[Marxism] msnbc on anti-war protests...

Carlos A. Rivera cerejota at optonline.net
Sun Mar 20 21:02:06 MST 2005

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Juan Fajardo" <fajardos at ix.netcom.com>

> If that's not a success, I don't know the meaning of the word.

It is obvious you don't.*

Even taking into consideration the exceptional nature of the February 2003 
protests, in which there were demos even in Antartica, the M-19 experience 
is an example of the current failure of all the leaderships of all the 
groups, from the DP "left" to the cults, to effectively organize something 
beyond catharsis.

Maybe Cox and yourself are correct. I am comparing it incorrectly with 
February 2003. You both are certainly correct in saying it was an 
exceptional event. Yet M-19 was a practical example that others don't share

Cox's and specially your thriumphalism mystify, not clarify, the practical 

When you have 1000s of soldiers going awol, when you have 40% of the 
population not voting, when you have a historically high unemployment level, 
etc etc etc ad infinitum, you can't call a victory something only the usual 
suspects show their face in a protests. It speaks of a failure to mobilize 
even a small fraction of those who are disaffected.

We have faced not one iota of qualitative or quantitative growth. We are 
facing defeat after defeat, and while defeat in the abstract is not bad 
(pick your tradition and call it "bend in the road", "one step forward two 
step behind", "strategic reflux" or whatever), the concrete nature of this 
defeat is that the movement as a whole, including myself, is banging its 
head into the same McProtest strategy, time and again. As a matter of fact, 
the protests were organized, scheduled, and led in the same fashion as the 
Frebruary 2003.

Can't have it both ways: To see F-2003 as exceptional while supporting today 
the same strategy that worked under those exeptional circumstances is a 
glarring error of logic, not to mention common sense.

I am old enough to have seen this same tendency in many local or union 
struggles, only to see victory, once in our grasp, melt, like all that is 
solid, into thin air. Usually after all the eggs were thrown into the same 
basket, and someone let the basket drop.

When reaction is on the march, we must face our weakness even more than our 
strength. They won't attack our strength, but will feast in our weakness... 
and if we fail to recognize our weakness, if we fail to *learn* from the 
weakness, we will not prevail, but the contrary.

I am all for celebrating victories, however small, however partial.

What happened yesterday was not victory but the practical demonstration of 
our bankruptcy as leaders and revolutionaries. And until we don't recognize 
this, face it, and creatively respond to it, we will continue to collect 
only Purple Hearts instead of a couple of Medals of Honor for a change.

The sad part is that many dedicated, good comrades, from many organizations 
and groups, spent sleepless nights and coffee-fueled days, not to mention a 
large portion of their wages, trying to make this happen.

Some even face jail time.

For what?

So the reactionary jackboot can continue to break our spines?

So a couple of months down the line, or next year, or whatever, we can go 
and immolate ourselves in the altar of righteousness and moral right?

Suicide might be neccesary at some points, but I don't think in paves the 
road to victory: it has yet to change a social relation. Martyrdom while 
good for remembrance, its never a good practice, it is never "success".

I am sorry, but I became a revolutionary to win, maybe not the war, but at 
least a couple-three battles.

And to stare defeat, when it shows its ugly head, straight in the face and 
tell it to go fuck himself all the while learning from it.

Not to deny reality with empty sophisms and to do it wrong over and over 
again until I take my last breath.

I became a revolutionary to demystify, not to cloud, conciousness. And to 
call M-19 a success is butchering the meaning of the word, and creating a 
conciousness so overcast, it looks grayish-purple at sundown.


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