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The Meaninglessness of Actiivism/Slacktivism

by Artel Morraine Friday, Sep. 08, 2006 at 8:24 PM

Do you (or anyone else out in the mental wasteland known as the world leader, the beacon of democracy, the land of opportunity – Nazi America) have a view, a perspective, a politics, an interest, a truth, a belief, - or anything you will stand for, die for?

1092 ag 3000

Dear Americans-without-a-movement; dear Movement-without-americans:

I feel compelled to relate a bizarre episode that I experienced at a Lefty-artsy party this summer.

I am a student of the Movement, of all revolutions and of all those who resist genocide and subjugation by the West.

Life and The Struggle are often full of disappointments… some of these can be overlooked while others cry out for the light of day – for revelation.

I am curious if other people have had bad experiences with so=called leftist/anarchist groups. Please contact me with your stories – the Movement needs honesty and therapy – like most of us… An open debate could lead to awakening and stress reduction.

In one conversation I said:

Do you think that violence or killing will be necessary… you know like killing the rich?”

Many eager lips responded with:

“No we just have to subjugate them, make them work for us… Tie them up and do sexual things to them…”

It turned out that these women wanted to do these things (subjugation, sexual humiliation) to most white males…

Then we had a long and sometimes loud debate about what “ success” is.

I started it off saying that I thought that no matter what happens the rich will probably win!!!

When people disagreed, I said,

“Well tell me one example of the movement’s success against the rich…”

Unfortunately at this moment neither side in the debate chose to slow things down so that we could define what a success was…

For me “success” means long lasting structural changes in a society/economy such that many poor people see real benefits… Hopefully this type of change also results in environmental protection

At this point a Black woman said that environmentalism was bad that it was just a thing for the privileged and white people…

When I asked again for an example of a success, there was a long pause. I tried to help out by warning them that many of the examples that they might give I would consider evil. However, looking back I may have confused them – of course they could of asked me for some examples of these “Evil” successes (Movement failures); places like: the Ukraine, Europe, the US civil rights, anti-nuclear and anti-war movements; and groups like the Sierra Club, Audubon Society, the Rainbow Coaliton, Bob Dylan, Ayn Rand, and Communist parties in the US and Europe.

But places like Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua (1979-1988), Hamas-led Palestine, Southern Lebannon, Iran and especially Somalia are wonderful, brilliant examples of real long-term structural changes that benefit the poorest.

Perhaps the group that I was debating were Anarchists who reject all of these examples or perhaps they thought I was an anarchist and therefore left out any valid examples. I wonder… Perhaps they are pacifists ( the kind that Ghandi hated!) as many of the successful examples that I know of (other than Venezuela) were accomplished through armed struggle.

Finally with some prompting, the vocal leader of this little cult said:

“The water campaign in Cochabamba! Bolivia.”

Now, by many standards the de-privatization of water in a community of 100,000 homes in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere is wonderful and to some degree a nice short term success. But it in no way has the water campaign resulted in long lasting structural reforms. Water bills are still high and investment and service extension is lagging.

In fact, the entirety of the recent Bolivian revolution with the election of Evo Morales has not even accomplished this. Time will tell… but even after one year in office Morales has yet to expropriate one acre of land from the 400 people who own 70 percent of the good land. Instead, he has given away many park lands and areas of critical habitat to satisfy the demands of the poor peasants and indigenous people.

Even the nationalization of the Bolivian energy sector has floundered, despite modest aid from Hugo Chavez.

SO, could one consider all of the death and suffering borne by the Bolivian people these last three years a success? Or Peru, Chile, Argentina or Ecuador? Are these, or say the Zapatistas, failures. Probably. It depends on how long your short and long term criteria are, and how you measure success.

The most disturbing thing about the debate was that I could never find a hint of their politics. Anarchist, left, communist, anti-Globalist, race pride?

The other example given of movement success that I remember was: ending Aparthied in South Africa. This was no trivial or marginal example. They called it a success and I call the ANC regime one of the most evil examples in history, surpassing even the leftist government of Algeria.

I was also shocked that they would give this example as one of the more successful independent media films of recent years is the Fourth World War which spends significant time illustrating the wrongs inflicted on the poor by the Black South African government. In response many of the people present agreed that “It is better to be a slave to a Black man than to a white man.”

I rest my case…

Do you (or anyone else out in the mental wasteland known as the world leader, the beacon of democracy, the land of opportunity – Nazi America) have a view, a perspective, a politics, an interest, a truth, a belief, - or anything you will stand for, die for?

I doubt it, but as always, I hope and pray that I am wrong. Dead wrong…

Artel Morraine

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