Letters

Scott D. Peters

Dear UTA

To begin, I want to thank you for sending me “Number Nineteen” of Upping the Anti. I have read it cover-to-cover, and it opened an entirely new world (Canada) to me and enabled me to gain a different perspective on our shared struggle.

I am a member in good standing of the iww (via the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee of Oakland) and I consider myself an ultra-Left classic Marxist. Mostly I write essays, on both theory and practice, and make it a point to stress the importance of being educated. I attempt to introduce those who are new to the fold, to the writings of Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Antonio Gramsci, the Frankfurt school (Marcuse, Adorno, etc.) and of course the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Mao. I believe that only with a sound foundation in classic Marxism can one move forward and incorporate the ideology of the 19th century, with the complexities of the 21st.

I have been in prison in California for almost 34 years. I have yet to find a good paying job as a Marxist, so I basically have no income, which is why your book is all the more appreciated.
Despite the general dislike of “all things Trump,” I admit he is possibly the only political figure that will unite us all: socialists, communists, Black Lives Matter activists, anarchists, Marxists, Maoists. It is essential for us to set aside the small details that separate our movements, and instead focus on our common goal: a free, equal and fair society. I must say that from my viewpoint, Canada has quite a lead on the us in many areas (I admit that I am a little pro-Canada, for quite trivial reasons: the country produced Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Gordon Lightfoot!).

From time-to-time I will sell some of my writings, and when that happens I would like to purchase some back issues of uta. I receive many zines (gratis) but your book reached a level of quality and professionalism I really appreciated.

If there is anyone “up there” who has any questions about the us and/or the California prison system, I would be more than happy to share what knowledge and wisdom I have acquired over three decades. If there is one silver lining, it is that I have had the time to read all of Marx, Proust, Lenin, Tolstoy, Dickens, Joyce, Hugo, Sartre, Camus, Sontag, and-on-and-on-and-on.

Well, thank you again. It goes without saying that I admire your work, and appreciate the time, effort, and thought that goes into producing such a quality book. It is always a noble act to further the cause.

In solidarity,
Scott D. Peters
California Correctional Institution