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anton black

First annual report-- Open Revolutionary Activists(we don't have official name yet)

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Since we got together starting in December we have continued meeting regularly, which is itself a good thing. A couple of us have begun posting regularly (here on revleft).

We have clarified discussion around several topics such as to have partial unity concerning the group itself.
We are working on a name and mission statement, which still need to be finalized, but we have made progress.

A particular area of commitment I would like to point out is our commitment to ending the isolation of revolutionary activists of various outlooks and traditions through substantive theoretical discussion/debate of ideas.

We have begun discussions of substance around the topic "Does revolutionary work in the 21st century U.S. based on/consist in the working class overthrow of the class dictatorship of the bourgeoisie?" (approximate phrasing)-- coming at this question from various directions, initially bouncing various ideas off Ben's strategic thinking on this.
On interesting discussion got into 'proletarism' (from an anti-revisionist group in Russia) as a better word than 'socialism' to describe working class rule as a transition to communist (classless) society.

In the coming year we plan to finalize our mission statement, put forward some principles (maybe alongside mission statement. Along with this come up with an actual name for ourselves.

As we move forward on these areas we will be in a position to invite a broad range of revolutionary activists to participate with us, knowing what they will be participating in. In this context I should mention that this group is focused on theoretical practice, not in planning or organizing political mass action.


  1. Ben Seattle's Avatar
    Hi Anton,

    Thanks for the annual report. I consider it useful for several reasons. First, it is useful to me inasmuch as it is very encouraging to me.

    As activists we are always looking for indications that our work is catching the imaginations and engaging the consciousness of others.

    It looks to me like our informal meetings are developing and we are growing in the right direction. We don't have a name yet. This is good. It helps to make clear (to ourselves, and to others) that there is a lot we do not know--but that we intend to do things right. That, by itself, says a lot.

    We do not plan on attracting activists by things we have done that will (supposedly) demonstrate how well we understand the world we live in--and the class struggle. Rather--it is our hope to better understand our world and the class struggle by taking the time to carefully sum up the many years of experience we already have.

    After we better understand our situation (and the principles that must guide our work) then the nature of the specific tasks that will be of greatest benefit to the development of the revolutionary movement of the working class--will, I believe, be far more clear.

    Working to end the isolation of revolutionary activists will be decisive.

    Currently, many groups create themselves on a "father knows best" basis: "We have it figured out, here is what we do, if you don't agree--to hell with you." I saw this (for the hundredth time) at the SAIC meeting last Saturday. The problem is that no one has it figured out. So our task is to figure it out (or at least work in that direction) and, for this purpose, to draw on the experience and bitterness of the largest possible number of activists. Other efforts by activists, it seems to me, are beginning to form along somewhat similar lines, because the problems we are confronting are universal. All of the existing groups are bankrupt or hopeless compromised in one way or another. And the explosion of information is resulting in a situation where this bankruptcy is becoming increasingly clear to larger numbers. And the realization is building that we need something that is both inclusive and also genuinely revolutionary.

    More later. I will get back to you soon regarding why the relations of production that are not based on exploitation will become vastly more productive and why this will make the victory of the working class inevitable. This is not my idea, of course. Marx and Engels made it clear long before Lenin was born. What I have learned is a bit about how this idea was distorted by Stalin and orthdox "marxist-leninism" and how we can understand this today, in the information age.

    I also hope to get back, soon, to Classless re: the nature of my experience with Kasama and how a paternalistic community undermines the development of consciousness--with concrete examples.

    And, the request of Classless to comment on the unity statement of the Red Spark grouping here in Seattle is much on my mind also. I have not written about it yet. I have a lot of thoughts (and emotions), but I need to put them together in a calm way and determine which contradictions are the most important to focus on in my thinking and my writing.

    All the best,


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