#41
To be fair there’s really no winning. if you’re selling newspapers we are going to laugh at you for still being in the early 20th century and if you’re using anything online that doesn’t end in wordpress.com you’re going to be derided

It is definitely worth reading that reddit thread because it definitely echoes a lot of the themes in this thread.

-mtwfan1996
#42

red_dread posted:




(Record scratch) yep, that's me. you're probably wondering ho


#43
revolution idea: change their faces to pugs, call it pugheadism
#44

lo posted:

BOFAnshen posted:


babyhueypnewton posted:


http://www.revaim.org/statements/2019/12/10/farewell/Anybody know about this?



https://www.reddit.com/r/mao_internationalist/comments/e8wmjv/announcement_the_revolutionary_antiimperialist/
There's more info in the comments of this thread, and there should be more summations and stuff soon.


why is there a 'mao_internationalist' subreddit? what the sam hill do these clowns think they're doing



https://www.reddit.com/r/mao_internationalist/comments/9dlpdb/statement_why_use_reddit/
Its a widely used website, and old reddit works with Tor. Do you have an issue with communists trying to promote their work?

#45
I lurk it, it’s actually a good sub with actual discussion instead of endless noobs and memes
#46
another thing that “works with Tor” is the CIA, FBI, NSA,
#47

BOFAnshen posted:

lo posted:


BOFAnshen posted:


babyhueypnewton posted:


http://www.revaim.org/statements/2019/12/10/farewell/Anybody know about this?



https://www.reddit.com/r/mao_internationalist/comments/e8wmjv/announcement_the_revolutionary_antiimperialist/
There's more info in the comments of this thread, and there should be more summations and stuff soon.


why is there a 'mao_internationalist' subreddit? what the sam hill do these clowns think they're doing



https://www.reddit.com/r/mao_internationalist/comments/9dlpdb/statement_why_use_reddit/
Its a widely used website, and old reddit works with Tor. Do you have an issue with communists trying to promote their work?


i was making a joke because reddit is a famous web site for computer programmers to use, i'm sure it's fine

#48
time for tor go to web
#49

lo posted:

BOFAnshen posted:


lo posted:


BOFAnshen posted:


babyhueypnewton posted:


http://www.revaim.org/statements/2019/12/10/farewell/Anybody know about this?



https://www.reddit.com/r/mao_internationalist/comments/e8wmjv/announcement_the_revolutionary_antiimperialist/
There's more info in the comments of this thread, and there should be more summations and stuff soon.


why is there a 'mao_internationalist' subreddit? what the sam hill do these clowns think they're doing



https://www.reddit.com/r/mao_internationalist/comments/9dlpdb/statement_why_use_reddit/
Its a widely used website, and old reddit works with Tor. Do you have an issue with communists trying to promote their work?


i was making a joke because reddit is a famous web site for computer programmers to use, i'm sure it's fine



lmao sry

#50

cars posted:

another thing that “works with Tor” is the CIA, FBI, NSA,


the PSL, and i'm not talking about the milkshake

#51
doesn't PSL leadership actually contain a Tor executive now?
#52

trakfactri posted:

to use a comparison to star trek, a lot of these little groups are like the voyager of communism. they're trying to make something new where they're lost in the delta quadrant, and the concept is that everything is gritty and they don't have access to resources like they would back home, but somehow the ship is cleaned up at the beginning of every episode like nothing happened and another shuttlecraft pops out of the back, like it hadn't been eaten by a giant space beaver in the previous show.



this is a great comparison, actually. we are living in a post modern, post-historical landscape where younger and younger generations are trained by social media and the nature of their jobs to have zero recall of major world events that occurred even a year ago. well rehersed in idealized versions of history a hundred years ago, they have zero interest in learning about yugoslavia or how the movement sustained itself during the 80's and 90's, even the early oughts. capital offers the illusion of full custom reality, which is the expectation many young screendamaged people have when they come to cadre organizing. destructive idealistic utopianism. it's quite literally the barbarism Marx was writing about. furthermore, there is a willful disdain and hostility at any effort or gentle encouragement to mention history if it conflicts with an individual's very carefully constructed narrative of reality.

i've noticed this particularly in organizing with young people who have been mimicking online flame wars (RG is a good example of this, i note r_d's excellent narrative included very little about online/neu forms of communication), assuming that trashing someone locally in a coalition setting somehow eradicates them from the face of the earth; in reality, this salts a whole generation. older, more established activists write these youth off as being undisciplined and loose-lipped (it's true) while the youth double down on their correctness and attempt to "block" established orgs and activists irl, going so far as to try and destroy other work. this dynamic is untenable. kansas city (ok, never been) doesn't seem like mindanao or 1930's china, nor is new york early-1900s petrograd.

there is, of course, the other dynamic radiating from an older group of cadre who have been holding it down for decades, who are terrified of their own mortality, and who are unwilling to seriously study where young people are coming from or the conditions in which they develop.

yes, if people give out newspapers they get laughed at. if people have their own website not ending in wordpress.com they are seen as corporate non-profit sell-outs. there is no center mass for tactics or morality that's not rooted in PB individualism, cultish territoriality, utopianism, or outdated class approach. the end point for all this is a complete demoralization and demobilization that only benefits empire. there is an intergenerational conflict here that needs to be sorted out before we're all dead. these are more dire times than 2017; the state has been ruthless and nobody has met these challenges with the solidarity necessary to survive, much less succeed and build.

TLDR; communication sucks and we have been cut off from the federation of historical continuity

Edited by jeantatlock ()

#53
personally i see it as more like an anime
#54

jeantatlock posted:

zero recall of major world events that occurred even a year ago



I agree that current media trends encourage this. As a rule though it's something that's been there as long as I can remember, from the Clinton years straight up until now, it's always how CNN approached stories for ratings and if anything the first wave of low-cost access to readers provided a contrast to it, just because it was slightly harder for state actors to corral the opinions for a second there, just lack of experience in a newer arena of control they'd mostly created themselves.

Like there were two or three big blog liberals in the U.S. across the accepted political spectrum around 2011 who were like Hey wait U.S. military and mercs are still in Iraq and we're doing it all over again, all the excuses are ones from the run-up to invading Iraq & all the claims are the same about what will result (a new member of the capitalist-democratic justice league) and why (Libya's educated, it's secular, it's not a bad place to live so it'll recover quickly from being bombed into a fine mist), and there were even the same sort of statements that we can't judge this "conflict" using knowledge of other wars because that's racist. All that handful of writers had to do was post parallel quotations from officials to demonstrate how no one at the top felt the need to revise the propaganda. 10 years on from post-9/11 performative angst, the response from their peers and readers mostly wasn't aggressive denial or accusations of treason. It was pitched as though the off-message people had just taken turns telling personal UFO encounter stories, a sort of gentle acknowledgment that sometimes reasonable people say the craziest most out-of-nowhere shit and you have to forgive them.

#55
Anyone Else Remember that one weirdly 2010s-Internet-style-dyspeptic guy circa 2000 who dedicated his meticulously sourced blog to proving, successfully, that every statement Al Gore made about his role in kick-starting the Internet was true, and outlined how all the coastal entertainment industry left-liberal types jumped on the Karl Rove attack-their-strengths talking points about "inventing the Internet" and repeated them frantically on TV for a year in a way that sandbagged their guy's run for presiduck.

Because now you have Yasha Levine with Surveillance Valley documenting all that stuff from a different angle and even more thoroughly and also explaining, Actually it's both true and real real bad.
#56

jeantatlock posted:

this is a great comparison, actually. we are living in a post modern, post-historical landscape where younger and younger generations are trained by social media and the nature of their jobs to have zero recall of major world events that occurred even a year ago. well rehersed in idealized versions of history a hundred years ago, they have zero interest in learning about yugoslavia or how the movement sustained itself during the 80's and 90's, even the early oughts. capital offers the illusion of full custom reality, which is the expectation many young screendamaged people have when they come to cadre organizing. destructive idealistic utopianism. it's quite literally the barbarism Marx was writing about. furthermore, there is a willful disdain and hostility at any effort or gentle encouragement to mention history if it conflicts with an individual's very carefully constructed narrative of reality.

i've noticed this particularly in organizing with young people who have been mimicking online flame wars (RG is a good example of this, i note r_d's excellent narrative included very little about online/neu forms of communication), assuming that trashing someone locally in a coalition setting somehow eradicates them from the face of the earth; in reality, this salts a whole generation. older, more established activists write these youth off as being undisciplined and loose-lipped (it's true) while the youth double down on their correctness and attempt to "block" established orgs and activists irl, going so far as to try and destroy other work. this dynamic is untenable. kansas city (ok, never been) doesn't seem like mindanao or 1930's china, nor is new york early-1900s petrograd.

there is, of course, the other dynamic radiating from an older group of cadre who have been holding it down for decades, who are terrified of their own mortality, and who are unwilling to seriously study where young people are coming from or the conditions in which they develop.

yes, if people give out newspapers they get laughed at. if people have their own website not ending in wordpress.com they are seen as corporate non-profit sell-outs. there is no center mass for tactics or morality that's not rooted in PB individualism, cultish territoriality, utopianism, or outdated class approach. the end point for all this is a complete demoralization and demobilization that only benefits empire. there is an intergenerational conflict here that needs to be sorted out before we're all dead. these are more dire times than 2017; the state has been ruthless and nobody has met these challenges with the solidarity necessary to survive, much less succeed and build.

TLDR; communication sucks and we have been cut off from the federation of historical continuity



hey that's interesting. i think the reverse is true too: real life mimics online, but online mimics real life. like there's no a priori reason these electronic spaces, where your lips don't move to communicate, and nobody can see each others' eyes, should look much like real life social spaces. but they import social life's cliqueishness, whipping boys and pecking orders, unspoken consensus, grudges, national/language barriers, and on some level it's like, how could it be any other way? humanity in, humanity out. small forums of 20 people end up looking more similar than not, to small real life groups of 20 people. but there are infinite ways it could be, these screens can physically make whatever light pattern they want.

since capital physically controls the comms network it gets to pick its favorite products to reproduce, from the infinite other. a major social network with billions of participants, has no real-life analogue we've encountered that's like the school, or the friend group, or micro-party, the closest social analogue just by size is the world-market. by physically owning the servers & comm lines, it gets to pick the social forms of its own image, and promotes its own social sensibilities, mainly self-aggrandizement. like the twitter machine where everybody seems to be monologuing, or else in a fight, or trying really hard to not look disagreeable like they wanna get in a fight... that's not what my organic life looks like. but it almost looks like an idealized market interaction: individual production and competition. it could be anything, but it's that. i'm not on facebook but i remember it being similar... (to me these places feel like bad dates, where you say something witty, there's a long silence, the feedback is ambiguous, then the other person says something. and nobody gets laid at the end.) they're also, maybe less by design than happy accident for capital, filled with PB/LA, who help set the social tone towards this individualism and competition and climbing. who else has the time+energy to write on it, in the middle of a work day? so instead of solidarity, our default social sense, everyone gets a personality to self-aggrandize. self-aggrandizement being capital's social sensibility. and instead of a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood, it's a spirit of opportunism. sorry i guess i'm rambling -- i'm trying to say, online comm was a terra nullius, so capital needs to work everyday to promote its own culture on it (like physically pay people money to do it), and marginalize ours. by default it'd just look like how we already know to interact, even tho the medium is totally novel. i remember an ancient roseweird post where she said something like this, the infinite creative potential of this new mass comms network, yet here we are. anyway gr8 post! welcome welcome

#57
SOME MOTHERFUCKER'S ALWAYS TRYING TO ICE-SKATE UPHILL

Pictured: The first instance of graffiti for our old organization, Red Youth. While fading, it's still vibrant nearly two years after having been tagged.

After several weeks of dipping out on failed actions, and on the count of non-participation, my rectification was ordered by the cadres. Naturally, I deferred. Rectification was needed to establish a certain level of goodwill so that the members of Revolutionary Workers Movement, especially the leadership of the cadre formation above it, would hear my criticisms and struggle with me in good faith. This required lies, manipulations, maneuvering, and above all a strict adherence to the accepted rhetoric. That is, it required the usual craftiness of diplomacy. In working my way back to a baseline this way, and on the advice of a comrade out of state, I also hoped to garner the support of the more indecisive comrades, meet with them one-on-one, and establish a very deliberate political relationship with them, which I'd regrettably neglected to do up until that point.

First, I think it would be prudent to remark at length about my liaison's character and history, since for a long while I did muster some respect for him as a person.

On the class level, my liaison (whom I'll refer to as Fellow-Worker) had a fairly typical white, suburban middle-class existence, the first child of a newspaper columnist and author, without many troubles in his early life as far as I knew. While he rarely worked between high school and university, he was deeply active and invested in his own education, which had taken up all of his energies and career up to that point. He had majored in theology, naturally dabbled in philosophy, and later he'd taken up classes in political science.

He had the distinction of attending a private school deep in the southwest which had been founded by hippies and organized along egalitarian and communitarian lines. Essentially, this meant that the power over the faculty, the property, curricula, and campus activities was divided between the student body and the administration to some degree. This was when Fellow-Worker first became active in student politics and started to approach Marxism. Around this time, he also came into contact with an environmentalist who had been active during the Green Scare, who cut the figure of a kind of mentor among the student activists there. After this, he moved on to an Ivy League school to complete his studies and pursue a PhD in religious studies.

Anyway, he soon started to burn out on his studies, briefly delving into alcoholism. This was when he made a clear break from the Ivy League milieu and into Communist politics. While visiting his family, he struck up a relationship with the KCRC, only a handful of weeks after I first met them in person, where he studied and became active with them for a time. He then moved to Chicago, took up a series of blue-collar gigs, then tried and failed to organize a Maoist collective there but struck up numerous contacts among various Marxist organizations and parties. (I recall, when he first related that period to me, he compared me to his closest comrade in their political efforts up there and called me sharp.) After running aground in Chicago, he moved to KC, trained and landed a union job in electrical maintenance, and started running with the then-rebranded Red Guards KC.

Fellow-Worker was around my age, twenty-five or six, and he carried himself with some dignity and maturity. In his attitude, he was enthusiastic but perpetually frustrated; in outlook, he was genuine but never completely candid; in thought, he was collected but ultimately uncertain; in perspective, he was struggling to adapt the professionalism and neatness of his personal life to the overwhelming naivete, confusion, and demands of his newfound political one. Politically speaking, he wasn't above bullying or undercutting comrades inferior to the cadre formation but he didn't yet degenerate into a personality; he was too awkward and blunt in his political maneuvers but clearly had the capacity for developed political thought; he was long-winded in his speech and overconfident in his own grounding but he had an eagerness to educate others and learn from them to some extent; he was rigid and overly strict but he had a high level of discipline and he showed some dedication in cultivating self-restraint.

Fellow-Worker had a "class conscience," an acute form of class guilt, and a certain determination to prove himself a proletarian. Being a bit of a proletarian myself, in terms of both background and living on the lower end, I suppose I always wanted to assure him in some indirect way that that wasn't how class worked and he ought to capitalize on his ruling-class education, upbringing, and perspective for the good of the movement. Though, I felt edgy about indulging in the kind of "proletarian identity politics" that's particularly rife among the Maoists.

While he presumed a lot of me, specifically my dedication to the Maoists' own ideological line, I felt he never tried to flatter or manipulate me -- at least not consciously. Whenever he would lie about, exaggerate, or cover up the Maoists' successes or fuckups, in order to appeal to my sensibilities, I got the impression that it was only because he believed it; not because he simply didn't respect my intelligence. He was too educated not to rationalize it all in that way, even if he wasn't smart enough to cut through the bullshit himself.

This is all to say I sympathized with him a great deal. I saw quite a bit of my past self in our political dealings, favorably and not. Fellow-Worker was relatively new to all this, so I felt I'd do him wrong if I simply condescended to him, even accidentally, at any point in our work with Revolutionary Workers Movement. I wanted to ground our mutual political work in trust and respect before I offered any significant advice or small tips and tricks, which I was anxious to do at times. Sometimes I found him encouraging, sometimes I wanted to wring his neck and rant at him like a fucking lunatic. This was the source of equal tension and commitment in our political relationship, and by extension, in my relationship to the RWM and the Red Guards.

It was at one of STP-KC's rare public events that I first met him and all the other KC Maoists, that is, the hard core. The event was put on in a park in the central-southeast part of town, where renovated, two-story townhouses mingle with decaying, post-war homes. In KC, immediately after breaking out of downtown, you'll quickly find that your surroundings disintegrate: newly paved sidewalks crack away into jigsaws of broken concrete; well-kempt lawns simply fade away into desiccated soil; your tourist traps and fusion restaurants give way to an agglomeration of fast-food places and dollar stores. In much of Kansas City, there are either islands of these ancient homes in oceans of post-modern prefab houses or the inverse. This park was in the latter sort of area, nestled on a large hill overlooking the block. They had congregated in a gazebo at its peak, which opened up to a clear view of seven KCPD cruisers (I always called them "prowlers") lining the street below.

"You see this?" the man who came to be known as Fellow-Worker interjected to the small throng of attendees, pointing down at the pigs below. "We can't even put on a peaceful get-together in the park without the state watching us! Clear intimidation tactic."

Speaker-Soldier, a leading comrade in the STP-KC, continued his address. In so many words, he elaborated a new strategic focus for the group, which intended to structure and organize propaganda campaigns through a system of brigades. The general idea was that STP-KC would set up a brigade of 3-5 comrades, send them out to develop specific complexes or blocks, and launch propaganda offensives against landlords and left-liberal coalitions like KC Tenants. Through this struggle, of course, leadership would emerge organically, form the base of a new brigade, and so on. The leading group in STP-KC and the brigades would all be organized according to democratic-centralist principles, with a view towards maximizing their level of discipline and militancy at every step and developing their contacts towards "Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism" (or what I'll refer to as US Maoism).

The politico-military aspect was pretty well-emphasized but perhaps exclusively focused on armed propaganda alone; the more economistic tasks of organizing tenants and winning demands were, I think, minimized and ultimately subordinate to the development of armed propaganda, the whole politico-military aspect. The US Maoists are deeply averse to the typical economistic work that demands longer term and thoroughgoing political work among the proletariat, fighting for minimum demands, winning reforms, etc., in which the politico-military aspect doesn't play an immanent role. Within US Maoist ideology, reforms are instead conquered through revindications; strictly speaking, reforms don't play a single part in their political demands.

These revindications correspond to an overwhelming and immanent military movement of force, i.e., the People's Army, and comprise a primarily indirect consequence of securing politico-military gains outside of the bourgeois state and society. For example, the expansion of the guerrilla zones that were liberated and organized during the Peruvian People's War and the intensification of armed propaganda campaigns in Lima triggered responses by the state to attempt to alleviate the destitution of the peasantry and relax their grip on the labor movement in the cities, which enabled the further advance of the New Power at the time. That was the process of revindication, rather than reform. It's through this theory that the US Maoists have typically come to believe that engaging in reforms or economism on any level, in any way, is inimical to a revolutionary process. On some level, anti-Maoists have a tendency to misunderstand revindications as a rejection of political (or economic) struggle, which is inaccurate. The US Maoists are involved in political struggles, just ones on their own terms which make it difficult for them to advance or others to tango with them.

Among the crowd, a plant from KC Tenants briefly interrupted the comrade's spiel, bumbling around some point about what they were doing for single Black mothers. Speaker-Soldier, who was Black himself, patiently and confidently warded off the bad faith argument he was about to be dragged into. The plant from KC Tenants was maneuvered back into her usual nervous silence. (As I later found out, this comrade was a speaking coach and tutor.) During a lull, Fellow-Worker pointed to the pigs again and repeated what he said before, now with some added exasperation.

Sitting at a bench with him and a few others, I shook my head a little and thought, "God, dude, don't overplay it. Just the one time was good enough." My ratty bangs were being throttled by the wind and my hands were stuffed into my jacket pockets. A cigarette wavered limply between my lips while I trained my eyes on a tactical van that was parked catty-corner to the column of prowlers facing the crest of the hill. My interest in repression and surveillance easily overran my patience for the speeches and the speech-makers; more time watching and thinking about the pigs than the grand strategic vision of US Maoism, I mean. From time to time, I'd awkwardly crane my neck around to see if there was anyone I knew there and I noticed a couple, then I would briefly wonder where the rest of them ran off to over the past couple years.

When one goes to these kinds of events for the first time, or one of the first times, it's usually a bit difficult to pick up on just how many people are part of the organization or outside of it. After the main occasion, I figured out that the whole in/out division was something like three out, including myself, and twelve in. Apart from myself, the only attendees outside of the Maoist milieu were one of their tenant contacts and the anxious plant from KC Tenants. As I introduced myself to Fellow-Worker and a couple of his comrades, many of them started to congeal around us; suspicious of me but ultimately interested in who I was and what I had to say. To them, I related a handful of my experiences and my candid misgivings with US Maoism, though I expressed a lot of interest in getting involved with STP-KC and doing real mass work for a change.

It was then that Fellow-Worker started to describe a then-unannounced, and unorganized, project called the Revolutionary Workers Movement, which I immediately jumped on. The intent behind it was essentially to extend and adapt STP's program to workplace struggles and conduct mass work between the major industries in KC; the goal in the long term was to produce and develop an organization resembling something like the Red Brigades. I was ecstatic about it all, I expressed my interest in conducting social investigation/class analysis and actually, politically, engaging with other workers, and I told him I would love to keep in touch about it. This was how I was organized into the Revolutionary Workers Movement. After this, I barely even saw STP-KC except in joint actions or propaganda events.

I met the Couple at my first RWM meeting. They were married, quite sweet, and on the ideological side of things they were primarily Marxist-Leninists. They shared quite a bit: including a history with the KCDSA and joint responsibilities in facilitating a more Marxist-oriented study group around it, but they were also equally timid and apprehensive. Like I was, they were somewhat intimidated by the Maoist milieu but their concern was chiefly ideological, while mine was political in essence. I believe they were afraid of being rejected out of hand by the arbitrary strictures of US Maoism. On the other hand, the thing that I feared coming in was the Maoists' potential political talents. While the Couple struggled with the overbearing "lines" and discipline of the US Maoist ideological center, I struggled with calculating and moving either with or against their political center, or lack thereof. Anyway, none of us came out satisfied in the end and we both broke with the organization on similar but fundamentally different lines.

Among the "outgroup" in the RWM, there was only myself and the Couple. The remainder were leading cadres with a decent amount of experience in the KC Maoist milieu. Our meetings were guided and carried, mechanically and unswervingly, by Fellow-Worker and his decisions ultimately approved by its leading committee, comprised of himself, Pig-Buster, and another more distant cadre. These were all true believers, unelected and unchallenged, whose decisions would always fall in perfect accord with the US Maoists' presumed general political line and would be carried out by the mass of the organization itself. Lacking knowledge and experience in their specific matters, I had no problem deferring to them.

As long as the program showed promise and leadership displayed a steady hand in developing the organization and engaging with the people, I have no issue whatsoever with tolerating that kind of authoritarianism. However, the issue with this specific form of authoritarianism, a centralism without tangible democratic principles, is that it's more often than not consciously employed to mask and perpetuate thoroughgoing political sabotage and ideological corruption. This was the case with the Maoists.

In any case, the program did show promise at first, even with its faults. Revolutionary Workers Movement was technically a mass organization, though its hardline democratic-centralism betrayed its intentions as more of a working fraction. It was technically a mass-line organization, but its established politico-military purpose had skipped several steps in the mass line in the process. RWM was a vanguard formation but it didn't lead; it presumed to have already engaged with the proletariat but its premises were never rooted in the practical needs of the working class movement; it claimed to implement social investigation/class analysis but, like any old Trotskyite group, it favored recruitment and retention over engagement and development.

What we intended to do was preside over the organization of politico-military brigades at the point of production but what we actually did was pontificate over the formation of propaganda teams at bus stops. Considering Fellow-Worker's year-end, maximum goal of "having 30 people supporting each brigade leader," I feel more than comfortable treating our failures with the contempt they're owed, as a product of ideological platitudes more than political realities. After all, this was an ideological formation, a little propaganda club. Revolutionary Workers Movement was not a fucking "partisan war-machine," even though I actually did wish that I could play my own part in building one. The materials simply aren't there for it.

As two other committed Maoists later joined us, our main core at its height was comprised of about seven people. The gist was that Fellow-Worker expected us to raise ourselves up to the level of professional agitators and organizers within a year. Just one part of this process required a rather rudimentary system of reports on our coworkers and workplaces, sent to cadre leadership on an initial, bimonthly, and annual basis. They were attempts, in only one aspect, to conduct SICA in our workplaces, but it wasn't the principal one. The primary aspect of reporting work consisted of monitoring our coworkers and identifying the advanced among them. In practice, this meant we would pick out the most seemingly "radical" of our coworkers and inculcate them with propaganda via study groups on Struggle Sessions and Incendiary pieces. The object was to convert them wholesale into good little US Maoists, which would of course lead to recruitment and cadrefication.

Even from the start, my main point of contention was that, at our present level of political and ideological development, we needed the SICA aspect of these reports to be the principal one. We needed to be versed in that process to truly identify the advanced and recruit them. We needed extensive development before we could even think of intensive development. In my mind, the key was always to investigate, develop scientific outlooks, and properly root ourselves within the various struggles of proletarians before we could have the capacity to truly organize and guide them. We probably needed to defer to the working class before we could lead them in anything, for anything. We were looking to come into direct competition and combat with yellow unionists and, for their part, they were competent professionals. So, there had to be some critical recognition of our own immaturity and inexperience in these kinds of things.

I brought this to the leading cadres' attention so many fucking times, only for my concerns to get handwaved away. They would imply or accuse me of being too contemplative, too intellectual, and too empiricist. I attempted to clarify that the extensive process I was suggesting wouldn't even negate or pull us away from our politico-military tasks, agitations, propaganda campaigns, or any other political actions. I tried to make the case that this sort of development would, in fact, reinforce our practical efforts immensely. But nope, shot down again and again.

This was also the case with my focus on security and repression. Once I'd learned about the counter-terror wing of the KCPD and their surveillance and repression of what was described to me as "literally every group left of the Democrats," I'd volunteered my interest in researching their tactics and capabilities. I singled out a professor who apparently advises the unit and asked for his name on three different occasions, so I could study his works; I was always stonewalled. Attempting to bribe them by letting slip that I knew how to doxx people in exchange for the professor's name, they still wouldn't budge or help me out in this regard. The Maoists, in fact, displayed very little interest in keeping the pigs and feds at bey, or even understanding them. I would've found this more suspicious if they weren't so eager to flaunt their own incompetence and ignorance in every area of work.

This was displayed spectacularly when Pig-Buster, an otherwise nice and reserved person, and another comrade went stickering some bus stops one day. As I heard it from the latter, some supervisor for the KC transit system caught them and started taking pictures of them. No big deal. The supervisor went to go fetch a nearby cop but instead of splitting, the two comrades kept hanging around. Pig-Buster started escalating with the supervisor and the pig but more the pig than the supervisor. Both comrades were then cuffed in the middle of the sidewalk, Pig-Buster yelling and insulting the pig as reinforcements arrived. Initially, they were charged with destruction of public property but when asked for names, Pig-Buster volunteered their street names instead of their legal ones. In the end, they were also charged with providing false information. They received some fine for a couple thousand dollars and are still awaiting trial with a six-month diversion, which is a little more than half way up by now. This episode effectively obliterated our ability to put up stickers.

Finding they shared neither my values nor my ideals, I never trusted any of the Maoists individually. However, it took me a long time to distrust them collectively. The more the leading cadres indulged the ideological project of the "Committee to Reconstitute the Communist Party USA," the less I felt that they were invested in organizing and helping working people. The more I was put on the spot for actions that had nothing to do with us, the more I found myself lying to wiggle out of them, using whatever bullshit I had on hand. My only real sentiments were tied up in the premise of the Revolutionary Workers Movement and its potential. Even in parting, I still struggled to let go of its fantasy and future.

I think of the political organization as a war-machine; one that all members must subordinate themselves to individually, and a vehicle through which the collective subordinates themselves to the class struggle. I rate leadership very highly as well; leaders must be chosen and held to account for their ability to keep the machine in working order, and to keep its human transmission belts from slipping out of the historical currents of struggle. Use whatever means necessary to keep the machine functioning: it doesn't have to make sense, it doesn't have to be fair, but it does have to work and win. As a leader, Fellow-Worker was ultimately an inept one: his feigned competence and warped ambition had simply suited him for cadre leadership in the Red Guards. Again, this was combined with my sympathies towards his very real, adolescent frustrations in politics.

From week to week, there was some other contact to track down, some other aimless crack at propagandizing and proselytizing; in every single case, the object dissolved into thin air. We forced ourselves, in some roundabout way, to justify or rationalize why we checked the Riot channel for updates and directives. Fellow-Worker, in his political life, was nothing more than a purely corrupt ideologist for a purely corrupt ideology.

The CR-CPUSA itself does and doesn't exist, even though its schemes objectively liquidated whatever good was left in our organization. All developmental efforts within the former Red Guards and their mass organizations are increasingly trending towards the formation of this national section at the expense of very tactile and practical work at the local level. This is work that gives necessary political developments their substance and local cells their unity. The ideological work of the CR-CPUSA, mobilized under phrases like "quality over quantity" and "ideological consolidation," is quickly overtaking every single productive effort and gain that could possibly come about through quiet and diligent mass work. In essence, the CR-CPUSA is cannibalizing itself in its own preconception. The Maoist party isn't even in embryo; it's just a twinkle in some dumb asshole's eye and he's already itching to blink it away.

The last instance in which I felt any slight enthusiasm for our work in RWM was at the height of the UAW strike. I volunteered my time and effort, eager to skip out on work and totally willing to lose my job doing it, towards talking with some workers on the picket line. I wouldn't get the chance because, after their second visit to the line, Fellow-Worker was embarrassed that we couldn't muster more than three comrades to scope it out so he cancelled on us. Afterwards, word got around that the KCDSA had us promptly banned not only from the line but from the SEIU union hall we'd once booked for an event. They spread rumors that we were anti-union and looking to get workers to abandon the UAW, which was a crafty bit of opportunism on their part. When Fellow-Worker suggested I attend the KCDSA action, I initially believed it was a poorly-conceived reprisal from RWM to the KCDSA. In fact, I played my part in the action under the belief that it was direct retaliation against their opportunism.

Eluding all common sense, however, the action wasn't a reprisal; the action was a public move towards the establishment of CR-CPUSA efforts in Kansas City and the KCDSA's opportunism hardly even factored into it. When I'd agreed to play along with the action as a part of my rectification, I had designs on RWM, to maneuver the organization away from the lofty bullshit of the CR-CPUSA ideologists and try to put it on track with the class struggle with the support of, presumably, the Couple and perhaps another Maoist who might share my interest in turning it into a functioning war-machine. So, when I committed to the action, I believed I was contributing to the faultlines and accelerating the contradictions of RWM specifically rather than being used as a prop for the CR-CPUSA's theatrics. I was wrong.

Whatever petty ambitions I had with regard to the Revolutionary Workers Movement revealed themselves to be so fucking tedious, circular, and illogical in relation to that milieu of incompetent zealots that, between pulling shifts and just plain living, I absolutely wasn't willing to beat them at their own game. I'm too tired and too fucking miserable to play it, so I left. I left with nothing, for the most part, except for a lot of weird memories and minor regrets. I'm only thankful for my fundamental distrust of them because today I know just how manipulative, brutal, and abusive they've been to other comrades and friends who've opened themselves up to the internal culture of the US Maoists. I'll leave it to them to let their stories out; to tell how they conned themselves, too, in varying degrees and different ways but ultimately just the same as I did. As for myself, I feel as if this little episode has barely left a dent in me. I feel like I'm back on the right track now.

When I started out, I believed in the movement, or rather I believed a movement existed which could simply absorb me and put me to work doing something useful for real-world struggles. Regardless of its evident shortcomings, I believed that there were certain sectors of communist organizations that were highly competent, conscious, and willing. Because I overrate my own thinking and logic, I believed that the processes of the many organizations which comprise the movement were far more complex and thoroughgoing than they actually were. Any good faith that I held with any organization and its members was invariably used against me or proved such a handicap to my initiative and confidence that I could no longer follow through on anything I believed was right, but this was also an acute political failure.

At any given time, I held two fundamentally contradictory ideas: that it was imperative to accomplish what I believed was necessary and that subordinating what I believed was necessary to a given organization was imperative. It was only later that I summoned the will and due cynicism in order to fight for what I believed in but by then it was too late. Ideologically speaking, my romanticism and faith had simply conjured a historical movement I felt I had to humble myself to, but in doing so I only ever flattered myself and others. I guess the open secret is really that there is no such movement, that these organizations were even worse than my lowest and most cynical expectations, and that the people in them, facing very few obstacles themselves, only prove an impediment to each other and their ideals. From within, it has always come to me as a tragedy; from without, I know it’s always been a farce.

Over the past three years, various Marxist organizations have tried and failed to capture the imagination of popular, progressive forces after Trump’s election had disoriented them, and galvanized them to seek out systemic alternatives to staid political thought and activities. I saw dozens and dozens of people, mainly young women, enthusiastically offer their support and labor to socialism and communism. They eagerly sought out capable organizations that would harness their energy and creativity towards political power and insurrection; educate them in politics and bring them closer to mass struggles, to the people; to give them a voice and manifest their collective will. In my first year of activity, I had an intense drive and desire to remain sensitive to their needs, to realize them, but at the same time, I unnecessarily overrated the obstacles I found in my organizational work: the necessity of psychologically and politically breaking with the macho-dogmatists around me at the time. At any time, I simply could’ve broken away, as I did much later, but instead I only apologized for them; I hoped I would be able to change them around in good faith but in fact I only suspended my criticisms and interventions indefinitely in my apologies.

These new comrades were all in their own way betrayed and silenced by the failures and abuses of the bureaucratic bastard-elite of this “movement,” the organizations — new and old — which drain the life and fervor of the unorganized for their own venial power-plays and aimless propaganda campaigns. They were condescended to, dismissed, ignored, and their energies slowly snuffed out. The Marxist left, and the organized Left in general, comprises not a growing and maturing revolutionary body but an increasingly insular parasitic mass which feeds on the revolutionary spirit of the unorganized masses and capitalizes on the proletarian aims and sympathies of the new working classes; stringing up the desiccated corpses of the Bolsheviks and Senderos, marionette-like, in their grotesque agitations to flatter their own self-importance.

I was part and parcel of this process in my time with all of them, more complicit in their workings than critical of them in fact. It’s only in my writings and hindsight that I can even begin to articulate my hesitations, frustrations, and hatred of my recent past and present. This is something for which I feel a good deal of guilt, shame, and regret. Remarking on one of my recent, critical accounts of my time with the KC Maoists, a comrade of mine said: “Where was this person for the past year? Why wasn’t he there with you?” I couldn’t tell her on the spot, but I can tell you now that this person was locked away in my head, unnecessarily suppressed out of fear of rejection and isolation under the cover of “garnering the mutual respect and trust” of my “comrades”. Now I understand that the most significant aspect of criticism is having the courage to strike at all.

Enraged but timid; combative but complacent; resistant to the overtures of ideologists but ultimately pliable out of sheer pragmatism. Barring a few exceptions, these internal contradictions have characterized my relations to every Marxist organization with whom I’ve been involved. As a result, the bulk of my so-called “political work” has accumulated and sloughed down to my feet in a mass of wasted efforts and self-acting stresses. The very few small things which I’ve been able to produce, for which I feel some pride, I have had a tendency to romanticize and overrate; relative to the laziness and intractability of the organized Left they have only seemed like superhuman efforts. Now, I no longer think so highly of my thoughts nor my activities.

The vast majority of the organized Left in this country is a diseased anachronism. There are many comrades who, like myself, have simply acknowledged and apologized for its shortcomings, immaturity, and isolation; who nonetheless find and embrace opportunities to engage with people and help them get organized, to help them in their real daily struggles. I have a lot of sympathy and respect for them even if their position seems as fundamentally precarious as mine always was. However, the mass of the Left isn’t at all comprised of these well-meaning comrades but rather confused, naive, and backwards narcissists, or rather ideologists whose primary distinction is their narcissism. White chauvinism, individualism, dollarism, settlerism, opportunism, misogyny, transphobia, and thoroughgoing social parasitism, truly the Amerikan Way, play commanding roles in characterizing the real dysfunctions and relations that give substance to the many structures among the IWW syndicalists, Red Guard Maoists, DSA social-democrats, Marcyite Marxist-Leninists, all the Trotskyite splitters, and the various Anarchist collectives.

Years back, I believed the Left ought to be destroyed, not only on account of its weakness and irrelevance but also for its political and ideological sins — or more appropriately, its hollow, circular nostalgia for the dead past and all its mystical allegiances and superstitions. My special sympathies for the Red Guards were mainly directed towards their violence against the Marcyites and the DSA, which came to me in the form of entertaining and flamboyant punishments for their misleadership and abuses. I thought it was good that they ought to be punished for bad politics, and I got a pretty good rise out of that kind of chaos. On the other hand, if my involvement with the Maoists in the brawl at the SEIU union hall was anything to me, it was a serious Pagliacci Moment; but it was also a vindication of my past sentiments.

Standing over Carl’s bloodied head, writhing over the smattering of flyers we’d thrown about, while the Maoists pummeled his face into the floor, I felt nothing but a profound sense of ennui. The brawl was total, macho emotionalist nonsense; its actors, including myself, impotent and irrelevant to the daily on-goings of the capitalist status-quo, especially in revolt against it; the so-called political or ideological character of the KCDSA action itself was a total vacuum, public fodder for what would later become just another distracting piece of controversy and then mockery on the Left. I once felt that the Left ought to be destroyed for its irrelevance, perhaps from the outside, but now I realized that they were more than capable of destroying themselves from within, in their ignorance and insignificance. Whenever I start indulging any juvenile fantasies of “revenge,” they’re always, and reasonably, dashed by a return to this epiphany of mine.

Aside from this, I found I had participated, was also used some extent, as an unquestioning thug to perpetuate some juvenile, myopic drama that had persisted between the Maoists and so-called anarchists in KC, for which I felt unsurprised but also very frustrated. Beyond “politics,” beyond “ideology,” on the Left there are invariably only cliques and personalities, immovable and unchanged, which struggle only for themselves, with and for their maladapted capitalist mentalities and their imperialist lifestyles. For the Leninist in me, this is their principal and highest “political sin,” for which my only corrective is abandonment and escape to the real, practical, and somewhat chaotic world of the unorganized working classes; to become a free-agent to all those who struggle, in their own way, however they can, against the imperialist state and capital.

Insofar as the word itself carries any significance, I am a proletarian from a relatively poor white family. This is to say, my drive towards politics is one of a fundamental self-interest. All my life I looked at my family, the friends of my family, the family of my friends, all my friends who hustled, prostituted, and labored to survive at the risk of their bodies and freedom. I looked at myself, my hunger and squalor, my violence and anger, how the police and the bosses and the state and the education system mistreated me, all of which seemed to rise up in me like bile, congeal and solidify into an explosive hatred in all its unreason, unfairness, and brutality.

I recall so much confusion and pain in the trembling faces and voices of my friends, which tore me up on the inside without end; I knew I could never “save” them, but I wanted to make things right for them so badly and I wished I could give them answers, concrete and practical. I recall I was outside the Greyhound station when I saw a young Black girl accosted by the pigs and searched for drugs; while she shouted and cried, they drove her into the ground, cracking her jaw on the pavement and cuffing her without so much as saying a word — commanding her only to submit. I feel I wandered for some years thinking and doing as much violence as I could towards the world and whatever or whoever deserved it, so I could live to see one without. I feel like I still am.

In anarchism, I did nothing; in Marxism and Marxism-Leninism, I did nothing; in Maoism, I did nothing. These distinctions, all told, are meaningless and the only difference has been time, much of which has been wasted. My first branch chair in the PSL always used to say that speaking to the unorganized masses was like feeding baby birds; the truth has in fact been the inverse. I have spent a disproportionate amount of time digesting the ideas, commentaries, and criticisms of all the people I’ve engaged with on the street, among my friends, and regurgitating them, perhaps “beautifying,” them for the benefit of ideologists who barely care to listen, much less hear them. My Maoist liaison used to say that it wasn’t necessary to “reinvent the wheel” in every theoretical and practical endeavor; my experiences have demonstrated that the people who parrot such aphorisms wouldn’t even be able to tell you what the fuck “the wheel” even looks like.

I’m tired of this. I’m tired of the pretensions and rhetoric. I’m tired of the personalities and milieus. I refuse to interact with this melange of bourgeois communists and socialists and anarchists any longer. I’m tired of being tokenized, in their bizarre little ways, and having my good faith being taken advantage of. I’m sick of building walls between myself and the working classes any longer, who I’ve always gotten along with better than these snide, petit-bourgeois bullshitters and posers. I can no longer call myself a communist or a socialist in good conscience, and anyone who does, who doesn’t already have my sympathies, will have to earn my trust and confidence same as anyone else. And they’ll have to try much harder now.

All ideology, all politics, all ideals, are only weapons in service of the revolutionary classes and people. Equipping them with such key things presupposes a level of integration, trust, and confidence that the Left will never achieve by its very character, structure, and nature. Classes, communities, and nations are the sole root of change, and I intend to do everything in my power to work within them rather than severing myself from them, and from the real world.

“LET US BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING, AT THE ROOT OF CHANGE…”

Edited by red_dread ()

#58

red_dread posted:

Anyway, he soon started to burn out on his studies, briefly delving into alcoholism. This was when he made a clear break from the Ivy League milieu and into Communist politics.


#59
can you get him a rhizzone account?
#60

red_dread posted:

My ratty bangs were being throttled by the wind and my hands were stuffed into my jacket pockets. A cigarette wavered limply between my lips while I trained my eyes on a tactical van that was parked catty-corner to the column of prowlers facing the crest of the hill.



#61
if anyone hasnt read mike ely's stuff about being in bob avakian's cult you probably should

http://www.bannedthought.net/USA/Kasama/Pamphlets/Kasama-M.Ely-AmbushAtKeystoneNo.1-InsideTheCoalMiners'GreatGasProtestOf1974.pdf

http://www.bannedthought.net/USA/Kasama/Pamphlets/Kasama-M.Ely-NineLettersToOurComrades-2007.pdf
#62

pogfan1996 posted:

if anyone hasnt read mike ely's stuff about being in bob avakian's cult you probably should

http://www.bannedthought.net/USA/Kasama/Pamphlets/Kasama-M.Ely-AmbushAtKeystoneNo.1-InsideTheCoalMiners'GreatGasProtestOf1974.pdf

http://www.bannedthought.net/USA/Kasama/Pamphlets/Kasama-M.Ely-NineLettersToOurComrades-2007.pdf



hey, thank you. i tried a year ago to re-find the top one without luck, and now get to read the 2nd.

#63
update!

https://medium.com/@NechaevsBassoon/on-a-revolutionary-syndicate-264679c1ea20
#64
carl was an old man? geez

edit: in honor of #7 can i ask you about #4? do you really believe this? "Just as this movement develops, it will become all the more necessary for comrades to identify and eliminate such personalities and phenomena by any means necessary."

what if this sentence was totally inverted, and read instead, "Just as the movement develops, it will become all the more necessary for comrades to identify potential leaders, help them unlearn bourgeois conceptions of leadership like name, fame, and force, learn humility from their small misleaderships, and help the movement to teach them how to humbly actualize a line." ?

Edited by toyot ()

#65

toyot posted:

carl was an old man? geez


carl was primarily an asshole imho

#66
https://incendiarynews.com/2020/01/02/follow-up-on-the-action-against-kansas-city-dsa-a-criticism-and-self-criticism/

Since the publication of the article in question, a post on an online message board titled “A Brawl in the Union Hall” claims to offer an insider’s account from someone who participated in the action against the DSA.


Cowards couldn't even name us for fear of converting their readers to Marxism-Leninism-Rhizzonism

#67
It’s kinda weird that they’re criticizing the action by disowning everyone involved:

To recover from these types of mistakes, the comrades of Kansas City should pay close attention to the mass line and rectify their mass work. Sources confirm that the revolutionaries in Kansas City have entered into a general period of reorganization; beyond this, they have assured Incendiary that the people responsible for the action have been recalled and are no longer active in the movement in any capacity.

#68

filler posted:

Cowards couldn't even name us for fear of converting their readers to Marxism-Leninism-Rhizzonism



sometimes I search for recent mentions of this site and they are often 50/50 on 1) people who think we have proposed, in the past, that the JDPON should disperse the Amerikkkans throughout the Third World instead of allowing them to remain in occupied North America (correct), 2) people who think because they typed the name of this site they will be taken by pazuzu at sundown (correct)

#69
Ahey while i got the violent adventurists here: who dt grind badpost 4 mustang scute??
#70
yall kicked something off :)