This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.
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THE MAOIST INTERNATIONALIST MOVEMENT
MIM Notes No. 52 MAY 1991
MIM Notes speaks to and from the viewpoint of the
world's oppressed majority, and against the
imperialist-patriarchy. Pick it up and wield it in
the service of the people. support it, struggle
with it and write for it.
IN THIS ISSUE:
1. GEORGIA DECLARES INDEPENDENCE
2. MYTHS ABOUT MAOISM
3. DRUGS RAVAGE GHETTO COMMUNITIES
6. UTAH WANTS MORE FROM NAVAJO NATION
7. NO COUNTRY RECOGNIZES TIBET
8. NATIONALISM REBORN IN CHINA?
9. EVERY DAY IS EARTH DAY
10. BABY KILLING
11. MAY DAY
12. MOHAWK LEADERS FACE TRIAL
13. REVIEWS: NEW JACK CITY, THE DOORS, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
14. FREE TRADE? THE U.S.-MEXICO TRADE AGREEMENT HAS LITTLE TO DO
15. KURDISH REBELS FALTER
16. ALBANIA GRASPS WESTERN CAPITALISM
17. CHINA'S COMMUNIST COVER-UP
18. WHAT'S A PIG QUESTION?
19. SECTARIAN REVIEW: INTERNATIONALISM; INTERNATIONALIST PERSPECTIVE;
20. UNDER LOCK & KEY: NEWS FROM PRISONS AND PRISONERS
The Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM) is a
revolutionary communist party that upholds
Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, comprising the collection
of existing or emerging Maoist internationalist
parties in the English-speaking imperialist
countries and their English-speaking internal
semi-colonies, as well as the existing or emerging
Spanish-speaking Maoist internationalist parties
of Aztlan, Puerto Rico and other territories of
the U.S. Empire. MIM Notes is the newspaper of
MIM. Notas Rojas is the newspaper of the Spanish-
speaking parties or emerging parties of MIM.
MIM is an internationalist organization that works
from the vantage point of the Third World
proletariat; thus, its members are not Amerikans,
but world citizens.
MIM struggles to end the oppression of all groups
over other groups: classes, genders, nations. MIM
knows this is only possible by building public
opinion to seize power through armed struggle.
Revolution is a reality for North America as the
military becomes over-extended in the government's
attempts to maintain world hegemony.
MIM differs from other communist parties on three
main questions: (1) MIM holds that after the
proletariat seizes power in socialist revolution,
the potential exists for capitalist restoration
under the leadership of a new bourgeoisie within
the communist party itself. In the case of the
USSR, the bourgeoisie seized power after the death
of Stalin in 1953; in China, it was after Mao's
death and the overthrow of the "Gang of Four" in
1976. (2) MIM upholds the Chinese Cultural
Revolution as the farthest advance of communism in
human history. (3) MIM believes the North American
white-working-class is primarily a non-
revolutionary worker-elite at this time; thus, it
is not the principal vehicle to advance Maoism in
MIM accepts people as members who agree on these
basic principles and accept democratic centralism,
the system of majority rule, on other questions of
"The theory of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin is
universally applicable. We should regard it not as
dogma, but as a guide to action. Studying it is
not merely a matter of learning terms and phrases,
but of learning Marxism-Leninism as the science of
-- Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 208
* * *
GEORGIA DECLARES INDEPENDENCE
Georgia joined the Baltic states in a declaration of independence
from the Soviet Union in April. Georgia was one of the six
republics which had boycotted Mikhail Gorbachev's referendum of
March 17. On March 31, Georgian separatists, led by President
Zviad Gamsakhurdia, held an independent plebiscite for secession.
The question was: "Do you agree that the state independence of
Georgia should be restored on the basis of the independence act of
May 26, 1918?"(1) Georgia had obtained a brief period of
independence from Czarist Russia after 1918. Although it did not
formally join the Union until 1936, the Soviets had established a
socialist government in Georgia by 1921.
The vote received overwhelming support--including 98% of those
voting--over the protests of minority national groups within
Georgia, including the Ossetians. Georgia's formal declaration of
independence from the Soviet Union was made on April 9,
commemorating the second anniversary of the deaths of 19 Georgian
protesters who were killed in Tbilisi by Soviet troops. The
declaration was made as a unanimous decision by the Georgian
Ossetians at war in Georgia
Soviet-drawn national boundaries between the republics split
Ossetia, with the larger portion of North Ossetia in Russia and
the smaller area--South Ossetia--in Georgia. The provisional
Georgian government headed by Gamsakhurdia has refused to
recognize Ossetia by rescinding South Ossetia's status as a semi-
autonomous region in December 1990. In response, the Ossetians
declared independence from Georgia, which prompted a quick
deployment of Georgian militia troops to the Ossetian region.(3)
The South Ossetians are fighting an open civil war with the
Georgians which has had mounting casualties over the last three
months. As of April 8, at least 60 people have been killed in the
conflict.(4) Georgia is the first of the secessionist republics to
form an effective militia force. In this it is distinct from the
Baltic republics which have focused on either non-violent
resistance or largely symbolic displays of armed defense. Georgia
has also distinguished itself by fighting not only with the Soviet
troops, but also with ethnic minorities within Georgia. The
Georgian government has asserted that the Ossetian nationalist
movement was manufactured by the Soviet government in order to
subvert the credibility of the Georgian independence movement.
Soviet troops in Ossetia
Faced with the secession of Ossetia and Georgia, as well as civil
war between the two, Gorbachev deployed 1,500 Interior Ministry
troops to the Ossetian region to restore order.(5) Gorbachev has
also declared that both independence movements are
unconstitutional, a statement that appears to be formally true,
The Ossetians, while agitating for their own independence, have
requested the aid of the Union troops in driving off the Georgian
militia. Gorbachev's interest in Georgia is understandable in
terms of both economic and strategic considerations. The Georgian
economy comprises a critical portion of Soviet procurement of
coal, manganese and forest products, as well as important
agricultural resources of grain, fruit, tea and wine. The military
strategic importance of Georgia arises largely through its borders
with Turkey (a NATO alliance country) and the Black Sea.(2)
The troops have been ineffective in restoring order, since most of
the Georgian-Ossetian fighting has been between roving armed gangs
carrying out reprisals and looting on a small scale. Food-relief
convoys to Ossetia have been attacked and robbed. Fighting and
failure of local economies have created tens of thousands of
refugees, with Ossetians fleeing north to Russia and Georgian
refugees fleeing south into Georgia. Rumors have circulated of
Soviet troops selling their weapons to local gangs.(4)
In solidarity with Ukranian and Byelorussian miners who had been
striking for six weeks, on April 10 Georgian President
Gamsakhurdia called for a general strike at all centrally operated
enterprises and Black Sea ports.(6) By the next day, the Georgians
had closed railway borders with Russia and Armenia, preventing
both commercial and passenger traffic to pass through Georgia.(7)
The rail strike continued through mid-April, demanding withdrawal
of the 1,500 Interior Ministry troops.(5)
Georgian national chauvinism
Gamsakhurdia's program for national independence is beginning to
take on fascist overtones, as the parliament comprised of Georgian
majority nationals has intimated that new laws on citizenship will
be exclusive of non-Georgians. He has further promised that those
who take up arms against the new independent Georgian state will
be stripped of citizenship, which would target Ossetian and
Abkhazian groups.(3) By the nature of the fighting, it will of
course be impossible to determine who was involved, and the
ensuing witch-hunt for anti-Georgian ethnic minorities will be
While Georgians hold a significant majority of about two thirds of
the 5.5 million people in the republic, there are significant
minorities. Armenians comprise 9% of the population, Russians
7.4%, and there are smaller groups of Azerbaijanis, Greeks,
Abkhazians, as well as about 65,000 Ossetians--about 1.1%.(2,4)
1. NYT 3/20/91, p. A8; see also MIM Notes 51 4/91, p. 6.
2. NYT 4/10/91, p. A8.
3. NYT 4/1/91, p. A5.
4. NYT 4/9/91, p. A6.
5. Detroit News 4/14/91, p. 3A. For more on changes in the
Interior Ministry, see MIM Notes 50 3/91, p. 1.
6. NYT 4/11/91, p. A1.
7. NYT 4/12/91, p. A7.
* * *
MYTHS ABOUT MAOISM
On Violence: Mao Zedong claimed government responsibility for
800,000 executions between 1949 and 1954. These were popularly
sanctioned executions done in people's trials against the most
hated landlords and pro-Japanese elements who owed blood debts.
But the two most commonly cited "facts" to back the Mao-as-butcher
image are the Great Leap and the Cultural Revolution. The press
speaks of 20 million killed in the Great Leap. In reality, these
deaths of the Great Leap (1958-1960) and its aftermath (1960-61)
are mostly from starvation, not executions.
As for the Cultural Revolution, the Western analysts count all
violence that occurred between 1966-1976 as Mao's responsibility.
Although there were only a handful of Western observers in China
during the Cultural Revolution, most Western journalists attribute
hundreds of thousands or millions of deaths to the Cultural
It is possible that there were millions of deaths during the
Cultural Revolution, but they were not ordered by Mao, who
explicitly ordered that the Cultural Revolution not be violent.
Central Committee directives of the Communist Party said, "When
there is a debate, it should be conducted by reasoning, not by
coercion or force."
MIM shares Mao's own stated philosophy: "What harm is there in not
executing people? Those amenable to labour reform should go and do
labour reform, so that rubbish can be turned into something
useful. Besides, people's heads are not like leeks. When you cut
them off, they will not grow again. If you cut off a head wrongly,
there is no way of rectifying the mistake even if you want to."
MIM does not defend Maoists who don't carry out this philosophy.
On Education: Mao did not oppose education. He opposed Western-
style education because of its use in creating and justifying the
existence of self-interested classes that don't serve the public.
According to Mao, education and intellectuals should only serve
the public--the very community which produces the food and other
goods that intellectuals need to live.
There were people calling themselves Maoists who advocated
attacking intellectuals and 95% of the Communist Party members
during the Cultural Revolution. Mao called these people
ultraleftists. Ultraleftists diverted Mao's attack from the small
number of high-ranking Party members on the capitalist road to
lowly professors with no state power. MIM does not support the
ultraleft line calling for violence against intellectuals.
MIM advocates Marxism-Leninism-Maoism because the advances in
China under Mao's leadership represent the furthest theoretical
and practical developments of socialism since Marx and Lenin.
Maoism's critics have to show a better way forward in practice,
not just complain that China under Mao wasn't perfect, or their
words mean little.
* * *
DRUGS RAVAGE GHETTO COMMUNITIES
Drug-related murders tripled in the United States between 1985 and
1989.(1) The Amerikan government's solution has been to steadily
increase the number of arrests it makes on drug charges. In Los
Angeles alone, arrests on drug violation charges more than doubled
between 1980 and 1989.(2) With no evidence that arrests have done
anything to deter trade, President Bush has requested an 11% raise
in funding to intensify his crackdown.(3) Results of the federal
policy are overcrowded prisons, over-booked courtrooms and an
overload on probation offices since the "war on drugs" was
declared in 1986.(6)
The National Institute on Drug Abuse conducted its largest poll on
casual drug use in December 1990.(4) At best this was a study of
middle class Amerika's drug use as it did not even look at people
in prisons, shelters or treatment facilities. Yet Bush touts this
and other similar studies as reason to increase funding for his
drug war on oppressed communities.
Well more than half of Bush's proposed drug budget for the coming
year will be used for investigations, prosecutions and
imprisonment; the same action plan which has led to a steady
increase in numbers of arrests and convictions since 1980.(7)
"There needs to be a national image... like the American flag,"
said one law enforcement officer of ways to rally the country
behind the drug war.(8) This "national image" is here. With the
president and his "council of war" and their plan of "attack,
repeat, attack"(9) it looks like an occupying army out for the
kill in Amerika's cities.
A study conducted by the Rand Corporation between 1985-87 showed
that 99% of people arrested on distribution charges in Washington,
D.C. were Afrikan Amerikans.(10) Since mandatory minimum
sentencing went into effect on November 1, 1987, anyone convicted
of a drug charge is assured of serving a prison sentence.(11) Yet
because of the volume of cases prosecutors deal with, they are
often willing to offer a reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty
plea or, of course, for information.(12) The effect of the policy
has been "a tremendous influx of drug users and abusers being put
Clearly the people who are being arrested, imprisoned, and
murdered by the cops are the true victims of a society that
creates drug users, provides them with supplies and then punishes
them. The cops, on the other hand, work day and night to protect
the interests of this country's ruling class--which means
punishing the people while doing nothing to stop the trade.
Amerikan imperialism has every interest in keeping potentially
revolutionary masses economically exploited and self-destructive.
In 1988, 21.8% of both Afrikan and Latino families had an income
between $15,000 and $24,999. By contrast, 24.4% of white families
were making $50,000 or more in the same year, with almost equal
numbers falling in the next two higher income brackets.(14) With
economic exploitation at the base, the drug trade completes the
The root problem of the Afrikan Amerikan and Latino economies is
not drugs. Heavy use and sale of drugs in these communities are a
direct result of unrelenting economic repression. Why is the
government bent on destroying economies in ghettoized communities?
It is the only way to keep them economically enslaved, the
crutches holding up the exploitative capitalist economy.
The police need more than just the capitalist dealers to hold
ghettos down though, so they recruit from the ghettos themselves,
adding Afrikan and Latino faces to the army on the streets.
Afrikan officers work most frequently undercover, in the worst
paid and most dangerous branch of the drug war.(15) These officers
are the physical manifestation of the repression of their
communities. Their task and their pay emphasize the gross
capitalist contradictions of the war on the ghettos.
According to the Sentencing Project (a research organization in
Washington, D.C.) one out of every four Black males in that city
is under the control of the corrections system.(16) Amerika's
answer to poverty: feed the poor to the prisons!
People released from prison have much less access to jobs than
before they went in. They are processed into a more desperate
economic situation, more likely to return to drug use, abuse and
distribution. This neatly completes the capitalists' dream cycle.
The masses are put out on the streets, offered again as victims of
1. Washington Post
2. Los Angeles Times 12/16/90
3. Detroit Free Press 2/1/91
4. Detroit News 12/20/90
5. Detroit Free Press 12/20/90
6. Chicago Tribune 10/14/90
7. Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1990
8. Des Moines Register 11/10/90
9. NPR 4/14/91
10. Chicago Tribune 10/15/90
11. Chicago Tribune 11/4/90
12. Los Angeles Times 12/16/90
12. Chicago Tribune 10/14/90
13. Chicago Tribune 9/11/90
14. Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1990
15. Pacific News Service
16. Chicago Tribune 10/15/90
* * *
ANTI-STALINISTS DISTORT HISTORY
The article by "Anti-Stalinist" (MIM Notes 48) and subsequent
response to MC5's critique of that article signed "Tapeworm" (MIM
Notes 50) are very good examples of the distortions of history
which revisionists of all shades are capable of concocting.
"Tapeworm" is not simply attacking Stalin, but is also attacking
Mao, and subsequently the science of Marxism-Leninism and genuine
socialism. "Tapeworm's" letter completely avoids the critique
offered by MC5, and instead resorts to invectives, a typical
device of critics of Marxism who assume a Marxist disguise.
In the letter, Tapeworm accuses Stalin of being responsible for
the current state of affairs in the Soviet Union ("If Stalin ...
But fortunately, he did, and now the future is clear and bright.")
It should be common knowledge that the current regime in the USSR
is the direct descendant of the Khruschev-Brezchnev era, which
began with Khruschev's vicious denunciation of Stalin in 1956 at
the now infamous twentieth congress to the Communist Party (CPSU).
Khruschev accused Stalin of everything imaginable, including being
a "murderer" and a "madman." The denunciation of Stalin was
absolutely necessary in order to set in motion the complete
destruction of socialism and the restoration of capitalism in the
USSR. How, then, can anyone equate the social-imperialist regime
of the USSR today with the achievements made under Stalin?
Furthermore, on this point, the rapid industrialization in the
USSR took place in the 30s, at a time when the entire capitalist
world was in a state of complete economic depression. Does the
critic have any idea what the significance of industrialization
meant at that time? At the very least, it meant that the Soviet
masses would not face the hardships resultant from the Great
Depression, i.e. through a decrease in trade.
Tapeworm's attack against Mao is more subtle, and also involves
more distortions of history. Tapeworm accuses Mao of not opposing
"Soviet repression... of Hungary in 1956, when the president Imre
Nagy was shot."
As far as Hungary is concerned, first of all, the Soviet Union had
not restored capitalism, and was not imperialist in 1956. Second
of all, the "uprising" was instigated by the United States. Third
of all, at that time it was not part of the Chinese policy to
publicly criticize other socialist countries.
The sickening thing about Tapeworm's "analysis" is that s/he
ignores the fact that the Chinese denounced the Soviet invasion of
Czechoslovakia in 1968. All of this, of course, may be ancient
history to some, and seemingly insignificant. Nonetheless, critics
like Tapeworm must be held accountable for their selective
Tapeworm maintains that Mao did not "understand the centrality of
socialist democracy. He was too linked to the past, to Stalin. He
was not able to break the tradition of socialism with no
The reader should ask what on earth is the "centrality of
socialist democracy?" The point the Tapeworm is raising is the old
"democratic socialism" business, propagated by the grandaddy of
all revisionists, Bernstein, and championed by Karl Kautsky.
Much can be said about this debate, but the reader is simply
referred to Lenin's State and Revolution. The point the Tapeworm
and other Social-Democrats and Democratic Socialists continuously
avoid like the plague is that the establishment of socialism
necessarily presupposes the existence of classes, including
capitalists, for a long time, and that the enemies of socialism
come from the remnants of the exploiting classes. Furthermore, and
even more important, imperialist nations hate socialism and they
will do, and have done, anything in their power to sabotage the
newly formed socialist state. How then can there be talk about
"civil liberties" in general, in the abstract?
Will the Tapeworm please investigate the Eastern European
countries which are now "championing" democratic socialism. Please
explain to us why, if democratic socialism is so superior to
"dictatorial" socialism, Lech Walesa is now selling the Polish
workers' labor power to U.S. monopoly capitalists.
As far as Mao's being too "linked to the past": apparently, the
Tapeworm has not bothered to read Mao's "Critique of Soviet
Economics." In this work, Mao criticizes the Soviet policy of
placing emphasis on industry to the neglect of agriculture, for
example. But besides observations made in this book, Mao and the
Chinese people developed a number of "socialist new things" which
critics like the Tapeworm are not interested in studying. The
establishment of the Peoples' Communes, for one, was a fundamental
step forward from state run enterprises and agricultural
collectives. As a matter of fact, if the Tapeworm would only
investigate the mechanisms of the Peoples' Communes, s/he would
see what future socialism will look like, not only in Third World
countries, but also right here in the good old USA.
Finally, Tapeworm is an excellent example of the nihilistic
intellectual's phony Marxist attitude toward the questions of
socialism versus capitalist/imperialism and war and peace.
Imperialism is the cause of the misery and degradation for the
vast majority of the people of the world and only socialism as
exemplified by China under Mao and the Soviet Union under Stalin
can prepare the groundwork for the solution of all the social
evils that exist throughout the world. Stalin made mistakes, some
of them serious, but an investigation of Chinese socialism from
1949 to 1976 reveals that Mao and the Chinese people, especially
during the Cultural Revolution, corrected those mistakes. For
example, the Cultural Revolution was a correction to the "purge
trials." People like the Tapeworm, of course, foam at the mouth in
denouncing the mistakes committed during the Cultural Revolution.
But you see, Tapeworm, you don't understand--the masses learn: in
the ensuing round of socialist revolutions, those mistakes will
also be corrected.
--A West Coast Friend
EDUCATE THE MASSES; DEFEAT BIG BROTHER
All Power to the people! Success to the MIM and educating the
masses. As I ponder upon the state of affairs on a world basis,
which is in a state of serious decay, I am obligated to explain
the fact that I am now here in a brand new 60-odd million dollar
high-tech concentration-camp style prison. The bureaucratic
fascists here are sincere in their objective to have control,
control and more control over me and those who they seriously
consider "incorrigible." Great lengths were made to do this. Of
course those of us in these modern concentration-camp style
prisons are and will be perceptive to the necessary actions of a
prison cadre. An element that will assist in educating and
organizing. Stage by stage the "event,"' the main event can
happen. And MIM is the vanguard party of the people to make it
happen. I know "big brother" is on the job! But ... big brother is
doomed to failure. The vanguard party of the people will lead the
people to victory.
Pamoja Tutashinda (Together we will win),
--A comrade in prison
STATE CAPITALISM:SOCIALISM WITH FAULTS?
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to distribute MIM notes. I
liked the Gender and Revolution section and was impressed with
MIM's thoughts on monogamy. The inclusion of the insert indicates
that MIM is serious about analysis and action on this question,
and for that you must be commended. Also, the Pulse of Capitalism
article was most interesting as it gave a factual presentation of
world-wide capitalism. One thing that I would have enjoyed seeing
is the economic status of the people of oppressed nations or
national minorities in these imperialist nations. For example, the
U.S. imperialists claim that the economy is in a recession. I and
others would claim that Afro-Americans, Latinos, Puerto Ricans,
Virgin Islanders, etc. live in a permanent state of recession.
There is a point I wish to raise here, namely, the state-
capitalist character argument. I do not have firm data on this,
but I feel that socialism as we know it IS socialism with all of
its imperfections and errors. It may be germane or actually
economically correct to call it state-capitalist, but, to my naive
eyes anyway, there is a great difference between the state
capitalism prior to todays free market reforms and the state
capitalism after free market reforms.
I have indicated in previous letters my main attraction to MIM is
its anti-imperialism, pro-environmentalism, pro-gay rights, pro-
national liberationism, and its seriousness in doing the people's
work, along with its trust in the people to get the word out and
to become advanced forces. I appreciate your confidence in me as
an individual and hope to continue closer work.
MC17 responds: MIM appreciates the compliments. To address the
author's comments about state capitalism, s/he is right to say
there is a difference between the state capitalism prior to todays
"free market" reforms and after. But that difference is not
between socialism and capitalism, but rather between one form of
capitalism and another. The important point that you raise which
we must discuss before tackling these differences is that of the
true nature of modern day "socialist" countries.
MIM calls many modern day "socialist" countries state capitalist
for specific economic reasons. For the purpose of this discussion
we can focus on the Soviet Union since it is the most obvious
example, and because one of MIM's main principles that
distinguishes us from other revolutionary groups is our
classification of the USSR as state capitalist.
Many people read and interpret Marx in a dogmatic manner and use
this interpretation to say that the USSR is still socialist
because the workers still have power, the problem is just that the
ones ruling the country now are corrupt. Because the rulers of the
USSR don't have the means of production in their own names
legally, these people (mostly Trotskyists) refuse to identify the
rulers as a bourgeoisie, and therefore see the country as
socialist, with the structure of the dictatorship of the
proletariat still in place.
The problem with this argument is that it takes an overly
legalistic interpretation of Marx's definition of ownership. As
MIM understands Marx, he defines the "owners" of the means of
production to be those who control these means, and profit from
that control. From this definition the people in power in the USSR
are the "owners" and as such deserve the label of bourgeoisie. If
the bourgeoisie is in this position of power then it becomes
impossible to define the country as socialist as Marx used this
The difference between state ownership and private ownership does
not affect who is materially benefiting, merely the manifestations
of this benefit and control. In fact, in the countries where the
state, controlled by the bourgeoisie, owns the means of production
(state capitalist countries) it is often easier for those in power
to repress and exploit the people. Fascist consolidation of power
is already effected and military repression and control are easy
facets of governmental work. From this understanding of state
capitalism it is easy to see why many people in these countries
would see "free market" capitalism as a move to more freedom for
But the really important implication of all this is that only a
social revolution will overthrow those forces in power in the
state capitalist country, just as only a revolution will overthrow
those in power in any capitalist country.
MIM NOTES IS 'BAD JOURNALISM'
We are happily distributing MIM Notes 50 and the Democratic
Socialists of America (DSA) claims it's "bad journalism," our
campus reactionaries call us "commiecrats" or "young communists
looking for a capitalist" and we are learning many lessons of
Feed Iraqi Children!
ANARCHIST FEMINIST DONATES 45 CENTS TO GOVERNMENT
I object to some statements in the "feminism" pullout section of
MIM Notes 50. The section I specifically disagree with is the
article on anarchist feminists. First of all anarchy is just that.
How can you be so presumptuous as to try to tell people how all
anarchists think? Or how all "feminist" anarchists think? I, in
this letter, will not be so foolish as to speak for all
"anarchists" as you did in your newsletter. I will only tell you
what I think.
I believe in the equality of men and women. I believe in equality
of all races. I also believe in equality of all living things on
this earth (or anywhere else for that matter!) In your article you
state that women anarchists believe "that men are the patriarchy
and therefore believe that men cannot be trusted." Again, I refuse
to speak for anyone else, but I (yes I am female) do not believe
that men are the only source of repression or government. Yes I do
trust men as much as I trust women or anyone else. What I'm
against is any kind of government (including Maoist, communist,
capitalist, or any other) except for self government.
--A west coast non-reader
(except for once)
P.S. I found this very important to address to you. So important I
gave my 45 cents to the government to purchase a stamp to send
this! What about you and your contributions to a government you
MC17 responds: The author of this article accuses MIM of
misrepresenting anarchists, but then goes on to present a position
that closely mirrors that ascribed to them by MIM. Perhaps the
author wishes MIM would have noted that there is not uniformity
among the views of all anarchist feminists. This does not change
our basic criticism of anarchy as an ineffective method to end
The post script to this letter is a case in point. The author
would have all of us stop giving money to the government and then,
presumably, somehow the government will just stop functioning.
This anarchist view neglects to notice the entrenched structure
that the government has established to take money from and
brainwash its subjects. This is not a structure that can just be
dissolved away if enough people act individually.
Perhaps the author is privileged enough to exercise relative "self
government," but the author is doing this at the expense of those
who can never have this privilege until capitalism is overthrown.
The entire government and its power structure is propped up by
repression. The author of this letter is against repression and
supports equality, but fails to offer any viable method to achieve
this equality. This amounts to tacit support for the existing
The author fails to realize that communism means the absence of a
government, but that we can not realize this absence without
prolonged struggle against the entrenched capitalist power
structure, a struggle that MIM is organizing and waging while
anarchists are carefully keeping their money out of the hands of
* * *
MIM Notes 51 reported that the Eritrean People's Liberation Front
was fighting a "secessionist war." (p. 3) This is incorrect and
misleading. The EPLF is fighting a war for self-determination from
* * *
UTAH WANTS MORE FROM NAVAJO NATION
he Utah State Division of Indian Affairs is developing a plan for
further economic incorporation of the Navajo nation's population
residing within the borders of Utah.
On April 5 the Utah Permanent Community Impact Board awarded a
$7,500 grant to the state's Division of Indian Affairs to study
how to get the Navajo population to spend its money within Utah
instead of in cities in New Mexico, Colorado or Arizona. It is
part of an overall "economic revitalization" plan for four
southern Utah counties.
The Navajo reservation, which is the largest reservation in size
and population in the United States, is divided by the boundaries
of three states: Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.
Since the demise of the uranium industry in the four-corners
region the economy of the region has plummeted--its greatest
victims being Navajo. Forty percent of all workers laid off from
the White Mesa Uranium Mill near Blanding, Utah were Navajo.
Roughly 40% of the "employable work force on the reservation" had
out-migrated with the collapse of the industry.(1)
Though income of the people remaining on the reservation continues
to decrease, the state of Utah is determined to take what money
the Navajo people have out of the reservation and into their own
Currently, 80-85% of the average Navajo's expendable income is
spent in towns such as Cortez, Col. and Farmington, New Mex.,
which both lie outside the reservation.
Though the Navajo nation officially possesses some minimal
sovereignty, its current limited autonomy is further threatened by
the plan to develop businesses just outside the Utah border of the
Increased economic dependence on Amerika since the 1930s has
altered the status of Native Amerikan nations from "captive
nations" to "internal colonies."(2)
The continued division of the Navajo nation by state boundaries
also perpetuates the colonial situation and "does not foster the
development of a national entity be it Navajo or some other
people," said one Navajo historian.
The Navajo nation in the 1930s and 40s became increasingly
dependent upon wage labor in the mining industry because of forced
stock reduction in the 20s.
In 1868 when the Navajo nation was allowed to return to a portion
of its land after having been imprisoned in Bosque Rodondo, N.M.,
each person was given three sheep or goats to start new herds. In
the 1920s the Federal government stole the majority of the
people's herds, claiming the animals were responsible for the
silting around the Hoover Dam. By the 1950s wage labor was more
than half of the nation's per-capita income.(3)
In the 1960s the Navajo reservation had been completely
incorporated by Amerika.
The 1980 census reported that 59% of all reservation employment
was in transfer economy--money that does not add to tribal
economies. For the Navajo nation this transfer economy was
dominated by fossil fuels and minerals extracted from Navajo land.
Since the discovery of coal and uranium deposits on the Navajo
reservation, the Navajo Tribal Council, established by the Bureau
of Indian Affairs for just such an occasion, has been "renting"
Navajo land to mining companies. In return for stealing and
pillaging the land, polluting and decreasing surface and ground
water, the Navajo Tribal Council has received approximately 1 cent
per ton extracted from Navajo land. The money is paid to the
Tribal Council and the people never see it.
In one case a mining industry which had taken over a woman's land
paid her "in return" one bale of straw for 10 years' "rent."
The new focus on redirecting Navajo earnings represents a further
erosion of national autonomy--depriving the people of their
resources while strengthening the institutions which seek to
deepen their dependence.
--by a comrade
1. Salt Lake Tribune 4/5/91.
2. C. Matthew Snipp, "The Changing Political and Economic Status
of American Indians: From Captive Nations to Internal Colonies."
Journal of Economics and Sociology, 1986.
3. Betty J. Harris, "Ethnicity and Gender in the Global Periphery:
A Comparison of Basotho and Navajo Women." American Indian Culture
and Research Journal, 1990.
* * *
NO COUNTRY RECOGNIZES TIBET
The self-exiled god-king of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, started
drafting a constitution for the independence of Tibet in late
March, and is reportedly moving closer to more hard-line Tibet
activists.(1) Tibet is currently a province of China.
Since about 1988, the Dalai Lama has been moving closer to a
position supporting Tibet's independence, as opposed to autonomy
with a negotiated relationship with the rest of China.(2)
The Dalai Lama spent March drumming up support in Ireland, England
and the United States.
No country yet recognizes Tibet as independent. However, activists
in the Western countries have stepped up their work in opposing
what they call China's genocide of the Tibetan people--the
imposition of martial law there and reported forced abortions and
MIM supports the right of Tibet's people to determine whether or
not it should be independent of China. However, it is not enough
to let the Dalai Lama speak for the people of Tibet, who may have
their own reasons for opposing both the Dalai Lama's theocracy and
China's fascist phony communism.
1. AP 3/22/91.
2. South China Morning Post 3/13/91.
* * *
NATIONALISM REBORN IN CHINA?
China's leader Deng Xiaoping says that Taiwan and Mainland China
will reunite before he dies, and in a major turnaround,(1) older
political leaders of Taiwan's bourgeois dictatorship also want
reunification before they die.(2)
Taiwan is called the Republic of China. The much larger Mainland
China is the People's Republic of China.
In 1949, communist leader Mao Zedong founded the People's Republic
of China and drove the pro-landlord, pro-capitalist and pro-
imperialist Chinese off to Taiwan in the culmination of a decades
long civil war. Since that time Taiwan and Mainland China have
been in a state of war, which Taiwan is expected to end soon.(3)
Ironically, the old right-wingers in Taiwan want reunification,
but some younger voices want Taiwan to achieve independence. At
the root of this is Taiwan's greater wealth. Many Taiwanese are
afraid of losing their economic privileges in reunification.
As in the case of Tibet, the case for independence is not that
clear to MIM. Dismembering state capitalist China into smaller
bourgeois republics instead of one large state capitalist republic
may or may not be a good thing. It is important to notice however
that dynamic countries with booming economies are not the ones
facing the problem of reborn nationalism.
1. UPI 2/6/91.
2. AP 12/27/90.
3. South China Morning Post 12/26/90.
* * *
EVERY DAY IS EARTH DAY
The newly-revived annual environmental holiday came and went on
April 22. With cynicism prevailing among imperialist-country
leftists in the wake of the "collapse of communism" and the
obvious dead-end of most groups working under the banner of
socialism, the environment calls out as a sort of last-resort
If we don't reorganize human societies in a hurry there won't be
much left to work with. But the leap from that ugly reality to
environmentalism-in-the-void is First World cynical fatalism in
There are answers to human social problems, and environmental
destruction cannot be stopped without embracing them. Our
understanding of the Earth's environment and its enemies has grown
by leaps and bounds. New revolutionary endeavors show more and
more promise toward addressing this problem before it's too late.
It is only in the First World that environmental movements have
emerged as escapist fetishes or weak-kneed reform drives.
Mobilizing around environmental issues has been and will be an
important part of broader social movements. Let's replace
production for profit with production for need, democratize the
economy and put the people back in power.
* * *
Well, it turns out Amerika fought the whole damn war for nothing
Amnesty International has corrected itself: there actually is no
evidence that brutal Iraqi soldiers yanked screaming Kuwaiti
babies from their incubators and left them to die on the cold
floors of air-conditioned hospitals, the group now says.
That's like finding out Willie Horton was framed.
The whole ruse helps expose the fallacy of the "human rights"
cause championed by Amnesty and so many others. This doctrine
holds that babies dying from having their incubators taken away is
somehow worse than babies dying from not having any medical care
What were the Iraqis going to do with those incubators, anyway--
use them to produce chemical weapons?
Notes: National Public Radio, Morning Edition 4/19/91.
* * *
May Day, first a cultural rite marking the oncoming spring, took
hold as celebration of labor unity during the international Eight
Hour Day movement in the 1880s--based largely in the United
States--before becoming an international labor day celebrated
almost everywhere else but here.
The battle for a shorter workday generated many positive reforms
which would set the standard for economic improvements for
workers. But it also had an underside.
J. Sakai wrote: "Euro-Amerikan labor increasingly found itself
pressed to organize, to fight the employers, to demand from the
bourgeois state some relief from exploitation and some democratic
rights.... Further, pressed downward by Capital, they sought to
establish a stranglehold on jobs by ruthlessly degrading or
eliminating colonial labor. This consciousness was very sharply
manifested in the 1870s, when these white workingmen became the
eager tools of various factions in the bourgeoisie in the mass
drives to reenslave Afrikans and drive out Chinese--at the same
time engaging in the most vigorous and militant strike waves
against the bourgeoisie."
And finally, "...in this scramble upwards those wretched
immigrants shed, like an old suit of clothes, the proletarian
identity and honor of their Old European past. Now they were true
Amerikans, real settlers who had done their share of the killing,
annexing and looting."
May Day went on to become an international proletarian holiday,
celebrated mostly in the socialist countries, and now largely
ignored even by the descendents of its original beneficiaries.
Notes: J. Sakai, Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat.
* * *
MOHAWK LEADERS FACE TRIAL
More than one year after members of the Mohawk Warriors Society
erected barriers to block access to their land--March 11, 1990--43
Mohawks are now on trial by Canadian authorities.
The Mohawks were trying to block the construction of a private
golf course and condominiums over an ancestral burial ground.
After 78 days, Canadian military forces stormed the Kahnesatake
Reservation and captured Mohawk leaders. (See MIM Notes 43, 44,
Now the accused Mohawks have refused to take an oath on the Bible
for their pre-trial hearings. A Quebec Superior Court judge ruled
they could take a "solemn declaration"--the approved non-Christian
alternative--but Mohawks want to be sworn in by one of their own
spiritual leaders, an alternative the judge will not allow.
Notes: Micmac News (Sydney, Nova Scotia) 3/15/91.
* * *
REVIEW: NEW JACK CITY
New Jack City is a powerful depiction of crack cocaine wreaking
genocide in Amerika's Afrikan communities. Directed by Mario Van
Peebles, the film portrays a violent drug culture with some
authentic-sounding street language. Unfortunately this picture of
drug culture relies on the liberal message that communities need
to rally behind the cops to stop the killing.
We see the rise of drug kingpin Nino Brown, who builds a crack
fortress at a city housing project. Reminiscent of Tony Montana in
Scarface (which pops up in the background of a few scenes),
Peebles glamorizes Nino's power in an attempt to show how crack
corrupts. While the movie points out that poverty is at the root
of the drug epidemic, it falsely attempts to show that the drug
problem can be eliminated without restructuring the rest of
society. Typical liberalism--it makes individual people the
problem, not systems.
In the film, we see gun battles in the playground, ruthless turf
fights over Carter Apartments (the crack fortress), and power
struggles between Nino Brown and his assistants. It depicts a
distorted street reality where the gang dominates life and
everyone is a potential enemy.
The film's answer to the drugs and violence in the Afrikan
community is for everyone to work together, behind a committed
police force. It preaches a liberal assimilation/integration
message as a way to stop crack. This is evident in the cop team
put together to stop Nino Brown. The team is interracial and the
central character, played by rapper Ice T, is a Black undercover
As Nino Brown says in the courtroom when he gets busted, "there
ain't no Uzis made in Harlem." Well, there ain't no drugs made in
Harlem either. The film does not show how drugs got into Harlem in
the first place, or why there is such increasing violence in the
drug trade. Without confronting these questions any solution will
be entirely inadequate to deal with the foundations of the
If Peebles were to have really confronted the roots of drugs and
violence in the inner-city, he would inevitably have had to deal
with the white racist power structure that perpetuates and
instigates Black genocide.
Capitalists are the real drug dealers who create structural
violence in the Black communities, all to squeeze profits from
anything they can. Imperialists exploit the poor Peruvian coca-
leaf growers who can barely survive cultivating a plant that only
serves to destroy people in Amerika's ghettos while the pigs sit
on the sidelines reaping the profits from the drug trafficking and
watching Blacks kill Blacks.
New Jack City is an Amerikan capitalist dream come true. With all
the bad press generated from white cops in L.A. brutally beating
Rodney King, what better solution to an out of hand drug problem
than to get more "Black police turnin' out for the white cop."
Toward the end of New Jack City, we get the uneasy feeling that
while the director demonstrates the short-comings of the criminal
justice system (only because Nino's sentence is "too short"), he
still forges a picture of liberal do-gooders trying to control
drugs through the State. This is clear when he makes Ice T a
mythological hero on a mission. We see him bust crack dudes out in
the streets and later infiltrate Nino Brown's fortress. Toward the
end of the movie he restrains himself from killing Nino, thinking
that the State will do him justice, a very unrealistic expectation
of the State in its service of the capitalist powers.
In reality, drugs are a falsely advertised way for the Black
masses to survive conditions of poverty and oppression. Picking up
an Uzi and selling crack is a form of resistance, in that it can
mean temporary survival. But it is a form of resistance which
plays into imperialist hands, and its a form of "survival" which
(Oliver Stone, Tri-Star, 1991)
This latest Oliver Stone flick is a big hurrah for hedonism that
seems true to what the Doors were--or at least what they were
about. Jim Morrison, their lead singer, was a shoddy poet who sung
captivatingly simple lyrics about love, sex, drugs, etc.--just the
stuff the country was into and still the stuff that Hollywood
knows it can sell big to Amerikans. Hedonism is slightly anti-
authority by nature, but fails when it comes to thrashing the
system or articulating anything better. The sad part of Amerika's
drug culture and the music that accompanies it is that this brand
of anarchy on heroine heaves never gets out of its own (serious)
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
Cool thriller with a strong female lead. Too bad the thrill is
based on sheer homophobia. The main villain is a transvestite, a
would-be transsexual had he not been turned down for the surgery.
There is also plenty of cheerleading for the Federal Bureau of
Investigation. Liberal director Jonathan Demme has said he wanted
to make this a feminist movie, but when women gain power through
the FBI to blast transvestite killers in an ultimate climax, they
are betraying their gender. The FBI is part of the capitalist,
racist power structure that has murdered many proletarians in this
country, notably members of the American Indian Movement and the
Black Panther Party. And whatever the intention, a transvestite
villain plays into the bigoted Amerikan mindset where queers
suffer from some form of mental disease and deserve whatever comes
their way: AIDS, discrimination, death.
* * *
FREE TRADE? THE U.S.-MEXICO TRADE AGREEMENT HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH
n April 7, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari met with
President Bush to discuss a possible Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
between Mexico and the United States. If the agreement
materializes, Mexico will join the United States and Canada in a
North Amerikan free-trade zone to become the most powerful trading
block in the world. Having successfully drawn Canada into an FTA,
Amerika is focused on Mexico now that the country has an agreeable
president. Salinas seeks foreign investment and free trade as part
of his austerity program to privatize and industrialize the
As a prelude to what will become of Mexico if Salinas and Bush
sign an FTA, one only needs to look at the border towns of Mexico.
Under special trade rules lifting most trade restrictions, the
border area has undergone an economic explosion where hundreds of
Amerikan firms have made superprofits. Superprofits are obtained
"over and above the profits which capitalists squeeze out of their
'own' country."(6) They drain the host country (Mexico) and bloat
the imperialist country, Amerika.
These companies have flocked to the border area to exploit the
cheap Mexican labor and to escape the relatively heavy U.S.
environmental regulations. Out of about 1,900 Amerikan-owned
plants, more than 1,000 of them generate hazardous waste, but the
vast majority do not comply with the lax Mexican regulations.(1)
In spite of recent lip service to the contrary, this environmental
disaster area is not likely to come under more severe restrictions
in the future.
A snarling river, infamously known as the "Nogales Wash" which
begins in the Mexican mountains and passes through the odious
border areas, is "laced with toxic industrial pollutants and laden
with untreated sewage." On the Arizona side of Nogales, the area
has a hepatitis rate of 20 times the average caused by the river's
pollutants. One family living in a working community on the
outskirts of Nogales uses a 55-gallon tank for their water supply,
a label identifies the tank's old contents; a fluorocarbon solvent
whose vapors are fatal if inhaled.(1)
In nearby Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, Amerikan companies dump about 25
million gallons of untreated sewage into the river every day.
Salinas recently closed Mexico City's largest oil refinery, since
environmental conditions were so bad. Even a week after the
closing of the ancient 57-year-old refinery, people leave the area
with watering eyes and burning lungs.
Although Salinas promised the workers jobs elsewhere soon after
the plant closing, officials now confirm that all personnel will
be dismissed.(2) Salinas most likely saw the aging state-owned
refinery as an inefficient giant hindering his plans to develop
Despite the obvious destruction of the border towns in Mexico,
Salinas plans to go full-speed ahead to expand free-trade to all
of Mexico. But liberalization has been going on since the early
In the 1970s, Mexican leaders borrowed heavily from foreign banks,
like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, in
order to build the economy. The government planned to use the
revenue from the booming oil industry to pay off the debts.
Unfortunately, the recession in the early 1980s meant a severe
drop in oil prices, and Mexico experienced hard times. Heavy debts
and recession forced the PRI (Partido Revolucionario
Institucional) leaders to open up the country for foreign
investment, something not done since the 1930s.
Since then, "Mexico [has] deregulated or prepared to deregulate at
least 25 major industries, put more than 900 government-owned
corporations up for sale, reduced import tariffs, and removed
quotas from 97% of imported items." Since the early 1980s, an
average of more than one new maquiladora--U.S.-owned assembly
plant--has opened every day along the border.(3)
For Mexican workers in these assembly plants, the purchasing power
of minimum wage fell from more than $7 per day to less than $4
from 1982 to 1990, and in about the same period, U.S. imports from
Mexico grew more than 60% reaching a level of $26.6 billion in
Today under the Salinas regime, maquiladora workers earn about $27
for a 49-hour work week, but they do not receive any basic health
coverage, nor do they receive safety protection under what are
often extremely hazardous environmental conditions. "The
maquiladoras created 400,000 jobs between 1979 and 1990, but these
jobs paid only 50 or 60 cents an hour."(3) For Amerikan companies,
these conditions make relocating to Mexico especially advantageous
under a Free Trade Agreement.
In the meantime, Salinas has gone on a privatization frenzy. He
has opened up farming to international competition by slashing
tariffs and abolishing most import licenses. Mexican peasants now
face Amerikan farmers who grow four times as much maize per
hectare as they do.
Salinas just recently put state food-processing companies and the
largest state firm, the national telephone company, up for sale.
The finance minister, Mr Pedro Aspe, said, "I have state
enterprises to sell which amount to 40% of the domestic debt."(5)
Amerika's working class and imperialism
Salinas' drive for an FTA will open Mexico's markets for Amerikan
imperialists to further consolidate their "holdings." Even before
an FTA, the top three private sector exporters from Mexico to
Amerika are Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors (GM). And with an
FTA, this expansion will benefit only the big capitalists. In
response to increased competition and their quest to generate
products at more efficient cost, corporations like GM will move to
Mexico, away from environmental regulations and Amerikan trade
If the North Amerikan free-trade zone materializes, it will mean--
together with the European Economic Community--a capitalist terror
on the Third World. As the opening of the borders forces smaller
companies to compete for markets already dominated by larger ones,
these companies will be bought out or fail, consolidating the
means of production. This consolidation signifies the decay of
capitalism and creates the material conditions for revolution and
the death of imperialism.
Trade unions in the United States secure some of the capitalist
booty for white workers, but they cannot (and do not try to)
protect workers in Mexico and other Third World countries from
capitalists like GM who flock there. The co-opted white working
class would lose the privilege it has won in any attempt to defend
the rights of colonized workers. This explains why the United Auto
Workers (UAW) and other unions are so protectionist. While
thousands of Mexicans will be working for GM under exhaustive and
exploitative conditions, thousands of white workers in Amerika
will lose their jobs.
The biggest loser in the capitalist game of consolidation will not
be the reactionary white working class, suddenly prevented from
buying VCRs. It will be the oppressed nationalities in the ghettos
of Amerika and the Mexican peasants forced from the land to seek
work in horrendous Mexico City.
1. New York Times 3/31/91, p. A1.
2. NYT 3/27/91.
3. Dollars & Sense April 1991.
4. Economist 3/2/91, p. 44.
5. Economist 9/8/90, p. 54.
6. Lenin's Selected Works. International Publishers: New York,
1971. p. 175.
* * *
KURDISH REBELS FALTER
he process of reducing Iraq from a budding regional power back
into a suffering Third World neo-colony continued last month as
the United States adopted a strategy designed to prompt a
reactionary coup after seeing to the destruction of popular forces
in a civil war and the impoverishment of the people through
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Kurds were driven from their homes
by both the Iraqi army--intent on their destruction--and Kurdish
rebels trying to clear civilians out of fighting zones.
The refugee crisis followed the military setback of Kurdish
nationalist forces, who relinquished or were driven from a series
of major cities they had seized in Northern Iraq. The movement is
fueled by the destruction of the war and massive shortages from
Treachery and trust
Kurdish military strategy appears to have been based on either the
assumption that the United States would come to their aid in the
fight against the Iraqi government, or an unrealistic assessment
of the extent of the destruction inflicted upon the Iraqi army in
the U.S. war. Or both.
Kurdish leaders insisted there was no outright deal with the
United States to help (See MIM Notes 51). But whether or not they
were fooled into counting on U.S. help, the Kurdish forces ended
up engaging in a fight they were not prepared to win, leaving them
open to U.S.-supported Iraqi devastation.
Now a total of at least 1.7 million Kurdish people have become
refugees, with two-thirds heading for Iran and the remainder
stranded on the border between Iraq and Turkey. Thousands have
died from hunger, cold and preventable diseases, such as diarrhea,
following the destruction of basic infrastructure and shortages of
medical supplies from the U.S.-led embargo and war.(1)
"All hope was on outside assistance--the Americans and the
allies," said one Kurdish man, who joined a U.S.-Saudi
intelligence operation which broadcast radio messages into Iraq,
calling on the people to overthrow the government. "Otherwise I
would not have asked my friends to rise up."(2)
A secret radio station, Voice of Free Iraq, was part of a broad
plan to create internal conditions conducive to a military coup to
overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The plan included covert
military operations within the country to establish contact with
Kurds and other rebel groups. But contrary to what the Kurdish
leaders may have believed, the plan was not to help Kurds win
regional autonomy or an independent state. Rather, it aimed to
send a signal to Iraqi military leaders that with Saddam Hussein
in power the army would be blocked by the United States from
stopping the rebellions --but that a change in government would
lead to more military freedom.(3)
Newsweek summarized U.S. aims this way: "Washington's best-case
scenario is that a relatively moderate new dictator will emerge
from the armed forces or the ruling Baath Party."
One State Department official gave his impression of Iraqi Kurds:
"They're nice people, and they're cute, but they're really just
This is not the first time Iraqi Kurds have been used in just such
a scheme: in 1975, the CIA and Iran--who had been supporting
Kurdish rebels attempting to overthrow the Ba'ath government--
suddenly withdrew aid after cutting a deal with Saddam Hussein.
Criticism of the strategy employed by Iraqi Kurdish national
leaders is not intended to imply their primary responsibility for
the death and destruction which has befallen their people in the
war and its aftermath. The U.S. imperialists and their pro-
imperialist allies in Baghdad (including Saddam Hussein)--as well
as the governments of Iran, Syria, Turkey and the Soviet Union--
have done their best for last 60 years to prevent Kurdish
independence and further the oppression of the people of
The division of the people and their nations in the Middle East
has been a central component of the imperialist strategy for
domination of the region's people and resources.
Central to the imperialist neo-colonial strategy this century has
been the use of local dictators to insure "stability" when
possible. This best allows the development of internal forces of
repression and builds up a powerful state apparatus which is
highly resistant to popular movements. This is the strategy which
led to the imperialist build-up of Iraq's Ba'ath Party in the
first place, and the process by which its successor is to be
While the Amerikan establishment blames Saddam Hussein for the
post-war destruction--"Saddam's genocide"--the U.S. intent to
destroy Iraq and bring it deeper into the fold of dependent
countries is obscured. The Kurdish and Shi'a uprisings, and their
subsequent repression, were also a part of this strategy. But the
Kurdish leaders were either blind to this plan, or thought they
could turn it to their advantage. On either count they were simply
The full extent of U.S. hypocrisy is revealed by the efforts to
"aid" Kurdish refugees on the Turkish border (by forcing them back
to Iraq), while the equally tragic situation on the Iranian border
is largely ignored. The U.S. government is much more dedicated to
protecting friendly Turkey from an influx of angry Kurds (and
establishing a few bases in northern Iraq), then it is to any
The Kurdish people have been fighting in different forms for
independence throughout this century. Their cause is undeniably
just and the oppression they face in all of their "host" countries
As Iraqi Kurdish guerillas surrender their weapons by the
thousands at the borders of Iran and Turkey, the lesson of another
false ally and another back-stabbing is a cruel and painful one.
It is now up to the Kurdish people to see that it's the last.
1. NYT 4/13/91, p. A1.
2. NYT 4/6/91, p. A1.
3. Newsweek, 4/15/91..
* * *
ALBANIA GRASPS WESTERN CAPITALISM
lbania, a small country in Eastern Europe which borders Greece and
Yugoslavia, held its first Western-style elections on March 31
after the government--run by a supposedly communist party--agreed
to legalize the pro-Western, bourgeois Democratic Party.
The Party of Labor of Albania (PLA), which supports Marx, Lenin,
Stalin and Albania's own late Enver Hoxha, won the elections. In
the 250-seat parliament the PLA will have more than 160 seats and
the Democratic Party will have 72.
Although PLA head President Ramiz Alia lost his own campaign for a
parliament seat, he remained as head of the party. The Democratic
Party won most of the seats in the six major cities as well.
Significantly the PLA blamed its own loss on "'separation from the
masses'" in the cities.(1)
After the elections, the Albanian government quelled riots by
killing three people. Nonetheless, the opposition recognized the
election outcome as legitimate while promising to bring down the
government in two months.(1)
In December 1990, Alia had announced that opposition parties could
run their own newspapers. The opposition had four months to
organize for the elections.(2)
Albania is the last country in Eastern Europe nominally run by a
communist party. It has 3.5 million people, 60% of whom are
Since June 1990, 80,000 Albanians have left for Italy and other
countries.(1) The exodus resulted in the declaration of martial
law on the ports.
Bourgeois Western scholars and journalists refer to Albania as a
"hard-line" and "Stalinist" country. MIM has always maintained
that Albania failed to learn from Stalin's mistakes by
underestimating the existence of classes and class struggle under
But even the PLA doesn't really uphold Stalin. Without any
explanation the supposed Stalinists took down statues of Stalin in
Western supporters of Albanian-style socialism used to include the
Marxist-Leninist Party (MLP, USA). MLP moved away from a 100%
orthodox pro-Albania line a few years ago. It saw some of the
problems in Albania in the making, but it did not identify Albania
as state capitalist.(5)
The pro-Albania groups in the United States have been in disarray
for some time though and it is likely that new realignments are in
The supporters of Albania style "communism" said it was the
Maoists who were overly tolerant of the bourgeoisie under
socialism. (See MIM Notes 46 for a letter from an Albania
supporter along these lines.) The "Hoxhaites"--supporters of Enver
Hoxha's model of socialism--found it impossible that a real
communist party would ever have a bourgeoisie in it, as Mao Zedong
Adhering to the lessons of Mao Zedong, MIM is not surprised to see
Albania careen from "pure" dictatorship, which simply ignored the
reality of class struggle, to Western-style elections applauded by
U.S. imperialist and Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell.(1)
At the same time that the phony communists in Albania were
pledging completely free elections, they announced new regulations
allowing unrelated people to own private enterprises jointly.(3)
The PLA has also embroiled the country in massive unemployment.(4)
Just as Mao predicted, it was the people in the party in power who
cleared the way for capitalism: "You are making the socialist
revolution and yet don't know where the bourgeoisie is. It is
right in the Communist Party--those in power taking the capitalist
road."(6) Although Mao said this in 1976 to persuade people in
China, he could have said it to the Albania supporters.
It is especially ironic that it was the Hoxhaites themselves who
had to prove Mao right despite their wishes. The Albania
supporters did not recognize that Enver Hoxha was taking Albania
down the capitalist-road at the end of his life, but how can they
deny that President Ramiz Alia is? How can they then deny that
Hoxha's party had a bourgeoisie in it the whole time, since Ramiz
Alia was in it?
The Hoxhaites disregarded the reality of class struggle within
their own party for years and as a result people who never would
have suspected "hard-line" Albania to go capitalist are surprised
just how far capitalist Albania has gone so quickly.
Since MIM saw the basis for contradictions in the PLA all along,
it was not surprised by recent events. Two months before the PLA
announced elections, tore down Stalin statues and announced the
legalization of general private property, MIM exposed the
"Hoxhaite hoax" and said, "Pro-Albania communists in the United
States may have some explaining to do soon."(7)
In foreign policy, as in domestic affairs, President Alia is
taking a shamelessly bourgeois line. In a speech to the United
Nations this year, the first ever by Albania, he said Albanians
"approve and consider as promising the changes that have taken
place in the relations between the United States of America and
the Soviet Union, the agreements they concluded on disarmament..."
Alia also promoted "detente" between the two powers.
In this speech, Alia demonstrated how far Albania is from Marxism-
Leninism, especially Leninism's theory of imperialism. MIM
disagrees with Alia. Saying that imperialists like the United
States and Soviet Union will end war through disarmament and
detente is like selling drugs to the people. The imperialists only
throw around these ideas in order to win advantages over other
imperialists. In the end the imperialists always use war.
Despite problems in Albania, communism is probably more popular
there than other countries in Eastern Europe. Albania's own people
under communist leadership liberated themselves from fascism in
1944. In most other Eastern European countries, the Soviet Red
Army played a bigger role because of the need to push Hitler's
armies back to Germany.
Albania is also of special interest to MIM because Albania was the
only other country to support the Chinese Cultural Revolution
(1966-1976) and the theory behind it. Of course this support was
in words and not in deeds because Albania itself never had a
cultural revolution against the bourgeoisie in the PLA.
After Mao's death in 1976, and the subsequent end of China's aid
to Albania in 1978, Albania's leader and founder Enver Hoxha
turned around and opposed the Cultural Revolution and Maoism.
Call to comrades
MIM calls on all supporters of Albania and Enver Hoxha to look
back at the history of socialist countries and realize that Mao
was right: There was a bourgeoisie in the party under socialism.
It's time to sum up this history and get back on the road of
Marxism-Leninism-Maoism by quitting the pro-Albania groups and
1. New York Times 4/2/91, p.1.
2. UPI 12/29/90.
3. AP 1/2/91.
4. Workers' Advocate, Marxist-Leninist Party, USA 12/21/90.
5. Workers' Advocate Supplement 3/15/91.
6. Quoted in Fang Kang's "Capitalist-Roaders Are the Bourgeoisie
Inside the Party," Peking Review #25 1976.
7. MIM Notes 45 10/1/90, p. 7.
* * *
CHINA'S COMMUNIST COVER-UP
Since the crackdown in Tiananmen Square, Beijing on June 4, 1989,
the phony Communist Party (CPC) which rules China has emitted
occasional rhetorical noises of Maoism. Between 1979 and 1989, the
CPC issued 90% bourgeois authoritarian instructions and 10%
Since 1989 there has been a greater emphasis on cover-up because
the CPC state capitalists have realized they are losing a power-
struggle with younger, Western-oriented bourgeoisie. Now, taken in
isolation, 20% of CPC statements might seem okay to MIM
It is very difficult to tell what is going on in China's ruling
class right now. There are many highly contradictory phenomena to
CPC on Gulf
After the U.S. victory in the Persian Gulf, Prime Minister Li Peng
gave a semi-secret speech calling for China's military to
modernize with the latest in technology. For this purpose, China
is allocating at least a 10% increase in funding for the military.
This is incorrect as Li Peng misses the importance of People's War
for Third World countries. (See ad for MIM's imperialism study
What is correct, however, is Li Peng's citing the "new
hegemonism."(1) Li Peng is in fact referring to the United States
without actually mentioning it. The Soviet Union is out of the
way, at least for the moment. The U.S. victory in the Gulf and the
lack of an alternative superpower besides the crisis-ridden Soviet
Union leaves the United States looking like a new hegemonic power.
Decadence and campaigns
Part of the CPC has also noticed its own decadence and started
some campaigns against it. Vice-president Wang Zhen has circulated
a document called "The Challenge of Feudalistic Forces in
This document details the growth of religion, capitalists and clan
organization in the countryside. For example, "in Handan county,
Hebei province last year, 813 people had become Catholics while
only 270 people joined the party."(1)
In Hunan province in a seven village area in Linxiang county, one
third of the CPC are partners or consultants for "private
entrepreneurs and had all but abandoned their party-related
Another campaign for cadres to emulate 1960s hero of the people
Jiao Yulu is underway, sponsored by Politburo member Li
Underscoring all these emulation campaigns "to serve the people"
is the firing of the ministers of communications and construction
for corruption, which was perhaps the most important cause of the
Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989.(3)
More importantly, hundreds of thousands of Chinese commemorated
Mao Zedong's call 28 years ago to "learn from comrade Lei Feng."
Lei Feng was a soldier who did countless good deeds serving the
people and the party. He evokes considerable bourgeois cynicism
for his simplicity, good-heartedness and usefulness to the CPC.
Leaving the impression of an internal party-struggle, the party
press called for a campaign for another soldier model Zhang Qi and
then published an old Deng Xiaoping article opposing all
Perhaps the opposition to Deng Xiaoping is opportunist. Party
leader Bo Yibo is now at age 82 making lots of Maoist noise:
"'Nearly 70 years of history have shown that whenever we insist
upon Mao Zedong Thought, our revolution and construction
enterprise will make headway,' he wrote. 'Otherwise, they will
meet with frustration.'"(5)
Still, all of these semi-Maoist revivals are from the 1960s before
the Cultural Revolution. The most shocking contradiction in the
CPC's new emphasis on fighting Western influence is the revival of
an opera--the "Red Lantern"--done during the Cultural Revolution
by none other than Gang of Four revolutionary leader Jiang Qing.
The audience was so excited about the opera's revival that it
stormed the stage on opening night and tickets were sold out weeks
in advance. However, the play is not quite as shocking as it seems
because it deals with themes of China's initial socialist
revolution and not themes of the revolution against the
bourgeoisie in the CPC or against state capitalism.(6)
Also coming out from underneath the rocks for the first time in
years was Hua Guofeng, the 69-year-old former chairperson of the
CPC, who served as China's number one leader in late 1976 and 1977
after the death of Mao in 1976. Western imperialist commentators
find Hua too leftist for their liking, but Hua Guofeng was the one
who staged the coup against Mao's real supporters, the Gang of
To the further fear and terror of the Western bourgeoisie, on the
97th anniversary of Mao's birth, there "was the largest gathering
of the late chairman's kin since the fall of the Gang of Four in
Despite the fears of the Western bourgeoisie, the CPC cannot
regenerate itself as a real Maoist party without a faction
breaking off and leading social revolution. With a capitalist
economy already in place, well-meaning and non-corrupt comrades in
the CPC do not stand a chance of reforming the CPC. Too many CPC
members have gained a solid material stake in opposing communism.
That is the corruption problem in China today, part of the
ordinary workings of capitalism.
1. South China Morning Post 3/12/91.
2. South China Morning Post 3/18/91.
3. AP 3/2/91.
4. South China Morning Post 3/11/91.
5. China News Digest 12/27/90.
6. AP 1/27/91.
7. South China Morning Post 12/28/90.
* * *
WHAT'S A PIG QUESTION?
Many well-meaning people ask MIM questions that are frustrating
for both sides: "Who is in MIM? How many members are there? Where
are they based? What is the political history or "pedigree" of
this or that person? Who did this or that action?"
The question is frustrating for the interrogator because someone
who is in MIM and not just answering for MIM will not answer the
The question is frustrating to MIM because it sidesteps important
theoretical questions. And because MIM will not answer these
questions, it is subjected to whatever rumors people would like to
Many groups suffer from fewer of these problems because they
answer them in the open.
The fundamental problem is that MIM has no way of seeing through
every FBI, CIA, NSC, military intelligence, Mossad or ex-BOSS
agent out there. No one knows who is a pig and who is not. Hence
MIM asks for understanding when it does not answer those questions
which these pigs would be likely to ask.
Even when a well-intentioned person asks, the question is still a
pig question. Sometimes information does not find its way to the
pigs. Sometimes it does.
Within MIM, the membership is not entitled to equal or complete
information about the structure and membership of MIM. This is a
conscious decision by the membership of MIM, not an undemocratic
or politically obtuse abuse by MIM leaders.
What is a pig?
Definition of pig: A pig is a police officer or other
representative of the government's repressive apparatus,
especially one who breaks down people's doors or quietly
infiltrates a movement.
People will notice that MIM does not list its names or the most
important details of its political practice in the newspaper;
although a fraction of MIM activity is implied in the newspaper
for those wishing to understand the nature of its influence and
willing to read carefully. That is not a policy written in stone,
but MIM has chosen to leave people substantially in the dark,
especially since 1984.
If anything, MIM is not professional enough in this regard. The
party of Lenin and Stalin suffered repeated blows at the hands of
police that caused it chaos. MIM takes comfort in the fact that
Lenin's party still survived, but at the same time, there is no
doubt that MIM has a way to go before equalling Lenin's party at
its pre-1917 best in discipline and sustainability.
As addressed in previous issues of MIM Notes, many people ask
about MIM out of pragmatist concerns, not because they are pigs.
The question of size in particular is a pragmatist, people-
centered approach to the issue of vanguard leadership. MIM rejects
MIM has already confessed to having a small size in previous
issues. People desiring large organizations should join the
Democratic Party or the environmentalist movement or something
MIM does not want everyone in its membership, especially people
who would base their decision on size. MIM comes from Mao's legacy
"The correctness or otherwise of the ideological and political
line decides everything. When the Party's line is correct, then
everything will come its way. If it has no followers, then it can
have followers; if it has no guns, then it can have guns; if it
has no political power, then it can have political power" (S.
Schram, ed. Chairman Mao Talks to the People, p. 290).
This understanding is much different than the ideology of
pragmatism, which says to do whatever works at the time with no
Lenin's Bolshevik party and Mao's communist party were both able
to catapult past much larger and better-financed parties and
coalitions because of their scientific understanding of history,
its motion and present-day realities.
People should ask themselves not about the size of MIM, but
whether or not MIM has the most scientific analysis of current
history. Questions like who was right about what would happen in
World War II -- Trotsky or Stalin? The following are some of the
¥It was the Bolsheviks, not the Mensheviks, who got Russia out of
World War I.
¥It was MIM that correctly predicted unemployment and economic
crisis in the Soviet Union -- not the Trotskyists and the other
¥It was the Maoists all along saying that Deng Xiaoping wanted to
repress the student movement both in 1966 and in 1989 at
¥Ultimately, it was the movements in the tradition of Marx,
Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao who brought the most rapid progress
to society in the last 150 years.
Ironically, it is the pragmatists who substitute people-centered
coalitions and wishful thinking for disciplined parties and
scientific thinking that have failed to bring progress for the
proletariat this century.
Some people have a hard time envisioning the repression of the
state because they have illusions that they live in a democracy
with civil liberties. They have either never experienced
revolutionary politics or they are blind to what happens all
MIM has faced numerous and complicated operations by the state,
but MIM does not choose to educate people about its own situation
at this point because of the desire to remain underground as much
Instead, MIM distributes literature examining historical
repression in the United States, especially examples from the '60s
and '70s. The reason for this is that things do not change that
much in how the state represses revolutionaries. (Except that the
technology for surveillance gets better and better year after
People who do not understand MIM's line on being semi-underground
should read False Nationalism, False Internationalism and Agents
of Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars Against the Black Panther
Party and the American Indian Movement. People who read a number
of "sectarian" papers will be aware of things like COINTELPRO and
The state conducts complicated, expensive and "paranoid"
operations. People who do not know this are not ready to work
closely with MIM.
Some people do not like to work in semi-underground situations
because it means they do not receive the public acclaim they
otherwise would. Many potential revolutionaries are also good
speakers and organizers and would receive some attention in
newspapers or demonstrations if they stayed above ground and did
not work with MIM.
Working in a vanguard party also means a constant tension in
everyday life. This involves making certain sacrifices on a daily
Going above ground
In certain circumstances it is desirable to be above ground.
Although Dennis Brutus is not a member of MIM, his life is an
interesting one to consider on this theoretical point.
After winning acclaim as a Black poet and working against
apartheid, Dennis Brutus found himself breaking rocks with Nelson
Mandela in prison on Robben Island in South Africa. Then the
regime deported him.
Where the state has deported someone and it is impossible to sneak
back into the country, as Lenin's organizers did repeatedly in
Russia, it no longer pays to be underground.
Aboveground, Brutus was able to draw attention to his own
situation and then go ahead and publicly spearhead the movement to
kick South Africa out of the Olympics. His activities in the open
and abroad brought joy to the hearts of those struggling within
Then in the United States, the Carter and Reagan administrations
tried to deport Brutus. Once again Brutus could not afford to work
secretly. He had to bring public attention to himself.
MIM worked extensively on the campaign to keep Brutus in the
The grounds the prosecution used to try to deport Brutus were
classified for national security reasons, so important was the
surveillance work done on Brutus.
An agent from the Bureau of State Security (BOSS) in South Africa
also wrote that Brutus was one of the top 20 opponents of the
apartheid regime, in BOSS's estimation.
Various Western governments cooperated in their intelligence
efforts on Brutus. Occasionally, these agencies made their
surveillance public knowledge.
Is it unreasonable to suspect that those who work with Brutus are
also the object of surveillance? It seems likely that people
working to keep Brutus in the United States inevitably come under
at least some observation as well.
Why should MIM make the job of the repressive apparatus any easier
by being completely above ground?
* * *
Publication of the International Communist Current in the U.S.
P.O. Box 288
New York, NY 10018-0288
(Write to "boxholder" without mentioning the organization's name.)
Fall 1990, No. 70
$1 per issue
MIM characterizes the International Communist Current (ICC) as
part of the "back to Marxism-Leninism" tendency. Back to M-L
opposes revisionism, identifies the so-called socialist countries
as state capitalist and believes in organizing the working class.
It differs from Trotskyism in that back to M-L does not fall for
the deformed workers' state analysis--a theory that says countries
like the Soviet Union are controlled in part by the working class,
but under a corrupt leadership. Back to M-L generally has a
correct analysis of capitalism and imperialism.
ICC's response to the U.S. war on Iraq--that the working class,
meaning Amerikan households earning $20-50,000 per year, must
organize under a communist banner--shows the shallowness of their
analysis. ICC does not realize that Amerikan workers have a good
life--one in which they are paid more than the value of their
labor--because of their collaboration with the ruling class.
ICC presents some evidence such as layoffs, unemployment and
sinking standards of living to argue that imperialism is not in
the interest of the Amerikan white working class. And it is true,
in the long run, the working class will not be served through
collaboration with imperialism. But in the here and now, and
certainly well into the period of decline of the U.S. empire,
Amerikans are going to support imperialism be it through pacifist
peace politics or outright support for war on the Third World.
MIM chooses to identify groups which have revolutionary potential
and work there first. Students, prisoners, oppressed-nation
workers and migrant laborers all have more interest in Maoism and
revolution, even the ideas of the ICC, than does the white working
ICC is expressly anti-Maoist and anti-Stalinist, although they
either have not come in contact with MIM and the Revolutionary
Communist Party or they fail to understand these lines in Maoism.
ICC says that Maoism and Trotskyism perpetuate the "bourgeois lie
that claims that the confrontation in the world imperialist arena
between the imperialist blocs led by the U.S. and the USSR
expresse the struggle between capitalism and communism."
While this might hold true for many of the Trot groups, the
majority of Maoist parties in the world oppose Soviet revisionism
and correctly identify it, as Mao did, as a system of state
capitalism. ICC uses the analysis of state capitalism developed
first by Mao Zedong in the Critique of Soviet Economics in the
1950s, but they apparently don't know where it came from.
MIM has many other differences with the ICC for which space does
not allow full exposition. The question of Stalin for one: ICC
holds that Joseph Stalin restored capitalism to the Soviet Union
where MIM believes this came definitively under Nikita Khrushchev.
MIM also upholds Stalin as the best alternative available at the
time. For more on this see MIM Notes 48 which includes two pages
addressing the Stalin question.
MIM also differs with the ICC on the question of national
liberation struggles which Internationalism denigrates as non-
revolutionary. MIM upholds the national liberation of Native
peoples and Afrikan Amerikan parties such as the Black Panther
External Fraction of the International Communist Current
P.O. Box 395
Montclair, NJ 07042
Fall 1990, No. 17
$1.50 per issue
This group is a split from the ICC which says it works on the same
basic framework, but from outside the ICC. It is unclear reading
the political positions page of both newspapers what the
differences between the two groups are.
This issue of Internationalist Perspective (IP) centers on Eastern
Europe, particularly the decline of the Soviet Empire with the
loss of satellite countries. IP's line on the Soviet empire
overlaps, in part, with MIM's: The USSR is a capitalist country as
are the other countries in Eastern Europe; world events and
internal contradictions have given the USSR a beating, tipping the
scales toward the West; and these events are part of inter-
Still, IP's analysis of Eastern European and current Soviet
governments as Stalinist is particularly weak. Is Stalin still
alive telling Cercescau what to do? IP never says why any of the
Eastern European governments are Stalinist, nor do they say--if
Stalin is indeed responsible--what he should have done instead.
This is a typical nihilist criticism that makes Stalin into the
ghost of international communism, responsible for everything that
Perhaps the best feature in IP is their review of European left
newspapers, although the effectiveness of this is limited in that
they do not print the addresses for people to obtain issues and
decide for themselves if IP's line is right. This is a criticism
that extends to almost everything MIM reviews: leftists tend to
spout facts and names without providing adequate citations as to
where the information came from and how the average person can
Some of the differences with the ICC are found in a review of the
ICC. IP accuses ICC of saying that the upheaval in the East means
that the rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States is
over, "thereby eliminating the danger of imperialist war." MIM
does not have the issue in question to confirm this, but as it
stands, it would be ridiculous to claim that imperialism is dead
and gone without a major war. (IP points this out gloatingly.)
Like the ICC, this issue of the IP is anti-Maoist. It contends
that Maoists defend the Tiananmen massacre where Chinese leader
Deng Xiaoping ordered troops to open fire on thousands of student
demonstrators in June 1989. Obviously, IP is not familiar with MIM
or other Maoist parties which hold that China and the Soviet Union
are state capitalist countries. Their analysis doesn't even show
an understanding of Mao's own works.
IP says Maoists uphold Gorbachev's USSR as "a socialist country"
and has the same shallowness on the Stalin question as the ICC.
Revolutionary Committee of Montreal
No address available
Vol. 1, No. 3
Liberation is an anarchist-green paper that uses the slogan
"partners and not wage workers." This paper supports Libya and its
leader, Muammar Quadafi.
Its statement of principles outlines a quasi communalist vision of
the future. "Each partner will get the benefits to the extent they
contribute to the project," reads its International Green March
statement. "These benefits are over and above the home, means of
transportation and base income-basic needs which are provided to
all people in society. They cannot be overworked, enslaved nor
stripped of their dignity. There are no investors or absent owners
who reap unearned incomes.... With the bureaucratic hurdles
removed, production will be boosted to the highest levels."
The paper, with some articles in English and some in French,
starts with an English article cheerleading for the FMLN, the
revolutionary forces fighting in El Salvador. Liberation appears
to uphold the FMLN even if their own statement of principles does
not mention revolutionary violence or anything beyond fairly
Another interesting article focuses on a Libyan project to tap
water reserves in the Sahara Desert to create human-made rivers.
Liberation lauds the Libyan government as developing these
resources for the people's use, while the Canadian government is
ravaging the environment and victimizing the Cree and Inuit
peoples. The article says that Libya is a revolutionary country
and is the world's first "State of the Masses."
Although it does not have the white, First World orientation of
post-scarcity anarchism, Liberation does not articulate a concrete
plan of how to make revolution or implement their partnership.
Liberation neither calls directly for armed revolution nor gradual
PO Box 29293
Oakland, CA 94604
$5/six months, twice a month
February 18, 1991
This used to be the newspaper of the League of Revolutionary
Struggle. It supports Deng Xiaoping in China, once calling itself
upholders of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought.
MIM never agreed with these so-called Maoists because they opposed
the Cultural Revolution and the Gang of Four and supported the
restoration of capitalism in China; although they would be very
reluctant to admit it. They also tried to support Stalin on the
national question, Deng Xiaoping and Mao all at the same time.
Maybe after the massacre in Tiananmen, these folks are too
embarrassed to tell people anything about where they stand. If you
had told people to support Deng Xiaoping, you might be embarrassed
After the massacre, Unity spoke of the "great tragedy for the
Chinese people." Buried in the story--after it reports
international opinion and Chinese opinion in the United States--is
Unity's own opinion: "The CPC [Communist Party of China--MC5] and
the Chinese government are a people's party and government."
(Unity, 6/20/89, p. 1)
In 1991, it is impossible to tell where Unity stands and if it is
still connected to revolution, even in words. Some of the old
staff remains. The masthead does not say League of Revolutionary
Struggle anywhere. You won't find a reference to that name or
revolution anywhere in the paper.
Who knows what they are now.
Another continuity besides extreme opportunism is Unity's tailing
of various struggles of the oppressed nationalities. In the first
two pages there are stories about Iraq, Latinos, Arab-Americans
and Native Americans. The stories include cheerleading for
electoral struggles. No where does one get a distinctive sense of
what Unity thinks of the struggles with regard to a larger
The rest of the paper includes articles about school board
elections, school funding in New Jersey, congresswoman Maxine
Waters and how great the mayor of Denver is; even though he is
Despite all the talk about the victimization of oppressed
nationalities in the paper, no where does Unity say that the white
working class is bought off and an ally of imperialism.
More than ever before, this group of people chooses the very
condescending approach of "gaining the trust" of people before
informing them of Unity's real political views. They assume that
people can't understand what they have to say.
Maybe the less Unity puts forward its line, the less its own staff
knows what it stands for anymore. Even if Unity did know what it
stood for, if the oppressed masses knew, they'd have nothing to do
* * *
UNDER LOCK & KEY: NEWS FROM PRISONS AND PRISONERS
UPDATE: During the month of February one of the Comrades involved
in the JONATHAN JACKSON commemoration [at Trenton State Prison in
August], Hassan Barnes, was beaten twice, shackled to a cold steel
bed frame in the "hole," and charged with two pig assaults. It is
our guess that his head hurt their sticks. His activities involve
a large amount of civil litigation, and the state's acts were
retaliatory. On March 28, after being released from the hole, he
was again beat down unmercifully by over six pigs, dragged to the
hole, and subsequently spirited off to parts unknown as of this
On March 24, during the afternoon "recreation" period, a prisoner
was shot after he allegedly climbed onto the roof of this
"facility" in an escape attempt. Because someone dared "buck," the
goons vamped on the entire joint during the night, routed us from
the cells we occupy, and ransacked them. Take note--the "escape"
attempt occurred from the yard. No tools were used, the man merely
was seen climbing to the roof from the rec yard. What was the
purpose for the ransacking of the prisoners cells? It's called
With that, i'm on the move. Look forward to hearing from you. Your
allowing us this forum is commendable. Together we will win!!!
--prisoner from Trenton
MC11: MIM has published articles and letters about prisoner
resistance and administration repression at New Jersey's Trenton
State Prison in previous issues, which are available on request.
I am writing to inform you that I did receive your communication
along with the MIM Notes. The contents of the letter were very
understandable and your struggle well respected.
I want you to know that I do agree with your points and I do see
the differences between MIM and other political parties....
I am very much alone here, there are not too many people who even
think I'm alive. I have a son and his mother doesn't even allow me
to pass on the knowledge which he will badly need. To make my
situation even worse, I'm in "Solitary Confinement" and I'm the
only "Afrikan" who has any kind of awareness even though there are
only three "Afrikans" in my section. I really feel that the
Administration here has intentionally put me where I can't
communicate with anyone of my caliber.
I would very much like to join MIM and if MIM will have me I would
In my next communication I will be giving you some feedback on the
article "Why Centralism?" which I enjoyed and agree with.
--prisoner from the west coast
MC 11: Isolating and separating politically thought-out prisoners
from each other is clearly a tactic used by prison administrations
to demoralize them and make it more difficult for them to organize
within the prisons. However, MIM would caution those in the
situation of the above prisoner against political elitism.
Even--and especially--the most politically advanced need to change
their theories and shape their practice according to the reactions
of the majority of oppressed people. The support of the masses is
necessary for any successful organizing effort against the state
and its agents (such as prison guards). If one has a correct
analysis and line of action to propose, one ought to be able to
eventually win the support of those less politically thought out.
To look down on those who have a material interest in revolution
but no analysis of why it is necessary or how to achieve it is
dangerous. It fosters a "masses are asses" attitude which leads to
political leaders isolating themselves from the people whose
interests they ought to be serving.
I am a new reader of MIM Notes and I have long been a
revolutionary. At this stage in my life I am 23 years of age and
currently being held captive in a prison [on the east coast]. I
can say from reading just one MIM Notes March 1991 issue, that we
share a common agenda, liberating the oppressed...
I am involved in an underground political, radical and
revolutionary movement within the institution I am in. We are
first and foremost about trying to bring about a change here, "by
any means necessary." We are living in dehumanizing conditions
--prisoner on the east coast
...In regards to the prison struggle; my opinion is that the most
effective and productive struggling in any prison should be the
struggle to liberate yourself from it--anybody--and to rejoin the
liberation movement where you can apply the things you have
acquired while in prison...
I wholeheartedly agree with your position on China and Russia, and
--prisoner on the east coast
Did in fact get your recent dispatch with all the enclosed and my
immediate response is to be well expected, wholeheartedly as well
as objectively I do embrace MIM's position on democratic
centralism, its goals, and its objectives as a collective
Will indeed keep you posted on any events that take place here
behind enemy lines...(Prison)
Comrades, let me set the record straight--I do want to become part
of an active movement of well organized actions, however my words
alone cannot explain my true feelings, nor manifest my deeds and
actions only my physical being can do so, therefore; it is only my
words that speak, and in my heart that is not enough.
So at this point I'll remain a very strong supporter of Maoist
Internationalist Movement while being one of the founders of a new
young radical movement called Black Order. But you can rest
assured that one of our objectives is to connect with all the
other movements that speak against the ruling class...
--prisoner on the east coast
From the depths of the oppressors' dungeons do I rise up in order
embrace comrades who have truly manifested their sincerity in the
pursuit of liberation of oppressed people.
MIM, words alone cannot express my gratitude in appreciation for
services rendered by you in the name of equality....
The oppressor's attempt to divide and conquer the revolution by
abducting me from the outside and exiling me from the people was
to no avail, for all they did was remove me from one aspect of the
struggle to another. In all reality they aided in the
establishment of new-found solidarity and brotherhood.
I have read your material on nationalism. It is a strong piece. I
haven't been able to read something as strong as that for a while.
I agree that this capitalist system must be overthrown by the
people and I am willing to join the party in the fight to
overthrow this system.
I know that I have a long way to go, so I am trying to get all the
literature that I can so that my mind would be as strong as my
body and so that I can help the comrades in the struggle. So I
would like to order books--literature--newspapers and anything
that you think would be good for me and the other comrades within
the prison that's willing to fight. I am trying to get all the
money I can so that we can get the things we need to learn, like
books on Lenin, Stalin, Mao, theory and line, and MIM's must-read
books. We can't purchase all of them because of our pay that we
receive, but I hope that we can work out something, so get back
with us on that. I'm enclosing a money order for $8 for these
books: Communist Manifesto, The Poverty of Philosophy, Wages Price
and Profit (Marx)....
--A prisoner on the east coast
MC11: Eight dollars is a huge sum for most prisoners to scrape
together. MIM gets many many requests for books and literature
that we cannot fill for lack of funds. Those on the outside who
want to help supply prisoners with revolutionary literature should
send money to MIM with a note that it go to MIM's books for
After relentless appealing I was finally allowed to receive two
copies of MIM Notes as well as Black Panthers Speak...
However, most of the material I was sent has still been denied.
Enclosed are the excuses used. In spite of this please acknowledge
my sincere gratitude for your willingness to share enlightening
information with me. That which I have not received will in no way
discourage me. Thank you and I wish you continued success in your
--prisoner from the midwest
The publication review committee of the prison from which the
above prisoner writes had this to say about MIM Notes' March
"This material presents a threat... a clear and present danger to
physical safety of persons and property within the facility.
"Page numbers with specific rationale:
"From separate 'essays' on pages enclosed in the newsletter:
'Crime and Revolution,' 'Prisons don't work: revolution is the
answer,' 'Police don't work either,' and 'What is MIM.'
"The philosophy in part is 'MIM struggles to end the oppression of
all groups over groups: classes, sexes, races, nations. MIM knows
that this is only possible through armed struggle.'
"The above statement is not conducive to the prison environment."
MC11 responds: MIM is glad to hear that our reporting on Amerika's
criminal justice system is making prison officials nervous. We'd
know something was seriously wrong with the party if MIM Notes was
deemed "conducive to the prison environment" and welcomed by the
capitalist state's prison administrations. However, without
censoring ourselves, we would like to do whatever we can to ensure
that the paper reaches the prisoners on our mailing list and
others as well. The bourgeois legal system does maintain the
pretense of giving prisoners some "rights" under the current
system, so prisoners should let us know if MIM Notes is being
withheld from them.