Editorial from ROAPE Volume 15 Number 41
Socialism, Democracy & Popular Struggles
In Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique successful political mobilisation during the people's wars depended on combining a nationalist and anti-colonialist struggle against the Portuguese with a social struggle against the distribution of power and resources shaped by colonialism and reflected in relationships between chief and subject, old and young, women and men. After liberation Frelimo and the PAIGC attempted to begin the building of socialism. Two new studies by Rosemary Galli and Jocelyn Jones (Guinea-Bissau: Politics, Economy and Society) and by Bertil Egero (Mozambique: A Dream Undone) describe how the party and state became distanced from rural communities, the lack of democracy and the adoption of policies inimical to peasant interests. Three of the articles in this issue of the Review extend this critique through studies of gender struggles and of rural development strategies in Mozambique, and of the abandonment of a rural community by party and state in Guinea-Bissau. A further article raises the question of socialists’ responses to peasant struggles in the very different context of Nigeria.