“Because the Black Panther Party is not embarrassed to change or admit error, tonight I would like to accept the criticism and say that those critics were absolutely right. We are a collection of communities just as the Korean people, the Vietnamese people, and the Chinese people are a collection of communities-a dispersed collection of communities because we have no superstructure of our own. The superstructure we have is the superstructure of Wall Street, which all of our labor produced. This is a distorted form of collectivity. Everything’s been collected but it’s used exclusively in the interest of the ruling circle. This is why the Black Panther Party denounces Black capitalism and says that all we can do is liberate our community, not only in Vietnam but here, not only in Cambodia and the People’s Republics of China and Korea but the communities of the world.
We must unite as one community and then transform the world into a place where people will be happy, wars will end, the state itself will no longer exist, and we will have communism.” Huey P. Newton, “Speech at Boston College” (1970)
In 1970 the leadership of the original Black Panther Party made a qualitative leap on the ideological-political front-a leap from revolutionary nationalism to Marxism-Leninism and further to what Comrade Huey dubbed “Revolutionary lntercommunalism.” But it did not make this leap successfully. It did not hit the ground running. It did not consolidate as a Party around this more advanced ideological-political line organizationally. Instead, what it did was split apart into reformist and left-adventurist factions, and eventually liquidated itself as a party. We won’t say it ceased to exist, because there have continued to be Black Panthers, particularly inside the prisons, which is where the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (PC) was formed in 2005.
The NABPP (PC) was founded of the basis of revolutionary nationalism, though from the start we were conscious of Huey’s “Theory of Revolutionary lntercommunalism,” and made a serious study of it before making the leap from revolutionary nationalism to full adoption of it in 2010. Revolutionary nationalism is a “two-into-one-ism,” that is an eclectic mix of contradictory elements. In this case nationalism and socialism. They are like oil and water, and inevitably, one will divide into two. But it is how most people make the transition from bourgeois nationalism-what Huey used to call “pork-chop nationalism”-to proletarian internationalism. Generally speaking, a frog can’t sit on a lily-pad, because it won’t support his weight, but a frog can leap from one to another to reach a rock where he can perch.
Nations and nationalism belong to a specific era of history, the bourgeois (capitalist) era. There were empires under feudalism; the Spanish, the Portuguese, the French, the Dutch, the English, and so on, but not nations as such. With the rise of the bourgeois class there came the emergence of nation states. They were the product of liberal bourgeois democratic revolutions that overthrew the old feudal order. As Marx and Engels explained in the Communist Manifesto:
“The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated population, centralized the means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralization. Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments, and systems of taxation, became lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class-interest , one frontier, and one customs-tariff.”
But even as nations were being formed, the development of a world market undercut the foundations of nationalism. Lenin explains: “Developing capitalism,” says Lenin, “knows two historical tendencies in the national question. First: the awakening of national life and national movements, struggle against all national oppression, creation of national states. Second: development and acceleration of all kinds of intercourse between nations, breakdown of national barriers, creation of the international unity of capital, of economic life in general, of politics, science, etc.
“Both tendencies are a world-wide law of capitalism. The first predominates at the beginning of its development, the second characterizes mature capitalism that is moving towards its transformation into socialist society” (see Vol. XVII, pp. 139-40). In other words the transformation of independent national economies into a globalized world economy with a global ruling class renders nations and nationalism obsolete. Huey dubbed this “reactionary intercommunalism.” More popularly it is known as “late capitalism” or “the Era of Neoliberalism.”
What Huey recognized was that People’s China, Vietnam, the emerging socialist countries in Afrika, etc., were not really “nations” but temporarily “liberated zones.” They could exist only as “rear areas” in a global “people’s war” in which the decisive front was here, inside the “belly of the beast.” And the decisive issue was black liberation. Mao recognized this as well. As he stated in 1963, in his “Statement Supporting the American Negroes in Their Just Struggle Against Racial Discrimination by U.S. Imperialism,” and again in 1968 in “A New Storm Against Imperialism”: “The evil system of colonialism and imperialism arose and throve with the enslavement of Negroes and the trade in Negroes, and it will surely come to its end with the complete emancipation of the black people.”
Comrade George Jackson came to the same conclusion in 1970 stating: “International capitalism cannot be destroyed without the extremes of struggle. The entire colonial world is watching the blacks inside the U.S., wondering and waiting for us to come to our senses. Their problems and struggles with the Amerikan monster are much more difficult than they would be if we actively aided them. We are on the inside. We are the only ones (besides the very small white minority left) who can get at the monster’s heart without subjecting the world to nuclear fire. We have a momentous historical role to act out if we will. The whole world for all time in the future will love us and remember us as the righteous people who made it possible for the world to live on.”
“The capitalist Eden fits my description of hell. To destroy it will require cooperation and communication between our related parts; communion between colony and colony, nation and nation. The common bond will be the desire to humble the oppressor, the need to destroy capitalist man and his terrible, ugly machine. If there were any differences between us in the black colony and the peoples of other colonies across the country, around the world, we should be willing to forget them in the desperate need for coordination against Amerikan fascism.
“We must accept the spirit of the true internationalism called for by Comrade Che Guevara….We need allies, we have a powerful enemy who cannot be defeated without an allied effort! The enemy at present is the capitalist system and its supporters. Our prime interest is to destroy them. Anyone else with this same interest must be embraced, we must work with, beside, through, over, under anyone, regardless of his or her external physical features, whose aim is the same as ours in this. Capitalism must be destroyed, and after it is destroyed, if we find we still have problems, we’ll work them out. That is the nature of life, struggle, permanent revolution; that is the situation we were born into. There are other peoples on this earth. In denying their existence and turning inward in our misery and accepting any form of racism we are taking on the characteristic of our enemy. We are resigning ourselves to defeat. For in forming a conspiracy aimed at the destruction of the system that holds us all in the throes of a desperate insecurity we must have coordinating elements connecting us and our moves to the moves of the other colonies, the African colonies, those in Asia and Latin Amerika, in Appalachia and the south-western bean fields.
“We must establish a true internationalism with other anticolonial peoples. Then we will be on the road of the true revolutionary. Only then can we expect to seize the power that is rightfully ours, the power to control the circumstances of our day-to-day lives.
“The fascist must expand to live. Consequently, he had pushed his frontiers to the farthest lands and peoples. This is an aspect of his being, an ungovernable compulsion. This perverted mechanical monster suffers from a disease that forces him to build ugly things and destroy beauty wherever he finds it.
“We must fall on our enemies, the enemies of all righteousness, with a ruthless relentless will to win! History sweeps on, we must not let it escape our influence this time!!!!”
(Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson, p 202-204, Bantam Ed., pub. 10/70)
This is the essential kernel of “Revolutionary lntercommunalism.” It is not as a disjointed collection of national liberation struggles but as a united struggle to end (by overthrowing) capitalist-imperialism that we can achieve worldwide revolutionary intercommunalism as a stepping stone to world communism. This spear must have a point and one that is right up against the throat of the beast. Together with the strength of all the oppressed people of the world we must ram this spear home and slay the monster.
With the collapse of the original BPP, a lot of revolutionary nationalist comrades slid backwards into “cultural nationalism,” and other forms of bourgeois ideology, and in general adopting a bourgeois political world view dressed up in militant posturing. It is time to end this “chicken shit” behavior and stop pretending it has anything to do with Pantherism! We should still be holding high the panther banner founded by Huey. You can’t be a black nationalist without being a white nationalist (and vice versa), and you can’t be either without being an integrationist into the bloodsucking capitalist system.
All the militant posturing in the world can’t hide that truth!
When Malcolm X said: “Show me a capitalist and I’ll show you a bloodsucker!” he was speaking the hard, cold, liberating truth! There is only one kind of capitalism and one capitalist system, and its headquarters is on Wall Street. Capitalism has only one law and that is to seek out the highest rate of profit on investments, and the “big dawgs” will eat up the “little dawgs” to concentrate wealth into ever fewer hands until the inequality of wealth is negated by socialist revolution. There is no other endgame possible and anyone who tells you different is a fool or a liar. It is late in the game now, and wealth is already well concentrated. If we’re not talking about socialist revolution, we are not revolutionaries. There are only two options, private ownership of the means of production or social ownership of the means of production. There is no third option.
National Socialism is fascism, and fascism is just the ruling class dispensing with the pretext of liberal democracy. It’s still capitalism, just no Bill of Rights.
Social Democracy is still capitalism, just with some liberal concessions. Fascism and Social Democracy do a dance number to keep the masses distracted but real revolution is not on the playbill. You can’t vote away the dictatorship of the rich, you can only overthrow it with the dictatorship of the proletariat. When we say: “All Power to the People!” this is what we’re talking about. We’re not talking about another Liberal Democratic Revolution, not even where there has yet to be one. There we are talking about a New Democratic Revolution-under the leadership of the proletariat, and then only to clear the way for Socialist Revolution and in the context of World Proletarian Socialist Revolution.
Revolutionary lntercommunalism is the recognition that we need to put the emphasis on globalized struggle and overthrow of the global capitalist empire. The system is too integrated already to do otherwise. We can’t have another American Revolution outside the context of overthrowing the global monopoly capitalist empire the U.S. has become.
Where is the U.S. military? It is in 500 military bases around the world. If we’re serious about revolution, we need to have plans to build the United Panther Movement on those bases and in the countries where those bases are located, and on the continents where those countries are located. We need to build people’s power wherever people are concentrated. We need to create revolutionary literature in every language people speak.
We need to be Pan-Afrikanists, but we also need to be Pan-Americanists, Pan-Asianists and Pan-Europeanists too. We need to apply Pantherism to all the World! We need to unite Black Panthers, Brown Panthers, and White Panthers! As Huey said: “We have two evils to defeat, capitalism and racism.” And we need to address the oppression of women and gender oppression in general! We need to end caste oppression and religious oppression! To end child exploitation and the neglect and abuse of elders! We need to create “Serve the People!” programs and “Survival Programs” that address all of the people’s needs no matter what color the people are, what language they speak or where they live. Only in this way can we defeat capitalist-imperialism and create global revolutionary intercommunalism.
Talking about doing less than this is “chicken shit!” It is saying “I only care about ‘y people,”‘ which is really saying “I only care about myself”-which is the ideology of the bourgeoisie. It is what we must defeat if anybody is going to be liberated. When it comes to honoring heroes, history is full of worthy examples of people we should honor and teach our children about. We can people’s pride forgive people for having human failings and weaknesses, but their contributions should outweigh their negative aspects. Most importantly, we should strive ourselves to be people that will inspire our children by our actions and how we represent the bright future in the struggles of today. We should be humble and honest and strive to be the “people’s pride.” That’s what being a Panther is about!
DARE TO STRUGGLE! DARE TO WIN!
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE! PANTHER LOVE!