Cursory notes by spitzenprodukte on the evolution of a memetic non-demand.
You hear it everywhere, these days, if you walk within a certain activist milieu. It’s a token demand, a given. FULL COMMUNISM- I wouldn’t get out of bed for anything less. It’s a joke, a dumb joke. It’s a communist meme. Like all good memes, it’s pretty much devoid of meaning, in terms of content. But its use denotes something else– a Zizekian uber-demand, a demand which goes beyond. FULL COMMUNISM is both a lack, in a very real sense, but also a pointed lack, its very meaninglessness a cry for meaning.
It started as an in-joke, like all memes. Its current status bears little or no relation to that first meaning; it was emptied of its content, and the original is now of little worth except as a badge of pride to those “who were there, who saw it, maaaannn”. Of course, “Full Communism” has a specific meaning within Marxian economics; it is the stage following the dictatorship of the proletariat, where all social needs are met. For Marx, Full Communism enables a man
“to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner… without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic”
That’s as maybe, but it bears little relationship to the development of the FULL COMMUNISM meme. The subject of our study first arose as a small meme within a UK-hosted libertarian-communist web forum, Libcom.org, on the board “Libcommunity”. For context, if Libcom.org was 4chan.org, the “Libcommunity” board would be its /b/ board. The initial in-joke revolved around a member of the board wearing a complete outfit of a single sportswear brand, Lonsdale— also known as “Full Lonsdale”. Through various changes, this early-stage meme shifted form; the basic unit of the meme was FULL (X). (X) could be replaced with any verb or noun signifying an ironic hyperbolic emphasis, with a touch of malice. For example, a group member exhibiting a desire to organize activists around a single position may have been called “FULL PLATFORMIST”. FULL COMMUNISM was a variant that perpetuated in memetic form because it contained that quintessential characteristic of a meme—it held resonance and could be used in multiple contexts.
In early 2011 the ultra-leftist propaganda group Deterritorial Support Group (DSG) were featured in an article for fashion and art website Dazed Digital, and stated their aims were “full communism with lulz as a transitional demand”. Perhaps it was just the timing, coming after the student protests and in the middle of the Arab Spring, or, more likely, the structural advantage of DSG as a twitter-facing, fast-traffic group, but it was at this moment that FULL COMMUNISM broke free of its origin-group, and transferred fully into the realm of “the memetic”. Tweetable, and, more importantly, easily hashtagged, the slogan became a recurring fixture first within the London/Brighton activist Left, before spreading outside the South-East of England and across the UK.
#Occupy, the worldwide movement based upon the spectacular seizure of public space, has started to build stronger links between activist communities worldwide, especially between the UK and the USA. Not only has this created a shared bond amongst those who share the #occupy/#ows/#olsx hashtag community, but also a shared bond between those who are involved in active self-exclusion from the #Occupy movement. As a rule (and I admit these are very broad brushstrokes) many of those who most fervently identify with #occupy, and who have the most longevity within the movement, tend to be relative newcomers to the loosely delineated political “scene”. They have created an impressive spectacle, and also, undoubtably, helped shift media debate within the mainstream press towards issues of social justice and “capitalist excess”. President Obama made a hat-tip to “irresponsible” capitalism in his State of the Union address, whilst David Cameron has also taken up similar rhetoric since the protests started in London in October.
It is this very rhetoric which the community around FULL COMMUNISM wish to distance themselves from. They tend to be activists who have been involved in political action for longer, and, rather than the slightly amorphous, undefined ideology of #Occupy, self-identify dogmatically on the anti-authoritarian left; anarchists, anarcho-communists, autonomists, Maoists and the ultra-left have all taken up the semi-ironic slogan. It has also transferred to similar online-communities operating the US, who operate a creative twitter practice indulging in the absurd and the fanciful, whilst utilizing a base level of formal Marxist rhetoric and political abrasiveness.
Despite utilizing the slogan to draw clear ground between themselves and the “fluffy liberals” who coalesce around the Occupy hashtags, I wish to posit a controversial stance on FULL COMMUNISM as a hashtag community: FULL COMMUNISM operates as a memetic non-demand; that is, its vital memetic resonance functions precisely because, as most successful memes, it is essentially contentless. FULL COMMUNISM pulls together a hashtag community around a cipher of radicalism, disguising the reality, which is that within that community there are no real political demands capable of creating a sense of political purpose. Like #occupy, it is a slogan or hashtag of will rather than a hashtag of intent.
It must be pointed out that the cultural position of FULL COMMUNISM is as a sincere irony; that is, it walks the fuzzy boundary between self-parody and real desire. Take a number of the following tweets, screengrabbed earlier today:
The tone of these tweets are almost always light-hearted; the slogan may be utilized to signify a pleasant physical or mental state, an escape from an unpleasant experience, or an angry retort towards a person (tweeter, politician or celebrity) who expresses positions not in line with the community norm. It’s a shared aspiration, in short, which binds those who use it into a sense of commonality or solidarity. Its very extremism, excluding those who either don’t “get the joke” or, more likely, are intimidated by it, forms a common bond. This “like it or lump it” form of distanciation, couched in multiple ironic layers, is also popular with philosopher Slavoj Zizek, who is fond of making statements such as “Communism! I am absolutely in favour of egalitarianism with a taste of terror”, or claiming to be a Stalinist.
So, what is the extreme position that FULL COMMUNISM signifies? Put sharply, it doesn’t. It’s a statement defined by what it rejects, and its meaning is in its lack, its absence. FULL COMMUNISM is the analogue of #Occupy, a way to draw together into a simulated community of political solidarity without having to develop a political programme. To actually begin to define the ambition would cause the fragmentation of the community; the ideas shared under the auspice of the meme would (and could) never constitute a programme for the meme. For those hoping to build programmatic political organisations, this is the total-limit of internet politics. But for those of us who see the recent uprisings worldwide as symptomatic of a new, networked political subjectivity, this ad-hoc, anti-programmatic community is an exciting potential.
Whilst the extant meaning of FULL COMMUNISM may be, indeed, meaningless, devoid of political content, it operates on the level of common bond built upon shared frustration. FULL COMMUNISM isn’t a united desire for a shared political position. Like #occupy, it’s a shared shout of “I’m fucking sick of this shit”. Unlike #occupy, however, it also holds an added threat: “I’m so fucking sick of this shit I have no desire to reform it. I want to go beyond. I want to fuck shit up”. FULL COMMUNISM is a meme with the potential for much more resonance in the coming months, a rapidly expanding spawnpoint for dissatisfaction.
As an addendum to this argument, I’d like to forward a brief point that I feel I implicitly touched upon in this essay, but that I think we should build on explicitly. This short article is, of course, lighthearted, but I think there’s a more interesting point lurking somewhere in here. If we accept that the internet is not just a space for organizing IRL political actions, but a territory of action in itself (as the actions of Anonymous and, more recently, the Anti-SOPA actions suggest), we should think about what sort of territory it is. The idea of a hashtag community is, I think, a potential for building effective, “weak” social ties, useful in swarm and hive practices. We should be aware of how a hashtag community operates as a public space; like, for example, the salons of 19th Century Paris, or town squares. They communicate a shared ideology which others take notice of. Some will pick them up straight away as the resonance with their own lived experience is so strong, others will hang around, listening to the arguments, following different discussions, making up their own minds. The term “trending topic” only touches upon the importance of the hashtag as public space; a trending topic doesn’t just reflect an idea, or news story, it perpetuates it. The politics of the movement not withstanding, #Occupy as a hashtag broke open new public space for a much-needed conversation. Once “cracked”, it enabled many thousands of people an access to a community already discussing important issues. We should not underestimate the power of a hashtag in social change.
Originally posted at the finest products on 26 January 2012
Thinking about the opening
Thinking about the opening bit about Marx --
I've never particularly liked this quote from Marx in the Grundrisse, but, Marx writes that "]Human anatomy contains a key to the anatomy of the ape. The intimations of higher development among the subordinate animal species, however, can be understood only after the higher development is already known." Which is to say, I'd be interested to see if memes shed any light on prior developments. Particularly this "specific meaning", which strikes me as about as vague as can be. What's communism? It's when you can do all kinds stuff without ever becoming the category one-who-does-this-or-that-stuff. To the degree that this kind of idea has had force or currency in the marxist tradition, it seems likely to me that it's been a long standing meme, even though a pre-internet meme.
Has Refused seen this thread
Has Refused seen this thread yet?
It's excellent someone
It's excellent someone actually took the time to write this!
On a related note just did a quick Google search for "full communism" and it came back with 11,000 results. It would be interesting to see how this changes over time. (A lot of the current ones are unrelated to the meme. Amusingly, I see that full platformist Wayne Price references full communism in a couple of his texts)
But no mention of COMBAT
But no mention of COMBAT LIBERALISM, maybe slightly less widely used, but surely in answer to, or 'part b' of FULL COMMUNISM? Possibly even more exclusive and in-jokey. Good article though.
Isn't this kinda like a
Isn't this kinda like a little bit pompous and overblown? I get that Spitzen's not being entirely earnest in his original, which leads me to question why it's been reposted here. Let's keep a sense of proportion here people, please.
no YOU keep a SENSE of
no YOU keep a SENSE of proportion!!!!!!!
Yeah let's all slap ourselves
Yeah let's all slap ourselves on the back cos our leaders in DSG (no offence, Spitzen, this isn't your fault lol) deigned to borrow one of 'our' jokes.
"WE KINDA KNOW SOMEONE WHO'S KINDA FAMOUS EVERYONE. ONLY IN OUR OWN TINY MILIEU OF IRRELEVANT FANTASISTS BUT HEY IT'S COOL. 'LULZ'....AM I DOING IT RIGHT?"
Sounds like someone took a
Sounds like someone took a FULL PISS in your cereal this morning.
WHY NOT lose all sense of
WHY NOT lose all sense of proportion yourself CDB?
my twitter communism brings
my twitter communism brings all the boys to the yard.
Jim Clarke wrote: Har har,
Har har, that's funny. You've DEFINITELY never ever - what's the phrase? Oh yeah - 'had a cry' over something that's happened on Libcom. FFS the running joke in SLSF and beyond is that you're obsessed with this site.
I mean, yeah, you're all right, this doesn't really matter, but I just find it a bit ridiculous to watch you all pat yourselves on the back over the fact that an injoke you invented in a really cliquey space has now grown slightly larger while still remaining - as the author himself cedes - very cliquey and exclusive. You're basically enjoying the fact that one of Paul Mason's mates thinks you're witty. It's all a bit silly really, kinda reminiscent of social climbing and whatnot.
You're getting worked up over
You're getting worked up over something that's happening in an irrelevant and cliquey social space. Let's keep a sense of proportion here people, please.
Jim Clarke wrote: Please
But OK, I'll drop it, you all know how I feel about it now... :oops:
Caiman, I'm assuming that
Caiman, I'm assuming that there's a bunch of background to this that I don't know the context of that involves personal/political relationships, so maybe whatever I'm going to say won't matter much, but...
I think you're blowing this a bit out of proportion. I mean maybe this is reflective of the predisposition of certain elements of the UK communist movement to gravitate towards ingroup terminology and cynical/ironic political posturing, but I never really thought of these memes as that.
I just thought of them as light hearted jokes between people who see themselves as friends as well as having political relationships. I think these inside jokes can be a relief sometimes as well as drawing otherwise vaguely interested people more directly into our fold because of the use of humor. In that aspect, DSG has done/did a good job of that. I think you underestimate how the atmosphere of libcom or libcommunity specifically has benefited people. In the States, our equivalent was the Anarchists That Hate Anarchists (ATHA) grouping, which was a collection of Myspace/Facebook groups, photoshopped images, Infoshop/AnarchistNews trolling and spoof/joke blogs. Like libcommunity it has had some very negative aspects, particularly when certain bad characteristics spilled at or towards our own organizations or projects, but it had some positive things too. I say this completely honestly, but without ATHA I wouldn't even be involved in stuff. No libcom, no IWW in Wisconsin, no Wild Rose Collective, no RNC protests, etc. If I hadn't have found ATHA folks on the Myspace, I would have never known there was organizing going on 30 miles away from me. The internet culture shit led me directly into active involvement.
I think you also underestimate internet culture. This is something that I think DSG also got right and made a good choice pushing back at. Internet culture is mass culture. Nearly everyone is on the internet. Memes spill out into TV shows, advertisements and other forms of non-online media that many millions of people see and are familiar with. Places like 4chan which have been primarily cesspools of pop nihilism are the breeding ground of hackitivists who reference memes and go after powerful symbols of state and capital. I don't think having a relation to that is a bad thing.
Hey Juan and Jim are both
Hey Juan and Jim are both correct to say that there are points worth engaging with here. My irritation was mostly aimed at Libcom trying to piggyback on the back of DSG for its own self-promotion. There's a slightly ugly element of social climbing here, cos DSG are currently (posthumously) flavour of the month with celebrity pseudo-communists (Paul Mason) and alt-left art hipsters and I suppose Libcom admin think that they might improve their social lives by proxy? Not sure tbh... ;)
On a further point, the cult of celebrity around this clique kinda puts into context the critique made of the (Ian) Boneheads during Libcom's formative years. Whatever happened to "ruthless criticism...", etc?
Yeah a little bit, but it's cool. Me and Jim actually hang out quite a bit IRL and manage to snap at each other comfortably within the realms of our friendship. ;)
Well tbf I made one short comment about it and then it turned into a massive thing, largely stoked by provocations outside of Libcom.
I think if you had the context of the London activist scene (which many Libcom posters based here, and ex-DSGers, hover around, socially and politically), you'd understand how often these sorts of jokes are used as an exclusion mechanism, with impenetrable references and inaccessible quips actively impeding those who don't have the time or the inclination to read reams of 'ultra-left' texts, extended Twitterfeeds or a rather esoteric humour.
And btw, since you mentioned 'proportion', we're talking about an article which analyses a hashtag that is only occasionally used by a tiny section of an utterly powerless activist movement, mostly for humourous - rather than productive - ends. How is that proportionate?
Well yeah, it is complicated, cos I like all of these people on a personal level and I think much of what they say is worthwhile, so I afford them the time and attention of reading and thinknig about what they say. What that sometimes means is I state where I differ. Depending on my rather unstable mood, this may come out in a reasonable or unreasonable fashion. The problem is the internet records all this shit and sometime even offers a baying crowd who seem to revel in it (just wait until someone accuses me of 'having a cry')... :(
I think that visual/didactic propaganda is much less valuable as an 'agitational' tool than personal contact. There seems to be a belief that if we spread the Good Word far enough, if we get 50%+1 agreeing with us on a moral level, then we'll have de facto revolution. Ironically, DSG would probably (broadly) agree with me on this point.
The real question, IMO, we should be asking isn't whether the internet's a good propaganda tool (it is as much as anything else is), but whether it - or its users - can struggle in their own interests towards communism, which is the question DSG regularly pose. They, of course, believe that it can (as Spitzen says in this article), but I'm yet to be convinced and see as many contradictions as potential in stuff like the SOPA strike, Occupy, etc.
I'd like to ask Spitzen what he thinks a class movement on the net would look like, and how it'd avoid falling into all the traps of IRL activism. If anything, the process he's charting here would seem to represent the aperture of another arena in which to further isolate and entrench IRL activists.
Sorry but this is a massive generalisation which says a lot about (y)our respective demographics. My grandmother's never touched a computer in her life, and loadsa people restrict themselves to email and/or Facebook, or use it through their phones, where it's essentially indistinguishable from SMS or BBMs (this is especially true in the 'developing world').
As for mass culture, it's not untrue in itself but it seems like a bit of a meaingless statement due to the sheer width of the net. It's a space in which people spend time and hold billions of tiny conversations on top of a handful of huge ones, which largely replicate mainstream discourses. You could compare it to a street, a huge cafe, or even just several billion letters/phone calls, depending on the relationship the individual - cos ultimately, we are all individual consumers of a product here, often in a darkened room eschewing company to do so (in my case anyway lol) - has with it.
Well yes it's interesting from a sociological/cultural point of view to see ideas emanate from the base up rather than vice versa, and hacktivism is worth further discussion (I'm not the best person for this, and I'm writing in a hurry here anyway), but there is still the unresolved issue of where these ideas go and how they develop. I mean, 4chan may have given us possibly the most popular word in youth argot currently ("fail"), but that was only allowed to develop cos of its content/context. I don't see "full communism" becoming as popular (seeing as how Libcom posters rank below the median in terms of Anglophone sense of humour ;) ), and even if it did, I don't see how it could then translate into action.
the saddest part is, Deezer
the saddest part is, Deezer doesn't even wear FULL LONSDALE anymore :(
Real quickly, Caiman, in the
Real quickly, Caiman, in the U.S. there are 245 million internet users, or almost 80% of the population. If this is reflective of "my demographic", I have a massive demographic.
Quote: There's a slightly
This all based on literally nothing more than one blog post (amongst hundreds of others) being reproduced on this site.
Juan Conatz wrote: Real
the UN estimated that in the UK 82.5% of the population were internet users in 2010. Maybe Caiman's grandmother isn't representative of the population as a whole, I don't know...
is the fact that less than a
is the fact that less than a third of people world wide use the internet irrelevant here? not sure.
eh? come on. i couldn't be further removed from these cliques he speaks of (if they do exist; i couldn't say), but the things he's pointing at - the DSG love, for instance - definitely exist outside of this blog post. i don't really hold a strong opinion here - i don't know if it's 'social climbing' etc. - but i thought it was a bit disingenuous of you to make out he is simply reacting to a single post. unless this is an in-joke over his propensity to be accused of 'having a cry'? groan!
Caiman del Barrio
Caiman del Barrio
I agree w/ this totally and think the point about exclusion that you made is important too.
This is true and is the talk of my IWW branch.
Jim Clarke wrote: We didn't
On top of mine and Snipfool's
On top of mine and Snipfool's points about the still relatively low figures of internet users globally (which largely trump the silly comments about my grandma)...
OK but what exactly does that demonstrate? Are all of those people aware of internet memes, or memes of memes, etc? I mean, you're kinda superimposing your personal experience of the internet on top of 245 million other people! I understand that for you internet anarchy-activist injokes were very formative and inviting, but do you honestly conceive of them as a method of mass recruitment or consciousness raising or something?
And this is without discussing the typically solitary and isolated nature of internet usage, the selfish, individualist spite of anonymous forum culture, and the liberal lifestyle dimensions to the arguments around internet 'freedom'. I mean, SOPA fills me with dread (I actually lay awake wondering about it last night, only partially cos I was stoned ;) ), but I can't see a mass movement over what is essentially a consumer choice (which is what Google, Youtube, etc users essentially are if we replace actual monetary exchange with the forced consumption of targeted advertising) demonstrating the requisite amount of class solidarity. Can you?
This is one of a number of rhetorical devices you use in discussion, which I think are largely motivated by a desire to undermine and belittle the 'opponent' (cos snipes like that would seem to indicate such an approach to discourse) and thusly provoke them. After 9 years of knowing each other, you know full well that I'll take the bait so you can then sit back on your pedestal and tell everyone how 'mental' I am.
So I'm asking you publicly: if you actually have a point to make, drop the condescension (towards me, at least) and do it in good faith.
Given you've had a giant rant
Given you've had a giant rant over the reposting of a blog relevant to the site (given that it's about communism and DIRECTLY REFERENCES THE SITE), I'm loathe to allow you to try present yourself as the voice of reason here. But whatever, let's give it a go.
As you so frequently do (given that as you raise I've known you for 9 years, so have seen this many times before), you have had a giant kick off - for the sake of your sensibilities I won't say tantrum - over basically nothing.
You've taken a minor event (the blog being reposted in this instance) and through a process of invention and inexplicable extrapolation turned it into something else. So one admin reposting a blog somehow, and without any real explanation becomes something entirely different.
Instead of just a blog being reposted, it's "social climbing". We think we're cool because DSG used one of our old jokes. We're back slapping to hide from our lack of real world traction. We want to fit in with some hipster communist scene we're neither part of, or for the most part barely even encountered. It's an attempt to exclude people from an in-crowd (Altho quite how this is achieved by the act of explaining the parlance is beyond me) Something about Paul Mason. None of this has any real basis in logic or reality - you haven't argued or pointed to anything. It's just a rant. Seemingly from nowhere. It's shadow boxing against something that I don't think really exists. At best, it's massively out of proportion to what is, at worst, a slightly silly blog.
It's one blog post amongst hundreds we reproduce here. It doesn't mean any of this shit. Sometimes a repost is just a repost.
And that's it. That's why i'm not responding to your points like srs bsns. Because I don't think you've really made any - or if you have, they're either so mangled, misplaced or misdirected, it's hard to actually grasp them, or find what you're trying to say. But hey, go ahead a bring up something I once said in 2008 or something.
Jim Clarke wrote: Well why do
Well he tones down/completely removes his personal political convictions for much of his reportage (especially on the Eurozone) and seems to lack much of a critique of the existent activist movement. At time he's championed 'peaceful' protest as an end in itself (combined with occasional sideswipes at bad ie violent protestors) and hugely exaggerating the significance of social media (lol, Spitzen) without really analysing its disadvantages.
Of course, i am willing to believe that he's trying to keep a delicate balance between his job and presenting a communist critique, so it's not a personal attack per se, but I still think it's valid to note the compromises he's made in order to become a public figure.
I think pseudo-communist is a fair summary of the above.
See I'm not sure that's true and neither am I convinced of the significance if it were true. Lolcats' popularity grew due to a very specific content and context, one which "full communism" doesn't have...yet.
Caiman del Barrio
Caiman del Barrio
Jim Clarke wrote: How many
Are you suggesting that Paul Mason invented investigative/radical liberal journalism?
Moreover, are you suggesting that there's no contradiction between his personal convictions and his BBC reporting? From occasionally watching him on Newsnight and following his Twitterfeed (I'm no fanboy y'see ;) ) I find approximately half of what he says to be thoroughly bound up in the logic of maintaining capital, the state and public order, or indeed, just irritating mimickry of the spectacle of mainstream political discourse.
Of course, there's also the other half where he seems to get quite excited (when he was in Athens for example), but I think it's naivete on a grand scale to claim (as you appear to be doing, not sure) that there's no tension there.
And exactly WHEN did we open the floodgates to allow the liberals in then? ;)
In all seriousness, I'd consider a healthy cynicism and disrespect for the role of mainstream TUs, non-threatening street protest/public performance, the police and the structures of social media to be pretty crucial for a communist critique.
Right, but what does this prove? People are aware of "knock knock" jokes but that doesn't mean that one about knocking down the walls of capital would be the spark does it? Content and context yo...
Dude. You're doing this
Dude. You're doing this thing. Someone says something ("there are memes and people know about them") then you ask a question that invokes like an incredibly large/important and very unlikely thing that probably won't follow on from them ("you think memes will create revolution?!"). It makes it hard to have a conversation. If you take a minute it seems like at least some of your questions, the ones of this type, you probly can guess the answer to if you assume that the folk you're talking with are more or less reasonable. I for one think you've raised some thought provoking points but you've done so in a way that the signal to noise ratio isn't very good. Which is to say, you've raised some thought provoking points in the midst of a tone that doesn't provoke thought but a defensive emotional reaction. I wish you'd just pick one rather than do both.
This thread is about 35 posts
This thread is about 35 posts too long and can be summarised:
1. Bit self-indulgent from libcom admins
2. Meh, don't suppose it matters much.
Nate wrote: Dude. You're
Last time I read you on this subject you were suggesting how best to 'win' debates on a rhetorical level in the context of workplace organising. What was it: counterpose two options, with the opposing one presented as the close-minded one? Something like that (lol it's like The Game for Organising...well, Arguing, anyway ;) ). Since we're being frank about each other, it makes me reluctant to properly interract with you cos I worry about you being disingenuous or manipulative in order to score a rhetorical 'victory'.
In my defence, I'm only picking up on the threads of Spitzen and DSG's perspective about the importance of internet-based 'activism'. They do seem to place great importance, and seem to have the ear of Mason, inasmuch as he also emphasises the role of the internet. Moreover, this is a common running theme in the UK at least (the BBC recently did a series 'uncovering' the Arab Spring titled "How Facebook Changed the World"), so it's really not that much of a strawman. And, of course, on this very thread Juan appeared to be implying that memes were "mass culture."
I've deleted my earlier
I've deleted my earlier comment. I have to fix lunch for my kid just now. I have more to say and will come back later, going to make an effort to be more constructive and to address what are in my opinion the more interesting points raised in the article and the discussion.
Hi I've been away from the
Hi I've been away from the laptop for the last 36 hrs or so (weeeeeeekend) and now I'm back I have a pile of preparatory work to do for my school's inspection this week coming.
I haven't forgotten Jim's points, gonna reply to him when I've done this...
EDIT also I've reported Revol's post, not cos it's especially offensive or anything (the opposite tbh, lol), but cos it irresponsibly reveals sensitive information about yours truly. Edit out that reference and then leave the rest I reckon.
To be honest I'm fairly sure
To be honest I'm fairly sure I remmeber Caiman boasting he knew DSG.
I don't think anyone else particularly gives a fuck beyond thinking it's kinda funny that the meme spread. I also claim its invention ;)
Jim Clarke wrote: Caiman del
So do you accept that he's not the first reporter to file from inside of a slum or next to a riot while wringing his hands then?
Well, much of his Twitterfeed and a lot of his reportage talks about themes, ideas and false dichotomies which are established by the spectacle of mainstream socio-political discourse, which I find a little bit problematic and leads me to question whether he's just 'playing the game' and covering it out of a sense of duty to his job (which, in real terms, makes him little better than Davis, Peston, etc).
Of course, like I say, this isn't supposed to be a criticism of his moral integrity or anything, rather, an understanding of the role he's chosen and the limitations it places upon him. In short, we really shouldn't be eulogising him as a (semi-)famous communist cos one rather constrains the other.
I suppose this is a reasonable enough understanding. A lot of what I've read of his would seem to fly in the face of that but lacking any concrete examples, I'll just have to RT the next thing he says which I think supports my argument.
I said "non-threatening street protest/public performance" actually ;), in an effort to juxtapose ineffectual public performance dressed as political activism with the class working in its own interests. I think this manifests itself in his exaltation of the usage of social media for the British activist scene, without ever really analysing said scene's weaknesses, or perhaps the problems with it organising online.
On occasion - such as after March 26 - he's seemed to reinforce the official state/police line of peaceful protest being benevolent and violent street protest being malicious (rather than slightly less ineffective, like you say). This implies allowing for a
OK but if my grandmother's not useful anecdotal evidence, why should my immediate group of friends be? (And even so, I'd answer your question with somewhere between 50-66% amongst Anglophones, and probably less than 25% amongst non-Anglophones.)
Yes, I agree, but in my experience, if you do something so prominently and publicly that people actually take notice, what happens is they tend to replicate your activity. So, say that images/detourned memes of FULL COMMUNISM became the next hot thing on Reddit, 4chan, etc and you suddenly had 100,000 reposts on it a day. That in itself would be the activity that binds the meme, rather than the implementation of full communism itself, or indeed, the self-organisation of workers in their own interests. All we'd get is a million people riffing on a picture, or a one-line joke, etc. Now, I'm not saying this'd necessarily be worthless but it's pretty small fry in comparison to a strike (even of 1,000 - or 0.1% - workers) and its effect across the class is ultimately pretty hard to quantify. IMO, the meme we need to be encouraging is workers' self-activity, not pictures which reference it.
Even so, I think you're arguing for the meme as a propagandistic tool, which I think is different to Spitzen's approach.
the button wrote: Jim Clarke
The book launch party...
I'm not sure I get the point of the article really.
Do we? I think the writer is arguing that by refusing to carry a political program (not that a two-word meme really could) it is symbolic of refuasal and that that has more potential for revolutionary growth. Seems more like a kind of opportunistic nihlism. Aiming to get as many follows as possible but for no real reason. Twitter always seemed to me like the desire not to be left out, most of the people who used it seemed to be using it because they wanted to be there from the start because they'd missed myspace or whatever. If people (by people I mean a small number of people within a small milieu who are already aware of your ideas if they can be bothered) are only likikng, adding retweeting or referencing something that is devoid of content, and is based on a joke in the first place, then really what is the point? It isn't a space for organising, it's pointless and connected to nothing apart from being more relevant to some jokes than others.
I might be taking this too seriously and missing the metajoke or whatever it is that's going on.
ps lol refused
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/mortarboard/2012/feb/20/are-memes-site-of-class-struggle - lol. The answer obviously is no and this article doesn't actually have anything to do with class struggle as we understand it, it's just a stupid liberal condescending 'oh no people from low-ranked uni's need protection from all these jokes about them' article masquerading as a defence against snobbishness. I go to Cambridge and there's been loads of memes taking the piss out of people at Anglia Ruskin (the other uni at Cambridge), so some Cambridge liberals have been ever-so-upset about this, really stupid...
“to hunt in the morning, fish
“to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner… without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic”
Hahaha! Yes! These primitive communists drag us down to a level of uniform mediocrity. Whether it be spiritual or ideological, thou shalt be required to sheepishly shed your individual fleece for the quantifying bureaucratic shearer's assessment of your compliance to herd rules and your commercial value for their market!! A paradox exists, are not all ideologies demeaning and exploitative?
Now they hunt in the mall and have share portfolios and are obsessed about interest rates, and their lives have become lame shallow exchanges of economic data interspersed with frenzied sexual conquests!
Jim Clarke wrote: 71% of the
support for full communism is growing, followed by the semi-realistic alternative to "Smash the machines and bring back Merlin"
I remember Paul Mason in
I remember Paul Mason in Leicester in the 80's demonstrating on Anti Fascist/Apartheid and Union issues.Everyone held him in high regard and respected his activism.His first book "Live Working Class or Die Fighting" is an excellent read IMO.
In his genre if he got on his soapbox and went on a communist diatribe every 5 minutes he wouldn't last and would be out the door and marginalised.Name anyone in the mainstream who has done that and survived?
In a higher phase of
In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly—only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!
Jim Clarke wrote: 71% of the
up to 83% !
btw, is this characteristic of the Mirror?
This is one of their
This is one of their quizzes
thanks both i'm a bit
i'm a bit dumbfounded that a major tabloid would use the phrase 'full communism' assuming that the readership would know. unimaginable here in the states.
"You're basically Len McCluskey"
'Full communism' as
'Full communism' as envisioned by Diego Rivera
Full communism now?
Full communism now?
The meme continues:
To save readers the trouble
To save readers the trouble of 'Googling' the term 'meme' [re. preceeding post] I have done the work for you:
Quote: On a related note just
66,000, though sadly topped by a Tankie meme page.
Rob Ray wrote: 66,000,
That's actually a (slightly) interesting point - the original article and accompanying discussion are like a time capsule from before tankie meme pages were really a thing, like looking back at posts from 2015 when pepe was just a lovable innocent meme frog. It's from a moment in time when people, at least in a certain very very specific setting, felt able to just describe themselves as "communist" or "full communist" without sticking a "libertarian/anarcho/council/anti-authoritarian/anti-state/etc" disclaimer on the front, because of course no-one would assume that you meant "like the communist party and russia and north korea", that'd be silly...
I guess in retrospect, the shortcomings of that "very extremism... couched in multiple ironic layers" and "simulated community of political solidarity without... a political programme" stand out a bit more.
Rob Ray wrote: Quote: On a
That's just in your search results. My search results get the following, no tankies insight:
One of Caiman's points here
One of Caiman's points here was unfortunately prescient in regards to the overall development of this meme.
The Twitter account is
The Twitter account is "self-aware" Tankie, hence the comment.
So DSG were essentially the
So DSG were essentially the people behind Novara Media?
wojtek wrote: So DSG were
No overlap in personnel afaik.
Full communism and the
Full communism and the glorious future of techno-communism were both discussed part of that period though, which no doubt Mr Bastani was carefully taking notes on before he came up with FALC.
I had a look at that twitter
I had a look at that twitter page and Jesus:
I genuinely can't imagine a human being actually looking at that and thinking "yes, this is good." I wonder what DSG would've thought if someone told them that, a few years down the line, this is what the phrase they popularised would be associated with.
It's very similar to the
It's very similar to the 'tankies' collage including Nehru, Mengistu and others.
However it relies on two things, at least one of which we can do something about:
1. Most of the pro-Stalin cos-players don't know anything about W. E. B. Du Bois or Sankara
2. A lot of anarcho-communists also don't know fuck all about W. E. B. Du Bois or Sankara
For example Sankara refused foreign aid from the USSR and denounced the USSR invasion of Afghanistan. The people chucking Sankara memes around will insist the USSR's foreign investment programmes weren't imperialist and defend the invasion of Afghanistan.
Proper critical libertarian communist engagement with these (there's a lot written about Dubois and Black Reconstruction like https://libcom.org/library/w-e-b-du-bois-proletariat-black-reconstruction-ferruccio-gambino afaik, almost nothing on Sankara though, but something on the vulnerability of state socialist reformers to coups/assassination would be easy, on his actual reforms and rise to power a bit harder but still worth documenting) would help undermine the approach at least a little bit.
Well the author of this piece (the original blog post this comes from: http://huwlemmey.tumblr.com/post/16488111086/on-full-communism-cursory-notes-on-the-evolution) is here interviewing Paul Mason on 'post-capitalism' and here doing a talk on Corbynmania, so it seems like they've gone FALC/Corbyn - not sure that's much better than the twitter tankies at least once you take into account proximity to state power. Not sure if they were actually in DSG as a group or what the members of DSG in general are up to though.
Yeah, as far as I'm aware the
Yeah, as far as I'm aware the main DSG people now seem to be supporting "Corbyn as a transitional demand" instead of lulz
Mike Harman wrote: It's very
Yeah, but this is at least 50% worse because of the representation of "people who criticise Stalin", which comprehensively owns everyone who doesn't like gulags by showing that... anarchists vape and drink sparkling water? Is that the new stereotype now? Is the anarchist who vapes the same person as the anarchist with a dog on a bit of a string, or has the anarchist with a dog on a bit of string finally been allowed to retire after their many years of faithful service?
Maybe this is a bad way of judging ideologies, but I sort of think of Corbynism as being the default ideology of like "vaguely political mate with generally sound instincts/militant unionist you might get chatting to on a picket line", whereas I associate twitter tankies much more with just "weirdo from the internet posting stuff by holocaust deniers to own the imperialists and then blocking everyone who points it out as a CIA shill".
A sad sign of how much we've all had to tighten our belts over the last few years of austerity cuts.
R Totale wrote: Maybe this
For me there's a big difference between wanting Corbyn to get in and the NHS to get a bit more money, vs. ideologically supporting the Corbyn project via interviews/seminars/articles. Same as there's a difference between vaguely thinking Castro or Chavez is pretty cool and active genocide denial.
If we look at Paul Mason. Support for Trident renewal and increasing military spending, wargaming about China, calls for stricter border controls, op-eds about Churchill being an anti-fascist hero cancelling out his pre-1940 strike breaking (ignoring gulags in Kenya and Malaya post-war, the Bengal famine during the war), supporting the SAS on the streets and building a British equivalent to France's paramilitary GIGN, selfies with statues of Tito. All this with half a million twitter followers instead of 25k, columns in the New Statesman etc.
Then there's the ideological gymnastics that anarcho-corbynists (and 'class war social democrats') have been going through to justify 10,000 extra police officers and 500 extra border guards (to the point of saying that police cuts are 'Tory' and more police might mean softer policing methods)... it just has a lot more direct and practical application to actual material circumstances in the UK than twitter Stalinism, and is a lot more popular.
Also carries more weight when it comes from someone putting on plays in central London theatres about Louise Michel, articles republished on libcom, quotes the machine fragment in the Grundrisse to justify their social democratic managerialism, books published by Verso etc, worthy successor to Marx in the Graun etc. compared to making CIA-psyop memes with MS paint.
So when both are claiming the 'full communism' meme or its FALC variant, they're both pretty bad. I realise there are professional journalistic equivalents of Mason on the tankie side with Ben Norton et al. but those have weaker links with the British 2010/2011 ultra-left.
Mike Harman wrote: Well the
Appropriate, then, that the website link at the bottom of the article points to a hollow shell with all of its content long since removed and replaced by an advert.