Feudal Lord and President: Dos Santos’s Dual Personality

In his State of the Nation address on October 15, Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos encouraged primitive capital accumulation in Africa. Making reference to how capitalism emerged and developed in western countries, Dos Santos said, in his speech, that “the primitive capital accumulation taking place in Africa today must be befitting of our reality”. To understand this speech and the President’s way of thinking, we need to go back to the concept of primitive capital accumulation as defined by Karl Marx. This essay puts the theory into today’s context, so as to demystify what it is that Dos Santos wants for Angola and for Africa in general. Primitive accumulation was the name that Marx gave to the process that occurred in Europe between the 16th and 18th centuries, involving the violent expropriation of land and of goods that belonged to peasants and to craftsmen. In depriving the majority of […]

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