August 21, 2003
What is to be done?
Do we get on our knees
before the Democratic Party?
Or do we confront all the difficult problems
that are blocking the development of
a mass revolutionary movement?
At this time progressive activists are in a difficult situation. The recent conquests of Iraq and Afghanistan have deepened the misery of the peoples of those countries and created considerable outrage, here at home, against the hypocrisy of US imperialism which talks about making the world "safer" and introducing "democracy" while waging wars for oil and world domination.

The problem that activists face--is how to effectively oppose US imperialism's adventures overseas and increasing repression at home.

The most immediate obstacle:
influence of the Democratic Party

The most immediate obstacle to effective action is the enormous influence (politically and ideologically) of the Democratic Party--which at the present time is advertising itself (via supposedly "progressive" candidates) as an alternative to the aggression and repression which have been stepped up since 9-11.

The Democratic Party is a sophisticated and treacherous servant of imperialism--it has supported Bush's wars to the hilt (ie: voting money for them and so forth)--while at the same time promoting itself as a slightly more "reasonable" and less-adventurous alternative to the recent round of imperialist wars. Tied to (and, in the final analysis, controlled by) the Democratic Party is a social strata of reformist political trends (including trade union bureaucrats, religious and pacifist leaders, poverty pimps and supposedly progressive media personalities) which do everything possible to oppose the politics of angry confrontation and militant mass action.

Involvement in the Democratic Party is the death of serious, militant activism--and is the path heading towards acceptance of the imperialist status quo. The development of a healthy and powerful revolutionary movement requires that we turn our backs on the Democratic Party, its reformist lackeys and the entire strata of liberal-labor reformist do-gooders who preach to us that we should give up militant mass action in favor of doing what is "realistic" (ie: getting on our knees and begging for peace).

The deeper obstacle:
the crisis of theory

There is a section of serious, militant activists who reject the Democratic Party and its associated strata of liberal-labor misleaders (I hope some of these activists are reading this leaflet). But this section of militant activists faces deeper and more serious obstacles to effective action. These obstacles include the lack of a mass revolutionary movement and the lack of a genuine mass revolutionary organization (or organizations) which are deserving of the respect and attention of workers.

These obstacles (ie: the lack of a mass revolutionary movement and a mass revolutionary organization) are the product of complex historical and political processes which have left major questions unanswered. These major unanswered questions include:

(1) what is the nature of our alternative to the current system
      of continuing (or intermittent) imperialist wars?

(2) what is the nature of a genuine mass revolutionary organization
      that is deserving of the respect and attention of the working class?

The fact that such major questions as these remain without clear and decisive answers--constitutes a crisis of theory for the revolutionary movement. Until the crisis of theory is overcome the revolutionary movement will remain paralyzed--and militant activists will lack the confidence that a revolutionary alternative to bourgeois rule is infinitely more realistic than begging for peace from the gods of war.

A serious movement requires clear goals

No serious mass revolutionary movement (or organization) can develop out of mass protest until the protest movement brings forth hundreds (or thousands) of activists who recognize that the existing crisis of theory is deadly serious--and must be overcome. In particular, the crisis of theory is too serious to be left to the existing groups which call themselves socialist or anarchist and which imagine that the crisis of theory does not exist or that they have solved it. The crisis of theory will not be resolved until thousands of activists can give clear answers to questions like these:

  • How would a society run by the working class maintain smooth functioning of all essential goods and services during the period of transition to an economy which does not rely on either the market or a group of central planners with excessive authority?

  • How can we know that our efforts to create a society run by the working class will not degenerate into a police state (as happened in the Soviet Union, China, etc) ?

  • How would a mass revolutionary organization remain under the democratic control of its members--and not be captured by a corrupt leadership?

Information war wants to be free
to serve the anti-imperialist movement

The masses in this country are being bombarded by the corporate media with waves of stupid jingo nonsense. The cringing liberals and milk-toast reformists have no real interest in anything more "progressive" than turning the antiwar movement into election fodder for the same Democratic Party that just gave rubber-stamp approval to Bush's war on Iraq. The existing militant (and pseudo-militant) organizations are all very deeply flawed.

The way forward is to take action into our own hands and create our own press--both on and off the streets. We need to make use of the emerging revolution in communications to link up with one another, resolve the crisis of theory and engage in information war (defined not as stupid hacking tricks--but as an organized struggle for ideas on a mass scale).
Ben Seattle
Aug 21, 2003
http://struggle.net/ben
Like this leaflet? Join my discussion group
at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pof-200
by sending email to:
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Build our own media machine!

Counter the corporate/government media (both the stupid jingo nonsense of the right-wing FOX and KVI and the liberal apologies for imperialism and attempts to hijack the antiwar movement into election fodder for the Democratic Party)

--- on the streets ---

Leaflets in depth that explain and make sense of the news

--- on the internet ---

A news and comment site--not run by the Indymedia liberals--but a militant site where readers rate and filter everything and sweep away right-wing trolls.

Legend of militant (or pseudo-militant) trends:
SWP = Socialist Workers Party, WWP =Workers World Party (ie: leads A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition), SA = Socialist Alternative, FSP = Freedom Socialist Party, ISO = International Socialist Organization (corresponding to SWP in Britain), RCP =Revolutionary Communist Party, CVO =Communist Voice Organization,
AM
=anarchist movement.
The placement of various militant-appearing trends in this diagram may be somewhat inexact or arbitrary. Any resemblance between the left wing of the Democratic Party and the head of a bloodsucking leech is a coincidence.