In the Nov/Dec 2010 ULK article entitled Lumpen Loyalty Dividing the Struggle, the question was posed by a prisoner in California: "How could you consciously and intently give known rats a forum or conduit to speak and voice an opinion as if he was an honorable and principled man? When has it been right in history to accept traitors? Never!"
to which you responded with the following quote from MIM Theory 6, The Stalin issue: "It is scandalous to Christians to think of a world without timeless moral values such as loyalty, honor and integrity — characteristics that God supposedly places in each of us once and for all time, especially in the more hard-line Protestant religions upholding predetermination. These moral characteristics are then referred to by the Christians as our 'moral character.' The Stalinists' opposition to such an ideology leaves the Christians aghast and hence we 'Stalinists' appear as 'amoral' to those who claim timeless values."
You said this was "a quote that came from an article that defends Stalin for overseeing the killing of innocent people in an effort to eliminate spies and infiltrators during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union." And that "In Stalin's day the principal contradiction was the fascists versus the first socialist state in modern history. Spies could have brought the destruction of the Soviet Union." And going further to say: "In the U$ prison movement, the principal contradiction we face is the conflicts between the lumpen themselves."... "Today we are in a much different condition in our discussion of spies and snitches." And "that even the concept of being 'principled' is dangerous. Principled is too often viewed as picking a position and sticking to it no matter what, right or wrong. But Stalin only stuck to one principle, and that was to serve the people by building socialism."
But I ask you, how are we in different conditions in our discussion of spies and snitches?! Do you have any idea what these rats have done to MIM, and to us, their fellow comrades? I do not think you know the gravity of the effects these snitches are having on our movement. Not just the prison movement, but the anti-capitalism/imperialism movement.
These are the same people (snitches) who are steadily selling out their fellow comrades for little to nothing. They prevent us from moving forward with a prison movement of any kind. These same rats are part of the reason that prisons are censoring mail when it comes to certain things like MIM, ULK and USW literature. They tell prison officials that we are using the beliefs of MIM and communism to start a gang of radicals. These same rats also tell them that we are affiliated with white supremacists, and/or other gangs. That's why they will not let MIM literature in certain prisons, and are trying to stop it in others. It is also why they use MIM and communist literature to validate some people as gang members. And this is part of the reason that the prisoner from California was so upset in his letter.
And like Stalin who was trying to protect and establish socialism by weeding and killing all possible spies and infiltrators, we prisoner are trying to do the same exact thing. By eliminating and alienating all rats for the better of the prison movement, for the better of communism, for the better of the struggle against the imperialists.
This is why we have to be principled, honorable, loyal to the end, and oust anyone who isn't for the greater good of the movement in every sense.
The minority you spoke of when you said: "despite the rhetoric of honor and loyalty, it is a minority who really live by these ideals. Perhaps that minority are more reliable comrades in the revolutionary struggle. On the other hand, we are trying to mobilize the prison population as a whole on behalf of the interests of the oppressed, and we believe that through education people can change their character." If it was not for that minority, like the prisoner from California who wrote in, there would be no prison movement. These rats can do nothing for you or our movement.
I understand that we (prisoners) need to unify and come together under mutual issues and work together, or there will be no prison movement to speak of, and that we must combat the ultra-leftism that prevents broader unity. But as you stated "of course there is a reason why not working with the pigs is a common principle among certain populations, while most Amerikans turn to them whenever they need help. No good can come for the oppressed form working with the pigs, but we must apply this principle in a way that best pushes the struggle forward." And that's exactly what we are doing by eliminating and weeding out these rats. And what we are doing is applying the principle in a way that best pushes the struggle forward. Because by leaving the rats who are against us unattended is detrimental to the prison movement, because of how they are helping prison officials to shut us down, and make it as hard as possible to make any headway. And the repercussions that most are facing at the hands of prison administrations due to the lies and false intel that the rats give them, leaves a great many prisoners weary about taking up the prison struggle movement, because the punishments that the prison administrators have been handing out.
The rats do this because they know they can get favors for turning in gangs, gang members, or united groups which prison officials look at as semi-gangs. And because they know that prison officials look at anyone who is trying to cure the injustices of a prison as a trouble maker or threat to security. They deem you a threat to security just so they can lock you up, and keep you from unifying. They also view anything such as MIM as a threat to security because it's something that helps us come together on a common ground and unite. Believe it or not prisons pay rats for info if they are a good rat, just like they'd pay a prisoner for working in the kitchen, laundry, etc.
So how can we trust them, how can we unite with them without detriment to our cause? We can't! If someone is tearing the prison movement apart like this, just imagine how dangerous they would be in a revolutionary situation. These rats are the same to us and the prison movement as the spies and infiltrators Stalin was trying to eliminate.
And though I do agree with you about the fact that some of them can change with education, the fact still remains that they can not be trusted! If they are stabbing us in the back now, and sabotaging the MIM prison movement, even if they do change with the proper education, what's to say or stop them from defecting on us later on down the road? I don't know about everyone, but that's a chance I'd rather not take. People like these rats we talk about are what have always helped the fascists and slimeball capitalist thrive into the scum they are today.
Now you can see the point of not trusting these rats. It's not just weed, tattoos, alcohol, etc, they're snitching on, it's everything we're trying to build. I'm not saying don't let these people have a forum to voice views from, because every bit of input we get form each other helps to energize us, and keeps us motivated, but there is no way we can ever unite or accept them as true allies in our struggle.
MIM(Prisons) responds: Our position on SNY yards continues to raise a point that none of the responses to it address head on. We maintain that SNY yards are not just used to house snitches who are afraid for their lives but also to house people trying to escape the violence of every day prison life. Violence that prisoners as a group have the power to stop. We know that there are snitches in SNY who are working for the pigs, but we also know that there are plenty of snitches in general population also working for the pigs. We don't want to work with these people. But we do want to work with prisoners who are genuinely interested in the anti-imperialist struggle wherever they are housed.
Our moralist comrades behind bars suggest that we should not work with snitches as if it's as easy as just looking at a return address to know who is on the right side of the anti-imperialist struggle. We have found this is not at all true. In fact many people who believe themselves to be anti-imperialists and whose peers would not call snitches, are actually working against the revolutionary struggle in one way or another. We have to judge everyone by their practice.
At the same time, we must remember that Lenin kept a known enemy on the central committee for the money that he was contributing to the struggle. Similarly, if a known snitch is sending in good anti-imperialist articles or art then we should use these articles or art. We can't control who claims to represent MIM(Prisons) behind bars, we have to leave it to the masses to see through posers by reading ULK and noticing the contradictions. But we do trust ULK to represent itself and so we will send it to any prisoner who wants to read it, and in some cases we might even turn some snitches to the side of the revolution.
Lastly, we need to address the question of trusting someone who was on the wrong side in the past. It is incorrect to judge people only for their past. We need to look at everyone's current practice. We can bear in mind past mistakes and guard against backsliding into old ways. But the Maoist prisons in China demonstrated the correct way to reeducate enemies of the people and then trust them to come out of prison and actually work in the interests of the people.