- Category: Revolutionary Strategy
- Created on Thursday, 16 February 2012 11:27
- Written by Salar Mohandesi
This was posted in Viewpoint Magazine. H/T to Jim Weill for bringing this to our attention.
The obsession over the black bloc in the past few months is a distorted reflection of the very real predominance of this tactic in contemporary struggles ... But while the tactic’s geographic reach is somewhat localized, its presence in the movement’s collective imagination has grown to immense proportions.
But it’s precisely the continued obsession with this single tactic that prevents us from seriously interrogating the necessary other term in this relationship: strategy. The discussions over the so-called “diversity of tactics” indicate the problem: by focusing all our energies on disputing the merits of a tactic, we end up neglecting strategy altogether. A “diversity of tactics” has little to do with strategy; in fact, it seems to replace strategy with liberal pluralism. The question isn’t whether to pursue a “diversity of tactics,” but rather: what kind of strategy allows us to effectively incorporate a diverse range of tactics?
On the Black Bloc
The “internecine ultra-left argument of the moment,” says the Wall Street Journal, is the debate over the “black bloc.” And if this debate has led the WSJ to talk about “ultra-leftism,” it’s clearly a debate we have to address.
In a report called “Activists and Anarchists Speak for Themselves at Occupy Oakland,” Susie Cagle reminds us that the recent major instances of street-fighting, which have been cited by liberals critical of the black bloc, force us to abandon the stereotype of ski-masked vandals breaking windows. She writes:
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