Political Structures of Pan-African Federal Republic and it’s economics basis
A Possible Scenario
Submitted for discussion purposes
by Lil Joe
The political representatives of the G8’s industrial and finance capitals -- representatives of the agribusinesses, industrial and finance sectors of the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Japan -- and Russia -- met in Britain to politically mediate their economic conflicts, and develop a joint political strategy needed to confront the global economic crises, and, consequently, political crisis.
The G8’s capitalists are presently locked in a battle between the interests of the big capitalists of the European Union and Asia, represented by the governments of Germany, France, and Japan on the one side, against those represented by the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom on the other. It is an economic war waged by technological advances in the productive forces of capitalist commodity production by wageworkers, competing with rival capitalists of the same industries within the framework of domestic and transnational corporations.
Global rivalries -- for example, the steel industries, the agricultural blocs (e.g. the ‘banana wars’), control of energy resources, and 3rd world debt -- have always been part and parcel of the anarchic nature of capitalist commodity production by wage labor, an economic war of all against all. In their respective industrial or agricultural business rivalries, the struggle to dominate the market, possibly by driving out competitors, one capitalist kills many.
But, large-scale industries and agriculture of necessity go over from one ‘captain of industry’ proprietorships to corporate capital formations, social capital, the ownership of which is by many in stocks, shares. These in turn hire workers (salaried employees) to manage the business for them, to run the corporation, the objective of their jobs being to drive out competitors and maximize profits.
The epicenter of these conflicts is Middle Asia and North Africa. US capitalists, by the superior military power of their political state, want to expand that state power into Middle Asia and North Africa to thus subordinate the capitalists of the European Union, politically -- by means of military occupation forces controlling the oil fields -- to thereby control the energy sources upon which the industries and agribusinesses of the European Union, and Japan, are dependent. This is the real legacy of the so-called "Carter Doctrine".
The European Union nations, and Japan, have the most advanced technology and highest labor productivity, but relatively low military capacity, and the United States has less efficient productive forces, but an awesome military capacity and willingness to use it. It is using it in Central Europe and Middle Asia.
Warfare is politics by other means, by violence. But, ideological propaganda is required to bamboozle the American and British working classes to justify these wars and occupations of Middle Asian countries.
British and American capitalists cannot argue their case for wars and occupations on the truthful basis of generating profit maximizations by the conquest and control of oil fields vis-à-vis the rival capitalists of Germany, Japan and France, so US and UK demagogic politicians generate politics of fear: "The Arabs are coming!" i.e. "Arab and Islamic terrorists are coming!" Western Christian ‘values’, and institutions ("human rights", "woman’s rights", and "democracy") are spread into these "medieval" Arab and Islamic lands using sophistry and flowery rhetoric (propaganda) through the news media of the White Man’s Burden.
Now in control of Iraqi oil fields, the politico-military representatives of U.S. industrial and finance capitalists forced the German, French and Russian industrial and finance capitalists to cancel debts and interests payments due them by Iraqi capitalists and their bureaucratic-military apparatus.
This is what U.S. troop movement in Central Asian former Soviet Republics, together with colonial occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, is all about. This also is the explication of Britain and America pressure in the U.N to authorize their ‘right’ to intervene directly in Sudan in Africa.
The British, through its so-called "Commonwealth" of neo-colonies, has Nigeria, and other oil producing African countries, under its political -- and America’s economic -- control. But, Sudan has not been ‘co-operative’, as it is doing its business with the rising economic powerhouse of Asia, China. It is to be understood, that this is not the crude materialist analysis of the American’s wanting to own the oilfield as the motive in and of itself, but to increasingly control the energy supply to European and Asian capitalist who rival for control with American capitalists.
The ideological basis for the Anglo-American capitalists’ attack on German, French and Russian capitalists, is that those debts owned by Iraqi capitalists and state were "Saddam’s debts"; Saddam Hussein has been abducted, and is isolated in a prison cell somewhere. Also there is the flowery rhetoric and sophistry declaring U.S. imperialism’s noble intention to ‘rebuild Iraq’, (while destroying it) and to spread ‘democracy and freedom’ by its colonial occupation.
But, what goes around comes around. A European power, and member of the EU, the British politicians are representing British capitalists, playing a mediating role of giving up, and pressuring the U.S. to similarly ‘forgive’ the debts owed to American capitalists by African nations.
While G8 politicians and ideologists are basking in the lie of humanitarian motives to "help Africa", the economic wars behind the scenes are cut throat capitalist rivalries. These are the global economic conflicts that engendered the politics of the G8 summit in Britain, and their announcement of debt cancellation in the poorest 3rd world countries, most of which are in Africa.
Moreover G8 countries had to come to grips with the fact that, in developing countries, financial and fiscal resources are drying up. Developing countries, and Africa, are not able to pay off their creditors without at the same time sharply curtailing industrial and agricultural import purchases. This is not an option.
The European and American capitalists can’t come forth in naked honesty saying the 3rd world and Africa’s debts are being cancelled, so that American and E.U. capitalists and governments can sell them European and American commodities. So, instead, they have their political lackeys come out with all manner of flowery rhetoric about "humanitarian policy", "increasing democracy", "ending African poverty".
It is one thing to have African heads of state cut off social spending, so-called ‘welfare reform’, as was also occurring in the United State (cutting the relative surplus population from government assistance), but quite another thing when it is a question of taxing American and European workers to send it to Africa to provide finances required to purchase Western commodities.
Money that is not invested, but merely passed from hand to hand, financial institutions, credit cards, checks, and currency, does not create money; it only transfers authority to pay for commodities. No fresh wealth is generated.
Similarly, government-to-government exchange, passing money from one country’s government to another, does not create wealth. Rather, wealth qua wealth is produced, literally and figuratively, in production and distribution by the transfer of value from one object to another. The value of labor power (variable capital) is absorbed in objects by the labor process, in production and circulation.
What American bourgeois economists call hard-nosed positive economics, the economics of self-interest rather than normative, so-called moral suasion and humanitarian rhetoric, is the positive economics inferred in the explication of ‘why’ the G8 had to vote for debt cancellation in developing countries, and Africa. It wasn’t altruism.
American and European transnational finance capital is taking the loss, primarily by losing payment on cumulative debts, and interest payments. But, it’s good in the long term economically because once Africans again begin to purchase Western commodities demand will be thereby stimulated, which will stimulate production, thus engendering capital borrowing.
The cancellations are freeing up money in African countries to purchase industrially manufactured products from the same G8 countries. The bourgeois governments of the West are appropriating taxes from exploited Western workers to give money to African bourgeois governments to purchase commodities from the same Western capitalists.
The image of African poverty and Western altruism is to hoodwink Western workers into thinking the Western bourgeois governments are giving ‘aid’ to impoverished Africans. These are the same capitalists that exploit wageworkers in their own countries.
At the same time, publically chastising African heads of state for ‘bad governance’ and ‘corruption’ is a smokescreen, making them the fall guys, to account for the billions previously given as ‘aid’. African heads of state and cronies did in fact get their cut of the loot from Western industrialists, by bribery under the table.
But by publically chastising African ‘heathens’ for not knowing how to manage their economies, which cannot be done by anyone, and denouncing these ‘savages’ as greedy bandits and rogues for siphoning chunks of those aid grants, the discussion is manipulated by demagogic rhetoric from technological economic issues in the context of global economies to discussions of un-testable hypothesis of individual psychoanalysis.
The actuality is that money credit or/and money loaned, or donated to African governments, was ostensibly to purchase Western commodities. African heads of state are being denounced as bandits and rogues mismanaging African economies and looting aid pools, but the aid is actually wasted on military spending.
Behind the scenes and deceptions, the real economics is that Africans are killing Africans using Western weapons while the capitalists who are manufacturing those weapons have their governments tax workers to provide ‘aid’ to African bourgeois governments to purchase those weapons. Western workers and African workers and peasants are being exploited, taxed, impoverished and bamboozled.
These debt cancellations, on the one hand, are more about recreating demand for Western commodities than any ‘humane’ motive of ending Africa’s poverty. Similarly, on the other hand, the ‘doubling of aid’ is taking money from proletarians of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan and giving it to African governments so they have money to purchase commodities from British, Canadian, French, German, Italian and Japanese capitalists. The ‘rough talk’ about linking the ‘aid’ to African governments and cronies to ‘good governance’ and ‘democracy’ in African countries is nothing but flowery rhetoric.
G8 industrial capital is reaching overproduction, especially in war-related industries, thus engendering limits to self-expansion of capital. These limits have historically been pushed back by exporting capital into 3rd world economies, and by opening markets in those countries for industrial commodities, including in Africa. Finance capital’s real meat comes from lending to industrial capital and governments to purchase their products. Thus, African economies' debt cancellations engenders new demand, stimulates supply and thus benefits finance as well as industrial capital in G8 countries.
Globalization’s system of overcoming barriers within countries by export capital, erecting industries and agribusiness in developing countries and Africa, had enabled transnational corporations in the developed world to more cheaply produce in the developing world, and Africa, only to sell those commodities in those developed countries cheaper than domestic industries and agribusinesses could sell. It is these same transnational investors in 3rd world, developing countries, and their comprador partners in those countries, that benefit most when developed, G8 countries lower trade barriers, tariffs and duties.
The anti-globalization movement was, the intentions of the protesters notwithstanding, on the side of the national capitalist industrialists and agribusinesses, who want to maintain, if not erect, newer trade barriers, tariffs and duties. They do so, in the United States for instance, in the name of ‘saving American jobs’, and opposing ‘sweatshop exploitation’ in developing countries, in consequence of which the unions in developed countries claim to want labor protections in transnational contracts, and ‘fair trade not free trade’.
The real barrier to the self-expansion of capital is capital itself -- competitive production and consumer markets require the cheapening the labor process (wages) by displacing human labor power by machines. This displacement of many unskilled human workers with fewer skilled workers increases productivity and the rate of surplus produce and value, while deepening the degree of exploitation of those fewer workers.
Machines and the means of production generally have an objective value, once and for all, called constant capital, whereas human labor power purchased is variable capital -- thus displacing variable, value multiplying, exploitable capital, by constant capital, resulting in the tendency of the rate of surplus value and profit to fall, to decline.
Thus, the barrier to the self-expansion of capital is capital itself; by exporting capital from developed capitalist countries, where the cost of production including wages are higher, to developing countries where they get tax breaks, and cheaper wages, the transnational corporations and the national comprador partners were able to sell those commodities in the developed world, ostensibly representing 3rd world businesses, demanding tariff reductions ostensibly as ‘aiding 3rd world’ businesses, and ‘farmers’ against Euro-centric supremacy.
Nevertheless, transnational and the total global capital is not that of a single individual or single nation, but social capital, the various capital labor processes employing and supplying finite demands. Thus anarchy engendered by competition means a leveling of profit, and with overproduction average profits decline. Consequently global recessions, depressions and bank failures occur, and to get out of these wars are conducted for the purpose of destroying productive forces and the eradication of surplus populations.
Conditions of production in less developed economies are different historically from the developed capitalist West. In Africa and Asia, proletarian wages are not the exclusive means of providing means of subsistence to a family and thus labor power is relatively cheaper, so the immediate consequence is an advantage by a short term increase in profits. But, just as capitalist commodity production by wageworkers is cosmopolitan, wages average out and rates of profit decline.
In the industrially advanced countries are advanced technologies, including robotics, that increase efficiency and labor productivity. But, the governments are the big spenders, as purchasers of military equipment, that in short time become obsolete or destroyed by wars, thus an insatiable demand for more means of destruction, tanks, and so on. Thus, consequently, an insatiable thirst for more and more taxes, the Vampire State.
It is in the European Union, Japan and the United States where most production of machinery that is designed to produce machinery occurs. This is the material reality of the dependency of the less developed countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Capitalist introduction of more advanced production technologies, and efficiencies, thereby lead to increases in output per worker per unit of time. This increase in output, called increases in labor productivity, result in reductions in socially necessary labor-time.
Because labor in the advanced capitalist countries is more productive, there’s more wealth and higher incomes compared to 3rd world, less developed countries. But not only are more profits thereby derived, but also more taxes on capital and labor is appropriated by the state. These state governments are able to transfer tax monies from the developed countries to the bourgeois governments of the less developed countries, earmarked to be used to purchase industrial or agricultural commodities from the developed countries, thus postponing overproduction and declining rates of profits.
Most industrial production occurs in the European Union, Japan, and the United States, and it is there, not the 3rd world countries, that higher rates of surplus values and profits are created in labor processes. There is no such thing as ‘super-exploitation’, although there are transnational businesses investing in 3rd world countries whose governments and markets are used primarily for dumping commodities.
It is in the industrially advanced capitalist countries that their economic, military and political hegemony, particularly capital heavy production of means of production, is based, over which they want to retain a geopolitical economic monopoly vis-à-vis 3rd world countries and African economies.
The value of labor power in industrially developed and technologically advanced countries is the product of the socially necessary labor time required to produce the means of subsistence of workers and their families, multiplied by the total number of workers and their families. This is called the "cost of living", of laborers and their families.
In social labor processes, the value of machinery used up in production is transferred by labor to the products. Were the workers to restrict their work time to socially necessary working hours, per day, per week, at the end of this business cycle the capitalists would have used up the machinery, by wear and tear -- its value or ‘cost-price’ transferred to the products on the one hand, and the proletarians labor embodied in those commodities on the other, upon selling those products at their value or cost-price, the capitalists would acquire only enough money to cover the prices of production.
In other words, the capitalist having paid the proletarians in his employ the value of their labor time in wages, the wage fund is used up, empty. The selling of those commodities at their value-determined prices, would have no more money in his possession after paying creditors for the machinery and raw materials. The capitalist mode of production wouldn’t have survived on this basis for more than a year, let alone conquer the world.
The capitalist purchasing the means of production and labor power at their value determined prices of production. In every stage in the labor process capitalists are forced to prolong the surplus labor-time, or/and introduce speed and efficiency techniques that force workers to work in addition to the individual’s equivalent of socially necessary labor-time. Thus the concept of exploitation is not immorality but a fundamental law of capitalist commodity production by wageworkers. Surplus labor-time is quantifiable in surplus products, in surplus value absorbed into those surplus products. This is what is called the measurable degree of exploitation and rate of surplus value.
At the end of the work season, the capitalists, having purchased labor power from proletarians, own the products of that labor, such products and commodities being in excess of what would have been the socially necessary prices of production. From the sale of these commodities, (surplus product), valorization, profits are derived.
This is the way the capitalist system works, by the capitalist mode of appropriation capitalist relations of production are reproduced every day all day, so that it seems ‘natural’. In reality only Natural Resources and humanity are "natural". As soon as Natural Resources are appropriated from their natural condition for human needs, it is no longer a natural but social product, an economic value.
The value of the product increases as it absorbs labor in its various transformations through the labor process, from the trees in the forest to the final product as desk in your study. Each stage in the labor process requires its own special tools and labor skills required for handling those tools. And those tools are themselves filtered through their stages of transformation, by other tools, and so on.
The tree is a natural resource, the timber a raw material. Different, ‘more productive’ or ‘labor saving’ technology or/and technique, brought into production, saws, enable lumberjacks in the firm, working for the same labor time, to fell more trees in the same labor time. But, if the numbers of lumberjacks, and their wages and hours remain of the same duration, there is correspondingly less socially necessary labor time required, and at the same time there are more surplus products, more timber. The new technology and techniques, filtered throughout the timber business as a whole, results in relative overproduction, gluts and firings.
The capitalists are compelled to transcend national barriers, to seek new markets abroad. The capitalist, for instance, finds carpenters in Africa ready to buy the lumber, but do they have the money? Transnational banks lend them the money, with interest of course. African carpenters make tables having bought the lumber on credit, financed by transnational financial institutions, selling the tables made both in their African nation and in the country from which the lumber and financing originated. Still, the tendency toward overproduction floods the African market, more money is rented from the transnational banks and the business is expended to absorb the excess lumber. More tables are made, but even here new technologies increase labor productivity leading to overproduction and firings.
The African businesses are unable to sell their products, neither in Africa nor the country of origin. The loans are due, but there is no selling, thus no money to pay. The creditors and lumber companies go to the African government, arrange an IMF or World Bank loan, supposedly to assist the carpentry industry. The African head of state instead buys a fleet of Mercedes, and siphons off some of the money for self-aggrandizement. The overproduction and unemployment in the tables industry, and poverty in this country, is blamed on the African head of state. He is denounced by foreign politicians and their African ideological coolies as "corrupt", and accused of being the cause of the economic collapse.
The reality is that the capitalist economies have been going through cycles of collapse and poverty as a product of the anarchistic nature of capitalist commodity production and competition.
The African heads of state are paid to take the rap, whereas in reality they are nothing but bystanders. Where there is actual hostility, and the grain of truth in those demagogues denouncements, is that these African heads of state didn’t do all according to the script, but got greedy. He was supposed to provide money to the capital market, the African carpentry business, to pay off the business loans, and supplier’s credit. So, the African head of state is further attacked, as a stupid coconut head, and blamed for the international crisis of capitalist production and appropriation, as it manifests itself in Africa.
The politicians, lumber companies and bankers in the developed county get together, recognizing that the African government has squandered the money, and cannot repay it, but that the carpentry business still needs it, decides to cancel the government debt and business loans, so that the export of surplus lumber can again be appropriated by the African carpentry business. They call a press conference, declare that they are going to cancel the debt, ostensibly in the interests of African’s fighting poverty, warning that the African head of state, a.k.a. ‘coconut head’, had better practice ‘good governance’ this time, and that he’s to do what he’s told, or suffer ‘regime change’, like the fate of Saddam Hussein. And the band played on.
Were Africans to expropriate its natural resources as a public possession, as is suggested in this ‘blue print’, then the capitalist investors, in addition to paying African proletarians approximately the value of their labor power, would have to build the productive forces right there in Africa, at the site of production, and purchase the raw materials from the All-Africa Federal Republic. It might be negotiated with African economists that the transnational gets a discount or some other exchange ratio on the raw materials (the Natural Resources are not for sale!) as an exchange for building the relevant industries and technologies, and training Africans in the required skills; however, those industries and technologies, and the means of producing them would remain in Africa for Africa’s technological, economic and social development.
African workers would have their own, independent trade unions, and federations of unions, to protect themselves from both the proclivities of capitalist exploitation, and from national and transnational corporations and the African Republican State. The African Republic must not become a variation of the Soviet Union. So, whatever wage, hours and benefit packages these African worker’s unions negotiate with the transnational corporations will be independent of the Government’s bartering of raw materials for technology and industry.
The arrangements between the economics departments of the All-Africa Federal Republic and transnational capitalists are business to business, whereas the negotiations of labor and capital are class war. The class war is cosmopolitan, so African workers must have the right, in the Constitution, to collective bargaining in Africa with African as well as transnational capitalists, and the right to associate freely, without any state interference ,with workers and trade unions, all over the world. This includes the right of participation, fully, in all international African and cosmopolitan global labor and socialist parties.
Wages and hours are determined by the levels of development of the productive forces and advances in technology on the one hand, and the class war of wageworkers and capitalists on the other. But every class struggle is a political struggle: it is a war of collective capital against collective labor power. On the one side of the economic barricade stand the bourgeoisie which, individual and class, is the personification of constant capital, and as such is the subjective representative of capital’s need to maximize both hours of the working day and increase the speed required to maximize surplus labor, surplus produce, surplus value, in order to maximize profits. On the other side is the proletariat, or personified variable capital, representative of labor power, seeking to maximize wages and to reduce working hours and work speed to approximate socially necessary levels.
Machinery and advances in technology increase labor productivity and surplus produce, and thus a corresponding relative reduction in the socially necessary labor time, reducing the number of workers needed, resulting in increased competition between workers, layoffs of some, and reduced wages of those who remain employed.
1980’s Europe and America was the "Reagan-Thatcher" era (with similar Reactionaries in power in Germany and France), characterized by attacks on the working classes -- the American government's attack on the Air Traffic Controllers, destroying their union, and the British government’s attack on the mine workers, and their unions.
These attacks continued into the Clinton/Blair 1990’s, attacks on the social-democratic social programs. Inflation and cuts in real wages resulted in reductions in the purchasing power of wages of labor requiring that the husband in an average American working class family have two jobs or/and wives and mothers to cease parenting to go to work. Thus bourgeois feminists demanded an equal rights amendment, comparable worth/pay.
At the same time, British capital directly attacked Argentina in a colonial dispute, and America armed and funded civil wars in Afghanistan, Angola, Mozambique, and Nicaragua. In the latter 1980s and throughout the 90s, up to the present, the British and American governments have been, in addition to bringing Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and potentially Estonia, Latvia and Lithonia into NATO, engaged in wars and occupations in the Balkans and Middle Asia.
The American economy, because it was the only industrialized economy in the 1920s-40s that wasn’t destroyed in the 1st and 2nd World Wars, had retained, in fact expanded, its industrial capacity. Meanwhile, European capitalist governments, especially in World War II, destroyed each other’s infrastructures and productive forces, also killing off each other’s surplus populations and Jews, displacing Jewish capitalists.
The War ended the Depression, and the Post War boom resulted from expanded reproduction of capitalist appropriation and relations of production in war-devastated Europe and Japan. In America the Cold War provided an excuse for an unholy matrimony of the military and big capital. The proletariat was exploited by capital, and taxed by the state to purchase military related hardware. However, at the same time, German and Japanese capital, operating without militaries of significance, devoted themselves to producing new means of production and thus became the vanguard of the new technologies. They have become major economic rivals to U.S. imperialism.
The formation of the European Economic Community and Common Market has laid the basis for the European Union. The European Union has entered the world-market with a common currency, challenging US hegemony. Although not as militarily strong as the US, the EU has competitive advantages because of its more advanced industrial structure, and advanced technology, science, and engineering.
As commodities began to flood the global markets, American and European industrial capitalists were required to sell, especially military hardware, to 3rd world and African demagogic anti-communist regimes.
However, here’s the rub: to purchase American military hardware these dictator states had to acquire American and European government aid, or/and bank ‘loans’. In 1974 America went off the gold standard, and the bank failures of the 1980s, following American deregulations and the earlier collapse of Chrysler and New York City, together with the debt crisis and bailout of Mexico’s debt, there was arising conflicting interests between American and Western finance capital and industrial capital. For the bankers and the Federal Reserve the White House Budget office and the Treasury Department, the Latin American and bourgeoning 3rd world debt crisis loomed the paramount concern.
The American and European rival industrialists saw relative overproduction and recessions as the chief issue to tackle, which meant restructuring 3rd world and African loans. Restructuring and privatization was not really the main concern of the IMF and World Bank, but it did provide industrialists of America and Europe investment in those restructured countries, with little inflation worries for finance capital. However, many among the 3rd world nations political elites, like Marcos in Philippines and Mubutu in Congo, enriched their own lifestyles rather than purchasing material commodities from Western industrialists. These ‘wasted’ dollars, pounds and franks were supposed to be used to purchase military and other industrial products from American, British and French industrial capitalists. Angered, American and British politicians and media propagandists began denouncing those heads of state as wasteful and ‘corrupt’. An entire ‘intellectual’ industry has grown up, primarily among American Republicans and Racists, denouncing those 3rd world heads of state as ‘corrupt’, ‘life-long dictators’.
There are Blacks and Africans among this crowd, denouncing these heads of state as ‘corrupt’, or ‘beggars with leaky bowls’, thus distracting from the realities that it isn’t the person in office that manages economies, but those who own, or/and control the economic means of production and distribution who actually manage the politicians and ‘heads of state’.
Africa is in poverty, or more correctly African workers and peasants are in poverty, not because African states lack effective ‘democracy’, and abstract concepts of ‘freedom’, but because African workers and peasants are divorced from means of production and distribution.
The classes that possess the country’s productive forces, that is national wealth that engenders wealth in production, also has the capacity to determine the form of distribution. The ownership of the productive forces is determined by the dominate mode of appropriation characteristic of the existing mode of production.
Thus, in Africa, at present, the Continent’s Natural Resources are at the disposal of capitalists, both national capital and investment capital of the transnational capitalists’ economic institutions.
The crumbling of Africa’s infrastructure and mismanagement of its economy, and persistence of rural poverty and of urban blight in African countries is directly related to capitalist possession of Africa’s productive forces and the exploitation of wage labor by capital.
Whether or not African government leaders are ‘beggars’ with ‘leaky begging bowls’, the percentage of donor money and IMF loans that are appropriated by these political hustlers, is not the determination of Africa’s economy and its performance. Rather, Africa and African’s poverty is directly related to the profits of capital, that portion of wealth created by African labor that is appropriated by foreign and domestic capitalists, taken from Africa, thus leaving Africa underdeveloped and its working classes and toiling masses living in dire poverty.
The transnational and African capitalists want to circumvent the discussion of these real power-dependent relations, the appropriation of Africa’s wealth and impoverishment of its masses by transnational capital, and its African local partners. British and American politicians and ‘think-tanks’, press and media, want to divert the discussion to psychological analysis of individual African heads of state.
African agents of transnational and domestic African capitalists masquerade as militant African patriots, ostracizing African heads of state as ‘corrupt’, and by this red herring, discuss with disgust, African heads of state and their ‘leaky begging bowls’, knowing full well that American and European governments and lending institution’s money that go to African governments occur outside the economy.
It is in production that wealth is preserved, transferred, and created, not by government-to-government transfers of cash. Besides, the American and European governments and lending institutions knew full well that this money transfer would involve African state bureaucrat’s personal appropriations of percentages of this cash, which is in fact their under-the-cover payment for allowing transnational capitalists, together with their African counter-parts, to freely invest in Africa and exploit the wealth-generating labor of African proletarians and peasants.
The American and British governments, ‘think-tanks’, press, and media are therefore diverting the discussion from material interests, the exploitation of wage labor by capital, by discussing such things as how long heads of state have been in office, bourgeois morality, "corruption" and "democracy", because such cosmetic changes don’t challenge the economy, but leave the productive forces in the possession of the same transnational and domestic capitalists who continue to appropriate African wealth by exploiting its workers and toilers.
African proletarians upon the sale of labor power to representatives of capital, whether domestic or transnational, are thereby alienated/separated from their labor-power and thus from the products of their labor. Those capitalists and landlords who own the productive forces do not work; and proletarians and peasants who work do not own Africa’s natural resources, or its productive forces.
In Africa, the same as every other country based on civil society, it is the most powerful, economically dominate class, the class in possession of the countries productive forces, that is the most powerful, politically dominate class, dominating the State -- its Parliament, Constitutional Courts, Tyrants, Military and Bureaucratic State apparatus.
"What’s really going on?", as the youngsters say in the hood. The American and British industrialists and garment industries are angry because these corrupt coconut heads are buying fleets of Mercedes, [instead of American and British made tanks!], personal airplanes, [instead of military fighter planes!], and "dragon ladies" who buy expensive shoes from Italian manufacturers [instead of the government purchasing army boots from American and British manufacturers!] and are always denouncing them for building and living in ‘palaces’.
This is why the American and British started denouncing these "African dictators" as ‘corrupt’, and demanding ‘democracy’ and ‘regime change’.
African and African American ideologists regurgitate this perspective, saying "Africa is poor because it is not free". This is demagoguery, because they make such assertions without evidentiary arguments or even definitions of what is meant by ‘poverty’ and ‘freedom’.
The reality is that the levels of development of the productive forces dictate economic division of labor, and thus economies. Africa is not ‘free’ because it is in poverty, the result of neo-colonial economics accommodating transnational corporations and financial institutions in league with African capitalists exploiting African labor, selling cash crops into Europe and America, as profits are plowed back into those, rather than African, economies.
(Saddam Hussein really ticked-off the British and American politicians and propagandists, when he used weapons sold to his regime to invade Kuwait, rather than a permanent military build-up against Iran, and by aiding Palestinian nationalists rather than stopping them. The reader is aware of the ‘killing’ being ‘earned’ by Halliburton in Iraq, under the suzerain lackeys and quislings in ‘power’ in Iraq today. That is the model that all ‘dictators’ must follow if they don’t want to suffer the fate of Saddam Hussein!)
Germany and Japan reconstructed their economies in the context of the Cold War in Europe (which gullible Americans fell for accepting the tax burden of the Marshall Plan), the Bretton Woods Agreement and Permanent Arms Spending, nuclear stock piling, and so on, on one hand and the Wars in Korea and Vietnam on the other. Having had been totally destroyed, Japan and Germany had the advantage of re-starting their economy from scratch. They "skipped" the previous historical stages of development of the productive forces -- cottage handicraft, cooperation, manufacture, industry, and robotics -- and rebuilt their economies with the most advanced productive technology on earth!
Africans have the same capabilities, but under different historical socio-economic conditions.
In Europe and in Asia the capitalistic modes of production and appropriation were destroyed. In the savage wars in Europe, even if we restrict to the modern era of the 20th century, doing a body count, separate and apart from ideological motives, we are looking at hundreds of millions slaughtered up to and including the tribal wars in the former Soviet Union and former Yugoslavia. The productive forces were destroyed together with over a hundred million farmers and proletarians massacred in mutual slaughter.
It was in context of the Cold War that technology developed in America’s war industries was transferred to Western Europe. It had nothing to do with "Western civilization", because it was engendered by the mutual destruction and mutual slaughter of World War I and II, and the "Korean War".
Given the actual history of capitalist Europe, it is ridiculous to assert that tribal backwardness and wars are the reason for Africa’s lack of modern technological equivalence.
Since the 16th century, because of its exploitation of world trade, appropriation of inventions of the East, slaves from Africa, and treasures stolen from the Americas, Europe, but more particularly England, was in the economically strategic location/position to appropriate the philosophical, technological, scientific and maritime advances from all the peoples and cultures it encountered: from Venice and Florence to Rome to Damascus, Cairo to Timbuktu, the Cape to Zanzibar to Mecca, Medina to Deli, the Indies to Peking to Tokyo on one hand, and into the Americas on the other.
Capitalist commodity production by wage labor in Britain, the triangular trade and capitalistic commodity production by slave labor in the American colonies resulted in the wealth and power of the British and American ruling classes that enabled them to displace the Spanish and Portuguese, whose power was bayonets and cannon.
The Spaniard’s plunder of gold, silver and wealth from Aztec and Inca tombs and civil treasures, were first of all plundered by British and French pirates and Buccaneers on the high seas. But, by the trading of British commodities, British merchant seamen began to meet the Spanish ships of plunder with commodities produced in England. This resulted in much of the gold from America flowing commodity circulation and capital accumulation. This, together with the slave trade, facilitated the development of the British industries.
I haven’t mentioned the Dutch, but they too were very important in generating the world market, and capitalist commodity production by wageworkers in Europe. I will deal with the revolt in the Netherlands, and the significant role of the Dutch merchant seamen, and commodity production and scientific developments in Holland, &C. some other time.
What I want to show here is how a number of technological and economic changes, facilitated by European trade with India and China, benefited Europe.
The printing press, gunpowder, navigation, and spices from the East Indies contributed to scientific, technological and economic revolutions in the 16th and 17th centuries. World trade fed capitalist commodity production in the Netherlands and Britain.
This resulted in capital accumulation leading to the industrial revolutions in Britain and France, and underdevelopment in Africa, lose of its skilled laborers in the slave trade, and the acquisition of commodities produced by wageworkers in Europe consequently retarding Africa’s own handicrafts.
We need not do an entire analysis of the economics of primitive capital accumulation and the role that the trans-Atlantic slave trade played in it engendering European development and African underdevelopment. Suffice it to refer the readers to:
The industrial development of England and the Underdevelopment of West Africa were directly related to:
Assume that in England and in America one gun is equal to one pair of shoes and to one shirt. The merchant goes to Africa, rather than directly to America.
Were the merchant capitalist to trade directly with American customers, using monetary forms of exchange, one gun would exchange for one pound of sugar or one pound of coffee.
The Triangular Trade between European merchant ships brought guns, and other commodities to costal African kingdoms exchanging them for human beings. These human beings were carried from Africa to America and sold into chattel slavery. Agricultural produce and raw materials were purchased with the money derived from the selling of the slaves. These commodities were then carried from the American colonies and sold to customers in Europe. Produce was sold to merchants; raw materials, e.g. sugar and cotton, were sold to capitalists in Britain to be processed in manufactures and industries, thus directly contributed to the industrial revolution in England.
The factors that coalesced in the development of Europe; thus, the Triangular Trade is "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa".
The dialectical interaction of trade between Europe and Asia, however, has also to be factored in as very important to the rise of capitalism and industry in Europe. Without gunpowder, and therefore guns, muskets and cannon, there would have been no colonization of the Americas, or the triangular trade.
Had it not been for muskets and cannons, the Portuguese and Spanish conquistadors would not have had the capacity to conquer the Americas. The ‘New World’s’ natural resources included, as well as the gold used in European economies, agriculture, maize, potatoes, sugar, tobacco, which were important in the world-market and its products in the trans-Atlantic, triangular trade. Potatoes were cheaply produced in great quantities, which together with bread, became the cheap but filling component of English workers and Irish farmer’s diets.
Africans had been smelting iron for centuries, but had no gunpowder and consequently no gun industry. The Chinese invention and harmless use of ‘gun powder’ was made into a weapon of violence, war.
The brisk arms trade was made all the more necessary that African tribes and feudal warrior kingdoms conquer and present to gun merchants human beings of other tribes to become economic chattel, rather than having members of their own tribe or kingdom become captured, and made into chattel. Neither the depopulation of Africa nor Africa’s reliance upon industrial commodities imported from Europe would have occurred had it not been for Europe’s trade with Asia, and consequently there would have been no colonization and underdevelopment of Africa.
The French and British mercantile systems, predicated upon the manufacture and industry in England, were domestic capitalist commodity production surrounded by colonial crop economies. The emerging capitalist modes of production and distribution in England subordinated the Portuguese and specifically the Spaniard’s system of colonial possession of plunder and taxes.
Mercantile capitalistic commodity Production originated in Britain and Western European kingdoms, under absolute monarchs, initially in cottage industries. Of course this cannot be fully explicated without taking into account other contributing factors, in England for instance.
In the history of England, from the days of the Roman Empire, garment industries were important. The Romans brought sheep to England, and with this, the woolen industry. This was facilitated when Flemish weavers were thrown out of Flanders, and settled in England, improving the methods of production, quality and quantity, of wool production there.
Also important was the Bubonic Plague, or rather its consequence of rapid depopulation, losing more than a third of its landed aristocrats that enabled greater concentration. These developments contributed to the capitalization of the productive forces in agriculture, because both the landed aristocracies and the laboring masses all found it in their practical interest to displace serf labor of the feudal mode of production and appropriation by capitalist commodity production using wageworkers.
Merchant capitalists delivered to farm families cloth or wool, that would be spun in their houses, and picked up by these merchants in exchange for money that supplemented the families income enabling farmers and their families to purchase other agricultural produce and manufactured commodities in the towns.
This form of piecework concentrated in a specific space facilitated the co-operation epoch. Cottage industry that concentrated a division of labor of the workforce, evolved capitalist commodity production by wageworkers.
In the colonies, the mode of production was environmental agriculture, by slave workers. The historical evolution from manufacture to industrial capitalist commodity production by wageworkers, occurred in the framework of mercantilist commodity production, wageworkers in the center surrounded by agriculture and the production of ‘raw materials’ in the colonies, fed into the industrial center.
British-American colonists needed guns and slaves -- to kill indigenous American populations and to control their slaves. The guns industries were the core of the British industrial revolution. Colonial mercantilist systems are predicated upon the Spider-web concept, of an industrial center where the Spider-capitalist industry sits, from the center outward colonies are crop economies dependent upon these industrial centers.
The inheritance, literally of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of production, by manufacture was from co-operations. Co-operations originate in response to rising demand, with developments in circulation of commodities, both tools and means of subsistence. What was done in separate cottage industries as an appendage to farming, where merchant capitalists purchased from and sold to others, are now brought together by capitalist merchants, who now owned the means of production, purchasing labor power that was brought under one roof.
These developments thereby progressed from petty-bourgeois cottage capitalism, under feudal relations of production, to capitalistic relations of production predicated upon the selling and buying of labor power. The division of labor, which began in co-operations, achieved greater complexity of detailed labor in manufacture proper. All kinds of new inventions and forms of production facilitated the development of industry, industrial capitalistic commodity production by wageworkers.
In mercantile England, one gun was of equal value, say, to one pound of sugar or to a pound of cotton. In Africa, let’s say, one gun barters for ten human beings. But, in the American colonies, by the laws of supply and demand, there was a greater demand for slaves compared to sugar and coffee, which were in abundance.
The markets in America determined one slave’s comparable worth, or corresponded to one pound of sugar, or one pound of coffee. The merchant enters America, not with one gun to be traded for one pound of sugar, or coffee, but ten human beings, which in each case exchange for one pound of sugar or one pound of coffee. Thus, by way of the triangular trade, the English merchant, by way of the mercantile slave trade, took back to England not the equivalent of one gun, with which he began, but the equivalent of ten guns, ten pounds of sugar or coffee.
The profitability of the triangular trade further facilitated developments in the gun, and gun-related industries: the industrial revolution. Furthermore, cotton grown in the American South, by slave labor, entered Britain as raw materials engendering the textile industries. This cheaper cloth, because of the textile industry in Britain fed by cotton from slave labor in America, in comparison to traditional African weavers’ cloth and clothing requiring less socially necessary labor time in Britain than Africa, drove the African weavers out of business.
African dependency on British industrially manufactured guns, clothing, facilitated the relative industrial development in England and underdevelopment in Africa. Africa, participating in the slave trade, collecting and bartering human beings, and in the World Market as importers of industrial commodities from Europe, was stunted at the stage of cottage industries and pre-capitalist economic formations.
Whereas the Weapons industries facilitated bourgeois democratic revolutions in Europe, in Africa guns in the hands of warrior clans and feudal chiefs and kings resulted in the intensification of slave raids on one hand, and tyranny on the other. Warlords' and chiefs' political interests in the guns, and using the wealth derived from trade with Europeans transformed tribal politics, resulted in powerful kingdoms. Armed tyrants thus ruled several such kingdoms.
The slave trade resulted in depopulation in Africa, and the importing of industrially manufactured commodities from Europe retarded Africa’s own industrial development.
Meanwhile, dynastic and colonial rivalries were flaring up between European kingdoms, subsequently between capitalist nations. There resulted in centuries of on again, off again barbaric wars fought with savage weapons.
War is good for business, says the military-industrial complex, which not only exploits wageworkers but pays those wages with tax monies appropriated from the working classes and toiling masses. This is a goddamn double whammy! Add to this, it is the sons and daughters of the working classes and toiling masses whom bourgeois parliaments send out to kill, and be killed by one another! How dare capitalism’s racist politicians and pundits, in Europe and the United States call African politicians corrupt, stupid apes and coconut heads!
Certainly, Africa politically is in relative chaos. This chaos, however, is not reducible to psychological profiles of individual heads of state, whether or not they are personally incompetent or/and have delusions of grandeur. It’s the economy, stupid!
The world-historical techno-economic, and socio-political determinations of the interconnection of Africa’s own capitalistic "comprador bourgeoisie" and Western capitalist investors are in possession of Africa’s productive forces. It is this cosmopolitan capitalist class rather than inept heads of state that determine economic performances. In league with the profit-driven foreign investors in Africa’s economy, it is the African capitalists that have run Africa’s economics of scale into the dirt.
The African economies presently are part and parcel of its world-historical present context, the world-market. The retardation of Africa’s technological development is due in part to three centuries of slave trade, exporting major elements of Africa’s agricultural population and of artisans, on the one hand, and more than a century of direct colonialism on the other, resulting in neo-colonialism presently.
Radical economic problems in Africa demand radical changes in the Continent’s economic ownership structures, basing themselves in natural resources and corresponding restructuring of the political state. Corruption in the one-party governments is not the cause but the consequence of economic mismanagement. The classes and investors who own and thus manage the productive forces (American, European, African), are the ones who manage production and distribution.
For instance, the problem of food shortages in Zimbabwe are not so much caused by "Mugabe", that is how long he has held political power or his political rhetoric denouncing "British imperialism". Rather, it is because African traditional agricultural production of means of subsistence has been supplanted by settler-capitalist’s agribusinesses producing cash crops, such as tobacco, for instance.
Thus, until recently, ZANU-PF has worked with imperialist investors as well as African capitalists. The present land redistribution scheme, in Zimbabwe, has not challenged the operative principle of laissez faire. In the ZANU-PF land redistribution, along capitalist principles, large acres of prime land went to relatives and cronies, and Zimbabwean capitalists, who are still producing for foreign markets rather than producing food for Zimbabwean tables.
The African capitalists together with foreign investors have the economic power. It is therefore laissez faire capitalism, as landowners and investors themselves determine what is to be produced, for whom, and how much.
Turning over small plots to selected peasants, and large fertile lands to career politicians of ZANU-PF, bureaucrats and chiefs isn’t in itself the solution to the problem of Zimbabwe’s food shortages. Wageworker’s need to become this land’s collective owners, producing and distributing means of subsistence managed by the workers themselves.
What is needed in Africa is a radical re-orientation toward the creation of a Continental Federal Republic of Africa, based on common ownership of natural resources together with a Continental infrastructure directly the Public Property of Pan-African workers and peasants, making these citizens of a Federal Republic of Africa shareholders capable of democratizing the natural resources, having voices and votes on what is to be done with it.
In this model of democratic capitalism the citizen as equal shareholder might put forward a motion to produce and sell a significant portion of gold or/and diamonds and/or bauxite to the European Union or/and Japan, with contracts that stipulate wage scales that would entice the European, or Japanese capitalist firms to develop in Africa the relevant technologies to access and process the gold, diamonds, or bauxite, including the technology needed to manufacture this technology and relevant spare parts, screws, screwdrivers, &C. and thus in doing so, educating and training African workers and peasants in the process. [[The African Republic must not become a variation of the Soviet Union.]] The gold, diamonds and bauxite, together with the produced means of production relevant to accessing and processing it, remains the Public Property of the All-Africa Federal Republic, democratically owned and managed.
Thus done, the Africans are realizing that it isn’t land as such but technology, related to geo-economic qualities of "land", that is the "basis of independence".
The established capacity to build means of producing means of production will enable Africans to further operate those productive forces to get Mammon’s gold, diamonds and bauxite to sell on the world market at standard prices, to fund the electrification of All of Africa.
The purchase of the relevant means of producing the means of construction of equipment needed to build electrical power throughout Africa, again stipulates in the contract the education and training of Africans as physicists and engineers, as well as the teaching of manual skills. Again, the entire water and power, electrical and nuclear energy industries remains the Public Property of the All-Africa Federal Republic, democratically owned and managed.
Another group might propose that at the same time Africa sell oil, having purchasers build the infrastructure and refineries there in Africa, as Pan-African Public Property, stipulating in the contract that Africans be educated in the relevant sciences, as well as technical skills.
The drilling and processing of oil, together with the gold, diamonds and bauxite industries, will enable Africans to go on to other projects, fully funded by Africa’s Public Development Fund, enabling Africa to invest billions in medical facilities throughout all of Africa, hospitals and medical schools, chemist and pharmaceutical industries, that will be Public Property of All Africans, meaning free health care, in-patient and out-patient, surgery and post-op follow-up, and free access to all medicines, with African pharmaceutical industries all over the continent.
Other geological and tropical gifts of Nature, among a great variety of wealth of Africa’s economically exploitable natural resources, will enable Africa’s economists, engineers, technicians and ethicists to propose projects to the African electorate and citizen shareholders, and to suggest further self-development programs. It is pay-as-you-go, financed by cash on the barrel head to produce industries needed to produce the means of producing means of production and acquisition of that wealth as an alternative to ruthless laissez faire robber-baron capitalism characterized by exploitation and bloody wars in Europe and America on one hand, and repressive bureaucratic state monopoly capitalism by wageworkers in the former Soviet Union on the other.
Africans, from the local village to the District, Regional and Federal systems will be brought into debates regarding development and economic issues as well as political and social issues. These debates would be held for a definite period, translated into relevant languages, providing all with access, but not just to read polemics, but to engage in critical thinking, debate and polemics on local, District, Regional and Federal television and radio. By public broadcast ownership, the masses of the citizenry will have free access to cable and network television, radio and worldwide Internet connections. Public free access to major communications forums, and the right of all speakers to be heard by major audiences differs fundamentally from America, where significant, i.e. national and international press and media in actuality are restricted to capitalist owners of the means of communication.
Freedom of the press is essential to the political health of democracy. By ‘free’ press is not meant the right of the reader and listeners to stay "informed" by supposedly reading and hearing "all sides", which really amounts a variation of the same perspective. This is not ‘free press and media’, restricted to those who own publishing and publication businesses, and their journalists hired to spit-out market interests and patriotic rhetoric. Truly free, publicly owned press and media has free access to television, radio and literature publications without censorship or litmus tests speaking to the African masses in their hundreds of millions.
The objective is for African workers and peasants of both genders, without regard to race, religion, or ethnicity to be brought into the political and intellectual process with passion. Exhaustive, participatory debates and polemics will transform African workers and peasants from ignorant bystanders into the most informed critical thinkers in the world.
In these debates one stands or falls on the power of reason and the strength of their understanding. Some are no more equal than others: titles are irrelevant.
Presently, the ruling politicians use the titles of their approved agents to intimidate or convince people on that basis alone, as an "expert", "professor", "doctor", "pollster" and so on. This is to provoke servility and humility among the masses of the working classes and poor, as did medieval titles of church and state hierarchies -- lord, sir, bishop, cardinal, prince, king and pope.
Modern means of mass communication is potentially a leveler, an equalizer for every argument that must stand or fall on its own logic, or lack thereof. What working people need today is not servility but audacity.
This is of course a practical question as well as a political issue. It is because the capitalist class owns the material forces of production and dominates the state that their paid propagandists regurgitate one another in the press and media.
To free themselves from the lying propaganda regurgitations of bourgeois political ideologists, Africa’s working classes and toiling masses need to have many news sources, and to have access to present their ideas, whether as individuals, unions, or parties. Cable networks and the worldwide web make it possible to establish many public mediums of communication.
To pay for this networking and establish town halls to present responsible speakers, it might be democratically decided by the African citizenry to expand cable and web access to every African home.
Developing industrial access to, and processing of e.g. oil, platinum, graphite, industrial diamonds or other natural resource of Africa could pay this for. These commodities could thereupon be competitively priced and sold on the world-market. No secrets and back door dealing will be tolerated.
By these improvements in communication, citizen participation in the democratic process will be in practice, in Africa, what it is in the United States today only in theory. All of Africa will have complete information and be able to vote on every economic policy, as well as resolution of political and judicial issues.
Any number of options presently impossible will be possible once all the post-colonial states and borders will have been eliminated, for instance relocation of farmers to even more fertile farmland, or the Bedouin to other grazing territories. These can be temporary resettlements, as scientists check and reverse Sahara desertification. There are still other, perhaps even more creative solutions that can be suggested in town hall and village community meetings.
Farmers and cattlemen on Local, District, Regional and Federal cable networks can debate the issue 24/7 if they want. All of Africa will be absorbed into this debate, seeking nonviolent solutions to solvable economic problems. The tribal leaders and village elders, scientists, trade unionists and ordinary citizens participate in these debates and polemics, freely.
The Federal Parliamentarians assigned to mediating this regional problem finally organizes regional balloting, comprising all the people of the region. The vote decides the issue.
The Americans, the British, Israel and the UN will not be permitted to interfere through the use of repressive measures against such enemies; African solutions for African problems preclude arms and military training from outsiders. African solutions for African problems are predicated upon Consensus, and Democracy decided by majority decision free from outside "voices" representing transnational explotation interests.
The positive functioning of tribal leaders and village elders in resolving this problem, rather than being excluded or manipulated by global powers as they are today, would indicate positive benefits of reviving traditional advisory councils associated with Local, District, Regional and Federal Parliaments. The African Federal Republic may come to include, in its Constitution, Rights and Duties of self-sustaining tribal leaders and village elders.
The cancellation of national debt has generated a lot of clucking among the chattering classes, among both European/Americans and Africans/African Americans. I think that this could generate useful discussions, of profound significance were we to use it as a practical context and starting point in the discussion of Africa’s future in response to the issues raised by Fubara David-West.
I will take it from the standpoint of Pan-African politics of economics. The windfall from debt cancellation must be invested in a program directed at continental economic integration building an intercontinental infrastructure, operating from the philosophical premise "Africa for Africans", based on the utilitarian principle of policies promoting the greatest good for the greatest number.
An intercontinental infrastructure in production related to the Pan-African agenda to finance a cohesive bureaucratic structure initiated by the African Union. The money freed up by these debt cancellations should be used for all of Africa in a common fund, allocated from each African government to the African Union to be used specifically on creating the material and political infrastructure required for the creation of one All-Africa Federal Republic. This money must be set aside, separate and apart from government to government aid and chicanery.
The political federation of states could be comprised of Local, District, Regional and Federal Parliaments, with parallel advisory bodies of tribal elders and/or representatives. The various ethnic groups could be given some degree of relative cultural autonomy, since all existing colonial borders and governments will be abolished. Tribal elders and/or chiefs in the same local, district, regional and federal spaces will have observer status at the various parliamentary bodies, and right to speak. Only elected representatives can vote.
The members of parliament at every level will be elected as individuals or representatives of parties, on the principle of free, open competitive elections to parliaments, on the principle of proportional representation, of course.
The scenario to follow is an outline of a "blueprint", according to the challenge outlined by Fubara David-West. I know I have immediate, automatic critics, which is fine. However, I request those who do their criticisms do so based on what I have actually written, as a concept, and not red herrings on this or that detail, or/and clairvoyant ad hominem attacks, which in any case I will ignore.
50 Years of Transition - Or,
Toward a United Africa by 2065
By Li'l Joe
I see the Pan-African Federal Parliamentary Republic coming into existence by the support of the African Union. The African Union must be seen as a transitional, rather than a permanent organization.
The authority of the African Union is based on its component state governments having been elected, or by some other method coming to be the state’s government. The state is a cohesive, bureaucratic-military political power, with a monopoly of armed power, with courts and prisons. Power without authority is tyranny, so the first concern of the Pan- African Federal Republic is the establishment of what constitutes its authority, the method of authorization.
The capitalist mode of production and appropriation has created a ‘natural’ condition, derived from competition, that every man is an enemy, or a tool; the relation of man to man is mutual exploitation, the nexus of man and man is trade and therefore money.
Political power is based on material wealth. This ‘wealth’, however, is not ‘money’ in the pocket, purse, cash register or bank, which is but government backed banknotes, used as ‘currency’. Rather, the material wealth of nations is its natural resources and productive assets, productive forces. Thus the classes in possession of the nation’s national resources and productive forces possess thereby the wealth and power of the nation, the state is therefore an instrument of class rule.
The Pan-African Federal Republic, unlike the current African Union and its component states, is to be ‘democratic’, i.e., consent of the governed. This is but a cliché, however, indeed it is an illusory community of interests, if the People are not the Power. The Power of the People, that is Majority Rule, having the ability to authorize members of Parliament by Elections, can be an actuality only if the Natural Wealth of a nation is the Possession of the Whole People.
Thus, in the course of formation of the All-Africa Federal Republic the Natural Resources of Africa must become the Public Property of Africa and the inheritance of everyone of its diverse people.
The national states that comprise the African Union are anachronisms that have served historically to move Africans from Colonial domination to formal, Universally recognized Independent States.
Yet, the Natural Resources and Productive Forces have remained the Possession of the national capitalists in league with transnational corporations and finance capital. Consequently, African states have degenerated into a condition where Public Power is mocked, and deteriorated into warring economic factions, a war of all against all. The more developed industrially and technologically advanced capitalists, represented by the national governments of Europe and North America, have been party to these conflicts, beginning with Civil, or rather Tribal Wars, in Congo, and Nigeria, spanning the decades with such similar, outside-sponsored wars in Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, Angola, Mozambique, and full circle to Rwanda and again in Congo. The prime causes of these Wars are economic, the motivation being the control of Africa’s Natural Resources, Raw Materials and Production capabilities.
The first task of the African Union is to create technological, economic and socio-political stasis; there can be no African unity where the natural resources and raw materials are for the grabbing, resulting in tribal politics, the bourgeois- neo-colonialist collaboration of one camp against another.
Africa is a Continent of Failed States. This is true. However, wars and ‘failed states’ are not the cause of economic chaos, but one of the many consequences.
The same thing has been happening in Europe over the past two centuries. Consider the savage wars of the 20th century, imperial rivalries and nationalist expansionism. The fact is that capitalist commodity production by wageworkers is a war of capitalist against capitalist, nation against nation, and class against class.
The proletariat of the European Union can put an end to the anarchy of capitalist commodity production by winning the battles of democracy, legislating the transfer of the productive forces from the private possessions of national capitalists to the public property of the working classes and toiling masses, and thereupon abolishing capitalist commodity production and wage labor.
The anarchy of capitalist commodity production, competition, wars and civil wars are presently destroying Africa and ruining its economies. Ethnic cliques associated with this or that tribal nationalistic bourgeois are fighting to control territories rich with natural resources and raw materials, trading diamonds, gold and oil contracts in exchange for guns, tanks, mines, military aircraft and anti-aircraft weapons while allowing -- if not acerbating -- famine, draught, malaria, and AIDS to wreck havoc in what’s left of national economies, and decimate what’s left of civil society.
Thus, the African Union is a Union of Failed States that know themselves to be failures, and thus is a Transitional Conglomerate of Failed States that must understand its most important, and significant contribution to Africa and Africans is to use its power and funds to overthrow the conditions that are turning Africa into Political and Military battlefields; that is, to provide resources and assistance to the New Generation of Africans, committed to building institutions and means for the establishment of an All-Africa Federal Republic.
Government, ‘by consent of the governed’, is not possible in the present circumstances. This is not possible, however, not because the present African heads of state are corrupt dictators, looting taxes and donor funds, nor is it because they don’t want to step down.
These are not causes but consequences; the failures of African states are not just the failure or immorality of heads of state, delusions of grandeur and so on. But is the consequence of a ragged and chaotic economic anarchy of capitalist commodity production, by the exploitation of social labor in social production.
Capitalist anarchy can be mitigated only when Natural Resources and financial institutions are the Public Property of the All-Africa and African Federal Republic. Those national and transnational corporations that presently own and mismanage the African economy are the cause of the eyesore and painful poverty in Africa and of Africans. Changing heads of states won’t solve this poverty problem.
The economy of Africa must become the property of Africa and Africans managed by a federal republic in control of Africa’s natural resources, agriculture, industry and banking institutions.
The political apologists of the very capitalistic system that ‘corrupt’ the African leaders, are the ones who are now denouncing them as ‘corrupt’!
Politics is a lucrative business, a means by which smart opportunists, wheelers and dealers go in short order from ‘rags to riches’. Of course the African heads of state are corrupt! So are the politicians and propagandists, whether Africans, Europeans or Americans who denounce them. The marriage of ‘free enterprise’ and ‘democracy’ is a marriage of convenience, and the paid lobbyists perform the ceremonies in backrooms in shady motels. Politicians are the prostitutes and capitalists the tricks, the lobbyists the pimps.
Africa is in poverty, not because it isn’t ‘free’, but because of ‘free enterprise’. Politicians are the prostitutes and capitalists the tricks, but whereas in America the lobbyists the pimps, in Africa there are no middleman lobbyists.
The agents of international ‘free enterprise’ and ‘corruption’ African politicians operate directly, like Newt Gingrich in Harlem, looting a Harlem school childrens’ fund. African politicians welcome capitalist politicians into their offices, agents of capitalists there conducting bribery transactions. In the United States, it is the same ‘morally outraged’ Republicans that denounced Clinton’s ‘immorality’, and are denouncing African politicians as ‘corrupt’, who defended Bush/Blaire lies vis-à-vis Iraq, and are also defending the embarrassingly corrupt Republican Majority Leader, Tom Delay, against being called to the Ethics Committee!
If ‘corruption’ were the cause of ‘poverty’, then the United States would be one of the most impoverished countries on earth! But, it isn’t. Africa is "not free" and "in poverty", not because of "dictatorships" as such, but directly because her Natural Resources and economy are in the manipulated clutches of capitalists, her children exploited. The wealthy ‘tricks’ from Europe and America are paying ‘corrupt dictators’ to allow them unbridled access to Africa and her children. The African politicians in power are in this instance themselves the pimps.
After emerging from prisons, the bush, or exile to take government power, these African warriors turned politicians became bourgeois politicians, including those who called themselves ‘socialists’. The same capitalist mode of production and appropriation, with the same corresponding relations of production, property, and class structures continued as before. The only difference was in integrating African capitalists in the economy, and African politicians in the state structures.
The capitalistic modes of production and appropriations in Africa cannot at this time be ended, outside of the proletariat in the industrially advanced countries taking power and the productive forces in their countries. Nevertheless, Africa’s Natural Resources and Financial Institutions can immediately become common possession: All African People’s Public Property and Central Bank, democratically owned and managed by African workers and peasants.
This policy will place African workers and peasants in control of the African economy and end corruption, because they are the majority, rather than a minority of capitalists and politicians. In the dominate economic and political positioning, African proletarians and peasants will have placed themselves in position to determine that profits will be used in the interests of Africa, its people, and its industrial and technological economic development and political independence.
The African Union’s member states must prepare the people of their countries for the new economic and political realities, and their awareness of their potentials as members of Parliaments in a Federal Republic in which Africa’s vast Natural Resources are the common possession of All Africans, and cannot be sold or bought, alienated.
Africa’s Natural Resources are Africa’s inalienable Possession. There are plenty of con-men and fools in the world. But, with Africa’s Natural Resources the Public Property of All Africans, in common, no capitalist or politician would be able to sell or own Africa’s Natural Resources, anymore than one can buy, own or sell rain clouds.
Africa was taken, and now retaken for the sake of Africa and humanity, by the present, and future Nkrumah Enrollment: Nkrumah, Cabral, Che, Mandela, Fubara… dedicated, passionate, critical thinking activists to work with and for the Continental African Organizing Committee.
The African Union, from its member states, must place at the disposal of the Continental African Organizing Committee, resources and funds necessary for them to organize bureaucracies with the wherewithal to organize a nomenclature tasked with the authority and responsibility of putting together local, urban and rural community staffs. These staffs will be required to work in local communities throughout Africa at workmen wages. These African activists and their organizing staffs will be local in their work but Pan-African in their perspectives. Indeed, these radical Pan-African perspectives will determine the local work.
The Continental Organizing Committee will organize, in addition to local community activists, local congresses, bringing together in each local, urban community and rural village self-sustaining mini-congresses, encouraging self-organization and agendas that are distinct as possible from existing government bodies and state organizations.
Authority, and funds for the operation of local congresses must be derived from the communities and villages themselves. Members of these local congresses must come from their communities, and not be paid agents of any of the existing state organizations or agencies, and completely separated from NGOs, and UN agencies.
The Continental Organizing Committee bureaucracies and local staff can help, aid and suggest, but not give orders. They can participate in mini-congress settings, but as observers, otherwise they would become a cadre, and as such displace the local initiative and creativity of the community congresses, making them appendages.
The people of the mini-congresses are the town hall grassroots basis for all democracies, and not subject to any other’s agenda.
To succeed in establishing a popular democracy, the Local, District, Regional and Federal Congresses exist on the basis of Mini-Congresses feeding into Local Congress as Delegates and participant observers; Local Congresses electing Delegates to the District Congresses; District Congresses electing Delegations to the Regional Congresses; Regional Congresses electing Delegates to the federal Congresses. All Delegates of the Congresses, while subject to recall by majority vote from those who elected and delegated them, these Delegates cannot be expelled from the Congresses to which their constituency sent them as constituency representatives.
Funds from African Union member states must come through the AU, to the Continental Organizing Committee, and funneled through its bureaucracy to local, district, regional and federal organizers, preparing for local, district, regional and federal congresses.
The governments of states will not be in direct, official or unofficial contact with the Continental Organizing Committee; only the African Union can do this by its own auspices. This is necessary to avoid reactionary intrigue and manipulation.
Given the histories, rivalries and conflicts within and between states, separation of the Continental Organizing Committee from state governments is necessary for confidence building, that it is not comprised of or controlled by party cadres and hacks with axes to grind.
Any contact between the governments of state, and definitely money from those states must come through the AU, not as from one state to a group, but given to be deposited into the Continental Organizing Account without distinction and drawn from that Account without reference to donor country. But, in the last analysis, the integrity and credibility of the representatives of the Continental Organizing Committee, and the Committee itself, will come from winning the confidence of the people by their behavior.
One responsibility of the Continental Organizing Committee is to organize local sub-committees across Africa, as much as possible recruiting from the locations themselves, whose responsibility and duty is to creatively bring together local elders, trade unionists, workers and peasants, to recruit them to organize mini-congresses.
The work building these mini-congresses will itself educate and train leaders in how to organize and conduct meetings, and mobilize communities and villages, holding discussions on local issues and developing plans and strategies for networking with other communities and village congresses with the same kinds of concerns, as well as to think Continentally. It is important for people to view their local issues from a global and continental perspective, rather than the reverse.
Proletarians of a particular industry or agribusiness will also form locals of Regional and Continental industries and agribusinesses. As such, they will have local, district, regional and continental factory and agribusiness committees, meeting and organizing on all these levels, as well as being part of local mini-congresses in the communities in which they live. This will be great for bringing broader economic and political perspectives into the mini-congresses.
These local congresses will elect members of their community to organizing committees. These local congresses will also elect from their own community, local villages, tribal elders, trade union locals and peasant associations, including both genders as local representatives to District, Regional and Federal organizing committees whose function is to organize local and district mini-congresses, district congresses, regional congresses and federal congresses.
There will be no litmus tests, or special qualifications to be elected to local congresses and from these to district, and from these to regional, and from regional to the federal congresses. The primary purpose and function of this organizing committee is to bring the African masses of workers and peasants into the political process, learning by doing, that will make them the determining members of Local, District, Regional and Federal Congresses, including workers and peasants as the majority. Their task is to organize and recruit to these Congresses more members of their class. They are the majority and should supply the majority members of congresses and Parliaments once established by elections.
(The workers of the cities must consciously bring into the congresses workers of both gender, of every ethnicity, religion and lack thereof. It will be the cosmopolitan African proletariat, with universal interests that will be the Continental backbone of Pan-African Union. As the working class advances, qualitatively as well as quantitatively, their numbers will come to dominate the District, Regional and Federal Parliaments, inevitably introducing, together with Natural Resources the legislating of industries and other forces of social production transferred to the Public Property, with production and distribution managed by the working classes themselves.)
In any event, the Congresses will organize bureaucracies that will organize Local, District, Regional and Federal Elections. Once these electoral processes are complete, the New Government of Parliaments, Local, District, Regional and Federal, will assume sole authority and power to govern the All-Africa and Africans Federal Republic.
Thus the Congresses, as will the African Union, and the states that comprise it, will self-dissolve. Existing nation states will turn over to the Federal Congress the keys to the kingdom -- money and resources, and then disperse.
Where I speak of Parliamentary Democracy, the model is historically closer to the French Revolution and Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizens, rather than the American Republic where actual power is in the Senate, Courts, and Electoral College-selected President, who is not answerable to the federal electorate during Presidential terms of office, but to the Senate and Courts that alone have power of impeachment.
To carry through the authority and power to undertake the economic issues of modernization and development, all the African Natural Recourses must exist as a Public Trust in which all citizens would be limited stock-holders, and consequently democratically determining policies carried out by a bureaucracy of professional macro-economists, accountants, planners and engineers, and so on, operating under direct control of elected representatives.
Now, assuming agreement for the sake of case, the issue is how do we bring this vision into actuality? The determinant concept is a democratic federal republic of Africa, which will move progressively by democratic participation of all Africans on District, Regional, and Federal levels.
African workers and peasants have to be brought into this radicalizing democratic process by the workers and peasants themselves, funded and organized by workers and peasants independent unions and associations with no financial or organizational connection with any of the existing governments or ruling parties. Workers must hammer-out their own positions and perspectives, both in the trade unions and at district congresses.
The utilitarian principle of the greatest good for the greatest number will be pushed to its logical conclusion by the African workers and peasants, its trade unions and associations, send delegates to every District, Regional and Federal Congress, thus representing this immense majority by the democratic principle one person one vote.
It is up to Africa’s working classes and toiling masses to emancipate themselves, thus they must work among their co-workers and peasants in the fields to motivate them to participate in this democratizing process of African politics, to participate in local town hall, civic and religious meetings, send representatives to District Congresses. It is only workers, trade unions and peasants’ associations that can and must bring workers’ and peasants’ interests into this political process by organizing weekly town hall meetings held in locations accessible to workers and peasants, at local schools, mosques, churches, libraries, community elders traditional meeting locations, and so on, free of charge.
The dialectics of radicalizing praxis reaching a common posture: Position, Opposition, Composition or "Consensus". A fighting program advancing the interests of Africa’s working classes and toiling masses, the poor, and gender oppressed; always defending the interests of those who because of poverty, illiteracy, and what have you, are unable to defend themselves politically.
The trade unions from all of Africa can and should meet, hold district, national, regional and All-Africa trade union workshop congresses, being both financially and politically independent of all existing parties and governments. The business classes and their political agents, government ministers, and military officers are naturally to be excluded from trade union workshop congresses, as well as excluding capitalists and corporate representatives as they are already excluded from trade unions, and their membership meetings.
The first task is that the African Union, with funds made available from member states, separate from donor money, invests in creating conditions required to generate a process that will culminate in an All-Africa Constitutional Convention, and Federal Republic.
This means, secondly, in its implementation, the creation of a Continental Organizing Committee, funded by the AU, and as such, independent of existing individual governments and pressures, that will organize pre-Convention mini-congresses, on District and Regional basis, in preparation of the masses to participate directly in an All-Africa Federal Congress, that will organize the Continental Constitutional Convention, that will have the authority to write up the Constitution, have it ratified, and organize elections in the formation of a permanent All-African Federal Government.
The African Union must regard itself as a transitional body representing the existing African states based on state armies on colonial borders. The objective of these Border States, in their formation of the African Union is in fact displacing the existing governments with a single Federal State, with a single Government, Central Banking System and Currency.
To achieve these objectives, the AU will organize and fund the transitory Continental Organizing Committee that is tasked to organize the initial Local, District and Regional Congresses throughout Africa.
Democratic Local Congresses will be located on the basis of practical political geography and demographics, comprised of smaller mini-congresses. These mini-congresses are ‘Town Halls’, the grassroots of democracy.
Participants to these mini-congresses, and the Local Congresses, are not restricted, and no one will be excluded on the basis of class, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or political ideology.
Mini-Congress and Local Congress Issues don’t have to be bread-and-butter practical concerns to be discussed. Global issues, such as the international economic situation, the wars in the Middle Asia and their impact on North Africa, and even scientific issues and achievements taking place in Africa as well as the world, the universe, should be just as naturally placed on the mini-congress and Local Congress’s agenda, as they are specifically on the agendas of Regional and Federal Congressional agendas.
What is happening in AIDS research and medicines? What of malaria? What can be done to protect children? How to fight gender oppression, and what rights do, and should, women have?
What African governments have endorsed the war in Iraq? What are the connections between the Wars in Palestine, and Iraq to U.S. and Israeli policies toward Sudan and Libya? Should Nigeria, Angola, Sudan and Libya be in OPEC? What’s up with the Ozone? Are African animals being protected? How should hunting be regulated, and poaching stopped? These African issues should be presented and discussed: Specialists should be invited to mini-congresses and to Local Congresses, to lecture and debate.
What are the latest findings in African paleontology? How does Egypt and Sudan reclaim archeological artifacts taken to the British Museum by tomb robbers? These and other such issues are human issues, and African workers and peasants are every bit as human as are the ruling classes and their elites. Relevant individuals and organizations can be invited to present the different points of view, and the discussion open to everyone present, to agree or disagree, and offer suggestions and resolutions.
The participants in the mini-congresses as well as the Locals have to become acclimated to Continental, Global and Scientific Issues on a regular basis.<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The people themselves will decide demographic considerations; participants of mini-congresses will select delegates to the Local Congress. The participants of mini-congresses will attend deliberative meetings in the Local Congresses directly. The Local Congress who are not delegates to Local Congresses, will nevertheless have the right to participate together with the delegates to the Local Congress regarding issues of deliberation, but only the delegates are empowered by their respective mini-congresses to vote as the representatives of the mini-congresses majorities.
Local Congresses will elect members to District Congresses. However, all Congresses are open to the public, and members of Local Congresses of which the District Congresses are comprised, have the right to speak at the District Congress, to suggest, challenge, and to participate in District debates, but only those who are delegated will be allowed present resolutions and to vote.
District Congresses will discuss issues, both those arising from Local Congresses and mini-congressional concerns, and those of the Region and the Continent. Those congresses will, also, importantly, raise issues of Continental concern, to discuss there, and have District Congressional Delegates present these issues and resolutions to Local Congresses, and taken to mini-congresses for further, detailed discussion and debate.
So, many District Congresses constitute the political geography and demographics of Regional Congresses. There is the North African Region, the West African Region, the Central African Region, the East African Region, and the Southern African Region. (But, these are only my speculations; there can be as many or as few regions as practically determinable.) There will be no Regions on the basis of ‘race’, religion, tribal identity, or ethnicity.
Federal Congresses are comprised of Delegates from Regional Congresses, but are open to the public. The function of these Federal Congresses is to categorize and synthesize the issues sent from Regional Congresses, to place them in a Continental framework, and in their international significance, if any, and to deal directly with Continental and international issues, analyzing, synthesizing and collating these issues, and problems, to be tackled by the Delegates to the Constitutional Convention.*****
Mini-congresses will send Delegates to Local Congresses; but all are invited, and all have the right to speak and debate, whether or not they are Delegates.
Local Congresses will send Delegates to District Congresses, but all Local Congressional delegates have the right to go there, and to speak and debate; but, only the Delegates will vote, in accord with the instructions of the proportional Local Congress’ Majority and Minority.
District Congresses will send Delegates to the Regional Congresses. Regional Congresses will meet Quarterly. Delegates will debate the ideas and interests of District constituencies, and other issues relevant to Africa and Africans at the time of Convening.
Regional Congresses will direct issue resolutions that will be taken to the All-Africa Federal Congresses, which will sit twice, six (6) months apart, to resolve issues and prepare for the All-Africa and African Constitutional Convention.
These Federal Congressional discussions and debates will be open to the public, but only Federal Delegates can vote.
These discussions and debates will be recorded and published by the Continental Organizing Committee, whose responsibility is to distribute this polemic in many languages and distribute copies by the tens of millions. These as a rule should be distributed and read to the mini-congresses, for discussion and debate.
Delegates from Regional Congress will report to the Regional Congress, together with Critiques and disagreements. Regional Delegates will have an obligation to present verbal as well as written reports, together with criticisms to the District Congresses, at which will be in attendance Local and mini-congress attendees.
There will be further discussion and debates at the mini-congresses. The Continental Organizing Committee will have these discussions recorded, and published throughout Africa. Thus, these issues will be again taken up at the following District Congressional sitting. This discussion recorded, and presented to mini-congresses by the Continental Organizing Committee throughout Africa.
Reports on these issues, and the sense of the responses, and critiques will be presented to the next sitting of the Regional Congresses for further discussions, and the passage of resolutions related will be voted upon. These, too, will be recorded, and published by the Continent Organizing Committee, distributed throughout Africa.
Thus the Regional Delegates to the next sitting of the Federal Congress, will revise, synthesize and collate this information, which new synthesis will be recorded and published by the Continental Organizing Committee, distributed throughout Africa.
The Federal Congress will go on to its new business, that being the urgency of preparing for the Constitutional Convention, where all these issues will be officially resolved, and seriously collated into account in the Draft Constitution of the All Africa and Africa Federal Republic.
These debates are legitimate whether taken up, and hopefully so, by workers on their lunch breaks, at pubs, at home, at church, mosques, village squares, barbershops, beauty parlors, the Local Congress will be presented to the District Congress, which back and forth over the year will be directed at articulations of rights and duties in the All-African Constitution, which will culminate in the guidelines of law and legislation in the Parliaments.
Every effort must be made to bring Africans into the Local Congresses, grassroots mini-congress participation that will discuss all issues confronting Africa and Africans, as well as the World, on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The delegates to District and Regional Congresses will therefore be informed, knowledgeable of all sides of all issues, competent, argumentative, audacious and ready to vote when the Constitution of the Continental Federal Republic is presented to voters for approval or disapproval.
District mini-congresses throughout Africa, based on geographical locations, taking tribes and kinship groups into consideration, by this praxis will prepare workers and peasants to be the democratic base of the New Africa, formed independently of the political geography of colonial borders of the present national states.
The Constitution will be presented to district representatives and tribal elders, and so on, who would operate in direct communication with their districts and tribes, debating issues to take back to district town hall community meetings for consultation and ratification, or rejection: the process evolves. The dialectical interaction between individuals and members of their communities, districts, regions, tribes and clans sending representatives to mini-congresses, and back and forth, will politicize all of Africa.
The District Congressional Delegates to Regional Congresses will be authorized by elections, in their District and Region, to represent their constituencies to attend the two Federal Congresses. The final Federal Congress will in turn be authorized to organize the All-African Constitutional Convention.
The Continental Organizing Committee will have access to the Constitutional Convention’s debates and resolutions, their "Federalist Papers", so to speak. Its final task, before dissolving, is the publication and distribution of minutes, resolutions, decisions and minority positions discussed and debated between Delegates to the Constitutional Convention, and publishing it and distributing those publications to Africans throughout All of Africa.
All-Africans representative institutions will have become prepared to vote on the Constitution, having had free access to all literature originating in Congresses on the relevant issues.
The All-Africa and African Federal Congress will take over the mechanics of organizing the All-Africa Continental Constitutional Convention.
Organizing the Convention includes, among other details, arrangements for a Convention hall, securing transportation and housing for delegates without costing delegates anything, so as to eliminate any possibility of poor representatives of the working classes and toiling masses being excluded by economic concerns, or beholden to patrons.
This Convention will be attended by delegates from every District and Regional Congress, and representatives of political parties, trade unions, peasants’ associations, business interests and so on.
The Ratification Constitutional Convention will write the Constitution, and organize political processes for its ratification, or rejection as the case may be.
The Constitution will enshrine all fundamental issues of economic rights and duties of citizens; workers; peasants; business; civil and criminal law; political parties; federal government, regional governments, district governments and rules of interaction; federal courts, regional courts, district courts and rules of interaction.
Delegates to the All-Africa Constitutional Convention must come prepared to hit the ground running. The democratic principle, one delegate one vote and thus majority rule will dominate the Convention. Other than this, the delegates themselves, at the Convention, will decide the politics of the Convention.
The Issues to be decided by the Constitutional Convention will include, among others, the nature and scope of Parliament, the determination and function of the Executive, the authority and function of the Judiciary; a Declaration of the Rights of Men/Women and Citizens; a Workers’ and Peasants’ Bill of Rights; the traditional Roles and Functions, if any, of chiefs and elders; Property laws and procedures of transferring Natural Resources from the possession of foreign investors and their comprador, and Neo-Colonial collaborators -- expropriations and/or compensation; Trade, International Relations, the All-Africa Army, displacing existing national armies, tribal militias and so on…
The Convention delegates will elect members to an ALL-African Commission that will govern the Continent in preparation for All-African Elections, including Continental, Regional, District and Local. Report backs to district and regional congressional constituencies for consultation and ratification.
Delegates of Constitutional Convention will authorize an ALL-African Commission that will organize elections to form the new government on local, district, regional and federal balloting.
The distribution of the Revised Ratified Constitution to All Africans will be the final act of the Continental Organizing Committee, and will dissolve upon completion of this, its historic task.
The AU and the state governments it represents will be superseded by the All-Africa and African Federal Republic’s Federal, Regional, District and Local Parliaments. It only remains for the African heads of superseded states to bow out gracefully with dignity. Having accomplished its historical task, the creation of a United States of Africa, the African Union and the state that comprised it will be no longer in existence. Thank you.
It will dissolve.
The African States that comprise the African Union will dissolve, together with the African Union itself, because their superfluous continuation will be in fact a dual power situation.
With the election of members of Parliaments, local, district, regional and federal, African Citizen-voters will have democratically determined who will be placed in power, as their chosen representatives to Local, District, Regional and Federal Parliaments, to govern Africa.
The continued existence of existing states along side the Local, District and Regional Parliaments will be at best superfluous, or at worst will evolve competition and rivalries, which is precisely one of the diseases the formation of the All-Africa and African Federal Republic is in existence to eradicate.
The Convention included representatives of national parties from the existing state. They therefore were on that basis committed by political integrity to eagerly accept the new governments and complete the dissolution of existing the state, now superseded by the Constitutional Republic. Besides, following the Convention, these parties have every right, the same as others, to run candidates for Local, District, Regional and Federal Parliaments, and by this act confirmed the validity of the New Government.
The dissolution of the existing states is the dissolution of its coercive institutions, the police, the national armies, and its prisoners pardoned. There can be but one judicial and legal system, and therefore one legitimate system of law enforcement, and one Continental Army. The officers and troops of the existing states will be integrated into the Continental Armed Forces. The scourge of ethnic and civil wars are eradicated, forever.*****
The Issues to be decided by the Constitutional Convention will include, among others, the nature and scope of Parliament, the determination and function of the Executive, the authority and function of the Judiciary; a Declaration of the Rights of Men/Women and Citizens; A Workers’ and Peasants’ Bill of Rights; the traditional Roles and Functions, if any, of chiefs and elders; Property laws and procedures of transferring Natural Resources from the possession of foreign investors and their comprador, and Neo-Colonial collaborators -- expropriations and/or compensation; Trade, International Relations, the All-Africa Army, displacing existing national armies, tribal militias, and so on…*****
The Convention delegates will elect members to an ALL-African Commission that will, by its authority, prepare for All-African Elections, including Continental, Regional, District and Local. Report backs to district and regional congressional constituencies for consultation and ratification.
The ALL-African Commission is the Primary Agency authorized to implement the Constitution beginning with the organizing of Federal, Regional, District and Local Elections, as soon as possible.
It is by election, the authority of the New Government and its component parts including Parliament, the Executive, Courts and Military, will include workers and peasants as well as professionals of every significant tribe, religious grouping of both genders implementing procedures democratically decided by the Delegates of Constitutional Convention will have oversight, monitoring the work of the ALL-African Commission.
The ALL-African Commission is the Primary Agency authorized to implement the Constitution. Beginning with the organizing of Federal, Regional, District and Local Elections, as soon as possible.
To prepare the people, the Commission will establish connections with the district mini-congresses of Districts, and organize local voter literacy campaigns among residents, bringing together teachers, authors, professors, and other literary professionals, who will donate time to urban and rural areas teaching workers and peasants how to read and write, mini-courses in critical thinking with the independence to select reading materials, on the basis of traditions and beliefs.
These classes, free and open to all of the area, will develop not only the literacy skills of the village or urban neighborhood, but will encourage traditional community leaders, such as elders, imams and preachers to play leading roles in organizing these classes, organizing skills that will recognize and tap natural leaders and give them responsibilities.
These leaders and organizers will appropriate local talented leaders who will, working with traditional leadership along with District Commission Representatives, establish local election boards.
It will be the responsibility of these boards, with the material and organizational aid and support of District Commissioners, to organize meetings where candidates for Local, District, Regional and Federal offices will come speak, debate, and recruit to their respective campaigns.
We acknowledge these facts to be self-evident: that the natural resources of Africa are the common heritage of All Citizens of Africa and their families:
We hold these Facts to be self-evident, namely that All-Africans are born naturally free, and endowed by Nature with definite inalienable rights. Among these are the rights to democratically determine how Africa’s Natural Resources, as the collective property of the African People, will be used to develop Africa’s economy in the interests of all, without regard to language, religion, culture, tribe, location, district, or region.
Operating upon acceptance of this premise, candidates for Africa’s parliaments has the freedom and creativity to present his or her vision or plan to the electorate. The campaigns are publicly funded and accountable to the public, and all would have access to the electorates equally.
It will be the responsibilities of the candidates themselves, and/or the Parties of which they are representative, to organize their own speaking campaigns, and help organize get-out-to-vote drives on election day.
The District Commission, working with local elections boards, will be responsible for establishing polling places, preparing ballots, collecting ballots, and counting votes. Party representatives and Candidate’s staff will be able to observe the ballot counting, but will themselves be excluded from participating in these counting procedures.
The Federal, Regional, District and Local Parliaments will take it from here, legislating any Constitutionally legitimate legislation they want to, by rules of their own making.
The Constitution must provide a legal framework for resolutions of problems that predicates the universal needs of All-Africa and African people, in such as way that the interests of individuals are satisfied.
Local, District, Regional and Federal legislative parliaments will address solving material problems of relative underdevelopment.
Displace income tax with income investment credits. Work-place investment by it being in the interests of Africa to do so, as well as to themselves as individuals, purchasing state-of-the-art technology to increase labor productivity, wages and Africa’s wealth! The new wealth, retained in Africa, can be democratically decided upon where it is needed most: mine removal? Health care? Forest preservation? Infrastructure? Schools? Is it possible to stop desertification?
The funds needed to purchase the means by which to re-develop Africa, which is the basis for ending poverty and sustaining healthy political discourse with all the democratic freedoms, and institutions, must necessarily derive initially from Public Possession of Africa’s Natural Resources, purchasing the machinery and skilled labor from the more technologically advanced countries of East Asia, Europe, Canada, and if possible the United States.
The first thing to purchase isn’t e.g. gold mining machines, but the machines needed to make the machinery that make mining machinery, and its spare parts right down to and including screws and screwdrivers. Then Africans would have the capacity and the skills to do their own repairs.
These natural resources -- gold, diamonds, and so on -- in their natural state cannot be alienated. The intervening agency of human hand and brain, work that changes it from natural resource to raw material gives it a human quality and quantitatively any other natural resource -- as the Public inheritance of All Africa and Africans -- will be African’s birthright to produce African wealth, which does not leave Africa and Africans, except by democratic decisions, to be alienated, used to purchase whatever machinery and technology required for producing the technology needed to further develop Africa’s productive forces.
By having this industrial and technological capacity, education and scientific training Africans will have the capacity of feeding, housing, educating and training Africans to self-sustaining life in the modern world, with health, safety, and high standards of living, second to none.
The All-Africa and African’s Federal Republic will be organized into Parliamentary Systems, based on Proportional Representation, including Local, District, Regional and Federal Parliaments authorized by elections to organize priorities and oversee the local, district, regional and federal economic projects that create African wealth for African usages and benefits.
In other words, the transnational corporations and their African counterpart collaborators produce tobacco, cotton and cocoa to be sold in Europe or America, clothing manufactured in Africa sold in America or Europe or elsewhere turn profits from these sales that are then deposited in European and American banks, collecting interest. The only thing African workers and agricultural laborers get from this economic process is wages, paper currency.
The land expropriated by settler-colonists expropriated by African peasants, as in Zimbabwe, is returned to traditional agriculture, using appropriate technology by African farmers to feed villages.
However, we are dealing with capitalist agribusinesses, such as tobacco and cocoa plantations worked by wage-workers using advanced agricultural technology. These will not be broken up into private plots but expropriated by the All-Africa Federal Republic, and devolved to Regional Parliaments to appoint teams of ecologists, agronomists and economists to discontinue the commercial production of tobacco, cotton and cocoa for export, to instead organize worker cooperatives to produce vegetables and/or fruit, nuts and roots to sell to African populations, ending hunger.
A percentage of the profits made by the cooperatives, in excess of the wages they pay themselves, will be taxed by the Regional and Local Government to be used to finance housing, health care facilities and educational programs in this region and location. The retained profits of theses agribusiness cooperatives will be at the disposal of the workers as they see fit, but they will be encouraged by their elected representatives to work with the ecologists, agronomists and economists to reinvest in production to thus create more jobs as well as produce more food.
From the Federal point of view, the expropriation of all the agribusinesses, carried out by regional workers backed by the State, will transfer agriculture from the possessions of transnational capitalists and their domestic partners to African proletarians. The billions of dollars and pounds formerly taken as profits by transnational and/or domestic African capitalists will remain in Africa contributing to its development.
These initial investments required to purchase the machinery needed to make machines necessary for the production of tractors, its wheels, spare parts, etc., might of necessity involve the productive technology required to access and process iron ore, bauxite, and oil, which will be sold to Asian, European and American businesses in order to finance the transitions from commercial export agriculture to subsistence agriculture to feed all of Africa.
These agricultural technologies will continue to progress in Africa as elsewhere, and eventually be sold to the agribusiness cooperatives. This assumes that once on their feet these agribusinesses will continue to grow, increase productivity, and expand by reinvesting much of their profits in these development projects.
African capitalists, that is to say, capitalists who live in Africa regardless of race and ethnicity, and African-American capitalists who migrate to Africa, who want to get into this African form of democratic capitalism can do so. They can set up shop anywhere in Africa, as there will be no national borders: Districts and Regions are not nations.
In a Single African Democratic Republic, national borders are eliminated. Upon this elimination will be the elimination simultaneously of all restrictions -- tariffs, duties or surtaxes.
All Africans are free to travel, settle, work or establish businesses anywhere they please. Their initiative will facilitate productivity and competitive prices. However, trade with transnational corporations, import as well as export, is subject to federal state controls and public accountability.
The entire history of the triangular-trade, colonialism and neo-colonialism speaks volumes explicating this necessity.
Besides, we can learn much from the successes and failures of state monopoly capitalism in the Soviet Union and China.
Capitalists will have a role to play, building industries in locations where they want to, responding to local, national or intercontinental markets. International trade, and transnational-domestic contracts will have public oversight and scrutiny by relevant governing committees, appointed by relevant government parliaments.
A. Invest in Continental Infrastructures Funding Projects
B. Invest in Quality of Life Improvement Fund:
Pan-African Social Security, Family Insurance, Pension Funds, Miscellaneous
NOTE: I think it was Danton, or perhaps Robespierre, when asked what are the qualities of being a revolutionary, responded: "Audacity! Audacity! Audacity!"
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