Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Collectivism

Morning, Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a good holiday. We survived, although my husband is (still) sick.

Anyway, since it's the twenty-six, and the first day of Kwanza, let me be the first to say ... Happy Kwanza, Comrade. The radio just did an interview/rundown of the ideals behind each day, and several of them smacked of socialism. Perhaps, of course, I see socialism everywhere? I'm hypersensitive, you're thinking, right? Well, I googled socialism and Kwanza ... and apparently I'm no the only one:

The specific values celebrated in Kwanzaa, however, suck. They are socialist-Marxist-collectivist-totalitarian crap. Everyone seems to tiptoe around Kwanzaa feeling that they have to be respectful, I guess because they are fearful of being called a racist. However, I find it terrible to see such a self-destructive set of values foisted on the African-American community. These values are nearly perfectly constructed to keep blacks in poverty - just look at how well these same values have played out in Africa.

See, that's what I was thinking. Maybe I'm not crazy. The seven days are Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). Now, some of those jump right out at you. I'm looking at you Ujima and Ujamaa. Coyote Blog can take it from here; he took the "values" with their definitions from the offical Kwanza site:

Umoja (Unity)
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race

On its surface, this is either a platitude, or, if serious, straight Marxism and thoroughly racist. Think about who else in the 20th century talked about unity of race, and with what horrible results.

In practice, the notion of unity in the black movement has become sort of a law of Omerta -- no black is ever, ever supposed to publicly criticize another black. Don't believe me? Look at the flack Bill Cosby caught for calling out other blacks.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves

Generally cool with me -- can't get a libertarian to argue with this. When this was first written in the 60's, it probably meant something more revolutionary, like secession into a black state, but in today's context I think it is fine.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together

Um, do I even need to comment? This is Marxism, pure and simple.

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

OK, I said the last one was Marxism. This one is really, really Marxism.

Nia (Purpose)
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

There's that collectivism again

Kuumba (Creativity)
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

I guess I don't have much problem with creativity and make things better. My sense though that if I was to listen to the teaching on this one in depth, we would get collectivism again.

Imani (Faith)
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

What about in ourselves as individuals? Through all of this, where is the individual, either individual responsibility or achievement? It is interesting that a holiday that was invented specifically to be anti-religious would put "faith" in as a value. In fact, Karenga despised the belief in God as paying homage to "spooks who threaten us if we don't worship them and demand we turn over our destiny and daily lives."

However, this is in fact very consistent with the teachings of most statists and totalitarians. They tend to reject going on bended knee to some god, and then turn right around and demand that men go on bended knee to ... them, or other men. This is in fact what this "faith" was about for Karenga - he is a statist laying the foundation for obedience to the totalitarian state. He wants blacks to turn over their destiny and daily lives to their leaders, not to god.

So, do you really want to see the spread of this holiday? Is wishing someone a "Happy Kwanza!" as harmless as it appears?