I am noticing a trend. I see it with some groups more than with others. We have all heard the phrase "you're talking to big for your britches."
I was having a conversation that turned into a debate recently with a comrade about marching on Washington DC to demand a "stop to funding the Egyptian government." I was trying to debate him that this tactic has never worked and that the US government is not going to stop funding any of it's puppet governments just because the people take to the streets. It took me about ten minutes to realize that he was not debating me but rather just repeating democratic and the "they have to listen to us" rhetoric over and over again.
Just as a taste of what I mean (this was on a public site mind you) here are some clips of our discussion.
him- when has a US president ever supported democracy in a nation he controls?"
him-"Only when the people in the U.S. stand up & demand it!"
me-"I don't think even then he (Obama) will care *persons name. The riot police is all you will get."
him-"The U.S. gives Mubarak 2Billion dollars a year, we are funding the ones killing the pro democracy protesters. Cut off funding, and demand the dictator step down."(I hope by now my point is clear that while I'm trying to discuss/debate he is using empty slogans with no way to make these things happen)
me-"No, I understand and agree with your rhetoric I'm just saying that Obama won't do it no matter what. His stake in having a Egyptian puppet is more important than what the people of the US (notoriously pacifist)say."
him-"Speak for yourself, but not all people in the U.S. are as cynical as you. Resist the War Machine! Solidarity with Egyptian Democracy Movement."
me-"yes, nothing but solidarity with the Egyptian people! But it's called realistic and dialects not cynical. I speaking from historical and current stand point. If you can get the Obama administration to tell the government to resign and he stops sending them money because of your movement then I will give you a personal apology."(and I will if they do)
him-"Our goal is to end the U.S. Imperialist War Machine's domination of the U.S. & much of the world. Remember the 60s? We gained social change, but not political change. We will continue the struggle for democracy in the U.S. The corporate media can't continue to ignore us. The U.S. peace & democracy movement is building. 131 Peace activists (mostly vets) were arrested in front of the White House last month & we will have many more in March. Join the revolution!"
me-"I wouldn't call it a revolution yet brother. People need to understand that we have no democracy before they will revolt but most people in the US still believe we have democracy."(I didn't have the heart to tell him that the conditions are way off for revolt.)
Most of the conversation went on this way and it is something that I have noticed has become sort of a trend. Many people on the left have traded dialects for slogans (liberal ones at that.) I fear that rhetoric has come to replace logic in our communist movement. It seems like most people think if they repeat "we are winning! we are winning!" that somehow with out advancing even a little bit that we are in fact winning. Is this correct? NO, further more it makes the movement as a whole look silly. I recall a time where an ISO and a SP-USA member sat there and went back and forth for two hours and all they were really saying was "we are the vanguard" "nope, we are the vanguard" and both thought they were right because they believed their own rhetoric. But to someone unfamiliar with the movement they would probably roll their eyes and say something along the lines of "wow why are communist so full of themselves?"
So before we just go out yelling slogans at people instead of explaining ourselves, we need to ask ourselves: "Is what we are putting forward realistic?" "Is it achievable?" "If it is possible to attain this goal then what is the correct path to move the goal forward to a reality?" and most importantly; "how do the people want to carry this forward" and "Is this what is best for the people?" Because yes I have noticed that sometimes groups will do opportunistic campaigns to gain a few members even when if the campaign had succeeded that it would have been against the masses well being.
The masses well being should always be our number one driving force. Empty rhetoric and worthless slogans are not going to liberate the masses on it's own.
Logic shall be our only guiding light!
Written by: Dustin Slagle