Posts tagged Revolution

Re: On Dissolving the State, and What to Replace It With


If you are as convinced as you seem to be that the State is willing and able to use massive violence in order to suppress potential threats to its authority; that the infrastructure for that repressive violence is already in place, ready to be called out at need; and that they are both vigilant and tightly organized around this goal, then it seems to me the obvious implication is that you need much more, and much more urgent, attention to building up counter-institutions and alternative networks as quickly as possible, well before you make any attempts at revolutionary confrontation. There is no way to successfully fight the cops or the National Guard unless you have a lot of your own infrastructure for evasion, resistance, exposure of aggressors and collaborators, safehouses, education and counterspin, contacts, support, material aid, communication, transportation, recruitment, retention, mediation between aboveground and underground life, etc., etc., etc. As you yourself have said, they’ve already got all these things and have spent a long time thinking about how to best use them and organize them. We largely don’t and we largely haven’t. Until we do so, trying to “smash” the State is going to accomplish just about as much as the Weathervain’s street riots and symbolic-action-through-explosives.

But to build up our own infrastructure requires a lot of that “building a new society in the shell of the old” stuff. (When the Wobs put that phrase to use, they weren’t claiming that if you build up the OBU enough, state capitalism will just gradually crumble away before the awesome alternative that the OBU provides. Their idea was to create a structure that would prepare them for the worldwide General Strike and what came after.)

Counter-institutions are absolutely necessary if we want to create two, three, many Vietnams instead of two, three, many Wacos.

Re: Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman—but because I am.

The original “Goodbye to All That” is one of my favorite short essays in the world. So it’s a bit disappointing to see someone who once wrote this:

Goodbye to those simple-minded optimistic dreams of socialist equality all our good socialist brothers want us to believe. How merely liberal a politics that is! How much further we will have to go to create those profound changes that would give birth to a genderless society. Profound, Sister. Beyond what is male or female. Beyond standards we all adhere to now without daring to examine them as male-created, male-dominated, male-fucked-up, and in male self-interest. Beyond all known standards, especially those easily articulated revolutionary ones we all rhetorically invoke. Beyond—to a species with a new name, that would not dare define itself as Man.

… We are rising, powerful in our unclean bodies; bright glowing mad in our inferior brains; wild hair flying, wild eyes staring, wild voices keening; undaunted by blood we who hemorrhage every twenty-eight days; laughing at our own beauty we who have lost our sense of humor; mourning for all each precious one of us might have been in this one living time-place had she not been born a woman; stuffing fingers into our mouths to stop the screams of fear and hate and pity for men we have loved and love still; tears in our eyes and bitterness in our mouths for children we couldn’t have, or couldn’t not have, or didn’t want, or didn’t want yet, or wanted and had in this place and this time of horror. We are rising with a fury older and potentially greater than any force in history, and this time we will be free or no one will survive. Power to all the people or to none. All the way down, this time.

… is now drawing on her legacy and turning her talents to churn out endorsements for a triangulating pro-war corporate liberal candidate for President of the United States. I fear that the bottom of “all the way down” has become rather more shallow than it once was.