Early in this decade a political observer, looking at one of Africa's least known and most sanguinary states, described Equatorial Guinea as "Cambodia minus ideology" (Pélissier, 1980:13). During the eleven year presidency (1968-1979) of Francisco Macias Nguema, up to half of the population was liquidated or went into exile. Little is known on the internal workings or ideology of the regime. However, just as we can no longer say that there are peoples without histories, we can no longer assume that there are rulers without ideologies. Much statistical and other information on Equatorial Guinea is fragmentary or missing. It is possible, however, to trace the lineaments of the rise and fall of the first post-independent government. It is the purpose of this essay to examine that development. We shall seek an explanation, although it be a partial one, of the ideological and economic conditions which provided the context for the creation of a mass concentration camp in the tropics.