Build a Black Revolutionary Palenque
(redacted) (dedicated to Troy Davis — Long Live Troy!)
This article was first submitted to the Sons of Africa discussion board. It was a reply to certain individuals who sought to limit to discussion of the US-led financial meltdown the scientific analysis of the crisis by dumping the solution and posing a metaphysical one. This presented a dilemma. These forces, operating in concert, substituted semantics to deconstruct the analysis that I offered. This resulted in a minor war of words between several internet identities on the one side and myself on the other. Replying that SOA was not intended for conducting English classes but to disseminate information and views of interest to African people, I composed the following piece on dialectics. Now it appears here rewritten, reedited and amplified, and divided into sections for easier reading.
While the grammarians on SOA dissect my sentences to count my errors, rational overstanding depends on another form of analysis called African (historical) materialist dialectics. That involves the study of history thru the filter of African Internationalism, which proposes to the black world that international African unity is the highest expression of Black Political Power. Dialectics studies motion, change, contradictions, opposites and harmony in society. Dialectics studies the primary movement which defines society. So in that spirit, I strive to extend an analysis which serves Africans and all people in our struggle for bread, peace and Black Power.
I am not trying to invent any new theory here. Yet I hope to amplify, define and clarify positions already staked out in the African liberation movement. African Internationalism is Nkrumah’s Pan Africanism boiled down for the working classes. As articulated by the self-led African proletariat (working class revolutionary), it is Pan Africanism for the masses with an improved class articulation.
This theory also takes from Frantz Fanon, Amilcar Cabral, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, Walter Rodney, Abdul Alkalimat, Omali Yeshitela and many others. My contribution to these giants is to simplify the race issue by properly defining it as a question of class. Who ever who learns dialectical-historical materialism gets taught that the class struggle in capitalism defines social relations.
Therefore, all relationships based on racial identity must also be defined in terms of class.
The classic black dialectic on race (this derives from the Stalinist-era CPUSA effort to grapple with the question) is that race reflects the ideology of colonialism or white supremacy. But this is an error. White supremacy is the ideology of colonialism and Imperialism. White supremacy formulated the notion that race forms the basis of conflict in society. White supremacy invented race as a social stratification when colonialism came into conflict with indigenous peoples, or shanghaied whole societies to work as slaves and coolies. White supremacy invented racial stratification as a form of class to maintain power and control over the subjugated masses. It states that whites are the ruling class and all others are enslaved by reason of their inherent racial inferiority. White supremacy has formerly used religion and philosophy to justify relegating even the most talented members of non-white nationalities to the most abject status. Racism concentrates class contradictions by subjugating colonized societies beneath even the lowest strata of the colonizers.
Hence, from these origins, racism arose as the concentrated class question within colonialism. Struggles within capitalist society have always exposed the shallow logic of racism. Firstly, and most importantly, the capacity and resolve of the masses to resist colonialism had an impact on bourgeois leaders. The people’s forceful resistance to press gang work — rendering them for execution as slaves, “zombies” and coolies when no longer useful on plantations and in mines — upset the natural order as seen by the colonizers. It did not fit what their Bibles told them. It contradicted what their leading thinkers had written on the subject. The oppressed should have been happy and content.
This view fit perfectly with the original sin of capitalism, as Karl Marx called primitive accumulation. Capitalism is a form of accumulation. Workers and other groups produce actual value. This means they transform raw materials into finished products. Workers take land and transform it into real estate. They take forests and transform them into lumber and then into products as varied as furniture and houses. The workers dam rivers and make them navigable while also fitting them with turbines, made by other workers, to generate hydroelectric power. So on and so forth, these products have worth created by the workers.
Value, which the workers produce, is stripped away from them as a class. This process occurs at the point of production, where the value is produced and as it continues to produce. The value made by the workers gets transformed and concentrated, that is, it is changed into something workers no longer recognize as something they made. Workers are then given just what they need to exist, while the capitalists who produce nothing live in opulence. Just like the masters taking living off the labor of the slaves. Marx calls this alienation, and it gains a social character. When workers become alienated from value, it is actually their own value which they lose. So the alienation assumes different forms. It has a statistical expression, further signs of how the bourgeoisie have alienated the workers. Suicide rates, unemployment, crime, violence, preventative health problems and all other forms of social instability derive from and are directly attributable to capitalism’s devaluation of the worker as a human being. These antagonisms become intensified, magnified, and even concentrated, amongst the colonized working classes.
So, as in all class societies, one group appropriates the value created by another group. Under capitalism, slaves are the workers who defined organized labor when they rose up and struck against the masters.
Accumulation which is non-capitalist or pre-capitalist in its apparent mode is categorized as “primitive”. This includes all forms of human trafficking such as slavery and serfdom, and prison labor under fascism; primitive accumulation also involves organized crime, plus the theft of land by colonizers. In all these examples, the illogic of capitalist relations expresses itself thru the ideology of white supremacy, anything which justifies, perpetuates or involves an economic empire.
In the Imperialist centers, capitalism has been trying to rectify its idiot-logical theories at every step and turn of its existence. For this reason and a few others, today Imperialism needs to dilute the concentrated class struggle. Neo-colonialism is Imperialism’s dilution of the concentrated class struggle. Diluting the concentrated class struggle works as a two-edged sword. At the same time that it blunts the anti-colonial movement, neo-colonialism also blunts racism itself, thereby effectively removing the material and ideological basis for white workers to support Imperialism.
The second key part of this analysis demands revolutionary action. It is something to the effect that scientific socialists must bring down Imperialism; it cannot just be allowed to fall. To do so will unleash the forces of reaction. Not only that, but we have to destroy the economic fodder of capitalism. We must set about doing this as part of revolutionary activity. That is the gist of it; we must diminish the power of asset-backed paper and all forms of capital, which is simply value in concentrated form. Not because we have significant amounts of paper, since we don’t. But because without so doing the Imperialists will still use money as a function of power. As long as people trade with asset-backed paper of any form, capitalists will buy whatever they need including armies to control communities and exercise force in private as well as political matters. Scientific socialism as a working-class State turns society upside down, and places the masses in power to eradicate the ruling classes.
For this reason, what continues to transpire within the Imperialist economic mode remains of utmost importance for us to grasp. We must not allow Imperialism to collapse, but we must be the agents of its demise. Those who remain interested in the dialectical approach may muster the courage to take on Imperialism. And for those who strive to build a society of maroons or a kilombo republic, that is, a fighting black soviet that we may also call a “community of resistance”, this agitational-organizational work aims to achieve that.
Filed under: anti-colonial, Black Dialectics, black liberation, Cabral, capitalism, Class theory, collectivism, empire, exploitation, Fanon, fascism, Human trafficking, Imperialism, metaphysics, neo-colonialism, Palenques, press gangs, primitive accumulation, racism, serfdom, socialism |