Sep 19, 2022
In this episode Dr. Jesse Benjamin returns to the podcast.
Like our previous conversation with Jesse we’re connecting to talk about a recently released book by Walter Rodney, in this case it’s Decolonial Marxism: Essays From The Pan-African Revolution, which is a previously unpublished collection of Rodney’s essays on race, colonialism and Marxism. Jesse Benjamin is a scholar, activist, publisher, and board member for the Walter Rodney Foundation, and he is the co-editor of Decolonial Marxism.
We talk about how Decolonial Marxism showcases Rodney’s range as a theorist and a thinker, as an educator, and as an activist. This collection of essays across a range of topics really provides practical examples of what we think Rodney meant by the term “guerilla intellectual.” It also gives us a glimpse of how Rodney assessed some of the movements and key theorists and leaders of his lifetime, particularly with respect to anticolonial nationalists and socialists on the African continent. Jesse Benjamin offers insights into how he reads Rodney’s work in these pieces with respect to pedagogy and epistemology. We also talk about the title Decolonial Marxism and how Rodney takes up the questions of the relevance of Marxism to African peoples and other peoples of the so-called Third World. Jesse also talks about the significance of many of Rodney’s interventions in a range of areas and approaches that are really groundbreaking or, at the very least, would’ve been quite cutting edge during Rodney’s lifetime. And all of us marvel at how relevant and insightful Rodney’s contributions remain decades after his assassination.
We strongly recommend the book for anyone who appreciates Walter Rodney’s work and if you’re not familiar with Rodney’s work it’s really essential stuff and we highly recommend it. Verso Books has published this text and they also have editions of 3 other Rodney books all of which are authorized by the Walter Rodney Foundation and Rodney’s family. And everything is 40% off over there at Verso for the rest of September.
Make sure you get connected with the Walter Rodney Foundation every year they host a Walter Rodney Symposium which is an amazing event.
And if you like what we do here we hope you will consider joining up with all of our wonderful patrons in supporting the show. We currently have a drive to add 25 new patrons this month. We only need 10 more to hit our goal for this month, so head on over to patreon.com/millennialsarekillingcapitalism and become a patron if you can spare $1 a month or more. Also while you’re there we currently have a poll to determine our next study group book, so make sure you vote on that and be on the look out for updates because we will be reconvening our study group in October.
Our previous conversations that deal most directly with Walter Rodney's work and life (from most recent to oldest):
“Almost As If Their Spirits Are Still There” - David Austin on The 1968 Congress of Black Writers
"Our Enemies Know the Power of Books" - Louis Allday and Liberated Texts
"The Wealth of Europe is the (Stolen) Wealth of Africa" with Devyn Springer
Walter Rodney's Russian Revolution - A View From The Third World with Dr Jesse Benjamin
Devyn Springer Discusses Walter Rodney