NEW YORK CITY – Shia looked around frantically as the hood was torn off his head.
“Where am I?”
“You’re with Worker’s Spatula, in a safehouse provided us by the Provisional Communist Party. You are a guest of the US front of the world revolution,” said a voice from the shadows.
“Can I be untied then, or…?”
“I’m afraid not, Shia,” responded the figure, stepping forward so the dim outlines of their face could be seen in the low light. “We have to complete your ideological reeducation first.”
“What do you want with me?”
“Isn’t that obvious? We’re going to put you at the forefront of a popular front against fascism. Your fame and growing radicalism merely need our theoretical guidance to create the perfect praxis for the degenerate Yankee left to advance to the next stage.”
“But I’m not famous anymore!” shouted a teary-eyed Shia at the figure. “I’m just Shia!”
“Well, ‘just Shia’, then I suppose…”
“Don’t, please don’t.” interrupted another voice from behind Shia, who craned his neck in vain to see the speaker. “If there’s one thing the anti-fascist front in the US doesn’t need, it’s more references to Harry Potter.”
Shia’s stomach lurched as he felt the chair to which he was bound lift up from the back and spin around. The figure behind him walked around to face him, their face obscured by a red balaclava.
“Trump will not divide us? Trump will not divide us?” screamed the figure in Shia’s face.
“He won’t!” screamed Shia, defiantly. “He won’t!”
“You fool!” came the voice of the first figure from behind. “Trump didn’t divide anything! He is a mere cypher for the rapidly sharpening contradictions of capital! Who are we?”
“We are the people!” responded Shia.
“Who are the people? Are they the nation?”
“No!” said Shia. “The people refers to those classes and sections of a nation which benefit from revolution!”
The room fell silent. The masked figure in front of Shia nodded their head and lit a smoking pipe before continuing.
“So why do you fear that Trump might divide ‘the people’?”
“He wants to turn people against each other. He wants us to hate Arabs and Hispanics. That’s not what you want, is it?”
“Obviously not, obviously not…” murmured the masked figure, puffing away at their pipe. “But we must not betray concrete reality for the sake of embellished sentences. After all, the unity which might exist in the place of the division to which you refer is only something that is desirable and not, unfortunately, something that actually exists. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
“You’re referring to the national question?” asked Shia, trying to remember the contents of the İbrahim Kaypakkaya he had been reading in his holding cell, prior to his capture by the crazed militants surrounding him now.
“Not only that! The point is the contradictions. Contradictions which, we must reiterate, we revealed through our participation in the Trump campaign, but which were long preextant in US society.”
“So why do you need me, then? I mean, I agree with all of this, I think, but who’s going to listen to me? I mean, I’m not even famous anymore.”
“Like we said, we need you to organise a popular front. We have a list of names who we believe will be ready to work with you against the forces of Trumpite fascism. Ian McKellen played Dumbledore, for example, and these white people keep saying they want to be part of Dumledore’s Army…”
“Gandalf.” interrupted Shia.
“Ian McKellen didn’t play Dumbledore, he played Gandalf.”
“[REDACTED], will you bring Shia some fucking Cheetos and Mountain Dew? We don’t give a fuck about which wizard it was, Shia. Wizards aren’t real. THE POPULAR FRONT is real. STALIN is real. We just want these white people to get excited about a wizard leading their popular front. The point is, you need to get together some action heroes like yourself to get people excited about being in the streets fighting fascism. You know, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Matt Damon, Sigourney Weaver…”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa… Schwarzenegger and Damon, sure, but Sigourney Weaver won’t fight fascism. She’s a known Foucaultist.”
“Shia, what the fuck?” came the voice from behind again. “Why are you letting your dreams just be dreams? You need to just do it, Shia! Make your dreams come true! JUST, DO IT!”
“Do what though?!” screamed Shia into the darkness. “I don’t understand what you want me to do!”
“This is why the oppressor nation in your country can’t have socialism yet. You don’t even know what to do when we scream at you to ‘just do it’ and ‘make your dreams come true’.”