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on the Political Economy of Africa
Essays on the Political
Economy of Africa
by Giovanni Arrighi
and John S. Saul
Monthly Review Press
New York and London
Copyriglt J973 by Gio'mmi Arrighi alld }olm S. Saul
All Riglm Reserved
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Arrighi, Giovanni.
Essays on fle polilical ecol101llY of Africa.
hlclfldes bihliograpbica/ refereces.
Contents: Overviews; Arrigbi, G. and Salll,}. S.
Socialism and economic development in tropical Africa.
Arrighi, G. alld Saul,}. S. Nationalism and revolution
in sb-Saharan Africa. [etc.)
f Africa, Sub_Sahart1_Ecollomic c01lditions.
?. Socialism il SubSaharan Africa. . Africa,
SlIb.Sabirallocial conditions. I. Saul, /o/m S. II. Title.
HCJ02.A73 330.9'67 72-81771 ISBN 0J1-?1-Z
First Priming
Molltbly Review PreSl
116 West 14th Street, New York, N.Y. !00!J
33/37 Moreland StTeet, London E.e. 1
MallufactiTed ill fbe United States of America
1. Socialism :nd Economic Development in Tropical Africa
Giovi1111i Arrigbi a7ld Jo/m S. Saul
2. Nationalism :ld Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa
GioVaJ/11i ATigbi and 101m S. S(ml
3. Intemational Corporations, Labor Aristocracies, and
uonomic Development in Tropical Africa
GlOvd1l11i ATighi
4. On African Populism
101m S. Slt!
(j Labor Supplies in Historical Perspective: A Study of the

lctarianization of the African Peasantry in Rhodesia

GIO'anl1i Arrighi

African Socialism in One Country: Tanzania

S. Salll
1 The Poli

ical c

nomy of Rhodesia
GioVQ1111 ArrighI
FRELlMO and the Mozambique Revolution
John S. Saul
eldix: African Peasantries
John S. Saul ald Roger Woods
The essavs collected in this volume, though they have been writ
ten over' a period of some years and for a variety of forums and
purposes, arc held together as a more or less coherent whole by
the common perspective which they evidence, a perspective nur
tured by our experience during a number of years' residence in
Africa. The frst relevant dimension of this experience was a
growing realization that our training in two of the established
social ciel1ces (economics and political science) was of only lim
ited lise in understanding the various transformations and prob
lelllS we found to be present in Africa. This elicited an attcmpt to
engage, with others, in the search for new methodologies capable
of ordering and illuminating the data with which we were pre
sented. The second relevant dimension was a growing awareness
of the extent to which "structures of domination" (shaped by the
interaction of contcmporary imperialism with patterns of domes
tic class form:tion) were the most important variables afecting
rhe prospects for African progress and development. This forced
upon us the duty to assist in the search for novel and efective
Illeans whereby the antiimperialist snuggle could be waged .
These two dimcnsions coalesced in a conviction that one pos
sible contribution to such a strugglc would be to help in the de
prnellt of theory and analysis at once intellectually more
ing and strategically more relevant. Tn this efort we took
cue from the words of Amilcar Cabral, who said that "the

is of the African revolution ... is nOt a crisis of growth, but

ltly a crisis of knowledge. In toO many cases the struggle for
and our plans for the future are not only without a
8 Irc[ecc
theoretical base, but arc also morc or less cut of from the con
crete situation in which we arc working." To be sure, some of the
essays included here will inevitably seem much too "academic" to
mally revolutionary purists. But, i n aspiration at least. even these
arc informed by 3Q attempt to identify with the oppressed in their
struggle. Above all, particularly at this relatively carly stage of
our own thinking on such issues, they must be considered mere
"openers" (or discussion; they will have fully served their pur
pose if they car rhe 5I of constructive criticism from concerned
radicals, both on the African continent and in the metropolitan
centers, that can help all of us to advance the analysis further.
Of course, scholarship which is Marxist and socialist in its aspi
ration, its method, its spirit, always develops best in a context of
collective toil and comradely interchange. And in the course of
writing these essays both authors already have profted from work
with comrades in Zimbabwe, in Tanzania, and elsewhere, who
have debated with us, criticized and encouraged our undertakings,
shlred in common intellectual and political efort. It would be
invidious to single out names from the long list of such associates
that might be printed here; they cannot, in any case, sh:re re
sponsibility for the many "failures of analytical nerve" which re
main. Our debt to them is ver) real, nonetheless.
l\tilan lnd Dar es Salaam
January IV1J
Gio:anni Arihi
)ohn8. Sau/
Part I
Socialism and Economic Development
i n Trop
ical Africa
Giovanni Arrighi and John S. Sul
A noted economist (Perroux) has defned socialism as "Ie developp
ment de tout l'hommc er de tous les homres." The mowr for a drive to
ward socialism is generally to be found in a conviction that man's crea
tive potential can only be fully realized in a society which transcends the
cu]wr.l centrality of "possessive individualism" and in which a signal
measure of economic and social equality, the precondition for genuine
poliTical democracy, is guaranteed. In the best of socialist intellectual
work, however, socialists have been equally interested in economic de
velopment and in the full release of the ptential for growth of the pro
ductive forces in a society. Within this tradition it was perhaps Marx
who most dramatically fused the concern for economic development and
[he concern for the elimination of class inequalities in his presentation of
[hc socialist casco He argued that the inequalities of the bourgeois society'
of his day increasingly meant that the potential of the available industrial
machine would nor be realized: inequality and mufed produC[ive forces
thus went hand in hand. I
Certain class inequalities have sometimes proved to be historically
necessary to foster the full release of the potential for growth of [he
cial productive forces; this is too obvious a fct ro require emphasis. But
the existence either of some necessary dichotomy between "develop
ment" and "equality" O, on the contrary, of some necessary link be
tween [he \VO cannot be postulated a prioi. It has to be ascertained em
pirically through an analysis of the relationship between the class
Jsrc! frst pped in 1]uwlo]m]nr3ait,no. 2(1968). pp.
141-9. An earlier version was presented the plen; s ion of University of East
SiaJ Science Cnference in Da b2 in Jnury 1968.
Part I: Overviews
structure of a society and its economic evelopmenr at each istorical
juncture. A sophisric3rcd socialist casc contemporar
y Afnca must
therefore fuse a concern for an increased rate of CCOIlOnlC development
with a perception of the role played in thc development equa

by the
d g-nee of classes and groups with diterennal mtcrests
eXIstence an en

d access \O benefts_ Moreover, as wil beargued here, one docs I

ld the productive potcmial of African societies, a

d therefore theIr de
velopment and structural transformation, const

amcd by th
c present
pauern of world and domestic economy and S

C!ety; the available sur

plus is i|| utili7ed-drained away as the repa
ratd profts of oversas
fnns, or consumed by self-indulgent domestic elLtes-and the ge

tion of a larger surplus from, for exam

, an aroused and moblh

peasamry discouraged. As this suggests, It 5 the patt

of curre

t ID~
equality, in particular, which tends thus to hamper a rISe
J produc[Lvlt

A viable socialist strategy directed toward these tWlfl oncerns WIll
have to face dilemmas of choice in three closely related polLey areas. On
the level of the international economic and social system, one confro

the specter of international capitalism and a grave ine

uality of f

power, realities which, as will be shown, can be major constr:lnts on
general development. On the domestic scene, one fac


roblem of
the relationship between "rown," the center of admH

lstranon and of
such industrialization as takes place, and "country," an mteractlon from
which real development could spring but which all roo often defnes the
split between unequal and unconnected spheres of a society falli

g short
of genuine transformation. Finally, one ha

the p

blem of agrlcultuT
development itself in a rural sphere where mequalmes can and do begm
to emerge, although, at least in the short run, these have a rater mor
ambiguous impact on the pace of development than the

ther mequah
ties already hinted at
\ is the absence of areally hard-headed look at the actual pattern of
inequalities within contemporary Africa and in the world at large and at
the direct relationship of this pattern to the trajectory of growth and de
velopment which explains the superfcial char

ter of m


f th

on "African socialism" presented by its practmoners. O thIS pomt we
sha|rerum. This failure of ana|ytica| nerve also explains the generally
unsatisfactory character of the bulk of academic com

on the
phenomenon of Afri

an soci
lism. Perh
aps the 1(s
s o tIS OOdy
of work is a much-CIted arncle by EllJOt Berg enmled SOClaILsm and
Dre{opment in Tropicl Africa
Development in Tropical Africa." Berg makes much of the
re of the Guinean experience, as well as several points of general in
culminating in a swinging dismissal of the pretensions of a "so
cialisr case" for tropical Africa. But his analysis is undermined by a
seeming disinterest in defning or taking seriously rhe real dilemma of
development common U all African States, or the relationship of a ~
cialist strategy to them
To Berg we shall also retur-by way of a brief
The purpose of this essay is limited, as, atthe present stage of rhe de
bate, we can merely hope to raise some neglected (IUestions, juxtaposing
Them with the theory and praxis'of African "socialists." Thefuller elab
oration of a socia|ist strategy, on the other hand, can only emerge at a
more advanced srage of debate and research
In Section we examine
the relationship bctwten current class formation in tropical Africa and
economic development, focusing on the involvement of international
capitalism in the area and on the emergence of what we shaldefne as
the "labor aristocracy" of tropical Africa. In Section we sha|| look,
first, at the ideology of "African socialism" and, second, at the policies of
African "socialists," subjecting both theory and praxis to careful cri
tique. From this exercise the reader should gain abroader perspective on
the problem of socialism in Contemporary AFrica

We shall conclude, in
Section `. with some brief remarks on the future course of socialist de

nd strategy in Africa, making some reference to the Tanzanian

I. Class Fmation and Ec(momic DC.e/opmnl
The vaST majority of the population of tropical Africa consists of inde
pencnr producers who do not depend upon wage employment for their
subSIstence.! Any discussion of economic de\lelopment inttopica|AFtica
mcsttherefore begin with ageneral description of African pre-capitalist
or, as they aremore often referred to, traditional economies. This is ex
difcult, inview of their heterogeneity,4 but some common fea
tutesoF particular relevance to our discussion can be singled out.
IndiNiduals can customarily acquire land for homestead and farms
through tribal or kinship rights. On|y comparative|y rarely is land ac

redor dispsed of through purchase or sale, though the commerciali

Utlon of agriculture has often been Fo||owed by a marked expansion of
Pari J: Oeriews
private land ownership
The spcialization
of labor as generally not
gone very fr in traditional African ccon

rmes; a
reanve1y small range
of commodities is produced and few full-tune speclahsrs are r

be fou
In addition, the technology is rather rudimentary from the pomt of vIew
of the tools used, storage and transport facilities, the control of plant and
animal disease, and the comrol of water s[Ora

Market exchanges
were-and still aTC in many areas-peripheral, In the sense that most
producers do not rely on exchange for the acquisition of the b

lk of th
means of subsistence
Thus the high dependence on the phYSIcal en

rooment, due to the rudimentary [echnology, is matched by a relative
independence from market Aucruati
. . *
Social cohesion is fostered by obligatory glft- and coun

berween persons who stand in some socially defned reanonshlp to one
another, andlor by obligarory payments or labor serVlces t som

cially organized center which reallocates portions of what It r


Security of subsistence is therefore generally guaranteed t

the tndlvld
ual in twO ways: through socially suuClured rights to receIVe factors
production and through emergency allonnents of food from the chief
and gifts from kin.
lr is widely accepted that African peasants have, tn g

neral, been
highly responsive to the market opportunities
that have anse


contact with European capitalism. This responSiveness has manifested It
self in the labor migration system andlor in the rapid expansion of pro
duction for the market of both subsistence and cash cr

ps. It

ms that
this responsiveness was made possible by the existence In
traltlonal Af
rican economies of considerable surplus productive capacity In the form
of both surplus land and surplus labor-time
! This means that the con
frontation of a traditional economy producing a limited range
of gs
with the sophisticated consumption pattern of an advan

ed Ind

system led ro a reallocation of labor-time from unproductive tradltJonal
activities ro the production of a marketable surplus
It has been pointed out, however, that the increase in pasant produc
tion for the market has had the character of a "once and for all" change
(though distributed over a number of years), as witnes b

he dnr:c
teristic growth curve of such production; a curve, that IS, nstng steeply
in the early phase and tapering of gradually.) This phenom

on can be
accounted for by the fact that the social structure of the traditIOnal econ-
DtVemt in Tr(ieaJ A/rica
omies favors, by maximizing security, the adoption of a short "time hori
in the allocation of whatever surplus might have been produced 3
consumption, unproductive accumulation, and productive accu
In other words, peasants still largely involved in a pre-capital
ist mooe of production are likely to have a strong preference for presem
umption and often for unproductive accumulation, which, by main
g or strengthening social cohesion, preserves the security aff orded
by the traditional system. This preference is likely to be strengthened
by the confrontation of [he peasants with the sophisticated consumption
pattern of advanced industrial systems memioned in the previous para
It would seem, therefore, that we have two problems involved in pro
moting the growth of productivity of the African peasamry: (1) The
problem of creating incentives to exploit whatever surplus productive
capacity in the form of surplus land and surplus labor-time may exist;
and (') the problem of raising the productive absorption of the surplus
produced in the traditional sec[Qr in order [Q engender the steady
growth of the productivity oflabor. The frst problem concerns the rela
tionship between the modern and the traditional sectors; that is, it con
cerns the pattern of surplus absorption in the former which is likely to
maximize the incentives to increase productivity in the latter
The sec
ond problem, on the other hand, relates to the type of organization of
production and institutions in the traditional sec[Qr which is likely to
guarantee the desired responses to the stimuli transmitted by the modern
seCtor. In tropical Africa the frst problem seems of primary importance
because population pressure on the land, though growing, is generally
not yet severe, so that most taditional economies still have some surplus
producrive capacity. For this reason we shall focus our attemion on the
development potential of the pattern of surplus absorption in the modern
The "ideal type," in Max Weber's sense, of surplus absorption in the
mer sectors of present-day tropical African economies is charac

d by three main forms of surplus absorption: the export of profts

and lIlVeSTment income in general; discretionary consumption on the
parr of a small labor arisTocracy, as defned below; and productive invest
embodying capital intensive techniques, mainly concentrated in
sectors other than those producing capital goods.9 In order to understand
Par I: Oties
h lationship between these three Forms oI surplus absorption. it is
t e

F h
enienrto begin by examining the causes and |mp:cauons O t e

sectoral disrributionandHctorintensityO productiv


The use oI capital intensive techniques oF pro1uct:on |n uopicaI AF-

rica is not ony the result oI technoIogical Factors. Two other

seem equaly relevant the investment policie

oI the modern :nterna-


policies oI the independent AFrican governments, wh:ch, |n turn,
7pend upon the character oI their power


Vith regard to

n the modetn international corporauons tend to adopt cap:tal
o ,

intensive techniques mainlybecause oF managerial constra:nts an -
causeoI theirstrongnnancialposition

Techniques oF management, organi

tion, a

nd controlhave evolved
inthetechnologicaenvironmentoI themdustrralcentersandcannot

easilyadaptedU theconditions obtaining inunde






thecorporationsmaynorincludeabor :ntensrvetechnques

An equal




strengthoI these corptations,whi




The intetnational corprations apply D all their brances


methods correspnding U their capital,' as a re

ut, caprtal



techniquesare adopted intropicalAIricairrespeci|veoFthes|tuat:onH
theterritorieswherethe investment takesplace.
ut capital intensity oF production is aso Iavored by thesalaryand
wage policies oI the indepndent AIrican gov



structure oI the indepndent AIrican statesremae1 asacolonalhen-
tage,andasAIricansgradually enteredthecivilsericeandth


rialpositions inlargeIoreign concerns, they assuce1 the basic
attachedtothe pcsts

`Thisunquestioning accet+nceolacolonalsal-
aty structure brought about a huge gap betweenthe incomes oF the
elites and sub-elites in bureaucratic employment an1 the m+ss oF the
wage wotkers

Thus the whole level oI labor incoces, Irom


skilled labor upward, came into quesnon and, gaen th

pol.t:cal rrt-
6uenceoI urbanworkersonAFricangovernments,the ma;orempIoyers
oI labor, a steady riw in wages ensued

This ste+1yri



cussed above Capital intensity generally meansthat labot |s a lower
Develoment i1 Tical A o:s
proportion oI

ccsts, so that the individual concern is mote willing to


cost trcrea


onsumer). However, thisreinForcesthetendency

tcwardcapiral .r:tens:ve(or laborsaving)growthanda spiralprocess'
may ensue
\ithregardtothesectoraldistributionoFproductiveinvestmem be-


us tec?nologcal Factors (economies oI scale, advantags oF

operatttg 1 an |ndusnial environment, etc

} thete seem to be three

main reasons Ior the obseied underinvestment inthe capital goods in-
dustries oI tropical AFrica !n the nrst place, the very bias inIavor oF
capitalintensive techmques dscussedabovetendstopromote theuseoF
highly specialized machinery andconsequemly restrainsthe growth oI
demand Forcapitalgoods that could be producedlocally

Other reasons


hebehavioroFthemodern internationalcorpora-

!n nonmdustrial.zcd economies the market For capital goods is

small, Iorsuchgoodstobeproduced theremust begoodreasonsto be-
lievcthatthewholeeconomywilldevelopin suchawayastonourisha

act was no serious obstacle in the nineteenth cemury, when

compeunveentrepreneursand nnancialgtoups onen undertookinvest-

t whic


un}usti6ed` bymarket conditions,therebyIostering



at:o oI less developed economies

Nowadays the great


which characterize modern corporations prevent thatproc-


AsPaulM. 5weezyhasremarked,itisoneoFthe



ctionsoF capitalism thatbetterknowledgemayimpairits


F mally,the


gs isalso determit:ed by the oiigopolistic structure oF advanced



countriesbecause thisimplies that producers oF capitalgoods,

in dec

id:t:g wheter to establish, or to assist in establishing, a capital

notonlyontheirownandtheircompetitcrs`exporrinterests butalscon
those oFtheircustomers

l `

:cationsFotthegrowthoFthemodern sector



cuvecapacityoI:heeconomyand theinternalmarket

Funct:on,toooFten disregarded, wasemphasizedbyLenin, who argued
18 Part !: Oeies
that the development of [he interal marker was possible despite re
srricrcd consumption by the masses (or the lack of an external outlet for
capitalist production) bcause U expand production it is frst of all nec
essary to enlarge (hat deprnncm of social production which manufac
tures means of production, it is m to draw into it workers who
create a demand for anicles of consulTIpcion. Hence 'consumption' de
velops afer 'accumulation.' "
l Thus underinvestment in the capital
gos sector restrains the expansion not only of the productive capacity
of tropical Africa bur also of its internal market, prptuating the de
pndence of the economy on the growth of world demand for its pri
mary products. It is nO[ surprising. therefore, that the economies of
tropical Africa have been unable to grow fster than their exprts. In the
priod 19JU-191 real product seems in fact to nave grown at an aver
age compound rate of +.percent per annum,16 which is abut 1 percent
lower than the rate of expn growth.
Given the high rate of population growth, pr capita real product has
increased at an average Tate of 2 percent per annum in the same period.
This relatively low rate of growth, combined with the eff ects of the
"wage-mechanization" spiral discussed above, has resulted in a decrease
in the proprtion of the labor force in wage employment in moSt
countries and has been accompanied by a widening gap between urban
and rural incomesY It is far from correct, however, to assume that all
classes in the urban areas have benefted from this widening gap. A large
proprtion of urban workers in Africa nOforiously consists of semi
proletarianized peasants, prioically engaged in wage employment.
This migrant labr force is not "stabilized" and in general dos not
acquire that spcialization nceded in industrial enrerprises which use
capital intensive techniques. These labrers ar a ,lass, i.e., as pasntS
temprarily in wage employment. cannot gain from the "wage
mechanization" spiral we have been discussing, since higher individual
incomes are matched by a reduction in their wage employment opprru
The higher wages and salaries, however, foster the stabilization of the
better paid section of the labor force whose high incomes justif the sev
erance of tics with the traditional economy. Stabilization, in turn, pro
motes specialization, greater bargaining power, and further increases in
the incomes of this small section of the labor force, which represents the
proletariat proper of tropical A frica. These workers enjoy incomes three
Dt'emt ill Tpicl Africa 19
more times higher than those of unskilled laborers and, together with
clites and sub-elitcs in bureaucratic employment in the civil service
expatriate concerns, constirute what we call (he labr aristocracy of
tropical Africa. It is the discretionary consumption of this class which
absorbs a signifcant propnion of the surplus prouced in the money
The third signifcanr form of surplus absorption is the profts, interest,
ends, fees, etc., transferred abroad by the international corpra
tions. It sems a well-established fact that foreign private investment in
developed economies (far from bing an ourlet for a domestically
generated surplus) has been, in the recent past, an efcient device for
transferring surplus generated abroad to the advanced capitalist
countries." It is a highly plausible assumption that, at least with regard
ro tropical Afcica, this transfer of surplus is bound to incn:ase in the f
rure, for two main reasons: the high rate of proft expected by foreign
corporations and the relatively slow rate of growth of the economies of
Tropical Africa. It appears that returns in the order of 1-U percent on
capital. usually on the basis of an investment maturing in about three
years, are required in order to attract foreign capital to tropical Africa.'9
The implication is that, in order U off set the outflow of profts, foreign
investment in the area must steadily grow at a r.te of l1-1+ percent,
which seems an impossible attainment in economies growing at a rate of
+5 prcent. Thus, while the transfer of surplus has been somewhat
contained during the present phase of easy imprt substitution, the
outfow can only become more serious in the years ahead 3 that phase
comes U an end.
c may now discuss the developmcnt ptential of this p:mern of sur
plus absorption. Te focus of attention must b upn the creation of
stimuli to exploit the surplus prouctive capacity existing in the tradi
tional conomies. There are twO main ways in which African pasnts
participate in the money economy: through priodic wage employment
and through the sale of agricultural produce. It follows that the develop
ment potential of a given pattern of surplus absorption in the modern
economy is determined by its impact on the demand for pa&nt labor
produce. From this standpoint the pattern discussed has litrle, if any,
potential. The slow growth of (he money economy and the concurrent
rate of mechanization and automation hold back The growth of
wge-ernployment opprtunities for the pasantry. More important still,
20 Part I: OveTiCs
the absorption of a considerable share of 'he surplus by the discretionary
consumption of the labor aristocracy (which creatcs demand in the in
dustrial countries or in the modern economies of tropical Africa them
selves), and by the transfer of investment incomes abroad, rcstrnins the
growth of infernal demand for peasant produce. As a consequence the
creation of stimuli to increase prodUCTivity in the rural areas is left to the
sluggish expansion of foreign demand for African produce and to those
"invocations U eff ort" which arc a prominent feature of much "social
ist" practice in Africa and to which we shall return.
The slow growth of peasant incomes and productivity has in rurn a
negative impact on [he growth tential of the modern se<ror itself,
since it further hampers the expansion of the internal marker. It would
seem, therefore, that an acceleration of economic growth in tropical Af
rica within the existing political-economic framework is highly unlikely
and, as the phase of easy import substitution is superseded, a slowdown
may actually be expected. In the light of these considerations, the cur
rent economic growth of tropical Africa may be properly characterized
as "pcrverse growth"; that is, growth which undermines, rather than en
hances, the po[Cntialities of the economy for long-term growth.lO
In describing theoretically the current pattern of growth in Africa we
have argued in terms of an "ideal type," as we were bound to in an essay
of this sorthe full range of historica. l cases will undoubtedly include
exceptions which do nO[ ft our conclusions.

i i i sources of capital and "entrepre-
i (public or private), which might push in a more fruitful
direction, are stifed by rhe emergent class structure and pattern of in
ternational involvement.l'
The foregoing discussion suggests the advisability of a policy of self
reliance vis-a-vis international capitalism for two main reasons: (!) be
cause of the drain on the surplus which, sooner or later, is engendered
by dependence on foreign capital; and (2) because of the impact of for
eign investment (with respect U choice of techniques and to its sectoral
Dr.elopmlnl in Tpical A/ric,] 21
bution) upon the srructure of the uopical African economics.1I It
docs not follow, however, that the disengagement from international
capitalism is a slIfciem condition for development. As we have seen, the \
emergence of a labor aristocracy, with considerable political power, was
brought about not only by the pattern of foreign investment but also by
acceptance of a colonial salary structure on the parr of independent
African governments. The labor aristocracy wil! therefore continue to
use iTS power in a state-controlled modern sector in order to appropriate
| considerable share of the surplus in the fonn of increasing discretion
ary consumption. Under these conditions "perverse growth" would
continue notwithstanding stare ownership of the means of production.ll
[n order to achieve "rea]" long-term developmenr, disengagement from
imernational capitalism will have to be accompanied by a change in the
power base of African governments.
Yet even the fe-allocation of surplus from the discretionary consump
tion of the "laoor aristocracy" U productive investment, though a neces- I
sary condition, is not sufcient for steady long-term growth. Productive
investment in the modern sector must be directed toward the creation of
development stimuli in the traditional sector; that is, it mUSt be direete<
to the expansion of those industries producing the capital and the con
S!!l ller goods most suited to the requirements of the traditional sector.
Failing this, as the history of socialist developmenr in nonindusrrial envi
ronmcnrs has so often demonstrated, the growing demand for labor and
produce following upon industrialization would merely lead Uunfavor
able terms of trade for the traditional sector, restraining rhe exploitation
of its surplus productive capacity.l4
The problem of creating incentives to exploit surplus productive ca
pacity in the traditional sector is crucial because there still exist, among
the peasants of tropical Africa, surplus land and surplus labor-time. The
st"cond problem involved in raising the productivity of African peasants
(see above) is that of ensuring the productivl absorption 0/ tht surplus
prQdl/Cd in !0r traditional stLtor. Here the queSTion of rural transforma
tion is more starkly posed, even if difcult U answer af the theoretical
level. It will involve some calculations as to whether the transformation
of traditional economics is beSt attained through the formation of an
agrarian capitalist class or rhe gradual absorption of the indilidual peas
ant families into larger units (cooperarives, collectives, communes):
whether through the utili7.tion or superseding of traditional forms of
Part J: (::eT,irws
work cooperation, or through reliance upon central marketing boards or
traders for tnc collection of produce from, and distribution of manuf.'e
tured goods ro, rhe traditional producers.
Ccnainly a process of vcry real diff erentiation is afOO( in many parts
of rural Africa. The commercialization of paS:nr agriculture has ofren
been followed by a markcd expansion of privatc land owncrship," and a
growing division betwccn rhe nascem agricultural "emrep
reneurs" (he
"kulaks," as Profcssor DunlOm reccntly referred to them In Tanzama),
the !llre marginal cash-cropprs, the subsisrence farmers, and the agri
cultural laborers. Increasingly these strata have diferemial interests with
implications for rural strategy. Thus, for example. copratives may
come to be manipulated by the more economically advanced pasants
for their own beneft. If the instruments of "generalized mobilization"
become mortgaged ro one particular group, the thrust of such a develop
ment policy may well be blunted.
On the other hand, it has l:en ably argued that at this stage in devel
opment it may be wise to "let the kulaks run," to allow the logic of the
market to bri ser la jamille (as Samir Amin has put it), and to break
down the attendam traditional economic constraints once and for all.l It
is not inconceivable. of course. thar links of common imerest formed be
tween emergent "capitalist" farmers and the labor arisToracy could be
come a further force to sustain rhe present pattern of ecollomy and soci
cty-one thinks of the symbiosis between planters and bureaucnts in
the Ivor) CoaST. Yet much will depend upn the genenl framework
provided by the trajectory of de"elopment in the modern sectOr as to
how short-run compromises with "inequality" in the "traditional" sector
are situated and perhaps evenrually controlled.
In conclusion, the frst part of our analysis raises a numbr of ques
tions concerning the relationship betwccn currenr class formation and
long-term development in tropiCll Africa. The growth of a labor aris
tocracy and the reliance on imernational capitalism, far from being nec
essary for such dcvelopment, seem instead to reduce the growth poten
tial of the economics in question, although the relationship between elass
formation and development, for the short run at least, is much less clear
in thc rural areas. It may be argued that the changes in surplus utiliza
tion, which we have seen to be necessary for real development, arc not
possible under present historical conditions, particularly in view of the
short-term losses in economic growth and, quite possibly, in political sta-
Dewlopmnu in Tropical Ajrica J
bility that would ensue frolll any serious attempt at disengagemcnr from
international capitalism or reform of the power base of the AfriCln gov
ermllents involved. This question, however, by no means invalidates rhe
historical necessity of the change itself, which should therefore be of
central imponance in socialist debate.
Z. The "leor and pT(fjce oj Ajricafl Socialism
It seems relevant at this point to appraise, using rather broad strokes,
the theory and practice of African socialism as evidenced to date. In this
wa), the nature of the limitations, both intellectual and contexrual, upn
socialist experiment in Africa may be clarifed. P would. of course, be
:Irrifcial to separate tOO categorically considerations as to "theor)" and
"practice"; an undcrstanding of the latter mUSt serve to illuminate the
real texture and function of the fonner. Nonetheless, many striking am
biguities are readily identifiable on the ideological plane itself. whether
this be seen primarily as a determinant of practice or merely as its refec
tion and rationalization. The broad outline of the constellation of ideas
under discussion, sometimes identifed generically as "African social
ism," arc by now f.1miliar eTlugh,lJ though they remain difcult to cap
sulize as we must do here. It should be noted that even the overarching
label of" African socialism" has been vigorously rejected by some of the
continent's more militant prnctitioners; we must be careful not to sche
matize away real diff erences.
Yet there remain cerrain central themes common to most African
writers and speakers on the subject and, more imprtant, some common
pttern to rhe sccming inadequacy of the analysis underlying many of
their statements. Professd African socialisTS are, to be sure,' uniformly
interested in economic development; they have also sensed that some
(arm of cordinated expansion on the agricultural and industrial fronts is
rcircd in order to atrain that goo!. The precise nature of the problems
of "Structural transformation" which are involved is less clearly fxed in
their minds, though cerrain echoes of these concerns arc sometimes TO be
fOllnd scattered through their speeches and programs.
Evt'n socialiSTS, however, have tended U operate in terms of the con
\'cnrional model of development based upon the expansion of cash crops
the export market, increased industrial capital formation in consumer
industries, and the import of foreign-generally privatc--{:apital,
24 ParI I: Oeits
the Tt
uisite amount of infrastructural investment being the responsibil-
\ icy of the state. This is, of course, in essence the ideal type of "perverse
growth" in Africa which we discussed in Section I. Thus the main i
tellecrual limitations, whether consiouslIoconcious
inadeuate undemanding of the process of sustined development and
structural transformation, but also. as will become apparcm,
ufcjently subtle and critical picture both of the emergingpattcUaf
African socioeconomic stratifcation (particularly as regards "town
country" relations) and of the realities of the international economy.
Small wonder, then, that ideas about "development" and "equality" arc
themselves not systematically linked, and, in consequence, that "social
isr" str:negies emerge which leave much lO be desired.
In brief, a thoroughly disabused (and disinterested) look at such pat
terns has rarely been taken by African leaders. This is refecred by the
extent to which thc general tone of "socialist" thinking in Africa tends
to blur these concerns, despite the occasional admissions and qualifca
tions wirnessing ] rather greater sophistication. Thus, to take one ex
ample, Senghor is sometimes alive in his writings to the dangers of a
newly privileged, urban-based group of "intellectuals-[iberJI profes
sionals, functionaries, employers, even workers"-arising U exploit "the
pe:sams, shepherds, and artisans." Bur the point is not pushed, nor possi
ble institutional checks hypothesized; rather, he relies largely upn
"spiritual values" U avert the dangcr. Yet excessive self-denial on the
part of tlus "labor aristocracy" (as we havc dcfned it) is certainly nOt to
be expected when so milirant a socialist spokesman as Toure himself can
In our denunciation of bourgeois Tendencies we must not, as do specialists
in confusion, accuse of being bourgeois the peaS3nt, the worker or The civil
servant who is a convinced democrat and dc\oted PDG member and who
by his personal efforTS has been able U build a modern hous, purchase a
car or acquire honestly ;nything which contributes to the material well
being of his fmily. Since the main objective of our revolution is to make it
possible for all art;in through work the highcst possible degree of pros
perity, we cannot blame these people. On the COntrary, a man must utilize
his energies and fculties for the constant improvement of his living stand
Surely [his muSt :mount to an overt sanction of the norm of fOichis~
3870: for the bureaucratic groups (of party and state), "the new elites
Det!opmCt ill Tropical Africa 25
of tropical Africa," 19 which have emerged to prominence i n the post
independence priod. There has really been little grasp, within the doc
trine of African socialism, of such a form of inequality and the accom
panying possibilities for exploitation by this labor aristocracy. The
necessity of bridging the urban-rural gap is rarely given sufcient prom
inence; the SOrt of assault on privilege which would free : good propor
(ion of the surplus from urban consumptionism for rural incentives and
capital formation is defected away.
Occasionally certain steps are taken and presented with a logic that
seems impccably to combine the twin concerns of development and
equality. Thus an argumem postulated upon the social necessity of capi
tal accumulation and the imperative of "hard work" is often used when
African governments turn to deal with the trade unions. In most "social
ist countries the larrer have been brought U heel, absorbed organi7. a
tionally inro the network of the ruling party. It is argued that they rep
resent a privileged cadre of workers and that their gains are being made
at the expense of the country as a whole, and of the rural sector in par
ticular. As a step toward general development, they must be disciplined
accordingly and redirected from "eonsumptionist" to "productionist"
Another prime target is the tr.ding community, and again the argu
ment against it is often advanced in terms of the need for both a more
egalitarian pattern of distribution and accelerated capital accumulation.
The redistribution of excessive profts of local traders and (sometimes)
foreign trading houses is demanded, to provide incentive payments for
hcgrowers and more fnancing for productive in\estment by the state.
!n addition, it is argued that the marketing cooperatives, which are fur
ther encouraged by such steps in the rural areas, represent a collective,
and therefore socialist, enterprise which is laudable in its own right. The
fact that the trading group to be so displaced is ofren l:rgely composed
of a racial or Cultural minority may, of course, ease the acceptance of
such policies.
One might be bener disposed to accept these laner moves on the
terms in which they have been presented by the leaders, were the gen
eral line of argument which is used to justif them (that is, the criticism,
by presumptive socialists, of inequalities which block development)
more consciously and rigorously applied to the society as a whole. Un
fortunately this has not been the case: perceived inequalities-what
2. Par' f: ("Ol ies
T ourc has termed "contradicrions" -gcr vcry easily swallowed up and
blurred analytically within the framework provided by the cominent's
distinctive "socialist" ideology. Here we refer fO that strand of the argu
ment which has been characterized by Peter Worsley as "populism. ") 1
In .frica this has involved the claim, by almost all leaders, that African
societies arc, even now, classless. The foundations for pervasive social
solidarity arc ro be found in traditional society and, rnedi:Tcd by a con
temporary "attitude of mind," continue U strike againST meaningful
The mOSt outspoken srntcmcnt of this "model" is to be found in Ny
crerc's early papr "Ujamaa," ` lJt even S Marxist-ringed a spkes
man as T oure has fallen back upn (hc "communocratic" nature of Afri
can society to smooth over, ideologically, certain of th potenrial class
anragonisms he sees in Guinean society. To this Toure adds the argu
ment that such classless uniformity is reinforced by the fact of the whole
population's facing, as a body. the neocolonialist exploiter. Not surpris
ingly, nationalism provides much of the ccrenr for this populist edifce,
being usefl also for displacing conrinuing ethnic or tribal consciousness.
Countless quotations could be introduced to demonstrate these general
emphases in Africa. or, within such a "dassless" society, is it sur
prising that any considertion as to the nature of the soial relations
of production is seen to be of little fundamental concern to socialist as
pirntions. Thus Kof Baako, a man as dose as anrone to Nkrumah in
In 3 Nkrumahist-Socialist state,the frmer will not lose his fam the land
lord will not lose his house. but will not be allowed to txploit the tenam:
the employer will not be allowed to e.ploit the worker, nor will the
worker b allowed to cheat the employer by idling abut: the car owner
will Still have his cr the property or wealth which someone lus ac
quired or erned through hard boor and through honest usc ofhis menral
and physical energies (will not] b taken aW:y from him :nd sh:red
:IlOng lazy, unscrupulous.indisciplined bur able-bodied citizens.
As Fitch and Oppcnheimcr observe of such utterances: "Neither land
lords nor capitalists will be abolished-thcy will siHply be regulated.
This "populist" strnin ro African socialism also h:s importanrimplica
tions for the analysis of the rural sector; moreover. there it is perhaps
even more likely to be raken seriously by the ideologues themselves.
!tlo/mmr in rropi(11 Afri(a Z/
\Vorsley summarizes this theme when he writes: " Africa is its pas
antry, subsistence proucers and cash-crop producers, but indepcndent
pasants. This is the basic fuct about the soial structures of the new A f
rican states." We have already seen this to be suspect, given the charac
ter of "town-country" relationships in comemporary Africa, but within
the rural arca itself solidarity is (once again) felr to :rise from these
fi\Cls. Yet, as we have suggested, even the relatively unrevolutionized
rural economics of tropical A frica are no longer as undiferentiated as
these African leders like TO profess. What is clear, therefore, is that the
issue of nascent rural class formation and irs implications for deve|
ment cannOl b squarely faced, or efective "long-run" strategies of
cialist control and direction developd, within a ppulist framework of
analysis which masks the proess of rural change.
Even in the absence of such a searching examination of rural realities,
it nonetheless remains true that the "mobilization" of the peasantry is
regRrded as a vital necessity much more vUlly in srates of "socialist"
bent than in others. There, a rore generalized release of producrive en
ergies is loked to: it is in this context that the strand of" African social
ism' which Friedland tenned "the social obligation to work" becomes
most prominent.H Socialism is presemed as an invocation ro effort and,
implicidy or exp ucitly, a certain measure of sacrifce against the promise
of some furure day is encouraged, in however unspcifed a way. Tus
il'tuift1tnt Iain and self-hclp become a collcctive exercise in
some, often marginal, form of capital accumulation. These projects can
be of value in educating pople to national consciousness;" but, as
should be apparent, such emphases may merely encourage the evasion of
(hose more central problems which concern the interaction of traditional
tnd modern sectors and the expansion of surplus prouctive capacity.
All too rarely, for example, is the character of any choice between capi
talist and collectivist agricultural accumulation spllcd out or related ro
broder questions of development priorities such as we have p,pli
cies can t0t00t0 qut0 easily fall btween two stols.
Just as the populist strand in African soialism obscures [he realities of
class formation, so it is important, if somewhat par3doxical. to observe
|hnr much of the criticism of "neocolonialism" in socialist Africa has
served to obscure the realities of internat)onal capitalism's involvement
on the continent. Of necesity. therefore. the range of specific plicy
options is also artifcially narrowed. Even the mOSt vocal of socialists as-
18 Part I: Off.if'f
sume [he necessity of dealing with "the enemy"; as Jean UCQurure ob
S(rvcd in discussing the Dakar Colloquium on African Socialism: "The
distinction, always somewhat artifcial, between 'revolurionary' and 're
formist' Africa now seems altogether obsolete. . \hat is even more
srriking is that nobody challenged the necessity of calling upon foreign
aid and investment. " )$
But neither did anyone feel Ocompelled, it would seem, U analyze
very systematically the arguments concerning the development poten
tial of such investment by an increasingly monoplistic brand of interna
tional capiralisl
ll in terms of the choice of techniques and the absorption
of labor. the reinvestment of profts, and rhe generation of internal de
mand. Policy statementS thus oscillate rather erratically between the ab
straC[ slogans of " neocolonialism"-a useful instrument with which U
forge national unity behind the k-aders-and a "forced" acceptance of
the "necessity" of encouraging foreign investment in order to obtain
skills and capital.
Side effects tend to drop out of the equation. The application of a long
time horizon might suggest that, despite a rime lag, the infow of unfet
tered foreign capital must cvenrually lead to a marked drain of repatri
ated profts and the like. Therefore an assessment must constantly be
made 3 [Q its genuine development potential; as suggested, many forms
of capital import may be worsc than none at all, despite the subsequent
existence of plants on the ground and a handful of newly hired indige
nous employees. One can, of course, suspcr rhat son of the encour
agemem given to an increased capital infow may arise from the clite's
concern with shorHcrm b3Iance-of-payrems difculties caused by ex
cessive imports. Nonetheless, for the genuine African socialist, the ne
cessity of illttnla/ (apitDl forma/ion mUSt be underscored in his argu
ments and, furthermore, explained clearly to rhc pople.
For, all to ofen, the promise of a favorable deal to be made by the
clite with that mOt pwerful external constellation of technology and
economic power which is the Western economic system smacks of an
anempt [Q get smething for nothing (an unlikely occurrcncc, but per
haps a useful political case to makc to the mass of thc population in the
short run). Givcn < clearcr prspeC[i\c, the defnition of firmer condi
lions for such capital as did corne in would also become a more pressi ng
imperative than has becn the case, however difcult such conditions arc
to apply in practicc. And a vigorous attack upon "balkanil.ltion" and an
Dtewpmmt i7 Tropim/ Africa 19
advoacy of regional groupings, preferably of "like-minded" mtes, to
encourage complemenrities and cordinated devdopment would b
come an even more prominent feature.
The relating of an ideology like African socialism lO the complex M
cial structure of changing Africa and the identifying of its functions is
not an easy task. "Vc have said enough, however, to suggest that more
than merc intellectual confusion is at issue. It is true that in colonial and
economically underdeveloped A frica an indigenous dominant class with \
power grounded in The process of production had, by and large, nor
1 the pliriC1 and bureaucratic groups which did come for
ward to prominence were therefore defned by a greater "relative social
autonomy and plasticity," as Roger Murray has put it." Nonetheless,
after indepndence, when a combination of past education andlor pliti-
cal record and current bureaucratic position care U be the chief deter
minants of privilege in the new society, it is elear that, in the absence of
more rigorous organization and ideological clarity, a rarher narrow
veSTed interest in the system had corne to characterize the new clites,
"une bourgeoisie plus proche d'un mandarinat," as Di . has called them.
Their growing consciousness of a diferentiated position vis-a-vis the
mass of the ppulation was such that Peter Lloyd, one of the shrewdest
observers of this process, could toy with the idea of discarding the
"elite" concept and substituting the notion of"class" to describe the p
sition in society of this group.'"
Thus it is within this sort of comext that one must place trends-to
0 increased centralization of power, the absorption of quasi-autono
mous bodies, and ideological myth-making for popular consumption of
the SOrt we have examined-which are then seen Uexpress a clear insti
tutional and, behind that, a class interest.t And within this framework
much state intervention, insofar as it seems only marginally related ro a
generalized soialiST development strategy, can in part be explained as
the conscious proliferation of jobs for incoming recruits to the dominant
group. At the very least, given the nature of the bureaucratic elite. any
glib identifcation, by leaders or observers, of socialism in Africa with
ilafiml and policies for centralization of economic control must be
viewed with suspicion. In addition, a sustained stand against the blan
dishments of foreign capitalism, or even a critical scrutiny of its potenrial
contributions. is unlikely from such a group. There is some danger of
crude reductionism in such a gencralizcd formulation, but it remains a
Parr . o.el".ies
hypothesis which illuminates a great deal of the empirical evidence at
our disposal.
A closer examination of the practice of African states conventionally
labeled " socialist" contributes markedly TO such a picture. Thus Samir
\ Amin's valuable study of Ghana, Guinea, and Mali demonstrates, with
telling statistical force, the heavy weight of bureaucratic expense and
conspicuous urban consumption, both public and printe, in the budgets
of these STates. His conclusion is that: "Austerity, the revolutionary
ciTon [0 use new and less costly methods, have nO[ resisted the appetites
of the new bureaucracy." In Guinea, administrative expenditure rose by
80 percent between !919 and !96!, in Maii, by 60 percent. Salary
srructures, inherited from the colonial era, have been only marginally
reformed. The result: " The Guinea and Mali plans implied a great
efort toward domestic, public fnancing which has nO[ been efected."
Gerard Chaliand's fgures for French-speaking West Africa as a
whole reveal an important aspect of this tilring of resources toward an
increasingly consumptionist middle class. Uniformly across these
countries [here is a gross discrepancy between rhe amounts spent abroad
for impomtion of drink and other luxury items (toiletries, certain kinds
of motor cars) and the amounts of foreign exchange used for capital for
mation.l Similar statistics to document the importance of what we have
termed "discretionary consumption" could be produced for other
countries on the continent. Amin (and others) stress the importance of
this pattern for the traditional seCTor which in the absence of a genuine
take-off he sees as still the major brake upon development eforrs within
the three mnional experiments he reviews. Certainly it becomes increas
ingly difcult under these circumstances for a rural population to rake at
face value rhe prorestations and demands for sacrifce of such an elite.
And, 3should by now be evident, viral resources which could stimulate
rhe dynamic imeraction of the urban and rural seCTorS arc being diverted
from that effort.
In rhe Ghana of the early ! 96u.a reasonably sophisticated style of.o
cialist debate which began in certain Ghanaian student circles abroad in
the I9+u: was revita1ized.) This was characterized, for example, by
"the attempt to transcend the 'African socialism' current of thought in
favor of a more universal and scientifc theory; and rhe rclated effort to
institutionalize and accelerate the formation of an ideological vanguard of
cadres who might then strive to make ideology a mass force (Win-
Development ill Tropical Africa 3
neba)." Similarly the Seven Year Plan took seriously many impera
tives concerning the "extension of S[a[C economic activity and control
over the private sector" and "accelerated accumulation" i n some rela
tionship to a general socialist strategy!! Even at the level of analysis
there were inadequacies:
For i fa reading of the Ghanaian plan demonstrates that the leaders arc
awarc of the necessity of breaking with this type of development which
has reachcd its limits, of revolutionizing traditionBl agriculture, of radical
industrialization in the context of closcr economic unity in West Africa, it
is still necess.'ry Usay that the specifc policies to be undertaken have not
been sufciently thought through.'"
And the results were disappointing.
But the chief constraint remained the quality of the regime's political
and social base. Having over the years cut itself off from mass support,
rhe CPP became increasingly a "town" organization in the general
sense we have suggested. The political instruments themselves were ex
cessively bureaucratized, wirh their cadres marked by opportunism.
They could muster little support either for socialism or against those
other "labor aristocrats" of the stare bureaucracy (including the mili
tary) who were progressively more alienated from the regime by its
overtly socialist drive, however much thi s was found to be half-hearted
in practice. "The spectacular purges, [rials and appeals (Dawn Broad
cast, erc.) merely revealed the inability to transform the CPP and its
satellite formations by mobilization from the base up." Among other
things, it is not surprising that eforts at rural transformation by means
of novel crops and techniques suffered as a result of this peculiarly Gha
naian variant of the "urban-rural" dichotomy.
Other aspects of so-called socialist "practice" are revealing. We have
spoken of government action vis-a-vis the trade unions, the rationale for
which was often a variant upon the theme "equalization for develop
ment." Yet the statisrics are again striking-we have already cited
1 orner's fnding that, while wage and salary employment in Africa hasl
remained relatively static in the last dozen years, wages have risen mark
edly.n No real line has been held even where organizational control has
been maximized. One may be forgiven the suspicion that jockeying for
political comrol rather than the logic of a development strategy has dic
tated much of rhe interventionism rhat has taken place. Certainly wage
fart . Oitl
workers have nO[ been forced, in any marked way, fO pay the price of
development, despite what oftcn amounts [0 a government take-over
from the incumbent leadership. Organized workers have generally ben
admitted into the privileged ranks of the "labor" Of course,
where wage restraint began to be demanded of these junior partners to
the "aristocracy," its imposition was made morc difcult by the unam
biguously privileged position of its other members, the pliticians and
the salariar: "Essentially ,he \ solved the problem of moral versus
material incentives by denying oorh: the workers were ordered to be
come Stakhanovitcs to defend a revolution that had never relly
Evcn the character of the take-over of the trading seelor, attempted in
one form or another in moSt African "socialist" states, is revealing. It
certainly promises a proliferation of jobs; it also provides sources of ad
vantage for a leadership cadre whose highest level of consciousness is
often m1ihtD-0u. Once again, the norm of redistribution is shown
to be ambiguous. The Abraham Commission's inquiry into corruption
in Ghana's trading corporations makes chilling Te3ding; extended pcu
lation has all to often charactetized the substitution of a network of co
opratives and marketing boards elsewhere. Ceminly any tOlal take
over of the marketing system is sufciently difcult to make one hesitate
to see it as an e:rly priority for a soialist strategy, espcially in the light
of our earlier discussion of the ambiguities invoked in establishing S
cialist priorities for the rural areas.
But it is important \O note that criticisms such as those by Berg and
others concerning Guinea's sweeping "narionali1.tion" of the market
ing sector may oversimplify the case; it is not only administrative inca
pacity that is at stake. '" Much of the failure had to do with the character
of the Guine3n elite and the nonns of the bureaucratic machine that
moved to asseT! control. A more generalized socialist strategy, establish
ing, for example, diferent priorities in training cadres and attempting U
raise the socialist consciousness of the people concerned through plitical
education, might pssibly transcend some of these problems.
Finally, we should appraise socialist practice in the rclations of Afri
can states with foreign capital. We have already suggested the extent to
which slogans have served to blur the real choices here. Yet the question
is a crucial one. As noted, even in a country like the Ivory CoaSt eco
nomic problems are beginning to arise from its "international capiralist"
Dr./pt in Tical Africa ii
strategy of growth. And mOt soialist countries have been loth, by and
large, to chan very divergent pths. Even in the heyday of Guinean M
cialism, for example. there was little attempt to question tics with inter
national capitalism in the industrial and extractive $Cctors, and this tend
ency has been magnifed since !9! .
Nkrumah's regime is again textbook study of such involvement, one
which ofers additional explanations of its difculties. Whereas the
"Lewis strategy" to attract foreign capital had been a relative failure in
the 190s.after the declaration of a more militant socialism the pace
sleppd up- pcially in the feld of supplier credits. as Douglas Rim
mer has noted.S: ' t was in train was "merely a rransfonnation and
redefnition of [foreign private capital's) mode of linkage with the Gha
naian state," a continuance of some form of the "poliics of media
The Volta River Project seems the apgee of such "paceful
coexistence between sectors": Kaiser obtained a source of cheap power
|ir rhe transformation of transshippd bauxite into aluminum, with no
concomitant necessity of developing loal bauxite deposits or of building
an integrated aluminum industry.1i Not that the redefnition of such a
m:ocolonial relationship is easy: investment coes of varying degrees of
srringency have in fact been tried in Guinea. Ghana. Senegal. and esp
cially Mali. Bur if the international economic environment has ben a
harsh one for such efforts. it is also true that the will to divert interna
tional tics in a soialist direction has not ben a sustained one.
This is not surprising: any :mempt so to face up to international capi
talism would suggest a growing awareness of the centrality of rhe pat
tern of surplus absorption and utilization to development strategy, and
some readiness to correct its "irrationalities." Yet the inevitable corol
lary of a serious commitment to this goal is a parallel atrack on the privi
leges of those very classes constituting the pwer bas upn which most
African governments arc likdy to rdy. We therefore come full circle to
that dichotomy observed abve between what is hislorically necessry
bth for development and socialism, and what may apptr at present to
be historically pssible. Any strategy directed tOward socialist con
struction in Africa must therefore face up to the full complexities in
voil'cd in creating a state power dedicated to the rask, and in generating
or tapping soial forces capable of underpinning such state.
is perhaps pssible that such a novel power base could be found by
combining elements of a fully mobilized peasantry and a transformed
ParI I: Oies
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:|c -- |e c.- :-.i:- .ec| . |i :-- |-:- .- e-
e-.:e-, :|ee,|. .. -e:-o, :|- :-.e|:. :e o.:- |.- u-- .-,:a-, te: :-
.sse:-, e- :|.. .ce:-, cc::.-|, :|c e.|:, ei :|- ,e|:c.i .::.c. e.:--
.t|, e:|-, :e.:o .ec| ,e|. |.. |ci: ec| :e ~ o-.:co. ve:- .::|
.-,|,, :|c c|..c:-: ei .-:.-i:- ce-:.:ie- .- ce-:-e:.:, uc.
.-o. - .:cei.:. :|c :.- ei :|- i:.:, U . s.:e- ei .c..| :e.
-c-c- .|e :|- .::c-,:| ei ie:c-. ::-, :|c .:e.:.e- .- . ceec::c
e|e:e-.:, o.:-c:e-. . -e:-c - :|- -::ec:e-, : |.. -e: t~- ee:
.-:--:.e- :e .:cei.:- ie||, . ie:.:o .::.:-,, ie: i:c.- .ec.i.
e--:|-|-... :|-:- .:c :|cc. |-:- |c| oc.-o :|c e:,--: .::--:.e-
ei .|| :|e.- ce-cc:--o
1 Cocluding Rearh
I.-:.-. ., :|.., :|- cee-::, - ce-:c:.y i:c. |-:- M
c.|.: ..:.:e-. i,e:c e.: :e.---:|, .-o i-:c:c.:-,|, - :|c o--i
e--: -e.:.e-. .-o ~: -:ie||, .+-c: :|- |-o ei |c|
.:c tc-, e:.e-o Ie t- .e:c, ec| :-.-. :e tc oe-c :|c:c, e:-
e-:, : . t, -e c.-. c|-.: :|.: .|| :|- :-|-.-: ei :|c :et
|c ei sec.|.: oc-|ec-: |.- .. ,-: t--- ce-.o-:co t, :|- i-.o-:
.| -c:|-: .uc|- ei :|. |c-,:|. - i.c:. cee|o i- :.::c- :e o..ce..
:|- |.c.:e-. ei :|c I.-:.-.- --:--c- U o.:- .-o :s ||-i, ::.-
,-c:c:,. ie: ,-:|.. . ic i:ci ,e-:. c.- t- .oc |cc .- :|- |,|: ei
:|c :-cco-, .ce...e-.
i: :-..-. ::ec :|.: ec| ei :|c cee:s- ei :-cc 1.-:.-..- o-c|e,-
c |.. t--- c|.::co t, :|c -e|e:e- ei r:-.o--: ,-:c:c'. e-
:|-|-,. ::e :|- :.:|c: si1pfisl i:c.- sec..|.: :|-c. ei :c
.e:- se|o.:.:, .-o .- .e:o.:c.||, s~..|.: .u:eo- ei -o,
|c| .:- :e t- iee-o .- :|- .: e- ujamaa c:-o .te-, :e . e:-
.et:i- ...-..--: ei i:c.- :c.|:.-., t, .-o |.:,- : |. -e: .:.-- i:e
.-, ce-c-::-o ,:ee e: .s :-..e:- ue: :|-, e-c|.||--,co
.ccc:.-c- ei c-::..- .cce.-,.-, .::, ,e|.c.c. .-o. -.-c.||,, :|c
.::.-c-: ei o-.:-.o o-e|e,c.i .e-iou-:y :e -e-| sec.|.: ..
:.:.e-. oe :-.:i,, .- e- -..e:-, U:|c :-|.:.- .ec.| .e:e-e, .-o
|..:c:, ei :|c Ai:c.- |-.oc:.| c.o:c |ic| .. .e,,-.:-o .te-
W|-:|c: :|- c-:,c:: i.te: .:.:-c:.c, - I.-:.-. c.- :-.||, ::.-
Detlpmnlt in Trpicaf Africl JS
c.: :|c -.::e |e::e-. ei :. e.:- -etc:. - e:|c: i:c.-
.e.-::c. :c.-. lO t- .ce-. se: . ,c-e-- .::c: . tc-, .oc :e
.|... . |-,|:c--o sec.|.: ce:ca: ie :|c (.-:, .e-, e:|-:
o-,.. . ce-.ce--: ce:t e- :|c i:.c. ei e:t.- ce-.e:e-.,.
L!.ee:.c, :|c |.c| ei :ceie:e-.:, -:-||ec:e.|. .e-, :|c |c.oc:. ..
. .::|-, i-.:e:-. .e,,c.:-, . ssti- i:e:c o:., e- :|c iic, ei
,c-eac|,, :|- -.:ec ei :|- c|.:- ``
v-: :c.e.ti, ec| :|| .|.e oc--o e- .:.||c| cne::., e.-, :|-
!-e.:.:.c -c|.-... ce|.: :e 1.-:.-..'. e-c,.::, .,.:-, .. c||
.. e:|-: -.::e:.e-., te:| :e OU :|c ..: ... ei :|c e...-: ee|.
:e- :e -:c.. :|-: .-:-:c.:. .. . seci.| ie:c- c|-c|i-, ..t|- .tes-. ei
:|c.: .:e- i, :|c |c.oc:., .-o .: :|- s.- :- :e :..s- :|c |-c| ei
.. .e-scee.--.. :|.: .ec| -:-:c-:e- .. ei . :e,:c..- .e::
1-c |.c: :|.:, ,-- . :e|.:-|, e-et|z-: c...-::,, :|. || te .
o+ce|: t.i.-cc :e .::|- .|ee|o :ce:c -e c|.o:.:c c|... i: .|.e
.,,c.:. :e- :|.: :|c 1.-:.-.- .:,, 1U, |c| .,|: e:|-:.c
.cc :|c o-.| -.::ec-: ie: |.-|-, :-e|e:e-.:, -:c||cc:e.|. .-o :|c
... ei :|- e|.:e-, :c..-. . c|.:c|, c.| :--o. i: .. e-ie::e
-.:c|,. :ee -.:|, :e ...c.. :|- ||c|.|eeo ei . o:..:.c c|.-,c - :|.. o
c-.e- ei :|c I.-:.-.- .:e.:e-, te: :|c cne::. e-o-::.i-- :e :-.|:-
.ec| . c|,c ., ie e-- ei :|- ic.:e:-. .|-, I.-..-. .- .,e::.-:
iece. ei -:-:-.: - :|- -c-: ic ,c.:.. le: :|c i.c: :c.-. :|.: r:-..
.c-: ,c:-:- |.. -c:c.. -,|, o.|.,co . .e|.:.c.:co ..:--c.. ei
.-, ei :|- .::-:-. ei i:c.- c|.-,- |c| c |.c o..ce..-o. :|-
,::.-cc ei :|c :e:.|e:t.- o.c|e:e,, :|- :c|.:- i.c| ei .e..|..:
.:cc:e- :e.o-o t, . c:c .:::eo- ei .-o, .e- ei :|- .t,e
.: ei ie:c.,- cce-ec .-ei-c-: - :|c oec.:c -ce-e,, .-o :|c
c|:-. ei :e:.| .::.:c.:e-. k-,.:o-, :|c :.: ei :|cse, |. .c:e-.
|.e t-c- ie::|:.,|:. :-c.. :|- ce:t-, ei .:eoc-: :c:--..e-. .: :|c
U--..:, ce||-,e. :|c .ets-.
ec-: c..| ..|.:, .e:. :|c :-cc-:
o..|--, ei :|- c-::..,.-: .,c o-.-o. ei u1 (;|c -.:e-.|
:..:- e-e-). .-o. -.: .e::.-: e: .||. :|c :e.|. ncc|.:.:e- ei ! -t

.:, 96,|c| |.. --.c:co . s-|ioc-,-, e:o-.-cc .,.-.: c-::.i-

|o. ei cce-ec .,,:.-o:c--: t, :|- c|:- (c.,ec.||, .. :-,.:o. :|c

-.| ei :e-::,) .-o :|e. c.||co e- :|- \O --c|i, :|-: &




:-.| t-,.---, |.s :|e. ~-- .o- s.|.:|,,
,e|.:,..| coec.:.e- |.. tcce- . ec| e:c oe-.-: :|cc te:|
:|- :|c -oec.:e-.| .,.:c .-o .... :|c ,c--:.i et|c. .e,c.:
farl I: Oties
urban and rU1<\1 proletariat, thereby producing a genuine " workers and
pasants" stare. Whether the existing political and bureaucratic elites arc
the men who can realize such a transformation will remain here an opn
question, though, as noted, [he results to dare have ben anything but re
assuring on this score; certainly the quality of the pliticl parries osten
sibly working toward such gols has left much to b desired. More strik
ingly, the chal"cter of intra-elite comptition in contemprary Africa
and, in particular, the rise of the military to a position of spcial promi
nence show the strength of forces driving the simarian in a counter-rev
olUTionary direction." As noted in the introduction, it has nOt been our
imcmion U articulate fully a forward strategy for African socialism.
Nonetheless. there are themes here which demand {he urgent attention
of all those concerned.
. Concluding Rearb
Tanzania is, perhaps. dIe country in contemporary Africa where s0-
cialist aspirations fgure most prominently and interestingly in the devel
opment equation. and most powerfully afect the kind of policies which
arc being pursued. To be sure, much remains ro be done there; more
over, it is by no means dear that all the relevant dimensions of the prob
lem of socialist development have as yet ben considered by the leader
ship. Another anicle of this length, in fact, could b wrirten to discuss
the implications of the Tan7. anian exprience to date and its likely tra
jecrory.'6 but prhaps a few brief pints can b made here in the light of
the preceding discussion.
It remains troc that much of the course of recent Tanzanian develop
ment has been charred by the evolution of President Nyerere's own
thinking, from the rather tintplisu "African socialist" themes of pre
sumptive solidarity and an automatically soialist "artitude of mind,"
which arc \O be found in the papr on Ijallll cited above, to a more
subtle assessment of African realities; by and large it has not arisen from
any concef(ed group or mass pressure. But the relatively unchallenged
acceptance of certain accompanying parry policies and, especially, the
attainment of widespread ideological conformity U novel socialist aspi
rations do testify, in some measure, ro the "relative social auwnomy and
plasticity" of the African leadership cadre which was suggested above.
Whether the emergent labor aristocracy in Tanzania can really tran-
Dltlopmmt ill Tropical A/rim 35
scend the narrow horizons of its opposite numbers in other African
counrries remains to b secn. But a genuine attempt is being made U
elicit a heightened socialist commitment from them (and, among other
things, a conseqocm curb on the "plitics of urban consumprionism").
Of course. the lack of "revolutionary imellectoals" among the leaders is
" srriing feature, s

ggesting a pssible fture drag upn the plicy of

genulllely rransformmg the nature of the "elite."
Yet p

nuch will lso dend upn parallel efforts, using the


lCcal1lsms pcuhar to Tanzania's olle-party system, as well


5 other lnStltUUO

both to rouse the vast mass of the pasant ppula

to e

ress theIr lI1tcrestS as a soial force checking possible abuses of

thClr plnon by the leaders, and at the same tillle U raise the level of
mass consciousness so that such "intervention" is of a progressive SOrt.
The fact that, given a relatively unmobilized peasantry. this will be a
difcult balance to strike should require no elaborate emphasis. It also
apc1r true that the Tanzanian party, TANU, which might otherwise
seem the ideal instrument for linking revolutionary intellectuals and the
mass of the population, remains a relatively weak rced.u It is, unfortu

, tOO early to assess the likelihood of a dramatic change in this di

rcnslon ofthe Tanzanian situation, but the c!Torrs undertaken to realize
such a cange m

y be one of the features making Tan7ania an important

focus of lIlterest Uthe next few years. For the fact remains that Presi
dent Nyerere has increasingly displayed a sophisticated awareness of

1:lrty of the patterns of African change which we have discussed: the

Importance ofthe "rural-urban" dichotomy, the relative lack ofsocialist
'rection p
rovided by

)Cre "artitude of mind," some of the ambigui

f foreIgn economIc Involvement in the domestic economy, and the
realities of rural stratifcation. Regarding the frSt of these, his actions

n forthright: witness the curbing of student pretensions at the
Umvcrsly College. the subSC(juent civil service salary cutS the recent
disciplining of the extravagant wage demands of NUTA (;hc national
trade union), and, most impomnr of al1, the Arush;l I)eclaration of Feb

ar}" i96,which has enacted a self-denying ordinance against certain

kmds of

conomic aggrandizement by The elite (especially as regards the

owersh'p of property) and thus called upn them to exemplify their 5


9 A real beginning has thus been made. Similarly,

tlcal education has become a much morc dominanr rheme, both
Wlthlll the educational system and vis-a-vis the general public, suggest-
Part I: (ervirws
iog that there is increasingly an ideology and a


t to be taught
and U be understood, and a hi gher level of SQmhst consc)ou

worked toward, rather than merely to be assumed, as the basIc bUlldmg
block of Tanzanian socialism.
A wide range of frms has been nationalized, including banks, Jnsur
ance and some processing and manufacturing concerns, with some eye
lating their investment and other decisions more d.irecdy to the in
terests of national development. In the rural sphere, the peasants have
been given an even mOTC exalted rank in rhe verbal formulations of

national ideology, often, in rhe president'S speeches, at the very

expense of the aVlour-propre of rhe leaders; as n
ted, th
c orgamzatlonai
edge to this emphasis has not been fully defned In



though local
leaders are also being called upon to exemplify their SOClahsm along the
lines articulated in the Arusha Declaration.6 This is an attempt at all
levels to imroduce certain "vanguard" charactcristics imo what is other
wise most clearly a "mass" party. More rccemly the preside

t h

s also
expressed a growing concern with the realities of class fornanon

n the
TUfal areas, particularly with the emergence of what he ha

termed a "rural proletariat," and has suggested, rathcr tentatively, hiS
solution of rhe ujamma village, with its emphasis upon a communal,
though technologically modernized, mode of agricultural production, to
meet this challenge to egalimrianism.61
However, the fuJ1 scope of rhe relationship between agriculture and
industry, between the rural and the urban sectors, has not been clea

established, beyond those important actions referred to above
have been designed to rationalize the process of "surplus appropnatlon
by curbing discretionary consumption in th

urban areas. An ttenda

result is rhat, hinged upon the constanrly reiterated slogan of self-reli
ance " mere agricultural expansionism, a rather dangerous strategy
whe world prices are falling, tends to be substituted for agricul
tural ex
pansion to meet a planned, industrially induced demand, both


indirect. In fan, it is perhaps fair to say that "industrial growth IS still a
missing link in the chain of socialist Strategy in T amania; there is a rel

tive silence on the priority to be given to industrialization, on how capI

tal formation should be divided between the capital gods sector and the
consumer goods secror or, again, between the sectors ser
icing the ru
areas and those servicing the urban areas, or how agricultural policy
should be expected to ft into this pattern. The related question of exter-
Oeve/opmC// in Trr.icol Africa
nal trade and fnancial links with the socialist countries beyond Africa
and with the capitalist world will also demand further consideration.
Concern for "surplus utilization" is as imprtant for socialists as concern
for "surplus appropriation." Tanzania is making heroic efforts, but it
will be easier to assess the direction of its course if and when a presiden
tal paper is issued which concerns itself with policies for industrializa
One thing is clear: Tanzania is increasingly carrying on the debate
about socialism at a high level of sophistication. This is more than can be
said for much socialisr discourse and ideology-making elsewhere on the
cominent, as has been shown. It is also more than can be said for Berg,
whosc article we citcd earlier, and many of his academic colleagues.
Bcrg launches an attack on socialist aspirations in Africa in strong terms:
"For contemporary Africa it is rhe wrong ideology, in the wrong place,
at the wrong time." 61 He bases this assessment on three main points, all
of which are unexceptionable in their place. There is a trained man
power constraint, he argues, and rhis is seen to make the control of mar
keting in particular a hazardous exercise. African agriculture he fnds
uncongenial to mechanization and therefore U large-scale farming;
moreover, there is still a need to draw peasants our of traditional subsist
ence production into the market, and cash srimuli can best accomplish
this in the short run.6J And fnally he cites the permeability of frontiers
as a major challenge U controlled marketing. From the above he draws
his sweeping conclusion:
[African socialists] believe that maximum growth can only come through
socialist solutions, and this is almost ccrtamly nOt true.
This is the d
dest part of allth1 these most admirable men are also those mOST fnnly
gripped by the illusion that socialism provides a quik and true path to ec
nomic development. Given power they would lead their countries not for
ward but oockward."
Yet Berg arrives at his conclusion without mentioning most of the as
pects of economic development in Africa which we have seen to be cen
tral to socialist concern. There is no mention of industrialization except
for a brief paean of praise for the "infow of private capital" ; needless to
say, the ambiguities as to the nature of the lauer's actual comribution to
development are nowhere broached. Neither are the patterns of surplus
tion and of productive investment analyzed. And, a related over-
Pari I: Oeruirs
D SI_ I, I c D8\uIc D C
. .
D k lID_ UcVcDQHc! 8Ic I_DDIcU. `cI, 8IIDc Vct c8SI, O II1_ Dt SUHu8
. . .
. .

J c 2DU UIUIc UCH8DU--1c8!cU DI Dt_DDc8DU D IDCtc8Sc IDCtD



. . .
B '
c!_ S 8!_umcD

D ;t); .!DI JUI DcC8uSc IDc I_DD1c IDc HOSI)QOt Q8tIICU 8I m ! c . +


. . .


b D8H 3SSI8I-
8DCc ID _DVctDncD!S WDD H8 8SQIc !D IUID _
8DU I8Kc SctIDuS IDc Q88)Dc tccV8DCc D8DCI8ISH ID ID8! _D8!
. On the continued validity of 8much refned Mar:ist critique ofcontempo
rar capitalist soiety along similar lines, see P. Baran and P. M. Sweezy,
M(opoly Capi// (New York, J66).
. .
" 2, E. Berg, "Soialism and EcoDomic Development In Tro

a\ Anc
a. T

Joural oJ Erlics, Novembr 1964. For typa:a clt:mons se

en, "The Resurrection of Political Economy," Mawazo (Kam-
) I (1967)' and C. Andetsn, F. Van deT Mehden, and C. Young, paa , oo. ,

) 9 ) 0 [snus oj Political Drotiopmft (Englewo Cliffs, New er8ey, { 67 _ @

,C D and H. Callis estimate that the propttion of the l8r forCe , -
H of tropical Africa in wage employment is,

n average, I I . J prcent. ow-

ever, mig!1l1t labor, charJcteflzed by

rtJal de

ndence upn Wage em

plomem for its sub8iSTenCe, is included
n the eStimate, so that the p

n,< r 8)OWc rcemage than the above. The CS\1H21C 5 lat proper accou
. . . .
:D "Size and Characteristics of\Vage Employmem AfTlCl: SIl8ncal (-
tes" ImcmanmalLabuur Rrview 93 (February 1966).
4. :
a bibliography on Itaditional Afric


see J. Middleton, The
EffmojECoomif Droelo Tradltl Pollllcal Syslnm South oj the
Sahara (The Hage, 1966).
Development i1/ Tropical Africa
5. See H. Myim, Te E{)Iumics oj Drot/oping Counries (London, 19(4), ch.
), and also D. Waker, "Problems of Economic Developmem of East Af
rica," in E. A. G. Robin8on, ed., ECQI (ir Dt'veloftmtfor Africa South oj
the Sahara (London, 1964), pp. 1 1 1-14.
6. The adjective " unproductive" has, of course, no negative implication con
cerning the rationality or the necessity within the traditional society of ac
Tivities so characterized.
7. Cf Myim, op. cit. and Walker, op. cif.
8. We defne "surplus" 9 the difference beTWeen the 3ggregate net OUtput
ptoduced (net, that is, of Ihe means of production used up in the process)
and the mens of subsistence consumed by the community, both refrred to
a given period of time. By "subsisteDCe" we underst3nd gods that are s
cially reco_DizeU 35 necesiIie8, so U13I they exclude what may b called
"discretionary" consumption. lD the concept of Ihe 8utu8 see
, A.
Barn, T Politial Eay of GrOth (New York, 1967), ch. 2; and
C. Bettelheim, "Le Surplus economique, (acteur de base d'une plitique de
deVeloppement, Pkmifcati( et CToiHante accil (PariS, 1965). Our defni
tion is closer to Bene1heim's than to Baran's.
9. This ideal type is analyzed in greater deI=il in Ipter 3 of this olume,
The category "capital gods" must b undet8tood in a very broad sense as
including all thDse gods which directly increase the productive capacity of
the economy.
!. The conCeptS of "industrial centet8" 8Dd pt:phe!" have been introuced
by Raul Prebisch to designate the advanced iDdu8ttia ecoDomies 8nd the
relatiVel underdeveloped couDtric8 re8pctiVely.
1 1. F. Perroux and R. Demonts, "Large FinnsSmal Nations," Prim!( afri
caine 10, no. 38 (1961), p. 46.
12. P
. !uU cU., The New Elites oj Trical Africa (London, 1966), pp.
! ! .
! 1 A. Turner, Wage Trmds, Wage Poliots and Coilective Bargaining: The
Probkr Jor Undtrdrotioped Countritr (Cambtidge- 1965), p. 21 .
M. Barratt Brown, AJtr Implis (London, 1963), p. 419.
15. Quoted in H. AlaVi, "Imperialism Old and New," Te Socialift Register
70 (New York and London, 1964), pp. 107.
16. See DECO, Natiunal ACQft of Lm Drorloptd Countries (Paris, 1967),
17. See Chapter 3 of this volume, and Turner, op. cir., pp. 12-13.
1 8. In the C3se of the United States, for e:amplc, fgures contained in the Sur
lQ of Currmt Businm of the U.s. Depmem of Commerce show that
total direct investment abroad, for the priod 1950-1963, amounted to
1'b2million, against a toral iDow of investment income of $19.416 mil-
Part : Ovtr".iews
lion. Cf. Baran and Sweezy, op. CiL, p. 107. Data derived from the same
source show that, in the priod 1959-1964, U.S. direct investment (exclud
ing oil) in Africa amounted to S386 million and investment income to 5610
19. Sec D. J. Morgan, British Privatt flr"estmmt in Earl Africa: Rrporl ofa 5ur-
vty and Cu (London, 1965).
20. The concept of "perverse growth" has ben introduced by Ignacy Sachs.
See his " On Growth Potential, Proportional Growth, and Perverse
Growth," Cuchos/avak Ecunomic Papm (1966), pp. 65-7 l .
21 . 5S. Amin, u Oit/uprmml du apjtalisme T COi d'f'rt (Paris, 1967);
S. Amin, "COte d'lvoire: valeur el limires d'une exprience," fflme Afrique
(October 1967); 1. Dobrska, "Ecnomic Development ofrhe Ivory Coast
from the Winning of Independence," Africana Builetin (Warsaw), no. 5
1. It is surprising that apologists of foreign private investment in Africa (who
consider the drain on the surplus a payment for technical assistance and
fnance supplied by the international corprations) have seldom paused to
consider whether the managerial, administrative, and technical skills sup
plied are suited to the requirements of the receiving economies from the
standpoint of their growth potential (as opposed to some short-term effects
on income and employment).
Z. See Sachs, op. CiL
24. For an excellent discussion of problems of socialist development in a nonin
duSrial environment, see F. Schurmann, Jdeolog and Orgniztiun in Com
munis/ China (Berkeley and L Angeles, 1966).
ZS. bS. Chodak, "Soial Classes in Sub-Saharan Africa," AfTiclIa Bulktin,
no. 4 (1966).
26. Sec S. Amin, Trois expirirus africaiuts de d'tluppnrt: k Mali, wGuinn,
et k Ghana (Paris, 1965), pp. 10-17 and BO-3Z; also "The Class Struggle
in Africa" (anon.), Riolution, no. I . p. 9.
27. S panicularly, J. Mohan, "Varieties of African Socialism," The Socialist
Rrgistrr 70b (New York and London, 1966). Also W. Friedland and
C. G. Rosberg, Jr., African Socialism (Stanford, 1964); Charles Andrain,
"Democracy and Socialism: Ideologies of African Leaders," in D. Apter,
ed., Jdeology and Disrontt (New York, 1964); and Bernard Charles, "Lc
Socialismc africaine, mythes Ct realites," Rnir franaise de scimu politique,
no. I S (1965), p. 856.
28. Afrim Rep0t, "Special Issue on African Socialism" (May 1963), pp. 26-27.
29. This is the title of a useful book on related themes edited by Peter Lloyd
(London, 1966).
30. For this distinction Isaac Deutscher, "Russia," in W. Galenson, ed.,
Deelopment in Tropical Africa
Comparatiw Labor Mmrl (New York, 1952); and Friedland and
Rosberg, op. cit., p. 19.
: Peter Worsley, The Third World (London, 1964), ch. 4. For a detailed cri
tique of "populism" see Chapter 4 of this volume.
32. This essay is reproduced in ). K. Nyerere, Furdom and UnitlUhuTU na
Utnfja (Dar e5 Salaam and London, 1966 and 1967), QQ. 162-71. It was
frst published in 1962.
33. Both Baako's remark and Ihe subsequent comment are to be fund in
B. Fitch and M. Oppenheimer, Ghana: End of an J1/usif (New York,
1966), p. liZ.
34. Friedland and Rosberg, op. cit., p. 16.
35. See K. Grundy, "Mali: The Prospects of'Planm!d Soialism,' " in ibid., p.
36. L: t\unde, 1 1 December 1962, cited in Afri(a Reor (May 1963), p. 18.
hough the emergence of a small but ofen OUTspoken trading class in
country like Ghana, for example, can play an important role in defning [he
trajectory of socialist expriments.
38. Roger Murray, "Second Thoughts on Ghana," Ne uft Revif'W (March-
April 1967), p. 34.
39. Lloyd, op. cit., Introduction.
At the extreme, of course, one has the example of Kenya, where the ideol
ogy of "socialism" is being used unscrupulously to rationa1i7e the march of
the new African elite into all seCtors of the economy, public and privare.
Not all uses of this rationale are so eTude, but there is a certain consistency
to [he African pattern, nonetheless.
Amin, Trois rmmafricaines, p. 277.
G. Chaliand, "Indcpendance nationale et revolution," Partisans (May-June
1966), special issue, "L'Afrique dans l'epreuve."
On this subject see Colin Legum, "Socialism in Ghana: A Political Inter
pretation," in Friedland and Rosberg, cp. cit.
Murray, op. cit., p. 35.
R. Green, "Four African Development Plans: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and
Tanzania," faumal of Modem African Studies (August 1965); Amin, Trois
fxpirirus africainrs.
Amin, ibid., p. 229 (our translation). Perhaps most markedly lacking was a
sustamed attempt to analyze relations belween traditional and modern sec
and to integrate long-term indusrrial and agricultural strategies along
the Imes we have suggested in Section I .
Murray, op. cit.
ef Turner, op. cit., pp. 12-14.
Fitch and Oppenheirer, op. cit., p. 105.
+! ParI J: O:.ics
Berg, op. eiL, pp. ;
:I. Wltcr H, Drew, "How Socialist Are African Economies?," AfriCf Report
(May (963), p. !2,B. AmeilJon, La Guinie, hilan d'une indimdance (Paris,
(964). The latter lays particular emphasis not only upn the compromised
position (vis-a-vis foreign c:pirl) of the Guine;n regime, but also on rhe
consolidltion of a 'bureaucratic class" in power. See espcially parr III, eh.
2, "Du Socialisme d'etat aI'etarisation de classe."
52. Douglas Rimmer, "The Crisis of the Ghana Economy," Tilt Jourl of
MotAfrican Stlldies Uanuary 19(6).
). The fonner quotation is from Murray, op. ei(., the lauer from Fitch and
Oppnheimer, op. cit. Both echo Fanon's rather more dramauc utter.mee
on the subject: "The national middle class discovers its heroic mission: that
of intermediary. Seen through its eyes, its mission is nothing to do with
transforming the nation; it consists, prosically, of being the transmission
line between the nation and a capitalism, rampant though camoufaged,
which today puts on thc mask of neocolonialism." 1Wrtulud of thl Earth
(Lndon, 1967), p. 121.
+. 5Tony Killick, "Volta River Project," in W. Birmingham, I
and E. N. Omabo, A Stlldy ofContnnpomry Ghona (London, \966).
S5. On this subject Roger Murray, "Milirarism in Africa," New uft Rl
vew Ouly-August !966).
S6. See Chapter 6 of this volume.
S7. For a suggestive discussion of the
mportance of "revolutionary intellec
tuals" MJohn Cammett, Antnio Gramsci mtht Origins of Ila/ian Cm
mUism (Stanford, 1967), ch. JO.
58. On TANU in the pre-Arusha Declarationpriod, MH. Bienen, Tanzania:
Part Tramf( alion and Ec0ic Drvdoet (Princeton, 1967), a usefl
work despite the misleading picture which it presents ofthe ideological di
mensions of the Tanznian experience.
S9. See The Arusha DeciaTation and TANU's Po/icy on Socialis and Stlf-Rtli
anc (D;C es Salaam, 1967); also Arusho Declaration: AA (ltslions
(Dar es Sala;m, 1967).
0. As one example, such leaders are be subject to severe restrictions in their
hiring of labor, a practice which would involve, in the language of Arusha,
61. Julius K. Nyerere, Socia/ism and Rural Drewtnt (Dar T Salaam, 1967).
Whether this particular aspiration is premature is, as we have noted, a mot
point. The president himself dos not fully explore the links between agri
cultural development and an "egaliurian" mode of production beyond re
marking that "if this kind ofcapiulist development rakes place widely over
the country, we may get a god statistical increase in the national wealth of
Droelopmrt i1 TTical Africa
Tanzania, but the masses ofthe people will not necC5Srily be bener off. On
the contrary, as land becomes more scarce we will fnd ourselves with a
farmers' class and a laborers' class, with the latter being unable to work for
themselves or 1 receive a full rerum for the contribution they are making
to the toral output."
62. Berg, op. cit., p. S 7J.
63. For a similar point of view, albeit from a Marxisr prspective, see AlOin,
"The Class Snuggle in Africa."
U. Berg, op. cit., p. 573.
Nationalism and Revolution
in Sub-Saharan Africa
Giovanni Arrighi and 'ohn S. Saul
In the previous essay, we stressed rhe povcny
of :ead
emic dc
batc on the
relevance of socialism to development goals Tn tropIcal Afnca and ad
vanced the argument that socialism is, in fact, rapidly beco

ing a histor
ical ntcmit in order ensure the further development 1 rhe area
the same rime it must be nQ[ed that the quality of debate among SOCial
ists concerning the actual possibilit of revolutionary, socialist transfor
mation in Africa in the present historical conjuncture also leaves much
to be desired.1 Thus some circles on the Lef have fallen bac u
form of "agrarian messianism," as one writer has characterized It; In rhls
model a pure and undefled peasantry becomes the

r vector for
progressive change in Africa.1 Other Western MarXIsts,
In an attempt
(legitimate in many respects) to counteract such tendenCIes,
have th

selves often taken stands which smack, in turn, of "proletarian meSSian
ism." J If such extremes arc to be avoided, and the intellectual bases for
relevant strategies laid, greater attention will have U be paid both t
Teal nature of pre-capitalist African societies as restructured by capitalist
penetration on the one hand, and to the processes of capitali

tion in the underdeveloped world under the present condmons of D1-
gopoiistic market structures and revolu

ionid t

chnology on the other.

Another related aspect of such oversl1nphficanon has been an absence
of sufcient diferentiation between the component partS of contemp
rary Africa. To further minimiz the dangers of roo undiscriminating a
set of analytical categories we mUSt instead attempt to balance an aware-
This mide was originlIy published in Rlph Miliband nd John Saville. eds., Tht
rilli l! Fisur 1"(New York nd London. 1969), pp. 117-88. Copyright 1969 by
Merin Pre . Reprinted by pcrus:ion.

1ouoIim in Sub-Sharan Africa 45

ness of such similarities 3 mark the structures of various regions, states,
and communities against an adequate understanding of the ofen more
important differences berween them. These similarities and diferences
become more readily apparent within a framework which focuses upon
the various kinds of UfCdrelmmt thrown up by capitalist penetra
tion in Africa. For the underdevelopment of Africa as a whole relative to
the industrial centers of the West has been accompanied and mediated
by uneven development as berween regions, states, tribes, and races
within Africa itself, and this fact adds imprtnt dimensions U the class
struggle in Africa and to the character of the resistance of progressive
African forces to contemporary imperialism.
Not surprisingly, the kinds of oversimplifcation already mentioned
have tended to prcclude a correct identifcation of the major forces un
derwriting the stbilit of the present continental conjuncture, while at
the same rime inhibiting an adequate assessment of those tnodittim
relevant to defning the pssibilities for progressive action. We feel,
therefore, that the general qualifcations which we have introduced
above urgently require clarifcation if such revolutionary potential as ex
ists in Africa today is not to be wasted. It is in fct a sense of urgency
which has prompted us to attempt a work of synthesis which the lack of
relevant research on more limited questions makes difcult and tenta
tive. We hope in this way Ucontribute to a defnition of the problems
that demand investigarion and clear confrontation, though we are aware
that the methods for their solution can only evolve from the revolution
ary praxis of the African people.
!\ny attempt U identify rhe major determinants underlying contem
porary African realities and, in particular, to identify those forces which
provide the dynamic for uncven development as a continental process,
mUST frst assess the Structure of Western capitalism's interest in Africa.
Such a focus suggests in turn two hypotheses of crucial signifcance:
First, there has been a broadening ofWestcrn capitalist imerests in the
underdeveloped world in general due U the morc direct involvement of
the multinationai corporations in such industrialization as takes place in
The peripheries.4 This relativc shift of emphasis away from the pattern of
classic "extractive" imperialism (whose drive was postulated primarily
Pari I: (ervief
upon the guaranteeing of supplies of raw materials and of ourlets for the
sale of manufacturing goods in rhe underdeveloped world has been re
inforced by the sharp decline in proftability and attractiveness of the
agricultural sector ro overseas interests.
Second, the fctors determining the drive for export

capJal fro

the advanced capitalist centers have themselves been slfung dramati
cally in the wake of the postwar technological "revolution." In
ticular, the exploitation of cheap labor overs
cas has lost much
of Its
signifcance;! instead, the {acmT of overwhelmmg con
temporary l

ranee is the existence of a relatively developed and rapIdly expandmg m
dusrrial structure, as the latter ensures the smooth operation of c
manufacturing enterprises from the stndpoint of outlets ror theIr prod
uctS and sources of factors of production
Other determmants, such as
the aforementioned low relative labor costs, favorable plitical climate,
possibility to export profts, and
the lie are also mprrant ut

highly imperfect substitutes for thIS dommant factor. The combmauon
of these IO novel aspcts of capitalist development on a world scale has
come to defne in efect, a "second phase" of imperial predominance.
Of course, invstment in extractive industry retains much of irs tradi
tional centrality in relationship to the mining sector,'
but even h

re the
dominant factors will be the presence and nature of Imneral depoSIts and
the degree of freedom accorded co the investing

rises in pricing
output, since this is the main device used by vert

cally LOtegr

tcd com
bines to transfcr surpluses across political boundanes. One major excep
tion is gold mining, where price is not subject to oligopol
iscic detcrmin
tion and for which, therefore, cheapness of labor retams much of Its
. . . .
The above considcrations suggest a hierarchy of caplrnhst Interests H
the various regions ofsub-Saharan Africa. Clearly, what we shall

all the
Southern Africa complex centered around indUStrial South Afnca and
Rhodesia and including South-West Africa, Angola, Mozambique, and
the quasi-Bantustans of Swazland, Lesotho, and Bots,

s by

the most important region with respect to the abve cmena, smcc It IS
characterized by a relatively developed industrial structure and e

tional mineral wcalth. Concomitantly, the scope of Westcrn caplrltst
involvement in the area is vaSt indeed. This is, of course, a familiar story
and will bear only limited reptition here.'
Britain, with over 1,00 million invested in the Republic of South
Natiuna/ism in Sub-Sharan H]rico
Africa and SOme 20 million in Rhodesia, remains the major investing
capitalist country in the area. Dennis Austin, a veteran British observer
of African afairs, has sketched the full scop of British economic inter
ests in South Africa-banks, investments in manufcturing and mining,
trade, access to gold-and, characteristically, blanched, as has the British
government on all occasions, at any prospect of rocking so proftable a
boat.9 By 1963, South Africa had overtaken the United States and Aus
tralia as Britain's biggest earner of investment income abroad.
United States investment in South Africa is still a bad second to Brit
ain's, but its signifcance lies in its rapid growth. Thus U.S
ments alone rose from $50 million in 1943 to I%million in 1950, $286
million in 1960, and $467 million in 19M-when South Africa ac+
counted for almost 30 percent of all U.S. direct investment in Africa.lo
This rapid growth of U
S. direct investments, which are also being rap
idly diversifed into manufacturing, is not surprising in view of the fact
that "in 1964, the last year for which [Dept. of Commerce] fgures are
available, U.s. direct investments generated earnings of nearly $1 0
million, equal to 21 percent in net worth, making South Africa the most
proftable country for private investment in the world." II In 1961,
when the panic after the Sharpville massacre caused some investors to
pull out, it was perhaps their greater "calculating rationality" which en
couraged the eighty American frms then involved in South Africa to
stand fast. Indeed:
When action came in 1961 it was concerted and direct. American fnns
increased their investments by 123 million (to about S42 million in
1962), and an ad hfnancial consortium advanced a S50 million loan to
the government, the First National City Bank puring up S5 milion, the
Chase Manharran Bank SIO million, the International Monetary Fund $38
million, the World Bank S28 million, and "U.S. lenders not publicly iden
tifed" S 70 million. The situation was saved. Since that risis the number
of American compnies investing in South Africa's future has nearly tri
Needless to say, French, German, and other interests have all been in
volved in the new gold rush.
Not surprisingly, despite verbal protestations, [he activities of the
American state have not diverged fr from the logic of supprt for the
South African status quo already witnessed in such private undertakings.
Various observers have catalogued a number of striking instances of
such American govcrnrnemal activity. but similar lists could b
piled for other capitalist pw(rs. hem, the U.S
government contributed
$4.9 million or 29.77 percent of the budget of an organization called the
Intergovernmental Committee for Europan Migration which by 196:
had brought 25,0 Europeans lO South Africa, mainly in the vital
skilled worker category. Item,
[Despite] widespred African fears . nd international specultion that ur,
nium-rich South Africa may try to decoQ both nuc1| energy and nu
clea weapns. th AmriCn Atomic Energy Commission {has] tl ined
South African rechnici,lS at the Oak Ridge Natiorul Labl'tory in Ten
nese :md lo:mcd mcSouth Afrcan Atoic Energ Bord 8 DV cD
sukam ( Cole of Oak Ridge Nati0 Lbr.uory) lD whom
South Africans consider themselves " largely indebted for t successful
commission of Safari 1," their fr nuclear mletor which wS dedicaled in
August !in Ihe presence of Dr. Alvin Weinburg, director of Ihe O;k
Ridge Nationa1Iabotatory
Item, the many roles of "Citizen Engelhart," American representative
to Gabonese and Zambian independence celebrations, the prime mover
of pwerful Rand Mines, and a director of the Anglo-Americ:m Corp
ration of South Africa, of the Witwatersrand Narive Labour Associa
tion, and of the Native Recruiting Corpration, confdant of presidents,
described by Lyndon Johnson as "a hum:mitari:m of the frst order."
The list could be extended indefnitely.
Of course, in addition to such a range ofinvolvemerus in the RepUblic
of South Africa itself, a wide variety of Western capitalist inrerests are
also conspicuously active in the other territories of the Southern African
complex, like Rhodesia, South-West Africa, and Angola, although, par
ticularly in the latter two instances, investmenr is directed mainly Uthe
exploitation of mineral resources.
In sharp contrast to this situation, the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, with
its lack of an industrial srructure, growing shortage of foreign exchange
(which endangers the exprt of proft), little-developd capitalist rela
tions of production, and low densiry of ppulation remains a region of
relatively small comparative attraction for foreign manufacturing con
cerns. As a result, that "broadening" of Western capitalist interests
which has been observed in other regions of the underdeveloped
world,16 and which was referred to above, remains embryonic in tropical
Nati(fa/iml in uh-hrmA/rica 49
Africa. As Conor Cruise O'Brien has suggested, the area considered as a
whole still occupies something of a "reserve psition in the international
capitalist strategy." We shall return to this point i n Section 3, but it is
important to note here that this conclusion does not fully apply to thos
fewcountries-like Gabon, the Congo, Nigeria, and Zambia--cndowed
WiTh known mineral resources of great importance U the world econ
omy and therefore of special concern to imernational capitalism. It
should also be noted thar countries like Kenya, Ghana, and the Ivory
CoaSt, which (owing ro their relatively more structured economics)
play or can play the role of pripheral cemers, are imprtant in ways de
nied to more marginal economiesY This is not to deny that such
countries, which are those mOre directly impinged upn by the "Sttond
phase" of imperialist economic predominance mentioned above, will also
fnd their genuine transformation constrained in the long run by the
logic of their continuing dependent relationship, however novel the
terms of that dependency.
But the differential patterns of growth in
volved are, nonetheless, among the most signifcant aspects of uneven
development on the continent and can come U have important implica
Tions for difering internal situations as between various Afrcan states
ald for the kinds of interstate relationships which are constructed on
such foundations.'9 Nor should indepndent Africa's Dkhw unimpr
t.nce be seen to preclude the pssibiliry of the capitalist world's playing
its trump cards when more subtle measures of control, generally suc
cessful in the present continental conjuncture. prove inadequate. Thus,
French paratroopers intervened in Gabon in 1964 U restore their
tonering puppet Mba. America's logistic and milirary supprt for
shombc in his suppression of the threat to his collaborationist govern
ment frOIll the eaStern Congo in 196+ was equally graphic, though
somewhat more nuanced was its suppor for Mobutu when the game
(and American imeresrs) tok on a more anti-Belgian character. Cer
t.inly. future strategic calculation must never underestimate the implica
tions of such evems.
Notwithstanding certain qualifcations, however, it can b assumed
that the retention within the international capitalist system of so profta
ble a feld of investment and source of strategic raw materials as the
Southern African complex occupies the dominant position in the struc
Ture of "-estern capitalist interests in sub-Saharan Africa. In conse-
Pari J: Oeies
quence, their main concern vis-a-vis indepndent Africa is to prevent
rhe growth of strong politico-economic systems indepndent of West
ern capitalist hegemony in the countries bordering on rhe Southern Af
rican complex (Congo, Zambia, Malawi. and Tanzania) which CQuld,
among other things, seriously rhre;uen (through their supprt for the in
creasingly radical liberation movements) white rule in Southern Africa.
International capitalism, as noted abve, wil] further have more sectional
but nonetheless imprtant interests in controlling plitical-economic
processes of development in those countris which we have singled OUt
as pripheral cemers and (in particular) as centers of mineral exploita
tion. Interests in the other countries can be assumed to be mainly indi
rect, in the sense that whatever measure of control international capital
iSm may exercise over them will aim morc at their retention as satellites
of the pripheral centers or their use as pawns in increasing the srr:negic
security of centers of mineral exploitation, than at securing felds of
proftable investment and uade.
The implications of this suucture of inreresrs will bcome obvious as
we proeed
We should, however, funher clarif these interests by de
fning Them in relation ro issues which have traditionally been assigned
crucial signifcance. To begin with, the intensity of conficts over labor
retribution brween inrernational capitalism and wage workers in the
priphery has been considerably lessened. It is of course true that the
immediaTe effect of a rise in wages and salaries is a reduction in profts.
Yet, owing [the low labr intensity of prouctive proes controlled
by the multinational corporaTions, This effect is likely ro be small and,
given the oligopolistic charaCTer of such corporations, can be largely
passed on to those classes and strata (in the industrial centers and esp
cially in the pripheries) that are unable ro protect their real incomes.l
In addition, under African conditions, higher wages can signifcantly re
duce labor turnover, thereby raising producriviry, parricularly in those
enterprises where the stability of the labor force is a requirement for im
parting spcialized skills. Obviously, this is a fact of the most crucial sig
nifcance for assessing the likely role of the wage-earnillg sccror in con
temprary Africa, a consideration to which we shall rerurn. More
generally, the fact of rapidly rising wages and salaries, by introducing a
bias in consumption and accumulation patterns in favor of imports, by
weakening government fnances (the state being the major employer of
labor in mOSt indepndent African countries), and by undennining the
Nationalism in Sub-Saharan Africa 51
petitive psition of loal capitalist strata (if they exist at all), will b
more pwerful force promoting the further political-economic inte
gration of the modern sectors of the periphery with the advanced capi
ralisl centers.l1 That some of the latter results are also such as to sustain
a gencnli economic strucrure inhibiting the fll extension of those W
colonial involvements which we have seen ro be characteristic of "sec
ond-phase imperialism" is merely one of the more dramatic contra
dictions of international capitalism's presence in contemprary Africa.
International capitalism is inevitably antagonistic [Q the sons of com
prehensive planning which might defnitively rupture such constraints
upn the development prO. Nonetheless, certain seemingly novel de
parrurcs do become acceptable to, are even encouraged by, an interna
tional capitalism increasingly concerned to free soe of the continent's
pmential for industrialization. Thus, a degree of state involvement in the
economy, particularly in the nonextractive sctors, has not always
seemed a great threat U a fexible contemporary international capital
ism. As a marter of fact, partnership agreements or management con
tracts with African statal and parastatal enterprises arc increasingly seen
by the international corprations as effective ways of reducing or elimi
nating altogether entrepreneurial and political risks, while profts are ob
rained in the form of royalties, fees for "technical services," use of pat
ents and brand names, and through sles of equipmcnt.u What is crucial
\O such a capitalism is the continuation of this stream of paylllents and
therefore the orientaTion of such industrialization as may take place in
Africa toward reliance upn the industrial capitalist centers.
Nor is contemporary international capitalism necessarily antagonistic
to the development of larger politico-conomic units and common mar
kets .
On the contrary, as the phase of impn substirution in the light in
dustrial sector draws to a close, the excessive balkanization of Africa b
comes a serious constraint upon the extension of its continental role.
"rallc1ing the attitude toward state involvement, it is only unifcation
armrd at a prltJS of auftmumOJ industrialization (a historical necessiry
for th
e successful modernization of African societies)!1 that would an
olllze mtcrnational capitalism. The latter can, on the other hand, be
rehed Upon [ prOIte African unifcation provided that it widens the
scope for its own involvement on the continent. It is no accident that
A 11) has placed a growing emphasis upon the construction of broader
Illarkets and regional groupings, that the Korry Reprt on Africa
Part I: OvtMits
quence, their main concern vis-a-vis indepndem A frial is to prevent
the growth of strong plitico-economic systems indepndent of West
er capitalist hegemony in (he countries bordering on the Southern Af
rican complex (Congo, Zambia, Malawi, and Tanzania) which could,
among other things. seriously threaten (through their supprt for the in
creasingly radical liberation movemenrs) white rule in Southern Africa.
International capitalism, 3noted above, will further have more sectional
but nonetheless important interests in controlling political-economic
processes of dC\'elopmenr in those countris which we have singled our
as pripheral ccnrers and (in particular) 3 centers of mineral exploita
tion. Interests in the other countries can be assumed to be mainly indi
rect, in the sense rhat whatever measure of control international capital
ism may exercise over them will aim more al their retention as stellites
of the pripheral centers or their use as pawns in increasing the strategic
security of centers of mineral exploitation, than at securing felds of
proftable investment and trade.
The implications of this structure of interests will become obvious as
we proeed. We should, howe\'er, frther clarif thes interests by de
fning them in relation U issues which have traditionally been assigned
crucial signifcance. To begin with, the intensity of conAicts over labor
retriburion between international capitalism and wage workers in the
priphery has ben considerably lessened. Ir is of course rrue that thC
immediate effect of a rise in wages and salaries is a reduction in profts.
Yct, owing O the low labor intensity of productive processes controlled
by the multinational corporations. this effect is likely to be small and,
given the oligoplisric character of such corprations, can b largely
passed on to those classes and strata (in the industrial centers and esp
cially in the peripheries) that are unable ro protect their real ineomes.lO
In addition. under African conditions. higher wages can signifcantly re
duce I:bor turnover. thereby raising prouctivity, prticularly in those
enterprises where the stability of the labor force is a requirement for im
parting specialized skills. Obviously. this is 3 fact of the most crucial sig
nifcance for assessing the likely role of the wage-earning secror in con
temprary Africa. a consideration to which we shall return. More
generally, the fact of rapidly rising wages and slaries. by introducing a
bias i n consumption and accumulation patterns in favor of imporrs, by
weakening government fnances (the srate being the major employer of
labor in most indepndent African countries), and by undermining the
Naticalism in Sub-Saharan A/rita J1
competitive psition of local capitalist strara (if they exist at all), will b
one more powerful force promoting the frther plitical-economic inte
gration of the modern sectors of the periphery with the advanced capi
talist centers.21 That some of the latter results arc also such as to sustain
a general economic structure inhibiting the full extension of those neo
colonial invokements which we have seen to b characteristic of ".c
ond-phase imperialism" is merely one of the more dramatic contra
dictions of
international capitalism's presence in contemporary Africa.
imermmonal capitalism is inevitably antagonistic to the sons of com
prehensive planning which might defnitively rupture such constraints
upon the development proess. Nonetheless, certain seemingly novel de
partures do become acceptable to, are even encouraged by, an inrerna
tional capitalism increasingly concerned to free 308 of the continent's
ptential for industrializarion. Thus, a degree of state involvement in the
economy, particularly in the nonexrractive .ectors, has nor always
seemed a great threat to a fexible contemprary international capital
ism. As a maner of fact, partnership agreements or management con
tracts with African statal and parasfatal enterprises are increasingly seen
by the international corporations as effective ways of reducing or elimi
nating altogether entrepreneurial and political risks, while profts are ob
tained in the form of royalties, fecs for "technical services," use of par_
ents and brand names, and through sales of equipment.11 What is crucial
ro such a capitalism is the continuation of this stream of payments and
therefore the orientation of such industrialization as may take place in
Africa toward reliance upon the industrial capitalist centers.
Nor is contemprary international capitalism necessarily anragonistic
to the de\elopment of larger plirico-conomic units and common mar
kets .
On the contrary. as the phase of import substitution in the light in
dustnal sector draws to a close, the excessive balkanization of Africa be
comes a serious constraint upon the extension of its continental role.
arallcling the attitude toward stare involvement, it is only unifcation
amltd at a ro 0/ auwnumUI S industializatiOll (a historical necessity
for the successful modernization of African societies)2) that would an

onize international capitalism. The latter can, on the other hand, be

relIed upon to promote African unifcation provided rhat it widens the
scop for its own involvement on the continent. It is no accident that
AID has placed a growing emphasis upon the construction of broader
markets and regional groupings, that the Korry Reprt on Africa
Part I: OrTief
stressed that American aid !o Africa should b increasingly geared to
such units. or that rhis was also a point of emphasis in the recommcnda
tions of the reprt of a spcial subcommittee on foreign economic plicy
of rhe United States House of Represenratives.14
The fact that the United, more than any other capitalist pwer,
is promoting the idea oflarger economic units in Africa. is signifcant in
another rcspct. So fr we have Wdifferentiated among national inter
ests within international capitalism. Yet Western capitalism is no simple
monolith and its national dimensions must be taken into account in any
analysis of its structure. Neocolonial relations cominu

to be meiated to
t\frica in diverse ways. By and large. rhe most prominent remain those
channels frst established during the period of formal colonial domi
nance. This is particularly the case for those ex-French colonies which
now fnd themselves entwined with the former metrople through the
multiple mechanisms of the franc zone and Common Market agree
ments, and their economies thereby encouraged in the mainrcnance of
integration with, and efective subordination to, their European counter
Through pmicipation in fonnulating and fnancing Africln devdopmem
plns, through the comrol of money 9OG credit Qlicies, lmd through tariff
and t;de agreements. France thus exercises dominant ;nd det;iled in
fuence over the direction of developmenr~l!
Similarly, but Ua lesser degree, privileges for Britain and Belgium have
ben reproduced in the " decoloni:arion" proess of their former colo
These national compnents of nter-periphery relations in Africa
must, however, be analyzd in historical prspeclive
It is indisputable,
for example, that even in the French case such a component has been
signifcantly weakened/I and that the major force bhind this tendency
has been the consolidation of U.S. hegemony within Western capital
ism. For the United States has unquestionably established itself since the
war as the world's preeminent economic force, a fact underlying its in
sistence upon a Ubtra/isr absolu in the Third World which gives free
play to irs economic superiority in what Oglesby has termed the "frcc
world empire." Critically weighed within such a prspective, the win
ning of formal independence in Africa must be seen as related co the
process of internationalization of center-periphery relations. It is in fact
Natiqali$ l in Sub-Sharall Africa
evident that the complex of international c;pitalism, particularly when
5,eT to b increasingly skewed in an American direction, had little rea
son to be hostile to the process. Formal dccolonization had, in fuct, the
\'irtue of liberalizing economic access to the erstwhile colonies. If, as
must have seemed a go bt, trustworthy :mI_mOwere those likely to
seize and hold the reins of pwer, a neocolonial solution then seemed an
:cceprble answer U the growth of nationalist pressure in much of m

. Even i n places like Rhodesia and the Portuguese territories,

there IS little
doubt th

t this could be looked to as a viable solution by

many of the Interests Lnvolved, though, as wilt be apparent, there were
al complicating factors in these instnces. Seen in this light, the
mechamstlls of French and orher ex-colonial pwers' comrol referred to
abole appear in large measure drfrmiw in nature. As Barbe notes:
Thus_ as oppsed to the thoroughgoing libeTlism advoc;{cQ by Ameri
can imperialism, Frenchimprialism tends to inlerpsCa set of comrols [UI
;e:3:r:g:ns], praCtice better ftred to its position of scondary impor
tncc [pissance 3cu:3or3rs] (in spite of the pretentions articulated by
our 1eaders).ZJ
To b sure, Africa has remained less central to American concern
than other areas of the globe. In 1964 U.s. capital directly invested in
the continent amounted to only $1,629 million, or les than 4 percent of
total U.S. capit;l directly invested ;broad. Further, the bulk of it (80
prcent) was accounted for by capit;l invested in South Africa and in a
few oil-producing countries
ZI Bur throughout the continent there is evi
dence of a growing range of AmcriCln invollemems, as witnessed by

merous examples of American banks and companies expanding

thelf l

terests and contacts collated by Vignes. This growing involve

Incnt IS not always congruem with the interests of, and is therefore re
Sisted by, Other Western actors. Thus, according to the fonner Ameri
ambassador to Gabon, "in several AfriCln countries de Gaulle's

t has been discovered, sometimes in little scheming ways and
sometimes In ways nOt so little, to be working against the United St;tes,

o frusfme [U.S.] policies and diminish [U.S.] infuence." In Gabon

Darlington suggests, the French intervention to restore Mba
which was referred to above was as much directed to forestall further
Arnerican aggrandizement as to reali7. any other objective. The reasons
for this are self-evident to him: in Gabon
PlTt I: (.eTies
the Fren\h resented U.S. Steel's brge particip:ion in manlncse and
Bethlehem Steel's 50 percent share in the iron ore. Thcy were consider
ably disgruntled when Foley Brothers of Pleasanrvillc, New York, 0t
rained the contract from the World Bank to make rhe surcy for Gabon s
And rhe "proxy fght" in the Congo during the past few years over
mineral interests has also witnessed an expanding American involve
ment, presumably related to its expanded military and political r

which has led to overt conficts between rhe United States and BelgIan
These conficts are peripheral manifes[3tions of intracapitalisr con
ficts in the industrial cenrcrs,JJ and speculations on rhe particular man
ner (and the timing thereof) in which they will be solved are beyond
the scope of our analysis. We shall simply assume that the present phase
of relatively intense intracapitalist competition will end with the "sur
vival of the fnest," i.e., the American-based giant corporations and
those European- and Japanese-based corporations which will succeed in
attaining the size and efciency of their American counterparts
As cur
rent trends already show,14 nationalities will, in the process, be largely
transcended within the corporations themselves, which then tend to ac
quire a multinational character. The relevance of this phenomenon for
Africa is already apparent and can be gauged by following through the
complex patterns of interlocking and overlapping corporate structures
traced in Nkrumah's bok, already cited. Strictly national interests be
come less clear in such a maze.
Thus, even if it is true that Western "monopoly capimlism" is no
simple monolith, there arc reasons U expect it to become increasingly
5O, its political-economic domination of Africa will accordingly be "ra
tionalized." A frst implication of rhis rationalization would be a
strengthening of that trend toward capitalist-sponsored economic and
political integration in Africa which we discussed earlier, because the
obsmcles to such an inregration traceable ro the persistence of links with
ex-colonial powers would be relaxed. A second efect would be a weak
ening of rhe bargaining position of the African ruling classcs in their
dealings with Western capitalism, as much of what strength they can
presently claim seems to derive from opportunities provided by the
competition among capitalist powers. Such a "bargaining position" may
have helped the French-speaking African gain various conces-
Natifmalism in Sub-Sharan Africa ::
$ions in the sale of their primary products to France (and irs partners in
thc lC),the quid pro quo being privileged access by the metropole for
the launching of various forms of investment. This was obviously nOt
part of a developmenr strategy designed to alter drastically the strucrure
of the "colonial" economies, bur ir did increase the possibilities for the
ruling classes to gain a breathing space for themselves and their econo
mics. More controversially, it has becn argued that a state like the
Congo could hop to obtain more signifcant leverage over the proceeds
from its mining resources because of such competition.!! And Western
aid, though it has in any event tended to serve the primary purpose of
reinforcing development Strategies reliant upon international capital
isrn,J6 would be more forthcoming as long as the situation remained an
ambiguous one for competing capitalisms. When also placed in the con
text of an abatement of intense East-West competition characteristic of
the present period of peaceful coexistence,ll one realizes that such gen
eral phenomena as the increased difculties experienced by African
Slates in striking favorable bargains for their agricultural interestsl8 and
rhe relative decline in available aid must be interpreted, in the absence of
any signifcant attempts to break out of the overall neocolonialist pat
tern, as merely refecting the key trend toward increased subservience
Vis-a-VIS a rationalizing international capitalism which we have been
We have already mentioncd the centrality of Southern Africa to in
ternational capitalist concern. Among what we might call rhe various
"sub-totalities" of sub-Saharan Africa, characterized by different class
and power strucrures, it is immediately apparent that the Southern Afri
can complex is also the most powerful. The development of an organic
industrial base in South Africa and Rhodesia, which is a key dimension
of rhe area's strength, must be traced to the presence in thcse countries
of a national bourgeoisie (the senlers) sufciently Strong U uphold a
"national" interest vis-a-vis the metropolitan countries. This class, by
promoting iTTlportant structural changes in the economies in question,
has in fact restrained that "development of underdevelopment" which is
normal phenomenon in cenrer-periphery relations.19
Mainly through the intermediary of the state, and ofren, especially in
Africa, in opposition to the short-term interests of Icss national-
Part I: Outl"irws
ist;c sections of rhe capitalist class, the settlers have managed to establish
some basic industries and consolidate themselves gu capitalists as one
important clemcnr in rhe modern sector. Nless to say, these achie

menrs wcre amlincd only at the Cof, and mdeed through, the relaTIve
imp\'crishmem of the Afrcan masses, this being a prQ which has
produced an exceptional degree of inequality brw

Europan and
African incomes. In South Africa the average pr caplt: mcome of Eu
ropans is morc than J|.1U,whereas th:u of A (ricans is in the order of
I! and in Rhodesia the correspnding fgurts are approximately 890
and 30.
Such gross income inequalities have important implications for the
pattern of development of these scalers' economies. In the frst place,
they imply high saving rates. In the last ten to ffteen years, gross fxed
capital formation as a ratio of Gross Domestic Product has been consist
ently higher than 10 percent i n South Africa and has averaged more
than 20 percent in Rhodesia.' These rates are obviously exceptional for
countries at similar lcvels of pr capita income. But such gross incquali
ties also restrain the growth ofthe internal market and it is therefore not
surprising that the relative importance of exports in absorbing [he pro
ductive capacity of the economies in question has remained roughly un
altered for the last three or four decades.
This rncial distribution of income is unlikely to change signifcantly
in [he near furure owing to the determination ofthe ruling white classes
to retain the existing dualistic structure upn which their pwer and
privileges rest. Growth win therefore continue to depend on exprts, a
fact that raises some problems since the buoyancy of the latter requires a
steady change in their compsition in favor of manufctured goods in
general and capital gods in p:micular. For these are the sectors which,
as in most advanced capitalist countries, are currently providing the
South Afrcan economy with much of its dynamism.1 Thus, with fur
ther growth, and in order to guarantee the continuance of that growth,
internal pressures will be building up in Southern Africa for the expan
sion of external outlets for its manufacturing industries. However, the
competitive position of South Africa's manufactured goods in general
and its capital goods in particular on the world market is likely to remain
weak relatively to North American, European, and Japanese manufac
turers. It is therefore to black A frica-as the London EC(/lmist observes
in closing a recem "optimistic" survey-"thar the Republic must hope
Nationalism i7 Sub-&harall A/rira
to sell most of its growing exports of manufactured goods: if black Af
rica is willing
" )
To the extenr that exports do not expand ro absorb the growing pro
ductive ptential of the SoUTh African economy, a related tendency for
investable surpluses to be exprted can be expcted to develop and has in
fact already materialized. Its most drnmatic expression is the emergence
and expnsion of the "Oppenheimer Empire," built in the frst instance
on the extraordinary mineral wealrh of Southern and Centrl Africa,
bur gradually losing its terrirorial and sectoral identity. Dominating this
complex of over 20 companies are the Anglo-American Corpration of
South Africa Ltd., with head ofces in Johannesburg, and Charter Con
solidated, a new London-based mining-fnance company in which mem
bers of the Anglo-American group are the largest shareholders. The
market value of the former's investments was PUt in \965 at \94.2 mil
lion and its reported profts after taxes stood at 1 4.6 million. For the
saille year, Charter Consolidatcd reponcd profts aftcr taxcs at 7.8 mil
lion and net assets at 1 7 1.6 million. As mcntioned, the interests of this
giant havc lately been considerably diversified both geographically and
scctorally. Through subsidiaries and often in partnership with European
and American corporations (Ferranti, Pcnnarroya. Highveld Steel and
Vanadium Corration, Imperial Chemical Industries, etc.) the Oppn
heimer Empire has enrered such diverse sectors as metallurgy, electrical
and mechanical engineering, mining machinery, transport equipment,
construction materials, industrial explosi\'cs, ptro-chemicals, papr, tex
tiles. ber, building, transprt, banks, etc. Geogrnphical diversifcation
has been equally impressive: the interests of Cnarrer Consolidated in
1965 were 39 percenr in the Republic of South Africa, 16 prcent in the
rest of Africa, 21 percent in North America, and prcent elswhere;
while Anglo-American has important interesTS in Cenrral and East Af
rica. Australia, the United States, Canada, and Britain.' Thus the pne
tration of the Southern African complex on the part of Europan and
American corporations has been matched by the outward expansion of
South African capitalism and a growing inrerconnection between the
lthough, as can be gauged from the above, the Oppenheimer Em
pire has most of the charcteristics (in relation to the local economics) of
multinational corporations, its unique dependence on Africa as a
basis of surplus accumulation makes its interests in the region much
Par! I: (triewl
more viral lO it than is the case for any other section ofintern:lfional cap
italism. For this rcason it is pssible that the group in question may be
prepared, more than other interests, to diversify its investment pattern
in independent Africa (particularly in the East and Central sub-regions)
with a view toward strengthening irs grip on the plitical economy of
the area. Moreover, this diversifcation would bring other direct benefts
U the Oppenheimer Empire. For by moving into the diverse SCC(Qrs
mentioned above, it has come to control, directly or indirectly, much of
the South African capirai gods industry, and an industrialization, which
it would also help TO fnance and continue to control, of strategically se
lecred countries in independent Africa could help in creating the exter
nal demand required for the continued expansion of that industry:u
We thus core full circle to the question of trde between whiu: and
black Africa and should briefy examine the possibility that the obstacle
to such trade which is represented by the settler regimes' rncialist ideol
ogy may be somewhat relaxed in the near future. Generally, it must be
admitted that there have been areas of genuine tension between such re
gimes and international capitalism, for the rncialiSt ideology of apartheid
dos impede in certain felds the calculating "rationality" of capitalist in
terests.46 Thus, for example, job reservation. which prevents skilled in
dustrial training for black labr, and the Planning Act of Carel de WCt,
which rcstricts the employment of Africans in urban areas, and the like,
have led very readily to mislloc.llions of manpwer and other resources
from a strictly economic point of view. Yet these conficts are obviously
nonant'agonistic for one major reason. The white workers and national
bourgeoisie derive their social and economic privileges from their con
trol over the state apparatus, a situation which is the direct oppsite of
that of international capitalism, whose political power is mainly based on
comrol over economic structures. Thus the stders have everything to
losc from an African neocolonial solution and have shown considerable
determination in preventing it. Given their enrrenchment in the pliti
cal economy of these countries. such a solution could be brought about
only at the expnse of the widespread disruption of the Southern Afri
can economic syStem. It is therefore naive utopianism to expct the
forces of international capitalism, either directly or as mediated by var
ious Wester states, to fisk a mOSt profitable outlet for investment and
exprts for the sake of marginal improvements in the "logic of the mar
Natioalism ill Sub-Shrn Afrc 59
But if radical "liberalization" must b ruled out, there are factors at
work in Southern Africa that may lead to marginal or formal " liberaliza_
tion.' For one thing, differenrials in skills, education, and wealth b
tween the races have been so deepened that market forces can increas
ingl}' D relied upon to maintain the existing racial dualism even if some
of the political constraints on imerracial competition are relaxed or re
moved. In addition, the structural changes which have increased the im
portance of manuf1cfuring in the Southern African economies and the
spreading U the capitalist seCtors of such economics of the pstwar tech
nological "revolution" arc having a double impact on the comrndiction
btween apartheid and economic growth. On the one hand, :t reduces
the o\'erall dependence of the capitalist sector on African labor and
therefore makes the Banrustan plicy pursued in Southern Africa less
inconsistcnr with rapid growth. On the other hand, it requires the stabi
lization of a small minority of the African population in the modern
economy to perform that manual, but skilled, productive work for which
white I

bor is not available. Thus limitcd "liberalization," by easing the

absorption of advanced technology, will, pact the cumist and other
nco-apologists for baaskap, make pssible a stricter implementation of
apartheid vis-a-vis the vast majority of the African ppulation.
I\-toreover, those forces promoting marginal "liberalization" within
Southern Africa will be the more qfective the greater the chances that
such "liberalization" can succeed in normalizing relations with inde
pendent Africa. The economic signifcance of this normalization has al

ady been discussed. It is also imprtant to emphasize its strategic sig

nifcance. For the settlers' regimcs incresingly realize the opprtunities
of supplemenring the use of force and the threat thereof with the use of

l-cconomic mechanisms in containing pressure from rhe north.

In thiS connection, there is much evidence of South Africa's growing
confdence in "neocolonial solutions" as they have been exemplifed in
the former High Commission territories and Malawi.4s Thus Vomer, in
a ,19

interview with L Nes an WM Rtpot, used words hevy
v;: Irony, whether intended or unintended, when he observed:
We do not at all fear these developments-the estlblishllcnt of Africm
governmentS in these Stltes. It is a narural development far % we are
concerned . . . . We want to work with them as indepndent black states.
rheir advantge and to our advantlge . . . . In many respccu we have,
with respct ro much of Africa south of the ba, a respnsibiliry for m
Part I: Ories
sisring in devdopmem-rllpble O the rnsibility which the United
Sones has undcTkcn on < much larger scale with respct to the underde
velopd lrtas of rhe world a whl. Although we do nO( publiciu it, we
already doing QUite lot in this feld
lr remains possible, of course, that ideological factors in South Africa it
self have acquired such a degree of autonomy that they may eventually
prevent any type of liberalization and therefore hamper, among other
things, the normalization of relations with black A (rica, a possibility
which is also relevant to str.tcgic calculation. Here it is sufcient. how
ever, to conclude that there are undoubtedly particularly strong C
nomic and strategic factors at work within Southern Africa which are
promoting the expansion of its presence in indepndent Africa at a time
when, 3we have seen in Section I, the relations between the latter and
the advanced capitalist centers are likely to be increasingly internation
alized. The chances for the continued success of this political-economic
off ensive can only be discussed in the next section after analyzing trends
in independent Africa.1o
To this point we have not diferentiated much between the various
political units within Sourhern Africa; and this emphasis is in part vali
dared by suiking evidence of increased integration under South African
leadership, bth in ccorOlllic tenus and as regards defensive alignmenrs
against the thrust from the nOrTh.11 But it would not do to oversimplif
the breadth of South Africa's writ in the area, for there are peculiar ele
ments in the cases both of Rhodesia and the Portuguese territories which
are worth bearing in mind. Thus in Rhodesia, still formally under Brit
ish control, it seemed probable that some form of neocolonial solurion
involving replacement of settler control by a sympathetic black govern
ment was deemed an active possibility by representatives of the wider
capitalist world throughout the latter part of the pre-VOl period; more
over, there to the settlers were often a nuisance bcause antagonistic to
the full rationalization of the economic sySem in line with corporate in
teresrs. It is the plirical leverage and drive of the settler mirOriry which
have unti1 now undermined that pssibility-the activities of the settler
minority and considerable support from Somh Africa itself, be it noted.
Thus in addition to such considerations as concern for world, and espe
cially African, opinion, it is in part a nostalgia for the latter option which
has given the sallctions program such teeth as it has had. Conversely, it
Nationalis in Su-Sharan Africa 1
has been the very lack of interest, suggested abve, in standing up to
South Africa (along with lack of compliance by various private eco
nomic interests, ofen with tlcit stlte supprt) which is the major factor
in undermining that efort. Whether this can become a division of sig
nifcance between the various dominant interests in SoUthern Africa re
mains to be seen: on the one hand, Britain has seemed willing to offer a
number of compromise solutions to assuage serrler fears, on the other
South Africa, fnancially burdened by its assistance fO Rhoesia and
nervous at the growth of linked ANC and ZAPU guerrilla activities
there, has given some signs of pressing Smith and his colleagues to them
selves make further concessions to minimal African aspirations.u Here
South Africa's growing confdence in the " neocolonial solution" might
even bring its calculations into line with those Western pwers for
whom this has become a time-tested recip. But this is merely spcula
tive; much will depnd, inevitably, both on the emerging character of
the A frican forces which seem most likely [0 take power in Rhodesia
and upon the actions of the prickly band of Rhodesian settlers rhem
The Portuguese territories present some further complications. Here
links with Portugal itself have ben rather more direct, intense, and eco
nomically central to the "mother COUntry" than elsewhere, fcts which
prompted Perry Anderson to coin the phrase "ultracolonialism" ("the
mOSt primitive, the mOSt defective, and the mOSt svagely exploitative
colonial regime in Africa") to describe the situation there. ` The contri
butions of agricultural and mineral earnings from Angola and Mozam
bique have long been central to the health, such as it is, of the creaking
Portuguese economy and with bright prospcts in oil and iron ore fgure
to be even more central in the fture. Domestic manufacturing is also on
the upswing, all these facts prompting William Hance to observe that
"Angola's ptential for development is undoubtedly one of rhe beSt in
Africa. Mozambique, while less impressive, is nonetheless comparatively
favorable and its potential is also large." H
Predicrably, ,,estern economic involvement in these colonies has
been great and on the upswing; this is secn most dramatically in the
prominent role of the Gulf Oil Corporation in the sphere of Angolan
oil. especially as regards the recently opened rich Cabinda felds. But
Portugal itself remains very much an active and interested clement in
In I: Overirs
the equation, reportedly having vetocd direct inves[mnr by South Af
rica in the new Portuguese-dominated Porruguese Explor:ltlon Com
pany, for example. From such a perspective. it
is errain th:u its strat

bargaining position would be weakened relanve IO other lnrc
rests If It
was to sacrifce direct Jlitical comrols. Despite the cost of resistance to
growing African pressures-Salazar himself gave the fgure of 86 mil
lion a year and a force of 1 20,00 uops-there thus seems little like
lihood that Ponugal can afford D gamble on an alternative mode of
guarding what arc quite vital interests. Nor is there an

real evidcn

that irs Western allies have, for the romem, any alternative approach In
mind: investments continued to rise as notcd, U.N. resolutions are re
sisted and ignored, and, mOSt important, Western arns fow U Portu
gal, ostensibly under NATO agreements,JJ but with the result
freeing portugars hands for more aggressive colonial wars. Sourh Afnca
tOO lends a helping hand, economically and strategically. The time for a
"neocolonial solution" has certainly not arrived, though some future
turn of the wheel might increase the likelihood of such an attempt. But
Portugal, on the other hand, is not strong and the costs of the struggle
arc highPortuguese Africa may yet prove to be an Achilles' heel.
It is in fact in the Portuguese territories that the armed struggle is fur
thest advanced, furthest of all in that Portuguese territory which lies
quite outside Southern Africa itself-Portuguese Guinea or Guinea Bis
sau. There an exemplary guerrilla struggle, radical in its ideological
premises and characterized both by considerable military success over
two-thirds of the coumry and a markedly socialist transformation of the
economic and social strucrure in the extensive liberated arcas, has at the
very least stalemated any Portuguesc attempt to recoup lost ground. `
The area is rather marginal to Portuguese interests and therefore might
at some poim be easily dispensed with were this not to seem, as it inevi
tably would, a bad preccdem. Moreover, the possible Marxist orienta
tion of the emergent state, the cadres for such an attempt being quite
literally forged in the current struggle, is likely to be viewed, prospc
tively, as an even worse precedent.
Things have not core to quite so dangerous a pass in the other twO
territories. In Angola. after the initial dramatic successes of 1961, the
struggle has leveled of into a long, hard, and bitter grind. But the Afri
cans have more than held their own to date and may well be winning
the current war of amition. Equally important, MPLA, currently the
Nationalism in Sub-Salurran A/rica 63
most successful movement operating in the area, is also articulating a
more systematic political line, as well as beginning to dup l icate some of
Guinea Bissau's social restrucruring in its own liberated areas.51 FRE
LIMO, in Mozambique, later into the struggle and with a leadership
less ideologically coherent, has also made military advances of some sig
nifcance, particularly in the northern parts. In Angola and to a lesser
extent in Mozambique there is evidence that guerrilla activities arc link
ing up with a great many vectors of internal discontent, urban and rural,
throughout the country, though no easy road can yet be prophesied.
Even in Porruguese Africa, "revolutionary time" for Africa must cer
tainly still b measured in terms of numbers of long years, rather than
numbers of momhs.
Most important, the struggle itself is having an educative effect. The
true dimensions of the Southern African situation arc the more graphi
cally apparent when the enemies' arms are standard NATO issue and
the only sources of active military support for the liberation movements
arc to be found in the East. Anticapitalist and anti-imperialist sentiments
of a very different order and depth from those which characterized con
ventional African nationalist movementS are likely to be the result; al
ready there is talk of the "dangers" of a "neocolonial slution" among
some activists in both Mozambique and Angola. Similarly, as one Amer
ican observer had occasion to note with reference to the struggle in Por
tuguese Africa,
nationalist sentiments reRecr a deepening reauion against the United
Srnres. The Africm revolurionaries denounce what they consider the hy
pocrisy of American lip service to selfetermination as well as American
racism at home and "overkill" in Vietnam, and declare these o b the an
titheses of the values they are fghting for."
Clearly, if socialist consciousness rises and organizational forms are in
creasingly forged to express it and demand a more meaningful vicwry,
the chances of a neocolonial solution appearing a trustworthy one to in
ternational capitalism are by that very fact diminished. Indeed, the re
verse situation is the more likely, and the pssible development of more
subtle and intense fOnTIS of coordinated resistance by imperialist inter
ests must therefore be expcted.19
The establishment of revolutionary governments in Angola or in
northern Mozambique would create an entirely new situation in the
Part . OeirwI
whole of Southern .frica.o For this reason the struggle for their est<b
lishment and future consolidation is structurlly linked with the struggle
in the centers ofthe Sourhern African complex: Rhodesia and South Af
rica. This latter struggle is, however, qualitatively different from thos
which have ben w2ged or 2re likely to be waged in (he rest of sub
Saharnn Africa. We 8 not here referring to the fact, so obvious by
now, that the pan-ern of "decolonization" characteristic of the situation
north of the Zambezi is nor going to repat itselfin South Africa, bur to
other crucial considerations. One such consider:uion of more long-term
signifC:l.ce concerns the possible results of a successful liberation strug
gle in the centers in question. Given the centrnl position they ocupy in
the structure of international capitalist interests in Africa, their advanced
stage of industrialization, and their abundant resources, their seizure by
revolutionary forces could have far-reaching implications for the whole
of Africa. Particularly within rhe possible frmework of a progressive
pan-Africanism [Q be characterized both by greater economic integra
tion and more meaningful planning (some such form of unity being one
prerequisite for genuine continental advancement, as we shall sec) they
could provide the cornerstone for a really effective development strat
egy. Indeed " only with the full liberation of the entire Southern and
Central states of Africa can optimum division ofinterstate production be
achieved." 61 The likely charncter of the participation of such libernted
territOries in future continental economic organizations (as well as the
actual degree of their comrol over their own economic decisions) is of
course ofessemial imprtance ro these spculations. Here too the South
ern African situation provides some promi; a second considertion of
more immediate relevance therefore relatcs to the unique problems and
ptentialities (relative to the rest of Africa) of revolutionary action itself
in South Africa and Rhodesia, a uniqueness which also largely derives
from the advanced stage of economic development attained by these
For unlike the situation elsewhere on the continent. the African pas
:mtry here has been efectively proletarianized in the sense that the bal
ance between means of production outside the capitalist sector (mainly
land) and the subsistence requirements of the African population has
been severely and irreversibly upset: the latter can only to: very limited
extent be satisfed within the framework of a peasant economy. This
fact has some important implications. In the frst place. the mi"imal aspi-
NatioaiiJl1 in SubSaharan A/rita 65
rations of the African pople cannOt be fulflled by a peasant revolurion
aiming mainly at land redistribution, reduction in the burden of taxa
rion, and other "ppulist" objectives. These aspirations can only be
fulflled by seizing comrol over the industrial appratus itself and its reo
orientation toward the economic and social uplifting of the African
masses. Morcover, contrary U what has sometimes ben suppsed, this
rccrientation of the industrial apparatus elcarly onnOt b initiated by an
African bourgeois "revolution" aiming in the frst instance at removing
the racialist component of South African capit<lism. For one thing, such
a component is integrnl to South African capitalism and we have already
identifed as utopianism the expctation that international capit<lism will
provide its essential support for such a plitical trllsfonnation.f More
impomnt still, the structural weakness of the African bourgeoisie and
middle class in these societies, resulting from a pattern of development
that has, in defense of the settlers' interests, systematically restrained the
upward mobility of the African peasants and workers, prevents them
from assuming a hegemonic role in the struggle. In conclusion, the revo
lution in South Africa and Rhodesia, if it is to COllle, can only be a prole
tarian and a socialist revolution and the liberation struggle will not suc
ceed unless it is restructured in accordance with this premise.
Much revolutionary energy has been wasted in the past in pursuance
of reformist objectives and this has probably increased the sense ofhop
lessness felt by the masses in the face of a growing repressive apparatus.
As in the Portuguese territories, the struggle itself has bgun to have an
educative efect and the libration movements have by now realized the
non:lrngonistic nature of the confict btween the liberalism of interna
tional capitalism and the racialism of the settlers' regimes. However, fur
ther energies and revolutionary ptential may now be misdirected in
pursuance of a pasant revolution. As we have already emphasized, rhe
African pasantry in these countries has ben effectively proletarianized,
notwithstanding the persistence (encouraged by the settlers' regimes as
pr: of their tacit or open BantStan policy) of remnants of precapitalist
relations of production in the African areas. The compition of the
IXpularion in these latter areas is notOriously unbalanced, the majority of
the able-bodied males spending mOST of their rime in wage employment
in :c European arcas. Remittances from rhe latter are an essential cor
Inent of the subsistence income of the children, women, and the aged
make up the bulk of the population in the African areas. In conse-
Pari I: Oervirws
quence, unlike the peasantry of the Portuguese territories (s
Mozambique excluded), still largely self-sufcient for most of thelf baSIC
subsistence requirements, the radically restructured peasantry of South
Africa and Rhodesia can hardly be expected to Start snuggles which
"build up O a crescendo over a [long] time, are capable of pinning down
large government forces. and are maintained at comparatively lower
cost," as Go\':n Mbeki suggestS.6l This conclusion is further warranted
by the fact that there arc no reasons for expecting that large government
forces will get themseh'cs pinned down in the Banrusr;ns, boh bcause
of the negligible economic importance of these areas as sources ofpublic
revenue or priv:l[c proft, and of the ease with which they can b "se.lcd
of militarily, for relatively long periods, from the centers of industrial
and mineral exploitation on which the wealth and pwer of the white
ruling classes are based. This is not to deny the necessity of establishing
guerrilla foci in the rural areas as a means of building up morale and rev
olutionary consciousness among the masses and of "spreading the enemy
thin"; rural struggles can be imprtant, particularly if they are also seen
to include guerrilla and terrorist activity in the areas of Europan farm
ing. The point is simply that the decisive battles in Rhodesia and South
Africa will have to b fought in the "cities" and that a failure to prepare
politically and organizationally the urban masses for such battles will ul
tim:ucly lead to the suppression of the guerrilla foci. Put somewhat
differently, it could be argued that, if the relevant model for the struggle
in rhe Portuguese territories is prhaps some blending of the Chines
and Cuban experiences, the relevant model for Rhodesia and South A f
rica may be a blend of the Cuban exprience and that of the Afro
Americans in the United States!
[ n the future in the cities themslves the steady absorJXion of ad
vanced technology and growing imprtance ofmanufacturing may lead,
as we havc noted, to the full integration ofa small section of the African
working elass into the wage economy. Yet at the same time it will tend
to reduce rhe ability ofthe mass ofthe African workers to earn a subsist
ence fromthe sale of their labor (while their ability ro do so outside the
wage economy has long been neg[igible). The materialization of this
tendency, which in South Africa has been counteracted by the rapid
economic growth of the 1 960s, would therefore increase the already
great revolutionary ptential of these industrial centers
It is imprtant
to bear in mind, however, that, besides the subjective factors discussd
Nationalism in Sub-Saharal/ A/rica
bovc, any revolutionary action faces here a formidable repressive appa_
raruS. As a maner of fact, the high stage of economic development al
rained in these countries, while leading to the effectivc proletarianization
of the pasantry, has also (owing to the exceptional inequalities in in
come distributi
on) enanced the repressive patenrial of the white ruling
classes by m

kll1g avaIlable large surpluses for the steady expansion of a

complex pke and military apparatus. Indeed, given the industrialized

f the South African economy, the armament program of the

SoUTh flca

ent which has raised military expenditures to
150 rmllron In 1966 (SIX rimes the 1960 expnditure and 20 prcent of
the hudget) has had a stimularing effttt on the econory.6 In Nelson
Mandela's words, there can indeed be "no easy foad to freedom."
An elaboration of two imprtam and related pims wilt serve to con
clude this section, the frst concerning the interdependence of revolu
crion within the Southern African complex
As noted, the

o the Southern African complex (i
e., the Portuguese


es) I undoubtedly "weakest link." If the stuggle in these

tertones gams momentum, the fnancial and above alt the white man

r resources
of the "centers" (South Africa and Rhodesia) can b
rahly strallc,

hereby casing the more complex task of seizing

pwer H the latter; If It succeeds, they wilt provide the Rhodesian and
South African liberation movements with more reliable bases than are at
present available. A revolution in the "centers" of Southern Africa on
the other hand, is probably necessar to guarantee the survival of revlu.
tionary governments in the "priphery" or to prevent their bureaucratic
involution. fortunately, some of these lessons to arc being leamed in

ourse of the struggle and growing contacts between ANC, ZAPU,

FRI:LlMQ, and MPLA, for example, give promise for the future. Thus
prhaps the mOSt noteworthy aspecr of rhe growing seriousness of the
efoT! to light from outside the spark in the "centers" may b the mili
tary alliance forged in 1967 by ANC and ZAPU, and the assistance

rcd by the ANC of South Africa during the course of the actual
fghtlllg of 1968 within Zimbabwe.6!
E(IUally imprtant is a second point which emphasizes t relevance
to the
liberation struggle in Southern Africa as a whole of the emerging
aracter of relations between independent AfriC2 and Southern Africa
sed briefy above. If established Southern African interesrs are a;
sUccessful in obtaining furrher rapprochement, the already shaky sup--
Part I: Oeitws
port oI ndcpcndcnt ^Irica Ior rhc Iibcration movcmcnrs vouId Iadc
compIctcIy at acrucaIstagcoIthc srruggIc-rh:sbcingonc oIrhcmain

rcgmcsinscckingnorthcm' contacts. lnad-

dition, assuch normaIizaton' oIrcIat:onsvouIdgivcncvmomcnrum
tothcgrovthoIrhcindustriaIccntcrsinbourhcrn ^Irica(andmightin-
duccsomc margna intcrna|IibcraIization)itvouIdatoncandthc samc
timc rcstrain rhc dccpcning oIintcrnal contradictions and,pssibIy, rc-
vivc rhc myths oIrhc ^Ircan middIc-cIass rcvoIution' and oIpcaccIuI
rransiton Irom undcr rhc yoxc oIaparthcid. !ncvtabIy, nthc Iight oI
such cmphascs, thc ncccssarily ((Jrinemf charactcr oI rcvoIutionary
srratcgy in contcmporary ^IricabccomcsaII rhc morc apparcnr.

hcdccisivcIact about contcmporary indcpcndcnt^Irica sthccon-

pattcrn oItradc and invcsrmcnt oIcoIoniaIrimcs, vhcrcby ^Irica camc
to pIay, vithin thc intcrnarionaI divisionoIIabor, a roIc oIsupp!icr oI
ravmatcriaIsandoudctIor thcmanuIacturcsoIrhcccntcrsoIaccumu-
IarioninLuropc. ltis imporrantrorccmphasizc that,ascomparcdvith
tivcmpcriaIism has rcmancd rc!ativcIy untransIormcd in^Irica. hus
thc cxports oIrvcnty \cadingprmary commodtcs accounrcd Ior 65.7
pcrccnt in 1960, and 70.1 pcrccnt n 1965, oIaI| cxporrs Irom ^ica
(5outh ^Irica cxcludcd), ar thc samc tmc, rhc imprts oI industriaI
manuIacturcd goodsaccountcd Ior 70.6 pcrccnt oIaII imporrs in 1960
and 71. 8 pcrccnt n \965.1
^oncthcIcss,suchshiIrs nthcpattcrnoIcaptaIistinvoIvcmcntonthc
contncnt as havc cmcrgcd nthc lastdccadc havc mcrcIy incrcascd thc
srructura!dcpcndcnccoIthccconomicsoIindcpcndcnt^Iricaupon thc
advanccdcaptaIistccnrcrs. ^s vchavc shovn clscvhcrc, suchapartcrn
is charactcrizcd byrhcusc oIcapiraI intcnsivc tcchniqucs oIproduction
and Iov ratcsoIrcinvcstmcntoIsurpIuscs, cspcaIly inthccapraI goods
scctor,and rcsuIts nagrovingintcgratonoIthc modcrnscctorsoIth
^Irican cconomics vithin thc intcrnationaI capiraIist systcm, and ina
dccpcnng oIntcrnal duaIism.` \ndcr thcsc conditions, atrcmprs to
stcp up cconomc grovth soon rcsuIt n shortagcs oIIorcgn cxchangc
vhich Icavcthcsccounrricsvidc opcn ro aprcdicrabIc varicty oIpo!ri-
Nati(alism in Sub-Saharan Africa 69
cal prcssrcs
and o rhc Iurc oI cconomic dcaIs vith Iorcign govcrn-
mcnts an pr

.vatctnvcstors vhich, vhiIc possibly buyingtimc` inrhc

ort run,

:marcIy srrcngthcn thcir strucruraI dcpcndcncc onnrcrna-

p.rahsm an


Iidatc a pattcrn oIpcrvcrsc grovth`

c:ntcrnaI soc.opoIncaI structurc oIthc indcpcndcnt ^Iricanstatcs
:sdircctIyrcIatcd to rh

trcndsand comcsinIactro susrain rhcmhc



nraI charactcrsr:coIsucha structurc, in contrast to thcsrua-

rion vhich vc hav

bscrvcd in 5outh^Irica and Rhodcsa, is rhcab-
scncc oIa proIctarar U rhc cIassicaI scnscoIrhc mn and t bc h
k Ihood h
, st, t c
: c t t atoncv.IIcmcrgc onIyvcryslovIy ndccd. \vingtoan
ovcraII abscncc oI popuIaton prcssurc on r land

m most tcan
counrcs and r

intcnsivccharactcr oIproduction,rhcvagc-
work1g cIass :s polarizcd mto tvo strata. Vagc vorkcrs n rhc Iovcr
marginaIIyor partialIyproIctarianizcdas,ovcrthcirIiIc
cyclc, rhc
dc:nc rhc buIxoIthcmcansoIsubsisrcncc Ior thcir Hmlics
Irom outs:dc rhc vagccconomy Vagc vorkcrsin th


uppcr stratum,
gcncra ya v

ry smaII mittorty, rcccivc incomcs sumcicnrIy high (say

onvcrtmcs thosc rccc
vcby vagcvorkcrs inthcIovcrsrrarum)


caothcir hnxs virhrhc pcasantry. hisisatypcoI

opttonaI proIctaratzarion` vhchhasIrtIc in comi:on vith pr
. . .
o proctanai+izarion rcsulring Irom thc srcady impovcrishmcnt oI thc
pcasanrry Vc rhcrcIorc IccI justihcd n considcring vagc vorxcrs in
thc Iovcr stratum as part oIthc pcasantry (vhich participarcs n rhc
vagc cco

omy rhrough Iabo

migraton) and in incIuding thc uppcr

stratum vtrhrhc :i+:tchmorcntportantcIits' and s b I '

u -c:tcs U u-

raric c

ploycnt in vhat vc havc caIIcd thc Iabor arstocracy,'

vithsand.i1g rhc conIusionrharthc usc oIths tcrmmay gcncrarc.

I1c prcscnr pattcrn oI grovth s rapidIy improving thc Iot oIthis
IaLor arstocracy (scbiIizcd in rhc vagc cconomy and ncrcasingly dc-
tchcd Irom thc pcasantry) vhich appcars as thc hcgcmonic cIass and
t . guarantor oI thc ncocoloniaI soIution.' by cmphasizing rhc ccn-


othc IormationoIsuch alaboraristocracyoIrhc proccssoI^ Ir-

canauon oIthc b

urcaucraric structurcs oIcolonaI ruIc
vc y Iurthcr sug h d


gcsr r har ro t :s ommant group appIcs Rcgs |c

s char
actcrzauonoIvhar hc calIs thc 'progrcssivc pctt bourgcoi-
c oI |.a(n ^mcrica.
| l _l does not possess an infrastructure of economic power before it wins
po ltlcal power He

h -
t tranlonns t e state not only inro an instru-
Irt I: Uvcitus
mcm of polirical domi1atiVn but also imo a ur

o ero

oic Jwer.

olmino|iou c] soml telaoo/

lcit:on :n tap:ul:stEurope,
ttrmt: in a trmin 1CH te instmmto] theit instal|n`on inthew +
There is some danger of oversimplifcation here. As Samir Amin has
had occasion to notc in a recent :nd most suggestive article, the phe
nomenon of a " national bourgeoisie" is by no means absent in contem
porary Africa, though it has been inordina

ely weak in relation to inter

national capitalism and thus unable to brmg about suucru
1 changes
which would restrain black Africa's underdevelopment relative to both
the merropolis and to peripheral cenrers where an immigrant ur

sic was present. In those parts of the continent whe

c such a
bourgeoisie" is most prominent, it is to be foun In th
e agTl

economy and in commercial roles, though seldom In the mdus

lal sec
tor. Thus Amin instances in the Congo "une nouvelle burgeoiSie c

mer;ante et riche" which has developed and which has "at

aine In a
few years an exceptional degree of maturity." For "organized mto a
powerful professional association-APRODECO-the Congolese trad
ers today represent perhaps 20 percent of [he total turnover of whole
saling and imirt-export trade-something which i

unequaled else
where in Africa." 11 Considerable evidence also eXists, for example,
which suggests that, particularly in the case of pre-colonial systems
characterized by class diferentiation, there was a greater res

nse to the
stimuli to expand production for the market crcated by colomal penetra
tion. The reasons for this tendency were [he assumption by privileged
classes of entrepreneurial roles and their utilization of opportunities for
extorting labor services from the underprivileged groups: here, then, a
rural bourgeoisie emerges at a faster pace.
The present pattern of growth may very well have the result of fr
ther fostering the formation and consolidation of a " kulak" class, for, as
we shall see, it steadily increases the supply of cheap labor for wage

ployment in agriculture. Amin easily (no doubt with

own investiga
tions of the Ivory Coast prominenrly in mind) assllT1llares these and
other trends toward rural differentiation to the major thread which we
have ourselves emphasized: " However, as a rule, the bureaucratic bo

geoisie [lbourcoised'iat] has never eliminated th

private bo


|laboutcoi:etvcc1, but contents itself with c
optlllg It or fuslllg
" There arc certainly no reasons for assuming any major confhct of
Natimaltsm in $ub-$ohman]rtc 71
interest between the labor aristocracy and international capitalism on
Ihe one side, and the African national bourgeoisie on the other. Their
relationshi p in production is more complementary than competitive (the
i:mcr being concentrated in agriculture and petty trade) and, as men
tioned, the present pattern of growth tends to increase the availability of
wage labor in (he rural areas
It should also be borne in mind that the
concentration of government agricultural expenditure on the so-called
progressive (i.e., wealthy) fnners compensates the rural bourgeoisie for
worsening "town-country" terms of trade and urban biases of govern
ment expenditure. More important still, the tendency observable in
most independent African countries for the labor aristocracies to be
drawn from the "kulak" class and/or to invest in capitalist agricultural
enterprises can be expected to smooth over even the marginal conficts
which still separate these classes.
In part, of course, diferences of opinion over the proper emphasis to
be given in analyzing these developments and the pace ofrhe emergence
of various groups and classes may result from the lack of diferentiation,
in much of the relevant debate, between the component parts of inde
pendent Africa. Thus a heightened emphasis upon the role of the Afri
can bourgeoisie (and of traditional authorities who have signifcant pri
vatc economic involvemems, both urban and rural) is probably not
misplaced when West African coumries are analyzed. However, it is
very much less signifcam an emphasis when the vast sub-region of East
and Cemral Africa (including the Congo) is being analyzed. In any
evcm, regardless of the variations, the broad and converging trends
which underpin both the dominance of inrernational capitalism and the
key position of mediation of the indigenous labor artistocracy (supple
mented in some generally nonantagonistic manner by a national bour
geoisie) remains the core. Indeed, the military coups which have pock
marked the continent in recent years signal the meshing of these
external and internal trends and their ultimate apotheosis in a mOSt dra
matic marmer: through them the labor aristocracy moves to take over
powcr directly, no longer content to have it exercised by a cadre of re
sidual "heroes" from the independence struggle.
That this is true may b suggested by the haste with which military
leaders havc moved to assure themselves of Western, and particularly
American, backing in the aftermath of theiT various coups: ". the
b. is now the major economic factor to be reckoned with, given the
ur! !: Oies
urgent and crude fnancial needs of the new regimes in pursuit of ppu
1) The almost mandatory expulsion of Eastern embassies b
comes merely the prolegomenon Ua round of visits to Western capitals
for chars with governmclU ministers and "ofcials from various compa
nies who may be interested in investing"; ever more aTtractive invest
mem incemives are unveiled and the words of the IMF assume the sta
tuS of Holy Wrir. This pattern is most striking in [hose states where
some effort to arriculate more radical development str3tegies had ben
made prior to (he takeovers. viz., Ghana and Mali, but it evidences itself
at each rum of the wheel in evcn [he most pliant of client states.
For in all areas such a pattern doubtless rcAeers the fuet that mold
guard of nationalist pliticians has ofen seemed at bSt an inconvenient
and irrational element to international capitalism. Military rule, usually
stabilized with the full cooperation of the civil service, seems Uofer the
promise of "technoratic" transformation to eliminate the grosser fonns
of corruption and to rationalize the environment of economic penetra
tion; what this amounts U in practice is, in fact. a "pattern of rule .
military-bureaucratic in type, plitically repressive, espousing conserva
tive fnance and free enterprise, culrurally null." In addition, though
an expression of the labor aristocracy. such regimes are by no means
hostile to the national bourgeoisie, and in many instances. as is again
most apparent in Ghana, predicate themselves upn the removal of the
latter's fetters. Writing about the reversal of Nkrumah's plans for a
growing state sector, I. G. Markowitz notes that "what is striking as a
group about the industries denationalized is their suitability for develop
ment by Ghanaian entrepreneurs, involving as they do ready markets
and relatively small capital outlay." In general, "the apparent overall
effect of Ghana's new domestic policies is to foster the development of
rhe fast-rising Ghanaian commercial bourgeoisie as well as that of the
civil srvants, technor.ts, and CriSts." 11 But even if these syStems
were to b so streamlined by such interventions. it remains clear that the
military regimes, though more varied than can b suggested here, in
general offer little orher than an intensifcation of the pattern of struc
tural subordination to international capitalism.
Under the circumstances, ideological styles which exemplify an "aspi
ration for solidarity" within the boundaries of the new narion-states
come to be lllanipul3ted by the ruling classes Upaper over the social and
economic distance emerging between themselves and the masses.16 "Na-
^ulI0Im in Sb-Shrl H]c
rionbuilding," a concept transferred from the pges of American text
boks on plitical development, takes pride of place over "socialist con
struction"-just as American fnanciers are increasingly the world's
bankers, so American soial scientists are the ideologues of the epch.
To be sure, such reiterated "nationalism" is also in part articulated as a
response to the fragility of political strucrnres and identifications which
results from the legacy of ethnic and cultual diversity in the States of
subSaharan Africa. But the alternative socialist option, by debouching
upon acral strategies for meaningful development and by raising the
level of consciousness in ways closer to the felt exprience and exploita
rion of the masses, might b expcted to more readily assult prohi
alism in any event. It would, however, involve Striking in signifcanr
ways at the internal dualism which sustains the labr aristOr.cics' privi
leges and for this reason continues to be shunned.
Such nationalism can, of course, be a springboard for certain kinds of
pressure at the international level. Here, in the world produce markets
and the like, the African ruling classes would like to se market forces
subordinated U plitical decisions in such a way as to sustain prices and
make available more assistance ofa usful variety. Similarly, in individ
ual countries, under propitious circumstances, an efort ra)' b made to
shift the tenns of the bargain struck with interational capitalism in a
more fvorable direction: the dominant groups are certainly not averse
H increasing the revenues available to them within the established Struc
ture. It has been argued, for example, that Moburu's activities vis-a-vis
Union Miniere in 1966-1967 represented a particularly aggressive and
admirable exemplifcation of such a srrategy. In this regard Paul Sema
nin notes that
greater efforts should now b made to distinguish him from other Afrcan
rulers brought to pwer through milir coups. . . Under Mobut m
slaIe functions as a d erentil g witmn mcontext of limittion im
psed by m country's continued economic depndence. His regime m
attempted UCxpnd the Congolese rtional "spce" within minterstices
of rompcing corlrate interests.
[n the event, of course, despite a somewhat expanded role for such a
as American Newmont Mining Co , "the Congo government was
forced to accept an agreement that returns essentially to the stts gu

11 and the conditions for any confrontation. if such indeed this

Iat I: Uvcres
was, have since further detcriorated in the context of monerar
lems. Zambia, tOO, has more recently moved to redefne certam of Lts
"Terms" by imposing resrricrions upn the export of p

ofts an ?y the
nationali7 tion of marginal enterprises, but under existmg

lOns of
total dependence on international capitalism f

r [e opcra

of Irs pro
ductive apparatus the limitations of such tactics In contnbutmg to the
structural changes necessary for development have n ob
vious. More
generally, government involvement in rhe econ

rles of

Africa has been ambiguous in rhe sense already discussed In Secnon I .
Thus state enterprises are generally managed by rhe international cor
porations, with little if any attention being paid to broader problems of
structural change and long-term development.
The lack of an industrialization strategy which is at the root of thS
phenomenon must to some extent be traced to the difcu
of envisa

ing full-Acdged economic transformation taking place

Ithm the Afn

can political and economic units in their present balkamz

d for

. The
major strength of Nkrumah's efforts in the cause of fflcan umty al
ways lay in the vision of meaningful continemal pl
anmng for develop
ment which accompanied them. This is a case whIch has been spelled
out cogently in a recent book by Grecn and Seidman:
The gravest barrier to Afric:m economic, development becomes appar
ent at this point. No African state is economically large enough to c

struct a modern economy alone. Africa a whole has the resources for 1^
dusrrializtion, but it is split among more than forty African territories.
Africa as a whole could provide markets able to supprt large-seale,
efcient industrial complexcs; no single African state nor existing sub
regional economic union can do so. African sr.m:s cannOt establish large
seale productive complexes stimulating demand throughout the economy
as poles of rapid economic growth because their market

are far

oo small.
Instead the separate tiny economies willy-nilly plan on hnes lcadmg to the
dead-end ofexcessive dependence on rawmaterials exportS and small-scale
inefcient "national factories" at high O per unit ofoutput. Inevitably,
therefore, they fiii to reduce submntially their basic dependence on fr-
eign markers, complex manufctures and capital.
The only way to achieve the economic reconstructlon and development
essential to fulfl the aspirations, needs ind demands of the peoples

f f
rica is through < sustained shift U cominemal planning so to umte m
cre.singly the rcsources, markets and cipilal of Africa in a single substan
tial economic unit}'
Natonaltsm :n $ub-$aharan]rtca
In brief, existing dualism cin only be eliminited by the subordination of
market forces to politic.! direction which could (through a planned re
orientation of capital accumulation, technical progress, and international
and intersectoral trade) steadily reduce geographical and functional im
balances. Most dramatically, of course, land-locked interior African
stateS "can participate effectively in a continental economic system---ei
ther as producers or consumers--only if speciil atrention is given to
their problems as underdeveloped areas in an underdeveloped conti
nent." The industr!il location policy made available through planning
"is certainly critical to the adequate provision of growth points for the
poorest and least developed areas." But in the long run, the continent
iS a whole will be the loser when circumstances dictite that potential
"poles of growth" are not rationally distributed to encourage their maxi
mum mutual reinforcement. Once again, the sting is in the planning: if,
i n fict, market forces are not subordinated to a strategy of long-term
political-economic development and rhe formation of larger units is
aimed at casing the further penetration of the African economies by the
multinational corporations whose proft-oriented calculations are
thereby illowed to determine the pattern of accumulation and Technical
progress, then unifcition can only encourage frther the process of
growth without development which is already afoot. This brings us bick
!O the essential question raised in Section I as to the likely purposes tO
bserved by the realization of "unity" under differing conditions, and iT
is surprising to fnd such 3 question blurred Over even by some of the
more ridical spkesmen of the pan-Africanist ideology.
Thus Kof Baako, Nkrumah's spokesman in the hey-day of Ghaniian
concern for pan-Africanism, states that "to wait until a common ideol
ogy is reached will delay both union and solution U our problems.
\hen Africa is united, problems will themselves call forth the best
methods of solution'';!' and similarly, Green ind Seidman, in in almost
propagandist ittempt to mike their powerful intellectual case as palat
able as possible to all concerned, argue with calculated blandness thar
minimal thresholds" dictate only that
there mUSt be African state-not foreign-eontrol over internal economic
dttisions thit afct Ihe attainment of production Iirgets in multi-state in
dustries. The exact institutional pattern of ownership and management
rnay vry from state to state, or fror industry to industry within a stare, so
76 Part I: Overviews
long as African state control is sufcient \O implement continentally
agreed policies and output goalsY
Bur in COntemporary Africa this is a maximalist demand, of course, and
Green and Seidman's f:1ilurc ro emphasize this facT is of a riece with
their general lack of concer U articulate political strategies capable of
assuring efcacious coordination in practice. Benor is clearly closer to
[he point in discussing Amin's own emphasis upn the need for eco
nomic integration, when he notes:
Indeed, unity such as that conceilled by Sarnir Amin can only b the
unity of coumries which accept and apply the principles and methods of a
particular dClclopmcm strategy, rh:1 of rapid accumulation [aaumul/ir
Qai/ij with all that that implies, that is to say, a profound sociocultunl
revolution_ And even then problems of dotrine would remain and doubt
less continue to provide an obstacle.1I
No meaningful continental or regional African integration such as
thar envisaged by Amin and Benot seems therefore possible in the pres
ent historical conjuncture. For the whole complex of forces--cconoric,
culTural-ideological, sociopolitical-which we have identifed as defning
this conjuncture undermines any thrust in that direction. As noted
above, the narrow, self-inreresTed, and defensive naTionalism of the labor
aristocracies, coupled with the hostility to meaningful planning of both
that group and their neocolonial tutors, are likely instead to promote an
integration aimed merely at giving new momentum ro imernational
capitalist penetration which is increasingly fettered by excessive balkani
zation. lr is in this prspective that one must in fact view the prolifera
tion of so many regional groupings on the continent in rccem years,
groupings which reAect the growing interest of acwal or potential "pe
ripheral centers' like Kenya, the Congo, Gabon, Ivory CoaSt, etc., ro
stabilize their access to an economic hinterland (although in the East Af
rican case there have been attempts, as yet of marginal efcacy, to bal
ance benefits, present and future).
The quality of pan-African cooperation on other fronts is of a piece
with this experience in the economic sphere, and reAects the same
underlying realities. Immanuel \allerstein, in his bk Africa: The Pol
ilics af Unity, has traced in SOlle detail the development of pan-African
organizations, culminating in the establishment of the Organization of
African Unity. In doing so he identifes two active elements or view
points relating to the scope and character of pan-Africanism active on
NatiQ/ism in Sub-Saharan Africa 77
the continent. There has been a radical element conceptualizing pan
Africanism as a "movement" transcending "artifcial" national bounda
ries and placing considerable emphasis both upon the threat of "neocolo
nialism" (with its corollary, the centrality of [he anti-imperialist Strug
gle) and upon aggressive activities to assure the success of Southern
African liberation and, at least on the rhetorical plane, upon real sacri
fces of existent sovereignty to assure meaningful economic unity. In
this efort a core of "radical" states--Ghana, Algeria, Mali, UAR, T an-
7;nia, Guinea-have played a leading part in conjunction with the more
r.dical of the liberation movements and a number of parties of militant
opposition in independent African states. Increasingly oppod U such
trends, a conservative reaction, springing in the frst instance from
French-speaking Africa, has conceptualized unity merely as an alli
ance" of existing states. In 5 doing it has sought to drain ofany and all
radical dimensions from the thrust of pan-African sentiment. Waller
stein sees in the construction of the OAU in !963 a major victory for
the latter forces, a victory which has evidenced itself in even more strik
ing form subsequently. Thus the radical bloc in the compromises of
1963 obtained verbal guarantees of staunch support from all concerned
for the liberation struggle, chips which, despite (or because of) the sub
sequent establishment of a Liberation Committee of the OAU, have
proven to b most difcult to cash. For their parr, the more conservative
members saw to it that the OAU, in the words of the charter, guaran
teed the principle of "noninterference in the internal affairs of states,"
thereby meeting their desire lO underwrite strongly their own internal
'ecurity. Furrhermore, it provided for certain minimal organs of soO
economic coperation of a confederal nature, cemented by assurances 3
to the accepmbility of the "maintenance of economic assistance from the
Western world," as \Vallerstein phrases it. As he further notes, this new
structure "was in itself reassuring to Western powers, promising greater
economic rationality without [he threat of a political Structure strong
enough to attempt to transform world economic relationships." ` It s
signifcant that it was two of the radical opition groups in F rench
speaking Afrca who most clearly sensed the dri ft of events. Thus the
UPC of the Cameroon in 1962, in its pamphlet "African Unity or Neo
colonialism," argued:
There is an Africa of [he peoples and one of the servants. The road
of true African uniry is nor that of the fusion of the groups of Brazzaville,
Part I: Oties
Monvov:a, Lagos, and Iasab|anc lm

vuld b a

on!us:on whch
vou|d pront on|y ncoco|on:al:sm and npcra!sm and vhich vou|d mducc
P!r:can |cadcrs to |lc@tc \ rhc background mc hndamcn:a| pro?Icm o!
thc urugg|c ago:nst ncoco|onia|ism in ordcr UamM thcmsc|vcs vrh cco-
nomc and soc:a| hous-pocus
And in 1963 Djibo Sabry, leader of the oppsition Sawaba group in
Niger, warned crisply: " . . . in no way must African unity become a
sort of trade union of men in power who will seek to SUPift one an
other to resist popular currents." It is safe to say that the wo

st fears of
such men have been borne out amply in subsequent pan-A frlcan prac
tice. The institutionalization of pan-Africanism, in particular through
the LP\, has become the guarantor of defensive, conservative "nation
alism" and a force for smothering signifcant challenges the statuS
Noteworrhy in this context has been the constant

the vast majority of states to assault any and all potential sources o
f ral
Cal challenge to their positions. Even in the case of Tsombe's reglne H
the Congo, complete with the most aggressive sort of Ame

ican s
and at a time where there was much sentiment on the contment H sup
port of the I964 rebels, no states withdrew recognition and any pro
psed intervention by the LP\ was rendered nugatory. F


ing states in particular "seemed to place the threat to their

security SO high, either direcrly or through further revolution H the
Congo, that the alliance of African states against te exter

1 world
seemed a secondary consideration
" Nkrumah, major pubhclst of an
ideological stance which tended to discuss "subversion" in rather
broader terms than his fellow heads of state and [0 see its clearest exem
plifcation in the category of "client-states" of Western
power, nor unnaturally became a major target of contumely H the pe
riod. It is as yet unclear how far he himself actually posed and under
wrote an active threat of more direct and potentially "progressive" sub
version against such stares, but it is signifcant that by 1965 5 strong
was the pressure against any activity of the SOrt that he made "the ex
treme concession of agreeing to deport from Ghana all political refugees
and their families opposed to the Ivory Coast, Upper Volta, and Niger,
such deportation being fna1." It seems probable that Nkr

mah ha in
fact never fully worked out in his own mind the place of various pssible
fonTIS of "intervention" into the afirs of other African states within an
Nationalism in Sub-Saharan Africa
efective and radical pn-Africanist strategy. It is, however, doubtful
whether, under the circumstances, Nyerere, often a courageous spokes
man for a more meaningful pan-Africanism, comes closer to articulating
a meaningful strategy when he notes:
L:kc-mindcdncss cvcn on major socia| and cconomic issucs :s nor |:kcly
to b ach:cvcd cvcn aJtcr unity; :t vi|| ncvcr b ach:cvcd bcIorc. o :mag-
:nc a mcrgcr o! sovcrc:g::cs v:|| automat:cal|y solvc :nccr-A!r:can con-
:cts is to :nv:tc dsastcr \n:ry vi|| smp|y changc thc contcxt :n vhch
rhcsc prob|cms can b tack|cd Th socialist poli,irs oj cote
HI 0 sajrgWlTdrd, tilr AjriraTl-orirlrd oi:c:c: oj mrocialiIlIAn
stiS will also hve / bt sajrjrdrd.1
Moreover, the conservative turn raken by p:-Africanism and the
"Congress of Vienna" atmosphere which has come to prvade the LP\
C3D be expected to become increasingly evidem in the attitude of inde
pendent Africa to the liberation struggle in Southern Africa, especially
as regards the activities of {he organization as they are focused in the
Liberation Committee. Already much dragging of feet over fnancing
characterizes the policy of many African states in this sphere. And the
cominued paralysis of independem Africa in relation to the Rhodesian
situation must be viewed as being particularly symptomatic of the gen
eral malaise.
The changing attitudes toward the regimes of Southern Africa will
increasingly fnd a further rationale in some of the trends already dis
cussed. As mentioned at the beginning of [his section, the present pat
ICID of growth without developmem leaves independent Africa wide
opcn to political and economic deals with international capitalism which
can sometimes help to shore up stability in the short ron, and this will
become all the more imporram a factor as [he limits of growth are
reached. In particular, it may create favorable conditions for that north
ward expansion of South African capitalism which we discussed in the
previous section. Whether such expansion will actually materialize is an
open question, though, as Bowman has noted,
rhcvc :s cvidcncc t!\c 5outh A!rica is having somc succcss :n brcak:ng
ouc o! its :so|atcd ps:r:on !n a:l:amcnc on )anuary 3 1 , 1967, Or.
Nul|cr j5outh A!r:ca`s Iorc:gn Nin:srcr sd rhac 'thosc countr:cs v:l|-
:ng U copracc v:ch 5outh A!r:ca arc :ncrcas:ng Iontacc on dcr-
cnt |cvcIs has :ncrcascd day by day` `hc sca:cmcnt :s at |cast prcia|Iy
subnciatcd by Sth Afrids u fgr with tile rest of Afri Al
though for political r5n$ South Afric dos not brek down it African
1tU on a coumry-by-country basis, there mvbeen shrp increases in r
cem ycars.\
In parr, the degree of success depends on the extent to which marginal
internal " liberalization" in Southern Africa and/or the establishment of
military dictatorships in independent Africa will relax ideological bar
riers. But the crucial detenninanr will be the strength of those social
forces which can be expected. in the near future, to oppse neoolonial
ism in independent Africa and capiralism in Sourhern Africa. The lafter
we have already discussed; U the former we must now turn.
We have already noted the plarization of wage workers in Africa
into no strata and we should now funher clarify the differential roles of
these strata within the current pattern of development. Those wage
workers who have been fully integrated into the wage economy and
have cur rheir links with the peasantry parrake of some of the privileges
enjoyed by the "elites" and "sub-elites": not only do they have incomes
(especially when they are employed by the state and by multinational
corpradons) which compare satisfactorily with (hose of the laner bm,
in addition, they bneft from the developed overhead capital of the
urban areas (educational and health fcilitics. transprt, WOter, electric
ity, erc.). They thus [end to become partners, albeit junior partners, of
the dominant power bloc in the post-independent context. The shorr
and medium-run cOStS which the stratum in question would have to bear
in the event of a radical restructuring of relations with international cap
italism are too high relative to the likely benefts for one to expect much
revolutionary initiative to come from this source. To be sure, worker
demands have occ:sionally triggered mO\'emcntS with real menace
for the dominant circles: one thinks of the Sekondi-Takoradi
suike in Ghana. and the near general strike in Nigeria in 196.
Yet only in Congo-Bra:1.aville has such worker agitation seemed
an uncqui\'oally progressive force, bcoming. as it did, a major insti
gator and prop of the progressive regime which emerged there for a
Our assumption may st'm to confict with the fact that cerrain Afri
can labor leaders have in the paSt been among those articulating the mOSt
aggressively radical philosophies on rhe continent, a force fnding its
broadest expression in trends within certain pan-African trade union or-
Nari(/inn in Sb-Sharan A/rica 81
ganizations, notably the AA TUf. This may i n part merely e\ide the
relative ideological autonomy of the labr leadership from the interests
of the uppr stratum of the working class, but iT may also reRect the
presence within such organizations of elements belonging to the lower
stratum of the wage workers. This lower stratum, consisting of workers
and unemployed who retain strong links with the peasantry, has in fact
interests which are antagonistic to the present order. For the very pat
tcrn of capiral intensive accumulation which is promoting the rapid
growth of the incomes of the labor aristoracies is restraining the absorp
tion in (he wage sector of the migrant workers who seek employment to
supplement the meaget rural incomes of theif families. This phenome
non is an imprtant aspct of the impact of the current panern of "pr
\'erse gtowth" in (he pasant societies of indepndent Africa, a pattern
srrengthening external linkages at the expnse of internal linkages and
thereby limiting the pasantry's opportunities to improve their lot
through participation in the labor and produce markets. I n consequence,
while growing income and wealth differentials between and within

and "country" steadily raise the desire of the pasantry to par
ticipate U the money economy, its ability to do so is bing restrained
and. as

ulation pressure on the land builds up. it increasingly loses irs


nomlc mdepndence and tends to b transformed into a rural prole

ranar or an urban lumpnprolerariar.
Given such realities, it is evident that considerable attention mUSt
continue to be paid to the emphasis of Frantz fanon, who placed his
hopes for signifcant transformation in posr-colonial Africa upon the

asantry's outrage at widening economic and social differcntials, espe

Cially as between the mass of the population and the new " middle-class"
(between, in efct, the rural and urban worlds), and upon their conse
quent dramatic insertion into the political equation.91 However, the
cpth and likely impact of this contradiction must not b misconstrued.
for on a continental basis the general absence of ppulation pressure on
the land and the relatively unrevolutionized nature of trdirional rural
economic systems-family centered with many communal constraints
upon the full play of individualism-mean that the range of pressures
characteristic of either full-Redged feudal or capitalistic exploitation arc
much less in evidence. As Benot points out:
Because of [he imprtnce of the subsistence Cc<nomy and of self
sufciency. bCUs of the imprtance of socil strucrures mrkcd by rcsid-
82 Part I: Oeriews
ual communalism and parochialism, bu, 1 { of the fct that [in Af
ricaJ the same complex ofgeromoltic and fmiliar traditions and customs
encompass the exploited and the exploiters alike (who are, so to spak,
ofen relatives), because of these things the cI:ss struggle of which
$ekou Toure speaks does nor manifest itself within prnt*day African
sciety 3 an internal confict (afrnttmmt intnm) but 3 a conflict with
the state, which remains a fr-off abstFcrion, unconnected with fclt exp
ricnce-confin with which rot can evenrually identif himself in
sme vague way,'!
Thus in the absence of immediate and widespred exploi[;uion ar Ihe
level of the mode of production (which has. however, bgun to emerge
in some areas, as mentioned earlier) politically relevant consciousness of
the gap separning the peasantry from the labor aristocracy tends to be
truncated and may merely lead re apathy and parochialism.
Not that [his is the sole response conceivable; certain moments in Af
rica have suggested more progressive possibilities. Thus much of the tur
bulence in [he Congo around 1964 seemed to rake on the characteristics
of a peasant resistance to the sorts of exploitation characteristic of a situ
ation of dominance by a "new class" such as we have been describing; in
particular, Mulele's rising in rhe Kwilu may be accurately characterized
as being, primarily though nOt exclusively,
a revolt of impoNerished and exploited pnts for whom the enemy was
not only the foreign colonialist but above all those Congolese who had mo
nopolized all the frits ofindependence, andalso those pli1men, adminis
trators and even teachers who served the new class and sought to imitate
its style of lifC.
Other areas of the Congo, deprived of leadership of the quality of that
provided by Mulele and his associates, were able to articulate their
grievances rather less coherently, but some such elements of "class
struggle" were apparent in many areas of rhe country and may simmer
still, despite military defeat.
s satisfactorily, rhe resentment thus direC[ed reward the "clites"
can be utilized to underwrite frther mystifcation in a national con
text,9J and, of course, similar strands of resistance could, in the absence
of sustained political work, even frustrate furure radical development
efforrs. For it must be underscored that the spreading of progressive p
litical consciousness among the peasantry of independent African
Natiana/ir in Sub-Saharan A/rita bi
ries meets formidable obstacles. Though the plitically relevam
ndaries and major arena of self-aggrandizemem for the elite have in
creasingly become those of the states of comcmporary Africa, for the
ant rather narrower tribal and sub-tribal afliations may still be the
prominent social horizon. To be sure, the latter is nOt solely a su
perstructural phenomenon but rather refects, in parr, the uneven devel
opment which capitalist penetration in colonial times has as a rule pro
moted not only among African territories bur also among tribes. \ can
therefore become a reality to be manipulatcd by the elite itself to frag
melll growing mass consciousness or to provide the basis of pawns to be
played in intra-elite competition: Richard Sklar, for example, in drawing
upon his imensive Nigerian investigations, suggests that under such cir
cumstances it is far from unusual for "tribalism [to] become a mask for
class privilege." Moreover, as Fanon himself recognized, even in times
of heightened general tension, which evidence some potemial for radical
change, "what can be dangerous is when [the African people] reach the
stagc of social consciousness before the stage of nationalism. If this hap
pens, we fnd in underdeveloped countries ferce dcmands for social jus
tice which paradoxically arc allied with often primitive tribalism." 91 In
other words, protest itself, instead of giving rise to a critique character
ized by socialist content, may be so mediated and thereby infected imo
narrower and usually self-defeating channels. In such a situation some
sort ofachieved nationalism may become a precious commodity. For, in
its absence, "mass discontem against the new class [in the Congo] was
in many ways diverted into fribal wars often initiated by traditional
chiefs intent on restoring anciem kingdoms";9S even in Kwilu there are
clear signs that the Mulelist movement itself contained backward
loking dimensions which tended to become more prominent as the
level of tensions inherent in the Congo situation rose.
These ethnic dimensions must fgure prominenrly in any African bal
ance sheet as they give hostages to unwelcome international pressures.
The blend of tribalism, oil, and opportunistic intervention by various
rival capitalist and great power concerns which has characterized the
Nigcria-Biafra war is a case in point. Nor should the possible ways in
which the availability msuch leverage can link up with other dimensions
of the continental struggle be ignored. The tribalism fostered in Zambia
by intra-elite competition has, for example, become the main entering
wedge in the Southern African regimes' attempts re tame Kaunda's sup-
Part !: o-.tMitws
porr for the liberation moverenrsj9 and onc of the ac

Portuguese aid to Biafra was the defection of a prominent (now) Blaf
ran seconded U (he headquarters of the Liberation Comminee in Dar
es Salaam, who surfaced eventually in Lisbon baring information of
sfr.lIcgic relevance ro the liberation struggle in Sourhern Africa.
Uneven development ! also created conrrJdicrions among various
Africl srates, espcially between [he pripheral centers and those
countries which form their periphery. These comr3dictions are still em
bryonic but can be expected to deepn, especially if the wave ofcapiN-l
ist-spnsored economic liberalization discussed earlier becomes an even
stronger one: in this context, for example, the recent decision of a coun
Hy like Chad to impse customs duties on goods cntering the country
from its former partncrs ofthe Cenrral A fdcan Customs Union assumes
more general signifcance. But in such instances (as with the more seri
ous clashes which may emerge in the future) any progressive potential
inherent in such an implicit critique of continemal imbalances will, for
the reasons which we have discussed, be vitiated in the absence of alter
native strategies designed to complete a break with imernational capital
ism at homeylo Under existing circumstances it is probable, in fact, that
these conficrs, and the "nationalist" sentiments they may arouse, will
merely be manipulated by the ruling classes in the countries concerned
to further fragment and mystif mass consciousness on the continent
(while at the $1me time making available another pssible instrument for
use as leverage by outside-including South Afric:m-interests).
In conclusion, class contradictions in indepndent Africa arc less dra
matic than in Southern Africa and many areas of the underdeHloped
world. Moreover, the), are blurred by racial, ethnic, and nationalist di
mensions which hamper the development of subjective conditions f\'or
able to radical change. The development of a rural proletariat and of an
urban lumpenproletariat will steadily restructure this situation, but for
some time to come class antagonisms arc unlikely to conrribUle in a de
terrninant way to the internal d)namics of indepndent Africa. This
ver) underdevelopment of revolutionary social forces further under
scores the potential1y important contribution both of imellectuals, who
Illight play the role of generalizing protest and raising i t to a level of sig
nificant rcvolutionar) praxis, and of disciplined political moverents
which can over time turn discontent into a drive for radical change.
Though some African students, especially when in the merropolcs, have
Natim:/is1 in Sub-Saharan A/rica 85
Uel'n among the most arlieu/au radicals (a radicalism exemplified in the
militanc), of a number of their organil.tions. most prominentl), Ihe
Paris-centered FEANf) it is nonetheless true that with education c1assi
l1y so prominent a factor in recruitment into the labor aristocracy, the
ludligcntsia has tended to be a central prop to the unbalanced African
\\'e; structure. Here to. however, there arc rcasons for expcting
(hange. \Vhen the eclipse of the easy opprrunilies inherent in re
placing the European colonial esrablishment has been coupk- bth with
the expansion of educational opprtunities a"d much slower expansion
o! positions concomitant upn a bankrupt development strategy. we
mal' cxpect a growing frustration of [hat segment of the intel1igentsia
(w;derstood in very brood terms) which the increasingly exclusive top
levels of the labor aristocracy arc unable to absorb. Such frustration may
simply lead to an intensifcation of the manipulation of the masses in thc
service of intra-elite Struggles. It might. however, lead U a genuinely
rc\olutionaryvanguard if, i n line with other changes. the instrumentali
l!tion of the masses is subject [Q increasingly diminishing rcturns.
Thc potentially important contribution of a radical leadership is in
some respectS corroborated b) the Tanzanian experience, where a trans
formation of the consciousness of the very ruling strata which inherited
powcr at independence has been attempted under the crctive leadership
of Julius N),erere. Here "self-reliance" vis-a-vis foreign capital has be
come rather more aggressively than elsewhere the order of the day, and
Starl ownership has been extended to a sizable segment of the moern
economy. To be sure, the ambiguities of state ownership without a radi
cal dcvdopmenr strateg

mentioned earlier, are far from bing re

sokcd in Tanzania and it is by no means clear that the mass base that
must underwrite the attempt can b generated. Yet the nationalizations
han . fulflled a basic precondition for such a strategy lO emerge, and the
powcr of rhe labor aristocracy and international capitalism to inAeC[
ciJI transformations in a neocolonial direction has been contained. But
e\'en if this remains a situation of some continuing promise, it has arisen
Irn 3 peculiar concatenation of circumstances-i nvolving, among
other things, a low degree of direct involvement, historically. on the part
of international capitalism, a slower crystalli7.tion, i n a setting of ex
\rcme "backw:udness," of the interests and the consciousness of thc nas
cent Tnlanian labor aristocrac), relative U many other African situa
tions, and rhe presence of a le:der of great taerical skill and genuine
Pari I: Uvic:
commitment who could take considerable advantage of the breathing
space thus allotted hirlOl_rhe moment for which, if it ever existe, has
probably passed unused in most other African states. In much o md

penderu Africa root and branch challenge to the incumbent regimes IS

the relevant historical necessity, however difcult the task.
The picTure which emerges from our discussion is not bright. lnter
n:nional capirlism, under the hegemony of the United States, seems
aboU U rationalize its domination of black Africa, a trend which may be
supplemented by an economic and diplomatic ofensive from South Af
rica_ The bankruptcy of independent Africa's development policies in
rhe last decade has, at the same time, prepared a favor:ble environment
for the success of both such moves. Thus the victorious "nationalisms"
of the fifties and early sixties, which seemed the crystallization of an
eff ective challenge to imperialism, mUSt now be generally reinterpreted,
in the light of independent Africa's "flse decolonization" (in Fanon's
suggestive phrase), as no real defense but rather as so many myths de
signed to legitimate the dominant position of the new ruling classes.
Similarly pan-Africanism, originally drawing upn a living tradition of
racial and cultural themes and a sense of shared grievance, is itself being
transformed from a radical force seemingly capable of ofering real re
sistance to the further subordination of Africa to Western capitalism,
into a conservative alliance guaranteei ng the stability of existing neo
colonialist structures. Moreover, though some among the African
countries (especially the peripheral centers) fnd themselves bound into
the imperialist system in ways which provide (in the short run) more of
the illusion of development, ultimately all are effectively constrained by
such a continental pattern. In sum, the "Latin Americanization" of inde
pendent Africa is well underway.
The social forces which might be expected to underpin any drive U
reverse these trends are, generally speaking, either absent (as in the case
of the proletariat proper) or ideologically and politically fragmented
(viz., the peasantry). Moreover, given the present pattern of capital in
tensive development, the proletarianization of the peasantry will be tO
slow and long drawn out a process on which to base hopes of revolution
ary change in most of the area. In time the fruits of bankrupt develop-
Nati(alir in Sub-Saharan Africa 87
ment STrategies-impressed upon lumpen elements in the urban areas,
sections of the peasantry, and some members of the intelligentsia, for ex
ample-will come to defne real contradictions, but in the short run
greater authoritarianism, occasionally complemented by "mass" incur
sions into politics whose regressive and parochial character refects the
fragmented and mediated consciousness which we have mentioned, is a
more likely outgrowth of tension than any concerted revolutionary ac
Hopes must instead be focused upon the liberation struggle in South
ern Africa, the implications of which are bound to have truly continen
ral dimensions. In the "centers" of Southern Africa the peasantry has
been effectively proletarianized and the social structure produced by a
pattern of development in which the white settlers play the hegemonic
role leaves little, if any, room for a neocolonial solution. Moreover, in
the periphery of this region (the Portuguese territories) the neocolonial
solution has been blocked by the "ultra-colonialism" of Portugal and the
peasant revolution which has ensued is creating subjective conditions for
socialist transformation which are generally absent elsewhere in inde
pendent black Africa. The intensifcation of the struggle in Southern
Africa, drawing South Africa out of its own fortress (and prhaps even
wally drawing the United States and others ever more overtly into the
fray), can in turn have an educative efect upon receptive circles in inde
pendent Africa. Much more important, a successful socialist revolution
in Southern Africa would radically restructure neocolonialist relation
ships on the whole continent since, after a necessary (and admittedly
difcult) period of reconstruction, it would act as a powerful pole of po
litico-economic attr:ction for the less developed and less wealthy nations
of Tropical Africa. Our discussions should have dispelled any illusions
concerning the nature and short-term prospects of the struggle in
Southern Africa. Yet, at the present historical moment, this provides the
main, if not the only, leverage for revolutionary change in sub-Sahar:n
It follows that the countries bordering upon the Southern African
complex deserve special attention as their support is crucial to the libera
tion struggles, especially those in Rhodesia and South Africa where, as
we have seen, the pasantry carmor provide a sure and sustained base for
eVOlutionary action. In this regard the Congo, and particularly Malawi, r
already been efectively neutralized by rhe neocolonial control of
Part I: Uirs
the United States and South Africa respctively; this has in [Urn en
hanced the srrategic signifcance of Zambia and Tanzania. In assessing
the present and likely future contributions of these countries U the lib
eration struggle in Sourhern Africa, it must be stressed from the outset
that the constraints upon the development of revolutionary conscious
ness within their own oorders are formidable; the combination of forces
which we have seen to be promoting the entrenchment of neocolonial
ism are present also in these countries. In addition, Zambia, like Malawi,
fnds itself in the unique psition of having an economy closely inte
grated with that ofSourh Africa, its links with Rhodesia having been re
duced since UDl largcly through greater dependence upn South Africa
and the Portuguese territories. This situation obviously narrows funher
the options opn to the Zambian nationalist leadership, which. in addi
tion, has been rather less coherent and radical than that of Tanzania in
conceptualizing the problems of its country's development.
Yet, given this situation, the consolidation in pwer of the present
leadership there and in Tanzania, and the retention by such leaderships
of their present attitudes toward the liberation movements, is the most
favorable trend that the liberation movementS can expect-though the
confrontation with Southern Africa in its various dimensions (involving
the backing by the white regimes of internal oppsition groups, as in
Zambia, the tacit encouragement by those same regimes of the expn
sionist ambitions displayed by Banda, and, of course, the direct military
inrervention exemplifed mOSt graphically to date by Portuguese border
raids into Tanzania and Zambia) may have a further radicalizing efect
on both countries. For this [[end Uhave any chance to materialize it is
necessary, however, that the Zambians succeed in reducing the integra
tion of their economy with Southern Africa U a much greater extent
and at a f:l[er pace than they have to date. In this connection the further
rapid expansion of various links with Tanzania, particularly in the feld
of communications and rrade, would represent an important develop
ment, and one is therefore tempted to look upon the success or failure to
execute the projected Tanzam railway project, to be fnanced and built
by China, as a major indicator offuture trends in sub-Saharan Africa.IOJ
In any event, developments in Zambia will be closely related to those
in Tanzania. Of course, the long-run success of the latter country's bid
to escape the neocolonial pattern of development could in and of itself
begin U have some educative effect upn the rest of the continent. More
Nathmalism in Sub-Saharan Africa bV
immediately relevant to our purposes here, however, is the fact that its
failurc would almost inevitably lead Zambia to join Malawi and the
Congo in surrendering complerely to internal and external neocolonial
ist pressures. We have already mentioned some of the positive features,
as well as some of the continuing ambiguities, of the Tanzanian expe
rience; we will here add only some brief mention of the important im
plications of Tanzania's integr
nion into the regional East African econ
omy. For Tanzania has traditionally played the role of an economic
satellite vis-a-vis Kenya, which, owing to the prcssures of a European
and Asian national bourgeoisie, had acquired many of the fetures char
acteristic of [he settler economies of Southern Africa. Prominent among
such fcatures was a relatively developed productive Structure which, to
gether with Kenya's tOtal subservience Uthe West, has made that coun
try the "natural" base for international capitalism's operations in the
whole of East Africa in the pst-independence era. It is not surprising,
therefore, that Kenya is one of the countries where United States pres
cnce has become most marked.10 Under these conditions, and irrespec
tive of short-term advantages, the participation with Kenya in what
seems to be primarily a neocolonialist-sponsored common market could
scvert:y constrain meaningful planning in Tanzania at the very moment
whcn it begins to sense the need for a coherent domestic industtial strat
egy.lgj On the basis of our earlier general argument, it should be clear
that Tanzania's eforts would beneft greatly from participation in larger
economic units characterized by rational and equitable planning. But it
is equally evident that some forms of unity, whcther continental or re
gional, can be more damaging than none at all for many of the partici
Such a consideration provides one reason why radical change in
Kenya would signifcantly ease the way for the ultimate success of the
TJnzanian policy of "self-reliance." It is therefore relevant to recognize
th:t the prospects for such change are marginally brighter in Kenya
rhan elsewhere in black Africa. For another feature which Kenya has in
herited from the colonial period is a class structure similar to that of
Rhodesia and South Africa, which is to say th:t the Kenyan peasantry
has been more deeply prolcrariamzed than the pasantry in most other
African countries. For this reason class conficts are likely Uemerge 3a
dynamic facror as soon as the limits are reached in the current Africani
zarion of the settler economy, this l:mer process having created consid-
V Part I: Oeitl
crable consensus for Ihe present regime but having also assured the con
solidation of Kenya's black labor arisrocT<cy in a position of gross
privilege even more graphic and exped than is [he \ in other parts
of the continent'! Adminedly, fragmentation of consciousness along
tribal lines is a deep-scated problem, bur there is also a living tradition, in
Mau Mau, of peasnt violence to redress soioconomic grievances
which can b drawn upn
Here, roo, such realities may merely lead to greater authoritarianism
and aTe in fact doing so. But if adc<
uate subjective conditions are being
created, grievances generalized, and the basic tasks of organization
bgun, Kenya could at some future date underwrite a qualitatively
diferent situation in East Africa and, through the reprcussions on um
bia and the liberation moverocnts, in Southern Africa. Finally, cemin
parallel pinrs might be made about potenrial developments in the strate
gically imJrtant State of Ziire, for the character of its integration into
the Southern African mining complex and the degr<' U which its rural
structures were shaken up by the Belgians' own version of "ultra-coloni

also give irs socioplitical system a certain unique volatility.

This has ben bst exemplifed by those pst-indepndence pnt OUt
bursts mentioned i n an earlier section which are without ready parallel
elsewhere on the continent-though here again, as nored, subjective fac
tors undermined much of the creative Jtemial inherem in the siruation.
We are here moving toward [he realm of [he merely speculative, for
in fact the possible pnnutations and combinations of events and their
likely timing are vast in number. It is enough in conclusion to take note
of (Wo main c\emems that arc readily apparent in the preceding argu
ment. On the one hand, a concluding focus upon the imJrtant inter
connections between rhe various states and liberation movemcms in the
"barrIe area" serves ro reemphasi7. the necessarily e(mlil/etal sweep of
strategic calculation in contemporary Africa. On the other hand, the im
portance of the development of subtCtive cdili(ls which has been
noted reinforces the concern expressed in our introduction for incrd
clarity of analysis and a deepr understanding of rhe forces involved on
the part of all concerned.
The former point raises a number of difculties, of course, for the sets
of priorities which should be adopted by states, groups, and individuals
in Africa in defning their revolutionary praxis are by no means self-evi
Benor has raised some relevant poims in his discussion of Nkru-
Nahfaiirm in Sb-Sharan A/rica 91
mah's pan-African strategy, arguing that much of the larrer's emphasis
O this issue led to an unfortunate dispersion of vital energies. !-Ie con
cludes that
state embarked upn the difcult struggle for development and economic
iHdepHden is ofnecessityforced consider tile demonstr:ltion Ihrough
il5 own achievements and its own progress ofthe real pssibilities ofinde
pndence 9 1he crucial contribution which it can nuke Uthe libration of
the continent.](
Nationalism, so potentially mystifing an element on the African scene,
can in certain comexts be revitalized, used (and controlled) as a pro
gressive instument providing the rationale for struggle and/or the
framework within which social reconstruction proceeds. `
But noned\
less, for reasons which we have indicated, it musr certainly be balanced
by a continental concern, though not one cast in the conventional mold
of the present day. Indeed, what mUSt be a most pressing necessity is to
recapture in new terms the vital spirit of continental di'isi( which
characterized the hey-day of the Casablanca and Monrovia blocs. This
^*ill involve calculations of particular relevance to m socialist srates
which Illay emerge from the liberauon struggle (though it should prob
ably be of increased immediate concern U a state like Tanzania, for ex
ample). For l inks among the like-minded will become particularly im
portant as such states move to sustain each other and to spread their
inA lienee. Clearly the groundwork should now be laid by African revo
lutionaries for consideralion ofthe fll range of pssible activities in the
next stages of conrinenrl evoluuon.
Needless to say, answers to the questions raised in the course of such
calculations ate depndent upon the clarity of vision whose necessity
was introduced as the second major clement of our summary above.
Only when concepts of " n:)ionalism" and of "pan-Africanism" are
fully demystifed and liberated from rhe cultural grip of the ruling
classes and rheir ideologues can they be pur ro progressive use 8plitical
Iflst ruments
1Il is then tOthat a patemly two-edged sword like ,acial
cOlcioumS can realize its full progressive potenria.-when, in other
words, il is related to (though not submerged by) a growing realization
on the parr ofA friean radicals that their revolution is part and parcel of a
worldwide ami-impaialist unlgglt. Of course, as Roger Murray has co
gently observed, the demands for both inrelleetual probity and imcllce-
92 ParI I: Ovcvies
tual honesty to be made upon "rerropliran socialists" can be no less se
vere, and must lead them ro transcend such "misinterpreted application
of revolutionary res!l1sibility and commitment" as has led to "the gen
eral default of meaningful and critical solidarity" with the Third World
in rhe past; his injunctions in this regard should be required reading and
need not therefore be paraphrased here.
Many parallel points might also be made with reference to the role of
the socialist coumries for whom collaborarionism with "national democ
racies" is a temptation and opponunism, as exemplifed in the Nigerian
case, an ever present danger. Partly this may spring from an atmosphere
of "peaceful coexistence" which all roo often means merely a retirement
before the sort of aggressive global "rationalization" by international
capitalism whose African version we have elaborated upon above. And
even where more fruitful involvement is the rule as in the struggle in
Southern Africa the division between the Soviet and Chinese wings of
the socialist camp can, H its crudest expressions, have a IllOSt deleterious
efect. Yet the conrribution from the East can and mUST be great, nOt
only durir-g the stage of the liberation struggle itself, bUT also as socialist
states struggle to emerge on more secure bases than was the case for the
frst wave of radical STaTes in sub-Saharan Africa. Often isolated (as
would be the case for an independent Cabralist Guinea, for example)
and inevitably in need of meaningful short-run assistance (as in contem
porary Tanzania), these should be the foci of concentrated effort. In the
current continental conjunCTure. characterized by a graphically uneven
development of revolutionary possibilities, there is little to be gained
from spreading one's eforts thinly and uncritically.
In sum, for all concerned outsiders of radical persuasion anxious to
maximize their contribution, more sophisticated theory and analysis and
clearer insight into African realities arc almost as important as for the
new African revolutionaries themselves. Too linle advance has been
made beyond the situation described in 1960 by Amilcar Cabral, among
the most admirable of African militants, when he identifed what he
chose to call "a crisis in the African revolution" :
Ir is nor a crisis of growrh, bur mainly a crisis of knowledge. In \O many
cases the struggle for liberation and our pbns for the future n: not only
without theoretical base, but also more or less cur off from rhe concrete
situation in which wc X working. `
Nationalism in Sub-Saharan A/rca
I . We have limited our inquiry to sub-Saharn Africa despire rhe fact that, for
many important purposes, this artifcially excludes North Africa from m
cominental balance sheet which we attempt to sketch. A more adequate ac
coum would have to pay particular attention to the often radical role played
by North African srtes (the UAR and Algeria in prticular), both within
various cominental organizatons and vis-a-vis rhe liberation struggle in
Southern AfriXa.
2. The phrase is llraundi's, in E. R. Braundi, "Neo-Colonialism and Class
Struggle," fntmwtiltl Socia/istJoural, no. I (\ 964). Romano Ledda ("S0-
cial Classes and Political Srruggle," fme7tional Socialist Jourl, no. 22
[August 1967J, p. 560) i n adopting a smewhat similar line is particularly
critical of the writings of Frantz Fanon, in partcular T Wretched of Ih,
Earth. For an extreme version of one form of "agrarin messianism" wirh
reference to Africa see Peter Worsley, The Tird World (London, 1964),
especially ch. 4, "Populism"; for a critique see Chapter 4 of this volume.
3. Thus Ledda (op. ciI., p. 580) emphasizes the central importance of "the
emergence of a working class, mde up essentially of wage earners-indus
trial, agriculrural, and tertiary pleta1iatin rhe cities and rural areas; and
it is this class rhat will form the oockbone of a revolutionary movement" in
4. Harza Alavi, "Imperialism Old nd New," in The Sociaiisl Rrgisl 1"0Y
(New York and London, 1964); H. Magdot, Te Agr of Imprrialimt,
(New York, 1969).
5. Alavi.op. cit.
6. This hypothesis is of coursc consistent with the fact that there is a ncr
outfow of private capital from the priphery Uthe industrial capitalist cen
ters. See Alavi, op. cit.; Magdotf, op. cit.; and ) Vigier and G. Waysand,
"Revolucion Ciemifca e Imperiismo, Pmsamimto Critico, no. \3 (1968).
7. For the irportance of the mining industry to advanced capitalism see Pierre
Jlce, Tt Pillagr of the Tird World (New York, 1968) and Tird Wl
I in Ihr World faluy (New York, 1970).
8. On foreign investment in South Africa s "A Special Reporr on American
Involvement in the South African Economy," Africa Today Uanuary
1966); Dennis Austi.Britin and SOflh Africa (London, 1966), especially
ch. 6; "Foreign Investment in South Africa, Prt 1: Britain," Suhaba (Dar
es Salaam), no. 1 1 (1968); "Foreign Invcstment in South Africa, Parr II:
U.S.A., West Germany," &chaba, no. 12 (1968). On foreign investment
in Rhodesia, South-West Afric, and Portuguese terrirories s United Na
tions, A/6868/Add. 1 (October 1967).
Part I: Ouvies
9. Austin, op. ciT.
10. U.S. Department of Commerce, Businm Invesmmt in Foreign
Counlrirs (1960); and Sl1rvq of Currnll Bminm (August 1964).
I I . "$outh Africa," New Republic, \ 3 August 1966, p. 8.
12. Carl Oglesby and Richard Schaull, C(Ilainml and Change (New York,
1968). p. 98. Oglesby draws heavily ufXn the data in the A/rica Today sp
cial reprt mentioned aoove.
1 3. These two instances, among others, arc cited in John Marcum, "Southern
Afrie: and United Sttes Policy: .' Consideration of Alternatives," Afric
Toay (Ocwber 1967).
14. See the Africa Today special reprt chapter, "Citizen Eng1ehard."
1 5. United Narions, op. cit.
16. Sec Alavi, op. cit. For a valuable case study see M. Kidron, FQtgn InvtIl
men( in India (London, 19(5).
17. ln this article we shall distinguish between "peripheral centers" and their
"saTellires." The development of capimlism on a world .cale has not only
produced the relative underdevelopment and subordination of the "priph
ery" as a whole (the present underdeveloped world); it has also led to un
even development within the periphery itsdf, where some countries, re
gions, and communities play the role of "peripheral centers" and others
those of their "s.nellites." S Gunder Frank, Capitlism and UTidndevtWp-
1Itnt in Larin Amta (New York, 1967).
18. See Samir Amin, Le Dh'tioppmtl du capitaiis( t COlt d'/wiT( (Paris
196:), especially the conclusion. Difculties similar to those described b;
Amm for the Ivory CoaSt are also becoming apparent in Kenya.
19. II is along some such lines that one might hope to pursue Roger Murray's
goal of"a much fner discrimination of the variant forms of a 'neocolonial
ism' which emblces much of the world; and which therefore has to b
liquidated as an autonOmous category." S Roger Murray, "Second
Thoughts on Ghana," Ntw Left Revitw (March-April 1967), p. 39. On
this subject, mOSt defnitely, frther work is needed.
20. A

oted earlier, this assumption does not apply to concerns engaged in gold
21. S Chapter 3 of this volume.
22. Alavi, op. cit.; K. Nkrumah, Neo-Co/mialism: Tht LAst Stage ofImperialism
(London, 1965); R. H. Green and A. W. Seidman, Unit Powr?
(London, 1968); A. W. Seidman, "Reshaping Foreign Economic Rela
nons (unpublished manuscript).
23. See Chapter 1 of this volume.
24. A .
Astrachan, "AID Reslices the Pie," Afri(a Rrporr Uune 1967); Farb
stem, et aI., The /nvoh'mttnl of U5 Privau E7Irist in Devtioping
COWItrits (Washington, 1968).
NatiOllalism in Sub-Sahran Africa 95
25. Green and Seidman, op. cit., p. 138.
26. M. Sainr_Marc,"Diversifcation des courants d'echange des anciennes colo
nies fran,aises," Le Mois tn Afrique (December 1967).
27. R. Barbe, "!R:pprr Jeanneney et Ie nio-colonialisme," Econqmit tt poli
riqUt (OctOber 1964), p. 66 (our mnsl:tion).
28. U.S. Department of Commerce, op. cit.
29. J. Vignes, L 'Afriqut lmtporaine (Paris, 1968). An extract from the chap
ter "Dependance et exploitation economique de I'Afrique" appears in Tn
conlintnlli no. 3 (1967), p. 168. S also Nkrumah, op. CiL
3, Ch:r!es and Alice Darlington, African Bttrayal (New York, 1968), p. 169.
JI . Ibid.
32. Paul Semonin, "Proxy Fight in the Congo," The Nation, 6 March 1967, p.
33. The main manifestation of these conficts is probably the series of interna
tional monetary crises which Western capitalism has b n undergoing
lately. See M. Kidron, Wuttm Capitlism Since the War (London, 1968).
34. Sec E. Mandel, "International Capitalism and 'Supra-Nationality: " in 1
Socialist Rtgisttr 70/ (New York and London, 1967); S. Hymer, "Trans
atlantic Reactions U Foreign Investment," Yale University, Economic
Growth Center, Discussion Paper no. 53 (\968).
35. See Paul Semonin, "Mobutu :nd the Congolese," 1 Wl Tday Uanu
ary 1968). We will return to this theme in Section . blow.
36. For: revealing case study see H. Alavi and A. Khusro, "Pakistan: The Bur
den of U.s. Aid," NtlUni'tlmit Thought (AUgST 1962). Also Farbstein,
et l., op. CiL; Green and Seidman, op. cit., part II, ch. J.
1'. On the importnce for rhe weakening of Africa's "bargaining psition" of
(he decline of an aggressive Soviet presence in independent Africa see Im
manuel Wallerstein, "African Unity Reas ," Africa RepoTt (April
38. For example, B. J. Oudes in his article "OCAM Comes of Age," Africa Rt

t (February 1968) strongly emphasizes the weakened bargaining psi

tion of the African leaders vis-a-vis the EEC.
39. SF r:nk, op. cit. The phrase "development ofunderdevelopment" is used

emphasize that the underdevelopment of the pripheries must not be
Viewed as an "original state" but as The "joint product" of the hi storical
process which has brought about the development ofthe advanced capitalist
" ,nted Nations, ECN114/3 70, p. 179 for South Africa; and Central Sta
tlsTlal Ofce, Nallal Acwunts and Balace of Paymtnt of Rhodesia, 1965
(Salisbury, 1966), for Rhodesia.
41. Ibid.
42. United Nations, E/CN1l41370, and $chba no. 7 (1967).
Part I: H:mt
41. " Green Bay Tree," Thr
EUjst, 29 June-5 Ju
1968, p. l
subide of rhis ffty-pge special reprt by the E(momm deputy ednor I6,
signifcantly. "A survey by the Ecuumist of why Somh Mrica is getting
richer s quickly, :md of why it is :ImO cCTfnly 1Oeveryby's adVl nrage
that it should concinuc U do s."
. United Nations, Al6S68/Add. I .
45. It should b nored dut as rcgrds trends the "Oppnheimer Empire"
]s only the O far-sighted :md aggs ve of a numbr of actors in d
Southern African tt(H1omy with similar interests.
46. See R. i-Iorwin, 1Politk.1 Economy ofAfrica (Lndon, 1967); and
Chapter 7 of this volume.
47. The classic instance in this regard is Colin and Margaret Legum, Sth AI
ri(o: Crisis for thr HM (London, 1964); for an alternative prognosis
Chapter 7 of this volume.
48. The Malawi case is a particularly striking one; for a succinct analysis see
"lmrodUCTion to Malawi," NMI uft Re"iM, no. 45 (1967).
49. Cited in Z. Nkosi, "Somh African Imperialism," Tt African Communist,
no. 30 (Third Quaner, 1967), p. 35, which presents a number of revealing
statemems by imprtlnt actors in the Somh African plitical economy on
this subject; Uals Tht Ei!l, op. cit., p. xlvi; "Vorster's Political De
ception," Tht Nati(list (Dar es Sala:m), 4 November 1968; D. Austin,
"WhiTe Power?," Tt Juunl ofCwtalth SNldits Uuly 1968)., Nkosi
als mentions, for example, thaT "Dr. RoberT Gardiner [a GhanianJ, execu
tive secretary of the U.N. Ecolic Commission for Africa, on his return
to his headquaners in Addis Ababa from a vi&iT [0 the Republic last March
called for 'an agonizing reappraisl' of how black Africa should approch the
problem of South Mric" (p. J').
!0. Nor should one ignore, in the last instance, the thret of di rect South Afr
can militlry action aginst the Nonh: ' months ago Mr. Bodl
[South Africa's Mi nister of Defens} declared that Suth Africa gardcd
asisrance giH:n to the guerrillas as an act of provoation-'provoation can
lead to hard reuliation in the interests of slf-respct and pace: Sig
nifcantly he drew the analogy of Israel's raids against al-Fatlh bases across
the Jord:m." ("In the STeps of Dayan," 1ErOif 3-9 August 1968).
JI. Dennis Austin is very much Uthe pint when he argues that "pnicularly
interestin8 are the joint development undertakings in Lesotho, Motam
bique, and An8ola, including the very large hydroelectric projectS on the
Oran8e, Zambezi. and Cunene rivers. One can also list a growin8 number
of mining vemures and industries directly fnanced by South Africa in BOT
swana, Swaziland, both the Portuguese terriTOries. Rhodesia and Malawi"
(in "White Power?," op. cit.). Clear evidence of the miliTary and logistic
Natit Jis1n in Sub-Sharan Africi 97
presence ofSomh Africa in the Southern Africm struggle byond it

ders is best situated by Botha's remark: "True friends do W m 8ned
treaties. South Afric has an interest in what is happning in Angola, K
desia, and Motambique" (qU(ed in "In the Steps of Dayn," op. ciL).
52. "Vorster Says Senle," 10 iSI, Octobr 1%8,
] P. Anderson, "Porrug and the End of Ultra-Colonialism," NMI Uft Re
vit, ~ 16, 11, 18 (1962).
), W. A. Hance, "Three Economies," AfriRipon (Novembr 1961), p. 30.
This is a spcial issue devO{ed to the sintuion in Porruguese Afric,
55. For evideoce of mo diret American involvement $ David Welsh, "Fly
boys for the CIA," &mfhm (Dttembr 1966).
56. S Gerard Chaliand, Armed Srrggk in Afrita (New York, 1912).
57. Donald Batt, "In the Liberated Areas of Angola" (interview with Spr
racus Monimambu), Guardian (New York), 27 April, 4 May, and I I May
1968; Roy Harvey, "Angolan Liberadon Group Confers," Guardian (New
York), 19 October 1968.
58. J. Marcum, "Tre Revolutions," Afrita Repqrt (November 1967), p .
Similarly, this "educ:nive effect" helps to facilitlte the transcending of mbal
consciousness and Other forms of parochialism; for a closly related and
more derailed analy&is of the revolutionary situation in Moumbique as it
has developd sintt the writin8 of the present essay (1968), b Chapter
this volume. Some of the ps ible ambiguities inherent in pasant plitcal
involvemem in sub-Saharan Africa are discussed at 8rter length in Section
3, below.
59. Nonetheless, Marcum is no doubt grossly premature with his gunr
(presmed in the H "respctable" American j of Afrcan
that "the pssibility of U.S. intervention to presrve the MDquo hangs
over rhe m revolutions in Porruguese Africa like summer m oYer
Wahington." Ibid.
. . .
60. Parts of southern Mozambique are, of course, pularly oghdy mtegrated
into the South Africn economy and a varicry of funner complexities may
arise m this imprtant nct.
61 . Grn and Seidman, op. cit., p. 149n. For example, in their catalogue of
pssible seCTOral growth plans for a juvenated economic unity in Africa,
Green and Seidman cite (p. 24Sn.), among other insrances, rhe fact that
"continental plicy in iron and st,1 would particularly bneft from the lib
eration of Southern Africa. South Africa and Rhoesia have the fm and
third largest iron and steel industries respctively in Afri
ca and virllY
rhc coking coal. Along with Swaziland-whos depsLTS are now bemg
opened up for the Jap3nese market-they possess a very lar8e share
of [he
high-grade iron ore reserves. Finally, production of pig iron and

Part I: O1
products in this area to serve the steel (and iron ore) defcit of Aan
countries appears 1 be onc oftne logical entry poinrs for Arrie: into inter
mediate and manur'IUTe< products for export to world markets."
62. See Frank. op. cit., on the relationship between capitalist dcvelopmem and
fcudal relations of production in Lat;n America. In OOI opinion, however,
!;nko\'crsimplifcs the problem of the coxisreocc of difrent soial rela
tions of production under what he correctly identifes as capitalisT systems.
63. Govan Mbeki, Sth A/rica: 1Ptffan/J' Rtolt (London, 1964), p. 1 31 .
64. I t has. however, been argued that this has recently given rise 1 dangerous
infationary pressures. See Martin Legassick, "The Consequences of Afri
can Guerrilla Acriviry for South Africa
s Relations with Its Neighbors"
(unpublished paper).
65. b"rorwam from Wankie." &chb, no. I I (1968).
66. United Nations, E/CN 14/UNCTAD 1111.
67. See Chapters I and 3 of this volume.
68. Sec I. Sachs, "On Growth Potential, Proportional Growth, and Perverse
Growth," CuchOJluck f(N/oic Pp(1966), pp. 65-71.
69. We would welcome a term other than "labor aristocracy" for the group
which we have in mind should any be fonhcoming; the genesis of a much
clearer conceprwlization of lhe Afrc:n class structure mllSt, in any event,
b an immediate prioriry. For a discusion of the "elites" and "sub-elites" of
tropic:l Afric: P. Lloyd. ed., Tr NElit ofTroitfl Afrtf (lon
don. 1966), especially Ihe Introduction by the editor.
70. R. Debray, "Problems of Revolutionary Srrntegy in Latin America," Ne
uft Rlie ($cptember-October i9),p.H (emphsis in the original).
71. S. Amin, "LDe\'eloppment du c:pitalisme en Afrique noire," L'Hummr
il u:mru(October-December 1967), pp. 107-19; also Y. Ben, "Oe
vcloppment accelcre el revolution soiale en Afrique Occidemale," L
Ire (April 1966) (our translation).
72. !\min, ibid., p. 117; also S. Amin, u D"'.rJop tmmt du tpit/innl
Lott d'loirt, op. cit. (our translation).
73. Roger Mumy, "Militarism in Africa," Nrw uft (July-August
1966), p. 56. This is much the rt \
aluable analysis of the wave of military
coups which has yet ared.
74. Ibid.
75. I. G. Markowirz, "Ghana Ten Ye:rs Afer Indepndence: Develop
ment of Technoracy-Capitalism," AfriCi TodiY Uanuar 1967), p. II.
e S Chapter 4 of this volume.
77. Semonin, "Mobutu and the Congolese," pp. 27, 29. Compare this emphasis,
however, with [hat of Murny ("Mirarism in Africa," p. 56): "American
pnetration imo the Congo (Rokefeller. etc.) is such that one c:n lssume
Nationalis in Sub-Sharm A/rica
that Mobutu, in his dClings with Belgium, is playing the Americ:n c:rd."
This Imer seems in many ways to b rhc stronger hypodlesis.
, :\jvin W. Wolfe, "Economies in Bondage: The Mining Indusrry," Africa
Today (January 1967), p. 19.
79. Gren lnd Seidman, Q. cit., p. 22. While we brodly agree with the views
exprs i n mquOOltlon we feel uneasy, sy the lest, lt the 11Ck of
concer shown by the authors fr the problwhich we consider centnl
to a strat

gy of economic development in AfrC-f evolving a technology

bener SUIted to the task of mobizng productive forces in AfriCl than that
imported from the advanced c:pitalist centers. b Chapter 3 of this vol
80. Ibid., pp. 255-56. Wolfe (op. cit., p. 19) has also uc the extent to
hieh division undennines 3 strong continentl bargaining pition, 1rgu
mg, (or example, that the Congo's failure effectvely renegotiate its cp


ition foundered on lhis reef: ' Afrc:n Stes, we:k W they 1fe
mdlvldually, have not melhodiclly utili<ed what resources they have for
enhancing collective inAuence vis-i-vis the developd centers."
81 . Quoted in Green and Seidman, op. cir., p. 229.
82. Ibid., p. 230.
83. Benot, op. cit., g. 54 H (our translation).
h. I. Wallerstein. Afric: 1Politin of Uit (New York, 1967), pp. 66-67.
85. Both thes qoomions appar in Wallerstein, ibid" p. 63. TIle laner thought
was echod some m years 11ter by President Boumedienne of Algeria
hen he observed that "there has been since [Addis Ababa] a cerrain de
elmc of African solidarity . . . . We must avoid at any price the danger of
this tr
de union [of heads of srates] which would hold back the nccessry
c\'olutlon of our pople" (quoted in WllIerstein, p, 1(6).
86. In fct, the French-spaking State have in m pH alw:Ys trusted the
OAU to play mrole and have retied as much or more on their own defen
sive alliances (vi<., OCAM).
Wallerstein, Afric: Thi POliliNof Unit, p. 9J.
88. Ibid., p. I0i
? Quoted in Green and Seidman', op. cit., p. J:0(cmphasis added). It is from
a speech de l ivered to lhe UAR National Asembly, 9 April 1967.
"- Larry W. Bowman, "Subrdinate St2re System of Southern Afric:,"
1"'t17tiUl I Studiis Q/rt (Sptcmbr 1968), p. 254. He als pra
pll scs a repn from the 1m (London) of J June 1967, to the effect
that "Dr. Muller . . . ancnded the Indepndence Day cciebrations in bh
Lesotho and Borswana where he met Afric:n Icaders from all over the con
tinent. Hc subsequently reported thai in 1966, ffry African ministers
passed through Jan Smuts Airport in Johannesburg and that South Afric:
ParI I: Om;es
semeight ofcial or semi-of(ial delegations to African snues in 1966
." In
recent YCrs the South AfriOln government has also proven willing W"lib
cralitt" cerrain marginal elementS of sUprstrocfr.] apartheid (, restric
tions concerning :Ccomrod:ions for diplomats) in order to avoid off ending
rhe sensibilities of prospctive bbck allies. b also Nkoi, op. cit=
91 . Murr:y (op. Cil., p. +) in fact generalittd t potmtiaJ signifcance of
the BrazZvillc pncrn in the following terms: `'egoinic' op.ocional
action of urbn wage workers (and pripheral smiploycd) can debuch
into a genuine critique of mcpwer sysrcm ofpstcolonial client3ge-ifthe
confronr:nion is sufciently sharpand SU/id and if it is relayed by groups
with a wider social vision and progf (revolutionary imel1ruals)." Yet
he himself reckoned rhe pssibilirie of such a development to be "admit_
redly dim" with reference U sver:1 other situations which he discusss.
Further work on this imprt subject should also avoid eliding considen
tion ofthe likely involvements of mtwo strata ofwage workers as Murr:y
has done here. Even in the Brazzaville case, insufcient data is presently
available Uassess retrospctively the e)act roles ofsuch strata, for e)ample.
92. Fnntz Fanon, op. cit.
93. Benor, op. CiL, pp. 52-53 (our translation).
94. ) Gcrard-Libois, "The New Class and Rebellion in the Congo," The .
cia/ist Rtgisttr 0 (New York and London, 1966), p. 278.
95. Thus Andrew Ross cogently argues that in Malawi Bancb has moved skill
fully to manipulate the crudest son of "ppulist" resntment in order to
consolicbte his ppularity and his psition in pwer, while infecting it away
hoany broder critique which might challenge his own ultra-collabora
tionist plicy. bhis " "White Africa's Black Ally," Ntuft Rtitw (Sep
tembr-Octobr 1967), p. 85.
96. In his :miclc "Political Science and National Integration," Te J Iof
MotAfman Studies, n. I (1967), p. I, Sklar takes the view that "trib
alism should b viewed as a depndent variable rather than a primordial
foret in the new nation."His Nigman Politict/ PaTties (Princeton, 1963)
provides much concTte evidence to suppr! this norion.
97. Fanon, op. cit.. p. 164.
98. Gcrard-Libois, op. eir., p. `7?Salso R. C. Fo), W. de Craemer, and J.
M. Ribe:ucourt, " Stcond Independence; A Case Study of the Kwilu
Rebellion in the Congo," Comprative Studies in .netyand Hisoy (Octo
ber 1965).
99. The recent Zambian election (December 1968) saw the opposition ANC
making gains in key areas of the country, parricularly in the stn(egically
important SQuth and west. This was done in parr by encounging 3nd
plying upon growing tribal tensions, bur it is signifcant (hat Nkumbula,
NatiU Qlism i"l Sub-Saharan AfricQ 101
the ANC !der, spoke opnly of seeking e)lende< economic ties with
South Africa. See "UNIP Emerges Only Truly Nati(l Party," 1Nu
o/ist (Dar es Salaam), 3 1 December 1968; "New Threats of Seces
sion," The NatiollJlisl, 7 Jnuary 1969.
10. The Chad decision was reprted in the Tar.a1lia SM1LmJ, ?0 January
1969; s will bnotedbelow, Tanunia's own inloIvement in the LnAf
rican community, and the tensions which ha\'e arisn upn ocasion in tht
forum, are rather less easy to char:cteriz busc of the latter country's
:Jemps to articulate a more radical doestic strategy.
101. To date the few investment projectS carried OUt, or in tke pofbing
carried Out, with Olincs assistance-with lkeir emphasis on labor-inten
sive and agriculture-riemed industrialiution-seem to be the main signs
of a rdical dcvelopment strategy that nonetheless still awaits sustained and
sophisticated elabor:tion.
102. For a more dctailed analysis of these nd other aspcts of the Tanzanian
experience, see C!pter 6 ofthis volume.
103. Interestingly, in 3recent Ntswtek article ("Profts fromAfrica," January
20, 1969) del'oted to the African investment offensile of the ubiquitous
Lonrho Corporation (3 compny which works, in the words of one of its
directors, "through personal eonracts with ministcrs and heads of state")
attention is drown to that corporation's intention to construct a railway
link to Zambia through the Congo which "would thus Q a massive
threat to the Communist Chifsc-backed plan for a I,OO -mile rilroad
running the other way.
10=. "Already sme 61 U.S. frms are oprating in Kenya with an inl'emem
reprted U be abut $85-10 million and employing over :.prsons,"
according U Ann Seidman in an unpublished manuscript on foreign capi
tal in JAfrica. b als the rc\ealing reprt by tile National Oristian
Council of Kenya entitled h Cfm/rols Illdust i" Krya (Nairobi,
1J. >Seidman, ibid. On 5of the limitations of the mechanisms designed
toreadjust tile imbalances created and sustained within [he community by
the UCplayof market forces see D. Rothchild, "EKprimem in Functional
Integration," Afric Rtport (April 1968).
106. tile spech in the Kenya National Assembly (Scplember 1968) de
livered by M. Muliro, a KANU M.P., veter:n of the nationaliSl movement
and by no stretch ofthe imagination a radical: "Today, sir, politically we
hal'e a wind of change in Africa. . The respct the people have for
resident Kenyma1 is the only thing which is keeping us together.
Tne danger in conccntration of ppulation in Nirobi lies in the threat of
re\olurion. it will explode one day. "
Pari I: rr:ri:
107. 5D. Barnett and K, NjamJ. Mal.Mali/rom Within (New York, 1966);
L. Clif has, howcver. stressed the cominuing imprtance of the process
of Rcgisrrarion and Consolidation, originally launched by the colonial gov
erment undermine Mall Mau, i n stabilizing the rural situation in some
vital areas of potential discontent, aT least in the immediate future (oral
108. M. MctEer, Lr GmgQ dt la (oionifatir. hefge 1/'iudipmdwu (Paris, 1962).
J09. Y. Benot, "Kwamc Nkrumah et l'unifcarion africaine," ! Peie, (Au
gUSt 1964), p. 74 (our translation).
110. Sec R. Debray (op. cit., p. 20), . the existence of separate American
nations, even mutually hostile ones, is an irreversible fact, :nd revolution
ary struggle tCby can only be struggle for rliui libertion. To require
of national rel'olutionary processes in South America thc prcl'ious condi
Tion of continental unity is to posrpone thcm to the Greek Calends."
There are clear differcnces between the South American situation and that
of Africa, of course, bur Dcbray's powerful insistcncc that "South America
is not yct a continent" is an equally important emphasis there.
I I ! . See J. Mohan, "A Whig Interpretation of African Nationalism," The jlr
nli oj !odrm Ajrican Studies (October I68). In reviewing the recent
writings of Ali Mazrui, Kenyan Professor of Political Science at Uganda's
Makcrcre University College, Mohan suggests (p. 408) that the lattcr "is a
representative of the intclligentsia, a spokesman of elite naTionalism, and an
ideo!ogist of the ruling class in Africa."
112. Murray, "Second Thoughts on Ghana," especially pp. 2?8.
1 1 3. Quoted m Ledda, op. CiL, p. 561, n. 3.
Part II
International Corporations, Labor
Aristocracies, and Economic Development
in Tropical Africa
Giovanni Arrighi
The emergence of the large-scale corporation as the typical unit of pro
duction in advanced capitalist economics has had momentous implica
tions for the process of development in the still underdeveloped lands.
lrplicidy or explicitly, this is generally acknowledged by all but those
who continue U base their theories on the comptitive model. thus as
suming away the problem. It is also agreed that such implications are, on
balance, negative. There is no agreement, however, concerning the na
ture of the relationship between the growth of oligoply in the advanced
capitalist countries and the prmanence of underdevelopment.
All theories that emphasize the size of the market and its growth
and/or technological discontinuities as imporrant factors in hampering
development are, to some extent, implying the relevance of the in
creased scale of capitalist production and of oligopolistic bhavior. I
Howcver, this relationship between oligopoly and underdcvelopment is
often seen in purely technological terms, that is, as having little U do
with the political-economic systems obtaining in the advanced and un
derdeveloped economies. Pcrroux has made the point explicitly:
The organization of nations on one-by-onc and separate basis os
against technical and economic requirements which do not depnd on de
mocracy or dicttorship, communism or ca[iraIsm, but which are the di
rect and unavooablc consequence of Techniques used n industry in the
twetieth century.
The confict between the exigencies of the political and rerritori31 or-
This esy ws writttn in 1967. It ws hr published :n Roben I. Rhodes, ed., Imperi
i;sm "d U"df7dneiopmmf: A Reark (New York nd London, 1970), pp. 12Q7.
CopYright T 1970 by Momhly Review rc, Reprinted by prmission.
Pari H: Pmpmi'ts
gani7 tion of the social life of poples and the exigencies of the multi
narional adminisrr.nion of the large-scale industries is a continuing reality.
It may be doubted whether Marxism has yet accurately and sufciently
gnsped this (;Ct.1
An emphasis on oligoplistic behavior, rather than on technological
factors, can be traced in Prebisch'sJ argument that the terms of trade be
[ween the "industrial centers" and the "periphery" of the world eco
nomic system have behaved in the oppsite way than onc would expect
from the competitive model. In [hat model the faster technical progress
in rhe industrial cenrers, relative to the periphery, ought to result in fall
ing prices of industrial products relative to primary products. However,
rhe market power of workers, in pressing for higher wages, and of oli
gopolists, in resisting a squeze on proft, in the industrial cemers is con
siderably greater than the market power of capitalists, workers, and
pasams in the priphery. As a consequence, in the cemers the incomes
of emrepreneurs and of productive factors increase relatively more than
productiviry, whereas in the periphery the increase in income is less
than that in productivity.
Marxist theorists have, of course, been \more explicit in tracing the
inability of conremporary capitalism ( promote deve10pmenr in the
nonindustrialized lands U the oligopolistic structure of advance capitalist
The argument has been succinctly expressed by Oskar
With the development of large capitalist monopolies in the leading capi t al
ist countries, the capitalists of those countries lost interest in developmental
investment in the less developed countries because such investment threat
ened their established monoplistic positions. Consequently, investment in
underdevelopd countries of capital from the highly developed countries
acquired a specifc chacter
It went chiefy into the exploitation of natunl
resurces Ube utilized as raw materials by the industries of the developd
countrie; and into developing food production in the underdevelopd
countries Ufeed the population of the developed capitalist countries. It also
went into developing the economic infrastructures needed to main
min economic relations with the underdevelopd countries.
the profts which were made by foreign capital were exprted
back to the countries where the capital \ from. Or if used for invest
ment they were not used for industrial investment on any major scale,
which, 3 we know from experience, is the real dynamic factor of mooern
cronomic development.
Inteatiunal Corporatirms
F unermore the great capitalist powers supported the feudal cle-

ts m the
coumries 3 an instrument for maintaining
theIr economIc and polItIcal mfuence. This provided another obstacle to
the economic development of these countries . . .
With regard to
Arica, Nkrumah has emphasized another aspct of
the problem by pointing Out that the balkanization of Africa has created

e that makes it impossible for individual nations to cope
with the b


er of the international corporations which, by


eans of l

ter1ockmg dlrecrorships, cross-shareholding, and other de

VIces, efectively act on a pan-African scale.o
!he purpse of thi

essay i
s to analyze the relationship between capi

enters and penphery m order to assess the validity of these as

mptlons. The anal

sis wil! be limited in two ways. In the frst place, it

will be concerne w
lrh tropIcal Africa and, within that region, with East
and C

tral Afnca m particular

The main reason is that, while it may
be legJtJmate to deal with an "ideal" or "average" type of underdevel
oped coumry when the imerest of the analysis is cemered on the ad


apitalist coumries, the procedute may be misleading when the

lIlterest IS focused on the periphery.

discussion is limited in another direction
The pattern of rela
ps between centers and priphery is changing and considerable
confUSIOn concerning such relationships stems from the fact that dif
ferent conclusions are drawn according to whether the "old" or the

lew" pattern is emphasized

The relative importance of the two is
difcult to assess, though the former is still predominant. Notwithstand
ing this, we shall focus our attention on the new pattern, i.e., that
from the r

lative ecline in importance, not only of foreign


o mve

tment H colomal government and railway stock, but also

of foreIgn capItal attracted to tropical Africa by the combination of rich

1 resources and

1abor, on the one hand, and the growing rel
atlvc \mpr

e of duect Investment by large-scale oligoplies on the

the study in these twO ways we shall be in a position
to gam an mSlght

mo the dev

lopmemal ptential of the emerging pat

tern o ce

ter-peTlphery relations under conditions of embryonic class

formanon In the periphery itself
The advantage of an analysis of cemer-periphery relations under con
dmons of embryonic class formation is that it enables us to examine the
position of the "intelligentsia" and the proletariat in the plitical econ-
ParI II: Prprivf
omy of thc priphery in {he absence of "conservative"
classes. e alli
ance of foreign interests with conservative clements In the pnphery
(fcudal clements. landowning classes, somc scctions-or the whole-of
the national bourgeoisie, uppr ranks of the armed forces, corrupted bu
reaucrats. etc.), is usually thought to be the most pwerful factor deter
mining the stability of center-pripher relations.' working class
and the "intelligentsia" :re lef in a rather equivoal psition. While it is
sometimes acknowledged that the exploitation of cheap labor no longer
represcnrs an impmnt determinam of foreign invesunenr in the
priphcry,9 suggestions that the interests of the prolcrriat proper
and of the intelligentsia may confict with those of the peasantry
(often semi-proletarianiz.ed) have called fonh some Strongly worded
[The working class is] the object of systematic defmaTion, to which some
Europcan idealists, infatuated with agrarian messianism, have uncon
sciously lent themselves. !tis true that the wages of the workers are incom
parably higher than the income of the ,\frican peasants; it is true th', rheir
standard of livingis higher it is normal that the bourgeoisie in power
should use this state of afirs to set the pasantS agai nst the workers by
QreMnting them as the QriVilegCo- !iis. on the other hand, aberrant to fnd
the same arguments corning fTom the pns of socialist theoreticians. The
Russian workers in 1917 als formed a privileged mi nority with regard to
the mw of lu1.iks. but what dthat pro\e?

In East and Central Africa in particular, the classes or groups usually

singled out as likely U fonn alliances with foreign interestS arc economi
cally andlor plitically tOO weak to compte successfully for pwer with
the intelligentsia (normally in bureaucratic employment), the wage
workers, and the pasantry. We shall. therefore, have to look for some
other factor contributing to the stabiliry of the present center-priphery
We shall proceed as follows. In Section l we shall analyze the emerg
ing pattern of foreign investment in tropical Africa with particular ref
erence to the choice of techniques and of sectors implicit in that pattern
and to its developmellral potential. In Section 2 we shaH analyze the
changes in the class structure of tropical A frican societies associated with
that patter. In Section J we shall examine the implications for growth
and development of the conclusions reached in the previous twO scc-
/ntrmational Corrations 10
nons. And fnally, in Section 4 we shall discuss the limirations of state
action in the light of the plitical economy of tropical Africa.
The growth of oligoply 2S the dominant structure in the advanced
eapitalist countries has been accompanied by a relative decline in impr
tance of remier capital as an indepndent center of economic and pliti
(21 pwer, and of comptitive capitalism as a dynamic factor of growth.
Small competitive frms still exist but in a subordinate psition with re
specr to the large manufacturing or distributive corprationsY The lat
ter, on rhe other hand, are increasingly able ro rake care of their invest
ment needs from internal fnancing (espcially depreciation
l thus freeing themselves from outside fnancial COntrol.
The recip

ocal recog

ition of strength and retaliatory power on the part

of competitors, suppliers, and cusromers, characteristic of oligopolisric
STructures, enables the corporations to protect their proft psitions
through adjustmems in prices, techniques, and employment. The long
time horizon in investment decisions that the fnancial indepndence of
the corporations makes possible, and the greater calculating rationality
of corporate managers enable the oligopolies to approach new develop
ments with care and circumspction and to calculare more accurately
the risks involved." These changes in rhe comptitive S(Tucture of the
industrial centcrs have, since World War 11, ben rcAected in the p:u
tern of in\'esrmcnt in the priphery.
The declining relative imprtance of rentier capital has ben marched
by a decine in prtfolio investment in the priphery relative to direct
investment on the parr of the corprarions.l At th( same time, rhe vast
financial resources available to the corprations favored further vertical
integration, while oligoplistic behavior encouraged the formation of
consortia in mineral eutaetion and processingY These tendencies were
strengthened by the process of "decolonization." The "colonial pre

r\'es of European imprialism" were opened up to American capital

Ism,I6 where the oligopolistic corporation plays a more central role than
in French or British capitalism. More important still was the OUTfow of
small-scale, competitive capital thar accompanied independence. In fact,
decolonization was, among other things, the result of a confict between
the dynamic clements (big companies) and the backward elements
1 10
Part . Pmptclivts
(mat Inal cnIctQti8c8, 8ma Q!anCt

, 81al Ir8ding OU8c8, 8mall 8cmI-


nal WOtk8hOQ8) OlCOlOUal CaQi!aB8m. \n?cQcnd

nCc laVOtcd Ic
OUIhOW Ol Ihc laUct. Ot cxamQlc, \hc aCCc88IOn IO udcQC
ndCnCc Ol
tcnCh-8Qcaking ltICa Wa8 aCCOmQanIc Dj CaQi!al OUIhOW i
n Ic8cC-
IOt Ol8mall COlOnIal cn!ctQtI8c8

and Ita
dmg Ou8c8 al


QiIa mhO

manulaCIuting and IndU8Ital agHCulIUtc. Omlat !cndcn In I1:InIng, a ,
l II I CIc8 Wctca! WOtk In lngli8h-8Qcakmg COuntc8: Ihc hIghI_O 8ma 8ca
COlOnIa cn!ctQtI8c Wa8 undOUDIcdj an


nt laCtOt In Ihc

lal Ol tI!I8h QtiVaIc InVc8ImcnI In Otctlmg ltCa, ltOm 30 m



1960 and+mIlIOn In 1961 tO 8.8 millIOn In 1962, 2.5 mIllIOn H
1963, and minus 9 m\llIOn In 1964.19 hc uQ


OlIhc8c Ch

ngC8 a8
OcCn Ihc CmctgcnCc Ol a ncW QaUctn Ol lOtcIgn inVc8Ii

1cnI DWhI

nanCIa and mctCanIng InIctc8I8 and 8mall-8Calc

aQII8l (maiI1l H
I Ic Du! al8O in 8ccOndatj and IctIIatj IndU8Hc8) haVc dcC!ncd g

!! in ImQOtIanCc tcaIIVc IO latgc-8Calc manU

\utng and Vct


j in!c-
graIcd mInIng COnCctn8. hc IjQICal CxQaItiaIc hIm OQCtaIIt1g U ItOQ-
ICal ltICa I8 mOtc and mOtc W+aIm T mUImaI

cCtQOtaIIOn2 Ot m `gtcaI lnctICOIOtal UnII. i

c., an Ot


cn8cmDlt Omcan8 OAQtUCIOn 8UD|cCI IO a singC I

c -makIt1

!Ct WICh COnttO8 c8Ia Is mcnI8 8I!uaIc 1O 8cVcta dictCnI naIIOnal

h nanalj8i8 Ol!hc laCIOt8 dcIctmII1Ing
Ihc I

1c8Imcn! QO icIc8 1 \

QctIQctj Ol 8UCh mUlIInaIIOna C


taIIOn8 Is I

hcclOtC ncCc88atj m
Otdct IO a88c88 Ic imQ8C! !ha! lOtcIgn it1Vc8ImcnII8 ikclj!OhaVcOnIhc
QtOCc88 O!dcVclOQmcnI Ol !tOQICal ltICa t I8 u8clUl IO Otcak dOWn !hc
analj8I8 in!O IWO QtOOlcm8: (! ) hc 8cC

Otal di8!tIDu!iOn OlInVc8!mcnI;

and (1) Ic IjQc OlIcChnIQUc8 adOQ!cd H caCh 8cCtO

. 8

Wc 8

l 8tC,
Ihc lMO QtOOlcm8atc IncttC!aIcdOUI,a8 a ht8! aQQtOxImaUOn, IhcIt 8cQ-
ataIc ItcaImcnI I8 analjIICallj COnVcnIcn!.
hctc I8 a laCk Ol Oa8IC QUan!IIaIIVc cVidcnCc On Ihc sectoral distibu
tion off{reigll im;es/meTt In ItOQICal ltICan CUnItIc8. NO8I Ol WhaI cx-
i8I8 i8 aggtcgaIcd In 8UC a Waj a8 !O Oc OI IIlc U8c lOt Out QutQO

hctc i8, hOWcVct, COn8idctaDlc agtccmcn\ On alcW Dtoad gcnctahZa-

1. hc COlOnIa QaI!ctnOlCaQIIal InVc8ImcnI in QO\CIiOn OtcxQOtI

a8 Oa8iCalj tcmaIncd UnalIctcd: InVc8Imcn in mInIng and ItOlcum
aD8OtDcd Ihc QtcQOndctan! amOunIOlQtIVaIc lUnd8 In Ic la8I dcCadc.'
I7tional Corporations
haI ha8 Changcd In IhI8 tc8QcCI I8 IhaI COmQlcmcnIatj inVc8ImcnI In
Ihc Inlta8ItuCIUtc, WhiC U8cd !O Dc undctIa)cn Dj QtIVaIc InIctc8I8, I8
nOW Ihc rc8QOn8IOIlIIj OlIc QuOlIC 8cCIOt. tIVa!c CaQIIal I8 nOW In-
Vc8Icd In mOtc dItcCIlj QtOdUCIIVc cnIctQtI8c8.`
'. !ndU8Itial InVC8Imcn!OIhctIhanIn mInIngha8 DccnalmO8IcnIItClj
COnCcnItaIcd cIIhct In QtImatj QtOduc!8 QtOCc88Ing lOt Ihc cxQOtI mat- \
kcI'" Ot In ImQOtI 8uO8!IuIIOn In Ihc lighI DtanChc8 Ol manu!8CtutIng
8UCha8 lOOd, DcVctagc8. IcxIIlc8, ClOIhng, lOOIWcat, lutnIIUtc, 8OaQ, aDd
OIhct COn8Umct gOOd8. NOtc tcCcnIlj, Ihc dcVclOQmcnI OlImQOtI 8UO-
8!IIUIIOn ha8 DcgUn IO mOVc gtadualj InIO DtanChc8 Ol manulaCtutIng
Indu8!tIc8 QtOdUCIng InIctmcdIaIc gOOd8 (CcmcnI, nOnmcIalliC mInctal
QtOdUCI8, and, lc88 OlIcn, lctIIli2ct8 and ChcmICal QtOduC!8).`
3. TOIWI!h8IandIng Ihc8c dcVcOQmcnI8, hcaVj indu8Itj ID ItOQICal
ltiCa I8 cIIct nOncXI8IcnI Ot, OcIng cxQOtI-OtIcncd, I8 IOI8llj Untc-
laIcd IO Ihc 8!tUCIutc OlIhc naIIOna and 8UQtanaIIOnal ltICan cCOnO-
mIc8 in Ihc 8cn8c Iha! II Can hatdlj COn8IIIu!c a Oa8I8 lOt Ihc QtOdUCIIOn
Ol thc CaQIIal gOOd8 tcQuItcd lOt Ihc Indu8ItIaIZatIOn Ol Ihc atca8 In
WhICh I I8 lOCaIcd

YhOdc8IaI8 QO88IDj Ihc Onlj cXCcQIIOn IOIhc gcncr-

aIZaIIOn. hI8 8II\aIIOn I8 In 8hatQ COnIta8I WIIh !haI Ol OOUIh ltICa,
WhctcmcIallUtgj, CcmICal8,and tuODctatc tcaIIVclj adVanCcd, and, U
a lc88ctcXIcnI, WIIh Iha! Ol8Omc^OtIh ltiCan COUnItIc8, WctcChcm-
ical8 and 8Omc Oa8IC mcIal and mcIal QtOducI8 IndU8Itic8 haVc Dccn dc-
hI8 8cCIOtal QaIIctn OllOtcIgn InVc8ImcnI I8lIkclj IO Changc 8lOWlj
Ot nOIaIall lOt tca8On8 !haIatc QatIj IcChnOlOgiCa and Q8tIlj QOlIIICal-
cCOnOmIC. hc 8cCIOt8 In Quc8IIOn (maInlj hcaVj cngIncctIng and
ChcmICal Indu8ItIc8) atc IhO8c ID WhICh cCOnOmIc8 Ol8Calc aDd Ihc ad-
VanIagc8OlOQcta!ng In anIndu8!tIalcnVItOnmcnI (lOW CO8I8 OlOUjing,
ctcC!ng, mainmInIng, and OQctaIIng maChInctj) atc gtcaIcsl cnCc
!hc VCtj UndctdcVclOQmcnI and Ihc OaanIZ8IiOn Ol ttOQICal ltICa
hIndct Ihc dcVclOQmcnI Olan OtganiC CaQIIa gOd8 Indu8Itj.
!OWcVct, a8 NIChacl attatt-tOWn hu QOInIcd OUI, Ihctc atc
mOtc )ndamcnIa tca8On8 Ihan Ihc8c.
The main reason for the failure of capitalism Uinvest more in the industri
alistion of the less-developed lands has arisen from a ttal doubt about the
possibilities olsuccess. and, therefore, of a proftable rerurn. Investment in
heavy industry is a big business, on which a rerurn majonlj be seen in the
\ \ 1
Part !: Pmpttlivts
very long term. There must be good reasons believe Ihal the whole
O\crseas economy will develop in such a way to nourish a kct for
capirl g. = , . It is O surprising mat capilist fr nd nancrs
. . . should prefer to wait and Mhow the establishment orlLgh! 1I'usmcs
and the development of pwer supplies and a marketable surplus of fod
goes, bforc wishing to sink their capi!3l in heavy indus!ry!
Bearing rhis in mind, it would seem that the greater C2lcularing ra
tionality and the greater carc and circumspction in approaching new
developments of the modern international corprations, relative lO com
petitive capital and to chartered companies and fnance capital of old, arc
an imponant obstacle to the development of capital goods industries in
the priphery. The oligoplistic structure of advanced capitalist
countries, however, plays a more direct role in favoring the bias of in
vestment in the priphery against rhe capital gods industry. As we have
seen, oligopoly favors the reciprocal recognition of strength and retalia
tory power. This means that when a large-scale manufacturer is decid
ing whether lO invest in a new area, he will take into consideration,
among OIher things, the efect of the decision on: (I ) his own exprt in
terests, (2) his comptitors' exprt interestS, and (3) his cuStomers' ex
prt interesrs, if any.l A textile manufacturing concern, for example,
will take into consideration only ( I ) and (2). A manufacturer of capital
goods, on the other hand, will also consider pssible efects on his cus
tomers' interests which may b impinged upn by the growth, in the
priphery, of a competing industry induced by the local prouction of
capital goods. in consequence, quite apart from its efects on the level of
investment to b discussed later on, the oligoplistic structure of the in
dustrial centers strengthens the other factors mentioned above in pro
ducing in tropical Africa a sectoral pattern of foreign investment biased
against the c<pital gods industry.
With regard to (hoiu of luhlliqtlts, it seems fairly well established
that foreign investment in tropical Africa has a capital intensive bias.JO
This bias is sometimes due to technological constraints. In mining, for
example, the nature of the depsits may b respnsible for diferences in
capital intensity. The scauering of Rhoesian gold depsits favored
labr intensive techniques, while the concentration of high-grade coppr
depsits in Zambia favored capital intensive techniques.1! In the latter
case, even if highly labor intensive techniques exist, such as those used
by Africans prior U Europan pnetration, the technological gap is to
INtional Coratio1
\ \ J
great for techni<
ues to develop the industry on a signifcant scale.u
However, even in extreme cases like the one in (
uestion, alternative
rehniques are always available,ll though within a relarivcly limited
range. Thus technological constrainrs are only one factor in determining
(he capital intensity of investment, and, in the case of many industries
(e.g., light industries) in which foreign investment shows an equally
strong bias toward capital intensiry,'4 they arc rather unimportant,
Other determinants have to b sought. Somewhat related to technologi
cal factors, management constraints ha\'e to b mentioned. Techniques
of management, organization, and control have evolved in the techno
logical environmcnr of the industrial centers and cannot b easily
adapted to the conditions in the priphery.1l Often, thereforc, either the
conditions in the periphery can b modifed,.at least partially, to make
capital and sJciIi intensive inveStment pssible or no investment at all will
be undertaken by the multinational corprations.'6 In other words, the
spectrum of techniques taken into consideration by the multinational
corporations may not include labor intensive techniques.
There is another reason, probably more imprtant than management
constraints, why labor intensive techniques may b disregarded.
.>5 Perroux and Demonts have pinted out," the multinational frm
applies to all irs branches technical methods corresponding to its capital,
whatever the importance of the factors at work in the territories where
it settles. There is a tendency in discussions of underdevelopmem to
Qerlok rhe fct that a shortage of fnance is an imprtant impdimenr
to the growth of the small enterprise and of the public sectors of African
cconomies, but it is no problem for the multinational frms. The latter
not only have access to the capital markets in the industrial cenrers,"
but, as we have memioned, they are in a pition through their pricing
and diviiend plicies (in the industrial centcrs as well as in the priph
ery) to build up large accumulated reserves of capital for their invest
ment programs. Financial strength makes the large frm adopt capital in
tensive techniques, not only in the industrial centers but also in the
periphery. `
In a way, capital intensity is favored also by the qualitative character
istics of the labor force in tropical Africa. The problem is tO often over
loked because of insufciently clear defnitions of the various categories
of I3bor,4 Let us classify labor as follows:
I . Unskilled /br, characterized by versatility (in the sense that it can
Part 1/: Pmpecti'(s
be readily put to varied unskilled activities), and by lack of adaptation to
the discipline of wage employment.
2. Stmi-skilled labor, characterized by specialization, regularity, and
identifcation with the job.
3. Skilled labor, characterized by relative versatility (in the sense of
having complex skills), c.g., carpenters, mechanics, supervisors, etc.
+ High-lroc/ manpmur, characterized by specialization and by edu
cational qualifcations other than, or besides, training on the job, e.g.,
maintenance and production engineers, purchase and sales experts, de
signers, cost and accounting prsonnel, etc.
Capital intensive techniques will nor only require less labor for each
level of output, but they will also require a diferent composition of the
labor force than labor intensive techniques, as they make possible [he di
vision of complex operations, which would need skilled labor, into sim
ple operations that can be performed by semi-skilled labor. In other
words, labor intensive techniques are associated with a pattern of em
ployment i n which labor of rypes (I ) and (3) predominate, whereas
capital intensive techniques are associated with a pattern of employment
in which labor ofrypes (2) and (+)predominate. As we shall see in the
next section, provided that employers rake a sufciently long time hori
zon in their wage and employment policies, it is easier, under African
conditions, [Q provide the remedy for a shortage of [he latter typs of
labor than it is TO do so for a shorrage of skilled labor. Thus, from this
point of view as well, the longer time horizon of the multinational cor
porations favors the adoption of capital intensive techniques.
These twO biases of the pattern of investment emerging in tropical
Africa (i.e., in favor of capital intensive techniques and against the capi
tal goods sector) reinforce each other. The choice of capital intensive
techniques within each industry favors the use of specialized machinery
and consequently restrains the growth of demand for capital gods that
could be produced in the periphery. The lack of investment in the capi
tal goods sector, i n rum, prevents the development of capital goods em
bodying a modem labor intensive technology which may reduce the bias
in favor of capital inrensity. This double bias has many implications for
growth, development, and class formation in tropical Africa that will be
examined in the following sections. What must be considered here is the
reJatiumhip betwem the patter of investent JUST discussed and the siu of
J1Itemati(aJ Corporati(s I I I
thr interal market that is a key determinanr of foreign investment in the
ihe development of the capital goods sector performs the double
function of expanding both the productive capacity of the c<onomy and
{he internal market. The laner function was emphasized by Lenin in a
contrQ\crsy with the Narodniks on the subject of the possibility of the
" jllfemal cxpansion of capitalism." The development of the internal
market, Lenin argued, was possible despite the restricted consumption
by the n


s (or the lack of an external outlet) because to expand pro

duction Jt IS frst of all necessary to enlarge That deparrmenr of social
production which manufactures means of production, and it is necessary
to draw into it workers who create a demand for articles of consump
tion. Hence, "consumption" develops after "accumulation" 41 The cru
cial assumption in the argument is that the demand for capital gods is
largely autonomous, i.e., that it is not induced by the precxisting size of
the market and its growth. Howcver, this aUTOnomous development of
the capital goods sector presupposes a type of behavior which may char
acterize competitive capitalism, but which cannot be expected from the
modern corprations.4l These corporations tend to expand productive
capacity in response to market demand and in consequence restrain the
endogenous generation of growth stimuli.
In the case of tropical Africa and the periphery in general, the posi
tion is made worse by the fact rhat the multinational corporations
(whenever the nature of the productive process prmits it) usually pre
fer to expand productive capacity in the industrial centers where they

re more secure and where they can take advantage of operaring in an

l11dustrial environment.+J Expansion in the periphery is usually under
taken by a foreign concern in response to protectionist policies on rhe
parr of national government in order eithet to protect its own export in
tereStS, or to establish itself anew in the area." lo other words, the exist
ence of a local market for the production of the foreign concern, though
a necessary condition, is not sufcient for the actual establishmenr of a
plant. This presupposes the ability of individual governments either to
ct up produnion in competition with foreign interests or to play onc ol
Igopoly off against the other. Thc fact that ris ability on the part of the
governments of tropical Africa is most limited i n {he case of capital
goods industries is an additional factor strengthening the bias of the
emerging pattern of investment against such industries.
1 1 6
Part II: Pmpec/ivts
follows that the emerging p:mern of inve

tmcnt i

unlikely [0
cuce the basic lack of structure of the tropical Afncan economics.
Growth in these economies continues to depend on the growth of out
side markers. In facT, the depndence is even greater than it used [Q
in vicw of the fae[ that industrialization tends to take a capital intensive
:uh which presupposes the imporration of spcialized machinery. For
his reason the integration of the modern sectors of tropical Afric
to the need of the multinational concerns to operate on a supranatlo

scale) is accompanied by their greater integration with the industn

centers. We shall return to these conclusions in Section 3, where their
implications for growth and development are disc
d. We must now
analyze the impact ofrhe emerging pattern of foreIgn Investment on the
class srructure of rropical African societies.
The analysis in this senion will be focused on wage and salary work
ers and their direct and indirect relationships with other classes and in
terests. Wage emplomtt in tropical Africa is at a low stage of develop
ment. Table ! ' gives no more than an idea of the order of magnitudes
involved. As will be pointed our below, this small participation in wage
employment is matched by qualitative characteristics of the wage-labor
force which reduce even further the relative importance of the proletar
iat propr in tropical Africa. Equally important is the fact that wage em
ployment has been relatively static over the last ten co ffteen years,4<
though in almost every country there have been periods, coincidmg
with heavy investments in infrastructure and with installation invest
ments, during which the proportion of the labor force in wage employ
ment temporarily rose. This relatively static wage employment has been
accompanied by rising wages; the average annual fare of increase in Af
rican wages during the 1950s, for example, appears to have been on the
order of 7 to 8 percent.l In general, wages are not merely chasing
prices bur are running ahead of rhem, the rise often implying an increase
in real wages considerably faster than that in real national product.48 In
consequence, the employees' share of national income rose sharply in
many countries.49 As Turner remarks, " It seems rather hard ro fnd a
case where the general level of real wages has in recent years behaved as
it theoretically ought in an underdeveloped economy-i.e., has lagged
lntemati(l Corporations !\ 7
Table 1
E;timatedPapulatiotJ Labor Foru a1ld Total NOlagriw/uraI Iag(
Employmmt i1l Africa
(by regi01l, arould 19c0)
TOlal wage wage
Labor fo"e emplo)'mml employme1lt
Region !10 aspn-_ a; per- as per_
;n anrof ill emto t tcH!of
millio/l pop. mil/iolls labor milliotJs labor
jora jora Africa 6
.6 24.
36.5 3.8 15.4 2.5 10.1
Central Africa 32.8 13. 8 42.1 2.1 15.2 \.6 11. 6
Wcst Africa il.8 32.9 45.8 2.0 6.\ 1. 7 5.2
ical Africa I iJ.2 71.4 41 .2
9 . 5.8 8.\
^orth Afric: 65.4 22.6 34.6
5 32.2 4.6 20.4
Southern Africa 16.9 6.0 35.5 3.S 63.3 3. 0 50.0
All Africa 254.5 100.0 39.3 19.2 19.2 13.4 13.4
behind other incomes, and particularly profTS."' Thus thc main char
acteristics of the wage working class are relatively static numbers and
rising incomes. With regard to the structural characrerisrics of wage
cmployment, rhe table below illustrAtes them for selected tropical Afri
can countries.
It can be observed from the rable rhar rhe public $Cctor, as a rule, em
ploys a substantial proportion of wage workers and That nonagricultural
employment is heavily concentrated in the service sector. The under
devdo)mcO[ of indusrry is H obvious deTerminant of that struCture.
\ nother important actor is that the colonial wers su nm a
COI11P:cx a mlnlSTranve structure on n Qj s which
tended to control nOt only the public services but also many eCQou
and social agencies, such as marketing boards. After independence, Afri
covernments have taken over these functions and expanded them in
their aTtemptS to step up economic growth and to enlarge social services
! ! b
Part II: Perspmi'es
Tlb!e c
Structures o Wagt Employment in Se/utd Tropim{ Ajrican Coun/ria
Nonagricullurl{ wage emplo)mmt
COlllltry Year
Percmt oj lotal Percent emplayed Perant employed
wage emp/. in public ste/or in services UNQr
\cnyu 1965 65 30 JJ
\gundu 1965 '2 39 JJ
(Jungunjku) 1965 62 32 J
Nu!u 1961 65 61
Nu!ugusy Rep. 1961 JJ JJ
N gCriu 1962 98 34 46
Ivory Coast 1961 55 68
Ghunu 1960 J3 J 55
Sierra Lone 1963 95 53
(agricultural extension work, development corporations, education,
Unfortunately, there arc no data on the relative importance of wage
employment in concerns to which the analysis of the previous section
may apply (viz., in enterprises with international afliations including
the vertically integrated combines and mixed or state enterprises man
aged by international corporations). This lack of quantitative data, how
ever, is only a partial obstacle to our analysis as our main concern is with
the qualitative changes in the wage-labor force that can be associated
with the pattern of investment discussed in the previous section. In this
connection, the frst (int that has to b emphasized is the heterogeneity
of the African salary and wage-working class. We have already clas
sifed the labor force according to skills, singling our four categories: un
skilled, semi-skilled, and skilled labor, and high-level manpower. This
classifcation only to some extent overlaps with two other classifcations
that arc relevant in the present context. The frst, to be discussed pres
ently, concerns the degree of commitment to, or dependence upon,
wage employment and gives rise to the twO main categories of "prole
tariat" and "semi-proletarianized peasantry" (or, less frequently in trop
ical Africa, semi-proletarianized artisans). The other classifcation fo-
lntertiul Copotio 1 19
cuses on status and prestige and distinguishes an elite, a sub-elite, and
mass of the wage workers.
At a seminar of the International African Institute on the New Elites
Tropical Africa (Ibadan, July 964] it was suggested that the term
"elite" could be appropriately used to denote those who wete Western
educated with an annual income of at least 250.H The sub-clite, on the
other hand, is made up of the less well educated, i.e., those with pst
primary education or some secondary education (executive-clerical
grades, primary schol teachers, and skilled artisans).s, The rapid
growth of the African eite and sub-clite in rhe last decade can be (faced
IO the expansion of educational facilities and of job opportunities for Af
ricans in highly paid employment that accompanied and followed the
accession to independence. This expansion has been phenomenal bur it
is still a fortunate few who manage to reach secondary school. In no Af
rican stare does the proportion exceed 2 prcent, though in some constit
uent regions this fgure is exceeded.S! The fast rate of expansion of
highly paid job opportunities for Africans has been due mainly to the
Africanizarion of the complex administrative structure inherited from
colonial rule, the scope of which, as 1 have memioned, was extended by
the African governmems. Another fctor favoring this expansion, the
Africanization policy of expatriate frms, is of lesser but growing impr
tance as the top (Sts in government service are uniformly held by
young men with decades of service ahead ofther. Expatriate frms have
become increasingly conscious of their "public image" and have quickly
Africanizcd their ofce stafs, middle commercial pstS, and some mana
gerial postS, especially in personnel management and public relations.
Production, engineering, and other technical and higher executive psts
are still mainly in expatriate hands, though in a few instances Africans
have been recruited to nominal direcrorships.J6 In the colonial prio the
private professions held great anraction for A fficans who were subject
to discriminatory practices in the civil service. These professions are still
popular, but, though in general lawyers remain in private practice, most
doctors are now employed in the public service.l1 Thus the overwhelm
ing majority of the elite and the sub-elite in tropical Africa is in bureau
cratic employment, and, though employment in the public 5tor is pre
dominant, the international cor(rations are becoming an increasingly
important outlet for the newly educated African.
When we come to analyze what in the classifcation just discussed is
Part II: Pmpectivts
lumpd rogether as the "masses of wage workers," the distinction fous
ing on the commitment to, or depndence upon, wage employment b
comes relevant. The mass of English migranu in the early nineteenth
century were landless agricultunl labrers. In tropical Africa the mass
of migr-mrs are pts with rights Dthe use ofland. While the fonner
were proletarians. the latter are pntS at difrent stages of proletari
anization and therefore present a much greater heterogeneity. Labor mi
gration in Africa is compunded of various elements of "push" and
"pull," the former relating to the maintenance of subsistence or essntial
consumption and the latter relating to the improvement of the preexist
ing standard of living." "Push" factors are usually associated with a de
teriorating relation of the ppulation to the traditional means of subsist
ence (e.g., land shonage), or changes in the nature of essntial
consumption due to the pnetration of the money economy. The im
provement of the existing standard of living, on the other hand, can be
achieved either directly or indirecdy-directly when the aim of labor
migration is a net addition to the consumption of the extended family;
indirectly when the aim is the purchase of equipment to improve pro
duction in the traditional sector or the accumulation of sufcient fnan
cial means to enter some petty capitalistic activity (e.g., commercial
frming, trade, contracting, elc.). The two main characteristics of the
labor force under the system of labr migration are low wages and high
turnover. The wage rate is cusromarily based on subsistence for bache
lor workers. Such a wage may or may not allow some saving according
to whether "pull" or "push" facrors predominate in the economy. Low
wages strengthen the tendency for the participation in the labr market
to be ofa temporary nature, which in turn accounts for the persistently
unskilled character of the labor force. 1l1ese factors interact, favoring
the development of a prly p2id and unskilled labr force.19 l n addition,
the lack of division of labor btween agricultural and nonagricultural ac
tivities and between wage employment limits the internal market, esp
cially for agricultural produce. Thus, by hampering the development of
capiralist agriculture, it further entrenches rhe labor migration system.
Under these conditions the complete prokrrianiulion of the 'age
workm, i.e., the severance of the tics with the traditional sector, is
largely optional. H occurs when the incomes derived from wage em
ployment are high enough to make the worker uninterested in the main
tenance of reciprocal obligations with rhe extended family in the tradi-
Intematkmal Corporatiom
! I
rional sector. More spcifcally, his income must b sufciently high and
reliable to allow him to supprt his family in the town and to sve
enough to insure himself againt distress in priods of unemployment,
sickness, and in his old age. The difference between this income and the
low migrant-labor wage rale wilt nonnally b considerable. This dif
ferential is reected in the high COt of semi-skilled and skilled labr rel
ative to unskilled labor. Te time horizon of the migrant worker is typi
cally short and therefore as soon as his acquired skill commands remu
neration in excess of that which he presently receives, he leves the em
ployer.6 In consequence, either the employer is willing and able to pay
rhe much higher wages that can induce greater stability of the labr
force or he must adapt his techniques to the existing qualitative charac
teristics of the labor force rather than min rhe workers for more skilled
activities. The nature of the typiell enterprise in colonial times militated
against a breakthrough in the vicious circle "high turnover-low produc
tivity-Jow wages-high turnover" and therefore against the development
of a semi-skiled, relatively highly paid, stabilizd labr force. Small
planters, small trading houses, small workshops could hardly b expcted
to take a long time horizon in their investment decisions. Similarly, the
large enterprises engaged in primary production were either indifferent
toward the use of mechanized techniques or psitively against it in view
of the instability of markets or, whenever technologiell constraints im
posed capital intensity and the use of skilled and semi-skilled labr,
found it more convenient to resort lO the importation of expatriate
workers than to embark upn the expensive exercise of stabilizing the
Afrcan labr force.61 Thus traditional colonial employers relied on Afri
can migrant labor for their requirements of unskilled labor and on racial
minorities (Europeans, Asians, Levantines) for their requirements of
skilled labr. The demand for semi-skilled labr remained, on the whole,
very limited. In the 1910t imprtant changes tok place. As we have
secn, rhe pattern of foreign investment altered, espcially in rhe immedi
arc pre-independence period when the importance of small-scale colo
nial enterprises declincd and that of rhe multinational concerns in

reascd. This change was accompanied by the slackening of the

Infuence of the former interests and of the racial minorities on govern
policies, and by the correspondingly greater infuence of the inter
national corporations and of rhe African elite, sub-elite, and working
class. These two changes eln b assumed to haye ben instrumental in
ParI 11: lrcc!c
bringing about the breakthrough in the vicious circle "low wages-high
turnover-low productivity-low wages." Various factors were at work in
producing the breakthrough and their relative importance is not only
difcult to assess (given their interaction), but varies considerably from
country Ucountry. Lt us frst analyze some of the mOSt importanl fc
rors and later suggest what their relative contribution to the change
might have been.
The salary structure of the indcpndent
nial herirage. As Africans graduallv ) J w&|
anagerial psiti @larg fn concerns, they assumed the

laries :mached to the posts since, so far, tbe rinci Ie of @u!@be-

tween f1can an ex tna
talDed. In consequence, Africanization brings abut a huge gap b
t the incomes of high-level manpwer (the African elite and
sub-elite), and the incomes not only of unskilled labor but also of semi
skilled and skilled labor. Thus (he whole level of wages, from the un
skilled labrer upward, comes into question.) The workers' capacity for
industrial conHicr may be negligible but their plitical inHuence is often
considerable, while increases in wages and salaries sccm an easy route to
prove the value of the recently aC(
uircd independence.64 For these rea
sons governments in tropical Africa are easily induced to steadily rais
wages either through incDin legal minimum wages or, bing mapr
employers of labor, by acting as wage leaders. Thus the Africanization
of high-level manpower and greater infuence of the working class on
government plicies favored a gradual rise in wages at the lower levels.
Another imprtant fctor was the emeging paltt of fign i1t
mmt discussed in the previous section. As we saw, the greater capital in
tensity of produetion associated with that pattern requires a labor force
in which semi-skilled labor predominates. For the multinational con
cerns, therefore, stabilization of a section of the indigenous labor force is
essential and actively sought after as the imprtation of skilled labor b
comes impracticable and indeed unnecessary as complex operations arc
broken down into simpler oprations that can b performed by semi
skilled labr. Capital intensity of prouction (which makes wages a
small proprtion of total costs and requires labor stability), the ability U
pass on to the consumer increased labor COStS (in The periphery in the
case of manufacturing concerns, in the industrial centers in the case of
the \'ertically integrated companies oprating in primary prouction),
Intematkmal CorpOfliOI/ I II
and the ability to rake a long rime horizon in employment and invest
decisions, make the multinational companies willing and able to
sufciently high wages to stabilize a section of the labor force. In
other words, for the companies in question the exploitation of natural re
sourccS or of market opportunities in thc priphery with capital inten
si\c techniques is far more imprtam than the exploitation of cheap
bbor. These facrors are undoubtedly respnsible for the observed tend
ency to pay relatively high wages and to experiment with modern train
g and management methods on the part of large expatriate frms.6!
Governments' and international corprations' wage and salary pli
cies interact and the ensuing steady rise in wage rates induces further
[alor s;lving, not only on the part of expatriate fnns, but also on the part
of those locally based enterprises which can aford ir.6 Capital intensity, \
in turn, generally means that labor is a lower proportion of costs U the
enterprise than it would otherwise b, so that the individual concern's
wittingness to concede wage increases is higher; but this reinforces the
tendency to capital intensive (or labor saving) development and a "spi
r. I proes may ensue.61 Some disgreement is bound to arise con
cerning the extent to which growing capital intensity i n tropical Africa
is induced by the investment and employment policies of the interna
Tional corporations. The question is largely academic as such policies, ei
ther as a casual or 3 a prmissive factor, are undoubtedly a crucial ele
ment in the "spiral" process. The importance as a "prime mover," on
the other hand, witt vary from country to country. In Uganda, for ex
ample, it would seem that government plicies have played a predomi
nam role in bringing about the steady rise in wages and, in consequence,
most mechanization has been "induced." In Rhodesia, on the other
hand, African workers have hardly any power to inAuence government
policies and the STeady rise in wages in the 1950s and in the early 19605
seems to have been induced by the stable labor requirements of the
large-scale expatriate frms. Thus, while African money wages rose be
Tween 1949 and 1962 at an average annual rate of V prcent, the in
crcastwas largely concentrated in those sectors where labor stabilization
mattered most (viz., manufacruring and services). In the seCtors where
stabili1.ation mancrcd least (viz., agriculture), money wages rose at a
rare not much higher than that of price increases.1>
An assumption that sccms unacceptable is that the rise in wages has
been due, to any imprtant extent, to monopolirtic action on [he part of
Par . pntxr1
African workers, as distinct from their power to infuence government
policies. This is Baldwin's assumption concerning the rise of wages on
the Zambian copperbelt:
Since the war . . AfriC<n and Eumn wages have ben raised by
noplistic actions to levels consideTbly above the rates necessary to attract
rhe nUlllbrs actually employed. consequences of this Wge plicy
have been the cretion of unemployment conditions in the Cpprbelt
towns, especially among Africans, and the widespread substitution of ma
chines for men in th inuustp.*
That European workers, in the colonial situation, were in a strong
bargaining psition is a generally acknowledged fct. But it is equally
acknowledged that the prevalence of the rigranr-labor system and re
lared lack of skills and specialization among Africans milirates against
the workers' capacity for industrial confict.?! Moderately efective trade
union organization normally follows and does not precede labor stabili
zation and mechaniz:uion,ll as witnessed by mfact that, arn from the
public services, the most importam instances where anything like nor
mal collective bargaining has been esrablished appar ro be in large-scale
enterprises under foreign ownership and management." Ir is pssible
therefore that. though trade union organizations have in the paSt mainly
played a depndent role in the spiral process of rising wages and mecha
nization, they may, with the growing stabilization of the labor force, be
come a pardy autonomous factor. However, the efect, if any, will be
felt primarily on (he diteremial between the remuneration of stabilized
skilled and semi-skilled labor and that of the semi-proletarianized un
skilled labr whose market pwer is bund to remain neg l igible.
This consideration brings us to the question of the stratifcation of the
working class. The conclusion that emerges from the forcgoing analysis
is that the changes in the pancrn of capital invcstmcm and in govern
mcm policies in lropical Africa that have occurred in the last decade
have resulted in a breakthrough in the vicious circle "low wages-high
turnover-low productiviry-Iow wages"; such a breakthrough, however,
concerns only the small section of the working class that is being rapidly
prolerarianized by enabling it to C a subsistence in the wage econ
omy. The breakthrough is therefore achieved at the cOSt of a relative re
duction of the overall degree of participation of the labor forcc in wage
Whether this rclati\'e reduction can be assumed to be a
mat:ml Corporations
shorHerm phenomenon which leads in the longcr run co f.'ster eco
nomic growth and greater participation in wage employmem is a prob
lem to be discussed in the next section. Here we arc concerned with
structural problems. From this standpoint it is correct to assume that the
irat pr

ess of rising wages and mechanization tends to produce a situ

ation of nsing productivity and living standards in a limited and shrink
mg modern seCtor, while the wage-employment opprtunities in that

ctor for the unskilled, semi-proletarianized peasantry (which increas

mgly becomes a noncompeting group vis-a-vis the semi-skilled proletar
iat) arc reduced. ;. To fnd out to what extent this tendency is a spcial
aspect of a more general trend toward a growing cleavage between the
modern capital intensive sector and the rest of the economy we must an
alyze the impact of the emerging pattern of foreign investment on the
other classes of tropical African sociery.1J
us gin by examining the implications of the emerging pattern
of foreign Jnvestmem for the rural sector. The frst point that has to be
made is that the sectoral distribution of such in\,estnem enhances the
depndence of agriculture on world markets for irs cxpansion. The bias
against the tpiral gos sector not only restrains, as we have seen, the
growth of the internal market, but also increases the dependence on for
eign sources for the supply of the capital gos necessary for the trans
formation of traditional agriculture. This transformation comes, there
fore, to be
subject to balance-of-payments constraints which, as it will
be arg

In the next section. are likely to bcome incresingly scvere.

In favor of capital intensive techniques has equally imprtant


. There are rwo ways in which the African pas

participate In (e nOney conol1}:. hrough priodic emplgnt
and rhrQ.l.. sale of proouce. We have seen that rhe. erging pat
tern of foreign im'estment rns g@ wagyA t
rrunities in the modern sector for the unskilled, sem;-pli.
anllcd asamr . Bur, in addition to this the low income-elasticity _
re demand for agricultural produce in general and local pruce in r
t1ular implicit in the capital intensive rowth of the moder
restrains e growt O eman or pasant produce.
It would seem, ther emerging pattern of foreign invest
ment tends to reduce ooth the complementary links between urban and
rural sectors (i.e., U increase further the lack of Structure of the ecollo-
Part Il:
mIc$ OltrOpIc8 lrIcq), 8nO thc $ptc8dIng OldcVcOpmcnt $tImuI lrOm
thc mOdcrn tO tc tr8OItIOn8 $CcIOt. c$c cOncu$IOn$ hOld lOr Wh8t-
cVcr 888umptIOn$Onc m8y W8nt tO m8kc cOncctnIng Ihct\QC OldcVc-
Opmcnt Olthc 8grIcuUr8 8cctOr, I.c. Whcthcrthc cxp8n$IOn Ol8grlcu-
IurC t8kc$ pl8cc thrOugh thc lOrm8DOn Ol 8 kul8k c888 cmpOyIng
W8gc l8br, Or thrOugh thc lOD9IIOn Ol cOpr8tIVc$, cOlccttVc$, 8nd
cOmmunc$. Or thrOugh thc cxQ8n$IOn Ol piouctIOn Oy 8cl-cmpOycd
Jt m8y, hOWcVcr, Oc 8iguCd th8t thc relrj'( ImpVcrI$hmcnt O thc
pC8$8ntry8$$OcI8tcO WIth Ihc cmctgIng p8UCrn OlInVc$tmcnt WI $pcd
up thc $prc8dIng Olc8pIt8!I$I :c8tIOn$ In ltIc8n 8grIcUlurc,' I.c., thc
$ImUt8ncOu$ lOrm8tIOn Ol 8 ku8k c8$$ 8nd 8 rur8 prOct8tI8t, th8t
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buch 8p8Itvrn, thcrclOrc, rc$Ir8In$tc nccnIIVc lOt, 8nd Bn0ncI8 8OIIty
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tIng$ OcIng cqu8, It tcnO$ tO prOducc 8n ImpOVctI$hcd p8$8ntry Wth
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8grIcUtUr8 $ccIOr$. !nthc cOOnI8 QcrIOd mO$t cOmmcrcc (nOt dIrccIy
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Lntt8 lrI. rIc8n tr8dcr$ Wcrc 8mO8I tOt8ly 8O$cnt In Lntr8
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8mOng c$t lrIn$, c$pcI8ly In \h8n8 8nd IgcrI8. hI$ p8tIcrn
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tr9 lrIc8 thc lrIc8n$, WIIhOmcI8 $uppOtt, bg8n IO ch8cngc $I8n
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WhO$C O8ckg
jODd I$ c
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th8n IndV$try" lrIc8nI78tIOn In tI$$phcrc
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ccdmg mOrc

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crc 8tc V8tIOu$ 8ctOt$ h8mtIng thc
gt:Wth O8 l

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pOWctlu OO$t8cc$. c rI$c Ol8
c, $uU-c!Itc 8nO r ! 8t
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1 28
PaTt l. Penpectivrr
also for simple consumer and capital goods in the production of which
small-scale industry may have a comptitive advantage, is much smaller
than it would be in rhe case of a labor intensive type of growth of me
money economy Mis panern of demand, therefore, makes it easier for
modern manufacturing based on the latest technology U undersell, or to
preempt, the market opportunities for local small-scale enterprises.
This possibility threatens the laner even when no competition from
large scale enterprises is expcd in the short run; the greater risks in
volved in undertaking production may thus discourage the exploitation
of proftable opportunities by small entrepreneurs.
In each industrial process, however, there arc operationr wh
ch can be
proftably subcontracted to smaller labor intensive enterprises by the
large-scale expatriate frms. It is nor inconceivable, therefore, that in
vestment by multinational corporations in tropical Africa will encourage
the growth of a satellite, small-scale national bourgeoisie. Such a subor
dinate role is all that this national bourgeoisie will, at best, play in the
area. In other words, the polarization of the business world, so aptly de
scribed in the following passage by C
Wright Mills with regard to the
industrial centers, can be expCted to grow in the priphery as well:
Roughly spea1ing the business world is polarized into twO types: large in
dustrial corporations and a "Iumpnbourgeoisie." The latter is composed of
a multitude of fnns with a high death rate, which do a fraction of Ihe total
business done in their lines and engage a considerably larger pportion of
people than their quora of business.
Their remarhble persistence as a stratum should not be confsed
with the well-being of each individual enterprise and its owner-manager
[as there] is a great fow of entrepreneurs and would-be entrepre
neurs in and our of the small business stratum.
The small businessmen are increasingly concentrated in the retail and
service industries, and, to a lesser extent, in fnance and construction.
Teir most imprtant characteristic from the standpoint of our analysis
is the subordinate role they come to play:
The power of the large business is sueh that, even though many small busi
nesses remain indepndent, they become in reality agents of larger busi
Dependency on trade credit tends to reduce the small businessman to an
agent of the creditor.
Ineti0J CorpoTari(S 129
[By means of] "exclusive dealing contr.cts" and " fuU line forcing"
manufacturers, who set retail prices and advertis nationally [interna
tionally, in our context1, turn small rerailers intowhat amounts to slesmen
on commiS5ion who rake entrepreneurial risks. In mnufatturjng, subcon
tmcting ofen turns the small subcontr.ctor into what amounts to a ris1
ta1.:ing manager of 3br.nch plant.'1
The main implication is that the national bourgeoisie will be increas
ingly incapable of creating growth stimuli independently of interna
tional Clpitalism in the sense that its expansion comes to be almost en
tirely induced by the complemenrary growth of the multinational
concerns. In consequence, the integration of tropical Africa with the in
ternational capiralist system can be assumed to exclude the possibility of
a national capitaliST pattern of development.

In this seerion we will analyze the implications for growth and devel
opment in tropical Afrca of the main assumptions that have emerged in
the previous discussion. A brief summary of the main conclusions b far
reached is in order. In we argued that the fnancial stem
and managerial characteriStics of the multinational concerns @
refected in the choice of ca .um
se@orins . In addition, the oligoplistic behavior and greater
calculating rationality of the multinational coQare rcRected in a
sectoral pt ern of investment which _ against the capital goods
sector. Both biases (in favor of cpital imensity and against the capital
goosecror) contribute to the low demand-generating potemial of in
vestment which is already implicit in oligoplistic behavior. We con
cluded that this pattern of investment tends to prommc the imegration
of the modern sector in the periphery and of thesc with the industrial
centers bur does not contribute to the reduction of the lac1 of structure
of the national and supranational economies of tropical Africa. In Sec
tion 2, where attention was focused on the changes in the class structure
oftropical Africa that can be associated with rhe emerging pattern of in
Vestment, we saw that the multinational corpration contributes U the
reproduction of an environmem in the modern sector of the periphery
that suits its operations: a semi-skilledproletariata whil ar elite and
-elite, a dejndent "lumpenbourgeoisie." This tendency deepns the
Part II: Pmpmivtl
cleavages between modern and traditional sectors for two main reasons:
I . Because of the growing (]ualirarive differences between proletari.
aniled and smi-proicnarianized labr. The former, through relatively
high income and consequent greater stability, acquires spcialized skills,
while the larter's dependence on the traditional sector is increased by the
labor-saving development of the modern sector.
2. Because of the lessening of the links between the traditional sector
and the modern MUI as rhe capital intensity and burcaucr:.uizarion of
the l:mcr minimizes the income elasticiry of its demand for the output of
the former.
Growing internal cleavages and grt."rer external integration tend, of
course, to reinforce each other in a process of circular causation. The
various "demonstJnion effects" which infuence the p:mern of con
sumption, investment, technology, and administration in the modern
sector, arc strengthened by greater external integr.tion and, in turn,
deepen the internal cleavages.
It may be argued that whatever the outcome in the shorr run, the
long-term development potential of the tropical A frican economies is in
creased rather than reduced by this pattern of growth. The :ugument
may seem to be implicit in those theories of development which uphold
the advisability-in defnite conditions, to b discussed presently, and
from rhe standpoint of long-term consumption and employment maxi
mizationf a choice of capital intensive techniques in underdevelopd
economies." The argument is based on rhe consideration that each tech
nique of production has a double impact on employment and consump
tion. There is a direct effect on output and employment in the short run,
and there is an indirect efect in the long run as the technique of produc
rion, through its infuence on income distribution and the size of the in
vestable surplus, affects the rate of growth of Output and employment.
Labor intensive techniques are associated with high levels of employ
ment in the shon run and with a large share of wages in OUtput. Capital
intensive techniques, on the other hand, imply a smaller share of wages
in output, and may therefore yield a larger investable surplus and a
faster rate of growth of employment.
The argument, implicitly or explicitly, is based on a numbr of re
strictive assumptions. We shall limit our discussion to the following cru
cial ones:
IDli0al Corati0ls
! !
!. The real wage rare is fxed whatever technique of production is
adopted and it is constant through time.
2. The reinvcstment of the larger surplus associated with capital in
tensive techniques is feasible in the snse that either the productive capa
city of the capital gods scctOt is sufciently large U supply the capital
gos re(
uired by such reinvestment, or foreign exchange is available to
make up the deficiency of capital goods through purchases abroad.
. The reinvestment of the larger surplus is not only fsible but de
sired by whoever comrols its utilization.
Let us discuss the validity of these assumptions in the comext ana
lyzed in Secrions I and 2.
1. Tht ral wagl UR u COrt1l wha/ruer tht techniqut of productiOIl
I"d through timt.
Both assumptions are generally untrue in the context of tropical Af
nca. Capital intensive techniques require a scmiskilled and therefore
stabilized labor force committed IO wage employment. As we saw, the
"price" of stabilization, and rherefore the diferemial in real wage ratcs
according to whether capital or labor intensive lCchniques arc used, is
considerale. In co

sequence, even though the share of output accruing

to wages I5 smaller H the C of capital intensive techniques, the size of
the irwestdble surplus (and therefore the rate of growth of output and
employment) may b greater in the case of labr intensive techniques.
The case for capital inrensive techniques is further weakened by the fact
either 3a pnnissive or as a causal factor, rhey encourage a steady
TI5C H wagesl n conse(
uence, capital intensive techniques may fosrer
the rapid growth of consumprion on the pan of employed workers
rather than the rapid growth of employment.
`. Tilt rtinvtltmt of tlu largn surplus amxiatd with capitl intensive
tu"niqutl is frarihle.
In a closed economy, jf the capital gods sector canTlot supply rhe
IIlCns of production nCry for the investment of the larger surplus
associated with capital intensive techniques, the ceiling to the rate of
growth of output and employment will b determined by the capaciry of
We saw that the emerging pattern of investment in tropical
A fflca has a double bias, in favor of capital intensive techniques and
against the capital goods sector. The implication of this double bias for
growth is that the psitive impact of the former bias is counteracted by
!arl II: Prptciver
thc Iattcr. !nothcrvords, thc biasagainst thc capital goodsscctoro!thc
a !astcr ratc o!grovththroughcaptaIintcnsivc dcvcIopmcnt \O onc o!
!orcign cxchangc avaiIabity topurchasc capitaI godsabroad.
hc Iack o!structurco!tropicaI P!rcan cconomicsmakcs thcm dc-
pcndcnt !or thcr !orcign cxchangc carnngs on thc cxport o!primary
products `ith thccxccptIono!thcoI-producingcountrics andccrtaIn
mctoI produccrs, undcrdcvclopcdcconomics rclying on saIcso!
products havc, sncc thc cnd o!thc horcan `ar boom, cxpcr

d a
slovingdovnnthc ratco!grovtho!outputandanactuaI!aIl in pnccs
vhich has Icd U adccIinc In totaIcarnings." !n thc casco!tropicaI A-
rica, vhiIcthcvaIuco!cxportsrosc about 5 5 pcrccnt bcivccn 1950 and
1955, it rosc onIy 1 5 pcrccn bctvccn 1955 and 1960,' and IatcIythc
postIon has probabIy vorscncd. !n addition, it must bc bornc in mind
that, in thc casc o! many a ricuIturaI cx rts such as cohcc tobacco,
shortta_Ic cotton, Osccds,ssal,ctc., thcsition vguId havcbccnsc
iousI_vorscncd In thc abscncc o!rcs




panson in compcting arcas."' Ps tropcaI P!rca 15 prmcipaIIy an agr-
cuIturaI produccr, t+oughitsvorIdposition isstrongcst inmincraIs, tIs
sa!c toassumcthatastcady andrapidcxpansiono!cxports inthcuturc
is hghIy unIkcly. P !cv indvduaI countrics vith important mncraI
dcposts viII, o!coursc, rcprcscnt thccxccpiion tothc gcncral ru!c.
mpot!s, on thc othcr hand, havc bccn groving !astcr than cxprts
vith thc rcsuIt that, nrcccn ycars, thcrc sccms to b nosurpIus n thc
tradcaccount!or tropicaI P!rica 3 avhoIc"' `hcninvcstmcntincomc
paidabroad and 'scrviccs` arc taxcn into accoun, tropcaI P!rica hasa
considcrabIc dchciton currcntaccount."' ivcn thsstuation, thc abiI-
ity o!tropicaI P!rica to sustain a hgh ratc o! capitaI ntcnsivc nvcst-
mcnt viII dcpcnd on thc inhov o! privatc and pubIic capitaI Itom
us nc@ativcchcct isthcouthovo! _rohts vhich, a!tcraI)g_thcn
mcntviIIbringabout. !tsccmsthatrcturnso!somc 1 5 U 20 pcrccnt o
cpitaI, usuaIly on ihc basis o!an invcstmcnt maturng in about thrcc
ycars,arcrcgurcdinordcrtoattract!orcign nvcstmcntin tropicaI P!-
rica."` abIc 3 givcs thc ratcs o!grovth o!!orcign invcstmcnt, !or d!-
!crcnt maturation Iags and ratcs o!proht, vhich must bc maintancd i!
lntemational Corporationr
Table 3
Rates ojGrowth o Gross Foreign lnvntmmt NeaSJary to Oful
the Outlow on Investment illcome
(perant valun)
Ratn ofproft (percent)
10 15 z0 z5
Maturation period;
3 jc31$ 8 II 1 4 16
4 jC0!$ 7 10 12 14
5 jCB!$ 7 9 II IJ
I l )
thc o0t!ov o!Invcstmcn incomcis not to cxcccd gross !orcign invcst-
mcnt hc combinations dcnotcd vith acircIccan bcconscrvativcIy as-
sumcd to bc thc most rcIcvant Uourcontcxt. Katcs o! grovth o!!orcign
pr:atc nvcsimcnt in ihc ordcro! !U to 1 2 pcrccnt arc vcry hIgh!rom
thc standpini, not only o!past pcr!ormancc," but, as vc shaII scc Iatcr
on. o! !uturc prospccts. !t sccms, thcrc!orc, hIghIy unIikcIy that a nct
:hlIov o!privatc captaI can, vith occasonaI cxccptions, bc cxpcctcd to
casc thc shortagc o! !orcign cxchangcn tropical P!rica
!ct us nov scc vhcthcrvccan cxpcct apositivc chcct o!!orcign in-
vcstmcnt on thctradc accouni. In thccasc o!invcstmcn in mining,!or-
cign :nvcstmcntcan, n many cascs, bc cxpcctcd U bringaboutastcady
incrcasc inthc vaIuco!cxports.hcsc gans, hovcvcr, may b odsct by
tcIatcd chccts o! such invcstmcnt on imports. Ps vc havc sccn, thc
cmcrgingpattcrn o!!orc:gn invcstmcntn tropicaI P!rica, In miningas
vcII as manu!acturng, !avors (cthcr as a pcnssivcor as acausaI !ac
tor), thc dcvcIopmcni o!apattcrno!consumption and o!production in
thc modcrn scctorthat vcakcnsthcIInksbctvccn thc modcrnscctor it-
scI! and thc rcsto!thc cconomy in thc pcriphcry. _ hc @ o! (c-
mand!or productivcin_utsand o!consumtio ;iatcd v
'1tivcand burcauc cnd romotca@n
o] dcr:vativcdcmandthatv1I
_ industria] @ @ vQnthc modc
10 thc !ormcr casc thc ncgativc impacton thc baIancco!pay-
mcntsis d:rcctandimmcdiatc. !n thc Iattcr casc, on thc othcr hand, it is
ind:rcc;. !n ordcr to undcrstand this morc roundabut chcct vc must
Parr H. Pmpmi'f
consider the impact on the trade

ccounr of the bala

ce of payn
enrs of
foreign investment in m:mufacTUnng. The bIases of mves

menr In rrop
ical Africa in favor of capital intensity and agamst the capllal goods sec
tOf arc relevant in this connection,
They arc in fact largely responsible both for the fact that import sub
stitution has largely been self_defeating91 and for the poor prospC[S for
nopieal A friean economies to become competitive on the world markets
for manufacrures.98 As a result, m:mufacturing tends Ube undenaken to
supply almost exclusively the national or supranational markets of trop
ical .>frica.9 While a positive nct impact on the trade account may ob
tain in the early stages of import substitution, the negative effects that
we have earlier traced in the pattern of derivative demand associated
with rhe emerging panern of investment become overwhelming in the
longer run. If we take into account the facr tat ir s al

in the car1

stagcs of import substitution, if ever, thar foreIgn pTlvare l
ment IS
likely \O attain the " critical" rate of growth of 10 to 1 2 percent dlscusse
above, the general conclusion cmerges that after that stage foreIgn pn
vate invcstment, far from easing the shortage of foreign exchange of
tropical African economies, increasingly worsens the situation.'o
Let us now consider the possibility that the foreign exchange neccs
sary for the capital intensive development of tropical Africa will be
made available by the advanced capitalist countries through bilateral
long-term fnancial loans, multilateral loans, and "aid." The infow of
fnance from these sources is essentially a postwar phenomenon and has
replaced private portfolio investment in fnancing expenditure in infra
structure. The net Row to tropical Africa rose steadily in the 1950s
and, as the interest payments on loans credited to African countries has
begun to rise rapidly,101 it seems U have reached a ceiling of $0.9-1
billion in the 19605.101 There is a Strong possibility that these fnancIal
Rows, other than for military purposes (which have no psitive effect on
the availability of foreign exchange), are, for the most part, a dependem
factor, i.e., it is likely that they are determined by the Rows of direct pri
vate invesnnent. In the frst place, this fnancial assistance is more and
more made available on the basis of the "economic viability" of the proj
ects which it is supposed to support. This, in general, means that private
capital mUSt be forthcoming to make use of the overhead capital
financed by public capital. In the second place, as mentioned above, a
large proportion of bilateral assistance aims at easing the balance-of-pay-
imemati(mal Corporafi(ms 1 1 5
ments position of tropical African economies in order U make possible
either the importation of capital gods or the repatriation of profts and
capital. For these reasons ofcial Rows of fnancial resources (annot but
marginally be considered an independent variable in detennining the
availability of foreign exchange necessary for the capital intensive devcl
opment of tropical Africa.
Such availability will ultimately depend on the level and growth of
foreign private investment in the sensc that public capital will in general
reinforce whatever tendencies are favored by the infow of private capi
tal-in the case of a high propensity to invest in the area, it will provide
the fnancial resources necessary for the materialization of that propen
sity; in the case of a low investmenr propensity, it will ease the shortage
of foreign exchange to make possible the outfow of capital, thus wors
ening the situation in the long run. In conclusion, the problem of the
feasibility of the higher rare of growth made possible by the capital in
tensive development of tropical Africa is largely related to that of the
propensity U invest in the area of private foreign capital. We must now
discuss this propensity.
. The reinve1lnmt ofthe largesurplus associated with capitl intnsive
techniques is 1ot Olly ]esib but desiud b whle Wtois its uti/iZ
In the present context the utilization of the surplus is controlled by
the imernational corporations.'o Thus in order to assess the likelihod
that the surplus will b reinvested in tropical Africa, we must briefy dis
cuss the determinants of their propensity U invest in the periphery.
Three main considerations seem U be relevant in this comc
The extent to which tropical Africa is a "growth area," as it is in
fast-growing economies thar the proftable opportunities necessary to at
tract foreign investment will present themselves.
2. The extem to which tropical Africa is affected by a shortage of for
eign exchange which would restrain the freedom of foreign corporations
to repatriate profts and capital.
3. The extent to which investment in tropical Africa is subject U the
risks of expropriation of assets and for nationali7arion without "full"
The last question is not particularly relevant in the present discussion
as we assume that, in this respect, conditions fvorable to foreign capital
obtain. We shall return to it in the next section.
1 36
Par . Pmpcli's
fact that [he propensity to invest in tropia] Afrial is aff ected by
its balance-ofpayments psition, on the O[her hand, gi es rise to a prob
lem of circular causation. Recalling what we said earlier in this section, if
foreign private investment grows at a rate higher than the critical value
of some 10 U 12 percent, then such investment eases the shortage of for:
eign exchange, and if other favorable conditions obtain, additional for
eign investment will b attracted U the area, improving furth

r the l
ancc-of-payments position. But if the rate of growth of foreign capital
invested in the area flls soon of that critical value, the oppite cumula
tive proess of falling propnsity IOinvest and growing shomge of for
eign exchange will Dke place. As we have sen, the Rows of ofcial cap
ital will, in, strengthen these undencies. This cumulative
proess is more likely to oprate in a downward than in an upward di
rection since in the latter case other conditions connected with the ex
tent U
which tropical Africa is a "growth area" must obtain to make the
process self-sustaining. Let us take the lower limit of 10 to 12 prcent as
the mimimum rate of growth of foreign investment that would create
the conditions for the reinvestment in tropical Africa of the surplus
accruing to foreign corprations. This rate seems of impssible attain
ment for two main reasons:
I. With the exception of a few countries with particularly rich min
eri depsits, the propcts for a rpid rise of tropical African primary
exprts, i.e., at a rate exceeding the present 3 to J prcent pr annum,
are very poor.
2. Given the bias of the emerging pattern of investment in the are
against the capital gods secrer, the autonomous growth of the internal
market is severely resrr.ined.
The combination of these twO fctors makes it safe to assume that,
given the behavioral and institutional framework we have ben ana
lyzing, tfopical Africa will not, in the foreseeble future, become a
"growth area." In consequence, whatever the situation might b during
the so-calIed phase of easy imprt substitution, foreign investment will
increasingly become a mere device for transferring surplus generated in
tropical Africa to the investing country.
1 Under these conditions [he
higher surplus associated with capital intensive techniques docs not lead
ro faster growth of employment but U higher exportS of profts.
We see, therefore, that none of the three crucial assumptions on
which the argument for capital intensive techniques is based apply to
Intmtiul CQQ(Wm
1 17
our context. In consequence, the bias of the emerging pattern of invest
ment in favor of capital intensity and against the capital gos industry
cannot be expcted to lead, in the long run, to a faster growth of wage
and salary employment; it will simply allow a larger outRow of surplus
from the area and growing incomes for a small, and, in relative terms,
constant or contracting section of the working ppulation. This type of
growth, which, as we have seen, already characterizes [ropical Africa,'0
we shall call growth without development. In the last section of [his
essay we must turn to discuss the reasons for the stability of this panern
of growth.
The analysis in [he previous sections has been carried out in some de
tail in order Ushow the complexity of the relationship between the ime
gration of tropical Africa with the international capitalist system and the
obstacles U African development. The assumption of a connection b
Tween the prsistence of underdevelopment and the evolution of oli
gopolistic Structures in the advanced capitalist countries sems to b
valid; we need, however, to qualif it in many ways to take into account
various technological and beh2vioral factors that act indepndently of
the form of ownership of the means of prouction in the priphery and
in the industrial centers with which the former is integr2ted.
It should be clear that the mere participation of [he state in stimulat
ing or undertaking major industrial and marketing functions (a phenom
enon that can be observed in many countries of tropical Africa), or even
the nationalization of foreign enterprises, dos not necessarily Olier the
naTUT of the relations between priphery and industrial centers and
among sectors and classes within the priphery itself. For example, it U
normal in tropical Africa for m:magerial control of enterprises wholly
owned by the state (or in which the state holds a ma;ority participation)
to remain in the hands of international corpr2tions.'0 Minority partici
Imion and management agreemcnts ensure the foreign corprations a
regular fow of payments in the form of royalties, patents, licensing
agn.'emcms, and technical assistance fees, etc., which to some extent re
place the exprt of profts in afecting the balance of payments nega
tively." o But even if state ownership increases the share of the surplus
retained in [he periphery, the bias of investment in favor of c2pital in-
Part II: Pmpai'N
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.i.. .-o :-c|-c.i .-:c-.|c| -|~, c.,:.i -:--.-:-c|e-.
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t..:-- te:o.-oC|-..,-o:-:.-ir.i:-::|-,.::-:-or,:o:|
:|oa:o--io,--:. lt .::a-:||:-o:--:.:o-or-:-:-.iC
-o.c:-i.:o-..r:-:-,..ti-, ,|::-o-:|
,:.:o-or:o,c.i nr:c.-coe:-. :| ,i.---o-co-o-. oaio
.i-,i.---,-:|-ro:-:i-..or.,.ti- x-::|-,
:o-.i-co-o-.--+c--:,i.---,e-:oaio:..: vo:-
:.-:.:ii.:|- r.c::|.:.-,:ee|-oio,c...-o.-.,-:..ico-.::...
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i-o:|-:o:o., :|-:- .-o,.-.c-. :o: nr:c.--co-oc o--io,
ooet:-oi, :-oec-. :|- t.:,..--,.::--,:| .-o .|i:, :o ,i.-or:|-
--:-:o,c.i n::c. o:,-.:-. .-.,.::-:-or,:o:|:|.:..o-i,
:|- c:ec.i .:.|i- |-.::e:o-.i c|.-, -e:-o:o
Imtiofl CorporoliollS
I J9

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r:a.::.:- :|- re::|-:-,.-.o-or,:o+ec:-c.;.c:,. n-.i:-:-.:-


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or:|-,;i-:.-o_eiog |-o-_-o--ee_g -
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o:o-i, :-.:.-.:|-.,:e.o-,or:|-i-.:--,,:~e..o-i.:,-M~


f |,:|-:.-,-or-:--c-.:|.:c.-be-o-:,o---
. .i:.:o-:|.:c.,:.T-:--.-i.:,-.i---:-:,:.-.--:.Ji::|-
-|-:O . -:--:.::.- ---:..- ..:e.:.o-.- .c|i-.:-- c.-
:.i- ,i.c-

- eori.|o: .-:--..- :-c|-e-.oeio-o:o-i,

Part . Pmpeclivrs
ad:prntion to African condiTions of the "puning-out" system tht
characterized primary accumulation in [he now advanced econormcs),
however inefcient. performed the funerion of mobilizing this type of
disguised unemployrnem for productive purposeS. As we have seen, the
emerging pattern of invcstmem is displacing the system but n


rive way of mobilizing underemployed labor has emerged. he mam

failure of the labor migration system in colonial times was that it did not
create the conditions that would have made it obsolete ^ =
Ini Tant labor was em loved in rimar roductio r ex rt which,
with some marginal exceptions, did not lead to industrialization and U
the transformation of traditional a riculture that would have enaled the
African economies TO suprsede rhe sysrem, IS consideration leads us
to a fundamental question. As Nurkse1l6 has pointed our, the state of dis
guised unemployment implies a disguised saving potential as well. The
emerging pattern of growth with its bias in favor of capital intensity and
against rhe development of a seCTOr producing the capital gexxs mOSt
suitable for the modernization of the African economies makes the mo
bilization of that potential unlikely if not impossible.'17 In consequence,
it leads U reliance on outside fnance which, as we have Sn, frustrates
development in the long run. Labor intensive techniques and rhe devel
opment of a capital gexxs industry would, on the other hand, make pos
sible the mobilization of the disguised saving potential of tropical Africa
and therefore the internal generation of the surplus necessary for long
term growth and development.
It is, however, important to bear in mind that the question of a shift
toward more labor intensive techniques within sectors and toward a dif
fercnt allocation of the investable surplus among seClOrs cannot be di
vorced from the second question mentioned above, namely, that of the
distribution of the surplus among classes. We shall presently turn to this
question; at the moment it is sufcient to point our the obvious incom
patibility between the absorption of rhe surplus by the export of profts
and by the conspicuous or nonessential.consumption of a small section of
rhe population, on the one hand, and its utilization to step up capital ac
cumulation and to provide incentives for the transformation of tradi
tional agriculture, on the other.
Thus, changes in techniques of production and in the sectoral distri
bution of investment, like the institutional changes discussed above, arc
only necessary and not suficient conditions for the development of
lntematirmal CQrporatirms I
tropical Africa. In other words, development must be seen as a total
process in which technical, behavioral, and institutional factOrs are inter
related. This does not mean, of course, rhat institutional, technical, and
behavioral obstacles U development all have to be tackled at the same
tire; it certainly means, however, that changes in each of the various
factors can only make sense as tactical mrr.cs in a stateg which aims at
SQme special tTmjrnatiun i1l the totl sitation. In concluding this essay
we mUSt attempt to fnd out why such strategy has failed to emerge i n
Tropical Africa."i
The emphasis is usually put on external obstacles. By not dealing with
such obstacles it is not our intention to belittle them. We disregard them
because, whatever rhe retaliatory power of foreign capital, it is more im
portant to understand the causes of the failure U evolve a valid strategy
of development, which are rooted in the political C1nomy of Tropical
Africa itself, namely in the power base of rhe African governments. As
pointed out in the introductory section, in most countries of tropical Af
rica feudal elements, landowning classes, and national bourgeoisies arc
either nonexistent or not sufciently signifcant, politically andlor eco
nomically, to constitute the power base of the state. The implication is
that rhe stability of the existing system of internal and external relation
ships must be sought in a consistency between the interests of interna
tional capitalism and some classes other than the abovementioned. Our
analysis has suggested that such classes are, in all likelihexx, rhe African
elite, sub-elite, and proletariat proper (i.e., excluding migrant labor),
which we shall collectively refer to as the "labor aristocracy" of tropical
The labor aristocracy, as we have seen in Section 2, owes its very
emergence and consolidation U a pattern of investment in which the in
ternational corporations play a leading role. The displacement costs in
volved in the disengagement from international capitalism therefore
havc to be borne mainly by the labor aristocracy itself The most impor

ant consideration, however, concerns the reallocation of the surplus tha

IS nccessary for rhe mobilization of the disguised saving potential of
tropical Africa. Such a reallocation directly hits the laoor aristocracy,
which has IllOst benefted from the present pattern of growth without
development,1!9 and whose consumption therefore has to be signifcamly
curtailed. Srare ownership and management of the means of poduction
i; not sufcient to prevent the present unequal distribution ofincemives.
Part ll: Persprctivrr
As we saw in Section 2, the steady rise in wages and salaries of the last
ten to ffteen years is only partly due to the investment and employment
policies of rhe large-scale foreign corporations. Governments' wage and
salary policies have also played a leading role. It follows that
though the labor aristocracy may not be opposed to state owncrslp and
management of rhe means of production, it can be ex

tcd to reslst that

reallocation of the surplus on the pat of the stare whIch must be an
sential component ofthe strategy for the transformation in rhe total SLtu
ation of the societies of tropical Africa.
It may be argued that there is no real confict ofinteresrs between the
semi-proletarianized peasantry and the labor aris
rocrncies, as growt
without development is, in the long run, self-defeaung .
The argu

ambiguous because the defnition of class interests WIthout a time d

mension does not make much sense. Of course, we can always take a
point in time distant enough to be able to show that the lar aristocr

can only gain fromthe organic development of the econOmes oftro

Africa. However, in defning class interests one must make assumptIons
not only about the benefts derived by a class from a certain pattern of
growth and development at a point in time, but also on , :h

ther that
point in time lies within the time horizon that can be reahstlcally ex
pected from that class. Disregard of the time dimesi
n may lea
d both to
a kind of "proletarian messianism" and to unreahsnc assumpuons

cerning the class interests that can be attributed to int

1 capItal
ism. The view that international corporations have an Interest In the de
velopment of the periphery is held by most non-Marxist economists and,
to some extent, seems to have infuenced some Marxist scholars. Barrat

Z for example, in answering the question, "What chance IS
there of the great corprations embarking upon the policies of world
wide industrial expansion?" argues that since wider m

rkets, r
ather tha

cheap labor, represent the most importam Interest of International capI
This giVe! rise \O the hope that c;pir.list frms and governments will s
. . . that eonomic development in theas yet underdeveloped bnds is very
much in their interest. . It seems hardly to b in the nature of capital
ism to undertake such development, but British capir1ism did it once for
the lands of Europen settlement and we must ronsider the pssibility of
continuing the job in the less developed lands of Asia and in Africa.1II
lnttmali(lJ Corporations
That international capitalism is made up of heterogeneous sectional
intereSTS and that some of its sections have an interest in the industriali-
7.rion and development of the periphery is widely accepted. The point,
however, is that the "freedom of action" of what we may call the "pro
gressive" section of international capitalism and of the governments of
capitalist countries are severely limited, in the case of the former, by the
oligopolistic Structure of the international capitalist system and, in the
case of the latter, by their power base in which the "progressive" capi
talist element is normally of little consequence. These two factors con- -
sidcrably curtail the time horizon of international capitalism so that its
long-term inrerests in the industrialization of the peripher are irrele
vant U the determination of its behavior.
Proletarian and bourgeois "messianism" seem therefore U be closely
related, both being rooted in the competitive models of capitalism of, re
spectively, Marx and Smith. A shift in the focus of attention from com
petition U oligopoly is most needed to understand both contemprary
capitalist systems and the problems of development and soialism in
their priphery.
1 _ Individual, small-scale, comptitive producers assume that, at the ruling
price, the market demand for their output is unlimited. Furthermore, under
competitive conditions the fexibility of the rate of proft ensures the expan
sion of demand to match supply. See below.
2. F. Perroux, LNation en voie de se fire et les puvoirs industriels," us
Clhim dr 0 Riublqut Uuly-August 1959), p. 51.
3. R. Prcbisch, "The Role of Commercial Policics in Underdevelopd
Countries," Amrricn Ecui, Rte Papm lnd Proceedings (May 1959).
4. The terms "periphery" and "industrial centers" will b retined throughout
to designate the underdeveloped and the industrial countries with which the
former are economiclly integrated .
5. O. Lange, Ecuumi, Devtlt PlaWling, a Intnlllional CWeTltitm
(New York, 1963), pp. 10-1 1 .
. Kware Nkrurah, Nw-Colialism: T Last Stge of lmprrillim (New
York, 1965).
7. S below.
Part II: Pmpmivts
8. l., for example. Lange's pssage quoted bove and also P. A. Baran and P.
M. Sweezy. M(ly Capitl (New York, 1966). p. 205; and HamZ
Alavi, hlmprialism Old and New," 1Siu Rtjsl J 70Y (New York
and London, 1964), p. 124.
9. Lf. for example, Alavi, ibid., p. 1 1 6.
10. E. R. Broundi, "Neoolonialism and Class Struggle," IIItmUrioi Socia/isl
/I, no. J (1964), p. 66.
] ] Cf. C. Wright Mills, Whitt Calbr (New York. 1956), pp. 23-38.
]2. Baran and Sweezy, op. cit., pp. \02-IOS; S. Tsuru, ed., Has CpiealiWf
Chlngld? (Tokyo, 1961), pp. 51-53.
1. Baran and Sweezy. op. cit., p. 50.
14. R. Vernon, "The American Corpration in Underdevdopd Areas," in E.
S. Mason, cd., 1 COTftiun in Modem Stxitt (Cambridge, Mass.,
1959), pp. 23&-39; W. A. Qldsn, "Trends in Africm Exprts and upi
nl lnfows," in M. J. Herskoviu nd M. Hrwitz, c., Eamuic T ition
in Africa (London, 1964), pp. 349-50; M. Barratt-Brown, Aflt Imperi
a/inn (London, 1963), ch. 8,Baran and Swcezy, op. eiL, pp. 196-97.
15. Cr. Nkrumah, op. cit.
16. Ibid., pp. 58.
17. Braundi, . cit., pp. 55-56.
. Ibid., p. 0. S Iso the staff papr by G. BenveniSte nd W. E. Moran, Jr.
(Stanford Research Instirote, International Industrial Development Cen
ter), quoted in S. F. Frankel, "Capital and Capital Supply in Relrion to the
Development of Africa," in E. A. G. Robinson, ed., EOic Devtlpmmt
/r A South 0/ mSharl (London, 1964), pp. 'HI-12.
19. D. J. Morgan, BDnish Prival IHt in EaJl A/rim: R(pott of a Sur
and a C (london: The Overseas Development Institute, 1965), p.

20. "Multinational Companies, Spcial ReprT," Busi1US W(tk, 20 April

21. Cr. M. Bye, Gr:mde unite interterriroriale," Cahien dr I'.S.E.A.,
qled by F. Perroux and R. Demonrs. "Large firms-Sm:ll N:tions,"
Prtsm(( Africaint, no. 3S (1961), p. J7.
22. Chudson, op. cit.
J. ].cit.
. UNESCO, Polir Aspts of Indri lwl in A/ric . : Probkm and
Pf)lpms, E/CN. I4/AS/ll/llKli (1965), g. 21-27, mimeogrphed. In
cases incr in manufacturing activities merely represnt classifca
tion changes. Cf. R. E. Baldwin, Econmnic Dt(/Qmt and Export Growth:
A Sru of Northem Rhodrsia, 7Z-!70 (Berkeley and L Angeles;
1966), p. lSI.
Inte ri0J Cqrpora riuns 145
25. UNESCO, Policy Aspms of Industrial Dt'wmtnt in Africa. Sec ls
G. Hunter, The Nt Sitties of Tropicl Africa (London, 1962), pp. 161-
26. UNESCO, op. cit.
27. Intermediary and capital goods industries generlly tuire, espcially in
nonindusrrialized coumries, suprntiona[ marketS. The pssibiity of using
protectionist plicies or setting up competing units in neighboring countries
incress (he risks of, and therefore discourges, investment in m ch coun
try. Ths consideration pints to the pssibility of conficts of inrcrest
ithin international capit concerning the ballGiniurion of tropical Af
18. B;rratr-Brown, op. cit., p. 419.
19. We :re assuming that the new plnts will not compte in the nation:d mar
ker from which minvc(mCnt originates. :rgumenr holds a fortiori if
this assumption is O m;de.
10. Cf. Hunter, op. cit" pp. 60-61. Sec Iso H. A. Turner, lYagr Trends, Wagt
Polititl, and Collective Bargaining: The Problems of Undtrdt/otd
Countrie1 (Cambridge, 1965), p. 2I . nd below.
, I . Baldwin, op. cit., pp. 79-80.
12. L. cit.
)5. Ibid. This ualso shown by the fact Tlur the coppr mines of Vgand. howe a
lower degrec of mcchniZl [ion thn the Karngese mines. Cf. A. Bary
arona, Fac/J Ajming Industrial E1nplomrt: A Study of Ugandan Expt
rima, 7JY 170Y (Nirobi, 1967), p. 58.
J. Cr., for inM , B:ry:r op. cit., :md Hunter, op. cir., pp. 60-61.
1. Cf. Ver. Q. Cil., pp. 2 53-54.
36. S blow.
37. Perroul and Demoms, op. eir., p. 46 .
38. Cf. D. J. Viljon, "Problems orucge-Scale Industry in Africa," in Robin
son, op. eiL, pp. 2S J-54.
39. Capitaiisl emerpris 11ways rend to a thos tehniques which "max
imiu" the surplus. Such techniques arc rcbtively capital inrensive (see S
lion 3). However, fnncial stringency preVentS msmlIer fnns from I:k
ing a long time horizon in their investment decisions nd therefore from
adopting capil intensive techniques. The large corporation, on the orher
mm,is Da large exrenr frc frm fnancial consrr.tintS up its investment
" One notable exception is W. Elkan, Migrants and Prolfrians: Urban LI
in tht Etic Dcwlopmtt of Uganda (london, 1960).
. Quoted in Alavi, op. cit., pp. 106-107.
?. Degree of comptition is nor the only vriable in this comex!. As already
Par' !: lr]rnsr
mcnrioncd, the c<kulating raTionaliTY of the capitalist concers is equally
relevant, giving rise to the discrepancy in the behavior of the chartered
comp:mies and concessionaries of old and thaT of the modern corporations.
43. \ Alavi, op. cit., p. 1 21 . This point is discussed more fully in Section 3,
where the determinants of corporate investment in the Iriphery are dealt
. Cf Vernon, op. cit., Q. 248-49; Barratt-Brown, op. cit., pp. 273-76; Mor
gan, op. cit., p. 47.
45. Derived from K. C. Doctor and H. Gallis, "Size and Characteristics of
Wage Employment in Africa: Some Statistical Estimates," /nl icmai
LaHrReir, no. 2 (1966), p. 166. The estimates very rough.
46. Cf. Turner, op. cit., p. 14; D. Walker, "Problems of Economic Develop
ment in East Africa," in Robinson, op. cit., p. 1 23; L. V. Blair, "African
Economic Development," rt:mo Africaine (English edition), \. 56
(1 965), p. 34. That the rate of growth of employment has been consider
ably less th<n the rate of growth of the population is dearly shown in the
following table which gives dara for selected countries of East and Cenrral
Annual rates ofgrowth (compound)
Country Employment Population Realprodua Period
Uganda 1.2 (a b) 2.5 (c) 3.5 (c) 1952-65
Kenya .9 (d !) 3.0 (c) 4.8 (c) 1954-64
(Tanganyika) -2.1 (e) 1.8 (c) 3.5 (c) 1953-65
Rhodesia 1.3 (e) 3.3 (c) 5,4 (c) 1954-64
Malawi .3 (e) 2.4 (c) 2.5 (c) 1954-64
Zambia .4 (e) 2.8 (c) 2.5 (c) 1954-65
The data were ca1cu1attd from: (a) Uganda Government, !"01 StatiHical
Abstrct (Entebbe, 1963), p. 89; (b) EaSt African 5ratistical Departmenr,
ECf)ic and Stti$lieai Rtvif, no. 20 (1966), p. 51; (c) OECD, Nanil
Accof Lus-Dn,tloptd COmties (Paris, 1967), pp. 5-9; (d) Kenya
Government, Ewnomie SI,.r, !"0Y (Nairobi, 1964), p. 39; (e) Intera
tional Labor Institute (ILO), YwBook of Lor 5utitt:ts (1961), p. 10;
Ytarbook ofLabrStliJtic (1966), p. 288.
47. Cf. Turner, op. cit., pp. 12-13.
48. Loc. cit.
49. Ibid., p. 14.
Intetitaf Corporatiu 147
50. Ibid.
5 \. Sources: For Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika, sec East African Statistical
Dep<rtment, Enmomic and Sttiuiroi Rtvif, p. 51; data for the other
countries have been derived from Doctor and Gallis, op. cit.
The terms "elite" <nd "sub-dite" have ideological connotations. Tey are
used in this essay for want of a btter terminology and not because of any
implicit agreement with the view that no confict of interest e)ists between
the " elite," on the one hand, and the "masses," on the other, or that there is
a lack of class structure within the "non-dite." J'is view seems to juStif
the usc of the terms by some writers. Cf. P. Lloyd, ., The Ne EUmof
Tropical Africa (London, 1966), p. 60.
53. Ibid., p. 2.
], Ibid., pp. 12-13.
55. Ibid., p. 22.
56. Ibid., p. 8; and Hunter, op. cit., p. 8.
57. Lloyd, op. cit., pp. 7-8.
58. What follows is base on my own unpublished research on the proletari
anization of the Rhodesian pasantry (M Chapter of this volume) and,
unless otherwise spcifed, on standard works on the subject such as J. C.
Mitchell, "Labour Migration in Africa South of the Sahara: The luof
Labour Migration," Bullttin of tht Intn-African Llr lmnmu, no. I
(1959); W. Watson, Tribal Cohtsiun in a MQIr Ecy (Manchester,
1958); and, especially, Ikan, op.cit.
Cf. W. E. More, "The Adaptation of African Labor Systems to Social
Change," in Herskovits and Harwit', OQ. cit., pp. 293-94 and 297.
Cf Elkan, op. cit., pp. 52-54-
A distinction has to be made between st<biliwtion in the sense of "long
serice in one typ of employment" and Stabilization in the sense of prole
tarianization or urbanization implying "a severance from rU!1 les com
bined with a tendency to settle down forever as a town dweller." Obviously
employers in Africa have always been keen on the former type of stabiliza
tion. However, d they were not prepared to bear the COStS (and the risks)
involved in the latter type of Stbilization, their interest remained purely
hypothetical. Cf. Baldwin, op. cif., p. 138.
62 Lloyd, op. cit., pp. 11..11.
61. Hunter, op. cit., pp. 230-31.
64. Turner, op. cit., [Q. 20-21.
65. Cf. Hunter, op. cit., 1. 207; Elkan. 01. cit., p. 85; Turner, op. cit., pp. 1 7-
18, 48.
Baryaruha, for example, shows thar loally based enterprises also stepped up
mechanization in respons to the steady risc in wages.
Cf. Turner, op. cit., p. 2 \ .
148 Part H. rprrIl1C
68. Cf. Elbn, op. cit.
69. b Oplcr J of this volume
70. Baldwin, op. cit., } 105.
71. Cf. Moore, op. cit., p. ? Elkan, op. cit., pr. 612.
72. Moore, op. cit., p. 290.
7}. Turner, op. cil p. 48.
74. Cf. ibid., p. 21.
7S. Jc foUowing analysis is rather cursory as the focus of our attemion is on
the wage-working and foreign capiral. [tS only purpse is 1 bridge th
gap th would OIherwisc arise between the foregoing diocussion :md the
analysis of the nCl{ TO sections.
76. Some rural economies of trqic! Arric arc already way along th
road to <!u formation. T of Sthern GhlIn:, [rIS of eastern and
western Nigeria, the Ivory ( ,and Buganda are cl<mplcs. Thcy stilt arc.
Ilowever, DIner exceptional, particularly in East and Central Africa.
J. Enterprises lTe here defned as small scale if they have no imernational
afliations :nd employ a relatively small number of workers.
78. Humer, op. cit., pr. 12V31, 1 56. New opp"unities ha\'e als arisn in the
feld of gasoline service statlons as moil marketing comjnies have become
some of the largest investors in sub-Saluran Afriea.
79. The Madhvani Group of East Africa is certainly the most (onspicuous ex
ccpfion. In Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania it (omrols [\vcnty-rhree enter
prises. exduding subsidiaries and associates, in a wide range of industries:
sugar, \'egetable oil, beer. steel. textiles, glass, confectionery, marches, and
others. Obviously groups such as this, though loally bu. must b in
duded in international capitalism.
80. Cr., Elkan, op. cit., pp. 1 1 1-12.
81. Cf M. Katzin, " Th Rolc of thSmall Entrepreneur," in Herskovirs and
Harwitz, op. cit., pp. 1 79-80 Hunter, op. cit., pp. [0101, 1 37-40.
82. Hunter, op. cir., pp. 137- S. Gadak, "Social Classes in Sub-Saharan Af
rica," Afrci Bullttill, no. (1966), p. 1. In Buganda, it is the consump
tion pattern imfd by a prosprous frming community which frustrated
the accumulation of savings on the gr of would-be puy capitalists. See
Elhn. op. cit., p. 47.
8;. Cr. Kanin, Q. cit., p. 195; Lloyd, op. cit.. p. 8.
84. In addition to this, tnc ad\'antage that small efllerprises may derive from the
imjning of skills among [he ppulation on the part of large-scale enter
prises is considerably reduced by the usc of highly capital imensive teCh
ni{]ucs. The less capital intensive small emerpriss will generally need either
unskilled Ibr or labr fully skilled in one of the tr.ditional crafts. As we
m\'e seen, however. Ihc lrge-sclc corprltions will tend to create scmi
skilled, spcialized force largely unsuitable for the local employers.
91 .
Imematjual |crpctI|0u 149
Tht obstacles of thr small n:JtJonal market can be overcome by tht large
scale corpnuioo by means of multin[ional operations.
This is anorhr rson for assuming that iruern3tional corpor.tions my
beneft from rising w
ages and $larits. As wt mwe seen, large numbers are
employed by thc public sector (xTable 2 abve?; in COiuencc, the in
crcase in demand for the products of the corprations brought aboUt by the
rISe in labor iQs makes it easier to y the incre;sed labor COStS on to
he consumer.
Mills, or. cit pp. lJ-28.
b . for example, Maurice Dobb, All Essay |U:t mth an Pln
r:o, orig. pub. 1960 N York, 1?

9); W. Galen

and H. Leiben

stein, "'Invcsunent Cmena, Produc(l\'lty and EcOlfl1l( Developn

"ht QI'lTttfly joumal of tm o (August 1955); A. K. Sen, ChOic of
"ftclmiqllts. An Asptrt of thr Thtory of Plmld |woon:cDc[ncotO
ford, 1961). Sin<: impli(itly or explicitly these authors assume a Sialist
ecy, what follows dos not represent a critique of their theories.
Ibrratt-Brown. op. cit., p. 351.
Cnudsn, op. cir., p. 3; 7.
Ibid., p. .
A. M. Kamarck, ``J Developnr of the Economic Infrastructure," in
Herskovits and HarwitL Q. cit., p. 75.
Loc. cil. ( "guesstimates" of the defcit on current account given by Ka
marek are 11.0 billion for 1963 and 10.9 billion for 1964. Thes defcits
amount to 24.4 and 19.2 percent, respectively. of the exprts from tropiel
Africa in the tWO years.
We arc excluding for the time bing reductions in imports of nonessential
consumer goods. This psibility is discussed in Section +.
Cf. Morgan, qcit., pp. 1 5
. ~
For the t;n of the private mvestment from advanced capltahst countries to
the underde\eloped cconomies "'The Slow-Down on Aid." Jmtm;t,
26 August 1967, pp. 73637. With regard U tropical Africa. g
foreign itweSI11ent seems to have reached < pak of at 80 mllion per
rear sometime beTeen 1950 and 1957 and to have sillce then fallen. S
Frankel, op. cit., p. 428. J table on the following page gives U.K. and
American foreign direct investmem (excluding oil) in Sterling Africa and
Africa, respctively, for the period 1959-1964. It was derived from Mor
gan, or. cit., p. 6 (for rhe U.K.), and Kamarck, op. cir., pp. 266-67 (for the
In the sens thar imprt substitution lC3ds to a fasler growth of imports of
scmi-fnished gods, capital gos, and materils.
K3rnarck, op. cit., p. Ij5.
Chudsn, op. eit., p. 352.
1 50
Part II: Penpmivts
Priof Jtret urt::mt:, cxcuJn_ol
(muon oftU.S.)
I959 I960 I96I I962 I963 Ib
U.K. (Sterling Africa) 8I 83 83 25 1
U.$. (Africa) 92 I3 8 3 I05 75
To:Ml l73 96 1 1 1 II8 II2 50
10. This conclusion refers Dtropical Afriaas a whole and to the majority of
countries. There will probably be exceptions of rwo kinds: countries with
prticularly rich miner:l deposits, such Gabon, and countries in which
foreign investment in manufacturing will tend to concentr:te to take ad
vantage of a rdatively industrialized environment.
101. Cf. OlUdson, op. cir., p. 349.
102. Cf. Blair, op. cit., pp. 29-30; Nkrumah, op. cit., pp. +I~.
103. Kamarck, op. cit.. p. 202. As Braundi has pinted out (op. cit., pp. 241-
42), these fows of public funds have ben instrumcntal in making pssible
the exprt of profts from tropiCI AfriCl which would otherwis hve
been Jnlyzed by disequilibria in rho balance of payments.
I0+. Problems connected with the investment of the surplus on the part of the
srate are discussed in Section 4.
lOS. Cf. Morgn, op. cit.
106. b p. 246 abve.
107. Baran and SWee'Y have shown, on the basis ofofcial data, that in the C
of the \.b. (the industrial center Qexcellence). foreign investment is in
fct a most efcient device for transferring surplus generated abroad to the
investing country. In m prio 1950-196J, while the Ot dirt invest
ment capit:l oudow from m U.S. Wnted to Sl7,J82 milion, m
infow of dirC:t imestmem income amounted to S29,416 million. SMo
Mfy CQpitf, g. 106-108.
108. L. n. 46 bove.
109. Cf. Humer, op. cit., pp. 1 8J-84.
110. L. Alavi, op. cit p. 119; Nkrumah, op. cit.,.p. 178.
I I I . For the feasibility of a strategy of development that includes the institu
tional changes under discussion, see below.
112. The experience of OJina is instructive in this respect. In the early and
mid-19;0s the r:pid industrialiZtion of Chin3 was made pssible by
Soviet assisrance. I-Iowever, the naTUre of this assisranee tended Uproduce
a pattern of growth without development which contributed to the
1 1 3.
80l 0rQ0rIt0m !1I
difculties of the late 1950. Cf. Franz Schurmnn, Ideolog~Ogaiz
tio in ComuniJt Chiml (Berkeley :md Lo Angeles, 1966).
By "implicit capit.1 imensity" is here umkrstom proprtion of the
bbr force employed in the sector proucing Ins ofprouction.
It would b futile and quite byond the gofthis CSy W give a dc
tlliied and concretedescription ofthis alternati\'c pm ofgrowth. While
jr brod chancterisrics can b prceived at the theoretical level, its con
crete chancteriz.tion can only emerge fromthe pTuif of African develop
1 1 5. On dUs lat pint cf. H. W. Singer, "Small-Sale Industry in African
nomic Development," in Robinsn, op. ci[., pp. 640-41 . spread of an
organic "learning proess' is particularly imprranr in connecrion widl the
development of mv4tm Ibor imensive tcehnology which mighr very
well be necessary for the development of AfriCi.
1 1 6. R. Nurlcse, Prblof CapiM/ Foration in Undtrdtvtlopld Cmmts
(Oxford, 1953), p. 37.
1 1 7. Cf. Singer, op. cit., pp. 641 and 651. The capital goods sector mUSt b un
derstod in a broad sense toinclude, for instance, cpital construction and
land improvements in the rural sectOT.
1 1 8. Tanzania may O out to be an exception to the genenl rule.
1 19. Turner (op. cit., pp. I-I4) estimates that the whole beneft of economic
development in Africa during the 19505 accrued to the wage and salary
earners. In fct, however, we rule seen that the unskilled smi-proletari
anized pq (as a clas) CIn have bnefted but marginally from this
rise in labr incomes b uof the los of employment opprtunitie en
suing from incr mechanization. Hence, not wage emers %such, but
the labor aristoracy has gained from the present prrern of growth.
120. Hamn-Brown, Q. cil., pp. Jl4--l1.
121. From m conclusions of this study it would sem that Barratt-Brown
d m ps ible a colition between the Brirish g()ernment and "pro
gressive" giant corprations to pe the industrialization ofmunder
developd world.
On African Po
John S. Sul
We enter here upon treacherous and uncharted waters. Thoe few au
thors who do make usc of the notion of "ppulism" in their analyses of
things African I"reiy bother U defne it; furthermore they seldom deign
to grace the use of [he "concept" in [he by of their text with so much
as a citation in the index! We shall look at some of this literature in an
attempt to gain initial purchase on our subject, but our critical function
must transcend its limitations. Even then we can only hop, at this stage,
to lay down cernin distinctions and guidelines of use for further discus
sion; as we shall see, any defnitive evaluation of the meaning of "ppu
lism" in an African context must the genesis of more nuanced ob
servation and theorizing as to the nature of [he overall proess of change
in Africa, a program of work only now bginning to yield itS frS( fruits.
Two initial distinctions must be made, for a failure to make them !,
in the paSt, led to a measure of confion. Firstly, in the literarure and in
our thinking about ppulism there are two different " defnitions" of the
phenomenon rattling around. These will be seen to be related in cenain
important ways; nonetheless, the choice of one defnition rather than the
other, whether made explicitly or implicitly, c:mies discussion in diver
gent directions and they must therefore be splled out. Thus, on the one
hand, we fnd Lloyd Fallers considering "ppulism" to b an ideology
which postulates that "legitimacy resides in the pople's will"-ppu-
MCk originally published in G. lMu 9nd L. GlInr. e & Jg:Dn. It
m:n_ Nirl L14N1Iu(L, 1969), pp. ~1U. Copyright T 1969 by
Wedcnfd & Nichol$n. Rprintcd by pnnision.
I wOIld like [0 [hank 9numbr of friends and collegucs in LtC SlaaM for $,
DU conseious and unconseious, in [he writing of Ihs papr, but pricululy Rr Mu
ray, John Ilif, 9nd Giovanni Arrighi. Needless 10 y, all errors mfacl or judgmenr
my own.
1 52
O African Plis I I I
lism as radical demoracy, as it were.l On the other, Peter Worsley sees
it as a respnse generated "wherever capitalism has pnetrated into tra
ditionalistic pasant society," an "ideology of small rural pople thre:
encd by encroaching industrial and fnancial capital." Giovanni Arrighi
has made a similar point rather more sharply: "Populist ideologies are
unorthodox precisely becaus they uphold the resistance against the
spreading of capitalist relations."
In contrasting these two notions, the stress of our examples has ben
on maners of ideology, but this is prem:rure; a second imprtant distinc
tion must b introduced. For "ppulism," in bth the abve snss, !
been used in each of two different ways (though these rwo overlap). t
may b used as an analytical category, thought to be descriptive of as
pects of reality. To take an example, a movement may b describd as
populist because it is felt by the observer to b an acrual movement of
"the people" in some important sense, a movement distinctive because it
is "popular" as regards participation in a way that other movements are
not. It may also be used as a term which characterizes a body ofideas or
an ideology . To return to the example of the so-called ppulist move
mcnt: here one might wish merely to characterize the ideology of such a
movement as "ppulist" (in either or bth of the senses suggested in the
preceding paragraph). The actual "truth" of that ideology in relation
ship to the compsition or interests of the movement or the soiety as a
whole could well be another matter. We shall see that the uses U which
men and women, particularly leaders, can put those ideas thought to be
beSt described as "populist" are most varied. These sets of rather ab
mact distinctions by way of introduction, then; they will be Aeshed out
as the paper proceeds.
1. Popu/jJ stht Wioftlu Ptolt
We may begin by working out from Fallers' defnition. A closly re
lated note is echod by a number ofobservers of Third World develop
ments: that this is an era characterized by the real or ptential involve
ment of the "masses" in politics in a way unknown before this century.
"Populism" for David Apter is a word which sums up this novel surge
Today, however, most governmenrs oprate in a climate of ppulism and
ma prticipation. How much ppulism is commlled and shapd, well
Part ll: Persprctives
as the degree of rcsponsivcness by govemmenr to the demands of [e pu?
lie, constirmcs the ch:actcriscic problem of government, esptlally In
modernizing societies.)
Manfred Halpern uses rhe word in order to characterize the ideologies
summoned forth by this fact; the distinction in emphasis is not unimpor
tam. "Every politician everywhere in the modern age prefers to spak in
the name of the 'people' ppulism can be a mask for almost any
program, or else a nostalgic emotionalism for no program bu

satisfaction." 4 Furthermore, in the Third World, and especially Afnca,
the term "mass" [ends immediately to take on a predominantly rural
referent; it is in the countryside that the "people" arc U be found in
their hundreds and thousands.
The reality of growing popular participation and awakened ppular
consciousness in recent African history has been most explicirly iden
tifed in rhe literarure as the quintessential "populism" by Apter himself
and by D. A. Low in their respctive works on Buganda. In particular,
an important article by Low may serve, all tO briefy here, as a k
clssicus for documenting certain strengths and weaknesses of "ppu
lism," SO used, as an analytical catcgory.j Low summarizes with admira
ble precision the process by which, around the turn of the century, the
then current generation of administrative chiefs, with British assistance
(especially within the rerms of the 190 agreement), consolidated a p
sition of power both politically and economically as a landed oligarchy.
In so doing they aggrandized themselves at the expense of the hitherto
extremely powerful Kabaka (or king) and also of the people (in Bu
ganda, the bakQi), the mass of the peasantry, whose signifcant measure
of bargaining capability vis-a-vis the chiefs was now seriously under
mined. Low then traces the manner in which "the people" gradually as
serted themselves over the next sixty years after the agreement, occa
sionally with the imprtant assistance of the colonial government; this is
the phenomenon which he terms "populism."
In particular he notes the recurring importance of the network of
cl:ms (the "Baraka" pattern) within the society, closer to the people than
the chiefy administrative hierarchy and more egalitaian, as a rallying
point for resistance to overweening chiefs. He also mentions the impact
of the gradual transfonnation of the landed-estate system of the agree
ment into a primarily small-scale, pasant, cash-cropping system, thus
making Jssible a new bargaining position for an "independent yeo-
African Poulism 1 5 5
manry." Importantly, as Apter also stressed, this populism has tended to
take on a "neo-traditional" cast, defensive about many traditional ideas
and practices and fercely "nationalistic," but its general thrust against
an elite of chiefs within Buganda tended to remain undampned. He
concludes that it was this thrusting populism, suspicious of the chiefs and
whetted by complementary economic grievances against Protectorate
and Asian control ofmarkering, that led to riOIS in Buganda in I V:and
1949 and, after the incident of the Kabaka's deprtation, to a real cur
tailment of the chiefs' position in the name of "the people."
Low rhus builds his model of social and political change quite squarely
on the triad of "Kabaka, chiefs and people" and the interaction of the
three, concluding that there "have been changes not of the Structure it
self but of the distribution of political power within it" and between,
that is to say, irs three monolithic components.o Yet one suspcts that
Buganda society was, quite simply, rather more complex than this; so
used, "populism" can become a dangerous metaphor. Compare C. C.
The rise of an active, broad-basd economic middle class is acting as a fer
ment which is steadily dissolving the fbric of traditional sociery. The
uniform mass of rustic commoners mbegun Usplit up into groups which
2I( norably well-to-do and others which arc notably poor; and the eco
nomic stucture has ben further complicated and diversifed by the rise of
a professional class, by the infux of migrant labourers and by the growth
of commerce and urban wage-employment of every kind. As a result soi
ety has become fluid and amorphous; there is great economic difr
entiation but hardly any clear-cut str.tifcation.1
As early as 1952, Wrigley noted the following division of fanners in
one village: ! 9 percent well-to-do; 27 percent middling peasants; 3 3 per
cent poor peasants; `U percent landless laborers.s To b sure, most of
those at the very bottom were immigrants, but Bugandans were to be
fuund at every level. One must suspect that such divisions among the
people found some expression, if only in variable degrees of conscious
ness and involvement.
And such was, of course, the casco Apter mentions from time to time
number of sub-groups of importance as, for example, chiefs who had
been removed;
With inherited land, a sense of their own worth, and consider.blc educa
tion, such frmers arrempted [Q engage in economic enterprise to restore
1 56
Part . Perrpecri's
their social scams. In most cases rhey could not compete successfully
with Asians and European business groups, or else they came up againsT
government restrictions,"
These men, clan leaders, businessmen, mission employees, are men
[ioned as activists, Low himself cites the important role of A (riean rural
shopkeepers and African taxi-drivers, in competition against Asians.
What of the possibly diferential role of the varying strata of cultivators
themselves? UnforTUnately no one has thought to check. In any event,
Low is forced to conclude his apotheosis of "populism" with the obser
varian that changes, such as the important redressing of rhe balance of
chiefs' power in the late ffties
have been eff ccted, nor by dctermined mass movementS (either of the
chiefs on the hroccasion, or of the people on the sc(ond) but of aroused
minorities-the Christian chiefs in the ooand {bV, the "politi(al mal
(ontento" (as Professor Pratt has (ailed them) in the 1950_ In many re
spectS thesc minorities may not have been typj(al of their order: but in a
Burkean sense they were represcntative of ir. `
One is justifed in feeling uneasy with this last formulation. Like the
term "populism" as used so broadly and inclusivcly throughout the arti
cle, it explains, or ruher explains away, too much. The term itself
threatens [Q stand in the way of more comprehensive data collection and
theory building by prematurely closing questions that should remain
open. Throughout our discussion we must face the distiner possibility
that such a concept only seems useful because of the relative superfcial
ity of our analysis of the modcrni7.tion process and the relative pverty
of our present vocabulary of dealing with "mass" phenomena. In the
present instance, three important areas of inquiry are threatened with
being blurred. First, the term encourages an overestimation of the rprrad
of poplilar involve1lf1l. In social analysis it is all tO easy to exaggerate
the degree to which a population can be or has been aroused to action;
our metaphors tend to impose hyperbole upon us. A warning against
this seems particularly apt in an African setting where the pull upon in
dividuals of the mOSt localized of social units and of subsistence agricul
ture is strong.
Secondly, and closely related, it is tempting to overestimate the level
of conscio1sness of the mass of the population; this cnwurages a failure to
perceive differences in social situations (as, for example, class) among
O African Populism I7
the people which can fundamentally determine variable degrees of in
volvement and complementary retardations of consciousness. Thus de
spite Low's fnal bow to a more complex reality, the centrality for his
analysis of a monolithic, primarily peasant, block has hampered his sys
tematic pursuit of this line of inquiry. Finally, one fears that even when
dealing with those peasants who are more conscious and aroused to ac
tion, the concept "populism" encourages the assumption of a unity of
view which may pass over the wide range of local variation of causes
often characteristic of activity in a period of upheaval and tend to lump
aU such activity under an inadequate covering rubric, In this context it
becomes particularly tempting to take the claims of leaders for a clear
reflection of realities at the base, though evidence suggests that the inter
action of such men with "grassroots" protest may be most ambiguous.
These points must be underscored, for in fact the term, in the sense
currently under review, is a tempting one, catching as it does the mood
of a novel and valuable emphasis articulated by some recent students of
African afairs. Complementing the tendency of a frst generation of Af
ricanists to place almOSt exclusive emphasis upon the emergence of
town-based, \Vesrern-educated elites as the progenitors of nationalism,
there has been a tendency to bring the "masses" back into the picture as
a vital force. John Lonsdale writes:
In short, there would seem to be some justihcation i n Wcstern Kenya at
least, for regarding the development of national (onsciousness as being
stimulated to a large extent by loal rural grievan(cs and aspirations, di
rected and coordinated by men with local roots.`
Lionel Clife has made a similar point for Tanzania, stressing that the
proto-nationalist associations which " 'provided the cells around which a
mtionwide political organization could be constructed' were essentially
rurally based," expressing "the resentment of country people againSt
outside interference in the things closest to them, their land and its use,
their cattle and their way of life." `` Popular grievances, then, played a
vital role in the arriculation of a successful nationalist movement. Was
this "populism"?
There are familiar ambiguities and complexities. Certainly in Tan
ganyika rural protest was important but its character varied greatly from
area to area. In some it was a force with a rather clear and sophisticated
perception of economic matters and beyond them of political implica-
1 58
art II: Pmptjs
[ions' in other areas it was much more conservative, instinctive, back
-!ooking, narrow in focus-responding, for example, ro immediate
threats from progr:llls of agricultural change, with no broader vicw OD
questions of authorit}' and legitimacy that might seem logical corollaries.
Only a leadership cadre could generalize this pratesl for plitical ends
and control at the center, yet that leadership's ties to the actual eruption
of individual cases of rural protest were often largely pripheral and op
prtunistic. In addition, in areas where protest was more sophisticated,
as in Sukumaland with the rise of the cooperative movement which soon
became a bulwark ofTANU activiry in the Lake Province in the 19505,
differentiation among the mass was imprtant. Even today this copl
tive cantl( claim membership of over 50 prcent of the growers in some
areas and membrs tend to be the most economically advanced growers
there. More information on the realities of "involvement" would clearly
be mOt helpful. Similarly, Lonsdale's work reveals a rather more com
plex model of a popular movement, suggesting the imcraction of, among
others, local clan leaders, African traders, and Nairobi politicians and the
"mass"; there was thus, in his words, merely a "coincidence of rU1'1
fears and national aims."
Perhaps Martin Kilson, among recent writers, has refected in the
most rewarding manner on these and orher aspects of A frica's nationalist
phase. Interestingly enough, in so doing he has articulated a usage of the
concept "populism" which avoids at least some of the limitations we
have memioned above. Implicitly he anempts lO situate "ppulism" as
merdy one element of broader movements and processes of change, not
as a global characterization of relatively more complex phenomena.
In describing loal plitical pssures as " populist," I do W suggest that
they we pan of a systcmtic egatirin ideology. I simply mn tht
they represent the lower reches of provinci1 society, they came nearest
refecting the plitical feelings of what we c1I the masses-the little
For Siern Leone he compiles an impressive catalogue of examples of
runl outbursts which, generally, have taken a violent, riotous form.
These outbursts have tended to b directed against the chiefs who have
aggrandized themselves as the agents of colonialism, but they arc often
confused and visceral.
Populist demands for 1o1 plitic1 chnge were not precise abut the
inStirution1 form mdesired chnge should [al!e. Ths, of course, was W
O Africa Poulis 1 59
surprising insofr as the rural masses lacl!ed both the Inowledge and the
e/perience necessary \O formulate derails of institutional change. Nor was
it Iwys clear that populist political pressures were directed ginst the
traditional authority structu as such, seeking its desrruction as a legiti
tIlate plitical instirution. Given the ambivalence of most rural Africans U
wrd the chiefy groups, lhey were unble to push their grievances to the
pint of outright revolution. . The groops who sprhe:ded ppular
protest noc infreuently asserted their demands within a trldittonal framC
While admining rhe seemingly chaotic, aimless, and undefned nature of
much of this protest, he nonetheless insists that
Oclr observation, the violent ppulist respnss may th th reveal
Vthing about the gols of their prtt"tors. More specifcally, by con
sidering the objecrs of ppulist violence one may gin insight into bth the
gools of the populist groups nd the causes of their violent behvior.1&
He is thus at pains to note that implicit in the attack on the chiefs, esp
cially in their role in local tax administntion and novel exploitation of
customary rights, is sme demand for reform of the structure of author
ity, if only at the local level.
In some sense, then, "ppulism" becomes more than just an expres
sion of mass feelings of any sort; even for Kilson the implication is that
these protests are "populist" because in one way or another they do
challenge authority from a democrntic prspctive. As he pints OUt, it
was "only when colonial government rectifed these fetures of loal ad
ministration, mainly through the extension of democratic reforms to the
rural masses, that a more orderly mode of local political change was ps
sible." `` Despite his earlier defnition it therefore remains unclear
whether he considers that n rural outburst can be considered populist
in a useful sense or whether its use must be restricted to outburstS which
contain elements of this laner di mension. It is, of course, true that any
rural prolest will tend to have implications for the existent structure of
authority. But "protest" in Africa has taken many forms, from anti
witchcraft movements, independent churches, and riots through pr
ticipation in aniculate political movements. We are back to rhe same
conundrum: how conscious docs a movement have to be of the "legiri
macy" question and of related implications for action in order to be use
fully describd as "ppulist." Ccrrainly ,here are some aspcrs of this
Part II: Pmptctive1
conscious SOrt to the pliLies of colonial Kenya, Tanganyika, and Sierra
Leone, whether or nOf "ppulism" can b sufciently differentiated as a
term to serve in fltering them out.
Kilson's empirical work is useful in another respect, for he enriches
our prspctive on the ambiguous relationship btween "elite" and
"mass" within contemprary African soiety in suggestive directions;
we again take up {he fact of his having siruaroo "populism," as he defnes
it, as merely one aspect of the broader decolonization process. In this
case study, he counterpims mass frustration and the violent "ppulist"
fOnTls of its release against the plitics of the new, educated elite of the
capital; diferences of interest emerge most starkly. In fact, the elite are
shown to have rather more in common with (he colonial government
(han with thei r riOfing fllow-countrymen.
These [governmenf1 and social systems] are after all the system the new
elile aspires IO control once colonial authorities tl"nsfer pwer U them.
Populist bhavior, in their reckoning, could hardly be permirred IC
threen the [l"nsfer of this pwer.11
The advanced elementS of the society use [he contrast between their
reasonableness and the "lawlessness" of "revolutionists" (to quote Sir
Milton Margai) as a cat's paw to force the colonial pwer's hand; the lat-
ter willingly strikes a bargain.
In other areas circumstances dictate a more positive elite identifcation
with such protests than seems to have been the case in Sierra Leone,
though even there the language of democracy was imposed by the colo
nial electoral system. In fact, as we have seen, it has often ben a leader
ship cadre itself which has generalized protest and given it any coherent
demand for ppular control of authority which it may have, particularly,
though nOf exclusively, at the national levcl. Once again more dilemmas
are raised than answers given. Is such elite consciousness of quetions of
legitimacy within a movement enough to earn for that movement the
"populist" sobriquet; if not, how much "mass" awareness is necessary
and of what kind?19 And even where such consciousness apparently has
moved the leadership cadres one must continue U ask questions con
cerning the sincerity of their prOfestations and the real degree of solidar
ity with the masses which is involved.2 Evidence from the post-inde
pndence prio, as for example that suggesting the growing gap
btween the leders and the led, may b brought to bar in order to cast
O A/ricon P(plfiJ1n \ 61
retrospective light on such questions concerning the late colonial prio.
It also leads to some related considerations :ut the place of "ppulism"
in contemporary Africa.
It is a closely related theme that Frantz Fanon has seized upon in his
imprtant writings and any student of ppulism in Africa must consider
relevance of the term to his work. For he ses the whole of the
movement of anticolonial nationalism through radically disabused eyes.
The elite, presumptive leaders of the mass, have compromised with the
values and institutional srrucrures, economic and governmental, of the
meuople, ignoring, in any real way, the ptential of the countryside.
Even in the case of rural risings,
we see that even when such an occasion ofers, the nationalist panies make
no U at of [he opprrunity which is ofered to tO integrate the
pople of the countryside, to educate them pliti%lly and to rais mlevel
of their struggle. The old acilude of mistrust toward the countryside is
criminally evident.
This despite the fact that "in their spontaneous movements the country
pople as a whole remain disciplined and altruistic. The individual stands
aside in favor of the community." Fanon is equally certain about the pat
tcrn that this can be said to have imposed upon present-day Africa:
Nattooal consiousness, inSre d of being all-embracing crysrallizion
of the innermost hops ofthe whole pople, instead of bing the immediate
and most obvious resuh of the mobilization of the pople, will b in any
case only an empty shell, a crude and fragile travesty ofwhat it might have
Elsewhere, more prosaically and explicitly, he argues that the elite will
govern the ex-colonial machine for its own ends as a "new class," and
the mass will remain as it began.
In this crisis prio he calls for a new kind of plitical QU that can
in fact identify with the peasantry in ways that the nationalist move
ments have failed TO fnd and rouse them to an active participation in the
building ofrhe new nation. The other corollary, ofcourse, is that, filing
such changes and given the continuance of this state of "false deoloni
larion," rural radicalism, of one kind or another, must again assert itself.
There is much truth in this characterization, however much Fanon may
overestimate the unity of the populace or fudge cerrain ambiguities as to
the (uality of their consciousness. It is also true that for many revolu-
Par : Perspectives
tionary srudcnts and others, both in and outside Africa, this has been
read as a call U arms for a new generation in rhe name of "the people"
-whatever its merits as description, it is providing the basis for an ar-
chetypal populist ideology.

Experience in post-colomal Afnca bears out many of Fanon s obser
vations, though rivalries among the "new class" (es

cial1y rhe marked

asserrion of claims to power by the military) have hitherto been more
important than any spntaneous assertion of mass d
cs. I-o
there arc already examples of the eruption of rural radlcahsm and If thiS
should prove a continuing pattern the descriptive vocabulary of "pop

Jism" will again be Temptingly ncaT at hand. We might conclud

c thlS
section by loking very briefy at Mulelism and the KWllu

ebelhon of
1964 in the Congo; it is an example which suggests both the Inportance
of the focus a continued preoccupation with "populism" might bring as
well as rhe familiar ambiguities. Crawford Young and Herbert Weiss
have noted the role of rural radicalism in earlier periods of Congolese
development; Young, J Gerard-Libois and others have traced the err
gence of the "new class" to power there, rhe extent o ':false d


" What is striking to note is the degree of expliCIt reacuon to thIS
latter phenomenon in Kwilu. As three recent writers have noted:
Our undemanding of Ihe K wilu rebelion takes ils clue from the way in
which it was described and heralded by many persons ofthis province. l
Deuxicme lndcpendance," "the Second lndependence"-they called it.
This suggests, as do the materials we have examined, that the K wilu

lion was a revolutionar attempt U correct some of the abuses and mJus
rices by which large sgments ofrhe ppulation felt oppressed four years
after ofcial indepndence, and an efort to try once again 1 express and
concretely realize the goals and dreams promised by the "Firsl Indepnd
cnce" of I
In rhis pursuit of "rhe Second Independence" there are clearly actual
and important clements of popular assertion as well as an ideology, artic
ulated by a most active and vocal leadership cadre, calling "to (h


pressed class engaged in such [agricultural, manual] work to unite
brotherhood and in rhe revolutionary intention to overthrow the eXIst
ing regime." On the other hand, like most other "mass movements" its
character is not easily capsulized in a phrase:
In sum the social distribution and the motivation of the followers and ad
herents ofMulelism in the K w;lu suggest far more than a banding together
African Populism
of "oppressed classs" versus VploiCtive classes of privilege.' Tribal, [
litical, economic, religious and magical inRuences of various kinds have at
tracted prsons of many different soci groups in the Kwilu to thC move
ment (and deuacted still others). In later stages of the Kwilu rebellion,
when the partisans began make wholesale use of methods of terror and
violence, many other people supprted the rebels primarily because they
were afraid.2)
`. Populirm and the De Against Capirlirm
We must complement the preceding analysis by turning to the other
strand of "populist" debate identifed in our introductory paragraphs,
thus taking up the hints offered by Worsley and Arrighi. Worsley has
made "populism" the crux of his analysis of the Third World (but par
ticularly of Africa), and has in fact found it useful as a category both to
describe African realities and to codif the ideological themes currently
being articulated there. Within this framework (he highlighting of
preoccupations with authority as the defning characteristic of populism
yields pride of place to a focus upon the substantive or plicy considera
tions that stimulate political action. And, as mentioned abve, this is seen
!O involve a critique of the capitalist mode of production and way of life
felt to be encroaching upon more traditional methods of ordering soci
ety. In Worsley's view this was also rhe distinguishing feature of Rus
sian Narodnikism and North American rural radicalism, both of which
have been assigned me label "populist"; to this roster he would add the
torl expmmc of existent African states.
We will want to investigate further Worsley's theses for they provide
one of the few relatively systematic formulations of an explicitly "popu
list" analytical framework being brought to bear upon African realities.
But initially it is useful to expand upon the whole question of the incur
sion of capitalism into Africa and some of the more obvious results of
that process. Once again Kilson has advanced a suggestive point of view:
The term "modernization" refers to those social relationships and C
nomic and technological activities that move a social system away from m
traditional state of afirs in which there is little or no "social mobilization"
among its members. More specifcally, mterm "modernization" refers es
sentially Uthose pculiar socioconomic institutions and political proesses
neceary ro establish a cash nexus, in the place of a feudal or socially obli-
Part !: Perspectives
galory system, as thc primary
link relating pople to ch other, and o {he
social system, in the proouc[lon of gos and services and In their c-
OncmayquarrcIovcrshadcsoIcmphasishcrcU t

ovcrcstimatc thc dsrupton causcd bysuch3 i:+scnon. as thc sohdar-
tcsoIcIan, knship, and t:ibc IaItcr

!t ispcrhaps thsaddcd dimcnsonoIchangc n ^rc that hcI
plain thc sccming rratonaIitics` oImuch rural radicansi.: and :ts ap
parcnt Iack oIconsistcnt Iocus, as, Ior cxampIc, upon


ity 'Nith tradtion no Iongcr a vhoIIy stabIc gutdc. a va

rcty oI
rcactions and Iramcvorks Ior protcst (again ranging Iroi:+ v:tchcraIt
cradcaton movcmcnts U morc ovcrtIy poIitical groups) bccomc pssi-
bIc. hsisoncoIthcrcasonsIor tbc unrclabiIity` oIppuIstor rai-
cal rcsponsc undcr such condtions vhcn onc attcmpts U conccptuahzc
thcm n tcrmsoIthcdichotomy oIlchandRight.
Unlike thc emergent Afric;n bourgeoisie, the masses ar

themselves modernized and thus their relationship to colon
al modernrcrs
is difrent. But they do desire Ube modernized, or at least to rationalize
and clarify the complicated and disturbing siruarion of partial or peripheral
modernization in the midst of traditional life and ways .
. partiaIvacuumscrcatcdIor Icadcrship,armcdvthcvc


organizatonaItcchnqucsand an idcoIogy, to pIay a phucaIIy c
roIcas rcgards this protcst (iIsuch Icadcrshp shouId bcco
mc avaiIabIc).
hc oItcn random impactoIthc cashcconomy aIso provtdcssomckcy
U thcuncvcn dcvcIopmcntoIconsciousncss vhichhasbccnnotcdcar-
Iicr \na grcat many instanccs and ndicrcnt arcasoIagivcn country
traditional Iorms andattachmcnts lngcron n important vays, curtmg
across, in aIar Irom unIorm manncr, thcIogic oImodcrnzationvmch

IapitaIst rcIatons,' thc cash ncxus`unIo


many ncccs-
sary subtIctcs oIvocabuIary Ior dcaIng h:IIy vith such i

mprrant a

pcctsoImodcrnzationarcnotavaIabIc, this bccomcs rt:cuIarIyobvt-
ous vhcn oncs Iocus is upon thc rcsponscs chcitcd by such
dcvclopmcnts. \tisccar.hovcvc:, thatIvcarc[Q usctct


Iism` [Q covcrthcsc rcsponscs vc must scc thcm asvaryii:gM con,un

tion vth various cpochs or phascs n capmIist dcvcIopmcnt. hus It
may sccm uscIul to lump togcthcr Russian Paroniksm and Porth
African Populism 165
^mcrican popuIism undcr thc anaIytical rubrc oIpopuIism bccausc
both rcprcscnt IargcIy rural rcsponscs to thc onvard march oIcapitaI
ism` ormodcrnization` or ndustralzaton.` but it s |ust as impor-
tanttodstinguishthcmhchrstmaybcschcmatizcdasa( aiis
,ic rcsponsc, dcIcndng thc rraditonaI unit oI soldarty, ar thc hrst
mpactoIcapitaIsm, aganst brcakdovn andthc cmcrgcncc oIncv and
unvcIcomc Iorms oIntcrpcrsonaI rclationships, thc sccond s individ
ualistic and csscntaIly markct-orcntcd, dcIcnding tscIIagainst thc Iur-
thcr `ratonalz tons` oI an cxpansvc capitaIism (cm} cd, Ior cxam-
pl,in thc thrcatoIlargc-scalcagriculturc) and thcpvcroIccntraIzcd
urban hnancial and markctng nstitutions (both national and intcrna-
|onal) that havc tcndcd to cmcrgc ovcr timc. VorsIcy, as sccn n our
iniiaI tvolnkcdquotatons and inthcrcstoImsbok. andohcrstcnd
U Iumpthcsc togcthcrIor toomanypurposcs, butthc mcrccxistcnccoI
hat VorsIcy caIIs communtaran` aspccts in rhc individuaIistic`
phasc (invoIving, say, thc tcndcncy to Iorm coopcratixcs) is not suI-
ncicnt,ustincation Ior this.
Jhis scspccaIIytruc Ior thc ^Irican scttngvhcrcsomcrraditonaI,
unrcvoIutionzcdcommunticsarcjustnov bcngmarkcdIysubjcctcdto
thc prcssurcs oIthccashncxusat thc samctimcthatcIcmcnts vithinn-
dvidual countrcs,cspcciaIIyIcadcrshipcadrcsandccrtaincconomcaIIy
advanccd gcographcal arcas, arc IacingtbcIuII impIications oInvoIvc-
mcnt n a complcx national and intcrnatonal cconomy Rcsponscs arc
scarccIy IikcIy U bcuniIorm,cvcn iInsomcscnscpopuIist.` andoncc
again thc Iabcl may mcrcIy vork U obscurc thcsc dhcrcnccs and thc
|ull mpIicatons oI uncvcn dcvcIopmcnt. !ndccd, Iour potcntaI cIc-
mcnts oI thc ruraI scctor might bc vcry roughIy Iactorcd out at this
stagc. traditonaI, morc communaI modcs oI agriculturc. smaII-scaIc
pcasant Iarming, grovng dhcrcntaton vth somc Iarmcrs brcakng
tbrough to rathcr Iargc,morc captaIistc modcs oIprouction, attcmpts
to transccnd indvduaIistc agricuIturc by crcating novcI communaI
modcs oI prouction, possibIy on thc basis oI thc orignaI traditonaI
units hccxact mix oIthcsc cIcmcnts in any givcn instancc viIl bca

actcroIsomc mportancc
hc scnsc oIphasngmaybc suggcstvcinanothcrvay as vcII, Ior it
furthcr iIlumncs thc substancc and charactcr oImuch ruraI protcst. !t
rmnds us that,historicalIy,such protcstshavcarscnasmuchoutoIthc
rcarguardactons oIdccIninggroupsat ma,or turningpontsoIdcvcIop-
lul . Fci:rrti.c:
ment as from the positive thrust of progressive elc

nrs. As Bar
Moore has put it, brilliantly and with a characterIStically elcgalc nOte,
the chief social basis of r-dicalism has been the peasants and the smaller ar
tisans of the towns. From these facTs onc may conclude that the well
springs of human freedom lie not only where Marx saw them, in the aspi
rations of classes about to t ake pwer, but perhaps even more in the dying
wail of a class over whom the wave of progress is about to roll. Indus
trialism as it continues to spread, may in some distant future still those
voices forever and make revolutionary radicalism as anachronistic 9cunei
form wriring.
Be that as it may, our attention is at least directed once again to the
probability of a most variegated membership in any s

called popul!st
movement, and the possibility of its having rather Janus-lIke characteris
We must now grapple, more directly, with one of the main premises
of this whole approach: this concerns the position to be assigned in anal
ysis U "the impact of capitalism." To some extent "capitalism" bcc

coterminous here with "modernization"-we have seen that for Kllson
the latter term is virtually indistinguishable from the process of establish
ing the cash nexus as the central human relationship. In an Arican set
ting it has been suggested that the overriding logic ofthc colomal syst

is just this as well; though missions, for example, may educate with
rather diferent reasons in mind, their main impact, like that of other co
lonial institutions, will be to hasten the replacement of traditional ties
with "capitalist" ones. We have mentioned already the great impor

of this force in breaking down the preexisting rural systems of .Afrlcai If
this point is pushed to the extreme, of course, most radicalism of the co
lonial period becomes populist almost by defnition. Thus even when
peasants attack the chiefs fot abuses of power it is because they arc part
of the colonial system. And the colonial system is in turn a part of the
world market system into which the colonialists are, without doubt,
plunging African cultivators. Opinions will differ over
this br

h of
defnition and its actual utility for analysis; however, thIS does mdlcate
some of the broader questions which must be asked as to the range of
possible supporting premises underwriting a particular usage of te term
"populism" in rhe literature. Thus the data which is relevant WIll vary
with such decisions as to how wide to cast one's net; \ this end more
U[ricon Fovlinn 167
thinking is obviously necessary on the real mcaning and import of colo
nialism and neocolonialism
But [here is in any case much evidence of
direct and immediate reaction of a seemingly populist sort to capitalist
economic forces.
Any studies of the colonial period will reveal some examples. Kilson's
work on Sierra Leone is rich with data concerning resistance [Q hut
taxes and other devices designed to pitchfork the African into a mone
rary relationship with rhe wider environment, whether as cash-cropper
or migrant laborer.18 A rather diferent "phase" of response is evidenced
by the manner in which economic grievance against price manipulation
and the like by the protectorate government (in the form of money held
back for stabilization funds-and British exchange reserves) and Asian
buyers supplemented Buganda protest against the chiefs. Crawford
Young, writing on the Congo, has linked the genesis of widespread rural
radicalism there directly to this process:
The totality of policies pursued in the rural areas-land alienation, na
tional parks, creation of u}:ur obJigatory cultivation, other forced
labor, relocation ofviUages along the roadways-imposed moderniry upon
the coumryside. If we follow Martin Kilson in suggesting that imegration
imo a cash is the key factor i n distinguishing the plitical transition
from traditional to modern, thcn we may conclude that there is no parallel
in tropical Africa for the degree of penetration of a modern econoric
social system throughout the emire terito1y. If we add to this the impact,
frst of evangeli7 tion, then education, wc fnd thc simultaneous infusion of
new norms, of new cosmologies. The colonial systcm had in part suc
ceeded in eliminating the subsistence economy. in methodically recon
structing 31entire society by its own blueprim. But at the same time,
the colonial system had engendered a profound frustration at the level of
the mass. This is perhaps the key to understanding the srounding politici
ation of a large part of the countryside in so brief period of time ~
,\nd in Tanganyika the sort of rural resisrance that underwrote
TANU's success in the 1950s was largely in response to the anempts by
the colonial government U rationalize peasant agriculture and make it a
more successful fnancial enterprise.
The range of responses found in the Tanganyikan case (which we
discussed in Section I ) is il!uminating in this context as weI!. For in
SOme areas the essential thrust of resistance was against a disruption of
traditional ways even if it would mean a real benefr in market terms; in
Part H Prrrpti'N
others the desire was for extended control of (he marker by pnt
growers and one result was (he genesis of copcr;tives. "Naroniks"
and "ppulists" perhaps, bur certainly not exacrly the same. As might be
expected, a similarly mixed pattern is widespread throughouT Africa.
Here roo we might mention an additional analytical problem: that of
sorting out and classifying the content of various rura! outbursts. Were
macks on the chiefs in Sierra Leone launched because of abuses of au
thoriry and consequent sentiments as to legitimacy or bcause of the
content of chiefy plicies and consequent fears of "proletarianization"?
Or if, as is likely, bth wcrc in some vague way involved, what son of
blend of the two defnes their "ppulism"; logic-chopping again, yet un
less the question is asked the term remains a mot opn-ended one.
Uneven development, such as that suggested by the Tanganyikan ex
ample above, will be present after independence, though individualistic
patterns of economy will obviously continue TO increase in importance;
it seems likely, too, that the most aniculate political actors will tend to
rise from the ranks of the "individualists." Of necessity they will be
more conscious of broader horizons, less traditional in their bias. Insofar
as they are moved ro protest and not absorbd into the existing system,
their fous is more on the national levd; their outbursts will once again
involve some mixture of distaste for abus of authoriry pr se and mis
trust of certain plicy implications. For example. Fanon stresses bth
these aspects i n his "ppulist' Jtemic, fnding the Jlicy dimension of
his critique to lie in an anti-capitalist stancc. Howcver, this comJnent
of his "Jpulism" is a direct response to a capitalism of a very advanced
type indeed, a reSJnsc \O international capitalism in its neocolonial
phase and to the continuing role of the ex-colonial states themselves. His
characterization of African leadership is crisp:
The n:tiona] middle class discovers i[ historic mission: that of intermedi
ary . it COllsi5ls, pidilly, of bing mnsiion line between me
nation and a dlpit:listn. nunp;t though C:mouAlgcd, which today puts on
mm:sk of neoolonialism.M
}\nd this can indeed become a dimension of popular revolt .against the
" new cI:ss." To return to Kwilu:
Since January 196, the idcology of Mulelism preached in the Kwilu
seems to have changed in at least one signifcnt respect. Grcler emphsis
has ben placed on the eXlent to which the Congo nd ilS workers and
On Afri(an Puli$l/ 169
pants have b n exploiled by the foreigners (who, to b sure. the do
trine continues to 8O, have ben ided nd bened by the present Con
golese government) . . . . Belgians, Ameridlns, Portuguese, Dutch, and
Germans are accused ofstealing "the wealth of the Congo," "our peanuts,
the fruits of our palms, our corn and our conon and the earth on
which thes are planted," and of sending this wealth back to their own
Even when such a leadership cadre ssumes power and genuinely
seeks to guide [he country along lines considered U b "ppulist" in the
prent sense, the ambiguities already mentioned make it difcult to as
sess te!r acri\iries. For such a leadership could b defending an image of
a rt
ltlonally com

unal soiety and attempting to build an indigenous

SQlahsm on [hat baSIS; some African leaders have made this claim. Or it
could be rallying growers against the threats and controls of the interna
tional economic system. But the latter preoccupation docs not necessar
ily involve concern about decaying tradi[ional modes of social order or
even about the degree of internal class formation possibly attendant
upon the arricula[ion of an individualistic pattern of developmenr. Thus
a leader in pursuit of development might fnd himself the gravedigger of
fhe traditional system, sub;cct to attacks by what we might call "phase
one ppulism," even while articulating an ideology which would earn
him [he title of a "phase two ppulist" and the support, presumably, of
pople further removed, psychologically and soially, from traditional
W<yS. The spctre of varying levels of consciousness again haunts any
ready application of the term "ppulism."
Similarly, the efcacy of the clite-mass distinction central to Fanon's
populist prspective becomes subject U further reevaluation from a re
lared vantage point. It may well be useful to see rhe present leadership
elite in many African coutmies as the intermediaries for neocolonial
economic pressures and to seck for sme of the r((s of ppular revolt in
the reaction to thaI fact. But one must not lose sight of the realization,
already suggested by our Buganda data, that the soial transformation
from traditional communalists to pasnt individualisrs dos not Stop
there, For individualism has in turn tended to lead to rural diferentia
tion, especially in the more advanced areas of African countries. A third
level of popular consciousness is thus a likelihood as "wcllto-do" farm
crs $O motivated may increasingly fnd themselves in alliance with a
"new class" of administrators and politicians, interpenetrating with
Part 11: Pmprtivts
them as benefciaries of rhe existing system. The character of the "popu
lace" must therefore be viewed dynamically. With time many of the
more articulate potential proresrors against various stages of capitalist de
velopment may be absorbed through their own success (with others,
needless TO say, being TOtally displaced); the nature and intensiry of rural
protest will be subject to great fux, dependent upon lags and spurtS in
rhe development process.
This invocation of a "third phase" of development is a further useful
warning against any underestimation of rhe complexity of contemp
rary African societies, merely because they seem at least marginally less
complex than many societies elsewhere. Even in pre-colonial Africa the
decay of a village community remotely resembling "primitive commu
nism" was far advanced throughom much of the continent. For exam
ple, "the formation of castes and the reinforcement of the power of the
'old men' which derived from this evolution constitute the genesis
of antagonistic social classes." jZ And where state systems and sophisti
cated pre-colonial markets had emerged this was even more the case.
Similarly, the impact of capitalism in conjunction with the colonial pe
fiod has been rather more sweeping in this connection than many ob
servers care to admit.
Modern exploiration occurs behind and through "traditional" tenurial and
legal forms the village is siruated at the end (or beginning) of a long
line of increasingly commercialized relationship. Accumulation of produc
tive resources (land, cattle, exploitation of hired and family labr, usury,
manipularion of credit, exercise of political power U economic ends, the
deepening network of internal trade and transporration) all bear witness to
the growing pressures of the market on the "primitive community." JJ
The various elements of the rural landscape referred to earlier can in this
way be further concretized, though, as P. J. Harding cogently
a fully adequate "rural sociology" for Africa remains an urgent priority.
One fnal ambiguiry must be introduced relating to the nature of the
demands of participants in particular instances of prOtesr: it becomes im
portant to ask how conscious they are of the implications of their ex
pressed discontent. It is legitimate to argue, as we have seen, that much
protest has been stimulated by the impact of the cash economy at the
heart of the colonial experience. It was observed that Young traces
"frustration at the level of the mass" in the Congo to this proess, for ex
ample. But he also notes the quality of initial reactions:
O African Pulirm 1 7 1
SymptOms of the frustration broke i n the widespread outcropping of syn
cretistic religious movements. These in their millenniaJ, apocalyptic
vision of change refect the conviction that the colonial system was im
pregnable, a prmnent source of humiliation. ``
We alluded to this at the Start of this section; here it serves to under
score a familiar problem. There is often litrle overt awareness of the rea
sons underlying disruption or much sophistication in the reaction to
them; the "cash nexus" or the "international economy" looming behind
the immediate grievances impinging upon farmers may well be lost to
their view. Are such examples therefore populist, and if not, at what
point would they become such? And at what level should this minimal
awareness express itself-that of the leadership, the mass, or both?
With this and other queries in mind we may fnally turn to Wor
sley's work, but we shall fnd that he himself is rather loath [0 confront
them. As menrioncd earlier, he nOt only identifes a "populist" ideology
as a key dimension in contemporary Africa, but he takes that ideology to
be an accurate rendering of the character of African social reality. Thus
he cites at length the various statements of African leaders as to the
"classlessness" and peculiar solidariry of African society. Of these lead
ers Julius Nyercrc has been perhaps the most eloquent and may be
quoted as an example:
We, in Africa, have no more necd of being "converted" to socialism than
we have of bing "taught" democracy. Both are roted in our own paSt
in the traditional soiety which produced us. Modern African Socialism
can draw from its tradirional heritage the recognition of a "soiety" as an
extension of the oosic family uniL `
But the echoing of similar sentiments, of greater and lesser degrees of
sophistication, relating to a broad range of "socialist" issues is an easy
phenomenon to document. Worsley himself concludes: "Africa is its
peasantry, subsistence producers or cash-crop producers. but independ
ent peasants. This is the basic fact about the social structure of the new
fTican states "
This lanCT fact is felt to militate against relevant differentiation; those
few slight diferences are "nonantagonistic," as Sckou Toure and others
have argued. For Worsley the logic is that, in addition U the fortunate
fact that "classes are only slightly developed,"
the major antagonisms arise between the indigenous population and for
eign capitalist and trading classes. And even where there are class di-
Part . Pmpmive
yisions amongs( the indiginu. Ihesc are, in relity and H jut W a maner
of illusion. oerriden bj common solidarity visavis (he alien exploiter.11
"Populism" in Africa. a "rural idiom in a modern world," is thus an ide
ology which springs from these facts and refects the desire of such a p
pulace for both continued classlessness and opposition to international
Many difculties with such a fonnulation will b readily apparent on
the basis of our earlier discussion; the frst premise as U lack of internal
diferentiation is espcially suspect. By adopting it Worsley misses two
impnanr phenomena. Fi rsdy, he underestimates the drama, which is in
fact often the tragedy and pain, of the transformation from "subsistence
producers" with a wealth of traditional involvementS to "cash-crop pro
ducers" of increasingly individualist bent. This is a process still going
on, and very much a dimension of certain sons of " ppulist" outburst.
And he misses much of the ptential conficr among the interests of
those already "transformed"; more accurately, this is a confict between
(he transfonned individuals, the nascent lgriculrural "entrepreneurs,"
and the semi-transformed, or marginal cash-croppers. In other words,
the representatives of three different levels ofdevelopment in the agrar
ian community fnd expression in bh local lnd national arenas. His
apotheosis of the coprative as the ideal expression of the "natural I-
1eimchajt" of "the indigenous society" is, in such a sening. somewhat
suspct.lI My own research on coperatives in Tanzania, a relatively
un revolutionized society in economic terms, hints at the extent fO which
the more economically liberated farmers can turn these institutions O
their advantage at the expense of their less "awakened" associates.J9 In
addition, as regards many SrtS of growing diferentiation, the copera
tive fonn ofmarketing and credit distribution is obviously at beSt a neu
tral agency. The danger for socialist aspirations of cerrain of these as
pCtS of the "ppulist" perspctive is therefore that it diverts attention
from the question of "the mode of prouction" beSt suited to realizing
socialist goals, in favor of pursuing a will-oj -the-wisp of presumptive sol
idarity which, even in Africa, has all to likely fed.
Similarly. Vorsley's invocation of the spcter of "international capi
talism" is excessively schematic. Certainly he vastly overestimates the
degree of awareness and the uniformity of response of the mass of the
African ppulace, even among those most plugged into the international
economy. And he provides no conceprual tols with which to diff eren-
Africall Populism
1 7)
[iate the activities of leadership cadres throughout Africa in their re
sponses, though the range of pssible "bargains" that can be struck be

such leaders and
the external economic and political forces
Impmgmg upn them has m fact been vast. There is no need to extend
the discussion, for such failures are of a piece with the general inade

of a

approach pitched on too high a level of generality and rhus

gly J

capable of fully spanning the rCllities of uneven develop

ment m Afnca an the many ambiguities in the relationships btween
and led which we have cited. The difculties experienced by so
mteresnng a scholat as Worsley in wotking with the concept of "ppu
lism" should again serve to sensitize the reader to m amount of pre
theorizing necessary if so ptentially woolly a frame of reference as the
" populist" one is to prove ofany utility.
J. Populism and the Aspiration for Solidarit
This paper in its attempt to provide basic data. a survey of the literature,

nd some critical ap

is already overlong. A fnal dimension grow
mg OUt of the precedmg discussion must therefore b mentioned rather
more briefy. Yet il is imporranr to note that whatever the weaknesses of
the ppulist framework as a description of reality, ideas that may be
called "ppulist" serve wide-ranging purpses as pl itical rallying cries,
both for those i n power and for those in pursuit of power. The major as
pCt of such " populisms," whatever amalgam of emphases upn the
"will of the people" and the "defense against capitalism" any given ex
ample may represent, is the stress upon solidarity and the unity of vast
sections of the ppulace that it provides: a "ppulism" is thus a creed
most attractive to leaders. In very many C the stress upn solidarity
will represent neither the real siruarion of the mass of the pople, nor
their views of that situation, as we have seen. Rather it will represent an
aspiration U make a particular view as to the charaneristics (hat unite
people prevail over any continuing awareness of the elements that di
vide. Instead of assuming solidarity to be the actual norm, therefore, it is
wiser \O lok to the tensions berween various elements and various per
spectives as defning the dynamic of any so-called ppulist movement.
Insofar as a populist ideology may thus represent the aspirations of
pople leading a patticular African movemenr or state, it can be pur to a
number of uses. Here we move into the difcult region of "intent" and
Part . Pmputives
as mentioned previously one of the most tortured ques[i

ns will b to as
sess the sincerity of key aCTors when they advance such Ideas. In rhe Af
rican case we can prceive, in the frst instance, a real measure of
dceptiQ among the leadership in their uS( of these notions. This was, to
some extent. a legacy of the anti-colonial Struggle. It was then as easy
for the leaders, as for subsequent scholars, to overlok rhe diversity of el
ements constituting their movements and to subsume them within the
analytical frame of misleading rhetoric. Nycrcrc himself h
as pinted this
OOl succinctly: Uhunt provided a lowest common dcnomm3mT for po
ple with a wide variety of views as [0 what [he future independent
should lok like . It seems probable tO that much of the rhetonc of
"African sialism"-with its emphasis upn the automatic carry-over
of traditional communalities to a modern A friC< and the undifferentiated
front to be presemed to a rather hostile international economic environ
ment-came rather easily to {he lips of a leadership fresh U power and
hot in pursuit of neutralism and a distinctive ideology.
H was only subsequemly that the rather grimmer realities of induced
internal diferentiation and continued economic pressure from the 00[
side bgan to demonstrate that choices would be rather mo

Nyerere, for example, has moved from a reliance upn SOCialism as an
"attiwde of mind" to b underwritten auromatically by [he continuing
impact of the traditional environment, to a clearer statement in the re
cem A rusha Declaration on socialism and self-reliance that it is also an
"ideology" to be learned and sustained.41 And this has led in Tanzania
to a growing emphasis upn the role of the educational system as an in
strument for socialist education and U certain strucwral reforms. This
sort of ppulist moe of thought exemplifed by the creed of "African
socialism" in a goo many of irs specifc embdiments dos have a con
tinuing legacy for those in power, however, and tends U bring with it
the same limitations that we saw in our discussion of Worsley: choices
concerning the internal economic Structure, as for example those relat
ing to the modes of production to be fostered and encouraged, are
blurred and subtle questions as to the costs and bnefts for furure sial
structure and national self-determination of various forms of pssible
compromise with the international market system are set aside. Solidar
ity is socialism, and real social trends which may be working against
meaningful solidarity are lost to view.
Other leaders are rather more conscious of the loss of focus encour
aged by the high level of generaliztion of the ppulist framework.
O African Poulis1I
However, as Halpern's earlier statement suggested, it can then b trans
formed into an aspiration for solidarity useful ro the interests of pst
colonial elites-this is inremud, manipulative populism. For it has been
memioned that a ppulist vision can divert attention from imernal con
tradictions; 0 consciously, it may thus bcome a most conservative
force, even a cynical cover for continuing privilege. Growing diff eren
tiation either between the elite and mass or within the rural community
itself, as well as subtle compromises with international capital, can b
masked behind a rhetoric of homogeneity and national interest. This has
in fact become the underpinning for a number of self-indulgent one
parry regimes; the manner in which emergent military elires, now so
prominent a force in many African sttes, have found this appal to the
solidarities of the countryside attractive is also striking, in spite of their
absence of interest in socialist aspirations, their most compromised psi
tion vis-a-vis external capitatism,4l and their seeming reluctance to in
dulge in democratic experiments. Colonel Afrif, prominent in the Gha
mlian military leadership, captures something of this note in his recent
Iok in commenting upn pre-coup days:
Perhaps pple who lived in Accra orvi sited Accra would no( have Itthe
soffering of the pople who lived nthe rural areas. Accra is ogni;n
soch a way as to gi\e an impression of happiness and afuence; there were
new Streets and new lights, while vast areas of ths country were planted
with msery and suffering. I spent all my leaves at home on our farm,
seeing and thinking abm the helpless condition to which L pople had
ben reduced. I bcame convinced that Nkrumah had failed the muon'
And the extraplation of similar themes and rationalizations for "pst
liberation" society has followed apace. Where "populism" bcomes the
ofcial ideology of states, more nuanced tests than ever are necessary to
assess the degree of correspondence between its pretensions and the ac
tual srate of the rural masses.
There is one fnal pssible use of "ppulism" which must b men
tioned all to briefy here. For "ppulist" arguments and voabulary that
stress solidarity can be manipulated for ends beyond mere m2intenan
of power by ensconced elites. They can also b used as part of a develp
lImt strategy designed to maximize the chances of economic break
through in a poor country and, therefore, even be intended to work for
the well-being of the masses themselves. There is much skepticism
about the capacities of a capitalist route to development, a decision in
Parl ll: Perspectives
favor of "betting on the strong," to ensure sweeping economic success
in the rural secwr of backw3rd societies. Where so many need awaken
ing to the potentialities inherent in a new way of life, premature dif
ferentiation may merely confront the vast mass with a local political en
vironrncnt manipulated by "kulaks" and thus sap their interest and ini
tiative. This is already a factor to be reckoned with in Africa. On rhe
other hand, forced march methods seem equally unattractive. The alter
native, as W. F. Wcrrhcim suggests, may lie in "betting on the many,"
rallying the pople "through organization and intensive education to
ward efciency and self-reliance." This is nor an approach that as
sumes solidarity, bur one that aspires \O it and works U attain it. There
are, in fact, increasingly fewer African regimes that seem willing U
choose to implement such an option, for it must involve some anempt to
exemplify equality and independence in a convincing manner; in addi
tion, like most "populisms," such an aspiration carries its share of famil
iar ambiguities when brought up against complexities of the African
context which we have seen. If implemented aggressively by a commit
ted elite (Ami1car Cabral's "revolutionary petty bourgeoisie") it is just
possible. however, that it carries a promise of progressive results beyond
that of more romanticized versions posmlared upon preexistent harmony
and presumed egalitarianism.
I. Lloyd Fallers, "Populism and Nationalism," Comparativ( Studies in Sliet
and His/ory, no. 4 Uuty 1964).
2. Peter Worsley, Te Third World (London, 1964); Giovanni Arrighi,
"Black and White Populism in Rhodesia," unpublished seminar paper pre
sented to the Political $ciem;e Seminar, Dar es Salaam (March 1967).
3. David Apter. Thr Polilics of ModriZt;(m (Chicago. 1966), pp. 223-24.
4. Manrred Halpern, Tile Politics of Social Cllange in Ih Aiddle Easl ad North
Africa (Princeton, 1963), pp. 290-91 .
5. D. A. Lw, "The Advent of Populism in Buganda," Comparaliw Studies ill
Siety and Histr. no. 4 Uuly 1964). 5 also Da\'id Apter, Tht Political
Kingdo in Uganda (Princeton, 1961).
6. In a similar vein Apter speaks of populism, that is, "the pople" in action, in
the following terms: "Thus thwarted, IPulism which had led to eonfict
and binerncss in the paSt was simply provided with fresh ruel and a new
A/rican Populism 1 77
quota of grievances." The criticism of Lw which follows in the text must
apply equally to such a regrettable example, as it seems to me, of rcifcation.
7. C. C. Wrigley, "The Changing Economic Structure of Buganda," in L.
Fallers, ed., The King'i Mm (Lndon, 1964), pp. 59-0.
8. C. C. Wrigley, "Africn Farmers in BUgnda," East African Institute of
Social Research, C u Papm (1953).
9. Apter, The Politics of ModeriZtion, p. 193.
10. Lw, op. eit., p. 443.
1 1 . The classie text here is, of course, Thomas Hodgkin's Nationalimt in Colo
nial Africa; whatever revisions of emphasis may prove useful however this
will certainly stand the test of time as an exceptionally fn comribu'rion.
12. John Lonsdale, "Rural Resistance and Mass Political Mobilization Amongst
the Luo of Western Kenya," papr delivered at the Confrence of the East
,frican Academy, September 1965; see also his A Politicl History of W(
Kmya (forthcoming).
1 3. Lionel Clif, "Nationalism and the Reaetion to Enforced Agricultural Im
provemem in Tanganyika During the Colonial Period," paper delivered at
the East African Institute of Social Researeh Confrence, Makerere, De
cember 1964.
14 Martin Kilson, Political Chnge in a Wm African Sidle (Cambridge, Mass ,
1966), p. 179.
15. Ibid., p. 1S3.
16. Ibid., p. 186.
17. Ibid., p. 189.
18. Ibid., p. 192.
19. There is. of course, rC<On to be uneasy with this dichOlomy hrween
"elite" and "mass" itself. Though suggestive, it is probably not nUnced
enough, particularly as regards the category of "mass," to cateh gradations
among the Ipulace which can be imlrtant for many purposes. The dis
tinction is eentral to the term "ppulism" as used by Kilson. Yet one might
have liked from him some rather more detailed evidence about involvement
and participation, especially in the local instances he cites, before bing alto
gether satisfed with his use of it.
x. Richard Sklar, in his book Nigerian Polili(al PartiC (Princeton, 1963), is an
other scholar who has specifcally used the term "IPulism," though with
out defnition. Thus he describes the Northern Elements Progressive Union
in Northern Nigeria, a parry of marginal economic groups (mainly small
traders and craftsmen), as populist on the basis of its idelogy, which pre
sentS a radical demand for extended demoracy and social reform. Its opp
nentS, the ruling Northern People's Congress, is an "elitist" parry, domi
nated by ehiefs and wealrhy bourgeois interests. Unfortunately, the former
group presents the paradox of being a relatively Unlpular "populist rovc-
1 78
Pari . Pmpmi's
mem," The NPC. by manipulating bth traditional and "ppulist" v-lucs,
h1S retained a tonsidcr:blc grip on mrural D loyalties, even eiciting
their quite active supprt. Added to [his there is mattembnt difculty of
measuring the sincerity of protestations of NEPU leaders SO long as they,
unlike their rivals, remain out of pwer. Despite the valuable nature of his
accounr, one wishes Sklr Iud confronted of pssible ambiguities
in his discussion (and his defnitions) more explicitly.
21 . Frantz Fanon, 1 Wrtchtd 0/ fht Earth (New York, 1963). pp. 94,
1 21 .
22. Crwford Young. PoiihN in lm Congo (Princeton, 19M); Herbrt Weiss,
as reprted in African Studin Bufktin (Decembr 1961), pp. 8-9; J.
GerardLibis, " New Class and Rebellion in the Congo," Sciaiisl
Registe7 700 (New York and London, 1966).
23. Renee C. Fox, Willy de Cncmcr, and Je:m-Marie Ribaucourt, "The Sc
ond Indepndence: A L Srudy of m Kwilu Rebllion in the Congo,"
Opmtivt Studies in Sntt mHistor (OclObr 1965), pp. 78, 96, JOj.
If is also O, as these same authors observe, that the ideology and organiz
tion present in the Kwilu was mher more explicit and refned than else
where in the Congo. The dominant dut2Cteristic of much rural ricalis
is often ambiguous indeed. Crwford Young, als spaking of the Cngo
(op. cit., p. 231 ), caprures an impomnt l1OIe: "Bur rhe oppressive, omni
present system had to go. No more mxes, no more corron, no more census
takers, no more "accinations, no more identity cards, no more army recruit
ers. Whether such a happy world could exist W, of course, bide the
pint." Another impmnt example of something . ery like an outcropping
of post-independence "populism" may well be, pradoxically, Dr. Banda's
Malawi. According to Re .. . Andrew Ross in an unpublished papr ("Trib
alism or Counter-Re .. olution in Malawi"), Banda mbe n able to rally the
m (though particularly the of ill-cdu loal plitical Iership
groups and the once-displaced traditional chiefs and headmen) against the
morc educated and well-to-do "new class" represented by his ex-minisrers
now in exile, and mconsolidated his pition on that basis.
Z. Martin Kilsn, "African Political Change and the MoernizUon Proes,"
/OUm1 of ModlT African Studies, no. 4, p. 426.
25. Ibid., p. 435.
26. Arrighi (op. cit.) cites one excellent example with a ring fmiliar UstUdents
of North American ppulism but certainly tO b differentiated from many
other forms of rural radicalism in Afric. From mRhodesia Front's news
bulletin Nrwsfronl, 20 March 1964, "Te Smell of Treachery": "The
world we live in is in pretty mess. And ar rhe rot of it all are pressure
groups in high fnance-big dealings in big money. It is no secret that when
SUthern Rhodesia was frt opned up. The big fnanciers were there, al-
O African Polism 179
ways on the alert for a go investment. Toay the names of the indi ..
fnanciers ha ..
e changed. smell of my m- fnanciers !
there in the ring . . . and it seems unlikely to worry the contest2ms uthe
referee, in The person of [he common man, gets hit on The head in the course
of the Struggle. . . The traitor is the man who seguards in .. estnt at
the expens of his country's =y."
l7. Barrington More, Jr., Sial Origins of Dillllhip m Onomu: Lrd
and Ptasanl in Ihe Miking of Ihe Mode "'Mid (Boston, 1966), p. SOS.
18. Kilson, Political Change in a Wm African SIIle, lists a numbr of imeresting
examples of rural outbreaks %U Afriea taking place at .. arious priods
{g. 61, 1101 1); in general dus remains a relatively uncharted of
29. Young, op. cit., p. 2JO.
30. Fanon, op. cit., p. 124.
J 1. Fox er Nop. cir., p. 108.
32. "Clas Struggle in Africa," Relutio, no. 9, p. 30. b als Claude
Meillassoux, "Essi d'interpremion du phenomene economique dans les .
cieres traditionelles d'autosubsisrance," Cahim d'etudes afrainl (Decem
ber l9). For an excellent bibliographic introduction to the problems of
class in Africa. B. Verhaegen. Bibliphie rur m clmn soriak m Af
Tit (Brussels, 1965).
J. P. J. Hmling, . iew of Worsley's Te Tird WMid, in Vrws (Summer
14. Young, Q.cit., p. 230.
1. Julius K. Nyerere, "Uj:unaa: Te Soial Basis of African Sialism," in W.
H. Friedland and C. G. Rosberg, cds., Africtn Scialism (Smnford, 1964),
p. 146.
J6. Worsley. op. ciT., pp. 162-63.
17. Ibid., p. 165.
38. Ibid.
39. John S. Saul, "Marketing CoprIti .. es in a Developing Country," in P.
Worsley, ed., T'W BJdes of =u (Manchester, 1971), and reprinted as
"Marketing Copratives in T anm ia" in Lionel Ciffe and Joon S. Saul,
eds., Sli mil 1m: Poliria tnd PoJints (Nairobi, 1972), \1. II.
" Sec Julius K. Nyerere, Freo and Ullit (Dar es Salaam, 1966).
+ . The Arush Dtclarati0 and TANU's Polit U I mIlld Stlf-Relit
(Dar es Salaam, 1967).
41. For a usful prspcti ... e on rhis phennon, see Roger Murray, "Milim
rism in Africa," Nl Ltft Rtirw Uuly-August 1966).
43 . A. A. Afrifa, The UmCp (London, 1966), p. 95.
W. F. Wenheim, "Berting on the Strong," in his colletion of essays East
Wm PtTtlkls (Te Hague, 1964), pp. 276-77.
Labor Supplies in Historical Perspective:
A _Study of the P roleta rianization
of the African Peasantry in Rhodesia
Givanni Arri
In an article (hat was fO become a classic of modern developmem
theory,1 W. A. Lewis propsed a (wo-sector model of labr reallocation
from a low productivity "subsistence sector" [Q a high productiviry
"capitalist sector
" In the former all individuals have a right [0 receive
means of subsistence in quantities determined by custom and, in rhe last
instance, by average productivity in the sector in question. In addition,
Lewis pstulates thar in Ihis sector there is a surplus of labor ("disguised
unemploymcnr") in rhe sense [hat part of the labor force CQuid b wirh
drawn withom causing a reduction in IOtal output, or at least without
causing a reduc[ion grealcr than the amoum of means of subsistence
customarily alloated U them. Under these conditions, individuals are
assumed to be prepared U leave the subsistence sector and seek employ
ment in the capitalist seCIOT when the wage r
ue in the latter is some 30
to 50 percent highcr than the conventional subsistence income in the
former.l Since productivity in the capitalist sector is postulated to be
sufciently high to make the payment of the above wage Tate consistent
with [he rate of proft that employers expct in order to undertake pro
duction, the capitalist sector is said to enjoy "unlimited" supplies oflabr
in the sense that, at that level ofwages, practically everybody in the sub
sistence sector is prepared to enter wage employment.
Provided that average prouctivity in the subsistence sector does nor
increase, pushing up the conventional subsistence income, the capitalist
sector can therefore expand indefnitely without an incrCJse in wages
s nid originally puDt8hcda8 Chaprer 2 ofOu@l rnico r30 1mUN
tn AfrC (Milan, 1969). It B ht8t pubi8hcd in n_\8h in Jhr J~Iv]Q( l
ou. n. 1 (Api 1970). Reprinted b)prmision.
Lbr SlppJitf in Pmpe,tir: Rhrsia 1 81
bcoming necessry to attract growing amounts of labr. I n this way,
the pr capita income of workers and pasams remains constam and the
investable surplus increases absolutely and as a proportion of aggregate
output. Since Lewis frther pstulates that the entire surplus is always
reinvested in a way that increases the demand for labor, the process con
tinues until the "surplus of labor" in the subsistence sector disappars.
Lewis points out, however, that wages may rise lfore the process is
completed, rhus slowing down capitalist accumulation, if average pro
ductiviry in [he subsistence sector increases, something that may happen
for any ofrhe following ns: ( I ) Because the expansion of the capi
talist sector is rapid enough to reduce the absolut ppulation in the sub
sistence sector; (2) bcause of technological progress in the subsistence
secror; and (3) because the terms of trade turn against the capitalist sec
tor (assuming that the subsistence secror supplies fodstuff and raw ma
terial to the capitalist sector). As we shall M, the last-named possibility
is of spcial interest ro our analysis.
The above theory has inspired a good many studies of concrete devel
opment experiences. One such study is W. J. Barber's interpretation of
the development of the African wage labor force in Rhodesia. Barbr
distinguishes four Stages of such development:
I . To begin with, the indigenous African economy is organiz.ed so as
Ub self-sufcient: real incomes and OUtput arc low and tastes are mo
est. J
. The second stage is inaugurated by the introduction of the money
economy from outside. Because of the narrow horizons ofthe traditional
society, the response of rhe indigenous peoples to "unfami liar" opprtu
nities for increasing their real incomes may be "delayed." Historically,
"a prodding from the tax collector has been required." 4
3. "After a priod of adjustment," however, the indigenous poples
have attempted to :cquire cash either through the sale of agricultural
surpluses or through the sale of their labor. The laner is attractive only
when it increases the tOlal real income-in other words, it must supple
ment more than if subtracts from rhe income achieved through agricul
tural production.! This opportunity COSt of labor is determined by the
social organization of production in the indigenous economies. Accord
II1g to Barber, the customary division of labor was such that the male's
role was essentially one of providing at periodical inrervals the develop
ment works of [he community, besides hunting and the care of cattle,
Pari II: Pmpccrivcr
while most of the romine tasks in peasant agriculture were [he lot of
women,6 Development works wcrc undcrrakcn periodically, so that
rather than "general disguised unemployment," as postulated by Lewis
in his model, there was "periodic disguised unemployment" of male
labor in the sense that individual members of the family productive unit
could be withdrawn for at least a full annual cycle withom any sacrifce
in indigenous agricultural production. Barber assumes that the propor
tion of the total adult male ppulation required ro maintain the integrity
of the indigenous economy is, and has always been, 50 percent. The
capitalist sector CQuid therefore expand without inducing an increase in
real wages until its African labor requirements rose above this propr
tion. Up to the mid-1940s the employment of extraterritorial African
workers prevented the proportion of able-bodied indigenous males in
wage employment from rising above 45 prcent.1 Consequently, in the
period 1929-1945, wh
le real wages showed a tendency to decline, the
volume of African employment eominued to expand.s
4. The fourth stage is attained when the demand for African labor of
the capitalist seCTr rises above 50 percent of the total adult male popula
tion. An expansion of the supply to meet this level of demand implies a
fall in the agriculmral ompur of rhe indigenous family and therefore the
supply of labor ceases to be perfectly elastic:
To attrCT additional indigenous workcr5, the employer in the money
economy [i5] obliged to ofr a real wage which [ofsets J the loss in the rel
income of the family in indigenous agriculture, and 1 provide frther in
crement D the real wage sufcient Uinduce the African worker to make
this break with his accustomed way of life.9
This stage, which Barber calls "quasi-full employment," was, according
to him, attained in the late 1940s when the proportion of able-bodied
males claimed by wage employmenr reached the 50 percent mark. He
then fnds confrmation of this in the fact that, after 1950, African real
wages began to rise.lo
As we shall presently see, this interpretation of the development of
the African wage labor force is questionable on a number of grounds.
Before we proceed, however, it is interesting to pomt om some general
assumptions which underlie Lewis's and Barber's analyses. These au
thors conceive of the underdevelopmenr of the African Joples as an
original State which the development of a capitalist secror gradually
Labor Supplies in Pmpective: Rhodesia 183
eliminates. The development of capitalism thus emerges as an ultimately
benefcial and rarionalizing infuence notwithstanding the fact (acknowl
edged by Barber) that, over long periods, African workers and Jasants
derived little, if any, advantage from it. Moreover, the development of
capitalism is conceived of not only as an ultimately benefcial process but
also as a spontamous process in the sense that it is induced exclusively, or
almost exclusively, by "market forces" (i.e., the m choice of individ
uals on the market place) with no or little role assigned to oJn or con
cealed fonns of compulsion.
The purpose of thi s essay is to show that neither Barber's interpreta
tion of rhe development ofan African wage labor force in Rhodesia nor
his and Lewis's general presumptions concerning the relationship be
tween underdevelopment and the development of capitalism fnd much
supporting evidence in the Rhodesian eXJrience. At the same time an
attempt will be made to organize the above critique into an alternative
theoretical explanation of the development of the African wage labor
force in Rhodesia.
The frst of Barber's assumptions [hat is inconsistent with the facts is
that up to the late 19405 a situation ofexcess supply obtained in the labor
marker. Before 1920, owing [Q the combination of a relatively sluggish
response of indigenous Africans ] wage employment opprtunities and
unreliability of extraterritorial sources of labor, acute shortages of Afri
can labor were normal in Jricxs of rising demand, i.e., 1896-1903,
1905-1 91 1 , and 19161919.11 Thus, the situation in the African labor
market of the late 194{)s and early 1950s was no more one of "quasi-full
employment" than that obtaining during the abovementioned periods.
Moreover, Barber's assumption that the situation of "quasi-full employ
ment" lasted through the late 1950s, when African real wages continued
to rise, is equally unfoundedY In conclusion, far from starting offrom a
situation of normal labor abundance and ending up with one of normal
labor shortage, the Rhodesian capitalist sector seems to have moved in
the opposite direction.
Nor did real wages rise for the frst time in the late 19405. In the p
riod 1896-1903 they rose markedly,14 and if thereafter they beeame
sticky upward and fexible downward-so that in 1922, after ffteen
Part II: Pmpmivts
years of predominant labor shortage. they were lower than in 1the
reason cannot be sought in the opration of market forces. The
ditcrcm behavior of African wages before and after 1903 must instead
be traced 10 the structural changes that occurred in [he Rhodesian capi
ta l ist secmr during [he 1903-190 crisis, a discussion of which is byond
[he scop of this srudy.u Sufce it to say that, prior to that crisis, pro
duction was prcdomimmtly undertaken with a view to the spculative
gains which a small group of promoters and fnanciers could reap by
foting companies on rhe London fnancial markets. What mattered
was the working of gold depsits jrmprci'lt oj the OM immh;d Pro
ftability considerations did nOt therefore hampr the competitive up
ward pressure on wages resulting from the shortage of labor. The reali
z:ion of the low proftability of Rhodesian enterprises, under existing
COSt condirions, led in 1903 to the collapse of the Rhodesian spculative
bom in London and precipitated the abovementioned crisis. The subor
dination of production to spculation ce:sed, and efforrs were directed at
reducing costs in order to enhance the proftability of those enterprises
which had survived the crisis. One of the main aspcts of this economy
drive was to undertake the monopsonistic organization of the African
labor marker.16
This siruanon was at the root of what Benison has aptly called "the
tradition of a subsistence wage":ll marker mechanisms were largely dis
carded in the derermination of wages, and the real wage rate came to be
customarily fxed at a level that would provide for a subsistence of a sin
gk worker while working in the capiralist sector and a Slllall margin to
meet (he more urgent of rhe (<sh income requirements of his family
(which continued to reside in the pasant sector). The problem rhen be
came onc of expanding the supply of labor to match demand at this cus
tomary level of wages. Like British capitalists in earlier rimes, Rhoesian
employers, "when they spke of plenty in connection wirh supply,
[rhey] had in mind not only quantity bur also price." II Thus, as changes
in wages were no longer [0 be the equilibrating factor in the labor mar
ket, plitical mechanisms became of crucial imprtance in dosing p
brween supply and demand, and they must therefore fgure promi
nently in any interpretation of the development of the African wage
labor force.
Since Barber ignores plitical mechanisms, the shortcomings of his
analysis are immediately apparent. It might b argued, however, that the
Labor Supplier ill Pmptttivt: Rhol:ia ISS
labr shortages of the frst three decades of white rule in Rhodesia were
due to a "delay" in African respnse ro market opportunities for in
creasing their incomes and that extra-economic factors played the role of
leading the African peoples on to the "path of a rational behavior."
Once this had ben attained, an excess of supply over demand appared
in the labr market and Barbr's moel bcame applicable. No evide
is, however, to be found to substantiate the assumption of so long a
'delay" in African respnse to market opprtunities. It is possible that in
the 18905 the African peoples showed some "unfamiliarity" with such
opprtunities, but by rhe rum of the century this no longer the case.
Prior to 190 Europan farming in Rhodesia was insignifcant and the
African pasantry supplied rhe bulk of the foodstufs required by the
mines. In 1903, for example, it was estimated that the annual amount re
ceived by Africans for sale of grain, other prouce, and stok was in the
order of 3 50,0 , 19 and there is much evidence thar trade with the Af
rican popularion was at the time the most, if not the only, proftable ac
tivity carried out by the Europans.lO Further, when the development of
Europan mixed farming and ranching created a demand for African
owned cattle, Africans were ready to sell them in large numbrs.ll
Though mainly limited to the sale of what may be called "traditional"
produce (grain, carrie, and beer), African participation in the produce
market also tok Other forms: the prouction for the market of green
vegetables, potatos, wheat, groundmirs, and tobacco, for example, was
either introduced or expanded, and the practicc developed in the mining
areas of deriving a regular income from hiring out bullocks to the mines
for purposes of transprt.ll And as we shall D , Africans were equally
prompt in investing and innovating in respnse to market opprtunities.
As regards African response to opportunities for increasing their in
comes through Ihe sale of labor-time, the frst pint that has to b made
is that there is no evidcnce to supprr the view that 50 prcent of the
male labor force was in "disguised unemployment." Among the Shona
peoples (who, at the end of the last century, represented over two-thirds
of the African ppulation in Rhoesia) and among lower-caste Nde
bele,l! men wef( nor only in charge of development works, hunting,
and the care of catrle. They also helped the women in cultivating rhe
land, espcially al planting and harvesting time, and were in charge ofa
number of nonagricultural productive activities (weaving, ncr-making,
iron-working, etc.) which must have absorbd a non-negligible amount
Part /I: Pmpr(i.t$
of labor-time umil they were supplanted by the importation of capitalist
manuf.'cturcs.1' I n addition, we should nor ignore the fact that the labor
rime of African males was nor only absorbed by material production but
also by activities which, though unproducth'c, were socially necessary.
The pint has been emphasized (perhaps overemphasized) by J. VQ
There are sc\"cral fallacies [in thc notion of"lcisure"J. Those who hold
this notion sccm to think that unless people are working manually they arc
nol using their rime gainfully. . . If a similar lIiew were adopted for an
indusrriali7.d Europan soiety 311 judges listening to cases in coun, all
b3nkcrs or business managers concluding imp!Int COnlracr . . lind all
those woo lr 1 :eMliy using muscle pwer or even pushing pn
would b conidentobenjoying "leisure" instead of working for Ihcir
livelihod. This would, of course. be wholly unrelistic. It is eqwlly un
re:lislic to think that pople in tribal soieties re indulging in unproftable
leisure unless they arc handling a hoc or an xe or re doing otherwise
physical labor. When men and women are sitting together the ch;mces are
that they are nO{ just wuting their time in idle talk but are in fact scnling a
dispute over, sy, garden bundaries or dis ing the deir:biliry of
moving the village 1O a bneT site, or, again, are arguing about the meriu
of some new farming techniques. are c:t:v :t:uwhich vitally
affect the welfre of individuals or the community as a whole.
I n literate societies the knowledge of new bws, of new farming melh
ods, of market trends, of new possibilities for euning money, and so fonh,
is very brgcly spte:d through the written word. But in societies
where many pople c:nnot m such information is spre3d through the
spkCn wordY
I n view of the above, we cannot assume thaI much "disguised unem
ploymcnt" existed in traditional African socictics, though it can be
safely assumcd that a certain amount of sraSQal ldrrnnplO1lIt existed
among both Shona and Ndebele.
As this study will altempt to demonstrate. "disguised unemploymenr"
in Barber's or Lewis's sense was itself the result of the process of capital
ist development which steadily restructured :ad eventually disrupted
"traditional" Africn societies. The very imposition of white rule on the
Shona and Ndebele peoples, which opened up the territory to capitalist
pnetration, was a frst causc of the appearnnce of somc "disguised un
employment." For the Pax Britannica and the pillage of the African
Lab SlIpplits in Pmptcri.t: Rhodtsia 187
people that followed the establishment of white rule threw Ndebele men
belonging to the upper castes into what may be called a state of "struc
tural underemployment." While rhe impsition of the Pax Britannica
prevenred them from engaging i n martial pursuits, the expropriation
from cattle and land prevented them from flly realloc:uing their labr
time to productive activities within the pasant SCctor (care of cattle and
cultivation of the land).!o The typ of underemployment that the imp
sirion of white rule induced among the vast majority of the African r
pIe (Iower.caste Ndebcle and all the Shona) was, on the other hand, of a
very different nature. The imposition of the Pax Britannica relcased the
labor-time (and means of production) previously allocated by the Shona
to production of the surplus appropriated by the Ndeble (tribute and
raids) and to a variety of defensc preparations. It also released the labor
rime of lower-caste Ndeble which used to be absorbd by the labor
services exacted by uppcrcaste Ndebele. At the same rime, expropria
lion of land did nor i1mlltdiattly restrict the quamity of land available to
this section of the popul:uion because, as we shall sec, they were gener
ally allowed to remain on their ancestral lands. Moreover, they were
also less affected by rhe expropriation of cattle bcause of the smaller
quantities involved i n the expropriation and because of the less central
role played by cattle in their economies.!'
It follows that, i n the short run and in as far as the vast majotity of the
African population (i.e + excluding upprcaste Ndebele) was con
crned, the imposition of white rule did not lead ro a structural disc(
librium btween means of production and (given techniques, size of p
pulation, tastes, and \nts) subsistence requiremenrs of the pnt Qm
ducers and their families. As a consequence. if some labor-time re
mained unurilized within tht ptasa1 st(lr ("disguised unemploymenr"),
this was not due U a shortage of means of production relative ro the rotal
laboHirne available, bur rather to seasonal variations in agricultural pro
duction or to a lck of i"mttivts to apply such labor-time to agricultural
producrion;18 and if"lirrle" labortime was sold on the labor market, this
was more likely to be due to the fact that the efonprice of cash income
earnable through the sale of produce was lower than that earnable
through wage employment, rather than to an alleged lack of African re
sponse to market opprtunities for increasing their incomes.l
Most contemporary observers did in facr agree that rhe eforrprice of
participarion in the produce market was far lower than that in the labor
1 88
Part . P"sprcti'rs
marker. For example, in 1903 it was estimated that the latter was gener
ally three times as large as the former.lO The conclusion that the behav
ior of the African peoples during these early days was consistent with an
allocation oflabr-timc aimed af increasing their incomes is furrher war
ramed by the existence of marked seasonal variations in the supply of
African labor and by discrepancies in the Ndebelc and Shana rates of
participation in the labor market,1I While the seasonal variations in labor
supplies show that, to the extent that there existed underemployment in
the peasant economies, Africans were ready [0 enter wage employment
to supplement their incomes, the greater parricip:ion of Ndcbele men
in rhe labor market shows that the morc "strucrural" in character the
disguised unemployment (and therefore the lesser the possibilities ofab
sorbing all labr-time within the peasanr sector) the greatcr [he amount
of Jabor-time alloated to wage employmenr.
Besides misinterpreting [he siruation in the labor market at the initial
and terminal poims of the process of formation of the African wage
Jabor force. Batber misses some signifcant tendencies in African re
sponse to wage employment opportunities. These tendencies can be
perceived by comJring the relationship between changes in real wages
and changes in the Tate of African participation in the Jabor market at
diferent pints in rime. A frst set of releVant data has been collected in
Figure I . which shows trends ofthree crucial variables during the priod
1904-1945. These variables arc:
1 . The rate of Afrcan Jrticipation in the labor marker (Li/Ni), i.e.,
the ratio of the average number of indigenous African males in wage
employment at any given time (Li) to the toral number of indigenous
African males over fourteen years of age (Ni).
2. The wage employment/ppulation rario (LIN i), i.e the ratio of
the toral number of African males (indigenous and extraterritorial) in
wage employment (L) to the fOtal number of indigenous /frcan males
over fourreen.
3. The proprtion of extraterritorial Africans in the total African
labor force (Lf/L).
Variations in the frst ratio may be taken to refect changes in the re
sponsiveness of (he indigenous ppulation to wage employment oppr
tunities, prOided that their participation in thr labor marker %1 not 1m
duly mtraillrd by difcultirs ofobtaining mploy1nt. This condition can
b assumed to have ben fulflled when the Li/Ni ratio was rising or
Labor Supp/irs i1l Pmpecri vr: Rhodrsia 189
when there was a Jabr shortage. For this reason we shall limit our inrer
tem]ral comparisons to fve perios: 190-191 1 , 1 91 5-19ZZ,1l 19Z2_
1926, 1932-1938, and 1939-1943.
" Z
\ j
t '
i LyL
'05 t9l0 :9l> 19 tJxJ t3 1J31 !9 l15
l@rc : tctmln tmDrln wD .8tkct VJ
Sourt: Derived HO/nnu &port oft Clit!Db1Comiuill8nd /mRrp
The scanty evidence on money wages and COStS ofliving during these
fve periods has been collected in Table 1. " Though the dara. espcially
rhose in brackets, are nor sufciently reliable fO form the basis of accu
rate estimates of rhe magnitude of the changes in African real wages.
they are satisfactory for our purposes, namely for identifying the dirrc
tion ofcangr of real wages and. secondarily, for a rough assessment of
their compaative magnitude. Taking into accOunt the fct that the Eu
ropean eost ofliving index shown in the table grossly underestimates the
risc in African COSt of living brwecn 1914 and 1922 :ld btween 1939
190 Part II: Pmptctivts
Table 7
African MQTuy Wages and Cosl o Living lndtxnjor Sdultd Years
Ytar Average wagN CoSI o living indexes
Mining Agriculture
EUffpean cost African
including excluding including ofIivjng (food, imporu
rations rations rations fud, and light) price index
J. J. J. 1914 F 100 1914 - 100
1904 46/9 (,) 39/-(,) 148 )
1 91 1 (32/-) C) 94 (,)
1914 (28/-) () 100 m 1 0 (g)
1922 45/- ()
(28/-) (b) 20/- (,) 1 1 4 ,0 195 (g)
1926 21/8 (d) 109 m (168) (g)
1932 25/10 (e) 94 (0
1938 32/6 (,) 23/6 (,) 93 (0
1939 34/- (e) 24/1 1 (e) 94 (0
1943 42/- (e) 27/5 (,) 1 1 2 (
D01 mlOUTts:M A1l1 Rojtht ChIko Mi1ti ofRlus;a. (b) Estir
by U8u1!t on tnc basis ofinformrion on crunges in African wges given in the fl
lowing: Annwl R of VChitDD1Commilsi01lm; Amlll Rron ofm Clwmk
0/Mints ofRhnia; S.5.A. C., Dirt(/QI' Rql aM A/ (nrious yews); Southern
Rhodesia, Rrpon 0/the DhAflain Commillff of Enuiry, /911; Southern Rhodesia,
Rronojm Co1tofLiving Comill.u, J7J. (c) " Nrural Reces" (summary of k
Udelivered by Mr. .Cripps before the Rhodesin Scicntifc As&iation) in QJ1
7mbofm Co/Qr y of8tmR/er, no. I (\9H).(d) Southern ROa, Rep
on Iruslill Relations in 8toRhsw b ProfmrHmCl.y, 1930. (e) Euie
mS! tistl uhof 8tm Rhsw. II, 1 i,VI, 8, VI, I(), XIV, +. and XIV, '. (f
Ojl mpte Coly q 8u Rftsw, O. J (I9I2), Q l YeorblJ
Sthtm Rhw, n. J (i912) (g) \cuwItby the uthor on the ]mis Oda( (:Iken
from the Armrul R of1MOuolh of Lu!w:. The comritie included in the
index are those which ccording LQ the controller ofcwere purchased by Africal
nd for which physic1 quantities were available, i.e., biscuia, cofee, presrved fsh, rice,
sugar, candles, matche, Sp, Dand shhats and caps, I1os and picks. wcigh[
)in the calculationoftheindex :re nDon theamounts spmonthemby the Af
rican ppulation, about which wc have no information, buI on the value ofimpm (which
includes COl1Sumpion on the yof Eurol).
Lahor SUlplies i1l Perspective: Rhodesia 191
and 1943,J- the fgures of Table I show that African real wages de
creased rapidly in the two priods 190-1922 and 1939-1943, that they
increased moderately fast in the two perios 1904-191 1 and 1922-1926,
and that they probably decreased (or at best remained constant) in the
priod 1932-1938. In Table 2 (on the next page), these data on real
wages are juxtaposed to the rate of African participation in the labr
market for the corresponding periods.
The most striking fact emerging from this table is the changing rela
tionship between the two variables. A few inter-temlral comparisons
will illustrate the pint. A roughly similar increase in real wages was as
sociated with a moderate increase in the Li/Ni ratio in 190-191 1 but
with an exceptionally large increse in 1922-1926; a roughly similar de
crease in real wages was associated with a constant Li/Ni ratio in
19 14-1922 but with a large increase thereof in 1939-1943. Conversely,
a moderate increase in the Li/Ni ratio was associated with rising real
wages in 1904-191 1 , but with falling (or at best constant) real wages in
1932-1939; a large increase in the Li/Ni ratio was associated with rising
wages in 1922-1926 but with a fall in real wages in 1939-1943.
These comparisons suggest that the conditions a cting the supply of
African labor did not change once and for all after an initial "prodding
from the tax collector," as Barber puts it, but that they altered cl nu
owly and in the direction ofgreater responsiveness to wage employment
opprtunities. Moreover, while before 1922 African participation in the
labor market did not increase in periods of falling real wages, after that
year it always increased irrespective of whether real wages were falling,
rising, or remaining constant. It is hardly necessary to emphasize that
these phenomena have to be taken into full account in our analysis of the
development of the African wage-labor force.
We have seen That available evidence does nOt support the view that
the low rate of African participation in the labor market during the early
days of whiTe rule was due to an alleged lack of response on their part
"to unfamiliar opportunities for increasing their real incomes" as Barber
and others have presumed. The reasons for this low rate must be
sought elsewhere, namely in the "discretionary" character of African