The Professional Protester | Why Socialists Should Study Robert’s Rules Even If They Don’t Use It In Meetings

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Russiagate Does Nothing To Solve Our Actual Problems

Before I say anything else, let me just say that I do indeed believe there was some form of collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government that had influence on the 2016 election. I am however not a conspiracy theorist nor a liberal apologist, so I do not think that this collusion changes the fact that Trump’s victory and the victory of all fascists is born out of institutionalized racism, institutionalized patriarchy, and economic disparity.

Even though they have found more conclusive evidence that there was some kind of direct collusion, I really just don’t care and can’t ever care about Russiagate the way that so many loyalists to the Democratic Party do.

I am not saying that the FBI should stop the investigation, au contraire. I believe that anything that inconviences the Trump administration is well worth the time. However I am not dependant on a racist organization like the FBI to be the one to oust what is arguably the most publicly racist president since Nixon. No matter what the FBI does to inconvenience Trump, it will never change the fact that the FBI was born out of prohibition laws that were racist and disproportionally enforced against Italian immigrants. Nor can anything make up for the blacklisting of freedom fighters like Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jr.

I also think that the interference in our election is a bit of the U.S. getting a taste of our own medicine. If you do not like a competitive superpower interfering in the affairs of your state, then I can introduce you to some people from Egypt, Chile, Libya, El Salvador, and Honduras who would agree with you. Any conversation about democracy and foreign interference in elections that does not include a conversation about Salvador Allende is another tedious case of American acceptionalism.

No, my lack of interest in the Russiagate fiasco is as such; even if Robert Mueller develops a rock solid case, even if the House moves to impeach Trump, even if Pence decides not to pull a President Ford and not pardon Trump, none of these things will end the problems the nation and world faces that gave us Trump.

There is a harsh reality that Russia obsessed liberals need to face, that even if the investigation is a success in ousting Trump, it will not be the end of Trumpism. Trump has opened the Pandora’s box that has always been subtly hidden by the right wing. We can expect the unsubtle racism and sexism of Trump from every Republican candidate in the forseeable future. We can expect to see more reactionary populist rhetoric from future candidates. We can expect to see more inexperienced billionaires running for president. The sad truth is that the fascist wing of conservatism is the new normal for conservatives, and Trump resigning or being jailed will not end that. The foundation for this was laid down by his Republican predecessors, but Trump built his tower on it and until the right wing is eradicated it is here to stay long after he goes.

I must also point out that Trump falling because of Russiagate does nothing to solve the problems our country, and for that matter the world, faces. Will Trump’s impeachment attack the corporations responsible for our climate crisis? Will Trump resigning finally give the overdue reparations to our Indegenous and black comrades? Will Trump doing time end queerphobia or sexism? Will it protect sex workers? Will it stop police brutality? Will give us the healthcare we need to survive? Will it insure employment for the struggling masses of my gaslit generation?

The answer to all of those questions is a simple and straightforward, no. Now do not misunderstand me, I am not against the Russia investigation nor am I against the idea of this man doing time. I do however feel that people who think that Trump’s fall will be the end of the hatred he has unleashed, that his fall marks the end of all our nation’s woes, are being delusional.

Let the FBI focus on Trump, to whatever it may avail. Let the rest of us focus on ending the climate crisis, let us build a community where police stop slaughtering black people and detaining brown children. Let us get healthcare to every living being. Let us stop the everlasting genocide of the indeginous. Let us organize and defend sex workers, trans people, and women’s health. These are issues that can not be solved by simply blaming Trump and Russia.

Power is a Predator (a socialist poem about living in the colonialist, racist patriarchy)

Power is a Predator

Escape is never possible,

For a mind that never shuts off.

Constant and endless flow,

Ideas upon ideas,

Questions arising ever second.

Existence is not a question,

It never was.

Existence simply is,

And survival is the question.

How do you survive,

When the powers are your predator?

So many never ask,

But many more have to.

Leftists, You Don’t Need to Have All The Answers, But You Need to Have Some Answers

It’s all well and good to say, “Smash the system!” I support and agree with that statement whole heartedly.

However if we are not offering a genuine alternative to the status quo and the systems we are attacking then Leftists are screwing over ourselves by weakening our argument and, more importantly, we are screwing over the people we are trying to organize and liberate.

It is the staple of conservatives and reactionaries try to argue with us. I have lost count of how many times I have heard, “Well if you hate capitalism so much, what are you saying should replace it?” In all honesty Leftists are not obligated respond to this. Leftists are not obligated appease this sense of entitlement. We do not need to explain every point about every thing they believe, especially any Leftist of a marginalized group.

However when organizing if we are not offering the masses the clear alternative to the systems we rail against then we are doing a disservice to the capabilities of building momentum and we are weakening our foundation for our movement.

To put it bluntly, it is an insult to the victims of racism, patriarchy, and capitalism to say “smash the system” and not make it clear that there is an alternative to organize for.

It is the calling card of the “lifestyle anarchist” to say smash the system for the sake of saying smash the system. Do not mistake me, this is not an attack on anarchism nor any other form of Leftist theory. What I am saying is that when we say “smash the system” the alternatives we are offering must be made clear so that the unengaged will want to become engaged.

It is all well and good to say “smash the system” but if you are not making it clear that you are offering an alternative, whether that alternative is anarchism, Marxism, or social democracy, you are insulting the very people you are trying to liberate. You are not giving the victims of the system what they need. You are simply validating your own need to decry the status quo when you offer revolution for the sake of revolution. Which is all fine and dandy until the system is actually smashed and then there is nothing in place to help lift and protect the disabled or the otherwise marginalized. The current system does not do that at all, yet if we do not make it clear we are offering a structure that does protect the unprotected then we have lost.

It’s all well and good to say “smash the system” It is not all well and good to ignore the implications of what comes after the fact. It is not all well and good to put your own need to feel validated as a revolutionary ahead of the actual needs that go into a revolution.

Smash the system, and make it clear that when it is smashed there is something to organize, and hope, for.


Class not Cliques, An Observation About Organizing

I have noticed a trend of behavior in activists, organizers and mobilizers where I live. Before I proceed though I want to make it abundantly clear that this is not a call out, nor is it directed at any specific person or organization. It is simply an observation that I have made after losing count of how many committee meetings and protests I have attended.

Now first of all, when it comes to organizing it is important to remember that not every analysis or motivation for organizing will be the same. Disagreements about which marginalized voices deserve the bigger platform, or disagreements about what a post capitalist society will look like are bound to happen.

However, a disturbing trend I have noticed within organizing is that certain voices and groups will actively sabotage mass mobilization because of these disagreements. The sabotage is not always an intentional thing but it is genuinely damaging and a hinderance towards building a mass movement. This sabotage manifests when political organizations act as clicks rather than as a service to the masses.

Specificity in the fight is important, the causes we care about the most should always be our guiding light, but if that specificity causes us to be at the mercy of one individual or one group’s whims then the movement will never grow beyond just a few activist circles. Also, organizing means working with people you do not necessarily like. If you only work with people you like as opposed to people who are right for whatever tasks are at hand you have abandoned organizing and you have decided to create a clique.

This is the folly I have noticed, creating clicks within the movement instead focusing on engaging the unengaged. Yes, it is important to feel comfortable with who we work and organize with but if that comfort means never expanding our organizational circle outside of people we are chummy with, nothing will ever happen and no change will ever manifest. No one will be liberated, resources and wealth will never be redistributed, and no one will stop the climate change that is threatening our existence.

This does not mean we all have to get along or that we shouldn’t make friends out of the people we organize with, what it does mean is that if we only organize within our comfort zones we will never build the momentum we need to liberate the marginalized and save the world from the racist, patriarchal, capitalist masters.

It also does not mean that you should not call out frauds or sexual predation. I recognize that this rhetoric about “comfort” could be misinterpreted in a way that can be endangering to some people. Truth and safety should be as much of our guiding light as anything else. If there is someone who makes you uncomfortable for racist, ablest, or sexist behaviors then that needs to be called out so that such behaviors can be eradicated. What I am saying is that if we are only comfortable with organizing with a few select people because we are the most chummy with them, any mass mobilization we build will die with us because the foundation for making the organizing expansive is never laid down.

So again, this is not a call out of any specific group or person. I myself have been guilty of this cliquish behavior in the past. This is simply an observation about what I think holds back strong grass roots organizing for a mass movement on the local level.

We are in a class war, founded in racist ablism and patriarchy. We are not in high school where the stoners get one corner of the yard and the preppy kids the other. We are here to liberate the entirety of the working class, to liberate all marginalized people, to save the world.

Commodity, You Are Not Your Surplus Value (a Socialist poem about humanity)

Commodity

Everything from the human spirit

to dignity

has become a commodity.

Oceans boil,

Flowers wilt,

And blood is spilled everywhere.

We hold the wrong people

to the worst scrutiny,

and we continue to masterbate ourselves

with patriotism.

Commodities,

Our time,

Our minds and training,

Just means to our bosses ends,

only because they have our consent.

We are more than commodities,

we are people.

Earth is not a commodity,

it is our home.

We are not commodities,

not a means to profit ends.

We are not commodities,

we are minds, we are souls and we have dignity.

We are not commodities,

we are creatures, living, breathing, and thinking.

We are not commodities,

we are human beings.

My case for #Bernie2020

The largest demographic of voters in the U.S. are registered independents. The most popular politician with independents is not Joe Biden nor any other democrat, it’s Bernie Sanders.

Biden, Warren, and Harris are weak. Bernie is the only politician who can win over independent voters in 2020. Harris is too much of a cop to be trusted by people of color. Warren has shown she is just a flat out racist with that ridiculous DNA test and Biden is both creepy and way too close to the previous administration, much like Hillary was, which drives independents to not vote in the first place. If the democrats sabotage Bernie they will never win the white house back again. If you think Biden is the best bet for Dems I remind you of a little bugger named Walter Mondale if you think previous Dem VPs win elections.

I know that several of my comrades do not take electoral politics seriously. Some of them encourage either not voting or voting for Greens or Peace and Freedom party candidates. This is a mistake on their part. Aside from the blatant lack of ethics in both organizations (I will remind you all the PFP ran Roseanne Barr for president in 2012) and their candidates blatant lack of policy knowledge (see any time Jill Stein speaks) the best option we have for a left leaning presidency is Bernie. Also, as I stated above, the way to win voters over is not through party organizing, it is through promotion of policies that will actually effect them, actually benefiting their lives.

Bernie is not by any means perfect, in fact the perfect candidate does not exist and I am sympathetic to those who are disillusioned by the corporate neoliberalism of the “Democratic” party. However no socialist, even the ones who focus on electoral matters, thinks that elections are a panacea. Bernie is not going to fix it all and he has some problematic stances that need correcting, somethings that come to mind are his stance on abolishing ICE or his votes on bills effecting sex workers.

Yet people need to understand, that while no politician will save us, we need to get the most amount of resources to the working class that we can and executive policy greatly effects that. Bernie may not be perfect, but he is pro choice, in favor of persecuting and firing violent police officers, has an active history of organizing for anti racism, is more of an anti imperialist than anyone else serving in Congress, and has staunchly stated that he “is no capitalist.”

Considering our options, the reality of our political system, the blatant lack of strength in other parties, and the current political landscape, Bernie 2020 is our best hope for ousting Donald Trump, which we must remember will not be a panacea to the woes of racism, sexism, or environmental disaster. However, the effects of executive policy cannot be underestimated and socialists who underestimate it could doom us to a two term Trump presidency.

I will not be one of those socialists. I will vote for Bernie Sanders in 2020.

#Bernie2020

Read the second part of this post here