The Political Division Of Labor: What Are The Roles And Functions Of The Party’s Ministries? (2020) By Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, MOD, NABPP


The New Afrikan Black Panther Party (NABPP) was founded in 2005. From that time we have operated with the division of our political offices into discrete ministries.

The NABPP is separated into nine separate ministries. They being the ministries of:

  1. Culture
  2. Defense
  3. Education
  4. Finance
  5. Health and Welfare
  6. Human Rights
  7. Information
  8. Justice
  9. Labor

These ministries and their functions are not by any means arbitrary nor random. Essentially, they reflect the basic areas of society’s infrastructure and superstructure that we must struggle to wrest from the control of the capitalist imperialist ruling class and put into the hands of the people to control and restructure.

Over the years we operated under a sort of presumption that comrades generally understood the purposes and functions of the ministries, so we didn’t specifically explain them. In fact we didn’t specify and enumerate each ministry until 2012, when we published our position paper, “The 3-P’s.”[1]

This has led to a number of problems, not just within the party, but also within our principal mass org, the United Panther Movement, which has followed our example, albeit correctly, and divided its own political departments (Secretariat) along the same lines as our ministries.

It is our general purpose here to explain in simple terms what are the roles and functions of our ministries.



Foremost as Marxists-Leninists-Maoists, we understand scientifically that the very foundation (the infrastructure) of every human society is the struggle to survive, or the collective struggle to acquire and work up those basic things from nature needed to survive: food, clothing, shelter, health care, etc.

The institutions, ideas, and forms of play that develop within a given society reflect the relations, (the class relations, in class divided societies), that the people engage in in their struggle to survive, or for production. These institutions form the superstructure of society.

In the capitalist imperialist system the people are forced into competition with and are alienated from each other, therefore the institutions, ideas and forms of play, which are controlled by the ruling class, reflect these anti-social relations, and the views and values of the ruling class.

In order to change these productive relations and the institutions that reinforce them, the people must seize control of them and remold them to serve and reflect the collective interests of the working class and all oppressed peoples.



So that we may lead the people in developing control over these economic relations and the superstructure, the party has divided itself into departments that correspond to work directed at the economic base and supporting superstructure of society. Through this political division of labor we can focus work, programs, resources and labor power into developing institutions of dual power in each of the basic areas of economic base and superstructure that will ultimately allow the masses to seize and weild power in their own interests.

In this regard, the ministries each have a general focus in organizing and coordinating party work and resources to provide revolutionary leadership and serve the people in the general areas that will give them increasing power over their economic life and corresponding institutions, ideas and forms of play.



In concrete terms, and at this stage of struggle, where the people are out of power and are struggling to develop the most basic controls of community life, the focus of the ministries will be as follows.

  1. Culture: this ministry’s focus is in the area of production of art, miscellaneous visual propaganda, music, theater, films and popular literature and various forms of outreach that informs and reinforces the cultural values and ideas of the people. The goal is to popularize revolutionary ideas and values, and expose and counter the decadent and anti-social culture perpetuated by the bourgeoisie.
  2. Defense: this ministry’s focus will be on questions of security and defense of the party, communities and mass forces, outreach to and organizing around the lumpen organizations.
  3. Education: this ministry’s focus will be on developing and leading study circles, liberation schools, cadre schools, organizing curriculum for political education within the mass organizations and in general, compiling and publishing party books, and similar work.
  4. Finance: this ministry’s focus will be on all things related to party funds–for example, fundraising, storage of monies, distributing funds for party work, keeping accounts of party funds, etc. Developing socialist cooperatives to both finance the party and movement, and enable the masses to economically survive and create economic dual power.
  5. Health and Welfare: this ministry’s focus will be on developing and coordinating Serve the People programs, health care issues related to the party and people, developing “barefoot doctor” programs in medically underserved and neglected communities, etc. Also organize and develop street medics for demonstrations.
  6. Human Rights: this ministry’s focus will be on organizing basic rights work and programs , working with human rights organizations, educating and organizing the people around their basic rights, etc.
  7. Information: this ministry’s focus will be on developing and publishing the party’s information media (Intercommunal News Service), making press releases, developing contacts with other media outlets, and overall responsibility for party announcements and public communications.
  8. Justice: this ministry’s focus will be on organizing and coordinating bail and legal defenses of party and mass forces, conducting internal investigations of party matters such as of complaints against members, and organizing fair and formal hearings procedures, overseeing disciplinary measures against party members, and protecting the rights of the accused who may appeal all such decisions of to the Central Committee.
  9. Labor: this ministry’s focus will be on engaging with the masses in employment and productive relations, working with and developing labor unions, especially working with the IWOC, the IWW and developing our own Black Cat Unions that engage in wildcat strikes in particular. Also help to develop strike support committees, and popularize and draw the masses into active support for labor struggles.

The ministries’ functions will of course not be limited to the above listed work, and in many cases their work will overlap. The examples given are only a general outline of the category of tasks that fall within the purview of a given ministry.

Comrades should understand that the range of specific work and projects that fit within each ministry are extensive, and will require an array of creative ideas and approaches to meet. Our task is to ensure that we remain true to applying the mass line in our work and always serve the people.

In our work to identify the needs and concerns of the people and to devise methods of carrying out our work, we should develop various planning and action committees within the ministries.

Our mass organizations are the vehicle through which the actual work of the struggle is carried out among and by the people, so the Secretariats should organize alongside the party to carry out programs and work so that the corresponding ministries and Secretariat departments work together in sync.

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



  1. See, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “The New Afrikan Black Panther Party’s Organizational Principles, Policy and Practice: The 3-P’s”


[1] See, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “The New Afrikan Black Panther Party’s Organizational Principles, Policy and Practice: The 3-P’s”


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