As Lenin pointed out that Imperialism was just the last gasp of capitalism looking for somewhere to make profits. So, we did away with that, all those colonies, because capitalism is a bad thing. Independence swept, as a changing wind, across much of the world.
Congolese people have been brutalised since 1996. Why isn’t the west helping?
Belgium left. You’re independent, that means you get to do the stuff you want. And, equally, it means that the problems are yours to deal with.
However, I cannot shake the feeling that nothing will change, that the Congolese people have been abandoned. The death and destruction we have suffered – the more than 5.4 million killed between 1998 and 2008 – half of whom were children under 5, the wholesale wasting of villages, towns and communities, the relentless use of rape and machetes and axes in Beni and elsewhere in DRC seem not to matter.
But this is not a humanitarian appeal: it is a call for solidarity and compassion. I believe what is happening in Beni in eastern DRC is genocidal – and the UK, US and EU stance on the impunity fuelling these killings is shameful. Even complicit.
The demand here is all rather Kipling, isn’t it?
Take up the White Man’s burden—
The savage wars of peace—
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.
Does it stop being colonialism when it’s well meant intervention? Non-capitalist? Are we really that far down the rathole of believing Lenin?