It’s time for anarchism to pick up a gun by Dr. Bones

Imagine for a moment you’re at a bar and there’s an immigrant in front of you.

He’s quiet, but not antisocial, casually dressed but not sloppy. He seems just like anybody else except he isn’t. What you don’t know is he’s been working as an aviation programs engineer and even helped design fly-by-wire planes, in which manual controls are entirely replaced by computers. Smart guy, very talented, “high energy” as Il Duce might say; a success story from India and right out of American mythology.

Now, behind him, a new sound; old, fearful, you hear a hellish cry: “GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY!”

Who the fuck was that? There appears to be a bit of a scuffle in the back, some guy hassling the immigrant you were just studying, but the bar manager seems to take care of it. The man, who appears to be just some old white dude, looks pissed. There’s something about him, but you can’t seem to place it. The man leaves, but in a few minutes comes back through the door. Perhaps he left something?

He shoots 3 people, two of them Indians who he mistakenly took for Muslims.

Maybe you’re at a protest this time, holding your sign and feeling the electric current of hundreds of other bodies joined in solidarity. A man emerges from the crowd, egging you on to hit him. He spits at you like a diseased raccoon and curses like a fucking sailor. Maybe he’s drunk you figure, or at least too high to really know what’s going on. Someone else pushes him away.

He pulls out a pistol and shoots them. He’ll only be charged with assault.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We’re not even a full year into the reign of a new emperor and already the political climate has become practically poisonous, a vile and noxious cloud not only choking the most at risk in our communities but the people seeking to defend them. People have called for Antifa to be declared a terrorist organization; state governments are writing bills that allow protesters to be run over and have their property stolen from them.

It’s a situation not unlike the one faced by French Illegalists at the turn of the century:

“Against us, all arms are good; we are in an enemy camp, surrounded, harassed. The bosses, judges, soldiers, cops unite to bring us down.”

To be a thinking person in this country of barbarians is to be a criminal and with ever-increasing fervor the tribes loyal to the new Emperor aim to make war upon us. There are millions of people sitting in front of televisions as I type these words that would see nothing wrong with a few hundred lives sacrificed every year to “keep people in line” and you can be sure that folks like you and I will be among them. The cops don’t stop them, they exchange racist texts with them; they console men who kill unarmed black children and tell them what they did was just.

To be an Anarchist, a Communist, an Anti-Capitalist or Intersectional Insurgent is to be potentially marked for death. This is not a metaphor. This is real life.

If you roamed the streets of Syria with nothing but a baseball bat you’d be thought to be suicidal; if your “war against the State” consisted of nothing but flames and gasoline every fire station in the country would be well enough equipped to handle even your most daring of raids.

The people who overwhelmingly support the policies and politicians that want to see you stuffed into a coffin are getting rather shooty as of late. I ask a simple question: do you have the tools to protect not only yourself but the people you care about?

The Great Misfortune

Let’s not kid ourselves: “radicals” are about as far from “revolutionaries” as turkeys are from the T-rex. Somewhere along the line the Left stopped being dangerous and almost went extinct. After the IWW was broken in the 30’s and Labor’s power was smashed, after the ALF-CIO denounced communists and dropping acid was a stand in for revolution, the only place you could find the same current that scared the living piss out of emperors and presidents became smoke-filled college dorms or momentary marches down half-way empty streets. In essence the Left’s ideas about human liberation from the chains of capital were so heavily hunted in the physical world it ran back into our heads; like Ivory-Billed Woodpeckers the Left was thought to be extinct, the sight of a Hammer and Sickle more like the discovery of a dinosaur bone that any kind of political statement.

But times ain’t what they used to be.

Enraged by Trump’s actions and betrayed by the Democrats, the specter of radicalism has returned like an angry ghost hellbent on revenge. Millennials are tired of capitalism yet Bernie’s “political revolution” failed to deliver on anything worthwhile. Non-violence has shown itself as only a great way to get arrested.

Yes, the militant Left seems to be emerging from the ground like cicadas in the Florida summer, hisses and noises slowly building to an unshakable chorus. Signs from the previous generation still remain on the still wet wings of these new militants however. Black Bloc is back but we’re still battling over protests, people joined arm in arm around buildings are generally just a nuisance and not a blockade.

The Anarchists and Militants of all stripes have become neutered, putting us in a dangerous predicament not faced in other countries. Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to be members of a gun-owning household and about six-in-ten gun household members (64%) say they “often feel proud to be American”; roughly half of all the guns in this country are possessed by just 3 percent of American adults; many of the cheapest firearms to produce (ones with open bolt actions) are specifically banned under the NFA and the Hughes Amendment, effectively keeping self-protection out of the hands of the working class.

This is not Europe, this is the United States of fucking America, a morose fiefdom where people can walk into a goddamned Starbucks with 30 rounds of armor-piercing bullets.

What this amounts to is a tangled web of dark implications too dire to think about, a hidden threat of wealthy and well-to-do patriots fully armed and very capable of destroying any gains a revolutionary movement might make in a matter days. They can afford to laugh at riots because they know when the chips are down any effective means of self-defense are firmly in the hands of one class and one ideology.

There is no specter haunting any continent besides the FAI and even then only in small spontaneous camps. Cops and Nazis alike(but I repeat myself) have stormed protests and proceeded to beat the shit out of whoever they like because they pose no threat to the ones doing the beating. Police still want to go home at the end of the day; the minute they are faced with somebody more than capable of inflicting even worse harm they can commit they suddenly become negotiators and peacemakers. Recall the inbreds at the Malthur Wildlife Reserve were treated like honorable enemies because they had fully automatic weapons that could slice a pig up in a matter of seconds.

Recall also they were all aquitted by juries and served almost no jail time.

Compare that with the protests at Standing Rock, where State forces have literally blown people’s arms off without any repercussions besides being prayed at. The camp, now in shambles, is done. The DAPL will be built, the people have failed, and all they have to show for it are bruises and injuries.

But what if the cops hadn’t been so eager to permanently maim protesters, or rush into camps? What if they had been afraid? What if Anarchism and Anti-Capitalists really were something to be afraid of again?

What if the resistance was armed?

The God That Lied

Modern protesting, a hold over from liberalism, assumes a few things:

The people in power care about what their livestock have to say.

There is some imaginary field surrounding all of us called “human rights” that these people feel morally obligated to respect.

The Enemy can be persuaded or guilted into giving up all its power to form some grand utopian cabal that spans the globe without any violence.

These ideas are ridiculous, some religious fantasy stillbirth from the 1960’s dragged around and paraded at every “demonstration” as if they were some patchouli-soaked Christ-child sent to heal us. It’s all lies. All of it. Just ask any black person.

These concepts are nothing more than implanted fictions given to you by the State to keep you docile and obedient, and were recognized as such one hundred years ago. Do bosses care about the food or shelter of the workers they fire? Do the police wonder if someone’s “rights” have been violated when they beat them with batons or shoot them on sight? They scream to you about non-violence while they steal almost every dollar you generate with the threat of force and starvation looming above you.

Rights are a fiction, a spook, and the sooner you realize the only “rights” you have are those you are willing to enforce the sooner you can join the rest of the planet in what we call life.

Enzo Martucci wrote:

“The freedom of an individual ends where his power ends.

If I want, and my power permits, I can command others. But in this case the power exercised over them is not authority because they are not bound to recognize and respect it. In fact, if they would rebel and use their power to impede my attempt at domination then all would remain free without anyone threatening to lord it over them.”

Anarchism has in effect relied on coercion: we will not work unless you do this, we will not stop rioting unless you give us this.

We can impede power plenty of ways, and lord knows radicals have learned an assortment, yet we never seem to make the idea of attempting domination a dangerous one. We walk the streets naked everyday with the sincere hope in our hearts that our weakness be respected as if our frailty was a virtue.

We protest laws that allow people to run us over and smash our skulls underneath one-thousand pounds of steel; we beg that the same people smashing us with batons eventually respect us; we don’t demand dignity, we whimper for permission to be treated as if we had any.

Is this the Anarchism we want, a tradition of asking to be human rather than demanding it? The majority of what passes for “direct action” nowadays is nothing more than calling upon the Enemy to be a better ruler instead of making ourselves ungovernable.

This tactic has never worked and the idea that any people, themselves surrounded by violent men and women defending imaginary lines carved from the corpses of millions, would believe them speaks more to strength of mass hallucination than any matters of politics.

As I write this a cop has pulled somebody over outside my window, his flashing lights a silent roar that he has caught his prey. If he does not forcibly detain his victim he will at least rob her to pay for the use of his protection racket. We will drive by, even if he beats or punches this young woman with sandy blonde hair because we are too weak to live without him.

If he killed her right now what would happen? Why shouldn’t he? What’s he got to lose? What would he even risk if he spread her brain matter everywhere in an orgy of foaming neurons and shark tank adrenaline? Nothing from her, nothing from the community around her. The slave cabins will remain quiet and after the protests are over he’ll be right back on the job.

Because he, and his entire department know they have nothing to fear. That we rely on them.

Pick Up YOUR Weapons and Declare YOUR War

I’ll say it plainly: an armed person is in command of themselves. They can not only defend themselves and thus be free from the “protection” of the police but move to enforce their own values on the world around them. When a cop tells you to take off a shirt he finds offensive(say, a Black Lives Matter t-shirt) you obey because the mere threat of violence and death is enough to make you comply. You are not sizing up the cop and wondering if you can out box him or pin him to the ground because you know no amount of muscle will stop a 9mm hollow point from ripping through your face like chemotherapy in a cancer patient.

There is no reason Anarchists can’t do the same.

Klansmen get awful scared at the sight of a loaded rifle, Nazis seem less likely to flex their muscle when they know a .357 is set to demolish in 2 seconds what took 2 years to build. To point a gun at a cop is a death sentence(unless you’re white of course), yet the mere idea that a shootout could occur is often enough to keep them on their best behavior.

Robert F. Williams was a classic example of this tactic being put into action.

“Robert F. Williams would become the leader of the Mabel, NC chapter of the NAACP and organized a black militia to fight against the Klan, much to the dislike of moderates in the Civil Rights movement. Williams was a WWII veteran and shared the skills he accumulated with his fellows to fight back against the violence of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens Councils. This was shown to have quite a high level of efficacy; by simply being armed black militias were able to scare Klansmen out of action.”

Where the FUCK did THAT kind of politics go? When did we start asking for anything instead of taking it? Why have we let the enemy dictate what is acceptable for us? Why have we huddled together in weakness when we can proudly stand under our own authority?

“Revolution and insurrection,” said Max Stirner, “must not be looked upon as synonymous…The Revolution aimed at new arrangements; insurrection leads us no longer to let ourselves be arranged, but to arrange ourselves, and sets no glittering hopes on ‘institutions.’”

When we begin to make ourselves free we pave the way for the freedom of others.

Guns may be the great leveler: they don’t have to be expensive, they don’t have to be fancy and they can be wielded by the sick or healthy, young or old, by any sex or gender. Anyone can use them to arrange the world around them.

Firearms are Anarchism in action, a tool that instantly frees you from relying on hierarchical authority. YOU can repel a burglary, YOU can stop a rape, YOU can keep racist scum from even showing their face in the neighborhood either individually or collectively; no authority is involved, no 911 to call or infrastructure to uphold, effectively making the State obsolete without relying on the spooks of “rights” or “laws” or some religious belief that “deep down everybody is good.”

When it becomes clear that threatening the life of an Anarchist by driving a car through a protest or pulling a gun at a rally becomes potentially deadly the aggravation will end. When police know they risk much more than a two-week paid vacation when they rampage through a neighborhood the harassment will cease. When it becomes clear that a rapist won’t live long enough to beg for mercy from a sympathetic judge the patriarchy will retreat.

Every anarchist with a gun in her hand is Anarchism made real, a potent force capable of holding the world accountable and demanding autonomy, the same world currently hidden behind walls, fences, badges, and uniforms that you and I have built for generation upon generation with our bare hands only to have it stolen from us by the diktats of the “markets” and the owners who treat us like cattle!

Well comrades, will you continue to let them steal from you? Will you continue to live as a peaceful and pacifist herd? Will you continue to let the State and the bourgeoisie steal your value, your time, your bodies, and your lives all while they ransom your safety for continued obedience?

Or will you begin to steal them back, one by one…

…at gun point?

If you can steal no other property from the State…

…at least steal back yourself.

What is democracy by Peter Gelderloos (part one)

We are told we live in the richest and most democratic country in the world. Our rights include freedom of speech and religion, and freedom to vote for our leaders. Our country possesses more wealth than any other — more wealth in fact than much of the rest of the world combined. On TV and in real life, we see Americans with huge houses, expensive cars, plenty of state-of-the-art gadgets, and memberships to golf courses or ski resorts.

But we all know that this is not the whole picture. It is more like an advertisement. Though our neighborhoods are segregated, rich from poor; white from black, latino, and Native American, few people are unaware that most Americans do not live like the people on televised sitcoms. People living in wealthy suburbs often encounter poverty in the cities where they work for various corporations and government bureaus. People living in impoverished areas are often forced to travel out to the suburbs to work serving coffee to rich, white people.

Whether the economy is doing “good” or “bad,” millions of people are unemployed, and unable to sell themselves for money to buy the things they need. Many of the people who are employed work forty, sixty, eighty hours a week, in grueling, dangerous, unhealthy, demeaning jobs just to pay for a place to live, clothes to wear, food to eat, and medicine, for themselves and their family. Meanwhile, their bosses, whose jobs are easier and safer, make twice as much money, and the people who sit on the boards of the corporations do no work and make millions. People are turned away from hospitals even in emergencies, denied medical care because they cannot afford insurance, even while insurance companies make hundreds of millions of dollars, overcharging people and trying to weasel out of paying for medical procedures they deem “non-essential.”

In this country of plenty, people sleep on the streets, dying in the winter cold or the summer heat, while landlords hold onto vacant units, waiting for the price to go up. And the police clearly have no problem with beating or jailing homeless people who squat in vacant apartments. Why does a large portion of the United States live in poverty, while others have more money than they could ever use?

Poverty is not our only problem. Every day, racist police beat or shoot people of color, and millions of people, especially blacks and latinos, are rotting in prison, subjected to extremely long sentences and horrible conditions for minor crimes that are often harmless. Women are discriminated against, and often face violence and rape. Lesbians, gays, queer and transgendered people also face exclusion, harassment, and violence. Children are treated like sub-humans, without any rights and forced to go to educational factories (“schools”) where they are indoctrinated with many of the harmful myths of our society and taught to accept the problems of our world as “natural.” Corporations are cutting down our forests, driving plants and animals to extinction, poisoning the soil, the rivers, the air, and poisoning people too, all in the interest of profit. Our government starts wars that many people oppose, and wins obedience from everyone else by using the media to tell lies that lead to thousands of deaths.

But more certain than our awareness of all these problems is our knowledge that we live in a democracy, and we can use our rights, and our powers as citizens to make things right.

“There is no communism in Russia” By Emma Goldman

Let us now turn to production and consumption, the levers of all existence. Maybe in them we shall find a degree of Communism that will justify us in calling life in Russia Communistic, to some extent at least.

I have already pointed out that the land and the machinery of production are owned by the state. The methods of production and the amounts to be manufactured by every industry in each and every mill, shop and factory are determined by the state, by the central government—by Moscow—through its various organs.

Now, Russia is a country of vast extent, covering about one sixth of the earth’s surface. It is peopled by a mixed population of 165,000,000. It consists of a number of large republics, of various races and nationalities, each region having its own particular interests and needs. No doubt, industrial and economic planning is vitally necessary for the well-being of a community. True Communism—economic equality as between man and man and between communities—requires the best and most efficient planning by each community, based upon its local requirements and possibilities. The basis of such planning must be the complete freedom of each community to produce according to its needs and to dispose of its products according to its judgment: to change its surplus with other similarly independent communities without let or hindrance by any external authority.

That is the essential politico-economic nature of Communism. It is neither workable nor possible on any other isis. It is necessarily libertarian, Anarchistic.

There is no trace of such Communism—that is to say, of any Communism—in Soviet Russia. In fact, the mere suggestion of such a system is considered criminal there, and any attempt to carry it out is punished by death.

Industrial planning and all the processes of production and distribution are in the hands of the central government. Supreme Economic Council is subject only to the authority of the Communist Party. It is entirely independent of the will or wishes of the people comprising the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics. Its work is directed by the policies and decisions of the Kremlin. This explains why Soviet Russia exported vast amounts of wheat and other grain while wide regions in the south and southeast of Russia were stricken with famine, so that more than two million of its people died of starvation (1932–1933).

There were “reasons of state” for it. The euphonious has from time immemorial masked tyranny, exploitation and the determination of every ruler to prolong and perpetuate his rule. Incidentally, I may mention that—in spite of country-wide hunger and lack of the most elemental necessities of life in Russia—the entire First Five-Year Plan aimed at developing that branch of heavy industry which serves, or can be made to serve, _military_ purposes.

As with production, so with distribution and every other form of activity. Not only individual cities and towns, but the constituent parts of the Soviet Union are entirely deprived of independent existence. Politically mere vassals of Moscow, their whole economic, social and cultural activity is planned, cut out for them and ruthlessly controlled by the “proletarian dictatorship” in Moscow. More: the life of every locality, of every individual even, in the so-called “Socialist” republics is managed in the very last detail by the “general line” laid down by the “center.” In other words, by the Central Committee and Politbureau of the Party, both of them controlled absolutely by one man, Stalin. To call such a dictatorship, this personal autocracy more powerful and absolute than any Czar’s, by the name of Communism seems to me the acme of imbecility.

Introduction to afro-pessimism: The avant-garde of white supemacy by Steve Martinot & Jared Sexton

In 1998, Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex, a national conference and strategy-session, re-posed the question of the relations between white supremacy and state violence. Fascism was the concept often used to link these two terms and the prison industrial complex was considered to be its quintessential practice. The political-intellectual discourse generated at and around Critical Resistance shattered the narrow definitions of racism that characterize many conventional (even leftist) accounts
and produced instead a space for rethinking radical alternatives.This sort of shift in the political landscape has been imperative fora long time now. The police murder of Amadou Diallo comes to mind as an event requiring such re-conceptualization. The Diallo killing was really plural since it involved other police murders as imminent in the same event. Diallo’s killing was plural beyond his own many deaths in those few seconds, a killing that took place in the eyes of his friends and family from as far away as Guinea. In the immediate wake of his killers’ acquittals, the NYPD murdered Malcolm Ferguson, a community organizer who had been active in attempting to get justice for Diallo. (The police harassed the Ferguson’s within the next year and arrested his brother on
trumped up charges.) Two weeks after Ferguson’s murder, the police killed Patrick Dorismund because he refused to buy drugs from an undercover cop, because he fought back when the cop attacked. The police then harassed and attacked Dorismund’s funeral procession in Brooklyn a week later, hospitalizing several in attendance. (The police took the vendetta all the way to the grave.) Tyisha Miller was murdered in her car in Riverside, California by four cops who knocked on the window of her car and found that she simply didn’t respond. Angela Davis tells the story of “Tanya Haggerty in Chicago, whose cell phone was the potential weapon that allowed police to justify her killing,” just as Daillo’s wallet was the “gun” at which four cops fired in unison. To the police, a wallet in the hand of black man is a gun whereas that same wallet in the hand of a white man is just a wallet. A cell phone in the hands of a black woman is a gun; that same phone
in a white woman’s hand is a cell phone.There were local movements in each of these cities to protest acts of police murder and in each case the respective city governments
were solicited to take appropriate action. Under convention aldefinitions of the government, we seem to be restricted to calling upon it for protection from its own agents. But what are we doing when we demonstrate against police brutality, and find
ourselves tacitly calling upon the government to help us do so? These notions of the state as the arbiter of justice and the police as the unaccountable arbiters of lethal violence are two sides of the same coin. Narrow understandings of mere racism are
proving themselves impoverished because they cannot see this fundamental relationship. What is needed is the development of a radical critique of the structure of the coin. There are two possibilities: first, police violence is a deviation from the rules governing police procedures in general. Second, these various forms of violence (e.g., racial profiling, street murders, terrorism) are the rule itself as standard operation procedure. For instance, when the protest movements made public statements they expressed an understanding of police violence as the rule of the day and not as a shocking exception. However, when it came time to formulate practical proposals to change the fundamental nature of policing, all they could come up with concretely were more oversight committees, litigation, and civilian review boards (“with teeth”), none of which lived up to the collective intuition about what the police were actually doing. The protest movements’ readings of these events didn’t seem able to bridge the gap to the programmatic. The language in which we articulate our analyses doesn’t seem to allow for alternatives in practice. Even those who take seriously the second possibility (violence as a rule) find that the language of alternatives and the terms of relevance are constantly dragged into the political discourse they seek to oppose, namely, that the system works and is capable of reform. After the exposure of the LAPD’s videotaped beating of Rodney King, after the rebellions of 1992, police violence only became more rampant and more brazen across the country. After the Justice for Diallo” movement in NYC, the police murders multiplied, and police arrogance increased. It was as if the anti-racist campaigns (or uprisings) against police violence were co-opted by the police to augment their violence, rather than effectively closing it down as they had explicitly intended. In the wake of countless exposés, the prison industrial complex has only expanded; the reportage on the racist operations of capital punishment and the legal system more generally have become absorbed in the acceleration of execution rates. Why do things get worse after each hard fought revelation? Where do we locate the genius of the system? Something is left out of the account; it runs through our fingers, escaping our grasp.If the spectacle of police violence does, in fact, operate according to a rule of its own (as the anti-violence movements argue), what does this suggest about the social institutions that generate it and which it represents despite persistent official disavowals? First, the relationship between police violence and the social institution
of policing is structural, rather than incidental or contingent (i.e., an unfortunate but minor part of the job). Second, the cultural content of the actual policing that we face is to be a law unto itself, not the socially responsible institution it claims to be in its disavowals. Third, a question: is this paradigm of policing a methodology for a form of social organization? If so, of what are the police the avant-garde?They prowl, categorizing and profiling, often turning those profiles into murderous violence without (serious) fear of being called to account, all the while claiming impunity. What jars the imagination is not the fact of impunity itself, but the realization that they are simply people working a job, a job they secured by making an application at the personnel office. In events such as the shooting of Amadou Diallo, the true excessiveness is not in
the massiveness of the shooting, but in the fact that these cops were there on the street looking for this event in the first place, as a matter of routine business. This spectacular evil is encased in a more inarticulable evil of banality, namely, that the state assigns
certain individuals to (well-paying) jobs as hunters of human beings, a furtive protocol for which this shooting is simply the effect. But they do more than prowl. They make problematic the whole notion of social responsibility such that we no longer know if the police are responsible to the judiciary and local administration or if the city is actually responsible to them, duty bound by impunity itself. To the extent to which the police are a law unto themselves, the latter would have to be the case. This unaccountable vector
of inverted social responsibility would resonate in the operating procedures in upper levels of civil administration as well. That is, civil governmental structures would act in accordance with the paradigm of policing—wanton violence legitimized by strict
conformity to procedural regulations.For instance, consider the recent case of a 12 year-old African-American boy sentenced to prison for life without parole for having killed a 6 year-old African-American girl while acting out the moves he had seen in professional wrestling matches on TV. In demanding this sentence, the prosecutor argued that the boy
was a permanent menace to society, and had killed the girl out of extreme malice and consciousness of what he was doing. A 12 year-old child, yet Lionel Tate was given life without parole. In the name of social sanctity, the judicial system successfully
terrorized yet another human being, his friends, and relatives by carrying its proceduralism to the limit. The corporate media did the rest; several “commentators” ridiculed Tate’s claim to have imitated wrestling moves, rewriting his statement as a disreputable excuse: “pro wrestling made me do it” (San Francisco Chronicle,
3/25/01). Thus, they transformed his naïve awareness of bodies into intentional weaponry and cunning. One could surmise, with greater justification than surmising the malice of the child, that the prosecutor made a significant career step by getting this high profile conviction. Beyond the promotion he would secure for a job well done, beyond the mechanical performance of official outrage and the cynicism exhibited in playing the role, what animus drove the prosecutor to demand such a sentence? In the face of the prosecution’s sanctimonious excess, those who bear witness to Tate’s suffering have only inarticulate outrage to offer as consolation. With recourse only to the usual rhetorical
expletives about racism, the procedural ritualism of this white supremacist operation has confronted them with the absence of a real means of discerning the judiciary’s dissimulated machinations. The prosecutor was the banal functionary of a civil structure, a paradigmatic exercise of wanton violence that parades as moral rectitude but whose source is the paradigm of policing. All attempts to explain the malicious standard operating procedure of US white supremacy find themselves hamstrung by conceptual inadequacy; it remains describable, but not comprehensible. The story can be told, as the 41 bullets fired to slaughter Diallo can be counted, but the ethical meaning
remains beyond the discursive resources of civil society, outside the framework for thinkable thought.It is, of course, possible to speak out against such white supremacist violence as immoral, as illegal, even unconstitutional. But the impossibility of thinking through to the ethical dimension has a hidden structural effect. For those who are not racially profiled or tortured when arrested, who are not tried and sentenced
with the presumption of guilt, who are not shot reaching for their identification, all of this is imminently ignorable. Between the inability to see and the refusal to acknowledge, a mode of social organization is being cultivated for which the paradigm of policing is the cutting edge. We shall have to look beyond racialized police violence to see its logic.The impunity of racist police violence is the first implication ofits ignorability to white civil society. The ignorability of police impunity is what renders it inarticulable outside of that hegemonic formation. If ethics is possible for white civil society within its
social discourses, it is rendered irrelevant to the systematic violence deployed against the outside precisely because it is ignorable. Indeed, that ignorability becomes the condition of possibility for the ethical coherence of the inside. The dichotomy between a white ethical dimension and its irrelevance to the violence of police profiling is the very structure of racialization today. It is a twin structure, a regime of violence that operates in two registers, terror and the seduction into the fraudulent ethics of social order;
a double economy of terror, structured by a ritual of incessant performance. And into the gap between them, common sense, which cannot account for the double register or twin structure of this ritual, disappears into incomprehensibility. The language of
common sense, through which we bespeak our social world in the most common way, leaves us speechless before the enormity of the usual, of the business of civil procedures.

Crimes against humanity by Lorenzo Komboa Ervin from “Anarchism and the black revolution”

It is the rich who decide what is or is not a crime; it is not a neutral designation. The laws are written to protect the rich and those who act as agents of the State. But most personal crimes art not committed against the rich, they are usually inaccessible. It is poor and working class Black people who are the major victims of violent crime. The Black female is the primary victim of rape and abuse by the Black male in this country. The Black male himself is the leading homicide victim in the U.S. by another Black man like himself, and sadly our children are among the leading victims of child abuse, many times by his or her own parents. We do not like to think of these things in the Black community, but we are battering and killing ourselves at an alarming rate. This is not to deny that the Capitalist social system has created frustrating, degrading conditions of life that contribute to this brutality and fratricide, but we would be lax in our humane and revolutionary duty if we did not try to correct this problem on the short-term, and also make Black people assume responsibility for our actions. I am not talking some Black conservative or “law and order” garbage here, but rather recognition of fact that we have a problem.

We have an external and an internal crisis situation facing us in our community. The external crisis is racism and colonialism, which works to systematically oppress us and is responsible for whatever internal crisis there is. The internal crisis is the result of an environment where drugs and violence (both social and physical) are rampant, and life is sometimes considered cheap. Black-on-Black crimes and internal violence are destroying our community. It is undoubtedly self-hatred and the desperate economic and social conditions we live under which makes us prey on each other. Drugs, frustrated rage, prostitution and other vices are symptoms of oppression.

We kill, beat, rape and brutalize each other because we are in pain ourselves. Thus we are acting out anti-social roles defined for us by someone else, not ourselves. In our pain and confusion we strike out at convenient and familiar victims; those like ourselves Them are ordinary Black people who steal and rob just to survive under this system, because of that unequal distribution of wealth. Further, for same of us, in our desire to “make it” in Capitalist society we will stop at nothing, including murder. And finally, there are those who do whatever they do because of drug addiction or mental sickness.

Whatever the reasons, we have a serious problem that we must remedy because it is tearing away at the moral and social fabric of our community. It will be impassible to unite Black people if they are in fear and hatred of one another. It is also obvious that the police and government rectify this problem and that only the Black community can do so. The courts and prison prevent the situation from recurring. Therefore what can we do?

It is the community, through its own organizations of concern, which will have to deal with this problem. Community self-managed programs to work with Black youth gang members, (a source of much violence in the community), rather than the military approach of calling in the cops, empower the community rather than the racist prison bureaucracy and the cops. Also, the community-run drug rehabilitation groups, therapy and counseling groups, and other neighborhood organizing help us to effectively deal with the problem of internal violence and hopefully defuse it. Most importantly it involves the community in the effort.

But we cannot totally depend upon counseling or rehabilitation techniques, especially where them is an immediate threat of violence or where it has occurred. So, to insure peace and public security, a Black community guard service would be organized for this purpose, as well as to protect against the white Power structure. This security force would be elected by local residents, and would work with the help of people in neighborhoods. This is the only way it would work. It would not be an auxiliary of the current colonial occupation army in our community, and would not threaten or intimidate the community with violence against our youth. Nor would such a community guard protect vice and organized crime. This community guard would only represent the community that elected it, instead of city hall. Similar such units would be organized all over the city on a block-by-block basis.

Yet the Anarchists go further, and say that after a municipal commune is set up, the existing courts must be replaced by voluntary community tribunals of arbitration, and in cases of grave crimes, connected with murder, or offenses against liberty and equality, a special communal court of a non-permanent nature would be set up. Anarchists believe that antisocial crime, meaning anything that oppresses, robs, or does violence to the working class must be vigorously opposed. We cannot wait until after the revolution to oppose such dangerous enemies of the people. But since such antisocial crimes are a direct expression of Capitalism, there would be a real attempt to socialize, politically educate and rehabilitate offenders. Not by throwing them into the white Capitalist prisons to suffer like animals and where, because of their torture and humiliation, they will declare war on all society, but by involving them in the life of the community and giving them social and vocational training. Since all the “criminology experts” agree that crime is a social problem, and since we know that 88 percent of all crimes are against property and are committed in order to survive in an economically unjust society, we must recognize that only full employment, equal economic opportunity, decent housing and other aspects of social justice will ensure an end to crime. In short, we must have radical social change to eradicate the social conditions that cause crime. An unequal unfair society like Capitalism creates its own criminal class. The real thieves and murderers, businessmen and politicians, are protected under today’s legal system, while the poor are punished. That is class justice, and that is what Social revolution would abolish.

But understandably, many persons want to end the rape, murder, and violence in our communities today, and wind up strengthening the hands of the State and its police agents. They will not get rid of crime, but the cops will militarily patrol our communities, and further turn us against one another. We must stay away from that trap. Frustrated and confused, Black people may attack one another, but instead of condemning them to a slow death in prison or shooting them down in the streets for revenge, we must deal with the underlying social causes behind the act.

Anarchists should begin to have community forums on the cause and manifestations of crime in the Black community. We have to seriously examine the social institutions: family, schools, prisons, jobs, etc. that cause us to fuss, fight, rob and kill each other, rather than the enemy who is causing all our misery. While we should mobilize to restrain offenders, we must begin to realize that only the community will effectively deal with the mater. Not the racist Capitalist system, with its repressive police, courts and prisons. Only we have psychology and understanding to deal with it; now we must develop the will. No one else cares.

Instead of eye-for-eye punishment, there should be restitution to the victims, their families or society. No revenge, such as the death penalty will bring a murder victim back, nor will long-term imprisonment serve either justice or the protection of society. After all, prisons are only human trashcans for those that society has discarded as worthless. No sane and just society would adopt such a course. Society makes criminals and must be responsible for their treatment. White capitalist society is itself a crime, and is the greatest teacher of corruption and violence.

In an Anarchist society, prisons would be done away with, along with courts and police (except for the exceptions I have alluded to), and be replaced with community-run programs and centers interested solely with human regeneration and social training, rather than custodial supervision in a inhuman lockup. The fact is that if a person is so violent or dangerous, he is probably mentally warped or has some physical defect anyway, which causes him to commit violent acts after social justice has been won. If such people are mentally defective, then they should be placed in a mental health facility, rather than a prison. Human rights should never be stripped and he should not be punished. Schools, hospitals, doctors and above all social equality, public welfare and liberty might prove the safest means to get rid of crimes and criminals together. If a special category such as “criminal” or “enemy” is created, then these persons may forever feel an outcast and never change. Even if he or she is a class enemy, they should retain all civil and human rights in society, even though they of course would be restrained if they led a counter-revolution; the difference is we want to defeat them ideologically, not militarily or by consigning them to a so-called reeducation camp or to be shot like the Bolsheviks did when assuming power in Russia in 1917.

There are two major reasons why activists in the Black community as we move to change society, its values and conditions, must immediately take a serious look and act to change the political debate around crime, prisons and the so-called criminal justice system. Those two reasons hit right home! One is because during any given year, one out of four Black men in this country is in prison, in jail on parole, or probation, compared to just one of every fifteen white men. In fact Blacks make up 50–85 percent of most prison populations around the U.S., making a truism of the radical phraseology that “Prisons are concentration camp for the Black and poor.” It may be your brother, sister, husband, wife, daughter or son in prison, but I guarantee you we all know someone in prison at this very minute! The other primary reason Blacks have a vested interest in crime and penal institutions is because by far, most Blacks and other non-whites are in prison for committing offenses against their own community.

Prisons are compact duplicates of the Black community, in that many of the same negative and destructive elements that are allowed to exist in our community and cause crime, especially drugs, are in poison in a more blatant and concentrated form To call such places ‘correctional” or “rehabilitative” institutions is a gross misnomer. Death camps are more like it. These prisons do not exist to punish everyone equally, but to protect the existing Capitalist system from you and I, the poor and working class.

The high rate or recidivism proves, and the so-called authorities all agree, that the prison system is a total failure. About 70 percent of those entering prison are repeat offenders who commit increasingly serious crimes. The brutality or prison experience and the “ex-con” stigma when they are finally released make them worse. Basic to solving these crucial problems is organization. The Black community and the Black Liberation movement must support the prisoners in their fight for prisoners human rights They should fight far the release of political prisoners and victims of racial injustice. They should also form coalitions of groups in the Black community to fight against the racist penal and judicial system, and especially the unequal application of the death penalty, which is just another form of genocide against the Black race. And finally, and maybe most importantly, local community groups must begin programs of re-education with brothers and sisters in prison because only through planned, regular, and constant contact can we begin to resolve this problem that so directly touches our lives. Abolish prisons.

Lorenzo Komboa Ervin “unemployment and homelessness” from his book “Anarchism and the black revolution”

In the first three months of 1993, the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of labor Statistics listed official unemployment rates at about six million persons or just seven of the labor force. Under Capitalism half that figure is “normal” and nonsensically is considered by Capitalist economists as “full employment” even though this is millions of people consigned to economic poverty of the worst sort. But the government figures are intentionally conservative, and do not include those who have given up actively searching for jobs, the under employed (who can’t make enough to live on), the part-time workers (who can’t find a full time or steady job) and the homeless of which them are now between 3–5 million alone.

Of the 6 million people that the government does count as jobless now, less than 3 million are given any unemployment compensation or other federal or state aid; the rest are left to starve, steal or hustle for their survival. A person without a job under the Capitalist system is counted as nothing. Every worker has the human right to a job; yet under Capitalism, workers are dismissed form employment in times of business crisis, overproduction, depression or just to save labor costs through less workers and more speed-up. And some workers cannot find jobs in the Capitalist labor market because of lack of skills, or racial or social discrimination.

But the government’s figures lie, private researchers state that the total number of people who want full time jobs and thus cannot find them amounts to nearly 14.3 million persons. Clearly then this is a crisis situation of broad proportions, but all the government is doing is juggling and hiding figures. But the figures do show that Blacks, Latinos, and women are bearing the brunt of the current depression The National Urban League in its “Bidden Unemployment Index” (included as part of its annual “State of Black America” report) reports levels of 15–38 percent for Black adults 25 and older and incredible levels of 44–55% for teens and young adults 17–24 years. In fact, Black youth unemployment has not declined at all since the 1974–1975 recession. It has stayed at an official level of 35–40 percent, but in the major cities like Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, the real unemployment rate is more like 70 percent. For Black youth the unemployment rate is three to five times higher than that of white youth. Capitalism is making economic exiles of Black people as a whole. The fact is that unemployment is concentrated in the Black and Hispanic communities, and is greatly responsible for the most destructive tendencies inhuman relations and deteriorating neighborhoods. Crime, prostitution, suicide, drug addiction, gang fighting, mental illness, alcoholism, and the break up of the Black family, and other social ills — all are rooted in the lack of jobs and the denial of essential social services in their communities. It is actually racial genocide in the form of social neglect.

Unemployment is profitable for the bosses because it drives down the wages of workers and helps the employers to keep the workforce under control through this “reserve army of labor,” which are allegedly always ready to scab. Because of pervasive discrimination against Blacks, Latinos and other nationally oppressed workers, including higher levels unemployment — the jobs they do get art generally on the bottom rung. This is also profitable for the boss, and divides the working class.

Homelessness is just the most intensified form of unemployment, where in addition to loss of job or income, there is loss of housing and lack of access to social services. There are now millions of people homeless since the last 15 years, because of the Capitalist offensive to destroy the unions, beat back the gains of the civil rights struggle, and do away with the affordable housing sector in favor of yuppie gentrification in the cities. You see them in cities, big and small, and what this reflects is a total breakdown in the Capitalist State’s social services system, in addition to the heating up of the class war waged by government and the major corporations, It shows, more than anything, that Capitalism worldwide is undergoing an international financial panic, and is really in the beginning stages of a world depression. In addition to the 90 million persons who live below the poverty line and three to five million homeless in the U.S.; there are another 2.7 million homeless in the twelve nations of the European community, and 80 million people am living in poverty there, with millions more in the Capitalist countries of Japan, Korea and other parts of Asia. So although Black workers must organize and fight against homeless and unemployment in the U.S., clearly there must be an international movement of workers to fight this economic deprivation, as part of the overall class struggle. In every city in North America, the Black workers movement should organize unemployment councils to fight for unemployment benefits and jobs for the jobless, the building of decent, affordable low-income housing and an end to homelessness, as well as against racial discrimination in jobs and housing. Such councils would be democratic organizations, organized on a neighborhood basis, (to ensure that it would be under the control of the people, and against infiltration and takeover by liberal or “radical” political parties, or co-optation by the government), which would be federated into a citywide, regional, and national organization. That organization would be a national Black unemployment league, to create a mass fight back movement in this depression. It would be made up of Black community unemployed councils from all over the country, with delegates elected from all the local groups. Such a national organization could meet to map out a large-scale attack on unemployment, as well as serve as a national clearinghouse on Black unemployment conditions.

On the local level in the Black neighborhoods, it would be the community unemployment councils which would establish food and housing cooperatives, lead rent strikes and squatting, initiate land and building reclamation projects, establish producer and consumer cooperatives, distribute food and clothing, and provide for other services: they would establish neighborhood medical clinics for free treatment of the homeless and unemployed, rodent control programs, etc., and they would deal with community social problems (brought on by unemployment), and other issues of interest They would build hunger marches and other demonstrations and carry the people’s wrath to various government offices and to the businesses of the rich. Not only would the unemployment councils be a way of fighting for jobs and unemployment benefits, but also the councils would a way to a obtain a great deal of community self-sufficiency and direct democracy, instead of totally depending on city hall, Congress or the President, and helps lead to the kind of confidence among the masses that a Black municipal commune becomes a serious possibility.

One of the most important functions of an unemployment movement is to obtain unity between the employed and unemployed or homeless, and workers solidarity across race lines. The employed and unemployed must work together to struggle against the Boss class if they are to obtain any serious gains during this period of economic crisis. Workers who are on strike or protesting against the boss would be supported by the unemployed, who would even man the picket lines with them and refuse to scab. In turn the workers would form unemployed caucus in their trade unions to allow union representation of these workers and also force such unions to provide food and other necessities, make funds and training available to the unemployed, as well as throw the weight of the unions in the fight for decent jobs and housing for all workers. The Capitalist bosses will not be moved otherwise. Make the bosses pay for their economic crisis!

Here is what a united movement of workers and homeless must demand:

  1. Full employment (zero unemployment) for all workers at union wage.
  2. Establishment of a shorter workweek, so that workers would be paid at the rate for 40 hours of work for 20–30 hours a week on the job.
  3. End homelessness, build and make available decent affordable housing for all. Repeal all loitering, anti-panhandling and other laws against the homeless.
  4. End the war budget, and use those funds for decent, low-income housing, better schools, hospitals and clinics, libraries, parks and public transportation.
  5. End racism and sexism in job opportunities and relief benefits.
  6. Jobs or a guaranteed income for all.
  7. Full federal and state benefits for unemployed workers and their families, including corporate and government funds to pay the bills, rents and debts for any laid off worker, and unemployment compensation at 100% of regular paid wage, lasting the full length of a worker’s period of unemployment.
  8. National minimum wage set at prevailing union entry wage.
  9. Government and corporate funds to establish a public works program to provide jobs (with full union rights and wage scale) to rebuild the inner cities and provide needed social services. The program and its funds should be under the control of committees democratically elected from poor and Black neighborhoods, so as to avoid “poverty pimps” and rip off job agencies, or government bureaucrats.
  10. Free all persons in prison for crimes of economic survival.

These, and the demands previously mentioned, are merely a survival program and agenda for unemployed workers; the real answer is Social revolution the elimination of Capitalism, and workers’ self-management of the economy and society. This is a vital first step however. Them would be no unemployment or social need for wage labor in an Anarchist-Communist society.

The black panthers were not a hate group

There’s a circulating myth about the black panthers that I keep hearing from generally white circles. That they were a black supremacist hate group. Now what is troubling about this myth is that it is being believed by black children and some adults. So before any more damage is done, I would like to combat this myth by pointing out a few things about the black panthers.

1) The black panthers were a self defense organization

The main goal of the black panthers was self defense from a racist, authoritarian police state. They were known for picking up guns against police brutality and general hate groups. For those of you who say that the black panthers should have been none violent, ask yourself, when has civil disobedience ever worked. The civil rights movement got almost nowhere and what little it did achieve was through revolutionary action by more radical groups like the black panthers. Even Martin Luther King hired Deacons for Defence to protect protest agianst agitators. 
I can already hear you saying “muh india”. You realize during the Indian Independence movement there were frequent bombings of British government buildings, assasinations of British officials and to top it all off England had been through two world wars and was badly weakened by then, they didn’t have the reasorces or the time to try to hold on to India.

2) The Panther’s other goal was helpling black communities.

At their peak, the panthers had 45 chapters throughout the US. With that they organized dozens of community help programs like, free breakfast for children, health clinics, shoes for children, ect. They provided more help and services to black people than the government brutaly repressing them.                             Even if they were a hate group, they had a right to be a hate group. An oppressive, white, racist, totalitarian state was what black people were and are living under. To say that hatred wouldn’t arise would literally be the second most asinine thing I have ever heard come from the mouths of white people. 

3) The black panther platform and program
October, 1966
Black Panther Party
Platform and Program
What We Want
What We Believe

1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black community. We believe that Black people will not be free until we are able to determine our destiny.

2. We want full employment for our people.
We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every man employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the white American businessmen will not give full employment, then the means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.

3. We want an end to the robbery by the white man of our Black community.
We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules was promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The Germans murdered six million Jews. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of over fifty million Black people; therefore, we feel that this is a modest demand that we make.

4. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.
We believe that if the white landlords will not give decent housing to our Black community, then the housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that our community, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for its people.

5. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in present-day society.
We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of self. If a man does not have knowledge of himself and his position in society and the world, then he has little chance to relate to anything else.

6. We want all Black men to be exempt from military service.
We believe that Black people should not be forced to fight in the military service to defend a racist government that does not protect us. We will not fight and kill other people of color in the world who, like Black people, are being victimized by the white racist government of America. We will protect ourselves from the force and violence of the racist police and the racist military, by whatever means necessary.

7. We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people.We believe we can end police brutality in our Black community by organizing Black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our Black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The second amendment to the constitution of the United States gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all Black people should arm themselves for self-defense.

8. We want freedom for all Black men held in federal state, county and city prisons and jails.We believe that all Black people should be released from the many jails and prisons because they have not received a fair and impartial trial.

9. We want all Black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their Black communities, as defined by the constitution of the United States.We believe that the courts should follow the United States constitution so that black people will receive fair trials. The Fourteenth Amendment of the US constitution gives a man a right to be tried by his peer group. A peer is a person from a similar economic, social, religious, geographical, environmental, historical and racial background. To do this the court will be forced to select a jury from the Black community from which the Black defendant came. We have been and are being tried by all-white juries that have no understanding of the “average reasoning man” of the Black community.

10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace. And as our major political objective, a United Nations-supervised plebiscite to be held throughout the Black colony in which only Black colonial subjects will be allowed to participate, for the purpose of determining the will of Black people as to their national destiny.

4)The black panthers had a sub group called the white panthers.

The white panthers were formed after an interview with the BBPs co founder Huey P Newton. The interviewer asked what can white people do to help, and in response Huey said form a subgroup called the white panthers. After that three guys named Pun Palamond, Leni Sinclair, and John Sinclair formed the white panthers party. A counter culture, anti capitalist, anti racist collective. The white panthers did everything they could to not be mistaken for a white supremacist group. They worked with many ethnic  minority groups in the rainbow coalitions.

I still can’t believe that this needs to be said, but the black panthers are not a hate group. Stop telling young, black children a white washed version of black history. How about diverting attention to actual hate groups, that kill People of color, instead of trying to make yourselves feel less guilty.


There is no communism in Russia by Emma Goldman (part one)

Communism is now on everybody’s lips. Some talk of it with the exaggerated enthusiasm of a new convert, others fear and condemn it as a social menace. But I venture to say that neither its admirers—the great majority of them—nor those who denounce it have a very clear idea of what Bolshevik Communism really is.

Speaking generally, Communism is the ideal of human equality and brotherhood. It considers the exploitation of man by man as the source of all slavery and oppression. It holds that economic inequality leads to social injustice and is the enemy of moral and intellectual progress. Communism aims at a society where classes have been abolished as a result of common ownership of the means of production and distribution. It teaches that only in a classless, solidaric commonwealth can man enjoy liberty, peace and well-being.

My purpose is to compare Communism with its application in Soviet Russia, but on closer examination I find it an impossible task. As a matter of fact, there is no Communism in the U.S.S.R. Not a single Communist principle, not a single item of its teaching is being applied by the Communist party there.

To some this statement may appear as entirely false; others may think it vastly exaggerated. Yet I feel sure that an objective examination of conditions in present-day Russia will convince the unprejudiced reader that I speak with entire truth.

It is necessary to consider here, first of all, the fundamental idea underlying the alleged Communism of the Bolsheviki. It is admittedly of a centralized, authoritarian kind. That is, it is based almost exclusively on governmental coercion, on violence. It is not the Communism of voluntary association. It is compulsory State Communism. This must be kept in mind in order to understand the method applied by the Soviet state to carry out such of its plans as may seem to be Communistic.

The first requirement of Communism is the socialization of the land and of the machinery of production and distribution. Socialized land and machinery belong to the people, to be settled upon and used by individuals or groups according to their needs. In Russia land and machinery are not socialized but _nationalized_. The term is a misnomer, of course. In fact, it is entirely devoid of content. In reality there is no such thing as national wealth. A nation is too abstract a term to “own” anything. Ownership may be by an individual, or by a group of individuals; in any case by some quantitatively defined reality. When a certain thing does not belong to an individual or group, it is either nationalized or socialized. If it is nationalized, it belongs to the state; that is, the government has control of it and may dispose of it according to its wishes and views. But when a thing is socialized, every individual has free access to it and use it without interference from anyone.

In Russia there is no socialization either of land or of production and distribution. Everything is nationalized; it belongs to the government, exactly as does the post-office in America or the railroad in Germany and other European countries. There is nothing of Communism about it.

No more Communistic than the land and means of production is any other phase of the Soviet economic structure. All sources of existence are owned by the central government; foreign trade is its absolute monopoly; the printing presses belong to the state, and every book and paper issued is a government publication. In short, the entire country and everything in it is the property of the state, as in ancient days it used to be the property of the crown. The few things not yet nationalized, as some old ramshackle houses in Moscow, for instance, or some dingy little stores with a pitiful stock of cosmetics, exist on sufferance only, with the government having the undisputed right to confiscate them at any moment by simple decree.

Such a condition of affairs may be called state capitalism, but it would be fantastic to consider it in any sense Communistic.

Ashanti Alston’s “Childhood and the psychological dimensions of Revolution” (Final part)

NEEDING MORE THAN YOU BARGAINED FOR

We need so much more than the “science” of Capitalist Economics, Pan-Africanism, Socialism, Spirituality, guerrilla warfare, etc., to enrich our understanding of the problems of human bondage and self-enslavement. No matter how effective the Mask in enslaving us to the habits, obsessions, ways of thinking, relating and reacting we can destroy it and restructure a whole new identity or character. We have available the kind of analytical and “self-actualizing” psychologies to help us produce that gut-wrenching revolution of The Soul. Here rests and operates that “inner social dynamic” which automatically makes each of us work to fail, to FAIL in carrying out one’s own and one’s group’s most righteous of intentions and endeavors. We need to develop, to self-develop the kind of liberating habits and ways of thinking/feeling/willing/working required to help us succeed in Life in general and in Revolution in particular.

How can people who have been the target of what has been the most effective and dam-near total psychological domination BY THEMSELVES create the conditions and processes for Freedom? For an inner freedom that is a necessary preparation for building the kind of clear, diverse, national revolutionary movements for changing this whole society?

First is by realizing that in this today’s phase of scientific capitalism, the repressive (psychic) domination and (social) administration of society becomes an advanced “1984” -scientific, productive and total. When Malcolm X spoke of their powers to manipulate us and have us thinking that our true friends were our enemies, and vice-versa, even he knew deep the manipulation reached into our very souls. It went deep enough to make us think that we were doing our own thinking and acting. And Malcolm had only penetrated THE TIP of the iceberg.

No one is immune to the psychic domination this oppressive monster, or “god”, has over us. The invisible Mask maintains that domination, that blind addiction to authoritarianism. It represses the instinctual freedom desires of a person. This is true even when one is ALONE with NO VISIBLE political or police force near us. Like the slave who will not, WILL NOT run away from Massa when unchained and no physical obstacle in sight. The only obstacle is her/his personal fears, her/his mentality of fear … a fear that paralyzes the mind, the body, the soul. No more Kunta Kinte. You got TOBY now! Don’t worry because he don’t need those metal chains anymore. Same Mask, same “dynamic” of self-enslavement. Instead of the natural curiosity and drive to go after Life and learn of its greater possibilities – there is a fear of life, and self-imposed limitations. The same fear that immobilizes and paralyzes. That Fear of Freedom. Sacrificed is the natural fiery, streaming desire for life, love, learning, thinking, playing creating. Sacrificed is self-esteem, self-confidence, will power, risk-taking, creative and critical thinking and a natural desire for sociality. Here we are talking about the very undeveloped capacities necessary to fight successfully for freedom and happiness.

We still carry that character mask of Slave Mentality today. We have no developed capacities for truly LIVING (the self-actualizing development towards a full-humanness), and so, no true durable STRUGGLE capacities. We, as revolutionaries, are as neurotic as anyone else in this society. It is a mass neurosis, a mass sickness, and we are a part of THE MASSES. The personality problems that stem from those early traumatic experiences don’t get exposed and resolved for our betterment merely by reading and taking on new beliefs. No matter how militant, scientific or moral. What we’re doing is merely piling, PILING more stuff ON TOP of problems already caused by a poor uprooting of racism, sexism and authoritarianism per se inside of us. IT IS A GHETTO INSIDE THERE, and you don’t intelligently build a new identity on top of an old, crumbling foundation structure that is fragile, re-decorated, “shouldabeencondemnedlongago” psychological tenements.

The problem is how to change the whole ghetto-ized or niggerized mind/body/soul chain system so that in self-discovery and development of wholesome, enriching and enlivening capacities, one can be better able to truly take hold of new, liberating ways of thinking and relating as in guiding principles and life concepts. Here we especially mean one’s critical, emotional, sensual, creative and physical capacities in and for life per se. Does what we believe, do our behavior patterns inhibit, repress or distort the “fire of life? Or does one’s beliefs and behavior promote and nurture that “born freedom,” that potential primarily for creating higher, diverse forms of liberating, human natural relationships, cultural and sexual happiness, psychological self-determination – and as critical, for social revolutionary struggle, including the complex underground machinations called for?

In order to radically change the ghettoes, you have to get out the dynamite, the giant digging cranes, the ball crushers, power jacks, etc.. You have to carry through the tasks of blowing up, knocking down the old physical character of the ghetto. Then you have to keep on digging deep through the surface, past hidden layers of earth to prepare for a new, clean foundation. That is the concern here: preparing for a new, clean foundation for freedom. And we’ve got a lot of garbage and backed-up, antiquated sewer systems in our psychological characters to deal with. This is the PREPARATION of changing the Masked Character Structure.

Just like the construction workers, the re-construction of the character structure require us to DIG DEEP into the many layers of our personal pasts, for those hidden, buried potent capacities screaming to be free for living fully, for developing naturally towards the fullness, the wholeness of life. It is from this BASIS that the capacities for a mix of revolutionary life styles, including all its dangerous implications, should be developed. Talk about struggle, conflict? LIKE NOTHING YOU COULD HAVE IMAGINED. The living, potent knowledge available to us now, can help us to conduct this inner radical reconstruction that inescapably puts us through some hellified psychological and even biological changes. And this is just what we need!

“After difficulty comes ease.” – The Quran

WHERE TO – WHAT NOW?

This calls for a different kind of boldness or courage. It impels you to confront and challenge not just the external enemy of all shapes, sizes and dress, but the internal enemy who is YOU, an yet NOT THE YOU you are silently SCREAMING to be. There is the need for the courage to seek out amongst ourselves the men, women and youngsters (regardless of race, sex, class or belief) who are at least INTERESTED and WIILING to venture on this journey (a rugged journey, mind you) in putting ourselves through, and having others of like interest put us through, the kinds of personal, emotionally upsetting, gut-wrenching experiences necessary to discover their selves and piece back together a human being fragmented by this oppressive culture. This is synonymous with being, becoming REVOLUTIONARY, which is synonymous with being at peace with one’s self. Anyone whose attitude is that s/he is already revolutionary (or human) enough and don’t need to go through no more changes is obviously a self-enslaved person who is satisfied with remaining stuck in the same old mold. That type of person cannot, and more than likely WILL NOT, help him/herself nor allow others to help her/him unless that particular negative anti-freedom attitude changes to one that is indicative of an OPENING to the world of positive “stimuli,” goodness in people, enriching, liberating experiences, and the like.

So, the primary purpose of this paper (and my idea with others before me of the primary task of this stage of human struggle in Babylon) is to help each one and each other SEE, as penetrating and broadly as we can, the Masked Oppressor within us. These self-hating, self-enslaving mechanisms which have become an unconscious and invisible force is operating off of our induced fears of LIVING FULLY, affectively restricting our capacities for struggle and freedom. We’ve got to break through if we are going to change ourselves into capable, human peoples who are determined to take responsibility for creating radical social-changing lifestyles.

Reading Is A Must! SO we must seek out the kinds of information that can show us:

1) How we each are prevented by the society (through culture) and how we prevent our own selves (internalizing culture) from developing our potentials as human beings and revolutionaries, and

2) How we might bring forth those buried potentials and capacities to be free, constructive, creative, willing, loving, independent, communal, responsible, playful, sensual, honest, assertive, playful, and revolutionizing.