radical strategy

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I watched the video Richard Spencer put out after he was punched, so you don’t have to! Top take-aways:

What he thinks the alt-right fash need to take on board:

  • The alt-right need to “get serious” about being targeted with physical violence - “it’s not fun and games any more”, it’s a “civil war”.
  • The alt-right are “not going to convince these people”.
  • The alt-right need to “get serious about security” - in the literal physical muscle sense, to protect their “public movement”.

What we can learn from his reaction:

  1. Know your fash. The whole fracas started because an old woman noticed him, started yelling, and drew a crowd for support.
  2. Hit and run. The attacker went in, hit him, and got out - and blended back into the crowd. Don’t be macho - in his words, be “cowardly” = stay safe.
  3. Strength in numbers. When anti-fash descended on him, spitting and shouting, he fucking legged it. Remember to watch out for paid security around big name fash.
  4. Solidarity works. Liberals not turning against militant anti-fash scares the alt-right. Let’s stick together on this.
Corporations wage war upon activists to ensure that corporate activities, power, profits and control are not diminished or significantly reformed. The burden is on the activists to make fundamental social change in a political environment where the corporate interests dominate both politically and through the corporate media.
—  John Stauber, on Stratfor’s weapons on the war against grassroots activists
When capitalism is global, how can we challenge globally?
  • Occupied Times: If the manifestation of today’s Empire is global, whilst most legal apparatus deal with sovereignty at a national level, are there currently any forms of institution that have a hope of holding this supranational Empire to account in any tangible or practicable way? If not, can they, or should they, be built?
  • Michael Hardt: I am all for working through existing supranational institutions to challenge violations of international law, aid the poor, help refugees, etc. Much good can come, for instance, from working through United Nations structures to aid Palestinian refugees in the West Bank or to challenge violations of human rights.
  • Michael Hardt: At the same time, though, one should not expect too much from such supranational institutions. They operate under rigid political and ideological limitations. Necessary too are various forms of autonomous and direct political action. My point is simply that it’s not a question of either/or.
Winning battles but losing wars: NGOs and radical change

been thinking recently about how NGOs often don’t work for radical change, even though they have many staff working for them that would agree with radical changes

I think a lot of it comes down to an over-reliance on “SMART goals” – only working towards things that tick the box of Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

bigger and more complex changes (e.g. increased support for worker self-organisation) are either unmeasurable or too expensive to measure. It means NGOs can win one-off battles, but often lack the strategy to win the war. I’ve seen people self-censor in meetings, pushing less “measurable” ideas aside

what can be done? I think it has to come back to grassroots movements. if you’re not reliant on specific achievements for funding, then you don’t need to restrict yourself only to measurable goals. you can frame the debate, and set the vision, by the goals you choose. sometimes it may be strategic to have a SMART goal, sometimes not! right-wing groups often use a mix of goals really well, but the eco-system on the left is a bit lacking I think

I realise this is a half-baked opinion in a place where other people have probably written tomes, but any other thoughts? charity folk/people that avoid charities especially?