Fragments Of Comprehension

(semi-internal) Our consciousness and humility must reflect, refine and redeem every scattered fragment of the material world

►Open Network–Notes for Oct 7 mtg – [FoC.12.10.7]

Posted by Ben Seattle on October 7, 2012

NOTE: Meeting notes by Art, Damien and me are fragmentary and often written
quickly, so the notes here are not necessarily an accurate or reliable
summary of what we discussed, what questions we asked and what conclusions
(if any) that we did (or did not) conclude.

Art Francisco:

>  What is to be done, ideas for studying it
>  Campus Pol (SCCC)-Student Solidarity Network
>  Discussions w/ other activists
>  Blog, blog tactics
>  News of the world:
>> Syria, Walmart, PIGS, Indonesia Factory Strike, FoxCon
>  Notetaking, avoiding stress, Infrastructure
>  Elections

(I) Notetaking, avoiding stress, infrastructure

(A)We hit a bump at the last meeting since not all notes were published.
Damien had some personal problems to deal with, so we are working on a way
to mitigate that. It is important to aleviate stress and not to stretch
ourselves out too thin. We discussed the need to sort out personal problems
and to prioritize getting our shit together as that will help the movement.

(II) News of the world:

(A) Indonesia: discussed the 2.5mil workers factory strike. Its significance
being that Indonesia has the world’s largest muslim population, its influence
on other muslim countries regarding class struggle, and the demands placed on
the govt for universal healthcare, higher wages, and an end to outsourcing
(ironic since indonesia is where work gets outsourced to, the context of this
is that outsourcing goes to a form of slave labor).

(B) PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain): Briefly talked about the
importance for partial demands and how that creates solidarity with the
working masses. Discussed how the PIGS inspires activists in Seattle, and
how it represents a split in bourgeois economic policy–whether to buy peace
with the masses or exert austerity.

(C) Syria: Syria is a bloodbath, there are now skirmishes with Turkish
military, we discussed how this struggle should be clarified into a news

(D) Walmart: I (Art) stated that I believe this is one of the largest local
struggles of the year, will be a huge fucking deal. Walmart is the largest
employer in the United States, and is the crown jewel for unionization.
Seattle activists have paid lipservice for months about organizing casualized
workers, retail workers etc.. (89%) and now that it is happening they are
nowhere to be seen (although they recognize its imporance through facebook).
Unfortunately due to the extremely weakened state of rev activists they don’t
know what struggles they should be getting involved in, and have spread thin..
Example, energy is directed into Colombus Day instead of the Walmart struggle.
The victory will likely be handed to the Soc Dem unions like UFCW and rev
activists will miss the boat. We discussed how we could work with the struggle;
again a rev news service could be beneficial.

(III) Campus Politics (SCCC)

(A) Solidarity network (Kasama); student debt, panel discussions etc.
(B) SA running political campagin (very persistant)
(C) Student debt noise brigade (University of Washington), independent,
pseudo socialists
(D) Anarchists working on grandjury resistance
(E) Administration makes it difficult to form and keep student groups.
(F) Administration (through student government) wants to keep tabs on
student groups using volunteered documentation.

(IV) Ben’s Discussions with other activists (BB&RF)

(A) BB
(1) Ben’s encouragement for BB (and other activists)
to come to a meeting to open lines of communication.

(B) RF
(1) Correspondance is important but not urgent
(2) Differences are inevitable
(3) Important to explore each-other’s views
(4) Influence by social pressure.

Side note on Badiou by Ben:

A notecard with the words:
“How does Badiou keep an idiot busy for hours? (Turn over for answer).”
The other side of the notecard says:
“How does Badiou keep an idiot busy for hours? (Turn over for answer).”

(V) What is to be done study group

(1) Divide pamphlet into chapters, make sure everyone has copies,
we all agree to read the chapters.
(2) Each person gives a presentation on a chapter.
(3) Guidelines for group.
(A) Security culture
(B) Interruptions, person who is speaking must defend their own space.
(C) If someone thinks that something is relevant, they can bring it up,
if it is irrelevant, they can choose to ignore it.
(D) Everyone should contribute to moderation in keeping out
unproductive discussion.
(4) Study the material and treat it with respect
(5) Political contradictions with Ben and Frank should be addressed.
(7) Will we need a moderator? (plan B)
(8) Distributed moderation?

Ben Seattle:

1. Notetaking, infrastructure and reducing stress
2. News of the world: Syria, Bahrain, Spain, Europe,
Walmart semi-wildcat, Indonesia strike, FoxConn China
3. Campus activism: Kasama, SA and Anarchists
4. Letters to Comrades BB and RF
5. How to Organize study group for WITBD (ie: “What Is To Be Done”)
6. Blog tactics

1. Notetaking, infrastructure and reducing stress

We will bring netbooks to meetings so we can enter notes before we leave.
It is not useful to allow work (or feelings of being obligated to do work)
pile up: this is demoralizing and unproductive.  We are only human.

2. News of the world: Syria, Bahrain, Spain, Europe,
Walmart semi-wildcat, Indonesia strike, FoxConn China

— Iphone strike in China is well positioned to catch attention.
— Indonesia: 2 and a half million on strike against outsourcing
(from Indonesia!) and for universal health care.  And what news do
we see in the check-out line at the grocery store?  Jessica Simpson
— Election: a “political” reality show to maintain illusion of democracy
— Syria buffer zone, Turkey, Kurds, US grooming and supporting “good”
opposition (ie: trustworthy flunkies) against independent opposition
— Spain, Greece: (1) split in bourg, Krugman notes that it would be
smarter for bourg to buy some class peace and that it can do so,
(2) drives (inspires) struggle elsewhere, including here in Seattle,
(3) until there is organized force with an alternative to bourg rule
— the bourg will rule and the masses will see no alternative
to social democracy.  So developing an alternative that does
not insult intelligence of masses would be good
— We need a revolutionary news service, so busy activists can find out
what is going on (locally, nationally and internationally) without
bourgeois bullshit or liberal whining

3. Campus activism: Kasama, SA and Anarchists

— SA focused on Sawant, — L and Kasama, regional student meetings
(may not be all that useful), — grand jury resistence activists,
— student noise brigade (UW and elsewhere)

4. Letters to Comrades BB and RF

Ben passed out copies of his private letter to BB and parts 1 & 2
of his public reply to RF

5. How to Organize study group for WITBD
(ie: “What Is To Be Done”)

— WITBD = THE major work, as relevant today as it was more than
a hundred years ago
— Study group should be open, announced publicly so activists
have opportunity to come.  (Too bad there is no place to post
the annoucement, we need something like that.)
— We should invite everyone who might have an interest.  Would
be good if Frank were to come.  If there is disruptive behavior
by either Frank or Ben because of their political contradictions:
we can deal with it by being political and acting like adults

6. Blog tactics

We should not give prominent links to the “lower” blogs because a
lot of stupid, half-finished (or unfinishable) stuff will be there.
We will give prominent links to upper blogs and low-key links to
lower blogs.

Damien Harris:

Tentative agenda:
1. On note taking stress, et al.
3. Political organizing at SCCC
4. Response: B of boc and Ben
4. Lenin: What is to be done?


-In China’s Apple factories, which are sub-contracted to Foxcon, there
are wildcat strikes, et al, transpiring amidst repulsive and draconian
working conditions.

-BAHRAIN’s relatively bourgeois democracy has become increasingly
autocratic and fascistic, as national insurrection and unrest occurs.
Their increasing fascism is illustrated by the recent sentencing of
doctors that treated protesters who were brutally hurt by pigs.

– Walmart is experiencing substantive protests and strikes in recent
weeks. ‘Our WALMART’, which is a main organizing body for the wildcat
strikes, et al, seems to be an organ, or at least recently co-opted, by
UFCW. Through a materialist analysis, it would seem like the trade union
bureaucrats will inevitably stifle the strike when they’ve determined
that they’ve sufficiently benefited from it.

3. Political organizing at SCCC

-On SCCC political organizing
: School administration has made it
particularly difficult to maintain clubs; this may be a response to
the particularly radical organizing that went on during O.S., and the
legitimazation of O.S. by faculty, clubs, student body et al. These days,
SA is concerned, almost solely, with propagating their campaign of
electing SAWANT. In contrast, Kasama people (among others) are oganizing
around the regional student union. While the non-aligned, especially
anarchists, are organizing around the grand jury resistors, et al.

-Incidentally, the school admin readily rented out the south campus
(where Occupy had its encampment) as well as the Broadway Performance Hall
to Decibel festival during class hours. This is especially interesting
because the admin [et al] constantly lambasted O.S. for disrupting classes..
Meanwhile, when  gaining capital is a prospect, it readily ignores the
so-called disruption of classes et al. This illustrates the blatant
hypocrisy and opportunism of the admin et al.

4. Response: B of boc and Ben

-On Red Fox, and others: We are wanting to engage in discussions with
particular people. However, this has not come into fruition because of
multiple things, including sectarianism and group pressures, as well as
[I have deleted a word here, which has potential to be offensive–Ben].
It’s, incidentally, silly to see self proclaimed dialectical materialists
negate antithetical analyses which aim to produces syntheses. So much for


One Response to “►Open Network–Notes for Oct 7 mtg – [FoC.12.10.7]”

  1. […] Network — Notes for Oct 7 meeting Posted on October 7, 2012 by Ben […]

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