Environment and Prisons
I recently read MIM Theory 12 "Environment, Society and Revolution" and I got to say it was very educational. Being in prison "the environment" is not something prisoners discuss too often, much less study, debate or develop into a correct line so to be able to read the polemics, MIM's line on environment as well as the cops line, and how the comrades over in the Philippines put their theory into practice in struggling for the environment in a revolutionary way was a great help in getting me to understand not only how to fight environmental destruction but how to do so in a Maoist way.
What I have learned in the years of working with MIM and developing my line is all oppression whether it be patriarchy, environmental destruction which poisons the people, racism, fascism in Amerika, class oppression, etc. can all be tied together into one root cause. In order to find a solution or eradicate a problem you need to make a scientific analysis and find the root cause. What is causing these symptoms all comes back to imperialism. Imperialism is the root cause of all oppression whether that oppression is here in the U.S. or internationally. So rather than taking on individual issues in mass organizations and work for reform to alter these circumstances it is more logical to pull the whole weed out by the roots and truly solve the problem.
So as I read this MT12 thought of what environmental destruction does to prisoners here in Amerika. A historical materialist view will show that prisoners especially in Amerika get the uncut version of imperial fascism, we are given the worse processed foods, often times that which U.S. consumers would refuse to purchase, the worst water (any prisoner whose been through California's Tracy prison remembers the brown water coming out of the faucets) that anywhere else is U.S. society would be tagged for health hazards. The pollution and waste involved in building the many prisons that house the 2+ million prisoners in Amerika is all environmental destruction that is caused like any injustice in U.S. society by capitalism. The root cause is capitalism that puts profits in command and the people's interest comes last if at all.
The main thing that I learned from this MT12 was of the overwhelming toxic dump sites in and around oppressed nations areas. I wonder how much media attention and public outcry would occur had the city announced a new toxic dumpsite to be opened in Belair or the Malibu hills? Yet we hardly hear a murmur from the media when toxic dumps spring up in areas where the oppressed nations swell. Third World countries have become the imperialist dump site. I watched a news program around a month ago about how petty bourgeois here in the U.S. were setting up these scam "recycle" centers for computers and "e-trash." These "recycle" centers would turn around and ship off this toxic junk to Third World nations and turn a profit, even though there's supposed laws prohibiting this toxic dumping (for Petty Bourgeois and small time entrepreneurs) it is still continued with a nod and a wink. The bourgeois, big business, transnational corporations etc. are a whole different story. They continue to dump toxins on the Third World nations with only encouragement from imperialist economists.
The document written by the Communist Party of the Philippines "on the issue of the environment in the world and in the Philippines" was an excellent example of how to deal with environmental destruction caused by capitalism, I learned a lot from this article. One of the things I learned was how a lot of the so-called "environmentalist groups" here in the U.S. or in other imperialist countries work to pass laws to "protect the environment" and stop things like logging or toxic dumping, but these so-called "green activists" are only acting in a chauvinistic way. I always looked at them as they were protecting the environment but their protection of the environment stopped at their backyard. These laws would stop these big businesses and transnational corporations from destruction in imperialist countries so these companies would simply go to Third World countries to conduct their dirty business.
What got me even angrier is I thought how here in the U.S. the majority of people get their living needs from the corner supermarket or have one of the many water companies deliver clean water jugs to their doorsteps or simply turn on their faucet whereas the people in the Third World countries often live off their local forests, grow their own vegetables in the soil and drink and catch the fish they eat in their rivers and lakes so the environmental destruction unleashed on the Third World people really is genocide on the people of Third World countries!
The most important environmental policy adopted by the CPP was their 25 year ban on logging for export. The comrades of the regional committees would enforce their many policies in the areas they controlled. Their actions had more impact then any kind of "green activists" collection of signatures or the voting in of "environmentally friendly" politicians in the U.$. When a people get down to the root problem of anything, only then can a true remedy be found, otherwise only the surface is scratched, imperialism is proven to infect all levels of society from the homeless, to trees, to prisoners; any form of oppression can be linked to imperialism.