The Next Step
By Brother Tommy Joshua
The work of the revolutionaries is now to consciously instigate the broader, deeper and exponentially more sophisticated encounter–that of revolutionary community.
“We have to acknowledge . . . and say that in order for the people to be free, they will have to control the institutions of their community…”
-Huey P. Newton
The next step is to deepen community. We have already successfully built businesses, projects, brands, organizations, etc. So why not community?
For most of you reading this, perhaps that’s a rhetorical question. Dr. Huey P. Newton, founder the Black Panther Party, and theorist of community organizing per excellence, defined Community as a comprehensive set of institutions which people revolve around in order to meet their daily and total needs.
A community, Dr. Newton noted is revolutionary in as far as those institutions meet the genuine needs of the people from the view point of ‘where they are at’ and ‘where they would like to go’. If those institutions serve the people by enhancing their consciousness (knowledge of Self) and capacity (self-determination), then we rightly call that community a revolutionary community. If those institutions oppress and exploit the people (the institutions do not serve the people) we can certainly call that a reactionary community.
Dr. Newton believed and taught that on a fundamental level the world is divided along these lines: revolutionary communities and reactionary communities. He argued that it is only in the interests of the small reactionary ruling circle of oppressors to keep the people ensnared in a reactionary community, while it is the interest of the overwhelming majority of the world’s inhabitants to free themselves on their own terms through the development of a revolutionary community.
Yes– we must build community, a developing Revolutionary Community. A community of liberation, mutual support and shared existence. Living along side each other we must become a better family of trust, faith and common work.
Community is vital! However like all things, Community is full of contradictions. There will still be a degree of contention in a community and all problems are not immediately solved. There is a great diversity. Yet in a community each and every member of the community has great value.
Yes there is still a need for organization! Dr. Newton said we must remember that we are only in the process of developing a revolutionary community. Yes we build the free society now but must defend it now also.
Our recent work, including but not limited to the founding of a new, dynamic independent people’s political front to challenge the domination of the two major corporate parties, extensive mobilization, motivation and organization of our youth, the development of urban community vegetable farms for our community’s food and health needs and the opening up of new contours in the worlds of business, philosophy, culture, education and spirituality– can be attributed directly to the Assembly of Original People/Polymathematic Assembly’s (AOPPA) serious determination to serve the community in a revolutionary way. Understanding clearly that a strong community is established and maintained by its shared values, It is upon this foundation that we shall continue to advance toward to a New America and indeed a new world.
The work of the revolutionaries is now to consciously instigate the broader, deeper and exponentially more sophisticated encounter. That of revolutionary community. We wont do this with just one another, but with the whole entire society.
It is at this point that the revolutionary Few that we always thought become the revolutionary Many that we always knew and the tangible characteristics of a Revolution accelerates.
Brother Tommy Joshua is a Philadelphia based social entrepreneur, author, political economist and rabbi. He is the Convener of the Assembly of Original People/Polymathematic Assembly (AOPPA), the successor formation to the former Poor Righteous Party of the Black Nation, chairman of the National Board of the Hip-Hop Party for People (www.hiphopparty.wordpress.com), and the founder of Polymathematic Ministry (www.lessonC2.com) , an active inter-faith non-denominational revolutionary ministry preaching the Oneness and Goodness of the Most High God and Revolution to all peoples, nations and creeds. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org