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Rectification Rumpus Room

Kicking around ideas / giving bad ideas a kicking

The meandering life of the disappointed leftist: a plea for cash

 

Comrades and Friends,

I assume that by reading this, in one way or another, you’re invested in Communist politics. Whether you’re binging on fantasies of Ceausescu or Enver Hoxha style violence in a sorry bid to cover up your impotence at life in general or you’re a newly minted MLM convert in the United States or Canada, aching for that people’s war you’re always preparing for, but, don’t have the physical stamina or willfulness to actually pursue — read this with an open mind as I dispel the many myths that I was steeped in for many years. I write this as a Communist, revisionist — of course, but, a Communist nonetheless, although you may disagree, you might think I’m an FBI or RCMP agent, which, will have no impact on me or the world whatsoever in any way, despite how important you think yourself.

Swim with the masses, smell their fine asses.

As a former member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (OSCL), an erstwhile benevolent cult whose previous incarnation the Proletarian Unity League wrote the timeless polemic Two, Three M

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Your future as a Communist.

any Parties of a New Type, Like everyone, I was pressured to proletarianize. They wanted you to take a job at a grocery store, a factory, or, if you’re lucky, as a  medium-level salaried lacky at an NGO, which, even though I yawn and groan at their anti-oppression circle jerks and self-important employees who even organize their own unions just to play the part of the “worker” — they sometimes get shit done, sometimes even help people, and at least swim in tangible foundation-provided cash rather than ideological delusions. Proletarianizing is stupid. Don’t risk it. Why?

  • What working class person grows up in the world today and wants to remain poor, mindless, and stupid? I can assure you that only Leftists privilege stupidity, while, on average, working class people dream of becoming rich professionals and business-owners. There’s a reason why Shark Tank is one of the highest rated shows on television.
  • Does Socialism require professionals and intellectuals? Yes. Although I hate to make this reference given my futurist proclivities, military specialists were required during the civil war in the Soviet Union. The proletarian “military specialists” Stalin promoted led to quite a number of major defeats. Tsaritsyn, case in point, look it up. Voroshilov made a huge mess.
  • Do you really think that workers are going to listen to your red flag waving battle cries of People’s War because they’re objectively predisposed to revolution? Just because a schematic Marxist-Leninist interpretation of Capital renders the proletariat inherently antagonistic to Capital, doesn’t mean that in every social formation, in every point in time, does the working class harbor revolutionary views. You’ll be laughed at, for good reason. When Jehovah’s Witnesses prove more appealing to working class people than Communism, it just shows how much Communist revolution isn’t even considered a worthwhile or possible pursuit at all these days, by anyone. Is everyone duped and stupid or has Communism been fucked up since it’s inception, with a few brief glimmers of hope — yes — a tragedy? I’m still a Communist, but, I recognize that Communism doesn’t have the best reputation when compared with just about any advanced liberal democracy, which, still to this day provides more abundance and more freedoms. Try building a Communist movement which centers freedom, prosperity and abundance and your vision of Communism will immediately shift from the militaristic fantasy of pure unity to a differentiated accelerationist utopia with robots n’ shit.
  • Want to work among immigrant workers? Are they more revolutionary? No! What immigrant or refugee comes to the United States or Canada wanting to wage a people’s war? None! They’re coming to the United States and Canada to enjoy liberal democracy and make a decent living. Liberal democracy may be a hypocritical and cursed word for some of you, but, it is in fact a much better political arrangement than many nations have, which balk at the slightest freedoms. Don’t try to compare the starvation in Venezuela with malnutrition in London. Don’t try to compare repression of women and LGBT people in Iran with the anti-burqa laws in France. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but, making wildly inappropriate comparisons makes you a moron.
  • Are people still working in factories, concentrated at the point of production? No, although this is a banal observation that everyone from the Left and the Right has recognized. Yet, the solutions have been much the same: Expand unionization, engage in pointless community struggles to level up your special “Conceited” ability. I don’t think that anyone has really grasped the changes that are occurring in our economy and the sites of struggle that will emerge over time. Consider this: Even Uber is considering automating their fleet.
  • Workers are assholes. Black, white, brown and yellow, united by their unwavering reactionary views. There is no perfect revolutionary subjectivity hiding behind an ideologically contoured shell of the worker with so-called petit-bourgeois prejudices, there are just the prejudices. One day, you may understand that everyone has their hang-ups, and, you will be disgusted. In fact, you may find you have more in common with the enlightened petit-bourgeoisie than the superstitious workers. There’s a reason most revolutionaries come from the petit-bourgeois. If you are serious about becoming a revolutionary still, wouldn’t the most obvious choice be joining the ranks of the petit-bourgeois intelligentsia?

 

 

Before you end up broke, in a shit job, looking back at your life like: “What just happened?”, find something you’re passionate about and go to school. Don’t waste your time defending cafeteria workers who already have a union or performing a sit-in at the Chancellor’s office just to tell your friends that you did something cool a long time ago. Use your position to further your education and deepen your knowledge. No self-professed socialist nation in history has ever denigrated the acquisition of knowledge.

Please don’t offer services you haven’t the slightest knowledge of

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You think you have a smart idea: Let’s organize struggles against shitty landlords. Let’s offer solutions to precarious workers in retail! You flyer the neighborhood and, most likely, call a meeting that draws the same cabal of activists you claim have no base in the working class whatsoever (but you do!) and maybe one or two stragglers, who happen to be high functioning alcoholics. On the off chance that you actually draw the masses to your event, how will you help? Do you have knowledge of legal strategies to challenge landlords? Are you a lawyer? Are you a government department that handles complaints regarding housing accommodation? No, you are a simple activist with no knowledge of how to get things done. In fact, most likely you are performing a disservice to your “constituents”, using your poorly devised meeting to spread the gospel of People’s War. If you want to help people challenge their landlords, refer them to legal services or the appropriate government institution. If you are a lawyer, if you are a government functionary, by all means, use your expertise, yes, your professional skills acquired through education to help people. You should and you must, it’s your duty, not simply as a Communist, but as a decent human being and citizen. Otherwise, your phoney people’s power will most likely continue to dispossess those you are bent on saving.

Reconsider your life choices

If you’re a member of Workers World Party, if you’re a member of FRSO/OSCL, if you’re a member of FRSO-FB, if you’re a member of the ISO, if you’re a member of the RCP/PCR or RI in Canada, drop out and enjoy life. I promise you that sooner or later the adamant faith you currently have that the working class will organize under your banner will evaporate and you will be left with serious questions: Why has Communism failed, and why has it continued to fail in the 21st century? Why did the Bolivarian Revolution imgiphy-1plode? Why did the Nepalese revolution stall? Why did Syriza betray its mandate? None of these questions have simple answers. Get a job, make money. You may realize that most people, irrespective of gender, nationality, or class, want to live peacefully, enjoy their lives. Communism should be a vehicle for people to live in abundance and freedom, not a project that deploys the most militaristic language and cultish practices to affect pointless violence everywhere. Who would sign up for that? Not Pablo, who fled the civil war in Colombia. Not Juan, who just wants to feed his fam. We don’t live in the era of omnipotent kings, queens, tsars, feudal or colonial overseers, whose power could only be thwarted and overcome with Jacobin style violence. Decolonization, for the most part, has been completed. If you get on me with that neo-colonial bullshit, you’re just trying to pidgeon-hole the modern world into a 20th century framework to save face and look cool for your leftist friends on Facebook, get off it. Formerly colonized people can be assholes, too!

Ironically, although as Marxists we want to overcome the universal equivalent of money, the value form, and so on, money happens to be the most progressive aspect of capitalism bar none. Money is abstract, it doesn’t have a race or gender, it’s exchangeable, and you can use it to your own betterment. Communism isn’t a collection of broke-ass people who love being broke as fuck. Nobody enjoys being broke-ass — why do you think so many people fall to get rich quick schemes? —  except perhaps the activist who wears it as a badge of honor.

Take a break from your hectic activist schedule. Stop and chill. Do you remember what normal life is like, a life without a divinized mission or the perpetual chase of activist cred?

With love,

JUAN JUAREZ

Podcasts for Rectifiers

Edit: We’ll be updating this post as we find new podcasts that are worth checking out.

Communists have always availed themselves of the most advanced communications technology available at the time so I think Lenin would have loved podcasts. Here’s a roundup of some of our current favourites that you can listen to on your way to producing surplus value for the capitalist system. Feel free to post any we missed in the comments. Continue reading “Podcasts for Rectifiers”

Paul Cockshott: Ideas of Leadership and Democracy

[Reposted from Sosialismi.net]

Sosialismi.net publishes Paul Cockshott’s talk on Ideas of Leadership and Democracy that was given at the Socialistiskt Forum organised in Stockholm on 27 November 2010. In the first part of the talk Cockshott deals with the traditional conceptions of democracy on the left, and argues that the now commonly held aims of parliamentary republic and soviet republic are inadequate and don’t meet the needs of the working class. Instead he favours direct democracy, which he says corresponds to the original Athenian idea of democracy before its meaning became transformed to be synonymous with parliamentarism. In the latter part of his talk Cockshott deals with concrete questions concerning the first steps of the transition to socialism in present-day European Union. Finally, he answers some of the questions from the audience. Continue reading “Paul Cockshott: Ideas of Leadership and Democracy”

Andrew Kliman – The Incoherence of ‘Transitional Society’ as a Marxian Concept

Nationalism

Combat Deviationist Lines!

An old revolutionary walks across the Brooklyn Bridge one day, and he sees man of a similar age standing on the edge, about to jump.

He runs over and says: “Stop. Don’t do it.”

“Why shouldn’t I?” he asks.

“Well, there’s so much to live for!”

“I’m just so depressed, I’ve been a communist all my life and the revolution seems as far away as ever.”

“You’re a communist?”

“Yeah. Why?”

Continue reading “Combat Deviationist Lines!”

Aspects of Re-proletarianization: The Boston Busing Crisis

Aspects of Re-proletarianization: The Boston Busing Crisis is an edited version of the same paper I presented to The Labor and Working Class History Association (LAWCHA) on June 6, 2013. The basic problem posed in this paper, and one currently contested among the Left in works like Zak Cope’s Divided World, Divided Class and Bromma’s Worker Elite is: How does one define the labor aristocracy, if it exists? What are their motives? Are they part of the proletariat or are they a class alien to revolution? I decided to expose how a labor aristocracy constitutes itself, reproduces itself, and operates politically on an empirical level, using the history of the Boston Busing Crisis as a matrix to discuss this concept. Continue reading “Aspects of Re-proletarianization: The Boston Busing Crisis”

Communist Election Boycott, A Credible Threat to Canadian Democracy

Rumpus News Service, Ottawa, Ontario

On August 13th, the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada (RCP-PCR) announced a boycott of the October 19th federal elections, coupled with a National Day of Action on October 18th, in order to “bring all those together who are sick and tired of this rotten system.”

“The Communist election boycotts are a credible threat to democracy,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper remarked yesterday. “When the RCP-PCR raised the concept of election boycotts, election turn-outs increased but we fear that this second, pretty much identical electoral boycott could be the one that completely discredits our democracy.” Continue reading “Communist Election Boycott, A Credible Threat to Canadian Democracy”

Struggle Against Petty Bourgeois Ideology Within The Working Class

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