles inside of the US empire. In the 21st century, the
empire is torn between white supremacy in either of its two versions and the struggle for the
decolonization of the empire from within. The Latinx population along with other groups inside
empire, such as Black people, Indigenous people, and migrants are strategic. Demographic
changes open up a decolonial potential. This is not automatic as we have seen with the Obama
Presidency, where imperialism and the racial state did not change. It is about organizing a
political project towards the decolonization of empire from within, and in solidarity with other
peoples, build an anti-imperialist movement that will bring an end to the empire.
Thesis 8: In the same way that a 21st century anti-imperialism cannot be conceived of without
the coordination with anti-imperialist struggles within the empire, neither can we conceive of a
21st century anti-imperialism without epistemic diversity. We have to think of an antiimperialism
that does not have a singular epistemology or worldview as its starting point. The
anti-imperialism of the 21st century must be epistemically and spiritually pluriversal, that is, a
universal that is diverse and plural. The anti-imperialist’s principles of unity must be peace,
solidarity and the people’s right to self-determination, while respecting different spiritualities and
epistemic diversity. And it must have as a central theme the defense of LIFE, because the
imperialist system with its ecological destruction of the planet is only leading us towards death.

C.K. Raju and Decolonizing mathematics

Can you decolonize 1+1=2? Yes you can. Indian mathematician C.K. Raju has done path breaking work on decolonizing mathematics. Raju has produced numerous books, articles and videos on this topics.

He asks the question: Math and science are believed to be universal, so is there anything to decolonise in math and science education?” He answers: “Indeed there is. The wrong belief that math and science are universal but developed mainly in the West played a key role in colonisation.”

What is the main difference between Eurocentric mathematics and decolonial mathematics. Raju: “Empirical proof is rejected by Western mathematics on the grounds that empirical proof is fallible. Our senses might mislead us. To use a classical example from Indian philosophy: I might mistake a rope for a snake or a snake for a rope.”

Eurocentric mathematics has build a system based on axioms, while decolonial mathematics goes back to mathematics as was developed in other civilization and based on empirical evidence.

Go to the website of raju to learn more about decolonial mathematics: http://www.ckraju.net/

Letter in Support of Mamadou Ba and political antiracism in Portugal

In the last weeks, political tensions in Portugal have arisen following public demonstrations of extreme right organizations that have also threatened anti-racist activists. On August 11, black antiracist activist Mamadou Ba and other nine persons (antiracist, antifascist and LGBT rights activists, MPs and trade union leaders) received an e-mail sent by a neo-Nazi movement that threatened them and their families if they did not leave the country in the next 48 hours. In July the headquarters of the movement SOS Racismo in Lisbon was vandalized – “War against the enemies of my land” was written on the facade – and in August, three days before the aforementioned e-mail was sent, several neo-Nazis gathered in protest in front of the building, performing a KKK-marching-style with torches and white masks.

Many activists and academics across the world have signed a letter in support of Mamadou Ba and antiracists organizations in Portugal. This is the letter.

Letter in support of Mamadou Ba and political antiracism in Portugal

The denial of structural racism is the rule in Europe, and Portugal is not an exception. Portuguese institutions and civil society have not come to terms with the history and legacies of colonialism and racial enslavement. Complaints of racial discrimination and racist crimes are rarely prosecuted, and the number of condemnations is very low. The strengthening of antiracist organizations and, in particular, of the black movement, has unsettled mainstream political approaches towards institutionalized racism, racist violence and racial harassment for the last five years.

In this context, the countering of the critique and public denunciation of police brutality and extreme right discourses made by antiracist activists has escalated in the last months. On August 11, black antiracist activist Mamadou Ba and other nine persons (antiracist, antifascist and LGBT rights activists, MPs and trade union leaders) received an e-mail sent by the neo-Nazi movement designated as Nova Ordem de AvisNational Resistance that threatened them and their families if they did not leave the country in the next 48 hours. In July the headquarters of the movement SOS Racismo in Lisbon was vandalized – “War against the enemies of my land” (“Guerra aos inimigos da minha terra”) was written on the facade – and in August, three days before the aforementioned e-mail was sent, several neo-Nazis gathered in protest in front of the building, performing a KKK-marching-style with torches and white masks.

Mamadou Ba has been a militant of immigrant associations and member of SOS Racismo Portugal since the end of the 1990s. He has received threats from extreme right and neo-Nazi organizations since 2012 and has been in the spotlight since January 2019 after he made a public comment in social networks about police brutality and the reaction of certain left-wing militants to the public protest carried out mostly by young black people from the periphery in Lisbon against police violence, after a video of police officers beating the members of a black family went viral in social media. Ba referred to the police as “the fucking cops” (“a bosta da bofia”) and in the following weeks, members of extreme right organizations stalked and harassed him on the street. Two police unions (Associação Sindical dos Profissionais da Polícia and Sindicato Vertical de Carreiras da Polícia) filed criminal complaints against Mamadou Ba, charging him of defamation.

There has been a normalization of extreme right discourses in parliamentary debates and the media in Portugal; for instance, some members of neo-Nazi organizations have been invited to participate on tv programs. Hate speech and harassment in social networks against black antiracist activists have become commonplace. Some police union leaders are also members of Chega!, an extreme right political party with one elected MP, André Ventura, since the national elections held in October 2019.  Ventura was a former member of the PSD (Social Democratic Party), a liberal-conservative political party. The election of three black women with different political trajectories, but engaged with the antiracist struggle has made structural racism more explicit in the country.

In the last months, Ventura has organized two demonstrations in Lisbon (June 22; August 2) under the political banner of anti-antiracist politics and support for police forces – “Portugal is not a racist country” (“Portugal não é racista”) has been the political slogan. Ventura has recently commented on the murder of black actor Bruno Candé, of Guinean origin, saying that in Portugal “racism has become an excuse for everything” and stated that “minorities have rights, but also duties”. Candé was shot in broad day light in Lisbon by Evaristo Marinho, a veteran of the so called “Colonial War” against the National Liberation Movements in the African contexts colonized by the Portuguese Empire-State. Witnesses stated that the alleged murderer used racist slurs and threatened Candé days before the murder, as well as on the day he shot him, making comments about his participation in the war.

We want to express our support of Mamadou Ba and his family, and our solidarity with the black movement in Portugal.

We support the protests and collective mobilization happening in Portugal by the antiracist movements and organizations.

We join their call against silence and denial.

We join their call for accountability and concrete change to transform the reality of structural racism and its manifestation in police brutality, racist violence and racial harassment in Portugal.

 

Abel Djassi, Simmons University, USA

Achille Mbembe, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa/Duke University, USA.

Aderivaldo Ramos de Santana, Université Bordeaux-Montaigne, France

Alexandre Rocha da Silva, Instituto Esporte & Educação, Brasil

Álvaro Pereira do Nascimento, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ), Brasil

Alyosha Goldstein, University of New Mexico, USA

Amal Bentounsi, Urgence notre police assassin, France

Amanj Aziz, Nyans:Muslim, Sweden

Amber Kelsie, Wake Forest University, USA

Amílcar Packer, Oficina de Imaginação Política, Brasil

Amílcar Pereira, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brasil

Amzat Boukari-Yabara, Ligue Panafricaine – UMOJA

Ana Flávia Magalhães Pinto, Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Brasil

Ana Lúcia Araújo, Howard University, USA

Anderson Ribeiro Oliva, Núcleo de Estudos Afro-Brasileiros-Universidade de Brasília (Neab-UnB), Brasil

André de Godoy Bueno, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Brasil

Anna Klobucka, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, USA

Atef S. Said, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

Babacar Faye, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Sénégal

Bado Ndoye, Université Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar, Sénégal

Bárbara Oliveira, Irmandade Pretas Candangas, Brasil

Cayetano Fernández, Kale Amenge – Roma anti-racist movement

César Augusto Baldi, funcionário público federal, Brasil

Cornel West, Harvard University, USA

Daniel Mandur Thomaz, King’s College London, UK

Deborah Santos, NEAB-Universidade de Brasília, Brasil

Delphine Abadie, chercheure associée au LLCP, Université Paris 8, France

Dr. Hilla Dayan, Amsterdam University College, The Netherlands

Dr. Noa K. Ha, Das Deutsche Zentrum für Integrations- und Migrationsforschung (DeZIM), Deutschland

Dr. Ylva Habel, Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden

Edinelia Souza, Universidade do Estado da Bahia (UNEB), Brasil

Elsa Roland, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgique

Emanuelle Santos, Universidade de Birmingham, UK

Euza Raquel de Sousa, Instituto Federal Rio Grande do Norte, Brasil

Evelyn Melo Silva, Advogada brasileira, Brasil

Fabiano Silva dos Santos, advogado, professor universitário UNIP, Brasil

Fatima El-Tayeb, Professor – University of California, USA

Felwine Sarr, Duke University, USA

Fernanda N. Crespo, GEPEAR, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brasil

Flávio Gomes, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brasil

Franck Ribard, Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC), Brasil

Françoise Vergès, Politologue, féministe décoloniale, colletiff Décoloniser les arts, France

Fred Moten, New York University (NYU), USA

Gabrielle Oliveira de Abreu, Movimento Mulheres Negras Decidem, Brasil

Georges Franco, artiste peintre, France

Giovanni Picker, University of Glasgow, UK

Gisele Cittadino, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Brasil

Gustave Massiah, Centre International de Culture Populaire CEDETIM, France

Houria Bouteldja, Parti des Indigènes de la République (PIR), France

Ibtissem Benarabe, Parti des Indigènes de la République (PIR), France

Ines Cordeiro Dias, Assistant Professor, Spelman College, USA

Iva Maria Cabral, Fundação Amílcar Cabral, Cabo Verde

Janete Santos Ribeiro, Escola Técnica Estadual Adolpho Bloch (FAETEC/ETEAB) & Núcleo de Estudos Afro-brasileiros-Sankofa, Brasil

Jeferson De, Buda filmes, Brasil

João Gabriel, Ligue Panafricaine-Umoja

José Augusto Rodrigues Jr. Advogado, Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil, São Paulo, Brasil

Jovita Pinto, Bla*Sh – Black Feminist Network, Switzerland

Juliana Souza, Grupo Prerrogativas, Brasil

Laura Harris, New York University (NYU)

Lourival dos Santos, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS), Brasil

Luciana Boiteux, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Luciene Lacerda, Instituto Búzios, Fórum de Mulheres Negras Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Lucilene Reginaldo, Professora da Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Brasil

Luis Carlos Moro, American Association of Jurists, USA

Luk Vervaet, Prisons and solitary confinement in Europe (supermax.be), Belgique

Maboula Soumahoro, Black History Month, France

Malick Gueye, Sindicato Manteros de Madrid, España

Mallé Kassé, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Daka (UCAD), Sénégal

Marcelo Marques de Almeida Filho, Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Brasil

Marcus Camara, Utah State University, USA

Marcus Vinicius de Oliveira, Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Brasil

Maria Paula Fernandes Adinolfi, Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional (IPHAN), Brasil

Mariana Wiecko Volkmer de Castilho, Universidade de Brasília, Brasil

Marie-Noëlle Ryan, Université de Moncton, Canada

Mark JL Sabine, School of Cultures, Languages & Area Studies, University of Nottingham, UK

Maurício Brasil, Associação Juízes para a Democracia e Associação Brasileira de Juristas pela Democracia (ABJD), Brasil

Mayara Souza, Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Brasil

Miguel de Barros, Centro de Estudos Sociais Amílcar Cabral, Guiné Bissau

Moha Gerehou, elDiario.es, España

Mouhad Reghif, Bruxelles Panthères, Belgique

Nacira GUÉNIF, University Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis, France

Natália Barbosa, GEPEAR/Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Natalia Gavazzo, CONICET- Universidad Nacional de San Martín (UNSAM), Argentina

Natasa Petresin-Bachelez, interdependent curator, France/Slovenia

Nengumbi Sukama, Instituto Argentino para la Igualdad, Diversidad e Integración (IARPIDI), Argentina

Nicholas Mirzoeff, New York University (NYU), USA

Nicholas Smith, Södertörn University, Sweden

Nordine Saidi, militant Décolonial et membre de Bruxelles Panthères, Belgique

Paola Bacchetta, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Patricia Schor, Amsterdam University College and Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Pedro Schacht Pereira, The Ohio State University, USA

Piedade Lino Videira, NEAB-Universidade Federal do Amapá, Brasil

Priscilla Marques Campos, GEPEAR-Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro/UNIFESP, Brasil

Prof. Paul Goodwin, TrAIN, University of the Arts London, UK

Renísia Cristina Garcia Filice, Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Brasil

Rokhaya Diallo, journaliste et réalisatrice, France

Roland DOR, Ligue Panafricaine – Umoja (LP-U)

Rosa Pires, PhD student in Sociology, Université du Québec à Montreal, Canada

Sama Abdoulaye, Ligue Panafricaine (LP-U)

Sâmia Bomfim, líder do Partido Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOL) na Câmara, Brasil

Sara Martins, Golsmiths College, UK

Sarah Babiker, periodista de El Salto, España

Sarah Shamash, Emily Carr University, Canada

Sebijan Fejzula, Kale Amenge – Roma anti-racist movement

Sílvio Almeida, advogado, professor e Presidente do Instituto Luiz Gama, Brasil

Sónia Vaz Borges, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany

Soraya El Kahlaoui, Ghent University, Belgique

Stefan Kipfer, York University, Toronto, Canada

Sueli Carneiro – Coordenadora Executiva do Geledés Instituto da Mulher Negra – São Paulo, Brasil

Suzana Lopes Salgado Ribeiro, Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil

Tânia Mara Pereira Vasconcelos, Universidade do Estado da Bahia (UNEB), Brasil

Thayara Cristine Silva de Lima, GEPEAR-Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brasil

Thula Pires, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) & Movimento de Mulheres Negras no Brasil, Brasil

Ugo Palheta, Université de Lille, France

Vânia Gala, Kingston University, UK

Yannick Nagau, Ligue Panafricaine Umoja (LP-U)

Youssef M. Ouled, Periodista y activista antirracista, España

Yuderkys Espinosa, Grupo Latinoamericano de Estudio, Formación y Acción Feminista (GLEFAS), República Dominicana

Yuri Madalosso, Universidade Estadual de Londrina (UEL), Brasil

 

Collectives and Organizations

Afroindigenas LGBT

Bruxelles Panthères, Belgique

Coletivo Antirracista Acotirene, Brasil

Coletivo Marginal (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Coletivo Nuvem Negra, Brasil

Collectif de Défense des jeunes du Mantois, France

Comité de Vigilance pour la Démocratie en Tunisie, Belgique

Conselho Municipal de Promoção da Igualdade Racial de Guarulhos, Brasil

DefarAskan, Sénégal)

Decolonial International Network (DIN Foundation)

Front Démocratique (FD)

Grupo de Estudos e Pesquisa em Políticas, Ensino de História, Raça e Gênero (GEPPHERG) –

Universidade de Brasília, Brasil

Grupo Prerrogativas, Brasil

International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD) – Team Spain, España

Instituto Cigano do Brasil (ICB), Brasil

Instituto de Defesa da População Negra, Brasil

Instituto Luiz Gama, Brasil

Islamophobia Studies Center, University of California – Berkeley, USA

Ligue Panafricaine Umoja (LP-U)

Mulheres Negras Decidem, Brasil

Parti des Indigènes de la République (PIR), France

Rede Antirracista Quilombação, Brasil

Sindicato Manteros de Madrid, España

Transnational Decolonial QTPOC (Queer & Trans People of Color)

Uneafro Brasil, Brasil

Decolonial Dialogues in Mexico

In the midst of the pandemic, the Decolonial Thought Community, decided to continue with its activities online, we decided to focus on three main points.

  1. Discussing central points of the decolonial question.
  2. To establish links that will lead to the strengthening of networks and joint actions among those committed to the decolonial question.
  3. To have an overview of the state of decolonial action and research.

To this end, we decided to organize, over a period of 3 months, 7 online dialogue tables, on the following dates:

Saturday, August 1st: Expressions of resistance and decolonial processes (Spanish)

Saturday 15th August: Decolonial Feminisms. (Spanish)

Saturday, September 5th: Epistemology and decolonial pedagogies. (Spanish)

Saturday 19th September: Decolonization of social sciences. (Spanish)

Saturday 3rd October: The struggles of the Global South and North: Relationship. (English)

Saturday October 17th: Racism and Islamophobia (English)

Friday 30th October: Racism and community movements. (Portuguese)

Tables 5 and 6 will be organized by our partners of the Decolonial International Network.

We invite all interested parties to join and participate. For more information write to: deco.ipost@gmail.com

Sincerely,

Decolonial Thought Community

Analysis of systemic racism

Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), a founding member of the Decolonial International Network is producing educational video’s in the times of corona. On June 6th 2020 Ramon Grosfoguel, Mohammad Marandi and Imam Dawud Walid engaged in a common analysis of systemic racism. The conversation was organized in cooperation with 5pillars and Ahlubayt Mission.

The presentation and discussion can be followed on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpIcKFO3b_E&t=43s

Fly the flag: don’t forget Palestine

Islamic Human Rights Commission, a founding member of the Decolonial International Network based in London, has taken the initiative to express solidarity with the Palestinian people in the times of Covid-19.

The aim of this initiative is to create a space of solidarity in the times of Covid-19 that acknowledge the fact that Palestinians have been quarantined for decades by brute military force, while the rest of world experience being quarantined for health reasons.

DIN supports this initiative and calls upon people across the world to join this sea of solidarity.

The essence of the initiative is to express a message of solidarity with the Palestinian people. The expression can take any form you wish:

  1. You can use your social media account to convey your message of solidarity. You can use the official flag of Palestine. You can download it here. You let your friends know that you have not forgotten the suffering of the Palestinian people and ask them to join you in this effort in your own language. You can add the flag to your social media profiles
  2. You can use any means of messaging: a text, a visual (image, video), a song, a poem etc.
  3. You can print the flag and out it where people can see and join. Take a photo and twee it to @ihrc #FlyTheFlag #AlQudsDay2020 or send us an email: info@ihrc.org.
  4. If you are part of an organization, ask your organization to sign the call by IHRC.

A large part of the Palestinian population are Muslims. This year Ramadan falls between April 23rd and May 22nd. Every year on May 15 Palestians commemorated the Nakba their holocaust.

This year we call upon people to express their solidarity messages in during Ramadan

Be creative in times of Corona and show your solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine.

See an example of the message of DIN-coordinator Sandew Hira.

A Decolonial International?

What is the ultimate aim of social movements?

The classical answer for social movements to this question was articulated long time ago in de socialist movement. Mankind is heading towards the abolishment of capitalism, the foundation of a socialist society with collectivization of the means of production, the establishment of a planned economy, a political system based on workers and peasant councils, a cultural system based on scientific knowledge, the abolition of non-scientific thinking (religion) and a working class culture, and international system of sister- and brotherhood in which the nation-state is replaced by a socialist international.

The socialist movement provided the instrument to achieve this society: a scientific theory (Marxism-Leninism) and the concept of a vanguard party: a party of full time revolutionaries that is rooted in the working class (trade unions) and other mass organizations (youth, women, peasants). The party has two central tasks. First is cadre formation of the revolutionaries to prepare them for the second task: taking over state power in a revolution, destroying the capitalist state and start building the new socialist society. Cadre formation took place on an international level during the era of the Communist International, where revolutionaries were trained to establish and support Leninist vanguard parties in different parts of the world.

The Marxist theory teaches us capitalism is a system that is characterized by periodic economic, political and social crisis. The party should be ready to lead the masses during such a crisis to a revolutionary situation in which they can take state power. The essence of cadre formation to train revolutionary cadres for this task.

The Marxist movement was not able to fulfill this promise. The decolonial movement came to the fore because of the failure of Liberalism and Marxist as theories of liberation of mankind. Many social movements have arisen that go beyond both paradigms.

The international experience

The socialist movement has a tradition of international organization. In 1864 First International – the International Workingsmen Association – was founded. It lasted for 12 years. Thirteen years later, in 1889, the Second International was established as an association of socialist parties. It was dissolved in 1916 due to differences on the First World War. After the Russian revolution of 1917 the communist parties formed the Third International in 1919 that lasted until 1943. There have been many more attempts ate international coordination and cooperation between socialist movement.

Outside the socialist movement there were also attempt to form international organizations and networks. In the African Diaspora the first conference on Pan-Africanism was organized in London in 1900. There were followed by several other conferences. The Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League founded by Marcus Garvey had a mass following of about a million members across the world. In the Islamic World pan-islamist movements have united religious communities across Sunni and Shia lines in different parts of the world.

All these movements have a long history of political thought and analysis for hundreds of years. The decolonial movement is very young. After the demise of the Soviet Union we see movements with the banner of decolonial thought that go back to different philosophies in the world: the indigenous thought in Latin America, the black thinkers from the Caribbean, Brazil, USA and Africa with notion of the colonized mind and Islamic scholars who develop the idea of Islamic Liberation Theology are some examples of how social movement develop theories of liberation. In the academia this is reflected in discussion on decolonizing the educational system. There are two major characteristics of this movement. Historically speaking it is very young. And theoretically speaking it is very diverse and not as coherent as the Marxist philosophy of liberation.

Yet, modern technology has made possible the establishment of international networks (formal and informal).

A decolonial international?

DIN is one of the many networks that is dedicated to developing decolonial theory and practice. Our contribution is modest, but consistent.

We define the goal of DIN as a long term project: The Decolonial Internationl Network aims to bring about a transformation of the current colonial world civilization into a new world civilization that is based on a pluriversal concept of civilization. A pluriversal concept of civilization means the acknowledgement that there are more than one legitimate way to set up social, economic, political and cultural institutions as the foundation of society. The West claims that there is only one valid system based on the European Enlightenment. Its social system is based on individuals. Its economic system on capitalism. Its political system on the parliamentary democracy and its cultural system on positivist science. Outside the West there is a wide variety of experiences and ideas that challenges this universalism. The decolonial movement develops a decolonial theory and practice that is based on pluriversalism. One important element in the constitution and maintenance of Western supremacy is the colonization of the mind. DIN promotes the decolonization of the mind.

After years of informal meetings we have established a formal entity: the DIN Foundation.

The DIN foundation was founded on December 3, 2018 as a non-profit foundation in Holland with the following board members:

  1. President: Ramon Grosfoguel
  2. Secretary: Sandew Hira
  3. Financial secretary: Massoud Shadjareh
  4. Member: Arzu Merali

The aim of the foundation is NOT to guide the decolonial movement, but to facilitate individuals and organizations who develop decolonial theory and practice to engage in constructive dialogue and cooperation.

We have set up this website and publish a monthly newsletter. We develop an international database of individuals activists and academics and organizations who devote their time and energy on decolonial theory and practice.

We are setting up an international cadre school where people can share theoretical ideas and practical experiences. The first cadre school will be held in May in Amsterdam. The foundation is dedicated to develop a social and technical infrastructure to promote international cooperation between academics, activists and decolonial organizations.

These are first steps in a long process that eventually might lead to a Decolonial Internation. We don’t know how it will look like, but we wille certainly take into account the experience of other philosophies of liberation that promoted the idea of an international movement for liberation.

We have a long road ahead, but as Chinese philosopher Lau Tzu said: a journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step.

 

Sandew Hira, The Hague, 3-3-2020

 

Guillermo Barreto: analysis of the situation in Venezuela

Guillermo Barreto gave an excellent analysis of the situation in Venezuela in the context of how an economic boycott has led to the death of 40.000 people. Barreto is director of International Centre for the Study of Decolonization in Venezuela and former Vice-minister of Science and Technology in the Ministry of Popular Power for University Education, Science and Technology.

His presentation followed by discussion is now on video. See: https://www.handsoffvenezuela.nl/index.php/2020/02/02/genocide-memorial-day-2020-amsterdam-thema-venezuela-economic-boycott-video/. Many thanks to George Jansenz for all the work.