The Colonized Are The Real Proletariat
On December 15, 2019, news broke worldwide that a landmark lawsuit had been filed in Washington DC. The plaintiffs: a group of fourteen Africans – parents and children from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The defendants: Google (now Alphabet Inc), Apple, Tesla, Microsoft, and Dell. A veritable who’s who of the modern tech industry. The complaint? That these giant tech corporations, each worth billions of dollars with business operations spanning the skies and the globe, were “knowingly benefiting from and aiding and abetting the cruel and brutal use of exploited young children.” In plain english, that means that these corporations were accused of intentionally buying stolen rare minerals from the Congo – specifically cobalt – that were illegally mined using the labor of exploited African children. And these companies knew this. They encouraged it.
You see, the mineral at the heart of the lawsuit, cobalt, is a key component in lithium-ion batteries. And lithium-ion batteries are found in virtually every modern piece of technology that needs to be recharged, including many things you reading this probably own. Have a Droid? An iPhone? A laptop, a tablet, a Prius, a FitBit? Are you douche-y and unself-aware enough to own a Tesla? Then surprise you own a stolen little piece of Africa mined by enslaved African children. Intense!
What this lawsuit thrust into the spotlight is a hidden truth that lies at the foundation of global capitalism and the entire Western world. A truth that lies behind each one of people’s uprisings that set the world on fire this year – from Congo to Sudan, to Haiti, to Puerto Rico, Honduras, Chile, Lebanon, Palestine, and Bolivia. That truth is that the entirety of what we understand to be the “first world” has been built upon a foundation of stolen land, stolen resources, stolen labor, and stolen lives from African, Indigenous, and colonized peoples all over the world. All of the first world’s wealth, all of its much development, all its progress, all of its tech, all of its skyscrapers, all of it’s everything was built by exploiting and oppressing Africa, African people, and colonized nations and peoples all over the world.
In the first world, we are sold a lie of global dependency on Western largesse. We are told that the empires that we live and struggle in are forces for good in the world – spreading freedom with missiles and democracy with looting and raping and occupation. We are told that imperialism is a just and pure wall between us and a rabid, raving, undeserving horde and that all the wealth and blind consumption around us is some kind of divine gift. Our birthright as citizens of the World’s Police. We are rich because we are good. They are poor because they are not. For a long time, people living here could believe this. But what 2019 showed us is that mass delusions will only take you so far.
No life smashed to the ground will ever fail to rise to defend itself while it still has the capacity to do so. And no empire built on a trembling tower of blood and corpses can ever hope to survive. Through this relationship of involuntary dependency – not us upon the first world but the first world upon us – has spanned centuries, every generation African, Indigenous, and colonized peoples have risen up all over the globe and in the belly of the beast to fight back. A hundred years ago these revolts happened in isolation. Today we can watch them live on Instagram.
Some first worlder declared once after the fall of the USSR that we had reached “the end of history” – that capitalism and neoliberalism had won.
2019, the Year of Revolt, showed us that we don’t have to listen to those motherfuckers anymore. They were never right about anything anyway. The world’s real working-class – the masses of colonized proletarians of Africa and the entire third world – are fighting back. And we’ll decide what history is written.
Class Character and Sharpened Struggle
As we stand at the opening of a new decade it’s essential that we revolutionaries take a look back at the one past. Take stock, remember and learn from mistakes and successes alike. The people’s wars in India and the Philippines continue to advance despite efforts by neocolonial fascist governments to isolate the Parties leading them from the masses. Once again we see the value in having firm links and ties to the masses developed only through patient work among them. We saw the failure and collapse of the Occupy Movement which attracted the attention of all segments of the opportunist/social-democratic left yet, through its inability to join with the lowest, deepest masses, did not produce any substantial change.
The revolutionary potential in the number one imperialist metropole, the United States, is not to be found in the settler proletariat/petit bourgeoisie but in the oppressed nations, the people of Puerto Rico, New Afrika, Aztlan, Hawaii, etc. Only those nations, particularly the proletariat/semi-proletariat which can be found in temp jobs, fields, prisons, and other such places, have historically demonstrated the revolutionary consciousness and will to topple the empire. What is needed is solidarity, material solidarity, between internal colonies and between internal colonies and our brothers and sisters in the third world. We have more in common with each other and with our brothers and sisters and folks in general in Chile, Haiti, the Philippines, and India than we do with the settlers who live off our labor and kill/incarcerate us and elect fascists like Trump to try to rule us.
The rise of Trump was no fluke or accident. It was the revenge of the settler, the rejection of liberalism and the confirmation of what Black and Brown people have been saying all along, these people do not give a shit about us. He was impeached in the last days of the decade, a meaningless symbolic gesture from a Democratic Party comprised of weaklings and cowards who voted for the military budget of the man that they compare to Hitler out of the other side of their mouths. Exploitation of internal colonies and the Third World is a bipartisan affair.
Climate change is an existential threat to billions of people, predominantly in the periphery. Lagos, Mumbai, the Maldives, several islands in the Pacific and countless other places will be transformed into modern-day versions of Atlantis due to the waste and callousness of the First World. These transformations are going to happen even if by some miracle the entire world moved into socialism tomorrow. Yet we humans are an adaptable species. We have survived climate change. We will this time. Only if we adopt socialism and struggle towards Communism. This is not a matter of intellectual debate, or subject to nuance. We must move towards a sustainable order or we will either perish or be significantly reduced in number. It’s no longer a decision between Socialism or Barbarism, but between Socialism or Extinction. First world bourgeois environmentalists claim that it is the fault of humanity as a whole that we face this danger. This lacks analysis of class and writes off imperialism. Imperialism is the problem. As we are being shown, People’s war and the imposition of the will of the majority of humanity on the destructive minority is the solution to the problem.
Neoliberalism, Imperialism, and Global Uprisings.
Mainstream media has done a great job of covering 2019 uprisings occurring globally with one broad and unspecified stroke. Communists, revolutionary socialists, and those committed to radical social change have regarded these claims with critical skepticism. The implication made by MSM is that citizens are just simply tired of their governments. While that may be true, that is neither the sum nor the whole of these uprisings. It wasn’t just the “year of global uprisings”, but the year of mass protests against U.S. imperialism and neoliberalism.
The mainstream media-driven perception of the US’ role, globally, and the mainstream media-driven perception of the Global South has caused a fundamental fracture in how we are witnessing and understanding these uprisings. Following along with MSM, one would believe that the problems in these nations are simply a “mishandling of money” and “abuse of power”. However, this neglects to acknowledge puppet leaderships put in place with the help of the strong arm of bipartisan US imperialism (like in Haiti and Honduras). It also neglects to acknowledge those revolting their governments this year have, for decades, been ruled by a single economic model: neoliberalism.
Decade after decade, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stayed on course with the same agenda: to make sure that “developing” (aka Third World) countries play by the rules of neoliberalism. Governments are pressured by the IMF board to incorporate the economic model into policies that frequently tie loans to cuts in energy subsidies. The sovereignty of these so-called “developing” nations and their people is never taken into account.
Neoliberalism is not only economic theory, but it is also a political theory. The belief in the ability of markets to use technologies and privatization to solve social problems far better than any other alternative has made the result of neoliberal policies a call for regulations that serve corporate interests. This current global moment we are witnessing is not the result of “mishandling of money” but, instead, the latest stage of class struggle under capitalism. The neoliberal economic model has created an unprecedented worldwide social polarization, social inequality and intensified survival for colonized people. Right here in the US, there is a bipartisan push for privatization of public services in spite of their poor colonized working-class constituents, leading to massive inequality that is protected by a police-state.
Just as we can see the direct relationship between police, the state, and policy, there are also core and direct relationships between the U.S. military and the global neoliberal project. Interventions (like what we witnessed in Venezuela during the attempted coup) and sanctions (like the numerous kinds placed on Iran) destroy the infrastructure and social fabric of nations. Imperialist governments like the U.S. have caused economic devastation imposed on colonized nations. The exploitation of these colonized nations, through imperialist means, has resulted in neoliberal economic models that continue to line the pockets of the ultra-rich while destroying the living conditions and environments of these colonized nations. With the recently passed bipartisan congressional- approved largest Department of Defense fund in the history of the US, one should make no mistake of the intentions of the US and its global military reach.
These global uprisings are a response to political subversion, killer sanctions, drone death from the skies, white supremacist ideology, ecocide, social degradation, and dehumanization that characterize the policies and character of the hegemonic Pan-European colonial/capitalist white supremacist neoliberal patriarchy. As exposing this becomes more normalized, the ruling-class continues to lose legitimacy. We are witnessing a breakdown of ruling-class hegemony on a world scale. This should not be viewed as isolated, but instead, we must make these connections to our domestic struggle against the ruling class. The immense structural inequalities of the global political economy can no longer be contained through consensual mechanisms of social control.
We have had enough.
Make Joining the Revolution your New Year’s Resolution.
If 2019 has shown Black people anything, it should show us that the empire is falling and it is time for us to take power over our own lives and destiny to usher in all that we can be in freedom! The liberal part of this sinking slave ship we call America is falling first into the sea. This part of the ship has given us comforts while we were on this slave ship. This side of the ship took our chains off. They let us clean ourselves. They taught us English and gave us their god. The pirates that stole us let us eat with them. They let our kids go to school with their kids. They even let us vote in their election of who this slave ship’s next captain would be. They even let us play ship captain for eight years.
But what we have to understand is that this side of the ship wasn’t saving us to save us. They were pretending to save us to save themselves.
You see, this liberal side of the ship saw that we were important in order to keep the ship afloat. They knew that we built the wood and that we manned the sails. Even more so, they knew that the sea the ship was on the waters of our blood. If ever it was that we understood the magnitude of our power and that we didn’t simply build America, we would see that we ARE the sea it floats on.
At any moment we have the power to command these seas comprised of our blood to make a crushing wave to destroy the ship and wipe it off the face of the earth! The sea does not need the ship. The ship needs the sea! It’s only an illusion that the ship commands the seas, as it sails with or without the kindness of the sea. But we don’t see ourselves as the sea. We see ourselves as they want us to see us; through their vision and perception. We see these little black bodies and we see that all of our problems are the product of trying our best to mimic white bodies.
For this ship to be manned by us, we have to be manipulated to believe that it is keeping us safe, not captive. We must be forced to believe that our greatness can only be seen and judged through the lens of this ship! WHAT IS A SHIP TO AN OCEAN?!! Yes, white people are the parasite to colonized people! BUT THE HOST IS ALWAYS GREATER THAN THE PARASITE! We are the ones of abundance and they have always been the ones of inadequacy. Even now, with all of the wars, diseases, and famine they have forced on we Colonized people for almost 600 years, we are still and yet the majority by vast numbers.
The Labour party in the United Kingdom has shown that even with all the promises of freebies, the liberal part of the ship is still sinking first. The trick isn’t working like it once did. The election of Donald Trump in America and the mess of the election that the Democrats are trying to control is a show of the weakening grasp of America’s liberals. Bernie is promising free medicare and free education—that’s not budging it. There were Democratic candidates that promised reparations and one thousand dollars for every person. Yet, the people are unamused and the liberal side continues to sink faster. The Conservative side is promising more violence towards Colonized people! That’s it! They can call it immigration, crime, military, gun rights or whatever, but all it is is more violence geared towards Colonized people, in a less aversive sense. Not because white people would rather see us in pain than have food on their tables, but because American whites understand that inciting violence on Colonized people puts food on their table.
I say let this ship sink. I say help it sink if you like. More importantly, though, it’s due time that we focus on building our own ship! A ship that doesn’t thrive and live off our blood. A ship that promises a future for our children and their descendants. A ship in which no one lives at the expense of another. Let’s build a world for us and by us.
To unite with a revolutionary organization should be on every colonized person’s New Years’ resolution list. The time is now to unite and organize so that we can be and move with the power of a tsunami against the global white power structure. This is a resolution. This is a commitment to submerge all remains of their colonial empire, capitalist exploitation, and imperialist genocide beneath the waves of Black Power!
So make joining the revolution your New Year’s resolution.