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Dragon Teeth

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OK, before I get into this issue's Installment I should say that this is the 6th in a series of columns on rock and roll imperialism which started back in July and which will probably continue for a couple more issues, so if you want to get the whole thing and read it through from the beginning you can start with "Bringin' H: AU Back Home" #1 in the July 2-8 issue of the Sun; #2 was in the July 9-23; #3 was in the August 6-19 issue; #4 in the September 316 issue; and #5 in the last issue of the SUN, September 17-30. You can probably get copies of those issues of the SUN at the RPP house, and maybe when the series is completed we can print it up as a pamphlet if enough people are interested. See, I'm trying to break all this down, this whole thing I cali rock and roll imperialism, because so many of us still think of imperialism as an abstraction, or as something that happens to other people and not ourselves, or as a rhetorical device used by radicáis to talk about the war in Southeast Asia and a lot of other stuff that doesn't really seem to have any immediate connection with our lives here in Ann Arbor or wherever else we might be living, right? K we ever think about "imperialism" it's like a concept that we read or heard about somewhere, something that doesn't have anything to do with us at all, because we're just a bunch of freeks who are just trying to get it on and have a good time with each other, or who are trying to survive in the middle of this nightmare without going crazy, or who are really concerned about all the weird shit that's going on in the world but don't know how we can do anything about it to make it stop, "and we don't have any time for abstractions because we got too much on our minds already, you dig ? I know that's pretty much the way I used to f eel when I was on the street - there was too much happening and too much shit to take care of to be spending a lot of time talking about weird "political" stuff like imperialism and all that, especially when it didn't seem to have anything to do with the situation I was trying to deal with out there in Ann Arbor and Detroit. But if Tve learned anything from all the reading and studying and thinking Tve done in here over the past 26 months when all I could do was read and think and study, it's that the reason we have such a hard time surviving and getting ourselves together here in Babyion is precisely because we are victims of imperialism, we are a colonized people, we are oppressed and exploited by the same imperialist system which exploits and oppresses our brother and sister peoples all over the planet, and unless we begin to understand how this system works to keep us this way we won 't be able to do anything to free ourselves from its grip. Last time I talked about the economie aspect of rock and roll imperialism, how our music is controlled by people outside our rainbow colony, ripped off and then sold back to us at ridiculous prices which most of our people can't even afford to pay, and I said that economie imperialism is the most obvious f orm that kind of exploitation takes, right? This time, and probably for the next couple of installments too, I want to talk about cultural imperialism, which is much more insidious and ultimately even more dangerous to our future as a people than the economie rip-off. Economie imperialism steals our national resources and keeps us f rom expanding and developing our national economy, but cultural imperialism steals our minds and our spirit and keeps us f rom developing ourselves as revolutionary human beings and as a revolutionary people, and the worst part of it is that we don 't even know it's happening to us. ft's hard to understand this phenomenon unless we go back to the roots of our culture and see what it is that makes us different from Amerikan people, that is, what is native to our culture, what is revolutionary about it, what there is about our rainbow culture that defines us as a whole new people who are the people of the future, E we can single out the elements ' of our culture which are native to it - in other words, if we can see what our culture would be like if it v - ee to develop itself along its highest and purest lines - then we can understand exactly how much our culture, and our lives, are perverted by the elements of imperialist culture which are not native to the rainbow culture, which are simply carryovers from the old culture we've tried to leave behind us. And, we can understand how the system of imperialism and its deathly culture must be completely eliminated from the face of the earth if we are going to be able to develop our culture that way, because it is precisely the continued existence of imperialism which keeps us from doing that. In the first place, like I said before, the essential, or the basic characteristic of our new culture is unity- our culture Ís a communal culture, it's based on the breakdown oí the barriers of class, sex, and race which are natlve to scarcity cultures and which work to keep people apart so they can be exploited and manipulated by the greedheads and control addicts in the Euro-Amerikan ruling class. Our culture is about the integration of all people on the basis of complete equality - we cali each other " brothers and sisters" because we know that we're all members of one big human family and we're all equal within that family, nobody is "better than"anybody else because of his or her age, sex, race, or national origin - there is no separation. Our culture is a communal culture because it's about sharing too- we know that nobody can really "own" anything, not even their "own" lives, because everything belongs to everybody and if somebody needs something we've got then we share it with them just because they need it. The free concerts in the parks, where our bands share their music with the people who need it, are a perfect example of this element oí our culture, or the way we pass our joints aroundwhen we're getting high, right? Second, our culture is a highly scientific culture we arent afraid of checking out new experiences or anything else that might raise our existence to a higher level, and at the same time we can learn from the past and select elements from other cultures to intégrate into our common lif e without being blinded by prejudice and superstition. In fact we cali our culture a rainbow culture because it's made up of so many different components which come f rom black, red, brown , yellow and white cultures as well as elements which are absolutely native to ourselves. We can see that if something is good for people then it should be pursued as far as possible, and if something is bad for people then it should be done away with completely, like wars which are carried on to make a few people rich and to keep the rest of the people under their control. Third , our culture is a high-energy culture, it's about total inwlvement and total participation on all levéis, from fucking to dancing to decision-making to the way we work together to get what we need. ft's about people getting down and kickin out the jams, about opening ourselves up to the cosmic energy flow of the universe and realizing our fullest human potential as live beings here on the planet. U's about turning on and staving turned on and never coming down, living every minute of our lives as fully as we can, constantly checking out new experiences and new ways to get even higher than we already are. Now the reason our culture is not as high as it should be is not because it is incapable of becoming a revolutionair culture, or because it has limit - ations which are native to it, but because it is struggling for life in the middle of a deathly system which permeates everything we do. fbr example, I have heard of sisters sayingthat our culture is just as inhuman and worthless as imperialist culture because there is still so much sexism and male chauvinism in the rainbow colony, but what they don't understand is that those elements of sexism and male chauvinism are not natural to our culture, they're part of the filthy process by which our culture has been perverted by imperialism, and once we can elimínate the imperialist system then our culture will be able to purge itself of all that filth and decay and will shine forth like the rainbow it's named for. Pil leave it at that for this time, and Pil start next time with the ways in which cultural imperialism works to weaken us and sap our peo pies strength - particularly the way it works on our music to make it less than a revolutionary music as it started out to be and as it still can be if we know what to do about this sickness. But like Tve tried to say, we have to start with the understanding that our culture is essentially a revolutionary culture, that the elements which are native to our culture constituí e the basis, or the foundation of the social order of the future, and that the elements of our culture which are bogue and anti-human - the sexism and racism, the exploitation and greed, the downed-out death-drug scène, the low-energy music and other death forms which still exist inside the rainbow. colony - are unnatüral carryovers from imperialist society which only serve as an indication of the extent to which we t have been colonized and oppressed by those creeps. H we can understand it that way then we can start to get somewhere. Life to the Life CultureDeath to the Death Culture ! Revolution is the Way to Life Í Rainbow Power ! ! Chairman, RPP Jackson Prison September 23, 1971 in memoriam: John Coltrane, 923267A767