Letter to local supporters of the
Communist Voice Organization

-- January 26, 2003 --

Hi xxxx,

I am sending to you five copies of my current pamphlet. [...]

The essays in this pamphlet are a result not only of my efforts to confront the crisis of theory--but also the fruit of my efforts (so far) to engage anarchist-minded activists in a calm, serious and principled way.

At this point there appears to be a small (but hopefully significant) section of anarchist-minded activists who are serious about theory and who have welcomed an opportunity to engage a Leninist who treats them with respect and who is committed to serious, open debate and discussion. Compared to the needs of the movement my work so far is paltry and insignificant but I hope that it represents a step in the right direction.

I know you folks are very busy and are doing some good work with your agitation. I hope, all the same, that you might find the time to read some of these essays which, I believe, represent an area of work which is decisive and which the CVO, unfortunately, appears to be structurally incapable of addressing.

The great problem of our time is that there exists no genuinely revolutionary organization that is deserving of the trust of the working class and masses. The lack of such an organization is felt everywhere and many of the problems in the anti-war movement (in particular, the weakness of the serious element and the anti-imperialist orientation) can be seen as a symptom of this problem.

I hope that, as the movement develops, events may allow future collaboration between us. It is our responsibility to take one another (strengths as well as weaknesses) seriously--to forge working relationships and to find the broad avenue of open and principled cooperation. It is not thru any lack of principled conduct on my part that we are not working together today.

In particular, I believe the anti-war movement would be served by an interactive web site that would allow activists to post public comments and questions. I would be happy to create such a site for you at http://struggle.net/scsg . Such a site would allow you to gain greater attention and mindshare from serious activists and to create greater clarity on the many issues related to the basic orientation of the anti-war movement.

The movement is at a relatively high level now. Each day is worth a week (or a month) of normal development. Each day of delay in taking this step represents a day of passivity in the struggle against the political influence of the Democratic Party and the reformist ideology.

My view is that your dedication and hard work is being negated by your failure to engage serious activists at a deeper level. Rather than give the movement the clarification it desperately needs on the deeper issues (ie: what kind of society we need to create, what kind of revolutionary organization is needed today) everything is judged quite narrowly in terms of its potential for recruitment to a dysfunctional organization. This will eventually prove to be a dead end and, at that time, will put pressure on you to conclude that struggle is not worth the effort--and will put pressure on you to become passive.

The root of this failure, in my view, is that you are all intoxicated with the idea that you are building a solid revolutionary organization with the ability to take up the decisive tasks. But if the organization you are working so hard to build is afraid of transparency and lacks the ability to deal with serious criticism--then everything will turn out to be a mirage--and you will eventually discover (if you have not first succumbed to cynicism or passivity) that you were attempting to build a serious revolutionary organization on a foundation of sand.

Sincerely and with revolutionary regards,
Ben Seattle
----//-// 26.Jan.2003
http://struggle.net/Ben (my elists / theory / infrastructure)