fragments of an attempted writing.

two realities?

Farrell Dobbs, a Trotskyist worker who played a leading role in the 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters’ strike, one of the most important rank and file-led strikes of the era, answered the naysayers against workers’ capacity for struggle like this:
Wiseacres of the day spoke pontifically about the “passivity” of the working class, never understanding that the seeming docility of the workers at a given time is a relative thing.  If workers are more or less holding their own in daily life and expecting that they can get ahead slowly, they won’t tend to radicalize.  Things are different when they are losing ground and the future looks precarious to them.  Then a change begins to occur in their attitude, which is not always immediately apparent.  The tinder of discontent begins to pile up.  Any spark can light it, and once lit, the fire can spread rapidly.
- from The Meaning of Marxism, by Paul D'Amato.

There is an old true story told about financier Jay Gould. When asked what he would do if there were ever a threat of a genuine revolution in America he answered, “I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half.” This is not a facetious statement. He was deadly serious because this tactic always works. It has been refined since then to encourage letting off steam rather than letting off gunpowder, yet it is generally the same.

- from here.  


  1. Takimag is always good for when you want to be reminded of what your own vomit tastes like.

  2. Most regimes think they are omnipotent. I heard a talk recently given by a Trotskyist on the Russian revolution where he said that the Czarist secret police had infiltrated the highest levels of the Bolshevik Party and the unions, but that still didn't stop the revolution from happening. The same happened with the Shah of Iran, the Bautista regime in Cuba, etc. At a certain point, no amount of money will buy people off, especially once the armed forces fall apart, which is the sine qua non of any revolutionary situation.

    As for the link, I am going to have to go all "Third Worldist" on you and say that it is not entirely correct that American armed forces have not been unleashed on the home soil against the people. Maybe that's true of white people, but it hasn't stopped massive acts of decisive violence against the black community in particular. But for people at the Taki Mag, black people don't count, so the fact that COINTELPRO was unleased on the Panthers, or John Africa's MOVE compound in Philadelphia was bombed into kingdom come doesn't really count.

  3. Also on the "black people don't count" theme, there were the '92 LA riots where the National Guard, Army and Marines were brought in.


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