Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Go Figure

Go Figure.

After a five month silence, Insurgent Notes produced another e-volume of its online journal, which, strangely enough remained silent about the causes of the five month silence.  Certainly the conflicts and disagreements that paralyzed IN were described in the lead editorial, but they were not examined. And there is a difference.

That IN slipped into its near catatonic state directly upon the heels of its "peak" moment, its post-Trump election conference; that there is significant disagreement among the IN participants on the appeal of Trump to the US working class (if such an appeal exists), and if that appeal is something other than that of racism, did not impress upon the editors the need to devote considerable time to a) the presentations of the differing analyses b) the resolution of those differences through the construction and elaboration of a single IN explanation of this moment, the moment that almost uncreated them.

Then came Charlottesville.  Charlottesville was different, and no Charlottesville was not unforeseen, unique, or an aberration.  But it was different.  How different?  Murderously different.  This different:

That's a picture in Charlottesville, maybe of so-called aggrieved white workers, or maybe aggrieved white petit-bourgeois, or maybe not so aggrieved just white racist sacks of shit stomping an African-American educator who had the audacity to tell them to fuck off.

Now that's different.  Not unique.  Certainly not unknown in US history.  But different, for the right here, right now.   Really, who do they think they are?  The LAPD?
And that is the point.

Charlottesville was, and is, different because it represents the convergence of  extra-state terrorism with the state terrorism that has been practiced for years against immigrants, people of color, women, -- all those sections, fractions, components that make up the class of workers.

The winks and the nods and the hand signals and the codes have done their bit, and in so doing, have been jettisoned.

The night-riders have returned, and because they have champions in the federal government, in all branches of the federal government, they ride by day.

Clearly the terms of engagement have changed.  Clearly there are lessons to be learned, and learning to be applied if we are to win this struggle and turn the stomping around. It was and is  absolutely vital that any organization claiming to be revolutionist, Marxist, communist, whatever-ist, recognize, identify, clarify what is different, and what the difference this day has made.  I urged that the comrades at IN issue a statement about this difference, utilizing the space provided in IN's "comments" field:
"Not for nothing, comrades, but do the editors at IN feel compelled to say something after Charlottesville? 
I mean the whole issue of Trump supporters and their dance with racism has, by your own admission, effectively paralyzed IN for 5 months. 
You’ve got a dialogue running between Amiri and Noel about “whiteness”– in the abstract, I guess; now whiteness in the concrete makes its, or another, play and….?????? 
Do I expect IN’s statement to change the course of history? Of course not. No more than I consider the statements made by the IWW, or Anti-Capital, or all the antifa groups put together will change history. 
But Charlottesville itself is a change– where fascists collectively and explicitly have undertaken a campaign of terrorism like that undertaken by the KKK and the Knights of the White Camelia in support of redemptionism. 
Worth a paragraph or two, don’t you think, given the significance of historical materialism to Marxist theory and practice? Charlottesville is historical and it is material"
John Garvey,  one of the two main editors of IN responded, but not in the public IN comments area, but in a private email, in which he wrote:
In response to your comment on the IN page, I promise we'll say something when we know what to say.
In the meantime, check out one of the bad guys' point of view.  It's from Matt Parrot of the Traditionalist Workers' Party: 
Have you read or written anything yet that's an adequate response to that? 
Huh?   Read the nazi account of the bravery and glory of being nazis?    Odd, no?  Odd yes.
It brought the following reply, posted to IN along with Garvey's email:

Hey John, I don’t have to read “the bad guy’s point of view.” I know what the issues are. That’s what historical materialism equips us to do. You should try it some time. 
Have I written anything that’s an adequate response to a Nazi explaining the great thrill he gets out of being a fucking Nazi? What? Are you serious? You think that’s what’s important? If so, you don’t know what you are talking about, John, which is exactly what I gleaned from your performance attempting to “moderate” the February 5 conference. 

You don’t write in response to that, to the Nazi glorifying in and of Nazi-ism. You write to organize the destruction of that nonsense And IN’s silence speaks volumes. 
You don’t know what to say? You knew what to say when you claimed Trump supporters had “reasonable grievances,“ that led them to support Trump didn’t you, imposing I guess your own version of reasonable grievances? 
You knew what to say when you wrote that you thought we could, we should win over Trump supporters, didn’t you? Now you don’t know what to say. Priceless. For everything else there’s Mastercard. 
Your question is nonsensical in its very structure, in the very act of posing it.
Really, how long have you been at this... that you still don’t know what to say, and more importantly, who you need to address it to? 
Short version: You don’t have to say anything else. You’ve already said quite enough"
IN has had its share of problems, some brought on by its unwillingness to maintain and enforce a rigorous schedule for publication, but not solely that.  There is/was  publication of the Rectenwald article dismissing the actions of and against the Syriza government in Greece as IN's sole inquiry and exposition into the conflict between revolution and counterrevolution in that country; compounded by Rectenwald's apparent separation from IN and re-emergence in right-wing, or alt-right, circles, without IN acknowledging, explaining, defending, and publicizing the break.    That's bad.
But nowhere near as bad as not yet knowing what to say about Charlottesville.  That's just pathetic.

Ferragosto 2017

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