Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Kwanzaa: The Seven Fundamental Principles of Organisation for the Toyitoyi Artz Kollektive

1. Umoja: Unity

a. Theoretical Unity:

Theory represents the force that directs the activity of persons and organisations along a defined path towards a determined goal. Naturally it should be common to all the persons and organisations adhering to the Network. All activity by the Network, both overall and in its details, should be in perfect concord with the theoretical principles professed by the Network.

b. Tactical Unity or the Collective Method of Action:

In the same way the tactical methods employed by separate members and groups within the Network should be unitary, that is, be in rigorous concord both with each other and with the general theory and tactic of the Network. A common tactical line in the movement is of decisive importance for the existence of the organisation and the whole movement: it removes the disastrous effect of several tactics in opposition to one another, it concentrates all forces of the movement, gives them a common direction leading to a fixed objective.

2. Kuchijagulia: The Ten Point Self-Determination Program

-these ten points comprise our survival program under the system

a). We must have community control of all business and financial institutions located in our communities, and for those businesses not working in our best interests or not returning some of the revenue back to the community, we will seize said businesses and turn them into community co-operatives and mutual aid banking societies.

b).We must have community control of all housing and major input in all community planning of Working Class communities. If a piece of property or house is owned by a slumlord (either a private realtor or government agency), we will seize it and turn it into a community housing co-operative. We oppose urban renewal, spatial decomposition, yuppie gentrification and other such Middle Class schemes to drive us out of our communities. We must have complete control of all planning boards affecting and concerning the community. To enforce these demands, we should lead rent strikes, demonstrations, militant actions and urban squatting to drive landlords out and take over property.

c).We must have an independent self-sustaining economy to guarantee full employment for all our people. We demand that the government provide massive economic aid to rebuild the cities. The government spends trillions per year for the killing machine. At least that amount should be redirected to meet the needs of all oppressed communities. Ghetto housing must be rebuilt and turned over to the occupants. Adequate jobs and services must be provided to all community residents including first preference for all community jobs in the community, when public works brigades are assigned to rebuild the cities. We must fight for grassroots control of all government funds allocated to the community through a network of mutual aid banking societies, community development corporations, and community development credit unions.

d). Reparations: the Big Payback. Governments and the rich class have stolen from and oppressed us for centuries. They worked our ancestors as slaves, and after slavery they continued to oppress, murder and exploit our people, down to the present day. We must build a mass movement in our communities to compel the government and the rich to provide the means for our community re-development. They owe us for centuries of abuse and robbery! We must demand that reparations, in the form of community development money and other funds, be provided and placed in credit unions, co-operatives, and other mutual aid institutions in the Working Class communities, so that we can start to obtain some measure of economic self-sufficiency. Yet we know that they wont give it to us, we must fight for it, just like we must struggle to overturn the system of wage slavery today.

e).End police brutality. We must organise self-defence units to protect the community and its organisations, and remove the state's police forces. We demand criminal prosecution and jailing of all brutal or killer cops. No jurisdiction for the state judicial system in liberated zones.

f). We must undertake a large-scale program to train Working Class people as doctors, nurses and medical paraprofessionals in order to make free quality medical and dental care available to Working Class people. We must demand that the government subsidizes all such medical and dental training, as well as for the operation of clinics, but Working Class people ourselves must establish and run the free medical clinics in all Working Class communities whether urban or rural. This would include community anti-drug programs and drug rehabilitation clinics.

g). We must establish a community-controlled food system for self-sufficiency and as a way of fighting to end hunger and malnutrition, including a trucking network, warehouses, communal farms, farmers, co-operatives, food co-operatives, agricultural unions, and other collective associations. This will include a protest campaign challenging the theft of farmland by agribusiness corporations and rich land barons and reclaimimg it for our projects. This is especially important now that the world has entered an economic crisis that will not be able to provide for our needs. We must force the government to provide the money for many of these projects, to be administered under our total control, instead of a government agency.

h). The poor community must have control of its entire educational system from nursery school through high school. We must establish a Working Class liberation educational system which meets the training needs of Working Class children, prepares them for job training and future economic security, service to their community, and gives them a knowledge of themselves and an understanding of the true history and culture of Working Class people, as well as a program of adult education for community people whose earlier educational opportunities have been stunted. We should demand free higher education for Working Class people at full government expense, including remedial training programs for all who wish to participate.

i). We must demand and fight for the release of all Working Class political prisoners and victims of injustice, we must investigate and review the cases of all such prisoners who are victims of government political repression and frame-ups, and lead a mass campaign for their release. Some of our best revolutionary organisers could be rotting away in the prison houses.

j). The central demand is for Working Class control of the Working Class community, its politics and economy. We have to take over the cities, establish municipal communes, and exercise sef-government as a vital step. We are the majority in all of the cities of the world and we should be able to control our own affairs (or at least obtain some economy), but as we should now be aware we wont ever get this community social power through voting sor some Capitalist politician, or from passively depending for salvation on leaders of one sort or the another. We have to do it ourselves if we are to get on the road to freedom.

3. Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility

a. Collective Responsibility:

The practice of acting on one's personal responsibility should be decisively condemned in the ranks of the movement. The areas of revolutionary life, social and political, are above all profoundly collective by nature. Social revolutionary activity in these areas cannot be based on the personal responsibility of individual militants. The Dare Guru, taking a firm line against the tactic of irresponsible individualism, introduces in the ranks the principle of Collective Responsibility: the entire Network will be responsible for the political and revolutionary activity of each member; in the same way, each member will be responsible for the political and revolutionary activity of the Network as a whole.

b. Decentralisation:

The principle of decentralisation reconciles the independence and initiative of individuals and the organisation with service to the common cause. It opens the doors to every healthy manifestation of the faculties of every individual. It must not be understood as the right to manifest one's 'ego' without obligation to account for duties as regards the organisation. Decentralisation signifies the free agreement of individuals and organisations to work collectively towards common objectives.However, such an agreement and the Netwok based on it, will only become reality, rather than fiction or illusion, on the conditions sine qua non that all the participants in the agreement and the Network fulfil most completely the duties undertaken, and conform to communal decisions. Consequently, decentralisation, while recognising each member's rights to independence, free opinion, individual liberty and initiative, requires each member to undertake fixed organisation duties, and demands execution of communal decisions. On this principle alone will the decentralisation principle find life, and the Network function correctly, and steer itself towards the defined objective.

Every collective/affinity group adhering to the Network represents a vital cell of the common organism. Every cell should have its secretariat, executing and guiding theoretically the political and technical work of the group. With a view to the coordination of the activity of all the Network's adherent collectives, the Facilitators' Council is indispensable. The Council is in charge of the following funtions: the execution of decisions taken by the Network with which it is entrusted; the theoretical and organisational orientation of the activity of isolated groups consistent with the theoretical positions and the general tactical line of the Network; the monitoring of the general state of the Network; the maintanance of working and organisational links between all the collectives/affinity groups in the Network; and with other organisations. The rights, responsibilities and practical tasks of the Council are fixed by the Dare Guru Guru of the Network.

4.Ujamaa:Ten-Points of Cooperation and Self-Management

-these ten points outline the characteristics of the people's cooperative political economy we strive for in the revolution.

a). Self-Management: Do not delegate power in others.

b). Harmony: Unite the whole and the parts in the Rugare/Uhuru Network.

c). Federation: The movement should not be chaotic but coherent, with unity between the whole and the parts on a regional, national and international levels.

d). Direct Action: Anti-capitalist, anti-beaurocratic, so that the people are the active subjects through direct democracy.

e).Coordinated Self-Defense: Freedom and self-management must be defended against the totalitarian beaurocracy and the imperialist bourgeoisie.

f). Cooperation in the countryside and self-management in the city: Agriculture can be based on the self-managed company whose model can be the agro-industrial complex. In the city, industries and services should be self-managed and their administrative councils should be constituted by direct producers, with no ruling class or intermediaries.

g). Production: Unionised work should be converted into freely associated work without the bourgeoisie or beaurocracy.

h). All power to the assembly: No-one should decide on behalf of the people or usurp their functions by means of professional politics. Delegation of powers should not be permanent but should be given to delegates who are elected and recallable by the assembly.

i). No delegation of politics: There should be no parties, no vanguards, elites, directors, managers. Beaurocracy kills the spontaneity of the masses and destroys their creative capacity and revolutionary activity, converting them into a passive people and a docile instrument of the power elites.

j). Socialisation and not rationalisation of wealth: The following must take the most important roles: the syndicates, the co-operatives, local self-managed societies, popular organisations, all kinds of associations, local, regional, national, continental and world federal self-governments.

5. Nia: Purpose

a) Rugare/ Uhuru

Rugare/Uhuru is the absence of all forms of domination and exploitation. All people are fundamentally equal, and should have the freedom to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they do not harm the freedom of others. It is opposed to capitalism because capitalism is a vicious profit system that is based on the exploitation of the workers and the poor to the benefit of a small class of bosses and top government figures. It is opposed to the state (courts, army, beaurocracy) because the state is not there to look after everyone; instead its role is to keep the ruling class in power. Racism, sexism and other forms of special oppression are primarily the product of capitalism and the state. In Rhodesia, racism was created to "justify", strengthen and deepen the exploitation of the Black Working Class in the farms, mines and factories. Capitalism and the state cannot be reformed away. They must be resisted and defeated. The only people who can fight and overthrow capitalism, the state and all forms of oppression, are the working and poor people. This is so because they have no vested interest in the system. Also they have power in their ability to organise (particularly at their work-places), and because they produce the wealth of the world. Only a productive class can build a free, anti-authoritarian society because only such a class is not based on exploitation.Instead of capitalism, Rugare/Uhuru stems from a free people's economic system in which workers and peasants directly manage the land, and factories, and use these resources to produce for the benefit of all. In place of the state, Uhuru relies on people's management of their own affairs through grassroots, workplace and community councils, united at the local, regional and international levels.

b) The role of the Network

We believe our role is to help organise and educate the masses to march to Uhuru in their own name. We do not believe in making the revolution "for" the masses. We promote the self-activity and revolutionary awareness of the masses. We don't set ourselves up as "the leaders who know it all". We believe that our ideas are good and are worth trying out. We believe it is necessary for those agreeing with them to organise together so that our ideas will spread and be understood by a lot more people. To us it is important that those revolutionaries active in different areas are brought together so that experiences can be shared and learned from. We believe that in day-to-day struggles or campaigns it is important that the message is driven home that only a revolution made by the workers, poor and working peasantry can give us ordinary, oppressed and exploited people the freedom to run society so that all our needs are met. We see our role as encouraging the initiative working people and arguing for structures that allow people to take part in local or work-place activities. We do not aim to take power and make the revolution from above.

We do not believe that the revolution is around the corner. We believe that making it is a slow process during which there may be huge jumps forward. It is a slow process of spreading ideas and building people's confidence to bring about change. We accept the need to work alongside other progressive organisations in immediate struggles so long as cooperation does not compromise our right to argue for our ideas.

6. Kuumba: Creativity

We are Toyitoyi. We are a revolutionary counter-culture. We are the embryo of the new revolutionary society in the body of the old and the sick, dying one. We are the new lifestyle in microcosm, which contains the new social values and the new collective organisations and institutions, which will become the socio-political infrastructure of the free society.

Our objective is to teach new social values of unity and struggle against the negative effects of capitalist society and culture. To do that we must build the Network into a class conscious movement to build class pride and respect, class and social awareness, and to struggle against the capitalist slave masters. This collectivism would be both a repository of class culture and ideology. We need to change both our lives and our lifestyles, in order to deal with the many interpersonal contradictions that exist in our community. We need to examine the class family, class male/female relationships, the mental health of the Working and Poor community, relations between the community and the ruling class establishment, and among Working and Poor people themselves. We need to hold class consciousness raising sessions in schools, community centres, prisons and in poor communities all over, which would teach our class' history and culture, new liberating social ideas and values to children and adults, as well as counselling and therapy techniques to resolve family and marital problems, all the while giving a Working Class revolutionary perspective to the issues of the day. Our people must be made to see that self-hatred, disunity, distrust, internecine violence, and oppressive social conditions among Working and Poor people are the result of the legacy of slavery and the present day effects of capitalism. Our main objective as a Working Class revolutionary culture is to agitate and organise Working Class people to struggle for their freedom.

We have to counter class self-hatred and the frivolous "party mentality". We also want to end the social degradation of our community, and rid it of drug addiction, prostitution, class-on-class crime, and other social evils that destroy the moral fibre of the Poor community. Drugs and prostitution are mainly controlled by organised crime, and protected by the police, who accept bribes and gifts from gangsters. these negative social values, the so-called dog-eat-dog philosophy of the capitalist system teaches people to be individualists of the worst sort-Willing to commit any kind of crime against each other, and to take advantage of each other. This oppressive culture is what we are fighting. As long as it exists, it will be hard to unify the people around a revolutionary program.

7. Imani: Faith

We draw our faith from the struggles of our ancestors who throughout history struggled against the oppressive classes and scored victories. We particulary draw a large measure of inspiration from the unsung heroines of struggle, chief amongst them Mbuya Nehanda. We hold to be true the belief in the Working Class' historic task to be the instrument that will free all from bondage through class struggle. We acknowledge that human beings are the shapers of their destiny whilst we appreciate the fact that the Universe is infinitely greater than each of us.

We respect every human being's freedom of worship or non-worship and stand opposed to cultural genocide and the purging of the faithful.