france

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at tao.ca
Wed Apr 24 15:20:10 MDT 2002


----- Original Message -----
From: "jonathan flanders" <jon_flanders at compuserve.com>

> Hitler and co. rose to power
> thru extensive extra-legal thuggery and mass violence in the streets. The
> legal gloss came later.
>
That's when they came to prominence. The were not installed into power until
after the "usual" methods of capitalism were eliminated and the only
non-socialists who could stop Thaelmann (sp?) and co. were the Brownshirts.
That's when the Fords, Duponts and Hearsts (as well as the British monarchs)
decided that they would throw their political and economic weight behind the
Fuhrer. We certainly agree that the Brownshirted mobs came first, but that did
not propel them into power- and also proves how non-fascist (in this rather key
sense) Le Pen is. Don't get me wrong on my attitude towards the demonstrators- I
am glad they are trying to get back French dignity-- but they are not fighting
`fascism'. George Bush is a far greater threat than Le Pen.

As far as the legality of manouevers, the Nazis certainly did use legal gloss
for everything. That was, just as the Patriot act and similar measures in Canada
are, absolutely essential. If it is legal, people "debate" it, and people do not
see it as a major leap towards a police state or whatever. Hell, even the
murdered citizens in the ovens all had a record of what killed them before the
remaining Nazis had to flee...  Everything was done with an air of legality. It
certainly was gloss for a brutal, illegal and immoral state. but so are the
stupid elections in North America- particularly in the US.  SA v. SS.

>
>  The legality of the Bush coup of 2000 could and has been
> questioned........
>
By the left, sure. But not in any real forum that will matter, They don't bring
it up because they got the result they wanted. It really behooves us to not
consider our muted voices as proof that people see things. Not in order so that
we may be pessimistic, but rather it has the opposite effect- we have no power
on the left currently, and the system is not stacked against us- it is set up to
utterly absorb and disappear us.

> If you don't have a good grasp of the current stage of political
> development,

Bourgeois democracy has developed into a fine art,way beyond anything the
slightest bit progressive almost exactly parallel to the capitalist and
imperialist economic system. We cannot use the methods of late imperialist
capitalism to make any further economic progress, in fact they are *always*
retrograde and regressive and immiserating. The exact same can be said of the
political system as it is currently. It has been groomed, honed and polished.
The media isn't in concert with it, it is a branch of it. Since you decided to
talk down to me I'll take the license to make a similar point. Apologies in
advance, but when someone became a radical in the mid-seventies or before- as
apparently you did-- it is understandable that they have a hard time seeing the
system as almost monolithic for it is absolutely built up on the premise of
keeping it *looking* pluralistic currently. However, 20 years ago the number of
independant newspaper and other media companies (bourgeois or not) was in the
hundreds across North America. In the last few years it was reduced to... six.
It might have dropped further, that number is from around 1997. The fact that
people like Robert Kennedy or George Wallace (from either side of the spectrum,
in other words) could become significant players was due to the fact it was a
different system. Now, the median has been honed down to next to nothing- and
the wiggle room is almost nil. Nader will not get a sniff next election, unless
it can help them re-install the oil magnates. The entire point of the system is
to distract and occupy.

you will be doomed to irrelevance. Serious analysis is needed
> always, not windy ultimatistic rhetoric.
>

Okay, here's my serious analysis. There has never been a revolutionary movement
in the First World that achieved anything through electoral games other than
concessions that were designed to keep the system stable, and there will never
be a revolutionary movement that means anything to the people in the working
classes- the ones who will have to fight and die to get rid of the most
murderous or regimes-- so long as it genuflects before a practice of
representative vacuums. The fact that so few people vote *is a good thing*.
People have figured out that the entire system is not for them at all. Of
course, it would be fucking dumb to refuse to use legal methods for defensive
questions, such as lawyers trying to get the disappeared out of jail (they are
being ignored at this point), other legal challenges to the disappearance of
legal rights to all non-citizens, or a challenge to the American concept of
unlawful combatants. But to go on the "offensive"- trying to put a lefty in
office to pass a law for health care or labour rights is ridiculous at the
current stage of development. The entire system has gone from a liability to the
greatest strength of capitalism. This "democracy" system *is* the method by
which every new colony of the imperialists is put under the boot: elections.
>From Yugoslavia to Ukraine to America itself, elections are a process by which
the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie refreshes itself and gives itself a pat on
the back- legitimising the dictatorship.


> Another gross generalization belied by last weekend's actions, if nothing
> else.

I am very optimistic about the movements' abilites to generate new bold creative
approaches to this late capitalist era, but the fact remains we are in a totally
new era whereby the entire game has changed, and people do refuse to talk about
that.

Point form time.
A) Economically,the world is teetering on a major crisis.

B) resources- most importantly, oil and WATER, are almost gone.

C) the middle east needs to be reconquered by late capitalism for the simple
rason that they need a monopoly on the remaining oil, and this is not about
Afghanistan.

D) The environmental abyss is not coming soon, it is happening already. Global
warming is not a when, it is to be taken by degrees.

E) American imperialism cannot survive without this oil, and the globalisation
"supra-state" myths are being smashed by the more recent coup. The reason is
that American interests cannot afford to bring Europe in on the exploitation of
the remaining oil.

F) To get at this oil, the entire region of the Middle East needs to become
directly colonised (militarily speaking).

G) the collapse of energy will look far worse than the collapse of Wall Street
in 29 and will necessitate that sweeps like the Patriot Act get used.

H) The failed coup in Venezuela was part of this grander plan, as was the attack
on Afghanistan and the coming assault on Iraq- currently prevented by the
Palestinian people. Saddam knows what he is doing when he tries to support their
cause. It's not because of his Pan-Arabic credentials.

> So you define the Vanguard as the Democrats? I don't know of any Daschle
> supporters on this list.

No, I'm talking of those who think we have time to bring out the failed, long
slow process of reformism to "teach workers their power". What makes revolutions
is circumstance, not coddling up to union officialdom and their twins in the
Green Party. The vanguard doesn't currently exist- but it will spring from the
existing radical movements- and will having nothing, not a sinlge spot- of the
American TUB's inside of it, unless those TUB's have been expelled or quit. The
organic growth will be by demonstrating and practicing good leadership and
providing a good analysis that never loses sight of the goal- topple the system
before the planet gets beyond a point of no return.

The Bolshevik revolution was a combination of organising in the fashion *that
made sense in the conditions of Russia* with the political situation both in
Russia and internationally. What made Lenin able to come up with a formula for
power was his willingness to redo methods daily. While the revolutionaries may
have existed for decades, it was really in the space of April to October that
the revolution was made in 1917- seizing the opportunity presented by the
collapse of all the institutions of power around them. We must start preparing
for that eventuality while immersing ourselves not in the trappings of the very
system we seek to destroy. The simple fact is that if we need to herd the
working class like cattle to win a series of reforms before the "learn their
power", destroy their own capitalist (last line of defence) leadership, decide
that the electoral system itself is a farce (never mind the Democrats), and
decide that capitalism needs to be replaced- by that time we are going to be
dead (by war or ecological collapse). However, the situation will not be
orthodox. We need to come up with entirely new thinking. I have heard from
comrades a lot of "Weather Underground" sentiments lately. Hell, I've heard this
from people who aren't comrades. I respect the emotional impulses behind this
failed political approach far more than the reformist crap that will kill us
all. So long as our best minds use the thinking of 19th and early 20th century
revolutionaries as a blueprint for action- rather than what it should be: A
guide for how to attack our problems- then their will be more and more of the
"bold and adventurous" here and the Islamic Fundamentalist-types elsewhere. If
we cannot state that the old tired formulae is utterly failed and that we need
to do absolute and total rethinking- with a quick, short seizure of power at the
other end- then we are first off inviting Weather style politics, and we are
reneging our duties as revolutionaries in place of what makes us comfortable.

It is not an accident that in the First World that the "bold, adventurous"
actions of the anarchists and autonomists have produced so many inspired people.
The reason is simple- they are immediate, and they aren't the same old failures.
Now, the next question is that in the era we currently live- where the army has
been assigned to monitor the demonstrations against things like the G8 Summit in
Alberta, Canada (Bill C 35!)- how does the movement respond to a physically
different set of parameters to retain the initiative without getting, well, shot
up?

This is the real question we face. Have you got a new idea?

>  Simpleminded dismissal of the importance of electoral work. You can do
> better than this.

I hope my response pleases.

Macdonald


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