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​The Vesey Republic
​May 6, 2024
​Vesey Republic of Letters: No. 2
Welcome to the Vesey Republic of Letters
   A compendium of essays on nation-building and state-building  
    Introduction: The Birth of Black Sovereign States & the Economic Problematic 

Out of the detritus of the U.S. government's collapse, majority-Black breakaway states will likely emerge from the political tumult of the 2020s. 

​These insurgent microstates will surface not because Blacks organize en masse for an independent homeland. They will germinate as a consequence of Republican Party and white power militia's attacks on the government and the legitimacy of elections. Ultimately, these cumulative assaults on the government's central institutions will implode the Potemkin Village of America's administrative state. 

A federal governmental collapse will induce the disintegration of America's security state and create a patchwork of ungoverned spaces. Resisting white nationalists' appetites for American Apartheid and Democrats' paternalistic corporate managed democracy, Black militants will occupy these ungoverned enclaves and claim them as liberated zones.  

What then happens next? 

Whether these spontaneously liberated zones form independent city-states in majority-Black urban centers or republics of contiguous majority-Black counties like the Mississippi Delta we cannot predict. What we know is insurgent leaders will be confronted with the imperative of dismantling and replacing the antiquated machinery of American Empire's carceral state.  

New borders will need to be defended. Demands for electricity, fuel, clean water, food, communications, and financial services must be addressed to avert the stillbirth of these newborn polities. Negotiations to process reparations claims, reconcile the division of public debt and assets, and develop property and population transfer protocols will form the substance of National Divorce negotiations.       

In this chaotic confluence of events, New Black Nationalists' overriding concern is standing up new governments and establishing transitional economic models to ensure these fledgling republics survive. To that end, state-building will define the existential moment.  

Vesey's Republic of Letters No. 1 recommended these upstart republics adopt an Estates Parliamentary Government structure to engage the arts of statecraft. The parliament's modified Westminster System is structured to accommodate unified, timely, democratic, and flexible decision-making. 

The Vesey Economic Plan Strategy 

The difficult and more substantive question is how these majority-Black-led Vesey republics can build flourishing, relatively self-sufficient, stable economies that enjoy popular support. 

After exploring the successes and pitfalls of post-independence Black-led governments since the 1950s, New Black Nationalists conceived the Vesey Economic Plan and Strategy to consolidate and grow majority Black republics in America's former settler state.   

​Although the economic platforms of post-colonial Black-led countries differ dramatically from the United States, NBN believes the lessons learned from their state and nation-building experience is indispensable to fabricating a new economic model.   

NBN's assessment of the economic assumptions and models of post-independence Black-led countries concluded most nations adopted one of three flawed economic stratagems. 

  • Fast Nationalization​ - Implementation of the dominant Third World socialist model to nationalize or centralize most industries and the expropriation of privately owned capital goods, lands, and natural resources. 

  • Protean Neoliberalism - Acquiescence to digital globalized markets that denationalize and restructure financial, trade, and sovereign state market structures by privatizing economies.   

  • Decultured Economic Modeling - Implementing economic models that fail to take account of social, historical, and cultural factors that led to alienation and dissatisfaction by the nation's majority of citizens with the government. 


Fast Nationalization​

NBN characterizes Fast Nationalization as the dominant Third World socialist model to nationalize large and medium-sized businesses, foreign companies, and the commercial sector writ large. During the 1960s and 70s "golden years" of Black independence movements in Africa and the Caribbean, multiple one-party states' engaged in a forced march to modernization and industrialization. 

They sought to leapfrog agriculture and land reform to the utter ruination of the peasantry and alienation of the urban petty bourgeoisie. Multiple variants of African Socialism were popularized by party elites controlling key government ministries that converted state ownership of the means of production into individual fiefdoms. Marked by rivalry and corruption, once these economies were gutted and the people's disenchantment was manifest, the Armed Forces were remarkably proficient in executing coup d'états to seize government power. 

It's understandable that many African and Caribbean nations were inspired by Cuba and Vietnam's liberation wars and China's 1966 Cultural Revolution. Moreover, the Soviet Union was not only challenging U.S. imperialism ideologically, but Moscow was bankrolling African liberation movements' and supplying battlefield arms. But these socialist models couldn't simply be mimicked or tweaked. Moreover, they didn't have to be. 

An alternative approach was articulated by Frantz Fanon whose life was cut down by leukemia in the meridian of independence movements in 1961, but not before his publication of Wretched of the Earth sounded the alarm.

Fanon unequivocally supported prioritizing land reform for the peasantry.  He distrusted concentrating state power in the hands of the national bourgeoisie. Instead, he advocated for a "Tertiary State" that mobilized the energy, participation, and ideas of the masses in local and regional initiatives. 

Fanon also opposed the notion of a single party serving as the “vanguard” of the revolution, calling them “the modern form of the bourgeois dictatorship — stripped of mask, makeup, and scruples, cynical in every respect.”  He warned an idle “professional standing army,” was a "coup in waiting." The national bourgeoisie, he said, "never stops calling for the nationalization of the economy and the commercial sector. In its thinking, to nationalize does not mean placing the entire economy at the service of the nation or satisfying all its requirement. For the bourgeoisie, nationalization signifies very precisely, the transfer into indigenous hands of privileges inherited from the colonial period."

Protean Neoliberalism

Protean Neoliberalism as an economic agenda was a reaction to neo-Keynesian government intervention in capitalist economies and a denationalization strategy targeting Global South countries. Its twenty-first-century project of globalized markets networked by digital financial titans promotes the transfer of state-owned enterprises to private ownership, deregulating businesses, encouraging international investment, creating so-called Free Trade Zones, and monetary policies to control the money supply, manage inflation, and reduce government spending. The tradeoff for Global South nations embracing Neoliberalism's economic system has been loans and debt restructuring through the offices of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, China's Belt and Road Initiative and other global financial networks. 

Protean Neoliberalism has displaced Fast Nationalization in many parts of the Global South as an economic development model linked intimately to globalization. It's forms and methods of extraction are many, as China's Belt and Road Initiative demonstrates. This is not just a phenomenon for Black Global South nations that are still predominantly agricultural societies. 

The most breathtaking example is South Africa with its sprawling urban metroplexes, diverse industrial platforms and advanced agribusinesses sector. Much of the country's wealth, however, is still in the hands of the former white Afrikaners thirty years after Mandela's African National Congress took power.   

In Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh's stunning 2021 publication "The New Apartheid," the author makes a compelling and fact-based argument that "Apartheid did not die: It was privatized."  Mpofu-Walsh's thesis posits the following.  

Apartheid was marketized because privilege is now policed by price rather than prose. 

The market, not the state, now dictates the boundaries of opportunity. 

By replacing legal barriers with financial ones, segregation is transformed from a public burden to a source of private profit.

Apartheid was denationalized because it moved from centralized state control to decentralized private control. 

Denationalization unbundled and decentralized apartheid, consigning its control to a diverse network of private actors with private goals.

Apartheid was digitized because digital technology and personal computing often reinforce the culture of surveillance and toxic racial categorization upon which apartheid was built.

​Equally as astonishing, today in South Africa, whites comprising 7.3% of the population control 46% of the land. Since the ANC took power 30 years ago, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in 2023 that, "Through redistribution, around 25% of farmland in our country is now owned by black South Africans, bringing us closer to achieving our target of 30% by 2030."

Is it any wonder that the country that has the largest gap in income disparity on the planet is South Africa? The point of highlighting these examples of economic models deployed in new Black republics is not to emphasize how many opportunities have been lost. Mistakes by young republics will be made. Rather they are to emphasize the importance of coming to power with a sound economic plan that can be explained and acted on by the nation.           
Decultured Economic Models

Countries adopting Decultured Economic Models that ignored the particularisms of their nation's social and cultural factors were doomed to failure. That truth would seem to be self-explanatory as nationalist revolutions are essentially cultural artifacts. But culture also runs upstream and downstream. 

In Haiti the butcher Papa Doc Duvalier and liberation theologian Jean Betrand Aristide understood this cultural dynamic. The former weaponized culture to buttress a U.S. supported authoritarian state for 14 years, the latter was overthrown by a U.S. directed coup in six months in 1990. This passage from Haitian author Dady Chery's publication "We Have Dared to be Free" provides striking illustration of the issue.  

"At the base of all Haitian conduct was also a rejection of slavery; the philosophy that one does not live to work, but one works enough to earn enough to celebrate life by developing one's talents. Such an idea is contrary to the capitalist notion of ever-growing consumption that follows the failing model of endless economic growth...It is Haiti's peasantry, rather than its literate intelligentsia, who tell these moral tales. They are closely linked to Vodou practice, which is a mechanism for remembrance of the ancestors and the rather simple joys that they had valued. "  

Dady Chery's passage describes Haiti as a vibrant agricultural society, spiritually and practically connected to the land. America, Canada, and France's neoliberal policies destroyed Haiti's agricultural base and forced millions from its lush and productive countryside into the overcrowded slums of Port au' Prince. 

Aristide's 1990 campaign to move Haiti from "Abject Misery to Dignified Poverty" sought to protect Haiti's domestic food production against cheaper imports, raise the minimum wage from $1.76. to $2.94, increase taxes on oligarchs, and combat corruption. Once calling the IMF the "International Misery Front," when restored to office in 1994 by Bill Clinton and 20,000 U.S. Marines, Aristide lowered tariffs on food imports, imported 80 percent of Haiti’s rice, all its cooking oil, and nearly half of all food consumables. He negotiated deals with the World Bank to create so-called free-trade zones that confiscated more Haitian farmland and agreed to privatize public enterprises. Aristide was a good man and well intentioned, but he was also up against long odds.  

The demise of Haiti's agricultural base also warped its cohesive internal cultural and social relations. Haiti's organic and evolving private, family, and collective life as Chery described it was disrupted and altered, possibly in an irreparable way.  

Dada Chery's words are a reminder that having not won our independence, the Black Commons is yet to define its collective identity and distinct moral vision. That discussion began in the 1960s. When Blacks abandoned the designations of Colored People and Negroes, we rejected identities assigned to us by others. Black racial solidarity has and will continue to serve as a powerful proxy for national consciousness and identity. However, they are far from being the same.   

Only as a free and independent people will the Black Commons grapple fully with the heady question of who we envision ourselves to be and where our place in the sun lies. That part of our unfinished agenda must also be reflected in our economic roadmap to determine what kind of society we want to build.  

Vesey's Economic Plan subverts the logic of Fast Nationalization and Protean Neoliberalism's economic models. The former is rooted in the myth that nationalization to end private ownership of societies' collective wealth and eradicating markets will eliminate capitalism's class exploitation. It won't. Things are more complicated than that. 

The latter asserts globalization's ubiquitous financial, and invasive technical power to integrate international markets has eroded nation-states' sovereignty and capacity to control their economic destiny. Every nation must therefore make its deal with the devil clothed in the garments of globalization. The U.K.'s financial disaster since its 2015 Brexit referendum to leave the European Union is heralded as an example of the invincibility of digital globalization, and the decline of the sovereign nation-state.   

Like Francis Fukuyama's 1992 claim that humanity has reached "not just ... the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history...," to conclude the age of nationalism has come to an end and sovereign states must be supplicants to the digital globalized economic order is a bridge too far. To the contrary, nationalism--the most powerful of all ideological systems--is in its infancy as a historical phenomenon.       


The Vesey Economic Plan Model 

The VEP model proposes  a mixed economy system as the most practical, balanced, and dynamic model to sustain and grow new republics. Vesey's iteration of a mixed economy allows private property, constrained markets, and businesses to coexist with the selective nationalization of social goods and services. 

VEP's economic construction as a "cradle to grave" model provides government support from birth to the end of life, healthcare, education, parental leave, unemployment benefits, and pension benefits. 

The Vesey Economic Plan is not an idealist system of generous government giveaways. It is an inter-generational social contract between Vesey's governments and its citizens acknowledging a tradeoff of high government taxation for a comprehensive "birth to end of life" social safety net. It is built on seven critical economic pillars.  

New Black Nationalists are confident the foundational economic measures outlined below will provide the incentives and excitement to draw from the well of the Black Commons' strategic depth of talent in business, intellectual, creative, cultural, scientific, and governmental endeavors. As citizens, they will be the beneficiaries of the VEPs' extensive social goods, cultural lifestyle, personal and collective security that will ennoble our republic. The seven economic pillars of the Vesey Economic Plan are as follows:     

  • Creating a mixed economy allowing private property and businesses to coexist with the selective nationalization of social goods and services. Markets for small and medium-sized businesses are encouraged to supply goods and services to citizens. Nationalization and joint government-private sector ownership models are limited to those sectors providing social goods such as public utilities, health services, social services, transportation, pensions, defense, public safety, and education services. 

  • ​Large-scale private industries will not be nationalized but heavily taxed to underwrite the social goods provided free of charge or at nominal costs to Vesey citizens by the state.   

  • To encourage the full participation of women in the economy, an "equal pay for equal work" policy shall prevail in the republics. Unfettered access to full abortion and reproductive health services will be guaranteed and enshrined in Vesey's Charter of Rights. A Women's Autonomous Region shall be established comprising twenty-five percent of the national territory and population of any Vesey sovereign state, city-state or autonomous region.   

  • Achieving self-sufficiency in the areas of food security and clean energy will be national priorities. Self-sufficiency also means operating outside the neoliberal globalist financial structure dominated by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Belt and Road Initiative, and other international financial networks.   
  • To create a safe environment that is conducive to support economic development and social harmony, a comprehensive ban on firearms and all assault weapons will be the national policy.   

  • ​All private property and businesses will be respected and afforded equal protections under the law. All inhabitants wishing to emigrate from a Vesey model republic will receive fair compensation for the sale of their property and businesses. 

  •  Government interventions in the economy may include trade protection measures, subsidies, targeted tax credits, and emergency price controls. The government will aggressively regulate the economy to ensure health and safety standards are adhered to. Targeted restrictions may be imposed to ensure workers earn high wages, and monopoly practices are prohibited.  

​The VEP model is conceived as an economic realist model that anticipates building new republics from the ground up as we find them when assuming control of a territory. The economic base, resources, demographic profile, and state of the economy could vary substantially given the location, and possible impact of destruction caused by civil unrest, economic sabotage, and the dissolution of America's settler state.      

To stabilize new Vesey republic's economic bases, respecting and preserving existing private property and business will promote economic stability and expedite overall economic recovery. It is also beneficial for a new state not to make enemies when it doesn't need to.  

There are countless ways through innovation and emerging technologies that Vesey republics can achieve relative self-sufficiency, improve the quality of life, and lower the costs of its social safety net platforms. This is especially true regarding energy, health care, and transportation costs. Moreover, Vesey model republics will have opportunities to join other international associations and currency groups that may be more advantageous to its trade and monetary position. These opportunities will be explored in future Republic of Letters documents.   

​Building an economic system to sustain a new nation takes time. Learning from accumulated historical experience, trial and error, and a responsive understanding of the national culture is what Francophone philosopher Achille Mbembe referred to as the "long therapy" of nation-building.  

What Building Successful Economies Mean - The Fusion of Economics & Culture     

After all is said and done; when the theoretical and policy debates conclude; when government, businesses, and civil society have acted, the central question remains: will the Commons feel secure and reasonably happy with their societies and lives?

Measuring citizens' satisfaction with their government is an inexact science and highly subjective. New Black Nationalists, however, assert that culture, historical context, and social factors are too often underestimated or miscalculated when gauging citizen's views of their government and society.  How often do the most astute politicians misread the sentiments of their constituents? The prevailing practice must always skew towards building from the bottom up. 

The moral and ethical dimensions of constructing economies cannot be ignored. These cultural, moral, and ethical factors are the essence of the nation-building equation. They must be intimately linked to the state-building project to create a sustainable economic and social platform.    

Returning to the question of what a successful economy entails, despite its biases and shortcomings, NBN found the annual Gallop World poll to be a useful tool to contemplate building an economy the Black Commons can support as their own.  

The Gallop "World Poll" surveys "citizen happiness" in their respective countries by measuring fourteen categories to determine citizen satisfaction on a scale of one to ten. The categories are: 

 (1) business & economics, (2) citizen engagement, (3) communications & technology, (4) diversity (social issues), (5) education & families, (6) emotions (well-being), (7) environment & energy, (8) food & shelter, (9) government and politics, (10) law & order (safety), (11) health, (12) religion & ethics, (13) transportation, and (14) work.  

Out of 143 countries surveyed, the top seven countries were 1) Finland, 2) Denmark, 3) Iceland, 4) Sweden, 5) Israel, 6) Netherlands, and 7) Norway.

From these data points and NBN's independent research, we isolated a few key takeaways. They are outlined in the next section on the economic profiles of mixed economies, and the size principle of Nordic Model countries. 

The Nordic Model and Economic Profiles of Mixed Economy Countries 

Six of the top seven ranked countries with the highest citizen satisfaction rates employ similar versions of a mixed economy system that feature high levels of taxation, robust levels of free or low-cost social services, high employee wages, low national defense budgets, and the nationalization of the sectors producing critical social goods. 

These countries have some of the highest standards of living, high education levels, and low levels of government corruption. Their citizens have the longest and healthiest lifespans. The government enforces regulations to protect the public, the environment, and the state’s interests.

The economic model for this cohort of countries located on Europe's northern rim is sometimes referred to as the Nordic Model--a euphemism of sorts for mixed economic systems with a system of "birth to end of life" social safety net economies. 

The Size Principle and Government Expenditures 

It's not a coincidence that the average population of the seven top-ranked countries is 7.8 million. These Nordic countries are all highly homogenized societies with land masses and populations that are roughly equivalent to the state of Massachusetts. The Netherlands and Iceland are the two outliers: the former has the largest population of 17.3 million and the latter has the smallest population of 381,900.   

​Size matters when discussing the economic feasibility of a majority Black-led sovereign state adopting a mixed economy system. Two snapshots of national expenditures highlight the importance of the size principle.      

Even though Nordic Model states sustain high levels of government expenditures to maintain their "cradle to grave" mixed economy systems, their government debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is dramatically lower than the United States. 

Finland's percentage of government debt to its GDP in 2023 was 75.8%, Sweden 31.2%, Norway 44.3%, Denmark 29.3%, and the Netherlands 41.8%. The United States government debt as a percentage of its Gross Domestic Product was a staggering 124.3%. 

Another area that demonstrates federal government spending differentials between the Nordic Model states and the United States is defense spending as a percentage of annual national budgets. For the 2023 fiscal year, Sweden spent 1.5% of its budget on defense, Norway 7.8%, the Netherlands 2.3%, Finland 2.3% and Denmark 1.9%. The United States by comparison spent 13.3% of its national budget on defense.     

​Comparing Vesey Model Republics and Nordic Models Demographic Profile

​The Nordic Model mixed economy republics are not a panacea for the Black Commons in America's settler state to launch and sustain new independent states. Just as NBN studied the shortcomings of the state-building and nation-building projects of newly independent Black states in Africa and the Caribbean, we reviewed the economic models of the more successful states.  Similar demographic data points between Nordic Model states and potential majority Black-led sovereign states demonstrate potential advantages for our sovereign state-building project.    

Although Blacks in America's settler state never possessed a homeland-unlike virtually every nationalist movement--New Black Nationalists don't view this as a negative but a challenge. In NBN's view, the Black Commons' evolving geospatial profile doesn't call for a new grand economic theory but alternative approaches and adaptable models that respond to the contingency of the Black Commons' current demographic profile.

The VEP leverages the advantages of the Black Commons' geographic dispersal from its founding Southern Black Belt homeland in the mid-1850s. ​Today, the Black population in the United States of 34 million is dispersed across four non-contiguous regions.

 Assuming one or more Vesey model republics become sovereign microstates, a 74% Black city like Detroit with a population of 750,000 people might constitute the largest independent city-state. The largest fully sovereign state would not likely exceed seven million Blacks, even with generous population transfer protocols. 

Like the Nordic Model nations, these potential micro-states would not be burdened with huge defense and public safety spending. Nor would these republics require massive corporations headquartered on their territory to generate tax revenues to underwrite their social safety net programs. 

Ideally, the Vesey model is conceived as a society that economically would be built from the middle strata out--restraining the wealthier economic elites while consistently elevating the lower economic strata. One sought after outcome would be consistently shrinking disparities in the wealth gap between the highest and lowest economic sectors across society.  Of the twelve countries that have the smallest income disparity, five of them are Nordic Model nations.        

NBN anticipates talented young Blacks and business professionals will flock to our republics to join its revolutionary project. Having the world’s only Women’s-Led Autonomous Region will be a magnet drawing women to Vesey model republics to accomplish feats that could not be achieved anywhere else on the planet. The Vesey Republics will be societies of fevered minds probing new possibilities.   

Unlike the language, ethnic, and tribal differences Frantz Fanon described that contributed to the difficulty of forging national unity in post-independence African nations, ​Blacks as a racial group possess a high degree of social homogeneity and common cultural experiences.  

In this light, Vesey Republic models could also emerge as the epicenter of Black culture’s unrivaled global appeal. This unprecedented harnessing of talent and energy would also accelerate the development of a distinct Black nationalist identity, thus setting the stage for the radical fusion of economics and culture envisioned in the Vesey Economic Plan. 

Document Summary: The Vesey Economic Plan for a Black-Nation State

The Republic of Letters No. 2 essay outlines the conceptual framework of the Vesey Economic Plan's (VEP) mixed economy system for a future Black nation-state. 

​The VEP departs from the experience of post-independence Black nations that adopted economic plans embracing one of three economic strategies: Fast Nationalization, Protean Neoliberalism, and Decultured Economic Modeling. The VEP creates space for private property, constrained markets, small and medium-sized businesses to coexist with the selective nationalization of social goods and services. 

The VEP model is not a social welfare system design. It is conceived as an intergenerational social contract between the government and citizens acknowledging a trade-off of heavy taxation in exchange for "birth to end of life" social benefits. NBN's research affirms the states with the most successful economies, the healthiest and most well-educated citizens, the least corrupt governments, and the most effective delivery of social services are small states with culturally homogenous populations deploying a mixed economy system.  

NBN further asserts new multi-party independent Black microstates emerging out of American Empire's collapse will share similar size, demographic, and advanced economic platforms to create affordable high-end mixed economic systems. While mixed economy systems of small republics have produced balanced and stable economies, the Black Commons must imbue these state-building projects with their cultural footprint and nationalist aspirations. Only then can these republics be infused with a distinct social meaning and the regenerative power to perpetuate their existence. Thus, Vesey's economic model contemplates a fusion of its mixed economy state-building project with a Black cultural awakening to forward its nation-building agenda.   
  • Creating a mixed economy allowing private property and businesses to coexist with the selective nationalization of social goods and services. Markets for small and medium-sized businesses are encouraged to supply goods and services to citizens. Nationalization and joint government-private sector ownership models are limited to those sectors providing social goods such as public utilities, health services, social services, transportation, pensions, defense, public safety, and education services. 

  • ​Large-scale private industries will not be nationalized but heavily taxed to underwrite the social goods provided free of charge or at nominal costs to Vesey citizens by the state.  

  • To encourage the full participation of women in the economy, an "equal pay for equal work" policy shall prevail in the republics. Unfettered access to full abortion and reproductive health services will be guaranteed and enshrined in Vesey's Charter of Rights. A Women's Autonomous Region shall be established comprising twenty-five percent of the national territory and population of any Vesey model sovereign state or city-state.  

  • Achieving self-sufficiency in the areas of food security and clean energy will be national priorities. Self-sufficiency also means operating outside the neoliberal globalist financial structure dominated by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Belt and Road Initiative, and other international financial networks.

  • To create a safe environment that is conducive to support economic development a comprehensive ban on firearms and all assault weapons will be the national policy.  

  • All private property and businesses will be respected and afforded equal protections under the law. All inhabitants wishing to emigrate from a Vesey model republic will receive fair compensation for the sale of their property and businesses. 

  •  Government interventions in the economy may include trade protection measures, subsidies, and targeted tax credits, and emergency price controls. The government will aggressively regulate the economy to ensure health and safety standards are adhered to.Targeted restrictions may be imposed to ensure workers earn higher wages, and monopoly practices are prohibited.  

​Seven Pillars of the  Vesey Economic Plan  
​The Vesey Estate Parliament System and the Principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty  RoL No 1