A Thought From George Jackson
Twenty years ago this month the militant American black nationalist George Jackson was murdered during a prison riot. Although his politics were generally confused—he was a Maoist and supporter of the late unlamented Albanian government—he did express the following view in one of his prison letters:
“Consider the people’s store, after full automation, the implementation of the theory of economic advantage. You dig. no waste makers, nor harnesses on production. There is no intermediary, no money. The store, it stocks everything that the body or home could possibly use. Why won’t the people hoard, how is an operation like that possible, how could the storing place keep its stores if its stock (merchandise) is free’’
Men hoard against want. need, don’t they? Aren’t they taught that tomorrow holds terror, pile up a surplus against this terror, be greedy and possessive if you want to succeed in this insecure world? Nuts hidden away for tomorrow’s winter.
Change the environment, educate the man. He’ll change. The people’s store will work as long as people know that it will be there, and have in abundance the things they need and want (really want), when they are positive that the common effort has and will always produce an abundance, they won’t bother to take home more than they need. Water is free, do people drink more than they need?” (Letter of June 17th. 1970. in Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson. Penguin. 1981)