Marxist-Nkrumaist Development Studies is an area of investigation that seeks to consciously apply the wealth of dialectical and historical materialist insight into the principles of development to the evolution of an authentic socialist mode of production as the foundation and context within which a socialist united Africa emerges under the People’s Republican State of Africa (PRSA).
In this respect, the simultaneous build-up of a socialist economy and its supporting superstructural institutions of state power and defence remains in constant focus and monitoring. For far too long, in contravention of the historical necessity to build a socialist mode of production with its own logic as the base of an emerging Socialist State forces of socialism have made the seizure of bourgeois state power their focus.
Consequently, where a successful overthrow of a decadent bourgeois regime is achieved, the new regime inherits the bourgeois development framework within which it then operates. Efforts to evolve out of that framework, where they are made, tend to concentrate – to the exclusion of building a bona fide socialist mode of production – on the seizure (nationalization) of bourgeois property which is however not treated as a product of primitive accumulation to be redeveloped or reoriented.
A product of primitive accumulation retains its essential logic of development unless that logic is aborted within the framework of a new system informed by a new logic of an opposed nature. To cite an extreme example, upon the European advent in Africa the millions of Africans seized from the continent were converted into slaves to prove useful for the processes of emergent or emerging capitalism. Their communal or pre-capitalist spirit or logic was killed and replaced with the bourgeois spirit.
Hitherto, no distinctive socialist mode of production that exhibits proletarian relations of production, wherein the working class does not only own the means of production but also owns it on the basis of the collectivist spirit or principle, has developed. Such means of production as has ever been expropriated from the feudal and bourgeois aristocracy has always retained the spirit of its birth – the individualist principle of appropriation – and thus the worker attains no sense of such property ownership.
In consequence, nationalized property stands in an alienated majesty subject to the corruptible attacks of all classes to get their unauthorized shares of it to build their own individual property bases within ‘the Revolution’. The logic of such a development process becomes not just a prelude to capitalist restoration but more objectively constitutes the veritable continued development of capitalism. Hence, the essence of capitalism after seizure of bourgeois state power remains intact.
It is certain that just as feudal property constitutes the base of feudal society and capitalist property constitutes the base of capitalist society so must socialist property constitute the base of socialist society. And just as the feudal lord owns feudal property and the bourgeois owns capitalist property so it is that within the socialist mode of production the worker owns socialist property; but while feudal and capitalist ownership is individualistic and exploitative socialist property is collectivist and not exploitative.
In our development studies here we are concerned with issues regarding the development of socialist property. We appropriate the principles of Marxism-Nkrumaism to assure that the development of such property is in accord with the collectivist principle. That means that each worker must not only be said to own the said property in theoretical formulations but must also be seen to actually feel that ownership through their direct exercise and control of power over that property.
We project that such exercise and control of power over socialist property logically translates into the exercise and control of state power through the institutional structures that are erected to facilitate and safeguard the development of the socialist mode of production. Certainly, those structures should be understood to constitute a new-type State Power, the Socialist State. That power becomes the instrument for the expropriation of bourgeois property to be redeveloped on the basis of socialist collectivism.
Our studies therefore are aimed at unravelling the spontaneous initiatives of the working people in the direction of socialist development in the first instance and, in the second instance, assist in consciously deepening and accelerating the maturation of those initiatives into established socio-economic patterns of the new life – socialist democracy. For, to borrow from S’bu Zikode in his speech as a representative of the poor in South Africa, ‘our democracy is that democracy that we build for ourselves’. Enough of petite-bourgeois betrayals!
April 25, 2013
(Completed researches are published in the attached pages)