#1
this was originally a blogpost i wrote in response to a liberal calling me a violent tankie when i said whatever mass shooting of the week had just happened was just an inevitable consequence of how amerika is structured so it’s hard to act surprised or shocked by it anymore. he of course didn’t respond so as my first post here i figured i’d share it with people who might actually engage with it. it maybe runs the risk of just being “well duh” here so feel free to critique away because my goal joining here is to grow in my diamat abilities and maybe shitpost sometimes
—-

After yet another mass shooting in the United States, a person in one of my online hangouts wondered aloud why Americans are so obsessed with solving their problems by killing each other. In this essay, I’ll discuss why this isn’t an obsession of American individuals but rather an inevitable consequence of the American political system.

Mass shootings are, most often, a form of political violence. The perpetrators tend to fit a profile: white, male, resentful, alienated, and indoctrinated into a particular ideology which tells them that the cause of their misery are women, racialized minorities, and the lgbtq+ community. At some point they go from stewing over their lot in life to enacting vengeance for it upon innocent people who have nothing to do with their condition. So why do they commit these acts of irrational violence? Before we can answer that, we need to understand a few things about America and the way it is ruled.

PART 1: VIOLENCE IS MORE ABSTRACT THAN A FIST

If you ask an average person “what is violence?”, you’re very likely to get an answer that involves the physical harm of another person with fists or weapons. Certainly this is the most concrete and easy-to-understand form of violence, but violence can exist in much more nebulous ways too.

The WHO defines violence as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.” (source: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789241564793). Dictionaries provide similarly abstract secondary definitions. Here’s Webster: “

injury by or as if by distortion, infringement, or profanation”(https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/violence).

So what do these definitions mean? Violence is done when the institutions of one’s society conspire to rob them of their rights or dignity through political force or coercion. Violence is done when a city creates a food desert through its zoning laws, or when people lose their livelihoods due to policies that eliminate their jobs. Violence is done when people are burdened with debt from a hospitalization or when their loved ones die because their government mismanages a pandemic.

Understanding these definitions, you can see the ways nearly every American lives under actual and threatened violence every day for their entire lives. This is the beginning of the alienation common to mass shooters.

PART 2: FREEDOM, AND ITS CONTRADICTIONS

We’ve established that every American lives under institutional violence for most of their lives. Another thing Americans, especially white Americans, live with every day is the powerful belief that Freedom is the most absolute right of every person and that, save reasonable exceptions like homicide laws, Freedom is uninfringeable. In theory American society is built on this cornerstone of freedom, but in practice the boundaries of this freedom are quite tight for the proletariat.

While the laws of the land are indeed rather unrestrictive, freedom is easily bound by economic shackles. True a man can do whatever he likes under the law, but without the resources that freedom is within the smallest of cages. You’ve all seen the graphs of the ever-widening wealth and income inequality in America. You hear the coal miners and factory workers ask where their jobs are going, and you hear the bitter young white men rage that there’s no jobs for them to begin with.

This is another kind of violence, the theft of liberty through theft of livelihood. It’s inflicted by a bourgeoisie whose profits are now completely decoupled from productivity. The rich no longer need to make anything, even through hired labor, to get richer. The best way to grow money is to invest it into financial instruments that only attain reification in physical goods or services at the bottom of a dozen-layer Seussian maze of equities, hedge funds, and short sales.

Where once a common person could at least feed their family by working for someone and having their excess value skimmed off by their capitalist bosses, more and more the only jobs that exist are menial and poorly compensated, with only the petite bourgeois strongholds like legal practices and engineering firms remaining as options that can support a family.

The average person understands on a gut level that this is happening, and they rightfully feel assaulted by it, but the fundamental economic reasons for it are so abstract that they’re misunderstood even by the hucksters in economics departments across the country, even if those hucksters are misunderstanding them somewhat willfully. “Your freedom was stolen by economic forces fundamental to the organization of your society” isn’t a satisfying or actionable answer for a common person, and so it is easy for the mouthpieces of capital to shift the blame to targets that are more tangible (“Equal opportunity gave your job to a Black person”, “Mexican illegal immigrants are stealing all the honest work”, etc.)

The alienation is turned to targeted anger through this restriction of freedoms and scapegoating of the loss onto other vulnerable communities.

PART 3: POLITICAL VIOLENCE IS THE ONLY TOOL LEFT

SO HOW DO YOU ADDRESS YOUR GRIEVANCES?

So, your job is gone, your neighborhood doesn’t seem as safe anymore, the social safety nets that could have helped you have been ransacked, and the people at the top who cause these ills operate through such an abstract web of economic forces that you have no tangible way to do anything about it? So what’s a person to do?

The answer you’ll get from the liberals in the Democratic and Republican parties is of course to vote. Elect leaders who will fight for you in congress! Vote for Joe Biden and he’ll erase your student debt, he’ll get you a new job working on infrastructure, he’ll solve that pandemic that’s stolen so many livelihoods. The answer to the violence inflicted by the system is always to participate in the system. This is in fact the *only* tool permitted Americans if they are to stay within the bounds of political decency defined by the establishment.

Peaceful protest is basically illegal. All throughout the summer of 2020 demonstration after demonstration was transformed into chaotic riots by police forces, those giddy guardians of the bourgeoisie, initiating violence against demonstrators until they had no choice but to fight back. And when they DID fight back, they were instantly decried by conservative(liberal) and “progressive”(liberal) media alike. Why do they have to damage other people’s property? Look how these cops have been shaken psychologically by these incidents, etc, etc, etc. If you want to organize, organize to vote! Replace the leaders you don’t like!

And sometimes that happens. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rode into congress on a wave of organization by left liberals looking to create change within the system. Her and the rest of the so-called “squad” talk an excellent game on Twitter, but their actual record in government makes it clear that their progressivism is nothing but performance.

WHO THE HELL IS IN CHARGE OF YOU?

The two-party system ensures that no true dissent ever ripples through the lawmakers of the land. Individual congresspeople have very little power to build revolutionary consensus within their parties, and the structure of the House and Senate ensure that you need a perfect consensus of one of the parties to get anything through. The Republicans are not agents of forward change, and while the Democrats bill themselves as such they still stack their party with so-called “blue dogs” who ensure that they will always have to give up on any real progress in the name of compromise with their most conservative wing.

Even if AOC was sincere in her desire to right the wrongs of the American system, she’s powerless to do so, and if she wasn’t the system of party consensus ensures that over time the deviant congressperson’s agenda is brought into line with the party’s.

And who is that party? According to the Senate’s website (https://www.senate.gov/CRSpubs/0b699eff-adc5-43c4-927e-f63045bdce8e.pdF), the 113th congress contains:

214 businesspeople (from management and executive backgrounds)

92 educators (no breakdown of k12 vs collegiate)

211 lawyers

226 in the disingenuously combined category of public service/politics. From what digging I’ve done this is primarily career politicians rather than people working in unelected civil service.

Put another way, our two parties are built almost entirely from the petite bourgeoisie. What exactly does that mean? The petite bourgeoisie is the class of people who earn high compensation by providing vital services to the upper classes. Legal professionals, doctors, university administrators, small-time executives, etc. While these people live comfortably and in significantly more financial security than the proletariat, their livelihood is still contingent upon their continued satisfactory service to the capitalists. A lawyer doesn’t make money if his rich clients aren’t happy. A career politician can’t finance his campaigns without financial support from business. An executive of a small time services firm keeps his company afloat by hobnobbing with the decision makers at the big and powerful companies who will decide whether his firm gets that next big contract.

And why are these people so much more likely to be in congress than k12 teachers or welders? Because they already have connections with the rich patrons who can finance their campaigns, and they are already practiced at giving those patrons what they want. And what’s the consequence of this? These people, shuttled into visible power by the real powers (economic powers) of our country, eagerly work to make sure their rich patrons are happy. Once elected, the only thing that matters is staying elected, and making voters happy doesn’t do that. Making the people who finance your campaigns happy does.

SO YOU CAN’T VOTE IN CHANGE, WHAT’S LEFT?

By now it should be abundantly clear that the civil officially-endorsed tools of political change don’t work. We’ve voted for change over 100 times now and change doesn’t come. What else can you do? If you crack the Little Red Book, Mao will tell you “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” You can’t threaten the ruling class through electoral action, and you certainly can’t threaten them through the institutional tools of violence. What is left but to make them do what you want with the tools of physical violence, or failing that kill them and put in someone who will do what you want?

This sort of violence is never preferable, but it is often justified. One has only to look at the Haitian revolution or the overthrow of the Japanese collaborator government in Korea by the communists to recognize that there are situations where the evil of killing your rulers is far less distasteful than to stand by and allow them to continue debasing and dominating you. Certainly no one can say that Kim Il Sung and his followers killing government officials is less just than permitting them to continue atrocities like the use of comfort women.

Now, the situation in America can feel less clear cut, especially to the white liberal audience to whom anti-violence rhetoric is primarily addressed. After all you may be having a rough go of it, but you’re not at risk of dying. Sure things could be better but at least you’re not homeless. No need to do something extreme about it. And so the white liberal is easily guided by their media of choice to believe in the ballot as the measure of societal justice and to condemn violence as damaging the good name of the movements for that justice.

The other side takes advantage of that lack of clear cut directly maniacal evil too. White reactionaries know that someone is hurting them, taking their job, robbing their dignity. And some of them even arrive at Mao’s conclusion, that the forces doing this harm can’t be persuaded through demonstration or election. As you can see above, I would tend to agree that they’re correct in this conclusion. There is no hope of change within the institutions that oppress us. Acts of violence in the hope of forcing change is the inevitable result, and perhaps even the correct choice. But the rightful targets of that violence are the politicians and the rich patrons that control them. The people who, once eliminated, can no longer pervert the tools of power to suck Americans dry.

But violence against those people is hopeless. The American military could destroy 5 Texases worth of armed rebellion in an afternoon if it wanted. And the reactionaries know this. Hell, they worship that military. But they still need someone to channel that violence into to reclaim a sense of control over their destiny. And that’s where right wing media steps in and creates our mass shooters.

PART 4: HOW REVOLUTIONARY VIOLENCE IS MADE REACTIONARY

So, you have a powderkeg of potential revolutionary violence on your hands and your patrons want you to keep making it worse to drive their wealth ever upwards. What do you do? You use reactionary ideology to redirect it.

As we’ve discussed above, the real forces of violence against the common man are incredibly abstract and unassailable, so it’s rather easy to insert a new narrative to give people something concrete to blame and attack. Right wing media takes advantage of white supremacy to eliminate class consciousness. In this way revolutionary violence is prevented in favor of reactionary violence. Every day a dozen identical white men and women drone for hours about how immigrants are replacing the white man, how affirmative action gives white jobs to Black workers, how single mothers on welfare are stealing your taxes and so on and so on. You even have Tucker Carlson openly talking about the “great replacement” on evening broadcasts now.

Now that violent urge, that need to take control of your destiny with your own hands, has someone reachable to attach to. You can’t start an uprising against the US government, but you can grab a gun and go to the nearest Black church. Violence, as we have argued above, is absolutely inevitable within the framework of institutional mass violence that is used to rule America, and through manipulation of existing racial tension and the common white man’s sense of alienation that violence is turned inward to your fellow exploited people in a reactionary outburst. America is built to churn out mass murderers. Our GDP can be measured in lives claimed as easily as dollars.

CONCLUSION

We have now looked at how Americans live their whole lives under the infliction of mass institutional violence. We then discussed how we are trained to believe in absolute freedom, and how that freedom is constrained through economic violence. We’ve looked at how that contradiction between philosophical freedom and the constrictions of economic reality inevitably produce violence, and we’ve seen how white supremacy and other racial tensions are used to redirect that violence onto other potential revolutionary forces instead of the actual controllers of institutional violence.

I wish I could wrap things up with some optimistic message about how we can fix this problem, but I don’t have one. I think a collapse is almost entirely inevitable, and I think the first fits of wide-scale mass violence will be along racial lines. The ray of hope I cling to is that when that collapse comes decades down the line that the socialist nations will be developed enough to decide to intervene to prevent mass atrocities. To that end I work my hardest to enlighten people who still believe in the absurd lies our government and media tells about those countries, in the hope we can expand political pressure to end embargos and sanctions. Perhaps the white liberal desire to have brunch in beautiful Havana has enough political clout to make some progress there. It’s the one thing I feel like is vaguely possible. So if this essay left you feeling hopeless, cling to that. There are places on this planet that genuinely labor to lift their people out of poverty and build just societies, and maybe one day they’ll save us.
#2
the idiosyncratic spelling of amerika with a C is really off-putting
#3
submitting a ticket for a re-write in the amerikkkan maoist style as a critical accessibility issue
#4
also hi
#5
I think your class analysis is a little wonky and that’s leading to some odd conclusions. The idea that the labor aristocracy under pressure is a revolutionary force is a big flaw, these mass shootings aren’t revolutionary violence misdirected, they are violent spasms of a dying class. The labor aristocracy has been getting compressed, but it isn’t a revolutionary force, the spasms of political uprisings are ultimately able to be redirected into reformist ends because it is in the short term interest of the labor aristocracy to demand more dividends from the super exploitation of global workers. Adivasis in India don’t have that option.

Fully 1/4 of amerikan households range between 100k-350k in household income, this was 12% in 1979 after adjusting for inflation. This also doesn’t factor in the shift towards benefits in compensation, which the liberals decrying the so-called dead middle class forget about.

These violent spasms are not hijacked by reactionary ideology, reactionary ideology flows from the livelihood and power of the labor aristocracy resting on a shaky foundation of white supremacy and imperialism. This is what I mean by a dying class, it is an untenable position that has to be enforced through imperialist violence and violence at home. The labor aristocracy, as a class, will not overthrow imperialism because the livelihood they’re expected to fight for is built on global theft.

Another aspect of the social alienation of white men is that some groups believe that the principal contradiction within the white amerikan nation is youth vs adults, which seems to echo within these mass shootings

I don't think that the social alienation of white men comes from some contradiction between freedom mythology and reality. There's a pretty clear breakdown in community and social structures so those relationships can be commodified that is leading to lots of people getting left behind. This also explains petit bourgeois anarchist activism as well.

Also, hi.

Edited by pogfan1996 ()

#6
had to resurface to say please read some older threads:
https://rhizzone.net/forum/topic/16057/
#7

liceo posted:


hell yeah your ideas about zones of alienation in there are really cool

#8

pogfan1996 posted:


i must admit i’m not familiar with the idea of a labor aristocracy. where can i learn more? my own analysis of white supremacy tends to have the white laborer having more in common with other oppressed people but having that commonality hidden by the power and privilege granted by white supremacy. it’s a way of keeping the peons at each other’s throats

#9
how'd you find this forum SookieIlychStackhouse, if not through Maoism third worldism
#10
a bunch of us are just in the matrix chat, join us!
#11

SookieIlychStackhouse posted:

pogfan1996 posted:

i must admit i’m not familiar with the idea of a labor aristocracy. where can i learn more? my own analysis of white supremacy tends to have the white laborer having more in common with other oppressed people but having that commonality hidden by the power and privilege granted by white supremacy. it’s a way of keeping the peons at each other’s throats



if you're looking for a thorough, in-depth analysis of the labor aristocracy, I recommend Divided World Divided Class by Zak Cope.

i understand saying "read a fucking book" is kind of rude to new posters so here's some helpful, shorter articles.

When Race Burns Class, a great interview that talks about the contradictions between labor aristocracy and race:
https://libcom.org/library/when-race-burns-class-settlers-revisited-interview-j-sakai

From a marxist/economic angle:
https://monthlyreview.org/2015/07/01/imperialism-and-the-transformation-of-values-into-prices/

A summation of the third worldist movement/ideas:
https://anticonquista.com/2021/03/10/recuperating-third-worldism-how-white-workers-continue-to-benefit-from-capitalism-imperialism/

History of labor aristocracy in europe:
https://anti-imperialism.org/2018/06/14/some-notes-on-the-european-labor-aristocracy/

Examining labor aristocracy through the verizon strike:
https://anti-imperialism.org/2016/06/01/the-verizon-strike-the-left-boot-of-imperialism/

the whole "white workers keep getting tricked by white supremacy" angle is really kind of ridiculous on its face, it's very in line with the liberal admonishment of white people/women voting for republicans. as andrea dworkin & others have pointed out, theres material reasons and benefits for that alignment, it's not because people are stupid puppets

Edited by pogfan1996 ()

#12

marknat posted:

how'd you find this forum SookieIlychStackhouse, if not through Maoism third worldism



Tankie friend/fellow ex goon linked a cool thread here where someone was breaking down the problems with all the Marcyite parties and it seemed like a neat place to post and learn. I’m slowly working my way through a lot of literature but I’m definitely a baby marxist leninist compared to most people here i’m sure.

i mostly just shitpost in a tiny discord with a few other queer tankies

#13

pogfan1996 posted:

SookieIlychStackhouse posted:
pogfan1996 posted:
i must admit i’m not familiar with the idea of a labor aristocracy. where can i learn more? my own analysis of white supremacy tends to have the white laborer having more in common with other oppressed people but having that commonality hidden by the power and privilege granted by white supremacy. it’s a way of keeping the peons at each other’s throats



if you're looking for a thorough, in-depth analysis of the labor aristocracy, I recommend Divided World Divided Class by Zak Cope.

i understand saying "read a fucking book" is kind of rude to new posters so here's some helpful, shorter articles.

When Race Burns Class, a great interview that talks about the contradictions between labor aristocracy and race:
https://libcom.org/library/when-race-burns-class-settlers-revisited-interview-j-sakai

From a marxist/economic angle:
https://monthlyreview.org/2015/07/01/imperialism-and-the-transformation-of-values-into-prices/

A summation of the third worldist movement/ideas:
https://anticonquista.com/2021/03/10/recuperating-third-worldism-how-white-workers-continue-to-benefit-from-capitalism-imperialism/

History of labor aristocracy in europe:
https://anti-imperialism.org/2018/06/14/some-notes-on-the-european-labor-aristocracy/

Examining labor aristocracy through the verizon strike:
https://anti-imperialism.org/2016/06/01/the-verizon-strike-the-left-boot-of-imperialism/

the whole "white workers keep getting tricked by white supremacy" angle is really kind of ridiculous on its face, it's very in line with the liberal admonishment of white people/women voting for republicans. as andrea dworkin & others have pointed out, theres material reasons and benefits for that alignment, it's not because people are stupid puppets

Edited by pogfan1996 (today 09:34:18)



“read a fucking book” is a great answer as far as i’m concerned. I came to marxism through shitposting in “left” forums that couldn’t overcome their settler mindset and getting frustrated and am now trying to catch up on the reading to get better at analysis cuz analyzing dumbass liberals out of frustration only gets you so far. Here’s my books so far (settlers is in my reading room atm)

#14

SookieIlychStackhouse posted:

settler mindset


you can't say this phrase on the same page in the same thread where you said you don't understand labor aristocracy.

#15

liceo posted:

you can't say this phrase on the same page in the same thread where you said you don't understand labor aristocracy.


i assume that for most people, some degree of awareness of the settler colonial situation usually precludes learning the particulars of marxist analysis on its exploitation. life finds a way

#16

SookieIlychStackhouse posted:

settlers is in my reading room atm


#17
ignoring the books to examine the laminate
#18

liceo posted:

SookieIlychStackhouse posted:

settler mindset

you can't say this phrase on the same page in the same thread where you said you don't understand labor aristocracy.



this is amerika i can do whatever i want

but no it’s kind of impossible to have any consciousness at all in amerika and not understand it as an imperial project born from a settler colonial project. i got a bunch of white anarchists really hot and bothered about “white genocide” because i suggested folding up a bunch of the rural southwest towns that mostly just suck resources away from reservations and that was my big moment of realization that the western left is severely hampered by the inability to see their impact as settlers on stolen land

#19

SookieIlychStackhouse posted:

The alienation is turned to targeted anger through this restriction of freedoms and scapegoating of the loss onto other vulnerable communities.



here's where most folks on this board are gonna diverge from you; in a nutshell, the class from which your mass shooters are drawn are the labor aristocracy, they're not reactionary because they're being fooled or misled, they're reactionary because their interests as a class are under threat and they're responding

#20
this isn't a place it's the internet which is not Real
#21
but yeah welcome :)))!!! and read literally everything pogfan recommended and make posts asking abt all the things you don’t understand
#22

littlegreenpills posted:

SookieIlychStackhouse posted:
The alienation is turned to targeted anger through this restriction of freedoms and scapegoating of the loss onto other vulnerable communities.



here's where most folks on this board are gonna diverge from you; in a nutshell, the class from which your mass shooters are drawn are the labor aristocracy, they're not reactionary because they're being fooled or misled, they're reactionary because their interests as a class are under threat and they're responding

welcome to the desert of the fail




i agree my analysis fell down here. I failed to consider that membership in whiteness comes with actual benefits these people want to protect for themselves. i made the mistake of treating whiteness as simply a mirage to get certain laborers to form class solidarity with the bourgeoisie but those white laborers have actual tangible advantages over other laborers and this is a much more developed place to begin the analysis of their violence. it’s not vengeance on perceived enemies, it’s reactive destruction of their actual class enemies, the people who must tear down the special
class of the white laborer to gain their own liberation

#23
it’s times like this i like to remind everyone that whiteness is a social construct, it’s socially constructed by your tax return, and the Brazilians have figured this out way better than anyone else in the world
#24
Besides what's been said, mass shootings are a uniquely American phenomenon. Australia, Canada, South Africa, Algeria, Taiwan, etc. all either have strict gun control or the everyday violence of the third world lumpen economy. The obvious reason is the US is the only settler colony that still has large occupied nations which require colonial occupiers on the frontier whereas all others either wiped out the native population or were kicked out by it. But how did frontier violence against native Americans become colonial violence against new Afrikans? Why does vigilante justice persist despite its settler character being formalized and legalized in the police force? What is relationship between American imperialism abroad and white supremacist gun violence at home? These are the questions you need to answer and they are so far beyond what you can achieve debating some reactionary.

Also your definition of "violence" isn't going to convince anyone since capitalism is defined by its lack of "intentionality." The WHO defines it that way for a reason and while it can be used to criticize the more obvious effects of American racialized capitalism, this isn't very useful since liberals don't like these either and wish for a pure capitalism without any of the things you mention.

Violence is done when the institutions of one’s society conspire to rob them of their rights or dignity through political force or coercion. Violence is done when a city creates a food desert through its zoning laws, or when people lose their livelihoods due to policies that eliminate their jobs. Violence is done when people are burdened with debt from a hospitalization or when their loved ones die because their government mismanages a pandemic.



I don't think any liberal would disagree with these and in fact many of them are neoliberal criticisms of the state, like Jane Jacobs' critique of city planning on the same terms or Foucault's critique of (well intentioned!) society robbing individuals of their "rights and dignity.". Even your criticism of labor market is of "policies" rather than market itself, the same criticism as Milton Friedman of "naive Keynesian theory.". Marx's concept of the "coercive laws of competition" is something very different, see Benjamin's Toward the Critique of Violence as well for the Marxist-Leninist concept of political violence.

Also I know everyone gets Xi Jinping's books these days but has anyone actually read them? I skimmed the first volume once and besides being a collection of speeches rather than a book, I didn't see anything remotely interesting. Maybe you can convince me otherwise. Also when did "settler colonialism" and "decolonization" become the new liberal buzzwords? Never thought I'd see the day.

#25
man i know i’m new at this but calling me a liberal? ouch
#26
The large majority of socialists are liberals. I would even go so far as to say the large majority of Marxists are liberals. Liberalism is a very powerful ideology and imprints itself onto you through the act of living under capitalism. It must be constantly fought through the method of critique, the most dangerous thing is to treat it as an identity one chooses or rejects since that is when liberalism truly does its work.

For example, you are not actually critical of capitalism. You are critical of "finance capitalism" or "neoliberalism."

This is another kind of violence, the theft of liberty through theft of livelihood. It’s inflicted by a bourgeoisie whose profits are now completely decoupled from productivity. The rich no longer need to make anything, even through hired labor, to get richer. The best way to grow money is to invest it into financial instruments that only attain reification in physical goods or services at the bottom of a dozen-layer Seussian maze of equities, hedge funds, and short sales.



Besides the fact that this connection is simply untrue given that white gun violence is far older than neoliberalism, even if it were true why would we care? Will bringing back "good" capitalism for the American working class end gun violence? Instead of understanding the logic of Trump supporters, you seem to have become absorbed in it.

#27
In this essay I will prove that I am not a liberal. Merriam-Webster defines a liberal as
#28

babyhueypnewton posted:

The large majority of socialists are liberals. I would even go so far as to say the large majority of Marxists are liberals. Liberalism is a very powerful ideology and imprints itself onto you through the act of living under capitalism. It must be constantly fought through the method of critique, the most dangerous thing is to treat it as an identity one chooses or rejects since that is when liberalism truly does its work.

For example, you are not actually critical of capitalism. You are critical of "finance capitalism" or "neoliberalism."

This is another kind of violence, the theft of liberty through theft of livelihood. It’s inflicted by a bourgeoisie whose profits are now completely decoupled from productivity. The rich no longer need to make anything, even through hired labor, to get richer. The best way to grow money is to invest it into financial instruments that only attain reification in physical goods or services at the bottom of a dozen-layer Seussian maze of equities, hedge funds, and short sales.



Besides the fact that this connection is simply untrue given that white gun violence is far older than neoliberalism, even if it were true why would we care? Will bringing back "good" capitalism for the American working class end gun violence? Instead of understanding the logic of Trump supporters, you seem to have become absorbed in it.



i think you’re picking up on a poor articulation on my part rooted in the fact that i wrote this in response to an argument.

i was attempting to characterize the worldview of the people who commit violence but i seem to have portrayed it as my own worldview.

i plan to revise this essay extensively based on the responses i’m getting here.

#29

SookieIlychStackhouse posted:

Right wing media takes advantage of white supremacy to eliminate class consciousness.


i disagree

#30
hey, op, duh doy
#31
and welcome to the forums
#32
hello op. you might want to consider that a lot of mass shooters seem to have state/intelligence connections(there's even that one crankish book programmed to kill that argues that all mass shooters and serial killers are products of mkultra type programs) and when you combine this idea with awareness of things like gladio and the strategy of tension you get the impression that a lot of these events are probably deliberately encouraged by the state rather than being spontaneous violence. this doesn't really contradict your basic conclusion that america produces mass shooters by design but it's a bit more of an overt production process than the one you were talking about i think.

babyhueypnewton posted:

Also when did "settler colonialism" and "decolonization" become the new liberal buzzwords? Never thought I'd see the day.


i'm pretty sure i've see liberal types on twitter and such using them but as you would expect basically devoid of any radical content or analysis. it's probably not surprising that's happening given that there seems to be more awareness of stuff like sakai's writing on the internet in general now

#33
yeah there’s definitely something to the notion that mass shooters are acting out of defense of their class position against the oppressed masses who must break down the white class’s power to gain liberation and the white supremacist government can only benefit from the direction of this violence being toward the racialized masses rather than toward the capitalists that have continually contracted the economic position of the white labor cohort as their labor becomes less necessary in the face of increased extraction of wealth from the global south.

i don’t think my instincts were necessarily leading me in the wrong direction but i definitely could have put this through a few more drafts to tease this out more. i really appreciate all the thoughts so far!

except the shit posters, you i will encircle from the countryside (a vpn link from vietnam) and conquer you (stew a little bit with my tender femoid feelings hurt)
#34
I want to say up top that this is a bit of scattered thoughts I had but don’t have the motivation to make more coherent and cohesive

lo posted:

hello op. you might want to consider that a lot of mass shooters seem to have state/intelligence connections(there's even that one crankish book programmed to kill that argues that all mass shooters and serial killers are products of mkultra type programs) and when you combine this idea with awareness of things like gladio and the strategy of tension you get the impression that a lot of these events are probably deliberately encouraged by the state rather than being spontaneous violence. this doesn't really contradict your basic conclusion that america produces mass shooters by design but it's a bit more of an overt production process than the one you were talking about i think.


To be fair to ‘programmed to kill’ I don’t think it talks about any mass shooters - it mostly focuses on serial killers and the case it makes certainly implies that all the prominent ones it covers come from MK-like programs but more concretely (and imo somewhat convincingly) shows that they were not just “crazy lone wolves” but individuals with some powerful connections and/or group that helped them kill and then scapegoated them.


I was thinking along the lines of your post. Not just with mass shooters but nearly all the actions lumped together under “terrorism” in the US tend to end up having a helping hand, or at least a blind eye turned, by the state. It feels cliche and empty to say at this point but i was also thinking of where organs outside the official state also encourage this kind of violence. The pentagon sponsored action movies and military video games, the guilt-free slaughter of zombies anywhere they show up, the constant stream of copganda television, the dexter or squid game or amerikkkan horror story tv shows that turns killers to protagonists, the internet fan-clubs that some killers have gained, the true-crime podcast craze, the immediate news-media attention any attack gains. Not all of these are state sponsored or co-signed, much of it has overt targets for its violence outside US boarders. It’s a whole class (or classes) - many political groupings (from fascists to law and order liberals) - that could see their cause furthered by gladios and semi-randomized violence and might have thought that encouraging that broadly is worth funding.

One theme that seems to come up often in MK stuff, cults, anywhere else where control is pursued is that intense trauma inflicted early and often on children tends to make them easier targets later.

#35
Hi SookieIlychStackhouse, welcome to the forum. Thanks for posting your thoughts. I agree with most of the points brought up about it here in this thread. I see that you're reading Settlers right now, which is a great choice. Most of the criticisms of your post here have a background in the arguments outlined in that book. In short, the settler nature of the "white working class" and its resulting alliance to the bourgeoisie makes mass shootings carried out by this class not just programming from the bourgeoisie, but their own (semi)independent initiatives in service of their own goals. There is a contradiction between the class interests of the white working class and the racialized workers of the usa that cannot be put down to bourgeois trickery.

I hope the style of some posters doesn't chase you away from here. Also, it's definitely a good idea to read some older posts, especially the ones in the archive tab on the front page, but just cause something got discussed in a thread in 2016 doesn't mean you shouldn't post about it. It's good to re-examine topics from time to time, and the forum can benefit from more activity anyways. You don't need to be a veteran of the Nepalese civil war or a regular contributor to Quishi to post here, it's just an internet forum not a cadre organization or any kind of political organization at all. That being said, some ideas are already so established here that posts which aren't aligned with them will cause a large volume of responses, which can feel overwhelming even if they were all very nice and gentle. A lot of these established ideas are practically impossible to seriously and rigorously discuss in any other online space, so some posters can be very rude and outright hostile in their responses to try and preserve this one island.

Thanks again for posting, I look forward to posting with you more.
#36

colddays posted:

You don't need to be a veteran of the Nepalese civil war or a regular contributor to Quishi to post here,


but it helps!

#37
wanted to throwing my "bit" about how the majority of shootings are not the headline bait stuff, and once you strip out inter-lumpen shootings you are left with the majority of shootings being a middle aged white man shooting a former or present female sexual partner and maybe their children too. draw some parallels with relationship between rapists and their victims.

combine how the man is brought up to understand that they are owed the labour of a wife with the UI/UX friendly features of the gun in the minecraft style crafting furnace that is the united states of amerikkka and bake for a couple hundred years
#38

tears posted:

wanted to throwing my "bit" about how the majority of shootings are not the headline bait stuff, and once you strip out inter-lumpen shootings you are left with the majority of shootings being a middle aged white man shooting a former or present female sexual partner and maybe their children too. draw some parallels with relationship between rapists and their victims.

combine how the man is brought up to understand that they are owed the labour of a wife with the UI/UX friendly features of the gun in the minecraft style crafting furnace that is the united states of amerikkka and bake for a couple hundred years



yeah gun violence generally is a completely different story. it i wanted to explore the totality of gun violence i’d probably start with the number of cops who shoot their spouses and work from there.

i was focused on spree shooters specifically with this post but i started from a premise that i’m realizing was half baked and it kind of serves to make the rest incoherent.

i stand by the stuff about the petty boog nature of the political class and the way the false narrative of access to political power drives despair at addressing your grievances through the political process, but the source of the grievances for the kind of person who becomes a spree shooter is much more bound up in a threat to their position of middling power from all sides rather than anger upward being misguided downward as i originally posited.

#39
spree/mass shootings have very different intent behind them than gun violence as a whole does. i also dont think tears is really talking about gun violence in general. it seems almost commonplace to say that members of the white nation inside the us feel entitled to a certain cut of the profits of the imperial state that, consciously or otherwise, they know is theirs in a fundamental way. when we remember that white men make up about 63% of all mass shooters in the united states, we should investigate. where are they shooting? in declining order of prevalence, workplaces, retail spaces, and schools make up over 2/3 of the venues. who are they (initially) targeting? usually their bosses, a 'loved' one, or women in general. in general id say we (as in members of the forum) arent surprised that white men act this way, since its how the state they built also acts, but i would just like to highlight that mass shootings are a particularly patriarchal and political form of violence.

e: also, hello and welcome to the zone. we're not especially friendly but we are glad to have you.

Edited by JohnBeige ()