Using the brief (ten-week) rule of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo as an instructive instance for thinking the post-, “Not the Moment After, but the Moment Of” argues that the post- is never the time after but the moment—impossible as it is to understand—of, that is, the moment itself. Grounded in a critique of “postcommunism,” this essay maps Lumumba's transition from bourgeois nationalist—the postcolonial leader—to the communist who did not name himself a communist, the anticolonialist transformed, by the force of history (the failure of the United Nations to protect the sovereignty of the newly independent Congo; the neoimperialist designs of the United States and Belgium; his struggle against the Belgian-sponsored secessionist movement in the copper-rich Katanga province), into a Lenin-like revolutionary. This essay thinks Lumumba both in relation to the African revolutionary tradition (Gamal Abdel Nasser, Julius Nyerere, and Agostinho Neto, among others) and the history of radical socialism (Lenin figures especially prominently in this regard).

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