Letters to the Editor
Capitalism and cancer are one and the same
The problem with a cancer cell is that it has no idea that it is killing the very thing that wills its existence. It forms within the body that gives it life, and in return it grows and kills it, never knowing that in the process it expires along with it. Take a look at capitalism and ask yourself, “Aren’t the two one and the same?”
There are many people who have different explanations on how it all started, but honestly, I don’t see the logic in giving it much thought. Like cancer, it’s here, and the only concern is how do I get rid of it?
To some, you are too insignificant to matter; I disagree. To some, your fight is a losing battle; I disagree. And to the world, which suffers at the hands of ignorance, whose existence is so wrapped up in survival, they will never see with eyes like us, the truth of the capitalist machine of greed and death.
It’s not a current problem, it’s ancient in origin, and many along the way have tried to lead the population to truth, to little avail.
Yet the seed is planted, the words are spoken and in the hearts of the meek the truth shines brighter than a prism.
The great thing about it is that anything that isn’t of love will eventually collapse because the foundations have no root.
Many civilizations have crumbled because they did not heed the words of wisdom, and this nation is no exception to Rome, Ottoman, Egypt, Greece, Babylon, Assyria, and the countless others who founded its fences with slave labors’ blood, and forced work.
Today it’s still the same. America’s wealth came at the expense of the African slaves, and a couple of wars, but today is no different. The new form of slavery that drives this country and others is the working class.
We see the truth and it is no longer tolerated—and as with any battle victory—takes it’s own time. If unchecked this form of existence will lead to wars, famines, and death. How long will they suck the world dry? How long will they continue to kill this planet for a greedy profit? Why isn’t the world big enough to share amongst us?
What sickness the human is capable of spreading. But, like anything, we must evolve or die, and we are on the side of life. I am only one person, you are only one person but together we are the voice of reason.
Prior to flight, it would have been ridiculous to think that man would ever fly, but he did.
Prior to travel, only a crazy man would think that, other than a chariot, what else could exist.
When we come together as one race that cuts through race and color, religion and creeds we will then be able to see that we are headed in the wrong direction.
There’s only one way to destroy cancer, and that’s to cut it out entirely. To leave no shred of it within you, and the same goes for this capitalistic mindset that rules this planet. If not in this time, it does not matter, as long as you are fighting.
Everyday you wake up the choice is yours, to commit good, or yours to aid destruction. It is in that choice that we are victorious. History has shown that one person has the power to shift the planet, because we are one with it.
Capitalism will fail, its candles burning down; the evidence is all around us.
Don’t give up your battle when the planet is at stake. If you choose to lay down now, the cancer keeps on growing, eventually it will multiply, and will then overthrow the very thing that gives it life.
So if you were to ask, I would have to say, that some things are worth fighting for, even if it seems nobody is listening.
You may never know if the words you speak may be the very thing that sparks an awakening of revolution.
Ronnie Doak # V24778
N.K.S.P Firehouse # 06
Delano, CA. 93216
P.S. keep on fighting. This magazine has challenged my intellect in ways I never imagined. This world is an ugly place, when, the truth is, it doesn’t have to be.
Dear Socialist Viewpoint,
Thanks for the article, “Which Way for China” Part 21, by Michael Roberts that appeared in the last issue of Socialist Viewpoint. It is very helpful with my thinking about what is happening and going to happen. It updates Nat Weinstein’s article, “Cuba and World Socialist Revolution”2 that was reprinted in September/October issue of Socialist Viewpoint, Vol. 25, No. 5 quite well. Yes, a very important article.
However, I find an area left out. Marx, as I understand him, had a deep consideration of capitalism and this environment. He understood, in my opinion, that just as capitalism uses up workers and then throws them away, so to it uses up the Earth, the environment, and then throws it away. We, the workers, end up broken; living on a garbage pile that was a beautiful land.
As workers, we rise up and fight against the capitalists. The environment also reacts to the attacks of the capitalists. Workers with consciousness can organize and plan out their struggle against the capitalists so they can be successful and so it can be done in the easiest, quickest way possible. This is the job of the revolutionary party.
The material environment has no consciousness; it can only react. When you pour carbon dioxide into the air in super amounts by burning coal, for example, the environment reacts by developing world warming. World warming can destroy the working class along with the capitalist class and all evolved life.
So, in my opinion, the revolutionary party and its leaders must take the destruction of the environment into consideration in order to do their job of destroying capitalism and building socialism. There is no contradiction in supporting the environment and in supporting socialism, in my opinion.
I did not find in the “Which Way for China” article any understanding of the necessity for China to “solve” its environmental problems—and they are extremely big ones.
Understand that I am looking at the environment completely from a materialist point of view.
Again, thank you for the articles; they clear up an important part of the “China question.”
Joe Johnson, December 3, 2012, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Editors Note: The following are excerpts (by permission of the author) of a letter written by prisoner Brother Shakaboona to Socialist Viewpoint November 2012.
Dear Socialist Viewpoint,
I love the Socialist Viewpoint! It’s one of the best political magazines I have come across. I like reading our comrade sister Lynne Stewart’s writings and Glen Ford’s critiques of President Obama’s foreign and domestic policies.
I had a Socialist Viewpoint in my back pants pocket as I worked in the prison’s kitchen that I usually read on my breaks. And this prison guard spots the magazine and asked (i.e. ordered!) to see the magazine. So I handed it to him. He observes it for a couple of seconds—just the cover page!—and states, “I don’t know how they allowed that in the prison.” I replied, “Why is that?” and he replied, “because that is un-American; it should be banned!” So I retort, “You mean to tell me that protesting (the cover was Occupy Wall Street protestors at a rally) is un-American? According to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution we have the right to Freedom of the Press, Free Speech, to Freely Assemble, and to seek redress from our government. So, are you telling me that the U.S. Constitution is un-American and that it too needs to be banned?”
He then replied, “No, I’m saying ‘socialism’ is un-American, it is against the American way!” Again I retorted, “OK. If that’s what you believe, then you must go out and ban public school systems, ban the community and state colleges and universities, ban some aspects of healthcare, and ban Section 8 Housing/WIC Food Program, Social Security, and many children’s free breakfast and lunch programs throughout the country, since they are all ‘socialist’ programs!”
I went on to tell him in a respectfully sharp-tongued manner how it kills me every time I see and hear working class/poor white people throughout Pennsylvania’s Appalachia area—who aren’t even a generation removed from their coal miner heritage—utter such nonsense and constantly (due to their blind patriotism and ethnic prejudices) go against their obvious political interests in supporting ideologies and parties that are detrimental to their livelihoods and more.
There are many people who are trapped in their ideologies—trapped by dogma—and will not change. In such cases or persons like that, we must simply let them remain blind, while we continue on with our political work.
Unfortunately, his is the mentality of 99.9 percent of the prison staff, who are 99 percent Caucasian males coming from abject poverty to the working class.
Life Without Possibility of Parole (LWOP)
Further in the letter, commenting on the U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended the practice of mandatory LWOP sentences for juveniles convicted of homicide as a violation of the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the 8th amendment Shakaboona writes:
There are 500-plus juvenile lifer prisoners who have been convicted of murder in Pennsylvania, which about half of them haven’t murdered anyone but were convicted just the same under “conspiracy to murder,” and half of those who may have actually killed someone “accidentally.” Nonetheless, juvenile lifers (3000 nationwide!) around the country will be given a new sentence that requires “parole eligibility.” I know one juvenile lifer who came to prison at age 14. He is now 65 years old! Whoa! He’s been in prison for 51 years now! I know more guys who were 14 or 15 years old when they arrived in prison as juvenile lifers, who are all now in their mid-50s!
I, myself, came to prison at age 17 as a juvenile lifer too. I have 25 years in prison now, and am about to turn 43-years-old in December . I may now receive parole due to the court’s ruling. For me, however, that isn’t enough because no matter what, I’m going to continue to try and expose those cops’, D.A., and judges’ wrongful conviction of me! I don’t want their parole and to be a dog on a leash. I want full exoneration! So despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision for juvenile lifers, I’m going to continue to fight on my appeals to have my entire conviction overturned and dismissed!
Whatever the outcome, whenever I am released from prison I must start my life all over. I intend to get a job as a social worker, start my own business, work for the Human Rights Coalition organization, start a youth program I developed for disadvantaged teens of all ethnicities, buy a home, find a woman to marry and have children with, and I would like to do some traveling.
Kerry Shakaboona Marshall #BE7826
Bellefonte, PA 16823
Prisoner Subscription Fund
Thank you for your coverage of the brutal U.S. prison system; and it is great to hear the voices of prisoners. I enclose a check to support the delivery of Socialist Viewpoint to these prisoners.