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Showing posts from August, 2011

September 11th in Montreal

The 10 year anniversary of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Centre is fast approaching and already the imperialist media is blathering about commemorating this "tragic" date.  But with the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, the coups in Haiti and Honduras, the recent NATO intervention in Libya, and even the most current  deployment of US forces to Egypt , the centres of world capitalism have already been extremely busy commemorating this decade of imperialism. The PCR-RCP have called for a mass demonstration  in response to this bullshit commemoration , arguing that: "While the victims of the attacks would join the other millions of direct and indirect victims of the policies and actions of U.S. imperialism, the future was in preparation, under the auspices of the war against terrorism [the US response] would turn out to really be a full-scale war against the dominated nations of the world because imperialism is domination and the drive to war.&qu

Behind All Of This, Opportunism Again

Earlier this month, I complained about the default opportunism that plagues the left at the centres of imperialism.  If anything, the reaction from certain quarters to my previous two posts confirmed my complaint that "[o]pportunism is the default consciousness of the left at the centres of imperialism, and has remained the default consciousness for a long time."  Most specifically, the aforementioned reaction demonstrated that any attempt to critique this consciousness "that often leads to reformist projects dressed up in revolutionary clothing will be met with hostility." To be clear, I'm far less interested in my original subject material––and was already less interested by the last post––than by the ideological meaning behind the reaction to my position.  In my last post I was trying to interrogate the meaning behind that reaction but, due to the general lack of focus inherent in these posts (and also perhaps due to an unwillingness to read criticism ho

Mourning Precedents and the Inability to Read

Apparently my previous and rushed post regarding Jack Layton's death has been circulating on Facebook and Reddit where it has been intentionally misunderstood by that large sector of confused leftists who are under the impression that Layton was a comrade.  One commentator called me "cold" and "provocative", and another, who I guess refused to read precisely what I wrote, complains "now we're trying to establish precedents on who should or should not be mourned?" First of all, the inability to read carefully and precisely seems to be a hallmark amongst internet self-proclaimed experts.  It definitely is a common characteristic of the occasional random commentator on this blog (for example, the people who comment on my first and somewhat juvenile Nietzsche post, from way way back, without actually reading or understanding the argument I was making).  It is also one of my largest pet peeves because: a) I have to deal with lazy readings as part of

Layton's Death Means Less Than The Weight of a Feather

Much hoopla is being made, and many tears being shed, amongst certain sectors of the self-proclaimed "left" about Jack Layton's recent death.  (For those readers who live outside of Canada, Jack Layton was the leader of Canada's New Democratic Party .)  But why should we, as the Canadian left, feel any grief for the death of a parliamentarian who was, by the time of his death, no longer a social democrat, let alone an anti-capitalist?  It's not like the people who are currently writing Facebook homages to the man knew him personally; these dewy-eyed obituaries are all about how he was a great crusader for justice or some other nonsense.  And yet Layton was more to the right than the classic social democrat traitor, Eduard Bernstein, and was leading a New Democratic Party that has become little more than a Trudeau era Liberal Party. Mao often quoted Szuma Chien's proverb about how some deaths carry meaning that is heavier than a mountain whereas other deaths

The Avant Garde Intersection

Are the same people who disdain the notion of a revolutionary vanguard party the same people who despise avant garde art?  In my experience this has been the case.  (Also, in my experience, it is bad form to start any piece of writing with a rhetorical question.)  The general disdain for the avant garde , advanced guard, translates from politics to art, though probably not vice versa: since the art industry exists in a context where, like university, it requires a certain amount of privilege to engage with art then most of the people who have access to this sort of art, like commodified knowledge in general, tend to be petty bourgeois. Of course, there is also a certain amount of privilege required in this capitalist context to possess a critical leftist awareness––and oddly enough, many of the people who have this access, in contrast to their petty bourgeois art-loving peers, translate their spite for avant garde politics to a spite for avant garde art.  This is all rather confusing

"A Star Fell And I Was There": new 100 Flowers Press eNovel [more shameless self-promotion]

Since I have generally received rather positive feedback from the previous eNovel I laid-out and posted, I decided to lay-out and post a second eNovel.  Unfortunately I cannot promise that this will be a better novel, even though it is longer and was not produced within a three day time frame, since it was written five or six years ago.  As I noted when I first posted my previous novel , I am using this 100 Flowers Press framework more as an experiment as a way to share those novels that I am less attached to––the flawed manuscripts that I will not be peddling to official print publishers.   I also want 100 Flowers Press  to eventually become something more collective , and some friends and comrades have already demonstrated interest in using it as a vehicle to "isbn" and "library-of-congress" potential projects.  There are a few of us who are even interested in putting together an eJournal through 100 Flowers Press in the near future. So this novel, older and lo

Default Opportunism

Although we recognize the limitations and errors of those revolutionary organizations in the 1970s that initiated a Guevarist-style armed struggle in the global metropoles, sometimes I think that this recognition fails to appreciate the often correct reasoning that led to erroneous practice.  Most importantly, I think the knee-jerk reaction to denounce and dismiss these failed revolutionary attempts that is prevalent amongst broad swathes of the left actually speaks to the mindset and ideology that some of these failed organizations (i.e. the Red Army Faction, the Red Brigades) correctly noted.  That is, many of these failed focoist groups were led to adopt an erroneous strategy due to a correct, and often very insightful, analysis of the opportunism that is fostered amongst leftists living in the centres of imperialism. The Red Army Faction, for example, accepted the Frankfurt School analysis of Adorno and Marcuse regarding the culture industry, one-dimensionality, and the fact that

Thoughts on the Reactionary Imagination

I find it both amusing and annoying how the reactionary right tends to imagine that, because the limits of the political discourse are imperial-capitalism, reality is divided into the simple binaries of patriots versus hippies  or conservatives versus liberals .  So when those of us on the historical left, the revolutionary and original left, try to explain that we are not "hippies" the eyes of the reactionaries gloss over because their tiny brains aren't programmed to understand anything beyond simple binary relationships.  Or when we trash liberalism (as good leftists always do), they get excited because they think we have the same conservative and ahistorical notion of "liberal." Recently, a comrade of mine wrote an article about the Canadian imperial discourse that is being wed to professional hockey.  The Sun, news platform for the idiot right, responded to that article  by complaining about "anti-war zealots" and hordes of Sun commentators ran

100 Flowers Press Launch

Many of my readers will now be aware of the novel I wrote and was offering, for free pdf  download, on this site.  In order to protect the free novel from being plagiarized by some privileged asshole with the publishing connections I lack, I applied to become a small press so I could get ISBN numbers and register the eBook in the Library of Congress.  Thus I would not have to fear walking into a bookshop one day and discovering my novel, with a different name attached, on the shelf. Since I had to name my small press in order to have it registered, and could not think of anything really cool or awesome, I called it 100 Flowers Press.   I know, I know, typical for the maoist-type communist. And then I designed a kick-ass logo: My logo: are you not impressed? But now that I have the ability to "legitimately" peddle books, I figured that I should do something with my so-called "press" that would make the "legitimacy" more, well, legitimate.   So I hav

Top Five Search Phrases Used To Find My Blog

After filling my blog with a successive wave of long, involved, and possibly far too onerous posts, I have decided that I should probably post something that is a little less serious (a little less potentially boring), especially since the blurb under the blog's title promises "humour."  Not that my proposed humorous posts ever succeed in being truly funny, but at least they're less of a chore to read. My initial idea for this post was to report on the top five troll comments that I deleted this week.  Unfortunately said troll comments were, as usual, the typical fare that broke down into two categories: a) the "fuck you stupid communist, Mao was stupid" category (variations on expletives, the "shout use" of caps-lock because they're really angry with me for some reason, and hilarious mispellings); and b) the "fuck you feminazi, Andrea Dworkin is stupid" category (with the same variations as the first category but also with differin