George Jackson (activist)
George Lester Jackson (23 September 1941 – 21 August 1971) was an African-American activist and author. While serving a sentence for armed robbery in 1961, Jackson became involved in revolutionary activity and co-founded the Maoist-Marxist Black Guerrilla Family. In 1970, he was charged, along with two other Soledad Brothers, with the murder of prison guard John Vincent Mills in the aftermath of a prison fight. The same year, he published Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson, a combination of autobiography and manifesto addressed to a black American audience. The book would become a best-seller and earn Jackson personal fame.
- Patience has its limits. Take it too far and it's cowardice.
Blood in My Eye (1971)Edit
- Revolutionary change means the seizure of all that is held by the 1 percent, and the transference of these holdings into the hands of the remaining 99 percent. If the 1 percent are simply replaced by another 1 percent, revolutionary change has not taken place.
- p. 9
- When any election is held it will fortify rather than destroy the credibility of the power brokers. When we participate in this election to win, instead of disrupt, we're lending to its credibility.
- p. 26
- Prestige stands between the masses and a revolt against their class enemy. The aura of magic, glamour, luster and splendid permanence covers the fascists like a protective layer of fat. The slimy scales of majesty shield and conceal the dilapidation of the old bourgeois reign of terror.
- p. 47
- Prestige bars any serious attack on power. Do people attack a thing they consider with awe?
- p. 50
- Waiting for power to move to its inevitable collapse is suicidal for all concerned. Blacks and other Third World peoples have the very imminent prospect of genocidal tactics to contend with, and we can now all see that the modern industrial state, motivated by exclusive groups of capitalist masters, cannot regulate itself to make possible an inclusive production and distribution of goods, or production without a massive waste of resources and destruction of all that stands about. The debate ends, the action begins. It is not question of the necessity of violence, but of how to organize it.
- p. 51
- Our aim is to stop the life cycle of the enemy culture and replace it with our own revolutionary culture. This can be done only by creating perfect disorder within the cycle of the enemy culture's life process and leaving a power vacuum to be filled by our building revolutionary culture.
- p. 59
- An electoral choice of ten different fascists is like choosing which way one wishes to die. The holder of so-called high public office is always merely an extension of the hated ruling corporate class.
- p. 72
- This is a huge nation dominated by the most reactionary and violent ruling class in the history of the world, where the majority of the people just simply cannot understand that they are existing on the misery and discomfort of the world.
- p. 72
- How can the establishment protect an electrical supply line and the thousands of transformers, etc.? Effective positioning of the guards is militarily impossible. ... We must call strikes to enforce our demands on capital. To enforce the strike we must stop the plant's power source. Standing in the gateway with a placard and a pamphlet alone will not dull a worker's short-term interest in wage slavery.
- p. 83
- There are no good aspects of monopoly capital, so no reservations need be recognized in its destruction. Monopoly capital is the enemy. It crushes the life force of all of the people. It must be completely destroyed, as quickly as possible, utterly, totally, ruthlessly, relentlessly destroyed.
- p. 109
- The mass psycho-social national cohesiveness has trembled on the brink of disruption and disintegration repeatedly over the last fifty years, threatening to fly apart from its own concentric inner dynamics. But at each crisis it was allowed to reform itself; with each reform, revolution became more remote.
- p. 118
- After the fascists have succeeded in crushing the vanguard elements and the threat they pose is removed, the ruling class goes on about the business of making profits as usual. The significance of the “new fascist arrangement" lies in the fact that this business-as-usual is accompanied by concessions to the degenerate segment of the working class, with the aim of creating a buffer zone between the ruling class and the still potentially revolutionary segments of the lower classes.
- p. 119
- Intellectuals still argue whether Amerika is a fascist country. This concern is typical of the Amerikan left’s flight from reality. ... This is actually a manifestation of the authoritarian process seeping into its own psyche.
- p. 120
- The revolution has failed. Fascism has temporarily succeeded under the guise of reform. The only way we can destroy it is to refuse to compromise with the enemy state and its ruling class.
- p. 120
- From its inception, the fascist arrangement has attempted to create the illusion of a mass society in which the traditional capitalist ruling class would continue to play its leading role.
- p. 121
- Hierarchy has had six thousand years of trial. It will never succeed for long in any form. ... My opinion is that we are at the historical climax (the flash point) of the totalitarian period.
- p. 130
- Fascism must be seen as an episodically logical stage in the socio-economic development of capitalism in a state of crisis. It is the result of a revolutionary thrust that was weak and miscarried — a consciousness that was compromised.
- p. 137
- The fascist arrangement tolerates the existence of no valid revolutionary activity. It has programmed into its very nature a massive, complex and automatic defense mechanism for all our old methods for raising the consciousness of a potentially revolutionary class of people. The essence of a U.S.A. totalitarian socio-political capitalism is concealed behind the illusion of a mass participatory society. We must rip away its mask. Then the debate can end, and we can enter a new phase of struggle based on the development of an armed revolutionary culture that will triumph.
- p. 138
Quotes about Blood in my EyeEdit
- Reading Blood In My Eye, I discovered that capitalist-private property relations are the source of class inequalities, which is the primary factor in my being a member of a class that bears all the burdens of society without enjoying its advantages. Under the influence of illegitimate-capitalist values, I was pursuing the alleviation of social-economic hardship through individual advancement. This is a wholly inadequate remedy to social problems because it doesn’t challenge the fundamental injustice of class-exploitation and class-oppression, which are responsible for creating the socio-economic ills in the first place. Unaware of my class interest, I was perpetuating my own oppression by engaging in competitive capitalist practices that ensure the smooth functioning of the system as the exploiting minority profits in more ways than one off the division and disunity engendered by competition, so prevalent amongst the exploited. Look around: competition, euphemistically called “individuality,” permeates and is systematically promoted to the masses of people while the corporate conglomerations and Fortune 500 are busy “merging and monopolizing.”
- Kevin Rashid Johnson, Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art of Kevin Rashid Johnson (2010)