On May Day Being an Annual Socialist Mass and Therefore Massively Ineffectual Socially
Or: On May Day, Ineffectualism and Preaching to the Converted
If there is anything on this planet that is next to the supreme stupidity of both prayer or Liberal reformism and petition signing, it is the closed-circle preaching and sectarianism in the Socialist movement. I’ve recently saw several May Day videos from party members of Germany, Sri Lanka, the UK, America etc and all of them provide nothing but reporting on Western ills, quotes by Trotsky, self-congratulations and in the instance of the American Joseph Kishore Idealism of the greatest and most grandiose variety.
Informing citizens of the actions of their and foreign Governments is of course something of great consequence and utility, but far-more than this is planning and organizing all Left-wing and Progressive forces in a effective stratagem and multi-faceted approach to move both the public perception and policies of Governments to the Left, through the triad approach of infiltration, desegregation of Socialist ideology from modern day sentiment and increasing education and standard of living which will eventually make the first two measures unnecessary if they are done effectively.
Though I have a great deal of affection for Europe and think that it is the greatest grouping of countries on this planet, I assume much of what the Trotskyites say in European Austerity programs and Free-Market or Classically Liberal reforms being pushed by the Social Democratic, Liberal, Conservative and even some supposedly Democratic Socialist parties is accurate, but if this is the case than continuing to complain by muttering in a corner surrounded by people boxed into the same corner will do precisely nothing. Infiltration of the current large left-wing parties is the best chance of real Socialism or at the very least correction of the Austerity programs in Europe. In America tactics will need to be slightly different in some ways because of the extent corporations and moneyed interests have utterly destroyed the democratic process, but ultimately the same logic will apply. A unified Far Left stent in the Green Party for example seems to be the best chance of getting Socialist views to American ears, rather than the slandering and misrepresentation of Socialist views by Corporatist and Liberal pundits alike. Candor and firmness is essential for people have an ear for those who speak bluntly and without political grandstanding, showboating or speechmaking about the American Dream or Jesus. Some financing is necessary particularly in America, but this is less of an obstacle than the petty sectarianism and Idealism that prevails in Socialist movements. That is not to say that Socialism itself is unrealistic or idealist, but most Socialist speakers feel content to ramble about class warfare and rampant economic and basic social injustices, just as a priest preaches to a room full of Christians or rather to his congregation.
Once we have infiltrated and brought to some level of efficacy any Centre-Left Progressive Party, the next task is focusing on the enforcement of environmental regulations – and creating ones where they are clearly lacking, though this will mean nothing if we first make sure the Capitalists can no longer evade or ignore them – and legislation that will increase the standard of living, standard of education and most importantly and essential to the long-term stability and progress of the first two points, the standard of critical thinking in our society. Here we must also rally with the Free Thinkers, in having them focus on Philosophy and a love of wisdom rather than a mere appreciation of science, secular politics and acceptance of Atheism. I realize that these three tasks are daunting enough in anti-intellectual America, but it is crucial that we have a mentality both for ourselves – in personal use and for social movement and development – and for our cause that of the philosopher and cynic rather than the academic scientist and preacher.
The Philosopher seeks wisdom and the application of it and the Cynic has no value or respect for standard social mores and conventions of behavior or etiquette, using social satire and relentless criticism not willing to compromise with ignorance, greed or despotism. It is the Academic who remains in his lab unconcerned with fundamental questions, pursuing rather if the speed of light if this or that and it is the preacher who prattles to the converted. We must always be opening up new avenues to our mentality but first we must change our methodology and etiquette to the cynic rather than the preacher. A cynic speaks bluntly or sarcastically while a preacher rambles and puts people to sleep. Another thing I found incredibly obvious and detrimental in the speeches I heard, was the complete lack of humor or personality. Like the preacher, many Socialists are too self-contained and dogmatic to be either philosophical or effectual; that is they are neither truly intellectual nor socially significant. They neither ask questions nor act to provide answers in a utilitarian ways.
How to get Socialist views heard more openly is a puzzling question, considering corporate news would not allow it – though they are ever-increasing in their ineffectiveness or viewership – and magazines or printed publications wouldn’t help because they are already highly politicized and each preaching to their flock. Literature and the propagation of ideas through film, books, television, music and any form of entertainment or expression I have forgotten seem to be the best chance for the beginning of a both surge in both Socialism and more importantly Intellectualism. This is in contrary to what thinkers like Sartre have said in literature being a bourgeois measure of academic Leftists to feel good about themselves rather than effect real social change in the barracks supposedly. It is the Leftists shouting at or nodding along with one another that are the real bourgeois “college Leftists” in that they are totally ignorant of pragmatism and self-aggrandizing in their tactics and mentality. The artist however creates brilliance not only in brilliant works that stand the test of time and are some of humanities greatest achievements, but in its tactics of tacitly and subtly bringing ideology and intelligence to the masses through story or song lyrics. The overall Left-wing nature of Science Fiction being the most obvious example but also the greatness of Punk bands Left-wing and cynical attitude the forever-underrated Dead Kennedys being the prime example. Of course one can find humor in the irony of Sartre a so-called Marxist who believed in Radical Freedom (at-least until the end of his life) and play write criticizing writers and artists for being self-serving egoists and ineffectual. The Right-wing Libertarians in having Ayn Rand taught in English classes know that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down and to hide the pill in the baloney even though to compare their main novelization of their ideology to baloney is an insult to cheap processed deli meat everywhere.
We could perhaps one day get works like Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle taught in schools; this I’m sure might seem impossible to some, but just consider how impossible it seemed a few decades ago to have The Catcher in the Rye a novel that says the word goddamn several hundred times taught in schools. The distinction between why the two wouldn’t be mandatory reading in schools might be worth mentioning, but it’s also important to know that almost regardless of who the schools pick as authors of youth there will be a champion of human rights and wisdom among them; John Steinbeck and Mark Twain being the most obvious Left-wing authors whose views will be known only if one peels just under the surface of their works. Ernest Hemmingway might be another good example but I’m not sure if he’s well-read in public education. But on the point of explicitly focusing on critical thinking, to do this we have to first alter education to encourage critical thinking and wisdom both academically and socially rather than the mere propagation of fact in a deadening way. For this I recommend Max Stirner’s work The False Principles of Our Education though it is lacking in any approach to establishing education as it properly should be, and therefore is only academic or theoretical in its function and can only be utilitarian to that extent. Methodology however is everything. The Labor Movement, fighting for the Separation of Church and State, freedom of speech or any other seemingly “easy win” in purely intellectual terms means nothing if one does not have a fine-tuned, multi-pronged and above-all effective strategy of action that responds to the world as it is not as one would have it if the changes one would like implemented took effect.
As I’ve noted earlier, Joseph is throughout incredibly idealist particularly in his perception of the American working class, but I suppose I must take what small portion of pragmatic wisdom I can get and commend him for giving however vague some appeal to utility towards the end of his speech; and of course I particularly liked his defaming of middle-class edgy identification politics like racialism or Radical Feminism. But of course his appeal to pragmatism and action is still under the blanket of the Fourth International which is wholly ineffective in bringing about any real change to popular sentiment or perception. Infiltrating the already existent bodies of political and social organization and indoctrination will be required, though this of course does not mean one needs to abandon or disband all already existent Socialist Parties and flagships. The main essence of this short essay – if it can be called such – I’ve already gone into more thorough detail of in The Ethics and Necessity of Vanguard Intellectualism though this one I suppose slightly differs in focusing on the need for infiltrating pre-existing establishments and parties rather than solely relying on utilizing our own – preaching to our own choir no less. Theory is essential, but methodology in human affairs is crucial for theory to be in essence essential rather than asinine and rhetorical.
Also I’ll add that you send the wrong tone entirely when you thank people just for listening to your speech in the comforts of their own home. You’re the one who is creating content, they should be thanking you. Don’t be the man who runs away from a bear, or rather in this case chases after a rabbit rather than tricking it to run where you want it to go. Doing the latter (having them going where you want them) is something art makes incredibly easy; to chase after the rabbit is to be a bore of a pamphleteer which is exactly what these repetitive speeches epitomize.