From ProleWiki, the proletarian encyclopedia
Burning the flags of the State of Israel and the USA, both settler-colonial states

Anti-colonialism refers to the political and social movement against the colonization and domination of one country or people by another. It emerged as a response to the exploitation and oppression of colonized peoples by imperial powers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Anti-colonialism is rooted in the idea that colonized peoples have the right to self-determination and autonomy. This concept is based on the belief that all peoples have the right to control their own destiny and that colonialism is a violation of this right.

Anti-colonialism critiques the economic exploitation of colonized peoples by imperial powers. Colonization often results in the extraction of resources and labor from the colonized territory, leading to the development of capitalist economies in the colonizing countries while leaving the colonized countries in a state of economic underdevelopment. This is known as the theory of "dependency" where the imperial nations exploit their colonies for their economic gain.[1] Anti-colonialism also critiques the cultural and ideological domination of colonized peoples by imperial powers. Colonization often leads to the imposition of the colonizing country's culture and values on the colonized people, leading to the erosion of indigenous cultures and identities. This is known as the theory of "cultural hegemony" where the imperial nation imposes their own culture and way of life over the colonies.[2]

Anti-colonialism has been a driving force behind many historical struggles for independence and national liberation, including the Indian independence movement, the Algerian War of Independence, and the African National Congress's struggle against apartheid in South Africa and the Vietnam War. These movements have been led by a diverse range of actors, including political leaders, intellectuals, and grassroots activists. Anti-colonialism continues to be a significant political and social force today, as many countries and peoples continue to struggle against neo-colonialism and imperialism. The exploitation and oppression of colonized peoples remains a major issue in the global economy, and the fight for self-determination and autonomy continues to be a central goal for many anti-colonial movements.


  1. Foster, J.B. (1997). Imperialism and the Law of Value. New York: Monthly Review Press.
  2. Gramsci, A. (1971). Selections from the Prison Notebooks. New York: International Publishers.