Indecent as Fuck

The same people who are murdered slowly in the mechanized slaughterhouses of work are also arguing, singing, drinking, dancing, making love, holding the streets, picking up weapons and inventing a new poetry.

(Raoul Vaneigem)

A Call to Arms

It is time for the real Indecent Left to make itself known.  To reclaim the mantle back from its usurpers and wear it proudly.  To throw it back in the face of our so called betters, to rub it in their noses and laugh at their shrill outrage.

For we are the dreamers, the irresponsible, the warrior poets, the work shy, the Robin Hoods, the ungrateful poor, the lumpen, the ungovernable, the indecent.   And we will burn down your pretty palaces and dance between the flames.

Taking Indeceny Back

Those that the Decents claim are the Indecent Left are anything but.  The Cobweb Left are not Indecents and never shall they be so.  They have neither the joy, nor the idealism.  Much like their supposed Decent enemies, they are respectable and grey.  Their political activity is carefully planned in order not to startle the horses.  They would impose order on the glorious chaos of the working class.  They argue over their slice of the cake, while we occupy the bakery.  Their planned world is merely one of bigger cages and longer chains.  They have precisely nothing to do with us.

Decency is a Slow Death

Who wants to be decent anyway?  The Merriam -Webster  (I use an American dictionary to show off my  internationalist credentials and to  distance myself from tiresome kneejerk anti Americanism.  But mostly because it’s free) tells us that to be decent is “conforming to standards of propriety, good taste, or morality.  Could anything be worse?  Decents are Victorian moralists, who pride themselves on conformity.  They are the kind of people who, in a past era, would have covered up the legs of pianos because they thought they looked like cocks.  This is not something to aspire to.  I refuse to live to their standards, when my own are so much higher.

Utopia or Bust!

In  a world where mediocrity is the order of the day.  Where those who rule over every aspect of our lives are petty and spiteful.  Where they would rather see the poor starve then give away even a crust of bread.  In that world, my friends, utopian dreaming is the only answer.  Why would we want to fight for anything else?  Why would we build a new world that is like this one, only slightly less so?   Fighting for a dream and losing is more worthwhile than successfully fighting for a nightmare.  The journey is the destination.  And we are pragmatists, not realists.

Hedonism is not a Dirty Word

Pleasure is, in and of itself, a worthwhile and noble goal.  While hedonism needs to be tempered with utilitarianism (our goal is pleasure for all, not the elite few), the fight for pleasure is as important as the more worldly fights.  A new world which we do not enjoy is not a step forward.   And every worker has the soul of a poet.

Boring People is Not a Revolutionary Act

If we are boring, so will our revolution be.  And that is not something that anybody else will support and nor should they.  Think carefully.  If your only topic of conversation is politics, if politics is your only field of interest, if you are not capable of socialising with non politicos, then, frankly gentle reader, you’re a dullard.  Fun is a necessary weapon in our arsenal.  (This does not mean dressing up as fucking clowns.  Stop that.  Now).

This, incidentally, is why this blog is also likely to include posts on music, comics and why playing roleplaying games makes you cool and sexy.

Without Action, You’re Just Posing

And no, blogging is not action.  At best, it’s simply the free exchange of ideas.  But action is something that takes place offline, in the real world.  And without that, all your words are meaningless platitudes.  Theory should always spring from praxis, not vice versa.  However, do not fall into the trap of going to the opposite extreme and taking a silly kneejerk anti theory posture, despite being well versed in theory yourself.  (Yes, Comrade Bone, I’m looking at you).

They Can Have the History.  The Future is Ours

Spain, Russia, Paris?  All merely interesting subjects for an intellectual debate, no more, no less.  The past cannot be changed, the future and the present are all that really matter.  Historical situations can inspire, but they can’t  be transplanted.

Unless you manage to perfect time travel.  In which case, can you drop me off in the 1920’s?  I want to embarrass myself by trying to pull Dorothy Parker.

No Compromises.  No Ceasefires

Our enemies’ enemy is not our friend.  And no incorrect alliances will be tolerated, no matter how temporary.  Experience shows us how that one turns out.  So we will have no truck with reactionary bigots, whether the anti reactionary Western ruling class fucks beloved by the Decents or the reactionary nationalist fucks beloved by the anti imps.  We will support our friends to the full, but we will not prostitute our ideals in the name of practicality.

On Saint Jarvis of Cocker

Decents, stop trying to claim the Jarvis as your own.  You can’t have him.  He’s a New Labour hating, sweary pervert.  It’s even less convincing than Orwell.  We’ll happily give you Northern Uproar, but the Jarvis is ours.



Strange Bedfellows?

I’ve never been one for a drawnout introduction, so I’m going to kick straight off with a project from the wacky world of decency. I’m going to be looking at an online magazine that calls itself The Propagandist. (h/t Bob for drawing it to my attention).

They describe themselves as being aimed at

political junkies, thinking conservatives and the anti-fascist left.

They further clarify that selfdescription by suggesting they are

underground conservatives and revolutionary propagandists are waging a war of words against the resurgent enemies of democracy and modernity.

Would it be churlish to ask whether our brave antifascists actually have any kind of verifiable record of antifascist activity? Possibly. But it does seem rather telling that they’re making these grandiose claims while seemingly having very little interest in actual homegrown fascist movements. There’s very little on the BNP, or the National Alliance or the EDL or any of the traditional far right in their magazine. A potential explanation can be found in their Manifesto. Their rather flowery rhetoric about their enemies suggests that the tactics they will use are a

combination of media scrutiny, public protest, diplomatic pressure, international law enforcement and military force.

Now, apart from the suggestion of public protest (show, don’t tell. Anyone can type a good fight on the Internet) you’ll notice something very interesting about that list. All of it is, at its core, shit that someone else does for you. What kind of revolutionary manifesto is a justification for inaction as opposed to a call to arms?

So, yeah, that’s why they don’t really tackle the issue of the traditional far right in my view. They might get hurt or even arrested. Antifascism is all very well, but not at the cost of a quiet life.

It has to be said that, from an antifascist perspective, the kind of synthesis of right and left they’re attempting doesn’t have a great track record. The idea that the right and left are meaningless distinctions is beloved like by such scum as the National ‘Anarchists’ and the National Bolsheviks. Fascists by another name. (There is an alternative position taken by groups like the IWCA which suggests that the left is so discredited in the working class that calling yourself such or a “socialist” is no longer sensible or meaningful. That’s beyond the scope of this post, but suffice it to say that it isn’t the same thing. What The Propagandist are suggesting is that calls for “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” are the same as calls for “King, God, Country”).

They seem to already be taking steps to accomodate themselves with their new allies. They add to their list of enemies this telling little claim:

Political correctness is strangling free speech.

As always with this old straw man, they don’t see fit to explain what the fuck they’re bleating on about the dumb reactionary bastards. *Ahem* I apologise. I have no idea what came over me. I meant to say that they neither clarify what they mean by “political correctness” nor give any examples of how it is “strangling free speech”.

Perhaps they’re annoyed that a Harry’s Place guest poster can’t so much as throw a few racial slurs around, without the PC thugs objecting.

You may think that I’m being overly hostile here and that the suggestion that they would condone racism is merely a rhetorical trick. No. They have a section called

Allied Propagandists

which is their blogroll. Telling name though. It means that these are the people that The Propagandist considers on the same side as them, whatever small political differences may exist. (In the interests of fairness, I should point out that not all of the blogs they list necessarily agree on the claimed allying). But let’s look at one of the allies, which is their chosen descriptor, not mine, The Propagandist is promoting. The charming “Infidel Bloggers Alliance”.  Which you can see at http:// ibloga.blogspot.com/  (Link broken.  I don’t want the Propagandist’s racist mates shitting up my comments).  A quick glance at the blog shows you what they’re about.  No smokescreen about only being against extremist Muslims here, no siree.  It’s Islam itself that the IBA is very clear is the enemy.  It’s true that the Propagandist’s allies seem a bit more moderate then the Gates of Vienna crowd.  But that’s much like describing Jared Taylor as more moderate than David Duke.  Technically correct, but it’s missing the point.   rather.  And IBA lists in its allies Jihad Watch.  The same Jihad Watch that openly supports the English Defense League.

Protip:  If your choice of allies has led to you being only three steps away to a direct connection to a bunch of violent anti Muslim thugs, you aren’t a fucking antifascist.

It is true that some of the people involved in the Propagandist, like Terry Glavin have stated that they are “uncomfortable” with this kind of things.    But that’s really not good enough.  One thing the Decents were very clear on that was that you couldn’t critically support a reactionary group without condoning its politics.  So, for example, it wouldn’t matter if you were “uncomfortable” with Hamas having the Protocols in their charter, if you supported them anyway you were still a fellow traveller of their antisemitism.  That, for me, was the single strongest point the Decents raised.  Even if it was rather quaint that they seemed to be under the impression that they were the first people ever to point that out.

Is there a way to avoid that trap?  I think so, as the Gaza demonstrations showed.  You do what the anarchists did.  You march in your own bloc.  You put out your own propaganda.  And you aggressively distance yourself from the arguments and the groups you disagree with.  So yes, if Terry actively does that with the Propagandist.  Attacks those people who are allying themselves with racists.  Makes it clear that he is utterly opposed to their politics.  At that point his discomfort matters.  Until then, I’m not sure that it will be that reassuring to someone having their head kicked in by the EDL, friends of his friends.  Or, as geek favourites They Might Be Giants put it:

Can’t shake the devil’s hand and say you’re only kidding.

It’s  also very noticable that these supposed leftists have almost nothing to say about the fight for social justice, against poverty, for working class liberation in their own countries.  Much like the Maoists, liberation is only sexy for them if it happens elsewhere.  They are the very embodiment of Fat Man on a Keyboard’s wonderful descriptor

There are those that are firmly anti-totalitarian but have little or no critique of domestic politics. They have made their peace with the establishment and the legacy of Thatcherism. However dramatic their declarations of human rights, they are Tom Paines abroad but Edmund Burkes at home.

And, y’know, fuck that shit.  There’s a quote from Orwell, that funnily people like  those at The Propagandist never seem to cite, despite their fondness for pretending he was one of them.  Mirrors can be ugly things indeed:

In every country in the world a huge tribe of party-hacks and sleek little professors are busy ‘proving’ that Socialism means no more than a planned state-capitalism with the grab-motive left intact. But fortunately there also exists a vision of Socialism quite different from this. The thing that attracts ordinary men to Socialism and makes them willing to risk their skins for it, the ‘mystique’ of Socialism, is the idea of equality; to the vast majority of people Socialism means a classless society, or it means nothing.

To conclude, there is, and always has been, a genuine anti totalitarian and anti fascist left.  Who have always refused to support bigoted far right movements under the guise of ‘anti imperalism’.  ho have no truck with racists and are out on the streets fighting fascism all over the world.

But don’t kid yourself, propagandists.  You aren’t part of us.  And we’ll deal with you the same way we dealt with the National ‘Anarchist’ filth trying to bring racism into our movement.