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Revolution Number 9

10:14 am in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

Peasants revolting – flickr creative commons

Oh the silly fantasies and dreams one can come across while perusing the various news sites. The right wing in this country wants to be prepared for a race war or wants to take over Washington. The last time I checked, they couldn’t even must more than 10 people to demonstrate there. I doubt seriously there are enough to who are willing to play hero or martyr among them. Because any attempt would be meat by enough force to turn them all into bloody grease spots.

The left wing keeps yapping about “the people will rise up and take to the streets” or some such. Well go ahead but also remember what happened to OWS who were as peaceful as a sleeping sloth, as well as what happened to the protesters at Kent State, They all are branded as “domestic terrorists” and delt with accordingly. The Russians found this out in 1905.

Any direct confrontation or obvious approach is a guerrilla war of resistance. Simply put. you must fight the system anyway and every way you can. Gum up the works.

Do not cooperate in any manner, way shape or form.  Plead ignorance to any questions. Keep your big mouth shut. Sock it to the “man.” The point being to make it as difficult and expensive to the system as possible. While helping your brothers as much as possible. Not giving any one of the elites or their minions a break.

Use the system against itself. Like the martial arts uses it’s opponents against them selves.

I know there are those who want to take some kind of “direct action” but such action should be limited to things like heaving dead skunks in to some rich fuckers pool or garden. I read where low level sound can drive people round the bend.

In other words giving out the message that their behavior will have consequences.

At the same time helping those who have no resource or recourse as best you can. This is how the revolutionaries win wars when hopelessly out gunned.

An appropriate number now.

What is to be done ?

6:56 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

Demonstration Pietarsaari 1905 - flickr

Excuse me for such obvious plagiarism. Not from any current blog or diary but from a pamphlet put out by Vladimir Lenin  in the early 1900s. For this question is pertinent now as then. Even more so as Andrew Levine proposes here when  he references Lenin’s work.

Nearly eleven decades have passed since the publication of V.I. Lenin’s “What Is To Be Done?”  This remarkable pamphlet – actually, a short book — was a political intervention focused on issues confronting the Russian Social Democratic movement at the dawn of the twentieth century.  Much or its content is peculiar to the time and place of its composition.

There is therefore a sense in which, with each passing year, it becomes increasingly anachronistic.  Even so, it is not just the pamphlet’s title question that remains timely.  For although it was not intended as a theoretical treatise, it was evident from the beginning that it can be read as one and that, in that capacity, it can be enormously enlightening.

Indeed for even Lenin had said years afterward that all his previous writings have to be taken in the context of the times and places and events in which they were written. This of course goes for nearly all such prose.  This does not mean to disregard it entirely. Au contraire, one needs to read such works to get the broad picture. To learn what was faced and how to deal with it. I do this myself even with technology. Read about what has gone before. Because these people may have faced the same or similar problems and learn how they solved them and if now with our current abilities, maybe could be solved better or the ideas applied in a different manner.

For as Levine point out “Revolts and rebellions have always been with us, and will be so long as injustice and oppression endure.”

And goes on to quote Lenin that “…….without a revolutionary organization, shaped and informed by revolutionary theory, there can be no successful revolutionary practice.  This goes for peaceful but nevertheless fundamental transformations of basic institutional arrangements, as much as for the kinds of upheavals for which “revolutionary moments” like the storming of the Bastille or the Winter Palace are emblematic.”

Organization is the key word here because make no mistake the right is already organized and they have a clear agenda.  The left needs to have a message and agenda that is just as clear. We also have to stop hemming ourselves in by rejecting methods and tactics that the right has no problem with.   They are actively now trying to re-implement Jim Crow laws and use police terror tactics and will do what ever they can to keep cooperatives from forming and anything else.

And we have additional problems that Lenin and later revolutionaries did not face. Especially in the size and diversity of this country. 

But most of all we need to have a clear and easy to understand and relate to voice.  Huey Long had such a voice. A very left wing politician that all could relate to.  Messages such as economic justice  are too vague for most and intellectual rants just go over peoples heads.  

We need to identify the problems in a clear, simple and concise manner and then have equally clear agenda as to how we will carry them out.

But all this leaves us with other dilemmas. How to deal with and convince those that Chris Hedges refers to as The Careerists.

They collect and read the personal data gathered on tens of millions of us by the security and surveillance state. They keep the accounts of ExxonMobil, BP and Goldman Sachs. They build or pilot aerial drones. They work in corporate advertising and public relations. They issue the forms. They process the papers. They deny food stamps to some and unemployment benefits or medical coverage to others. They enforce the laws and the regulations. And they do not ask questions. Good. Evil. These words do not mean anything to them. They are beyond morality. They are there to make corporate systems function.

Or the psychopaths that use any opportunity to advance themselves to disregard of other people. And even see this as a game. They will not go silently or quietly into their good night, rest assured.  And to think that the rich and powerful will let anyone vote them out of power, is pure fantasy.   

OWS not with standing, to even begin to accomplish any of this will require some form of leadership and organization and planning. Which brings up another situation, that leaders by their vary nature have a tendency toward authoritarianism. It must there fore be organized in such a way as to be able to remove anyone who gets “too big for their britches”.

All of this must be considered. I would also then recommend reading all that one can from the union, socialist and anarchists movements of the early 1900s through the 1940s. People such as Lucy Parsons and Eugene V. Debs and Eric Fromm and others.

And do not shy away from Lenin. If only to piss people off.


Not in my life time….

3:10 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

Storming of the Bastille (Duesseldorf version) -Flickr Creative Commons

Oh do I see so much rancor and vindictiveness here these days. Nearly as much for the current administration as the last. Ideologues and fanatics all in a tither with their tails in the air and oh so upset that their previous messiah has not turned out to be as they imagined.

Oh where have we seen this before. Historically in just about every chosen one.

With so many now convinced that if only they could get the right person elected or the citizens energized and as impassioned as they are, they can change the system instantly. Storm the gates of the Congress and demand…yes demand that they all resign and they WILL install a righteous and responsive government that WILL work for the people. And woo to he who says otherwise.


Not until the engineers and middle management of places like IBM, DELL, Apple, Microsoft, Simmons,  Blue Cross, Motorola, Boeing, MacDonald Douglas, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon….- who are still doing very well thankyouverymuch – are in as bad a shape as the worst of the so called 99%.

Or the retirees in Florida and Arizona and California and Mississippi…..are about to lose the retirement and be out of their nice gated communities in the cold.

Or that you can get Blacks and Asians and Latinos and native Americans and Muslims….all rallying to you side.

These visions are just that. I think there are those who need to reexamine the history of previous revolutions. How long it took and how bad it had to get before the “masses” were willing to risk themselves and what they had to overturn the powers that be.

There is a saying we have in computerdom about systems and our current political and economic one is a perfect example.

Functions as designed.

So you can go and vote for who ever you want (or not) and be disappointed again (which you most assuredly will be) and pout and talk and and throw brick bats at the system which is corrupt and treacherous and duplicitous and all the rest or you can make things better for yourself and your neighbors. Having hissy fits over what you really have little control over does not help one bit.

As far as a revolution goes…forgetaboutit.

(Global) Revolution…? I don’t think so.

10:11 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

I just got through watching this CSPAN video of a presentation given by Carl Dix and Cornel West titled Race, Inequality and Student Activism.  It was quite good and both made some very good points. I agree that we must fight injustice and stand up to power. That education and making people aware of how injustice manifests itself needs to be made visible when ever possible.

Where I do not agree is with the call for revolution in any form and that we can get people to change themselves, their beliefs and/or behaviors the way Dix and West seem to think.

People simply do not change that easily. Especially when they believe they are still doing just fine in the current circumstances.  And the operative word here is believe. Because it has little to do with their actually reality. I know this from the 20 years or so I have been involved with substance abuse recovery area.  Which I would call the most obvious situation where people are engaged in destroying theirs and others lives.

And they certainly will not give up any part of their cushy life styles willingly simply because some people are doing poorly.   And West seems to think it is possible to get people who do not give a wet slap about those on the bottom to change this mindset. A mindset they have spent years cultivating  – an engrained ability to rationalize and minimize the poor and minorities like some spirits of Christmas past, present and future.  Just ask any psychologist about the futility of changing another human being.

And forced change via revolution or coup d’état nearly always results in a situation that is as oppressive as the one it replaced. Think 1776 or the Soviet Union or China under Mao Tse Tung or any number of other relovutions.

The kind of change that is necessary to get the kind of world that we want has to come from with in. And this generally does not happen until their world with out become intolerable.

So watch the video. It is interesting if not more than a bit unrealistic.