The End of a Quest: Why I became a scientific socialist


I am a child of the neocolonial client state, and coming from the dregs of its social ladder, I was never destined to survive its many malaria and falling houses when the rains came by — somehow, I and my kind survived; whether we thrived or not is a question for the times.

Whereas the rain was a gift to the small agrarian community I came from, it was also the bearer and harbinger of doom. I watched many neighbors run for shelter in another impoverished house when the floods came and took the whole house with it. And those bleak times when there was no food in the house and all there is hope, and the green-eyed monster of hunger, staring you in the eye. Many of us would never forget the times when you have to face the humiliation of just going to the houses of the lumpen bourgeoise to watch a TV show. It was hostility one day and amicability another day. So we grew class consciousness since we were kids, and it was branded on us like the mark of the beast so we never forget where we stand.

I was created by those heavy-handed conditions to bear the tidings of revolution instinctively or unconsciously through the passage of time. It was in the many questions I asked about how our wretched living conditions didn’t add up to some of the affluence and luxury I saw around me in school and around the society. As always Mom, a hardworking, suffering woman who labored painfully to bring a morsel to the table, painstakingly explained to me that this was the doing of a merciful and wondrous god who sits on high watching over us. Time went by and I dove ever deep into religion to explain to myself the various mysteries that couldn’t be explained by my poor little brain. Over time I fell out with religion and started stealing serious books from libraries to help explain these seemingly existential questions. You see, I was already reading early on in life, and I had developed a keen and sharp taste for the written word, but it wasn’t until I wanted answers that I turned to the philosophical to make sense of it all.

But it wasn’t the books for the most part. They gave me answers, analysis, and a path — the path that led to water, a road to the Damascus experience. Marx, Engels, Fanon, Cabral, Rodney, Nkrumah, etc. gave me what I was looking for: that these conditions weren’t the creation of a god who sits on high, but the unjust material creation of a specific class that has, over time, fed us many untruths and lies to keep us poor ones in our place, and to continue serving their drive for unbounded profit and surplus — this was to be the capitalist class. But no, it wasn’t so much the books and their resonance as it was in the material living conditions that the system has created for me and my ilk. The same system that overworked my father and sent him to his grave a poor and impoverished man. The same system that over-labored my mother into depression and never-ending stress. The same system that sent most of my friends to go drown in the high waters of the Mediterranean in an attempt to reach the shores of Europe. The same system that has turned my country into a clientele state that only produces death and misery for her people. This system created a comprador, self-serving class which is its interlocutor with the little, meager resources of the country. A class that has no shame, no regard, no integrity in selling I and my people to the highest bidder within the illegitimate capitalist class for just little bread crumbs for them and their families.

It was this system that radicalized me, revolutionized me and turned me into a cold-blooded enemy of oppression. When the books and revolutionary theory showed up, they only made me sharper and more precise. They turned me from an unconscious reformist into a scientific, detailed revolutionary with only a cold, calculated wrath for the capitalist class and its minions. For a child of the third world who was never meant to survive – but who regardless survived – I was destined through the objective conditions that made me and the subjective whims I subsist in to either self-destruct, or live for a cause greater than I; I chose the latter. I chose to live organizing, for the world, scientific socialist revolution, because the only just way to live is to seize the means of production from these leeches, eat them and create a just and egalitarian world. For it’s only right that those who produce are the ones in charge of distributing their production. It’s only right that there are no more houses falling down in my neighborhood because the rains came through and the poor working class neighbors of mine never had enough to build a proper house. It’s only right that we don’t die of malaria because there are no drugs in the hospitals. That Africa, this beautiful continent with her beautiful children, is liberated from the clutches of neocolonialism and imperialism and her wealth and produce is materially benefiting the masses of her people.

I didn’t have to commit class suicide. I only had to shed the lies that were fed to me by the ruling class to keep me in my place. I only had to rediscover my humanity in revolution, and through that, found many kids like me who defied the odds somehow, someway, and are now organizing in the slums, neocolonies and ghettoes of the world to destroy the beast once and for all. We will either win, to paraphrase the communist manifesto, in a silent or open fight with the enemy or it ends in our common ruins. But I believe we will win, because we are many, and because of the objective material conditions of this epoch, with the contradictions of capital getting ever sharper and irreconcilable, it’s only a matter of time before the empire is brought to its knees to kiss the dust of her end.

And the red flag will adorn the horizons, and a just world will come into being decorated by the blood, sweat and tears of the proletariat, peasants and lumpen masses of the world! Avante!

*Alieu Bah is a writer from the Gambia and a member of Mwamko, a vanguard of a way of thinking that aspires to another order of being and doing within the African continent and her dispersed diaspora.

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  1. Fallou joof

    This is truth and this is what people should understand