"loons in RCP"
Michael D. Damore
mdamore at moose.uvm.edu
Thu Apr 20 09:43:44 MDT 1995
I think that it is appropriate that Matt brought up the
Zapitistas andSendero in the same post because I believe that what is so
frighteningly wrong with Sendero is right about the Zapitistas.
First, let's clear something up shall we. The murderous rampages
of the Shining Path are well documented by left sources (NACLA, as Justin
suggested is only one -- some of the best stuff on Sendero comes from the
anarchist press) and are not just a construct of capitalist media. When
the Shining Path started out, it had lots of popular support, but
indiscriminate murders tended to catch up with them over the years and
now Sendero cannot claim to be fighting for the people of Peru anymore.
The problem with Sendero, which is the same problem of the Russian
Revolution to a lesser degree (although I highly respect the Russian
Revolution and understand that we could learn much from it, as well as
the Cuban, Nicaraguan, and OK even the Chinese -- but all have their
flaws) is that vanguardism has removed the movement from the people it
proposes to free.
The Zapitistas, on the other hand, have acted with the people of
Chiapas. This is extremely revolutionary, if you ask me. The EZLN was a
M-L guerilla group, but they chose to place themselves under the
leadership of the entire population. The citizens' councils make all the
important decisions, instead of the vanguard. The military decision are
still in the hands of the EZLN leadership thus melding the need for
structure (for sucessful militray operations) with the accountability of
popular decision making (i.e. participatory democracy, "real democracy --
economic, social and political all wrapped up in one).
The RCP (regular old loonies), MIM (real, super loonies), the PLP
(old, stodgy loonies) all fall into the same problem. These people are
not making revolution in the US or anywhere else; they are keeping the
flame of their factional interpretation of Marxism alive. I think that
Matt was quite astute in pointing out the non-revolutionary attitudes
that are part of many bourgeios-progressive groups. This is especially
true of many peace groups that tend to be quite unconcerned with the
class war at home, and very against the inevitable possibility that at
least part of a revolt against capitalism will be violent self-defense of
So what to do, what to do if you want to work toward revolution
in this society and others while not getting messed up with loonies or
do-nothings. How about forming your own proletarian group. Where I come
from radicals who were disenchanted with the various groups like those
mentioned above got together and decided to form our own activist group.
We chose to affiliate with the IWW because it offered a larger
international structure with which to build solidarity links, and of
course came along with a spectacular history (the most revolutionary
organization that this country has seen in the 20th century if you ask
me). We were very sucessful for quite awhile organizing local solidarity
and even getting workers into unions. This type of work is slow and
tedious, it is far less romantic than grabbing a gun and heading to the
hils or flying a big red flag in a March on Washington to prove that you
are the most radical person at the march, but I believe that we did our
little part of revolutionary organizing.
Enough from me, but before I go I must make a general comment on
this list that has been touched on before but I really think that it is
acurate. You can't talk revolution, and lots of people on this list sure
can talk -- I hope some action is going on in your communities behind
those fancy words. In the end, all the names that you guys throw out
that I (and I'm not at all ashamed to admit this) have never heard of let
alone read, are not going to do us much good.
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