Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Imamu Amiri Baraka



First Published: Unity and Struggle, Vol. II, No. 11, Oktoba 1973.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

Apparently, for the white “left”, Revolutionary Nationalism, and Pan-Afrikanism, have proved to be formidable enemies. Why this is, is perhaps not obvious to people who haven’t thought about it before, but, for those of us a long time in the movement for National Liberation, it is very obvious. The white “left”, like most whites, are addicted to the domination of colored peoples. White supremacy is an international sickness, and it shows itself whether the particular white folks pushing it call themselves “Left” or Right wing, or Democrats or Republicans.

When Mao Tse-Tung calls the Russians Social Imperialists he is saying that the Russians, despite their rhetoric of egalitarianism and socialism still persist in trying to impose their version of socialism on the socialist world. It is doubly pricking for the Peoples’ Republic to lump the Soviet Union with the U.S.A. as one the two Super (white) Powers, intent on sharing the world between them. The Chinese insistence that the great European Industrial powers constitute a “World Bourgeoisie” to the colored peoples of the world’s actual “International Working Class”, must shake the Soviet Union down to its boots.

The cries go up, from Russia, that the Chinese have “betrayed International Socialism,” and are nationalists and chauvinists. And all over the world, whoever pushes the Soviet Line, invariably condemns Nationalism, calling it Chauvinism and racism. Police Led Suburbanites like NCLC go so far as to say that all National Liberation Movements are reactionary. And that is exactly what Colonialists and Imperialists say.

It will be extraordinarily difficult for Europeans to overcome their racism. That is the cultural style they have developed whereby they tend to try to impose their way of life, values and institutions on the world! Many claim to have got beyond the primitive racist stage, but usually they have come to rest at the paternalist stage (where it is simply that they think they know what’s best, anyway). But now we find that even so called Socialist European nations suffer from Social Imperialism, which is just racism raised up a couple of notches into the next social system.

The Chinese-Soviet confrontation, has had much fallout internationally, even manifesting in struggles between Liberation groups on the Afrikan continent. There are Liberation groups that adhere to the Soviet Line, and even though they obviously are fighting wars of National Liberation, they play that down, at their sponsor’s insistence and talk about the class struggle in terms that don’t even fully apply to their specific situation. And of course there are Afrikan Nationalist Liberation Movements who are closer to the Chinese approach, and see the Soviet Union as yet another European super power to be at least wary of. Cabral was such an inspiring paradox because he could accept the aid of the Soviet Union, yet maintain the ideological independence that enabled him to say:

National Liberation takes place when, and only when, national productive forces arm free of all kinds of foreign domination ... it may he seen that if imperialist domination has the vital need to practice cultural oppression, national liberation is necessarily an act of culture.

On the basis of what has been said, we may consider the National Liberation Movement as the organized political expression of the culture of the people who are undertaking the struggle. – Return to the Source

Here in the USA, what seems like a continuation of the Soviet-Chinese struggle appears also within the basic struggle of Black people here to develop an indigenous revolutionary ideology. We are in a society dominated by whites. And the dominant cry from most of these Europeans is that we must integrate, assimilate into America. Even the CPUSA (communist party usa) is saying essentially that, or the Police Led Suburbanites of the NCLC. Our struggle, even for socialism they say, can only be won by joining the masses of whites. The only difference between Henry Winston, colored chairman of the CPUSA, and Roy Wilkins, is that Bro Roy wants white domination with capitalism, Winston wants white domination with “socialism.” Otherwise (and Harold Cruse pointed this out in Revolution or Rebellion) these are merely two more elderly servants of white folks.

But because not only the USA feels a draft besieged by the Revolutionary PanAfrikan Nationalist Movement, but also so-called white “radicals”, inspired not only by the soviet union but just free floating white chauvinism also feel that Revolutionary Black Nationalists and PanAfrikanists must be attacked and so we are by the Left by the Right and the Center. It seems that the National Liberation of Afrikans born in America is a no-no to almost all white folks (unless there is some white guide out in front or off to the side). PanAfrikanism is negative to these same forces (and their colored apologists as you can see from the last issue of the “Black” Scholar, which we hope does not change its name to the “Non-Chauvinistic International” Scholar) because it means an independent Socialist Afrika, resourceful and powerful. “Afrika is valuable, and it must not be permitted to fall into Afrikans’ hands,” is the interior pro-USSR, PanEuropean dialogue.

The CPUSA has even sponsored a conference on Afrika in Chicago next month under the title National Anti-Imperialist Conference In Solidarity With Afrikan Liberation. The symbol on the front of the brochure is the same as the Afrikan Liberation Support Committee’s, and the intention is obviously to coopt and subvert, mount yet another white saddle on Black people’s minds.

And as usual, Black Liberation, Afrikan Liberation, are dirty words even for so-called progressive whites. Their negroes also feel our liberation is inconceivable without they massas. Everything comes before our Liberation, on their agendas. But we begin with our own agenda, that’s what makes us Nationalists, and the first thing on our agenda is National Liberation, and the Liberation of Afrikans all over the world!