Monthly Archives: September 2012
The always excellent and intriguing Canadian left-wing Kersplebedeb, publisher and/or distributor of such important texts as Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat, Night-Vision: Illuminating War & Class on the Neocolonial Terrain and Meditations on Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth has launched its new Kalikot Book Series. The first title to be published as part of the Kalikot series is Zak Cope’s Divided World Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour Under Capitalism, a work which sets out to chart the history of the labour aristocracy in the capitalist world system.
For those not familiar with Lenin’s theory, the labour aristocracy (sometimes called the aristocracy of labour) is a working class that has been bribed by imperialism. While Many “Leninists” claim to uphold this theory, they refuse to examine the breadth of this pseudo-class and rather try to deny it’s size to the extent that it seems to rarely (if ever) factor into either their analysis or organization. At the same time Lenin himself remarked that the seal of parasitism can mark entire nations. J. Sakai in his book Settlers demonstrates this clearly in the history of the United States. Other important contributions to the theory of the labour aristocracy demonstrate that it was not a phenomenon born into the world fully developed in the era of imperialism, but in fact goes right back to what Marx referred to as the primitive accumulation of capital. Read the rest of this entry
While The Speed of Dreams has still not formed a final opinion on the question of Richard Aoki’s alleged status as an FBI informant (and the consequences of that), we present the following article from the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons. As usual, posting does not imply endorsement or affiliation.
On August 20, 2012 an article was released alleging that Richard Aoki, a Japanese national and early Black Panther Party (BPP) member, was an FBI informant. This claim was made by journalist and author Seth Rosenfeld, whose bookSubversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power was conveniently released on August 21. On September 7, 2012 Rosenfeld published a follow-up article, with 221 pages of “newly released” FBI documents which he believes further implicate Aoki as an FBI informant.(1)
Let’s start with Rosenfeld’s political worldview, because we know no journalist is truly unbiased. Rosenfeld’s opinion on liberation struggles is revealed in his characterization of the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF), that Aoki organized in, as a violent student movement.(2) He blames the violence of the 1968-69 strikes of the TWLF on Bay Area college campuses on the strikers themselves, not the pigs. Yet the students did not initiate violence, and in fact were sprayed with so much teargas by the pigs that the trees in Sproul Plaza on the University of California at Berkeley campus were still irritating students’ eyes even into the following school year. Coming from this perspective we must question Rosenfeld’s assessment of the FBI right of the bat. Read the rest of this entry
There’s now a paper trail that shows detailed evidence of former Black Panther Richard Aoki work as an FBI informant. In a report released Friday morning at the Center for Investigative Reporting, reporter Seth Rosenfeld outlines his findings of 221 pages of FBI files that show Aoki’s role as informant with the agency for 16 years, from 1961 to 1977.
Here’s what the records show: The FBI began targeting Aoki while he was still in high school, a striking point that speaks to just how aggressively the government worked to intervene in radical and people of color-led movements. Notably, the files do not detail exactly what information Aoki gave to the FBI, and in particular the redacted documents do not specify whether he informed on the Black Panthers, the political organization with which Aoki is most widely identified. However, the documents do show that Aoki was an informant during the critical years in which the Black Panthers had conflict with the police. Read the rest of this entry