Dangers of Oversharing on the Revolutionary Movement and Activists
Any student of the history of COINTELPRO, Red Squads, and other attempts to derail the revolutionary movement in the United States is of course familiar with the fact that alphabet agencies, local police, and fascists take advantage of the truth that revolutionaries are humans, with human flaws and needs. Thus, we take necessary security precautions derived from our concrete conditions to ensure that we do not end up being manipulated by our enemies and opponents. Unfortunately, there are also many drama loving “leftists” who thrive on chaos and weaknesses within opposing tendencies and organizations and will take advantage of oversharing in public spaces to sow havoc and chaos within the movement.
If you are a revolutionary with a public platform, you need to keep in mind that you have a target on your head. It is in your interest to maintain your private life…well, privately. Nobody needs to know how frequently you smoke weed, what other drugs you use, what type of person you’re sexually attracted to, what your family situation is, what your mental health is, etc. Avoid attention seeking behavior online and in public. This is for two reasons. For one, nobody online really gives a shit. Celebrities’ public meltdowns are picked apart and millions of people mock and roast them online, they lose work, they get in all sorts of bad spots, leading many of them to harm themselves. You don’t need that stress, you’re not a commodity for entertainment value. This type of celebrity type behavior weakens the prestige of the Communist movement and makes us look absolutely ridiculous and weak.
I’ve stated before that I unite with strategist David Kilcullen’s thesis that people follow strength, not weakness. We can’t afford to look weak before the people. Constant public breakdowns, attention seeking, appearing drunk or high, publically referring to illegal activity you’ve taken part in (buying drugs, for example), going on long disjointed rants — the enemy will make use of these behaviors to damage the prestige of your organization, if you are a member of one. Public exploits like this offer opportunities for weak links within the organization to be compromised. This is how informants are made. Say a cadre has a public heroin or cocaine habit. The police, naturally, arrest this person. Their sole thought is obtaining more heroin or cocaine — thus the police take advantage of this and release them with the understanding that they will inform on their comrades. So we have a weak link that has been exploited by the enemy. This is why the Black Panther Party forbade cadre to abuse or deal in hard drugs. Not only was it a public health risk to the masses they served, but it was also opening up the door to a myriad of legal problems that would destroy the organization.
Mental health. Millenials and “zoomers” are probably the most open generation regarding mental health in human history. We joke about being mentally ill, we make and share memes mocking mental health crisis exacerbated by capitalism-imperialism. However, you should not be making public, shareable Facebook or Twitter posts about your mental health situation, or other aspects of your personal life. Remember how the FBI sent letters to MLK taking advantage of his stress (among other things) hoping he’d take his own life? Yeah. They’ll do that to you too. Vent to your comrades, conduct regular in person mental health checkups, but don’t vent on Facebook about your mental health issues. What exactly does a heart react or a sad react do, tell me? Offer you a dopamine rush for like 30 seconds? Is it worth you sitting in an interrogation room with the police knowing exactly which buttons to push to make you snap? Or the fascists (who already know where you live — you were open about that too) knowing that you’re going through a breakdown and using this time to come tag up your house or chuck a brick through your window? Vent to your comrades, that’s what they’re for. Keep your innermost thoughts and struggles out of the ether of the internet. Use the internet for org building, political education and propaganda, project strength. Keep your weaknesses out of the enemy’s view. Get out of the habit of using social media as your diary — keep a real one if you must.