Theory and Practice: Implementing Revolution As A Scientific Process

Revolution is defined as a basic transformation of the political, economic, or social principles and institutions in a state, resulting from the overthrow of an established order. Social scientists generally agree that revolutions do not materialize as arbitrarily occurring phenomena independent of conditions that exist in a society, but instead develop out of material conditions that are conducive to social change. Once the process is initiated, it is the realities of society that stoke the flames of revolutionary resistance until the necessary social adjustments are made by the ruling class in an attempt to extinguish those flames before they can become an uncontrollable blaze. Ultimately, the circumstances determined by the material reality is what dictates the course of action pursued by the masses in their attempt to change their social conditions.

The basic ingredient that is necessary for initiating revolutionary struggle is the realization among the masses that oppression does exist. As the masses begin to understand that their oppression is based on collective subjugation and exploitation rather than on isolated incidents directed toward certain individuals, the process of encouraging revolutionary resistance among the masses can be cultivated on a much wider scale. Therefore, providing political education to the masses is the first step in preparing for revolution. The masses must come to understand that their oppression exists to maintain control over their social development which ensures their status in society as an exploitable class of people. The very contradictions that arise when the masses are oppressed often create the best opportunities for providing political education to the masses and implementing political organization. Exposing these contradictions must be viewed only as a means to the political end and should never be seen as the objective itself.

Since the average working class African man or woman may not relate to the scientific theory of waging revolutionary struggle, they must be engaged on the level where they struggle daily to exist. Huey Newton and the Black Panther Party taught us through the practical application of community based "Survival Programs" that an oppressed people learn effectively through the process of observation and participation. The Pan-African Panther Party's strategy of organizing the masses around their primary needs for the purpose of seizing control of the community is the means by which the masses can actively participate in their own political education. This process of education will serve as the vehicle through which we introduce the concept of Pan-Africanism: The total liberation and unification of Africa under scientific socialism. Through the ideology of Pan-Africanism, we see the total liberation of African people around the world. Our strategy must be to demonstrate the importance of this ideal to the masses by providing political education on a level where it has relevance. As revolutionaries, we must become "social scientists" if we are to understand the needs of the people so that we can effectively implement the proper solutions. Throughout the course of history, no two countries have ever developed identically, therefore, it would be naive to believe that the implementation of socialism in any particular country can be transplanted in its pure form to another social reality without first taking into consideration the uniqueness of the people's historical and cultural development. Thus, the never ending task of the social scientist must be to utilize the tools of historical and dialectical materialism to properly assess the reality of the people relative to the society in which they live so that the correct solutions can be applied to the appropriate problems, and only for as long as the perceived solution is applicable.

Due to the complexities associated with realizing the Pan-African objective, the Pan-African revolution must be viewed in terms of a protracted struggle with definite, clear cut objectives. We must set both short and long term goals, and implement a strategy which will allow us to reach them while advancing the overall struggle of the people. The immediate objective of the Pan-African Panther Party seeks to organize people around the basic needs of food, clothing, housing, education, and adequate medical care, so that African people can gain control of their lives as individuals and also as a community while maintaining a focus on the ultimate objective which is complete liberation. Accomplishment of the immediate objective will facilitate the realization of the ultimate objective by advancing the consciousness of the masses and contributing to the process of building institutions.

The reality of the current world political situation is that superior organization dominates and exploits the unorganized. In the Pan-African Panther Party, we maintain that anyone who is not consciously practicing an ideology that is in the collective interest of his/her people must be practicing the ideology of White Supremacy. This position is based on the fact that racism has historically been used by the Europeans to distort the issue of class struggle and consolidate power into the hands of White people. As a result, we see that White Supremacy and capitalism serve as complimentary functions to each other at the expense of people of color in general and African people in particular. Capitalism has been organized so that every individual is forced to participate in its systems and/or institutions to ensure his/her own existence or risk being systematically destroyed. Participation in the capitalist system ultimately contributes to the perpetuation of its policies of exploitation and oppression, however, the conscious African may engage in capitalist practices to extract resources that are then used for the revolution.

The socio-economic status of African people in countries around the world provides ample evidence that capitalism has been detrimental to our very existence throughout history and the pattern continues even to this day. The condition persists simply because we are out organized by our enemies, which is why it becomes primary that the masses be educated and organized to act in the collective interest of all African people. Nothing significant ever happens without organization except for an accident. Superior organization of our people is the only thing that can improve the condition of our people collectively. Any programs that are initiated around the needs of the people must have the active participation of the affected people to ensure that the ideology and strategy remains intimately grounded in the reality of the people. This process will aid ordinary people in gaining some measure of control over their personal and political future through tangible experiences. The end result will be a more politically educated community that is more adequately prepared to resist all forms of exploitation and oppression while working toward liberation.

Being a revolutionary requires making a commitment to a particular lifestyle. As revolutionaries, we must remain conscious of the fact that everything we do should propel the struggle for African liberation forward and provide for us the means to seize power on a local, national, and international level (power is defined as having the authority to determine one's social, political, and economic destiny). We must be careful to employ the correct strategy for seizing power, one that is implemented in stages as allowed by the social reality, focusing on the material conditions locally but organizing with consideration for a national and international political agenda. This strategy can be effective when implemented as a procedure for organizing the masses to make and sustain revolutionary struggle. It represents a general approach to organizing the individual, the community, and the masses with the practical application of ideas. It can be a guideline for true revolutionary struggle because it integrates theory with practice. Any theory that is to be implemented has to remain flexible enough to adapt to the unpredictable nature of the human species and social phenomena, otherwise, it becomes ideological dogma that will ultimately be rejected by the very same masses it was supposed to liberate.

Originally submitted by the Pan-African Panther Party