Ben Seattle
June 30, 2007
"Cargo-Cult Leninism" vs. Political Transparency:
What principles of organization will serve the antiwar and revolutionary movements?

Our weapon is mass democracy
The revolutionary mass organization that we need
will rely on the energy and experience of activists in open struggle to resolve
-- in full view of friend and foe alike -- opposing views on the way forward
Contents:
Part 1   • Introduction   •   "Information War" Program for SAIC   •   Where is my organization?
            • Is helping to distribute SAIC’s agitation parasitism – or principled cooperation?   •   Is Ben sufficiently "political"?
Part 2   • What is political transparency?  
(It means that activists can see what goes on behind the curtain)
            • The opposite of transparency  
(Stonewalling: the easy answer to all criticism)
            • The relationship of the revolutionary mass organization to the mass of activists
Part 3   • The problem with pragmatism   •   Is Ben a "black hat" ?   •   What is the “rate of information metabolism” ?
Part 4   • Cargo cults and cargo-cult Leninism
            • Join our group – We can do your thinking for you  
(Why do supporters of left-wing groups so often drink the kool-aid ?)
Part 5   • What is revolutionary theory?  
(GLUE to hold us together? – a STICK to beat heretics? – or a LIGHT that helps us see?)
            • The Spectre of Endless Discussion  
(We don’t need to live in fear of talking about our goal)
            • What is Ben’s idea of a “trend of trends”?
Part 6   • Is Ben an anarchist ?  
(Watch out for his Trojan Horse!)
Part 7   • Did Ben attempt to bury debate?  
(The showdown at the final congress of the MLP)
            • Right-wing demagoguery – or materialism?   •   Ben corrects himself
Part 8   • Confronting a refugee from the theoretical needs of the class struggle  
(Ben Seattle talks to Joseph Green)
Part 9   • The foundations of modern revisionism  
(“Marxism-Leninism” is anti-Marxist, anti-Leninist and revisionist)
Part 10   • Proletarism is anti-revisionist Marxism for the 21st century
Part 2 • What is political transparency?
The relationship of the
revolutionary mass organization
to the mass of activists

The revolutionary mass organization believes in, respects, nutures, leads (to the best of its limited ability) and draws strength from the energy, experience and convictions of the mass of activists and the entire working class and other oppressed sections.

Activists have a stake in the outcome of the struggles concerning the direction of the revolutionary mass organization and the principles which guide it. Activists need to know about these struggles so that they can develop informed opinions of these struggles and make their views known. The revolutionary mass organization does not keep its internal contradictions secret but on the contrary:

(1) recognizes that it needs the benefit of the experience
    of activists to help it keep on the right track

(2) actively encourages activists to take an interest in the
    struggles that determine the destiny of the revolutionary
    mass organization and makes it easy for activists
    to learn about and intervene in these struggles

The opposite of transparency

Stonewalling: the easy answer to all criticism

Are there any bothersome questions that it is difficult to answer? Are you not sure how to reply when someone suggests your actions reflect incompetence, hypocrisy or corruption?

The solution is easy! Just don’t answer! Let hell freeze over before anyone can hold you accountable for what you say or do!

Why does the CVO refuse to talk about the necessity of fundamental democratic rights of speech and organization when the working class runs society? Your guess is as good as mine ... they will not say. Does the CVO understand that concerns about a police state are a major ideological roadblock that makes it difficult for activists to recognize the need to overthrow the system of bourgeois rule? They will not say. Why did the CVO refuse to condemn the US imperialist bombing of the Balkans that helped to pave the way for the current war in Iraq? They will not say. Does the CVO believe it is important for a revolutionary organization to be accountable and to answer questions? They will not say. But, in this case, their actions tell us everything we need to know.

What is political transparency?

It means that activists can see
what goes on behind the curtain

What is political transparency? Political transparency means that everything that is politically important can be known by anyone who cares. In the context of a mass organization it means that activists can easily find out (for example, by going to the website of the organization) about the internal struggles, or contradictions, within the organization. It means that activists have the right to know:

1) What political trends play an important role in
    the life of the organization and

2) What political agendas exist and how the struggle
    between these political agendas unfolds.

It is also important (in order to clear up common misconceptions) to explain what political transparency is not. Political transparency does not mean that there will be unnecessary compromise of issues related to: (1) personal or organizational security, (2) personal privacy or (3) time-sensitive tactical info related to upcoming mass actions.


Opening the curtain (above) to reveal (below) the
internal struggle over the direction of the mass organization

Activists must have the right to know about the internal struggles within the mass organization – so that they can intervene in these struggles with the weight of their convictions and experience.

If activists do not have this right – then it is not really their organization – it does not really belong to the movement. It is as simple as that.

Contents:
Part 1   • Introduction   •   "Information War" Program for SAIC   •   Where is my organization?
            • Is helping to distribute SAIC’s agitation parasitism – or principled cooperation?   •   Is Ben sufficiently "political"?
Part 2   • What is political transparency?  
(It means that activists can see what goes on behind the curtain)
            • The opposite of transparency  
(Stonewalling: the easy answer to all criticism)
            • The relationship of the revolutionary mass organization to the mass of activists
Part 3   • The problem with pragmatism   •   Is Ben a "black hat" ?   •   What is the “rate of information metabolism” ?
Part 4   • Cargo cults and cargo-cult Leninism
            • Join our group – We can do your thinking for you  
(Why do supporters of left-wing groups so often drink the kool-aid ?)
Part 5   • What is revolutionary theory?  
(GLUE to hold us together? – a STICK to beat heretics? – or a LIGHT that helps us see?)
            • The Spectre of Endless Discussion  
(We don’t need to live in fear of talking about our goal)
            • What is Ben’s idea of a “trend of trends”?
Part 6   • Is Ben an anarchist ?  
(Watch out for his Trojan Horse!)
Part 7   • Did Ben attempt to bury debate?  
(The showdown at the final congress of the MLP)
            • Right-wing demagoguery – or materialism?   •   Ben corrects himself
Part 8   • Confronting a refugee from the theoretical needs of the class struggle  
(Ben Seattle talks to Joseph Green)
Part 9   • The foundations of modern revisionism  
(“Marxism-Leninism” is anti-Marxist, anti-Leninist and revisionist)
Part 10   • Proletarism is anti-revisionist Marxism for the 21st century