Under Lock & Key Issue 73 - May 2021

Under Lock & Key

Got $20? Slip it in an envelope and send to POB 40799 SF, CA 94140. Help cover printing costs. help out
[Campaigns] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

Fourth of You-Lie ULK Funding Campaign

help fund MIM(Prisons)

A USW comrade wrote: …the USW Coordinator said, “We are struggling to maintain our programs FIRST because our former comrades left, but second because the people we support for years are not coming out here and putting in work into these programs.” i think first this is a good example of what i was saying to the comrade in NY, u acknowledged first your internal factors, while also acknowledging external ones and these are FIRST and SECOND in that order of importance.

As to what u said i feel WE comrades on the inside have to start treating MIM(Prisons) and USW as if they’re OURS, which in reality they are. The comrade in ULK 72 made a good point about comrades making donations now that i’m sure a lot of Us have received the imperialist pacification funds garnered from imperialist super-exploitation, and oppression. So here in this forum for the supposed advanced and more dedicated comrades i wanna challenge us all to donate what We can even if its just stamps, and thereby help OUR comrades, teachers, and supporters at MIM(Prisons) get some of the other programs up and running again. That’s called resolving a contradiction internally!

For years, MIM(Prisons) had tried to raise funds to publish ULK more frequently, well, now WE comrades got $$$ and instead of giving that shit back to the enemy state lets invest in OUR independent institutions, and there-by invest in OUR growth and development. i’m putting my $$ where my mouth is, i’ve already sent the comrades 30 stamps and will be sending 30 more with this letter, for a total of 60. WHO GONNA MATCH ME, COMRADES????


MIM(Prisons) adds: We’ve decided to print this commentary addressed to other USW leaders for all of our readers. Turns out the USW leaders have stepped up big time! In March and April of 2021 we received the most donations in 2 months that we’ve received in over 3 years. And back then we had a lot more subscribers.

For years we campaigned to get our readers in prison to fund 10% of the costs of ULK, but never reached the goal. Well in the last few months we’ve received donations from the inside totaling about 33% of the cost of this issue! This is due to 3 things: 1) our mailing list shrunk, decreasing our costs; 2) we made changes to how we do ULK so that it is cheaper; 3) comrades stepped up with big donations.

However, this was only about 10 comrades who contributed this money, and over 90% of the money came from comrades who are USW leaders. We’d hope and expect that USW leaders contribute more than others. But we doubt these comrades will be able to keep up this pace alone. So the next phase of our funding campaign is to bring in donations from the rest of you.

We also must recognize that our donations would have been larger if we could accept checks. A number of people attempted to send us checks last month. However, as we indicate in every issue of ULK and elsewhere, we cannot do anything with checks made out to MIM. Especially if you are having your family send us $5, please don’t waste time and money on money orders, just have them send us the $5.

With the success of Ehecatl’s call, we have decided to do what many organizations do and have an annual fund drive. This will help you keep track of when it’s time to renew your contributions. And we’ve chosen the Fourth of You-Lie imperialist holiday as our day to raise money for truth-telling, independent media.

At our current rate of distribution, if you send us 7 stamps by 4 July 2021 you will have covered the cost of your subscription for one year. That’s it. Seven stamps every 4th of July for the voice of the anti-imperialist movement Under Lock & Key to your door. Please help out!

chain
[Theory] [Organizing] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

Do We Need a Party Yet?

fist and sickle USW

Karl Marx was writing at a time when bourgeois democracy had triumphed, and political parties ruled the day. These political parties represented the various oppressive classes, primarily the bourgeoisie itself. A radical idea at the time was to form a party that was for and by the proletariat.

V.I. Lenin led the first successful project to build a proletarian party, a Communist Party, and take power from the hands of the oppressors and put it in the hands of the oppressed. Lenin left us with many lessons on how to do this, how such a party should be organized and how it should operate. The Party as the vehicle for the transfer of power from the oppressor to the oppressed has been a foundation of revolutionary science ever since.

The Maoist Internationalist Movement began in 1983. In 1990 the first MIM party, MIP-Amerika, was formalized. In 2006, the Party dissolved and put out a plan for a new cell structure for the MIM. In 2007, MIM(Prisons) formed as a cell. There remains no functioning parties within the MIM today.(see Continuity and Rupture: A Counter-Narrative to JMP’s History of Maoism for more on MIM timeline)

A CA USW comrade: “[The journal] Kites hit it square on the head though as MIM has said we really don’t have a vanguard. But I thought Kites’ pointing out a squandered opportunity in 2020 on point. This is our job, to seize opportunity out of the objective situations and especially the crisis amongst the enemy itself. The only thing missing regarding the external factors (we can’t control) is 3rd world revolutionary revolts. But we have no mass support but 2020 should’ve been a god-send for that. And it wasn’t.”

Actually, MIM has never said we don’t have a vanguard. MIM has always said the vanguard is the most advanced political line, which could be held by a tiny organization or even one individual when conditions are very undeveloped. What this comrade gets right is our situation remains very undeveloped.

We won’t get into a deep analysis of revolutionary forces here. We do think 2020 was an opportunity to expand our influence that we could have done more with if we were stronger. But the essential character of the U.$. population did not, and has not changed from 2019 or from 2001. The vast majority in this country benefit from the current imperialist order.

MIM(Prisons) has argued that the cell structure makes sense at this strategic stage, even within a Leninist model, because we are not vowing for state power at this time, or tomorrow. Another USW comrade in Federal prison contends that the lack of a party:

“complicates the task of implementing a totalizing strategy for revolution and building the mass base to carry it forward.”

This comrade argues that we need a united leadership to guide us down the correct road now. We touched on the inherent contradiction of the cell structure in our Reassessing Cell Structure 5 Years Out where we pointed out that it allows for one cell to decide its time to form a party, while others disagree. If only that were the main problem we were facing today.

The question is, do we need a party for a united strategy? And what are the downsides of moving too quickly into a Party formation to try to achieve that? We actually have a question about the weaknesses of the a party structure in our introductory study course. Here are some recent answers:

"B.D.S.: Bad leadership could cause death of the movement

Ocelotl: Easier to target and infiltrate

Iashstiem: Security is more easily compromised

Adonis Salvo: More difficult to control and keep organized and focused

The Sober Souljah: Slacking in security by accepting strangers

F.L.A.V.A. 1: It will bring more of a spotlight on the party depending on its action in the revolution

Anarchy in VA: Prioritizing actions to take

Jups: Snitches/spying break down organization"

The primary answer, and the primary reason given by MIM for adopting the cell structure, was security. The second reason offered by comrades here is a fear of putting all your eggs in one basket type of argument. If we can allow for a diversity of approaches, we have more possibilities for success. This could be especially important in the early phases of our development as a movement. If five people come together and form a “Party” all we have is five self-appointed leaders. MIM(Prisons) often mentions the development of leadership that occurs through the forced self-reliance within small cells. It is when we have cells around the country who can elect leaders to represent them in a Party that such a project becomes viable.

A CA prisoner comments: "I was very impressed with ULK’s answer to the Potash book on Tupac. Until now I did not know that anyone other than myself was aware of the extent the intelligence community is involved in eliminating dissidents of their empire and the psychological warfare against civilians in the U.S. thru COINTELPRO and other intel ops against civilians. I was astonished to have my innermost suspicions confirmed by ULK. With the elimination of our leaders, we can not succeed thru unity, We must adopt independent cells as a model as you are obviously aware, every time a potential leader arises that can restore basic human rights and dignity and even freedom itself, the U.S. government is quick to eliminate our leader.

“And so you are correct in educating the People… Thru mass education, hopefully the People will awaken and do the work independent of any one leader, as a duty to the idea of freedom, not as a part of a bid for acceptance… True freedom can only come from socialism… We face a giant and to truly succeed we must be very wise. We cannot win by force yet so let us educate ourselves and know that against our common enemy we all must fight our own battle.”

This comrade touches on security, our strategic stage and the strategy of People’s War as opposed to great man theory. Education is always important, but at this stage it is principal over the use of force. This comrade’s approach to mass education as the best hedge against losing the leaders we depend on is in line with the Maoist strategy of People’s War. This strategy involves building a People’s Army that is embedded in the people, engaging in productive work and educational campaigns side-by-side with the people as we work towards developing base areas. Ultimately, as this comrade points out, Mao’s emphasis on how the people must learn to wage war through waging war rings true.

In our culture, social media reinforces practices that put individuals in the spotlight. We must develop ways to utilize the reach of the internet, without promoting ideas of great man theory or revealing persynal information of our leaders.

Security practices is one area where we must do more education. The only people MIM(Prisons) has interacted with that have good security practice seem to be individuals working alone. The state of basic security practice among revolutionaries is horrible. There is no way to succeed in a serious struggle with such practices. Yet, we must move beyond isolated individuals posting anonymous content to actually do real organizing.

A NY USW comrade asks: “Is the cell ideology productive? As a single unit I have not been able to grow. I do not believe it is me. Is there more I can do somehow else?”

The original MIM resolution on cell structure pointed out that a one-persyn cell is the most secure. But is it effective? MIM(Prisons) critiqued the idea of a one-persyn cell in general in its lack of ability to develop knowledge dialecticaly with just one mind. Some may be able to do it, but we don’t think it is a path that will move us forward fastest.

So what of the single-persyn cell trying to grow that can’t seem to recruit? In prison this problem is distinct in that you have no control over who and how many people you have access to. That is a separate problem. And we’d say you can reach others and recruit outside your prison by writing and producing artwork for Under Lock & Key, for example.

Whether in prison or not, the question becomes what can the party or larger organization give you as an individual to increase your success? We might think of things like a newspaper, mass campaigns, sharing experiences around what works and what doesn’t, connecting people and projects to make our work more efficient, imposing rules and discipline on cadre. It is not clear to us that we need a party for any of these things. We propose that technology today allows us to do all of these things in an anonymous and efficient manner.

MIP-Amerika was known to have better security practices than most self-declared communist parties in the United $tates, and yet they saw security as a weakness that led to their demise. We should take this lesson to heart. It will be premature to launch a party before cadre have come to understand security practices and power struggle. Our conditions include a level of surveillance and Liberalism that other revolutionary movements did not face. We must have real strategies for addressing these problems before we embark on the Party-building project.

The problem with the cell structure as it exists in our movement is that there is no centralized strategy for layering our security practices. The problem faced by small organizations concerned about security is how to separate out roles and tasks when your cadre is limited. The cell structure can force this situation onto us. The advantage of the Party is being able to do this bigger-scale and longer-term strategic construction. But we argue that we are not at this stage yet.

The cell structure is pointless without good security practices. That would play to our weaknesses by needlessly dividing our limited forces. It is only by developing security practices that would allow for a successful bid for state power that the cell structure really becomes operational. In the early stages of Party formation we should aim to maintain some of the policies of cell structure as a fail-safe. As our position becomes stronger, the security problems of a centralized party become less of a concern.

As always, politics must stay in command. This type of strategic thinking must come after an ideological consolidation. We seem to be in the stage of “letting 100 flowers bloom” as different interpretations and applications of Maoism in occupied Turtle Island are doing their things, watching and criticizing each other. While we have criticized a number of these trends as revisionists of Maoism, the diversity of people we see studying Maoism is a step forward. We will need many more cells organizing around the MIM cardinal principles, with demonstrated practices, before the question of party building becomes concrete for us.

As we move to the next step of ideological consolidation, we must address this strategic question: when is it time to build a Party? This is a question of utmost importance as we have no successful revolutionary strategy in conditions like ours to learn from. We must not rush to form a Party in a way that suddenly reveals all of our fiercest leaders to the state. As the state will move to kill, imprison, bad-jacket and pit these leaders against each other. Perhaps we can achieve ideological unity and strategic unity prior to forming a party. At this time we believe we should strive to preserve the benefits of cell structure without promoting isolation.

chain
[Organizing] [Texas] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

An Ongoing Discussion on Organizing Strategy

What’s up comrades, friends, and supporters? i wanted to provide a response both to USW Comrade N’s and MIM(Prisons)’s commentary that was published in ULK 72: “Orientating USW Organizing Strategy in Light of TX Victory.” Really, my comments are more general rather than a direct disagreement with either Comrade N or MIM(Prisons).

First, ‘N’ asserts that “from an organizers perspective, these are not battles in which we can effectively push anti-imperialism forward, much less MLM.” The comrade mentioned phone access as an example of a battle ey was speaking of.

i’ll argue that the above assertion is incorrect and unscientific. MLM, dialectical materialism, is universal, meaning it can be applied to all phenomena. Further, dialectics shows us the true interconnected nature of social phenomena and if we acknowledge that is true, than how can we then deem that prison struggles aren’t aligned with anti-imperialism? Like MIM(Prisons) added, “with the correct leadership, and keeping our eyes on bigger goals like the UFPP, and uniting others around a list of more impactful demands, reformist campaigns like phone access could be productive.”

As organizers, we are focused on inspiring commitment within the masses. Looking at the psychology of the masses under imperialism, we’ll observe that the most effective way to capture the masses attention is to organize around their immediate interests. The more mature and in-depth communist outlook will develop in stages as study and struggle continue. However, the first hurdle is to establish principled unity in furtherance of an objective/program.

Our most pressing strategic goal as anti-imperialist/Maoist organizers behind enemy lines, is developing cadres to re-enter society with the ability to be impactful in the “free world” anti-imperialist struggle. This is our link to a totalizing revolutionary strategy outside the walls. The quality-of-life reforms are connected to the strategy of cadre development because PE (political education) is made up of 3 parts. Those 3 parts are 1) organizing, 2) educating and 3) mobilizing. So in undergoing/providing proper PE we must study and practice organizing, educating, mobilizing. We must observe the knowledge-practice-knowledge method in all aspects of our development to ensure we achieve our highest potential. So there’s an identity between study and struggle, they go hand-in-hand and because we’re not in a ‘revolutionary situation’ our struggle, or practice, will undoubtedly include (some) reforms.

However, it must be noted and articulated to the masses involved in that struggle that whatever particular battle is being waged at the moment isn’t the end-all be-all, but is only a tactical maneuver that was set in motion with the strategy in mind of advancing the organizational, educational and mobilizing capabilities for all involved. The real crux of the issue is never the demands in the prison setting. The real crux of the issue, as it pertains to linking a totalizing revolutionary strategy, lies in the practical experience gained by the masses in asserting their collective power. For, how will we seize state power if the people lack the strategic confidence to assert their power? We have to increase the collective practical experience of contesting the state as a united body. From a lead organizer’s perspective, putting campaigns into motion, communicating internally, advancing understanding of self and the people, practicing discipline, teaching discipline etc., all this does what? It prepares you for your return to the semi-colonies and general public with experience in organizing, educating, mobilizing people to assert their collective power. The differences in context have little effect on the objective advancement of a comrade’s development.

Additionally, we must also account for other aspects of the fundamental contradiction within prisons, which is badge versus captive. In our efforts to organize, educate and mobilize, the badge is not gonna remain still or unmoved. The badge, like the bourgeoisie on the outs, is gonna utilize both coercive and brutal methods to maintain complacency with the social order among the social classes, or in this case the captives. Also, we must acknowledge that the lumpen is a vacillating class anyway and in prison the masses of lumpen will vacillate between escapism, complacency, underground capitalism, etc. anyways. Therefore, acknowledging that these currents will continue with or without our efforts of revolutionary organizing because we still operate under imperialist, bourgeois dictatorship, it is imperative that we exercise every opportunity to advance our aspect of the fundamental contradiction in prison. In doing so, we work towards manufacturing conditions within prison that will be more conducive to our anti-imperialist goals.

While organizing around more impactful demands, the badge is still gonna utilize its double-pronged strategy of coercing or abusing. When the latter won’t work, the former will come in the form of cosmetic reforms. Those cosmetic reforms, even when they’re not demanded by organizers, still hold the possibility of pacifying individuals, making them complacent sleep walkers again. My point is that, at present, we can’t escape these tendencies from either side or the results they may or may not render, but we can’t allow these tendencies to keep us on the sideline, all “study” no struggle.

Lastly, i wanna clarify that none of the above is to assert that we should chase after any old reform or ‘change.’ As MIM(Prisons) states, leaders must make that determination, and furthermore, should educate the masses on why we will or will not seek certain reforms or campaigns.

In this process, i’ve learned the necessity of adequate communication with the masses and unity-struggle-unity internally among cadres, as a tool in struggling against a tendency towards tailism. What has come of this is a re-organizing of the TX Team One under a clearer program and a better understanding (a collective understanding) of what our strategic and tactical goals are, uniting the most committed partisans around those goals, and developing these partisan’s PE. We’ve downsized, what one may call ‘purging,’ but i like to call ‘cutting the fat’ and we are working on our next courses of action.

chain
[Principal Contradiction] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

Principal Contradiction Heightens with Capitol Seizure, Covid, and Killer Cops

if we must die - police murders

I examined the articles in ULK 72 concerning the Capitol Seizure on 6 January 2021. The racist and fascist Trump, his lap dog Guliani and other white capitalist goons from the political, corporate and intelligence world attempted to use the brainwashed QAnon zombies and mind-controlled Trump supporter in a pre-planned and very well orchestrated Nazi-style coup d’état (though they failed or appeared to have failed). These poor men and women from the Anglo middle class ‘Labor Aristocracy’ were used as pawns and cannon fodder in a mass psychological operation that will be used as a pretext for the social elite to implement more mechanisms of control and ‘security’ in exchange for more of the public’s privacy and so-called ‘freedoms’!

This event was labeled by the members of Congress and the intelligence community as an inside job. The major indication of this U.S. Capitol nonsense being an inside job orchestrated by the elite is the fact that the National Guard, Homeland Security and local law enforcement procrastinated in intercepting the very irrational and violent Trump supporters and also the fact that many of these vanguard reactionaries were discovered to be off-duty officers, military and Homeland Security themselves; another sign of a psychological operation. Also it was discovered that the security inside the U.S. Capitol were aware of what the protesters were planning to do and some of them even let the protesters inside, simply opening the door for them.

I also found the article by Allah Saturn very interesting in which this comrade described the atrocities committed by the European colonialist on Blacks for four hundred years. As comrade Walter Rodney pointed out, as well as Karl Marx, slavery and racism is the very foundation of western capitalism and racism is used to reinforce capitalism on targeted ethnic groups that usually occupy the lower and proletarian classes worldwide. Those who dismiss the Capitol seizure as fringe white nationalists attempt to hide the white/Amerikan nationalism at the heart of this country, that is oppressing people around the world.

“Karl Marx also commented on the way that European capitalists tied Africa, the West Indies and Latin America into the capitalist system; and (being the most bitter critic of capitalism) Marx went on to point out that what was good for Europeans was obtained at the expense of untold suffering by Africans and American Indians. Marx noted that ‘the discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the turning of Africa into a commercial warren for the hunting of black skins signalized the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production.’” - Walter Rodney in How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.

I am starting to understand MIM’s Theory on the Labor Aristocracy even more thanks to the study material the comrades of USW provided by comrades Marx and Engels (On Colonies, Industrial Monopoly and The Working Class Movement). Also MIM Theory 6: The Stalin Issue in which Maoists addressed misinformation on comrade Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin as well as MIM Theory 4 Issue: A Spiral Trajectory. These materials were combined with my knowledge of Marxism and revolutionary principles to further develop a greater understanding of MIM’s concepts on the origin of the underdevelopment of the Third World by the First World and this is further explained on pg. 11 in the Marx and Engels material that was edited by the Communist Working Circle in 1972,

“Marx believed that the export of capital would result in capitalism spreading all over the world. However, he did not imagine that it would institute a rigid division of the world between a highly developed imperialist center and an exploited and underdeveloped periphery.”

And this is the case we find ourselves in presently. Except now, we find ourselves up against a different kind of beast, a more covert or clandestine form of imperialism that instead of using nationalism of sovereign nations as its power base or nucleus; now, because of new laws on international trade and commerce, individual nations cannot check or limit its tyranny that operates through multinational corporations; thus we encounter neo-colonialism that has its foundation in globalist corporations that have billions of dollars to pay off whole countries in the First and Third Worlds. A new and very advanced techno-Anglo Establishment that changed its methods 50-60 years ago when they realized as Comrade el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X) (PBUH), said in a speech he made in 1963:

“…the thing that is bringing an end to their world is the awakening of the dark world! As the dark world awakens, the dark world is rising. And as the dark world rises and increases, the power of the white world decreases…”

By the dark world, comrade el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz meant that the Afro, Asian, Latin American and Arab lower, working and proletarian classes that were and still are oppressed by the white world or western corporate capitalist parasites.

Now, 58 years later, this beast has mutated and evolved into a new species similar to the COVID-19 virus, multiplying and reproducing itself rapidly on a global scale, disguising itself as so-called ‘Free-Market Capitalism’.

The overt racism as we see, experience and that is televised daily, is used to reinforce this so-called free market capitalism at the expense of the lower and working classes, especially the Third World proletariat.

We must come to recognize repeated human behavior as not coincidences or isolated phenomena or events but as being systematic methods of control and agitation by the reactionary forces to accelerate social tensions between different ethnic, political and religious groups. The elite create the problem, (like the bio-engineered COVID-19 virus or police brutality), they wait for it to do its damage then they come with the solution to the problem that they created as is the case with the COVID-19 virus. Medical practitioners said it usually take up to ten years to develop a vaccine but somehow the big pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna all managed to simultaneously develop a vaccine within months. As Marxists, Maoists, Leninists, or dialectical materialists we must examine history in comparison to current events and we will come to the conclusion that this current situation is the result of Malthusian Anglo philosophy.

Malthusian meaning, relating to the theory that population, unless checked (by war or bioengineered pandemics, sterilization) tends to increase faster than the so-called means of subsistence. This is the philosophy of the fascist world Anglo establishment, the predatory elite and all of their brainwashed pawns (politicians or corporate lackeys).

They tend to focus on the myth of overpopulation because they know that they, statistically speaking are a minority and we are a majority, thus we pose more of a threat to the elite because we outnumber them. So all of this madness we see everyday on the mainstream media are not isolated events, the majority of it is done by design. Ignorant behavior is promoted 24 hrs a day, seven days a week on the mainstream media outlets purposely because social engineers understand that the masses tend to repeat the same behavior, especially when they are being bombarded by the same images everyday.

Now, in Minneapolis – the world is awaiting the George Floyd trials and the results of the charges of second degree murder and manslaughter brought against officer Chauvin, the pig that murdered comrade Floyd (PBUH)(sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) in cold blood in front of the whole world.

But, unlike the U.S. Capitol situation on January 6th of this year, regardless of the intelligence communities foreknowledge that the Trump militia and QAnon zombie terrorist goons were going to storm the Capitol; the National Guard, Homeland Security and the local police in Minneapolis are already on post and the jurors for the trial on Chauvin hasn’t even been picked yet. This strong military and law enforcement presence is obviously due to the fact that the Afro, Asiatic, or New Afrikan element that the authorities know will be highly dissatisfied if that pig Chauvin is let off, as was the case with Elijah McClain in Denver, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Daniel Prude in Rochester, New York and Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. This further proves that institutional racism is still deeply interwoven within the fabric of the AmeriKKKan criminal justice system.

The mainstream media attempts to captivate the minds of the masses with tales of romance and intrigue concerning the Megan and Harry scandal in Buckingham Palace and the reason why the same bloodlines and Anglo-Saxon-Coberg Gotha-Scandinavian, Frankish and Celtic families have been in control of the British Empire; the birthplace of modern imperialism and capitalism that had its origins in the exploitation of African slaves and the pillaging of resources throughout India, Asia, the Caribbean as well as the British colonies in North America. The Queen’s England or United Kingdom was never about racial tolerance or equality but it was always about the domination of the Anglo establishment over the rest of the world’s people and resources.

“Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the major international motors for European capital accumulation was the trade in African slaves carried in British and French ships; silver and gold exports from South America to Spain and Portugal; profits from the use of slave labor in the British West Indies; profits from the Dutch Spice Trade; profits from the Opium trade, and the colonial land revenue…” - Marx and Engels, On Colonies, Industrial Monopoly, and The Working Class Movement, pg. 25

This present dissatisfied generation must be educated by a genuine revolutionary vanguard to those historic realities that create the current situation we find ourselves in now, which is the main principle of Marxism; accurate analysis of history. Only then will we transcend or rise above all the prejudices and social stigmas placed on us by the imperialist elite.

“The greatest danger facing young people right now is the coming of a fascist state, like the one described by George Orwell in 1984 where Big Brother is always watching you. In a few years, that book might be history. We must look into history and see it as being concretely related to the problems of today. In turn, we will find a lamp of truth by which we can guide our feet to oppose the fascist 1984-type state that’s rapidly coming into power in this country. That is why the racists and the narrow-minded chauvinists do not want black people, Chicano people, Puerto Rican, Asian, and poor white people to study and know their own true history - because their history will tell the truth about America today.” – Bobby Seale in ‘Seize the Time’ 1968-69

MIM(Prisons) responds: We say about 80% of the world’s people are clearly on the side of communism and opposed to imperialism based on their material interests. That 80% also happens to be darker due to the invention of race by the Anglos as a means of dividing the world as this comrade documents. Meanwhile, those “poor men and women” who stormed the Capitol building waving racist flags and emblems were solidly in the top 10% globally based on income. And they happened to be almost all white, and of course Amerikan.

The quick development of multiple COVID vaccines was a surprise. However, this was technology that had been in the works for years prior. This was a unique opportunity to test mRNA technology in a critical real-world scenario. Researchers were working on this before most of us had even really begun thinking about COVID-19. Based on previous experience the quick development of vaccines was unexpected, but humyn knowledge advances and now there is a new standard.

Epidemiologists immediately began tracing the source of COVID-19 when it appeared in Wuhan, China. They determined its source was very likely a live animal market. Since then, researchers have studied the nature of the virus and agreed that that is the likely source. Warnings of a virus just like this have been around for decades. This pandemic was not unexpected. Movies like Contagion(2011) tell a very similar story based on the knowledge that such a virus was expected.

Regardless of the source of the virus itself, it is clear that the imperialists are taking advantage of the situation to further control the oppressed. First, they are using intellectual property laws enforced by international bodies like the World Trade Organization to prevent labs in Third World countries from producing the vaccine while millions around the world have died. Instead of stomping out COVID-19 it looks like we will not be able to reach heard immunity and the virus will keep evolving. Second, they are hording vaccines and will be deciding how to dole them out to the Third World that is desperate for relief from the pandemic. Third, as always the economic fallout of the pandemic will be pushed onto the Third World, as Amerikans benefit from all kinds of stimulus packages paid for by dollars that are backed by a transfer of value from the exploited countries.

Even in the United $tates we continue to be in bad shape despite having some of the greatest access to the vaccine in the world. We have reached the point where people are not getting vaccinated. Misleadership by President Trump, and profiteering by quacks on the internet have persuaded large segments of the population to not get the vaccine. This could lead to more instability in the system due to a lack of scientific thinking on the part of the oppressor nation. Science is on the side of the oppressed and must be leveraged by the oppressed to resolve the major contradictions in the world today that threaten us with death and destruction.

chain
[Theory] [Gender] [United Front] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

A Hint of Homophobia in Last Issue

Upon reading and re-reading the most recent ULK (72) as i usually do, i ran across a segment of an article that i believe to be homo/transphobic and therefore deserves criticism in the spirit of unity-struggle-unity.

The segment in question is on pg. 7, #5 of the demands reads as follows:

  1. Every prison in the state of Pennsylvania allow gay prisoners inside each prison block to hold hands/hold each other, have make-out sessions and have intercourse. The department of corrections of Pennsylvania even sell bras/panties, makeup, provide hormone injections and sex changes.

Now, I said “i believe” this was homo/trans phobic, because I acknowledge that some may not feel that way. Additionally, i’ll say that for the sake of organizing, it should be removed, as regardless of possible ill intent it serves to alienate people who’re not your enemy and can be allies.

Now i hold my belief that the comment was a homo/transphobic slight because the previous four demands the authors’ wrote down in question form, while #5 was listed as a statement and was entirely unnecessary if we look to the sub-points (a) and (b), which clearly articulate the point the authors wished to make, without the slight.

Comrades, i’m a heterosexual, cis-gendered male, who’s struggled here at my place of captivity against the gendered oppression of LGBT people, by inmate and pig oppressors alike. In the midst of this struggle what i’ve attempted to get cats to understand is, for one there are three strands of oppression: nation, class and gender. In the context of gender, i’ve had to humble myself to learn, or re-learn sometimes from a trans womyn comrade, things i thought i knew. One key piece of information i learned from her was also articulated by MIM(Prisons) in ULK47, pg. 4, attacking the myth of binary biology:

“Humyn biology has never been entirely binary, with relation to sex characteristics. There are a range of interactions between chromosomes, hormone expressions and sexual organ development. The resulting variation in anatomical and reproductive characteristics includes a lot of people who do not fit the standard binary expectation… as many as 1 in 100 births deviate from the standard physical expectations of sex biology.”

i’ve included this quote to suggest that cats look in depth into the material reality and internal development of things in order to get a clearer understanding instead of demonizing people and behavior.

The second point i’ve stressed here at this prison and now extend to the Pennsylvania prisoners, is that being that there are 3 strands of oppression, and we are in the business of eradicating oppression, then we are in error whenever we condemn national and class oppression while upholding gender oppression.

While the authors of the demands did not advocate gender oppression, eir language suggests that ey would rather the behavior listed in Point #5 be eradicated, which in turn would be oppressive to those who engage in said behaviors.

Additionally, i think you cats in PA could benefit from gaining some form of insight from those LGBT prisoners as to how to solve y’alls problems. i’ll have you realize that your Points 1-4 apply to LGBT prisoners as well along with points a and b. and 6 … or do they? My point is that the behavior which you seem to dislike was not always a reality. Around the empire, state-by-state, for decades, LGBT prisoners have struggled in court and through other avenues to gain the ability to express themselves freely.

If you would seek an ally in those near you, y’all may gain some insight on your own concerns, but viewing the LGBT populace as ‘other’ than yourselves only serves the interests of the badge, and stunts your own development as a revolutionary freedom fighter.

The key is to look at your situation in a dialectical materialist perspective. First, identify the fundamental contradiction, which in any and every prison is badge versus captives. The lumpen class must become united. Now within the lumpen class there are internal contradictions, only one of which is the contradiction between non-LGBT versus LGBT prisoners. This is a secondary contradiction, and it must be resolved because like all contradictions, it will develop into an antagonistic stage and an internal antagonistic/contradictory struggle is not beneficial in this context if y’all are to accomplish your goals, and moreso, advance the captive’s aspect of the fundamental contradiction against the badge/state.

In conclusion, i wanna articulate the fact that we can not eliminate oppression if we are ourselves oppressors. We have no right to condemn our own oppression yet turn a blind eye to the oppression of others. Practice PEACE and UNITY sisters and brothers, as articulated in the UFPP principles … unite, don’t split!

chain
[Drugs] [Economics] [COVID-19] [Prison Labor] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

LETTERS: Profits, Taxes, Investing, Fundraising and Weed

Capitalism in Smoke

A Kansas Prisoner: I would like to comment on an article by Wiawimawo (August 2019) concerning Tulsi Gabbard, prison labor, and drug decriminalization.

There is zero question that Kansas is using prisoners for cheap labor and profiting tremendously from multi-year sentencing of first-time drug offenders like myself.

I “earn” sixty cents per day to perform a skilled labor sewing position full time. If I refuse to work I will receive a disciplinary work report resulting in my custody security level to rise.

There is a 30-person crew that works at the Kansas State Fairgrounds year round. These prisoners also receive 60 cents per day. The fairground complex could not operate without prison labor.

These jobs are not maintaining KDOC prisons. They are part of the state prison economy, for the profit of the state.

Also, this prison takes 50% of the earnings of all private industry job income prisoners earn. At the private industry jobs, prisoners make minimum wage ($7.25/hour). Incarcerating probation-eligible offenders to minimum-custody facilities to work is proof that in Kansas, exploiting prison labor is a motivating force for mass incarceration.

In almost every other state I would not have been sentenced to prison for possession of medical cannabis.

I understand the point of the article was to look at medium and long-term goals. As a non-violent, non-victim, first time drug offender I believe cannabis decriminalization is a goal worth pursuing. Thousands of people in Kansas have been incarcerated by a corrupt, prison labor motivated criminal justice system.

Is the author agreeing that non-violent, non-victim, first-time cannabis offenders should be working for 60 cents a day to assist the state economy and provide cheap labor for giant factory farms in Kansas? When I see corrupt judges play in to this state economy, there are no myths in my first-hand facts. If I am misinterpreting Wiawimawo’s writing, please clarify what the author intended.

Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) responds: First, thanks for the details on how prison labor works where you are in Kansas. We regularly publish such reports on our website and use them to keep tabs on the realities of prison labor over time. You are our on the ground reporters for everything going on in U.$. koncentration kamps.

One thing you don’t specify is who you are making clothing for at your job. That is an important factor. Usually people are working on clothing and sheets and now face masks for other prisoners to use. That would be work for the prison system, not for profit. Similarly, running the fairgrounds is for the state. These are parallel to the examples of fire fighters given in my original article.

None of these jobs are making profits for anyone, which you seem to have confused. Multiple times you refer to Kansas as profiting from prisoners. States do not make profits. They have revenue and expenses, and they can run over budget if they want with expenses being greater than revenue by issuing bonds. Now the bourgeois definition of profit is netting more money coming in then you put out in expenditures. But even bourgeois economists do not use this terminology in regards to states. As Marxists, we define exploitation as paying workers less than the value that they produce and then selling the product (or service) to realize the full value. This is the source of wealth accumulation in capitalism.

Now to the prisoner sewing clothes for 60 cents a day, it matters little whether those clothes are to be used for state-issued use or sold in a store. So i can understand where you’re coming from. But if we want to explain how the prison system works in this country this becomes an important distinction. It is not profits for big businesses to accumulate capital that drives the system. It is a combination of financial self-interest of the people who work in these institutions, people who some would have us see as the oppressed proletariat themselves, and the broader interests of the oppressor nation to control the oppressed nations in this country. Through this control of the oppressed nations by Amerikans through criminalization and imprisonment, they can further gentrify the places oppressed nations reside and create further economic control for themselves. This is the heart of our analysis. And it is why we have a very different orientation than the petty bourgeoisie who is opposed to private prisons for profit and favor drug decriminalization as discussed in my original article.

“Is the author agreeing that non-violent, non-victim, first-time cannabis offenders should be working for 60 cents a day to assist the state economy and provide cheap labor for giant factory farms in Kansas?”

No, i do not argue that. We argue for more change, not less. We are not reformists, and we don’t think drug decriminalization in the United $tates will eliminate national oppression nor drug addiction. If done well, it could reduce these problems, and the specific expression of drug problems such as marijuana consumption. Therefore the reform is progressive, but it does not solve the problem of national oppression and the criminal drug economy. We have much better solutions for national oppression and drug addiction, and they certainly don’t include imprisoning people for victimless behavior. They do include eliminating profit motives in all aspects of our lives. In the meantime, we support an international minimum wage that would apply to prisoners.


A California Prisoner: The Covid and imperialism article in ULK 72 sparked my interest because I am already vaccinated and I had to ask myself why I, a prisoner, was vaccinated before tax payers? The answer was pretty simple logic. Prison is huge profit for California and the cash cow has been closed for Covid crisis, the sooner California can reopen the prisons, they can continue to rake in the profits they make from our suffering.

Wiawimawo responds: There was a significant effort in California by lawyers and activists to get prisoners to the top of the vaccination list. And this is at least part of the explanation as to why you got vaccinated early. It made sense from a public health standpoint, but this did not happen across the country because many Amerikans don’t care about prisoners’ lives.

It is not clear why you argue that profits dried up in prisons during the shelter-in-place, so i would need more information on that to respond. But as i explain above, states don’t profit from prisons. Prisons are a huge financial expense and do not create any economic value. Prison labor is one way to slightly reduce some of the expenses in running these prisons.(1)

All that said, i want to address this comrade’s talk about the “tax payers.” The vaccination campaign across the United $tates is being paid by the Federal government. The government has now passed a series of bills in the trillions of dollars to address the fallout from the pandemic. This is not “tax payer money.” They are just printing money, or creating money out of thin air to fund these programs. Since the dollar is the global currency, they can do this with some confidence that other countries and investors will buy up the bonds to cover the expense. It’s all funny money that we benefit from here in the United $tates, even those in prison benefit at times, thanks to our position as the premier imperialist power.

This is in stark contrast to countries like India and Brazil that are now being hit hard by the pandemic and the people are being offered little relief. One reason is that these countries can’t just print $1 trillion worth of their currency without causing massive inflation and damaging the conditions of the people more.

To the extent that it is “tax payers” who are helping to balance the budget deficit in the United $tates, we must also be clear where that money is coming from – the Third World proletariat. The above is just one demonstration of how value can flow from the periphery to the imperialist countries. This is reflected in the incomes of all U.$. citizens, who must give some of those super-profits to the state to keep the imperialist system running.

So let us not shed a tear for the poor “tax payer” in this country because California actually made some efforts to vaccinate people in a way that made sense in terms of promoting public health. There is no shortage of vaccines in the United $tates. In fact, we have far more than we need, while other countries have not even begun vaccinating their populations yet. If we were really working in the interests of public health, we would have a more equitable distribution of vaccines across the globe. We’d be prioritizing hotspots, which the United $tates is. And we’d be sharing the technology needed to make vaccines freely, releasing the intellectual property that is holding back progress in the fight against COVID-19. Failure to do so means that the virus will continue to evolve and likely continue to be a problem.


A New York prisoner: In response to ULK 72 (2021) article “Help Fund MIM(Prisons), Donate Now!”, I would like to offer a suggestion outside of charity from donations which seems to be a necessary form of income for the production, maintenance & shipment of ULK’s. What if MIM took some of its donations and invested them in the stock market? I know that seems pro-capitalist, but as the old adage goes you gotta fight “fire with fire.” Making a few short-term trades could possibly boost revenue for expenses (solely), and make donations a welcomed part of production but not so necessary. This would keep MIM’s line of no foreseeable future in capitalism by not becoming long-term investors in the stock market, but instead looking for quick returns in order to fund revolutionary work (i.e. short selling, which is basically betting against the U.S. market, which is still in some ways inherently communist behavior). I am enclosing an articled dated 11 January 2021, “Jay-Z Fund to Help Minority-owned Cannabis Businesses.” What do you think about this venture? I don’t really believe lumpen have the luxury of investing in non-essential production/consumption as cannabis right now, when they don’t even have land to cultivate on. But financial freedom is nonetheless a form of independence… so keep on keeping on Jay-Z!

Wiawimawo responds: First, we agree with using the oppressors’ tools against them, and have no moral qualms about the stock market. Proletarian morality means we do what will most benefit the liberation of the exploited and oppressed. Whether it is a wise investment is another question. Conventional wisdom is that it is a good long-term bet, but unpredictable in the short-term. As for shorting, well hedge fund Melvin Capital Management lost 53% in January in its infamous shorting of Gamestop.(2) They lost about $6 billion on that bet. That’s what the stock market is, gambling.

Now cannabis businesses, that might be a more sound investment. As the article points out, and as i discussed in my article on Tulsi Gabbard mentioned above, the legalization of weed has been a bonanza for white petty bourgeois interests trying to get small businesses up and running before the large corporations dominate the market. New Afrikans are under-represented in business ownership overall at just 10%, but in the states listed that number was 3-6% for cannabis businesses.(3) Jay-Z, and New York State are correctly recognizing this gap and trying to do something to not let it happen in New York.

What do we think about this? More equal opportunity for the petty bourgeoisie just reinforces imperialism. When it was illegal, oppressed people selling weed were targeted by the state and potential allies to the anti-imperialist movement. People running successful weed businesses aren’t likely to be our allies, regardless of their skin color.

The weed game is in a major transition. It is still in a semi-legal state, where the Feds could crack down on you (and they have). Getting access to loans and bank accounts can be difficult as a result. One group that is proving successful as early pioneers in the trade are former law enforcement. They are less likely to be targeted by the state than a former felon, and they have clout to deal with the pressures from extortion rackets and the lumpen organizations they are competing with. Therefore as revolutionaries, the weed business might be risky.

You suggest that we need to invest in stocks to free us from our reliance on donations. On the contrary, we are trying to become more reliant on donations so that our cadre don’t have to worry so much about funding everything ourselves, which we do by working or investing or whatever. Maybe some of us are investing in the stock market to fund this work, but that is not a reliable source of income. We want to be going strong when the market collapses again. And that is why we want to be reliant on the financial support of the masses. Only by relying on the people is our future secure.

As i said above, legalization of weed will not eliminate national oppression in the forms of cop killings and disproportionate imprisonment rates. It will make pacifying substances more readily available to the masses. And for better or for worse it will undercut the underground economy in favor of public tax revenue. And that is what this is about of course, it is providing tax revenue to maintain government funding at the local and state levels.

Until the import of weed is legalized by the feds, this shift of production to the United $tates will be undercutting a source of profits in the drug trade – the Third World farmer. Historically the farmers who grow and process weed are the ones being exploited in Third World countries. As production shifts to the First World, wages will have to increase to exploiter-level wages, with the possible exception of using migrant labor from the Third World. This means the profits must come from other sectors in the Third World instead, to pay the farmers, marketers, sales people and accountants in the First World running the new weed economy, as well as the state taxes. If the exploited weed farmers are eliminated, then the profits must now be squeezed from the banana farmers or copper miners, and all the other exploited workers of the Third World. This puts more pressure on the already dangerously low international rate of profit.

Finally, we agree with your point about land. Without land there is no power. National liberation means liberating the territory of the oppressed. Owning land as individuals is not it. Oppressed nations must control land as independent nations, and be able to defend that land. This is a central task of the New Democratic movement.

Notes:
1. MIM(Prisons) on U.$. Prison Economy - 2018 Update, Under Lock & Key No. 60.
2. Juliet Chung, 31 January 2021, Melvin Capital lost 53% in January, Hurt by GameStop and Other Bets, The Wall Street Journal.
3. Vial Monga, 21 January 2021, Jay-Z Fund to Help Minority-Owned Cannabis Businesses, The Wall Street Journal.

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

Fallen (The Empire)

The imperialist capitalist
World super-power; Amerikkka must fall
This bourgeois country don’t deserve
2 stand tall
Not when it was established on slavery
And built on the dressed up lie of equality
Somethan’ it can not live up 2 today
In the face of mass modern-day inequality
And mass incarceration
Which is nothan’ more than modern-day slavery
Come on my people wake-up
Wake up my people
And I’m not just talkin’ about Black people
No
I’m talkin’ about the common man and woman
All of humanity
Don’t you see that We are destroyin’ the planet
On top of that
We are bein’ exploited by the global elite
Got-damn-it
The proletariat of this imperialist
Capitalist world superpower-Amerikkka
Are you and me
The poverty-stricken common man and woman
On our backs stand this unjust country
Just as all things that goes up
It 2 must
Shall fall
Just watch and see
The empire is fallin’
The empire is fallin’
No
The empire has fallen
chain
[Aztlan/Chicano] [Youth] [Abuse] [International Connections] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

A Silence Haunts Occupied Aztlán

communism liberates kids from imperialist cages

In the United Snakes of Amerikkka there is an eerie silence surrounding the most grotesque reality of today within the borders of this imperialist settler colonial nation. A silence similar to the one on that cold night in Germany on the 9th of November, 1938, known as Kristallnacht. This silence is different however because unlike that night otherwise known as the “night of broken glass,” this silence encompasses both day and night seamlessly and seemingly endlessly. This silence protects the interests of a select few in power. It protects them from having to answer for the chaos they created outside these arbitrary borders against the survivors of Amerikkkan imperialism by separating the families in custody of the criminal Amerikkkan state. I’m talking about the children in cages.

We’re talking about traumatizing the youth of colonized nations in modern day concentration camps. Like in the concentration camps for “amerikkkan citizens” there is no shred of dignity provided. No recognition of humanity. The magnitude of crimes actually perpetrated by these agents of fascism is unknown. Occasionally a whistleblower will receive a small slot on the evening news to highlight a particular abuse. Hollow promises of change from the settler government followed by silence from the settler masses are soon to come with a distraction here or there to qualm concerns of the still inquisitive.

The European settler seeks to soothe the colonized revolutionary demands in order to settle for reform. So it’s no surprise then when fundamentally nothing changes in the system which perpetuates these horrors. Many who are conscious of said horrors and who claim to be serving the “best interests” of the people are quick to co-opt anything that sounds remotely revolutionary. Democrats or Republicans, Coke or Pepsi, both are toxic formulas made by the colonizers to extract profit from the oppressed colonized people while simultaneously killing them slowly.

Even amongst those who call themselves “the radical left” there’s barely a shred of concern sustained outside of a shareable post on social media. When hysteria breaks out over a single incident millions are quick to interject with an opinion. When over 2.3 million people are incarcerated and enslaved it’s just business as usual. When over 70,000 children are jailed it’s justified to “protect the borders” from Raza fleeing chaos started by those in power within these same borders.

We are all prisoners of war, some of us are politicized prisoners but we all remain at war whether we wish to be or not. Whether we are surrounded by concrete towers, riflemen overhead, or kept in line by terrorists with badges in the barrio. Make no mistake the poor and colonized are at war. They will justify incarnating the “Gangster” or the “Cholo.” They will say that we had “opportunities” but simply made the wrong choices. They will have us believing that we are the problem. Just like they told our ancestors as they burnt our sacred texts and destroyed our highly developed societies. They will teach us of salvation in white Jesus. They will teach us that we may face peril here on earth as slaves to the colonizer but in reality we should be grateful because those same colonizers brought us european religion that will give us everlasting life and a kingdom of riches in the afterlife!

I have a cousin named Jesus but he is brown and I can tell you I have never met a white Jesus. I’m even less concerned with riches in an afterlife when we all are subjected to poverty here in this one. The fact is that we are not the problem. We only had opportunities to betray our nation and class. We were taken from the womb to the tomb. Our sentence was handed out before we even opened our eyes to see the devastation that Amerikkka has brought to the world.

They can fabricate lies about us, but when it comes obtaining a respiratory infection in ICE custody, this is the greatness United Snakes of Amerikkka aims to return to. The “great” genocide of all the poor Brown and Black people unfortunate enough to be “discovered.” Thousands of recorded cases of little girls being sexually assaulted in ICE facilities with untold more numbers growing daily are being told it’s going to be okay because Amerikkka is a Pepsi nation now and Coca Cola is in retreat. Joe is in office and the orange man is out! If we are being honest with ourselves and true to the plight of those traumatized children though. We all know that the shackles which bind us all together on this sinking ship won’t be unlocked by the same person who put us in them. As for the impotent left that is silent to our suffering and the suffering of our children in cages. Break the silence with the sound of marching feet or be tread upon by the roar of history’s feet stomping over the indigent rulers of yet another decaying social order.

Free the children!

Free them all!

chain
[New Afrika] [Black Lives Matter] [Campaigns] [National Oppression] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

Da Struggle Continues: We Still Charge GENOCIDE!!!

Down with Imperialism! And Power to New Afrika!

3 K.A.G.E. warriors
K.A.G.E. Universal charges genocide against New Afrikans by the U.$. imperialists.

Clenched fist salute to all revolutionary New Afrikans! This coming October 2021, the United Nations(U.N.) will host the 2021 International Tribunal. At this tribunal many of Our countrymen/wimmin along with supporters will AGAIN charge the United Snakes government with committing genocide against Our New Afrikan nation before the world ‘court’ and denouncing them for their treatment of political prisoners and prisoners of war(PP/POWs).

This action comes on the 70th anniversary of the petition presented to the U.N. General Assembly in 1951 charging the U.S. with genocide against Our people. William L. Patterson, one of the original petitioners, also wrote a book based on the experience entitled, We Charge Genocide. Subsequently, in 1977, the New Afrikan Prisoner Organization wrote an essay entitled, “We still Charge Genocide,” to illustrate, among other things, that the genocide still continues.

We did not choose to scribe this brief piece as a news brief, to merely inform comrades of what other comrades are up to. Rather, We scribe this piece to discuss the significance of this tribunal and to also pinpoint the direction Our nation is going.

Significance: In any and all forms of struggle the effectiveness and significance of one’s tactics and strategies are dependent upon the conditions or circumstances therein. The current direction of the mass front of the ‘Movement for Black Lives’, and ‘Black Lives Matter’ and the like, has the nationalist tendency of Our people in a very subordinate position. As such it is paramount that a wide variety of movement media cover and disseminate the Tribunal and the events and discourse around it. It is extremely significant that representatives of Our Nation are expounding upon Our national reality on an international arena, and furthermore, it is important that younger activists witness a new form or avenue in struggle in this democratic stage of our liberation movement.

Some, in fact, have not witnessed us as a people claim and expound upon Our national identity as New Afrikans and the treatment We receive when captured as political prisoners and prisoners of war, and while acting in the capacity as politicized prisoners once in captivity. Some youths haven’t witnessed revolutionary nationalism take a center stage or act in what many deem as significant capacity, and thus we’ve been seen by many of the current generation activist as insignificant. This Tribunal CAN begin to shift those perceptions, as more of our people begin to view Our struggle in the light of the colonized nation struggling for its independence, and when those among us act in accord with the mandate to FREE THE LAND!!! We’re subsequently treated as any ‘enemy combatant’ of imperialism is around the globe. The difference being, that this is all hidden from the mass majority of the public within the empire and abroad.

Direction: As we struggle ahead it is a must that We, the revolutionary New Afrikans, understand and propagate the just cause of our liberation struggle in a way that links the genocidal acts of the empire, which we’ve resisted, fought, and will continue to wage war against until our goal is met, along with the reality that the carrying out of genocide is a prerequisite for occupation and imperialism. By this We mean that imperialism IS genocide!

Many incorrectly picture genocide as a single event; that a genocide must require a machivallian individual orchestrating the industrial murders of human beings for a delusional/cynical end goal. Rather, genocide is a process that evolves and moves and intensifies. Genocide is like all other social and natural phenomena in this regard. As such, genocide is one word that encapsulates the many symptoms of OUR national subjugation under U.S. imperialism. Furthermore, as articulated by the Spear & Shield Collective, We must COMBAT GENOCIDE! And this slogan encapsulates the direction we all must take collectively as conscious New Afrikan nationals.

We can/must combat this genocide in a multi-faceted manner. Creating community watch squads that can hamper police terrorism is one way of combating genocide. Building revolutionary base areas within and without the national territory is combating genocide. Establishing Black squads within those base areas supplanting the old parasitic lumpen orgs with them is combating genocide. In terms of Us behind the walls, mitigating acts of street organization warfare amongst different lumpen organizations within Our one nation is combating genocide. Practicing and promoting a New revolutionary way of doing and saying everything, as to go about breaking the cycle. Educating on health and nutrition practices is a way to combat genocide. Convert your ‘gang’ into a revolutionary vehicle.

As u can imagine there are many ways to combat the genocide of our nations. We are to keep this in mind as we go about our duties, that in all we do we do it to combat genocide, which is combating imperialism. CLENCH FIST

chain
[Censorship] [Campaigns] [COVID-19] [High Desert State Prison] [Nevada] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

A Call to Action for Nevada Prisoners

The Nevada Department of Corrections, under Director Charles Daniels and his pet warden, Calvin Johnson, at High Desert State Prison, have, since their arrival, waged an all out war against Nevada’s prisoners. This includes illegal theft and misappropriation of prisoners’ money under the guise of Marsy’s law (money which is still unaccounted for), to the ban on prisoners’ access to visits, chapel, yard, law library, or tier, under the premise of safety concerns over COVID-19. Meanwhile prisoners are still required to work in unsafe and crowded warehouses, kitchens, etc. as if COVID-19 does not target workers.

These same criminals also committed the crime of biological warfare when they knowingly ordered prisoners to work while 15 of them had recently tested positive for COVID-19 but were left unaware of their status. This was used as a way to spread COVID-19 throughout the prison more quickly. This was, by definition, a criminal act!

And now, while prisoners are fighting to get access to visits, chapel, yard, law library, and tier (since the only time they are out of their cell is when working, or their 30 minutes to shower or use of the kiosk, or phone when permitted) these criminals have taken another action to attack prisoners’ rights.

Starting 1 February 2021, High Desert State Prison will implement O.P. 750 mail procedure as outlined in Warden’s Bulletin #21-07. This revised operational procedure is an unconstitutional attack against our right to communicate and be informed.

In effect this new operational procedure mandates the following.

  1. All incoming mail must be in a 4" x 9.5" white envelope written in black or blue ink only. If the mail received is not written in black or blue ink on the envelope, the mail will be returned to sender.
  2. All letters and correspondence within the envelope must be written in black or blue ink. Any other colors will be returned to sender.
  3. Any mail or correspondence received that is scented with perfume and oils will be returned to sender.
  4. Any letter received with drawings and markings that is not from the letter manufacturer will be returned to sender.
  5. Any letter received that are stained or discolored will be returned to sender.
  6. Greeting cards will not be accepted. All greeting cards received will be returned to sender.
  7. Inmates will not receive the original copy of letters and envelopes being received with the exception of legal mail. All letters and envelopes received will be scanned and handed out to the appropriate inmate. Note: the legal mail procedure will remain the same.
  8. If the inmate name is not properly spelled, the inmate identification number is not noted, the senders name/address is missing, the mail will be returned to sender.
  9. If there is writing on the back of a photo sent through mail, the writing must be written in black or blue ink.
  10. After all mail is scanned and distributed to the inmate population, the mail will be properly disposed of.
  11. All magazines and newspapers received must come from an established approved publisher.
  12. Pamphlets and anything copied off the internet will be rejected with the exception of pamphlets received through religious services.

This new operational procedure (O.P.) is the latest in a long line of attacks against prisoner rights and protections since Director Daniels and Warden Johnson have taken on their duties. This O.P. is unconstitutional and deserves challenge.

First, in order to restrict prisoners’ Constitutional rights, the state must show how the restriction is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest. We do not believe that they can. The fact that prisoners are not receiving the physical letters/envelopes themselves, any act or restriction that bars or bans letters for scent, markings, drawings, stains, etc. cannot be in furtherance of a legitimate concern. Thus, we believe a legitimate argument can be made that these restrictions are arbitrary and unconstitutional.

Second, both the sender and receiver of mail/publications must be notified that censorship occurred as well as the reason censorship occurred. They must also give each party a chance to challenge the censorship. This is a very clear due process issue.

Third, we believe that a reasonable argument against the disposal of mail without due process is that the mail itself is the prisoner’s property, thus protected by due process.

Fourth, denying all pamphlets and internet copies have already been ruled unconstitutional.

Fifth, restricting all magazines and newspapers to established approved publishers poses a serious threat as it will ultimately be used to ban inmates access to materials and publications that the prison does not wish to enter the facility, such as Turning the Tide, Revolution, The Abolitionist, Black and Pink, Prison Legal News, Under Lock and Key, and other such publications. While “publisher only” restrictions have been upheld, rules which outright ban or deny publications have been ruled unconstitutional.

We are fighting this new attack, as we are fighting others. We are calling on all prisoners within the NDOC to fight for their families and friends, abolitionists, prisoner rights groups, and others, to stand up for NDOC prisoners and call for the resignation or firing of Director Charles Daniels and Warden Calvin Johnson.

Prisoners must utilize the grievance process, friends and families, or anyone else who wishes to help must call or write Governor Steve Sisolak or write Director Daniels - 5500 Snyder Rd. Carson City, NV 89702, and or Warden Johnson P.O. Box 1050 Indian Springs, NV 89070.

All Power to the People.

Let your voices be heard.

MS1 and MS26 - Revolutionary Front - NV

Caselaw: Turner v. Safley 482 U.S. 78.89. 107 S.Ct. 2254(1987) Lindell v. Frank 377 F.3d 655 659-60 (7th Cir 2004) Allen v. Coughlin 64 F.3d 77. 80 (2d Cir 1995) Williams v. Brimeyer 116 F.3d 351 (8th cir 1997) Procunier v. Martinez 416 U.S.396. 94 S.Ct 1800 Krug v. Lutz 329 F.3d 692.696-97. (9th cir 2003) Thornburgh v. Abbott 490 U.S. 401, 414-19 (1989) Juchlovich vs Simmons 392 F.3d 420 (10th Cir 2004) Montcalm Publ’g Corp. v. Beck, 80 F.3d 105, 109-110 (4th Cir 1996) Murphy v. Missourri Dep’t of Corr. 372 F.3d 979, 986 (8th Cir 2004) Clement v. California Dep’t of Corrections 364 F.3d 1148 (9th Cir 2004) Prison Legal News v. Lehman 397 F.3d 692. 699-700 (9th Cir 2005) Green v. Ferrell 801 F.2d 765, 772 (5th Cir 1986) Mann v. Smith 796 F.2d 79 82-83 (5th Cir 1986) Van Cleave v. U.S. 854 F.2d 82, 84 (5th cir 1988)

chain
[Black Lives Matter] [Civil Liberties] [Police Brutality] [Principal Contradiction] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

Resistance to Killer Cops Tireless in Minnesota

burning cop car

Weeks into the Derek Chauvin trial, protests in Brooklyn City, Minnesota were set off by the shooting of 20-year-old New Afrikan Daunte Wright during a traffic stop. The pig who shot him claims she thought she had pulled her taser. People braved the snow and freezing temperatures night after night, resisting the curfew that was put in place by the fascist pigs. They chanted “fuck the police!” and “fuck your curfew!” as cops shot tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowds of hundreds to thousands of people.

As we go to press, the pig who killed George Floyd has been charged with 2nd degree murder. Derek Chauvin assassinated Floyd on 25 May 2020 by kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

This verdict doesn’t change the fact that over 1,100 people were killed by pigs outside of prison in 2020, and that that is consistent with previous years. Of those, 121 were pulled over for mere traffic violations like Daunte Wright. New Afrikans were 28% of those killed in 2020, despite being only 13% of the population. In cities like Chicago and Minneapolis, New Afrikans were killed by cops at over 20 times the rate of whites for 2013-2020. In that same period, no cops were charged in 98.3% of killings.(1) While this data may be incomplete, behind prison walls this information is even more hidden. United Struggle from Within reminds our readers that Prisoners’ Lives Matter too, despite being excluded from these statistics on murders by so-called “peace” officers.

In May 2020, George Floyd’s murder righteously struck a nerve in many people both in the United $tates and internationally. This lead to a great awakening in international consciousness and exposed some heavy contradictions concerning capitalism-imperialism and its facade of democracy and human rights. We were shown that it is a dictatorship, and just like all other political systems, its state representatives are only there to uphold and enforce its class interests.

One of the most inspiring consequences of the killing of George Floyd is how this is so relatable to so much of the world’s oppressed communities and how so many of them not only showed their support for New Afrikans in North America but used this as a catalyst to confront their own bourgeois dictatorships. Just last month, Victoria Salazar of El Salvador was killed by Mexican police by a knee pressing her neck into the ground similar to George Floyd. In response, wimmin across the country took to the streets, marching, performing street theatre and sometimes clashing with police. Feminists protested both the rate of femicide in the region as well as the militarized border patrols and policing that create the conditions for killings like Salazar’s; tracing it back to U.$. imperialism.

Even the bourgeoisie in China criticized how the United $tates polices its Black population, saying, “Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States.”(2)

Despite these connections, the death of Mr. Floyd had little chance of galvanizing itself to confront the U.$. bourgeois dictatorship or threaten its rule. A few officers were scapegoated. One will be doing prison time. And all Democrats and Republicans unanimously joined to denounce the officer’s actions. Western imperialism was quick to send out its talking heads and the Democratic Party to corral the people back into bourgeois confines and to let the system administer the appropriate “justice” through its judicial process. Then $27 million was given to the family in a very public and biased way which could be a sign and another way to placate the people. Sadly, Biden and the Democrats have largely won over much of the “allies” of the oppressed and New Afrikans in particular. A recent poll said that immediately after the uprising 60% said at least one pig “murdered” George, now it’s only 36%, which is just a sign of how fickle and amorphous even “talk” of discontent for how capitalism-imperialism treats the “other,” and how quick much of Amerikkka wants to get back to business, ie. back to normal.(3)

The trial of Derek Chauvin was captivating. Many people, from many backgrounds actually cared and tried to help George Floyd. Sadly, even in the rare occasion when they are given prison time, none of the pigs will be reformed. We know this because our own comrades who do want to serve the people are not given any resources to reform in the current prison system. This should only add to the list of reasons why capitalism-imperialism must go not why we need to give it yet one more chance, or worst still “push Biden further to the left.”

All comrades should be using their voice to build the anti-imperialist united front and demanding class suicide from all oppressed communities and justice-loving people in this country. It is real in the field, fascism is no longer a misnomer. There are very large swaths of the country who would love nothing more. The kid who murdered the two protestors in Kenosha received $2 million in donations, which just shows you what Amerikkkans think of the cries of its oppressed citizens, and also what it thinks of its right-wing vigilantes. Meanwhile Florida just passed a fascist bill that allows felony charges for protestors for “rioting,” including up to 15 years for those who damage or desecrate an historical monument. Meanwhile it protects Amerikans who assault or kill protestors with a deadly weapon (an automobile), a form of fascist vigilantism that has grown in recent years. Then you have the recent voting rights bills, such as in Georgia, to stop people from voting. This is a real crisis within the bourgeois empire itself on how to rule; whether oppressed nations are allowed to vote, or even to exist.

Mao said the basic law of dialectical-materialism is the unity of opposites. The primary contradiction in imperialism is the oppressed nations against the oppressor nations. Mao also said two cannot combine into one. Only revolution and a seizure of the state apparatus by the oppressed will ultimately transform this contradiction, yet we can and should be working to transform all aspects of the contradiction short of revolution we can in preparation for that time.

Amerikkka, or any First World nation, has no right to deny anyone a share of its ill-gotten spoils. We should not get caught up in the “lock-him-up” hysteria of this trial and instead demand and support a true united front against this system and expose it as an utter failure. We should be supporting the First Nations call of welcome to their cousins from South and Central America and those from the global south. The imperialists should not have undermined their governments and resources. We should be uniting with the Asian and Pacific Islander peoples’ struggles against national oppression, especially now, and welcoming them to the table (we’ve sure missed them and need them).

Studying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, applying dialectical materialism and historical materialism, building a new culture using the method of analysis and synthesis to critique and transform this gangster culture and “bourgeois” criminal mentality into a revolutionary one, building independent institutions to protect ourselves and avoid state repression and even exposure as much as possible and effecting both the quality and quantity of these contradictions amongst the people and the enemy.

There is nothing in the world but matter in motion and our current social contradictions must be exploited by real materialists. We are living through an historic moment, things are certainly in motion, and we must affect the direction they move in. If we dare recognize our collective enemy and transform our petty bourgeois “wanna-be” gangsta mentality into one that is at least sympathetic to the revolutionary process we can really change and exploit these contradictions so they are more favorable to us.

notes: 1. mappingpoliceviolence.org
2. China’s Warning to Biden, 21 March 2021, The Wall Street Journal.
3. Jordan Williams, 5 March 2021, Poll:Number who think George Floyd’s death was murder down more than 20 percent, The Hill.

chain
[Police Brutality] [Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

13-Year-Old Mexican Lumpen Youth Executed by a Chicago Pig

Adam Toledo body cam photo with hands up
Body cam footage shows Adam Toledo with his hands up just before
being shot and killed by Chicago police.

On 29 March 2021 around 3:00AM, a 13-year-old lumpen Mexican youth named Adam Toledo was murdered by the pigs of the Chicago Police Department. Before the murder, around 2:30 AM, the Chicago Police Department’s ShotSpotter technology - a privately owned surveillance system which monitors gunshots primarily in oppressed nation lumpen areas of Chicago(1) – detected a number of gunshots on the West Side of Chicago. Specifically, the shots were said to have come from the predominantly Chicano/Mexican migrant neighborhood of “Little Village.”(2) Alongside the crime scene was Toledo’s associate Roman Ruben, and an Amerikan Chicago pig named Eric Stillman who pulled the trigger at 13 year old Adam.(3) After Adam unarmed himself, the pig immediately shot Adam in the chest – killing him instantly.

The mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, and other bureaucrats of the city government, have played a massive role in covering up this extrajudicial killing of an oppressed nation youth. The recent uprisings in regards to the murder of George Floyd and other murders of New Afrikans by Amerikan pigs seemed to have made quite an impression on the imperialists and the comprador bourgeoisie of the oppressed nations. With the lead up to the release of the body cam footage, every pig in Chicago has had its days off cancelled. The pigs of the CPD has claimed this has been for the “public safety” of Chicago. Us Maoists know that what they really want is security, not “public safety.” It will be the oppressed nation lumpen who will have to take on the responsibilities of creating safety and most importantly, peace among the masses. The New Afrikan comprador Mayor Lightfoot has also stated: “Let us not forget that a mother’s child is dead. Siblings are without their brother. And this community is again grieving.”(4) It’s ironic how the comprador reminds the masses that the masses are grieving! The mayor seems to be saying that political criticisms of oppression and brutality are inappropriate during times of profound tragedies. With regards to this attitude, we tell our readers that tragedies don’t exist isolated from their surroundings, and there are material political-economic reasons as to why these murders of oppressed nation youth by pigs happen in our society.

The Pig’s POV and the Reactionary Apologia

After the deployment of all Chicago pigs – and the cynical concern of comprador Mayor Lightfoot – the body cam video has been released on April 15th after calls to release the footage by the Mexican/Chicano community and the parents of Adam Toledo. The footage shows the pig running towards Adam yelling at him to stop and to show him his hands. As Adam raised his hands, the cop immediately fired his weapon and the bullet hit his chest. Adam drops to the ground and the pigs call for medical back up stating that shots have been fired by police. (5)

The usual discourse and apologia surrounding cop killings started to roll in amongst the Amerikans and their reactionary lapdogs: “the cop was most likely scared”; “the 13 year old had a gun”; and “it’s sad what happened, but the 21-year-old Roman Ruben who manipulated Adam is the real villain.”

What Amerikans and their lapdogs forget to remember is this: Amerika waged war against the oppressed nations. This war might have not been stated by the president as the war against New Afrikans, [email protected], and the oppressed nations in word verbatim but a war has been waged nevertheless. The thin masking of this war by calling it a war against “drugs” or war against “crime” is not the issue. So with that being cleared up, we respond to these apologias with a question: did you expect your enemies of war to fight with sticks and stones? Of course the people you waged war against will have a gun. The assumption that pig Eric Stillman was feeling scared contradicts the claims made against Adam and Roman as criminals deserving of punishment. Adam probably felt scared as well running away from one of the most dangerous pig forces in the United $tates. Adam and Roman surely felt scared growing up in the West Side of Chicago being of oppressed nation origins. Should every wrong doing of Adam and Roman be just swept away then? Us Maoists say that with politicization and rehabilitation, people like Adam and Roman (oppressed nation lumpen youth) are some of the best positioned to become revolutionary and overthrow this system that arises violence and crime in the first place. What historical duties do cops like Eric Hillman serve? To defend and serve the security of imperialism and capitalism.

The ALKQN Strikes Back: Fact or Propaganda?

In the midst of all this, Adam’s affiliation with the Lumpen Organization (L.O.) the Almighty Latin King/Queen Nation(ALKQN) has surfaced. Sources from ALKQN associates and other L.O. affiliates’ social media posts have referred to him as “Bvby Diablo” and “Lil Homicide.”(6) The ALKQN has a long history of revolutionary political organizing, and even working with Maoists.(7) While transforming the entire ALKQN to a revolutionary vanguard has been unsuccessful and ultimately a failure, new projects and dedicated comrades have arose from the campaign of Latin Kings work with MIM such as the Noble Young Lords Party.(8)

Days after Adam was killed, the pigs in Chicago issued an “officer safety alert.” The CPD’s narcotics unit have heard that factions within the ALKQN on the Southwest side of Chicago have issued an order to their members to shoot at unmarked Chicago police vehicles.(9) This has raised another discourse of whether violence is justified, and sparked as ammo for the reactionaries’ justifying pig Eric Stillman’s crime.

This author believes that the ALKQN is completely capable of making these threats, and also completely capable of shooting at unmarked police vehicles. If these threats were made, and the actions carried out, we only condemn the act of making military offenses at the enemy while not being able to defend the masses from retaliation by the pigs. As we stated before, the masses will pay for the adventurist errors of leaders.(10) What we also want to highlight, however, is that it is just as much a possibility this information has been disseminated by the pigs to cause provocation amongst the [email protected]/Mexican L.O.s of Chicago. We advise our readers with a call for discipline during these times when contradictions heighten. Romantic attacks towards the enemy can only do so much, and the consequences of raids and military occupation are not worth the lumpen romance.

Notes: 1. Matt Finn, January 2018, “ShotSpotter technology makes dent in Chicago’s crime - but raises privacy concerns,” Fox News
2. ABC, April 2021, “What we know about the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo,” ABC News
3. Ibid.
4. Christine Fernando, April 2021, “Prosecutors allege 13-year-old had a gun when he was shot by Chicago police: What we know,” Yahoo News
5. Chicago Sun Times, April 2021, “Police body-cam footage released of the fatal shooting of Adam Toledo,” Youtube
6. Parwinder Sandhu, April 2021, “Adam Toledo Was Part of Latin Kings Gang? Boy was Called ‘Lil Homicide’ and ‘Bvby Diablo’ on Social Media,” International Business Times
7. Mississippi Prisoner, August 2015, “Freedom Fighter: Latin King Leaders,” ULK No. 47
8. Pablo Pueblo, April 2005, “NYLP Political Compendium Manual,” prison censorship.info
9. Frank Main, April 2021, “Gang members ‘instructed’ to shoot at police vehicles after Adam Toledo shooting, cops warned”, Chicago Sun Times
10. Greyhound, July 2020, “On the Tragic Death of Secoriea Turner,” ULK No. 71

chain
[Culture] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

Cancel Imperialist Culture

I was watching TMZ on the tell-a-lie-vision before chow time and they was speaking on how publishers will cease publishing six of Dr. Seuss’s books for racist depictions of lumpen and Third World peoples. Charles and Harvey were speaking on how the culture has changed from fifteen years ago where these books were acceptable in the public opinion, but now in this “Cancel Culture” where everyone has a “high sensitivity of social consciousness” and is on the assault on anything offensive to race or gender, etc. Charles and Harvey pose the question of where we’ll be fifteen years from now? But what I have to ask is, are we just getting into the age of ‘Cancel Culture’ or have we always been here?

Now this ‘Cancel Culture’ is what we been viewing for the past four years at least. Where celebrities, directors and individuals in the U.$. political arena end up getting their whole careers and lives stopped for acts like sexual harassment, racist statements or acts (old or new photos and videos) being exposed to the public and the public being in a state of outrage. But the lumpen and Third World proletariat have always been in a “Cancel Culture” and the reason is only because the imperialist/capitalists would rather live in luxury off the labor of the Third World proletariat, instead of living to make it equal for all peoples and folks to meet their needs which will be a state of socialism.

Now in this “Cancel Culture” season or era, is imperialism/capitalism or the RAPE of the lumpen and Third World proletariat going to end? How it looks like to me, we still have a long way to go. It amazes me that individuals are shocked about the Royal family tripping out on how dark the skin tone of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son would be, or how the royal family wasn’t going to give Archie the title of prince or a security force surrounding him. Oh, you thought that the Mother of Imperialism and Capitalism, the main country that colonized the world and titled their territories the “Commonwealth,” would be as ‘reformative’ or ‘progressive’ as her daughter Amerikkka is? We’ll see how that’ll turn out without us changing the powers that be. DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE HYPE!

As revolutionaries, we don’t want reform. We want a cancellation of Imperialistic/Capitalist power. The end of the rape of the Third World proletariat and lumpen. Let’s not get caught up in the mainstream revolutionary popularity contest, stay in the studies of Maoism, Leninism and Marxism, and the true authentic history of whatever nation one may be from. Find methods to cancel imperialistic/capitalistic culture and spread the concepts and ideologies of communism to further advance the movement in a positive and productive way, and liberate one’s nation and those who are in the same boat as us. And trust that comrades will come aid and assist in one’s righteous endeavors of the freedom from the bondage of imperialism and capitalism! Go through the stage of socialism where we are always in power over the bourgeoisie to stop the comeback of capitalism. And proceed into communism, which is the long-term goal.

CANCEL THE OPPRESSOR AND LIBERATE THE OPPRESSED PEOPLES AND KENSFOLK!!!

chain
[Drugs] [Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [Texas] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

The Tragedy of Officer Woods

police are weapons of mass destruction

I’ll never speak ill of the dead. However, if by telling their stories, we can prevent needless suffering, then those stories must be told. There is both beauty and power within our words. If we are to progress from erudite to enlightened, then we are obligated to speak effectively and responsibly. Sometimes, the greatest damage is done by not speaking up or not speaking out.

When I first saw Ms. Woods, I couldn’t help but ask my neighbor “Wow! Who is that?” Oh sure, I’ve seen some very attractive guards down here. But this girl seemed almost too pretty to be working at a prison. My cellie spoke up and said “Do yourself a favor bro, leave that one alone. She’s poison candy. Nice shiny wrapper on the outside… but completely toxic inside.”

I take everything with a grain of salt down here. Surely, this was an exaggeration. I thought these two were just being cynical. Time in here has a way of making people jaded. You’re either going to get better or bitter. Unfortunately, their warnings proved to be both timely and accurate. From the first moment she opened her mouth, the most venomous hatred imaginable spewed out.

For the most part, I wouldn’t have to be around her very much. I’d managed to land a good job at our unit print shop. Four days a week, I’d be gone for 12 hours a day. Guards here work 4 on 4 off. So that even further reduced my chances of seeing her. I figured I could handle just about anything for 3 days. Guess I was wrong.

My very first run-in with her happened on a Saturday. I knew to be at my cell when they called count time. They came through and did their thing. Then the lights turned out. I went into the restroom to finish getting ready for visit. I heard a door pop open moments later, only to be followed by her screaming “10 bunk!” then a string of profanities. Talk about getting caught with your pants down. She walks by while I’m still on the toilet, screaming, “You’re getting a case!”

My neighbor walks over and says “She took your I.D. bro! And your house is thrashed!” Sure enough, I get back to my cubicle and it’s a mess. Everything is on the floor. She wasn’t even doing a search. She simply did it out of spite. By the time I get things almost back in order, it’s about to be lunch. She’s still got my I.D. card, but now she’s nowhere to be found. Great. Hopefully, I can track her down before I get called in for visit.

Sure enough, lunch rolls around and I gotta tell them to punch in my number. “Ms. Woods took my I.D.” The guard at chow hall looks up and smiles, “Sucks to be you!” By the time I get back to the wing, they call me for visit. I leave to find the sergeant to explain that I can’t get into visitation without it. He tells me, “She probably went on break to write you up. Don’t worry about the case. I got you. From now on, you’d better steer clear of that one! Got it?”

The weeks fly by, and I’m fortunate enough to only see her in passing. Oh sure, she’s definitely pretty to look at, but now I avoid her like the plague. All I’m trying to do is stay out of their way.

One day my boss at print shop says “Okay, shut it down. They’re racking up the farm.” We get out to the back gate and they make me sit down. All these guards go running past us headed for one building.

Two guards are talking between themselves, but we can hear over the radio chatter that there has been another assault on staff. Now these guards start to argue, “Look, I don’t care where you put them! But they gotta be out here so that ambulance can come in!”

By the time we get back to our own building, all hell has broken loose. We can hear the warden’s voice on another radio screaming, “LOCK IT DOWN!!” They got one of the halls blocked off. As we walk by to go back in our wing, we can see all these burgundy pools of coagulated blood. This is bad.

Soon as we walk in, they ask me, “Did you hear about Officer Woods? DUDE … he beat the brakes off of her!” I look down at him and ask, “Who?” his eyes get real big when he says “Smitty! I thought y’all knew. Man … he just flipped out! Followed her right out the door into deep space, knocked her out, and then went to WORK on her! After that they say he just walked up to the desk and turned around so they could put the cuffs on him.”

After three weeks of lockdown, we were finally able to go back to work. Then I learned the rest of the story. Seems that while Smitty was off work on his bereavement, Woods went in and tossed his cell. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when she took his pictures off his wall. You see … this poor man had just lost his mother, sister and baby daughter, all in quick succession within about six weeks of each other.

Now, of course, I wasn’t there to see it, but everybody says he got down on his hands and knees to BEG that woman not to take those precious photos. I’m told that even after he explained their sudden deaths, she callously laughed in his face and said “Forget your dead family.” Only she chose to use a different “F” word.

That beating wasn’t what killed her. It was the lifestyle. Reports say that they saved her life multiple times, both on the way to the hospital and in the operating room once she got there. There was extensive reconstructive surgery. Nobody will even know the full extent of the traumatic brain injury. It’s often those scars on the inside, that just won’t heal.

After a few months off, she returned to work. Doctors had done an amazing job, considering the extent of her injuries. Her entire face was pulverized. Oh, she was still somewhat pretty. But those drop dead gorgeous, model-quality features, were long gone. Her nose, eyes and cheekbones weren’t the same. People couldn’t tell if they were dentures or implants, but that smile would never be the same either.

You see … all along, she’d been manipulated and exploited by the gangs. For almost her entire tenure, she’d been smuggling in dope and cell phones. The perverts had simply preyed on her own insecurity. How could somebody so stunning on the outside be completely devoid of the true beauty that only comes from within? The only way prison officials ever found out about her activities was when they busted somebody with one of those phones.

The photos and videos were as numerous as they were explicit. So was all that contact information. It was a treasure trove of evidence. She’d also been prostituting herself. The predators had simply used her, then discarded her like some piece of garbage. Administration walked her off the unit in disgrace.

In the end, the prosecution’s job would be easy. She was facing a long list of criminal charges. I suppose the stress of an impending court trial, along with everything else, simply proved to be too much for her. I was SOOOO HOPING that all those rumors weren’t true. Unfortunately, she really did it. Ms. Woods died of a single gunshot wound to the head. She put the pistol in her mouth – just to stop the pain.

We found out about officer Woods’ suicide in 2019. A few months ago, we found out that Ms. Davis had met a similar fate. We are still unclear as to whether her death was a suicide or accidental overdose. The specifics of each of these tragedies is not nearly as important as the root causes of the problem, which remains the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. TDCJ does not care about stopping the rampant corruption and injustice here in Texas. Everyone from the newest correctional officers to the top administrative officials are complicit and therefore profits from this malfeasance!


MIM(Prisons) adds: We have seen some interesting things in the last year or so. Some prison systems have instituted egregious restrictions on mail claiming it was used to smuggle drugs, and all prisons locked down completely with no visitors for months due to the global pandemic. Yet, reports from prison after prison, from state to state to the feds, have unanimously reported no change in the availability of contraband during these periods.

The imperialists portray ending crime as a great mystery that can’t be solved, a timeless problem that we can only respond to with force and punishment. This is metaphysics, it fails to look at the past, at humyn societies before classes and poverty, at countries who built socialism and virtually eliminated drug abuse, prostitution, theft, hunger, homelessness, etc. These things go hand-in-hand. Our crime-ridden society is not eternal, it stems from our economic system and is reinforced by the cultural ideas that come with such a system. Changing the economic system is hard, it will take determination and sacrifice by many. But once we do, ending so much needless suffering and conflict between humyns is not so hard.

chain
[Aztlan/Chicano] [Civil Liberties] [Campaigns] [Abuse] [Republic of Aztlán] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

ROA Statement on Kids in Kkkages

No More Kids in Kkkages

The Koncentration Kkkamps holding migrant children are horrific. We see images of dog kennels being used to warehouse these babies and not enough is being done to shut them down. The U.$. “Left” has been unable to respond properly and something more needs to be done.

We recently discussed this issue where the Chicano Nation has supported the actions of many issues and will continue to do so but when it comes to kids in kkkages the turn out of non-Raza allies is slim to none. This has to change.

The Republic of Aztlán (ROA) has taken a firm stand on this issue. We attend all actions that we can for all forms of injustice and we will continue to have boots on the ground. However, we have reached a position that if we are asked to do security or speak at an action or event if the hosts do not speak on the kids in kkkages we will decline. We will still attend, but will not do security or speak if these allies are not addressing these kids at this particular action.

We feel that we must apply pressure on the overall movement and push them to be more revolutionary. This small act may not succeed but we will have tried.

Children held in dog kennels should affect anyone with an ounce of humynity. People say “Free all political prisoners.” These kids, in our opinion, are political prisoners. More than that, it’s a crime against humynity what is occurring.

The ROA will continue our campaign to free the kids. We are currently organizing a tour where we will address the Kids in Kkkages from Califaztlan to New York, so stay tuned.

chain
[Economics] [Abuse] [COVID-19] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

Stimulus Checks Are Being Stolen by TDCJ-CID

[MIM(Prisons) are not lawyers. The legal information provided by jailhouse lawyers in ULK is verified to the best of our ability. This particular issue seems like a winnable battle based on the information provided, but winning will take more effort by comrades in Texas.]

Prisoners in Texas are having the money from their stimulus checks taken by the state to pay fees and restitutions. Section 272(d)(2) of the Consolidated Appropriations Act provides that the second round of stimulus checks ‘shall not be transferable or assignable, at law or in equity, and no applicable payment shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.’ This means that this round of stimulus checks may not be garnished to cover overdue debts by federal or state prisons.(1)

The stimulus checks have the same protections as the United States Veteran Affairs Administration whom sends millions of checks across the country to incarcerated former military service men and women whom only get 10% of such checks.

People held by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Correction Institutions Division(TDCJ-CID) are having their stimulus checks stolen from their inmate trust funds accounts due to debts owed in the following categories, with the percent of each deposit they will deduct for each category:

  1. federal court costs (20%)
  2. state court costs (10%)
  3. child support assistance (case-by-case)
  4. medical co-payments (50%)
  5. TDCJ-CID indigent supplies and postage (100%)
  6. TDCJ-CID disciplinary destroying prison’s property (100%)
  7. current/prior TDCJ sentences (old or new, no amount specified)

I have written a complaint – a TDCJ Step One Offender Grievance Form No. 2021020837 that said the direction would come form the IRS as to whether those stimulus checks would be exempt from collection. The response was that this “action was out of the control of the unit, no action warranted.”

Thereafter, I appealed that response in another complaint Step Two Offender Grievance Form. I wrote the agents in charge at the IRS Department of the Treasury in Austin, TX but never received any response.

Scholl v. Mnuchin, et al. No.4:20-cv-05309-PJH ND Cal.; Appeal Docket No. 20-16915 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of prisoners getting stimulus checks while incarcerated. The checks in question should not be confused with the most recent $1400 checks under current Presdient Joseph Biden. It was the $1200 and $600 checks under President Donald Trump that were ruled on. These checks should be issued whether one is incarcerated or not because everybody is affected by this global crisis.

According to The Intercept the TDCJ was ironically the only state they spoke to that claimed it was not garnishing stimulus checks to its prisoners. Many, if not all, states have seemingly been breaking the law in doing so.(2)

There is a solution to safe-guard some form of protection to those stimulus checks or other funds.

MIM(Prisons) adds: The author provided names of some companies that used to provide banking services for prisoners. These companies all seem to have closed down. We leave this note here as a suggestion for possible solutions to storing your stimulus money if you can find a similar service that is trusted.

Also note, that according to caresactprisoncase.org, if you have not filed the tax forms for the stimulus checks by 15 April 2021 you may not be able to receive them. At the same time, the official word has gone back and forth on how all this works.

Some comrades have written in to say they are boycotting the stimulus checks. While we agree that these stimulus checks are a means of buying off the population in U.$. borders with wealth stolen from the Third World, as individuals we can still do good things with this money. Like how we view investing in the stock market, we do not take a moralistic view of this money and encourage comrades to get the funds they are legally due and put them to good use in projects serving the people and building independent institutions of the oppressed.

Notes: 1. https://caresactprisoncase.org/incarcerated-people-are-eligible-for-second-round-of-stimulus-payments/
2. Asher Stockler and Daniel Moritz-Rabson, 17 February 2021, Prisons Are Skimming Big Chunks of CARES Act Stimulus Checks, A September court ruling promised incarcerated people their slice of the federal stimulus. Some prisons still took a cut, The Intercept.

chain
[Censorship] [COVID-19] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

Censorship, Inside and Outside

As social conditions on both sides of the walls cause dissent and unrest, formerly disengaged elements are beginning to ask profound questions regarding the contradictions of humyn society. As these queries continue, people continue to seek out answers. It is at this point where imperialist institutions begin to up the intensity of their censorship.

In recent months, retail giant Amazon censored a book entitled Capitalism on a Ventilator: The Impact of COVID-19 in China & the U.S. The company sent a notice on its censorship of the book and its up-to-date information on COVID-19 stating, “Amazon reserves the right to determine what content we offer according to our content guidelines. Your book does not comply with those guidelines. As a result, we are not offering your book for sale.” Amazon claims to refer people only to “official sources of advice” on the COVID-19 virus, yet there are an abundance of conspiracy theory books on COVID, calling it a hoax.

People and groups on the supposed “left” have initiated a campaign on Twitter consisting of sending an ever flowing stream of tweets at Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The above mentioned book was written by a collection of people around the world and edited by both a U.S. and a Chinese activist. The book puts forth answers to questions being asked, most importantly: “why is China doing so much better containing the virus?” Evidence and available data show that China’s containment of the virus stems from its free medical care and its planned economic system being supposedly “science-based and co-operative.” This book does an injustice to socialism by insinuating that China, Laos, Cuba, Vietnam and North Korea are socialist or are currently attempting to build socialism. That is not true. But it does stand to reason that those previously socialist nations, with their residue of socialism, are doing better because of said residue.

Behind enemy lines on occupied Turtle Island, captives of the imperialist state have been active in resistance during the recent rise in social unrest. One of the various tactics used by the agents of repression has been to pick up the intensity of institutional harassment and mail censorship. Mail of prisoners known or suspected to be visionary leaders and protagonists has recently begun to completely disappear without any notice of censorship or denial. This same nucleus of captives has seen the disappearance of stimulus checks, political writings advocating communism, revolutionary nationalism, and writings exposing recent pig physical abuse against defenseless captives.

These disappearances are clearly politically motivated, as only activists and revolutionaries are subject to these tactics. Even more far reaching, is the delay in mail, both outgoing and incoming. Comrades within this nucleus received a recent mailing from comrades at MIM (Prisons) one month after it was mailed.

In response, it is paramount that comrades and visionary captives take steps to maneuver around obstacles put in place to neutralize our righteous revolutionary cause(s). Security culture inside the walls and out must be practiced in the extreme.

chain
[Idealism/Religion]
expand

No Way As The Way

[Hook]
My way might not be your way
But it’s okay
It’s alright, your way might not be my way
But it’s okay
It’s alright


[Stic.man]
Yea, I used to go to church
But the church didn’t quench my thirst
Mama taught me to put god first
But she never tried to block my search
I was curious, young but serious
Why's religion so mysterious
Why is black life so hard?
They say you’re not supposed to question God
Well is it okay to question the pastor?
Was it passed down from the slave-master?
It was only the truth I was after
But I never could get a straight answer
So I couldn’t relate to the sermon
Put down the bible, then I start learning
About life, didn’t know where the path would lead
But I had to get off my knees


[Hook]


[Stic.man]
I build with the Five Percenters
On the God within us, it’s no limits
Study the Metu Neter from Kemet
All saw, I remembered
Smoke herb with the Rastafarians
Grew my locks became a vegetarian
Following the Tao, building with the Baba Laos
Jewels being handed to a innocent child
My mind is a Buddhist temple, the truth is simple
I try to be principled
Walking with a warrior spirit
Ain’t nothing like learning from first hand life experience
I’m a realist, that’s all I deal with
Respect the truth, that’s all I build with
A child of the universe
My religion is life and it’s just as valid
I strive for balance


[Hook]


[M-1]
I gotta admit, I don’t know
In the end which way it’s gonna go
Why we sit by the project window,
Instead of living off the land with my kin folk?
Is there even a master plan?
An unseen hand? Is God a man?
Some say that’s sacrilegious
Same folks selling us lies about Christmas
Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny
Just so the capitalists can make money
They say God will take care of it
But you a terrorist if you say the same thing in Arabic
It’s so hypocritical
It’s a miracle, listen to the message in the spirituals
Wade in the water, I’m following Ms. Tubman and Nat Turner
I'm praying for my freedom
and heading for the border


[Hook: x3]
This article referenced in:
chain
[Drugs] [Texas] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

TDCJ: Your Staff are Bringing in the Drugs, and it Must Stop

In the 27 years of being confined within these walls, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has always blamed families, claiming that the families are the ones who smuggle dangerous contraband (cellphones, meth, K2, heroin) into the prisons. As of today, we’ve been without visits over a year, due to COVID-19, yet this place is still full of contraband.

Last month several prisoners died from suicide, overdoses, and others hurt fellow prisoners while high on drugs. In order to cover up what’s really going on, the unit was placed on lock down, and a team was brought to shake down and tear up our property. While all this was going on, the only form of communication with our families, the phones, was turned off. We were punished because guards brought the drugs and the prisoners used them.

TDCJ officials and higher-ups refuse to admit there’s a serious problem within the system, and it’s not the prisoners. Prisoners can’t go out the gate, purchase contraband, then return to prison. It’s just not possible. How can prisoners rehabilitate themselves when there’s more drugs in here than out there? Society should take a closer look at the real problem and remember that a lot of prisoners will return to communities out there worse than before, due to the drugs the guards bring into this place.

Someone with a voice of authority and who’s willing to dedicate themselves to bringing new change, needs to step up to this problem. Millions of taxpayers’ dollars are being given to prisons, supposedly to rehabilitate prisoners – it’s the biggest lie prison officials tell the public. Only a handful of prisoners are being rehabilitated. The rest are walking around like zombies high on meth or K2.

I humbly request that my comrades at MIM please help bring this situation to the proper officials, maybe then change will come, that will truly help to rehabilitate my brothers in this place, who are dying from the poison the true criminals (guards) bring to these prisons.


MIM(Prisons) responds: In addition to no visits for a year, TDCJ has also been not allowing all kinds of mail including greeting cards and childrens’ drawings, which they allege were also a means by which family members were sending in drugs.

Under Lock & Key No. 59 dealt in depth with the problem of drugs in prisons, how widespread they were, and the very strong material interest of the prisoners and staff involved in the drug trade to keep that going. The above experiments of closing down visitation and mail demonstrate scientifically that it is primarily staff bringing in the drugs. This is not unique to Texas.

This evidence is damning. And we stand with all comrades locked up who oppose the scourge of drugs being brought into prisons by the state’s very own staff. The censorship and harassment of family members and prisoners themselves also must stop. For our whole lifetimes, drugs have been brought into our communities by the state and then used as an excuse to oppress, harass and control. The drugs themselves serving to control and subdue the people.

We are expanding the work of our Serve the People Re-Lease on Life program with a new revolutionary 12 Step Program to help those with all kinds of addictions to re-create themselves as new, revolutionary humyns. We must build a culture of true rehabilitation that the state is not providing, as this comrade points out. Only programs of the people, can really serve the peoples’ interests.

Meanwhile, we want to work with prisoners and their families to pressure the state to recognize these facts that are being exposed thanks to the pandemic. If we can get them to reduce the amount of drugs their staff sneak into prisons, we can reduce the harm they are having on our people behind bars.

chain
[Economics] [Polemics] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

A Maoist Rebuttal To Lazy Dogmatism

consumption of Americans poorest 20% compared to third world
image from justfacts.com Calculated with data from: a) Dataset: “Household Final Consumption Expenditure Per Capita (Constant 2010 US$).” World Bank, January 19, 2018. <data.worldbank.org> b) Dataset: “Price Level Ratio of PPP Conversion Factor (GDP) to Market Exchange Rate.” World Bank, January 19, 2018. <data.worldbank.org> c) Dataset: “PPP Conversion Factor, Private Consumption (LCU Per International $).” World Bank, July 10, 2019. Accessed July 24, 2019 at <data.worldbank.org> d) Dataset: “Official Exchange Rate (LCU Per US$, Period Average).” World Bank, July 10, 2019. Accessed July 24, 2019 at <data.worldbank.org> e) Paper: “Integration of Micro and Macro Data on Consumer Income and Expenditures.” By Clinton P. McCully. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, October 23, 2012. <www.justfacts.com> Page 36: “Table 6. Household Consumption Expenditures by Quintiles” f) Dataset: “The Distribution of Household Income, 2016.” Congressional Budget Office, July 2019. <www.cbo.gov> “Table 1. Demographics, by Income Group, 1979 to 2016 (Millions)” NOTE: An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

The following is a response to some topics of debate within the article “Maoist Third Worldism: Responding to Criticism from a Reader” by Mazur of the blog Struggle Sessions. “Maoist” projects in the United States have put forth a number of lines in recent years as worthy of dividing over. In our mind, there is none more important than the class structure of this country. And if anyone wants to attempt a follow up to Mazur’s effort, we request they respond to Imperialism and its Class Structure in 1997 by MC5, rather than some ideas in your head about what MIM Thought is.

Value and Price

Struggle Sessions asserts that the proponents of unequal exchange between imperialism and the oppressed nations (i.e.: finished goods and export commodities are unbalanced in such a way that the countries whose wealth is being extracted are given a raw deal) couch their views in part on a belief that the price of a given commodity is set as equal across different countries. To that allegation we reply: in what ‘Third Worldist’ publication has this been written? To my knowledge MIM has not claimed this, nor was this asserted by the earlier contributor. Cite your sources. Do not attempt to employ a selective choice of academics as a stand-in with an eye towards deceiving your online readership by purposefully distorting matters to the benefit of your dogmatic conception of economic affairs and reality. That is why it is easy for you to tear down your chosen academic-as-foil such as in your statement that:

Amin would later adopt this to equalize price levels so that a given use value costs the same in U.S. as it does in Guatemala. Before getting into this this is just not true anyways…

You perceive yourself as rather clever, don’t you. We wonder into what other topics of discussion you have inserted such imperious analysis and judgments which have also resorted to similar rhetorical deceptions and sleights-of-hand. Also, if our stance on unequal exchange was really a “less sophisticated version” as you claim, wouldn’t you just stick to picking apart that easier prey instead? So we see again that you, Mazur, have run into problems, problems concerning deceit and faulty logic in equal measure.

You are at least correct on one thing, and that is your statement that your academic could not stand the test of Marxism. So let’s drop any other “version that is worth using” and stick with Marxian economics. And by Marxian economics, we do not refer merely to its classical conception (it is worth noting that Marx claimed even he was not a Marxist, alluding to the fact that Marxism is a living science, ever changing and developing new insights, not static and impervious to advances in economic complexity over time); we also refer to its continuity within a Leninist framework in the era of imperialism, super-exploitation and the labor aristocracy, which Lenin gave clarity to and which MIM Thought has further expanded upon through materialist analysis.

You allege that in our analysis we deliberately ignore the labor theory of value. So, we will begin with Marx:

What, then, is the value of laboring power? Like that of every other commodity, its value is determined by the quantity of labor necessary to produce it. (1)

‘Value’ in its final form must correspond to the labor power embodied in a given commodity. Yet properly gauging this has become more complex under imperialism. The main way we have typically measured it is through its price, its exchange value. This follows what is termed the law of value, but, when commodities and the labor embodied in them (what is termed ‘dead labor’) are transferred from the developing peripheries to an imperialist nation via multinational corporations, the connection of value to its price is distorted to the point where the product (your banana) is finally placed in the produce section at an American supermarket, so much super-profits have accrued from not paying the Guatemalan workers the value of their labor that upon its sale there is enough excess profit for the United Fruit Co. to in turn bless its American management and warehouse employees with more than the value of their labor, in effect purchasing their allegiance to where they no longer have just their ‘chains’ to lose. They have become invested in the continuation of super-exploitation of the Guatemalan proletariat as have many additional Americans in their role as consumers, fresh off the job in your glorified manufacturing sector, who purchase the produce (yes, despite paying over its market value in Guatemala “and regular distribution and retail costs, the speculative costs of the money market, etc.”) and, being entitled to similar wage privileges, can also afford to have their money manager include shares of United Fruit in their investment portfolio, if they so choose. As for our plantation worker: “In Guatemala, where the minimum wage is roughly $11 a day” and workers “struggle to bring home even $220 a month” (2), they may not have the luxury of being able to afford the very product of their own toil without first considering whether it will cut into other essential purchases or payments owed, despite it selling for close to its actual value. The logic behind these processes are so elementary that all but those who are ‘so intelligent, they are stupid’ cannot fail to comprehend it. This is on display when you surprisingly acknowledge that this wealth transfer happens to the extent we describe, yet simultaneously are unable to understand or remain willfully ignorant of its far-reaching implications. You state:

“Because of capital export it does indeed follow that the U.S. is a net importer of commodities and that there is a stratum of monopoly capitalists who derive their profits solely from interest from their direct foreign investment that melts down to this strata …”

But, not to be deterred, you say that exploitation happens at the point of production and the lazy dogmatist in you resurfaces as you go on to state further:

“… but the U.S. is still the second largest manufacturer in the world, behind only China. This is something the ‘TWist’ does not want to recognize, that the class which has nothing to lose but its chains is concentrated in large numbers in the USA.”

Who is proletarian? Are they a revolutionary vehicle?

We are glad that we can agree that the proletariat is the class that has nothing to lose but its chains. But the relevance of manufacturing statistics we find confusing. Once again, you do not want to recognize the full extent of this wealth transfer, but this time as it plays out in the domestic manufacturing sector:

“They can’t compete with China in terms of labor. An American manufacturing employee makes an average of $26 an hour, while his or her Chinese counterpart makes only $5 an hour, according to the Reshoring Institute.”(3)

American manufacturing operations are still dependent on raw materials and parts with unpaid-for embodied labor within them that is obtained under a system of super-exploitation and shipped across borders for Amerikan workers to tinker with. This results in wages that are at least five times higher and above the value of their labor because there is enough money being made for the capitalists to both turn a profit and purchase their allegiance. When you deny the hidden transfer of value between national economies, perhaps it makes sense to estimate the size of the proletariat based on GDP numbers as Mazur does above. The United States being “the second largest manufacturer” only proves that a lot of value is being realized here, not where that value is coming from.

While, we do not recall anyone ever not recognizing that some Amerikan workers are employed in the manufacturing sector, the one thing we do not equate them with is being a part of the proletariat. Lenin reexamined the meaning of ‘proletarian’ in a more nuanced manner when he said:

“The Roman proletarian lived at the expense of society. Modern society lives at the expense of the modern proletarian. Marx specifically stressed this profound observation of Sismondi. Imperialism somewhat changes the situation.”(4)

The proletariat can most accurately be described as the social group that is the revolutionary vehicle. This does not mean that it is synonymous with the industrial working class for all times and contexts. Mao understood this when he harnessed the immense latent power of the Chinese peasantry, who at the time made up around 95% of the population. They became the revolutionary vehicle while the industrial workers, due in part to their marginal proportions, assumed more of an auxiliary role. Would you also embrace the lazy dogmatism of the Trotskyists who cling to their orthodoxy with a religious fervor and state that, because the peasantry is not the industrial working class, it cannot be capable of being the backbone of a revolution? History showed us otherwise, while you would have been as insistent as Chen Duxiu and got nothing accomplished. No, Mazur, in this matter you are much like the ‘Marxists’ who see Cuba or China as socialist. How so? Because you identify things based on their form rather than their substance. You have lost the ability (if you were ever able) of discerning who is revolutionary and who is not, who are our friends and who are likely to betray us to protect their stake in the system. You see occupations instead of workers economic co-optation within that occupation by way of a reactionary vested interest in their allegiance to empire and its spoils. This makes you no different than the ‘Communists’ of yesteryear who saw workers in hardhats attacking demonstrators protesting U.S. involvement in Vietnam as objectively revolutionary, or the socialist parties who supported their nations’ entrance into imperialist world wars as to the workers’ benefit at the munitions plants:

“Thus, on the outbreak of the imperialist war in 1914 the parties of the social-traitors in all countries, when they supported the bourgeoisie of their ‘own’ countries, always and consistently explained that they were acting in accordance with the will of the working class. But they forgot that, even if that were true, it must be the task of the proletarian party in such a state of affairs to come out against the sentiments of the majority of the workers and, in defiance of them, to represent the historical interests of the proletariat.”(5)

This is why when you say that our line leads one to the inevitable conclusion that the working class in the U.S. and other imperialist countries are the main exploiting class of the people of the world and that “this would make the task of Communists to divide and discourage the just rebellion of the masses,” we would concur, save for the whole bit of rhetorical flourish about it being a ‘just rebellion.’

But you continue harping on that the imperialist working class faces, in your words:

“… exploitation in many forms, with work speed-ups, greater temporary contracts, de-skilling, through greater constant capital being introduced and wage depression.”

Clearly such things applied to even an exploiter working class would still benefit the capitalists. We do not claim that these workers are insulated from unfair working conditions despite benefiting from their relationship with imperialism, as they remain the subordinate partner in this role. But we do not go so far as to label it ‘exploitation,’ because being ‘exploited’ is a very precise Marxist term. We would like to make clear that this does not mean that by extension we believe that no one faces conditions of exploitation within the imperialist centers, nor do we “contend that there is no proletariat to organize in the imperialist countries.” The previous ‘TWist’ contributor also did not claim this. They criticized you for arguing “that the labor aristocracy is not the majority class in the first world” (emphasis ours). MIM(Prisons) has this to say:

“Our claims, however, are far from this. Our claim is that the masses here are a minority force: they are oppressed nation, they are migrants, they are prisoners, etc. We have been saying this for many years, yet [our critics] ignore this line and claim that we do not believe that anyone is oppressed in the First World. We don’t claim that there are no masses here, we claim that the constantly dying imperialist system needs to fall in order for proletarianization of the labor aristocracy to happen.”(6)

We can look to segments of the internal semi-colonies including the over 500 Indigenous nations on the continent, sectors of the Third World diaspora including the so-called ‘illegal’ migrant workers residing within imperialist borders, the revolutionary youth and intellectuals, and the revolutionized lumpen and prison populations as wellsprings for our revolutionary mass base in this country. But you would, again, looking at form rather than substance, likely scoff at this and act like we are just going to accept and network with these groups uncritically as we encounter them and not pursue their further proletarianization. This is not the case. We also express with a higher degree of actual confidence and certainty that the above-mentioned groups have a greater interest in seeing the tables turned in this country, and turned violently, than your bourgeoisified working classes you seek to lose yourselves in.

And note: it is at this point that, having just detailed our position clearly and corrected the record, we will formally ask you to cease claiming that we believe that there are no proletarians or masses within the imperialist centers to practice the mass line with. Quote us correctly. Honesty may not come naturally to you, but those who stumble across this blog page deserve a truthful and accurate representation of views other than your own. You can only deceive the masses for so long before they find out and call you on your bullshit. On a related note, it is amusing (while incorrect) that you paint proponents of the labor aristocracy-maturation line as “largely abstentionists from revolutionary practice” when we can observe the prison ministry of the MIM testing its ideas, struggling with the imprisoned masses and developing theory through practice. Providing this leadership and developing new cadre in the prisons while retaining fidelity to anti-imperialism and the international proletariat is a verifiable practice of theirs. On the other hand, it remains to be seen how you and your lazy dogmatist cohorts will translate such fine rhetoric as “recogniz[ing] the importance of organizing the proletariat [in the manufacturing sectors] as a vital trench, to defeat imperialism’s political influence through the labor aristocracy among the proletariat” into concrete policies and actions.

Role of Consumption in Determining Our Friends

You are quick to dismiss arguments about Amerikan access to wealth by saying that as real Marxists we know that exploitation happens at the point of production,

“We see then that exploitation does not happen at the level of circulation. It happens at production as will be explained further below.”

Yet we do not argue that the proletariat is being exploited at the supermarket. Rather we are saying that surplus value is calculated by the simple arithmetic of subtracting value received by the worker from the value added by the worker. Therefore, increasing value received has the potential of creating a negative value on the right-hand side of that equation; surplus value can be negative. Of course this can only be true for a subset of so-called workers or capital would cease to circulate.

You take another grain of truth from Marx and extrapolate it inappropriately in your sentence:

“For TWists who distort Marxism, the greater amount of use values a wage can command=the lesser degree of exploitation of a waged worker.”

Marx’s model predicts an increase in use values becoming available to the proletariat, and even becoming part of the value of labor (the basic cost of survival). An example of this would be that by 2018, 83% of adults in Third World countries had a cell phone.(7) Banking and other services are often only available in remote regions via cell phone. Therefore, having a cell phone in general would not be a good indicator of the degree of exploitation someone faced in 2018. Whereas in 1990, it was a good indicator that you were not exploited.

You continue,

“Pure and simple, a temp worker at a plastic shop earning 25,000 in the USA doesn’t exploit anyone, while a food production small business owner in Managua who earns less than 25,000 who has employees who earn less than what he does exploits – exploitation requires a position of ownership and control over the means of production.”

While 86% of adults in Kenya have a cell phone (less than half of those have smart phones), the average consumption of the poorest 20% of Amerikans is about 10 times that of the average Kenyan.(8) What economic logic would Struggle Sessions use to justify enjoying use values an order of magnitude greater than those in the Third World, while maintaining that both groups are exploited proletarians with nothing to lose but their chains? Here you argue that an Amerikan making more money than a Nicaraguan has more revolutionary potential. What happened to “nothing to lose but their chains”?

Another metric provided at the website above is the number of Big Mac’s a McDonald’s worker can buy with one hour of wages in 2007. An Amerikan working at McDonald’s at that time could buy 6 times as many Big Macs as an Indian working the same job.(8) Will Struggle Sessions argue that the Amerikan is more productive flipping burgers? Not to mention the fact that most Amerikans are now engaged in service work like this where the possibility for great increases in productivity don’t even exist as they do in manufacturing.

From there we must ask, what systems of militarism, war, borders and financial manipulations must be maintained to keep that differential between the Amerikan McDonald’s worker and the Indian one? And how does Struggle Sessions propose we can organize these Amerikan McDonald’s workers to oppose militarism, war, borders and international finance manipulating the economies of the Third World?

Pray tell, comrade, how are you going to combat the siren song of the labor aristocracy in their workplaces, especially when you fail to even properly recognize who is and isn’t a part of the labor aristocracy? And we ask, are you going to offer less opportunities to fight for ill-gotten spoils of imperialism? No, that won’t do it, no. So not only are you going to 1) hop into the ‘trench’ of worker privilege, valiantly protecting and further fattening the bloated hourly earnings of production workers, their pension plans and paid-vacation leave; but 2) you are going to attempt to convince them that they should want to overthrow the government and corporations which supply their cushy material existence; following that up by 3) asking them to be on board with a future reduction in pay and standard of living to pursue the objective of an equal global distribution of wealth and reparations to the Global South; and 4) all the while being supportive of a proposal for a demilitarized, open border with Mexico so that the working classes of all nations can pursue better employment opportunities?

Mazur, we can’t even say that we wish you luck (and certainly not on the first point); just that it’ll be the workers themselves, not their employers or security, picking you up and throwing you out of the factory floor and onto your ass. But go ahead and falsify our thesis and you will effectively accomplish what no amount of keyboard clattering on your part can do at present. That is essentially what it comes down to. Show us. Moreover, do so without inadvertently activating social-fascism.

Applying Marxism to Our Conditions

In the 100-odd years since the first successful revolution leading to a dictatorship of the proletariat, none have occurred in an imperialist country with the industrial working classes as the revolutionary vehicle. You acknowledge we are right in pointing this out. Yet you still cannot comprehend the full gravity of the labor aristocracy maturation-line to know that the reasons that you cite for this failure (fascism, revisionism) are intrinsically tied up with a failure on the part of Communist organizations to determine the true extent of the rot and subsequently to cease catering to the labor aristocracy’s demands altogether. The problem lies in part with the fact that you believe (as if it were still the second decade of the last century, not the current one) that:

“The reality is such a condition for labor aristocracy is rooted fundamentally in the opportunist political leadership of sections of organized labor, courting favor with U.S. imperialism in competition on a world scale. It was never defined, by Lenin, Mao or any other past revolutionary movement from among the oppressed nations and proletariat, as a strata that encapsulated the entirety of the working class (white or otherwise) of the ‘First World.’”

Lazy dogmatism rears its head once more when you go referencing the classics without taking into account the particular dynamics of our ever deeper progression into the imperialist era and our unique geographic location within it. Chairman Gonzalo had something to say about people doing just that while expounding on the need to better understand Maoism and struggle for its supremacy. In our quest to promote a better understanding of the full implications of the labor aristocracy maturation-line and the necessity to struggle for that line over the ossified views of our erring Maoist fellow travelers, we will quote him at length (we feel that, if nothing else gets their attention perhaps quoting him will be the spark necessary to get the ‘Principally Maoists’ to correct their thinking on the matter):

“In order to better understand Maoism and the necessity to struggle for it, let us remember Lenin. He taught us that as the revolution advanced in the East it expressed specific conditions that, while they did not negate principles or laws, were new situations that Marxism could not ignore, upon the risk of putting the revolution in danger of defeat. Notwithstanding the uproar against what is new by pedantic and bookish intellectuals, who are stuffed with liberalism and false Marxism, the only just and correct thing to do is to apply Marxism to the concrete conditions and to solve the new situations and problems that every revolution necessarily faces. In the face of the horrified and pharisaic ‘defenses of the ideology, the class, and of the people’ that revisionists, opportunists, and renegades proclaim, or the furious attacks against Marxism by brutalized academicians and hacks of the old order who are debased by the rotten bourgeois ideology and blindly defend the old society on which they are parasites. Lenin also said clearly that the revolution in the East would present new and great surprises to the greater amazement of the worshipers of following only the well-trodden paths who are incapable of seeing the new; and, as we all know, he trusted the Eastern comrades to resolve the problems that Marxism had not yet resolved.”(9) (emphasis ours)

We would add to Gonzalo’s statement that Lenin would have also trusted the imperialist nation comrades to resolve the problems that Marxism-Leninism had only begun to address and solve, and to not mechanically parrot their words on the scope and potential solutions to problems which in their time were but saplings compared to the broader trunks and deeper roots which we must now contend with, axe in hand. The labor aristocracy maturation-line, flowing from Lenin’s analysis of the split in the working class movement in the early 20th century with its antecedents in Marx and Engels’ analysis of the English working class in the 19th century, contends that this split has only continued and with minimal interruption for the past 100 years in the imperialist centers, absorbing whole sectors of the working classes, bribed now in a thousand more ways than before. It was impossible for Marx, Engels and Lenin to examine and address these issues as well as we can today, because they were a relatively new development at the time. We, however, now have the extensive benefit of hindsight, history and statistics not available then. Yet Lenin did direct our attention to its creeping progression:

“The longer bourgeois democracy has prevailed in a country, the more complete and well established it is, the more successful have the bourgeoisie of that country been in getting into those leading positions people who are reared in bourgeois democracy, saturated in its attitudes and prejudice, and very frequently bribed by it, whether directly or indirectly.”(10)

Mao also spoke on this subject:

“In the various nations of the West there is a great obstacle to carrying through any revolution and construction movement, i.e., the poisons of the bourgeoisie are so powerful that they have penetrated each and every corner. While our bourgeoisie has had, after all, only three generations, those of England and France have had a 250-300 year history of development, and their ideology and modus operandi have influenced all aspects and strata of their societies. Thus the English working class follows the Labour Party, not the Communist Party.”(11)

Because of this, Mao went on to disagree with Lenin:

“Lenin says, ‘the transition from capitalist to socialism will be more difficult for a country the more backward it is.’ This would seem incorrect today.”(12)

We can no longer point to just ‘the opportunist political leadership of sections of organized labor’ and call them the whole of the labor aristocracy. They now represent a class of workers who have become bourgeois in outlook and have only grown exponentially over time. At what point do you realize and accept that the imperialist nation industrial working classes and service sectors are no longer a viable revolutionary vehicle for Maoism, and that we must focus our organizing in areas separate from these? At what point do things finally begin to click into place for you, or are you allowing your pride and dogmatic rote-learning to blind you to the reality which screams for recognition? If for whatever reason hearing this message from us in particular is just too much to stomach, then we recommend the book Labor Aristocracy: Mass Base of Social Democracy by H.W. Edwards for more detailed analysis. We encourage everyone with an inquiring mind to not just take our word for it – examine our references and arrive at the necessary conclusions on this important subject matter. Do not allow idealism or lazy dogmatism to cloud your judgment any longer to the futility of throwing yourself against the wall of the labor aristocracy in your organizing efforts.

There are two final matters we would like to address. The first is that it is said we have come by our views through and subsequent traffic in “petty-bourgeois empiricism-posing-as-analysis,” to which we reply:

“The lazy dogmatists actually see no real role for science in agitations. In response to Mao’s proof that line is decisive, they accept at face value the revisionist slander that calls Mao idealist. By downplaying science, they pave the way for fascism, which consciously relies on mysticism for victory in people’s hearts. They imagine that being good Maoists means being idealist, not practitioners of the science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.”(13)

By criticizing our use of statistics, percentages and numbers, you are by extension leveling your criticism at Lenin:

“Lenin used many more such statistics, including Tsarist statistics and criticized those who would not make much use of them.”(14)

Our critics don’t like it when we use basic addition and subtraction to show that their math doesn’t add up.(15) We must remind our readers of this line:

“For TWists who distort Marxism, the greater amount of use values a wage can command=the lesser degree of exploitation of a waged worker.”

Does that mean you believe the inverse? As First Worldists you believe that material wealth can increase infinitely without disqualifying one from being exploited? Must we bring up the old NFL player example and ask if they have nothing to lose but their chains? And to pivot to our final topic, Colin Kaepernick was protesting the murder of young Black men in the streets by the state, not wages or working conditions. Same reason cities burned across the country last year, and the same reason they’ve burned almost every other time in the last 60 years.

Nations

We find your agnosticism on the national question problematic, “In regards to the white nation, we [Struggle Sessions] have not taken a formal position on this.” First we are in the era of imperialism, which is defined by the contradiction between nations. To not be able to address the national question in one’s own country is to fail to address the whole of modern political economy. Second, the question of first importance is who are our friends, and who are our enemies. To not have a line on the nature of the euro-Amerikan nation, while having a very well worked out line on military strategy in the United $tates (a line we know is dear to the hearts of Struggle Sessions authors), is a dangerous example of putting the cart before the horse.

To address the question as you raise it, we will begin by saying that U.S. imperialism is a multinational project in two respects. The first pertains specifically to the makeup of the Euro-Amerikan oppressor nation, and the second in the national-patriotic sense with the inclusion of token elements of the New Afrikan and [email protected] bourgeoisie in leadership positions both in business and government and the participation of their respective labor aristocracies in the plunder of the Global South. But our focus is in addressing the seeming paradox of the Euro-Amerikan Nation, and whether it is myth or fact. You state that:

“In this case they are lumping a bunch of languages, cultures, regions and psychologies into one nation. For instance the psychological makeup of Jews, Slavs, Irish and Anglo Americans are not the same, and their languages are often different, too.”

The Euro-Amerikan Nation (or ‘white’ nation in more simplified terms) has historically assumed the role of dominant oppressing force since the founding of the United States. Being ‘white’ in America is not only so much a matter of genealogy and physiognomy as it is one of hierarchy, both in terms of class and nation. We agree that these people were something else before they were ‘white’ or Euro-Amerikan – Corsican, Welsh, Jewish, German etc. Yet through a common historical bond rooted in violence, rape and looting of labor and land, began a process of washing the disparate tribes white, a belief in being ‘white,’ becoming a unified, melded nation in the patriotic and national sense. In the United States, the separate Irish, Anglo, Polish, etc. immigrant nationalities of old are now mostly forgotten ‘dead nations,’ with forgotten mother tongues, blended beyond recall save in surname or remnant cultural practice seldom exercised in day-to-day existence. They have transformed themselves over the generations into a single unit sharing a common culture, language (English), economy (within the borders of the U.S. excluding most other nations) and territorial cohesion (again, much of North America). Your denial of this could only be justified by some racial theory of bloodline.

For you to say that ‘there is no common economy, there is no common language, there is no geographic territory, and so on’ is an ahistorical delusion that serves no purpose whatsoever. By denying this, it would seem that by extension you would also deny the same ‘nation’ status for the ‘Black’ or New Afrikan Nation, and furthermore any right to their own self-determination because ‘at best’ you see several nations that, through participation in the brutal receiving end of the settler project in the past, were able to achieve uneven status and integration into ‘blackness.’ (Mazur links to a now official paper by Struggle Sessions that addresses the intersection of so-called “race” and class in relation to New Afrika. For now, we will present MIM Theory 7 as a counter to that piece.)

The Great Migration of Black sharecroppers to the industrial north and west in the early to mid 20th century dispersed the population of the Black Belt south throughout the modern colonial borders of the United States. Nonetheless, New Afrikans constitute a nation as a result of the historical (forced) melding of different cultures, languages and psychologies into a new and unique shared culture, language and segments of territory. It is our hope to one day see the will of the New Afrikan Nation expressed in a plebiscite on self-determination. Perhaps Mazur & Co. will be on the right side of history when this occurs.

One final note, we are in agreement with the statement that:

“‘Privilege’ itself, as well as the absence of national oppression, does not in any way actually prevent those with a relative ‘privilege’ from facing oppression and exploitation as well.”

The white youth, intellectuals and revolutionized white lumpen and prisoners have an interest in revolution as traitors to their class and nation. We do not overextend our analysis to exclude these potential allies in our struggle.

Notes:
1. Karl Marx, “Labouring Power,” Value, Price and Profit, Martino Fine Books, 2017 p. 39.
2. Lauren Villagran, “A Desperate Quest for American Dream Denied,” USA Today, December 23, 2020.
3. Michael Braga, “Manufacturers Facing Hurdles in Return to US,” USA Today, December 22, 2020. It should be noted that back in 2018, hourly earnings for production workers were pegged at $22.71 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Thus a steady increase has occurred in 2 years’ time rather than a trend towards wage suppression as our labor-aristocratic Maoists allege.
4. V.I. Lenin, “Imperialism and the Split in Socialism,” Lenin’s Struggle for a Revolutionary International: Documents 1907-1916, John Riddell, ed. New York: Monad Press, 1984 p. 497.
5. Jane Degras, ed. The Communist International: 1919-1943 Documents, London: Frank Cass & Co., 1971 Vol. 1, p. 129 (hereafter Degras)
6. MIM (Prisons), “A Falsifiable Thesis,” Who’s Got Something to Prove, JMP?, August 2020. www.prisoncensorship.info
7. Laura Silver, 5 February 2019, Smartphone Ownership Is Growing Rapidly Around the World, but Not Always Equally, Pew Research Center.
8. https://www.justfacts.com/income_wealth_poverty#international
9. Communist Party of Peru, “Introduction”, Fundamental Documents.
10. Degras, Vol. 1, p. 119.
11. Mao Tsetung, A Critique of Soviet Economics New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977 p. 50.
12. Ibid.
13. MIM Theory Number 10, “Lessons From the Comintern: Continuities in Method and Theory, Changes in Theory and Conditions”, Coming to Grips with the Labor Aristocracy, 1996. p. 22. View PDF at www.prisoncensorship.info
14. Ibid., p. 42. See Lenin’s “Statistics and Sociology,” Collected Works, Vol. 23. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1964. p. 271. For Mao talking about dogmatist lazybones, see Mao Tse-Tung, “On Contradiction,” Four Essays on Philosophy. Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1968 p. 37.
15. MC5, 1997, Imperialism and its Class Structure in 1997, part C.5..

Responses

MIM(Prisons) submitted this response to Struggle Sessions. While no response has been received yet, we cannot expect from them in days, what took us many months. However, we have already received some astute responses from others that we are including here.

ADDENDUM 1: A comment on ‘Mazur’s’ understanding of unequal exchange

by marlax1g

The theory of unequal exchange of Samir Amin is one thing, the theory of Arghiri Emmanuel is another. I do not know if MIM ever commented on the distinction between the two theories (perhaps for political purposes given the overwhelming First Worldist hysteria surrounding it), but the theory of unequal exchange ‘in the strict sense’ as based on global wage differentials is what MIM (and also Cope’s 2012 book) have always made reference to; ‘Imperialism and its Class Structure in 1997’ makes explicit reference to wage differentials in Section A Chapter 5-6 and Section C Chapter 5. This theory does not depend upon either differing organic compositions or differing productivities within the same branch of trade. And Emmanuel’s criticism of the doctrine of comparative advantage does not depend upon a criticism of the quantity theory of money, as he implies in quite literally one of the first paragraphs of the Introduction. The reference to declining terms of trade in Emmanuel has absolutely nothing to do with the distinction between primary and non-primary commodities (explicitly contrary to the Prebisch–Singer hypothesis), but rather with the wages in the two sectors. Let us note one more error on the part of Mazur before we get around to explaining where the error arises.

“If there are the same prices and the wages in the U.S. are higher, and capital goods costs the same, then the cost price of any given commodity would be higher in the U.S. This means (since the price of the finished commodity is the same) that the rate of profit would be lower in the U.S., so no transfer would even take place.”

Let’s start from the basics. Ricardo’s theory of comparative costs represents a “special” case where the labor theory of value is invalidated. The labor theory does not govern prices at an international level, Ricardo states, because profits cannot equalize. Profits may equalize within nations because capital is mobile, but it cannot equalize between nations where capital is immobile as such immobility results in specialization and therewith the governing of comparative as opposed to absolute cost. Wages do not enter into Ricardo’s equation because he operated under the assumption that wages tended towards the subsistence level because of the Malthusian law of population. (In other words, Ricardo takes equal wages as a given.)

Marx overthrew the Malthusian “iron law of wages” and this fact is the starting point for Emmanuel. What Emmanuel emphasizes is a world where capital is mobile, and therefore profits do indeed tend towards an equality, but where the Marxian law of exogenous wages rules. Why does this matter? Because labor is not mobile, and because wages in the First World are in fact higher without being subject to the discipline of equalization, wages are the only ‘independent variable’ governing global prices of production. It is no argument against Emmanuel to claim that he abandons the labor theory of value, because in the real world market prices fluctuate around not values but rather prices of production. Perhaps Mazur missed the publication of Volume Three of Capital, but Emmanuel had not. Hence “factor rewards” (namely wages) are not given by prices, but rather prices are given by “factor rewards” (in neoclassical parlance). Emmanuel therefore inverts the logic of Hecksher-Ohlin-Samuelson: prices do not determine wages, but rather wages prices. This is Emmanuel avec Marx.

The products of industries employing workers at low wages, therefore, have relatively low prices, and those which employ workers at high wages have relatively high prices. This is precisely the point of Emmanuel’s argument — because we are dealing with different commodities being exchanged. Critics of Emmanuel imagine that they are intelligent in coming to the profound conclusion that high wages translate into a lower rate of surplus-value and therefore profit. Emmanuel does not deny this; he instead shows that with an equalizing profit rate the surplus-value of the Third World is transferred to the First World because products of low prices are exchanged for products of high prices. It’s really quite that simple. And to repeat ourselves for the tenth time, the prices are high and low because of differing wages. To believe otherwise is nothing more than marginalism. Emmanuel’s argument is not, in fact, that unequal exchange is preferable to lower wages in the First World from the viewpoint of the capitalist; it is only that the lack of wage equalization partially compensates the drop in the rate of profit.

No child, us Third Worldists do not argue that super-profits originate in circulation (a libel of Bettelheim), but rather in the super-exploitation of the Third World proletariat. If they were not super-exploited, if the rate of surplus-value was not in fact higher, there would not have been enough surplus-value to transfer and either First World wages or capitalism itself would have had to collapse.

Mazur writes that:

“Because the organic composition of capital has allowed much more surplus value to actually be generated, we see then that the rate of exploitation is often higher in spite of wage increases.”

Imagine such crass physicalism coming from an avowed defender of the labor theory. Capital with a higher organic composition does not allow “more surplus-value to actually be generated”. It quite literally implies less variable capital (relative to its size) and therefore less surplus-value because constant capital does not contribute an iota of surplus-value. Mazur wants us to believe that because capital-intensity is usually higher in the First World, this axiomatically makes First World workers more “productive” of surplus-value. First Worldists have never proven labor intensity is higher in the First World, which is what this claim necessitates demonstrating. We have already seen that this does not put a dent into Emmanuel’s theory, and Emmanuel explicitly (and consequently) asserts that, e.g., First World primary producers (Australian coal, Canadian timber, etc.) still benefit from unequal exchange. But this is of course a mirage, and as soon as the parasitism of the labor aristocracy confronts the “Marxist” defender of the labor theory of value, they turn into John Bates Clark and want us to believe that wages are governed by labor’s marginal productivity.

I could continue, and I would like to defend Sakai from the virulence he has been subjected to, but I will leave that to someone perhaps more competent than myself.

ADDENDUM 2: On Appalachia

loop-3: Given that MIM(Prisons) has no materialist analysis of the region, and certainly no experience organizing within it, it is unclear why you now incorrectly say that

“Poor whites in Appalachia… have an interest in revolution as traitors to their class and nation. We do not overextend our analysis to exclude these potential allies in our struggle.”

This is a striking political regression. The actual Maoist Internationalist Movement had a far more correct position on this. According to MC5,

"Often times we Marxists are told that we should go organize the Appalachian poor for their economic demands. Duncan gives us some up-to-date evidence on why that is a silly idea. Between 1980 and 1990, Blackwell county shrunk in population by 12%. That is the real social movement of Appalachia. Yes, there is a shortage of jobs, so people move. That is why there is no class solidarity or class consciousness that arises in Appalachia, no matter how many Marxists bang their heads on the wall there. To the extent that Marxists do influence or awaken anyone, they simply move or succeed in their middle-class ambitions. We do not need Marxism for that and hence we find the subject matter of Duncan’s book boring. It is about how to integrate people into middle-class life. There is no other possibility when poverty is only in isolated pockets and not a generalized economic condition within a country’s borders…

"Even if Appalachia had closed borders, it would only then be equivalent to some of the poorer European countries. At $15,321, central Appalachia’s median income would still be more than 10 times higher than that of the median for the international proletariat. Between 1980 and 1990 meanwhile, Gray Mountain’s income literally doubled.

"Both the Mississippi Delta and central Appalachia are shrinking in population. Already in 1980, the two infamously poor regions combined had only a population of 1.8 million in a country of 226.5 million with open borders internally. In other words, they are less than one percent of the population and it was ridiculous to expect any class formation there. By 1990, the two regions combined shrunk to less than 1.7 million, or less than the number of people in prison today.

“The trillions in super-profits sucked out of the Third World make it possible for whole countries to be rich like the United $tates. Although inequalities continue to exist within the United $tates, they are not nearly as central or as important to Marxists as those on a global scale.”

In addition, MIM Theory 1, in the article “Pittston Strike Shows Depth of White Working Class Alliance,” favorably quotes from this section of J. Sakai’s Settlers on this issue:

"Despite the 60 years of repeated radical organizing drives [in Appalachia] there has been, in fact, zero revolutionary progress among the mining communities. Despite the history of bloody union battles, class consciousness has never moved beyond an embryonic form, at best. There is no indigenous [here, Sakai is referring to regional whites] revolutionary activity - none - or traditions. Loyalty to U.S. imperialism and hatred of the colonial peoples is very intense. We can see a derailment of the connection between simple exploitation and class consciousness…

"This points out the fact that what is poverty-stricken about settlers is their culture.

“The Euro-Amerikan coal miners are just concentrating on ‘getting theirs’ while it lasts. In the settler tradition it’s ‘every man for himself’. They have no class goals or even community goals, just private goals involving private income and private consumerism. Meanwhile, the local N&W land manager says that they do have future plans for Appalachia: ‘We don’t intend to walk off and leave this land to the Indians’. Of that we can be certain.”

MIM(Prisons) respond: We thank loop-3 for pointing this out and include eir well-cited argument here. And we have removed the clause “poor whites in Appalachia” from that sentence as it was misleading as if the class interests of that population somehow make them more likely allies than anyone else in the white nation. We must be cautious and clear when trying to organize Amerikans around their own interests. While virtually everyone has some interests opposed to imperialism, and anyone can end up a victim of the system, white Amerikans must go against their class and nation (and gender) interests to ally with the international proletariat and the communist project, as S. Xanastas correctly pointed out in that paragraph.

White youth have more gender interest in revolution and are less bought into their class and nation. White lumpen arguably have some class interest different than other Amerikans. What is more clear is that white lumpen will more often take an interest in revolutionary politics when they are surrounded by oppressed nations in prison or part of multi-national lumpen organizations. As for the intellectuals mentioned, they do not have different interests so much as a different view of the world. So it is in these groups that we see the greatest percentage of exceptions to the rule – those who are willing to go against their own class and nation interests and side against U.$. imperialism.

chain
[Civil Liberties] [National Oppression] [Federal] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

Double Standard Evident in FBOP's Approach to Civil Unrest

disproportionate response to oppressed nation protests

In the wake of the aborted insurrection on the U.S. Capitol building by supporters of the president in which 5 people were killed, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP.) is bracing for further unrest in the lead-up to the official transfer of power from one faction of the bourgeois dictatorship to another by preemptively locking down the entire federal prison population from the 16th until at least the 21st of January. This follows reports of the mobilization of 26,000 of their National Guardsmen to secure their nation’s capitol to prevent any further disturbances – such is the fear within the American government of the potency of their own Commander-In-Chief’s populist proto-fascism on his largely white, working class base.

This fear is also evident by the level of appeasement and overall reconciliatiatory nature of the brief memo from M.O. Carvajal, the director of the FBOP, who attempts to express his sympathies for the impact of the sudden lockdown measures by stating:

“I know this is frustrating for all of you. I understand this decision directly impacts each of you, as well as your loved ones, and is made with considerable thought in regards to current national events. We must ensure the safety and security of everyone in the BOP. We will continue to monitor events carefully and will adjust operations accordingly as the situation continues to evolve.”

Carvajal then proceeds to effusively thank us for our patience, promising to facilitate opportunities for contact with the outside world:

“Communication with your families is important; thus, you will be provided limited access to phones and email to ensure you can remain in touch. I thank each of you for your understanding and cooperation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It has made a difference during this difficult time and your patience and understanding is appreciated. Please continue to communicate with staff and share your concerns. I remain committed to doing everything I can to help keep all of you healthy and safe. Thank you.”

All of the above is in contrast to the comparatively blunt warning and punitive lockdown measures initiated during the protests for social justice and against national oppression after the murder of George Floyd by the repressive forces of the state. As reported in ULK 71, an F.B.O.P. memo from that time period cautioned:

As you are aware, our nation is facing difficult times as emotions run high and peaceful protests have turned into violently charged demonstrations. In an effort to maintain the safety and security of the institution, a lockdown has been initiated. This lockdown is not punitive … However, we are committed to preventing any type of disruption from occurring, and I strongly emphasize any type of violent behavior will never be accepted or tolerated at this facility.

The FBOP. response in both of these instances, while equally punitive in nature, do reveal a notable contrast in narrative approach: when it is the just rebellion of the oppressed New Afrikan masses and their allies in the streets, the prison administration is sure to mention that they will brook no dissent; yet when it is the oppressor nation’s own privileged population’s turn to become unruly on openly conspiratorial or seditious grounds, the prison population’s “understanding is appreciated” for such an inconvenience.

MIM(Prisons) adds: Much has been said about the contrast in police response at the Capitol compared to the uprisings of youth and oppressed nations over the previous summer. The idea that New Afrikans, First Nations, [email protected] and often the Third World diaspora have a second-class citizenship in the United $tates has become more obvious in the popular dialogue. More obvious than any other time for the post civil rights era generations.

As we said in our original article on the Capitol siege, it’s been hundreds of years now of oppressed people trying to be equal with euro-Amerikans and they are still fighting each other over it. To continue down the path of integration is a fools errand. It’s been tried, the oppressed have bent over backwards to appease the white folk, but they will not concede equal rights and treatment. It is only in the struggle for independence that the oppressed can achieve true democracy and self-determination.

chain
[Black Lives Matter] [Youth] [Theory] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

Oh, So You Woke?

Coming into the new year of 2021 with the protest, or what CBS news and other news casting platforms calls “The Assault on the Capitol,” one must look back on the past years to this pivotal point of time. Especially when it comes to the millennials and generation Z. It’s because of this age group, and to be honest it’s not even an age group of individuals but a mindset of individuals ranging from the very old to the very young, that’s making these movements on both sides of the political spectrum of the imperialist-capitalist government. Even though a lot of the individuals who started these movements like the Black Lives Matters movement and QAnon or Proud Boys are of the age of college students ranging from 18 years old to mid or late 30s. One has to pose the question of, “Where are the doctrines of these movements coming from?” One will say the government; then the next question is posed, “By what method is the government distributing these doctrines?” The answer is through these universities and colleges.

After reading the Kites Editorial Committee article, “Kick ‘Em While They’re Down”: This speaks on how the U.S. “Left” views Angela Davis as a saint, like Saint Maurice of Germany. For these twitter-age revolutionaries, which for us who are true and living revolutionaries, know that these individuals are reformist, are being indoctrinated with writings and speeches like Angela Davis’s to continue the ‘We shall overcome one day, by changing the system from the inside’ mantra.

How this imperialistic/capitalistic government continues this mantra is by using a trap-door-spider tactic. Which is by taking the brightest of lumpen children out of these ghettos and barrios schools, have them come to college, where then the colleges close the door behind the lumpen child where they get entangled with the reformist state of mind. Basically stripping lumpen college students of whatever idea of making a change that doesn’t involve using the system that the imperialist government uses to control first world lumpen and proletariat in the equation.

The imperialist government is still on the COINTELPRO “Stop the rise of a Black Messiah” but the difference is it’s not just one Judas now, and when one sits down and look at those who fell into the “change the system from the inside” trap door, they will see how many Judases are out there, keeping tabs on the youth of the lumpen. The imperialistic government and those who are Judases to the struggle would rather the lumpen youths sell out for a small crumb of the capitalist/imperialist pie, than go get weapons, organize themselves and push for armed revolution. Especially in the age of social media, where one is way more than able to reach and be in contact with other like-minded individuals across this imperialist country. But also other lumpen in other imperialist countries, and would more than love to see the end of these governments that holds the world’s power currently.

The imperialist-capitalist knows this and to counter-act this worldwide united front advancement against them, they use individuals like John Lewis and Angela Davis to push the bourgeois propaganda of being a muthafucking cop to our youth. What we, who are truly dedicated to this struggle, have to give the youths who are serious about changing their circumstances, first is nationalism (either New Afrikan or La Raza Aztlán) then internationalism. Show em the truth about previous revolutionaries, their successes, their failures, and where the movement is now, and how to move forward correctly, which is to break the spell that was cast on our youth by the bourgeoisie, by the way of the University of Maoist Thought and the standard operating procedures of the United Front for Peace in Prison. So that they’ll never get jedi mind tricked by the those who claim to be revolutionaries but are really junior deputies, and reach and teach those who are like-minded the right way.

It’ll spread faster than last year’s California wildfires because the majority of the revolutionaries WE were inspired by to even join in the struggle, were all individuals 25 years old or younger. Teach the youth the truth and aid and assist them through righteous mentorship, and watch how the imperialist-capitalist nation falls.


MIM(Prisons) responds: It is true that organizations like the Panthers were predominately under 25 years old, and we would expect the next revolutionary vanguard party to be of similar demographics. But the university and the mass media are distracting today’s youth with this fake woke reformism. The new generation of the oppressed need to find themselves independently of these institutions as the Panthers did. We need more education, but we don’t need to join their institutions and take on their ideologies.

QAnon and the Proud Boys are a little different though. QAnon is not a youth movement. It is a movement of predominately older, less educated Amerikans. Both of these groups find support in the mass media via mouth pieces like Donald Trump, yet they also get support for their affront to the ideas of academia. These groups tap into sectors of the oppressor nation in a way that communists need to tap into the oppressed. They represent real social forces in a way that the interests of the oppressed are not currently being represented.

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry] [Police Brutality] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

Drop Your Weapon

I hear the sirens, see the lights; I still ain’t putting’ down this mic.
No matter what we do we’re fucked, they’re shootin’ while our hands are up.
Our government’s a web of lies that offers no protection;
From these pigs, that’s killin’ kids and claimin’ “Drop Your Weapon”.

Every day its on the news – marches, rallies, different views.
Everybody’s talkin’, but nobody wants to face the truth:
“Protect and Serve”’s become the words that let a man destroy our youth.
No justice from the jury booth, all they do’s just cut em loose.
But kill the pig that shot your kid, they ain’t gon’ do the same for you.
The field we playin’ on ain’t level – you get life, he’ll get a medal.
Your protests ain’t been changin’ nothin’ – time to make them bury somethin’

I hear the sirens, see the light; an unarmed man done died tonight.
No matter what we do we’re fucked, they’re shootin’ while our hands are up.
Our government, a web of lies that offers no protection;
From these cops that’s bustin’ shots and claimin’ “Drop Your Weapon.”

Recognize the lies they spit; now realize the realest shit –
The problem’s not in the city hall, it’s in the things we teach our kids
We kill over bandanas. We’ll die about our banners.
But when the cops come through our block, we disappear like phantoms
Kill brothers over lit, the color of their Fit.
We stand our ground til sirens sound, then we get shook and dip.

I hear the sirens, see the lights; it’s time this dawg got in the fight.
When we come together they’re fucked; soon they’re the ones whose hands is up.
I’ll unravel all these lies, I don’t need protection.
I got my mic aimed at the pigs, I ain’t gon’ “Drop My Weapon.”
chain