Borba100 at Borba100 at
Sun Mar 18 17:10:04 MST 2001

Lou says the answer is:

  >> powerful mass movement of working people using extra-parliamentary
measures, coordinated across national boundaries united by an
internationalist perspective like Che Guevara's.>>

Che Guevara did many wonderful things but he also made the shocking mistake
of embracing Debrayism, the attempt to impose revolution by an act of will.
It got him martyred, and it popularized nonsense, but it didn't change
Bolivia. His "example" had a very harmful effect in many places, including
the U.S. student movement, in which I was active at the time as an organizer
in touch with people all over the country. .  We had a massive struggle,
involving a hundred chapters of SDS, over whether this kind of "You Must
Intervene with a Violent Action to Set an Example" was helpful.

Interestingly, those of us who opposed this notion were not less militant,
and we were the ones who built mass movements on our campuses.

Debrayism has much in common with pacifism because it is a fundamentally
MORAL STAND based on the example of a few, rather than MOBILIZATION BASED OF

This is not to oppose bold moves per se, but I wonder about Lou's recent
emphasis on being fierce.  There is much more wrong with the old Soviet
Communist parties than lack of fierceness, and there is much that people in
these countries have to learn in struggle and discussion and effective mass
education through exposure of lies - if THEY would rule. THEY, not a handful
of street fighters.

It seems to me the main weapon of the New World Order including in poor
countries is IDEAS, that is, the promulgation of racism, hostility to other
groups, backward ideas, belief that ordinary people can't run the world but
rather need experts from NGO's or The West, or whatever, AND THE RIVER OF
LIES coming out of the immense and growing Western media.

The challenge for those who would change the world is to a) be involved in
the struggles of ordinary people over their conditions and b) in the process
of those struggles expose the hypocrisy of the powers that be and c) expose
the BIG political moves of the U.S. Empire as BASED ON LIES.  People must see
that the rulers do not deserve to rule.

Without this the talk of extreme militancy will produce only tragedy, or, as
with Che, not even tragedy but just criminal waste.

To put what  I  wrote earlier, in a different way: how can we best reach
CITY - how can WE take the SMALL and TERRIBLY UNMILITANT action of persuading
SOME PEOPLE that the stuff being foisted on them about U.S. foreign policy
are lies?  I think discussion of that would produce more enlightenment and
less potential tragedy than this "taking it to the streets" and
"extra-parliamentary measures" stuff, which one wouldn't expect anyone to
discuss on an email list anyway - i.e, if they had such plans.

Speaking of which, shouldn't we in the U.S. exercise some care before we say
things which suggest to people in places with which we may not be entirely
familiar that they have to do very extreme things or else their efforts are
useless?  Brecht said something about nationalist slogans, but maybe it
applies here.  I know this quote is only semi accurate, but here goes: "These
slogans will live on forever.  You may die, of course..."


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