We look forward to you joining us next week. We'd love to hear from you. We invite pushback and disagreement. Please be advised any articles or submissions you wish to send in for consideration to the Draft program on policy, government or comments on The Vesey Notebook, please Tweet us with your links or references @VeseyRepublic
The 2023 New Black Nationalist Draft Program for a Majority Black-Led Nation-State
Denmark Vesey's Notebook: Entry 1
For the next fourteen months Denmark Vesey's Notebook will serve as an informal thought laboratory whose ambit is working out the celestial concepts and architectural design of a future majority-Black polity.
Ideally, the Notebook will function as a vector: probing and mapping the frontiers of a new social arrangement. That uncharted space is a Black-led, multi-racial commons, founded as the first non-heteropatriarchal nation-state in history. We open the Notebook with some overall observations about what type of vision and choices lay before us to guide the work of articulating a draft program and its governance structure.
Where does one begin to conceive a project so radical that it ruptures with practically the entire human experience whereby men have dominated society? Before the advent of kings, messiahs, oligarchs, and classes, men always created the rules.
It stands to reason then that our future, Black-led nation has no choice but to reconfigure the matrix of human relations and values. Consider further that over the past three decades Black feminists have articulated a substantive argument that the empirical and philosophical construct of the nation-state itself is a heteropatriarchal concept.
Let us ask start by asking a basic question: what could freedom look like through the eyes of the Black experience in America, when exploitative and oppressive relations are finally arrested and constrained?
Having seized the machinery of political power, how could alienation and distrust, fear and violence, rugged individualism and greed, and the residue of iniquities left over from American Empire be eradicated over time?
It would appear the essence of our challenge is to underwrite the Black Commons' transition from tyranny to authentic liberation.
If we imagine formulating a baseline to displace American Dystopia with an alternative social order, perhaps a good place to start is with a first principle. New Black Nationalists first principle is that the collective interests of the Black Commons and the citizenry is paramount to individual interests and private property as the highest expression of our social project and metric of "social progress."
In our view, the question of who this society is for will define the character of our national sense of belonging and destiny.
For a people subjected to four centuries of racial oppression and dehumanization, social investment in the estate of human dignity is indispensable to creating a feeling of national unity that ventures beyond racial solidarity.
The most significant step to create a national sense of belonging begins by removing every fetter impeding women from acting with full social agency to contribute to and lead the Black Commons. A nation-state is not a male-construct in which provisional rights and privileges are bestowed on women, or LGBTQ or non-binary people. Not being fully committed to holding up more than half the Black Commons' population will sink our liberatory maiden voyage in the dock before our vessel pushes out of the harbor to sea.
Whatever political challenges exists, be it differences in class, wealth, or education, none will initially be more pivotal than fully investing women and all marginalized communities with agency.
Beyond fortifying the core of our social base, we envision the Black Commons engaging its intellectual curiosities, enlarging our renown cultural ecosystem, exploring the mysteries of science, medicine, and the environment, tilling the soil to ensure our food security, and aiding the oppressed of the Black Diaspora and the Global Commons. Our parks, sports venues, dance halls, festivals, and social gatherings will vibrate to the unique cosmos that has made the Black Commons a world leader in cultural production.
As the navigators of our own destiny, we must not only subvert the logic and conventional wisdom of the past, but our ability to create a governance structure that will allow the Black Commons to execute its vison and program is vital to the success of our nation.
In our upcoming entries of the Notebook, New Black Nationalists will proffer two suggestions for adopting a government structure. First, that our new nation-state is suited-up in the structure and ideology of a republic. Second, we will propose adoption of a modified parliamentary governance structure instead of the presidential system that is currently used in the United States and numerous countries.
In Frantz Fanon's New Humanism and the Florentine Republic, we began sketching out some of the ideological dimensions of republican governance theory.
Because many of us are not familiar with the workings and machinery of a parliamentary system, we have created a quick briefing page that provides with a good overview. You are welcome to visit Notes on the Pros and Cons of a Parliamentary System for some background briefing.
We welcome all comments, articles, and submissions to be included in the Draft Program on policy and governance. Tweet us with your links or references @VeseyRepublic