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1. Discuss the main pillars of the Marxist political economy. What is the relevance of
Marxism to the social transformation of African Countries
2. Outline the Fundamental arguments of the Keynesian economics. How had the
Keynesianism influenced both economic and political parties in Africa?

Discuss the main pillars of the Marxist political economy. What is the relevance of
Marxism to the social transformation of African Countries?
Dimmelmeier, Pürckhauer & Shah (2016) identifies the Marxist political economy as comprising
an integrative analysis of the economy, society and politics. In addition, the authors identify the
interdependence that evolves historically. The dynamics of labour and capital lead to class
The main pillars of the Marxist political economy are economic democracy and political
democracy, these must move in tandem. Marxist Political economy results in analysis of
socioeconomic interactions and conflicts thereof.
The Marxist political economy seeks to settle class struggle. It analyses class struggle through
historical materialism and dialectic materialism. By advocating for a classless society, the
Marxist Political economy seeks to protect labourers and push for equality.


The Marxist political economy admonishes private property. It recommends collective
ownership or state ownership. This will solve the issue of exploitation as the labourers are
isolated and marginalised.
The Marxist Political economy advocates for fair remuneration, to avoid industrialists from
exploiting the reserve labour force. Legislation regarding minimum wages and working hours
attempts to protect labourers from exploitation.
The Marxist political economy advocated for progressive taxation. In addition, it posits
inheritance should be taxed. This will stem accumulation as there will be future resources used
for exploitation.
Through humanism, the Marxist Political economy seeks to protect the vulnerable and the
environment. There are achieved through state intervention by way of legislation.
The Relevance of Marxism to the social transformation of African counties
The colonial period witnessed a period of forceful eviction of the indigenous society form their
land. This isolation created a class of discontented Africans who challenged the settlers. The
struggle for land and authority led to the fight for independence in Africa.
The post-colonial period witnessed the rise of a group of African elites that comprised of
individual who had schooled abroad and were at the forefront of reaping from the struggle for
independence. Some African leaders adopted the Marxist ideologies. However, the ideologies
were often modified to suite their self-interests. For instance, the adoption of single party states
in Angola and Zaire (DRC).


The post-colonial period also witnessed a surge in military coup d’état. These were
manifestations of class struggles. Social transformations for instance in Nigeria were witnessed
as a result of Marxism and the opposition to the new breed of African elitists.
The recent Arab Spring in North Africa is attributable to Marxism, to a limited extent. Achcar
(2014) observes that the popular uprising in North Africa were more political than full social
revolution in some countries. From an economic point of view, he identifies rampant
unemployment, poverty and inequality due to monarchs as catalysts to the labor relations and
class conflicts.
However, despite the appeal of Marxism in Africa, the existence of Marxism in Africa is
infinitesimal, Cowell (1983), mainly due to the demise of USSR, upset of socialists like
Nkrumah in Ghana and a general failure of the socialist experiment in Africa like Mozambique.
In addition, variants of Marxism in Africa like Ujamaa, Harambee and scientific socialism lead
to a lack of clear cut Marxism.
Outline the Fundamental arguments of the Keynesian economics. How had the
Keynesianism influenced both economic and political parties in Africa?
Jahan et al (2014) indicate that the central idea to Keynesian economic is that the government
intervention can stabilize the economy. Keynesian economics provided solutions to the Great
depression of 1930’s, at a time when current economic theory failed to provide such solutions.
Classical economics advocated for free markets that automatically brought back the economy to
full employment.
Akerlof (2005) observes that early Keynesian economists developed major components of their
model from consumption function, investment function, and price and wage equations from intuition. Keynesianism argues that aggregate demand can be stimulated by both public and
private decisions. The labor market maybe inefficient due to rigidities for instance minimum
wages thus the economy cannot elf regulate back to full employment. In the short run, increase in
government spending would spur increase in real output and employment rather that increase in prices.


From this premise, Keynesian economists advocated for increased government spending to spur
aggregate demand. Thus the government should engage in expansionary fiscal policy to stabilize
the labor market and drive it towards full employment.
Keynesianism advocacy for increased government spending foresaw that governments may end
up in deficits. They justified the deficits citing that as the economy recovered, and aggregate
output increased, the country would be in a position to settle the deficits and remain in a better
off state.
Keynesian economics advocated for government enterprises that would inject funds into the
economy. The government enterprises would justifiable operate at zero profit, and in some
instances at negative profits as their objectives were to channel funds to the economy to raise
aggregate demand. Keynesian economists also advocate for public works for the construction of
public utilities. Such infrastructural expenditure would create employment in the short run and
serve to stabilize the economy.
Keynesianism advocated for fiscal policy rather than monetary policy when the economy is in
depression. They observe that in depression, lowering off lending rates would lead to a liquidity
trap. A liquidity trap is a situation where interest rates are too low and investors prefer to hold
their savings in cash rather than in financial instruments. In this case, monetary policy is


Influence of Keynesianism in Africa
Keynesianism in Africa is greatly evident from the number of public corporations in Africa.
However, there has been a shift from public corporations to privatization. In Kenya the
government has privatised some corporations for instance
Public spending in Africa has increase, indicating the influence of Keynesianism in Africa.
Governments spend on various sectors of the economy to spur growth and in some instances to
stabilize the economy. However, inefficiency in government sending has been observed
especially during power transition.

Bruton (1996) in a World Bank Report concludes that government intervention can help meet the
objective of routine functioning to generate sustained growth. Specifically, the report identifies
that factors of productivity can be raised through taxation, regulation, exchange rate and
exchange rate policies.
Budget deficit in Africa can be traced back to Keynesianism. There has been aggressive
borrowing by African states in recent times. African states have justified their borrowing by
investing in infrastructure and capital intensive sectors.
The influence of Keynesian economics in Africa is however waning off as there are some
concerns regarding debt and consumption led growth. Current African economists are instead
advocating for efficient and investment and industrialization-led models of the economy as
clearly highlighted by Wagacha (2017).


Political parties in Africa campaign on platforms of development. Political parties have crafted
their manifestos on the backdrop of increased government spending on health, education,
infrastructure and employment. These investments require government spending to take off. The
pledges from politicians are attractive to a low income electorate that comprises the largest
population. This has led to the advent of free education, free health care and increased
infrastructural spending in some countries.
Despite this criticism, Keynesian economics seems to be indispensable as recently observed in
the Global Financial Crisis 2008-2009. In the advent of the financial crisis, The UK government
increased public spending to stabilize the economy; there was however, a reversal of policy to
contractionary fiscal policy. The contractionary fiscal Policy resulted in decline in output and
resulted in unemployment. Kickert (2012) analyses the UK government responses and
demonstrates the relevance of Keynesianism in stabilization. African states, in conclusion, need
to better understand their circumstances through consistent research before adoption of an
economic strategy.


Bruton, Henry J.; Hill, Catharine B. [editors]; Bruton, Henry J.*Hill, Catharine B. [editors].
1996. The evaluation of public expenditure in Africa (English). EDI Learning resources
series*World Bank Institute (WBI). Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.
Cowell, A. (1983). Marxism and Africa: A Legacy Of Humanism And Dictatorship; News
Analysis. The New York Times, p.A00011. Retrieved from
Dimmelmeier, A., Pürckhauer, A., & Shah, A. (2016). Marxian Political Economy. Retrieved
S., Saber Mahmud, A., & Papageorgiou, C. (2014). What Is Keynesian Economics. Finance
& Development, Vol. 51(3).