Disheartened Communist’s Fighting Spirit Revived by “Through the Fire and the Flames”

Ethem

İSTANBUL – As HDP campaigning carries on in the shadow of ongoing AKP repression, progressives across Turkey are redoubling their efforts to unite all poor and oppressed in a principled struggle against fascism on all fronts. One ordinarily disheartened communist has had his spirits lifted by British power metal outfit DragonForce’s hit 2006 track “Through the Fire and the Flames”:

“Most days I trend towards hopelessness, despair, and a belief that all my efforts are for naught and the fascists will invariably win,” explained Özgür Ğ in between handing out HDP propaganda to passers-by. “A vote for the HDP is a vote for fraternity and peace!” he shouted towards a curious crowd of onlookers, before turning back to our correspondent:

I would say I think about failure and death… most days. But ever since I heard that song about carrying on through the fire and the flames, it’s been stuck in my head, and I keep thinking: the fire and the flames are like the gunshot that killed Ethem Sarısülük. The carrying on? Well that’s you know… carrying on. In spite of that.

Some young students passing Özgür took some of his propaganda without his having to convince them, taking a swig of water he turned to our correspondent and smiling said: “the young comrades are the best, they are the hope for the future. If you ever think we won’t win, look to the young women with their fierce determination. They will lift up the struggle to heights you have never seen before.”

Some things seem really difficult, like victory in the face of fascist forces who have shown their readiness and willingness to take on the army in a reactionary-on-reactionary civil war. After the July 15th coup attempt, it’s easy to think we are weak and on the sidelines. It’s easy to imagine the red dawn will never come. You would think victory was impossible.

But then you hear Herman Li shredding on his fucking guitar on that “Fire and the Flames” track, all weedly-deedly-weedly-deedly, and it just makes you think: fuck it, communism will win. We will inscribe socialism into the 21st century.

Asked for his assessment of a likely body count from post-election violence, Özgür merely began bellowing Theart’s lyrics at our correspondent, which admittedly sound vaguely Stalingrad-ish if that’s your angle:

WHEN THE DARKNESS HAS FALLEN DOWN AND THE TIMES ARE TOUGH ALL RIGHT

THE SOUND OF EVIL LAUGHTER FALLS AROUND THE WORLD TONIGHT

FIGHTING HARD, FIGHTING ON FOR THE STEEL

At this point, Özgür merrily twirled his own Stalin-esque moustache and bounced further down the street.

However, by time of press, an argument with a belligerent Vatan Partisi uncle had re-convinced Özgür of the inevitability of failure, causing him to lapse back into depression, and could be seen sobbing in an alley, crying “it’s pointless, we’re all going to die!”, at which juncture an HDP friend grabbed him roughly by the shoulder and pantomimed an air guitar motion to bring him to his senses.

To this Özgür responded with an equally enthusiastic air guitar display of his own, and an off-key wailing:

THROUGH THE FIRE AND THE FLAMES WE CARRY OOOOOOOOON!

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Overcoming the Whitegeist

Whitegeist

“Why Trump? Why now? Why not Bernie?”

Don’t worry, US readers: this will not be yet another thinkpiece about how Donald Trump reflects the latent white supremacy of the settler-colonial Yankee national identity. This will not be yet another thinkpiece about how many of Donald Trump’s supporters are bourgeois. This will not be yet another thinkpiece which repeats that the Trump presidency is the means by which the crisis punishes all of the US for the victory of Clintonite status quo-ism over even the most modest reformism of Sanders.

You know these things already. The fact is, everyone knows these things. Everything under the sun is old and burnt.

Rather, let us dispense momentarily with a simple meditation, in lieu of a hot take. At this point, all but the most out-of-touch critic would agree that Bernie, would in fact have won. But given that the objective conditions are such that Bernie didn’t in fact win, let us not forget how much of the blame lies precisely with political subjects such as Sanders and the Sandernistas for failing to see beyond the Whitegeist.

The Zeitgeist, as all of our readers know, is the spirit (Geist) of the age (Zeit). We are most concerned with the level of development of the masses, their collective consciousness and spirit. It does not suffice to consider oneself a meaningful political subject and not consider the objective reality of the development of the revolutionary masses. But who are the revolutionary masses In the United States? Quite simply, everyone except white people.

At this point, their biases against us confirmed, all the white leftists in the United States have stopped reading. But seriously, folks, nobody is actually preaching that there is no revolutionary potential in the struggles of “white” proletarians. And if they do appear to exist, they’re just Worker’s Spatula psyops.

In fact, just to be safe, assume that everyone on left Twitter discussing such matters is either a Spatula writer or a sockpuppet which is part of a Spatula psyop, depending on whether or not we unironically share the views they espouse or not.

Can we all stop talking about the problem of imaginary leftists condemning labour strikes because of the skin colour of white workers? How often has this actually obstructed your practice, if you’re reading this and actually have any practice (since most of the internet left has neither theory nor practice)?

However, many white leftists in the United States, particularly the Sandernistas and large sections of the DSA, but also some anarchists and Marxist-Leninists, seem to think that chauvinism is found only in explicit statements of condemnation for oppressed nations and identities or movements addressing said oppression. Strasserite chauvinism finds its reflection in an obsession by more honest socialists with saving the soul of white workers, no matter how chauvinist those workers might be.

“Oh so you’re saying all white workers are chauvinists?” Hell yes we are, every single one of them is chauvinist trash, no different to the KKK, and all non-white workers are pure vessels for the revolution, whose only flaw is not kicking white workers out of their unions screaming “beat it, whitey!”

But seriously, the editing process for this piece was inordinately held back by debating how many times we should insert a joke about how we hate all white people* or there are no white workers or whatever. The hyper-sensitivity on this point by white communists (particularly in the US) is so obnoxious and we wonder when they will stop it. We assure you: we have considered the class implications.

We all know Trump voters are not disproportionately the disenfranchised in this country. We all also agree that there should be a unity of struggle between the white proletariat and the oppressed nationalities. The problem is, to build a sincere solidarity after literally centuries of harsh national oppression, which is not merely a scar on historical memory but which creates a real hierarchy in economic reality, we must do so on the terms of the more impoverished oppressed nationalities.

Occupy Wall Street began in 2011. Afro-Americans have been struggling for their most basic democratic rights since before there was a United States. It is not unreasonable to expect that in uniting the two struggles, the one should show due deference to the other.

But what is the response of the white left? To scold others for bringing up the national question, to speak of “One United American Working Class™”, to compare George Washington to Robespierre, and other such thinly-veiled patriotic nonsense, right as the US Empire is weakening for the first time since the end of the Cold War!

It is not only the DSA, who speak of the US as a “nation”, who do this, but even many ostensible Marxist-Leninists! While the Whitegeist in the US may be one step ahead of Occupy Wall Street, the Zeitgeist of the oppressed nations in the US is one step ahead of Black Lives Matter, is in Cooperation Jackson, is speaking about “decolonisation”. We struggle to unite these struggles of course, but the Whitegeist must be brought up to the level of the heroic oppressed peoples in the US, their struggle cannot be buried because the Whitegeist of the white working class (or intellectuals’ idealist conception thereof) is frightened of it!

Our hypocritical white US leftists insist that they support Black Lives Matter, that they “like” Malcolm X, that they name-drop Assata Shakur. Like anarchists, they use their individual lifestyle to cover up the essence of a more general theoretical critique; like social democrats, they assure us that Black America is on their mind, but we can’t divide the working class [vote?] by distracting precious white workers from their own precious white problems with anyone else’s “identitarian” non-white problems; like the liberals who worship Barack Obama, they want Black “allies” who validate their position as good white people and do not make them uncomfortable.

In short, these labour aristocratic settler-colonialist white leftists who have yet to face their own history and social position substitute their own consciousness for that of the revolutionary proletariat. They may be well-intentioned, but their good intentions are only an indication of of how far we can travel with them as individuals. They are no indication of the correctness of their analysis, which entirely substitutes their idealist and subjective conception of the working class for a critical dialectical process of material struggle of all workers and all oppressed.

There is a general tendency in the United States to characterise polemics such as this one, without using precisely this terminology, as “reverse racist”, or “anti-white”. The code-word used is “Third Worldist”. You would think, therefore, that those who demand that liberation of the oppressed be centred in the rhetoric of revolutionaries in the US are either idealists who don’t understand the material conditions of their own country, or foreign leftists who don’t understand that the objective conditions of struggle in the US are so undeveloped as to not be ready for this sort of revolutionary rhetoric.

And indeed, one of the writers who pushed this piece in committee did come from a country with wildly different economic conditions, political history, and culture.

Australia.

Yes, whatever you want to say about Socialist Alliance, and no Worker’s Spatula writer can pass up the chance to point out that Green Left Weekly, while a fine news source, simply has NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT HEGEL, but from the vantage point (Ollman lol) of Melbourne, it’s frankly startling to see how little the liberation of oppressed peoples means to white leftists in the US. It’s not as if we committed less genocide against the indigenous than the Yanks. If Yanks are under that impression, it’s simply because their settler-colonial society’s population has been bolstered by more immigration than ours.

And while it’s true that in Australia, Aboriginals are a greater portion of the population than the Indigenous nations in the United States, it’s equally true that the Afro-American people, who are subject to similar national oppression, are a much greater percentage of the overall population of the United States than the Aboriginals in Australia. Thus we can see that it is not that the white left are ignoring the oppressed peoples within “their own” borders based on irrelevance, but out of a chauvinism that even other settler-colonial peoples, such as the arch-racist white Australian society, are capable of overcoming on the radical left. This is a clear example of the role subjectivity plays in shaping objectivity. If the white left in the US insists on tailing the Whitegeist, then they will see no objective need to embrace the liberation struggles of the oppressed peoples. If the white left in Australia overcome the Whitegeist, suddenly it becomes completely objectively obvious to them that there is a pressing need to embrace the struggle of the Aboriginals.

In fact, whether or not we had written this screed, things are in motion in the white left, and the Whitegeist itself is developing. Different elements of the white working class in the US will be driven towards fascism whether we intervene or those with a less full analysis intervene with a more vulgar class politics. But to intervene most correctly we hope all interested comrades will grasp the limitations into which they were socialised, struggle to overcome them, and take on the struggle of the oppressed peoples as their own, and by doing so, become themselves a living connection.

Workers and oppressed peoples of the world, unite!

*Although, you know, fuck white people.

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Fast Food Workers Told us the Five Worst Things about their Jobs

FastFoodWorkers

Fast food workers have a tough job, and nobody knows it better than us. From low pay to the long hours the low pay imposes, from heartless management to impatient customers, there’s good reason why “flipping burgers” is the go-to descriptor for undesirable minimum wage work. We spoke to workers across Australia whom we contacted through our top secret RaFFWU networks about the things in their line of work which make their lives the hardest, and we collected their answers into a convenient five-item list for the clickbait-hungry public!

5. Rude customers:

“I understand most of our customers are about as hungry, broke, and pressed for time as we are, and I wish they could see that in us, too! Sometimes we make mistakes on an order, and no matter how apologetic I am, there are some customers who want to use me as a verbal punching bag! It’s not right, I’m having a hard day too.

“Also, one time, we called out this woman’s order about eight times, and then moved on to calling out other orders. A few minutes later, she came up to the counter demanding to know where her order was, and when I said we had called it out, she said I should’ve given the number in English, as if anyone was speaking anything but. Then she demanded a refund even though her order was right there, ready to be taken! What satisfaction do people get from this sort of behaviour?”
–”Ayşe”, Hungry Jack’s, Roxburgh Park (Melbourne)

4. Mussolini management:

“My manager is the worst. In addition to the sexual harassment and the fact that he threw my copy of Pedagogy of the Oppressed into a bin because I left it in a public area, he’s a borderline fascist with our time! If we go a couple of minutes over on our break, he starts talking about ‘time theft’, but his nephew who he just hired can come in late and do nothing and we never hear a word.

“Besides, I wonder how ‘efficiently’ he’s using his time when he locks the door to his office and puts on music so we can’t hear what he’s up to? Fucking wanker.”
–Anita, KFC, Melbourne

3. The fucking SDA:

“The SDA are a bloody bosses’ union. They don’t speak for us, and it’s impossible to claim they are even winning reforms for proletarians like ourselves! I’ve been slipping RaFFWU propaganda into all my coworkers bags, and I haven’t been caught yet. We’re taking back our labour union movement, for the labourers!”
–Ali, Subway, Perth

2. The lack of consciousness of their coworkers of their potential as a political class:

“I work at the drive-in, and I can say the absolutely most unbearable thing is in between trying to hear the customers over the faulty speaker system, whenever I consider that even many of my coworkers who complain about their wages or hours or whatever are unaware that by formulating a theory and taking part in a practice which encompasses the totality of social struggle they can constitute a political class, namely the revolutionary proletariat, that can end exploitation and alienation as we know it!”
–Cindy, Red Rooster, Sydney

1. Modern revisionists and their fundamental lack of understanding of Marxist-Leninist categories of class analysis:

“The other day, my coworker Riley got upset because someone compared labour policies in Australia to those in China. His complaint was that China is socialist, and shouldn’t be compared to a capitalist country. I told him I considered China was not only not socialist, but was developing into an imperialist country. He scoffed at that, and when I asked him about the export of Chinese capital, he said ‘Why can’t socialist countries export capital? Do you want them to starve?’

“I couldn’t even tell what he meant by that, but then he said something about how China ‘can’t be imperialist because it hasn’t invaded any other countries’. It’s one thing to be ignorant about the PRC’s invasion of Vietnam, for example, but Lenin never theorised imperialism on the basis of its wars, imperialist wars are a natural outcome of the economic basis!

“How am I supposed to work with such people during the lunch rush?!”
–Karen, McDonalds, Canberra

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Point/Counterpoint: Yelling About Hegel

JMPGWFMZT

The First Annual Clandestine Worker’s Spatula Marxist Theory Symposium and Dance-a-Thon was held at an undisclosed part of York University campus in Toronto, Canada last night. Attendees who arrived thanks to secret invitations came from locations as diverse as Australia, China, Turkey, India, and Argentina to debate topics ranging from economics to gender politics to philosophy.

The highlight of the evening, according to all in attendance, was the debate on “Yelling About Hegel”, which consisted of York University’s own J. Moufawad Paul, who swiped the keys to get us all into the [REDACTED] building, and a Worker’s Spatula representative who is hot for Hegel. What follows is a 100% factual and 100% accurate transcript, and if J. Moufawad Paul seeks to object in any way, we can only assume his account has been hacked by the Russians, as is traditional in North America.

Moderator: Well, I see we have a packed room for this panel. Expected, I suppose, because if there’s one thing that draws the big crowds, it’s heated arguments about Hegel. You all know the rules: each participant is permitted to yell until they run out of breath, at which point the other begins yelling until they run out of breath. If I start yelling, everyone else has to stop yelling until I finish what I’m saying. The debate is over when somebody flips the table like TİKB did during the Toblerone conference in London. Any preliminary, non-yelled remarks from either of you?

WS: First of all, since we’re going to be yelling about Hegel, I want to give a shout-out to Arif Çelebi. Secondly, on behalf of all of our cadre taking part in the Ramadan fast, I wanted to thank J. Moufawad-Paul for his thoughtful choice of bream for this evening’s iftar. He has been nothing if not a gracious host to us, and has made me personally rethink my prejudiced view that all white settler-colonial English Canadians are hypocritical liberal scum.

JMP: Please, comrade. I also love bream. But I’m glad that I could prove that not all individuals from settler-colonial Canadian society are roughly as culturally sensitive as Justin Trudeau, if not to his right. I hope that this event will be the first in many occasions for meaningful exchange between revolutionary trends across the world. By the way, is there any chance you’d like to accept that Maoism is the third and hi…

Moderator: …AND WITH THAT, WE’RE OFF! START YELLING!

JMP: Oh, is it… is it time for me to start yelling? Okay: WHERE DO I BEGIN? MY POSITION IS ALMOST TOO OBVIOUS: HEGEL IS AN IDEALIST PHILOSOPHER, AND THE REPEATED IMPLICATION BY WORKER’S SPATULA THAT HEGEL IS ON PAR WITH MARX WAS ALWAYS INTERPRETED AS A JOKE UP UNTIL THIS POINT. IS IT ACTUALLY WORKER’S SPATULA’S POSITION THAT, AND I QUOTE, “MARXISM-LENINISM, MORE LIKE HEGELIANISM-LENINISM, AMIRITE?”?(?)

WS: YEAH SURE, WHY NOT? I’M NOT GOING TO GET IN TROUBLE FOR SAYING THAT. YOU CAN’T BE A MARXIST WITHOUT HEGEL. IT’S NOT A FUCKING COINCIDENCE THAT EVERY MODERN REVISIONIST YOU TALK TO CAN’T SUMMARISE THE UNIVERSAL MOTION OF DIALECTICS ON EVEN THE MOST BASIC LEVEL. YOU CAN’T JUST IGNORE DIALECTICS AS A MARXIST.

JMP: I NEVER SAID DIALECTICS WASN’T AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE MARXIST WORLDVIEW, I WROTE A FUCKING DIAMAT MANUAL. BUT IN THE DIALECTICAL INTERPLAY BETWEEN BEING AND CONSCIOUSNESS, THE BEING IS PRIMARY, AND HEGEL’S SHORTCOMING WAS PRECISELY IN HIS FAILURE TO GRASP THIS.

WS: DID HEGEL MAKE MISTAKES? OF COURSE HE DID. IN SO LONG A PERIOD FILLED WITH HEROISM, TRIALS, STRUGGLE, TRIUMPHS, IT IS INEVITABLE NOT ONLY FOR HEGEL PERSONALLY BUT ALSO FOR GERMAN IDEALISM AS A WHOLE TO MAKE MISTAKES.

MODERATOR: FOUL! No paraphrasing Enver Hoxha or Mao Zedong quotes defending Stalin! That joke is for Twitter only.

WS: Sorry, force of habit.

MODERATOR: That’s fine, just try to make sure it doesn’t happen again. JMP? Can we get your word that you won’t do the same?

JMP: Hey, I never do that anyway.

MODERATOR: Very well. Comrade, would you like to yell a more original and substantial response?

WS: LENIN SAID “INTELLIGENT IDEALISM IS CLOSER TO INTELLIGENT MATERIALISM THAN STUPID MATERIALISM”. WE CAN’T GO THE DIRECTION WHERE WE PAINT HEGEL AS AN ENEMY OF MARXISM!

JMP: I’M A FUCKING PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR! I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD READ HEGEL, AND I’VE READ HEGEL, AND I’VE TAUGHT HEGEL! I KNOW FULL WELL ALL THE WAYS HEGEL IS MISREPRESENTED, BUT MARX EXPLICITLY IDENTIFIES HEGELIAN DIALECTICS AS BEING DEFICIENT IN ITS IDEALISM, AND THE ANTI-REVISIONIST TRADITION IS REPLETE WITH BREAKS FROM HEGELIANISM AS SUCH, JUST AS MODERN REVISIONISM IS REPLETE WITH BREAKS WITH DIALECTICS AS SUCH.

DIALECTICS IS NOT SIMPLY DEFINED AS HEGELIANISM. THE FACT THAT IN THE MILIEU OF GERMAN IDEALISM A CERTAIN LANGUAGE EMERGED THAT WAS USEFUL FOR MARX IS NOT SOMETHING ANYONE HERE DENIES. THE ISSUE IS THAT YOU COULD JUST KEEP GOING BACK WITH THAT: DO WE NEED KANT TO UNDERSTAND HEGEL?

WS: LENIN ALSO SAID: “IT IS IMPOSSIBLE COMPLETELY TO UNDERSTAND MARX’S CAPITAL, AND ESPECIALLY ITS FIRST CHAPTER, WITHOUT HAVING THOROUGHLY STUDIED AND UNDERSTOOD THE WHOLE OF HEGEL’S LOGIC. CONSEQUENTLY, HALF A CENTURY LATER NONE OF THE MARXISTS UNDERSTOOD MARX!!” DID HE EVER SAY THAT SHIT ABOUT KANT?

MODERATOR: FUCKING FOUL! That’s two quotes from Lenin talking about Hegel in a row! Stop relying on Lenin to make your argumentation. JMP, your turn to yell.

JMP: LENIN IS NOT AN INFALLIBLE SOURCE FOR UNDERSTANDING THE MARXIST METHOD! I HALF-EXPECTED YOU TO QUOTE ENGELS NEXT. AS I ARGUE IN MY BOOK, WHICH YOU’D KNOW IF YOU READ IT, I AM NOT ONLY AGAINST VULGAR MATERIALISM AND PSEUDO DIALECTICS, BUT ALSO AGAINST IDEALIST DIALECTICS IN THE FORM OF “PURE HEGELIANISM”, EVEN AS FOUND IN MARXISM! THIS WAS MAO’S FUNDAMENTAL BREAKTHROUGH: THE NEGATION OF THE NEGATION IS ITSELF A FORM OF IDEALISM!

WS: Yeah, the SMF said the same thing when asked about the Abstrakt piece about Maoist dialectics.

JMP: The SMF?

WS: They’re supposedly a front for the [REDACTED].

JMP: Ah. Well, you see? MLMs.

MODERATOR: You’re not yelling.

JMP: WHETHER OR NOT THE NEGATION OF THE NEGATION IS A HEGELIAN CONCEPT THAT HAS NO PLACE IN MARXISM OR NOT, IT’S NOT THE CASE THAT A KNOWLEDGE OF HEGEL ALONE IS A THEORETICAL DEFENCE FROM REVISIONISM: ŽIŽEK IS A FINE CONTEMPORARY EXAMPLE, HE DEFENDS THE RATIONAL CORE OF HEGELIANISM AS A BASIS FOR MARXIST THOUGHT MORE STRONGLY THAN ANYONE, MORE THAN YOU EVEN, AND YET HE ALSO DEVIATES CONSTANTLY TO THE RIGHT, YOU DON’T NEED ME TO LIST ALL OF HIS ERRORS, YOU’VE MOCKED HIS IDIOCY MORE THAN ALMOST ANYONE.

AND WITHIN ACTUALLY EXISTING SOCIALISM: MANY OF THE CAPITALIST-ROADERS DEFENDED A SORT OF CONSERVATIVE HEGELIANISM, A “RIGHT HEGELIANISM”. HELL, THE FACT THAT YOU EVEN FREQUENTLY EMPLOY THE TERM “LEFT HEGELIANISM” IS A TELL: YOU’RE FULLY AWARE HOW FORMAL HEGELIANISM CAN BE REACTIONARY, JUST AS YOU MUST AGREE THAT THE THEORETICALLY UNDEVELOPED MOTION OF THE MASSES HAS A GREATER REVOLUTIONARY POTENTIAL THAN ANY THEORY NOT APPLIED IN PRACTICE!

WS: FINALLY WE GET TO THE MEAT OF THE MATTER! FIRSTLY: IT’S DEFINITELY TRUE THAT THERE ARE RIGHT HEGELIANS AND THAT OPPORTUNISM AND REACTION HAVE BEEN AIDED BY PEOPLE WHO FORMALLY DEFENDED HEGEL WITHIN REVOLUTIONARY CONTEXTS, BUT WOULD YOU REALLY ARGUE THAT MAO’S CAPITALIST-ROADER OPPONENTS HAD A FIRM GRASP ON DIALECTICS, IDEALIST OR OTHERWISE, GIVEN THAT THEIR FUNDAMENTAL AIM WAS TO CONCEAL RATHER THAN REVEAL CONTRADICTIONS?

REGARDLESS, THIS IS THE SAME AS TRYING TO BRUSH ASIDE MARX BY POINTING OUT THAT OVER 90% OF FORMALLY DECLARED MARXISTS ARE CHARLATANS, FRAUDS, SCOUNDRELS, RENEGADES, AND OTHER INSULTS LENIN WOULD’VE USED. OUR DEFENCE OF MARXISM AS A METHOD AGAINST FORMALIST APPROPRIATIONS OF MARXISM, EITHER IN THE FORM OF A WORSHIP OF ICONOGRAPHY OR A SORT OF RELIGIOUS TEXTUALISM MASQUERADING AS ACADEMIC MARXISM: THIS IS FUNDAMENTALLY THE SAME AS OUR DEFENCE OF HEGELIANISM, WHICH AGAIN, WE CLAIM IT IS NO COINCIDENCE WAS MARX’S PRIMARY POINT OF THEORETICAL REFERENCE.

THIRDLY, YOU MAKE REFERENCE TO THE MASSES: WE DEFINITELY AGREE THAT THERE MUST BE A DIALECTICAL PROCESS BETWEEN MASS AND ORGANISATION, THAT AN ORGANISATION WHICH FAILS TO UNDERSTAND ITS SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MASSES CAN NEVER BE REVOLUTIONARY, BUT THE VERY FACT OF BUILDING SUCH AN ORGANISATION IS A SUBJECTIVE MANIFESTATION OF TRYING TO DEVELOP A REVOLUTIONARY THEORY WHICH, I PRESUME YOU WOULD ALSO AGREE, IN THE FINAL INSTANCE IS A NECESSITY FOR TRULY REVOLUTIONARY PRACTICE!

SO: IF WE DEFEND HEGEL IN TERMS OF A THEORETICAL BASIS, IT IS NOT BECAUSE WE ARE “IDEALISTS”, ANY MORE THAN YOU ARE FOR DEFENDING “MAOIST DIALECTICS”, OUR ARGUMENT IS THAT TO DEVELOP A CORRECT THEORETICAL LINE, WE NEED BOTH A MATERIAL ENGAGEMENT AND A FIRM GRASP ON WHAT DIALECTICS IS!

JMP: BUT YOUR ARGUMENT ON THE DEFINITION OF DIALECTICS IS BASED ENTIRELY ON HEGEL SIMPLY BECAUSE OF A FORMAL COMMITMENT TO HEGEL’S HISTORICAL ROLE WITHIN THE GERMAN PHILOSOPHICAL TRADITION AT THE POINT OF MARX’S WRITING!

Tragically, the debate was cut short at this juncture when a DHKP-C guerrilla who had infiltrated the symposium began firing a small handgun into the air and screaming: “FEUERBACH ÜZERİNE 11. TEZ!” over and over again whilst the entire crowd fled the room to retrieve their own weapons.

UPDATE: J. Moufawad-Paul has agreed to continue the discussion in an even more private location with the proceedings to be published later this Ramadan. Worker’s Spatula would like to apologise as usual on behalf of the Turkish left for the Mahircis being so goddamned Mahirci all the time.

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Charles Mingus is the Rosa Luxemburg of Jazz

Mingus

As all of our neighbours in Vienna are aware by now, we at Worker’s Spatula headquarters have replaced the traditional Turkish method of waking our comrades for sahur with a davulcu [drummer] with the more innovative method of waking our comrades and half the neighbourhood with loud 20th century Afro-American music.

No, you shut the fuck up, Laurenz. It’s Ramadan. We need to get our sahur in before a busy day of communism with nothing to eat or drink.

Some of the songs have been purely inspirational, such as “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” by Nina Simone, who famously defecated on a microphone. Others, such as Public Enemy’s “Can’t Truss It”, have focused on burning questions such as the veracity of bourgeois imperialist propaganda, or “fake news”, as settler-colonial White AmeriKKKa refers to it.

We are, however, moving into a more theoretical phase of Ramadan as we draw ever closer to Laylat al-Qadr, and thus this morning we woke up to the rousing sound of Charles Mingus’s “Moanin'”.

Some of you may wonder what Charles Mingus’s swinging sound has to do with Marxist theory. To that we say: Rosa Luxemburg.

Yes, Mingus intended his career as a composer of great jazz as an allegorical polemic against both spontaneist and commandist deviations in Marxist political practice. We all know how Mingus was eager to take part in the movement to development jazz composition to a higher level, and took active part in workshops geared towards this goal. However, being a Ryan Gosling-level dialectician, Mingus was quickly disenchanted with the formalist errors of his fellow jazz composers, who rejected any allowance for improvisation in their sheet music. Mingus, on the other hand, understood perfectly well that the dialectic between performer and composer is as central to jazz as it is to the revolutionary science of Marxism-Leninism.

Among Mingus’s most famous outbursts, scarcely less famous than “Itzhak Perlman doesn’t have to put up with this type of shit!”, is the time he stormed out of a workshop and berated his “Trotskyite” colleagues for “imposing vulgar commandism on the revolutionary jazz masses”.

Ever since then, pieces like “Moanin'” haven proven through their numerous recordings and performances by diverse artists Mingus’s ability to compose great jazz of a complex and universal nature, allowing for the dynamic subjectivity of diverse performers in their particular material contexts, without deviating into the Kautskyite spontaneism which characterises that most revisionist of all jazz styles, free jazz.

We hope all comrades have enjoyed this brief lecture on the theoretical importance of Charles Mingus. For our comrades in Vienna, tomorrow’s sahur music and lecture will also centre on the dynamics of the social movement, as expressed in “Stand Up” by Ludacris.

Image source: FablesOfFabus on imgur, captioning Mingus on getting evicted, full quote: “I hope that uh… the communists blow you people up, man. You dig? That’s where I am. Red China.”

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Jordan Peterson Declines Invitation to Debate Worker’s Spatula

Peterson

Worker’s Spatula have recently received a response from Jordan Peterson to our invitation to a debate on “Marxism and modernity”, stating that Mr. Peterson “feels he has already sufficiently expressed his views in his previous debate with the most serious Marxist thinker alive today, Slavoj Žižek, and does not need to engage with fanatical Stalinists just because they have their own blogs”. We consider this to be a clear statement of intellectual cowardice by a fraudulent “thinker” who refuses to engage in critical discourse to arrive at the truth. In short, we hold that Mr. Peterson is trying to create a “safe space” around himself where he does not have to be confronted by new ideas.

The debate was proposed to take place in the form of our first ever live Facebook video broadcast at one of our Spatula iftar dinners which we hold every night of Ramadan here in Vienna, where our central committee are plotting our next move in our ongoing campaign against the existence of Liechtenstein, the worst country in the world, and very likely Peterson’s model for a perfect society.

Jordan Peterson, for those who are not aware, is a “famous” “Canadian” “intellectual”, who tragically and accurately represents English Canada as a settler-colonial reproduction of England in all its imperialist economic “progress” and political reaction, a vulgar, undialectical, intellectually destitute cultural wasteland which will hopefully be cleansed by the healing fire of the righteous liberation movements of the downtrodden indigenous masses, just as England will hopefully be destroyed by y Mab Darogan.

In case any of them are reading this, unaware of who we are and what we do, unlike Jordan Peterson and his followers, Worker’s Spatula are a weird cult which doesn’t believe in assigning women to men under the rubric of “enforced monogamy”, but on the contrary, believes that the only acceptable cishet relationship is that of a woman who owns multiple men who are subordinate to her ownership over them until gender is abolished in full communism. Allow us to quote from our model of how to fix the “chaos” of gender politics under the bourgeois patriarchy in the throes of capitalist crisis:

that baby was conceived the natural way for cishets: by a woman who was head of her own matriarchal harem in which the men she controls stay in their place, and give her dick when she asks for it, and do not let their eyes stray to other women. “Who’s the father?” a nurse asks the heroic mother of this rebel baby, motioning towards her man-harem on the other side of the room. “I don’t know,” she replies, “some man,” she laughs, and the nurse laughs, and the doctor laughs, and the baby laughs, but the men do not laugh, because it is shameful for a man to laugh in public, for it may arouse the desires of strange women.

While we regret that we cannot bring our loyal readers such a thrilling debate which captures the exciting Zeitgeist of the ideological struggles being waged over the midst of capitalist-imperialist modernity in the midst of crisis, we would nonetheless like to share our original letter to Jordan Peterson. It follows in unedited format:

In the name Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, in the name of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin (SAW), we seek refuge in the dialectic of history from Trotsky, the accursed.

We write to you on behalf of Worker’s Spatula, the intellectual vanguard of the vanguard of the vanguard of world revolution on behalf of all poor and oppressed. Despite the fact that we have been completely ignored by the bourgeois press, we are widely recognised as the premiere source of anti-revisionist communism on the internet, and if the scoundrel and reactionary Jordan Peterson is not afraid to have his arguments “calmly destroyed” by us, he will confront us in the form of debate.

We, Worker’s Spatula, request, nay, demand that Jordan Peterson travel to Vienna to be taken, blindfolded, to our Anti-Liechtenstein Marxist-Leninist Headquarters for Hegel and Qur’ān Studies to take part in a debate over an iftar dinner, as we are fasting during Ramadan. This debate will naturally be broadcast live over the internet, and will consist of members of our editorial staff rebutting his mistaken ideas in a proper dialectical and materialist fashion.

We propose the following topics for debate, to which Mr. Peterson or his representatives may propose revisions or additions:

–Has Jordan Peterson actually read Marx with any more closeness than your average Canadian university student forced to do so for a class taught by a sociology professor who probably doesn’t have any revolutionary commitments to begin with? The simplicity of his “rebuttals” is matched only by the dishonesty of his mischaracterisations. “Pop quiz”-style questions about basic assertions of Marx’s theoretical approach will be peppered throughout the debate, delivered in a cartoonish falsetto by a leftcom.

–Subjectivity and objectivity, specifically Jordan Peterson’s commitment to a supposedly objective truth, but a priori imposes his own subjective views, interests, etc. as necessary conditions for reasonable inclusion in ideological discourse. Like that fucking trick he pulls where he insists universities are for being confronted by “often horrible” ideas, as if students are demanding a form of censorship by objecting to ideological indoctrination by people who think like him, while simultaneously demanding the defunding of academic subjects who are unlike him.

–Where do lobster witches live? Since witches are a Jungian archetype from which we cannot escape, and human social life can be explained entirely through analogies gleaned from your expert knowledge about lobsters, are there swamp lobsters or… how does that work?

–Why? Why few women?

We hope that we will receive a prompt response, and we further hope that Mr. Peterson will not take the coward’s way out, and will defend his ideals of hierarchical western civilisation or whatever.

In struggle (against you),
–Worker’s Spatula

We hope that our regular readers, as well as Jordan Peterson’s fans, will sign the petition based on this original e-mail to make this debate happen and settle, once and for all, who is right: Stalin or Jordan Peterson? (it’s Stalin)

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Point/Counterpoint: Theory or Practice?

Praxis

Point: Your theory is bourgeois idealism, stop confusing the proletariat (me)
by Toilers’ Party for Global Freedom representative

Worker’s Spatula, shut the fuck up! Nobody gives a fucking shit about dianetics, nobody fucking knows who Steven Engels is, and for sure nobody fucking cares which part of the social-fascist deMOCKratic “$ociali$t$” of ameriKKKa (d$a) is better than which other part. You need to stop using so many big words to cover up for what you’re doing: spreading social-democratic and reformist views that serve imperialism and pave the way for fascism.

Fuck your propaganda for the Zionist psyop “Rojava” and the social-imperialist Jeremy Corbyn, fuck your stupid reading list which just confuses the proletariat (me), and especially fuck your claim to being anti-revisionist Stalinists when you don’t even uphold the immortal thought of Comrade President Xi. You’re nothing but fucking Trots, with your “movement building” and your “quantitative change” and your “blocking me from your Facebook page”. But what do you have to show for it? Pages and pages of bullshit nobody wants to read because it doesn’t relate to materialism.

While you were spreading your idealism, my party, the Toilers’ Party for Global Freedom, was engaged in real fucking revolutionary practice. We confronted your imperialist Sandersbot friends at some Fight for $15 bullshit, chanting “BERNIE KILLED ROSA” while waving the flag of the ONLY Korea, the North one, and the flag of the only Syrians, the SSNP. We’re fighting fascism in its most dangerous form, as the ANTISOFA front against social-fascism, while you’re all in the library or Melbourne or wherever the fuck you are.

While I can’t organise any workers because of that book Settlers, the one good thing your dumb site has recommended I read, I can say I’m personally doing more for proletarian revolution here in the so-called “United” States than any of you are doing in any country in the world, even if you are organising workers: I’m at the firing range every week, getting ready for the fucking people’s war against UnKKKle $am. I bet that pisses you off, doesn’t it?

More like “Imperialist’s Spatula”.

And stop over-complicating Leninism with your stupid quotes, you revisionists. You may be able to quote a lot of bullshit, but if Lenin were alive today, he’d answer you just as he answered the revisionists in his day with his 11th Thesis: OPPOSE BOOK WORSHIP.

Counterpoint: Stalinist practice is the result of Stalinist theory.
by the only Marxist on the internet

That was a marvelous display of ignorance, typical of Stalinists like the ones who run this sorry excuse for a website which has agreed to host my rebuttal.

I am sure no actual Marxists are even reading this, just the same sort of Stalinists who run this page, but I was promised a case of some truly choice pinot noir in exchange for a counterpoint in defence of Marxist theory, so here we are:

The claims of “revolutionary practice” by Stalinists mirror their claims of defending “actually existing socialism”. This faux-materialism is nothing more than a constellation of vulgar left-nationalisms which are bourgeois in the first and final instance, all attempts to dress them up otherwise notwithstanding.

Could you pop open one of those pinot noirs for me? No, no need for a glass, just uncork it and set it down there.

I’m sure Worker’s Spatula were hoping I was simply planning on rebutting the pithy pseudo-revolutionism displayed in the outbursts of this child from the so-called “Toilers’ Party for Global Freedom”. I suspect Worker’s Spatula editors forget all those times they called me a “leftcom waste of oxygen” and “gainsaying wrecker neo-Trotskyite filth”. Then use me as a hired gun who can be bought off with a few bottles of pinot to gainsay your ideological enemies within the Stalinist movement???

Don’t take that away, I’m still drinking that!

Well, I haven’t forgotten. I haven’t forgotten anything. It’s always you Stalinists who forget things. You forget how many of your heroes wouldn’t be up to your own standards of Marxist theoretical rigour, you’ve forgotten how many un-self-criticised zig-zags and re-un-self-criticised re-zig-re-zags you’ve been responsible for throughout your confused 20th century aborted attempt at marrying assorted “anti-imperialist” bourgeois nationalisms with Marxism predicated on a few out-of-context Marx quotes, and now you’re doing it all over again with 21st century identity politics and whatever unsettled nationalist scores you can still muster in 2018! You fucking hacks! You expect me to treat you any differently from these first day communist kids because you can hobble together some Hegelese? You think I’ll view you as equals because you could hold your own in a debate with Žižek? Anyone with enough coke in their system who’s taken more than one semester of philosophy can pull that off! How long will your fraud go unexposed?

Your future will be the same as all of those who have gone before you, and picking on stupid kids who can’t tell the difference between the Bolshevik Party and Phalangists won’t change that. One day your opportunism will overpower your intellectualism and you’ll be right there next to them, you won’t be joking when you claim Trump is pushing history forward because of some ill-defined “contradictions”, your US comrades will be low-level functionaries in some washed-up post-DSA “popular front”, your German comrades will be little Horst Mahlers, your British comrades will be in the Green Party, your Australian comrades will still be in the Green Party, and any of your Turkish and Kurdish comrades who aren’t dead will be Doğu Perinçek and the PUK, respectively.

I can see the future through my superior understanding of the dialectic of class struggle, “comrades”, and I can tell you in the end everyone will see what frauds and fake Marxists you were, like all the Stalinists before you. One day, history will look back and see that I was the only real Marxist on the internet.

And then maybe, just maybe, someone will read my blog.

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Humourless Marxist Reviews: Avengers: Infinity War

InfinityWar

Avengers: Infinity War is the 17th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film (which one would think was a sequel to 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron), follows a group of mainly unrecognisable characters fighting some sort of space goblin with a magic glove.

As far as our team of reviewers could ascertain, the space thing has to get all these stones, right? And each of the stones represents one aspect of the universe (love, peace, mind, sex, and love), which will allow him to murder half the universe in an instant. The bad elf guy has been trying to do this for ages, as explained by the film’s witty protagonist Tony Starks in rap form:

Classic genocide, slick gun material; burnt up bodies that rock with no burial.

The Avengers are made up of a diverse group of heroes: Iron Man, Iron Man’s child soldier, Thor, Trife Da God, the Scarlet Witch, and some rubbish robot who can’t fight properly despite being a baddie in the last film. Together, they form a guerilla foco determined to take down the space troll. Iron Man is the clear leader, whose critiques of his comrades are confident and full of the expected revolutionary language. Who can forget his words during a struggle session at Starks Towers in Captain Ameri[KKK]a: Civil War, 2015:

Oportünizm bukalemun gibidir. Çeşitli kılıklara bürünerek sosyalist hareket içinde ortaya çıkar. Oportünizmin kılık kıyafetini o ülkenin ekonomik ve sosyal bünyesi, işçi sınıfının politik bilinç ve örgütlenme seviyesi, kısaca ülkenin içinde bulunduğu devrimci aşamanın niteliği belirler. Ancak her çeşit oportünizm proletaryanın devrimci potansiyeline inanmamaya dayanır.

But “revolutionary potential” is just that: potential. “Belief” in this “potential” is no substitute for a holistic strategy and appropriate tactics built out of a united struggle through and with the proletarian masses. At the end of Civil War, our plucky heroes are convinced of Iron Man’s line simply because of the ferocity of his argumentation against Captain AmeriKKKa, and decide to become öncü savaşçılar fighting against any and all threats to humanity or the universe or something.

Güya haklılarmış, kazanacaklar mı?

So in Avengers: Infinity War, they’re fighting their final battle in Africa, which, like Che Guevara’s struggle in the Congo, is tragically doomed to failure. On the plains of Wakanda, with the help of T’Challa, a “milli burjuva” king with similar adventurist tendencies, the gang fights against a load of the stupid space orcs (but smaller than the main one). The main one then kills the robot who has the Sex stone in his head, and then kills half of everyone else.

Oh yeah, spoilers.

So at the end of the film, sitting on a wooden porch looking across the verdant green hills and pastures of a world he has just committed genocide on, the space king sighs, content that his work is done. One might imagine Hitler, in the Berghof, contemplating his work in a world where Stalin had fallen into similar ultra-left error as the so-called “Avengers”.

Is that what you want, Russo Brothers? For Hitler to win? Fuck that.

On behalf of Worker’s Spatula, we award this film one solitary red star out of five red stars.

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