Today we contemplate Ujamaa, Cooperative Economics. This principle of Kwanzaa is tightly interwover with Ujimaa. In fact without Ujimaa Ujamaa would be impossible. When black folks were fighting for thier rights in various parts of the world we were given social independence. We were put into government offices and able to send ambassadors here and there. However; we were not in charge of our economics. Amilcar Cabral and Kwame Nkrumah attempted to go full independence but as Nkrmah noted the monopolist trans-national capitalists would neo-colonise Africa and indeed urban ghettos of America. While I was in school a professor put an equation to me that I think would fit very nicely into this day:
He called this the sequential equation and it reads as such:
the positive intellectual transformation of society (+I) stands firmly behind the social trasnformation of society (+S). All social problems are economic (+E) and all economic problems are political (+P) and military aims presuppose politial objectives (+M)
What is of note for us today is the links between the social, economic and politcal. When Marcus Garvey was on the scene, the dominant groups vying for black leadership, most notably the NAACP were only concerning themselves with the political. They were pushed by their benefactors to push for political and social change and not to concentrate on the economic. This is evident by their wholesale attack on the Black Star Line and associated businesses. it was Garvey's belief, much like Booker T. Washington, that Blacks needed a self maintained and developed economic base from which political and social change could be gained and maintained. After all in a capitalistic society, ones economic clout determines the policies under which one must operate and how the benefits of politcal power flow to ones group. The damage done to blacks by the destruction of the BSL (with help from Garvey) is incalculable, when one considers that many of the industries of today, such as auto tires, were in their infancy and BSL and other trans national Black corporate entities could have developed and perhaps been on an even footing with todays corporations. The reason for this failure was the lack of cooperative economics and collective work and responsibility. These deficits were not doubt fueled by the lack of Umoja and Kujichagulia. In other words, the failure in the +I, the +S lead to the failure of the +E and has caused us to lack +P and +M.
The sequential equation is a powerful analysis tool. Learn it. Use it.
links: Fluker's class