The United Panther Movement (UPM) led by NABPP-PC has “Panther Love” for Comrade TACO and the comrades of BRLP and great respect for their accomplishments, but we have a commitment to be “all-the-way revolutionary” and stand in the face of revisionist and counter-revolutionary tendencies within the liberation struggle. Particularly in the coming year (2016), we are on point to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the original BPP and to correctly sum up its lessons to continue the legacy into the future.
We hope that very shortly a leading member of the NABPP-PC will be released and be able to personally represent the NABPP-PC on the outside and engage the various tendencies in the movement in two-line struggle with a view to reestablishing the BPP as the vanguard of the revolutionary struggle. Meanwhile, I have come under some criticism from comrades on the inside for “liberalism” in uncritically supporting Comrade TACO and the BRLP and “turning a blind eye” to allegations being made against him by others. It is true, I give little weight to “sniper attacks” aimed at character assassination and smearing leaders’ names in the realm of public opinion with hear-say evidence.
I do, however, recognize the importance of “two-line struggle” in exposing and correcting erroneous tendencies and lines and creating consensus and unity on a principled and revolutionary basis. It may be that I have been liberal in letting this slide for the sake of peace or just expecting Black Panther comrades to address certain contradictions while as a White Panther I am more vocal about erroneous tendencies among the white comrades, and this too is a form of liberalism. In any event, I will offer up my criticisms and let people judge for themselves what merit they hold.
In 1966 we called our Party a Black Nationalist Party. We called ourselves Black Nationalists
Comrade TACO begins with a summation of the stages the original BPP went through in the formation of their ideological-political line, which Huey does himself in his “Speech at Boston College:” that nationhood was the answer. Shortly after that we decided that what was really n
“In 1966 we called our Party a Black Nationalist Party. We called ourselves Black Nationalists because we thought that nationhood was the answer. Shortly after that we decided that what was really needed was revolutionary nationalism, that is, nationalism plus socialism. After analyzing conditions a little more, we found that it was impractical and even contradictory. Therefore, we went to a higher level of consciousness. We saw that in order to be free we had to crush the ruling circle and therefore we had to unite with the peoples of the world. So we called ourselves Internationalists. We sought solidarity with the peoples of the world. We sought solidarity with what we thought were the nations of the world. But then what happened? We found that because everything is in a constant state of transformation, because of the development of technology, because of the development of the mass media, because of the fire power of the imperialist, and because of the fact that the United States is no longer a nation but an empire, nations could not exist, for they did not have the criteria for nationhood. Their self-determination, economic determination, and cultural determination has been transformed by the imperialists and the ruling circle. They were no longer nations. We found that in order to be Internationalists we had to be also Nationalists, or at least acknowledge nationhood. Internationalism, if I understand the word, means the interrelationship among a group of nations. But since no nation exists, and since the United States is in fact an empire, it is impossible for us to be Internationalists. These transformations and phenomena require us to call ourselves ‘intercommunalists’ because nations have been transformed into communities of the world. The Black Panther Party now disclaims internationalism and supports intercommunalism.” – Huey Newton, “Speech at Boston College,” (1970)
But even from the beginning, Huey and Bobby were more than simply “Black Nationalists.” Initially, their major influence was Malcolm X and continuing his legacy. As Comrade Kevin “Rashid” Johnson points out:
“Malcolm increasingly came to identify capitalism and imperialism as the ultimate enemy—embracing the need of Afrikan people everywhere to consolidate their struggles into a united Pan-Afrikan movement, and for Blacks in Amerika to unite in a common struggle with all the “have-nots”, regardless of their skin color, against the common exploiters who try to divide everyone and play us against each other. It was at this crucial stage of his development as a revolutionary that he was silenced with a bullet.
“A few months before his assassination, Malcolm X criticized his earlier views on separatist Black Nationalism, finding that:
“I was alienating people who were true revolutionaries dedicated to overturning the system of exploitation that exists on this earth by any means necessary…. I had to do a lot of thinking and reappraising of my definition of Black Nationalism. Can we sum up the solution to the problems confronting our people as Black Nationalism? And if you notice, I haven’t been using the expression for several months. But I would still be hard pressed to give a specific definition of the overall philosophy which I think is necessary for the liberation of Black people in this country.”
“At the opposite pole, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—who was initially pro-integration and pro-capitalist—also came to identify capitalism and imperialism as the ultimate enemy, expressly rejecting integration and privately promoting socialist revolution in Amerika as the way forward. He stated in November 1967: ‘Something is wrong with capitalism as it stands here in the U.S. We are not interested in being integrated into this value structure.’ During later 1967 and 1968, shortly before his assassination, King repeatedly promoted socialism to his inside circle, but he refused to make this stand publicly for fear of government assassination. But his private statements, public opposition to U.S. imperialist wars abroad, and support for the rights of the poor and workers’ strikes were enough for the imperialist ruling class to mark him for death.
“George Jackson, pursuing the same path and arriving at the same conclusions in a more developed way, was likewise cut down by an assassin’s bullet. He observed:
“It’s no coincidence that Malcolm X and M.L. King died when they did. Malcolm X had just put it together…. You remember what was on his lips when he died, Vietnam and economic, political economy. The professional killers could have murdered him long before they did. They let Malcolm rage on Muslim nationalism for a number of years because they knew it was an empty ideal, but the second he got his feet on the ground, they murdered him.”
“Despite Malcolm X’s and even King’s clearly-stated revolutionary positions that New Afrikan liberation lies neither in assimilation (accommodation) nor separation (running away), but in fundamentally changing Amerikan society as a whole, so that we can live as a free people right here, the Black Movement, and those purporting to lead it, have remained deadlocked between these two less than revolutionary positions. The original Black Panther Party has been the notable exception.” – Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “Black Liberation in the 21st Century: A Revolutionary Reassessment of Black Nationalism”(2010)
The issue of how to sum up Malcolm’s assassination had already sharply divided the Black Nationalist movement, which was driven home when the newly-formed BPP did a bodyguard assignment for Malcolm’s widow and they found out the cultural nationalists who shared the assignment with them had shown up with unloaded weapons. From the start, the proletarian character of the BPP contrasted sharply with the petty-bourgeois character of the Black cultural nationalist movement. As the FBI’s COINTELPRO movement kicked in, the cultural nationalists were repeatedly recruited as a proxy force against the Panthers and the revolutionary ideological-political line they represented in the Black community. What General TACO fails to note is that these conflicts were not simply contradictions among the people but represented active counter-revolution by proxy, or that culture itself is a battleground in the class struggle:
“So, the main flaws within Huey’s Intercommunalism was the fact that he left out culture, he left out African Heritage, you know, which without it, you cut off your morals, you cut off your family structure, you cut off your spirituality, you cut off some of the most severe aspects of our people’s culture, our people’s heritage, our people’s understanding. And they failed to take into consideration cultural imperialism. They understood political imperialism, they understood economic imperialism, they understood social imperialism, they understood even military imperialism, but for some strange, WHITE-washed reason they couldn’t completely grasp the need to understand cultural imperialism! You know, and all forms of culture were looked down upon, despised, because of their beefs and battles with different cultural nationalist groups. And it wasn’t just the US organization who they beefed with. They beefed with groups such as the Black House of San Francisco, they beefed with the Black Panther Political Party which was an up-North based group — culture nationalist. They beefed with all these groups on the West coast, so it developed a bad taste in the mouth of Panthers, not for our people’s culture, but moreso for these people who faked liked they acted like they was practicing our culture — with no revolution. So at that time, culture became synonymous with passivity and nonviolence; and civil rights and assimilation. Whereas, at that time, the gun was the thing that signified the revolutionary trend, the revolutionary thought. Those who wanted immediate confrontation, those who wanted immediate reparations and BLOODSHED from the enemy. So, this caused them to disdain culture in order to make a clear distinction to the people what culture nationalism is — which is really Black capitalism, and what Revolutionary Intercommunalism was — which is Black communalism. So, they made severe, theoretical mistakes, you know.” – General TACO, “African Intercommunalism” (2015)
The original BPP did not leave out culture. Comrade Emory Douglas, the BPP Minister of Culture, did a swell job, and so did The Lumpen, the house band of the BPP, and various artists, authors and musicians associated with the Party and its revolutionary line. What the BPP did was draw a clear line between revolutionary proletarian culture and the idealist petty-bourgeois culturalism of the “Pork Chop” nationalists. It seems Comrade TACO thinks this was a mistake and this line should be erased. This is not an original idea, the NBPP has been trying to accomplish this since it was created.
The New Scramble for Afrika
We must be very clear about our strategy concerning Pan-Afrikanism because Capitalist-Imperialism is running its own. One of the chief reasons Obama was groomed for the job of President was to spearhead U.S. Imperialism’s bid to create a United States of Africa under U.S. neo-colonial domination. The key to this strategy is AFRICOM, which under Obama has quietly established bases in nearly every African country and in most countries is training and advising the military. AFRICOM seeks to create a Continental Armed Forces under its tutelage and the nominal command of the puppet African Union.
The U.S. needs to create stability to support the infrastructure to more efficiently exploit Afrika’s wealth of mineral resources, lumber, land and cheap labor. The imperialists also have need of aspiring Black capitalists, puppets and mercenaries to recolonize Afrika and to help gentrify and Amerikanize it. Cultural nationalism is exactly their cup of poison to coopt these sort of people. Amerika’s chief rivals, the French and the Chinese are also trading partners of the U.S., so the U.S. must rely on proxy forces and skullduggery to undermine them and subordinate them to U.S. interests.
By taking out Gaddafi and destabilizing Libya, Obama removed the main obstacle to establishing U.S. hegemony over a United States of Africa. I think it is very likely Obama will take on some sort of special diplomatic role towards Afrika under the next administration. With the exception of Zimbabwe, none of the Afrikan states are talking about a socialist United States of Afrika anymore. In fact, none seem very enthusiastic about the idea at all except for the U.S. Nonetheless, we believe Kwame Nkrumah’s strategy to be essentially correct, as Comrade Rashid explains:
“Most theories on the National Question do not address the dialectical relationship between New Afrikans in the Diaspora and Afrikans in Afrika, the contradictions between Afrikans everywhere and imperialism in the Age of Neo-Colonialism and the Crisis of Capitalist-Imperialism, and between New Afrikans in the U.S. and the white-supremacist, imperialist U.S. ruling class. These questions demand a reanalysis of the BBT and our strategy for Black Liberation.
“Kwame Nkrumah’s concept of an AII-Afrikan (Pan-Afrikan) Revolutionary Party (supported by a military arm) is the correct answer to neo-colonialism. We can take a lesson in this from the struggles going on in South Asia. India contains many nationalities with their own languages and regions, yet they are being led by a united Communist Party of India (Maoist). Likewise we can look to Nepal where the Maoists have won the support of many national minorities and have created autonomous regions. In Afrika, neo-colonialism had an advantage because it was able to play the various budding nation states and tribal groups against each other. Our strength is based on unity and common purpose.
“Our concept of Afrika as a Pan-Afrikan nation departs from the Comintern’s definition of the National Question which confines the nation to the boundaries already in existence (even though these only reflect the imperialists’ carving up of Afrika). We don’t expect that the New Afrikan Nation will ever constitute itself again in the “Black Belt,” but we can play a significant role in the constitution of a Socialist Afrikan Union, and in the creation of a Socialist U.S.A.
“We believe that it is the historic destiny of the nation of New Afrikans in Amerika to play a leading role among the oppressed peoples of the World in overthrowing capitalist imperialism and advancing humanity to a higher stage of political-economic organization based on the principles of social justice and equality.
“Our unique history and position within the “Belly of the Beast” gives us the opportunity to deal the coup de grace to U.S. imperialism. Our long suffering at the hands of white supremacist Amerika gives us a bond with all who have suffered racist and national oppression and enables us to be truly internationalist in outlook.
“As Mao predicted:
“The struggle of the Black people in the United States is bound to merge with the American workers’ movement, and this will eventually end the criminal rule of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class.”
“This is the mission of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter and our position on the National Question.” – Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “Black Liberation in the 21st Century: A Revolutionary Reassessment of Black Nationalism”(2010)
What is a Nation?
“Now, I will give you roughly some characteristics that any people who call themselves a nation should have. These are economic independence, cultural determination, control of the political institutions, territorial integrity, and safety.” – Huey P. Newton, “Speech at Boston College” (1970)
Nations belong to a specific historical period – rising capitalism – and were essential to the overthrow of the old feudal order. Basically, a bourgeoisie of a particular nationality claim sovereignty over a particular territory and the right to exercise their class dictatorship over the masses and exploit them and the land to amass personal wealth. But no sooner do they achieve this than they feel constrained and want to expand their territory. Predatory nations gain hegemony over dependent nations which become their colonies or neo-colonies. But at a certain stage, it becomes impossible for nations to have any of those things Huey mentioned, because of the global hegemony of the capitalist-imperialists. They control the economy, the culture and political institutions, and they become the main threat to peace and cause of chaos and crisis. The bourgeois class dictatorship outgrows national boundaries and becomes reactionary intercommunalism.
Dictatorship of the Lumpen Proletariat?
When was this ever the line of the BPP? What Huey said was: “In this country the Black Panther Party, taking careful note of the dialectical method, taking careful note of the social trends and the ever-changing nature of things, sees that while the lumpen proletarians are the minority and the proletarians are the majority, technology is developing at such a rapid rate that automation will progress to cybernation, and cybernation probably to technocracy. As I came into town I saw MIT over the way. If the ruling circle remains in power it seems to me that capitalists will continue to develop their technological machinery because they are not interested in the people. Therefore, I expect from them the logic that they have always followed: to make as much money as possible, and pay the people as little as possible – until the people demand more, and finally demand their heads. If revolution does not occur almost immediately, and I say almost immediately because technology is making leaps (it made a leap all the way to the moon), and if the ruling circle remains in power the proletarian working class will definitely be on the decline because they will be unemployables and therefore swell the ranks of the lumpens, who are the present unemployables. Every worker is in jeopardy because of the ruling circle, which is why we say that the lumpen proletarians have the potential for revolution, will probably carry out the revolution, and in the near future will be the popular majority. Of course, I would not like to see more of my people unemployed or become unemployables, but being objective, because we’re dialectical materialists, we must acknowledge the facts.” – Huey Newton, “Speech at Boston College” (1970)
The lumpen are a sub-group of the proletariat, but I don’t think Huey was suggesting that socialism could be built without the active support and participation of the basic (employed) proletariat, even if the majority of the fighters are drawn from the lumpen, peasants or whatever. The class dictatorship of the proletariat will certainly be inclusive of more than the basic proletariat, just as in Russia it included soldiers, sailors and peasants as well as some intellectuals. But as with the petty-bourgeois intellectuals, it is necessary for the lumpen to commit “class suicide” and adopt the revolutionary world view of the global proletariat. Huey was a bit too fuzzy of this question, as Comrade Rashid explains:
“Foremost, Huey saw the lumpen as displacing the proletariat as the new and final vanguard revolutionary class in the struggle against imperialism, because of its desperation and growing to outnumber the working proletariat, which is why he denounced Historical Materialism (HM). But, HM applies DM to the evolution of social productive systems from the most primitive to the most advanced, and places the proletariat as the class destined to overthrow imperialism and abolish all forms of exploitation, oppression and class divisions. Huey’s line of replacing the proletariat with the lumpen in this role was clearly in error, for various reasons:
“First, the lumpen is a sub-class of the proletariat, not an independent class. As such, it exists by merit of contradictory relations that exist between the proletariat and bourgeoisie. It is not a self-actualizing, self-sustaining, nor self-perpetuating class. In order to play a sustainable revolutionary role, the lumpen must maintain links to and accept leadership from the advanced layers of its parent class – the revolutionary proletariat and/or its line. It must embrace and practice this line to restore, (that is “fix” and sustain) its “broken” class identity and values.
“Second, unlike the proletariat, the lumpen live by preying on others, including – and often especially – the proletariat. So it is innately corrupt and opportunistic, which makes it unsuited to becoming an independently “all-the-way revolutionary” sector.
“Third, the lumpen exist outside of basic production, so it cannot organize resistance, nor expropriate and reorganize society at the point of production, which is fundamental to overthrowing the bourgeoisie and its control over the institutions of power, and building a cooperative political economy whereby the overall needs of the masses can be met.
“Overall, to become revolutionary, the lumpen must embrace and practice the ideological and political line of the revolutionary proletariat, which is the only truly “all-the-way revolutionary” class. We have previously dealt with this matter at length as the guiding line of the NABPP-PC.” – Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “In Search of the Right Theory for Today’s Struggles: Revisiting Huey P. Newton’s Theory of Revolutionary Intercommunalism” (2015)
Haters are cowards, and cowards are not to be trusted. Inevitably, they will betray the people. As Che pointed out, “At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.” Panther Love is not just an attitude, it is our most powerful weapon. Pantherism is built on a foundation of Revolutionary Humanism. One who is not a lover of humanity is not fit to represent themselves as a Panther. Marxism-Leninism-Maoism illuminates Pantherism, (as does the theoretical and practical contributions of Huey P. Newton and the original BPP and allied forces), but theory alone will not prevent one from betraying the people.
Traitors like Bakunin, Kautsky, Trotsky, Khrushchev, Lin Piao and Deng Xaioping all knew plenty of theory. They could speak well and were good organizers, but at the end of the day, they betrayed the people and became tools of the exploiting class. A true warrior of the people walks a spiritual path, because his/her life no longer belongs to them. They have given it to the cause of humanity. A Panther is a Panther for life!
Those who say, “I love my people,” are really only saying “I love myself,” and generally this is a lie. Studies show that those who can only feel empathy for those who look like themselves also have issues with self-hate. Mao once said, “To hold an incorrect ideological-political line is like having no soul,” or words to that effect. Now Mao wasn’t talking about metaphysics, but he was talking about spirituality. Because in this epoch, there are only two classes and all ideas and ideology are stamped by the mark of one class or another. To hold a bourgeois line sets you in opposition to the forward thrust of history and the interests of humanity.
The Principle Contradiction
“The cardinal responsibility of leadership is to identify the dominant contradiction at each point of the historical process and work out a central line to resolve it.” – Mao Tse-tung
The United Panther Movement led by NABPP-PC sums up that: The principle contradiction in the world today is between the need of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class to consolidate its global hegemony and the chaos and anarchy they are unleashing by attempting to do so, including the threat of starting another world war. Our central line to resolve it is to build a worldwide united front against capitalist-imperialism, racism and police state repression, to lay a foundation for a victorious conclusion to the World Proletarian Socialist Revolution.
In attempting to resolve the principle contradiction, it is essential for U.S. Imperialism to consolidate its hegemony over Afrika – the largest untapped reserve of vital mineral resources. One asset U.S. Imperialism has over its rivals (such as China) is a generous supply of Afro-Amerikans to fill positions in business, government, technical and military roles who will be willing colonists. It actually helps if they are pre-indoctrinated with bourgeois cultural Black nationalism. They can delude themselves that they are helping to develop “Afrika for the Afrikans” in the same way earlier generations of European colonists deluded themselves that they were carrying forward the “White Man’s Burden,” and bringing civilization to the poor natives.
The general outline of human social evolution has been that primitive communalism begat the division of society into classes and slavery, slavery was followed by feudalism, (at least in Europe), which was overthrown by capitalism. Capitalist-Imperialism is the final stage of capitalism in the era of proletarian socialist revolution. Socialism overthrows capitalism and creates the conditions for the leap to World Communism.
What Is Racism?
Some people say “Black people can’t be racist,” when the truth is really “all racism serves the cause of white supremacy and imperialism.” As Comrade Sobukwe put it: “Multi-racialism is racism multiplied.” The point of racism is to divide and rule. Once you buy into the idea that there are separate races, the authors of racism have won. They’ve got you dancing to their tune. Clearly, not everyone is about ending racism. For some, its continuation is vital to their political strategy and ambitions.
Ancient slavery was not based on race. Roman slaves were drawn from all corners of the empire; from Europe, the Middle East and Afrika. Islamic slavery (in the time of feudalism) was also not race based. They had slaves both lighter and darker skinned than themselves. In the Amerikan colonies, slavery was begun with the indigenous people and then turned to Afrika and oppressed Europeans (particularly the Irish) for impressed labor. Racism began with the creation of a special status for Afrikan slaves that was hereditary and for life (mid 1600’s).
This division of the exploited class based upon color necessitated the social construct of racialism that was legally binding and justified by pseudoscience. Biblical justification was also sought and spun. As colonialism was expanded, so too was the false doctrine of racial supremacy and delineation of a “White Race.” Initially, “White” delineated only Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Jews, southern and eastern Europeans, Irish and Germans were not included. “Poor White Trash” or “Crackers” (had to crack their corn by hand) qualified ethnically and religiously, but not socially to be included among the “white people.”
As late as the KKK upsurge of the 1920’s, Catholics and Jews (not to mention Communists) were as high on the Klan’s “Hate List” as “Negroes” and this was directed mostly at those who resisted the Apartheid system of “Jim Crow” segregation. Sections of the Black bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeoisie did not object to but accommodated with “Jim Crow” and profited from it.
The Resurrection of Marcus Garvey
Just as U.S. Imperialism has coopted Zionism and Wahhabism, (both creations of British Imperialism), it is now coopting Pan-Africanism (of the Garveyite mold) and resurrecting Garvey to serve as an icon for the neo-recolonization of Afrika. Unlike Dr. DuBois and Kwame Nkrumah, Garvey has excellent right-wing credentials. See how the KKK sing his praises on their web site:
“Marcus Moziah Garvey (1887-1940) migrated to the USA from his native Jamaica at the age of 29, in 1916. Within a few short years he had become the idol of the black masses of the USA, the Caribbean and Latin America. Branches of his “Universal Negro Improvement Association’ (UNIA) were found in every major city in the USA, in the Caribbean Islands, in Central America, and even across the Atlantic in the British and French colonies of West Africa. A dynamic orator and fluent writer, Garvey was also a master of pageantry. But his charisma alone cannot explain the remarkable response he obtained from Black America. The attraction can be found in his policies; for Marcus Garvey was one of the first Black racial nationalists.
“Like many of today’s nationalists, Garvey was first of all attracted to the Leftwing. He worked in close alliance with the Communists and Socialists in the Afro-American Liberty League. However, Garvey did not confine his activities to social and economic grievances. He also understood and gave expression to the spiritual needs of American Blacks in their striving for racial recognition. After centuries of being in America, blacks felt identity-less removed from their African homeland and culture. They had become totally removed from their ancestral roots. Gradually Garvey placed more and more emphasis on the struggle for racial self-respect.
“At a magnificent UNIA conference in New York in 1920, the delegates unanimously appointed themselves representatives of Africa even though there was not one genuinely African name amongst the 122 signatories to the declaration. Before the delegates dispersed, Garvey permitted them to elect him Provisional President of Africa. Over the years, Garvey cheerfully appointed Knights and Ladies of Africa from amongst his most loyal followers. When the League of Nations was discussing the future of Germany’s African colonies after the First World War, Garvey proposed that instead of the colonies being granted self-government, the mandate to govern them should be granted to the UNIA.
“However, after the 1920 convention, Garvey began to move further and further towards racialism. The Left-wing African Blood Brotherhood was barred from the UNIA. Around this time, he began to formulate more nationalistic, rather than internationalistic ideas. The basic point difference between Garvey and the Black left was whether or not the UNIA should cooperate with multi-racial working class organizations. Garvey’s racialist, separatist ideas were finally developed when he wrote, in 1923, ‘Hitherto the other Negro movements in America (with the exception of the Tuskegee effort of Booker T. Washington) sought to teach the Negro to aspire to social equality with the whites, meaning thereby the right to inter-marry and fraternize in every social way. Still some Negro organizations continue to preach this race destroying doctrine added to a program of political agitation and aggression.’
“’The time is opportune to regulate the relationship between both races. Let the Negro have a country of his own. Help him to return to his original home, Africa, and there give him the opportunity to climb from the lowest to the highest positions in a state of his own.’
“’We of the UNIA cede to the white man the right to doing as he pleases in his own country, and that is why we believe in not making any trouble when he says that ‘America is a White man’s country.’”
“In 1922 Garvey paid a visit to the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia. The white racialists were natural allies for Garvey. Their open White racialism helped to develop the race consciousness of American Blacks and to stimulate interest in the UNIA-sponsored movement for repatriation to Africa.
“In a message dated October 28, 1925, Garvey introduced a speaker from the Anglo-Saxon Clubs of America (the northern KKK counterpart), whom he had invited to speak at Liberty Hall:
“’Mr. Plowell and his organizations sympathize with us even as we sympathize with them. I feel and believe that we should work together for the purpose of bringing about the ideal sought-the purification of the races, their autonomous separation and the unbridled freedom of self-development and self-expression.’
“Garvey not only rejected the idea of political alliance with White leftists, preferring an understanding with White racialists to achieve segregation; he also rejected the idea of an alliance between White and Black workers, preferring an understanding with White employers.
“However, the big business establishment was not keen on allowing Garvey to propagate his racialist ideal. In 1925 he was arrested on a trumped-up charge and sentenced to five years imprisonment. Garvey’s reaction was to move even further to the extreme. He moved to a position of Black Nationalist socialism – ‘Capitalism is necessary to the progress of the world…but there should be a limit to the individual or corporate use or control of it. All control, use and investment of money should be the prerogative of the state with the concurrent authority of the people.’ Although Garvey was subsequently branded as a bourgeois nationalist by his leftist enemies, in practice UNIA never drew support from more than a handful of wealthy Blacks, since they were in turn dependent on capital divided by Jewish bankers and investors.
“After his prison term, Garvey was deported in 1927, to Jamaica, where he endeavored to resurrect the UNIA. In his absence the American branches of the UNIA were soon divided into rival factions, and he was soon deprived of it as a principle source of funds. He did manage to start a newspaper, The Blackman, and he also entered local municipal politics. The New Jamaican, which he started, superceded The Blackman, a daily paper, in 1932. As always, his literary output was prolific, he edited and wrote both newspapers by himself.
“By 1933 his career was entering its final eclipse. His presses were seized by creditors and Garvey himself had to immigrate to England. In London, he once again resurrects The Blackman, now on a monthly basis. He undertook several speaking tours in Canada and South America. It was a heroic but hopeless last stand. His fortunes continued to decline, his magazine folded yet again, and his health was ailing. His family had to return to Jamaica. When he died, neglected and deserted on June 10, 1940, there was only a small circle of admirers at Bethnal Green Cemetery to mourn his passing.
“Symbolically, Garvey’s remains were neither interred nor cremated. Instead they were placed in a temporary vault to facilitate their eventual removal to Jamaica. Garvey’s remains are there to this day and deserve respect by his fellow black brothers and sisters for whom he fought so hard.” – (the official website of the Knights Party USA)
Garvey had believed that by purging the UNIA of “reds” and using his private “goon squad” to break up radical meetings in Harlem, and by enlisting KKK support for his “Back to Africa” movement, the government would turn a blind eye to his fraudulent stock scams that fleeced many poor Blacks of their life savings. But the truth is, at the time, the ruling class capitalists needed Black labor and the only migration they were interested in was from the agricultural South to the industrial North and West. The U.S. Imperialists were not ready to challenge the European imperialist powers for domination and exploitation of Afrika, and Garvey was a willing puppet they didn’t want to play with. He was an “Uncle Ruckus” praising Hitler and Mussolini that nobody wanted to listen too. But now, they can use him to play “The Father of Pan-Africanism,” which makes a convenient cover for their “Back to Africa” movement.
How odd that Danny Glover cannot get a “green light” for his epic film about the Haitian Revolution “because it has no heroic white roles,” but Hollywood has fast tracked a film glamorizing Garvey! Tenured Black academics are lecturing on Garvey, singing his praises while slandering Dr. Dubois and other leading figures of the Harlem Renaissance who publically exposed and opposed him. Just how did this Nazi-loving “Uncle Ruckus” in a Captain Crunch suit suddenly become an icon of Black liberation?
The Elephant in the Room
The one subject nobody wants to talk about or even think about is the reality that even before there was an FBI, the Black movement has been infiltrated, monitored and influenced by the government and its agents. Even back under slavery, a minimal amount of force was necessitated to control the enslaved population because the institution relied heavily on indoctrination and a culture of snitching among the slaves. We know, for example that Garvey’s UNIA, the NOI, and other militant Black organizations have all been heavily infiltrated. The FBI even made a pitch to Malcolm X trying to recruit him, which he wisely captured on tape. We know that Malcolm’s head of security, who was supposed to be protecting him when he was assassinated, turned up as a witness at the Panther 21 Trial and identified himself as an NYPD officer. We also know that the rats, moles and provocateurs who infiltrated the BPP were only a small percentage of the Blacks on COINTELPRO’s payroll. Many more were tasked with creating public opinion in the Black community (and particularly among the intelligentsia) to counter the Panther’s influence with bourgeois Black nationalism and racialized politics.
This is part of what the “spooks” in the “intelligence community” call “Full Spectrum Domination” in which the pigs play many different factions and tendencies to create “manufactured consent and manufactured dissent” to control any situation. Ideally, the assets don’t even know they are being played. Who gets grants, who gets tenured, face time on TV and book deals is very influenced by the internal security apparatus of Empire.
Fascism is Already Here
“Settle your quarrels, come together, understand the reality of our situation, understand that fascism is already here, that people are already dying who could be saved, that generations more will live poor butchered half-lives if you fail to act. Do what must be done, discover your humanity and your love in revolution.” – George Jackson
The police state is already here, corporate and state power are already merged. Fascism comes in every cultural flavor you can think of. Want theocracy? We’ve got Zionism, Christian fascism, Islamic fascism, Hindu fascism, even Buddhist fascism! Pick a nationality; we’ve got “Germany for the Germans,” “Ukraine for the Ukrainians,” “France for the French,” and “Britain for the British.” It’s all the same, and they all have the same “sugar daddy.” Every goose-stepping, hyper-macho, homo-phobic, bullet-headed, mother’s son in boots and ski-mask gets their brass knuckles as presents from “Uncle Santa!”
Capitalist-imperialism has no bright future to offer the masses, only crisis upon crisis, war upon war, racism and war on the poor, only more austerity and cut-backs to pay for give-a-ways to the rich. Revolution is the only solution – WORLD PROLETARIAN SOCIALIST REVOLUTION – “all-the-way revolution!” Black people in Amerika are in position to play the vanguard role or punk out, to “Seize the Time!” or waste it. The BPP Alumni are right, “IT’S ABOUT TIME!” Capitalist-Imperialism will take humanity out if we don’t take it out first!
Pantherism (revolutionary intercommunalism) will lead us to victory, if we don’t foul it up with a lot of bourgeois nationalism and nonsense. We can apply dialectical materialism to Afrikan liberation, but there is no “Afrikan dialectical materialism.” Dialectical materialism is universally applicable. So is revolutionary intercommunalism, at least to wherever poor and oppressed people are concentrated into communities under the “total spectrum dominance” of capitalist imperialism.
The proletariat has no country. This is part of why it is the only “all-the-way revolutionary” class in history. The proletariat has no “gender,” no “race,” no “nationality.” It is the modern class of “wage slaves,” who can only liberate themselves by smashing the old order based upon private ownership of the means of production and the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Only by empowering itself and ending all oppression, all privilege and discrimination, all relationships based upon exploitation, only by the DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT, can the proletariat end its own existence as a class and unite all of humanity as one people. Malcolm was laying down truth when he said:
“I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.”
One Divides into Two
“The splitting of a single whole and the cognition of its contradictory parts … is the essence … of dialectics.” – Lenin, “Philosophical Notebooks”
The essence of dialectics is that “ONE DIVIDES INTO TWO.” Combining two into one does not work. This is the essence of revisionism.
“The metaphysical or vulgar evolutionist world outlook sees things as isolated, static and one-sided. It regards all things in the universe, their forms and their species, as eternally isolated from one another and immutable. Such change as there is can only be an increase or decrease in quantity or a change of place. Moreover, the cause of such an increase or decrease or change of place is not inside things but outside them, that is, the motive force is external. Metaphysicians hold that all the different kinds of things in the universe and all their characteristics have been the same ever since they first came into being. All subsequent changes have simply been increases or decreases in quantity. They contend that a thing can only keep on repeating itself as the same kind of thing and cannot change into anything different. In their opinion, capitalist exploitation, capitalist competition, the individualist ideology of capitalist society, and so on, can all be found in ancient slave society, or even in primitive society, and will exist for ever unchanged. They ascribe the causes of social development to factors external to society, such as geography and climate. They search in an over-simplified way outside a thing for the causes of its development, and they deny the theory of materialist dialectics which holds that development arises from the contradictions inside a thing. Consequently they can explain neither the qualitative diversity of things, nor the phenomenon of one quality changing into another….
“As opposed to the metaphysical world outlook, the world outlook of materialist dialectics holds that in order to understand the development of a thing we should study it internally and in its relations with other things; in other words, the development of things should be seen as their internal and necessary self-movement, while each thing in its movement is interrelated with and interacts on the things around it. The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal; it lies in the contradictoriness within the thing. There is internal contradiction in every single thing, hence its motion and development. Contradictoriness within a thing is the fundamental cause of its development, while its interrelations and interactions with other things are secondary causes. Thus materialist dialectics effectively combats the theory of external causes, or of an external motive force, advanced by metaphysical mechanical materialism and vulgar evolutionism. It is evident that purely external causes can only give rise to mechanical motion, that is, to changes in scale or quantity, but cannot explain why things differ qualitatively in thousands of ways and why one thing changes into another. As a matter of fact, even mechanical motion under external force occurs through the internal contradictoriness of things. Simple growth in plants and animals, their quantitative development, is likewise chiefly the result of their internal contradictions. Similarly, social development is due chiefly not to external but to internal causes.
Countries with almost the same geographical and climatic conditions display great diversity and unevenness in their development. Moreover, great social changes may take place in one and the same country although its geography and climate remain unchanged. Imperialist Russia changed into the socialist Soviet Union, and feudal Japan, which had locked its doors against the world, changed into imperialist Japan, although no change occurred in the geography and climate of either country. Long dominated by feudalism, China has undergone great changes in the last hundred years and is now changing in the direction of a new China, liberated and-free, and yet no change has occurred in her geography and climate. Changes do take place in the geography and climate of the earth as a whole and in every part of it, but they are insignificant when compared with changes in society; geographical and climatic changes manifest themselves in terms of tens of thousands of years, while social changes manifest themselves in thousands, hundreds or tens of years, and even in a few years or months in times of revolution. According to materialist dialectics, changes in nature are due chiefly to the development of the internal contradictions in nature. Changes in society are due chiefly to the development of the internal contradictions in society, that is, the contradiction between the productive forces and the relations of production, the contradiction between classes and the contradiction between the old and the new; it is the development of these contradictions that pushes society forward and gives the impetus for the supersession of the old society by the new. Does materialist dialectics exclude external causes? Not at all. It holds that external causes are the condition of change and internal causes are the basis of change, and that external causes become operative through internal causes. In a suitable temperature an egg changes into a chicken, but no temperature can change a stone into a chicken, because each has a different basis. There is constant interaction between the peoples of different countries. In the era of capitalism, and especially in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, the interaction and mutual impact of different countries in the political, economic and cultural spheres are extremely great. The October Socialist Revolution ushered in a new epoch in world history as well as in Russian history. It exerted influence on internal changes in the other countries in the world and, similarly and in a particularly profound way, on internal changes in China. These changes, however, were effected through the inner laws of development of these countries, China included. In battle, one army is victorious and the other is defeated, both the victory and the defeat are determined by internal causes. The one is victorious either because it is strong or because of its competent generalship, the other is vanquished either because it is weak or because of its incompetent generalship; it is through internal causes that external causes become operative. In China in 1927, the defeat of the proletariat by the big bourgeoisie came about through the opportunism then to be found within the Chinese proletariat itself (inside the Chinese Communist Party). When we liquidated this opportunism, the Chinese revolution resumed its advance. Later, the Chinese revolution again suffered severe setbacks at the hands of the enemy, because adventurism had risen within our Party. When we liquidated this adventurism, our cause advanced once again. Thus it can be seen that to lead the revolution to victory, a political party must depend on the correctness of its own political line and the solidity of its own organization.” – Mao Tse-tung, “On Contradiction” (1937)
Everything is a unity of opposites, so when we say “one divides into two” we mean the opposing aspects of a thing. In class society in this epoch, we mean the society divides into bourgeois and proletarian classes. In making socialist revolution, the proletariat divides itself from the bourgeoisie and divides the bourgeoisie from its wealth and power and ownership and control of the means of production, even its “democratic rights.” Now some petty-bourgeois radicals will say “Oh No! That’s going too far!” They will say, we have to preserve the “democratic rights of EVERYBODY!” This is a classic attempt to “COMBINE TWO INTO ONE.” You see, because as long as classes still exist, society is going to be a class dictatorship. The question is which class will have the power to dictate to the other?
In Comrade TACO’s concluding paragraph, he states:
“So, when we look at African Intercommunalism, it’s just an update, an upgraded form to deal with the new reality of what we tryna deal with, you know. African Intercommunalism is so important because once we overthrow the Amerikkkan ruling class, there will be a critical need to still liberate Africa. We cannot expect, like Huey left open, and didn’t completely go in depth to — after the Amerikkkan ruling class is destroyed and wiped out, then who would knock out the rest of the Western powers? Who would battle the neocolonial puppets? Just because the Amerikkkan ruling class is knocked out of position, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee —just because it will severely weaken the globalization of capital, it won’t destroy it. It ain’t just goin to fall in and of itself. So what we did was come up with an understanding, and a theory, that would not only unite with Third World people, but would put hyper emphasis on Africa scattered throughout the diaspora from slavery, you know.”
This makes me think Comrade TACO did not understand the whole thrust of Huey’s argument. Huey stated that we can’t have socialism in the U.S. because it is NOT a nation, that nations can’t exist anymore. “In 1917,” Huey wrote, “when the revolution occurred, there could be a redistribution of wealth on a national level because nations existed. Now, if you talk in terms of planning an economy on a world-wide level, on an intercommunal level, you are saying something important: that the people have been ripped off very much like one country being ripped off. Simple reparation is not enough because the people have not only been robbed of their raw materials, but of the wealth accrued wealth… The people of the world will have to have control – not a limited share of control for “X” amount of time, but total control forever.” In other words, Huey was saying we have to go forward to defeat the capitalist-imperialists globally and create a worldwide dictatorship of the proletariat.
As the Harvard Crimson reported: “Newton said that the Panthers seek a world revolution which will establish a global group of interdependent socialist communities, or “intercommunalism within a cooperative framework.” Under such a revolutionary system, he said, the people of the world would control “the technological machine which the imperialists have built.”
Huey is stating that the model of “Socialism in One Country” is no longer applicable because the World is hooked up differently. Whether Afrika or North Amerika gets liberated first, the struggle will continue until the whole world is liberated. It will be a protracted struggle, but there will be no going back to independent nations or national economies. Those who have their hearts set on an independent Black Nation are going to be disappointed along with all the other nationalists, feudalists and monarchists, and those waiting for Jesus to return or Elvis. The Wheel of History moves forward!
There is a Black Bourgeoisie. In the U.S. alone, there are 35,000 Black millionaires, and in the World, there are 9 Black billionaires (out of 1,645). Few of the Black bourgeoisie own any part of the means of production. Most are in entertainment in some way. There is a lot more bourgeois aspiration in the Black community than there is a basis for Black capitalism. The plans the U.S. imperialists have for Afrika will throw gasoline on the fire of Black bourgeois aspirations. Comrade TACO gets it that cultural nationalism is Black capitalism, but he doesn’t seem to grasp that Black capitalism is completely subordinated to white capitalist-imperialism. This is cognitive dissonance, or “seeing but not believing.”
The Attack on Dhoruba Bin-Wihad
On August 8th of this year (2015), a “goon squad” of NBPP members viciously attacked the 71 year-old former BPP member, BLA leader and released political prisoner/POW, Dhoruba Bin-Wihad, at a conference in Atlanta, attempting to stomp him to death and leaving him unconscious and seriously injured. Comrade “Big Man” Howard, a founding member of the original BPP, publically denounced this cowardly, unprovoked attack on the respected elder stating, “the so-called New Black Panther Party has proven itself to be one which consists of agents for the corrupt system designed to undermine the legacy of the Black Panther Party.”
The police, of course, have done nothing, but “Big Man” Howard’s statement has been widely supported by original BPP members and supporters, including many of the still-serving BPP political prisoners and BLA prisoners of war. Notably absent has been comment from the BRLP. Which begs the question, if “Big Man” is right about the NBPP being, “…a collective of racist, reactionary thugs and tools of the still-very-much-alive COINTELPRO government agency,” to what extent has BRLP been drawn under BPP’s influence? And, to stay on point with this critique; has Comrade TACO’s revision of Huey Newton’s “Theory of Revolutionary Intercommunalism” opened the door to cooption of BRLP by NBPP?
This is not an official communique from the UPM but rather a personal statement, though I am under the democratic centralism of NABPP-PC, and I will share this with the comrades of the CC of NABPP-PC. Please feel free to share it with your comrades. Hopefully it will be useful in stimulating 2-line struggle for clarity around a correct line to move the struggle forward.
My position with the NABPP-PC and the United Panther Movement it leads is that of “Elder Advisor.” Like many of my old comrades who were in the original BPP, YLP or some other allied formation, I now have health issues that hold me back from doing a lot of things, but “ONCE A PANTHER ALWAYS A PANTHER,” and as long as I am able, I will render such service as I can to advance the struggle.
For many years now, I have been following the development of the BRLP from afar with great interest and pride. If I have been uncritical, up until now, I’d like to think it is because longevity has taught me patience, but as Comrade George Jackson pointed out, patience can be taken too far. I am concerned about developments I see regarding the BRLP and other formations in the BPP-inspired movement of today.
NBPP, the so-called “New” Black Panther Party, had a bad start. Instead of sincerely continuing the revolutionary legacy of the original BPP, they opportunistically ripped off the name and symbolism to promote their own extreme, right-wing Black nationalist line in contradiction to everything the original BPP comrades had, stood, fought and even died for. Where the original Panthers had been motivated by love for the people, the NBPP has been motivated by contempt for the people and virulent race hatred in imitation of the white nationalists like the KKK and Nazis.
In contrast, BRLP has from its inception inside the California Youth Authority shown great promise and a willingness to take the line of the original BPP, (as best they understood it), to the masses in the face of government-inspired, fratricidal gang warfare and violent police repression. Despite serious attempts to repress them by the police, DA’s office and feds, the comrades have rallied around Gen. TACO and refused to be intimidated. One cannot but admire their courage, tenacity and determination.
Huey’s “Theory of Revolutionary Intercommunalism” is not easy to grasp because it is REVOLUTIONARY and a radical rupture from traditional Marxism-Leninism, as it has been applied in the U.S. and elsewhere, but not a departure from the M-L method. In fact, it is an enrichment of the “Science of Revolution” with the summed up experience of the centuries of struggle of New Afrikans in Amerika and a fresh analysis of the capitalist-imperialist system as it has continued to morph and evolve in the Post-WWII period.
The original BPP never actually consolidated around it. Huey announced it publically without first consolidating the Party and its allies around it. It came down as the “invincible thoughts of Huey P. Newton,” as a printed version of Huey’s Boston College speech. The Party was already deeply divided and being hammered by the FBI’s COINTELPRO campaign, and it soon split apart, both geographically and politically. Huey’s faction swung to the right and the safe haven of electoral politics, and Huey, who was himself under a lot of stress and strain, ended up going into exile to Cuba for a few years. The Party would never again reach the highpoint it had been at in 1970.
When NABPP-PC was formed in 2005, it was under the most difficult of circumstances. Many veteran comrades tried to dissuade them from taking up the task of continuing the legacy of the original BPP, arguing that they would be committing “revolutionary suicide” under the circumstances; but the comrades – Rashid, Shaka Zulu and Hasan Shakur – who comprised the original Central Committee, would not be discouraged. Comrade Hasan Shakur, who was already under a sentence of death awaiting execution on Death Row in Texas, spoke for all when he said, “THE SOONER BEGUN THE SOONER DONE!”
The NABPP-PC was launched as a revolutionary Black nationalist organization with strong Maoist influences, and it took its time evaluating Huey’s “Theory of Revolutionary Intercommunalism,” while building on a foundation of study and practice. It would be an understatement to say it was “strongly influenced” by the work of BRLP on the streets of LA. With the exception of the elder comrades who were original BPP members, the comrades of NABPP-PC came from the same gang culture on similar streets as the BRLP comrades.
Only by deeply studying the classics of MLM (and particularly Mao) and applying the “Science of Revolution” (Historical Dialectical Materialism) to make a fresh analysis of the world situation did the comrades develop a growing appreciation of Huey’s theoretical contributions and their grasp of revolutionary intercommunalism. Having to struggle on a daily basis with reactionary cultural nationalism and the “divide and rule” tactics of the prison guards and officials, they saw Huey’s theory tested well in practice. When white prisoners offered their support and sought to align with the NABPP-PC, the comrades followed Huey’s example of suggesting they form their own White Panther Organization, but they didn’t just offer inspiration, they incorporated the WPO as an arm of NABPP-PC under the subordination and democratic-centralism of the NABPP-PC’s Central Committee. This not only gave the White Panther comrades the benefit of the CC’s revolutionary experience but it intimately involved the comrades on the CC with summarizing the lessons of the white comrades’ practice in applying the mass line in their work among the white prisoner population.
Combating white nationalism in this way sharpened the comrades understanding of racism and cultural nationalism in general and how to fight it. “Iron sharpens iron,” and their practice illuminated the genius of Comrade Huey’s theoretical contributions. Where Comrade TACO fell into the error of seeking to balance racialism with class consciousness, the NABPP-PC comrades “divided one into two” and cast out racialism by building class consciousness and the awareness that racism was a creation of class oppression at the core of capitalism.
The NABPP-PC is now consolidating its leap from revolutionary nationalism to revolutionary intercommunalism as its guiding ideological-political line. In the upcoming year (2016), its focus will be on building the United Panther Movement to continue the legacy of the original BPP. As an “elder advisor,” I will be representing the line of the UPM more broadly among different tendencies in the spirit of “Unity, Struggle, Unity,” and the UPM is going to be challenging people to become “all-the-way revolutionary.” I hope those who read this – including Comrade TACO – will accept it in the comradely spirit in which it was written.
Only when we become able to think and to act as one people and we rally behind a unified revolutionary proletarian vanguard of “all-the-way revolutionary” comrades armed with the most advanced theory based upon correct application of the “Science of Revolution,” will we have the power to kick the reactionaries to the curb and trample them under our marching feet. Only united can we set the World “right side up!” What is coming is an historic juncture more wonderful and terrible than any of us can now imagine, to which all previous revolutions cannot begin to compare.
We are going to bring to a close an epoch of history that goes back thousands of years – to the dawn of exploitation – and open the door to a future free of all the evils of class society. The alternative is our own extinction, and there will be no one to morn our folly. This is the “Darwin Test,” and it is “Pass or Fail!” We must get it right this time, because there won’t be any retest. When the ruling class “experts” say there are “twice as many people as there should be,” they are saying, “we can get half of you to kill the other half, and that would suit us just fine.” Black, brown, yellow or white, if they can’t profitably exploit your ass, your life doesn’t matter to them. We must take their power away from them, and there is no time to waste.
DARE TO STRUGGLE DARE TO WIN… ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
Tom “Big Warrior” Watts redistribution of wealth not on a national or an international level, but on an intercommunal level. Because how can we say that we have accomplished revolution if we redistribute the they have taken away the goods of the people of the world, transported them to America and used them as their very own.