East African Railways and Harbours 1945-60: from ‘crisis of accumulation’ to labour resistance

Book chapter


Hyde, D. 2015. East African Railways and Harbours 1945-60: from ‘crisis of accumulation’ to labour resistance. in: Maat, Harro and Hazareesingh, Sandip (ed.) Local Subversions of Colonial Cultures Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 147-169
AuthorsHyde, D.
EditorsMaat, Harro and Hazareesingh, Sandip
Abstract

Weak infrastructure, a low level of development and ‘underdevelopment’ generally can and does inhibit the metamorphosis of the commodity form within peripheral sites of production. Anti-commodity tendencies can also be manifest as ‘the commons’ refusing commodification, or as goods and resources destined for commodification but which resist the full evolution into the commodity form. This is deeply symptomatic of crisis and breakdown.
What follows is an examination of a pivotal local crisis which erupted within the spine of East Africa’s transport system during late colonialism, that has received little acknowledgement. The essence of the severe financial crisis which beset East African Railways and Harbours [E.A.R.H.] lay in its prescribed role as the provider of cheap transportation to underwrite the profitability of Kenya's settler economy, a function which it had long struggled to sustain. The function of E.A.R.H. as a state monopoly was to facilitate commodification, fulfilling the transition from goods to commodities. How could E.A.R.H., after years of overwork and neglect, renew its infrastructure to continue in this role of enabling local production? The work draws upon Marx’s work in Capital in an attempt to address these questions.
The recurrent crises which beset capital dominate the wage bargaining process where the terms and conditions of commodification are periodically contested. The work brings into view labour power as the anti-commodity par excellence, a living substance whose bearers simultaneously embrace and defy commodification.

Book titleLocal Subversions of Colonial Cultures
Page range147-169
Year2015
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication dates
Print19 Oct 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited31 Aug 2017
Series Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series
ISBN978-1-137-38110-1
978-1-137-38109-5
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1057/9781137381101
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137381101
Additional information

Hyde, David, East African Railways and Harbours 1945-60: from ‘crisis of accumulation’ to labour resistance, 2015, Palgrave Macmillan, reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan.

This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here: https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137381101

Accepted author manuscript
Permalink -

https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/8544x

  • 5
    total views
  • 15
    total downloads
  • 4
    views this month
  • 6
    downloads this month

Related outputs

The Nairobi General Strike [1950]: from protest to insurgency
Hyde, D. 2002. The Nairobi General Strike [1950]: from protest to insurgency. in: Burton, Andrew (ed.) The Urban Experience in Eastern Africa, c. 1750-2000 (Azania Special Volume) The British Institute in Eastern Africa.
Global Coffee and Decolonisation in Kenya: Overproduction, Quotas, and Rural Restructuring
Hyde, D. 2008. Global Coffee and Decolonisation in Kenya: Overproduction, Quotas, and Rural Restructuring. The Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies, The Open University.
The East African Railway Strike, 1959-60: labour’s challenge of inter-territorialism
Hyde, D. 2016. The East African Railway Strike, 1959-60: labour’s challenge of inter-territorialism. Labor History. 57 (1), pp. 71-91.
‘The Nairobi General Strike [1950]: from protest to insurgency’
Hyde, D. 2002. ‘The Nairobi General Strike [1950]: from protest to insurgency’. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa. 36-37 (1), pp. 235-253.
Undercurrents to Independence: Plantation Struggles in Kenya’s Central Province 1959-60
Hyde, D. 2010. Undercurrents to Independence: Plantation Struggles in Kenya’s Central Province 1959-60. Journal of Eastern African Studies. 4 (3), pp. 467-489.
'Paying for the Emergency by displacing the Settlers' : global coffee and rural restructuring in late colonial Kenya.
Hyde, D. 2009. 'Paying for the Emergency by displacing the Settlers' : global coffee and rural restructuring in late colonial Kenya. Journal of Global History. 4 (1), pp. 81-103.