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M-L-M Mayhem Year in Review (2012 Edition)

Now that 2012 is almost over, it is once again time to provide an MLM Mayhem year in review.  This year was rather eventful for this blog in that it witnessed yet another surge in traffic while my own life culminated in its own spike in busyness in that I became, just over three months ago, a father.  And just like last year, I figure that it would be best to sum up this blogging year with a list of my most popular posts.




#10: On Protracted People's War as a Universal Development of Revolutionary Theory

Since the theory of PPW as a universal revolutionary strategy is still controversial in some marxist quarters, in this post I tried to sum up the general reasons why some of us argue for people's war instead of insurrection.  Some people found the idea intriguing, others dismissed it as "straw-personing" the theory of insurrection––the latter, of course, failing to explain this supposed "straw-personing" which is typical of people who do not like their pet t…

On 2012 and the Supposed "Disappearance" of the Mayans

A week has passed since the supposed "Mayan apocalypse" of 2012 and, just like other predictions of armageddon, the world remains.  But most charlatan prophets are able to survive the failure of their predictions by simply claiming they misunderstood their calculations or that the dates they provided were, in some metaphorical manner, apocalyptic.  Besides, two of the most significant new age gurus who were advertising 2012 as the end of the world (Frank Waters and Terence McKenna) are dead.

What made the 2012 phenomenon interesting, however, is that it was yet another new age appropriation of a non-European peoples' culture.  Like every appropriation (especially new age appropriations), this specific appropriation of the Mayan calendar was doomed to be inaccurate.  Not that the people who believed in the significance of 2012 really cared that Mayans were laughing at this interpretation of their calendar––this is because these are the same people who tend to believe that…

"Hard" Sciences Finally Catch Up to Social Sciences…

…In figuring out that IQ is a bullshit theory.  After all, critical leftists have been pointing out that a standardized test designed to reveal a concrete and universal intelligence quotient was about as "scientific" as phrenology and other para-sciences for decades.  One almost wonders why it took so long for neuro-scientists to discover what we had already proven without a laboratory and brain-scanners: that there is no such thing as an "intelligence quotient" and that there can be no objective measurement of intelligence unaffected by the conflict of social classes.

Not that a bunch of brain-scans are capable of explaining how intelligence is also a social phenomena, not something simply found in the brain, but at least they can tell us that all of this IQ nonsense is a just that––nonsense––because, lacking an understanding of the social aspect of intelligence, it also lacks any basis in crude biology.  There is nothing in the brain that can be measured as an &q…

Because and Despite of Identity Politics

Picking up where I left off with my last post [and after a long hiatus for me, I know, but the combination of the busiest time of year for me, a job application, and childcare has drained my mental resources], I think it is important to discuss the limitations of the political praxis connected to postmodern theory.  While it is important to demand a theoretical understanding of the emergence of postmodernism (including post-structuralism and post-colonialism), it is more important to understand the limitations of the political line resulting from this theory and thus why, inversely, a marxist-oriented political praxis is superior.  For as marxists, whenever we talk about the strengths and weaknesses of a theory this talk should not be abstract; it should have something to do with concrete practice, the project of human liberation.

The entire postmodern discourse, after all, was premised on the usurpation of marxism and the substitution of a totalizing communist discourse with a politi…

More on the Problem of "Postmodernism": the necessary boundaries of an historical materialist critique

Since I discussed, in an earlier post, the problem with hasty marxist dismissals of what is generally termed "postmodernism" (which includes post-structuralism and post-colonialism), I feel that it is important to discuss what is needed for a proper historical materialist critique of this phenomenon.  For though I argued that most marxist critiques of this phenomenon haven't been very helpful, and that there is much that postmodernism can teach us as marxists, I also feel that in order to have a helpful critique of this phenomenon that can possibly utilize some of the postmodernist insights it needs to be placed within a proper historical materialist framework.  After all, postmodernists have accused marxists of being totalizing and, since we marxists think this totalizing aspect of our theory is its strength, then we should begin by doing what only historical materialism can do––to all phenomena including itself––and that is to examine postmodernism's social and his…

On Breaking from Bourgeois Legality

Due to the massive number of comments on my previous post, some of which were ignorant and even unprincipled, I think it is worth spending some time discussing what is meant by "breaking with bourgeois legality."  Apparently this concept was a stumbling block for more than a few readers, many of whom wanted to interpret this statement as an argument for ultra-leftist adventurism––as if I was demanding that students arm themselves, engage in illegal activities, and embark on poorly conceptualized militant schemes just for the sake of militancy.

And yet I have written quite a bit on what I mean by "breaking with bourgeois legality", though I haven't always used these words, and have been quite clear that I am not advocating an adventurist strategy.  I am not the kind of lifestyle anarchist who thinks that the correct strategy is to "drop out" of society (as if this even possible) and that all of the rights the working-class has won in bourgeois society …

Breaking from Tired Student Movements

[READ FIRST: due to the level of unprincipled "argumentation" that has been taking place in the comments section, where Anonymous commenters are accusing a revolutionary organization of "sabotage" and making all sorts of baseless accusations––due to the fact that half of the arguments against this article have relied only on throwing insults and barely debating the content of this article––I am going to be clear about my comments policy.  I have a job, I am not a student with too much time on my hands, and I've just wasted hours of work time dealing with asinine bullshit written by students who think they are revolutionary leaders.  Some of these comments, thankfully, finally engaged and produced a useful discussion.  Others are just poisonous and unprincipled allegations that not only attack the PCR-RCP as "counter-revolutionary" but also make the typical opportunist claims that anarchist militants are collaborating with cops.  Any more comments of t…

Bourgeois Values are Boring [birthday post!]

Samir Amin once remarked that people who want to change society for the better generally have better ideas than people who want to preserve the status quo––for if society, in a world historical sense, is defined by change than those who deny change will have static and repetitive ideas that are out of step with reality.  I've recently been contemplating this axiom in regards to values.  Namely, the fact that bourgeois values as a whole are boring and that those values beyond the threshold of capitalism seem far more interesting and exciting.  This is partly because I'm a new father and, in the process of just starting to raise my child, have encountered those values that are the hallmark of the bourgeois family.  And despite my general rejection of these values out of political principle, I also want to reject them because I actually find them extremely boring and do not think my child would have much fun being raised according to normative bourgeois values.



Despite all the an…