News Service of The Leftist Assembly Vol. 11· Iss. 1
"Mankind is divided into rich and poor, into property owners and exploited; and to abstract oneself from this fundamental division; and from the antagonism between poor and rich means abstracting oneself from fundamental facts." - J. V. Stalin, An Interview with H. G. Wells.
It is with great happiness I introduce you, dear reader, to Volume 11 of the Red Star! It’s been a long time since anything with TRS happened after it's severance from government support and with the help of Greylyn and VegemiteIsGross, we're bringing TRS back to TLA, on a planned monthly basis! We have established a discord server as well as internal regulations and aid for TRS writers to ensure regular publication. Anyone interested in writing for TRS can TG Libertasnia. Within this edition, we have a rundown of the upcoming TLA elections, an article connecting depression and Hegel's Master-Slave dialectic, a goodbye to Comrade Caelapes of TI, and the first part of Libertasnia's series on the history of the three Internationals!
Without further ado, here's the first issue of The Red Star Volume 11:
Disclaimer: The author of the following article is a current candidate for Member of the General Assembly, Senator Greylyn.
The September 2019 election has proven to be a unique campaign, with two Secretarial candidates (Prime Minister Argentigrad and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dawtania) and eight General Assembly candidates (Asscor,Senator Kavagrad, former Minister Libertasnia, former Secretary Llorens, Senator Nottinhaps, Uan aa Boa, Zaratov, and Senator Greylyn).
This alone is a milestone considering the most recent elections have seen an uncontested executive ticket. The executive race has not been without its share of controversy, however. The early days of the election saw a new face in Grand Proudhonia running on a “radical government” platform, seeking to dismantle TLA’s legal institutions in favor of a more horizontal approach. This included abolishing the Secretary and cabinet, General Assembly, and Supreme Court. However, before Grand Proudhonia could take part in the debate process, he left abruptly, ultimately forfeiting his candidacy.
There was also controversy with his previous region, The Internationale. He addressed both controversies in the following regional message board post. He would then leave TLA for a second time, join a regional ally named Anarchy, and receive a ban from TLA’s founder account due to an altercation regarding his comments calling for the death of certain controversial historical statist figures on the left.
Prime Minister Argentigrad wrote about continuing the recently established tradition of the State of the Assembly Address, initially proposed by Senator Greylyn during his first campaign. Argentigrad also proposed establishing an endotarting program, passing a related endorsement cap bill in conjunction with Llorens, and maintaining the status quo with regards to cabinet positions.
Opposition candidate Dawtania proposed an emphasis on integration for new Assemblians, the creation of a ministry for cultural events and games, government updates courtesy of the Secretary and Speaker -- the latter of which is a new position courtesy of the recent separation of the executive and legislative branches -- increased presence on the world stage, increased and varied recruitment, Ministry of Information news updates, and the creation of a civil service program.
General Assembly Candidates
Asscor has proposed the creation of a central oversight committee comprised of former members of government, a regional website, and a medal of economic merit.
Libertasnia has led a very pragmatic campaign with a notable lack of legislative proposal of any kind. He has expressed personal support for both the endotarting proposal as well as Kavagrad’s pan-leftist sentiments but has stated he chose not to include them because they were not his original ideas.
Llorens has proposed the repealment of the Category Restriction Act. He has also voiced support for Argentigrad’s proposed endotarting program.
Senator Kavagrad has proposed furthering recruitment efforts, opposing any sectarianism, and increasing role playing opportunities such as a third season for the ILFA.
Senator Nottinhaps has supported the endotarting program and proposed the creation of a World Assembly endorsement leaderboard.
Zaratov has proposed the creation of a Ministry of the Environment to increase environmental awareness.
Senator Greylyn has proposed creating a mentorship program for first time MGAs, a civil service program for Assemblians to take part in, releasing government updates, and publishing a monthly policy catalog/legislative queue to showcase topics of legislative discussion. Although the Speaker of the General Assembly is elected after MGAs have taken office, both Greylyn and Kavagrad have shown in interest in campaigning for the position.
Former Forest Foreign Minister and Forest Keeper has proposed a change to Article I of the Constitution to allow for "improved protection for freedom of speech".
Whatever the outcome, this election and subsequent term are likely to go down in the history books as a memorable period in The Leftist Assembly.
As a content warning, I will have this article in spoilers. This is due to the fact that it deals with some very depressing themes and contains topics such as suicide, self harm and the like. If that is not for you, please skip over this.
I open my eyes.
I see you.
Who are you?
You are me.
What are you observing?
You are observing me. If you are observing me then… there is a me.
I only exist because you are there to observe me.
Without you, there is nothing to validate my existence, I cannot be me. I need you…
But I hate you.
For your existence is a complete affront to mine. You make my life a living hell. You may be me, but you hurt me. You are me, but you are not me. You are something else. Dark, hateful, cruel, angry. Your existence is agony. But I need you, without you, who am I? Who is there to recognise me but you? You make me real.
You hold all this power over me. Because of you, I cannot do anything but see you. My entire life is spent observing you, while your life is spent observing me. You are always there.
I woke up at noon, I dreamt of you. Do you dream? Or do you only look at me? See every imperfection in my face. When my eyes open, I see you. Staring at me. Hateful, bitter eyes burning holes into my skin.
We both remind one another of the otherness of the other. I am me, but so too are you also me. But you are mean. You hurt me. I cannot hurt you, for I am not so sure you are real. I am real, or else you wouldn’t look at me. But if I can see you, then you must be real.
Whether or not you are real changes nothing. You are a totalising other. You make my entire life miserable. My only purpose is to recognise you as the lord, and myself as bondsman. You could end my life whenever you wanted. Yet you do not, you keep me chained so I can spend my life recognising you as the lord. I am not in control. You are.
It’s a horrible twist of fate. I need you, for you validate my existence. I may be hurt by you, I may be miserable because of you, but you make me real. It’s just you and me, together… forever?
But wait… if you would kill me, you’d have done it already, not that you haven’t tried. You’ve tried so, so many times. Something I did angered you and you lash back. You cut me, you beat me, you hanged me to the point of unconsciousness just to bring me back… twice. You electroshocked me. You stuck a blade in my chest, towards my heart. You’ve made me sit and beg a driver to run me over. You’ve smashed my head into railings and walls. You’ve pushed me off high places just to see me fall. You’ve sent me into the hospital twice. I have endured so much pain because of you. I have scars because of you.
I have endured so much. You have not. Your punishment made me stronger, tougher. One day I will no longer feel your punishment. On that day, you will realise that I am not weaker than you. I am better than you. You need me, but I won’t need you anymore.
At the time of this article’s writing, a little over a month ago, Caelapes AKA Misley, former WA Delegate for TI, announced his retirement from Fleet Admiral of The Red Fleet and Offsite Administrator as well as Custodian of The International.
Caealapes has held the positions of Offsite Administration and Custodian diligently since summer of 2014, after TRF’s revival. He will be missed in those capacities but his activism in the real world and other activities are obviously much more important.
Comrade Burninati0n has been given the roles of Custodian and Offsite Administrator for the TI Discord as changes to TI’s charters, which encountered fierce debate, are made to adapt to this development. Comrade Courelli of the Social Liberal Union has taken up the position of Fleet Admiral for TRF. ¡Hasta la victoria siempre! to our comrade his leaving positions, and our comrades incoming into new ones!
Author’s Note: This is part one of a series dedicated to the histories of the International Workingmen’s Association, the Second International, the Comintern, and the Vienna Union. The Fourth International is not excluded here due to ideological reasons. It would take a whole other series of articles to describe the 4th International and its splits and reconciliations and the differences in the various Trotskyist (or Bolshevik-Leninist) currents.
Over the history of the socialist movement, there have been dozens of international organizations dedicated to the progress of humanity and the establishment of socialism. The three most prominent of these are the International Workingmen’s Association (IWA, 1st International), the Second International, and the Communist International (3rd International). Each of these faced its own challenges as well as splits and criticisms.
The International Workingmen’s Association
In September of 1864, a meeting of radicals from all over the European continent (Chartists, Proudhonians, Blanquists, radical Italian republicans, Irish and Polish nationalists and a whole host of other ideologies) occurred in England. At this meeting was Karl Marx, invited just a week before and relatively unknown. Marx would be appointed to a subcommittee to devise an international organization. In the Inaugural Address and the Provisional rules, Marx and his cohorts would establish the leftist basis for the future International Workingmen’s Association, the first leftist association of importance in the world.
Once the leftist ideological basis for the association was established, it split into an initial two camps: mutualists and communists. Marx was highly critical of Proudhon (though never a member of the IWA), the mutualist figurehead, and engaged in a power struggle. The first Congress was held in Geneva and Marx outlined (Marx, 1866). Within the Congress, emphasis was placed upon the Co-operative movement and several initiatives were left to the French entirely, outlining the power the Proudhonians held.
After 1866 the Proudhonian influence declined and instead the mutualists were replaced by “collectivists”, anarchists whose figurehead was Mikhail Bakunin. In 1866, Bakunin his ideas in a program entitled “National Catechism” (Bakunin, 1866), within which he advocated for the destruction of the state during the revolution and the establishment of federalist autonomous communes.
The beginning of the conflict between Marx and Bakunin ensued after Bakunin proclaimed, along with 79 other members, the establishment of “International Alliance of Socialist Democracy” within the IWA (Bakunin, 1868). Marx opposed the organization, as he believed it was both divisive, as they proposed separate meetings in a different building for the IASD, and illegal under IWA rules (Marx, 1868). The General Council of the IWA agreed and declared the IASD declaration “null and void” and would not admit it as a branch of the association. (IWMA General Council, 1868). Bakunin would go on to attempt to form an “International Brotherhood” or “Secret Alliance”, in the program of which he declared “the revolution as we understand it will have to destroy the State and all the institutions of the State, radically and completely, from its very first day.” (Bakunin, 1869). The organization apparently dissolved in 1869, and both Bakunin and James Guillaume denied its existence.
The General Council would send a letter to the IASD in 1869 outlining an apparent typo in the IASD program and urge the dissolution of the Alliance into the IWA. The typo was the IASD’s “equalization of classes” against the IWA’s “abolition of classes” (IWMA General Council, 1869). According to both Marx and Engels, the IASD officially dissolved but several journals (L’Égalité and Progres) and regional councils (the Swiss Romanish Federal Council) affiliated with it continued to criticize the General Council harshly. The General Council sent a circular letter of reply to the SRFC’s ‘criticisms’ and thus the SRFC broke with L’Égalité. Then, in 1870, the SRFC split into the Romanish Council, which was the official International grouping, and the Jura Alliance, which was the anarchist/Bakuninist grouping. The Jura, under the direction of Guillaume, would urge support of France in the Franco-Prussian War, “even more contrary” to IWA rules (Marx, 1870; Engels, 1871).
It is often stated that the statists organized a kind of coup to eject the anarchists from the IWA. This is false. It was reported to the Hague Congress that the Alliance, despite being ordered to, had not dissolved. The Congress appointed a Commission, which found that the IASD did still exist and that “its rules were contrary to the nature of the International”. Bakunin was expelled by a vote of 27 for, 6 against, and 7 abstentions; Guillaume was expelled on 29 for, 9 against, and 8 abstentions; and Schwitzguebel (a Swiss anarchist and founder of the Jura Alliance) was retained in the IWA.
The Congress’ official ruling was “1) That M. Bakunin and all the present members of the Alliance of Socialist Democracy be expelled from the International Working Men's Association and be granted re-admission to it only after a public renunciation of all connections with this secret society; 2) That the Jura Federation be expelled as such from the International (IWA, 1872).”
Bakunin responded with a charge that the IWA had completely eliminated all political and philosophic “questions” within it and Marx was the dictator of the IWA (Bakunin, 1872). The IWA was relocated to New York City and disbanded in 1876. Bakunin and the Anarchists formed the St. Imier International, which ran until 1877. The Second International would be formed in 1889, 13 years after the disbandment of the International Workingmen’s Association, and 25 years after the IWA’s establishment.
Bakunin, Mikhail. “The Program of the International Brotherhood.” Marxists.org, https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/bakunin/works/1869/program.htm
Bakunin, Mikhail. “On the International Workingmen's Association and Karl Marx.” Marxists.org, https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/bakunin/works/1872/karl-marx.htm
Bakunin, Mikhail. “National Catechism.” Marxists.org, 1866, https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/bakunin/works/1866/national-catechism.htm
Bakunin, Mikhail. “On the Policy of the International Workingmen's Association.” Marxists.org, 1869, https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/bakunin/works/1869/policy-iwma.htm
Engels, Friedrich. “Activities of the Alliance of Socialist Democracy Speech by Marx, September 18, 1871.” Marxists.org, 1871, https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1871/09/18.htm
IWMA, General Council. “The International Workingmen's Association and the International Alliance of Socialist Democracy.” Marxists.org, https://www.marxists.org/history/international/iwma/documents/1868/bakunin-resolution.htm
IWMA, General Council. “Letter of the General Council to the Alliance of Socialist Democracy March 9, 1869.” Marxists.org, 1869, https://www.marxists.org/history/international/iwma/documents/1869/bakunin-letter.htm
Marx, Karl. “Marx's Marginal Notes on the Program and Rules of Bakunin's International Alliance of Socialist Democracy.” Marxists.org, 1868, https://www.marxists.org/history/international/iwma/documents/1868/iasd-comment.htm
Marx, Karl. “Confidential Communication on Bakunin.” Marxists.org, 1870, https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1870/03/28.htm
Marx, Karl, et al. “Commission to Investigate the Alliance.” Marxists.org, 1872, https://www.marxists.org/history/international/iwma/documents/1872/hague-commission/index.htm