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Toggle Commented Jan 18, 2013 on On "Leninism and the Ultra-Left" at I cite
I'm going to take one more swipe at this, because I see it as crucial to your discussion of the Party even in your Michels assessment, somehow. On the one hand, you eschew, rightly, the sort of Acorn ish approach to politics-- but that is what Occupy devolved into, where I live. There was nowhere left for militant liberal activists, who, like workers (many of whom ARE workers), do not have an understanding of the communist stakes and that is why intellectual work is necessary (but not from the "outside" of class struggle). The problem is we have "the people" wanting to fight, but being stymied by the petit bourgeois structure (you also eschew that term as outmoded)of the non communist organizations who cling to electoralism...yet there is a post Occupy can this energy be channeled? Is it all for naught when we realize that a communist party cannot arise from simple liberal militancy? I think occupy's failure was that it was not rooted in the working class, and the petit bourgeois do gooders organizations will fail for the same reason. Yet you were optimistic about the possibility of Occupy to be a prototypical party like organization...I guess what I'm asking, is it reasonable to presume that in struggle, communist consciousness will develop or is it only within the context of an already determined communist party that such struggle would affect consciousness? I'm thinking of how my SWP friends doing strike support place emphasis on the act of striking rather than the backwardness of the striker's individual politics, as they are just beginning their journey toward class consciousness... can this happen with the post Occupy militant liberals involved in Acorn like direct actions? Do we have to decide want we want is communism before we even turn a wheel?
Toggle Commented Jan 18, 2013 on On "Leninism and the Ultra-Left" at I cite
What about these sort of umbrella groups like we have here in Iowa, Acorn like groups with wide ranging agendas geared toward lobbying and electoral politics, with a sort of militant veneer? They speak of promoting "environmental and social justice" etc, and try to incorporate labor organizations in their direct action type campaigns. How does this link up with, or approximate, this type of theoretical party structure? Or is it another entity altogether?
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2013 on On "Leninism and the Ultra-Left" at I cite
The people's will is communist because 'communism' is expressly for the collective in a way that brooks no qualification. As such, it is the only word we have in our political vocabulary that represents an unequivocal rejection of capitalism" this is key: even at the level of the personal- if a boss did it, he's guilty and if a worker did it, he was framed. If a mortgage company did it it's guilty, if a foreclosure victim did it, they were framed. Brook no qualification!!!
Just more refusal to name capitalism as the culprit- implications aren't good enough, nor are appeals to morality. yours truly being arrested for singing gospel songs (for two hours straight) Im the guy in overalls--- Bob Allen
What does it mean to assert division? If it is linked to class struggle I'm all for it, but it is troubling that the idea of the 99 percent is being divided by those who point out that the 99 percent is comprised of cops and other capitalist collaborators. So far I have argued against these folk who claim the slogan is wrong, or that it represents what I would think is a prescription for nascent fascism, a collaboration of classes against a tiny group of international bankers, shades of Hitler. After all, Marx spoke of two great classes in conflict, and the slogan 99 vs 1 percent seem to fit that. Yet because Occupy refuses to commit itself to this interpretation, and keeps not confronting the problem consciously as a class question but instead continually leans toward reformism, it leaves the door open to rightists and other class collaborationists to impede or derail the struggle. My sectarian Marxist friends in the SWP ridicule Occupy as petit bourgeois even as they tack right, talking of "smaller government" and Obama's "european socialism" in a new attempt to appeal to backward white workers. I come down on the side of Occupy while understanding its inherent limits (it is not a labor union), but the SWP brought me to Marxism and it is hard to dismiss those who brought me to the struggle, even though I'm just a supporter and not a member. They've been right before. What do you think about this Jodi?
I'm outraged by the outrage here, I've heard co-workers talking about this story, which has close to zero interest for me (except in its fascinating reception by the public!), I mean, a refugee from a den of thieves holds forth on their lack of honor and suddenly, after all else wer've seen, it's big news? I'm appalled and fascinated by the size of the story, but the story itself is almost nauseatingly banal, too awful to read and digest. This is Richard Slotkin's "man who knows Indians" come forth, like Jesus' resurrection, to tell the story of his time "behind enemy lines" or worse, a tale of how all used to be well until "greed got in the way". Ugh. Then again, as Slotkin wrote in "Gunfighter Nation", the public may have been too sensitive to actual events while the worst of the crisis was taking place, and a few years must pass before an acceptable narrative can be marketed, so now is the time for this actor to take the stage.
I suspect if those overworked machinists went on strike, scads of "instant expert" replacement workers would pour in from seemingly nowhere, and do a bang up job!
A job for the ISA's literally don't know which lie to believe here. I suspect moralism at play again: the bosses hate workers so much, they employ Calvinism, straight is the gate and narrow the way, only a few qualify for the mind numbing industrial work and still remain pure, drug free and obedient-- and the whole "too high tech for the unwashed masses" routine is so banal, so eighties. How long can the same note be played over and over before it becomes a caricature of itself?
There is a fifth category active in OWS, though not of the Left: the category of disoriented right wing populists who thrive on antigovernment conspiracy theory but who are influenced by leftist ideas such as environmentalism and free education. In other words, their populist rightism is held loosely and not well understood even by themselves. I have been fighting a non-enthusiasm for OWS because of this and its Ghandian-Gene Sharpian focus which I misunderstood from the outset. I got involved with the nuts and bolts, literally, and found myself working side by side with Ron Paulists who are definitely, thankfully, not a cohesive coherent body politic. A liberal/Catholic Worker leadership crafted a stunningly successful media campaign out of OWS around the Iowa caucuses in terms of what we set out to do, manipulate a fickle, at times hostile media, international in scope. I have some great video of us annoying the hell out of, and scaring politicians half to death. Yet it seems a pyhrric victory because poll numbers have dropped significantly since the crackdowns and Oakland. What to think of a movement that lives and dies by media, and wont commit to anicapitalism let alone socialism? That wants to move the middle class, by showcasing hippies playing games with the cops, in honor of Tahir Square and Ghandi, while most schmucks are chained to their McJobs and "have to follow the rules"? It seems a recipe for non winning, I fear. On the other hand there is much to be optimistic about: we've learned much in the short time we've been at this and have mechanisms in place to do much more,and those disoriented folks will keep learning in struggle or drop out as the anticapitalist nature of OWS comes clearer (unless some bad guys win and this never does come clear). But if the goal is to move the middle class left, we're failing.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2012 on Occupy Wall Street and the Left at I cite A small world- both Whirlpool and before that Maytag moved operations to Mexico, decimating the town of Newton Iowa. The wind turbine blade factory that took its place, a non union sweatshop where my wife worked for a time, just laid off half its workforce, workers who actually work for temp agencies, just before Christmas, that is, about two weeks ago. this is why we occupy...
Incredible symbolism here... also, off topic a bit but OWS related, this is how we roll in Des Moines, check out the headline:
matter of fact there are several presumptuous and petit bourgeois ones at that, in this hand wringing defeatism: "Is that the kind of place you want to live? Is that the kind of area where you want others to live? If not, perhaps you ought to think twice about endorsing such an approach." As though things must always stay the same, Jodi must always remain an aloof academic immune to revolutionary chaos, etc. This whole line of thinking is very anti-Marxist and I daresay counterrevolutionary.
If non violence worked so well, why do we still live under capitalism?
your welcome--Bob Allen (didn't know if you knew it was me).
Samantha: "I want to go someplace RICH!" "ooh I can almost feel the decadence!" one character sighs. One tiny amount of over the top dramatic tension is raised by the question of not whether they will leave the country, but whether they will have to travel "coach". I guess to me "bling" means what the reviewer called "unexamined privilege". And that rock Big bought Carrie was huge. I think you are looking at the relationships between the characters and not the social relations -- yes, as Proyect noted the movie is "fluff" but compared to the schlock out there I liked it. I am surprised you didnt note the constant over the topness of the privilege of these women- it was integral to the movie.
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2010 on Why I liked Sex and the City 2 at I cite
"In lieu of doing anything meaningful to address this, they take brave positions on a film like Sex & the City!" I had to see the movie after two of my favorite bloggers, Jodi and Lou Proyect of the Unrepentant Marxist both defended it, and even before seeing it it reminded me somehow of the Ward Churchill incident, when he was criticized for calling the twin towers victims Little Eichmanns, he replied "I didn't know there were so many marxists in New York(concerned about the plight of working class victims)", yes, the movie is a celebration of a bourgeois feminism, (a passion for bling Was part of the storyline) but where have these reviewers been? The movies have always reflected a certain bias towards upper middle class protagonists .I saw it as a matinee, only about a dozen mostly female viewers saw it with me, and the trailers for other new offerings were so pathetic it made this movie look quite strong by comparison.
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2010 on Why I liked Sex and the City 2 at I cite Banning the teaching of racial/ethnic solidarity, or renaming that as racism itself-- requires intellectual history indeed..
If only there were a blog club or Party such as that; unfortunately where I work/live forces of black reaction have all the discussion circles-- Samuelson's claptrap is taken as good coin among the layer of privileged white workers I am surrounded by. Luckily, they all hate each other and like the teabaggers will hopefully remain disorganiz3ed.
Beams is the guy whose report you quoted from the WSWS.
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Apr 22, 2010