A public service announcement about communist memeing

psa memeing.png

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Getting caught up in communist memeing is utopian socialism even if it flies the flag of Marxism-Leninism or Maoism.

“A Communist should [look] upon the interests of the revolution as their very life and [subordinate] their personal interests to those of the revolution; always and everywhere they should [struggle to] strengthen the ties between the Party and the masses; they should be more concerned about the Party and the masses than about any individual, and more concerned about others than about themselves. Only thus can they be considered a Communist.”
– Mao

Just a quick request that everyone here who thinks of themselves as a communist but who does not organize strive to transform themselves into a genuine communist–who wakes up every day and thinks about how they can concretely, where they actually are, serve the working class and build the party by building an ever-growing number of connections between real flesh-and-blood human beings.

Even if you are completely alone as a communist in the place you’re at, even if you have never organized anything, even if you’re young, even if you have social anxiety, you can absolutely start doing organizing right where you are:
https://jiminykrix.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/some-suggestions-on-how-to-help-others-become-marxist-leninist-maoist-organizers/

And if you then still aren’t sure how to move forward, I would *love* to talk with you and try to help you figure out how to move forward, or help you get in touch with someone who can. Please feel very encouraged to PM me about this.

Even if you don’t feel like you fully understand Marxism yet, there are things you can do to reach a point of full confidence with it:
https://jiminykrix.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/how-to-learn-everything-a-communist-ought-to-know-from-the-beginning/

You can and will be transformed, but only your work and struggle can transform you.

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seen those daytime fires.png
a vision of myself turning to mysticism in despair
turning to theology in despair, a metaphysics so heavy and symmetrical
     it seems to have flesh
one’s consciousness turned upon one’s consciousness turned upon
     one’s consciousness turned upon one’s consciousness

to see stars in the daytime
the truth that haunts behind all facts that summons and scorches
     all attempts to discern it
the golden fire, the pattern of patterns, the point of the blade

i do want to live in a world where my mind finds beauty and pattern.
and i do not find renunciation of seeing beautiful patterns as a good in itself,
but i do see the contradiction always inside of it.

to risk becoming dull to facts, unsensitive to the complex, dirty,
     gritty nuances of the world.
to give up one’s existence in this world as it really is before one has even died.

to extrapolate what i get from a comrade’s theory
rest replenishes one’s fighting capacity meter back closer to full; comfortability reduces one’s overall fighting capacity–it shrinks the meter
most things in this world that provide rest also provide comfortability.

We must immediately begin to explain that the communist road offers a future for humanity even in the face of vast ecological crisis

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As climate change and resource shortages start to devastate this planet worse than they already have–and they will, and most of us will live to see it get very severe–there will be a profound despair among a lot of people. And we communists have to have a vision for another world beyond these things. And without a doubt there will be some truly difficult technological challenges in preserving a mass civilization on this planet.

But believe, we can do it. If we have to live under climate-controlled domes and grow our crops inside of these cities, believe, we will do it, and we will make these cities very good places to live. We can and will slowly but surely pull all the carbon out of the air and bury it back under the ground, and slowly but surely break down every last toxin we ever poured into the rivers. We can and will find a way to recycle everything, literally everything. Humanity can and will survive what is coming, and we will prosper, in harmony with the rest of the planet at last and nevertheless continuing to develop.

We communists have to be the ones to offer the solution, to reassure our human family that there is a future, there is a world that we can fight for and win–and in fact, we will. We have to be the ones who can say, as we follow the communist road, your children and your children’s children and all the generations after them, they will be safe and live good lives, they will not live in the hell that all other roads promise us. We can and will build a free, sustainable, and truly democratic world where people breathe fresh air, drink pure water, and eat healthy food, and it will even be much better than it is now. We have to help people understand that this is true. And because this is already a concern among the people, we should start right now.

A proposal for a universalizeable definition of “belief in God”

for a while i called myself an ignostic because we need to know what God is before we can even say whether or not we believe in a given specified God and no one can agree on the definition of “God.”

but i was still interested in this question, and so after some further thought i’ve started to put forward the idea that a useful and concrete restatement of the question of “what sort of theity does someone ‘believe’ in?” is “what fancies does someone have and most respond to when it comes to two questions: 1. why is there something instead of nothing; 2. why is there consciousness instead of a total lack of consciousness–that is, a cosmos filled with un-experiencing, un-feeling, insensate matter?”

and if you ask the question like that, well, basically 100% of people have had some fancy when they pondered those two questions. and if we ask what it means to “believe” in that fancy, well, since no one has any proof one way or another, i think that asking how much “belief” someone has in this fancy is actually something more like asking what amount of “feels-true-ness” they experience in response to it. and i think that basically 100% of people have felt at least one nanogram of “feels-true-ness” when they were having a fancy about what might be the answer to one or both of these two questions.

if we ask what “feels-true-ness” is, maybe an even more precise definition would be that the degree of “feels-true-ness” felt is the degree to which the fancy draws our attention and, relatedly, the degree to which we find ourselves wanting to let ourselves emotionally engage with the fancy.

so under that interpretation, basically 100% of people have some degree of “belief” in some sort of “God.”

my favorite fancy is still that God is love.

There is no genuine liberatory struggle without dialectical materialism: or, one reason why Maoist philosophy is way more important than you might think

cw sex mention

A friend of mine posted this video with this comment, and below was my commented response to their question.

thigh

the prevailing philosophy in our society views the world simplistically, as built out of monoliths and trash. things either always work some certain way (specifically, they work in a way that is easy, pleasing, and beneficial to the ruling class and the nation+gender+sexuality that primarily composes the ruling class), or else they are broken and garbage. e.g., all women are sexual PEZ dispensers, or else they are broken, messed up by some uninteresting, vile pollution in the world–they are not “real” women, or else the person interacting with them may not be a “real” man.

this is in contrast to dialectical materialism, which states that all things are composed of a struggle (or some set of struggles) of intertwined and opposing forces, and that each of those forces is itself composed of a struggle (or some set of struggles) of intertwined and opposing forces, all the way down. not that the truth is unknowable–but that all things in the world are fractally complicated, eternally changing, and must be examined in an all-around, thorough-going, holistic (that is, taking into account its relationship with all involved external factors) way if we are to grasp what is really going on with them.

in the short-term it benefits the privileged to view things in this monolithic, mechanical way–it cuts out a lot of extra mental effort for them; and what’s more, when they impose this worldview on others with less privilege using their ability to do violence, they create a terroristic regime where the oppressed–who at least on some level know the world to be more complicated because the way they are forced to live reveals undeniable truths that do not conform to the ruling-class story about reality–must somehow find a way to put on a face and an attitude where they pretend like they believe and see things in this same black-and-white, monolithic way.

living with this knowledge that things are complicated while simultaneously carrying out the terror-imposed play-acting as though things are as simple as the ruling class imagines creates a pervasive neurosis among the oppressed and exploited that (a) because the oppressed must focus on play-acting for so long, and with such intensity of focus, reduces their ability to easily determine the truth, thus forming an obstacle to arriving at and becoming certain of revolutionary truths; (b) debilitates them and makes it harder to struggle even when they do see clearly; (c) appears to the ruling class to be an endemic weakness, thereby continuously re-confirming their perception that everyone else is just a broken version of themselves, and thus that they alone are fit to rule.

it should be stated that (a) in particular is the soil of what Marxists call revisionism. those who have not broken with this mechanical way of thinking are unable to grasp all the various factors at work, and so in their attempts to re-shape society are bound to re-create capitalist mechanics in whatever spheres of society they have not started to understand in a thoroughly dialectical materialist way.

On Maoism’s ability to incorporate and be strengthened by what is sometimes called spirituality

fenelon

Faults will turn to good, provided we use them to our own humiliation, without slackening in the effort to correct ourselves. Discouragement serves no possible purpose; it is simply the despair of wounded self-love. The real way of profiting by the humiliation of one’s own faults is to face them in their true hideousness, without ceasing to hope in God [the transformational powers of the revolution], while hoping nothing from self [our own self-defeating liberal tendencies]. (Fenelon, “The Need of Devotion in a Worldly Life,” 1689)

 
The reason that so much of what might be called “wisdom traditions” (e.g., this quote from 18th-century Catholic archbishop Fenelon that I found in Aldous Huxley’s anthology and analysis of wisdom, The Perennial Philosophy) can be incorporated into Maoism is because Maoism is the first manifestation of Marxism that takes the transformation of the self completely seriously.

It is true that all the saints throughout history wishing for a sincerely good society had only the most haphazard ideas about how our material surroundings limit and condition our ability to transform ourselves, but it’s also true that the Marxists up to Mao’s point were too content to wait for the external conditions to do their slow, passive, easily-reversed work.

Maoism incorporates both–and scientifically, understanding each in its place.

All successful communist movements up to this point *have* incorporated self-transformation, even if it was less explicit. The people have decisive advantages at our disposal, namely that we hold the machinery that makes the world run in our hands and have vastly superior numbers. But these advantages are useless until we are forged into an iron unity, and nothing can forge that unity without a culture of self-respecting humility–without a culture that gives us room and support to lower somewhat the walls of the ego so that we can hop over ourselves, look at things from our neighbors’ and comrades’ perspectives, and find ways to change ourselves that are mutually beneficial, building an ever bigger, stronger, faster organization. This process involving constant acts of humility is the *only* way communism can arise, mighty, from within the dangerous capitalist world.

We Maoists more than even other communists are often accused of being cultists. This charge will never go away until we win, because we always *will* place a massive importance on transformation of the self, of prioritizing looking for our own faults and errors instead of immediately looking for others to blame. We *do* embrace attitudes and practices that have traditionally been emphasized by spiritual traditions.

To carefully and thoughtfully tend to the deepest, subtlest, and most powerful parts of the mind–what is called the soul, which contains both our deepest love and our greatest fears–so carefully as Maoism does, this is what many people, myself included, understand as spirituality (or, if one prefers, the science of wisdom). Those who find us so spooky have no healthy model of the role “spirituality” can play in keeping a community strong and healthy. They have never seen a materialist “spiritual” practice, one legitimately guided by science.

When I first became a communist it was obvious to me that Marxism had to be combined with wisdom traditions to succeed. I have discovered that Maoism is already far closer to that than I would ever have imagined. We will build a truly good world with it–not with useless wishing nor with the rude fetishization of productivity, but in a way that is both humble and scientific. I have put all my hopes in it. I could not be more hopeful or more excited at what a thing we have at our disposal in Maoism.

Note from 7/26/17: If this subject interests you, be sure to also check these follow-up posts on the same subject:

Some more discussion of how “spirituality”/”the science of wisdom” fit into Maoism

Some reflections on my path toward communism, and some thoughts on methods and motivations for going onward

A few thoughts on what the bourgeoisie think the masses want, what everyone really wants, and not telling comforting lies about lives that stray from communism

The need for methods for cultivating deep and intense communist enthusiasm

To lose fear of sacrifice and death can allow one to think more clearly and be a better servant of the people