“The truth is, in the country of the blind, The one-eyed man is considered to be crazy as hell.”--Robin Palmer, Ex Officio, The Weather Underground"The beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart."-- Mary Shelley's Victor Frankenstein"If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must pay for all they get. If we ever get free from all the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and, if needs be, by our lives, and the lives of others."--Frederick Douglass, his address on West Indian Emancipation (1857)1. PrefaceWhat is this 'Symmetrical Analysis' I speak of? It is the will toward seeing social, political, economic, and historical issues and reality not in isolation from one another. Thus, it is the act of refusing to accept the popular, media moderated practice of judging our reality and our freedom as any single sort of EFFECT; rather, our reality and freedom are the result of a collection of ALL of these material components. What is economic is political, and what is political has social ramifications. What exists must have its roots in history. Nothing makes sense unless all of these components are considered.Yes, thinking requires effort. It is a form of labor. It is a form, in fact, of STRUGGLE. As Frederick Douglass warned us about struggle, it is a thing we must engage in, and must do so despite fear and pain and even death, for it is a necessary process if we are to preserve our freedom. Freedom, as has been lately observed with great alacrity, "Is a conversation by free men about being free."2. Thugs Я Us: To Overturn the Nation StateThe thugs (Rumsfeld, Cheney, Pentagon Advisor Richard Perle, Honorary Thug Bill Kristol, Gunga Din-Sambo Ahmed Chalabi, Honorary White Man Condoleeza Rice, John Ashcroft, Sad Sack Colin Powell, etc.) who had for eight years worked steadily at destroying our democracy, our Constitution, and our precious civil rights, have gone into eclipse following the election of President Obama.But mark me well: their eclipse, like the eclipse of the moon, parallels any other celestial eclipse in that the thing eclipsed has not truly departed; it is merely now invisible, out of range, lacking its former luminescence and influence. Things in eclipse by astronomical definition always return sooner or later.Let it not be forgoten that independent journalist, Doug Thompson, broke the story back in 2005 that Bush had openly expressed contempt for the Constitution in an oval office meeting attended by several congressional leaders, including conservative congressman Bob Barr, who, incidentally, veered far to the left of the Bush administration in 2005, becoming a vehement spokesman for civil liberties and a steadfast critic of Bush; could the events of that meeting as recounted by Thompson, have influenced Barr to recognize how the Republican adminstration was a chief enemy of human freedom and individual rights?(see http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7779.shtml to read Thompson's article in full).Thompson reported :...Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell-shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court."I don't give a goddamn," Bush retorted. "I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.""Mr. President," one aide in the meeting said. "There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.""Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"I've talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution "a goddamned piece of paper."--Doug Thompson, "Bush on the Constitution"....The ever present danger of these beasts returning (in the case of Rumsfeld and Cheney, for instance, any future return will be their fourth time taking a run at destroying America: both men served in the Nixon, Reagan, and in the Bush I administrations in various positions and in various advisory capacities) means that our individual freedom, as guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Constitution, Emancipation Proclamation, and extending all the way back into English Common Law and the Magna Carta itself (remember: Bush Jr. actually overturned the writ of Habeas Corpus not only in its expression in our Constitution but had, through the Patriot Act, attacked the very roots of discovery, evidentiary justice, and rights of the accused as set forth in the Magana Carta signed by English King John in 1215!) was and still is, in its weakned state, in danger of dying in our lifetimes.We had best keep Obama's feet to the flame.So what exactly ARE these rights expressed as 'individual freedom'? The evolution of the nation-state between 1200 and 1600 AD was undeniably a causal factor in the birth of individual freedom under the law, freedom being exactly what is being largely lost in present-day America after what can best be understood as a 911 provoked regime change that took place here in the United States.Individual freedom as a function of the rise of the nation-state is generally and almost universally understood as being comprised of most or all of these civil and human entitlements:1. Freedom to speak one's mind and conscience, in an orderly fashion in public, in written form, and in the presence of power witout fear of reprisal or censorship.2. Freedom to associate with whomever one chooses.3. Freedom to assemble in public, in orderly fashion, for the purposes of expression, recreation, celebration, protest, civil disobedience, or asociation.below: 700 year old draft of the Magna Cartasold at auction by Southeby's in 2007, purchasedby a trustee of The Carlyle Group4. Freedom from wanton, random, or gratuitous coercion at the hands of The State, of economic powers, or of a ruling class.5. Freedom from taxation without legitimate representation and amedment.6. Freedom of religious belief. and of worship and ascription as well as orderly professment.7. Freedom from religion (protection from religious coercion, dogma, or organized powers)8. Freedom from prosecution without trial by jury.9. Freedom from indictment or prosecution without writ of habeas corpus.10. Freedom from group condemnation or persecution, coercion and condemnation by association.11. Equal protection under the law, and equal possession of each of the rights elaborated herein, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, political persuasion, religious association, gender, sexual orientation, physical appearance, challenge, or empairment, or genomic or phenotypic genetic heritage or profile.12. Freedom to own property and to enjoy safety and protection from persecution or coercion based soley upon economic profile or economic viability and identity.13. Freedom from torture, from cruel and unusual punishment, and from physical threat by The State.14. Freedom from the penalty of death.15. Freedom from arbitrary or systemically entrenched poverty and want (the right to full employment at a living wage).16. Freedom to organize unions of common cause, employment, and professional advocacy.17. Freedom of artistic and intellectual expression, and freedom to invoke intellectual property rights.18. Freedom to control, direct, and manage the fate, processes, and development of ones body (freedom of choice, freedom from sexual coercion, abortion rights, the right to euthansia, and to consumption of all legal substances and mood altering or pharmecuetical agents).below: Original Copy of the US ConstitutionThe National Archives, Washington, DC19. Freedom from forced conscription without legitimate representation and random lottery.20. Freedom to declare conscientious objection to conscription.Though these twenty points are not exhaustive, they are all mentioned, alluded to, or represented in various constitutions and declarations globally, throughtout the western democracies, and within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the South Afrikan Constitution--two of the most recent and most humane examples of modernist expressions of civil and human rights.These points presuppose that civil rights are merely an extension of human rights, that human rights are rights by birth and without national or international limitation, and that consequently, these rights are neither bestowed upon individuals by nation-states, nor can they be arbitrarily rescinded by nation-states. The freedom of individual rights, however, are generally understood by historians, social analysts and critics, and by social activists, as being the result, in the west that is, of the rise of nation-states during the period of the waning of monarchy, in the 14th-16th centuries.This liberal, modernist conception of individual freedom is indeed in the process of being razed in the United States, as well as in many other of the Western democracies, which are poised to fall like dominoes to the designs of America’s current ruling cadre of corporate brigands and thugs (i.e., the Exxon/Haliburton/Carlyle-Group/Blackwater/Kellogg, Brown, and Root tribe). The ‘brigands’ who used 911 as a pretext to begin a process of reanimating feudalism, slavery, and essentialist notions of race, had also begun a process of erasing the very notion of social justice predicated upon principles of intrinsic human and individual rights. This particular brigandage began as a small but feral cabal of right wing ideologues and administrators who’ve done Ronald Reagan’s dream of eliminating the nation-state one better by launching a rhetorical coup to seize the means of ideological, social, political, and finally economic production in the U.S. I say that the timing of the Wall Street economic collapse was no coincidence: it corresponded with the growing certainty last Fall that Barak Obama was destined to become the next president.This process of ideological, socio-political, and economic unraveling was obviously conceived by American corporate thugs, as always, to be carried out in those very stages (ideological, social, political, and economic) and is was being executed by the Bushistos in that prescribed order. Such was the order of operations for earlier authoritarian thugs, e.g., the German National Socialists in Deutschland; the right wing of the Peronist power bloc in Argentina; Tito in Yugoslavia; Radovan Karadžić in former Yugoslavia/Bosnia-Hercegovina/Republika Srpska; the Francoists in Spain; and the Batista regime in Cuba. All these regimes followed or employed to various effect the methods of anti-Statism in their climb to and maintenance of authoritarian power.Both Naomi Wolf’s “Ten Steps to Fascism” from her text, The End of America, and Professor Theodore M. Vestal’s writings on the characteristics of authoritarianism in several texts including his "Ethiopia: A Post-Cold War African State", discuss the various incremental changes in consciousness, in popular discourse, and in political institutions and social and public policy that inexorably shift modern populations away from social democracy (or even away from socialism in the case of Weimar Germany) and toward authoritarianism/fascism.Among these incremental paradigm shifts is the establishment of what Professor Vestal calls ‘pervasive bureaucracy staffed by the regime, and what he calls the ‘creation of allegiance through various means of socialization’. Bushistos had heavily stacked formerly democratic, public policy bureaucracies with Republican/corporate shills while arbitrarily funding and empowering a huge new authoritarian bureaucracy (known as the Office of Homeland Security). They meanwhile had established a bogus, propaganda apparatus known as ‘Fox News’ in order to re-socialize the American mind, while compromising public education via the privatizing of schools, the imposition an anti-pedagogical testing regime to replace liberal curricula. They had meanwhile blanketed the mass media with right wing ‘noise’ (see "The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy", by former Bushido turned critic of Bush, David Brock). For her part, Wolf, in her “ten steps” ominously warns against the establishment of ‘a thug class’ (step #3), which of course, had been fulfilled by the Bushisto/corporate palace guard known as Blackwater Corporation, a mercenary army and corporation CEO’d/commanded by Bush family lackey, Erik Prince, who founded Blackwater right here in Michigan, my home state.It bears mentioning, in fact, that Prince’s pedigree as candidate for Bush thugmeister reaches back to his little known tour as an intern in the Bush Sr. White House in 1992. His company, which he founded in 1997, is one of the chief war profiteering corporations to benefit from the U.S. Iraq occupation (as editorials and reportage in The Arab American News have pointed out, it is indeed an illegal occupation, not a ‘war’).The upshot was the determined, and to a startling degree successful creation, by authoritarians, of a society-wide form of cognitive dementia in conjunction with a systematic diminution of the effectiveness or of the very purpose of democratic institutions, democratic government apparatuses, and the compromising and even overturning of the very means by which democracy is achieved: that is, the destruction of popular elections and of the electoral process.Specifically, in order to eliminate the bases of civil society in its praxis of human and individual rights, to eliminate democracy, and to eliminate electoral values, it is first necessary to eliminate the collective expectation of these things in our minds. Having achieved this psychic excision, the next tactic was to eliminate its accoutrements. The coup was bloodless (if you don’t count the deaths during 911, in Najif, in Abu Ghraib, at Guantanamo, etc.)3. New Colonialism: Race and the Slave Trade She Rode (back) In OnWilliam Kristol, Newt Gingrich, Donald Rumsfeld, Gary Schmitt, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, Trent Lott, et al., as well as corporate funders (DeVos and Prince) and think tanks such as The Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, the Scaife Foundation and The New Citizenship Project, have all waged this coup in order to recondition collective consciousness.Historians like Richard Bean typically understand ‘nation-states’ (i.e. Bean’s essay, "War and the Birth of the Nation-State", from Journal of Economic History, Vol. 33, #1, March, 1973) as entities that have organized the forces of western ‘civilization’. By his definition statism distinctly positions itself against, or after, feudalism and monarchism proper. It nurtured ‘civilization’ and its accoutrements: egalitarianism, humanism, early mercantilist energies, post-Athenian/Post-Periclesian democracy, collective administration, and individual/minority rights. Statism literally gave succor in Central Europe to the post-Romanesque notion of individual freedom and individual rights.This is so even while Statism admittedly was a force for repression of ethnic difference, local autonomy, and pluralism i.e., the 19th century Italian phenomenon of 'Il Risorgimento'. It must be admitted that the Risorgimento though it generally involved the birth of nationalist sentiments that drove out Austrian, Napoleonic, and Habsburgean foreign rule in Italy, particularly in the Italian-speaking northeast, nevertheless was a movement that contained and crushed dissent from annexed states and among defiant regionalist movements. Secessionists, particularly the Sicilians, protested and revolted against the centralized, authoritarian Italian state, and late 19th century resistance to Statism was particularly strong among the southern peasants who refused to accept the Risorgimento government. It goes without saying that certain Spanish, Arabic, and Greater Metropolitan African elements within the southern population continued to see areas such as Sicily, Messina, and Corsica as distinct, independent entities. The savage repression of regional autonomy and difference across the Italian peninsula was part and parcel of Italian evolution toward statism.Still, statism across Europe in toto, created a social milieu in which social cruelties and barbarisms (such as slavery) could no longer be transparent, but became opaque. Unlike the milieu of ancient Rome, of ancient Carthage, or ancient Persia and Egypt/Kemet, the new milieu and age that followed the 13th century forced signing by King John of the Magna Carta and that included the 18th century rationalism and empiricism of the enlightenment and Renaissance (both of African origin, say many historians such as Cheikh Anta Diop and Martin Bernal) was one in which slavery needed a new justification since it arose out of a new impetus.Certainly, even the archaic and antique periods of Europe, followed by the classical period and then the dark ages, all featured African influence, but the unique aspect of the African and Asian influences of the enlightenment itself was the drive toward democracy (first in Greece, then in Rome, and later in France and the Americas) that this particular period (from AD 1400-1800) entailed slavery was both a continued barbarism in Europe even after the enlightenment, a peculiarly altered practice because of the enlightenment and the statism that accompanied it (since slavery became a more mechanistic, corporate practice, as well as an aberrant practice whose days were necessarily numbered due to the very mercantilist and statist forces--under waning monarchism and feudalism--that drove the slave trade through those forces’ support of the slave trade).The classical period had been one in which slavery had three clear and widely acknowledged justifications:1. Slavery was a result of war—a form of pillage (a defeated enemy was understood to be subject to a portion of the defeated population being taken as slaves).2. Slavery was a result of fiat—the will of a king (those subject to the monarchist rule of a king, emperor, or a Caesar, were understood to be subject to the whim of that ruler, who could declare one to be enslaved, or remove one’s freedom to the point of virtual slavery).3. Slavery was the result of a debt—an indenture of indefinite length (a debtor might be subject to policy, procedure, or law, all of which might decree that his freedom be forfeited for a limited term of service, or for any term up life, in compensation for a debt).By contrast to these acknowledged justifications for enslavement, the advent of the Transatlantic, Triangular Slave Trade was a break with all known standards of behavior, and this paradigm shift required a justification. Race became that justification. The invention then, of the ideology of ‘Race’ (and of ‘white’ supremacy), is contemporaneous with the creation of corporations and the rise of a global slave trade organized not by kings, not by states, and not by generals, but by corporations.The global slave trade was unique in that it was highly systematized, mechanistic (in the sense that it established interlocking and complex patterns, policies and procedures commercial in nature that could create repetition of expenditure, storage, processing of ‘goods’, sales, and profits in a pattern meant to operate into perpetuity), and purely commercial in nature, with operations motivated and enabled through investment and strict profit margins. It was an immense, global, and nearly unprecedented mass relocation of millions of Africans, not after conquest in war, not through fiat, and not for repayment of a debt, but for no other reason than gross profit of the type that came into being after mercantilism and the birth of corporations.To justify such mass theft not only of human labor but also of natural resources (such theft eventually becoming the project of global colonialism through which Europe ravaged Africa and Asia) necessitated the invention of a mythology of the sub humanity of Africans.This was in direct contrast to the previous, classical conceptions of ethnicity and nationality (as opposed to ‘race’) which were the conceptions by which nations identified themselves and identified other nations. An Egyptian in ancient Rome was understood to be a resident of the nation of Egypt, while a Roman was understood to be a resident of Rome, or a descendant of a certain ethnic community native to Italy. Likewise, an Ossian, or German, or Greek, or Numidian, or Nubian would be understood as a member of those associated nations, tribes, or communities. The notion of ‘race’ per se, as we now understand it, did not exist, and so then neither did racism.Racism, like brigandage, rape, war, monarchist cruelty, unrestrained pillage, or order by the whim of warlords, was essentially mitigated by the rise of the nation-state, and thus, at the behest particularly of corporations, race became a justification for the establishment of an exception to the growing protection of individual and collective justice that nation states tended to exert.We habitually assert such claims about the beneficent potential of nation-states, notwithstanding legitimate anarchist critiques of statism. Nations, every bit as readily as monarchies, possess the strong potential, and even the tendency, to inflict war, oppression, plunder, and abuse upon other states, and even upon their own citizens. Yet, the undeniable history of the rise of the nation-state between 1200 and 1600 verifies the concordant, even resultant rise of the forces of egalitarianism, law, social constraints upon brigandage, and cultural freedom.There was, however, an inevitability to the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, given the reality of the pure profit motive adopted by the nascent and the early corporations. The creation of the modern concept of ‘racism’ was rooted in the advent of the corporation. The formation and ‘chartering’ of the Stora Kopparbërg in Sweden (AD 1347), of the Dutch East India Corporation (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie ) in The Netherlands (AD 1602), the and the granting by the British Crown of a monopoly to the British East India Corporation (AD 1600) commenced the history of corporate profit motive that led to the spread of the corporate model, the invention of the trust company and of limited partnerships in the 19th century, corporate fascism in the 20th century, and the current 21st century model of the multinational hegemonic corporations, such as Blackwater, and without borders or national identity (the incorporeal corporation).4. Seeing The New ColonialismDonald Rumsfeld’s presumptive Jewish identity notwithstanding, he was, in 2003, the Bush administration’s herald of New Fascism and of New Colonialism. During a series of rambling, psychically dizzying press briefings throughout the latter nine months of 2003 (the invasion of Iraq had commenced on March 20th, 2003) Rumsfeld introduced to a pacified White House Press Corps the theory and battlefield practice of ‘The Rumsfeld Doctrine’; a post modern rejection of heavy, tank-style attacks in favor of lighter armor, more rapid, more effective, fast moving columns carrying scant numbers of troops deep into enemy territory for the purpose of surveilling enemy positions in order to call in massive air strikes and then move on, eschewing secure bivouacs or fortress-like entrenchment.Rumsfeld’s preening, neologistic, nonsense ridden diatribes in these press conferences (“There are known knowns…there are known unknowns…but there are also unknown unknowns: there are things we do not know we don’t know.”) marked a launch point for the only recently overturned (if we can actually trust that Obama's election overturned it), ongoing U.S. project of New Fascism.Step one in this process, a process we are currently living through, was the re-introduction of Old World Colonialism (post-post Colonialism, if you wish, or Neo-Colonialism, or, as I prefer to call it, ‘New Colonialism’, for it hardly matters by what name we call the rose; it would stink as much).Step two had proven itself to be the systematic desensitization of the U.S. population to the debasing of human rights, the founding of a pugnacious foreign policy based upon endless war, the founding of a torture state, and the destruction from within of democratic institutions.Step three, it seems clear, would have been the imposition of massive social, economic, and political collapse, necessitating the impositio, presumably, of military rule, of a police state, and of society-wide surveillance and suspension of individual freedom.A question to haunt us: has step three been averted thanks to Obama? And if so, for how long? Eight years is the legal extent of his presence in the White House. Without vigorous and harsh prosecutions and punishment meted out to the war criminals and thugs who hyjacked our democracy for eight years, will those now in eclipse return to finish their work?Only time will tell.
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  • South
    To elaborate on what I said earlier: I think it is very important to understand Diop. In the place, he is no longer with us. Although he was highly educated in multiple disciplines, we must at least accept that with the advancement of ever-increasing knowledge, he could not possibly have had the final word on any one subject. Indeed, no one mortal person could ever know everything. Only GOD knows everything. Failure to accept this fact is to be most unscientific in our thinking.

    Diop incorrectly defined Africa and Africans in racial terms in his early works. Clear thinking proves to us that Africa can never be Unified based strictly on race. It goes without saying that there is no pure so-called race anywhere in the world, least of all Africa. I give Diop credit for recognizing that Africa must be United in geo-political terms towards the end of his life. For instance, he recognized that in order to reclaim and Develop the Sahara Dessert it would require the cooperation of sub-Sahara Africans and North Africans because the desert touches so many African countries regardless to their ethnic and so-called racial demographics.

    Anyone who undertakes to seriously and honestly study African history and culture is to be almost immediately confronted with the fact that much of what we know as African history has come to us from non-African primary sources. As recently as mid-century, European writers painted a very negative picture of Africa to justify slavery and colonialism. It goes without saying that Diop and virtually every other scholar was affected by this. But, as scholars such as Dubois began to research our history, they went beyond the European writers. In so doing, they had to rely largely on Arab historians. Thus, the most accurate renditions of African history come to us by way of Arab traders, travelers and writers such as Ibn Batuta and Ibn Khaldun, to name the most important two. In writing Arab history, they could not avoid writing African history because in many instances the two are one and the same. Unfortunately, I know of no evidence that Diop ever came to recognize this fact.

    Furthermore, Ibn Batuta and Ibn Khaldun wrote in the Islamic Era, meaning within the past 1400 years. So, to go further back into African history, we must consult other sources. The Greeks and Romans recorded a lot. But, once again, we find that they had a hidden agenda to justify Roman and Greek wars and oppressions of Africans. Indeed, the slave trade can be traced back at least to Roman domination of Egypt and North Africa. Nevertheless, there are Egyptian records available to us, as well as Ethiopian. What I have found most amazing, however, in view of modern research techniques involving DNA and archeology, is that some African records go back 5-6,000 years. Furthermore, the archeological (and anthropological) records go back as such as 200,000 years. What these oldest records proves (keep in mind that Diop and his contemporaries did have access to this new information) is that what we commonly refer to as Arabs have been in Africa for perhaps as long as 200,000 years. Therefore, we cannot write African history in racial terms for at least 200,000 back. These are essentially African records. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berber_people and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_History_of_Tunisia and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garamantes)

    Although Monotheism originates in Africa, Judaism and Christianity is generally not thought of as African religions. Nevertheless, it is indisputable that those whom we know as the most ancient of the prophets, such as Abraham (Peace and Blessings be upon him) are what we think of as Jews and Arabs. The common denominator between the two is Semitism; both are Semites. And, some will still argue that they come from Asia. We do know without question that Semites have always been in Africa throughout recorded history. There is no “Arab invasion” of Africa in the sense that there was a Euroepan invasion. Diop (and several other scholars) were slow to realize this, if indeed he ever came to realize it; hence much intellectual confusion among African scholars, scholars who have been too lazy to seriously study African history.

    Now, as we begin to focus more and more on Economic Development in Africa, we are beginning to realize that African history has an Asian element as well, quite aside from the Arab element. Eastward from the continent to Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles and the Indian Ocean Islands we have Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines , Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, India and China. All of these have cultural and racial links to Africa. It is thought that even Buddha was an African (a so-called Black African). Van Sertima proves that Africans traveled at least as far the Americas long before Europeans knew that the world was spherical, not flat. Indeed, it is not too difficult to island hope from Africa all the way to the sub-continent and back by way of simple canoes. So, we see that the Africans of East Africa are generally not of “pure race”. Most have biological inks to Asians.

    All in all, when get serious about Pan-Africanism, African Unity, we absolutely must abandon the racial ideas and ideologies that we have acquired from Europeans. To do justice to men like Diop, we need to go back and revise virtually all of their works to reflect modern knowledge. We must direct our young people to correct this history, especially the writings of men like Diop.
  • Awwww, you are TOO easy, Brother Hendrix. Don't tell me you are pulling that same tired old logical fallacy of deductive truth! Yeah, you are. Through the simplistic definitions of words and even more simplistic taxonomy of concepts (okay, I'm gonna always be honest with you--simple MINDED taxonomy), you seek to validate your shopworn, OLD dogmas. Old in the Black nationalist way, too, though you claim not to be nationalist; your ideas are in fact, old time 'pork chop nationalism'. You should check out Kawaida Theory and Ron Karenga-you would feel at home with that dogma, I think.

    But to the point, the older I get and the more I debate folks the more I see that all the dogmas (religious, political, racial, gendered, national, and spiritual) are really just ONE dogma--the dogma of control and repression and defining reality as if it must conform to the little box the dogmatist lives inside of, pointing out to all those who exist outside that 'oh, you think you're free, but you really live in here with me!' It's the claim of the Christians, the Muslims, the Jews, of the nationalists, the homophobes, and the misogynists alike. All the same dogma.

    1. The constitution DOES proclaim my freedom and the freedom of all humanity. The fact that the document was and is flawed is due to the fact that it was written by flawed men (much like the bible was, a I keep pointing out to religious dogmatists who declare to me that I am bound by Christian dogma even if I renounce it). In declaring the liberty of all (men) it automatically declares mine, yours, and also every woman's liberty too, even if the founders were too myopic to see the implications of their own scribe function (by the way, that's all the white men were, you know--scribes. The constitution came through them, not from them. It existed before they took dictation from The Dialectic which delivered it to them. Therefore, no constitution, law, statute, or codicile 'frees' me or you, Brother, we were BORN free. Laws simply recognize that fact. By the same token, laws cannot take away our freedom, they can only declare a refusal on the part of the state to recognize the fact. Dig: when the Catholic Church declared the earth flat and threatened Galileo with torture if he didn't publically declare his acceptance of Church canon, and he did so, publically, in order to escape torture THE WORLD DID NOT BECOME FLAT. It was still round. Galileo did not suddenly become blind to what he knew to be true. POWER does not CONTROL reality, it merely controls AUTHORITY, and authority is in essence, THE STATE (whether theocratic, which I suspect is the sort of state you yearn to found, or secular). The State can coerce, can disciplin, can punish, but it cannot ever interdict itself between you and reality, unless you have FAITH in it and belive that it does. Orwell's 1984 makes this point: the tragedy of Winston Smith is not that he lives in a totalitarian society, nor that his lover and he are arrested, nor even that he is tortured! The tragedy of Winston Smith is that he allows the inquisitor to first break his will by turning his own romanticism against him (Smith is driven to betray his lover when, in Room 101, he is threatened with the ultimate torture that he cannot withstand, and this realization, that anyone will betray their deepest love in order to survive, breaks Smith's will), and once his will is broken, the Inquisitor can then move on to do what the authoritarian state ultimately always wants to do: control the victim's perception of reaity: the inquisitor makes Smith believe that he is holding up two fingers when in reality he is holding up three fingers. Thus, the human will and spirit are shown to be fragile; unprotected.

    Now, notice that I did not say the authoritarian state wants to control REALITY. The State knows it cannot do that. It wants to control our PERCEPTION of reality. Many people, by the way, misunderstand what Orwell was saying here: they think he is saying we should despair, that The State will always break us, that there is no hope in the face of power. What Orwell is really saying is that Smith is a romanticist, and cannot psychologically withstand the stripping away of his petit bourgieos notions of love, freedom, and resistance. He naively thinks the only form of resistance to power is masculine, patriarchal, and violent. He imagines himself joining a resistance, and imagines The State that is 'Big Brother' being overthrown. Thus, he lacks the flexibility and imagination to absorb, as Galileo di, the attentions of power when it harms him. Orwell, like all writers and artists, is arguing for humanity and for the intrinsic right of humanity to be free, Winston Smith IS THE PROBLEM. He BELIEVES in the authority of The State, and so, in resisting it, he cannot see any other outcome than that he be defeated by it. He is part of the past, he is of the world that gave birth to Big Brother and so he cannot really escape into a newer world in which he can recognize his own freedom independent of Big Brother. Are you following me? Please listen, because this is crucial...

    2. I am NOT interested in 'civil rights' but in HUMAN rights. In the same way I am not interested in a slice of cake but in owning a bakery. Back to logic again: the way to escape the fallacy of deductive truth is to step outside of the box. Only a fool blows up a bakery in order to liberate a slice of cake. WITH A BAKERY ONE MAY BAKE AS MANY CAKES AS ONE WISHES. Fallacy avoided.

    3. There is no such thing as 'white' people. Race is a myth--it was invented by corporations (the first corporations in fact) to justify the triangle slave trade. If you insist on believing this lie you will be part of the problem, not part of the solution. Please DON'T tell me 'White' people have done this and that to us, and control our economy, our bodies, our destiny through their laws and their guns (you really are enamoured of guns, it seems to me), because they do not. There is no 'they' but those who operate, exploit, and deploy and buy and sell the image of capitalism. Check out what our brother, Ulysses says about 'consumer economics' and how it can be used to explain politics (the political economy). That brother is going to be known some day for this idea of his when he writes a book about it--mark my words.

    4. Race and our master's use of race leads poor, stupid 'white' people to keep voting, thinking, and acting against their own ineterests, and helping THIER master to keep us all divided so that Capital can conquer, and then SELL us our own captivity as a consumer product! Sly, sly, sly, but Ulysses is going to uncover that shite and expose it. You no-doubt think 'so what? he don't own no publishing houses like whitey do, so what good is it gonna do fuh thu nigguh!?'

    5. No number five. I think you either get it, or you still think the united states of nat is the answer, your majesty.

    Peace AND hotep

    Ray
  • South
    hetep,

    "If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must pay for all they get. If we ever get free from all the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their
    removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and, if needs be, by our lives, and the lives of others."
    --Frederick Douglass, his address on West Indian Emancipation (1857)

    it couldn't be put any better, only brought back to the surface, reinserted in the state of mind of the black collective, who have been led in the wrong direction by negro leadershit, those who are foisted onto the black collective by the powers-that-be, as so-called black leaders. they are the same ones whom douglass was speaking of when he commented that:"Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters."

    and let me update by stating that they want civil rights and not human rights, integration and not black nationalism, which is predicated on sovereignty. they prefer to preach martinism to gate-keep and pacify us for their lord and master, in favor of practicing malcolmism and insurrection to overthrow our enemy. they prefer the meek and humble jesus, instead of the jesus who overturned the table on the moneychangers. they prefer to turn the other cheek and love thy enemy and not
    advocate an eye for an eye, a head for a head and a life for a life. such negroes must and need to be removed from our midst if we are ever to achieve genuine freedom.

    "As Frederick Douglass warned us about struggle, it is a thing we must engage in, and must do so despite fear and pain and even death, for it is a necessary process if we are to preserve our freedom. Freedom, as has been lately observed with great alacrity, 'Is a conversation by free men about being free.'"

    now, either douglass must have been talking in terms of our enslaved ancestors, or he was confused to. or the "us" he was talking about was not the same "us" that you seem to refer to. they're two totally different groups. one was enslaved by white folk, while the other "us," the modern one, is no more than the white folk who are now starting to cry wolf or beginning to feel threatened, because their white elite class is hell bent on stripping them of, or corroding their constitutional rights.

    how can their be a "we," when it is a fact that the constitution has never ascribed to blacks the same rights as white folk, because if it did, there would not be a voting rights act that is subject to removal every twenty or so years by the dominant white group? even hispanic-speaking people have it better than black folk, when it comes to voting, because they can come here, be sworn in as amerikkkan citizens, and not have to face an act of voting rights.

    again, explain to me what "destroying our democracy" is supposed to mean, when the black collective is taken into consideration. the only black folk that i'd be willing to bet that would say that are the so-called black middle class, entertainers, professional athletes and big screen actors and actresses, beside the whole host of confused and lost black people, who have been denuded into thinking that they are part and parsel of a democrary.

    who was it that remarked what freedom was, in the sense that it "is a conversation by free men about being free.?" and did the person have afrikan people in mind, when he spoke those words?

    uhuru!
  • Wow. My post was not at all about Diop, nor am I much of a Diop rhetoritician.

    Nevertheless, I am of course greatly admiring of Baba , Cheikh Anta Diop. I was blessed to attend Cornell University, in upstate NY for gradaute school to study for the PhD, and while I was there (in the English department) I took many cross-departmental seminars in Africana Studies. I read Diop's "Civilization or Barbarism" while taking a seminar with the astounding Nigerian playwright, revolutionary and Nobel Prize winner, Wole Soyinka, an admirer of Diop. I was very influenced by that text, and fascinated by the depth and breadth of Diop's genius, his linguistic, scientific, and cultural writings, and the undeniable resonance of his work and life and example across the Afrikan diaspora.

    Many of the grad students and the profesors at Cornell, from across the diaspora, had either read, been influenced by, or had actually met Diop.

    But first, a word to Ulysses (Odysseus): Thank you, Brother, for your kind words and your encouragement. The spiritual energy and humanity in you shows in your every word. I particularly am admiring of the respectful but firmly critical way you tamped down some of the wild rhetoric of Mr. Hendrix in your responses to his post, "Defeatist Niggas'.

    The sort of Black patriarchist, pugnacious, and ultimately egoist posturing that we sometimes do as Black men when we act and seek to lead others in the political realm is understandable, given our confronting the castration rituals the American society foists upon us every day of our lives, but given the objective global situation that exists on this planet right now regarding White people's dangerous combination of of meglomania and nuclear weapons, it is perhaps nothing short of insane to suppose that we can tell ourselves that violent opposition following a traditionally militaristic model, can somehow save the planet from White terrorism.

    As you rationally suggested to Hendrix, Ulysses, the only way to save the planet is to first save our selves, in part by disconnecting from our dependence upon the madness of the capitalist social order and capitalist values (your point about self sufficiency, about living off the land, about possessing 'tools' was no less profound for its simplicity--a koan is a simple thing, but one can spend a lifetime trying to understand just what the koan seeks to teach us).

    Again, you were respectful; but you decisively rejected and discredited the manichean dogma of the Black nationalist/patriarchist mind-as-military-manque. I may not even completely agree with what seems at least, to be a pacifist philosophy you are suggesting; but that does not mean I cannot see the simple rationalism and simple humanism of your critique, and the way it hit home in this case. Bravo, Brother. I look forward to reading more of your posts and comments throughout this corner of the blogosphere.

    Abdurrahman, I am in the process of reading your posts, as you suggested, but let me say a word or two about your critique of Diop's apparent contradictions.

    Please, Brother, remember that genius is almost always contradictory--even sometimes schizophrenic. Does that mean we cannot take from those flawed geniuses we as a people have produced, a saving modicum of wisdom and enlightenment? History and geography seems to suggest that in fact we CAN. Recall so many of our beautiful, ingenius, mad, outrageous geniuses--the flower of our diaspora: the cold hearted Richard Wright, the self destructive Charles Parker, the often mentally disturbed Charles Mingus, odd bird, Zora Hurston, the obssessive Ngugi Wa Thiongo, and all the scores of strange geniuses--Richard Pryor, Xam Cartier, Toni Morrison, William Grant Still, Miles Davis, Amos Tutola, Dr. Robert "Papa" Powell, Huey Newton, H Rap Brown, Vievee Francis, Bob Kaufman, C.L.R. James, Bessie Head, Elain Brown, Assata Shakur, Alice B. Toklas, Paul Robeson, Dave Chappelle, Anthony Braxton, Baraka, crazy tragic mulatto and muscleman-poet, Jean Toomer, his sister-in-tragedy, Nella Larsen, and on and on...not to mention our latin and asian brothers and sisters such as Che Guevara, Fidel, Zapatista SubCommandante Marcos, Nestor Cerpa ho died in the Tupac Amaru siege in Peru, killed by the pig President Fujimori, Tamil Tiger heroine, Lt. Col. Selvy who laid down her life in the Battle of Mannar, sculptor Isama Naguchi, Physicist Michio Kaku, Iris Chang, author of "The Rape of Nanking, driven in her despair to commit suicide (what a loss to us all!), the wonderful peoples' hero, Ho Chi Mihn (Ho gave Ameican imperialism the flux!), etc., etc., and then there are those "White" brothers and sisters who we ought to acknowledge, who were/are geniuses and a bit crazy on top of it: Nikola Tesla, Wilhelm Reich, and John Nash, Aunt Emma Goldman. And there are those who are obscure though influential, or who are famouse nut hardly closely looked at: Aneb Kgositsile, Gertrude Stein, Naomi Woolf, Perri Giovannucci--now teaching at the American University in Dubai, Susan Faludi (is she actually Arab?), and...well, you get it.

    What all these people have in common is that they are or were human. Flawed. Does that mean we can't take wisdom and enlightenment from these people? I don't think I would even want to be enlightened by the politically correct, because being crazy, confused, flawed, and contradictory myself, I don't think I could ever relate to a perfect human savior.

    It's my conviction that Jesus' breath probably stank. The rancid goat's milk and the saturation of garlic in the foods of ancient Judea, and add to that the heat, and...whew! Savior with halitosis, Man.

    But Moshiach, just the same...

    Lastly, Dave;

    I am suspicious to say the least, of all 'melanin testing' philosophies and ideologies (particularly Dr, Francis Cress Welsing's suggestive and fascinating but fatally transitory and sketchy research on Melanin's biological, physiological, genetic, and 'spiritual' efficacy; though psychologically, she is far more interesting:

    her 'Cress Theory of Color Confrontation" dovetails with some of Freud's most widely accepted theories of displacement, neurosis, and psychotic xenophobia (sound like the ailments of 'White' people? Yep!), while she also convincingly theorizes a lot of the very same kind of 'shadow' fixation and repression, and fear of otherness talked about in Karl Gustav Jung's work).

    But, it cannot be denied that Diop's work on the African basis of civilization, though perhaps pushed a bit too far by him (Leaky, and other anthropological and geological evidence of late seem to suggest the possibility that Asia, not Afrika, was the cradle of homo erectus--of humanity) is brilliant and is valid. He exposed, through his sheer intellectuaism, the anti-Black biases in previous research on Afrika. His work is validated by Martin Bernal (I sat in on some of Bernal's lectures when I was a student at Cornell), and by archeologists and ahtropologists who have studied Sudan, etc.

    The geneology of racism in the sciences, accented by such 17th and 18th century foolery as phrenology, dissections of Africans' brains, sex organ measurement and categorization of Africans, the kidnapping of original peoples and Afrikans such as Ishi, Otabenga, and so-called 'Venus Hottentot', and of course the more recent outrages such as the Tuskeegee Experiment, the medical atrocities at Johns Hopkins, and the publication of the lurid psuedo-intellectual book, "The Bell Curve"; all these things speak volumes of the worth and importance of Diop just simply as a voice against all that.

    Or so I say.
  • Chicago-Midwest
    I believe the new battle field for all of this is consumer economics
    The proof of equality and / or superiority is tied to the products, services and utilities the majority of the world's people identify themselves with.

    Regardless of what the scientists a philosophers use for their commentaries they are still commentaries on observations.

    Ah! Herbert's first three books in the "Dune" series have an instructional texture to them, like the rough diagram for a heist or something. The way you laid out the above essay points to the individual characters and their actions in facilitating a plan.
  • West
    "As long as the world is dominated by White people, as long as those white
    scientists - who now claim that there is no validity to the study of race -
    continue to practice racism socially and academically and, most important, as
    long as the Black race bears the badge of inferiority forced upon it by
    scientists who have DISTORTED and suppressed Black history, we shall
    prominently focus on it whenever and whereever the truth can be told until
    sincere men of science return the Black race to its former position of respect
    and reverence on the earth." - L. Clegg
  • West
    Mr Waller , I would like to humbly propose a question for you , regarding your opinion of Cheikh Anta Diop ... it seems that what he un -covered , and wrote about , in detail , was illustrative of the greatness and sophistication of black african societies , pre -dating any semblance of asian and european civilization ... and I believe that this is the tune he whistled from the very beginning ... and of course , any with an euro - centric / aryan model inculcation will have a problem with his interpretation ... his introduction of the dosage test is something that I very rarely read about , but was extremely important in refuting the "white -washed" / re - interpretation of the ancient history model , which began in earnest circa - 18th century .
  • South
    Diop said some intelligent things towards the end of his lfe. Unfortunately, it took him most of hid life to get intelligent. I avoid mentioning him because his early works are so confusing and contradictory. A person cannot be a black racist and a Pan-Africanist at the same time. To do so would require a lot more than "symetrical reasoning". Please see my most recent postings here: http://africanchat.ning.com/forum/topics/when-arabia-was-eastern-2.
  • West
    It is heartening to see Brother Diop's seminal research being given some "love" , in this exquisitely well articulated essay ... thank you Sir . Perhaps now , others will be inspired to connect a few more "historical dots" .

    Dave Myers

    www.discussrace.com
    IIS Windows Server
  • Chicago-Midwest
    Nah! Don't be flattered. You're a craftsman and a scientist and I'm just a fan of word smiths.

    Thanks for expressing your thoughts.

    And teaching in the hood.
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