Concentration camp organization and a refugee outflowkotaro Miura
This article was posted on “Modern Korea” on October 2002 and it is the revised version of the article posted on “Life and Human Rights of North Korean People” No.25 published quarterly by Citizen’s Alliance for North Korean Human Rights and The Society to Help Returners to North Korea (Japanese NGO). I have reprinted the article without any change as my fundamental cognition against North Korea’s totalitarianism structure has never changed though I have met various North Korean defectors and Mr. Jiro Ishimaru, the journalist, reports that North Korean people’s mind has escaped from the fear of totalitarianism after the post.
Jang Gil-Su and his family ran into the UNHCR in Beijing on June 2001, 25 refugees ran into Embassy of Spain in Beijing on 14 March 2002, 5 refugees ran into Consulate of Japan in Shenyang on 8 May 2002 and the Chinese armed police moved in on the embassies unjustifiably arresting the refugees. There have been more refugees running into embassies of foreign countries after that. Eventually on 26 August 2002, North Korean refugees directly applied for asylum at Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing.It is a drastic protest against Chinese government which have been rejecting to accept the existence of North Korean refugees and arresting and deporting them as illegal immigrants. TV showed Chinese police took a placard with a slogan which probably requested for the refugee status determination from a refugee and tore it violently in front of the Foreign Ministry.
Further out, 15 North Korean refugees ran into German dormitory on 3 September 2002. It shows that refugees take every chance to search for asylum as the security of embassies and consulates are being tightened. The track cannot be stopped and there is a possibility that refugees search for escape by larger scale activity.
It is said in South Korea and Japan that those activities are mere “asylum bids” advocated by NGOs for some political issues and it is said so because the miserable situation of North Koreans and current North Korean political structures are not understood. I will discuss the relativity of exodus of refugees and current North Korean structure and how the rescue of refugees to be conducted in the view of structure of North Korea, a totalitarian nation. I have analysed totalitarianism systematically in the article. I will use works of Hannah Arendt (main text is “Origins of Totalitarianism”). The issue, existence of “Stateless”, which Arendt stated as the typical element of totalitarianism, directs the most important point for us to consider the North Korean refugee issue which is held in front of us.
1. North Korea is a Totalitarian nation that Arendt discusses
You have to have cognition that Kim Jong-Il structure is not a mere autocratic regime or a militaristic structure but totalitarian structure that Hannah Arendt has defined. There is no text that describes the entity of that structure adequately apart from Part II and III of “The Origins of Totalitarianism”, the substantial work of Arendt in 1951. Arendt put it up as the analysis of Stalin structure and Nazi structure. The fact that most of Arendt’s analysis can be adapted to the North Korean structure and so the structure is a typical totalitarianism that should have been ended in 20th century can be the hypothesis when we discuss various issues on North Korea. When we lack of the cognition, we tend to make false judgement being hung up by the superficial phenomenon in front of us. Intellectuals said that collapse of North Korean structure was a matter of time as North Korean economy is in shambles in beginning and middle of 1990’s. Half of the analysis was correct. Rationing structure had stopped and a number of refugees exiled. However the regime carried through and it means that the collapse of the economy did not lead the structure to collapse. It was not only because of the economic support of the neighbouring countries. We have to accept the unbelievable reality that the totalitarianism which is highly erected can maintain itself even it suffers from economic crisis or victimising a few millions of people dying of starvation.
Inter-Korean Summit be considered here as well. It was easy to determine that it was obviously not a mere external propaganda of the North Korean totalitarian structure. Yet a lot of intellectuals of Japan and South Korea expected solutions for the peace and unity in the Korean Peninsula. Yet the expectation is being failed.As for the Hitler and Stalin, it is impossible to have a real dialogues or rapprochement with Kim Jong-Il though it is possible to have some political deals with him. Though a country with military dictatorship accepts the negotiation with “national benefits” or “stability of the international relations”, country with totalitarianism is established beyond those modern national values. Japanese government has a duty to make every effort to save the abduction victims and to do so, political deals are necessary. But at the same time, Japanese government must have the basic cognition that totalitarianism causes domestic and international terror inescapably and so that it cannot be reconciled with democratic structures.
Principles of how the rescue of refugees should be will be extracted naturally if there is a perspective of what the totalitarianism is and how it affects people as a structure when we discuss about the current refugee issues.
North Korea follows totalitarianism as Stalin regime and Nazi regime and the structure is inevitable of emanation of refugees (stateless) and concentration camps within the nation. As long as the domestic economy is sustained, refugees and concentration camps, the two poles of the totalitarianism, will never be vanished even it gets support from outside or the better economy situation.
It is not only an issue of North Korea but it will affect neighbouring countries like China in a wrong way.
2. The origin of totalitarianism in North Korea
Arendt distinguished totalitarianism from existing autocracy and militarism. Totalitarian movement came about to lead the people, the mobs, who lost identities in the society by isolation after the 19th century order was collapsed by the growth of capitalism and the creation of imperialism. It is the simplification of Arendt’s theory of totalitarianism.Though the analysis gets to the point of the totalitarian movement, especially the Nazism, there might be people question my view that identicalize the North Korean structure that came about in Korean Peninsula when that was not even a nation state but a colony without the establishment of modern capitalism with Nazism that was came about after the modernization.
North Korea is surely a satellite nation that was created by Stalin’s military and it is not a structure like Nazi which was created by exuberant mass movement. Korean Peninsula being under Japanese administration did not get to the modernisation of the traditional order following Chu Hsi, having not enough cultivation of the modern society or civil society, and the movement of modernisation was ended with the end of the World War II. Though there are various beliefs on the pros and cons of the modernization and historical meaning of the modernization of a nation being colonized, it must be cognized that traditional social order, culture and evaluation were damaged radically, and at the same time, the modernization was not completed.
Arendt apprehended totalitarianism as “movement” but the totalitarianism in North Korea was created by being added into the Stalin structure after the order was destroyed in the Korean War which aimed the “liberation” from the colonization in the end of 19th century. I assume that the totalitarianism structure with the strongest power was created by the “mobs” that were created by separation from traditional society without having enough experience of the modern civil society that is the base of the liberty and democracy.
From my point of view, nations with the totalitarian structures in Asia after the World War II are North Korea, China in Mao Zedong regime, and Cambodia administrated by Pol Pot. All of the nations above experienced the collapse of the traditional order by colonization or other reason and they were governed by Asian autocratic rules fused with Stalinism without the modernisation of civil nation or civil society. It is considered that the research on the origin and the constitution of the totalitarianism in Asia after the World War II and its particularity can be a great theme for the modern history. However the issue that must be considered is the attribution of the totalitarianism of North Korea and how oppressive the governance is for the people.
3. Totalitarian structure considers the whole citizen as terror
A report of Kim Il-Sung on 4th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea states the “unity of the party” which is the totalitarianism of the Congress of the Worker’s Party of Korea and citizens.
“Every ideology against the Party’s ideology is the form of bourgeois ideology after all (…) and as long as imperialism exists and class conflict continues, we have to be highly alerted of the invasion of bourgeois ideology into the party and keep the battle against the slightest phenomenon that might destroy the unity of the Party.”
“Every Party organization should follow thinking and acting of the Central Party and the organizations should share the fate with the Central Party under any circumstance to fight till the end. (…) We have to continuously clinch victories protecting the unity of the Party as your own eyes, gathering all the citizens around Party, making citizens and Party join together and marching forward with revolutionary spirits.”
This is the typical political approach of the leader of totalitarian structure. What Kim Il-Sung aiming here was not a mere enhancement of dictatorship, unity of citizens or unity of the Party. It is the eternal battle against outer enemy, “imperialism”, and inner enemy ,“bourgeois ideology”. It is departure of the unity of Party and the citizens in totalitarian structure and it is also a totalitarian movement that “continuously aim for new victories”.
A number of military regime and autocratic states were born in Asia and Africa in this century and they still are still sustained now. Both dictatorships and military regimes aim for strengthening the stability and authority as nations. However what totalitarianism aims for is not stability but an eternal battle. As Hitler said “Nazism is a movement”, “If the Jews disappears, we have to create Jews” and Stalin continued expanding the territories and purge until his last moment, it is not enough to sly the opposition within the nation for totalitarianism. The stability of domestic and international nations is the enemy of totalitarianism. Arendt clarified the above by analysing the relationship and contradiction of “nation” and “totalitarian movement” in detail. Totalitarian structure, as a movement, consistently requires the terror and concentration camps domestically and it has the will to invade the nations beside the borders.
Following the theory above, for North Korea, it is possible to have dialogues with other nation as propaganda but it is impossible for them to give up on the national objective of uniting South Korea and for that reason, they will never accept the armament reduction no matter how they suffer from economic crisis.
What Arendt points out as a specification of totalitarian structure is that targets of the suppression or targets of elimination by terror are not people or groups with specific ideology but it chooses the targets arbitrary and any one can be the target. The purge of Stalin and concentration camps of Nazi accelerated their cruelty after cleaning up the enemies in the nations. In North Korea, the national concentration camp system was established in the end of 1960’s, after the opposition such as pro-Soviet and pro-China were wiped out by purge. It is not because of the suspicions or cruelty of the dictators but because it has to be as the totalitarian system is to be the eternal “movement”. When they are not able to find “enemy” in the nation, all the citizens are to be “enemy=targets of terror”.
Speech of Kin Il-Sung on May 1967 shows the ultimate level of it.
“Exploiting class and all the exploiting systems were cleared and worker-farmer association was strengthened. We have reached the unity of politics and ideology of all the citizens under the newly established socialist system in northern half of our nation. (…) Of course it does not mean that there is no adversarial element or no class struggle. Class struggles appear by the adversarial foes from outside and we struggle against the import of the bourgeois and feudalistic ideology that opposes the destruction of remaining exploiting class even under the socialist society. (…) It is also a class struggle that fights against the old ideology remaining the working class. It is another class struggle between the ideology of working class and ideology of bourgeois’.” (On the Questions of the Period of Transition from Capitalism to Socialism and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat” Kim Il Sung）
This statement that looks optimistic actually shows that the North Korean structure was consolidated as totalitarianism at that time. As the formula “enemy=exploiting class and exploiting system” was clearly established (these words mean the destruction of political opponent of Kim Il-Sung), the “enemy” from that time were to be “sneaking from outside” and “old state of the mind of workers”. It can be assumed easily that the Korean returnee from Japan were to be the objective of the purge as “spies from outside” but the fundamental issue is that the definition of “adversarial element” was ambiguous and no one can determine who will be considered as an “enemy” and be the objective of “struggle”.“Unity of politics and ideology of all the citizens” does not only indicate the elimination of oppositions but the achievement of administrating citizens as “members of the totalitarianism” by the secret police and anonymous tips. It makes the nation itself a concentration camp and public execution as the ultimate terrors will be necessary to maintain totalitarianism and nation as a camp.
Base of the growth and development of the economy is lost under the totalitarian system inevitably. It is because people only follow the arbitrary “Juche farming method” or “provision of Kim Il-Sung” fearing to be considered as “old ideologist” or “enemy” by providing unconstrained opinions or realistic provision. While relying on support from the East, North Korea officially announced the impact of the economic policies such as Chollima Movement (though it was quacked) both domestically and internationally. It is estimated that they stopped announcing economic growth including GNP because the economy was diminished fatally.
However we have to remember that the economic malaise does not affect the stability of totalitarian structure. The fact that the economy is diminished strengthens the suppression and totalitarian structure blaming the destruction engineering of “concoction of outer enemy (Japan, US and South Korea)” or “domestic opposition and spies”. It is necessary to cognize that, at least for totalitarian structure, the failure of economic policy does not loosen the structure.
Totalitarian structure is supported by the terror and there were two distinct terrors in North Korea. One was concentration camps, needless to say, and the other one is guilt by association system that affects the family and it is distinct as it was not even adopted in Stalin regime very often. Concentration camps are ultimate measure of totalitarian system which has a specific characteristic that “no one knows who is the enemy or the objective of terror”. The people taken in to the concentration camps are arrested and eliminated by society without any preamble, clear charge or trial. The thing people most fear is not the atrocious treatment or torture but the fact that the family is eliminated by the society without any specific reason. The code word “sent to mountains” meaning being sent to concentration camps implies that sudden elimination is an occult fear which is even more frightful than the revelation of the concentration camps. The fear is piled up in years and it makes the entire society paralysed with cowered mental.
Another terror is the fear of being out from the totalitarian system that leads one to starve to death as they gain food only by rationing system in poor economy. It was author of “Returning Ship”(Bungeishunju Ltd.) , Mr. Chung Gi-He, who insisted the above as the icon of the suppression of human rights. The cruelty of the North Korean totalitarianism strengthened by the economic mistrustfulness can be seen from the above. The citizens mentally tied up with the two terrors become more lone and isolated in the mutual surveillance that makes them the enemy if they do not turn others on. As Arendt stated that the mentality of citizens under the totalitarian system has weight on “being abandoned” being governed by the terror both in personal and social terror and it can be assumed as the true form of citizens in North Korean society.
What the infinite negative circle of whole social systems that merits the totalitarian system has created is the perfect succession of “totalitarian movement from the upper side” which was not even achieved by Stalin. The system lasted, even after the death of Kim Il-Sung, without any fundamental change until the North Korean created huge number of refugees from extreme starvation with North Korean economic crisis caused by the collapse of Eastern countries.
4. Ignoring the North Korean refugees destroys the notion of human rights in our society
Rationing system that supported totalitarian structure in North Korea pretty much imploded in the middle of 1990’s and totalitarian structure in North Korea had large transfiguration for the first time. It is the continuous exodus of refugees to China which reached it maximum numbers in 1997 and 1998. The number of refugees exiling to China changes but the people never stop exiling.One of Arendt’s great insights is pointing out that totalitarian structure creates both concentration camps inside the nation and refugees (stateless) to other nations by necessity.
“statelessness, the newest mass phenomenon in contemporary history, and the existence of an ever-growing new people comprised of stateless persons, the most symptomatic group in contemporary politics.(…) every political event since the end of the first World War inevitably added a new category to those who lived outside the pale of the law(…) There is no such problem that could not have any solution that was brought up to every international conference” (Hannah Arendt, “The Origins of Totalitarianism”)
The third International conference hosted by Citizen’s Alliance for North Korean Human Rights that has been taking the North Korean refugee issue as serious human rights issue was held in Tokyo on 9 and 10 of February. The words of Arendt is as if it was directed for the conference (I will explain the reason why Arendt used the word “stateless” rather than “refugees” or political defectors in section 6).North Korea always had a potential of having such exodus of refugees. However, after the collapse of rationing system in 1995, the spiritual movement of the people paralysed under the totalitarian structure was caused by the consciousness that “it is impossible to live in North Korea” and “it is possible to live in China”. This is how the “abandoned people” under totalitarian structure choose to escape their nation. North Korean structure which controlled rationing system as “terror of starvation” was perturbed drastically.
However, at the same time, they are illegal aliens for China. Koreans in China have been sheltering them but once they are found, they are arrested and deported. The Koreans provided them protection are fined substantially. As refugees do not have guarantee of status or working visa, they are only able to work in severe situations that Chinese avoid. Yet the possibilities that they get proper wage are very low and in the worst case, they do not receive any wage.
The tragedy of human trafficking happens often to the females. There are agent specialised in human trafficking in North Korea and they take the females to Chinese human trafficking agents telling the females that they can live profusely and so that they can support their family. There are Chinese agents who approach female refugees who came to China crossing the river at the border saying that they would support them as it is dangerous for them to be alone in China. The Chinese agents then sell the females away. There are a number of cases of female refugees who cannot make living get caught and being sold. There are a number of female North Korean human trafficking victims living in inland of Three Northeast Provinces. Needless to say, there is possibility that an enormous number of female refugees make living by prostitution.
Tragedies like above are not mere problems for North Korean refugees. It is the reality that the value of notion of “human rights” of the entire human in 21 century is being destroyed. Arendt states the fact that the “most prosperous and civilized countries” are insisting the rights that are only given to the people in exceptionally fortuned environment as “human rights movements” while the refugees are put in miserable situation as “rightless” without any protection of human rights as “poignant irony”.
“No paradox of contemporary politics is filled with more poignant irony than the discrepancy between the efforts of well-meaning idealists who stubbornly insist on regarding as “inalienable” those human rights, which are enjoyed only by citizens of the most prosperous and civilized countries, and the situation of the rightless themselves. Their situation has deteriorated just as stubbornly, until the internment camp prior to the Second World War the exception rather than the rule for the stateless has become the routine solution for the problem of domicile of the “displaced persons.” (Hannah Arendt, “The Origins of Totalitarianism”)
The situation Arendt is stating here makes us feel the emptiness of the notion “human rights” when we put Japan and South Korea in “most prosperous and civilized countries” and North Korea in “rightless”. Moreover, the North Korean refugees are not even given transmigration site, “refugees’ camp” up until now. There is nothing that gives us the feeling of being powerless and makes us consider the notion of “human rights” worthless more than seeing the reality above while the prosperous societies having vaporous discussions on human rights ignoring the reality. Arendt took the helpless feeling of the democratic countries that could not do anything about the persecution against Jews conducted by Nazi as an example and explained the situation above precisely as below.
“because the incredible plight of an ever-growing group of innocent people was like a practical demonstration of the totalitarian movements’ cynical claims that no such thing as inalien- able human rights existed and that the affirmations of the democracies to the contrary were mere prejudice, hypocrisy, and cowardice in the face of the cruel majesty of a new world. The very phrase “human rights” became for all concerned victims, persecutors, and onlookers alike the evidence of hopeless idealism or fumbling feeble-minded hypocrisy.” (Hannah Arendt, “The Origins of Totalitarianism”)
Following the incident in Japanese consulates on 14 June and 8 May, Chinese police irrupted into Korean embassy and drugged out one refugee requesting for exile. The deportation of the refugees in China is carried out intensively. We can never forget that seeing the tragedy of North Korean refugees sitting still will make the value of “human rights” contaminated and hypocritical and it will someday make us lose the value of “human rights” from our society.
5. Refugees from totalitarian systems are all political refugees
Why do international societies (especially UNHCR) sit still and watch such a situation?Chinese government oppresses the refugees because it has the political intention to ensure North Korea as a buffer zone between South Korean and United States. However the reason why UNHCR is supposed to shield the refugees do not provide enough protection for them is probably not only because Chinese government is being uncooperative but also because it is difficult to consider North Korean refugees as political refugees protected by United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees as they are “economic refugees” and also “refugees of starvation”.
There are a number of intellectuals (including So Sung and Haruki Wada) in Japan, mass media and people dealing with diplomatic policy who agree with the idea above. According to their determination, a lot of North Korean refugees shuttle between North Korea and China to escape from starvation not from political persecutions. It is difficult to accept them as the objectives of protection because they would not dare to shuttle between the countries if they were to be politically persecuted upon arrest. They say that to solve the issue from the root, they have to resolve the starvation in the nation by economic support.
On the other hand, a lot of the NGOs rescuing the actual refugees controvert with the actual examples and testimonies of the refugees that refugees escaped from the nation to live without starvation yet they will face horrible torture, imprisonment in concentration camps and execution upon the deportation. There are people who sneak into China to gain some food and money and return to North Korea after gaining what they need but they have to do so because they have families to be supported back in North Korea. The refugees sheltered especially in South Korea and Japan will suffer from terrible food situation and torture in correctional institution and concentration camp as political criminals. The testimonies of refugees state that they are imprisoned after the deportation and they are tortured, beaten and abused verbally by prison officers while they suffer from massive amount of parasitic insects and starvation inside the prison. Aid organizations and journalists who know the situations insist that those testimonies and realities above are reasonable enough for the refugees to be qualified to be sheltered.
I agree with them in principle and I strongly request UNHCR to protect the refugees. However I would like to raise an issue from different point of view. Refugees from totalitarian structure are different from other refugees and it is meaningless to determine whether they are economic refugees or political refugees.
As I mentioned above, North Korea has flat out totalitarian system that has propaganda “everyone is enemy, informant and target of terror of everyone”. At the same time, the collapse of rationing system (and the collapse of agriculture and basic of industries that occurred long ago) created starving situation that does not guarantee the minimum amount of food for citizens just to survive. For the refugees, to escape from such nation is the issue of rights of survivorship which comes ahead of human rights.
More important thing is that escaping the nation to survive is a direct treason under North Korean criminal code. Article 74 of North Korean criminal code states that “If citizens of republic betray their motherland and people by conducting rebellion such as escaping to foreign nation or enemy side, acting espionage and supporting enemies, they will be charged death penalty or asset forfeiture”. It is obvious that accepting the support of NGOs from South Korea or Japan, the “enemy sides”, after escaping North Korea and telling them the real situation of North Korea will be considered as treason. As the criminal code shows, it is unclear what “acting espionage and supporting enemies” means. Everything determined by authorities arbitrarily.
The notions of “political criminal” and “political refugees under totalitarian structure are meaningless by definition. Let me repeat that it is the characteristics of totalitarian structure that whether an individual becomes a political criminal has nothing to do with the individuals’ beliefs or acts. Therefore apart from only a few people from particular classes, all the citizens have the possibilities of being identified as “political criminal or traitor”. Escaping to China to assert the right of survivorship, the minimum right of human being, is considered as a crime of escaping from the totalitarian structure. I want you to remember the words of Kin Il-Sung in 1967. It is clear that people trying to escape from North Korea, the place where the “exploiting class and all the exploiting systems were cleared and worker-farmer association was strengthened. We have reached the unity of politics and ideology of all the citizens under the newly established socialist system in northern half of our nation” will surely be regarded as enemy forces.
Exodus of refugees are considered as “inner enemy” and “conspiracy of outer enemy” that are necessary for North Korean totalitarian structure and it must be used as an excuse for strengthening the structure domestically. The torture of North Korean police, security department and safety department against refugees testified by the refugees are not mere phenomenon of rascality of humans. It is the counterattack of totalitarian structure that has found new “enemy”. To watch and do nothing with the totalitarian structure massacring its own citizens is to repeat mistake of the world did nothing with what Nazi did in Auschwitz. Why do human beings repeat the same mistakes though we created victims in huge amount in the history?
6. Refugees(stateless), the Aporia (impasse)
As I have mentioned in section 4, Arendt chose the word “stateless” for the new phenomenon created by totalitarianism in 20th century rather than using the word refugees. “Stateless” indicates the exodus of refugees and defectors from World War I, Russian revolution and Nazi regime.Exile from a nation was basically a personal matter in 19th century. It was either an individual was expelled from a nation by defying the regime or an individual escaping from the nation with his/her own will. However the refugees and “stateless” created by totalitarian structure are in distinct category from the typical political asylum above. Huge number of exodus not from individuals’ will or ideology continuously created inevitably by totalitarian structure make neighbouring countries refuse the acceptance of the refugees. It shows the material limit of the naturalization systems and created a number of “stateless”, the people who cannot get any protection from any nation.
Arendt accurately retorted the statement that “human rights” are the natural rights of human beings and they exist transnationally with quoting British conservative philosopher, Edmund Burke. The human rights do not exist as abstract concepts but they are preserved only as “rights of citizens” such as rights of British and rights of Germans in particular. It was stateless who proved that “transnational human rights or human rights as natural rights (the rights humans possess from their birth)” do not exist in the real world through their own tragic destinies.
North Korean refugees are not “stateless” factually. According to fundamental principles of the Republic of Korea, they are “citizens of the Republic of Korea”. North Korean government see them “illegally departing the nation” and it shows that North Korean government see them as North Korean citizens. That is why North Korea asks China to deport the refugees back to North Korea. However it shows North Korean refugees are in worse tragedy than the Jews who were banished by Germany. They are not able to be “stateless” and, according to Arendt, they are the people who are not able to be sheltered in “relocation centre for refugees”.
Both the governments of North Korea and China never admit the existence of refugees inevitably created by North Korean totalitarian system up until now. Though the matters are known widely, Qian Ji Sheng, the Deputy Prime Minister of China said “We do not deport North Korean defectors to North Korea” (Japan China Exchange Symposium on 24 May). It is needless to mention the announcement of North Korean authorities. The people whose existence are “eliminated” by arbitrary determination of structures and who are not identified as refugees by international organization are the ultimate victims of totalitarian structures. It is North Korean refugees whose “existence are denied” and their situation is worse than being “stateless”
North Koreans treat the deported as obvious “enemy class” and persecute those new enemies to strengthen the totalitarian structure (for this regard, the judgement that inflow of the North Korean refugees directly leads the collapse or transformation of the regime is not efficient. Instead, continuing the deportation of the refugees might lead it to the strengthening of the structure).
Those “refugees not supposed to exist” are making adverse results in China. It is not mere problems of refugees involving in crimes or causing social disorders. Arendt state that inflow of refugees and stateless cause totalitarianization and police state structure by the enlargement of authority of police that clamps down the stateless who are out of legal norm in the nations where the refugees and stateless exile to.
The stateless brings “misrule of domestic affairs in related nations”. They are the people who are drugged out from every system of law. They are not able to be sheltered by the new migrant nation though the refugees in old times were able to be. It is an exact situation that North Korean refugees are facing right now and Arendt states the effect of their existence as below.
“The increase of group of stateless in non-totalitarian nations developed one of the forms of anarchism organized by police. The anarchism changed free nations to totalitarian nations with most peaceful way”. (Hannah Arendt “The Origins of Totalitarianism”)
China has enormous human rights issues for certain and it is a nation which has not established democracy. However conducting Chinese economic reform after denying Cultural Revolution and admitting the mistakes of Maoism implicitly, it was transcending from totalitarian structure. However China is now not only criticised internationally for its approach against North Korean refugees but it is also receding its own political democratization. Arendt introduced the point that the police of the nations accepted refugees from Germany highly evaluated the distinction and flow of information of Nazi secret police so that they could not support the refugees at some point. It dovetailed with the fact that North Korean spies and security department sneak into China, sometimes cooperating with Chinese authorities, to conduct clack down on refugees.
One of the important reasons that China, the nation that is a member of WTO and holding Beijing Olympic in 2008.is not being able to join the international society as a major nation is its uncompromising approach to the North Korean refugees. It is necessary that China provides North Korean refugees appropriate protection for its own reform and democratization and at the same time, Chinese government’s approach against refugees is the barometer of Chinese democratization. Breaching of Vienna Convention on incidents of Korean embassy in Beijing and Japanese consulate in Shenyang shows the large fall back of reform and democratization of China. .
7. For the resolution of North Korean refugee issues
Only the spirit of international solidarity brings back new “nation” and “human relationship” to the people isolated forcibly with their existence denied.
It is not difficult to imagine the refugees running into foreign embassies made the world realize the “existence” of North Korean refugees and it gave great courage and hopes to the refugees themselves. There must be different judgement on the actions as the crackdown in China has become intensified and the activities of NEOs that have been rescuing them consistently are restricted in China at the same time. However, according to Arendt again here, the only way for the stateless to gain legal protection is to “break the regulation of law”. When the paradox that only by breaking law, they can be the objective of protection is considered, the action of refugees running into consulate became meaningful as it gathered the attention of the world to the North Korean refugee issues.Before we discuss the question of the need of supporting NGOs’ activities, we have to consider the solution of the North Korean refugees estimated more than 300,000 in China.
Of course, the most ideological solution is that they gain refugee status determination from UNHCR then the refugees’ exile to the countries of their choices. The first objective is to achieve the protections and refugee status determination confirming that the defectors from North Korea are eligible for the protection of United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees by concentrating the might of international legal scholars, experts of refugee issues and political scholars.
At the same time, the efforts of diplomatically appealing Chinese government that the dealings above and the approval of the protection will merit Chinese reform and evaluation from international societies are necessary.
As Arendt states, the human rights of stateless’ are recovered only by arriving in a law governed nation with “a system that human is judged by humans by his action and opinion”. It is obvious that first solution is the approval of most of the North Korean refugees coming under the jurisdiction of South Korea (until North Korea breaks away from totalitarian structure).
However there comes a problem. Korean government surely accepts North Korean refugees as fellow citizens basically and it seems that the government is taking them in though they are having severe economic situation. However, in reality, a lot of the refugees are not adopted into South Korean society and it is difficult to say that they are having stable working sites or lives.
Actually, the most serious issue of North Korean refugee problem remains there. Arendt describes the mentality of people born in a totalitarian nation with terror and system of informing on each other as “being abandoned” and stated that they lack “mutual feeling” with any other person. The true terror of living in totalitarian structure is concentrated here. The necessary thing for the people who have lived in the world where everyone is an informant for everyone, trust between people are not established and the legal order (what is a crime and what is not) are determined arbitrary is to gain the “mutual feeling” to recognise they are not abandoned by society and that mutual trust that exist in the society is the base of the stability of the society.
The dialogues and communion between North Korean refugees in South Korea and South Korean volunteers on the newsletter of Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, a NGO in South Korea, are as interesting as the testimonies of North Korean defectors and information of human rights activities in the world. South Korean government offers occupational training and temporary economic support. Yet it is mere “support from government agency” for the refugees. They realise that what they were taught in North Korea is wrong and South Korean government is not a puppet government of US or a cruel evil of capitalism in a short while. Yet there are possibilities that, in worse case, they became “abandoned existence again” and accepted and restored only by groups of criminals or mobs and if they are not accepted by South Korean society and have humane communion in the society.
The newsletter strongly appeals the necessity of both civil and governmental effort to avoid the crisis. The dialogues between the volunteers and refugees make people realise the difficulty of mutual understanding and at the same time, it describes how the South Korean young generation create the sense of solidarity with refugees by overcoming the stereotype images of each other and dealing with them one-on-one. This is the true awakening of “mutual feeling”.
One refugee said the most surprising thing for him in South Korea was the existence of “volunteers”. Volunteer in the true sense is surely unimaginable in North Korea (though there are “agricultural supports” that are forced or systemised by government). All the “initiatives” are denied and recused under totalitarian structures. Though the slogan “for the leaders” and “devote yourself for revolution” are repeated every day, the spirit to support “strangers” at one’s own initiative never appears in a society that denies the solidarity of people.
To support and resettle the refugees out of totalitarian society, not only economy but their mentality must be restored. It will be a burden for South Korea to handle the difficult challenge alone. It is necessary for NGOs to stand solidarity to search the mental care of those refugees while related nations build economic supporting relationship with South Korea to support it accepting refugees.
Though South Korea will be the main country that accepts refugees, it is necessary that every nation that respect liberty and human rights share the burden as the world accepted Vietnamese refugees in the past. In this sense, the fact that Kennedy commission in US Senate’s indication that the refugee issues should be dealt with bipartisan way and their discussion on constructing refugee camps in Mongolia and other countries with budgetary provisions (on United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on July, USD 80,000,000 of budgetary request was submitted to the United States Department of State to build camps and support NGOs) show the possibility of US government working through the refugee issue. And Japan, with a number of Korean residents and historical relationship with Korean Peninsula, must consider acceptance of the refugees in North Korea who used to reside in Japan, refugees with Japanese marital partners and their children. NGOs in Japan are desired to request government to take the issue as “the largest human rights issue in East Asia”.
Arendt made a great proposal on the ideological activities and values that break down the totalitarianism. In “Parties, Movements and Classes” which was published right after the end of World War II in 1945, Arendt pointed out resistance activities as an activity that gets across “nation” differing it from totalitarianism or stateless created by totalitarianism.
“The resistance movements (against Nazi) came into being in each European nation at the same time yet independently. And (…)they developed the notion of united Europe. Gradually, they get to know each other and accepted each other. They finally became the branches of one European activity that were united by the similar request and experience. That they achieved such unity without uniformity under the conditions of a German-occupied Europe shows how deeply they must have felt that one of their problems – the pressing social question any more than that of political reorganization – could be solved along strictly national lines.” (“Parties, Movements and Classes”)
Arendt acknowledged that individual human rights are not protected without a nation that the individual belongs to. At the same time, she brought up the issue that, to protect human rights counteracting totalitarian nations, universal solidarity was needed with “unity without uniformity” which was completely different form from totalitarianism. Resistance activities were the battle to regain liberty and democracy to their own nation going against Nazi. It must be needless to explain how deeply the resistance was connected with patriot. However it was rooted with universal spirit of liberty, human rights, re-establishment of national state and rejection of totalitarianism that surpasses the international borders.Recent historical researches show various contradiction and mere idol that is completely different from the reality of resistance. But what Arendt saw through resistance activities in 1945 was the form of human rights activities rooted in nations that cross the borders and surpass totalitarianism.
Perhaps it is difficult to solve North Korean issues with “complete nationalist way”. Unfortunately, this human rights issue just started gathering international attention only a few years ago. It can be assumed that the above was partly because the information did not get through to outside world due to the national isolation of North Korea but also because the issue was considered as “East versus West” during the Cold War and acknowledged as “national issues” with which the national benefits and safety assurance of each nation were involved. However the world is moving forward. It is because the world has realised since September 11th terrorism incident that conniving North Korean refugees and totalitarianism within its nation is not only a factor of instability of whole East Asia or human rights issue only within North Korea.
Arendt pointed out the modern human (who lost the sight of god) issue of nihilism and ressentiment that appeared following Nietzsche’s work as one of the reasons of accepting totalitarian structure. Many modern people hold ressentiment not for the felicity of their existence. The mind changes into hatred against others eventually. For this, Arendt states that re-establishment of the moral is compulsory and she wrote it with beautiful words from political scholar’s view.
“(The spirit that gets over ressentiment and denies totalitarianism is) a fundamental sense of gratitude for such as life itself and the existence of human and the world.” “in political field, the sense of gratitude insists that we are not alone in this world. As long as we have the insight of felicity that humans are created with capacity of reproduction and there are people, not a person, living in this world, understandings of differences of diverseness of human race. (“Origins of Totalitarianism”)
Gratitude for the lives, delight of human existence itself and understandings of difference and diverseness. North Korean refugees are about to be assassinated by totalitarian structure that denies the above. Saving North Korean refugees is not only for their sake. It is also saving our humanities from nihilism.
Notes on “The Gulag Archipelago” by SolzhenitsynKotaro Miura
Solzhenitsyn passed away on August 2008. He was born in Soviet Union in 1918 and he spent his youth firmly believing in ideal of revolution resulting him being captured by German army in during the war between Germany and Soviet Union. He was expelled from his country by writing substantial length of a book called “The Gulag Archipelago”, which exposed the dark side of Soviet Union through his experience at relocation camp as a political criminal by being a captive of Germany. On West side, he was a wild prophesy who strongly criticized the detant which was fraudulent and compromising policy between the Soviet Union and value relativism and moral deterioration. He returned to Russia after the fall of Soviet Union in his closing years watching over the chaos of Russia, he clearly stated that Russia should return Russian held northern territories to Japan as they were invaded by Stalin and he hung his hope to the rejuvenation of the Russian ethnic spirit and palingenesis of Christianity heritages while supporting Putin administration as it brought back the cosmos and autoritas to Russia. He was a thinker who exemplified the huge contradiction which was exactly like Russia itself.
“The Gulag Archipelago” which had few readers
However, “The Gulag Archipelago” seems not to be read by many people at least in Japan. When the book was first published it stunned the French left wing and brought new thought and activity trend of Criticisms of Marxism and Nouveaux Philosophy by André Glucksmann and Bernard-Henri Lévy (refer to Sartre theory by Miura on “Bring the Light” No.1). It has also exerted influence on cultural figures called “Marx funeral wing” of radical left in 80’s, especially on “Phenomenology of Terror” (Chikuma Bunko)by Sakai Kiyoshi who was a writer and thinker. It is also known that Nobuo Ayukawa, a poet, who exemplified liberalism read the book a number of times. But they are the exceptions and it is considered that there are few people who read all the 6 volumes of the substantial length books (revived by BOOK-ING). I, myself “scanned through” the books in my mid 20’s somehow. I had intangible impression on the book that there was a huge, unimaginable and miserable world existed. I was only able to read the book as the “great record that accused the evil side of Soviet Union” which made me feel against anti-communism and anti-Soviet Union.
I would like to state firstly that I would recommend “Gulag”(Hakusuisha.Inc) by Anne Applebaum which is much easier to obtain and read, to those who would like to read the historical record of human rights issues and relocation camp. This book is one of the best historical research works that summarised literary creation, testimony records and new documentations after the fall of Soviet Union and it is easy to read as the translation is properly organized. The most important thing about the book is that it tells you about the history of the relocation camps until the era of Gorbachev comprehensively.
Different from “Gulag”, “The Gulag Archipelago” was written in the 70’s and though it is based on the huge materials, testimonies and hearing, it is a production that does not belong to any category of literature which shows the chaos of modern history of Soviet Union by writing the various incidents that reciprocate the profoundness of each of terror and coercion, pathos and black humour and evil and gallantry of human nature. Therefore, it is difficult to read through the books without a great deal of time and concentration of mind. However “The Gulag Archipelago” contains shocking descriptions that resolve the perspective of the modern history which is more than a mere accusation against Soviet Union. This article is not a converge discussion on “The Gulag Archipelago”. It would be appreciated if you could read it as a deprived note of the author who somehow trimmed the limited part of the huge book which is a history itself.
(1) Soviet Union which became Totalitarian regime“Our Muzzled Freedom”
Though we emphasise over and over, it cannot be overly emphasized that Stalinist Soviet Union, Mao’s days China and current North Korea are different from mere countries with military dictatorships but they are totalitarian regimes as Hannah Arendt pointed out. It is described vividly in Part IV, Chapter 3 “Our Muzzled Freedom” of “The Gulag Archipelago”. Solzhenitsyn enumerated 10 evil specialties of Soviet Union society along with actual cases and it is being the best explanation of totalitarianism.
1. Constant FearAll the citizen of the Soviet Union knew the existence of the prison where” it would take only one careless word or gesture and he would fly off irrevocably into the abyss” (The Glug Archipelago). ”beneath every inhabitant lay the chasm (and death) of the Archipelago. In appearance the country was much bigger than its Archipelago, but all of it and all its inhabitants hung phantom like above the latter’s gaping maw” (The Glug Archipelago). It is the nature of the Prison State. Some people say that though there are human rights violations and political prisons in North Korea currently, it is exaggerating to condemn the country as if it is a nation of prison. However it is that the nature of the totalitarian nation is that the existence of the prison is capable of dominating the outer society spiritually.
2. ServitudeI have learnt from the TV and intellectuals’ remarks and texts that Soviet Union offered steady life and employment though there was no freedom of speech. But the actual condition there was being governed by the administrative structure with which “no worker could quit work of his own accord”, “passport regulations fastened everyone to particular places” and not able to move freely, and the terror coming to oneself which does not let one escape from the structure. Lack of freedom of shifting and freedom of leaving the country produces no freedom and it is familiar to the current North Korean defectors issue. We know that the “lifestyle stability” is fragile in the case of economic meltdown that ends to the broad scale of the starvation state through the starvation in North Korea in 1990’s.
3. Secrecy and MistrustIt is a system of mutual surveillance that forces people to cover up the incriminating information from family and best friends. There is a case that a university student told his friend whose father was arrested as a political criminal that he wanted help his friend’s father to prove his innocence but the friend refused the true friendship by rejecting his offer by responding that she believed her father was guilty. She stated that she refused the help suspecting that her friend was a spy, later on. “This universal mutual mistrust had the effect of deepening the mass-grave pit of slavery” and anyone who burst out with a sincere protest was predestined to “loneliness and alienation”.
4. Universal IgnoranceCitizens of Soviet Union hid information from each other in mutual mistrust and they tried to stop thinking of the reason why the people living in the same apartment disappeared. They knew the accidents and incidents happened a few thousands of kilometres away (many of them were considered to be the works of anti-revolutionaries) by news which reported them sensationally but they did not try to know the tragedy happened around them.
5. SquealingIt is the nature of totalitarianism which is adopted by North Korea, obviously. Detecting the spies and insurgents is not the aim of creating system to inform on each other among the citizens but it is to shut down the spirits by forcing them to realize that they are under surveillance and they are to observe the others to avoid them thinking about issues on politics and liberty.
6. Betrayal as Form of ExistenceThe thing Solzhenitsyn calls “betrayal” is that Soviet Union citizens being “human being became a vassal of fear” and losing neighbourly love, affection between family and friends and the sympathy for people’s adversities whether willingly or unwillingly. As a result, the people who sympathise the people arrested and believe them become the target of the arrest and he calls the fact that people who have better spirits being sent to prison “dying soul of the people”.
7. Corruption“In a situation of fear and betrayal over many years people survive unharmed only in a superficial, bodily sense. And inside . . . they become corrupt.”(Our Muzzled Freedom)
I will quote Solzhenitsyn’s words below. “So many millions of people agreed to become stool pigeons. And, after all, if some forty to fifty million people served long sentences in the Archipelago during the course of the thirty-five years up to 1953, (an omission) then we can assume that at least every third or al least every fifth case was the consequence of somebody’s denunciation and that somebody was willing to provide evidence as a witness! All of them, all those murderers with ink, are still among us today.” (Our Muzzled Freedom)
There is nothing to add on to the words. It does not matter whether you doubt the numbers shown but the frightfulness of the mental backslide is that the countries whether Soviet Union or China that gave up on the communist regime as a matter of practice and move on to the democracy or free economy, keep the mental backslide of the citizens and brings infestation of the crimes, worship of money and the directivity to the dictatorship by the citizens themselves. The traditional moral that remains in all the peoples and the mutual aid were destroyed by the Gulag Archipelago.
8. The Lie as a Form of ExistenceIn such society, “The permanent lie becomes the only safe form of existence in the same way as betrayal” (Our Muzzled Freedom). Solzhenitsyn’s appeal that “let us not be art in the lie” is understood for the first time considering the miserable situation. They had to pretend to believe the absurd political propaganda (such as they lack the cereal grain because US spread the destructive insects, German’s attack in the beginning was a part of the plan of Stalin and so on).
9. CrueltyThe cruelty mentioned here is “class cruelty” which is the worst mental status with which the citizens “would soon lose track, probably, of just where between bad and good that trait lay “(Our Muzzled Freedom), caused by the imposition of class struggle that denies the sympathy and kindness as there is only a combat with the class enemy. By rights, the question what is right and wrong is not being able to be discussed with class struggle which is a crude argument and for the honour of Marx, who did not define such thing, but in communist states like Soviet Union, the slogan “bourgeois are enemies, kulaks are enemies and kill the enemies” were conducted with violence.
Humanities are destroyed and the concupiscence and atrociousness becomes bare under such circumstance. I assume the severe domestic violence in North Korea heard from the North Korean defectors (the violence of husband towards wives and children are sometimes too cruel to hear) root from the case above.
10. Slave PsychologyThe explanation for this is probably not necessary. What Solzhenitsyn criticized the most about the Soviet Union regime was not only the forced labour in the prison or the human rights violation. He criticized the prison for destroying the spirit of the whole citizen’s as it was a cancer. He saw the worst fear of the communism in it.
(2) Collapse of Old Russia and the Betray of New Soviet UnionBoys of Solovki and Gorky
The part Solzhenitsyn wrote with most sorrow is the tragedy of the prison which was built in 1923 on Solovetsky Islands located in the White Sea in Part III. The Island was called Solovki and it was a land where people prayed quietly as monasteries were being built since 15th century and it was also a land with rich boon with commodity and critter. Citizens respected Solovki monasteries. During the Soviet regime, it was propagandised as a place dominated by reactionary religious people by violence as Soviet Union tried to deny all the concept of values of the Russian era. But it was completely different from the reality.
After the revolution, the communist party members changed monasteries into state owned farms and bereaved the possessions saying that they were exploited by the labours. They finally relegated the abbeys and changed the land into Northern Special Prison. The abbeys aged over 80 asked them to let them die in their holy land but apart from the ones with special skills, they were all relegated.Solzhenitsyn wrote down a number of testimonies of how the political criminals sent there had to endure the forced labour of tree trimming and road construction in the severely cold weather without enough clothing and how they were killed after being physically weak and so not being able to work. It is tempting to use all the pages quoting the miserable reality but I will just pick up the striking cases here.
“We have to squeeze everything out of a prisoner in the first three months — after that we don’t need him any more.” (The words of Frenkel who had been a prisoner and took a part to send the prisoners to forced labour by artful strategy.)“And from other Solovetsky inhabitants he learns things more awful than his eyes perceive. People pronounce the fatal word “Sekirka’* to him. This means Sekimaya Hill. Punishment cells were set up in the two-story cathedral there. And here is how they kept prisoneis in the punishment cells: Poles the thickness of an arm were set from wall to wall and prisoners were ordered to sit on these poles all day. (At night they lay on the floor, one on top of anotiier, because it was overcrowded.) The height of the poles was set so that one’s feet could not reach the ground. And it was not so easy to keep balance. In fact, the prisoner spent the entire day just trying to maintain his perch. If he fell, the jailers jumped in and beat him. Or else they took him outside to a flight of stairs consisting of 365 steep steps and rolled him down (and there wasn’t even one landing, and the steps were so steep that the log with the human being on it would go all the way down without stopping).”
“If one prisoner in a cell caught it, they just locked the cell and let no one out, and passed them food only through the door — till they all died.”
After the first Five-Year Plans, the actual labour became more severe. The prisoners were wet and yet they were not offered proper clothing during the tree trimming and road construction. ”On its route the Chekist Gashidze ordered explosives set into a cliff and then sent KR’s up on the cliff and trough his binoculars watched them being blown up.” They say that in December, 1928, on Krasnaya Gorka in Karelia, the prisoners were left to spend the night in the woods as punishment for failure to fulfill the assigned norm of work and 150 men froze to death there.”
What Solzhenitsyn wrote with deepest sorrow is about the group of religious people from Russian era. They were probably heretical Christians from Russia and a few dozens of them were sent to Solovki led by a leader who was over 80 years old. They just believed in Bible, rejected the deals which they thought anti-Christ, never spent any money and they refused to sign on the documents issued by Soviet government. They could probably survive in a suburb creating a small community during the imperial era but it was impossible for them to survive under the communist party regime which governed whole the Soviet Union with ideology. They stood in their belief and all of them were sent to the Malaya Muksalma, the smallest island, without any food. Bodies eaten by birds were the only things left there after 2 months. No one seemed to try to escape from there.
The sentiment of Solzhenitsyn in those of his writings above is clearly different from the ones towards the reform of Soviet’s human rights and democracy or returning back to the ideology of communism that were seen in Soviet dissident groups. He had acted up to his position of opposing the remarks such as “Though Soviet Union has its problems, it is getting better than the suppression of Russian empire.” (I always think those who remark such thing should go to the prison of Stalin era for 3 months and say the same thing again).
There were a quiet and stable commune of religious people and peasants following the Russian traditional religion during the Russian empire era in Solovki. Of course, the modern human rights and democracy ideology can call it a feudatory governing. However what Russian revolution brought up destroyed concept of the values in the previous era and laid down the suppressive and totalitarian terror governing that could destroy the people’s spirits. The people who accepted their death by believing in the religion and supporting each other were the embodiment of strongest refusal to the Soviet Union and it reminds me of a poet Marina Tsvetaeva who chose death after criticizing Russian revolution and defected but forced to return to Soviet by her husband and lost husband as a political criminal.
“I refuse to—be. In
the madhouse of the inhumans
I refuse to—live. To swim
on the current of human spines.I don’t need holes in my ears,
no need for seeing eyes.
I refuse to swim on the current of human spines.
To your mad world—one answer: I refuse.”
In 1929, Gorky the writer and an emblem of new Soviet Union visited Solovki prison. It was because one of the prisoners succeeded to escape and published testimony documentary about the prison of Solovki in England. Soviet Union government announced that they would send groups of investigators including Gorky to deny the testimonies and report the actual condition of Solovki. The prisoners welcomed Gorky with full of expectation. “The falcon, the stormy petrel, was about, to swoop down upon the nest of injustice, violence, and secrecy. The leading Russian writer! He will give them hell! He will show them! He, the father, will defend! They awaited Gorky almost like a universal amnesty.”(Our Muzzled Freedom)Of course, Solovki authorities “decorated” the prison in depth as it often happens in totalism. They sent a number of prisoners to severe out station to reduce the number of prisoners and put trees without roots to make tree lined streets (as long as the trees would not die down during Gorky’s stay, it was okay) to the orphanage which had been built 3 months earlier. The sticks and weapons used daily basis were hid. However they missed something. When Gorky arrived, prisoners with torn clothes were taking cargo. The person in charge ordered them to stop working and told them to sit on the ground and covered them with water-resistant cloth. Then the person threatened “I’ll kill the one who moves!” to cover the prisoners from the writer with the most effective and simple way in the terror governed society.
As Gorky looked around the prison, there were prisoners reading newspaper on the benches in punishment cell which was normally full of prisoners and governed by violence. Prisoners tried to gather Gorky’s attention somehow and they held newspapers upside down to let him know that the treatment at that time was not true. Gorky noticed that and fixed the newspaper in the right position for them. The writer who accused the Russian empire’s suppression must have received some messages from this slight action.
And when Gorky visited orphanage, a 14 years old boy stood up and appealed to Gorky. “Gorky, what you are looking now is a falsehood. If you want to know the truth, I will tell you.”
Gorky nodded and told everyone including other orphans and personnel from National safety department to leave the place. The writer and the orphan talked for an hour and half in the room. Gorky was said to come out from the room shedding tears. But the boy, who told Gorky the truth about forced labour, deaths from cold in the snow, bats and torture was shot to death after Gorky left Solovki and Gorky published an article saying that the prisoners were having rich life ,being set right and it was different from what it was said to be in overseas. He used his fame as a literatus to glamorize the prison in the end. Solzhenitsyn accused Gorky with fury and saw him abject person who gave up on the brave boy to protect his cathedra and wealth. However it seems to be the misled anger of Solzhenitsyn who used to be a prisoner. Gorky must not be such a person.
Gorky, the author of humanitarian works such as “The Lower Depths” and “The Mother”, must have been struck by the accusation of the boy and detected the reality of the prison. And I believe that Gorky wanted to accuse it and improve the situation. However Gorky was obsessed with a factional ideology which valued “communism=future=development” procedure more than the current contradiction such as “criticising the Soviet Union regime now might give the power to right wing backlash, bourgeois backbones and anti-communist dissemination” or “For the attainment of the future communist ideology, we should not criticise Soviet Union which is heading toward the right communist way even we have to ignore the current contradiction.”
Now let us leave Solzhenitsyn and read the account of one of the Old Bolsheviks who was obsessed with fictional ideology to the utmost limit and said “being outside of party is being zero.”
(3) Being outside of party is being zeroEverything is permitted for the ideology of the future communism
“When the ideology stands on the violence which is principally and psychologically free from things and when it stands on the violence which is chainless from any law, any barrier, the bound of possible activities becomes huge as giant and the bound of impossible activities will be compressed to zero. It is Bolshevism, the party which holds the idea that make impossibility, inability and inadmissibility possible. For the honour and happiness of being in the party, we should sacrifice our pride and self-esteem. To be returned to the party, we have to get rid of the belief that was severely criticised by the party.”“I have also heard of such way of thinking. Communist party is not an organization which is complete and innocent though it is swelled. It is the thinking that, for example, by considering a completely and clearly white thing as black and misled… I would reply to those people using that example that…It is completely right. I would consider the things that I see as white and I have seen as white as black from now on. It is because I do not have live outside of the party or without the match with the party.”
“Do you think that I, the Pyatakov, would not participate in the revolution that is rolling on tin the world? Do you think I would be outside of the party while the world is changing with which our party is constructing the conclusive factor? Being outside of the party is being zero. So I will state this once again that, I will accept and believe it if the party requests me to see white as black for the victory of the party.” (From “Pyatakov talks about Bolshevism”: “Modern history Document Volume4: Stalin’s era” (Heibonsha Limited, Publishers))
Pyatakov is a person who was valued as a communist party member who “was most outstanding” and “had great mind” along with Bukharin. Pyatakov took a position close to Trotsky as he opposed the governance of communist party of Stalin after the death of Lenin but he submitted a request of re-joining to the party after Trotsky’s political defeat. The quotation above is the answer to the question whether his turnabout was too simplistic.
Words of Pyatakov here are typical indications that reflect the fundamental fear of governance of communist party and the aberration and mental disorder that happens to party members with conscience. For Pyatakov, the communist party is a perfect organization that solves the contradictions of the world with endless violence. He, who was a great intellectual, did not simply believe in the mythology of communist party. But Pyatakov must have known about the cruel liquidation of the oppositions and oppression against civilians, authoritarianism and servility for the authorities in the party and the reality in the political prisons. Yet, knowing all of them, he closed his eyes and chose to “sacrifice the pride, self-esteem and all other things” and “get rid of the ideas that were criticised by the party”. Why did he do that? Because “I do not have life outside of the party or without the match with the party.” “Being outside of the party is being zero.”
Pyatakov considered the reason to remain as a communist party member as to contribute to the world reforming, coming world’s revolution and the construction of ideal communist society that is brought by them. Communist party, the only political party that can make it come true, though it had its faults, became “infallibility” and a thing that must be supported no matter what for him. Phyatakov then deceived himself so miserably and became an ideological accomplice of the communist prison system as a result. Why Old Bolsheviks at “Moscow Trials” including Bukharin, Zinoviev, Kamenev and the others and the tried revolutionists at different trials admitted the guilt was because they followed the same theory.
“Endless violence” that Pyatakov mentioned is not used to solve the contradiction of the real society, different from the will of communist party members with conscience. It is used to the communist members’ physical and mental first. Party members are overused with the activities to grow the power of the party and their mentals are atrophied being stylized by party ideology. The ones who oppose the policy of the party are either sent to the prison and get killed or sent to mental hospital as “madmen” “who are unable to reconstructed”. In either way, they are terminated.
The violence by the communist party was forwarded to the citizens, the people “outside of the party”, “being zero” for whom Pyatakov was working for in his point of view. Being outside of the communist party indicates that all the people who do not accept the idea of communist party become the “zero=invaluable”. They are the “reconstruction target”, not the “governing target”. For them to be the “valuable existence” for the communist party, they have to give up on being citizens and livers and be “party members” or “communist”. The reason all the communist nations including Soviet Union, China, North Korea and Eastern European nations sent citizens without political ideology is because livers and citizens who were unable to be reconstructed were the last enemy of communist governed society.
In the history, there is no such power that persecuted or suppressed people like they did. The fear of the governance is not only that they forbid them to go against the government. It is that to live as a normal liver and being “outside of the party” and away from the political authorities or ideology is being considered as “zero=invaluable”.
Communist party “suppresses” the people who do not accept the communist ideology and the people who do not live “politically”, trying to “instruct” them under the name of ideal towards conscience and revolution. In the end, they change the whole society into prison of ideology or into a barracks that allow only the communist revolutionist to survive.
The typical prison system during the Stalin’s governance still remains cruelly in our neighbouring country, North Korea. Scarier thing is that, the same structure is still kept in various left wing political parties in different forms.
They would insist that the reigns of terror were demolished in current communist party and left wing organization and so that they are anti-Stalinist. However as long as a number of members of Old Bolshevki and Trotski including Pyatakov consider party, political activities and “future with equality on communism” are more valuable than livers, people and irreplaceable lives of each people, it must lead the organization to the idea that suppress the individuals for ideology and terminate the people who do not accept the ideology as “zero”.
The boy told the truth to Gorky probably was an ignorant person who had not read a book about communism, compare to the literary giant. But at the same time he knew that the Soviet Union system was a cruel and suppressive organization against people who were not obsessed with the ideology while calling itself a demophil. Gorky, who wrote about the romanticism of a wanderer who escaped from dictatorship of the Russian Empire era and a Russian mother’s love to her family and son not related to any authorities or political ideology, chose “future of communist society” over the boy’s appeal that time and therefore he casted out the Russian people who he had extolled in his works. Gorky showed how a great writer’s spirit grows decadent when he is governed by political ideology.
I believe that the boy’s voice tortured Gorky being overlapped with characters of his works until he passed away.
(4) Vlasov Army Citizens’ Revolution Army which attempted to defeat Soviet union
One example of “The Gulag Archipelago” challenged to the taboo of modern history is that it described the tragedy of “Vlasov Army” which was consisted of the Red Army soldiers who volunteered to cooperate with German Army to fight with Soviet Union after being captured during the Eastern Frond of World War II. In Soviet Union, they were labelled as traitors and they were subjected to be executed, tortured or sent to the harshest prison. However, Solzhenitsyn, from his experience as a prisoner, determined that it was Stalin regime that betrayed Soviet Union soldiers. Soviet Union “Did not acknowledge the Russian signature on the Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War in Hague. We do not have any obligation on the treatment of the prisoners of war and we do not request any protection of our own people” (“The Gulag Archipelago”). It was based on the theory that the soldiers who became the prisoners are the traitor of Soviet Union, their motherland. Actually, the prisoners of the war from Soviet Union were sent to prisons as “political criminals” and “traitors” after the war. Solzhenitsyn was one of them.General Vlasov who was a good leader of Soviet Union Red Army and he achieved great glory by stopping German Army at major cities like Moscow and Kiev and preparing the counter attack. However Stalin ordered him to go for the Siege of Leningrad which was quixotic as the communications were not prepared for his honour. The army led by Vlasov run through in such situation but they were surrounded without any rescue forces or resupply and they were wiped out as they were ordered not to evacuate. Vlasov was tired of the combat and turned himself in.
What he saw there were the Soviet Union prisoners who were casted out by the Soviet Union, their motherland, surviving with little food given by German army and living more miserably compare to the soldiers of the allied nations though they fought for their national security. He was forced to experience which will never be understood by someone who has not experienced “sufferings from the starvation like our prisoners, eating bats flew into the prison or cooking old shoe sole to eat”. The call and recruitments to fight together with German army to release the motherland, Russia was the thing that awoke “shadow of freedom and real life” of the embattled soldiers though it was insidious.
Though Russian enlistees led by General Vlasov fought with Soviet Union were used by Nazi, they fought for Russian liberation in their spirit. Solzhenitsyn stated how brave they were not to be scared to be dead or how they wished to die rather than being captured by Soviet Union and fight until the end in his memoir of the actual combat. However, the Nazi just used them so that contradicting Vlasov’s army’s intentions, the official newspaper and the political leaflets of Germany were edited with compliments for Germany and it was not convincing for Soviet Union’s citizens. Actual leaders were dominated by Germans and Russian liberation army was never formed.
In the autumn of 1944, the Army consisted of pure Russians with Vlasov was formed finally just before the Germany surrendered. Their first and last successful action was to release Plague from German Army.
German Army was planning to destroy Plague which they had occupied before handing it to allied army. Vlasov ordered his men to side on the residents of Plague and they swept away the Germans and saved Plague from being destroyed. Different from the Stalin’s myth that Soviet Union released Plague, but it was “traitors and dogs of Nazi” who saved the beautiful city from German’s scorching tactics. On the other hand, Stalin’s army stopped near the Warsaw, the capital of Poland and casted out the residents of Warsaw who raised up against and fought with Nazi’s army of occupation. It is obvious that Vlasov army had completely different belief from Nazi or Stalin and had combats from this incident.
Vlasov’s army capitulated to allied army and tried to refuse the deportation to Soviet Union. But the allied army betrayed them as Stalin did. The British army was the obvious case and they told Vlasov army that they would supply them the new weapon to make them give up on their weapon, then they separated the generals and soldiers and deported them to Soviet Union Army. They faced the fate of being executed or sent to prisons.
It is easy for us to say “we are against all the totalism whether left or right”. However the fate of Vlasov’s army that obviously fought against Stalin’s system and protected Plague fighting with Nazi was to be deceived by democratic countries from West and deported to Soviet Union. If it was their mistake that they cooperated with Nazi, then the Stalin, who created a number of prisoners in the beginning of the Eastern Front of World War II and casted them out, has more to be blamed, yet the dictator passed away on the bed without accused by any one and the Vlasov’s soldiers died by execution or died in the political prisons.
According to Solzhenitsyn, the prisoners did not evaluated Roosevelt or Churchill high like the West people did. They were seen as silly politicians who were not able to see the distillate of Stalin and their diplomatic policies were seen as short-sighted. The prisoners thought that Eastern Europe nations being under the Soviet Union and North Korea and China became communists as a result of World War II was the proof that politics and diplomatic decision of allied nation were calculating and feeble. They could say that because they had experienced the evilness of Stalin. We have obligation as a citizen of Japan, the sovereign, to observe Japanese government not to fall into the “calculating and feeble decision” on the diplomatic issues with North Korea and China. We cannot forget that Solzhenitsyn’s accusation strongly hit the deceit of West which was in integrated and compromised relationship with Soviet Union and the same spirit is now asking us questions to us at this moment.
(5) Rejuvenation of Spirits in PrisonsIntellectuals and people who endured totalism
Chapter one and two of Part IV The Soul and Barbed Wire of “The Gulag Archipelago” are the most beautiful texts with full of spirits and it is also the parts that show the essential of Solzhenitsyn’s thoughts in purest way. He fearlessly insisted that the humanity that is destroyed outside of prison revives in the prisons even they are under severe suppression and the growth of the human’s souls was visible in the prison. As a result, he was criticised by the former prisoners from other prisons and the critics of Soviet Union system that he beautified the prison and he created a religious idea that was different from the reality. But Solzhenitsyn never gave up on his assertion that virtue that was fading away from Soviet Union society could revive only in the extreme state in the prison until his death.Solzhenitsyn points out that the number of people committed suicide was far less than he expected apart from a few exceptions and the political criminals were very conscious of their innocence and accepted their fates as “trial of the whole citizen”. “A suicide is always a bankrupt, always a human being in a blind alley, a human being who has gambled his life and lost and is without the will to continue the struggle. If these millions of helpless and pitiful vermin still did not put an end to themselves — this meant some kind of invincible feeling was alive inside them. “Some very powerful idea.” (“The Gulag Archipelago”)
Solzhenitsyn tried to account the “idea” from various points of view. The prisoners in the prison cannot survive without a strong determination of “survive”. However, when a prisoner decides not to “deceive and sacrifice others” even to “survive”, his spirit reaches the highest point.
Solzhenitsyn, of course, acknowledged how prisoners trampled down and deceived the other prisoners and he documented the examples. However, at the same time, there were more than a little people who went through the narrow gate and strengthened their spirits though they do not speak aloud.
There was Intelligentsia (religious people and scholars) group which was starving to death and torn out in one of the prisons in 1946. As the barracks were not fit out, they did not have a facility to avoid the cold weather or have enough sleep. However they were prepared for the deaths coming towards and never thought of blackmailing, deceiving or stealing for their lives, but gave lectures to each other and died giving the last lectures to each other. “Father Savely — spoke of “unshameful death,” a priest academician — about patristics, one of the Uniate fathers — about something in the area of dogmatics and canonical writings, an electrical engineer — on the principles of the energetics of the future, and a Leningrad economist — on how the effort to create principles of Soviet economics had failed for lack of new ideas”. (“The Gulag Archipelago”). The number of students reduced as the lectures went on but the lectures and exchange of opinions lasted until the end. Solzhenitsyn honoured those people as real Intelligentsias.
The word “Intelligentsia” etymologically has meaning of “superfluous”. Their research might not have been useful to the real society directly. At the same time, they had useless and to-be-terminated concept of values from Soviet Union’s authorities’ point of view and so they were sent to the prisons. The concept of values was to refuse to change their academic conscience or research object for the “future of communism”. They proved that spirits of humans who seek for verity through knowledge were eternal by accepting death in the studies.
There were also a number of people who endured the life in prisons with the spirit of “Narod” which Dostoevsky and Tolstoy loved. One old lady who was not able to read or write did not know for what crime she was put in the prison but when she was asked by a solider “What is your crime? How long are you going to be here?” she replied with a smile “I don’t know the answers for such questions. It must be written over there. I don’t remember them all.” “It’s not a matter of prison term…I will stay here until God forgives my sin”. This ignorant old lady endured the life in prison accepting all her fates and finally released. Solzhenitsyn repeatedly insisted the fact that the devotional the people did not degrade themselves.
Though a number of citizens became snitches outside of prisons but there were prisoners who overtly refused to be. Grigory Ivanovich, the geologist, who volunteered to secure his own country and captured by German Army and then sent to the prison, was ordered to be collaborator and informant repeatedly but he refused saying to the security general “I would rather hang myself if I have to do such thing”. He also chose to do the discipline labouring not changing his principles. Solzhenitsyn, probably preparing for the misunderstanding, stated his assurance as follows.
“Those people became corrupted in camp who before camp had not been enriched by any morality at all or by any spiritual upbringing. (This is not at all a theoretical matter — since during our glorious half-century millions of them grew up.) Those people became corrupted in camp who had already been corrupted out in freedom or who were ready for it.” (“The Gulag Archipelago”)
Solzhenitsyn put the root of evil of Soviet Union’s totalism on the collapse of human moral and the poverty of spirit, not on the suppression on speech of freedom or mere dictatorship on the politics. As I have mentioned on example of Solovki, Solzhenitsyn valued Russian Empire era much more than Soviet Union era. It is derived from his experience in the prison that made him realise that people’s morals and richness of the spirit rooted in the historical tradition were better kept during the Russian Empire era. He evaluated the unnamed people who endured the prison life with their religious and personal beliefs higher than the Gorky, the spiritual hero of new Soviet Union era and tried to see the spirit in Russia’s primordial spirit of people.
(6) Encountering Supremacy that is Transcend the Rational Nature of HumanThe thing found in desperation
Solzhenitsyn himself experienced awakening of his spirit. Lying down on the bed of prison hospital after the operation, Solzhenitsyn continued conversations with a doctor who converted to Christian from Jewish. The doctor was awoken as a Christian by an old prisoner with deep belief in the prison. He told Solzhenitsyn as follows.“I have become convinced that there is no punishment that comes to us in this life on earth which is undeserved. Superficially it can have nothing to do with what we are guilty of in actual fact, but if you go over your life with a fine-tooth comb and ponder it deeply, you will always be able to hunt down that transgression of yours for which you have now received this blow”. (“The Gulag Archipelago”)
The doctor was killed by someone in the prison next day. The reason is unknown. But the words of the doctor hit Solzhenitsyn’s heart as if it was a will. Then he accepted the reality that he was imprisoned and being beaten with the conviction as follows.
“And the only solution to this would be that the meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering, but . . . in the development of the soul. From that point of view our torturers have been punished most horribly of ^ all: they are turning into swine, they are departing downward from humanity. From that point of view punishment is inflicted on those whose development . . . holds out hope.” (“The Gulag Archipelago”)
It is the poem that Solzhenitsyn created in the ward thinking over and over.
When was it that I completelyScattered the good seeds, one and all?
For after all I spent my boyhood
In the bright singing of Thy temples.
Bookish subtleties sparkled brightly,Piercing my arrogant brain,
The secrets of the world were…in my grasp,
Life’s destiny…as pliable as wax.
Blood seethed—and every swirlGleamed iridescently before me,
Without a rumble the building of my faith
Quietly crumbled within my heart.
But passing here between being and nothingness,Stumbling and clutching at the edge,
I look behind me with a grateful tremor
Upon the life that I have lived.
Not with good judgment nor with desireAre its twists and turns illumined.
But with the even glow of the Higher Meaning
Which became apparent to me only later on.
And now with measuring cup returned to me,Scooping up the living water,
God of the Universe!
I believe again!
Though I renounced You, You were with me!
It is not a mere confession. Solzhenitsyn realized a thing that is over the human existence and became certain that release of any humanism, freedom and real happiness cannot be without finding a way out of the modern ideas that the world and humans are to be changed by ideas and reason, the arrogant ideology of modern ideas, Marxism-Leninism, realizing something that is over the human existence and a spirit to bow deeply to it, in the hospital in a prison, a place furthest from the hope in this world. It is a secondary role whether to call it a religion or not. He admitted that he was a cruel suppressor against others as he was a communist and successor in his youth believing he was absolutely right and it was in the prison when he collapsed and now he was aware that “it is in individual’s hearts, everyone’s hearts where the border of good and evil lies in, not in the states or class or parties”. At the same time, he stated that the border moves in individuals’ hearts in time to time and it is not to be forgotten that “though the heart is occupied by evil, there must be a space for good. Even in the good hearts, there is space for evil”. And the following is the text that touches one’s heart the most.“Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.” (“The Gulag Archipelago”)
It is the truth that Solzhenitsyn learnt from all the evil and good people in prison. Though it might be hard to agree his statements that being in the prison makes one’s spirit grow, Solzhenitsyn, the great writer was born in prison.
The part that described the rejuvenation of the human spirits and solidarity and the people stood against the huge suppression body is the “Forty Days of Kengir” in Part V. It is the protest activity which Solzhenitsyn also participated by conducting hunger strike. Former Vlasov soldier also participated to it in Kengir. Even the mobs who are generally on prison’s authorities’ side and suppress the political criminals were seen in solidarity with the political criminals. This rise of rebellion in which each people fought using own skills and male and female join the combat together was a purer rebellion of people compare to Bolsheviki revolution in a way. Though the prisoners were defeated in the end, they achieved the improvements of the treatments in many prisons. However it was not aiming to improve the treatments in the prison but it aimed for the lift of own spirits and soar for the freedom. Solzhenitsyn’s works imply that it was a combat of prisoners’ band together to revive the real friendship, trust and the fellowship that was united by courage. Kang Chol-Hwan wrote about a combat in North Korean political prison in which people fought to die in freedom in a book called “The Aquariums of Pyongyang” (Popular Publishing co., Ltd.) They won the freedom and solidarity by their death and it is our obligation to their death meaningful living in a land with freedom.
Solzhenitsyn’s accomplishment will be evaluated integratively in 21 Century. After publishing “The Gulag Archipelago”, Solzhenitsyn was banished from Soviet Union and he criticized West’s low morale, mistakes of the appeasement policy against Soviet Union and the collapse of social order and tradition. He even highly evaluated the moral of the citizen of Soviet Union. He espoused the backbones that requested the reanimation of hard-line groups such as Regan regime and Christianity tradition and he was sometimes misunderstood. He sometimes hit a false not of West’s liberalists and human rights people by strongly calling for abandonment of communism to Russia while expressing the return of the Russian tradition and Russian Orthodox church.
However it is obvious whether those political remarks are fundamental issues of Solzhenitsyn’s consecutive thoughts or not, if you read his experience in “The Gulag Archipelago”. What was most important for Solzhenitsyn was not the democratisation or improvement of human rights in Russia. It was to face against the communist totalism, the governance of face religious without god, which sacrifices the spirits and lives of individuals for the future of communism with people’s spirits with tradition and awe for the existence of supremacy that directly connects to soul and exist over humans’ rationality, theory and personal happiness.
The thought has a risk of being used by simple right wings or distorted nationalism in the real political activities. However it is certain that Solzhenitsyn’s thoughts were formed in an extreme place, Soviet Union’s prison, that contains his thoughts on what modern history of humans lost and what was waiting for in the further future, not a mere accusation of Soviet Union. We are losing something important again in 21 century with developed capitalism and global economy. Communism is fading away with the history but the mammonism, the worst materialism, seems to be spreading seeing China. Fake holy war such as terrorism and fundamentalism that denies current capitalism is covering the world. They are different from the belief that fights with the evil in humans’ hearts that Solzhenitsyn had found. As it has finished the political role of accusing the Soviet Union, The Gulag Archipelago” stands as huge ideology mountains in front of us hoping for more constitutive readers in the future.
Travel of Mind of HurricaneKotarou Miura
Using ideas as my maps“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I
The movie released on Summer 2000 in Japan starring Denzel Washington made me bring up “Desire” the music album of Bob Dylan on turntable. It is one of my favourite music albums which I bought both LP and CD but it is more suitable to listen to “Hurricane” again on LP which I bought when I was 17.With the sound of needle, the rhythm guitar starts the music. The drums support the guitar like punches of boxers, heart beats and slum of the prison gate. Violin plays dramatic melody with sorrow and anger at the same time inside and again, the drum creates violent sounds like shots in the bar at the night when the incident occurred. In great album of Dylan, all the music sounds like “voice of Dylan” but the opening of “Hurricane” is not beaten by any other song. And the singing continues.
Pistols shots ring out in the barroom nightEnter Patty Valentine from the upper hall
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood
Cries out “My God they killed them all”
Here comes the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For something that he never done
Put him in a prison cell but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.
On the night of 16 June 1966, a popular middleweight boxer, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was arrested as a suspect of the murder in La Fayette bar in Paterson, New Jersey. Though there was no evidence or cause for him to be the suspect, the state authorities who did not have good feelings against Carter, who acted aggressively against the discrimination in White society, found him guilty with testimony from unreliable witness and imprisoned him. Carter continued his protest downright and appealed his innocence with his book, “16th Round”. In 1975, celebrity led by Bob Dylan (Muhammad Ali, George Jackson, Stevie Wander and etc.) conducted rescue activities but he was again found guilty mysteriously.What saved Rubin was a thing that was like in a movie or a book. Lesra Martin, a Black boy, who was under the custody of a commune managed by a few Canadian, found out the tragedy of Rubin reading “16th Round” and wrote to Rubin in the prison electrified. Canadians supported Rubin’s lawyers to exonerate the wrongfully convicted and aimed to fight again in the court. In 1985, the case was overturned in the Federal court and Carter was freed exonerate the wrong conviction.
“The story of Hurricane” has been told as above generally and the movie basically follows the story. The book “The Hurricane” (Kadokawa Group Publishng Co,Ltd.) is written by the Canadians who supported Carter and it is a good book that detailed the relationship with Lesra, Canadians and Carter and the trial of Carter. There is no such statements of “how they fought against the authorities” as seen often in activists’ and the way they wrote the texts from objective point of view is very acceptable.
The biography of Carter, “Hurricane” by James S Hirsch published at release of the movie tells us the deeper truth of the story of Hurricane. It is not a mere tragedy of race discrimination and false accusation. It is not a story of solidarity of good Canadian and discriminated Black American. It is a tapestry of dream and nightmares of United States during the 60’s to 80’s when the modern American mental history was in tumult and at the same time a story of a man who fought with discrimination and the suppression that rooted in the activities against the discrimination.
1. Birth of HurricaneTo live outside the law、
you must be honest.
Movie “Hurricane” starts with an episode in which, Rubin is arrested by police at age of 11. Rubin stopped a white man who seems to be homosexual trying to buy a black boy but as the white man got angry and he got scuffle with the guy, he stabbed the man with his knife. He was sent to State juvenile school as the incident was considered as an assault. It seems to be quoted from “16th Round” the autobiography of Rubin. (The book published from Kadokawa Group Publishng Co,Ltd. mentioned above also quotes this part).In Hirsh’s biography, this incident is described as “when he was 14, he hanged out with three other boys … and attacked a man. The man said he was injured with a fragment of a broken bottle of soda and his 55 dollars watch was ripped off. As a result, Carter… was sent to juvenile school but he escaped in two years”. It is introduced as an example of Carter’s bad boy behaviour.
We do not want to check out which statement is correct. In the movie, the police who arrested Carter and sent him to juvenile school without listening to him from his bias against Black people and rearrested him again after Carter escaped from the juvenile school was characterized as a typical White racist. He took a role like a Javert in “Les Miserables” (or as a parody) and the part took a role of comic drama through the movie. However, in the reality, Carter’s boyhood was of a Black boy’s in an urban area as follows.
Rubin Carter was born on 6 May 1937 in Delawanna, Passaic. Carter’s family had a heroic legend that the family beat off the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) in his grandfather’s time. Though it might have been exaggerated a little, it is assumed that an incident like that was not a rare case in that time. However, Lloyd Carter, father of Rubin, was some successor among the Black society. According to Hirsh’s biography, Lloyd Carter dealt with various businesses, changed cars every 2-3 years and lived in an area together with Whites, not in a ghetto. For a Black in that time, he was not a little successor. “Carter’s will never be under welfare services”. Thus, they were a Black family who worked hard for economic independence and they had talent to do so.
At the same time, Lloyd was a strict father. He disciplined children strictly and he banned children to listen to radio, record or play cards. Children grew up in strict family tend to be quiet and obedient or rebellious (there are only difference between them: to hide the broken heart longing for love or to show it), Rubin was the latter. He took over his father’s reflexes and built (Lloyd was 180cm and well built) and he was expelled from school having fight all the time. Father seriously worried that his personality might crash with White society in the future and tried to harness Rubin but it ended up increasing his rebellious spirit. However Lloyd Carter probably knew it- that his son took over his anger, distress and rebellious spirit that he had harnessed by himself to be accepted by White society and he could not stop his son.
When Rubin Carter was 17 years old, he escaped from the juvenile school explained above and he joined army to hide himself (no one checked his identity at the army). Then he found two important things that are as valuable as his life to him. They were boxing and racism.
It is not that he had never been discriminated before that. However, it is considered that his father’s economic status and a sense of common bonds among juvenile delinquents did not let Carter feel the discrimination much. Some more, in juvenile school, the Whites and Blacks were accommodated separately and they could not feel the discrimination unless they try to have some relationship. However at an army, where it should be the fairest place, there was discrimination on meals, seats on the bus or on various side of everyday life between Black and White.
While he faced the discrimination, Carter met some people who taught him about the pride of Black. Ali Hassan Mohammed, a Sudan emigrant and a Muslim, the black solider told Carter that Black people were never inferior to White people in sport or intelligence and they could not bow down to the discrimination but to be awake. The allegorical story Hassan told is quite interesting: “What do you have to do to save a person sleeping in his house though his house is on fire? You just have to wake him up and he’ll handle it by himself”. He sent Carter to school to fix his stammering and gain basic knowledge. It is beyond one’s imagination how it could be useful for Carter. As Malcolm X changed himself in to a black revolutionist from a mere gangster in town seeing Black Muslim, Carter encountered discrimination at army and at the same time, he could gain the weapon to fight the discrimination with. It was knowledge and awareness.
Carter found boxing at army. Carter saw a solider performing exercise on a canvas and he played a match against the solider and knocked him down in the first though he had no experience in boxing. In a year after that, Carter won 51 rounds in the army matches (he scored 35 KO out of 51). At the same time, Carter learnt another thing. Among the boxing mates, there were Whites, Blacks and Hispanic from South America but they were all getting along well. When you have the same objectives and compete fairly in the equal field, you can overcome the discrimination. There was surely victory or defeat. But there was no discrimination. Carter, getting discharged in May 1956, set out to be a professional boxer.
However he could not cover up the escape from the juvenile school. He was rearrested 2 months later and he spent his time in juvenile school until May 1957. Humans do not just look forwards like in novels or in movies. Carter gave up on the dream to be a boxer and he got rearrested after repeating burgles and assaults. All the victims were said to be Blacks. But he did not forget to perform exercise until he was released in 1961. H was determined that he had nothing but boxing to survive in the society. And when Carter was stepping forward to be a professional boxer, civil-rights movement led by Reverend King was being active in southern US.
2. Flame of Ghetto and Guns of South Africa( Traveling side by side with Malcolm X)
This land is condemnedAll the way from New Orleans To Jerusalem
In 1955, Rosa Parks, who did not give seat to a White on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama was arrested. (In that time, the rear seats on the buses were reserved for Blacks. The discrimination Carter found in the army was also the division of the seats on the bus). To protest against it, people started boycotting buses led by Reverend King. In 1957, a high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, accepted a Black student but he was assaulted by White students. For the incident, the Governor Faubus stated that he would not allow Black students into the high schools and President Eisenhower protected Black students to go to school. Incident like above kept happening in southern US after that.In 1960, African nations escaped from the colonization of the West and became independent. This changed the awareness of Blacks in US. Apart from Reverend King who preached about the consolidation and friendship between Black and White with drastic non-violent attitude, there was a voice rising in Ghetto that declared war against White society. The activity that confronted the United States saying United States was an “American nightmare” which was different from the traditional American dream (which promised the equality and freedom for the persecuted people gathered in United States), Christianity and theory of non-violent of Reverend King was led by Malcolm X and Black Muslims who carried out activities as young Muslim agitators was spread widely.
Doxy of Black Muslim is heresy compare to the tradition of Islam and it can be considered as discriminative. According to it, the Blacks dominated the world in the ancient society and Whites were the inferior humans created by evil scientists. They insisted on separation and independence from White society which was different from Reverend King. They even tried to illicit union with White discriminators and KKK as they agreed that Whites and Blacks were never to get along. They denied Christianity as a religion forced to believed by Whites and they even changed their names saying the names were forced to be changed when they arrived in US as slaves into Islamic names or used a letter X instead of their names in Africa.
The claims of Muslim followed Marcus Garvey who said African Blacks should be returned to Africa in 1920s. The religion and political activities that put “desperation of Black people in US” as basic philosophy were accepted in northern urban cities rather than in southern cities with harsh discrimination. Although the Black community existed in Black churches in southern US, there were severe discrimination and that enabled Reverend King to carry on the activities, in northern US, the Black community could not carry through in Black ghetto or slam and there were killings among Blacks. The Muslims called for the reunion of Blacks and by confronting Whites completely, they were trying to be the saviour of the Black society. It is not possible to understand the growth of Muslim or the words of Malcolm X by just criticizing the inconsistency and the cult-likeness without seeing how the Muslims responded to the despair of Black society.
Carter in New Jersey was among the Blacks who were fascinated by the Muslims at that time. He had a spirit that was grown up by the arrests and imprisonments to go against the US society that never gave him chance living in Ghetto no matter what measure he had to take (Malcolm X), though he had to take a measure that was criminal. The only thing that stopped him from committing crimes in ghetto was probably the boxing and the mind of “awareness” that was given by Hassan.
Carter was not trained as a professional boxer as you can tell from his experience and therefore his boxing was not concentrating on defence or footwork like the modern style but, because it was not, he made the audience go crazy for his boxing and he became a popular boxer. As a popular middle weight boxer, he played his way to a victory. In December 1963, Carter beat Griffith, who had just changed the weight class from welterweight with KO. In December 1964, he lost against Joey Giardello, the Champion with unnatural judgement (Denzel Washington acted very well in the movie. The camera work was also marvellous). It was the best time of Carter as a boxer. At the same time, the activities of Black society were shifting from civil-rights movement to rebellion of Blacks in urban cities.
In August 1963, “The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” celebrating the 100th anniversary of emancipation of slaves was conducted with Reverend King and most of the leaders of civil-rights movements. Thought there were more than 200000 people, White and Black, gathered together was to show the spiritual peak of civil-rights movements with a song of Mahalia Jackson, the Queen of Gospel and the speck of Reverend King, Malcolm X denied the march as “activities without combat”, “circus” and “manipulated by Whites”. It was a proof that there was a difference between civil-rights activities and Blacks in ghetto, not only the conflict between King and Malcolm X.
Reverend King’s dream was still too far to come true. A Black church in Alabama was exploded in September that year. President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on 22 November 1963. Kenney had officially promised to pay efforts on the measure of civil-rights will be supported in the national congress on the meeting with Reverend King after the March. Mahalia Jackson, a devoted supporter of Kennedy talked about it on her biography. But Malcolm X said it was “Chickens coming home to roost (it was an inevitable consequence)”. He probably wanted to say that the hatred between the race brought the incident but it was misunderstood that he meant that Kennedy deserved his death. Black Muslims did not give him a chance to explain himself but gave him 90 days of gag order. From the incident, Malcolm X started to have questions of the organization and thoughts of Black Muslims.
On 2 July 1964, President Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, worked out Civil Rights Act to demolish the discrimination. Though it was supposed to be the victory of Reverend King’s long combat, the rebellions by Blacks in urban cities called “Freedom Summer” commenced this year.
As a result of a Black boy shoot to death by a police in Manhattan on 16 July, broad riots broke out. Carter answered to an interview on “Saturday Evening Post” on October as an “angry Black”.
“White policemen are occupying the Black neighbourhoods. Blacks should fight with them even if we have to risk our lives”.
“It is not true that we can win the equality soon. The society is governed by outrageous policemen and hillbilly judges”.
He also gave a sensational comment on himself before he became a boxer.
“As you put wallet in your pocked when you get up, I used to put gun in my pocket. I have shot a person”.
As a conclusive proof, they quoted his friend saying that Carter said that “Let’s get rid of them with guns” on the rebellion on July. Those comments might be terrible jokes of Carter’s. But you could not blame the American society at that time to consider him as a dangerous person. Those comments were also reflecting the Black people’s minds quite correctly.
In 1964, Malcolm X left Black Muslim as he had lots of questions about it. He went to Mecca and visited various African nations during the year. The trip released him from Black Muslim’s doxy and let him think about the brand new Black activities. He realized that Black Muslim’s doxy was completely different from traditional Islam and it was a wrong thought of racism. It was not a problem of being orthodox or unorthodox. Malcolm X realized that though the thoughts and activities of Black Muslim were useful for Blacks in urban cities, it was not good enough for universal activities but it was to whom up the conflicts between Whites and Blacks in the US.
Malcolm X tried to carry out the Black activities not as civil rights activity but as an international human rights activity in the centre of the activities.
We need to expand the civil-rights struggle to a higher level—to the level of human rights. Whenever you are in a civil-rights struggle, whether you know it or not, you are confining yourself to the jurisdiction of Uncle Sam. No one from the outside world can speak out in your behalf as long as your struggle is a civil-rights struggle. Civil rights come within the domestic affairs of this country. All of our African brothers and our Asian brothers and our Latin-American brothers cannot open their mouths and interfere in the domestic affairs of the United States. (Malcolm X Speeches)
They are the words from Malcolm X trying to link arms with American Blacks and African Blacks in the centre of the activities. You should not see Malcolm X had changed from a radical leader to a mild liberalist only from the word “human rights”. The call for Latin America and Asia is directed National Liberation Front in Vietnam and Cuba. They were searching for new activities that would surround the United States’ society by the solidarity of the third world and American Blacks. In some way, it was more dangerous for the United States than the activities of Black Muslim that inflame the Blacks in the US only.
Malcolm X also deployed the fundamental issue of American Black with “the Denied Africa” as a theme. Africa had been colonized by Whites until 1959 and the image of Africa was created by Whites, such as jungle, barbarians, cannibals and there was nothing civilized. The American Blacks were shipped to the United States by slavery ship and they were forced to see the images that make them despise and hate the homeland.
In hating Africa and in hating the Africans, we ended up hating ourselves, without even realizing it. Because you can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. (Malcolm X Speeches)
Blacks started to hate themselves by denying African things by their mind. By thinking that they were inferior, and lesser, they accepted the dominance of White. The hates for African things, underestimation and hatred for their roots were the fundamental to the depression of Blacks in the US. To get out from the depression, regenesis of Blacks in US and to win the victory over the fight with Whites, solidarity with Africa and returning to the African roots mentally are necessary. Malcolm X was probably dreaming of having a solidarity with African nations which were colonized by Whites and enslaved, Vietnam which was fighting the US at that time, China which was thought as the leader of the third world and guerrillas in Latin America. Solidarity with all the peoples experienced being colonized over the history was “International human rights activity”, which Malcolm X called.
This idea is Malcolm X’s far north idea that tried to make a fundamental antagonism by taking American racism issue with modern colonization by Whites in the whole world and cultural imperialism. Furthermore, by carrying it out with “human rights” which is created by modern White’s society, he tied it with a universal value which White cannot go against. The thought taken as “Black nationalism” at that time ties all the victims of modern European history which is taken as internationalism.
Though the idea of Malcolm’s was unique and big scale, there was a fatal demerit which can be found now. Firstly, the American Africans who had been living in US for more than 100 years and Africans cannot easily make solidarity though they are the same race and it is a different story what Malcolm X thought. Of course Malcolm did not think it was so easy and he probably stated the solidarity with the third world as the doctrine of the thought. Malcolm’s fundamental contradiction was different from this.
It was that in the third world, the essential notion of “human rights” and “democracy” was not recognized as in US at that time (and unfortunately even now). It is of course partly because of the colonization and destruction of the culture. But if you look back the history of Cuba which was a hero of third world that time, situation of Vietnam, China’s misery after the cultural revolution which Malcolm X was expecting a lot and endless civil wars between the tribes in Africa, we have to say that it was difficult to make Malcolm’s thought come true.
The idea is, of course, not meaningless or counterproductive. Malcolm X’s ideas had a lot of possibilities such as American Blacks and Africans’ international solidarity against Apartheid in South Africa and American Blacks awaken with the mental arousal of their roots. It can be the Antithesis against the US type democracy coercive and dogmatic intervention against the third world’s human rights issues and conflicts like Europe that destroyed the tribal cultures under the name of Christianity in colonial age. And the person who made it come true was Rubin Carter who, at that time, had not even touched Malcolm X’s books.
In 1965, the year Malcolm X was assassinated by Black Muslim, Carter had a match in South Africa on September. Nelson Mandela was in prison for the life sentence and Carter who did not know anything about Apartheid had to see the naked discrimination once in South Africa. Moreover, the person who guarded Carter was Steven Biko, who became a Black leader and died tragically Biko told him about the misery of the Black discrimination and also took Carter to the underground resistance organisation’s (African national Congress) secret meeting. Carter reacted quickly to this. Carter thought it was not possible to fight with South African government which did not accept the conversation or equality and try to put the Black people in ghetto with non-violence or dialogue. He won the match with KO and he received fanatic claps from Black audience. When he returned to US, he bought guns in New Jersey and New York’s black market. He asked his promoter to set up a match in South Africa and he gave the weapons to Biko.
It is pity that the episode was not shown on the movie. It might be that Denzel Washington acted as Biko in “Cry Freedom” and he thought it would not be natural if other actor act as Biko. Washington acted, Carter, Malcolm X and Biko in different movies. And those three were heading side by side to the same direction at that moment in 1960’s.
3. Incident, arrest and tragicomedy
Prayed in the ghettoWith my face in the cement
Heard the last moan of a boxer
During “Freedom Summer” in 1965 and 1966, the uprising of Blacks in urban cities did not stop. The conflict between the races was reaching the highest point. The non-violence theory of Reverend King was not accepted by the Blacks in urban cities yet the theory of Malcolm X, which focused on the duel between Black and White rather than its internationalism, was. The declaration of “Black power” of a new leader, Stokely Carmicheal. Appearance of Black Panther, the Black political party. The grievous voices that says Reverend King’s “Civil-rights activities are failing to give people to have the hope”. The campus activism started in all over the nation and it ended up with anti-Vietnam war activities. US had activities that reminded people of the night before the revolution.Carter on 14 October 1966, under such circumstance, got arrested with his friend John Artis as suspects of a murder of three Whites in Lafayette Bar happened on midnight of 16 June, 4 months before then. And “The story of Hurricane starts from here”.
It is not probably necessary to talk about the incident itself here. If you want to know about the incident, you can read “The Hurricane” from Kadokawa Group Publishng Co,Ltd or “Hurricane” from Koudansha Company, Limited. I would like to note personally that, if you see the lyrics of Hurricane of Bob Dylan and listen to the “Hurricane”, it takes only 10 minutes to understand the whole incident. It was a complete false accusation and though there was no evidence, Carter was arrested as he was seen as a dangerous Black. 2 witnesses, Alfred Bello and Arthur Bradley testified that they saw Carter and Artis at the scene. The 2 were thieves trying to get into the bar on that night and though the testimony had lots of inconsistency, Carter and Artis were found guilty by the juries who were all Whites and they were sentenced for life. They were sent to Trenton prison in 1967.
Why was such terrible false accusation conducted? The main reasons can be the followings: firstly, the discrimination in White society, the bias from the harsh race conflict and Carter himself remarked provocative words. Though I am not trying to justify the unfair treatments of the juries and the police on that time, Carter was left open to be attacked in some way.
Though he was married and had children, his life was not going properly. His best time as a boxer had been gone and he scored 7 wins and 7 loses after 1965. It was not only he lost his physical power but according to Hirsch, he was about to be an alcoholic. It is said that he stepped on the canvas with hang over status and lost the game with KO. His handler said “Carter lost the boxer life because he drank alcohol” and Carter agreed with it.
After making provocative remakes in 1964, Carter was arrested twice in 6 months. For the first time, he was released found not guilty and the second time he was ordered to pay a fine. It might have been police officers’ provocations and light charge, Carter was mentally tired with the tensions between the police and himself. Carter caused some problems at bars as well. His wife, May T Carter seemed to be a tender and loyal lady but Carter was not probably a good husband. He had a number of guns and on the night of the incident, his friend was accusing him for stealing his guns. I am not quoting those things from Hirsch to say that Carter had responsibilities for the arrests. I would like to confirm that Carter at that time had a rough life, slump in boxing, alcohol to forget those things and the challenge and conflict with the White society that were close with the situation with the Blacks in urban cities. Considering those, I would like to see how he will stand up mentally and show his strength after being arrested and being in a condition a human can go worse situation.
Carter was told to wear prisoners’ uniforms at the time of his imprisonment. At that time, Carter made up his mind. “Yeah, I should ignore the prison itself. Why do I have to be a good prisoner though I did not do anything wrong? It is wrong from the beginning!” Carter refused to change into prisoners’ uniforms and endured being in hole and he lost his right eye sight because of ablation retinae and maltreatment. The shock of having giving up on being a professional boxer meant a lot to him but he appealed the false accusation by writing his biography and called for the retrial and decided to put all his energy on wining the innocence. Though the enemy was huge, as a fighter, he could not run away from it.
The situation was getting worse outside the prison, too. In 1967, there were large riots in New York and Detroit. Huey Newton, the head of Black Panther was arrested after the shooting with police in Auckland and he gathered a lot of support as a martyr and the number of people joining the party increased. FBI affirmed that “Black Panther Party was the largest terror against the security of United States”.
In 1968, Reverend King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. In 1969, the campus activities became more radical and there were White groups like Weathermans’ which insisted on guerrilla attacks in cites together with Blacks. At the same time, FBI attacked Panther Party and there were shootings in Panther headquarters in various areas. On the other hand, the revolution of culture was conducted by Hippies and 1960’s ended in chaos.
However in the beginning of 1970’s, the limit of the activities of 1960’s was seen. White radicals, Weathermans went underground and concentrated on bomb battle and they were parted not only from the crowds or students but also from the Blacks. Black Panther Party also broke up in 1971 after having number of conflicts with policemen. The group with Huey Newton insisted on worshipping Mao Zedong and going together with crowds while the group of theoretical leader, Eldridge Cleaver insisted on guerrilla fights in the urban cities, the Panther party lost their energy in the wasting civil fights after that. Anti-Vietnam war activities were soothed with the Nickson’s Vietnam peace agreement. Hippie activities created massacre groups like Manson family and they went into the chaos having injured and deaths on Altamont Rock Festival which was supposed to be the peaceful music festival.
I wonder if the leaders after Reverend King and Malcolm X could overcome the theory and activities that Reverend King and Malcolm X created only considering about the Black activities. We know that the uprising and baffle of the activities in 1960 to 1970’s were affecting the current politics and thoughts as well as the new right wing activities that happened at the same time in many countries including Japan.
Breaking up of the Black Panther was not caused by problems of the armed battle or following the crowds. The attitude of Newton who insisted on the better life for the Black crowds was lapped over with the reconstruction of Black community and independence for the Blacks of Black Muslim. And the Newton’s worship of China was a lack of knowledge of China after the Cultural Revolution (Newton visited China but he just ended up with worshipping Mao Zedong), and ended up with worshiping Mao Zedong-ism (though I think there are not many people who can accuse Newton with this matter in Japan). Newton had anger against the poverty in ghetto and love for the Blacks suffering in poverty but he did not have something that transcended Malcolm in Muslim era in the thoughts. Cleaver visited Cuba and Africa and tried to find solidarity with the third world as Malcolm X had thought about, yet he could not bridge the rift between the American Blacks and third world. And he could not find a way but self-abandoned and radical way. Cleaver stated his turnabout in 1975 and criticized the counterfeit virtue of the third world such as Cuba and China and himself for the false in theory of American Black activities. In 1980, he stated that he supported United States’ government fully. The activities were moving to another dimension from 1960’s as civil rights were confirmed, policies that ensured the employment of Blacks and protection called Affirmative Action and a Black politician elected though the Black problems were not completely solved.
In 1970’s, when the achievements and collapse, improvement and new contradiction were mixed up in chaos, Carter’s battle in the prison continued. His enemy was clearer than ever. The wall he had to break down was just in front of him.
In 1971, there was an incident that Black prisoners took prison officers as hostages and locked themselves in the Attica prison. It was an uprising against the horrific environment. This miserable incident ended up with 43 deaths and it affected prisons in different places. Carter, at that time, was in Rahway state prison and there was a riot by prisons following the Attica. Carter might have been joined them 4-5 years before that time. But he had become the one to suppress the riots on contrary to people’s prediction. He saved a prison officer from lynch, preached the prisoners to stop the riots that just create the sacrifice and he made some of them return back to the normal status. Of course, it was not that Carter sided on prison or discipline. He never changed his denial attitude against the rule of the prisons. He knew that anger and desperation of the ghetto would not be able to change the reality. He criticised “Pro-Mao Zedong” provoking the riots easily as follows.
“I dislike the fellows who think they are half revolutionist fighters. Without thinking that they are in prison and try to be revolutionists and they don’t want to be guys but men. Though they don’t know how to be. They will come back to prisons again after gaining drugs on their release and they think they can the bosses. You know what kind of family they are from”.
Carter also told the prisoners that “it is completely wrong to leave your gender at the entranced of the prison and pick it up and get it back when you leave the prison.” He tried to make the prisoners to keep their self-dignity, requested for the improvement in the treatment in the prison with patience and he gained some achievements (including increasing the number of medical staff, upgrading the café terrace and installation of public phones). It is an episode that shows us the growth of Carter’s human nature in the prison.
The riot incident caused a new scene. Richard Solomon, a young graduate from movie academy hoping to be a producer met Carter as he was interviewing the prisoners on the incident and he made an offer of a production of writing biography, making movie and carrying out supporting him to get out from the prison. Linda Yablonsky, the female editor joined the team for the biography “16th Round”. Moving a prison to other prisons, Carter typed his biography and protected it from the prison officers.
In 1947, biography “16th Round” was published. An editorial insisting on having Carter’s trial again was published on New York Times. Furthermore, Solomon contacted George Lois, an advertiser who designed the cover of Esquire in 1960’s to support saving Carter’s programme. Lois, who had effect on the left wing liberal politicians and cultural figures by making covers with anti-Vietnam war messages immediately appealed to people that Carter was the martyr of the race discrimination.
In middle of 1970’s, the civil rights activities and Black activities were simmered down as if those issues were solved as I have mentioned above. The activists felt emotional failure, the United States had lost authorities on Watergate Incident and the psychological scar of the Vietnam War was affecting the mentality of whole the US. For Lois’ eyes, saving Carter programme looked like a suitable theme to get rid of the dull mental status of the nation. If I was to speak out without a fear of being mistaken, Lois meditated the reanimation of the civil rights activities and Black activities in 1960’s. Lois and Solomon created save Carter T-shirt and leaflets and threw them while talking to various cultural figures, writers, musicians, politicians and actors. Those who decided to support Carter were, Jessie Jackson, Norman mailer, Allen Ginsberg, Harry Belafonte, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Stevie Wonder and Don King. Bob Dylan, who was as influential as Beatles in 1960’s released “Hurricane” single version, and it was one of the best thing that had ever had happened in the matter. Dylan met Carter at prison with Solomon’s help.
The encounter between Carter and Dylan was different from the Carter’s encounter with anyone else, it is said. The other supporters talked about the innocence of Carter and the necessary justice for that but Dylan tried to touch Carter’s humanism in deep inside his heart in a little conversation they had. Dylan knew from his experience that the “activity” is easy to lose the individuality and the expressions cannot be a political propaganda but something that comes out from a person to another person.
The reason why “Hurricane” became a masterpiece was because Carter’s humanity, which he did not even recognize at that time, was written in the lyric.
Rubin could take a man out with just one punchBut he never did like to talk about it all that much
It’s my work he’d say and I do it for pay
And when it’s over I’d just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along a trail
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.
Dylan surely sang Rubin’s acute fighting style and the thing that was in the anger against the society. If it was not written, “Hurricane” could have ended as just a great protest song (accusation song). Because the loneliness, broken heart and heart that searches for the consolation of Carter was written, it makes listeners think how abject the failed accusation was and how it destroys a person’s mind. The nuance of the voice of Dylan when he sang “It’s My Work, He’d Say, Do It For Pay” told the broken heart of Carter’s and his half of life that could not be connected with society without fighting.Saving Carter programme reached the climax at 8 December 1975 on “Hurricane Night” in Madison Square Garden. Mohammed Ali, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wander, Roberta Flack, Joan Baez and others stood on the stage and the call “Free Hurricane” moved the hall. On March 1976, New Jersey High Court turned indictment of John Artis’, who was also inside the prison together with Carter, down. The testimonies and evidences were not enough and it was said that the testimonies had high possibilities of being derived by police from the leading questions and deals. It seemed to be there were a few steps more till Carter and Artis are put on trials again and found innocent.
However things were turned over at this time. Carter, who was released from the prison temporarily, was accused by Caroline Kelly who was a Carter’s supporter and also Black that he beat her. After the investigation, he was not accused as there was not enough evidence and he did not have to return to prison but the image that Carter was a barbarian who beat a Black female was a off the scale damage.
Kelly and Carter were in relationship and the trouble was said to be created by Kelly (yet, it is said to be it is true that Carter became a bit violent on their fights). However this incident let a number of supporters leave Carter. Then there came a lot of troubles like the conflicts between White and Black supporters and the Madison’s event had been indicated that it had too much amount of money that was not classified in accounting. Lois and Solomon had conflict with Carter and the programme backed down quickly.
On the trial, the cause of murder was highlighted on the conflict between the Black and White at that time and the police said that Carter and Artis caused the incident as revenge against White. On either side, there was no evidence and the randomness of the testimonies became clear but because of the Kelly‘s problem and Carter’s instigative words against Whites before the incident led the trial to the worse. He was found guilty again and Carter and Artis went back to prison. A place where only the depression awaits.
But miracle happened then.
4. 2 Miracles, Release of the Spirit and Proof of Innocence
Now God stings youAnd you are to be changed
The readers must be braced up not that Carter’s mentality will be destroyed and see “a person becomes a rat in the prison”. He was charged guilty wrongly again in the trial and the supporters left him saying he is a lady beater. He divorced with his wife, May when he went back to prison (May still loved Carter but he could not tie her up to him any longer feeling guilty). But it is still to come that Carter really “awake” and miracle happens.Words of Carter at the time show the element of prison and it also shows his hurt mentality. “Prisoners must kill themselves, basically”.
However with the danger of the mentality, Carter had a religious experience. When he was having a walk in a garden, he realized that there was sunlight through the hole on the wall as he was looking at the wall with wire fence. It looked like getting bigger.
“I decided to find the hole on the wall again. And I would go through it next time. Even if the hole melts all my body, even if I will go to another dimension or even if it meant death while I go through it”.
This experience was not a mere longing for the freedom but more like spiritual experience. Carter asked a few left supporters to give him books. They were not about trials and incidents but religion, philosophy, history and anything that could strengthen his mentality. “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl, Siddartha by Herman Hesse, MalcolmX’s biography, books of Crishnamuti, who talked about the fundamental freedom, Nelson Mandela, Reverend King and other books on Black issues. Classical philosophy books like Plato’s. And the book Carter was most trilled was the book which was written by Pyotr Ouspensky, the escotericist of Russia in early this century. It was “In Search of Miraculous” which wrote about the dialogues with Gurdjieff.
Gurdjieff is an escotericist whose books were read among the Hippie activities in 1960’s. I will not talk about his difficult esotericism here but I think I understand why Carter was touched by the book. I will quote the parts that could have affected Carter’s spirits on that time.
“Then one must learn to speak the truth. This also appears strange to you. You do not realize that one has to learn to speak the truth. It seems to you that it is enough to wish or to decide to do so. And I tell you that people comparatively rarely tell a deliberate lie. In most cases they think they speak the truth. And yet they lie all the time, both when they wish to lie and when they wish to speak the truth. They lie all the time, both to themselves and to others. Therefore nobody ever understands either himself or anyone else. Think—could there be such discord, such deep misunderstanding, and such hatred towards the views and opinions of others, if people were able to understand one another? But they cannot understand because they cannot help lying. To speak the truth is the most difficult thing in the world; and one must study a great deal and for a long time in order to be able to speak the truth. The wish alone is not enough. To speak the truth one must know what the truth is and what a lie is, and first of all in oneself. And this nobody wants to know.” (Words of Gurdjieff “In Search on Miraculous”)
“Nobody ever does anything deliberately in the interests of evil, for the sake of evil. Everybody acts in the interests of good, as he understands it. But everybody understands it in a different way. Consequently men drown, slay and kill one another in the interests of good.” (Words of Gurdjieff “In Search on Miraculous”)
I suppose those words brought Carter to say the following forgiving for the unjust on his own trial, people made fake testimonies.
“They might not be evil. Maybe they did what they had to do to make me follow the fate that I should follow and the person I should be”.
How did it touch following Gurdjieff’s words in Carter’s hearts in prison?
“Freedom, liberation, this must be the aim of man. To become free, to be liberated from slavery: this is what a man ought to strive for when he becomes even a little conscious of his position. There is nothing else for him, and nothing else is possible so long as he remains a slave both inwardly and outwardly. But he cannot cease to be a slave outwardly while he remains a slave inwardly. Therefore in order to become free, man must gain inner freedom.” (Words of Gurdjieff “In Search on Miraculous”)
“The first reason for man’s inner slavery is his ignorance, and above all, his ignorance of himself. Without self-knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave, and the plaything of the forces acting upon him.
“This is why in all ancient teachings the first demand at the beginning of the way to liberation was: ‘Know thyself.’ (Words of Gurdjieff “In Search on Miraculous”)
In 1980, Carter wrote on a letter as follows and it is under influence of Gurdjieff here, too.
“We can change things. But not in a normal way. He can change things by understanding who we are.”
Carter’s spirit was overcoming the prison. Not only the prison had he stayed. But the wall that had covered his spirit.
At that time, he received support from outside.
The encounter of 3 Canadian communes and Lesra Martin, a Black boy from Harlem, and the relationship between them after Lesra gained the second hand book, “16th Round” was exactly a miracle. Three Canadians, Laurie Sinclair, Lisa Peters and Sean Cunningham were typical Hippies. They went against Vietnam War, supported people refused compulsory service and dropped out from the society going against their parents aged people. They travelled around the world, criticised the evaluation of old United States and refused the family system and so they were living together with others in a society called “commune”. There were a number of those young people but most of them faced financial difficulty and the society collapsed with their own egos. The commune that the three belonged to seemed to be one of them but they were different from the others as they succeeded to have financial resources and as Lisa was a Charismatic female leader who had unmovable authorities, the commune was operated until in 1980’s.
Lisa had strong belief and leadership. She did not put make up on and used rough words and it was difficult to see feminism in herself but she was able to find out the speaker’s pain inside (those who would join this kind of commune should have a few) and she could heal it by listening to it. It was a product of Lisa’s maternal expansivity and the commune would not have been able to band together without it.
They met a fifteen-year old Black boy, Lesra Martin in a ghetto of Brooklyn in 1979. Lesra was a part-time worker at the laboratory where the three visited on business. They found out that Lesra was a smart child. As they went towards the ghetto to send him home, they were faced to see the reality of the poor Blacks who seem to be only interested in violence, poverty, crimes, drugs and alcohols.
Lisa and her fellows decided to help Lesra from the hopeless town and educate him in Canada. After persuading his parents, they took the custody of Lesra. The “good intention” that Americans show sometimes bears us down. It can be a counterfeit virtue that the White trying save the “poor Black boy” but there is a real power which is absolute “good intention” and it changes the reality.
The thing that was great about what Lisa and her fellows did was that they did not simply take the custody of Lesra but set a clear objection that they will send him to Toronto University in the future. It can be thought as snob elitism if I compromise a bit. However protecting Lesra as a proof of their good will without setting the future objective and be irresponsible for his future is same as keeping him as a pet. The objective or aim is higher the better. It will be an advantage in the society if you are well educated with knowledge and this smart Black boy can handle it. It can be seen from their thoughts above that Lisa and fellows had overcome mere anti-system theories or bias against the current economical and everyday problems (That is why their commune could earn some money and be economically independent). Lesra was given not only their love but also an ambition and a proper way that he should follow.
However Lesra at that time could barely read. They needed him to learn the grammar and writings as well as reading. The book which was gained at second hand book market in 1980 was Carter’s “16th Round” which was forgotten by people that made Lesra and members of the commune fired.
They contacted the New Jersey state to find out what has happened to Carter. They decided to help him out finding out that he was again found guilty and still insisting on his innocence in the prison. Lesra wrote to Carter in prison and Carter replied him with emotion and met Lesra and the Canadians in prison. After this meeting, the Canadian commune supported Carter to arrange the complicated trial documents, point out the dubious points in the testimonies and point out the problems in the trials (If you have read the trial documents even once, you should know how troublesome it is and how much patience, carefulness and will you need to do it). Carter needed those people who would do this kind of administration work with full strength without payment to win the victory in the trial. Saving Carter programme in 1970’s was lacking those. Carter and his lawyers got cheered by them and in 1985, they had three trials again and Carter won the freedom, finally.
I am not going to write about this touching story. “The Hurricane” (Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Co., Ltd.) which was written by one of the commune member has the most detail of the trials and it explains well. But what I would like to mention about here now is about the relationship of Carter, Lisa and her fellows, what Carter was given and what he has lost. There is a hidden story of Hurricane which was not written until Hirsh’s book was published.
5. A man keeps standing on canvas alone
Any day now, any day now,I shall be released.
Carter continued refusing the treatment as a “prisoner” that time. He did not go against the prison rules but ignored them and he ordered tinned food and had them heating up on electronic oven. Apart from reading, he had a life of self-denial and he refused all the things like TV, radio and porn materials that other prisoners asked people outside to bring in. He was proud of training himself. But Lisa thought he was putting himself in the deeper prison. She teased him saying he was too serious and told him to release himself instead of denying laugh and joy but keep studying. She also sent him food, cakes, beautiful pictures and clothes. She even sent him a birthday present. Carter said “It is like a guy who cannot afford more than 10 dollars rent buying 12,000 dollars motorbike” and he refused it but she persuaded him and sent him a TV. It is same as being imprisoned if you endure life like that. Carter finally accepted TV. “You guys are really bad people! My defences are down now”. Carter asked them send the TV to 79 years elderly in the same cell and he enjoyed seeing the elderly happy. Then he accepted the old TV the elderly had. Carter’s heart that was trained in loneliness was now harmonized with the kindness like this by communicating with Lisa and the fellows.There is a story about Milarepa, the Tibetan yogi. He continued his ascetic training and studies in a cave alone but he could not gain a complete enlightenment. However after having meals from the nether world which his sister got worried and brought, he got a little bit sick as the food was too nutritious. He continued the training and studies and achieved enlightenment. It is said he told people that the yogis can gain the enlightenment not only with lonely training but also with the kindness and help of the nether world. Carter’s readings and mental trainings were brought up to higher level with the support from outside.
Lisa and Carter fell in love at speed. A martyr never giving up fighter and a mental brace member and leader of the commune were attracted to each other. The friendship between Lesra and Carter was described beautifully in the movie but the relationship between Carter and Lisa affected Carter more. Lisa had also changed. She started to put make up on and she visited him from Canada. They talked on the phone for hours.
Lisa was probably the first person who criticised Carter in face. Lisa pointed out that Carter had his faults in the wrong sentencing and he had to search his conscience on the rough life , words and evil things he had done (probably with some dirty words). They argued many times. Seeing Lisa made Cater learn for the first time to treat females equally and respect the person.
“I finally realized that it is not that man dominate woman or woman manipulates man, but they exist equally.”
However they had many conflictions. Carter once told her to keep away from him. As they were equal and had strong beliefs, they could not step back for each other and for an independent person like Carter, it was difficult to accept a life in a commune. Lisa, the almighty leader of the commune was not used to the idea of being criticised or having arguments. But Carter sent her a ring that he always had in the prison and they became together. On the other hand, Lesra entered University of Toronto in 1983.
The lawyers of Carter’s were liberals who were in civil rights activities and went against the racism. It seemed like Hippies, liberal Whites and the Black, the victim of the racism united together as it was thought as ideal in 1960’s. They had nothing to do with the guilt of Whites against Blacks or the Black’s hates or sense of victimization against Whites. They used all of their knowledge and legal procedure to clear the reality, exonerate the wrong conviction and prove it within the law. It is not to criticise the US law but to bring out the reality in the legal system.
Carter finally gained victory at the Federal court in 1985. The Judge Lee Sarokin who was in charge of the trial was known as a liberalist who was against racism though he was not involved in the civil rights activities much. Sarokin’s comment on the claim of the prosecutor that the incident was a revenge caused by the racial conflicts and Carter had hates against Whites was high toned and distinguished.
“To appeal the feelings of racism and to found him (Carter) guilty on top of hiding the important evidence was a felony. It is similar to a pleader was tried and being brought charge.”
“It is lacking in tact if we do not admit that we have bias, jaundice and fear. However to allow such elements to charge and let the charge be on top of it is to trampling down the basic rights that are assured by the constitution.”
Carter’s comments in 1988 when re-prosecution was not possible were also great.
“The greatest enemies of the justice are the inertia, the status quo and the attitude not to make waves.”
“The questions I have been asked and I will be asked numerous times is “Rubin, do you hold it against people?” It is easy to hold it against people as I’ve lost the most fruitful time of life from 29 to 50. But it’s not my style to choose the easier way to hold it against. I have learnt in my life that resentful feelings destroy the person who has it. Occupying my life with the resentful feelings is nothing but giving more than 22 years to those people who put me in prison.”
Carter finally became free. But it did not mean that he was released from the chain on his feet.
It could be said that it was the liberalism of US in 1960’s that saved Carter. But the US in 1980’s which released Carter had criticism on affirmative action which was conducted to improve the status of Blacks on the civil rights established in 1960’s saying that it brings reverse discriminations in various areas.
Affirmative action is a system that was created from the point of view that it is not fair to Blacks who had not been given the fair chance being discriminated. It was also pointed out that the rule of the competition is following the White’s concept of values and more advantageous for the Whites. Then the companies and governmental offices were obligated to employ a certain number of Blacks according to the population ratio. It was set up by the government policy that without making an institution that gave opportunity of actual employment and education learning from the tragedy of 1960’s that did not give hopes to Blacks in ghetto, the poverty problem would not be solved.
President Johnson explained the system with characteristic way of talk. “You cannot believe that it is fair to release people who were chained for long time and make them stand at scratch line and say “now compete as you like.” It was an allegorical story and the system seemed to be validity.
Employment of Blacks was improved drastically in 1970’s. However, once they started to apply it to the employment of teachers and admission examinations, various things that were considered to be “reverse discriminations”. I do not have the competence to explain how the racial issues in US , affirmative action achieve effects or have harmful effects but I can easily imagine the concerns of it causing bad effect on Black’s minds despite of its merits and demand. Shelby Steele, a intercultural figure ,who criticises affirmative action from Black’s point of view insist that affirmative action gives Blacks inferior complex resulting degrading Blacks’ minds by making them try to use discrimination experiences and victims grounds to gain rights. She also states that it does not bring the real educational chances or the improvement of living levels. Steele criticises affirmative action as it avoids the Blacks to be really independent but causes the idea that Blacks are the victims and therefore they are protected by Whites so that “Whites must accept all the Blacks’ problems” and “Whites are responsible for Blacks”.
Steele has a basic question on President Johnson’s remarks above.
“In this speech, Whites are called “gentlemen” and Blacks are called “people with chain”. Blacks are the second fiddles who passively to what Whites do.”
(Shelby Steele, White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era)
Blacks as subsidiary existence being supported by Whites. Blacks being under protection of Whites and requesting for courtesy as they were victimised before. Criticism of Steele is not only directing to affirmative action only but it is hitting the primordial of new psychological subordinate relation between Blacks and White liberals after the civil rights were established.
Carter himself had this kind of subordinate relations with Canadians, especially with Lisa. He realised that he did not have love and affection for her like when he was in the prison but, in reality he was dependent on Lisa and the commune on his living. He could not betray them as they supported him devotedly and paid for the trial fee and everything. The harsh words that made Carter realise his defects sounded like noisy jealous words now. It was not because Carter was ingratitude but the commune he lived after leaving prison tied his freedom down too much. Racists imprisoned him just like that. But Lisa’s commune was also suppressive.
Lesra left the commune before Carter did. Though the love relationship was only allowed within the commune, Lesra found a girlfriend at Toronto University and he broke up with a girlfriend from the commune. Lisa got upset with Lesra’s action and told him to leave the commune. Lesra had other problems in the commune at that time. There is nothing more uncomfortable than living with your protector who helped you out. Lesra probably wanted to be independent.
Carter’s life in commune did not last either. Carter could not stand number of restriction of the commune and he had confliction with Lisa a number of times. Though Carter left the commune temporarily, he appreciated the Canadians and felt timid against them. Carter did not have estate, home or any social security and all he could rely on was still the commune only. In 1989, Carter came to a settlement with Lisa and he married Lisa just in form. They did so to get Carter a Permanent Resident visa in Canada but there was another reason. They were to publish “Lesra and Hurricane” a documentary that told a story of Lesra and Carter’s encounter and the victory in the trial. It was embarrassing to publish such touching book if Carter had conflict with the commune while Lesra left the commune. Carter had distance with Lisa and people were leaving the commune as it was dictated by Lisa alone, yet they had to show people that they were good in relationship.
It forced both Carter and the commune to play their roles. The book was published in 1991 and it came to an issue and at the same time, Carter was put under control of commune. He was not allowed to see people without permission from commune and he had to contact the commune by phone hour by hour when he gave lectures by himself. When Carter made a phone call, often a commune member was beside him checking the conversation. He started drinking a lot when he was not around commune member and it might be because of a mental disorder (drinking was kind of prohibited within the commune). The relationship of Carter and the Canadians were told as a beautiful relationship between the racism martyr and the White liberals who helped him out or liberal Whites and protesting Blacks being together that looked so common.
It was the one of the worst affirmative action which made Carter lose the freedom of mind to gain the economical protection, honour as a martyr of society and sympathy as a victim of racism. Carter could not live in this kind of prison of hypocrisy that showed the good conscience and justice.
Carter gained honoured belt from WBC (World Boxing Council) on December 1993. But even on this ceremony, he was hanged around by Lisa and her fellows and he was not able to talk to anyone alone. His friend told him that it was like living inside the prison again though he was obliged to them and he decided what to do.
Carter broke away from Lisa and Canadian commune saying “Though I love you, I can’t live with you any more”. He needed huge courage to do it. Carter thanked Lisa and her fellows and he never criticised them in public. Their limitless good conscience helped Black boy Lesra who could have been a criminal from a ghetto and get him graduated the university. They proved Carter’s innocence with dedicated efforts and helped him out from prison. But, in real means, they might have not seen Black as equal friends. For them, Blacks were pitiful people who were supposed to be saved and protected by them.
Carter and Lisa had got over this relationship between them deep inside their hearts. Otherwise they would not have love relationship or rich mental interchange when Carter was in prison. However, they could not deepen their love and relationship within the commune. It is because commune has one side that requires an individual to be immersed into it. It cannot be more than a prison when you think the commune is more important thing to follow than the mentality of Carter himself, Lisa himself or Lesra himself. Hippie activities required freedom and denied all the bondage. But if they were to require the real freedom, they could not be blind about the danger of the commune of Hippies bring the bondage. Probably, Lisa, the person who could have been one of the greatest leaders of Hippies in 1960, herself did not recognize it well enough.
Carter explained why he was not able to stay at the commune in precise later on.
“They solidified the internal unity by relying on that house (commune). I could not push myself to that extent in which I was as helpless as a new-born baby.”
Carter had mental disorder once after leaving the commune. Though he did not have freedom but he had some stability in his life under the commune’s protection but now he had parted with his partner and people who helped him out and he had lost the guardian of his livings. He became alcoholic again and his friends forced him to be hospitalized. He bounced back from the situation and he stared to give advice to the suffering people in prison, cheered up the people who might be accused falsely and gave lectures at universities and federal legislatures.
Carter met Lesra who was a prosecutor at dinner party of Jewish Community centre in Vancouver in 1999. They had seen each other after leaving the commune and though they sometimes had conflicts, they hugged each other tightly this time. Lesra honoured Carter for fighting for freedom as he always fought on the canvas and talked about that it was Carter who guided him and what one can reach once given an opportunity and support and that he was the living witness in his touching speech. Carter’s reply for it was witty.
“It is my first time to be treated so nicely by a prosecutor”.
Carter surly had kept fighting. He fought with suppression of his father’s in his boyhood. He fought with discriminating society in his youth. He formed a united front with South African Black as an angry young man from ghetto. He had fought with his mentality as well as the injustice trial and authorities after he was imprisoned falsely. Though he had ideal supporters in the fight, he chose freedom over the supporters when they tried to govern his spirit, and it was probably the hardest fight he ever had.
The combat of Carter overlaps with the modern history of American Blacks in 1960-1980’s. We know the tragedy of unruhen of Los Angeles. It might be wrong to see the bright side of modern racial conflict of US or situation of the Blacks as the poverty of Black in urban cities are getting serious, Farrakhan, the leader of Black Muslim which is said to be connected with the assassination of Malcolm, is being more powerful and Farrakhan’s speech contains dangerous thoughts of anti-Jewish.
However the victory of Carter’s tells us the direction of how all the Blacks and we, all the humans should fight with the thing that suppresses the freedom. Shelby Steele has stated that the most important thing to make the Black’s life better is not to “cover oneself in the race” and complain about the slavery and the discrimination that they had to endure in the past in US but to be responsible for their lives as individuals and fight with the discrimination and the contradiction of the society as a faithful protestor.
“The responsibility of individual is the basic of power and root. Responsible people know that the quality of live will be determined by how you live. The fate sometimes can be changed by efforts and sometimes cannot be changed by efforts. But, anyway, the efforts change the quality of life. People gain power only when they accept the correlation of the happiness and actions as above. People understand the choice of life when they understand the point and realise that they have to be responsible for their own lives. Then people feel the existence of themselves in this world by stopping imagining and repeat choosing and acting to create themselves.
What Steele says is not an anthem for the American dream that makes the dream come true by making efforts. It is stating the meaning of one fighting as an individual. “Do not stay in the race”, “Do not use the part as a victim or a history” are not cloying to Whites. It is a protest to the good will discrimination that sees the Black as people to be protected and sympathised and the refusal of Blacks to be degraded under that kind of protection and spoiled mentally.
What Reverend King, Malcolm X, Gurdieff and Steele said is assent at the fundament though the words and their parts are different. It is to “be free”, be free from the prison that locks oneself up and an individual must fight alone in the end. Carter, who refused all the prisons and stood on the canvas being alone, released his spirit from all the suppression. (end)