The November Trials and the Futility of Dialogue
The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse for taking the lives of Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum (and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz) is drawing to a close this week. Throughout this farce we, predictably, saw a colonizer judge named Bruce Schroeder being allowed to run his courtroom as a dictatorship, refusing to allow Rittenhouse’s victims to be referred to as…victims, while also allowing the defense to refer to the men as looters and rioters. Meanwhile, the trial of Ahmaud Aubery’s murderers Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William “Roddie”’ Bryan plods on in Glynn County, Georgia. These three stalked and murdered Mr. Aubery in their neighborhood last February, shooting and killing him at close range.
These trials demonstrate many things for those with eyes and ears to see and hear. We see how the fascist court system doesn’t care about the lives of those who are murdered by street fascists. If a Black youth named Kyle Robertson had shown up, armed, to a right wing protest claiming to want to defend Black businesses, and shot and killed two white men, injuring another severely, he would not have been allowed to get out of jail, hang out with members of the Nation of Islam or the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, or essentially make a meme of the whole situation. The entire nation would not be seeing his crocodile tears all over the internet and television news. Nobody would give a shit. Likewise, a Black father and son who went out and shot a white man in their neighborhood would receive the same treatment as this hypothetical Robertson. Settler-colonial violence is acceptable, violence in self-defense or in opposition to the settler-colonial, life-destroying state of affairs under which we are forced to live is unacceptable. Thus, Rittenhouse, the McMichael family and Bryan are walking in the footsteps of their ancestors who whipped, mutilated and tortured our enslaved African ancestors, and drove off/massacred the Indigenous. This violence is at the very root of this country, and naturally courts formed in this country will uphold their violence. Revolutionary violence is illegal and punished severely.
The Leftist response to the trial is, predictably, toothless and weak. There is not going to be a vigilante sniper waiting in the shadows to exact people’s justice should Rittenhouse walk. There is going to be the predictable chest-thumping and macho posturing, but no action. The Left in this country does not conduct political violence, despite its obsession with it. The Right kills the masses and our comrades, the Left spray paints silly slogans on walls, taps them over the head with sticks at protests and claims it as victory, and issues idle threats. Yet nothing happens, just like nothing happened after the Greensboro Massacre of 1979. For all the parading of revolutionary widows through the streets with unloaded guns after the funerals, every fascist that shot up the rally on November 3, 1979 was allowed to die of natural causes. This toothlessness and weakness comes ultimately from the lack of a mass base to give a shit when our comrades die. If we want people to know about and care about these things, we have to conduct thorough political education in concert with mass work in the communities, patiently explaining and demonstrating to them the importance of developing organizations of power against this violence. Not another front group staffed with the same old dogmatists and weirdos that want to traffic in the people’s struggles for their own self-aggrandizement or to show off to other leftists, who usually will try to wreck such things out of jealousy or petty turf desires, but real mass organizations that actually take the unorganized and organize them.
The Left is obsessed with dialogue. And dialogue about dialogue. Dialogue that either attempts to influence the enemy, or dialogue threatening the enemy, despite the enemy knowing our weaknesses all too well. Both are incredibly stupid. A third type of dialogue is the Left conspiracy theorist who reads the world through a pair of tinfoil glasses and chooses to flee from reality instead of facing and organizing the people to change it. Dialogue from a position of weakness is simple begging, or lobbying, no matter how belligerent and “combative” it is. Huey P. Newton —
“When Black people send a representative, he is somewhat absurd because he represents no political power. He does not represent land power because we do not own any land. He does not represent economic or industrial power because Black people do not own the means of production. The only way he can become political is to represent what is commonly called a military power — which the BLACK PANTHER PARTY FOR SELF-DEFENSE calls Self-Defense Power. Black people can develop Self-Defense Power by arming themselves from house to house, block to block, community to community, throughout the nation.”
When I see so-called Leftists talking about politics, it is more often than not more than absurd. I see endless memes calling for general strikes, yet the mass quittings and work refusals are not being organized by leftists and their insipid little rape, gaslight and run-for-office cults they call Parties, but by the workers themselves. The Left has and represents no political power in this country, if it did, AOC and the “squad” would not be able to stab them in the back over and over again. If it did, fascists would be afraid to come to our demonstrations, armed. If it did, we wouldn’t have to tell ourselves over and over again the lie that we are powerful, knowing it’s a lie. If it did, we wouldn’t have to tell each other to buy guns because we’d already have them. Until the Left becomes a political power and force in this country, backed by arms and organized into a vanguard Party worthy of the name, we should get used to being shot and killed without recourse. That is the fate of the powerless. Maybe our comrades will write us a cloying poem expressing rage at our deaths. Or, maybe, they’ll finally get their shit together, substituting action for endless chattering, and build a force capable of real retaliation. The courts are demonstrating, once again, that our lives do not matter. This is to be expected, nobody will defend the lives of those who want to overturn their way of life. What are we going to do?