Tony Abdo aabdo at SPAMwebtv.net
Mon Jun 5 21:59:53 MDT 2000

Actually,  the promotion of Stakhanovism doesn't come from the radicals
below, it comes from the bureaucrats above.      Whether it be PIRG,
SWP, or Mao/ Stalin themselves.   I recently came across this attitude
in the AFL-CIO, which promotes a cult of the super, but almost always,
out of locale organizer.      One who is willing to work 70-80 hours a
week, far from family and friends.

It is an ideology useful for controlling people.      Who has time to
think, when you're working for the defined cause?      Who can construct
the opposition?      We must stay a united army, a leadership cadre,
God's chosen-  under the leadership of................whomever.

After a while it turns people off.



> There are a couple of points in Lou's post that need a response.
> First, the attitude among some SWP members that he rejects is one that I
> encountered among many PIRG organizers.  It eventually drove me out of
> the organization.  There is something about the nature of
> activist/revolutionary work that leads to a culture of masochism - who
> can sacrifice the most for the movement/revolution?  It is a dangerous
> attitude that develops into a counter-productive political culture.


Ahh, yes. My biggest pet peeve. As a result of this sectarian,
anti-revolutionary crap, I almost gave up on the entire revolutionary
movement. Take a good look at the way most radicals dress in North America:
Who can look the poorest, most worker (therefore most oppressed!!!) wins. I
got tired of this, and felt made uneasy by some. The very idea of liking
music or movies is, at best, petty bourgeois, to some of these minded

If you are on welfare, you are considerably more "r-r-r-r-r-revolutionary"
than someone who is a simple student. I actually (this is not a joke) was
lectured by others when I went off of welfare so as to get the money
together to travel to Cuba. This kind of "purity" attitude is hopelessly
middle class, IMO. It represents guilt over being a part of the system that
gives one like myself a level of privelige (albeit not much, I'm in hock to
my ears for school). So, when the revolution is more than just around the
corner and one cannot be an immediate player in it, a "radical" is reduced
to chastising everyone who might have this or that object, eat this or that
diet, etc. and spend their time trying to force some bizarre kind of cult of
self-deprication; if there are a lot of people who cannot achieve the same
living standards, then we shall not either! What does this ultimately
achieve? Mass marginalization. Preaching guilt to people who are not the
ruling class will NEVER make them want any part of this movement.

Unfortunately, this kind of activism is the greatest barrier to bringing
more people aboard the burgeoning "anti-corporate" movement taking place in
Seattle, D.C., and now Detroit and Windsor. I know many radically impulsed
people who have approached "the movement" and run away, not because the work
was too hard...but because they really didn't want to be judged on the brand
of underwear they happened to be wearing that day. This, in a nutshell, is
what I find so insufferable about (many) Anarchists.

 Workers of all lifestyles, unite!



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