To Die For The People By Huey Newton

In the global black diaspora Huey Newton genius is not appreciated in the same light as Malcolm X,Martin Luther King Jr,Sankara or Mao.The lesson of his dialectical analysis,self criticism and his constant need to always strive for higher place for society is relevant for any global south movement looking to expand cadre consciousness.The following are relevant excerpt from the book ‘To Die For The People’.


The role of a vanguard party

“The main purpose of the vanguard group should be to raise the consciousness of the masses through educational programs and other activities. The sleeping masses must be bombarded with the correct approach to struggle and the party must use all means available to get this information across to the masses. In order to do so the masses must know that the party exists. A vanguard party is never underground in the beginning of its existence; that would limit its effectiveness and educational goals.”

On Flunkyism

“I think that the mistake is that some people have taken the apparent as the actual fact in spite of their claims of scholarly research and following the discipline of dialectical materialism. They fail to search deeper, as the scientist is required to do, to get beyond the apparent and come up with the more significant. Let me explain how this relates to the Black Panther Party. The Black Panther Party is a Marxist-Leninist party because we follow the dialectical method and we also integrate theory with practice. We are not mechanical Marxists and we are not historical materialists. Some people think they are Marxists when actually they are following the thoughts of Hegel. Some people think they are Marxist-Leninists but they refuse to be creative, and are, therefore, tied to the past. They are tied to a rhetoric that does not apply to the present set of conditions. They are tied to a set of thoughts that approaches dogma – what we call flunkeyism.”

On development of a revolution

“We realized at a very early point in our development that revolution is a process. It is not a particular action,nor is it a conclusion.It is a process. This is why when feudalistic slavery wiped out chattel slavery,feudalism was revolutionary. This is why when capitalism wiped out feudalism,capitalism was revolutionary. The concrete analysis of concrete conditions will the true nature of the situation and increase and understanding. This process moves in a dialectical manner and we understand the struggle of the opposites based on their unity”

On The gun

“The gun itself is not necessarily revolutionary because the fascists carry guns, in fact they have more guns. A lot of so-called revolutionaries simply do not understand the statement by Chairman Mao that “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” They thought Chairman Mao said political power is the gun, but the emphasis is on “grows.” The culmination of political power is the ownership and control of the land and the institutions thereon so that we can then get rid of the gun. That is why Chairman Mao makes the statement that “We are advocates of the abolition of war, we do not want war; but war can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun, it is necessary to take up the gun.” He is always speaking of getting rid of it. If he did not look at it in those terms, then he surely would not be revolutionary. In other words, the gun by all revolutionary principles is a tool to be used in our strategy; it is not an end in itself. This was a part of the original vision of the Black Panther Party.”

Surviving repression

“A truly revolutionary vehicle which will survive the repression it encounters daily is made up of a number characteristics. First of all,there is a small but dedicated cadre of workers who are willing to devote their full time to the goals of the organization.organization. Secondly,there is a distinct organized structure through which the cadre can function. It is a combination of structure and dedicated cadre which can maintain the machinery for meeting the people needs…Such a vehicle can survive repression because it can move in the necessary manner at the appropriate time. It can go underground if the conditions require,and it can rise up again. But it will always be motivated by the love and dedication to the interest of the oppressed communities. Therefore the people will insure its survival,for only in that survival are their needs serviced.”

Cultural Cult Group

“We organized the Party when we saw that out of the Movement was what was called a cultural cult group. We defined a cultural cult group as an organization that disguised itself as a political organization, but was really more interested in the cultural rituals of Africa in the 1100’s before contact with the Europeans. Instead of administering to the community and organizing it, they would rather wear bubas, get African names and demand that the community do the same, and do nothing about the survival of the community. Sometimes they say, “Well, if we get our culture back then all things will be solved.” This is like saying to be regenerated and born again is to solve everything. We know that this is not true.”

One new word related to what we have been talking about describes something I was guilty of. I was guilty of this when I offered the Black troops to Vietnam. I won’t talk about whether it was morally right or wrong, but I will say that anything said or done by a revolutionist that does not spur or give the forward thrust to the process (of revolution) is wrong. Remember that the people are the makers of history, the people make everything in their society. They are the architects of the society and if you don’t spur them on, then I don’t care what phrases you use or whether they are political or religious, you cannot be classified as being relevant to that process. If you know you’re wrong and do certain things anyway, then you’re reactionary because you are very guilty. Some of us didn’t know. I keep searching myself to see whether I know we were going wrong. O couldn’t influence the Central Committee and maybe I should have risked being charged with an individual violation and said that they didn’t know. I think most of them didn’t know, so they’re not as guilty as I am. I’m probable more guilty than anyone. But anyway, the new word that describes what we went into for a short length of time— a couple of years—is revolutionary cultism.”

“The revolutionary cultist uses words of social change; he uses words about being interested in the development of society. He uses that terminology, you see; but these actions are so far divorced from the process of revolution and organizing the community that he is living in a fantasy world. So we talk to each other on the campuses, or we talk to each other in the secrecy of the night, concentrating upon weapons, thinking these things will produce change without the people themselves. Of course people do courageous things and call themselves the vanguard, but the people who do things like that are either heroes or criminals. They are not the vanguard because the vanguard means spearhead, and the spearhead has to spearhead something. If nothing is behind it, then it is divorced from the masses and is not the vanguard.’”

Black America Role in American Imperialism

“The Black people in America are the only people that can free the world, loosen the yoke of colonialism, and destroy the war machine. As long as the wheels of the imperialistic war machine are turning there is no country that can defeat this monster of the West. But black people can make a malfunction of this machine from within. Black people can destroy the machinery that’s enslaving the world. America cannot stand to fight every Black country in the world and fight a civil war at the same time. It is militarily impossible to do both of these things at once.”

Question of Nationalism

“Cultural nationalism, or pork chop nationalism, as I sometimes call it, is basically a problem of having the wrong political perspective. It seems to be a reaction instead of responding to political oppression. The cultural nationalists are concerned with returning to the old African culture and thereby regaining their identity and freedom. In other words, they feel that the African culture will automatically bring political freedom. Many times cultural nationalists fall into line as reactionary nationalists.”

“The Black Panther Party, which is a revolutionary group of black people, realizes that we have to have an identity. We have to realize our black heritage in order to give us strength to move on and progress. But as far as returning to the old African culture, it’s unnecessary and it’s not advantageous in many respects. We believe that culture itself will not liberate us. We’re going to need some stronger stuff.”

“The developing countries have every right to claim nation-hood, because they have not exploited anyone. The nationalism of which they speak is simply their rightful claim to autonomy, self-determination and a liberated base from which to fight the international bourgeoisie.”