Phyllis Chaikin on Revolutionary Suicide

Dad – Last night I wrestled with views presented at the meeting. I keep coming back to the view that revolutionary suicide is the only solution we have. If the young men in the GDF fight because they are told or believe we are a threat to their nation’s economic and political survival, their suppliers give them unlimited directions and supplies because they are fascists. I don’t see we will survive continuous skirmishes with the continually dwindling force and arsenal. I see bravado behind many that are for fighting that if we warred hard enough we could protect you and the integrity of the group. I disagree – either choice the leader, the group would not survive – our enemies power and resources are astronomical powers are limited. The thing that disturbs me most about a fighting war is our lack of control of the consequences. The very people who resist revolutionary suicide because they want to save their asses would make excellent captives for the enemy – saying anything they (illegible) to under the illusion that they would be protected. Many of us would have to be tortured but I worry we would break down. We are not familiar with the life of physical suffering as the brave peasants of China, Viet Nam, and Russia. Ultimately I trust only you. The enemy is clever and that which would be fetched from our mouths would be calculated to harm the worldwide struggle of brave people. We in a fighting war would not have control of which of us and how many of us would be taken in as captives. Though the strongest might kill themselves before being taken. The weakest – no matter what they might say in public meetings – would not kill themselves and would be the first to talk. The problem of parilyzed [paralyzed] and maimed survivors was not solved to my satisfaction. If we don’t have a solution to being sure we are not leaving half alive children when the enemy is not breathing down are [our] back, we surely run more of a risk when the enemy is.

My proposal is the following – As it appears we will have to take the ultimate step, we prepare the people by reading the words of strong, assertive revolutionaries of the past who took this choice over the PA system. One aspect of the resistance is its unfamiliarity, particularly with leaders are people look up to. Their [There] should also be discussion of this tactic in the school and socialist classes. When the time comes that all our alternatives have been used up we will meet as a group in the pavilion surrounded with highly trusted security with guns. Names will be called off randomly. People will be escorted to a place of dying by a strong personality Joyce Touchette, Jan Woolsey [Wilsey], Sharon Amos, Carolyn Layton, Maria Katsaris, Paula Adams come to my mind who is loving, supported, but not sympathetic. They (victim/escort) are accompanied by two strong security men with guns. (I don’t trust people to arrange their own death any more than I trust someone to put himself on Learning Crew for 2 weeks, but both can be arranged by outside pressure and no alternatives left open.) At the place of dying they are shot in the head and if Larry does not believe they are definitely dead their throat was slit with a scalpel. I would be willing to help here if it’s necessary. The bodies would be thrown in a ditch. It might be advisable to blindfold the people before going to the death place in that the blood and body remain[ing] on the ground might increase the agitation.

The idea sickens me. When I’ve been on the line in the past and thought I would be fighting I felt exhilarated. Though I [am] nothing great with a cutlass, I knew I could do something to divert the enemy or add some jobs, or give medical help to a fellow fighter – active hit the enemy one way or another. There is nothing exhilarating about this plan. It is horrible, but it is safe.