The meaning (and principles) of a Revolutionary has never changed, only the tools, weapons, methods, and tactics.
A Revolutionary seeks to subvert the dominate paradigm and replace it with one that is diametrically opposed to the existing one.
Today, it also depends on where you are organizing. Being a Revolutionary ins a stable and entrenched State like the US, Western Europe, China, is much different than organizing in a neo-colonial state like Jamaica, Ghana, or much of the Third World.
A Revolutionary has to be….Revolutionary, not rigid, inflexible, unimaginative, conservative, and stagnate (which many, if not most tend to be, surprisingly). You have to target the Systems and Institutions of Global White Domination, Industrial / Finance Capitalism, and Oppression in all of its manifestations; while organizing and building towards a just and sustainable community/world system. That’s the job, but their are countless ways to go about this; no matter your own views, you can be a Revolutionary and stay true to them. You can be a Religious person who’s advancing Liberation Theology, you can by an Entrepreneur who is building Cooperative Economic Systems, you can by an armed Guerrilla working to sabotage the State and it’s military apparatus, you can by a Pacifist who’s providing correct education and free healthcare to the impoverished masses. You can be a Radical Academic, or in the trenches; it’s all relevant and necessary work. A Revolutionary means all of that, as long as you are not obstructing the Revolutionary work of others, then advance your particular Revolutionary work with those who embrace your methods. That’s how it see it, cuz that’s what it is.
I’m engaged in mass organization….at least that’s what I’m trying to do. I keep being sent back to the fucking drawing board, but I lean more and more from each attempt; but I ain’t got time to keep staring over, so I’m being a little more cautious and paying more attention to details than I did when I was younger.
I am a Revolutionary Pan-Africanist; so work to evolve and advance Pan-Africanism, and use it as a vehicle to move Africans across the globe from oppression to liberation (while, of course dismantling the Systems and Institutions of White Domination). It’s a simple ideal, but very complex in execution. But what better way to exert one’s life’s energies?
Revolution is not eternal, far from it. You can’t remain in a perpetual state of Revolution because Revolution is about turning, about flipping shit, if you keep flipping and turning shit after it has already been flipped or turned in your favor, then you gonna end up with what your started fighting against; Oppression and Repression.
That’s why Revolutionaries often make really bad Statesmen, they don’t know who to engage in Statecraft, they only know how to attack power structures, not build and sustain them, that’s why many Revolutionary governments fuck up, because the Revolutionaries who took power fail to transition power and the State over to the Statesmen, the builders, the bureaucrats, the workers, the artist, and the academics. They Revolutionaries think that because they liberated the land that it qualifies them to govern as well; and that is often not the case. That’s Mugabe’s problem.
There are some limited examples where Revolutionaries were also good Statesmen like Nkrumah, Castro, and Toure; but men like this are rare. I think Toussaint L’Overture was one of the best example of a Revolutionary and a Statesman, but he was an administrator before he became a Revolutionary, sadly we didn’t get the full benefit of his governance.
The same goes for Revolutionary Formations and Organizations, we tend to put those with the most fervor up front instead of those who are most qualified. That’s where I have problems, cuz folks don’t understand my approach and who and how I deal because they think having Revolutionary Fervor is enough, and it’s inadequate, to say the least.
Just like at Global White Domination; it was a Revolutionary act. To turn the world from a non-White, communal, non-Westernized state to what we have was a major Revolution (not all Revolutions are positive, Revolutionary need to know that as well, there’s nothing inherently just or liberating about Revolution). Once Whites took the world, they stopped being Revolutionaries and became Governors, Presidents, Rulers, Administrators of the new Omnicidal Systems they imposed; they became Conservatives, to conserve what they stole and built. If they keep up their Revolution then they would have toppled themselves before we got a chance to.
So, once the Revolution is won, it’s time for the Revolutionaries to step aside or transitions from Revolution to Statecraft and maintenance of the new systems we construct.
But calling your Revolution a success too early is also fatal, that’s what happened in African after the Colonist were “driven out,” we call the win too son, and thus the wins were not sustained. That’s why Revolution is a process, it’s also an art form, and an organic process. You have to cultivate and build it.