Marxism in Nigeria

Conference on Capitalism, Imperialism and Revolutions

Volume 1 of Karl Marx’s Capital was published in 1867. In that volume, Marx’s major preoccupation was the analysis of the capitalist process of production where he elaborated his version of the labor theory value, surplus value and exploitation which would ultimately lead to a falling rate of profit and the collapse of industrial capitalism. Volumes II and III were published posthumously by Frederick Engels.

Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism was written by Lenin in 1916 and published in 1917. It was in Zurich that Lenin wrote this important theoretical work. He argued that the merging of banks and industrial cartels gave rise to finance capital. According to him, in the last stage of capitalism, the pursuit of greater profits led to the export of capital. Capital export also led to the division of the world between international monopoly firms and amongst European States who colonized large parts of the world in support of their national capitals. These developments constituted what he called “Imperialism”, an advanced stage of capitalism.

Since the publications, capitalism has, as predicted by Marx and Lenin, continued to go from one crisis to another. Since Lenin articulation of the thesis of imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism, capitalism has become rarefied in what is today known as globalization. Yet however, working class revolutions only occurred in a handful of countries. Many of these revolutions have not only suffered subversion and stagnation but have also experienced reversals. Why has this been so?

In the 1970s and 1980s, the teaching of Marxism and related philosophies shared spaces with right wing philosophies and political theories in many African Universities. Today, Marxism which is expected to shape theory and praxis has become a marginal paradigm in academic discourses. This may have affected the quantity and quality of Marxist students, scholars and activists in many African countries and around the world. Why is this so?

The conference offers us an opportunity to interrogate contemporary developments and reflect on the future of Marxism. It is for this reason that we are looking at capitalism, imperialism and revolutions.

The conference is going to be held at Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria from 1 – 4 November, 2018.

For more information please email and to find out about the conference click here.


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