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 12/2 and draft annoucement for WITBD study group – [FoC.12.12.3]

Posted by Ben Seattle on December 3, 2012

Hi Art,

Below are my notes for today’s discussion group meeting, as well as “Covey Jar” charts for our last 4 meetings.  I also include here a draft of the announcement for our WITBD study group.  Also–do you think we should have our next meeting at the Roy St. or the Black Coffee?

Tonra__12-2Tonra-covey jars - 10-7, 11-4, 11-18 -- c

Notes for 12/2/2012 meeting of the Open Network for Revolutionary Activists

Art and I met for approximately 5 hours and discussed both the objective and subjective factors.

Our next meeting:  Sunday, December 16 at 2 pm.  Location: Roy St or Black Coffee

(1) Objective factors (news/analysis of the world and the movement)

Movements in the world: Protests in Mexico (and development of narco state-within-state) and Egypt (Morsi, confident of support from the Egyptian “deep state” and US imperialism following the deal in Gaza, has opened up a naked power struggle against the Egyptian left.  This may lead to erosion of his base as radical elements desert him in favor of the leftists).  The long-term development of the contradiction between China and the US (and the petroleum resources of the South China Sea).  India and the Naxal insurgency: focoism vs. “people’s war” vs. proletarian organization in the cities of countries that have a modern economy and communications infratructure.  Local arrests related to May 1st actions.  Movie and discussion next Sunday at Wildcat.

(2) Subjective factor (our discussion group and tasks)

D is not with us.  Lack of enthusiasm may reflect the relative decline of the movement.  Our work is to focus on what is decisive, to “be good” rather than “look good” — because the most important work in this time of theoretical crisis (and the crisis of orientation) will not have any tangible (ie: observable, measurable) results for a long time.  We need to understand our goal (ie: the kind of society we need, and the kind of organization we need that will be able to organize millions and overthrow bourgeois rule and create this society) in terms of genuine democracy (especially in contrast to the bourgeois democracy of the capitalist world or the kind of super-centralized top-down “proletarian democracy” under Mao that led to the starvation of an estimated 36 million people in the Great Famine).  Genuine “mass” democracy requires that infomation flow is essentially unrestricted so everyone knows what is going on and and can play whatever role they are motivated to play.  Mass democracy also requires minority rights because otherwise incompetence, hypocrisy and corruption will eventually and inevitably turn overything to shit.

We discussed how the cargo cultist opposition to democratic and minority rights has historical roots in the extreme emergency measures (and the suspension of democratic rights inside as well as outside the party) that were necessary in the early 1920’s and how this was generalized by Stalin (and by clueless cargo-cultists) to (supposedly) be applicable in all times, all places and all conditions.  We also discussed the timeline (see chart below) and the period of turbulence in which the lack of democratic rights represents enormous risk of the defeat of the revolutionary forces by external or internal forces.

Finally, we discuss the need for a single, unified network of activists, supported by a single (distributed, cloned in multiple copies) database that would lead to the development of revolutionary and social-democratic (ie: reformist) poles.  Such a network would become the foundation for the self-organization of more disciplined groups, which would have more specific missions and which would only include members who (in their actions as a whole) made clear that they supported the mission of the group.  The most important of these disciplined groups would be a group that was based on defeating the influence of the social democratic ideology, traditions and social strata.  This will lead not only to the defeat of reformism but would also lead to the defeat of sectarianism (because the “information isolation” of critics would become impractical in such an information dense environment as would be provided by the network).  Such a common network and database would serve as the essential infrastructure for the communication service that activists use to communicate amongst themselves and the revolutionary news service that activists will use to get their message out to millions.  Such projects are the work of a movement and are clearly beyond the scope of any small grouping of activists such as ourselves–but we can work to understand these principles and may be able to develop pilot projects that may help larger numbers of activists understand the power of these ideas.  We also discussed a public announcement (see below) for the WITBD study group that will start In January.


(Draft) Announcement for WITBD study group

Art and Ben are interested in reading Lenin’s “What is To Be Done?” for the purpose of discussing what light this work, written over a hundred years ago, may shed on the decisive tasks of revolutionaries today.  We believe that any activist in the city who may have an interest in WITBD (even if they oppose Lenin) should have the right to participate in a democratic way in this discussion.  If it is practical–we would also like to make it possible for comrades in other cities (or who cannot attend in person) to participate by means of the internet or social media.

We intend to make this discussion public while also respecting the needs of security culture, individual privacy and the practical limitations of time.  We will (hopefully) soon post more details of how we intend to organize study and discussion.  Please post your ideas that might help us make such a discussion useful and productive.



One Response to “► Open Network notes for 12/2 and draft annoucement for WITBD study group – [FoC.12.12.3]”

  1. Hi Art,

    I do not know the status of any announcements you may (or may not)
    have made, but I have been giving thought to adding a sentence (or two)
    to the public announcement of the WITBD study group.

    I am not sure, yet, of the exact wording. But the basic idea is simple:

    WITBD was written more than a hundred years ago, in a different time and
    in different conditions. It badly needs an update for the 21st century
    and modern conditions. In particular, we must take account of:

    (1) the experience of the great revolutions (and wars and the great Chinese
    famine) in the 20th century
    (2) the explosion of social media (and its steadily increasing integration
    into the personal and work life of billions worldwide)
    (3) the development of a modern, educated proletariat (which is also a
    majority, or near-majority, in nearly every country on earth)

    This update is a matter for every revolutionary activist of our time. There
    is a limit to what we (ie: as a small group of activists) can do to to address
    this great need. But, whatever that limit is–we will need to find it–and push
    it a little bit. The maximum attention and discussion we can draw to this great
    project (ie: updating WITBD for the 21st century) the better, as long as our
    action is solidly based on (first) humility and (secondly) on determination.

    So our study group, for this reason, must be open to principled opponents of Lenin.
    We need to invite them. We are fools if we fail to do so. Of course, none
    may come. But what is important is simply that we make it clear, to ourselves
    and to the world, that recognize that we need their help and are totally
    confident that, in the long run (ie: looking at events in decades, rather than
    years) we will get it.

    Thank you, by the way, for pushing to make this happen. Sometimes I need a bit
    of a push, and this may be one of those times. I think we should aim for the
    date to which we agreed: Jan 13. This means I need to set deadlines for
    myself and complete my replies to Mamos and Red Fox before that time, so that
    I will be able to give my full attention to this project.

    It is good to make a public commitment in a situation like this–because doing
    so will make it difficult for me to get cold feet or postpone or backout of
    the work to make this happen.

    All the best,

    [14]<= (.)

    Posted as first comment on: [FoC.12.3]
    (ie: )

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