The following is the Political Report to be presented by African People's Socialist Party (APSP) Chairman Omali Yeshitela to the Plenary of the APSP on July 25, 2009.
Uhuru! Comrades of the African People’s Socialist Party and the Uhuru Movement that struggles so valiantly under the leadership of the Party:
Since the our last Plenary the African People's Socialist Party has undergone the greatest transformation of our history, with greater leaps than we have ever experienced in a short period of time. We are seeing the upcoming historic launching of the African People’s Socialist Party-Sierra Leone, the founding of the African Socialist International (ASI) in West and East Africa. We are experiencing growing organization in Canada and Europe and in several cities in the U.S. with increasing political and organizational influence throughout the U.S., Africa, South America and the world.
We have led the struggle to expose the neocolonial regime of Barack Hussein Obama, the most recent and insidious face of U.S. and world imperialism. Even as most bourgeois African nationalists and ersatz communists make excuses for the Obama regime, our Party has held steadfast to the recognition and stance that imperialism is imperialism regardless of the complexion of its latest representative.
The centerpiece of the Party’s work has been the African Socialist International. This work represents our recognition that the African Liberation Movement, whether in the U.S., Africa or elsewhere, has long run into its limitations when waged within the context of the existing borders of Africa and the world. These colonially imposed borders are used to separate Africans from each other and from our resources that are being exploited daily at the expense of our liberty and material wellbeing.
For years our ASI work revolved around attempting to locate and win participation from existing revolutionary groups within the African world. For years we were disappointed by the inability of existing organizations, either because of ideological limitations or class orientation, to give practical unity to the ASI project. Because of this we modified our strategy for the ASI to include building our Party when possible anywhere in the world even as we sought other organizations to join our efforts. We set out to organize Africans into the Party wherever we recognized the potential. Through these Party cadres we began to establish ASI outposts in Europe, Africa and elsewhere.
In 2005, more than twenty years after the First Party Congress in 1981 passed the resolution mandating the building of the ASI, we finally consolidated the ASI work on the Continent of Africa itself. The development of the ASI in West Africa came as a result of continuous ASI conferences held annually by our Party in London. Because of the significance of London as a major transit point for Africans from throughout the world we assumed that we would eventually win participation to the ASI of Africans with immediate ties to the African Continent and from the Caribbean.
In 2001 our Party, under the brilliant and consistent leadership of Comrade Luwezi Kinshasa, brought us back in touch with the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) for the first time since the negotiated settlement ended the apartheid regime in South Africa. Subsequently we were able to begin work with sectors of the PAC in our attempt to win them to the ASI project. However, despite all our efforts, the internal struggles within PAC limited our ability to influence its trajectory towards the direction of the ASI.
In 2005 a leader of a youthful, militant mass organization in Sierra Leone heard our call. The participation of Comrade Chernoh Alpha M. Bah and the Africanist Movement under his leadership has resulted in a major advance for the development of the African Socialist International. In October of 2008, Comrade Chernoh organized an ASI Conference in West Africa that proved to be historic, and socialist revolution was placed on the agenda in Sierra Leone for the first time in more than thirty years.
Working with a revolutionary national democratic program to which conference participants were able to contribute, the African Socialist International has given strategic leadership to the struggle of our people in West Africa and set a new example for the struggle of African workers throughout the African Continent and elsewhere.
In November of this year, consistent with its draft constitution, the ASI plans to consolidate itself in Sierra Leone as the African People’s Socialist Party. At this time, with participation and solidarity from Africans and others from throughout the world, the newly launched APSP-Sierra Leone intends to launch Uhuru Radio, a FM station that will represent the views and interests of the African working class, poor peasants and revolutionary national democratic forces of Sierra Leone and the region.
A quote from an article on Uhurunews.com, our Party’s Internet news organ, clearly demonstrates the significance of the pending establishment of the African People’s Socialist Party-Sierra Leone thusly:
“The Interim Committee charged with the responsibility of building the APSP in Sierra Leone says the process is not only limited to a struggle for a workers led state in the country, but one that is tied to an international revolutionary movement for the liberation and unification of African people worldwide under an all African socialist government.”
In addition to the work to build the ASI in West Africa, we have consolidated a viable committee to build the ASI in East Africa and are moving rapidly to build the African People’s Socialist Party-Kenya. An ASI Conference of the East Africa region was held in Nairobi in April of this year and even without mass publicity efforts because of concern that a high public profile would invite attacks by the neocolonial Kenyan government, almost 50 attendees rushed to join the ASI.
Again, this was a result of the courageous work of Comrade Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, a member of our Party and ASI Director of Organization, who has developed a rapid organization plan that will have the ASI established in nearly every African region by the end of the year, barring major complications.
An important aspect of the Nairobi East African Regional Conference was the fact that we were able to go there with other Party cadres who played important roles in the conference. These were cadres from London that included Comrade Luwezi Kinshasa, Secretary General of the ASI; security from South Africa, and others from the U.S., including our Chairman. Since that April conference, Comrade Chernoh has returned to Kenya and conducted other organizational meetings and some trainings and political education.
The growing capacity of the African People’s Socialist Party was also obvious in the fact that following the April ASI Regional Conference in East Africa, we had the capacity to simultaneously hold two other successful ASI Regional Conferences in May. The North American Regional Conference was held in Washington, D.C. and the European Regional Conference was held in Manchester, England. The ASI North American Regional Conference has now established a Regional Interim Leadership Committee comprised of comrades from in the U.S. and Canada and led by Comrade Chioma Oruh, who is daily gaining Party prominence and confidence in her ability to become a valuable Party cadre.
ASI adopted at Party’s First Congress
This work to build the ASI is at a new level of development, but we would do well to remember that the ASI is not a new project of our Party. It is work that, placed in historical perspective, helps us to understand the farsightedness of our Party. It helps us to understand the significance of our Party as the leader of the international African working class, its advanced detachment that clearly understands the way forward and is preparing itself for the conquest of political power.
This is work that was formally initiated at our Party’s First Congress in 1981. Comrade Chernoh, the ASI Director of Organization, could not have been more than two years old when we passed the resolution for building the ASI, stating in part:
“The African People’s Socialist Party calls on all African revolutionaries in all countries to unite with us into one all-African international socialist association which would enhance our ability to realize our historic mission to free and unite our people and motherland, and to defeat imperialism and issue in a new day of peace, freedom, and world socialism.
“The African People’s Socialist Party calls on all African revolutionaries in all countries to unite with us into one all-African international association, which would assume the tasks of:
“Liberating and uniting all of Africa under a single, all-African socialist state;
“Uniting, coordinating, and giving general assistance and direction for the revolutionary struggles of all African people wherever they occur and whenever the aims of such struggles are consistent with the aims of the international association;
“Achieving the objective consolidation of African nationality for all African people wherever we are oppressed and exploited throughout the world due to the machinations of imperialism.
“AFRICANS OF THE WORLD, TAKE HISTORY IN YOUR HANDS!
“AFRICANS OF THE WORLD, UNITE TO BUILD THE AFRICAN SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL!”
Again, in the Main Resolution at the Party’s Third Congress in September 1990 we elaborated on the Party’s position that the African Socialist International is our most important strategical task:
“This work to build the African Socialist International will be the central focus of our revolutionary work. It will occur under the slogan: ‘Izwe Lethu I Afrika,’ appropriated from the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania.
“This work, as distinguished from Pan Africanism, which has historically relied principally upon the leadership of the African petty bourgeoisie as heads of organizations or illegitimate colonialist crated states for the accomplishment of its aims, will rely upon the social base of conscious Africans organized under the revolutionary leadership of the African working class.
“Thus, as a mobilizing tool, we have also declared at this Congress that this is the ‘era of the worldwide African Revolution and socialist unification of Africa and African people under the leadership of African workers and poor peasants.’
“We must take the question of Africa, its relationship to the structure of the capitalist world economy, and our relationship to it to every African community in the world. This is important for a thousand reasons. But Africa is suffering with no obvious relief in sight.”
However, although we determined that our central work would be building the African Socialist International, this does not mean that we are not involved in struggles on the ground everywhere. Our recognition of the African Socialist International as the central, strategic task of our Party does not mean that we are not engaged in struggling around the pressing issues and concerns of the African working class and colonized nation wherever and whenever they occur in the world. In fact, we see all these struggles against imperialism as schools for enhancing the fighting capacity of our Party, class and colonially oppressed nation.
InPDUM leads mass resistance
The main vehicle through which the Party carries out mass struggle is the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM). Although InPDUM has been beset with a bevy of contradictions over the years, the organization has recently begun to move forward in some crucial ways.
For one thing InPDUM has been the primary leader of organized, strategically informed mass resistance within the African community in the U.S. InPDUM gained critical notoriety during the campaign to elect Barack Hussein Obama as U.S. president. While too many others who claim leadership of our people either capitulated to or were immobilized by the campaign and election of Obama, InPDUM has been on the forefront of the struggle to expose him as just another fast talking shill for a very desperate imperialism.
In the process of this struggle InPDUM has also, by comparison, exposed the opportunism within the African Liberation Movement in the U.S. For the most part these opportunists have abandoned the African workers and masses, leaving them disarmed against imperialism in its new, seductive form. In the absence of a theoretically sound strategical approach to struggle that was based on a correct line and lacking a genuine revolutionary program, most of the African liberation movement was thrust into motion by Obama’s campaign and election. In other words, their stand and actions were based on spontaneity, long recognized as the mother of opportunism.
It was InPDUM that disrupted Obama’s Florida campaign appearance and composure with the simple chant and slogan/question: “What about the black community?” It was InPDUM that participated in public forums that critiqued the Obama election as not only a shabby attempt of imperialist camouflage but also as a means of deflecting the political activity of the African masses away from self-interested independent revolutionary politics.
It was InPDUM that used the slogan: “What about the black community?” for its convention last year and used the convention to launch our Revolutionary National Democratic Program that addressed the needs and aspirations of our class and people. In an effort to raise the level of discussion during the election, InPDUM struggled to make the programs of the presidential candidates the focus of the debate and to force a comparison between the programs of the Democratic Party represented by Obama and the Revolutionary National Democratic Program of the African masses as put forward by InPDUM.
In addition, InPDUM has led the struggles in cities in California and Pennsylvania against the attempts by local governments to use budget cuts of crucial services to facilitate the bourgeoisie’s attempt to shift the burden of the capitalist economic crisis onto the backs of African people and the laboring masses. These struggles have resulted in vicious police attacks on our organizers in Philadelphia and an attempt to silence resistance through police and court repression.
Nevertheless, InPDUM has been unflinching. While waging an unrelenting struggle in defense of the two comrades facing felony charges because of their exposure of the budget bomb being launched against the African community of Philadelphia, InPDUM is also preparing for its October Convention to be held in Philadelphia under the slogans: “They Say Cutback! We Say Payback! Reparations Now!” and “Independence In Our Lifetime!”
These slogans/demands anticipate InPDUM-led political activity among the masses that will sharpen the contradictions for our people who are watching the Obama regime shovel several trillion dollars of taxpayer’s money to banks and other ruling class institutions. At the same time, because of predatory lending practices initiated by Obama’s campaign finance chairwoman, the Obama regime is overseeing the greatest theft of African community wealth in history in the form of massive loss of homes through foreclosures resulting from subprime mortgages.
InPDUM’s slogans also challenge the very legitimacy of Obama’s election as a response to the conditions of existence faced by Africans in the U.S. with the demand for independence in our lifetime!
Now InPDUM is gearing up for some of the most important work of its existence. This is work given greater significance because of the crisis of imperialism that makes it especially vulnerable to the struggle of our people for revolutionary democracy.
RNDP establishes political basis for black power
U.S. imperialism is waging public wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is also engaged in not-so-public military interventions throughout Africa, especially in Somalia. At the same time the U.S. is trying to win public support for some kind of intervention in Sudan as preparation is being made for the installment of open U.S. military dominance through AFRICOM to contend with imperialist rivals, protect the neocolonial status quo and give greater coordination of existing and future U.S. military intervention anywhere in Africa.
The U.S. is also busy attempting to reverse its fortune in South America, ramping up counter-intelligence activities against the governments of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and others that have moved and are moving away from the imperialist camp. Many governments throughout the region are now searching for socialist solutions.
New developments leading to electoral success of leftists in Nicaragua and El Salvador have surely caused growing alarm for the U.S. and there is little doubt by anyone of U.S. involvement in the recent coup in Honduras to remove a president that had become part of a progressive bloc threatening imperialist interests in this Hemisphere.
The current U.S. regime is also faced with an economy that has tanked. Because bourgeois “economists” are ideologically blinded they cannot see the connection between the economic crisis and the growing successes by colonized and oppressed peoples to reclaim our resources, our sovereignty and our future. We in the African People’s Socialist Party, however, are clear on the connection, and we are determined to deepen the crisis by advancing the struggle for African liberation and unification and supporting all other struggles to defeat the imperialist stranglehold on the world.
This is the political and economic context of InPDUM’s work to advance our Revolutionary National Democratic Program (RNDP). The primary objective of the Revolutionary National Democratic Program of our movement is to establish the political basis for the struggle for black power.
The Revolutionary National Democratic Program offers the masses of our people and the people of the world an alternative program to the predatory program being advanced by U.S. imperialism. The RNDP is a program that not only opposes the unjust wars and interventions of the U.S., it unites with the aspirations of the victims of such wars and interventions.
The Revolutionary National Democratic Program must be advanced and fought for in the streets, communities and factories and campuses of the U.S. and the world. It is a program of peace and social justice; it is a program that unleashes the masses of our people on a path for the conquest of revolutionary national democratic power, the power to govern ourselves.
This is what makes InPDUM’s work so significant during this time of deep crisis of imperialism. Our program does not attempt to win the people to a process of solving the crisis of imperialism. It contributes to deepening the crisis by organizing practical unity between the anti-imperialist struggles of the peoples of the world and the struggles of the U.S. front of the African liberation movement for the socialist liberation and unification of Africa and African people worldwide.
This is not something to be taken lightly. Nor should this be understood as a campaign to simply take it upon ourselves to implement one or more points of the overall program. The task is to become revolutionary politicians who may or may not implement points of the overall program, but who will see as our primary task winning the masses of our people to the whole Revolutionary National Democratic Program as their program, the program that will contend with the program of the imperialist parties of the U.S. and their lesser allies both within and outside the U.S. This is the program that we want the progressive international community to recognize as representing the interests of Africans colonized within the current borders of the U.S.
Using the Revolutionary National Democratic Program as the basis for winning the unity of the African masses in the U.S. to a revolutionary trajectory, the Party must see InPDUM as the vehicle through which we move to conquer real power, the power to govern. As InPDUM represents the organizational manifestation of the revolutionary national democratic unity of the African masses, we must move through InPDUM as a major means towards establishment of a revolutionary national democratic provisional government.
The Revolutionary National Democratic Program gives us the ability to concretize the question of political power among the masses of our people with the objective of winning the people to the right and responsibility for self-government.
This marks a critical juncture of our struggle for the liberation and unification of Africa and African people worldwide from the U.S. front of the movement against continued imperialist world domination and for the victory of international socialism.
APSC another vehicle against U.S. imperialism
InPDUM is not the only vehicle through which the Party is advancing a winning struggle against U.S. imperialism within current U.S. borders. One major component of the Party’s arsenal is the African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC), the Party organization comprised essentially of North Americans or white people.
In many ways APSC has been ghettoized within the Uhuru Movement and its significance is not fully understood either by itself or the Party at large. This is essentially because of the race nationalism and race analysis that have contaminated the body politics of the African liberation movement. The race nationalism has been most influential within the diverse movement for self-determination or independence from the U.S. It has been essentially a nationalism based on skin color or racial identity, in most instances liquidating the critical issue of class and the revolutionary capture of state power and ignoring the question of the kind of social system will be established in the independence being sought.
In many instances this race nationalism has prevented its advocates from establishing alliances and unity with any non-African cause, regardless of its political and strategical implications for the struggle against world imperialism and the liberation of our people. It has occasionally also allowed the race nationalists to unite with enemies of our people and tools of imperialism, simply because they were African.
However, the race nationalists are not the only forces who are wedded to a racial analysis of our struggle. The Assimilationists of every complexion and political persuasion – black liberal capitalist-aspirants, frothing-at-the-mouth infantile black and white pseudo Marxists along with their liberal variant – are also adherents of racial analysis. Even the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (AAPRP), a formerly significant student-based middle class Pan Africanist organization, described ours as a struggle against “racism” and imperialism, an example of an idealist form of philosophical dualism.
Of course, we of the African People’s Socialist Party have always recognized that racism is simply the ideological underpinning of imperialism. It is the ideas in the heads of people that unite them with the interests of imperialism, often against their own best interests. We have always recognized that the struggle of African people is for the conquest of power, it is a struggle against colonialism which, when victorious, makes insignificant the ideas in the heads of our national oppressors and class enemies.
Race nationalism is based on philosophical idealism. It represents the worldview of the imperialist bourgeoisie that invented the concept of race to facilitate the domination of capitalism, which was born as a world system and as white power. It is interesting to note that many of the race nationalists and the Assimilationists have found unity in their support for the campaign and presidency of Barack Hussein Obama, imperialism’s most desperate example of white power in black face.
While the African People’s Socialist Party can be proud of our track record of fighting for science in our struggle and for destroying the ideological basis for most of the backward notions concerning the struggle for socialism and liberation, we have not been absolutely immune to the ideological and political influences of the world. Moreover, the imperial attitude that too often accompany whites, including some of the comrades of the APSC, has contributed to subjectivism sometimes subduing or compromising the Party line regarding race and the African People’s Solidarity Committee.
Nonetheless, it must clearly be stated that the African People’s Solidarity Committee has proved to be an invaluable Party organization. It has provided us a division of labor that has allowed the Party to extend the struggle for African liberation and socialism into the living rooms and communities of the oppressor nation white population. Only the politically blind will refuse to see the value of this.
However, these comrades are not only a strategic asset; they have also provided our Party with some of our most heroic and dedicated cadres. The African People’s Solidarity Committee is comprised of cadres who have been beaten and arrested by police, kidnapped and traumatized in “de-programming” attempts, become the “nigger lovers” to the white left and at times have had to endure a form of excommunication from sectors of white society.
Some of our movement’s longstanding veterans, custodians of much of our history of struggle and tactics and strategy, some of whom were trained by our Chairman up to thirty years ago, are members of the African People’s Solidarity Committee. Their willingness to adopt African Internationalism as their own and to endure the hardships and struggles consistent with this acceptance of the Party’s worldview, has resulted in a well organized, tightly-knit group with a membership that has learned to work well together and that has a passion for the African Internationalism and the Party.
Within the ranks of APSC are comrades who have maintained their station in our movement for much longer than much of the Party’s membership. They are often comrades who have been willing to withstand and engage in severe criticism and self-criticism. They have endured disruptions of personal relationships and they have willingly accepted assignments to different cities and states to carry out political work based on the direction of the Party.
These are comrades whose political history as African Internationalists has prepared them for the crucial task ahead. The selection and election of Obama as U.S. president is a weapon in the hands of the oppressor to bring confusion on the question of ”race” in the U.S. The fact that he was elected with a substantial vote from the white oppressor nation citizens is being used to absolve the oppressor nation of any responsibility for the conditions of existence with which Africans are confronted. The race analysis supports this erroneous, opportunist, self-serving conclusion.
However, the existence and work of the Party through APSC will allow the Party to contend with this bourgeois explanation of the current reality. The existence and work of APSC will allow the Party, black power in white face, to effectively challenge this treachery. APSC will represent a living, concrete example of bourgeois disingenuousness and will be able to establish examples of principle in relationship with the struggling peoples of the world and show the line of march that can result in resolution of the contradictions separating white people from the rest of the human family and arm them to fight for black power in their own selfish interests.
In the current period the contradictions of imperialism are being generalized. The struggles of the oppressed peoples of the world are successfully changing the political and economic contours of the world; imperialist war is being increasingly discredited as a viable solution, and the economic crisis and the bourgeoisie colonialist state response to it, are exposing greater numbers of North American oppressor nation citizens to economic despair and political outrage.
The self-interested concerns of the North American oppressor nation citizens are real. The problem historically is that the North American population has usually united with solutions to their perceived problems at the expense of Africans and others. Historically the ruling class has recognized this materially based contradiction and used it. This traditional North American opportunism – the tendency to accept short term benefits for themselves at the expense of the long term interests of the masses of the world’s peoples – are used to protect imperialism by splitting the North American people and progressives from the struggling peoples of the world.
However, during this period where so many of the inherent contradictions of imperialism are in a state of simultaneous convergence, we have the greatest opportunity, perhaps in history, to win a significant sector of the North American oppressor nation citizens to unity with a revolutionary solution. During this period, with North Americans feeling pain and often needing to respond to it, we can often use their own pain as the starting point in the discussion, helping them in the process to recognize that theirs is a pain born of the very nature of a social system built and sustained of slavery, colonialism and genocide.
The African People’s Solidarity Committee will be the potent weapon that we will employ in this critical task. In order to be effective it is currently not enough to only educate the North American population to the aggressions of imperialism against Africans and others, we must develop our capacity to explain to the North American population the connection between its current crisis and the very nature of the system born of slavery, colonialism and genocide.
The non-exploiting sectors of the North American people must be brought to a scientific understanding of the contradictions they themselves are facing. In other words, we must become expert in winning North Americans to solidarity based on their recognition that it is the route to creating a new system that will free them from the imperialist designed segregation from the rest of the world and from the exploitation and other contradictions with which they attempt to contend in their imaginary isolation from the rest of us.
It would also serve us to recognize that not all the North Americans who support and voted for Obama were motivated by conscious opportunism, which is not to say this makes the opportunism less significant. Some North Americans actually saw their support and vote for Obama as taking a stance in the interests of ”racial” justice and reconciliation. Although, because it is motivated by conviction, “honest” opportunism is the most dangerous kind, in this instance it is also an opportunism that may be susceptible to education towards the correct path to “racial” justice.
APSC will be the Party’s primary weapon in this struggle at this critical time when all these contradictions are impacting on so many of the non-exploiting sectors of the U.S. population at the same time. This will not be an easy task, but it certainly cannot be any more difficult than the tasks these comrades have taken on in the past. It simply means that we will have to develop new tactics, strategies and approaches to this work. But it is necessary and it will be done and we will win.
AAPDEP a tool against parasitic capitalist development
The All African People’s Development Empowerment Project is another Party formation that has enhanced our strategic position. We still have much to learn about how to develop this organization and best utilize it to advance our struggle, but the work it has done up to now clearly demonstrates its potential. AAPDEP is, as the name suggests, a development project.
The issue of the impact of capitalist development at the expense of Africa and African people has always been at the heart of our revolutionary work. Indeed, it is the basis of our work and our demand for revolutionary transformation. However, capitalist development, which has sucked the human and material resources out of Africa historically, leaving our scattered people battered and impoverished, cannot be reversed short of revolution.
AAPDEP is an important tool in the struggle against parasitic capitalist development. It allows us to initiate self-serving development-for-liberation projects that will contribute to undermining parasitic capitalist development and the neocolonial structures put in place to promote and protect it. It allows us to move away from the whining politics of “underdevelopment” that are used to characterize our conditions of existence in Africa and else where to a politics or development-for-liberation under the leadership of the revolutionary process. This is consistent with the Party’s strategy of Dual and Contending Power, a revolutionary national democratic power of the people that is consciously in contention with the power of the existing state in the service of the ruling class.
In Sierra Leone AAPDEP has initiated and/or participated in several development projects. We have initiated and completed a rainwater-harvesting program that brings clean water to a community there, which suffers like most of Sierra Leone with the consequences of water borne diseases because of a lack of clean water. We have done the preliminary work to bring a healthcare facility to respond to the terrible health conditions that results in three out of five women in Sierra Leone dying during childbirth.
Similarly, we are moving to help with an agriculture program that will provide food, jobs and some commerce and we have purchased a boat motor to help a fishing community compete with foreign, imperialist fishing fleets that over-fish the coastline beyond the capacity of non-motorized Sierra Leonean fishing efforts. This project will not only provide fish for the community but also contribute to the ability for the community to sell surplus fish to address pressing community needs.
This is not charity work being done by AAPDEP. Nor is it work that assumes the solution to the issues afflicting our people there is a few rainwater, healthcare, agriculture and fishing programs. This is work that AAPDEP is doing under the leadership of the revolutionary ASI leadership in Sierra Leone. It is effectively one of the methods that we are using to enhance the political position of our movement in its contest with the local neocolonial servants of imperialism.
AAPDEP is also involved in projects in the U.S., most notably urban farming and community gardening in the face of the growing economic crisis. This is also being done as a means of improving our political position in the struggle against colonialism. The fact is, whether in the U.S. or in Sierra Leone or any other place in the world, we are moving to deal with issues and questions impacting our people that the rulers are incapable or unwilling to deal with and this helps us to concretize the issue of self-government while exposing the contradictions of capitalism-colonialism.
AISO wins students to African Revolution
The Party has also moved to build a student wing of our organization. The African Internationalist Student Organization (AISO) is our work to win African students to a permanent place in the revolution. While there are African student organizations on campuses throughout the U.S., many of which have existed since the struggles of the 1960s, for the most part these students are involved in inconsequential and sometimes even decadent activities.
At best they involve themselves in minor reforms, often directed at improving their lot as students. Many times these students are drawn to African cultural, sometimes mystical, formations or expressions that lead nowhere. Or, they express their militancy or self-defined “blackness” by sponsoring performers, some of whom are political speakers, at their university. In almost every instance, when these students graduate or leave their campuses for other reasons, their departure marks the end of their political activism.
AISO is the Party’s method of winning the students to revolution. It is our way of seizing as our base the universities, colleges and even the high schools, where thousands of African students are looking for answers to the issues confronting African people and the world. AISO is the Party’s way of contesting bourgeoisie ideology in the very centers of production and reproduction of bourgeoisie colonialist ideas and its thinking representatives.
The campuses will provide our Party with a ready base of Africans whose primary endeavors are intellectually based. These are Africans who are open to new ideas and are fast developing the capacity to process and develop ideas. By building AISO we will assure the revolution of a continuing flow of revolutionary recruits who are won to the ideas of the revolution and with a greater capability of improving on and transmitting those revolutionary ideas. We immediately raise the level of political discussion within our Party and the movement at large.
However, our work to consolidate AISO has left a lot to be desired and we must consider this one of the outstanding issues to be resolved. Perhaps this plenary will be able to contribute to our ability to effectively take on this work.
African Redemption Church: the Party’s response to religious idealism
The Party is also currently working for an effective response to the apparently growing religious idealism within our oppressed colonized communities in the U.S. and throughout the world. While it is not clear what effect this religious idealism has on the most dynamic sectors of our community in the U.S., the negative influence of reactionary religious interpretation and leadership that is usually actively or passively connected with the ruling classes, is undeniable. And, in African communities in Europe, especially among recent African expatriates, and on the Continent of Africa, massive churches are growing daily, filled with the poor and oppressed who are being taught that their earthly suffering will be rewarded in an afterlife.
The African People’s Socialist Party is a Party whose philosophy is rooted in philosophical materialism. We are materialists, period. This is true despite the fact that there are philosophical idealists in our ranks, some of whom are closeted, and that some of our comrades are inconsistent materialists. Our work is to win Africans away from all superstition, especially religious superstition, which serves to undermine human confidence in our capacity to take control of our own lives and the future of our people and continent.
However, as materialists we recognize the influence of religion in this world and we are intent on winning the greatest number of people possible to the revolution. Not only would we not attempt to win a Christian or a Muslim or some other religious adherent to the revolution, we see it as a part of our responsibility to win them. It is consistent with our recognition of the revolutionary national democratic struggle as the first stage of the revolution that will require the conscious participation of the entire revolutionary national democratic population, including religious people and groups of all persuasions.
It is in this context that we, historical materialists, are looking closely at the possibility of creating the African Redemption Church, a non-denominational institution open to all who adhere to religious views and convictions. This would not be an attempt to win Africans to religion; rather it would be an attempt to win the religious to revolution. We are talking here about an institution that would be able to provide a religious basis for winning our revolution. It would be able to contend with other religious institutions and interpretations that apologize for imperialism and our oppression and it would assault religious institutions as a hideout for those who would use them as an excuse for not assuming their responsibility for the future of their children, their class and their oppressed and dispersed nation.
Hopefully this period will see the Party achieve a greater influence within organized labor, especially within trade unions with significant African membership. Through the ASI the Party has been involved in working to build an international African labor union that would take on the struggle to win concessions from the bosses where they are employed, both in the informal and formal sector of the economies where they work. However, the greater task of our labor work would be to take revolutionary science to the struggles of the workers and help them to move toward defeating the existing bourgeois ruling class in the process of themselves as workers becoming the new ruling class.
This would be our main task working with labor here in the U.S. And, while we have a history going back many years of working intermittently with organized African labor in the U.S., it has never had strategical significance for our Party. That must change and hopefully we are on course to contribute to that change.
On almost every front, on at least three continents, the Party is in serious, strategic motion for the emancipation of African people and the suffering masses of the world from capitalist/imperialist exploitation and oppression. We are building in West and East Africa, contemplating organization in southern Africa and South America and are daily drawing more people into struggle and organization against imperialism throughout North America. What other organization can truthfully make such a claim?
Accountability and democratic centralism
Now we are fighting for better accountability, for dedicated adherence to the principle of democratic centralism, the primary organizational principle of the Party. We are struggling for better, more efficient ways to hold the entire organization accountable to the Party and the revolution. In many ways this is a function of this plenary. This plenary is the first plenary we have held in some time now and the fact that we are years behind in holding our Fifth Congress gives greater urgency to this meeting, especially in the face of the growing crisis of imperialism and the growth of the Party’s activities in this period.
This plenary is the first round of our efforts to bring the whole Party and movement into a greater understanding of where we are as a Party and a movement. This is a basic requirement for the democratic participation of the Party and movement. This is a requirement for holding the entire organization, including its leadership, accountable to the organization and responsible for the whole program of the Party and the activity and behavior of its members.
Consistent with the need for greater accountability members of the Party’s Central Committee, including the Political Bureau have either written or are in the process of writing Programs of Action to define their work and offices and to establish measurable guidelines and timelines for judging accomplishment. These are important developments, especially necessary for these times of crisis of imperialism and growth in responsibility and membership of our Party and movement.
Party’s Department of Agit Prop has made great leaps
One of the most important developments of the Party has been the work in the Department of Agitation and Propaganda. This is a department of the Party that suffers immeasurably from too few cadres and various other organizational contradictions. However, despite these shortcomings, which include the infrequent publication of our printed political journal, The Burning Spear, Agitprop has made incredible leaps in other areas. This includes our Internet news publication, Uhurunews.com, which is also serves as an online edition of The Burning Spear. A related success of Agitprop is the establishment of Uhururadio.com, an online radio station. Together these propaganda institutions reach thousands of people worldwide each month.
Through Uhurunews.com and Uhururadio.com the Party’s views are seen and heard throughout the U.S., England or the UK, South Africa, Canada, France, Spain, India, Switzerland, Nigeria, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and virtually all of Africa. The Party is read and heard in Greece, Austria, Portugal, Yemen, Hungary, Trinidad and Tabago and throughout the Caribbean as well as in Rumania, Slovenia, Pakistan, China and Myanmar, for example.
Through this work by Agitprop the Party is successfully struggling to end the isolation of our struggles for liberation, unification and socialism and demonstrating its relationship to the struggles of the oppressed and struggling peoples of the world. This important work of Agitprop also helps us to develop practical unity between the struggles of African people in different parts of the world. This also helps us to struggle with the popular notion, thanks to the bourgeoisie and its media, that there is no coherent explanation for and struggle against the conditions of African existence other than the self-serving explanations offered by our oppressors.
Although there is always room for improvement and we are currently working to develop our programming, Uhururadio.com is currently broadcasting from within the U.S., South Africa and England. We have one French-language show and are in the process of creating programming in other languages, especially languages indigenous to Africa.
Our primary work with Agitprop is to develop the office itself. It is chronically understaffed and we are not necessarily using the available forces in the most efficient manner. We also have to improve the tremendously under-developed resource-creating capacity of Agitprop. And, most importantly in my view, we have to reestablish the regular publication of our print journal, The Burning Spear. The Burning Spear is an invaluable organizing tool – it allows the masses to read about themselves in struggle and to learn how others in similar situations dealt with issues. It contributes to our organizational efficiency and its propaganda value includes the confidence it gives to our oppressed people to see our class fighters always on the case throughout our communities with The Burning Spear, Voice of the International African revolution. However, nothing is as important as the role of The Burning Spear in defining the day-to-day work of all our rank and file cadres.
Every rank and file member of the Party and our mass organizations should be constantly employed in distribution of The Burning Spear. This is the most important, consistent contact between the Party and the masses. This is the work that demands a relationship between our cadres and the masses. There is never a time that there is not something for a cadre to do as long as The Burning Spear is available for distribution. Not only does distribution of The Burning Spear help us with recruitment it helps recruits who were recruited through The Spear themselves, be prepared to do the political work of Spear distribution. In other words it contributes to our ability to recruit activists.
Another example of the great significance of Agitprop and the growth of the Party’s work is the fact that during the planned launch of the African People’s Socialist Party-Sierra Leone in November of this year, Uhuru Radio Sierra Leone, a FM station, will also be launched under the auspices of Agitprop.
We are convening here for this plenary at a time when imperialism in general and U.S. imperialism, the current leader of the imperialist world, is experiencing great difficulties. This profound crisis is the result of the unrelenting determination of the world’s oppressed peoples to win their freedom, sovereignty and total control of their labor and resources for their own use and benefit.
This plenary is a statement of the unflinching commitment of our Party to the liberation and unification of Africa and the dispersed African nation and to carrying out our responsibility in the worldwide movement of peoples and countries for liberation, peace and social justice.
For centuries Africa and her dispersed children have suffered the concentrated attacks by imperialism. These attacks resulted in millions of our people being forcibly dispersed throughout the world, our national homeland, Africa, being captured and divided into territories to facilitate the theft of our resources. False borders were put in place to thwart our resistance. This imperialist assault has made Africa the essential factor in the development of capitalism as a world economy that enriched the minority white population of Europe and North America at the expense of Africa and the world’s peoples.
It was this process of enslaving Africa and African people and raping and plundering the rest of the world that consolidated the European nation. This gave Europe a reactionary sense of sameness that was tied to the material bases of its stolen wealth and the social system born of slavery and colonialism. In other words, the consolidation of the world capitalist economy and the European nation came as a consequence of assaulting the unity of Africa and African people.
Garvey built worldwide movement for African liberation
Nearly 500 years after the initial European assault on Africa and 30 years after the Berlin Conference that divided Africa to facilitate European exploitation, the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA) was established under the leadership of Marcus Garvey. The UNIA launched the international African anti-colonial resistance movement to unite Africans in a concerted effort to liberate and reunify our Motherland and the forcibly dispersed and enslaved African nation.
The UNIA organized Africans in Africa and throughout the world into a single organization with a single center and leadership. Under the slogan, “Africa for Africans, at home and abroad,” the UNIA brought together 11 million members and supporters in the largest anti-imperialist organization in the world. This was at the turn of the 20th Century when resistance to imperialist colonialism was growing throughout the world even as the imperialists themselves were engaged in the First Imperialist World War to re-divide the world among them.
This was an era of great upheaval. The European war to re-divide the world that is commonly known as World War I was upsetting the balance of power in Europe. This first imperialist world war challenged the notions of European identity conferred to different Europeans at the 1814-1815 Congress of Vienna that was used to redraw European borders after the Napoleonic Wars. At the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, Europe also established the current borders of Africa in order to peacefully parcel out to different European powers African territory to feed the European capitalist greed for raw materials and markets in an attempt to avoid intra-European war.
It was during this period of tremendous flux that the UNIA rose to prominence. Marcus Garvey defied the verdict of imperialism that had defined African people according to the identities and needs of our colonizers, and claimed African identity for us all. This was a political line that truly recognized the nature of our oppression and exploitation as a people and the line of march for our liberation.
There were other African movements during this period of the rise of Marcus Garvey, and nearly all of them fought Garvey tooth and nail. Although many of these other groups claimed progressive motivation (for example some called themselves socialists and communists) they all saw themselves struggling for the emancipation of African people within imperialist-created borders and definitions. This was true of the African Assimilationists who simply capitulated to imperialism under the existing capitalist system, as well as of the Pan-Africanists who organized themselves into a political movement in opposition to the Garvey movement, sometimes with practical unity and assistance from the imperialists.
The Pan-Africanist movement was created by a sector of the African petty bourgeois in the U.S. that was aligned with liberal white imperialist capitalism. It was willing to recognize a relationship between Africans worldwide, but was incapable of recognizing Africans as part of the same dispersed nation. It refused to recognize the need to struggle against white imperialist power for the achievement of a single nation state, a requirement for harnessing and developing the productive forces necessary for African progress.
Moreover, the UNIA under the leadership of Marcus Garvey was also notable for its inclusion of the laboring masses of the African world as leaders and members. This was a huge departure from the tradition of the Assimilationists and others who created the Pan-Africanist movement. The Pan-Africanists were essentially intellectuals without a mass base until after they, along with a host of Garvey opponents in tactical alliance with the U.S. government, succeeded in effectively destroying the Garvey movement.
However, our main point here is that the Garvey movement developed and thrived during an era of imperialist instability when the entire world was engaged in the debate about identity because of intra-imperialists struggles for advantage over their adversaries in acquiring markets and raw materials. Garvey brought the Africans into this debate with a bold move for liberation and acquisition of an all-African nation state. His movement demanded that Africans worldwide recognize that Africa is our national homeland, requiring our collective, organized action for its liberation and unification and the consolidation of the African nation state.
The validity of the Garvey movement can also be measured by the fact that struggles of other peoples against imperial domination were also raging during the era of the Garvey movement. Other notable leaders of the period included Ho Chi Minh of Viet Nam, Sun-Yat Sen of China, Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa of Mexico, Faribundo Marti of El Salvador and Augusto Sandino of Nicaragua, to name only a few of the leaders of national liberation movements to wrest control of their countries and peoples from the avaricious grasp of imperialism.
African Internationalism advances Garvey Movement, defines imperialism in crisis
The work of our Party is based on the fundamental assumptions of the Garvey Movement. We recognize the fact that ours continues to be, even today, a struggle to reverse the verdict of imperialism, that we are one African people, a nation forcibly dispersed around the world and whose national homeland, Africa, continues to exist and suffer under the indirect control of imperialist oppressors.
The African People’s Socialist Party has advanced the understanding of the Garvey Movement with a scientific theory of African Internationalism. We are the Garvyites of the 21st Century. With the founding of the African People’s Socialist Party we have solved a fundamental problem of the struggle for the genuine liberation of Africa and African people. We have provided our struggle with a correct political line that that is a necessary requirement for the liberation and unification of Africa and African people worldwide. Victory is in sight and the death of imperialism is forthcoming!
Our theory has helped us to understand and struggle against imperialism during this period of imperialist instability and crisis. It is adherence to the theory of African Internationalism that protects us from the spontaneity that characterizes so much of the African Liberation Movement. Theory allows us to have the long view, to develop a strategy based on recognition of the nature of the imperialist system and the relations of forces at any given time.
For years now, even as many within the African Liberation Movement or what passes itself as a leftist or communist movement within the U.S. were trembling fearfully at the bluster of the past U.S. regime led by George W. Bush, we of the African People’s Socialist Party were able to say that the Bush war mongering was simply the desperate thrashing of a dying imperialism. This dying imperialist system has been made frantic by its growing losses to the struggles of peoples and countries recapturing their sovereignty and resources upon which imperialism depends to survive and prosper.
This desperation of imperialism is not something that began today and our Party did not discover the crisis of imperialism with the advent of the George W. Bush at the helm of the predatory imperialist U.S. government.
Years ago, in September 1981, at our Party’s First Congress that was held in Oakland, California nine years after our founding, we explained the crisis of imperialism as it represented itself at the time. In the Main Resolution for that Congress, entitled, A New Beginning: The Road to Black Freedom and Socialism, we were able to state:
“The period that we live in today is a period which is clearly marked and characterized by the struggles and victories of the colonial, neocolonial, and dependent peoples and countries over world capitalism led by U.S. imperialism. It is also a period which is characterized by attempts of world capitalism, led by U.S. imperialism, to launch a vicious counteroffensive to smash the struggles and victories of the world’s peoples and countries fighting for national liberation, political independence and economic and political justice.
“While these struggles have been going on for some time and have clearly escalated since the second imperialist world war, they have had markedly different implications for world capitalism within the recent period. The political independence won by colonialist-created states such as Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Congo, Nigeria, etc. on the continent of Africa; the independence won by India, Burma, Pakistan; of most of South America, was an independence from direct colonial rule; it was nominal political independence which left the peoples and countries dominated economically by their former masters and the now-dominant U.S. It was an ‘independence’ under a new, more subtle colonialism, a colonialism that was essentially economic; it was neocolonialism…
“…However, the new current for the struggles of dependent countries and peoples – the current characterized by the struggle against neocolonialism with a few critical exceptions – represents a new epoch in the struggle against world capitalism led by U.S. imperialism…
“This epoch of struggles and victories over neocolonialism and dependency represents the leading revolutionary tendency in the world today. It is an epoch that finally thrusts humanity upon the threshold of world socialism, for it challenges the very foundations upon which world capitalism is built.
This epoch of struggles and victories over neocolonialism and dependency directly threatens the primitive and non-capitalist accumulation of capital upon which world capitalism was constructed and without which it cannot survive in its present form.”
Since its inception the African People’s Socialist Party, standing in the glorious tradition of African resistance, has struggled to overcome all obstacles standing in the way of emancipation of our brutally oppressed and exploited Africa and the dispersed African nation.
Imperialists cannot stem tide of national liberation
The struggles of the post-colonial peoples and countries against imperial white power represent the defining events in world history. They are the struggles to reverse the verdict of imperialism, to overturn the last 500 years of imperialist history that created the current political, economic and social configuration of the world. These struggles have achieved critical mass and try as they may there is nothing the imperialists can do to stem this tide of resistance that represents the true measure of progress in human affairs.
The vicious wars of occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and now extended to Pakistan; the genocidal terror directed at the Arab people of Occupied Palestine in defense of the illegitimate white nationalist settler state of Israel that rests uneasily on stolen land; the United Nations imperial occupation of tiny, historically persecuted and plundered Haiti; the continued subversive efforts to undermine the movements toward independence and social democracy throughout South America – none of these efforts will succeed in changing the course of history that we in the African People’s Socialist Party has characterized as the era of the Final Offensive against imperialism.
The ongoing chest-thumping threats by the U.S. against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran will fail to turn back the tide of history, regardless of the immediate future of either of the two regimes. Neither the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) nor the incredible array of aggressions against Africa – both immediate and based in colonial and neocolonial history – will succeed in maintaining the imperialist death-grip on Africa and its future.
Increasingly the peoples of the world recognize U.S. bluster and machinations as the desperate, near hysterical maneuvering of a dying beast or, as the imperialist pundits like to say, of an empire in decline. There is no greater evidence of imperialist desperation than the selection of Barack Hussein Obama by U.S. white rulers as U.S. president and chief imperialist public representative to the world. More and more the world’s peoples understand this effort to give imperialism the face of the slave to be the cunning act of desperation that it is.
However, while the struggles of the world’s peoples against imperialism constitute an attack on the very foundation of imperialism they are, generally speaking, struggles without consciousness of their interconnectedness. They are struggles, generally speaking, of peoples who are compelled by conditions of existence imposed on them by imperialism, who are forced to rise up as a matter of self-defense.
The Party is the anti-colonial force in this time
This speaks to the value of our Party during this critical time. The work of our Party is informed by the understanding that capitalism, the social system of the modern empire, has its origin in slavery, brigandage and colonialism that define our current existence and the effects of which are being struggled against on every continent.
The work of the African People’s Socialist Party gives coherence to the struggle against imperialism and must be understood by the whole Party and our movement if only for this reason.
In February of 1997, at the Fourth Congress of our Party held in this very city, I defined the African People’s Socialist Party and our significance for the African working class in this way:
“Today, in the African People’s Socialist Party, the African working class has its own revolutionary Party that is conscious of its mission and struggling to achieve strength and position.
“It is an anti-colonial Party of the whole people. It constantly seeks to root itself among the toiling African masses, the African working class, which represents the most consistently revolutionary social force within current U.S. borders. It is with the leadership of the African workers and its interests that the struggle must be waged in order to achieve a revolutionary conclusion.
“It is a socialist Party. It is conscious of its struggle against colonialism as part and parcel of the worldwide struggle to destroy a parasitic social system based on the private ownership and control of the world’s means of production and resources by a handful of bandit states and people at the expense of the vast majority of the world’s peoples. The poverty and emiseration of the African and oppressed peoples have their basis in this parasitic relationship.
“It is an internationalist Party. It understands that the plight of African people in Africa and abroad is due to a process of parasitism that was imposed on most of the world by Europe. The struggle to liberate and unify Africa and its people is a crucial part of the struggle by the world’s peoples to defeat parasitic imperialism.
“It is a revolutionary Party. It realizes that African liberation and unification, the defeat of colonialism and the victory of socialism can only come about through the total and absolute overthrow of parasitic capitalist imperialism by the working class united with the poor peasantry and the toiling masses of the world.
“These characteristics of the African People’s Socialist Party represent an incredible strength of the African working class. It means that even before the crisis of imperialism represents itself as revolutionary struggle by the conscious African masses, the African working class has its own Party in place, conscious of its class-selfish interests and gathering the wherewithal to complete the Black Revolution of the Sixties.
“We are here despite all the efforts of U.S. imperialism to destroy any potential for African revolution within current U.S. borders. There is no way that the bloody U.S. imperialists could have imagined that even as they were attempting to destroy all remnants of the Black Revolution of the Sixties a revolutionary process would be unfolding right under their noses in the form of the African People’s Socialist Party.
“But such was the case and we are here 25 years later to initiate the final offensive against world capitalism led by U.S. imperialism.”
Indeed, in this era in which we live and struggle, when imperialism is facing such formidable contradictions, our Party is enthusiastically reaffirming its commitment to African liberation and socialist reunification. This era places on the shoulders of the advanced detachment of our class and dispersed nation the incredible responsibility of showing the line of march and leading to victory.
It is clear that the history of our Party, the clarity of our advanced revolutionary theory and the correctness of our political line have prepared the African People’s Socialist Party more than any other organization for this task. However, in order for us to lead the struggle for completion of the great historical mission imposed on our class we must now deepen our preparation for the trek to victory during this historical era of the final offensive against imperialism.
Cadre development and leadership is key
What this means more than anything is that we must give the greatest significance possible to the task of development of Party cadres. By this we do not mean simply filling the ranks of the Party with new forces or having sterile political education classes that will simply allow our forces to memorize text they can regurgitate on command. We mean that members of our Party must be prepared to lead.
In practical terms this certainly means that they should be able to lead the particular areas of work for which they may be responsible. They must be given complete understanding of this work by their leaders for sure. But more that this, they must be able to lead the masses in general – in their communities and on the campuses and their jobs. They must be won to a love for the revolution and an undying love for the Party that is the instrument through which the revolution will be pursued and won.
This deep and profound respect and love for the Party is an absolute necessity for our cadres in this period. The Party cadres must be capable of recognizing the programs, commitments, strategy and struggles of the Party as their own. They must see the contradictions as well as victories of the Party as their own.
This means that subjectivism and opportunism, tendencies that attempt to place the interests of individuals at the forefront, have no place in Party cadres. While these individuals may be able to work in mass organizations under the leadership of the Party, there is no place for them in the ranks of our Party, regardless of the shortage of forces we may be contending with at any given time. No matter how great or genuine the problems of individuals they cannot be allowed to undermine the responsibility to place the interests of the revolution and the Party first, above all else.
Cadres must be taught to understand that the Party is everything, without which our people will be left with another 500 years of misery, should we survive the desperate aggressions of this imperialism in crisis at all. If there is to be independence, unification and socialism in our lifetime it will be because our Party, deeply united in our mission, is successful. This cannot happen with an organization of whining self-serving, individualistic members incapable of seeing beyond their own pain, real or perceived.
Our cadres must be taught the value of democratic centralism as the main organizational principle of the Party. They must understand why this is so and how this reinforces the fact that we are an organization of unity of will and action, something that is absolutely necessary for making the revolution that will end the misery of our people. Our cadres must understand that to come into the ranks of our glorious Party is to submit to its will, to make the will of our Party our own will as opposed to the tendency of attempting to make our own will the will of the Party, as was recently demonstrated by some former Party members.
Cadres must be schooled in the history of our Party that fought decades of struggles and held true to revolutionary principles while others all around us abandoned the field of battle in the face of our imperialist enemy. They must not only know the history in terms of dates and places of struggles, but cadres must also be made familiar with the tactics and strategies employed by the Party during various periods and in different struggles. This will arm them with a bank of experience that they can call on when faced with similar circumstances.
Our cadres must also know the history of our Party as it is represented by the exemplary stances of various comrades who have undergone jailings, beatings, bombings and other attempts on their lives. The history should include the examples of those comrades who have traveled throughout the U.S. and the world to organize the African resistance under the most difficult circumstances. It must be a history that helps to steel cadres for the hardships and victories to come.
Our cadres must be taught African Internationalism. They must be allowed to study the critical theoretical documents of our Party, especially those developed to explain the world as we were involved in struggle to change the world. This would obviously include texts such as the Political Reports to the First, Third and Fourth Congresses. Also, we must use “The Dialectics of Black Revolution” and “Political and Economic Critique of Imperialism and Imperialist Opportunism.” The reports to InPDUM conventions as well as the Main ASI documents must also be studied.
Obviously these are not the only materials that should be used for study. There are many others. They include studies on political economy and dialectical and historical materialism. They also include materials that teach cadres how to be in an organization of this type, based on principles of revolutionary discipline. However, we must remember that the best school for the development of cadres is actual, practical struggle. Otherwise we create forces who are incapable of utilizing anything that they learn. We continue to be guided by the understanding that practice is primary and that it provides the only meaningful test of theory.
Our leaders must organize their work to accommodate the struggle for the development of our cadres. Every leading committee and department must play its role. Indeed, I am calling on all our Local and District Party leaders to present plans of action for the development of cadres in their areas of responsibility. This is also necessary for our mass organizations, for InPDUM and AAPDEP as well.
Obviously the primary organization for carrying out the task of cadre development is Agitprop. This is something that Agitprop is working on now, but it must be taken on now with demonstrably greater urgency. I believe that recent developments in Agitprop gives it the ability to quickly develop a Plan of Action for cadre development and I am requiring this to happen expeditiously. Also, the important role of the Party organizations themselves in this issue of cadre development must not be overlooked. For it is in the Party organizations that we have the greater opportunity to combine theory and practice.
The Party is organized into committees that give it a division of labor that provides an ability for greater efficiency. But this is only if the various committees and departments assume full responsibility for their areas of work. The structural division of labor allows the Party to predict the success of the whole Party by the role of its component leading parts. Hence, if plans are made for the Party and one or more component of the Party, its division of labor, does not enthusiastically and successfully carry out its responsibility the entire plan fails or is severely undermined.
Now more than ever the Party must have leaders who are farsighted problem solvers. It should not be necessary to spell out every possible eventuality for leaders of specific areas of the party structure. They should be the experts in these areas and know them better than anyone. They should be anticipating problems and planning for successes even when no one else in the Party is concentrating on their area of work.
If we move correctly in this period, if we do our work to build cadres and organize the Party rank and file putting The Burning Spear in the hands of the masses it will help to recruit new members into our ranks to help with the tasks that many of our committees are faced with. However, we cannot continue to use the excuse of too few forces in our leading committees. This is simply one of the tasks that has to be solved by the leaders who head up the committees. Otherwise we will always be explaining away our failures because of not having the people to do the work, when in reality the absence of these forces should be informing us of another critical aspect of the work that has to be taken on.
This paper has explained some of the requirements of cadre development. However, I want to add to the context of this discussion by reminding us that our cadres are the primary force through which we seek to capture and exercise power. They are the forces through which we intend to organize the revolutionary national democratic government and to lead and contend for power on every front.
Our cadres will be the foundation of all our mass work, especially InPDUM but also AAPDEP. Our cadres must be capable of finding the line of march and when necessary to do so to create organization that will increase the influence of the Party beyond our ranks. For example, we are increasingly influential in the struggle against AFRICOM. Party cadres involved in that work must be able, with participation from their leadership, to determine the value of creating an organization from among the opponents of AFRICOM who might not immediately be Party material but who, under the influence of our cadres might be influenced to greater strategical, anti-imperialist clarity and to even closer unity with the Party.
Agitprop must contribute to a thirst for knowledge among our ranks. It must help us to create our own working class intellectuals. It must reestablish a culture of constant political study. Agitprop must also equip Party cadres with the political education and technical skills to make them capable and valuable, not only to our general Party work, but also to the masses we want to organize or who may already be in organization.
Office of Economic Development builds culture of self-reliance
The same thing is true of our office of Finance and Economic Development. Not only must this department create real economic development programs for the whole Party, anticipating new expenses meeting the budget requirements of the whole Party and its various programs. This office must also participate in helping to develop alternative economic development programs that benefit the masses and helps to bring them closer to the embrace of our Party.
The Office of Finance and Economic Development must also re-establish the culture of self-reliance within the ranks of our Party and teach the Party how to constantly be in the process of resource generation as a matter of practice on a regular and consistent basis. Party organizations must be taught the principles of financial accountability and resource security.
However, one of the most important tasks of this office is to develop a program to also teach these things to cadres. This is not because all cadres will be involved in finance and economic development, but because we want each cadre to have a rudimentary knowledge that will make her capable of functioning in organizations of the people in this struggle for influence and the acquisition of power.
Some of these tasks being called for Agitprop and the Office of Finance and Economic Development will have to be taken on in special schools established for this purpose. However, it is urgent that they be taken on. Included in such school should also be classes on conducting successful meetings and other matters necessary for cadres who have the responsibility for extending the influence of the party and winning greater participation of the masses in anti-imperialist political life.
Comrades, our time is too short to give a complete analysis of our current situation and all the requirements of our Party. However, it should be clear to all of us that ours is a Party with an unmatched history in the struggle against imperialism and for the liberation and unification of Africa and the globally dispersed African nation. This is a history that must be embraced as your own by all members of our Party and our entire movement. The analysis here is one born of the worldview of our Party. It is presented here for your assessment. I am convinced that unity with this document and a vigorous struggle to implement its recommendations will win greater victories for us and carry us that much closer to liberation.
Izwe Lethu I Afrika!
One Africa! One Nation!
Forward to victory!