Part of the Imperial Diss List.
As you may have heard from my recent declaration, I am now Emperor of All Socialist Groups in addition to the Solar System.
I may randomly show up at your meetings in full imperial regalia and begin issuing orders. Don’t be surprised. Expect to fully comply.
However, until that happens, I will single each group out one by one, writing polemics about why they suck. I will proceed, Negan-like, beating your heads in with a club, until the entire socialist Left either submits to my brilliance or implodes and I’m free to rule and build anew from the ashes.
Your group is inevitably on the chopping block. It’s probably next on the list. I’ll also attack specific individuals who deserve it. I will strike at a time of my choosing.
WHY DOES PSL SUCK?
I mean, the better question is more like, why doesn’t PSL suck?
First, PSL are tankies, who as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, should be exterminated. What do I mean by this? PSL formed as a split from the Marcyite Workers’ World Party. Marcyism is a tendency within Trotskyism that basically decided to deviate back into Stalinism, which defeats the whole fucking point of Trotskyism if you ask me but whatever, Trotskyism was kind of a mixed bag from the beginning so let’s get back to the point which is that PSL sucks. Marcy also had some theory about socialist aliens which I can personally confirm is correct and I’ll cover in a later article.
PSL also contributed to the splitting of Coalition for Peace and Justice into ANSWER during the Antiwar Movement. It’s true that ANSWER was slightly more confrontational and less likely to bend to the schedule of the Democratic Party, ie shutting down protest whenever the Democrats got back into office (in 2007) and that was good. But, I don’t know, it might have been better to fight within CPJ instead of splitting. The whole having two coalitions thing always came across as stupid and sectarian.
Why else? PSL supports Assad in Syria. Assad is a Ba’athist tankie dictator and fuck him. Enough other people have laid out perfectly good arguments about why that is horrible and bad and why the Rojava people while imperfect are maybe one of the only beacons of hope on this fucked-up planet. I don’t need to recapitulate them here.
PSL runs a presidential candidate every election. This is god-damned fucking ridiculous, I’m sorry, I know some of my more third-period friends are really into this because they are really attached to their right to symbolically vote for a socialist for president every election. I know this must mean a lot to them, but as Mencius Moldbug explained, that kind of shit really just makes you feel better and doesn’t actually do anything. Voting for Sanders actually meant something even if it was horrifically UNPRINCIPLED AND IMPURE. Supposedly this achieves some “propaganda purpose” but I’m pretty sure all it actually accomplishes is reinforcing the unserious perception that the public has of socialists and our chances of actually ever winning in any real elections, which we could actually do in certain circumstances, like Kshama Sawant or maybe Bernie Sanders for example.
PSL flirts with Maoism which I haven’t sufficiently polemicized against yet and will at a later time. All I’ll say this time is the obsession with oppressed nationalities, while morally appealing, is not actually a material force that can overcome the question of who actually holds the global distribution of means of production. The moral force of oppressed nationalities and the suffering of the third world is so intense as to almost constitute a material force equal to the material reality of the distribution of the means of production – but, life is a bitch, and that word almost wins out. Ultimately identity politics fails, life is anatomical ie material conditions are a real thing, and yeah PSL indulges in that moralistic identity politics shit which ultimately does more to divide the class than unite it, does more to make conversations difficult than to create communication and solidarity between people of different demographics. So that’s another reason PSL sucks.
I have to tell a hilarious anecdote about when I went to a PSL meeting once. Their presidential candidate was there to speak and they had someone preface it. The prefacing speech was this really sad attempt at sound oratorical and official, droned on way longer than necessary, and given that the meeting room had maybe only 20-30 people in it, was totally unnecessary. I really wished someone had broken the fourth wall just then and reminded everyone that the MC was addressing a small classroom of college kids and not a stadium preparing to listen to the actual President of America. It’s this kind of cultish distortion and misperception of reality, and itself, that defines PSL, and that it thrives on in order to over-work and over-tax its members, and which it depends on in order to continue functioning according to the failed model of monolithic party-line sect-building and movement work.
One funny rant by an ex-PSL member characterizes the no-dissent-or-criticism-or-questioning-allowed atmosphere surrounding the organizing work of PSL and so many other groups:
movements that do actually get any shit done also cannot be criticized at all because you probably:
A. didn’t put in 100+ hours of work like the people who did Get the Shit Done and therefore your opinion is invalid (even if you put in 10 hours, or any hours at all), partially because:
B. don’t understand what went in to Getting All that Shit Done (because we purposefully kept you in the dark/un-involved/limited your involvement)
C. are being rude and hurtful with your criticism of the work of our hard-working cadres, who put on the very best action they could without major event-ending error and therefore are immune from any of that negativity talk
D. you probably are just one of those people who wants to sit around and bicker about 100 year old theories and not actually do any of the Real Work
but, really, let’s be honest here, you’re probably a police spy. Because the membership rolls of a branch, what dues are actually spent on, and planning process of events are critical information that only the Most Privvy Leaders are allowed to see/be a part of, and opening any of that up to analysis or discussion or (god forbid) a vote to the Lazy Unappreciative Pleb Members (who could also be Police Informants too) could potentially bring down the organization
Enclosed below is a fund drive announcement which you may notice asks comrades to abusively sacrifice their own finances for THE REVOLUTION ie the cult.
“Your financial contribution should be a sacrifice.”
“The guideline for comrades’ individual participation is one week’s pay before taxes or $300—whichever is greater. This means if your annual pay before taxes is more than $15,600, your contribution should be greater than $300. For example, if your annual pay before taxes is $45,000, your minimum is around $850. For comrades who are unemployed, the guideline is a minimum of $200.”
Fwd: Launch of the 2012 National Fund Drive
|From: PSL Communication <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: February 24, 2012 at 12:30:19 PM EST
To: PSL Updates <email@example.com>
Subject: Launch of the 2012 National Fund Drive
Part of the Imperial Diss List.
So remember. If you want the polemics and the leaks to stop, all you have to do is submit. I’ll be waiting on your announcements of unconditional surrender.