A lot is being written about this so-called "American Descendants of Slaves (ADOS) movement. I've written a lot about it here. Since plenty of people re-post, forward, etc., the articles written on this blog, I'm often able to see comments from many people outside of the ideological spectrum I occupy. And, often, those comments are critical of the material produced here. Any self respecting revolutionary would have to expect that. And, we certainly cannot ever be thin skilled about criticism. Instead, what I look for is validity in the arguments being made against the material I'm producing. Most of the time, what I get are arrogant, short sighted attacks by Europeans (Whites) defending some version of this status quo. We certainly are never concerned about those attacks. As I've challenged the integrity of this ADOS argument, I've noticed quite a few Africans within the U.S. who tend to share my writings while offering lots of critiques, but very little that does much to discredit the materials I'm producing. This is important to note because one of the many challenges facing those of us who sincerely wish and work to dismantle capitalism is in us figuring out how to convince more minds of the people over profit values we hold dear. How we can do this when information, data, objective reality, all of these things seem to mean very little in this environment where truth and justice are 100% divorced from material reality.
A good example of history that helps explain why this struggle has become so difficult for us lies in evaluating the 6th Pan African Congress which was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1974. The history of these Pan-African Congress meetings is available for all who want to know about it, so it won't be repeated here (its repeated in many articles on this blog). What we will say is the disconnect between the historic 5th Pan African Congress, held in Manchester, England, in 1945, and the 6th Pan African Congress, held 29 years later in Tanzania, is critical to understand in order to develop a proper assessment of where phenomenon's like ADOS come from.
What we are presenting here is that class struggle is one of, if the the dominant, challenge that defines what characterized the differences between 5th Pan African Congress and 6th Pan African Congress (from here forward to be referred to as either 5th PAC or 6th PAC). This is not to say the 6th PAC had no historical value. Far from it. The 6th PAC was the first Pan African Congress held on African soil. That by itself, is historically significant. There was much struggle that was waged at that meeting that has continued to feed the international discussion and that is good. But, its that same class struggle that was expressed at the 6th PAC that reflects the same type of class struggle that has led to ADOS and similar currents. By class struggle, we are talking specifically about the question of who will own and control the means of production - the resources we depend upon to live on, grow with, sustain the planet and human and other life within it. Who will control those means? That question can only be answered two ways. Either some people will own it - capitalism, the current system, where a few people own and control the world's resources. Or, everyone will own it - meaning socialism, where the means of production are owned and controlled by the masses of people. We cannot determine any additional way to answer that question of who will own and control resources. And, we are convinced this question is the central question. Its central because the people who choose for all to own the wealth are the revolutionaries who are fighting to win the hearts and minds of the masses of people to carry out this relentless struggle to wrest control of these resources from the few capitalist elites who will do absolutely anything to maintain and sustain their control. Everyone else is working simply to find their place co-existing with the capitalist world order. These latter people wish to find compromise and common ground with capitalism. And, they will come up with any number of different looks to make capitalism seem more acceptable to the rest of us. In other words, for this latter group, continued oppression under capitalism is okay, as long as its not them receiving the brunt of that oppression. For revolutionaries, we desire for all our people, and all of humanity to not suffer oppression. We believe that ADOS - with its bourgeoisie position that Africans in America should break off from the rest of our worldwide African family to find some sort of financial settlement with capitalism - are clear examples of this class struggle. No where do these people in ADOS see our liberation as being inconsistent with capitalism. As a result, this struggle becomes a dominant struggle over whether we can be free under capitalism or not. We say we cannot. They say a few of us can. And, we say all of this fully aware of how this manipulative argument is carried out. Capitalism is so dominant and so systemic that those who support it don't even need to mention it. In fact, there is a strange reality at play here where some people never mention capitalism and therefore act as if by not mentioning it, they are somehow removed from it. As if they can operate with a neutral economy in place. The truth here is that no mention of capitalism automatically means support for capitalism because it is the dominant system in place in the world today. Its like when people don't mention white supremacy. By not mentioning it, they automatically contribute to its continued existence.
What we are saying here is these class contradictions didn't just start with ADOS, or the often class analysis lacking Afro-centricity movement before it, etc. This type of class struggle and antagonisms among African people, among all people on earth, have existed for thousands of years and ADOS is just simply the latest edition of African people anywhere who come up with a package deal that claims salvation under capitalism can be achieved by a few of us at the expense of the majority us. The age old divide and conquer technique used by ADOS explains why much of ADOS support comes from elements that possess extensive experience working to destabilize African and other movements for justice and forward progress (Progessive for Immigration Reform - the group Yvette Carnell - a main spokesperson for the ADOS movement, serves as a board director for that group, etc).
The 6th PAC is an effective example here of this class struggle because it occurred almost 45 years ago. Convened from June 3rd, to June 13th, 1974, in Dar es Salaam, 6th PAC served as the primary statement that the mass working class based foundation of the 5th PAC 29 years before was being replaced by this subtle compromise with capitalism that has come to define neo-colonialism.
The 5th PAC united Africans from all over the world under the primary resolution that Pan-Africanism must be defined as one unified socialist Africa. This definition solidified Pan-Africanism as an objective that sought to contribute to the worldwide socialist movement. The militant delegates at 5th PAC resolved to use mass parties to bring immediate independence to Africa and it was 5th PAC that ushered in the African independence movement. And, it was that African independence movement that heavily influenced the launching of African civil and human rights movements around the world, including the U.S. civil rights movement. And, don't take our word for that part. Study the words spoken about it from every major figure in the U.S. civil rights movement from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Ms. Fannie Lou Hamer, to Ella Baker. The 5th PAC made a specific call for liberation movements in Africa to form and for those liberation movements to build mass political parties that would serve to organize African people not just for nominal independence, but for the continued push for this one unified socialist Africa. In other words, 5th PAC was the line drawn in the sand. You were either for the masses of Africans and humanity, or you were with the enemies of humanity. There was no middle ground. What 6th PAC did was seriously muddy that line in the sand. The 1960s was the decade of class struggle in Africa and within the worldwide African liberation movement. As that decade came to a close the results were the overthrow of the National Congolese Movement and Patrice Lumumba in the Congo. The overthrow of the Convention People's Party and Kwame Nkrumah's government in Ghana and Mobido Keita's government in Mali. Meanwhile, the militancy of the Black power movement in the U.S. was being devastated by the illegal counterintelligence program as well as the compromising of the aims of Black power from Malcolm X's call for our liberation "by any means necessary" to dominant efforts to compromise by limiting our approach to absolutely nothing outside of the capitalist electoral system. The 1970s was the decade of neo-colonialism where European capitalist interests became firmly institutionalized throughout Africa. What this means is the Europeans may have physically left Africa, but the Africans who replaced them were 100% trained by them, loyal to their interests, and willing to do their exploitative bidding for the right price. So the operation of colonialism stayed in tact throughout Africa where African leaders became people who were most committed to maintaining Western capitalist interests in order to ensure their continued privilege. In the U.S., on a smaller scale, this was African mayors and other elected officials as the response to mass uprisings in the late 1960s. Eventually, this would even mean Africans occupying other more prominent positions within U.S. capitalism, like president in the person of Barack Obama from 2008 through 2016. Capitalism fully in force, undeterred, everywhere in the world from the U.S. throughout every state in Africa, but now in blackface.
The blueprint for this reality was revealed in the 6th PAC where the militancy of the 5th PAC was effectively disintegrated. C.L.R. James, the respected Pan-Africanist from Trinidad, was one of the original persons who called for the 6th PAC and because of his status in our movements, he was asked to be the Secretary General for the 6th PAC, but he resigned when the 6th PAC Secretariat prevented revolutionary elements to attend the 6th PAC. Much of the leadership for the 6th PAC was dominated by former militant activists within the U.S. civil rights movement. In fact, the tone of the 6th PAC was in many ways dominated by Western race/Black nationalist dialogue. Democratic Party of Guinea Secretary General and President of Guinea - Sekou Ture - was invited to give one of the main addresses during the 6th PAC and that he did. Still, one can easily research reactions to Ture's speech to find out that many of the delegates, dominated by Africans from the U.S., had a very hard time accepting Ture's call for class based revolutionary struggle where solidarity with non-African revolutionaries like the (then) Palestine Liberation Organization and Irish Republican Socialist Movements was lifted up above simple classless unity based on being "black." This reality is clearly born out by looking at the resolutions and their results at the 6th PAC. All of the militant pro-working class positions advanced from the 5th PAC were introduced at the 6th PAC for reaffirmation, but all of these revolutionary positions were voted down by the hundreds of primarily Western delegates in attendance in Dar es Salaam. The resolutions on making the destruction of capitalism, destroying neo-colonialism, liquidating foreign military bases in Africa, and eliminating patriarchy in our movement were all effectively voted down. Meanwhile, resolutions that highlighted "economic development" with no clear definition of what that meant, were approved which opened the way for imperialist dominated International Monetary Fund and World Bank re-colonizing of Africa to take place.
In summary the 6th PAC signaled the suppression of the revolutionary spirit of the 5th PAC and the lack of militancy and the cozy lying in bed with capitalism that ADOS and others proudly proclaim. The result of this class struggle is between 1945 and 1974 the forces of neo-colonialism effectively extinguished the revolutionary character of Pan-Africanism's most visible launching posts, the Pan-African Congresses. This current state should be viewed in the context of the massive amounts of resources imperialism is pouring into these neo-colonial efforts to ensure their success. ADOS supporters often say Pan-Africanism isn't relevant, but they cannot even attempt to address why something so ill relevant has sustained such horrific terror aimed against it from the assassination of Pan-Africanist leaders, the destabilization of the Pan-Africanist parties in power, the strangling of Pan-African societies, the sabotage of Ghana, Guinea, Libya, and other legitimate Pan-Africanist governments, etc. In other words, why was so much effort placed into suppressing militancy and international anti-imperialism at the 6th PAC to the extent that the 7th PAC in 1994 in Uganda, and the 8th PAC in Ghana in 2008 continued much more so in the compromised vein of the 6th PAC, further distancing themselves from the anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, and pro-socialism and revolutionary Pan-Africanism of the 5th PAC?
The answer here is probably contained in the sad yet true lyrics of Publc Enemy's classic jam "Welcome to the Terrordome" where Chuck D raps that "every brother ain't a brother..." The analysis is still the same in 2019 and beyond. Some of us want liberation for all our people and all of humanity. Some of us just want to secure a place for privileged segments of our population. The proof is in the analysis. The folks wanting complete liberation have a plan for how everyone can become free. That plan can be partially understood by reading Nkrumah's "Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare." That plan is being worked on and built by revolutionary Pan-African forces today. Meanwhile, the folks wanting class privilege cannot even speak to mass liberation coherently. They cannot point you to any clear plan about liberation and certainly no practical work taking place for liberation. Many of these latter people want to continue to carry out this charade that there is a middle ground. We don't have to be revolutionary. We can compromise with imperialism and win. Its time for us to go back to the spirit coming out of the 5th PAC. No middle ground. The question for all of us needs to be simply, what side will you be on?
Yvette Carnell, one of the primary voices behind this so-called "American Descendants of Slaves (ADOS)" movement, is a director for the so-called Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR). That's not the most egregious element here though. Carnell is the type of person who presents serious miss information while draping herself in the American flag, the height of personal opportunism. So, we certainly aren't surprised that such a selfish opportunist would be affiliated with losers like PFIR. Our concern is that so many African people are warming to Carnell's rhetoric on critical issues like the very real connection between Africans born in the U.S. and outside the U.S. Carnell and her ADOS movement are doing everything they can to increase the wedge between our African family and that's dangerous. And, for no realistic reason that will benefit African people anywhere, but for simple opportunism as her connection to PFIR clearly illustrates.
We say the above because PFIR is nothing except a 2019 representation of the old Southern Strategy approach to racist xenophobia. With the number of African sellouts who have figured out there's money available for any of us who will cape and coon for their capitalist masters, none of us should be surprised by the fact an African woman would/could be considered a spokesperson for our people while at the same time being a board member for something like PFIR. This so-called immigration reform organization relies on the subtle racism of the Southern Strategy approach by claiming their position is based on a desire to (quoting their website) "protect American workers from unemployment and wage suppression." The irony of this is the inference that our Indigenous (Latino/a) family members, as well as Africans who have come to the U.S. recently, are somehow the reason Africans within the U.S. cannot find employment and stability. We challenge anyone anywhere to question the fact that African people in the U.S. have had the highest unemployment in this country since the days of chattal slavery when all of us were "employed" as free and brutalized labor for the construction of this country. The reason for this is that capitalism has been built and maintained on exploiting Africa and Africans (along with everyone else). So, this system - which is based on our subjugation - is never going to provide stability for us. Our purpose for being in the Western Hemisphere was simply to provide the stability for this backward system, at our expense. No immigrant labor is taking employment opportunities away from us and not a single person reading this can prove otherwise. The capitalist system is solely responsible for our suffering. Thousands of jobs each year are shipped overseas in order to save costs for capitalist corporations. The future and this increasing reliance on artificial intelligence indicates continued loss of employment opportunities for the most expendable labor communities in this country. The massive push to weaken labor unions by big money and to privatize anything public sector is a part of the agenda of multi-national corporations. Not immigrant labor. The U.S. Post Office is an example. Big money has been working since 2006 to destabilize the Post Office. A large percentage of African people historically work within public sector institutions like the Post Office and other government agencies because the hiring process is at least slightly more objective than the private sector and public sector unions at least provide some protection against racist employment practices. Our people know that the privatization of public sector jobs means disaster for us because employers can more easily hide their racist hiring and managing practices. None of that has anything to do with immigrant labor. Absolutely nothing.
We are a people who have been blessed with outstanding spokespeople. Even if you just look at Africans within this U.S. alone, this is true. Malcolm X, Marcus and Amy/Amy Garvey. W.E.B. and Shirley DuBois. Paul Robison. Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael). Ruby Doris Robinson. Assata Shakur. Jamil Abdullah al-Amin (H. Rap Brown). People who are/were principled and focused and dedicated solely to our liberation by any means necessary. People who died for the most part with little to no personal assets because their lives were dedicated to one thing only - courageous and selfless confrontation against the forces who oppress Africa, Africans, and humanity. As a result, all of those people had sense enough to understand the forces that hold us down are international in operation. Therefore, common sense dictates that an international formation of African unity is absolutely necessary to facilitate bringing down the beast that disrespects us.
On the other hand, we've also had a series of race hustlers and phonies who prey upon our vulnerabilities (and our unwillingness to study our movements and histories) to develop messages designed to appeal to our sensitivities while draining whatever limited resources we possess. I'm talking specifically about people like this Candace Owens, Umar Johnson, Tariq Nasheed, and Yvette Carnell and this Antonio Moore. Social media celebrities who rely on our ignorance to exploit us. These people are great preachers. They sound great, but when you peel back the surface, there's nothing there. No reparations for the masses of African people. No wealth building. No independent schools, nothing. We have schools we operate/support from Sacramento/Portland to Ghana, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, with little to no money. We are talking about thousands of African youth in Kiswahili, Twi, Malinde, and English, etc. All learning about revolutionary Pan-Africanism and building a worldwide African liberation movement. Meanwhile, some of you are contributing millions of dollars to a hustle that hasn't liberated one African mind. And, you wouldn't contribute five cents to sincere and operational efforts like those we are working so hard to build.
These ADOS people are pushing an agenda of reparations that really tarnishes the legitimate legacy of the reparations movement so principally represented by organizations like N'Cobra, Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), Black United Front, and other organizations. Carnell and her ilk have reduced this question of reparations down to a weak attempt to parlay themselves into some money and many of you are unwittingly (or maybe you see dollar signs also) playing along with this foolishness.
Meanwhile, we permit Carnell to claim to speak for the interests of Africans within the U.S. while she shamelessly represents this PFIR which employs people like Leah Durant who was the attorney for the John Tanton Network which has promoted eugenics e.g. the studies advanced by people like "Professor" Benson from U.C. Berkeley and William Shockley from Stanford and others who produced the racist "Bell Curve study" which attempts to make a civilized argument (Southern Strategy) to justify claiming African people are intellectually inferior to Europeans. Just to be clear, eugenics isn't something opposed by PFIR, but supported. So, knowing all of this, if you continue to support opportunists like Carnell, then at this point, you are as much a part of the problem as she is. Reparations, organized for in a principled way, has never been advanced outside the paradigm of Pan-African unity. Liberation for African people can never be seriously argued within a micro nationalist framework. African identify is a political statement against the forces that oppress Africa and African people worldwide. Similarly, any African who actively embraces American identify, as Carnell and her people do, make the political statement that their personal interests supersede any legitimate concerns for the conditions of the masses of Africans, even within the U.S. alone.
Kwame Ture used to often repeat the old African proverb that "when you boil dirty water, the scum always rises to the top!" If you understand Carnell and her relationship to PFIR, yet you still see her as champion for African people without smelling the disgust of her actual political foundation, then you clearly are not seriously concerned about advancing African people. So, we aren't speaking to you, but to those who sincerely wish to understand and do something about this terrible situation we remain in that so many of these hustlers work so hard to capitalize off of.
Examples are everywhere. Whether you live here in Sacramento, California, U.S., where the most recent indignity was the decision by the enforcers of capitalism to (big surprise) not press charges against the armed slave catcher terrorists who shot down Stephon Clark. Or, whether you live anywhere else on Earth, the pattern is still the same. Immediately after that decision here in Sacramento, people hit the streets to express their righteous anger. For a few days after that decision, hundreds of people did this. Now, a week or so later, quiet again dominates the streets of Sacramento. Business as usual. Capitalism flexing its power and oppression over us without the slightest consequences. That same subtle message, that we can yell, but we can't win, is reinforced. And if you don't live in Sacramento you hardly have space to scuff. I can take the last several sentences, change the names and places, and the same scenario played out for Eric Garner in New York, Tamir Rice, Kendra James, Sandra Bland, everyone shot down by British police, French police, Australian police, etc. Yet, there is never going to be any shortage of people who have strong opinions on the issue. And, each time, every time, we continue to play out Kwame Ture's often cited theme that "African people rise up, tear up the city, and then sit down for 29 years!"
I currently live in Sacramento, California, U.S., the sixth largest city in the largest state within the U.S. Sacramento is nestled in between the world famous city of San Francisco (from wence I hail) and the breathtaking Sierra Nevada, the home of Lake Tahoe. This city stands with the San Joaquin Valley, one of the largest food producing regions in the world, just minutes to the South. Sacramento's the capitol city of California with one of the most racially diverse populations anywhere. The metropolitan area is slightly over 1 million people with Africans, Asians, Indigenous people (Latinos/Natives, etc.), and Europeans each accounting for no less than about 15% of the state's population.
Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) fourth from right, at the Democratic Party of Guinea headquarters in 1997. With him are cadre from the Pan-African Union of Sierra Leone, African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau, Convention People's Party of Guinea, Gambia, and other Pan-African formations. Laying the groundwork for Pan-Africanism as Kwame Nkrumah articulated in the "Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare." Much more than what you have probably have as your perception of the All African People's Revolutionary Party today.
The truths we need have always been here, but I can say that's its never more obvious than it is today. Those truths are that capitalism as a system developed and evolved out of the enslavement of my African ancestors. The systems of colonialism and slavery that were set up for this process still represent the mechanisms that drive the world today, meaning our people are on the bottom for a reason. That reason is we must continue to be oppressed because the capitalist world depends on the human and material resources of Africa, African people, and the rest of humanity, to survive, function, and maintain its control.
If you don't follow professional basketball and/or just missed it, an accident happened last night in the game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S. During the second quarter, Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook got into a heated exchange with a fan sitting closely behind the Thunder bench. Anyone who follows pro basketball knows that Westbrook, one of the game's best players, has a long history of extreme intensity and quirkiness, but none of that excuses the immediate racism that displayed itself immediately after this incident became public.
I was was born and raised in San Francisco, California, U.S. Born in the Kaiser Hospital on Geary Blvd that is still there to the best of my knowledge. I lived there until a few months after barely graduating high school. In the summer of 1979, after spending my first 17 years in San Fran, I left the city to pursue my growth and although I visited the city regularly to see my parents/family, I haven't lived in the city since.
Slavery by definition means a system where people are forced to provide labor to another group who holds power over them. Most people understand that definition for slavery, but most people are also overwhelmingly confused about the systems of slavery that have existed within human history. The confusion mostly results with people conflating different periods of the history and implementation of the terrible systems of slavery. And, of course, this confusion isn't by accident. Its by shrewd design.
First, we must discuss slavery as an economic system. As our great revolutionary Pan-Africanist theorist and practitioner Sekou Ture so clearly and accurately articulated in the classic work "Strategy and Tactics of the African Revolution - The History of Class Struggle", human history has evolved from one period of economic dominance to another. And this evolution has been based on people's ability to engage the forces of nature so as to attempt to shape them in ways that would develop our possibilities as human beings to exist and advance. Certainly, this phenomenon cannot be discussed without acknowledging the conflict that has helped shape and define this process. That conflict Ture correctly identifies as the development of class antagonisms e.g. class struggle. And, its these contradictions that have played a significant role in shaping human history.
The capitalists, and by definition, when we say capitalists, we are talking about the ruling class families that own the overwhelming majority of the wealth in the world today. We are talking about families like the Kelloggs, Duponts, Morgans, and Rockefellers. And, the reason we say families when we are talking about the capitalists is these few families actually own the majority of everything around us. In other words, the worldwide "Occupy" movement from 2011 helped popularize the phrase "the 1%", but most people can't articulate the meaning in clear terms behind that phrase. What it means is those 1% e.g. the Rockerfellers, etc., are only 1% of the population, but that class of people own about 75% of all of the production apparatus in the world today. Meanwhile, just within the U.S., the richest country on earth, 90% of the U.S. population has assets that are negligible, meaning practically everyone here is in debt - meaning they owe more than then they own. Obviously, as unbelievable as it may seem, these numbers are even more one sided outside of the U.S. where the deepest poverty exists. So, we are talking about these ruling families when we say capitalists. And, to give further perspective on their control, we can use the Rockerfellers as a quick example. That family owns controlling interest, e.g. dominant stock, in Chevron Oil Company and all its international subsidiaries. They own controlling interest in Chase Manhattan Bank and all its subsidiaries. They own controlling interest in the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and all of its subsidiaries (like CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, etc.). One family owns all those resources which gives them the ability to shape oil policy internationally, which you know has been, and will continue to be, a major component in shaping everything from capitalist foreign policy, armed invasions, coups attempted and supported in sovereign countries, etc., while having control of the mass media outlets that shape people's perceptions of what they are doing. Or, as Malcolm X succinctly put it; "during World War II, they told you the Germans were the bad guys and the Russians were our friends. After World War II they told you the Germans were our friends and the Russians were our enemies. Each time you believed them." So, we start by naming the capitalists because its important to name the people who pillage the planet and murder and oppress the majority of people who inhabit it.
Next, its important to state clearly that although these capitalists, who are in control today, want all of us to believe they have always been in control, and will always be in control, that couldn't be farther from the truth. The capitalists certainly have a strong stake in convincing people of this because as long as people believe their control is unquestioned, they won't believe they can ever do anything to stop them. As was stated in the beginning, Ture told us already that the world is a series of human developments and economics is certainly within that historical realm. The world hasn't always been capitalist. In fact, the world is thousands of years old while capitalism as a system is only a few hundred years old. In order to understand slavery as an economic system, we have to understand this history. There were dominant economic systems before capitalism and there will be economic systems after capitalism. The first documented system of human development as it relates to economics was the system of communalism. This system is considered the most basic form of human production because it existed at a time in history - thousands of years ago - when human beings hadn't yet developed large cohesive social systems. In other words, a good example of what a communal society would have probably looked like would be what you see if you watch the television show "The Walking Dead." In that show, smaller social aggregates of people e.g. 100 to 200 people, etc., form societies. In those societies, people organize systems of hunting for food, providing shelter, organizing their small society. The important thing about this period in history is that these communal societies were people focused, meaning they were based and organized around meeting people's needs. Another important element is these societies, much like the television show I mentioned, mostly don't know about any other similarly organized societies and/or don't have any interaction with them. Communalism as the dominant economic system existed for thousands of years, but as Ture discusses, humans continue to evolve (in the dialectical sense, meaning all actions create a reaction and that reaction is going to be positive and negative with one dominating more than the other).
As populations grew, people became more conscious of others outside their communities. And, more importantly, people began to understand that there would come a point where they could no longer exist independent of other communities of people. Obviously, this reality caused tensions to rise. And, at some point during this dialectical process, people figured out that there were some people who could physically dominant other people and this power to do so would give the first group power to exploit the second group for the first group's benefit. People identified as men during this period began the systemic practice of physically dominating other human beings, particularly women, non-men. And, this period of history, approximately 10,000 to 20,000 years ago, ushered in the system of slavery which became the dominant economic system. By slavery during this period, we mean the system where people work for others to create wealth for them. Of course, this significant change from communal times where people's needs were dominant, to this period of slavery where wealth for one group was the priority over the exploitation of another group, class divisions began to develop. As you can guess from the initial analysis of this period, its also the first time when patriarchy as a systemic system of oppression against women and non-men was institutionalized. As slavery evolved as a system, class divisions intensified and consequently, class struggle intensified. Still, its critically important to make a clear distinction between this dominant system of slavery thousands of years ago from the transatlantic slave trade of hundreds of years ago. This system of slavery was the dominant system all over the world. There is no known country in history that didn't practice slavery as its dominate system. That's the only way it could be dominant. This meant slavery was dominant in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. That means class divisions and class struggle developed in all of those societies. The concept that some societies had no class divisions is a fantasy and a myth.
Today, the enemies of African liberation (and liberation for all oppressed peoples) make every effort to create confusion on this question of slavery. They are so quick to point out to the Africans claiming injustice that "Africans had slaves!" They also want it known that "the Arabs traded for slaves in Africa!" From a scientific and historic standpoint, they are not wrong. I have just demonstrated that every country had slavery, but there is deception at work here. For example, when zionists, the people who justify the theft of Palestinian land in the maintenance of their illegal state of "Israel", claim their justification for Palestinian land is that "their people" inhabited that region thousands of years ago as slaves of the Egyptians (Kemitic people of North Africa). Yes, they claim "Jews were enslaved in Egypt." The truth is Africans, who were the people in that region during the time the Bible was written to reference, enslaved other Africans, regardless of religion, because as has been stated, that was the dominant economic system at that time. There is absolutely no evidence that the people who run "Isreal" today, the descendants of Europe known as "Ashkanazi Jews" were evident in North Africa thousands of years ago. Its also true that although many people beyond Europeans, including Africans, did participate in the transatlantic slave trade, e.g. kidnapping and selling our ancestors into slavery, their participation doesn't today have any impact on the state of Africa or her children just as the economic system of slavery doesn't have that impact today, but keep that point in mind.
Another reason why this question is so confusing is because people don't understand that dominant economic systems doesn't mean they are the absolute only economic system in existence at a given time. There always has been overlap as you can imagine would be the case when you are talking about human development. Another way of saying that is people develop at different speeds so the systems aren't always going to be the same at the same time. That's why we say dominant economic system, not absolute without exception. For example, today, you have capitalism as the unquestionably dominant economic system in the world, but even in 2019, there are still areas in the world where slavery is practiced as an economic institution. There are still areas where feudalism, the system of kingdoms/queendoms were the dominant economic system, is practiced. There are even remote areas where communal living is still practiced, but capitalism is the system of production that controls the world today. Feudalism isn't controlling anything for anyone not living within that realm and that also goes for all of the other non-dominant systems. Still, because of this uneven development, of course there is still slavery in Africa and other places, etc. The main point here, and the reason I asked you to hold the earlier point about Africans, Arabs, Indigenous people of the Americas, who participated in enslaving Africans, is because none of those people and their role in our enslavement is a factor in our oppression today. The capitalist system, which was built on our enslavement, and is maintained on our oppression built from that model, is the priority reason we are oppressed today. That's why we choose, unlike some of you, to focus on capitalism and not all of those other ill relevant factors.
What we are saying here is if the majority of people on Earth are starving, why would we define the world based on a few people who have enough to eat. Of course, we recognize them and figure out how to replicate what they are doing, or in the case of modern day slavery, etc., wipe it out, but we certainly can't define the world based on the outdated models. What we can say is due to the nature of class struggle, those Africans blaming Indigenous people, Arabs, etc., for any role any of their people played in enslaving us, we are being very dishonest to ignore that Africans did exactly the same thing to us. And, these people cannot produce any real evidence to demonstrate that our people participated any less, etc. than anyone else, but as I've already declared, that at best, is a minor argument that doesn't in any way hold the keys to our liberation.
So, as Ture correctly articulated, communalism evolved into slavery which evolved into feudalism which gave way to capitalism which, we believe, will give way to socialism, which will give way to communism, and what comes after that we haven't evolved enough to know yet, but people will figure it out. And, the transatlantic slave trade, the system responsible for the masses of African people in the Western Hemisphere today (the Americas), was the system that financed the so-called industrial revolution that created capitalism and its dominance today. The point is we fight against capitalism because this system sits on the necks of our people and all of humanity. Their system comes out of our oppression so no one who studies this question can deny our rights to be completely opposed to this system. Meanwhile, since we are against all forms of oppression, we definitely cannot dismiss those who suffer today under slavery. This system has to be put to bed as it will be eventually, but we also cannot permit those attempting to exploit these systems to convince people that slavery happening in remote areas here and there is the defining system in a world where most of us have no connection to that slavery. Even those remote areas are impacted in every way by capitalism and certainly none of us reading this can claim with a healthy mind that we are not impacted by capitalism in every waking moment we spend on earth.
We argue that we organize and eliminate capitalism and that sets the groundwork for also eliminating all of the overlapping and outdated systems. Nothing will be absolute at the same time, but we will continue to make progress this way.
Hopefully, now you understand why we focus our attention on dismantling capitalism. And, hopefully, you also understand why we are convinced that some of your efforts to continue to make these ill relevant points about today's vestiges of ancient systems of oppression only serve the purpose of confusing and unnecessarily dividing us from the most pressing task at hand today - organizing against and dismantling this brutal and oppressive capitalist system.