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April 11, 1971 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1971-04-11
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4

a

ff,

ir

A

Reich:
(Continued from Page 5)
the power of the, Corporate
State is to live differently npow."
Sure. Everyone lights up and the
State melts away, because it's
really only a product of false
consciousness anyway; it repre-
sents no real class interest be-
cause it is beyond classes; it's
developed into a monstrous ogre
which is completely out of con-
trol and the only way to stop it
is to "live differently now." Ev-
en the people who man the ma-
chinery of the state are fed up

Dangerously mislea ing.

Two

views on

Charles R

. N

N . N

with their situation, and once
the "former" ruling class itself
-that 1.6 to 3 percent of the
population which controls the
means of production in capital-
ist "society, and uses them in
their own class interest-once
the ruling class tokes down it
will see, or the individual im-
perialists themselves will see,
that it's all a mistake, they're
doing it all wrong, they're really
honorable men making an hon-
est mistake in judgment and
now that they've seen the white

light they'll turn their machin-
ery over to the people and go
"roll in the grass and lie in the
sun."
According to Reich, the capi-
talist state no longer exists in
its natural form. "Government
is mere management", it is
no longer the conscious tool of a
clearly-defined ruling class but
rather something which now ex-
ists outside of all controls -a
Frankenstein monster which
has turned on its own creator
to make him only one more of

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its victims. In doing so it has
destroyed the class basis of so-
ciety-there is "only one class,"
everyone is united against the
monster "The Corporate State"
has become, and it is in every-
one's objective class interest to
dismantle this monster and
bring it under the control of
the whole people.
Horseshit! The corporate state
makes no mistakes; it is not
out of control; it functions pre-
cisely as history demands that
it function. The reason it seems
to be making so many "mis-
takes" is that the contradictions
in capitalist society-and parti-
cularly the contradiction be-
tween the outmoded capitalist
economic system and the con-
crete conditions in the world to-
day which demand a whole new
approach to reality-are so se-
vere that capitalism can no
longer even maintain the facade
of effectiveness which fooled the
whole "consciousness II" gener-
ation.
- The situation is out of con-
trol, but it's not that the "Cor-
porate State" has become a
headless juggernaut careening
wildly out of the control of its
creators-that's just a symptom
of the underlying problem. The
problem is that capitalism can
no longer take care of the needs
of the people, because its time
has passed and history has mov-
ed on to a higher stage of hu-
man development.
Try as it might, capitalism
cannot resolve its own internal
contradictions, and its impo-
tence is more and more appar-
ent every day. Capitalism is
writhing in its death throes; its
already starting to stink like a
corpse in the sun. and yet ;ts
terrible convulsions wreak havoc
on the people even as they stand
around in awe, watching the
monster die before their very
eyes. They just can't believe i's
dying.
It seemed so strong just a
minute ago, but it was full of
cancer in its very cells and the
deathly sickness is only now be-
ginning to manifest itself overt-
ly so that everyone (and not
just the "specialists") can :.ee
what the deal is.
As a specialist, or social sci-
entist, Reich, like all corporate
liberals, is simply a quack. He
and his colleagues sit around
trying to diagnose the sickness
so they can "save" the patient,
but their training in the sub-
jects' academies has made them
incapable of going beneath the
symptoms to the rottenness at
the core of its being. They lack
the proper diagnostic or analy-
tical tools, and all they can do
is spout a bunch of crackpot
theories which are totally in-
adequate for the task at hand.
They're trying to treat the pa-
tient for jaundice or hepatitis
but the problem is terminal
cancer, and the subject is irre-
versibly doomed. Nothing can
save it from its agonies except a
swift and merciless death, but
the quacks stand firmly oppos-
ed to enthanasia and they're
doing everything they can to
prolong its pitiful life.
There will be no victory for
the "revolution in conscious-
ness" unless it is accompanied
by and made an integral part of
the total revolution, the total
restructuring of the social sys-
tem, which is not only cultural
but economic, political and mili-
tary. To think otherwise, as
Reich does (as I myself used to
think) is pure folly, and it can
only lead to misery and grief,
not to mention an inevitable de-
Comnlete lingeof

feat for even the cultural revo-
lution itself. Reich is right in
saying that our revolution "can-
not be successfully resisted by
violence," because our time has
come and there is nothing capi-
talism can do to save itself. But
where he makes his primary
mistake is in thinking "it will
not require violence to succeed."
This idea, though wonderfully
appealing to our highest sense
of humanity, is simply wrong,
because one thing any of us can
learn from the most cursory
study of history is that the re-
actionaries will not step down
from the stage of history of
their own accord. They never
have, and they certainly aren't
about to now.
We do not have a classless so-
ciety today, much as Reich and
the whole liberal establishment
have tried to tell us we do, sim-
ply because one small class of
people owns and controls the
means of production in our so-
ciety, and it uses them precisely
in their own interests to the ex-
clusion of the interest of the
rest of the people. What has
happened as capitalism has de-
veloped from its laissez-faire
s t a g e through its monopoly
stage to its present and highest
stage-imperialism-is that the
proletarian (or non-ownership)
class has swelled to include al-
most the whole people, and the
genuine bourgeoisie-the "own-
ers"-has shrunk to include
proportionately fewer and few-
er people. The rule of the bor-
geoisie in an imperialist society
has been completely consolidat-
ed as a viable socio-economic
system today, and that is its
weakness. It represents death
personified, and there's no way
it can be brought back to life.
But the problem is that it can
spread more death. The imper-
ialist system is impotent only in
that it is incapable of giving
birth to new life. It can cause
new deaths, however, and that's
all it can do. That's all it will
do. It may not be able to resist
our revolution successfully, but
that doesn't mean that it won't
try to resist with everything it's
got at its disposal. That's the
part Reich leaves out, and that's
why his book is so dangerous
for us-because we're the ones
who will have to bear the brunt
of this resistance, and the only
way our revolution can survive
and grow is if we organize to
withstand it and eventually
smash that resistance com-
pletely and decisively. Other-
wise the dying order will do to
us what it's doing to our broth-
ers and sisters in Vietnam. It
can't destroy their spirit, their
powerful revolutionary culture
which has given them the
strength and inspiration to fight
against the monster octopus all
these years, but it can certainly
destroy them in their corporate
existence. And if a people is eli-
minated, it follows that their
culture will die with them. Dig
it.
If you read this book
you should read Lenin along
with it, State and Revolution,
and if you can, read Imperial-
ism, The Highest Stage of Cap-
italism, too. They can be found
in a great book published by
Bantam called Essential Works
of Lenin, edited by Henry M.
Christman. That way you'll be
equipped to use the information
Reich supplies so beautifully,
and you won't fall victim to his
mistakes, which can prove to be
very costly for all of us if we
continue to make them oursel-
ves.
NATURAL FOODS

By JOHN SINCLAIR
You say you will change the
constitution.
Well, you know, we all want
to change your head,
You say that it's the institution
You better free your mind
instead.
-John Lennon, Revolution
The anarchist idea of the abo-
lition of the state is muddle
and non-revolutionary-that is
how Engels puts it. It is pre-
cisely the revolution in its rise
and development, with its spe-
cific tasks in relation to the
violence, authority and power
of the state, that the anar-
chists do not wish to see. - V.
I. Lenin, State and Revolution
The Greening of Amerika is a
Ielightful book about 1967 and the
risions we had then-a perfect-
y-reasoned argument for the
validity of our acid-driven fan-
;asies about what was to happen
;o save the world and how it
will come about through the
gentle force of our music and our
life-style as they work their ir-
resistible magic on the up-tight
honkies in power. Sure, all we
have to do is turn all the straight
people on and get them to see
through our bulging eyes, to see
with our flipped out be^utific
consciousness, and they'll gladly
give it all up and come over to
the side of peace, love ani shor-
ing without a struggle. Sure.
Right on. Charlie. I could back
you up with some of my 0\\ ~n
writings from that period, but the
people who run the penitentiaries
and jails where they keep me
locked up (you see, I'm doing
91 a to 10 years in prison for'giv-
ing 2 joints to an undercover
narcotics agent in 1966) don t
allow me to keep copies of my
work. They say it's too subver-
sive or something.
See, the only problem is tiat it
isn't 1967 anymore, it's 1971, and
the people who were engaged n
carrying out the "cultural revo-
lution" in these days have been
forced to add Marxism-Leninism
and Mao-Tse-Tung-Thought to ouw,
arsenal of marijuana, mescaline,
and high-energy music in order
to deal with the hard realities of
life in these United States which
confront us on a daily, on a
minute-to-minute, basis.
We've learned what we now
the hard way, and the main thing;
we've found out is what Mao Tse-
tung was trying to tell us whenl we
thought it was going to be so
easy; that
A revolution is not a dinnor
party, or writing an essay. or
painting a picture, ov doing
embroidery; it cannot be so re-
fined, so leisurely and gentle,
so temperate, kind, courteous,
restrained and margnanimoun.
A revolution is an insurrec-
tion, an act of violence by
which one class overthrows
another.
Now a lot of people still don't
want to deal with this very pre-

cise definition of revolution--=t
lot of us, and particularly Char-
lie Reich, are still looking to
bring the New Age into being
without a struggle. They want to
have the baby without going
through labor, without the pe-
culiar pains of childbirth that
make new life possible, and al-
though this is an admirable idea
it's also utterly unrealistic. But
they persist in it against all the
hard evidence to the contrary
and they go to great lengths to
spell out their fantasies as it
their mere brilliance c o u 1 d
change the shape of society and
its iron power relations, which in
reality can only be dealt with as
any iron thing must be-you
either beat it into shape, or you
build a fire so hot that it melts
into some new form. What did
Che say? "Now is the time of
furnaces, and only tight should be
seen." Actually it was Che quot-

will certainly work to heg'iten
the contradictions within Euro-
Amerikan society and thus take
some of the heat off of us. So mn
that sense it's definitely a valu-
able book, and its utility in terms
of legitimizing our cultune and
making it understandable to the
mother-country book-reading pub-
lic is really overwhelming.
But again, my point is that the
rest of us, the people of the post
- honkie youth colony in the
West, had better be clear on the
absolute limitations of Reich's
analysis, and particularly on the
dangers of the false conscious-
ness it will breed and /or spread
among our own people. Because
thousands of our brothers and
sisters in college will grasp at
this book like a straw in the wind
-which is exactly what it is-
because it tells them precisely
what they want to hea., and it
reinforces their fantasies in a

Of course. Go tell it to Sandy
Scheuer's dad, Charlie. I'm sui'r
he'll want to hear it.
The Greening of Amerika is an
infuriating book for me to read
simply because it's so naive, and
I can remember very vividly how
I used to think like this back be-
fore the "Summer of Love."
which was blown into oblivion
by the tons of speed the gang-
sters cut the acid with just to
get us used to it. They they
brought the crystal out to get
kids used to sticking needles in
their arms to "bolster the econo-
my" (A LeRoi Jones line), and
that led straight to the smack
that now has the flower children
nodding their lives away in the
corner, right where the govern-
ment wants them.
I remember how I felt the
way Reich's book runs it, and
the disastrous consequences of
that empty-headed worldview-

JOHN SINCLAIR, W h it e
Panther Chairman, re-
flects from Wayne Coun-
ty Jail on what happens
w h e n Consciousness Ill
confronts the law. "They
want to have the biby
without going through
the labor," he says of
those who want an easy
revolution.

is so tri
ing I h
he runs
culture
lutionar
insight;
some o0
inane s
two ext
a single
of con
neath
Reich
prose,
boil ov
useful i
ted by
spews c
most 1
tempts
bourgec
cal (an
sary)aD
lectics.
I've 1
to now.
and ex
the mo
can se
and hc
I'm col
r a t h ie
Reich's
a lot of
tion in
free fo
struggle
garbage
context
useful.
and we
we we'
out.
I Coi
with RE
I know
all that
basic pi
can go
sic prer
termine
ness", a
he draN
the Re
"will or
dual ar
will chi
ture (o
as its f
quire vi
cannot
by vio
somethi
porate
"rests
sciousn
stop th
State 1
sciousn
Reich
ing dire
is no el
is only
terms,
iat, anm
ruling <
(i.e., th
self." Ii
go one
"there
the oth
The
should
change
the tru
and in
(C

ing Jose Marti. Charles Reich
has seen the fire from these
furnaces, but only from a "ong
way off, and I suppose he can't
be blamed if he thinks it's just
a real super-groovy light show
that some freaks are putting on.,
He can't be blamed, but the point
is that he's wrong.
I don't mean to be cverly
harsh on brother Reich's book
because I do understand that it
does fulfill a very important
function-it does turn a lot of
equally well - meaning Euro-
Amerikan people on to the revo-
lutionary possibilities of our cul-
ture; it provides an (at best lim-
ited, but still useful) analysis of
the historical conditions which
produced the New Life Culture
and which propel it further into
the, ascendancy; it will break
down a lot of barriers between
our culture and theirs; and it

very dangerous way. That's w,hy
I'm so concerned about its effect,
because with the wind that's
blowing now and the hard rain
that's falling down on ius, straws
don't do us any good at all--what
we need are life preservers,
boats, anything solid enough to
get us through the storm and see
us through it to the ranbow on
the other side. Any rainbow we
see right now is just a hallucina-
tion, a prevision or pre-view of
the real thing, and there's going
to be a hell of a storm to get
through before we can see the
rainbow for real.
And Reich leaves all of that out
-in fact his central areimise s
that there is no storm, there will
be no storm, the flower will grow
up through the cracks in the cc-
ment and it will be allowed to
flourish freely simply because
it's so fucking beautiful. Sure.

because it leads straight to the
concentration camps. Believe
me, I know what I'm talking
about. I went through this shit,
and I'm still going through it
every day right. here in the
Wayne County Jail, where I'm
waiting to be tried by the U.S.
government as a "threat to na-
tional security" (as per the af-
fidavit of John N. Mitchell en-
tered in the case of U.S. vs.
Sinclair et al.). What I'm try-
ing to say is that I don't want
you all to have to go through
this shit like I did, because it's
a real drag and it can be avert-
er by a healthy dose of revolu-
tionary consciousness, which is
to say, reality consciousness.
And this is just what Charles A.
Reich is not promoting.
The most dangerous thing
about The Greening of Amerika
is that so much of what he says

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Page Twenty

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday, April 11, 1971

Surtd4y, April -I 1, 1 971

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

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