A polemic is a critique of a organization, groups, person, idea, tendency etc. It was brought to my attention lately by a leftist pal of mine that I am not a good communist because I don't help the local reformist and liberal class collaborators who pose as communist (not his words, but mine). I didn't think much of it at first because he is a "do something, anything-ist" but I think that he had a point in there somewhere. That even by not supporting a reformist party I am doing nothing because I don't participate in many local activities. While I do participate in some local activities, I try to keep to little circles who I think have potential or to participate in militant activities. I am not interested in how many news papers I can sell at a rally, but rather I am interested in meeting people and hearing of their thoughts and experiences. And through discussion trying to reshape their ideas to be more communist and create more awareness among the people, person by person.
While I must confess that to some leftist this does not fall into their category of "doing something" but I have had great success with this strategy. It is also more inspiring and energizing for me to do this than to go to a leftist event and hearing liberal and reactionary ideas being regurgitated as fast as they can be re-consumed by the ORGs followers.
It is no secret that others in my area read this blog. The reason why I write polemics about these groups and people (most polemics I write are about multiple ORGS and many of them are taken out of context) is because they have many incorrect theories, they are calling themselves revolutionaries while championing reformism and liberalism under the guise of workers power. They are using other leftist to further their goals and have personally told me that there will come a day when they have to turn their backs on the other groups (that's called opportunism). I write polemics because many groups have become theoretically ignorant and use dogmatism as their guiding light.
Polemics are important in making groups and people better themselves. If you read a polemic about your group or about your ideas and you brush it off for any reason than you may be a dogmatic follower. If you discredit anything that was said or written by Mao simply because it was written or said by Mao than you are dogmatic and thus anti-dialects. Same goes for other people if you discredit everything Stalin said because it was Stalin who said it, if you discredit everything Trots say just because they are trots than you are a dogmatic person. This is not to say that you can't disagree with all of someones thoughts and ideas. But disagree because you've read it and don't just refute because of who wrote it. I don't agree with 99% of what Trotsky wrote. But it is because I think he wrote things from a purest and Utopian view point and not just because it was Trotsky who wrote it.
If polemics scare you as an ORG than you probably need to reevaluate yourself as an ORG. Only great people and groups use a good polemic to better themselves. Only cowards who are theoretically bankrupt and dogmatic cry when a polemic is written about them. A polemic is a good place to start doing some self criticism and theoretical advancement.
Written by; Dustin Slagle