The following is by Chairman Shaka Zulu, NABPP-PC, March 2014:
What is a correct land policy for the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (NABPP)? Sanyika Shakur raises this question in his critique of Comrade Rashid’s article, “Black Liberation in the 21st Century: A Revolutionary Reassessment of Black Nationalism.”
We have stated many times that we promote New Afrikan independence from capitalism and neocolonialism by, in Rashid’s words, “liberating the areas of empire where we are actually concentrated.” This includes many cities of Amerika, from coast to coast.
We do not want to live in five states surrounded by capitalism/imperialism. That would lead not to freedom, but to continuous war and bloodshed. As Huey P. Newton said, “if blacks at this very minute were able to secede from the union, and say have five or six States, it would be almost impossible to function in freedom side by side with a capitalistic imperialistic country.”
We think it is far wiser to unite all who can be united into a revolutionary fight to end capitalism/imperialism. Programmatic unity would be based on our 10 points and “Serve the People” (STP) survival program in oppressed communities. A pre-vanguard party would seek to lead New Afrikan people and our allies in this struggle.
Our political line is “Pantherism,” which is revolutionary Pan-Afrikan Nationalism and proletarian internationalism illuminated by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM). Pantherism can be used by all oppressed communities as an ideological weapon to push revolutionary agitation and organization.
CAPITALISM IS A GLOBAL SYSTEM
Modern slavery was solely the creation of capitalism. It was the sugar cane fields, the tobacco fields, and indigo and rice that landed us in the slave ships. We were solely to serve a predatory economic system based on the Tans-Atlantic Slave Trade. This slave trade is what developed the economies of Europe and North America.
The predatory economic system of capitalism is worldwide. This was recognized and described in 1848 in the Communist Manifesto. It is our revolutionary duty to serve the people by combating it. We must build base areas of cultural, social and political revolution in oppressed communities the world over. We must provide revolutionary leadership and examples to the leaderless and disorganized, to address the many social problems that plague them on a daily basis.
The United Panther Movement (UPM) recognizes and embraces the task of class struggle against capitalism/imperialism. No quarter will be given, no mercy shown. It will be a determined struggle.
Sanyika Shakur accuses the NABPP of being unable to recognize neo-colonialism “for what it is.” He implies that we are wrong in saying that it would remain as a threat to us if we were to define our struggle as being for national liberation.
But we cannot escape neo-colonialism merely by trying to separate ourselves from it while leaving it intact outside our immediate communities.
Neo-colonialism has a way of socially damaging its victims. It tears at the mind; it alters one’s culture, history, and values. As Paulo Freire explained, it forces the oppressed to internalize its value-systems, thereby degrading them even further, and creating ways of thinking that are fundamentally individualistic. Victims of neo-colonialism equate success with status symbols and tokenism.
Neo-colonialism manifests itself in varying forms of internal aggression, leading to distrust and self-hate. We have been programmed to forget the Maafa – a Kiswahili word meaning “great disaster” and referring to the 100 million Afrikan people who were enslaved and murdered since the beginning of the European (capitalist) slave trade of Afrikan people. The Maafa continues today, as we still feel the post-traumatic shock of slavery.
Our experiences are unique, but have modern similarities to those of other oppressed and colonized peoples the world over. Neo-colonialism compels one to ravage the few economic resources doled out by the ruling-class enemy. People are forced by necessity to step outside the enemy law – to become “illegitimate” capitalists – in order to survive.
However, such personal aggrandizement must be frowned upon. It serves no political function, nor does it produce a permanent change in oppressed people’s economic status. It is the system that must be destroyed.
Pantherism is a synthesis of the revolutionary thought articulated and practiced by the original Black Panther Party. Pantherism gives oppressed people the ability to represent the future in the struggle of today. The future, if there is going to be one, is socialist revolution! We invite our RNA comrades to ally with us and, when we stumble, to catch us before we fall.