Of course, the Movement in Jackson is taking up questions we're not yet dealing with, or even prepared to deal with: what are the reasonable political expectations we should have at this point, what does socialist regional political organizing around an advanced program really look like, what ids our relationship to other parties and to the Democrats, what might socialist (re)construction look like in our situation right now?
The article begins with a fundamental quote from Amilcar Cabral:
“Our agenda includes topics whose importance and acuteness are beyond doubt and in which one concern is predominant: The Struggle. We note, however, that one type of struggle we regard as fundamental is not explicitly mentioned in this agenda, although we are sure that it was present in the minds of those who drew it up. We are referring to the struggle against our own weaknesses. We admit that other cases may differ from ours. Our experience in the broad framework of the daily struggle we wage has shown us that, whatever the difficulties the enemy may create, the aforenamed is the most difficult struggle for the present and the future of our peoples. This struggle is the expression of the internal contradictions in the economic, social and cultural (therefore historical) reality of each of our countries. We are convinced that any national or social revolution which is not founded on adequate knowledge of this reality runs grave risks of poor results or of being doomed to failure” – Amilcar Cabral
The article demonstrates what criticism/self-criticism should consist of, and adds the necessary ingredient--solidarity in a spirit of revolution and internationalism. Take in the depth of Kali Akuno's wisdom here:
For my part, I will continue to struggle for the realization of the Jackson-Kush Plan through the work and contributions of Cooperation Jackson and the construction of a new political organization to help fill in some critical gaps that exist in the movements for revolutionary social transformation in the US. It is my sincere hope that the New Afrikan People’s Organization, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and the administration of Chokwe Antar Lumumba will make the course corrections suggested herein. Our movement has nothing to gain by pursuing the path of collaboration and compromise. If anything, without a major course correction, the Lumumba administration is structurally poised to reenact an “American” version of the neo-liberal tragedy currently being executed and administered on the Greek people by Syriza. It is only by pursuing a revolutionary path, however difficult it may appear in the short-term from the perspective of having to be a “responsible” administrative force, that we, as a movement, will gain. This would entail pursuing things like a comprehensive food sovereignty program, with the elicit aid of working class vehicles like Cooperation Jackson and the People’s Assembly, to eliminate the threat of food being used as a weapon, that would require converting most, if not all, of the cities vacant properties into urban farms. This would entail creating administration supported people’s markets and distribution centers, and support for a local alternative currency or token, to help facilitate the exchange of this community produced value.
The Syriza Trap is not completely inevitable. Clear leadership, with a clear plan, and uncompromising will can still go another route. I say this because I know all conscious political actors make mistakes and we all have the ability to learn from them, and most importantly, correct them. It is in this light that I note that despite our present differences, we have to be cognizant of that fact that in the face of the concentrated power of our enemies, that none of our differences ultimately rise above those posed to us collectively by the systems of capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, white supremacy, and hetero-patriarchy and their conscious and willing agents and enablers. The process of “unity-struggle-unity” is still applicable on the level of alliances, fronts, and blocs. When and where possible, I look forward to allying with the Lumumba administration, NAPO, MXGM and many other organizations in the common struggle to dismantle the systems of hierarchy, alienation, and oppression and construct a new world, beginning in Jackson, but in no way limited to it.
In a few paragraphs we get a leading activist's view which transcends and pushes beyond the usual discourse of the U.S. left. We get necessary connections made between Syriza and Jackson, a point we have been discussing here, and a dialectical view of how necessary contradictions or tensions between a politically advanced urban administration and the New Afrikan People's Organization and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement move all of us forward. It helps that there is a crucial distinction made in this article between primary and secondary contradictions. It's not that I agree with everything in the post so much as that there are important new starting points here which should cause us to reexamine our thinking and deepen a specifically socialist consciousness and work, realigning our thinking, consciousness, and practice. I don't agree with much that I hear from Black Agenda Report, but I have to respect the differences, and I know that many Marxist-Leninists do support BAR. When some local socialists threw some of Kali Akuno's words at us recently I did not know how to understand this. The post referenced here explains his thinking and also puts those socialists on the spot: they quoted selectively and without context. As Mao said, "No right to speak without investigation."
Read the post here.