Since the dominant image of revolutionaries provided to the masses today is that rugged individual man, most people do not even see women and non-men when they think of revolutionaries and its certainly unlikely that people think of falling in love when they think of revolutionary organizing. I would counter that people genuinely pursuing a revolutionary consciousness and lifestyle are capable of exhibiting some of the highest examples of what a healthy relationship can look like. For example, our revolutionary Nkrumahist/Tureist ideology (not Marxist/Leninist, get that right) inspires us as revolutionary Pan-Africanists to embrace the most healthy expressions of our revolutionary African personality and culture. Our humanist, collectivist, and egalitarian culture. Therefore, if we are serious about our work, we can never be satisfied to see people as a means to an end. Our humanism always requires us to see people as the end all by themselves. That means as men, we cannot see our mates as simply a vessel to channel our sexual desires, etc. We have to be striving to see our mates as our life partners. Our soulmates. People we can build capacity with. People we can make solid and legitimate contributions with. People we can enjoy life with. People we can support to reach their fullest potential.
Revolutionaries cannot be satisfied with being self centered and/or egotistical. Revolutionaries must strive to always be selfless and humble. I'm certainly a work in progress, but I'll place my sincerity and effort against anyone at any time. My commitment to our humanist principles doesn't make me feel strange about expressing my ability to fall in love. Instead, I'm proud to tell all of you all that I'm very much in love. Head over heels in love. But, what does that mean in 2018 in a capitalist society? For this Nkrumahlist/Tureist it means I have a person to build a covenant with. Someone who is worthy of me placing my trust in them. Someone who I am going to be very careful to always cultivate that trust and honor. Unfortunately, we live in a patriarchal, racist, and capitalist dominated world and as a man, I do not possess the ability to escape the pitfalls of that backward system. The beauty of revolutionary love though is having a partner who can and does see that I'm always trying to battle what this backward system has forced upon me. She isn't going to judge me by one thing, but by my body of work. She's going to have the patience to work with me because she knows and trusts I'm going to do the work to get better. On the flip side, I know that this patriarchal system has caused her great pain. I'm always going to ensure I'm as sensitive to that as I can possibly be. I'm going to always go that extra step to make sure she's safe and that she knows I'm here for her the way she needs me to be. Revolutionary love requires that level of humanism.
I'm not saying all of this happens without struggle. Revolutionary struggle is based on principles of dialectical and historical materialism. If you want to become a better soccer player, a better pianist, a better writer, you have to practice. Over and over again. Sekou Ture told us "quantity makes quality." We have to make mistakes in order to learn how to move forward and do things better. I make mistakes all the the time. I worry about things. I have dysfunctional ways of looking at things. I'm a product of this backward society. The difference between revolutionary love and capitalist love is revolutionary love always acknowledges the dysfunction and continuously finds ways to work through it whereas capitalist love spends all its time and energy trying to cover up and dismiss the dysfunctions, thus making them more explosive in the process.
Another problem is that most people in this capitalist reality are unhappy with their lives and all the material possessions purchased do absolutely nothing to eliminate that unhappiness. In fact, the pressure of having to pay for all that stuff usually enhances the stress. As a result of all this trauma, most people, being unhappy themselves, are not positioned to be happy for you. So, when you have a revolutionary love relationship where you are trying to embody the values I've discussed here, don't expect lots and lots of people to be there in support of your union. Its not going to happen. That's why that covenant between you and your partner is so very important. Anyone who tries to create a problem and drama for my partner has an instant enemy in me. And, I'm not going to be anyone's first choice for an enemy, ever. I feel like I have the same value from her so the haters are just going to have to hate because we are committed to not bragging about what we have, but hopefully, helping others learn about what we are doing well. And studying others to figure out how to improve what we can improve upon.
Just imagine for a moment if all of our personal relationships were governed by humanist and collective principles? Our communities would be vibrant and productive. Not destructive. Our relationships would be powerful and forward moving. Not divisive and negative. This is what we all should be striving for. I'm very thankful for the opportunity to make a very important contribution to this crucial area of our lives and our work. The stronger our relationships, the stronger our organizations. The stronger our organizations the stronger our communities. The stronger our communities, the stronger our world will be. So, if you are committed to us becoming stronger, the next time you feel that special something when you look at someone, be thinking about whether you are looking to build a revolutionary covenant with that person? Or, are you just seeing them as a means to an end? Push yourself to rise up. Our future generations are depending upon us.