Neoliberal Black Ideologues and the Struggle for Our Future


I think there are three principal areas of ideological struggle against black neoliberalism. First, the Obamites. Public figures like Reverend Al Sharpton and academics and public intellectuals like Charles Ogletree and Melissa Harris-Perry fall into this group. A whole army of academics could be added to those whom I’ve named. They provide political and intellectual cover for Obama’s neoliberal economic and social policies, and his neoconservative foreign policies. They claim that Obama is a liberal and some insist a progressive. As the true nature of Obama’s policies become known and as the situation of Black folk becomes direr, their apologies for Obama become increasingly dishonest, bordering on open lying. They consider Obama’s left critics to be enemies of Black progress, deserving unmitigated attacks, marginalization and something coming close to a witch-hunt. Their attacks upon left critics of Obama have begun to take on forms of anti-communism.

Secondly, bogus Pan-Africanism manifested as new forms of cultural nationalism. This line supports US neo-colonialism in Africa and is aligned with neo-colonialist and pro-West forces in Africa. They hide their true politics behind calls for an African Renaissance and for the cultural unity of Africans throughout the world. They oppose anti-imperialist unity across Africa and anti-imperialist solidarity between the African Diaspora and the continent. This form of Pan Africanism is unquestionably pro US imperialist. They generally support the Obama Africa policies or are silent about such policies as AFRICOM and military intervention in Libya, Somalia and support to Paul Kagame’s genocidal regime’s war in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Lastly right social democracy, which is the most developed and ideologically experienced and sophisticated center of anti-radicalism, anti-communism and neoliberalism. Claiming to support liberalism reforms at home, i.e. gay marriage, gay rights, certain women’s rights, Black elected officials, and claiming that such reforms prove that capitalism, even under neoliberal economics, can be democratic and progressive. As against class struggle, anti-racist and national self-determination they propose creating new civil society institutions. Civil society formations, they insist, are forms of people’s power against hegemonic institutions like the state. Right Social Democracy’s essence, is anti-radical, opposing advanced democratic resistance and struggle, and ultimately defend the system, even as it becomes more authoritarian and anti-democratic. Like bogus Pan Africanism and cultural nationalism, right social democrats disguise their pro-imperialist/neoliberalism behind so-called cultural analysis and claims of supporting democratic renewal through culture, such as changes in racial, gender and sexual identity. All of this they claim can go forward under neo-liberal policies and neo-colonialism. The political economy and the crisis of capitalism and the growing exploitation and suffering of working people worldwide is absent from, goes unnoticed and is never put forward in their discourses.

About Anthony Monteiro

I am a activist and scholar who is a professor in the Department of African American Studies at Temple University.
This entry was posted in Black Intellectual, Black Intellectual, Political and Ideological Issues, Political and Ideological Issues, US capitalism, empire and race. Bookmark the permalink.

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