Diagne Fode Roland
The young Pan-African patriotic generation of the current second phase of liberation from neo-colonialism often refers to certain leaders of Pan-Africanism from the first anti-colonial phase of 1945-60. Names are often cited as references.
On the history of Pan-Africanism, Pan-African patriotic youth and the labor and working-class movement must know and study the contribution of leaders to anti-slavery, anti-apartheid, anticolonial, pan-Africanist and internationalist revolutionary theory and practice. The facts and exploits of certain communist leaders must also be passed on to younger generations, as well as the specificity of the current they represented in accordance with the diversity of the different pan-Africanist currents.
One of the sources of differences between Pan-Africanist currents is precisely the consideration or not of social classes. In fact, each pan-Africanist current represents one of the social classes that make up the countries, nations or diaspora of Africa. Therefore, there is Pan-Africanism and Pan-Negrism of the bourgeoisie, the intellectual petty bourgeoisie, the proletarians and the working classes. This diversity of ideological and political orientation was sometimes concealed or concealed within the framework of strategic and tactical alliances required by the historical conditions of anti-slavery, anticolonial and anti-racist struggles.
Does the question then arise of pan-African convergences and differences between social classes in Africa and in the diaspora? These convergences and differences are often concealed by proponents of non-internationalist Pan-Africanism, conceived both as a denial of the existence of social classes in pre-colonial and post-colonial Africa and as a reduction of Pan-Africanism to nationalism.
This is a more or less assumed source of the historical difference in approach between Garvey, Dubois and Booker T. Washington. Within the French colonies, Lamine Arfan Senghor, Tiémokho Garang Kouyaté, etc. they are references to be studied and passed on to today’s revolutionary youth.
CL James is by no means a reliable source because he is a Trotskyist and Pan-African revisionist anarchist. Georges Padmore, although he became a social democrat on the advice of Nkrumah, wrote a book entitled “Panafricanism or Communism? » which remains an interesting font even if the « or » and the « ? fleeing the communist and therefore proletarian approach of Pan-Africanism. While figures like “Black Bolshevik” author Harry Haywood, James Ford, or South African communists Laguma, Alfred Nzula, etc., do not oppose Pan-Africanism to Communism.
We can summarize the Pan-Africanist historical currents as follows: Garvey is a defender of a Zionist private capitalist Pan-Africanism (the return to Africa that the Ku Klux Klan also defended?!). Dubois represents that of the intellectual elite of the “middle classes”. While Harry Haywood (communist internationalist who fought the anti-fascist war in Spain), Lamine Arfan Senghor, Thiémoko Garang Kouyaté, Alfred Nzula (first black secretary of the CP of South Africa), Laguma, etc. Classes.
Tactical alliances were sometimes sealed between reformist and revolutionary currents in the context of anti-colonial and anti-racist struggles, alliances that expressed common interests in the liberation of Africa or the end of political apartheid in the US and South Africa. 🇧🇷
Pan-African reformist currents were infiltrated by left-wing social-democratic colonialism. Social democracy developed its so-called philanthropic theoretical colonialism imbued with a certain amount of anti-racism that gradually infected certain communist parties of the imperialist West such as the PCF, the British CP and the PCUSA (in addition to Zionism in the latter).
The Haitian question, the first independence revolution, anti-slavery and, therefore, national and social in the sense of the working classes, was little studied by the black commission of the Comintern that focused on the black question in the USA, in Africa. South and, by extension, in Africa. It is the Ayiti revolutionaries and communists, and more broadly black communists, who propagate the main historical fact denied by slaveholders and colonialists that Ayiti is the only independent, anti-slavery revolution in America in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is this revolutionary example that this small Caribbean island pays for today.
The revisionist Trotskyist CL James, as well as the former communist turned social democrat Padmore, falsified the historical truth about the enormous theoretical and practical work done by the Comintern on the black question against apartheid in the USA, in South Africa. South and more generally in Africa under colonization. The Comintern has shown that the two pillars of capitalism since its birth and which has matured into its supreme imperialist stage are: class exploitation and national and racial oppression that systematically place blacks at the bottom of the social ladder. , black workers, black women.
Nkrumah contributed greatly to anti-colonial Pan-Africanism through his militant voluntarism calling for “an African state, parliament, army whose main objective is to liberate South Africa from apartheid”. Its model of African unity remains, however, marked by the US model, even if it was opposed by the imperialists as a communist. Many Pan-Africanists of different generations hold the US or the European Union as models of African unity as anti-communism. This is the case of the current trend of certain pan-Africanist economists who invite us to imitate the European Union when it is a liberal imperialist construction subservient to the US in the fight against the socialist camp and/or with a hegemonic vocation for certain imperialist fractions in Europe.
Cheikh Anta Diop, who frequently quotes Stalin in his writings, is essential to his work to decolonize falsified African history and connect the peoples of Africa with the ancient African history of Egyptian antiquity. Franz Fanon worked to mentally emancipate the African petty-bourgeois elite from colonial alienation and to build a bridge between sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa.
It is no coincidence that Um Nyobe, Félix Rolland Moumié, Osendé Afana and Ernest Ouandié of the Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC), Patrice Emery Lumumba, Sékou Touré/Saïfoulaye Diallo of the CEO, Modibo Keita, Robert Mugabe, Agostino Neto, Eduardo Mondlane , Samora Machel, Amílcar Cabral, Thomas Sankara, Nelson Mandela (who never renounced his PCSA membership card) as well as their pro-independence organizations were all accused of “communism” by the imperialists and all were sought to use the weapon theories of Marxism-Leninism in its struggle for national and pan-African liberation.
The impact of the Communist Revolution of October 17th is undeniable on the global colonial question in general and the black one in particular. It is also in this that the Bolshevik Revolution is the matrix of the national revolutions of the 20th century, including the survivors of the socialist camp that are China, Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba.
Anti-communism was imperialism’s main weapon to defeat the first phase of African liberation. The absurd theories of “communism is not African” or “communism is naturally African” have the function of excluding Africa from the science of class struggle and the development of the productive forces that move history as demonstrated by K. Marx/F . Engels and Amilcar Cabral analyzing colonialism, neocolonialism in Africa.
Let us quote this African Marxist-Leninist: “The colonialists used to say that they made us go down in history. We will demonstrate today that they did not: they made us leave history, our own history, to follow them on their train, in last place, on the train of their history. (Amílcar Lopes Cabral, commonly known as Abel Djassi (1924-1973), at the Dar es Salaam conference in 1965, founder of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde -PAIGC-).
To defeat neocolonialism, the current generation of Pan-Africanists must study the strengths and weaknesses of the revolutionary experience of the pioneers in order to draw the lessons that will enable today’s victories.
PS: This text to be developed is dedicated to Assane Samb and Birane Gaye, co-founders of Ferñent/L’Etincelle and Mohamed Cheikh Tabouré, founder of Sanfin/La Nuée du Mali who left us after fulfilling their duties.
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September 24, 2022 by