Daniel Buntovnik’s Hurt Feelings and Pseudo-intellectualism

Edit: I’ve redone this post because my first response was poor. This one is more formal.

Paper will tolerate anything. Daniel Buntovnik’s recent attacks on myself and Leading Light Communist Organization are a bungle of lies and misinformation. Much of his polemic comes down to the accusation that “Third Worldism” is a First World thing. In sophomoric style, he peppers his polemic with the likes of Edward Siad, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and who cares. Said is rolling in his grave. It is almost embarrassing how easily Buntovnik’s nonsense is exposed. Is “Third Worldist” political economy a First World thing? One only need to look at that most famous resident of Denver, Colorado, Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, who had this to say about the global class struggle:

“It is said that capitalism managed to prolong its life to our day because of a factor which perhaps Marx did not fully consider. This was the exploitation of colonial empires by the industrial countries of the West. This gave fresh life and prosperity to it, at the expense, of course, of the poor countries so exploited.” (1)

Julius K. Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania, and resident of Ontario, similarly stated:

“The only difference between the two situations is that the beneficiaries in the international situation now are the national economies of the rich nations — which includes the working class of those nations. And disagreements of the spoils, which used to exist between members of the capitalist class in the nineteenth century, are now represented by disagreement about the division of the spoils between workers and capitalists in the rich economies.”(2)

Kidding aside, I could have listed a dozen similar examples of Third World writers and revolutionaries articulating “Third Worldist” political economy. Even more humorous is that, in his own document, Daniel Buntovnik points to Lin Biao as an example of “Third Worldism.” Lin Biao wasn’t a First Worlder last time I checked. The reality is that “Third Worldism” has a long heritage that includes numerous Third World and First World writers. As a trend, it is bigger than myself, Prairie Fire, or LLCO. Daniel Buntovnik’s orientalist and sectarian lenses erase a major intellectual trend so that only myself and Prairie Fire remain in his reality. He is guilty of exactly of what he accuses others of. In his mind, he only hears our two voices because he fails to listen to the chorus of others, including Third Worlders, who say the same thing.

The reality is that Leading Light Communist Organization is the most important example of political trends going back a half century. It is an astounding level of arrogance and ignorance that prevent Daniel Buntovnik from seeing what is obvious to anyone who has been paying attention. Leading Light is a multinational revolutionary organization that publishes in many languages. It is an organization with a multinational leadership. For example, the majority of Leading Light’s top leaders are from the Third World. Daniel Buntovnik wears the lenses of orientalism. He only sees what his imperial provincialism will let him see. And, in his world, Third World people can’t lead global organizations or trends. The reality is that Leading Light of the Bangla Zone, like Leading Light in North America, has a long distinguished history. It emerged from the National Socialist Party and People’s Army of Bangladesh. The reality is that Leading Light has villages that it organizes in on a daily basis.

Here are Leading Lights organizing women for revolution and against domestic abuse on international women’s day in one of the villages:

bangala 1

Here is a Leading Light leader speaking at a meeting of activists and intellectuals:

bangala 4

Here is a class organized around Leading Light Communism:

bangala 3

bangala 2

Here are tribal people’s from one of the villages giving a red salute in Leading Light uniforms:

bangala 5

This is just a small sample of the work of Leading Light is involved in on a daily basis. But, again, these people in the images are invisible to Daniel Buntovnik. The only image he sees of “Third Worldism” in action is that of myself and Prairie Fire. There is an old Maoist saying of those fools who cut the toes to fit the shoe. That is exactly what he does. Anyone looking at Leading Light honestly would see that most of their work is in the Third World, most of their cadre, most of their leaders. But, his worldview just won’t let the data speak for itself.

Perhaps, Daniel Buntovnik could show similar images of his own work, or the work of those he champions in Bangladesh. Of course he can’t because the reality is he has no interest in what is really going on on the ground there. We do. He is only interested in sectarian attacks against myself and the Leading Light. It is pathetic that a First Worlder like himself would attack the poorest people in the world just because his ego got bruised.

He says he’s only seen myself and Commander Prairie Fire involved in Third Worldism. This is only because he hasn’t looked. A wealth of third world people have made Third Worldist arguments. He claims Third Worldism is a first world thing, if he thinks that, then he’s clearly done no investigation. The first prime minister of India is a simple example. Although he was a reformer and a social democrat, he had Third Worldist political economy.

It appears this way to him because he’s trapped in his First Worldist, bubble. He accuses us of orientalism (racism), yet he’s so blinded by his own first world centric view, that he hasn’t even bothered to look at actual third world intellectuals. This is actual racism.

All his post really did was produce an overly long blog post with as much BS as possible as an angry response to his inability to demonstrate he was correct in a debate. It’s just a dressed up wall of text intended to appear as an academic paper. He’s thrown in so many false accusations and dressed them up in an academic way. It’s sophomoric.

What makes Third Worldism correct over First Worldism? It’s ability to provide better explanations for phenomena and predictions of outcomes. This is not scientism, we’ve gone into great detail that he clearly hasn’t read.


  1. Turning Money Into Rebellion edited by Gabriel Kuhn, Pg. 30
  2. Turning Money Into Rebellion edited by Gabriel Kuhn, Pg. 31


3 thoughts on “Daniel Buntovnik’s Hurt Feelings and Pseudo-intellectualism

  1. First Worldists lack morality. It’s much more moral for you, as a First Worlder, to acknowledge your privilege and give the Third World back what you stole from it. First Worldists don’t see this and its no wonder they view socialism as a game.

    Daniel quotes E. Said without seeing Said’s obvious Third Worldist conclusions. The only thing a First Worlder can do is colonize as their entire culture is rooted in colonialism. There is no space left for any kind of resistance in the First World, and if there was a First World “socialism” would be entirely chauvinist.

  2. Daniel Buntovnik should read Trotsky’s “Trade Unions in the Epoch of Imperialist Decay” and then start explaining to us how large the US Labor Aristocracy is, and how long the Labor Bureaucracy has been completely imperialist.

    The fact is, you could reconstruct much of Third-World thought out of what Trotsky has wrote in this essay alone. Trotsky makes other statements elsewhere that are even more explicitly Third-Worldist in orientation.

    In the specific case of the American unions, Trotsky has this to say in his Perspectives on World Development:

    For what does America need? She needs to secure her profits at the expense of the European toiling masses, and thus render stable the privileged position of the upper crust of the American working-class. Without the American labor aristocracy, American capitalism cannot maintain itself. Failing Gompers and his trade unions, failing the skilled well-paid workers, the political regime of American capitalism will plunge into the abyss. But it is possible to keep the American labor aristocracy in its privileged position only by placing the “plebians,” the proletarian “rabble” of Europe on rations of cold and hunger, rations rigidly fixed and stingily weighed.

    Trotsky is explicit here: without the American unions, run by men like Gompers, American capitalism would vanish into an abyss. For Trotsky, American capitalism is only possible because of the existence of the American labor aristocracy.

    To quote Trotsky again, this time in his Europe and America:

    Such, in its main features, is the material power of the United States. It is this power that permits the American capitalists to follow the old practice of the British bourgeoisie: fatten the labor aristocracy in order to keep the proletariat shackled. They have entered into this practice to such a degree of perfection as the British bourgeoisie would never even have dared to consider.

    Trotsky here is pretty explicit that the power of the American capitalists resides in their bribery of the American labor aristocracy. Trotsky says they have perfected this technique far more than the British ever did.

    Clearly, authentic Trotskyism is more oriented toward Third-Worldist political economy than the ramblings of Daniel Buntovnik, who is unable to identify the imperialist Labor Lieutenants in charge of the AFL-CIA, and to even begin speculating on the size of the imperialist Labor Aristoceacy in the imperialist nations.

    The fact that there is no real movement to speak of to combat the Labor Bureaucracy on a Marxist-Leninist base in the imperialist nations itself is profound evidence that the entirety of the labor apparatus in the imperialist nations represent nothing more than a Labor Aristocracy. Only on the periphery of imperialism do you even begin to see authentic communist resistance to the Labor Bureaucracy. Taking Trotsky’s own analysis of the Trade Unions itself leads one to a type of Third-Worldist political economy, and people like Daniel Buntovnik can’t hide that fact.

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