Saturday, March 31, 2012
More on Africa's lack of communists.
A number of people have posited orthodox Marxist interpretations for the lack of communists in Africa during the 20th century. That is they have pointed out the lack of a European style working class. But, Lenin basically removed this criteria from Marxism. There was only a small working class in Russia in 1917. Likewise China in 1949, North Vietnam in 1954, and Cuba in 1959 were not anymore industrialized than most of Africa. So I do not buy this explanation as satisfactory. The country in Africa that most closely followed the Soviet model of development was Ethiopia. It had one of the smallest working classes in Africa in 1974 when Mengistu came to power. So why were there so many more Asian communists compared to African communists in the 20th century when both continents were largely pre-industrial and had experienced European colonialism? Surely somebody has done some research on this topic? If anybody knows any useful publications on this point could you please cite them in the comments?