RASH Political Booklist

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PaulMarsh's picture
Joined: 26-09-03
Jan 13 2005 08:05
RASH Political Booklist

I wondered what people thought of the article below, which was sent to Class War by a contact in New York.

Thu Dec 23, 2004

Yo Comrades,

Below please find an article that I've written for the next issue of HERE TO STAY- HERE TO FIGHT (#3). It's my analysis of the role of political education in Left-wing movements, specifically in the left-wing skinhead movement here in the US and Canada.

The analysis is then followed by 13 books that I think everyone should

read (whether they will or not is a different story). 13 suggestions.

I'm interested in people's opinions of this piece. I'm also always on the lookout for new titles to help explain what we believe to those just starting out in the Left.

Respond at your leisure!



As mentioned in H2S H2F #1, RASH-NYC asks all of its voting members to read 26 basic books that represent a cross-section of our political ideology.

We do this because RASH's ultimate goal is to turn left-wing skinheads into working-class organizers in their workplaces, communities, schools, prisons and the military.

It may seem ironic that we ask skinheads, almost all of whom hated school, to read books. When you think about it though, it makes sense. Here in theUnited States we live in an increasingly technocratic society.

Those who understand information are able to successfully navigate the system. Those who don't understand information are more likely to get caught in the system's traps, and end up in jail, jobless and hopeless.

We can't allow knowledge to solely be the domain of the well-to-do. RASH believes in creating "street scholars" and "warrior intellectuals". We look to the great examples of self-educated militants like Malcolm X. We want working-class kids to understand the forces allied against them, so they can fight back in a more disciplined, strategic and effective manner.

Information also provides ideas and inspiration as to what is possible, based upon the examples of the insurgent working-class around the world.

We need to have an educated membership to avoid the group being hijacked by grad students and college professors, the over-educated eggheads who control most of the US Left. And you wonder why "political correctness" and campus issues dominate the Left's concerns over class issues like getting people healthcare, affordable housing and childcare. The college Left doesn't focus on these issues because most of the college Left HAVE access to healthcare, housing and childcare.

So there it is. Don't be put off of reading just because of the nerds and bookworms. Nobody owns the words on a page, and nobody owns the thoughts in your head. Read so you can define your own future, and fuck the people who try to make you feel small because you don't have a PhD (or a BA, MA, a diploma or even a dime in your pocket).

Books are ammunition in the class war!

Here are the first 13 titles on our booklist. The next 13 will be printe in a future issue of HERE TO STAY- HERE TO FIGHT:

A People's History of the United States By Howard Zinn

Anarchism By Daniel Guerin (Monthly Review Press/ AK Press)

Autobiography of Malcolm X By Malcolm X with Alex Haley

Blood In The Face By James Ridgeway (Thunder's Mouth Press

Breaking Free By Jack Daniels (Attack International)

Dynamite: A Century of Class Violence in the USA By Louis Adamic

Homage To Catalonia by George Orwell

Introducing Marx (formerly "Marx For Beginners") by Rius

The IWW: It's First 70 Years 1905-1975 By Fred Thompson and Patrick Murfin (Charles H. Kerr)

Palante, Siempre Palante by the Young Lords Party

Strike! By Jeremy Brecher

They Should Have Served That Cup of Coffee edited by Dick Cluster (South End Press)

The War At Home By Brian Glick (South End Press)

The titles above were chosen because they are all fairly easy to read, the politics they express are mostly in line with our way of thinking and they are all highly relevant to the struggle we face in the USA.

Yes, we know all of these titles are written by men. We will do our best to include more women writers in our next 13 titles.

Joined: 20-09-04
Jan 14 2005 09:28

Its a bit difficult for people in the UK to comment fully on a list for US activists (but I'm going to anyway!)

Firstly any booklist for anti-fascists should contain "The 43 Group" by Morris Beckman. It shows how a small group of British ex-servicemen and Jews got stuck into the British far-right in the early days after World War 2. A lot of the methods, technique and strategy used then are applicable now, and there is nothing wrong with reminding ourselves that the good guys can and do win, sometimes!

Although there is one book on the far-right in there (Blood in the Face) the most important fascist book (after Mein Kampf) is probably the Turner Diaries. It should be read, on a "know your enemy" basis.

I don't have much time for the Malcom X cult (some of the worst sexism and worst anti-semitism you will ever read is in the autobiography of Malcolm X) so I can't understand why that book should be listed, especially ahead of other black authors.

I would reccomend Revolutionary Suicide by Huey P Newton, or possibly his work on Cointelpro.

Given RASH is a skinhead group, I would also suggest, if it can be found the book "Skinhead Street Gangs" written by a cop looking to analyse such groups for other cops. It is published by Paladin Press, although my copy is a good 10 years old, so it probably needs updating. Perhaps there are other titles on that subject, more up to date?

Finally why not give members a list of websites to check regularly (fascist, anti-fascist and anti-racist) so people can be aware of who is doing what?

Joined: 12-08-04
Mar 2 2005 15:02
LeonardfromLeominster wrote:
I would reccomend Revolutionary Suicide by Huey P Newton, or possibly his work on Cointelpro.

I know the thread is old, but, i can't really comment on Huey P Newton's writings, although i've been told by others he's boring. I have read Bobby Seales, "seize the time" which is fantastic, watch out for the story of the early BPP car patrol, an some copper spotting that they (the bpp) are armed, he's shitting bricks an him screaming into his radio, "we've got niggers with guns!!!!" i almost pissed myself! Bobby seale tells the story better than i ever could!