The War for Quadrant Two

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

Archive for June, 2015

► (graphic) Proletarian Weapons (relative power) – [WQ2.15.06.24]

Posted by Ben Seattle on June 24, 2015



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► The Channel will belong to the Public Domain – [WQ2.15.06.20]

Posted by Ben Seattle on June 20, 2015


The Channel will belong to the Public Domain

(Reply to Miah Simone, Representative of the Red Party Central Committee)

> Since you began with an introduction I thought
> I would as well. My name is Miah, and I have been
> a communist for four years this upcoming August.

Congratulations. Four years.

I know this takes courage.

> My first encounter with the organized left was
> with the International Socialist Organization.

Yes, sad thing, that.

> I ended up dedicating about two years to that
> organization before I started to wise up to
> how undemocratic it was.

Two years? What tipped you off?

> I have since moved away from Trotskyism
> and found my organizational home in
> the Red Party.

I see.

I appreciate, Miah, your ability to express yourself
with such clarity, using so few words.

> We’re very glad that you enjoyed the first
> eleven courses and very sad that the dessert
> was not to your taste.

I’ll bet you are fucking heartbroken.

> We wish to see a united party-movement

I’ll bet you do.

> and one of the clearest paths we can see
> to this is common action.

Common action to serve the interest of _which_ class?
Bourgeoisie? Or Proletariat? I am not attempting
to be a nerdy nitpicker. For me, it is a matter of
the heart.

> The only arena
> for common action that most of the left

So what is meant by the fascinating term “most of the left”?

Could it be … social-democracy?

You can bank on it.

You are speaking in favor of giving social-democracy
veto power over the future.

You are speaking in favor of giving social-democracy
the ability to place its veto over any project aimed at
uniting all who wish to struggle to break the rule of capital.

Before I go along with that, I prefer to die.

> The only arena
> for common action that most of the left
> adheres to, does not have a presence in,
> and would not be splintered by
> sectarian theory-mongering
> (the splitting on the basis of theory
> rather than program) is elections.

I must make clear, before I begin, that I oppose sectarian theory-mongering. I have never had much truck with mongers of any sort. However, my experience (as a theoretician who has always considered theory a matter of absolute life and death) is that many people, many political trends (including #socdem political trends) have a strong hatred of theory that can make things clear. Kind of the way bible-thumpers and snake-oil salesmen are afraid of the truth.

Which one are you?

My guess is you are not a bible-thumper.

You tried that. It didn’t work.

> Your idea to start a revolutionary news service
> is commendable and we would likely support such
> a thing if asked.

The news service, by its nature, would be democratic.

If it is genuinely democratic, you don’t need anyone’s
permission (much less mine) to help out. It will be
the nature of the project that no one person or center
will be able to keep you out, so long as your activity,
on balance, serves to build the project–and you have
the ability to, so to speak, “make your case” in
the public arena in the event of a public challenge.

You can help (and I am asking you to help) by asking me
some hard questions. Go ahead. Hit me with your best shot.

> We would like to clarify a few things

I love good questions:

> involving this idea of yours though.

You give me too much credit to call it my idea.

> News services, the great ones at least, have had
> organizational backing of some form

Very good question.

> News services, the great ones at least,
> have had organizational backing
> of some form
> so we must ask independent in what sense?
> From the two parties, from the sects, from what?

From _any_ and _all_ persons, organizations
or institutions which live subject to the veto
of their bourgeois masters (or their swarm
of social democratic flunkies).

Is that suffiently clear?

Let me know. There is a lot more I could say.

> Now we appreciate the idea of a democratic
> publication

Maybe you do. Per the above, it is unclear
if you understand what it means to be independent,
or what it means to be democratic.

It is not easy to understand these things.

It requires real work.

My impression is that you would rather live
under the thumb of social democracy.

> and strive towards it with our policy of
> open publishing of all letters sent to us.

Well, that is good. There are many organizations, such as the CVO and the IG, which do not allow readers to post comments on their blogs. For those kinds of organizations, the truth is a terrible smell closing in on them from all directions. It cannot be escaped. It invades even their dreams. No escape. The nightmare has no pity.

> We must ask: is this your idea of democratic
> in this context or is there something more
> we do not see?

There is something more.

The channel will be democratic in the way
that Occupy’s General Assemblies were democratic
at the height of the movement in the most militant
cities (fall, 2011).

> On all the others points for your news service
> we would not disagree. Though we do add that
> it should be open about being socialist
> (not sure if that is what you meant by number 4).

… NOTE TO READERS: Miah is making reference
… to point number four of my proposal:

… “(4) The news service will be centered around
… the need overthrow the rule of capital.”

Everything about the news service will be in the public domain.

The disagreements, the contradictions, everything.
It will all belong to the public domain.

All information, all politics, and all power,
are coming to the public domain.

Nothing can stop this.


Now my question for you (and for _anyone_ around your group)
is simple: If you are on the earth for the purpose of
struggling to help the proletariat create its own organization
(one which is _independent_ and _democratic) then will you make
this clear to me in unmistakable terms?

All power to the public domain,

Ben Seattle

2015-06-20, 5:00 pm (.)


From the facebook discussion at:

Reply to David (part 1)

Hi David,

You said:

> A worthy project. Join us in the Red Party in trying to do so.
> Your infograms would be a priceless addition.

Thanks for your comment Dave. I am glad you are interested in the project.

If we want to help make this project a reality, then it is important to train our minds to think about it in realistic terms. Projects can be fun, and exciting. But excitement can be intoxicating, and disorienting.

Most of the work in this project, at this point, involves thinking about and writing about how it will need to work. Lots of people, and groups, may be thinking about creating a news service. I am not interested in working to create _a_ news service. I want to help create _the_ news service. The one that will be genuinely democratic (and not controlled by you or I or the Red Party). The one that will be genuinely independent (and not controlled by social democracy).

So how are we going to make this happen?

One of the first steps involves creating a clear vision of what is needed, and gathering together (around this vision) a critical mass of activists with the talent and determination necessary to make it a reality.

If activists around the Red Party want to contribute to this project–that would be great. On the other hand, if they are interested in this project because they think that they may be able to control it–then they are thinking of a different kind of project–not this project.

I have had activists ask me why I don’t simply create this project on my own. But it is a bigger project than one person (or a few people) can create. Nor is it the case that it is the kind of thing that can start as a small project and then grow. Some things do not work that way.

If you want to build a bridge across a major canyon, for example, you can’t simply start with a small bridge, and then gradually make it bigger. If you try that, it will not work; and you will get demoralized.

It is the same thing with the great bridge which activists must build to connect themselves with one another, and to the working class and oppressed masses. In order to fulfill this purpose, this project (ie: the democratic and independent news service) will need to achieve a certain minimum scale, a critical mass of both functionality and support.

So we must return to the basics:

(1) developing a clear vision of what is needed (including the principles that must guide this project)

(2) gathering together the critical mass of talent and determination that are necessary to make this a reality.

(continued, in a moment, in part 2)


Reply to David (part 2)

The impression I have is that most of the activists around the Red Party are too busy chasing social democracy to be of much use in building a consensus concerning the project that will unite all the best parts of the left. I think it would be cool, David, if you were an exception to this.

Art and I have written a lot about this project in various scattered places on the web, including here:…

From the following:

I have attached one of the graphics I made for the witbd discussion, which I believe sheds light on one of the most important questions that requires an answer: how will the independent core of the movement maintain effective control of this democratic project when it is outnumbered by social democratic activists? The answer to this question is based on what it means to be genuinely democratic.

So far, the most democratic internet forum for activists is facebook. Of course facebook is profoundly undemocratic in many ways. But it is also true that it is more democratic, and is more of a level playing field, than anything created by activists.

Activists, of course, will eventually put together something that will be better than facebook. What will such a thing look like? How will it work?

Now is the time to sort all this out.

If you would like to help us Dave (and I hope you do), I would like to hear your thoughts on what it means for a news service to be democratic and independent. How would the news service maintain its independence from social democracy? What will be the mission statement of the project? What will be the principles that will guide it?

Thoughtful and considered answers to these questions require work. If you want to do this work, then I am interested in what you are able to come up with.

All the best,


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► (graphic: Roosevelt, Kshama, Hedges, Barney) – [WQ2.15.06.09]

Posted by Ben Seattle on June 10, 2015

Click to see full size:


Also, this graphic (from a while back) may shed some light on the logic here:


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► Ship of Fools (graphic: Kshama, Hedges) – [WQ2.15.06.07]

Posted by Ben Seattle on June 7, 2015

(see graphic at bottom of article)

Ship of Fools

Good things may come from the new political formation that
is now taking shape: better wages, rents that rise more slowly,
maybe even fewer murders by the police. But the best thing that
will come from this, is that it will help increasing numbers of
activists recognize that our class needs a political organization
that is more than a fraud.

Comment by Ben Seattle on the “RALLY to Re-Elect Kshama
Sawant w/ Chris Hedges, Jill Stein, Pramila Jayapal, Dustin
Washington, and more!” (June 6, at the Seattle Town Hall)

From a Facebook post I read this morning (June 7):

> As a participant-observer of progressive politics
> in Seattle for more than 25 years, I just want to
> say that I’ve never seen anything like this. The
> broad cross-section of local community leaders
> represented, the national attention represented by
> Jill Stein & Chris Hedges, & even international
> voices reminding us of the global importance of
> what we are doing in Seattle, it’s very inspiring.
> Add to that the dozens of energized young people
> involved in this campaign bringing a ground game
> like none I’ve seen before. This is a force to be
> reckoned with. Thanks to everyone in this campaign
> & everyone in this movement for bringing it!

The last time I saw so much enthusiasm of this kind–it was election night on 2008. I walked among thousands who had flooded onto Broadway on Capitol Hill. They hooped and hollered and celebrated because, at last, “we” had (supposedly) won. It was all, of course, sound and fury that signified nothing. Today, probably half or more of these people, like me, have been evicted from Capitol Hill by rising rents.

800 people packed the Seattle Town Hall last night. They were loud. They were enthusiastic. It just goes to show what can happen when our ruling class, the bourgeoisie, gives you a green light.

The most impressive speaker was Chris Hedges, who spoke of a “revolution” that could “destroy the corporate system of power in all its manifestations”. How wonderful! Chris Hedges was able to speak so boldly, of course, because our ruling class has, essentially, given him permission to do so.

Chris Hedges is opposed to “unfettered capitalism” (see the graphic). But what does this mean? The man chooses his words with great precision. It means he believes that what we need is “fettered capitalism”.

Many other people are also in favor of “fettered capitalism”, but they usually call it something else (such as “socialism”).

It is better (it will be far less confusing, and will create more clarity) if we,
instead, use the phrase “social democracy” to describe “fettered capitalism”.

The social democratic ideology is based on the illusion that “we” can put fetters on the rule of capital–if we simply jump through the wonderful hoops that our ruling class has set up for us. The problem is that these hoops, of course, lead to the supermassive black hole known as the Democratic Party.

Just last week, Hedges earned some attention in soft leftist circles by proclaiming that Karl Marx was right. But during the Occupy movement (when the class struggle had reached the point of confrontations over space for the oppressed to meet and mingle) Hedges, in his moment of infamy, called the politically militant wing of the Occupy movement a “cancer”, and gave political cover for other professional journalists and “opinion leaders” to earn their keep and attack the movement. This, in turn, helped to “transform the national mood” and made it easy for the cops to go in and tear down the camps without creating the kinds of incendiary images that had captured the attention of millions. This is what social democracy can be counted on to do: it sides with the ruling class at that precise moment when the ruling class yanks hard on its leash.

What is happening today may be a slow-motion realignment of the traditional two-party system that was created, in its current incarnation, by FDR during the great depression of the thirties. The Republicans are being pushed to the side (for now) and the Democratic Party itself may (temporarily or permanently) split into two entities that will be “independent” of one another in exactly the same way as the Democratic Party has been “independent” of the Republican Party (ie: not at all).

The mainstream of the Democratic Party, in this scenario, could keep the (now tarnished) name “Democratic Party” in this divorce, while the “left wing” of the Democratic Party could merge with and becomes indistinguishable from the “socialists”. Already we can see, if we look at the political forces arrayed around Kshama Sawant, Chris Hedges, Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Primila Jayapal (and many other aspiring hopefuls) that there is no clear separation between liberal Democratic Party politicians and “independent socialists”–you can look at them and they are hardly distinguishable. It reminds me of a quote from “Animal Farm” by George Orwell:

> The creatures outside looked from pig to man,
> and from man to pig, and from pig to man again;
> but already it was impossible to say which was
> which.

For the working class and oppressed, the “break up” (ie: division of labor) of the traditional Democratic Party would be mixed blessing. The social democrats will present it as a huge victory. And it would certainly be a big victory (relative to what we have now). But it is important to keep in mind that the new party would be based on illusions and fraud–and has been engineered, from the git-go, to defend the status quo. We will need to keep in mind, so to speak, who has captured who. Or, in other words, who is the hunter and who is the faithful hound.

The new party (which does not really have a name yet, but which we can call the Social Democratic Party) would become (if our ruling class, the bourgeoisie, does not lose its nerve and pull the plug on this project) a political formation much like the Democratic Party was in the 1930’s (ie: full of reforms combined with hot air against “the rich”, etc). And, while the Social Democratic Party will be full of vim and vigor (and may even deliver a laundry list of partial demands if this is what the bourgeoisie must pay to purchase its credibility) we should make no mistake: the new Social Democratic Party, like the Democratic and Republican parties before it, will be a party that is controlled, at the top, by our ruling class, by the one percent.

And what we need is the opposite: we need a party that is more than a fraud, that is genuinely independent. And, if we work for it, we shall have one.

Ben Seattle


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