[Marxism] Re: Marxism Digest, Vol 19, Issue 20

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at resist.ca
Sat May 7 13:50:52 MDT 2005

> Al this says is one simply should not discuss what course of action to
> take; nor criticize ultraleft elitists "who are willing to do something
> to risk arrest and all that comes with."

No one said that, and since you seem to suffer from a desire to fight every
bit as much as Black Bloc-types except your bravado is hidden safely behind
a computer screen, let me help you with something.

I endorsed no such action, nor did I endorse anything of any sort, but
rather was trying to point out the logic of calling for new groups that
might feel a need to form to be respected. My call was not for you to be
silent when people make politically bad choices, but rather not to only
state that there is one place for all anti-war organizers to go.

The reason for this is *other people* will not all agree with you at the
same time. If you feel some need to pounce on someone for stating something,
make sure you actually know what was said:

I agree that being arrested here is a matter of racial privilege, class
privilege and that organizing has a very different outlook on the basis of
who you are-- Nations in the US who organize today to defend their lands are
probably harassed the most and ignored by us the most as well, making their
organizing probably the most dangerous since we haven't put in "on the radar

Now, do you deny the types of people who have privilege in North America,
especially when the movement grows and then falters, tend to want sometimes
to use this privilege? Do you think that the comfort of sitting behind your
fancy computer typing nasties at them will change their minds? Perhaps it's
then possible for you to grasp the simplicity of my comments without giving
yourself a stroke:

When 200 000 people are peacefully protesting, then there will several
thousand who want to take another line of action, and yet smaller numbers
who want to go even further than that. This is basic reality;

> This super r-r-r-evolutionary PLAYING is based on middle-class privilege,
>  white privilege and legal citizen privilege. The *message* it sends to
> the Black and especially Latino community, where so many are vulnerable
> due to immigration issues, is that this is not for them. After all, if
> you're a young Black or Latino, you really don't need to dress in Black
> and join a bloc to get yourself put in an American gulag.

Whatever. Again, I endorse nothing, I speak of reality-- is it your intent
to deny reality? Because if it is, we can argue all day.

> "To deny this will split the movement negatively," Macdonald Stainsby 
> argues. I say bullshit. The ones who would be splitting the movement are
> the tiny handful of ultralefts who would substitute venting their own
> moralistic indignation for the power that can only come from the masses
> of working people organized and mobilized around their own interests.

So what do you propose, then? Interviewing each person one by one that comes
anywhere near the demo, finding out which ones want to do something other
than go to a mass rally and listen to labour bureaucrats, and when you find
them execute them on the spot? Because they do exist, and this attitude of
your towards it will not stop that, but rather encourage it.

Anyhow, the beauty of these really misguided attempts to "interpret" what
I'm really saying aside, the point was about an article put forward by Ron
Jacobs. It pointed to the cleavage between two approaches to anti-war
organizing. In the movement recently, there have been horrid fights among
organizers like Stan Goff, military families and the ISO. It would be a 
horrible mistake to let these organizers eat one another-- they are not 
doing that, it seems, and that's good. However, do we want people whose 
entire focus is "anti imperialism" and "support the resistance" to be in the 
same organizations as military families who are both under mass surveilance 
and far more (reasonably so) nervous as to where the coalition goes? Does it 
really make sense to have people in that organization advocating for that 
same organization to go and try to storm the White House or something?

My point is not to judge any of these folks, one way or another. They exist, 
as I said before, like mountains and plains exist-- I love mountains. Others 
are from the plains. You can't make that stop by telling it that it is 
confusing the topographers. It's better to let them work alone when needed 
alone, and together when needed together.

I really hope this nonsense of equating discussion of reality with an 
endorsement-- the same crap as the bourgeois media and unprincipled leftists 
pulled on Ward Churchill-- will come to an end.

Macdonald Stainsby
In the contradiction lies the hope
	--Bertholt Brecht.

More information about the Marxism mailing list