To All BLF Members And Supporters
Comrades and warriors of the Azanian Revolution towards the total liberation of our people to ensure the end of suffering and the indignity of landlessness and poverty in our land, we bring you revolutionary greetings. The national leadership of our movement met over two days (1-2 April, 2016) in Yeoville. The meeting was an extra-ordinary meeting of the extended National Coordination Committee (NCC). In attendance were all the National leadership and Provincial representatives including representatives of the Institutions of Higher Learning where our movement has a presence.
Far reaching decisions were taken which affect the future of our movement. The NCC was emboldened by the phenomenal growth of our movement since the “Revolutionary Call” was published last August. It has not been easy. Many who started since BLF’s inception have fallen by the way side. Many have stayed on. Many have despaired in the face of challenges. Others have inspired all of us by their courage and commitment. We remain a growing and formidable force.
We take Amilcar Cabral’s adage that we must hide nothing from the people and never claim easy victories. There is a truth that our movement is resource constrained. We need all the support we can get to keep moving. We can only survive if our people support our movement. For this to happen we ourselves have to set a great example of sacrifice, hard work and commitment. We have to show seriousness and honesty. We must not be afraid to make mistakes and we must own up when we have erred and we must continue to improve our revolutionary practice. All of us must ask one question every single day, “what have I done today to advance the revolutionary process?”.
Our movement needs to build structures, to develop cadres and to recruit members. But central to this project is to create revolutionaries who are politically and ideologically trained. The NCC has done great work in issuing public and media statements. These statements are of political value to all our members and must be discussed and feedback sent to the NCC. Should you not understand or disagree with a point taken by the movement you are welcome to seek understanding and clarity. This practice is permitted. You must make your leadership aware of your ideological difficulties with the movement at all times and collectively the matter shall be addressed.
The NCC has also now appointed Brother Ncedisa Mpemnyama as the Secretary for Political Education and a programme shall be soon announced. We take Thomas Sankara’s teaching that “a soldier without political education is a potential criminal” very seriously.
Some of the important political and administrative decisions taken were expressed in the press statement issued on the 02/04/2016 titled “Political Questions Facing Our People Today”. We ask all our members to study this document and discuss it collectively and in small cells of even three people each. Also discuss it with family members and friends. Take each theme and break it down. All BLF members must take their own ideological development seriously and that of society.
BLF is here to provide a larger and inspiring vision and not to allow ourselves to be bogged down by petty squabbles. The enemy of our liberation remains white supremacy which in one important instance manifests as “White Monopoly Capital”. This means that we fighting against the totality of white power. We understand that to be Black First, we must get Land First! The fight for land return remains central to BLF.
As the press statement released by the NCC shows, we are today confronted with a great deception, where agents of imperialism who present themselves as revolutionaries are diverting our attention from this central contradiction of white supremacy and the battle for land return. They are trying to give us fake enemies to protect the real enemy which remains white. We wish to bring to your attention and emphasis that we are faced today with an imperialist onslaught, which is complicating our struggle for national liberation. The imperialists are busy with plans and campaigns to remove President Zuma and replace him with another stooge to break the momentum towards radical decolonization. The enemy is hijacking the struggle to avoid a real Black Revolution from happening. The #ZumaMustFall and #GuptasMustGo campaigns are part of the grand deception under the theme of “state capture”. These are all imperialist schemes. The good thing is imperialists like Johann Rupert has shown his hand and his agents have also shown their hands. We now know there is an alliance lead by Johann Rupert for regime change so as to rescue capitalism and white supremacy.
This development calls for a change of tactics. The imperialists have now managed to get themselves out of the revolutionary gaze. To this end they have cast the focus on Zuma whom they have lost control over because of this “look East for the family’s feast” strategy. Basically, imperialism has taken the genuine rage against Zuma and the ANC and turned it into its own survival strategy through making us focus on Zuma and the Guptas and leave white capital out of view. This is a clever trick of “state capture”. We must refuse to be deceived and insist that the primary enemy in SA is white capital, the white community and the white land thieves. We must not let them make us lose focus and fight wrong battles. Yes Zuma must pay back the money, but that is not our primary concern.
It in this situation the national leadership of BLF has adopted, amongst others, the policy of “accepting Zuma’s apology with conditions”. This means that if he doesn’t meet these conditions our position shall change. We need to break the reactionary front, divide it and win more people towards a revolutionary path. We need to expose all the reactionaries and anti-black forces by continuously inviting them to the black path of Biko. We must make clear exactly what Zuma needs to do to break with neo-liberalism. That is why the conditions to BLF’s forgiveness of Zuma are presented. We have no suggestion for coexisting or promoting imperialism except to defeat and obliterate it. Our situation is not too different from the one comrade Mao Tse Tung and his Communist Party of China was faced with at one stage of their revolutionary war. Whilst they were fighting for national liberation, they had to also confront the reality of imperialist occupation by Japan. This called for a new tactic and better understanding of how forces of revolution can operate. Today we are also faced by a clear case of imperialist onslaught. We know from London to New York there has been calls for regime change. They want President Zuma and the Guptas gone so that they can replace them with their own stooges which will be presented as the new saviours of blacks only so that they can repeat the same circle that has been going on for the last 22 years. It will be another change that doesn’t bring about change. When Johann Rupert called for a coup that was more than a clear indication of this danger.
We now have a situation where white supremacy is presenting itself as the answer. We must expose this and fight it. We must remove from view all the obstacles and non essential distractions like Nkandla so that we may get to the actual fight. We must turn this situation into a people’s war to end white supremacy and neo-liberalism. Once we do so the small fries like the Guptas would not be factors.
Some of the positions we have taken have been criticised. We welcome this criticism even if most of it is ill-informed. We believe the bulk of the criticism comes from what Mao Tse Tung called “close doorism”. It is instructive to examine the explanation of Comrade Mao on the two tactics of “united front” and “close doorism” under the conditions of pursuing an anti-imperialist struggle.
Mao on United Front vs Close Doorism
“For the moment I shall confine myself to explaining that united front tactics and closed-door tactics are diametrically opposed.
The former requires the recruiting of large forces for the purpose of surrounding and annihilating the enemy.
The latter means fighting single-handed in desperate combat against a formidable enemy.
The advocates of united front tactics say, if we are to make a proper estimate of the possibility of forming a broad revolutionary national united front, a proper estimate must be made of the changes that may occur in the alignment of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary forces in China resulting from the attempt of Japanese imperialism to turn China into a colony. Without a proper estimate of the strong and weak points of the Japanese and Chinese counter-revolutionary forces and of the Chinese revolutionary forces, we shall be unable fully to understand the necessity of organizing a broad revolutionary national united front, or to take firm measures to break down closed-doorism, or to use the united front as a means of organizing and rallying millions of people and all the armies that are potentially friendly to the revolution for the purpose of advancing to strike at our main target, namely, Japanese imperialism and its running dogs, the Chinese traitors, or to use this tactical weapon of ours to strike at the main target before us, but instead we shall aim at a variety of targets so that our bullets will hit not the principal enemy but our lesser enemies or even our allies. This would mean failure to single out the principal enemy and waste of ammunition. It would mean inability to close in and isolate him. It would mean inability to draw to our side all those in the enemy camp and on the enemy front who have joined them under compulsion, and those who were our enemies yesterday but may become our friends today. It would in fact mean helping the enemy, holding back, isolating and constricting the revolution, and bringing it to a low ebb and even to defeat.
The advocates of closed-door tactics say the above arguments are all wrong. The forces of the revolution must be pure, absolutely pure, and the road of the revolution must be straight, absolutely straight. Nothing is correct except what is literally recorded in Holy Writ. The national bourgeoisie is entirely and eternally counter-revolutionary. Not an inch must be conceded to the rich peasants. The yellow trade unions must be fought tooth and nail. If we shake hands with Tsai Ting-kai, we must call him a counter-revolutionary at the same moment. Was there ever a cat that did not love fish or a warlord who was not a counter-revolutionary? Intellectuals are three-day revolutionaries whom it is dangerous to recruit. It follows therefore that closed-doorism is the sole wonder-working magic, while the united front is an opportunist tactic.
Comrades, which is right, the united front or closed-doorism? Which indeed is approved by Marxism-Leninism? I answer without the slightest hesitation–the united front and not closed-doorism. Three-year-olds have many ideas which are right, but they cannot be entrusted with serious national or world affairs because they do not understand them yet. Marxism-Leninism is opposed to the “infantile disorder” found in the revolutionary ranks. This infantile disorder is just what the confirmed exponents of closed-doorism advocate. Like every other activity in the world, revolution always follows a tortuous road and never a straight one. The alignment of forces in the revolutionary and counter-revolutionary camps can change, just as everything else in the world changes. The Party’s new tactics of a broad united front start from the two fundamental facts that Japanese imperialism is bent on reducing all China to a colony and that China’s revolutionary forces still have serious weaknesses. In order to attack the forces of the counter-revolution, what the revolutionary forces need today is to organize millions upon millions of the masses and move a mighty revolutionary army into action. The plain truth is that only a force of such magnitude can crush the Japanese imperialists and the traitors and collaborators. Therefore, united front tactics are the only Marxist-Leninist tactics. The tactics of closed-doorism are, on the contrary, the tactics of the regal isolationist. Closed-doorism just “drives the fish into deep waters and the sparrows into the thickets”, and it will drive the millions upon millions of the masses, this mighty army, over to the enemy’s side, which will certainly win his acclaim. In practice, closed-doorism is the faithful servant of the Japanese imperialists and the traitors and collaborators. Its adherents’ talk of the “pure” and the “straight” will be condemned by Marxist-Leninists and commended by the Japanese imperialists. We definitely want no closed-doorism; what we want is the revolutionary national united front, which will spell death to the Japanese imperialists and the traitors and collaborators”. (See “On Tactics Against Japanese Imperialsm” dated December 27, 1935 in Selected Works of Mao Tse Tung. Link: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_11.htm)
As the Black Consciousness Movement we are driven by the principle of black solidarity. This means building a big united block against white power. It’s as simple as when walking up to a fight between a black and a white, we are called by black consciousness to join the side of the black and fight to defeat the white. We must never be found to be on the side of the whites against any black including the reactionary ones. Worse, we can never be part of a programme of white imperialists like Rupert.
We must not allow ourselves to be made to mistake the gatekeeper for the master. We are not at war with the gatekeeper, we want the master. We just want the gate keeper to move out of the way. We reiterate, for BLF the fight is against white supremacy and for land return. We must be guided by only these two considerations and never lose focus of this.
We shall consistently provide updates and clarity regarding the political situation as it develops. It’s the duty of the revolutionary movement to explain, inspire and educate and to be educated by the masses of our people.
We are hoping to see you all at the National Launch Conference in mid May 2016.
National Convenor BLF