In the current period the contradictions of imperialism are being generalized. The cascading, successive, struggles of the oppressed peoples of the world are successfully changing the political and economic contours of the world. This is the source of the crisis of imperialism and the reason the imperialists have geared up for a permanent state of war, currently characterized as a fight against terrorism.
Nevertheless, despite all the imperialist duplicity and claims about fighting terrorism, imperialist war is being increasingly discredited as a viable solution. The economic crisis and bourgeois colonialist state response to it are exposing greater numbers of North American oppressor nation citizens to economic anxiety and political outrage.
The self-interested concerns of the North American oppressor nation citizens are real. The problem historically is that the North American population has usually united with solutions to their perceived problems at the expense of Africans and others. This is an example of the power of the ideological foundation of imperialism.
Historically the ruling class initiators and ultimate beneficiaries of this ideology have used it to promote and validate the obscene ability of whites to unite with their own white ruling class and opportunistically separate their own narrow, self-serving interests from those of the majority of the peoples of the world.
This traditional North American opportunism — the tendency to accept short-term benefits for themselves at the expense of the long-term interests of the masses of the world’s peoples — serves to protect imperialism by splitting the North American people and self-serving, self-defined progressives from the struggling peoples of the world.
However, during this period where so many of the inherent contradictions of imperialism are in a state of simultaneous convergence, we have the greatest opportunity, perhaps in history, to win a significant sector of the North American oppressor nation citizens to unity with a revolutionary solution.
In the earlier-quoted 1920 presentation at the Second Congress of the Third Communist International, Lenin addressed the question of white opportunism and its material basis with these words:
“Why is this opportunism stronger in Western Europe than in our own country [Russia]? It is because the culture of the advanced countries has been, and still is, the result of being able to live at the expense of a thousand million oppressed people. It is because the capitalists of these countries obtain a great deal more in this way than they could obtain as profits by plundering the workers of their own countries.
“It is these thousands of millions in superprofits that form the economic basis of opportunism in the [white] working class movement.”
Today, with North Americans feeling pain and often needing to respond to it, we must look for occasions to use their own pain as the starting point in the discussion, helping them in the process to recognize that although they are not accustomed to it, theirs is not a special pain.
They must be made to understand that theirs is a pain born of the very nature of a social system built and sustained by the pain of slavery, colonialism and genocide committed against the majority population of the world. The theory of African Internationalism must be taken to North Americans and Europeans.
The African People’s Solidarity Committee is the potent weapon that we will employ in this critical task. In order to be effective it is not enough to only educate the North American population to the aggressions of imperialism against Africans and others. We must develop our capacity to explain to the North American population the connection between its current crisis and the very nature of the system born of slavery, colonialism and genocide.
The African People’s Solidarity Committee must become reverse missionaries, taking real “civilization” to the white world, civilization that will help them to throw off the superstition of racial separation and superiority through recognition that their fate and their possibility of a real future will depend on their willingness to join us in destroying the failed god of a parasitic based white supremacy.
The alienated sectors of the North American people must be brought to a scientific understanding of the contradictions they themselves are facing. In other words, we must become experts in winning North Americans to solidarity based on the recognition that solidarity is the only route to creating a new system that will free them from the imperialist-designed segregation from the rest of the world and from the exploitation and other contradictions with which they attempt to contend in their imaginary isolation from the rest of us. The white population must become anti-colonialists as a matter of self-defense.
- Political Report to the Fifth Congress of the
African People’s Socialist Party