Undying mortifs of scientific socialism in african literary criticism

The social tremor in communist Russia in the late 80s and the eventual collapse of communism in 1991 evoked doubts on further relevance of scientific socialism as a critical tradition generally and as a literary criterion for African literature particularly. Even before the crisis in the Soviet Union, antagonists of scientific socialism had written it off as a failed theory because, according to them, its social prognosis on the eventual overthrow of capitalism had failed to come true. This paper argues that it is patently fallacious for the antagonists of socialism to hold that the collapse of Socialism in Soviet Union is tantamount to failure of Socialism. It is argued that Soviet Socialism or Communism is a practice while Marxism or Socialism is a theory. Deviation in practice does not make a theory impotent or irrelevant. It is submitted that scientific socialism is a theory of social development and as such has pioneered the study of objective social conditions as the basic criteria for understanding of human society. It is further argued that the enlightenment thus purveyed by socialism has made it to be ever relevant and a veritable tool in the hands of radical African writers who employ it not only to critique the dependency and underdevelopment brought on the continent by capitalism, but also to point the way to African liberation and development. This paper makes the conclusion that philosophy and literature are in a symbiotic relationship and that such relationship has continued to contribute to the much needed community-building in our troubled age. The philosophical methods of analysis and logical argumentation will be employed in this paper to achieve its research goals adumbrated above.

Ifechukwu Ndianefoo
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