affinity groups

Towards a New Left Movement

These are just some of my thoughts on the state and future of the Left as of late, feel free to ignore or to debate or to reblog, but it’s mostly just because I want to shape my scattered thoughts into solid form.

I’ll begin with my thoughts on how I believe our praxis should look in an era of right-wing hegemony and neoliberal consensus. I believe that our fundamental focus should be building dual power in several forms, which I’ll outline. The first [and most important, in my opinion] is localized dual power. We should be helping people organize into a system of nesting, democratic councils, similar to those in west Kurdistan, that begin on the street level, then the district level, then the city level, then the region level, and so on. These councils can then be used to create strong, participatory local politics, whether by organizing mutual aid programs for food assistance or healthcare or getting “socialist” [left-center Democrats or Socialist Alternative etc] candidates into local office or organizing neighborhood people’s defense from white supremacists, neo-nazis, ICE, and police. The second form is unionized dual power. I think in the deindustrializing global North, labor unions aren’t nearly as useful nor militant as they used to be, but I believe workers in certain key industries [particularly those put forward by Monsieur Dupont in Nihilist Communism and discussions I have had with @gendernihilistanarchocommunist] have immense power over global Capital because they work in its arteries—the logistics industry. For decades now, an ostensible supply chain revolution has taken place to so-called “just in time” manufacturing, in which transportation, manufacturing, shipping, etc are timed to have no wasted moments in between. The advantage of this, for us, is that if dockers shut down a port, the factory that those commodities were going to gets shut down, and the factory that that factory’s commodities were going to gets shut down, and so on, rippling through the economy and causing multi billion dollar losses to Capital, inching closer and closer to capitalist crisis. One idea would be to salt these immensely powerful unions, such as the ILWU, and push them [as much as possible] towards more disruptive, more radical, more frequent action.

The second, and I think less important question, is how I believe we as the Left should organize in order to enact this praxis. I think that anything from affinity groups to communist parties would be capable and effective at organizing dual power, salting select unions, organizing self-defense and mutual aid, rallying behind left-center electoral candidates, etc. I think the best option, however, would be for us to organize a nonsectarian, multi-tendency party that would serve to organize militants across a broad geographic space [hopefully across the country and even more hopefully the world] who would act both as long-term, dedicated organizers of dual power as well as “agents of intensification” [stole that from Endnotes] in the situation of uprisings, strikes, protests, and eventually, hopefully, revolutionary situations. The Communist Labor Party in the Pacific Northwest seems to be the closest model to this I see in the US, and I think similar parties [or additional chapters of the CLP] could and should be organized nationally and internationally. If we are going to organize local dual power, it would be incredibly helpful and power-leveraging to be able to link, say, the dual power system of Seattle to the dual power system of New York City to the dual power system of Mexico City to the dual power system of Mumbai, and I think that can be best organized through an efficient party form. The same goes for linking “salted” militants in, say, an Oakland dockers’ union to “salted” militants in a Shenzhen dockers’ union, and bringing a single, albeit powerful, strike action to a potentially world-economy-destroying strike action.

I think through these organizational forms—a local dual power system, “salted” labor unions in key industries, and a nonsectarian, multi-tendency party—we can restore power to a broad Left [from anarchocommunists on the left all the way [in my opinion] to left-center liberals or maybe DSA on the right] in order to crush the Right and work towards building socialism. Questions of state seizure are certainly not relevant now, and I think in a world of high-tech, asymmetric warfare [cue marxism-leninism-memeism disagreeing, lol] and multi-continent supply chains, making economic autarky in the face of embargo very difficult [although, as proletarianization and industrialization continue to develop in the global South, chances for surviving and even thriving of marxist-leninist states look increasingly higher], questions of state seizure may never be relevant, as worldwide implosion of capitalism and communization in its bones may be the only option left. Either way, I think that left unity is paramount in the face of the Left’s weakness and the Right’s strength, and we need to be organizing on a nonsectarian, multi-tendency, anti-capitalist basis.

I think this is a good start as far as solidifying my thoughts goes, and I may add more later on, but I’d like to hear people’s thoughts on it if anyone is interested!

this individualist fetishism that anarchists love to put out really highlights the failure of their practice. “liberate the individual, the masses will follow.”… work as an individual first, not a united mass movement, work with loose affinity groups and collectives, which will somehow multiply enough and crush capitalism despite their disunity and fragmentation (no, *because of* their disunity and fragmentation), but not as a united movement with programmatic practice, specific goals, strategy, principled struggle, etc….thats too authoritarian, that ignores the individual….. ultimately useless.

this movementist strategy has been tried for several decades already with no significant or lasting accomplishments. in fact its gotten significantly weaker. this is why we need a Party, an Army, a United Front, and to leave this idea of anti-authoritarianism in the dust. At best, its circular and powerless, never learning from itself. At worst, it reproduces chauvinism and bourgeois imperialist propaganda in practice.

Those first world intellectuals engaged in repopularizing communism tend to make movementist strategies and tactics their default practice. Placing their faith in disorganized rebellions, they argue either explicitly or implicitly that we must tail every unfocused mass protest that erupts in response to global capitalism. The argument, though not always stated, is that these protests will, through some inexplicable mechanism of combination, produce a revolutionary critical mass, at some point on the distant horizon, that will finally resolve the communist hypothesis- this is precisely what is now called movementism.
There was a time, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, where most of us believed this movementist strategy was synonymous with revolutionary praxis. We went to Seattle to protest the World Trade Organization; we assembled in Quebec City to challenge the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas; we proclaimed that we were part of a beautiful and fragmented chaos of affinity groups, conflicted organizations, disorganized rebels, all of whom were somehow part of the same social movement that was greater than the sum of its parts. We believed ourselves to be raindrops that would produce a flood capable of sweeping away capitalism, unwilling to recognize that this was perhaps a false analogy and that we were more accurately, in very concrete terms, a disorganized mob of enraged plebeians shaking our fists as a disciplined imperial army. Years ago we spoke of “social movementism” but now it only makes sense to drop the “social” since this phase of confusion was incapable of understanding the social terrain.
So while we should endorse every rebellion against capitalism and imperialism, no matter how desperate (as Frantz Fanon once put it), we should also realize that the unfocused nature of these rebellions is intrinsically incapable of responding to the problem of necessity … 


[Movementism] goes nowhere because, due to its very nature, it cannot approach the point of unity- the point of theoretical and practical totality that post-modernists warned us to avoid- that should emanate from the understanding that communism is a necessity. For when we speak of necessities we also have to speak of building a unified movement that, due to this unity, will possess the intention of making what is necessary a reality.

—  J. Moufawad-Paul | The Communist Necessity (2014)
Why is there no Classism?

So, there are structures in place that preserve class. There are identities which are often termed in relation to structures of class. Class is articulated on a continual basis. Then why is there no such thing as classism? I can understand calling the notion of “classism” being incoherent a pedantic distinction, but I think explaining that there not only is a difference, but the nature of that difference (perhaps differance?) is important specifically because it allows for a development of why there cannot be a comprehensive structure of identity through class that will not eventually reinforce notions of capitalist violence.

There are so many examples wherein one finds affinity within struggle, identities that are defined both within and against their structural bounds, but to do so with class enters a series of implication about class that lead to the conclusion that class is the same kind of identity as any other. Articulations of gay pride, of black liberation, of national liberation struggles are all means by which one reacts to the violence of neocolonial, neoliberal hegemony. Conversely, these retain a danger of rearticulation like that described by Badiou in Black where he discusses the specific usage of black as a term of identity and the beauty of blackness as part of black liberatory aesthetics, and cautions about how this positive act can structure a larger acceptance of similar standards of hegemony within the articulatory act of creating this positive notion of black beauty. In effect, the notion of blackness as only worthy if beautiful, and only beautiful through a selective implementation of standards rooted in antiblackness, which are retained through this reversal. There are countless writings on this process and how it retains a great deal of complicated duplicity given the many levels of semiotics of beauty and the concept of beauty itself as a semiotic designator of goodness, and to repeat them would belabor the point. However, the predominant point here is that the retention of a violent structure in a process of naming it is entirely possible

Articulating “classism” as an idea implies that class has an identity of the same sort as any other, rather than one dependent on other structures of affinity. There are supporters’ groups in Europe with distinctly working class identities, and some teams even retain this in themselves. American sports, largely apolitical in aesthetics except for support of neocolonial armies, are even able to articulate some sort of working class identity around themselves. Both the Mets and the Yankees retain working class identities, and one sees an opposition between the cache of going to a Rangers game, and the way that many Islanders fans identify with a vanishing working class of Long Island. These identities are not formed in isolation: markers of class are often racialized such that a luxury brand can perceive a downturn in their image as they are taken on as a signifier of wealth by rappers as opposed to signifying a hegemonic articulation of luxury. Even within perceptions of the working class, one finds that there are racializations of identity, such as when Timberland responded to its popularity during the 90s as a result of hip-hop fashion by clinging to a notion of the working class structured by and identified with whiteness. When talking about notions of the “white working class” many have in fact accepted a subjectivity formed by white supremacy, such that one must first be white in order to realize or be situatioed within the working class.   

Even without a hegemonic structure that demarcates people as gay, some people will still engage in the same behaviors, in the same way. People will simply not be gay in the same sense because there is no such structure, there is no “being gay” to be. People will still love their friends, grow as they find those who share similar experiences of the body and of love, and those may mirror current gay communities, but it will not be by the necessity imposed externally by homophobia. The same is true of other identities specifically because while they are structured by external violence, there are communities within these repeated and continual structures of violence that have become meaningful themselves. While so many of them have been formed specifically due to the violence of antisemitism, this does not mean Jewish communities are only meaningful because of antisemitism. That liberation movements so often are built out of solidarity and community across structural affinities shows this persistence of culture in spite of outside pressure. We will not see a unilateral process where communities dissolve without these structures, although some indeed will because they are based in articulating themselves against these structures and their preservation would only lead to a rearticulation and reimposition of the structures in question. Class is an example of one specifically because of its relation to production and producing-production.

Saying something is “classist” because it exhibits preservation of class structure is simply noting it as a mechanism of class structure because class is defined by how mobility is only produced as an illusory aesthetic trapping of class, how expansion of the bourgeoisie is superficial and moreover is part of retaining the overall structure of violence necessary to continue the structuring of class, and that inroads made against class structure are overwhelmingly the result of attempts to resolve contradictions within late capitalism rather than create a meaningful process of transformation in regard to class. Creating an identity of class that one can then be “classist” against implies that there is more to class than one’s economic location within it, that the communities within must articulate themselves within class structure, and that there will be a loss of this without the violence of class.

Thus, it implies that there is a uniqueness to “working class” culture that must be preserved, or a “proletarian culture” that can only persist if those within it continue to be proletarian, that one can foster this culture of being a certain class. This additionally shows in notions of preserving a “middle class” that is alienated through structures of postmodernity from their labor, given relative luxury while in fact not understanding their connection to any structure of class, and moreover surviving thanks to the labor of both the proletariat in the first world and the proletariat within a more global, third-world structure of the proletariat. The notion of “classism” so often refers to imposed social immobility tied to other structures of violence rather than being any structure of violence itself, being part of preserving class through preserving that structure. Culture itself is in many ways a construction, and that the way in which working class identities are built around and through other constructions of culture itself relies on retaining notions of class as part of the culture at hand.

Effectively, as a term it obscures the way in which class society relies on an assemblage of violence fostered upon individuals through structures far greater than them, and thus functions to obscure the actual violence at hand.

its funny how leftcoms and anarchists always accuse marxists of wanting to disempower the working class by being a formally organised party but then their organising always only ever takes the form of like, black blocs and day-long street fights which don’t even attempt to reach out to working people. 

they accuse organised marxists of substitutionalism and then don’t even phone the union to see if logistics workers, the people best placed to disrupt the flow of capital, want to be part of ‘disrupting the logistics of capital.’ and like, why don’t they do that? because they have no faith in the possibility that working people can actually become class conscious and mobilise, as a class, against the bourgeoisie. it’s profoundly condescending to believe that your affinity group and your affinity group alone has a revolutionary capacity and the rest of the working class just has to stand back and let you have your riot.

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Greek Gold Roundel with Bees, 7th Century BC

The goldwork technique seen here is called granulation, in which the goldsmith uses minute spheres of gold to create texture and pattern. This method was adopted by the Greeks from the Eastern Mediterranean in the 8th and 7th century BC. This piece has affinities with a group of objects from the island of Rhodes dating to 650-600 BC.

Trump Survival Tips No. 8: Black Bloc, Part 2

I’m assuming you’re reading this immediately after reading Tip 7, so we’ll jump right in. You know what a black bloc is and why it’s important. So, how do you bloc? Pretty simple. We’ll go top to bottom.

Your face should, of course, be covered. Bandannas, black scarves, balaclavas, or a wrapped T-shirt can provide effective masks. Your mask should cover your face fully, be breathable and comfortable, not come off when you move around, and be quick to don; practicing masking up at home is definitely something you should do. Your hair should also be covered. Wear a hood or hat.

Avoid wearing clothes with visible labels, patches, or other designs; they’ll make you stand out, and provide a convenient target for police to settle crosshairs on. Wear your shirt inside out if you have to. Clothes should fully cover your arms and legs, for physical protection as well as anonymity. A black hoodie and pants should do the trick. Cover your hands as well; cheap knit gloves are more than sufficient, and don’t leave fingerprints. Remember, cover as much skin as you can. Leaving anything exposed endangers racialized peeps, and can also expose identifying tattoos.

Shoes can be tricky, and the most easily-identifiable part of your outfit. Communicate with your affinity group to determine what everyone’s wearing. Personally, I’m usually split between cheap sneakers (Vans or Converse work), and combat boots. Sneakers have the advantage of being common, and therefore make you hard to identify both during and after the bloc, but boots are much more durable for both kicking Nazi teeth and protection against rubber bullets or tear gas canisters. Stay in contact with your affinity group; if you’re all wearing boots, go nuts.

I’d recommend bringing a backpack. Like the rest of your clothing, it should be plain black, without identifying labels, markers, or designs. Being in a black bloc implies that you’re there for direct action, and it’s good to bring stuff along for that; bags can also cover designs on the back of your hoodie. Stuff to bring in said bag includes, but isn’t limited to, a respirator (here’s one for $35, if you’re willing to buy Israeli; no ethical consumption under capitalism, remember), extra masks for someone new to bloc, enough snacks and water to keep you going, a change of clothes and shoes, and whatever supplies you need for your action. If it’s an antifa counter-demo, bring a baton or a cut-down baseball bat; if it’s an anti-capitalist demo, bring spray paint for graffiti and painting over camera lenses; if you’re a street medic, bring a first-aid kit. If you bring your phone, take the battery out; cops can track your phone, and even use the microphone, without you turning it on. This goes for planning as well as during the bloc.

Knowing when to bloc and de-bloc is important as well. Don’t leave your house masked up and don’t leave the demo masked up; either makes it easy to target you. Mask up at the demo, preferably out of sight of police or cameras, under a banner, smoke cover, crowd cover, or as you’re walking in. (Layers are super good for this. Wearing a jacket over your hoodie and carrying your rucksack in a separate bag will do the trick.) Same goes for de-masking; do it somewhere you’re not being watched, or under smoke or crowd cover. Basically, don’t be the only one in or out of bloc. Anonymity at the demo is no good if you’re not anonymous going in and out. Smoke grenades are legal to buy in the US, no restrictions, so it might be worth getting one or two and putting in your bag. Talk to your affinity group.

After the march, be careful as well. Don’t go home alone if you can avoid it, and don’t ever post anything specific on Snitchbook. It’s fine to share photos that someone else took, or to express support, but the last thing you want to do is announce that you were there on Facebook.

Finally, be wary of cops in your bloc. Black bloc’s greatest strength can also be its greatest weakness; it’s relatively easy for undercover cops or journos to be as anonymous as you are in bloc. From there, they can try to entrap folks, try to start violence or make the demo seem like a riot on camera, or even try to snatch someone. Know your folks, and if you think someone’s a cop, make folks aware! Distance yourself from agents provocateurs, and make sure other folks do the same.

Remember folks: when we fight, we win, so know how to fight!

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“We are all from June 2.”

Because we are all fighting against the bosses and fat cats”

Posters about the June 2 movement, a West German anarchist, urban guerilla group which was active from 1971 to 1980. The name refers to the date in 1967 when a West Berlin police killed Benno Ohnesorg, a young leftist at a demonstration.

The group came out of the militant West Berlin anarchist scene, with many members having been in direct action affinity groups such as the “Roaming Hash Rebels” and the “West Berlin Tupamaros”.

For about a decade the June 2 Movement claimed responsibility for numerous bank raids, bombing of police and state infrastructure and most notoriously the kidnapping of CDU politician Peter Lonz in exchange for the release of 6 of their imprisoned comrades.

The bottom poster is a detail from an early 70′s wanted poster of suspected members and associated of the group.

On the 2nd of June 1980 the group announced it was disbanding, with many of its remaining members joining the more well known RAF (red army faction/rote armee faktion)

Today was Gay Pride in Boston, where I live, and since I live a block from the parade route, I decided to go out and see what was up with the local gay community. I haven’t been to Pride anything since before Obama was in office and thought maybe it was time to reaquaint myself.

That was a mistake.

I have never seen so much bullshit pandering to white cis gay overculture, ever. I was horrified that the first contingent after the Dykes on Bikes was the fucking mayor, who has made it his business to chop away city support for marginalized community. Beyond several cultural affinity groups and a group marching for a candidate for mayor, there were virtually no people of color represented. Two groups had overtly political signage–one carrying a few posters bearing the names and faces of murdered queer and trans people of color, and the local antifa/Black Bloc folks who did similar, as well as denounce the enormous corporate presence–and a few churches carried Black Lives Matter signs.

What I did see was every financial institution represented, along with Uber, Lyft, ZipCar, Macy’s, a bunch of airlines, fucking Wal-Mart, Target, TJMaxx, the electric company, all the cell phone companies, all the insurance companies that preach diversity yet wouldn’t cover trans related care until the state insisted that they do so, the ASPCA, and a vodka company, among more with a sideline of political candidates. I stood there and watched a three hour (really) parade ask for my money with white cisgender folks in corporate t-shirts pelting the crowd with plastic beads.

There was almost no trans representation, there was shockingly almost no representation for queer women, and there was an absence of anything to recall what the actual roots of Pride are–a riot started by trans people of color to resist unjust police harassment. There weren’t even any fucking condoms handed out.

I am not proud of this. This is not a community that has a place for me in it. This is not a community that shows young queers that their identity is anything more than something to be commodified. This does not challenge anything or anyone.

Instead of rooting myself in culture built on what amounts to the white male gaze, I will be proud that I was born to not fit into that. I will be proud that my embodiment in the world is a living, daily revolution. I will be proud that my spirits have always had something better than the status quo in mind for me. I will be proud that I will never fit into that, and that I do not have anyone to pander to.

I’ll remember Sylvia Riviera, who prayed to Santa Barbara before going out to trick, and Martha P. Johnson, who left fruit at the Hudson before standing against the NYPD, and all my mothers and fathers who lit the fuse, and who are no doubt spinning in their graves while Bank of America hands out rainbow whistles.

My lil input on this new discourse on whether to mix or not to mix anarchism and marxism or generally whats advocated from one ideology or method with another:

I see the great communist variance like a big laboratory filled with proficient but varying theorists, scientists, and experimenters all willing to explain social/political/economic phenomenon; along with a big index which is a compilation of the ideas and method advocated by each school of thought on how to move from point A to point B.

Now what is the huge issue in mixing methods, theories, and the like from one school of thought with another? Whats so bad about taking lessons from a different advocate? Why should we restrain ourselves to just a set line of ideologically pure methods if these methods dont work efficiently given our society’s material conditions?

A supposed unity shouldnt mean that one side domknates the other or one is morally superior than the other, rather its understanding that each of our solutions are one out of many, that theres nothing to gain from copyrighting various forms of struggle, that our goal isnt to convert some deemed heathens to orient themselves to our train of thought, but rather to inform each other on methods of struggle and possible solutions and strategies for a better tomorrow.

And like revolutionary scientists, we should interact and experiment with differing theories/methods/ideologues/what have you to see what works given our individual material/social/political/economic conditions. If one doesnt work or isnt sufficient enough, then lets either move to another or create new plans, new cognitive maps, new methods and strategies.

Keep moving through the index, consult the other scientists, and either utilize another solution or create a new one yourself. Im not seeing what is so terribly wrong in this line of thinking. If anything, this should expand our knowledge and capabilities to reach our shared goal of full communism.

If we cant stand to adapt to changing circumstances and learn from each other, then what hope do we have at anything?

I think we’re too encumbered with ideological differences and ideological purity to really get anywhere with what i propose. Thats why all of our amazing revolutionary parties, affinity groups, coalitions, book clubs, and the like only muster between a few dozen to a few hundred in a country whose population is 318 million.

Trolls keep outsmarting anti-harassment tools. Will Twitter’s new system actually work?

  • Mic asked Leslie Miley, a former engineer at Twitter who started the product safety and security team that handled abuse, if Twitter is capable of handling the complex mechanisms of creative and dedicated abusers.
  • The answer: It’s complicated but possible. Miley said that trolls can use code words and misspelled words, but that the tooling Twitter had in 2015 would be able to handle those.
  • “If you start using ‘bob’ as a code word for some racist term, then it gets really difficult,” Miley said. “You can try to do a signal-to-noise ratio” so if accounts are flagged that are part of “affinity groups known for abusive behavior or racist views, the tooling is really easily modified to handle that.”
  • If these algorithms don’t prove effective, however, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Read more

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In 1987, the ACT UP’s affinity group Gran Fury created an installation in the window of the New Museum. It may have been the first work about AIDS in a major art institution. The installation was called Let The Record Show. Employing the politics of accountability at the root of ACT UP’s ethos, the show featured photographs of real-life individuals who were causing the deaths of our friends. People like North Carolina senator Jesse Helms who had just said the government should spend less money on people with AIDS because they got sick as the result of “deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct.”
In the background was a photo of the Nuremberg trisld. The implication was that the specific people who caused our friends to die would one day be made accountable. They would be reduced from their undeserved grandeur into wilted hovering little men like Rudolph Hess.
However in the end, our public enemies all got away with it. No one was ever made accountable. Our friend Sal Licata spend nine days on a gurney iin a hallway of a New York City hospital. He never got a hospital room. And then he died. No one has ever had to account for this. When Jesse Helms died his crimes against humanity were barely mentioned. The names of our friends whom Ronald Reagan murdered are not engraved in a tower of black marble. There has never been a government inquiry into the fifteen years of official neglect that permitted AIDS to become a world-wide disaster.
—  Sarah Schulman - The Gentrification of the Mind

(Un)surprisingly, for all the important theory that has been written little has actually been done. I’m not going to dismiss even the most niche insular forms of theorizing as there’s value in it but I’m afraid to say that most of that value as practiced is an intellectual one. Intellectual pursuits are important, critical thinking is important, but that’s all Leftist theorizing is at this point.  And if you read or like the wrong books you’re keeping the revolutionary Messiah from returning and ascending the believers into communist heaven. Reading the right books and agreeing with the correct authors becomes a reflection of your moral value in the revolution. As if reading meant anything about you or the state of capitalism.

The Left is a history fandom. You know it. I know it. Most of the Left’s energies are focused on esoteric differences in ideology, organizational form, interpretation of certain past points in history and personality conflicts (actually, these are all the same thing if you read closely enough into various left critiques). Your opinion on Stalin or the Spanish Civil War becomes places of huge fissures in the Left. What side you take in the different conflicts of the International defines your place in a fringe micro-community. In the sects and in online spaces your relationship to different tendencies is entirely based off of bizarre and hyperspecific positions you agree with. These sects become tiny islands where people with hyperspecific positions congregate in rooms of less than a hundred people and that’s generous.

Most of my experience with leftist organizations has been that of insular, tiny, ineffective, theory groups essentially. College campuses are filled with them and that’s pretty much where you’ll only see them. That and leftist specific spaces which are only insular, tiny and completely focused on itself. Any organization has barely more members than an affinity group or a cell. Everyone’s inaction is informed by what theory they like. To put that in other terms, the books you read become a basis for a specific communist identity and aesthetic and that’s it. You and your five other friends who agree with you is not a revolutionary activity.

This is my frustration with leftist interactions with theory. It is not that theory is irrelevant it’s that the left is mostly a group of people who are intellectuals first and foremost and not revolutionaries.

There are real, material needs that the working class has that the left does nothing about. The left is more concerned on getting a college student to agree on their tendency’s specific position on the USSR than even meeting the needs of those college students let alone anyone not attached to an academic institution.

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Andrewsarchus is an extinct genus of mammal that lived during the middle Eocene epoch in what is now Inner Mongolia, China. Only one species is usually recognized, A. mongoliensis, known from a single skull of great size discovered in 1923. Generally classified as a mesonychid since its original description, most recent studies classify it as an artiodactyl, in one study specifically, as a member of the clade Cetacodontamorpha, closely related to entelodonts, hippos and whales.

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This is an exercise even I can do, so I’m sharing it with you. From Naive Lie Theory by John Stillwell

Make contingency plans in anticipation of police escalation. You can be at a rally and everything is okay, then police approach and get in riot lines. Have plans in case of a)riot lines b) snatch and grab teams c) dispersal orders d) kettle e) tear gas is deployed f)flash bang grenades are deployed g) rubber bullets are shot h) sound cannon.

The police do not ever need to be provoked. But we can try to be prepared. Make “contingency plans” with your affinity group/ crew. Have a meet up spot, what to do in case of arrest, who are your priority unarrestables (everyone) how are you going to get out? What to do if a driver is arrested? You can even intentionalize roles, create a communication system, have a buddy system and make sure someone is watching the police at all times.

This is so when police escalate we can stay organized, especially if you do not want to disperse. Preparedness can decrease panic, running and keep yall a little more safe. Fuck the police.“

Heartwarming story for today!

My dad (an ally) is one of the management leaders for the LGBT affinity group at the Oklahoma City offices of Hertz (I guess all affinity groups must have members of management involved). They have a float in the OKC pride parade this weekend, so yesterday they had a table set up for people to sign up to be on the float or walk alongside it. They ended up having to turn people away because the parade only allows them to have 50 people! And out of those that signed up, over half were allies! Remember, this is OKLAHOMA one of the most conservative states in the country where there are other employers who actively discriminate against hiring members of the LGBT community. 

Also, they have a program where people can chose to post a small pride flag at their desk to designate them as a safe person to talk to if someone expires LGBT discrimination or harassment, and many more individuals than expected signed up to participate in that program. 

daily reminder that communism isn’t going to materialize in the minds of rural working class people without us doing something about it and complaining about how “white people elected trump” is more smug, ineffective liberal whining that serves no purpose beyond making you feel better about yourself. it’s virtually the same thing as radicals/liberals blaming the poor whites in rural uk for brexit. there’s a trend here, and we’re failing to see it, blinded by our own smugness.

if u wanna not see a global fascist movement take over the us/uk/europe/the world in your lifetime maybe do something beyond sitting in your metropolitan center laughing over memes on tumblr with your middle class college friends and get ur hands dirty and engage with people who know 0 about communism, social justice, etc

like, college/academia and various sub-cultures (punk, metal, regional cultural destinations like Portland, etc.) should not be the only avenues for which we recruit people into radical spaces. go make an affinity group in your dead ass town in the south/rust belt. put your theory into practice and teach people the value of solidarity, mutual aid, etc. these people won’t take communism seriously until you divorce the cold-war rhetoric from the reality. starting up food not bombs in your liberal arts college town full of upper middle class liberals isn’t going to get us very far (not that feeding people who are vulnerable is a bad thing).

like look at how various institutions in these parts of the country have become successful. look at the power of the evangelical christian church and how they provide a sense of hope and community for people who are constantly beat down. a lot of these people have *nothing* besides that sense of hope that the church gives them.

we’ve seen the power of “the silent majority” and while their views are often times disgusting and an affront to what we believe, i think the subtext of these movements is something that can be directed towards revolutionary ends. after all, these people are victims of capitalism and fascism is often seen as a “third position” to capitalism and socialism. many fascists are anti-capitalist but have swallowed cold war anti-communist rhetoric wholesale.

i think in order for the left to succeed, we need to overcome two major hurdles:

  • we need to make our theory less confusing and more accessible (breaking news: academia isn’t appealing to a lot of people and neither is theory that’s barely comprehensible. people have more important things going on in their lives, like putting food on their table and caring for their kids/families, than to try and figure out wtf derrida was saying)
  • we need to actually put our theory into practice (at least the stuff we can immediately, like we don’t need a full-scale revolution to practice mutual aid and democratic decision-making, etc.) and use it to HELP people who actually need it. think black panthers pre-COINTELPRO. because as we’ve seen the political elites of BOTH parties have left the working classes out in the cold to starve, they’re scared and irrational, so fascism is a logical leap for these people.

anyways im just kinda rambling because ive come on this hell website for a few hours today to see more posts being passed around trying to weaponize social justice in the least productive and most smug way possible and im sort of left scratching my head, like yea, if you want to be petty enough “white people” elected trump with record low voter turnout, record highs of distrust of these candidates, etc. this picture is much the same as what went down with the brexit vote and im sure has been replayed elsewhere globally that im failing to mention here. point is, fascism doesn’t exist in a vacuum and radical leftism won’t get taught unless someone teaches it outside of a metropolitan center or in a liberal arts college lecture hall. let’s be less like smug and ineffective liberals and let’s organize and do something to harness this vaguely proto-revolutionary energy for more revolutionary ends