“Security culture”: a reactionary wave against leaking

 Continuation of why I support leaking leftist documents, related to reflections on organization/democracy

The arguments against viewing leaks as a violation of “security culture,” or unprincipled (as if transparency was not Lenin’s principle) are mostly so obvious that they don’t need to be stated.  Nobody should be putting their home addresses in this stuff; it’s not like anyone is leaking membership rosters with lists of names and locations.

So instead I think some of the Kasama people are sincerely worried that the Left’s internal “battle plans” are actually going to get out.

First, the government’s electronic (and other) surveillance is so omnipresent that any group which plans illegal or insurrectionary activity in writing is completely idiotic.  Learn from the anarchist direct action people here.  Such plans are discussed in-person.

Second, there is a deep misunderstanding of how we fight against surveillance culture.  We do not fight surveillance culture by burrowing deeper and isolating ourselves, or hiding anything.  Instead we follow the revolutionary example set by the LGBT movement, and by Wikileaks, and by anyone who lives out loud on social media: we fight surveillance with courageous openness.  Through our revolutionary honesty we turn the tide against anyone who would want to make us feel wrong about what we’re doing.  We shift the culture so that, even if someone is watching, social support is too strong for anyone to seriously consider taking repressive action.

Third – anyone who thinks that groups have internal discussions about insurrection, don’t actually know how insurrection works.  Fortunately Trotsky addressed this in Chapter 43 of his History of the Russian Revolution.

First, you need a situation of dual-power, in which the will of the workers/people is embodied in a political institution which acts as an alternative center of political-economic coordinating activity.  This entity uncomfortably co-exists with the old government for a time.

The key then is to get this new entity to shut down the old state, and to declare itself the new sovereign system.

However, to think that this new entity could have an open conversation on this topic, in concrete terms of “when do we have the insurrection?,” is naïve.  It would face instant, immediate repression.

The system often roughly tolerates revolutionary parties so long as they have no concrete plans to launch an insurrection.  So the key is to build up influence in the new people’s center of activity, winning a greater and greater share of it to the revolutionary faction.

Now does the revolutionary party ever have an internal discussion of “what day should the insurrection be?”  No!  Not ever!  Trotsky was absolutely clear on this.  This, too, would obviously be detected by government spies, and would be a practical invitation for repression.

So how does it happen?

Not the workers’ councils, not even the revolutionary party collectively, but a small leadership clique within the revolutionary party calls the insurrection.  Trotsky referred to this as the “military conspiracy.”  It waits for the idea of revolution to gain enough legitimacy within the people’s institutions, and then unilaterally makes contact with key groups of workers and military units to set a date for combat.

The sheer illegality of insurrection means that in no way can the insurrection itself be planned openly, which means it cannot be planned collectively or democratically.  Sorry kids, fact of life.

But all other discussion and “internal” life within a revolutionary party, besides such operations which literally cannot be discussed, ought to be wide open to the public – and this is what the Bolsheviks practiced, even during underground conditions.

To argue for this type of mummified culture of insularity goes against all the transparency and wildly-free debate that Lenin stood for, and to organize along those lines is to drag Bolshevism’s name through the mud.

One thought on ““Security culture”: a reactionary wave against leaking

  1. Pingback: Why I support leaking Leftist documents | spreadtheinfestation

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