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It has been reported that a certain member of parliament has drafted a bill to take to parliament to convince it to make it a serious offence punishable by a harsh custodial sentence and fine for anyone who advocates class conflict in society such as the "hustler" and "wheelbarrow" political slogan. The MP proposes that any such person who uses class and class struggles to advance his or her political interests will be barred from vying for future elective posts if so convicted.

 

This is very reactionary indeed, to say the least! It appears that either the MP is ignorant of Kenya's recent history or has chosen to ignore it. Worse still, maybe he is sick in the head. 

 

The dishonorable MP pretends that he is not aware that the masses and patriots of Kenya only a few years ago liberated our country from one of the worst dictatorships in the continent. The Kenyatta - Moi - KANU regimes used colonial sedition, treason and allied laws to deny Kenyans their freedoms of speech, association, assembly and movement. It took decades of hard protracted struggles and great sacrifices to bring about the 2010 constitution that contains a comprehensive Bill of Rights that the shameless, backward and primitive MP thinks he or parliament can trample under the foot, with impunity! 

 

But because perhaps there are other persons in the country's top leadership who may have been made to panic so much as to lose their heads and sense of history by the hustler- wheelbarrow narrative that they say threatens to provoke the poor and oppressed to gain class consciousness and threaten their class positions and interests, I will briefly point out a few facts about the matter. 

 

To begin with, the history of hitherto existing societies has been a history of class struggles, the founders of scientific socialism, Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels l, explained in 1848. They were then referring to the history of Europe. But the history of Africa and Kenya too, particularly since the invasion of colonialism, has been a history of class struggles. Even long before colonialism, class struggles had existed in the slave/feudalist states of many African countries and also at the coast of Kenya.

 

Class struggles are about the struggle for political, economic and state power. A class is a large group of people who occupy a definite positioning in relation to the means of production. In a slave society it was the slave owners who controlled the means of production - land - and because they did so, they also owned political, economic and state power and were the exploiter and oppressor class. 

 

The mover of history that makes one mode of production to change into another are the objective conditions and subjective conditions of historical development. The objective conditions that are independent of people's will are the growth and development of productive forces that once they reach a certain level of development they get into contradictions with the subjective conditions and demand change. It is the subjective conditions - class struggles and revolutions -that complete the transformation of one mode of production into another. A revolution is a complete change in which one class takes over state power from another. 

 

When peasants, workers and bourgeoisie classes united and together captured state power from the Kings and feudal lords they brought about the bourgeoisie or capitalist revolution. It is called the capitalist or bourgeoisie revolution because it was the bourgeoisie class that took over state power from the Kings or feudal lords even though the revolution was brought about jointly but mainly by the peasants. 

 

Now, when the workers, working class and their allies take over power from the feudalist or bourgeoisie it becomes a socialist revolution as it happened in Russia in 1917, China in 1949, North Korea in 1953, Cuba 1959, etc. All these historical happenings are objective and unstoppable, and will happen sooner of later. No legal measures will prevent class revolutions from happening as long as a particular society or country is divided into classes, like Kenya. Revolutions are like pregnancies which when nine months reach nothing will prevent the mother from giving birth to a new born.

 

Under colonialism Kenyans were denied access to the means of production, the basic of which was land. It was the colonial government, colonial capitalists and White settlers who were the class of exploiters and oppressors that controlled political, economic and state power and used it to perpetuate the capitalist colonial system.

 

Africans or indigenous Kenyans, formed the largest and most exploited and oppressed class. They were robbed of their land and forced to pay taxes to the colonial administration. Besides, they were forced to endure racism and all sorts of humiliations in their own motherland. Colonialism violated the human rights of Kenyans including the right to national independence and sovereignty.

 

But whenever there are classes their will, inevitably, always be class struggles. This is an objective reality independent of people's will. It is like the earth will always rotate on its own axis and revolve around the sun whether we notice it or not or acknowledge it or not. And the day will always follow night and night will always follow the day - always whether we live of die. That is why after decades of colonial oppression, Kenyan patriots used all means possible to organise the national liberation struggle that eventually brought independence from British colonialism.

 

Class struggles cannot be wished away or suppressed by any court of law. Neither can they be removed by prisons, military forces or the coercive instruments of the state. What will remove class struggles is the abolition of classes and the end of private property. Were the ruling classes in Kenya committed to ending the system of greed and of exploitation and oppression of person by person, they would not be shaken by the hustler - wheelbarrow narrative as they are already doing! With the ever-widening gap between the rich and the majority poor, the leaders and beneficiaries of the reactionary system the leaders have reasons to fear the rising class consciousness of the exploited and oppressed.

 

Socialism is the processes of the removal of classes with the dictatorship of the majority classes over the minority classes. Today it is the minority class that controls political, economic and state power in Kenya and imposes its capitalist system upon the whole society. When the majority of Kenyans capture state power, - as they will ultimately do - the majority will control state power and use it to establish a system of class equality, social and distributive justice, without exploitation and oppression of person by person. 

 

Under communism - which is to come in the far future - classes will completely disappear and the state will have withered away for there will be no need for it. This is the objective truth that we also articulate as a political party that stands for the truth and nothing but the truth, and charts the way for the freedom and development of our society and nation. The Communist Party of Kenya (CPK) states facts and will struggle at anything that tries to stop us from doing so. This is because facts are stubborn and can never be obliterated by threats and intimidations or by the reactionaries irrespective of where they come from.

 

So, for an MP to even contemplate about introducing a bill about banning the mention of class struggles in political advocacy is displaying ignorance about reality and facts of human history in general and Kenya's history in particular. The 2010 Constitution that was brought about by the struggles of Kenyans from below contains a comprehensive Bill of Rights that we shall defend at all costs. To even think of bringing a bill to parliament to violate freedom of speech is not only outrageous but disrespectful to thousands of Kenyans who died in the course of the struggle for independence and the constitutional and political gains our country has made hitherto. The MP who has provoked this article is not worthy being in parliament. He should be condemned with all words possible. He deserves being recalled by voters of his constituency who elected him.

 

And this is the position of CPK, 

 

National Chairperson of CPK, February 19, 2021

 

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