On crackpots engaged in pigwork

Dear Readers: If you are connected to the Internet or near a telephone or cell-phone, U.$. spies can track you and maybe even see you visually. Keep that in mind as you read MIM and other anti-Amerikkkan websites. Do not try to email MIM. It’s no longer safe.

Poor old MIM (“the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist collection of revolutionary vanguard parties leading the proletarian communist struggle against imperialism”). After almost two decades of revolutionary Internet pronunciamentos, The End has come.

Sort of.

In fact, The End has been Nigh several times for MIM.

On February 15, 2008 MIM unleashed two documents upon The World: “Where we are theoretically at the end” and “New website: http://mimlite.wordpress.com continues leftover tasks of this website”. The tricksy fan(s) of Chairman Mao then kept radio silence… until August 8, when MIM declared “New website to defend ex-MIM leaders arises; stay tuned for security developments”.

As noted in June:

In the face of an uncaring world, MIM announced its suicide last month, the last gasp of a tiny group of revolutionary academics from California. Other Maoist (Marxist-Leninist) groups still-existant in the United States — and in addition to the Great Leader‘s — include the (rival) Freedom Road Socialist Organization and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and Workers World.

In the United Kingdom, Maoist and Marxist-Leninist political formations include the Communist Party of Britain, the Communist Party of Britain Marxist-Leninist, the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), the New Communist Party of Britain [?], the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) and last — but by absolutely no means necessary least — the Stalin Society.

The suicide notice of May was contained on another site, MIM Lite, “a blog to continue where the Maoist Internationalist Movement (1983-2008) left off” (February 15, 2008). It was born in February and died in May: “On May 19 2008, MIM Lite will retire from politics”.

In August 2008, MIM Lite was replaced with yet another blog, Mimdefense’s Weblog. The reason? “Strange threats continue to hover over the heads of former leaders of the Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM). This blog has been created not to continue previous work directly, but to address ongoing problems. What happens is sometimes one “knows too much” and also there is no one able to take over in situations that continue to arise. Knowledge accumulated over 25 years of struggle does not just disappear and MIM’s enemies know that.”

From August 8 to December 19 there was a constant, increasingly fractured, stream of communications; suggesting quite strongly that the tales of ordinary madness that had previously been a feature of MIM were being increasingly eclipsed by genuinely paranoid ravings. (“Regarding suggestions that the comrade seek psychological counselling, psychologists have a history of spying on communists, including in private sessions. In fact, the incident of concern also involved a psychologist and social worker who broke the policies of her organization to deal with MIM through a white nationalist means.”)

Most recently, the MIM site aka The Etext Archives (1992-2009) has closed, this time permanently… perhaps.

Thank you for your interest in the Etext Archives.

The Etext Archives (1992-2009) are now closed, but the site lives on via the Internet Archive. You can view the historical record of the Etext Archives by visiting this URL:

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.etext.org/

While you are there, consider making a donation to the Internet Archive which provides this free service.

The operators of the Etext Archives are no longer hosting any of the data previously in the Etext Archives and we have no influence over third parties who may have copied the content and continue to serve it.

But! MIM persists elsewhere as The Maoist Internationalist Movement (“This website continues the www.etext.org work”): “As we warned readers, the Democratic Party has long had its eyes on the MIM website. It has now been put out of commission. The Maoist Internationalist Movement lives on!” (January 8, 2009).

During the course of its deterioration MIM was disclosed as being primarily the work of some bloke called Henry Park. In one of its last postings, MIM (Henry) even posted an update on his (their) ‘career’.

Henry Park career update
December 14 2008

In the last few days, I guess the CIA is asking me about employment, maybe not directly but through a front. I won’t say that what they said makes no sense, class-wise and given the surveillance that is going to happen anyway. Also with a lower profile, there is less of a tokenism issue.

Others still maintain that I should have gone for a government post. There were a couple misunderstandings in a key Aesopian discussion, but not important enough to change what I have reported here.

The basic problem is that hereafter I have no particular power and I have already described the sexual blackmail situation. Joining a CIA front would discredit efforts here, and we still have a very powerful readership here…

I understand the attraction of dealing with MIM, people “you know where they stand.” However, reality is we have nothing particular going on beyond this website’s substantial influence. Amerikans are not going to get what MIM is talking about in any short time frame. So the choice is going to be more disasters versus more people looking to people other than MIM to handle their various needs.

Whatever.

Maoism-Third Worldism-Bloggism

Elsewhere and in the meantime, Mao is more than ever associated with Maoism-Third Worldism, which ideology recently celebrated its first birthday. Thus: “It has been one year since the revolutionary movement declared its guiding ideology to be the fourth and latest stage of revolutionary science, Maoism-Third Worldism. In the past year there have been many victories. Our movement continues to grow on the ground in North America, Europe, and, most importantly, the Third World. Maoism-Third Worldism has shown its strength as the revolutionary ideology of the future…”

Part of this scientistical show of force has been bloggy.

Monkey Smashes Heaven

“Monkey Smashes Heaven is a journal dedicated to smashing the old world to smithereens. The old world is rotten to the core. The First World as a whole exploits, rapes and plunders the whole planet and its peoples. It’s time to turn the tables…”

On MIM:

“MSH considers the so-called Maoist Internationalist Movement to be crackpots engaged in pigwork. MIM’s main role is to discredit Maoism, to make Maoism look ridiculous.”

Shubel Morgan

“Shubel Morgan is another proud Maoist descendant of the now closed It’s Right to Rebel! Forum. IRTR has shed its older organizational skin and the comrades from IRTR are creating organizational forms suitable to the next stage of struggle. Shubel Morgan raises a clenched fist in solidarity with all the IRTR comrades!”

On “M”IM:

“The Maoist Internationalist Movement, once a Maoist beacon in the first world, has degenerated into the sad revisionist freakshow and anti-communist wrecking ball that is now “M”IM.”

Another blog, Amihan Malaya, appears to be rather critical of Prachanda, lider maximo of the Maoists in Nepal. (See Writings on Nepal from Kasama.)

For more information on the scientific breakthrough known as Maoism-Third Worldism, see yet another blog:

The People’s University (Maoist-Third Worldist) has opened in order to help disseminate revolutionary science. The university will span the entire scope of Maoism-Third Worldism, not just the most recent contributions to revolutionary science. In other words, the People’s University, in addition to recent work, will focus on revolutionary classics and background materials.

In Australia, the Maoist tradition continues in the shape of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist Leninist) and the blog Strange Times.

Like the remnants of the RCP in the UK (the mob now associated with a bewildering array of corporate-friendly political projects), the political positions adopted by these twenty-first century Maoists has a tendency to converge with those of their presumed opposition. In these strange and interesting times, to be ‘left’ and ‘progressive’ means to: support the US invasion and occupation of Iraq; maintain that George II supports an independent Palestine; believe that there has been little or no philosophical development since Hegel, Marx and Engels trod the Earth; argue that Development, Globalization, Science and Technology are Good and Ecology is Bad, and, finally, that Capitalism is Good — but Communism is much betterer.

Aesopian Bonus!

On Aesopian language again
December 7 2008

Since 2006, we have had occasion to use allegorical or aesopian language. That period now draws to a close.

The disadvantages of allegorical language are obvious. The lumpen generally does not read it. The most scientific-minded also often cannot be bothered with it.

The attraction of such language is for the ‘ole boys network, spies and the pre-scientific intelligentsia. We wish we could sustain the dialogue, but we do not have the type of backing and people we would need to continue with the isolating effects of talking with the rulers all the time. We also hereby admit to retreating from the imperialist class into the middle-class.

An example of aesopian language aimed at MIM appeared today in the New York Times “Opinion Page” section. The blurb leading into the article by Timothy Egan December 7 reads: “Typing without a clue” and then “Publishers, let’s set some ground rules: Anyone who abuses the English language on such a regular basis should not be paid to put words in print.” [Typing Without a Clue, December 6, 2008.]

It is a frequent complaint against MIM that we abuse the English language with our spelling policies.

The article goes on to comment on Sarah Palin and “Joe the Plumber,” but neither of them are known as writers yet, so to say they abuse the English language “on such a regular basis” is aesopian language by falseness clue-in, something MIM does not practice. MIM generally has used symbolic language true at all levels on our web page if we use it at all, because we are not much in favor of castrating our writing for a certain bourgeois minority. Truth-castration practices may be more appropriate in audiences unlike our webpage’s.

We gain further confirmation that the aesopian slam is really on MIM, by the sentence that says: “Not when voices in Iran, North Korea or China struggle to get past a censor’s gate.” Lately we have written on China and northern Korea in ways offensive to the Liberal bourgeoisie. Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin are not really known as opposing the New York Times line on those subjects.

There has been a combination of threats and bribery thrown in our face these past few years. This idea of preventing MIM from finding a publisher to sell our written words is the latest.

In any case, this would be an example of how to look for aesopian writing. The FBI, CIA, NSA, mafia and rulers generally use this sort of language. As of now, the international proletariat is composed disproportionately of people who cannot understand aesopian language, so it can be a disadvantage in struggle to stay with it too long, when we need to confer concrete information to organize our side of the class struggle.

Aesopian language also often results in disasters by coincidence. Proxies for Ann England delivered some really terrible aesopian language in the latter 1990s. However, it was obviously their intention all along to create havoc. At the same time, they cannot know to what extent they botched their own objectives. We’re just not going to take the blame for that. People who have to communicate via this sort of language we regard as our enemies. It advantages the ruling class.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2020 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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22 Responses to On crackpots engaged in pigwork

  1. THR says:

    I don’t know much about the MLM crew, but the Australian ‘Maoists’ you speak about (such as the Last Superpower clique) were disgraceful.
    Keep up the good work, @ndy. Whilst you don’t often do it (at any great length), I enjoy the doctrinal discussion at this blog. More, please.

  2. Jamie R says:

    Yeah it’s interesting to hear about all this, I certainly wouldn’t find it on my own.

    I hear a rumour the Google founders are anarchists, so maybe V for Vendetta is their favourite password when coding stuff.

  3. Paul Justo says:

    Another nice roundup though this –

    “In Australia, the Maoist tradition continues in the shape of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist Leninist) and the blog Strange Times”

    is somewhat disingenuous.

    Vanguard hardly comes across as anything like the MLM nutters on the internet?
    In fact Vanguard does not even use the MLM idea to define itself.
    It doesn’t even talk about maoism these days and its paper has republished articles from a number of political trends which are broadly Marxist Leninist but which are in fact antagonistic to Maoism – such as the RLO in the US.

    They’ve also republished stuff from the FRSO/Fight back who do not claim to be Maoist either.

  4. @ndy says:

    “…such as the RLO in the US…”

    Do you mean ROL, aka Ray O Light, aka Revolutionary Organization of Labor?
    http://www.mltranslations.org/us/index.htm#ROL

    http://www.mltranslations.org/ is a neat-o sauce of ML(M)/anti-revisionist texts and perspectives.

    More generally, there is difference, but this tends to be variations on a theme, the basic tune having been written by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao. (Also sometimes Hoxha, who was Genius. See Comrade Loulou and the Fun Factory, November 9, 2008.) Placing the CPA (ML) in the same category as the lastsuperpower.net mob is justifiable, I think, both in terms of shared politics but also (former) organisational affiliation. Regarding the self-definition of such groups, this is important, but not definitive I think. The CPA rarely mentions Stalin, but its basic positions are commensurate with ‘Stalinism’ as it’s generally understood, and the organisation itself obviously derives from this tradition.

    “I hear a rumour the Google founders are anarchists”; I heard a rumour that Al Gore invented the Internet.

    The Australian ‘Maoists’ disgraceful? Maybe. It’s an interesting passage by a few people through a brief period of time, anyway. Student revolutionaries in the 1960s singing the praises of Chairman Mao and Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh, alliances with elements of the union bureaucracy and, for some, a long, slow, but also quite lucrative (personally) march through the ALP (cf. Jim Bacon). Now an unpaid cheer squad for Capital-As-Progress. I think the denunciations of the “pseudo-left” are pretty much in keeping with the rather ill-tempered rhetoric of the 1960s; this mob is nothing if not (self-)righteous, and their marginalisation — and the fact that their peculiar brand of left-wing nationalism fell flat on its face during the ’70s and ’80s — tends to feed into a more general embitteredness.

  5. grumpy cat says:

    Most US Maoist groups are scary funny/funny scary. However Kasama are pretty interesting and worth checking out.
    rebel love
    Dave

  6. @ndy says:

    Also:

    A World to Win (Revolutionary Internationalist Movement) zine, to be confused with A World to Win based in London. http://www.aworldtowin.org/wordpress provides news of the Maoist struggle.

    “Have you ever thought of joining a working-class party that fights against capitalism? For over 45 years, Workers World has been that party.” Another (US) Maoist sect, previously struggling against lackeys and running-dogs with the aid and advice of Great Helmsman Sam Marcy.

    http://www.revcom.us/ is the voice of Uncle Bob Avakian, as is the Revolutionary Communist Party itself. Mike Ely (Kasama) left the cult a coupla years ago…

    In response to Mike Ely and those who have taken up his opportunist project, the following words from Lenin resonate with great relevance:

    “We are marching in a compact group along a precipitous and difficult path, firmly holding each other by the hand. We are surrounded on all sides by enemies, and we have to advance under their almost constant fire. We have combined voluntarily, precisely for the purpose of fighting the enemy, and not to retreat into the adjacent marsh, the inhabitants of which, from the very outset, have reproached us with having separated ourselves into an exclusive group and with having chosen the path of struggle instead of the path of conciliation. And now several among us begin to cry out: let us go into this marsh! And when we begin to shame them, they retort: how conservative you are! Are you not ashamed to deny us the liberty to invite you to take a better road! Oh, yes, gentlemen! You are free not only to invite us, but to go yourselves wherever you will, even into the marsh. In fact, we think that the marsh is your proper place, and we are prepared to render you every assistance to get there. Only let go of our hands, don’t clutch at us and don’t besmirch the grand word ‘freedom,’ for we too are ‘free’ to go where we please, free to fight not only against the marsh, but also against those who are turning towards the marsh!” [What is to Be Done?]

    The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) नेपाल कम्युनिष्ट पार्टी (माओवादी) may be the most kick-arse. Prachanda is supposedly one of only three Communist PMs (the others being situated in Cyprus and Moldova) to be elected in a popular vote.

  7. @ndy says:

    …how could I forget!

    The BESTEST MAOIST sect is the Rural People’s Party!

    The Communist Voice of Juche and Jim Jones Thought – released January 2009. Explore the Rural People’s Party’s positions on how to achieve socialism and communism inside the U.S. epicentre. Seething with class hatred and blood rancor against imperialism, we will win!

    “In the bourgeoisie society, therefore, the past dominates the present; in communist society, the present dominates the past. In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has no individuality. And by the abolition of this state of things is called by the bourgeois, abolition of individuality and freedom! And rightly so. The abolition of bourgeois individuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom is undoubtedly aimed at.” – Karl Marx from “Proletarians and Communists”, Communist Manifesto

    The Rural Collective Issue Number Four now available – twenty-five pages packed with hard-hitting information and full introductory material in relation to the RPP accepting Juche as the guiding ideology of the party and theoretical material on the razor edge of revolutionary science. Send five dollars U.S. currency (well-concealed cash) for delivery worldwide to: P.O. Box 84664/Lexington, SC 29073/United States

    People’s Temple Agricultural Project video brought to you by the Rural People’s Party (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist.) Photographs courtesy of the Jonestown Institute. Music by People’s Temple:

  8. Paul Justo says:

    This is just funny/funny/hilarious –

    Also The Place of Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution: A Review Essay, by Jason Schultz, February 3rd, 2008:

    The place of anarchism in the foundation and development of the many revolutions in 20th century China is largely unknown or forgotten in China and the world over. Philosophers and organizers of numerous groups under the umbrella of anarchism helped lay the cornerstones for political, social, economic, and cultural struggles in China. Their work culminated in the capture of state power in 1949 by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

  9. @ndy says:

    The international proletariat heartily celebrates the first anniversary of Maoism-Third Worldism, the scientific revolutionary doctrine leading the way to the world-historic defeat of imperialism. Red salute to the theoreticians behind this glorious revolutionary science! They are truly the leading lights of the international communist movement.

  10. Paul Justo says:

    ‘Internet Maoism’ isn’t the real world, your attempt to equate CPA(ML) with internet headcases doesn’t wash.

    This internet based so called ‘third worldism’ is a bit reminiscent of:

    http://www.mltranslations.org/us/mlpn.htm

    But you quoted “The Place of Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution: A Review Essay”, by Jason Schultz, February 3rd, 2008 as an indictment of the PRC.

    Do you really believe – “anarchism helped lay the cornerstones for political, social, economic, and cultural struggles in China. Their work culminated in the capture of state power in 1949 by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”

    I mean…really?!

  11. Paul Justo says:

    This is how good the cops are-

    http://intellibriefs.blogspot.com/2004/12/dutch-secret-service-ran-three-cover.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/confessions-of-a-fake-marxist-693095.html

    The MLPN spent its time attacking the real communists as fakes and bootlickers – just like that cartoon on Prachanda.

  12. @ndy says:

    The cops… and the capitalists:

    Trot Guide 2003: #0.0

    A group of Ukrainian scam artists took quite a few Marxists of a ride a few years back. The scam artists in question — of which the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) claims there were five (or possibly seven?), variously known as the ‘Young Revolutionary Movement’ / ‘Communist Struggle Group’ / ‘Radical Communists’ / ‘Workers Revolutionary League’ / ‘Ukrainian Trotskyist Opposition’ / ‘Ukrainian Workers Committee’ and more besides — managed to milk a number of competing Western Trot groups simultaneously for cash and other resources through their ability to convince the groups concerned that, with their generous assistance, a Ukrainian Trotskyist movement was a bankable proposition. According to the IBT, and prior to the fraud being discovered, the scammers:

      …derived from a circle of Kiev teenagers who, in 1989, obtained a copy of Leon Trotsky’s The Revolution Betrayed, and discovered that it contained a wealth of political insights profoundly relevant to the events taking place around them, as the forces of capitalist restoration gained momentum in the Soviet degenerated workers’ state. From that original grouping, a broad spectrum of leftist organizations, all critical of Stalinism and, in most cases, identifying themselves as Trotskyist, has reappeared in Ukraine.

    1917, No. 24, 2002

    Shit happens.

    Re anarchism in China. Like Japan and Korea, anarchism was in fact an influential current in radical circles, especially prior to 1917. Jason’s is a review essay of Dirlik’s book, published in 1991; afaik, one of the first major treatments, in English, of this movement. You can read an interview w Arif by Chuck Morse on his blog.

    Benedict Anderson also traces the influence of anarchism on anti-colonial movements (especially the Philippines) in Under Three Flags (2005).

    Re the merits of Arif’s arguments in Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution: dunno. I ain’t read it, and I ain’t no scholar of modern Chinese history. According to the reviewer: “Dirlik believes Chinese revolutionaries espousing anarchist and Marxist-Leninist ideas had much to learn from each other, suggesting that the split between the two by 1923 was a missed opportunity to bring the best of each ideology together to create a new Chinese society… ideas, from popular committees, communes, popular education, the idea of a “new culture” remaking individuals through self sacrifice, a breaking down of mental and manual labor, and a return to and celebration of rural life and agriculture as “going to the people” were all ideas first discussed and practiced by Chinese anarchists.”

    My impression, having read scattered accounts here and there (occasionally scholarship, but mostly the anarchist press of the last 30 years or so) is that anarchism in Asia, like anarchism in Russia, has been buried, and interested parties are still engaged in excavations.

    If, otoh, you’re questioning the manner or fact of anarchist activism ‘culminating’ in the Communist seizure of state power in 1949, that’s another kettle of Chinese fish. Perhaps one other measure of the influence of anarchism on Chinese culture, politics and society may be found in the life and times of Ba Jin.

    In any case, I didn’t cite this article to prove some point about or to indict the PRC; rather, to highlight this hidden history (in the context of some recent writings on anarchism).

    Re the CPA(ML) and internet headcases: yeah, I think the CPA(ML) are headcases. And precisely for their espousal of a madcap ideology. The r/ship b/w CPA(ML) ideology, lastsuperpower.net, MLM and Maoism-Third-Worldism is slightly complicated, but they all share some things in common. The denunciations of Prachanda are predictable and tedious, and such criticisms needn’t rely upon the existence of CIA psyops. Maoism in South Asia is riven with conflict, both ‘genuine’ and ‘manufactured’.

    On ‘Maoism’ more generally, I think ‘The Explosion Point of Ideology in China’ is neat.

  13. @ndy says:

    On Nepal (New)

    Prachanda wins. Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is dead, Maoism-Third Worldism lives
    by Prairie Fire
    (source: monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com)

    The big winner of the elections in Nepal is an organization calling itself the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) led by Prachanda. With roughly three quarters of the results in, Prachanda’s Party has won a simple majority of 56% of the seats in the constituent assembly elections so far. (1) For the first time since China, there is a political party upholding Mao as its main icon that has captured some degree state power. Prachanda’s party will join the Communist Party of China under Hu Jintao as another Mao-inspired party with some degree of state power…
    http://monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com/on-nepal-recent-analysis/

  14. Paul Justo says:

    ‘Prairie Fire’, ‘Monkey Smashes Heaven’ – sounds like something Peter Watson would dream up. Who even reads such shite, let alone takes it seriously?

  15. @ndy says:

    Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism, written and published in 1974 by William Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn and other members of the Weather Underground.

    Prairie Fire Organizing Committee, “a grassroots activist organization that has worked for social change since 1975.” Prairie Fire Organizing Committee “traces its roots to the student movement of the 1960s. The struggles of Black people to end racism and achieve liberation and the struggle of the Vietnamese people to build a more just society inspired us to action. These experiences led us to see the importance of supporting oppressed peoples in their struggles against injustice. In 1974, the Weather Underground Organization published a book entitled “Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism.” Discussion groups sprang up around the country to discuss the book. In response, Prairie Fire formed in cities across the U.S…”

    Fire by Night Organizing Committee, extremely short lived, with the New York branch dissolving itself in 2000 and the San Francisco branch choosing to enter the post-Maoist, Left Refoundationist Freedom Road Socialist Organization/Organización Socialista del Camino para la Libertad.

    It’s a Maoist thang…

  16. @ndy says:

    Huh. Just stumbled (again) upon a post — APOC aren’t Maoists (and baby, I’m not an anarchist) — on another blog which is relevant. Here’s a final response from Good Morning, Revolution:

    This is simply where we divide into two, no? I think the trend amongst anarchists – demonstrated by the Situationist article you picked up – has lost the ability to look at particularities and politics and rather fits a tired and tried application of the “critique of bureaucracy (a critique which is expressed by Trotskyists, Libertarian Ron Paul fanatics, and anarchists a like). I think there are some things to be said about Bureaucracy altogether, but a critique of this sort needs to begin with politics.

    So to unpack this a bit, why is a general “critique of bureaucracy” a complete failure? It must begin pretty simply that it no longer inhabits the realm of a political critique, but rather inhabits the space of natural intuition. Everyone and his grandma has something to say about bureaucrats, even political bureaucrats have something to say about it!

    So what’s the hump we have to get over? What’s wrong with this “critique?” Just an example, the failure of Orwell’s 1984 and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil is that it presents bureaucracy as essentially self-perpetuating living organisms outside politics altogether, outside a reason for its self-perpetuation. This is ultimately phantasmal, what really Marx calls “false consciousness” and I think it’s not hard here for somebody to take this framework of thought and then begin seeing the conspiracies of the world. Big Brother is the Rothschilds! Big Brother is the Illuminati! As we might think Lacan to say to an Orwell, “there is no Big Brother!”

    Of course I in no way think the Situationist article is as foolish as to accept the notion of world conspiracy (though unfortunately so many do!). I still think the logic exists there, but in the different form of a repetition of what I would call a vulgar and mechanical Marxism which analyzes functionally according to certain historical rules and dogmas it has established for itself. In fact, this article really reads no different to me than Trotsky’s criticisms; they appear to me to be one of the same – it repeats notions such as the 1927 Revolution was crushed (no it was really doomed to failure from the beginning despite what Uncle Joe did), that the failure of the People’s Republic of China was that it was based on a “militarily disciplined peasant” uprising rather than “workers’ revolution;” all of this actually quite superficial application of 19th century categories that really Maoists and other revolutionaries like Fanon, Cabral, and others had to ditch in order to turn Marxism into a category of revolutionary consciousness and not just “instinctual drive” of the supposed “workers” (I would even say that today, this category and use of speech is altogether irrelevant).

    If Maoists ditched the corpse of Histomat to make revolution, I believe Anarchists should too! We need to analyze the particularities of political struggle, their immanent structures of thought and projection, and not give faith to mere sociological-psychological constructs – the ultimate end of what is a type of workerism that still exists in the Trotskyist movement and the Anarchist movements. It is my position that we ultimately lead to a dead letter sort of language, the ruling class, the working class, this or that strata become homogenous. That’s simply never been the case, and is not the case today! The hegemonic discourse for more than a century in this country has been the reining ideas of the Ideology of our inherited system. It coordinates our very lives, gives us our very dreams and fantasies, and even our own identities. A vanguard is thus decisively real always because of the political consciousness that people like ourselves have and when others don’t.

    That maybe gets us into our Zapatistas. It is interesting to note that many of Love & Rage members ultimately moved out from L&R Network with the decisive understanding that Anarchism suffers from “theoretical poverty,” some even became Maoists! So what is the worth of the Zapatistas in all this? I’ve talked to former members of the L&R who have told me that their visits and studying of Chiapas turned their thinking on many important issues – organization, the State, consciousness, etc. Why is that? Because the Zapatistas effectively run a State! They have an army structure which hasn’t changed since the 80s’; Marcos has been in decisive command even when the EZLN was part of the FLN & even after they split (a split that occurred because Marcos pushed the subject of armed struggle). Going into 1994, EZLN had not changed their position on overthrowing state power and taking state power for them, this position changed when they were effectively DEFEATED militarily by the Mexican Army.

    EZLN collects taxes, builds infrastructure, imprisons people, refuses some people to enter their communities, and tries to lead community councils.

    To note on EZLN’s apparent change from Maoism to their current incarnation, it’s important to note that I doubt seriously Marcos, the FLN, and the EZLN were ever fully “Maoist.” It seems they interestingly mixed Maoism with Foco Thought of Che in the very beginning (the reason there never was a party, but only an armed revolutionary army). Foco Theory is just honestly bankrupt, and yes I even criticize that, Maoists have for a long time too! People’s War in the Maoists understanding can’t be waged solely by an armed guerilla band with no deep ties in the people, it must work amongst them, learn from their lives, put forward revolutionary thought and theory in conjunction with their experiences – that is what Maoists have called Mass Line. If Marcos was surprised he couldn’t just be a “vanguard” but actually had to learn, well then he wasn’t much of a Maoist – though he may have been a good scholar on Althusser, so I hear.

    Getting back into Maoism then, I think then you, the article, and maybe even the EZLN have missed altogether the importance of a “revolution within a revolution” and the importance of Mao’s thoughts on methods of leadership and practice. Mao Zedong and revolutionary communists within the CPC waged a bitter struggle with the centrist & right-wing components of their Party all through the Cultural Revolution, and this political struggle was carried forward in every day life in battles between different squads of Red Guards, Worker Organizations, and Peasants. It wasn’t ever simply “one faction of the ruling class vs. another.” That just negates the seriously revolutionary aspects of this struggle embodied in the history, slogans, and art of this period.

  17. princess mob says:

    “Prairie Fire” is an awesome name.
    I can only assume it comes from the Richard Nixon quote describing the anti-war movement as “a wild orgasm of anarchists, sweeping the countryside like a prairie fire.”
    (A quote which, as I think Lumpen mentioned some time in the past months, was taken up by the anarchist/autonomist Orange Bloc at the Sydney WTO protests: it was written on a flag, & shouts of ‘Nixon’ were heard whenever the bloc needed to meet.)

  18. @ndy says:

    “The Greater Part of the Revolution Remains Before Us”
    The Weather Underground’s Prairie Fire Statement…Thirty Years On
    Ron Jacobs
    Counterpunch
    July 24 / 25, 2004

    I was thumbing through the new AK Press catalog the other day and discovered that they had some copies of the 1974 statement from the Weather Underground for sale. This document, titled Prairie Fire — The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism, was the result of the individual and collective experiences and analyses of Weather’s members. Its 1974 appearance in radical bookstores, food coops, headshops, college campuses and many other places that movement activists met was greeted with a combination of emotions throughout the Left.

    Thirty summers ago, the US Left was in disarray, searching for a new modus operandi in the wake of the coming defeat of the United States military in Vietnam, Watergate, and a declining base of support stateside. Serious leftists were forming new organizations, studying Marxist-Leninist texts, moving into the US workplace and away from their student and youth culture base, and just trying to figure out how they were going to fit in the post-Watergate, post-Vietnam world. Many of these folks would find themselves in various parties and party-building organizations by 1976, as the New Communist Movement (NCM) went into full swing. Even the underground was trying to figure out how to remain relevant, especially the most renowned and organized of the underground groups—the Weather Underground Organization (WUO).

    A debate was taking place inside the group over exactly how to increase their exposure while maintaining their brand of politics. Some argued that it was time to go above ground and move into workplace organizing. Others thought such a move would be self-defeating, both politically and personally. After all, wouldn’t those individuals wanted by law enforcement end up doing time? If so, how could that possibly be politically effective? On the other hand, didn’t their continued underground existence further isolate them from the very population that they wished to organize? These were but a few of the questions facing the organization. Time would eventually answer them all, but in 1974 the Weather Underground decided to remain underground and operate as it had since 1971, occasionally bombing selected symbolic targets and propagandizing around those actions. This was the context in which they released Prairie Fire — The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism.

    Prairie Fire represented something of a shift in strategy for the WUO, but one that had been developing since their December 1971 communiqué New Morning, Changing Weather. While that statement recognized the need for an underground army not to isolate itself from the masses, it was criticized for minimalizing the role of armed actions. Prairie Fire attempted to reconcile this apparent dichotomy by repeatedly emphasizing the importance of mass revolutionary organizing, yet describing Weather as an underground organization. What this suggested was that Weather saw itself as the beginnings of a revolutionary people’s army aligned with the revolutionary movement. This differed from their previous self-perception as a primarily foco organization whose role was to incite insurrection. Whether or not the rest of the movement shared Weather’s new perception of itself was questionable; questionable because most revolutionary groups of the period were either reorganizing themselves or disintegrating. Those revolutionaries not in organizations, meanwhile, were usually hesitant to align themselves with any organization and often unwilling to even speak in terms of revolution, given the fragmentation of the movement at the time.

    The disillusionment implicit in such hesitation was the result of multiple factors. Foremost among these were the counterinsurgency efforts of the state. These efforts, as mentioned before, involved infiltration and disruption, sabotage and rumormongering, and in the case of the black and Latino liberation movements, outright premeditated murder. During certain high points of rebellion (People’s Park, Cambodian invasion), the white movement, too, suffered deaths at the hands of the police forces. Other factors that contributed to the despair and disillusionment in the white Left of the 1970s, according to Weather, concerned tendencies within the movement itself. Those factors included a distrust of organizations, cynicism, racism, and sexism.

    Based on the assumption that “the unique and fundamental condition of this time is the decline of U.S. imperialism”, the Weather Underground Organization challenged the anti-imperialist movement to continue its revolutionary path. Reflecting a consciousness developed over years of revolutionary work, clandestine and aboveground, Weather urged revolutionaries in the U.S. to organize and prepare constantly wherever they were and in whatever way possible.

    Above all, Prairie Fire — The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism was a call to organize. Once again identifying the enemy of the world’s peoples as US imperialism, Weather stated their goal was to “attack imperialism’s ability to exploit and wage war”, and eventually build a socialist society in the US. To begin this process, Weather reiterated its original thesis that the empire must be weakened and at least partially destroyed. According to this thesis, the weakest links in the imperialist chain were the colonies. For that reason, claimed Weather (as they always had), it was the liberation of the third world that held the key to eventual liberation of the mother country (the United States).

    The hopefulness of Prairie Fire—The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism is its most elemental and memorable aspect. Perhaps this is why the statement was received positively by much of the revolutionary Left. To say the least, the Left found itself scattered following the signing of the Vietnam peace accords in January 1973—accords whose signing had changed little on the ground in Vietnam, but had convinced many US citizens that the war was over. The despair felt by many activists as they searched for a strategy to deal with the continued war in Indochina, the so-called energy crisis, and the economic decline at home, was lifted somewhat with the public release of the statement on July 26, 1974. At the press conference accompanying the release of the book, a variety of activists spoke positively about its contents. The staff of the leftist underground journal Takeover from Madison, Wisconsin, which was, by 1974, one of the few underground newspapers still holding true to its countercultural revolutionary roots, noted that the lack of “apocalyptic rage and rhetoric” in the statement did not mean an end to Weather’s militancy, but “clari(fied) the present thinking of SDS’s boldest heirs” and “spelled out the priorities of the seventies.”

    As for some of SDS’s other heirs, their response was much the opposite. Carl Davidson, still writing a column for the independent Marxist weekly The Guardian and a member of the Maoist October League, attacked the book. Davidson voiced the Stalinist criticism of youth culture, and accused the WUO of “repudiating the proletariat” and having a “bankrupt line”. His primary criticism of Prairie Fire — The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism, however, regarded the role of national liberation movements, both internationally and domestically. According to the Stalinist model, the proletariat is the main revolutionary force, while national movements become its allies. According to Prairie Fire — The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism, however, the revolutionary national movements were proletarian revolutions in their own right against the world imperialist class and provided the leadership in the worldwide anti-imperialist revolution. If one assumed that, argued Davidson, they rendered a worker’s party irrelevant and, therefore, made socialist revolution impossible. All of which, concluded Davidson, proved that Weather had learned nothing in its years of existence except better public relations methods.

    Davidson’s sentiments were echoed by other groups and individuals who held political lines similar to his organization’s. The arguments that ensued over the issues raised by Prairie Fire — The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism would continue through the next summer. If nothing else, they were proof that WUO’s influence and ability to stir debate had not declined despite the diminishing influence of leftist thought in general on the US body politic.

    Ron Jacobs is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. He can be reached at: [email protected]

  19. Paul Justo says:

    ‘Prairie Fire Version 2009’ isn’t a drug fuelled nihilistic death cult – just a wannabe with a keyboard.

    Bring back the old days.

  20. Burnbabyburn says:

    “A single spark can start a prairie fire” — Mao Zedong

    I spent the last few days reading through these Maoist groups. Monkey Smashes Heaven is by far the best of them. Whether one agrees with them or not, they have the best writers, by far. They have great movie reviews, for example. Plus, their use of irony is great. I say this as someone who has been an anarchist for 5 years.

  21. @ndy says:

    Sprout and the Bean

    I slept all day
    awoke with distaste
    and I railed,
    and I raved

    That the difference between
    the sprout and the bean
    is a golden ring,
    it is a twisted string.
    And you can ask the counselor;
    you can ask the king;
    and they’ll say the same thing;
    and it’s a funny thing:

    Should we go outside?
    Should we go outside?
    Should we break some bread?
    Are y’interested?

    And as I said,
    I slept as though dead
    dreaming seamless dreams of lead.

    When you go away,
    I am big-boned and fey
    in the dust of the day,
    in the dirt of the day.

    and Danger! Danger! Drawing near them was a white coat,
    and Danger! Danger! drawing near them was a broad boat,
    And the water! water! running clear beneath a white throat,
    and the hollow chatter of the talking of the Tadpoles,

    who know th’outside!
    Should we go outside?
    Should we break some bread?
    Are y’interested?

  22. THR says:

    Big Brother is the Illuminati! As we might think Lacan to say to an Orwell, “there is no Big Brother!”

    I think Lacan would say – There is no (big br)other to the (big br)other.

    The unconscious is structured, y’all, like, a language.

    Normal transmission resumed.

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