Conquering My Demons
“(We) MIM Should not excuse behaviors that could have been avoided with asexuality. It must weigh the costs of being non-sexual.” - MIM Theory 2/3
Transforming the criminal mentality into a revolutionary one means also fully confronting bourgeois culture, morality and its justification for the existing society, i.e. bourgeois rule. This bourgeois mentality also includes things that aren’t necessarily “criminal” but definitely constitute crimes against others and from a proletarian perspective and for our aims is at the very least counter-productive if not counter revolutionary. Sadly, as Wiawimawo stated, due to us being products of this decadent society we all enter the Revolution with some amount of sickness. Some suffer from drug addictions, some selfishness and extreme individualism, others idealism, patriarchy or even out right misogyny, e.g. “Fuck a Bitch” or other forms of sexism. Most “criminal” lumpen glorify gangsterism and are quite infatuated with gang culture even when pretending to be about unifying the block…. But regardless, we all enter the revolutionary process with ways of the “old society” especially since it hasn’t gone anywhere.
The above quote is from a Comrade who ultimately died due to a lifetime battle with drugs. Yet this is a quite Revolutionary and apt quote and this comrade’s life is also apt for this discussion as it shows no matter how advanced we become and even how authentic our walk, we will always be confronted not only with the broader bourgeois society and its fucked up music, culture, morals, world out-look etc etc ad nauseam. We still are likely to have to confront and check our own bourgeois demons. But the above quote could be applicable to revolutionary Walkin’ in general if any of our behaviors could be avoided simply by avoiding self-indulgence if our goal is truly revolution then we should practice abstinence in that regard whenever possible.
I personally have never came to jail sober and have done all manner of anti-social behavior “under the influence” since I’ve been in prison I’ve yet to get drunk. For me this was so stark it was no choice at all. Additionally other counter-productive behaviors were also not so difficult for me to conquer or at least consciously struggle against. Yet for all my talk I was quite chauvinistic and I’d say misogynistic in actual practice and this is something I’ve struggled with since I was in elementary.
There was a time when I rationalized my misogynistic behavior – I’ve now come to believe this had a lot to do with my inability to conduct consistent communist practice – however, I’m now quite clear that this is simply lumpen and its kissing cousin petty bourgeois personification and practice and furthermore serves only to strengthen counter revolution.
I am not too hard on myself for this late transformation however – every single day in this decadent society we have to swallow, weigh, witness or consciously wrestle with all manner of bourgeois bullshit. Life may be good but this world is truly a nightmare. In these death camps, in a real concentration camp, in slave quarters, in an immigration caravan, in dark alleys and hallways thrash out this imperialist dominated world what people must go through especially when there’s no real struggle to resist and defeat this oppression (as proven by amerikkka’s nuclear bombs) even shadows get burnt… yes shadows were literally burnt into the ground.
Yet I’m now quite clear on my need to confront this as it is simply another tool the state can use to divide, dismiss or exploit real revolutionary work. This always makes me think of focoism, its attraction is “to go out on a high note”… I understand this quite well. I also think this is why lumpen and petty bourgeois youth in the semi-colonies often have a hard time with revolutionary ideas, party’s and practices as all they know is immediate release, this in addition, is why so many Rev’s succumb to self-obsession or self indulgence’s. But once I accepted this is simply lumpen/petty bourgeois bullshit behavior it was easier for me to confront it as any good homie, friend and especially “comrade” should know s/he is not only a reflection of the community, party, professed ideas etc he/r can also undermine, expose or bring harm to he/r person, community, or just their ideas which for a revolutionary communist must be unacceptable.
I speak in general terms because specific failures, flaws, addictions or internalized petty bourgeois (wanna be big bourgeois) bullshit isn’t new to the movement and once I realized how destructive (counter-revolutionary in fact) my failure to totally transform and practice my all too parroted “self discipline” – something as stated I’m quite adamant about “Walkin my walk”… Yet I gave the enemies a free tool to use against me and against us – again I do know why for some focoism is a “natural release”… working w/ ideas and for “long-term goals” especially in isolation of an active movement has been the death of many good Rads and whole collectives especially where self-discipline requires we police things that we once considered quite natural or even which is common practice for others but the state has made it taboo for us.
I read an article in The Abolitionist (Summer 2022) where a captive was released and days later his parole agent came to place an electronic monitor on his ankle which he knew would be a condition of parole, but still days later after she placed the “E.M.” on him she called and explained he will be allowed out the house 6:00am-10:00am and this should be plenty of time “For you to handle your business”. I couldn’t help but think how after 10:00 it would be unlawful to walk to the corner store or park, to go to school, work, to date, build community ties etc etc and how his actions will be a reflection of larger class forces and struggles where if he failed it would set back the opportunity for someone else to be released on “E.M.” supervision and to succeed he would need all the self-discipline in the world not to look out the window at 11 see a friend or interesting person come outside to talk and walk with them to the corner…I imagine all the lawful things a Jew in Nazi Germany or slave in amerikkka was forbidden.
Amerikkka exploits and sanctions the world so its unlawful to aid Cuba, to encourage oppressed people to keep their resources for themselves, to disrupt military supply chains or even expose what the government is doing to the public. On 22 August 2022, KPFA Radio’s “Letters and Politics” had a canadian Marxist scholar on who the host asked “isn’t it an advancement that we have a better life thanks to capitalism?” (this was the gist) The Marxist scholar replied “Yes”(even under the new mode of production we don’t want to lose those “freedoms”) and conceded this as advancement. Yet I contend both the host and this Rad suffered from self-deception. I think Huey’s “intercommunal” line was bullshit – to say nations don’t exist – but capitalism has infact now transferred and transposed the class struggle from core countries to exploited countries largely on the global south so whole countries live the bourgeois life to one degree or another, and the proletariat is now largely confined to their own powerless “nations.”
So for so many others they make do with left over bourgeois scraps. I saw a documentary a while back about how the U.$. was sending its plastic and metal scraps to the Third World as part of its neo-liberal deals with them – just as now Biden can promise less greenhouse gas from U.$ corporations “in amerikkka” but will never say they can’t offset this by reckless disregard for the oppressed nations. Part of the question to the canadian Marxist was also a statement that slavery is no more “thanks to capitalism” to which the Marxist agreed, hence his statement we don’t want to lose those “freedoms” but slavery very much exists outside of the “shiny city on the hill”, outside the gate they root through U.$ trash like pigs looking for mushrooms, women still are very much oppressed and yes slavery, I repeat, still exists. Yet they’re always judged by the standards of the exploiters and defenders of the city gates who gladly lower the drawbridge for the returning army with its war booty.
I stopped drinking because I get drunk and have no inhibitions, no fear and no rationalizations. Likewise I wrestled with self-indulgences “because they were denied” and I too have absolutely no respect for the enemy. Even when drunk I’ve never intentionally hurt anyone I loved, never fought my friends, never stole from loved ones etc, but not so for a perceived enemy, or if I felt I deserved something, or revenge was called for. All this was obviously before I became a revcom. But I know where it all came from and what it represents, its lumpen/petty bourgeois sentiments struggling with social, dictates that “I’m nothing,”“We’re nothing,”“You can’t have,” “You don’t deserve,” etc etc. But I know, because I couldn’t control it, I’d have to leave it alone. So now I’ve arrived rather late, at a similar conclusion of another thing I must deny myself due to how it can never be a resolvable contradiction (for me). I think it was jesus who said (according to grandma’s bible) that if your right eye causes you to sin cast it out. If a revolutionary could paint the mystical soul it would be a macabre creature… stitched and resewn on wings, scars, busted knuckles etc etc.
I am quite clear on a few things and the utter failure of capitalism-imperialism and its rule is one of those things that I have much clarity on. Will I slip up? will it be as easy as alcohol for me? will the enemy be able to conspire against me? will there ever be any normalcy in my life? will it always be ad hoc salvaging? will revcoms ever beat back lumpen/petty bourgeois culture and ideas to be the undisputed voice for the semi-colonies? I may never know these things we may not like all the answers to those things, but I’m quite sure there’s millions of people who like me will never forgive this system for what not only it’s done to the world or ourselves but the choices and contradictions we’ve been forced to wrestle with due to its rule and its utter disregard for our humanity will never be forgiven and whose dogged focus is to bring about a Revolutionary Communist World.
Amerikkkan media feels compelled to state each and every time election talk is brought up that it’s the “Big lie” to claim it was stolen and to be unequivocal about Putin and Russia’s invasion as to the cause of the war in Ukraine and to be clear on the need to support Ukraine’s effort to win the war, it makes sure it always says it was a coup attempt on Jan 6 and that Amerikkka is a democracy. All this because truth is important. One of my favorites is Ben Fletcher who is a petty bourgeois radical who says it’s right to defend Ukraine simply because its unlawful. I wish I could search his writings talks etc but I’d wager dollars to donuts he has never said arms should be shipped to Palestine to defend against or push out Israeli troops, not even New Afrikans should arm themselves to fight back when pigs kill us nor although he says he said it was wrong to invade Iraq etc I’d bet he never said Iraqi’s should be aided to kill U.$. troops or he or any “leftist” in KKKville should support the counter-insurgency I’d bet had he and his ilk done so it would’ve had an effect on secular forces so now only Islamists are given a voice and many even long for the klan to return.
The labor aristocracy and other layers of the bourgeois here are quite in lock step. The only questions are which bourgeois party will win elections or steal them. We are looking at fascist forces, wars, possible world wars, environmental devastation, national oppression and we daily witness the consequences of what having a shining city on a hill entails and what it forces on others to do to survive not being a part of the in crowd, but this is no one’s concern and misleaders like the media or “Labor Leader” Ben Fletcher can only parrot Democratic or anti-Republican talkin’ points and even so called communists or at least “Marxists” can not see beyond bourgeois horizons.
For these reasons we must shore-up our ranks and connect with the broader proletariat movement. As its quite clear we will be in the wilderness for sometime, only practice and work will forge us ahead and conquer our bourgeois and lumpen demons. We can not be idle, not in prison, not school houses, not under capitalism-imperialism. They’re not idle. Steel sharpens steel. Proletariat morals and practice forever taken to a new level. These last paragraphs are not a mis-step; I contend we defeat our demons when we keep bourgeois morality clearly juxtaposed to proletariat morality and ideology. They currently are running laps around us here in amerikkka. Most people can conceive of “the end of the world” but can’t conceive of a New World with new social relations and a new mode of production that they themselves must work for and this is our failure to own.
Yet in this answer we can show a new type of Revcom responsive to the extensive body of work of real Maoism and revolutionary practice. Unbroken macabre spirits on display and in motion will never win over someone like Ben Fletcher the Mis-leader, nor bourgeois media but we can clearly show the dividing line between bourgeois (lumpen included) and revolutionary-proletariat-feminist-nationalists. This could be quite a powerful thing, and because there’s larger forces at work, if nothing else, self-discipline and revolutionary “consistent” practice at the very least may deny the enemy another victory.