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James Mason

Siege, 39

Cooler heads

With even the most minor experience within Movement circles and activities, you yourself will probably be—in any given outside situation of a tense nature—the coolest head present. Whenever the situation does become heated or aroused in any way, never assume that other “cooler heads” will prevail—for to do so runs the risk that the problem may escalate out of control with you being right in the middle.
Never forget the number one priority of any revolutionary: to maintain; to survive at all costs.
We can’t allow ourselves the luxury of common anger and the resultant outlets that such anger inevitably seeks and finds. If there’s no clear-cut advantage to any potential conflict, then stay out of it, head it off, avoid it absolutely. Suicide pacts are of no use. Policies of mutual destruction are only feasible where huge resources exist. Punitive measures are currently an unaffordable expense for us.
It is a mistake of the most childish sort to abandon the greater, higher goal, in favor of pursuing some momentary thing involving some practically meaningless sidetrack. Whatever move you make, whether it involves punishing, leaving alone, or even rewarding any person or any thing, make sure that it is so calculated that it is you and the Movement who will ultimately profit from it. And it matters not whether you apply any one of the three options to situations where spur-of-the-moment emotion might want to apply another, just so long as you do not shoot yourself in the head but rather emerge the final beneficiary of your own decision.
It is here where SUPREME SELF-DISCIPLINE is demanded.
For the young revolutionary Movement, the old concept of the “Mexican standoff” should become well understood. Whenever tangling with equal or superior force over some tributary or even lesser matter, you should consider yourself to be “batting one thousand” if you can walk away from the situation alive, free and intact. Not to mention with the added experience which has cost you nothing. That is a definite victory of sorts. The “Mexican standoff”, therefore, is about the best we, in our limited and tedious position, can hope for. We must learn to be able to base all decisions and actions accordingly—to our own benefit.
The time for chest-thumping, false theatrics, and heroics is past. We must act prudently and wisely in each case henceforth if we are to be around and in the position to exercise GENUINE HEROICS when the actual day for them arrives. We must continue to survive until that day.
Be assured, cooler heads will prevail. It is up to you to make certain that the cooler head belongs to YOU.

Vol. XIII, #7 – July, 1984

Why we are reproducing articles from Siege can be surmised: here.