“There is a categorical difference, often overlooked, between trying to describe an event that has already happened … and trying to describe one that has yet to happen – and one, in addition, for which there is no precedent, or even near precedent, in history. Lacking experience to guide our thoughts and impress itself on our feelings, we resort to speculation. But speculation, however brilliantly it may be carried out, is at best only a poor substitute for experience. Experience gives us facts, whereas in pure speculation we are thrown back on theory, which has never been a very reliable guide to future events. Moreover, experience engraves it’s lessons in our hearts through suffering and the other consequences that it has for our lives; but speculation leaves our lives untouched, and so gives us leeway to reject its conclusions, no matter how well argued they may be.”
We extend our full salutes to Chairman Shaka Zulu, of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter, for his thoughtful and illuminating response to our“Get Up For the Down Stroke” piece (which was a response to Comrad-Brotha Rashid’s – Minister of Defense, NABPP-PC – position paper: “Black Liberation in the 21st Century” that came to us via California Prison Focus #38/Spring 2012). We, of course, invite and encourage all critical ideo-theoretical dialogue. Our current circumstances, however, leave us in a “use what We’ve got, until We get what We need” position in regards to our communication (necessarily having to scrub, secure and strengthen our lines accordingly.) Therefore our rebuttals may come around slower than desired, but We are in the debate to be sure.
We’d also like to extend our warmest regards to all Comrades/ Comrads so joined in this struggle. And while contradictions are natural/necessary, it is up to the truly conscious to prevent them, when able, from becoming antagonistic. Having said that, We would like to extend an apology to Comrad-Brotha Rashid for overly personalizing our initial response.
We all have given our lives up as We once knew them, for the People and this Revolution. We must keep in mind always that ours is a search for viable methods – tools, weapons, advantages – to break the beast down, stomp it out and relegate its mendacity to the history books. Moreover, it’s a struggle to free the People, the Land and our Resources so that We can exist and thrive in a world better than the one We now suffer in. We can only reach these goals by raising the consciousness and participation of the masses/ grassroots. For without the mass participation of the grassroots We’ll find ourselves stranded, exposed – dead.
I) To be sure – it is not the NAIM’s strategy to herd our nationals into a liberated National Territory thinking that without the destruction, in whole or in part, of U.S. imperialism, We could somehow live in peace or co-exist. Perhaps in the early days of the PG’s existence, this naïve notion was contemplated as a possibility. But the forces on the ground now, without question, reject this as patently absurd – suicidal even. Conversely, We overstand that it didn’t take a revolution in France, to paraphrase Comrad-Brotha Yaki, for there to be a Revolution in Algeria.
In this vein, We overstand and concur with the NABPP-PC on their position of having to raise the consciousness and subsequently the participation of all Nationals within the Empire. For to raise the consciousness of amerikans is to nullify their struggle against the National Independence Movements taking place within the political borders of their empire. To alienate them, or to neglect these forces, is to belabor our struggles going forward. And while We have designated the National Territory as our historical Land mass, this, too, as Comrad-Brotha Yaki pointed out in Meditations, is subject to change depending on the will of the People. Our position tho, as Rev. Nationalists, is to wage a National Liberation Revolution against u.s. imperialism as a means of degrading its ability to stand up – anywhere – and oppress. Tho primarily upon our backs.
It is the obligation of all nations to contribute – or not. We would hope to unite at some point with say, the Inuit Independence Movement, the Hawaiian National Liberation Struggle, the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, etc. etc. to in effect rend this Empire asunder, but We are not under any illusions that We all share a common choreographer. Even tho We all share a common enemy. Classism within the national structures of our cultures has convinced some that We are not even oppressed – that this is just the way it is and soon We’ll have parity with our former captors. The mechanical, bourgeois thinking of these collaborators prevents most from overstanding the reality of colonial hierarchy, i.e. if We are on par with our enemies, whose backs will We be standing on? Whose nations will We be colonizing – have to colonize – in order to reach such heights (read: lows) of depravity?
II) We in the NAIM are not Marxists, Leninists nor Maoists. We are not because we overstand first and foremost that Marx wasn’t a Marxist. Lenin wasn’t a Leninist and Mao wasn’t a Maoist. These stalwarts were Communists – and to be precise, they were practitioners of Scientific Socialism. Which of course means that each had to apply the science of socialism to fit accordingly with their particular socio-cultural reality, i.e. Mao could not scientifically fit Russian Communism into a Chinese frame, as it was fitted for the user by the Bolsheviks. Consequently, We overstand that We cannot adopt a Chinese Scientific Socialist framework to fit our unique socio-cultural reality here. Nevertheless, We are without question New Afrikan Communists who adhere to Scientific Socialism as a means of ordering our National Liberation. We are not aware of what Chairman Shaka refers to as “Pantherism” as a viable socio-economic order. We are aware of the grassroots spirit of resistance that was inculcated in the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s and 70s. Tho We recognize this spirit of resistance as having its seeds in the Spirit of Resistance on the continent at the point of hostile contact with invading forces.
We follow this resistance in fact thru the captive rebellions on the high seas, in old colonial amerika, to the Garvey Movement, Nation of Islam, and subsequently culminating in the Black Liberation Movement – of which the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was but one organization among many. We in the NAIM, however, recognize the highest form of our National Consciousness being crystallized in the Armed Forces of the Black Liberation Army – some of whom came from the Black Panther Party and some from other formations: We do nonetheless, recognize the total spirit of the high tide of consciousness being in the years of 68-72. Dialectically, tho, with a necessary materialist worldview, We see this spirit as having its origins at the critical flashpoint of invasion.
III) Finally, We are in accord with the points that Chairman Shaka has issued forth – insofar as they are practical. We do not disagree just to disagree. We have no martyr complexes, star fetishes or unity hang ups. Nor are We vanguardists. We are motivated by the two primary factors which should motivate any Revolutionary: Love and Hate. Love for the People and having the ability to control our own destiny (freedom); and Hate against capitalism/imperialism and all forms of oppression. We do not have all the answers, nor will We be without blemish, flaws or mistakes. We too will expect the NABPP to restore our surefootedness should We stumble; pick us up should We fall and avenge us should death somehow surprise us in the form our mutual enemies.
Free The Land!
Sanyika Shakur -NAPLA
Republic of New Afrika