Friday, December 16, 2011

Why Political Education Must Be a Basic Function of the Pan-African Internationalist Movement

By Nnamdi Lumumba

To be free, the oppressed must be organized in their own interests. To be organized, the masses require access to skills and ideas that not only inform them of the world in which we live in but also of the ideas that we most embrace to transform the world. The oppressed most have leaders and institutions that serve their interest and when these instruments cease to serve the people, the masses must be armed with correct ideas so they can remove these forces. None of this can be done if the masses of colonized and oppressed African people are not engaged in a consistent process of political education.

As Pan-African Internationalists, we must take seriously the need to politically educate and agitate the masses of African people. We must do this in all mediums available to us to challenge the goliath mass media of the U.S. imperialist state. We most build a dual and contending mass education system that actively struggles for the hearts and minds of our oppressed and colonized people.

Whether you read a book, watch a video or listen to music, people are always being bombarded with socio-political views. The vast majority of views in media are the ideas of the parasitic white ruling class and its neo-colonial stooges. These serve as mis-education tools against the interests of the masses of African working class and other poor people. To counter this, the people political education.

Political Education is the process of elevating human consciousness to be able to perceive and interpret phenomenon so participants can be conscientious actors in determining their economic, political, social and spiritual reality. Political education, like any legitimate form of education is for the upliftment of humanity and the greater development of the individual to serve the collective.

Unlike the training disguised as education in the U.S. education system, the process of education makes people more capable of thinking independently not simply reciting information by rote.  Education makes it more possible for people to understand their condition and to transform their condition.

The goal of political education is to produce human beings who are conscious of the social, economic, political and spiritual issues that impact their lives and equip them to resolve those issues. We should be vested in this process as it speeds up the overall struggle by the masses against injustice and humiliation at the hands of the ruling class and the African petty bourgeoisie. Without such education, the masses will continue to engage oppressive conditions but not have all the tools they need to plot a conclusion that liberates us from oppression.

The process of carrying out political education by Pan African Internationalists should teach participants personal and organization discipline. Political education process should develop leadership and communication skills. The participants should be able to demonstrate greater capacity to sum up the world and defend any solutions they put forward to resolve the crisis in the world.

Political education must be seen as an ongoing process. It cannot be treated as a process that only new forces engage in. Ho Chin Min once warned that once you stop progressing in your studies, one does not stagnate but instead regress.  Political education must become a way of political and social life for forces committed to changing the world.

Pan African Internationalists must recognize that political education is fundamental to human and organizational development. We most actively struggle to counter the mis-education that the capitalist-imperialist social system permeates about ourselves, other people and about the nature of U.S. society.
Pan African Internationalist organization requires politically, socially and emotionally developed cadre and mass workers who are capable of producing revolutionary transformation. The struggle needs organizers who are confident in their ability and rights as human beings to be free on their own terms.

Political education will facilitate greater unity and clarity in the liberation work. The chaos experienced under colonial domination is purposefully maintained by imperialism so the masses will struggle amongst ourselves instead of against it to solve our problems. African people in the grip of colonial madness often see themselves as their own worst enemies while their real national and class enemies are able to rob us blind of our resources. People often criticize African behavior in colonial situations to be like that of crabs in a barrel but no one ever dare criticize the ones who forcefully place crabs in the barrel to begin with.

In the final analysis, the value of political education will be measured on its ability to empower human beings to take control of their lives. It is more than just giving them skills to perform as more efficient cogs in the capitalist machine. It is about giving people to ability to see, define and create the world in which they want to exist in

As a minimum, political education most provide the participants with the ability to think and sum up the world in their own words. It must also provide them with the confidence necessary to engage imperialism on a variety of issues. Genuine cadre forces should have the ability to transform a condition or situation to advance the needs of poor and oppressed people. Lastly, the masses and its leadership should develop a greater unity with the struggles of all poor and oppressed peoples against oppression of all forms.

Political education must not be seen as a secondary function or even worst as an optional function. We must commit ourselves to carryout Political Education as consistently and creativity as we can. It is a process which will pay us back ten-fold for our time and effort.

2 Response(s):

That idea is good for the US,Canada, Europe, Brazil and some parts of the Carribbean, but for 50 African nations, and Haiti, one faces being tied beaten then forced to watch ones family raped and then dismmebered for holding such classes or exchanging such fliers or borchures, and in this high tech age, rest assured that 90%of the despots have the same internet montoring devices as Egypt, and China, as well as drones to watch the masses. What did the new head of Gambia just say? "I will be in power for a thousand years"

I am not sure of the alternative to this process even in Africa.
To accept that political education as basic primary function, even one conducted covertly and underground, is without merit and not worth the effort is extremely dangerous in our opinion.
Tactics and strategies must be implemented that allow for organizers to politicize the masses. Movements driven underground still must communicate ideas. How will the conditions for revolutionary transformation take place if there is no commitment to agitate the masses and project a worldview that serves them.
Without the masses being educated and politicized about the nature of the struggle and the direction of the solution, little more than a coup d’├ętat can happen in a situation where one group in power is displaced.
I would like to hear more on how success struggle can be had without a process of political education.