Well, that’s what we do. We fight. You tell me when I’m being an arrogant son of a bitch, and I tell you when you’re being a pain in the ass. Which you are 99% of the time. I’m not afraid to hurt your feelings. They have like a two second rebound rate, and you’re back doing the next pain-in-the-ass thing.
Q. How did you learn about politics? What books would you recommend?
— Asked by Anonymous
Pinpointing an exact starting place is impossible. What has driven me into the political sphere are the central questions "Why does inequality exist? Where does oppression come from?"
Since I started asking these questions I have just progressed further and further.The thinking mind has a thirst to understand the world, and I have endeavored to drink from all I read and experience.
As a Latino American, spending my childhood in Mississippi’s rural and impoverished countryside made racial issues acute, yet in youth un-articulated, an ambiguous and unreachable understanding. That is where my roots start, and I still to this day struggle with it.
Politics has been as much self-taught as I’ve learned in classes. A classroom and/or a lecture is only as useful as you can use the information obtained to synthesize the world around you, critically analyze it, and formulate a working praxis to change it.
All this withstanding, how I learned what I know so far politics is best answered by being a participatory member of society at large and in my community.
Some of the books/articles I’ve enjoyed follow for your own education:
- The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
- The Open Sore of a Continent by Wole Soyinka
- Anarchism and the Black Revolution by Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin
- Pacifism as Pathology by Ward Churchill
- Violence and the State by Standing Deer
- Race Matters by Cornell West
- Race: How Blacks & Whites Think & Feel About the American Obsession by Studs Terkel
- Inipi: Sweat Lodge by Leonard Peltier
- National Liberation Movement’s in Global Context by Jeff Sluka
- Property is Theft by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
- Imperialism: The Highest State of Capitalism by Vladimir I. Lenin
- Thirty Theses by Jason Godesky
- July 4th Address by Assata Shakur
- Assata an Autobiography by Assata Shakur
- The Communist Idea and the Question of Terror by Alian Badiou
- The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
- The Uses of the Erotic by Audre Lorde
- The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House by Audre Lorde
- Communion: The Female Search for Love by bell hooks
- Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks
- Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.
- Why I am Opposed to the War in Vietnam by Martin Luther King Jr.
- Nonviolence and Racial Justice by Martin Luther King Jr.
- The Ballot or the Bullet by Malcolm X
- Prison, Where is Thy Victory by Huey P. Newton
- Towards a United Front by George Jackson
- Political Prisoners, Prisons, and Black Liberation by Angel Y. Davis
- Power Anywhere There’s People by Fred Hampton
- On the Black Liberation Army by Jalil Abdul Muntaqim
- The World’s Religions by Hudson Smith
- On the Value of Skepticism by Bertrand Russel
- The Ethics of Belief by William Clifford
- All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer
- Endgame Vol I: The Problem of Civilization; Endgame Vol II: Resistance by Derrick Jensen
- On the Origin of Inequality Jean Jacques Rousseau
- Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
- Power Systems by Noam Chomsky
- The Threat of a Good Example by Noam Chomsky
- The Soviet Union Versus Socialism by Noam Chomsky
- A March of LIberty: A Constitutional History of the United States Vol: I & II by Melvin L. Urofsky & Paul Finkleman
- Quarrels That Have Shaped the Constitution by John Garraty
- The European Union by John Pinder
- The Undiscovered Self by C.G. Jung
- The Social Contract and the First and Second Discourses by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
- The Other World 9th Edition
- American Indian Mythology by Alice Marriott & Carol K. Rachlin
- The American Indian by Raymond Friday Locke
- The Removal of the Choctaw Indians by Arthur H. DeRosier Jr.
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Books I have and want to read but have not gotten to yet:
- Negroes with Guns by Robert F. Williams
- Discipline & Punishment: The Birth of the Prison by Michel Foucault
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexanders
- A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
- Decolonizing Anarchism by Maia Ramnath
This may look like a lot, but it’s not. It is a drop in the bucket when I think about all the material out there. It is not an exhaustive list because I can’t even fathom all the periodicals I have read in passing, or the philosophy I barely remember. Plus, there are documentaries, panel discussions, music, traveling, community events and spaces, all sorts of tools you can use to learn besides just reading. Get out there! Learn, teach yourself then teach ten.
I hope you take your journey, and take it far.
Amazon Prime Air is a delivery system Amazon Inc. plans to implement into their service by the year 2015. Small packages purchased through Amazon.com will be shipped to the buyer via air drone in as little as 30 minutes.
Again, how will this work if you don’t live in a palatial vista.