RESPONDING TO ABDURRAHMAN NELSON ON THE CONCEPTS AND CURRENT NATURE OF PAN-AFRICANISM
Lang T.K.A. Nubuor
… the Guinean Revolution, as an expression of scientific truth, adheres without reservations to historical and dialectical materialism, which is the social science the content of which has benefited from the contribution of all Peoples struggling for freedom, dignity and historical progress. This social science will continue to be enriched by the fruits of the People’s struggles and to constantly develop the impersonal values founding it in the reality of the struggle as well between the antagonistic classes, as between good and evil in the religious field.
As for philosophical materialism, the Guinean Revolution has not adopted it, and it is not bound to do so, for the philosophy of Islam to which the Guinean People have profoundly adhered asserts the existence of God.
Sékou Touré, Revolution and Religion, Enhancing the People’s Power
On the occasion of the 16th Annual Conference of the International Society for African Philosophy, held at the University of Ghana, Legon, under the theme On Culture and Justice in the Contemporary World, Hon. Samia Nkrumah presents a perspective on ‘Culture and Social Development’ on March 17, 2010. Explaining as one of her grounds for accepting the invitation to address the Conference she refers to ‘the respect I have for your profession and my deep belief that every society must place great value on critical reflection and constant engagement with the search for meaning and the validation of existence’. She humbly submits that she is ‘neither a philosopher nor an academic’ and then states her understanding of philosophy as that which ‘allows us to pose abstract questions the answers to which we hope will help us clarify our reality’.
As a politician but a non-philosopher, she impresses with the great value she says that she places on ‘critical reflection and constant engagement with the search for meaning and the validation of existence’. It was in the spirit of such critical reflection and constant engagement that we paid a visit to her website www.samiankrumah.org and downloaded speeches she had delivered in countries like Ethiopia, the United Kingdom and Italy. Her audiences appear always to be those interested in issues of intellectual import. Her speeches are quite replete with definitions and near-definitions; not the kind of speeches that could normally be directed at a non-intellectual audience. In other words, the speeches at her website are not directed at non-intellectual audiences. That is why her stated placement of great value on reflection and engagement is not accidental.
It is, however, instructive to observe that she insists that whatever is expressed at such high levels of intellectuality should be expressed to the understanding of even children. She celebrates this with a poem manufactured in the crucible of the Mozambican anti-imperialist struggles, though she is cautious to alert us on the differences between the current environment and that environment from which Jorge Rebelo’s poem flows thus:
‘Forge simple words
which even the children can understand
words which will enter every house
like the wind
and fall like red hot embers
on our people’s souls.’
In contrast with Hon. Samia Nkrumah’s attitude towards critical reflections and constant engagements the self-proclaimed creator of Nkrumahism-Toureism, Sheik the Originator Abdurrahman Nelson, tells us that ‘the last thing we need is side issues of abstract philosophy not really all that relevant to Pan-Africanism and definitely not relevant to Nkrumahism. Too much debate sooner or later becomes nothing but a distraction and a diversion from Pan-Africanism’. He says, nevertheless, that although some people who know him have been trying for decades to get him into such debates and he has implicitly not engaged them he is grateful for the opportunity provided by the Shivji-Prah Debate to deal with the issues to hopefully put it all to rest – or to quote from him directly, ‘to set all of this aside forever, I hope’.
We welcome Sheik the Originator to the Debate and assure him that in the spirit of critical reflection and constant engagement with what he describes as the ‘theory’ and ‘ideology’ of Nkrumahism-Toureism we are grateful to him for connecting us with the link to Sékou Touré’s Revolution and Religion. His information that he is ‘the originator of Nkrumahism-Toureism’ and that he ‘created that theory after many years of hard work and study’ as well as that ‘one of the main documents (he) used is the one called Revolution and Religion by Sékou Touré’ is well received. The latter and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s Consciencism form the basis of our engagement with his theory. In our critical reflection on that theory our simple mission is to explore the affinity of his theoretical claims with the positions of that ‘document’, which he claims to be one of the main sources of the theory, as well as with those of Consciencism.
While thus engaged, we endeavour to show that the essence of his theoretical and organizational projections for Pan-Africanism is not in conflict with Hon. Samia Nkrumah’s projections but that both sets of projections are outdated as tools for the prosecution of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s evergreen theoretical and organizational programme for a liberated, united and socialist Africa. In fact, they stand in a grand contradiction of that programme. In this respect, we intend to show that the anti-Marxist manifestations of Sheik the Originator’s theory of Nkrumahism-Toureism contradict the essential Marxist basis of the thought of both Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Sékou Touré. We shall then point out that Samian political practice, which has no potential for African Revolution and contradicts Nkrumaism, rather than projecting her as the Leader of the African Revolution creates great obstacles in her way of so being and sets her up as the next great obstacle and negation of that Revolution.
Hence, this endeavour, to borrow from Hon. Samia Nkrumah, is intended to ‘help us clarify our reality’ with respect to Pan-Africanism in our days and is, therefore, not ‘abstract philosophy (that is) not really all that relevant to Pan-Africanism and definitely not relevant to Nkrumahism’, as Sheik the Originator puts it. And, in spite of its deem outlook on Hon. Samia Nkrumah’s current ideological and organizational bent as well as financial connections, it projects the possibility of her advance to essential Nkrumaism if she could study Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s works more seriously rather than just telling us how she ‘recently skimmed through the autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah that ends in 1957 with Ghana’s independence thinking of what can we learn from that period in our history’. To skim through something is ‘to move quickly over the surface’ of it. Certainly, Dr. Nkrumah’s books deserve a more serious treatment. Why the hurry? As we shall see presently that skimming proves disastrous.
The analysis here is based on contributions by Sheik the Originator which we attach here as Appendix I and Appendix II. We also rely on materials from the website of Hon. Samia Nkrumah, www.samiankrumah.org, and reports as well as articles on her in the pages of Ghanaweb.com. As already indicated, we also use Sékou Touré’s Revolution and Religion and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s Consciencism as source materials. Other materials include letters by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as compiled by June Milne in Kwame Nkrumah: The Conakry Years. A reference or so is also made to Dr. Nkrumah’s book, Africa Must Unite. Michael Moore’s Where Does Occupy Wall Street Go From Here? – A Proposal is reproduced as Appendix III. It could be observed that we focus on primary sources in the main for our endeavour. Have a good read in the spirit of working for the materialization of the vision and dreams of our Pan-African fathers – a liberated, united and socialist Africa where words ‘fall like red hot embers on our people’s souls’. Amandla! Ngawethu!
ABDURRAHMAN’S THEORY OF NKRUMAHISM-TOUREISM
According to Sheik Abdul Rahman T.L. Nelson, a.k.a. Abdurrahman Nelson, affectionately christened in this paper as Sheik the Originator of Nkrumahism-Toureism on the basis of his own claims, ‘everything of much value to Nkrumahists is clarified and resolved in Nkrumahism’. This is why he urges the ‘need to learn to READ Nkrumah and not so much of everything, except Nkrumah’. In spite of this urge on us for a virtual exclusive reading of Nkrumah, he says that ‘we also need to READ Sékou Touré’. In fact, he urges that with the help of Google Translate we also need to read so much of Sékou Touré as his ‘work needs to be translated into Arabic, English, and Portuguese, all of the languages of the African Union’. Ostensibly, therefore, the works of Kwame Nkrumah and Sékou Touré are the basis of Nkrumahism-Toureism. See Appendix I.
A close reading of Sheik the Originator, however, uncovers an Islamic basis as well. He explains some of his positions ‘as a Muslim’ – for example, his positions on mankind’s relationship with God, slavery and the concept of a mass party are made on the authority of the Koran. He also asserts that both Dr. Nkrumah and Sékou Touré share in those perspectives. It is in Appendix II that he goes explicit on this issue as he calls our attention to his reference ‘repeatedly to the Islamic principles and values inherent in Nkrumahism-Toureism’. That Christianity does not feature in his theory is made explicitly clear in his potential axiom that ‘I respect Christianity and non-Believers although I do not agree with them’. He is nonetheless sure of the unacceptability of this additional dimension of the basis of his theory or ideology regarding his Islamic interpretation of certain issues as he says in Appendix I that ‘I know most of us here will stubbornly refuse to accept this reality’.
With this establishment of the basis of Nkrumahism-Toureism, Sheik the Originator goes on to distance it from Marxism-Leninism or Marxism which he uses interchangeably. In Appendix II, he excludes Marxists as ‘those bran dead from Marxist dogmatism’ from those who ‘must respect Africans from all beliefs (sic) systems’. By way of the concept of “vanguard of the revolution”, which he equates with ‘elitism’, he also distances Marxism from the concept of a “mass movement” or “mass party”. He again distances the “concept of the class struggle”, as it manifested during the 5th Pan-African Congress, from any Marxist rendition of it. Thus, when he refers to ‘class issues’ he intends no Marxist conception of it. He does not confuse ‘socialism’ with ‘Marxism-Leninism’ as he would have nothing of the latter. And, most of all he equates Marxism with atheism. You see, this time he talks of those who ‘are atheists brain-dead from Marxist dogmatism’. From bran dead to the brain-dead.
Having identified the content of Sheik the Originator’s Nkrumahism-Toureism, let us see how Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Sékou Touré themselves conceive ‘class struggle’, ‘class’, ‘vanguard of the revolution’, ‘mass movement’, ‘mass party’, ‘revolution’ and ‘religion’ in relation to Marxist philosophy. Beginning with Marxist philosophy, the quotation that heads this paper from Sékou Touré states the adherence of ‘the Guinean Revolution … without reservations to historical and dialectical materialism’ and describes the latter as having benefitted ‘from the contribution of all Peoples struggling for freedom, dignity and historical progress’. Historical and dialectical materialism is actually the philosophical bedrock of Marxism rendered therein as historical materialism and dialectical materialism. It forms the basis from which Sékou Touré derives all other concepts. Let us consider his conception of dialectical materialism.
He holds that dialectical materialism perceives a single universe in which all things are related to each other in a connexion governed by laws. Each object (thing) is in a motion prompted by its contradictory constitution whereby opposites co-exist within it. The interactions of these opposites generate the motion. This motion is in the form of changes that lead to the development of the object. Such a development ensures that the object does not remain what it is forever. In Sékou Touré’s own words in Revolution and Religion he outlines dialectical materialism thus:
- Dialectical materialism invites man to have a global and unitary perception of the universe and all that lives therein, to understand the relations between all things; it holds that nothing is isolated, all things are interrelated. It explains the laws of reciprocal action and of universal connexion.
- Materialist dialectics asserts that in the universe, everything changes as a result of universal change and incessant development, that all that is real is in motion, and that nothing in itself and for itself, has come to stay once and for all.
- It explains the relation existing between the quantitative and qualitative changes enabling man to understand how the quality and properties of things change.
- It asserts that in every organic unit, there is contradiction and that within every being, a thing and its opposite co-exist.
In terms of a human society this means, according to Sékou Touré, that society is made up of classes that represent antagonistic interests involved in a permanent struggle – class struggle. This opposition of interests, he says, occurs ‘in the process of production, distribution and utilisation of the goods created by men’. For anybody who has not restricted himself to an exclusivist study of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Sékou Touré and the Koran it is not difficult to see that these are the elements elaborated by Marx and Engels, the founders of Marxism, in their historical materialism. If you exercise self-imposed ignorance of others’ knowledge you can miss this point. Unfortunately, it is exactly this disease that afflicts Sheik the Originator.
And his position becomes worse when we consider Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in this philosophical equation. In the Introduction to Consciencism, Dr. Nkrumah does not only place a quotation from Friedrich Engels’ letter on historical materialism on the very head of that Introduction but tells us as well at chapter one that for him as a ‘colonial student (in America) it was especially impossible to read the works of Marx and Engels as desiccated abstract philosophies having no bearing on our colonial situation’ – just the very opposite of what our darling Sheik the Originator urges us to do. To put the nail on the former’s self-inflicted ignorance, Dr. Nkrumah adds that ‘During my stay in America the conviction was firmly created in me that a great deal in their thought could assist us in the fight against colonialism’. And, no doubt, their thought influenced him a great deal.
In that influence, he emerges as a dialectical and historical materialist who becomes the first philosophical materialist in the history of world philosophy to give a materialist explanation for the existence of God and to prove all idealist explanations of the same phenomenon as severely flawed. This is dilated on in this author’s The Mind of Kwame Nkrumah: Manual for the Study of Consciencism. And, like Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Sékou Touré advocates the demystification of religion. In particular, the latter says in Revolution and Religion that the Revolution or the State ‘denounces … the practices of mystification inherent in men of all races, all religions or those without religion’. And he does not subordinate the Revolution to Religion but vice versa and thus does not choose any particular religion as a theoretical or an ideological basis but rather equally includes all religions in the process of social change. Hence, he says that:
The Muslim and the Christian both have room inside the Guinean Revolution, and they will be judged by that Revolution only on the basis of their faithfulness or unfaithfulness to the options of the People and the objectives democratically assigned by the revolutionary movement.
The objective implication here is that it is not religion that judges the Revolution or regulates the State but rather the Revolution or the State that regulates religion. Similarly, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah asserts the secular rather than the religious nature of the State when he says in Consciencism that ‘It is essential to emphasize in the historical condition of Africa that the state must be secular’. To make a particular religion the basis or part of the basis for the definition or statement of a theory or an ideology is not only alien to the thought system of Dr Nkrumah and Sékou Touré but also a betrayal of a fundamentalist cast of mind. Not even an affected liberal fundamentalism, as displayed in the full reproduction of a Papal statement, is admitted by these founding fathers into their theoretical and ideological systems. Nkrumahism-Toureism, as being propagated by the Sheik, is a backward and fifth columnist incursion into the philosophy of Pan-Africanism.
It is instructive to note that every concept employed in Marxist lexicon is similarly employed in the thought systems of both Dr. Nkrumah and Sékou Touré: class, classes, class struggle, production relations, productive forces, mode of production, bourgeois, bourgeoisie, proletariat, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, imperialism, neo-colonialism, etc. Similarly, ‘revolution’, ‘mass movement’ and ‘mass party’ feature in their thought systems without disparity in their conceptuality. What disparity could be found is to be uncovered between Dr. Nkrumah’s and Marxism’s specialized differentiation between ‘mass movement’ and ‘mass party’ and Sheik the Originator’s indiscriminate and interchangeable use of those concepts. So that, with Sheik, a mass movement can exist as a political party. Likewise, the technical definition that Dr. Nkrumah and Marxism place on “revolution” is lost in the pedestrian and fluid use that the Originator puts the term to.
First, let us look at “revolution”. The Marxist concept of revolution involves a fundamental change in the mode of production. This means that the forces of production, like the means of production and technology, have advanced at a particular stage in a particular society to such a level that a change in how men relate to each other (production relations) has become inevitable and is effected. This Marxist concept classifies these changes in the production relations into non-class and class societies and categories of class societies, depending, in the latter instance, on the nature of the dominant class. Thus, with the Marxist concept, the change in the position of the dominant class upon the ascendancy of a new dominant class is used as the criterion in determining the occurrence of a revolution; although the change from a non-class to a class society is also considered a revolution. For this concept, a reform is a change within a particular society without a change in the position of the dominant class.
Taking the Marxist concept with its bifurcated criterion for determining the occurrence of revolution as his starting point in Consciencism, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah develops a concept of revolution that considers a change to be a revolution only when a non-class society transforms into a class society and when a class society transforms into a non-class society. Where a class society transforms into another class society he sees a reform only; just as when a non-class society transforms into another non-class society he sees reform only. Thus, for him, it is not the change in the position of a dominant class in favour of a new one that determines a revolutionary occurrence; it is rather determined by the fundamental principles animating the change – whether the new dominant fundamental principles uphold the exploitation of man by man or humanist egalitarianism whereby the exploitation of man by man is abolished as a social anathema. This is how he puts it at pp 71-74:
This is the cardinal factor in exploitation that the section of a society whose labours transform nature is not the same as the section which is better fulfilled as a result of transformation.
In every non-socialist society, there can be found two strata which correspond to that of the oppressor and the oppressed, exploiter and the exploited. In all such societies, the essential relation between the two strata is the same as that between masters and slaves, lords and serfs. In capitalism, which is only a social-political theory in which the important aspects of slavery and feudalism are refined, a stratified society is required for its proper functioning, a society is required in which the working class is oppressed by the ruling class; for, under capitalism, that portion of society whose labours transform nature and produce goods is not the portion of society which enjoys the fruits of this transformation and productivity. Nor is it the whole of society which is so enhanced.
This might indeed be termed a contradiction. It is a social contradiction in so far as it is contrary to genuine principles of social equity and social justice. It is also an economic contradiction in so far as it is contrary to a harmonious and unlimited economic development.
Capitalism is a development by refinement from feudalism, just as feudalism is a development by refinement from slavery. The essence of reform is to combine a continuity of fundamental principle, with a tactical change in the manner of expression of the fundamental principle. Reform is not a change in the thought, but one in its manner of expression, not a change in what is said but one in idiom. In capitalism, feudalism suffers, or rather enjoys reform, and the fundamental principle of feudalism merely strikes new levels of subtlety. In slavery, it is thought that exploitation, the alienation of the fruits of the labour of others, requires a certain degree of political and forcible subjection. In feudalism, it is thought that a lesser degree of the same kind of subjection is adequate to the same purpose. In capitalism, it is thought that a still lesser degree is adequate. In this way, psychological irritants to revolution are appeased, and exploitation finds a new lease of life, until the people should discover the opposition between reform and revolution.
… Whereas capitalism is a development by refinement from slavery and feudalism, socialism does not contain the fundamental ingredient of capitalism, the principle of exploitation. Socialism stands for the negation of that very principle wherein capitalism has its being, lives and thrives, that principle which links capitalism with slavery and feudalism.
… These considerations throw great light on the bearing of revolution and reform on socialism. The passage from the ancestral line of slavery via feudalism and capitalism to socialism can only lie through revolution: it cannot lie through reform. For in reform, fundamental principles are held constant and the details of their expression modified. In the words of Marx, it leaves the pillars of the building intact. Indeed, sometimes, reform itself may be initiated by the necessities of preserving identical fundamental principles. Reform is a tactic of self-preservation.
Revolution is thus an indispensable avenue to socialism, where the antecedent social-political structure is animated by principles which are a negation of those of socialism, as in a capitalist structure (and therefore also in a colonialist structure, for a colonial structure is essentially ancillary to capitalism).
But because the spirit of communalism still exists to some extent in societies with a communalist past, socialism and communism are not in the strict sense of the word “revolutionary” creeds. They may be described as restatements in contemporary idiom of the principles underlying communalism. On the other hand, in societies with no history of communalism, the creeds of socialism and communism are fully revolutionary, and the passage to socialism must be guided by the principles of scientific socialism.
Marxism and Consciencism are agreed on the exploitative nature of class society. The criterion for the determination of a revolution in Marxism finds fulfilment or, if you like, refinement in Consciencism. This is why it goes without contradiction for Consciencism to state the Marxist principles of scientific socialism as the guiding principles of the passage to socialism; thus, marking the socialism pursued throughout the life of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, even at the 5th Pan-African Congress, as scientific socialism. Hence, within the context of Nkrumaist ideology the African Revolution is a sham until and unless it is guided by the principles of scientific socialism to propel us into a non-exploitative society. Sheik the Originator’s Nkrumahist-Toureist theory, which he also calls an ideology, is bereft of these elements and opposed to them. It is on the basis of this understanding that we evaluate his Nkrumahist-Toureist assertion that the CPP’s ‘new leadership is definitely a Revolutionary one’. Before then let us consider the issue of ‘mass movement’ and ‘mass party’.
At p. 74 of Consciencism, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah contends that
The basis of a socialist revolution is created when the class struggle within a given society has resulted in mass consent and mass desire for positive action to change or transform that society. It is then that the foundation is laid for the highest form of political action – when a revolution attains its excellence, and workers and peasants succeed in overthrowing all other classes.
Mass consent and mass desire are seen here as the foundation for a revolution. It is upon this foundation that a mass movement is set in motion by way of spontaneous mass action. This mass movement represents the second level of action and also represents the first block on the foundation. At this stage, its leadership is uncertain so far as ideological orientation is concerned. That is the moment when it can be hijacked by a conservative force to lead it into a reform movement or led by a radical force into a revolutionary movement. The force that leads it is called a mass party. A mass movement is therefore not the mass party.
The history of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), led then by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, illustrates these differences. Before his return to Africa, a mass consent and desire against colonial oppression had emerged in the then Gold Coast (Ghana). Various sections of the people urged their immediate or local leaders to enlist the support of the local intelligentsia in the expression of their grievances. The said intelligentsia connected with other intelligentsia to form a political party for the purpose. That party, the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), however, failed to connect with the mass of the people and remained an elite party. Meanwhile, spontaneous mass actions in various parts of the country were being taken by the people against colonial exploitation. The pressures on the UGCC were mounted. The leaders then invited Dr. Nkrumah to help connect with the masses. Upon his arrival he transformed the spontaneous movement into an organized movement under the leadership of the UGCC. The procrastinations of the leadership impelled mass pressures on Dr. Nkrumah to resign from the UGCC to form the CPP. It was not all who supported the CPP who were its members though it was open to everybody. In other words, the CPP became a mass party.
In this respect, when Sheik the Originator talks of what the imperialist media calls the Arab Spring (Kwesi Pratt jokingly calls it the Arab Winter) and calls it a mass movement he stands in accord with the Nkrumaist understanding of the concept. But when he says that ‘the mass movement until has been limited to Africa in the form of such parties as the Pan-Africanist Youth Congress’, he erroneously conflates the mass movement with the mass party. This is why when he asks, ‘what is meant by a mass movement or a mass political party?’ and says that the ‘CPPNA is the only mass organization in America’ even without the identification of a mass movement we understand that he equates a mass movement with a mass party or organization. The practical difficulties that such a conflation and misconceptualization creates for organizational work are symbolized in his statement that ‘Only yesterday, we had to engage in some rather nasty in-fighting to make this point clear in CPP’. The Nkrumahist-Toureist point there is not only ‘unnkrumaist’ but also quite retrogressive. It has nothing to do with Dr. Nkrumah’s thought and historical practice. And it becomes all the more serious when he seriously believes in creating a mass party on the internet website http://www.cppna.org!
It is timely at this stage to also look at the Occupy the Wall Street phenomenon which has gone beyond the mere expression of mass consent and mass desire by millions of the American people for a change in the social equation where only one percent (1%) of the population owns the greatest proportion of collectively-created wealth. Guy Mmoasem’s circulation, that is, Michael Moore’s Where Does Occupy Wall Street Go From Here? – A Proposal, clearly illustrates the stages that Occupy Wall Street is going through. It is clear that Occupy Wall Street is at the stage of a spontaneous movement. Michael Moore and a few others, just over 40 activists out of the millions, are now making efforts at meetings to give the spontaneous movement an organized direction. If successful, the meeting activists will develop into a political party with the support of the movement. That party will then be a mass party whose word the support base will trust. Michael Moore’s beautiful proposals are attached here, as said, as Appendix III. A study of it confirms the difference between a mass movement and a mass party.
When Sheik the Originator says that ‘It is clear that some of us have no idea whatsoever what is meant by the masses of Africans everywhere’ he is possibly including himself. Let us wish him well. We can here only offer this little advice to him: to develop Nkrumahism-Toureism to the standards of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Sékou Touré he needs to spend quality time in a critical study of their works and others’ works and the mass movements developing under his nose and that developed in years past; he needs a little bit of intellectual patience.
ABDURRAHMAN NELSON DECLARES HON. SAMIA NKRUMAH THE LEADER OF THE AFRICAN REVOLUTION
Sources close to the CPP leadership confirm this striking feature found in the worldwide speeches of Honourable Christina Samia Yaba Nkrumah– the avoidance of central concepts in the thought and practice of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Foremost among those concepts are ‘revolution’, ‘socialism’, ‘scientific socialism’, ‘class’, ‘class struggle’, ‘capitalism’, ‘bourgeois’, ‘bourgeoisie’, ‘proletarian’, ‘proletariat’, ‘working class’, ‘peasants’, ‘peasantry’ and ‘reactionary’. The nearest she comes to ‘socialism’ is when she says at Legon on March 17, 2010 that ‘In Kwame Nkrumah’s Consciencism, he refers to our communalistic values and how that inspired him to gravitate towards socialist-oriented policies in the African context’. The reader is assured that as at the time of her latest speech during the launching of the Italian version of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s book, Africa Must Unite, her favourite, Hon. Samia Nkrumah has still not used any of these concepts in any speech, including her latest. One observes this tendency, to some extent, in Sheik the Originator.
But how does this matter since Sékou Touré has explained that ‘That the expression: class struggle and struggle between good and evil had not been formulated in the same terms, with the same concepts, does not change in any way their basic significance, the truths they involve and which men will have to defend in the search for collective and individual happiness’? This means to us that it is not the use of particular words or expressions that is crucial in the pursuit of happiness for all but the pursuit itself is what matters. This pursuit must be seen, however, as being made. In this respect, we must expect the use of alternative words and terms that reflect the pursuit. That is why it is instructive to observe that Hon. Samia Nkrumah frequently uses terms like ‘liberation’, ‘exploitation’, ‘unity’, ‘slavery’ and ‘Pan-Africanism’ which are reflective of the nationalist drive to liberate Africans from exploitation and slavery for a united Africa. In her extempore speeches and interviews, the preoccupation with this nationalist pursuit is crystal clear.
It is this nationalist spirit that informs her reading and choice of books. That is why when she chooses to read Ghana: Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah, she focuses on the strategies and tactics used during the nationalist struggles. It is on the basis of the lessons of that period that she develops her organizational strategy. Listen to her as she says in a speech in Italy in 2007:
I recently skimmed through the autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah that ends in 1957 with Ghana’s independence thinking of what can we learn from that period in our history. And a few things struck me. One, the freedom struggle was broadened and internationalized. Second, constitutional means and elections were used. Third, freedom was only the first step towards socio-economic and cultural emancipation.
Talking about the ‘second’, she is treading the path of constitutional means and elections used in the colonial struggles of the 1950s and she has actually won an election that makes her the current Member of Parliament for the Jomoro Constituency in Ghana.
In that same speech, she explains her choice of strategy. Ghana’s attainment of independence, she says, was ‘negotiated through constitutional means’ consequent upon non-violent protests. Today, she sees a ‘democratic space in Africa’ developing in favour of effecting change through elections. But, however, she envisages genuine or real democracy that goes beyond elections as ‘the objective’. She then tells us what she means by ‘real democracy’ by way of enumerating its components as ‘civil rights, gender equality, the right to organize, press freedom, education’. As an example of a concrete realization or the nature of such rights she celebrates the appointment of a female Chief Justice for the inherited colonial judicial system in these terms:
Only this month, Ghana’s first female Chief Justice was appointed and the Domestic Violence law was passed’. Three years after this, as a Parliamentarian, she states firmly during her speech at Legon that some people like her ‘believe that in this phase of our struggle our efforts should go into achieving economic and cultural emancipation.
This latter appears to be pregnant with the suggestion that the idea of freedom being ‘only the first step towards socio-economic and cultural emancipation’ has been achieved and now the focus is on economic and cultural emancipation. Such an interpretation stands a good chance of being successfully contested when confronted with another statement. In that statement from the same Legon speech she says that:
In Kwame Nkrumah’s Consciencism, he refers to our communalistic values and how that (sic) inspired him to gravitate towards socialist-oriented policies in the African context. Without going into details of his political thought, it is significant that one of the greatest leaders of independence and decolonisation in Africa freely admitted that he was drawing on his Africanness to inspire him and point out his political direction to realize our socio-economic and cultural emancipation.
The exact statement in Consciencism says at page 69 that ‘This idea of the original value of man imposes duties of a socialist kind upon us. Herein lies the theoretical basis of African communalism’. The interpretation rendered of this statement and the immediately preceding paragraph in the book draws inspiration from and expresses the spirit of the Sankofa movement in African philosophical thought.
As portrayed in Prof. Kwesi Prah’s reaction to Prof. Issa Shivji’s paper under debate, the Sankofa movement does not reject political action but rather seeks to precede it with a cultural preparation directed ostensibly at boosting the African confidence to facilitate involvement in political action-taking. Another way of expressing this is the recovery of the African’s Africanness to motivate him. Hence, Dr. Nkrumah, by the terms of this philosophy, is understood to have been motivated not by the immediate reality of capitalist exploitation of Africans everywhere but by his realization of who he is – an African with a history of fidelity to the idea of the original value of man as opposed to ‘the Christian idea of the original sin and degradation of man’ (Consciencism p. 68) – the realization of his Africanness. So that it is not material oppression that prods him to the socialist idea but another idea. The materiality of his motivation is thus subverted in a process of inversion in favour of an idyllic motivation which is rather the determinate – that which is determined – of that materiality. This is what is called philosophical idealism – a philosophy that Dr. Nkrumah militantly opposes in favour of philosophical materialism, specifically dialectical materialism.
Philosophical Sankofa is a negation of Consciencism, the philosophical bedrock of Nkrumaism. It negates the principle of ‘Seek ye first the political kingdom and all other things shall be added unto you’. It negates the essential case that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah makes in Africa Must Unite for the necessity of the political unification of Africa first against the proposal for economic unions to precede it. It negates his opposition to economic regional integration to precede political unification. It even negates his insistence on the revolutionary armed struggle as the only option left to revolutionary Pan-Africanism in rejection of hobnobbing with imperialism in constitutional negotiations. This is why when Hon. Samia Nkrumah says in the Ghanaweb news, January 30, 2010, that ‘Our unification, like the Germans, would be a negotiated union of all countries in Africa. The days of fighting to resolve our differences are over.’ she pits camp with anti-Nkrumaist forces of yester decades and of today. There is nothing Nkrumaist about that statement. It aborts in advance the Pan-African enterprise. Philosophical Sankofa betrays Nkrumaism. It is an inversed philosophy.
And yet, it is the very foundation of Hon. Samia Nkrumah’s thought. Her fidelity to it is seen in the fact that at the upper right hand corner of the following speeches posted at her website she marks in handwriting the darling phrase ‘SANKOFA. Going back to pick it all up’. The speeches are: 1. Culture and Social Development: A perspective by the Honourable Samia Nkrumah, MP, Delivered on Accra 17th March 2010, At the 16th Annual Conference of the International Society for African Philosophy University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana, ON CULTURE AND JUSTICE IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD; 2. Speech given at an interactive conference organized by AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation) in Italy. The limits of decolonization: Fifty years after Ghana’s Independence; 3. An Untitled Speech in Addis Ababa in 1999; 4. Speech given at an event organized by Movimento degli Africani; 5. Vote of Thanks given in the presence of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano to mark Anti-Slavery Day; 6. Speech given at GPA awards, Women and Leadership section.
It is in this respect that, to borrow from Kwesi Pratt, we should be worried. The declaration of Hon. Samia Nkrumah as the Leader of the African Revolution in the line of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is visibly and analytically mistaken, to say the least. In fact, we anticipate Hon. Samia Nkrumah trembling all over with this title that connects her to a Revolution with a capital ‘R’; not just with a small ‘r’. Possibility is that she might fall off her chair with cataclysm. We pray otherwise as we expect her to gently brush Sheik the Originator’s over-enthusiasm aside as the celebration of an ideological infant in spite of his long years on God’s earth. You see, Nkrumahism-Toureism creates possibilities for strange deductions. That Hon. Samia Nkrumah is the Leader of the African Revolution is only one such deduction. The strangest among them, so far, is the statement that China’s emergence is due to its copying (not even its application) of his theory of Nkrumahism-Toureism. These are his own words: ‘China has copied Nkrumahist-Toureist Economics’ (See Appendix I).
How does Sheik the Originator effect this Leader of the African Revolution deduction? According to him in Appendix II, when he looks around he sees that with the martyrdom of Brother Muamar Qaddafi, Nelson Mandela’s political activity being ‘severely limited due to advanced age and lack of youthful vigour’ and Robert Mugabe’s being ‘tied down with regional politics at the moment … there is actually no other person who can claim the title of Leader of the African Revolution, except Her Excellency the Honourable Dr. Samia Nkrumah’. This is especially due to his reductive reasoning in Appendix I that since the CPP has presence in at least five countries its leader or chairwoman is ‘the ONLY present leader of the African Revolution’. The significantly strategic organizational principle is then outlined thus: since a mass party is required to unite Africa and every elected head of state in Africa must be accountable to the leader of that party, given that the CPP is that mass party its leader, Hon. Samia Nkrumah, is the one to whom ‘president so and so must answer’. And her powers are such that ‘If she says “Unify” and “Develop” that president had better do exactly what she said’. She, therefore, exercises a personal dictatorship within the ruling class’ dictatorship.
This raises two significant issues of the ‘vanguard of the revolution’ and ‘state-led Pan-Africanism’. In this regard, we take a brief and swift look at Nkrumahist-Toureist antagonism to the Leninist concept of ‘vanguard of the revolution’. Sheik the Originator says that ‘Marxism-Leninism … hold (sic) a theory of “vanguard of the revolution”. He (sic) “vanguard of the revolution” is supposed to be some kind of an all-knowing, al-wise (sic), better than man or god leadership who can somehow make all of the important decisions external to GOD’s HELP’. He states what that concept is supposed to be. He also refers to that vanguard as ‘dictating atheism in Europe’. But in the cited statement that vanguard’s recognition of the existence of God, contrary to the atheistic position, is acknowledged; only that the vanguard regards itself as being wiser and more knowledgeable than God. You see, when you read only Dr. Nkrumah and Sékou Touré, even unintelligently, and refuse to read anybody else you can only rely on other sources and imagine what they supposedly say. The important point here is that what he denies to the said vanguard is exactly what he gratuitously confers on Hon. Samia Nkrumah as her right – an all-knowing person whose word is an Edict.
The more serious concern here is directed at the state-led Pan-Africanism option implicit in the pronouncements of Sheik the Originator. That is where he and Hon. Samia Nkrumah are most in agreement. It is an issue that potentially threatens schism in the Sankofa movement between Hon. Samia Nkrumah and Prof. Kwesi Kwaa Prah although that is not an immediate possibility but one that arises in the unforeseeable distant future when the cultural enterprise is completed and political action begins upon the acquisition of consciousness of Africanness. The Hon. Samia Nkrumah relies on the discredited strategy of heads of state sitting in round table conferences negotiating among themselves to unite Africa. It is discredited because Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who initiated that strategy has long jettisoned it in favour of the new strategy of working out the unification process independently of any head of state via a People’s revolutionary movement led by the All-Africa People’s Revolutionary Party with its All-Africa People’s Revolutionary Army waging a continental guerrilla warfare against the comprador bourgeoisie to dismantle neo-colonialism. It is in the course and out of this People’s War across the borders that the continental government emerges. No negotiation.
Long before his overthrow in 1966 by compradorial bourgeois forces in collaboration with imperialism, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah prepares some notes to write a manual for this guerrilla war – the greatest testimony to his abandonment of negotiations in so-called constitutional processes as the means for the unification of Africa. When he later writes the Handbook for Revolutionary Warfare he states in his first words in the Author’s Note that:
This book has been written during my stay in Conakry. Previous notes I made for a manual of guerrilla warfare for African freedom fighters were left behind in Ghana when I departed for Hanoi on 21st February 1966. The manuscript was handed over to imperialist and neo-colonialist intelligence organisations by the military and police traitors.
This HANDBOOK, presenting a completely new approach will, I hope, help to make possible the successful completion of the armed phase of the African revolutionary struggle for total emancipation and an All-African Union Government.
In a letter to June Milne, dated March 26, 1967, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is particularly forthright when he says that ‘In a revolutionary struggle constitutionalism and legality must be expunged. They are incompatible with any revolutionary struggle. And so here goes another Axiom, but borrowed from Tolstoy and Mao: “The masses worship power, and power grows out of the barrel of a gun” ’. In that same letter, he refers to a Portuguese ‘document we used in Ghana to train our freedom fighters from the Portuguese colonies’. In a previous letter to the same, dated March 24, 1967, he says of the All-Africa People’s Revolutionary Army that ‘Let all those who are today pointing the finger of scorn at Africa revise their thinking. AAPRA will be realized. It is the only hope for Africa now’.
In contrast to Hon. Samia Nkrumah’s position that ‘we give our best when we do retain our “feminine” qualities of gentleness, patience, joy, humility, dignity, prudence and above all grace’, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, her father, is definite that
The so-called coup in Ghana has turned me into an ardent African nationalist socialist. (Don’t confuse this with the national socialism of Hitler). I am convinced now – a lesson it took me some time to grasp, the qualities in leadership which must be strengthened are bravery, ruthlessness and bitterness. In order for a revolutionary to succeed he must be brave, bitter and ruthless, and also capable of hating his enemies. In other words, love those who love you, and hate those who hate you. This is the reality’. See his letter to June Milne, dated April 1, 1967.
(On her part, Hon. Samia Nkrumah says that ‘I don’t have time to hate people who hate me … Bcz I’m too buzy in loving people who love me’ – see her Facebook photos section). Having long abandoned all policies of negotiation and adopted this cast of orientation, he abandons all respect for a country’s sovereignty in Africa and projects the AAPRA marching across so-called borders thus:
Yes indeed, the African Revolution should recognize none of the old colonial frontiers between African territories or states. They are indeed artificial boundaries having no meaning in the context of African unity. And so there can be no question of revolutionary forces (e.g. AAPRA) violating a country’s sovereignty by entering it for the purpose of the political unification of the continent. The whole of Africa is one, and every part of it belongs to Africa as a whole. See the April 9, 1967 letter to June Milne.
This seals the lid on state-led Pan-Africanism and its policy of legality and constitutionality in processes of negotiations featuring tea and Champaign drinking to enhance the evening’s performance!
Rather than calling Hon. Samia Nkrumah’s attention to these contradictions between her Sankofa philosophy and Nkrumaism and the resultant move away from revolutionary Pan-Africanism persons who should know better, like Sheik the Originator Abdul Rahman T.L. Nelson, are flattering the poor lady with undeserved titles she can only shiver and tremble at. Parading her in the corridors of reactionary feudal spent-forces of chiefs to whom she has been doling gifts of many colours and advocating state support for the African comprador bourgeoisie in business, such people who should know better are misdirecting her to her own political doom. As her General Secretary, Ivor Greenstreet, quotes her in a communiqué issued on the eve of her recent departure to Italy she states that:
…Africa has many business people and well meaning individuals who can make important social and economic investments in ways that complement the efforts of government. These members of the community need to be helped by the state through the removal of obstacles that prevent such voluntary investments. It is important that we address such issues in an international context…
The poor lady is advocating for the strengthening of the very forces that her father says must be trampled upon and crushed. Already, internal opposition to her within the CPP in defence of her father has started expressing its presence. From Kukurantumi at Abuakwa North, Samuel Boateng assures in a Ghanaweb feature article on November 21, 2011 that ‘we will not leave her to disgrace her father like that’. The dictatorial suggestions being injected into her blood stream has not only already been seen manifest in her acts of flouting the party’s Constitution and show of disrespect for party veterans but also provides grounds for persons like Samuel Boateng to begin to wonder ‘what is firing her dictatorial actions’. She is currently on a self-destruct adventure aided by even her own brother, Gamal Nkrumah, who tells the world on her Facebook Wall on November 14, 2011 that
Samia Yaba Nkrumah is Ghana’s best hope for a GREAT future … MAY GHANA BE BLESSED WITH A WONDERFUL WOMAN PRESIDENT SAMIA YABA NKRUMAH.
Of course, her younger brother harbours no such illusions and organizationally distances himself from her.
The point is that she aspires to represent ‘the confirmation and re‐affirmation and revival of Kwame Nkrumah’s vision’. In fact, in her untitled speech in Addis Ababa in 1999 she believes that she actually represents the confirmation, re-affirmation and revival of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s vision. But if the analysis of her speeches and concerns above is something to go by, as it is, then you know that she is yet to measure up to her claims. Currently in 2011, she definitely represents the disconfirmation, disaffirmation and sustenance of the negation of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s vision. Consequently, whatever she thinks she represents it is certainly not Nkrumaist revolutionary Pan-Africanism. We believe, all the same, that her current enthusiasm for the realization of Dr. Nkrumah’s vision could be an aid to her progression to revolutionary Pan-Africanism if she could only stop listening to the flatterers and critically study his works in-depth. Any stubborn resistance to that direction could only be to her own undoing. At 51 she has time favouring her. Patience.
In this respect, her reported threats to resign from the CPP, if that is true, could only be meaningful if she intends to build a genuine mass party in the form of the All-Africa People’s Revolutionary Party with a continental base – across the borders – supported by an All-Africa People’s Revolutionary Army directed at crushing every neo-colonial armed force to create the People’s Republican State of Africa. On the other hand if her reported creation of alternative units in the CPP is aimed at transforming it in the same direction and not to just promote cronyism to her ultimate self-destruct then that resignation could still make sense. Otherwise, she better stays with the CPP to avoid being tagged as an opportunistic gold digger and be later crushed as a part of the comprador bourgeois forces working with imperialism for the perpetuation of neo-colonialism and capitalism in Africa. For the meantime, looking at the types of photos (almost six hundred of them) on her Facebook Wall, we see her as a common petty bourgeois enjoying herself all over the place with complete abandon. There is no essential difference between her and Papa Kwesi Nduom.
AN UNEDITED REPRODUCTION OF ABDURAHMAN NELSON’S FIRST MAJOR CONTRIBUTION TO THE SHIVJI-PRAH DEBATE ON PAN-AFRICANISM
From: Abdurrahman Nelson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2011 4:42 PM
Subject: Re: [cppnorthamerica] Re: THE SHIVJI-PRAH DEBATE ON PAN-AFRICANISM
Let me make a few clarifications on the issues stated below. While we do not need to get al bogged down in any kind of endless debates, considering the exigency of Unifying Africa NOW!!! Right now, and not somewhere in the indefinite future. Pan-Africanism has been debated and avoided by some these very same elements for decades. So the last thing we need is side issues of abstract philosophy not really all that relevant to Pan-Africanism and definitely not relevant to Nkrumahism. Too much debate sooner or later becomes nothing but a distraction and a diversion from Pan-Africanism. Some of you know me and have been trying to debate some of these things with me for decades. So, I am grateful for an opportunity to deal with it, and to set all of this aside forever, I hope.
That being said, the issue resolved at the 5th Pan-African Congress was NOT, repeat NOT, Class Struggle in the Marxian sense of that word. That is a serious misconception that needs to be buried deeply into the lake of fire forever. I wonder about the motives of those who keep insisting on those kinds of misinformation when the historical record is so clear and wen the ideological issues have been resolved over and over again for so many years and decades.
George Padmore, and some other Marxists I assume, was at the 5th Pan-African Congress. Comrade George was indeed elected as one of the officers. I have never seriously studied much about Comrade George one of the reasons being is everything of much value to Nkrumahists is clarified and resolved in Nkrmahism, not Padmoreism or anything like that. So, you see why I am not enjoying this debate, yet again.
The important thing to understand about the 5th Pan-African Congress is the role of the masses of Africans everywhere. The class issues were centered mainly around Dubois. He failed to understand that Garveyism was a mass movement and tat political power comes from the masses, not from some high falluting pie in the sky. Although he claimed to be a socialist and probably was a sincere socialist he was confused to the extent of advocating elitism in the form of his theory of the alleged Talented Tenth. But elitism is no stranger to Marxism-Leninism.
Marxism-Leninism (and I emphasize here that we are NOT, repeat NOIT, to confuse socialism with Marxism-Leninism) hold a theory of “vanguard of the revolution”. He “vanguard of the revolution” is supposed to be some kind of an all-knowing, al-wise, better than man or god leadership who can somehow make all of the important decisions external to GOD’s HELP. This is what destroyed the Soviet Union. But, the Chinese obviously never bought that foolishness. Let me try to explain.
As soon as the Soviet Union fell, Islamic Masjids sprang up all across Europe overnight. This is what happened after about 70 years of the “van guard of the revolution” dictating atheism in Europe. It just never worked and will never work simply because GOD will not tolerate any “vanguard of the revolution” interfering between mankind and GOD. This is my view as a Muslim and I know most of us here will stubbornly refuse to accept this reality. But, it is crystal clear in many translations of the Quran:
96:9: Have you seen the one who forbids
96:10: A servant when he prays? (http://quran.com/96/9-10)
Surah al-Alaq goes on to Say that GOD will wage war against those who interfere. This is why slavery cannot co-exist with Islam because slave masters prevent slaves from READING and from Praying.
Now we are debating religion. But, I did not start it. However, I sure hope to end it.
The bottomline is that KIND OF ELITISM IS Europeanism, not Africanism. Osagyefo makes absolutely and perfectly clear that Nkrumahism is a theist philosophy, not an atheist one in Consciencism: Philosophy and ideology for Decolonization. Some of us need to learn to READ Nkrumah and not so much of everything, except Nkrumah.
Also, Comrade Bob has mentioned Toureism. I am the originator of Nkrumahism-Toureism. I created that theory after many years of hard work and study. And one of the main documents I used is the one called Revolution and Religion by Sekou Toure. You can find a copy here: http://www.panafricanperspective.com/ture2.htm. We also need to READ Sekou Toure. With Google Translate (http://translate.google.com/#) being available, all of that work needs to be translated into Arabic, English, and Portuguese, all of the languages of the African Union. This is what we ought tpo be doing rather engaging in endless debate.
But, since its revival, reactionary some elitists had tried to take control of it and subordinate the Obama/Clinton/Cameron/Sarkozy/israel conspiracy. Threy wnatede yto buy us out with crumbs from the white man’s table. True, some of us for that trick once again, although Comrade Kwame Ture warned us against those tricks way back in 1968 (http://www.assatashakur.org/forum/liberation-strategy/33870-pitfalls-liberalism-stokely-carmichael-kwame-ture.html) What the enemy does is train up his flunkies in the tradition of Cecil Rhodes (http://www.rhodesscholar.org/). Things got so bad here in Saint Louis that we actually had AAPRP cadres opposing Robert Mugabe because Mugabe had the audacity to cleanse the white man’s name from his country and name it Zimbabwe. LOL!!! Bill Clinton and Aunt Suzie Rice are both Rhodes scholars. And we wonder why the Obama regime has made consistent war in Africa these past three years…
But, it does not end there. I wish it did. All of our African scholars are being bran-washed along similar lines in all western colleges and universities. There are few exceptions, if any at all. So, they come out of scholar thinking we will elect them presidents of Ghana, South Africa, Liberia Sudan, Somalia, etc. t is our job and our duty to prevent these neo-colonial agents from taking over the CPP and thereby returning Africa to re-colonization as was seen in the war against Libya and Somalia and Sudan, Irag, etc.
To make a long story short, suffice it to say that Leader of the African Revolution, H.E.The Hon.Dr. Samia Nkrumah has just placed this CPP on the road to becoming a mass party as it was under Osagyefo. Also, Comrade r, Sekou Nkrumah is doing some remarkable work along this line. And, we all must help her and assist her in every way possible. End these endless debates. We need to fight to protect this party. Again, none of this is in the USA. The mass Movement until has been limited to Africa in the form of such parties as the pan-Africanist Youth Congress and the work that is being done in places like Swaziland and Zimbabwe and Eritrea and Sudan ( I mean North Sudan, not southern Sudan. Let’s get real and deal with it) Also, the Arab Spring is a mass movement. Yet, I have seen not one member if tis forum supporting any part of the Arab Spring, so far, except, me alone. This must change.
A mass movement what martin Luther King dis when he copied the Indian National Congress and CPP under Nkrumah to bring the Civil Rights Movement to America. And this is exactly what every organization has tried to avoid since Dr. King and Nkrumah and Gandhi and Garvey died. Garvey was a mass movement. The 1st-4th pan-African Congresses were not mass movements. And, the 6th.7th and 8th and just about everything since were not mass movements. Those things, especially since the above named martyrs died have been meant to confuse things, divert attention away from mass movement and keep us from making progress towards the Unification and Development of Africa. Thank GOD that Drs. Nkrumahs are helping us to overcome these shortcomings, after all of those lost years of frustration.
One thing that you will immediately notice about our revived CPP is we show utmost respect for religion. Her Excellency is not afraid to be seen in a church congregation. At the same time, she has shown sincere respect for our Muslim brothers and sisters just as Osagyefo did before our time. Africa gave the world Three Great Religions. Thus, Africa has always been the primary and main source of civilization to all the world. Therefore, to be called a mass movement, we must deart form Eurocentric Marxism-Leninism and whole heartedly embrace Nkrumahism (and Toureism for those who have advanced to that level)
To be called mass movement, mass party, we must create jobs for Africans everywhere. That means we must develop[p economic theories the likes of which Europe has never seen with its one economic crisis followed by another and another and another. Communist China is not in a depression. This is because China has copied Nkrumahist-Toureist Economics. We can do better than what we have done since Nkrumah died.
A mass party is a party that is totally, absolutely and always accountable to the African people EVERYWHERE, including in the Arabic speaking countries. Its leaders NEVER go beyond the will of the African people and always submit to the African people’s will. Again, like it or not, this is derived from Islamic principle. In Islam, a leader NEVER makes a major decision affecting the people without prior consultation with the people. This is mass politics: town-hall meetings, Friday Freedom Forums, etc.
In a mass party, the party is SUPREME. No one individual is superior to the mass party. NONE!!! Not one!!!. A mass party is the ONLY kind of party that can and will Unify and Develop Africa. Why? For one reason, a mass party goes beyond the narrow, parochial, sectarian limitations of micro community. The CPP is present in at least five countries already. Therefore, its leader, its present Chairwoman in the ONLY present leader of the African Revolution. If we elect a head of state in one country, that head of state must be accountable to the party as represented by the mass party’s leader. In our case that leader is the Leader of the African Revolution. So president so and so must answer to the CPP’s Chairwoman. Be clear about this. If she says ”Unify” and ”Develop” that president had better do exactly what she said.
In the Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare, Osagyefo said that “The guerilla is the masses in Arms”. (http://www.scribd.com/doc/60167295/Handbook-of-Revolutionary-Warfare-Kwame-Nkrumah) This is on the Motto Page at the very beginning of the book. What is clear in the Handbook is that the mass party is also the guerilla army. The came about because the enemy made war against an unarmed civilian political party, I think. The next time the enemy tries that against this revived CPP, we will be able to defend ourselves. This also means that those arrogant heads of state and so-called leaders will be held accountable to the mass party at the pain of severe punishment. We will enforce our supremacy through the barrel of a gun, if need be. Let us not bite our tongues on this issue. We are a part of the people. And the African people must be free and respected by everyone. No apologies.
As for those who find every excuse for corruption and for delaying Unification, they too must be held accountable at the pain of severe punishment. Dividing Africa and sewing divisions and schisms among Africans will become a serious crime that will not be tolerated. It is time to get serious.
UNEDITED REPRODUCTION OF ABDURRAHMAN NELSON’S SECOND MAJOR CONTRIBUTION TO THE SHIVJI-PRAH DEBATE ON PAN-AFRICANISM
FROM: Abdurrahman Nelson
Saturday, November 19, 2011 11:18 AM
Samia Yabah Christina is the Leader of the African Revolution
By Sheik Abdul Rahman T.L. Nelson
“We left here many years ago because we were forced to leave. And we left with nothing; with nothing; but the clothes on our bodies. But I am here today with you, because it is my choice to I have come back and stay; and, to connect with my people; and to honor your father, my father, our father, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. And begin realizing his vision for Ghana’s (Africa’s) Development”
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwP2egXSCyk)—Samia Yabah Nkrumah
At first, I was not able to respond in detail to the questioning of the H.E. The Honorable Dr. Samia Nkrumah, MP as the Leader of the African Revolution due to time constraints. This statement is meant to explain exactly what I mean when I say that Comrade Samia is the Leader of the African Revolution.
The question first came to my attention when certain hostile elements attempted to co-op the CPP by preventing, delaying and otherwise disrupting our Party Congress. It was clear to me that they were intent upon corrupting the democratic process in such a childish manner because they feared a revival of the Convention People’s Party under her Excellency’s leadership. They wanted to use the name Nkrumahism in order to pimp the masses of African people everywhere while sleeping in the warm embrace of imperialism and zionism every night while getting rich. It was the same old story: Uncle Toms and Aunt Jemimas prostituting themselves while selling the people downriver.
At that time, I issued the statement that Samia Nkrumahs is the de-facto leader of the Convention People’s Party. In other words, although they had prevented her election as Chairwoman of the CPP, there was nothing they could do to deny the objective fact that she was and is the legitimate and moral leader of the party. We the African people everywhere will follow her lead because she has earned the right to leadership through honesty, morality, integrity and above all, hard work and study. These are the qualifications that we all must meet to claim leadership in the Nkrumahist Movement and in the African Nation from now on. Those who cannot measure up must be dumped into the garbage heap of history and forgotten. Our patience as run out. Dead weight will no longer hold us back.
A few days after I issued that statement, the following appeared in the general news media:
“She was only 5 years old when she woke up one morning at the sound of gunshots coming from the garden. It was hard to overcome the fear but she and her brothers did, eventually. It was February 24, 1966, the military coup that changed the history of Ghana for ever. On that day her mother told her to pray and immediately after insisted that “if they fire at you, nothing will happen to you”.
“This is just one of the many incredible memories of Samia Nkrumah, the 48 year old daughter of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of the Republic of Ghana, the man who in 1957 declared his country’s independence, founded the Organization of African Unity, the precursor of the African Union of now and today is venerated like a saint by many in Ghana.
“Samia is now back in her country and at the end of last year was elected to Parliament, in Ghana’s 5th multi-party elections since 1992. “It took many years and much experience of living and working in Ghana, Egypt, the United Kingdom and lastly in Italy, to come full circle and realize that the Pan-African project as articulated by my father, Kwame Nkrumah, offers the best response to our ongoing challenges”, says Samia with a deep smile. Nkrumah’s vision, as outlined in his books, are guidelines for Ghana and Africa and they remain as relevant today as they were in the 50s and 60s. “Achieving political and economic liberation, social justice and national and continental unity including the African Diaspora are yet to be realized” continues Samia. “It is our task today to continue from where Nkrumah left, while remaining flexible as we adapt to changing circumstances”.
“Till the moment she moved back to Ghana in early 2008, Samia lead a “normal” life. She lived in Italy for the last 10 years with her Italian husband and their 12 years old son Kwame, and she did not think about going back to her country of birth till the moment she met her father’s literary executrix (her name is June Milne; she is now 90 years old and living in England). This meeting opened up her heart. “This woman told me the most unbelievable stories about my father and she especially made me understand what an incredible spirit he had. He lived all his life for his cause and his people and while she was telling me these stories I felt that sooner or later, I would have to revisit his lifework”. Samia really believes this, as one can note traveling with her through Ghana. People recognize her in the streets when she stops to buy some bananas for the trip. “You will be our President, you are our Mother”, say some young people to her. And she always smiles while transmitting an incredible compassion. She has a deep capacity to relate to people. She came back to her country deeply convinced that only by respecting the rules and starting from the poorest part of her country, the Jomoro district — which is where her grandfather’s hometown is located and where she was elected — could she make a difference.
“In a few months she has become the hope of an entire nation and her popularity is as high as the newly elected President John Atta Mills. She made big news in Ghana’s last election by snatching the Jomoro Constituency for the CPP (Convention People’s Party, founded by her father) from a strong candidate of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Lee Ocran. This event was extremely important for the Ghanaian political scene and people really started to believe that “Kwame Nkrumah’s spirit has come back and is shining on Ghana.”
“Today the two major political parties fight to get her votes in Parliament and have both tried to reach an alliance with the CPP. “For now we will stay independent” affirms Samia, “We always keep in mind our principal goal which is meeting the social needs of our people. There is a lot to do in my country, and our objective, as our father’s, is to bring about a descent standard of living for our people. In the Jomoro district, many communities have no electricity, no running or portable water, and inadequate school facilities. If we want to improve our country, we must start from these issues. Especially we must start from education, because without a proper education there will be no development. Our father’s idea of Pan-africanism was not restricted to a political project but his vision also embraced the economic as well as the cultural aspects of our development.
“It envisioned a large cultural movement concerning all of Africa and Africans everywhere, as well as all who believe that unity, freedom and justice are the basis for real change. “For this reason I have decided to enter active politics in Ghana to promote the enduring vision of my father, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, for Ghana and Africa’s socio-economic and cultural emancipation. I have come to understand that being Nkrumah’s daughter means being a daughter of Ghana and Africa and having a responsibility to Africans everywhere”. Her modesty comes through as she admits: “I was not always so sure of the way forward as I am today. The dangers of political life were brought home to me early on in life. However, Kwame Nkrumah’s presence in my life, as it is in that of many other Africans, has been constant, powerful and lasting. In fact, his ideas have resonance with many of us irrespective of our political persuasions and affiliations. So while I am affiliated with a particular political party, I am embracing all Ghanaians in my thoughts”.
“She also thinks that being a women makes a difference: “We give our best when we do retain our “feminine” qualities of love, gentleness, patience, joy, humility, dignity, prudence and above all grace. These qualities are indeed as present in men as in women. So here I will refer to the feminine qualities in us all irrespective of our gender. As it happens, these qualities seem to be more obvious in women due to our upbringing and cultural education. So in a sense, when we say we want stronger female participation in politics or in any other sector, we mean we also want to see more of those feminine qualities visible in parliament, in politics, in community work, and at all levels of decision-making. We want politics with another flavour. We want to see the politics of humanity, of dignity, of dialogue, of wisdom, of grace. I have found many of these qualities are exemplified in the vision and political thought of Kwame Nkrumah”.
“Samia explains that Nkrumaism has at its centre three main guiding principles: liberation, justice and unity. At the heart of it is the objective of reversing the consequences of colonialism and slavery by realizing dignity, socio-political and economic emancipation. The main instrument in achieving this aim is unity. “We shall be proud of who we are” continues Samia, “of our food and the way we eat, of our languages, of our tradition, of our costume and so on. We shall move towards economic self-reliance by improving our manufacturing sector and investing heavily in human resources. We shall strive to achieve social justice, social equality, social security, and genuine democracy that includes education and equality between men and women, and human rights.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-kiss/the-new-mandela-is-a-woma_b_202760.html)
There you have it. For those of you who cannot accept any leadership that has not been endorsed by a white woman, the above is all the legitimacy and approval that you need.
H.E. Comrade Nelson Mandela inspires the entire African world and is a major Leader of the African Revolution. However, he is semi-retired. His political activity is severely limited due to advanced age and lack of youthful vigor. So, although he is still our moral leader, the time has come for younger people to join him in leadership and prepare to succeed him.
Also, Comrade Brother Muamar Qaddafi has recently been martyred. His is no longer here to And now that the CPP’s Congress has finally been completed she is assisted by the entire Executive Committee of the CPP. And, our new leadership is definitely a Revolutionary one. It first goal is to avoid endorsing any candidates for the presidency of the Republic of Ghana in 2012. If it decides to elect a flag-bearer at all, it will only be done AFTER, we have elected parliamentary candidates across the Republic of Ghana and other areas where we have an on the ground presence, possibly Sierra Leone. Being head of state is not what makes us the leaders. We must preferably complete re-writing the Party’s Constitution to meet the exigencies of Nkrumahism in an un-ambiguous language. It is the consensus of the masses of Africans everywhere that makes us leaders of the African Nation.
One little cult personality even had the audacity to suggest that Comrade Samia could be considered a vice presidential candidate for the Republic of Ghana in 2016. LOL!!! That one is funny. Imagine that. They thought they could buy us and pay for us with some little jive vice presidential job. LOL!! I cannot stop laughing. I know we have only one seat in Parliament right now, plus a couple of other seats that are in the process of mergering with us. But, if we want a job as soon kind of a president, why not the job of President of All-African Union Government led by the All-African Committee for Political Coordination as called for the Handbook of Revolutionary Wrafare?
If we can find time to read al that Marxist stuff all the time, surly we can the Handbook once and awhile. The Handbook is our bible. But, the CPP’s goal has never been to accept half way measures and compromise our principles in order to appease neocolonialism the way that the NDC and NPP governments and many others around the African world have done. We are not like the Obama drama who promises change we can live with until he gets elected. And then, all he does is flip flop immediately to make a corrupt deal with the crooks from the Clinton Administration. That is the kind of “you rub my back and I rub your back” politics that has prevented progress since the overthrow of our government in Ghana in 1966. We can rub our own damn backs, thank you.
And that is the main point. Comrade Samia has said that “we have come back to honor our father, Osagyefo Dr, Kwame Nkrumah”. Now that she is our Chairwoman, that is exactly what all parts of the CPP must and will do: honor Nkrumah. And it is the duty of all cadres of the Nkrumahist Movement to help her in any and every way that we can. Calling her “Leader” is just way small way to make it clear to all who have any doubt about it that she is our Leader.
Comrade Samia is one of the most beautiful women in the entire world in terms of physical appearance.
Because of her great beauty, I am sure that there are many scumbags who think they can take advantage of her and treat her like some little girl. It is therefore, mandatory that we as members of the Nkrumahist Movement, protect her in any and every way possible. She is our mother. She is our sister. She is our daughter. We are more than a mere movement. She calls us family. So, we are the Nkrumahist family. And we must and will protect and defend her as if she was a member of our own biological families. She is head of our ideological family.
In conclusion, I want revisit the issues of what a mass party and what is Nkrumahism-Toureism. In may last statement of these subjects, I referred repeatedly to the Islamic principles and values inherent in Nkrumahism-Toureism. I know some of us are atheists brain-dead from Marxist dogmatism. So, I did not mean to offend their sensibilities. I just wanted to make crystal clear that that is a theist philosophy, not an atheist one.
But,Yesterday, His Holiness the Pope issued a Statement of this very subject. The Catholic Church did not need the permission of ay heads of state to remind government leaders in Africa that it is the masses of Africans that we must love, respect and serve. Similarly, we the African people as represented by the People’s Party which is a mass party representing Africans everywhere, do not need Obama’s permission and certainly not Clinton’s permission to serve the African masses in America and throughout the African world. So, you can see that I respect Christianity and non-Believers although I do not agree with them. We are a political party. And, like all political parties, except those bran dead from Marxist dogmatism of course, must respect Africans from all beliefs systems. Below, I have reproduced the Full -text of that Statement:
“To Government and Religious Leaders in Africa”
His Holiness Pope Benedict
Distinguished civil, political and religious authorities, Distinguished heads of the diplomatic missions,
Dear Brother Bishops, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,
[Solemn greeting in Fon] DOO NOUMI!
Mr President, you have given me the opportunity of this encounter with this distinguished gathering of personalities. I appreciate this privilege, and I offer you my heartfelt thanks for the kind words which you have just expressed to me in the name of all the people of Benin. I also thank the representative of the institutions present for his words of welcome. Allow me to express my best wishes for all of you who are among the foremost protagonists, in various ways, of Benin’s national life.
Speaking on other occasions, I have often joined the word hope to the word Africa. I did so in Luanda two years ago as well as in reference to the Synod. The word hope is also found several times in the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Africae Munus which I am shortly going to sign. When I say that Africa is a continent of hope, I am not indulging in mere rhetoric, but simply expressing a personal conviction which is also that of the Church. Too often, our mind is blocked by prejudices or by images which give a negative impression of the realities of Africa, the fruit of a bleak analysis. It is tempting to point to what does not work; it is easy to assume the judgemental tone of the moralizer or of the expert who imposes his conclusions and proposes, at the end of the day, few useful solutions. It is also tempting to analyze the realities of Africa like a curious ethnologist or like someone who sees the vast resources only in terms of energy, minerals, agriculture and humanity easily exploited for often dubious ends. These are reductionist and disrespectful points of view which lead to the unhelpful “objectification” of Africa and her inhabitants.
I am aware that words do not always mean the same thing everywhere; but the meaning of hope differs little from culture to culture. A few years have now passed since I dedicated an encyclical letter to Christian hope. To talk of hope is to talk of the future and hence of God! The future has its roots in the past and in the present. The past we know well, regretting its failures and acknowledging its successes. The present we live as well as we can, I hope, for the best with God’s help! It is upon this mixture of many contradictory and complementary elements that we must build with the help of God.
Dear friends, in the light of this experience which ought to encourage us, I would like to mention two current African realities. The first relates in a general way to the socio-political and economic life of the continent, the second to interreligious dialogue. These realities concern all of us, because this century seems to be coming into being painfully and to struggle to make hope grow in these two particular domains.
During recent months, many peoples have manifested their desire for liberty, their need for material security, and their wish to live in harmony according to their different ethnic groups and religions. Indeed, a new state has been born on your continent. Many conflicts have originated in man’s blindness, in his will to power and in political and economic interests which mock the dignity of people and of nature. Human beings aspire to liberty; then to live in dignity; they want good schools and food for their children, dignified hospitals to take care of the sick; they want to be respected; they demand transparent governance which does not confuse private and public interests; and above all they desire peace and justice. At this time, there are too many scandals and injustices, too much corruption and greed, too many errors and lies, too much violence which leads to misery and to death. These ills certainly afflict your continent, but they also afflict the rest of the world. Every people wishes to understand the political and economic choices which are made in its name. They perceive manipulation and their revenge is sometimes violent. They wish to participate in good governance. We know that no political regime is ideal and that no economic choice is neutral. But these must always serve the common good. Hence we are faced with legitimate demands, present in all countries, for greater dignity and above all for greater humanity. Man demands that his humanity be respected and promoted. Political and economic leaders of countries find themselves placed before important decisions and choices which they can no longer avoid.
From this place, I launch an appeal to all political and economic leaders of African countries and the rest of the world. Do not deprive your peoples of hope! Do not cut them off from their future by mutilating their present! Adopt a courageous ethical approach to your responsibilities and, if you are believers, ask God to grant you wisdom! This wisdom will help you to understand that, as promoters of your peoples’ future, you must become true servants of hope. It is not easy to live the life of a servant, to remain consistent amid the currents of opinion and powerful interests. Power, such as it is, easily blinds, above all when private, family, ethnic or religious interests are at stake. God alone purifies hearts and intentions.
The Church does not propose any technical solution and does not impose any political solution. She repeats: do not be afraid! Humanity is not alone before the challenges of the world. God is present. There is a message of hope, hope which generates energy, which stimulates the intellect and gives the will all its dynamism. A former Archbishop of Toulouse, Cardinal Saliège, once said: “to hope is never to abandon; it is to redouble one’s activity”. The Church accompanies the State and its mission; she wishes to be like the soul of our body untiringly pointing to what is essential: God and man. She wishes to accomplish, openly and without fear, the immense task of one who educates and cares, but above all who prays without ceasing (cf. Lk 18:1), who points to God (cf. Mt 6:21) and to where the authentic man is to be found (cf. Mt 20:26, Jn 19:5). Despair is individualistic. Hope is communion. Is not this a wonderful path that is placed before us? I ask all political and economic leaders, as well those of the university and cultural realms to join it. May you also be sowers of hope!
I would now like to touch upon the second point, that of interreligious dialogue. I do not think it is necessary to recall the recent conflicts born in the name of God, or deaths brought about in the name of him who is life. Everyone of good sense understands that a serene and respectful dialogue about cultural and religious differences must be promoted. True interreligious dialogue rejects humanly self-centred truth, because the one and only truth is in God. God is Truth. Hence, no religion, and no culture may justify appeal or recourse to intolerance and violence. Aggression is an outmoded relational form which appeals to superficial and ignoble instincts. To use the revealed word, the Sacred Scriptures or the name of God to justify our interests, our easy and convenient policies or our violence, is a very grave fault.
I can only come to a knowledge of the other if I know myself. I cannot love unless I love myself (cf. Mt 22:39). Knowledge, deeper understanding and practice of one’s religion, are therefore essential to true interreligious dialogue. This can only begin by sincere personal prayer on the part of the one who desires to dialogue. Let him go in secret to his private room (cf. Mt 6:6) to ask God for the purification of reason and to seek his blessing upon the desired encounter. This prayer also asks God for the gift to see in the other a brother to be loved and, within his tradition, a reflection of the truth which illumines all people (Nostra Aetate, 2). Everyone ought therefore to place himself in truth before God and before the other. This truth does not exclude and it is not confusion. Interreligious dialogue when badly understood leads to muddled thinking or to syncretism. This is not the dialogue which is sought.
Despite the steps already taken, we know that sometimes interreligious dialogue is not easy or that it is impeded for various reasons. This does not necessarily indicate failure. There are many forms of interreligious dialogue. Cooperation in social or cultural areas can help people to understand each other better and to live together serenely. It is also useful to know that dialogue does not take place through weakness but because of belief in God. Dialogue is another way of loving God and our neighbour (cf. Mt 22:37) without abdicating what we are.
Having hope does not mean being ingenuous but making an act of faith in a better future. Thus the Catholic Church puts into action one of the intuitions of the Second Vatican Council, that of promoting friendly relations between herself and the members of non-Christian religions. For decades now, the Pontifical Council dedicated to this task has been creating links, holding meetings and publishing documents regularly in order to foster such a dialogue. In this way the Church strives to overcome the confusion of languages and the dispersal of hearts born of the sin of Babel (cf. Gen 11). I greet all religious leaders who have kindly come here to meet me. I would like to assure them, as well as those from other African countries, that the dialogue offered by the Catholic Church comes from the heart. I encourage them to promote, above all among the young people, a pedagogy of dialogue, so that they may discover that our conscience is a sanctuary to be respected and that our spiritual dimension builds fraternity. True faith leads invariably to love. It is in this spirit that I invite all of you to hope.
These general ideas may be applied especially to Africa. In your continent, there are many families whose members profess different beliefs, and yet these families remain united. This is not just a unity wished by culture, but it is a unity cemented by a fraternal affection. Sometimes, of course, there are failures, but there are also many successes. In this area, Africa can offer all of us food for thought and thus become a source of hope.
To finish, I would like to use the image of a hand. There are five fingers on it and each one is quite different. Each one is also essential and their unity makes a hand. A good understanding between cultures, consideration for each other which is not condescending, and the respect of the rights of each one are a vital duty. This must be taught to all the faithful of the various religions. Hatred is a failure, indifference is an impasse, and dialogue is an openness! Is this not good ground in which seeds of hope may be sown? To offer someone your hand means to hope, later, to love, and what could be more beautiful than a proffered hand? It was willed by God to offer and to receive. God did not want it to kill (cf. Gen 4:1ff) or to inflict suffering, but to care and to help live. Together with our heart and our intelligence, our hand too can become an instrument of dialogue. It can make hope flourish, above all when our intelligence stammers and our heart stumbles.
According to Sacred Scripture, three symbols describe the hope of Christians: the helmet, because it protects us from discouragement (cf. 1 Th 5:8), the anchor, sure and solid, which ties us to God (cf. Heb 6:19), and the lamp which permits us to await the dawn of a new day (cf. Lk 12:35-36). To be afraid, to doubt and to fear, to live in the present without God, or to have nothing to hope for, these are all attitudes which are foreign to the Christian faith (St John Chrysostom, Homily XIV on the Letter to the Romans, 6; PG 45, 941 C) and, I am convinced, to all other forms of belief in God. Faith lives in the present, but it awaits future goods. God is in our present, but he is also in the future, a place of hope. The expansion of our hearts is not only hope in God but also an opening to and care for physical and temporal realities in order to glorify God. Following Peter, of whom I am a successor, I hope that your faith and hope will be in God (cf. 1 Pet 1:21). This is my wish for the whole of Africa, which is so dear to me! Africa, be confident and rise up! The Lord is calling you. May God bless you! Thank you. (http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-to-government-and-religious-leaders-in-benin)
|UNEDITED REPRODUCTION OF MICHAEL MOORE’S OCCUPY WALL STREET PROPOSAL
From: Michael Moore <email@example.com>
Where Does Occupy Wall Street Go From Here? …a proposal from Michael Moore
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement. It was attended by 40+ people and the discussion was both inspiring and invigorating. Here is what we ended up proposing as the movement’s “vision statement” to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:
We Envision:  a truly free, democratic, and just society;  where we, the people, come together and solve our problems by consensus;  where people are encouraged to take personal and collective responsibility and participate in decision making;  where we learn to live in harmony and embrace principles of toleration and respect for diversity and the differing views of others;  where we secure the civil and human rights of all from violation by tyrannical forces and unjust governments;  where political and economic institutions work to benefit all, not just the privileged few;  where we provide full and free education to everyone, not merely to get jobs but to grow and flourish as human beings;  where we value human needs over monetary gain, to ensure decent standards of living without which effective democracy is impossible;  where we work together to protect the global environment to ensure that future generations will have safe and clean air, water and food supplies, and will be able to enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature that past generations have enjoyed.
The next step will be to develop a specific list of goals and demands. As one of the millions of people who are participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement, I would like to respectfully offer my suggestions of what we can all get behind now to wrestle the control of our country out of the hands of the 1% and place it squarely with the 99% majority.
Here is what I will propose to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:
10 Things We Want
A Proposal for Occupy Wall Street
Submitted by Michael Moore
1. Eradicate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and institute new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations, including a tax on all trading on Wall Street (where they currently pay 0%).
2. Assess a penalty tax on any corporation that moves American jobs to other countries when that company is already making profits in America. Our jobs are the most important national treasure and they cannot be removed from the country simply because someone wants to make more money.
3. Require that all Americans pay the same Social Security tax on all of their earnings (normally, the middle class pays about 6% of their income to Social Security; someone making $1 million a year pays about 0.6% (or 90% less than the average person). This law would simply make the rich pay what everyone else pays.
4. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, placing serious regulations on how business is conducted by Wall Street and the banks.
5. Investigate the Crash of 2008, and bring to justice those who committed any crimes.
6. Reorder our nation’s spending priorities (including the ending of all foreign wars and their cost of over $2 billion a week). This will re-open libraries, reinstate band and art and civics classes in our schools, fix our roads and bridges and infrastructure, wire the entire country for 21st century internet, and support scientific research that improves our lives.
7. Join the rest of the free world and create a single-payer, free and universal health care system that covers all Americans all of the time.
8. Immediately reduce carbon emissions that are destroying the planet and discover ways to live without the oil that will be depleted and gone by the end of this century.
9. Require corporations with more than 10,000 employees to restructure their board of directors so that 50% of its members are elected by the company’s workers. We can never have a real democracy as long as most people have no say in what happens at the place they spend most of their time: their job. (For any U.S. businesspeople freaking out at this idea because you think workers can’t run a successful company: Germany has a law like this and it has helped to make Germany the world’s leading manufacturing exporter.)
10. We, the people, must pass three constitutional amendments that will go a long way toward fixing the core problems we now have. These include:
a) A constitutional amendment that fixes our broken electoral system by 1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process; 2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed; 3) moving election day to the weekend to increase voter turnout; 4) making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth; 5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots.
b) A constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the constitutional rights of citizens. This amendment should also state that the interests of the general public and society must always come before the interests of corporations.
c) A constitutional amendment that will act as a “second bill of rights” as proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt: that every American has a human right to employment, to health care, to a free and full education, to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat safe food, and to be cared for with dignity and respect in their old age.
Let me know what you think. Occupy Wall Street enjoys the support of millions. It is a movement that cannot be stopped. Become part of it by sharing your thoughts with me or online (at OccupyWallSt.org). Get involved in (or start!) your own local Occupy movement. Make some noise. You don’t have to pitch a tent in lower Manhattan to be an Occupier. You are one just by saying you are. This movement has no singular leader or spokesperson; every participant is a leader in their neighbourhood, their school, their place of work. Each of you is a spokesperson to those whom you encounter. There are no dues to pay, no permission to seek in order to create an action.
We are but ten weeks old, yet we have already changed the national conversation. This is our moment, the one we’ve been hoping for, waiting for. If it’s going to happen it has to happen now. Don’t sit this one out. This is the real deal. This is it.
Have a happy Thanksgiving!