The Settler’s Burden— A Case Study and Obituary for Sgt. Mason Bliss
Those of us who have the misfortune of living in the Yankee imperialist metropole will no doubt list arrogance as one of the key traits of the colonizer in this country. Despite knowing absolutely nothing, they speak as experts over and above the lived experience of those whom they exploit and in whose liberation struggle they meddle for their own personal self-aggrandizement. We are going to use former US Army Sergeant Mason Bliss (former tormenter of the exploited masses of Afghanistan) as a shining example of this trend as it exists in the US Maoist movement. Hopefully, from this example, comrades will learn what not to do and how to move in multinational formations.
Mason Bliss is a former cadre of the Maoist pre-party formation that I support, the MCP-OC. This is where he cut his formal organizing teeth. They were recruited roughly three years ago. During this time in the formation, they became known for picking quarrels with colonized people on affairs both great and small. Mason loves to publicly argue, yet doesn’t know how. He takes pride in his “controversial” opinions. The “controversial opinion” that got him nearly expelled (he resigned before a vote could be taken) was that settlers in the United States “have no power”. They were also in the habit of defending the “Red Guards” dogmato-revisionists which have made a name for themselves through sectarian theatrics such as breaking up a PSL/WWP anti-war event, assaulting an elderly DSA member at an anti-fascist event after being laughed off a UAW picket line last year, and apparently deciding that I am the fountainhead of revisionism, right opportunism, identity politics, and all the other boogiemen that keep the insipid colonizer Mao-fanboys awake at night. Like seeks like, and Mason has recently announced their “support” for the rebranding of this sectarian sect on their preferred medium for sharing their hot takes — Twitter. They are joined and encouraged in this ideological degeneration by a variety of twitter accounts with less than 100 followers, most of whom seem to be at various stages of delusion regarding the nature of politics foreign and domestic and seem to think that “upholding principally maoism” is a winner in the year of our Chairman, 2020. This comes on the heels of them abandoning the splinter group they formed when they split from the MCP, the MRP, and also resigning from their position as head of the Marilyn Buck Brigade, a white solidarity branch of the NABPP. Apparently, Mason has taken to claiming that I, personally, have been seeking to wreck their organizing work and making it difficult for them to operate.
First of all, this is the epitome of self-centeredness. If you are a good organizer and are firmly rooted in the masses, other leftists disliking you is not important. The people are who our power comes from. Mason’s inability to organize well is due to a few things. One, they have an atrocious grasp of theory. They latch onto whatever Gonzaloite article or skimmed book allows them to justify their white chauvinism or desire to convey their former status as an armed agent of US imperialism into social capital without conducting the ideological remoulding necessary to really accomplish this goal. They willingly choose to impale themselves on silly hills like “white people in the US are not settlers” and “white people have no power”, the second being the line that led to their dirty break with the MCP. Second, Mason is not a good organizer of people. They have an abrasive personality, are not humble, and think the world revolves around them and their subjective thoughts. Yet they continue to try to organize despite being told on several occasions by veteran organizers that they are not good at it and need to study and learn before acting. Essentially, Mason is a typical colonizer. Despite all their bold proclamations and hot takes on Twitter, they were slow in launching even a basic grocery distribution program as part of their FTP-Philly organizing, and chose instead to try and force white-passing cadre candidates to carry knives in Black neighborhoods. Again, arrogance. He has said that “If I believe something is right, it doesn’t matter if 100 people disagree with me”. Third, and most importantly, Mason demands attention and “line struggle” over things that are life and death to Black and Brown people, such as the reality of colonizer control and power, but has never issued a genuine self-criticism for their harmful, disrespectful and shameless white chauvinist behavior. When they made the decision to resign from the MCP, they should have done a period of study, reflection, and summing up. Instead, they surfaced almost immediately as head of the Marilyn Buck Brigade, with which they did nothing but attempt to use as a feather in their opportunist cap. Now, they are promoting Gonzaloite dogmato-revisionism, probably because it allows them an outlet for their desperate need to have pictures taken of themselves “being militant” and the seemingly innate colonizer desire to lord it over Black people with weapons. This is another reason not to trust “org-hoppers”. They enter activist circles for clout, burn it out, and jump ship to another, burning their bridges and lying to their new victims along the way. This is parasitic behavior, and the fact that Mason chose a Black formation, the NABPP, to try to manipulate for personal standing is particularly despicable. Mason’s constant disrespect of Black organizers, myself included, and meddling in Black organizations like the NABPP is a sign that they have a master-slave relationship to our collective body. He has no concern for our liberation, he seeks only to build up his personal “resume” at our expense. This is careerism and trafficking.
Sgt. Bliss is also claiming that I have caused people to threaten them. Ironically, when I and other comrades in Saint Louis were being stalked and harassed by those they now claim are the vanguard of the revolution, Mason was quick to blame me for this and tried to get me to agree to cease criticism of the Gonzaloite deviation in public. This is hilarious for one who claims to love public line struggle. If I see you saying stupid shit, I’m going to roast you. Yes, my platform is bigger than Mason’s, mainly because I’m funny and write well. If people are saying you’re a white chauvinist, you probably are and you should do introspection. How one can slander a person using their own words is beyond me.
Mason claims to be dedicating the next few days to “writing a criticism of the MCP-OC”, and their participation in it. To be perfectly honest, the “criticism” of a person who has been claiming to be a Communist for 3 years yet hasn’t read “State and Revolution” or other basic texts really doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. In 40 years, I doubt anybody will consider it a seminal text of the rise of Maoism in the United States, and I doubt more than 50 people will have read it in that period of time. Mason claims that service programs are “not revolutionary”. This is theoretically correct. Communists must use these to forge initial links with the masses and demonstrate our willingness to serve them fully. He goes on to claim that Communists must fight for them, organize them, and to educate them. This is also correct. If this is a me vs. Mason thing, we can compare receipts. I have several dozen videos and several dozen more articles interpreting Maoism from the perspective of a New Afrikan in America. These articles and videos are relatively widely read and cited as having been influential in developing new Maoists. Furthermore, the formation that I support is a growing one. While Mason crows over the spectacle of Gonzaloites parading through downtown Austin shouting paeans to Presidente Gonzalo, beating up other colonizers with even shittier politics (more of this) and spraypainting shit nobody cares about on the walls of gentrified neighborhoods in one of the richest cities in the US (a postmodernist spectacle if I’ve ever seen one), FTP formations are directly serving, educating, and organizing the people from Chicago to Saint Louis to Boston. Meanwhile, Mason is one white man shouting tired slogans and simpleminded opinions into the Twitter ether to a rapt audience of first day communist kids, Gonzaloites in need of psychiatric evaluation, DSA members, and FBI agents.
Mason seems frustrated at the fact that more people take me seriously than they do him. Why is this? For one, I’m not white. Nobody gives a shit about some colonizer whose entire personality revolves around the fact that they’re a colonizer that makes less money than the other colonizers and thus has an inferiority complex and also carried a gun for Barack Obama for a few years. You don’t get to act like that in the Left, not as a melanin deficient person. For two, the shit I write is on point and Black people and colonized people in general relate to it. Nobody relates to the shit Mason says except other colonizers, and they don’t matter, their role is to be expropriated and the majority of them will be subject to the dictatorship of the proletariat. You are a declining population in this country and will not lead any revolution, you’ve been told this a million times. For three, I know how to read people. This is a key part of any politics, Left or otherwise. I’ve seen Mason continue to argue with people in threads hundreds of comments long, and not convince a soul. That’s a sign that you’re wrong.
What’s in the future for Sgt. Bliss? His new shotgun marriage to the Gonzaloites will have him wandering the streets of Philadelphia handing out copies of their “newspaper” and trying to convince Black people to give a flying fuck about Presidente Gonzalo. Usually when people join cults like that there’s something awry in their personal life that causes them to seek out these sorts of organizations to fill an empty hole. Or, Mason might just be stupid enough to believe that the Gonzaloites will somehow seize control of some territory somewhere and they will be praised and recognized for simply existing. Who knows? Either way, his behavior has ensured that he’s going to be a pariah anywhere that he sets his feet.The lesson? Don’t be Mason.