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The struggle for Africa

Борьба за Африку

Young Russian imperialism in the conditions imposed on them by international sanctions, goes on the hunt for resources.

The summit “Russia — Africa”, ended in Sochi, has called unprecedented. It is highly likely that the way it is. I do not remember that even in the Soviet years passed something similar. Resort in the Russian capital for a meeting with Vladimir Putin flew 43 heads of States and governments and another 11 States of the continent were represented at the level of Ministers and ambassadors. So, anyway, in Sochi was presented to the majority of African countries.

It is clear that in this event, the Kremlin has killed two birds with one stone. First, announced to the world a large-scale return to Africa, and secondly, save your own time and effort. Than the President to fly to the most distant lands, personally visiting each of the forum of African States, it is better to invite their leaders or representatives EN masse for a visit and for a couple of days to discuss with everyone the formats of future cooperation.

If you try to describe the current interests of Moscow on the African continent in terms of good old Marxism, it is that young Russian imperialism in the face of various Kremlin “chefs” and private and “public” companies (such formally state companies, as “Gazprom” or “Rosneft”, in fact, are the private property of their top managers), in the conditions imposed on them by international sanctions, goes on the hunt for resources.

The current expansion of Russian capital in Africa is due to all those that are interested there is Western and Chinese and Indian (India — another new imperialist predator on the world stage) company: diamonds, oil, gold, platinum, rare earth metals, and the main thing — cheap labor. In this respect Africa was probably the last one on earth reserve of almost free labor.

Compare it to this, only some small and resource-poor countries of Central America. Even in South-East Asia the cost of workers is gradually increasing. Not to mention China, which is four decades beat their competitors on the world market by low cost manufacture in its territory of goods, that have largely provided a low cost workforce. However, in the past — the minimum wage in China is already higher than in Russia. That is why in recent years, Chinese companies rushed to develop Africa, and were largely successful.

The current race of the Russian Federation to the Black continent is remarkable feature. If other investors are European, American, Chinese and Indian — are there primarily to their capitals, and then can pull its armed forces, the specifics of Russian expansion is that first there come the Russian military in the face of various PMCs and “advisers”. The latter, in fact, are the guarantee of successful promotion of Russian business interests associated with the Kremlin.

And if Europeans and Americans often put forward absolutely unacceptable for a number of local rulers requirements, such as respect for human rights and democratic development, the Russian conditions much more comfortable. The current Russia is the guardian of the notorious braces, so it is not afraid of the original, including and most cannibalistic (sometimes literally) the tradition of African politics. After all, for her sovereignty and her own, and its partners — above all, what once said at a forum in Sochi, Vladimir Putin: “ultimately, all these programs have one goal — to help Africans themselves to solve the existing problems, in order to strengthen the African States themselves, their sovereignty and independence.”

Another specific feature of the current Russian policy in Africa is that commercial interests of private companies miraculously moving in the package “anti-imperialist” rhetoric 40-50 years ago. That modern Russia is also imperialist country, African leaders probably do not realize, but they probably are not up to these theoretical niceties. To buy weapons without any preconditions on the part of the seller, get good kickbacks from it without any silly allegations of corruption — that is what many of the leaders of African countries. Everything else is secondary.

Meanwhile, Russian capitalism has long passed into the imperialist phase. The main feature of this removal (or “churn”, to use the pathetic Patriotic terminology of economists) of capital in the colonies and underdeveloped countries. If in XVIII—XIX centuries was dominated by the export of goods produced in the developed Nations, in the XX and XXI centuries, big business displays is not so much the goods as capital. There, where labor is cheaper and, therefore, where to produce products with much lower costs than in developed countries. Colonies in the modern world is almost gone, but the underdeveloped countries still have most of them in Africa.

Another thing is that in the struggle for a new market in the whole continent of young Russian imperialism will inevitably face not only the old imperialist powers — USA and the countries of the EU, but by China and India. And stability, which was discussed at the summit in Sochi, Putin has really not increase neither in Africa nor in the world as a whole. On the contrary, in this fight “for the interests”, added a lot of contradictions and risks. It is only a matter of time.

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