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Abstract

This article explores the experiences of the revolutionary-left opposition in the People’s Republic of Poland, a bureaucratic post-capitalist state established after WWII. It draws heavily upon Andrzej Friszke’s research concentrated on the 1960s, when post-1956 oppositional activity emerged and had an impact on the public sphere. The aim of this article is to present Marxist and revolutionary trends within oppositional circles mainly via the political trajectory of two important figures associated with revolutionary Marxism during the ‘People’s Poland’ of the 1960s, Jacek Kuroń and Karol Modzelewski, and their later attitudes during the military dictatorship and the restoration of capitalism in Poland. It also focuses on Kuroń and Modzelewski’s relations with Ludwik Hass, a controversial Polish Trotskyist, and Trotskyism as a political doctrine; and the 1980s’ general tendency toward workers’ democracy in factories, before the advent of martial law implemented by General Wojciech Jaruzelski in December 1981.

In: Historical Materialism
Author: Howard Sankey

Abstract

In The Problems of Philosophy, Bertrand Russell presents a justification of induction based on a principle he refers to as “the principle of induction.” Owing to the ambiguity of the notion of probability, the principle of induction may be interpreted in two different ways. If interpreted in terms of the subjective interpretation of probability, the principle of induction may be known a priori to be true. But it is unclear how this should give us any confidence in our use of induction, since induction is applied to the external world outside our minds. If the principle is interpreted in light of the objective interpretation of induction, it cannot be known to be true a priori, since it applies to frequencies that occur in the world outside the mind, and these cannot be known without recourse to experience. Russell’s principle of induction therefore fails to provide a satisfactory justification of induction.

In: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism

Abstract

African insights concerning co-dependency and co-responsibility enable the kind of cooperation that is key to global initiatives that could end extreme poverty worldwide. Such culturally embedded moral resources motivate human agents (i) to establish and sustain humane relationships, and (ii) to honour the dignity of every individual person. It is argued that these culturally specific values attributable to some African ways of life have the potential of inspiring global approaches for treating distant communities and ending extreme poverty, regardless of where it persists or whoever has caused it. In particular, one perspective on personhood, whereby one of us should function as a member of a cosmological community which includes all human beings everywhere, has the potential of inspiring affluent individuals in wealthy societies to recognise and fulfil their global responsibilities to remote people mired in absolute poverty.

In: Utafiti

Abstract

Previous archaeological studies along the Tanzanian coast of the Indian Ocean have focused on sites located on the central, southern and the offshore islands, while the northern area has received little attention. As a result, the relationship between the northern, central and southern coastal sites remains unknown. In response to this lacuna, an archaeological survey and supporting excavations were conducted at the Maramba Division, on the northern Tanga Coast. The results suggest that the area was occupied first by Later Stone Age people, then Early Iron Working, followed by Maore and Plain Ware. The stratigraphic sequence at the site suggests that the northern coast underwent a cultural history similar to what was experienced along the central and southern coast of Tanzania.

In: Utafiti
Author: Aldin Mutembei

Abstract

From the 1960s to the 1980s, the debate that focused on how to properly understand Kiswahili poetry can safely be regarded as part of what was later to be dubbed ‘experimental literature’. The intention driving this experimentation was to highlight quintessentially African aesthetic norms that contrast with the western frameworks of novels and plays. In this process of Africanisation, a form of literary work was discovered as constituting a hybrid genre, featuring elements shared by both oral and written literatures. The result appears to be a unique literary phenomenon similar to the proverbial inscriptions painted on public vehicles as seen every day throughout Africa’s urban centres. This kind of signage constitutes another tradition that features the merging of oral and written genres, and has become recognised as an established staple of African popular culture. This paper explores the extent to which the ongoing experimentation with converging oral and written literary genres in Kiswahili literature should be identified as a continuation of the historic struggle to illuminate those spaces in modernity which are uniquely African.

In: Utafiti

Résumé

Au Burkina Faso, la malnutrition des enfants de 0 à 59 mois demeure un problème de santé publique. Parmi les treize régions administratives, celle de la Boucle du Mouhoun enregistre l’un des taux les plus élevés d’enfants malnutris en dépit d’un fort potentiel agropastoral. Une telle situation, beaucoup constatable dans la province de la Kossi, contraste avec l’idée que la région de la Boucle du Mouhoun est le « grenier du Burkina Faso ». Sur la base d’entretiens semi-directifs (réalisés sur un échantillon de quinze personnes, courant mars-avril 2019 dans le cadre d’une communication internationale sur l’Enfance au Burkina Faso), d’observations directes, de revues documentaires conjugués à des données secondaires, il est question de dégager les facteurs socioculturels, c’est-à-dire les types de discours et de représentations sociales sur la malnutrition, qui favorisent sa persistance en dépit des actions publiques officielles. Les résultats montrent que, si de tels facteurs socioculturels perdurent encore, la malnutrition, elle, a du chemin devant elle.

In: Utafiti

Abstract

In Tanzania, linguistic landscape studies are skewed towards the most populated city, Dar es Salaam, where patterns of occurrence and co-occurrence of Arabic, Chinese, English, Hindi and Kiswahili languages have been identified. Nonetheless, different results manifest in different locations, yielding an interest in data from other cities around the country. The urban spaces in Dodoma City in Tanzania present a different picture. We found a three-fold array of signage which diverges from the standard bottom-up and top-down classification scheme. We coined for this a new category: bottom-up – top-down – middle-types, diverging from the standard bottom-up and top-down classification scheme. Both Kiswahili and English are important languages in Tanzania’s urban spaces but they differ hierarchically in terms of autonomy, frequency of occurrence, relative dominance, power and prestige. Yet the overwhelming statistical predominance of English is deceptive. For instance although all acronyms in public use emanate from English, the grammar of all those acronyms follows a distinctively Kiswahili pattern. Based on this and other parameters, we argue that both Kiswahili and English are comparably predominant languages in public vistas.

In: Utafiti
Author: John P. Madoshi

Ikisiri

Usimulizi katizi ni mbinu ya Kirasimi inayotawala riwaya za Shaaban Robert. Kupitia mbinu hii mwandishi huyu humkatiza msimuliaji katika bunilizi ili aweze kutoa fundisho fulani alilokusudia. Mbinu hii ya ukatizi imesaidia nathari hizi kutengeneza ukuruba baina ya msomaji na msimuliaji na kumfanya msomaji yeyote aweze kufuatilia kwa makini msuko na mtiririko wa visa katika bunilizi za mwandishi huyu. Kusudi la makala hii ni kuchunguza dhima anuai zinazolengwa na mwandishi kupitia mbinu hii na kubainisha namna dhima hizo zinavyosawiri makusudi ya mwandishi katika kuileta karibu hadhira yake ipate kufahamu kile anachokusudia. Ili kujua hayo, mtafiti alinukuu sehemu mbalimbali za masimulizi zinaonesha mbinu hiyo ya ukatizi kutoka katika riwaya lengwa.

In: Utafiti

Abstract

For several years, Tanzanian musicians of various music genres have encountered political censorship, mainly applied to songs considered ‘unethical’ by the government. While political criticism in song has impacted most Tanzanian musicians, some have been positively received by authorities. Specifically, Mrisho Mpoto and Professor Jay have used disarming tactics including Swahili metaphors and self-portrayal in the delivery of their controversial message.

In: Utafiti

Abstract

As the Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukács noted, class has both an objective and a subjective quality: workers are reified as alienated commodities while at the same time they perceive their interests as qualitatively different from those of the capitalist who purchases their labour-power. This essay will argue that one of the most complex theorisations of the material production of working-class subjectivity emerges from Richard Wright’s 12 Million Black Voices, a second-person collective narrative of the African-American Great Migration. Wright locates African-American subjectivity in the contradiction of its formation, at once trapped in the neo-feudal relations of the Jim Crow South, and brutally thrust into the matrix of Northern racialised and ghettoised industrial production. This produces for Wright acute misery, but also a proletarian revision of Du Bois’s Hegelian concept of ‘double consciousness’, as Black workers have a unique insight into the totality of the capitalist world-system.

In: Historical Materialism