(fwd from Alex LoCascio) Mike Davis letter and Left Turn #4

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Feb 20 10:24:20 MST 2002


>Left Turn is produced on a shoestring and lives from crisis to crisis. Please
>join me in making a generous, sustaining contribution that will allow this
>gutsy little magazine to continue to fight the power. Checks/money orders can
>be made out to Left Turn and sent to 1031 Quebec Place, NW - Washington, DC
>20010. You can contact them at left-turn at left-turn.org.
>
>Many thanks.
>
>Mike Davis

This is an interesting development. I urge comrades to check out the
website at: http://www.left-turn.org/ which describes their magazine
thusly: "LeftTURN magazine focuses on the issues and debates within the
growing anti-capitalist movement." And indeed it does. It seems to be a
pole of attraction for anti-globalization activists who are thinking out
ways to take the movement to a higher level.

For example, you can find an Open Letter by Ben Grosscup and Doyle, two
self-described "revolutionary social anarchists", who write the following:

>>Regrettably, the development of the black bloc in North America has
reflected this trend. Instead of being a name for a set of tactics to
resist police brutality at street demonstrations, "black bloc" has become
an entity unto itself. It has taken on an entire subculture, persona, and a
host of culturally specific no-no's (like engaging in popular culture or
eating a hamburger). By definition there are no official leaders of the
black bloc. There is no official organization that makes black blocs show
up at demonstrations. However, in the minds of many who see and participate
in black blocs, anti-authoritarian beliefs and militant action have become
inseparable. In many anarchist circles today, one is not accepted as
sufficiently revolutionary without proper black attire, knowledge of
jargon, and in particularly awful cases, whether or not the person is a
young white male. These trend make anti-authoritarianism morph from a
coherent (not dogmatic) set of ideas, accessible and applicable to people
of all different backgrounds, to a small and even parochial sub-culture
that, despite talk of "diversity of tactics," embraces narrow and even
predictable means of resistance (dressing in black, acting anonymously,
organizing in affinity groups, engaging cops in street battles, etc.).
Furthermore, because it is becoming an entity instead of a tactic, there is
no room to critically question whether a black bloc at a demonstration is a
good idea or not. Some activists see militant action as the most
revolutionary tactic possible and therefore good. However, there is no such
thing as a revolutionary tactic. Revolution is a strategic process marked
by decisive moments of confrontation with powerful elites and the
development of counter structures that empower people to make decisions
about their lives and meet community needs.<<



Louis Proyect
Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org



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