Editor’s Note: Presentation by Chairman Omali Yeshitela to the APSP Political Bureau on August 10, 2022 following the FBI/U.S. government assault on the Uhuru Movement on July 29th, 2022
As the Advanced Detachment, we are in the process of continuously developing a meaningful response to the recent brutal assault on the African People’s Socialist Party by the FBI.
We are discussing our summation of these attacks and everyone needs to take this overview seriously and digest it.
I think it’s really important and it helps to give context to everything that’s happened with us in terms of the assault on our people through us, and all of the work that we are engaged in everywhere. It should help to inform us.
What has become clear is that the United States government, along with the so-called Western colonial powers under the sway and leadership of the United States government, has identified three strategic contradictions that represent an existential crisis for the colonial mode of production.
This crisis revolves around the question of the continued hegemony of the United States and the end of the reign of the colonial powers that came into existence through the enslavement of African people, initially, and attacks on other peoples.
What we can see without any element of controversy is that one component of this strategic threat named by the United States is Russia. This helps to explain the government’s attack on us.
China is clearly another strategic threat that is perceived by the so-called Western Powers.
We see the U.S. assault that’s currently being made on Russia through Ukraine. We see the war of ideas and the daily barrage of U.S. claims of atrocities and genocide being committed by the Russians in Ukraine.
I also want to remind us that this war, this controversy, this contradiction with Russia is not new. It has taken on a different, more urgent character today–but it is longstanding.
Context of Russian war on Ukraine
There are some who are able to acknowledge the 2014 U.S. intervention in Ukraine that overturned the elected government there and that contributes to this crisis. Some are able to acknowledge the involvement of escalated aggression against Russia.
Some can see the relationship of the current U.S. war on Russia to the role of the Carter Administration in the 1980s which went into Afghanistan in an initiative that was actually begun by Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzesinski.
Carter was determined to destroy and cripple Russia through creating this Jihad that would manufacture a “Vietnam” for Russia by attacking the government in Afghanistan. Although, I think it can be over emphasized, that government was supported by Russia. Women in Afghanistan had rights and major social and economic progress was being made in Afghanistan.
But the U.S.-backed attack on Afghanistan, as I mentioned, was seen as providing for Russia its own Viet Nam, a war that had been so crippling to the United States in terms of economics and political standing in the world. The U.S.-backed attack on Afghanistan was also using NATO, putting military forces closer to the Russian border.
It is important to remember that the United States was among the various imperialist forces that invaded Russia in 1918, following the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution. People often refer to it as Soviet Russia because it was so designated by the revolutionary forces of the Soviet Union. This assault was made on Russia, initially by the United States and then what we might refer to as the West.
Significance of Russian Revolution
While a lot of people are able to recognize the significance of the Russian Revolution, most people including Africans ourselves, do not remember that the Russian Revolution was significant because it broke from the rest of Europe and that it came at a time when Europe was engaged in what’s often referred to as “World War One.”
We refer to this war as the First Imperialist World War that was being fought by colonial powers to redivide the world among themselves. As African people, we have experienced this many times ourselves, including in Berlin in 1884 and 85–when the colonial powers got together to carve up Africa. Historically, you can see many other instances where the great powers of Europe have come together to reshape the world to make it something that satisfied their own particular interests.
If you were a relatively good student in whatever colonial school you went to, you have never been satisfied with what the hell was being put forward as the cause of that first imperialist war: the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand! That just never made sense. There was nothing that was said that could help us understand the basis of that war.
It’s really important for us to understand that we are talking about a time frame where anti-colonial movements and struggles were raging throughout the world and the imperialists recognized the need to crush the motion of the colonized.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 happened in the context of the 1915 invasion in Haiti by the U.S. Marines who looted Haiti of everything they had. During this same timeframe, there were attacks by the United States on Nicaragua and Venezuela. You saw struggles that were happening in the Middle East and all over the world. People were trying to win their freedom–and the French and the British were dividing up what is now called the region of the Middle East. There was the collapse of the Ottoman empire.
The whole world was being reconfigured at that time. This is when the League of Nations was first created. For all its high-sounding rhetoric, the League of Nations was consolidated by the white power colonizers to bring “peace” among colonizers through a “democratic” process for domination of the colonized. It was a kind of a proper parliamentary nonviolent process to enable them to rule the rest of us.
It was the time of the movement of Marcus Garvey, who achieved such an extraordinary influence in the world with his organization of 11 million African people globally. While the discussion was happening at the League of Nations about who was going to get what parts of Africa, Garvey was demanding Africa for Africans at home and abroad.
Russia’s unique trajectory
The Russian Revolution was thrust into motion by the struggles of the colonized peoples of Africa and other places on the planet. If you talk about modern progressive history and the significance of this period, it’s not the Russian Revolution that is the beginning. The process that gave birth to the Russian Revolution was the struggle of colonized people around the world to break out of the situation that had been imposed on us by the colonial mode of production.
No one talks about colonialism being the driving force except for the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP). We have always worked to understand the superstructure and ideology that stems from the colonial mode of production.
The colonizers are those that define and shape what this superstructure would look like. By superstructure, I mean the ideology which is a cultural reflection of the colonial mode of production. So it’s important to understand that this is the context in which Russia became the enemy of the U.S. because, regardless of its intent, what Russia was talking about was the “workers of the world” and the “oppressed peoples of the world”.
Russian Communists assumed that there was going to be this great Revolution and movements coming out of Western Europe and that did not happen. The only revolutionary activity that was challenging imperialism in the biggest possible way was the anti-colonial struggles taking place worldwide. It’s really important to say that. The basic point is that this struggle with Russia has a long history that didn’t just start yesterday.
Subsequent to that, of course, we have a situation where Russia now is a challenge to the U.S. because it has broken from the trajectory of the colonial powers. It is attempting to establish a new kind of social system, separate, independent and contradictory to the colonial powers and the path they have created. This is the basis for this isolation of Russia by all of the colonial-capitalists and the attempt to bring it down in that fashion.
During the Second Imperialist War, World War II, also a war to redivide the world between the colonial powers, Russia came under assault. Russia was recruited to participate in this program to fight against “fascism,” in the form of one colonial power–Germany. Japan also participated in attacking Russia in 1918.
The isolation of Russia forced the Soviet Union into a temporary alliance between Stalin and Hitler until Germany invaded Russia, when despite losing 23 million Russian people, the Soviets defeated Hitler’s army.
During this time, the United Nations was created because the League of Nations didn’t suffice in part because the United States was not a member of it. The creation of the United Nations was the consolidation of a new world order that happened in the 1940s and that has lasted for some 70 odd years up to now.
From this, the U.S. formed NATO in 1949 as an entity that would crush Russia because Russia was still on this path which articulated support for workers and colonized people and overturning the colonial social system.
I’m not singing the praises of Russia. Russia had been shut out of the world economy by the colonizers and so it served the interests of Russia to be able to unite with people who were colonized and winning our freedom. The Russian Socialist-Communist ideology taught it to be independent of the capitalist world economy.
Russia needed access to resources that were going to the colonial capitalists. This is not to negate the integrity of the Russian Revolution, but it’s a reality that must be addressed because the world is not driven by some pristine kind of abstract theory. Material interests drive the world. We are materialists. This is not a criticism of Russia; it’s just a fact that we need to be able to understand.
That is how the Soviet Union developed and then later came the U.S.-orchestrated collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia did not enter into modernity through the colonial process including the assault on Africa as did France or Germany. It entered modernity as a consequence of the Russian Revolution, the communist revolution, the socialist revolution of Russia that took place on the platform of the colonial resistance that was shaking the world.
And so, therefore, even though the reality is that the colonial capitalist system is the dominant system of the world with the world economy revolving around it, Russia was able to enter into this colonial mode of production on its own terms not as a servant, a proxy or minion of the U.S. or so-called Western imperialism. Russia was able to chart its own course through this process. I’m not talking about a conscious opportunism or anything on the part of Russia. What I’m saying is none of them understood the colonial mode of production. Russia is now trying to survive within the context of a global economy that revolves around the colonial mode of production.
U.S fear of Chinese development
The second named strategic enemy of the U.S. is China. Similarly, China came into modernity through the Chinese Revolution, not through neocolonialism like you see in most of Africa, much of the Americas and even the Middle East.
The Chinese shut their country down and shut the imperialists out. They shut out the colonizer to the extent that Mao Zedong is criticized even today. Instead of trying to go through the capitalist process, Mao tried to kick off what he called the Great Leap Forward where the Chinese would use everything to escalate the process of development. It didn’t work, couldn’t work ultimately–but China had valuable resources including the Chinese Communist party that united China against all external aggression. And it had a billion people; the people, the workers and the peasants are the producers.
China was seen by the colonial powers as producers of life for Europe, for white people and for the United States, just like black people do everywhere around the world. So, the U.S. saw China as something that they could penetrate as they did in 1972 with the Nixon-Kissinger venture. This was a part of the struggle against Russia and they tried to create greater divisions between Russia and China and continued to work to isolate the Soviet Union.
The U.S. wanted to have access to all of these working people, these peasants and workers in China and whatever resources were in China itself. They wanted to turn a billion people organized with the advantage of what has been brought to them by the Chinese Communist Party into producers of life for Europe and for white power.
All this was a gold mine and so they brought all kinds of resources into China for that purpose, but China took those resources and transformed the conditions on the ground for themselves.
The Europeans and white power could not envision this because the colonial mode of production has taught them that white people are the smartest people in the world.They believed the Chinese couldn’t possibly outsmart them, but China built an extraordinary economy and extraordinary power.
This created consternation for them up to today; so when they see China and Russia , they see these two strategic enemies that are shaking the whole world – the political, economic and power configuration of the world. They are being transformed right now as we have this discussion.
At the same time, Africa was central to the emergence of the colonial capitalist system to begin with. You see this huge contest that’s going on around Africa that’s not being addressed by anybody. China is the fastest growing economic force in Africa. And Russia is viewed by many in Africa as an ally, because it has a history of providing some support for independence and liberation struggles. Russia has made some assets available to Africa. Russia is contesting with France and has made itself available in other aspects of struggle in the Middle East. Africa is such a central Force and it is critical for the U.S.
We can list most of the resources that are being stolen from Africa and which are necessary for the function of a modern economy, the economy that has been shaped under this colonial capitalist system through the colonial mode of production. This economy born of the assault on Africa requires all of these assets that come from Africa. That’s just an objective reality. It can’t function without Africa’s stolen resources. The U.S. wouldn’t have anything without those resources. Africa has been a central force in the world economy.
Today, Africa is extraordinarily unstable in the sense that the people are without the leadership of the Party and are fighting desperately to survive just to live and against those political forces that are blocking that process of the production of life.
The neocolonial forces in Africa are in a situation where the changing power configurations in the world have made it possible for them to be able to conceive of not being total lickspittles for France or for the United States. Now they can become lickspittles for Russia and China.
It’s not like they’ve decided that they are going to be great revolutionaries, generally speaking, but they feel like they’ve been inspired to break from the total domination of the traditional Western colonial powers. And that’s the problem.
Russia and China have intervened in Africa in a relatively complex way, affecting the situation in Africa. China has millions of Chinese people living in Africa. Masses of African people are struggling to change their circumstances affecting the political reality in Africa.
Masses of African people are trying to change their circumstances, rising up and engaging in uprisings and struggles on a regular basis.
The U.S. reveals itself by creating an African four-star marine general for the first time in its 246 year history and they put him in charge of AFRICOM, the war against Africa and the war against all the other forces who are contending with the United States in Africa. The name of the four-star general is Michael Langley.
In addition, they created the first African so-called Secretary of Defense, which is better characterized as the secretary of war. His name is Lloyd Austin and he is a retired general. This is the first time you got an African who is over AFRICOM; the first four-star general and the first time these forces have put in charge of our resources in Africa.
A great threat to imperialism is the fact that it has dispersed colonized people all around the world. These people are cleaning the streets, washing dishes, etc. The colonized play an extraordinary role inside the colonizer countries: U.S., France, England, etc.
The colonized are the ones who are at the airport checking your documents to make sure they’re good. The colonized play an extraordinary role inside the colonial countries and they also play a role that’s constantly engaged in some kind of fight for democracy as it is perceived from the perspective of the colonial powers themselves.
So in England, France and the United States you see Africans and other colonized people who are struggling for rights. This is a consequence of colonized peoples being dispersed throughout the colonial powers.
The United States is the faltering hegemon of the world and is directing all of the chaos and all of the oppression and wars against colonial peoples. This is the connection that the APSP has to the question of Africa, which is also one of the three strategic opponents that the United States has identified and that has solved the problem of African people.
It’s time to fight for ourselves in Ivory Coast and Haiti and in St. Louis. The Party has begun the process of building the reconsolidated African Nation so that we are conscious of our interests as a whole nation of people.
The Party has also provided so many ideological political solutions to the contradictions that have been imposed on Africa and thereby what you see is the convergence of all of these interests and contradictions that the United States is dealing with in China and Russia.
We see the convergence of unity of interest of these forces that warranted the attack on the APSP on July 29. In 1969, the FBI said that the Black Panther Party was the greatest internal threat to the US. This makes sense because African people are the founding block of this system.
There should be no mystery about that. It is a declaration that black people represent this profound contradiction that they are constantly having to deal with. This makes sense because African people are central to the founding and functioning of this entity that is recognized as the United States.
Let’s be clear
So, if you want to understand what happened, it is that the United States government has recognized that there is an advanced detachment of African people that goes beyond the shores of the U.S., but extends throughout Africa and much of the world. This is the basis of this attack.
This is an entirely different place than in 1969 with the Black Panther Party. This is not just about the stand against the US war against Russia. It is much bigger. This should inform how we move forward, how we organize, everything.
There are a few other points that we have to understand here: Marx was wrong about what it was going to take to create the communist society that he talked about.
On the one hand, he was able to say that all capitalist activity rests upon the foundation of colonialism or “slavery pure and simple.” Consequently, there were many people from Viet Nam, China, Russia and elsewhere who accepted that, somehow, the global Communist Revolution was going to be made as a consequence of a victory of the industrial working class over the industrial ruling class.
According to this logic, the colonizers were going to make a determination of what the future was going to look like. Some of the colonizers were workers and some of the colonizers were capitalists, but they all owe their existence to colonialism, to what they stole from Africa and from everybody else around the world.
But at the point where a slave accepts this definition, you cannot win your liberation. We always hear about the struggles at the point of production and the point of production is white. Communists are always telling us the point of production is where the value is, that this is the basis of the fundamental contradiction facing the “working class.” But the reality is, before materials get to the point of production black people have died by the thousands in mines in South Africa and other places bringing these resources up. All colonizers owed their conditions of development to the colonized.
So, by the time they get to the point of production–which the Marxists say is the fundamental contradiction–the true parasitism and the true class question are no longer seen. It’s not even observed. The children who were being enslaved in the cocoa plantations in Ghana were not at the point of production. The point of production was in Hershey, Pennsylvania and other places where they were transforming the raw materials using modern technology that they created as a consequence of colonial domination.
Class suicide key for white solidarity
Another thing which is so profoundly significant is the recognition of the colonial mode of production, because part of what this explains for us is the existence of the African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC) and the Uhuru Solidarity Movement under the Party’s leadership. It means that for the first time in history, there is a real possibility for genuine international class struggle, especially inside the United States. APSC lays the basis for how white people can be engaged in class struggle.
Usually when people talk about class struggle, they are referring to the contest that is being made by white people for greater access to the colonial booty from the looting of the colonized.
Even the struggle against what they call “fascism” is about a debate between different sectors of the white population, about the inability to access and control the colonial resources. That’s a struggle among the colonizers themselves.
What the Party has done in creating the solidarity movement is give the colonizers an opportunity to break from colonialism–just like the attempt by the Russian Revolution in 1917. They can join the anti-colonial revolution, the anti-imperialist revolution of the world. This is what allowed Russia to break free from the traditional colonial process.
With African Internationalism, the Party–through our work–identifies and challenges the colonial mode of production and then allows white people to break from it. Otherwise, they’re stuck with this subjective trap about “racism”.
We have to understand what our responsibility is. It’s a weight that’s on our shoulders. What I’ve been trying to expose for the longest period of time is the centrality of the African Revolution and the African People’s Socialist Party as the vehicle to make the African Revolution. We must recognize the centrality of African people and African internationalism as a philosophical guide for where it is that we want to go. That’s what I want us to appreciate.
This will help us understand that this is an entirely different place from 1969 with the Black Panther Party. This is entirely different from just trying to crush dissent in the United States. This is different from anti-war protests being crushed, or some assumption that the reason they attacked us is because of our understanding on Russia, the Ukraine war, something to that effect. It is much different.
It’s much bigger because there are all kinds of people in the United States who are opposed to this war and some of them are in support of Russia, but the African People’s Socialist Party bore the brunt of this assault and I just tried to lay out what I believe is the political historical basis for that. This should inform how we move forward.