Book Review: Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and their Godfathers By Anabel Hernandez 2014
Anabel Hernandez exposes the biggest drug organization: The U.$. and Mexican government. Business men, and all branches of the government. Although she doesn't dig deeper into the Amerikan agencies like FBI, DEA, DHS, ICE, etc., she does point out to the involvement of the CIA in the drugs-arms trade in Central America during the civil wars focused on destroying the communist movements.
Unlike other "conspiracy theory" books, Hernandez backs up the facts in her book with evidence and information newly open and available to most. Recent scandals of money laundering by banks like HSBC, HSMX, Bank of Amerika, etc only reinforce the evidence Hernandez presents in her book. The main criminals are those who benefit from this politico-social-economic capitalist system.
As someone that grew up in the poorest section of Mexican society I can say that this book is the most revealing one I've ever read regarding the sad situation in Mexico, especially when speaking of the so-called "War on Drugs." Besides highly recommending this book to everyone and especially my co-nationals; I want to make sure that everyone is aware of the stupid idolization some people fall to. These "drug-lords" are part of the system too. They are working together. As Roberto Saviano puts it in the book foreword,
"Narco-land is not only an essential book for anyone willing to look squarely at organized crime today. Narcoland also shows how...capitalism is in no position to renounce the mafia. Because it is not the mafia that has transformed itself into a modern capitalist enterprise - it is capitalism that has transformed itself into mafia. The rules of drug trafficking that Hernandez describes are also the rules of capitalism."
People in the poor countries, like Mexico, get pulled to crime out of necessity, no arguing about that. But once some of these people get ultra-rich, or just rich, they become part of the problem. These people have billions of dollars not just millions, and rather than use this to educate and arm the people, they use it to buy private planes, yachts, mansions and party and celebrate with the elites at the businesses and governments.
In one way these drug lords are depicted as "bad" by the capitalist government, and society. In another they are admired and discretely shown as a roll model via brainwashing to the youth and uneducated, in the movies (Scarface), TV series (Breaking Bad), and so-called documentaries (Gangland), among many other sources.
Hernandez says "It has to stop [the Mexican drug-political system], and the only ones who can stop it are ordinary citizens... It will only end when Mexican society unites agains this immense 'mafia.' That means overcoming fear and apathy, and above all the tacit assumption that things can not be any different." It's up to us to be more political conscious and do what we must. Whether "Drug-Lords" or "capitalists," they are the same ideology. Meanwhile kids are hungry and lack clothes and education, the most basic needs.
Book also available in Spanish, as "Los Señores del Narco," de Anabel Hernandez.
MIM(Prisons) adds: This book review makes an important point about class analysis and identifying our friends and enemies. While the First World lumpen, individuals who may get pulled into small time drug dealing, are a class that as a whole we can hope to win to the side of revolution, the drug lords have moved out of this class, if they were ever a part of it. They function as a comprador bourgeoisie, profiting off the suffering of their people and working hand in hand with the imperialists. Just because the drug trade is supposedly illegal does not change this reality. And as this review points out, the governments that have outlawed drugs are among the biggest players in drug dealing. What is legal and what is criminal under capitalism is about politics, not about justice or humyn rights.
Black lives matter, or so the slogan goes. To who does these lives matter is the real question. Tell this to the black mother who teaches her son to be careful of strangers, polite and respectful to his elders. He pays strict attention to his mother and plays in the playground, where he feels safe. He runs back and forth playing with his friend, his little amerikkkan baseball cap and his two dollar plastic water gun, only to be shot down in a hail of 9mm bullets by men who spend their days training at a gun range qualifying to achieve only the highest marksmen scores.
Black lives matter, or so the slogan goes. Just attempt to explain that to the Black mother whose son's bullet riddled body lies in the street on display for four hours, for other Black men to witness and be a reminder of what is in store for them if they dare think about talking back to a police officer. Yet after the gun smoke has cleared and the law deems this an appropriate action, against a creditable threat, there are those who still are foolish enough to think about having a sit down and dialog the matter of why Black lives don't matter to them.
The so-called Black leaders are only leading us to the devil for slaughter. Black leaders jump on a plane and travel halfway across the globe in an attempt to diplomatically broker a cease fire in a foreign country, yet they are missing in action when it comes to driving into the next county to stand up to the racist cop who proudly stated that he hates niggas.
Black lives matter, or so the slogan goes. Yet if a gay couple gets stared at sideways, the whole country is up in arms and the very best lawyer that money could buy defends them, free of charge, to prove that this great country has stepped into a brand new day. While little Jamal's mother is given some background public defender who claims that the world will listen to us and we will make a difference.
When will they learn that the only way these Black lives will matter is when they tell the world that talking and dialogs only ends up with dead children. The time is done for talking, let's give them the only thing that they understand, the only thing they respect. When a rabid animal approaches you it's not interested in talking or being rational, it deserves to be put down, or the infectious disease that it suffers from will only spread wider and stronger until it consumes an area that can no longer be contained. When will we wake up and stop being lead, and take the lead, before there are no more Black lives to matter.
MIM(Prisons) responds: We echo this writer's call for organizing against the entire system that uses police brutality as just one tool in an arsenal of national oppression and social control. Dialogues with those who have the guns and power will not convince them to just give that up. We can only make serious and lasting change by force. This is why MIM(Prisons) is a revolutionary communist organization: we have learned from history that only a revolution, led by the proletariat and so fought in the interests of the oppressed and exploited, will put an end to the brutality and suffering under capitalism. Police brutality is just one aspect of this suffering.
This writer draws a contrast between the fight against gender oppression (against gays) and the fights against national oppression, noting that there is institutional money and support to fight the former while there is institutional support to maintain the latter. Overall we agree that within U.$. borders the majority actually enjoy gender privilege. But we should not ignore the hate crimes against the queer community. Many of these attacks target oppressed nations. Being New Afrikan and gay or transgender is even more dangerous than just being New Afrikan. In 2012, for instance, 50% of LGBTQ homicide victims were New Afrikan, 19.2% were [email protected] and only 11.5% were white.(1) And we should never pit the gender oppressed against the national oppressed. All oppressed people are allies in the fight against imperialism.
Your newsletter is very empowering but a little too hardcore for the Department of Corrections in Florida. We must not forget where the people you're trying to reach are at. Our vernacular is too straight forward such as using words like "hunger strike" or "organizing of any kind." You got to start making your newsletter more informative to political theory and education and building a community. Fasting has its time and place, and its reasons. But we must be mindful how we address certain issues. I look up to George Jackson and how he focused on building the Black Guerilla Family (BGF). I am a new generation Black Panther and I use your newsletters in my political education classes. We are all in the same struggle for liberation, but we must understand that real unity comes from sharing and mutual cooperation between the comrades of revolution.
I've been in prison for 14 years and only had to fast once. Yes, it did make the pigs do their job. However, from my observation and participation we need to all just come together and focus on building communities that can adjust to their social housing. Because it's not the pigs who do the raping, stealing, robbing, stabbing, killing, etc. If BGF had to put a worldwide ban on all gangbanging, what makes you think teaching them how to organize will make things any better? There are a lot of groups who you ain't gonna be able to unite and bring peace. I'm not knocking your work, but we got to put political differences aside and focus on building a commune that will protect and serve the people. It can't be just a prison thing. In order to get a strong hold in any state you must have dedicated troops on both sides (prison and turf) all working together under one banner. Yes ULK and United Struggle from Within are established but the people who claim that they are united under the banner of the United Front for Peace in Prisons (UFPP) are the very same people oppressing the people with gang violence.
How can 3 Blood Kingdoms unite with the UFPP when the actual leader of these Blood sets are in opposition with the idea of peace and unity? Most of these dudes be renegades who try to get some type of support to continue their renegading. And not knowing any better we, out of unconditional love for revolution, tell them that it's okay. No! We must draw the line and be str8 forward with them! You can't be a liberator by day and an oppressor by night! Your newsletter is on the banned list becuz these renegaders are using you as a sponsor for their renegading, plus the vernacular in the newsletters is too flamboyant. Look at how fast these same dudes are requesting to be removed off your mailing list. Their loyalty is not in the UFPP, it's to their sets. Please don't let them be the demise of a powerful tool we need in here. I don't wish to be removed becuz I'm loyal to revolution.
I believe if you ease up on your newsletter and focus on educating the people about theory and what's going on in the free world the pigs will allow the newsletter to circulate. Communicating and educating is power, so when that is cut off proper growth and development is dead. You probably thinking why didn't I grieve it? Well how can I get round justifying my rights to have a newsletter that blatantly uses vernacular that gives the pigs every right to reject it according to Rule 33-501.401 FAC (3)(G) stating: "It is dangerously inflammatory in that it advocates or encourages riot, insurrection, disruption of the institution, violation of department or institution rules." And (3)(m) stating: "It otherwise presents a threat to the security, good order, or discipline of the correctional system or the safety of any person."
The pigs read everything that comes in this slave plantation, so you can't put your comrades on the chopping block to get their heads cut off politically. If you’re going to coach then coach, but don't forget that you're out there in the free world and we are not. Every day we have to deal with these pigs' bullshit! And they use the gangs as their puppets to do hits for smokes and food. That's the real story in this place that the prisoners are brushing under the rug. It ain’t just the pigs who are oppressing our people, it's their puppets. So we got to build self-defense communities that are not afraid to establish new order in the land. It's too many chiefs and political debates about bullshit. Ride or Die! Unite or Perish!
MIM(Prisons) responds: It's always good to hear about serious organizers using MIM(Prisons) literature in political education classes and as organizing tools. And this comrade is writing from a state where most issues of Under Lock & Key are being censored systematically, so we do need to take seriously our challenge of getting political literature in to prisoners in Florida. This writer says we need to focus on educating people about theory, and we do have a lot of theory resources available to anyone who asks (just trade some work for lit if you can't pay). But ULK is an agitation and organizational publication, and our goal is to educate people through information and news about what's going on in prisons and in the world in general. We purposely maintain this focus instead of just putting out political theory because we need a tool that can organize people. If we only offer political theory we are missing the final step in helping people to connect the theory with practice. While we agree with this comrade that there are some things we do not need to say, we cannot sacrifice our political line to get our publication inside. And the fact is that the prisons use these "dangerously inflammatory" and "threat to security" claims for all sorts of literature we mail to prisoners, including reference materials, history books and theory.
Further, we do not agree with this comrade that ULK actually fits within those rules for censorship. Instead of presenting a threat to security and good order, ULK actually promotes security by promoting peace. The prisons, on the one hand, claim that prisoners fighting one another is one of the biggest problems they face and so they need more guards and more security weapons to deal with this problem, and then when a publication shows up promoting peace among prisoners they claim this is a threat to security as well. We need to fight this bogus claim. ULK does not encourage violation of rules, and in fact for events like the September 9 day of peace, we encourage prisoners to work within the rules of their institution to build peace. Even hunger strikes were developed as a form of non-violent protest, so we will continue to fight the censors who claim reporting on them somehow encourages "violence and insurrection." To them, prisoners in peaceful protest is a threat of violence and pigs beating prisoners is instituting security. To them newspapers calling for the bombing of other countries are cool, but newspapers exposing torture in U.$. prisons are dangerous. We cannot accept such double standards and hypocrisy.
As for the question of various lumpen organizations declaring their unity with the United Front for Peace in Prisons and then turning around and disrupting efforts to build peace, we recognize that this is a potential contradiction with lumpen organizations. It is a real challenge for groups that have historically promoted prisoner-on-prisoner violence to take up organizing for peace. We cannot expect this path to be smooth and easy. Nor can we expect all groups to join us on this path. But even the declaration of support for the UFPP is a step forward for LOs. And we must work to push them even further and confront their contradictions, rather than dismissing them as hopeless. For the record, we don't have lots of people asking to stop their subscription to ULK. In fact very few people write to be removed from our list once they get a copy of ULK. And our subscribers continue to increase, even in high censorship states like Florida and North Carolina, because people hear about our organizing to fight that censorship. When the pigs stop abusing and torturing people in U.$. prisons we will shift the content of our newsletter to focus on parts of the world where people are still being abused and tortured.
Prisoners day - September 9th - must be kept silent no more. This particular day, marking its ground breaking appearance on 9 September 1971, is making a slow steady trod towards mass movements and prisoner organizations from the east coast to the west.
Any prisoner subscribing to Under Lock & Key, or the variety of political newsletters free to prisoners, can attest to the constant reminders of the one day that prisoners stood up in unity to get shot down, and lifted back up year after year. For many who are familiar with the Attica uprising, just hearing the name Attica reawakens the stories told about the protest back east, where a select few brothers of a mixture of lumpen organizations were put in a position to stand for something and not just fall for anything. A protest from which many political prisoners take inspiration today in their thirst for freedom. Attica became legendary.
Many prisoners were forced into the tombs of the beast, known as the control unit facilities, for their commitment to keeping alive the memory of the day that history was made by prisoners struggling for a common cause. These prisoners forced into the tombs of the beast, who spoke from the grave to the injustice of the system, became the silent force of an already nuclear-reactor-type vibration within U$ prisons.
As time went on so then did the minds and movements of the masses, its leaders, and the lumpen organizations charged with serving the interest of the prisoners. The lines of the parties involved with commemorating the anniversary of Attica were crossed and compromised. The dream of rehabilitation and reforms set many in backward positions compliant to the interest of the enemy of the prisoners, the state.
Details of the September 9 uprising and certain individuals involved began meaning less and less. The historical facts, leadership, and goals became gossip of he said she said, your homie got my father killed.
The state understood the importance of stemming the tide with the tactic of division, thus a line was drawn between the political prisoner and the prisoner just trying to do their time and get back to what they knew as freedom. The latter wanted nothing to do with the former, as these old timer political prisoners were viewed as extreme in their ideas and objectives. The former, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with the latter, who at each turn of the age began to appear as a type of foreman, respecting the privileges and rewards for the good behavior of not upsetting the system. Even to this day these lines are the principal contradiction between the prisoner mass and the few political leaders.
Attica served as an example to both sides of the fence. Power is in people's unity. With the support of the people at Attica in 1971, time stood still long enough for prisoners to occupy the prison yard and a few dorms. In a stand off with state police, prisoners demanded to be afforded humyn decency.
The end result was the murders of many who knew they had nothing to lose but their chains. Attica's effect is on all prisoners. Attica's effect lives with prisoners even today. Let prisoners refresh their memories in as many uprisings as possible with peace as the objective.
It is not at this time that prisoners should be waging war with each other. Nor should we, in the United $tates, be taking up armed struggle. We must learn that prisoners must not prey on other prisoners with exploitative practices that result in the beefs that go beyond prison yards and effect more than just the local factions. But prisoners must consider the conditions of the entire class which it is rooted in and decide what direction it as a whole will move in.
Attica gave birth to many many great prisoner demonstrations and prison uprisings across the United $tates. More recently in Texas, California, North Carolina, and Georgia, just to name a few.
The day of solidarity is rooted in a reality that prisoners must at some points and time, for a specific frame of time, put to the side their differences in order to pool the energy and resources for the causes that contribute to tearing down this system as they know it. And after that, if they want to go back to their state of parasitic lifestyles, then they can take it up with the people.
The September 9 Day of Peace and Solidarity is the prisoner's memorial day; the convict holiday. It is the one day that prisoners as a whole can safely cross the lines of divide that have been expanded over the ages of time. Prisoners at this time can become festive in their anticipation of the entertainment, education, application and advocation of a vocal prisoner mass speaking up and out to the injustice of the U.$. prison system.
USW invites all those who have committed to the five principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons to participate in the coming September 9 celebrations. Submit high quality artwork to our Strugglen Artist Association to be printed and circulated within your prison, spreading the message of peace on September 9. Our comrades MIM(Prisons) offer political books free of charge that your group can study and write or draw your interpretations of the reading. You can even just write a statement describing the nature of your local September 9 celebration program.
It is now the age of speak up speak out for prisoners. If prisoners can build upon their shared experiences like the uprisings in the past, their voices can speak to their interests aligned with the internationally oppressed, and begin upsetting the system one state at a time.
Then and only then will the power be reinstated in the leadership who are most capable of representing the interests of the whole, without fear of retaliation or repression for their leadership roles. The September 9 Day of Peace and Solidarity prepares all prisoners for the day that all must make the decision of whether they'll stand up for something or fall for anything.
For those who want Rashid's criticism with our point-by-point response ("100 Reasons Why Rashid Needs to STFU About MIM(Prisons)") and a list of suggested study material on the many topics referenced you can get a copy from us for $4 or work-trade. If you have a hard time distinguishing between MIM(Prisons) and the NABPP-PC, as many do, then you should study this material until the differences are obvious.
It is useful to use this as a teaching moment on how to provide scientific leadership. In particular, we encourage everyone to study logic and logical fallacies as a part of learning to think scientifically. Here are a few basic principles which we found severely lacking in Rashid's polemic:
1. Mao taught us "no investigation, no right to speak." Rashid's long attack on MIM(Prisons) gets many points wrong about our political line. These points are found clearly in the literature we distribute free to prisoners and have readily available on-line. A significant portion of his polemic focuses on the membership requirements for our study groups, for United Struggle from Within (USW) and for MIM(Prisons), sloppily confusing them all, and spreading misinformation in the process.
2. Correctness of ideas must be assessed independent of who says them. Rashid defends his criticism of the labor aristocracy line by accusing MIM(Prisons) comrades of having petty-bourgeois backgrounds. MIM(Prisons) could be Satan, but that doesn't mean there's no labor aristocracy. This approach is a political bullet to the head, and is a fallacy of irrelevance.
3. A lot of Rashid's article is baiting for information about MIM(Prisons). Whether intentional or not, this is pig work. We do not give out any information that the pigs could use to assess or destroy our movement. And anonymity isn't just about security, it's also about teaching people to think scientifically rather than follow the persyn with the right skin tone or haircut. We are against identity politics, which are too easily controlled by the oppressor. People who buy into identity politics also defend Obama just because he's Black.
4. Taking a scientific conclusion about a group and then applying it to individuals or small segments of that group is called an "ecological fallacy" and is a basic statistical error. During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Maoists spent much time combatting this tendency, because people were attacking others based on their family's class background. Sociology as a science allows us to predict things with a certain probability. We can say that the petty bourgeoisie as a class has particular interests, and therefore it is very likely that an inidividual from that class will defend that interest. But that likelihood is less than 100%.
This criticism from Rashid, as baseless as it is, does highlight the urgency of getting our interactive glossary finally available on-line, and sending it to our readers behind bars. It also underlines the importance of sending literature to our subscribers and conducting study groups, whether led by MIM(Prisons) or by USW comrades.
Like most prisoners, Rashid does not have easy access to our website, and he's only able to access literature from us that the prison mailroom permits him to have. We have no reason to believe Rashid has received or read any of the most fundamental material on our political line, which is perhaps an error on our part. He criticizes our class definitions, and in criticizing them completely misrepresents them. Our class definitions have been made public to prisoners with most clarity in the booklet Fundamental Political Line of the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons. This booklet was published in March 2012 and contains all our class definitions spelled out in paragraph form. Additionally, we send a short list of these definitions to all new subscribers. It would be overkill to expect us to provide a full definition each time we use a word, as Rashid seems to require. Our last response to Rashid was written assuming he had access to definitions of our political line, perhaps another error on our part.
In our newsletter Under Lock & Key, we publish economic analysis, mostly regarding class relationships in the First World. Rashid's most recent criticism of MIM(Prisons) suggest that he does not read ULK. It's unclear to us if Rashid has read any contemporary material on the labor aristocracy; whether by MIM(Prisons), Ehecatl, or Zak Cope. [Update: Rashid has since published a criticism of Zak Cope's book Divided World Divided Class on his website. Similar to his critique of MIM(Prisons), he does not actually engage any of the evidence provided by Cope. For those who are interested in some good material on the labor aristocracy question you'd be better off reading the debate that Zak Cope had with labor-aristocracy denier Charles Post.]
Defining Mass Work
Rashid claims MIM(Prisons) has no mass work to speak of. He thinks the labor aristocracy should be our mass base, and we think they are enemies of the international proletariat, so it makes sense that MIM(Prisons) would not engage in what Rashid would consider mass work.
Assuming for a moment that we do agree on a mass base, how would Rashid even know what MIM(Prisons)'s practice is amongst those masses? Rashid doesn't engage in our study groups, doesn't write articles for ULK, and doesn't participate in United Struggle from Within (USW) campaigns, or any other prisoner-based projects we facilitate. Rashid claims our organizing with prisoners is either (a) nonexistent or (b) taking advantage of a vulnerable population. If by "vulnerable" he means "not completely bought off by the spoils of imperialism" and "having a direct material interest in overthrowing imperialism and destroying Amerikkka," then yeah.
For as much as Rashid is out of touch with our prisoner organizing, he is ten times more out of touch with the organizing we do outside of prisons. As a security-conscious organization, we don't publicize where, when, or how much organizing we do outside of prison. Yet Rashid claims to be an expert on our practice, and claims we have none. This sort of baseless shit-talking is another logical fallacy, as it still does not address the labor aristocracy question. Rashid spends much time trying to make us look bad, while avoiding actually having to make sound arguments against our political line.
Importance of Class Background
True or not, Rashid's petty-bourgeois accusations are not that exciting. Here are some facts which should not surprise anyone: MIM(Prisons) operates in the United $tates. MIM(Prisons) comrades are not in prison. MIM(Prisons) comrades have time to devote to revolutionary study and work. At least some MIM(Prisons) comrades have money to donate to purchasing, publishing and mailing books and newsletters to prisoners for free. At least some MIM(Prisons) comrades are fluent in writing and reading the English language. Considering the vast majority of the U.$. population is petty bourgeois (which includes the labor aristocracy, which Rashid calls the proletariat), it doesn't take a stroke of genius to assume that at least some MIM(Prisons) comrades are likely petty bourgeois.
Class backgrounds certainly play a role in subjective political orientation, and that's where class suicide comes in. Just as we try to encourage members of the lumpen class to abandon their petty-bourgeois tendencies and align themselves (against their immediate material interests) with the international proletariat, we also encourage members of the labor aristocracy, petty bourgeoisie, and bourgeoisie to commit class suicide and work in favor of the international proletariat. In Rashid's studies of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China, we're surprised he didn't also pick up the principle that criticizing an individual based on their class background is a textbook error.
The important question is, does our work do more to support the international proletariat, or more to support the First World classes (including the bourgeoisie, petty-bourgeoisie, and labor aristocracy)? Rashid says MIM(Prisons) comrades should commit class suicide. Yet we are the ones actively campaigning to redistribute wealth away from the country we live in, while the NABPP-PC allies with the labor aristocracy oinking for more.
Scientific Approach to Revolutionary Work
Below are a couple excerpts from our annotated response to Rashid's criticism:
Rashid: MIMP admits choosing prisoners because they prove most receptive to its ‘leadership’ which in essence means MIMP has latched onto a particularly vulnerable and desperate social group(1), an isolated group whose severely miserable predicament leaves them desperate(2) for any sympathetic ear and tending to be less critical of those who present themselves as sympathetic. Also prisoners generally lack political awareness and training and access to the voluminous Marxist and relevant works. So they are least suited to critically challenge MIMP’s Maoist representations.(3)
MIM(Prisons): 1. Patronizing. 2. Desperate for change. How is the proletariat better than this? 3. We distribute these materials for free to any prisoner in the United $tates who is genuinely interested. Our work-trade standards are just to help us determine who will make the best use of these resources, so we aren't sending them to people who will just throw them in the trash. Send us work (art, article, organizing report, etc) and engage with us and we'll send you plenty of free study materials with no strings attached. So to say we try to keep prisoners in the dark so that they can't criticize us is just bullshit.(p. 10)
Rashid: Contrary to Stalin’s admonition, MIMP neither has its feet planted within the masses, nor is it willing to "listen to the voices" of its followers, or anyone else for that matter. A point we should look at closer, from a Maoist standpoint.
MIM(Prisons): What is the evidence that we don't listen to our followers? We definitely don't listen to the enemy class, as that is not the masses. We don't aim to organize the labor aristocracy but we are in very close contact with lumpen masses. The only "evidence" Rashid presents in this essay to prove that we don't listen to the lumpen are (a) that we don't accept his "class analysis" of classes in the United $tates, and (b) that we removed someone from our study group because they had clear dividing line differences with us that we were not going to change, see below. These are two people we tried to struggle with at length and determined to have dividing line differences with us. We struggle with the lines represented by these two entities (Rashid and Ruin) continuously in the pages of Under Lock & Key, which is more efficient than one-on-one struggle, especially in this case. And they are more than welcome to keep writing to us and keep receiving ULK for free forever. But no, we're not likely going to reneg on our six main points which define our organization.(p. 12)
Rashid lacks an understanding of the importance of organizational structure and political standards. Liberalism on our 6 main points for membership in our organizations would be the antithesis of providing scientific leadership. This is MIM(Prison) clearly drawing lines around political questions that we think are most important to advancing the revolutionary struggle at this time. To those who oppose this scientific approach to revolutionary organizing, we suggest you may be better off working with another group. There are plenty of organizations out there that will accept anyone as a member, regardless of political line or ability to think critically, and which are happy to debate whether 2+2=4 endlessly. We will provide the doubters plenty of political resources that explain how we know 2+2=4, but we won't waste our time, or limited ULK space, on unscientific people who insist the answer is 3.
The sovereign citizens movement has become among the top domestic terrorist groups on the FBI's list in the United $tates for refusing to cooperate with the government. People of this movement assume an artificial independence as a nation and refuse to file taxes, carry any type of license or hold a social security card. Question is, where does the anti-imperialist movement stand with these individuals and how does their approach to liberation compare to that of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
It is reported that more than 300,000 people are self-declared sovereign citizens in the United $tates, and it is predicted to be one of the fastest growing movements in U.$. history.(1) So it is a reasonable question to ask whether these people are on to something or not.
It appears that the sovereign citizens movement is currently one of a mixture of oppressed nation lumpen, bourgeois nationalists and petty bourgeois organizations across the United $tates. For example, among those claiming to be sovereign citizen organizations are the New Afrikan groups like the Moorish Nation, the Mawshakh Nation of Nuurs and the Washitaw Nation, both Islamic and Hebrewic. Then there are the white nationalists responsible for publications and broadcasting programs for the movement: From the Embassy of Heaven, The Aware Group, the Republic of Texas, Rightway LAW, Freedom Bound International and Amen-Ra BTO, Inc.; and personalities like David W. Miller, Charles Weisman, Alfred Adask, George Gordon and Brent Johnson.
Lumpen class in search of answers
The talk of sovereign citizens in prison was first heard by the author in 2009, promoted by a variety of lumpen prisoners professing to be card-holding members of the jailhouse lawyers National Lawyers Guild. They claimed to possess the mysterious knowledge, which utilized in U.$. courts could result in riches from financial settlements, as well as the potential of an early release for prisoners who have learned the craft of cracking the code described as redemption.
Lumpen in the United $tates, in general, are always looking for a come up, but they rarely consider at what cost will they come up. They, in general, believe that if they can just grow their underground economy they can free themselves. This viewpoint is a product of the lumpen's relationship to capitalism as belonging to internal semi-colonies. Lumpen are excluded from the prosperous imperialist economy overall, yet given tastes of that wealth via these underground economies that also provide an illusion of acting outside of the system. It seems that the popularity of the sovereign citizens movement in prisons can be explained this way, the difference being that it actually claims to be based in law.
With its promises of wealth, stature, independence and self-control, lumpen prisoners are not blamed for lining up to receive what they've been conditioned to know as being freedom. However, they are cautioned that everything that glitters isn't gold. What we see at play is the principal contradiction that defines the lumpen class in our society: the individualist tendencies to come up at the expense of others that are required of an excluded class in a capitalist economy, and the need for collective action to overcome those conditions and attain true freedom. We even see the New Afrikan organizations promoting the ideas of sovereign citizenship have borrowed from the ideas of national liberation movements as well. But rather than fight for national liberation of New Afrika, they define their nation in opportunistic ways as if a nation is something that any group of people can just create out of thin air. We recognize nations as scientific phenomena, that exist in the real world and are defined as a group of people with a common culture, territory, language and economy.
It is important that lumpen prisoners begin to pick out the right things, that which they have persynally tested, inspected, researched and referenced to reality in the method of dialectical materialism. Lumpen prisoners have a problem in the areas of these last four key words: tested, inspected, researched and referenced. This failure is the main cause of the material circumstances leading to the divisions between the individualist lumpen prisoners vs. the self-sufficient collective of prisoners struggling for liberation within the movement towards national independence.
Too often lumpen prisoners get something, or hear of something from another inmate and they just run with it, spreading something that they are unfamiliar with and misinforming others. The sovereign citizens movement has benefited from this tendency.
What is sovereign citizens about?
Lumpen prisoners of white oppressor nation origins probably can describe a more definitive history of this movement beginning somewhere in the 1960s to challenge the legitimacy of U.$. tax laws and the U.$. government itself. It is doubted whether most oppressed nation prisoners can describe the founding groups, from Oregon and California, like the Posse Comitatus, which is based in extreme, unrealistic white supremacy.
The philosophy of the sovereign citizens movement is based in the theory that the U.$. government is operating as a fraud commercial entity that is bankrupted and indebted to foreign nations. Many sovereign citizens movement groups subscribe to this idea in that the original U.$. government was that of colonial Amerika based in British common law as a de jure government. After the civil war there supposedly developed a secondary government de facto of its previous state-based governments of settlers.
When they say de jure, they mean legal and therefore legitimate. In contrast, de facto means that it exists but it is not official. It is common to refer to a de facto government after a civil war to imply that things have not been settled and brought back to order. What that order is, is of course a political question in itself. The dictatorship over the capitalists in the south by the capitalists of the northern states after the civil war was a progressive one that marked the end of slavery and forced integration on the white settlers, though much of the progress on integration was later turned back by reactionary forces and proved an overall failure. Therefore, to question the legitimacy of the post-civil war government in the United $tates has a clear connection to this ongoing reactionary movement for white supremacy in North America. While these forces see independence and state's rights as a means of maintaining their national privilege, the internal semi-colonies are attracted to national liberation struggles (and therefore other politics of local control) as means of ending the national oppression that is the other side of the dialectical coin. To have an oppressor nation, you must have at least one oppressed nation.
Many sovereign proponents, like the Whitten Printers, have broken down the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.$. Constitution to the least common denominator. They argue that it was created by the de facto government in order to nationalize Black slaves and afford free Black slaves with comparable rights of the unalienable Constitutional rights of white settler state citizens, leading us to question whether they are reading from the same history books as the rest of us struggling for self-determination.
These sovereign citizens hold that they are not subject to the nationalization process to become federal citizens under the Fourteenth Amendment de facto government because they weren't slaves, they aren't colored, and they never signed into any contract agreements with the de facto government. Basically, they are royal citizens holding on to the good ol' days of the British colonies. Ain't that cute.
Critics of the sovereign citizens theory assert that it fails to sufficiently examine the context of the case law from which they cite and ignore adverse evidence, such as The Federalist No. 15, where Alexander Hamilton expressed the view that the Constitution placed everyone persynally under federal authority. And as the Fourteenth Amendment itself reads, in part:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”(2)
“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”(3)
All oppressed nation prisoners must be aware of these facts before they allow themselves to be rallied into support for a movement like the sovereign citizens. The sovereign citizens movement is a white oppressor nation movement whose interest is directly in conflict with yours. They want to preserve imperialism at the cost of your independence and self-determination. National liberation from the imperialist states is in the interest of all lumpen prisoners, and the best way to effect this objective is for all the semi-colonies of the United $tates to support national liberation struggles of the oppressed.
We must also remind comrades that the fascist movement in Italy and the Nazi movement in Germany were appealing to a primarily dissatisfied petty bourgeoisie as well as lumpen and proletarian elements with rhetoric against the state, the bankers and big businesses at the time with some nonsensical religious ideas mixed in and lots of chauvinism. In the event of further imperialist crisis, if the imperialists are pushed to take a fascist approach to managing the people and economy, the sovereign citizens and similar movements will be the ready made mass movements that provide the footsoldiers for such a project. The oppressed peoples of the world must combat this with proletarian internationalism and dialectical materialism and break free of the ignorance that allows us to be suckered by the false claims of such groups.
MIM(Prisons) adds: We want to give Loco1 props for working on this review of the sovereign citizens movement. S/he was one of a number of comrades who have written us about it. And as a very active leader in USW we asked h to write a critique of the ideology behind the movement. Loco1 was hesitant at first for lack of information and knowing where to start.
While limiting access to information helps prevent ideological unity across the imprisoned lumpen, this article goes to show the greater importance of method. Loco1 was able to spearhead this critique with limited resources at h fingertips, but using an analytic approach.
Some of the appeal of the sovereign citizens and similar right-wing anti-government movements is based in an appeal to authority, where they cite a bunch of case law in an effort to convince you that they know what they are talking about. But this reliance on caselaw itself is idealism. It is similar to those who search for answers in ancient religions, as if there is a secret out there that just needs to be found and it will solve all our problems. This is appealing, it is a theme that sells many movies and books, but it is not reality. A real way to solve problems is to understand reality, the contradictions that make it up, and how things are moving so that we can transform reality. No one has been liberated by sovereign citizen paperwork, because it is just words on paper, and words on paper cannot magically liberate you from a real system that is made up of millions of people.
When young Trayvon Martin was killed, people held candles and prayed to "God." And George Zimmerman walked away free. Then we heard of the young brother in Missouri, unarmed yet gunned down by a pig — an amerikkkan kolonial thug. The people held candles and quoted fables from the book of "God." The pig went free.
Cleveland, Ohio — Black child of twelve. Yes, Black not because of his dark skin color, but Black because of the gaping wound to human dignity because he was gunned down by another enforcer of white amerikkkan privilege. The people wept and prayed while the assassin slithered away quite free.
Then Wisconsin and another brother of African descent. Unarmed yet shot and killed by scum who are sworn to "protect and serve." The killer pig was not even charged with a crime while the people sing and pray and dance and wave candles to their "God." But suddenly — Baltimore.
Freddy Gray killed by pigs. This time people overturn vehicles; break into businesses; loot them; set fires; throw rocks and bottles at pigs. And six pigs are indicted.
Perhaps "God" merely honors large candles of burning buildings and burning cars? Or perhaps white amerikkkans only care about dead people of color when the financial losses come to Whitey? Like when the oppressed say, "Get your pigs under control or we will burn your fucking city to the ground."
Do we want social and economic justice that requires people held accountable? Or do we want merely to whine and pray and bemoan the injustice of the amerikkkan grand jury that failed to indict a pig who killed a brother selling loose cigarettes? Facts reveal observable actions leading to desired outcomes. Fables reveal actions of pointless futility.
MIM(Prisons) adds: This writer is spot on about the failure of prayer and kind requests to change systemic violence. It is only with force that the imperialists will give up their guns. Yet we don't mean to say that we should just take up arms and act without planning and organizing.
The righteous anger of the masses in Baltimore is a power that must be harnessed by a revolutionary vanguard party. The oppressed can coordinate their actions and ensure these actions are taken only when victory is possible through strong and centralized leadership. We are still at the stage of educating and building for revolution. Part of this work involves spreading anti-imperialist theory to all who know from personal oppression and experience that they must fight back, helping them to see the bigger picture and take up leadership in the struggle.
We must remember that in Oakland, California, cars were lit on fire and businesses were looted in response to the murder of 22-year-old New Afrikan Oscar Grant. Grant's murderer, a transit cop, was indicted, charged, and imprisoned. In the end, it was a slap on the wrist for this blatant murder. For a period of time the state will respond to people protesting in the streets. They may go through some motions or formalities to appease people and quell their anger. But ultimately there will just be more names to add to the list of oppressed nation people killed — a list that has been growing for centuries. It should be obvious that we need more fundamental changes to our daily life than body cameras and reliance on our present injustice system.
Imperialism is the ravenous cancer eating away the body of humynkind. Karnes Detention Center in Texas is owned and operated by slimy fungi in the guise of humyns known as GEO group. And GEO group is Amerikkkan kkkapitalists feeding at the table of suffering like worms eating the insides of defenseless infants.
Karnes Detention Center (KDC) is one of the hundreds of torture chambers housing lumpen who are labelled "Illegal Immigrants" by the Amerikkkan elitists. Housed at KDC are mothers and their children. They have no criminal backgrounds. All came to amerikkka because of persecution in their native lands. Persecution often caused by amerikkkan kkkapitalist intervention in the domestic affairs of those lands.
At KDC one lawyer reports seeing many children with persistent cough. The children complained of no medical care and lack of edible food. A three-year-old girl with asthma was told to "drink water" when her mother sought treatment for her.
The food was pre-packaged and expired. Rotted and beyond use. The lawyer brought cookies for them from a vending machine. One sad looking girl held hers but did not eat. When the lawyer asked her, the tiny child said, "I will share mine with mommy." It was then noticed that none of the children ate cookies until they could share with their mothers.
KDC exists because of an executive order signed by united snakes president Obama. He reminds me of a "house nigger." You know, the "smart one" who looked after "Massa's affairs," and slept in "Massa's house?" The one who kept massa informed of dem dumb field niggas jes in case dey was a plottin' and schemin'. House nigger don't care that his "privilege" stands on the backs of bleeding filed workers. Chief Pig Obama and GEO Group stock holders get tax money for crushing undocumented children and their mothers.
Now we could discuss Obama's overwhelming and extensive use of military drones to kill innocent families in Third World nations. We could discuss how house nigger plans to sell drones to other countries to enable those countries to do "operations" that are illegal for the u.$ to perform. Or we could discuss Judge Gideon of Dewitt Town Court in New York. He issued an Order of Protection for Colonel Earl Evans. Colonel Evans is commander of Hancock Field where weaponized Reaper Drones are remotely piloted to make lethal strikes in Afghanistan. These cowardly amerikkkans fire missiles and kill innocent Afghani mothers and children from a cozy office across half a continent and an ocean from the victims. Slaughter without risk.
But Colonel Evans was granted an Order of Protection. He lives on a military base surrounded by soldiers with massive weaponry who are trained and ready to defend Colonel Evans. He needs an Order of Protection because he wants "protection" from peace activists who stand outside the base protesting drone warfare. And then Judge Gideon jails those activists for violating that Order of Protection, circumventing the First Amendment of the united snakes constipation.
Odd but I hear that old tune "London Bridge is Falling Down," but the word "Amerikkka" replaces "London Bridge." May the piece of shit soon implode. Maybe then the Afghanis can get an Order of Protection.
[Having a narrow understanding of the world makes it easier to be manipulated into believing things that aren't true or that are against one's own interests. When we say 80% of the world's people have an objective interest in communism, this is not just based on comparing incomes or wealth. The imperialists try to hide the historical fact that at one time a third of the world's people lived in socialist systems, and this was achieved by the valiant armed struggles of those peoples fighting for liberation. Even beyond the borders of the socialist countries the oppressed people of the world openly supported the leadership of those countries, meaning the vast majority of the world's people supported communism as the way forward. We cannot say this today, but the numbers are certainly higher than most are aware of. In South Asia, in particular, Maoism has been alive and well among the masses for decades, and consolidating its forces in recent years. Most of what is considered South Asia is the state of India. South Asia has some of the most densely populated regions of the world, with a population much larger than all of North and South America combined.
We often give updates on progress of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in our strategic confidence column. Here we print an article by a comrade that gives a brief introduction to who they are, for those who don't know, and we follow up with some excerpts from a recent report from CPI(Maoist). - editor]
Half a century ago, India was in turmoil, with rebellions popping up in the countryside. One such being the Marxist-led food movement of 1965 and another being a peasant revolt in 1976 in a village in West Bengal called Naxalbari. This peasant revolt would later inspire a Maoist-led people's movement, which was named after the Naxalbari revolt, and inspired by Mao Zedong's model of agrarian reform. The rebels are today known as "Naxalites" by the locals; we know them as the Communist Party of India (Maoist) (CPI(Maoist)). Today they are leading the largest Maoist struggle in the world, liberating vast areas in the jungles, mountains, and the countryside from the neo-colonial regime of India.
The first Maoists to arrive in the jungles of Abujamarh in 1989 were largely petty-bourgeois revolutionaries and college students from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh following a government crackdown on communists in the cities. It is here that the Naxalite cadres have taken up the people's struggle. In the depth of the jungles the Naxalites have found a new ally: the adivasi. Adivasi means "original people" and they are the First Nations within India, who number 84 million, or about 8.6% of the population. Today the Naxalite communist forces include not only the petty bourgeoisie and college students, but also very large numbers of revolutionaries from India's socially disadvantaged segment known as "the backward class." As a matter of fact, while the CPI(Maoist) was initially composed of various intellectuals from the cities, it is the admixture of the intellectuals with the peasants that has given the people's struggle new life and sustainability. As the struggle rages on it's the adivasi who have taken up leadership roles as CPI(Maoist) cadres, in particular the wimmin who, according to reports, now make up 60% of the Maoist top hierarchy.
In India's countryside, where 180 million exploited people survive on less than two dollars a day; where in poor rural areas like Abujmarh the farmers, peasants, and the poor can't even feed themselves; where children are malnourished and plagued by disease; the people have taken a revolutionary stand against national oppression. They have taken up Maoism. According to a recent National Geographic article, what kicked up the insurrection was newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attraction to the country's mineral wealth, which happens to be in the Naxalite territories. The coal reserves being the most attractive, the coal reserves (the fifth largest in the world) fuel the power plants that light up India's very distant metropolises. The company Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), a local subsidiary of Coal India Limited (CIL), has offered money to locals, jobs and other petty bribes in return for the locals' land. Some accepted the bribes, but I wonder for how long will they last? To the peasant farmers whose livelihood is linked to their land the state's bribes hold little attraction.
The bullshit money CCL offers will go as quick as it came and the petty jobs will not last forever. What then? The people want to keep their farmland to be able to feed their families. Many have resisted the capitalist encroachment, but some have been unable to resist the pressures from big business. Others have simply sold out. Since it became law in 1894, the Land Acquisition Act (a colonial legislation created to allow the bourgeoisie to seize land under the so-called principal of "eminent domain") has left millions without homes due to the state's mining activities. In response to this the Naxalites have established people's courts within both the disputed and liberated zones so that the masses can not only put the predatory land agents on trial, but the traitors as well. Such institutions of the oppressed are part of the building of dual power in India, where an emerging socialist state challenges the existing capitalist one. The people's courts follow in the traditions of the Bolshevik and Chinese revolutions. In particular the latter, after Japanese imperialism's defeat and liberation from both British and Amerikan imperialism. With these courts the targets of the masses were not only pro-Japanese landlords, but counter-revolutionaries as well.
When discussing political affairs, chiefly the oppression and exploitation of the Third World countries, people ask, what do you care? You're on the other side of the world. Well, as humyn beings we should care. What the Naxalite/adivasi struggle teaches is that without national liberation for self-determination of an oppressed nation, which should be led by a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist vanguard, imperialist oppression will never end. As anti-imperialists we are duty-bound to support the struggles of the oppressed against imperialism. The adivasi and other peasant masses are tired of foreign and domestic capital exploiting their people and their land. The adivasi struggle is our struggle! With unification of the masses, and with the correct leadership of the Maoist unity, victory is on the people's side.
excerpt from a March 2015 report from India:
"Overcoming innumerable obstacles and snatching initiative, PLGA fighters and urban action team combatants led by the Western Ghats Special Zonal Committee (WGSZC) of the CPI (Maoist) have opened up a new warfront in the State of Keralam, situated along the South Western coast of India... The necessity of taking up arms and advancing the revolutionary war as the true means to seize and secure the rights of the adivasis and other masses over the 'Land, water and forests' has been widely propagated through these actions.
"...These actions were carried out as part of a Politico-Military Campaign (PMC) carried out over a three month period, from November 2014 till January 2015. The aim of the campaign was to prepare the masses for the revolutionary war, defeat the initiative and aggressiveness of the enemy armed forces and advance the revolutionary movement...
"The successful completion of the PMC marks a qualitative turn in the expansion of the people’s war led by the CPI (Maoist) in the country as well as an overcoming of the stagnation faced in the armed struggle initiated in the Western Ghats more than a decade ago in the Malnad region of Karnataka. Facing heavy repression, the party lost 16 of its valiant leaders and fighters, including comrades Saketh Rajan and Rajamouli (Secretaries of Karnataka State Committee) during this period, while striving to sink firm roots and advance the new democratic revolution by rallying the masses. Meanwhile, efforts to initiate the armed struggle in Tamil Nadu and Keralam too failed to get off, suffering grievous losses of comrades who were martyred in enemy attacks.
"...[Decades earlier] Wayanad was one of the main areas of revolutionary struggles in Keralam inspired by the armed peasant rebellion of Naxalbari... Keralam has a long history of communist activity and valiant armed struggles led by the communists. When the CPI leadership deviated into revisionism, rank and file comrades in different parts of the State started seeking a way forward. They were attracted to the fierce ideological struggle being waged against Khrushchev revisionism under the leadership of Mao Tsetung.
"Ever since then Maoist led revolutionary activities has been a regular feature of the political scene. A number of heroic armed actions were carried out successfully. Many militant mass struggles were organised. At different periods, youth and students came forward in large numbers to join the revolutionary movement and serve the people. Yet all these efforts did not lead to building a sustained and developing Maoist movement. All throughout these decades, the revolutionary movement was repeatedly derailed by wrong tendencies and rightist deviations.
"This was ruptured with in the early 1990s. On the one hand, a section of comrades rebelled against the revisionist line of K. Venu, rejected the theses that conditions in Keralam are not conducive for people’s war and went forward. This initiative would be one of the components forming the Maoist Unity Centre, CPI (ML), along with comrades in Maharashtra, and then later, the CPI (ML) NAXALBARI, uniting with revolutionaries led by the late comrade SA Rawoof. A group of comrades, who had formed a new centre, rebelling against CPI(ML) Jana Shakthi rightist leadership, later merged with this. Meanwhile, sections who were disgusted with the right opportunism of the various ML parties present in Keralam rebelled and joined the CPI (ML) People’s War in the early 1990s, which later merged with the Maoist Communist Centre, India in 2004 to form the CPI (Maoist). They too set out to rubbish the revisionist theses of Keralam’s exclusivity. Both of these initiatives had been working independently towards initiating armed struggle."(4)
30 March 2015 - As ordered by the Federal government, the U.$. Army must reduce Amerika's active-duty soldier ranks by more than 40,000 by 2017. Recently, here in Alaska, a state which, since its colonization and subsequent possession by the United $tates, has been very heavily subsidized by government funding, large crowds of predominantly white petty-bourgeoisie turned out to demonstrate and rally against the military cuts. The reason? Some 10,000 troops and their families may leave the state, causing 1 billion dollars in losses to the state economy.(1) In other words, large groups of social parasites, living off the largess of their imperial overlord in Washington and the Pentagon, and the sub-parasites who feed off the primary parasites' existence, stand to lose their stable and guaranteed incomes and relatively high standards of living (gained mainly from the oppression and exploitation of the Third World and enforced by the same military) and may need to find other ways to support themselves.
The "Rally For Our Troops," attended by more than 400 people, was organized by Anchorage, Alaska-based business, civic and municipal organizations and was aimed at sparing cuts to Anchorage's joint base Elmendorf-Richardson and Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks. Alaska has more veterans per capita than any other state, and in the so-called "worst-case scenario," as many as 10,800 troops and 19,000 dependents could be forced to depart, amounting to a loss of about 4 percent of Alaska's population.(1) This is not surprising, as some estimates place the amount of the working population associated with government employment as high as 60%.
Of course, the event began with a resounding display of the imperialists' early indoctrination and brainwashing of the young through a performance of a local middle school's Drum Corps and Flag Team, accompanied by hundreds of others waving little Amerikan flags and cheering. After the initial show, the discussion began around convincing the four-person army committee present of the "strategic importance" of the main unit (4th brigade/25th infantry combat team).
The local community concern over losing Army Combat Brigades is economic. It could cost the state 1 billion dollars in economic impact, according to Bill Popp, Anchorage Economic Development corporation President and one of the rally coordinators.(1) That, along with the expected population decrease aforementioned, is the overriding concern for businesses and many concerned participants. Hence, we are here confronted with a major historic and pernicious problem with such outlooks: that being the insipid and persistent factor of self-interest and economic dependence of a large percentage of the Amerikan labor aristocracy on the continuation and preservation of imperialism and its most oppressive and pervading manifestation, the military industrial complex.
The labor aristocracy's support of imperialism coupled with the strategic concerns of the ruling class in perpetuating global capitalist domination via military and political power are two of the biggest foes of the international proletariat in achieving socialist revolution and change in the world today. The front-line defense of any existing, regular administration and order of imperialist rule is its police and regular army, and will be deployed against the will of the revolution when it comes. It will undoubtedly obey its political and economic masters. History is replete with examples of the U.$. military being unleashed not only on the international proletariat to further the interests of the imperialists in their unceasing quest for strategic domination and natural resource/labor exploitation, but also on internal colony repression and domestic discontent control. The U.$. military, just as much as the prison system, is an inherent and vital mechanism for social control and the protection of the established order.
Historical instances abound around the world where the military and U.$. troops were used to break workers' strikes, put down political and social demonstrations, and help corporate power exploit and repress the working class and quash popular discontent with governmental policy. Often times they use quite brutal and violent means and tactics, including blatant murder of citizens, armed or not. Troops have also been used to entrench and enforce racial and economic inequality and conserve the status quo.
To illustrate a few examples of domestic military oppression: from very early on, continuing right through to almost the mid-20th century and including sporadic examples even in the present day, the military was very frequently called out to suppress and eliminate labor disputes and strikes all over the United $tates at the bidding of their corporate masters in Washington. This occurred primarily in the days when a true economic and political proletariat existed within the U.$. borders. One example of this type of domestic military oppression was the infamous "Ludlow Massacre" of 1914, in which the Colorado Fuel and Iron Corporation, owned by the Rockefeller family, used murder, beatings, imprisonments and gun attacks to break the strike of thousands of deplorably-exploited foreign-born miners, employing the Army National Guard to do so. At one point, the National Guard opened fire with machine guns on an encampment housing hundreds of women and children, which resulted in the deaths of 11 children and 2 wimmin after the Guard set fire to their tents with torches.(2) Less than 60 years later, another Rockefeller was responsible for the brutal Attica prison massacre, once against perpetrated by the Army National Guard.(3)
During the civil rights era, military attacks occurred against Black demonstrators repeatedly, such as happened in Watts, Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago, with numerous accounts of brutality committed on peaceable demonstrators and even mere bystanders. In Ohio, college students demonstrating against the imperialist Vietnam War were mowed down by Federal troops. The list of such barbaric and repressive actions against U.$. citizens by military agencies is far too long to include here, but just these few examples should show succinctly how willing and ready U.$. military forces can and will be in violently confronting anyone who poses any challenge to the Amerikan status quo and imperialist agenda.
Even soldiers themselves can become victims of imperialist greed. In both the Vietnam and Iraq wars thousands of veterans were for years denied medical care or even recognition of numerous insidious maladies, many life-threatening, resulting from munitions or chemicals used by the military in those wars: Agent Orange in Vietnam, uranium=tipped shells and inoculations for chemical warfare in Iraq, and other causes of "Gulf War Syndrome" in Iraq. Of course, all this says nothing for the countless thousands of indigenous victims of these brutal wars of imperialist oppression, many civilians and children, who get no help at all from the Amerikan government since such statistics aren't kept by the Pentagon.
The imperialists create new threats and dangers to justify ongoing funding to the already enormous Amerikan military. The "Cold War" and the "War on Terror" are just two examples of these excuses for maintaining a hugely bloated military establishment. As leftist political commentator Noam Chomsky wrote: "the appeal to security is largely fraudulent, the Cold War framework having been employed as a device to justify the suppression of independent nationalism - whether in Europe, Japan or the Third World." As Maoists, we recognize that it includes the suppression of internal colonies within the United $tates as well.
Of course, the biggest threat to any revolutionary movements is the standing army, which reactionary and counter-revolutionary factions and governments will not hesitate to use, unleashing military personnel and arms against citizens who pose any threat or challenge to the establishment. As was seen in the 1917 Russian Revolution, reactionary generals such as Kornilov and Kaledin initiated counter-revolutionary attacks against the newly-formed Soviets, and the Western imperialist powers inserted military forces in an intervention aimed at undermining the socialists and keeping Russia embroiled in the inter-imperialist world war.(4)
Revolutionary activists need to confront rallies like the one held in Anchorage with their own counter-rallies opposing military spending and maintenance. Those under lock and key can write letters and send petitions to representatives, suggesting more funds be spent for educational, nutritional or medical programs for the dispossessed and recently-imprisoned as opposed to military funding. Any opposition to military expenditure and activity is desirable as first steps toward the future of socialism in imperialist Amerika. Don't let the official, unceasing propaganda in the media (i.e., ISIS, Russia/Putin, etc) fool anyone - the imperialist military establishment needs to be opposed at all levels and through all possible endeavors by all committed socialists, even if it conflicts with relations to family members who may be enlisted. Every dollar spent on military funding should be seen as one less morsel for food, one less book or pen, or one less dose of life-saving medicine for the world’s proletariat. And now with imperialist defenders and lap dogs like Representative John Boehner asking for increased funding for military and "national security" in the face of the continuing "ISIS" farce and propaganda, and U.$. Senator Dan Sullivan proclaiming that "he who owns Alaska owns the entire world" (statements from U.$. politicians don't get more imperialist-minded than that!), we can see that the Amerikan imperialists will continue to use any excuse to perpetuate the money pit and pig sty that is the U.$. military establishment and its presence both domestic and abroad. Socialists everywhere must hold it as among the highest priorities to organize and act against this greatest of threats to humynity and equality.
MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer does a good job explaining the importance of opposing the U.$. military and the reasons why so many Amerikans support this imperialist army. S/he proposes that we take action by demanding that the money currently funding the military be instead used to help provide food, medicine and education for the international proletariat. As a goal for improving the lives of the world's people we certainly agree. But we do not see this as a winnable battle under imperialism. As the author explains, the Amerikan military is a tool of U.$. imperialism: it's purpose is to keep the people around the world in line so that imperialist corporations can exploit the workers and steal the natural resources. This colonialism is fundamental to the economic model of imperialism. Calling on the Amerikan government to voluntarily redirect military funds to the very people that military is helping to oppress and exploit is not a battle we can win with words alone.
It will take the forcible overthrow of the imperialist government before they will lay down their weapons and give up their wealth. History has shown this time and again: peaceful revolutions are not really revolutions at all. By playing their game and asking kindly for the government to redirect military funds to humanitarian needs we give the imperialists the chance to pretend they are actually working in the interests of the people. We should not mislead people into thinking this is possible. Any so-called humanitarian work by the imperialists is just a cover for their brutal militarism.
This author is correct: "Every dollar spent on military funding should be seen as one less morsel for food, one less book or pen, or one less dose of life-saving medicine for the world’s proletariat." The urgency of the situation can not be overstated, people around the world are dying while Amerikans are rallying for expansion of the imperialist military.