Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #622) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #622)
Transcript: African socialism must also be seen as an effort by African thinkers to build an economic system which seeks to salvage what was destroyed by imperialism and to blend it with modern ideas of government. The effort to resist a mechanical limitation of economic development in Europe revealed the strong urge to be independent from all foreign influence not only formally but in substance. The attempt is a praise worthy one, especially when we bear in mind that it is made by thinkers produced in capitalist schools and relying for the construction of a new society not on the basis of socialist but pre independent nationalist organisations.
Ideas, even when they express universal truths, carry the birthmarks of the social surroundings from which they arise and when merely lifted from one environment and rigidly applied in another can be lifeless and dangerous. Exponents of African socialism seem to be consciously aware of these pitfalls and their main aim is to evolve a body of thought that accurately expresses the peculiarities of our continent.
The real difficulty comes when the claim that African socialism is unique to our continent is exaggerated and when it is portrayed as a mode of production not only distinct from capitalism but from marxian socialism as well. Whilst it is perfectly true that when imperialism colonised Africa most African societies were classless, it is definitely incorrect to regard classless society as a social system that was unique only to our continent and that was eternal in nature. Primitive communal societies, the stage of development the greater part of Africa had reached when Europeans came, and where the community lived mainly by pastoral farming and agriculture, were themselves a
Extent and Medium: 1 page