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support political entrepreneurs unless the latter promote the goals held by leaders of the community. Such goals are rarely in accord with those of the economic system. Political entrepreneurs often view such peoples as "primitives" or as representing pockets of "nonrational behavior," defining nonrationality as unwillingness to recognize that change in behavior is required to produce both industrialization and political freedom. This attitude probably can be reduced to impatience with "bush" peoples who are not aggressive supporters of political entrepreneurs. More often than not, such peoples have had recent and friendly relations with expatriate administrators who "protected" them from the inroads of nationalism.

Political entrepreneurs need to draw peoples in subsistence systems into alliance with themselves and avert possible alliances with their opponents. One main way to gain the support of such peoples is to promote projects desirable to them. In subsistence systems a little usually goes a long way, inasmuch as very little has been undertaken in education, health, or welfare programs.

Commercial economies. Economic entrepreneurship is most developed, and economic “rationality” has penetrated farthest, even to the political sphere, in the commercial economies, of which three types may be considered separately.

Participant Commercial Systems

Although few African economies are subsistence economies, many are commercial economies with large subsistence sectors. Commercial economies originated in traffic with outside cultures. Commerce and exchange for money have always been widespread in Africa. Exchange was in cowrie shells, gold dust, and such other media as iron bars. Commercial systems became more developed after the intervention of Arab and European trading-first in salt, gold, slaves, and foodstuffs, and later in raw materials and such export crops as coffee, cocoa, cotton, and spices.

Even when commerce originates on a tribal basis, it tends to erode tribal exclusiveness by stepping up social interaction between increasingly dependent tribal groups through an increase in the number and nature of commercial transactions. The new social clusters do not respect the tribe as the most significant unit. Distinctions between town and rural areas become important, and social differentiation on the basis of wealth and occupation becomes established.

The phenomenon of "old families" began in mercantile houses and

is still common in some areas. Many old families in Accra or Lagos, for example, were established when the English, Dutch, German, and Danish traders married local women. A larger proportion of the children in these families went into civil service, trade, and other prestigeful occupations than did those in other urban groups. Members of such families continue to intermarry and constitute a social elite. Nationalism often began when these old families had social advantages but were racially barred from political responsibility. Certainly much of the nationalism of West Africa was of this variety; the names of the early nationalists are the names of successful families in Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Nigeria.

Middle-class nationalism of this kind had a strong flavor of the church. This nationalism was commercial in its roots, clerical in its expression, and relatively exclusive in its organization. To behave as Christian gentlemen was an ideal, and to be treated as such was the objective. This type of nationalism served to enhance economic rather than political entrepreneurship. Few middle-class nationalists were career politicians, for example, and fewer of them engaged in the fulltime organization of mass parties. They sought, instead, to put pressure on expatriate authorities, and did so with varying success. Their main contribution was to enable Africans to enter all levels of the commercial hierarchy. They succeeded in getting competence rather than color accepted as the major qualification for entry. The result was an increase in mobility, urbanization, commercial wealth, and education in the areas where middle-class nationalists were successful. Expectations in the commercial sector were geared to economic entrepreneurship until crisis occurred. During the depression, however, it became apparent that independence of the subsistence sector brought dependence on the commercial sector of the economy, and this in turn was dependent on world markets. A second level of clerks, artisans, lorry drivers, etc. was made aware of this dependence through unemployment. Clerks, for example, found themselves possessing low status and no jobs. They joined both unions and political organizations. These used familial and kinship patterns of social organization and communication, and adapted them to all-purpose organizations, which went on to serve economic, political, educational, and other functions. What we have described is the characteristic pattern in West Africa. Today the multifunctional nationalist organization has taken over government in many instances. No opposition organization is effective except possibly that of those trained in civil service under an expatriate

staff and necessary to carry out administrative tasks. Indeed, the civil service is in some cases the only source of nonparty political pluralism in a system having relatively independent power.5

Bazaar Systems

A bazaar economy can be defined as the institutionalization of exchange without the institutionalization of savings and investment. Expansion of commercial enterprise takes place in a bazaar economy, but optimum expansion seems to be limited less by economic factors than by an interest in personal control over business. Indeed, the social bases of exchange relations become more important than financial consequences. The exchange relation is the satisfying feature of commercial life. A bazaar economy is also partly a stage between subsistence and participant commercial systems which can perpetuate itself for a considerable time.

Commerce, as the exchange of goods rather than the production of goods, develops a network of distributive social structures, which are distinct from the productive. A bazaar economy is a special case of a commercial system characterized by a lack of reliance on contracts and legal trust, and rather great reliance on family ties. In societies where families are major solidarity units, limitations to expansion by entrepreneurs are imposed by the needs of families and their capital resources. Risk taking in the economic sense is kept to a minimum. Indeed familial organization permits risk to be shared. A bazaar economy allows individual failure without personal responsibility. Many bazaar entrepreneurs have failed in business many times and have easily gone back into trade. When they fail, they borrow from their families or go to work for them. Such a system has considerable resiliency and, for a money economy, considerable security. Savings are often hoarded or turned over to family maintenance, or to old-age and burial societies. Taxes are assiduously evaded. Most of all, bazaar economies are characterized by a high degree of economic conservatism, particularly centering around the family.

Bazaar economies help to hasten political entrepreneurship. Indeed, they exhibit somewhat similar characteristics. Both place heavy reliance on kinship ties at the beginning of organization and in both there is a lack of individual onus for failure. Both have easy access and exit.

"See David Apter and Robert Lystad, "Bureaucracy, Party and Constitutional Democracy," in Gwendolen Carter and William O. Brown, eds., Africa in Transition (Boston: Boston University Press, 1958).

Both are essentially distributive, the one of goods and services, the other of positions of authority. And both provide profound social satisfactions -the one in exchange relations, the other with political power.

Given a bazaar economy, entrepreneurship is collaborative in the political rather than the economic sphere. Family support allows a measure of basic security in venturing into the political sphere, where success brings economic advantages to the family. While many of the practices institutionalized in a bazaar economy are self-perpetuating and make development difficult, the economy is further sustained because of difficulties in getting loans from banks to buy wholesale, for example, and because the costs of business expansion may be too large to be borne by a family-type system. The bazaar economy often feeds off the leavings of larger-scale commercial firms with foreign capital and control, receiving goods from them (often at retail prices) and selling them at a petty marketing level. Grievances against large expatriate firms are characteristic of individuals within a bazaar


Political entrepreneurs, particularly as they seek to enter the arena of political authority, have much the same sense of grievance. In colonial territories in particular, their attack is on expatriates who hold positions of political responsibility and can dictate, or so it appears, the terms of political life in the particular territory. Political entrepreneurs seek to widen the scope of their activities and at the same time to achieve status, prestige, and personal dignity. Underdeveloped areas live in the shadow of presumed inferiority. Few inner resources of respect and pride can withstand the pummeling of cultural superiority by a colonial, industrial, or commercial expatriate oligarchy.

Obstacles to achievement are viewed as the agency of an outside force, rather than handicaps internal to the system. Exhorting people to invest or to cultivate accounting methods, etc. is rarely successful. Training people to become clerks, artisans, and school teachers seems unrelated to the sense of personal grievance so characteristic of the population of such territories. Political entrepreneurship in association with a bazaar economy is noticeably proficient in identifying its enemies, without identifying its handicaps. In practice it is not concerned with planning and productive enterprise. At least in certain stages, it does not encourage individual responsibility and often denigrates the values associated with skill, planning, and hard work.

Once the idea of economic growth and large-scale enterprise becomes accepted as the basis of modern society, however, bazaar economies are

a fertile breeding ground for change. They provide an informational network that is highly developed for primary group contacts, and a durable kinship and financial basis for maintaining small-scale organizational nuclei out of which it is possible to build larger political entities.

Still, a bazaar economy poses difficult problems for political leaders who are development-minded. The economy lends itself to manipulation by petty politicians. Often these are "fixers," who hope to gain support by "deals" with the authorities and to curry favors from the wealthier members of the bazaar. In general they turn sharp commercial practice into political practice. Although expansion of commercial enterprise often takes place in a bazaar economy, optimum expansion is limited less by economic factors than by an interest in personal control over business. Within such systems politics retains local characteristics.

What the bazaar economy is able to do exceedingly well is to translate grievance into recognizable categories. It is precisely because of the pervasiveness of the ten nationalist goals in the system that educated political entrepreneurs can join with local "fixers" and, given the right circumstances, produce a common language and a common program.

Compartmentalized Commercial Systems; Combinations of Systems

In a compartmental type of commercial system, political entrepreneurs are often in a position of considerable danger, for they are engaged in breaking down compartments which are composites of racial discrimination, cultural exclusiveness and, most of all, political power. In fact, political entrepreneurship here runs maximum risks, but if it can put effective pressure on existing oligarchies, particularly of a different race, expanded opportunities for African economic entrepreneurship may result. To compensate for restrictive practices on the part of African political entrepreneurs, it is common for colonial governments in particular to expand economic opportunity. This has been the case in Kenya since the end of the Mau Mau.

Through the fostering of African economic entrepreneurship, some of the compartmentalization between races begins to break down. Opportunities for Africans follow quickly. This must lead eventually to the elimination of strict compartmentalization, as the economic and social activities of increasing numbers of Africans produce new social clusters around factors other than race. Indeed, in some compartmentalized systems this is a planned objective.

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