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TRIPLE REVIEW | Three accounts of capitalism and neo-colonialism cast light and throw shade

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The Tyranny of Growth: Why Capitalism Has Triumphed in the West and Failed in Africa by Malcolm Ray (Melinda Ferguson Books), White Malice: The CIA and the Neo-Colonisation of Africa by Susan Williams (Jacana), and Washington Bullets by Vijay Prashad (Inkani Books).
The Tyranny of Growth: Why Capitalism Has Triumphed in the West and Failed in Africa by Malcolm Ray (Melinda Ferguson Books), White Malice: The CIA and the Neo-Colonisation of Africa by Susan Williams (Jacana), and Washington Bullets by Vijay Prashad (Inkani Books).

BOOKS: The Tyranny of Growth: Why Capitalism Has Triumphed in the West and Failed in Africa by Malcolm Ray (Melinda Ferguson Books), White Malice: The CIA and the Neo-Colonisation of Africa by Susan Williams (Jacana), and Washington Bullets by Vijay Prashad (Inkani Books).

In The Tyranny of Growth, economic and political commentator Malcolm Ray does two things: he argues against growth as a capitalist ideal or even (as GDP) a useful measure of progress, and he describes the way the US, starting in the 1960s, tried to sell "growth" to newly independent African countries – although that in fact seems to have largely stalled economic development on this continent, which exposes the growth model as a chimera, or just as US propaganda. After all, the CIA propped up Mobutu Sese Seko for decades in Zaire, and yet that country remained devastatingly undeveloped.

Ray subjects "growth", as a capitalist mantra, to severe criticism. He is talking about "growth at all costs", as he later glosses it. I’m not clear on how "growth" slides into "growth at all costs", if they are not indeed the same thing: is it just ideological creep, or inbuilt expansionism?

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