In August 2012, thirty-four South African miners were murdered by the police at the Maricana Platinum mine owned by Amplats (Anglo Material Platinum). These humyn beings were attempting to convince Amplats to pay them a livable wage. This is a serious "crime" to the money hungry Anglo who still looks upon the South African as a farm animal or dog.
We refer to ourselves as internationalists. However, many times we get so caught up in our own local struggles in these slave pens of oppression, we forget that there are comrades world wide who want and need a dictatorship of the proletariat. Our international outlook teaches us to keep a trained eye on the geo-political, social, economic, and fascist military climate across the globe.
In November 2012 nearly 120 Bangladeshi textile workers were burned alive. These human beings were working at the Tazreen Textile Factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Labor activists took pictures of the various clothing labels being worked on at the Bangladeshi garment factory. It was prominent throughout the debris. Walmart immediately feigned ignorance claiming the factory was a third party and they were unaware of any dealings with the factory. This was discovered to be a lie. In June of 2012 the factory had asked Walmart for money in order to improve safety conditions at the factory. It was found that there were not any fire exits, and the most shocking fact, other than the deaths, is that Bangladeshi textile workers are paid 18 to 20 cents an hour.
Let's take a look at MIM Theory 10. The labor aristocracy article entitled: The White Working Class: Gross Parasitism, by MC12, pg 48:
"Defining the value of labor power is difficult. It has to be at least a subsistence wage in order to reproduce the working class so that capitalists have more workers. But in the era of imperialism, things have changed. On the one hand, in many oppressed nations we find that the proletariat is paid less than the value of their labor power, measured as a bare subsistence. That is, in many countries the wages paid to workers are not enough to sustain them physically, so that they rely on other means of subsistence, such as family farming or other informal economic systems - and they die or are sick more. For that reason, imperialist multinational corporations (IMCs) never employ all the potential workers in a poor country. Those who are not employed by the imperialists need to work to supplement the wages of the paid workers. This is the system of super exploitation, and it generates superprofits, as Lenin described in Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism."
Comrades, do you realize MC12 wrote that piece 17 years ago? It is as relevant today as it was then, and maybe even more so.
Walmart is establishing a pattern of deceptive and unethical business practices and for some reason the department of injustice has been turning a blind eye to their blatantly criminal behavior. In December 2012 journalist David Barstow of the New York Times wrote a piece entitled "Walmart, Bribes and Mexico." The piece detailed Walmart's conspiracy to bribe the mayor of Teotihuacán, Mexico. Teotihuacán is the site of some ancient pyramids, a bona fide cultural historical place. But Walmart wanted to expand by any means necessary even if it meant violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. However, there has been evidence that shows FBI investigators never notified the Injustice Department. Oh, the cat is out of the bag now but Walmart is doing everything possible to hush up the vast Mexican bribery scheme.
February 18, 2013 on the Washington mall in Washington D.C., the largest climate change rally ever in U.S. history was staged. The main focus was convincing President Barack Obama to stop the Keystone Pipeline. The Keystone Pipeline would run from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and it would transport a product known as tar sands oil. Tar sands is one of the most volatile, noxious, toxic, and environmentally damaging oil products known to man. Greenhouse gases are doubled, sometimes tripled, in reference to the production of this volatile product. Chemicals like Benzene, a known carcinogenic, must be mixed with tar sands so that it may move through the pipeline. I don't even want to begin to describe the natural disaster or threat to the environment that will occur if one of these pipes were to rupture.
Imperialist multinational corporations that deal in fossil fuels (i.e. oil and gas) have conspired to create an entity that funds the denial of global warming. In mid-February 2013 journalist Suzanne Goldberg of the Guardian did an exposé on Donors Trust, a right wing fund raising monster which specializes in funding groups which publish information denying global climate change. The key to the deception is this: Donors Trust right wing financial backers remain anonymous.
Comrades this is why I refer to these IMCs as our most formidable enemy and greatest threat. When you have the money and power as well as the intent to engage in a misinformation and disinformation campaign that has the potential of contributing largely to the destruction of our planet, you are the greatest enemy to Maoism. Without a planet there will be no revolution. This all ties into our anti-imperialist struggle. So now we must apply historical dialectical materialism and figure out who is behind this conspiracy. Once we identify the threat, we must make plans to disarm, disable, and eradicate the threat.
Since Donors Trust keeps their donation rosters secret we must ask ourselves what group of individuals or state would benefit the most by disseminating quack science information which discounts global warming or denies climate change? The state of Texas is #1 in oil production in the United $nakes. Activists in east Texas have been engaged in a long-standing fight to stop the Keystone Pipeline from passing through a private citizen's property who was not told that tar sands would be the product transported across his land. Keystone offered the citizen a "sweet cream puff" deal: "We will pay you half of what your property is worth. Or if you say no we will pay you nothing, take your shit, and claim imminent domain!" So not only do they think of sinister ways to shape and mold your thinking, if you say "no," they just take what they want anyway.
Comrades, my days of idealism and romanticism are long gone! President Barack Hussein Obama will not stop the Keystone Pipeline. Activists in Oklahoma, Texas, and all over the U.S. and Canada better prepare for a dramatic increase in fascist repression and oppressive tactics by the state which is working hand in glove with the imperialist multinational corporations.
It is time for us to educate and organize like never before. Answering comrade Ehecatl's, call to study Maoism seriously (ULK 30 Jan/Feb 2013), we must think of innovative means and strategies to reach out to our comrades in Bangladesh, South Africa, Greece, and Europe who are sick and tired of having the boot of imperialism on the back of their neck.
MIM(Prisons) adds: Overall, the environmental threats of imperialism, especially those like the Keystone Pipeline that really hit home, will make greater inroads with the labor aristocracy than issues of labor repression in the Third World. While it is true that people in the First World will suffer from environmental destruction along with the rest of the world, we should keep in mind that even with environmental destruction the suffering is pushed on the Third World as much as possible. As described in MIM Theory 12: Environment, Society, Revolution, in the article "On Capitalism and the Environment", "Pollution, like all else under capitalism, is unequally distributed. On a world scale, waste from the imperialist countries is dumped in the neocolonies." This is all part of why we say the national contradiction is principal, and why we see majorities of people in the First World allying with imperialist interests overall. As such, we disagree with USW88 that the people of Europe have the boot of imperialism on their neck. The white nationalists, from the social democrats to the fascists, portray the principal contradiction as the people versus the corporations. This line leads to a focus on local interests, which in the First World are the interests of the oppressor nation.
So when we promote internationalism, we are talking about proletarian internationalism, that is anti-revisionist in that it draws clear lines between our friends and our enemies and whose interests are being served. Opposition to the Keystone Pipeline must include this internationalist perspective, or the opposition movement will consider it success when the crude oil extraction moves from their own back yard, literally, to the Third World.
by a North Carolina prisoner February 2013 permalink
Mr. Piggy, you are what you eat — swine Your oppression is your shit, mud and urine you roll around in when you think of ways to try to take mine Your rage is the rage of a wild hog I sit and plot on you sipping this eggnog I wake from the dream and you're still here As I look into your eyes I see you filled with fear Your oppression is soon to be over, your time is near Don't worry your cowardly soul while I live day to day in this cell Build myself in a way you could never tell I hide in the shadows waiting for war Always remember when it rains it pours When your time comes I will not shed a tear Cause all my loyal eyes see is Uncle Toms and Klan members My mind, body and soul will never surrender Leave a mark for the future comrades to remember Your corrupt mind is on never ending oppression till we all dead and gone So I guess day by day it's on Comrades we will see a better day at the end of this oppressed time zone
The president, commander-in-chief of the greatest empire on earth, the U$A, gave the yearly "state of the union" on February 12, 2013, as required by the U.$. constitution.
Funny thing is that while I sit in prison and know first hand that what he says is crap, I couldn't help laughing at the contradictions in his speech. Let's start off with this: "...kept the promises we made." Well, let's go to the obvious and talk how the U.$. broke most, actually all, of its treaties with the First Nations. They promised them a specific amount of land and agreed to leave them alone. But then the U.$. took more land thereby shrinking the "Reservations."
The pre$ident said this is the "greatest nation on earth." Third World nations and oppressed nations within the U.$. know this is BS. This nation was founded on genocide and continues its tradition of destruction and death with wars in the Middle East. Keep an eye out for the United $tates's next deployment of aggression and occupation on other nations or, as they say "humanitarian missions."
Obama talked about "Peoples' government." As a settler nation, this Euro-Amerikan population has no legitimacy to rule, govern or even be on this continent. This is not a government for all people, but a select few who rule over the rest, while buying off most Amerikans to complicity (i.e. the labor aristocracy).
Obama spoke about "respect[ing] the fundamental rights of people." If the United $tates had an ounce of respect for rights they wouldn't have the largest percentage of its population in prison of any country in the world; 2.3 million locked away, most Latino and Black. Singling out certain nationalities for imprisonment is not respect, but oppression. If the United $tates respected fundamental rights of people why did it invade Iraq? No proof of weapons of mass destruction were found. Why does it sanction torture? Why is the white nation in Amerika better off than the oppressed nations, not to mention Third World nations?
Finally Obama talked about "fundamental rights of democracy [and] the right to vote." He never mentioned anything about prisoners and how they can't vote. This is a clear example of a deliberate policy of outcasting certain people.
Obama's speech offers lip service to the ideas of equality and representative government, possibly tricking the colonized into thinking there is some hope of making this democracy work for them. But Amerika remains an imperialist nation whose wealth is built on the exploitation of the Third World peoples. Those who sweat and die to supply the cushy lives of Amerikan citizens do not get a vote in this "democracy."
As all oppressed nations within the U.$. injustice system know there is no such thing as justice or rehabilitation, let alone rights!
In prison is where we see fascism getting out at its harshest.(1) Recently governor Jerry Brown spoke about how prisoners' lawsuits are costing the tax payers (parasites) money.(2) We should know better than this as it's a coverup to implement more restricted measures in prison. Not only is he seeking support to curb lawsuits but now Brown wants to implement policies limiting what prisoners can actually sue about. Like an enemy telling his combatant he can only shoot at the ground. Perhaps the recent events of prisoners waking up has caused prisoncrats to put a gag order on us. If tax payers really want to save money they should realize how much more officers (pigs) get paid for working in the SHU (ASU, PSU) than working in general population.
As a comrade wrote in ULK 30 about a case concerning the suppression of Black Panther literature, (Tani Toston v. Muchael Thurmer et al. no#10 cv 288) "The ruling is a joke and more about suppression and control." Here in California the state apparatus is gearing up for repression and suppression of our so-called "freedom of speech." This time they are attacking our right to redress a grievance. Prisoners should be aware of the consequences this plan can have on our fight against repression. Once this policy is implemented it'll be much more difficult to rectify issues we face. Of course when push comes to shove the state will not hold back to silence the resisters, as the Attica prison rebellion has shown us.
Time should be taken to study and realize the hows and whys. Giving them an inch will only do us harm and further sink us into the hole of doom. Combating the issue of censorship should be one of the top issues we fight right now.
MIM(Prisons) adds: Jerry Brown knows how to rally the Amerikan tax payer against the imprisoned lumpen. Not a difficult task we might add. The federal government already passed the Prison Litigation Reform Act in 1996, which severely restricted prisoners' ability to file lawsuits. Yet Brown claims California still can't afford the lawsuits that make it past these restrictive measures. He claims lawyers are just scouring prisons looking for problems. Well, MIM Distributors was officially banned from sending mail to prisoners locked up by the CDCR for years, a ban that still comes back to haunt us every so often, by bureaucrats who didn't get the memo that it ended in 2008. Yet no lawyers came out of the woodwork to fight for our constitutional right to free speech (Brown claims these constitutional issues are easy money). And we've got a long line of prisoners with serious grievances, of not just censorship but physical abuse and neglect, who would love to talk to these lawyers looking for this supposed easy money. We'd be happy to put them in touch.
28 January 2013 - Greetings and respects to you all and my fellow comrades who are enduring the struggle. Keep your heads held high always. They can lock us up physically, but can't lock our hearts, minds and souls away.
I was not able to keep in contact because of these white oppressors. My last issue of ULK was denied due to what the oppressor calls advocating hunger strikes.
I am a Texas prisoner housed in a high security unit, Lewis Unit, in Administrative Segregation. Since 10 January 2013 we have been fed minimal rations of food and it continues to get worse. For example, today we were fed 2 small corn dogs and 5 prunes. It was a breaking point. Some fellow comrades and I have initiated a hunger strike due to the feeding and continual physical abuse of prisoners while handcuffed or during use of forces.
The unity in Texas prisons is almost nonexistent. Most prisoners let the racist pigs treat them like animals. Only a few of us are willing to stand up. We cannot get change with five or six comrades, but we will fight to the death of us to get what we rightfully are supposed to have. On behalf of prisoners in the United States and abroad, I greatly appreciate your dedication to the struggle.
MIM(Prisons) comments: Hunger strikes are one of the few options available to prisoners fighting abuse and harmful conditions. But this form of protest comes with the risk of physical harm to the protesters, and is often handled with force by the prison administration. While prisoners must determine what is appropriate for their conditions, we encourage everyone to put in the time to educate and organize others. Unity may be non-existent in your prison today, but that should make clear what one of your key tasks is. We must educate others while organizing for demands that will unite them around a common cause. Ultimately we want to unite the oppressed in the struggle against imperialism, but we can start by helping them to see the source of their day-to-day oppression in the criminal injustice system.
I've enclosed a chrono that documents how these people have chosen to violate my First Amendment right to read a book. I've been validated and am awaiting transfer to the Security Housing Unit (SHU).
"On Thursday, November 18, 2010, the Correctional Training Facility (CTF) Institutional Gang Investigator (IGI) Unit conducted a search of the cell and property pertaining to inmate XX. As a result of the search the IGI Unit confiscated and reviewed various materials evidencing his association with the BGF. The materials included a photocopy of Blood in my Eye.
"George Jackson's Blood in my Eye is required reading by the BGF for training into the prison gang. George Jackson, though never validated as a member of the BGF, is attributed as being the founder of the BGF. The written rules and regulations of the BGF require all members and associates to continually practice the revolutionary theories and ideas promoted by George Jackson. The BGF require members and associates of the prison gang to study and familiarize themselves with all of George Jackson's written materials and his history throughout the years. Also potential BGF recruits must study George Jackson's materials to show their loyalty to the Black Guerrilla Family.
"In conclusion due to inmate XX maintaining material indicative to the Black Guerrilla Family, XX is evidencing his activity and association with the prison gang. Therefore this memorandum should be used as one (1) source towards validating XX (Written Material) as an associate of the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF)."
MIM(Prisons) adds: This document from the prison administration demonstrates their systematic oppression of prisoners who attempt to study political history and theory. George Jackson is an author read by many prisoners because of his history as a prisoner and revolutionary organizer. Associating the book Blood in my Eye with a supposed "prison gang" feeds into the state's line that criminalizes the struggle for self-determination of the New Afrikan nation. It allows them to label politically active prisoners as dangerous for reading a book and subject them to isolation (the next step after validation).
The pigs have been up to the same old stuff around here. Three days ago they shot and killed one of the brown brothers with the mini 14 assault rifle, the same rifle type the media and congress has been trying to ban. Two guys were attacking another guy and they were on him and wouldn't stop. So the pig stopped it with the assault rifle. The official report is that the victim had a stabbing instrument in his hand. But the men who were closest to the incident said they saw no weapon.
Of course they did the routine investigation and sent out some COs to ask if anybody saw anything. And of course no one wanted to talk. The pigs have brainwashed so many of us that we believe if we report on the pigs' wrongdoing then that makes you a snitch. A lot of guys are afraid to write a grievance for fear of being labeled. The bad thing is the pigs have their compradors in place to push this point.
Some guys here on a facility organized a food strike to protest the fact the kitchen has a mice/rodent problem. It was only one building. There was no communication that it was going to take place. They did it and got some people's attention. Inspectors came out and looked at the kitchen and gave the kitchen workers a pep talk and told them they needed to tell the population that the problem was being taken care of. All they did was put some mouse traps down and nothing else.
Hopefully the population continues to stand up for themselves. If this is a sign of change I hope it continues because the pigs got nervous when those guys refused to eat.
MIM(Prisons) adds: The righteousness of opposing "snitching" is in the idea that you don't go running to the oppressor to deal with problems among the oppressed people. In other words, don't snitch to the oppressor on the oppressed. There is no such thing as snitching on the oppressor. To report abuse of the pigs, you are not bringing the oppressor into a conflict among the oppressed; the oppressor already is the source of the conflict. And if the oppressed don't have the means to resolve that conflict, then it may be tactically correct to turn to other oppressors to resolve that conflict.
It is true that the prison administration gets nervous when prisoners organize. The more we can unite around common goals, the more power we will have. If the oppressed stay quiet and disunited, there is no counterbalance to the abuse that prisoners face.
On January 1 a racist pig by the name of Yates assaulted a Black prisoner in the presence of his immediate supervising officer who did nothing to prevent the assault from occurring nor to stop it once it started. He then refused to call a Lieutenant, give the prisoner an emergency grievance, or request medical attention for the prisoner after Yates attempted to grab the prisoners arm through the cuff port and upon failing that, attempted to break the prisoner's arm by kicking the cuff port flap several times.
Since November this same pig targeted two other prisoners, both Black, one who's gone elsewhere. One, still here, is a diabetic and litigant who's problems arose over his prescribed medical diet. He's been the target of repeated and persistent provocation, retaliation, threats, disciplinary action and property confiscation by this same pig to the point where he can't leave his cell for shower or yard when this pig is on duty for fear of property loss/destruction. He and the prisoner assaulted on January 1 were told that Yates would starve them, kill them, watch them die and enjoy every minute of it and make their lives a living hell. Yates has also made it clear that grievances are useless, the administration has his back and if he did kill one of us he'd get a promotion and a pay raise.
This attitude is not uncommon at High Desert State Prison (HDSP). This pig and others routinely refuse emergency grievances or throw them away (or personally deny them!), refuse to call supervisors, leave prisoners in cells without property for weeks (for my first 17 days I had no property - not even anything to eat with), refuse to answer call buttons, and leave the heat turned off to torment us.
A few of us are fighting these abuses, but it is next to impossible to organize a group effort in part due to environmental obstructions in segregation and apparent apathy on the part of captives, which is seriously disappointing. This apathy is more pronounced (it seems) during the holiday season. This has always been a point of frustration to me: These are capitalist holidays celebrating the genocide and destruction of whole cultures. The first thanksgiving was declared by William Bradford (Gov of the Massachusetts Colony) to celebrate the Pequot Massacre - the murder of 700 plus indigenous people of all ages and genders. In Nevada we get better food (and adult portions) on their capitalist holidays and everybody puts on a happy face, I assume out of some misguided notion of respect for tradition. The rest of the year we're starved and treated like herd animals.
There are no holidays for the revolution nor for those devoted to revolution. It was on one of those "holidays" that the comrade above was assaulted. In hindsight, some racist pig assaulting a Black captive on a capitalist holiday is keeping in step with imperialist history.
by a North Carolina prisoner February 2013 permalink
On December 3, 2012 a small peaceful demonstration started. Here on supermax, prisoners refused to go inside their cells because they were tired of being oppressed. The pigs oppress us by not giving what's needed and intimidating prisoners. It started when a prisoner put his hands out to be cuffed. As soon as his hands came out of the small port door these cowardly pigs pulled his arm out of the trap and tried to break his arm. Luckily he had the strength to pull his arm away from the 4 pigs. After all was done the prisoners went back in their cells.
This is why the pigs think they can run us over with their oppressive ways and tactics. We as a group need to stand up and put these pigs in their place. These pigs know they got fellow pigs that have their backs, snitch ass prisoners I call rats, also the prisoners who are all about material things that these wanna-be hustler pigs can provide. These same prisoners are being oppressed with Security Threat Group (Gang Task Force) loss of jobs and privileges. But they don't want to unite. They'd rather use the pigs to get at a fellow prisoner. Slowly these prisoners are becoming part of the oppressor. All that I can say about these prisoners is "it's time to quit trying to be super gangsta and be a man. If you wanna ride, ride on these oppressive pigs. These pigs are the ones disrespecting you as a man with your neck under his boot."
MIM(Prisons) responds: Outbreaks of spontaneous protest like this one are a start to raising prisoners' consciousness about the need for unity against the criminal injustice system. This unity won't come overnight; we need to build it through education and discussion. Those who have been taught that they can benefit by snitching or turning their backs or hustling can be won over to the revolutionary cause, but we must put in the time to educate them. Sharing Under Lock & Key, starting study groups, talking to people, are all essential day-to-day organizing activities if we are going to build unity. Often we hear complaints about lack of unity, or lack of revolutionary consciousness. And we know this is a big problem in the prisons, but this is why our principal task right now is education. Incidents like this show us that the material interest is there, and we must build on that.
[Below we have excerpted sections from a letter by a USW comrade sent to Turning the Tide. While the comrade does a good job responding to this gross misrepresentation of MIM line, we have added comments in brackets to clarify a few points.]
I was surprised by your latest issue of Turning the Tide (TTT). More specifically, Michael Novick's article entitled "PART's Perspective: On Contradiction and the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People." Quite a brazen title by the way, as the point of the original essay penned by Mao was to point out the correct way for the Chinese Communist Party to help resolve contradictions among the people, and between the party and the people in light of the incidents in Hungary; as well as a critique of Stalin's shortcomings with that matter and to help forge unity with the masses.
I'll just give you a review of the entire article, in which Mr. Novick attempts to illuminate the prisyn masses with regards to the differences between TTT's political line and that of the MIM camp currently represented by MIM(Prisons), United Struggle from Within (a MIM(Prisons)-led anti-imperialist mass organization for prisyners), the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement and the Leading Light Communist Organization.
To begin with, i hold MIM(Prisons) in very high regard, not just because they hold the correct political line on everything politically meaningful under the sun, but because i owe my own political development to them.
My first point of contention with Mr. Novick's article is when he erroneously makes the statement that MIM's position concerning the labor aristocracy is that it is a permanent labor aristocracy. That is a false statement. MIM has never made the statement that the Amerikan labor aristocracy is a permanent labor aristocracy. Not only is that statement metaphysical and anti-dialectical but in complete contradistinction to the hystorical process and MIM line. Yes, the so-called Amerikan "worker" is indeed part of the labor aristocracy, and not proletarian as revisionists of varying stripes would contend. The Amerikan "worker" forms a part of the labor aristocracy; a sub-stratum of the petty bourgeoisie. Whenever they addressed this issue MIM continuously made it a point to say that the imperialist country working classes were (and still are) a pro-imperialist labor aristocracy at this time. Furthermore, the concept of the labor aristocracy goes all the way back to Engels when he described to Marx how the English proletariat was becoming more and more bourgeois. Lenin, as well as other Bolsheviks, also formulated on what basis this labor aristocracy was formed, which is of course super-profits stolen from the colonies. It seems to me however that those who continue to negate the existence of a labor aristocracy, and instead dogmatically cling to the hope of an Amerikan proletariat, do so either out of sheer ignorance or, more dangerously, for the purpose of revisionism. To continue to advocate this false thesis in the imperialist countries is to, as a "logical conclusion," advocate for multi-national/class unity in the fashion of Trotsky and his successors, i.e. the erroneous line that leads one to lean on and wait for the white working class to wake up and come to the oppressed nations' rescue.
Novick is also incorrect in his statement that "MIM sees women and prisoners as elements of US society where there is prospect for revolutionary development." Well, half wrong anyway. The MIM never saw, nor does it today see, First World wimmin as elements of U.$. society in which there is any real group oppression to speak of which would provide a prospect for revolution. The MIM recognizes First World wimmin, primarily white wimmin, as gender-privileged. They are not at all part of the revolutionary vehicle precisely because being privileged economically (among other things) makes them gender privileged in relation to Third World wimmin. Or in MIM's own words: "After looking around MIM came to the conclusion that like First World labor, First World women are mainly oppressors, not oppressed people."
We must also disagree with Mr. Novick's assertion that exploitation exists within the First World outside the realm of commodity production in which waged labor "produces" surplus value. Exploitation is defined as producing something and not being paid for the value of what you produce.
[MIM(Prisons) interjects: MIM line has consistently held that the white nation is not economically exploited. Later this line was expanded to assert that there is no exploitation occurring in the United $tates except within migrant and prisoner populations. To talk about "exploitation" of the planet, as Novick does, is to redefine the term that we use in a Marxist context. He does this in order to falsely imply that we have no concern for ecological destruction, one of many examples where Novick is misleading to dirty our name.
Since our definitions of "exploitation" are so vastly different, it seems pointless to debate who is even exploited. However, what Novick is attacking is the line that the dominance of service workers in the First World is evidence of an exploitative relationship with the Third World. We say this because if you cut off the First World from the colonies they will not be able to produce for themselves what they need to survive, because they're mostly cops, politicians, paper shufflers, sales clerks, bartenders, etc. The opposing thesis is that Amerikan workers are so much more productive than Third World workers that the small productive sector can easily meet the needs of all Amerikans. This productivity also explains the vastly higher wages paid in this country according to this chauvinist view.]
Mr. Novick is further wrong in his contention that we, i.e. the MIM camp, "assume privilege and oppression are absolute phenomona, unchanging and mutually exclusive." Quite the contrary, as dialectical materialists we certainly know that nothing is absolute (except for the struggle of opposites) or unchanging, as motion itself is an expression of change and particular to the law of development. If such an absurdity of which Novick here speaks of were true then MIM(Prisons) wouldn't be taking the time to help develop the imprisyned lumpen of which the rest of society has long since cast off into the abyss.
We furthermore recognize that there is indeed an obvious intersection in nation and class contradictions within the United $tates. In a sense this is what MIM(Prisons)'s work is all about; working with the oppressed nation lumpen, in particular so that we may not only build towards liberating our people, but so that we may liberate our class. This will be our contribution to the International Communist Movement and oppressed people of the world. So, contrary to Novick's statements, we do in fact recognize and acknowledge that the interpenetration of opposites is particular to the law of development. However, there is a dialectical process, and as such a process of stages of which phenomena must go thru before change is complete; a lengthy process at that. Mutually exclusive phenomena do not just magically transcend from one stage to another. If only Mr. Novick would take the time to read MIM literature more carefully then he would know this.
The First and the Third World are currently locked in struggle. This struggle is representative of two mutually exclusive classes: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. This is the fundamental contradiction on a world scale. Furthermore, this contradiction has manifested itself into antagonistic form, which has manifested into the principal contradiction on a world scale, which is oppressor versus the oppressed nations. Now, objectively speaking, what side of this contradiction are we on?
First World "workers" and Third World labor are two exclusive phenomena, not just because the former feeds off the latter, but because both hold two totally different positions with respect to the global relations of production and to the worldwide means of production as well. What Mr. Novick presupposes to explain with his chauvinist use of dialectics is that the First World labor aristocracy and Third World proletariat are essentially the same no matter the imperialist powers and the populations they serve. Mr. Novick says that privilege and oppression exist throughout class society, even among the exploited and oppressed, and that there is no perfectly oppressed class or sector whose hands are clean.
[MIM(Prisons) adds: We should point out that we see the oppressed nation lumpen in the United $tates as a middle force in that it has interests both opposed to and in support of imperialism. Novick seems to want to define everyone in this way, as potentially supporting or opposing imperialism. But we see the vast majority of Amerikans as clearly on the side of imperialism.
As our comrade points out, Novick throws around words like "dialectical" and "contradiction," while denying the very essence of a class analysis that is based in dialectical materialism. He asserts that it is absolutist to state that, overall, the labor aristocracy has a material interest in imperialism while the proletariat has interests opposed to it. This is consistent with the idealist view behind the strategy of groups like Anti-Racist Action who go out and confront the most overt racist elements of society. They attack racism, which is a symptom of national oppression that is at the core of the imperialist system. They focus on the realm of ideas, rather than making a materialist class analysis and getting at the root of the problem.
At the same time Novick is willing to identify enemy classes in the Third World, as in his discussion of South Africa. It seems he is selective in which classes get the benefit of the doubt.]
In addition to the above, Mr. Novick then uses the argument that there is currently a "class fall" being experienced by many in the United $tates and Europe, and that U.$. whites with less than a high school education are experiencing the loss of more than five years life expectancy is proof positive that the labor aristocracy is in all actuality going thru the re-proletarianization process. Funny, Trotsky had similar things to say during the Comintern of 1916 in his defense of Western Europe's newly rising labor aristocracy and his racist refusal that the revolutionary ebb was moving to the east. Unfortunate to say that we're not really surprised to hear such nonsense, as the TTT position on inter-communalism is the theory of Trotsky himself.
[MIM(Prisons) adds: Novick seems to slightly exaggerate a recent study that showed a 5-year decline in life expectancy for white wimmin without a high school diploma, but only a 3-year decline for men in that group. The average decline for all whites without a high school diploma was around 4 years.(2) Certainly a significant and unusual decline. But let's look at this population closer.
The percentage of "non-hispanic whites" without a high school diploma in 2012 was down to 7.5% according to the U.S. Census. In 1990, unfortunately, the census does not have this category. However, the percent of "whites" without a high school diploma was 21%. This percentage decreased to 12% for "whites" by 2012. This "whites" category includes many Latinos, who skew these numbers. We don't know if the paper in question addresses this issue because it is not available to read in the public domain. But any way you cut it, the white population without a high school diploma has shrunk quite a bit since 1990. That is no doubt partially due to that group being disproportionately elderly, as the older someone is the less education whites got when they were young.
As this group shrinks, it becomes more concentrated among the elderly and the very disadvantaged. It does not surprise us that the least educated 7.5% of white Amerikans face conditions that lead them to have declining life spans. The United $tates is a very individualistic society, leading to such great disparities that even in the richest country in the modern world there are whole populations that suffer great disadvantages. And as the article reporting on this study points out, there are epidemics of drug abuse and unhealthy eating in the United $tates that are correlated to low educational achievement.
The question is, are these 7.5% of white Amerikans a potentially revolutionary population? Others have tested this hypothesis, and the evidence seems to point to no. There is much more evidence that poor whites are the mass base for fascism. That's not to say that 7.5% or even 15% of whites couldn't support anti-imperialism. It's just not going to be that 7.5% that Novick refers to as evidence that whites are experiencing a "class fall" in the United $tates.]
Again, what Mr. Novick keeps willingly blinding himself to here is that there is a qualitative difference between the First World and the Third, not just in wage differentials, but living standards and government services, all of which are representative of real life material interests which chain the supposed First World "proletariat" to the imperialist fatherland. This is why a dialectical outlook, as well as a concrete class analysis, is of crucial importance to the revolutionary movement. Only by maintaining the first and conducting the second will we be able to discern real friend from real foe, something Novick and company are apparently unable to do and so have aligned with both nation and class enemies to the internal semi-colonies and Third World proletariat and peasantry.
The next paragraph in question is just so utterly ridiculous that i was initially taken slightly aback when reading it. Seriously, "MIM isolates prisons from the social contradictions they enforce"?! Please, Mr. Novick or any other associate of TTT, if you're gonna go into the "differences" between the MIM camp and yourselves, do us all a favor and inform yourselves properly on that which you seek to criticize. It's just so hard for me to believe that someone as politically educated as Mr. Novick professes to be (or should be, rather) is going about spewing straight up lies.
The Maoist Internationalist Movement and its spin-off organization have long since held that the massive Amerikkkan prisyn system largely developed as a form of social control to maintain in check the superfluous lumpen populations of the Black, Brown and First Nations following the failed national liberation struggles of the 60s and 70s. What Novick is saying is nothing but BS! MIM(Prisons) is the only organization in the United $tates that is actively working to politically develop the oppressed nation lumpen so that we may become the subjective motivating force for the liberation and self-determination of the oppressed internal semi-colonies that are New Afrika, Aztlán, Boriqua and the various First Nations that are corralled onto the reservations! They, and they alone, have been doing this for many years now. And where, pray tell, has the rest of the Amerikan left been in the middle of all this? As Mao taught us, there must be a constant leadership with the masses in an endless spiral of perceptual knowledge to rational knowledge and revolutionary practice, so on and so forth. Or simply put, "from the masses to the masses."
Another outright lie presented by Novick is his statement that MIM's view obscures class and colonial contradictions in the U.$. Likewise, Novick's statement that U.$. society is turning into a carceral state is itself misleading in more than one way. Ironically enough, this sweet one-liner itself obscures class and colonial contradictions by making it sound as if we're all in this together (read, white, Black, Brown etc. "working class" unite!) Trust us, for those of us from barrios and ghettos of Amerika, the prisyn-like methods of daily life are nothing new. Furthermore, they don't represent any "new stage in the basic colonial nature of the state and society" but are instead a part of the foundational building blocks of Amerika and the white settler-state that has made its home here; they are essential to the imperialists and we resent the fact that Mr. Novick wants us to believe that the white settler is somehow now on the receiving end of this oppression.
As if all this wasn't enough, Novick once again shows us his Trotskyist colors when he criticizes "cross-class" alliances, in particular the United Front method of organization. You know, the same method that brought us such victories as the defeat of fascism in WWII and the liberation of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Leave it to the Trotskyists to damn to hell all unholy alliances not deemed morally pure enough for their pie in the sky ideals. Furthermore, Novick makes it appear as if the struggle in South Africa was a People's War waged for national liberation, somehow influenced by MIM. The disaster in South Africa had nothing to do with a communist-vanguard-led United Front, but rather, everything to do with its lack thereof.
[MIM(Prisons) adds: As we wrote in ULK 30: Ironically, MIM was on the front line of the movement in the U.$. in the 1980s supporting the revolutionary forces in South Africa that opposed the neo-colonial solution.]
Please refrain from making such false remarks about MIM, cause they ain't gone nowhere but to the belly of the beast from where they'll help destroy Amerikan imperialism.
Long Live the Legacies of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao! Long Live MIM!
MIM(Prisons) concludes: Of the sections we left out, there were some accusations that would not be principled to make in a public forum like ULK. But we must agree with the USW comrade that Novick deliberately misrepresented MIM line in this article in order to attack our movement. MIM has never feared criticism, and that has not changed. If Novick had actually addressed something that we wrote or published, rather than these straw men and lies, then we could all learn from such an exchange. Instead Novick has muddied the water. And that does not serve the anti-imperialist movement, whatever your political line.
Years ago we lamented the inability of many of our readers to distinguish our line from those of other "radical" and even reformist organizations of all sorts. This is knowledge that the masses must have at some level before we can build a strong movement. We're glad to hear that someone wrote to Turning the Tide to ask how they differ from MIM, but as we can see, that is not always the most fruitful approach. Comrades should be studying literature from various sources, especially sources that they think sound good to them. You should compare and contrast these sources to better understand their differences. MIM(Prisons) is very clear what our dividing line points are, but most groups aren't so clear. And they can often be deceptive. If you want our perspective on a certain organization, go ahead and ask. We do have reviews of a number of them. One thing that the original MIM published and promoted widely was a pamphlet entitled, "What's Your Line?" which identified the various political lines in the communist movement and what groups fell into what categories. To expand that project to the prison movement and the contemporary organizations that exist today would be a great step in expanding everyone's understanding of politics and where they stand. So we encourage comrades to send in their reviews and struggles like this that they have with other groups so that we can expand these resources in the future.