[Marxism] Holding the black bloc up to scrutiny

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jul 2 15:21:20 MDT 2010

Matthew Russo wrote:
> Fair enough, and if I have the time (which I quite likely won't for some
> time) I will take a look at Well.  But that doesn't my theses here, one
> minor and one major:
> 1) (minor) The Anti-Vietnam War movement was a strategic failure in its
> failure to stop the war, which instead dragged on into its most destructive
> phase under Nixon, as the movement lost focus and was subsequently
> demoralized in the "McGovern Trap" of the Democratic Party in '72.  The
> movement went from confronting and attempting to interfere with the
> functions of the ruling class institutions - as with the March on the
> Pentagon or more importantly, the 1968 Chicago convention - to joining
> them.  It has never left since.

Actually, the demonstrations at the 1968 convention was both an attempt 
to confront and join the Democratic Party. It was a kind of temper 
tantrum by young activists who preferred a peace candidate to Humphrey.

> This result could have been easily avoided.  My point
> is that the ruling class has since then generally learned that mobilizations
> without strategic focus, no matter how massive, can be safely ignored, as
> the Iraq War sequence of mobilizations have decisively proven, and as
> focused counterexamples prove conversely: Seattle/WTO, the Gaza flotilla,
> the recent mobilizations against the Greek parliament, the current events in
> Puerto Rico, etc. are met with concentrations of violent repression, all the
> while as the ruling class anxiously seeks at every turn to advance
> repressive techniques aimed precisely at these kinds of focused
> mobilizations.

I have no idea what you mean by a "strategic focus". As far as your 
counterexamples are concerned, you strike me as a bit too enamored of 
people getting beat up or arrested.

> The historical process of learning how to
> take and exercise state power will not be a Sunday stroll!

Sunday stroll? I really don't think you have an idea what it meant to 
organize a demonstration of a half-million in Washington, DC. Or how the 
ruling class viewed such protests.

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