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 Post subject: Does 'Insurgent Notes' still exist?
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 4:22 pm 
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Does the U.S. ultra-left effort -- if there is any -- behind the web site 'Insurgent Notes' still exist?

After wearing themselves out congratulating themselves for getting together a public conference three and a half months ago -- this is a bit like congratulating yourself for being able to get dressed without assistance in the morning -- blissful silence has reigned ever since on their web page.

It's certainly consistent with what I've seen of that web site's main author in practice.

Alexander Selkirk


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 Post subject: Re: Does 'Insurgent Notes' still exist?
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 4:38 pm 
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Arty will probably have something to say on the subject once he returns to the country, but I did notice one of the people associated with Insurgent Notes is participating in this.

https://itsgoingdown2017.wordpress.com/blog/

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 Post subject: Re: Does 'Insurgent Notes' still exist?
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 11:04 pm 
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I see that extremely creepy San Francisco Bay Area leftist Gifford Hartman is one of their designated US comrades. The guy has a pattern of pedaling fantasy projection accounts of stuff he's involved in, or tangentially involved in. And, even worse, a track record of sexual harassment stunts at the expense of several women, in Athens and in the U.S.

A debunking of Gifford's version of events in the failed transit system fare strike of 2005, apparently marketed to an audience of gullible UK ultra-leftists, can be seen here:

http://www.infoshop.org/myep/fare-strik ... cisco-2005


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 Post subject: Re: Does 'Insurgent Notes' still exist?
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 5:55 am 
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The accusation of sexual harassment is pretty serious, I hope it isn't being made lightly.

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 Post subject: Re: Does 'Insurgent Notes' still exist?
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 8:41 am 
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It isn't being made lightly.


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 Post subject: Re: Does 'Insurgent Notes' still exist?
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 2:51 am 
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Alexander Selkirk wrote:
I see that extremely creepy San Francisco Bay Area leftist Gifford Hartman is one of their designated US comrades. The guy has a pattern of pedaling fantasy projection accounts of stuff he's involved in, or tangentially involved in. And, even worse, a track record of sexual harassment stunts at the expense of several women, in Athens and in the U.S.

A debunking of Gifford's version of events in the failed transit system fare strike of 2005, apparently marketed to an audience of gullible UK ultra-leftists, can be seen here:

http://www.infoshop.org/myep/fare-strik ... cisco-2005



Gifford is not a "designated comrade" of Insurgent Notes- and never has been. Don't know anything about his relation with AWW. The IN silence speaks for itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Does 'Insurgent Notes' still exist?
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 5:23 am 
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I was referring to the egregious Gifford being referred to as a comrade, or, perhaps more accurately, a credible source of info and analysis, by Angry Workers World, not Insurgent Notes.

So, the persons behind IN have simply lost interest in what they were doing? Speaking as an ultra-left of 30-plus years standing, I can attest to this being unfortunately par for the course.


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 Post subject: Re: Does 'Insurgent Notes' still exist?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:43 am 
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Here is an alternative to pedantryand inaction. This is the last doc in a book that will be out as soon as I can find a publisher:


THE WILL TO INTERVENE


Subversion in Capitalist America: A User's Manual examines three decades of anti-state communist action in the United States. As the title of this work makes clear, these efforts are examined as potential points of departure for better efforts in the future. Inventive aggressive action improving on what I’ve tried to do can play a significant role in the approaching turmoil.

Several efforts examined here have focused on housing and social space. This does not make me a "housing activist." The efforts I’ve been involved in that have the greatest mass popular potential have attempted to use big city public transit systems as a platform for a large-scale rejection of market relations, but that doesn’t make me a “transit activist” either. In an aggressively depoliticized United States I had to seek trouble wherever I could find it. Most of these efforts have been outside of the workplace, on the periphery of the reigning mode of production. The period of social peace that limited my range of action is coming to an end.

For most of the past hundred years various forms of Marxism-Leninism and Trotskyism effectively occupied all political space to the left of the Democratic Party.  Marxism-Leninism and Trotskyism were the politics of the counter-revolution in Russia, but the Leninist left often attracted energetic, capable, dedicated people of a caliber not found among today's anarchists and ultra-leftists. Militants of these forms of left-capitalist politics often played a central role, and sometimes a positive one, in real world social struggles. With the collapse of the Soviet Union the Leninist branch of the left-wing of capital effectively became defunct. Most M-L and Trotskyist groups went belly-up a generation ago. Nothing has arisen to fill that corresponding empty space. More significantly, liberal democracy no longer has the ideological allegiance of the majority of the populace. An opportunity without historical precedent is being neglected. This must change now. We are in a unique position. Authentic anti-capitalists can assert an entirely new kind of mass politics in a rapidly deteriorating society ruled by an ever-more inept and self-discrediting political apparatus.

Some of the specifics of how a small, organized and energetic extremist tendency can come into being, establish rigorous internal political cohesion and contribute effectively to a larger society-wide dynamic are examined in my article ‘The Anarchist Subculture and the Leftist Protest Ghetto.’
  

     We now need:

1. Collective reading and discussion of texts, beginning with the Situationists -- ignoring Vaneigem -- and after this works by Gilles Dauve and 'Unions Against Revolution,'

2. Combined with ongoing public action among wage earners, not protesty-protester shit. 

     We should get involved in fights of wage earners against employers. We should assert direct action solidarity with immigrants against the U.S. government.  We should take part in fights over housing, gentrification and public space.  But our central ongoing emphasis should be on public transit system operators and riders in major cities -- and -- for obvious reasons -- on enlisted people in the Armed Forces.

A well-organized group of anti-capitalists can spread its message, with an effective reach out of all proportion to its small numbers, and reach a strategically significant segment of the wage-earning class, by maintaining an extremely narrow focus among employees of public transit systems. Along with this, we can reach the widest and most diverse working class audience possible through low tech mass communication among transit system riders. 

A widespread self-organized movement emerging from joint action between transit system employees and riders can effect an entire urban region. Good ideas of this kind can spread from transit system to transit system, from city to city, and into non-transit workplaces.  

 We need to think big. This is about the working class recovering the political autonomy from capital that was lost in the U.S. eighty-plus years ago with the New Deal.  And we should be wildly visionary: self-organized and extremely self-aware mass wildcat actions growing out of labor strife in metropolitan transit systems could conceivably develop, in depth and breath, and in ways that cannot be predicted at present, to create a working class-propelled political crisis for the regime we live under.  A combative working class must become the central force in the unfolding crisis in this society.  Mass action on mass transit could be the way that a new social movement begins.

3.  We will also need an internal discussion bulletin, in photocopy form to avoid our exchanges deteriorating into empty online chit-chat, and,

4. A series of conferences assessing the strengths and weaknesses of our ongoing efforts and ever-evolving ways to tighten our focus and move forward.


Aspects of my analysis have changed with time, but it has always been clear that we need to create a network, based around a shared set of distinct perspectives, outside of and against liberalism, against identity politics, against the left, and indifferent to the protest ghetto and related fringe phenomena. This means gathering together the most capable, persevering and inventive troublemakers, people with drive and nerve -- we do not need a social club for college Marxist pedants and anarchist subculture scenesters. A self-styled minority tendency of this type is not a minority out of any desire to lead or manipulate others, or impart a Kautskyian-Leninist gift of socialist consciousness to working people. Until the moment when the capitalist mode of production is being scrapped only a small number of individuals are going to see that the world must be transformed in a communist way. A revolutionary mass movement cannot be organized -- but a small highly visible network of groups of people contributing to the rise of one must be organized, especially under ever more favorable conditions in the U.S. With ongoing involvement in mainstream working people's social struggles, and transparently clear shared perspectives, a high profile minority communist tendency can help give rise to a 21st century version of what the real IWW was at its best -- an anti-wage labor social movement of the wage-earning class. Paraphrasing Marx in The Poverty of Philosophy we cannot forget that the social struggle is also a political one. We must prepare now for great events to come. And we should have started preparing for these future great events during the Jimmy Carter era.

Since my days as a teenage Maoist I have always been eager to see the revolutionary event as being right around the corner. I have always been wrong. I am now more confident that I am less wrong than I have been in the past. A crisis that might take a mass revolutionary turn may not be right around the corner -- but it might be around the corner after that, or the next corner after that. The increasingly poor judgment-making skills of our rulers are giving us phenomenal opportunities that did not exist in the past.

  A combination of class struggle anarchism and ultra-left Marxism is indispensable for an authentic anti-capitalist politics of our time.  Unfortunately this brings me to my experience of the kind of people who like to call themselves anarchists and ultra-left Marxists in the contemporary United States.

I have been involved in roughly a dozen anarchist or anti-authoritarian groups. The first anarchist group I joined was 'Emancipation,' in Washington D.C., in the spring of 1981.  The most recent one was the 'Precarious and Service Workers Assembly of Occupy Oakland,' in the spring of 2012.  With the partial exception of 'Bay Area Anarchist Council' at the inception of the San Francisco Muni effort in 2005, not one of these groups has tried to do anything in the larger society around us.  They did not even bother to make an effort; people I’ve known in the anarchist subculture never do  An inabilty to engage with the larger world outside of the anarchist subculture has been consistent.  

The U.S. anarchist subculture exists to keep anarchist subculture scenesters entertained. It has no necessary social function outside of this. The anarchist subculture is mostly made up of the very young and they usually age out of this scene. The anarcho-scene is an expression of the fact that Americans have been socially engineered by their corporate masters to be incapable of engaging with anything that is not immediately gratifying or entertaining. The trite personal rebellion ethos of contemporary U.S. anarchism is in harmony with the reigning everything-revolves-around-me ethos of consumer society. As such the anarchist scene is not and cannot become an outwardly-directed, oppositional or dangerous phenomenon. The circle-A-scene is a phenomenon of abject passivity and disengagement. It has consistently been this from my first encounters with the anarchist scene more than thirty five years ago. For anarchist subculture duds, there is nothing left to do, and they are not the ones to do it.

It’s good and necessary that some people who call themselves anarchists confront and attack politically organized racists, anti-immigrant scum and militant homophobes. Unfortunately the ‘antifa’ phenomena also parades the worst aspects of today’s anarchist scene. Violent protests against the extreme right are subcultural bonding rituals that allow scenesters to accrue subcultural capital with their fellow scenesters. They are extremely short-lived, they don’t tax short attention spans, and they do not demand a long-term committment to anything more ambitious than the scheduling of more spiky anti-fascist entertainment events.

As the UK libertarian socialist group ‘Solidarity’ put it in their statement, As We See It:

“Meaningful action, for revolutionaries, is whatever increases the confidence, the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the solidarity, the equalitarian tendencies and the self-activity of the masses and whatever assists in their demystification. Sterile and harmful action is whatever reinforces the passivity of the masses, their apathy, their cynicism, their differentiation through hierarchy, their alienation, their reliance on others to do things for them and the degree to which they can therefore be manipulated by others -- even by those allegedly acting on their behalf.”

On these terms the bash the fash stuff fails. We live in a time that is more conducive to the rise of a mass anti-capitalist movement of working and poor people than any other period in American history. Brawls with fascist and racist scumbags are simultaneously necessary and an entertaining distraction from more important efforts that go completely neglected. This stuff feels good. This is its main appeal. It is paradoxically both necessary and a fringe activity. It is no threat to anything because it is not central to anything. It is irrelevant to a long-term strategy for revolutionary change. The most that can come from these efforts is enthusiastic spectatorship or passive approval on the part of working and poor people who will themselves never get into public fistfights with Nazis and College Republicans.

In contrast to bash the fash stuff, one out of five hundred people who pass through the revolving door that is today’s IWW get involved in some kind of workplace-based agitation or organizing activity. A stellar example is detailed in a book titled Wages So Low You’ll Freak, where author Mike Pudd’nhead describes his four year effort from 2007 to 2010 to organize co-workers for “fare wages, guaranteed hours, respect and dignity” at Jimmy John’s low-wage corporate chain sandwich shops in the Minneapolis area.

Mike the Wobbly exhibits admirable conviction and tenacity. He has a powerful drive to change the exploitative reality around us. He is not just doing this for kicks. He is not a poser, gasbag or flake -- he is not a Station 40 scenester. Anyone who has put time and effort into asserting an oppositional perspective in the larger world around us will recognize their struggle in Mike’s fight. Unfortunately this multiple-year long IWW organizing drive ended with defeat in a close election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The struggles Mike details in his account show how problematic it is to invest such formidible time and effort into getting co-workers to join a union. If the current day Wobblies had won, there may have some improvements in wages, and especially in workplace conditions. But in larger social transformation terms there is nothing to build on with this. The capitalist system is the most protean form of social organization of all time and regarding union activity capital moved the goalposts many decades ago; what was once a form of class struggle is now volunteer social work. Participation in NLRB elections is a symptom of this.

One hundred twenty years ago anarcho-syndicalism and revolutionary syndicalism were something new under the sun. The general idea was that eventually the entire wage-earning class in France, Spain, Argentina or the U.S. would eventually join the One Big Union or a local branch of the Confederation, the capitalist class would be dispossessed and toppled in a forcible but largely non-violent general strike, and the organized working class would proceed to manage the new society on terms that place human needs first. This was the best strategy that the working class in the industrialized world had come up with to date. Revolutionary unionism was far in advance of anything that Second International social democratic Marxism offered the working class. It emerged under a radically different kind of capitalism than the one we live under now; in those low-tech days capitalism often brought working people together in large numbers in large enterprises and this was before the rise of mass communications and a mass consumer society. In Spain anarcho-syndicalism gave rise to the most advanced liberatory social movement of all time. Unfortunately large formal organizations of the working class became integrated into the social control apparatus of ever more statist and bureaucratic capitalist societies, those that could not be integrated were crushed or disappeared, and the CNT betrayed the Spanish revolution and lost the Civil War. Syndicalist union movements did not usher in a post-capitalist world.

The real IWW -- the IWW as an actual social movement -- was a stellar liberatory high point in the grim saga of the United States. It was by far the best expression of hostility to capitalism in U.S. history; in this it was in a league all its own. At its best the IWW was much more than a union; the Wobblies were an anti-wage labor social movement of the wage-earning class, a social phenomena of unsurpassed inventiveness and aggressiveness; it is exactly this aspect of what the real IWW was about that will be crucial in the emerging social struggles of our time. The real Wobblies were a force to be reckoned with for somewhere between fifteen to twenty years, from the founding of the union in 1905 until the early 1920’s. The IWW was rightly regarded as anti-patriotic and potentially harmful to the U.S. war effort during the first world war by Woodrow Wilson’s White House. For this the IWW was smashed by terrorist methods of the U.S. government, private security goons and lynch mobs in the 1917 to 1920 Red Scare. The real IWW went into steady decline and effectively disappeared in the early years of the New Deal. Pro-Moscow Stalinism and later the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party won the allegiance of combative working people who might earlier have joined the Wobblies. Major industrial struggles took place in the thirties but although the IWW still existed it played no real role in them. A new kind of capitalism, a new kind of working class, and a new kind of non-revolutionary working class-oriented politics had emerged. This robbed the real IWW of the social basis for its existence.

The current day IWW is the empty organizational shell of a long dead social movement. A demystified analysis cannot conflate today’s meek union drives in small workplaces with "the most dangerous subversives ever raised on sacred American soil” (Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, a former liberal Democratic congressman, known for the famous Palmer raids). The real IWW organized significant strikes in large workplaces. The current day IWW is in no position to do this, it will probably never be able to do this, and it doesn’t do so well in strikes and membership drives in small enterprises, either. This is not a failure of sincere and hard-working organizers but the failure of a historically obsolete conception. The real IWW was adamantly anti-wage labor and even anti-work; the contemporary organizational shell of the IWW increasingly speaks of fair wages and participates in elections supervised by an agency of the Federal government to guarantee its presence in workplaces. Today’s IWW aspires to become an actual union instead of a microscopic fringe union or pretend union. If it can accomplish this real world pressures will compel it to act as any avowedly pro-wage labor union does, with less bureaucracy and a harmless anti-capitalist ideology that will contribute nothing to the rise of a combative society-wide mass movement that can abolish wage labor and commodity production in the 21st century. This is not because the current day version of the IWW is an evil racket but because this form of working class politics has been historically bankrupt for one hundred years -- its time has irrevocably passed.

Like their heroic predecessors, current-day Wobblies describe their goal as being to organize the unorganized. Nowadays this means low wage service sector workers. In this the current-day IWW’s thunder has been stolen by the contemporary Fight-for-$15 campaign of business unions like SEIU which do not pretend to oppose the wages system. Unlike today’s IWW, the Fight-for-$15 campaign does manage to mobilize low wage workers in a conventional protest ghetto manner around modest demands for slight improvements. A combative working people’s movement that can challenge and eventually topple the social order that we endure today is not going to arise from union -led protests and membership drives, or by getting people to join an alternative union. That kind of activity can lead at most to some minimal improvements in a workplace here or there and wth this a deeper passive intergration into the world of wage slavery. Instead of adopting anti-capitalist tactics and strategies relevant to 21st century realities, partisans of the current-day IWW insist that the larger reality around us should play nice and accomodate their wishful thinking and play-acting in the service of a historically obsolete dogma. The Potemkin-Village-version of the IWW is never going to organize all of the employees of all of the Jimmy John’s sandwich stores and stage a general strike to expropriate the Jimmy John’s fast food chain and commence directly democratic worker’s self-management of low wage sandwich-making. Even if this was possible, and it isn’t, it would not be a worthwhile goal. If in some unimaginable utopia 21st century Wobs were to get all the low wage service sector proles in the U.S. to join the IWW wages and working conditions might improve, but it would not result in the rise of a new energetic social movement for the downfall of capitalism. A dynamic that could lead in this direction is not integral to union membership drives. Anarchist-leftist groups that cleave to an anarcho-syndicalist notion of reality like the Workers Solidarity Alliance and the late unlamented NEFAC prove this. The group calling itself the Workers Solidarity Alliance has been advocating this for more a third of a century and has nothing to show for it. Their advocacy of revolutionary unionism never goes anywhere in practice. It is perpetually dead in the water. Persuading people to join a small union in small workplaces is a miserable alternative to fomenting mass resistance in a context of, for an obvious example, big city mass transit systems, as is described in detail in several documents in this work. Unfolding events in a declining United States will create new opportunities for action akin to this. The admirable perseverance, convictions, energy and drive of people like Mike Pudd’nhead can find better expression in forms of anti-hierarchical organization and direct action that are relevant to the terms demanded by the 21st century.

Anarcho-syndicalist role-playing games are the best thing that U.S. anti-authoritarians and anarchists are coming up with now. The rest of the U.S. anarchist scene is a Harry Potter fan phenomena attracting people who can be counted on to not be counted on. Contemporary U.S. anarchism is a inane and often toxic subculture of crackpot philosophizing, magical thinking and middle school melodramas. People attracted to the U.S. anarchist scene are not up for anything more demanding than the endless reproduction of their subculture as a trivial fringe phenomenon. 



* * * * *



In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 2001 attacks, an individual who is sometimes described as “the leading left communist in the United States” initiated an ongoing series of meetings of ultra-lefts in Berkeley. I took part. My understanding was that we would move fast, come up with an analysis of the Sept. 11 events, and attempt to get this analysis out in some highly visible way. Sept. 11, 2001 was the first major battle of the 21st century, it was the first time that U.S. government-style mass civilian casualty attacks were perpetrated against civilians in the U.S., and it was blowback from Carter and Reagan’s foreign policy antics in the 1970’s and 1980’s. It was a unique moment in history -- and a unique historical opportunity.

Politics is about communication. It was time to communicate. My preferred low budget mass communications method takes the form of posters on walls -- this may be a function of the limits of my imagination but posters had been effective in the recent past. With this in mind I acquired a paperback book with a color image of Ronald Reagan and his jack-o-lantern grin on its cover.  Recent covers of Time or Life had a photo-shopped image of both World Trade Center towers going up in explosive flames, and my thought was to do 11 by 17 inch color posters of Reagan’s smiling visage in front of the burning and collapsing buildings, captioned in big yellow letters with red lines around them: ‘If you want to find the man responsible for 9/11, go to Bel Air and wake him from his nap!’ -- highlighting the fact that the 9/11 attacks were blowback from Reagan and Jimmy Carter’s efforts to get armed Islamic fundamentalism up and running in Afghanistan in the seventies and eighties. It was just a gesture and not particularly radical but it was simple, it could be done quick, and it was to the point. If anyone had come up with anything better we could have gone with that instead.  Time was of the essense in this matter -- we needed to act fast.

The group met and talked. We met and talked. In compulsively inadequate ultra-left Marxist style we met and talked some more. Nothing happened. Grad student pedantry and incapacity were in a neck and neck race here. Our talk had drifted to plans for a Capital reading group by the time I stopped attending the meetings; apparently those who can, do, and those who can’t form Capital reading groups. Even this insular and inwardly-directed proposal went nowhere. The group folded. A unique historical moment had come and gone and with this a significant opportunity was squandered. This was the only supposedly public-oriented ultra-left Marxist effort that I'm aware of in the U.S since I first stumbled onto ultra-left Marxism. This failure to act is consistent with all experiences I have ever had with people who like to call themselves ultra-left Marxists in the U.S. going back to the beginning of the Reagan eighties.

In my encounters with “the leading left communist in the United States” I was struck less by this individual’s voluminous abstract erudition than I was by his complete lack of the practical political smarts that we develop if we assert unusual ideas in the complex world outside of our comfort zone. This fellow had been a left communist for 30-plus years and all he had to show for it was a collection of his writings that are equally unreadable in seven languages on a web page. In the decade and a half since our 9/11 group’s belly-button fingering sessions he has continued to dabble in his hobby in the form of a website called ‘Insurgent Notes,’ whose identity with a nebulous “revolutionary left,” clarion calls for “building a radical left in the age of Trump” and paucity of accounts of sustained, credible, real world action add up to a politics of lite-rock Trotskyism. A few fiery ultra-left “positions” on unions, nationalism and the Bolsheviks after Brest-Litovsk don’t elevate ‘Insurgent Notes’ out of and away from the harmless left fringe of academia. These putative ultra-leftists don’t even appear to be decisively opposed to electoral politics, in the country that leads the industrialized world in the rate of mass abstention from voting and where mass abstention was in effect the number one vote-getter in the 2016 Presidential election.

Revolutionary extremism is what it does; if it does nothing, it is nothing. It is a real world phenomena or it doesn’t exist. It has to be readily visible in the larger society around us. A measure of its credibility is that it will be taken seriously by friend and foe alike. Ultra-left Marxism is supposed to an uncompromising form of revolutionary analysis -- and ongoing collective action -- focused on class conflict in capitalist societies. Outside of the United States it sometimes is. The efforts of the somewhat ultra-left Marxist-influenced groups Wildcat and Kolinko in Germany, people associated with them in China and India, and comrades I’ve met in Athens, Bologna, and elsewhere are the real deal. But in the US ultra-left Marxism only attracts wannabe university professors who missed their life’s calling and career grad students who project their academic incapacity onto the world at large. Many Marxist-Leninist and Trotskyist militants I have known, in particular Trotskyists, offer a striking contrast to this. Members of the ‘smash-ist-and-fascist,’ Stalinist group Progressive Labor and of various Trot organizations often get jobs in strategic sectors, as transit system operators, longshore or hospital employees, and spend years asserting their perspectives among co-workers. They often structure their lives around the fight for what they believe in. Their politics are no good, but the long term personal commitment they display in fighting for their convictions is superb. Far from being “alienated” their “militant attitude” is a wholly admirable and necessary thing.

People attracted to ultra-left Marxism in the contemporary United States -- they are almost exclusively middle aged and elderly males -- are incapable of asserting what they claim to be about outside of a series of small safe spaces. Ultra-left Marxist fanboys will hold a meeting, at which they will valiantly decide to hold another meeting, and if by that point they haven’t completely run out of energy they might mightily rise to the occasion and decide to hold another meeting. They and their passively held opinions add up to nothing.

In visceral antagonism to this I offer Subversion in Capitalist America: A User's Manual.  This work is a template.  The pattern of action described here can be easily reproduced. The efforts examined should be used as points of departure for better efforts than mine in the future.


"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid..."

A vast gulf separates the energetic minority who are hell-bent on having an impact on the world from the lightweights who need a hobby or seek titillation. What we need requires commitment. It takes nerve. It means taking risks. It takes time. It means trying something new not for novelties’ sake but because there is no credible opposition now and new measures are required to build one. People who holler about boredom are bores. Mankind does not seek entertainment -- only the American does. The revolutionary struggle can be exhilarating. It can bring us companionship, laughs and joy -- but these are fleeting collateral benefits of what must for the most part be ardent toil in the face of setbacks. Thomas Mann says that a fanatic is an individual who, on recognizing the impossibility of his cause, redoubles his efforts. Mann may have a point. An ability to dust yourself off and persevere in the face of endless setbacks may also be the hallmark of a disinterested nobility of character; you do what you do not for kicks or to accrue subcultural capital but because you know it must be done. 

An ongoing collective effort by a band with conviction, energy and nerve will go farther than anything I was able to do acting sporadically and in isolation. The first word in the phrase "social struggle" and well as in the phrase "social revolution" implies the involvement of more than one person.  Humans have always been social animals and a living resistance to an anti-social order must be an expression of this.


Kevin Keating
     Medellin, Colombia
     February 2017


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