Official scientific socialism in Africa: a study of Mozambique

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University of Dar es Salaam
In this study, we seek to determine the social base of official scientific socialism in Mozambique through a concrete analysis of real struggles with in te movement for national independence as the key to grasp what has turned out to be legitimizing ideological force for a ruling class to be. That should correct the subjective and idelist analyses whose analyitical structure has emphasized the pronouncements of the leadership with in the tendency to assume they (the leaders) were right until imperialism came along to dis orgnanize them. Thus by presenting and explaining the so called ‘reversals’ in Mozambique through the pernicious influence of external factors imperialism in general and South African expansionism in particular analysis is led to neglet the nationallyspecific concrete conditions of class struggles inside the country. For us Mozambique crisis can be said to be self inflicted, of internal origin to the extent that the self styled Marxist FRELIMO advanced theoretical-ideological theses whose political elaboration and concretization not only suppressed and disorngazed popular forces but also set in motion nationally disintegrative tendencies by alienating both elements of an embryonic national class of capital and the broad massesnof peasants in a geo-political context charged with regional hostilities (from the racist South African regime) and International tensions (between the superpowers with Southern African as one major arena). The economic measures statizing all forms of profit and interest bearing business and property, irrespective of whether the owners were nationals or not, were not only economically insound but politicall unjustified: so also were measure to collectivise peasants peremptorily before adequate political work was conducted to lay a sound basis for such measures. Such could be any thing but socialist. But in theoretical literature, theoretical paradigms that guide studies on Mozambique have been affected by considerable confusion leading to the determination of the character of the regime on the basis of ideological analysis rather than the concrete processes in the country. As a result the issue of socialism in Mozambique is made an uncritical hypothesis instead of critical statement of the problem whose discussion in most literature is devoid of a concrete analysis of the process of proletarianization and even less so the conditions of existence of the transitional period i.e socialism as presupposing an independently organized proletariat leading the popular mass movement. Theoretical paradigms on Mozambique could be divided into two divisions. There is the ideological theoretical paradigm under which FRELIMO’s own analyses falls that includes scholars such as James H. Mittleman, Ruth First, John Saul, Barry Munslow, Peter Meyns, Marina Ottaway, Barbara and Allen Isaacman, Basil Davidson, NICOS Zafiris; theoretical tracts from the Warsaw pact countries and their sympathizers who include the Journal of African Marxists,review of African Poilitical Economy and the anti-communist tracts issued by the united states’ State department African Desl and other similar Departments in NATO pact countries and their sympathizers like Kerry Swift, Irving Kaplan etc. The second division is the scientific theoretical paradigm that unfortunately only boasts of a small number of scholars amongst whom must rank Jacques Depelchin, Aquino De Braganca, Samir Amin, Malyn Newitt, D. Fogel etc. The format of this study begins with an analysis of the current international situation aimed at establishing the main trends and moves on to asses the state of affairs in the history of Marxism internationally: main trends. Retreats, defeats and advances as a means to understand the specificity and history of the fusion of Marxism un Africa. Mozambique is taken as a concrete case to grasp the social base of official scientific socialism in Africa or what is increasingly being refered to tropical Marxism ie. Leninism. Tropical Marxism- Leninism (state based official scientific socialism) starting with Cuba has the specificity of the state creating the proletarian parts after the revolution, inspitr of Marx’s injunction that “freedom consists in transforming the state from an organ dominating society into one completely subordinate to it ie, forms of freedom being more or less free to the extent that they restrict the ‘freedom of the state’. The state party then preceeds to im bue the working calss and other masses of the people with the scientific ideology of Marxism-leninism. With such a notion of science, Mrxism as a theory arming the class political capacity of the subjective element to transform the current capitralist society has in a number of instances been made a deterministic and repressive force claiming the proletariat themselves as victims. Marxism imposed from above has blocked itsinfusion in the African peoples struggles for self determoination. The block can only be broken/freed when Marxism shall be practiced “as a systematization of ideas emerging from the partisan revolutionary experiences of the African masses themselves in the light of the established correct positions in/by the world revolutionary movement”.
Available in print form, Eat Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library,(THS EAF HX56.W36)
Africa, Mozambique, Socialism
Wanambisi, S. B. (1985) Official scientific socialism in Africa: a study of Mozambique. Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.