[News] Barack Obama and the New Afrikan National Question

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon May 26 10:29:09 EDT 2008

Free the Land Comrades,

This paper was written for a School of Unity and 
Liberation (SOUL) Sunday School session to be 
held at the East Side Cultural Arts Center in Oakland on Sunday, May 25th.

I hope it may be of some use theoretically and programmatically.

In Unity and Struggle,

Barack Obama and the New Afrikan(1) "National Question".
Are We Free Yet?

Written by Kali Akuno
Saturday, May 24th, 2008

*In Honor of the 83rd Birthday of Malcolm X and 
the clarity he brought to the New Afrikan revolutionary movement

Since the stunning Iowa victory of Senator Barack 
Obama in January, a great deal has been said and 
written about the declining or ongoing 
significance of "race" and "racial prejudice" in 
US society and the prospect of a person of 
Afrikan descent being its President as proof of 
its substantive social transformation. While this 
discussion must be regarded as an advance over 
the conservative moralistic and race-coded 
discussions that have dominated political debate 
in the US since the 1980's, we must acknowledge its critical limitations.

In the main, these discussions individualize the 
issues and only engage the behavioral and 
subjective aspects of inequality and oppression. 
What is fundamentally missing is a critical 
discussion of the structural and systemic nature 
of oppression and exploitation within the US and 
how the Obama campaign "phenomenon" relates to these structures and dynamics.

This paper seeks to investigate the strategic 
relationship of the Obama campaign to the 
structural dynamics of oppression and 
exploitation within the US.  In particular, it 
will focus on the question of New Afrikan or 
Black national oppression within the US and how 
the Obama campaign addresses this oppression. It 
also seeks to address certain strategic questions 
that progressive forces within the national 
liberation and multi-national working class 
movements must struggle with over the course of 
the next six months in order to ensure that our 
demands and interests are advanced – regardless 
of whether Obama wins or loses the Presidential election in November.

Some of the strategic questions this paper seeks to address are:
1.    What is Obama's organic relationship to the New Afrikan or Black nation?
2.    What class position, alignment and program does Obama represent?
3.    How does Obama's campaign strategy and 
program relate to the historic interests and demands of the Black nation?

What is the "National Question"?

In summary, from a dialectical materialist 
framework, the "national question" refers to a) 
the unequal structural relationship of colonized 
and oppressed peoples to international capital, 
oppressor nations, imperialism, and white 
supremacy and b) to the historic struggles of 
colonized and oppressed peoples to liberate 
themselves from these oppressive systems and 
forces, either in whole or in part (as not all of 
these "peoples" or "national liberation" 
struggles have sought to remove themselves from 
capitalist relations of production).

The inequalities between peoples produced by 
capitalism are historic. They are rooted in the 
development of the capitalist world system 
through the colonization and/or subjugation of 
the globe and its non-European peoples by the 
ruling classes of the western European states 
(i.e. Portugal, Spain, France, England, the 
Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Italy) beginning in the 15th century.

In order to facilitate the process of capital 
accumulation they initiated on a world scale, the 
ruling classes of Europe developed a social 
system and ideology that divided world production 
along several lines, some of which predated 
capitalism, some of which developed specifically 
to suite capitals historic needs. The 
pre-capitalist social divisions that were 
exploited were religion, ethnicity, nationality 
and patriarchy. The new and fundamentally 
principal divisions developed by and with 
capitalism are race and state-bound nationality.

The purpose of exploiting and/or developing these 
inequalities is a) to facilitate the control of 
the land, labor, and (material and immaterial) 
resources of the subject and oppressed peoples 
and b) to foster competition between and amongst 
these peoples for the material and social rewards 
conferred by this exploitative and alienating system.

In the United States the "national question" 
specifically addresses the structural 
relationship of colonized, oppressed, and subject 
peoples to the European settler-colonial project 
and the imperial national-state apparatus that 
reinforces it. This project is premised on the 
genocide and dispossession of indigenous peoples 
(the First Nations); the enslavement and colonial 
subjugation of Afrikan peoples and their 
descendents; and the dispossession and colonial subjugation of Xicanas/os.

The New Afrikan National Question

Throughout the history of the US settler-colonial 
project New Afrikans have fundamentally been 
concentrated in the southeastern portion of the 
projects possessions. The foundation of this 
concentration was historically premised on the 
utilization of enslaved Afrikan labor to produce 
cash-crops like tobacco, cotton, rice, dyes, and 
sugar, for international consumption. During the 
early mercantile stages of capitalist development 
the climatic conditions, soil quality, and 
strategic location of these possessions 
facilitated them being incorporated into the 
world-capitalist system as a zone of mono-crop 
commodity production. This population 
concentration and the relations of production 
exercised in this zone facilitated the formation 
of the New Afrikan people as a colonized 
diasporic Afrikan nation subject to will of the 
European settler-colonial project and its 
capitalist-imperialist regime between 1619 and 1865.

The mechanization of agriculture in the 
Southeastern portion of the settler-colonial 
state in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, 
combined with an intense program of labor control 
and repression during this period, displaced 
millions of New Afrikans. In the search for 
refuge and jobs, displaced New Afrikans 
re-concentrated in the urban industrial centers 
of the East Coast, Mid-West, and West Coast 
between the 1910's – 1960's. In the process of 
this resettlement, millions of New Afrikans 
joined the ranks of the industrial working class. 
However, they did so fundamentally on an unequal 
structural basis. Exploiting the subject status 
of New Afrikan people, capital, the labor 
bureaucracy, and the various European settler 
communities relegated New Afrikans to the lowest 
strata's of the working class, where they were 
concentrated in the lowest paid and most 
hazardous occupations that restricted their 
ability to earn and accumulate. This process of 
development established the social and economic 
terms of New Afrikan national oppression 
throughout the entire expanse of the US settler-colonial project.

Simultaneously, the vast majority of New Afrikans 
who remained in the New Afrikan national 
territory (i.e. the Southeastern portion of the 
settler-colonial project) became subject to a new 
regime of accumulation and distorted national 
development. Reacting to the gains made in the 
industrial "north" by the multi-national working 
class movement between the 1930's – 50's, 
industrial capital "outsourced" production to New 
Afrika to exploit the subjugated status of the 
New Afrikan working class. Although the New 
Afrikan working class was kept from effectively 
organizing itself into labor unions, this 
development did expand the overall circuit of 
capital within the New Afrikan nation, which 
helped stimulate the rise of the civil rights 
movement and its petit bourgeois program of civil 
inclusion within the legalistic confines of the settler-colonial project.

The limited social and economic gains of the 
Civil Rights and Black Power movements set the 
present terms of national development for the New 
Afrikan nation. New Afrika, like all nations and 
nationalities, is a class stratified social 
formation. Like all the peoples and nations 
subjugated and colonized by the European colonial 
powers, capital and capitalist social relations 
have articulated New Afrika's social 
development.  Throughout it's nearly 400 years of 
development, the overwhelming majority of New 
Afrikans have been and are members of the working 
classes (either as chattel slaves, peasants, or 
proletarians). However, a very limited New 
Afrikan bourgeoisie has existed since at least 
the mid-19th century. Throughout much of New 
Afrikan history, this extremely small, typically 
service based petit-bourgeoisie has tended 
politically to be more progressive than 
reactionary in its political outlook and program. 
In the main this bourgeois class has provided 
leadership to and support for the primary 
historical demands of the New Afrikan national 
liberation movement. In summary these demands have been and are:
1.    Land for self-determining or autonomous development and accumulation.
2.    Equal treatment before the law of the settler-colonial state.
3.    Equitable distribution of the social 
surplus distributed throughout the settler-colonial state.
4.    Self-determining political power.
5.    Self-reliant and self-sustaining economic development.
6.    Reparations.

However, the accumulation gains (meager as they 
were) of the Civil Rights and Black Power 
movements combined with major shifts in the 
relations of production on a worldwide scale, 
transformed the relationship of the New Afrikan 
bourgeoisie to the whole of the New Afrikan 
nation from the 1970's to the present. The two 
dominant features of this process of 
transformation are a) the phenomenal rise of the 
comprador bourgeoisie in the 1970's and 80's, and 
b) the rapid transformation of this comprador 
bourgeoisie into a trans-national bourgeoisie 
from the 1980's to the present.  As will be 
argued throughout this paper, this transformation 
not only changed the overall structural 
composition of the New Afrikan bourgeoisie, it 
has forever altered its political worldview and program.

Part 1 – The Interrogations

Interrogating the "National" Question

Barack Obama has asserted on several occasions a) 
that race doesn't matter and b) that there is only "one" America.

The implication of these statements, even if only 
stated for strategic affect, is that the national 
contradictions within the US settler-colonial 
project have been negated and resolved. Even a 
cursory glance at the socio-economic inequalities 
between the various nationalities in the US 
reveals that these assertions are blatantly 
false. However, the unprecedented success of 
Obama's campaign and the ground it has broke as 
it relates to a "Black" candidate appealing to 
white voters on a national level revels that 
something qualitative has changed in this country. The question is what is it?

I argue that the source of the qualitative change 
lies in the changing composition of class 
throughout the US settler-colonial project. The 
advance of global capital and its transformation 
of production and accumulation throughout the 
capitalist world-system generated this 
compositional shift. I posit that the process of 
transformation popularly called "globalization" 
has created a trans-national bourgeoisie and 
growing multi-national or "cosmopolitan" 
trans-national service and working classes. It is 
my position that Barack Obama is a member of and 
represents the political and economic interests 
of the trans-national bourgeoisie and the social 
interests of the growing trans-national classes. 
More specifically, Barack Obama is a product of 
the New Afrikan trans-national bourgeoisie, which 
emerged in the main from the comprador or 
neo-colonial sector of the New Afrikan bourgeois 
class between the 1970's to the present.

The fundamental question regarding this new class 
composition for progressive and revolutionary 
forces within the New Afrikan national liberation 
movement is how to strategically relate to Barack 
Obama and this trans-national bourgeois class? Is 
this class (or class fraction) a friend or a foe 
of the New Afrikan national liberation movement? I argue three things:
1.    That the material basis for the traditional 
class collaboration theory of the united and/or 
national liberation front strategy of oppressed 
peoples and nations in general, and of its 
historic application to the New Afrikan national 
liberation movement in particular, no longer applies.
2.    That the left has not developed a general 
or particular theory of how to strategically relate to these new class forces.
3.    As a result, we are presently ill equipped 
theoretically and programmatically to address the 
Obama phenomenon and seize the historic 
opportunities it presents to advance the 
interests of the national liberation and 
multi-national working class movements.

How does the trans-national bourgeoisie differ 
from other bourgeoisie classes, particularly 
amongst oppressed nations like the New Afrikan 
nation? The general theory of national liberation 
maintains that there are two primary fractions of 
the capitalist or bourgeois class (that is the 
class that owns and controls the means of 
production). These are 1) the national, 
progressive, or "anti-imperialist" bourgeoisie 
and 2) the comprador or "sell-out", "Uncle Tom", or neo-colonial bourgeoisie.

The national or anti-imperialist bourgeoisie is 
theoretically a progressive force drawn from the 
organic, inner driven life of the oppressed 
nation that is materially compelled to promote 
the development of the productive forces of the 
nation for its own self-interests and to resist 
the incursion of imperialism and its suppression 
of this autonomous national development for these self-same interests.

The comprador or sell-out bourgeoisie is 
theoretically a reactionary force also drawn from 
the organic, inner driven life of the oppressed 
nation, which is conversely compelled to 
collaborate with imperialism to retard the 
autonomous or self-determining development of the oppressed nation.

The fundamental difference between these two 
bourgeois fractions and the transnational 
fraction is their organic relationship to the 
oppressed nation. The national and comprador 
bourgeoisies are dependent upon relations of 
production within the social and political life 
of the oppressed nation. Meaning they are both 
dependent on the working masses of the oppressed 
nation for their very existence, and hence can be 
held accountable to the working classes within it 
in various ways. The trans-national bourgeoisie 
on the other hand, even though it emerged 
primarily from the comprador fraction in New 
Afrika and elsewhere, is not dependent for its 
existence upon the oppressed nation and its 
relations of production. The trans-national 
bourgeoisie, as its name implies, is not a 
national or national-state bound entity. Its 
basis for existence lies in exploiting the 
peoples and working classes of the globe, and it 
is generally only accountable to or held in check 
by its fractional partners and rivals (largely 
through their financial control of various 
capital markets as exhibited by their deflation 
of various national-state markets like Mexico in 
the early-1990's; Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, 
and South Korea in the late 1990's; and Brazil 
and Argentina at the turn of this century).

Now, while I posit that this understanding of 
Obama's positioning helps us to understand his 
relationship with the New Afrikan nation and its 
historic demands, I argue that we still do not 
completely understand at this point, how it 
relates to his mass appeal to white voters in 
many instances who are not part of this 
trans-national formation. This I argue, we as 
progressives and revolutionaries, have to 
interrogate further to gain a deeper understanding of its strategic potential.

Interrogating the Campaign

Despite what one may personally think of Obama 
and the principle merits of his campaign, what we 
have to acknowledge is that his actions and his 
campaign are deeply rooted in a particular 
analysis of how to address national oppression in 
the US. This analysis is rooted in the 
"integrationist" and "beloved community" 
narratives of the New Afrikan petit bourgeois 
leadership of the Civil Rights Movement and its 
white liberal bourgeois patrons. The strategy 
behind this narrative appeal is to highlight the 
commonalities between the oppressor and oppressed 
peoples, rather than address their contradictions and differences.

This strategy is rooted in the reality that the 
road to victory goes through the white electorate 
and its sheer numerical strength. Based on this 
reality, I argue there are two historical 
dynamics that have fundamentally shaped the Obama campaign and its strategy.
1.    No Democratic candidate has won a majority 
of white voters since 1964. For a Democratic 
candidate to win, they are going to have to win a 
sizeable portion of, if not the majority of, the white settler vote.
2.    The Jesse Jackson campaigns of 1984 and 
1988. These two campaigns serve as the primary 
negative examples for the Obama campaign. They 
illustrate what NOT to do as an Afrikan candidate 
running for President, which has determined key 
aspects of his strategy, particularly his methods 
of appeal to white and Jewish voters in particular.

Based on these realities, the Obama campaign made 
a deliberate and strategic choice NOT to base his 
candidacy in the institutions (like the Black 
church, civic organizations, unions, and the 
media) or historic demands (see demands) of the 
New Afrikan nation. In order to give himself the 
opportunity to win, Obama must avoid being viewed 
as a "Black" candidate buy any and all means. 
This explains in part, why he has distanced 
himself from the likes of Jesse Jackson, Louis 
Farrakhan, and Jeremiah Wright – the 
"traditional" representatives of the "progressive" New Afrikan bourgeoisie.

However, his campaign has also relied upon the 
staunch support of the Democratic Party by New 
Afrikan people. New Afrikans have been the most 
consistent base of support for the Democratic 
Party since the 1964 election of Lydon B. 
Johnson. In fact, New Afrikans have voted 
consistently for Democratic Presidential 
candidates in the range of 80 – 90% since 1956. 
This fact however, should not be surprising. 
Democratic candidates can and do take the New 
Afrikan vote for granted because in the main, New 
Afrikans have no other genuine political option 
to represent their interests. Knowing this, Obama 
and his campaign know that they have to make few 
special appeals to New Afrikans and most of the 
other oppressed peoples within the "traditional" 
Democratic Party coalition to garner their votes 
(certain "Latino" populations it can be argued might constitute exceptions).

Interrogating the Popular Forces

Regardless of how marginalized New Afrikan 
demands and institutions are to the Obama 
campaign, the fact is that since Obama's Iowa 
victory in January, New Afrikans have turned out 
in near record numbers to support his campaign 
for the Democratic nomination. How do we explain 
this outpouring of support despite his lack of 
engagement with New Afrikan demands and institutions?

Further, how do we explain his victories in 
states like Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Colorado, 
Connecticut, Nebraska, Vermont, and Wyoming where 
the vast majority of the electorate are white 
settlers who are not substantively incorporated 
into the trans-national nexus of production?

Part of the answer I believe lies in the 
trans-national class developments spoken of 
earlier. The other part of the answer I believe 
lies in the popular response to the last 7 years 
of the Bush regime.  As a direct result of the 
failed occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the 
accumulation of unprecedented debt, the partisan 
management of the economy, the exposed lies and 
deceit, and the hostile, belligerent, and 
dictatorial "style" of management, this election 
is in many ways serving as a popular anti-Bush referendum.

The popular, multi-national, multi-class forces 
engaging the Obama campaign are clearly clamoring 
for a change of management. This was first 
evidenced in the elections of 2006 and has been 
further illustrated in several off-term 
Congressional elections in Illinois, Louisiana, 
and Mississippi where Democrats took elections in 
long-held Republican districts. Barack Obama, for 
reasons of personal history (including his 
newness to Capital Hill), style (particularly his 
cultivated charisma and flair for the optimal, 
however programmatically empty it may be), and 
strategy (including a tacit exploitation of 
cultural stereotypes about New Afrikan people 
being good listeners and empathizers) has thus 
far demonstrated that he would be a profoundly 
different manager than either of his remaining Democrat or Republican rivals.

What I think progressives and revolutionaries 
have to be clear on in relating to these popular 
forces is that a clamoring for a change of 
management does not equate to a clamoring for a 
fundamental change of program. It is on the 
question of program that I would argue that the 
national question strongly reenters the fry and 
could perhaps fracture the broad multi-national, 
multi-class alliance thus far mobilized by the Obama campaign.

For instance, the historic demands of New Afrikan 
people are not going to go away without a 
revolutionary transformation of the US 
settler-colonial state. In fact, as the mortgage 
crisis deepens over the course of the next 2 to 4 
years, some of the demands, like economic 
development and reparations perhaps, are only going to become stronger.

Likewise, the trans-national capital interests 
supporting Obama's campaign have no intentions of 
stopping their accumulation mission. Rather, they 
are trying to expand it through the application 
of a friendlier management approach of their 
primary regulating instruments – namely the US 
military, treasury, and Federal Reserve Bank. And 
further, many of the white service and working 
class voters who are supporting Obama are not 
demanding an end to imperialism and 
globalization, but a return to the high standards 
of living they are accustomed and feel entitled 
to as settlers, i.e. "Americans".

Interrogating the Moment

This is an extremely unique moment in human 
history, one that should not be slept on by 
progressives and revolutionaries anywhere, let alone in the US.

There are three general things that make this moment particularly unique:
1.    The rapid collapse of the ecological 
systems that support human civilization as a 
direct consequence of the capitalist 
world-systems need for constant growth and 
expansion and its dependence on a petro-chemical 
driven system of mass industrial production to 
stimulate and sustain this growth.
2.    The declining hegemony (in both its 
geo-political and Gramscian connotations) of the 
US imperial state and the shift to a multi-polar geo-political world order.
3.    The comparative weakening of the US 
national economy and the deepening of 
trans-national production and accumulation.

In order to be properly contextualized, the Obama 
campaign and corresponding "phenomenon" must be 
situated as a direct response to this unique 
moment in history. As has been argued earlier, 
his campaign is clearly a factional response, one 
fundamentally serving the interests of the 
trans-national bourgeoisie and its means and 
instruments of accumulation and rule. The two 
fundamental questions stemming from this 
assessment are, 1) is this class and the alliance 
of forces it has amassed strong enough to contain 
the contradictions it has unleashed and 2) can it 
continue its accumulation program and political 
project without a major transformation away from 
petro-chemical dependent production?

I argue that the answer to both questions is 
emphatically, NO. Returning to our focus of 
analyzing the Obama campaign in relation to the 
New Afrikan national question, there are several 
examples that clearly illustrate why.

The trans-national program of accumulation is 
fundamentally driven by a finance driven 
post-Fordist, intelligence dominated system of 
production. The intense mechanization of this 
production regime is rapidly dislocating 
millions, if not billions, of workers, worldwide. 
The New Afrikan working class was one of the 
first and most devastated sectors of the 
international proletariat hit by this 
accumulation regime. Since the 1970's, millions 
of New Afrikans have been economically dislocated 
and physically displaced by this transformation, 
which is only set to worsen with the crisis of 
finance (witnessed with the mortgage crisis that 
robbed millions of New Afrikans of their merge 
capital equity) and the deepening of global 
production. What is also clear is that the 
options of absorbing this surplus labor into the 
low-wage service economy or warehousing (i.e. 
incarcerating) it, is reaching its political and 
financial limits. The likely outcomes of the escalating crisis are:
1.    More intense economic dislocation
2.    More intense physical displacement and 
forced relocation (New Orleans being a clear precedent)
3.    More intense and concentrated New Afrikan resistance
4.    An escalation of the demands made on the 
state and capital by New Afrikans

As a representative of the trans-national 
bourgeoisie, its production regime, and the US 
imperial state, how would Obama be compelled to 
address these contradictions? I argue that he 
would fundamentally have to exercise the Nixon 
option as it related to the New Afrikan nation 
(and other oppressed nations within and beyond US 
national-state boarders). Plainly stated the 
Nixon option is the calculated employment of 
"carrot and the stick" stratagems. Obama's carrot 
would be to ameliorate or buy off a sectors of 
the New Afrikan bourgeoisie and working class by 
offering a set of concessions, primarily in the 
realm of loan forgiveness (for the mortgage 
crisis) and job training programs (more than 
likely for "Green Jobs" and the like). The stick 
would be the strategic application of state 
repression against resistant and non-compliant 
forces within the New Afrikan working class. The 
purpose of the Nixon option now, as during his 
Presidency in the late 60's and early 70's, would 
be to fracture the political unity of the New 
Afrikan nation against the trans-national bourgeoisie and its program.

Staying with our analysis, it is also clear that 
the Green transformation option is a dead end for 
the trans-national bourgeoisie and its program. 
Although elements of the trans-national 
bourgeoisie are clearly leading the charge for 
the development of "green" capitalism, it is not, 
and in fact cannot, advocate for the 
transformation of scale needed to curb the 
production of greenhouse gases to stall or 
reverse climate change without bankrupting 
itself. As a result, it cannot and will not 
generate enough "Green Jobs" to reincorporate the 
millions of New Afrikans that have been 
economically dislocated by trans-national production.

Yet in still, what we can posit with confidence 
at this moment is that capital is going to go to 
extreme lengths to extend its life and barbaric 
domination over human civilization. Conversely, 
as the events of the last 7 years have 
illustrated, we should also expect to see an 
escalation and diversification of resistance.

Part 2 - Outlining a Framework to Seize the Moment

So, how should the New Afrikan and multi-national 
liberation and working class movements 
strategically engage this historic campaign and critical moment?

One of the first priorities of engagement is 
theoretical development. One of the principle 
things the New Afrikan and multi-national left 
movements must figure out is how to engage to the 
trans-national bourgeoisie. As stated earlier, as 
of now, our movements do not have a general, let 
alone united, perspective on this question. In 
fact, I would argue that most of our forces are 
still utilizing the traditional united or 
national liberation front theory to determine 
their positions and courses of action.

I argue that because the trans-national 
bourgeoisie cannot be easily pressured by the 
national liberation and working class movements 
within the US setter-colonial project, these 
movements should not invest the majority of their 
time and energy engaging an "inside" strategy of 
critical engagement with the Obama campaign. I 
argue that thinking strategically, these forces 
should concentrate their energy on building 
autonomous political movements and institutions 
(like the Reconstruction Party) within the US 
national-state that seek to build a broad 
multi-national united front of oppressed peoples 
and workers that makes a principle of building 
strategic links and alliances with the autonomous 
national liberation, international working class, 
global justice, and environmental movements 
throughout the world. As the trans-national 
bourgeoisie thinks and acts globally, we must 
also think and act globally to advance our own interests.

However, as the vast majority of our peoples and 
forces are going to support the Obama campaign 
and potential Presidency, in the short-term we 
tactically have to invest a critical degree of 
time and energy engaging them, if only to try and 
win a considerable portion of these forces to a 
left perspective and program. And it is here that 
we need theoretical clarity. How do we offer a 
radical critique of Obama, his class position, 
interests, and program without alienating 
ourselves from the popular masses? How do we move 
these forces to engage in autonomous 
self-determining action outside of the Democratic 
Party? How do we educate and move the white 
settler forces mobilized by Obama to actively 
engage an anti-racist, anti-imperialist perspective and program?

To these ends, a hard-pressed counter campaign 
against Obama I would argue is not the most 
effective or productive way to engage these 
popular forces from this point forward. Rather, I 
think the multi-national left must seek to 
highlight the contradictions of Obama's campaign 
and program through a combined "outside-inside" 
strategy that seeks to advance a coherent set of 
principle demands and push him and the forces he 
has mobilized sharply to the left. Again, I think 
the formation of an autonomous "outside" 
political force should be primary. However, what 
is perhaps most tactically critical is that both 
the "outside" and "inside" forces aggressively 
promote and propagate these common demands; 
vigorously dialogue and debate in a principled, 
non-sectarian manner; and openly communicate and 
collaborate whenever and wherever possible.

Some of the primary strategic demands that must 
be raised are drawn from the historic demands of 
oppressed peoples, particularly New Afrikans, 
combined with the demands of the multi-national 
working class, women's, and environmental justice 
movements. The combination of these demands will 
expose not only the limits of the trans-national 
bourgeoisie and its production regime, but of US 
imperialism itself and its inability to make good 
on its democratic promises, either at "home" or 
abroad. Some of the most critical of these demands include(2):
1.    The full and immediately ending of the 
occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
2.    The full and unqualified support for 
Palestinian self-determination and the Right to Return.
3.    The full and immediate Right of Return for 
the more than 250,000 New Afrikans displaced from 
their homelands in New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
4.    The repeal of the "war on drugs" and 
mandatory minimum sentencing that has resulted in 
the imprisonment of more than 2.5 million people, 
the vast majority of whom are New Afrikans.
5.    The full support for the rights of women 
and the LGBTQ communities, including full support 
for initiatives like the Equal Rights Amendment and "gay" marriage.
6.    The full and immediate repeal of the 
various Patriot Acts and other undemocratic 
anti-terror laws and Executive Orders.
7.    The full, complete, and unconditional 
amnesty for the millions of migrant and displaced workers in the US.
8.    The full and unqualified commitment to 
reduce the carbon imprint of the US by 80% or 
more by 2016 to stem the production of climate changing greenhouse gases.
9.    The commitment to the public financing of 
alternative solar, wind, aquatic, and organic 
energy to sustain the economy, and the 
elimination of all nuclear energy and hard metal extraction.
10.    Reparations for Indigenous, New Afrikan, 
Xicano, Puerto Rican, Hawaiian and other peoples 
and nations colonized by the US (including Guam, Alaskan natives, etc.).

By Way of Conclusion

Although the road ahead may not be clear, and the 
outcome of our actions far from certain, the New 
Afrikan national liberation movement, and the 
movements of all oppressed and exploited peoples, 
must seize this critical moment. The survival of 
humanity demands that we must act, and act in our 
own interests. Barack Obama nor any other 
bourgeois messiah is going to liberate us. We must liberate ourselves.

Reference Materials and Resources

1.    "The New Imperialism: Crisis and 
Contradictions in North/South Relations", by Robert Biel. Zed Books, 2000.
2.    "Saviors or Sellouts: The Promise and Peril 
of Black Conservatism, from Booker T. Washington 
to Condoleezza Rice", by Christopher Alan Bracey. Beacon Press, 2008.
3.    "We Are Not What We Seem: Black Nationalism 
and Class Struggle in the American Century", by 
Rod Bush. New York University Press, 1999.
4.    "Locked in Place: State-building and late 
industrialization in India", by Vivek Chibber. 
Princeton University Press, 2003.
5.    "Reviving the Developmental State? The Myth 
of the 'National Bourgeoisie'", by Vivek Chibber. 
Printed in Socialist Register 2005, edited by Leo 
Panitch and Colin Leys. Published by Monthly Review Press, 2004.
6.    "A Brief History of Neoliberalism", by 
David Harvey. Oxford University Press, 2005.
7.    "Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black 
Power and the Making of African American 
Politics", by Cedric Johnson. University of Minnesota Press, 2007.
8.    "Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice: Foreign 
Policy, Race, and the New American Century", by 
Clarence Lusane. Praeger Press, 2006.
9.    "The Darker Nations: A People's History of 
the Third World", by Vijay Prashad. The New York Press, 2007.
10.    "A Theory of Global Capitalism: 
Production, Class, and State in a Transnational 
World", by William I. Robinson. John Hopkins University Press, 2004.
11.    "Transnational Conflicts: Central America, 
Social Change, and Globalization", by William I. 
Robinson. Published by Verso, 2003.
12.    "Global Capitalism: the New Leviathan", by 
Robert J. S. Ross and Kent, C. Trachte. State 
University of New York Press, 1990.
13.    "The Transnational Capitalist Class", by 
Leslie Sklair. Blackwell Publishers, 2001.
14.    "Double Trouble: Black Mayors, Black 
Communities, and the Call for a Deep Democracy", 
by J. Phillip Thompson, III. Oxford University Press, 2006.
15.    "A Nation within a Nation: Amiri Baraka 
and Black Power Politics", by Komozi Woodard. 
University of North Carolina Press, 1999.


1. A New Afrikan is a person of Afrikan descent, 
particularly those historically enslaved and 
colonized in the Southeastern portion of the 
North American continent, that presently live 
under the colonial subjugation of the United 
States government. New Afrikan is the connotation 
of the national identity of this Afrikan people 
that recognizes their political aspirations for 
self-determination and independence.
2. See also the demands articulated in the "Draft 
Manifesto for a Reconstruction Party" by the 
National Organizing Committee for a 
Reconstruction Party and "Hillary and McCain: the 
White Block that must be stopped" by Eric Mann.

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