Why, even the entertainment industry within capitalist societies, privately owned and dependent upon a public with a sheep mentality – serves the purpose of propaganda arm for international imperialism, often contributing mightily towards the negative portrayal of revolutionary consciousness and action. The examples are endless. The Killmonger character in the “Black Panther” movie. Vicious, ruthless, impatient, fueled by a thirst for revenge. Yet, with all of those negative traits, this person is supposed to be an African revolutionary. Any person with no research background on revolutions, and an eye open to popular culture like that movie – of which that definition easily represents about 90% of the general population – is going to be covertly and overtly influenced by this overwhelmingly negative example of what being a revolutionary is based upon. And, anyone operating in their right mind would not want to pursue that type of existence which is exactly the objective the enemies of humanity who own and control the entertainment industry have for us. This is the reason all of the fictional portrayals of people like Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Baker, Kwame Ture, Patrice Lumumba, Huey P. Newton, Fred Hampton, etc., may or may not have merit in the personal portrayals of these historical giants, but the actual foundation of the fictional accounts always comes up severely lacking.
The fundamental strategy of capitalism is to keep the masses of people ignorant. They do this by flooding popular media with nonstop nonsense designed to keep the people distracted. Reality shows, sports, entertainment gossip. The glorification of celebrity personalities. This is why the average person can tell you all about Lil Wayne and Kodak Black being pardoned from prison time while those same people couldn’t tell you anything about political prisoners like Jamil Abdullah al-Amin, Mutulu Shakur, or Russell Maroon Shoats, if their lives depended upon it. All of this keeps people focused on those things along with consistently purchasing items through a nonstop consciousness of retail therapy (to sooth the pain of being exploited by the capitalist system). Consequently, the environment has been created and solidified where intellectualism i.e. the pursuit of clarity around ideas, has been relegated to being viewed primarily as a negative. Even something elitist and anti-human as if trying to gain clarity to the problems of the world can be anti-human? Yet, this system has accomplished this and you can see the results by taking notice of the fact you will almost never see anyone reading large volume books anywhere. And, for those of you who just look for reasons to be contrary to any statement being made, lets quantify that last statement. Engage in a study and compare how many people you see reading comprehensive books (ideology, history, philosophy, etc.) compared to how many people you see on their phones and I think the point we are making is clearly established.
Along with this strong implementation of anti-intellectual culture, the concept of revolutionary consciousness is effectively diminished in this society to the point where people who express revolutionary consciousness i.e. building ideological mass and unity for action to create systemic change from capitalism to socialist development (revolution) are vilified as insane, dangerous, and untrustworthy. There was a time previously when one of the main critiques against revolutionary organizers was our inability to make our messages mass in character. Revolutionary organizers have gotten much better in this area, evolving beyond the 1960s, 70s, etc., Stalinist rhetoric of the “proletariat taking over the means of production.” Today, revolutionary organizers are efficient with using popular themes, and sometimes even popular figures, to advance messages through a broad and sophisticated knowledge of social media usage. So, in response to those developments, revolutionary organizers are now just easily dismissed primarily by a wide spread train of thought that doesn’t require even a half-hearted attempt to even realistically challenge the revolutionary thought and action being presented in any type of cognitive way. For example, how many times have you seen revolutionary literature immediately dismissed by naysayers who clearly didn’t even take time to read the literature before denouncing it? I wrote an article about a year ago and some dude gets on social media denouncing the article (it was a Pan-Africanist refute of the so-called American Descendant of Slaves (ADOs) movement). The sad thing was from a theoretical basis, this person considered themselves a Pan-Africanist who was vehemently opposed to ADOs (as they should be). The problem was this dude was so quick in pushing to achieve his only apparent objective – having his voice heard – that he clearly didn’t take 10 seconds to read any of the article I wrote and posted. When I pointed that obvious fact out to him, his response was to pivot to personal attacks against me despite the fact that dude wouldn’t know me if I walked right up to him and slapped him. At face value the scenario I just described is absolutely insane. Yet, this is a very common and very much acceptable practice today. Truth and justice and material reality couldn’t be more separated from one another. As a result, “your truth is your truth (who hasn’t heard that nonsense)” as if someone articulating the absurd notion that 1 + 1 equals 50 should somehow be permitted to believe that foolishness because “that’s their truth.”
This dysfunction has created an extremely dangerous reality where people operate openly under the false pretense that there is no universal truth. As a result, there can be no universal accountability. This is a wonderful state of affairs for the enemies of humanity because while they have us debating back and forth about everything under the sun except how we organize to get rid of them, their powerbase stays intact.
The primary goal of any revolutionary thinker and actor has to be stay motivated to challenge this difficult reality while continuing to advance messages that counter the common narrative. We need more messaging about collectivism to counter the dominant capitalist message of individualism (which plays so nicely along with the “my truth is my truth nonsense).” Within the current dominantly individualistic environment we function in, a simple (and scientifically ill refutable) statement like “join an organization working for justice” is met with intense hostility. We need more imagery depicting the narrative that if we come together, we can win to combat this constant barrage of propaganda (displayed so clearly in movies like “Queen and Slim”) where the dominant message is if we stand up (as individuals of course) we will lose every single time and lose drastically. We need messaging to promote the concept that faith in people is a realistic goal and that there are plenty of people out here worthy of trust to counter the backward and individualistic notion that no one can be trusted because (capitalist ideology) “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” And, finally, we have to strongly refute this anti-intellectualism by promoting organization and ongoing political education. We have to letting the backward narrative that watching imperialist news like MSNBC, BBC, CIA, and even al-Jazeera is worthy political education go unchallenged. We have to advance the correct notion that the only reliable way to get politically educated is for people to engage in collective study processes where they immerse themselves in political education study and struggle like they would immerse themselves in a workout at the gym. Full strength. Full speed ahead. And, with no hesitation. That’s the only way you make progress getting in shape and guess what, that’s the only way you advance your political consciousness. Thinking that reading social media articles individually is political education is like believing that doing television aerobics once every six months (while the rest of your time is spent engaging in unhealthy behavior) is getting in shape. Anti-intellectualism and anti-socialist, anti-communist ideology are the weapons of the oppressors. Mass organization and political education are the weapons for the oppressed. Choose your weapons wisely.