Table of Contents
Therefore, the African Socialist International is the first stage of the struggle by the workers and toiling masses of the world to create a genuine Communist International.
In the past all efforts to create such an international were bound to fail as they were based on the false premise of the centrality of white workers of the industrially developed countries for human progress. Even the fact that this has proved absolutely wrong in the real world has to yet penetrate this ideologically reinforced white nationalist assumption.
Of all the so-called socialist revolutions that have ever occurred in history, only the Russian Revolution had a European connection, and Russia was semi-feudal, not an industrialized country. China and Cuba are other examples of socialist revolution and they are among the many revolutionary efforts that have centered in the non-industrial or primary producing countries.
Obviously the historical basis for the advent of socialism did not exist when revolution changed any of the above-mentioned countries. What did exist were the political conditions for socialists to take power in places like Russia, China and Cuba.
The fact is that capitalism was born as a world economy and the Russian, Chinese and Cuban revolutions did not change the fact that their countries and economies existed within a pervasive capitalist world economy. Therefore, although these revolutions, contending with semi-feudal, semi-colonial and neocolonial economies, were able to make rapid short-term changes in the lives of the workers and toiling masses, they soon ran into their limitations as oases within a sea of capitalist predators.
This view was represented in the Political Report to our Party’s 3rd Congress 20 years ago, in 1990. A long passage from that report is worth repeating here:
“…[T]he fundamental contradiction, the resolution of which would result in the historically-based advent of socialism, has never existed between the industrial (white) working class and ruling class. The real locus of the class contradiction in the real world exists in the conflict between capitalism born as a world system, and the ‘pedestal’ upon which it rests. (Emphasis in original)
“Hence the 1917 revolution in Russia was not a true socialist revolution since the real historical basis for socialism, which is the destruction of the pedestal upon which capitalism rests and which is required for its existence, had not occurred. What happened in Russia in 1917 was the existence of conditions, which constituted the political basis for socialists to seize state power. (Emphasis in original)
“However, this seizure of state power by socialists did not change the reality that the world economy, even the world economy within which Russia existed, was and continues to be, a capitalist world economy. It is the same world economy created by the slave trade and augmented by other facets of parasitic ‘primitive’ accumulation that transformed the vast majority of the world into great reservoirs of human and material resources largely for European and North American exploitation…
“In the case of China whose heroic people made a great revolution which revealed the revolutionary possibilities of colonially oppressed peoples throughout the world, their current efforts at economic development have been characterized by our Party as being like the efforts of someone trapped in a hole attempting to get out by climbing up on his own back…
“China’s current treacherous political collaboration with Western imperialism reflects the growing voluntary re-introduction of China into the capitalist world economy, although this time its current leadership intends for China to play the role of parasite instead of host. In other words, China also intends to transform its material conditions of existence, not through revolution to overthrow capitalism, but through joining imperialism at the trough.
“While the Russians, East Europeans, and Chinese have in the past referred to themselves as socialist states, they have never actually presided over socialist economies, the historic basis for the existence of which continues to unfold even now. Therefore, the crises experienced by any or all of these economies have actually been crises inherent in capitalism and not in socialism. Moreover, the political crises experienced by any or all of these states are crises due in great measure to the inability of a capitalist economy to solve the problems in society. (Emphasis in original)
“While the Soviets, and China to a lesser degree, have been actively involved with the U.S., Western and Japanese imperialism in attempting to ‘manage’ the world, to maintain what can only be called worldwide imperialist ‘stability,’ their efforts will only prove to be futile, as the oppressed and subject workers and peoples of the colonial world are not sympathetic to any deals made which would compromise our just struggles to overthrow our oppression and subjugation.
“Moreover, in spite of difficulties our struggles might experience due to the Soviet, East European and Chinese defections, we will nevertheless see a rapid development of the independent struggles for national liberation now that they are unencumbered by Chinese and especially Soviet or Russian opportunism.
“The rising up of the slave, organized and armed with the theory of African Internationalism, and poised for the final defeat of the parasitic world capitalist system, marks a new page in world history.”
The anti-imperialist struggles of the world’s people for repossession of our sovereignty and resources, both human and material, are the basis of the current, deep, crisis of imperialism. They are struggles to remove the pedestal upon which the entire rotten edifice of imperialism rests. They are struggles that enlist the vast majority of humanity, the laboring masses of every nation, in the creation of a new world without exploitation and oppression, without slaves and slave masters and, ultimately, without borders.
We recognize that the struggle for the liberation and unification of Africa and African people, the struggle for the consolidation of the African nation is ultimately a struggle that undermines the solidarity of the European nation-state. We understand that under imperialism those who were enslaved, colonized and oppressed as a people will have to win liberation as a people.
We are also clear that the successful nation-building struggles of Africans and others under the leadership of the working class is at the same time the beginning of the process of the withering away of nations.
The European nation was born as a bourgeois nation at the expense of whole peoples and their territories. As we have seen in this discussion, it is a nation that requires the oppression and exploitation of whole peoples for its successful existence.
Hence, African people have to resist the imperialist bourgeoisie as a people. Our assumption of consolidated nationhood will function to destroy the bourgeois nation. Thus the rise of revolutionary worker nation-states destroy the material basis for the existence of nations and borders that function to distinguish and separate one people from another.
This is easier to understand when we finally realize the significance of the fact that capitalism at birth came wrapped in the skin of the racialized European nation-state. It is this reality that made impotent the Marxian assumption of communism resulting from the withering away of the European bourgeois industrialized state.
However, the fact that the European bourgeois nation-state achieves life and definition from its relationship to Africa and the oppressed peoples of the world means that our victory over imperialism, with the African working class at the helm will result in the withering away of nations. This will leave bare and make possible the withering away of the bourgeois state, which will have become historically redundant.
The African Socialist International, the practical expression of African Internationalism, uniting African workers on every continent, provides Africans and the world with the first step in the creation of a real Communist International that for the first time encompasses the enlightened participation of the vast majority of the toiling masses of the world.
Workers of the world, unite under the banner of African Internationalism!