A month of music Mondays: Blaggers

Blaggers ITA: Stress

Published in: on August 30, 2010 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Noted in passing

First, more on the complicated argument between Andrew Coates and Michael Ezra reported here: Triangulating Bobism 1: Harryism and indecency. Takes in Hitchens, the Slaughter faction of the WRP, various issues around the IMG, the decent left, and various other topics.

Two from Bob’s archive which I forgot to link to here: Sylvia Pankhurst and the House of Lords and Folk Marxism and American political culture.

More Ralph Milibandism: Hilary Wainwright. (John McDonnell also has a tribute to Ralph Miliband in the Aug/Sept issue of Red Pepper, but this is not on-line.)

My new favourite blog: Criticism, etc. See, e.g. Andre Breton on Haiti.

A new blog for the blogroll: For Worker’s Power, which so far is a collection of texts by Maurice Brinton, including his 1975-6 Portuguese diary (1, 2) and a polemic with Big Flame.

More bloggeryDan Katz, and then Jim Denham, the latter on useful idiots and George Galloway. // More Shirazism: Frank Kermode, funky covers and the canon. // Hans Kundnani on the new left and the neocons. // Damon Linker on Podhoretz and the neocons. // Arthur Koestler: Jeremy Treglown’s review, insulting Jill Craigie; Jane Purvis defends her; Treglown responds. // James Holmes on James P Cannon and Cannonism. // Jacopedia on Garzon’s suspension and the remembering of the Spanish civil war. // Engage reports on Mike Luft’s walk across the Pyrenees for refugees, re-walking the route of the refugees from Franco. // George Orwell defines the borders of art and propaganda. // Three from Phil Dickens: Communism and the state; anarcho-syndicalism; charity and mutual aid. // Gerda Tara: 1, 2. // Guernica in 3D and in print. // Martin in Portugal.

New at M.I.A. on Kronstadt [h/t Ent.]:
* Anton Pannekoek: Carta a Sylvia Pankhurst (1922)
Kronstadt Izvestia 1-14 (1921)
* Victor Serge: Kronstadt ’21 (1945)
* Ida Mett: The Kronstadt Commune (1938)
* Maurice Brinton: Preface to Ida Mett’s „The Kronstadt Commune“ (1967)
* Ante Ciliga: The Kronstadt Revolt (1938)
* Alexander Berkman: The Kronstadt Rebellion (1922)

An event next week in Derry:

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Leon Trotksy

If our generation happens to be too weak to establish socialism over the earth, we will hand the spotless banner down to our children. The struggle which is in the offing transcends by far the importance of individuals, factions, and parties. It is the struggle for the future of all mankind. It will be severe. It will be lengthy. Whoever seeks physical comfort and spiritual calm, let him step aside. In time of reaction it is more convenient to lean on the bureaucracy than on the truth. But all those for whom the word socialism is not a hollow sound but the content of their moral life – forward! Neither threats, nor persecutions, nor violations can stop us! Be it even over our bleaching bones, the truth will triumph! We will blaze the trail for it. It will conquer! Under all the severe blows of fate, I shall be happy, as in the best days of my youth! Because, my friends, the highest human happiness is not the exploitation of the present but the preparation of the future. – Leon Trotsky “I stake my life” 1937 (to the Dewey Commission – see video below)

I managed to totally miss the 70th anniversary of Leon Trotsky’s death last week, even though it has been on mind to post about it, having just finished Barbara Kingsolver’s superb The Lacuna.

George Orwell noted this in his diary on the 22nd:

The Beaverbrook press, compared with the headlines I saw on other papers, seems to be playing down the suggestion that Trotsky’s murder was carried out by the G.P.U[1]. In fact today’s Evening Standard, with several separate items about Trotsky, didn’t mention this suggestion. No doubt they still have their eye on Russia and want to placate the Russians at all costs, in spite of Low’s cartoons[2]. But under this there may lie a much subtler manoeuvre. The men responsible for the Standard’s present pro-Russian policy are no doubt shrewd enough to know that a Popular Front “line” is not really the way to secure a Russian alliance. But they also know that the mass of leftish opinion in England still takes it for granted that a full anti-fascist policy is the way to line up Russia on our side. To crack up Russia is therefore a way of pushing public opinion leftward. It is curious that I always attribute these devious motives to other people, being anything but cunning myself and finding it hard to use indirect methods even when I see the need for them.

Rustbelt Radical published one of Trotsky’s most moving pieces of writing, “It was they who killed him“, his obituary for his son Leon Sedov, murdered by the  GPU in late 1938.

Also read: Daisy Valera: Trotsky as taught in Castro’s Cuba; Robert S Wistrich: Trotsky’s Jewish question; Liam Mac on Russia TVPermanent Revolution: on the assassination; Alex Snowdon: The Lessons of Trotsky; Ted Sprague: another assassination attempt; Libertarian communist criticisms of TrotskyCultureWares: the icon’s aftermath (from which most this post’s images are stolen, in an act of proletarian expropriation, apart from the one of the stamp, which is from here).

RIP

Tony Judt:

First, Scott McLemee and Timothy Garton Ash. Next, two surprisingly warm and appreciative obits from the heart of the Zionist propaganda machine: Ronald Radosh in PJMedia and Geoffrey Alderman in the JC. See also more tributes in the JC,

Ken Coates:

An obituary on the Aug/Sept Red Pepper is not on line. [Previous.]

Jimmy Reid:

Jim Denham and (showing I’m not one to bear a grudge) Richard Seymour. [Previous.]

Pat Longman:

Martin Thomas remembers a comrade.

John Sankey:

I have to say I never knew, or even heard of, John Sankey, but I found Paul Stott’s tribute to this Class Warrior incredibly moving.

The Lefticon

From Reifying the Left:

Botskyism: A heretical deviation from leftobotism in which one mindless program is replaced by another that has even less public support or relation to political realty.Socialist action is botskyism, as it is a purged deviation from the leftobot Socialist Workers Party (SWP), and is even more marginal.

Leftyworld: The alternate cultural universe that most members of the “radical” left live in. Only members of leftyworld believe that socialists represent “the people”.


Published in: on August 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

A month of music Mondays: Arlo Guthrie

Arlo Guthrie: Deportees

Music elsewhere: check out Sin Dios at Entdinhlichung, Spanish anti-fascist punk.

Published in: on August 23, 2010 at 12:17 pm  Comments (4)  
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From the archive of struggle no.49

Via Entdinglichung, treasures from the back archives of Common Sense. Issue 3 includes Martyn Everett: Anarchism in Britain – A Preliminary Bibliography (1987); 10 has Elisabeth Behrens on workers’ struggles under the Nazis and Harry Cleaver on the gauchos of Argentina; 14 includes Sergio Bologna “Money and crisis: Marx as correspondent of the New York Daily Tribune, 1856-57”; 16 includes his “Nazism and the working class 1933-93″; 17 is largely devoted to Zapatistas with more in 19 and 20 and 22.

I’ve generally neglected this series, leaving it to the more capable Ent., but here are some highlights: Extracts from The Spanish Revolution Vol. I N°3. November 4. 1936; Raya Dunayevskaya: Death, Freedom and the Disintegration of Communism (1956); Tico Jossifort: The Black Sea Revolt and The Revolt at Radomir (on two 1918 workers’ rebellions, in France and Hungary respectively); Rudolf Rocker: Durruti in Berlin (19??); Paul Mattick: Les barricades doivent être retirées – Le fascisme de Moscou en Espagne (1937); Voline: Synthèse anarchiste (1934); The Call/Workers’ DreadnoughtThe Allied intervention in Russia/ Hands off Russia/ The Russian Revolution in danger(1918/1919).

Last edition here.

More catching up

This was meant to be in my last round-up: Don’t blame Bevan, a robust defence of Nye against the Kinnockite scum.

The author, Carl, also has a piece on Christopher Hitchens and prayer and Andrew Coates has a long and very good review of Christopher Hitchens’ Hitch 22. This provokes quite a long comment thread, involving our comrades Mick Hall and Mike Ezra, who recounts the debate in a post at Harry’s Place entitled A Debate with the Indecent Left. The Coatesy comment thread, unlike more or less any at Harry’s Place, is well worth reading.

Meanwhile, as Carl informs me, a furore has raged in the pokier corners of the leftiesphere about said Place, specifically the association with it of one Terry FitzPatrick, street-fighting man, veteran anti-racist and, erm, bon viveur, recently arrested for racism in relation to statements made to Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote and Lee Jasper, black liberation tsar. (When I lived in Brixton, Jasper’s names featured prominently in local graffiti, which described him as a police informer, on which I will not pass comment). Here‘s Andrew again, but more relevant are posts by Richard Seymour, Lee Jasper and especially this series at Socialist Unity: 1, 2, 3, 4. Here are the charges against Fitz, to which he is pleading not guilty. I won’t weigh in on this debate (although the links to HP posts in the following paragraphs will show that I am not chopping them out of my on-line life) except to note that Woolley and Jasper’s faith in bourgeois law as a tool to punish alleged racists is rather in contradiction to their disregard for due process in making a big deal of this before the court rules – in contrast, say, to Paul Stott, an anarchist who prefers not to upset the legal proceedings.

Some unrelated things: Lucha, lucha, lucha! (Mexican wrestling superhero activist comics). Diane Abbott is the real (Ralph) Miliband. The sins of the grandchildren (obliquely Milibandist and related to this). Ron Radosh on the hubris of Peter Beinart and the politics of Father Coughlin and on Howard Zinn’s FBI files. Alan Milburn’s Trotskyist past. The miracle of News Line.

Umissable: John Sweeney’s World Service documentary on Stalin’s “useful idiots“.

Jimmy Reid: Last of the great Clyde-built liners slips off; Jimmy Reid addresses supporters of the sit-in in 1971; YouTube Remembering a comrade: Jimmy Reid. A great round-up of obituaries at Socialist Unity (featuring Joan McAlpine, Paul Corby from Labour Uncut, Councillor Terry Kelly, Mick Hall and Johanna Baxter from Labour List), to which we can add Francis Sedgemore and John McTernan in the Daily Telegraph.

Marxist theory: AVPS on Gramsci, internal class divisions and the party; Alex Snowdon on the united front; Duncan Hallas on the united front; Tony McKenna on Lukacs and class consciousness; David Mitchell on autonomism versus democratic centralism; Permanent Revolution say it’s all Lenin’s fault.

History notes: Chris Nineham on Harold Isaac on the Chinese revolution; Summit Sarkar on a Marxian history of India; Poplar 1921; Peterloo 1819; Carry On Barcelona 1937; the British Library and the Czech Legion; Anarcho-philately;

From the archives: Socialist Standard 1924The Blackshirt 1935; International Socialism 1975 (Hallas on the Comintern and the united front); Workers Power 1980Socialist Worker Review 1990 (Callinicos reviews Tariq Ali).

To add to the blogroll if they’re not already there: Divergenta, Reifying the leftIn praise of small things, Enchanted Alphabet (via Airforce Amazons, in praise of the mantilla).


A month of music Mondays: Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie: All You Fascists Bound To Lose

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm  Comments (5)  
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A month of music Mondays: Chumbawamba

Chumbawamba and Credit To the Nation: Enough is Enough

Published in: on August 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm  Comments (1)  
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Catching up belatedly

Welcome back to the sphere On A Raised Beach, whose un-explained departure caused some concern. La Brigada has been reading Vasily Grossman.

Thanks to Mikey E, my most devoted fan, for the huge amount of traffic I got from Harryistas when he re-posted my material on the Stalinist victims of the anti-Stalinist SWP’s Stalinist practices.

More Harryism: Armin Rosen on Ian Buruma comparing Christopher Hitchens to the Marxist supporters of Japan in WWII.

Left Harryism: Raincoat Optimism on Hugo Chavez.

Totally un-related: The State as a Social Relationship: Gustav Landauer Revived – Dov Neuman of Jewdas interviews Gabriel Kuhn. More on this some other time. Maybe.

Also totally un-related: Coatesy on Koestler and Coatesy on Vincere.

To add to the blogroll: In the hands of the many.

I need quite a bit of time to catch up with: Arthur Bough.

Published in: on August 6, 2010 at 11:50 am  Comments (4)  
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A month of music Mondays: Camaron de la Isla

Camaron de la Isla: En Algeciras Solea Por Bulerias

Published in: on August 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm  Comments (2)  
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