Member of the Young Communist League – KENYA
Under the Constitution of Kenya 2010, youth is defined as the collectivity of individuals who have attained the age of 18 years, but not the age of 35 years, thus youths under the Kenyan law are persons between the ages of 18-34 years. Under the African Youth Charter (AYC), a youth is a person between 15-35 years. In Kenya,the youth agenda has increasingly dominated the political scene,especially during elections as youths continue to bear the heaviest brunt of systemic crisis. The youth continues to be conditioned that elections must only adhere to the doctrine of tyranny of numbers and apart from being used as conduits for ethnic political violence for handouts, they themselves are nothing but mere election statistics for tilting electoral results among the pro-capital ruling class. Therefore in a face-off between one oppressor and another, bourgeois elections bereft of ideological struggle reduce the youths into objects for rubber-stamping successive oppresive regimes in Kenya. That they do,with the false promise that those elections alone will emancipate them from the harsh capitalist offensive.Its the science of marxism that has clearly shown that capitalism has revealed it’s true face to broad masses all over the world in a way that is impossible to hide and that we must change the system and not periodically just change the faces. He(Marx) adds that „The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representative of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them“. The Young Communist league is conscious of the fact that there is no other thing which will make the lives and future of the Kenyan youths more valuable and meaningful than the honour of joining the revolutionary struggle to overthrow this barbaric system of oppression of person by person. Capitalism is the system based on private property and exploitation and oppression of person by person and is the basis of corruption, mental health instability,greed and inequality chocking the majority of Kenyan youths to a near death.
To begin with,the ruling class in Kenya in addressing the horrors of mass poverty among youths have pushed to the limelight ideas which are or seems to be only acceptable within the limits of the establishment. In fact,history teaches us that in seeking to address the challenges of the youth, one must understand their relation to wage labor either as young workers or potential workers. The Kenya kwanza led administration campaigned on the Hustler platform (hustler here refers to youths who struggle to make ends meet in an economy that no longer works for them) and on 17th of October, the Chairperson of the President Council of Economic Advisors David Ndii further clarified in a tweet that „The ethos of #HustlerNation is capitalism. Our promise is to give every Kenyan equal opportunity to be a billionaire, or the president, or both“. On 15th November, the cabinet approved the legal institutional framework to anchor the establishment and implementation of the inclusion Fund (Hustlers‘ Fund). Its also important to mention that apart from establishing Uwezo fund in 2014, the former president Uhuru Kenyatta while attempting to change the constitution, rallied the Kenyan youths that it was only BBI that could be their lifetime springboard from the life of poverty, suffering and want occasioned with unemployment. The two have done the same thing while appearing to be otherwise;that legislation alone in a class society will act as a silver bullet in bailing the Kenyan youths from the capitalist economic violence. They do this yet the 2010 constitution has pronounced itself on youth issues in article 55 that were they to implement the current constitution in good faith, they would not only put the youth but the entire country on the road to prosperity. In fact, in a class society like Kenya, constitution is part and parcel of the state and the class that runs the state interprets it to it’s advantage and interest. Thus, it’s only foolish to think that we can legislate the system of capitalism out of its inherent crisis for its in the interest of the rulling class to always shift blame from the collapsing system to other abstract notions like changing or modifying the constitution.
The hustler narrative subtly wrapped with near socialist phraseology (Hustler/economic revolution) as advanced by the government is nothing near class war from the bottom against the leeching class, but an opportunistic and class conciliatory agenda of political competition among the filthy rich; intraclass theatrics as a set up for gullible citizens desperate for change. The narrative reminds the poor youth that „it’s up to you“ to hustle your way through the system, a classical bourgeois propaganda of the possibility of individual liberation from rags to opulence. All these are happening against the backdrop of political elite bankrupt of the alternative ideas -if at all they ever had some, leaving us to reckon with the famous words of Fanon that, each generation must out of relative obscurity discover it’s mission, fulfill it,or betray it. It is for such reasons that all oppressed youths must violently rebel, organize themselves in social movements and progressive parties like the Communist Party of Kenya and stand radically opposed to the conventional politics of silencing the poor youths by rewarding youths from the rich strata in the guise of all-round inclusion. For the greatest all-round inclusion can only be achieved in a society of shared wealth; „from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs“. William Ruto-the hustler narrative ring leader joined politics fresh from the university and became part of the dreaded Youth for KANU wing where they not only campaigned for the oppressive regime but also used their positions of power to acquire wealth whilst paying lip service to the struggles of the majority of the poor Kenyans under the infamous Harambee philosophy. In his entire life just like his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta, he has had no history of employment anywhere to justify their stinking wealth neither have they fought for progressive changes in Kenya. In KANU,he did not champion for the youths he today call hustlers, instead he joined the government of the day in furthering state repression where many young people were detained without trial, expelled from universities, exiled and brutally murdered.Its silly, hypocritical for Ruto to dupe young people that he hustled his way up the ladder of billionaires through chicken selling and that through hardwork, resilience and most importantly Prayers, they can march their way to opulence. Its open that no sooner was he sworn in than he started unpacking anti-poor youths policies from expensive education,no jobs in sight, privatization of natural resources -water, police brutality to more and more neoliberal economic policies. Its in order that for us to understand the future and the current crisis, we must scientifically look at the past and identify the root cause of poverty, mass unemployment, police brutality among other problems facing majority of youths in Kenya. This essay therefore seeks to, in the simplest way possible, drive the maxist perspective on youth issues in Kenya by demonstrating that the rulling class through capitalism cannot absolve the Kenyan youth and has no desire to do so by quashing the bourgeois propaganda that capitalism can be reformed to meet people’s needs and more specifically that genuine freedom, unemployment and police brutality cannot be solved without liquidating capitalism.
Class character of the youth.
According to the OXFAM report,the country is sharply divided into 0.1% filthy rich against 99.9% poor. A country of 0.1% millionaires and billionaires obsessed with primitive accumulation and 99.9% beggars. We refuse to approve of the statistical(GDP,GDP per Capita ..) analysis of the economy as the only way of measuring development for they hide the ownership gap and the sadness index among the majority of Kenyan youths. Those statistics continues to praise our economy, yet they bypass the plight of the majority of youths condemned to poverty and involuntary unemployment.Its the OXFAM report that paints the stratification of Kenyan youth -as to whether one belongs to the idle or laboring class, minority or majority class, exploiting or exploited class, walala-hoi or walala-hai, propertied or propertiles class, youths of Mathare or Muthaiga, of Kileleshwa or Kibera slums, of Karen or Mukuru kwa Njega and the division continues as long as the society is divided into two antagonistic classes courtesy of capitalism.
But again, the mainstream media is a class weapon in minimizing class struggle among the youth even further such that despite the youth being an heterogeneous population in Kenya, the mainstream media at the service of the bourgeois network is conducting a systematic propaganda that the youth is a monolithic entity (youth as a uniform tribe), that a win for any youth is a win for all youths. It’s the science of Marxism that has demonstrated that the young section of every class are conditioned and shaped by social conditions of that class. The interest of the youth from the 0.1% are antagonistic to the interest of the youth belonging to the 99.9% (working class, middle class,peasantry origin). While the former are interested in maintaining their class privileges of oppression characterized with their possessive mentality,the latter is a class that must sell it’s labor, body and „heart“ in the bourgeois market to survive and is only racing poverty for a dignified life. As long as the system of capitalism still stand undeterred,as long as the society is divided into expexploiters and exploited,a win for any youth is not a win for all youths but a victory which mirrors his/her’s class interest. Leo Huberman would have said that, the relationship then that exist between the youths of bourgeois descent and the youths of the working class descent in a capitalist society is the relationship of a knife to a throat.
Today the mainstream media is popularizing the youthful daughter of the president Charlene Ruto as a youth on a mission. The truth is that her class interests and your class interests are as opposed as day and night and that she represent the class interest of bedbugs in Kenya (comprador bourgeois). This does not exclude the youthful Winnie Odinga and Vincent Musyoka. For so long as you keep confusing your class interests and their class interests, you will always remain in false solidarity with your enemy class. The youths of each class grows parallel with their class;the youths of the working class or peasantry origin grows parallel as their class forming the majority and will eventually join the working class and industrial reserve army (unemployed) while the youth of the propertied class grows parallel with their class and continues forming the class of the insignificant minority who lives on the sweat of others. Its no wonder that the narrative that swallowed JM Kariuki is still haunting us to date, from a country of 10 millionaires and 10 million beggars to a country of 0.1 % millionaires and billionaires and 99.9% beggars, a system occasioned with economic development without growth. Oppressed youths of Kenya unite,we have nothing to lose but our chains!. What you do not know and you should know is that those three among others are not class-innocent either and are being prepared for an historical task of advancing the capitalist system of oppression in the near future and if you are not careful, the politics of the future will merry around Mois,Jimmy Kibaki,Charlene Ruto, Winnie Odinga and Vincent Musyoka!. They are the emerging pro-capital rulling class an indication that the current crop of politicians does not desire that the youth with pro-workers and peasant ideological leaning capture the state power. They are so determined to see you in perpetual poverty that they are prepared to do anything to block your path to a dignified life!.
What then is the Marxist yardstick as to whether a youth is reactionary or progressive? Are we in any way saying that youths from the 0.1% filthy rich are reactionary and the youth from 99.9% poor are progressive? Are we saying that Charlene Ruto, Winnie Odinga and even Vincent Musyoka are reactionary just because they belong to the minority faction? No! In fact,were that to be true, Oginga Odinga, JM. Kariuki in their riches would not have led progressive struggles in Kenya and Jomo Kenyatta would have not betrayed the Mau Mau ideology having originated from the class of the poor.
Josia Mwangi Kariuki
J.M Kariuki originated from a peasantry family and joined Mau Mau army at approximately 23 years of age, at 17 years, J.M was already awash with the political developments in the country, 1946.
Undeterred by working with Jomo Kenyatta, now among the few rich in Kenya, he abandoned the privileges of his current class of millionaires,committed class suicide and identified with the ten of millions of Kenyans thrown into the abyss of poverty in the struggle for worker’s liberation. He patriotically stared at death in the face like a young man saying that in the interest of my country, „I choose wealth redistribution or death!, socialism or death!“
He said that,
„We combined forces for many years to fight colonial and racialist injustice – injustice in social, economic and political opportunities. But it is injustice if some of our children cannot afford education; live in inhuman conditions, die before getting to health centres and die of hunger and malnutrition.The country’s commercial and industrial sectors at independence were in the hands of Patels and Singhs, the Smiths and the Jones (now) a few Kariukis and Odongos have taken over these business monopolies with the intention of exploiting the masses. We must find ways and means of communal ownership, cooperative societies (and) parastatals. We could have a group of young people who would look for ways and means of promoting these changes but as it is now, that is absolutely impossible. Things are becoming worse and worse.”
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga
He was son to peasants and later became part of the petty bourgeois class as a teacher and business man. However these did not stop him from leading progressive nationalist struggles in line with Socialism, he did not only lead in the formation of KPU, but with Anyona, he even attempted to stage Worker’s party before he was thrown into house arrest by the forces of reaction. Oginga from his youthful age,was not moved by the trappings of power or the petty bourgeois priviledges. He spent his life on the side of the masses for their true liberation and is remembered of his „It’s not yet Uhuru“ slogan. As a rich man,he identified with the ideology of the oppressed class from his youthful days.
Aside from being born in extreme poverty when the primary contradiction was colonialism (colonies Vs imperialism),in his late 20s, rebelled and took a militant stance against the brute forces of British colonialism ultimately mid-wifing the declaration of independence in Kenya from direct tyranny and imperial hegemony of the colonial forces.
Kimathi instead of waiting for colonialism to disappear on its own as you are waiting for capitalism to disappear on its own ;rebelled, joined the forces of resistance and led the mau mau army in fighting for the country and it’s people.
It was so clear to Kimathi that the fundamental struggle was class struggle for the landless and all the oppressed of Kenya to a new order of self determination through national revolutionary war. Today we do not celebrate Kimathi as a Kikuyu, but as a patriotic youth who placed his country ahead of himself.
What is more, the task of solving the contradiction between the working class verses the bourgeoisie has been thrown to the youth.
When the then minister for Local Government and Physical Planning Moses Mudavadi was pronounced dead 1989, the youthful Musalia Mudavadi took over as a member of Parliament at 29. He did not champion for the youths of the oppressed strata but fought even through corruption to maintain their class privilege of the rich class even if that meant improverishing his fellow youths. He used his political influence to accumulate wealth to the current tune of Ksh 4 billion. Even as he ran through the country with fancy economic catchwords, he was speaking about the economic well being of his class and not yours. He was a youth from a rich class who identified with the ideology of that class. Needless to say, is that his current position in government gives him another chance to add more billions as you cheer him in your poverty!
When progressives had ganged against the 24 years rule of KANU administration, the then outgoing unpopular president endorsed the son of the first president of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta,young and energetic, Uhuru Kenyatta was a young man who was fronted to defend private property with a populist presentation of a candidate with fresh ideas. In his political life untill 2022 when he left the presidency, he did not genuinely fight for the young people of the poor strata but instead used his position to accumulate more wealth for his family.To prove how inhuman he was, they have conspired to hide their family wealth in off shore accounts where they not only evade taxation but also ensure that the Kenyan wealth is hidden far away from the producers even as the country struggles with it’s debt ridden budget. Were he to want a dignified life for youths of the poor strata, he would have surrendered his class privileges in the interest of the public good. To date, he is remembered as a president whose administration was the breeding ground of rampant corruption where atleast Ksh 2 million was lost on a daily basis.
Does being youthful guarantee progress? Does it mean that to be young is to be fresh in ideas and to be old is to harbor oppresive ideas as the ageism propaganda stand today? History vindicates us!While the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association (KYPA) prides itself as a youth leaning faction in the National Assembly,senate and county assemblies, it’s 2017-2022 exit report exposes it as a talking shop bedding imperialist organizations.One of it’s five years achievements is succumbing to the whims of FORD Foundation in it’s trainings on bourgeois democracy.For the record, Ford Foundation is an Imperialist ,capitalist foundation that believes that as they say „We have obligation to capitalism“, to strengthen and improve capitalism that the inequality arising from capitalism is not a threat but an opportunity to create the condition for more philanthropy.Infact the problems of capitalism can never be addressed regardless of how many new philanthropists, CBOs, NGOs it creates. How then can a foundation worshipping the god of mass poverty then mould young Parliamentarians to liquidate the system that ensures it’s existence globally?. From Ford Foundation as Paulo Freire said on similar tendencies, is lovelessness clothed in false generosity.
For Ford,“ it seems that every other form of inequality should be challenged, whether it’s based on race, gender, sexuality, income, geography or disability, but the structure of the economic system -the biggest privilege producing machine on the planet, must be preserved“, Michael Edwards.
Not even the young Parliamentarians are speaking to the foundation of youth crisis but united on self aggrandizement. What we ought to see is a left vibrant youth wing in the parliament, imbued with progressive ideology that will not only advance the struggle of workers in general and youths in particular, but will continue advancing the case of Socialism within that reactionary institution.No other party in Kenya except CPK is training youths on that path.
Its from those examples that we respond by saying that a youth can be progressive or reactionary based on the class position and ideology one identifies with during specific historical and material condition irrespective of his class origin, rich or poor. It is therefore true that even in electoral politics, it’s not enough to conclude that the increasing participation of youths as candidates is progressive as we are forced to believe but we must investigate their ideological bearing during those historical times.
Illusion of Freedom
Capitalism is taught in schools as though it is eternal and guarantees freedom or individual liberation. Infact education in Kenya is not class neutral, education can function as an instrument used to facilitate the synthesis of younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity as it’s designed to do or become the practice of freedom as a means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate on the transformation of the world. In a nutshell, education in a capitalist society serves the interest of the rulling-class by imposing false consciousness where the children of the workers and peasants are indoctrinated to blame themselves as a subservient class -sometimes as a lazy class that exist to be exploited for profit while the children of the rulling class are prepared for the positions of power and domination.
Again, in a capitalist society,freedom which bourgeois intellectuals insanely praise under capitalism bears class character. Any freedom -Lenin said-if it does not submit to the interest of the freedom of the workers from the oppression of capital, is a deception.Freedom of the youth as well is determined by the ethical system of the society they are born into,in which case, the economic relations of the society. The freedom of the youth of bourgeois descent and the working class descent is antagonistic.In a „man eat man society“, it’s imperative to understand that the freedom of the „eater“ cannot be same as that of the „prey“, the former enjoys all the freedom to set the rule of eating the prey while the later has no freedom in the proper sense of the word except that of choosing who should eat him and when, otherwise he will starve to death.Is the option of choosing how to be exploited or die really genuine freedom as taught in the bourgeois education system?. Under monopoly capitalism, freedom is the freedom of the capitalist to exploit labor for profit without restrictions but labourers are not free to receive things like education or healthcare in accordance to what they need; only in accordance to what they have to pay -freedom of capital (of a few). In contrasting freedom in hitherto existing societies and the higher society, Marx says that freedom has always existed, only at one time as a special privilege, at another a universal right.
In the health sector, majority of youths for their inability to sustain privatized healthcare, have the freedom to choose death over death,for treatment whether in public or private hospital, begin and end with money which they don’t have. While youth of the bourgeois(filthy rich) descent have the freedom to access quality healthcare whenever necessary even if it means flying to high-end facilities abroad, the poor youths have to choose the abandoned public dispensaries, death or stare at expensive hospital bills where they have to sell family land if any or be imprisoned in the hospitals. Its under socialism that majority of youths can secure the freedom of free healthcare as demonstrated in Cuba among other socialist countries. Under the leadership of the Communist party of Cuba, Cuba operates a national health system and assumes fiscal and administrative responsibility for the health care of all it’s citizens in provision of Universal healthcare. Her socialist ideology puts emphasis on access to healthcare as a fundamental human right and is the world’s most efficient and quality system providing free healthcare for all. She demonstrates the healthcare contradictions that exist under capitalism and socialism; in the former,profit comes first through privatization in healthcare while in the latter, humanity comes first in meeting people’s needs.“ In a system where the primary motive for the production of goods is the making of profit, Huberman says that, it is inevitable that profit should be regarded as all-important—more important even than lives. And so it is. In capitalist society, it is not uncommon for dollars to be valued higher than human beings“. I remember that in the various secondary schools for the visually impaired (commonly known as the schools for the blind), it’s majorly the children of the poor people who completely lost sight not out of choice[in many cases] but it’s the system of capitalism that gave them that brutal freedom -of choosing to be blind because they are too poor to afford medical intervention in a country where healthcare is a commodity for trade; was it not recently that Rosemary Odinga (scion of the rulling class)was flown to India, Israel and China for specialized eye-care when she was on the verge of running blind? Capitalism is not only guilty of genocide, but it has ruined lives of the poor youths in different degrees.
Thanks to the expensive nature of education in Kenya, completing 8-4-4 system comes with economic pain,stress and suffering direct into non existing graduate jobs.In point of fact,to turn education into a commodity to be bought is another undoing under the dictatorship of capitalism where the death of public sector is not only organized,but in it’s place rises flourishing private schools,colleges and universities for profit.Its the youths from the rich strata their intellectual capacity not withstanding,who have the freedom of attending the best private international schools from Brookhouse international schools,St.Andrews Turi, Banda to Aga Khan academy among others in Kenya whereas majority of the youths from the class of rags are idling in villages for lack of fees to advance their education.In the Kenyan universities, majority of the students are always on the verge of dropping their courses or operating as „students during the day and watchmen at night, students during the day and sex workers at night“.It’s stupid for one to think that majority of the youths in this country have genuine freedom to shape their lives.Is the option of choosing commercial sex work or dropping from university genuine freedom?.Marxism demonstrates beyond any shadow of doubt that the only individual liberation this stinking system can offer the oppressed youth regardless of their education level is the happiness of finding a job and serving under the command of capital,as perfect candidates to be exploited[wage slaves].When Bretton wood institutions like IMF and World Bank impose their anti-poor students policies in universities,it only indict the capitalist system that an arrangement where young poor girls have to sell their cunt to access education is a country that is running on the wheel of hatred for the poor youths; double oppression of female students as women and as children of the poor.For that matter,the Communist party of Kenya correctly puts it that there will be no genuine freedom for the youth within the system of capitalism other than in it’s antithesis, Socialism;where the Communist party of Kenya will intervene by providing Universal education at all levels.
Throughout the country, majority of the youths are leading extremely hopeless life with suicidal thoughts.In Nairobi for example,the smell of class inequalities is so sharp that majority of the youths have the freedom of choosing to crowd in the slums like Kibera,Mathare occasioned with inhuman conditions or lie in the streets as homeless individuals in the midst of expensive people-less homes in the city.At the same time,youths of the rich strata have the freedom to lead a decent life either in Kileleshwa or Runda ,Muthaiga or Karen etc.Infact its the business of capitalism to always create a network of privileged minority by putting profit ahead of humanity and where homelessness of the majority is not only normalized,but it’s highly glorified.
Access to food is no better,our agriculture sector is heavily controlled by multinationals,NGOs and private sector whose production is geared to meet the market demand as cash crops for export with subsequent import of mitumba products.It was recently that Bill Gates in his business trip put emphasis on the adoption of GMO maize in Kenya as a means of solving food insecurity in the country yet that will not only put the life of the poor people in danger,but it is a market policy for the rich seed multinationals to make a kill of profit.The private sector in alliance with government leaders have thrown the country into artificial hunger for many years by hoarding agricultural produce putting us on the endemic path of relief food as a coping mechanism for the poor. Its moral under capitalism for the poor people to die in the midst of plenty until such times when food prices have skyrocketed to guarantee maximum profit.In an interview with Chilean Magazine,despite the death of many,including young poor people in the face of hunger and malnutrition,Booker says that „..this is all happening in a country where the political leaders are suffering from obesity, because they have stolen so much that they have almost eight meals in a day. Their days are spent eating: when they wake up, they have some breakfast, and by ten o’clock, they have what they are calling heavy tea. They have even adapted the language of the colonizer to normalise their greedy appetites. At one o’clock, they settle down for a three-stage meal; and before it is fully digested, they have high tea at four o’clock before they can retire for dinner. Their diners’ transition to drinks for the rest of the night“.Under such circumstances of extreme economic stress,the system of capitalism gives the poor youth it’s two inherent options,the freedom of resorting to crime or starving to death!
But how is it possible to maintain this system where the misery of the majority is the wealth of the minority ,where wealth is socially produced but privately appropriated,,where a class of the minority rich dictates the impoverished majority,where one class jealously leads a dignified life on earth and on the other hand the other is promised a dignified life after death? -the state.
In a capitalist society like Kenya,the state is a class weapon of the super rich against the 99.9% poor for protecting Private property and therefore it’s a limiting factor for the oppressed youths;any attack on private property[eg grabbed land] is met with force .According to Marx,the state is an organ of class rule,an organ of oppression of one class by another which was a product of irreconcilability of class antagonism.The state therefore arose from the society but placing itself above it with emergence of private property which was the basis of division of the society into classes.Private property ,Mganga says,is that property that is made and increased by exploiting the labour of other persons that are deprived of access to the means of production.
Historically,in classless society,say, primitive and mature communalism,the state was not only absent but unnecessary for there was no private property necessitating the existence of an organ of class rule;for example land was communally owned.This society did not know prisons,armed police force, courts, standing army and other institutions of coercion.Instead the old organization was managed through family values,customs, traditional beliefs which were in harmony with the relations of production during those historical times.For that matter,the development of productive forces as men acted on nature alongside with the coming of the colonialist,called for corresponding political advancement (superstructure).
Engels further clarifies that „The state,then,has not existed from all eternity.There have been societies that did without it,that had no idea of the state and state power.At certain stage of economic development,which was necessarily bound up with the split of the society into classes,the state became a necessity owing to this split.We are now rapidly approaching a stage in the development of production at which the existence of these classes not only will have ceased to be necessity,but will become a positive hindrance to production.They will fall as they arose at an earlier stage.Along with them the state will inevitably fall..“
Save for some parts of the country along the coast,Kenya was largely at the stage of mature communalism before colonialism interrupted the ensuing social development and imposed private property relations.The state and it’s instruments of terror and coercion(police, standing army, prison,courts) in most of the interior of Kenya came with British colonialism.
We again respond to the question that to maintain a system where a class of the super minority dictates the impoverished majority,the former needs a weapon;the STATE ,at it’s disposal for upholding the system of oppression of one class by another by forcefully keeping the working class youth and their allies in the condition of oppression through it’s laws and chief instruments of terror;the latter needs the state power to restore the humanity of both the oppressed and the oppressor by establishing the dictatorship of the workers.That is not all;the youths must not expect much from these state governments as real power has historically been in the hands of the comprador bourgeois,a class which we must confront as our immediate enemy for revolution in Kenya.Comrador bourgeois encompasses Ruto,Raila,Kalonzo, Mudavadi among others in Kenya and serves as a conveyor belt for finance capital in furthering the policies of the imperialists countries.What is more,the Communist party of Kenya continues to organize all the oppressed strata to win the state power and impose itself as the true reflection of the interest of the workers and their allies under the dictatorship of the workers;any alliance of the party and the current rulling class can only reduce the party as an appendage of Kenya Kwanza.
The subject of police brutality and the misconstrued concept of law in Kenya cannot be clearly understood without beginning from the state, because the police is among the chief instruments of the state,the state cannot be understood without private property and so there is nexus between police force as an appendage of the state and private property;the police serves Private property!.To that end ,to oppose police brutality that is rampant among youths from working class origin and all oppressed youths is to oppose the brutal system of capitalism.A recent report showed that by February, cases filed against police officers increased to 3,583 in 2021. Of these cases,36.1% had to do with allegations of police assault, 30.6% were about shootings that caused harm, while 22% involved the deaths of victims. While those refers to reported cases,there are alot of silent cases of impunity from the police which are morally right under capitalism since police are not for the public good in a class society neither are they neutral.The police must serve the rulling class and the class that runs the state runs the police and the standing army to it’s advantage,to maintain law and order -bourgeois law and order.
Although you’re forced to believe that the police are there to protect you and maintain order, we are first to ask, whose order?. In fact the police in Kenya are the thugs of the neocolonial state and are anti-poor people and attempts by organizations to mend the hostility between the armed forces and the masses is neither here nor there, oral bubbling! There can be no such unity outside the scope of annihilating the system of capitalism for the system they serve is built on terror and robbery against the disinherited class. The armed forces then in form stands between the two classes for reconciliation but in substance stands on the side of the rulling class as a trigger Happy force for sending terror among the masses into a culture of silence. There is no way a small minority (0.1%) can exploit a large majority (99.9%) without the armed bodies to enforce their rule.
Yet another propaganda is that the police exist to eradicate crime. The system of capitalism is in fact built on crime;on the exploitation of the working class and furthermore it’s capitalism that breeds crime from it’s inbuilt tendency of creating mass unemployment. If that was to be true,then the police should have not only arrested the capitalists class, but should have also sent them for guillotine in the interest of the masses. Its the poor youths in Kenya who are murdered, harassed at gun-point for donning dreadlocks with charges of appearing like criminals, it’s the youths from poor neighborhood like Kibera, Kondele,Mathare,slums in Laikipia, Kasarani and not youths from the rich sub-urbs like Runda, Karen who bear the horrific experience of police brutality.
The Kenyan state cannot reform the police to your advantage you wretched of the earth. To change police uniform, to disband the DCI’s Special Service Unit,to increase their funding, to introduce pocket-less uniform are theatrics which have nothing to do with you poor desperate youth! To dream of a society free from the fetters of police brutality is to identify with your class of the economically exploited in the struggle for socialism. Even the formation of IPOA does not in itself abolish police brutality;it’s truly an admission that based on its inherent violence against the masses,the police must be tamed from without. Although progressive reforms in the forces are acceptable,such reforms must not be seen as an end in themselves. But again for the rulling class, reforms in the police force are informed not by the illusion of people’s safety, but of private property!
What will be the nature of the state we desire to have? Engels clarifies at best that:
„The proletariat seizes from state power and turns the means of production into state property to begin with. But thereby it abolishes itself as the proletariat, abolishes all class distinctions and class antagonisms, and abolishes also the state as state. Society thus far, operating amid class antagonisms, needed the state, that is, an organization of the particular exploiting class, for the maintenance of its external conditions of production, and, therefore, especially, for the purpose of forcibly keeping the exploited class in the conditions of oppression determined by the given mode of production (slavery, serfdom or bondage, wage off labor). The state was the official representative of society as a whole, its concentration in a visible corporation. But it was this only insofar as it was the state of that class which itself represented, for its own time, society as a whole: in ancient times, the state of slave owning citizens; in the Middle Ages, of the feudal nobility; in our own time, of the bourgeoisie. When at last it becomes the real representative of the whole of society, it renders itself unnecessary. As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection, as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon the present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from this struggle, are removed, nothing more remains to be held in subjection — nothing necessitating a special coercive force, a state. The first act by which the state really comes forward as the representative of the whole of society — the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society — is also it’s last independent act as state. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies down of itself. The government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The state is not ‚abolished‘. It withers away. This gives the measure of the value of the phrase ‚a free people’s state‘, both as to its justifiable use for a long time from an agitational point of view, and as to its ultimate scientific insufficiency; and also of the so called anarchists‘ demand that the state be abolished overnight“.
The empowered, armed and organized working class will constitute a state in which the „special body of armed men“ would not be used to repress the working class but used instead to repress the remnants of the bourgeois class.For the first time,the state will be used in the service of the people under the dictatorship of the workers for transition. To abolish the police force and their brutality is to join the workers‘ party (Communist party), struggle for worker’s government in establishing a classless society where the police force will eventually be rendered obsolete.
Although it’s wrongly put that constitution,law serves as a unifying factor and that way not only bind the citizens (also the governed and the governors) but also limits the excesses of the rulers; the constitution in general and laws in particular are products of the economic force and are part of the superstructure. The partial application of law in Kenya, the open disregard of court orders by the rulling class is a confirmation that laws in a class society are tools of a given class over another,and the class running the state interprets laws in it’s favor however progressive those laws can appear to be or are intended to be in the minds of the masses. For instance, instead of abolishing this system of capitalism, the challenges of the youths are taken in cyclic debates on law, policies and constitution by the rulling class as if those laws have not proven impotent in the face of en masse unemployment.Were we to be equal before law as taught in schools,the government would implement article 55 to guarantee employment for all.
In 2007, the Narc administration established two funds;Women Enterprise Fund and Youth Enterprise Development fund as part of the policies and programmes in addressing youth unemployment. In 2014, jubilee administration guided by article 55 of the constitution again created another fund, Uwezo fund for promotion of businesses and enterprises for the youth,in the same year National Youth service (NYS) was restructured.These came at the backdrop of the MSME’s Act of 2012 under the ministry of industrialization, Trade and Enterprise.In 2016,the government in partnership with World Bank established Kenya Youth Employment Opportunities (KYEOP) and 6 years later, the new administration has added another fund, Hustler’s fund (loan) (Youth Enterprise Development fund, women enterprise fund,Uwezo fund and now hustlers fund). Last year, The Building Bridges Initiative recommended that to deal with youth issues, we needed to entrench youth commission in the constitution (despite the existence of national youth council), 7 years tax break on youth enterprises, employment conferences, procurement opportunities (despite the existence of that clause), business advisors in all huduma centres, Employment bureau (despite the existence of National Employment Authority ). It’s as if each administration has mastered and clinged on one poor solution, affirmative action. Infact it’s inherent in the system of capitalism to create and maintain a steady surplus population (pool of unemployed) and no laws, policies, constitution however progressive can redeem capitalism as long as the state power is under the reactionary bourgeoisie or comprador bourgeois in Kenya. Moreover those funds have been mered with corruption, continues to trap youths in debts and lacks measurable impact in bridging unemployment gap. For how many youths are roaming all over the country looking for any type of job whatever the pay and they can’t get any? How many poor young people are dying in Saudi Arabia desperately looking for indecent jobs while at home the rulling class has maintained that poverty is a mind set?
Those funds continues to exist side by side with neo-liberal economic policies which have led to collapsing industries, factories, agriculture sector, supermarket chains, massive retrenchments in public service and declining SMES which employs so many youths; infact those conceited efforts seems progressive in the eyes of the rulling class yet they are driven to find solution within the bounds of capitalism which for one,has deepened youth unemployment to 67% leaving the poor youths at the mercy of exploitative gambling industries and the flooded bodaboda sector for survival. Capitalism creates and needs unemployment!.
Capitalist investment is founded on two parts; part that hires workers and that of ownership of the means of production. With systemic dynamics of boom and burst and insane thirst for profit,two processes reduce the part that hires workers where market competition leads to concentration (monopoly) establishing economic dictatorship of the big firms thus killing the small scale enterprises.
On the other hand,to increase productivity and profitability,the capitalist needs to cut on production cost with expected increase in value(output).This is possible through low wages among workers and employing laborers as so long as they can guarantee maximum profit;another way is incorporation of machinery where instead of using technology to make work easier for workers, it’s used to cut the labor force to maximize profit by rendering workers redundant.In capitalist society, employment does not begin with the need for young workers to get decent wages and lead a prosperous life, employment begins from how efficient can they accept to be exploited (the number and ability of a young worker to guarantee profit for the capitalist), plunging it into it’s irreconcilable crisis.While one would expect an increase in jobs due to increasing demand for labor, an increasing labor demand is dealt with through technology and overworking a lean work force which aside from having to work for subsistence wages and under harsh conditions,become another hindrance in expansion of Laborers.For capitalism, it’s not abnormal to want expansion of capital without expansion of workers and wages.In that regard,it’s impossible for the private sector to eradicate unemployment through government’s consistent efforts to privatize industries and key commanding heights of the economy in Kenya by lying to the public that the government has no interest in doing business.
Marx in Capital volume one explains this in the following words:
„The production of a relative surplus population, or the setting free of labourers, goes on therefore yet more rapidly than the technical revolution of the process of production that accompanies, and is accelerated by, the advance of accumulation; and more rapidly than the corresponding diminution of the variable part of capital as compared with the constant. If the means of production, as they increase in extent and effective power, become to a less extent means of employment of labourers, this state of things is again modified by the fact that in proportion as the productiveness of labour increases, capital increases its supply of labour more quickly than its demand for labourers. The overwork of the employed part of the working class swells the ranks of the reserve, whilst conversely the greater pressure that the latter by its competition exerts on the former, forces these to submit to overwork and to subjugation under the dictates of capital. The condemnation of one part of the working class to enforced idleness by the overwork of the other part, and the converse, becomes a means of enriching the individual capitalists,  and accelerates at the same time the production of the industrial reserve army on a scale corresponding with the advance of social accumulation“.
The contradiction that counters industrialization and enterprises in Kenya is that of capitalism.That while employed and underemployed workers have to take the lowest wages with sometimes no workers-benefits,this makes profit possible for the capitalist,and at the same time makes profit impossible. How?
Because capitalism sorts production of commodities with a falsified impression of a thriving system without harmonizing the part on consumption.The working class and the unemployed who ought to buy commodities have so little to buy what they need in sorting their social needs, on the other hand the few, capitalists who have accumulated so much,have alot that they cannot spend it all.Profit made possible on one part, profit made impossible on the other part!. The consequence is destruction of goods by companies leading to loses, stranded products from farmers, financial insolvency for business people and in employment sector, the collapse of industries which have to produce what the workers and „the unemployed“ need,but their need can only be met through money which they don’t have. While low wages and unemployment makes profit possible, on the other hand it cuts on the purchasing power of the majority. For example KICOMI which was a mass employer produced local textile products which majority of Kenyans for their low wages and lack of it thereof could not purchase due to neo-liberal economic policies which institutionalized cheap mtumba business;in consequence, majority lost jobs within the industries and farmers lost ready market for their cotton (this also affect the majority employed in agricultural farms). This has been the case in formerly state owned sugar industries like Miwani, Muhoroni and Mumias which due to smuggling of illicit cheap sugar has led to huge glut in the local market. In part, the sugar industries have to endure systemic problems; financial insolvency, mismanagement to receivership, but in whole the neo-liberal economic policies kills industrial growth, job creation and development of agriculture in the developing countries. The revolutionary government will intervene in the economic progres of the country by developing home grown solutions and reviewing economic policies on trade in a bid to protect our industries and producers.
Infact, without Central planning of the economy, the subsequent administrations will fall to the erroneous thinking that just by granting and establishing more youth funds,the malady of employment will sort itself. The principal challenge in doing business and investing in Kenya must be called for what it is,not unconducive business environment, but unconducive economic system of Capitalism that everytime relegates human needs to the periphery.
The insanity of capitalism and it’s inability to address unemployment has shifted to gaslighting the poor people for their inability to create jobs for themselves, this is done through it’s arms of propaganda which includes education, NGOs and mainsteam media. To struggle against Crime among the youths is to struggle for jobs, to struggle against unemployment is to struggle against capitalism and to abolish capitalism is to establish socialism. Socialism seeks to solve this anarchic distribution of investment with planned allocation of investments through central planning of the economy.
In place of private allocation of investments, a revolutionary government will establish state control of labor markets as well as the commanding heights of the economy which includes financial institutions,banks, transport and communication, infrastructure,major natural water towers and water works, power generation among others. This will facilitate the expropriation of the expropriators bringing the nationalized industries under the firm control of the state( expropriation without compensation).Although expropriation has been valgurised, the revolutionary government will categorically wrest by decree private property and not personal property of the working class, peasants and their allies. Through Central planning of the economy, for the first time production will be about meeting social needs of the people and through state budget, there will be planned allocation of labor where employment for youths will be the responsibility of the government of the workers. To put the country on the path of industrialization, the Communist party of Kenya will combine agriculture with manufacturing industries by investing in the primary economy centered projects in agriculture and industry and also in the secondary economy centered projects in tourism, trade and the service sector.
The revolutionary government will abolish technology as a means of enslaving the worker to machinery and cutting on work force to maximize profit, instead,the government will employ technology in making work humane for the worker while employing more people to work.
Atleast at this stage,the state will have eliminated the capitalist class from production where surplus in production will be used in providing universal education, healthcare among other needs of the workers as they will arise.The government will not stop there,the workers‘ state will create corresponding labor policies in the interest of the workers based on unique conditions at that moment in time.The government of the workers will not copy paste it’s policies,but will apply the science of Marxism based on unique material circumstances in Kenya.
In conclusion, Marxism has therefore given all youths whose hearts are dancing with rage a scientific light for shaping the world; that instead of merely reacting to the failures of the government and letting it go, we must join the party of workers, learn and struggle to win state power as only then can it be meaningful to establish another just world. The economic oppression of the youth is not a call for pity, but a challenge to consciously organize for an alternative order, socialist Revolution!
Long live the struggle!
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• Kalenda,M.(November 2022).There is nothing harmful about GMO-Bill Gate,The standard.ke
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• Marx,K.The general law of capitalist accumulation,Capital volume one
• Freire,P.(1970). Pedagogy of the Oppressed
• Mghanga,J.(March 2021). Looking Back, looking ahead on the current constitution of Kenya:myths, opportunities and problems.