Part of Imperial Diss List.
As Emperor I am stomping one leftist group at a time beneath my boot. But I don’t limit it to groups precisely; I also attack other entities or individuals. Anyone who wants mercy can send me an agreement of unconditional surrender stating that they will henceforth obey my every whim. Good talk.
It’s become a commonplace to criticize Jacobin over its politics but I find that cheap. I think Jacobin’s politics are pretty great.
Usually it’s some principled uptight leftist saying that Jacobin is veering too far to the center-right.
This isn’t an issue for me probably because I’m a fucking center-right brocialist myself so fuck it. I mean not really, I’m more of a weird synthesis of broad economic center-right with hardcore ultraleft libertarian communist but whatever.
Jacobin gets criticized for being too tolerant of centrist positions on immigration. It gets criticized for being too friendly to Bernie Sanders, too friendly to socialists like DSA members who vote progressive Democrat. The only Democrat I ever voted was Sanders, I don’t vote prog-Dem as a rule, but this isn’t my beef with Jacobin. I believe it’s actually serving a highly useful function of bringing together different socialist groups, and creating cross-pollination between them.
Don’t think the ulterior motive of this isn’t lost on me. Creating cross-pollination between the groups is actually a subversive maneuver in itself. Having the groups cut off from each other in a silo effect empowers the sect leaderships, party bosses, and apparatchiks, ie the people at the front of the room. Having the groups mix together creates more free-thinking, breaks down the party-line cult mentality, and is more empowering to the rank-and-file of the socialist organizations.
But here’s where the problems begin.
Jacobin courts the leaderships of the groups. It gets them to write articles. It makes them feel welcome, it puts their names in print, it lets them be the ones to do the writing, lets them be the ones to do the talking.
By doing so, it further legitimizes their dominance within their own groups, among the other Left groups, and even more widely in society.
It’s possible that it couldn’t succeed any other way. I’ve stirred shit trying to court rank-and-file members of groups to build a unity effort before, but because I’m not like a paid staffer or anything and I have a life and I couldn’t turn it into a business I couldn’t really sustain it.
It’s also possible that the logic of coalition-building with sects requires accepting their leadership and putting them up front in the publication. This is because the very memberships of the sects are so deferential. Sects continuously re-create their memberships in their leaderships’ image. Problem members are gotten rid of, and the bureaucratic advantage of the leaders, as paid staffers, is continuously exerted to shape and intervene and propagandize and argue and re-educate the membership to agree to every opinion and stance that the leadership prefers.
So naturally the membership would put the leadership up front even if you consulted them. That’s how these sects are trained.
Jacobin could try to subvert that though. Instead of getting articles from the typical sect big-wigs, for example, it could reach out more to the rank-and-file members. It could be more of a forum for the general Left. It could be a forum for the critical opinions and disagreements within the organizations. But that would threaten its ability to hold together the coalition that its editorial board has cobbled together, because the sect leaderships wouldn’t like that.
Jacobin is also an academic mouthpiece. This ensures a certain quality but no participation by people outside what can frankly be described as an elite. People below a certain economic level or education level or reading level just won’t get to participate in it. It might be a magazine for leftists, but it doesn’t seem to be a magazine for workers. It doesn’t seem to be a magazine for regular people, including regular leftists, having heart-to-heart dinner table arguments of what the fuck is wrong with the Left. It has articles addressing that type of thing, but at a meandering length a lot of people won’t get through, and with carefully-chosen political sensibility that won’t offend the various group leadership patrons of the publication.
I mean, Jacobin is really onto something with some of its themes, and if it was just a little less effete and a little more like a tableau, it could accomplish more than just inter-sect unity or pulling DSA to the left and actually act as the basis for a mass party.
Anyway, Jacobin has performed a certain task of cohering a greater cross-pollination between various groups, which has created a greater looseness of culture, but ultimately, I still prefer the Wild West of social media, the blogosphere, and the Internet in general, which is the very environment which spawned Jacobin in the first place. This is where the real dirt is happening. This is where the real tension is mounting. This is where the real arguments are being hashed out. This is where the real molecular process of revolutionary consciousness is gathering speed.
Beatings will continue until submission is achieved.
Part of Imperial Diss List.