ESSAYS ON THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF AFRICA by Giovanni & John S. Saul Arrighi

ESSAYS ON THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF AFRICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

These essays -- all of which have been published or given elsewhere -- are an attempt to draw up a revolutionary strategy for the construction of a ""genuine workers and peasants' state"" in subSahara Africa, and are concerned with the countries with which the authors (active in leftist circles) have the most experience -- Tanzania, Rhodesia, South Africa and Mozambique. They are pessimistic about non-Marxist political alternatives: nationalism (quoting Fanon) is ""false de-colonization""; PanAfricanism leads to a ""conservative alliance guaranteeing the stability"" of an order in league with international capital and the Cold War corporations; the native bourgeoisie inevitably sells itself for the perquisites of a quasi-Western life style. The revolution must rely then -- again out of Fanon -- on the ""rural/urban proleteriat,"" a tabula rasa with a grievance on which a revolutionary party can inscribe its message. The closest model is Tanzania -- the subject of one essay and mentioned in the others -- although Nyerere, whose TANU is duly praised, is criticized for making ""soft choices"" (i.e., tourism, foreign aid), compromises and concessions. A militant party led by an ideological elite working in a rural context -- is this not a mix which has been tried (the USSR and Yugoslavia) and warned against -- remember Djilas and Rosa Luxemburg?

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 1973
Publisher: Monthly Review Press