In the formulation of the #nelsonmustfall movement here on the island of Barbados, we must understand the society we live in and the position we take in that society. We need to lower the veils that mask the hideous vestiges of a colonial system that created slaves out of a free people. As Barbados celebrate's its 50th year of independence the African Heritage Foundation celebrates 200 yrs of rebellion from an oppressive system with the creation of the #nelsonmustfall movement for change.
"Nelson Must Fall" is a movement that will assist in creating discussions and plans of action for change, and be a watchlion for the implementation of our resolute plans of actions.
On the table of " Nelson Must Fall" are the issues of ......
A local and global racial hierarchy that privileges European people over non European people
Today we share with you a chapter from an academic study called, " Decolonizing Post-Colonial Studies and Paradigms of Political Economy: Transmodernity, Decolonial Thinking, and Global Coloniality"
written by RAMÓN GROSFOGUEL, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
We cannot think of decolonization in terms of conquering power over the juridical-political boundaries of a state, that is, by achieving control over a single nation-state (Grosfoguel 1996). The old national liberation and socialist strategies of taking power at the level of a nation-state are not sufficient, because global coloniality is not reducible to the presence or absence of a colonial administration (Grosfoguel 2002) or to the political/economic structures of power.
One of the most powerful myths of the twentieth century was the notion that the elimination of colonial administrations amounted to the decolonization of the world. This led to the myth of a “postcolonial” world. The heterogeneous and multiple global structures put in place over a period of 450 years did not evaporate with the juridical-political decolonization of the periphery over the past 50 years. We continue to live under the same “colonial power matrix.” With juridical-political decolonization, we moved from a period of “global colonialism” to the current period of “global coloniality.”
Although ““colonial administrations”“ have been almost entirely eradicated and the majority of the periphery is politically organized into independent states, non European people are still living under crude European/Euro-American exploitation and domination. The old colonial hierarchies of European versus non-Europeans remain in place and are entangled with the “international division of labor” and accumulation of capital at a world-scale (Quijano 2000; Grosfoguel 2002). Herein lays the relevance of the distinction between “colonialism” and “coloniality.” Coloniality allows us to understand the continuity of colonial forms of domination after the end of colonial administrations, produced by colonial cultures and structures in the modern/colonial capitalist world-system. “Colonial” does not refer only to “classical colonialism” or “internal colonialism,” nor can it be reduced to the presence of a “colonial administration.” Quijano distinguishes between colonialism and coloniality. I use the word “colonialism” to refer to “colonial situations” enforced by the presence of a colonial administration such as the period of classical colonialism, and, following Quijano (1991; 1993; 1998), I use “coloniality” to address “colonial situations” in the present period in which colonial administrations have almost been eradicated from the capitalist world-system. By “colonial situations” I mean the cultural, political, sexual and economic oppression/exploitation of subordinate racialized/ethnic groups by dominant racial/ethnic groups with or without the existence of colonial administrations.
Five hundred years of European colonial expansion and domination formed an international division of labor between Europeans and non-Europeans that is reproduced in the present so-called “post-colonial” phase of the capitalist world system (Wallerstein, 1979; 1995). Today, the core zones of the capitalist world economy overlap with predominantly White/European/Euro-American societies such as Western Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States, while peripheral zones overlap with previously colonized non-European people. Japan is the only exception that confirms the rule. Japan was never colonized nor dominated by Europeans and, similar to the West, played an active role in building its own colonial empire. China, although never fully colonized, was peripheralized through the use of colonial entrepots such as Hong Kong and Macao, and through direct military interventions. The mythology of the “decolonization of the world” obscures the continuities between the colonial past and current global colonial/racial hierarchies and contributes to the invisibility of “coloniality” today. For the last fifty years, peripheral states that are today formally independent, following the dominant Eurocentric liberal discourses (Wallerstein, 1991a; 1995), constructed ideologies of “national identity,” “national development,” and “national sovereignty” that produced an illusion of “independence,” “development,” and “progress.” Yet their economic and political systems were shaped by their subordinate position in a capitalist world system organized around a hierarchical international division of labor (Wallerstein, 1979; 1984; 1995).
The global racial/ethnic hierarchy of Europeans and non-Europeans, is an integral part of the development of the capitalist world system’s international division of labor (Wallerstein, 1983; Quijano, 1993; Mignolo, 1995). In these “post independence” times the “colonial” axis between Europeans/Euro-Americans and non-Europeans is inscribed not only in relations of exploitation (between capital and labor) and relations of domination (between metropolitan and peripheral states), but in the production of subjectivities and knowledge. In sum, part of the Eurocentric myth is that we live in a so-called “post”-colonial era and that the world and, in particular, metropolitan centers, are in no need of decolonization. In this conventional definition, coloniality is reduced to the presence of colonial administrations. However, as the work of Peruvian sociologist Aníbal Quijano (1993, 1998, 2000) has shown with his “coloniality of power” perspective, we still live in a colonial world and we need to break from the narrow ways of thinking about colonial relations, in order to accomplish the unfinished and incomplete twentieth-century dream of decolonization. This forces us to examine new decolonial utopian alternatives beyond Eurocentric and “Thirdworldist” fundamentalisms.
Join us in the "Nelson Must Fall" movement. Help us create the national discussion on the issue of racialiam and coloniality that is said to have an agreed upon silence but that leaves the average Black Barbadian at an overall social disadvantage.