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Politicians attempts to liquidate anti-war movements

by antiauthoritarian against war Monday, Mar. 31, 2003 at 7:53 PM

Their opposition to anger is a reflection of the bourgeois fear that anger is contagious and will lead to the awakening of a class that has, it must be said, a good deal to be angry about.

The procession was so orderly, a large group of

> police officers having breakfast outside a nearby

> bagel shop did not even budge as it passed.

http://nytimes.com/2003/03/29/international/worldspecial/29PROT.html

Hi everyone,

I also noticed the NYT article and considered it highly significant. Lloyd noted that efforts by the liberals to hijack the antiwar movement are typical: they always act like this at critical moments.

I agree.

The current efforts by the "liberals" (I prefer the more precise term "social-democrats") to lead the antiwar movement in the direction of being election fodder for liberal-labor politicians

serve two aims:

(1) it serves the career ambitions of a strata of politicians and institutions that are within (or in orbit around) the left wing of the Democratic Party, and

(2) it serves the interests of the bourgeoisie in liquidating the antiwar movement.

These two aims, of course, are not independent of one another but are bound up together with the entire history of the development of the liberal and social-democratic political trends as

_instruments_ by which the bourgeoisie undermines opposition to its rule. In particular, these trends exist (and have _influence_, and are powerful in society) by virtue of their alliance (a highly subservient alliance) with the bourgeoisie.

There is a quid pro quo here: "Do your job in undermining opposition to our rule and you will receive a share of the spoils as compensation".

This liquidation of the antiwar movement is, above all, aimed at reducing the extent to which the antiwar movement is _independent_ of bourgeois interests. The militancy of the antiwar movement is a reflection of this independent character.

There is no escaping or resolving this fundamental conflict of interest in the antiwar movement: The features of the antiwar movement which the social-democrats most want to liquidate are

precisely those features of it which _threaten_ bourgeois i nterests. This is why the social-democrats don't want our protests to be angry. Their opposition to anger is a reflection

of the bourgeois fear that anger is contagious and will lead to the awakening of a class that has, it must be said, a good deal to be angry about.

Hence when we read phrases about angry protests that "alienate the American public" we should always translate this highly political phrase into its real meaning:

translation:

. piss-off the bribed strata of liberal-labor politicians

. trade union bureaucrats, church officials,

. poverty pimps, media personalities and

. progressive 501(c)(3) organizations

. who are given the task (by the bourgeoisie)

. of keeping all protest movements "under control"

. (ie: small, passive, demoralized and disoriented)

Chuck0 summed it up well:

?If we conducted our activism in a way that pleased the most vociferous anti-activism people, we would be reduced to writing letters to politicians and voting.?

That is really the whole idea. The social-democrats want us to confine our tactics and activity to those actions which are "respectible". And what is "respectible" always turns out to

be--whatever is _ineffective_.

So what do we do?

I have never been particularly enthusiastic about civil disobediance. I have never been--and may never be--arrested.

If I am ever arrested it is not my intention that it be while I am sitting down.

Nor do I make a fetish out of blocking traffic. I have helped to organize unpermitted marches in the street--but that is not necessarily the same thing as focusing on disrupting people who are driving to work.

There is a large universe of tactics and actions that are possible. A certain amount of experimentation will be necessary to make clear to serious activists what kinds of actions are most effective.

But aside from individual actions we also must give thought to longer term matters. Sooner or later a section of serious activists will recognize that there are only two fundamental paths forward:

(1) becoming election fodder for the Democratic Party (or pseudo-independent parties, like Nader, the Greens, or the "Labor Party") and

(2) creating a revolutionary mass movement that is directed at eliminating the system of bourgeois rule

The 2nd path is difficult for many reasons. It is difficult even to talk about or to think about. The low level of political experience of many activists and the current existing _crisis of theory_ makes it difficult for the most serious and militant activists to even imagine what a revolutionary mass movement would look like--much less how society will function when it is no longer ruled by the bourgeoisie.

But we have many factors in our favor--not least of which is the revolution in communications--still in its infancy and full of immense potential to help activists link up with one another and create revolutionary channels to and for and by the masses.

I support the call made by Chuck0 for an antiwar organization that isn't interested in cutting deals with the liberals. But I hope that if such an organization comes into existence--it will be focused on more than blocking traffic or on actions aimed at attention from the bourgeois press.

We must do more than create actions and provide a examples of militancy. We must participate in the coming period of "information war" (defined not as stupid hacking tricks--but as an organized struggle for ideas on a mass scale). The masses in this country are being bombarded by the corporate media with waves of stupid jingo nonsense and will have an interest

(particularly as Bush's excellent little war turns sour) in an explanation of events that makes sense.

We must build our own press, both on the streets (in the forms of leaflets which give ordinary people an understanding in _depth_ of what is going on in the world--and here at home) and on the internet (in the form of news sites with articles and comments rated and filtered by readers).

We must create an organization that is politically transparent (ie: political differences within the organization must be public) democratic and accountable for its actions. If such an

organization makes efforts to be deserving of the respect of serious activists--it could help to bring into existence a mass movement that is independent of bourgeois influence. Such a

movement, here in the US, could and would cause more nightmares for the bourgeoisie than the armies of Saddam Hussein.

Sincerely and with revolutionary regards,

Ben Seattle

----//-// 30.Mar.2003

http://struggle.net/Ben (my elists / theory / infrastructure)

http://struggle.net/antiwar -- which way forward for the development of a powerful antiwar movement?

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