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Great minds, same channels, etc.

By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday October 6, 2010 12:08 AM

My palaeocon pals over at antiwar.com seem to share some of my own suspicions about Obie's recent Palmer Raids:

Four of the antiwar activists who were subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury will refuse to appear, according to their attorneys. The group includes a number of the antiwar activists whose homes were raided on September 24.

...The open-ended detention of the activists could ... strengthen the belief that the operation is designed primarily to intimidate the likely organizers of antiwar protests against President Obama at the 2012 DNC.

Comments (17)


pre empt chicago '68 ???

"..strengthen the belief that the operation is designed primarily to intimidate the likely organizers of antiwar protests against President Obama at the 2012 DNC."

how flattering.... how ham fisted
.....how unlikely

far more likely...

a flock of killer drones
circling over
the convention city itself

"raising hell
will require
a good deal more
then a handful of well meaning
ex mao-pods like me"
--ex mao-pod --

Mexicans are the reason for domestic drone flights, Owen. Jeez, get your State Causes right, already.

Dirty greens are Cause for COINTELPRO2v.0.



don't tell me about undoc flock fucking

read the above from november '03

the last third or so...

as to greens and cointelpro

please ...greens as a security threat
are like
the pink rabbit in old trix ads


Al Schumann:

Owen, they go in for the ham fisted preemptive intimidation as theatrics for the blustering demographic. They've been doing it for years. Convention-attending pwogs like to feel as though they face a threat. If they can't find a real one, they make one up. One of these years, though, they're going to spend so much energy harassing nice greens, Quakers, ex mao pods and the like that they'll miss the vicious, violently competent skinheads slipping in. Won't that be a party.


Why not take these ham-fisted threats seriously? My SO does. We're almost packing to leave the country. (Not that we pose any threat to anyone -- nothing like OP's radical economics, or MJ's drone flights of saeve indignatio (SP?). Talk about killer weapons!)

I hesitate to go up against Al, but doesn't that position relegate us to almost total inactivity -- just elegantly ironizing on the sidelines? I'm guilty of it all the time, but shouldn't we be trying to break out of the trap? (whew, these metaphors are all over the place -- sorry!)

Al Schumann:

Westerby, I agree with you. Although I have a quibble or two. The relegation is real. There are no good moves within the system itself. The protests and political organization that are intended to sway it are ineffective. That's not for a lack of good intent or lack of good people. They just don't have a firm place from which to push. There's no foundation. Building one is decades of work.

And now it's my turn to play with metaphors. The SMBIVA hecklers aren't even in the cheap seats. The heckling is, for the most part, limited to warning people away from that graveyard of democratic social movements, the Democratic Party, which has swallowed and digested more meliorists than Cthulhu.

If the question 'what is to be done comes' up, I don't have a good, specific answer. There's no national organization I can point to, nor any movement with any weight. There are hundreds of thousands of small efforts, but no way as yet to integrate them. At this point, I wouldn't spend any time trying.


It seems pretty clear that nothing good will happen in the context of existing institutions until there gets to be a significant amount of restiveness, of a sort not containable by existing social-control mechanisms, among the public at large. It's not clear how to make that happen; it's not clear than it can be made to happen. Maybe it just has to happen. I think we'll know it when we see it.

Meanwhile, one does what little one can. If one doesn't have the gifts of character and mind to be, say, a union organizer, then one can at least be, to the extent of one's powers, a foe of deceit and stultification.

Blogging may seem like an idle trade enough, and no doubt it is. But it's interesting to me that it does tend to put like-minded people in touch with each other -- people who might have formerly felt rather isolated and discouraged can now know that they're not entirely alone, and sharpen their individual insights through exchanging notes.

The process has been helpful to me, anyway, and I hope sometimes to others as well.

I agree with Al and with Fr Smith. Not gonna "change from within" as long as most are fat, happy, and complacent... and most Americans are those things, despite outward appearances to the contrary on "happy". Also agree that if one isn't a leader/organizer then it's useful to be a hunting dog, pointing at dissembling, mendacity, duplicity, charade, theatre and sycophancy... it tends to draw together those who see the falsity and fraudulence.


" It's not clear how to make that happen; it's not clear than it can be made to happen. Maybe it just has to happen"

i agree its like the difference
between seasonal weather conditions
and climate change

CC drivers are identifiable but
the time and conditions path
all the way to where CC is
"we'll know it when we see it"
is at the seeing it stage


and as to preparing organizationally
for some CC here ....
comrades we'll get plenty of time

elsewhere ??
hey maybe its out there
just around
the far side of the next
global right turn


a general purpose national social change org
requires conditions not present

but there's lots of struggles out there right ??
"OP's radical economics"
the science of political economy
informs us about HERE and NOW
it doesn't lead
it doesn't even agitate well

mass organizations
leaping into action
that and that alone ...leads


I don't think there are actually "a lot of struggles," in the political or moral sense. What passes for the American character is fairly inimical to struggle, now. Even the greens would trade out their radicalism, I'd wager, for a hand on the machinery of state. And promptly trigger a violent and corporate sponsored uprising from that shit hole of mega-churches and company towns called the Heartland.

Agitation and activism were always sort of tenuous affairs, here. I'm not lecturing you on that fact, either. I'm pretty sure you know it. Outside the Wobblies and the committed Reds, the rest were always rather co-optable. Even the KoL and the Grange made their accommodations, especially once the AFL and CIO got war party monies and broke through to institutional status.

And that's not even adjusting for culture, where we're far more anti-revolutionary and anti-insurrectionary than maximalist Catholic and Orthodox countries, or traditionally Islamic ones. Again, no lecture intended, but the bright shining exemplars of Hizbollah are far more revolutionary than a typical example of American radicalism.

Our one really insurrectionist element is the faction comprised of the Movement proto-fascists - and as much as I'd love to see them smash up the Republic, I'd rather strangle my kids and gut my wife in good Roman fashion, than let those fuckers actually get control of the Capitol and the Joint Chiefs. Cause they'd get to their nastiness - and it would almost surely involve rolling up the "urban blights," in short order. Think the prisons are crowded now?

If we really want to make headway, we have to take this American temperament - or, distemper - into consideration.

And the way is rather obvious, when you think about it. Americans may trend away from revolution, but you can almost always get them to root for criminals. Especially ones who abide by the principle of the Noble Badass, or who are sticking it the PTB. And while Americans would gladly gallows string revolutionaries, they sure do love criminals with a "moral critique."



I guess I could put it another way, too. Revolutionaries are like terrorists or drug lords with Latino surnames. They justify the police state. They demand it.

Bank robbers and gambling scandals mean the system itself is failing.

Even the greens would trade out their radicalism, I'd wager, for a hand on the machinery of state. And promptly trigger a violent and corporate sponsored uprising from that shit hole of mega-churches and company towns called the Heartland.

This, because the Greens are basically DLC operators (knowing and un-knowing alike) used to corral objectors within the Donkey Party. The Greens are this:

"Ya know, Mr Donkey, that I used to agree with you. But then ____________ (Exxon Valdez, Deepwater Horizon, Buffalo Creek Disaster, Mtntop Removal) cleared the sleep from my eyes. We need stronger regulations, better regulators, and honest Capitalism."

In other words, by and large the Greens are not really against much except obvious environmental disaster, which they make the centerpiece of their pose.

This is not just because they are hyper-sensitive to ecological health. It's because being Green is a clique, with a cool secret handshake like buying a Prius for membership.

America is the land of pose and posture. But what else would we expect from a land of hyper-finance capitalist materialism? The very essence of the system is based on superficial posture.

EF! is not really strong in New England, Charles. But, I did manage to maintain contact with a few of their locas, several years back.

I did not get the impression they were particularly inclined to do that deep-eco stuff on account of hipsteria.

I hear ya Jack.

IMO EF! is not Green. IMO Green = Sierra Club, NPR/PBS, Nature Conservancy. A pose.

My town is heavily Green and almost to a person the Greens I know are capitalist, materialist, consumerist and meritocratic. With a kind, gentle facade.

Pwogs, in other words... calling themselves Greens.


i'm after less fearsome grappling

struggle as a term
suggests both simple institutional reform
actions as well as movements
that lead to the construction of reform institutions
as well as the bigger
system threatening stuff you're talking about jack

here i'm thinking of simple mass movements
like well ...
the rise of industrial job site strife triggered in the mid 30's
reforms and new institutions
flowed out of these actions
between 35-46

I know for a fact, based on feedback, that helping people get their minds around the theatrics is beneficial to community action. With archives of authentic activism now available online, people of conscience can come up to speed pretty fast on the research, education and organizing they need to protect their communities from the corporate state. 60 Minutes did a segment on corporate-sponsored vigilantes threatening community activists all over America, who organized for environmental sanity; these were not career activists, but extraordinary individuals, often parents, working as volunteers with others in their church or neighborhood to stop the madness. Their effectiveness and authenticity is why they were treated so ruthlessly.

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