Marxist theory of social classes posits that societies are divided into distinct social classes based on their relationship to the means of production. According to Marx, the two primary classes in capitalist societies are the bourgeoisie (the capitalist class who own and control the means of production) and the proletariat (the working class who sell their labor to the bourgeoisie).
In the Nigerian context, we can observe the Marxist theory of social classes and social struggle through the lens of the country's close system, which refers to the social stratification based on ethnic and regional affiliations. Nigeria is a diverse country with over 250 ethnic groups, and this diversity has led to the formation of distinct social classes and struggles.
One example of social struggle in the Nigerian close system can be seen in the relationship between the Hausa-Fulani ethnic group and other ethnic groups, particularly in the northern region of Nigeria. The Hausa-Fulani, who are predominantly Muslim, have historically held political power and economic dominance in the region. This has created a class divide between the ruling elite, who are predominantly Hausa-Fulani, and the rest of the population.
The struggle for power and resources in this context can be seen as a manifestation of class struggle. The ruling elite, who control the means of production and political power, maintain their dominance and exploit the labor of the working class, which includes individuals from other ethnic groups. This creates a dynamic where the proletariat, consisting of individuals from different ethnic backgrounds, are marginalized and face economic and social inequalities.
Furthermore, the Marxist theory of social struggle can also be observed in the struggle for resource allocation and distribution in Nigeria. The country is rich in natural resources, particularly oil, but the benefits of these resources are not evenly distributed among the population. The bourgeoisie, represented by the political and economic elite, control and profit from the extraction and exportation of these resources, while the proletariat, comprising the majority of the population, do not reap the benefits.
This unequal distribution of resources leads to social unrest and tensions, as marginalized groups demand a fairer distribution of wealth and resources. Movements such as the Niger Delta struggle, where communities in the oil-rich Niger Delta region demand a greater share of the oil revenue and better living conditions, exemplify the social struggle within the Nigerian close system.
In conclusion, the Marxist theory of social classes and social struggle can be applied to the Nigerian close system, where the bourgeoisie and proletariat can be identified within the ruling elite and the marginalized working class, respectively. The struggle for power, resources, and equitable distribution of wealth within the Nigerian society reflects the class divisions and social inequalities inherent in Marxist theory.