I started a libertarian-communist YouTube channel. Here's my first video! (EDIT: More videos being posted as they come)

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jef costello's picture
jef costello
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Jul 20 2019 22:13

tl;dr I liked the video smile I thought it was a clear explanation of quite a few things and you also explained things, then refuted them.

Libcom deleted my longer post, but that was pretty much just me concluding that my opinion didn't matter as I am not the target audience, so it might have been some kind of quality filter smile

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Jul 22 2019 04:12

Thanks, Jef! Well your opinion *does* matter, but you're right, the goal is to get beyond preaching to the choir. Lol @ "quality filter"

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Dec 26 2019 20:08

After a long period of hard work and sleep deprivation, may I present my latest video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnKUVY4sQ0g

Title: Where's the Proof of Racism?
(Answer: In this video!)

Twelve exhibits of evidence making the case that there exists a widespread pattern of racism that amounts to racial oppression.

The video is for:

1. People who think racism is no longer a problem: It makes a convincing case that it is, rooted in research studies and data.

2. People who know racism is a problem and want to fight it: It arms you with a ton of hard evidence to prove this to others, and will help make you a more effective anti-racist advocate.

We need a diversity of tactics to fight racism, and part of that is fighting ignorance by spreading information and understanding. If you think this video will help with that, I hope you will share it with others.

Feel free to drop a comment, too, with your feedback. Constructive criticism is welcome!

I hope everyone has enjoyed / is enjoying their holidays. Best Wishes for 2020!

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Reddebrek
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Dec 27 2019 20:40

That was fun and informative, thank you.

Do you make your own props?

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Lucky Black Cat
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Dec 28 2019 08:53

Not really. For the "In Case of White Guilt Break Glass" box, I bought an "In Case of Emergency Break Glass Box", then printed the words "WHITE GUILT" in white letters on a red background, cut it out and taped it on. So, I did like 1% of the labor, lol. Still felt proud of it, though! smile

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Feb 20 2020 19:40

Here’s my latest video! grin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQujPLjtUdU

Title: The Seductive Power of the Right-wing Fantasy: Can We Break the Spell?

Questions I aim to answer include:

What attracts people to the rightwing worldview? What makes them oppose policies that help those in need? Are they all just cold-hearted? Or is something deeper going on? Can leftists use insight into rightwing psychology to draw more people towards the left?

And of course, the burning question on everyone’s mind: IS RIGHTWING PHILOSOPHY LIKE COCAINE?

As usual I try to mix theory and info with entertainment. I hope you enjoy it.

(Since my channel is still new and small, for now I’m focusing on making videos on various leftist and social justice themes while I build up an audience and develop my video making skills. Once the channel has a larger audience I will begin a series of videos on capitalism, followed by series on libertarian-communism, revolution, etc.)

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Feb 24 2020 20:46

That was interesting, at times it sounded like you were describing Tolstoy's moral philosophy, only he did acknowledge social factors were a major cause of problems and that the only way for individuals to take responsibility and truly change was to dismantle the systems that perpetuate them.

Perhaps his work might be useful as a sort of reverse gateway?

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Lucky Black Cat
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Feb 27 2020 10:15

Interesting suggestion, Reddebrek! Until now I had never heard about Tolstoy's thoughts on this subject. Is there a particular essay where he discusses this, so I can check it out?
Perhaps it would make a good reverse gateway... an exit gateway... a gateway to libertarian-communism? smile

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Feb 27 2020 13:41

Well he talked about in every book he wrote really, even his famous novels have them as themes somewhere so you can just dive in at random. But his more Anarchistic essays are

The State

I cannot be silent

Patriotism

Patriotism and government

http://libcom.org/tags/leo-tolstoy

Quote:
But even if we assume that with the absence of governments there would be disturbances and civil strife, even then the position of the people would be better than it is at present. The position now is such that it is difficult to imagine anything worse. The people are ruined, and their ruin is becoming more and more complete. The men are all converted into war-slaves, and have from day to day to expect orders to go to kill and to be killed. What more? Are the ruined peoples to die of hunger? That is already beginning in Russia, in Italy, and in India. Or are the women as well as the men to go to be soldiers? In the Transvaal even that has begun.
So that even if the absence of government really meant Anarchy, in the negative, disorderly sense of that word,—which it is far from meaning,—even in that case, no anarchical disorder could be worse than the position to which governments have already led their peoples, and to which they are leading them.
And therefore emancipation from patriotism, and the destruction of the despotism of government that rests upon it, cannot but be beneficial to mankind.

and the Kingdom of god is within you, is his most famous work where he really gets into his philosophy but I haven't got around to reading it.

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Feb 27 2020 22:38

Long ago I read one of his essays (forget what it's called) where he talks about the immorality of government and, iirc, of capitalism, too. He writes with beauty and power. I remember finding his words both insightful and moving.

But I don't remember him addressing the topic of responsibility. Oh wait, now I'm remembering he does talk about the responsibility to resist injustice through civil disobedience.

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Apr 4 2020 16:49

New video dropped today! https://youtu.be/6k3DkEY0YHU

Title: Blaming the Poor: Poverty as Punishment

Margaret Thatcher called poverty a “personality defect”. Ben Shapiro says people are poor because “they suck with money.” A research-backed response to all those who blame poverty on the poor. In a world with enough for all, poverty is never justified.

This video is 16 minutes and is divided into five parts.

Part 1: Discusses the “culture of poverty” (or the “subculture of poverty” as it was originally called by anthropologist Oscar Lewis), the theory that the poor have various dysfunctional traits which play a significant part in causing intergenerational cycles of poverty. But to what extent is “the culture of poverty” an effect of poverty rather than a cause?

Part 2: Looks at how common (or uncommon) the culture of poverty is among the poor.

Part 3: Tackles the question of whether the non-employed poor are lazy / lacking in work ethic.

Part 4: The media likes to popularize true stories of people who overcome incredible obstacles to escape poverty. But these stories are held up not simply as inspirational examples, but to promote the idea that with enough hard work and determination, anyone can escape poverty, and therefore those who don’t have only themselves to blame. Part 4 challenges this notion.

Part 5: When people make the case for why poor people don’t deserve to be poor, we often focus on trying to show that the poor are every bit as hard working and conventional in their values as the middle class – just as I’ve tried to do in this video. In Part 5, I talk about why this is the wrong focus for the argument.

(Since my channel is still new and small, for now I’m focusing on making videos on various leftist and social justice themes while I build up an audience and develop my video making skills. Once the channel has a larger audience I will begin a series of videos on capitalism, followed by series on libertarian-communism, revolution, etc.)

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Apr 18 2020 16:34

New video! smile https://youtu.be/6k3DkEY0YHU

Lies & Half-Truths on Escaping Poverty

For those who blame poverty on bad choices by the poor, one study is cited perhaps more than any other to “prove” their claim. This video debunks that study.

Run time: about 12 minutes.

The Brookings Institution says there are “three simple rules” poor people can follow to escape poverty and join the middle-class, a claim echoed by political commentators such as Ben Shapiro.

1. Graduate high school
2. Get a fulltime job
3. Don’t have kids unless you’re married (and at least 21)

“Our research shows that of American adults who followed these three simple rules, only about 2 percent are in poverty and nearly 75 percent have joined the middle class.”
~Brookings Institution

This claim of “three rules to escape poverty” has become a big talking point for people who want to sell you the idea that poverty is easy to overcome, so if you’re poor, it must be your own fault.

This is why it’s so important to debunk this research: it empowers an agenda to ignore the most powerful causes of poverty and ignore the most effective solutions.

If we get the diagnosis wrong, we will get the cure wrong, too. As this video shows, poverty cannot be solved by the poor making better choices. There are bigger forces causing poverty than the sum of individual choices, such as socioeconomic conditions and capitalism, itself.

The “three simple rules to escape poverty” claim is factually wrong, and this video will explain why.

Feel free to leave me a comment telling me your thoughts on this video. Constructive criticism is welcome! smile

(Since my channel is still new and small, for now I’m focusing on making videos on various leftist and social justice themes while I build up an audience and develop my video making skills. Once the channel has a larger audience I will begin a series of videos on capitalism, followed by series on libertarian-communism, revolution, etc.)

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Jun 4 2020 20:00

MARX IS TOO SEXY
https://youtube.com/watch?v=Pc-3EbSCm80

(Just a short bit of fun to brighten up your day.)

wojtek
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Jun 4 2020 22:41

Lockdown getting to you? Kk
Cool vid^^

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Lucky Black Cat
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Jun 6 2020 00:43

Haha grin actually I made this video months ago but for some reason didn't get around to uploading it until now.

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Sike
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Jun 7 2020 23:28

Love it, LBC...especially liked the bit with Marx's head shopped onto an image of my bare torso.

wink

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Jun 9 2020 22:20

Lol. I'm so very glad you didn't mind me using a photo of your body. Probably should have asked, first.

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Jun 20 2020 08:37

New video: Power to End Capitalism: The Case for Workplace Organizing

(Fun Fact: I enthusiastically recommended the libcom “Organise Guide”, both in the video itself and in a list of resources for learning to organize.) smile

https://youtu.be/tKmIlAMIznQ

Video description

What can we do to win reforms? What can we do to abolish capitalism? To win we must become powerful, to become powerful we must organize.

The only way to end capitalism is for workers to seize the means of production. That takes A LOT of organizing and to reach that level of revolutionary organizing starts with organizing in your workplace. This builds the foundation for revolution.

In the shorter-term, workplace organizing gives us power to improve conditions at work, and if we organize between workplaces, we can have a general strike to make bigger changes by winning reforms from government. But to get there we need to start small.

Personal update

This video was a nightmare to edit. I filmed it mid-April, researched and wrote notes earlier in the month, and thought it would be ready for May Day. But it was my first try with an unscripted video, and I didn't stick to my notes but instead rambled all over the place for eight hours. So getting things pared down and into a coherent sequence was like untangling a plate of spaghetti.

I worked on it every day for over two months, and every week since May 1st I thought "This will be the week I finish." But again and again I was wrong, until it was finally released on June 13th. So glad to have this weight off my back! And I think it turned out well (I wasn't sure it would).

It's also the first video I've made so far that has an explicitly revolutionary and class-struggle focus in its message, so I feel excited to post it here because I think you folks will like it. grin

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Aug 22 2020 23:41

Here’s my latest video: Comrades Not Competitors
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNQOq3EunfQ&has_verified=1&bpctr=1598112...

Video description

We are stronger when we come together. But unfortunately, some of us try to fight oppression in ways that push us further apart.

This video is a response to the backlash against a recent Abolish ICE protest, a backlash that came not from the right but from those broadly considered within the left. A popular criticism was that it’s wrong to have a protest about ICE at a time when so many are focused on Black Lives Matter.

There were leftists and Black Lives Matter supporters who voiced strong disagreement with this critique, but it’s clearly a divided issue.

This is a troubling sign that many on the left lack sufficient understanding of the value of solidarity – not just its ethical value, but its strategic value – and lack knowledge of the historical record of how a powerful mass-movement develops.

Movements for different issues are not in competition. On the contrary, they have the potential to strengthen each other. That’s what I argue in this video and I look at historical case studies of mass-movements in Egypt and France to support my point.

Request

This video has been age restricted which means you have to sign in to view, it's not appearing on people's subscription page, and it may impact how likely the video is to be recommended. . This will hurt the views so I'll need help from others in sharing this video and spreading the word (if you're willing). Many thanks, comrades.

Have a good day and I wish you all the best in whatever you do.

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Sep 18 2020 22:05

Latest video: Police: Reform? Defund? Abolish? A DEBATE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik2xZEgoReE

Synopsis

Should police be reformed, defunded, or abolished? All this and more is discussed in this debate between a reformist and an abolitionist (both characters played by me).

Comment

I wrote this debate to have strong points made on both sides, rather than for one side to be DESTROYED. Instead, I wanted to raise and respond to challenging questions and strong criticisms.

My own opinion is that we should abolish the police, though I think genuine abolition is likely not possible within capitalism, but needs to be part of a revolutionary transition.

I tried hard to be unbiased in this debate so I wanted the reformist character to be a worthy opponent. I believe this strengthens the abolitionist case by showing how it can respond to some of the strongest counter-arguments.

Neither character comes across as right or justified in everything they say but hopefully both say things that are challenging, thought-provoking, and deepen your perspective on this topic.

I like to make my videos enjoyable to watch so I’ve added in some humor and entertainment. I hope you like it!

Have a great day, comrades. <3

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Oct 24 2020 23:33

New video: Voting & Electoralism: Steelman Debates Steelman
https://youtu.be/Mv7naNWfZ4A

Should we vote for the lesser evil? Should we engage in electoralism (do things beyond voting to influence who wins an election, e.g. canvassing, social media posts about a candidate)? Should we support politicians who identify as socialists?

These questions and more are explored in a debate between two characters, both played by me. I aim to present the strongest arguments each side has to offer. (It takes a while for the anti-electoralism side to get warmed up, so be patient.)

My personal opinion is that I have no problem with voting, but I believe that electoralism is harmful.

The video emphasizes that, regardless of whether or not you vote, our focus should be on building a working-class mass-movement to win reforms by our own actions and build our capacity for revolution.

The issues in this video apply to any “democratic” country in any year. The 2020 U.S. election of Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump is only used as an example.

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Apr 17 2021 18:42

I've fallen behind on posting here. I had a bit of a crisis that went on for months but which seems to have been resolved. So here's my latest video essay, which is already four months old, and in the next comment I'll post my most recent video, which isn't a video essay but a presentation I gave on something called the Aktion Show, a weekly livestream show about praxis, activism, and organizing.

Here's the summary for and link to the video essay:

It’s common for conservatives and even centrists to believe that black people have a victim complex and that this sabotages their socioeconomic success. They think black people don’t make an effort to succeed because they blame their problems on racism and feel entitled to handouts.

This video draws on various research studies to debunk this dangerous myth.

Debunking the “black victim mentality” theory is important because it’s an ideological obstacle to addressing the systemic and institutional causes of black / white socioeconomic inequality.

https://youtu.be/J0aK679qYeY

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Apr 17 2021 18:43

And here's the livestream video (though it has a non-livestream intro and outro that I added in)

How to Grow a Movement: Tips for Activists & Organizers

Advice that is useful for any organizer or activist, to help your organization or movement grow in both size and active participation.

This advice draws from two sources:

1. Social psychology

2. Real life examples of successful mass movements and organizing campaigns

This video is an episode of the Aktion Show, a weekly livestream about praxis and direct action, but includes a brief intro and outro that was not part of the show. Skip to 4:03 for the main presentation.

https://youtu.be/VsN_IMFa0tE

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Jun 15 2021 20:08

Finally releasing a new video after a long hiatus. I was going through a difficult time for a while but I’m ready to get back into it. Here’s the video description:

Meritocracy is a sweet lie we’re told to make capitalism seem fair. But is this lie actually sweet? Is meritocracy something good to strive for, or is it trash?

https://youtu.be/ENsrf27uLJg

This video will:

1. Discuss how belief in meritocracy is used to pacify, control and manipulate us into supporting a system that’s against our interests

2. Present evidence that meritocracy is a myth

3. Argue that capitalists get rich not by merit but by owning assets, and profit gained from this can be considered a legally protected form of theft

4. Make the case that meritocracy is not a desirable goal to aspire to

5. Present a preferable alternative to meritocracy, as described by Peter (Pyotr) Kropotkin in The Conquest of Bread (aka The Bread Book)

freemind
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Jun 16 2021 11:35

Hi Blackcat!
I take it you've done a few of these videos thus far?
Is it possible to do a collage of them all or am I being a technophobe dinosaur

freemind
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Jun 16 2021 11:40

Do you plan on releasing a video on what constitutes Anarchism and what doesn't,
I despair when I hear confused interpretations of Anarchism from some Comrades and Lifestylists and Laisses Faire types claiming they are Libertarians

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Jun 17 2021 08:59

Hey Freemind! By collage of all my videos, I assume you mean somewhere you can find them all in one place? If so, yes, and here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/LuckyBlackCat/videos

Regarding a video on the definition of anarchism, you can try Zoe Baker's video "What is Anarchy? | Anarchism 101" https://youtu.be/CDMGfsUjS_I

(It's been a couple years since I watched it but she's very knowledgeable about anarchism so I trust that it's good.)

You can also check this thread for other recommendations of anarchist channels http://libcom.org/forums/general/anarchist-youtube-13012019

I'm currently in the research phase of a video that will be on the history of the definitions of socialism and communism. Anarchism will be discussed insofar as it is a type of socialism/communism, but it won't be the focus.

This won't be the next video I release, though. I had a six month absence from uploading video essays in part because I was going through a rough time and also because I wanted to make several videos and save them up so I can release them within short intervals (about one week apart). The Meritocracy video is the first of nine that I have ready to go. By the time those are released I'll hopefully have the definitions video ready.

In the future I plan to make videos that get into the topic of anarchism quite deeply, but that's a ways off. I don't want my channel to just preach to the choir so I'm trying to build politically diverse subscribers. This is very difficult, in part because of how YouTube's algorithm works. In order to try to achieve this, I'm still in the phase of making videos that aim to appeal to the broad "left" (including left-leaning liberals). Then I plan to make a series of videos about capitalism, after that a series about anarchism, then a series about revolution, and then a series about building revolution.

But I'm not opposed to making a few videos here and there that don't strictly adhere to this order, so maybe a definition of anarchism video will appear on my channel sooner than planned.

freemind
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Jun 18 2021 11:04

Hi Lucky Black Cat;
Appreciate the reply and the info requested.
It's an effective form of AgitProp you've started and we'll executed so keep at it.
I believe videos on the origins and fundamentals need to be stressed especially today as its loosely threaded counter culture base can be a barrier to Anarchism in that misunderstandings are fostered and the Anticapitalist Class base of Libertarian Communism can be ignored by liberals who seek to subvert Anarchism to their own ends.
Best wishes Comrade

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Jun 23 2021 18:54

Thanks for the kind words. Yep, there sure are plenty of "anarcho-liberals" out there.

I've been learning some new things researching the definitions video so I'm excited about its eventual release.

Ok, now to post my new video...

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Jun 23 2021 18:54

Here’s my latest video: The Abuser Logic of PragerU
https://youtu.be/tfrKOYKyXWw

Responding to “Socialism Makes People Selfish” by PragerU, a video which tries to convince you it’s selfish to want society to guarantee the things we need for basic wellbeing and survival.

To argue this point, PragerU uses “abuser logic” – a warped pattern of reasoning that abusers use to convince their victims they’re unworthy of decent treatment.

This parallel with abusers is unsurprising, since the entire working class is in an abusive relationship with capitalism. PragerU wants us to believe we are unworthy of socialism (a term which I use in my videos as a synonym for communism), or even unworthy of a reformed version of capitalism with stronger social welfare policies.

My video is a response intended to debunk and ridicule this capitalist propaganda. Most people who frequent the libcom forum probably won’t learn anything new from this video but I’ve tried to make it entertaining so if you do watch I think you’ll enjoy it.