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Lecture 2

3000 Week 2-6 Readings.docx

35 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 3000
Ian Spears

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Week 2 Readings
The One Party Ideology – Zoldberg
Difficult to determine when the transformation of political systems in which one party
was dominant into a new type West African party-state began
Idea of a dominant party was common during the nationalist phase
oPeople in colonial territories constituted a nation in the process of becoming
oNational liberation movement with a broad base was needed to set things right
In such a movement, elites acted in name of the masses – successors to
pre-colonial states and as spokesperson for the general will
In French-speaking Africa, the achievement of political unity was south first at the inter-
territorial level and then at the territorial level (1946-)
oWas achieved for the territories only after self government
oSingle, all-encompassing movement was never abandoned
No underdeveloped country which reached its political maturity was able to do so
without giving primacy to a single political arty/one with an overwhelming majority
Idea reinforced by process of decolonization – bargaining atmosphere
oRight of dominant parties to act in the name of the whole people of a territory
under scrutiny
o(Gold Coast) – British government would hesitate to give independence until a
substantial majority showed that they wanted independence and had agreed upon
workable constitution
In most of West Africa, a sort of political inflation set in at about the time of
oOnce 1958 referendum was set, it was difficult to depart from it
Assumption of responsibility for the affairs of new states produced a shocking awareness
of the magnitude of the burdens of government in an underdeveloped country
oCan be viewed as a source of great psychological pressure on individuals
Modern Africans caught up between 2 cultures – own traditional one and that of modern
oBelieve that European is superior to African but are forced to assert confidence in
oWhen power is transferred to African, only the source of importance have
oThose involved in the process because of the roles they occupy are uncertain
Cultural strains exist – confrontation with unknown region with inadequate maps
oNew at jobs as rulers
oJobs are new because of the very different conceptions of government that
prevail in a new nations vs. colonial dependency
During the terminal period of colonization, European administrators and policy makers
had become concerned with economic, social and political modernizations
oMore of a liberal luxury vs. the more fundamental tasks of maintenance of
political order and financial soundness
oAny new achievements was evaluated from the point of view of the past state of
oLittle concern with the growth of a sense of nationality
Outlook of African successors very different
oGovernment undergone a revolution of rising expectations
oKnew their countries were poor (according to statistics by international
oAccepted these statistics and criteria of how their achievements must be
oTried to bring about fundamental change through government actions
oThought there must be national integration
oAuthority exists only by the large proportion of the population positively
acknowledging its loyalty to the regime
Strains arise not only because new rules adopt more burdensome goals and perceive
problems differently but also because new problems arise around the time of
oPoliticalization of existing/basic loyalties
oCountry may be less unified at the time of independence than a decade before
oIncreased awareness of the importance of central authorities and more demands
directed at them
Few filters for these demands
oGovernments must shoulder the added expense of sovereignty and accomplish all
this with relatively new and inexperienced civil service
Further problems stem from the changing international system
oColonial officials tended to be highly suspicious of the activities of their
oWith independence, a West African subsystem came into existence
Neighbors who are strangers with similar aspirations but different habits
and opposing interests
oContributed to a sense of crisis and growing insecurity
Below all this there was another concern – one rarely expressed
oAll Africans were brought up within a political order built by what were initially
the most powerful nations in the world
oConstituted the familiar order of things and supplied appropriate reference points
oIndependence brought a lack of bearings and over all sense of insecurity
If they could change order so fast, wouldn’t anyone challenge the order
they created?
Faced with the changing orientation of government and disappearance of the
organizations principles of political life provided by the colonial regimes and obsessed
with inadequacies, African leaders needed suitable concepts of political organization,
categories, ends and means
Ideology is a way of creating order out of chaos – for both leaders and countrymen
oCan acquire an identity
The Case of Guinea
Process of ideology formation was initially most clearly visible in Guinea
oCan be attributed to a chain of circumstances
Sekou Toure’s political apprenticeship in the ranks of the Confederation Genrale du
Travail (CGT) – Communist created French labour organization
oBecame a government party while still in midst of initial organizational spurt
oInitiated more change than any other legal reform government from 1957-
oChose the more radical alternative on almost every issue
oDebates provided occasions to elaborate the party ideology
Made decisions to campaign for a negative vote in the Referendum on the issue of the
French Community
oCrisis followed
oGuinean leaders left to own devices
oFelt full impact of cultural strain
oBegan to draw up messages, government programs etc.
Availability of government materials contributed to the creation of a widespread
impression that the Guinean regime was distinctive in that it had an ideology and that
there were corresponding fundamental structural differences between them and other
*Must remember that in Guinea (and most other new states) political thought is usually
not formulated by professional philosophers but practical politicians
oExpressed in the form of addresses to announce, to explain and justify choices
Basic concern throughout Sekou Toure’s speeches is the achievement of unity
oBasic ideological paradigm emerged very early
oThought that without political unity, colonialism will be beaten with difficulty
because it will seep into African society and expose internal contradictions
oThought the remedy was to use all means to unite African parties into a single
anti-colonist front and for African progress
From the statements, it is clear the Toure believes that:
o1. There is a national trend toward unity
o2. African societies are divided
o3. These divisions are to be viewed in a negative way as internal contradictions
o4. Unity is manifested in support for the dominant party
o5. Failure of unity can stem only from the actions of men who willfully intervene
with the natural course of history
From this scheme emerges a conception of the political community
oSome criterion of membership is necessary if a community is to have any
Most important task of state was the definite reinforcement of the Nation by means of the
elimination of sequels of the regional spirit and all racist tendencies (according to Toure)
oCommunity is thus defined in partisan political terms
oSupport for the party and its ideas is a way of entering into a social contract
As a community, the party is not exclusive
oMembership – defined vaguely and involves primarily non-involvement in
another political organizations
oUnity – defined essentially in a negative way, the absence of opposition
Toure appealed to opponents but implied that they are not merely individuals who
disagree with the party on legitimate grounds but rather that they are morally defective
oIf they want to become good men, must join the party/moral community
After independence the PDG viewed itself as the moral spearhead of all Africa
o“Party becomes that of all Africans who love justice and freedom”
Basic paradigm of unity was extended to encompass the entire set of institutions

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