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.
I N T E R N E T ' S M A O I S T M O N T H L Y
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THE MAOIST INTERNATIONALIST MOVEMENT
MIM Notes 59 December 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. LOUISIANA WHITES CHOOSE FASCISM
2. PRISONERS STRIKE AGAINST CONTROL UNIT
3. COLONIAL TROOPS RETURN TO KAMPUCHEA
5. CUBA PLAYS CAPITALIST CARD
6. NEW COMPRADORS IN ZAIRE
7. PALESTINIANS DENOUNCE BOGUS AUTONOMY
8. SAME OLD (HORRIBLE) SONG
9. U.S. GOV'T RUNS DRUGS
10. GREEN CARDS FOR SALE
11. CONTRAS ADMIT FUNDING CIA
12. EMBARGO EXEMPTS U.S. COMPANIES
13. PRISONERS BOMBED IN BRAZIL
14. REVOLUTION UNFOLDS IN ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA
15. TRASHING NATIVE PEOPLE
16. KOREA MOVES TOWARD UNITY
17. UNDER LOCK & KEY: NEWS FROM PRISONS AND PRISONERS.
18. FOOD AID CAUSES FAMINE IN AFRICA
19. CIVIL WAR LOOMS FOR SUDAN
20. BATTLE FOR AID RIPS SOMALIA
21. FILM/VIDEO REVIEWS
22. DISC REVIEWS: APOCALYPSE 91 ... THE ENEMY STRIKES BLACK
23. A RECESSION FOR THE OPPRESSED
24. U.S. ECONOMY STILL ON THE ROCKS
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
* * *
LOUISIANA WHITES CHOOSE FASCISM
DUKE LOST BUT FASCISM GAINS STEAM IN THE EURO-AMERIKAN NATION.
Louisiana, one of the poorest states in the country, may be on the
cutting edge of Amerikan politics. As the economy collapses,
nationalism erupts within the Euro-Amerikan working class-the main
base of support for fascist David Duke, who won about 40% of the
vote for governor on Nov. 16, losing to Democrat and former
governor Edwin Edwards.
Even though Duke got about the same percentage of votes as he did
last year in a bid for the Senate, this election provided a
national platform for his views. Now 58% of the public knows who
he is-more recognition than any Democratic presidential candidate
can claim- and 26.7% say they like him.(1)
Mainstream business leaders decided Duke's name would hurt the
state's reputation beyond repair, and blanketed the state with TV
advertising threatening economic collapse if he won. Conservative
capitalists supporting a liberal Democrat revealed the charade of
the two-party system and got to the heart of the matter: They
weren't protecting Blacks from genocide, but playing image
politics to protect the tourist industry, among others.
Duke lost, but the majority of whites apparently supported him.
His defeat does not lay the issues of fascism and genocide to
rest-the mass base is still there.
With Amerika's economic decline, some predicted the Euro-Amerikan
national alliance would collapse, that the oppressor nation would
split up along class lines. But that didn't happen in the 80s, and
now the politics of Louisiana suggest that the desperate oppressor
nation might close ranks in a fascist alliance in which class is
eclipsed and genocide is embraced openly.
Notes: 1. Washington Post in Ann Arbor News 11/14/91.
FORMER KLANSMAN AND NAZI LEADER TESTS EURO-AMERIKKKAN UNITY.
Louisiana, one of the poorest states in the country, may be on the
cutting edge of Amerikan politics. As poverty follows economic
collapse, nationalism rules among the Euro-Amerikan workers, who
are the main base of support for David Duke-a fascist running in
the Republican party who won about 40% of the vote for governor on
Nov. 16, losing to Democratic former governor Edwin Edwards.(1)
Privileged Euro-Amerikan workers and their middle-class
compatriots have long turned away from revolution and toward
Amerikan imperialism for support. They have forged an alliance
with imperialism at the expense of Third World proletarians in the
United States and abroad.
But with Amerika's economic decline, some have predicted that
alliance would break down, that the oppressor nation would split
up and fall apart along class lines. Despite hard economic times
and lots of good wishful thinking, that didn't happen in the 80s.
Now the politics of Louisiana suggest that the desperate oppressor
nation might close ranks in a fascist alliance in which class is
eclipsed by nation, and genocide is embraced openly.
A rising star
Duke worked with the National Socialist White People's
Party-Amerikan Nazis- in the 1970s. He became grand wizard of the
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in 1975, and in 1980 he founded the
National Association for the Advancement of White People.(16)
In 1989, as a Republican, he was elected to the Louisiana State
Legislature in a white suburban district. Last year, he ran for
U.S. Senate and won 44% of the vote, including 60% of the white
Duke and Edwards, a "populist" Democrat who served three terms as
governor, beat out the incumbent, Buddy Roemer, to get on the
ballot for the general election.(4)
Duke has had his face surgically rebuilt to be more Aryan-looking,
but he says he's not a fascist anymore. Those among his followers
who don't own up to being fascists themselves like to repeat his
religious-conversion explanation for why he is no longer as
"intolerant" as he used to be.(3)
Duke campaigned openly as the white-man's candidate, pointing out
that Edwards supported Jesse Jackson for president, and accusing
his opponents of offering free fried chicken to get people to
register to vote. "Edwards is the blacks' candidate in this race,"
But his platform and all its genocidal implications was right in
line with mainstream conservative politics, and sounded a lot like
Ronald Reagan's. "We need less government in Louisiana, not more
government," he said.(6) And, "I think the working people of this
country are ready for a real change in government."(7)
He's talking about genocide when he refers to stopping the
"uncontrolled demographic growth of the welfare class," and "our
way of life surviving," but his platform is standard. He wants
drug testing in public housing, mandatory work for welfare
recipients, and he would pay mothers on welfare to use Norplant
long-term contraceptive implants.(2) And the more the national
Republican and Democratic parties denounce him for giving their
politics a bad name, the more he insists he is like them.
"What we're doing down here is going to have a lot of impact
across the United States of America," he said,(4) and the Wall
Street Journal echoed: "... he is considered a potential national
candidate should he win the governorship."(8)
Black people make up 30.8% of Louisiana's population,(9) and
usually account for 27% of the votes,(2) which means Duke would
have needed about 68% of the white vote to win.
Roemer had the most establishment support in the primary,
including the endorsements of Louisiana's three largest
newspapers. President Bush hosted a $5,000-a-person reception and
spoke at a $1,000-a-plate dinner for Roemer. But all that missed
the voters, as it did two years ago when Bush went on the radio to
After the primary, business and major party support shifted to
Edwards. Conservative Republicans whose platforms agree with
Duke's backed Edwards because of the political image problem Duke
poses-apparently more serious than the supposedly-deciding
political differences between liberals and conservatives.
Democrats focused on getting Black voters to register, and in the
two days after the primary 32,000 did-as did 35,000 whites, mostly
Edwards outspent Duke about 2-to-1, but a week before the vote
Duke had 21,000 individual contributors, to Edwards' 1,500.(6)
The New York Times said Duke's "core support of less-educated,
less-affluent whites in rural and working class areas," was backed
up by "moderate" rich whites, who he needed to win the
Louisiana's economy overall is virtually the worst in the country.
Its 1989 official unemployment rate of 7.9% was second highest in
the country.(11) The state ranks 2nd in the percentage of
population getting public aid and food stamps.(12) In 1989
disposable income per capita ranked 46th, down from 36th in
The white working class in Louisiana seems to have gotten the
squeeze in a way which is still only predicted for other parts of
the country. Between 1982 to 1987, the number of workers in the
state's manufacturing industries dropped 22%-a rate of decline
matched only by Wyoming.(14)
The Black population is much worse off by any measure-half of
Black people live below the federal poverty line, compared to 10%
of whites(10) -but compared to other parts of the country,
Louisiana whites are faring even worse.
For example, the state overall ranks 11th in highest infant
mortality rates, with 11 deaths per 1,000 live births. But while
the rate for white children-9.0-is better than for Black
children-14.3-the white rate ranks 10th and the Black rate ranks
34th compared to other states.(15)
All this-and the white working class support for David Duke-is not
conclusive proof that the Euro-Amerikan nation is indivisible as
the Amerikan economy increasingly cuts out white workers. But
there is strong evidence that at least large groups of the white
population will choose fascism in the name of their nation even as
they sink low enough to appear as if they would benefit materially
White supremacy vs. revolution
The strength of white supremacy and the mass base for fascism
cannot be measured strictly by the number of skinheads or the
membership of the KKK, as some would think. What matters more is
the merging of mainstream white politics with the new forms of
Amerikan fascism, and the mass support for Duke and those who are
aligned with him-in name or in fact.
The Euro-Amerikan nation has held its multi-class alliance
together in the past using material incentives and cultural unity.
Revolutionaries must seek to break that alliance and dismember the
oppressor nation. Our task is to unite those who can be united
against the oppressor nation and against imperialism, to divide
our enemies and take advantage of their weaknesses.
Those Euro-Amerikans who can be split off from their nation and
led into the ranks of the international proletariat and its allies
should be welcomed. But we must be prepared to deal with those who
remain pitted against us, and hold no illusions about their
intentions, or their strength.
1. CBS radio news 11/17/91.
2. NYT 10/19/91, p. A1.
3. Associated Press 9/29/91. (NYT 10/19/91, p. A1 says he got 58%
of white votes.)
4. AP 10/20/91.
5. NYT 10/25/91.
6. NYT 11/8/91, p. A11.
7. NYT 10/21/91, p. A1.
8. Wall Street Journal 10/21/91, p. A22.
9. Statistical Abstract of the United States 1991, p. xiii.
10. NYT 11/9/91, p. A6.
11. Statistical Abstract , p. 387.
12. Ibid, p xvii.
13. Ibid, p. 440.
14. Ibid, p xxi.
15. Ibid, p. 78 (from 1988).
16. NYT 11/10/91, p. A1,17.
* * *
PRISONERS STRIKE AGAINST CONTROL UNIT
Protesting the beatings, body searches, and other atrocities to
which they are subjected daily, nearly half of the prisoners at an
Indiana maximum control unit refused to eat for several weeks
during September and October.
The self-destructive nature of the hunger-strike tactic forced the
prisoners to surrender in the end, but not before the discipline
and unity they exhibited made substantial headway in the battle to
build public opinion against Amerika's repressive penal system.
The Indiana prisoners' courage in confronting the state is
inspiring, especially since their personal risk was so great. But
uprisings such as this, and others sweeping through Amerika's
prisons, cannot in themselves bring change to the system. The
state is too powerful; the prisoners are too vulnerable. Prisoners
need the support of a vanguard party working against the state,
both outside and inside the walls, to ultimately bring an end to
the ruling class' brutal treatment of our sisters and brothers on
See Page 8
* * *
COLONIAL TROOPS RETURN TO KAMPUCHEA
On Oct. 23, 19 countries, including the United States and China,
signed a United Nations' "peace" treaty in Paris, which would end
more than 21 years of civil war in Cambodia. Since its liberation
in 1975, Cambodia has been referred to as Kampuchea.
This so-called peace treaty would give the U.N. complete power
over the administration of Kampuchea-including the defense
ministry, foreign affairs, finance and communication-allowing the
United States and France, Kampuchea's former colonial oppressor,
to dominate the country.
The history of conflict in Kampuchea has its roots in French
colonialism as well as Amerika's bloody, genocidal war against
Indochina. The Amerikan bombing of Vietnam, Kampuchea and Laos,
and the devastation that it left in its wake, defines much of the
conflict and economic and political policies in the region.
We must see through the bourgeois media's lies about Kampuchea's
past under the "communist" Khmer Rouge, and its future prospects
for real peace.
1970S, U.S. BOMBS KAMPUCHEA; 1990S, U.S. BLAMES KHMER ROUGE
On Oct. 23, 19 countries, including the United States and China,
signed a United Nations "peace" treaty in Paris, which would end
more than 21 years of civil war in Kampuchea.(1)
The Western media claims the treaty is bringing a coalition
government-the Supreme National Council (SNC)-to power in
Kampuchea, and that this would give some degree of power to the
Khmer Rouge. But this is not the case.
This so-called U.N. peace treaty would give the U.N. complete
power over the administration of Kampuchea-including the defense
ministry, foreign affairs, finance and communication- allowing
imperialist domination of Kampuchea by the United States and
France, Kampuchea's former colonial oppressor.(1)
The Supreme National Council is to comprise representatives from
three sectors of the country: the current regime, which gained
power through the Vietnamese invasion of Kampuchea in 1978;
representatives of the Khmer Rouge; and representatives of the
Khmer People's National Liberation Front, described by the Western
press as a "rightist organization." The president of SNC will be
Prince Sihanouk, head of the pro-U.S. guerillas. France first
installed Sihanouk into power in 1953.(1)
Bourgeois coverage of this historic event has included consistent
lies about the history of Kampuchea, particularly the role of the
Khmer Rouge, a supposedly genocidal, "communist" military
To understand the nature of the current "peace treaty" in
Kampuchea, and the interests it serves, it is important to
understand the history of the region, and see through the lies of
the Western media machine. The history of conflict in Kampuchea
has its roots in imperialist domination by the French, as well as
Amerika's bloody, genocidal war in Vietnam and the rest of
Indochina. The war in Vietnam and Indochina, and the devastation
that it left in its wake, has defined much of the conflict and
economic and political policies in the region.
The Vietnam War destroyed both the economic infrastructure and the
land in Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea. According to the U.S. Army,
the war killed more than one million Vietnamese people directly in
combat, and according the the Finnish Inquiry Commission, the
United States' war killed 600,000 people in Kampuchea.(3) It is
within this context that we must understand the current situation
of Kampuchea, and the roles of French, Amerikan and Japanese
imperialist forces who have been struggling for control of
Kampuchea for decades.
French imperialism and neo-colonialism
Kampuchea became a protectorate of the French government in 1863.
By the end of the nineteenth century, France controlled the rest
of Indochina as well. In 1941, France installed as king of
Kampuchea 18-year-old Prince Sihanouk,(4) who has been in and out
of power ever since. As the most important representative of the
Kampuchean bourgeoisie, Sihanouk's interests have often been
aligned with imperialist countries, most notably France and
Sihanouk was deposed by U.S.-supported General Lon Nol in 1970.
During the period in which Lon Nol was in power, Amerika
systematically destroyed Kampuchea. The United States dropped
nearly 250,000 tons of bombs on Kampuchea in 1973 alone, half the
total amount dropped on the country in the early 70s.(5) During
this period, the Khmer Rouge gained support and eventually
overthrew Lon Nol in 1975.
The Khmer Rouge and Vietnam's Invasion
The Khmer Rouge has often been accused of the genocide of millions
of Kampuchean people. In fact, the United States killed 600,000
Kampucheans during its war against Vietnam. The countryside was
decimated and two million starving refugees were forced to flee,
most to the cities-where U.S. aid was centered. These are the
conditions under which the Khmer Rouge seized power.
The Khmer Rouge evacuated Kampuchean capital, Phnom Penh, forcing
every able-bodied person to work the land in order to grow rice to
avert certain starvation. The director of the U.S. aid program
"estimated that in Phnom Penh alone 1.2 million people were in
desperate need of United States food, although at the time only
640,000 people were actually receiving some form of U.S. food
support and starvation was widely reported. [This] was caused
primarily by the U.S. bombing campaign which shattered the
In 1978, Vietnam invaded Kampuchea. Vietnamese revisionists,
backed by the Soviet Union, proclaimed "after 1967-68 and the
Cultural Revolution, we no longer looked on the Chinese leaders
who succeeded one another in the long power struggle as
socialists. Those who fought against Mao after 1966 were in
general the best of the lot."(6)
Rejection of the Cultural Revolution and a "productivity-first"
economic analysis allowed Vietnam to ally with Soviet social
imperialism, and attack Kampuchea under the Khmer Rouge. Khmer
Rouge leader Pol Pot declared himself a Maoist after Mao died.
When China invaded Vietnam in 1979, Pol Pot denounced the Gang of
Four and allied with Hua Guofeng, in an opportunistic attempt to
gain military aid from China.(3)
The Vietnam-installed government has been in control of Kampuchea
since 1978. A coalition government in exile was created in 1982 in
which Sihanouk allied with the Khmer Rouge in order to oust the
government in Phnom Penh.(4)
Sihanouk's role as President of SNC reeks of his historical
placement into power by the French. MIM sees all oppressed nations
as having the right to self-determination, free from imperialist
exploitation. The current ploy of the imperialists through their
U.N. tool is to limit the power of the indigenous population of
Kampuchea. The Kampuchean people will be forced to have a
government controlled by the U.N., with puppets that represent the
interests of imperialism. The Khmer Rouge is being included in
this Council because it controls regions which are rich in gems
While the Khmer Rouge is not Maoist, and does not uphold the
Cultural Revolution, it has in the past been key in the struggle
against imperialism. The SNC will include them, despite the
Council's lack of concern for the Kampuchean masses.
1. New York Times 10/24/1991, p. A1.
2. NYT 10/21/1991, p. A3.
3. MIM Notes 41, p. 9.
4. NYT 10/25/1991, p. A7.
5. Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman, After the Cataclysm South End
Press, Boston 1979.
6. Manchester Guardian 10/29/78.
* * *
MAKE MIM NOTES A DAILY
I am finding great value in my subscription to MIM Notes. I wish
you were a Daily!
Please send me the following literature mentioned in your last
issue for which I enclose my check for the full amount.
-Comrade from the West Coast
MC17 responds: MIM always needs writers, distributors and
contributors. If you would like to see MIM Notes become a Daily,
start by following the lead of this comrade and subscribe to MIM
Notes. But subscriptions are not enough to make MIM Notes a daily
paper. In order to accomplish this goal, we need as much time and
money as our readers can contribute.
NO LONGER A FEMINIST
Nice to hear from you today. Sorry that you were displeased with
my editing of "Anarchist Feminist vs. M-L-M Feminist." I edit for
correct English, not politics! I am fed up with everybody who
capitalizes their favorite team and turns into small letters those
they oppose. It may be of some use to you, but to me it is a
silly, childish game and won't win any revolutions. But you are
entitled to do as you please in your own paper, which is
[Lotus Blossom is referring to a reprint of MIM's article on
anarchist feminism and Marxist-Leninist-Maoist feminism that s/he
did in his/her publication, for which MIM criticized his/her
change in MIM's terminology from Black to "black." S/he was
referred to MIM Notes 58 (the letters page) for a discussion of
the importance of this terminology.-MC17]
My thinking is constantly changing due to growth and development.
I certainly agree with you that liberals are deadly. But, I don't
spell by politics but by correct English.
Many thanks for the offer of work for you. I will surely let you
know if I need anything to do, and I am honored at your request. I
am not even sure I'm a feminist anymore. Many thanks for your nice
P.S. Editors are free to edit as they please where they reign. But
thank you for your explanation; I do understand your point of
view. Remember: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." I forgot who
said that, but I've always liked it. As one of my "fascist
friends" said, I'm a freethinker. Guess I always will be.
MC17 responds: This letter is printed to show the dangers of
political work outside an organized party. Readers are encouraged
to look over the articles written by Lotus Blossom in past issues
of MIM Notes. At one point MIM and Lotus Blossom had a working
relationship of unity and struggle.
Lotus Blossom cannot conceive of seizing power, and presumably
would rather share the power of the world with the capitalists,
believing the "religion" that humans are somehow genetically
corruptible by power.
The termination of his/her working relationship with MIM has
clearly not improved Lotus Blossom's politics as s/he does not
even consider him/herself a feminist anymore. The message: Work
CANADA'S REACTIONARY SIDE
You have said in the past that distributing your literature list
is a good way to spread your views. I have put together this
list/info sheet and made a few hundred copies which I have been
distributing in bookstores and other locations. Please let me know
what you think of it.
This letter is meant to answer some questions that you have raised
with me in the past.
First of all, I did not say Stalinism is reformism. I referred to
the YCL [Youth Communist League], a formerly Stalinist
organization which is now Social-Democratic.
My references to nationalism were not referring to, for example,
Quebec nationalism, but rather Canadian nationalism. Social-
Democrats believe that Canadian nationalism is anti-American-
imperialism. I-and most socialists-believe that Canadian
nationalism is reactionary. (The same way that American
nationalism is reactionary and used to keep the masses locked in a
prison house of nations.)
I would like to comment on your reference to Canada as "Social-
Democratic" [MIM Notes 53]. That is wrong and I have never heard
any such thing in my life. Canada has never even had a Social-
Democratic government. The reason why Canada has good welfare and
health care programs is that working people fought for them and
have managed to keep those structures in place.
I also believe that you should, in articles and your "what we
stand for" section, refer to the "white NORTH american
Please send me a current literature list.
Enclosed is an article on the Shining Path [correctly the
Communist Party of Peru]. I would like to see your articles on the
Mohawks if you can send them.
In anti-imperialist solidarity,
-A friend in Canada
MC17 responds: It is good to see people taking revolutionary
initiative. The masses can only fight the power of the
imperialists by creating their own independent power structure.
People who sit passively do nothing to aid those suffering at the
hands of the fascists. People everywhere are encouraged to do all
they can to distribute the ideas of Maoism as the most effective
means to liberation.
MIM agrees with the author's criticism of the YCL, and MIM agrees
that both Canadian nationalism and Euro-Amerikan nationalism are
It is unclear in this context whether or not the author thinks
that all nationalism is reactionary, although s/he implies that
this is his/her view of Amerikan nationalism. MIM believes that
within Amerika, Black nationalism, Latino nationalism, and the
nationalism of indigenous peoples is revolutionary. The theory
that revolution must occur everywhere at once-or not at all-is
designed to keep the masses waiting. MIM believes the masses
should be fighting imperialism at its weakest links, one battle at
MIM thanks the author for pointing out the error in MIM Notes 53.
MIM should not have referred to Canada as Social-Democratic in
such a blanket statement. There are certainly S-D parties in
Canada, and some of the provinces are run by these parties, but
the country as a whole is just a slightly different, more
nationalized form of bourgeois "democracy" than what is found in
the United States.
MIM uses Amerika to refer to the white nation within the
boundaries of what is known as the United States. MIM does not
recognize current national boundaries as legitimate, but our
analysis of imperialism includes a separation of oppressed and
oppressor nation within the United States. MIM does not refer to
the "white north Amerikan proletariat" in MIM Notes because the
"Amerikan white working class" is not a true proletariat, but a
bought-off labor aristocracy. We agree that the Canadian white
working class is a bought-off labor aristocracy too, and will
clarify this in our What is MIM statement.
MIM NOTES IS POPULAR
Greetings MCs at MIM,
The latest issue has been popular here. More later in some letter
responses. Enclosed is $5 for the Stalin packet, and some articles
for your "paper tiger" column you might want to use.
You hit it right on the head about the Haiti coup and removal of
Aristide. Anyway, it's Friday and I got to get back to work.
DO ME UP!
In response to a note that his/her subscription was up, one reader
sent the following:
Do me up! Here's $20 for a two year sub. Also here's a critical
article you may be interested in and finally-I would be happy to
try and distribute MIM Notes in this city. I'd like some
suggestions about where's the best place to do it.
-A friend from the west
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS REQUEST MIM
I would like to invite you to send a speaker to present your
party's views to my class.
I teach a class at X High School with two other students, called
"Political Issues." We have covered such topics as abortion,
political correctness, capital punishment, the 1971 incident at
Attica State prison, and intend to cover such issues as U.S.
imperialism, socialism vs. capitalism, and discrimination.
One student who teaches the class is conservative, one student is
moderate, and I am liberal in my political views. Together, we
hope to present as many political views as possible to the class.
We will be setting aside a week or so to have speakers from
political groups present their platform to our students.
We would greatly appreciate having a speaker from your political
party speak to us. You may choose whether or not to answer
questions after your presentation. Each political party that sends
a speaker will have its own class period to present its views to
the class; no two political parties will present to the class on
the same day.
If you are interested in sending a speaker to present to our
class, please call me or write back soon.
-High school senior
MC17 responds: MIM was delighted to receive this invitation and is
always happy to be able to participate in these kinds of
educational events wherever people are interested in learning more
NOT WELL-READ ENOUGH?
I thought I would write to you to update my progress here at XX
University. The papers have been distributed over the last three
months at the office of [Black student group]. All the issues have
been eagerly received by many students. This is very pleasing for
me to know that, despite the conservative-bourgeois setting, the
students are taking notice of a fine publication.
I am flattered that you would consider me worthy of writing for
MIM Notes. At this time, however I feel that I am not well-read
enough in Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory to write a theoretically
I have also enclosed a dollar for your ten-page paper "Revolution
and Violence against Women."
MC18 responds: Regarding your writing for MIM Notes, we are
distressed that you are not writing because you are not "well
read" enough. You are submitting to a self-imposed elitist
standard. MIM has no such standard. In fact, our policy is just
the opposite: we want people to work out their politics through
struggle. We hope this will help you clarify what you think and
inspire your initiative by seeing your work as a contribution to a
We would rather have all of the copy in MIM Notes created by
people such as yourself. This is the mass line in action: "Take
the ideas of the masses and concentrate them, then go to the
masses, persevere in the ideas and carry them through, so as to
form correct ideas of leadership-such is the basic method of
leadership."-Mao Zedong, "Some Questions Concerning Methods of
Leadership," June 1, 1943.
We want you to write so that we can discuss the issues and
theoretical implications of your writings, and then recommend
readings based on our discussions. We know you already have a
critical eye for what's going on, and you have some sense of what
needs to happen. That's all you need to start with.
Please: write articles about current events and movements. We will
write some accompanying analysis to help flesh out your article,
and/or contact you to discuss how to improve the article so that
it reflects analysis consistent with MIM's line. Don't hesitate to
get started, and don't be afraid to say what you think, even if
you're not sure about the implications or whether or not it is
Being occasionally incorrect is not the end of the world, so long
as one is not a dogmatist about it. Accepting, respecting and
dealing with criticism is more important than pulling your hair
out about whether or not you are 100% correct. So grab the
initiative. If we worried endlessly about whether or not we were
100% correct 100% of the time, MIM Notes would never exist. While
everyone should study in order to make as few mistakes as
possible, this should not be a reason for not taking action.
MIM NOTES BEST YET
The last issue of MIM Notes [MIM Notes 58] was excellent. I feel
it was one of the best ever since my introduction to your paper
and group. Keep up the good work. Readers are encouraged by this
reader to subscribe and distribute MIM Notes far and wide. That is
an important task!
* * *
All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the
reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality they are not so
powerful. From a long-term point of view, it is not the
reactionaries but the people who are really powerful.
CUBA PLAYS CAPITALIST CARD
On Oct. 11 Cuba's Communist Party Congress approved internal
"reforms" which included eliminating the influential secretariat
of the Central Committee, and lifting a membership ban against
Christians and other religious believers. Cuban President and
Party Secretary Fidel Castro also called for a revision of
statutes which would define the Cuban Communist Party as the
"single party of the Cuban nation, Marxist-Leninist and
'Martiano'" (referring to the Cuban national hero JosŽ Mart’).(1)
Furthermore, Fidel Castro told a gathering of foreign businessmen
in Mexico City that he would open Cuba to foreign investment in
tourism, the chemical industry, textiles, transportation, and oil
Castro said, "In no book did Marx, Engels or Lenin say that it is
ever possible for countries to develop without capital, without
technology, without markets. Cooperation between the socialist
system and the capitalist system is perfectly possible."(2)
Why not offer him a seat on the American Stock Exchange? Maybe
Cuba can go up for sale the way Argentina did.
-MC59 & MC17
1. Weekly news update of Nicaragua and the Americas #89.
2. AP Wire Service 11/5/91.
* * *
NEW COMPRADORS IN ZAIRE
Today things are no clearer in Zaire than they were when
paratroopers rebelled on Sept. 23 after they weren't paid for
months.(See MIM Notes 58.) President Mobutu Sese Seko appointed
opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi as Prime Minister in an
attempt to appease opposition.
This opposition has come from the national bourgeoisie, which
Tshisekedi represents, who are hurt by comprador Mobutu's
restriction of free market capitalism. Opposition has also come
from the imperialist interests of French, Belgian and U.S.
capital, which is unhappy with Mobutu's performance as a
comprador. The Mobutu regime abandoned an "economic recovery" plan
proposed by the International Monetary Fund last year.(2)
On Oct. 21 he dismissed Tshisekedi and named a new Prime Minister,
Bernardin Mungal-Diaka.(2) Tshisekedi has formed a Sacred Union
opposition coalition which has mapped out a program to end
Mobutu's 26-year reign.(3)
The opposition government, led by Tshisekedi, has appealed to
France, Belgium and Amerika to maintain a military presence in
Zaire. According to Tshisekedi, this is because "opposition
figures and their sympathizers could face massacre."(2) Thus the
opposition is making an appeal to the former colonial oppressors
for help to get rid of the current comprador. Perhaps Tshisekedi
is interested in wresting the grip from Mobutu, so he and his
party can be compradors for a while. The Sacred Union is planning
a campaign of strikes and civil disobedience to force Mobutu's
MIM sees this as an opportunity for the masses to seize power from
the comprador bourgeoisie.
1. MIM Notes 58 (11/91).
2. NYT 11/4/91 p. A4.
3. AP Wire Service 11/ 5/91.
* * *
PALESTINIANS DENOUNCE BOGUS AUTONOMY
The first stage of the Middle East Peace conference came and went
just in time for the close of the fourth year of the Palestinian
intifada. Up to the start of the conference, the Israeli
government hassled in public over who could represent the
Palestinian people, while continuing legislative, economic and
military repression within occupied Palestine.
Israel has tightened its borders to enforce the exclusion of
Palestinians from the state. "Border" crossings-between the West
Bank and Gaza and Israel proper-are a necessary function of the
cheap labor Israel takes from Palestinians. These borders are
marked by check-points, beyond which Israeli vehicles don't go
without military protection. Palestinians driving within Israel
need special permits, and some Palestinians with permits to work
in Israel are being barred from entry.(1)
The Israeli government has always taxed the earnings of
Palestinians working in Israel. The money is supposed to go back
to the Palestinians in funding for the "territories." Yet less
than half of that money was accounted for in 1990-91. Additional
portions of Palestinian wages are paid to the Israeli workers'
federation. Far from protecting Palestinian labor, the settlers
are aiding the Israeli government's repression efforts through
their own unorganized terrorism.(1)
After the history of legal and economic repression imposed by
Israel, Palestinians deny that vague measures such as "autonomy"
will bring any form of liberation. Israel is offering easier
access to money, lower taxes and less restrictions on labor to the
people of the West Bank and Gaza as a force to divide them from
the intifada.(1) Palestinians interviewed in the midst of the
media-hyped Peace Conference gave statements the bourgeois press
could not misrepresent: Israeli-given freedom is no such thing.(2)
The Israeli military and police enforce detentions, curfews and
raids in all parts of Palestine. They serve to keep Palestinians
in fear, out of work and unable to maintain their economy. The
excuses given for such repression range from stone-throwing and
clashes to killing a settler or Israeli soldier.(1)
Jewish settlements keep popping up in and around the West Bank,
Gaza and the Golan Heights. For example, an inner ring in East
Jerusalem and an outer ring in the West Bank are acting to squeeze
Palestinians in the middle-setting up more road blocks to jobs and
simple mobility. Settlers there continue to do their part in
violence against Palestinians.(1)
Responding to an Amnesty International report on the military
justice system, the Israeli government issued a statement that,
"Some of the findings in the report are based on information which
Amnesty received from Palestinian sources and not by research, and
therefore it is not surprising that the conclusions fit into
another unsuccessful attempt to blacken the name of Israel ... "(1)
MIM sees no need for falsified evidence to make Israel look bad.
1. The Palestine Human Rights Information Center
(Jerusalem/Chicago), Update, Vol. 4, No. 7 (7/91).
2. National Public Radio, Morning Edition, 10/30/91.
* * *
SAME OLD (HORRIBLE) SONG
"Corrections officers beat, kicked and tormented inmates for days
after a riot in September that left five dead at the Montana State
Prison, the American Civil Liberties Union has charged. The
warden, the deputy warden and even Gov. Stan Stephens witnessed
mistreatment but did nothing to stop it, said Scott Crichton,
executive director of the Montana ACLU. Crichton called on the
governor Friday to reassign Warden Jack McCormick and Deputy
Warden Gary Weer. Stephens denied seeing any brutality and
described as baseless the ACLU's charges that inmates were herded
through a gauntlet of up to 100 officers wielding clubs and
chains. State Corrections Director Curt Chislholm said he was
ordered by the FBI not to comment."
To MIM, this news is like the painful scrape of a broken record
playing over and over again. The daily beatings and torture of
Amerika's prisoners-almost all members of the oppressed nations
and classes within this imperialist country-are not new. Nor is it
new that the prison guards and wardens who are paid to act in the
interest of the ruling class approve of such brutality. Not
surprising either is the role of the ACLU, a liberal organization
confined by its work-within-the-system strategy to fighting the
same old battles, thereby helping to lengthen the scratch on
MIM would like to seize control of the record player, and play a
different tune. We look forward to the day when enough people, who
are tired of hearing the same old horrible news, join us to
organize an effective resistance with our comrades behind the
walls. They cannot do it alone.
Notes: Chicago Tribune 11/3/91, p. A24.
* * *
U.S. GOV'T RUNS DRUGS
A prosecution witness in the drug running trial of former
Panamanian dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega, Noriega's former pilot
admitted that he participated in arming the Nicaraguan contras at
the same time that he was flying drugs from Colombia to Panama for
the Medell’n cartel. The testimony-given under cross-examination
by Noriega's defense attorney Frank Rubino on Oct. 1-is the first
evidence allowed to stand in the trial that connects the U.S.
government to the cocaine trade through the covert contra supply
The courts are finally admitting what the pigs in the government
and the masses in the streets always knew: The government buys and
sells cocaine for profits. Drugs help the government keep
oppressed people down.
1. New York Newsday 10/2/91.
2. Weekly news update of Nicaragua and the Americas #88.
* * *
GREEN CARDS FOR SALE
On Oct. 1 the U.S. government started granting permanent residence
visas to immigrants who invest at least $1 million in U.S.
businesses. The new law will allow 10,000 visas to be granted this
way each year. Some U.S. legislators questioned the wisdom of
selling green cards to foreign millionaires, but Sen. Phil Gramm
(R-TX) answered critics by quoting former President Calvin
Coolidge that "the business of America is business."
Notes: Weekly news update #89.
* * *
CONTRAS ADMIT FUNDING CIA
Nicaraguan National Assembly President Alfredo CŽsar confirmed
that he and other contra leaders received $600,000 from the CIA in
1989, and used it to return to Nicaragua for the 1990 elections.
This is just a small piece of the CIA funding that helps get its
puppets in government-much cheaper than direct armed intervention.
Notes: Weekly news update #92-Barricada 10/23/91.
* * *
EMBARGO EXEMPTS U.S. COMPANIES
The U.S. government began full compliance with the international
embargo imposed on Haiti on November 5. But the U.S. embargo
exempts products sent from the United States for Haitian assembly
plants; Undersecretary of State Bernard Aronson says that this is
because the United States is "concerned" about Haitian industry.
He neglected to mention that U.S. companies own many of these
Notes: Weekly news update #92.
* * *
PRISONERS BOMBED IN BRAZIL
Guards at a maximum security prison in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
used an incendiary bomb against inmates on Oct. 28, causing a fire
that left 25 dead and 10 gravely injured, including three with
burns on 100% of their bodies.
An official investigation found that guards attacked prisoners
after discovering an escape tunnel. Two guards were given jail
sentences (presumably short and in some nicer jail somewhere). The
subterranean prison, built to hold 900 convicts, is packed with
1400 inmates in common cells holding up to 40 each.
Notes: Weekly news update #92.
* * *
REVOLUTION UNFOLDS IN ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA
In early July, 26 Ethiopian political parties agreed on the
composition of their new provisional government at the National
Conference for the Formation of a Transitional Government, held in
the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. In late May, the Ethiopian
People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) had taken control
of the country, overthrowing the social-fascist Mengistu regime.
The EPRDF now has 32 seats on the new 87 seat assembly; the Oromo
Liberation Front (OLF), the strongest ally to the EPRDF, has 12
seats. Meles Zenawi, leader of EPRDF, will be president of the
The EPRDF says that this new assembly is the beginning of bringing
real power to the oppressed people, through revolutionary
democratic and economic programs.(2)
The Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) is not participating
in the provisional government. Since seizing control of Eritrea in
late May, the EPLF has been quickly establishing its own
institutions, pending a United Nations-sponsored referendum in
1993, likely to lead to independence.(1)
MIM has long supported the self-determination struggles of the
Eritrean and Tigrean nations, who fought the imperialist-backed
Ethiopian regime for decades. The overthrow of Mengistu by the
Ethiopian masses was progressive and anti-imperialist. MIM doesn't
have much information about the "revolutionary programs" of the
EPRDF, so we must watch and let the practice of both the EPRDF and
the EPLF speak for itself.
-MC67 & MC42
1. New African 9/91, pp. 17-18.
2. EPRDF News Bulletin.
* * *
TRASHING NATIVE PEOPLE
Capitalists are finding ever more ways to oppress indigenous
people of North Amerika. Over the past two years, many waste
disposal firms have aggressively pursued dumping huge amounts of
waste on indigenous reservations-part of a trend in dumping
unwanted garbage on unwanted people.
In addition, the way of life of the Cree and Inuit nations in
northern Quebec is being threatened by state monopoly capitalists
with a huge $62 billion hydroelectric project, which will forever
flood 2,000 square miles of ancestral hunting grounds. These and
other assaults are a continuation of violence against the internal
colonies in North Amerika that has gone on for hundreds of years.
Disposing waste on reservations
According to Lance Hughes, a Cherokee and director of Native
Americans for a Clean Environment, there have been 36 proposals in
the last two years to develop landfills or incinerators on Indian
lands. Most have been rejected or are now under consideration.(1)
These waste disposal firms, seeing that the indigenous people have
little means to move past subsistence, have offered a lot of money
to puppet leaders for the right to dispose industrial and
hazardous waste on their people's lands.
Also, since the reservations are "sovereign" lands, the
territories are exempt from state and local environmental
regulations. The tribal leadership implements few regulations or
fees, and they do not have the technical personnel to oversee
landfills and incinerators. This gives leeway for waste disposal
firms to contract with reservation tribal councils since the firms
have little place else to dispose of the waste at a large profit.
Waste disposal firms buy industrial waste from large corporations
and contract with private owners and the government to dispose of
the waste. On indigenous people's reservations, both environmental
standards and rates for dumping are lower.
Often, tribal councils-puppet governments of the U.S. Bureau for
Indian Affairs (BIA)-desire these contracts with waste disposal
firms since the council members will profit from these deals along
with the firms. The tribal councils ignore the indigenous people's
plea not to have their lands-what little they have left-used as
sites to dump waste from First World consumption and corporations.
In Mississippi, the tribal council chief of the Choctaw sought a
contract with the National Disposal Services Inc. to dispose
hazardous materials near its reservation. But the tribe members
soundly rejected the proposal in a referendum, despite the fact
that potential earnings ranged from $10 million to $30 million a
The vast majority of waste-450,000 tons every day-is generated
from industries. Corporate wastefulness, total disregard for the
people and the environment, and the worship of profit margins are
inherent to capitalism. It is this same ideology that murdered and
drove the remaining indigenous people into Amerikan concentration
The James Bay Project
The James Bay hydroelectric dam development in Canada is a $62
billion plan designed to generate $25 billion in exports of power
to Amerika and give Quebec economic self-sufficiency. The
development is coordinated by the state-owned public utility,
The James Bay Project is divided into two phases, with the first
nearly completed. It intends to tap the energy of 15 rivers in a
135,000-square-mile area of the Hudson Bay-James Bay region of
But the project will forever flood 2,000 square miles of ancestral
hunting grounds- something vital for the survival of the Inuit and
Cree nations. 15,000 Cree and Inuit have lived in the James Bay
area for 5,000 years.(3)
The first phase, called La Grande Project, flooded more than 4,400
square miles of land and ecologically altered 67,954 square
miles.(2) As a result, "tests in several Inuit villages revealed
mercury levels in mother's milk up to six times higher than
considered safe by the World Health Organization, and two-thirds
of the Cree children in the area tested positive for mercury
poisoning. Loss of fish habitat means that Native peoples ... are
losing their traditional homeland and way of life."(4)
La Grande Project began in the 1970s, but not until this year has
the Canadian government conceded to environmental impact hearings,
only after intense international pressure from environmental and
In response to this violence, indigenous people from both North
and South Amerika have organized to stop the next phase of what is
planned to be the world's largest hydroelectric project. The
Kayapo people from Brazil have been uniting with the Cree and
Inuit to pressure the imperialists to stop the project.
Tapiet, a Kayapo, said, "For us, holding onto our land is like
holding onto our lives, ... We're here to make you aware of why we
need our land, and of why you must shame your leaders to make them
stop these policies of taking your land." They plan to defend the
wilderness at all costs.(2) Some leaders say their people may
begin coordinated non-violent campaigns of civil disobedience.(6)
The Grand Chief of the Cree Nation, Matthew Coon Come, recently
said, "The lands of my people have begun to look like a
battlefield after a bomb raid. Wildlife habitats are flooded.
Rivers and lakes are poisoned by mercury. We can no longer eat the
fish. Animals are dying by the thousands. Our values are oriented
to nature. If you destroy the land you destroy the Cree people.
Parents can no longer teach the children out on the land. We're
losing our way of life. We don't want your money. We want these
projects stopped. Where can you buy a wilderness so vast and
The James Bay Project, coordinated by the state utility company,
Hydro Quebec, clearly shows the parasitism of state monopoly
capitalism. The project involves a tremendous amount of finance
and bureaucracy, designed to bring Quebec into international
The financial backing is a joint venture of Shearson
Lehman/American Express, Merrill Lynch and First Boston. Also,
contracts with New York state and some New England states provide
the financing to complete the James Bay Project. New York state
has a $17 billion dollar contract with Hydro Quebec to import
energy for 21 years, beginning in 1995.(7)
But New York State has suddenly reported an unexpected power
surplus and may delay energy purchase up to 15 years. This surplus
has apparently come from improved conservation and increased
output by independent producers. The final deadline for withdrawal
from its contract is November 1992.(7)
New York's sudden about-face demonstrates the little need for the
massive James Bay Project; it was developed by the state in order
to create large profits for both the state and the capitalists,
not because Quebec or northeastern United States needed energy.
Furthermore, the energy created by Hydro Quebec merely serves to
expand the collaboration between the state and the capitalists, at
the expense of the indigenous people.
1. New York Times 4/21/91, p. 22.
2. Washington Post 10/16/90, p. A16.
3. NYT 10/21/91, p. A9.
4. Greenpeace Action, Action Alert: Atmosphere and Energy Campaign
5. Toronto Globe and Mail 10/03/91, p. A1.
6. TGM 9/18/91, p. A5.
7. TGM 10/01/91, p. A1.
* * *
KOREA MOVES TOWARD UNITY
Northern Korea, experiencing a weak economy, is warming up to
reunification gestures from the imperialist-supported south. The
Korean people have long hoped for the reunification of their
country, but the current moves are not a result of the peoples'
According to recent press reports, northern Korea is close to
completion of a nuclear bomb.(1) For the imperialists, this means
the region represents a military threat. Imperialists know that
media hype about nuclear weapons rallies support for war. The Bush
administration, eager for northern Korea to join the capitalist
south, suggests that it will withdraw all its nuclear weapons from
its facility there.(1) Amerika is also pushing for officials in
the northern Korean capital of Pyongyang to agree to an inspection
of its nuclear facility by the International Atomic Energy Agency
The disparity between the two Korean economies demonstrates why
the north, straying from its previous position of strict self
reliance, may be ready to make some deals. Southern Korea's GNP
growth rate is 6.7 percent, while in the north it is only 2.4 %.
Southern Korea exports more (61.40 billion U.S. dollars) than it
imports (56.80), while northern Korea exports less (1.94) than it
While these figures suggest that the south is in a relatively
healthy position, we must also consider that the south has a much
higher foreign debt, 29.40 billion U.S. dollars, compared to only
7.87 billion for the north.(2) This is part of the cost of being
host to imperialist parasitism: foreign lenders hold all the
The north has much to offer the imperialist rulers. Recent imports
of rice indicate a desperate population, or a cheap labor pool.
The region also has minerals and other raw materials as well as
direct trade routes to both the Soviet Union and China.
Northern Prime Minister Yon Hyung Muk, and Chung Won Shiek, Prime
Minister of the south, have recently met in Pyongyang for the
first time in 10 months to discuss each others' nuclear
capabilities. While there is speculation about the north's nuclear
technology, the United States has a functioning military facility
in the south.
The Bush administration is busy prompting the north to disclose
its technology by going through diplomatic efforts, asking the
Soviet Union and China-which has agreed to sign a nuclear non-
proliferation treaty (NPT)-to use what ever influence they have to
persuade the north into allowing a IAEA inspection. Countering
this effort, the north is insisting that the south renounce
protection of any kind from the U.S. nuclear arsenal.(1)
Marxism in Korea was shaped by the country's proximity to the
Soviet Union and China, in combination with its history of
resistance against Japanese domination. In 1925 a communist party
formed, but was dissolved in 1928 "because of repression, internal
divisions, and a failure to become firmly rooted in the concrete
But the disintegration did not eliminate Marxist thought among the
Korean people, who later organized successful student movements
and general strikes against Japan. In the 1930s, the Anti-Japanese
Guerrilla Army was formed under the leadership of Kim Il Sung, who
promoted a connection with the national liberation struggle in
China, led by Mao Zedong.(4)
With the Soviet Union and the United States as allies, Korean
independence seemed imminent, as Japan was weakend by this
alliance. Following its declaration of war against Japan in 1945,
the Soviet Red Army began aiding the Korean people. This became
the liberating force in the northern part of the country. The
Soviet-Korean alliance was enough to defeat Japan without U.S.
But Amerika wanted no such victory; Korean liberation was not its
objective. To insure another outpost for its world hegemony, the
United States asked the Soviet Union to stop at the 38th parallel
and wait for them before defeating Japan. This is the origin of
the political division in Korea. While the Soviet Union accepted
Japan's surrender in the north, the United States accepted its
surrender in the south. For the people of southern Korea, this
meant a changing of the guard, not liberation.(5)
Northern Korea operated under the leadership of Kim Il Sung, whose
goal was to be independent and non-aligned. Kim addressed the
threat of "left" opportunism-reliance on dogma-and modern
revisionism, by advocating unity in the socialist camp. His
consistent attention to unity among socialists may have not been
critical enough. In his writings he states "because of internal
differences, the socialist camp is not advancing in a solid block
... "(6) But he does not identify the division.
Without specifying the issue of division it is difficult to judge
this thinking. It does not acknowledge the importance of the
Chinese Communist Party's break with the Soviet Union, a split
that identified Soviet social imperialism.
Today it is apparent that northern Korea is ready to capitulate,
on some level, to imperialism. Although MIM supports unification
for the Korean people (not of two governments), we understand that
political line is decisive, and that northern Korea cannot at the
same time be socialist and consider unification with their
imperialist-dominated neighbors in the south.
1. New York Times 10/24/91, p. A7.
2. Far East Economic Review 8/22/91.
3. Brun and Hersh, Socialist Korea, Monthly Review Press 1976,
4. Ibid., p. 72.
5. Ibid., p. 74.
6. Kim Il Sung, On Juche In Our Revolution Vol 1, Weekly Guardian
Associates, 1977, p. 486.
* * *
UNDER LOCK & KEY: NEWS FROM PRISONS AND PRISONERS.
BREAKING A CONTROL UNIT: 16 PRISONERS HUNGER STRIKE IN INDIANA
Protesting the beatings, body searches, and other atrocities to
which they are subjected daily, nearly half of the prisoners at an
Indiana maximum control unit refused to eat for several weeks
during September and October.
Sixteen of the 35 men currently imprisoned at Indiana's Westville
control unit initiated the hunger strike on Sept. 23, and four
prisoners continued to fast for 37 days, eating only when the
state prison administration threatened them with force-feeding.
Prisoners risk torture
Deprived of virtually all control over their own lives by the
capitalist class that runs the prison system, the Indiana
prisoners managed to turn one of the few acts they still
control-feeding themselves- into a weapon against the state.
The self-destructive nature of that weapon, in the end, forced the
prisoners to surrender, but not before the discipline and unity
they exhibited made substantial headway in the battle to build
public opinion against Amerika's repressive penal system.
"We have drawn a lot of public support from the mass of people out
there," reports MA101, a MIM comrade imprisoned at Westville.
"This hunger strike is in every newspaper in this state and other
states also.... The newspapers and media are helping us a lot."
The Westville prisoners' successful attempt to draw public
attention to their oppression pushed the embarrassed prison
administration into negotiating with the American Civil Liberties
Union (ACLU), which may lead to some useful reforms.
Unfortunately, the ACLU isn't interested in seeing the prison
system abolished and the capitalist class that upholds it
overthrown, as many of the prisoners involved believe must happen
for meaningful change to take place.
Despite agreeing to talks with the ACLU, the prison administration
continues to defend the use of bright lights, freezing
temperatures, and locking prisoners in shackles during the rare
times when they are allowed to leave their cells.
"We believe we're on the right track with this facility," said
Patrick Hefferman, a spokesman for the Indiana State Department of
Corrections. "We had to pass muster for all of these things in
order to open, and we did."
Even if the Indiana prisoners' act of resistance fails to provoke
reform, it serves as a warning to the ruling class that no matter
how harsh its repressive tactics get, prisoners will find a way to
organize against it. The power of the capitalist state is
tremendous, but actions, like those of the Westville prisoners,
help weaken it by exposing it for what it is.
The hunger strike at Westville and the countless other prison
uprisings sweeping through Amerika's prisons cannot in themselves
bring change to the system. The prisoners need the support of a
vanguard party working against the state both outside and inside
Ruling class-sanctioned torture at Westville
The prisoners at Westville's control unit-95% of whom are
Black-are locked in their 6-by-7 cells covered with plexiglass 22-
24 hours a day. They are not permitted to socialize. Prisoners who
protest, or who guards arbitrarily take a disliking to, are placed
in isolation cells which are kept at freezing temperatures. They
are allowed no recreation. When prisoners are let out of their
cells they are handcuffed and shackled. Guards lead the shackled
prisoners around with a dog leash hooked to their handcuffs. A
"Behavior Modification Program" seeks to batter the prisoners
psychologically so that they no longer have the will to resist.
MA101 details the measures which apparently "passed muster" with
Indiana's ruling class and which the hunger strike was aimed at
drawing attention to:
"Prisoners are being treated as if they are under a fascist
government. They are being forced to drink contaminated water out
of necessity and these prison administrators are aware of this,
but they refused to correct it. Mail (incoming and outgoing) is
being heavily monitored and withheld. All prisoners' phone calls
are recorded and monitored. Guards are using a dehumanizing body
search every time a prisoner is let out of his cell by feeling on
the genitals and between the buttocks. They are restricting all
political and social books, newspapers, religious material and
literature and using mechanical restraints on prisoners by
chaining prisoners to beds.
"The guards are beating prisoners, using illegal biological spray
on prisoners which causes the skin on your body to peel off,
taking prisoners' mattresses because they're not made, providing
inadequate medical care and staff and restricting prisoners from
recreation. Prisoners are being harassed constantly by guards.
There is an inadequate law library and no legal assistance program
by persons trained in the law. Guards are confiscating prisoners'
personal property solely because prisoners complain about these
conditions. [Prison Warden] Charles Wright is deliberately using
torture methods against prisoners by refusing to put on any heat.
Temperature in these cells varies from 30 to 45 degrees, caused by
an air conditioner turned up on high day and night.
Higher levels of prison repression
Opened last April, the Westville prison is modeled after the
infamous control unit in Marion, Ill., the objective of which is
absolute physical and psychological control over the prisoners.
Like Marion, the new Westville unit is ostensibly designed to
house only the "troublemakers"-those prisoners who are too unruly
for other prisons to handle. But the claim-which the ruling class
uses to justify the harshest conditions in Amerika's notoriously
brutal prison system-is just as false for Westville as it is for
Marion. The Marion Control Unit is widely known to be the federal
prison system's dumping-ground for its most politically
threatening prisoners, and Westville is quickly evolving into an
Indiana version of the same.
As MA101 writes: "They say I was sent here for my assaultive
behavior against pigs, but I know there is more to it. I was
really sent here because of my outspokenness against my enemy. He
hates the truth and so he sends me to this genocidal complex to
try and destroy me."
Given the courts' record of upholding the violence and barbaric
measures used by the state against prisoners at Marion, Indiana's
prison administration is optimistic that its own torture chamber
is immune from serious reform.
"Westville is based operationally and physically on Marion and on
Walla Walla [a prison in Washington state]. The courts have upheld
these facilities and we're confident they'll uphold ours," said
the DOC's Hefferman.
Hefferman may be right. The long history of failed attempts to
achieve prison reform through the corrupt Amerikan legal system
points to the ineffectiveness of tactics like those the ACLU and
other liberal groups use to promote change. The ruling class'
response to resistance like that displayed by the Westville
prisoners is more likely to be repression than leniency. State
governments and the federal Bureau of Prisons are already laying
the groundwork for more control units like Westville and Marion.
To heed the Westville prisoners' call for support, and to put an
end to the system of legalized brutality that exists in Amerika's
prisons, revolutionaries both outside and inside the walls must
work consistently to build a party capable of organizing the
masses to attack the capitalist state. Only then will the
prisoners be freed.
A DAY IN THE LIFE ...
Westville Control Unit, Ind.-I was let out of my cell for
recreation at approximately 1:45 p.m. Two pigs approached my cell,
I was handcuffed behind my back, and I was let out. While being
let out, I was told by one of the pigs to get up against the wall.
This pig started grabbing on my genitals and feeling between my
buttocks, so I started to retaliate against this dehumanizing body
The pigs called for back-up to restrain me, so back-up came and I
was placed back in my cell. About ten minutes later the pigs came
into my cell with their goon squad. So I charged the scum-sucking
pigs, and they restrained me. Once I was handcuffed, these pigs
sprayed me with a genocidal chemical, which made my skin on my
face peel off. The pigs started choking me, kicking me in the
back. After these pigs committed their cowardly act against me,
they took me to the outside rec-pad and got a high pressure water
hose and sprayed me like a dog.
After this I was taken to an isolation cell. I was put in the cell
without shoes. I was forced to lay on cold steel without blankets
for nine hours. The temperature in these cells varies from 35 to
45 degrees day and night. I only get water 15 minutes a day. My
situation has been like this for four and a half days, yes!
These people are still confiscating my books and newspapers, and
today Charles Wright, the superintendent of this control unit, had
his pigs confiscate my family pictures, law dictionary, prisoners'
rights book, and other books. He is restricting me from toilet
paper, and he only allows me to have a pen two hours a day. He is
trying to get back at me because I filed a law suit against him
and his agents. I am being constantly harassed by these pigs, they
kick on my door day and night. These policies here are worse than
the federal prison in Marion, Ill. There's only one control unit
like this in the United Snakkkes of Amerikkka.
SLIPPING THROUGH SOUTHPORT'S FENCE
Pine City, N.Y.-Here is some human education against lies. There
have been many different versions of how conditions were and still
are here at Southport Correctional Facility. A lot of the things
that should be told aren't being told, and instead many lies are
being told to give this rotten prison a name it does not deserve.
A lot of the real comrades that were here before and during the
uprising were transferred to other prisons, and now Southport has
a mostly all-new population of mostly adolescent prisoners who
continuously fight and stab each other, failing to see that they
fall victim to the divide-and-conquer tactics these pigs use on
They (the oppressors) say that Southport is New York's "super
secure" prison, which is a lie. Maximum security prisons in New
York State are no longer built with walls around them. Instead
they are built and electrified fences are put around the prison to
replace the wall. New York State has medium security prisons that
have electrified fences and are more secure than Southport, such
as the Arthur Kill prison in Staten Island, New York. The only
thing secure about Southport is that us comrades are chained,
cuffed and shackled anywhere we go.
Another lie being told is that Southport prison contains New York
State's most feared "notorious" prisoners. The state makes up that
fabrication so it can try to justify its experimentation with
Only those of us here in Southport know the actual truth! I plan
to let it be known, I have been here in Southport before and after
the uprising! Nothing has gotten better, only worse.
Our family visiting program is absurd. Cages were built in our
visiting room to separate us from our families, and we must wear
chains while visiting with our families. Visits are being
terminated and people that travel hundreds of miles are sent home
and not allowed to visit. because of the need for additional space
in the visiting room!
This is no lie, and this is no experiment, this is dehumanization!
I suggest we concentrate on the real truth. "PEACE" (Prisoners
education against correctional extermination). It is us who is
being exterminated so don't believe the hype!
* * *
FOOD AID CAUSES FAMINE IN AFRICA
According to the United Nations, 30 million people on the African
continent (population 661 million), will face starvation this
year, especially in the Horn of Africa: Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan
and Djibouti.(1, 2) The West responds to this crisis with "food
aid." In fact, it is these huge grain imports and loans from the
International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the United
States, the European Community (EC) and the World Food Program
(WFP) which have helped cause the dire conditions in Africa today.
The myth is that these poor countries face famine because of their
own bad government policies, over-population, civil war between
rival clan factions and "rebels" who threaten foreign food aid
attempts. But it is imperialist intervention which has so
destroyed the agricultural and production potential of these
countries to be self-sufficient.
The vicious circle of foreign aid is impossible to break under
imperialism: Colonial theft of natural resources, food aid, debt,
cash crops to pay off debts-all spell underdevelopment.
Over-population, on the other hand, is not a problem by itself.
The Western world thought China was over-populated, but when the
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under Mao Zedong was in power from
the 1950s up to Mao's death in 1976, China managed to feed its
growing population and pay off all its debts.(3) The CCP knew, and
MIM knows, that we have more than enough resources to feed the
As for "factional fighting" between clans, this is an old colonial
tactic to divide and rule. The colonial authorities understood
that it was easier to control a dozen ethnic groups than a united
people. By giving privileges to some groups over others, the
colonial governments played tribes against each other.
In reality there are only two "tribes"-the exploiters and the
exploited. Some African elites have been so privileged and
politically empowered by the colonial rulers, that they, too, have
come to share the colonial interests in exploitation.
And finally, if so-called rebels threaten foreign aid, so much the
better. Less foreign intervention means less foreign profits at
the people's expense.
The IMF and the World Bank have forced African governments to
impose severe austerity measures on the masses-or face harsher
repayment plans and threats to cut aid. These measures bring
inflation and cuts in food subsidies and social services, which
worsen conditions of hunger and disease.(4)
In 1988, Africa's external debt totalled more than $228
billion.(5) This year, Sudan alone owes more than $13 billion to
African people suffer under massive unemployment, often more than
30%, and a fall in real incomes by more than 50% in the past
African countries must stop foreign borrowing, and replace current
neo-colonial policies of underdevelopment with development based
on the needs of the majority of African people.
1. Christian Science Monitor 10/15/91, p. 5.
2. Population Reference Bureau, Inc., 1990 World Population Data
3. William Hinton, Turning Point in China, Monthly Review Press,
1972, p. 11.
4. Kofi Buenor Hadjor, On Transforming Africa, Africa World Press,
1987, pp. 51-67.
5. Bade Onimode, "The Debt Crisis: Imperialism's silent war of
recolonisation in Africa," Journal of African Marxists, No. 11,
2/89, pp. 8-17.
6. Middle East Report, no. 172, Sept/Oct 1991, pp. 3-13.
* * *
CIVIL WAR LOOMS FOR SUDAN
In order to retain power in Sudan, General Omar Hassan al-Bashir
and his National Islamic Front (NIF) government now depend mostly
on repression. The government's Islamic base of support is
weak-less than 10% of the population. Even with support from Iraq
and Saudi Arabia, al-Bashir's regime cannot keep up its civil war
with southern Sudan.(1)
Started in 1983, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) now has
much support in the south and among the marginalized and
secularists in the North. It now controls 95% of southern Sudan.
The United States-which has supported previous regimes in
Sudan-now puts this poor, mostly desert country low on its
Approximately 300,000 Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia returned to
southern Sudan in June of this year, escaping war and hunger to
find more of the same.(2) The U.N. estimates that 9 million people
in Sudan faced starvation this year, more than any other African
But last year the NIF government denied the impending famine and
tried to refuse large-scale food aid from the West, saying such
aid is an attack on Sudan's independence. "We eat what we grow, we
wear what we make."(4) Any pretense of self-reliance that depends
on repression is a dead end. No Third World country can achieve
self-sufficiency without a socialist revolution based on Maoist
Sudan, a country of 25.2 million, was a joint British and Egyptian
colony until 1956. On Britain's initiative, those Sudanese who
spoke Arabic and were Muslim have dominated state and economic
power from the Sudanese capital of Khartoum in the north. Those in
the south who practice animist or Christian beliefs and identify
as Africans, have been mostly without power or wealth.(1)
In July 1955, just before gaining independence from Britain,
southern rebellions against northern efforts to "Arabize" the
South began the civil war which continues today.(1)
In 1960, this conflict brought in Arab foreign support for the
Sudanese government and covert Israeli support for Anyanya, the
southern resistance movement.(5)
Israeli assistance began in 1965, channeled through Uganda. Israel
backed the southern Sudanese to prolong the war in Sudan and
prevent the Khartoum government from merging with Egypt. The
Sudanese government itself (while backing the Eritreans against
the Ethiopian government) had support from Egypt, Britain and the
In May 1969, a military coup brought Colonel Ja'afar Numayri to
power, and he continued to wage war on the south until a peace
agreement was signed in March of 1972.(5)
Nominal peace lasted for more than a decade. But in 1983, Numayri
tried to divide the south into three provinces, and the south
resisted with a new guerrilla movement, Anyanya 2. Numayri pushed
the southerners more by imposing Islami sharia law and naming
Arabic as the official language. He also moved toward a union with
Egypt and brought on major oil exploration by the U.S. Chevron
company in the south.(5) This imperialist development was
correctly seen by southerners as an attempt by the Khartoum
government to share the riches of foreign exploitation of southern
Anyanya 2 and southern ex-soldiers formed the SPLA with a
political wing called the Sudan People's Liberation Movement
(SPLM). Backed by Ethiopia and Libya, Colonel John Garang de
Mabior led the SPLA against the U.S.- and Egyptian-backed Numayri
government. Finally, anti-government demonstrations led to the
military overthrow of Numayri in April of 1985.(5)
A civilian government was established in 1986, and on June 30,
1989, the army seized power again and installed Al-Bashir who to
this day continues to wage war against the non-Muslim south.(4,5)
1. Middle East Report, no. 172, Sept/Oct 1991, pp. 3-13.
2. Christian Science Monitor 6/18/91, p. 5.
3. CSM 10/15/91, p. 5.
4. The Economist 1/19/91, p. 36.
5. Keith Somerville, Foreign Military Intervention in Africa, St.
Martin's Press, New York, 1990, pp. 32-47.
* * *
BATTLE FOR AID RIPS SOMALIA
The alliance which drove President Mohammed Siad Barre from power
on Jan. 27, 1991, now suffers from inter-factional fighting. In
August 1990, the Somali National Movement (SNM), the United Somali
Congress (USC) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM) joined
forces to push Siad Barre from the capital, Mogadishu. But when
the USC, on Jan. 29, named Ali Mahdi Mohamed as interim president,
the other factions protested and fighting began.(1)
The SNM now controls northern Somalia and the city of Berbera,
which has been destroyed by fighting there. Backed by Ethiopian
President Mengistu until his fall in May, the SNM (of the Isaak
clan) has been fighting the Siad Barre's Somali Army since 1981.
The USC (of the Hawiye clan) controls the capital and the
surrounding area, while the southern region of Somalia bordering
Kenya is under the control of the SPM, made up of the Ogadeni
On May 18, SNM deputy chair Hassan Essen Jama declared an
independent Somaliland Republic in the north, with approximately
the same borders as the colonial British Somaliland of 1935.(1,3)
Despite the peace agreement signed by six Somali groups in July,
heavy fighting continues. In August, hospital authorities in
Mogadishu said that 70-100 people died each day of gunshot
wounds.(3) Refugees of fighting in Somalia fled to eastern
Ethiopia-where conditions are the same or worse.(2)
The USC-named interim president Ali Mahdi and USC chair and chief
of staff General Muhammad Farah Aidid represent different factions
of the Hawiye clan. In early October, their conflict sparked four
days of fighting in the capital, killing 300 and wounding 700
Somalia's 8.4 million people live under the most oppressive of
human conditions. The country's main exports are food items,
bananas and livestock, while Somalis starve at home.(3) Western
agricultural producers flood Somali markets with 100,000 tons of
free food per year(5), thus destroying the domestic agricultural
economy. Local farmers are forced out of the market when prices
drop below the farmers' cost of production.
Both ends of Somalia compete for foreign aid from the
imperialists, which is hard to get. Supposed U.S. fears of
violence and "sabotage," make the United States reluctant to help
with medicine, food and water needs.(2) The International
Committee of the Red Crossis the only food aid agency working in
Somalia; there is no U.N. presence.(4)
Most Somalis are Sunni Muslims, speak Somali and have similar
cultures; however, clan differences are hostile, partly because of
Siad Barre's tactics of playing one clan against another.(2)
1. Christian Science Monitor 7/22/19, p. 14
2. New York Times 4/4/91, p. 3.
3. The Economist 9/7/91, p. 42.
4. CSM 10/22/91, p. 5.
5. Food Aid Monitor: World Food Aid Flows, transport and
logistics, World Food Program (WFP), quarterly, 12/90, p. 16.
* * *
CITY OF HOPE
City of Hope is writer/director John Sayles' picture of urban
decay. Set in a city that could be any Amerikan metropolis, Sayles
shows us pieces of the capitalist epidemic: builders on kickbacks,
corrupt politicians, police brutality, and a sell-out Black city
As one of the growing number of non-Hollywood directors who makes
political films, MIM gives Sayles high marks for this work which
gives a realistic picture of the problems of capitalism. Sayles'
other work includes Matewan, Return of the Secaucus Seven, and
Brother from Another Planet.
In the opening scene Nick, one of the main characters, quits his
union construction job where he does nothing but drugs and sit on
his ass. Nick's father, the builder, arranged the job, but the
payroll is padded with lots of other non-workers as favors to the
powers that be (necessary building permit, etc.)
In another piece of the picture, Wynn, the Black city council
member, tries to approach a Black Muslim community center for
support on a school bond issue. In what is likely seen as dogmatic
by white liberal audiences, the Muslims call him an oreo cookie,
someone who is begging for acceptance in the white man's system.
But Wynn has some opportunist lessons to teach the Muslim brothers
(and other revolutionaries.) Late in the film, two Black
kids-after being roughed up by the police-beat up a white jogger.
They make up a story that he solicited sex, justifying their
actions as self-defense. The Black community calls for a meeting
to counter the prosecution of the boys. Wynn works behind the
scenes to get the charges dropped, but he is worried that the
Muslims will call him out at the meeting, exposing that he
believes the boys made up the story.
Wynn immediately takes control of the meeting, and announces to
the awestruck crowd that he has had the charges dropped. He then
diverts everyone's attention to a housing project that Nick's
father just had burned down as a political favor to get Nick out
of trouble with the cops. Wynn gets everyone hyped that if they
march immediately to the mayor's political dinner, and show him
that they all vote, then the city will repair the project instead
of going ahead with plans to demolish it. This is a realistic
example of what happens to would-be revolutionaries who don't
assert leadership at their own events: some reformist or
revisionist will grab the bullhorn and lead the masses astray.
The downfall of Sayles' film is its liberal, anti-revolution
outlook. He paints a solid portrait of the ugly face of Amerikan
capitalism, but only holds out the ballot box. In one interview,
he said, "I personally don't see a whole lot of help coming from
above right now, and people have to realize that at least in this
country, you can get rid of these guys after eight years or maybe
four years. That you really have to take a close look and say,
'Our leadership is there because we allow them to be there.' I
hope that's true."
The film ends with a street person parroting the line "We need
help." Sayles' film needs the help of a revolutionary rewrite,
cutting the liberal illusions and telling people to build public
opinion, rather than bourgeois appeal to corrupt politicians.
MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO
My Own Private Idaho focuses on two young male prostitutes who
come from two different worlds. Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves) is an
aristocrat who wants to experience life on the wild side. Mike
Waters (River Phoenix), homeless and abandoned, spends the movie
searching for his mother. Directed by Gus Van Sant, My Own Private
Idaho is another artsy-fartsy movie based on alienated white
youth. Van Sant's previous movie was the 1989 cult hit Drugstore
Private Idaho uses Shakespeare's Henry IV to shape Scott Favor,
but the movie doesn't quite succeed in making a modern day Henry
IV. The characters sporadically fall into awkward Elizabethan
dialogues, evoking a world far away from the underground circles
of male prostitutes in the urban Pacific Northwest.
Scott Favor, like Prince Hal in Henry IV, wants to escape his
aristocratic upbringing and live in the underground, so that he
can later become a well-rounded politician, like his father. In
becoming a prostitute, he parasitically absorbs the underground
culture and later takes off-dumping his best friend Mike Waters
when he decides it's time to move on.
This is what the imperialists do with the culture of the
oppressed. Favor, as a member of the bourgeoisie, intends only to
steal from proletarian culture, which develops as both an
expression of and a resistance to oppression.
Favor befriends Waters, a down-and-out gay man from Idaho who
survives through prostitution, but narcolepsy limits his
effectiveness as a hustler. When not working or hanging out in
cheap restaurants, he dreams of finding his mother-a guaranteed
hard-on for Freudians.
Materially, Waters bears the consequences of the Amerikan nuclear
family myth. Bourgeois logic asserts the family breakup as the
cause of social ills. In reality, homelessness, prostitution and
family breakup are caused by capitalism. But overall, Private
Idaho way outshines the average Hollywood decadent drivel.
The main character in Homicide is a Jewish cop who is out of touch
with his heritage. Through an investigation, he finds the office
of a Nazi organization which prints and posts-among other things-
flyers that read "Crime is caused by the Ghetto, the Ghetto is
caused by the Jew!" The cop also gets in touch with a Jewish
terrorist group with ties to Israel, which investigates and plans
attacks on such Nazi organizations.
Homicide dramatizes the existence of anti-Jewish organizing in
Amerika, links it with the necessity for an Israeli state in
Palestine, and refuses to analyze it in any significant context.
Anti-Jewish propaganda exists in the context of Jewish privilege.
Jewish people, as a group in this country, do experience
oppression, but the material privileges they enjoy far outweigh
this oppression. The prevailing consequence of white supremacist
anti-Jewish actions is more money for Israel, and more support for
the myth that Jews are not oppressors themselves.
When Jews are attacked, they have the state to protect them.
Homicide stresses the importance of Israel in this role. It uses
the security Israel provides, set against the supposed lack of
security in Amerika, as a frame for the action of the film. It
plays on the idea that Jews can only rely on each other for
protection, and that their struggle everywhere is righteous,
regardless of the conditions against which they are struggling.
The cop's growing self-awareness, and solidarity with other Jews
is Homicide's central theme. In the film's ultimate, predictable
expression of Jewish unity, the cop works with the terrorists to
bomb the Nazi headquarters. The film treats this as a heroic
victory, but it is only a victory in the reactionary extreme. The
struggle for Jewish nationalism in Amerika can only take the form
of defending class status as part of the parasitic white nation.
And fascist propaganda will only be eliminated with a victory of
the proletariat against imperialism, not by terrorist lackeys of
* * *
APOCALYPSE 91 ... THE ENEMY STRIKES BLACK
Public Enemy, Columbia Records, 1991
Public Enemy's fourth album, Apocalypse 91 ... The Enemy Strikes
Black, is a weak show compared to last year's Fear of a Black
Planet. Apocalypse addresses problems facing the Black nation
which P.E. has covered before: suckers and sell-outs, genocide
through alcohol and drugs, media distortion and police crackdowns.
Public Enemy's past attempts at supporting the sisters are nowhere
to be found. Instead, they make references to abusing women, and
continue their old gay-bashing attitude. In spite of this counter-
revolutionary analysis, we can learn from P.E.
"Can't Truss It," explains that from the beginning of slavery in
Amerika to today's Black nation, Black people have been selling
each other out. "Divided and sold/For liquor and the gold/Smacked
in the back"-the Black nation assailed by violence and drugs.
In "A Letter to the New York Post," a Ku Klux Klan member thanks
Black people for destroying themselves-doing the KKK's job.
A speech cut into "1 Million Bottlebags," hints at how alcohol ads
and billboards in the inner city are keeping Blacks asleep,
unorganized and fighting each other. "Genocide kickin' in yo
back/How many times have you seen/A black fight a black/After
drinkin' down a bottle." This is just one more way for capitalists
to profit by oppressing the Black nation: "They're slaves to the
At the end of "I Don't Wanna Be Called Yo Niga," they explain how
religion completes the picture. A church at one end of the
"projects" and a liquor store at the other both hold Black people
down. But P.E.'s support for the Nation of Islam makes it clear
that they are not talking about all religion.
P.E. again exposes police repression of the Black nation. In "Get
the F- Outta Dodge," P.E. exposes the police crackdown disguised
as "noise pollution laws." Cops say: "A bank is robbed and you fit
the description ... keep your music down or you might get shot."
P.E. puts it all in perspective: "Blamin' me for the hardcore
roar/But they the ones wit' .44's."
Following their own lead in Fear of a Black Planet (especially
"Burn Hollywood Burn"), P.E. has more to say about the media
industry, this time focusing on Black-controlled media. In "How to
Kill a Radio Consultant," they criticize Black-controlled radio
for not playing what's important, what's good for the
neighborhood. "Only black radio station in the city/Programmed by
a sucker in a suit."
Then P.E. strikes back at the press-Black press in
particular-which has misrepresented P.E. and its members. "A
Letter to the New York Post" says "Black newspapers and magazines
are supposed to get the real deal from the source y'all."
Public Enemy reinforces its previous calls for Black unity by
exposing specific problems to its audience. Beyond the direct
repression of the capitalist state, P.E. deals with the in-
fighting and destruction within the Black nation which only aids
the capitalist state. -MC42
* * *
A RECESSION FOR THE OPPRESSED
The current recession has hit people in California hard,
particularly the Latino and Black communities of California.
"California is still locked in a recession" even if the rest of
the country is supposedly in recovery.(1)
California's previously-rapid growth has slowed down. There is
less industrial growth, less new development, and decreasing
migration of "yuppies" into the state. But the population is still
rising, as both "legal" and "illegal" immigration continue
unabated, and birth rates are high, especially in the Latino and
Black communities.(2) Latinos account for 8% of the U.S.
population and one third of all Latinos live in California.(8)
According to the 1990 census, California's population jumped 26%
from 23.7 million in 1980, to 29.8 million in 1990 (1.9 million
increase from foreign immigration, 824,000 in migration from other
states and the rest from birth rates).(2)
New industry, jobs, clean air and water are all becoming scarce in
California. The official national unemployment rate is down to
6.7%, but California's is 7.7%. In Los Angeles County, the most
populous county in the country (8.8 million), unemployment is at
9.3%. California has lost 240,000 jobs in the past year, mostly
from layoffs in the military and aerospace industries, banking and
Fewer businesses are forming or expanding in the state and
developers cannot find tenants to fill new buildings. The weak
real estate market hurts the banking industry, causing losses on
real estate loans and investments. The L.A.-based Security Pacific
Corporation, the state's second-largest bank, lost $508.5 million
for the third quarter of this year.(1)
Other states offer cheaper real estate and transportation costs
for capitalists. Underdeveloped countries like Mexico offer even
more: dirt-cheap land, a proletariat which has no choice but to
work for below-subsistence wages, and few environmental
restrictions to worry about. These benefits make a higher rate of
profit for capitalists.
Those leaving California are mostly wealthy people, 45 years old
and older, those who have made their money and now want to escape
the smog, crime and crowded conditions of the Los Angeles area.
People under 30 years old make up most of California's new
Free trade and California
Since Mexico dropped trade restrictions in 1986, California's
exports to Mexico have soared. Between 1987 and 1989, California's
agricultural exports increased from $37 million to $100 million
annually; in 1989, California's manufactured exports increased
from $2.1 billion to nearly $4 billion. Total U.S. exports went
from $12 billion in 1986 to $28 billion in 1990.(4) From this
trend alone, U.S. capitalists can expect increased profits-and the
international proletariat can expect increased exploitation-under
the Free Trade Agreement with Mexico. (See MIM Notes 52)
Then there are the maquiladora, or assembly, plants along the
border, which are overwhelmingly U.S.-owned. There are nearly
2,000 such facilities on the Mexican side of the border, employing
192,000 more workers since 1986. Maquiladora owners take advantage
of Mexican government subsidies, more lenient safety, health and
environmental regulations, and cheap labor. Mexican workers toil
for one-tenth of average U.S. wages.(4)
20 years: conditions deteriorate
Although economic conditions are getting worse for the people of
California, conditions for the Chicano and Black communities in
the L.A. area have never been acceptable.
The 1965 Watts rebellion of the Black nation and the 1970 National
Chicano Moratorium in East L.A. were both protests against
oppressive economic and political conditions. Both rebellions were
violently suppressed by the state, leading to a beefed-up police
apparatus to ensure that uprisings of such magnitude would never
New kinds of oppression keep coming. A $9.6 million fingerprinting
system designed to prevent welfare "fraud" has just begun in L.A.
County. This high-tech method of mass control has so far been
refused by 700 people, who correctly fear that that such
fingerprint information will be shared with law or immigration
officials. Now their general relief cases have been closed-but a
whopping two cases of fraud have been uncovered so far. It's an
easy way for the government to cut costs in the $200 million
program-scare away the applicants.(6)
In the Ramona Gardens housing project in East L.A. where 97% of
residents are Latino, police repression led to confrontation in
August. The 2,140 tenants are harassed daily by the sheriff's
deputies and Housing Authority officers who cruise the
area-supposedly looking for gang activity. When 300 residents
confronted 75 deputies and officers, a deputy shot and killed a
young gang member without provocation.(7)
No degree of repression can keep down organized and unified
communities. As conditions decay, oppressed communities realize
that they have less to lose and more to gain by organizing against
the ruling class. This is why a vanguard party using Maoist
thought is necessary-to organize the resistance so that tactically
irresponsible violence is avoided and community action is planned
and organized to achieve maximum results.
Electoral power for Latinos?
In March, Gloria Molina became the first Latino supervisor on the
five-member Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Los Angeles'
City Council. Now she is trying to improve conditions for Latinos
in her county.
Molina has been helping women's and "minority" businesses, pushing
to get more employees at welfare offices and AIDS clinics, and
making it possible for people to testify in Spanish at board
hearings (30% of the county speaks Spanish).(8) This "help"
amounts to nothing more than perks for Latino business owners and
band-aids for the masses.
Communities who rely on elected officials to wage their battles
for them are left empty-handed. No matter how sincerely Molina
wants to help her community by working inside the system, alone
she cannot change the nature of capitalist exploitation.
1. New York Times 10/17/91, p. A1.
2. NYT 10/16/91, p. A8.
4. Los Angeles Times 5/22/91, p. B7.
5. LA Times 8/31/90, p. B7.
6. LA Times 10/12/91, p. B1.
7. LA Times 8/6/91, p. A1.
8. NYT 10/11/91, p. A8.
* * *
U.S. ECONOMY STILL ON THE ROCKS
by MC11 & MC67
Amerika's anarchic capitalist economy continued to reel under the
weight of its own contradictions in October and there's no upturn
in sight, the latest industry and government statistics show.
Amerikans' average weekly earnings fell 0.7%, unemployment rose to
6.8% and retail sales-which account for one-third of economic
activity in the United States-fell 0.1% during October, the
federal government reported in mid-November.(1)
The numbers are the latest in a series of signals that the U.S.
economy, which has seen at least seven crisis-recession-recovery-
boom periods in the last 15 years, is still mired in the recession
phase of capitalism's vicious cycle. (2)
Like all recessions under capitalism, the current economic
downturn is the result of corporations producing more stuff than
they can sell. You might think that after so many turns through
the recession grindstone, the capitalists would figure out how
much of what sorts of goods people can buy at a given time, and
adjust their production schedules accordingly. But they can't.
Overproduction is part of capitalism.
Overproduction is a result of the basic conflict that will
eventually lead to capitalism's downfall: the contradiction
between the private ownership of the means of production and the
social nature of production. In other words, capitalists don't
produce goods to consume themselves. They produce goods for social
consumption, for other people to buy, on a large scale.
But under the condition of private ownership, capitalists must try
to reduce wages to the lowest possible level, in order extract the
most profit and expand their scale of production. (Provided that
there is profit, capitalists will compete among themselves to
expand production). So total production is expanded, but the
purchasing power of the workers is reduced, and they can't buy all
that the capitalists can make.
Another reason for overproduction is the utter anarchy of the
capitalist market. Since what and when and how much of any product
capitalists choose to produce is left to their own private
decisions, social production is uncoordinated. Individual
capitalists cannot possibly know the actual demand for a certain
For example, the U.S. auto oligopoly-General Motors, Ford and
Chrysler-have lost more than $5 billion so far this year, as
Amerikans realized they didn't have the dough to buy that new car
and the pace vehicle sales slowed to a crawl.(3) (Needless to say,
the "Big Three" don't pay their Mexican, Korean, and other Third
World workers anywhere near enough to enable them to buy cars, so
they couldn't count on sales in those countries to bail them out.)
Automakers that build cars and trucks in the United States
(including several Japanese companies) have expanded their
production capacity so much over the last decade that they now
have the capacity to produce about six million more vehicles than
people in the U.S. will buy. And even if they don't use all that
production capacity, they have to pay for upkeep on the plants and
Yet U.S. vehicle sales boomed during most of the 1980s, fueled by
the illusion of demand that capitalists in different sectors work
together to create for their mutual profit. Financial capitalists
(bankers) extend credit to consumers and commerical capitalists so
they can buy stuff. Commericial capitalists (car dealers) order
goods from industrial capitalists (GM, Ford & Chrysler), who
produce more and more goods to fill the commericial capitalists'
orders. And so the circle goes, until the gap between society's
actual purchasing power and the illusory demand is revealed, and
economic crisis ensues.
Of course, overproduction does not mean that things produced by
society are more than what the masses can consume. As Amerika
suffers from a crisis of overproduction, its government estimates
that 32 million people within its borders are living in
poverty.(5) Overproduction is relative to the purchasing power of
the masses, not to social need.
Nor is filling social need what the ruling class is wringing its
hands about on Wall Street and in the bourgeois media every day.
Rather, it is worrying about returning its bloodsucking
corporations to profitability. After all, Amerika's top 631
corporations "only" made an operating profit of $28.3 billion
between July and September, a decline of 23% over last year.(6)
The result of the economic crisis has been to intensify the
contradictions of capitalism. Many small and mid-sized enterprises
have gone under, or been absorbed into larger ones as the ruling
class continues consolidating its wealth. And as people reduce
their level of consumption and commerical capitalists cut back on
orders, industrial capitalists cut back on production and lay
people off. Almost two million more people were without work in
October than in July 1990.(1)
Although much has been made by bourgeois economists of the plight
of the middle class, white workers in the U.S. are for the short
term largely insulated from the capitalists' economic woes. The
average wage of U.S. production and non-supervisory
workers-described as "stagnating" by the New York Times-slipped
only .1% in October to a whopping $10.41 an hour. The average
weekly wage of these workers declined .7% to $357.06-not bad for a
country suffering what some describe as its worst economic
downturn since the depression of the 1930s.(7)
Amerika's white workers are as a group paid more than the value of
their labor, an arrangement the ruling class has agreed to in
exchange for their not rocking the capitalist yacht. Autoworkers
at GM, Ford and Chrysler, for example, get 60-95% of their base
pay whether they work or not.(8) As Amerikan capitalism continues
to be shaken by economic crises such as these, Amerika's labor
aristocracy may find itself unable to strike such sweet bargains.
But U.S. capitalists will no doubt strive to maintain white
workers' standard of living as long as possible, as its bulwark
against revolution at home.
Today, monopoly capitalism has evolved such that only a handful of
corporations control much of the world's output of goods, mostly
by controlling key basic industries. This absolute control of
economic activity by a handful of multi-national conglomerates
reflects the gradual and violent decay of capitalism. And with
each crisis, the depression becomes more acute for Third World
nations, held by the imperialists as labor camps for First World