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Under Lock & Key

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Just Imagine


Imagine a world where time stands still
where nothing you do is of your own free will
Stripped of your freedom, your hopes, and your pride,
Surrounded by strangers with no place to hide.
Imagine a place where you're told what to wear,
A place where no one is allowed to grow hair,
You are told each day you're not to talk
And where you can and cannot walk.
A world where you sleep, surrounded by hate,
where all you can do is just sit and wait.

Imagine a world where you have no choice,
where you can't even think because of the noise.
A world where you work but get no pay, and,
made to feel worthless each and every day.
A world where days crawl like a snail,
where all you have hope for is a piece of mail,
A world where you have to eat real quick,
Does this sound like a world that would make you sick?
Imagine a world surrounded by wire.
Able to walk from this place free is your greatest desire,
A world like this is hard to conceive.
Yet here I am, and, cannot leave.

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[Organizing] [ULK Issue 13]
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Radio Silence

The only strategy left for us revolutionaries to use who are still hemmed up within these U.$. luxury concentration camps is 'silence.' Silence is a weapon. As revolutionaries and freedom fighters we need to master the vocabulary of silence.

A worldwide tactic for naval warfare is 'radio silence' especially amongst submarines. When radio silence is initiated, the entire submarine goes silent. Thus the enemy doesn't know where this submarine is at, what its commander is planning next, etc. What do you suppose would happen if every prisoner incarcerated within every prison in Amerikkka stopped talking and refused to talk all at once and at the same time? The eerie silence would oppress the oppressor's pawns (prison guards), it would surely cause panic amongst their ranks.

Unfortunately, for every true revolutionary reading this letter, you must be already aware that the character of players within the game done change. Most 'inmates' confined within the U.$. prison system these days have diarrhea of the mouth. Their tongues wag constantly. Hell it almost seems that some of these 'inmates' tongues wake up before their bodies do in the morning. U.$. prison yards are the gossip centers of amerikkka.

There's a hustler's story that I will use as an analogy in this situation. There was once two pimps just hanging out watching their ladies of the night work the strip. As a couple of their ladies walked by them joking and laughing out loud, one pimp turned to the other and said to him, "You hear that? That's music to my ears." The other pimp asked him "Why's that?" The pimp answered, "Because as long as them hos are laughing and joking they're blind to what their lives really consist of."

In a prison guard's case, an inmate's laughter, joking and constant talking is music to their ears. As a population this would make inmates the Hos. Now to go and move the masses into radio silence, this is what we're up against: hustlers whose only concern is the dollar; users who's only concern, and god, is the dope; cowards; haters; countless informants; and those infected by the Stockholm syndrome. Those are the cold hard facts.

Yet, one resolute revolutionary, one disobedient spirit can turn a flock of sheep into a den of lions. Thus we can commence this revolution of silence against all odds with the knowledge that when individual peoples work together for a common purpose there's power available to the group that isn't available to individuals. We can vanguard this move of silence with the wisdom that union is a fundamental basis of power.

That the unity of a people could bring any corrupt evil system to its knees. Let us as a revolutionary people go on a talking strike. This will for sure shake up the system. Silence makes people uncomfortable. It is psychological warfare. Psychologists employ this tactic when with their patients, as interrogators do with people they're questioning. How many people would still be free if they had just adhered to their Miranda rights, "You have the right to remain silent"? Even the good book of proverbs says "In the multitude of words is foolishness."

The choice is of course yours komrades. However let it not be said of a true revolutionary that we came through a system or life itself without leaving an imprint. The time of talk and half measures are over, it's time for action. Enough said. Go silent.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade brings up an interesting tactic that has been used before. What makes it superior to some other sorts of strikes is that it is harder for the pigs to charge someone with some kind of rule violation for not talking. Of course, Malcolm X spent weeks in the hole for refusing to say his number when he first got to prison. And ultimately they often have the power to punish at will, regardless of the rules.

However, generic calls such as these have limited application. We print this as a discussion of possible tactics, but we cannot just throw ideas out on the wind and hope they catch on. We can never execute an effective strike without on-the-ground organizing. Only as part of an organization can we impose limits on those who wish to oppress us, as this comrade acknowledges.

One last criticism, this proposal is not very clear of its scope of application. To promote silence as a strategy would be suicidal for our movement, because our biggest battle is to spread information and organization. Now, thinking before we speak is a whole other story. A true revolutionary must speak and act in ways that fit in with h overall strategy for creating change. A childish culture of talking shit is a product of the lack of education and consciousness among the oppressed. So, to promote a code of conduct that involves only saying things that fit within our political goals, and knowing what to say when and to whom can only come after a thorough education of the population. There is much work for those isolated revolutionaries out there to do before attempting any type of strike or mass action.

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[Gender] [Abuse] [Florida]
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Gay man targetted for rape

I have been sexually assaulted 11 times in the last 24 months of incarceration in the state of Florida. My cries for help and justice have been ignored, shuffled around to 7 locations in the last 6 months, made to face the grim reality of assaultive sexual behaviors at each new facility with no regard for my welfare. I have been assaulted in the Sarasota, Florida county Jail by a prisoner and a Sheriff's Deputy. Since arriving in the Florida Department of Corrections, I have been subjected to assorted sexual misconduct and rape at all locations I've entered (but one), having been assaulted while in what was supposed to be protective custody at one facility and most recently sodomized on a transport bus between facilities. My criminal case, causing me to bare these violations of my civil rights, is a travesty of justice, filled with bias, prejudice, undue influence, conflict of interest, all corrupting the sentencing outcome.

I am actually a San Francisco resident and openly gay man who unfortunately finds himself incarcerated in the State of Florida due to an automobile accident I was involved in (not caused) with a drunk driver, while here in the state comforting my 2 sons in the abrupt loss of their young mother (my ex-wife) from cancer. As a first time, non-violent, felony offender, never having been in jail or prison before, I have been made to endure horrors and tortures due to my sexual identity that can only be compared to those experienced by victims of the concentration camps era.

During my 24 months of incarceration in an especially non-gay-friendly state like Florida, I have been brutally and repeatedly sexually assaulted through rape, sodomy, harassed, threatened with physical harm, tortured, tormented and victimized by prisoners and law enforcement staff alike. I have been extorted in the amount of $500 paid to another prisoner's attorney fees for protection which never came. I have been made to clean up prisoner feces left in front of my cell door and in the shower prior to my entry as acts of harassment and persecution for my sexual identity. I have often times, while in county jail, been taken to a secluded locked interrogation room, where I was left handcuffed to a desk for up to 5 hours for no apparent reason other than torture, as I have had no disciplinary issues. On one such occasion after a lengthy stay in this room, an officer finally came to escort me back to my cell, before doing so he stripped me naked while still handcuffed to the desk, then proceeded to "pat me down," fondling my torso, buttocks, cavity searched and penetrated me with his fingers, before removing me from the room. These actions seemed for no other reason than my humiliation and his amusement. While these aforementioned abuses happened in Sarasota Florida County Jail, similar instances continue to persist, as were predicted would happen and used as reasoning for downward departure in court, but were ignored, and unacknowledged by presiding judge Charles Roberts.

MIM(Prisons) adds: This is just a small sample of the incidents this prisoner reported to us in a recent letter. In an in depth article on rape and gender in prisons, we did not address the role of sexual preference in rape and sexual assault. This was largely because the information analyzed did not discuss sexual preferences. But stories like this demonstrate clearly how homophobia can play into gender oppression. While the majority of sexual assaults in prisons are male on male, those who are identified as feminine or "faggots" are targeted for homosexual assault by macho guards and prisoners. This is just one more example of vulnerabilities that determine who is victimized, such as age, size and health status, including mental health.

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[Medical Care] [ULK Issue 12]
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Health Care Universe Excludes Most People

Stop Medical Oppression in Prisons
There has been a lot of talk about "health care reform" in the u.$. this year. Like other government-led reforms, there is no progressive side to this debate. It is between the wealthy libertarian individualists who want to retain the power to pay lots of money for highly specialized care on demand, and wealthy labor aristocracy activists who want to make sure the wealth of health care is shared out among Amerikan citizens. Neither side represents the interests of the world's oppressed. When they talk about "Universal Coverage" they are never talking about more than 15% of the world's population.

As we approach the end, the anti-climatic outcome of all the hyped media and political hoopla supports the theory that it was nothing but a distraction. This is a much safer debate than what would come out of discussions of Obama's expanding war on the Middle East and Central Asia. But we will indulge this topic for an issue of Under Lock & Key because we think our comrades have some interesting things to say about health care that is being left out of the amerikan dialogue, particularly in relation to the disproportionately incarcerated nations.

The connection between wealth and health

Under imperialism, the wealthier a country is the better health care the population can expect to receive, which results in a healthier population (measured by things like life expectancy and lower rates of key mortality indicators for children and for some common diseases). This is not just based on individual wealth, or ability to pay, but on national wealth that is accumulated by those that exploit other nations. Infrastructure such as water sanitation, hospitals and medical schools are all concentrated in the First World. This is a material benefit of imperialism that is not directly about income.

Wealth also brings its own health problems in imperialist countries. Where people are "free" to eat at McDonalds and KFC whenever they want, and where it is actually cheaper to eat this food than to buy fresh vegetables, obesity and related diseases are a growing health problem, a problem poor countries can only dream about. Wealthy countries have the money to solve these and other health problems, but capitalism perpetuates illogical systems like subsidies for the Amerikan corn industry which let Amerikans buy unhealthy foods for less than they cost to produce. For this reason, overall health is something that all people can expect to improve under socialism, including the labor aristocracy and imperialist oppressor classes. Capitalism is inherently inefficient at meeting humyn need, even in the rich countries.

Amerikan individualism bad for Amerikan health

Despite spending the most on health care of all countries in the world (both overall and directly out of pocket), compared with other First World countries, the u.$. has one of the lowest percentages of its population covered by health care and has some of the worst health indicators when compared to those same wealthy countries.(1) The u.$. doesn't even make it in the top 40 countries for life expectancy. In the u.$. the health gap between rich and poor is far wider than most other First World countries.(2,3) And overall Amerikans live shorter lives than people in every western European and Nordic country except Denmark.(4) These numbers are all skewed by oppressed nation populations in prisons, ghettos, barrios and reservations where health care statistics are often comparable to the Third World. An example of this is the 50 year life-expectancy gap between Asian males and Black males in the u.$.(4) Other examples are in the reports from behind bars accompanying this issue of Under Lock & Key (ULK12 - January 2009).

Countries that provide health care have higher taxes than the u.$., but they also have no persynal medical bills, and generally have overall better health than the u.$. That Amerikans believe that the proposed "universal" medical coverage in this country would be a bad thing for Amerikan citizens is a wonder of political pundits and advertising. Individualism in Amerika is a disease that leads people to value extending the life of an 80-year-old man with terminal cancer for an extra month over preventing the deaths of 100 people from diabetes and cardiac conditions.

The way countries generally fund health care for all their citizens is through taxes. The same way most countries, including the united $tates, provide education, fire, road, sanitation, and other basic infrastructure services. This is most certainly not socialism. It is just capitalism taking care of its own citizens to the extent necessary to perpetuate capitalism. In First World countries this is a pretty high standard of living; in Third World countries this is often barely enough to sustain a workforce.

In the health care debate within Amerika there has been some confusing rhetoric about what will cost the government and the people of this country more money. In terms of keeping its well-off citizens happy for a price the imperialists can afford, ignoring Amerikan single-minded individualism and forcing through some sort of "universal" health care plan is probably in the best interests of this country. However, universal coverage for Amerikan citizens is basically off the table as an option, thanks in no small part to very heavy lobbying and financial contributions from the Amerikan health care industry. By the end of September almost $300 million was spent by health care industry lobbyists.(5)

The failures of the health care system in imperialist Amerika serve as a good example of why capitalist individualism is an impediment to the health and welfare of even its own citizens. But we communists are not interested in reforming health care in imperialist countries to better serve imperialist citizens, because there is no significant net improvement in humyn health to be had in that struggle.

Saving millions of lives through changes in health care is easy; it is only those who benefit from those deaths that stand in the way. Just like every other debate over taxes, Amerikans are fighting over how to spend the superprofits stolen from the death and suffering of the Third World. Real health care improvements cannot occur in the exploited nations until they have liberated themselves from the imperialist economy that enforces this relationship.

The myth of universal health care

For the oppressed people of the world there is no such thing as universal health care. The life expectancy of the oppressed is alarmingly lower than wealthy First World citizens. In early 2009, the World Bank estimated that 11 million children die each year from lack of health care, sanitation, food and clean water.(6) These are the most basic of health care needs.

Relatively cheap solutions to common problems could prevent far more deaths and suffering than any of the proposals for reshuffling superprofits in the united $tates. By dealing with these simple but massive problems first we would vastly increase our healthy population, which could better address the more complicated health care problems others face. But such an approach would require a system that serves humyn need. Not even a system that serves the need of every persyn in the elite 15% (i.e. all Amerikans) can unleash such powerful forces.

The premature deaths and chronic illnesses of Third World people are a direct result of imperialist occupation and exploitation, serving as a tool of population control, both in numbers and in ability to take effective anti-imperialist action. Amerika sends billions of dollars in "aid" to foreign countries, and just a small fraction of this could provide clean water and sanitation and prevent rampant and debilitating diseases that exist only in Third World countries. The 1.5 million children who die each year from diarrhea could be saved with clean water and sanitation and cheap medical supplies, and 2 million who die from pneumonia need only existing vaccines and inexpensive antibiotics.(7) The Amerikan government rushes to send military aid and troops to ensure access to oil and stable pro-imperialist regimes, but can't be interested in spending a small fraction of that money to save the lives of these children.

Imperialist exploitation of the labor of people in the Third World is made possible by direct military intervention and funding for military regimes that are puppets to imperialism. And this has dire consequences for the health of the exploited around the world. For instance, Amerika's 20-year battle for control of Iraq has included sanctions and then military action that destroyed the infrastructure and health care in that country. From just the sanctions alone deaths among Iraqi infants and children under 5 doubled in 1991.(8)

Amerikan imperialist companies that provide health insurance for their Amerikan citizen workers don't even consider offering any kind of health care for their Third World workers, and those are the people most in need of health care. Workers in Haiti can expect to live only 62 years and in India only 64, and they have a high chance of dying of easily preventable diseases, but the Amerikan corporations many of them work for offer no help.(9) And while the Amerikan corporations, government and people are benefiting from the imperialist profits (often in the form of inexpensive goods & services) made off of the Mexican workers, they're not even discussing extending "Universal Coverage" health care to them.

Health Care for the people

The best example of health care truly serving the interests of the people existed in China between 1949 and 1976 when the communist government dramatically improved the health of the people. They did this by focusing on preventive care, sanitation, and education, combined with a massive campaign to get health care out to people in the countryside previously unable to access doctors.

Four basic guidelines for the organization of health care were developed at The People's Republic of China's first National Health Congress in August 1950:

  1. Medicine should serve the workers, peasants and soldiers
  2. Preventive medicine should take precedence over therapeutic medicine
  3. Chinese traditional medicine should be integrated with Western scientific medicine
  4. Health work should be combined with mass movements

Before 1949, life expectancy in China was just 35 years and the illiteracy rate was 80%. In 1979 life expectancy rose to 68 years and illiteracy had declined to less than 7%. As a part of the dramatic improvements in health, the Chinese infant mortality rate was reduced to a lower level than in New York City. Looked at another way, China achieved a drop in death rate per 1000 from 28 in 1949 to 6.3 in 1978.(10)

Essentially China achieved health for its population comparable with much wealthier countries by the end of the 1970s by focusing on serving the people rather than serving the profits of the wealthy. Building such a system of health care came only after the forceful removal of imperialist powers from China and the destruction of the former institutions of rule.


Notes:
(1) From the World Health Organization's World Health Statistics 2009 report: Globally in 2006, expenditure on health was about 8.7% of gross domestic product, with the highest level in the Americas at 12.8% and the lowest in the South-East Asia Region at 3.4%. This translates to about US$ 716 per capita on the average but there is tremendous variation ranging from a very low US$ 31 per capita in the South-East Asia Region to a high of US$ 2636 per capita in the Americas.
(2) Harvard Magazine, July/August 2008
(3) 2009 World Health Survey from the World Health Organization
(4) The Independent, July 17, 2008 report on American Human Development Index study
(5) CNNMoney.com, September 13, 2009, Health Care Lobbying: The Political Power Machine
(6) World Bank Press Release, Feb 12, 2009
(7) UNICEF, World Children's Report, November 19, 2009
(8) British Medical Journal, 1992 Feb 22;304(6825):455-6
(9) World Health Statistics 2009, from World Health Organization. Compare to the u$ at 78 years and France at 81.
(10) The Health of China, Ruth and Victor Sidel, 1982

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[Theory] [ULK Issue 12]
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Revisiting RCP Revisionism

Revolution #183 : Special Issue on Prisons and Prisoners in the U.S.
November 15, 2009
Revolutionary Communist Party, USA


Calling me an African-American
like everything is fair again, shit
Devil, you got to get the shit right, I'm Black
Blacker than a trillion midnights
—Ice Cube from the song When Will They Shoot?

Many years ago MIM had disregarded the so-called "Revolutionary Communist Party, USA" (rcp=u$a) after it repeatedly served as a mouthpiece for the CIA in relation to People's War in Peru, the invasion of Iraq, and supporting regime change in Iran.(1) Our predecessors had spent decades drawing sharp lines between the Maoist line and rcp=u$a's revisionism. In recent years, Monkey Smashes Heaven has continuously exposed the rcp=u$a's phony Maoism. To date we have not spent too much time on the subject except in some discussions of Iran and a high level document entitled "Maoism Around Us" that was not printed in Under Lock & Key. We believed there was no reason to prioritize doing much more when so much was already out there on the subject that we could point to.

However, the fact remains that most of our readers do not have access to the internet, and therefore will only be aware of this longstanding battle against revisionism if they have been reading MIM Notes or MIM Theory for some time. This month the rcp=u$a published an issue of their newspaper dedicated to the topic of u.$. prisons. This caught our eye, and reiterated the need for MIM(Prisons) to continue to draw the line between Maoism and revisionism.

Many comrades write in praising the virtues of Maoism and we take this as a sign that we are doing something right in connecting the struggles of the oppressed in this country to an ever developing proletarian ideology. But we must be real, only a handful of our readers are seriously grappling with the questions facing Maoism today. And those that cannot distinguish Maoism from the right opportunism of groups like the rcp=u$a have not yet grasped it.(2) So let us begin.

"African Americans"

Did they say "African Americans"? Following the Black Power movement of the 60's there have been debates among revolutionaries between the terms Black Nation and New Afrikan Nation. But the rcp=u$a is still writing about "African Americans."

What's wrong with this terminology? Well, nothing really if you believe that Black people are amerikans as rcp=u$a does. Some have suggested the term African Amerikan for our enemies of African descent; another term for Uncle Toms. You see, to Maoists, amerikans are oppressors. To be amerikan is to be the enemy of the proletariat and the struggle of all oppressed people. Rcp=u$a in contrast calls for the leadership of the multinational labor aristocracy to lead the revolution in the u.$.

We must acknowledge that the rcp=u$a came out in support of (actually it was more like giving permission to) an independent Black state in their Draft Program. They did so, while maintaining that the "other" oppressed nations in the u.$. must be part of their "multinational proletariat."(3) In other words, they were offering a special neo-colonial deal to the Black nation.

One letter writer in this issue addresses the rcp=u$a's predecessor, the Revolutionary Union, in their handling of the question of the Black Nation:


From the beginning, the RU’s scientific attitude impressed me. The RU’s analysis of the Black national question stood out from that of other organizations. My friend and I had read Lenin’s and Stalin’s writings on the national question, and like many people in the movement at the time, we were pretty sure that Black people in the U.S. were a nation. However, we didn’t have a very deep understanding. The lines of groups like the Black Workers Congress and the Communist League either proceeded from the point of view of the Black nation itself rather than from the international proletariat, or were bizarre attempts to shoehorn the Black national question into Stalin’s definition of a nation with little or no “concrete analysis of concrete conditions.” The RU came at this question scientifically. Guided by the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, it analyzed the history of Black people in the U.S. from slavery, through Reconstruction, and on through the great migration to the cities in the 20th century, and developed not only a scientific explanation of this question, but a program for the revolutionary movement and for the future socialist society."

We quote at length here so as to capture the full content of the writer's point. She writes in typical rcp=u$a style, hyping up the "analysis" and "science" without actually giving you an analysis. She implies criticisms of Stalin, but offers no explanation of the alternative.

On this topic, in their title article rcp=u$a writes:

"The concept of the targeting of Black people and Native Americans as a 'pariah class,' dating back to the early days of the U.S., and the overall way in which white supremacy has served to blunt class-consciousness in the U.S. since then, has been drawn on and further developed by Bob Avakian in the important work, Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy."

They pick up the tactics of the white communist movement dating back to at least the 1930's of talking hard about the special oppression of Black people, while pulling them away from developing an independent movement for self-determination. Maoists have long upheld the thesis developed in the book Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat that there is no progressive class-consciousness among amerikans.

Letters from Prisoners

The rcp=u$a prints a number of letters from prisoners and former prisoners in this issue. They have a disclaimer saying that the views in the letters are not those of Revolution, yet fail to criticize anything in them. This is a textbook example of rcp=u$a liberalism in practice right in their so-called Maoist newspaper that is supposedly providing the great leadership of Bob Avakian that we all need in order to get free. They regularly use the "masses" to say stuff that they don't want to take responsibility for.

One example of this is the prisoner who mentions, "The so called 'Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo' that called for the theft of half of Mexican land." As referenced above, the rcp=u$a has refused to acknowledge the right of Mexicans and their descendants to independence in Aztlán. But they like to print stuff like this to give the impression that they do in order to lure revolutionary nationalists into their ranks.

Rcp=u$a gives lip-service to the principal contradiction under imperialism being between nations, but their revisionism is exposed in their applications. Another example is plain as day in a discussion of Islam:

"When I first tried to understand what Bob Avakian was talking about with the two outmoded ideologies and systems, Islamic Fundamentalism and Imperialism, I said "Damn!" this is something. And Islamic Fundamentalism, I really didn't understand what that was until I started reading Revolution. The oppression of women, backward ideas, fighting to go back not forward, reading what was in the paper really helped me. This is not a national liberation struggle or something good. It's not part of any solution for humanity. And, imperialism is not only no better, it's even worse. We need to put communism and real revolution on the map. This is something way different from Imperialism and Islamic Fundamentalism. Where are you going to find out about this, not in the Daily News or the New York Times, or these other movement newspapers. People, and not just people locked up, need Revolution and Avakian's leadership. I felt I can explain it to people. It's clearer now."

Uh, what? Actually, The New York Times is all over this shit painting Islam as a threat to feminism everywhere. Where are you going to find out about this? How about from Condoleeza Rices' speeches when she was head of the State Department? They were given at the same time that the rcp=u$a was pushing the same line of woman's liberation through regime change in Iran by organizing marches and rallies across the u.$.

Or you could go to frontpagemag.com and read fascist David Horowitz who fought it out with Bob Avakian over who was going to control the discussion of "Islamo-Fascism." Horowitz has an out for using this term, he doesn't claim Maoism so he can define fascism however he likes. As Maoists, MIM agreed with Dimitrov that fascism is "the open terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic, and the most imperialist elements of finance capital." There are no imperialist Muslim countries, thus, no fascist Muslim countries.

As mentioned above, not all of our readers get Maoism right, but we don't print their letters uncorrected. One letter printed in Revolution #183 claims that after reading the newspaper for awhile, "I began to see that this capitalist-imperialist system is fundamentally based on the exploitation and oppression of the vast majority of humanity at the hands of the few within the ruling class who own and control the means of production." Not surprisingly, readers of Revolution come away with the white nationalist dogma that in the u.$. we are all united against the handful of rich who run the world, and rcp=u$a concurs.

The same writer stressed that the fight for abortion rights are vital. An accompanying article in this issue on the Stupak-Pitts Amendment reads: "This devastating development has shocked and angered many who put their hopes in the Obama presidency to bring change from years of war, repression and Christian fundamentalist onslaught and who now feel thrown under the bus instead." Thrown under the bus by whom, RCP? If anyone was deceived, it was by the so-called Maoist party that campaigned to get Obama elected to combat the rise of the bogeyman of "Christian Fascism!"

The gender aristocracy rallying to protect their rights to sexual pleasure and promiscuity is not exactly a battle for the international proletariat. But right opportunism says to let the gender aristocracy set our gender line so that we can be more popular. This approach to gender was so disgustingly obvious in rcp=u$a's approach to homosexuality. As long as gay rights was a minority issue they promoted homophobic literature targeting queers for their sexuality while promoting sexual liberalism for heterosexuals. It wasn't until after the issue began to strike a popular chord, and discrimination against gays became unacceptable that rcp=u$a followed suit. Nice "vanguard."

Back in the day, MIM promoted the sterilization of all men in order to eliminate abortion while avoiding the obvious campaign of the anti-abortion movement to control the sexuality of wimmin. While rcp=u$a debated with the Christian right about how they like their wimmin (liberated vs. barefoot and pregnant), MIM took a shot at male supremacy. More importantly today, the pro-choice movement has dovetailed nicely with the pro-war movement targeting countries that oppose abortion and sexual liberalism. But rcp=u$a has harped against Iran for years, promoting the overthrow of the anti-amerikan government there, so this is not a contradiction for them.

One more interesting note on the gender question: The rcp=u$a article reads: "If the Senate passes a health care bill that effectively prohibits abortion, women will be cast back to the days when only the very rich could determine the course of the rest of their lives." In other words, wimmin would be coerced into having sex that leads to pregnancy. MIM has long said that all sex is rape, and this is probably the closest the sexual liberals at rcp=u$a have come to recognizing this. The problem is that they deny the existence of the gender aristocracy and the reproductive health benefits that it receives by virtue of living in the First World. Even in cases of unplanned sex, birth control is accessible after the fact without abortion. So the rcp=u$a rhetoric is just another example of their exaggerated demagoguery.

A final letter writer catches them up with a direct quote from "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have," another self-congratulatory rallying cry from the rcp=u$a. "For a revolution, there must be a revolutionary people among all sections of society but with its deepest base among those who catch hell every day under this system." No, the revolutionary people are found among the exploited and oppressed and we don't need the exploiters and oppressors to join us before we can be successful.

Whether Barack Obama or Bob Avakian, persynality cults have no progressive role to play in the First World today. The oppressed need to move beyond trying to pick the right candidate to vote for.

Amerikans Need to be Imprisoned

Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is what constitutes the most profound difference between the Marxist and the ordinary petty (as well as big) bourgeois.
- from "Lenin on the Struggle Against Revisionism", p.31


... right up to the very wholesale deportation or internment of the most dangerous and stubborn exploiters - putting them under strict surveillance in order to combat inevitable attempts to resist and to restore capitalist slavery - only such measures can ensure the real subordination of the whole class of exploiters.
-from "Lenin on the Struggle Against Revisionism", p.41

Regarding our lines on prisons in general, the rcp=u$a supports a line that political prisoners make up a small portion of the population and focus on the cases of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier as examples. MIM's line has been that all prisoners are political. In other words, the system is set up to control certain populations, while the real criminals that are murdering people en masse make fat paychecks and live free. This issue of Revolution on prisons by a self-proclaimed communist group leaves out what their approach to prisons would be (they mention the need for an "earth-shaking revolution"). They sidestep the two line struggle within the Maoist movement between mass re-education camps in the First World and a dispersal method of sending the former exploiters to the global countryside as they did on a smaller scale within China. This discussion would be too scary for their populist amerikan readership.

As revolution will come to the heart of imperialism last, MIM has long discussed the Joint Dictatorship of the Proletariat of the Oppressed Nations over the oppressor nations as we work to break down the backwards ways of our imperialist past. The rcp=u$a, like all white nationalist so-called communists, sees no reason for such a dictatorship.

In the system that communists are fighting for, much of the First World will face potential prison time in order to right the centuries of injustices that this system is built on. Prisons will serve to develop productive members of a society that serves people's need, rather than as a warehouse of torture and wasted lives.

Covering for the bourgeoisie

Practice has shown that the active people in the working-class movement who adhere to the opportunist trend are better defenders of the bourgeoisie, than the bourgeoisie itself. Without their leadership of the workers, the bourgeoisie could not have remained in power.
- from "Lenin on the Struggle Against Revisionism", p.74

While we have no exploited working-class movement in the imperialist countries to speak of, this quote from Lenin still rings true in terms of the usefulness of what he calls "bourgeois socialism" in neutralizing those who want an end to oppression. During the Bush Jr. regime the rcp=u$a were constantly crying that "christian fascism" was taking over the country. They led the "World Can't Wait to Throw Out the Bush Regime" campaign, which was the radical wing of a many year long campaign to get Obama into office. Rcp=u$a of course would never openly support Obama as that would totally discredit them as communists. But they do openly support the 90% of the u.$. population that they claim have an interest in socialism.

As the radical branch of the Democrats, rcp=u$a works to unite these same people for their own interests. When they see their interests in a neo-colonial u.$. president who will expand the occupation and slaughter in Central Asia for amerikan economic interests, the rcp=u$a balks and pretends that the people are confused. This is all part of their game to maintain their radical facade to continue to be an effective recruiter of youth for the Democratic Party.

In 1902, VI Lenin published "What is to be Done?", which set the theoretical stage for the split of the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party into the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. The Bolsheviks were the communists led by Lenin who eventually led the successful revolution of 1917. In "What is to be Done?", Lenin opens up by criticizing one of the Menshevik tendencies for right opportunism and economism.(4) He describes how he had to expand the essay to deal with all aspects of a group that wasn't even speaking the same language and often playing both sides of an issue. This is a great description of the rcp=u$a's approach to theory. Of course, rcp=u$a economism takes on a whole new meaning among the exploiter nation in this country, where economic demands actually mean increased exploitation of the proletariat.

History of Struggle vs. Revisionism

While Maoists effectively split from Avakian's revisionism in the 1980's, our conditions leave us at a disadvantage compared to Lenin in that many still see the rcp=u$a as representing Maoism because their populist politics gives them a greater public face in many areas (inside u.$. prisons is one exception to this).

Despite volumes of criticisms of the rcp=u$a's revisionism from the left, they have publicly responded to the Maoist Internationalist Movement only once. It was in 1994 to respond to a paper presented by MIM at a conference, "it argued that white workers as an economic-social grouping in the United States are not exploited, are part of the process of exploitation of the workers of the Third World and have no revolutionary interests. This is a wrong and counterrevolutionary idea." Clear as day, right? Too bad, the rcp=u$a back tracks on this line and implies certain things about the white nation more in line with MIM when it is dealing with the oppressed. The RCP's fear of Maoism comes through in their discussion of supermax prisons where they cite vague statistics, but fail to reference the most thoroughly documented list of control units on the internet because it is produced by comrades affiliated with MIM(Prisons).

Combating revisionism is usually a frustrating task that eats up time that could be spent building the movement. While we hope to not have to spend much time on this particular group in the near future, we know that the struggle against revisionism is continuous. And ultimately it is one part of building a strong movement.


notes:
(1) See the archive of the Crypto-Trotskyists page from etext
(2) While Lenin warned that there is no shortcut to identifying revisionism, MonkeySmashesHeaven has a pretty good cheat sheet for our times. see: Clues to help you find out if someone is a revisionist
(3) 2001 MIM Congress. Resolution on the "Draft Programme of the 'Revolutionary Communist Party, USA' May 2001"
(4) For a full discussion of "right" and "left" errors see MIM Theory 5: A Diet for a Small Red Planet.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Idaho]
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We need you

There is a war going on, a fight for your mind's attention. You are laid in front of the machine with the tools to destroy it yet the black and white spinning screen is hauntingly enchanting. The voice that speaks tells you to relax, to think of your team's logo and your favorite song. Your eyes flicker and begin to lower. That warm feeling you get when joy flows over you is felt, you begin to obey but something screams inside of you from the core of yourself. A flashback into childhood shakes your awareness and you remember the sardines your mom turned down claiming she already ate. You stare into the machine who is simultaneously doing its destruction and hypnotizing you but it slips a bit allowing you to see it buying the land of a tribe for some pennies and trinkets while it moves in equipment to ravish the land, displace the indigenous people while creating conditions uninhabitable to anything with a pulse. You feel another child die of starvation where the machine was recently but that thing is spinning telling you its hopeless to resist, eat your ice cream with coffee and be happy it's not you. Your resistance falters until you look at the child holding onto your leg who resembles you more than your partner. The child is looking toward a future yet its plagued by limitations due to something as invaluable as ink on fabric. You grip your hammer and sickle but you are confused at how you will survive without the machine. Then you look around and see the millions of beings of all colors dressed in their different trades clothes with a smile on their face. You can tell they are waiting on something, is it that they are waiting for you to smash the machines that is in front of you that only you can smash or are they waiting for you to fall asleep? Either way the decision is yours, nobody can do it for you. The child looks at you says I love you as much as they do. I need your help as do they, the workers of the world, but the machine needs you too.

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[Theory]
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What is sectarianism?

https://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/faq/sectarian.html

Sectarianism is a term developed from the ideology of guiding ones practice by what would best promote ones sect, or organization. In other words, putting the organization itself over what the organization is supposed to be about.

In practice this looks like multiple groups all saying they are working for the same thing, but not willing to work with each other on this goal because they don't want to share the spotlight, or they have persynal differences with another group or some other petty issue that has nothing to do with said goal.

One of the purposes of having cardinal principles is to know what things one will split over and not be acting in a sectarian way. These principles, if violated, would deem a party to no longer be working for the same thing as you.

With the dissolution of the MIM into a cell structure in 2005, the potential for sectarianism within the First World Maoist movement increased. There may be a tendency to compete for the new position of vanguard with the demise of the Maoist Internationalist Party (Amerika) around which MIM was centered up until 2007. This doesn't necessarily stem from an inherent competitiveness among comrades, but rather their understanding of what the vanguard is and its importance for those who follow Leninism.

MIM(Prisons) has always promoted the cell structure as advantageous in terms of security as well promoting the theoretical and practical development of a small movement. With a movement made up of independent cells with different functions, we see it as appropriate to deem the movement the vanguard, even as we remain slow to support each other and work together as a coherent movement. We also continue to struggle against incorrect lines we see within the movement, as well as combat revisionism elsewhere. While revisionism can certainly creep up within MIM, the line between the revisionists and those who effectively combat revisionism is what defines who is a part of MIM.

Discerning Enemies In Struggle

While it has always been a major challenge of our movement, combating revisionism is even more challenging when revolutionaries are actively engaging the enemy in struggle. We've seen this with the different approaches to events in Nepal by comrades upholding the Maoist line. We've also seen it recently surrounding the apparent security struggles of original MIM cadre.

Before Geronimo Pratt was put away for 25 to life on a FBI frame up, the pigs regularly accused him of ego-tripping when he talked of the surveillance and harassment he faced. Of course, it was all true. Actually there was much more to it than Pratt even knew at the time.

When the FBI deals with those who are known to be armed and promote armed self-defense, if not offense, it is easy to frame such people for jail time and assassinations. It was easy for the FBI to find an excuse to shoot Luqman Ameen Abdullah after they had surrounded him, pointed their big guns and then sicked an attack dog on him. These tactics are harder to pull off on those who have consistently opposed armed struggle and breaking the law by communists, and live to that standard. These tactics are also used in desperation because they are very damaging to the state that carries out assassinations and kidnappings in plain site of the public.

There are many tactics that are often much more damaging to the targets of COINTELPRO than assassinations. They include destroying one's livelihood, buying one off, seducing one sexually, harassment in many forms and more subtle physical attacks. All of these tactics have been well-documented along with assassinations and frame-ups. Yet, comrades seem to ignore these forms of repression because the facts are not clear or because the difficulties of dealing with them make them uncomfortable. The facts are never clear until it's too late, that's the whole point of counter intelligence.

We know that some comrades are upset that Henry Park talked about them publicly. We cannot explain or defend that. He recently decided to talk about MIM(Prisons). We don't like it either. In fact, we could leave the internet altogether and continue on just as effectively with most of our work. Then those who believe "i can be googled therefore i exist" will pay us no mind.

However, the real wrecking ability is in the unknown number of MC's who left MIM and left the cardinal principles to go on and do who knows what. According to Park, some of them are doing some very bad things. So it is curious that others are spending so much time worrying about the damage being done by someone upholding MIM's original 3 cardinal principles and at least 9 out of 10 of the criteria spelled out by Monkey Smashes Heaven (MSH). The 10th criteria is the only debatable one because it is not a question of line. It is clear that MSH and others believe that Henry Park has violated point 10. [For the record MIM(Prisons) has not proposed a list of cardinal principles that differ from MIM's longstanding 3 cardinals, but we see a lot of value in MSH's list and certainly agree with them on those points.]

Perhaps MIM(Prisons) is the dense party here who doesn't get what is going on. We are not interested in getting into a debate about what is being done at Henry Park's blog. But if there is a principled position out there that would benefit our movement we would like to hear it.

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[Abuse] [Censorship] [Texas]
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Property set fire by prison guard

I'm currently caught up in a property situation. Last month one of these pigs and I had an altercation which resulted in the CO setting my property on fire. He also gave another prisoner some of my property as payment for setting the fire for him so that he could burn my property. It took 2 1/2 weeks before the major notified me about my property and he only notified me because he knew that the "grapevine" dropped dime to me the day after it happened.

See, after the aforementioned altercation took place, I was moved to a different housing section. My property was to be moved to the property-room after I was moved. Well, before my property could be moved the CO that I had the altercation with returned and set my property on fire. MIM, if y'all will please excuse me because I just got my Step 1 grievance back and these hoes are talking about my shower shoes is the only thing they're going to replace. Now I have to end this letter because I need to check these hoes about my shit!

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[Medical Care] [California] [ULK Issue 12]
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Forced drugging in prison

I shudder to think that our "public servants" are expunging the minds of united states citizens with drugs, and that the courts are so inept as to resort to such insidious devices as forced druggings. Psychotropic drugs are nothing but a slow poison! It's a threat to one's life, health, mind, and religion. The courts may think they have a legal right to expunge the minds of freeborn citizens, but it's not only a flagrant violation of our rights, it's also attempted murder. Therefore I've elected to protest this atrocity with a hunger-to-starvation strike until this evil poisoning stops or I die. I would rather be dead than see myself slowly deteriorate to such a horrid degradation of life.

I've been informed that if I attempt this they will obtain a court order to force feed me through a tube running in my nose and down my throat while I'm strapped to a gurney. Then they will inject the drugs into me with a needle. Therefore, to save my mind, my health, and my life, I feel I have no choice but to plead almost anything that the courts and DA wants from me to stop this poisoning of my mind, body, and soul. It's ironic that this war on drugs is used to discredit some drugs and people, and then to force some horrid drugs on some people and call it lawful.

MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade makes an important connection between the various uses of drugs by the state. While many prisoners are suffering from physical ailments because they are denied health care that people on the outside have easy access to, others have no problem getting their "meds" that are often forced upon them to control their brain chemistry. Both situations attest to the terrible waste of life that the system perpetuates.

Also see an earlier report by another California comrade in Under Lock & Key 5: Using psychology to drug political prisoners

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[Medical Care] [Florida]
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Denied adequate treatment

I myself have had health complications for the past two years in which I've caught a stomach infection twice. I was diagnosed with H-Pylori (Helico bacteria infection) which basically comes from dirty food on utensils. It is known that this stomach infection can cause cancer if not appropriately treated. To go on further, I've been experiencing burning sensations in my private areas, for which the Florida State Prison and the Union Correctional Institution have continuously run the same tests, never attempting to try another course of treatment, which only causes more suffering.

I've been repeatedly charged a sum of $4 per entry of sick call only to be denied adequate medical treatment. Medical staff, as well as security staff, continue to act as if my complaint of medical illnesses are a mental issue, and not physical until just recently after two full years. I was seen by a urologist due to family support and the consistent inciting of grievances and was told I had kidney stones. So, whoever you are, and wherever you are just know that we all can contribute to struggles for basic rights and with determination we all can achieve our goals, and conquer.

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