The Speech on Political Orientation (Discours d’Orientation politique or DOP), as the name makes clear, is the theoretical foundation of the revolution. It was written during September and October 1983 and was delivered on the radio on October 2nd 1983. We are offering (see below) the opportunity to read an extract of “A biography of Thomas Sankara, Country or Death” by Bruno Jaffré, pages 195-196. (see a presentation of the work at this link in which it is explained how the speech was drafted.

During one of the first meetings of the CNR, it was decided that each grouping composing the CNR, would send a representative to take part in the writing of the Speech on Political Orientation. The PAI names Philippe Ouedraogo, the ULCR Valère Somé and the military Blaise Compaoré. Being the eldest of the delegates, Philippe Ouedraogo is in charge of steering the committee. But the duties of his office – he is Secretary for Planning, Equipments and Infrastructures – does not leave him enough time to achieve this mission. With the approbation of Sankara, who is eager to proceed forward, a meeting is set up between the three men. A blueprint is agreed. This first document was to be submitted to the CNR, but it was not discussed.

Valère Somé takes responsibility for the writing. A soldier of the Conseil de l’Entente is assigned the task to pass on the drafts as writing progresses. Valère Somé made good use of his position to disseminate his ideas, in particular that of “Popular and Demcratic Revolution”, which is incorporated in the DOP.

Thus is solved the theoretical debate which had impassioned the protagonists of the revolution when they were students.

The work slowly advanced, while the other two were expected to comment.

But time is running out and eventually on October 2nd, Sankara called Valère around 8 am. He told him that a car would pick him up and that he will stay near him in order to complete the text. At 8 pm, he asks the journalists to come and attend the recording of the speech. Time is running out as the morning after he flies to Vittel for a summit France-Afrique. Sankara amends the texts handed over by Valère Somé. Around 4 pm Soumane Touré pops in. Sankara asks him to contribute to the writing but he declined the offer. They worked until midnight. Blaise Compaoré joins them. When they think they have finished, the journalits are ushered in, and Sankara delivers the speech in the room of the Conseil de l’Entente where he will be assassinated.

Blaise Compaoré and Valère Somé are waiting in a adjoining room. He marks a pause because he realizes that the part dealing with foreign policy is missing. Sankara summons them to write it. If one studies the content of the DOP, one notes that the section covering international affairs is rather sketchy in contrast with other long and detailed parts. A few watchwords can only be found without a real and deep analysis of the international environment. Thus was produced the reference document of the revolution.”

You can listen to the speech delivered by Thomas Sankara

Bruno Jaffré

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 2 October 1983

People of Upper Volta!Fellow activists of the revolution!

During this year of 1983, our country knew moments of particular intensity that still leave an indelible mark in the minds of many citizens. The struggles of the people of Upper Volta experienced ebbs and flows over this period.

Our people have stood the test of heroic struggle and finally triumphed in thenight of August 4, 1983, that has now become historic. It is almost two months since the revolution became an irreversible step forward in ourcountry. Two months since the fighting people of Upper Volta mobilized asone person behind the National Revolutionary Council (NRC) to build a new voltaic society, free, independent and prosperous, free of social injustice,freed from the century long domination and exploitation of international imperialism.

At the end of this stage in our journey, I invite you to look back with me tolearn the lessons that are needed to correctly determine the revolutionary tasks for the present and the near future. By having a clear perception of themarch of events, we fortify our struggle against imperialism and reactionary social forces.

In short: where have we come from? And where are we going? If we want towalk boldly towards greater and more brilliant victories, these are current questions that require clear and resolute answers from us, without any equivocation.

The August Revolution was the culmination of thestruggle of the people of Upper Volta

The triumph of the revolution of August is not merely the result of the revolutionary coup against the reactionary sacrosanct alliance of May 17,1983. It is the culmination of the struggle of the voltaic people against its permanent enemies. It is a victory over international imperialism and its national allies. A victory over the retrograde and obscure forces of darkness.A victory over all enemies of the people who hatched plots and intrigues behind our back.

The August Revolution was the culmination of the popular uprising triggered by the imperialist plot of 17 May 1983, aimed at stemming the rising tide of democratic and revolutionary forces in this country.

This insurrection was not only symbolized by the heroic and courageous attitude of the commandos in the city of Po, who put up fierce resistance to the power of the pro-imperialist and anti-popular Docter-Commander Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo and Colonel Somé Yoryan, but also by the courage of the democratic and revolutionary forces who, in alliance with the patriotic soldiers and officers, were able to organise an exemplary resistance.

The insurrection of 4 August 1983, the victory of the revolution and the advent of the National Council of the Revolution are unquestionably the consecration and therefore the culmination of the struggles of the people of Upper Volta against neocolonial domination and exploitation, against the subjugation of our country, for independence, freedom, dignity and progress of our people. Simplistic and superficial analyses, limited to repeating pre-established schemas cannot change the reality of these facts.

The August Revolution triumphed by posing as the heir and the extension of the popular uprising of January 3, 1966. It is the continuation and development to a qualitatively higher level of all the great popular struggles that have multiplied in recent years. It marks the systematic refusal of the people of Upper Volta, and particularly the working class and other toilers, tolet themselves be governed as before. The most significant and notable milestones of these great popular struggles are December 1975, May 1979,October and November 1980, April 1982 and May 1983.

It is a well established fact that the great movement of popular resistance that immediately followed the reactionary and pro-imperialist provocation of May 17, 1983, created favorable conditions for the event of August 4, 1983. In fact, the imperialist plot of 17 May precipitated a large-scale consolidation of democratic and revolutionary forces and organizations that were mobilizedduring this period by developing initiatives and undertaking bold actions previously unknown. Meanwhile, the holy alliance of reactionary forces around the dying regime suffered from its inability to stem the breakthroughof revolutionary forces, which more and more openly mounted an assault against the anti-people and anti democratic power.

The popular demonstrations of 20, 21 and 22 May created a wide national echo as a result of their great political significance because they provided specific proof of open support of the people, and especially the youth, to the revolutionary ideals defended by those treacherously attacked by reaction.

They had great practical significance, because they expressed the determination of a people and its youth who stood up to address concretely the forces of domination and imperialist exploitation. It was the most obvious demonstration of the truth that when the people stand firm imperialism and the social forces allied with it tremble.

History and process of political consciousness of the masses follow a dialectical path that escapes reactionary logic. That is why the events of May 1983 greatly contributed to accelerating the process of political clarification in our country, reaching such a degree that the masses at large made a significant qualitative leap in understanding the situation.

The events of 17 May have contributed greatly to opening the eyes of the people of Upper Volta, and imperialism, as a system of oppression and exploitation, appeared to them in a brutal and cruel flash.

There are days that teach lessons with a wealth comparable to that of an entire decade. During these days, the people learn with a rapidity and an incredible depth of spirit, so that one thousand days of study are nothingnext to them.

The events of May 1983 have enabled the people to learn more about Volta’s enemies.

Henceforth, in Upper Volta, everyone knows:

Who’s who!

Who is with or against whom!

Who does what and why.

This kind of situation, that was the prelude to great upheavals, helped expose the exacerbation of class contradictions of voltaic society. The August Revolution came as the solution to these social contradictions that could notlonger be stifled by compromise.

The enthusiastic endorsement of the broad popular masses of the revolution of August is the practical expression of the high expectations that the voltaic people had in the appearance of the NRC. They hope that finally their yearning for democracy, liberty and independence can be satisfied. Theyhope that real progress can be made in restoring the dignity and greatnessof our country that 23 years of neo-colonialism significantly undermined.

The legacy of 23 years of neo-colonialism

The appearance of the NRC on 4 August 1983, and the establishment of revolutionary power in Upper Volta since then, have opened a glorious pagein the annals of the history of our people and our country. However, thelegacy of 23 years of imperialist exploitation and domination is heavy. Our task of building a new society will be hard and difficult, a society free of all the evils that keep our country in a situation of poverty and economic andcultural backwardness.

When in 1960 French colonialism attacked on all sides, defeated at Dien BienPhu (Vietnam), facing enormous difficulties in Algeria, was forced, drawing lessons from those defeats, to grant to our country national sovereignty and territorial integrity, it was positively welcomed by our people who had not remained impassive but developed appropriate resistance struggles. This headlong flight of French colonial imperialism was a victory for the people over the forces of oppression and exploitation. From the perspective of themasses it was a democratic reform, while from the point of view of imperialism it was only a change in the form of domination and exploitation of our people.

This change led to a rearrangement of social classes and strata and the establishment of new classes. In alliance with the reactionary forces of traditional society, the petty bourgeois intellectuals of the time, in total disregard of the fundamental masses who had served as a springboard fortheir rise to power, began to organize political and economic foundations of new forms of imperialist domination and exploitation. The fear that mass popular struggles would lead to truly revolutionary solutions was the reason for the choice made by imperialism which is now exercising its stranglehold over our country, to perpetuate the exploitation of our people, through local intermediaries. Nationals of Upper Volta would take over the role of domination and foreign exploitation. The whole organization of neo-colonialsociety was simply a change from one form to another.

Neo-colonial and colonial society are fundamentally no different. Thus, the colonial administration was replaced by a neo-colonial administration which was identical in all respects with the first. A colonial army was replaced by a neo-colonial army with the same attributes, the same functions and the same role as guardian of the interests of imperialism and those of his national allies. In the colonial school replaces a neo-colonial pursuing the same goals of alienation of children in our country and reproduction of a society primarily serve imperialist interests, incidentally serving local lackeys and allies of the imperialism.

Of Upper Volta nationals began with the support and blessings of imperialism, to organize the systematic looting of our country. Crumbs that fall plunder them, they are transformed gradually into a truly parasitic bourgeoisie, not knowing retain their voracious appetites. Driven by their own selfish interests, they will stop now before more ways the most dishonest, developing large-scale corruption, misappropriation of funds andpublic thing, influence-peddling and real estate speculation, practicing favoritism and nepotism.

This accounts for all financial and material wealth they have accumulated on the backs of working people. And not content to live on the fabulous rents they derive from the shameless exploitation of their ill-gotten gains, theyplay the feet and hands to grab political responsibilities that allow them to use state machinery to benefit their operations and their mismanagement.

A whole year goes by without paying the fat they holiday abroad. Their children are deserting school in the country for a prestigious education inother countries. At the slightest illness, all means of the state are mobilized to ensure their costly care in hospitals luxury foreign countries.

All this takes place under the eyes of a people voltaic industrious,courageous and honest, but languishing in poverty over the dirt. If the minority of wealthy Upper Volta is a paradise, for this is that most people, itis a hell barely tolerable.

In the vast majority of employees, despite the fact that they are assured of a steady income suffer constraints and pitfalls of the capitalist consumer society. All have seen their wages consumed before it has touched. And the cycle continues without end, without any prospect of failure.

Within their respective unions, employees engage Struggles for improving their living conditions. The magnitude of these struggles sometimes forced neocolonial powers in place to make concessions. But they do give a hand to recover immediately from another.

Thus it was announced with great fanfare, an increase of 10 percent of wages to immediately take steps to cancel tax benefits expected from the first measurement. Workers after 5, 6, 7 months always end up realizing the deception and are mobilizing for new struggles. Seven months is more than enough to power the reactionaries to regain breath and develop others tratagems. In this endless struggle, the worker always comes out the loser.

Within this majority, there are these “wretched of the earth”, these peasants are expropriated, which robs it, that you molest that are imprisoned, the utter disregard and it humiliates every day and which, however, are those whose work is creating wealth. It is through their productive activities that the economy remains, despite its fragility. It is their work to “sweeten” that all these national Upper Volta is an El Dorado. Yet it is they who suffer most from lack of structures, road infrastructure, lack of sanitary facilities and coaching. These are the creators of national wealth farmers who suffer most from lack of schools and school supplies for their children. It is their children who are swelling the ranks of the unemployed after a stint on the bench blitz schools poorly adapted to the realities of this country. Among them is thatthe illiteracy rate is higher: 98 percent. Those who need more knowledge that can improve their productive work in return is even the ones who benefit the least investment in health, education and technology.

The young peasant, who has the same frame of mind that all the youth, that is to say, more sensitive to social injustice and in favor of progress, comes in a feeling of revolt, to desert the countryside depriving them of its most dynamic individuals.

The first thing that pushes youth in major urban centers of Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. There they hope to find more remunerative work and alsoenjoy the benefits of progress. The lack of work leads them to idleness with the vices that characterize them. Finally they will seek their salvation, not to end up in prison, in emigrating to foreign countries where humiliation and exploitation the most blatant lie ahead. But Volta society leaves them doesno choice? That is, the most succinct, the situation of our country after 23 years of neo-colonialism: paradise for some and hell for others.

After 23 years of imperialist domination and exploitation, our country remains a backward agricultural country where the rural sector, which occupies more than 90 percent of the work force represents only 45 per cent of gross domestic production (GDP) and provides 95 per cent of the countries exports.

More simply it should be noted that while in other countries farmers who constitute less than 5 percent of the population not only come to eat properly, to ensure the needs of the entire nation, but also exporting huge quantities of their commodities at home more than 90 percent of the population despite efforts of hard experience famine and food shortages and are forced to use, with the rest of the population, to import agricultural products if it does is international aid. The imbalance between exports and imports thus created helps to accentuate the country’s dependence vis-à-vis other countries. The resulting trade deficit increased substantially over the years and the coverage of imports by exports is around 25 per cent. In plainer terms, we buy more abroad than we sell it and an economy that operates on this basis is gradually ruined and goes to the disaster.

Private investment from outside are not only inadequate but also exert enormous punctures on the economy and therefore do not contribute to strengthen its storage capacity. An important part of the wealth created through foreign investment is drained to the outside instead of being reinvested to enhance the productive capacity of the country. In the period 1973-1979, the estimated output of currencies as foreign direct investment income to 1.7 billion francs CFA per year, while new investments amount toonly 1.3 billion francs CFA per year on average.

Insufficient efforts into productive investments leads voltaic state to play a fundamental role in the national economy by the effort he provides in order to supplement private investment. Difficult situation when we know that revenues from the state budget are determined mainly by tax revenues represent 85 percent of total revenues, which are summarized in large partto taxes on imports and taxes.

The state revenue fund, in addition to the effort of national investment, the government spending 70 percent of which goes to pay salaries of civil servants and to ensure the functioning of administrative services. What canhe remain so for social and cultural investments?

In the field of education, our country is among the most backward country with an enrollment rate of 16.4 percent and an illiteracy rate that is 92 percent on average. This means that out of 100 Upper Volta, only eight appear to be literate in any language whatsoever.

In terms of health, morbidity and mortality is the highest in the subregion because of the spread of communicable diseases and nutritional deficiencies. Besides, how to avoid such a catastrophic situation when we know that among us there is only one hospital bed per 1200 inhabitants and one doctor for 48,000 inhabitants?

These few facts alone suffice to illustrate the legacy we leave 23 years of neo-colonialism, 23 years of a national policy of total resignation. This situation, among the most distressing, can not be left in no indifference Voltaic who loves and honors his country.

Indeed our people, courageous and hardworking people, could never tolerate such a situation. And because he understood that it was is not a fatality butan organization of society on the bases only unfair to the benefit of a minority, it has always developed multifaceted struggles, seeking ways toend the old order of things.

Therefore, he feverishly welcomed the advent of the National Council of the revolution and the revolution of August which is the culmination of his efforts and sacrifices made to overthrow the old order, establish a new order to rehabilitate the same man voltaic and give a prominent place in our country the clans of nations free, prosperous and respected.

Parasitic classes who had always benefited from colonial Upper Volta and neo-colonial are and will be hostile to the changes undertaken by the revolutionary process started since August 4, 1983. The reason is that they are and remain attached by an umbilical cord with international imperialism. They are and remain the strongest supporters of the privileges acquired by virtue of their allegiance to imperialism.

Whatever is done, although one may say, they will remain equal tothemselves, and will continue to hatch conspiracies and plots to regain their “lost kingdom”. These nostalgic we must not expect a conversion of mentality and attitude. They are sensitive and understand only the language of struggle, the revolutionary class struggle against the exploiters andoppressors of the people. Our revolution will be for them the thing that ismore authoritarian and will be an act whereby the people will impose its willby all means at his disposal and if necessary by force of arms.

These enemies of the people, who are they? They are unmasked in the eyes of the people during the events of 17 May in their resentment against the revolutionary forces. These enemies of the people, the people identifiedthem in the heat of revolutionary action. They are. :

1) The bourgeoisie voltaic, which differs from the function that each other do, in statebourgeoisie, comprador bourgeoisie and middle bourgeoisie.
– The statebourgeoisie: It is this fraction that is known as the bourgeoisie of political and bureaucratic. It’s a monopoly bourgeoisie that has enriched political unlawfully and villainous. She used the state apparatus as the capitalist industrial uses its means of production to accumulate capital gains from the exploitation of labor power of workers. This fraction of the bourgeoisie willnever give up voluntarily to its former advantages to assist, passive torevolutionary transformations underway.
– The commercial bourgeoisie: The fraction of its activities by itself, is tied to imperialism through multiple links. The removal of imperialist domination means to her death from “the goose that lays the golden egg.” Therefore it will oppose with all his strength to this revolution. In this category are recruited by such rogue traders who seek to starve the people by withdrawing from circulation all food for speculation and economic sabotage.
– The middle class: This section of the bourgeoisie voltaic, although ties with imperialism, competes with it for market control. But as it is weaker economically, it is being squeezed out by imperialism. She has grievances against imperialism, but also afraid of the people and this fear may lead to front with imperialism. However, because the imperialist domination of our country from playing its proper role of national bourgeoisie, some of its elements, in some respects, might be sympatheticto the revolution which puts them objectively on the side of people. However, between these elements coming to the revolution and the people, we mustdevelop a revolutionary mistrust. For, in this guise to hasten the revolutionopportunists of all kinds.

2) The retrograde forces that draw their power from the traditional structures of feudal society. These forces, in their majority, were able to oppose a firm resistance to French colonial imperialism. But since our country’s accession to national sovereignty, they have stood together with the reactionary bourgeoisie to oppress the people of Upper Volta. These forces have kept the peasant masses in a situation of a reservoir from which they were engaged in bidding wars electioneering. To safeguard their interests which are common to those of imperialism and opposed to those of the people, these reactionary forces are most often used decadent values of our traditional culture that persists in rural areas. To the extent that our revolution is to democratize the social relations in our country, to empower farmers to make their scope more education and more knowledge for their own economic and cultural emancipation, there actionary forces oppose it.

These are the enemies of the people in this revolution, the enemies that the people identified himself during the events of May. It is these individuals who then constituted the main body of marchers isolated, protected by a military cordon, which showed their class support the plan already dying from the coup and reactionary pro-imperialist. Outside of classes and social strata reactionary and anti-revolutionary listed above, the rest of the population is the people of Upper Volta. A people which takes the imperialist domination and exploitation an abomination and has continued to manifest in the concrete struggle daily against the neo-colonial regimes.

This people in this revolution includes:

1) The working class voltaic, young and small, but has managed to prove in his constant struggles against the employers, it is a really revolutionary class. In this revolution is a class that has everything togain and nothing to lose. She has no means of production to lose, she has no piece of property to defend in the context of the old neo-colonial society. By cons, she is convinced that the revolution is his business, because it would grow up and fortified.

2) The petty bourgeoisie is a broad social layer very unstable and very often hesitates between the cause of the masses and that of imperialism. The vast majority, it always ends up siding with the masses. It includes the most diverse elements including: small shopkeepers, petty-bourgeois intellectuals (staff, students, pupils, private sector employees,etc..) Artisans.

3) The voltaic peasantry is, in its vast majority, consisting of small farmers attached to the property piecemeal because of the gradual disintegration of the collective ownership since the introduction of the capitalist mode of production in our country. Commodity relations dissolve more community ties, and their place is established private ownership of means of production. In this new situation created by the penetration of capitalism in the countryside, peasant voltaic which is linked to the small production, embodies the bourgeois relations of production. So, given all these considerations, the peasantry voltaic is part of the class of the petty bourgeoisie. In the past and its present situation, it is the social layer that has paid the highest tribute to the domination and imperialist exploitation. The situation of economic and cultural backwardness that characterizes ourcountryside has long held away from the mainstream of progress and modernization, and contained in a reservoir of political reactionaries.However it has an interest in the revolution and is the point of view of numbers, the main force.

4) The lumpen-proletariat is the class of itemswhich downgraded because of their status as unemployed, are predisposed to being in the pay of the reactionary forces and cons-revolutionaries for the execution of their dirty tasks. Insofar as the revolution will convert them into useful occupation, they may be his strongest supporters.

The nature and scope of the August Revolution

Revolutions occurring around the world do not resemble. Every revolution brings originality that distinguishes it from others. Our revolution, there volution of August, is no exception to this finding. It takes into account the peculiarities of our country, its degree of development and subjection to the capitalist imperialist world system.

Our revolution is a revolution taking placein a backward agricultural country, where the weight of tradition andideology secreted by a type of feudal social organization, weighs heavily on the masses. It is a revolution in a country which, because of the domination and exploitation that imperialism has on our people, has changed the status of colony was this country, that of neo-colonial. It is a revolution happening in a country still characterized by the absence of a working class conscious of its historic mission and organized and therefore do not possess the traditionof revolutionary struggle. It is a revolution happening in a small continental country, when, internationally, the revolutionary movement is crumbling day by day without the hope of seeing visible form a homogenous block capable of driving and support almost revolutionary movements emerging.

This set of historical circumstances, geographical and sociological gives some impression peculiar to our revolution. The August Revolution was a revolution which has a dual character: it is a democratic and popular revolution. Its primary tasks of the liquidation of domination and imperialist exploitation,the cleaning campaign of all social barriers, economic and cultural conditions that maintain it in a state of backwardness. From this derives its democratic character. What the masses are involved voltaic full part in this revolution,and consequently are mobilizing around democratic slogans and revolutionary translate into action their own interests opposed to those of the reactionary classes allied to imperialism, it derives its popular character. This popular character of the August revolution lies in the fact that instead of the old state machine is built a new machine capable of guaranteeing the democratic exercise of power by the people and for the people.

Our revolution has well characterized, while being an anti-imperialist revolution,is still done within the limits of bourgeois social and economic regime. In conducting the analysis of social classes of society voltaic, we supported the idea that the bourgeoisie is not voltaic one homogeneous mass reactionary and anti-revolutionary. Indeed, what characterizes the bourgeoisie of under developed countries in the capitalist relation is their congenital inability to revolutionize society like the bourgeoisie of the 1780s European countries, that is to say when it was still a rising class.

Such are the characteristics and limitations of this revolution triggered in Upper Volta since August 4, 1983. Have a clear understanding and definition of its exact content protects us from the dangers of diversion and excesses that could jeopardize thevictorious march of the revolution. All those who took up the cause of the
August Revolution penetrate the guideline so clear to them perform their role of conscious revolutionaries and, in true fearless and tireless propagandists, as do a broadcast among the masses. It is not enough to say revolutionary, it must also be imbued with the profound significance of the revolution which one is a strong supporter. This is the best way to better defend against attacks and disfigurements that cons-revolutionaries are sure to oppose it. Learn to link revolutionary theory with revolutionary practice will be the decisive test to distinguish now consistent revolutionaries of all those whocome to the revolution driven by motives unrelated to the revolutionary cause.

The sovereignty of the people in the exercise of revolutionary power

A distinctive feature of the August Revolution, as we have said, which gives it its popular character, is that it is the movement of the immense majority in favor of the immense majority. It is a revolution made by the masses voltaic themselves with their slogans and their aspirations. The objective of this revolution is to take power by the people. That’s why the first act of the revolution, after the Proclamation of August 4, was sent to people calling for the creation of Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR).

The NRC believes that for this to be truly popular revolution, it will proceed with the destruction of the state machine neocolonial and organize a new machine capable of guaranteeing the sovereignty of the people. The question of how popular this power is exercised, how that power should be organized is a keyissue for the future of our revolution. The history of our country until now has been mainly dominated by the exploiting classes and conservative dictatorship exercised their anti-democratic and anti-people, through their stranglehold on politics, economics, ideology, culture, administration and justice.

The revolution’s main objective is to get the power from the hands of the bourgeoisie voltaic allied to imperialism in the hands of the alliance of classes constituting the people. This means that the anti-democratic dictatorship and anti-popular alliance of reactionary social classes in favor of imperialism, the people in power will now be able to impose its democratic and popular. This democratic power and popular will be the foundation, the foundation of revolutionary power in Upper Volta. It will work the primary total conversion of the entire state machine with its laws, its administration,courts, police, army, which had been shaped to serve and protect the selfish interests of the reactionary classes and strata. Its task will be to organize the fight against the intrigues cons Revolutionaries reconquest of “Paradise Lost” to completely crush the resistance of reactionary nostalgia of the past. And that is where the need and role of RDC as a fulcrum of the masses to attack the citadels and cons-revolutionary reactionaries.

For a proper understanding of the nature, role and functioning of the RDC

The building of people’s democratic state that is the ultimate goal of the August revolution is not and will not work a single day. It is an arduous task that will require us enormous sacrifices. The democratic revolution that requires us to decentralization and devolution of administrative power to bring government closer to the people, to make the commonwealth a matter that concerns everyone. In this immense work long term, we have begun torethink the administrative map of the country for greater efficiency. We also undertook to renew the management of administrative services in a morerevolutionary.

At the same time, we have “clear” and military officials who, for various reasons, can not keep pace with this revolution. We still have much to do and we are aware. The National Council of the Revolution, which is in the revolutionary process initiated from August 4 to the design, management and control of national life as the political, economic and social,must be instances authorities in the various sectors of national life.

And therein lies the deeper meaning of the creation of CDRs which are the representatives of revolutionary power in the villages, urban neighborhoods, places of work. The CDRs are organizing genuine people in the exercise of revolutionary power. It is the instrument that has earned the people to get truly sovereign of his destiny and thereby extend its control in all areas of society. The weapons of the people, people power, the wealth of the people, this will be the people who manage and CDRs are there for.

About their roles,they are huge and diverse. Their primary mission is to organize the entire people of Upper Volta to engage in revolutionary struggle. The people in the CDRs and organized not only acquires the right to examine the problems of its future, but also participates in decision-making about its future and its execution. Theory just as the revolution to destroy the order former and, instead, build a new type of society can not be conducted only by those whohave an interest. The CDRs are then the assault detachments that will address all sources of resistance. They are the builders of the Upper Volta revolutionary. They are the leaven that will bring the revolution in all provinces, all of our villages, all public and private services, all homes, allbackgrounds.

To this end, the revolutionaries in the CDR must compete hardin the following key tasks:

1) Action on behalf of members of the CDR: it is up to revolutionaries the political education of their comrades. The CDR must be schools for political education. The CDRs are the appropriate frameworkswhere activists discuss the decisions of higher bodies of revolution, the NRCand the government.

2) Action on behalf of the masses is to train them to massively adhere to the objectives of NRC by propaganda and agitation fearless and relentless. A propaganda and false slander of the reaction, the CDR must know oppose propaganda, an explanation appropriate to the revolutionary principle that only the truth is revolutionary. The CDRs need to be attentive to the masses to realize their mindset, their needs, to inform intime the NRC and do about specific proposals. They are invited to discussissues pertaining to enhancing the interests of the masses, supporting the initiatives taken by them. Direct contact with the masses, popular, through regular open meetings where issues are discussed that interest is an over riding need for the CDR if they want help for the correct application of the NRC guidelines. Thus, in the propaganda action, the NRC’s decisions willbe explained to the masses. Be explained as all measures designed to improve their living conditions. The CDR must struggle with the masses of urban and rural against their enemies and adversity of nature, to transform their material and moral.

3) The CDR will work rationally illustrating a feature of our revolution: rigor. Therefore, they must develop coherent action plans and ambitious binding on all members. Since August 4, the date has now become history for our people, answering the call of the NRC, the Voltaic have developed initiatives to develop the CDR. And the RDC were born in villages in the districts of cities, soon on the workplace, in services, infactories, in the army. All this is the result of the spontaneous action of the masses. It should now work on their internal structure on a clear basis, and their organization at the national level. That is what is currently working onthe General Secretariat of National CDR. Until the work of reflections which are currently based on the experience already accumulated, out of the final results, we will only sketch the outline and general guiding principles of the functioning of the CDR. The first idea continued with the creation of the CDR is in the democratization of power. The CDR becoming the organs through which the people exercise the power under the local central government devolved to the NRC. The NRC is outside foundation of the national congress,the supreme power. It is the governing body of any edifice whose guiding principle is democratic centralism. Democratic centralism is based in part on the subordinate bodies of the lower level organizations to the next level withthe highest NRC which is subordinate to all organizations. On the other hand, it is democratic centralism as the elective principle is de rigueur at every level and autonomy of local bodies is known to all matters within their jurisdiction, however, within the limits and compliance with guidelines drawn by the higher court.

The revolutionary morality in the RDC

The revolution aimed at transforming society in all respects, economic, social and cultural rights. It aims to create a new Upper Volta, with morality ands ocial behavior examples that inspire admiration and trust of the masses. The neo-colonial domination has placed our company in a rotting as it will take years to purify it. But activists CDR must forge a new consciousness and a new behavior to set a good example to the masses. By revolution, we must ensure our own qualitative transformation. Without a qualitative transformation of the very people who are supposed to be the architects of the revolution, it is virtually impossible to create a new society free of corruption, theft, lies, and individualism in general. We must strive to align our actions with our words, watch our social behavior so as not to be open toattack by cons-revolutionaries who are on the lookout. To have continually inmind the interest of the masses premium on self-interest will protect us allastray.

The activism of some activists cherishing the dream-revolutionary cons of raising property and profits through the CDR must be denounced and fought. The star must be eliminated. The sooner these deficiencies will be addressed, the better for the revolution. The revolutionary from our point of view is the one who knows how to be humble while being more specific in the tasks entrusted to it. It does it without bragging and expects no reward. Lately we see that elements who took an active part in the revolution and who expected to do so, that they are reserved for privileged treatment, honors, important positions are engaged, out of spite, a undermining because they have not been successful. This is proof that they participated in the revolution without understanding the real objectives. There is no revolution to replace the old potentate simply reversed. We laugh not participate in the revolution in a vindictive motivation driven by the desirefor a win-win situation: “Get out of here I’ve to start.” This kind of motive is alien to the ideal of the August Revolution and those who wear their flaws show of petty bourgeois Situationists when it is not their opportunism-consdangerous revolutionaries.

The image of the revolutionary that NRC intends to impress the conscience of all is that of the militant who is one with the masses, who has faith in them and respect them. It disposes of any attitude of defiance vis-à-vis them. He does not consider himself a master at which these masses owe obedience and submission. Instead, he starts to school,listen carefully and pay attention to their opinions. It disposes of authoritarian methods worthy of the reactionary bureaucrats.

The Revolutionis distinguished from the devastating anarchy. It requires discipline and best course of action. Vandalism and adventurous actions of any kind, instead of strengthening the revolution by the accession of the masses, weaken and push away from her the teeming masses. Therefore, the members of the CDRs have to raise their sense of responsibility before the people and seek to inspire respect and admiration. These deficiencies are most often an ignorance of the nature and objectives of the revolution. And to protect us, we must immerse ourselves in the study of revolutionary theory. The theoretical study raises our understanding of the phenomena, clarifies our actions and protects us from many presumptions. We now need to pay particular attention to this aspect of the issue and strive to be examples that encourage others to follow us.

For a revolutionizing of all sectors of voltaic society

All political regimes which have succeeded so far have struggled to establish a set of measures for better management of the neo-colonial society. The changes in these regimes was limited to the establishment of new teams in the continuity of the neo-colonial power. None of these regimes did not and could initiate a challenge to the socio-economic foundations of societyvoltaic. That’s why they all failed.

The August Revolution is not intended to create a regime more in Upper Volta. She comes out with all schemes known so far. Its ultimate objective of building a new society voltaic within which the citizen voltaic animated revolutionary consciousness will be the architect of his own happiness, ahappiness worth the effort it has made.

To do this, the revolution will be,whatever the conservative and reactionary forces, a total upheaval andprofound spare no area, no area of economic activity, social and cultural. The revolutionizing of all areas, from all sectors of activity, is the slogan which is the present moment. Height of the guideline so clear, every citizen, at whatever level he is, must undertake to revolutionize the industry.

Already,the philosophy of revolutionary changes affect the following areas:
-I) The national army;
-II) The political status of women;
-III) The economic construction.

I)The national army: its place in the People’s Democratic Revolution

According to the defense doctrine of Upper Volta revolutionary conscious people can not entrust the defense of his country to a group of men, whatever their skills. People recognize themselves assume thedefense of their homeland. To this end, our military is only one posting more specialized than the rest of the people for the tasks of internal security and external Upper Volta. Similarly, although the health of Upper Volta is the case of the people and Voltaic each individual, and there exists a more specialized medical and devoting more time to the issue of public health.

Revolutionary Armed Forces national dictatesthree missions:
-1) Being able to fight any enemy inside and out, and participate in military training from the rest of the people. Which implies increased operational capacity of each member being a competent fighter instead of the old army was a mass of employees.
-2) Participate in national production. Indeed, the new military must live and suffer among the people it belongs to. Gone are the budget-army. Now, apart from weapons handling, it is in the field, it will raise herdsof cattle, sheep and poultry. It will build schools and clinics which it shall operate, maintain roads and transport by air mail, the sick and agricultural products across regions.
-3) Train each military revolutionary activist. Gone are the days when we claimed the reality of the neutrality and apolitical nature of the army while doing it the bulwark of reaction and the guarantor of imperialist interests!

Gone are the days when our national army behaved like a body of foreign mercenaries in the territory conquered! That time is now gone forever. Armed with the political and ideological training, our soldiers,NCOs and our officers involved in the revolutionary process will cease to be potential criminals to become conscious revolutionaries, being among the people as a fish in water.

Year to serve the revolution, the People’s National Army will place all military who despises his people, and violates the bullies. An army of people serving people, this is the new army that we will build in place of the neo-colonial army, a veritable instrument of oppression and repression at the hands of the reactionary bourgeoisie who uses it to dominate the people.

Such an army, even in terms of its internal organization and operating principles will be fundamentally different from the old army. Thus, instead of blind obedience of the soldiers vis-à-vis their superiors, subordinates vis-à-vis executives, will develop ahealthy attitude that, while strict, is based on conscious adherencemen and troops. Contrary to the views of reactionary officers led by the colonial spirit, the politicization of the army’s revolutionization,does not mean the end of the discipline. Discipline in an army haspoliticized a new content. It will be a revolutionary discipline. That is to say, a discipline that draws its strength from the fact that the officerand the soldier’s rank and non-graded is worth about human dignity and differ from each other only by their practical tasks and theirrespective responsibilities.

Such a strong understanding of relationships between men, military officers must respect their menlove them and treat them fairly. Here too, the Committees for theDefense of the Revolution have a fundamental role to play. CDRmilitants within the army must be tireless pioneers of building thenational army People of the State Democratic People whose main tasks will be :
– 1) Internally, the. rights and interests of the people, maintainingrevolutionary order and the safeguarding of democratic power andpopular.
– 2) On the external front, defending territorial integrity.

II) The woman voltaic: its role in the People’s Democratic Revolution

The weight of old traditions of our society devotes to the rank of the woman beast of burden. All the evils of neo-colonial society, the woman suffers doubly: first, it is experiencing the same suffering that man, and secondly, it suffers from other human suffering. Our revolution affects all the oppressed, those who are exploited in today’s society. It therefore concerns a woman, because the basis of its domination by man is in the system of organization of political and economic life of society.

The revolution, changing the socialorder that oppresses women, creates the conditions for genuine emancipation. Women and men in our society are all victims of oppression and imperialist domination. That is why they are fighting the same battle.

Revolution and liberation of women go together. And this is not an act of charity or a burst of humanism than talking about the emancipation of women. It is a fundamental necessity for the triumph of the revolution. Women wear them on the other half of the sky.

Create a new mentality in women voltaic allowing it to assume the fate of the country along side the man is a primary task of the revolution. It is the same transformation to bring in the attitudes of man vis-à-vis women. Until now women have been excluded from decision-making levels. The revolution, empowering women, creating the conditions for releasing the lead combatant women. The NRC, inits revolutionary political work for the mobilization, organization and unity of all forces of the nation and the woman will not be outdone. She will be involved in all the battles we have to undertake the various barriers againstthe neo-colonial society and building a new society. She will be involved atall levels of design, decision and execution, organization of the life of the entire nation.

The ultimate goal of all this grand enterprise is to build a freeand prosperous society where women will be equal to men in all areas.However, it should have a fair understanding of the issue of emancipation of women. It is not a mechanical equality between man and woman. Acquire habits known to man: drink, smoke, wear trousers. That is not the emancipation of women. This is not the acquisition of qualifications which willmake women equal to men or more emancipated. The degree is not a pass for emancipation.

The real emancipation of women is one that empowers the woman, whocombines in productive activities, the various struggles facing the people. The real emancipation of women is one that commands respect and esteemof man. Emancipation as freedom allows itself does not, it is won. And it is forwomen themselves to advance their claims and take action to make themsucceed. In this, the Democratic People’s Revolution will create thenecessary conditions to enable women to fully realize voltaic and completely.For, is it possible to liquidate the operating system now operated women whoconstitute more than half of our society?

III)An independent national economy, self-sufficient and planned to servea democratic society and popular.

The process of revolutionary transformations undertaken since August 4 is the main agenda of democratic and popular reform. Thus, the National Revolutionary Council is aware that building a national economy,independent, self-sufficient and planned through the radical transformationof present society, transformation itself requires major reforms:
– Land reform
– The reform of the administration
– School reform
– The reform of the structures of production and distribution in the modern sector.

Land reform will aim at:
– Increased labor productivity through better organization of farmers and the introduction at the rural world of modern agricultural techniques
– The development of diversified agriculture in conjunction with regional specialization
– The abolition of all barriers specific to traditional socio-economic structures that oppress the peasants
– Finally, make agriculture the main stay of industrial development.

This is possible by giving full meaning to the slogan of self-sufficiency infood, too old by dint of having been declared without conviction. This will be the first bitter struggle against nature which, however, is no more thankless here than in other peoples who conquered wonderfully agriculturally. The National Council of the Revolution did not sooth illusions gigantissimes projects, sophisticated. Instead, many small achievements in the agricultural system will make our country a vast field, an infinite series of farms. It will then fight against the starving of the people, speculators and capitalist farming of any kind. This will be the protection against imperialist domination of our agriculture, in orientation, the looting of our resources and unfair competition in our local production by imports that have merit as for their packaging evil bourgeois snobbery. Remunerative prices and industrial unitswill provide food to farmers markets for their produce in any season.

Administrative reform aims at making operational the administration inherited from colonization. To do this, it will get rid of all the ills that characterize it, namely the heavy bureaucracy, vexatious and its consequences, and conduct a comprehensive review of the articles of the Civil Service. The reform will lead to a low administrative cost, long eroperative and flexible.

The School Reform aims to promote a new direction of education and culture. She will lead the transformation of the school an instrument of revolution. The graduates who come out to be, not to serve their own interests (that of) the exploiting classes, but to serve the masses. The revolutionary education which will be provided in the new school will instill in each an ideology, personality voltaic which rids the individual of any mimicry. Students teach students to critically assimilate and positive ideas and experiences of other peoples, will be one of the missions of the school in a democratic society and popular.

To end illiteracy and obscurantism, he will focus on mobilizing all energies to organizing the masses to educate them and create in them the thirst for learning by showing them disadvantages of ignorance. Any policy to fight against illiteracy, even without the participation of key stakeholders is doomed to failure.

As for culture in a democratic society and popular, it will take a triple nature : national, revolutionary and popular. Anything that is anti-national, anti-revolutionary and anti-people should be banned. On the contrary, our culture has celebrated the dignity, courage, nationalism and the major human virtues will be magnified.

Revolutionary People’s Democratic create conditions conducive to the emergence of a new culture. Our artists have the freedom to go boldly forward. They should seize the opportunity presented to them to increase our global culture. That writers put their pens in the service of revolution. That musicians sing not only the glorious past of our people butalso its future bright and promising. The revolution expects them to know our artists describe reality, make images live, express them in melodious notes while telling our people the right path leading towards a better future. She expects them to bring their creative genius in the service of a culture voltaic,national, revolutionary and popular.

It should be known to draw on what is good in the past, that is to say in our traditions, it is positive in foreign cultures, to give a new dimension to ourculture. Inexhaustible source for creative inspiration of the masses lies in the masses. Learn to live with the masses, engage in the popular movement,share the joys and sufferings of the people, work and fight with him, shouldbe the major concerns of our artists. Before filing, the question : who destineus our creation? If we believe that it is for the people that we create, then we need to know clearly what the people, what are its components, what are his aspirations

The reform in the structures of production and distribution of our economy ,reforms in this area aims to progressively establish effective control over thepeople voltaic circuits of production and distribution. For without a truemastery of these circuits, it is virtually impossible to build an independent economy for the people.

People of Upper Volta!

Fellow activists of the revolution!

The needs of our people are great. Meeting these needs requires revolutionary changes to be undertaken in all areas.

Thus in the health field and (that) of welfare for the masses, the objectivescan be summarized in the following:- A health to everyone.- The implementation of assistance and protection of maternal andchild health.- A policy of immunization against communicable diseases byincreasing immunization campaigns.- An awareness of the masses to acquire good health habits.All these objectives cannot be achieved without the commitment of themasses aware of themselves in battle in the revolutionary orientation of health services.In the area of housing, an area of crucial importance, we must undertake avigorous policy to stop property speculation, exploitation of workers by therate-setting excessive rents. Important steps must be taken in this domain:- Establish reasonable rents.- Make the rapid developments of neighborhoods.- Develop large-scale construction of modern houses in sufficient
numbers and accessible to employees.

A major concern of NRC is the union of different nationalities that make up the Upper Volta in the common fight against the enemies of our revolution. There are in fact in our country, a multitude of ethnic groups that are distinguished from each other by their language and customs. That all these nationalities that make up the nation of Upper Volta. Imperialism in its policy of divide and rule, has striven to exacerbate the contradictions between them, to pit against each other. The political will of NRC to the union of thesedifferent nationalities that live in equality and have equal chances of success. To this end, particular emphasis will be placed on :
– The economic development of different regions.
– Encourage economic exchanges between them.
– Fighting between ethnic prejudice, resolve disputes between them ina spirit of union.
– Chastise those who instigate divisions.

Given all the problems our country faces, the revolution appears to be a challenge we must, guided by the will to conquer, overcome with the effective participation of the masses mobilized within the CDR.

In the near future with the development of sectoral programs, throughout the territory of Upper Volta is a vast work site where the support of all Voltaic valid and working age will be required to fight without thank you that wedeliver to transform the country into a prosperous and bright, a countrywhere people will be the sole master of material and immaterial wealth of the nation.

Finally, we must define the place of revolution in the voltaic worldrevolutionary process. Our revolution is part of the global movement forpeace and democracy against imperialism and all kinds of hegemony. Wetherefore strive to establish diplomatic relations with other countriesregardless of their political and economic system based on the followingprinciples:
– Mutual respect for independence, territorial integrity and nationalsovereignty.
– The mutual non-aggression.
– The non-intervention in internal affairs.
– Trade with all countries on an equal footing and based on mutualbenefits.

Our solidarity and support to activists go against national liberationmovements fighting for independence of their country and the liberation of their peoples. This support is particularly:
– To the people of Namibia under the leadership of SWAPO.
– The Sahrawi people in their struggle to recover their territory.
– To the Palestinian people for their national rights.

In our struggle, the African anti-imperialist allies are our goals. Therapprochement with those countries is necessitated by the neo-colonialclusters that occur on our continent.

Long live the People’s Democratic Revolution!

Long live the National Council of the Revolution!

Homeland or death, we shall overcome!

Source :

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