Blood in My Eye, by George Jackson

george jackson

Pg. 10. If revolution is tied to dependence on the inscrutabilities of “long-rage politics,” it cannot be made relevant to the person who expects to die tomorrow. There can be no rigid time controls attached to “the process” that offers itself as relief, not if those for whom it is principally intended are under attack now.

Pgs. 11-12. “Long range political ploys alone are not practical for us. To me, the concept seems to assume that some day in the distant future we’ll produce a 700-pound flea to fight the Paper Tiger. That’s not likely to happen. While we await the precise moment when all of capitalism’s victims will indignantly rise to destroy the system, we are being devoured in family lots at the whim of this thing. There will be no super-slave. Some of us are going to have to take our courage in hand and build a hard revolutionary cadre for selective retaliatory violence.” (Citation of Jonathan Jackson, George Jackson’s younger brother, June 1969)

Pg. 13. In his Guerrilla Warfare Lenin wrote: “New forms of struggle, unknown to the participants of the given period, inevitably arise as the given social situation changes. The coming crises will introduce new forms of struggle that we are now unable to foresee.” In other word, the old guard must not fail to understand that circumstances change in time and space, that there can be nothing dogmatic about revolutionary theory. It is to be born out of each popular struggle.

Pg. 14. The superstructure of any edifice that is as extensive and as lofty as revolution must be reexamined with each successive layer, for faults, for possible improvement of method.

Pgs. 18-22. “I’ve followed them, studied them, holed a few of their cars—you should see how they’ll run when they can’t tell from exactly what quarter they’re drawing fire. We overestimate them, or perhaps have little sense of our own power. Power to the People Who Don’t Fear Freedom.” (Citation of Jonathan Jackson from November of 1969)

Pgs. 24-25. “The omnipotent system attacked by the slave. Sort of like the worker bee growing disgusted with the quality of his life that he turns and attacks the bear. The other bees will understand, they do understand, and all sorts of bees, even those who thought the bear their rightful ruler see him differently when he foams at the mouth, and bites at his own tail… With the idea concerning repression; it is, has to be, a part of the revolutionary process, a necessary stage in the development of revolutionary consciousness.” (Citation of Jonathan Jackson from December 4, 1969)

Pg. 27. “…new facts which the native will now come to know exist only in action. They are the essence of the fight which explodes the old colonial truths and reveals unexpected facets, which brings out new meanings and pinpoints the contradictions camouflaged by these facts. The people engaged in the struggle who because of it command and know these facts, go forward, freed from colonialism and forewarned of all attempts at mystification, inoculated against all national anthems. Violence alone, violence committed by the people, violence organized and educated by its leaders, makes it possible for the masses to understand social truths and gives the key to them. Without that struggle, without that knowledge of the practice of action, there’s nothing but a fancy-dress parade and the blare of the trumpets. There’s nothing save a minimum of re-adaptation, a few reforms at the top, a flag waving.” (Citation of Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth)

Pg. 29. Can power be seriously challenged without a response? Can we steal it away from the greatest bandit of all time with sleight of hand alone? Incredible! The fascists understand the value of mass psychology and are familiar with its use, and hold all the important implements of its effective control.

Pg. 33. In the opening stages of such a conflict, before a unified left can be established, before most people have accepted the inevitability of war, before we are able militarily to organize massive violence, we must depend on limited, selective violence tied to an exact political purpose. In the early service of the people there must be totally committed revolutionaries who understand that all human life is meaningless if it is not accompanied by the controls that determine its quality.

Pg. 34. Our military cadre involved in this activity has the tactical advantage over the establishment’s terrorists only if we remain clandestine. While working at the direction of a political front we must remain separate from it. The ranks of these early soldiers must be absolutely impervious to infiltration; precautions must be made to keep this cadre impenetrable to police spies and less committed comrades.

Pg. 37. “There is no way to stop the infiltration of an above-ground political group, but we can guard the clandestine army by: 1. letting no one choose us (even if they did know about us and could find us); we do the choosing. 2. Once we choose someone to do the people’s military work they should be isolated and tested thoroughly, and their background checked. There are patterns to people’s lives that if studied one can easily spot pig tendencies and connections…dealing with people you’ve known over the years and have seen tested in fire already is best.” (Jonathan Jackson)

Pg. 41. People’s war is improvisation and more improvisation. It is organizing the masses around their realistic needs and moving them against whatever forces restrict their passage to power. I repeat: realistic day-to-day needs should be the basis of organizing people and making them conscious of revolution—that the world, the universe, must resolve—that it will stop, stagnate, and die for no man’s privilege.

Pg. 50. Prestige bars any serious attack on power. Do people attack a thing they consider with awe, with a sense of its legitimacy? In the process of things, the prestige of power emerges roughly in that period when power does not have to exercise its underlying basis—violence. Having proved and established itself, it drifts, secure from any serious challenge… Prestige wanes if the first attacks on its power base find it wanting. Prestige dies when it cannot prevent further attacks upon itself.

Pg. 62. The establishment forces cannot survive the prolonged unrest that is steadily building. Like musical chairs, where each go-round excludes some element of their control factors.

Pg. 55-56. The first struggle is one waged within our own minds. We must accept the eventuality of bringing the U.S.A. to its knees; accept the closing off of critical sections of the city with barbed wire, armored pig carriers criss-crossing the city streets, soldiers everywhere, tommy guns pointed at stomach level, smoke curling black against the daylight sky, the smell of cordite, house-to-house searches, doors being kicked down.

Pg.61. Working against the establishment‘s general staff is its own mentality. They’ve convinced themselves or have been convinced by their experience at war with other mechanized armies that “having the most at the right time” wins wars. In other words, they feel that winning wars depends mainly on gadgets and they presume that they can dictate the terms and grounds upon which each battle takes place. They’re locked in on a fixed set of systematized ideas that conflict completely with the realities of People’s War.

Pg.65-6. It is quite easy for a pig to perform a particular function the same way, time after time, once he has learned the function; it is not so easy to vary. Cyclic men equipped with only a few learned responses can be watched, clocked, photographed and anticipated.

Mobility: On rare occasions, the guerrilla may rent or commander a piece of heavy equipment for an isolated or special purpose (which fits in with the improvised, extemporaneous nature of this form of combat). Provision must be made to move men and equipment in spite of the condition of today’s streets and roads in cities. That means making use of the new four-wheel drive civilian-type jeeps, station wagons, trucks, vans (all ordinary-looking family or commercial-looking vehicles) and motorcycles. The bicycle will regain popularity. All dwellings should be rented and expendable.

Infiltration: The guerrilla army that operates within the city is necessarily small, so we stop infiltration by being very selective and conducting thorough tests and making full use of the principles underlying departmentalization.

Camouflage: Nothing appears outwardly as it is. Armor (sheets of plastic or steel) is fixed inside the vans and trucks in such a way as to make it appear normal when viewed from without. The military safe house—with tunnels leading in all directions, connecting with other houses, storm drains, and manholes—with bulletproof and airtight plexiglass window encasements inside the house, camouflaged with heavy curtains—rooms with doors that are really booby traps that work from the inside—must be made to look like any other house along the block. We must dress and equip ourselves with weaponry that will allow us to move in units of a dozen or more without appearing to be anything other than private citizens pursuing their private interests. We will make use of all forms of disguise: mailman, policeman, telephone repairman, priest, nun, National Guardsman.

Autonomous Infrastructure: It is our goal to wear away the establishment’s ability to produce and distribute goods, to feed its war machine, or organize any sort of social activity; then, of course, we must, at the same time, provide ourselves with the means of performing these functions on at least a subsistence level. Both the military and the political arms of the liberation movement must think of the provisioning of the people during the dark days when we stop the machine. Military supplies are stockpiled in advance with food staples. Depression-days’ foraging and war-years’ liberation gardens must be reintroduced and refined.

Pg.79. They’re going to claim that our clothing projects, the people’s bazaars, the people’s stores and decentralized cottage industries are fronts for stolen property. The establishment will claim that we are feeding and clothing people with goods stolen from the old enemy culture. Of course, this will be used to justify an attack upon our political projects, our infrastructure. The assaults will be justified by them in a dozen different ways, whether we establish ourselves in storefronts or in our homes. They will attack us—behind the fire ordinance, the sanitation department, the anonymous tip. It’s as predictable as nightfall.

Pg.81. The people must create something that they are willing to defend, a wealth of new ideals and an autonomous subsistence infrastructure.

Pg.123-124. Carving out a commune in the central city will involve claiming certain rights as our own—out front. Rights that have not been respected. Property rights. It will involve building a political, social and economic infrastructure, to feed and comfort all the people on at least a subsistence level, capable of filling the vacuum that has been left by the establishment ruling class, and pushing the enemy bourgeois culture either to tie their whole fortunes to the communes and the people, or leave the land, the tools and the market behind. If he will not leave voluntarily, we will expel him.

Pg.126. The very first political programs have had to be defended with duels to the death… We must build with the fingers of one hand wrapped around a gun. This must be understood by the other revolutionary people if we are to move together to conclusive action.

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