I've been unilaterally banned from /r/Leftcommunism

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I've been unilaterally banned from /r/Leftcommunism
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I really need some support here. Last night I decided to start a discussion on /r/Leftcommunism (which is a terribly confusing mess) about helping it become less confusing and becoming a better reflection of left communism.

I was working on a big post about Lenin all morning and logged on to see that the moderator "Drosophilae" had banned me unilaterally and removed all my comments! Some might know him from RevLeft, where he was banned for chastising people over political disagreements in no constructive terms.

Here is his justification:

Drosophilae wrote:
After looking over [Jamal]'s posts, we realized that he was very likely a troll trying to get people riled up here. There are members of other sites on the Internet that might have a grudge against some of the people here, so if you come across someone acting stranger than usual, just ignore it.

There are almost 1,000 subscribers there and it's a terrible reflection of the milieu.

Here is the thread I started: Is this subreddit confusing people more than it is helping them?

I'm hoping comrades here can get on /r/Leftcommunism and take to my defense because we really have to change the discourse of that subreddit. Just look at the topics. Example: "Rosa Luxemburg was not a Left Communist."

To quote the peasant from Monty Python and the Holy Grail... "Help, help! I'm being repressed!"

Redacted
Direct link

Here is the direct link to the thread on reddit, although I'm not sure how long it will be alive since it was deleted and I was banned.

Redacted
As far as I'm concerned you

As far as I'm concerned you are a bunch of Stalinists. If I can't speak freely among communists where can I?

TheFakeMovement wrote:
If I'm being honest, I wouldn't have deleted your thread (or at least not this quickly), even though it wasn't really going anywhere.

Nope, hadn't gone anywhere. The most comments in a thread on that subreddit in weeks, but it wasn't going anywhere.

TheFakeMovement wrote:
Instead, you made a post whining about how the subreddit is "confusing" people, and when people commented disagreeing, you responded with hostility.

I sent one of the guys on there who seemed depressed money for a beer. And he excepted it, and continued misrepresenting my views afterwards. But I'm the hostile one!

TheFakeMovement wrote:
And not long after you messaged us, he recieved a password request change email, meaning someone was trying to change his password.

You guys are just sad. Your little clique start losing your grip on the subreddit and you start accusing people of shit like this? It was a mistake to even post there, even if I was unbanned I don't plan on posting there again. You guys don't represent anything to do with left communism and you should stop parading around like you do.

Redacted
Please stop slandering me.

Please stop slandering me. I'm not a member of the ICC, never was, so there is no way my actions can or should be perceived as related to the ICC.

You were banned from RevLeft: Fact.

You were hostile towards the members there: Fact.

You banned me based on empty accusations of being a troll: Fact.

You didn't start this bullshit about being hacked until after I reached out for help: Convenient fact.

What evidence can you provide that you were even hacked? Have the other moderators of the subreddit seen that evidence or did they just immeadiately jump to your defense? I would really like to see some concrete evidence you were hacked, and furthermore by me, if you are going to continue accusing me of doing that.

This is a space where people usually participate in meaningful discussion, an alien concept to you, I know. I would challenge you to share with us what association you even have with left communism or the milieu? Are you a left communist? Why do you consider yourself a left communist? What are your basic positions?

Redacted
TheFakeMovement wrote:I'm one

TheFakeMovement wrote:
I'm one of the moderators of /r/leftcommunism (not Drosophilae). I don't know why you keep using the term "unilateral" to describe your ban as if it's an exceptional occurence, we all support your ban...

What about the people on the subreddit who are participating in the discussions there? They had no say in this did they? I received many upvotes in that thread, showing that they supported what I was saying.

But somehow this isn't unilateral?

Redacted
One more point in my defense.

One more point in my defense. You, dros, started a thread about my banning which can be viewed here.

The comment which has received the most upvotes, more than even the thread itself, is this one by Devrim in my support.

Keep in mind I couldn't have possibly upvoted that because you banned me.

radicalchains
Jamal, I say leave these

Jamal, I say leave these idiots to it.

Redacted
Yeah that seems like the

Yeah that seems like the right thing to do at this point. I'm more than a bit demoralized right now but I'm not going to let it get to me.

I just feel bad knowing there are people in that subreddit that connected with me very quickly. They are looking for answers. They went there curious to learn about left communism. I hope they find their way.

slothjabber
How to lose friends and alienate people

No-one from the ICC has commented on this. Neither Jamal, nor MH, nor radicalchains, nor Devrim who commented on your own site, nor me as I'm commenting now, are members of the ICC.

 

Want to make any other insults against the people that are letting you post this stuff here, dros? Or should they delete you for being a troll? Seems like all you've done is come here to cause trouble.

Redacted
You can forget Devrim (an

You can forget Devrim. He's defending these guys now. An ex-ICC member if I'm not mistaken, he has yet to point out that out in those threads. The threads which are attacking the ICC simply for allowing me to speak freely on this site, since I very obviously can't do that elsewhere.

And they continue to lie about me in a space where I can't defend myself. So let me address some of the points being brought up there.

I never threatened anyone.

I'm free to respond to anyone how I deem fit, I'm a grown man responsible for my actions and words, and for an amateur armchair revolutionary to tell me to "chill out" after posting something trying to stimulate a necessary and meaningful conversation still makes me infuriated.

You see this type of thing everyday in people. They just don't give a shit. School teachers used to respond to me the same way when I confronted their lies in history class. "Just chill out. It's not that serious." It ties into the whole "we're against politics" attitude.

It's a very serious issue. And to quote the ICC directly on dilletants:

Quote:
The revolutionary organisation must be able to resist these scourges today if it is to be able to definitively liquidate them.

The only person there who seems to be presenting any factual information is the "red-rooster" fellow and I thank him for that.

dros wrote:
We do not discourage debate between communists here

Yeah, right! You banned me on the notion that I was (in your own words) "likely" trolling. "Likely." How is that not discouraging debate, banning people without rhyme or reason?

Devrim wrote:
I am of the school of thought that comparing people to insects on excrement tends to have little to no effect in convincing them of your argument.

Drosophila

Who is comparing who? I stand by what I've said. This person instead of contributing to the thread in a meaningful way (before, say, banning anyone)  chose to post one comment "LOL" and then ban me and delete the thread.

Like a fly on shit (a term he apparently finds endearing), dros banned me and then starts commenting all over the place afterwards. Where was that kind of passionate energy in addressing the actual issues before banning anyone? No where to be found.

Shame on anyone there for pandering to these idiots. Grow a backbone. I can't believe some of the things people I would expect more from have said there. You don't see a need to defend left communism in that space at all? I'm starting to see very quickly why the ICC uses terms like "parasitic milieu."

After all this though it seems we may be getting somewhere:

dros wrote:
We've even thought about migrating to a new subreddit with a different name, just because "left communism" is too specific in some regards.

Last point. Drosophilae has leveled the most serious allegations out of anything that's happened here. He has accused me of attacking him personally, saying that I've some how "hacked" him.

Then he procedes to call me  a lunatic, crazy, etc.

I absolutely demanded that dros provide even one shred of evidence for this, which to this point he has not.
 

baboon
Speaking as a fan club member

Speaking as a fan club member it looks to me like you have had a narrow escape Jamal.

Alf
solidarity

solidarity Jamal, they seem to have treated you very shabbily and Dros continues to throw insults around, not only against you but also the ICC and its 'fans'. I don't know who he is or whether he is representative of the general atmosphere or approach on this forum, which is pretty much new to me. Can you fill us in a bit about its history?

Redacted
Yeah, no problem.Reddit.com

Thanks Alf. Yeah, no problem.

Reddit.com is a great site for sharing information and discussion. It was created in 2006 by "the internet's own boy", the now late Aaron Schwartz, who hung himself after facing a federal indictment for sharing academic journals not available to the public at his university MIT.

Basically it works like this: you submit text or a link. Other users have the ability to "upvote" this based on your post. These upvotes, along with comments, contribute to an algorithm which automatically brings the most popular threads and comments to the top. So it's usually a self-regulating place where the community decides the content. Not a place I would ever consider "oversensitive bureaucrats" to be necessary. Unless they were intentionally trying to alter the discourse of the discussion.

I came across the Left Communism "subreddit" at random. Seriously, knowing reddit and how it works I just decided to check it out and see if /r/leftcommunism existed yet, and to my surprise it did, full of people actively discussing. Unfortunately when I looked deeper I realized the subreddit was somewhat stagnant and noticed a lot of discussion not in the realm of what is typically considered left communist. It was at this point that I created the thread you can find above, which I was immediately attacked for, but the discourse changed pretty quickly when the discussion started taking shape.

Around four or five people in the thread seemed very excited to discuss more. Contrary to what dros is saying I had contributed to other threads including one on the question of "national liberation" which I pointed out those struggles can never be proletarian in decadent capitalism. Anyways...the people in my first thread requested I start a topic on Lenin, where I planned on summarizing the ICC article "Have we become Leninists - part 1" because there seemed to be a pretty widespread and baseless rejection of Lenin, based on the typical "anarchist"-type falsifications. People were very responsive.

It was while preparing that post the dros came into my original thread, commented "LOL" and nothing else, then removed the thread from the subreddit and banned me. I received no prior warning whatsoever. Dros then explained in a new thread that I was "very likely" trolling.

At least two people ("TheRealMovement", dros) on the moderation team do not seem to be left communists. Which I'm very confused about, considering they are helping maintain a website about left communism.

After a quick bit of google research I can tell you that "TheRealMovement" (who also goes by Jehu, Damn_Jehu, and charley2u - NSFW) is a 46 year old male living near Boston with ties to the Kasama Project, Occupy Boston, and a few other outfits. ******

Dros, and his buddy Antonomon (who by no coincedence was one of the first to attack me in that initial thread) appear to be college students possibly at Cornell University, aged about 20 and originally from New Jersey. Dros considers himself to be a "nihilist communist", an "ultra-leftist", and apparently an "infantile" leftist, whatever the hell any of that actually means. Dros could possibly be tied to a few organizations but it's hard to say which if any at all.

Anyways, I would hope that these folks give up their act and that people who more accurately represent the viewpoints and basic positions of the communist left (whose most basic prinicple is internationalism, a notion which these folks seem to reject in their blogs) might somehow be able to contribute to /r/leftcommunism in a more meaningful manner. As I pointed out before there are nearly 1,000 users there who have come to discuss left communism, almost all have questions or points of discussion, and many of whom are being misled by the sorry excuse for "left communism" being represented there.

Oh and Devrim showed up totally randomly, haha. He's freakin everywhere.

*****EDIT: For clarity and because I do not mean to misrepresent anyone, "TheRealMovement" has denied being tied to any of the links above and I'm just going to assume that's the case.

MH
thanks

Thanks Jamal, that's a clear and enlightening summary. I was going to say earlier, the main thing is to focus on your own political clarification, and maybe to respond to some of the comments on the threads you've started about rev orgs...

Redacted
Your use of pronouns seems a

Your use of pronouns seems a bit strange to me, but whatever you say pal. If you want to distance yourself from all that stuff I'm not judging. Please except my sincerest apologies.

And yes, what an individual can do with Google is quite creepy, isn't it? Now let's not forget Apple, Microsoft...the NSA...

Why don't you just share some of your basic positions so I don't have to forage the internet looking for them?

Redacted
Just an update on the guy who

Just an update on the guy who banned me. He finally posted something of substance and I was hoping to get opinions on it from all the comrades here.

Drosophilae wrote:
As for worker's councils, I tend to fall in line with the view that they may arise, but are ultimately unsustainable due to the internal contradiction present within themselves. The ultimate conclusion must be the abolition of labor.

Worker control is a contradiction because the working class ultimately seeks to liberate itself and abolish its status and role in society. If the first instinct of revolution is to take control over the means of production, then the second instinct must be to abolish them.

To quote Nihilist Communism:

"The working class has two functions, the first, and the reason why it was created, is to labour for the capitalist class and produce the world for it; the second function is its revolutionary potential which belongs to it purely because of its integration into the productive economy. In terms of revolutionary function the working class cause is to abolish itself and therefore all classes because of the self-contradiction inherent to its collective ownership of production, this second crisis wilt be brought on by the pro-human communist revolution which will be a creative intervention on how society will be made without capital. We make the point about the working class abolishing itself because many leftists tend to idolise the proletariat as an end in itself, as if there is something worthwhile or desirable in being working class. This is ridiculous, there is no such thing as working class culture, and there is nothing worth preserving from life in the backstreets and tower blocks, post-revolutionary society should be the very opposite of the surviving of exploitation, which has always been the proletarian mode of existence. To be ‘against’ gentrification as the M’s are, that is, being in favour of slums, makes no sense, it is natural to want to get away from where you live for somewhere better, and only revolutionary martyrs want to preserve degradation, presumably as a springboard for their outrage. The working class is the means, it is not the end."

"The proletariat will not be motivated by political values in its resistance to work but by its selfish interest to assert its species being; its bodily desire to be human floods across the barriers of its separation. There is nothing nice or noble or heroic about the working class, it is essential to the productive process which constitutes the structure of our reality and therefore essential to revolution and the abolition of reality based upon production."

Should a "Nihilist Communist" really be allowed to ban someone for defending left communism in a space for discussing left communism? As far as I can tell the URL of the page is not /r/nihilistcommunism. Considering there were no rules about being mean to people at the point of my ban, I think the ban should be lifted if I agree sincerely (which I do) that I won't "be a butthole." (new Rule #1)

 

Fred
Nihilist communist not so nihilist

I think if we abolished the means of production as suggested above, we'd all be dead pretty quick. Similarly, "the abolition of reality based upon production" would soon mean the end of all reality for all  humans because we'd have starved to death.

Presumably Dros means something like freeing the means of production from bourgeois ownership and using them instead for proletarian purposes. This will include  the abolition of the current capitalist reality in which commodities are produced for sale to unspecified buyers with the money to spend, and for profit making,   rather than directly for a defined human use as they would be under communism, when they would no longer  be commodities for sale anyway would they, but goods for human use?  This is production for consumption rather than for "exchange". 

Dros   is  right in saying there's no such thing as "working class culture" and wrong in saying that the desire to "gentrify" ourselves is okay because living in slums is unpleasant.  I don't like this because I detest the word "gentrify". (Cameron would love it)  and anyway it really means a longing to bourgeoisify your self. Horrible. We don't want to be gentrified do we, but freed from capitalist chains, which might even include going on living in  capitalism's  slums for a time  which we might be able to make livable in to start with.  Anyway, slums may not be so bad if you have good food and medical care available and folk feel happier together than they did when they were under capitalism's thumb. But I'm not defending slums really, though slum life in the tropics - where most slums are - is not like slum life in the East End of London.  But why am I defending slums?  Its madness!  

The proletariat is motivated more by "a selfish interest" than "political values in its resistance to work" we are a bit confusingly told, especially when the selfish interest is further elaborated to include "the species being" of the working class. Surely this is misuse of the term "species being" which can't be reduced to a particular class can it but refers by definition to "the species"?  But Dros is really talking about the proletariat and  "its bodily desire to be human" which "floods across the barriers of its separation."  Poetic stuff.  I suppose the bodily desire to be human refers to the need for the working class,and ultimately humanity, to escape alienation and sort of come back to life again after the destruction of capitalist society; and the commodification of the working class as "labour power for sale" like we're all prostitutes, has been abolished?  We don't want to abolish the human capacity to work, if that's what Dros means by "labour", but to set it free from capitalist constraints  and define for ourselves, through our workers' councils, what  we should use it for. God knows there's enough to do. 

 

Theres nothing nice or noble or heroic about the working class says Dros, and that's true, it's just that we are the bearers of the revolution and thus of a future that can liberate the whole of humanity from capitalist horror (Gaza, Ukraine, China,  Israel,  Libya, Russia,  Syria, Venezuela, Mali, Great Britain, The Congo, and more or less the whole of human life today  imprisoned  in capitalist chains and austerity).   But it will be "nice,"  and we will feel a bit noble and possibly heroic when we start to make our revolution and build the new world and the new humanity, won't we?  After all we are, or will be, "the ragged trousered philanthropists"  won't we, and that must be a good thing to be.  Much better than being a bourgeois exploiter or forced to live out of work, and constantly  scrutinized as  a useless dead beat under capitalism.  The abolition of capitalist reality.  Fabulous! 

Thank you for posting what Drosophilae  wrote Jamal, I feel for once  that I have engaged in debate with somebody, though at a distance, and  without the knowledge  of Dros.  Really I agree with much of what Dros  says.  For me its really the terminology that causes confusion. But then he/she could say the same about me no doubt.  

Redacted
Hrmm, Fred I think all the

Hrmm, Fred I think all the terms and ideas here were used deliberately. Dros is now defending these ideas in the subreddit. Yes, he really does advocate destroying the means of production, not freeing them. His arguements are all intentional.

And this idea that "there is no such thing as working class culture". It's absolutey ludicrous in my opinion. If I started listing just the pieces of artwork that were created as a result of working class culture, this thread would be hundreds of pages long. Blues, Jazz, Rock n Roll, Hip-Hop, just to name a few. A few genres. Whole genres.

How about the 8 hour work day? Or child labor laws? Those aren't products of working class culture either I guess.

I mean the list goes on and on an on. But even further than that, revolutionary theory itself. Is that not a product of working class culture? The revolutionary organization? The culture of debate and discussion? None of these things are a result of working class culture?

Fred
proletarian culture

Hi Jamal.If I can post this properly here isTrotsky explaining why there  isn't any proletarian culture. 

 

Quote:
 Leon Trotsky: What is proletarian culture and is it possible?

 Every ruling class creates its own culture, and consequently, its own art. History has known the slave-owning cultures of the East and of classic antiquity, the feudal culture of medieval Europe and the bourgeois culture which now rules the world. It would follow from this that the proletariat has also to create its own culture and its own art. The question, however, is not as simple as it seems at first glance. Societies in which slave owners were the ruling class, existed for many, many centuries. The same is true of feudalism. Bourgeois culture, if one were to count only from the time of its open and turbulent manifestation, that is, from the period of the Renaissance, has existed five centuries, but it did not reach its greatest flowering until the nineteenth century, or, more correctly, the second half of it. History shows that the formation of a new culture which centres around a ruling class demands considerable time and reaches completion only at the period preceding the political decadence of that class. Will the proletariat have enough time to create a “proletarian” culture? In contrast to the regime of the slave owners and of the feudal lords and of the bourgeoisie, the proletariat regards its dictatorship as a brief period of transition. When we wish to denounce the all-too-optimistic views about the transition to socialism, we point out that the period of the social revolution, on a world scale, will last not months and not years, but decades - decades, but not centuries, and certainly not thousands of years. Can the proletariat in this time create a new culture? It is legitimate to doubt this, because the years of social revolution will be years of fierce class struggles in which destruction will occupy more room than new construction. At any rate the energy of the proletariat itself will be spent mainly in conquering power, in retaining and strengthening it and in applying it to the most urgent needs of existence and of further struggle. The proletariat, however, will reach its highest tension and the fullest manifestation of its class character during this revolutionary period and it will be within such narrow limits that the possibility of planned, cultural reconstruction will be confined.

     As to what Dros said about  destroying the means of production: this of course is what the bourgeois does a lot of during wars. This gives them the opportunity to rebuild the "means"  again afterwards and so restore the rate of profit.   Why any sane class would want to do this doesn't make sense - is this where the nihilism of Dros and others comes in?- for what would be the benefit of returning humanity to the conditions that   pertained say  50,000 years ago?  Didn't the Khmer Rouge have some crazy ideas about this and returning to the year "zero" and so on?  But we know about the great contribution they made to humanity don't we - misery and death: typical bourgeois contribution.  It it did occur to me that maybe Dross was confusing the expression "the MEANS of production" with "the MODE of production"?   The current bourgeois  mode of production, production for exchange and for profit making  rather than  for direct consumption and for planned use, the proletariat will certainly abolish.  As to "the eight hour day", that great benefit the generous hearted bourgeoisie has kindly given us after long  years of struggle; well that's just a reform isn't it, a product of struggle not culture, though a benefit to the class in the form of leisure time in which it could enjoy some bourgeois culture like music, films, and in earlier times  "the music hall" etc.  And just because the music hall was popular with working people, and starred  performances by people who came from working class backgrounds, doesnt make it in itself  a manifestation of working class artistic and cultural expression, which, as Trotsky  has explained, is something we may never see.   The Blues emerged from  and were a product of the  bourgeois enslavement of black people. Rock n Roll emerged from and was  a product of the ending of the counter revolution, and a modest improvement in the pay packages of working class people, courtesy of the thoughtful bourgeoisie always keen to encourage its wage slaves and keep them quiet.  That's why the Beatles got OBE medals.   They were good solid lads and achievers within the bourgeois prison which they never even threatened.  They were rewarded with great riches and remained firmly embedded in bourgeois ideology.     
MH
Agree with Fred

I tend to agree with Fred on this, Jamal; leaving aside the issues you have encountered with what passes for ‘debate’ on subreddit, and the formal idiocy of something called ‘nihilist communism’, I don’t have many issues with the positions apparently defended by this individual.

In particular I think we need to be very careful about referring to ‘working class culture’. Unlike the bourgeoisie which, as a new exploiting class, was able to develop its own culture within feudal society (ie. on the basis of its own economy), as an exploited class within capitalist society it is impossible for the proletariat to do this. We can argue about the relative influence of the working class on this or that cultural expression in capitalist society (eg. the blues), but this doesn’t change the fact that the proletariat is fundamentally an ‘outlaw’ class.

It’s true that in ascendant capitalism the proletariat was able to build up permanent organisations like parties and trade unions, which were able to wage struggles for reforms like the 8-hour day. I think you are using the word ‘culture’ here in the very broadest sense of the working class having a ‘culture’ of political struggle against capitalism, but I think this is confusing for the basic reason above. And the success of these struggles did lead to illusions that the proletariat could somehow build itself up as a class and peacefully transform capitalism from within, without the need for a political revolution.

Alf
article on 'proletarian culture'

This debate came up during the Russian revolution

 

https://en.internationalism.org/ir/109_proletkult

 

we republished Trotsky's article on this as well:

https://en.internationalism.org/book/export/html/1480

Redacted
Ok well, I clearly have a lot

Ok well, I clearly have a lot of reading to do before I form a more informed response, but...

How do you think Trotsky and others would explain artists like Banksy, or graffiti in general?

Marin Jensen
Solidarity

Hi Jamal - I'm away from home at the moment and only have intermittent internet access, but just caught up on your thread. Just a word to say "Solidarity", and keep up the reading (I agree with your approach, Marx and Engels went on "reading to make an informed reply" right up to the end of their lives so there's definitely something right there!).

As for dros and TheRealMovement, all I can say is that we have lived with these obsessional remarks about being a "sect" and "not real" ever since we existed... and these petty insults are always and systematically a way to avoid any serious discussion and having one's own opinions called into question (or indeed having to question them oneself). Marx was also described not infrequently (by Bakunin for example) as the leader of a "clique" or a "sect". 

lem_
i'm gonna join, i'm very good

i guess a nihilist cmmunism is someone who doesn't believe in anything but quite likes people to think otherwise. i'm gonna join, i'm very good at the internet :D

 

and anyway if the icc doesn't exist, then it hasn't existed for quite some time lol.

Alf
posted in wrong thread

I have now put this post into the thread on 'decay' where it takes up the point raised by jamal about the social movements of 2011-13