Part of the Socialist Strategy in the Trump Era Series
Despite my rejection of both movementism and staffers, party-building is not futile.
All I do is party.
In the working day of every worker, everyone needs rest and recovery time that comes in multiple forms. One is direct physical rest. Two other forms are more psychological, entertainment and socializing. Instead of demanding that after slaving themselves into a state of misery and dejection, workers come home and do more miserable doorknocking and organizing, cutting into the rest and recovery cycles, we can build by fusing with the rest/recovery cycles all workers practice, merging socializing and entertainment with politics, and building a political organization centered around that.
It can, and should, also have forums, discussions, and reading groups. These social-political circles would be similar to the Jacobin clubs of the French revolution — actually moreso than the Jacobin magazine reading circles, as nice as those can be, because these can flow more freely around politicized socializing than an obligation to read in every instance, which some people don’t have time for.
This is essentially Taoist, Wu Wei, effortless effort — instead of working against the natural flows, workday cycles, and biorhythms of the working class, we flow with them.
Nor is this actually a new idea — the largest organizations of the German SPD, a not-small party, were its cultural and socializing-centered sections.
Fun is the strategy. Do stuff that you think is fun and would do even if you were not political — but politicize it, by finding more people at these activities who are left-leaning and roping them into your circles.
It doesn’t have to be limited to leftists, and better if it’s not. We have to spread this shit, after all. Invite your friends.
Let’s forget we’re even socialists and hang out with whoever we’d rather hang out with — and then turn those people into socialists.
Does this mean do NOTHING traditionally political, EVER? No. Just do what you feel like, when you feel like. Be impulsive — be free. Attend the events you feel like. If something big blows up that seems important, or really resonates with you and the people around you, jump in, and jump out as you please, whenever and whyever. If you feel moved to organize something, do so. Don’t let other people obligate you into doing stuff you don’t feel like doing. Don’t be too annoying about obligating others to do stuff either.
And the plan here is not to abandon all movements or labor work forever, either. Rather it is to use politicized socializing to consolidate a mass demographic that can sometimes be mobilized, or will often enough spontaneously mobilize itself, for various political actions, campaigns, and pressure.
Is this a hopeful perspective? A pessimistic one? Doesn’t matter; you can use this either way. I tend to think we have a lot of opportunity to grow right now, and you can apply this strategy if you agree with me, but even if you don’t think so and that we can only grow in fairly small irrelevant cracks, this is also a way to do that.
A warning: personal drama is a real thing. When the very fabric of your group is consciously based partially on socializing, personality becomes a more consciously pronounced factor in the intra-group politics. I’ve already had experiences with this.
But let’s be real — that applies to any organization, as “professional revolutionary” as they may pretend to be. All groups are made of humans and sometimes people simply cannot stand each other and will use the most ridiculous, political-sounding excuses to dispose of each other.
But possibly the most important thing about Nihilism-Leninism is attitude.
Next section: Ethical Nihilism/Naked Class Struggle/Kill the Rich