For unto every one that hath shall be given and he shall have abun dance but

For unto every one that hath shall be given and he

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For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abun- dance; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. (St. Matthew, xxv, 29) The story of the “hath nots” is the story of the modern underdeveloped countries. Presumably, the only comment which one can make on that is “Amen.” The interpretation that underdevelopment is somehow ordained by God is emphasized because of the racist trend in European scholarship. It is in line with racist prejudice to say openly or to imply that their countries are more developed because their people are innately superior, and that the responsibility for the economic backwardness of Africa lies in the generic backwardness of the race of black Africans. An even bigger problem is that the people of Africa and other parts of the colonized world have gone through a cultural and psychological crisis and have accepted, at least partially, the European version of things. That means that the African himself has doubts about his capacity to transform and develop his natural environment. With such doubts, he even challenges those of his brothers who say that Africa can and will develop through the efforts of its own people. If we can determine when underdevelopment came about, it would dismiss the lingering suspicion that it is racially or otherwise predetermined and that we can do little about it When the “experts” from capitalist countries do not give a racist ex- planation, they nevertheless confuse the issue by giving as causes of under- development the things which really are consequences. For example, they would argue that Africa is in a state of backwardness as a result of lacking skilled personnel to develop. It is true that because of lack of engineers Africa cannot on its own build more roads, bridges, and hydroelectric stations. But that is not a cause of underdevelopment, except in the sense that causes and effects come together and reinforce each other. The fact
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22 HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA u of the matter is that the most profound reasons for the economic back- wardness of a ¿ven African nation are not to be found inside that ngfinn All that we can find inside are the symptoms of underdevelopment and the secondary fant™* that make for poverty. , Mistaken interpretations of the causes of underdevelopment usually stem either from prejudiced thinking or from the error of believing that one can learn the answers by looking inside the underdeveloped economy. The true explanation lies in seeking out the relationship between Africa and certain developed countries and in recognizing that it is a relationship of exploitation. Man has always exploited his natural environment in order to make a living. At a certain point in time, there also arose the exploitation of man by man, in that a few people grew rich and lived well through the labor of others. Then a stage was reached by which people in one community called a nation exploited the natural resources and the labor of another nation and its people. Since underdevelopment deals with the comparative
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