This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.
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THE MAOIST INTERNATIONALIST MOVEMENT
MIM Notes 178 January 15, 1999
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. DROP SANCTIONS, NOT BOMBS
AMERIKA LAUNCHES AIR STRIKES AGAINST IRAQ
2. AMERIKAN WIMMIN BOMB IRAQ
3. MUMIA CASE PROVES NEED FOR PARTY PRESS
4. REVIEW: THE WEALTH AND POVERTY OF NATIONS: WHY SOME ARE SO
RICH AND SOME SO POOR
5. CAMPAIGN TO EXPAND MIM NOTES DISTRIBUTION
6. CLINTON TRIES TO SEAL PALESTINIAN NEOCOLONIALISM;
PLO THROWS OUT ITS CHARTER
7. HEAT IS UP IN THE MOVEMENT AGAINST THE PRISON-STATE
8. AMERIKAN RULING INSTABILITY INCREASES:
9. PUERTO RICANS VOTE ON COLONIAL STATUS
10. BORICUAN REVOLUTIONARY MAOIST:
"LIFE MISSION TO DESTROY IMPERIALISM!"
11. LA DISTRICT ATTORNEY PURSUES CASE AGAINST
GERONIMO JI JAGA
12. BPP MEMBER GETS NEW TRIAL IN CRACKERVILLE, AMERIKKKA
13. STAR TREK: INSURRECTION
14. ENEMY OF THE STATE
15. UNDER LOCK & KEY: NEWS FROM PRISONS AND PRISONERS
16. LETTER ON MIM NOTES ART
17. RAIL INITIATES RADIO PROGRAM ON PRISONS
18. DOUBLE YOUR MONEY,
DOUBLE YOUR SUPPORT FOR RAIL NOTES!
19. STUDY, STRUGGLE AND BUILD OPPOSITION TO IMPERIALISM! BOOKS ON
BLACK REVOLUTIONARY NATIONALISM IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE
20. UNDER LOCK & KEY: NEWS FROM PRISONS AND PRISONERS
* * *
WHAT IS MIM?
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
* * *
DROP SANCTIONS, NOT BOMBS
AMERIKA LAUNCHES AIR STRIKES AGAINST IRAQ
ORGANIZE FOR ANTI-IMPERIALIST REVOLUTION
The governments of Amerika and England launched four
nights of air strikes against the Iraqi people
starting December 16. The recent air strikes continue
the decade long war against the Iraqi people. The
bombings will bring about increased death and
destruction in the name of expanding U.$. imperialist
To defend the continued genocide and recent military
campaign, the imperialists pointed to the UN weapons
inspectorís report on the status of UNSCOMís
operations. The report stated that Iraq did not
cooperate with Amerika. The imperialist report --
written with the advice of the $tate Department --
stated that Iraq "compromised" UN inspections of
alleged weapons of mass destruction.
The inspection process and its underlying premise of
Amerikan authority are bogus. The deployment of
weapons of mass destruction has overwhelmingly been at
the hands of Amerikan imperialism. The imperialists
attacked civilians under the guise of destroying
Iraqís hypothetical future use of weapons of mass
Because Amerikan imperialism relies on being the most
powerful economic and military force in the world, the
u.$. is willing to use its weapons of mass destruction
any time a country does not bow to its will. And in
this case as others, the imperialists create a show to
justify genocidal military attacks. Beyond the number
of direct deaths (estimated at 75 civilian), the
bombings increase the deaths from preventable health
World War III continuesImperialist military strikes
are only the shooting aspect of World War III waged
against the Third World. Since 1990, the U.$., with
the blessing of its puppet U.N., has enforced an
economic blockade against Iraq. MIM recognizes these
economic sanctions as an act of war.
It is no surprise that the Iraqi people oppose the U$.
So far more than 800,000 civilian Iraqi people have
died from starvation and lack of medicine and adequate
water treatment facilities. (This total is in addition
to the number of civilians killed during the Gulf War
bombings.) More than half of the dead have been
children born after the Gulf War.(2) Every ten minutes
an Iraqi child dies from malnutrition, preventable
disease or other effects of the sanctions. When
sanctions result in massive deaths and destruction, it
is impossible to rationally reject the analysis that
this is genocide.U.$. imperialism benefits from
continued economic sanctions. The sanctions keep Iraq
from upsetting investments in other parts of the
region and keep Iraqís commerce out of commission.
With the current low oil sales due to the economic
crisis in Asia, more Iraqi oil on the market would be
unwelcome competition for Amerikan companies and
The military attacks strengthen the imperialist hand
against Iraq. The ruse surrounding weapons inspections
helps to ensure prolonged implementation of the
sanctions. The military campaign and economic
sanctions as well as the tripling of imperialist
ground troops in the region aid the long term
imperialist goal of installing a puppet dictator that
will kowtow to Amerikan demands. Until a U.$.-puppet
is installed, the U.$. will continue its attempts to
control Iraqi participation in the oil market through
its current methods.
Amerikan hypocrisy & hegemony
Because Iraq has given up Kuwait, the blockade is
illegal by UN resolutions. (Not that blockades were
ever legal.) Now, the United Snakes of Imperialism
uses Resolution 687 to justify the bombings and
continued sanctions. U.N. Resolution 687 calls for
Iraq to destroy its alleged weapons of mass
destruction and to commit to inspections.
Even taking for granted the U.$. claim that it was
right to bomb Iraq if it violated the inspections, it
is instructive to look at the Butler report. UNSCOM
chief Richard Butler complains that Iraqi compliance
with resolution 687 is "unacceptable." Since November
17, 1998, there have been 427 inspections of Iraqi
sites. According to Butler's report, there have been
only 5 "disruptions.":
1) a 45 minute delay, 2) an Iraqi rebuff to UNSCOM
attempts to interview undergraduate science students
in Baghdad, 3) restricting access to the small office
of a Ba'ath party leader, 4&5) delays in getting
access to buildings on the Muslim sabbath.
By many accounts, Iraq has destroyed its weapons of
mass destruction. It is not in the interests of U.$.
imperialism to admit that Iraq has met the terms of
Resolution 687. To do so would mean that the u.$.
would have to lift economic sanctions against the
Iraqi people, stop its strategy of genocide and lose
the prospects of controlling Iraq to protect U.$.
Whether or not the accounts are accurate, MIM opposes
the bombing of Iraq or other forms of coercion to
control its military capacity. MIM opposes imperialism
entire, including the imperialist power to act as
Just as white pigs occupy the territory of oppressed
nations within the u.$., the imperialists act as world
pigs ñ in both cases, the pigs implement rules which
benefit the economic, military and political interests
of imperialist Amerika. MIM opposes the imperialist
power to dictate the political, economic and military
systems of other nations. We support genuine self-
determination of oppressed nations and see this is the
only way oppressed nations can negotiate with others
on more equal terms and internally develop the best
means to meet the needs of the people ñ proletarian
dictatorship.The United Snakes would never allow
another country, especially an enemy, to inspect its
weapons systems. The Senate Foreign Relations
Committee attached provisions to the implementation of
the Chemical Weapons Convention that are like Saddam
Hussein's protests to UNSCOM inspections. One
provision says: "The President may deny a request to
inspect any facility in the United States in cases
where the President determines that the inspection may
pose a threat to national security interests." It
further states that "any objection by the President to
any individual serving as an inspector shall not be
reviewable in any court."(11)
Amerikan citizens are even denied the right to
document illegal Amerikan weapons. Six members of the
Citizens Inspection Team, a pacifist group, were
arrested for trespassing during attempts to inspect
Davis Monthan Air Force Base for the presence of
depleted uranium ammunition. This armor piercing
ammunition is dangerous because of its radioactivity.
Since its effects last for a long time and can cause
high rates of death, it is illegal under international
law.(8) These are simply a few examples that the
United Snakes of Imperialism expects and enforces
maximum protection of its military activities while
simultaneously invading (what are supposed to be)
sovereign nationsÖ to inspect and destroy weaponsÖ and
to murder civilians.
Who uses biological, chemical and nuclear weapons?
When Iraq used poison gas against the Kurds and Iran
in the 1980s, it was defended by the United States and
UN. Gassing the Kurds in their fight for independence
wasn't original to Iraq, it was first done by Great
Britain in the 1920s.(4)
The United Snakes is the only country to have actually
used nuclear weapons, and did so against civilians.
Additionally, the key ingredient in pepper spray --
used daily by police and prison guards -- is banned by
the United Nations Biological Weapons Convention in
Current warnings of the threat of biological weapons
from Iraq continue to tell only the imperialist side
of the story. In the Persian Gulf War, Amerika used
such weapons as napalm and fuel-air explosives against
both military and civilian targets, in violation of
the Geneva Convention.
A fuel-air explosive releases a "shockwave" whose
"concussive force would surely rupture internal organs
or eardrums of Iraqi soldiers pinned down in their
bunkers. This is not even to mention incineration and
asphyxiation, as the fire storm of the bomb sucks all
of the oxygen out of the area."(5)
According to the CIA, Iraq did not use or deploy
chemical and biological weapons in Kuwait.(7)
Even after the war was over, Amerikan armed forces
used both biological and chemical weapons on the
"Highway of Death," a road from Kuwait to Iraq along
which retreating Iraqi troops and Palestinian,
Jordanian, and other war refugees traveled at the end
of the 1991 war.(6) Again, these are only a sampling
of imperialismís attacks against the masses of the
world. This is why MIM organizes against U.$. bombings
and sanctions within the context of building
revolution against imperialist control entirely.
Masses protest bombings
The bombing may have stopped after four nights, but
evidence points to a renewed military campaign. One
key factor is that Amerika has been increasingly
quicker to jump into military enforcement of
imperialism in the past year. Amerika uses military
force at times during the current World War III to try
and scare the masses back into obedience. But from the
long-term perspective, it has the opposite effect of
exposing Amerika for the genocidal murderer it is.
After the bombing began, demonstrations were
immediately organized around the world.
The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist League (RAIL)
organized rallies, video showings and teach-ins.
In the West Bank, thousands of Palestinians
demonstrated against the attack, and one was shot and
killed by Israel police.(9) Palestinians chanted
"Death to America" and "Death to Clinton".
Indonesian protesters were photographed with signs
such as "Clinton=Hitler" and "Clinton is mass murderer
of the year."
The Iraqi people know that Clinton's claim to oppose
not the common people but only Saddam Hussein to be
false. The December attacks merely teach the new
generation why they should oppose imperialism.
One Iraqi told a reporter: "Last night my daughter
asked me, 'What is it?" when the bombs started," ...
describing how his three children cowered in fear and
cried next to him n bed as the missiles rained down.
"I told her it was America. She asked me 'Why does
America do this to us?' And I told her it is because
they have hatred for the Iraqi people.... There is no
factory, no presidential palace, no weapons site here.
There are only people. So why do you bomb us?"(10)
1. NPR - "All Things Considered" December 16, 1998
3. The Independent 14 October 1998.
4. "The pot calling the kettle black: A history of
bio-chemical weapons," http://www.Al-
5. Ramsey Clark and others, War Crimes: A Report on
United States War Crimes Against Iraq. Maissoneuve
Press (Washington, D.C.: 1992), p. 86. 6. Ibid, p. 18.
7. CIA report on Intelligence Related to Gulf War
8. Iraq Notes, Houston Coalition to End the War
Against Iraq, 281-546-7173 9. Agence France Press Dec
10. Boston Globe Dec 18 1998 p. A19.
11. The Progressive March 1998 p. 8.
* * *
AMERIKAN WIMMIN BOMB IRAQ
Score one imperialist pseudo-feminist point for
Amerikan wimmin in Operation Desert Fox. Aboard the
USS Enterprise (yes, thatís the real name of the
aircraft carrier) several female pilots were the first
to drop bombs in combat during this latest attack on
This is the kind of "progress" that pseudo-feminists
across the U.$. fight for: The right of wimmin to
participate actively in the mass destruction of
nations that refuse to bow to every demand of the U.$.
government. In fact, many pseudo-feminists are upset
that wimmin still are not allowed to participate in
ground combat. These people believe that it is only by
fully participating in imperialist domination and
murder can wimmin achieve equality to men.
MIM has an alternative. We fight for wimminís equality
through their full participation in the revolution to
overthrow imperialism and end class, nation and gender
oppression. We do not want full equality with men on
the level of equal rights to oppress and exploit the
majority of the worldís people. We demand the right of
all wimmin around the world to be free of imperialist
domination. Only by recognizing the principal enemy,
imperialism, can we take on the battle against gender
oppression on the side of the oppressed.
Note: Associated Press, 23 December 1998.
* * *
MUMIA CASE PROVES NEED FOR PARTY PRESS
On December 9, the television show "20/20" aired an
half hour presentation on Mumia Abu-Jamal's legal case
and openly scorned the protesters seeking his
release.MIM hopes that many people who have read about
this case saw the "20/20" show with Sam Donaldson. It
was a case of concrete proof why we must insist on
building independent institutions of the oppressed,
including media.Many people naively beg or pull stunts
to attract the major news media's attention. They
don't understand that coverage is not the same thing
as truth. Even if begging for coverage works, there is
no guarantee on what the result will be. In the whole
half-hour show, "20/20" found no place to mention that
all major prosecution witnesses have been uncovered as
being coerced by police. It just so happens that the
prosecution's witnesses had charges against them
outstanding. In 1996, one signed an affidavit to this
effect. Yet no new trial has been granted. Hence, on a
strictly legal and narrow journalistic basis, "20/20"
exposed itself to the public as another vile
imperialist media organ. Even more importantly, we
must have independent media of the oppressed built
from scratch, because after arguing with Sam Donaldson
and Judge Sabo type reactionary morons, we ourselves
will become reduced to their level. We must discuss
amongst ourselves the full range of issues of right
and wrong. The fact that Mumia had a trial with 9
whites on the jury, and not his peers -- this is
something that we need to discuss in terms of national
liberation struggle. We can let the lawyers talk about
what they think is important to the white man's
judges, but in the end, there is the question why
Daniel Faulkner was patrolling in the first place.
Faulkner was white and even Philadelphia cops and Sam
Donaldson admitted he was beating up a Black man,
Mumia's brother, when Mumia came on the scene. If the
Black nation had its own police and courts, that never
would have happened. Despite the fact of Mumia's
arriving in the midst of a beating, Maureen Faulkner
says he was a "cold-blooded" killer. As demonstrated
in the first Rodney King trial of the white officers
beating him on video-tape the Euro-Amerikan nation
does not get it. The simple idea that criminals are
criminals even if they are wearing blue does not occur
to the crackers populating Amerika. They are oh-so
proud to win a case in which the system gave Mumia's
lawyer $150 to conduct his defense. They think it
grand to count as "truth" the verdicts from cases
involving testimonies from people about to go on trial
themselves. If good samaritans came across Rodney King
getting beat by four officers along the side of the
highway and decided to aid Rodney King by shooting the
officers, they would be righteous. MIM opposes armed
struggle at this time, but we must not think as the
crackers do -- that it's an automatic given that cops
should do as they please. White cops in contact with
Black people should be treated as an occupying army.
* * *
THE WEALTH AND POVERTY OF NATIONS: WHY SOME ARE SO
RICH AND SOME SO POOR
by David S. Landes
New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1998 650 pp.
reviewed by MC5
David Landes is a retired Harvard professor aiming
squarely at an issue we Maoists see underlying what we
call the "principal contradiction" between oppressor
nations and oppressed nations. He claims to examine
the last 1000 years of history and finds that Europe
is the main contributor to economic and technological
Review of reviews
MIM's glee over the publication of this book is also
connected to all the ivory tower leading lights
willing to go down with Landes' imperialist chauvinist
sinking ship. As Reason Magazine's contributing editor
Deirdre McCloskey practically admitted in a review of
the Landesí book, the field of economic history is
dominated by Marxism even in the ivory tower. Rarely
do we find anything that the bourgeois economists (and
Landes claims to be one) will hoist as their banner
and be accountable for.
In the case of this book, we have Nobel Prize winners
Robert Solow and Kenneth Arrow in addition to John K.
Galbraith lined up to champion Landes' book. In
addition we have the New York Times, Wall Street
Journal and Los Angeles Times singing the praises of
Landes. As such, the book is irresistible target
practice for us Maoist scientists.
Generally, Landes received favorable but lightweight
reviews. We will add a few remaining points of
agreement with these reviewers. Landes indeed has
launched a very lucid attack on post-modernism and
Marxism. Partaking in frequent sentence fragments,
Landes clearly indicates a willingness to pay the
price for clarity. We agree with him and his reviewers
who pointed this out.
However, we find it regrettable the Kirkus Review
could only say the book borders on the chauvinist.
Landes has long been about as conscious an imperialist
chauvinist as there can be.
Third World anecdotes, not systematic evidence
What Landes does say about Third World societies is
either stereotypical or ad-hoc. It takes little
analytical effort to say that Third World culture must
be holding back industrial development, because the
Third World is relatively underdeveloped compared with
Europe and Amerika. Such becomes a circular argument
when the details of Third World society are either
unknown or not gathered up in systematic ways.
J. Bradford De Long points out that Landes talks about
China being the most scientifically advanced in the
earlier part of the millenium but fails to offer a
convincing reason for why China lost its edge. Relying
on the academic work of others, Landes puts forward
that China's Confucian culture vested business and
state power in one place and thwarted the efforts of a
potential business class to innovate.
In contrast, Marxism does not attempt to explain
development by timeless cultural arguments. Marxism
refers to modes of production that change over time.
We Marxists also do not feel compelled to justify
European superiority on the basis of evidence that
does not exist.
Landes and many others in the tradition of "cultural"
explanations cannot explain why Confucian culture was
the most advanced scientifically at one time, because
Confucianism is a constant and China's global
scientific leadership role has been a variable.
Furthermore, since Landes believes that Taiwan, Hong
Kong and southern Korea have "made it," he has no
explanation there either. They should still be
stifling under Confucian mores against profit.
Other reviewers gave Landes credit in the sense that
we are "all postmodernists now." He admits that
European civilization was inferior to Egyptian and
Sumerian civilizations for thousands of years. The
reason he gives is that Europeans didn't have the
tools to handle Europe's dense forests (p. 19) and
today many tropical countries still do not have the
tools to deal with their environment. Landes does not
tell us whether other societies were ahead in their
forest-chopping technology, but he only asks to be
accountable for the last 1000 years of history anyway.
Also in the everyone-is-post-modernist-now spirit,
Landes trots out a story about a fabulously wealthy
African king (p. 73-) without ever explaining the
details of how this African king and his culture
failed along the criteria that Landes say are
necessary for development.
In the case of India, Landes tells us that Hindu
religion saw no need to minimize the use of labor.(p.
227) He does not connect that to anything specific in
the culture, so it is a fairly circular argument
buttressed by ad-hoc arguments, such as that India had
no screws.(p. 228) What is more he misses a chance to
discuss diversity within Hinduism along the lines of
his own concepts of "openness" and "tolerance" of
discussion. Instead, what Landes does is explain the
trivial with the trivial on an ad hoc basis.
He admits that when it comes to India and its
relationship to British imperialism, he found
published works lacking. "Almost no written
documentation comes down to us from the Indian
side."(p. 163) It seems to Landes that even Indian
scholars base their books on Western documents.
While Landes bashes the post-modernists, he is simply
the twin evil of post-modernism. Landes conducts poor
science or pseudo-science in the name of not having to
study or know much about Third World society. The
post-modernists point to those like Landes and
conclude (correctly) that we must study Third World
society as part of "diversity." Yet on account of poor
science by the likes of Landes, post-modernists reject
"The difference in income per head between the richest
industrial nation, say Switzerland, and the poorest
nonindustrial country, Mozambique, is about 400 to 1.
Two hundred and fifty years ago, this gap between
richest and poorest was perhaps 5 to 1, and the
difference between Europe and, say, East or South Asia
(China or India) was around 1.5 or 2 to 1."(p. xx)
Landes himself raises the fact of accelerating
economic inequality, but none of his arguments address
that acceleration. He contents himself with pointing
out differences, differences that have been more or
less constant and hence not useful to explain larger
and larger gaps. In fact, the differences Landes
notices have gotten smaller over time while the
economic gap between imperialists and oppressed
nations has gotten larger.
Readers can judge for themselves whether or not
Landes' own criteria have become more true or less
true in the time that acceleration of inequality took
"If I had to single out the critical, distinctively
European sources of success, I would emphasize three
considerations: (1) the growing autonomy of
intellectual inquiry; (2) the development of unity in
disunity in the form of a common implicitly
adversarial method, that is, the creation of a
language of proof recognized, used, and understood
across national and cultural boundaries, and (3) the
invention of invention, that is, the routinization of
research and its diffusion." (p. 201)(italics removed)
In other words, Landes says Europe took up science and
engineering and had the openness and freedom to do so.
Science led to overall economic leadership, he says.
Readers need to ask themselves if it is not true that
more of the world has been exposed to science and even
the Anglo view of things than ever before. Yet just as
Anglo "openness" and media and demonstrations of
science and engineering reach more people more often
in faster communication than ever before, the gap
between rich and poor continues to widen.
Ironically, Landes does acknowledge the obvious facts
of the situation. Science has made the rounds globally
now. He derides those who believe China still needs to
be cheer-led into science.(p. 349)
Even more telling is some evidence he presents from
Africa in 1962: "Without significant exception, all
African leaders . . . share the passionate desire to
acquire all the good things which western civilization
has produced in the two millennia of its history. They
want especially to get the tehnological blessings of
American civilization, and to do so as quickly as
possible.(pp. 499-500) Despite this fact, Africa is
where the most countries with negative income growth
can be found. Once again, if it is true that
scientific method and Anglo influence are global now
more than ever, why is the gap between rich and poor
expanding if Landes is right?
For us Marxists with the labor theory of value, it is
not difficult at all to come up with a theory about an
exponential growth rate in one group of countries and
stagnation or regression in another group. Quite
simply, the surplus-labor of one society contributes
to the wealth of another. Even only a few percentage
points of the total labor being appropriated from the
Third World will explain European growth the same way
a savings account grows exponentially in size over
decades and centuries.
In addressing similar arguments from the "dependency"
school of thought in Latin America, Landes said that
even if foreign interference is the real reason for
poverty, it would be better to "stow" the theories
that were true and concentrate on self-improvement.(p.
328) On the last page of the book, he returns to this
theme talking about the need for an optimistic and
striving culture and not a pessimistic one.(p. 524)
To the extent that talking about imperialism is an
excuse for whining, MIM has to agree with Landes.
However, his remark on this in all italics shows an
improper understanding of the importance of science. A
bleak theory blaming foreign influence of imperialism,
if it is true, means that development can only occur
by destroying the link to imperialism. In other words,
there are practical implications of "science" and they
cannot just be "stowed." An accurate view of a problem
is necessary before one solves it with the least waste
Social-democratic view of imperialism
In reply, Landes says that the imperialists already
withdrew from the colonies. The reason they leave is
that the cost of administration of colonialism became
too expensive.(pp. 393,423)
Social-democrats have always differed with Lenin's
theory of imperialism. According to the social-
democrats, when imperialism becomes too costly, policy
changes. Landes accepts that view.
>From the Leninist view, the imperialists only withdraw
when the cost to them is too great. The imperialists
hardly care if the exploited or the oppressed bear the
costs of empire. A war may be very expensive, but if
the imperialists are not paying the taxes, then they
see benefit in that war for colonial plunder.
It is also important to point out in this context that
Lenin never said a system had to export capital
steadily without crisis to be imperialist. If a
society is characterized by export of capital but more
capital flows back as accumulation from foreign
investments, then that is exactly what we Leninists
believe. Lenin's theory of imperialism is a theory of
crisis. Certainly there is much capitalism that never
reaches the multinational corporate stage, but once it
does reach that stage, we Leninists never claimed it
would be stable or successful.
Although Landes does discuss the genocide committed
against indigenous peoples, he is untroubled by the
possibility that militarism might have been the real
reason some societies failed or ceased to exist while
the Europeans went ahead. Perhaps development has not
much to do with protecting private property and quite
the contrary many societies more advanced perished on
its account already.
The discussion of militarism by Landes is totally
lacking. He is irked that some progressive historians
treat European military superiority as an accident of
history.(p. 89) He knows that all of European progress
can be linked to the use of force against Third World
peoples, so he goes to great lengths to show that
Europe was already more advanced than the Third World
and that is why it had military superiority.
His own story on the Chinese undercuts him. The
Chinese invented gunpowder; yet they did not plunder
the world with the invention. In fact, Landes implies
the Chinese didn't really understand their invention
and mystified themselves with war as if it "were a
display of recipes."(p. 53)
This observation and many similar ones did not stop
Landes from saying later that imperialism "is the
expression of a deep human drive."(p. 63) A mere 12
pages later, he quoted Columbus on how the natives of
North America did not covet property and "they know
nothing of killing one another."(p. 75) So much for
Landes's "deep human drive" idea.
Landes admits that the white man was baffled by the
indigenous people and that contributed to genocide,
but Landes seems unwilling to consider the possibility
of peoples more restrained than Europeans and also
perhaps less restrained in militarism and now gone
On the other hand, Landes also never tallied up all
the imperialist military aid from Anglo-Amerikan
imperialism to pre-capitalist ruling cliques. Even
mentioning the global military aid of U.$. imperialism
to repression would have undercut the European
tradition he wants to credit for economic progress.
Thus, if openness is crucial to development as Landes
said, then U.$.-backed military repression throughout
the world is a perfect explanation for lack of Third
No Soviet Union treatment
It appears that at least in the case of the Soviet
Union, the more Western openness, the slower the
economic growth. Economic growth was fantastic under
Stalin and has steadily decelerated since his rule.
The more capitalism the Soviet Union took up, the
worse its economy became. Now in this last bit of
Yelstin-era capitalism, the economy has shrunk 40
The success of Stalin and
the failure of Yelstin is something Landes does not
even attempt to address. What little he says treats
the Soviet Union as one thing from 1917 to 1986.(p.
497) We Maoists say it went state-capitalist after
Stalin died in 1953.
Points of unity with LandesDavid Landes is an
historian who attacks Marxism as "too simple." When he
needs to use a little Marxism, he uses it, but in an
explanation with several other chains of reasoning as
well.David Landes rejects Marxism as too simple
essentially because he rejects the discipline of
science. That is why he is unable to sustain his own
comparisons and analysis throughout the world and the
book he wrote.
Thanks to his deliberate eclecticism ("Monocausal
explanations will not work." (p. 517)), it is
necessary to point out those snippets of work he did
that we do agree with. Examples would include his
admission of genocide by the white oppressor nation
against the indigenous peoples of America and his
admission that slavery also killed millions even just
in the voyage over. This kind of thing that is
impossible for the slightly-read historian to ignore
anymore without looking dumb in front of the masses --
Landes is inclined to concede.One of his theses going
along with Western Liberalism is that societies with
religious restrictions fell behind economically.
Landes's message is tolerance of Jews and Protestants.
Islam and the Inquisition and other religious
intolerance cut into business and technology.
According to Landes, religious bigotry is such a
problem that Portugal and Spain started out leading
the quest for empire in the last several hundred
years, but they lost on account of their reactionary
religious views.(e.g., pp. 134-5)MIM agrees with
Landes on this point. He serves as the memory of the
bourgeoisie and we agree that capitalism is superior
to pre-capitalist modes of production, so his pointing
to pogroms holding back economic development -- we see
this as a case of the superstructure holding back the
mode of production. Historically the bourgeoisie is
correct about its struggles against pre-capitalist
societies in which religious authority was higher than
Landes did not discuss British intolerance of
Catholicism. His book is solidly pro-Protestant and he
admits to adhering to Max Weber's theses on the
Protestant Ethic; (p. 177) although they have been
disproved specifically with regard to Protestantism
many times since Weber wrote his theses.
Overall amongst religions and cultures, the book is
most favorable to the Jews, Anglo-American imperialism
and Zionism as contributors to modernity. He notes
correctly that the Catholic Church squelched the
famous scientist Galileo 400 years ago and is only now
getting around to rehabilitating him. (p. 181) For the
Germans, he mentions their racial intolerance.(p. 467)
Thus, the typical bourgeois view includes tolerance --
gender, race and religious tolerance. Another
important thing is "openness." Japan ordered its
people not to travel in the 1600s.(p. 356) Ocean
vessels have been put under restriction many times in
history. Yet opposing immigration, emigration or
foreign travels is just another way inquiry falls down
and contention of views is diminished. According to
Landes, and we believe he is correct in the transition
from pre-capitalist to capitalist, lack of openness
will lead to lack of development.Another area we agree
with is Landes's attacks on post-modernism in defense
of science: "One must reject the implication that
outsideness disqualifies; that only Muslims can
understand Islam, only blacks understand black
history, only a woman understand women's studies, and
so on. That way lies separateness and a dialogue of
the deaf."(p. 417)
* * *
CAMPAIGN TO EXPAND MIM NOTES DISTRIBUTION
MIM Notes is initiating a campaign to expand
distribution of our newspaper in 1999. As the end of
the century approaches we must stress the importance
of summing up the lessons of the 20th century for
communists and of applying these lessons to the
advancing struggle against imperialism.
Independent media of the oppressed is crucial to
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Right now we don't come close to competing with the
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* * *
CLINTON TRIES TO SEAL PALESTINIAN NEOCOLONIALISM; PLO
THROWS OUT ITS CHARTER
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has
finally, really finally, abolished the radical parts
of its charter at the demand of Israel and Amerika.
The step, timed to coincide with President Clinton's
historic visit to Gaza, marked another big step on the
road to Palestinian neocolonialism.
The back and forth between Israeli leaders -- in which
Likud party leader Netanyahu is currently on the ropes
-- is a relatively small distraction from the overall
movement toward Palestinian integration into the
imperialist fold as a dependent neocolonial state.
Clinton's trip and the PLO capitulation signal the
possibility that Palestine may eventually end up as an
"independent state," after all the real independence
has been driven from its liberation movement, and its
economic and political dependency on imperialism has
been fully ensured. The main task of Amerika and the
Israeli government now is to ensure that the
Palestinian state not end up under the leadership of
the radical Islamic movement, which makes
neocolonialism more difficult to administer.
MIM takes this opportunity to repeat: formal
political independence is not necessarily liberation,
it is not necessarily victory for a national
liberation struggle. This is the case even if the
achievement of an independent state is itself positive
compared to the failure to achieve such a state.
National liberation for oppressed nations is only
possible through breaking the bonds with imperialism,
politically and economically, that prevent full self-
determination. Such an achievement has so far in
history only been won by proletarian-led national
liberation struggles, principally China, which lead to
socialism as well.
Clinton pressed hard for the formal PLO capitulation,
and he is also pressing hard to influence the Israeli
government in the direction of accepting bogus
independence for the Palestinian people to weaken the
Islamic movement's base of support, reduce tensions in
the Middle East, and get the economic gravy train up
and running for imperialist economic interests. The
intransigent Israeli government has stalled the
process, leading to what the imperialists see as
unnecessary conflict; Netanyahu and the extreme right
wing in Israel don't share Clinton's long-term
confidence that the Palestinian movement can be co-
opted. Now Clinton's former campaign consultant James
Carville, and his pollster Stanley Greenberg, are on
the case to help the Labor party take power from
The Palestinian people, despite the lure of Clinton's
political and economic attentions, showed that their
militancy remains intact, turning out for protests of
the U.$. bombing of Iraq, in solidarity with the
oppressed nations of the Middle East.(2)
Others did celebrate Clinton's visit, on the promise
that the Palestinian "Authority" will soon have what
the Washington Post generously called "full or partial
administrative control of 40 percent of the West
Bank." At the moment, Israel is reneging on that deal,
which was also supposed to include the release of 750
But Clinton's visit was also greeted as a symbol of
the U.$. willingness to back the creation of a
Palestinian state. "We are profoundly affected and
touched by the sincerity of the respect he professes
for the Palestinian people, and his readiness to
support us," wrote the Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat
Al-Jadida. "We perceive in your visit a great symbol
of hope in the future."(3)
During Clinton's visit -- while Clinton was plotting
the bombing of Iraq -- the PLO leadership voted to
reaffirm a letter Chairman Yasser Arafat had
previously sent promising to nullify parts of the PLO
charter that deny Israel's right to exist. The vote
nullified 11 clauses, and parts of 18 others, out of
33 total articles in the charter.
These four articles were among those cancelled:
Article 7: "That there is a Palestinian community and
that it has material, spiritual and historical
connections with Palestine are indisputable facts. It
is a national duty to bring up Palestinians in an Arab
revolutionary manner. All means of information and
education must be adopted in order to acquaint the
Palestinian with his country in the most profound
manner that is possible, both spiritual and material.
He must be prepared for the armed struggle and ready
to sacrifice his wealth and his life in order to win
back his homeland and bring about its liberation.
Article 9: "Armed struggle is the only way to liberate
Palestine. Thus it is the overall strategy, not merely
a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert
their absolute determination and firm resolution to
continue their armed struggle and work for an armed
popular revolution for the liberation of their country
and their return to it. They also assert their right
to normal life in Palestine and to exercise their
right to self-determination and sovereignty over it.
Article 19: "The partition of Palestine in 1947 and
the establishment of the State of Israel are entirely
illegal, regardless of the passage of time, because
they were contrary to the will of the Palestinian
people and to their natural right in their homeland,
and inconsistent with the principles embodied in the
charter of the United Nations, particularly the right
Article 22: "Zionism is a political movement
organically associated with international imperialism
and antagonistic to all action for liberation and to
progressive movements in the world. It is racist and
fanatic in its nature, aggressive, expansionist and
colonialist in its aims, and fascist in its methods.
Israel is the instrument of the Zionist movement, and
a geographical base for world imperialism placed
strategically in the midst of the Arab homeland to
combat the hopes of the Arab nation for liberation,
unity and progress."(4)
Acknowledging the existence of a Jewish nation is not
itself wrong, but the language struck from the PLO
charter also nullifies the liberatory aspects of the
Palestinian movement altogether.
White House national security adviser Samuel Berger
told the press that the voting PLO members, who also
heard a speech by Clinton, "felt validated as human
beings ... as Palestinians, as a people, by virtue of
the fact that the president of the United States came
to Gaza and spoke with them."(5) Besides the personal
"validation," Clinton also said he would ask Congress
for "several hundred million dollars" to secure
Palestinian dependency and reward the capitulationist
But the meeting at which the vote was held was
boycotted by a number of PLO factions that object to
the leadership's capitulation.(5) These included the
Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine, the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine-General Command, the Democratic Front for
the Liberation of Palestine, the Sa'qa Group, the
Popular Palestinian Struggle Front, and the Palestine
Liberation Front. Together these groups had only about
100 votes out of the 730 on the council that passed
Unlike a United Front in the Maoist sense, the
Palestine Liberation Organization was one of a
generation of oppressed nation movements that sought
to unite anti-imperialist groups without insisting on
proletarian leadership. Like the FMLN in El Salvador
and the African National Congress in Azania (South
Africa), these groups sought a strategy that would
permit them to receive aid from the social-imperialist
Soviet Union. To secure that aid, they couldn't have
genuinely communist leadership. When the Soviet Union
collapsed these groups were left high and dry because
they had chosen dependency rather than self reliance.
The PLO is one of the last of this type to capitulate
completely, seeking to substitute one dependency for
In contrast, a genuine Maoist-led United Front, such
as the National Democratic Front of the Philippines
led by the Communist Party of the Philippines, seeks
true self-determination, practices self-reliance in
the struggle, and depends on the strength of the
people rather than the kindness of imperialist super
powers. There is no easy road to liberation and self-
determination for the oppressed nations under
imperialism. But the example set by the Chinese
liberation and socialism (1949-1976), and carried on
today by comrades such as those in the Philippines, is
provide examples of successful paths forward. The
example of the PLO, like the many before them, should
be a warning to those who believe otherwise.
1. Washington Post, December 21, 1998; Page A26.
2. Washington Post, December 20, 1998; Page A45.
3. Washington Post, December 16, 1998; Page A33.
4. Jerusalem Post Internet Edition, December 15, 1998.
5. Washington Post, December 15, 1998; Page A01.
6. Reuters, December 8, 1998.
* * *
HEAT IS UP IN THE MOVEMENT AGAINST THE PRISON-STATE
The Atlantic Monthly feature article on the "Prison-
Industrial Complex" in the December, 1998 issue is the
latest proof that the petty-bourgeoisie is starting to
be shaken by the facts of the U.$. prison-state. The
movement is gaining ground outside the tiny
proletarian political leadership and the
lumpenproletariat -- in the petty-bourgeoisie.
In recent months, a new publication dedicated just to
exposing the prison-state on the drug issue arose that
MIM already reviewed. Also Amnesty International is
making solid progress in crawling out of its redneck
When MIM used to confront Amnesty International on
humyn rights abuses, its members would often tell MIM
that the U$A is a free country. Local meetings in
Michigan featured the U.$. flag as a rallying symbol
on publicity posters, in the very arrogant way of
saying that humyn rights are something to bring to
It was nice to see the Northeast Regional Director of
Amnesty International write for the Quakers in the
"December 1998/January 1999" issue of "Peacework" on
U.$. prisons. On the whole, the article is a good
MIM and a handful of sociologists publishing textbooks
have been citing the statistics of the "Sentencing
Project" and Marc Mauer for some time to show that
except for a brief time under Boris Yeltsin's "state
of emergency" the United $tates has been the world's
leading prison-state per capita. The rednecks are
always quick to tell MIM that communists are wrong
because the United $tates is a "free country." These
rednecks either lie or live a life of delusion.
The Amnesty International article still only admits
that "the country now has one of the largest prison
populations in the world." Well, Amnesty International
does not believe MIM, government statistics, the
Sentencing Project or the UN statistics that MIM has
been making a stink about. Now Amnesty International
can listen to the Atlantic Monthly, which says that
the United $tates has perhaps half a million more
prisoners than social-fascist China does. That's
correct: even though China has more than four times
more people, the United $tates imprisons more people.
We also leave India in the dust. China and India are
the two largest countries population-wise. The United
$tates is third. Whether it be total numbers of
prisoners in the world or the prison rate per 1000
people, the United $tates is number one.
On the whole Amnesty International is also correct to
draw the international connection and point out that
the United $tates plays a big role in talking about
humyn rights law without applying it. In fact,
although the United $tates is the world's leading
prison-state itself, its largest contribution to
repression is through military aid to lackey regimes
in the Third World, including the sale of weapons and
MIM takes the Amnesty International article as
vindication of its line. There is no question that the
petty-bourgeoisie in the imperialist countries has to
be mobilized by the proletariat. The question is how.
Many seek to encourage the petty-bourgeoisie into
reformist struggles for salary increases. In contrast,
MIM's focus on the student-prisoner alliance and
issues of national oppression calls forward a
reformism forced to educate the public about politics.
The facts about prisons in the United $tates are a
very quick political lesson, one most damaging to the
system at this time out of all the issues we can focus
a campaign on domestically. In prison the issues of
poverty, national oppression, torture and the U.$.
global role all intersect and now even Atlantic
Monthly can see someone making a profit in prison-
This article is by a former Amnesty International
* * *
AMERIKAN RULING INSTABILITY INCREASES:
On December 19, 1998, President Bill Clinton became
the second president in history to be impeached by the
House of Representatives. Andrew Johnson was the first
130 years ago.
Impeachment is not conviction for a crime. It is a
charge of crime. The House charged Clinton with
perjury and obstruction of justice. It rejected the
idea of his influencing others to perjure and the idea
of his abusing his office.
We Marxists refer to this as an intra-ruling class
conflict. The impeachment is a sign that there is a
serious crisis in the system. It is unclear at this
time whether Clinton will be able to continue with
"business as usual." It seems unlikely the Senate will
convict Clinton next year when it raises the question,
but breakdown of intra-government relations may
increase pressure for resignation in the meantime.
What the real reason for getting rid of Clinton is
appears to be political. Some House representatives
said that Clinton broke too many promises in his
dealings with the Republicans. MIM would have to
concur that the Republicans are not used to dealing
with a Democrat with political skill and the ability
to fight and with the help of people like James
Carville, who runs campaigns. Generally, Democrats
have been pansies so long -- losers like McGovern,
Mondale and Dukakis -- so the Republicans perceive
this president to be a radical threat.
The New York Times of December 19th also mentioned
further sexual evidence to come out against Clinton
and the fact that 76 percent of conservative
Republicans favored impeachment (and only 49 percent
of other Republicans).
The perjury charge received the most votes, and five
Democrats supported the charge against Democrat Bill
Clinton. Five Republicans voted against. Otherwise,
the entire Republican Party voted for impeachment and
the entire Democratic Party voted against with two
On the same day, the incoming House Speaker Bob
Livingstone resigned his House Speakership, because of
the news reports uncovering his marital infidelity.
The major media has reported the concept used by some
that the whole thing is a matter of "sexual
McCarthyism." Instead of obliterating communists, the
sexual McCarthyists ask "are you now or have you ever
engaged in adultery?"
What we are seeing is the victory of sexual politics
unleashed by pseudo-feminism and supported in what is
now seen as a direct way by the Christian Right.
Clinton is being charged in connection to perjury in
relation to a relatively new pseudo-feminist legal
theory that says Paula Jones and other plaintiffs have
the right to dig into men's sexual histories to
advance their own cases. It is the bastardization of
radical politics into some new reformist fowl that has
resulted in the shame Amerika is in now.
Most mainstream "feminists" are now complaining
bitterly about how their baby is being used against
Clinton, who stands for their causes against the
Republican Right. Typical is the founder of the
National Organization for Women (NOW), Betty Friedan:
"It might be grounds for divorce, but not grounds for
impeachment. . . . Clinton's policies and programs
have been very good for women. He stood up for family
leave, right to choose and affirmative action, and he
had Hillary give a wonderful role model of a marriage
Open anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly said the
"feminists' mistake in standing by their man, despite
his lies and crimes, has cost them all credibility.
They are just a shrill subset of the left wing of the
Democratic Party. If they were truly for women's
rights, they would have stood up for Paula Jones'
civil rights and against the big CEO having an affair
with a very junior subordinate."(2)
Nonetheless, MIM sees no obligation to defend Clinton
or oppose only "sexual McCarthyism" and not Liberal
Freudianism of the Friedan sort. MIM seeks
transformation of gender relations at the
institutional level and we let the Christians, petty-
bourgeois radicals and pseudo-feminists argue amongst
themselves on whether Livingstone should remain as
Speaker or not. Within their own logic, the only time
they "do something" to "reform" patriarchy is by
scrutinizing individual behavior at a pornographic
level. In this case, it was hard-core pornographic
magazine Hustler providing one million dollars as a
reward to those who exposed the Republicans by
unearthing the details that nailed Bob Livingstone.
That should be a clue to these reformists what the
real basis of their politics is, that Hustler could
ever hold the balance of power.
Hustler's role in bringing down the second most
powerful man in Amerika (and third in line to succeed
the president after the vice-president) -- House
Speaker-elect Bob Livingstone -- is proof of what MIM
has been saying all along about pornography's
pervasive role in imperialist patriarchy. Under
socialism, production for profit is illegal and
pornography disappears to a great extent.
It was a true coup for Hustler magazine to nail
Livingstone. Forever the openly pornographic magazines
have said that they should not be censored because
they have a right to "free speech." The surprising
truth is that these pornographers and many in the sex
business do play a critical role in supporting the
political media, especially by the purchase of ads for
everything from models to escort services. Many
slightly out of the mainstream publications have
relied on such money since the 1960s.
In Amerika as it stands now, repressing the
pornographers is repressing "free speech." That is why
it is impossible to use the Catharine MacKinnon
strategy of reformist change for progress. The
Christian Right uses MacKinnon with ease, so we have
to modify our MacKinnonism for revolutionary use.
Under a socialist dictatorship informed by Mao's
theories of Cultural Revolution, it will not be
necessary to have pornographers funding the media. The
masses will have direct access to the media.
Production will not be for profit, so the masses will
be able to express themselves with free government
What Friedan said about the conservatives is true and
what Schafly said about Friedan and the rest is also
true. Individualism is so weak as an approach in
contrast with Marxism, that "doing something" about
patriarchy results in absurdity within individualism's
framework. Pseudo-feminism is not progress; it is a
sign of the decay of imperialism. The current
paralysis of the U.S. Government is great proof of the
logic of pseudo-feminism. Pseudo-feminism can express
the divisive decadence of the system but it cannot
provide relief. Even in the single case of Clinton,
the result is prolonged pornography.
Prosecutionism and the principal contradiction
MIM will say that what the Republicans have done to
Clinton is less than what well-paid prosecutors with
large budgets have done against underfunded defense
lawyers with poor clients on a daily basis. If the
charges against Clinton seem exaggerated in their
importance, it is a dialectical result of the war on
the oppressed nations. Since the United $tates is
prosecuting oppressed nationalities at rates exceeding
that of the many fascist states in the world, it is
not surprising that some of that attitude rubs off
within the oppressor nation.
MIM realizes that comrades globally would like some
sense of the intra-imperialist rivalry from MIM. The
theory that this impeachment was really about Iraq was
undercut when Clinton bombed Iraq and he still got
impeached. The Progressive Labor Party had said it was
Big Oil behind this, but Clinton bombed Iraq harder
than ever in his administration and he still got
impeached the next day.
MIM would say that the impeachment reflects the
tension within the United $tates which is moving
toward the birth of several new nations. The oppressor
nation finds its unity in born-again Christian
fascism. Other varieties of oppressor nation politics
show too much tolerance for other nationalities to be
a true root of white identity.
The minority that supports the Republican Party
through thick and thin is composed of irrational
settlers. These are like the settlers so crucial to
reactionary politics in colonial situations
everywhere, including the Zionist entity and in the
situations of white-ruled South Africa and Rhodesia to
name the most recent historical examples.
According to Marx, the masses get the leaders they
deserve. The leaders cannot be historically much more
advanced than the masses and they can also be as bad
as the masses let them be.
Although it will appear laughable to many of education
and differing culture, the impeachment is a genuine
reflection of the people, the hard-core minority of
the white oppressor nation and the rest of the white
nation that is unable to stop them from carrying out
their "coup" against an elected president.
The cracker Christians of Amerika were behind this
impeachment all the way and lobbied for it well before
the perjury happened. The mass basis of the right face
of U.$. imperialism would settle for nothing less than
impeachment of Clinton, just as much as the hard-right
in the Israeli oppressor nation is able to call the
shots to the extent of assassinating the Labour
Party's leader and the Zionist entity's fifth "prime
minister," Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.
The desperate politicking by the right-face of
imperialism at this time is a reflection of the global
beating it has taken. Without the United $tates under
its control, the IMF-style faction and those to its
right in the capitalist class have nothing. Neither
European nor Japanese imperialism is likely to go down
the neo-liberal road of imperialism unless the United
$tates does. The left-face of imperialism remains in
power and generates the desperate efforts at a "coup"
from the traditional right-wing authoritarians.
Whether or not it succeeds in reining in the U.$.
government, the right-wing of imperialism has raised
the stakes and the political consciousness of the
masses. The furor surrounding impeachment is a small
taste of the kind of civil war to come in the United
$tates. A large portion of the masses are alienated at
this moment by the direction one brand of reactionary
politicians is leading them.
The born-agains behind the impeachment drive strive
for the creation of a pure white nation, some
consciously, others unconsciously. If they could be
isolated to a small area in Idaho it would be a small
matter, but in fact, the oppressor nation nationalists
are not sure they shouldn't be running the United
$tates. The oppressor nation's unity leaves open the
possibility it would rather be yanked along by the
chain in the nose into ousting Clinton and similar
The success of impeachment ensures that many white
nationalists will be encouraged and continue to try
imposing their agenda on a country they are not sure
will respond to their call. At the same time, the risk
to the oppressor nation is that a good hunk of the
country will realize it does not have much in common
with the forces for impeachment. It will shake the
integrationist illusions of the oppressed nations
within the U.$.A. and force a majority of whites to
decide where they really stand politically.
It is not likely that impeachment in itself will
result in the kind of clarifying political crisis that
would result in the creation of several nations or a
tendency for such. Nonetheless it is now a part of the
background thinking of the masses.
1. If you live in the United $tates and you need a
source for this story, you need to consider getting a
life and pulling your head out of the sand.
Concentrate on learning research skills.
2. USA Today 18 December 1998, p. 27a.
* * *
PUERTO RICANS VOTE ON COLONIAL STATUS
On December 13 a plebiscite was held in Puerto Rico
which gave Puerto Ricans a choice between the status
quo or a new slant on its status as a colony of the
U.$. The big winner: "none of the above." Puerto
Ricans were given a choice of four options: current
territorial status under the U.$., "free association"
under a treaty with the u.s. government, independence,
statehood, and none of the above.
With about 75% of the eligible population voting, over
50% voted for none of the above. The second victor was
statehood with 46.5%. The "none of the above" vote was
supported by the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) which
opposes statehood but supports the status quo and did
not like the definition of commonwealth used on the
ballot.(1) Based on results of recent similar votes,
it is likely that most of the people who voted for
"none of the above" support the current colonial
relationship with the u.s.
As the 100 year anniversary of the U.$. invasion of
Puerto Rico draws to a close, there is significant
support for some kind of colonial relationship between
Puerto Rico and the u.s., whether in the current form
or as a state. Puerto Ricans who earn an average per
capita income of $8,000 are significantly poorer than
Amerikans with the average U.S. income at $25,660.(2)
But the country has benefited from its neocolonial
relationship with u.s. imperialism. U.$. citizenship
makes Puerto Ricans eligible for welfare and Puerto
Rico enjoys far more wealth than most u.s. neo-
colonies. Because of its proximity to the u.s. as well
as its unusual status which allows for u.s.
citizenship, the U.$. has put enough money into the
country to buy off a segment of the population.
In response to the vote President Clinton said he said
he remains "committed to implementing a majority
choice for Puerto Rico's future status."(3) Of course
the U.$. is not willing to remove u.s. political,
military and corporate control of the island and then
let the people really have a free choice. Since the
Puerto Rican people have never had the opportunity to
develop a self-sufficient economy, their livelihood is
dependent on the many foreign (mostly Amerikan)
corporations that set up shop for the cheap labor and
good tax deals.
As an amerikan colony, Puerto Rico has provided the
u.s. a very strategic military base, a source of cheap
labor for manufacturing plants, and a vacation resort
close to home. U.$ corporations control 90% of the
Puerto Rican economy.
The PDP opposition to the way the commonwealth status
was phrased is ironic: the PDP claimed that the
definition was a "colonial" one. But the definition on
the ballot was an accurate description of the current
status. The PDP wanted to add a few benefits to the
status which the U.$. has already rejected. Included
is the provision that Puerto Ricans acquire the
ability to make treaties with other nations and veto
federal laws.(3) In reality the PDP supports the
status quo, with or without these enhancements. Their
push for "none of the above" seems like more of a
political maneuver than a real attempt to gain more
autonomy and move away from a colonial relationship
with the u.s.
As a "Freely associated state" or commonwealth, the
Puerto Rican people have u.s. citizenship but if they
live in Puerto Rico they can not vote on u.s. ballots.
Puerto Rican's can and are expected to fight in u.s.
wars, and Puerto Ricans sustain combat causalities in
u.s. wars in numbers far exceeding their proportion in
Rosello' acknowledged that the "none of the above"
option was being used as a protest vote by many who
oppose his administration, the privatization of the
island's telephone company as well as his position on
statehood.(3) The plebiscite was called for by Puerto
Rican governor Pedro Rossello' in an attempt to
pressure the u.s. congress to admit Puerto Rico as a
MIM supports the Puerto Rican peoples right to self
determination. And for true self-determination the
u.s. must first end its imperialist domination of the
island. Join MIM and support the Puerto Rican national
1. Washington Post, 14 December 1998, Page A02.
2. Reuters, 13 December 1998.
3. Washington Post, 15 December 1998, p.A10.
* * *
BORICUAN REVOLUTIONARY MAOIST:
"LIFE MISSION TO DESTROY IMPERIALISM!"
P.R. is being forced by Violence to accept statehood.
So far, 2 days ago, everyone has voted for the [none
of the above ballot option], which means that the
people are not sure what they want. No one in the U.S.
were informed of how the elections were going.
Everything was being censored from the very beginning.
Our people are being fed this big lie that being a
state is the best thing for us. I have met a lot of
people that believe that Puerto Rico should stay the
way it is.
But the funny thing about this bullshit is that the
people that want P.R. to stay the way it is
(commonwealth) are the very people that want
Imperialism to keep on plundering Third World
Countries. They want to benefit from the
superexploitation, alienation, & oppression; because
to these people, in which I am ashamed to say that
they are my fellow countrymen, that means more jobs,
security, privilege, status, prestige & more hand-
Personally again, I cannot stand a person or a group
that wants P.R. to become a state or, to continue it's
present course into hell! As a Maoist, I know that
these kind people are brainwashed &, that they are
also cowards for not being able to come to their own
senses. For years, as far as I can remember, we (MIM,
RAIL & I speak for those that feels the same way as me
& the nationalists) have been trying endlessly to
educate, organize, politically mobilize the Latino
nations within the U.S.; Puerto Ricans in particular.
For more that 500 years, the P.R. people have been up-
rooted from our original existence, reshaped & molded
to fit a specific purpose & reason. No consideration
has been given concerning our interests. Could it be
that we as a people, don't know what we want, what our
interests are &, that we need U.S. imperialism to
guide us? Bullshit! Only we can know what we want if
we only had the courage to do so. We don't need
Imperialism to guide anyone because they have always
guided us into war, poverty, international oppression
& starvation. They have always cared about their own
interests, which is to continue being a tyranny, a
monster, an enemy of humanity, international
proletariat &, the world it self!
Only a true Maoist political revolutionary
organization, such as MIM, can led us out of the
capitalist wilderness & into the promise land!!! If
worse comes to worse & P.R. becomes a state, I hope
that there will be bloodshed, civil war, revolution;
because if it becomes a state, we as a people will
have no flag of our own, our culture, history &
language will vanish forever... I know &, I speak for
everyone that feels that same way I do, concerning
P.R., that we have a duty, an inescapable, sacred duty
that cannot be neglected -- for the sake of communism,
true freedom, & Third World proletariat. If blood
needs to be spilled in order to save more blood in the
future, so be it!
But for now, all I can say is that if P.R. becomes a
state, I really don't know what I will do. I really
don't know what my reaction will be, knowing that I
have no country, flag of my own. I will truly be a
shame to be called a Puerto Rican. I will deny my race
if I have to...No, I don't think a have the courage to
do that, I will always be what I am: a Boricua
revolutionary Maoist! Not even U.S. Imperialism will
change that. But I will make it a life mission to
destroy Imperialism, even if it takes 5, 10, 15 or
even 20, 30 years. I will dream & think of only
destroying our enemy: Imperialism.
* * *
LA DISTRICT ATTORNEY PURSUES CASE AGAINST GERONIMO JI
Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti continues
attempts to re-imprison former Black Panther Party
leader Geronimo ji Jaga (Pratt). Geronimo was framed
and convicted for a murder he did not commit in the
early 70s. He spent 27 years in prison before the
Orange County Superior Court overturned his
conviction. Garcetti appealed this decision earlier
this year and presented oral arguments to the
California Court of Appeals on December 15.
The FBI and Los Angeles law enforcement framed
Geronimo with the help of an FBI informant, Julio
Butler. Butler claimed that Geronimo confessed that he
had killed Caroline Olsen on December 18, 1968. This
lie formed the basis for the original indictment and
played a key role in Geronimo's trial.
Last year, conservative Orange County Superior Court
Judge Everett Dickey called Butler a liar and found
that the prosecution had withheld important evidence
from Geronimo's defense attorneys. Among the
information withheld were the facts that Butler had
been an FBI informant for three years and was an
informant for the LA District Attorney's office at the
time of the original trial. Dickey threw out the
original conviction and freed Geronimo on bail.(1)
Garcetti claims that even without Butler's testimony
the evidence against Geronimo -- eyewitness testimony
of Olsen's husband and ballistics on the alleged
murder weapon -- is "overwhelming."
Olsen's husband originally identified another innocent
man as the killer on the basis of his voice, and later
(two years after the murder) switched to accusing
Geronimo on the basis of his "intensive eyes." Recent
scientific studies have shown that eyewitness
testimony is frequently swayed from the truth because
of human error and suggestions by police and
The ballistics testimony of LAPD investigator DeWayne
Wolfer equally shows the madness of a system
controlled by imperialist pigs instead of the people.
A California appellate court earlier ruled that Wolfer
had "negligently provided false demonstrative evidence
in support of his ballistics testimony." Another
forensic scientist said Wolfer's testimony lacked
"credibility in the minds of most forensic
scientists." The LAPD and FBI will stop at nothing to
ensure that revolutionary leaders are stopped from
organizing. Garcetti's claims of overwhelming evidence
against Geronimo are bogus. MIM will work to expose
the current round of lies, but genuine justice is only
possible when the oppressed masses control the laws,
enforcement and the trials as part of the dictatorship
of the proletariat.
In addition, there is clear evidence that Geronimo was
in Oakland attending Black Panther Party meetings the
night Caroline Olsen was murdered in Santa Monica.
Oakland is more than 300 miles from Santa Monica.
Kathleen Cleaver testifies that Geronimo was in
Oakland at the time of the shooting, and retired FBI
agent Wesley Swearington said the FBI knew that
Geronimo was there because the Panthers were under
surveillance and their phones were tapped. When
Geronimo's defense requested the logs of the FBI's
phone taps, however, the FBI reported that the logs
from the night of the murder were "missing."(3)
We present these facts to illustrate in detail the
political nature of the case against Geronimo. The
original trial was not about discovering the truth
about Geronimo's innocence, and neither is Garcetti's
appeal. Rather they are about providing a
justification to take a revolutionary activist off the
street and try to break his will to resist.
Representatives of the injustice system admitted as
much during Geronimo's many parole hearings. Despite
no major desciplinary actions against him, Geronimo
was consistently denied parole, because in the words
of one parole board member, "he remains a
revolutionary man."(2) Consequently the innocent
Geronimo spent 27 years in prisons for a crime for
which the average time served is under eight years.
The FBI's framing of Geronimo was part of their covert
war on the Black Panther Party and other revolutionary
organizations during the 60s and 70s, called the
Counter Intelligence Program or COINTELPRO. COINTELPRO
involved intimidation, phone taps and surveillance,
active efforts to create suspicion and hatred within
organizations, false convictions of activists for non-
political crimes, and assassinations, as in the case
of Black Panthers Fred Hampton, Bunchy Carter, and
John Huggins. For more information about COINTELPRO,
we recommend "Agents of Repression" by Ward Churchhill
and Jim Van der Wall, available from the address on
page two for $20. MIM has also published numerous
articles on COINTELPRO and current covert operations
against activists inside u.$. borders. Ask your local
MIM Notes distributor for more information, or write
to the address on page two.
1. Los Angeles Times, 15 December 1998. Unless
otherwise cited, the information reported here can
also be found in this article.
2. MIM Notes, no 140. June 15, 1997.
3. "Framed: The story of Geronimo Pratt," video.
* * *
BPP MEMBER GETS NEW TRIAL IN CRACKERVILLE, AMERIKKKA
December 7 was the start of a new trial for Albert
Woodfox. Albert Woodfox, along with Herman "Hooks"
Wallace, started the Angola chapter of the Black
Panther Party in 1971. In 1972-73, these righteous
revolutionaries were framed, charged and convicted of
the killing of a white prison pig. They were portrayed
as racist killers and sentenced to life in prison by
an all white jury. Known as the ëAngola 2í, both have
served more than 20 years each in solitary confinement
because they organized for revolution within one of
the most heinous prisons in Amerikkka.(1)
In 1992, a state court overturned the conviction of
Woodfox, though he has remained imprisoned. Wallaceís
conviction has not been overturned and he remains in
solitary confinement in Louisiana State Penitentiary
at Angola. Woodfoxís re-trial is an important
opportunity to free a revolutionary within the
confines of bourgeois white nation justice. MIM
supports Woodfoxís struggle and build public support
for his release as we continue to expose the political
imprisonment throughout the Amerikkkan prison
The battle to free Woodfox takes place within the
kkkorrupt white nation justice system. MIM organizes
masses to fight against the system in its entirety
because that is the only definitive way that we will
be able to free the thousands of brothers and sisters
in similar situations to Woodfox and Wallace. The
prosecuting attorney for the current re-trial is proof
that no revolutionary will get justice in Amerikkkaís
"At Woodfoxís upcoming trial, the prosecution intends
to place the Black Panther Party on trial. The
Louisiana authorities do not acknowledge the Panthersí
history of establishing childrenís breakfast programs,
working for safer neighborhoods, and inventing the
practice of "copwatching." Instead, Assistant Attorney
General Julie Cullen believes the stabbing of Miller
was a hate crime. "I think it was a racially-motivated
Black Panther murder," she said. Cullen intends to
introduce evidence of political statements Woodfox
once made, such as spelling "America" as "AMERIKKKA,"
and denouncing "fascism" and "pigs." To Cullen, such
statements constitute evidence that Woodfox committed
Kkkullen has used fictional dung as evidence against
Woodfox as a means of criminalizing his political
activity. She used an unsigned, undated "statement"
that an Angola pig official "took down" from an
inmate. This so-called evidence couldn't be otherwise
admitted because it was blatant hearsay, but Kkkullen
was able to oink it in through a legal back door.
The Woodfox trial is being held in Amite. Amite is a
small rural town dependent on the prison industry and
is the hometown of the slain guard. A nearby bar
proudly displays huge crossed Amerikkkan and
Confederate flags to attract the local settler
Kkkullen oinked it up in her cross examination of
Woodfox, where her intent was to play to the mainly
white jurors' well founded fears of the Black national
liberation movement. She repeated several times that
Woodfos had used the term "pigs" in referring to
prison guards, that he had written that "pigs should
be killed", and that he had once raised his shackled
hands, shook his chains, and said, "I want you to see
what these racist, fascist pigs have done to me."
It is clear, that the Black Panther Party and
revolutionary politics are on trial. Kkkullen knows
that the continued imprisonment can be achieved by
proving that the Panthers and revolutionaries are
threats to the system of white nation hegemony. She
knows the conviction is not dependent on proof that
Woodfox killed the guard.
In the first week of the trial, Kkkullen introduced
several righteous statements from Woodfox regarding
the revolutionary Black national struggle.
"Revolutionaries "should constantly reevaluate the
lines between being a liberal or being a
revolutionist." "It is the job of the revolutionary
forces in this country to manufacture revolution
instead of trying to avoid it, to do otherwise is the
act of an opportunist."
Woodfox's supporters in the courtroom became
noticeably agitated as Kkkullen "accused" Woodfox of
writing letters "spelling America (sic) with three
k's." "Order!" was immediately called by a pig
enforcement official as supporters shifted in their
seats -- it was clear that the "order" of the white
state was what was at stake in this trial.
Albert Woodfox's testimony under these conditions was
riveting and inspiring. He was not intimidated by the
massive weight of the state apparatus against him.
Time and again he answered Kkkullen's attacks with
firm statements of the facts of the case and
explanations of the Panther's prison organizing
Kkkullen's efforts to trip up or agitate Woodfox came
to nothing as he remained defiantly resolute in his
testimony, once sending kkkullen oinking to the judge
for protection as he looked at her intently and said,
"You know I didn't kill that guard. And you know that
I passed a lie detector test." This was clearly a
comrade steeled in the struggle against white
Amerikkka and all the Kkkullens of imperialism.
After 20 years in solitary, where he is allowed out of
his cell only 1 hour a day, Woodfox remains a leader
by revolutionary example and a testament to the fact
that leadership of the proletarian revolution will be
forged in the heat of the struggle against the white
* * *
STAR TREK: INSURRECTION
Directed by Jonathan Frakes 1998
review by mim
Film number nine from the Star Trek dynasty is about
the modern miracle of a highly advanced, supposedly
idyllic 24th century society that somehow has not
managed to eliminate the patriarchal concept of
gender. The Baku have reached great technological
advance, but rejected technology for the sake of
happiness and isolation on their own planet. The Star
Trek crew stages its Insurrection to defend this
idyllic society from forced relocation. In doing so,
the crew briefly rebels against its own government and
The guiding principle of the insurrection is that
"every forced relocation in history has been
disastrous for its victims," and its premise is that
this forced relocation is being made to steal natural
resources from its victims. It is true for example
that Europeans forcibly relocated millions of Africans
to steal their labor; and that settlers throughout the
Americas, Pacific islands, parts of Asia, Africa, etc.
have forcibly relocated Indigenous people to steal
land, labor and other natural resources from them. And
MIM generally supports even bourgeois renditions of
struggles to defend people from these forms of
But MIM rejects the universal moralizing of
Insurrection. Forced relocations can be to the benefit
of the people being moved, as when Stalin internally
deported Jews in the Soviet Union to move them away
from the advancing German troops. MIM would rather see
Jews moved to undesirable locations within the USSR
than worked into disease in concentration camps and
then gassed or shot. We also generally oppose the
fiction that liberation will come from a segment of
the conquering army.
While it is true that occupying troops are often won
over by the strength and correctness of an Indigenous
liberation struggle, the officers of an occupying
force tend not to be the leaders of any liberation
struggle. In truth, the strength of the people's will
can win over segments of the opposition, but this will
must originate with the people who liberate
Even though the Baku society in Insurrection has been
living in tranquility for 300 years, it retains such
stone age constructs as marriage, ownership of
children, and feminization of wimmin. In Star Trek
style that hasn't changed since the Cold War episodes
of the 1960s, part of the attraction of this ideal
society is beautiful wimmin who never age and wear
The neat thing about science fiction is that it can
play with modern social constructs by stripping away
all their structural baggage. Ursula Le Guin's book
The Left Hand of Darkness for instance gets rid of
gender by taking the premise that men and wimmin work
the same jobs, have the same level of importance in
government and social life, and have all differences
in appearance eliminated by living in a very cold
climate that requires wearing so much clothing that
one's body shape is hidden. She winds up with people
who have no biological sex for most of their lives,
but occasionally mate with whomever they happen to be
around when the time comes.
MIM likes books like Le Guin's because we also think
of gender and other superstructural divisions among
people in terms of what will come of them once we have
completely replaced the capitalist substructure. This
is the only correct way to approach thinking about
futuristic social relations because it understands
that human nature and relations are not fixed or
static. In failing this test -- in terms of how it
sees relations between oppressors and the oppressed --
Star Trek: Insurrection is a pretty boring movie.
* * *
ENEMY OF THE STATE
Review by MC17
The movie Enemy of the State tells the
story of a man who accidentally stumbled on evidence
of corruption and murder by a congressman who was
trying to get legislation passed to expand the
surveillance powers of the government. He used the
power of the Nationall Security Agency (NSA) to try to
destroy all evidence of his actions. The movie
actually paints a pretty realistic picture of the
powers of the government to conduct surveillance and
track individuals without their knowledge.
Although MIM does not have access to details about the
specific tools used by the NSA, FBI, CIA and cops, we
know from the information that leaks out that these
organizations keep close tabs on activists. They can
easily monitor phone conversations, can scan the
general phone lines for key words like revolution, can
use voice recognition technology to pick up individual
voices from any phone and they can plant listening
devices in buildings, cars and even on people without
their knowledge. It does not matter if all the details
of Enemy of the State were precise, the general
capability of the government to carry out operations
like those described in the movie exists and they do
use this technology illegally and against anyone who
is considered a threat (which places anti-imperialists
high on the list.)
We don't just speculate about this, we have concrete
evidence. The prosecution in the case against Leonard
Peltier worked with the government to bug the defense
team and listen to the lawyersí discussion of strategy
to have a better shot at convicting an innocent man.
And for those activists not convinced of the power of
the state, anyone who has been an activist more than
10 years can request their FBI file through the
Freedom of Information Act and will see details that
could not be known without heavy surveillance.
The biggest problem with the movie was its portrayal
of the corrupt congressman and his flunkies as a few
bad apples. And of course, its lack of solution to the
problem of government powers and corruption. The wife
of the main character, an ACLU lawyer, kept
criticizing the legislation that would give the
government greater surveillance powers but in the end
when the legislation was defeated she just sounded
like an anti-power nihilist. In response to a news
report that the government would have to set up an
oversight committee to get surveillance powers
she asked the rhetorical question "who will oversee
the oversight committee." This underscores the real
problem: The government can't be trusted to watch over
itself. With the power in the hands of the
imperialists, the less power they are given the
Only with power in the hands of the people will the
people be able to control the government. This is why
MIM calls for a dictatorship of the proletariat. We
want a society where the majority, the oppressed
exploited people of the world, controls the government
and forcibly keeps the
minority from stealing power and wealth for
themselves. Only with this power will the people be
able to build a truly just society where the
government does not need to spy on people who are
politically active as enemies of the state. And with
this power the people will be able to build a
communist society where all people truly are equal.
* * *
LETTER ON MIM NOTES ART
I received the issues of MIM Notes dated November 1st and 15th,
and I distributed primarily in a neighborhood in southern Phoenix
consisting primarily of oppressed nationalities (primarily Blacks
and Chicanos). I had noticed that the front page of the November
1st issue began with the headline "End the Amerikkkan Lockdown"
and that the November 15th issue had a picture of an American
flag, crosses, and a klansman. At first this didn't seem unusual
to me, because I am used to your paper and understand that these
things are to associate the U$ government with white supremacy and
to associate Christianity with white supremacy. These are, of
course, correct associations.
Unfortunately many of the oppressed nationalities are not well
educated and are not sophisticated enough to read into this
symbolism, and to them seeing the name of the country spelled with
three K's or seeing a picture of a klansman with the American flag
indicates that the newspaper is a publication of the Ku Klux Klan
or some other racist group allied with the Klan. I overheard one
person to whom it was distributed say to someone next to him,
"This is a white supremacist newspaper." I corrected him and
suggested that he read the statement on page two to learn what MIM
is about. Another fellow asked me if I was a racist after I gave
him the newspaper. I explained to him that I was not and that
neither was this newspaper.
While it was gratifying that I explained matters to these two
people and perhaps they will seriously consider MIM's message, I
am certain that there were many others who seeing the KKK and the
klansman on the front page simply threw the paper away, convinced
that I was a klansman distributing racist literature. These may
have been people who would be with us if they had overcome the
first impression and read the paper. For this reason I think it is
a mistake for us to use such symbolism and to spell the country's
name with a K. I believe that we can make our point without such
potentially deceptive references. Perhaps it would be better to
just use "United $nakes" instead of "Amerika" or "Amerikkka", and
perhaps we should show an American flag with a skull and
crossbones in the field where the stars go instead of a klansman.
--A supporter in the south November, 1998
This reader raises a good point about art. Art is an important
tool to convey messages in MIM Notes. Some of the messages we
publish involve condemnation of Amerikan prisons, imperialism, the
Klan and religious hegemony. We do not want to conceal the
intended messages in our art, or hide behind abstractions or
ambiguous subtleties. For example, the image that the writer
mentions is now on the MIM art web site
(http://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/art/art.html, where it is
clearly titled "Religious repression of prisoners in Amerika" as
it was in MIM Notes. The other issue cover was titled "Advance the
Struggle against the Amerikkkan Lockdown." We state this slogan
proudly and clearly as part of our work to end oppression. Some
people won't get or will misinterpret the message. Still, the
majority of oppressed masses understand and appreciate the
critical art which we publish. And feedback from members of
oppressor groups also shows that our art generally depicts the
genocidal nature of the current system.
Beyond initial clarity, the best way to ensure that the art as
well as the written content of the paper is understood is through
conducting mass work to raise the level of revolutionary political
organizing. Through discussion and organization with the masses,
it is clear that MIM's publications reflect criticism of the
imperialist system and the need for revolution - including control
of culture by the oppressed. We suggest that distributors leave
papers where the masses will pick them up, but that distributors
also make themselves available for discussion of revolutionary
politics - either through educational events or through
distributing the paper in person.
MIM strives to make art clear and to make it depict the evils of
imperialism. Our ability to improve this depends on mass work and
organizing which then utilizes the creativity of the masses. In
general, we need anti-imperialist art as well as art on specific
topics, i.e. massive imprisonment of oppressed nationals. Artists
can obviously contribute but even if you can't do better than
stick figures you can make art. Cut out pictures from newspapers
and magazines to make revolutionary collages and send 'em in.
* * *
RAIL INITIATES RADIO PROGRAM ON PRISONS
With the help of allies, RAIL has created a weekly radio program
on prisons to be aired on one college radio station on the East
Coast. We would like to distribute this program to stations across
If you can get this program on the air in your community, contact
RAIL at the address on page 2. It will cost $5-$10 to produce and
mail a tape/CD with 4 shows on it. Pay more if you can, as we
needs funds to do some initial promotion. Checks should be made
out to MIM Distributors, not RAIL.
The program consists of 15 minutes of news, commentary and
prisoner letters. Contributions of money and equipment (tape
decks, microphones, computer equipment including a CD-burner) are
needed to expand the program and make it self-sufficient. For more
information contact RAIL PO Box 3576 Ann Arbor MI 48106 or email
* * *
DOUBLE YOUR MONEY,
DOUBLE YOUR SUPPORT FOR RAIL NOTES!
A RAIL branch has offered to match all new contributions to RAIL
Notes up to the amount needed to fund an expanded, more frequent
paper. So send your money ASAP.
Make checks payable to MIM Distributors, not RAIL to the address
on page 2.
* * *
STUDY, STRUGGLE AND BUILD OPPOSITION TO IMPERIALISM! BOOKS ON
BLACK REVOLUTIONARY NATIONALISM IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE
"The Making of Black Revolutionaries" by James Foreman. [$15]
"Seize the Time: The Story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P.
Newton" by Bobby Seale (before he sold out). [$15]
"The Black Panthers Speak" by Philip S. Foner [$12]
"Maoism and the Black Panther Party" by MIM. [$2]
"Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson" by George
"Agents of Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars Against the Black
Panther Party and the American Indian Movement" by Ward Churcill
and Jim Vander Wall. [$20]
"Revolutionary Suicide" by Huey P. Newton. [$10]
"To Die for the People" by Huey P. Newton [$10]
The above prices reflect increased printing costs as many are
photocopied books. The prices include postage inside the United
Snakes. If received before December 15th, orders for above
literature will be sent within one week upon receipt.
YOU CAN PURCHASE THESE BOOKS FOR DONATION TO A REVOLUTIONARY
PRISONER: these are among the most requested books by prisoners to
MIM and RAIL. Better yet, you can buy the book for yourself and a
comrade under lock and key and study together.
* * *
UNDER LOCK & KEY: NEWS FROM PRISONS AND PRISONERS
Exposing Maryland Torture
...There are some issues that need to be addressed
with urgency by the Committee to End the Marion and
Control Unit Lockdown! We Brothers need help. As of
last week, the Pigs here have begun a new humiliating
torturous tactic that is to put prisoners in a hog-
tied position. Meaning we are being hog-tied with
mechanical restraints, handcuffs, black box lock, and
leg irons. The cuffs are put on backwards, in this
cruel and torturous act. You cannot eat, sleep or use
the bathroom. Prisoners are kept like this for hours
and days. This is barbaric to say the least! As I
write this there are prisoners on my tier in this
brutal condition. If you refuse, you are gassed and
physically assaulted by these pigs.
--A Maryland Prisoner, 21 July 1998
SC segregation kills
At Allendale Correctional Institution in South
Carolina, the torture chamber is called lockup or
officially called Segregation Management Unit. On
October 27, 1998, at 2:41 p.m. an inmate tried to hang
himself. Luckily, other inmates were able to let the
CO's know the man was hanging. If it had left up to
the officers he would have died. This goes to prove
this torture must stop! Not all human beings can take
the isolation and sensory deprivation of lock-up,
especially for months or years. The dumb ass pigs
asked the inmate why he attempted suicide. Isn't it
Here at Allendale the staff doesn't even follow proper
procedures according to the department of corruptions
policy OP22.12 (OP). Officer are to check inmates
every half-hour, they don't. Each inmate is supposed
to be checked daily by medical staff, they're not.
Nurses come around and give out medication to inmates
who are on it. They don't check all inmates according
to policy. Basically every three months inmates are
supposed to be reviewed by mental health
professionals, they're not. Caseworkers are supposed
to come around at least once a week, again this
doesn't happen. All this violates SCDC policy, but
nothing is done about it! In fact I don't even believe
these specialized staff are even professionally
trained. They are just given these titles to make a
job position. If they were truly professional,
wouldn't they know the effects of these torture
The worst thing about this situation is that the man
will be back after a couple of days of observation,
only to suffer the torture again, instead of being
-- A South Carolina Prisoner, 27 October 1998
Prisoner Murdered in Texas
... On October 18, 1996 at about 10:00 p.m. a 25 year-
old Black man was murdered by the Harris County Jail
officials in Houston, Texas. His name was Willy Watts.
His death was written off and covered-up as just a
heart attack. His family was told that he died of
natural of causes, this may be true, but he could have
been saved. I was there and saw it all!
Harris County Jail officials killed this man because
they refused to give him any medical treatment. I
tried for two and a half years to get the medical
staff to help this guy. The pigs almost beat me up
because I refused to stop trying to get this man help.
This man struggled for his life for two and a half
years in a medical holding cell and died right in
front of me and about 25 other prisoners.
I filed a sworn statement with the Harris County
Internal Affairs Division on November 11, 1996. I am
having it copied so I can send it to y'all. I beg that
anyone, with any knowledge of the whereabouts of any
member of Mr. Willy Watt's family to please contact me
through MIM Notes. This is very important, so show
that you care.
-- A Texas Prisoner, 3 November 1998
Medical Negligence Kills Prisoners
...At this point here in NJSP [New Jersey State
Prison], we prisoners are undergoing yet another
transformation imposed upon us by the Department of
Corruption. In July new rules went into effect. As of
the month of October we will not be allowed to receive
clothing packages, food packages or appliances. We are
already paying for inadequate medical services.
In the month of April, three prisoners were allowed to
die because of the negligent practices of the medical
staff. Since then two more inmates have died because
of inadequate services. In 1994, Governor Whitman
allowed the Department of Corruptions to give CMS
(Corrupt Medical Services) a contract knowing that
this company had failed to re-sign contracts with
other states' Department of Corruptions because of
their negligence. This company had also requested to
NJDOC that they no longer allow us to receive books on
medical terms and health care.
This tells me not only do they want an illiterate
population in here, but they want to continue killing
us without being held accountable.
What irks me the most is the fact that we have no
unity as prisoners. There is no trust or loyalty to
our struggle in here. Without these qualities as a
whole, I don't think we can survive. Fact of the
matter is we need more support that people are willing
to give. I commend your paper, for your intentions are
pure but for us, we need people who will sacrifice
more that what they're giving.
I read how people in other states come out in masses
to confront the DOC and show strong concern for their
friend and relatives who are held kkkaptive. We need
that kind of support here in New Jersey to engage in
physical confrontation with those who interfere with
their act of support would be even stronger as it
would expose the vindictiveness of this injustice
Your Comrade in Aluta,
-- A New Jersey Prisoner, September 1998
MIM responds: We agree there is a need to organize
and unite more masses to fight against oppression and
toward revolution. The best method to do this is
expansion of the peopleís independent institutions
like MIM Notes. We must expose the pigsí injustice and
arm the masses with tools necessary to fight winnable
battles and eventually revolutionary armed struggle.
An essential prerequisite for successful revolutionary
armed struggle is independent institutions built
through intensive mass work. MIM does not currently
organize physical confrontation against the oppressor
because of the need to organize stronger mass bases of
support for revolution. The masses must be well
organized and armed to avoid unnecessary defeat.
Physical confrontation for comradesí defense for
survival is sometimes necessary, but this remains the
decision of individuals. And in these situations, we
urge prisoners to learn from the successful lessons of
Maoism to make an informed and correct decision. We
also recommend MIM Theory #5 which outlines correct
political decisions concerning armed struggle and
fighting to win.
Murder and Medical Neglect
...I have been caged on the Mark W. Stiles Plantation
for over two years now. In that time I have witnessed
two prisoners die due to straight up medical neglect.
One of my Muslim brothers had an asthma attack at 2:00
p.m. Security refused to authorize him to go to
medical for treatment. Five hours later, while still
trying to make it into breathing treatment, this
brother collapsed and died on the sidewalk in route to
the infirmary, unescorted!
This unit has been deemed a Chronic Care Facility for
PWA's (Prisoners with AIDS) and I too am infected with
the plague. Though I am healthy and as strong as a
bull, I have no disillusions whatsoever about the
plight of Pharos's blind sheep here who are suffering
a storm that seems unending. Recently a couple of
redneck KKKlansmen assaulted a Hispanic Comrade who
later died of head trauma, which as you may have
guessed, was of a serious nature.
I was assaulted myself, back in February of '98 for no
reason, other than my willingness to unite with other
brothers against oppression. My assault fortunately
was not fatal, but there is a pattern of brutality
here that goes beyond your wildest nightmares. They've
assaulted people in wheelchairs, people on crutches,
and even one dude with a missing limb. They have no
qualms about letting it be known that they despise
people with AIDS and practice racial hatred and bias.
The whole is on week one of institutional lockdown.
Today makes day number 5 of a 30 day affair. They
informed us that it would be this way until our
conduct shows improvement. Problem is, nothing
happened to warrant this extremely drastic measure. No
one has been killed, stabbed or assaulted and no one
has escaped. They did the second major shakedown in as
many moths this week, and still came up clean, no
guns, knives, etc. The previous cell search cost me my
prayer rug and kufi, which they threw away in the
I'm in the Control Unit section of this slave camp. We
too are being fed cold Johnies, which consists of a
cheese, meat or peanut butter sandwich three times a
day. No showers, no recreations, and no visitation.
This is the consequence of being sick and being housed
in a death camp whose sole purpose is to breakdown the
spirit while killing the body. They practice
psychological oppression here as well as physical
abuse, oppression and tumult. They even sprayed gas on
one man who was having an epileptic seizure.
They have a repetitive routine that they use. If one
were to examine all the facts, their offenses would be
obvious. For instance, after they assaulted me, I was
charged with attempting to assault a Lieutenant. Then
when my comrades who witnessed my assault, spoke out
against it and unified to oppose it, the pigs
systematically eliminated all these prisoners by
planting shanks, framing and sometimes straight up
brutality and assault. At this time, we are all in the
control unit. When I say all, I speak of my Nubian and
Islamic brothers who stood up against this madness....
In Struggle and Solidarity,
-- A Texas Prisoner, 10 October 1998
No wages in Texas
...Prisoners here in Texas do not get paid at all for
working. The (TDCJ) officials give us good-time credit
for working, which they take back the first time you
get a major disciplinary case, which is as easy as
breathing. If you have a short sentence, once you lose
that good-time credit it will hurt your chances on
release or parole because you can not get that good-
time back. If they take three years good-time and you
got a six-year sentence, you start over.
Inmate abuse by plantation's guards is widespread and
well covered up by the prison's Internal Affairs and
Grievance Official. Half of the officials are related
to one another. We are charged $3.00 for sick calls
(whether or not you are treated). If you are
outspoken, as I am, then you are considered a violent
gang member or some other kind of threat the TDCJ uses
to silence you.
I appeal to all my black and brown brother and sister
Comrades to bond with MIM and unite in this struggle!
It's the only way we can rise above our oppression in
and out of prison.
-- A Texas Prisoner, 27 October 1998
South Carolina Wages Eliminated
In South Carolina inmate pay no longer exists, unless
you were in Prison before 1998. Those who do get paid
get pre-depression era wages. If an inmate refuses to
work he gets cell restriction, loss of privileges and
finally ends up in lock-up. This is discipline for not
working as a slave for the prisoncrats. I would like
to see them work for nothing, or pay of 20 cents an
hour. Try supporting your family on that!
The prison system, staff, counties, etc. get skilled
labor for these insane wages. Welders, plumbers,
electricians, carpenters, etc. are in prison. Recently
inmates in Pennsylvania saved that state $300,000.00
by doing so-called community service. Here in
Allendale, SC inmates provided many hours of slave
labor to the community. The council members of
Allendale thanked the DOC for their assistance! They
forgot who really did the assisting -- the inmates or
should I say slaves. I wonder if any inmates who did
the service will be recognized come parole or furlough
time. This so-called community service (forced labor)
puts another feather in the cap of the SCDC and gives
more reasons to keep us locked up. After all, free
labor reduces taxes and puts more money in the
In South Carolina the elected officials are pushing
for reduction or doing away with state taxes. Using
inmates as slaves is a good way to do it. The savings
instead should be passed on the inmates for school,
training and equipment -- not lining the oppressors'
pockets. Prison is supposed to rehabilitate inmates
and make them assets to the community when released.
Therefore it is only sensible to use the money for the
training of inmates. Millions of dollars and labor
hours are saved throughout the country by these
practices, but I have yet to see any inmates benefit.
The only benefits are bad backs, calluses and no pay!
-- A South Carolina Prisoner, 20 October 1998
Kentucky Wages and Working Conditions
...The conditions here are ridiculous. The "work
options" or OJT (On the Job Training) are despicable.
They consist of: 1. janitor's jobs, 2. outside
landscaping (cutting grass and picking up cigarette
butts), 3. kitchen jobs, 4. prison industries (where
they make license plates and furniture, starting at 25
cents an hour with at 10 cent raise ever 90 days.), or
5. Maintenance (windows, putting in benches, roofing,
carpentry, drywall, etc for $1.25 a day).
Every time you get a cut or need some aspirin, you
have to have a doctor's note. To see the doctor it's a
$2.00 copayment. This $2.00 charge prevents many
inmates who only make $12-15.00 a month reluctant to
get medical attention whey they really need it. Two
dollars doesn't sound like a lot, but when you're only
getting one dollar in whole day, it makes a dent!
I'm sure they read my mail, but they don't black
anything out. Of course I haven't been getting
anything worth censoring yet!
...Another gestapo tactic they use around here is the
"investigation technique". These people will come get
you and put you in what they call the segregation unit
without provocation. They can hold you for 90 days
without issuing a write up. In the segregation one is
subject to dehumanizing conditions. You get one phone
call when you get up there and then that's it, no more
contact with the outside world via phone no matter how
long your stay. They shave your head, when you enter
segregation. The worst thing is the plumbing. When the
guy in the next cell flushes his toilet it comes up in
your toilet, unless you flush at the exact same time.
There are cells where the windows are out and the in
the winter it is too cold to get out bet. The bullshit
just goes on and on.
It's the antithesis of rehabilitation. It's pure
degradation and I'm sick of tired of being sick and
tired. It's like you're screaming at the top of your
lungs but no sound is coming. Keep me informed.
Yours in the struggle,
-- A Kentucky Prisoner, 27 October 1998
Prisons are Capitalistic Tools of Oppression
While the poor in this capitalistic society are forced
to pay higher taxes to generate this machine "modern
day slavery" the rich are investing into privately
owned prisoners to insure maximum capacity. A
capitalistic society could not exist without someone
to capitalize on. This so-called justice system is out
of control. Everybody from the public defender to the
warden sees the benefits of a conviction. The tax
dollars are being used to generate more wealth for the
rich, while exploitation overwhelms the poor. The
infrastructure of this system is incapable of
producing positive results.
These racist pigs walk around with their chests puffed
up with pride, as if they're victorious conquerors.
With all of the potential Guerrilla fighters locked
down in this supermaxium facility, they must feel
secure in their position. The warden runs this
facility like a ruthless dictator. Although I've never
seen the warden in physical form, I've seen his
reflection through his guards' exploitation.
Anytime an inmate is being transferred from point A to
point B, inside the prison's walls, the guards
intentionally create an altercation as an excuse to
use excessive force. Any type of resistance leads to 6
or 7 guards pinning you to the floor for security
purposes. Although you already have on belly chains
and handcuffs, excessive force is applied to restrict
your movements. As soon as the backup pigs bring leg
irons, you're hog-tied. Occasionally your clothes and
shoes are cut away from your body, then you're carried
naked to an observation cell.
A lot of souljahs hold high respect for MIM. Thank you
for the newsletters that you sent to me. I'm passing
them around to comrades so that they can understand
MIM's cause. Before reading some MIM Notes, I thought
that the war was based on Black and White. Now I
realize that it is based on rich against poor. Power
to the people!
-- A Kansas Prisoner
Tracking Device After Parole
...Unfortunately, when I'm finally released I will not
only be on paper (parole) but I will also have a
tracking monitor attached to my ankle for the
remaining five years of my sentence. In September of
last year a law was passed by the state of Texas that
all cons released from plantations who have violent
cases must have monitors attached to their ankles. All
ex-prisoners with violent cases must wear this monitor
for the remainder of their sentences on parole...."
-- A Texas Prisoner, 24 July 1998
...I got a homeboy, back here, who is a Level 3 now,
due to the fact that an officer was harassing his
family at visitation. One day my homeboy was at
visitation with his family and this pig all of sudden,
with nothing else to do, just started harassing his
This officer just stood over his mom and stepfather
and looked down at them like they had shit on them or
something. So my homeboy told the pig to get his ass
from behind his family and go do something else. So
the devil got smart with the guy and his family -- and
went and wrote my homie a "threatening an officer"
case. So they rolled him from Level 2 back to Level 3.
Now my homie wrote his family and told them about his
situation. So his family came up here and had a few
words with the warden. I guess the warden felt
threatened by their words. So the warden had these
family members removed from his visitation list. Now I
don't think that was necessary. Now, you tell me if
that's not crooked, what is? I can't see a straight
line in this situation at all. These devils need to
get a grip.
-- A Texas Prisoner still struggling, 14 October 1998
Federal Photo File of prisonersí supporters
I am writing to warn all federal prisoners and their
families. The Federal Bureau of Prisons [FBOP] retains
a copy of all photographs taken with a commissary
"photo ticket". That means when your friends visit
you, a picture is taking and the government retains a
copy. The purpose is to keep a dossier of your
acquaintances so they can implicate everybody in
various purported "conspiracies".
This matter is presently being litigated at Maydak v
United States Civil 97-2199 (USCS Dist. Col.). This
matter violates the Privacy Act 5 USC 552, and the
FBOP uses the inmates' 31 USC 1321(22) trust funds.
If you have fallen victim to this scheme, and wish for
all your photographs to be destroyed, file an
intervention petition in the above action. If you wish
to file your action the clerk will provide five pages
free upon your request. Write to Clerk, US District
Court, US Courthouse, Washington, DC 20001 and request
"pages 5-9 of the complaint in 97-CV-2199".
-- A Federal Prisoner, 15 October 1998