Ramble. Focus. Ramble.

Workers Should Rule: Arusha Declaration

English: Julius Nyerere as leader of the Legis...

Julius Nyerere as leader of the Legislative Council of Tanganyika. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first President of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere, wrote the Arusha Declaration for the independence of Tanzania. The soul of this independence is based on socialism. This declaration clearly states the policy of independence and the development of Tanzania. This anti-capitalist declaration is based on a form of socialism. This African socialism is a descendant of Marxism. Nyerere calls for the peasants and workers to rule their own country. He calls for different weapons than a capitalist state would take for development. And he also calls for a different route for development all together and in calling all this; Nyerere suggests the purest form of independence. Independence that makes the country self-sufficient is the purest form of independence and the only route to development. Proper leadership, for Nyerere, will ensure proper socialism and that will keep away capitalism from the country. In section I, I will talk about Nyerere’s arguments for the rule of workers. In section II, I will agree with Nyerere.


Argument from Socialism: A socialist nation is a self-reliant, anti-capitalist nation in which no person exploits another. Nyerere believes that for the nation to be self-reliant it is important that every house, every ward, every cell, every Region and every District becomes self-reliant. Socialism is the purest form of democracy. Capitalism is the opposite of socialism and in a capitalist nation rich becomes richer and poor becomes poorer. A classless society is the correct form of society and it is only possible through socialism. Socialism calls for worker’s rule.  Nyerere emphasizes on the importance of Arusha Declaration in which the terms of independence have come from the people and not from a foreign force. The voice of the leader should be the voice of the people; therefore the workers and peasants should be leaders. Private owners have self-interests to look for and these self-interests always fall before the interests of the state and its people. Also, private owners influence foreign force, they invite foreign force for money and give them the right to intervene with the matters of the state.

If the leaders of the state are workers and peasants, the state will remain in the hands of the people. They will make sure that the state remains a socialist nation and does not become a capitalist state. Workers are the force of the nation that is exploited in a capital state so workers will know how important it is to keep capitalism away. The leader worker will be the voice of all the workers of the nation and not his alone.

Argument from Agriculture: Nyerere believes the main asset of his state is its cultivable land. He believes agriculture is the best route to development. He emphasizes the importance of promoting agriculture because it has the power to make us self-sufficient. A capitalist leader would demote agriculture or he will not pay attention to agriculture. Capitalist leaders put their interests before anything else and they will promote industrialization instead of agriculture. Tanzania does not afford industrialization at the moment; there is a long way to go before we can set up industries in our country. Setting up more industries would require a lot of capital and Tanzania does not have that capital. The only way we can get capital is through gifts, loans or foreign investments. All these will make Tanzania weak. Tanzania will not become self-reliant if the leader does not focus on agriculture.

Argument from Industries: A leader who promotes industries will promote loans, gifts and foreign investments. No country will provide Tanzania with gifts unless they get to call the tune. Capitalist states provide loans and gifts to dependent states for reasons. A worker will not promote industrial development and he will therefore make the best leader. He will not promote industrial development because industrial development is urban development. A worker will promote rural development.

Argument from Rural Development: Industries set up in town are for urban development. These industries manufacture good for export. It will be a long time before a developing state can make exportable goods. The demand for export quality in the foreign market is too high, and a state that recently got independence cannot meet that demand. Hence, the money earned by our export will not be enough to pay back the loans we take to develop industries. Only agriculture will bring foreign money to this country, for development. Therefore there is a need to focus on rural development, agricultural development and a peasant and worker would want to do that. A leader from the urban area would want to focus on urban development. Focus on the rural development will also help towards a classless society, which is important to socialism.

Argument from Weapon of Development: The weapon of development may look like money but it is not money. Nyerere argues that money is the fruit of development. It is what we reap after we have worked for it. A worker will understand the importance of hard work instead of money. Money should not be the input, it should be the output. A capitalist leader who owns enterprises and gets more than one salary will bring foreign investors to Tanzania. He will put his interest before the country and he will want to improve his companies by bringing foreign investment. He will bring capitalists to the country; they will exploit it and exploit the natural resources of the country. The natural resources of the country belong to the state and not the private owners. Private owners are capitalists who believe in maximizing their profit. In the hope to maximize their profit they will bring foreign investment to the country and make it far from self-reliant. The weapon of development is intelligent hard work and a worker would understand this, not a private owner.

Argument from Exploitation: A socialist state would never promote exploitation of any sort. Exploitation is a capitalist’s weapon and he sells what his worker manufactures and earns more than he pays the worker or for the inputs he provides. We cannot have a leader that promotes exploitation and therefore we cannot have a capitalist for our leader. Capitalists exploit and they exploit because they put their interests before anything else.


In order to keep the common welfare of the people above individual interests it is only fair that the structure of the state be socialist. A socialist state requires a leader who represents the people of the state. This is how the assets, natural resources of the state will remain with the people. The leaders, according Nyerere, are not allowed to participate in business activities. As soon as the leader has his own interest compared to that of the country’s, he will obviously put his own interest ahead. That is where the nation will stop being socialist and the capitalist element of exploitation will be introduced.

I believe Nyerere is right. He is right to not allow private ownership to the leaders. That is the only way leaders will take interests of the state as their priority. And the resources of the state will remain safe. He is right in labeling workers and peasants as the people worthy of leadership in a socialist state. He also puts restrictions for the leaders in terms of the property they own. He strongly asserts that the leaders should not be allowed more than one house that they can give on rent and they should not be allowed to own private companies or even own shares in companies. This is to say that the leaders should not be associated with feudalism or capitalism in any way. All these requirements require a very strong check on these leaders.

Nyerere’s leaders are not so strong, capitalists can buy them. Capitalists can make them say whatever they want to and so the state can look like a socialist state but the leaders will really be capitalists. There is a possibility of dummy leaders in Nyerere’s nation, how does he plan to overcome that? Also, considering every man will put his interest before the nation, even a worker or peasant may be the first to sell his soul to a capitalist for money.

Nyerere’s case towards socialism includes a clause that ‘Capitalism has failed’ because it makes the rich richer and the poor become worse. An objection to this would be why, then, is USA the most developed nation? The reply I have to it is the fact that capitalism feeds on workers of the whole world, and not just their own country. USA exploits the workers of the world to make itself richer and the developing countries become poorer as it gets richer.


I agree with Nyerere, wholeheartedly, because workers and peasants are the voice of the people. They will make sure that the country remains free. The country will remain free and independent as long as they do not give in to capitalism. Independence from colonization is one form but the new form of colonization is called neo-imperialism. The foreign force does not have to colonize your land to exploit you anymore. They can exploit you sitting at their home if only you allow them. A leader should prevent neo-imperialism and since neo-imperialism is in form of foreign investment only a non-business mind will say not to it. Hence, Nyerere calls for leaders who do not own companies or shares in companies and those that do not receive more than one salary. These leaders are workers, only they can be the voice of the people. These leaders will realize that Tanzania will have to put its faith in hard work and intelligence and not wait for monetary funds from a foreign friend.



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