Building a Revolutionary Movement

August 13, 2017
OK, this will take more than a minute to read, and I apologize. Some of you will move on quickly, but I urge you not to. This is an important and smart piece with real consequences for movement making—it’s about building a socialist movement centered in anti-racism and anti-imperialism, based in an authentic embrace of intersectionality and the fight for Indigenous, Black, LBGTQ, and women’s freedom. It’s a critique of those who disdain and diminish these struggles as “identity politics” and an obstacle to class unity. My brother Rick Ayers has been writing and posting about this for a long time, and I hear echoes of Rick’s analysis here, but this is as succinct and coherent an argument as I’ve seen.

The Low Road

August 10, 2017

What can they do to you?
Whatever they want..

They can set you up, bust you,
they can break your fingers,
burn your brain with electricity,
blur you with drugs till you
can’t walk, can’t remember.
they can take away your children,
wall up your lover;
they can do anything you can’t stop them doing.

How can you stop them?
Alone you can fight, you can refuse.
You can take whatever revenge you can
But they roll right over you.
But two people fighting back to back
can cut through a mob
a snake-dancing fire
can break a cordon,
termites can bring down a mansion

Two people can keep each other sane
can give support, conviction,
love, massage, hope, sex.

Three people are a delegation
a cell, a wedge.
With four you can play games
and start a collective.
With six you can rent a whole house
have pie for dinner with no seconds
and make your own music.

Thirteen makes a circle,
a hundred fill a hall.
A thousand have solidarity
and your own newsletter;
ten thousand community
and your own papers;
a hundred thousand,
a network of communities;
a million our own world.

It goes one at a time.
It starts when you care to act.
It starts when you do it again
after they say no.
It starts when you say we
and know who you mean;
and each day you mean
one more.

– Marge Piercy

“We Come in Peace”

August 10, 2017
The United States spends more than a trillion dollars a year on war and preparation for war, more than the rest of the world combined. The war culture accepts that as a desire for peace. The United States has military bases stretching across the globe, including a base in the Italian Alps, and yet there are no Italian air bases in the Catskills, for example. The war culture sees that as sensible and necessary. The war culture is everywhere, simply taken for granted, always lurking in the shadows and occasionally bursting forth and on full display.
I remember a trailer for a film I saw in a theater several years ago—it looked dreadful, so I never saw the film, but it could well have been Mars Attack or The Day the Earth Stood Still—in which the repeating trope was an alien confronting a group of startled earthlings, saying in an eerily mechanical voice, “We come in peace”—just before blasting them into small pieces. It takes a minute for reality to catch up to these hapless earthlings, but eventually they get it. Like the challenge of the wandering spouse caught in the arms of a lover, the aliens hold to the classic defense, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes?”
“We come in peace,” but wherever the United States puts down the boot, it brings more war, wider war, and a deeper commitment to war as the way. Marine Corps Major General Butler, two-time winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, said in 1935 that, “War is a racket.” That was the title of a popular pamphlet he wrote, and a theme he elaborated in speeches through- out the country over many years: “It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. . . . It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”3 Butler consistently urged citizens to demand the impossible and support three radical proposals: strictly limit all military forces to a defensive posture; hold a referendum of those who would be on the front lines before any military action is undertaken; and take the profit out of war by, among other measures, conscripting the captains of industry and finance as the foot soldiers in any impending fight.

Get Woke!

August 9, 2017



Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki

August 7, 2017
August 6, 1945 Hiroshima; August 9, 1945 Nagasaki.
Remembrance and atonement. Powered by American exceptionalism, rampant white supremacy, and imperial dreams, this crime against humanity is the only case in history of nuclear bombs being used against civilians. Reflect on the obscenity of these war crimes as the US escalates tensions around the world blithely proposing the possibility of another nuclear nightmare.

The United States of Amnesia (USA! USA!)

August 4, 2017

An article by Thomas Bass (America’s Amnesia in the journal Mekong Review) is the latest in a number of essays and opinion pieces prompted by the scheduled PBS showing in September of the new Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary series entitled, in sweeping breadth, The Vietnam War.

There are many good articles to be found at the Full Disclosure site, some new ones added recently.


Mekong Review