The question is how we react to this great prejudice against women. The rule of law and social activism certainly are crucial. But no matter how...”
Some revolutionary words
- revolution = revolución
- liberty = libertad
- change = cambio
- nation = nación
- action = acción
- resistance = resistencia
- solidarity = solidaridad
- hope = esperanza
- education = educación
- health = salud
- love = amor
- brotherhood/sisterhood = hermandad
- humanity = humanidad
“The key classes providing support for the revolution, for Fanon, are (1) the peasantry and (2) the lumpenproletariat, though for either class to struggle with success they must unite with “urban intellectuals”, a small number of whom “go to the people” in the countryside and begin to live and work among them. The revolution- ary struggle itself creates the political party. (Here the resemblance to Debray is close.) By contrast, bourgeois politics (before and after Independence) is something that takes place in the capital; the peasantry are treated as “incapable of governing themselves”; the bourgeoisie shun the country districts as if they were plague-zones; and the rural poor themselves also flock to the towns. Bourgeois parties, then, are imitations of urban European politics, and have no organic relationship to the culture of the society.
The strategy for the revolutionaries is the antithesis of this: to root themselves in the rural areas as equals, not superiors; to engage in armed struggle; and to establish a second social base among the lumpenproletariat. (This central requirement, if neglected, is paid for dearly, for the guerrillas cannot even find their way about a countryside with which they are unfamiliar unless the local peasants guide them. The blind wanderings of Guevara’s men in Bolivia are eloquent testimony.)
Fanon’s belief in the revolutionary potential of the peasantry today seems quite uncontroversial. But only twenty-five years ago it was rank heresy to orthodox Marxists, for example. Only the success of the Chinese Revolution made it acceptable. His notion of the revolutionary potential of the lumpenproletariat, however, is still largely ignored, partly because the idea is too novel for people with fixed ideas to absorb easily, and in part because it had long been declared wrong in the sacred texts they adhere to.
For the notion is not new. It was part of the stock-in-trade of nineteenth-century anarchists, nihilists and terrorists, who believed in the “cleansing” power of the lumpenproletarians, including the criminal elements among them, as a force which would destroy the social order. This was a major issue of contention between Marx and Bakunin, as was Bakunin’s converse belief that the proletariat were inherently a bureaucratized, non-revolutionary force. Because Marx excoriated the lumpenproletariat of his day, contemporary Marxists have usually been content to parrot his views as definitive.”
According to Walter Benjamin (who himself is drawing from Georges Sorel), there are two essentially different kinds of strikes. In the political strike, partisans withhold labor, with the hope that their action—which interestingly is an omission of action—will cause an employer to make certain concessions that the strikers have specified beforehand. Because it is assumed that participants are ready to resume work once certain demands have been met, the strike can be thought of as the means to a determinate end (usually some form of material gain).
By contrast, the general strike is what Benjamin describes as “pure means.” Such an action differs from the paradigm of political activity that seeks only immediately practicable goals—like wage increases, health benefits, and certain modifications to the workplace. The premise of the general strike is this: work will not resume once this or that concession is made; instead, people will show their “determination to resume only awholly transformed work” [my italics]. In a characteristically wonderful phrase, Benjamin writes that the general strike “not so much causes as consummates.”….
Direct action and more specifically nonviolent direct action coupled with a decentralized democratic, , “affinity group” model, is the antithesis of traditional Marxist-Leninist theory and practice.
Traditional socialist and Marxist-Leninst ideology believed that your needed a “vanguard party” to lead the revolution, enforce discipline and to engage in violent revolution. Any deviation from party doctrine, or questioning, strategy or tactics was forbidden, since the central committee had all the answers and the correct analysis. Democracy and nonviolence, are seen as “peti-bourgeoise deviations”. The capitalist class is violent so we must be violent.
The strength of the Occupy Wall Street and 99% movement is it’s committment to nonviolence and horizonal leadership and organizational structure. The establishment can’t deal with that. It is also disseminating it’s methods through manuals which you can download and then train and organize your own local support or local occupation. Streaming video, blogs and Tweating also spread “propaganda of the deed” of how it is done.
It is not a bunch of male dominated, ego tripping radicals, this is a diverse group of people building a democratic nonviolent movement for fundemental change. The MSM, (mainstream media) can no longer ignore it. This is not like it was in the 60’s and 70’s where we “acted our way into thinking”. It is more inclusive, creative, imaginative, flexible and adaptable. It is truely an evolutionary as it is revolutionary event unseen in human history. This is not “Hooverville”, “Woodstock”, LiveAid” or the occupation of the National Guard Armories after the mass arrest of occupiers of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant site in the 70’s. This is the start I hope of a nonviolent revolution to throw the “money changers” out of the government and putting “we, the people” and Main Street back in power.