Isn't all of this fascinating? I mean, in 2014, with an information based society e.g. you have information at your finger tips 24/7 - people still walk around believing that because they are from a place, or even that they know someone who was from a place even if they themselves haven't been there, that this is a qualification to understand and articulate the history and practices of that place. Clearly, we all know there are plenty of people who live in whatever place we currently live in who have no clue what is taking place there politically, culturally, socially, and certainly economically. So, we all know being from somewhere, and certainly just talking to someone from that place, is no qualification of anything. Then, with the internet age, there are people who think because they can watch videos of practically anything on youtube and/or read articles about anything online, that they are engaging in a scholarly approach to acquiring information. I believe it was the University of Chicago, Wisconsin, one of those Mid West schools, that came out with a study that said people who regularly watch FOX News know less about what's taking place in this society, and around the world, then people who watch no news on a regular basis. So, just because you are watching videos and reading articles doesn't mean you are learning anything useful. In fact, you are probably losing ground in the pursuit of intellectual capability.
Sorry folks, the only proven and effective way to increase your brain capacity, your ability to reason, your understanding of how to breakdown complex social, political, and economic phenomenon, is to do that dirty four letter word most of you avoid like the plague - READ! Now wait a minute sir. You are telling people the solution is to read, but just previously, you stated that reading anything on line is not sufficient to increase your knowledge! You are contradicting yourself! No, I'm not. By READ, what we mean is training yourself to participate in an arduous process of sitting down with books of a complex nature on a regular basis and training your brain to interpret, dissect, and analyze the information you are putting in front of yourself. Now, I've been a member of the All African People's Revolutionary Party for 30 years this year. Within this organization we have a process called work study. In this process, we meet every two weeks and study. We read everything from "The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey" to "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa" to "Class Struggle in Africa, Revolution, Culture, and Pan-Africanism, The Communist Manifesto, Dialectical and Historical Materialism, Africa on the Move, Unity and Struggle, Crisis in Capitalism, etc." Then we have a world geo-political section where we read history and current happenings in hot spots like Zimbabwe, Palestine, Ireland, Sudan, Congo, Brazil, Haiti, etc. And, we not only read these materials, but we come together every two weeks and discuss these materials collectively in an effort to encourage, enhance, and cultivate collective ideological development. Then, we take that collective experience and we go out and organize events designed to educate our communities about what we have learned in an effort to contribute towards increasing the consciousness of society. We do this work because we understand that only when there is this type collective consciousness will we have the conditions for revolutionary change to take place.
Now, my point for telling about our work study process is because after 30 years of sitting down on a regular basis, reading complex materials, having a dictionary there to help me define and breakdown words and concepts, bringing my understanding of those concepts to other people and having them challenge my premises, having to defend my premises, having to develop my thoughts further, I can tell you a few things about this experience today. I can tell you that I have learned much more in The A-APRP's process then I learned achieving a Master's degree in the university. There is no question about that. I can tell you that I can easily step into practically any conversation, discussion, and/or event and dominate it if I choose to, and I'm not bragging when I say that. It's true because my brain is trained to be active, to analyze, to assess, to question, and it has developed a sharpness that most people frankly lack. Where people get it wrong is in assessing this ability to me and/or my A-APRP cadre comrades as individuals. No. These skills have been acquired through the collective process laid out in this post and you can achieve it also if you engage in the same process. You see, the brain is a muscle. This means it works like any other muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. Also, just like other muscles, we fool ourselves into thinking we are exercising this muscle when in reality, we aren't really. When you are watching those videos you think because you are hearing something that resonates and/or inspires you that you are engaging in the process I'm describing here, but it's not the same. It's different because by watching videos you are training your brain to receive the signals coming from the video and process them. You are using the tone, body language, and when applicable, even audience reactions to influence your brain. Therefore, you aren't doing the actual work to understand the concepts. Your brain is using all that criteria to shape your perception. In comparison, when you are reading you have none of those qualifying characteristics to "help" your brain. It's only you and the words. So, your brain has to work so much harder to comprehend what you are reading. That's what makes reading much more difficult and that's why most of you don't do it, but this is the only way you properly train your brain to become critical. And it's critical training that permits you to be able to read and breakdown the differences between critical works like Fidel Castro's "In Defense of Socialism" compared to any idiotic critique of socialism that one may find on the internet. If you don't have that training, you will be fooled into thinking there is no difference, and this is the fundamental break between just reading anything on the internet and learning how to READ.
So, if you are African and you desire to truly develop your brain to its full potential, then we strongly encourage you to look up your local A-APRP chapter and join it. If you don't want to do that, than join some other organization working for justice that has a study process. If they don't have one, start one. If you aren't African, do the same. If you want ideas, please go to the aaprp.intl.org where you can investigate our book list(s) and get ideas. Intellectualism isn't bad. Intellectualism motivated and dominated by capitalism is bad. Intellectualism as a tool for class suicide to bring information to the masses of the people is correct! That's why we appreciate and honor the contributions of people like Kwame Nkrumah, Sekou Ture, Amilcar Cabral, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Rosa Luxumberg, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Shirley Graham DuBois, Huey P. Newton, Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. DuBois, Thomas Sankara, Imbalia Camara, Kwame Ture, etc. All intellectuals of the highest order, whether they went to college or not. Let's work to foster and create an atmosphere where revolutionary intelligentsia is a great thing that all our youth aspire to obtain, but we have to model it first ourselves. Stop talking so much and start putting your head in more books! Maybe, when youth see you reading more, instead of running your mouth all the time, they will begin to want to do the same! Did your critical mind ever think of that?