-----Original Message-----
From:    Ben Seattle
Sent:    Saturday, May 06, 2006 8:31 PM
To:      edward
Subject: a follow-up (was: Ben replies to Edward - The Road to
Information War)


hi Edward,

Given that you believe the way my open letter charcterizes your
view is inaccurate -- I will revise the section (in any future
postings) as follows:

Original:
---------

> Your concern, as I understand it, is that you
> want to see more activists come to SAIC's local
> meetings.  This is how you measure success. 
> (I consider attendence at local meetings _a_
> measure of success -- but not the only one and
> not even necessarily the most important one.)
> I can't guarantee that the path I advocate will
> result in increased attendence (particularly in
> any short period of time).  But I believe that
> this path will help us to connect with serious
> activists nationwide because:

Proposed new version:
---------------------

One of your concerns, as I understand it, is that 
you want to see more activists come to SAIC's 
local meetings and participate in its activity.  
This appears to be one way to measure the success 
of our work and gauge our potential to influence 
the antiwar movement in an anti-imperialist 
direction.  I share your concern.  I can't 
guarantee that the path I advocate will address 
this concern in the short run.  But I believe 
that this path will help us to connect with 
serious activists nationwide because:

         *         *         *         *         *         *

Edward,

I consider all questions related to honesty and integrity to be
very important.  It is my responsibility to make every effort to
avoid misrepresentation of your views.  Mistakes are sometimes
inevitable -- but the issue is that they can be discovered,
acknowledged and corrected.  At this time I hope that I have put
to rest, at least for now, your concern that I am being
dishonest.  I don't think it is healthy to have accusations of
dishonesty floating around unresolved.  If there is anything else
you believe that I can do to resolve your concern about this -- I
would appreciate it if you were to (publicly or privately) let me
know.

frank's comments:
-----------------

Frank is correct that I have little to show for the years of work
that I have poured into the Media Weapon community.

The biggest benefit of the community (so far) has been that it
helped me to write my installments of the anarcho-leninst debate
on the state: the feedback I got was valuable in understanding
the kinds of issues which I needed to explain (for example: that
I should write the lengthy section titled "the laws of commodity
production for dummies" -- which proved to be popular).  But
this, by itself, is not proof that the community idea is
necessary and essential.

So I have no "proof" to offer to Frank or to you or to anyone.
What I have is a hypothesis.

There is often a lengthy period between the time in which a
hypothesis is developed -- and the time in which it proves
itself.

The reason for the failure (to date) of the media weapon
community to come together in a more useful way -- is that it
still lacks a critical mass of talented and dedicated activists
who have experience and a relatively clear idea of the kinds of
politics that the movement needs.

Frank:

> If practice is the criterion of truth, then
> the facts seem to show that the organizing
> orientation and capability of the committee
> is superior to that of the MWC.

Of course practice is the criterion of truth.  But it is good to
be careful about drawing conclusions from practice -- since this
is often overdone.  There are all kinds of groups which can point
to all kinds of facts which supposedly prove that they have a
correct orientation.  Often the facts are real but the
conclusions which are drawn from the facts are illusions.

The success of SAIC does not prove that its orientation is
without serious flaws.  SAIC is assisted by a number of talented
and dedicated comrades who understand how the antiwar movement is
being held back because of the influence of the imperialist
Democratic Party -- and who understand the need of the antiwar
movement to break from this influence.  The community I am
working to build does not have these kinds of talented,
experienced and dedicated people.  Until it does I doubt much can
come from it.  SAIC is making use of developed methods.  The
methods which I believe our community needs to use are not yet
developed.

As far as developing a national reach -- we might be able to get
assistance from some of the people on the SAIC email list -- if
we ask for it.  We may not be able to keep up with all the posts
on indymedia threads which we may start (or which could be
started by volunteers who help us out by posting to indymedia
sites or email lists).  But we could include a note letting
activists know that we will make an effort to respond to their
public posts on our website.  In this way we may be able to avoid
the perception that we are spamming indymedia sites or email
lists.  How well would some of these things work in practice?  We
would have to try them to find out.

Anything else I might say would probably be more repetitive than
I have already been.  I have expressed my views to the best of my
ability and at this time it is up to you to decide whether or not
my views are deserving of consideration.

In unity and struggle,
Ben