Why is Maoism strong in the US?

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syndicalist
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Feb 4 2007 12:56
MJ wrote:
syndicalist wrote:

I will say that Dorrwar Bookshop in Providence was also excellent.

Weird, today I came across (and picked up, obviously embarrassed) a few issues of something called Cultural Correspondence whose editorial collective's address was c/o that bookshop. The third issue was a split with some people called the Green Mountain Irregulars out of Wisconsin. Circa 1977. Either of those names ring any bells?

Hey there MJ.....yeah, I have a vauge recollection of CC. As I recall it was a well publish (for the day) magazine---with cardboard stock cover. I think Paul Buhle wrote for it and others.

The WI name doesn't wring a bell.

So my curiousity was peaked and I just googled CC. Here you go. From quick--very quick--glance it looks like CC is available on the web: http://dl.lib.brown.edu/cultural_correspondence/index.html

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MJ
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Feb 5 2007 00:21
syndicalist wrote:
MJ wrote:
syndicalist wrote:

I will say that Dorrwar Bookshop in Providence was also excellent.

Weird, today I came across (and picked up, obviously embarrassed) a few issues of something called Cultural Correspondence whose editorial collective's address was c/o that bookshop. The third issue was a split with some people called the Green Mountain Irregulars out of Wisconsin. Circa 1977. Either of those names ring any bells?

Hey there MJ.....yeah, I have a vauge recollection of CC. As I recall it was a well publish (for the day) magazine---with cardboard stock cover. I think Paul Buhle wrote for it and others.

The WI name doesn't wring a bell.

So my curiousity was peaked and I just googled CC. Here you go. From quick--very quick--glance it looks like CC is available on the web: http://dl.lib.brown.edu/cultural_correspondence/index.html

Huh, thanks. Looks like Buhle had whoever scanned in all those Radical Americas do these too.

rebelworker
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Feb 5 2007 03:33

All I got on google was an autonimsit Marxism article referencing from the univeristy of Texas.

Must be Cleaver scanning all the shit.

chuy
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Feb 5 2007 05:12

felix frost

just wondering if you could be a bit more specific about all those troublesome q's you mentioned. what questions did you have in mind exactly? thanx.

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fnbrill
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Feb 5 2007 07:05

Cultural Correspondence came out of a split in Radical America, Paul Buhle was the main animator, but included the Chicago Surrealists and the folks who are now around Race Traitor. Buhle is a professor at Brown U. in Providence, which explains the website.

I don't think Cleaver was even too close to the circle around CC, but not unfriendly either.

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MJ
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Feb 5 2007 12:53
tsiatko wrote:
Cultural Correspondence came out of a split in Radical America, Paul Buhle was the main animator, but included the Chicago Surrealists and the folks who are now around Race Traitor. Buhle is a professor at Brown U. in Providence, which explains the website.

I don't think Cleaver was even too close to the circle around CC, but not unfriendly either.

I don't get the split thing -- I don't see anyone named in these issues of CC falling off the masthead at RA around the same time.

Michael
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Feb 5 2007 16:00
Quote:
tsiatko wrote:
Cultural Correspondence came out of a split in Radical America, Paul Buhle was the main animator, but included the Chicago Surrealists and the folks who are now around Race Traitor. Buhle is a professor at Brown U. in Providence, which explains the website.

I don't think Cleaver was even too close to the circle around CC, but not unfriendly either.

And then MJ wrote:
I don't get the split thing -- I don't see anyone named in these issues of CC falling off the masthead at RA around the same time.

I don't think it was so much a split in the traditional sense as a desire to approach radical publishing from a different perspective. The Buhles (Mari-Jo was the professor, by the way, I don't think Paul ever got his PhD) had signed off from Radical America a few years earlier, and were getting more interested in cultural stuff. They had known the Chicago Surrealists for a while, and took some inspiration from them, although I'm not sure the Chicago group was directly involved. Also, I don't think anyone heavily involved with Race Traitor was connected with Cultural Correspondence (certainly not Ignatiev, and I doubt Garvey either). Don't know about Cleaver but it doesn't really seem like his cup of tea...

Infoshop
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Feb 5 2007 19:13

Maoism isn't strong in the U.S. and is in fact a marginal movement even on the left. Maoism was more popular in the 1970s in the U.S., which may account for there being a bunch of closet middle-age Maoists around. But Maoist organizations are small and their influence is limited to a few big cities on the coasts. The number of active Maoists is probably smaller than the ISO and that organization doesn't have more than 3000 members.

I would guess that New York City has more anarchists than there are active Maoists in the U.S. There are also a few anarchists and libertarian Marxists who were Maoists, so you can see that Maoism is really dying out.

The RCP has organized a few long-lasting anti-war groups such as World Can't Wait and Not in our Name. But I doubt that the people involved in these groups would call themselves Maoists.

Chuck0

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donald parkinson
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Dec 2 2012 04:32

Maoism is actually fairly popular in my area and has been having minor successes. FRSO and their front groups like SDS and Fight Back seem to be growing.

Maoism lacks a real materialist class analysis which leads it to mixing with trendy liberal identity politics, making it popular amongst guilty college students.

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klas batalo
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Dec 2 2012 05:03
donald parkinson wrote:
Maoism lacks a real materialist class analysis which leads it to mixing with trendy liberal identity politics, making it popular amongst guilty college students.

Hmm, good point here. Never thought of that.

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Igatranonic
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Dec 6 2012 04:48

the RCP works through front groups. World Can't Wait, Not In Our Name, Refuse and Resist, Millions for Mumia, and the October 22nd Coalition. The aren't as big as they used to be and they decidedly dropped their class analysis which is a part of why they changed their paper's name from 'the Revolutionary Worker' to 'Revolution.'

i've never liked them or any of the other various Maoist groups i've had to deal with, like the Maoist International Movement (which i think is defunct now).

Stan Milgram
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Dec 10 2012 18:04

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Left

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Left#United_States_New_Left

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-Worldism

Internet hive brain has answers?

Stan Milgram
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Dec 10 2012 18:14
donald parkinson wrote:

Maoism lacks a real materialist class analysis which leads it to mixing with trendy liberal identity politics, making it popular amongst guilty college students.

The thing is, here in the Bay Area this has bleed into the anarchist movement as well. This has been my point in other threads on this site. No real materialist class analysis (more idealist), most attempts at connecting with the community are focused on identity issues. In the bay area (Oakland/San Francisco) there's a large population left over from the 1960's activist culture so in turn the approach has been less class based and more focused on issues of race, gender and sexual orientation. Again, this isn't to say fighting oppression in all it's forms shouldn't be a part of revolutionary strategy I simply don't think it should be the spear head at the expense of sound class analysis based on a materialist perspective.

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Hieronymous
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Dec 10 2012 20:09
Stan Milgram wrote:
donald parkinson wrote:

Maoism lacks a real materialist class analysis which leads it to mixing with trendy liberal identity politics, making it popular amongst guilty college students.

The thing is, here in the Bay Area this has bleed into the anarchist movement as well. This has been my point in other threads on this site. No real materialist class analysis (more idealist), most attempts at connecting with the community are focused on identity issues. In the bay area (Oakland/San Francisco) there's a large population left over from the 1960's activist culture so in turn the approach has been less class based and more focused on issues of race, gender and sexual orientation. Again, this isn't to say fighting oppression in all it's forms shouldn't be a part of revolutionary strategy I simply don't think it should be the spear head at the expense of sound class analysis based on a materialist perspective.

This is straight-up bullshit. CRUD, I doubt that you've ever been to the Bay Area.

Stan Milgram
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Dec 10 2012 21:48
Hieronymous wrote:
Stan Milgram wrote:
donald parkinson wrote:

Maoism lacks a real materialist class analysis which leads it to mixing with trendy liberal identity politics, making it popular amongst guilty college students.

The thing is, here in the Bay Area this has bleed into the anarchist movement as well. This has been my point in other threads on this site. No real materialist class analysis (more idealist), most attempts at connecting with the community are focused on identity issues. In the bay area (Oakland/San Francisco) there's a large population left over from the 1960's activist culture so in turn the approach has been less class based and more focused on issues of race, gender and sexual orientation. Again, this isn't to say fighting oppression in all it's forms shouldn't be a part of revolutionary strategy I simply don't think it should be the spear head at the expense of sound class analysis based on a materialist perspective.

This is straight-up bullshit. CRUD, I doubt that you've ever been to the Bay Area.

Why is it bullshit? It's well known around here we have a lot of radicals left over from the 1960's/1970's. Berkeley especially. In turn their impact is felt in the broader socialist community in the Bay Area, namely, the same strategies and mind frame that began in the late 60's is adopted by many younger people, especially students. When I say this sort of approach has bleed into the local Anarchist community it kinda gets to the crux of our disagreement. Namely, that we, as of late, have fell into the trap of primarily focusing on identity issues as a way to connect with the broader community, this isn't universal of course but it does indeed happen. I was just at Eli's here in Oakland having a beer with a friend discussing this last week (now you know where to find me on the weekends, either there or The Avenue or Merchants). Specifically we were discussing our support for "Decolonize Oakland". I'd be willing to have the same conversation with you if you were able to actually hold a conversation without bellowing perpetual slander and baseless accusations. I've been trying to do this for two weeks on this site now. Calm down, talk with me here.

As far as me not living in Oakland, well, whatever. Just more baseless claims and accusations combined with your fixation on the crud poster. Make up your mind, at this point this crud poster must be like Shakespeare, many different people writing under one name. This is only speculation of course (within various literary communities). In either event the paranoia is getting old.

Anyway, this will go nowhere with you so take the issue up in the other thread if you want to slander me some more concerning my "not real" Anarchist positions. As far as the topic, yes, the New Left in America, the Bay Area specifically (in the late 1960's and early 70's), was responsible for a large Maoist or Maoist sympathizing population within the radical community. This mind frame is still around and has bleed into the larger socialist community in the Bay Area. If you can't see this then I'm sorry.

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Hieronymous
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Dec 12 2012 05:55
CRUD/Lemert/Stan Milgram wrote:
I was just at Eli's here in Oakland having a beer with a friend discussing this last week (now you know where to find me on the weekends, either there or The Avenue or Merchants).

CRUD, you just gave yourself away by mentioning Merchants again.

Quote:

Unpublished

Submitted by CRUD on Nov 4 2011 20:39.

UNPUBLISHED

If you bay area blac bloc kids want to be a part of a mass movement you're going about it all wrong. I'm not going to apologize for saying that. Call me reactionary...call me "racist" call me a reformist if you must. I'll pretty much say fuck you. You guys know what I look like and will be downtown all weekend We can discuss it in person if you wish (over a few beers at Merchants Saloon).

Stan Milgram
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Dec 11 2012 21:05
Hieronymous wrote:
CRUD/Stan Milgram wrote:
I was just at Eli's here in Oakland having a beer with a friend discussing this last week (now you know where to find me on the weekends, either there or The Avenue or Merchants).

CRUD, you just gave yourself away by mentioning Merchants again.

Quote:

Unpublished

Submitted by CRUD on Nov 4 2011 20:39.

UNPUBLISHED

If you bay area blac bloc kids want to be a part of a mass movement you're going about it all wrong. I'm not going to apologize for saying that. Call me reactionary...call me "racist" call me a reformist if you must. I'll pretty much say fuck you. You guys know what I look like and will be downtown all weekend We can discuss it in person if you wish (over a few beers at Merchants Saloon).

Does paranoia come with your tendency to slander people? Christ almighty I've never encountered a person like you before, even online and that says a lot. This is getting old. Care to address anything I said? There's basically four bars in Oakland many of us hang out at, if you lived in Oakland you'd know this. I find it a tad disturbing that you just spent time sifting through some persons posts to compare to mine. In Oakland we have the ruby room, merchants, eli's and the avenue. Only reason I brought any of them up was because of your lame assertion that I don;t live in Oakland, I can't even discard your slander without more slander being thrown at me.How bout addressing the things I say rather than being weird?

Stan Milgram
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Dec 11 2012 21:14

Oh , and Radio over by Burger King. That bar is a tad too upscale for my liking though. So now that you're lame assertion has been brushed aside, like the rest of your slander, why don't you try actually being normal for a moment and address the content of my post. Are you able to do that? Please stop calling me crud, racist, sexist, homophobic and speak to me like a normal human being. Thanks. If you're incapable of doing that just leave me alone.

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Tarwater
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Dec 12 2012 02:37

Would the admins consider making a meta thread to dump all the derailments/ongoing pointless argument between CRUD/STAN and the people chasing him around the website? Its ruining my unemployment.

Alternately, you could just ban everyone from the west coast of North America.

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Hieronymous
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Dec 12 2012 05:36
Stan Milgram wrote:
Oh , and Radio over by Burger King. That bar is a tad too upscale for my liking though.

Radio "too upscale"?! Compared to what, pruno at Santa Rita?

Also, CRUD/Lemert/Stan Milgram was banned once before for flaming in threads about identity politics and the black bloc. Why should we tolerate him coming back and doing the same shit on the same topics?

Tarwater wrote:
Alternately, you could just ban everyone from the west coast of North America.

But that wouldn't solve the problem since there's no evidence that CRUD/Lemert/Stan Milgram even lives on the West Coast.

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Hieronymous
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Dec 12 2012 06:04
CRUD/Lemert/Stan Milgram wrote:
Care to address anything I said? There's basically four bars in Oakland many of us hang out at, if you lived in Oakland you'd know this. I find it a tad disturbing that you just spent time sifting through some persons posts to compare to mine. In Oakland we have the ruby room, merchants, eli's and the avenue.

More bullshit. You obviously know how to surf Yelp. If you've really lived in Oakland for 15 years, you wouldn't be a yuppie foot soldier of gentrification and wouldn't be part of the ethnic cleansing of the über-hip Temescal District. 15 years ago, The Avenue was the Bird Cage and was an African American neighborhood bar when that area of North Oakland was black and working class. Now that the white hipsters have taken over, it's a precious zone of conspicuous consumption -- replete with fixed-gear bikes, BMWs, artsy-fartsy professionals and cafes full of drones on their iPads. When I hung out at the Bird Cage, starting about 25 years ago, it had an open jazz jam on the weekends that was the hottest one in the East Bay. Now it's just a generic white zone of high-end consumer culture.

CRUD, which one are you in this?

S. Artesian
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Dec 12 2012 22:27

Not to roil these already royally roiled waters, but IMO gentrification began with white people hanging out at the really hot African-American jazz clubs. That was the vanguard of gentrification-- beatniks, hipsters, hippies, what ever you want to call it.

Nobody gets a pass from the material processes of accumulation/disaccumulation.

The point being can we deal with the politics, and not the neighborhood? I mean, after all, my wife bought a loft in Soho (NYC) 35 years ago for a pittance, when, as a result of certain intentional actions by big capitals, small manufacturing operations abandoned the area. She was able to swing the deal because she's an artist, and NYC ran an "Artist-In-Residence" program, for "transitioning" the neighborhood.

And now, most of the artists have moved out, replaced by.........investment bankers.

Terrible thing to be the vanguard of one's own gentrification. But so what?

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Hieronymous
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Dec 13 2012 07:28

Agreed, Arty.

But my point is that CRUD/Lemert/Stan Milgram doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. Sounds more like verbatim parroting of Yelp reviews, mixed in with lots of reactionary pseudo-critique.

For example, lots of younger anarchists are influenced by Tiqqun, while others around websites like Bay of Rage are clearly in the communization camp. Waves of kids moved to Oakland from Santa Cruz, many of whom were part of the UC occupations in 2009-2010, giving an infusion of new energy that pushed Occupy Oakland in a more militant direction. None of this has anything to do with Maoism, especially as many saw the manipulations the RCP tried to pull during the Oscar Grant Riots, in addition to all the Bob Avakian idolatry that went over with youth like a lead zeppelin. Felix in the East Bay and another weido in San Francisco are the only RCP zombies who've been around since the 1980s. The rest of their cadre come and go in their never-ending organizational revolving door.

Then there are other ultra-left/left communist and older anarchist factions that had an influence as well. I haven't read a single word by CRUD/Lemert/Stan Milgram that was based on what has actually been happening in the Bay Area. Many of us have written extensively about what's been going on around here. If CRUD/Lemert/Stan Milgram wants us to answer his loaded/rhetorical questions, he should make a good faith effort to refer to the numerous reports we've been making for years here on libcom first.

If CRUD/Lemert/Stan Milgram wants to talk about identity politics in the Bay Area, he should read Who is Oakland? before spouting bullshit. If he wants to identify the enemy in reformist identity-based liberal politics, he needs to acknowledge the negative role Chris Crass' Stalinist-white-guilt non-profit Catalyst Project has been playing -- even having allied themselves with the state and the cops during the Oscar Grant Riots. Crass and his group identify as "anarchists," but in reality are proponents of an orthodox Marxist-Leninist morality that has nothing to do with radical politics. Check out Crass' fawning interview with pro-Obama Stalinist Max Elbaum to see where these reformist ideas of identity politics originated. A sincere critique of identity politics would also have to take up the non-profit-NGO-industrial-complex, which is bigger in the Bay than anywhere else in the U.S.

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Devrim
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Dec 13 2012 10:03
Tarwater wrote:
Would the admins consider making a meta thread to dump all the derailments/ongoing pointless argument between CRUD/STAN and the people chasing him around the website? Its ruining my unemployment.

Alternately, you could just ban everyone from the west coast of North America.

They certainly tend to have more than their fair share of feuds over there, don't they? It seems to be getting like reruns of a third rate situationist sitcom.

Hieronymous wrote:
This is straight-up bullshit. CRUD, I doubt that you've ever been to the Bay Area.

Perhaps you are right. The reason that I suspect that this could be true is that he doesn't seem to be quite as adept with this bay area feuding style as you are. Basically you have followed him around this site for the past few weeks, shouting abuse at him, and accusing him of being some previous poster on here. To be honest I can't remember this CRUD, and I don't think it is that important even if he was this person. What he originally said on this thread seems to me to be quite reasonable:

Stan Milgram wrote:
The thing is, here in the Bay Area this has bleed into the anarchist movement as well. This has been my point in other threads on this site. No real materialist class analysis (more idealist), most attempts at connecting with the community are focused on identity issues. In the bay area (Oakland/San Francisco) there's a large population left over from the 1960's activist culture so in turn the approach has been less class based and more focused on issues of race, gender and sexual orientation. Again, this isn't to say fighting oppression in all it's forms shouldn't be a part of revolutionary strategy I simply don't think it should be the spear head at the expense of sound class analysis based on a materialist perspective.

Now, I have never been to the Bay Area, so I have no direct knowledge of these things. When he uses terms like "No real materialist class", "idealist", " focused on identity issues", " activist culture", "less class based", and "more focused on issues of race, gender and sexual orientation" in connection with US anarchism, I don't find it entirely surprising.

I think if you think he is wrong, you should explain, politely if possible (it never hurts), why you think he is wrong. At the moment you seem to be pursuing him on here like a certain KK once did to you. I don't think I need to tell you the impression that he gave off to most of the users on this site. Do you want to be seen like that?

Devrim

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Hieronymous
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Dec 13 2012 20:38
Devrim wrote:
Now, I have never been to the Bay Area, so I have no direct knowledge of these things. When he uses terms like "No real materialist class", "idealist", " focused on identity issues", " activist culture", "less class based", and "more focused on issues of race, gender and sexual orientation" in connection with US anarchism, I don't find it entirely surprising.

Devrim

You've Skyped with people in the Bay Area, so you do have some direct knowledge. What did they tell you?

That laundry list of terms could just as easily have come from the 1980s. On another thread, someone accused CRUD and his copycats being KK because their posts sound exactly like KK's unsubstantiated diss where everyone is a counter-revolutionary. The Bay Area has the largest ultra-left in the U.S., so it's factually incorrect to say class politics are lacking here. In the 1980s and 1990s, my comrades and I were constantly attacked as being "class reductionists." Now that shit has faded and the decolonize/identity politics types are the ones who are marginalized -- hence Occupy Oakland successfully fended off the non-profit launched campaign to change the name to Decolonize Oakland (unlike Occupy Seattle, where a popular front promoted the name change to Decolonize).

In the aftermath of Occupy, there are at least half a dozen study groups in the Bay Area that read Marx or some kind of marxian theory. The Bay Area Public School has a series of classes called Capital for Anti-Capitalists that attracts a standing-room-only crowd of around 60 to each session. So it's fucking ridiculous for someone to say that radicals in the Bay Area lack a class analysis or give privilege to the politics of identity (not that there aren't liberals who do, but they aren't part of the anarchist or libertarian communist milieus). Add to the Capital study groups, we have other Public School anti-authoritarian anti-capitalist study groups on communization theory, global production and supply chains, and land use that attract over a dozen committed to serious research to each session.

If CRUD can point to the specific groups or individuals in the anarchist milieu who embody this lack of a materialist critique and idealism, I'd be willing to debate his points. But when he disparages people of color, women and queers, I find him to be a reactionary troll who comes on libcom to spread misinformation.

Devrim, even your comrades in the ICC who've come through the Bay Area (as recently as last August) can confirm this.

J.G. Chaney
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Dec 13 2012 21:32
Quote:
I think if you think he is wrong, you should explain, politely if possible (it never hurts), why you think he is wrong. At the moment you seem to be pursuing him on here like a certain KK once did to you. I don't think I need to tell you the impression that he gave off to most of the users on this site. Do you want to be seen like that?

A cyber bully is a coward hiding behind a computer.

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Hieronymous
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Dec 13 2012 22:18
J.G. Chaney wrote:
Quote:
I think if you think he is wrong, you should explain, politely if possible (it never hurts), why you think he is wrong. At the moment you seem to be pursuing him on here like a certain KK once did to you. I don't think I need to tell you the impression that he gave off to most of the users on this site. Do you want to be seen like that?

A cyber bully is a coward hiding behind a computer.

J.G. Chaney, you just joined libcom 30 seconds ago. This casts suspicion.

Recurring "provocations" over the last few years, like the e-mail below, is what has continuously set off our suspicion:

CRUD/Lemert/Stan Milgram wrote:
    [from a news story]"During the Kimmel Center occupation, NYU several times initiated violence with both demonstrators and occupiers alike. Video at NY1 shows the mayhem outside, where NYPD night-sticked, pepper-sprayed and tased demonstrators during the midnight rally."
    Good. Hopefully NYU will kill enough of these over-educated children to make them realize that they aren't freedom fighters, they're mommies little babies. I say until they grow the balls to carry the weapons to initiate violence against the pigs then the best use for them would be to die and serve as fertilizer for real revolution.
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Devrim
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Dec 14 2012 11:01

Just to clarify about my own viewpoint first:

Hieronymous wrote:
You've Skyped with people in the Bay Area, so you do have some direct knowledge. What did they tell you?

I have Skyped with one or two people in the Bay Area. It is probably at least a year ago, and I don't remember discussing these issues.

Hieronymous wrote:
Devrim, even your comrades in the ICC who've come through the Bay Area (as recently as last August) can confirm this.

I left the ICC about a year and a half ago.

******

To me his opening post on this thread seemed, as I said, reasonable. In fact, you give an example yourself that proves his point that these sort of politics are 'bleeding into the anarchist movement':

Hieronymous wrote:
If CRUD/Lemert/Stan Milgram wants to talk about identity politics in the Bay Area, he should read Who is Oakland? before spouting bullshit. If he wants to identify the enemy in reformist identity-based liberal politics, he needs to acknowledge the negative role Chris Crass' Stalinist-white-guilt non-profit Catalyst Project has been playing -- even having allied themselves with the state and the cops during the Oscar Grant Riots. Crass and his group identify as "anarchists," but in reality are proponents of an orthodox Marxist-Leninist morality that has nothing to do with radical politics. Check out Crass' fawning interview with pro-Obama Stalinist Max Elbaum to see where these reformist ideas of identity politics originated. A sincere critique of identity politics would also have to take up the non-profit-NGO-industrial-complex, which is bigger in the Bay than anywhere else in the U.S.

I looked at this Chris Crass and the Catalyst Project, and it is as you say 'reformist identity-based liberal politics'. You say they identify as anarchists, which to me sort of proves Stan Miligram's point. Then, however, you say this:

Hieronymous wrote:
So it's fucking ridiculous for someone to say that radicals in the Bay Area lack a class analysis or give privilege to the politics of identity (not that there aren't liberals who do, but they aren't part of the anarchist or libertarian communist milieus).

Which means that it basically comes down to how you define the 'anarchist or libertarian communist milieus'. If you exclude this sort of liberalism by definition, then of course you are right. If you take the people who 'identify' as anarchists. Then by your own example you are clearly wrong.

Anyway his posts in this thread didn't seem that bad to me.

******

To come back to the point of how you come across though, you can believe me about it or not. I think it all looks pretty bad, and I would imagine that others feel the same. Try to step back from it for a moment and imagine how it looks. You accuse this person of being somebody else, and he denies it. Now to the casual onlooker that implies that either he is lying or that you are mistaken. Both are possible. To the casual onlooker the e-mail that you received from this person, who may or may not be the person posting as Stan Milgram looks a bit mad, but we don't know it is from this poster. Personally I think you would come across a little better if you challenged the points that he makes here, not the points that the person who you think he is has made previously. Look at this for example:

Hieronymous wrote:
If CRUD can point to the specific groups or individuals in the anarchist milieu who embody this lack of a materialist critique and idealism, I'd be willing to debate his points. But when he disparages people of color, women and queers, I find him to be a reactionary troll who comes on libcom to spread misinformation.

I haven't seen him do this on this thread, which isn't to say he hasn't done it on other thread. If you feel he (not the person that you think he is) has, why not quote it. It would come across a lot better.

******

Finally on to the political things, as I said I haven't really paid much attention to these events. My impression of the left in general in the US though is that it is deeply effected by identity politics. I think that this is at least partly due to the weakness of the US working class. Recently there have been some things happening in the US, for example 'Occupy', and the talk of a general strike in Wisconsin. To be honest I get the feeling, and as I said I haven't followed it that closely, that these things are blown out of all proportion to what they actually are.

I think that this happens for two reasons. First because America is obviously an important country, and second because even though we can say this the US has an exaggerated sense of its own importance.

Certainly 'Occupy' was on no where near the scale of events that happened in Cairo, and other parts of the Arab world, yet we heard so much about it that you could almost imagine that they were similar. The impression that I have is that while the events in Cairo were a massive (cross class) movement, which brought in people from all parts of society, and happened at the same time as a large wave of workers struggles, the events in 'Occupy' were largely a thing that mobilized activists. The only part of occupy that I saw myself was in Rome, and basically it was a bunch of activist kids camping in a park.

The events in Madison seemed more interesting. There did, at least from afar, seem to be some mobilization of workers there. In the brief research I did about it though, and please correct me if I am wrong, it appeared to me that nobody actually even went on strike there (I believe there was a 'sick-in' by some teachers. Basically I think that people with our sort of politics got completely carried away by it all, and that there was never any prospect of a general strike at all.

As I have already said I don't follow events in the US that closely, and I could be wrong on both instances. These are the impressions that I got though. If we compare the events that went on in the US at that time to events that we had just been involved in at the time, a massive occupation of the centre of the capital city by thousands of workers for about six months, and two 'general strikes', I think it is fair to say that very little happened in the US.

Of course Turkey isn't as important a country as America is, and you would expect the same amount of interest/coverage of events there, but it was despite that even entirely disproportionate.

Events in the US are important, and it is also important that there seems to be a sign of some activity in the class there again. However, I think that it is important to recognise where we really are because I think if we don't do that we can't go forward. To me, from afar, the stuff around the calls for a general strike in Madison seemed like European Trotskyists chanting by rote for a general strike, but when there was even less of a possibility of their being one.

I think that the weakness of the working class in the US is something that allows the existence of Maoists like the RCP, and the Marcyists like the PSL to be such a large part of the left in the US, and both of these groups to me seem to be based around identity politics rather than class issues. That the 'anarchist movement' in the US seems to be more infected by this sort of ideology than it is in Europe seems natural.

Of course all of this doesn't mean in any way that there aren't people putting forward class politics in the US, but is simply my general impression, and as I said I could be very wrong.

Devrim

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Hieronymous
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Dec 14 2012 19:02

Hi Devrim,

Your post, while at times thoughtful, wasn't based on anything more than a "general impression" of a continent you admit you know next to nothing about -- and that is almost 2 years out of date. The stuff in Wisconsin happened in the winter of 2011. And the mass sick-out of teachers lasted half a week and was bolstered by a widespread walk-out of students. You might not call that a "strike," but I do. It set the stage for the general strike call made mostly by Wobblies, some of whom are regular posters on libcom. Please go back and read the threads.

And you might dismiss the importance of Occupy, but you don't seem to understand its class composition. There's been lots written about it here on libcom, so I simply implore you to read the threads. Or send me your post address by PM and I'll send you a copy of the book Occupy Everything: Anarchists in the Occupy Movement 2009-2011. The chapter on the Bay Area has 9 texts, including one by me taken from here on libcom, and shows the breadth of radical/anarchist/anti-authoritarian communist ideas in this region. No one talks about the RCP and PSL become they had zero influence on Occupy. Frankly, except for the sheep crawls they used to do (they have flopped for the last few years) they have zero influence in the Bay Area. On this account you are simply wrong. CRUD is simply spreading lies and trying to promote a class reductionist position where we'll deal with racism, sexism and homophobia after the revolution.

As for liberals, I still consider them liberals whether they call themselves anarchists, communists or revolutionaries.

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Hieronymous
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Dec 14 2012 20:15

Also, the premise of the original post is flawed. The U.S. does not have a greater proportion of Maoists than in Europe. But as fnbrill pointed out, their front groups are expert at advertizing themselves. And the RCP and various Freedom Road groups only have a tiny fraction of Maoist groups elsewhere, like the Kurdish PKK, that number in the tens of thousands (a figure from a few years ago was 17,000). The RCP could only pull a couple hundred to antiwar events in Los Angeles at their recent peak in 2003. RCP front group World Can't Wait could only pull dozens to similar events in San Francisco. You have remember that most people who are politically active know that the RCP (as did most Maoists) once had a position on homosexuality that called it "bourgeois decadence." That is a recipe for failure, unless you're organizing homophobes.

CRUD's misinformation was taken up adequately here by Black Badger. Also, on Tuesday a cover story on the San Francisco Examiner tabloid had two prominent local anarchists' faces plastered on the cover regarding the Columbus Day arrests at a Black Bloc action. The D.A. is subpoenaing their Twitter accounts to try to implicate others in felony charges of conspiracy to riot. The two come from the insurrectionary anarchist faction, which I would call the predominate group in the Bay Area. Although I don't agree with them much theoretically, these are my comrades and I won't behave politely (sorry Devrim) when someone who lacks credibility, like CRUD, comes onto libcom to make unsubstantiated and inflammatory claims against them. COINTELPRO occurred when I was a little kid, but its historical lesson is a cautionary tale for us to question all sources of information today -- but especially those made with divisive intent and for the purpose of deception.