Political Theory of Plato

The author aims at presenting a lucid and truthful explanation of Africa’s role in world affairs today by examining its history, from the earliest kingdoms to the colonial period, and demonstrating the relevance of this for today. He does this with an explicitly socialist perspective. At the beginning, he states that one of his objectives is to make a small contribution towards reinforcing the conclusion that African development is possible only on the basis of a radical break with the international capitalist system, which has been the principal agency of underdevelopment of Africa over the last five centuries. In addition to this, he hopes that this book will ‘reach Africans who wish to explore further the nature of their exploitation, rather than to satisfy the “standards” set by our oppressors and their spokesmen in the academic world.’ It is perhaps most convenient to arrange a discussion of Rodney’s views in correlation to the chapters in the book. Thus, in the first chapter he defines at length the concept of underdevelopment, which is essential in understanding the subsequent chapters. In the next Chapter, he gives on outline of the development which took place in Africa before the coming of the Europeans. In Chapters III and V, an analysis of Africa’s contribution to Europe’s present
“developed” state is presented, divided respectively between the pre-colonial period (1445-1870)   and the colonial period (roughly 1870 to 1960.) Finally, in Chapters IV and VI, an analysis of Europe’s contribution to Africa’s present “underdeveloped” state is given, this too being divided between the two chapters using the same historical chronology.
Underdevelopment, as presented in Chapter I, is characterized by a number of things. First, Rodney emphasizes the comparative nature of the concept of development. Africa, Asia, and Latin America are only underdeveloped in comparison with Europe, North America, and the few other industrialized nations of the world. Second,...