Skip to main content

The Refusal of Strategy

So as to stop posting more updates on my now released book, and thus boring my readership with self-promotion spam, I decided to finish a post I've had on the back-burner for a while.  Those readers who are interested in upcoming book launches of The Communist Necessity, though, will be happy to know that there are book launches planned for both Toronto and Montreal, on September 25th and September 28th respectively, so mark them off on your calendars.  With that out of the way, on with this article!

In the comment section of one of my posts on Israel's offensive on Gaza, a tangent about the meaning of protracted people's war [PPW] ensued based on an anonymous commenter asking me what I thought about the viability of PPW in Palestine.  One of the people arguing with me was doing so in good faith but, due to the problem with anonymous accounts, it soon became clear that I was also arguing with others who were simply parachuting in to complain about PPW as a strategy. Moreover, since it was extremely tangental to the article itself, I could not help but feel somewhat annoyed.  Aside from the fact that this discussion had nothing to do with the article in question, and that I had written about it before in articles that referenced some of the literature behind the theory, I also realized (as I have so many times before) that the knee-jerk resistance to this theory is more of the result of a refusal to think about the problematic of revolutionary strategy than any real arguments against the strategic position I happen to endorse.

[As an aside, I want to remind my readers that I have a rule about posting as "Anonymous" in my comment policy.  This is not to say that I want you to reveal your actual identity on an MLM blog, which would be pretty coppish of me, but only that you put the time and effort to not being strictly nameless.  Whether you do this by creating an account with a fake handle or writing whatever name you prefer at the end of the anon post, as some of regular commenters do, is up to you.  One of the reasons this rule exists, aside from the one given in the comment policy, is so that I know I'm having the same argument with the same person in a string that suddenly fills up with multiple anons.]

When someone says to me that they don't think PPW will work, without providing any clear arguments as to why this is the case––or when they write sardonic "good luck with that" statements and maintain some vague and unarticulated anti-PPW position––I feel as if I am dealing with that paradigmatic undergraduate student who doesn't like an assigned reading "just because".  Opinions are easy to maintain, particularly if they're cheap, but counter-arguments require more effort.  An simply stated opinion is not an argument, and I cannot really argue for my position if I don't know why you dislike it other than just because; this is bothersome rather than intriguing, it contributes very little to critical discourse.  As someone who makes his living teaching in a university philosophy department––and has to spend some time every year explaining to undergraduates why philosophy is not "just my opinion man", and thus the difference between a mere opinion and a well-reasoned argument––perhaps I tend to get more annoyed by dismissals based on mere opinion.

The simplistic opinions delivered to reject PPW, though, are somewhat interesting in that, mainly due to their inability to explain the why of this rejection, demonstrate a fear of what it takes to think through the problematic of actually making revolution.  Since no reasons aside from mere opinion are provided as to why PPW is rejected, I can only assume that the rejection is due to a misunderstanding of what those of us mean when we talk about the universal applicability of PPW.  After all, if what we meant was understood then would there not be more substantial arguments?  Otherwise, why else would someone write "good luck with that" to an individual blogger, maintaining a position of cynical rejection, without anything that resembled a counter-argument?  What we have, here, are people who either: a) have no interest in thinking through the necessity of strategizing revolution; b) simply accept the normativity of insurrection.

If the reason for the rejection of PPW is due to a disinterest in revolutionary strategy, then the commenters should be rejected out of hand.  T. Derbent once argued that those who fail to think through the strategy of making revolution "disqualify themselves" as revolutionary forces.  Why?  Because any revolutionary theory actually requires the time and effort to think about its implementation rather than leave it to some future perfect moment when the possibility will manifest.  If your organization does not theorize revolutionary strategy then it is not a revolutionary organization.  If you as an individual do not care about strategy then what does it matter?  You are just an individual without an organization, you have nothing to do with working towards a revolution regardless of your bourgeois assumptions about your individual autonomy.

In this sense, to say "good luck with that" to PPW is to say "good luck with communism."  After all, to think through the problematic of strategy is to think about making communism a reality.  If you're not thinking about what it takes to move from capitalism to communism, and have nothing but disdain for those who do so by avoiding formulaic answers, then you might as well not be a communist.  Communism in theory instead of practice: you don't like capitalism but you proceed as if it is impossible to supersede its boundaries––really, what's the point.  What this rejection demonstrates is a fear of socialism, an unwillingness to embark on the hard work required to bring socialism into being, and thus an acceptance of business as usual.  Good luck with revolution, good luck with communism, good luck with any labour that attempts, no matter how slowly, to breach the boundaries of capitalist logic.

My suspicion, though, is that the knee-jerk rejection of PPW is most probably the result of a dogmatic fidelity to the theory of insurrection inherited from the October Revolution.  Although such a fidelity intersects with an unwillingness to think through strategy altogether due to the fact that insurrection is often reified as the strategy of revolution, it is so normative that this reification makes sense.  Indeed, I just finished an article about the normativity of insurrectionism where I argue that most of the [first world] literature supposedly devoted to strategy is actually devoted to the problematic of organization and that revolutionary strategy is already assumed to be insurrectionist.  (Is it any wonder, then, that you can find an issue of The Socialist Register devoted to "the question of strategy" that does not, at any point, actually discuss revolutionary strategy, already assuming the October Road as normative?)  My problem with this, as a philosopher, is that it is lazy thinking––formulaic, and incapable of addressing contemporary reality.

Following the assumption that insurrection is normative is the dismissive and dishonest assumption that the theory of PPW is simply some theory of peasant warfare or guerrilla adventurism.  This is why I tend to be terse in my responses to those who complain about this theory; it seems clear, from the way they describe PPW, that they have engaged in a straw-personing of the theory from the get-go.  I am growing weary of the standard "you-can't-have-PPW-at-the-centres-of-capitalism-because-there-is-no-peasantry-there" complaints, always delivered with self-assured cleverness, as if this is what those of us who speak of PPW mean.  Really, what we're trying to do is speak to the concrete reality of contemporary capitalist militarization, and the actual difficulty of making revolution, which is a reality we feel the theory of insurrection cannot account for.

Beneath this, though, is the fear of revolution.  To strategize what is necessary to make communism, I'm beginning to realize, is less acceptable than theorizing the problems of capitalism where the steps required to make it obsolete are relegated to forces beyond our control.  The theory of insurrection is useful in this regard: you can have your spontaneous and vague future horizon––some insurrectionary uprising at an unknown point––without doing anything to make it happen.  We can come up with innumerable excuses as to why we shouldn't pursue a revolutionary agenda where we live (i.e. the masses aren't ready, let's embrace opportunism as a fact and not do anything to change it, there are no revolutionary agents here, a supposed but only presumed anti-communist ideology inherited from the cold war means that all talk of communist strategy is alienating, we need to do more work in making conditions appealing, etc.), and celebrate such movements elsewhere, because this means we don't have to do anything but complain about how much we hate capitalism.  Finding a reason as to why we can just sit back and shit on those who are trying to think through the theory of strategy aligns perfectly with capitalist ideology: you can do nothing, hate capitalism, and never worry about directly fighting it in your social context––concrete confrontation will fail anyway, right?  But such an attitude contributes to fighting these movements; it is counter-revolutionary.

None of this, sirrah!  Let's just hope things work themselves out…

From this attitude comes the vague claim that there are no general theories of strategy that can be adopted by any movement, that strategy will need to be invented when "the time is right", and that it doesn't make sense to think through this problem according to a universal theory because reality is too complex.  Such a position hinges upon two interconnected assumptions: a) that nothing can be learned from history in regards to strategy, that theories of strategy somehow exist outside of history, and thus outside of class struggle, in some pure philosophical void; b) that we can spontaneously generate a unique revolutionary strategy when a revolutionary moment is upon us.  If we are historical materialists, though, then we must regard the first assumption as obviously wrong since nothing exists outside of history and what has been tried in the past––and applied successfully or unsuccessfully elsewhere––should demand our attention and investigation.  The second assumption is contradictory: if we begin by assuming that reality is too complex to teach us anything about a general theory of strategy, then it is equally too complex to tell us when "the time is right" to spontaneously generate such a thing… unless of course we assume that spontaneity is some sort of mystical force that will be aware of a correct time and self-create a unique strategy all by itself.  In actuality, to claim that there is no such thing as a general theory of strategy––a universally applicable theory, though mediated by contextual particularities––is to maintain that we don't care about strategy, about trying to make revolution, and this is either laziness or what Derbent termed a "disqualification" of ourselves from the revolutionary camp.

To be completely honest, when I first heard of the PCR-RCP and learned of its strategic line I was temporarily repelled.  Here was an organization that, at that time in my political development, was a crystallization of my ideological trajectory––hell, it was the first communist group in Canada that had what I took to be a correct line on settler-colonialism, as well as the only real concrete analysis of Canadian society, something that had been completely lacking until their emergence––but they had this uncomfortable strategic line about PPW.  Like others, I found the shibboleth of protracted people's war off-putting because it immediately made me think of urban guerrilla adventurism so that, without having read what was meant by this theory, I thought that if I ever decided to involve myself with an organization in their orbit some lunatic would put a gun in my hand and convince me to engage in some RAF-esque escapade.  In retrospect, the reason I was under this impression was because I had never really considered the problematic of strategic theory and, still under the influence of a movementism that unconsciously accepted an insurrectionary line (at best), I could not imagine what it would mean to think about making revolution.  This was, to be honest, an inborn fear of revolution: far better to involve oneself in a communist group that didn't talk about strategy or claim it was serious in pursuing revolution because that shit is dangerous; better to treat marxist politics like a talk-shop, a protracted process of consciousness raising, instead of confronting all of the necessities required to make socialism in my social context.

Thankfully, I got over my knee-jerk resistance to the name of a theory I had never really investigated and decided to really read up on the bloody thing.  In the process I not only found myself pulled into the orbit of the PCR-RCP's emergent mass organizations, I also came to the realization that the theory of insurrection in this historical context was far more adventurist than the theory of PPW––the latter, after all, doesn't bet on a single confrontation where the masses will somehow arm themselves and defeat a military trained to pacify unruly populations.  Hell, even the ex-military husband of my partner's aunt (jaded and now, for a variety of reasons, anti-army and re-proletarianized) has told me that he was trained to put down insurrections and that people who think they can overthrow the state in this way are probably delusional.

This fear, or at the very least laziness, of confronting the problematic of a theory of strategy has resulted in a theoretical void that was questioned in a document by Action Socialiste, one of the groups that would generate the PCR-RCP, in 2000: "How, then, can we accept that in the advanced capitalist countries the question of proletarian revolution, i.e. the strategic line of the revolution, has become the most underdeveloped area of Marxism-Leninism? Its least creative zone, the least productive?"

The fact that the "zone" of strategic theory is hardly creative or productive is easily demonstrated by any sample of the work in this area that does not simply conflate the problematic of strategy with that of organization (as the Socialist Register issue mentioned above does) and realizing that we are presented with something that provides us with nothing significant.  Take Stephen Darcy's article Strategy, Meta-Strategy, and Anti-Capitalist Activism, which is in some ways a paradigmatic example of this problematic.  Aside from the fact that Darcy is also notable for having recently written a review of Bromma's Worker Elite that, like so many other reviews of anything that discusses the possibility of the labour aristocracy, immediately straw-persons the object of critique (when I read this review I was confused because it felt like I was reading about a book I hadn't read due to how badly it was misrepresented––I will probably write about this in the future), his article on strategy is a perfect example of a lack of creativity despite, to be fair, the interesting things he says about the traditional Leninist model.  In fact, to be even more fair, this article of Darcy's does target some of the inherited dogmas of strategic theory; more significantly, he actually engages with the question of strategy rather than conflating this with the question of organization.  In the end, however, Darcy proposes a strategy of "attrition" that, lo and behold, is identical to what movementist praxis has been doing since the anti-globalization movement: to keep on keeping on without any clear goals aside from a general end of capitalism, without any coherent organization with a concrete strategy, and all mediated by the idea that the "revolutionary instance" has not yet arrived.  To put it simply, a strategy that is not a strategy because it is just the same movementist anti-strategy we've falsely treated as strategic since the 1990s.  "Just keep working to end capitalism," is the message of Darcy's engagement with the problematic of strategy––more a description of what we are already doing than thorough strategic line.

This is not entirely surprising.  At least someone like Stephen Darcy, and those similar to Darcy, are trying to think about strategy––even if they are replicating the same lack of strategy we've been presented with for decades.  When we cannot recognize the need for a movement with a clear political direction, unified theoretically and practically, and refuse to organize as a comprehensive fighting party then what other strategy exists?  There is either no strategy or a strategy that, though given a name and an academic qualification, is tantamount to a strategic void.  At least Darcy has described what we were all doing; if he pretends that it is significant this is just because it is pretty much impossible to solve this problem in an academic arena that is most often alienated from social struggle.

Then again, since Darcy seems to discount the theory of the labour aristocracy (under the misapprehension that those of us who speak of oppression and privilege are somehow not talking about exploitation), perhaps the economism that results from this position prevents him from understanding what is necessary to make revolution.  No surprise: some of us have charted our way through this theoretical terrain because we have bothered to investigate communist struggle in Canada––particularly the height of the anti-revisionist struggle that ended in the 1980s––and have learned the lessons of economism, the practice that lead to the collapse of a mass movement.  This apprehension is what would produce the theory of PPW: if the unionized working-class was such that it absorbed and reconfigured revolutionaries, ultimately liberalizing them, then the theory of insurrection was deficient.  Anyone who fails to understand this experience is, by the fact that they have not investigated the concrete circumstances of the concrete struggle in this social context, simply yammering on about their own vague ideas about reality outside of history and class struggle.

At this point, and to bring this post closer to its conclusion, I want to step back from this post as a whole in order to point out that this is not a defense of PPW as a universal strategy, though it takes this position as a departure.  I am well aware that others, including some of my readers, may have thoughtful disagreements with this argument either because they subscribe to some version of insurrectionism or another theory of strategy.  This is why I have not, at any point, attempted to defend PPW and explain its significance as I have in the past.  Rather, by using my subscription to PPW as a theoretical macguffin, this post is about the problem of the inability to adequately address the questions of strategy and the possible reasons behind this inability.  The fact that this inability is most often encountered, at least in my experience, in the context of PPW is significant insofar as it demonstrates that a theory of strategy that defies a normative and often reified understanding of default practice is immediately treated with alarm.

Since this alarm is often due to an uncritical acceptance of insurrectionism makes PPW appropriate as a macguffin, for if I was to argue for anything that resembled the theory of insurrection all of the complaints about the inability to talk about universal strategy, the knee-jerk assumptions about adventurism or what-have-you, would immediately evaporate due to the normative status of insurrectionism.  That is, the very same people who charge those who speak of PPW of x error (it is a mistake to talk about universal strategy in complex contexts, we need to wait until "the time is right" to invent our strategy, etc.), often operate with a theory of insurrection in mind that is not held up to the same critical assessment.  Hell, was the Invisible Committee's The Coming Insurrection dismissed in the same manner even though it adopted an anarcho-communist version of the same theory of insurrection––not just in its title, but because it went so far as to lay it out in the last chapter––from the get-go?  Not at all; its dismissal amongst some anti-capitalists simply had to do with its anarchist affiliation, its complaint that the insurrection should never lead to a civil war or what-have-you, but not its strategic line.  We can all assume that insurrection as universal, but as soon as another theory emerges to challenge the assumptions of the normative theory of strategy––those uncritical lacunae that are incapable of answering the fact that every single insurrection since the Russian Revolution has been crushed, thus charging anyone who adheres to this theory with the same "adventurism" they ascribe to others––it is disqualified from the possibility of universal applicability.

Insurrection is treated as a priori universally applicable, even if we don't always recognize that this is the position we are applying, and anything else deforms a complex reality.  Critical thought is collapsed, the question of strategy is sublimated, thousands of excuses––most of which are inaccurate––proliferate.  That which is normative and understood as common sense can never be questioned because it is treated as being part of nature itself.  That which challenges this common sense understanding must be dismissed according to standards that are never applied to what was accepted a priori… And it is probably fair to say that most people who reject PPW on the grounds that "there is no universal strategy" are, in various ways, beholden to an insurrectionist line that is either sublimated or reified.  None of this proves the efficacy of PPW (which, again, is not the real point of this reflection), but only that a rejection of PPW often says more about those who are rejecting it than the theory that is being rejected: at the centres of capitalism there is a poverty in thought when it comes to the question of strategy––which is sometimes reflected in the knee-jerk rejections of theories such as PPW––that thrives on assuming that this question is already solved when, in point of fact, nothing an be farther from the case.  Whether-or-not the answer is a strategy of people's war is still an open question, but it needs to be treated as an open question rather than rejected a priori due to an unquestioned fidelity to concepts inherited from the October Revolution.

Comments

  1. I wonder if another myth inherited from Russia and China is the illusion that these were proletarian working class revolutions. I do not believe that they were. Chomsky says the Russian revolution was a military coup, and China was a military takeover in the name of the workers. The history of the 20th century so called communist revolutions shows this carefully.
    Is there any proof that these were working class revolutions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please don't use Chomsky as a source in this area. He is generally anti-communist and, though a good anti-imperialist, hasn't done his research in this area. To claim that Russia was a "military coup" and that "China was a military takeover in the name of the workers" is not to really do any historical work in the "careful" manner you claim you are doing. Just read Hinton's work in the case of China, or even Edgar Snow's, or even Maurice Meisner (who is considered the academic standard of work on the Chinese Revolution). In the case of Russia you can begin with Reed's classic and work your way up, unless you want to be mired in cold war garbage, to Getty (who is not at all an apologist of the Russian Revolution) for the "proof" you're looking for.

      Otherwise, stop spamming my blog with ahistorical comments.

      Delete
    2. Ahistorical comments or just history not following your ideology?
      I;ve read Read, and it is basically propaganda, but for the communists.OK I won;t comment. Good luck with that communism thing,.

      Delete
    3. I'm going to let this last comment through to problematize your statement about "history" and "ideology". Do you really believe that any telling of history is free from a class-based ideological perspective? You are beholden to a bourgeois perspective, one that even ignores the accepted academic research and relies on common sense, but for some reason you deem this non-ideological. At least I'm aware of my political commitments; you imagine that yours are common sense, unaware of the problem of accepting common sense as fact.

      Secondly, the reason why I would say your claims about "coups" and these movements not being mass movements are ahistorical is because the majority of anti-communist scholarship would even disagree with you. In fact, there is barely any accepted scholarship on these two revolutions, or even popular "common sense" accounts, that would deny that both of these revolutions were not mass movements––this is because it is pretty hard to claim this when you wouldn't end up with the Soviet Union through just a "coup" (we're talking about a massive collectivist project that was preceded by an insurrection and then a civil war in which the masses were convinced that the Bolsheviks were in command, which means they were not a tiny band of coup conspirators). While there is a coup narrative amongst some people, though this usually refers to what happened in the Duma and not the preceding or succeeding events, you'd be hard pressed to find even a cold warrior historian who would say that these weren't mass revolutions––even Conquest, the cold warrior amongst cold warriors, argues that this is the case. His position, though, is that the people were deceived into being communists, a totalitarian leadership emerged, etc., etc. the common story.

      China is a case that your argument makes even less sense, unless your definition of military take over is simply the strategy of PPW. But the People's Army was the people and was embedded everywhere in society, and not some separate army, which is what made its "military takeover" an actual mass revolution as opposed to the strategy of the Kuomintang whose military was completely isolated and not a proletarian military in any way shape or form. The CPC's ability to mobilize the people is again something that even the most dyed-in-the-wool anti-Mao scholarship (i.e. the book by Chang and Halliday, demonstrated to be garbage by every significant [non-marxist] scholar, by the way) would not deny. They agree it was a mass movement that the majority of the people were involved in, they just use the same narrative as Conquest: the majority of the people were duped by an evil dictator who came into power through the revolution, the majority of the people continued to be stupid by allowing themselves to be mass mobilized for "totalitarian" aims, etc. etc.

      Point being, in your case, is just that your claim that these were somehow revolutions affected by conspirators divorced from the masses (this is what a coup is) are ahistorical and the majority of recognized scholars, from anti-communist to communist, by academia would agree with me in this regard. Where they would differ is on whether or not these mass working class (and peasant) movements were "good" things.

      Delete
  2. I believe you made a lapsus there: "Beneath this, though, is the fear of revolution. To strategize what is necessary to make capitalism". Unless of course that was what you were planning from the beginning, you enemy of the people, tsss.

    Very good text otherwise. Keep up with the good work !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, total typo. I will correct that.

      Delete
    2. Nope, it was your unconscious desire.

      Do your self-criticism. Don't be a liberal.

      Delete
  3. what do you think about 'council communism' and 'left communism'?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm obviously not JMP, but since he a Maoist I think it's safe to say that he is generally in disagreement with it. Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder by Lenin is good reading on the topic: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1920/lwc/index.htm

    ReplyDelete
  5. Do you think of yourself as the Canadian Lenin?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a ludicrous comment. I'm an academic trained as a philosopher, not a leader of any revolutionary movement or a theorist, so no I don't think of myself as "the Canadian Lenin", or even close. I am not a principle theorist of a movement, and the theory discussed above wasn't even conceptualized by me in the first place. If there ever was a revolutionary vanguard in Canada, and I ended up banking on the right organization, I would be closer to its Ilyenkov––a small and marginalized academic who was philosophically faithful to the theory of the movement, and made some interesting interventions, but is only interesting for those of us who are also academics.

      Delete
    2. Is Ilyenkov worth looking into? I stumbled across a book by him a while ago but was turned off when I heard mentions of him being "liberated" by the Khrushchev thaw and fighting the dogma of Stalinism.

      Delete
    3. He's definitely worth looking into and one of my colleagues recently edited/translated a collection of his work that Haymarket will be releasing in early 2015 (it's already out in a Brill edition, but those are crazy expensive). But, as with everything, there's the good and the bad. I don't know if he himself ever thought of himself as being "liberated" by Khrushchev, though his "rehabilitation" was probably something he liked (as would anyone). I definitely do not think his philosophical work during the Stalin period was counter-revolutionary; it's more likely he ended up being on the outs (not purged, but simply pushed to the margins of academia) because he ended up in contradiction with other people in academia. As Getty points out, a lot of the attempts to establish Soviet hegemony were very confused and uneven and divided between different points rather than actually possessing a central control as the "totalitarian" discourse claims. So this would have been erroneously blamed on some Stalinist dogma, and maybe even Ilyenkov thought this was the case, but it is far more likely that he was just in some contradiction with his colleagues, some of whom probably had better party connections or, even more likely, better institutional control––same shit happens with universities here in North America, but people for some reason pretend it's not ideological.

      In any case, I'm not arguing that he was a great theoretician but he was definitely an important philosopher. As with all academics, though, he will have the ideological inhibitions of occupying that particular social position––as do I, which is why I used him as an example.

      Delete
  6. Do you think there is any leftist leader that can be compared to Lenin in any country in the world? Someone whom we can say, 'yes, this is the Lenin of our age'?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. Don't think this kind of thing can be called until after another world historical revolution, and I also think that the MLM movement now (finally) seems to be getting beyond the whole "this is our principal theorist" great leader problematic, which is a good and necessary thing. For instance, if the CPI(Maoist) ever succeeded, and we could then say, "this is the next world historical revolution" it is unclear to me who would be the "Lenin" or the "Mao" of this movement aside from the party itself since they have been careful not to put forward a single person as their principal theorist, at least as far as I can tell.

      Delete
  7. The Kasama project has criticized the pcr/rcp and the strategy of ppw.

    http://kasamaproject.org/threads/entry/idealizing-ppw-a-response-to-the-pcr-rcp

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting. I don't think this is an official kasama position, though.

      Delete
    2. JMP - Just so you and your readers are aware, I wrote a very lengthy (2,000-3,000 word) comment responding to that article, and within a span of less than two hours, it was deleted. Unfortunately I did not save my response, otherwise I would post it here. But this is typical Kasama. They claim that nothing they say or publish is an "official Kasama position" but then censor any disagreement they have with their supposed non-positions. Absolutely frustrating.

      Delete
    3. I recently checked the comments section - privy to this trend of deletion on that post, and interested in seeing any developments in the comments section - and there is actually now a moderator comment on the post explaining why it was deleted. Whether it is the real reason or just a cop-out, which I would doubt it since there was a non-deleted comment that mentions RCP-USA, indicating there was possible a sock puppet talking about said org, it would probably be worth messaging their mods to find out what's the deal and have the comment restored.

      Looking forward to seeing your comment restored.

      -His yaBusic

      Delete
    4. I'm skeptical regarding Kasama's official explanation for why they are deleting posts. My recent post explaining that I wasn't related to the "rob" they claimed I was, and that my previous comments regarding the article on PPW were made in good faith, has just been deleted as well. Clearly, Kasma is not interested in being a site for debate. (By the way, I am not the same person who wrote the 3,000 word response mentioned above, but someone else who had attempted to make comments on the article)

      Delete
    5. 3,000 word guy OP here...

      I've noticed that:
      a) they have been getting a lot of reactionary, anti-communist, and racist comments since Ferguson. This is likely due to the fact that Kasama probably has the largest Google profile, and the reactionary media in the US whipped up an anti-communist frenzy (specifically targeting RCP-USA) after Ferguson. I doubt all of these comments are originating from a single NSA agent, it's possible but unlikely. The simpler explanation is just a wave of right-wing trolls spontaneously generated by the US media's sensationalist coverage specifically of RCP-USA's involvement in Ferguson.
      b) Kasama has always gotten pro-Avakian troll comments, this is nothing new. I doubt they are NSA agents, probably just disgruntled Avakianists. The article in question refers to the RCP-USA as a "cult", which is arguably true, but it's also fighting words. Again there's a simpler explanation.
      c) They are clearly using this fantasy of a NSA agent to censor criticisms of their piggish drive-by attack on the PCR|RCP, which is convenient for them...

      Delete
  8. everybody is complaining about kasama on another site completely that has nothing, as far as i know, to do with kasama apart from a shared adherence to Maoism. oh well. i doubt that they have really been hacked by some eastern european fascist who works for the nsa, but who knows? every discussion on kasama ends up being about bob avakian some way or another. i guess you can take the boy out of the rcp, but you cant take the rcp out of the boy. there is a trotkskyist group in the UK that came out of the SWP, counterfire, that is similar to kasama in some ways, they are not a party, but there is something like a party line. i guess this is the problem with networks, non party groupings etc. there is a line, but there is some unclarity about it, and at worse, an attempt to disguise the party line and the fact there is a leadership while pretending the site/network is open for discussion.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey JMP, I know you have your issues with Third Worldism, I have issues with it's line as well, but I was just wondering if I could get your take on a specific aspect of it, which is the idea of a dictatorship of the oppressed nations over the oppressor nations. I find this concept somewhat bizarre, but also interesting. Do you feel that it has any merit?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the TWists who hold this line are correct in their assessment of class, then it has as much merit as the dictatorship of the proletariat. Whatever the case, even if we arent TWist, if there are revolutions at the centres of capitalism (which, at least in this aspect the TWists are correct, it is more likely that revolutions will erupt and reach socialism at the "weakest links", as Lenin argued), then they will have to produce, at least at first while society is being overhauled, a lower state of living for a lot of people since much of what we have is dependent on imperialist privilege.

      You might want to try asking the folks at anti-imperialism.com about this since, although I don't agree entirely with their line, they seem to be TWists who have taken a much more nuanced approach to all of these problems as opposed to certain species of past TWism.

      Delete
    2. Hey I am curious if my comment criticizing the TWist line went through. If so please ignore this, if not could you let me know at tsourov00@gmail.com

      Delete
    3. Nope, the only other comment of yours that made it through (which I deleted) was just a single period. Whatever other comment you wrote wasn't even in my spam folder.

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment