Bill Burr on dual power

Yes, that’s right, Bill Burr just came out as a Leninist — a real Leninist, not whatever twisted reactionary kind Bannon thinks he is.  Check out his interview on Monday with Conan O’Brien, specifically the part starting at 21:00, where he talks about what he didn’t like about the Women’s March.

But at the end of the day, they were still going to men!  That’s what I didn’t like about it.  You still had to go down to [Trump’s] house, and be like “hey knock it off”.  They should’ve been like, networking, handing out business cards, “you build websites, I wanna do this”.  I think the way to get people in power to pay attention is, you don’t go to them, you kinda have a meeting over here; then that freaks ’em out, like “oohh uh, what’s going on over there??!” and then they come over to ya.  You don’t walk up to their house!  That’s a weak move!

Okay, so he’s not really talking about dual power or Marxist political theory, but still, not bad for a blurb on a late-night show, eh?  It gets at why I personally don’t really have much of an appetite for going to protests and rallies, and prefer doing the quieter work of trying to develop institutions and networks that can slowly replace those of state and capital.  It’s probably because I’m a hardcore cynic — I just don’t believe that politicians and capitalists care all that much about protests, and don’t think it will change their behavior, and ultimately serves to legitimize their authority and power.  And also, the act of protesting — even when carried out by radical leftists — seems to rely on the idealist notion that power is won through the spread of ideas, rather than the more materialist/Marxist notion that power must be rooted in control over tangible, concrete resources (and the democratic and working-class governance of these resources).

Of course, the new proto-fascist era of Trump isn’t quite like the old, stagnant neoliberal era, and I buy the argument that fascists and their like ought to be met in the streets, and their organizing disrupted by direct action.  And more importantly, direct action (i.e. mobbing the airport and harassing/accosting DHS and ICE agents) intervenes immediately at the source of grievances, rather than pleading for politicians to do something.  More of that, please!


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One thought on “Bill Burr on dual power

  1. mittflorg February 1, 2017 at 12:05 pm Reply

    Very interesting analysis. He has a good point about the limitations with marches. Like the civil rights movement of the old it takes different people doing different things. Like the NAACP going through the courts and the SCLC marching in the streets.


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