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.