Pt. II: Africa, Obama and AFRICOM

US President Barack Obama recently made a visit to Ghana. In his first official trip to Africa, he left a strong impression on the world. An analysis of his remarks and policies regarding Africa itself is in order.

We have Obama’s most hard hitting remarks: Africa should stop blaming colonialism for its problems; Africa should stop relying on foreign aid and do for self. We also have Obama’s policy, a continuation of Bush era militarism in the form of AFRICOM, the US Africa Military Command. This policy presents the most severe plan related to structural readjustment.

Of course a direct link to structural readjustment and AFRICOM cannot be suggested without understanding the economic challenges faced by African states. The relationship of these states to capital has alienated them from the masses. Nigeria and Kenya, for instance, have felt snubbed because Obama by-passed them. At the same time, these countries have governments whih have failed to move their societies forward in a way that reflects the best use of their own natural and social resources.

This is not to say that Africa has to develop along Western industrial methods. However, it does mean that certain infrastructure deficiencies from health care to water purification and agriculture have gone neglected. This contradiction prevails in nearly all African states.

Nkrumah is very instructive on this period. When he described neo-colonialism as the last stage of Imperialism, his critique was mainly confined to conditions in our Motherland. Yet we now have to apply that analysis to the United States and its relationship to the world. The current president was elected because of his mantra of “change”. Increasingly, we see Obama as rescuing all the most odious forms of US political culture: militarism, international finance, and expansionism. Which means he represents just a mere changing of the guard.

AFRICOM is a plan to place military bases in Africa. Now Obama has already made comments about US policy, in comparison to Cuba. In those comments he compared Cuba favorably, noting that Latin American leaders have stated that while the primary form of aid they receive from the United States is weapons shipments, they really could not survive without the medical aid and physicians that Cuba has sent them over the years. Obama expressed his intention on changing that imbalance.

Africa, being a destitute region, has its share of problems. Parasitic worms plague people; women daily walk miles to carry drinking and cooking water home to their families; war, rape and AIDS have intensified during the post-colonial era. It does not seem as tho AFRICOM can provide any answers for African people.

Some folks might point this out as a form of selective memory but, clearly, the black prez suffers from Politically Acquired Ideological Deficiency Syndrome (PAIDS) as do many of his African counterparts.

The strategic importance of AFRICOM to the US does not concern the people of Africa, except to the extent that it will be imposed upon them. As an African born in America, my black consciousness is primary. It means more to me to see the rise of our people at home than the continuation of a durable Imperialism. The US continues to produce strong expressions of racism in media, in culture, economics and in politics. Police murders of blacks have become outrageous since the Obama election. Obama was elected because people, white and Latino and black, have become disgusted with the policies in American political life. Yet he has miserably failed to take any strident steps and turns away from this. His rhetoric often says one thing, as in the words he spoke to the Organization of American States, tho the policy continues to maintain the historical status quo.

Indeed, even his rhetoric often belies his genuine stance. Following his Ghana visit, Obama met with AIPAC (American-Israel Political Action Committee). Brother president did not tell them to stop blaming the Holocaust for their problems (?) nor did he suggest that Israel cease relying upon US foreign aid — which amounts to over half the US foreign aid budget — and do for itself. Still, that is what he said while in Ghana. Obama said Africans must stop blaming colonialism and begin to depend upon their own devices, even while pushing AFRICOM. His statements in Ghana are reminiscent of last year’s Fathers Day speech, wherein he castigated absentee fathers in the black community, while ignoring conditions like unemployment which cause social disintegration and black family instability.

While the US GDP is about $13 trillion, the current military budget is $969 billion. The US maintains 737 bases around the world. It seeks to ring bases around Africa (AFRICOM) to guarantee access to oil. By 2015, it is estimated the US will receive 25% of its oil imports from Africa, which has already become the main supplier to the United States. Other strategic resources that AFRICOM will defend include coltan, gold, platinum, diamonds, timber, agriculture, political allies and labor.
African does not need foreign troops on its soil. While Obama says stop blaming colonialism, he forgets how the former colonial powers have behaved in the post-colonial period. This involves the overthrow of Nkrumah, Azikwe, Tolbert and others. During this period, history records the overthrow and physical liquidation of Patrice Lumumba for the long-term destabilization of Congo for Imperialist interests. Agents killed Cabral, Neto and Mondlane in newly independent Portuguese colonies, severely the path of development for Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique, respectively. Apartheid South Africa waged war against neighboring countries and its black population right up thru the Nineties, routinely invading Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Angola.

The US has had its own sordid background in Africa, hunting down Somali President Mohammed El Aidid and flying vicious sorties over Mogadishu neighborhoods. The US has sent gunships to Liberia and Sierra Leone. CIA agents have played a role in many coups in Africa. The US benefits from the destabilization of DRC, backing the occupiers of Eastern DRC, Uganda’s Yoweri Musaveni and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame. The effects of a US military presence are already obvious to anyone with a critical eye.

The solution for Africa’s problems is not AFRICOM. It is not foreign aid. It is in what Kwame Nkrumah stated and so tirelessly worked towards, the unification of Africa under a singular socialist state. That is not on the agenda for the majority of African leaders, who seek to maintain their despotic grips on power to control fiefdoms for Imperialism. Such leaders maintain the status quo, with Africa remaining a begging bowl ravaged by guinea worm, schistosomiasis, AIDS, war, malnutrition, rape, and ignorance. Cheik Anta Diop, John Henrik Clarke and other great historians had great suggestions for redeeming our Motherland from the chokehold of capitalism. We have to accept their advice to free our people.

When Obama attended the OAS conference a few months ago, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave him a book, Eduardo Galeano’s prosaic, polemic tour de force, The Open Veins of Latin America. Had Obama read it, that would signify the beginning of real change in the United States White House.

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Reparations in the Land of the Giants?

Obama Policy: Imperialism thru Democracy

Black workers, we who sell our labor to make a living, travail under special circumstances in capitalist America. We have the highest rates of unemployment, imprisonment, chronic health issues. On the other hand, we have the lowest rates for home ownership, capital formation, retirement security, and higher education.

The current economic crisis is marked by increasing unemployment, to the tune of 50,000 jobs lost per month. The government giveaway to the financial giants amounts to plus $1.5 trillion over the last three years. This includes “massive liquidity injections” to Wall Street bankers and the European Central Bank since 2006.

Now with all this money floating around, no mention of reparations can be made. No mention of helping the African community get back on its feet. The goliath of Imperialism has stomped the heart out of niggers thru out this country.

Just one point of clarity; before there were African slaves in the Americas, before colonialism and Imperialism, niggers never existed. A nigger is a slave who hopes for a peaceful coexistence within the Imperialist, racist system. If you go the extra mile to justify the racist cause like, maybe, Stanley Crouch or Tarik Nelson, then you’re a bootlicking nigger.

Niggers ought to kno, there is no peaceful coexistence with Imperialism. The Soviet Union was white, and thought Socialism could coexist peacefully in the world alongside Imperialism. That proved to be untrue. And Africans cannot buy into the myth that this racist country will allow them to prosper, to get a piece of the dream, and live in peace with racists next door, down the street, around the corner and on your job. Africans must begin to understand how the system of collaboration diverts our unity with the Caribbean and Africa for a myth no more real than Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or a white deity which arose to remove your sins. Imperialism forced that nonsense upon black folks’ minds, and mentally weak niggers refuse to remove those mental chains.

So, the last few weeks have presented a somewhat quiescent period despite the growing economic crisis. People seem to yearn for that crummy stimulus check in the mail. It has literally caused most critics to shut their yapping traps. Makes one wonder what kind of check niggers would settle for if we can elevate the whole Reparations issue?

George W Bush gave out stimulus checks as well, in his first term, as a reason to celebrate his presidency. That is like King David giving every man in his kingdom a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread. Then again, David was a giant killer. While the jazz artists call Pittsburgh (my home town) “Land of the Giant Killers,” Bush 43, being from Texas, came from the land of the giants. Which is why he could bogart his way into office and behave as if all us little people need to enjoy our roles as unconscious grist for the mill of Imperialism.

So far, we haven’t seen much separation between Barack Obama and Bush 43. Obama isn’t going to address the Reparations question, and so-called black leaders do not want to rock his presidential boat.

Now the white media, with its ugly, twisted rhetoric, attacks Obama on all fronts. The media did not oppose the Bush war at any juncture in its development. It did not counter the blood thirsty lies spread by Colin Powell, in his role at the United Nations as US Secretary of State. This is not just a matter of interpreting or misinterpreting satellite data, as Powell would have us believe. It involved a campaign of slander and lies aimed at the IAEA, Hans Blix, and other internationally certified authorities on Iraq’s capacity to wage war.

Obama, having made promises he obviously never intended to keep, extended the deadline for withdrawing troops from Iraq. Some will be there indefinitely, locked in step with the Rumsfeld Doctrine, “that we will be there a hundred years, if we have to.”

From the land of the giant killers, the slings are being primed.

One media goliath has have slandered the anti-war establishment as “Democratic voters who ached to see America defeated in ‘Bush’s War’”. The giant killers are not Democratic Party voters.

Besides, the US cannot be defeated in Iraq because of several factors. Superior military force always prevails over any highly disorganized and subjective anti-occupation movement. Religion worked fastidiously against Iraqi nationalism. The Brits instigated sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims by surreptitiously bombing the Golden Mosque. This deflected all efforts away from the occupation, the internecine conflict exacerbated by the CIA/Al Qaida anarchist Abu Musab Al Zarqawi.

Now the weak, neo-colonial micro-state struggles to survive in the face of an eventual pull out. The lessons we take from Iraq apply to this period in history.

In Iraq, the Arab world’s only industrialized nation-state, Imperialism completely shattered that country’s economic infrastructure thru twelve years of genocidal economic sanctions prior to the second US invasion, aka the Third Gulf War. The bloodsucking media has the nerve to imply that those who voted for the Obama policy of Imperialism thru Democracy actually wanted to see the US be militarily defeated in Iraq!

Today, the US economic crisis threatens to shatter the lives, jobs and communities of tens of millions of people. With over one trillion dollars already being doled out to investment banks, the giants are killing us. The black community is suffering its own war, a war where far too few of us have ever fought back, a war where those having sanctions and prisons imposed upon them are all too happy to believe the enemy is the friend.

To say, Iraq survived twelve years of sanctions then suffered another devastating military attack by the US and its allies. Now the US working class must likewise take a hit by the same giant interests, international finance capitalism. The most marginalized players, the black workers will bear the brunt of this “crisis” around the world. So black workers must begin to see themselves as giant killers.

We cannot afford to wait for a US military defeat in Iraq or Afghanistan, while the spineless white left says that plant takeovers and uprisings are “ultra-left”. However, workers cannot remain content with bearing the burden of capitalist economic crises. Black workers, who suffer chronic unemployment, chronic debt and health issues, and all the other baggage that anyone assumes goes with being avowed insurgents, are not maroons, rebels or even passive enemies of Imperialism.

In order to become free, black workers must make the decision to be the conscious enemies of capitalism. Black workers, the little guys, must become giant killers. You want Reparations, my People, STAND UP!! Stand up, People. To hell with Obama, he is no black savior. Only the People united will never be defeated.

Mara Salvatruchas Trece (MS-13)

Overlap: Drug Gangs and Geo-Politics

Mara Salvatruchas Trece (MS-13) is a violent drug network that has filtrated from Centroamerica up thru Mexico and into the United States. MS-13 comprises blowback from the CIA-counterinsurgency terror network — organized during the Eighties to repress the revolutionary movements — operating in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. They have been blamed for countless acts of horrific violence, including indiscriminate attacks against other colonized peoples, particularly Africans.

In order to understand their linkages to international narco-terrorism, you have to pose MS-13 against the backdrop of the CIA Guns-for-Drugs operations, sanctioned and financed by the National Security Administration. Also known as CIA Iran-Contra during the Reagan Administration, Guns-for-Drugs was overseen by Oliver North, and run out of the White House.

The Israelis managed a big cut in the action, traced to the vast numbers of Uzis and foreign manufacture weapons on the streets here and elsewhere. Associated with the volatile cocaine traffic that flooded the US starting in the 80s, the bullet-riddled body of an Israeli Mossad officer turned up in car trunk when US armed forces invaded Panama in 1989.

Under the Carter Administration, the CIA was assigned to arm and train Al Qaida in Afghanistan to face down the Soviet occupation. CIA/Al Qaida encouraged opium cultivation to finance the pre-Taliban mujahiddeen, which formed the bulk of the anti-Soviet fighters. As then-NSA advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski directed this strategy, subsequently taken over by North, during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

Reagan aimed to halt the rising leftist trend in “America’s backyard” thru the most violent counterinsurgency methods in recent history. Centroamerica’s main operatives behind US policy included Nicaragua’s Contras, Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega (whom the US later deposed and imprisoned), the Guatemalan government. Right-wing death squads operated with impunity in El Salvador during that era, massacring 100,000 students, workers, peasants and even nuns. These vicious activities had political backing from Congress, which led a toothless investigation of CIA Iran-Contra, for the illegal mining of Nicaragua’s harbor. Columbia, Bolivia and Peru became enmeshed in violent struggles between communist rebels versus reactionary governments. Imperialist drug kingpins press ganged peasants into intense coca production, which eventually hit our streets as cocaine.

A sidebar, Nicaragua and El Salvador at that time sustained the world’s second highest amputation rates, following closely behind Angola and Mozambique. In all four cases, militarized gangs — funded and trained by Imperialist forces — used machetes and other edged implements to terrorize, dismember, maim and murder people by the thousands.

Undeniably connected with this time, drug money laundered thru Cayman Islands or US savings and loans institutions accounted for billions of dollars in illegal proceeds, which ultimately contributed to the collapse of 747 S&Ls like Whitewater, BCCI, and others. This is only one of many leading edges of the reactionary right-wing agenda in American politics.

MS-13 arose as the heir apparent of the Centroamericano pro-imperialist death squads and drug gangs. Parasitic excrescences backing this web of intrigue include reactionary financiers, presently looting the worldwide working class, and imposing a regime of terror across the globe.

We can connect the dots to make comparisons with CIA-trained Al Qaida, spreading its bloodsucking influence thru out Asia. Alongside Al Qaida, include the US-backed military regimes of Paul Kagame and Yoweri Musaveni presently aiming to annex DRC, the interhamwe in DRC, the Saudi-funded janjaweed in Darfur, and other similar pro-imperialist and sub-imperialist terror formations. The common thread running thru these factions involves profit-making via militarized violence, counterinsurgency, and neo-colonialism. Illuminating MS-13 makes one more case for the revolutionary transformation of Imperialism’s genocidal class system.

MS-13, like all drug gangs, poses a serious threat to the stability of working class communities. Their indiscriminate targeting of black people must meet stiff resistance. Yet it makes little sense to stampede peoples minds with scattershot information that provides primitive context, liberal-reactionary content, and race nationalist underpinnings. Our community must become organized not just for simple self-defense. That cannot survive as a successful strategy within any scenario. We have to organize by building scientific socialism, that is, revolutionary communities of resistance, a maroon society.

Nabudere: Helping Understand Our Condition

A Worldwide Crisis Based on Imperialism

Pambazuka News published an excellent article, “The Global Crisis of Capitalism and Its Impact,” by Professor Dani Nabudere, executive director of the Afrikan Study Centre in the Netherlands. In it, he discusses how the abstraction known as paper money, plus other financial instruments such as derivatives and futures, “have lost any relationship to the ‘fundamentals’ in the material production of the world economy.”

As in virtually every opinion coming out these days on the so-called financial meltdown, Nabudere’s work remains devoid of statistical data to back up his claims. This criticism also must strike at all opinions on the subject that I have developed as well. However, that does not mean such views derive from metaphysics, because ample facts on the history leading to this period have been well documented in newspapers, financial journals, criminal and civil courts, international treaties like NAFTA, and thru the policies of such bourgeois institutions as the Trilateral Commission, IMF/World Bank, and the World Economic Forum.

Structural readjustment based on Africa’s relationship to international finance capitalism, Imperialism, continues to impose social upheaval thru out the Motherland. Former food staples such as maize, soy and sugar are now being grown for biofuel, triggering widespread food crises. Genetically altered crops are unfit for human consumption, and seed crops have become proprietary to stop self-reliance in its tracks. Sanctions against weak states like Zimbabwe severely undermine the population’s ability to eke out a living. This is the essence of social destabilization as a consequence of Imperialism’s globalized economy.

Whatever chaos goes on in Africa likewise gets duplicated in the US black community, altho at a more manageable level for the State. Black folks have lost more homes due to an inflationary rise in adjustable rate mortgages, the banks’ racist answer to the banned redline. Where armies press gang people into mines to pirate raw material at cut rate prices for companies in places like DR Congo, the US provides one million black prisoners as cheap labor for the industrial sector here. Police repression has not only increased since last November’s election, it has become bolder and outlandish, and with not one word of reform mentioned in the legislative corridors of this nation’s city councils, state assemblies, or Congress.

To make the point succinct, most minds are not in major dispute of the facts what has transpired over the last thirty or forty years. Few folks on the left disagree on the major economic and political trends. Nevertheless, all these facts do not make for an ounce of truth. That is, the facts in themselves demand an interpretation which serves the best interests of the masses, and gives them an ability to act decisively. This seems to be where most revolutionary theories diverge.

Nabudere’s article is an important piece inasmuch that it details many stages which brought us to this period. He talks about the collapse of the gold standard and the “over extension of credit”. This analysis of the credit “problem” continues to be seen as a major contributing factor for contradictions in capitalism. Nabudere accurately asserts the following:

…the US is increasingly unable to repay debts it has accumulated in its Treasury Bonds and Bills, in which the rest of the world have placed their reserves. Most African countries have millions of dollars in these US Treasury bills, which are held as the countries’ ‘reserves.’ China, India and Japan have trillions deposited in these ‘T’ bills and bonds This means that should the world economy collapse under pressure of ‘loose money’ wanting to be given a value (which they do not have) so that the holders of that ‘money’ can preserve their wealth, those holdings in US Treasury bills (or US debt to the rest of the world) will be lost forcing many weak economies to collapse along with it.

To credit Nabudere for his clear and lucid explanation I have labored, under my limited expertise, to demonstrate that paper money has essentially no value, that it represents value as objectively as any elected official represents democracy, and that when people get it thru their heads how the abstraction benefits only a handful of private owners and bosses the people will understand precisely how capitalism exploits them.

Still, the credit issue remains one that most people attribute as the primary contradiction, rather than seeing the crisis as a primary feature of capitalism itself. For instance, the US economy experienced economic crises more often than stability in the 1800s, my apologies for not documenting the source. In fact, until Roosevelt no effective management of the economy existed. While Wilson invented the modern business model, the economy as a whole required decades to stabilize. The credit regime does not appear to be the fundamental problem here; rather it seems to be a lack of liquidity due to the rich having concentrated even greater wealth into their hands over the last thirty years.

Mental_floss documents six crises which predates the current global one. The Irish potato famine caused widespread starvation in that country because of monoculture. On hyperinflation, compared with Zimbabwe — a microstate which does not even have an industrial sector — in November 1923 in Germany, one US dollar equaled 4.2 billion marks, and even daily staples had to be purchased with wheelbarrows of cash. On the Great Depression, founder of the Chicago School, Milton Friedman later stated that liquidity had been frozen; in any event, by 1932 the economy contracted by 31%, and 13 people million became jobless, a quarter of the workforce. Before the 70s oil crisis, Mental_floss says that Saudi crude cost $1 per barrel to pump out of the sand, but it rose to $10 per barrel following the Yom Kippur War, due to an Arab League embargo. (Why they haven’t embargoed following the recent Israeli strikes on Gaza is an enigma.) Then, in the curious case of the Asian flu, the collapse of the Southeast Asian “tiger” economies of Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia and South Korea was due in part to financial speculation on their currencies in the interconnected global economy. Finally, Mental_floss touches on the then-bright star of the IMF, Argentina, which underwent runaway inflation in 1992 and going on to default on $140 billion in debt in December 2001.

Showing these crises do not seem to justify the position that I have taken. But they show that capitalism is a system filled with crises. It shows that capitalism is unstable, that it creates instability, and that is the character of any system built upon exploitation and oppression. At any rate, whether the illiquid situation has foundered upon overextended credits or an increased concentration of wealth at the top, or a combination of factors, the masses must become organized around their own political self-determination and collective self-reliance.

Anticipating this period, I wrote “A Dying Imperialism” in early 2007. In that essay, I made these observations:

Recognizing Imperialism’s weak links and how it shifts focus away from pressure provides both strategic and tactical objectivity for revolutionary organizing. Of course, economies remain strong within the Imperialist centers themselves; the United States continues unchallenged as the top industrial sector on the planet. But with relative class peace within the US, a critical problem in social relations is unavoidable. The ecological crises combined with mounting competition for monopoly control of strategic resources, especially petroleum, highlight the basic anarchy in bourgeois relations. Also, America’s domestic colonies, the Ghetto and the Barrio, still struggle valiantly against the bourgeois class peace. Furthermore, the parasitic, multi-national occupation of Iraq presents a long-term disaster for the coalition leaders, the utmost striking failure in international policy. While America seeks military domination as part of its New World Order, that strategy only compounds antagonisms between this country, its competitors, and anti-Imperialist states.

The great professor Nabudere, who has international acclaim as a Pan Africanist thinker, offers a strong critique of capitalism. He says that it is erroneous to conclude that capitalism has the ability to reinvent itself. He condemns the “financial oligarchy” in its efforts to have the State take over their worthless credit instruments and have the producing classes bear their own burdens.

Yet with the new presidency of Barack Hussein Obama, the class peace has become amplified. If capitalism concentrates wealth and power into the hands of the few, then racism is class oppression concentrated as well and for the same purpose. Neo-colonialism, being the dilution of the concentrated class question (racism), appears to operate as a strategy for heading off the dilution of wealth. The only way wealth can be diluted is to redistribute it. But wealth dilution is still capitalist distribution, and neo-colonialism still is the final stage of Imperialism. It can only remain a brief matter of time before Keynesian economics and Obama politics compound into another crisis for a system which by its character must necessarily collapse.

African Internationalism

To Build a Kilombo Republic

For centuries Capitalism has ravaged African people. It has enslaved us on our native soil to deplete our land of minerals and herds and trees and people. It has dragged our people across the face of the Earth in its quest for slave labor. Where capitalism has been able to own everything in sight it did, including the workers which made this system possible. Capitalism has been the worst blight ever encountered anywhere by African people worldwide on planet Earth mud.

It must be added that colonialism committed these crimes, and modern colonialism springs out of Capitalist political and economic domination. It forms the primary mode of Capitalist domination so it is, in effect and for all intents and purposes, the very expression of Capitalism and without it the Capitalist system cannot possibly exist.

Only thru colonialism have Capitalists created primitive accumulation. Capitalism accrues wealth at times considered non-capitalist or pre-capitalist economic contributions. However, that view of primitive accumulation no longer justifies the terms “non-capitalist” and “pre-capitalist”.

Interhamwe press gangs in Democratic Republic of Congo dug coltan for Americans to enjoy their SONY Playstations, X-Boxes and other high-tech toys. The press gangs (corvees) were presided over by the interhamwe, the name for Rwandan and Burundi death squads. Such production once fell under the purview of being non-capitalist inasmuch that capitalism doesn’t formally recognize the labor conditions which extracted the raw material for capitalist use. It doesn’t seem to reflect the Adam Smith concept of free markets and laissez faire.

Yet and still, this was all done within the capitalist sphere. It was done for capitalism. It was an aspect of Imperialism and a function made possible thru neo-colonialism. Hence, the term non-capitalist production is inadequate. This is the very essence of a capitalism which seeks the cheapest labor market available. For this reason, and millions more, capitalism must be eradicated.

It is important to get this point across. We can no longer consider “primitive accumulation” to be non-capitalist or pre-capitalist without assuming Adam Smith was correct about capitalism. We have to say Smith was an idealist whose concept was out of touch with reality. Primitive accumulation is capitalism at its most brutal. Primitive accumulation is the place where labor markets are slashed to fire sale and bargain basement prices, to turn a phrase. Primitive accumulation is capitalism at its bloodsucking, murderous best.

It is important for all people, particularly Africans, to understand this part of Capitalism, its development and its origins. If a thing was rotten at its birth, it will be rotten until its death.

African Internationalism elaborates this theory of primitive accumulation, the key to understanding capitalist relationships. All revolutionary theory is based on scientific socialism, and the theory of international working class unity. Elaborating the theory of primitive accumulation (articulated by Rodney, Eric Williams, Galeano and Yeshitela, among others), de-legitimizes Capitalism.

The elaboration of the theory of primitive accumulation deconstructs the mythos of Capitalism being based in the Protestant work ethic or some other force separate from and outside of colonialism. Yeshitela has done great work on this, and giving the field its name, he is not the first nor will he be the last to study and elaborate upon the theory of primitive accumulation, which soils the pristine whitewashed façade of Capitalism and its relationship to democracy, the welfare state, and other public pretenses to Imperialism’s “moral high-ground”.

Plus, Kwame Nkrumah’s critique atop Lenin’s analysis – Imperialism as the highest stage of Capitalism – evinces that neo-colonialism is the last stage of Imperialism. Nkrumah’s definitive contribution here rescues his legacy from the series of half-steps, mistakes and blunders which marked his presidency.

Frantz Fanon also discussed neo-colonialism in A Dying Colonialism, altho he did not give it a name. Mao Zedong talked all around neo-colonialism without actually discussing it. He discussed colonialism and semi-colonialism, compradors, and anti-colonial struggle but missed the analysis of neo-colonialism. Amazingly and oh so artistically, Lorraine Hansberry covered it years before anybody thru a dynamic soliloquy within Raisin in the Sun, a play about struggles and family battles in 1950s urban Chicago.

However, Nkrumah stands heads and shoulders above them inasmuch that he defined the phenomenon, named it and described its relationship to a particular period in capitalist development. Nkrumah analyzed how Imperialism demanded a new relationship with its colonies; that they were still colonies, except the formal ties had been dissolved between the bloodsucking colonial State and the host nation, so that a state could arise where before none had existed. And these states were micro-states, not in that they were small, but because they were ill-formed, immature and unprepared to manage the affairs of flag independence.

Which sums up the basic theoretical work for us except for one last major piece: the reduction of capital as it relates to revolutionary collectivism.

While for dialecticians the field of activity takes place in the streets, churches, union halls, backrooms, bars, forums, classrooms, workplaces, and sometimes in the alleys, fighting to win the hearts and minds of black workers and allies to our cause.

So, one old adage helps us understand how capitalism operates, that “all fortunes begin with a crime.” Which is to say, that accumulation of wealth outside of or beyond the “normal” or “legal” forms of Capitalist interchange does not imply that these means are not Capitalist. To admit as much would eliminate entire political economies from the sphere of Capitalist development. It would omit the great economies of today because of their criminal, genocidal origins.

Without what most people consider the criminal and genocidal origins of Capitalism, its roots in primitive accumulation as it were, there would be no Capitalism today.

Here you see, the most conspicuous feature of Capitalism is the crisis in social relations, itself a product of the class struggle between dispossessed workers and their rich, bloodsucking bosses. In fact, the modern worker derives his/her very identity from the labor performed by colonized Africans known as slaves. Capitalism begat the only system-wide economy based on corvee labor (forced work gangs), which is why the term “slavery” doesn’t critically define the role of the colonized worker. Slavery in non-capitalist societies had little comparable (except for Roman galley slaves, and those in mines) to what existed in the Capitalist colonies.

Slavery in Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Africa and Arabia all had little comparison to the systematic abduction and gang-labor activity that American and European capitalists employed. These privateers stole millions of people from their homes and put them to work on plantations, in mines and factories halfway across the world. This started Capitalism, defended by the musket, financed by looting and plundering, and grown by transforming raw material into finished goods.

Some forces on the Left elucidate Adam Smith’s version of the Capitalist ideal as opposed to what Capitalism actually does, an idea of the free market in contrast to Milton Friedman’s. Yet Smith did not comprehend the genuine origins of Capitalism rooted in royal treasures pillaged by kings and knights to finance expeditions to the Americas, to African kingdoms, to the Asiatic coasts in India, Burma and Cathay. Adam Smith imagined an ideal Capitalism which hurt nobody, in which no slaves existed and servants were all too happy to get the trickle down goodies with dropped from the master’s table like manna from heaven.

That Capitalism never ever existed except in fiction. It was impossible for that pure Capitalism to exist, tho the wealthy insulated themselves from colonial horrors thru masterpieces honed by Monet, Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Beethoven and made even more exquisite by the influx of exotic commodities – like sugar, chocolate, bananas, coffee, mud cloth, kinte, tobacco, cotton and silk – imported from colonized lands.

Markets have always opened to Capitalism thru force of arms rather than free trade.

Friedman also promoted a pristine Capitalism which does not exist. So he dipped into Malthus to promote a Capitalism assisted by the State, just short of a fascist regime, looting public assets and using government to open frontiers for Imperialism to spread. VI Lenin examined this phenomenon in State and Revolution. Lenin explained the role of the state as it facilitates the bourgeois class exploitation of workers and other producing classes. He discussed the predatory warfare of the bourgeois state, that this was a measure to deepen the misery and oppression of the producing classes. Lenin discovered the State as an instrument of class oppression, and (bourgeois) democracy as a tool to hoodwink the masses.

The Friedman model concurs with this view from the opposite end of the spectrum, that is, as a reactionary. Milton Friedman does not openly advocate a police state at the disposal of Capitalism. But he shows no regard for human rights, he lacks consideration for democratic principles and norms, and liquidates working people as the historical force which shapes the forward motion of society. Friedman insisted that the Capitalists define history, and that they have every right and obligation to unilaterally determine the path of society.

Like Adam Smith, Milton Friedman imagined a “pure” capitalism, one unfettered by regulations, agencies, laws, markets, unions, international agreements, tariffs, etc. Friedman spoke as tho he were guided by pure unadulterated idealism yet the man was a rapacious, insatiable bamboozler searching for suckers to implement his vision. This must be emphasized with conviction and clarity, that anytime the concept of purity is introduced into a social critique, that is the viewpoint of an extremist and a fanatic who should not be trusted under any circumstances. From Adam Smith’s concept of pure capitalism to Adolph Hitler’s idea of racial purity to Friedman’s belief in pure markets, history records views which seek to purge the social aspect from society. The idea of purity in society is like Hitler’s paintings of street scenes with no social activity, no people in them, neatly kept streets and cities devoid of the people who built them. That is an anti-social absurdity.

Friedman unintentionally proved Lenin’s principle, that politics is nothing but economics concentrated. Only politicians could swing his theories into motion; Friedman’s ideas could not exist without government collaboration, altho he propagated the false notion that capitalism can only work effectively without government. Friedman’s ideology spawned fascist dictatorships thru out Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. This notion defines the current period of Capitalism. It was yet to be tested in the United States, until Ronald Reagan tried it. Friedman’s ideas influenced the entire neo-conservative movement from Reagan thru to Bush 43.

Where stagflation had set in during Carter’s old boy administration, Reagan’s voodoo economics caused massive unemployment and housing failures that lasted until the end of Bush 41. The Great Communicator’s maxims – like supply-side economics, trickle down theory, catsup is a vegetable and greed is good – all encapsulate the mentality of the neo-conservative movement.

Reagan still believed in the Constitution, in rugged individualism and private property, yet he was unable to completely implement his strategy. Reagan succeeded in dropping trade barriers, and that began the massive export of capital resources from strategic US industrial centers. Reagan ran up incredible deficits based on supply-side theorem, cut and spend policies, and increased militarism. His policies set the stage for the disastrous ideas promulgated by Bush 43.

Bill Clinton followed the Reagan-Bush era by naming Alan Greenspan chairman of the Fed, and his policies seemed to remedy the housing/construction crisis. But Clinton’s burgeoning prison system derives from Friedman’s dictates. Clinton – having never countered the ideology of greed and selfishness started by the Reagan neo-cons – created policy that, on the one hand, spawned an entire prison-industrial archetype, supported by welfare-fraud laws to criminalize black women, and three-strikes sentencing codes to deepen the black prisoner-base. This became the fastest growing segment of the US economy.

Today, the fastest growing segment of US capitalism includes the bail out industry initiated by swindler banks to the tune of $5.1 trillion, and the $12 billion per month war economy. While Greenspan lowered interest rates and stimulated housing and construction, Bernanke raised them and caused their collapse, the ripple effect of which became felt all the way thru to the oil industry. The deep pocket investors who rolled their money on Wall Street demanded deregulation of oil so they could recoup their gambled plunder via speculation in the oil market. Same guys, same game, same crap table except this time they are rolling bigger stakes in a bigger hustle. Behind every boom follows a bust.

Those sworn to bring down Imperialism must understand these things. Slavery, human trafficking, forced labor gangs and drug wars exist because of Capitalism, not in spite of it. The limited duration and limited usage of capital force private owners into ever more desperate efforts to make greater piles of money. This is the Capitalism which has defined black life in the US and everywhere else African people live. It defines life from A to Z, America to Zimbabwe, and many places in between.

So it is, the Black Liberation dialectic has become blurred with the struggle for survival in a hostile capitalist world economy. South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique have all become tinderboxes where Imperialism has sworn to destabilize their victories over it. Zimbabwe has been singled out for special demonization, with black-skinned critics leading the charge. Yet, while the right to criticize is upheld, the spirit of that criticism departs from the liberation of the Zimbabwean African massed. It is also linked with increasing criticism of South Africa because of recent attacks inside the country characterized as “xenophobic pogroms”, as well as the fact the South Africans were slow to pressure the Zimbabwean government for its missteps.

America, the great enemy of black liberation, drags its black slaves out of the ghetto and around the World to showcase its purported democracy, based on a new colonialism. This neo-colonialism fragments the unstable US black community, and further separates us from other Africans because the racist “culture war” maintains victory by dashing Black unity to pieces.

Neo-colonialism, having reached near total saturation, screams out to the masses to join in on the genocide against their own class and nation. It first screamed out in a most obvious form, from the open collaborators with Imperialism. Now it makes its voice heard from the corners and podiums of what poses for the Black Liberation Movement. However, Imperialism cannot genuinely accommodate this saturation level. America lacks the democratic space and the political will to achieve justice for all those whom it invites into its fold.

This limitation defines the essential contradiction rooted within the financial crisis sweeping thru American neighborhoods, factories, and banks. It is the fundamental limitation of capitalism, the inability to relieve oppression and repression and exploitation, since Capitalism’s very existence remains based in perpetuating reactionary, subhuman conditions.

America tenders not one cent toward helping African people transform their economies from anti-black colonial slave centers. These valiant workers and peasants inherited economies slanted entirely against them, weighing them down in the race for development, and having only a handful of educated and trained personnel to help make the transformation. America has done nothing to expedite their prosperous ascension within the family of nations. America has never recognized their uphill fight against the fascism of apartheid and colonialism. Yet the United States has been quick to condemn the errors of the Black Liberation Movement, and its hindered efforts.

And whereas, on the neo-conservative side Clarence Thomas once cited Malcolm X to express his neo-colonialist ambition at the expense of African people, the negro-colonial Left currently repudiates Malcolm and quotes Cabral to preface their public betrayals of the Black Liberation Movement. However, dialectics and revision do not go together, and all remarks by the neo-colonialist sector cannot taint Malcolm X’s martyrdom in the hearts of the masses.

Mao Zedong discussed, in Selected Military Writings, the interior lines and exterior lines of combat. He talked about this because of the dialectic involved in maintaining principled and steeled revolutionary clarity. Neo-colonialism within the Black Liberation Movement may present a paradox, yet it exists because Imperialism needs to undermine the workers struggle.

The Black Liberation Movement is for the masses of African people, for them to seize and exercise power. Black liberation overthrows and dismantles the instruments of exploitation and oppression which rules over Africans, and builds a human social system to abolish private ownership, arms races and wars, and the crises in production and social relationships.

Clearly, the Black Liberation Movement must forcefully mark its territory. It must create splits thru out the neo-colonialist infrastructure. It must make its ideological attacks on Imperialism. Capitalism itself supplies a vast source of agitational material for revolutionary organizers.

Black revolutionary workers have a duty to undermine confidence that the system will straighten out this crisis. We must make short shrift of the State ideology, the functions of its branches, its relationship to big Capital, and its alienation from the masses of people.

The Imperialist power structures, or capitalist central committees, have failed to realize the deep set aversion to occupation war – and hence its obsolescence – within their societies. With the bailouts of parasitic banks in the midst of a widespread housing crisis, the Imperialist power structure has overestimated society’s tolerance for exploitation. Energy prices have shot up because of supply-side deregulation, a doctrine of neo-conservative government, which also auctions off public assets to the highest bidder. Anti-democratic laws from the Telecom Act to the Patriot Act undermine workers rights and set the stage for sweeping repression.

Capitalism is a class-based system which dominates relationships between nations, between societies and classes, the rich and the poor, the great and the small, and between women and men. This degenerate system, birthed in human trafficking and genocide, today strives for validation thru the ascendancy of black slaves to positions of power formerly reserved for Imperialism’s white colonial masters. Today, Capitalism is in crisis, grasping for anything to keep it afloat. The role of black revolutionaries is to make sure this system drowns.

Revolutionary Collectives for the Reduction of Capital
Making sure capitalism drowns is a task set for real organization. It turns to the theory of the reduction of capital. By reducing all forms of capital as the primary means of economic activity, the capitalists find their wealth becoming useless. This means that they cannot use their wealth for power, or to buy their way out of jams. It levels the playing field, and forces them to distribute their assets, otherwise those assets will be seized, eventually.

The reduction of capital calls for the building of revolutionary workers collectives. These collectives operate in all places of production. They form the basis of factory takeovers, mine takeovers, etc. But the collectives also operate in government and elsewhere. The Russians called them soviets. We call them maroon societies, palenques and kilombos. These organizations are based on democratic-centralism, mutual aid, revolutionary action, and dual and contending political power.

While the Black Panther Party build the biggest, most widespread and successful system of revolutionary collectives, the Panthers did not realize how important and crucial this activity was in undermining the Imperialist power structure. None of the organizations which have critiqued the Panthers have attempted to build anything similar. Organizations which ran parallel to the Panthers (AAPRP, APSP-Uhuru, RNA, RAM) have built upon the Panthers’ ideological legacy, but not upon its structural links to the masses thru free breakfast programs, food and clothing giveaways, childcare, and other institutions.

This is not to say these groups have not had similar institutions, but they have not been permanent, entrenched institutions within these organizations.

(In the last 40 years, North America’s white Left has contributed very little to these struggles. It has lagged ideologically, and has allowed the trade union movement to suffer staggering defeats. Yet it was the Black Liberation Struggle in North America which took the brunt of repression, so that the white Left could have shown some courage and character by comradely struggle. For this reason, the self-led proletariat must be African Internationalist and assume leadership over the entire revolutionary center in North America.)

Now, by taking capital out of circulation to distribute wealth amongst the masses is a form of economic erosion. By taking wealth out of circulation for mass distribution, and in so doing no currency is exchanged by a significant section of society, that erodes the capitalist system. Even if no collectives have formed at this point, the trend moves in that direction. As people notice how the stress of living under capitalism places them in competition and conflict with one another, they understand that working collectively relieves that stress. The point of production no longer is a point. It is no longer an edge, no longer a blade, a bullet, a bomb a tank a cop a prison or a factory boss. The point of production no longer arrives as a 1040 form biting off your wallet. There is no more point now but a movement which threatens capitalist production, the status quo, and world wide Imperialism.

Unbeknownst to the Panthers, that is what they had done. They had developed a style of work which threatened to shape into a form of broad-based economic activity. What made this lack of competition such a threat to the system? It competed with the notion of competition, the notion of turning workers into crabs in a barrel, crawling over one another to escape. The Panthers smashed the idea of capitalism as the ultimate economic system and replaced that notion with clarity about our roles as human beings, our social responsibility towards one another. They invented something new in America, and it threatened the status quo. It is our job to resurrect their work, to rebuild the work they had done to take capital out of circulation and redistribute it amongst the masses in the form of fighting soviets, maroon societies, palenques and kilombos.

The fighting workers collective marks a decisive battleground for Imperialism. Where people decide to make a stand, to separate from the capitalist state and society, to define revolutionary culture and activity, will be the site where Imperialism will be buried. This place has to be where capital is taken out of circulation and divvied up into pieces for society to share. As many instruments of capital as exist are as many forms of wealth that have been concentrated into the hands of a small class of people. By taking away the authority of those instruments – asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) in the form of bonds, arbitrages, money-manager funds, bearer bonds, sureties, stocks, chips, and other sundry abstracts for everything from energy and agricultural futures to real estate and multi-national firms – and reducing them to nothing more than their concrete economic forms, capital is therefore diminished. It is no longer transferable in liquid form. The power to buy a private army to shield the capitalist from public scrutiny and power disappears.

For some people, they believe that violent revolution will be the burial ground of Imperialism. It will play the first critical role. But as Socialism must grow as a worldwide phenomenon, there will be pockets of “post-capitalist” society, as it were, fighting against socialism or at least politicizing for capitalism. However many purges and massacres of ruling class elitists follow, that will not solve the problem of dead enders who continue to luxuriate in or defend (even if only in their hearts) capitalism. What will solve that contradiction is the massive redistribution of wealth and the reduction of all forms of commerce to the simplest forms of currency. Notes held in private must become worthless. Whenever these things are presented, they must be confiscated. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

Personal property differs from private property in that it is small and insignificant and does not require legal transfer following ones death. Personal property is not a form of wealth, and plays no role in commerce. It is something which is out of circulation for everybody except perhaps pawnbrokers. Your house is real estate, but you usually have no interest in selling it as a commodity because it is collectively possessed by your family. While you owe the bank up to the last payment, the real owner, whose controlling interest is the mortgage until that last payment is made, this is the closest thing to private property that the working class experiences.

Private property involves real estate and other substantial forms of wealth. While it is bought and sold at the owners discretion, it is a form of commerce. The capitalist class considers everything something which can be bought and sold, including labor. If it were able to outright own labor, as it once did, the capitalists would be delighted with that as a form of power. That capitalism has to pay for labor is a great source of discontent for Imperialism, as it seeks cheaper labor markets to produce simple goods and services.

For this reason the export of capital has been an important feature of the Imperialist stage of capitalism, as well as a feature of neo-colonialism. Capital export has several functions. In some cases it is to stabilize micro-states; in this instance, it assumes the form of an outright grant or a loan that must be repaid. The micro-state, itself nothing more than a bureaucratic shell overseeing raw material extraction, usually has a highly paid and oversized military, this for enforcing production and putting down dissent and rebellion. Other than that, the micro-state is useless.

Another form of capital export has to do with simply building factories and support structure for pursuing cheap labor markets. Of course, cheap labor markets can mean anything from sweatshop workers to press gangs (corvees) in mines and on plantations. Support structure means roads and ports for material transport, packing facilities, and communications. Sometimes this includes workers housing, but mostly they are on their own.

So in the reduction of capital, these workers would take over all facilities. They would rely neither on the State nor the bosses, forming their own ruling councils, linked to a central authority supportive of their demands. This authority must articulate the ambitions of the workers councils, or fighting soviets (or palenques, maroon societies, or kilombos), and the goal of reducing capital transfers. The palenques must commandeer experts, elites and others who have skills which facilitate their production efforts, and the distribution of their product.