The therapy of a physician is unlikely to be effective if he or she fails to do an accurate diagnosis of the cause of the symptoms in the first place. In fact, THAT kind of error makes ANY subsequent therapy useless. As a person who myself spends a lot of time, for example, working on Afrikan liberation, I have to address both the 20 or 30 projects I work on that I think can lead to solutions but also spend time on the definitions of the problem because the biggest problem IN that movement for social change right now is the mis-definition of the problem. So problems that are political, social, and economic which can be solved and worked on and changed are misperceived as problems of peoples skin colors, cultures, nationalities, genders, and other aspects of their being that they either cannot change or are not inclined to and that even if they changed would not solve the problems. So I think the “spinning wheels” has to do with the fact that the map that has been drawn for the drivers is too often merely a circular track that cannot go anywhere. The basic scriptural referent “we war not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places” is relevant. We certainly have conflicts with flesh and blood but if we make our war their being of flesh and blood ourselves, our solutions become about the destruction of life and people and driven by hate and prejudice rather than love and building. The former will fail, but those who define the problems that way will perpetually go around and around not realizing that what makes them ineffective is a failed understanding of the source of what they were trying to solve. So I would propose a call not for solutions only OR problems only but a dynamic relationship between stating the problem as you see it, working a solution, and then perhaps reassessing the problem and restating if that does not work. We have as “problems” people that do nothing, but we also have “solutions” people who do lots of stuff that is going nowhere and they don’t seem to get that either.
Within Afrikans worldviews, there is preeminent belief in objective truth and so the question of misperception can not be so easily discarded as this in terms of strategic planning and allocation of resources. I guess we need to make a distinction between here between mere theoretical disagreement about approaches and falsehood. What I am referring to is the plan where ostriches fly. Since that involves a falsehood, disagreements over that are not about anything personal, its simply a fallacious idea and must be argued against to avoid a complete waste of time and resources since no solutions predicated on that are going anywhere as a matter of FACT not opinion. In the Afrikan worldview there are facts and one may have any number of opinions or strategic approaches, but there are facts and the problem in the movement right now for us is that there are people who are lying, some who do not know the facts, and their dissemination of that misinformation must be debated, lest it continue to waste communal resources. That’s a different matter.
Many of the questions being debated involve untruths and solutions based on untruths in the African tradition are considered foolish and elders are required to debate and hopefully convince, the masses not to go off that cliff. A more tangible example is “Race.” “Race” is an illusion created by Western philosophy. That’s not an opinion but a provable fact and so nationalistic solutions based purely on “race” and “skin color” are not going to lead ultimately to liberation. As Audre Lorde says “one cannot use the master’s tools to deconstruct the master’s house.” The debate I was alluding to is the debate to explain to those who do not know when they are using the master’s tools that they are, because otherwise they are going to waste their and your time and actually hurt the community in the meantime.
In the Afrikan liberation movement if there is any distinguishing feature right now that contrasts it globally from Asia, Europe, and many other parts of the world, it is the lack of a collective coherent core agenda and strategy and tactic and leadership to advance it. Unanimity is not the goal, but logical coherence and a core are obligatory in the modern global context. So we really do have to avoid an approach that says “anything”, including those things that contradict empirical evidence and known facts is to be allowed and have resources allocated to it. I myself, when I debate, am focused on that. I never consider that an obstacle to their being solutions worked on, but actually a facilitation to solutions because in the absence of an encounter with truth, solutions are not that at all. In our movement we have too much outright fiction being presented and “antischolarship” and “antiknowledge”, and that is directly connected to the lack of viable solution creations because if you begin with things that are not and were never true, all that you do is occurring to an extent, off the grid of reality. The way I characterize this is to say that the problem with the global Afrikan liberation movement, and particularly the US phase at the moment, is the unwillingness if not outright resistance to encounter REALITY and that resistance makes it impossible to develop strategy and goals that will be effective WITHIN that reality. Today I encountered another group of false scholars teaching false things about Christianity which if believed, not only mislead them about the faith but create divisions among Afrikan people over religion and prejudice. You have to beat back prejudice and lies and the ignorance that engenders them, otherwise the number and variance of solutions will be of no account or effectiveness. So in that case, its not about any disagreement over solutions, but just correcting BS.
And the Afrikan worldviews are strongly opposed to Eurocentric universal relativism, where everyone has their own right to their own facts depending purely on their perspective. Our unfortunate incestuous cultural and philosophical flirtation with that in the movement is KILLING us. Quite literally.