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  • Vol. 2 · Iss. 8
    Organizers of LeftExpo, the interregional festival for leftist regions and players, are calling for submissions for lectures for the festival's fourth incarnation, scheduled to be held in three weeks.
    The theme for this year's festival revolves around the life and works of Eugene Victor Debs, the American socialist and labor leader who became the most successful Socialist candidate for President of the United States when he earned six percent of votes cast with 900,000 votes.
    Debs was active as a union organizer and activist, and was one of the founders of the Industrial Workers of the World as well as an influential member of the Socialist Party of America.
    Lectures based on topics related to Debs's work and life, including unionism, American socialism, and about Debs himself, are especially sought.
    Submissions can be made via telegram to Caelapes.

    By Jane McAlevey, for Jacobin,

    By Jane McAlevey,

    Vol. 2 · Iss. 8
    Power comes in many forms, but for the working class it always boils down to the same fundamental ingredient: unbreakable solidarity. In my two decades of organizing across the United States, we almost always win when workers are in the driver's seat. We lose when we forgot about solidarity and think we might succeed with easier, less confrontational activities like lawsuits, policy mobilization, and cozying up to elected officials.
    Today's struggle for social change requires the same worker-focused strategies and methods that built enough power to achieve the amazing social and economic gains made by ordinary people from the 1930s through the 1960s. Everything old is new again.
    Think the "gig economy" is something fresh and exciting? Think again. It promises (and delivers) the same endless insecurity, lousy benefits, extreme power inequality, and demoralizing treatment faced by our grandparents who labored in the coal mines and garment factories of the 1920s. Granted, the bathrooms are a lot nicer now, and if you work for a tech company you sometimes get free M&Ms.
    Workers and worker-organizers in those times knew that they could not address the depredations of ruthless employers without confronting the question of power — both in society at large and on the shop floor itself. Building real workplace democracy is about identifying the already existing, organic leaders of the working class and helping them move into position to successfully lead their coworkers into battle.
    The goal is what 1930s-era radical labor organizer William Z. Foster called "systematic mass participation." Building that kind of mass participation should still be the principal goal of rank-and-file and staff organizers today.
    The Class Struggle Theory of Power
    Capitalism has changed over the past eighty years, but certain things remain the same. People get up in the morning, go to work, and find out that they live in the same old nasty world where you can be fired for any reason — or no reason at all — and someone is always cutting your benefits and messing with your schedule.
    The basis for organizing workers today, then, is the same as it's always been. In my years as a labor organizer and negotiator, I do this by adhering to a class struggle theory of power, in which I identify and mentor organic worker-leaders by engaging in hard fights and constant testing.
    I can't do this on the shop floor because paid staff are legally barred from private-sector workplaces before the union is formed (and often through the first contract-negotiations period); I do it by demystifying power and teaching workers how to get it for themselves.
    Organizers, whether paid or unpaid, are leaders, defined as people with real followers who trust them and support them — not employees or colleagues. A true leader can only serve with the active support of their community or other workers. Most social-change activists, by contrast, are not organizers.
    Organic leaders are ordinary people inside and outside the workplace who are already leaders before anyone sends them to some "leadership development" workshop. These leaders are the essential ingredient to building power by developing unbreakable solidarity — a solidarity that will not back down in the face of adversity and will do what it takes to win.
    The most critical skill of an organizer, then, is to be savvy about identifying the most respected workers and persuading them to support the union or fight for any other cause. The role of organizers is to identify the organic leaders and coach them through the inevitable fight with the employer, which is often ugly and difficult. Organizers can only find these leaders by having serious conversations with all of the workers.
    By the same token, mass participation only happens when thousands of organic leaders rise up from the ranks and help their fellow workers to understand their own power to change their lives for the better. Any labor organizing strategy that puts power in the hands of consultants, union staff, pollsters, political operatives, or backdoor deal-making by top union leadership is doomed to failure. Unfortunately, this characterizes much of what passes for "organizing" these days, in both labor and community arenas.
    Vol. 2 · Iss. 7
    After only two months in fascist hands, Alliance Against Nazis was returned to the protection of The Red Fleet after the fash founder "Kjez" was deleted by moderators for unknown rules violations. Several other nations were deleted around the same time, including "Sarkamil" in Nazi Europa.
    Alliance Against Nazis is a historic antifascist region with a history stretching back to 2011 in the region "The Alliance Against Nazis." It was later retired and protected by the Syndicated Red-Black Tendencies, another historical leftist region, before it was turned over to The Red Fleet. In 2014, The Red Fleet refounded Alliance Against Nazis to use as a "jump point"—a region that is late in the update list and can be used to stage offensive and defensive operations against fascist regions. In January, the founder was deleted, making the region vulnerable to fascist attack.
    Alliance Against Nazis was invaded by Nazi Europa under the leadership of Captain Woodhouse and now-permanently banned player Verborgenen Herrn. After the Security Council passed a resolution to Liberate AAN, preventing fash troops from applying a hidden password, Woodhouse abandoned the operation. Herrn defected from Nazi Europa, taking with him the Nazi soldier roster and several troops, who continued to squat in the Liberated region.
    A refound attempt failed when Nazi troops allowed the region to cease to exist at update, not realizing that moderators had implemented a ban on regions with "Nazi" in the name. When moderators lifted the ban, Kjez was the first into the region, establishing himself as the region's founder.
    Nazi observers seem to have been unaware of the deletion of Kjez. Leftist troops were alerted through the successful implementation of RainbowStalin, an early alert system designed to notify players of important nation deletions.
    Vol. 2 · Iss. 7
    LeftExpo, the NationStates-wide festival for leftist regions and players, is planned to return in October 2016 for its fourth incarnation.
    Last year's theme was "Comrades, Come Rally!" as leftists celebrated the first anniversary of The Internationale's refounding which coincided with the anniversary of Eugène Pottier writing the words to the eponymous leftist anthem.
    This year, organizers have planned the expo as a celebration of the life and works of Eugene Victor "Gene" Debs, an American socialist, union activist, and the most successful Socialist candidate for President of the United States in US history. Organizers have planned "exciting events for this year's outing, including a renewed Lecture Series, conversation and music sharing via Radio Internationale, regional showcases, and more" that will be announced in coming weeks.
    Anyone who is interested in writing a lecture for the LeftExpo 2016 Lecture Series is invited to telegram @Caelapes.
    Vol. 2 · Iss. 6
    Comrade Members of The Internationale went to the ballots again in July to elect their Comrade WA Delegate and General Council.
    Sitting delegate Caelapes declined his nomination, announcing his resignation from political office in The Internationale after having served as Delegate or Custodian unbroken from September 2014 onward.
    Three candidates emerged for Comrade WA Delegate: former delegates Auhl and World Anarchic Union, and newcomer Scieca (AciecS), originally from North Korea. In the instant-runoff vote, Scieca claimed victory over her challengers before resigning from the World Assembly, withdrawing from consideration and leaving the region. After second-preference ballots were distributed, World Anarchic Union prevailed over Auhl and returned to the Delegate seat after previously serving during the Second Defense of The Internationale. Days later, Scieca revealed that she had participated in a raid with Kaiserreich, an imperialist and fascist region, and was banned from North Korea and The Internationale's forum.
    Timchiland returns as the region's Councillor for External Affairs, a post he had previously held in the first General Council elected in November 2015. Irish Peoples Republic, another past Comrade WA Delegate, was elected Councillor for Activities in a hotly contested race. The Councillorship for Information remains vacant with no candidates entered.
    The fourth General Council's term began on July 18.
    Vol. 2 · Iss. 6
    The Internationale has launched a new website, https://theredand.black, which is integrated with its offsite forums.
    Although the website was soft-launched in mid-July, it did not officially go live before today, when the Regional Message Board Archive, historical delegates, and Red + Black archive stretching back to the first issue were made fully public. "Our old website used WordPress, was not mobile-friendly, and was completely separate from our forum. The new website integrates seamlessly with our forum and looks and works phenomenally on mobile devices."
    The Regional Message Board Archive has been expanded to include all posts from The International, the region's first refuge region; The Red and Black, its second; and posts made to The Internationale during its first refoundation. The posts span a period of six years, beginning in 2010. New to the RMB Archive are proper handling of suppressed posts, proper mobile display, and the inclusion of date-appropriate pretitles.
    "A future project related to historical nation data is in the works, but we are able to offer an early glimpse with this integration into the Regional Message Board Archive," explains Caelapes. "When rendering each post from the database, we take the timestamp of the RMB post and grab the most recent pretitle—such as 'The Rose Commune of...'—for the poster based on timestamp. This also applies to quotes and [nation] tags that are not explicitly marked 'short'. Because the database is not yet complete, some nations are not yet included, but more will come online as data continues to be processed." Mobile display is handled by using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to make display windows narrower than typical computer screens act like the mobile version of NationStates, while wider displays function just like the standard site.
    A page has also been established showing all elected Comrades WA Delegate in The Internationale's history, stretching back to Proletaire's election in September 2009. The General Council, established with the adoption of the Charter in 2015, also has its history included. Expansion of the historical section over the next several months is planned as The Internationale Historical Restoration Project continues its work.
    Exclusive publication of the Red + Black
    The new website will serve as the exclusive publication source for the Red + Black, bringing an end to previous attempts to publish the newspaper simultaneously on NationStates itself and on the offsite community. Caelapes explains the decision, saying, "With full control of publication, we will be able to cover topics without needing to adjust our editorial stance on certain topics. Independence of NS Left media is an important step in keeping our coverage uncensored by NationStates site staff."
    Lastly, a complete archive of Red + Black articles stretching back to Volume 1, Issue 1 in December 2014 have been uploaded, allowing players to read the full gamut of news offerings offered over the past two years. "New articles will be posted into this system, which integrates with our forum for comments and displays the articles in a really highly polished manner," says Caelapes.
    Comrades from all regions who are interested in writing for the Red + Black or being a part of the editorial staff of the publication are welcomed to get involved by joining on The Internationale's forum.
    Vol. 2 · Iss. 5
    The Internationale, a historic region that has been at the vanguard of the NationStates Left since its foundation in 2009, has again been successfully refounded by its regional leadership.
    Following the deletion of former custodian nation Illa Passiflora in January, The Internationale again moved into exile as its longtime leaders organized its defense and eventual refounding. Several long-time members received the first-class Hero of The Internationale medal for their efforts in securing the region, including former Comrade WA Delegates World Anarchic Union, Proletaire, Auhl, and Irish Peoples Republic. Other comrades receiving the medal for their efforts were Pangaean Peoples, Ratateague, Timchiland, and Godless Monkey.
    While the community moved to The Red and Black, where it thrived due to heightened visibility especially in the wake of the World Assembly Secretary-General election, the name of the community remained "The Internationale" and it was surely widely expected that another refound attempt was coming. The Internationale had first been refounded on June 30, to coincide with the anniversary of Eugene Pottier writing the words to the song that became the region's namesake. Fearing that reusing this date would lead to a possible intercept by fascist forces, regional leaders instead chose to refound The Internationale on June 15.
    On June 15, 2009, The Internationale was originally founded by La Pasionaria and other comrades who came to NationStates from the failed NS2 project. Among these comrades was Proletaire, who appropriately has assumed the Custodianship of The Internationale in his successful refound.
    The Red + Black began as the news service of The Internationale and has since become the news service of the wider NS Left. It certainly is good to be home!
    L'Internationale sera le genre humain!
    Vol. 2 · Iss. 4
    After leading all three preliminary rounds, Caelapes has won the general election for the first-ever Secretary-General of the World Assembly.
    Early votes went to Edward Rump and Hillary Anders, parodies of US Presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. Caelapes became the first independent candidate shortly after the polls opened, running on the campaign slogan "FULLCOMMUNISM for NationStates!" With widespread support from leftist regions, Caelapes stormed to first place in the polls and remained there throughout the first rounds of the election.
    Early opposition to Caelapes included Edward Rump, who placed second in the first round but fell out of the top ten in later rounds. Mikeswill, a candidate running on a promise to abolish the Security Council, secured Nazi and fascist endorsements to secure third place in the first round and fifth place in the second, but fell out of favor in the final preliminary round. Raiders' choice candidate We Are Not TBH had strong support through the preliminaries, but rallied fewer than 300 votes in the general election.
    Kaalmi, running as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, seemed poised to be the anti-communist candidate of choice in the general election, placing second in the final round and gaining the endorsement of Nazi and fascist regions. Instead, joke candidate The Salaxalans stormed into second place, holding steady around 380 votes behind Caelapes for most of the race while Kaalmi fell to fourth, only gaining 349 votes. A late rally for Salaxalans brought them within 250 votes of Caelapes, but it was too little to stop the speeding train.
    Anti-communists tried every trick in the book to derail Caelapes's candidacy, from accusing Caelapes of using illegal puppet-voting scripts to take the lead to false flags accusing the campaign of racism. All of these were discredited, most notably the allegations of puppets being the only support behind Caelapes, as the general election began with votes restricted to World Assembly nations. With each individual player only being able to vote with one nation in accordance with NationStates rules, Caelapes still had the most supporters, securing roughly forty-one percent of the vote.
    The success of Caelapes's candidacy also came as a benefit to his home region, The Red and Black. More than one hundred nations moved into the region after the start of the election, with many drawn by the successful campaign.
    Winning the election as Secretary-General came with only a green "WA Secretary-General" badge designed similarly to the one given to WA Delegates.
    Caelapes plans to begin implementing his first Five-Month Plan for the World Assembly soon.
    Vol. 2 · Iss. 4
    Castlemaine, Anticom's co-founder, has been labeled delete-on-sight (DOS) by NationStates moderators after posting what moderators described as "ongoing harassment of Misley and vile accusations of grossly illegal behavior" regarding Caelapes, formerly known as Misley. Delete-on-sight is the harshest level of punishment on NationStates, and is equivalent to a permanent ban: any future nations created by Castlemaine will be deleted without warning.
    Castlemaine had previously been known as Aragon and Occitania before that nation was deleted after threatening to hack The Internationale's forum to access Red Fleet data. Several other nations belonging to Castlemaine were deleted for harassment and impersonation, such as the nations "Fascist Proletaire" and "Mizlee." Moderators publicly warned Castlemaine after the last round of deleted nations that the next offense would result in a puppetsweep. Due to the nature of the latest offense, moderators launched a DOS discussion that lasted two days and was concluded March 20 with a decision to permanently disinvite Castlemaine from NationStates.
    Anticom's leaders have named an award for Castlemaine, describing him as "a true hero who fought for what he believed in and never said die."
    Vol. 2 · Iss. 4
    After Nazis and fascist sympathizers took control of Alliance Against Nazis, a former Antifa military jump point, Antifa commanders are looking to revitalize the alliance with new and more active members.
    Alliance Against Nazis was invaded by Nazi forces on March 15. It was previously the jump point for Antifa soldiers. Jump points are late-updating regions that allow military troops to move in to earlier-updating regions in defensive operations or invasions.
    Regions who are interested in taking up the anti-fascist fight are encouraged to contact Vippertooth33, administrator of the Antifa region, and to select a regional representative. Antifa does not take a political stance beyond its staunch opposition to fascism - leftist regions, right-wing opponents of fascism, and non-political antifascists alike are welcomed.
    Those interested in supporting antifascist military efforts may join existing organizations such as The Red Fleet, Korean Peoples Army, or Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army, or they may organize their own military forces.
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