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articulated by US is such an ideology. National slogans without attendant substantive programs confuse and cripple us, substitute words for work and pronouncements for programs. They do not offer the critical analysis necessary for a successful struggle and encourage the counterproductive practice of summing up our needs in a single answer and being satisfied that it requires no more. This attachment to single answers is reflected in the slogans of the sixties that were never actually or extensively translated into programmatic or structural expressions. We need slogans but they cannot stand alone; they must emanate from and be rooted in real structures and programs and meaningful movement. For all questions of an objective nature are ultimately answered empirically.

It is due to the lack of correct ideological orientation and a clear expression of an underdeveloped economic and political perspective to advocate black capitalism and/or electoral politics as the single solution to our problems as a people. The pack rat perspective of capitalism is a contradiction to the collective nature of our struggle and the collective needs of our people. A man who is merely a surplus in this economy and who has no real capital cannot seriously or sanely talk about being a capitalist, for he can neither compete nor protect his interests alone. Raw and crude materialism is a contradiction in terms of our value system and only promotes deeper distributive inequalities among us at the same time we are contesting those inequalities imposed by the oppressor. We do not deny we struggle for sufficient goods and adequate services, but we struggle for ideas and principles at the same time, for moral as well as material improvement. For material improvement without values can make us little more than a pack of pigs with full bellies, grunting, shoving and grasping for more—even at each others expense. It would be a troublesome acquisition to obtain an abundance of goods and services without any system or structure to avoid or eliminate the distributive inequalities we struggle now to abolish. This must not drive us to import theories of redistribution, however, and apply them mechanically. For each struggle of a given people requires a particular approach and those who import ideas at random reveal an obvious ignorance of the particular nature of each struggle and will suffer serious setbacks from such a policy. We must think seriously in terms of Ujamaa, collective and cooperative economics, and being to build structures that reflect our attachment to it as the mode of production and distribution most suitable to our needs and in harmony with our values. Cloaking ignorance and reactionary ideas and acts in revolutionary terms and titles and the insistence on stressing "class" distinctions among blacks is counterproductive and tends to deepen the man and varied divisions that already exist. There are no classes among blacks as President Touré says for we all belong to one class, the "class of the dispossessed." The middle sector of the black community has none of the standard attributes of a class and, the sectoral behavior it engages in is but a pale imitation of its imagined white counterpart. This sector has neither the attitude, access nor ability attributed to class. It has no mission vis-a-vis society except to lose itself and its political loyalties are externally oriented, both of which are uncles-like postures. Nor does this middle sector have privileged access to production, distribution, marketing and decision-making. Moreover, it has no ability to impose, shape, and enjoy key values of the society, and it lives in constant threat of losing its tenuous and mostly technical relationship with the ruling class of whites. 

BUT THOUGH WE FIND no applicability of the class analysis to the black community now, we cannot deny the reality of the possibility of middle sectoral behavior evolving into a rigid and reactionary class posture and attempting to acquire real power in order to imitate in more concrete terms its imagined white counterpart by exploiting and oppressing. History will not let us claim Africans or blacks in general never had the desire for acquisition and are exampt form exploitative


tendencies. That would be a very naive and unnecessary contention, for we know that contradictions exist in all societies. But what is essential here is the extent and origin of the contradictions and the structural methods and moral urgency to check them. It is true that the rationalization for acquisitiveness was devised and developed in Europe and that communalism existed in Africa, Asia and pre-European America before Marx or his ancestors. But Europe extended into these areas and did not leave without leaving a legacy. This is a reality we cannot run away from in order to satisfy some subjective need to claim an unnecessary purity. And even if we do not read the daily literature that proves the legacy was left, a rational approach to history would lead us down the same road. Likewise, we are in America, the most extensively imperialist and capitalist country in history and we cannot pretend this has not had its historical and present day effect on us. Therefore, we must reject mystification of our capacity for good and accept and respond to the fact that without structures and principles to prevent us and continuously reconvert us, the blackest among us would be as crudely acquisitive as the coldest capitalist or caveman. 

Politically we need also to develop our perspectives in the framework of nationalist ideology. We must understand that our fundamental struggle is for space. We must occupy and control space in every area that serves our interest. Space is essentially an institutional concept and can be defined as an area or unit of identifiable interest. Wherever our collective interests are involved we must have the power to protect them and we cannot do it if we do not occupy and control adequate space. Space can be viewed on three levels; vital, developmental and strategic space. Vital space is space that is necessary for survival, and irreducible area of definite use and value to a people. Homes, schools, religious, social, economic and basic political institutions all fall within this realm. Developmental space is tied up with the notion of expansion, of a people extending itself in the ocean of infinite possibilities available. It involves building alternative solidarities, systems and institutions whose main function is to develop as opposed to defend or simply to survive. And strategic space is defensive space, an extension into alien and often hostile areas to secure an avante-garde position, to seek out and identify the opposition's intentions, weaknesses and attitudes and to take advantage of them. 

IT SEEMS TO US that the debate on the value of electoral politics is best resolved by seeing this as one aspect of the larger movement toward national liberation, another move to occupy and control space. But one of the main drawbacks of electoral politics is that the majority of the black politicians do not have the aspirations of the people at heart nor do they have a grasp of the dimensions and needs of our struggle. They fake it off until elected then, go off searching for an institutional alternative to the constituency that elected them. Moreover, there are some serious questions about the viability of a numerical minority in parliamentary politics, especially when that minority is politically unsophisticated and can be easily manipulated by the opposition as examples of how well his system works. But though occupying an elected office does not in itself insurance power or contribution to the struggle, it seems in all fairness to those black politicians who are sincere, conscious and trying to be committed that we should support them and at the same time attempt to remold them, by restructuring our relationships with them and helping to develop their perspectives. It is a secret to no one that traditional politicians do not have any serious respect for nationalists as a whole. And really we cannot condemn them on that level, for our general projection has not been as sophisticated and impressive as we might want to think. Most of us are known for interrupting meetings, not for controlling a constituency and if one deals in parliamentary politics it is the constituency that counts. Therefore, the embarrassed politician makes a public concession in our presence

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