The Professional Protester #20 Why Organizing Will Become Harder If Biden Wins | The Professional Protester on Patreon

Official Post from The Professional Protester : The complacency of liberals is always at its worst when they win, when democrats win or are in the lead they get lazy.  It is going to take intense amounts of public pressure, more than we ever put on Bush, Obama, and Trump, to make things happen under a Biden presidency.Consider the fact that even
— Read on www.patreon.com/posts/39071000

Mutual Aid As Charity

The concept of mutual aid is more prevalent than ever since the COVID pandemic took over our lives.

Many leftists do not understand what mutual aid actually is. Mutual aid that is not connected to raising the class consciousness of the individual you are helping is not in fact mutual aid, it is charity.

Many self-proclaimed leftists think they are practicing mutual aid when in fact they are doing nothing more than perpetuating top down philanthropy. While helping people with material goods in the short-term, they perpetuate the very system of class control in the long run.

For the layman, mutual aid is a concept that is meant to counter charity. Leftists argue that charity, while helpful to a small amount of people in the short term, perpetuates a power dynamic that keeps the poor in a position of begging. Dean Spade defines the differences between mutual aid and charity as such:

  • Whereas charity differentiates those who have from those who need and puts those who have in a position of power to make decisions about how to meet others’ needs, mutual aid emphasizes working cooperatively to meet each others needs. Charity is vertical; mutual aid is horizontal.

  • Where as charity addresses symptoms of systemic issues, mutual aid analyzes the causes of those issues and builds new social relations to help society be more survivable in the long-term.

  • Whereas charity is often professionalized work performed through legislated nonprofit organizations, posing onerous bureaucratic accounting and compliance obligations, mutual aid projects avoid formalization to retain autonomy and flexibility.

  • Whereas the charity funding model relies on the donations of rich individuals and profitable corporations, requiring the charity to publicize those donations to boost the public image of donors and for donors to continue to make sufficient profit to have enough left over to donate, mutual aid utilizes the resources available in their communities, often creatively seeking free supplies.

  • Whereas charity implements criteria for who is deserving of assistance, mutual aid is offered to anyone.

I am not against mutual aid, I am strongly in favor of it. Socialists should be less worried about flexing their ideology and should focus on the material needs of the working class. All organizing should be oriented around the immediate material needs of the working class. This is the power of mutual aid, it does exactly that provided you are raising the class consciousness of the people you are helping.

If are not raising the class consciousness of the people you help you are not advancing their liberation, you are not teaching them their class power.

I see this toxic model of mutual aid all over the place in my hometown.

In Sacramento several organizations will collect donations; diapers, money, food, any standard necessities that are often too expensive for the most vulnerable of classes. These materials are then distributed, either uniformly and equally, or they are distributed on a first come first serve basis.

Let’s say an individual receives a bag of groceries from one of these organizations. That person will have groceries for a few days, that’s great, and they can save that money for other necessities, also great, and the burden of capitalism is no longer something they are dealing with alone!

But what is not great is that at no point is the individual taught that they can and should be demanding more. They are never taught about their own power. At no point is the individual who is providing the help explaining mutual aid to them. There is no reciprocity, just a perpetuation of top down charity.

If you provide mutual aid to someone without elevating their class consciousness and teaching them the power they have to offer a collective, you are not actually practicing mutual aid.

This model of mutual aid that I have laid out satisfies a need to see immediate results from organizing. I both understand and respect that, and I am all for distributing materials to satisfy immediate needs. What I am not in favor of is doing so without raising class consciousness.

Mutual aid is not “I have extra, you have nothing, so take the extra bit I have and dont expect anything in return.” That is the top down form of class control I mentioned before. Mutual aid is “I have something to offer you, but you have something to offer the world.” If you distribute materials you absolutely should expect people to have a conversation with you to raise political consciousness. Mutual aid and organizing conversations should be inherent to each other, the minute you abandon organizing conversations just to focus on distributing materials, you have abandoned mutual aid and are now practicing charity.

This is not to say the person you are helping owes it to you to join your cause, free will is still very much a real thing. However you build no one up just by handing them materials alone, give them materials and at the same time give them the ideas and wherewithal that empowers them.

When distributing resources it should always be down in a way that elevates the individual and teaches them they deserve more, that they deserve to control the wealth they generate, that a collective is stronger than one person. Any mutual aid that lacks these element is nothing more than charity dressed up as mutual aid.

To be honest I think it is pure laziness. I think it is easier for people to distribute “mutual aid” without having difficult organizing conversations so people fall back on this model of aid, enabling themselves to never grow as an organizer and otherwise dooming socialism and the left to the same position of complacency.

Have the challenging conversations, practice true mutual aid!

The Professional Protester #19 It’s Okay to Be Sad When A Famous Person Dies | The Professional Protester on Patreon

Official Post from The Professional Protester : I write this while thinking of the hilarious spirit that was Carl Reiner, may he rest in peace.Tell me if this sounds familiar.You’re hanging out with a friend, one of you is scrolling through the news on your phone.You: “Oh man did you hear? (Insert dead celebrity here) died.Friend: “Oh, bummer.”Yo
— Read on www.patreon.com/posts/38925366

Less Pundits and Podcasts, More Public Intellectuals

The importance of public intellectuals to the cause of socialism cannot be understated. People like Cornel West, Noam Chomsky, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, are essential to legitimizing leftism and anti oppression politics and will always be more vital to our movement than Chapo Trap House or pundits like Angela Nagle or Michael Tracy.

We need more public intellectuals, and less pundits and podcasters.

I do not want to sound like I am coming down on leftist podcasts by the way, I am not a kill joy. However I will say that it’s a fine line between podcasting and punditry. I also acknowledge that some public intellectuals do in fact live stream or podcast, such as Tim Black or Benjamin Dixon. Hell I used to vlog about socialism, but vlogging was too time consuming, I was not able to met the production standards I wanted, and for the record I would never claim to be either a pundit or a public intellectual. I’m just an organizer who likes to write about socialism.

Now, you might be wondering how I define who is a pundit vs who is a public intellectual. I define them as such;

Pundits

A pundit is someone who sits outside of the cause and reflects on it as an outsider, however they present it in a way that makes it seem like they are offering insider knowledge. They reflect publicly on the cause while not actively participating in it.

If you are on left twitter you know for a fact that this is true. A pundit is someone who sells themselves as an expert on a topic but in fact has no authority on the subject because they merely reflect on the work being done, they do not actually engage in it. Angela Nagle and Michael Tracey’s post mortem of the Bernie campaign was classic punditry, both individuals make their living selling themselves as experts about the left with insider knowledge, yet neither one has ever been active in DSA nor did either contribute labor to the Bernie campaign, nor has either done any campaign work whatsoever for any leftist cause.

This does not stop either from constantly reflecting on other organizations’ work.

Public Intellectuals

Counter to punditry, a public intellectual is someone who both organizes on the front lines for the cause and can elaborate on their efforts to the public in a way that connects with them and both elevates and educates the public.

Public intellectuals use their words to bring people into the cause, whereas pundits have no cause except their own self validation as experts. Public intellectuals want to talk to the public about the cause, pundits just want to talk.

The best example of a public intellectual I can think of is Cornel West, a man who actively shows up to the front lines for justice yet simultaneously can connect with large groups of people in a manner that both gets him heard and enables his audience to be heard. Before I read Marx I was reading West, and it was his work that first made me realize I was a socialist.

This, to me, demonstrates the importance of public intellectuals. If I had never discovered the work of Cornel West when I was 16, I would never have joined DSA as an adult.

That is the key difference, not only are public intellectuals qualified they engage with their audience and increase the collective power of the cause. Pundits talk at you, public intellectuals talk to you. There is no socratic dialogue with punditry, the opposite is the case with public intellectuals.

Which one is more likely to recruit someone to socialism? A lecture or a dialogue?

So we don’t need more Michael Tracey’s and podcasters, we need more Cornel Wests. We don’t need to hear disapproval over the latest DSA vote on twitter, we need to hear how you engaged and excite people to organize, march, and strike.

Punditry is not socialism, and it will never advance the cause.

The Professional Protester #18 Don’t Get Lazy Just Because Trump is Slipping | The Professional Protester on Patreon

Official Post from The Professional Protester : Donald Trump is floundering.  His Tulsa rally, marketed as his comeback from COVID, yielded one of the most pathetic turnouts in the history of his tenure.  Further, while I am no fan of Joe Biden, it is nice to see Trump’s favorability rates fall behind Biden by double digits.Combine that with the
— Read on www.patreon.com/posts/38502044

For The Love of God Liberals, Stfu and Get to Organizing!

Liberals need to stop obsessing about the stupid things said by Donald Trump and need to be talking about the effects his actions have on the most vulnerable in our society.

The tedious personality cults and hero worship in politics need to end.

The left will always be reacting to the right wing because the laws of capital and power will always disporportionally benefit its defenders, unless the left seizes state power and moblizes the working class into a mass movement.

We cannot organize a mass movement oriented simply around reacting to the powers that be, and those reactions cannot be limited to jokes about Trump’s name or retweeting Stephen Colbert or John Oliver monologues.

Trumps day to day moronic actions mean nothing, but the bills he signs, the executive orders he makes, and the judges he will appoint all will have irreversible effects on our government for generations.

Yet, liberals would rather talk about his hair or his weight, why?

Because then they would have to confront their own hypocrisy. Then liberals would see that because they defend people in their party like Joe Biden, a right winger accused of rape, they have no moral high ground against Donald Trump, another right winger accused of rape.

Although, this is a funny way to treat your “opposition” liberals. Please point to the picture where you are actually “resisting” but I digress.

Hillary Clinton “resisting”
Bill Clinton and Mike Bloomberg “resisting”
Nancy Pelosi “resisting”

Actual organizing is too hard and requires too much thought, so it is much easier for liberals to knit a pussy hat, post a “Yas Queen” status about Pelosi, and call it a day.

This is why I am a socialist, a communist, and a Marxist. Its not enough to just say you hate the powers that be, it not enough to focus on your opposition, and you should never use your oppositions frames. The world needs to be changed, and we must be the agents of that change.

But please, no more fat jokes about Trump, or at least if you are going to make them, stop saying, “When they go low, we go high.” Because that is a fucking lie.

The Professional Protester #17 Corrupt Leadership in the George Floyd Rebellion | The Professional Protester on Patreon

Official Post from The Professional Protester : In Russia 1917, Tsarism was overthrown by a revolution very similar in style to the George Floyd rebellion.  Leon Trotsky notes in his History of the Russian Revolution that no single organization took the lead on calling for the rebellion and demonstrations that eventually forced the Tsar to abdica
— Read on www.patreon.com/posts/38334616

No Liberals, Biden Won’t Protect the Supreme Court

We hear this argument from the Blue No Matter Who voters, constantly.

“You have to vote for Biden to protect Ginsberg’s seat on the court!”

“Don’t vote to help Biden, do it to help us save RGB’s seat!”

“Save RBG!!!”

This is an insufficient and illogical justification to vote for Joe Biden. It’s time for liberals to accept their hard to swallow pill, protecting the Supreme Court is a useless endeavour at this point. The court will need to be packed to reverse the conservative takeover, even under a Biden presidency.

First, let’s look at the math. The court is currently stacked to favor conservatives 5-4, and if Ginsberg leaves the position with Trump still in office, the court will inevitably be stacked 6-3. But even if we “protect” RGB’s seat, the conservatives still have control of the court 5-4. I fail to see how losing supreme court cases by 1 vote is any better than losing by 2. A lost case is a lost case, the vote count is inconsequential to the people who have to live with the effects of the ruling.

Further, why is it that liberals have faith that the man who 1. Smeared Anita Hill, 2. Whipped votes for Antonin Scalia and 3. Openly brags about how much he likes Republicans, will appoint a progressive judge!? Do liberals learn nothing from experience? Does institutional memory just not exist for Democrats anymore?

“Scalia is one of our most influential judges!” – Joe Biden

When someone shows you who you are, believe them. Biden showed us that he is willing to compromise with the fascist GOP his entire career, yes that includes the time he spent as Obama’s VP (a position he received as a gesture to appease the right-wing of the Democratic Party I might add.)

If Joe Biden is the one to pick Ginsberg’s replacement, expect another Scalia to join the court. Oh but I’m sure he’ll pick a woman so that will make it okay, right? Ugh…

And one last thing, and this will really upset any liberal reading this but I stand by it, RGB isn’t that great, in fact, she’s terrible, the entire Supreme Court is garbage.

The entire Supreme Court is terrible and should be abolished along with the Senate. Quite frankly I do not understand why we put so much faith in an institution that protected slavery, attacked the indigenous, and is run by unelected lifelong appointees. How in the hell is a body like that going to protect democracy?

RGB has voted against the autonomy of Native reservations multiple times, and she chided Colin Kapernick’s protest calling it “disrespectful.” (Liberals crack me up when the perpetuate the same right-wing talking points they claim to be against.) Let us not forget this so called icon of feminism said there is “too much controversy” attached to the Equal Rights Amendment.

An unelected body is never a good guardian of democracy, a man who has spent his political career appeasing the right is not going to protect that body from the right, and even if he did it would be inconsequential, that body would still lean conservative and will continue to lean to the right until more judges are appointed. There is no “saving” the Supreme Court at this point without packing it, liberals should realize and rally behind this.

When you vote for Joe Biden you aren’t really voting to protect the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court is already lost, and will remain lost even if Ginsberg is replaced with a hardcore progressive.

We need to pack the court.

The Professional Protester #16 Gatekeeper Activism | The Professional Protester on Patreon

Official Post from The Professional Protester : Does anyone else have a problem with gatekeeper activism in their communities?In Sacramento, where I live and organize, any coalition work that might be to the benefit of the working class has a serious hurdle to overcome.  Old guard activists acting as gatekeepers and cliquish behaviors.Sacramento,
— Read on www.patreon.com/posts/37553294

The Professional Protester #15 Amy Cooper got what she deserved | The Professional Protester on Patreon

Official Post from The Professional Protester : As the George Floyd Rebellion Rages on I am reminded by the events that happened the week before in Central Park when Amy Cooper tried to call the police on a black man for asking her to follow park rules.Since then she has lost her job and become a global social media pariah.  In addition to this i
— Read on www.patreon.com/posts/37556012

Is the George Floyd Rebellion the Beginning of the Revolution?

Rest in Power George Floyd, you will never be forgotten.

We’ve all either seen the news or have been to the frontlines. We are seeing a rebellion the likes of which this nation has not seen for generations. This could very well be the beginning of the revolution that we have waited for.

As long as we don’t get in the way.

When I say “we” I mean the gatekeeper activists. The professional organizers and lifestyle activists, such as myself, do in fact represent an old guard of revolution at this point. There will be people of our kind who will say, don’t join a protest unless you have a plan, or a bailfund set up, or use this tactic but not this tactic, and you should coordinate like this but not this and etc.

This sort of gatekeeping is what stops every revolution before it starts. Instead of elevating the voices of the oppressed who now rage against police and capitalist properties, we end up silencing them because people feel it is more important to flex their own ideology.

Those who have studied revolution know that revolt in a nation-state goes through phases, a demonstrable example, though cliché for a socialist blog I will admit, is the Russian Revolution.

First there was the over throw of Tsarism, the February Revolution of 1917. In this revolt the police tried to suppress demonstrations and uprisings, and much like how the National Guard is called in for George Floyd protests the Cossacks and Russian army was called in as well. The army was however unable to help the police because the citizenry would outnumber the military and soldiers would refuse to fire on civilians.

This is the first step in a true revolution. The uprising of the people and the failure of the police to suppress it and insubordination in the military all eventually forced the Tsar to abidcate.

The longer it takes for Donald Trump and the liberals to take back control, the more likely he and his kind will be taken out of office.

What is most important about this phase of revolution is the structurelessness. Trotsky notes in the History of the Russian Revolution that no single organization was calling for the strikes and demonstrations that eventually led to the Tsars abdication.

However the lack of structure left a power vacuum that enabled the provisional liberal government of Alexander Kerensky to take hold.

The liberal bourgeois elite of the provisional government in Russia refused to met the material demands of the working class, so inevitably in the October revolution the Bolsheviks were victorious.

We are in the phase of revolution were if we, the old guard, allow the new revolutionaries who have been born out of this crisis to thrive, to take down the mechanisms that oppress them and offer them any support they need, then the new world can be built from the ashes of the old.

I am not saying we step in amidst the chaos, I refuse to perpetuate a savior narrative. I am saying that if we avoid reductionism of these protests and avoid intellectualizing reasons not to get involved, then the flames of the rebellion will flourish.

Do not let our old guard, gatekeeper activism, and sense of professionalism as organizers prevent an oppressed mass from speaking out.

What I see when I take to the streets is truly revolutionary. Organizers of these protests are giving space and a voice to people who have been ignored and oppressed their whole lives. There was structure and resources such as masks to prevent covid and security tips and know your rights trainings. But the most revolutionary thing was that when the marches started it was initiated by the masses, the people, not the organizers, the organizers of the action themselves said, “We respect a diversity of tactics. We are not going to tell you how to protest.”

That is how you let a revolution flourish. When a people finds its voice it has a lot to say, so let them say it. What will this rebellion yield? Who is to say, but now is not the time to get in the way.

Poetry or Politics, Wtf should I write!?

I just want to write.

They say to become a great writer you have to write everyday, no excuses, and it doesn’t matter what you write, just write everyday.

But here is my biggest problem, I want to write everything.

I have gotten into the habit of writing everyday, sometimes I work on this blog, sometimes I spit out an article that I might pitch to someone later, sometimes I work on my screenplay, but in any case all I want to do is write!

And I want to write everything! I want to write books, novels, essays, articles, screenplays and poems. I want to write comedy sketches and speeches for leftist candidates.

I just want to write!

It seems that to get ahead in this industry you have to pick one discipline of writing, one discipline and one audience and you have to speak to them through one voice.

But I want to write everything because I want my work to have an effect, I don’t want to just write for the sake of writing. I want my writing to change the world. We don’t just need stories about the world or think pieces reflecting on the world, we need to change the world!

In college I wanted to write comedy sketches, and I did, but my Youtube sketch show flopped because, well let’s be honest, it was just a 21-year-old and his friends making goofy videos when they were visiting each other from college.

In other words, it sucked and I wasn’t funny.

I also wanted to write films, screenplays, and for television, and if I can be honest I still do.

But getting a foot in the door in that industry is hard, and every time I had a foot in the door it would slam on me and break my ankle.

And guess what?

I also want to write poetry.

To be honest I think poetry is my strongest medium, it’s freeing, it’s expressive, it’s both a craft and an art, and I actually get more likes on my poems than I do on most of my political posts. Poetry is where I feel I can throw out all my inhibitions and both be myself and provoke thought in the world. I can be expressive yet subversive and provocative all at once.

Yet poetry is probably the hardest kind of writing to make a living off of, especially in a cold-hearted world like one that elects people like Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

And if that weren’t enough, I also want to write about politics, socialist theory, and organizing, which you had to have noticed considering the fact that I advertise this as a socialist blog. I used to be very philosophical, until I realized I was a Marxist. Marx made me realize that philosophers merely reflect on the world, but it must be changed. Theory changes the world, philosophy just reflects on it.

As a Marxist I am subversive and I love subversive literature, and I always wanted to change the world through the texts I write. I started blogging about socialism and politics to hopefully spark ideas and influence change. If I can get one more person to become a socialist from reading my work, then I have done my job. I hope that hardcore socialists can enjoy my work, I also hope that people curious about socialism can get some insight into who we are and how we think.

And if that weren’t enough for you, I originally wanted to write novels, and guess what, I still do!

When I made the decision to become a writer I began pouring my heart and soul into writing poetry, stories, novels, and screenplays. I was 17 when I finished my first novella, and I was 19 when I finished what was probably my best one, which I published on this blog under its old title, Poems and Other Shit (Read my about me page)

I know I should a discipline and just stick with it, but hell, is it so wrong that all I want to do is pour myself onto the page for a living? Is it wrong that I want to both change the world and entertain people? Is it wrong that I want to be a journalist, a theorist, a novelist, a poet, and a screenwriter all at once? I don’t see why that should be out of reach, other than issues of privilege and class but putting that aside, I don’t think I should have to pick one discipline of writing when I enjoy so many of the different mediums so much.

It’s taken me 12 years, but I think I am starting to get a hang on this whole writing thing. It can be frustrating, I’ve had many a doors closed on me, and my ankles broken many times.

The good news is I have strong bones, I heal quickly.

Will I every be in a position to write it all? Most likely no, I probably won’t get to write for TV, comedy, and films while also writing novels and poems while also running a blog about liberating the working class.

But I’d rather try my whole life to do at least one of those things than spend my life doing none of them.

No Lis Smith, Biden Can’t Win The Election From His Basement

For the love of god liberals, do you never learn!?

This is a genuine appeal to anyone who is still in any way loyal to the Joe Biden and the Democrats, STOP LISTENING TO PEOPLE WHO TELL YOU THAT YOU DONT NEED TO ACTIVELY CAMPAIGN!

Lis Smith argues in favor of Joe Biden making the same mistakes Hillary Clinton did in 2016

The most successful presidential races have always been ones that are grassroots and built on a person to person network of engagement, this is especially true for swing states and it is a lesson that they should have learned in 2016!

Hillary Clinton lost multiple swing states, especially in the midwest, because her campaign took those states for granted and minimized their campaign efforts in those states.

On the other hand, Obama won most swing states in 2008 because he actively campaigned there, AND that campaign was filled with volunteers excited and willing to go canvass, phonebank, and social media blast for their candidate.

You might think that because the president is failing so publicly during this pandemic that any candidate against him would be a lock to win, but polls show that excitement for the Biden campaign is generating the lowest excitement for a candidate in the history of the democratic party, only 20-30 percent of democrats are actually excited about Joe Biden being the nominee, and most polls have Trump and Biden going back and forth in swing states with a margin of 2-3%.

If the Biden campaign does not create a network of person to person engagement then the Biden campaign is beyond doomed, it is destined to fail for the rest of their existence if they don’t start building a method of grassroots engagement around the COVID crisis. Lis Smith is correct that Biden cannot commit to what she calls a “traditional presidential campaign” but that does not mean he can assume a safe victory using nothing but video town halls from his house.

When you take person to person campaigning for granted or sacrifice it to favor a more plutocratic model, you lose, always. The reason Bernie was going strong in the primary, and in February was the inevitable nominee, was because he had the best door to door, person to person ground game of any candidate. When the pandemic started he lost that network and as a result he lost the primary. This should serve as a lesson for Biden’s campaign, person to person engagement is the new politics and it is vital to winning. Bernie knew this, Obama knew this, but apparently Biden, the Clintons, and the DNC don’t.

So liberals, do not trust any pundit who tells you that you do not need to campaign or that a campaign can win without one on one engagement, they can’t. The future of politics is grassroots, not neoliberal or plutocratic. If you don’t engage on a personal level with your electorate then the Democratic Party will never win another election, and it almost feels like they are trying to make that happen.

So no, Joe Biden can’t win the election from his basement, no candidate can or ever will. Yes, Biden can’t run a traditional campaign because of the covid pandemic, but that should be incentive for the Biden campaign to get creative, not an excuse for the Democrats to get lazy.

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