So we’re carrying on looking at Chris Thompson’s Strong Toward the Powerful: A Warrior Path for Radical Pagans, a post which seems to be all about how violence is good, but he and his friends don’t want to be violent for moral reasons, while advocating the violent overthrow of all existing systems of law, economics, and government. While calling himself and his friends “warriors.”
Yeah, it’s about as stupid as it sounds.
Let’s carry on, shall we?
What Would Victory Look Like?
The risks we take are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. The purpose of taking a risk is to contribute to victory. If we’re serious about the warrior path, we should give some thought to victory – what it is and how to achieve it.
Well, let’s see. What would victory look like?
A world without private property or industry, where every single resource is owned by the state/collective, work is directed by the state/collective, jobs are handed out by the state/collective, and everyone works to the utmost of their abilities and is then handed by the state/collective and equal share out of all things produced.
Re: Soviet Unioin, Maoist China, Castrian Cuba.
A world without laws, governments, police, national militaries, and made up primarily of non-affiliated groups possibly working together to build whatever they can until the next band of marauding warlords or barbarian hordes comes along.
re: Conan the barbarian, every survival game ever, The Walking Dead.
A world where in no one is paid for their labor, no mercantilism is allowed, large scale production often fails to appear, and thus modern technological and medical items are either scarce or non-existant. Any such items are produced do to large scale slave labor forces. Most people live on subsistence lifestyles.
Re: Feudal societies, Pre-civilization. Slavery.
How to achieve these goals?
Violent overthrow of our present, capitalist, lawful governments.
That about cover it?
To figure that out in any specific situation we need to distinguish between tactics and strategy. Tactical issues are the small picture and strategic issues are the big picture. In any specific case, we should be able to articulate what a strategic victory would look like, what a tactical victory would look like and how the tactical victory will contribute to eventual strategic victory.
Did you copy/paste that from somewhere Chris? Because it feels copy/pasted. Or did you come to this while you fapped to dreams of your Marxist, anti-capitalist, anarchist utopia while reading about what you might need to do from someone who legitimately knows what it would take to bring about your dream?
You know what, I’m pretty sure this was from fap material. Because so far, Chris has managed to completely not admit to himself what it is he wants and what it would take to get there. I’m left with that this is nothing more than a fantasy he wants fulfilled, like having a fourway with set of twins and an elephant, but should he actually get the fantasy he wouldn’t know what to do with it.
For instance, let’s say your strategic goal is to prevent a neofascist candidate from becoming President of the United States, and your tactical goal is to expose the violent nature of his campaign and alienate mainstream voters who might have otherwise voted for him. So you attend his campaign rallies and call him out on his racist statements. When he verbally encourages his followers to attack you, you win a tactical victory. When these incidents convince a majority of voters that he is not presidential material, you win a strategic victory.
Sooo, basically got to peaceful, lawful assemblies of people who aren’t doing anything except “wrongthinking” and harrass them to the point where they or their spokesperson decide they’ve had enough and demand you be shut up. Hmm, that sounds familiar…
Chris, I think, is still at that day dreamy point where he things his vision for a better world is just going to be handed to him. He thinks, with enough “protests” and enough “name calling” that everyone will just give up and give him what he wants. That’s not the way of a warrior, that’s the way of a bratty child. But it is fomenting the world of a warrior, because as those with the will to achieve it, the will to prevent it, and the will to power if it should be implemented, will all be warriors out there killing everyone else along with each other to make their dreams come true.
My strategic goal is to help create a radically egalitarian, democratic and ecological society. Since this is my goal, any specific tactics I choose should always support this long-term goal. Any action I take can be judged on the basis of this goal. Either it contributes, or it doesn’t.
Okay, it took me a minute to get past the fact that Chris sounds like a teenage turtle to get what he’s saying here.
Now, ignoring the fact that we already have a democratic society which is egalitarian in nature (if a different form of egalitarianism that focuses on lawful opportunity rather than enforced outcomes), Chris is basically saying “this is my goal. Any tactics I choose to use should support that goal. A tactics inherent nature is defined on if it helps achieve my goal or doesn’t.”
Or to put it in less fancy talk.
The Ends justify the Means.
Now, I will point you to the start of his article where he talks about his use of violence. He doesn’t care about if that violence is lawful, so long as he judges it right or wrong at that moment. So, by this logic, any action, no matter how unlawful, even physical violence, can be morally right if it allows him to achieve his goal of a “radically egalitarian, democratic, ecological society.”
And before Chris tries to say I’m “taking it out of context” I will point out that I have quoted the sum total of his article at this point, presenting everything in its original context. And he literally says any action he takes (the means) is to be judged on if he it is successful in achieving his goal (the ends).
Whatever your strategic goal might be, the reality we have to face as radicals is that we lack the tools to win a direct confrontation with the powers that currently rule our world. The conditions for victory in the short term simply don’t exist. Historically, revolutions that happen very rapidly often result in mass murder and the creation of new totalitarian regimes. As an anti-authoritarian, I would be totally opposed to that type of revolution.
Well, I mean, that’s exactly what you’re calling for and advocating for with the argument you just made. But hey, I forgot, you’re a whiny child who wants people to just hand him his glorious utopia without him ever having to actually fight for it.
Or recognize that there will always be people in his way.
I wonder Chris, do you know why it is that every Marxist revolution, despite having the exact same goals you claim to have, has ended in a mass murdering totalitarian dictatorship? I mean, let’s be honest, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and every other Marxists dictator out there all wanted the same glorious egalitarian future that you’re wanting. Tell me, why do you think they all ended up heading totalitarian dictatorships?
I don’t suppose it would happen because nature is inherently in-egalitarian? I mean, as soon as two people have the same amount of money, and one of them spends or saves it vs what the other one does, there’s an inequality. Say two men have berry bushes, and one produces more berries than the other, that’s an inequality. I mean life is just so full of these inequalites naturally produced by our natural systems. Not to mention that some people will work harder, some people will be lazy, and that will define on what someone gets. Or maybe someone is more likable and gets more gifts from other people.
Not to mention that humans invariably want nice things and don’t mind if someone else doesn’t have them or doesn’t get a fair shake out of the deal. Such small, little, petty things, humans, always trying to climb over each other to produce the best life they can for themselves and their families.
Why, it’s almost like you have to kill them to keep them in a stagnant, egalitarian environment where no one has more than anyone else…
And it’s not like you can just have that in a democracy. I mean, as soon as people realize that they can vote to have more money then suddenly that whole “egalitarian” system falls apart. No, you have to have a strong leader, willing to do the hard work of making sure people don’t go about oppressing other people. And if that requires a bit of oppression, well, at least everyone is equal. And if people speak out and start to convince people they have a chance at a better life, well, you just have shut them up. Because those ideas are dangerous, and can lead to inequalities and even greater oppression than your state has to use in order to maintain the equality of everyone.
Revolutionary situations sometimes develop unexpectedly due to a “black swan” or highly unanticipated event. For instance, no one expected a mass protest movement against the Assad regime in Syria, and no one expected it would result in a civil war and the breakdown of centralized authority. That breakdown made the Rojava revolution possible.
I mean, it’s not like there had been revolutionary movements in the Middle East happening before that. No, that was a myth. There certainly wasn’t something called an “Arab Spring” that swept from Iran to Egypt and then through other Arab nations and on to Syria. Complete myth. That Syrian revolution just came out of no where.
And sure, it make the Rojava revolution possible. The same way it made ISIS possible. Which I think is probably a bit more responsible for the Rojava. But hey, there I go, probably being an islamophobe again.
By definition, no one can really plan for a black swan event. No one with any compassion for human suffering would wish for something as terrible as a civil war just to create the conditions for revolutionary change, although I think the Rojava revolutionaries were right to seize the opportunity when it came up. As the contradictions of global capitalism continue to worsen, we may see other such opportunities at any time or in any place, and we should do our best to be ready for them.
At this point, since you’re advocating for anarchy and marxism, and we all know how those things turn out in terms of human suffering, I don’t think I or a lot of people are going to accuse Chris of suffering from a great deal of “compassion” for such a thing.
Which is why I’m sure he would love to capitalize on a “black swan” event to help him overthrow these evil systems of capitalism, lawful governance, and other systems of oppression that stand in the way of his glorious revolution.
Although we should aim to be ready for anything, we can’t realistically plan for a short-term victory. Victory in the long term should be the basis of our strategy.
Heh heh, did someone say, “entryism?”
Just so we’re all clear here, Chris is admitting that a violent insurrection to establish the glorious revolution isn’t feasible and that he’s not going to start it, so instead a long term goal should be set and worked towards by (most reasonable conclusion here) infiltrating and overthrowing the system from within.
But hey, if the glorious revolution should start with some shooting. Be ready.
Once we’ve decided to seek a long-term victory, this strategic decision has to inform all of our smaller tactical decisions. Strategy informs tactics, not the other way around. If our long-term goal is to contribute to a revolutionary transformation of society without making everything worse for everyone, then all of our daily tactical decisions should also contribute to this long-term goal in a tangible way.
In my opinion, the reason we can’t challenge the ruling powers directly is that the people most affected by capitalism don’t have solidarity with each other. Therefore, the one indispensable precondition for long-term victory is to establish solidarity. Solidarity in the real and practical struggles regular people actually face, building power from below until no power from above can stop it.
“Guys! Guys! I know the best way to bring about the revolution!”
“Let’s get into positions of power, and we’ll make life so horrible everyone wants to revolt against us, then we can step in and lead the revolution!”
“Uh, idk, some capitalist fascist, why?”
“Because he’s stealing our revolution!”
You know, it’s almost hilarious. All the Marxists have done exactly what Chris is suggesting all the Marxists do. They went into the schools, they went into the government, they went into business, and they went into religions and cultural movements. And the got themselves the power and they started making everything miserable for everyone, and they blamed people like the rich, and the capitalists, and the made everyone feel oppressed about who they were and what they desired and what they wanted to fuck and who they wanted to be, and then right as the revolution starts up…
Some damn populist comes in and promises to make everything better for everyone by getting rid of all the Marxists and making everything great again.
The old paradigm of the vanguard has largely been rejected by the revolutionary movements that most inspire me personally. In his farewell address, former Zapatista spokesperson Subcommandante Marcos said that the Zapatistas had moved “from revolutionary vanguardism to ‘ruling by obeying;’ from the taking of Power from Above to the creation of power from below; from professional politics to everyday politics; from the leaders, to the peoples.”
In case anyone is wondering who these Zapatistas are, they’re apparently something of a rebellion in the south of Mexico that I think is holding territory by force of arms against the Mexican state. Oh, and they’re Communists. I think I read somewhere that they’re completely “Free love” too. And by free love I mean you’re not allowed to have a monogamous relationship, even if you want one. At least, if they’re the Central American communist revolutionary group I am thinking about.
So, you know, much egalitarian. You can’t have a monogamous relationship, because that implies ownership of your partner. And they must be shared with the collective. Personal ownership of anything is verboten.
I think I remember in Praxis Chris mentioned he was married? Wonder if his spouse is nice looking. I mean, since all personal ownership is going to be abolished in the new utopia. Like with the Zapatistas or whoever it was. You know.
Wonder how she feels about that. I wonder how he feels about that. No wonder the New-Right keeps calling these guys “Cucks.”
If we agree with this approach, then all of our actions and all of our decisions should be based on creating power from below, helping people win in the everyday politics of their daily lives and centering our efforts on regular people, not political leaders. In practice, this means lending our numbers and our courage to any action or cause that promotes solidarity and builds power from below.
So a collectivist mob mentality seeking “justice” whose every action and thought is based around increasing group solidarity so as to further the ability to overthrow the systems of inequality which oppress them.
Pretty sure that describes Fascism.
And if there’s at least one anarchist group I know who is all about those tactics, it’s Black Lives Matter. Which I wills state again has engaged in (but not limited to) such actions as beating up kids in libraries, harassing people over breakfast, harassing people at parades, faking hate crimes, calling for the murder of police officers, potentially committed the murder of police officers, ousting university administrators, taking over and language policing of at least one Pagan organization’s public statements on a permanent basis, and harassing students in university hallways. Oh, all divided on racial lines of black vs white. Meaning they are a racist hate group.
Good example to follow there Chris. Much good at proving the validity of your position’s morality. I rate it ++Good.
We’ll carry on in part three.