Article from ROAPE Volume 8 Number 22
Transf. of Petty Bourgeoisie/State in Post-Colonial Zaïre

The Transformations of the Petty Bourgeoisie and the State in Post-Colonial Zaïre
Vol.8 No.22 (Winter 1981), pp20-41
In this overview of the changing character of class relations in Zaïre, the author traces the origins and development of the Zaïrean bourgeoisie. A distinction is made between the ‘rising’ or ‘new’ bourgeoisie and the ‘state’ bourgeoisie and there follows an analysis of the struggle for control of the state between these two sections of the Zaïrean bourgeoisie and the role of international capital in this struggle. International capital is seen to play a role which is used to reinforce the position of the state bourgeoisie, but the contradictions between these two fractions are still being played out, not least through the changing economic policies of the Mobutu regime. Depelchin argues against the tendency on the left to view Zaïre merely as the personal and corrupt fiefdom of Mobutu without proper consideration of the obstacles to socialist change embedded in the developing capitalist relations.