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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Myths of the Capitalist Class: Unofficial Sources and Political Economy in Colonial Malawi, 1895-1924
Author:Woods, Tony
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic terms:Malawi
Great Britain
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3171792
Abstract:One of the prevalent theories in the historiography of Malawi is that primitive accumulation created a unified capitalist class which worked in concert with the colonial State and sowed the seeds of poverty by viciously exploiting the indigenous community. This proposition relies almost exclusively on official sources. Unofficial data indicate, however, that Malawi's colonial capitalists were often a badly fragmented class antagonistic to the colonial administration. Moreover, the capitalists' divisions paralyzed them politically and thus allowed the State to enact legislation which was often antithetical to capitalists' ambitions and prerequisites. As a result, the capitalists often found themselves economically imperilled. This trend is illustrated in this article on the basis of information derived from the colony's most important expatriate newspaper, 'The Nyasaland Times', which first appeared in 1895. Notes, ref.