An open letter to the “Silent Majority”:
Fellow Good Vibrationists,
Ever since I’ve been reading Hank Malone’s articles, I acquired the irresistible urge to blast his ideas out of our midst into oblivion, where they belong. Malone’s reflections on art are a classical example of revolutionary cretinism.
Malone’s views have been attacked (rather irrationally) by another reader before me, and his response is curiously analogous to vice-president Agnew’s: “I’m not for censorship” said Agnew, after subtly advocating censorship in a previous speech.
In Malone’s article [“How does a Radical Read Art?,” FE #91, October 30-November 12, 1969], all creative activity that does not glorify the ideas of modern day revolutionaries is rejected as bullshit. Rock music, the underground press, and its flicks are glorified as the only relevant art forms, because only they are revolutionary enough.
Well, first of all everyone should know that our counterculture is far from being truly revolutionary. It has not begun to erase the ghettos, and it has not ended the war in Vietnam. As a matter of fact our new culture has remained very “traditional” as the Woodstock happening has shown; namely it is still a form of escape from the barbarisms of everyday life.
No kid went to Woodstock to get his head busted for the exploited millions, all they wanted was to come together and have some fun. Criticism of art as such is certainly needed, but Malone seems to be willing to go further, he suggests that certain forms of creative activities are counterrevolutionary.
This kind of arrogant philistinism leads to Maoism, and a “brave new world” where only the “right” things are permitted, and where freedom means slavery.
If the creative type individuals who remove themselves from politics are ignored or eliminated, if aloofness is declared counter-revolutionary, then we run the risk of losing all objectivity and end up “back in the U.S.S.R.”.
Art is only as good as its freedom from petty politics permits it to be, so fuck off Malone, and get off our back.
Death City, U.S.A.
On your editorial of last issue—‘Whither the Anti-War Movement’ [FE# 93, November 27-December 10, 1969]—I have but one complaint: Your absolutely atrocious misunderstanding of pacifism, a misunderstanding matched only by your descriptions of it—“reactionary,” “cowardly.”
Tell me, would these scurrilities include Dave Dellinger? He, believe it or not, is a pacifist. Would they include Joan Baez’s Dave Harris? Sure, he comes to St. Joe and tells us it isn’t nice to call cops pigs. Which does make him annoyingly puritanical. But does it make him “cowardly?”
Or what about the Milwaukee 14! Or the D.C. 9! Need I say more?
I dig what’s bothering you about pacifism—this mushy passivity (whose extreme is the six million Jews under Hitler). Okay. But quit confusing this type of pacifism with another type. Make distinctions!
Like Marxism has within itself diverse elements, so likewise pacifism (one being the fascinating anarcho-pacifism). Peer into pacifism a bit more—Gregg’s “Power of Nonviolence,” Tolstoy’s material, etc. And then comment.
I don’t say you should suddenly become pacifist or head back to M. King-integrationist days. History does move forward and the phase now (as your last issue put it) is or ought to be anti-imperialist (though King, lest it be forgotten, was in his last years stepping into this phase).
I do say you first comprehend before you commit yourself.
I don’t submit that third-world movements like the PRG become suddenly nonviolent anymore than Dellinger would so submit (though the Gandhi thing did throw the British out of India and World War II Danish and Norwegian passive resisters did give the nazis no small headache). I at any rate don’t intend picayunishly picking fault with the PRG (as Progressive Labor Party does) from the comfort of my apartment.
I do submit that you, as Movement commentators, try appreciating that pacifism is not always the negativity that the name unfortunately implies. While parts of it are turn-the-other-cheek effeteness, other parts carry us into Bertrand Russell, William Lloyd Garrison, Schweitzer, Buber to an extent Thoreau, etc., people hardly to be ignored, a tradition hardly to be kicked aside.
To calmly and simplistically lump militant pacifism together with effete, passive resistance with passivity, satyagraha with submissiveness, is a luxury the anti-war movement can ill-afford.
To my Brothers and Sisters,
Venceremos! Greetings! I am writing to you all from hiding, but I am alive and unscarred by any pig bullets.
It has been a busy month. I had to flee New York City after my explosives seriously hit three prime imperialist targets. The pigs have a continual APB on my name, but they still have no description for this mad bomber.
They busted four innocent people in New York for my latest political crime, but they know who did it. I left my last residence through a skylight while the buffoon pigs attempted to surround the streets below. I still have a goddam sore throat from running through the IRT subway tunnels to safety.
In the course of my travels (never mind where) I’ve been reading. a far-our exchange of letters in the Berkeley Tribe. The Tribe is a weekly paper from California. It used to be called the Berkeley Barb, but the brothers and sisters of the Red Mountain Tribe—the family/union that produces the paper—took it over after the parasite owner, Max Scheer, said he wouldn’t meet demands for decent pay while he was raking in fat profits from the sex-book, porn-movie ads in the paper. (Right on, Red Mountain Tribe!)
The letters in the Tribe referred to the Beatles latest album, “Abbey Road”. First one reviewer stated that the Beatles were full of shit because their politics were all fucked up and their songs didn’t relate to the problems today’s young people are up against. The dude never said nothing about the Beatle music in his piece. He talked as if the Beatles were giving a rap at a Free Huey rally instead of creating rock music.
In the next Tribe someone else defended the Beatles saying that their music was ART, and to listen to it you had to retreat to your room and close the door and the shades before putting it on. This chomp would have completely castrated the Beatles and their music by taking it out of its human context.
What we’re about is liberation!—and we’re going to free ourselves of the weight of the Amerikan carcass. Liberation means solving problems of contradictions. Our greatest contradiction is being alive under this system of profit and greed called capitalism.
The Beatles are contributing to our growth and developmentally creating a vision—by projecting a life free of contradictions that is just as heavy and satisfying as their music. The Beatle’s politics are terrible, but they’re on our side. Feel free to enjoy their outtasite music—and if you don’t think they’re hip to what they’re doing, then dig on “Carry That Weight” on this same “Abbey Road.”
(“Once there was a way to get back home....But, boy, you’ve got to carry that Weight, carry that weight a long time”).
In other words, our contradictions are going to burden us a long time before we get to home free. That’s what the song is about. Dig it.
But if you really want to know where it’s all at get with “Let It Bleed” (by the Rolling Stones as you already knew). The Beatles are laying out something worth fighting for, but the Stones are hip to the fact that the new society grows and feeds from the rot of the old. The Stones are concerned with why we have to fight now!
The Stones don’t bullshit. They’re hip to the fact that it’s going to take some skinned flesh to break through the doors of Fort Knox. Revolution means temporary disorder, chaos and bloodshed. So let it bleed. And loud....
I’ll be writing more about my activities in the next issue of the Fifth Estate. Power to the People!
It’s sure a good thing you’re doing sending us guys over here the Fifth Estate. It’s groovy to know that there are true believers in peace (back in the world) that want us back.
I’m a medic with the marines, and I hate this fuckin war.
Is there any way I could contact some groovy chicks that want to hear the thoughts of a tired war sick guy?
HM3 M. Lerp
Golf Co. 2nd Plt. 2/26
FPO S/F Calif. 96602
Greetings Filth of the World,
On behalf of our membership, may we doff our hoods and masks to convey to you and yours the unanimous feelings of our organization that you have undoubtedly achieved the nadir of the sewers after much obvious effort on your part. As King of the sewerage journals of this land, you are hereby granted safe passage through all subterranean cesspools in our Invisible Empire; through all sanitary storm drains during thunderstorms or other inclement conditions; through all the tributaries of the River Styx which have been polluted by barbarians of literature and culture such as yourselves in the past centuries; through all drain pipes and commodes from whence you obviously have drawn your materials and inspirations.
Let it be known by all of your staff, your researchers into the sexual occult and the socially abhorrent, that you have gained a special position in our organizations thoughts and projections. Whenever and wherever our Klaverns are unable to obtain suitable material for ritual work at the Fiery Cross, let it hereby be known that any member (or members) of your staff would be acceptable as volunteers to serve as the canine role as the Great Ship is launched across the sea of Fire through which all beings must pass upon leaving this earth.
May you live as long as is necessary for you to view the decay and rot which your journal has espoused in your own minds, your own creativity and your own futures.
In Service to America 104 Years this December 1969 From Roots Nurtured by the Fiery Cross of The Ancients of Scotland and The Sons of Liberty.
Realm of Michigan
United Klans of America, Inc.
An open letter to the “Silent Majority”:
How can you, the people of the “Silent Majority” sit back and condone this government of ours that has sent over 500,000 troops to a foreign country to fight a war, that didn’t really concern us to begin with?
What’s harder to take is the fact that the “U.S. has never sought a military victory in Vietnam”! Well then, why the hell did and does it send its young men to be wounded, to be maimed, and to be killed? If it’s not seeking a victory, then what is it seeking?
How can you support a war that has no purpose? Worse yet, how can you back the government that “runs” the war; the war without a purpose.
“Silent Majority” it’s time we got out of Vietnam! There is only one way possible now; complete and total withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Vietnam.
He (President Nixon) can’t turn a deaf ear to the people any longer, so “Silent” ones, speak out for the withdrawal of our troops from ‘Nam and speak out for PEACE. Peace in the world will come from unity of the masses!
Republic of Vietnam
To the Editors:
I was very happy to see that the D.C. march came off as good as it did. However, in a Detroit News article that appeared November 16, it blamed SDS for the little violence that occurred.
One thing should be made absolutely clear—there are two factions in SDS (Weatherman and RYM 2). The RYM 1 or Weatherman faction is a group dedicated to the use of violent protest while RYM 2 is a group that uses a peaceful angle in its work.
The violence in D.C. was caused by Weatherman and Yippie organizations. RYM 2 was not involved in the violence but the whole of SDS was blamed for the action: “...SDS people are determined to give the peace movement a black eye.” This quote from a page 1 article shows that the News is inaccurate again in its information.
We’d like to thank the 5th Estate for its accuracy in reporting the radical movement and ask your readers to do as we have done—BOYCOTT the NEWS. I sincerely hope I never see another copy of it again.
Long live the people’s revolutionary culture!
All Power to the People!
Free Huey! Free John!
Chairman, RYM 2/SDS Macomb Chapter