The state of emergency declared by French PM Macron on May 16th is proof that France is yet again mobilising its military police to suppress another popular uprising against its colonial rule. It is no surprise when the past struggles for independence of the indigenous Kanaks reaching its peak in the ‘events’ of the 1980s are still smouldering. A 30-year period of relative peace followed during which a succession of independence votes were lost to a narrow settler ‘Caldoche’ majority, only for rebellion to break out again today over France’s ‘constitutional reform’ to lock in that majority and block the road to independence.

The 1998 Noumea Accord which claimed to give the colony more ‘autonomy’ as a ‘unique collective’ than as a ‘Department’. Yet when the most recent vote in 2021 during Covid was boycotted by the independence movement which demanded a new vote, France refused and responded with a constitutional ‘reform’ that would extend the right to vote of the descendants of settlers to anyone who had lived in the country for 10 years. Macron’s promises to renogotiate this reform are hot air. During his vist to the colony in the past week he restated his position that Kanaky would never secede from France. This shows French imperialism’s determination to keep New Caledonia as part of France at all costs.  Equally, the uprising of the Kanak people against the insulting reform proves its determination to fight for independence to the death.

The stakes are high because France, an old European colonial power, along with the rest of the capitalist world, is facing the global terminal crisis of capitalism and the rapid decline of its overseas empire. It seeks to download the cost of that crisis onto the backs of the workers and peasants of its colonies to monopolise the the labour value of those who do the work on the land and in the mines. It has no interest in the suffering of the indigenous masses. It resorts to ‘states of emergency’  with police assassinations like that of Eloi Machoro in 1985 and the military killings of 1988 to stop the Kanaks from taking control of their own country and the use of its valuable resources such as nickel.

The global situation however has turned against imperialism. The old imperialist powers are forced to resort to military rule to retain control of their colonies. There is a massive shift in world opinion against colonial occupation. Zionist Israel the only European settler colony to come into existence after WW2 now finds itself isolated after carrying out a naked genocide against the Palestinians. The countries of the Global South are pressing against their comprador regimes to break from their continued economic dependence on imperialism. France, perhaps the worst and one of the few European imperialist powers to retain occupied colonies is living on powder keg.

Russia and China as new imperialist powers emerging from the collapse of the Soviet world, and now ruled by monopoly capitalist states, cannot get away with the methods of 19th and 20th century colonisers. They and the national bourgeois regimes in BRICS who claim to be ‘socialist’ or ‘egalitarian’ to fool the workers with ‘win-win’deals, cannot hide the fact that the beneficiaries of these deals are not the masses but imperialism and its comoprador bourgeois and petty bourgeois agents. The masses will rise up against the exploitation of their labour power, the corruption of the national treasury, and the oppression of national and other minorities. The only guarantee of freedom from such exploitation is the creation of workers’ and poor farmers’ governments in workers’ states able to carry out the socialist revolution. And for that to happen we need a new world party of socialist revolution to lead the way.

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The Kanaks have the right to self-determination. They can take back their country from France just as Haiti did in 1804, as Algeria did in 1962, and the colonies of French West Africa that have recently freed themselves from the French yoke.  Independence from capitalism and imperialism cannot be won short of socialist revolution. For workers to live, capitalism must die. The peoples of the small states of the Indo-Pacific from Taiwan to Kanaky, being dragooned behind the US or China to fight imperialist wars, have every interest in building an anti-imperialist united front to liberate themselves from dying capitalism and its genocidal wars.



Dave Brown is TDBs guest Marxist because every Left wing blog needs a Marxist


  1. Awesome Dave+Brown never understood the situation in New Caledonia but had a fare understanding that its plight isn’t different from other indigenous population around the world

  2. This has been a direct & unexpected result of the Ukraine War, because Russia is kicking the asses of the entire West comprising of the Old Imperial powers like France, UK & Europe & the latest Imperial Hegemon, the US Empire & it’s vassals, no one is scared of these bullies anymore, the fear is gone, they are Emperors without clothing & their raping & pillaging of other Nations going back 500 yrs is over? From the Russians to the Houthis & especially in Africa, these Imperial powers are being booted out in humiliating fashion especially France & now the New Caledonians are following the example of Niger & exerting their Sovereignty & need for their own Independence, they are telling the French to pack up & piss off back home you baguette munching sons of bitches, our Nation & it’s resources belongs to us & not some looting Colonial power that’s based thousands of miles away? Thanks to Russia, no one is afraid of the Imperial powers anymore & they are in retreat around the Globe, the White mans’s burden & the Days when they could go in & take over a Nation in order to steal, loot, murder & pillage from brown people are over!

  3. French settler fragility, or colonization. If they sink a boat in our harbor. What you think they like the rest of the time?

  4. New Caledonia is not a colony. Kanaks are as legally French as Parisians. I see the Marxist Chinese are somehow capitalists. The Palestinians have never had sovereignty over Palestine. So many errors in so few words.

  5. New Caledonia is not a colony. Kanaks are as legally French as Parisians. I see the Marxist Chinese are somehow capitalists. The Palestinians have never had sovereignty over Palestine. So many errors in so few words.

  6. The Kanaks are asking for an independent country — still a minority.

    Better than a Frenchman coming out to the Pacific to sort things.


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