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Under Lock & Key

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[New Afrika] [Principal Contradiction]
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i Was Blind, But Now i See

Power to New Afrika

When i was first introduced to the concepts and ideology of NARN (New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalism) and New Afrikan Nationhood i subjectively analyzed it, thinking that it was based on narrow-nationalism that was focused on representing “race.” My narrow-mindedness would act as an impediment to my own development, which would ultimately prevent me from ascertaining that NARN actually provides a complete social, political and economic theory that constitutes a comprehensive network of principles, rules, beliefs, values and morals that teaches Us the importance of decolonization and National Independence.

You see many of Us profess to be all-the-way revolutionary, when in fact We are actually robots running on dogmatism and stale formulas. i myself was a robot running on dogmatism and stale formulas, a robot that was inimically opposed to any and all concepts and ideologies that were not compatible with my own.

My ignorance would persist up until recently when i had an experience similar to the supernatural experience that all Christians claim to have, e.g “i heard god talking to me and i seen the light.” However, my experience was corporeal.

i use the analogy because it epitomizes exactly what transpired. i was reading Atiba Shanna’s [AKA James Yaki Sayles] book Meditations On Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth.(1) But it was Atiba Shanna emself talking to me and “the light” grew brighter with each page i read, i began to have a different perspective.

Prior to being aroused from my pontifical stupor i had wrote a response to a poem titled, “White in the Mix” that had been published in the No. 82 Summer 2023 edition of Under Lock & Key, wherein i criticized the author’s idea of not seeing color as it related to “race” and proceeded to provide what at the time i thought to be insight into what is the criterion for the “white” revolutionary. Who else better than me to elucidate this? A former member of the White Panther Organization and the epitome of an anti-racist. One would assume that i was more than capable of elucidating race/racism.

Instead of being published my letter was met with criticism, which i automatically assumed was subjective, due to the disputes i had with the komrades of MIM. However, this assumption was a manifestation of my own subjectivism. The truth is my criticism was based on binary opposites “Black” and “White” (racial categories), thusly the komrades rightfully deemed my response to the poem as being contradictory to NARN and a further perpetuation of the myth of “race.”

It is difficult not to perceive everything through a racialized lens when the truth is that hundreds of years of racial oppression have ingrained this way of thinking in our minds. Even thinking of ourselves as “Whites” or “Blacks” testifies to the success the colonizers have had in undermining Our conscious as human beings.

Moreover, said thinking upholds the concept of “race” and promotes racialized thought and practice that ultimately impedes the advancement of national and social revolution.

Even though the author of the poem claims to see no color (which is an idea promoted by the conservative bourgeoisie that perpetuates the concept of “white” power) it is obvious that his ideas and ideals are based on society’s racialized paradigms, moreover, it is evident that the komrade has yet to understand that until he commits class suicide/white privilege suicide, that he is indeed complicit in the oppression of the oppressed nations that is perpetuated by the oppressor nation – the Amerikan nation.

As Komrade Atiba emphasized:

“To commit class suicide means to”Kill” the (class) consciousness of the bourgeois/capitalist order that exercises hegemony in our lives and minds. We tend to think of revolutionary activity as that which takes place outside ourselves – as overthrowing the capitalist institutions and property relations – but We seldom think of the need to uproot the bourgeois ideas in our own minds, to repudiate the values, morals, and the entire range of beliefs that We now hold “in so far as they are bourgeois.”(2)

Class suicide was first a theory engendered by the great Amilcar Cabral, therein he was referring to the Afrikan petty-bourgeoisie (a very small elite class in 1960s-1970s Afrika). This class were the only “natives” with a full colonial style education, had been to universities in europe and amerikkka and had returned and been hand-picked by the colonialists to work in the government public institutions. Similar to DuBois’ Talented Tenth Theory, Cabral saw that the Afrikan masses would have to be led by that petty-bourgeoisie, but to prevent the reality of a new bourgeoisie and neo-colonial establishment in native face, the petty-bourgeoisie had to commit “class suicide.” They had to bring what made them “elite” and lay it at the feet of the masses, allow those masses to gain and learn from the elite’s expertise and learn from the masses.

What that meant was forgetting the subtle notions of white supremacist theories they had been implanted with from youth. Forget the notion that all things Western are superior, come back to “the source”, return to the culture of your native people, relearn your native tongue, remove the Western name you’ve adopted, the clothes, the wealth and privilege. PAIGC (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde) cadre were stationed in the countryside engaging with the peasants, seeing their daily lives, creating the institutions and programs to improve their lives (from the masses to the masses). The peasant masses were getting political education, and the tools needed to defeat the enemy. This was “class suicide” for them. Similar to Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China around the same time.

Now as it pertains to the Euro-Amerikkkan committing “class suicide” the process will be different, but to make it as clear as possible you will have to objectively forget your whiteness, while simultaneously utilizing it to gain advantages for the New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM).(3) You would be required to engage in the most extreme revolutionary factions instead of hiding in the comfort of your whiteness.

As the Komrad Triumphant advised me: “Forget your whiteness even when those around you (especially New Afrikans) try their damnedest to make you remember. Forget your whiteness.”

Our class is the lumpen, and here in Amerikkka We’ll have to simultaneously organize as a class for itself while also committing class suicide, by abandoning the culture (ways of living/thinking) that accompanies the lumpen, in favor of an international proletarian class analysis. This abandonment is the fundamental function of class suicide and white privilege suicide.

When committing to such an endeavor one must be scientific in their thinking and not be like the “whites” Malcolm X spoke of, those who join the struggle for New Afrikan liberation because they are seeking to appease their conscience for all the horrible things done to New Afrikans and other oppressed nations by the oppressor nation.

Most “whites” will not be able to make such a commitment, not until there is a deep societal change among those who make up the oppressor nation and this is fine, because the New Afrikan nation doesn’t need the support of the colonial-oppressor system. In fact, as New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalists not only are we actively seeking to resist all oppression and the malignant sickness of the colonial oppressor-system but we are striving to build our own independent nation that would enable us to provide our people with food, shelter, clothes, education and other such essentials for Our own self-determination.

In closing, i want to express that i know there will be many who vehemently disagree with what has been said and will assume that i’ve taken this “wanna be” to a whole other level and i am laying the foundation for the New Afrikan identity to be hijacked by “white” people. My response to you is this:

Let me hasten to point out: By “New Afrikans” i don’t mean “black” people. i mean those who came to identify their nationality as “New Afrikan,” and who thus exhibit the consciousness and embrace the values and philosophy… those who pursue the goals of the “New Afrikans.” To me, to be a “New Afriakn” is not about the color of one’s skin, but about one’s thoughts and practice. i know that not everyone agrees with this, but that’s their problem…“(2)

Free the Land
Da Real One

Postscript: It’s only right that i give a clenched Fist Salute and a sincere thank you to the Komrad Triumphant of T.E.A.M.O.N.E & The Brow Box Collective for being so instrumental in my political development as a New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalist. Thank you, Komrad, you walk it how you talk it.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We commend this comrade for making a public self-criticism following the feedback ey received from us and further study. We are all in the process of transforming ourselves, so engaging with others with shared goals, who have studied dialectical and historical materialism, is a necessary and ongoing part of all of our political development. We cannot change society without changing ourselves. We have a short study pack on the theory of Intercommunalism, which is the ideology this author has promoted in the past, if others are interested.

One of the main reasons we officially began using New Afrikan in place of “Black” was for the reason this comrade gives.(4) Similarly we have come to use Euro-Amerikan more consistently in place of “white.” The terms Black and white have their place and are still used and understood by the masses, but using them too much reinforces the racial constructs of the oppressor as this author explains.

In our study of the recently released Collected Works of the Black Liberation Army we also came across their very explicit inclusion of all revolutionary people into the Black or New Afrikan nation. Again, the author rightly offers some caution here. And we’d go further to stress the historical errors that have been forced onto oppressed nations by integrating with oppressor nations in the revolutionary struggle. We also believe different oppressed nations face different conditions that often warrant separate parties, while recognizing their struggles to be the same overall and favoring as much unity as possible. The answer is going to have to be determined in each situation. But clearly we must stand by the principle that (Euro-)Amerika is an oppressor nation and an ally of imperialism and not a base for revolution.

Notes: 1. for a review of this book see: Wiawimawo, May 2011, Education of the Nation, Under Lock & Key 20
2. James Yaki Sayles, 2010, Meditations On Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth, Kersplebedeb and Spear & Shield Publications.
3. A California prisoner, February 2017, To Identify as White is to Identify as Oppressor, Under Lock & Key 55
4. MIM(Prisons), November 2013, Terminology Debate: Black vs. New Afrikan, Under Lock & Key No. 35.

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[Black Lives Matter] [Principal Contradiction] [National Liberation] [Revolutionary History] [National Oppression] [Political Repression]
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Stripping Black History From Prisons

“What makes you think you DESERVE to celebrate Black History Month”- SIS Officer at USP Tucson

These were the words that were spoken to me a few years ago, here at United States Penitentiary - Tucson, shortly before I was illegally put in the SHU (Special Housing Unit) for 40 days.

Before this incident, i was the Secretary of the Black History Month Committee here for three consecutive years, and had more experience in the committee than anyone else over the last five years. But on this particular year, as I reflect back on this, the Education Department did absolutely nothing for us in preparing for Black History Month. We were promised the resources, but as we worked from November of the previous year to February of that next year, we found that when it was time to promote Black History Month, there was nothing set aside for us to carry out any of the activities promised.

We had nothing.

I am writing this now, in February 2024, and I am again at the realization that USP Tucson, from the Warden on down, refuses to allow us to celebrate our history. Not one memo, not one event, nothing is scheduled to celebrate our history, and I can’t help but reflect back to that day where a Caucasian SIS officer (Special Investigative Services) had the audacity to tell me, to my face, “What makes you think you DESERVE to celebrate Black History Month”?

What we are seeing is a stripping not only of Black History, but of identity as well. Prisons are mandated to help rehabilitate people, and one way to do that is to reinforce their identity. There is a certain level of pride that each individual gets when he or she knows that they are part of a greater group of people. I speak as an African American, but this also applies to every other nationality, from Native Americans to Mexican Americans to even Caucasians. When prisons strip us of an identity, it makes them similar to how slaves were treated in our American history.

The slaves brought to America came with nothing, and were systematically stripped of everything they once were, and degraded to a level of inhumanity that surely is an abomination to God. Has much changed in 2024, when prisons continue to practice slave tactics?

In that year we didn’t have Black History Month, I was upset at this, and began to do what I always do… write. I wrote essays about how staff deliberately sabotaged Black History Month, and intended to mail them to the outside world.

But a Caucasian staff member in Education read my works, and refused to allow me to have them back, after I had printed them. She called them “inappropriate.” I questioned her as to why I cannot have my works, which actually I have a right to have.

Her first answer was, “Well, I was with (the staff member), and you don’t know what you’re talking about”-

Wait! I am the SECRETARY of the Black History Month Committee!! I keep ALL the notes! How is this Caucasian woman going to tell me that I don’t know what I’m talking about?? At this point, I was already getting angry at how I am being challenged of my First Amendment right about MY history.

Her second excuse was that I can’t have it back because I made multiple copies. This too, was bogus, because even though the general body of the letter was the same, it was very clear at the top of each copy who I was sending it to. Her argument was based on that you could not make exact, identical copies at the same time – I had every right to make three copies if they are going to three different entities.

Her third argument was, “If you want to write a grievance, you can get a BP”. This also was a lie, and what she now was doing was curbing my right to the First Amendment, shifting me to use a VERY flawed grievance procedure. What she was doing was quite illegal.

So, upset, I went back and wrote a new essay, “Is (staff member) Breaking The Law?”. I used Federal Bureau of Prisons policies, legal cases and other resources to prove, without a doubt, that this Caucasian officer was intentionally blocking me from sending these letters out.

When she read my essay, she called for backup, and the SIS officer came, took me out to the hallway and threatened to put me in the SHU (Special Housing Unit). He said, “I know how to play this game”, and then, as I tried to make my case, he said the quote I started this essay with.

My answer to this Caucasian man… “I don’t think a white man can tell a Black man, who has been the Secretary of the Black History Month Committee the last three years anything about his history”.

To this man, and to many Caucasian officers here at USP Tucson, we don’t “deserve” to celebrate our history; we don’t “deserve” to have an identity. Yet, they are quick to take vacation on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday.

The last several years here at USP Tucson, the Warden has blocked attempts for us to celebrate our history. Even now, as we came off a malicious and retaliatory 36-day lockdown, after refusing to give us stamps to mail our loved ones, after filthy showers, after feeding us spoiled peanut butter, after limiting our phone calls to a single five minute call a day, after at least three deaths due to medical neglect, and as many homicides – staff here at USP Tucson will not relent in their treatment of human beings in this prison.

It’s not just Black History they are stripping from us . . . it’s humanity they are stripping from everyone. When prisons refuse to acknowledge the captives as human beings, when they ignore the simple basics of human kindness, when they condone illegal acts done by staff, and do nothing about it, they have transported the entire environment backwards two hundred years.

It’s funny, that incident with the Caucasian officer in Education and the SIS officer happened, as I write this, about 5 years ago… those officers still work here. They were never punished in any shape or form for their prejudiced views. I however, was put in the SHU for 40 days, then found guilty of a bogus charge. It took me at least six months to appeal to eventually have that charge expunged, based off simple information that, if the Caucasian Disciplinary Officer had read, she would have thrown the charge out. But after my appeal to her during my hearing, she said to me:

“I just don’t believe she would lie to me”.

So, because I’m Black, and a prisoner, I lose the argument simply because my opponent is a Caucasian female that is a staff member. My level of equality as a human being is stripped, because my status as an prisoner is inferior.

We won’t celebrate Black History Month here at USP Tucson, because staff apparently don’t believe we “deserve” it. So, I’ll celebrate it for everyone here, and refuse to let this prison strip me of my humanity. That makes them less of a human than me.


MIM(Prisons) responds:Understanding history is about understanding where we came from and where we are going. This is the real power of history that the oppressor has tried to keep from the oppressed for hundreds of years. The system is happy to promote an identity for prisoners – one of people who are not deserving, of people with less rights, of people who are less intelligent. There are many identities we can take on, positive and negative. We do not promote a “white identity” because that is the identity of an oppressor. As communists we identify with the Third World proletariat – that is the revolutionary class of people under imperialism that offers solutions and a path from oppression.

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[Palestine] [Idealism/Religion] [Principal Contradiction] [ULK Issue 84]
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Are I$raelis Israelites?

The illegal, inhumane, and barbaric war of genocide taking place against the people of Palestine must be addressed from a historical perspective without fear of retaliation or being “white balled” by the white supremacist and neo-fascist power structure.

FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real, and there is nothing more false than the Khazarian Settler-KKKolony in Northeast Afrika (Canaans) posturing as the descendants of the ancient Israelites and committing mass genocide against its melanated population.

Revolutionaries, community activists, and all good-hearted people cannot afford to tiptoe around this issue. To continue to call these people “Israel” is to continue to perpetuate a blatant lie and become co-conspirators to one of the greatest frauds and identity thefts in modern day history. They are not Israelites and have no historical connection to the land. They are invaders who have seized control of the major means of production – backed by U.$. and British imperialism – and turned Palestine into a neo-KKKolony where its people must fight for their national liberation and self-determination. Just as AmeriKKKa is an imperialist empire consisting of neo-KKKolonies fighting for their self-determination from their invaders, conquerors, and oppressors, Palestinians are doing the same.

These invaders, like every other rapist, abuser, and tyrant, have the audacity to blame the victim for their victimization when they decide to stand up straight so that their oppressor falls off their back. They claim everything was going well until several members of Hamas decided to invade their territory and kidnap and murder dozens of innocent “Israeli” children, wimmin and men. I’m pretty sure all rapists think that their savage actions are going well until their victim gets hold of something to defend themselves, and fight back!

History is often defined by its conquerors, and especially when that conqueror is in control of the propaganda networks, they are able to shape the narrative for the future generations to come. These Khazarians are no exception! We must collectively, through international solidarity, diametrically oppose the systemic lie that they have introduced to the world through religion, geo-politikkks, the mis-education system, and the media.

The falsification of consciousness is so prevalent that they have conceived the world that people can actually be anti-semetic against them, when in fact:

  1. There isn’t even a son named “Sem” in all of the Torah. Noah had three sons: Shem, Khem, and Japheth.

  2. “Ashkenaz”, a name which at least 90% of these modern day Khazarians identify themselves as, are descendants of Japeth (Gen. 20:2-3), Since they, by their own admission, are not Shemitic (descendant from Shem’s bloodline, not “religion”), no one can possibly be “anti-shemetic”, “anti-semetic” or whatever else you want to call it.

Words matter. Historical materialism matters. “Anti-semetic” is a politikkkal term they’ve developed in order to prevent those who become conscious of their international zionist agenda from speaking out or engaging in the growing struggle against kkkapitalist exploitation and white supremacy of which they are dead at the center of.

Khazarians in 740 began to practice much of the spiritual discipline, culture, and way of life of the Hebrew Israelites. History reveals that prior to this decision these Khazarians were already at war with Arabs and Muslims from 642-652 and again from 722-739 in what is called the “Arab-Khazarian Wars”.

When the Khazarian Kingdom began to decline, the national identity of the Khazarian people got absorbed by other European nations that they amalgamated into, but holding on to the only thing that would always be able to identify them no matter where they ended up so that one day they could come back together and resurrect their Khazarian empire: “Ashkenazi Judaism”.

During the Moorish rulership of Southern Spain, the great Hebrew Israelite chief minister of the Caliph of Cordova, a diplomat, scholar, physicians, and financial advisor, Hasdai Ibn Shaprut, shared multiple correspondences with King Joseph of Khazaria where Joseph admits that his bloodline and that of the Khazarian people go back to Japheth not Shem!

The reason this is so important to point out is because it destroys the lie that they are some “chosen people” based on spiritual text, with some divine rights of dictatorship over Afrikan people and other people of color. What is going on in Northeast Afrika is not a war between the “white” descendants of Isaaq and the “black” descendants of Ishmael – it is a war for national liberation against foreign domination… period! They have perverted the text and twisted it for their own opportunistic benefit.

To continue to allow this to go unchecked and label people who are actually descendants of Abraham “anti-semetic” – rather Hebrew Israelite and Hebrew Khemite – will allow those who are actually being “anti-shemetic” to continue to drop hundreds of bombs on innocent people who just want to be free. Since 7 October 2023, a little over 2 months ago, the Khazarians have murdered over 20,000 Palestinians! And I understand the reluctance of some people to speak this truth. The world has witnessed what these imperialists have done to the Nick Cannon’s, Kanye’s, and Kyrie’s, not to mention the Afrikans and others who dare to speak truth to power. But all oppressed people everywhere have a humyn right to resist KKKolonialism – white supremacy. We have an obligation to our ancestors and a responsibility to our children to say that oppression anywhere affects us everywhere!

Whenever Europeans are oppressing people of color, just already expect them to come up with a clever word in order to cover up their savagery, while at the same time discouraging you to extinguish the fire of your revolution. That is what they’ve done, and that is what they will always do! They will call your response “reverse racism”, “woke theory”, “anti-semetic”, etc. But as a conscious Hebrew Israelite and a dedicated New Afrikan revolutionary nationalist, I say it’s time to call it what it is: Revolutionary Justice!


Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) responds: We have much unity with this comrade’s conclusions regarding the role of I$rael in the world, and the relationship of oppressed peoples to I$rael as an arm of the U.$. empire. This article validates some of the things we wrote in ULK 79 about the overall alliances of the New Afrikan masses who are followers of Black Hebrew Israelites(1) and in ULK 80 on Kyrie Irving and Ye(fka Kanye West).(2)

We are not scholars of ancient civilizations, and will not try to set the records straight here on the history of Khazarians. What we do know, is that similar ideas to those above have been used by conspiracy theorists who believe that Khazarians have controlled the world for 100s of years, even calling people like the Bolshevik revolutionaries V.I. Lenin and Joseph Stalin Khazarian Satanists. Clearly such ideas have strayed far from historical materialism into the realm of fantasy. Therefore we caution the author above, and our readers regarding these ideas.

Certainly there is much to be learned by studying ancient civilizations. But what we won’t learn is who is controlling things in our world today and why. And while the bible has historical value, it is not a document of factual history. I$rael today exists by the grace of U.$. imperialism and its military industrial complex. We must attack Zionist oppression, without succumbing to idealistic thinking. Conspiracy theories that attempt to explain all of history are such idealistic thinking, that serve to disempower the masses at the hands of an all-powerful oppressor.

While playing with the words of the fascist conspiracy theorists, the author above does not fall into these traps in what ey wrote. Ey correctly points out that European settlers are using anti-semitism as a shield to their genocidal project in the interests of imperialism. And we join em on the side of the oppressed nations against imperialism.

1. MIM(Prisons), October 2022,Some Discussions on Bad Ideas Pt. 1, Under Lock & Key 79.
2. A New York prisoner, January 2023, Sorting Out a Defense of Kyrie Irving, Under Lock & Key 80.

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[Palestine] [National Liberation] [U.S. Imperialism] [Principal Contradiction] [ULK Issue 84]
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The Significance of the Palestinian Liberation Struggle

In the United $tates, prisons mean war against the oppressed nations. In occupied Palestine, war means prison for the Palestinians. Two sides of the same blood-stained coin which built the richest empire in hystory. Imperialism considers war to be a legal method of resolving issues, in deeds if not in words.

The struggle for Palestine is a national liberation struggle. The only consistently revolutionary class that may overthrow the bourgeoisie is the proletariat, but imperial domination can unite a whole nation against their occupiers for the establishment of independence. If independence is a precondition for the dictatorship of the proletariat, then Palestine’s struggle is revolutionary and progressive. If I$rael is an arm of imperialism, then the Palestinian struggle against them is revolutionary and progressive. Leadership of the proletariat in that struggle would intensify its revolutionary character, but it is revolutionary even without the proletariat in the vanguard. When Palestinian communists align themselves with all revolutionary forces against I$rael in a united front, that is a correct policy. We have a clear hystory on this subject, and this practice is what led to the victory of the Chinese people in creating the most advanced socialism yet.

We in the United $tates face the strongest enemy in humyn hystory, and I$rael is an arm of the United $tates in the Middle East. Everything which weakens I$rael weakens the United $tates, which puts us in a stronger position. Our comrades fighting in Gaza today are putting us in a position of advantage for the final victory of the oppressed in Occupied Turtle Island. To oppose the struggle in Palestine is to oppose that which objectively weakens our enemy, to leave behind real friends who are fighting real enemies.

“Leftist” support for I$rael in this war is often concealed by a position against Hamas. This anti-Hamas, but allegedly pro-Palestine, sentiment is often based on the supposedly inhuman crimes that have been committed. On top of this being a complete deflection from the primary question of imperialism, the claims surrounding such crimes as the decapitation of infants have zero evidence behind them. Even bourgeois press has shown that the claims are based on videos which show no beheadings, only IDF soldiers claiming that the events occurred.(1) Media campaigns in support of imperialist interventions can go much further and be many times more difficult to uncover than what we are dealing with here. This is a particularly obvious example of an imperialist lie, and the propaganda will not always be so easy to see through. Therefore, in addition to exposing blatant falsehoods, we also need to be able to separate what makes a movement an ally or enemy and what doesn’t, and be able to understand what line the media is attempting to push when they tell a particular story.

The media will tell us that Hamas is committing heinous crimes, killing babies and civilians. We need to ask why they are deflecting from the principal contradiction in the world today. We need to ask who weakens empire, and critically support those who do. We need to ask who strengthens empire, and make ourselves their enemy. That is what it means to understand what is principal and what is secondary. Contrary to popular belief, the moral position of communists is not to do with concepts like eternal justice and true liberty. Communists have one moral position: we are for those actions which strengthen the international proletariat. We understand that the work of Hamas as a whole strengthens the international proletariat. Therefore we understand that they are the allies of the oppressed and we align ourselves alongside them.

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free

  1. https://www.snopes.com/news/2023/10/12/40-israeli-babies-beheaded-by-hamas/
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[Racism] [Principal Contradiction] [National Liberation] [ULK Issue 82]
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Affirmative Action Policies Never Addressed the National Question

For all it’s self-proclaimed enlightened ways, U.$. imperialism continues to uphold the myth of race in everything it does. Enter the Supreme Court with their historic decision to end affirmative action in higher education. While the “race-conscious” policy did benefit (some in the) oppressed nations, the framework of race, created by the oppressor, continues to setback the progress of the oppressed.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority position, “Many universities have for too long… concluded, wrongly, that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned but the color of their skin… Our constitutional history does not tolerate that choice.”

We are not in the game of integrating oppressed people into the oppressor nation, but affirmative action based on “race” did prove an effective way to do that. Ending it will mean less oppressed nation people in higher education as recent history in California has shown.(1)

However, the racial statistics used to tout the success of affirmative action can be misleading. Because “race” and not income, or zip code, or cultural background are used in many of these statistics, what looks like perfect representation by skin color may be doing nothing to benefit the New Afrikan masses. Extrapolating from some broad statistics, one author estimates that maybe 7 or 8 of 154 “Black” freshman (5%) at Harvard in 2020 were from families defined in the U.$. as impoverished. Whereas, in the general population, 30% of New Afrikan youth are from impoverished households. This article also cites anecdotes saying the vast majority of black faces at Harvard are from bourgeois African families or had one Euro-Amerikan parent. Again, indicating affirmative action was not really benefiting the New Afrikan nation at Harvard anyway.(2)

The passage of the U.$. Civil Rights Act in 1964, which preceded the “affirmative action” practices we know today, was a comprehensive act to outlaw discrimination in what had been a segregated country. This was not just a result of the organizing of the oppressed within U.$. borders, but the pressure from the Soviet Union (though at that time they’d taken up the capitalist road) and China and the broader national liberation movement taking place across Africa, Asia and Latin America. And while progressive changes took place in the United $tates in the 1960s it did not quell the upsurge of national liberation struggles within U.$. borders because it never addressed the national question like the Soviet Union and China did. Rather it continued to institutionalize the concept of race through the new civil rights laws being passed.

By never addressing the national question, things like affirmative action, or Under Lock & Key can be attacked by the imperialist state as “racist.” To the imperialists the oppressed nations don’t exist, so when we talk about New Afrikans or Chican@s or Euro-Amerikans, they censor our literature for “racism.”

We must identify the principal contradiction to keep our eyes on the prize and not get distracted into dead-end politics. The principal contradiction we see under imperialism is nation, as well within the United $tates we say it is nation. This does not mean everyone from an oppressed nation is an ally. We must think in terms of percentages, not in black and white.

In discussing racism in political repression, Triumphant talks about the neo-colonial era. And we echo this sentiment that “skinfolk ain’t necessarily kinfolk.” That Black bourgeoisie are often playing significant enemy roles, in defense of U.$. imperialism.

However, just because neo-colonialism exists, it does not mean that nation is erased and class is all that matters. Neo-colonialism is still national oppression, it’s just a smarter form.

In reality, not seeing race at all is impossible for us in this racist society. Even when speaking of nations, we use phenotypes to classify people; we are still stuck in this model handed down by the European settlers who created “whiteness.” We must develop a political analysis to guide us that is beyond the myth of race and bloodlines, that instead operates in the material reality of nation, which J.V. Stalin defined as " a historically evolved, stable community of language, territory, economic life, and psychological make up manifested in a community of culture."

Comrade USW36 wrote on this topic:

i too, no longer use “Black” and “White” to define people. i’m a “New Afrikan”, Black is “created” by European settlers to enforce their new “white” identity rule. i hope all Rev Nats study Fanon (and Yaki’s “Meditations”), New Afrika, Native Amerika, and New Aztlan can be freed. We can be united and create a true North Amerikan Revolutionary Nationalist United Front to decolonize and delink from this imperialist juggernaut. Black and White identities won’t help us free any of the NA nations (i’d like also to salute New Asian Pacific Islanders).

If Amerika is the “prison house of nations”, if our aim is to weaken it from the inside, if revolutionary nationalism is viable then this isn’t just a path for New Afrikans it’s for us all, even European-settlers if they commit class-suicide. New Afrika isn’t just descendants of Afrika. It’s a scattered and potentially solidified nation with all sorts of “ethnicities”, and too, anyone can be a New Afrikan; shaming people ’cause they’re not “Black” enough or not at all is bourgeois bullshit. Someone like the Euro-Amerikan teacher Rachel Dolezal shouldn’t have been discarded like trash if she lied about her ethnicity; that could be corrected by self-criticism but if she consciously was willing to fight for the liberation of “New Afrika” then she’s a “New Afrikan” it’s that fucken simple. But we all need to wrestle with these contradictions here in the heart of empire.


A better example than Rachel Dolezal is Yuri Kochiyama, who was actually a citizen of the Republic of New Afrika (RNA), joining at its founding in 1968 along with a 17 year-old Mutulu Shakur. Kochiyama was a close comrade of el Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X when they met). As a child of Japanese descent she spent years in a U.$. concentration camp during WWII. The RNA continues to serve as a model for how to address oppression from within the empire. Armed with Maoism, revolutionary nationalism within the belly of the beast can lead us to a world with out racism.

Notes:
1. Nina Totenberg, 29 June 2023, Supreme Court guts affirmative action, effectively ending race-conscious admissions, NPR.
2. Bertrand Cooper, 19 June 2023, The Failure of Affirmative Action, The Atlantic.

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[New Afrika] [Aztlan/Chicano] [National Liberation] [Principal Contradiction] [ULK Issue 81]
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Book Review: “Power to New Afrika - Essays by Comrade Triumphant”

Power to New Afrika book cover

This zine offered a breath of fresh air in terms of political line coming out of the concentration kamps. Imprisoned New Afrika (like Aztlán and other oppressed nations) has plenty of rebels, those rising up or conscious that we stand on the side of the people against the pig. The anger and defiance is strong, but ideology that is strong and stuffed with Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is what is often lacking from the prison writings of today. Power to New Afrika is another gem that contributes to filling this void.

Looking at this zine through a Chican@ lenses, I agreed with the assessment that it was after the assassination of Martin Luther King that the Black vanguard attempted to steer the Black movement onto the next stage of resistance. We of the Republic of Aztlán have also made a similar assessment recently from the data/chatter that tells us the state is planning to assassinate a key figure of the Chicano movement, and our assessment was the same where we feel that the Chican@ vanguard should use this to take Aztlán to the next level of resistance.

On page 10 in the zine, the writer discusses the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (PG-RNA) and how since 1968 at their birth they have been attempting to obtain land “legally,” but a report is cited from a memorandum sent to the FBI director at the time in 1970 J. Edgar Hoover from Special Agent in Charge in Jackson, Mississippi which is titled “Counter Intelligence Operations Being Effected, tangible results (Republic of New Afrika)”:

“Since March 1968… the RNA has been trying to buy and lease land in Mississippi… Counter intelligence measures have been able to abort all RNA efforts to obtain land in Mississippi.”

COINTELPRO is real. When I read this I thought of every doofus who has ever asked me the absurd question: “do you REALLY think COINTELPRO is fucking with us?” I’ve found that the more liberal on the spectrum the less they believe in a COINTELPRO, the more radical you are the more you know how real it is. The fact that the Feds in their own words admit to sabotaging RNA efforts like legally purchasing land tells us that even “legal” efforts are not safe if the state feels that you are a threat.

On page 11 the author correctly identifies the principal contradiction within the New Afrikan nation being between the political-economic force of independence versus political-economic forces of integration. This is also true for the Chican@ nation. Internally, we struggle with getting free and the Ti@ Tomas’ struggles to keep serving massa on the plantation. We see these TI@ Tacos trying to run for a colonizer position in Washington DC or as state governor, while claiming to be revolutionary. The Tom compradors have suckers believing in their foolishness, but the truth is simple – one cannot be considered a revolutionary while aspiring to be, or supporting a U.$. President or governor. U.$. imperialism is the enemy of the world’s majority and in this case, the Trojan Horse tactic will not work.

This zine addresses the battle of ideas that I feel apply to the Chican@ Nation as well. In this writing, the author writes of the “war for the New Afrikan mind” which goes on to describe “independence vs integration” really being a historically dialectical materialist process versus the post-modernist philosophical analysis. This truth needs to also be embraced and thought by all Chican@ cadre today as well. This political line really amounts to life or death to Aztlán. One nourishes and builds the nation, the other poisons and destroys it. One political line wants to burn the plantation down and the other wants to defend it.

It is a misnomer to entertain the notion of Brown, Black, Red, or Yellow “Amerikans,” for the word Amerika is but the name of the white-nation. This zine really unpacks this for the reader particularly, for the Black Nation; but it is mostly applicable to the Chican@ Nation as well.

The slave system is addressed in this zine as well and rightfully so. One cannot give an analysis of colonialism in the U.$. without understanding how the slave system and subsequent “paper” abolishment of slavery play into the role of semi-colonialism today.

What we should understand is that by using the so-called abolition of slavery as a bargaining chip, Amerika was able to at once overthrow the Confederacy while continuing white supremacy by other means. Today we see the same internal struggle within the white nation being carried out by other means via Republican vs Democrat squabbles using the oppressed nations’ wants and aspirations and rights as bargaining chips while at the same time keeping white supremacy intact.

It was refreshing to read how the author describes how a revolutionary nationalist must be a socialist. For the Chican@ Nation this is also true. A revolutionary nationalist is a socialist or a communist in many cases. We overstand that capitalism and imperialism specifically is the source of our despair.

Another great point raised in this zine was on page 37-38 where the author discusses the contradictions among the people, and specifically discusses the most influential orgs for New Afrika of the time (1907-1925) being the NAACP, Garvey’s UNIA, and the African Blood Brotherhood (ABB). According to the author, the ABB was founded by “proletarians,” and thus had the leading line being led by Black Marxists. Ey goes onto say:

“ABB and the UNIA were both highly successful in organizing the broadest masses of our nation as well as linking our struggle concretely with the international anti-imperialist struggle. For this reason we say that they advanced our people further than the NAACP, but they didn’t enjoy the same fame or support on the popular front. This of course is due to their class make up and the fact that the integrationist aspect as always, is aligned with the empire’s agenda. Thus, the colonizer controlled popular front has and will always lend credence to those people and groups, and ideas that in the final analysis, run counter to the interest of our nation.”

This is deep. Big lessons to be gleamed here. For one, the NAACP was and continues to be a group of Black compradors who have worked on reforms, although good deeds do help people on a small scale, the work of liberal orgs like the NAACP also corral people into having faith in Amerikkka and promoting the idea of working within a capitalist system will free people from oppression. This accounts to creating more supporters of empire. For this reason orgs like NAACP for Black folks, or National Council for la Raza (NCLR) and their kind for Brown folks, are simply the labor bureaucracy for bourgeois politics and thus are promoted widely by the U.$. government and its propaganda media arm. Meanwhile, real revolutionary orgs like the Republic of New Afrika, the Republic of Aztlán, the Communist Party of Aztlán (Maoist) or MIM(Prisons) will not be given Hollywood style commercials nor be invited to the White people House in Washington, D.C. anytime soon to sing x-mas carols around the tree (not that anyone wants to). The point is that Tomism is rewarded and the Uncle Tom orgs of all stripes are given resources to become popular and the real ones are smothered like a baby in the crib to use Lenin’s quote.

The mostly unconscious masses (and oftentimes self-proclaimed “communists”) often erroneously connect popular with correctness, or numbers in an org as correct political line. This is very wrong. The colonizers work hard to make this so. When we hear on the news about Amerikkka pouring billions into its war machine, understand that a part of this is promoting these Chican@ or New Afrikan Uncle Tom orgs that tell its members to vote for an enemy political candidate.

This zine is now required reading for members of our organization. Free New Afrika! Free Aztlán! Free the land!

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[Peace in Prisons] [Organizing] [Gender] [Principal Contradiction] [California] [ULK Issue 80]
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Gender, Nation and Class Divides - Discussion of ULK 79

Thank you for Under Lock and Key No. 79 (could just as well be called Under Division and Unity). I could not help but draw a parallel between 2 articles. “Some Discussion on Bad Ideas Pt. 1” and “Show Proof to Build Unity”.

First, in “Show Proof to Build Unity” MIM reminds us that the reintegration policy is a strategy to “displace the big four lumpen orgs”. The divide and conquer tactic is a correct analysis although somehow avoids the subject implied which was/is: Unity with the biggest ‘lumpen group’ (sex offenders) as means to fight the real enemy (CDCR).

Perhaps it is fear that prevents any one sex offender from organizing. Fear of hate, after all hate is scary and dangerous especially when it is NOT justified. What does MIM propose? Does the sex offender boldly call for Unity with the prisoners that hate; or in reality need someone beneath themselves as a means to tolerate their own reflection in the mirror?

Does MIM propose the sex offender organize with other sex offenders? He prefers to keep his commitment ‘offense’ secret because the moment he attempts to unite he lets everyone know that he is the designated scapegoat thus opening himself up for attack, essentially a dangerous invitation.

Much safer to stay quiet, isolated although silence is complicit. Silence concedes that it is somehow ok to hate sex offenders when the reality is; hate for sex offenders is hate of self. Hate for sex offenders is simply a need to place someone beneath self as a means to tolerate ones own reflection in the mirror. It is a self conscious advertisement that the haters’ bad acts are much, much worse than any perceived ‘crime’ of having sex. Mostly because everyone is guilty of having sex. This hypocritical aspect is further proof that hate of sex offenders is really hate of self. The delusion that sex is somehow a crime of the worst nature is paper thin, held together only by silence, fear, and hate.

Silence, fear and hate are powerful weapons that CDCR uses for control. Does anyone wonder how 3 pigs keep control of 200 prisoners? The haters need loom no further than his own reflection in the mirror for that answer.

The delusion that sex is a crime is only a manifestation of one’s ego. An ego that requires someone; anyone to be worse than self. The haters must truly look at themselves and ask if CDCR oppression is great enough to drop their own ego. CDCR knows that haters will not drop their ego and this is how CDCR keeps everyone captive in chains and cages. Cages built out of ego, silence, fear and hate.

The haters must ask themselves if they can unite with the largest group of prisoners in prison because sex offenders are much, much deeper than any one hater knows. It is the silence; the secret, the dirty little secret that has allowed hate to grow into a uncontrollable big monster. The silence that has allowed the pigs to brand even greater numbers of regular, normal people with the brand of sex ‘offender’. The fear of hate that forces silence is the cause of division. Division that gives CDCR so much power and control.

In the article “Show Proof to Build Unity” MIM suggests unity with sex ‘offenders’. Perhaps by inherent necessity, it is the sex offender that must call for unity with his haters. The oppressed that must call for unity with the oppressor. Here I see the parallel in the other article “Some Discussions on Bad ideas Pt. 1.” The call for unity with the ‘White Worker’ seems to be a suggestion that oppressed nations call for unity with the oppressor nation by inherent necessity. Because certainly the haters have no desire to escape oppression thru unity.

Forgive me if I interpreted notes of doubt on fear of hate or outright hate for the haters in your article “Bad Ideas.” For instance, the hypothetical paragraph about a white person referring to the masses as “white worker” seemed to label that white person as a “former neo-nazi” isn’t that a little harsh considering the demographics here in 1st world USA?

[Wiawimawo notes: This is a misreading of the article, the article assumed a comrade was a former neo-nazi as an example of when someone’s past or identity might be relevant to a political criticism. But this was just an extreme example, as any Amerikan can show favor to the white workers without being a neo-Nazi, so in that sense we agree.]

The paragraph that “communists have failed the masses for 400 years by supporting the ‘white workers’ and putting the nation contradiction beneath”white worker interests" seems to refer to 3rd world nations rather than the demographics of national 1st world USA. Global perspective would provide clarity because this article was written and provided to and for 1st world USA. Prisoners who only know 1st world demographics, most of whom have never been outside the country.

I found the theme of ‘identity politics’ otherwise correct and intriguing for instance the paragraph about how it is wrong to be enemies with the MASSES for their bourgeois ideas when under oppression, such as patriarchy, homophobia, racism etc… I liked this whole analysis regarding friends being those who have the correct line on xyz and enemies being those who hold reactionary views as an incorrect communist stance.

I like the correct stance specified being “Mao’s method of finding out who our friends and enemies [are] by looking at a group of people’s relations to the means of production, relation to consumption, and relations to other classes.” That word class seems to me to be a definition of economics therefore the only color of class is green. Thus for revolutionary purposes 1st world USA is obviously enemies and 3rd world is friend. But Revolution from within 1st world begs a different question of who are friends and enemies? Who are the MASSES of 1st world USA?

Which brings on the question of “cause of racism” I get it (I think). I can certainly identify with extreme frustration even outright hatred of the haters although I think racism is caused by individual thinking as evidenced by my statement above “Hate for others is really hate for self”. It only seeks justification by blaming others therefore racism is caused by individual thinking and not necessarily by “Feudal European aristocrats (a class of people)” on “the white worker”.

In the same way hate for sex offenders is not perpetrated by any one (class of people) rather it is hate of self and sometimes that hate manifests itself as hate for others. The unavoidable truth however in that cause is individual thinking. Sometimes it only feels like hate when it is nothing more than an individual desire to fit in with all the other haters. Conformity like the Holocaust.

I think it gets a little confusing when we are discussing who the masses are in relation to revolution from within the 1st world USA or from a global revolutionary perspective. Does the author regard emself as american? or a global citizen? Its relevant to eir view of who the masses are. MIM seems to subconsciously realize that hate is in fact caused by individual thinking in the last paragraph “The sub-culture problem” Here ey writes “Line struggle turns into flame wars with no purpose of uniting with others, but exist only to express ones individual self for the cathartic feeling of having the correct line.” Here the people are seeking unity through the correct line even if that line is in reality incorrect, whether that line be a reactionary bourgeois idea on unity with the white worker.

MIM dismisses the unity of “300 college students with a Stalin portrait in their dorm room who thinks the white worker is a friend” however, at least that unity is not grounded in hate and fear, or doubt but conformity in the least and revolutionary at most.

Unity is key to revolution although revolutionaries must decide who are friends and enemies. Revolutionaries must distinguish where to wage revolution from. From the 3rd world against the 1st? or revolution from within the 1st world? MIM conceded conditions within the 1st world are unique, the follow up then is that revolution from 1st world the masses are in fact the white worker. Revolution from 3rd world only against 1st world may see the white worker as enemies. That is historically of course, considering the demographics of the 1st world today which only reinforces mass method of determining enemies and friend on class, class defines the only enemy color as green.

I want to thank MIM for calling on the haters to “Show proof and Build Unity” in ULK No. 79. I echo that sentiment to all that claim to dislike CDCR oppression. Show proof of opposition to imperialism (CDCR). Unite with the largest group of political prisoners, unite with sex offenders, we have a common enemy. Unless anyone really believes that any one ‘crime’ is somehow better than another.

I will give some thought to stepping outside of my self-imposed isolation, my shadow of safety. I think of a way to unite with those that hate me after all someone has to lead and haters obviously have no desire to escape their oppression through unity.


Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) responds: We appreciate this comrade’s thoughtful response to ULK No. 79. It brings up a number of issues i will try to address here with suggestions for further study.

Historically, in the CDCr, and elsewhere, New Afrikan communists and revolutionary nationalists have joined hands with neo-Nazis to unite around common interests as prisoners. These united fronts represented different groups with different interests (for example, white prisoners and New Afrikan prisoners) that had an overlapping interest that came to the forefront. This is similar to the unity of the Communist Party of China with the bourgeois Nationalist Party to fight the Japanese imperialists. After joining forces for a period, many Nationalists went on to fight the Communists, though some joined them. To join in a united front may represent a stage of struggle and not a permanent alliance of interests.

If a group of New Afrikan revolutionaries can join forces, in a principled way, with white Nazis, then certainly the divide between general population and sex offenders can be bridged. The sex offender issue is very persynal for many, but so is the nazi issue for New Afrikans.

We can point to the example of Lucasville, Ohio, outside of CDCr, where the unity between nazi’s and New Afrikans became permanent, however, despite the work of key leaders, the masses of white prisoners did not follow suit. In the case of sex offenders we believe the contradiction is less antagonistic. In other words it is more resolvable.

To an extent we agree with the author about the form hatred takes towards sex offenders being in peoples’ heads. But we don’t agree that it derives from the ideas of the individual. As Jean-Paul Sartre wrote in Anti-Semite and Jew:

“Underneath the bitterness of the anti-Semite is concealed the optimistic belief that harmony will be re-established of itself, once Evil is eliminated. Hist task is therefore purely negative: there is no question of building a new society, but only of purifying the one which exists.”(1)

In Under Lock & Key 55 i contrasted our approach of dialectical materialism to that of metaphysics, that sees things as having an unchanging essence.(2) To many people, the sex offender is evil that must be eliminated and cannot be changed. Yet in prison, these same people will often preach for rehabilitation and parole for other prisoners who have committed crimes. As Sartre points out with the anti-Semite, their views are advantageous in allowing for laziness. There is no need to figure out how to make society better or transform ourselves as the solution is easy – eliminate others.

Above i acknowledge the persynal motivation of hating sex offenders. A very high percentage of people in the criminal injustice system were abused as children, often sexually.

Now where we strongly disagree with the author is with eir implications that sex cannot be criminal because everyone does it. On the contrary, we say under patriarchy that all sex is rape. We also say that all of us in the imperialist core are reforming criminals, whether we are in maximum security in the concentration camps or on the streets in minimum security. Where the author seems to think there is nothing wrong, we think there is something gravely wrong that can only be resolved by changing the whole system. We might call it overthrowing the patriarchy.

The author above is correct to note the difference between the national question internationally and within the United $tates. It is only the delusional who see people in this country as having the same interests as the masses of Central Africa, South Asia, the Andes Mountains, etc. It is much more reasonable to claim that New Afrikans or Chican@s have the same interests as Amerikans. The minimum wage laws apply to all U.$. citizens after all. However, other statistics on wealth, health, segregation, as well as history indicate great divides that still exist and in some cases are increasing.(3)

Therefore, it remains MIM line that the principal contradiction in the world is around nation (oppressed nations vs. imperialism), and the principal contradiction in the United $tates is around nation. Again the author is correct to recognize these as 2 separate, though parallel, contradictions.

One point of argument in favor of the MIM line is you can actually find a lot of support for Amerikan so-called workers from the Third World proletariat and their fighting organizations/communist parties. Yet it is the internal semi-colonies in the United $tates where we find more sober assessments of the role of the euro-Amerikan nation. If there is anything unique that the internal semi-colonies have to offer the International Communist Movement, it is this.

The author refers to sex offenders as the biggest lumpen group. There are currently about 20,000 sex offenders out of about 96,000 prisoners held by the CDCr, so this is not off-base. We have written plenty on the need to unite across these divisions. But this comrade brings up the important topic of how to do so. While this was the topic of ULK 55, which we recommend comrades check out, this is not a question with easy answers. The examples of uniting with nazis mentioned above focused on finding unity around key struggles.

We must recognize though that often those who are the most oppressive towards sex offenders are those who are most friendly with the cops. See the recent grievance response received from a Nevada comrade, where the pig responded with,

“Stop Sniveling! Child molestors have no rights and will get no help from me… If you send me anymore kites I’ll make your life a living hell, do you want to be… labeled a snitch? Maybe I put your charges up on every bulletin board in the quad, or PREA your ass.”

So in response to a request to be returned to the appropriate housing level this pig threatened to falsely label this persyn a snitch among inmates, publicize eir sex offenses to other inmates or to create a false charge against em claiming ey sexually assaulted someone (Prisoner Rape Elimination Act). The pig is openly demonstrating how the state uses these divisions to control the population, especially those fighting for prisoner rights. As long as other prisoners play along with this, unity will require a lot of creativity and looking for opportunities.

In the long run, teaching dialectical materialism and promoting MIM gender line can undercut the deep held beliefs behind these divisions; if not in the old-guard, then in the youth. We know there are many “sex offenders” (whether actual or labelled) out there, we get your letters. Real solutions come through struggle, so we challenge you to join the struggle and find the answers yourself as this comrade is challenging emself to do – and then share them with us in the pages of ULK. As the saying goes, “real recognize real.”

Notes:
1. Jean-Paul Sartre, 1965, Anti-Semite and Jew, Schoken Books: New York, p.43.
2. Wiawimawo, March 2017, White Nationalism and the prison Movement, Under Lock & Key 55.
3. see “Who is Lumpen in the United $tates?” for our analysis.

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[Economics] [Principal Contradiction] [U.S. Imperialism] [Africa] [Theory] [ULK Issue 79]
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A Look At the People's Struggle In Ghana: How Capitalism Exploits

“We can’t afford rent and we’re sleeping outside. The youths are jobless” -Yaw Barimah, Ghanaian taxidriver

In late June 2022, street protests erupted in Ghana’s capital city, Accra. The above quote matches the general feel and demands of the masses who took to the streets. Most lay persons are aware of the current effects of inflation on the daily lives of the average people. Many of us have not made the necessary connection that such inflation and other tricks capitalists use to increase the amount of surplus value extracted from the populace, are inherently apart of the internal dynamics of capitalism itself. Our failure to understand this brings our protests, and dissent to a screeching halt once the point of economic reformism is reached.

In countries dominated under imperialist neo-colonialism, such as Ghana, the weight of economic exploitation is maximized. As conditions sharpen, the exploited classes of Ghana are beginning to stir. On July 4th four teacher’s unions went on strike in opposition to the neo-colonial government’s refusal to pay ‘cost-of-living allowances’ of at least 20% of their wages.

The government holds the position that due to ‘Annual inflation’ now reaching 27.6% and the accompanied reduction in value of the Cedi(1), they’re unable to pay this allowance. The system of imperialism works in a way that parasitic countries like amerika hold economic hegemony over Third World countries like Ghana. This allows for the U.$. currency, the dollar, to dictate the value of the national currencies of Third World countries. What this means for the Ghanaian and other Third World workers is that because their wages are paid in money, the national currency, the amount of their pay, although the same on paper, is devalued along with national currency.

Month-on-Month inflation rates for the Cedi

So the exploitation of the Ghanaian worker has intensified. Their labor is still required to be done at the same rate, same hours labored, same amount of labor, and same wage paid. What has changed is the value of their labor power; with inflation, the amount of cedi it takes to maintain the worker’s needs is greater. Yet wages have not increased, or not increased as much.

To allow the common people to overstand our common interest in overthrowing capitalist dictatorship it is necessary to understand and breakdown plainly, the inner-working of capitalism and how it effects the lives of the people.

In Ghana, as described above, and many other places around the world right now, the mechanism being used by capitalist exploiters is the depression of wages. This generally occurs when the wages of the worker are below the value of their labor power. Labor power here means human work, the sum total of a person’s physical and mental effort.(2) Labor power is the primary factor in society’s production. Uniquely however, only in capitalist society is labor power a commodity.

The process of commodification of labor power manifests itself in two conditions: (1) The worker is ‘free’ in that they can ‘choose’ to sell their labor as a commodity. (2) The worker owns nothing aside from their labor power (what the mind/body can produce). They have no means of productions, or means of living and must sell their labor power to live.

Therefore, what we know as ‘employment’ in the capitalist economy consists of capitalists buying the labor power of the laborer and converting them into hired slaves.

The exploitation of workers is examined by the advent of surplus value. The degree of exploitation is examined by the rate of surplus value. The capitalist devises ways to maximize this rate of surplus value, which brings me back to depression and deduction of wages.

To comprehend wages, we must first overstand that wages are a ‘disguise’. They are a way to fool the people into thinking they’re getting equal value for their labor.

Marx said, “wages are not what they appear to be. They are not the value or price of labor, but a disguised form of the value or price of labor power.”(3) Therefore the capitalists notion that they pay the worker the price of their labor is completely fabricated.

A key in understanding political economy is to comprehend the distinction between labor and labor power. Under capitalism what the worker is selling isn’t labor, but is labor power, which is capable of being commodified, while the former (labor) isn’t.

The next logical question is why? why is labor not a commodity? Commodities exist in their final state prior to being sold, labor doesn’t. Also commodities are exchanged for equal value, according to the law of value. Therefore if labor was a commodity the capitalist should pay the full value created by labor, which would eliminate surplus value (the source of profit), which would eliminate capitalism.

If labor was a commodity, it would have value and that value would be determined by the amount of embodied labor. This can’t happen. How can the value of a phenomenon be determined by the value of itself?

What labor is is the process of labor power. Therefore the wage paid to the laborer is equal to the value of the labor power. In other words, it is the amount required to keep the proletariat as a class alive and working – that is the value of labor power. Whatever extra the worker’s labor power produces above the value of labor power (the wage paid to keep the proletariat alive) is called surplus value and it is what is ‘exploited’ by the capitalist. The wage itself is the chain that binds the exploiter to the exploited. The revolutionary demand must be to abolish the wage system.

The term ‘cost of living allowance’, caused me to think of our need to overstand where the idea of ‘cost of living’ or ‘standard of living’ has its roots.

We begin by concluding that these are two distinctive wages. In the political economy of capitalism, there are nominal wages and there are real wages. Nominal wages are expressed by the wage payment of money.

In our quest to find the ‘cost of living’, we can’t use nominal wages as representation. The cost of living will only be reflected by the amount of means of livelihood which can be bought by the money wage (nominal wage). What the nominal wage can purchase is the cost/standard of living and is called real wages.

Declining value of Ghana’s cedi priced in U.$. dollars

What is taking place in Ghana is that there is a contradiction between the nominal and real wages. The nominal wage is being held in place, while the real wage is in a downward trend, a decline.

“When the purchasing power of money declines and the prices of the means of livelihood go up, the same amount of the nominal wage can only be exchanged for a smaller amount of means of livelihood. Then the real wage falls. Sometimes even if the nominal wage goes up a bit, but less than the increase in prices of the means of livelihood, the real wage will still decline.”(4)

This is essentially what we observe playing out in real time in Ghana and elsewhere. As the above quote alludes to, simple economic reforms like increase in wage will not end this phenomenon, the elimination of surplus value is the only solution. The bourgeoisie will always use the tools of inflation, price increases and rent increases to increase the contradiction between the nominal wage (money paid) and the real wage (what can be bought) to increase the rate of surplus value accumulation (the exploitation of the people).

In conclusion, I want to point out that while the protests organized by Arise Ghana and the work strike by the four teacher’s unions are significant struggles for the daily hurdles of life for the Ghanaian people, the people must be made to distinguish between the causes and effects of economic hardship. When a sick person has a cold and a running nose, they don’t merely get a tissue for the nose without curing the cold itself. The people exploited by imperialism must synthesize the economic and political struggles.

Closing with a word from Marx,

“The working class should not forget: in this daily struggle they are only opposing the effect, but not the cause that produces this effect; they are only delaying the downward trend, not changing the direction of the trend; they are only suppressing the symptom, not curing the disease.”(5)

DOWN WITH CAPITALIST-IMPERIALISM!!!

Notes:
(1) The Cedi is the national currency of Ghana.
(2) Fundamentals of Political Economy, edited by George C. Wang,;Chapt.4,pg.59
(3)K.Marx,Critique of the Gotha Program,selected work of Marx &Engels Vol.3
(4)Fundamentals of Political Economy,chapt.4,pg72
(5)K.Marx, Wages,Prices and Profit, Selected Works of Marx &Engels, Vol.2

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[New Afrika] [Black Panther Party] [Principal Contradiction] [ULK Issue 78]
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Understanding George Jackson

[CORRECTION: This article was published stating that Yogi was Puerto Rican, when ey was actually of Nicaraguan descent.]

Peace Comrades. Recieved the latest issue of the newspaper & passed it off to one of my comrades who just recently got into some trouble. So if possible, I would like to receive that issue & the one before it. Thanks with much love in revolution.

I’m writing this as an article that I’m hoping will get published for the Black August Memorial in hopes that my earnest effort could perhaps clarify things a bit further in terms of matter of perspective & also to educate brothers/sisters on the legendary history of fallen comrade George Jackson.

I read an article that began somewhat vacariously about the fallen comrade & his connection to Hugo Pinnell who was also BGF & how because of George’s wide encompassing views on race & its place in standing to building political/military cadre’s, that this somehow means that we need to abandon the rhetoric that is connected with groups who are primarily concerned with fixing the “Black issue”.

I strongly disagree with the content of that article & not because my views are just so diametrically different, but because I too have wide encompassing views concerning race. However, I’m not under the impression that we need to abandon our quest in building the support that is needed to eliminate the black problem altogether. My first reason for this is largely because I see that Blacks are the only group who is told to forget about the monumental issue that we faced & are still facing. But its also because of the fact that before we can ever hope to build in the concept of global Asiatic unity & eventually begin to merge our support with Europeans, we must first unify among ourselves & use that unity to destroy the Black problem & then we can go on to build with others & help others in their quest for the same sort of thing.

You see, revolution is tied to long range politics. This is so because revolution is so complex due to the fact that everything – places, people, religion, economics, and sociology – will be impacted in a major way. It’s not as simple as a government takeover & let’s be real, if you cannot make revolution into a transmitter that spreads through all cultural variations, then a government takeover here & abroad will never be possible.

George was a people’s revolutionary & by people’s revolutionary I mean people in terms of all humanity. However, even he had to develop into that sort of personhood. Let’s not forget either that George Jackson was a huge history major & for those who really know about George, they attest to the fact that he loved being Black & even wanted to be Blacker. That is not proof that he ever abandoned his concern for his people’s plight nor did he have a lack of pride what comes from a lack of knowledge. Through his studies on Afrikan history as evidence through both of his books, I know he saw the connection between the Original man globally. That means that he saw the black, brown, yellow, red (a variation of brown) as Asiatics & all being the same people, & the fact that we suffered at the hands of the same forces & people was largely his reason to connect with these people.

The Black Guerrilla Family was initially started to combat racism within the confines of an openly oppressive prison system designed against Blacks. Yeah, sure, George did overcome the counterproductive effects of racism that would have surely stunted his growth as a communist revolutionary. But when did the Black Guerrilla Family ever become a family that forgot about the Black issue?

I think for a lot of people who became politically aware, they became like Utopian anarchists in a way. I say this because a lot don’t see the fact that whatever issue they faced like slavery here and abroad is what fueled their passion to become revolutionaries in the first place. I get that we cannot stay blinded by that issue alone, but how do you walk on a broken leg? You have to heal that leg first. It’s like Malcolm said “You can’t stab a man with a 12-inch knife and pull it out 3 inches and ask him why he’s still complaining.” One issue doesn’t trump the next one, however until we get free completely its righteous for brothers to complain and use that concern to solve their problems.

Also as revolutionaries, it’s supposed to be our aim to help others to eliminate their problems, not to beat them over the head for doing so.

I also disagree with the fact that August 21 and the Attica uprising were not events solely about George. Even if you believe the bullshit “story” that the state concocted to assassinate George, this still means that the events that took place and led up to the assassination were about George and this means that the San Quentin 6 coming together was for George. Perhaps it was solidarity across “national” lines but, if Hugo Pinell was Puerto Rican, then how wasn’t he Black? Now I agree that the revolt of Attica was already brewing, however George’s assassination was the match that struck an already heavily gasolined situation.

If anything, no one needs to forget the Black issue, but I mean this in a global sense, not an Amerikan sense, because the original man is everywhere and everywhere he has come into some form of struggle. Read the history books, don’t just get immersed into revolutionary theory. How can you say that you agree with George or any other revolutionary leader if you don’t understand their philosophies which are the result of history and the masterworks of theorists who came before them? I don’t think those who are excited about Juneteenth are wrong at all. But it’s an Amerikan tragedy & that’s what Juneteenth should be about.

For Black August, we shouldn’t be bickering over Black this, Puerto Rican that, we should be trying to show how we all the same people and use that to connect with each other. Globally the Black man is 11 to 1 there’s no reason to argue over why brothers should deviate from Black revolution. If you don’t understand that either you didn’t go through the process of going from A to Z or you understand revolution only as its all inclusive, which is good, but there’s a process to inclusion.

So if you really champion George, then try to understand the core of his philosophy, not by separating Blacks from other Asiatics, but seeing them collectively as one globally.

Peace.


Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade writes, “Blacks are the only group who is told to forget about the monumental issue that we faced & are still facing.” We hear this a lot from people of different nationalities, that they are told to, or that their own people fight for the liberation of others but not themselves. So I would say this is a misperception that probably stems from the overall lack of revolutionary nationalism among all nations entrapped by the United $tates at this time and a result of oppressor nation chauvinism telling the oppressed to essentially “stop complaining.”

We wholeheartedly agree with this comrade on the need to unify within oppressed nations in order to build strong alliances between the oppressed and especially with forces in the oppressor nation (who are most likely to lead us astray). USW has a slogan, “Unity from the Inside Out”, and this is one of the many meanings of that slogan. Like this comrade states, we find the work of prisoners (and oppressed nations in general) finding unity and inclusion amongst each other to be of great important work. We also find it important for two oppressed groups to 100% understand/accept each other’s qualitative differences while building unity as blind unity is bound to fall apart. Malcolm X used the term “Black Revolution” as happening in Asia, Africa, and Latin America; so from that angle we see the positive and internationalist application of this model of thinking.

As we explain in another response on single nation organizing, the main reason we think this is true is because imperialism is the dialectical contradiction between oppressor and oppressed nations. To resolve that contradiction, and to end oppression of all forms in the world today, means prioritizing the struggles of the oppressed nations to overcome the oppressor nations and end imperialism.

As to the term “Asiatic”, we don’t subscribe to the ideas of a differentiation between original or aboriginal people and white people being a demonic derivation of that. And i’ve never seen any indication that George Jackson did either. We would use the term Third World oppressed nations, as the Black Panthers did. It is the contradiction between nations, which is an historical phenomenon, not a biological difference.

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