[Marxism] Communist, Democrats, and Trolls - My last post on the November 7 election

Austin, Andrew austina at uwgb.edu
Fri Nov 3 12:53:58 MST 2006

DOC wrote, "Supporting the democrats may save lives in Iraq today.
However, that is an insufficient reason to support them. Our role is to
achieve a worldwide revolution."
I completely agree that we need to achieve worldwide revolution.  I want
nothing more than to see the collapse of capitalist imperialism.  This
must be the goal that drives our actions.  And for me it is.  But we
have to ask ourselves, does 11.7.2006 have anything to do with achieving
worldwide revolution?  This is the problem that has moved me to do
something I rarely do on Activists and Scholars in Marxist Tradition:
write posts.  I feel that some of my comrades are confused about what
11.7 represents as a moment in our lives as communists, and I want them
to consider the things they can actually help accomplish on this date
and the detrimental impact that making a bad choice can have.  In other
words, while we cannot advance communism in this election, we can make
the lives of the working class much worse if we make the wrong choice.
I have too much grassroots work to do in the waning days of this
election season to continue discussing this matter with you.  Here in
Wisconsin we are fighting attempts to establish the death penalty in the
state, as well as deny rights to any couple that doesn't fit a narrow
heterosexist definition of marriage.  I am involved in the day-to-day
activities of two "Vote No" campaigns.  The congressional race here is a
dead heat, so I have work to do there, too.
However, I wish to say something about myself as a person.  The attacks
on me have been of a very personal nature and I think I should be given
a moment to defend myself.  I am not a troll.  According to Wikipedia
(not a source I usually turn to, but appropriate for this matter), a
troll is "a person who enters an established community such as an online
discussion forum and intentionally tries to cause disruption, most often
in the form of posting inflammatory, off-topic, or otherwise
inappropriate messages." It continues: "The greater the reaction from
the community the more likely the user is to troll again, as the person
develops beliefs that certain actions achieve his/her goal to cause
chaos. This gives rise to the often repeated protocol in Internet
culture: 'Do not feed the trolls.'"

The fact is that I rarely post to this forum for the simple reason that
most of what is posted here is of no interest to me.  For the most part
I delete posts unread based on the subject line.  I just don't have time
to read things that don't bear on the important matters of our lives as
communists as I perceive them.  However, three issues have interested
me.  One was the 9-11 conspiracy kick the forum was on for a while.  My
only point in that debate was defending the dozens of millions of people
who want to know more about what the government knew before and after
the event from the claim that they were crazies.   That debate ended
because people were threatened with being unsubbed.  The second issue
was the question of the origins of racism.  I find that history
interesting and it is an area of research for me.  However, I am
dropping out of that discussion, as well, because there is little
willingness to consider what the historical record actually tells us.
The third involves this matter of how to vote in the upcoming elections.
This discussion, like the 9-11 one, has obviously enraged a handful of
people, which has led to the mobbing behavior we have seen.  However,
making intelligent, measured arguments on three issues of concern among
ones fellow leftists is not trolling.  It's a shame to see all the
subject lines with my name and trolling associated together. Such
bullying tactics are quite inappropriate for a forum such as this and
damaging to our larger purposes as communists.  (Not incidentally, I
study bullying as a consultant to the public school system, so I know
better than most what bullying is and whether it's happening or not.
What's happening here is bullying.  Mobbing and intimidation tactics
should be beneath those of you who are engaged in it.) 
Finally, I understand that some people are having trouble reading my
e-mails.  I have worked with CIT at my end and my email formats I am
using are normal.  It is a problem with the program at your end that
reads my e-mails.  Sorry about the trouble your having, but please don't
send any more e-mails cursing me for this.  If you decide, as you say in
your post, that you will simply delete them unread from this point
forward, then please just delete them unread and leave me out of your
decision making process.

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