Rules of the road

Kasama

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September 01, 2007

Comments

JB

Mao-ite, if you're tired of what you see as a hostile tone – then you can do one of three things:

• Listen and respond to the content of criticism.
• Add something fresh to the discussion.
• Ignore it.

There's real frustration, some of it clearly more hostile than my own, about the direction the RCP has lurched off on. But I have to tell, in terms of private correspondence I get – the overwhelming complaint is that the RCP is even treated as something worthy of examined critique. That doesn't mean the people saying this are right, it's just to note it.

We need a political party that makes us stronger than the sum of our parts – and this is something Avakian's RCP steadfasty refuses to do. That building even a small party is no simple task is obvious, and in that lacuna lies the anger, bitterness and frustration that we can't just whip together some new national formation to "do it right".

People who frequent this blog will continue to vent their spleen on that topic, even if it is indeed tiresome. Especially where it's not the topic at hand. It need not haunt every discussion.

I will also continue to host and post materials from Avakian's RCP that are of general interest. I will point out that this blog generates more "engagement" with Avakian and his group than any other place on the internet, including those attempts to create more closely "minded" forums. And that RCP supporters (and apologists) are more than welcome to have their full, unadulterated say. As they wish.

Bottom line is that when people do "engage" the whole Bob Avakian Show, they are not coming away with renewed confidence, but the feeling someone just ran a confidence hustle. If you can point me to where there is a living "engagement" with BA – please do. But I haven't found it, not even where great organization effort has been put into doing that. Another issue I've noticed that RCP cadre or supporters don't feel like digging into. When people do "engage" – they don't like it and insisting they really should won't change it.

The problem is the method: it's "idealist" in form and essence. It won't work. It isn't working – and if people are committed communists, they are obliged to say something about it.

If you fear struggle, you're in the wrong business.

Mao-ite: As you've posted here off-and-on for some time, please pick a reliable name to post under. Feel free to include an email address or other verification method so people who wish to deal with your concerns in depth can do so without a full public posting. You are always welcome to say what you think – but you'll have a hell of a time herding internet cats away from topics you'd rather went out with the litter.

srogouski

For all UFPJ's "thousands" of member organizations – where the hell are they?

A thing I find interesting about the Leslie Cagan/Sharpton political world is this.

The week before the big Sean Bell march down Fifth Avenue just before Christmas, I thought the march was going to be pretty small.

It wasn't being organized on any network I'm a part of. There were few public meetings, not a lot of chatter on the internet, not a lot of canvassing in anti-war groups.

When it turned out to be very large I realized that it was organized from the top down via smaller constituent groups. Sharpton, Leslie Cagan, Jessie Jackson, Rangel tap the union leaders and civic group and church leaders on the shoulder and say "bring your people out" and they do.

UFPJ marches are the same way. They appear out of what seems to be nowhere, get no media, then go away.

The comparison with the marches about Sean Bell organized out in Queens were pretty striking.

There was less overt racial segregation at these marches (and I realize the only white people who came to them were Leninists of various sorts) then at the big march on fifth ave.

I don't know if anybody rememberd that photo on the cover of the New York Times (with angry black people on one side of metal barricades and white tourists on the other side) but that's what it was like.

The New Black Panthers are a black supremacist group and I felt little tension. Sharpton/Jackson/Cagan/Rangel are liberals who mix with the white elite all the time, and yet the march was crammed into barricades. There was a lot of tension between Sharpton's entourage and the press. There was a lot of hostility in the air.

I got the same impression last March during the Answer March. They set up barricades and marched you through a gauntlet of bikers and Move America Forward wingnuts. The wingnuts got all the attention because Answer had zero ability to maneuver on the field.

srogouski

When it comes to the Sparts "Trotskyite" doesn't really adequately convey my feelings either.

How about "Dirty Fat Sectarian Wankers"?

But if you really want to know how to insult people.

LINK

Michael

Hey JB,

I was at the PE/SY show as well, and my memory is mostly the same as yours, although I'm confident that the show was held shortly before New Years in 1990, thus before the Gulf War began.

My friends and I drove down from Milwaukee, bigger fans of Sonic Youth but also excited to see Public Enemy. I remember the guitar noodling by Thurston and company got to be too much, so we were excited for PE. Flava Flav climbed the speaker tower at one point, getting close to the balcony. We spent most of the show in a collective shoving match with the security guys, because for some reason they had set up folding chairs in the middle of the floor.

At the end of the show we cut out a little early to beat the crowd and head back north. On our way to the expressway, we saw literally dozens of police cars, lights flashing, heading the other direction. We thought to ourselves that there must have been some major traffic accident or something. The next morning my parents called (they were visiting other family for New Year's) to make sure we hadn't been arrested. Seems they heard a story about the post-show police riot on NPR and realized this was the show their son was at. I later was told that the actor John Cusack was one of those arrested, and that when he got his phone call he called his agent instead of his lawyer and got the thing on the news the next day.

Solidarity,
Mike

andy

great posts here. thanks for the tremendous work you're doing! wanted to recommend a band - radical politics, dynamic lyrics, innovative guitars - they are called Not Now Right Now (www.myspace.com/nnrn).

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