Socialist Ideology and the Reality of Tanzania

Chachage, Chachage Seithy Loth (1986) Socialist Ideology and the Reality of Tanzania. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 10907201.pdf] PDF
Download (18MB)


This sociological study deals with the historical formation of the Tanzanian socialist ideology---Ujamaa---focusing mainly on the period from 1920 to 1967. The major aspects dealt with are the systematization of the ideology of Indirect Rule or African Civilization by the colonial agents in the 1920s as a response to the forms of resistance they met; the taking over of the systematization of African Civilization by the educated Africans from the 1930s in an attempt to refute Eurocentrism and attain equality with other races; the transformation of African Civilization into Pan-Africanistic thinking; and, finally, African Socialism and the institutionalization of this ideology after the attainment of independence. The evolution of these ideas is examined within the context of social and political struggles. It is argued that the ideology of Indirect Rule was introduced in an attempt to resolve the crisis of the "civilizing mission", given the resistance of the colonized people as a result of their lack of faith in that "mission". This ideology emerged in the context of a reexamination on the part of the colonizers of the foundations of the colonial mission as a means to break the resistance and make colonial domination effective. Consequently, they were forced to appropriate from the colonized those elements which did not contradict Westernality. In other words, they were attempting to make the colonized understand and accept the "civilizing mission" from the colonized's point of view. Thus, Indirect Rule was an expression of concrete forms of colonial capitalism, and it was a systematization of what was considered as African Civilization and African social structures. The educated Africans, who had emerged within the colonial forms of exploitation and racial domination and had initially surrended and adopted the colonizers' cultural forms, were also forced to rebel as a result of their rejection by the "civilization" which nurtured them. In the course of their rebellion, they set out to rediscover, restore and reassert their Africanness as a means to attain equality with the Vest, while at the same time refuting Eurocentism. It was the contradiction of being both black and Western which shaped their struggles and ideas. They systematized what they thought to be African Civilization, which, according to them, did not have objectives other than those of Western Civilization. They believed that this African Civilization differed from Western Civilization in terms of its social and political structures, whereby the former's were communalist. The attempt was to intermarry Western and African Civilization, and at the same time reject anything considered "communist" or "bolshevist". In content, their ideas were not different from those of Indirect Rule. These ideas were to take on socialistic and Pan-Africanist tendencies with the incorporation of developmentalist and statist British Fabian tendencies. It is finally argued that developmental ism was the ideology of capitalism in the post-World War II period which went through various phases, and African Socialism was the particular form it took in Tanzania. The institutionalization of this ideology after independence took place within the struggles to concentrate powers in the executive arm of the state and defeat the social movements under the banner of economic development. It is also argued that, by dwelling on questions of modes of production, productive forces, economic development, industrialization, etc., sociology of development has fallen into the trap of developmentalism and, hence, relegated to the background the questions of self-defense, self-emancipation and self-determination of the people.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Sociology, Sub Saharan Africa studies
Date of Award: 1986
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1986-76603
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 14:04
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 14:04

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year