And from the beginning, Afrikan plunder has enriched non-Afrikans. Alexander’s conquest of Kemet reduced the Kemeyu to virtual serfdom. The conquest, however, was not simply physical. As Greek armies pillaged the various Kemetic temples and Houses of Life, Greek scholars proceeded to plagiarize Kemet’s encyclopedic knowledge, subsequently laying claim to the Afrikan intellectual heritage. In North Afrika, after defeating Carthage in the second Punic War, Rome maliciously fought a third war for no other reason than to annihilate Carthage. Rome’s impact went beyond destroying human life but had ecological consequences as area wildlife was wantonly captured and killed for Roman circus amusement. Rome would soon seize Kemet from the Greeks and use it as her breadbasket, discriminating against and exploiting the labor of its people. After the demise of Rome, Western Asian imperialism would return, this time as Arab expansionism under the banner of Islam. And this time penetration of the continent would be deeper and its ramifications more damaging.
While Islam and Arab imperialism made steady inroads on the continent, Europeans would return via the sea to exploit the human and natural resources of Afrika again. Trade, sparked by the Crusades, grew tremendously in Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries. Two factors led to this exponential growth in trade: the discovery of the Americas and the rise of the European Slave Trade. The ensuing enslavement and its subsequent genocide of the indigenous people of “America” made Europeans look to Afrika for cheap labor. Its proximity to Europe and its skilled agriculturalists made Afrika an excellent choice. Afrikan Caribbean scholars Eric Williams and Walter Rodney respectively have argued that slavery and the slave trade helped to develop the European capitalist economy and that slaving activities disrupted and contributed to the underdevelopment of Afrikan societies. Clearly, the transatlantic trade devastated Afrikan societies. It depopulated the continent, abducting the young and consequently disrupting Afrikan cultural continuity. Afrikan economies became intertwined and ultimately subordinate to the European mercantile system. Slaving created a chaotic environment that exasperated internal tensions and wars between Afrikan peoples. As the West’s slaving activities reached a pinnacle, the capital it produced engendered the Industrial Revolution, which served as the catalyst for the new imperialism that further ravaged an already devastated continent. In this new era of exploitation, Europeans sought raw materials and markets for her industrial/machine-made goods. Belgium led the way under King Leopold II who ravaged the Congo killing over ten million Afrikans and maiming millions more as he exploited her resources mercilessly. France, the United Kingdom, and other European nations met to decide how best to despoil the continent without causing too much conflict among themselves. Since the Berlin Conference of 1884- 1885 until today Afrikan economies and politics have been manipulated and controlled by Europeans.
Western power is predicated on wantonly exploiting the human and mineral resources of weaker nations. As for mineral resources, Afrika lists as the richest continent on the planet. Keeping the nations of Afrika destabilized and underdeveloped remains advantageous for western powers. This simply facilitates Afrika’s pillaging. The West maintains an unspoken foreign policy toward Afrika — Destabilization. John Perkins in his Confessions of an Economic Hit Man illustrates this policy. Although his ideas focus on United States policy, the attitude and behavior are indicative of the historical relationship between the West and the rest of us. Perkins explains that the U.S. has three lines of offense. First, the U.S. sends in economic hit men. These individuals attempt to bribe foreign governments and leadership by seducing them financially to obtain business concessions. The usual entrapment consists of huge loans that due to severe interest repayment rates the nation defaults upon, at which point concessions are forced. If this method fails, the CIA then uses what Perkins calls “jackals” who concoct and orchestrate coups or assassination plots. If the jackals are unsuccessful, the United States (or its western allies) creates a pretense for military intervention. In truth, after a careful review of Western historical behavior toward Afrika (and her people), one would have to conclude that destabilization has always been the only foreign policy the West has had toward Afrika.
Our present world situation looks quite paradoxical. We have withstood enslavement and colonialism only to now in “freedom” reach a point where our demise is conceivable. This challenge dictates that we act now! Marcus Garvey’s visionary eloquence does provide us a poignant rallying invocation. He fittingly declared, “Our success, educationally, industrially and politically is based upon the protection of a nation founded by ourselves. And the nation can be nowhere else but in Africa.” In our case, a United States of Afrika will be born through Pan-Afrikanism and will be successful if based on the Afrikan worldview. We place ourselves at the center of this world. “Up, you mighty race, accomplish what you will."