Special Documents

Revolutionary Pan-Afrikanism
By Chen Chimutengwende

During the pre-independence and pre-civil rights era, Pan-Afrikanism was a higher form of nationalism and was aimed at uniting all black people worldwide into one international force for black liberation from racism and colonialism, and for national independence and civil rights. Pan-Afrikanism at the international scene was not only a highly powerful basis and guide, but also an energizer, co-ordinator, and the uniting and driving force for the First Liberation Struggle. Pan-Afrikanism successfully gave back to many black people all over the world their identity, self-respect, dignity, motivation, self-confidence, pride, hope and inspiration which had been taken away from them by slavery, colonialism and racism. The success in implementing this task of mental and cultural de-colonization, even if this was limited, was one of the most essential factors in the achievement of the great victories of the First Liberation Struggle.

Revolutionary Pan-Afrikanism and ecosocialism is a liberation force for the continuation of the de-colonization process in all sectors and all levels of society in this current era. It serves as the ideological basis and guide, and is an energizer, co-ordinator, and the uniting and driving force for the Second Liberation Struggle. Revolutionary Pan-Afrikanism will continue with the process of giving back to more and more black people all over the world their identity, self-respect, dignity, motivation, self-confidence, pride, hope and inspiration. This has to be done as a continuous process. The successful implementation of this task will also be one of the most essential factors in the achievement of the objectives of the Second Liberation Struggle.

The difference between mere Pan-Afrikanism and revolutionary Pan-Afrikanism is mainly in their objectives, levels of struggle, how they deal with the nature of the ever-changing strategies and tactics of the enemy, and the eras concerned. While there is a wide difference between mere Pan-Afrikanism and revolutionary Pan-Afrikanism, these should be taken as two different schools of thought both necessary and unavoidable for two different levels or stages of the same international black liberation process. The Second Liberation Struggle benefits from and builds on the experience of the First Liberation Struggle. The First Liberation Struggle itself was a product of black nationalist and Pan-Afrikanist ideas and experiences. The Second Liberation Struggle is a product of revolutionary Pan-Afrikanist and ecosocialist ideas and experiences. It is always important to make a distinction between Pan-Afrikanists who consciously or unconsciously support capitalism and the revolutionary Pan-Afrikanists who oppose capitalism and are for its replacement by ecosocialism. This means the Pan-Afrikanists who support capitalism are opposed to the Second Liberation Struggle. Their struggle is about how to make money personally as quickly as possible and by any means possible especially corruption and the abuse and manipulation of the state machinery, which is easier and quicker than any other methods.

Revolutionary Pan-Afrikanists, who are here defined as ecosocialists, are for the total elimination of all forms of oppression and exploitation whether by whites against blacks or by blacks against other blacks or by an alliance of blacks and whites against blacks or whites against other whites or any other people oppressing and exploiting any other people in any part of the world. In other words, revolutionary Pan-Afrikanists are for the elimination of the oppression and exploitation of one race or one nation or one ethnic group or one class or one sex or one person by another in any part of the world. Such an objective can only be realized in a classless society which also can only be fully achieved through the victory of ecosocialism. This is in line with what Marx and Engels described as scientific socialism in the Communist Mainifesto, and is a transitional stage to world communism. As a result, this is why at its advanced stage, the international black liberation struggle should be based on class struggle if the liberation of the overwhelming majority of Afrika’s people both at home and abroad is to be fully achieved. This is also why Kwame Nkrumah who was one of the greatest contributors to the First Liberation Struggle in terms of theory, practice and as a writer, strongly supported scientific socialism. 

Revolutionary Pan-Afrikanism will and must continue to exist far into the ecosocialist era. This is because when capitalism is defeated and ecosocialist forces take over state power, it will not automatically mean the immediate end of all problems which were caused by capitalism. Classes, oppression, exploitation, racial and ethnic discrimination, gender inequality, and other capitalist practices, consequences, values and ways of thinking among many people will always try to continue to exist for some time under the ecosocialist system. Such problems have to be fought and defeated which is another protracted struggle in the ecosocialist era. The defeat of the capitalist ruling class really means such capitalist problems will no longer be protected and promoted by the state machinery. The process of eliminating such problems can only decisively begin to yield concrete and lasting results during the new struggle for building revolutionary ecosocialism in every country and at the global level.

back to top

May 15, 2015