by International Minister, September 2003
The measure of any ethnic ideology is whether it focuses its fire on imperialism as the enemy. If the pan serves to fry imperialism, then it is progressive. If the pan fries non-imperialist nations, then it is reactionary and should be thrown out.
Of all the pan-ethnic ideologies, Pan-Africanism is the most progressive. It did not exist until modern times after imperialism as the decadent and final stage of capitalism had formed. It is a contemporary ideology forged by the likes of W.E.B. DuBois and Kwame Nkrumah with still relevant tasks before it.
From the beginning Pan-Africanism targeted French and English imperialism for setting up arbitrary boundaries and governments in Africa with which to divide the African people and make exploitation easier. Today, the military and intelligence agencies of the united $tates, England and France are still the main manipulators of African politics, not always behind the scenes either, as troop landings from time to time prove. The World Bank and IMF also exert their stranglehold on behalf of imperialism.
Had the Pan-African ideology triumphed over imperialist machinations in Africa, the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s would not have been possible. Neither side of the conflict in Rwanda was imperialist. It was a case of exploited and oppressed people slaughtering exploited and oppressed people. Nonetheless, the heartless imperialists still work feverishly to defeat Pan-Africanists and communists trying to bring progress in Africa.
Pan-Arabism could be a progressive ideology if formulated correctly; although it currently contains more ambiguity than Pan-Africanism. Any Pan-Arabism that focuses the fire on I$raeli and U.$. imperialism is progressive. Any Pan-Arabism attacking the exploited and oppressed of Africa, Iran or Turkey is reactionary.
Pan-Slavism is a centuries old idea that has failed in modernizing Eastern Europe in contemporary times. It was a brief and only tactical ally of the international proletariat during World War II when the Stalin-led socialist camp was hanging on to dear life by a thread. After the war, the Pan-Slavic idea left behind problems to solve for Yugoslavia and Albania, but also the region generally. There is no people with more self-interest in a Sovietized eastern Europe than Albania, with its backward economy and poor and exploited whites.
Turanian nationalism also thought of as Pan-Turkic ideology sometimes is most reactionary as a "pan" idea. It has served as the justification of war and genocide against Greeks and Armenians. Today, its partisans include the Japanese Nazi Party.
Our analysis hinges obviously on whether or not we are correct about imperialism. For too many people duped by reactionary nationalist ideologies, "imperialism" is the next door neighbor. The truth as established by Lenin is that here are no imperialists in Africa or Latin America. The only imperialist in Asia is Japan and arguably a rising China, depending on whether we see it as a dependent capitalist country or social-imperialist in its own right.
From the dialectical viewpoint, it is possible to advance by surpassing more advanced opponents. The combined struggles of the world against the U.$. war in Iraq are an example, an inkling of the kind of struggle that could bring about more advanced social systems globally. Too many countries are fighting for bits of land in contests that can only impoverish both sides. The hunger of the exploited and oppressed for change and improvement is the fuel for the next rocket that will carry the world's population beyond u.$. imperialism to a new world.
It is only the struggle against imperialism as defined by Lenin that can really bring global peace. Other wars can bring no net gains to the international proletariat, just more or less dead exploited people. The plunder of the imperialists is much greater than that conducted by any oppressed nation's neighbors.
Decades of revisionism propagated especially by the imperialist country so-called communists has left the international proletariat and its allies ignorant of the basic economic facts of life. While the minimum wage earner in England ranks in the top 10.1% in the world and the minumum wage earner ranks even higher in France, Germany, Belgium, Netherland and Luxembourg, revisionism has failed to alter the old Trotskyist view of even development, where each country has its exploited proletariat. Revisionism has everywhere hidden the surplus-value extracted by the imperialist countries and dovetailed with national chauvinism holding that nextdoor neighbors are the reason for economic backwardness. Anyone who thinks about the position of minimum wage earners in the imperialist countries (and they usually exist in families making even more money) can see that the extraction of wealth by imperialist countries from others is what sets them apart and creates uneven development.
When the slave system was more dominant, the slaveowner did not want to let go, but in fact, without the defeat of slaveowners by those hungry for change, the subsequent advances of capitalism would have been impossible. Generations later we can see that even the slaveowners' descendants benefitted from the end of slavery, though there was no way but violence against the slaveowners that would have made that change possible. That is the nature of dialectical change.
Any ideology, ethnic or not, that serves to draw all energy and attention into cultural and socializing matters is reactionary. Serious Pan-Africanism is working first and foremost on political and economic unity against the imperialist exploiters and their relative handful of lackeys in Africa constituting five or less percent of the population. Any similar ideology seeking to bring advance has above all to focus the fire where it belongs--on the imperialists.