Update: Zak Brown has since closed his ZombieMarx blog and is an avid Jill Stein supporter.
There is an old Eastern philosophy that says anger clouds the mind, and that ignorance clouds it even further. Well I’ve certainly seen something that shows this to be true. When someone hates you irrationally, they’ll act and think irrationally towards you. I’ve now seen this as well. In Marxism we understand that identity politics leads to a degeneration of theory and leaves us with a reactionary pile of nonsense. This seems to be what has flowed from Zak Brown.
The disgraced former member of RAIM has seen fit to throw his emotions into a political writing. Unfortunately for him, they have produced nothing but a diatribe of deliberately removed context and lies. For those of you who are unaware, which is everyone, Zak Brown and RAIM are the masterminds behind the claim that “I am transphobic.” The fact they have never shown any evidence of this speaks volumes. What Zak leaves out of his raging mass of a blog post, is the fact that there is a history behind us. Threats from him are nothing new.
It appears since his removal from RAIM (which I hear is for misconduct towards women) he’s decided to attack me to launch his new solo blog. I’m used to people just flying off the handle at me, not thinking before they type; but this is taken to a whole new level. It’s filled with paranoid delusions, baffling inability to read context, and misquotation.
Since I’m no stranger to such ridiculous slander, I’ll humour him.
The first portion of his post is a complete delusion. He accuses me of posting on Reddit under a fake name. He shows absolutely no evidence that it’s me at all. I don’t post on Reddit, I don’t even like Reddit. I wouldn’t be surprised if that account was actually him. Someone called him out on his nonsense and lies, so his first instinct was to blame me. He has completely fabricated an attack by me so that he can begin his blog by drawing on reader sympathy. It’s a really dishonest tactic. He’s beginning with an ad hominem which plays on other people’s negative feelings towards me rather than make an argument. He’s appealing to people who don’t like me to strengthen the argument he makes later. Since people do just believe terrible things about me with no evidence, he’s played right into that. Why make rational and solid arguments when you can make appeals to emotion? There’s a personal vendetta from the past there which he has failed to disclose.
His opening is full of nonsense. He claims I’ve branded myself, “king of all things Third Worldism”. Which is strange because I’ve never done that. Where have I said this? He claims I’m in league with the LLCO, but also says I claim to be the king of Third Worldism. Which is it? He’s relying heavily upon personal attacks. In another portion he essentially claims I’m just some guy on the internet. Which is also strange because I’ve always said this. Even then what is he? More than this? No, he’s just some guy on the internet who is trying to launch his blog using me. What does that say about him? Again, so much ad hominem.
His nonsense continues with this particularly selective line:
His entire ideology can be reduced to the simple assertion, “only the Third World can be revolutionary”. In fairness, this assertion does not stand on its own.
This is certainly true, but it is by no means as simple as that. I don’t leave that assertion to stand on its own. I’ve made countless blog posts and videos on the subject. In fact it’s kind of the entire premise of what I’m doing in all my work. He just claims that I’m making no argument which is false. Here is a small sample of what he is claiming doesn’t exist. Link In addition to this, I’m in the middle of writing a book about Third Worldism. This is some real dishonesty. On top of that he takes a jab at the LLCO for receiving donations which doesn’t have anything to do with it. He’s by proxy trying to use the LLCO to attack me, or use me to attack the LLCO. I’m not sure which one. In either case he’s blatantly lied claiming that my entire ideology is a “simple assertion”. One which he himself held.
Next he misquotes me and then attacks that misquote. He claims that I “fundamentally misunderstand revolution.” He then asserts that I argue that, “revolution is firmly a matter of material conditions”. I say no such thing. He does so by selectively quoting me and leaving out the context.
“The whole point of Third Worldism is to acknowledge the current material conditions that the world faces today, and to produce a theory according to those lines. We do not see the conditions necessary for the beginnings of a revolutionary struggle. The objectively revolutionary situation does not exist.”
Where have I said that it requires only material conditions? I’ve certainly said it’s a major factor. But nowhere have I said that it is the only factor. This quote, which he leaves the context out of, is saying that the theoretical contribution of Third Worldism is to acknowledge the lack of material conditions, whereas Marxists today are ignoring it. First Worldism imagines material conditions where they do not exist, it also exaggerates events, which was the whole point of the blog post he misquoting. Here is an example this elsewhere. Link Why does he think that my entire ideology can be summed up in one paragraph from one blog post? Because he’s being dishonest. The rest of his argument in this section is based upon this false idea.
He even expands this into a an accusation of racism by race baiting, another dishonest move.
That’s right, a white middle class man and his white middle class buddies are telling the oppressed their victories are nothing more than “concessions” by the ruling class. The issue isn’t even one of interpretation but of recognition or denial.
What is he talking about? The civil rights movement or Black Lives Matter movement? Let’s go with both. At either of these times, was the inherently racist system uprooted and replaced with a non-racist system? No. Concessions were made by the ruling class to ease social antagonisms. That is not the idea of just one “white middle class man.” By his own logic, does that mean the ability to sit at the front of the bus mean a total elimination of a racist system has been accomplished? This is nonsense, he is misrepresenting what I said, and then trying to infuse race into it to call me racist. Pathetic.
Interestingly, I don’t remember becoming middle class. I do remember Zak Brown being upper middle class from his police officer father’s paycheck. I can mention that right? Because being a member of a particular class means you’re right or wrong, right? That’s what he’s done.
Through the art of copy-and-pasting-graphs Jason has concluded that poverty – and exploitation by proxy – within the “First World” is largely a ruse played discursively but of no real significance. Which is an interesting position to take considering that same poverty he trivializes is the poverty which affects the nationally oppressed communities most deeply; communities which he offhandedly defends as being “genuinely oppressed” or as the “Third World in the First World”. For example, people of color make up a disproportionate percentage of the lowest-paying wages in the United States (42% of minimum wage earners are people of color); despite this, Jason has argued against rallying behind economic demands such as wage increases. So either poverty and exploitation within the core is in fact significant or its nonsensical to claim nationally oppressed communities are exploited at all – the latter claim being the one the LLCO shamelessly supports.
Copying and pasting graphs, what does that even mean?
Yes, people of colour are disproportionally economically lower than Whites. My point, as with Third Worldism, is that they are the global beneficiaries of imperialist exploitation as well. Does something here argue against that? No. He phrases it in a manner as to accuse me of being racist by ignoring the suffering of people of colour. He doesn’t address the Third Worldist argument, which is that even First World people of colour benefit from imperialism. Nowhere have I, or another Third Worldist ever claimed that people of colour are not economically disadvantaged compared to Whites. This is a complete fabrication on his part.
To boost his lie here, he takes a quote of mine which skims an idea that isn’t intended to go into detail, and claims it’s the whole argument. This would be akin to me taking a quote of him saying exploitation is bad, then claiming that it’s his entire argument. This is shameless on his part.
Let’s look at the Third Worldist theory here. We say First Worldists like to point to the economic marginalization of People of Colour and gender minorities as proof of overwhelming poverty in the First World. These are the exception to the rule, not the rule itself. We have never claimed that POC and gender minorities are not marginalized, or that they don’t have a hard time. This is one Zak himself has argued against when he was a “Third Worldist”. It’s rather appropriate that he repeats a lie that he himself has previously showed wasn’t true. But then again, we’ve also seen how dishonest he’s been with his post here.
Not satisfied with race-baiting, he proceeds to gender-bait as well. He accuses me of transphobia. His evidence is completely nonsensical. His first piece is to give the LLCO line on gender. I’m not a member of the LLCO, so how is reflected upon me? A total non-sequitur. There is a strange association going on in his head. He believes that I’m member of the LLCO when I’m not. Yet, he continually uses the LLCO line to attack me.
Afterward he tries to cite incidents where I have supposedly been transphobic. He cites my video on Catlyin Jenner, which specifically says trans people are oppressed, but that I think Jenner is not. By all means watch the video yourself. I don’t know how he gets that message from the video when it explicitly says the opposite of what he claims.
He cites a footnote I made in a previous post where I say: ” I will however say there is at least one phony Third Worldist group with no connection to the Third World and merely prances around calling themselves “non-men”.” I was not referring to trans people, I was referring to Zak Brown. He calls himself gender queer to absolve himself of responsibility for his sexist behaviour. This is a common thing. Of course he will now lie and claim I am saying this is true of all gender queer people. A lot of sexists actually use gender queer as a way of escaping responsibility for their sexist actions. For example: the reason for his banishment from RAIM. His violation of the “relationship contract” (commodification of human relations) with the three women he was dating who did not know of each other. His behaviour is entirely in line with that of a cis male.
Next he accuses me of “body shaming”. He does this by citing a video where I outline the difference between not looking the social standard and being at an unhealthy weight. Congratulations Zak, you failed to understand a very simple video.
Finally, for his pathetic gender-baiting, he cites a video where I say trans people are oppressed as evidence of, ” bungling of the “trans issue”, and claiming there are many more examples, but doesn’t give them. It would have to be an outright deliberate effort to lie, to claim that I was saying trans people are oppressed is transphobia. The dishonesty here is utterly baffling.
To end his post he goes complete mindless hater. He attacks the fact I make videos on Marxism, as if there was something wrong with that, because I’m sure he does so much more. He attacks the fact I’ve done work on videos games, which he neglects to mention were effective tools in teaching theory. Which is in contrast to what he’s done, right?
He claims I rant about identity politics, which was a tweet where I reminded people that Lenin opposed identity politics. So what? A tweet is a rant? Lenin was wrong? What’s the point of this?
Then he attacks me for donating to the LLCO. So donating is bad now? People shouldn’t donate to organizations? What’s his point here? In doing this he attempts to doxx me by linking to the donation I made. Which didn’t work. That’s pathetic Zak Drab- uh, Brown.
He then lies in the most obvious of ways. He claims that myself and the LLCO advocate doing nothing. I have advocated the opposite several times. The LLCO has advocated the opposite. I guess he must have just forgot about those links.
Zak Brown’s real purpose here was quite transparent. He claims I’m a stepping stone to a larger critique of Third Worldism. He claims I’m not important, but yet he uses me as a way to launch his new solo blog. It would seem odd that he’s chosen to attack me instead of criticizing the line he once held. This is personal, he’s specifically targeted me because he knows people will just believe his words without question. It’s popular to attack me. It’s easy, he can just pander to an audience of hate which he and RAIM constructed. He won’t criticize his old group, the line he held, they have too much info on him. He’s a coward.
I have clearly demonstrated that he has lied about myself, falsely associated me with the LLCO, and resorted to conspiracy theory when he got called out on his sexist behaviour on Reddit.
Zak Brown is not worth of any more than this. He’s already said he’s quit Marxism. “I no longer identify as a Marxist, a Third Worldist, or as any combination of the two.” He’s a collage hipster who has graduated from college and now sees capitalism working for him. So he has abandoned the struggle because now he’s gotten his.