The Common Ground Between Anarchists and Maoists

  • Posted on: 1 August 2018
  • By: thecollective

via gods and radicals

The World Cup ended, after we incessantly politicized athletes and the countries those teams were representing. There was something suspiciously convenient about remembering French colonialism now, but forgetting FIFA’s corruption and oppression. This way we can stay glued to the T.V. without losing any “woke points”.

Brazil’s uprising against FIFA in 2013 and 2014 is not a thing of the past. The pretexts that turned social movements into terrorist organizations are to this day responsible for the criminalization of political activism. This resulted in 23 political prisoners with sentences between 5 and 13 years, some still being prosecuted now. People have died, and many more lost their homes. But what we talk about is how cheering for Mexico is an anti-Trump statement, and that the German team is somehow related (symbolically) to Merkel’s refugee policy.

We are witnessing the facade of U.S. American style Democracy crumbing down, revealing the Fascism of an Imperialized State that mass incarcerates and kills poor people of color, trans people, and women. Moreover, a State that uses a corporation to distract the masses with nationalistic sports, while it criminalizes political dissent.

Brazilian Anarchists and Maoists are both being criminalized for dissent that could undermine the government’s ability to function. The OATL (Anarchist Organization of Land and Liberty) and the MEPR (Popular Revolutionary Student Movement) have recently been denominated initiators of violent protest acts in 2013.

“OATL and MEPR members planned to launch Molotov cocktails and other flaming objects at the police during marches against the world cup” – (Folha de São Paulo, July 17th 2018)

Even with all our ideological differences; particularly in relation to the idolatrous use of leadership, and the interest in rebuilding a state that will sustain the dictatorship of the proletariat; we agree that the state we live in now, and its electoral system, must be overthrown. The re-centralization of economic and structural power in a communist government is not at all attractive to us anarchists. And we see that, although efficient in the short run, the personality cult of leaders is not only contradictory to our principles of horizontality. It is also unsustainable, since up to now revolutions have died with their leaders.

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“Elections are a farce – don’t vote – long live the rural and anti imperialist democratic revolution! MEPR.”

Our common ground is the idea that the dichotomy between left and right in the electoral field is reformist / reactionary rather than revolutionary, since it seeks representation in, and consequently validation of, the system. Even the most far-left candidates like Guilherme Boulos (PSOL), with his rhetoric of defending the poor with policies against real estate speculation and so on, aim at rebuilding the faith of the Brazilian people in the system. This only slows down the revolution. We know that the candidate will not win, if he wins he will not do what he says, and if he tries to do what he says he will be impeached, imprisoned, or killed (as we have seen so many times before).

The strategy of using the partisan platform supported by the U.S. American Style Democracy to spread revolutionary ideas is like fucking for virginity, validating in the process the very thing we are trying to invalidate. The immediate needs of the people who most need this revolution can not be satiated with crumbs. It is our responsibility as militants to not create dependence on the very Government we aim to overthrow, and strive to meet these immediate needs as a community; a Movement.

“There is only the concern of throwing crumbs at the gaping mouth of hunger, perhaps so that they leave us alone …” (Maria Lacerda de Moura)

From 11 to 15 July, pedagogy students from all over Brazil met at União dos Palmares, Alagoas, to discuss methods of combating State attacks against education, and the rights of the people inside and outside the academic sphere in our country.

This was the 38th ENEPe (National Meeting of Students of Pedagogy), and its 1st Marxist-Leninist-Maoist edition.

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The realization of this groundbreaking event in the history of ENEPe was not possible without overcoming serious obstacles. There was a rupture between leftist students, resulting in two different events being held: this one organized by ExNEPe (National Executive of Students of Pedagogy) with predominant presence of the MEPR, and another event with predominant presence of MEPe (Student Movement of Pedagogy) and student movements linked to UNE (National Union of Students).

This ideological divergence among “leftist” students is based on partisanship. The MEPR claims political independence, a vote boycott, and a complete rejection of financial dependence on, or campaigning for, political parties. In addition, they also aim to keep this event open to students from other academic fields and to non-students.

For many, the boycott of the vote means a breach for the right to strengthen, or even a right in disguise (like blaming 3rd party voters for Trump). Those of the MEPe, who were not on board with MEPR rhetoric, not only made their own event at another date and place, but also sabotaged the initiative and promotion of their peers’ event. Posters promoting the 38th ENEPe in União dos Palmares were removed or damaged in some way throughout the country.

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The vast majority of the approximately 400 people present had to overcome multiple financial and bureaucratic obstacles, as well as the sabotage of other students, to attend the event that week. Therefore, the presence of each one, from each region, held the weight of dedication to militancy, and the enthusiasm of a youth with faith in the revolution.

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Delegations from each region, sleeping quarters.

On the last day of the meeting, the MFP (Popular Women’s Movement) presented itself as a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, embracing the cause of women who are students, teachers, workers and peasants, and stating that the landowning (bourgois) woman is an enemy. The Movement aims to combat unpaid domestic work, the servitude of maids to their bourgeois employers, and the idea that there is some innate difference between men and women.

We must also overcome the monogamy of traditional families, because it was born with the concept of private property to ensure the transfer of assets by inheritance. They also affirmed that there is no rape culture, there is the Patriarchy and Capitalism. Therefore, one does not destroy rape culture with laws, one destroys capitalist patriarchy with a revolution. The problem is not the man, it is the State. And above all, the purpose of the organization is “to awaken revolutionary fury in women.”

The event showed beautifully how Popular Culture is resistance. A typical Alagoan dance performance opened a series of cultural presentations of each delegation present. It became clear that “each Brazilian region is a Country”, as one of the students observed. It was exciting to witness how extreme diversity can mean full union and solidarity. Several dances, songs, stories, and languages were presented, highlighting how the hegemony violently invisibilizes valuable cultural expressions in Brazil (we are much more than just Rio and São Paulo).

On Saturday, July 14th, participants were divided into three groups, one of them destined to the historical site of Quilombo dos Palmares. This is the most famous settlement of runaway enslaved Africans in resistance to Portuguese and Dutch occupation. The trip in the yellow school bus was a celebration, everyone alternated between singing tacky songs and chanting political slogans. In Serra da Barriga, in the region of Zumbi dos Palmares (the a most famous abolitionist leader of the Quilombo), we rattled on the dirt road, up and down mountains of low vegetation, with occasional coconut trees being greeted by vultures.

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It was inevitable to feel the power of that land, even though it is now structured somewhat like a theme park. Each step seemed to lift a centuries-old combative memory, as if it were dust that instead of obfuscating, made our political purpose even clearer. The sight from above the mountain almost placed us in the bodies of the men and women who settled there 400 years ago, and in the strategic awareness of being able to see enemies from afar without being seen.

At the end of the visit, many of us swam in the small pastel green lagoon where Quilombolas “fed their souls”.

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When we returned to the university in União dos Palmares, we attended presentations of works, some of which would later be awarded. One of them addressed the importance of sex education in schools for students between 11 and 15 years of age. The interests of the children revolved around the themes of masturbation, puberty and menstruation. The presenter showed that sex is still a taboo between teachers and principals. When we see how common it is for 13 to 15 year old girls to become pregnant, the importance of overcoming this taboo and addressing this issue is revealed as undeniably urgent.

The importance of history was emphasized when we recognized that Brazil has a memory problem. A presentation on the Araguaia Guerrilla discussed the perpetuation of violence, decades after the battle, when the crimes of the resistance are judicially equated with those of the oppressors. She also brought up the subject of female particularities when it comes to the practice of torture during the Brazilian “dictatorship” (Military regime of 1964-1985), and the question of using the term “dictatorship” as it is used by the bourgeois democracy to defend its contemporary dictatorial policies.

In general, there was a lot of repetition of terms such as “postmodernist,” “opportunistic,” “immobilist,” and scientific Marxism, without refined definitions and contextualizations. This alienated certain students who did not identify as Marxist, and gave little opening for participants to disagree. Even the final votes were bizarrely homogeneous, perhaps not only because there was consensus, but also because going against the group would be intimidating.

For the bourgeoisie and petit bourgeoisie, inaccessibility is the charm. With them there is no dialogue, there is combat. Fighting the idea that “a lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth” (Goebbels) also means recognizing that there are different perspectives on reality, and not just a truth that belongs to scientific socialists. Occasional failures to recognize this have resulted in certain unfortunate affirmations, such as one on the mysticism of “primitive” communities, and superficial and unnecessary approaches towards dialectical materialism.

Even so, it was stated that the science we see today in the academy serves the Capital. Scientific knowledge of the people, be it indigenous, black or peasant, is appropriated by the ruling class and patented. We have to bring science back to the people, by preserving traditional indigenous education, for example. To one of the speakers, the “Indigenous problem” is a class problem, not a white supremacy problem; It is a struggle for land and survival. It would be interesting to have more Indigenous and Quilombola groups in the coming events, so much so that it was decided that the theme of the 23rd FoNEPe (National Forum of Pedagogical Entities) will be “education that serves indigenous, peasant and Quilombola communities”, next year in Juazeiro, Bahia.

At the end, the farewells were warm, since during the week we cultivated great affection for each other. There was room for self-criticism and growth, and the socio-political potential of the event is undeniable. We are all excited about the next ENEPe (39th) that will take place in Guarulhos, São Paulo, with the theme “defending the public school against privatization.”


Mirna Wabi-Sabi

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Comments

I want to throw up. What a nice tale of frince political summer camp. Pretty cool how you have learned nothing from 100 years of maoist treachery. Pretty cool how you shrug off the fact that maoists aspire for something that is only superficially different than Nazism. You're not an anarchist.

fringe*

The only common ground between anarchists and Maoists is a battleground!

What the actual fuck?!

Common ground is a SPOOK!

Have you been to durham? The anarchists work for Stalinist s there. It's sad all over the world.

It's all a scandal when a comrade's neat bike paid by rich parents gets stolen by lumpens. NO MATTER WHAT, so they say...

No matter what, you will submit to the Left Unity, duuude! Bend over, now.

You mean the liberals who see themselves as anarchists, like shouting into megaphones, and being friends with workers world?

Yeaaa, and their more "discrete" buddies too. And the usual bookfair stars. And the para-academic philosophers. Been observing them from a distance for years... they're a tight network. Party-like. Not very nice people...They started the fucking call-out culture. Tho they'll never say anything upfront about their highly-privilged social backgrounds, while doing everything they can to look and feel lumpen.

So true, the triangle area really is a pit.

not Asheville?

The only common ground is the cemetery - where the Maoists dig the graves of the anarchists

Hi there commenters,
I'm the writer.
Whether or not you think I am an anarchist, or what you decide being an anarchist is, the article is about the fact that members of both Maoist and Anarchist organizations are doing/have done time in jail for the same political act.
If you have time, I would advise looking into what a Quilombo is, Brazil's history with communism, and our current political situation.
And if it makes you feel any better, other Communists hate Maoists as much as most of the population hates Anarchists.
Good luck using 100 year old books as weapons on that battle ground- Marxists and Maoists will take each other down and we'll be right back where we started before you look up from your PC after this thread is over.
x

Mao's Great Leap Forward resulted in the death of 38 million people, and considerably less than 100 years ago . But why bother about a little thing like that when we can all forgive & forget, hold hands and sing Kumbaya/Quilombo and allow history to repeat itself. Long live toleration for the intolerable!!!

I wish there was such precise numbers on the rape and murder of enslaved Africans during colonialism-
"Kumbaya/Quilombo" is truly absurd and racially insensitive. Anarchist racism never seizes to amaze me.

Antifa and Neo Nazis have both gone to jail for street fighting too, so by your logic I guess they should team?

Nothing original about this piece.
Sartre made this connection in the 60's already.

The scary thing is, the Maoists are playing the idpol card.

most idpols are de-facto Maoists of well on their way to this. Appropriately, they also HATE to talk about class, and have no real problem with capitalism.

Anarchists and Maoists have something in common, namely what we are against--the (existing) state and (traditional) capitalism. But we are very different in what we are for. Anarchists are for no state (but for the self-organization of the workers and all oppressed) and the end of capitalism. Maoists are for a new, very repressive, state, and for (what should be called) state capitalism.

Since we share some common enemies, we can work together on short-range, practical, goals. Especially since not every "Maoist" is a hard-bitten dogmatic follower of Mao and Stalin. Lots of radicals who may be drawn to Maoism think that Mao was a libertarian communist. Such people might be won over to revolutionary anarchism (I am not speaking of the committed leaders). However anarchists must be clear, to themselves and to others, that we are believers in freedom, equality, and self-organization, not new rulers.

OMG, so now the real cold reptilian Maoist and Marxist creatures slither out of the decaying corpse of capitalism saying that they would like to live together with the furry cuddly anarchist hugging animal, as if they have the same desires and needs as eachother. The former prefering a regimental order and compulsory labor for the State machine or else the gulags, the latter, a laissez faire freely mobile chaos of living vibrant and compassionate individualists having tneir own autonomous agency sealed with a laugh and a hug.
SHAME ON YOU WAYNE FOR BEING A WARDEN OF THE STATE!

It's quite revealing, Waaayyyne, that you're putting up with this same old belief in shared enemies. Anarchists also oppose authoritarianism, or else they're just a bullshit reformulation of socialism. It doesn't take a genius to figure that Maoists only oppose the authoritarianism of capitalists, fascists, right-wingers and the bourgeois democracy, yet will be fully supportive of their owns little despots and despotic gimmicks based on demagogy, ID pols and over-externalizations.

Maoists are the enemy of every consistently anarchist person. They don't even need to be designated as such.... Maoists have already been undermining anarchy all over the continent, especially in the north.

Do

Maoists only oppose the authoritarianism of capitalists
???? Mao was a capitalist - a state capitalist. The Communist Party was China's red bourgeoisie.

It seem that some anarchists have not even begun to learn the lesson of the Spanish revolution - they're still prepared to sit down with their future executioners, over 80 years later.

what are you trying to say with this weird text formatting?

the other person who does the podcast with Doctor Bones is a Maoist... just saying.

no platform for Maoists! or ppl who support them like bones!

Yeah he really fucks up on that one. Perfect example of someone who's theoretically and radical history inept. I still say he's an interesting writer though.

@NEWS TROLLS, ACTIVATE!

Quilombos were full of contradictions. On the one hand they were concrete examples of the struggle against European colonialism and slavery. While created by Africans, almost all of them welcomed indigenous resisters as well as Europeans who refused to accept the regime of rapacious resource extraction of their fellow countrymen. On the other hand, most of them (especially Palmares, the longest lasting) were based on a rather strict monarchist hierarchy that often included their own forms of slavery (closer to indentured servitude than chattel, but still...).
As is the case with too many self-identified (post)modern anarchists, the writer (and every other alleged anarchist who is prepared to collaborate, however contingently or temporarily, with Maoists or any other subset of Leninist — you too, Wayne) is far more interested in the external *form* of resistance instead of its *content*
The content of anarchist resistance is antihierarchical or it isn’t anarchist. The content of anarchist resistance is anticapitalist or it isn’t anarchist. The content of anarchist resistance is antistatist or it isn’t anarchist. The content of Maoism (and every other form of Leninism) is procapitalist, prostatist, and inherently hierarchical. There may be some nominal overlap of certain types of opposition (often including strategies), but the *reasons* for that opposition (i.e., what are the proposed correctives aside from resisting arrests and incarceration?) are wildly different between anarchists and Maoists.
After particular figureheads of the deposed regime, anarchists and unaffiliated radicals are always the next victims of Leninists in power.
A little more analytical seriousness, please.

wasn't there a maoist space in the bay area called quilombo?

Qilombo isn’t a Maoist space. The third worldist nationalism most closely associated with Maoism is of a different kind compared to the cultural nationalism of the race essentialists at Qilombo. From the outside, there doesn’t appear to be even lip service being paid to an explicit anti-capitalism, while Maoism — for all its chicanery and dishonesty — posits that capitalism and imperialism are bad. The folks at Qilombo, on the other hand, seem to think that white people are the enemy rather than a particular pro-capitalist and pro-imperialist subset of white people. This makes them closer to the Nation of Islam than the RCP.

^Right on. Uncoincidentally, it was started by some current and former NoI dumbasses. There is no real politic beyond hating white people and trying to get them to do stuff for you.

Down to their notion of "freedom" which lies on a brutal consolidation of elitist privilege upon the rest of the proles they pretend to represent. These uppie caste fucks deserve to be fought even more than the Far-Right subhumans. Their only significant difference with those is aesthetical, or, sometimes, ethnic.

I wrote that under certain conditions revolutionary anarchists should work together with Maoists while openly maintaining our (strong) disagreement with their views. To give an example, suppose the US invades Iran. I would work with Maoists to organize as large an antiwar demonstration as possible, while also building an anarchist contingent. I assume from the negative responses I got that Le Way, Sir Einzige, and several Anonymice would not do this. In fact, if Maoists organized an antiwar demo, they would not be for anarchists participating--and therefore lose a chance to raise our own antiwar (anti-national state) program.. If someone else organized an antiwar demo, but Maoists participated, they would oppose anarchists participating.

But the Maoists (vile as is their program) are not the only ones who are pro-state, pro-capitalism, and pro-oppression. So are all Leninists (as has been mentioned). Even more to the point, so are the "democratic socialists." So are even the liberals (who are generally supporters of US imperialism but want it to clean up its act). So are almost every ordinary worker or woman or African-American who might be against a US war but otherwise are not (yet?) anarchists.

So logically, Le Way, Ziggy, and the anonymouses must be against working with anyone who is not an anarchist The conclusion is to only work with other anarchists ((or perhaps only with the right sort of anarchist, the type they can completely agree with! All ten of them.) Or better yet, to do nothing whatever. Of course I am sure that many anarchists might give lip service to sectarian methods but actually join in broader activities. They are just inconsistent.

Bottom line: collaborate with people with whom you feel a sense of affinity and *don't* collaborate with people with whom you don't. Voluntary association is a fundamental premise of anarchy and no one is under any obligation to collaborate on projects with anyone else if they don't want to. From time to time, it may be worth taking a critical look at *why* you don't want to collaborate with certain people but, at the end of the day, it's your own decision and no one else's.

There are very specific conditions for anarchists to work with non anarchists and I'll explain them.

It basically comes down to who is endogenous and exogenous to the ruling power structure of our time. If anarchists want to affect change then some type of 'work' with non-anarchists will be necessary but there is a specific type of political person that anarchists should work with on the outer anarchist side of things.

Pure and simply people on the liberal continuum who are sympathetic to anarchist goals and aspirations. Chief of these would be non anarchist libertarian socialists who hover around the machinery of power as well as liberal(and perhaps some conservative types) who have some minarchist sympathies. This can be in the political-economic realm as well as the legal realm(think radical civil libertarians who are sympathetic to things like jury nullification) You want to find politicos who are into cutting the fat of monopoly state power and are open to at least some modified form of 5 monopoly power abolition(land tariffs money patents and infrastructure). The goal should be for anarchists to trojan some change via these political actors who are disaffected by so much leviathan power and want some substantial change. This could an interesting grey area between reform and revolution.

Maoists and other marxoids are not applicable to this for fairly obvious reasons. They are exogenous to this ruling power structure with power wielding fantasies of their own. You do NOTHING to aid that. All dealings between anarchists and Maoists and other marxoids are in the formative organizing arena where political gangs are born and bred. In this world of naked organizing anarchists really should only act amongst themselves.

All of this reinforces the need for what I call a strong structural libertarian socialist/anarchism. The core of this is be post-leftism but I can allow that it can also continue into a very specific type of left anarchism. I've called this orange and black or even all orange(for the libsoc non anarchist type) to differentiate from the prole centered politics of greater leftism which is way to crowded by problematic political entities at this point as well as differentiating and transforming away from the gold producer capitalist crap.

All of this would make for a better more effective libertarian anarchist ideology and would be grounds for an authentic alternative left(that I would of course not id with) with a structural core that is thoroughly beyond Marx. The post-leftists of anarchy would of course continue their own thing. All this would at least make for a better discursive terrain then what we have right now.

"So logically, Le Way, Ziggy, and the anonymouses must be against working with anyone who is not an anarchist."

You do not understannd logic if you can fart such straw men. First off, these two usual trolls are not representative of whatever "anonymous" are saying. Then... there is the problem of you conflating being against "anarchists working with anyone who isn't anarchist" with "anarchists working with authoritarians". The latter instance has to do with the issue of anarchists collabroating with authoritarians.

Being honest, I would collaborate with cops -to some extent- when reporting on reckless drivers. I got no issue snitching these fuckers for whom driving fast like idiots to boost their testosterones with chicks is a kind of "road anarchy". They deserve to suffer and die, as they are worse than any of the worse in ITS. And frankly the only reason why I ain't shooting them right in the streets is because that would make me the antagonism they should be.

But collaborating willingly with statists and especially RED COPS, over some deluded, VAGUE enemy and its supposed misdeeds (like I don't think that'd be so much revolting if the regime in Iran would get bombed by the U.S... it's just a bad solution to a problem, where the so-called radicals completely fail to offer any worthy alternative to the islamic fascism that dominates Iran, starting with your so-called radical buddies in the RCP), that is feeding them with something else. It is also not about going after douchebags who firmly believe that driving is an unalienable right. Beyond this, that is overweighting the burden of necessity with some perception mindfuck that involves paper-thin, bullshit anti-imperialist political narratives that'll only present one side as the "bad guys" and the other as the "oppressed victims".

Hence, you're nowhere escaping the same spooky narrative of externalities used by the maoists, neither questionning it. This makes you, on the onset, an ideological collaborator in their games.

You didn't answer my other question about reckless driving oogles, btw, Wayne. So I'm starting to be afraid that you may be of bad faith...

Ummm Wayne, its anonymice, not anonymouses.I'm

Wayne, this kind of logic [sic] is beneath you. maybe you posted in the heat of outrage? how else to explain this uncharacteristic lapse of sound judgment and good faith? seriously...
suppose i and a few other affinity-based co-consipirators decided to help other anarchists organize not just "an anarchist contingent" in someone else's demo (which happens all the time), but our own antiwar/antistate demo. would we be able to exclude Maoists and social democrats and liberals from participating? probably not. but we could make it so that they couldn't organize it, and therefore so they couldn't take credit for it. when anarchists participate in ANSWER-organized demos, the WWP creeps can claim credit for getting all those people out on the street. when anarchists participate in demos organized by liberals and social democrats, same thing. EXCEPT when there's a black bloc -- then they call the cops. but i digress... the point is, you recognize that Maoists and other Leninists are our enemies, yet you have some Trotskyist nostalgia for united fronts.
the next example of fake logic is when you lump in Maoists, Leninists, social democrats, and liberals with "ordinary" workers "who might be against a US war but otherwise are not (yet?) anarchists." first, nobody is imputing some future adherence to anarchism among anyone, so that's a non sequitur. second, unaffiliated folks are generally a lot easier to talk to about anarchism, even if they have mainstream media fueled prejudices; committed leftists, on the other hand, are clear about their animus. so this is a false equation.
your "so logically" statement is therefore completely flawed. nobody said anything about "not working" with non-anarchists. the near-consensus is that anarchists working with Maoists is stupid, period. some of us have even offered specific reasons for refusing to collaborate with them. you're imputing positions to people they have not articulated and then condemning them for having that fake position. as another poster mentioned, this is the definition of a straw man argument. you know better than to deploy such a flimsy argument; shame on you.

(1) Let me repeat: While I am aware of the vile politics of Maoists as well as liberals, if Trump/USA attacks Iran, I am for anarchists working with Maoists, liberals, WWP, social democrats, absolute pacifists, and generally non-political people to build militant mass demonstrations against the war. While I see several convoluted arguments (which inform us that Maoists have very, very bad politics), I don't see any actual reasons to oppose such an approach (which implies that revolutionary anarchists continue to raise our own politics, of course). Z seems to think that there are good liberals who should be worked with. I am for working with liberals, but I do not think that liberals (democratic socialists, etc.) are really fundamentally better than Maoists; liberals are supporters of Western imperialism, the main formation of world capitalism, and not to be trusted. But work with them when building a movement? Sure, without illusions that they are better than the Maoists.

(2) In the 1920s, Italian anarchists (and anarchs-syndicalists) tried to form an alliance with the Socialists and the Communists to fight the growing Fascist movement. The Fascists came into various towns and cities, beat up workers and leftists, burned down union halls and left newspaper offices, assassinated Socialist mayors, and then marched off. The anarchists proposed united action of the left groupings to defend left meetings and headquarters and to beat up the fascists. In some places, this was done and was successful in weakening the fascists for a time. But the Socialist leaders rejected joint action, instead signing a Pact of Nonaggression with the Fascists (yes they actually did), which, of course, the fascists did not keep. And the Communist leaders (then led by Amadeo Bordiga) refused to work in any coalition unless they could lead it. And the fascists won. In my opinion, the anarchists were absolutely right to propose this unity in action and to try to organize it in reality. Had they been larger and more influential, such an approach could have embarrassed the Socialists and Communists enough so that their ranks would have demanded such joint action--which could have driven back the fascists and led in a revolutionary direction.

you don't see a problem with liberals, Maoists, and WWP creeps from using the presence of anarchists and unaffiliated people from inflating their self-reported influence? mass demonstrations didn't lessen the ramping up to war over the past 15 years, didn't hamper the first gulf war. mass demonstrations might work to assuage feelings of powerlessness in the face of state inertia, but they can do little to influence policy. you need a better analysis of mass politics, one that takes into consideration the actual material effects of marching. take a clue from the school occupations in 2009, through Occupy, to BLM and Ferguson and Standing Rock. staking out a (semi)permanent presence at the location of private property and commerce is far more effective than walking from point A to point B, listening to politicians drone on about their pet projects, and then going home to watch yourself on the evening news and congratulate yourself for being so progressive. there have been a few critiques of activism since 1969...
protest without illusion is a fine thing, but it will take a little more than holding your nose when you are on the streets with Maoists to get rid of the stench of Leninism

Wayne, when did you become a monday morning (or in this case, a century later) quarterback? proposals of defensive unity might sound like the political equivalent of rainbows and unicorns, but what was the reality and who was shown to have the better analysis? the italian anarchists were more numerous than the communists, but far outnumbered by the socialists, who could easily ignore the anarchists. the communists, being true to their ideological program, refused to engage in any project they couldn't control. the lesson in hindsight for anarchists is to trust the socialists to remain tied to electoralism and to trust the communists to remain tied to a strict hierarchical organizational method. the fascists didn't win because the anarchist strategy of self-defense was ignored, but because the ideological compulsions of the Left wouldn't allow them to fight back effectively. your last sentence is a cringe-inducing idealist revision of actual lived history. along with the previous non sequitur and straw man, this completes your descent into self-parody. i expected better from you, Wayne. it's truly disappointing

My point on liberals is dealing with the ones who are already around or within the machinery of power who have some libertarian sympathies to begin with. The civil liberty type liberals are good example. Basically you are looking at these types for harm reduction in the context of non insurrection. Maoists and other marxoid vanguards could actually cause a lot of harm if they get to much of their way. You continue to curb stomp their ideas when they are down to no cause you problems in the future. An unaffiliated liberal is nothing compared to an in power Maoist.

To boles: without being a century-old quarterback, let me only say, from my experience and the experience of many thousands, the demonstrations, sit-ins, teach-ins, occupation of schools, draft resistance, and military rebellions, all had a major part in fighting against, and eventually ending, the Vietnam-American war. And of slowing down the US state's return to war (the "Vietnam syndrome" as the establishment politicians called it bitterly). These demonstrations and other actions were done by Communists, Trotskyists, Maoists, pacifists, liberals, as well as anarchists (not enough of them). Of course, nothing will stop a US war without a strike wave and or a military rebellion. But the more popular opposition there is, as shown by demonstrations and other activities, the more the government is pressured against war actions (which, of course, would require a revolution to actually end all capitalist wars).

Z writes, "An unaffiliated liberal is nothing compared to an in-power Maoist." But in reality we have to deal with in-power or pro-government liberals, and out-of-power Maoists who participate in anti-government movements. The liberals are supporters of US imperialism and the greatest threat to human survival. The Maoists are part of rebellions against the existing state. Of course we will fight against their ever taking power by being as forceful as we can for anarchist-communism. But not by Z's illusions in the superiority of liberals to Maoists.

I'm not talking about the pro-government ones, I'm talking about unaffiliated types who who are sympathetic to libertarian anarchist goals. Maoists are ultimately not those things, they are an potential power in waiting that ends up being much worse then the liberal order we have right now.

It's about preferential strategic positioning at the end of the day. There are liberals who are civic anarchists and libertarians on the margin(unlike Cindy Millstein who is the opposite). You want to attract that relationship in the affectable world. Not all liberals support US imperialism and some don't even like capitalism all that much. It's about finding the outlier liberals who are interesting to trojan some change away from state power.

Oh yeah that war that lasted 20 years and kick started America's permanent global military presence . . . good work.

Coz you'd rather have maoists preying or controlling every milieu of political dissent, since like the '70s!? Jsyk, the Chinese Red capitalist state is still a thing (actually it's the U.S. biggest geopol and economic competitor) and western maoists aren't exactly in rupture with it...

Wayne, i didn't mention the movement against the war in Vietnam for several reasons. the fact that there was a military draft made the opposition to that war far more tangible to a broad cross section of the amerikan public, making alliances across ideological boundaries far easier -- at least among the non-sectarian Left and the unaffiliated. domestic opposition to the war inevitably filtered into the military, making amerikan ground troops more reluctant to follow orders, to the point that the pentagon decided to withdraw them as unreliable for combat. that decision, made in 1969 with the announcement of the "Vietnamization" of the war, marked the apex of the antiwar movement -- which is precisely why i dated my comment to that year; it was also the year of the definitive split in SDS, which also marked the beginning of the precipitous decline in the "effectiveness" of the New Left, further leading to the idiotic self-indulgent Leninist substitutionist wankfest known as armed struggle...
my point is that despite the enormous antiwar demonstrations in 1991 and 2003 (the numbers sometimes exceeding those in various demonstrations during the Vietnam era), the US government and its allies pressed ahead with their plans with barely a hiccup. your focus on size is misplaced. the tactics of the actions i described above have had far greater effects on policy than marching from point A to point B. the quality of the disruption of the normal flow of commerce is the crux of the biscuit, not the quantity of bodies in the streets holding signs and chanting the usual slogans. if Trots and Maoists and other Leninists want to join in these experiments in horizontal organizing and implementation of decisions, then fine -- as long as they respect that horizontalism. as soon as they start their moves for control/direction, it's time to chuck them out; same goes for liberals and the unaffiliated. the experiences of many previously non-active folks at various Occupies showed that horizontal ways of organizing and acting are attractive and effective, but not to Leninists, who remain committed to authoritarian mechanisms. i don't know why you think this is controversial or scandalous.
also, i don't know why you continue to flatter Ziggy by engaging with him.

Wayne's -like most other Leftists- robotic fixation on mass movements is misquided at best, and as much deluded in the context of the current control of the masses and groups by corporate social media.

Even when they were autonomous, mass movements haven't changed anything since the '90s, at least in the Western world. You'd expect an anti-statist mass movement to get big in China as the death throw of this regime, but in China just like in the West they know how to cybernetically manage dissent, before crushing it. The individual, especially through a kind of "union of egoists" is the non-organized, impenetrable, unpredictable movement that cannot be governed. Every State is afraid of a movement of lone gunmen and crazed youngsters.

"mass movements haven't changed anything since the '90s, at least in the Western world"

So why focus on the western world? Couldn't I just as easily reverse that reasoning to look something like - the hyper individualism of consumer capitalism has made people so stupid and self-absorbed that they seem to no longer have the ability to participate effectively in mass movements?

There's nothing (as in zero, or "0") hyperindividualism in today's consumer capitalism. This is all made of intense social conformity gimmicks tapping onto people's social insecurity and neurosis. Facebook and social media is doing just that, there's no individual in there, it's just agglomerates, herding. You've been tricked by them socialist beliefs, and that ain't vague sarcasm.

heh! Or I tricked you in to showing your colours "bro".

I am beige-colored with some pinkish and now got darker-skinned due to a somewhat active summer life outside. Some people call this "White", but what does it have to do with my comment? You another fucking identitarian Nazi?

You can't use the term "leftard" without being dismissed as a waste-of-space troll. That's what just happened.

Agglomeration is a good way to describe the mass material market process. What the other guy doesn't get is that individualism and individuation are PSYCHIC PSYCHOLOGICAL processes not material ones. When you look at various methods of individuation be it Zen other forms of critical self awareness the end result is usually a cutting of the fat to material attachment. There can be excess as well but it takes on a very unique expression(think the African Dandy).

Individualism and individuation as an operating orientation actually moves AGAINST mass market consumption much like it moves away from mass reified collectivity.

Anonymous-This tells us that "mass movements haven't changed anything since the '90s." Why start with the 90s? What about the mass movements of the 30s which won working people major benefits? Or of the 60s, which ended legal segregation and drove down the Viet-American war and changed much of US culture? Or go back to the abolitionists before the Civil War? Or to the movement which led to the US Revolution? Or, in other countries, to other revolutions? What a foolish thing to say! Of course, the lack of mass movements and the weaknesses of mass movements in recent decades is indeed what causes the evil things to develop in our world. As for the union of egotists which will create a "movement that cannot bo governed"....nor can it stop the government from governing, which would be the point.

Boles asks why I "flatter Ziggy by engaging with him?" But as we see from Anonymous-This, Z is hardly alone in hold his individualist-egotist-Stirnerite views. (Nor do I know whether Ziggy is actually "flattered" by my responses.) After all, why do I answer your comments?

Boles' analysis of the anti-Vietnam War movement says nothing about my point, that it depended on an alliance of organizers who came from every corner of the US Left, including anarchists (mostly among the pacifists). Whatever its weaknesses (and there were many, as my comrades and I argued at the time), this alliance was essential. It was a good thing that there was such a movement, although it should have been broader (reaching out to the working class) and more militant.

Wayne, your insistence on using the anti-Vietnam War era demonstrations as a guide to contemporary politics is exaclty what i deliberately avoided in my original comments about post-1969. you brought it up, and i tried to show how that era's demonstrations are no longer relevant to contemporary oppositional currents, and now you complain that i didn't engage with your preferred referents. you, in fact, ignored every point that i brought up about the pre-1969 era of mass mobilization; that's some bad faith right there, comrade.

i like to think that you "answer" (after a fashion) my comments because they are offered in good faith in the hopes of generating a clearer understanding of our respective positions -- as opposed to the patent idiocies of Ziggy and LeTwit, who can only rely on self-referential pronouncements and subpar insult.

wasn't replyign to boles, but to Wayne's comment above him. And I'll bring back this great line:

"protest without illusion is a fine thing, but it will take a little more than holding your nose when you are on the streets with Maoists to get rid of the stench of Leninism"

And the exact same can be said of nationalists or fascists within big tent protests. To march along with them means to not only be marchign WITH them -literally- but also to be providing with "numbers" to their marches. And this, in contexts where many antifa marches tend to be fronted by RCP and other Red fascists. It's like... you can't pretend having credibility when puitting up with such people, JUST BECAUSE it is supposedly the same Enemy they're up against. Statists are my enemies, and maoists are statists. Period.Any so-called anarchist tellign me that's fine just because "anti-imperialism n stuff" is just the same reason why so many people been owned in places like Syria, Lybia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and, of course, Palestine, or why some socialist despots like Ortega had it their way at many places in Latin America. As I wrote before, it's the over-externalization. That has been plaguing the Left since the New Left era, and they -like Wayne here- still haven't figured a workaround for it.

(not saying this ain't present among the Right or Far Right neither, with their obsession about "crime", "drugs" and "commies")

That'd be fun to see who they'd be rooting for during the early-'40s anti-war "movement", that was riddled with American Nazis. The e ver-troublesome dead angles of over-externalization.

But as response to your reply to 08:48, which was me... There is a huge, global development in techno-advanced capitalism that wasn't present anytime before the last ten years or so, that wasn't there during the '30s labor movement or the anti-war movement of the '60s. Or what does it mean to be having a popular revolt or mass strike that is massively relying on the worst of the worst in any social networking tech to have sprung out of the internet, and that is already a multibillion corporation that's nefarious even among thecapitalist establishment?

Good luck cleansing your radical anticap mass movement from the inherently reactionary, self-defeating social media enslavement, especially to Fedbook, as the so-called radical leftists are still strong-headed in doing Facebook activism no matter all the sharp criticism raised by both goverment and non-government agencies about this totalitarian corporation. But since you're revealing yourself to be a Leftist troll with bad faith, not sure you're worthy of more key strokes.

That will change. Fedbook won't last forever, it's got many decades to go before it can be argued as anything more than a flash in the pan. Less interestingly, you're a terrible analyst when it comes to assessing good faith. Wayne is obviously more patient and willing to engage respectfully than any of you … by like … a huge margin.

Stop the vague sarcasm and maybe expect a more honest reply.

but so were affinity groups and anti-social individuals and stuff in between affinity and mass affecting factors. What ended Vietnam was primarily the wear and tear of asymmetrical warfare and low morale troops some of who were of course sympathetic to and part of the counter culture which was not a product of mASS movement.

Oh Wayne, culture is not factories, commodities and work, it is the product of the collective creative values of relationships within an integrated network of needs and desires.

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