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Questions about fundamental Rasta tenets (HIM and the issue of imperialism/colonialism, pan-Africanism, nature of God as black male)

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Time Zone: EST (New York, Toronto)
Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 1/3/2015 5:41:32 PM

Blessed, its a joy to reason.

I think that it is that very form of living which in part allowed Africans to be captured. Haile Selassie taught technological advancement, education and so on. This cannot be obtained without some form of structural governance. Matters of security, health for example.... one thing leads to the next. The educational system is built on hierarchy, thinking back to the Incient Kemetic Priests (teachers) who were as Royalty. I believe this is the stance of sociologists. Conscious division of labour is key to any form of productivity. Admittedly, the problem with capitalism is people don't get 'true value' for their work, inappropriately propelling the social hierarchies. Under the rule of Haile Selassie, our rightful and righteous Ruler, and not Obama, Elizabeth or thereof, is the best option for Africans in this time. His Majesty taught, represented, and was the essence of African Self governance. His works were the foundation for true African liberation with One United State of Africa and its Diaspora, cutting all harmful colonial ties and barriers. Africa cannot standup and fight against the many injustices it faces, without a sense of unity. Organize and centralize, not everybody for themself.
With all the land and wealth the European, Asian and Chinese still owns and controls in Africa, there is enough 'space' for the blackman, even if that requires their complete removal in true Mugabe style. Not to mention the amount of land which is unchartered, good fertile land left unused through tribal disputes and lack of central governance. ORGANISE AND CENTRALIZE

look at this excerpt:
'The vast majority of African countries are using land administration systems they inherited at independence, along with survey and mapping techniques that are antiquated. Not surprisingly, only 10 percent of Africa’s rural land is registered. The remaining 90 percent is undocumented and informally administered, which makes it susceptible to land grabbing, expropriation without fair compensation, and corruption.'

I wouldnt listen to the media presentation of a few careless ethiopians. As though the rasta in shashamane are some kind of hostile invaders. Rasta is not insensitive to the need of cooperation. The savage treatment of them by some locals is attest to the wicked tribalstic nature which some Africans posses. To mention this before mentioning the farming opportunities, school and hospitals in and around Shashamane as a result of the influx of the still discriminated Rastafari community in Ethiopia, is a crime in itself. You know under current government, they still do not have even citizenship.

Messenger: ShivaJiva Sent: 1/4/2015 1:27:49 PM

Very much so, thanks for such a great discussion.

I would agree that currently, yes, unity is absolutely needed. My point is that after liberation, when all is said and done, these are the types of communities that I think would be effective. I do not agree that hierarchy and centralization are needed for technological innovations, security, or healthcare. We need to rethink what technology is and how we use it, we need a shift of consciousness that brings us away from globalized economies and what have you. Small autonomous communities does not mean that the world would have to be disconnected and we would revert back to tribalism, it does not mean every man for himself; we could still have many of the luxuries that we have today in the modern age, but we would organize these institutions/technologies in a sustainable and accountable way. The indigenous Native Americans are a great example of communities that operated in this way. They were developing extremely nuanced forms of organization/government, construction, technology...who knows where such a civilization could be now if they were not wiped out by Europeans. Perhaps you're right though, perhaps right now unity and a charismatic leader are whats needed most. I feel that such a path creates opportunities for many pitfalls though--I think of MLK and how his work has been completely whitewashed through history, and black people in America are fighting for many of the same things. I think of the 'unity' that was reported when Obama ran for office, and how he supposedly spoke for black people...I think Obama is a tyrant. In my opinion, no person is immune to corruption and extortion...there are more than a handful of black dictators who have done awful things in their home countries in the name of nationalism and unity, all funded and paid for through some back door by capitalism. I think we need unity, yes, but we need to create unity by creating resilient communities from the ground up. We need to start building communities that we would want to live in, and communities that can ultimately get through the collapse of babylon intact. Leadership is important, but simply as a face of a much larger movement--NOT as the primary and sole decision maker.

I don't doubt that there is plenty of land in Africa. I overstand that it is currently unchartered, but that doesn't mean that there aren't large groups of people who have cultural ties to said land. I get that ALL black people have rightful ties to Africa, but there are people who were born there who have very imminent and direct ties to the land, and they are forcefully kept from it. Europeans and their puppet governments might see most of Africa as "unchartered", but the people who actually live there see it as stolen land. To just give that land to people who have not stepped foot in Africa in generations seems insensitive. It is one thing if we are invited by those who live there, but to just show up because the government (babylon) granted us land seems to trod all over what it is that Rastafari stands for.

My opinion of Shashamane is not from the media, it's from research and from first hand accounts of both Rastas and Ethiopians. I am sure that the Rastas there have done some incredible work, but I can't help but feel like there is a sense of superiority over the locals that comes off as problematic. Rastas claim that Ethiopia is the birthplace of humanity, original home of black people...then why insult those who currently live there, who have much more direct ties to Ethiopia than those born outside of Africa? To call them careless and wicked when it is not them who is taking our is this any different from the attitude of European colonizers? They went to Africa, built schools, churches, hospitals, and stole up all the African's land--then they discredited their outcry and dismissed them because of their tribalism and inferiority. It is not cooperation if you do not respect those who are being impacted. I think of white people who move to black urban areas and contribute to gentrification, and then wonder why black people give them an attitude. Or again how Israel is treating the Palestinians, who have lived there for generations upon generations--even if the Israelites do have some claim.

Just my thoughts, and perhaps they are misguided. I by no means have any intention of disrespecting Rastafari or the people at Shashamane, I just seek overstanding. Thanks for your patience

That is a beautiful picture, by the way.

Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 1/4/2015 2:11:58 PM

OK I think we agree to disagree with some points (Loggerheads) but I have a 2 issues with your last post. Firstly, you gave the American Indians as an example of a none hierarchy way of living yet they have Tribes and Chiefs etc so I don't really understand...... You remember the Shashemane land grant came after thousands of Rastafari had died fighting along side Ethiopia in the ItalioEthiopian War. Surely bloodshed in defence of a Country is just enough for a land grant which by the way was owned by the King. To compare this entry into Africa to that of the Colonial masters is deeply concerning.

87 MILLION in Ethiopia, 100,000 in Shashemane
never more than 2000 Jamaicans in Shashemane, today much less

"The 2007 national census reported a total population for this town of 100,454, of whom 50,654 were men and 49,800 were women. A plurality of the inhabitants practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, with 43.44% of the population reporting they observed this belief, while 31.15% of the population said they were Muslim, 23.53% of the population were Protestant, and 1.3% were Catholic"

I think any 'negative' effect of the influx of Jamaicans into Ethiopia has been HEAVILY exaggerated by whichever wicked forces are at play, Western media hype to YES the tribalistic nature of certain Ethiopians. The fact the Maafa still need VISA to visit most African countries is a disgrace in itself but that's another reasoning......

re: your thoughts on communal living. Who would be responsible for organising the communities you speak of in a sustainable way? That organisation IS the essence of governance, that literally is what governance is. Again, scientific socialism is what springs to mind as you describe the post-liberation state. The same goes for security - how can that be maintained without an organised military and set of 'laws.' If its not every man for himself then who sets the law? Where do they come from? I have thought long and hard about this and the issue of governance even at the most basic of levels cannot be avoided. We also live in a world heavily driven by Capital, so what will be in place to protect the natural assets within our liberated Africa? Such as cobalt, diamond, copper, etc. The avoidance of any further exploitation of Africa is a must!

I think what is needed moreso than anything right now is a complete Revolution of the politico-economic systems in place throughout Africa and its diaspora. Haile Selassie's work has mapped out the solution it is now up to we as individuals - no leader, no more malcolm, mlk - to set it right. Once Africa unifies with its diaspora and realises it is actually the Wealthiest continent on the planet, we can start to make progress. I give an example, JA and other islands currently are subject to all kinds of trade barriers and embargos from the IMF and the West in general. Who offer short term economic recovery in return for eternal slavery. We shouldn't have to rely on this and shouldn't be asking the tricky white man for anything. It's almost the same as they did with the EU: one central currency, free travel and living between included countries, protection against ANY embargos or barriers to trade, and Security. Are you aware of the CASABLANCA block and og OAU? 50 years ago we we're well on course to a liberated United African State, it seems, through nothing other than fukkery (internal and external), that we have regressed.

1 black love is the solution

Messenger: Eleazar Sent: 1/4/2015 2:59:35 PM

Garvey's Africa brings the Fyah as usual.

Messenger: ShivaJiva Sent: 1/5/2015 9:11:15 AM

I think you're right, I think we're both coming from different perspectives--and I also acknowledge my grasp of Rastafari is limited so while we may disagree, I completely respect where you are coming from and recognize that you obviously have a great deal more knowledge/experience in regards to some of these topics.

Native American tribes did have chiefs and officials, but in most cases they did not make decisions. They acted primarily as facilitators for group meetings and would offer their own input, but they did not have total power over the decision making of the tribe. Most indigenous tribes ruled via direct participatory democracy, meaning that those who had a say made decisions based on consensus (unfortunately their society was not perfect and not everyone was always welcome to voice their opinion. Usually it was solely males and elder women who had a say). Obviously a modern adaptation of such a system would need some reform, but the indigenous American ideals of rule were very different from modern Western concepts of representative democracy in which we elect officials to make decisions for us. Many of the tribes in the Americas are examples of the oldest direct democracies on the planet, and they (mostly) operated through consensus.

Hmm, you obviously know more about Shashamane than I do. So with that, I'm going to concede on that point and do some more research. I might have jumped the gun with the comparison to colonialism, and for that I apologize. Granted, I'm not sure that tribalism=wicked--but that is besides the point. On another note, have you read Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon? If not I highly recommend it, it's written by an Algerian who worked with the Algerian nationalist movement for liberation and it's all about the downpressive psychology of the colonized and the process of decolonization. Of its many subjects, it touches on how colonial ideals are pushed onto the colonized, and how native culture is turned into the quintessential nature of evil, into wickedness. Fanon is very explicit in his assertion that the projection of tribalism as something wicked and depraved is a product of colonialism and white supremacy. You might be completely right in that the local Ethiopians have no right to harass the Rastas at Shashamane, but I do not think their tribalism has anything to do with this and I stand by that.

Communal living based off of consensus does not mean a lack of structure or organization. The laws are created, again via consensus, by the people. Not by a bureaucratic agency or a bourgeoisie elite who creates laws just to protect their own interest. Any 'crime' and punishment would be dealt with by the people, primarily those directly affected by the crime. It would not be left to an agency with no accountability to the people (eg the police). The military would be volunteer based, and would be utilized when needed. I think accountability is the big thing here...we need communities that can operate themselves without the need of some huge outside force imposing laws that are irrelevant and serve the interest only of the elite, we need laws that are not vague and set in stone--but transparent, flexible, and accountable to the people who are affected by them. We don't need other people to write our laws for us. I firmly believe that man/woman is perfectly capable of governing themselves without the need for some complex abstract system that is accountable to no one. I am not saying no governance, I'm saying self governance within individual communities.

Its true we currently live in a world dominated by capital, but I don't see why this has to be the only way in which we manage our resources. I currently don't know what an alternative economy might look like, perhaps barter/trade? I think that whatever system is established, it needs to compensate labor fairly and needs to have some kind of safeguard as to prevent exploitation. What would that entail? I'm not sure, I'm not an economist...but the universe is a big place and I'll be damned if capitalism is the only way that sentient creatures have ever been able to exchange goods and services.

I'm not opposed to anything in your last paragraph. I also believe that we need unity. I think we need a singular large scale movement that tackles racism, colonialism, ecological genocide, capitalism, patriarchy...all of it. We need to dig up the problem from the roots, anything otherwise is just masking symptoms...anything less is just a cosmetic fix. So I 100% agree that we need 1 black love, a sense of international identity. I just think that when we are victorious we need to think about what our communities will look like, and I'm hoping that nationalism will be a thing of the past.

You reason very well, brother. Thanks for sharing your knowledge--I have a much better understanding of some of the fundamental aspects of Rastafari and where I fit in, and where I may see solutions differently. Above all else I think I just need to learn through experience like you said, I need to spend time with Rastas and see the movement through a direct lens and not through an academic one.

Now to redirect back to the intent of my original post. With some of my opinions/perspectives laid out here, do any of them fundamentally challenge Rastafari in such a way that they would bar me from actually considering myself a true Rasta? I know that Rastafari is about reasoning and there is no set universal dogma, but I also overstand there are some tenets that are fundamental to the movement and if I don't identify with them or agree with them completely does that mean I cannot be a Rasta?

Blessings and love, praise to the Highest

Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 1/5/2015 9:32:59 AM

Give thankhs Iah.

I'l let others give their opinion. One thing about Tribalism though, when we say that word we sight the ideology of African Vs African and lack of overstanding of a common unity. It is that what makes it wicked. Not the actual beliefs traditions or practices of the Tribe. C.Williams has an interesting theory into why this behaviour is so widespread throughout Africa in the 'Destruction of the Black Civilisation,' another must read! I have not heard of or read the book you cited but for sure I will look into it!


Messenger: ShivaJiva Sent: 1/5/2015 10:04:59 AM

That is a very interesting perspective and I have never thought of tribalism in this way. Most definitely has me thinking...I'll be sure to check out Destruction of the Black Civilisation as that's a very interesting point.

I also wanted to add that after reading some posts more thoroughly (and additional reading elsewhere) I think I'm coming to overstand the connection between HIM, African Royalty, and divinity. I of course need to educate myself further in regards to traditional African spirituality, but that was my biggest grapple with Rastafari and I think you and others here have helped to make that connection much clearer for I. I was not approaching the subject from the framework of indigenous African ideology and so my presupposed opinion was not rightly founded. We may not be in complete disagreement after all, I can just take a minute to come around sometimes :)

I look forward to hearing from others, there is so much to think about!


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