Saturday, 1 December 2007

Response to "Revolutionary Communist" polemic attacking my proposal to Call Off Electoral Boycott:

Those who advocate against voting, as a general "revolutionary" line, are either fools or swine.

That is to say, they are either dupes, or outright agents-provocateur for COINTELPRO, engaging in counter-revolutionary sabotage of the movement and our society.

My purpose here is not to defend or support the Democratic Party, which has fallen on it's face too many times, in too many ways, to be considered to have any revolutionary potential, in and of itself, at this time.

My purpose here is to point out that it is necessary to tactically engage the enemy in all arenas, including the electoral, and that the first priority of any revolutionary struggle must be to defend the People, by preventing the worst fascists from seizing or maintaining the power of life and death over the People, to the greatest extent that we possibly can.

When it comes to a choice between a whole lot more death and destruction, and even a somewhat lesser relative degree of death and destruction, as we are presented in the choice between Republicans and Democrats, even a Blue Dog is "better" than a Republican pig, in most instances. And many Democrats are substantially more progressive than Blue Dogs, even if they may not be absolutely politically correct in every regard.

Even just a little bit more health care, housing, education, meaningful employment, and more equitable taxes are "better" than a whole lot less of everything, in terms of how many people are going to horribly suffer and die in the downward social and economic spiral that capitalism imposes on the general population.

Even a little bit less racism, sexism, war, eco-rape, and corporate rip off here and abroad, is "better" than a whole lot more of the same, for all Peoples, everywhere.

Is this good "enough"? Not to a revolutionary. But revolutionaries must take what they can get, in the course of the struggle for justice and peace, and must never abandon the best interests of the People, "on principle", by merely seeking some ridiculous nebulous and ephemeral supposed hegemony over the revolutionary movement with mere rhetorical posturing.

A true revolutionary has no room in their heart, nor in their analysis, for the kind of opportunism that would sacrifice the best interests of the People for some whack, formulaic,100 year old catechism of tortuously contrived "political correctness".

The People need to be able to live, on a day to day basis, in order to be able to make revolution. It's a process, and it's long term. And it's not going to happen over night, or be defeated overnight, based on whether some liberal bourgeois politician "wins" or "loses" a corrupt commercial "election".

But meanwhile, the lives of millions of people all over the world hang in the balance between whether there will be substantially more evil, or, relatively speaking, somewhat lesser evil brought down upon their heads as a result of that election.

Do you really want their blood on your hands, because you were too "principled" to vote for some grossly inadequate liberal bourgeois politician, and thus boycotted the vote, and called on others to boycott the vote (or throw away the vote in a futile gesture of protest and defiance, for a hopeless 3rd party candidate) and thus ushered into power the worst possible fascists available, by default?!

Hear me brothers and sisters! That's how Bush (and Hitler) seized power...refusal of the Left to unite, even tactically, behind the liberal bourgeoisie, to deny the fascists power. Limited, qualified, principled, selective tactical support of the most progressive available likely contenders in the bourgeois elections is only a small tactical element of a much more comprehensive and protracted revolutionary strategy.

Surrendering the power, by default, to the worst fascists, is counter-revolutionary treason against all of the Peoples (and other species) of earth.

Death to Fascism!

Engage the enemy in all arenas, including the electoral.

The Struggle will Continue, nevertheless...

The Democrats are obviously not the solution we seek...we will still have to put fire to their ass, if they "win", but.,.

Press the contradictions!

Call Off the Electoral Boycott!

Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary concept.

All Power to the People!

Submitted by Ernest Newman

ref:

Previous proposal, titled: Call Off Electoral Boycott

"Revolutionary Communist" response polemic, titled: Bosses Elections are Mystifications

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11 comments:

Etienne Obstreperous said...

Ignoring the merits or otherwise of the argument her, should a left "unity" blog really be publishing articles calling other leftists "swine and "agents-provocateur for COINTELPRO"?

nwsocialist said...

Thanks etienne. In my opinion the publishing of this article was definately a good idea. There is a "discussion" going on across the left spectrum. These are views that people have differences with. Which is fine. A healthy democratic organisation allows disagreement and does not eject people or ban views. A healthy organisation must allow people to write. What happens when we say to left comrades, your view is less relevent than ours - or worse still... wrong and no-one should read it?

Perhaps Ernest's language was a bit rough, but I feel he has the right to reply to those who have called for him to be thrown out of groups and called him a "reformist" etc.

Ernest Newman said...

I'd just like to point out that I did not call those more or less genuine and sincere "Leftists" who call for electoral boycott, all a bunch of swine and COINTELPRO agents.

I called those indivuduals fools, and dupes, who are allowing themselves to be manipulated by the pigs,

Ernest Newman said...

And while we're at it, how about if I offer here the original proposal, which was widely distributed via various Groups.

(my apologies to those who felt spammed by some initital distribution via personal IM and notecard to a number of varous Group's list of members. After doing a bunch of those, I snapped to the fact that this might not be appropriate, and resorted instead to just using available Group Notice and Vote permissions. I sincerly hope you will pardon my earnest but overzealous error in sending those personal IMs and these notecards to complete strangers)

This is what was distributed:

Proposal: Call off the Boycott of Electoral Arenas

It is hereby proposed that all revolutionary actions, political education and propaganda include a clear focus on calling off the present electoral boycott in the US (where only half of the eligible electorate tends to register to vote, and only half of those who register tend to actually cast a ballot).

Recognizing that:

1) Nobody is perfect, or absolutely politically correct

2) Even a Blue Dog is relatively "better" than a Republican Pig

3) Liberal and Progressive Democrats are outnumbered and powerless mainly due to low voter turnout, which hands power over to the worst fascists by default.

4) Statistically and historically, a vast majority of the population support liberal and progressive rhetoric and programs, which is why right wing rhetoric and actions are so hysterical and draconian, and huge resources, including covert operations, are committed, seeking to prevent, discredit, demoralize and discourage participation in the electoral process.

5) Principled. limited, qualified tactical support for bourgeois liberal politicians is not necessarily a "sell out", nor a call to jump on the corrupt commercial bourgeois electoral bandwagon like some kind of naive fool...and need cost us nothing but a slight shift in propaganda lines, and fairly minimal logistical support to facilitate electoral participation.

6) The principle reason Hitler (and Bush) rose to power was because the Left, due to sectarian in-fighting and elitist struggles for hegemony, refused to unite behind the relatively "lesser evil" of the bourgeois liberals, even tactically, within a broader revolutionary strategy, to deny the fascists power.

7) No revolutionary struggle without a broad and undeniable popular democratic mandate has any material hope of moving beyond futile symbolic defensive posturing gestures of protest and defiance. And this requires a substantial super-majority at all levels of political power, in order to be in a position to effectively and materially suppress counter-revolutionary forces in all arenas, where they will fight to the death to sabotage progressive motion, at every step and every turn.

It is therefore proposed that all revolutionary actions, political education and propaganda should include a clear focus on calling off the present electoral boycott in the US.

Submitted by Ernest Newman

Ernest Newman said...

And, in the interest of being able to understand my somewhat harsh language in Press The Contradictions, it was posted in response to a "Revolutionary Communist" polemic attacking my proposal to Call Off Electoral Boycott.

Here is their polemic, which was also widely distibuted via sl Groups:

Bosses Elections Are Mystifications


Dear Comrades,

As a revolutionary communist, I cannot in good conscience let Ernest Newman's "Proposal: Call off the Boycott of Electoral Arenas" go unchallenged.

In the 19th century, Marx characterised ‘bourgeois democracy’ as a ‘formal democracy’, one where substantive power still lay in the hands of those with economic power. His political writing denounces the ‘sham’ of democracy he felt liberal government was, and argued that workers should have no illusions about it. In the 20th century, Lenin argued that communists should only support bourgeois democratic elections as the rope supports the hanging man. Yet in the 21st century, we still have people trying to convince us that "all revolutionary actions, political education and propaganda should include a clear focus on calling off the present electoral boycott in the US."


Decadent Capitalism and Electoral Mystification

From 1914 onwards, as the capitalist system entered its decadent phase, parliaments ceased to be instruments for reforms. As the Communist International said at its Second Congress: "The centre of gravity of political life has now been completely and finally removed beyond the confines of parliament". The only role parliaments could play from then on, the only thing that keeps them alive today, is their role as an instrument of mystification, to disguise the underlying political reality: the class dictatorship of the capitalist elites over the whole of society.

Today, there is absolutely no possibility for the proletariat to use parliaments in any way. The class cannot gain impossible reforms from an organ which has lost any real political function. At a time when the basic task of our class is to destroy ALL institutions of the bourgeois state INCLUDING parliaments the world over; when it must set up its own dictatorship on the ruins of universal suffrage and other vestiges of bourgeois society; then ANY participation in parliamentary and electoral institutions can only lead to these moribund bodies being given a semblance of life – no matter what the intentions of those who advocate this kind of activity.

Participation in elections and parliaments no longer has any of the advantages it had the 19th century. On the contrary, it is full of dangers, especially that of keeping alive illusions about the possibility of a ‘peaceful’ or ‘gradual’ transition to socialism through the conquest of a parliamentary majority by the so-called ‘workers’ parties’ – or through "a substantial super-majority at all levels of political power".

To the extent that such activity is essentially the concern of specialists, an arena for the games of political parties rather than for the self-activity of the masses, then the use of elections and parliaments as instruments for agitation and propaganda tends to preserve the political premises of bourgeois society and encourage passivity in the working class. If such a disadvantage was acceptable when the revolution was not an immediate possibility, it has become a decisive obstacle in a period when the only task on the historical agenda for the proletariat is precisely the overthrow of the old social order and the creation of a communist society, which demands the active and conscious participation of the whole class.


Revolutionary Abstention verses Sham Democracy

In decadent capitalism, parliament and elections are nothing but a mascarade. Any call to participate in the parliamentary circus can only reinforce the lie that presents these elections as a real choice for the exploited. ‘Democracy’, a particularly hypocritical form of the domination of the bourgeoisie, does not differ at root from other forms of capitalist dictatorship, such as Stalinism and fascism.

All factions of the bourgeoisie are equally reactionary – and none more so than those represented by the Democrats in the USA and "New" Labor in the UK. All the so-called ‘workers’, ‘Socialist’ and ‘Communist’ parties (now ex-’Communists’), the leftist organisations (Trotskyists, Maoists and ex-Maoists, official anarchists) constitute the left of capitalism’s political apparatus. All the tactics of ‘popular fronts’, ‘anti-fascist fronts’ and ‘united fronts’, which mix up the interests of the proletariat with those of a faction of the bourgeoisie, serve only to smother and derail the struggle of the proletariat.

The revolutionary political organisation constitutes the vanguard of the working class and is an active factor in the generalisation of class consciousness within the proletariat. Its role is neither to ‘organise the working class’ nor to ‘take power’ in its name, but to participate actively in the movement towards the unification of struggles, towards workers taking control of them for themselves, and at the same time to draw out the revolutionary political goals of the proletariat’s class combat.


Conclusion: Revolution NOT Reformism

"Principled, limited, qualified, tactical support for bourgeois liberal politicians" is not only a "sell out", not only surrendering the political power of ourselves and our class to representatives of our class enemy, but a complete betrayal of the class interests of the proletariat and of marxism. It is naive and foolish to encourage anybody to settle for the "lesser evil" of one bosses' lackey over another. Our task as revolutionaries, for the greater good of all humanity, is the polar opposite of prolonging illusions in the legitimacy of parliaments, representative democracy, and pro-capitalist political parties. It's our task to help expand working class consciousness to DESTROY the parliaments by which our class enemy mystifies its dictatorship.

Vote 'No' to Ernest Newman's proposal to "Call Off Electoral Boycott!"


In Solidarity,

Dalinian Bing

sémaphore alias Suture Ihnen on sl said...

Le chemin du retour - l’éditorial du New York Times/Irack
Publié le 9 juillet 2007
par Sémaphore

on http://www.archipelrouge.fr/

Nous reproduisons l’éditorial du New York Times du 8 juillet 2007. La rédaction du quotidien emblématique des États-Unis, qui joua un rôle central dans l’intoxication de l’opinion publique mondiale et la justification de l’invasion de l’Irak, y prend position pour le retrait des troupes. Bien sûr, le journal refuse de reconnaître ses erreurs et rejette toute la responsabilité de l’échec militaire sur le président Bush mais, ce faisant, il prend acte de l’évolution de la pensée de son lectorat et tente de s’en rapprocher pour retrouver de la crédibilité.

Traduction : Grégoire Seither

9 juillet 2007

source : voltairenet.org

Le chemin du retour

Il est temps pour les États-unis de quitter l’Irak, sans attendre plus longtemps que le temps nécessaire pour le Pentagone d’organiser un départ dans de bonnes conditions.

Comme de nombreux États-uniens, nous avons repoussé constamment cette conclusion, dans l’espoir de voir surgir un signe indiquant que notre président est vraiment entrain d’essayer de sortir les États-unis du bourbier désastreux dans lequel il nous a mis en envahissant l’Irak sans motifs valables, contre l’avis du reste du monde et sans plans pour stabiliser le pays après l’invasion.

Au début nous étions d’avis que, ayant détruit le gouvernement de l’Irak, son armée, sa police et ses structures économiques, les États-unis avaient en quelque sorte l’obligation d’atteindre certains des objectifs que M. Bush prétend vouloir réaliser : reconstruire un Irak stable et unifié. Quand il est apparu clairement que le président n’avait ni la vision ni les moyens nécessaires pour ce faire, nous avons néanmoins continué à nous opposer au retrait, afin d’éviter au pays le chaos qui risquait de se produire si nous partions trop tôt et sans préparation.

Alors que M. Bush dépassait les échéances les unes après les autres, il ne cessait de nous promettre des avancées imminentes… après les élections irakiennes, après la mise en place de la constitution, après l’envoi de milliers de troupes supplémentaires. Mais toutes les échéances passaient sans que l’on voit jamais la moindre avancée vers un Irak stable et démocratique, ou le moindre mouvement vers un retrait de nos troupes. Il apparaît aujourd’hui avec une clarté effrayante que le plan de M. Bush est de maintenir le cap aussi longtemps qu’il est encore président et de repasser la patate chaude à son successeur. Quelle que fut la cause de George Bush quand il a décidé de faire cette guerre, elle est aujourd’hui perdue.

Les autorités soutenues par Washington sont incapables de placer les intérêts du pays avant leurs règlements de comptes sectaires. Les forces de sécurité formées et armées par Washington se comportent plus comme des milices partisanes. Enfin, les renforts militaires envoyés par milliers dans la région de Bagdad ont été incapables de changer quoi que ce soit à la situation de violence qui y prévaut.

Il est criminel de continuer à sacrifier les vies et les bras et jambes des soldats états-uniens en Irak. La guerre sape la solidité de nos alliances et sape notre force militaire. Elle nous oblige à relâcher notre vigilance dans la lutte contre le terrorisme. Elle fait peser un poids grandissant sur les contribuables et trahit nos valeurs dans un monde qui a plus que jamais besoin que soient appliqués avec sagesse les principes et la force qui ont fondé l’Amérique.

La majorité des États-Uniens est parvenue à cette conclusion il y a plusieurs mois déjà. Même dans le monde polarisé de Washington, les avis pour ou contre la guerre ne suivent plus les affiliations politiques. Le Congrès se réunit à nouveau cette semaine : il est fondamental qu’il inscrive, tout en haut de son calendrier, le déclenchement de l’opération visant à retirer les troupes états-uniennes du bourbier de la guerre en Irak.

Traduction : Grégoire Seither

on blogger : http://archipelrouge.blogspot.com/

Ernest Newman said...

It seems rather a mystification of the discussion, lol, to post here in French. Can we get a translation, to allow some discussion? As a parochial "American" I have no clue what is being said, or what kind of response it may warrant.

Indeed, I am quite mystified and somewhat skeptical as to how what appears to be a bunch of reposts complaining about Bush, the war and the US Congress, from various French publications, are likely to be all that relevant to a discussion of US electoral boycott.

Especially since the French themselves have just made the same unfortunate error I seek to warn against, by failing to deny a more or less extreme right wing victory in their own recent elections, by refusing to unite behind a perhaps ultimately undesirable, but nevertheless, considerably less problematic, socialist opponent.

And I somehow doubt that these articles really respond to my proposal, or to my rebuttal to Bing's rebuttal, in any kind of empiric way, regarding the points raised and the topic at hand. Perhaps more of the same kind of obscufication and rhetorical posturing, seeking to prove what we already know, and I have clearly stated, that bourgeois elections are corrupt and obviously will not ultimately deliver the revolution that we need, in and of themselves.

The problem with Bing's relentlessly uncompromising absolutist idealism is that such irrational all-or-nothing perspectives leave us with...nothing...but a Bush, or a Sarkovy...or a Hitler.

As I have said before, and will patiently say again, whoever wins the bourgeois elections, we will still have to put fire to their ass, and the struggle will continue.

I am in no way advocating calling off revolutionary struggle, or acceptance of the corrupt liberal bourgeoisie as any kind of a solution to anything but the most short term tactical goals (such as denying the worst fascists power, and saving as many lives as we can) within a much more comprehensive revolutionary strategy addressing all arenas of life, struggle and power.

I will also say again that actual, real, genuine popular democracy (rather than elite dictatorship by either the bourgeoisie, or some other self-declared "vanguard") is the most fundamental revolutionary concept.

And, at the risk of being too repetitive, I would also again point out that our movement, like all venues of discussion, debate, opinion and media have been throughly infiltrated and manipulated by COINTELPRO style operations designed to split, demoralize, discredit and destroy any hope whatsoever for even the slightest, most ephemeral motion toward democracy, since real democracy is, after all, the absolute worst fear and most hated enemy of capitalism, and it's moribund form, fascism (as well as all other elitist hegemony seeking machiavellian weasels, of all stripes).

Death to Elitism!

All Power to the People!

Ernest Newman said...

So...Bing has submitted the following document, sent by notecard via SLLU Group Notices. Before presenting it here in full, I'd like to offer just a little context, in preliminary response.

Then, you can read it your self. (I sincerely hope SLLU blog moderators will go ahead and post it here) and I will then gladly respond in more depth, afterwards, point by point, to some extent.

Regarding the "multiple personality disorder" and "strange bedfellows" alluded to, heh, I have subscribed to alot of Groups in SL, because I thought they had interesting names, or might have some interesting traffic.

My choices of groups reflect my political interests, for the most part, but my involvement in any of those groups has been very peripheral, if at all.

Although I was, it seems, arbitrarily designated an officer of the Anarchist Syndicalist Group I have never exercised that position, nor been involved there any more than to occasionally engage in chat, usually along the lines of the proposal to Call Off Electoral Boycott, etc., where I have often encountered a response very similar to that of Bing's.

Coincidentally, while I do not blindly subscribe to any particular tendency, I do tend to prefer most, if not all, of the theory, analysis and practice associated with syndicalism...generally, the organization of popular democratic control of the means of production and distribution of goods and services, through the workplace (and areas of residence).

I am anarchist, more or less, but not an advocate of chaos, libertarian capitalism, nor of "democratic centralism". I tend to call for genuine popular democracy, under which I believe capitalism and fascism and other forms of elitism, would be dead meat.

The closest I come to religion is my faith in the masses of ordinary working people anywhere in the world to generally, in the vast majority, want justice and peace, to save the planet, and to be able to decide for themselves, democratically, the best means to pursue those objectives,

I do not subscribe to the extremly cynical and disdainful comtempt for the masses that so commonly pervades elitist pollitical tendencies.

I am not a pacifist, and I do think some lines should be drawn, in terms of "freedom".

Death to Fascism! Down with racism, sexism, eco-rape and corporate ripoff!

I believe we won the revolution in the US, and that the vast majority of the US firmly agrees with above stated slogans. As I see it, we are now in the stage where the counter-revolution must be suppressed, and brought to revolutionary justice for their many crimes against humanity, because they refuse to submit to the overwhelming popular democratic mandate.

I think we should concentrate on suppressing the Republicans first, then the Blue Dogs, and then the liberal bourgeoisie, in terms of priority, and in direct proportion to their various treasons, which can only be done justly, and rationally, by genuinely democratic means.

Call me an idealist, lol, but I really do believe that democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary concept.

Indeed, it was out of frustration with response I was getting in the various discussion venues that I did participate in, that I finally drafted the more formal proposal to call off electoral boycott, and distributed it, as my contribution to the planning for L4P actions, and future movement activities.

I would like to point out, as introduction to the following spew by Bing, that it is exactly what I expected to get from many quarters...and that it is no doubt all too familiar to many activists, who have themselves been subjected to such vicious adhominem slander and personal attack for disagreeing with his general tendency, which is more or less represented in virtually all arenas of discussion, and is usually the most vocal, assertive, and dominating position.

Please consider whether you really want to be associated with those who take that line, and who engage in Bing's method of "debate", and recognize that, while it does borrow heavily from some readily available and legitimate sources, it is mainly full of bullshit, perversely twisted and ultimately a psychotic reversal of reality.

The bottom line is that Bing can dish it out, but he just can't take it. His whining, sniveling, snarling passive aggressive provocations are absolutely ridiculous, and slightly nauseating. I have responded in kind (but more appropriately, I'd like to think) to his previous attack, and will do so again, here. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen, dear gentle reader...I am not a pacifist, and I am prepared to fight for my position.

It would be fine with me, if this discussion were to end here, as far as me and Bing are concerned. I'd be far more interested in seeing (and participating in) some meaningful discussion by others, of the actual position and content of the original proposal, which appears to be the last thing Bing wants to allow, with his all too characteristic call for suppression, and "ignoring the merits or otherwise of the argument"...

This is not about me, or Bing, as far as I'm concerned...it's about calling off the electoral boycott.

His most recent full text, unedited in any way:


To:
Hanni Bekkers
higgleDpiggle Snoats
Krisp Alexandre
Laura Gagliano
Ledoof Constantineau
Meekal Kilara
Plot Tracer
SLUL Revolution
Tooter Claxton
Trevor Caldwell

CC:
Earnest Newman
Klaatu Congrejo
Smoke Wijaya

Subject:
SLLU: Political Favoritism, Machiavellianism or Left Unity?


Comrades,

I am severely disappointed in your response, or rather your lack of response, to the attacks made by Earnest Newman:

[1] Against revolutionary abstentionism – the long held position of revolutionary marxists and political anarchists with respect to bourgeois elections, as detailed in my "Bosses Elections Are Mystifications" polemic; and

[2] Against myself personally – "Those who advocate against voting, as a general "revolutionary" line, are either fools or swine. That is to say, they are either dupes, or outright agents-provocateur for COINTELPRO, engaging in counter-revolutionary sabotage of the movement and our society." And "I called those indivuduals fools, and dupes, who are allowing themselves to be manipulated by the pigs."

The former, even though it has a centuries-spanning legacy in marxist politics, is a political position – and therefore an acceptable target for discussion and debate, although it seems nobody else on the SL left but me has responded to Earnest's attack on this position.

The latter is an unacceptable and illegitimate target, and permitting such bitter, vitriolic and personal calumny on one's comrades, let alone publishing it in public, should be anathema to any organisation who wants others to believe it is an honourable part of the workers’ movement. As Etienne Obstreperous reasonably pointed out in a comment, "Ignoring the merits or otherwise of the argument here, should a left "unity" blog really be publishing articles calling other leftists "swine and "agents-provocateur for COINTELPRO"?"


==================================================
Historical Perspective on Slander in the Workers’ Movement

"The whole history of the workers’ movement is marked by episodes when revolutionaries have been the object of campaigns of slander on the part of elements playing the game of the ruling class or directly working on its behalf.

So, in 1859, Marx devoted a year of his life to demolish with a scientific method the slanders of Herr Vogt (who was later shown to have been an agent in the pay of Napoléon III). He devoted an entire book, Herr Vogt, that Engels praised as Marx’s best polemical work (a work that he thought even surpassed The 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoléon Bonaparte).

Lenin (and the Bolshevik party), particularly in July 1917, were also the target of repugnant calumnies: he was accused by the forces of the counter-revolution of being an agent of German imperialism (Trotsky, in his History of the Russian Revolution described July 1917 as “the month of the great slander” (Chapter 27)).

Rosa Luxemburg, before the First World War, was also denigrated and accused of being an agent of the tsarist police, the Okhrana, by members of the right wing of the SPD. It was members of the SPD right (and therefore old “comrades” of Rosa) who, following these denigrations, orchestrated a hysterical campaign of slanders and a real manhunt against the Spartakusbund: to decapitate the revolution in Germany they called for a pogrom and assassinated Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in January 1919.

Trotsky, in the 1930s, was in his turn the object of the same type of slanders on the part of his old “comrade” Stalin: he was accused of being an agent of Hitler. This campaign of slanders, like that unleashed against Rosa Luxemburg and the Spartakusbund, ended in the assassination of Trotsky, commissioned by Stalin.

These tragic episodes in the history of the workers’ movement show that slander is the bourgeoisie’s weapon of choice to destroy the revolutionary movement. They reveal that the lie has always preceded and prepared the ground for the physical liquidation of communist militants. And this has always been denounced and fought publicly by revolutionaries as a weapon of the bourgeois state aiming to discredit communist organisations."

Source: 'Response to the shameful slanders of a small association of wreckers': http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/2005_wreckers


================================================
Dominating the 'Debate', Abetted by SLLU

On Thu 29 Nov, SLLU published Earnest's attack on revolutionary abstentionism as "Call off the Boycott of U.S. Electoral Arenas" on the SLLU Blog and as a 'Call Off Electoral Boycott' notecard by SLLU Group Notice (GN). On the same day, I posted my contribution to this 'debate' to SLLU as a comment to that blog post, entitled "Bosses Elections Are Mystifications", including HTML formatting. On the same day I sent this IM to Plot Tracer:

"I've posted a comment at the SLLU blog, to Ernest Newman's "Call off the Boycott of U.S. Electoral Arenas" -- please pass it through moderation. Also, I'd be grateful if you could send the following GN to our SLLU comrades on my behalf -- Subject: 'Bosses Elections Are Mystifications', Message: 'Hi Comrades, As a revolutionary communist, I cannot in good conscience let Ernest Newman's "Proposal: Call off the Boycott of Electoral Arenas" go unchallenged. Please see the attached notecard for reasons why I believe revolutionary abstentionism remains the only way to support bourgeois democratic elections as the rope supports the hanging man. In Solidarity, Dalinian Bing', Attachment: 'Bosses Elections Are Mystifications' notecard, which accompanies this IM. Thanks in advance, friend. In Solidarity, DB"

Since Plot had published Earnest's 'Call Off Electoral Boycott' notecard by SLLU GN, I assumed he would do the same for my 'Bosses Elections Are Mystifications' notecard, as Smoke Wijaya did over at the Communist Group at my request – but no, and SLLU has yet to do so.

Since the SLLU Blog says, "To Contribute, contact Plot Tracer or higgleDpiggle Snoats inworld; either IM us or send an article on a notecard and we will ensure your views are published", I thought both submitting my "article on a notecard" AND submitting an HTML-formatted comment on the SLLU Blog AND asking Plot to "pass it through moderation" would "ensure [my] views are published" – but no, and SLLU have yet to do so.

As if that wasn't bad enough...

On Sat 01 Dec, SLLU published Earnest's vitriolic, personal denigration against me as "Response to "Revolutionary Communist" polemic attacking my proposal to Call Off Electoral Boycott" on the SLLU Blog, apparently missing the irony that my "Revolutionary Communist" polemic was nowhere to be found, because SLLU had apparently chosen to suppress it, rater than publish it.

To date, SLLU have done the following on this issue.

From submissions by Earnest Newman
— sent out his 'Call Off Electoral Boycott' notecard by SLLU GN
— published two blog posts:
– "Proposal: Call off the Boycott of U.S. Electoral Arenas"
– "Response to "Revolutionary Communist" polemic attacking my proposal to Call Off Electoral Boycott"
— published three comments below the latter of these posts

From submissions by Dalinian Bing
— err...
— absolutely nothing


================================================
Vitriolic Personal Slanders

After the slanders against me mentioned in [2] above, Earnest continues with these twists of his rhetorical bayonet:

A. "A true revolutionary has no room in their heart, nor in their analysis, for the kind of opportunism that would sacrifice the best interests of the People for some whack, formulaic, 100 year old catechism of tortuously contrived "political correctness"."
[subs, check this – was "political correctness" around 100 years ago? — Ed.]

B. "[T]he lives of millions of people all over the world hang in the balance [...] Do you really want their blood on your hands [...]?"
[subs, check this as well – can the relatives of the millions of people killed globally by a future US Republican administration pursue an individual British left communist, an advocate of revolutionary abstentionism, through the International Court of Justice for crimes against humanity? — Ed.]

C. "[Y]ou were too "principled" to vote for some grossly inadequate liberal bourgeois politician, [...] and thus ushered into power the worst possible fascists available, by default?!"
[subs, check this too – is the pro-democracy 2007 US Republican Party a worse fascist organisation than the pro-dictatorship 1939 German Nazi Party? — Ed.]

D. "Surrendering the power, by default, to the worst fascists, is counter-revolutionary treason against all of the Peoples (and other species) of earth."
[subs, get this checked out – isn't treason the last hanging offense in the UK? — Ed.]

E. "All Power to the People!"
[schurley schome mishtake? That's a "Wolfie" Smith slogan, isn't it? Y'know, a fresh-faced Robert Lindsay, in that 70s British sitcom, parody of a young marxist urban revolutionary, ... er ... 'Citizen Smith' wasn't it? Great Jumping Jehosaphat, here it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen_Smith
I say, isn't the interweb all grandy and dandy?]

[With apologies to Ian Hislop, editor of "Private Eye", a top notch UK satire magazine, for the satirical comment formats]


>>>>> Do you see what's missing yet? <<<<<


While SLLU may have missed the irony that my "Revolutionary Communist" polemic was nowhere to be found, it didn't escape the notice of Earnest himself. The final irony is that, in the end, it was in fact Earnest himself who was responsible for publishing my 'Bosses Elections Are Mystifications' polemic.

On Sun 02 Nov, as the fifth and (as of writing) final comment to his second slanderous post – 'Response to "Revolutionary Communist" polemic attacking my proposal to Call Off Electoral Boycott' – Earnest himself published my 'Bosses Elections Are Mystifications' polemic, on your own SLLU Blog. Why? So that – having been criticised by others for his insulting diatribe (but not, notably, by SLLU) – in his own somewhat obsessed mind, those others could appreciate why he had deployed such bitter, vitriolic personal slander against me in the first place! Or, if you prefer, in Earnest's own word's, "And, in the interest of being able to understand my somewhat harsh language [above], it was posted in response to a "Revolutionary Communist" polemic attacking my proposal to Call Off Electoral Boycott."


>>>>> So, if it wasn't my 'Bosses Elections Are Mystifications' polemic that was missing, what was it? <<<<<


================================================
SLLU Accountability

This record prompts at least eight questions which I strongly request that SLLU, individuals within its "democratic collective", and editors of its Blog, address explicitly in their replies to this message.

<1> In what way is this behavior by SLLU congruent with your stated aim to "foster revolutionary social dialogue"?

<2> If SLLU is "a diverse group, united around social justice and anti-capitalism", why are you publishing blatantly pro-capitalism tracts, calling for votes for a bourgeois political party with a long and proven history of social injustice, pro-capitalist policies, and active economic/military imperialism?

<3> Why has SLLU suppressed publication of an authentically left point of view (PoV) antithetical to these pro-capitalism tracts?

<4> If SLLU is "a democratic collective", then I would expect you to disclose, on the request of an SLLU member, who had voting rights in this suppression, and who voted in favour of suppression; will you do so? And if not, will you explain why not?

<5> Why has SLLU chosen to publish vitriolic personal slanders by one SLLU member against another?

<6> Is there an SLLU rule, standing order, or common cultural practice to curtail and penalise personal slanders by one SLLU member against another?

<7> If so, then...
<7A> why was it breached by publishing personal slanders on the SLLU Blog?
<7B> what measures will be taken against those who authorised the publishing of personal slanders on the SLLU Blog?
<7C> what measures will be taken against the author of those personal slanders, Earnest Newman?

<8> And if there are no restrictions on personal slandering inside SLLU, will you explain why not?

<9> What measures will SLLU take to make restitution for publishing personal slanders on the SLLU Blog?

Sources:
About Second Life Left Unity: http://slleftunity.blogspot.com
SL LEFT UNITY Group Charter

For your convenience, I've copied the "SLLU Accountability" questions below my sig.


================================================
Strange Bedfellows

Here are three of the SL political left Groups to which Earnest belongs, with their Group Charters, with my ***emphasis*** added.

Communist Group
Group Charter: "The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by ***the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions***. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of All Countries, Unite!"

Anarcho-Syndicalists
Group Charter: "Anarcho-syndicalists view labour unions as a potential force for ***revolutionary social change, replacing capitalism and the State with a new society*** democratically self-managed by workers.
Anarcho-syndicalists seek to abolish the wage system and private ownership of the means of production, which they believe lead to class divisions.
The basic principles of anarcho-syndicalism are:
Workers’ solidarity
Direct action
Workers' self-management"

SLanarchy
Group Charter: "SLanarchy is a informal federation of social anarchists, including anarcho-communists, syndicalists, and platformists.
If you broadly agree with the text of the 1926 Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists, you'll be welcomed like the long lost cousin that you are.
Long live the organized anarchist movement!"

"The 1926 Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists sets out the basic tenets of anarchist theory such as anti-capitalism, ***the rejection of bourgeois democracy***, the State and authority, and more. Anarchists, in fact, look upon the State as the chief obstacle. By ***rejecting formal (bourgeois) democracy*** and State authority and by proclaiming the full emancipation of labour, anarchism places the utmost emphasis on the rigorous principles of class struggle."
Source: 'Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists': http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=1000

How, you may justifiably ask, is Earnest's vociferous proposal to "Call off the Boycott of U.S. Electoral Arenas" congruent – in any way, shape or form – with "the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions", or "revolutionary social change, replacing capitalism and the State with a new society", or "the rejection of bourgeois democracy"? Indeed, are there now, or have there ever been, any political anarchists who advocate voting for the US Democratic Party?


>>>>> But the missing piece isn't this multiple-political-personality-disorder. Do you have it yet? <<<<<


================================================
Other Left Perspectives

I had conversations with fellow left activist comrades, some of whom have been politically active ISL for over a year, on the subject of Earnest Newman – with whom some comrades have had similar dealings in the past. Here's some of the issues that arose.

Earnest: "Those who advocate against voting, as a general "revolutionary" line, are either fools or swine.That is to say, they are either dupes, or outright agents-provocateur for COINTELPRO, engaging in counter-revolutionary sabotage of the movement and our society."

According to Brian Glick, in "War at Home", COINTELPRO used a broad array of methods, including: "Infiltration: Agents and informers did not merely spy on political activists. Their main purpose was to discredit and disrupt. Their very presence served to undermine trust and scare off potential supporters. ***The FBI and police exploited this fear to smear genuine activists as agents.***"
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO

So to paraphrase Shakespeare's Gertrude, "The newman doth 'smear a genuine activist' too much, methinks." (Hamlet, Act 3, scene 2)

In some cases, the FBI found that their infiltration agents-provocateur needed to do very little, or in extremis nothing at all, because the left were doing the smearing of genuine activists as agents themselves, unbidden; and failing to challenge such fear tactics within their left organisations. The most robust left organisations are more likely to be resistant to such black ops, precisely because they do NOT want to validate such FBI/CIA/KGB/FSB/MI5/MI6/Mosad/etc. tactics by reproducing them internally.

In the US domestic bourgeois political milieu, there are supporters of the US Democratic or Republican Party out in the general blogosphere who are determined to bait people who want a party-based movement, or more importantly any movement, that refuses to be subservient to the two party system.

Or perhaps this might be a case of a well read and intelligent right / far-right troll. Or another case of a corporate PR consultancy employee, tasked with disrupting SL Left Unity, as has happened before ISL (although before I arrived).

But he could also be what he appears to be, a rather over-obsessive, slanderous egotist – with the subjective form of a 'revolutionary', and the objective content of a parasitical reformist. In my 25 year long revolutionary political 'career', I've come across at least one instance of each of the above types of anti-left troublemaker.


>>>>> Have you sussed out what is missing yet? Last chance to do so before the 'big reveal'; ***SPOILERS FOLLOW*** <<<<<


================================================
Political Text Analysis

(1) Go to http://slleftunity.blogspot.com/2007/12/response-to-revolutionary-communist.html

(2) Try searching from the top downwards, through where Earnest's words begin, for any or all of these search-terms, and note where they first occur, and the context in which they are used.
agitation, anarchists, bourgeois democracy, capitalist, capitalist elites, class, class dictatorship, communists, comrades, destroy, dictatorship, exploited, leftist, lenin, marx, marxism, masses, proletariat, reforms, socialism, socialist, solidarity, state, vanguard, workers, working class (total: 26)

(3) As a control, try searching from the bottom upwards, through where Dalinian's words begin, for any or all of these search-terms, and note where they first occur, and the context in which they are used.
agents-provocateur, catechism, contenders, corrupt, counter-revolutionary, Democratic Party, evil, fascists, dupes, fools, formulaic, futile, hopeless, manipulated, opportunism, political correctness, pig, posturing, Republican, rhetorical, ridiculous, sabotage, swine, the People, treason (total: 25)

(4) Relative text analysis metrics are as follows.

Earnest Newman
Word count: 1297
Readability:
Flesch Reading Ease: 35.37 [higher scores indicate material that is easier to read]
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 14.00 [translates the 0–100 score to a U.S. grade level needed to comprehend text]
Automated Readability Index: 15.00 [approximate representation of U.S. grade level needed to comprehend text]

Dalinian Bing
Word count: 894
Readability:
Flesch Reading Ease: [?] 26.06 [lower numbers mark harder-to-read passages]
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: [?] 16.00 [translates the 0–100 score to a U.S. grade level needed to comprehend text]
Automated Readability Index: [?] 17.00 [approximate representation of U.S. grade level needed to comprehend text]

Sources:
Google Docs: http://docs.google.com
Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flesch-Kincaid_Readability_Test
Automated Readability Index: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automated_Readability_Index

While acknowledging that some of the following assumptions may be controversial, let us for the sake of argument characterise the search-terms and the context in which they first occur, in terms of a socialist political debate, as 'positive' in (2) and 'negative' in (3) above. Then if we divide the number of search-terms by the word count, and multiply by 100, we get a percentile of socialist political debate search-terms in each text, in the range -100 to +100, where negative scores are anti-socialist and positive scores are pro-socialist.

Boundary conditions:
Let ST = search-terms, from 0 to ±WC
WC = word count, from 1 to any arbitrary positive integer; then
Maxima: ST = WC, then ST/WC = 1 x 100 = ±100%
Minima: ST = 0, then 0/WC = 0 x 100 = 0%

Then the results are as follows.

In terms of a socialist political debate, Earnest scores minus 1.9% while Dalinian scores plus 2.9%.

So in my book, circumstantial though the evidence may be, Earnest ***cannot write*** like he is involved in a socialist political debate.


================================================
Conclusion: Disingenuous Trouble Maker

Here is a summary of the points detailed above.

— attacks against revolutionary abstentionism
— vitriolic, personal, slanderous attacks against a revolutionary who challenges his political position
— possibility of being a spook/cop/Democrat/Republican/far-right troll, attempting to 'smear genuine activists as agents'
— possibility of being a corporate PR consultancy employee, tasked with disrupting SL Left unity
— possibility of being a 'revolutionary' in subjective form, and a parasitical reformist in objective content
— enrolling a leftist faction with a blog site to collude by publishing his tracts while suppressing an antithetical PoV
— dominating the debate, abetted by said leftist faction
— the historical perspective on slander in the workers’ movement
— the strange bedfellows of anarchism, communism and, ... er ... , the US Democratic Party
— inability to conduct a rational socialist political debate

On the balance of probabilities, and taking full account of the evidence, I think that Earnest Newman has disingenuously inveigled himself into SLLU, the better to make trouble for the SL Left. He may not be the first, and I hope trust that SLLU will take the necessary punitive action, for the good of SLLU, to ensure he does not succeed in being the last. As my dear departed mama used to say, "It takes two to tango! Don't. Rise. To. The. Bait!!" So I shall not be dignifying his red-baiting tactical antics with any further responses, in the hope that, as with the great majority of vexatious contrarians, he'll throw in the towel and quit the ring now his game has been called and nobody will play his little games with him anymore; or his cover is blown; or his legend has unravelled; or he is undone; or his [insert your downfall metaphor here].

All of which is not to say that 'Bosses Elections Are Mystifications' is not a valid contribution to an authentic socialist political debate on the question of revolutionary abstentionism – merely that it was written as a response to a provocation that, on the face of it, appeared to be genuine. But it took my contribution to draw out from Earnest a response so dripping with the bitter bile of vitriolic and personal calumny that it revealed the inauthentic motivation behind his original provocation.

Finally, some might accuse me of resorting to stooping to Earnest's level, by counter-accusing him personally rather than politically, perhaps because I am oversensitive to the rough and tumble of political debate. But the corollary of that would be that we suspend our evolved ability, unique among land animals, to use our high level theory of mind to seek out hidden agendas and deceitful actions, such that we would take all-comers at face value, and leave our private lives and our left organisations wide open to infiltration and machiavellianism by all and sundry. It certainly isn't the case that I am unable or unwilling to answer apparently genuine contributions to a socialist political debate, as 'Bosses Elections Are Mystifications' amply proves. So I have no personal axe to grind, no reason to shoot the messenger, from an inability to successfully advocate my political positions in answer to his message. And while Earnest's invective is prone to melodramatic hyperbole ("the worst possible fascists available"), shrill denunciations ("would sacrifice the best interests of the People for some whack, formulaic, 100 year old catechism of tortuously contrived "political correctness".") and doubly negative false dichotomies ("either fools or swine", " either dupes, or outright agents-provocateur"), I hope and trust that you'll agree that my substantive arguments in 'Bosses Elections Are Mystifications' and my uncovering of the possibilities behind Earnest's hidden agenda in this message, are best characterised as a cool-headed, clear-minded and rational analytic approach to the more subtle and nuanced reality of political discussion and personal motivation respectively.

I look forward to reading individual responses, or a collective SLLU reply. For your convenience, I've copied the "SLLU Accountability" questions below my sig. If I'm satisfied that SLLU have dealt with this not-so-little local difficulty in a manner satisfactorily robust for a workers' movement organisation, I shall let this matter drop. If not, I shall be obliged to use the contacts, channels, and net publishing spaces at my disposal to open up this affair to the scrutiny of our peers in the SL left movement.

Thanks in advance for you time and attention.


In Solidarity

Dalinian Bing

================================================
When answering these questions, please delete all above this sentence, use the section below as a pro forma, and insert your answers under each question.

SLLU Accountability

This record prompts at least eight questions which I strongly request that SLLU, individuals within its "democratic collective", and editors of its Blog, address explicitly in their replies to this message.

<1> In what way is this behavior by SLLU congruent with your stated aim to "foster revolutionary social dialogue"?

<2> If SLLU is "a diverse group, united around social justice and anti-capitalism", why are you publishing blatantly pro-capitalism tracts, calling for votes for a bourgeois political party with a long and proven history of social injustice, pro-capitalist policies, and active economic/military imperialism?

<3> Why has SLLU suppressed publication of an authentically left point of view (PoV) antithetical to these pro-capitalism tracts?

<4> If SLLU is "a democratic collective", then I would expect you to disclose, on the request of an SLLU member, who had voting rights in this suppression, and who voted in favour of suppression; will you do so? And if not, will you explain why not?

<5> Why has SLLU chosen to publish vitriolic personal slanders by one SLLU member against another?

<6> Is there an SLLU rule, standing order, or common cultural practice to curtail and penalise personal slanders by one SLLU member against another?

<7> If so, then...
<7A> why was it breached by publishing personal slanders on the SLLU Blog?
<7B> what measures will be taken against those who authorised the publishing of personal slanders on the SLLU Blog?
<7C> what measures will be taken against the author of those personal slanders, Earnest Newman?

<8> And if there are no restrictions on personal slandering inside SLLU, will you explain why not?

<9> What measures will SLLU take to make restitution for publishing personal slanders on the SLLU Blog?

Sources:
About Second Life Left Unity: http://slleftunity.blogspot.com
SL LEFT UNITY Group Charter

-ends-


Ok...rather than fall into the bottomless pit of trying to address every word of this mewling, puking, pathetic screed, I will attempt to snatch out some of the most poignant canards, and most important issues that I think need to be addressed, in some manageable, chewable chucks, and spit them back out at you...put your napkin on, because we are going to eat Bing for lunch...

First, the issue of cop-baiting

Even as Bing whines about being personally attacked, slandered, suppressed and subjected to all manner of indignities, over my disagreement with his response to my proposal, he turns right around and engages with full relish in the very practice that he decries, like he just couldn't wait to have at it. And he does it with a vengence, dropping all pretense of objectivity or principled discussion, and completely out of proportion to anything I have ever said or done.

While I have meticulously avoided specifically referring to Bing in any of my remarks previously, he shows no such compunction, and attacks me personally, like a junkyard dog, snarling and slobbering with bombastic bluster.

He is no doubt trying to emulate Marx and Lenin, who were notorious for pulling no punches and cutting to the quick, heh...

All I can say Bing, is "if the shoe fits, wear it". And if it doesn't, then throw it away, and get you some new shoes! Talk about walking, talking, and quacking like a duck!

Call me a fin cop, for proposing that we call off the boycott of electoral arenas, and pointing out that your line is counter-revoutionary, and that it is exactly what COINTLEPRO likes to hear, LOL!

I am not the COINTELPRO pig bait here. I am not inviting anyone to engage in illegal activities, or to suppress voter turnout, nor otherwise directly supporting the line and practice of the enemy and their agents-provateur, who are so ardently trying to split and destroy the movement.

I say that the pigs have been putting huge resources of every kind into suppressing voter turnout in every way that they possibly can, including infiltrating the movement and manipulating it any way they can, such as by injecting and encouraging mindless rhetorical opposition to voting.

I say it's a no brainer. The one thing they fear and hate most is the prospect of a genuine popular democratic movement.

So..lets build that, starting with pressing the contradictions of the corrupt commercial bourgeois "elections". Put the most progressive (or, least fascist) bourgeois politicians we can get elected up there on the hot seat, and then put fire to their ass (metaphorically, politically, electorally speaking, of course) every time they retreat, weasel and try to squirm out of submitting to the popular democratic will, on every issue, and then use that struggle as fodder for your propaganda, to call for genuine democracy. It's as simple as that.

Take a proactive role in selecting who those politicians will be, and recognize that the more "progressive" they are, the more stark the contradictions will be.

What contradictions can we press, with a Bush in office, and a majority of reactionary Republicans and Blue Dogs in Congress (and on the other levels, down the ladders of power)? They aren't even pretending to respect the popular democratic will. They are blatant and unapologetic about it! They flaunt their contempt for the People. There is no contradiction there, because there is no claim to be representing the popular democratic will.

Protest, for the sake of protest, in the face of such conditions, have never gotten us anywhere, and never will.

So...put the ones who claim to want democracy, the "Democrats", up there, and hold them to it, and press the contradictions that will ensue, wholesale, on every issue! The more you can force them to the left, the more clear it will become that they can never deliver the revolutionary changes that we need, and the more obvious that bankruptcy will become.

Now, some may try to say that this proposal arises from some idiotic naive idealism on my part, and that I actually believe we can force the Democrats and liberal bourgeois "progressives" far enough to the left that they will somehow magically morph into revolutionaries.

But why insist on putting words in my mouth? I have never said any such ridiculous thing.

What I do say is that the further we press the Democrats to the left, the more likely the right will precipitate all out civil war in the US. They have already killed a President, and his brother, and many other widely loved and respected leaders who ventured far short of calling for armed revolution. They were killed merely for advocating democracy!

You say you want a revolution? You say you are looking forward to the horrible prospect of revolutionary (counter-revolutionary) civil war in the US? Call for democracy! The right is willing and able to oblige you! They are champing at the bit! It's likely to get ugly.

I would again remind people here that we need more than a simple majority in Congress, and other levels of power. It will take a substantial, overwhelming super-majority to even begin to restrain and suppress the counter-revolution. Otherwise, everything will be all tied up in knots with endless contention and debate, and rampant violence, not only rhetorically, but on the streets, not by us, but by them, and any forward motion is likely to be thoroughly sabotaged by the right.

Study the history, especially of the rise of nazism.

Look at what happened in the last US national election, and under Carter and Clinton. I expect it may get much worse this time.

We need a really massive voter turnout, not the same old tired rah rah get out the vote bullshit that never turns out more than a few extra percentage points. A truly massive voter turnout is guaranteed to shake the foundations of power, and set the knees of the bourgeoisie trembling.

The right cannot afford to even allow the pretense of democracy, because they know that can only serve to raise the hopes and expectations of the masses, and that it will develop legs of it's own, and will independently, separately from the Democrats, really morph into a genuine popular democratic movement that will sweep both the Democrats and the Republicans aside, and bring down revolutionary justice on their heads...

The pigs are running scared, and hysterical...can't you see it in their rhetoric, in their deliberate sabotage and looting of the economy, and in their Aryan Nations brownshirts, who are waiting in the wings for the Democrats to sweep the elections? Can't you see it in how avidly some shrill, hysterical, irrational people are advocating electoral boycott, even in our own ranks?

Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary demand, precisely because the pigs simply cannot allow that demand to ever be met, and survive...and they know it. Why don't we recognize that?

Why cite quote after quote from a hundred years ago, about conditions that do not exist any more? This is the 21st century, and unlike a hundred years ago, virtually everyone can read and write, has access to mass media, and knows how to add and subtract (the criteria that even Marx set forth for the working class to be "ready" for genuinely democratic self rule).

Rather than taking up to a year, or even more, to get across the continent, ideas and actions can occur almost simultaneously with conception, individually and organizationally, all over the world.

The ultimate General Strike is more feasible, tactically, and strategically, right now than ever before in world history. But the real thing cannot be prematurely contrived. It will happen when it happens, and it will be overwhelming, and it will carry us through the final struggle in an historic revolutionary tide, if we prepare for it, and set the stage for it to happen, by putting out a general call for genuine democracy.

The classics are worth studying, but don't get stuck in a time warp! Conditions have changed, hugely. This is Not 1917 Russia!

Quit dwelling on the past, and start looking to the future! Seize the time, today, and pick up the tools we that have at hand, and wield them as weapons for our liberation...don't just habitually, reflexively go back to the same old fail, fail, fail. That's crazy!

Getting down to specifics, let us review a few lines of Bing's "revolutionary communist" polemic attacking my initial proposal to call off electoral boycott:

"All factions of the bourgeoisie are equally reactionary – and none more so than those represented by the Democrats in the USA and "New" Labor in the UK. All the so-called ‘workers’, ‘Socialist’ and ‘Communist’ parties (now ex-’Communists’), the leftist organisations (Trotskyists, Maoists and ex-Maoists, official anarchists) constitute the left of capitalism’s political apparatus. All the tactics of ‘popular fronts’, ‘anti-fascist fronts’ and ‘united fronts’, which mix up the interests of the proletariat with those of a faction of the bourgeoisie, serve only to smother and derail the struggle of the proletariat.

Conclusion: Revolution NOT Reformism

"Principled, limited, qualified, tactical support for bourgeois liberal politicians" is not only a "sell out", not only surrendering the political power of ourselves and our class to representatives of our class enemy, but a complete betrayal of the class interests of the proletariat and of marxism. It is naive and foolish to encourage anybody to settle for the "lesser evil" of one bosses' lackey over another. Our task as revolutionaries, for the greater good of all humanity, is the polar opposite of prolonging illusions in the legitimacy of parliaments, representative democracy, and pro-capitalist political parties. It's our task to help expand working class consciousness to DESTROY the parliaments by which our class enemy mystifies its dictatorship.

Vote 'No' to Ernest Newman's proposal to "Call Off Electoral Boycott!"

Ok...so in one fell swoop, Bing accuses and condemns the entire left (outside of his own "vanguard" clique, presumably), of being bourgeoisie agents, and calls me personally a naive and foolish "sell out" and betrayer, and sets out an all or nothing absolutist program, guaranteed to get us...nothing...but another fkn Republican!

And he expects me to duck my head and retreat with my tail between my legs? If he can call me a traitor, for advocating tactical use of bourgeoise electoral arenas to press the contradictions of a surfeit of genuine democracy, I can call him a COINTELPRO dupe, or worse, for slagging the entire Left in general, and me personally, and for joining in the perverse counter-revolutionary call for suppression of voter turnout!

And now, Bing comes with a much more direct and personal attack, having absolutely failed to hammer me down with his convoluted and out-dated historical citations and tired old rhetorical posturing.

After whining and sniveling on and on about my supposed "slander", in criticizing his "authentic" left position, he proceeds to wade in up to his neck and flail about like a person who suddenly finds himself in a quicksand pit, sinking deeper and deeper into the mud, the more he thrashes about, with a litany of "suspicious" and supposedly incriminating "facts" and "evidence" against me, which have absolutely no bearing on reality, nor on the actual topic of discussion, namely my initial proposal to Call Off Electoral Boycott.

Bing's lame attempts at humor and commentary under the heading "vitriolic slanders" are indeed laughable, LOL! I stand by my remarks.

I don't think any of us really need schooling on the methods of COINTELPRO operations, especially as so inadequately detailed under "other left perspectives"...but if you do, I'd definitely recommend looking into it, and being on the lookout for it.

It most often involves a lot of old fashioned hackneyed rhetorical posturing, extremely acrimonious, loud, shrill, unprincipled debate, refusal to submit to consensus, and a general opposition to the very concept of democracy (unless they have stacked the venue to ensure that they will "win")

But it can also get much more serious, in terms of dirty tricks, including other forms of deliberate organizational and personal sabotage, and calls for violence, against other activists, or as a "revolutionary" tactic to set up activists for police attack.

As to the oh-so-scientific "text analysis", I can only say WTF??...LMFAO!!!

I'll leave it to SLLU to address the "pro forma" accountability bit as they see fit. Meanwhile, I appreciate and respect the opportunity to offer up my proposal and analysis for discussion

What else can I say about Bing's latest item? Disingenous Troublemaker? Bullshit! I am not trying to sneak up on anybody, and have no hidden agenda. My profile and personal practice have been consistent, and are more revealing and transparent than most, including Bing.

Bing may have 25 years of experience, lol, if he's not exaggerating, but I have more like 40 years of experience, for whatever that's worth, and I'm not pulling my analysis out of my ass, like he is. It's based on long study, practice and observation in virtually every arena of progressive political struggle in the US, and I have at least as much right to submit an analysis as he does.

As to the supposed suppression of Bing's position, or any favoritism toward my position on the part of SLLU, I can only say that the first two items, my intitial proposal, and my response to Bings initial attack polemic, were indeed posted on my behalf by SLLU, presumably by Plot, and presumably with approval of the moderators of the blog. I don't know anything about how that goes down.

I do recall that Plot said something to the effect that my position is rather unusual in this venue, and that he thought it might make for some interesting discussion. I did not really get the impression that he necessarily entirely agreed with it, but he seemed to feel it was well put, nevertheless, and thus worthy of discussion. I was rather flattered, and glad to take him up on it, fully expecting to get some heated opposition to my position, but totally willing to take the heat.

I first met Plot very recently, and have never worked with him, or attended an SLLU meeting. He approached me about putting those items up on the blog for discussion, and I readily agreed. I finally got around to actually looking at the blog, and added subsequent remarks, including the full texts of Bing's attack polemic, and now this most recent, and avowedly last item on the topic from Bing, with my comments, and SLLU has published them.

So, I don't know what Bing is crying about. I have not suppressed his opinion, nor tried to dominate anything...and I'm not calling for him to be banned from anything, or subjected to "punative action", nor seeking restitution, lol, as he does in regard to me. But I guess I would suggest that people should seriously consider whether they wish to be associated with his tendency...

I'm not looking to gain anything from this apart from the slight shift in line and priorities that I have proposed. I am not in a position, really, to implement that, only to try to get people to think about it and decide what they are going to do. My only objective here is to spark some consideration and discussion of my proposal to call off electoral boycott, and hopefully, beyond that, some kind of implementation, as people see fit, in their own individual and organizational practice.

If, in the course of this consideration and discussion, it comes down to further bitter, long winded, acrimonious, tortuous rhetorical debate with Bing and his ilk, on what you should do as a group, I'd suggest that at some point you should resort to a vote, lol, and move on from there (and see if Bing and his tendency are willing to submit to consensus in a principled manner, or Not...lol, probably Not, unless they "win")

Oh yeah, one more point, if I may. I am an "American", and admitedly parochial and fairly igonorant about European and other political conditions at this time. I suspect my analysis maybe be at least somewhat applicable to other countries, but probly not too didactically.
..although I do think perhaps my remarks in the previous post, about the recent elections in France, are probly more or less accurate...

While I would prefer not to be overly chauvinistic about it, I do think that what happens in the US will have profound effects world-wide, and is thus profoundly important, not only to "Americans".

And, while not wishing to subscribe to an excessive degree of "American Exceptionalism", I do think there are probably some fairly unique aspects to our political system and conditons.

That said, I'd certainly welcome any (direct, original personal, or organizational, not fkn reposts?!) comment from non-Americans (in English, please?).

Plot Tracer said...

The strange part of this sillyness, is that Dal sent me an IM to publish a notecard and a comment - both of which I did not recieve. I IM'ed Dal to resend and to try the comment section again. I did not get a reply - as I have not had replies to numerous im's to Dal over the past couple of weeks. I can only imagine why he has chosen to ignore him. Perhaps my face does not fit in the bedroom revolutionary circle he now is part of...

Anyway, as far as the SLLU blog is concerned - we have never failed to publish ANYTHING people have sent to us.

the reason I published the second article from Ernest was because he is not in as many groups as some of those who have been party to the vitriol meted out to him, so does not have the same right to reply.

I have had ims asking for Ernest to be thrown out of "groups you own". Ernest, or anyone with a different left view from me, will NOT be thrown from SLLU as far as I am concerned and if members so jjudged that he should be, then I would leave SLLU. The left is a huge church, not just Dal's. Just because Dal says it, does not make it true, no matter how many straw men he conjours up.

Ernest Newman said...

OK....Nobody else has posted here yet, but I have received some positive input, on my proposal to call off electoral boycott. While somewhat tenuous, in that people may not necessarily be totally convinced of my position, they have told me that I have given them pause for thought, which is very gratifying. However this has not come without some criticism.

The main complaints have echoed obstreperous, namely that to start in, right off the bat, declaring that others are fools, dupes or worse, was clearly not the best way to present my argument, nor to draw people into discussion...and people are extremely loath to speculate, or to be the subject of speculation, about the "worst", namely, whether this or that person might be a COINTELPRO agent.

I have to admit, that was not the most tactful, diplomatic or correct way to present my argument.

Over time, I have been insulted so much, with everything from patronizing, condescending lectures to outright vicious attack, for advocating calling off electoral boycott, that I've come out swinging, up front, in presenting my proposal, and in my response to Bing.

I hope people can accept my sincere and earnest apology for that.

I don't know Bing, or anything about Bing, and I have no material reason to question or doubt Bing's personal sincerity or bona fides, as a revolutionary fighter.

I am not inclined to recant my basic perspective on the points made, and I'm not going to kiss Bing's ass, for slagging me personally, but...how about if we put aside the questions of whether any particular persons, organizations or tendencies even, are necessarily fools or swine, and try to get back to the issue of whether or not it might be a good idea to call off the electoral boycott?

Fair enough? Without the invectives, maybe we can stick to the subject better?

The questions I submit for discussion include:

1) Whether it really is, or is not, any "better", relatively speaking, to have a Democrat, or a Republican in office.

2) Whether participation, even merely on the level of simply voting individually, and especially in explicitly calling for other people to vote, is somehow detrimental to, or could possibly benefit the revolution.

3) Whether genuine popular democracy really is, or is not, the most fundamental revolutionary concept.

4) And, ultimately, what do we really mean by "revolution", anyway?

I would offer a few points on each of these topics, and then perhaps we could delve more deeply into real discussion, from there.

1) Is there really any material difference between Republicans and Democrats, and is one really any "better", relatively speaking, than the other?

kk...this is a big sticking point, for a lot of people, yet it seems to me that this is the most absurd and abstract question, considering the material realities of US politics.

Of Course, there are Huge Differences between the parties, and it is Hugely Better for the People, and thus, for the revolution, to have the Democrats in power

Nobody here, myself included, is going to take a position that the Democrats, especially the Blue Dogs, are anything but a shill for the bourgeoisie, in the cynical and perverse "nice cop / mean cop" ploy that corrupt commercial bourgeois "elections" and "politics" represent. They will ultimately tend to serve their own class interests, those of the bourgeoisie, and not the interests of the working class.

But, acknowledging that, does it really then follow that we cannot, or should not use them, manipulate them, and force them to do what we want them to do, to whatever extent that we possibly can, indeed, "by any means necessary"?...including calling off the electoral boycott, putting them on the hot seat, and then putting fire to their ass, for not serving the People?!

People do seem to agree that the best means to destroy the bourgeoisie is to relentlessly press the contradictions, every way we that can, between their rhetoric, issues and programs, and the material realities of what they actually represent, and what they are really willing and able to actually deliver, in terms of the material needs of the People. I'm all for that.

But if you look at the historic tendencies of the rhetoric, issues, and programs of the Democrats since the mass migration and polarization of the most reactionary conservative counter-revolutionary elements to the Republicans, which occurred in the 30's, and again, even more so, in the late 60's and early 70's, over racism, sexism, eco-rape, workers' rights, suppression of corporate rip off, etc. etc., I think there really are many significant and substantial differences between the two parties, at least on the surface, in terms of the rhetoric they use, the issues they put forward, and the programs they try to implement.

The polarization was real, and the migration of the most reactionary and conservative counter-revolutionary elements to the Republicans was real, and the Democrats do really represent, more than ever before in history, perhaps, the left cover of the bourgeoisie...even though that has been substantially blurred in recent years by the Blue Dogs, a situation progressives at all levels in the party are now struggling to rectify, with some success.

You can rant all you want about how those superficial differences are only a mask, to facilitate their left cover "nice cop" role in bamboozling the People, etc. etc. but the rhetoric, issues and programs of the Democrats are substantially to the left, and substantially different, nevertheless. They are NOT "the same" as the Republicans, by a long shot, even if they do, ultimately, serve the same interests (especially when left to their own devices, are not held accountable, and are not subjected to manipulation by genuine popular democratic forces)

More and better healthcare, housing, education, meaningful employment, civil rights, suppression of the most blatant corporate rip offs, more equitable taxes, etc, etc. are all supported by the Democrats, in principle, generally, theoretically, rhetorically speaking, and in material terms, programatically, more or less, while the Republicans tend to oppose and try to kill or sabotage any such programs, and to rail against them, rhetorically.

How can you say that there are not huge difference there, even if the material manifestations of those differences, after all is said and done, do prove to be grossly inadequate, in every regard? Appearances do matter, especially in politics, and they do tend to have an effect on the pubic agenda for discussion, more or less.

The Republicans tend to call for "social Darwinism", advocating that people should sink or swim on their own, and that those who are not ruthless, devious, criminal and socio-pathic enough to "succeed" in a dog eat dog world should eat shit and die, leaving more for the rest of us to fight over.

The Democrats tend to advocate mutual aid, cooperation and solidarity, even if they are often lying through their teeth, or have no real comprehension of the terms, or simply know that they will never be able to really deliver on those things, even if some of them might sincerely want to, at least to some degree (especially as long as the Republicans are around).

These superficial differences are not only on the surface, but also go deep into the party, and even include some very sincere liberal bourgeois politicians who would like to do a lot more of real substance, but are constrained by political conditions (especially as an isolated minority, due to low voter turnout).

And I should point out that "liberal bourgeois" is not necessarily an accurate tag for all who participate in the Democratic party...there are also working class elements and even some more or less revolutionary elements who do participate, at various levels and with various degrees of relative understanding and/or commitment both to the real nature of the arena, and to the need, ultimately, for revolution.

There are no absolutes, in life, and especially in politics, except death.

Anyway, those admittedly superficial differences do manifest in material differences on a programatic level, that do materially effect the day to day lives, and deaths, of millions of people, whose very survival often hangs in the balance, around their ability to even begin to meet legitimate, very real and often urgent physical, social, and economic needs for themselves and their families, on a day to day basis.

Again I have to bring the question so callously and contemptuously dismissed by some, of whether we really want their blood on our hands, of millions of people who are denied, cut off, and left to die, in direct proportion to how much Republican "social darwinism" is allowed to prevail, by default, due to electoral boycott?

If you are too proud, and "principled" to swallow your bile, and vote for a bourgeois liberal Democrat, and to publicly call off the electoral boycott, just because the Democrats are not absolutely politically correct "enough" in every regard...not Even so a few more million more people can survive a little longer, then what real good are you, and your principles, and your revolution? And what makes you think those people are then gonna turn around, and rise up, and join your "revolution"?!

They can't join you, if they are dead...and if they survive, why should they trust you, when you didn't seem to care if they lived or died, due to your "principles"?

Think deeply about this, when you wonder why people of color, poor, and working people are not flocking to your demonstrations, protests, organizations and movement in any where near the numbers that would seem, theoretically, to be appropriate and expected! What have you really done for them, lately?

The logic and material reality follows as well on international issues, and virtually any other issue you may choose to get all hung up and angsty about, including war, nukes, the environment, energy, water, population growth, you name it.

You can cite the litany of how many Democrats voted wrong, wrong, wrong, on so many issues and how many Democrats said or did this or that ridiculous, callous, or incorrect thing, until you are blue in the face, and I'm not necessarily going to try to call you a liar. The Democrats do tend to suck, especially the Blue Dogs, and even many of the so-called Progressive Democrats, in many regards. Nobody is perfect,

But the fact remains that relatively speaking, compared to the Republicans, on virtually any issue, the rhetoric, issues and programs of the Democrats are, indeed, "better", more or less, and usually one hell of a lot better. Not good enough? Agreed. But better, nevertheless.

The Democrats may serve the same masters, ultimately, and they may not be anywhere near the revolutionary solution that we require, but they are NOT "the same" as the Republicans, in terms of rhetoric, issues and programs that effect day to day lives, in very material ways.

Please stop saying that "they are all the same"!

Taking that position, especially with someone who has not had sufficient political education to really understand the underlying theoretical basis for the statement, makes you look...at best, contradictory. There are obvious, and significant differences, even if those are ultimately, technically, in the final analysis, superficial.

We should seize on those contradiction, and press them, relentlessly, not with premature abstract theoretical rhetoric, but with a much more material line and practice.

2) Now, this brings us to the next question, of whether tactical support of Democrats, and calling off the electoral boycott would actually help, or hurt, the struggle for genuine revolutionary changes (which we can go into further defining in more detail later).

I have heard two prevalent arguments on this topic.

One says that liberal bourgeois reform does real harm to the revolutionary struggle, because it misleads, offers false hope, "buys off" and diverts the masses into non-viable and ultimately counter-revolutionary dependence on and trust in the bourgeoisie, who will never really be able or willing to deliver genuine revolutionary changes. Thus electoral participation, and any grossly inadequate reforms it may produce, serve only to falsely "legitimize", preserve and prolong the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.

This is, indeed, a classic argument, as has been correctly pointed out previously, and has been taken up by virtually every great revolutionary in history, at various points in their struggles, and does tend to predominate in our own movement, now.

But in a more relevant overall context, which has not been presented with those isolated quotes, the basically, theoretically, correct perspective has not been the only basis for practice, in every instance, at all times, by any of those historic figures, in any absolute sense.

Indeed, they all participated in one way or another, tactically, at various stages, in various aspects of parliamentary work, despite their analysis of the true nature of that arena, and the obvious pitfalls one must avoid, when engaging the enemy in that arena, such as thinking, or allowing others to think, that it's going to be any real solution, in and of itself.

Lenin, for example, in carrying out the historic first real seizure of power from the bourgeoisie on behalf of the working class of a whole nation, used the Duma, tactically, even as he railed against it's absolute bankruptcy and counter-revolutionary complicity. indeed, there are some who would argue that he dismissed the Duma prematurely, rather than merely purging counter-revolutionary elements from it, and continuing to use it as a popular democratic means for discussing and coordinating revolutionary program. But who are we to judge, really? They were under huge pressures, and extreme conditions, and did the best they knew how with what they had available at the time.

Any of the most serious revolutionary figures in history will also tell you, somewhere in their writings, that you can't just seize pedantically on isolated quotes or even the most "correct" overall theory, and expect to produce some pat automatic blueprint for analysis and action. Conditions change, and stay in flux. One must be able and willing to seize the moment, and to pursue targets of opportunity, all the while avoiding not only deviant opportunism, but also the ironclad straight jacket of rigid dogmatism, in dealing with actual material conditions.

I have nowhere proposed that people should just jump on the bourgeois electoral bandwagon like a bunch of naive fools and sell outs, or encourage others to do so, in any way, shape or form.

Participation in electoral arenas should obviously include not only calling off the boycott, but also explaining that ultimately the bourgeois electoral arena is not sufficient for our real needs, and that we are merely seeking to use it to cut the People whatever little bit of slack that we can, while we continue to struggle for revolution (ie: genuine popular democracy)...and to deny power to the worst fascists. Obviously, without that explanation as an integral part of all propaganda and political education, merely calling off the boycott would indeed tend to be a reactionary and opportunist move, subject to confuse and mislead the People.

But more fundamental to the argument against reform, is the concept that the People are too stupid to be able to distinguish between inadequate reforms that will merely cut them a little slack in their day to day lives, and the need for more comprehensive and genuine revolutionary change.

I would take issue with that concept, as being contemptuously elitist in nature.

While the rampant elitism inherent to much "revolutionary" theory was, perhaps somewhat understandable way back when, 100 years ago, when virtually nobody knew how to read and write, or do basic math, and had no access to mass media, and people were so thoroughly steeped in religious and other cultural contrivances, so ignorant and so absolutely economically dependent, such arguments may well have seemed appropriate.

But that was then, and this is now. While the theoretical basis of those arguments remains valid, for the most part, the conditions have changed, and theory must give way to the reality we now face, which is that the People have, for the most part, in the vast majority, especially in the US, thrown off those chains of ignorance, bigotry and slavish submission to bogus authority that prevailed so strongly, way back in the day.

People often react with incredulous bemusement, when I say that we won the revolution in this country, back in the 60's and 70's. But, in fact, the political consciousness of the masses has changed, profoundly. The vast majority of "Americans" now staunchly oppose racism, sexism, eco-rape, unjust imperialist wars of oppression, and corporate assaults against the public interest, in general.

I say to you, this was not true, 50 years ago, but it is true now. Conditions have changed. We have won the hearts and minds of the People. We won, brothers and sisters! All that remains at this stage is suppression of the counter-revolution, which refuses to submit to the popular democratic will.

To bring them to justice for their many treasons and crimes against humanity, all that we now lack is recognition of this fact, that we have already won, and that the pigs are running scared, and are desperately doing everything they possibly can, with all of their substantial resources, to dismiss, discredit, and sabotage the revolution, in order to prevent that final victory from occurring.

I say it's time to prepare to deal the final coup de grace and that the first step, and the shortest path to that, is to call, not only for an end to the boycott of elections, but also in the course of that, to press the contradictions of the absolute inadequacy of that arena, and to call for genuine democracy, which is far beyond anything that the corrupt commercial bourgeois "elections" can ever afford to deliver.

Reforms do not "buy off" or "put to sleep" the hopes and aspirations of the People. They open up peoples' nose to a tantalizing whiff of what we can expect from a more genuine and comprehensive revolutionary change in priorities and criteria for coordinating the production and distribution of goods and services.

Consider just one simple example: when Blacks returned from WWII, after military service, and stints overseas, where, for the first time in their lives, and in collective memory, they had tasted even the slightest whiff of freedom, equality, and social respect as human beings, as minimal and ephemeral as that might have been, and came back to the US, and got their veterans benefits, and were able to buy a home, start their own business, and even go back to school, did they accept these limited and substantially inadequate, but still substantial, material changes in their lives, as a basis to "go to sleep" and to then be satisfied with a new and somewhat improved status quo?

No, the civil rights movement was born, and Blacks began to press for full rights, not just some token rights and sightly better living conditions.

People are like that. Give them an inch, and they want to take a mile.

A similar consideration can be applied to US society in general, as the relative post-war prosperity of the 50's and 60's, rather than merely putting people to sleep, and enticing them to accept and revel in their unprecedented wealth and freedoms, also saw the rise of a deep and festering discontent that morphed into a profoundly revolutionary upsurge of activism and determination to change what they more and more clearly began to see and to despise and reject, as the grossly inadequate addressment to real social and economic needs of the People, by the liberal bourgeoisie.

Token reforms not only make peoples' lives a little bit easier in the short term...they make people want real, and more comprehensive, more genuine changes.

And do not confuse, or accept the contrived conditions now imposed on us by the reactionary counter-revolutionary forces, as being the actual reality. The reality is that we won the revolution, and that the pigs are doing everything in their considerable remaining power to reverse that. They have totally contrived the much touted "swing to the right", by hook and by crook, mainly by suppressing the surge of voter turnout that rocked and transformed and polarized this nation during previous generations.

The conditions we now face are contrived, I tell you, and not the true reality, except to the extent that you fall prey to and accept the counter-revoutionary mind-games that pervade media and politics and manipulation of the economy, to convince us that we really lost, after all, and that there is nothing we can really do about it, but to protest, or simply accept.

If reform really served the interests of the bourgeoisie so much any more, then why do you suppose the worst pigs are so adamantly against it? Think about that.

Why do they attack, undermine, sabotage and seek to overthrow every little reform we forced upon them 20 and 30 years ago? Why do they still, to this day, scream bloody murder about not being "politically correct" any more, in their "own country"?

Why do they try to force us back, instead of offering more reforms, to assuage our revolutionary demands? Why do they feel compelled to now offer us the "nice cops", in the form of Blue Dogs, instead of Progressives, as some vestige of supposed relief? Why is their rhetoric against even the most grossly inadequate liberal progressives so hysterical and draconian?

Why do they feel so compelled to remove huge numbers of potential Democratic voters (people of color, poor, and working class) from the registration lists? Why do they try to intimidate and turn people away from the polls, and steal whole boxes of ballots and throw them in the river? Why do they seek to give Diebold control over the vote?

Why are Aryan Nations so fervidly organizing underground, training and stealing weapons in Iraq, and preparing to run amok when the Democrats sweep the next national elections?

I tell you, they see the writing on the wall, and are getting absolutely desperate to turn back the tide that they can see rising like a tsunami, to sweep them from the face of the earth. They would rather drag us into a bloody and horrible civil war, than even try to buy us off, any more.

And how will you respond to this? By protesting? And by making the entire focus of those protests a call for more protests?

Or by calling for the only thing that can really deal the final coup de gras, that which they fear and hate most, an actual real popular democratic mandate against them, the only thing that can really hold them accountable to revolutionary justice?

The only thing that can legally, ethically, and materially justify, even by working class standards, the necessity for revolution? A popular democratic mandate!

Oh yeah, there's another popular canard that some elitist cynics like to bandy about, that having the worst available counter-revolutionary reactionary conservatives and fascists in office, on that hot seat, clearly in charge, totally up front in their exercise of power, is actually "good for the revolution", because this is actually the best way to expose and press the contradictions of bogus bourgeois "democracy".

Instead of being lulled into complacency by the liberals, who fool everyone into thinking that every thing is ok, or is going to get better, it's much better to have us all suffer under someone like Bush, for example, so that it will become more and more obvious that revolution is necessary.

While that logic may seem enticing to some, on the surface, it has serious flaws.

First and foremost, millions more people will suffer horribly and die, when such elements have unrestrained power. The pigs tend to cut back on public services that people need to survive, and to justify that with their "social darwinism" perspective that the weak must forced to die off, in order for others to thrive.

Some elements may actually relish such prospects, as a supposedly necessary goad, to wake up the stupid, ignorant masses, and force them to rise up. Often there is a dimension to this outlook that seems to think that the People somehow even "deserve" to suffer and die, for being too stupid to rise up in the first place.

Indeed, subscribers to this chain of "logic" often tend to express a profound contempt for the masses, and to thus assert the need for a vanguard elite to seize power and lead the masses by the nose to some supposed revolutionary victory, (with their clique firmly in charge), to make all the decisions for us, "on our behalf" of course, and "in our interests". But for some reason I tend to be skeptical of such tendencies, because I just don't see how such contempt and disregard for the suffering of the People can really bode well now, or in the future.

Of course, there's also the simple fact that Hitler (and Nixon, Reagan, and Bush) did not prove to be "good for the revolution". Indeed, they suppressed the revolution ruthlessly, and decimated it, and the People tended to become cowed and demoralized and reduced to poverty, and bled to death by war, gangsterism and white powder epidemics, such that all potential for mass revolutionary motion was virtually eliminated, or reduced to futile gestures of protest and defiance, which tended to be crushed militarily, or driven underground, into hopeless isolation and eventual defeat, with propaganda show trials to discourage any further resistance. And of course, COINTELPRO style operations have always been most prevalent under such regimes.

It's not that the Democrats are not prone to do the same things. It's that the Republicans are prone to do it a hundred times more ruthlessly, consistently and thoroughly. Everything in life is relative, except death, which is absolute.

Ok, now what about this democracy thing? What am I talking about, with the concept of a "real" popular democratic movement, and what do we mean by "revolution", anyway?

Here's some hints: Death to Fascism! Down with racism, sexism, eco-rape, and corporate attacks against the public interest!

Popular democratic "freedom", like anything else in life, is not an absolute, but is a relative thing, always, anywhere. I am certainly not interested in "debating" with libertarian capitalists, and other, even worse counter-revolutionary elements about what we should do, and how we should do it, nor in giving them a fkn "vote", lol!

How about if we think about these concepts, and come back to the issues of democracy, and some definition of terms like "revolution", later?

Meanwhile, hopefully I've provided enough food for thought to tide you over 'til then?

All Power to the People!

the face of bo said...

I am glad to see Ernest has modified his language in his recent post.

I agree with him in his analysis on the calling off the electoral boycott in America. I think boycotting elections when there is lack of choice is a tactic the working class and those groups who say they speak for them CAN employ under certain conditions. I don't believe those conditions exist in America. American elections, as Ernest has said, DO effect countries far and wide and effect living conditions of people far outside the borders in which the "American democracy" operates. I agree with his supposition that to boycott a vote that may be a close call at the next election, could be life and death to someone in a country targetted by the war-corporatism of the New Republicans.

To allow these people an electoral mandate to wreak havoc and death and mayhem will NOT bring a revolution closer - it will only ensure the imprisonment, injury, abuse, subjigation and death of many innocent people throughout the world. I feel those who selfishly call for electoral boycott because they believe none of the alternatives to be "their kind of left" are missing the point and are actually being rather dangerous - and as complicit in death and American Imperialism as Chamberlain and his croneys were in the 1930's as far as Hitler and his madmen are concerned.

Even Gandhi, who famously told the British to let the Germans invade and then to use his tactics of peaceful non-compliance made the pre-requisite of such a tactic that of honesty and truth and bravery. He said if you are not brave enough, then to fight back is the only way to defeat them. He said if he could not put his life on the line for his beliefs, then he could not tell anyone else to do the same.

If those who feel Ernest's view is reformist and all of that other accusatory factional left language, are prepared to die for their call to boycott the vote, then so be it. Move to the Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine or any one of those regimes whom the US bolster because they allow the US to rendition (read torture) the "enemies of the US" and take a job in one of the "economic zones" where capitalism has enslaved children and families for a few dollars for their 14+ hour days and see how hard it is to start a revolution with the US gunships and helicopters and stun guns and rifles trained on you.

America, for all of our sakes, vote this mob out and then, as Ernest says, pressurise the Democrats to give a little hope to the enslaved nations and working class of the world, no matter if that hope is a few dollars more or the withdrawal of young, targeted American boytroops.

Our duty is to help our fellow humans, not ensure morte misery.