The War for Quadrant Two

Quadrant two will prove to be the quadrant of victory for the proletariat

► The Proletarian Party and the Channel – [WQ2.15.03.04]

Posted by Ben Seattle on March 4, 2015

The Printable four page PDF for this 2500 word letter is here:  https://warforquadranttwo.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/15-03-04-jordan.pdf

Letter to Comrade Jordan: Are We Serious About Creating A Proletarian Party?

The Proletarian Party and the Channel

In the coming century of information war, an independent, public and democratic communications channel will emerge, controlled by the militant left, to allow revolutionary activists to connect with one another, and bring the simple truth to the working class and oppressed in their millions.

The forging of such a channel will require widespread conscious recognition that its creation is the decisive organizational task of our time–standing next to the decisive political task of our time:  fighting for, winning and successfully defending our independence from our treacherous social democratic allies.

Hi Jordan,

First, I would like to congratulate you for your decision to bring your criticism of SA to the public domain, where it belongs.

And, while this was the right thing to do and is certainly a positive development which creates clarity in the movement, I will also give you my opinion that going public with your views was long overdue.  And I will add that your criticism has a number of weaknesses.

I would like to see future criticisms that you write be more powerful.

1. A Trusted Link to the Pig-Slop Bucket

The SA, in my view, is increasingly revealing itself to be a plaything in the hands of the Democratic Party.  The YouTube video captured perfectly the contradiction between (on the one hand) the need of the movement for clarity and consciousness concerning the utterly treacherous role of the Democratic Party and (on the other hand) the SA’s need to prove itself a trusted link in the system of bourgeois class rule by demonstrating, in full public view, that their flagship personality was willing to humiliate herself, and perform like a trained poodle to demonstrate the god-like, source of-light-and-life power of her master (the Democratic Party).

The divine result of this public expression of fealty was (as if by magic) the recent puff piece on the front page of the Sunday Seattle Times, where she disavowed that the idea that anyone should think of her as “dangerous”, and a quarter million readers saw photos of Kshama Sawant’s cute dogs.  The dogs were an inspired touch.  Dogs have a way of being cute, especially if they love and cherish and (above all) obey their masters.  If they fail to obey their masters–or pull too hard at their leash–they won’t get a river of favorable publicity.

training your dog 6

You know my views on this.  This is a training process.  But the fundamental character of the SA has not changed by the weight of a single lie.  All that has happened is that the betrayal that was always at the heart of the SA’s nature (visible to anyone who was not naive, and who cared to look beneath the surface) has become increasingly difficult to deny.  So were you naive in the past, or were you simply reluctant to look under the surface?  And (more to the point) are you any different today?  This is not a rhetorical question.  If you consider yourself to be different today, I would like to know why.  I am listening.

And, while your post announces that you gave up your membership status in SA–you do not explain why you did so.

Did you feel embarrassed to be associated with this increasingly naked and blatant opportunism?  Was it too much to stomach?  Did you feel like you could not lift your head?  Did you wonder what you were going to say to people whose respect you valued?

training your dog 7

Did you feel like you were in danger of spending your life living for a lie?  Did you feel a need to publicly oppose the efforts of the SA to suffocate emerging groups like Outside Agitators 206 (struggling to breathe oxygen like a newborn child) by forcing them to obey the will of Democratic Party lieutenants like Larry Gossett, who have been entrusted with the unpleasant but necessary task of infanticide?

(Chinese mid-wives, as you may know, would sometimes throw female newborns into the pig slop bucket.  That is Gossett’s role.  He forced the SA to help him in his on-going efforts to force this “useless thing” into the pig-slop bucket.  Some might not consider this to be a particularly appetizing picture, but when Gossett is done, he plans to treat himself to a hearty breakfast.)

gossett

And there is a more important question: Did opposing the SA in this public way require that you surrender your membership status?

That’s how it looks to me.  To say such a thing, of course, is only speculation on my part.  I would prefer to hear the truth from you.

If my inference (ie: that you believed you had to choose between public criticism and maintaining membership status) is accurate–then this (by itself) would tell us a lot about how groups like the SA are fundamentally undemocratic (by design) and therefore eligible to become a trusted link in the system of bourgeois class rule.

Kshama-SeaTimes

2. The Dan Damage Thread on Kasama Addressed the Need for Democratic Public Space

In preparation for this reply I studied your participation in the Dan Damage thread from Kasama, where comrade Damage quotes Louis Proyect and Hal Draper, and makes the controversial suggestion that serious activists take five minutes out of their busy and important days to consider the need to pull their heads out of their rear ends and work together to use the internet to create a communications channel that will bring to millions the most important idea of our time:

The only way humanity can overcome its fundamental problems, is to overthrow the class rule of the bourgeoisie, and replace it with the class rule of the proletariat.

This single idea, and the knowledge required to understand why this idea accurately reflects objective reality, is the key to understanding how the world, and everything in it, really works.

One of the central ideas in Dan’s essay was that activists like he and I need a democratic public space where we can discover and talk to one another, have a conversation, and exchange experience, in a democratic way, without any would-be emperors or mini-Bob’s telling us who we are allowed to talk to and what we are allowed to talk about.  The idea of a democratic public space is powerful beyond imagination.  We saw democratic public spaces emerge in Egypt and its echo here (the Occupy movement) and similar movements in Europe and elsewhere.  It was the struggle for democratic public spaces that allowed these movements to become powerful vehicles of the aspirations of the masses.

I would have, by the way, told comrade Damage that I agreed with him, when I read his essay on the Kasama site three years ago–except that the Kasama site is not such a democratic public space and I had no right or ability to post on Kasama (where my posts are consistently deleted before anyone can read them) nor any ability to contact Dan Damage directly, and tell him that I appreciate his open support of the idea that activists must take necessary and practical steps to end their isolation from one another.

(And by the way, if any reader or member of the Kasama community, knows how to contact Dan Damage, I would greatly appreciate it if this letter might be brought to his attention, because he might read it and, just as I drew insight and encouragement from his words, the possibility exists that he might draw insight or encouragement from mine.)

I also carefully read the replies to comrade Damage from Liam and you.  Both of you were polite and respectful to Dan.  But both of you were (and are) thoroughly intoxicated by all kinds of illusions.  Every conclusion Dan drew, based on painful and abundant historical experience, went over your heads.

3. Social Democracy is a Foundation of Sand

I need to wrap this up.  I will tell you, Jordan, what I want from you.

I want to talk to you.  I want your attention.

Art and I tried to tell you, years ago, that you can’t build anything significant on a foundation of sand, and that the bourgeoisie are not fools.  They will only give you status, publicity and power to the extent that you agree to serve their interests.  For this reason, the core work that is necessary cannot come from social democratic election campaigns, but rather can only originate in expressions of activist aspirations that are organized in a way that is safe from the predatory appetites of groups like the SA–because it is only a fantasy, an illusion, that groups like the SA (or its “radical” ISO doppelganger) will ever be able to break free of their leash.

I want to talk to you about social democracy.  Activists will never be able to work together to create a movement which is deserving of the respect of the working class, and centered on the need to overthrow the class rule of the bourgeoisie–until they understand, on the level of life-and-death, the distinction between, on the one hand, social democracy and, on the other hand, the central organizing goal of our movement.

You are not helping things in the slightest, and are only confusing yourself (and those who look to you for clarity) when you throw around the rat-bastard degraded word “socialism”–which is now used to fool the working class.  This is a word that used to mean everything.  It now means nothing.

So why not call the SA social democratic, instead of calling them “socialists”?  Isn’t the whole point of your recent action motivated by a desire to move in the direction of honesty, so you can look at the guy in the mirror and not be disgusted?

Because you help the SA push their agenda if you present them as having potential to be anything more than what they are–a temporary vacillating ally, which may help deliver to us the fruits of our own struggles, but which can be counted on to make every attempt, at the most critical moment, to steal from us our consciousness and independence.

I want you to think about these things because you are going through a period right now in which you may be having new thoughts, or a return of older thoughts that you may not have thought for a while.

I want to continue this conversation.  There is too much more I would like to say.  I want to write more, but it is hard to do so, with my other responsibilities, unless you are able to send me a signal that I have earned some minutes of your attention.

4. The “Big Tent” vs. the Channel

You asked comrade Dan how his proposed for what you called a “big tent” would come about.  I have come to the conclusion that it will come about more-or-less on the basis that Dan described.  I support and share his central idea, which I express as follows:

We will begin to overcome the mutually assured isolation of competing cargo-cults (floating like leaky boats on a social democratic sea) when we work with integrity to create the necessary democratic public space where activists can work with and learn from one another in projects aimed at bringing to the entire working class an understanding of its position in society and its necessary and inevitable historic mission: overthrowing the class rule of the bourgeoisie.

I don’t call the project we need a “big tent”.  (To readers who may be unaware of political code phrases: the term “big tent” is often used to refer to the Democratic Party, because that is how this treacherously engineered tarpit has traditionally presented itself to activists.)  I use a different term.

I use the phrase “the channel” to describe the democratic public space and the gravitational attraction that will be created by the central project which, I believe, will unite all the best parts of the left–and bring political transparency to, and connect, every part of the proletarian mind.  And that phrase is also what I believe it will eventually be called by a great many people.  It is not Dan’s idea, and it is not mine.  I read about it in a book written by some foreign guy in 1902.

cover-7

I want, Jordan, for us to have substantive and public exchanges of opinion on the nature of the tasks that are decisive for our movement.  I want these exchanges to take place in person, as well as on our blogs.  I want to meet somewhere and talk to you one-to-one, just you and me, sometime in the next month or two, if you might be able to work that in.  I would also like to meet you together with other activists.  I am sure Art would like to talk to you, and I can think of at least two or three other activists who may also have a strong interest.  But my priority would be the one-to-one meeting, just you and me, because that would be as simple and easy as I can make it.  And, then, Art and I could go to work on finding out who else might value the opportunity to talk to you about your experience, conclusions and potential plans.

Let me know what you think.

Ben Seattle — March 2015

  • Isolated from one another, we are easily defeated
  • Connected to one another, no force on earth can stop us

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