Burning Spear News
Solving the Problems of the Revolution—The Advanced Detachment III
The African working class had a clear demand for Black Power!
[The following is an excerpt from the unedited first draft of the Political Report to the Party’s October 6-13 Seventh Congress. Titled “The African People’s Socialist Party – Vanguard! Advanced Detachment of the African Revolution”, the Party’s Seventh Congress will occur in St. Louis, Missouri at the Uhuru House that is central to our new economic development program, “Black Power Blueprint.”
[Although I expect an earlier finish date, the Political Report must be presented to the entire Party membership by June 6, 2018. We will be presenting the entire Political Report in the pages of The Spear upon its completion.]
The second imperialist world war resulted in the U.S., which did not suffer the consequences of war being fought within its domestic borders, becoming the center of the capitalist world economy.
This is reflected in the Bretton Woods United Nations Monetary and Financial conference in 1944 and the establishment of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund that relocated the world capitalist monetary system to the U.S.
The European colonial powers were now forced to share previously dominated markets and resources from their colonial bounty with the U.S.
New raw materials from the colonies that were opened up to U.S. exploitation generated a critical need for workers in the U.S. to transform them into finished products.
Workers from Eastern Europe, after having become a part of the Soviet bloc, were no longer available to the U.S. as in the past.
The bourgeois solution for the worker shortage was located in the Southern U.S. among the domestically colonized African workers.
The problem was the relations of production in the South required Africans in the Southern U.S. to be tied to the intense backbreaking labor associated with the labor-intensive capitalism in the South.
The southern-based, labor intensive colonial-capitalist system was opposed to any kind of change that might challenge its profit and domination and the existing relations of production that protected it.
These relations of production had the benefit of ideological justification, but they relied on terrorist violence for their perpetuation.
It was for these reasons that African laborers were denied the right to the minimum education that would be necessary for workers in capital intensive production.
This is why the liberal U.S. bourgeoisie supported every nonviolent effort to allow education for the oppressed African workers in the Southern U.S.
The apartheid regime of South Africa was based on the relations of production that existed within the U.S.
Africans within the U.S. were totally disenfranchised, but also defined as subhuman. This definition was reflected in the production relations.
There was such a thing as “nigger work” that placed restrictions on where Africans could work and what we were permitted to do within those work spaces.
Separate toilets, drinking fountains and neighborhoods were also used to define Africans as less than the human North Americans or whites who set the standard for human identity.
The colonial State also initiated deadly prohibitions on all social interactions, especially sexual, between the colonizer and the colonized─essentially between African men and North American women.
Parasitic capitalism provides the ideological foundation for the current society
Crude, but generally accepted ideologically backward definition of African humanity was a logical expression of the economic base of slavery-generated social system.
It is a definition that prevails up to this day, not only for Africans within the U.S., but for Africans in general─all of whom were brought into a relationship with Europe through the global colonial-slavery related economy.
Nor is this backward ideological assumption restricted to what are generally regarded as reactionary, klan or fascist types of Europeans or whites. We are talking about the ideological foundation of capitalism that permeates all of European and other capitalist-dominated societies, essentially the entire world.
In the Political Report to the Party’s Sixth Congress, published in book form as “An Uneasy Equilibrium: The African Revolution Versus Parasitic Capitalism,” I elaborated on this historical dialectical assessment:
“Slavery, genocide and colonialism are the stuff or which capitalism was born. African enslavement was the first capital in the development of capitalism.
“The prevailing system, culture, religion and general philosophical outlook or worldview constitute the superstructure of capitalism thus conceived.
“The superstructure is a natural product and reflection of this economic base of colonial slavery…
“The parasitic foundation of world capitalism continues to exist up to now as the true economic base upon which the entire superstructure of the capitalist-defined, capitalist-dominated world rests.
“The total existence of ‘white’ people and their ability to produce and reproduce life is dependent on this parasitic relationship that came into being with the attack by feudal Europe on Africa and the world.
“Instead of separate, more or less self-contained worlds existing in casual relationship to each other, there is one capitalist world system united by a parasitic economic relationship imposed by Europe upon the rest of us.
“There is, therefore, no European reality separate from that of Africa and the rest of the world.
“The entire world is now locked into a single dialectical process, a unity of opposites, whereupon the gruesome extraction of life and resources from Africa and the rest of the world is a condition for the life and ‘development’ of what we now know as Europe, ‘white people’ and the capitalist system to which we have been forcibly affixed.
“The legal system, culture, white sense of sameness and political institutions are reflections of this parasitic economic base…”
In that same document from our Party’s Sixth Congress, I also quoted Karl Marx. In his preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, published in 1859, Marx made the same argument that we have simply put into context for our struggle today:
“In the social production of their existence, men inevitably enter into definite relations, which are independent of their will, namely [the] relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production.
“The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation on which arises a legal and political superstructure of society, and to which correspond definite forms of consciousness.
“The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness...
“The changes in the economic foundation lead, sooner or later, to the transformation of the whole, immense superstructure.
“In studying such transformations, it is always necessary to distinguish between the material transformation of the economic conditions of production, which can be determined with the precision of natural science, and the legal, political, religious, artistic or philosophic─in short, ideological forms in which men become conscious of this conflict and fight it out…”
The birth of the civil rights movement came at the expense of the African Working Class
African workers attempting to leave the U.S. South for the capital-intensive production of the North often had to do so under extremely dangerous circumstances.
In many instances the education necessary for laborers in capital-intensive production when available to Africans in the South was only at the risk of life.
This situation was the basis for an alliance between the liberal sector of the colonial bourgeoisie and the liberal colonized African petty bourgeoisie.
Both needed change and access to African workers, but for entirely different reasons. Both needed the change that would result in a revolution from above.
The African working class, perennial victims of terror and the arbitrary extra-legal and sometimes very subjective, personalized violence, desperately needed change and relief from this situation.
We wanted to be able to see a future where our children would not be locked into an indeterminate situation of brutality and poverty and backbreaking “nigger work” without relief.
The liberal colonized African petty bourgeoisie needed democratic changes for its own protection from the arbitrary extrajudicial treatment that subjected even the most educated and otherwise assimilated African to the vicious whims of uncultured, uneducated, reactionary whites who functioned as extensions of the white colonial State in their treatment of Africans.
The selfish interests of the African petty bourgeoisie also required mass access to the electoral system as a means of acquiring an ability to integrate into the capitalist economic system, which is the definition of “equality” for the African petty bourgeoisie.
The African petty bourgeoisie needed the African masses to have the ability to vote so they, the African petty bourgeoisie, would have the ability to be elected to office and positions of power to integrate into the capitalist system as co-predators.
The revolution from above that we have come to know as the Civil Rights Movement was funded by the liberal white colonial rulers.
This explains why the movement had to be based on philosophical non-violence. The white rulers were not about to fund a movement that might engage in armed resistance to white terror that might destroy our colonial domination.
Demand for Black Power captured the reality for African people
The problem for the white rulers and their compliant African minions was the fact that the fodder for this movement, the impoverished and brutalized Africans of the southern U.S., would discover our own interests in the struggle for the democracy being sought by the liberal’s all─colonizer and colonized.
In the struggle to change the world, these African toilers would ourselves be changed.
The need for change was interpreted by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in its slogan-demand for Black Power, even after the petty bourgeois-led Civil Rights Movement had realized its aims with the legal acquisition of rights and universal suffrage in 1964 and 1965, respectively.
The Black Power slogan-demand captured the reality for the entire African nation within the U.S. and the world.
It was an anti-colonial demand that challenged the limitations of the call for equality and rights within the colonial relationship.
The political structures within which the U.S. domestic anti-colonial struggle was being waged also came under siege. SNCC briefly became the center of anti-colonial resistance within the U.S.
In the meantime, other anti-colonial organizations began an outright challenge to African struggle confined to Civil Rights or rights within the colonial-capitalist system.
Among these were the Junta of Militant Organizations (JOMO) and the Black Panther Party.
The African People’s Party (APP) and the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (RNA) were others. These organizations and the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) were influenced ideologically by Malcolm X who had left the original Nation of Islam (NOI) in a split that divided that group between religious obscurantists, philosophical idealists and the growing materialist-influenced revolutionary ideology and practice being promoted by Malcolm X.
The masses of African people were grasped by a revolutionary fever that was sweeping the planet.
The chains of colonial domination were being shattered everywhere─Kenya, Korea, Ghana, Congo, Vietnam, Cuba, Grenada, Algeria, Oakland, California and St. Petersburg, Florida!
The colonialist-capitalist ruling class was defeated politically and ideologically within the U.S. and throughout the world.
Part of that defeat was to be seen in the creation of independent political organizations─the African National Congress and Pan Africanist Congress of Azania are examples.
There was, however, also the Kenyan Land and Freedom Army (Mau Mau), Zimbabwe African National Union, Black Panther Party, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, New Jewel Movement of Grenada, JOMO and African People’s Socialist Party.