The only task left for thinking men & women in the world today is conscious preparation for the revolution.
Brothers! The social revolution now in progress & vanguarded by black revolutionaries is a weapon of cultural revolution.
The cultural revolution seeks not only to transform the entire political & social status quo but in so much as it seeks to liberate the creative spirit inherent in all men then we can say that it tends to transform the revolutionary socialist’s task of ‘making history’ into the revolutionary Poet’s task of destroying the whole SPECTACLE of history as narrated sequences of events. The cultural revolution, as if she were the beautiful woman who sleeps in the hearts of all men, whispers, & in critical times like these, shouts -THINK OF YOUR DESIRES AS REALITIES. Again & again this great vision of the world transformed, as if this woman were the very organic source of the planet herself, has called her men to arms that they might re-establish themselves in joyous harmony with all things alive & growing, Yet again & again the infamous cities, regardless of what small reforms they have granted & now seek to take back, have managed to contain the struggle. Our vision gnawed into a kind of blue death. OVER THE PAST 150 YEARS MORE DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE TO THE ORGANIC PRODUCTIVE PROCESS OF THE PLANET THAN IN ALL HUMAN HISTORY PRECEDING.
The human cosmos is timeless & kind. It seeks nothing but the joy of change. Permanent revolution, Growth. The defeats this cosmos has suffered at the hands of history are entirely temporal & are now the sources of our education. The life forces of flesh, green & fur are gathering their energies to make a revolution that will put an and to the military industrial elites, all bureaucracies & their messengers of imperialism, racism, & death. The great message of Che was that the world MUST he changed because its present reality is unbearable. Brothers! The spirit of the people will be stronger than the pig’s technology. Make the revolution.
To deepen the revolution it is now necessary to take the cultural revolution to the social revolution & to bring the tasks of the social revolution to the cultural revolution. Now is the time for revolutionaries to provide definitions & to establish communications with one another; to take the message of the black revolutionary vanguard to the youth revolution; for the youth cultural revolution to begin to provide a greater defense of the black revolution by themselves becoming conscious revolutionaries who can take a revolutionary program to the people. It is in this sense that we say ELDRIDGE CLEAVER FOR PRESIDENT. We recognise & accept the revolutionary vanguard role being demonstrated in prototype by the Black Panther Party.
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Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower—where among these did the power reside? What moves the heart? What flower of the nation bride-sweet broke to the whole rapture? Hoover, Coolidge, Harding, Wilson hear the factories of human misery turning out commodities.
For whom are the holy matins of the heart ringing?
Noble men in the quiet of morning hear
Indians singing the continent’s violent requiem.
Harding, Wilson, Taft, Roosevelt,
hear the cries of men in meaningless debt and war.
Where among these did the spirit reside
that restores the land to productive order?
McKinley, Cleveland, Harrison, Arthur,
Garfield, Hayes, Grant, Johnson,
dwell in the roots of the heart’s rancor.
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In modern history the spectacle of elections has had much to do with inhibiting & preventing revolution. We see examples of this process in the Roosevelt campaigns of the thirties which managed to co-opt revolutionary energy, the demoralizing farce of the 1948 Henry Wallace’s Progressive Party campaign & today with the proposed candidacy of McCarthy, offered as a fake alternative by one sect of a thoroughly corrupt ruling class. There may appear in the course of the election campaign other so-called “peace” candidates with diverse but reformist programs. In any case, any candidate who does not offer a program that AT LEAST IMPLIES the dissolution of the nation state into international communities & the total transformation of social life will be but another attempt to co-opt revolutionary energy as in the post. When the people go to the streets & force the ruling class to dump its Johnson type pigs then it always tries to find some other pig with a different ‘image’ & stuff some rhetoric about ‘reform’ down its throat to try to cool out the youth & to fool black people. We must take our eyes away from the hideous spectacle of these various elites fighting one another for control. Know that the ruling class represents a crumbling structure. Demand all power to the people & let this demand be heard with the full weight of the radical desire implicit in it. Demand that all peoples be given control over their day to day lives & of their destinies now.
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Unfortunately, “…man has exchanged the safety and flexibility of generalized characteristics, which since his primitive days have largely contributed to his survival, for extreme specialization. Through the development of the physical sciences, funneled into vast industrial systems, he has created and continues to create new environments, new conditions. These extensions of his mind-fertility and his mind-restlessness are superimposed, like crusts, on the lace of the earth, choking his life sources. The conditions under which he must live are constantly changing, he himself being the cause of the changes. In this metamorphosis he has almost lost sight of the fact that the living resources of his life are derived from his earth-home and not from his mind-power…Parts of the earth, once living and productive, have thus died at the hand of man. Others are now dying. If we cause more to die, nature will compensate for this in her own way, inexorably, as already she has begun to do… There would seem to be no real hope for the future unless we are prepared to accept the concept that man, like all other living beings, is a part of one great biological scheme.”
—Fairfield Osborne (in Our Plundered Planet)
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“As long as the arena of the assembly is the modern Bourgeois city, to be sure, the revolution is located in a recalcitrant environment—one difficult to assimilate to an assembly community. The bourgeois city, by its very nature and structure, fosters centralization, massification, and manipulation. Inorganic, gargantuan, organized by commercial forces as a grid of streets arid avenues (rather than ecologically as an ecosystem), the city inhibits and obstructs organic, rounded community growth. In its role as the universal solvent, THE ASSEMBLY MUST NOW DISSOLVE THE CITY ITSELF.
“We can envision young people—society’s germplasm, as it were—renewing social life as it renews the human species. Leaving the city, they begin to found the nuclear ecological communities to which increasingly older people repair. Large pools of resources are mobilized for their use: careful ecological surveys, guidelines, and suggestions are placed at their disposal by the most competent, talented, and imaginative people available. The modern city begins to shrivel, to contract, and to disappear, as did its ancient progenitors millennia earlier. In the new, rounded ecological community, the assembly finds its authentic environment and true shelter. Form & content now correspond completely. The journey from ‘here’ to ‘there,’ from sections to Ecclesia, from cities to communities, is completed, certainly as far as men can see today. The revolutionary urban assemblies are essentially communities in their own right, but based on ecological communities they become more rounded organisms. No longer is the factory a particularized phenomenon, but an organic part of the community. In this sense, it is no longer a factory. The dissolution of the factory into the community completes the dissolution of the last vestiges of property, class, and above all, of mediated society into the new polis. And now the real drama of human life can unfold, in all its beauty, harmony, joy, creativity, and tragedy.”
—Murray Bookchin (in ‘The Forms of Freedom,’ Anarchos magazine)
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The armed revolutionary assemblies of the people must he able to take their rightful control of the technological apparatus which exists in the urban centers. The small minority which benefits from the profit production of the military industrial complex & its imperialisms should be immediately stripped of power so that the technology, in the hands of the people, may be used to provide for the actual needs of all beings & to begin construction of the international federation of ecologically balanced communities, with many & diverse cultures, that it is now necessary to build if man & his organic planet are to survive.
…”Is there or is there not a great business conspiracy called the United States & Russia.”
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Mass elections held once every four years or so that grant the people no immediate recall of candidates hand picked by various sections of the ruling class, depending upon which corporations they have their money in & pushed over a totalitarian media are not ‘free’ & can only be viewed as a sophisticated means of brainwash. Revolution is an organic process intimately connected to life itself. It asks only to be lived. Experienced.
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Demand immediate withdrawal of all troops from Vietnam. Demand immediate withdrawal of all troops of police from the black people’s communities. Support a U.N. supervised plebiscite that black Americans may exclusively determine their destiny now.
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“We must not only demand that all U.S. forces withdraw immediately from Vietnam; we must go beyond that to show that U.S. aggression in Vietnam is not an isolated atrocity, but part of a policy of imperial domination and exploitation of the resources and the peoples of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and even Western Europe and Canada. We must make clear the connection between this international imperialism and the colonial oppression of black people and other people of color in this country. We must raise the fundamental question of whom the land and the means of production rightfully belong to: we must declare that the people have a right to enjoy the wealth made by their own labor.”
* * *
Johnson, Humphrey, McCarthy, Westmoreland,
Nixon, Reagan, Rockefeller
idiots fumbling at the bride’s door
hear the cries of men in meaningless debt & war
Where among these does the spirit reside
that restores the land to productive order?
Nowhere! They & their class are sores
on the body of the people
Let them disappear.
Let mammal grace reign like a green forest over the green earth
Let each man carry his own flag & huge erotic gestures
sing his land his time his space
Take the social revolution to the cultural revolution.
Support the vanguard of the Panthers.
Demand all power to the people. Everywhere. Venceremos!
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A CONGRESS FOR A CULTURAL REVOLUTION
The revolution is not afraid of art. It realizes that the role of the artist in a decadent capitalist society is determined by the conflict between the individual and various social forms which are hostile to him. This fact alone, insofar as he is conscious of it, makes the artist the natural ally of revolution. The process of sublimation, which here comes into play and which psychoanalysis has analysed, tries to restore the broken equilibrium between the integral ‘ego’ and the outside elements it rejects. This restoration works to the advantage of the IDEAL OF THE SELF, which marshals against the unbearable present reality all those powers of the interior world, of the SELF, which are common to all men and which are constantly flowering and developing. The need for emancipation felt by the individual spirit has only to follow its natural course to be led to mingle its stream with this primeval necessity—THE NEED FOR THE EMANCIPATION OF MAN.
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GUERRILLA proposes that in January, 1969, independent revolutionaries hold a CONGRESS FOR CULTURAL REVOLUTION.
The congress should be organized to include the independent revolutionary media, various representatives of the underground communities, & other independent revolutionary organizations & individuals who are interested in total cultural revolution whether they be activists, anarchists, poets & artists, or socialists.
1. The red & black should attempt to formulate a broad program of cultural revolution which includes an analysis of the tasks facing cultural revolutionaries from the point of view of the ecology, morphology & cybernetics as well as from the more traditional revolutionary informations.
2. Polarize the underground. The CIA & other intelligence agencies have begun to consciously infiltrate the cultural revolution via grants, fake poetry projects, magazines, the usual fronts. GUERRILLA believes it is necessary to name and define the counter-cultural revolution so that a conscious federation of cultural revolution may be built.
3. The congress should attempt to formulate its own 4 year plan of cultural revolution. Social revolution as a weapon of cultural revolution,
Those interested in helping to organize a national CONGRESS FOR CULTURAL REVOLUTION may write GUERRILLA.
“What we need in America is radical political machinery that is able to move in two directions at the same time, able to harness two different sets of political dynamics—the liberation struggle in the black community, and the class struggle in the white community.”
—Eldridge Cleaver, Minister of Information, The Black Panther Party
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If we were dealing with a capitalist United States of America that had no imperialistically possessed colonies, we would correctly have a different starting point than the one adopted in this piece. But we do in fact have to deal with a capitalism that not only possesses colonies in the usual sense of the term, i.e., colonies abroad, separated from the mother country by either land or water, we have at the same time to deal with the phenomenon of a capitalism that holds a people in colonial bondage and subjugation on the very same land mass occupied by itself. And this already complicated fact is further complicated by the additional fact that the colony is not centralized and separated. such as an Indian Reservation or the Native Preserves of South Africa. Rather the colonized black people are dispersed throughout the population of the mother country, clustered here and there in congested enclaves called ‘black communities,’ and radiating out from those centers in a scattering to the four winds.
Many people won’t move at all until they know exactly where they are going. Others know exactly where they want to go but won’t budge an inch until they know exactly how to get there. Neither of these types is revolutionary and both of them can he found in profusion throughout the ranks of groups, clusters, and cliques in America that presumptuously label themselves revolutionary. It is for these, more than for others, that this is written.
PEACE AND FREEDOM
The actual blood and guts war for liberation waged by the Vietnamese people gave rise directly to the cry for peace in America. The struggle for liberation by the black community within America which is fast approaching the point of being transformed into war, gave birth to the cry in the white community for freedom. The war and the struggle are primary. Without the war in Vietnam there would be no cry for peace in America: and without the struggle by the black community there would be no cry for freedom in the white community.
Even though there is a direct relationship between the movement in the black community and the movement in the white community, it sometimes seems the two movements are autonomous, and even the leaders of these movements are at times so unaware of what they are doing that they go around knocking each other and ridiculing one another’s movement. But what they are really doing is laughing at the back sides of their own faces and frustrating their allies in a common cause at the same time giving the true enemy an opening through which to further divide the people by manipulating the national heritage of racism.
The peace leader who advocates playing down or dissociating his movement from the liberation struggle in the black community is as big an asshole as the black militant who derides the whites who take up picket signs to demonstrate against police brutality in the black ghettos.
In order to get rid of this type of mad, self-flagellating confusion, what we need in America is radical political machinery that is able to move in two directions at the same time, able to harness two, on the surface, different sets of political dynamics—the liberation struggle in the black community and the class struggle in the white community. It must also be able to comprehend, and carry out, the class struggle that is rapidly coming to a head in the black community. We believe that the Coalition formed between the Black Panther Party and the Peace and Freedom Party in California is the foundation, or nucleus, of the needed machinery, or at least its prototype. And we believe that it will be looked back upon as the fountainhead from which flowed the revolutionary party that will uproot this decadent society, transform its politics and create a structure fit to exist on a civilized planet inhabited by humanized beings.
A rule of thumb of revolutionary politics is that no matter how oppressive the ruling class may be, how impossible the task of making the revolution may seem, the means of making that revolution, as though god-given, are always somewhere near at hand. All that is required is the correct analysis of the situation, the formulation of the strategy dictated by such analysis-definition and the courage to implement the tactics flowing therefrom.