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New Left Review I/17, Winter 1962

Perry Anderson

Portugal and the End of Ultra-Colonialism (Part 3)

National Liberation

Mass forced labour: de facto pass laws: omnipresent foreign capital: an incendiary white lumpenproletariat: a superstructure of magic: an economic and social machine turning in a void, driven by pure terror. This was the system of Portuguese imperialism at the opening of 1961, the most primitive, the most defective and the most savagely exploitative colonial regime in Africa. Insulated from the world outside, functioning on force alone, it believed itself timeless, immune to the disorders sweeping the rest of European Africa. Like the Belgians in the Congo, the Portuguese in Angola and Mozambique thought they had abrogated history.

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Perry Anderson, ‘Portugal and the End of Ultra-Colonialism (Part 3)’, NLR I/17: £3

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