A Response to the NPVM’s Comments on “Reparations or Revolution” (2007)

Recently Chairman B. Kwaku Duren of the New Panther Vanguard Movement (NPVM) wrote a few words in response to my article “Reparations or Revolution?” This offers a good opportunity to contrast the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter’s line with that of the NPVM.

Comrade Kwaku first took issue with our contrasting reparations with revolution. In order for any people struggling against capitalist imperialism to formulate tactics towards the goal of achieving liberation, they must analyze whether those tactics serve to overthrow and liberate them from imperialism, or contribute to preserving imperialism and their continued oppression.

In this struggle there are two opposing sides: one is accommodation and the other is liberation. We recognize that reparations serves the former and revolution serves the latter.

It was Frantz Fanon, (the great Martinique revolutionary whose book The Wretched of the Earth greatly inspired the Black Panther Party and oppressed 3rd world people fighting against imperialism worldwide), who warned the oppressed to never allow the imperialists to “give” them anything – but to take it. In his Art of War, Sun Tzu likewise warned that anything your enemy gives you will be used against you. The BPP took Fanon’s and Sun Tzu’s warnings to heart, and stood out for its emphasis on self-reliance and building people’s power through its serve the people Community Survival Programs – not as a bargaining chip, but to prepare for revolution.

The term “reparations” means to make amends, to compensate, nothing more. How can any of the imperialist countries and their corporate controllers compensate or make amends with any oppressed people – New Afrikans in particular – for past crimes? Especially when those crimes continue today under more advanced and sophisticated, but equally brutal forms, on a global scale?

To accept compensation for past crimes in the form of wealth gained from continued corporate crimes, not only legitimizes today’s imperialism and it’s ongoing genocides, enslavements, marginalizations and impoverishments of oppressed peoples, but it excuses the past crimes that put imperialism in the saddle.

Our objective should be revolution, to overthrow this entire global criminal system, not make amends with it by accepting its blood money. That is our duty to those who suffered yesterday, to those enslaved and plundered of their land, lives and resources today, and to tomorrow’s generation so they will not also suffer under racist imperialism.

Imperialism is a global system, centered today in Amerika’s quest for global dominance: Globalism. Separating all ties to imperialism and destroying it will liberate the entire globe. This is thinking globally.

Amerika was at the center of defeating the independence struggles of the 3rd world in the 20th century, by propping up neo-colonial agents through organizing, training and advising counterrevolutionary 3rd World administrations and armies, using its corporate blood money under the guise of economic aid.

So imperialism has already been paying off so-called “representatives” of the oppressed nationalities on a global scale as part of business as usual. Has that “aid” led to global revolution? We think not! Rather it has served the goals of preserving imperialism and spreading counterrevolution.

Take for example the “reparations” paid by Germany to the Jews for its role in the Jewish Holocaust, and the fact that Amerika pays out billions of dollars annually to the Jewish state. Those payments have not toppled German imperialism, nor won revolutionary successes for the Jewish working class, dark skinned (Sephardic) Jews, or Arabs inside Israel against the neo-colonial Jewish bourgeoisie.

In fact these concessions paid out in the name of “reparations” have created fascist Zionist hegemony in the middle east, centered in a modern Apartheid state that practices open racism against Arabs and Afrikans within Israel, and genocide, displacement, and land theft against those outside of Israel. A duplication of Amerika’s own historical and continuing crimes against the Native Americans.

Yet Comrade Kwaku proposes that somehow, and he doesn’t explain how, accepting corporate blood money might lead to revolution.

He then uncritically endorses Huey’s theory of Intercommunalism, as if nations have ceased to exist in the geo-political sense. Of course imperialism has made the economics of the world’s various societies interdependent, but all of these societies still exist under discrete bourgeois administrations and militaries.

The productive forces of these societies cry out for liberation from the shackles of bourgeois dictatorships that still bind them. The answer to these conditions is to mobilize and organize the working class to overthrow the imperialists’ neo-colonial agents and unite all oppressed people under proletarian leadership into an United Front Against Imperialism to overthrow the entire imperialist system and then implement intercommunalism at the superstructural level.

To his credit, Comrade Kwaku is thinking globally. And he should appreciate the NABPP’s strategy of building the Party wherever Black people are concentrated. The emphasis should be on Serve the People (STP) Programs and self-sufficiently and not reparations and dependence, although the latter can be used as part of the argument for the people and charitable institutions (not the ruling classes, governments and corporations) of the imperialist countries to contribute to supporting the STP Programs. But basically self-reliance should be practiced and the STP programs should be integrated with revolutionizing agitation, education and organization.

“Pantherism” in its concrete application supports the formation of a Union of Socialist Afrikan Republics as a step towards global Communism, basically as outlined by Kwame Nkrumah.

Finally, Comrade Kwaku himself errs in counterposing a vanguard Party and vanguard movement, as if there were not a dialectical and interdependent relationship between the two. Without a leading Party to formulate and spread a revolutionary line how can there be a revolutionary movement? Just as a body cannot carry out complex goal-oriented functions without a head to accurately interpret external conditions and coordinate its movements. This is the genuine meaning of Lenin’s point that no people can build a revolutionary movement without a revolutionary theory. And that theory must be rooted in a materialist analysis of concrete reality and not idealism.

The practical application of Intercommunalism in this period is to build the Party and Panther movement in the oppressed communities everywhere where Black people are concentrated. This will materially build Pan-Afrikan consciousness and class consciousness simultaneously, and link together the struggle of Blacks and class struggle against imperialism on a global scale.

Dare to Struggle Dare to Win!
All Power to the People!

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