THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE by Marian Kester
Several processes arc immediately discernible here. First, it is clear I am being treated as though two forces are warring within me: my LC self (otherwise identified as a practice of self-reinforcement of our collective prejudices) versus a rather nasty persona (otherwise identified as a dupe, a NAGger, a doubter, instability, shit, bourgeois ego, etc.) The techniques are designed, among other things, to terrorize my persona into oblivion, while allowing my LC self (my "self-consciousness") to reign once again over my disturbed mind. Clearly what would be required to do this would be some shadow of moral authority (not to mention internal authority) located in my interlocutors and in the "identity" they were offering me; only then could I be brought to entrust myself to their "love". And I would have done so, as I have for four years, 'had I detected a shred of integrity in the encounter, despite the obvious incompetence of the pair. Unfortunately, I had already realized, through my own efforts to overcome self-policing, that the NAG network the LC is really out to smash exists in our own minds - our doubts, our questions, our moral struggles over compromising ourselves in the desperate hope that apparent fraud is not actual fraud. It follows that all I needed to do to salvage some sleep for the night was to simulate a "breakdown and remission" laced with "reinforcing" statements like "Yes, I do have this stupid egoistic worry about whether I'm being 'creative1 or note" These reinforcements silvered over the the ruptures in the two-way mirror that englobes us: seeing once more our face, close up, given back to them by me as the world, Security was content.
What were Mel and Michelle realy doing, besides acting out a vivid and paranoid fantasy? It lies somewhere between what Marcus accomplished with the NEC (cf. Christine Berl's resignation paper) and what we daily do to one another to keep this organization from shaking itself apart (as though by pretending it weren't dead, a corpse could halt its decay). As in any negation process (remember the analogy to creativity alientated from itself), there is no developments the psychodrama of Labor Committee internal "life" is but an attempt to do the impossible. To learn from death, to love what murders, to organze on the basis of your own dissociation, to inspire with that which crushes you, to win workers to new social forms when the most hideous social relations obtain in the revolutionary party. It is not the world "out there" that is wrong - full of "recalcitrant" workers who won't sfick with NUWRO and "schmucky liberals" who won't join the Commission - but we. And not we as individuals, but as a social entity. Remember Marxism? It is we who are not building NUIJRO and RYM because the basis of being in the LC no longer stands in the real world - and the Commission should not be being organized for at all.
Thus my ire is aroused not at the shells of comrades who have "joined up" with Insecurity, but of the descending gyre of paranoia that has seized them. Security is the organic organizational expression of our terror. It is the enforcement mechanism of that terror; "belief in" the brainwashings would have long since disintegrated without it. Security exists entirely for the internal (self-) consumption of the Labor Committee, to "free us from doubt." Even the harassment it conducts on the outside is primarily a self-policing, self-degrading activity aimed at its minions and the membership at large. No positive step can be taken without an investigation, as suggested by Dan Jacobs, of this quasi-"legal" apparatus, and its de-Stalinization.
IV. LOVE IN THE LABOR COMMITTEE
One runs into again and again this strange idea that viciousness is really love. I had a once-living comrade call the other day to assure me, in fluent News peak, that "One of your problems, Marian, is that what you see as destruction is really growth." Diabolical inversion! the visible fact that this comrade was once making theoretical contributions to our work and is now occupied doing cartoon-drawings and "recalling" the fundamental emotion by morbid repetition of the death scene of Tristan und Isolde on the stereo, has, of course, no bearing on my absurd conviction that death has a stench and life has joy. "Oh of course", quotes the belief structure, "a lot of LCers have real problems, but most of them arc struggling to develop." Let us be of some material aid to them, in that case.
The irony of our plight is that the very thing which keeps us clinging to the organization as it is - our commitment to a human identity - has become the means of our reduction to, clinically, deranged robots, Virtually no one could remain in a political group like this if the