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Wednesday June 12th 2019Tim Candler9

 

    The Leninist political tactic is in essence to solidify the base, and by solidify a person usually means produce a kind of 'there is no alternative' type unified loyalty. Meanwhile rival opinions swish around, drinking tea, debating this and that, coming up with all sorts of possible solutions to the dramas of being alive and invariably divisions emerge, a wishy-washiness that just never seems up to the challenge. In military tactics, this theory is translated into a strategy which under the guidance of a skilled commander is able to win battles against superior numbers. The enemy is persuaded, often by cunning, to divide his forces. Napoleon was a master of the technique in his wars against collectives of sometimes quarreling European armies who were nonetheless very anxious to defeat him. And, in my view, no accident that when bin Laden found himself aggravated by the divisions in the Mujaheddin around objectives and so on, in the fight against the Soviets that he chose to call his new group Al Qaeda, which loosely means "The Base" but within it's meaning is the understanding of a foundation, which for bin Laden at least was a sort of purity of vision around what an Islamic State should be.  

 

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   However you prefer to conceptualize "The Base" in the political sphere, it's not so much a geological feature it's more of a fleeting moment, a ride in the elevator, and there's a good percentage of us people who spend an unhealthy amount of time jockeying for position to benefit from something like a base riding on an elevator. We can't help it. Soon enough because of the ludicrous nature of what you might call "pure dreams" divisiveness arises within a base that has to be managed, and of course you can try to manage it through theatre if you want to. Theatre generally has limitations, the Church does a pretty good job of it, but does so for a never ending cause, heaven will never be on earth, if it ever happens there'll be no need for a church, and you'd put a lot of vicars out of business. The never ending cause is theatrically powerful just so long as the story never ends. I recall Mrs. Dale's Diary, a quarter hour radio program which when it came to an end after twenty odd years sent many a customer into a deep depression. The program was a constant to cling to and talk about. Then if you wrap the story around a somewhat elderly and unhealthy looking person, however wonderful you might think him, you're not being real wise or sensible, you're just kind of watching television, and end up coming up with something like "Elvis is still alive" as you pay homage to Graceland. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

  

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