Today marks Kujichagulia, or "Self-Determination." Today I'll post a piece from Amilcar Cabral: National Liberation and Culture (Return to the Source):
History Teaches us that , in certain circumstances, it is very easy for the foreigner to impose his domination on a people. But it also teaches us that, whatever may be the material aspects of this domination, it can be maintained only by the permanent organized repression of the cultural life of the people concerned. Implantation of foreign domination can be assured difinitively only by physical liquidation of a significant part of the dominated population.
In fact, to take up arms to dominate people is, above all, to take up arms to destroy, or at least to neutralize, to paralyze, it's cultural life. For with a strong indeginous cultural life, foreign domination cannot be sure of it's perpetuation...
In fact, culture is always in the life of a society (open or closed), the more or less conscious result of the economic and political activities of that society, the more or less dynamic expression of the kinds of relationships which prevail in that society, on the one hand between man (considered individually or collectively) and nature, and, on the other hand, among individuals, groups of individuals, social strata or classes...
The study of the history of national liberation struggles are preceeded by an increase expression of culture, consolidated progressively into a successful or unsuccessful attempt to affirm the cultural personality of the dominated people, as a means of negating the oppressor culture...Therefore, national liberation takes place when, and only when, national productive forces are completely free of all kinds of foreign domination...National liberation is necessarily an act of culture.
The experience of colonial domination shows that, in the effort to perpetuate exploitation, the colonizer not only creates a system to represss the cultural life of colonized people; he also provokes and develops the cultural alienation of a part of the population, either by so-called assimilation of indigenous people, or bty creating a social gap between the indigenous elites and the popular masses...The urban or peasant petite bourgeoisie, assimilates the colonizer's mentality, considers itself culturally superior to its own people and ignores ot looks down upon their cultural values. This situation, characteristic of the majority of the colonized intellectuals, is consolidated by increases in the social priviledges of the assimilated or alienated group with direct implications for the behavior of individuals in this group in relation to the liberation movement.
But in the face of the vital need for progress, the following attitudes or behaviors will be no less harmful to Africa: indiscriminate compliments; systematic exaltation of virtues without condemning faults; blind acceptance of the values of the culture, without considering what presently or potentially regressive elements it contains; confusion between what is the expression of an objective and material historical reality and what appears to be the creation of the mind or the product of a particular temperament; absurd linking of artistic creations, whether good or not, with supposed racial characteristics; and finally, the non-specific or a scientific critical appreciation of the cultural phenomenon.
As we know, the armed liberation struggle requires the mobilization and organization of a significant majority of the population, the political and moral unity of the various social classes, the efficient use of modern arms and of otehr means of war, the progressive liquidation of the remnants of tribal mentality, and the rejection of social and religious rules and taboos whicihi inhibit development of the struggle (gerontocracies, nepotism, social inferiority of women, rites and practices which are incompatible with the rational and national character of the struggle, etc.)
Amilcar Cabral 1970