Liberation, by its very nature, is and usually involves and means the struggle of the oppressed against oppression, often by an existing oppressive social, political and economic system and/or power structure.
Historically, any liberation movement and struggle is often precipitated by an apparent [acute] lack or outright violation of basic human, social, political and economic liberties of the many – the oppressed majority of the population – at the brute hands of the few people with and in power who, by virtue of controlling the State and its organs, therefore control its instruments of coercion and violence– and as such, certainly have a monopoly on State violence and a near monopoly on [general] violence on the population.
With a monopoly on [both] power and [the] instruments of [State] violence, those with and in power tend to resort to, and institute draconian and coercive measures they think and see and deem fit – in the grand scheme of protecting their personal and vested interests against/[from] the general public. And as such, they restrict or in many cases outrightly deny and/or ban basic freedoms of [common sense] such as of speech and expression, and particularly wherein, it is not in line with their ideology, that is, the ideology of the ruling class – the power structure and their [its] interests.
With that in mind, it must be stated that, all so-called liberation movements and struggles, world over, tend to have one thing in common: they seek to replace what they so vehemently allege is a hideously an oppressive social, economic and power structure and the status-quo with their own but equally, if not worse, repressive social, economic and power structure and status-quo. They all have a common tendency and are enthusiastically motivated by the itching urge to stifle and eventually destroy the existing social, economic structure and class, creating and replacing it with their own privileged class, extremely loyal and subservient, that does serve the interests of the ruling power structure uncritically.
So, more often than not, at the centre of any so-called liberation movement and struggle – often involving and costing many unnecessary deaths – is the burning desire for the unrestrained usurpation of the existing social, economic and power structure and status-quo – ultimately sending it into eternal oblivion, which is effectively regarded and greatly celebrated as the final sign of [true] victory and raising liberation to its ultimate apex.
Consequently, there’s always the emergency of a new class of [the] “nouveau riches” who are the beneficiaries of the new social, economic and power changes, who are literally handed the wealth and all the wealth creating activities (and means of production) of the erstwhile and vanquished social, economic and power structure.
In the context of Africa and its entire history of liberation – foremost, as a concept and thus as movements and struggles – and it remains rather largely the norm than the exception today – that so-called liberation movements and struggles, have truly never been (and are truly never) about the liberation and freedoms of the [ordinary] people, that is, the so-called masses – the common people; more than they have always been and are about the liberation and freedoms of the few movers and influencers and shakers or downright coercers within the liberation movements and struggles and their own henchmen and women.
They, for instance, create a new class of highly privileged bureaucrats, who feel highly noble and extremely entitled and [but who] are always scheming against and behind each others’ backs as this is the only way they can remain relevant and keep their plum government or so-called public sector (which is never public but privately owned by the ruling class) jobs and in the system and maintain their privileges, often at the expense of the ordinary or so-called common people – the masses or general public.
They have their mouths deeply submerged into the public trough, and act and behave in many ways similar to extremely deprived dogs fending others off whatever is within their eating area – growling viciously – and sneering at or indeed, consciously sabotaging anyone they see as a potential or perceived threat to their privileges.
Well cushioned by their [government] privileges, they, unwittingly or not, grow so irritatingly and unbearably arrogant as to openly elicit rebuke and thus make opposing and fighting them at any expense almost inevitable. Theirs is the primitive accumulation of wealth which, more often than not, means and heavily involves violence; the wanton theft at a grand scale of valued resources, assets, often of and from the vanquished and erstwhile social, economic and political power class and the weak of the society, with total impunity. All done in the sorry and sick excuse of liberation and freedom struggles.
Yet, at the heart of it all, is the unwavering urge to repress and oppress, often the vanquished and their own kith and kin, and any group or individuals who do not kowtow to their whims, depriving them of any freedoms and the vicious theft and/or complete destruction of their property and wealth, if and wherein they can’t appropriate them even with and under the guise of State (government) power.
Theirs is, and therefore can be appropriately described and summed up as the principle of penury at heart. At the core of which is the fundamental but completely distorted belief that; for me to possess, I must first dispossess and deprive you of what you possess. No other ways but that. They operate in an either/or universe, no middle ground.
It is as if theirs is a campaign of revenge against the vanquished social, economic and political power class for having deprived them, for so long, of what they falsely and imaginatively and thus reason to be their opportunity, if not natural right, to primitively accumulate wealth as did, indeed, the vanquished social, economic and political power class. It is the ultimate and almost perfect example of a zero-sum game!
“Every revolutionary ends up either by becoming an oppressor or a heretic.” Albert Camus
So it is with many so-called liberation movements and struggles, particularly in Africa; they end up in a similar fate.
Foremost, every so-called liberation movement and struggle, particularly in Africa, has often created, within its internal structures, its own weaknesses mainly of treachery and discordance that eventually betray its [core] cause and purpose, hence, inevitably sowing seeds of its own ultimate destruction. Treachery and discordance within the so-called liberation movement and struggle, make it almost inevitable for different factions to grow and breakout within, betraying the [core] cause and purpose of the so-called liberation movement and struggle; hence, inevitably facilitating its ultimate disintegration altogether.
Many so-called liberation movements and struggles in Africa have not lived up to their initial [core] cause, purpose and promises, as would normally be expected. They have often morphed or degenerated into what they fought against in the first place – a repressive and oppressive social, economic and political system. Members of the liberation movements and struggles turn against (and on) each other – comrades – and mercilessly betray – and too often kill – each other in their ruthless internal power struggles and fights.
This, therefore, creates an environment where they have to be fought against and it becomes necessary to viciously fight them out of power. They create an opportunity and conducive environment for another similar, if not worse, gun wielding gang of criminals similarly coming behind the false banner of a so-called liberation movement and struggle claiming, falsely of course, to be better and make[s] quite bold but nonetheless far more ridiculous promises than those before – now in power and who they seek to dislodge of power and replace through armed struggle.
Therefore, war between the erstwhile so-called liberation movement and the new liberation movement becomes inevitable, and the final arbiter of who [which group] should be in and finally comes to power; more often than not, at such great loss of both lives and property.
So, the perpetual vicious cycle of violent so-called liberation movements and struggles continues.
“War is the highest form of struggle for resolving contradictions, when they have developed to a certain stage, between classes, nations, states, or political groups, and it has existed ever since the emergence of private property and of classes.” Mao Tse Tung
It is often the common people – the masses – who suffer the most and bear the brunt of this kind vicious cycle of violence motivated, more than anything else, by power struggles and power acquisition. At the heart of which, being largely the desire for unrestrained power to allow for unrestrained theft of national resources and primitive accumulation of wealth at such a grand scale by, often a few individuals – a vicious, vindictive and quite frankly, criminal cabal – at the top who therefore control the so-called liberation movements and struggles. They ensure that everyone else is their servant and works to fulfill their deluded agenda of primitive accumulation of wealth and the wanton theft of national resources.