If even a wealthy like Germany has to lie about emissions to placate government-funded environmentalists and burn wood and buy gas from Russia, it seems unfair to criticize a poor country like Congo, but the culture war on oil can't think about any of that.

If you don't want to look like a rich, white progressive telling poor black people that the climate is more important than their children, the way to do it is to write...anonymously.

And an ironically-named humanities journal like Critical Historical Studies will still publish it, uncritically. 

In “Enclosed Futures: Oil Extraction in the Republic of Congo,” Anonymous claims that discovery of a large oil field jeopardized the future of the tiny poor nation. Yet they can't do it under their name or it might jeopardize...Congo.(1) That's some next level White Savior-ing right there.

This is so weird I am asking the audience to come up with better humorous reasons for this than I can. 

French politicians may argue Congo needed it. The French were terrible stewards, Europeans 70 years ago were officially more racist than any Confederate Flag-waving redneck in the US now, but France might contend that a Congo native, Denis Sassou-Nguesso, was even worse. With him in place, the French did what they did in all former colonies - they bribed and manipulated - and suddenly oil conglomerate Elf-ERAP was in charge of their oil.

Which meant that Congo wasn't benefiting from the free market the way OPEC countries were, the people were not better off. Somehow that is a failure of the resource itself rather than corrupt French efforts to keep control in control of former European colonies. As they did in Iraq when the British gave up trying to control things there, and as they do with restrictions on imports for African food today.

Anonymous declares that French control prevented the country from embracing fuzzy-wuzzy socialism, but where has that ever worked? Venezuela? Certainly not. And why don't western humanities academics go after Muslim countries this way? There is an entire nation, Arabia, that forces the entire world to use their ruling dictator in its name, the only country in the world named after its despot, yet humanities academics never seem to want to irritate rich tyrants who will kill journalists and fund terrorists. Congo is, however, safe to criticize. 

Congo did join OPEC in 2018 and now their exports are around $6 billion, the bulk of their revenue from overseas, but that is not the fault of the resource. Before the oil discovery, they had become a puppet regime of the USSR. Where were humanities scholars when the country needed assistance to fend off starvation? Their largest export prior to that was wood.

(1) Which makes as much sense as humanities academics now claiming Nazis were right-wing, when all of their centralized policies and social authoritarianism were taken from the left-wing progressive playbook of 1924. Except for official endorsement of eugenics, those progressives renamed it population control after Hitler took their shared beliefs too far,  they have the same beliefs about state control in 2024.