Editor’s Note: The following is a response to a struggle over the analysis of class mentioned in our recently published debrief on the Chauvin trial, from Rafiki Morris, a coordinating committee member of BAP and a cadre of the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party
We, like [Amilcar] Cabral, must have a clear and comprehensive analysis of all the classes engaged in the contemporary class struggle. We must understand that each class struggle happens in time and space. Each person in their locales has a history of resistance, class conflict, and class collaboration. While there is a universal aspect that unites all class struggles, at the base every class struggle emerges from a particular cultural context and must address the interest of the people living within that cultural context. You cannot fight the police in Haiti, the same way you fight them in Los Angeles. The fight is universal, the form of the fight is particular. In this there is no room for oversimplified conjecture, speculation or idealism, no matter how well meaning it may be. The class struggle is antagonistic. Some will be cast as enemies to be obliterated, others will count themselves among the people and will participate actively in the People’s struggle. It is not about who should or should not come to the side of the struggle. It is about who does and does not come to align with the people’s interest in the process of an unfolding class struggle. Sentimentality is the enemy of scientific analysis.
The classes in neo-colonial zones are not the same as the classes in capitalist metropoles, though they have the same interests. Each territory has a specific class composition and history of class struggle. Every class has specific interests, but the interests of every class either corresponds to the interest of the enemy or the interest of the people. The interest of these classes cannot be properly determined by simply looking at the material conditions of the members of the class, though this is an important element. We must also look to the class’s ideological allegiances, their moral stand and their ethical foundations.
For the purpose of this discussion we can take a cursory look at the working class in the welfare state called USA. In the USA the working class movement has largely been co opted as an appendage of the neo-colonial enterprise. This includes the so called “Black working class” and “Black middle class”. Unions are the organized form chosen by the working class in the US. Unions, with rare exceptions, only engage in the economic struggle. Through the unions the white working class is bribed by capitalist with the super profits gleaned from their neo-colonial practice (this is why it is called a welfare state). The Black working class aspires to receive these same bribes, they want to be equal to their white counterparts and as a general rule seek inclusion and equality, rather than independence and liberation. The revolution seeks to cut off the super profits stolen from the neo-colonies. We are fighting to destroy imperialism, which will end the welfare state and eventually end the capitalist enterprise. The real fulfillment of the so called Black working class’ economic aims, will occur when the masses of People seize control of the means of production and build a just society on these lands, stolen from it’s indignenous peoples. Our job becomes to transform the “black working class” into an “African Fighting Class”. The reality is that the masses of African People in America have adopted colonial mentalities and are in desperate need of decolonization. The so called “working class” also needs to commit class suicide, to realign themselves with their own material interests. We have twin objectives in this, 1 the political education of the masses of the people and 2 the organization of the masses of the people.
A further complication arises from the fact that we ourselves have not been properly politically educated or carefully committed class suicide. We retain reactionary ideas of every sort. Even some of the most advanced among us retain middle class (whatever that means) aspirations. In fact, many activists use our movement as a vehicle for the fulfillment of these personal aspirations. This is how organizations that claim allegiance to the people end up being led and manipulated by enemies of the people. To all of this must be added the actions of the enemies repressive agencies who seek to foster confusion and division among us. Our point in all of this is that we, (in this instance BAP) must develop to the point where we have a collective analysis of class and class struggle and a concrete strategy to politically educate and organize ourselves and our people. Our class analysis must also have permanent reference to the gender based exploitation we face and the national oppression of Africans everywhere.
History has shown that today’s friends will be tomorrow’s enemies and those now standing in fervent opposition to the revolution will someday be on it’s front-lines. We have said often, and it bears repeating, we are not working to organize and educate the conscious ones. Our troops will come from those who today are disorganized and confused. For now we should organize the people and cut through the existing confusion. We must Decolonize ourselves while injecting revolutionary consciousness into the working class movement in order to mobilize the working class to actively wage the class struggle. It is not enough to have a clear and conscious vanguard that leads the people to victory. We need a clear and conscious mass capable of giving leadership to the vanguard. We need cadre to establish and nurture a permanent link between the masses and their vanguard (which ultimately come from the masses and is solely accountable to the masses). Defeating capitalism and imperialism is a serious protracted struggle that must be guided by precise political theories and daily mass practice. Victory is certain!
Ready for Revolution