Debate from ROAPE Volume 7 Number 17
Capitalist Accumulation in the Periphery: Kenya Re-examined
Colin Leys, author of one of the most interesting books on underdevelopment in recent years, has caused considerable surprise by his 1978 article reassessing his pioneering study. The particular point of contention is the characterization of the indigenous industrial bourgeoisie. In the earlier study Leys argued that the indigenous bourgeoisie - which he termed an ‘auxiliary bourgeoisie’ - was largely defined by its relationship to foreign capital and that it saw its future in alliance with that of foreign capital. Langdon supported this, characterizing the ‘insider bourgeoisie’ as bargaining with foreign capital for a greater proportion of the surplus generated by foreign capital to be distributed to the Kenyan elite. But he, too, saw the interests between the indigenous bourgeoisie and foreign capital as being basically harmonious, rather than antagonistic.