#81
To clarify my point further i value the thesis of the universality of PPW exactly as a bulwark against any kind of adventurist militarism. what Gonzalo forwarded is that the question of armed struggle cannot be in any way separated from the organisation of social bases, the development of dual power and formation & leadership of people's committees. this is instead the first stage of development that any further military action needs to be built on. the idea that this can simply be sidestepped (or is anywhere even close to being substantially organised in the developed world) is completely contrary to this line. like red_dead stated, this is a "people's war" that can be launched prior to anyone procuring a weapon.

the idea that the organisational questions of political development can be sidestepped, or that they're anywhere close to being effectively addressed in the developed world, betrays a focoist / tupamaro attitude in organisations like the RGA
#82

c_man posted:

i think red_dread's last long chapter is sort of bizarre because it seems to start by calling for material and social relations between communist groups in the imperial core (bnw also says this) and then meanders into guarded praise for rga and co (not sure if bnw also does this), who have expressed even less capacity for effective material solidarity on the international scale and seem committed entirely to farcical showboating and acting exactly like an organization made entirely out of the police. this guarded praise is expressed in what appear to be entirely idealist terms, referencing things like their outward expression of "class consciousness", notions of "energy", "vitality", etc and exactly the same fantasies of practicing ppw in the amerikan southwest that crow alluded to in the other thread (ironically, bnw made quite a show of claiming were views not actually held by anyone here)


my "guarded praise" for the red guards is really rooted in an attempt to demonstrate the basic historical and political validity of their ideas and practices, especially since the "copjacketing," or whatever, is really just a clunky moralistic catchphrase for denying that validity. i wanted to express how and why the red guards are presenting a cogent alternative to the marxist parties, internally and externally, in spite of all the political orthodoxy of the ML left. that's something i'm planning to elaborate on. however, my main point is either the critics of the maoists can seriously grasp why these things are happening, and what potential they hold, or they can keep accusing them of doing pig work indefinitely and never manage to pose any real political challenge to them. at this point, i think only the red guards' maoist critics can really articulate a clear political opposition and their criticisms are largely that the RGs are just going about it the wrong way. (even the revolutionary collectives are failing where the red guards have succeeded, and again the question they have to ask themselves is, "why and how is this happening?")

anyway, the RGs are no more or less the expressions of proletarian "class consciousness" than the marxist parties, imo. their "energy" and "vitality" are, on the contrary, material forces propelling the creative and critical developments within their organizations, which qualitatively distinguishes them from the marxist parties. if an organization doesn't have any consistent way of harnessing, replicating, and developing the energy and vitality of its membership in the course of organizational work, then its internal processes will stagnate. when you get into organizational work, especially without any kind of broader support, one of the first things you'll notice is that maintaining and advancing the expectations, enthusiasm, and anticipation of its members and supporters is a very difficult task.

the RGs manage to accomplish this in a systematic way that the marxist parties don't. a large part of this is due to their politico-military pretensions, which frame their activities in a manner consistent with the demands of their ideological line and orients their political development in an established direction with a loose historical precedence. my opinion is ultimately that this "works," not that it's good, and, outside of the orthodoxy of the marxist parties and the organized "left," people ought to be asking themselves why it does and what potential it has. (which i think the "marxist center" has already done in a weird way but idk.)

#83

blinkandwheeze posted:

the post explicitly disavows the fantastical revolutionary protagonism of the RGA. the value that's being presented of the universality of PPW is purely to do with the development of the concept by the PCP as a strategic approach that is directly applicable to political organisational questions and the development of a mass social base areas, not simply a narrow forwarding of military tactics. this is a relevance of the thesis i also defend, and it's clearly completely different from the schematic and adventurist proposition held by the RGA and their ilk. i think it's clearly the latter that you and Mr. Crow are suggesting is being forwarded here.

for what it's worth i've never said anything positive about anyone associated with the RGA in my life.


i think this is totally fair and i cant claim to know what crow was talking about in particular. on the other hand the rga has been singled out by both red_dread here and swampman in the other thread as having some sort of uniquely valuable vitality and representing valuable tendencies in maoist party building and organization, so i dont think the assessment of "guarded praise" is inaccurate. moreover, considering them as the most prominent example of maoist party building as is done here by red_dread does nothing at all to address the issue of meaningful (and robust, non-parasitic, etc) material solidarity with the international victims of imperial assault, which both you and red_dread raise as a crucial issue and a point on which i think we agree.

#84

stegosaurus posted:

let a hundred schools of thought contend imo


Bitch They Are Contending Right Now.

#85
i think that the red guards austin are are [good/bad/hitler]
#86
bless the rotting isle of the "united" KKKingdumb and its malignant trotskyite scourge for making the emergence of the "Condemned to Win" strategic dilemma functionally impossible beyond its shit-strewn shores.
#87

c_man posted:

moreover, considering them as the most prominent example of maoist party building as is done here by red_dread does nothing at all to address the issue of meaningful (and robust, non-parasitic, etc) material solidarity with the international victims of imperial assault, which both you and red_dread raise as a crucial issue and a point on which i think we agree.


something red_dead briefly mentioned here that i think is clearly instructive are the international fronts associated with the CPP-NDF which are generally more inclined to work with reformist organisations like (progressive) trade unions, developmental ngos, migrant workers associations etc. in the west that have tenuous if any associations to the western marxist parties. which i think is on account of their proximity to direct social interventions in areas where international solidarity can be built, even if they fall short of any kind of propagandist standards the like of bhpn demand. that is i think it's just a fairly boring and patient task of good faith activism and exchange of experience regarding shared issues rather than sloganeering.

#88
maybe a useful comparison w/ the red guards, scaled down, is the embryonic italian red brigades, who shocked the socdem italian imperialist-left. the early brigades evolved out of little more than a proletarian publishing circle, but getting nowhere, starting making physical action. the brigades did not spare existing parties (legal and illegal) from polemic and perceived themselves as the real heavies in a navel-gazing left.

there were key differences between brigades and guards: the red brigades trusted the masses to differentiate their actions from the bomb-rich italian political environment. what do i mean? when they bombed the cars of bosses and spies, they had already put their case to print, performed a secret trial, and then explained the results. do you trust the ATX red guards' caption in the video, or what's going on behind it, the burning solidarity signs? that's the words/deeds contradictory image they chose to upload, why confuse the masses like that? do they not trust us to interpret the action fairly? shit i've stapled+held signs w/ the PSL with my fucking hands!! what should i think?

another is class character, which was unmistakably proletarian w/ the red brigades, but is unstated/unknown w/ the guards. in a real way the brigades had already established a base area, the factory. the floor of the perelli plant was owned by our class and was the material basis of food/rent support for the brigades, analogous to the farm. the brigades had infiltrated the union, the floor of the factory was made a site of regular & ritualized struggle w/ semi-weekly walk-off demos. so when the brigades started bombing boss cars, they were able to continue the sequence and build. what is the source of food-energy and rent for the red guards? who even knows! the bomb, blowtorch, and handgun are weapons but when they're used carefully they can be brushes for illustrating better than any editorial cartoonist. if the guards aren't an encapsulated-gang they should take the political arts more seriously, cuz a fucking saxophone really??

Edited by toyotathon ()

#89

red_dread posted:

their "energy" and "vitality" are, on the contrary, material forces propelling the creative and critical developments within their organizations, which qualitatively distinguishes them from the marxist parties


This is pretty far from anything i would consider a "material" assessment of the driving forces in the development of their parties. Its not an explanation of the source of these developments in terms of the relations of their social base to capital, its breathless praise of them being proactive go-getters with vague, insubstantial gestures to this being rooted in their ideology. Claiming that this has to do with their self-identification as proletarians or whatever is a dodge, their organizational "successes", to the extent that they are taken at face value, as you note, have more to do with para-military aspirations than any relationship to the means of production. In my view this suggests a similar long term lack of viability as the marcyite parties, but coming from a different angle and doesnt suggest to me that the approach they appear to represent is any more valuable.

red_dread posted:

my opinion is ultimately that this "works," not that it's good, and, outside of the orthodoxy of the marxist parties and the organized "left," people ought to be asking themselves why it does and what potential it has


Id like to address this specifically. Lots of things "work" to the extent that they appear to produce results desirable to the people that performed the actions. There have been people here, i dont remember who, probably superabound or someone idk, who seriously suggested that it was important to study fascist organizations because they seemed more capable of achieving their goals than "the left". I think the other week on twitter i saw some dipshit with a podcast claim something similar about the mafia. Phil mirowski has wondered why "the left" (for him anyone who is morally repulsed by the republicans) doesnt get an ALEC of their own. These examples are goofy but i think its important to keep in mind that a coherent understanding of what your goals are should strongly constrain what sort of tactics and strategies are considered actually useful, potentially successful, or viable. Proletarian organization and class consciousness wont just arise from being aware of capitalism as an issue and identifying with the proletarian cause, it is necessary to consider tactics and strategies that will support a material base for further developlent of proletarian class consciousness. This means building some measure of control over the means of production, and developing that capacity as a guiding directive of the organization. I also think that this control needs to be founded in material solidarity between proletarians in the core and the periphery, and that this represents the central issue for developing a marxist, communist movement capable of developing into a meaningful political power in the 21st century. I cant say i have a good blueprint for how this is to be done, but i think its as alien from the RG groups as it is from the marcyites

#90

blinkandwheeze posted:

c_man posted:

moreover, considering them as the most prominent example of maoist party building as is done here by red_dread does nothing at all to address the issue of meaningful (and robust, non-parasitic, etc) material solidarity with the international victims of imperial assault, which both you and red_dread raise as a crucial issue and a point on which i think we agree.

something red_dead briefly mentioned here that i think is clearly instructive are the international fronts associated with the CPP-NDF which are generally more inclined to work with reformist organisations like (progressive) trade unions, developmental ngos, migrant workers associations etc. in the west that have tenuous if any associations to the western marxist parties. which i think is on account of their proximity to direct social interventions in areas where international solidarity can be built, even if they fall short of any kind of propagandist standards the like of bhpn demand. that is i think it's just a fairly boring and patient task of good faith activism and exchange of experience regarding shared issues rather than sloganeering.


I do think this tendency is meaningful and its part of the issue that communist groups aspiring to be more than hyperlocal cliques or simple propaganda fronts have to wrangle with. A way to address this constructively seems to me to be at least related to making communist parties in the core more than totally marginal political entities.

#91

c_man posted:

red_dread posted:

their "energy" and "vitality" are, on the contrary, material forces propelling the creative and critical developments within their organizations, which qualitatively distinguishes them from the marxist parties

This is pretty far from anything i would consider a "material" assessment of the driving forces in the development of their parties. Its not an explanation of the source of these developments in terms of the relations of their social base to capital, its breathless praise of them being proactive go-getters with vague, insubstantial gestures to this being rooted in their ideology. Claiming that this has to do with their self-identification as proletarians or whatever is a dodge, their organizational "successes", to the extent that they are taken at face value, as you note, have more to do with para-military aspirations than any relationship to the means of production. In my view this suggests a similar long term lack of viability as the marcyite parties, but coming from a different angle and doesnt suggest to me that the approach they appear to represent is any more valuable.

red_dread posted:

my opinion is ultimately that this "works," not that it's good, and, outside of the orthodoxy of the marxist parties and the organized "left," people ought to be asking themselves why it does and what potential it has


Id like to address this specifically. Lots of things "work" to the extent that they appear to produce results desirable to the people that performed the actions. There have been people here, i dont remember who, probably superabound or someone idk, who seriously suggested that it was important to study fascist organizations because they seemed more capable of achieving their goals than "the left". I think the other week on twitter i saw some dipshit with a podcast claim something similar about the mafia. Phil mirowski has wondered why "the left" (for him anyone who is morally repulsed by the republicans) doesnt get an ALEC of their own. These examples are goofy but i think its important to keep in mind that a coherent understanding of what your goals are should strongly constrain what sort of tactics and strategies are considered actually useful, potentially successful, or viable. Proletarian organization and class consciousness wont just arise from being aware of capitalism as an issue and identifying with the proletarian cause, it is necessary to consider tactics and strategies that will support a material base for further developlent of proletarian class consciousness. This means building some measure of control over the means of production, and developing that capacity as a guiding directive of the organization. I also think that this control needs to be founded in material solidarity between proletarians in the core and the periphery, and that this represents the central issue for developing a marxist, communist movement capable of developing into a meaningful political power in the 21st century. I cant say i have a good blueprint for how this is to be done, but i think its as alien from the RG groups as it is from the marcyites


1. as i mentioned, maintaining and advancing the expectations, enthusiasm, and anticipation of a group's members and supporters is an organizational feat derived from its organizers' ability to harness, replicate, and develop the energy and vitality of any social pool they draw from. organizing a young worker, for instance, is totally different from organizing a grad student, and in my experience one will generally have more inclinations towards public activity, practical work, engagement, etc., than the other. you can't articulate a relationship "from the social base to capital" from this kind of thing mechanistically, even if it's a product of it.

2. i stated earlier that the underpinnings of their sustained enthusiasm and intensification of political activity had to do with their strategic outlook as well as their emphasis on ideological struggle, which their collectives actually maintain the internal infrastructure to keep going. it's a kind of political-philosophical thing that encourages a large degree of openness in debate and relative simplicity in understanding the purpose and effects of political actions. that was also another difference that i drew between them and the marxist parties.

3. their "paramilitary aspirations" are a product of their proletarianization, which in my experience isn't exclusive to maoists whatsoever. their self-identification as proletarians is really just a recognition of their status and relation to the productive forces, which is accurate insofar as a proletariat exists in the u.s.. but i suppose the argument is that the PPW/NP-type framework they've adopted, what i think works for them, doesn't properly reflect their relationship to the means of production. the thing is they, and most other groups, don't work from job-to-job, focusing on the point of production, they work from block-to-block and then focus on economic struggles once they're acclimated with the demands of their bases.

4. i would disagree. the early revolutionary collectives and the now-RGs are valuable for laying out the successes and failures of any independent, revolutionary political force, demonstrating that it's possible to survive breaking from political orthodoxy, and organizing in hitherto neglected areas of the country. if nothing else, they're valuable for the possibilities they've opened up for future developments.

5. the mafia is a vehicle for making money and anyone who thinks fascists are more effective at organizing than leftists is just a fucking moron. the red guards, however, are explicitly staging themselves as opposition to the left of the marxist parties. i'm not contending that the only things that make a proletarian, marxist, communist movement are self-identification or explicit anti-capitalism; the central issue is the ability to conquer political power, and to conceive of what "power" is, which would obviously extend into building class consciousness, exercising control over the productive forces, etc.. between the now-dominant forces on the communist left, all i'm arguing is that the red guards are presenting an alternative to the marxist parties that eclipse their abilities and conceptions of organization, base-building, and ideological development. that's what makes them attractive to supporters and prospective members. i think it's obvious to say that the finished product of years of development and struggle won't look anything like maoism or marcyism but these things don't proceed from conjecture, only from analyzing qualitatively new developments like the RGs or marxist center.

Edited by red_dread ()

#92
i am not an incredible political theorist or anything but i think you can stage yourself as the opposition to anything on any side of it so long as you and your dumbass friends believe yourselves to be so. if there were a hypothetical clown troupe called mao's circus who threw pies at PSL and WWP and DSA and other roughly similarly deserving parties in the name of defeating social fascism and did nothing else they would be an amusing sideshow distraction but they would also just be that. The thing about the cult appelation to things like PSL and WWP is that it's trite because it's accurate and relates cleanly to it. they really operate like nothing more than the booming ashrams of the 60's, 70's and 80's (and other ones that you can still find today). And flocking towards the next, purer incarnation of distilled dialectical marxism and assuming that this time you've found The Answer is just going to lead you down a narrowing corridor.
#93

red_dread posted:

~snip~


youve said a lot about the RGs relationship to "political power" and posed it as somehow more effective than the marcyite angle. for example, you claim that they work "block to block" as though they have effective control over some geographical area, and can effectively dictate terms in these areas, and that they have succeeded in base-building in some sense. its really not apparent how any of these things are true. how effective have the RGs been against police aggression, or against fascist incursion? its certainly not the case that they are influential enough to prevent such conflicts. as for base-building, do they have any sort of wide-spread demonstrated support from the community? this also seems absent, as does any sort of work within the communities they inhabit. these are practical necessities to the development of a marxist, communist party with long-term viability but the relationship between their ideological makeup and their concrete effectiveness at these crucial tasks is totally absent from your understanding of what you want people to learn from them. and its not like these things are irreducibly complex, or totally confounded by the virtue of being in amerika. groups all over the country do these things constantly, its how they maintain themselves, even if they dont have a marxist perspective on class struggle which is important for ideological coherence in the longer term.

#94
im going to be myself. the amerikkkan Marxist parties are not for me, never will be.