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Some ramble about "The Paradox of the Radical"
#1
I wrote this a while ago, thought I'd share it here:

This is something I think about a lot these days - the paradox of the radical: often by attempting to overthrow the state-capitalist system leftists have simply end up strengthening it. Through their resistance they expose vulnerabilities in the system, paths to its potential overthrow, allowing power to efficiently patch it up. As a result, the system has only really grown stronger because of radicalism. Every step we've tried to take towards freedom has created a newer, subtler chain. In many ways the radical left is in some sort of weird symbosis with capital - like the hacker a bank hires in order to test its security, or like Zion in the matrix sequels. Though I should clarify that the fascist propaganda that says every leftist is a paid shill is just that, fascist propaganda. Though like all propaganda, I think its effectiveness lies in the fact that it has an element of truth to it. The left often does wind up being beneficial to the establishment despite seeking to overthrow it. (When it comes down to it, all fascist propaganda is pseudo-radical rhetoric twisted to support an anti-radical agenda, capitalising on real problems to propose solutions that actually directly strengthen their root cause  - Hitler even described himself as a "revolutionary against the revolution").

I think this is at least partly because leftists never quite seem to manage to let go of many of the fundamental aspects of authoritarian logic. They still seem to seek some form of control - even when they pride themselves in their anti-authoritarianism - and decry those who challenge them as "unpractical", as if replicating the fundamental logic of the status quo is somehow the "pragmatic" way of breaking the chains.

No idea what can be done about this, if anything. It's a lot easier to describe in great detail the way the chains function and tighten themselves that it is to figure out how to break them.

Anyone got any thoughts?
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#2
Can you give some examples of radicalism that exposed a flaw that was patched up?
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#3
(08-03-2020, 01:22 PM)drought Wrote: Can you give some examples of radicalism that exposed a flaw that was patched up?

You could say this about the downfall of monarchy - where previously rule in the emergent protocapitalist nations was justified by the "divine right of kings". After the french revolution the "divine right of kings" (which was a vulnerability as people's faith started to decline) was replaced by a secularised version of the myth. The next century or so of resistance saw it replaced with liberalism - now a more effective method of maintaining control by framing its mechanism of control in terms of "freedom" and "democracy".


A similar thing could be said of the russian revolution. It, along with the broader labour movement & radical resistance exposed the vulnerability posed by the misery and destitution of the working class. Following this there is an increase in propaganda, some scraps thrown, etc. The logic of authoritarianism is still alive and well. The USSR had an even more brutally efficient system of control, highly sophisticated propaganda

Then there's also cross-racial solidarity in resistance in the early Americas that led to the implementation of explicitly white supremacist policy to divide and rule.

probably others idk, this is just what occurred to me off the top of my head
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#4
So the problem isn't radicalism but that people stopped being radical after a small win?
It's also easier to defeat a group that seek power than the chaos of insurrection.

In response to the cross-racial solidarity and white supremacist policies, the victims shouldn't be blame for the laws made against them.
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#5
I'm not blaming anyone.

also more obvious examples are all cases of recuperation of various social movements over the last 50 years or so.

(08-03-2020, 06:32 PM)drought Wrote: It's also easier to defeat a group that seek power than the chaos of insurrection.
I agree, which I think is what I was ultimately getting at - that in many cases it's at least partially a result of a failure to overcome authoritarian logic
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#6
(08-03-2020, 06:32 PM)drought Wrote: It's also easier to defeat a group that seek power than the chaos of insurrection.

i think this is immensely important. to not make demands and to simply attack. also of course, anonymity. i’m wondering if even communiques can be a detriment at times as they give motives.
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#7
(08-03-2020, 09:00 PM)Splinglebot Wrote: I'm not blaming anyone.
I don't think it was your goal, I just felt that all your examples are about actions but that one was specific to simply existing which is why I think it's not a valid point even though the result was the same; patching up by passing (segregationist) laws to hurt movements.



(08-04-2020, 05:29 AM)black_fox Wrote: i think this is immensely important. to not make demands and to simply attack. also of course, anonymity. i’m wondering if even communiques can be a detriment at times as they give motives.


That's a good point, communiqués can be faked to discredit actions, real ones can be misunderstood, I guess let action speak is the way to go? And as you said, not giving motives means they don't know what's attacking them.
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