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Reply to: Guards, Victims or Villains?
A.C., Angola, LA
[Editor's Note: A.C. responds to a review of the above publication in the December 1991 issue of PLN. While prison guards, the military, etc., are the tools by which the ruling class maintains its dominant position in society (i.e., by armed force), this is not a constant. Soldiers, the police, prison guards, etc., are members of the working class who are working against their own class interests for one reason or another, be it economic necessity, misguided ideals, etc. Lenin, in "The State and Revolution," analyses this and notes that for any radical change to take place in society the armed might of the current ruling class and their state must be eliminated. Any effort to effect such a change will start from a position of weakness. Historically we have seen that where dramatic changes have taken place the enemy forces are not defeated by military might alone, rather it is through attrition enhanced by desertions, internal collapse and such that hasten victory. Examples of this are the victory of the Chinese Communists where the Kuomintang dissolved and fled to Taiwan, in Cuba this collapse was even more pronounced.
Anyone seeking progressive change must realize that the forces of repression are not a homogenous lot and be prepared to take advantage of this. The recent gulf war showed a great number of soldiers refusing to fight, deserting, etc., and that is an example of this. While such contradictions may not affect the prison struggle until there is an advanced revolutionary struggle outside, the principles enunciated by Lenin are still valid today and should be studied. Marxist-Leninist literature is available free to prisoners from: MIM Distributors, P.O. Box 3576, Ann Arbor, MI 48106.]
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