1. To the comrades fighting in Charlottesville…and Seattle…and Portland…and Minneapolis…and Ferguson…and Cincinnati…and Houston…and New Orleans….and Maricopa County.
You knew, we all knew, this was going to happen, and sooner rather than later. The knife attacks in Portland, and in Sacramento; the shooting in Seattle told us that much. Doesn’t make it any less painful; any less heartbreaking; any less appalling. But you knew it and we knew it was going to happen.
The nazi-right, stoked on secret hand signals from Stephen Miller; stroked and groomed by Rupert Murdoch and Fox and Friends; decided to make the removal the statue honoring the traitorous general of the traitorous army of the slaveholder traitors’ rebellion the call to arms, with the arms being this time a tricked out retro-new Dodge Challenger ersatz 1960s muscle car, so perfectly representative of the imaginary nostalgia, the longing for a past that never was, that defines so-called modern capitalism.
And why not? With an attorney general named after two of the great traitors leading the slaveholders’ rebellion, why not assemble to protect the legacy of a third. Sure thing, the nazi-right (indistinguishable, most of the time, from the “ordinary” quotidian right) waxed poetic and patriotic about the Great American that was Robert E. Lee. Calling Robert E. Lee “a great American” is psychopathology masquerading as history. Lee abandoned his position as a commissioned officer in the US Military, and took up arms against the government of the United States in order to defend slaveholders’ property; the holding of other human being as property, in bondage.
The fact that Lee was never charged with treason, much less hanged for it; that he, like Beauregard was pardoned by Andrew Johnson and lived out his life in relative comfort while Freedmen’s Bureaus were attacked and destroyed, while Reconstruction governments were overthrown, while millions of freed black men and women were compelled to toil under their ex-masters, a “working relationship” secured by the terrorism of the nazi-right of those days, the KKK, the Knights of the White Camellia, is not just an index to the cowardice of the bourgeoisie even after victory, but a product of the profitable entanglement the bourgeoisie enjoyed with the Redemptionist governments.
The fact that any statue of Lee or the other icons of the slaveholders’ rebellion is allowed today is more than an index to how cowardly the bourgeoisie are today. It shows how conveniently the psychopathology of the “right” serves the bourgeoisie in its permanent, and preemptive, counterrevolution against labor.
2. Next up, of course, the bourgeoisie’s current collection of self-greasing slugs called “the government,” will establish an “inter-executive committee” to:
a) remove the Statue of Liberty
b) replace the Statue of Liberty with a theme park containing all the statues of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis and PT Beauregard and Nathan Bedford Forrest and others made homeless by elitist city and state governments, a regular US version of Qin Shi Huang’s Terra Cotta Army.
c) replace the poem “The New Colossus” at the base of the current statue with the haiku submitted by Stephen Miller:
restrooms are reserved
for English speakers only
and Germans of course
3. We knew this was going to happen because we’ve endured forty-five years of the bourgeoisie attacking the organizations of labor; forty-five years of the bourgeoisie rolling back the modest steps toward equality made during the 1950s and 1960s; fifty years of the bourgeoisie attacking voting rights, starting within days of the passing of the Voting Rights Act; forty years of fusing Christian fundamentalism with police power, and calling the fusion “social policy;” twenty years of disenfranchising African-Americans on the basis of imaginary voters fraud when the real voters fraud is the disenfranchisement itself; eight years when, indignity of indignity, the country-club fascists and polo-shirted Klan-boys had to suffer the outrage of a black president who wouldn’t answer to the word “boy.”
We’ve had two years of Trump urging “Go ahead. Knock the crap out of him. I’ll pay your legal expenses.”
We’ve had years of toxic avengers avenging the outrages that never occurred– like the Bowling Green non-massacre, the Pizzagate pedophile Satanic circle.
We’ve had 2 plus X number of years of Trump and company establishing World Wide Wrestling as the “go-to” think tank of the Tea Party-Heritage Foundation-American Enterprise Institute-Goldman Sachs-JP Morgan Chase-Conservative Political Action Committee-Breitbart-Fox News coalition. “If it ain’t smackdown, it ain’t real American.”
And X plus 2 years of the Democrats accommodating, acquiescing, participating in all this madness, because the madness is power, and sharing the madness– like expelling more migrants in eight years than any previous administration– means sharing the … money; because the cruelty of capitalism pays. That’s all you need to know about Democrats.
4. It’s not an accident that this attack occurred in this manner, with an automobile as the weapon. State legislatures in Tennessee, North Dakota, Florida have all debated new laws that would indemnify vehicle drivers who strike protesters occupying or blocking a public roadway.
Whether or not theses bills pass or are defeated becomes more and more irrelevant as the political structures of capitalism become less and less capable of controlling the conflicts generated by and inherent to capitalism. Then the issue moves from one of authority, to one of license.
We can talk tactics, and we should, because we don’t want this to happen again. We can talk about protecting the rear of the march with “lookouts” equipped with spike chains that can be deployed and be dragged along the entire line of march, but spike chains present their own risks to safety.
We can and should have lookouts (always working in pairs, never alone) protect each flank at every intersection or cross street.
Instant communication between and among the lookouts based on the current messaging platforms for cell phones is easy.
Organizing that protection means organizing the directions that must be issued to and enforced upon the body of the protest and that is not so easy. That takes a bit of planning.
We can and should equip all those organizing demonstrations with personal body-cams (yes, you can get them on Amazon).
We can and should assemble as a mass; we can and should operate as cells.
And like generals, we’ll then become very good at re-fighting the last war.
The truth is bad tactics sometimes lose battles, good tactics never win wars.
5. It’s not an accident that this attack occurred just eight days after the UAW failed in its drive to unionize a Nissan plant in Mississippi. Right-to-work, disenfranchisement of African-Americans, that is to say black workers, assaults on migrants, documented and undocumented, are both mother’s milk, and the holy body of Christ. Those three components make-up the trifecta of so-called modern capitalism. There are no accidents in the most perfect world of the “free market.”
Defeating the attacks on demonstrations means defeating the bourgeoisie’s trifecta.
We oppose all right-to-work laws not because we think the ability to organize unions is the ends, or even the means to the ends, but because restricting the power of workers to act collectively as a class is fundamental to capitalism, to the maintenance of bourgeois power; opposing all restrictions on the ability of workers to act collectively is the means to the end.
We oppose all voter suppression/voter ID laws/gerrymandering not because we think the franchise can overthrow capitalism, but because these laws are designed to perpetuate fragmentation of the working class, to maintain the ineffectiveness of the class as a class.
We oppose all voter suppression/voter ID laws/gerrymandering not because we want to elect a “better” fraction of the ruling class, but because we want to eliminate the fractional-ization of the working class; not because we want to elect “better” state, and federal, governments, but because we want to do away with state and federal governments and replace them with councils of workers and poor, seizing assets and control of the conditions of social existence– health care, education, industry, communications, transportation.
We oppose all attacks on migrants because all such attacks are attacks on migrant workers. The bourgeoisie engage in such attacks in order to increase the strength of the police; to immobilize so-called “native-born” workers; to expand the ranks of the marginalized, those who can be exploited and disposed of, rather than provided with the means of sustaining themselves as a class.
The polo-shirted beady-eyed white-boy Klan fans aren’t going to stand and fight an organized working class that fights for itself by fighting for each other (and for almost everyone else) by fighting against the coalition that perfectly defines so-called modern capitalism: redemptionists, ante-bellum nostalgists, bankers, hedge-fund goons, industrialists, and cops.
August 13, 2017