Page images
PDF
EPUB

members, rather than to preserve its social solidarity, the transition to wage work or industrial careers is substantially complete.

6. Voluntary organizations increase in the wake of industrialization, but not all such organizations are conducive to the recruitment or stabilization of a labor force.

7. Voluntary organizations directly connected with wage work, chiefly labor unions and recreational clubs and sometimes political parties, are important agents in promoting ideologies and sentiments that tie workers to their jobs and make the new occupational niche socially meaningful.

8. A developed labor force depends on the proliferation of ties and social relations connected with industrial work. Such ties are fostered by voluntary associations, but are not self-sustaining until new channels of social mobility and prestige are created.

9. In the transition period, associational life tends to be of a segmented character, focused on special purposes. When the labor force is stabilized, more personal and smaller groupings tend to emerge.

10. The family structure provides the basis for making any occupational role tenable, but the free choice of associates provides, at least in part, the attitudinal basis for personal commitment to wage work.

18 POLITICAL ORGANIZATION

AND IDEOLOGY

David E. Apter

This paper considers economic development from the point of view of political science. Our intent here is to indicate that the Western pattern of private entrepreneurship is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for economic development in underdeveloped areas; that in those areas political entrepreneurs are concerned with the development of multipurpose, omnicompetent organizations, which seek to use government enterprise as the main form of economic entrepreneurship, while retaining for political entrepreneurs a high degree of autonomous power. We assume that in an earlier day Weber was correct in his assumption that "Protestantism" was significant in the development of capitalism, and indicate that "socialism" in a loose sense has become the functional equivalent for political entrepreneurs in the contemporary underdeveloped world. In the case of Africa, at least, socialism has come to mean many things, including progress and development and anti-imperialism.

NATIONALISM AND THE DECLINE OF COLONIALISM

The first task of nationalism is to produce independence by the use of effective organizational power. The second task, once the first goal is achieved, is to provide greater economic satisfactions than were provided under the colonial regime. Therefore, unlike the original pattern of growth in the West, there is great urgency about economic development in the new nations. In spite of this urgency, few of them, without using very stringent measures, can show a greater proportionate growth in the same time period than can the developed nations. In all underdeveloped areas, then, the long-term goal of nationalists is selfsustained economic growth on a high level. Success is not easily achieved.

• The comparative scheme that underlies this paper was developed in an original draft which included a more elaborate conceptual framework. This was too cumbersome for treatment in a single article. The comparative scheme accordingly was omitted in revision of the present paper, and has appeared in a separate article, “A Comparative Method for the Study of Politics," American Journal of Sociology, 64:221-237 (November 1958).

Some nationalists come to feel that the products of their labors are not always fruitful. They fear relying on outside capital and technicians because of certain traditions that have grown up around nationalists in their fight against colonial domination. There are prejudices against foreign firms. Yet there is a signal need for development if nationalists are to retain support.

Nationalists argue that colonialism and imperialism have held back industrial development. Colonial rulers are alleged to have restricted education and barred local people from full participation in economic and social life. When colonial officials begin to depart, however, nationalists themselves inherit the difficulties of government, many of which they had been blissfully unaware of. Industrialization becomes for them an all-purpose goal through which many secondary goals can be satisfied. It restores national integrity since industrial states are powerful and independent. Wealth flows, and prosperity can come upon the land. The worth of the citizenry is enhanced. Hence national efforts must serve industrial ends.

Nationalists who do not show a strong desire for economic development are rare. Having come into prominence in environments of racial and cultural inequality, poverty and alien rule, nationalists capitalize on a prevalence of defiant shame, desire for social improvement, and the need to prove ability. Development thus assumes an importance that is not only economic but social and psychological as well.

However, economic development is easier to talk about than to accomplish. In rapid economic development political leaders face all the complexity of situations of radical change. The cultural traditions and structural features of rural, pastoral, and agricultural tribal societies, each with its own dynamic properties, are simultaneously present. The cultures of underdeveloped areas are not internally “simple," any more than was England in the nineteenth century when enclosure, famine, enforced mobility, poverty, and an extreme work discipline not only helped to produce an enormous industrial machinery, but also radically altered and reduced the range of difference in the array of social systems. Indeed, if the term industrial revolution has any meaning at all, it refers to the degree to which all social institutions are altered in meeting the requirements of technology.

The Soviet Union and China serve as contemporary models of rapid industrialization today. The industrialization process in the West has produced a superior standard of living, but has also produced a cultural superiority which has expressed itself in the ideologies of colonial

powers. (The Soviet Union is not yet generally regarded as a colonial power.) Such ideologies include Christian "civilizing" missions, for example, and more recently a teaching role for colonial leaders by which the less "culturally advanced" peoples are to be more effectively “introduced to the modern world." The difficulty is that in both colonial and excolonial territories even a small degree of social and political development makes these colonial roles intolerable. The West is regarded as too rich, too swollen with success, and until recently too invulnerable. Here lies the common chord that nationalists can strike with the Soviet Union. The Soviet system has challenged that invulnerability and, using the language of nationalism, has given a great deal of vicarious satisfaction to political leaders who have fought against colonialism and for political and economic independence. The Soviet Union therefore has become a model for a type of economic growth. It represents a selfless bootstrap economic operation. Its emphasis is on sacrifice and hard work. If the question of freedom is raised, it is not answered in personal terms. He who is free to produce for his own society, and free of foreign domination, is a free man. The question of liberty is less relevant.

Development then has many compelling political aspects, and to some degree the Soviet Union serves as its contemporary symbol, not in terms of communist ideology but as a new approach to development. It is an intense organizational process in which the task is a restructuring of society to reduce social and cultural discontinuities and to effect orderly recruitment of skills and talents and mobilization of effort to achieve specific goals. In that sense the role of politics in underdevelopment is organizational rather than representational. Whatever the specific objectives may be, and these vary widely, politicians are concerned with changing things and creating militant multifunctional organizations than can efficiently provide both social and economic satisfactions. Our discussion of organizational and industrial potentialities and their significance is based mainly on African territories. Most of Africa was under colonial rule until very recently, although the practice of colonialism varied greatly. Indeed, postwar colonialism is social welfare colonialism, and the interest in industrialization is by no means limited to nationalists. In former British and French territories most of the development that occurred had been under expatriate auspices with capital brought in from the outside. The same was true to an even greater extent in the former Belgian Congo. Nationalists are rarely disposed to cut off such a flow of investment funds, anxious as they are

to control the political situation. Where no resident expatriate population controls both the political and economic life of a country, it has been possible for nationalist leaders to assume greater degrees of political responsibility until, as in the case of Ghana, they gain full political autonomy.

GOALS OF NATIONALISM

The Decalogue of Nationalism

It is important to distinguish the several goals of nationalism. Nationalism feeds off grievance, the elimination of which becomes the object of nationalism itself. Many of the issues that are profoundly important to people in underdeveloped territories can be expressed as demands for the following:

Political equality. Cultural or expatriate domination is becoming impossible. Whether in plural societies in East and Central Africa, for example, or elsewhere, political equality is manifested in "one man, one vote" concepts on the individual level, and in national autonomy on the territorial level.

Democratic structure of government. Arguments of nationalists against colonialists have been phrased partly in terms of the undemocratic nature of an expatriate oligarchy, ruling without the benefit of representative institutions. Indeed, if the Western influence is regarded as significant, it is not in the economic realm as much as in the development of parliamentary governments as a proper medium for self-government.

Rapid social mobility. As social welfare colonialism has produced trained and educated elites, there has been a demand on their part for greater eligibility for the higher power and prestige ranks of the system. Some colonial territories have attempted to create a class of évolué's or asimilados enjoying full citizenship rights with Europeans as well as equal access to jobs and facilities. In other territories such a pattern has served to intensify strivings for social mobility on the part of those not recruited into the upper ranks. The result was the application of equal citizenship and other rights to Africans, for example, in former French Africa. Still other territories adopt "separate but equal" doctrines, which attempt to set up multiple social hierarchies for Africans, Asians, and Europeans. These efforts are fraught with violence and scarcely accepted. The nationalists have identified social grievance in large part with denied opportunity for social mobility. When nation

« PreviousContinue »