From the archive of struggle: Rosemary Feurer’s Labor History Links

The trial of Giovannitti, Ettor, and Caruso wa...

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What an amazing resource, found via Never Got Used To It.

A teachers’ corner, stuffed with stuff like this:

Women and Social Movements, 1820-1940 - A fabulous teaching resource, with some of it geared toward labor history–though most of it is now subscription-based only. Example: primary documents and lesson plans on women and labor, including the 1909-1910 New York shirtwaist strike,  Lawrence, Massachusetts textile strike of 1912, the 1938 Pecan Shellers strike in San Antonio, and much much more

Lawrence 1912: the Singing Strike

The Singing Strike and the Rebel Students: Learning from the Industrial Workers of the World

Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union: Black and White Unite?

Tenement Museum Lesson Plans including “teaching with objects” “doing oral history” “primary source activities” from elementary level to high school

Center for Working Class studies syllabus library- mostly not history, but great ideas here.

Steeltown USA: A Digital Library of Poetry, Images, and Documents - Another site “provides a variety of resources for secondary and college teachers who want to include attention to work and working-class studies in their courses.

A chronological page, with sections like this:

Labor Organization, Radicalism and Uprisings of the Early 20th century
WWI Era, Postwar Uprisings and Red Scare
1920s
Great Depression Era
World War II & Postwar Era

and timelines like these:

Today in labor history from Union Communication Services
Labor Heritage Foundation timeline
AFL-CIO Timeline of Labor History
An Eclectic List of Events in U.S. Labor History
Samuel Gompers Papers Timeline 1850-1924

Biographies, of folks like Rose Schneiderman:

Places, mainly in the US, but also Latin America.

And a lot more besides. Go feast.

From the archive of struggle

And for our regular round-up, last week saw a bumper crop from Entdinglichung. Below the fold. (more…)

Music Mondays: Isaac Albéniz

Isaac Albeniz: Iberia No 6 “Triana”

Albeniz was a Catalan composer and this Triana is from his late years, written in exile in Paris. A Triana is actually an Andalucian flamenco songform, from the mainly Gitano (Gypsy/Roma) Triana neighbourhood of Seville.

This version is played in 1931 by Harvey Sachs Rubinstein, “the Latino from Lodz”.


Albeniz’s grave in Montjuic, Barcelona.

It’s the third in my series on Catalan music, the previous being Granados. See also this post on Enrique Morente.

Libya: Spanish echoes II

raggle-taggle army

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The commentariat:

Tony Karon: Echoes of Spain?
Robert Zaretsky: What would Orwell do?
Sebastiaan Faber: The Libya crisis and the Spanish Civil War

The politicians:

Kevin Rudd: We shall never forget Guernica.
Ed Miliband: Libya, like Spain, will revolt the conscience of the world).

Previous: Spanish echoes I; Practice in arms; ibn-Poum; Distant echoes; Orwell in Tahrir Square.

Published in: on March 26, 2011 at 10:21 am  Comments (2)  
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Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

From Gene.

Also: The Triangle Walk,  The Forward,  Jewlicious, Jim Kuemmerle,L’Archivista, WNYC, Hebrew Free BurialNational Archives, Remember the Fire,

Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 10:19 am  Comments (4)  
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Poumossible

Traditional street Obituary notes from Bulgaria

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Four losses

Jean-René Chauvin (1918-2011) – obit in English at AWL, in French at Ent.

Tawfik Toubi (1922-2011) – obits at Jewschool and Ha’aretz.

Bob Fitch (1939-2011) - remembered by Doug Henwood and JW Mason (Read Fitch at New Politics.)

Allen Willis (1916-2011) – remembered by Criticism &c.

Books

Chris Faatz on Peter Marshall’s Demanding the Impossible.

The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg. (Beatrix Campbell profiles her here.)

Muslim  terrorists and Jewish spies

Ron Radosh on Peter Beinart.

From the archive of struggle: Generation online

Via Hutnyk, the wonderful Generation Online, and its fantastic reference library.

1968 Wages for Housework G. W. F. Hegel Ludwig Feuerbach Karl Marx Alfred Sohn-Rethel Jean-Paul Sartre Antonio Gramsci Commodity Form Louis Althusser Nicos Poulantzas Georg Lukacs Uneven Development V. I. Lenin Productive/ Unproductive Labour Regis Debray C.L.R.James Lucio Colletti Immaterial Labour George Bataille Pierre Macherey Exodus Antonio Negri Dialectics Guy Debord Hasdai Crescas Andre Glucksmann Braudel - Annales School Saul Alinski Surrealism Aglietta - REGULATION SCHOOL POST MARXISM - Hindess  & Hirst Maurice Godelier Refusal (to work) I.I.Rubin International Situationists Roger Garaudy Resnick/Wolfe/ Rethinking Marxism Piero Sraffa Existentialism Alexandre Kojeve Etienne Balibar Maria Rosa Dalla Costa Silvia Federici

Some fragments, links, translations, etc:

Raniero PanzieriSocialist uses of workers’ inquiry From Spontaneita’ e organizzazione. Gli anni dei “Quaderni Rossi” 1959-1964

Breton and TrotskyManifesto: towards a free revolutionary art.

Gramsci: Notes on Americanism and Fordism.

II Rubin as critic of Negri.

And elsewhere:

Via Criticism Etc:

The HathiTrust Digital Library has made available full-text scans of sixteen pamphlets published byNews & Letters between the years 1960 and 1984. Among them are several classics which have never received the audience they deserve, including Workers Battle Automation (1960) by Black autoworker Charles Denby and American Civilization on Trial (1963), published as an organizational statement, but written by Raya Dunayevskaya. Links are provided below.

•••

Workers Battle Automation (1960)

American Civilization on Trial: the Negro as Touchstone of History (1963)

The Free Speech Movement and the Negro Revolution (1965)
·Includes texts by Mario Savio and Robert Moses

Black Mass Revolt (1967)

China, Russia, USA—State Capitalism and Marx’s Humanism or Philosophy and Revolution (1967)
·A major text which originally appeared in the December 1966 issue of News & Letters as Dunayevskaya’s contribution to a debate on state capitalism with Japanese Marxist Tadayuki Tsushima

Czechoslovakia: Revolution and Counter Revolution (1968)
·Joint statement issued with the Marxist-Humanist Group of Scotland on the U.S.S.R.’s invasion of Czechoslovakia

France, Spring 1968: Masses in Motion, Ideas in Free Flow (1968)

Mao’s China and the “Proletarian Cultural Revolution” (1968)

A Report on the Black-Red Conference: Detroit, Michigan, Jan. 12, 1969 (1969)

Two Articles on New Emerging Forces (1969)
·Unfortunately, the scanned image is missing the first four pages of “The Arab-Israeli Collision, the World Powers, and the Struggle for the Minds of Men”, Dunayevskaya’s analysis of the 1967 war

Maryland Freedom Union: Workers Doing and Thinking (1970)

Notes on Women’s Liberation: We Speak in Many Voices (1970)

Black, Brown and Red: the Movement for Freedom Among Black, Chicano, and Indian (1972)

Working Women for Freedom (1976)

The Fetish of High Tech and Karl Marx’s Unknown Mathematical Manuscripts (1984)

Nationalism, Communism, Marxist Humanism and the Afro-Asian Revolutions (1984 edition, originally published in 1959)
·A major text from 1959, reissued in Britain 1961 by the Left Group in Cambridge with an introduction by Peter Cadogan

And from Entdinglichung:

* Petr Kropotkin: Moderne visenshaf un anarkhie (1913) [Note this is wrongly marked up at archive.org - I've given the correct title here; it means Modern science and anarchy, and is a Yiddish translation of this text. It is published by the Arabyter Fraynd group, which is Rudolf Rocker's group in London, although archive.org says it is published in New York - I can't make it out from the scan. I'm 99% sure this is the translation by Rocker, published in London.]

(more…)

Music Mondays: Tanghetto

Tanghetto: Calles de Piedra

This is Tanghetto, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, who have just started a European tour.

Previous: Ghetto Tango.

Published in: on March 21, 2011 at 2:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wonders of the web

From the highly recommended New Appeal to Reason:

Mohammed Alim Khan, Emir of Bukhara, taken in ...

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1. Russia 1900-1915 in color photographs.  These are beautiful and teach a lot about history. Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky was a pioneering Russian photographer. These photos were taken three in rapid succession with different filters, which then allowed a composite color photograph to be constructed.

2. The Band this is a great fan site,  from Norway, though the site is in English.

Also:

Michael Yates on the decline of the left.

Bob Potter on Marinus van der Lubbe, anti-fascism and Stalinist falsification via Red Star Commando.

Also from the Weekly Worker: Ian Isaac on the miners’ strike; Paul Smith on building marxist culture free of Stalinism (1 & 2).

Paul Buhle on Madison, Wisconsin.

Annarky: Glasgow anarchists 1915.

On Victor Serge:  Pavle R on and What’s Cooking.

Benjamin Kerstein on Stieg Larrson’s politics.

Peter Dreier and Donald Cohen on the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire a century ago.

The AWL’s Martin Thomas on Working-class struggle and anarchism, and later responding to the debate.

The barricades then; the uprisings now.

From the archive of struggle

Selma James and other key readings on wages for housework.

ADDED:

A wonderful series on Georges Heinen and surrealism in Eygpt.

Imagery

This post is indebted to my friend Kellie Strom, whose art you can view here.

I have been digging around the Galeria d’Imatges site, a Catalan blog about graphic design, and found all sorts of wonders. I can’t recommend it highly enough. I hope they don’t mind me publicising them by pasting some of their images here. Please click on the images to go to the original posts.

Socors Roig. Ajut de reraguarda. POUM. Barcelona, 1936. Litografia a 3 tintes (Groc, negre i verd). Il·lustració Casals.

***

***

[Panait] Istrati shared the leftist ideals of [Romain] Rolland, and, as much as his mentor, placed his hopes in the Bolshevik vision. In 1927 he visited the Soviet Union on the anniversary of the October Revolution. He was joined in Moscow by his future close friend, Nikos Kazantzakis. In 1928-29, after a tumultuous stay in Greece (were he was engaged in fights with the police and invited to leave the country), he went again to the Soviet Union. Through extended visits in more remote places, Istrati learned the full truth of Joseph Stalin’s communist dictatorship, out of which experience he wrote his famous book, The Confession of a Loser, the first in the succession of disenchantments expressed by intellectuals such as Arthur Koestler, André Gide and George Orwell. Istrati came back to Romania ill and demoralized, was treated for tuberculosis in Nice, then returned to Bucharest. In fact, the political opinions Istrati expressed after his split with Bolshevism are rather ambiguous. He was still closely watched by the Romanian secret police (Siguranţa Statului), and he had written an article (dated April 8, 1933) in the French magazine Les Nouvelles Littéraires, aptly titled L’homme qui n’adhère à rien (The man who will adhere to nothing).”

The cover above is of The Thistles of the Bărăgan, whose 1957 Romanian cover can be seen here.

***

HERNÁNDEZ, JESÚS. Yo fuí un ministro de Stalin. Mèxic, Editorial América, 1953. Il·lustració de Ramón Pontones (23 x 17 cm.)

Jesus Hernández was born in Spain in 1906. He held left-wing political views and in his youth he joined the Communist Party (PCE). Hernández was later to admit that he took part in a failed assassination attempt on the life [of] Indalecio Prieto, one of the leaders of the Socialist Party (PSOE).

On the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War Hernández was editor of the [C]ommunist newspaper, Mundo Obrero. In September 1936, President Manuel Azaña appointed the left-wing socialist, Francisco Largo Caballero as prime minister. Largo Caballero brought into his government two [C]ommunists [including] Hernández (Education).

Hernández, a strong opponent of the anarchists, spent the next few months trying to persuade Largo Caballero to bring the Anarchist Brigades under the control of the Nationalist Army. During the May Riots in Barcelona Hernández argued that Worker’s Party (POUM) should be outlawed. When Largo Caballero refused, he helped to force the prime minister to resign.

[...] In 1939 Hernández fled to the Soviet Union and became an executive member of Comintern. He soon became disillusioned with the rule of Joseph Stalin and went to live in Mexico.

In his memoirs published in 1953, Hernández admitted that he was following orders from Stalin to oust Francisco Largo Caballero and to get him replaced by Juan Negrin. He also claimed that Stalin did not really care about the Republicans winning the Spanish Civil War and was more concerned with blocking German influence in the country. Jesus Hernández died in 1966.”

***
A related project is Piscolabis librorum. Here is a cover image there of a book on the Stalinist purges in Civil War Barcelona.
And this is from a post about anti-fascist cards after the May Days.
[...] Entre una edició i una altra, però, hi ha vàries pàgines que canvien totalment de contingut i no només de matisos. Això està relacionat amb els fets de maig del 1937. Les pagines més significatives són, doncs, les que corresponen a Largo Caballero (PSOE), president de Govern que dimití arran d’aquests fets i que en la segona edició és substituït per Pablo Iglesias, fundador del PSOE i la UGT però, alhora, l’introductor del marxisme a Espanya. D’aquesta manera, el líder socialista del moment és substituït per un difunt cosa que marca un cert allunyament d’un tarannà partidista tan marcat. El mateix passa amb el fotomuntatge de Los sindicatos deben apoyar al gobierno en el qual els emblemes de la UGT i la CNT tenien un gran preponderància en la primera edició. Aquest fotomuntatge fou substituït -hàbilment i sense cap sigla partidista- per un altre de referit a un difunt il·lustre: Durruti (Durruti murió luchando por la libertad), líder anarquista però de qui la propaganda republicana es va apropiar i el va convertir en una espècie de Ché Guevara avant-la-lettre, de manera que tothom que era d’esquerres podia identificar-s’hi. El dors d’aquests fotomuntatges continuen tenint les mateixes consignes i sil·labari en la segona edició que en la primera, la qual cosa demostra aquesta substitució intencionada d’algunes pàgines concretes.[...]
If you lke this post, you’ll like El Gabinet NegreBibliofilia novohispana and 50 Watts.

The Arab spring/Spanish echoes

703577_photo_1.jpgDave Osler writes:

True, Gaddafi has not won yet. But it is starting to look as if superior military hardware is a telling that advantage that will deliver victory to the Libyan strongman sooner or later.

Analogies have already been drawn with the Spanish civil war [here and here, for instance], which seems to me to stretch the historical parallels somewhat.

Although I haven’t had a chance to think the question through yet, my gut instinct would be to support calls for western governments to arm the rebels. But as far as I am aware, no prominent political figure in the US or Europe has publicly backed such a plan.

Jim Denham has some more compelling analogies: The Morning Star: those wonderful folks who brought you the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact / From Jack London to the scabs of the Morning Star, Socialist Worker and Counterfire. Dale Street also notes George Galloway’s Stalinism:

In his semi-autobiographical work “I’m Not the Only One”, Galloway wrote: “”Just as Stalin industrialized the Soviet Union, so on a different scale Saddam plotted Iraq’s own Great Leap Forward. … He is likely to have been the leader in history who came closest to creating a truly Iraqi national identity, and he developed Iraq and the living, health, social and education standards of his own people.”

And in the comments thread at BobFromBrockley:

Clearly, the SWP are taking a much better line than the reactionary hardcore anti-imp position (the scab position, as Jim Denham rightly puts it) taken by Noah and Calvin Tucker, Andy Newman and John Wight. It would be good to see the SWP revert to Third Camp form, having swayed so long to a Second Camp position. (Interesting that John Wight attributes the SWP’s wrongness to their state capitalist analysis: Tucker, Wight, Newman and co are essentially Stalinists, whose very un-21st century idea of “socialism” always involves a strong state and a strongman at the helm.)

Music Mondays: Granados’ Goyescas

Enrique Granados: Goyescas – 4. Quejas, ó la maja y el ruiseñor

Wikipedia:

Goyescas, subtitled Los majos enamorados (The Gallants in Love), is a piano suite written in 1911 by Spanish composer Enrique Granados. This piano suite is usually considered Granados’s crowning creation and was inspired by the paintings of Francisco Goya, although the piano pieces have not been authoritatively associated with any particular paintings.

[...]The fourth piece in the series (Quejas, ó la maja y el ruiseñorThe Maiden and the Nightingale) is the best known piece from the suite. It resembles a nocturne, but is filled with intricate figuration, inner voices and, near the end, glittering bird-like trills and quicksilver arpeggios. Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez based her 1940 song Bésame Mucho on this melody.

(more…)

Giving the proletariat practice in arms

A very to the point post by Carl Packman: “Karl Marx in the United Nations”:

In a letter to Ludwig Kugelmann on December 13, 1870, on the subject of the combination of civil war with revolutionary wars, Karl Marx opined that socialists should embrace giving “the proletariat practice in arms.”

141 years later, capitalist governments such as the US have been given permission by the UN to arm rebels in Libya.

Today, also, Tory backbencher Mark Pritchard said the “international community should allow rebels access to arms”.

And what have the UK’s Marxist representatives said? Simon Assaf for the Socialist Workerhas said:

It may seem callous to oppose intervention in the face of such harrowing repression. But any Western intervention will come at a heavy price.

Since arming the revolution would count as “Western intervention” I guess that’s out of the question.

The world has turned upside down.

Meanwhile, Renegade Eye explains Bonapartism.

Published in: on March 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm  Comments (2)  

Through the eyes of a corpse

Anarchist histories

Lady Poverty on Rudolf Rocker and anarchism’s liberal roots.

SolFed publish Bob Holman’s history of anarcho-syndicalism in Merseyside. Jim Dick is mentioned, a student of Spanish free educationalist, who later formed a life partnership with Nellie Ploschansky, who was close to Rudolf Rocker and his sons in London. Nellie and Jim crossed the Atlantic after WWI and joined the free school movement there, and crop up in Paul Avrich‘s oral histories of immigrant anarchism and the free schools.

Against Leninism

Sticking with anarchism, the image above is lifted from Phil Dickens’ “Communism through the eyes of a corpse“, a critique of Marxism-Leninism.

From the archive of struggle

From Entdinglichung’s latest. (more…)

Published in: on March 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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International women’s day

UPDATE: Photo by Delilah, who blogs here. Her international Women’s Day post this year is here, and last year’s is here. (more…)

Published in: on March 8, 2011 at 8:25 am  Comments (3)  
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Music Mondays: Nitin Sawhney and Ojos de Brujo

Nitin Sawhney and Ojos de Brujo: Noches en vela

Published in: on March 7, 2011 at 7:29 am  Comments (1)  
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ibn-Poum

My new favourite blog: Journeyman. See for example:

Via the Journeyman, On This Deity. Some recent samples:

In a related vein, a great post from Rustbelt Radical: Egypt, the Commune and Coriolanus; Marx and Shakespeare in Historic Times

And a soundtrack to this post: Nina Simone.

Below the fold, from the archive of struggle, via Entdinglichung: (more…)

Poumastic

Distant Spanish echoes

Michael Totten interviews Stephen Schwartz of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism. (Schwartz is the co-author of one of the most important books in English on the POUM, Spanish Marxism versus Soviet Communism with Victor Alba.)

Your Friend in the North on the Battle for Spain.

The King’s Speech

Is a pack of lies, says Isaac Chotiner, and Christopher Hitchens, and Hitchens again.

“Progressive” [sic] politics

At BobFromBrockley:

Shiraz Socialist publish a couple of shameful articles from the vaults of News Line, the paper of Gerry Healey’s Trotskyist cult the Workers Revolutionary Party. The articles, from 1983, exhibit a particularly disgusting brand of anti-Zionist antisemitism, portraying a reactionary Zionist web that stretches from the “rich Jews” who colluded with Hitler right through to rival Trot group Socialist Organiser, a conspiracy that silences opposition by playing its “anti-Semitic trump card” – phrases that have become all too common on the left. Anyway, the articles are relevant now because they contain a defence of the tyrant Muammar Gaddafi as anti-imperialist: try and swallow the words “in support of the Libyan masses under their leader Muammar Gaddafi.” And it is relevant to the “Progressive London” post because it generously quotes Ken Livingstone defending the WRP. Ken claims News Line “gives you an objective presentation of the news and political developments and supports the base struggles of the working class in industry and the community” and describes his enemies in the Labour Party as “agents of the Begin government”. I had forgotten how far back Ken goes with this “anti-imperialist” swamp. More on this sort of thing from Andrew Coates, David Osler and Michael Ezra and (from the archive) Sean Matgamna and Paul Anderson.

Also these two posts by Louis Proyect: “Qaddafi and the Left” and “Qaddafi and the Monthly Review” (re-posted at Kasama).

The new Stalinism

Darren Redstar on the new Stalinist witch-hunting of anarchists at Socialist Unity.

Pacifism: objectively pro-fascist, or objetively pro-imperialist?

Louis Proyect has a long piece attacking Gene Sharp (who I don’t know enough about to defend, although I find many of Louis’ accusations questionable). He includes this quote from the NYT:

Some people suspect Mr. Sharp of being a closet peacenik and a lefty — in the 1950s, he wrote for a publication called “Peace News” and he once worked as personal secretary to A. J. Muste, a noted labor union activist and pacifist — but he insists that he outgrew his own early pacifism and describes himself as “trans-partisan.”

Louis continues, interestingly, about AJ Muste, which struck me as interesting, given a discussion here a while back. Not often, I imagine, that Proyect and Michael Ezra are in agreement.

The Muste connection is interesting. In the 1930s, Muste was the leader of a group called the Workers Party that spearheaded major labor struggles. In James P. Cannon’s “History of American Trotskyism” there is a useful discussion of Muste’s importance. When Cannon found his own Trotskyist group growing closer to Muste’s, he broached the subject of a fusion that Muste was agreeable to. The Trotskyists were at that time doing what is called “entryism” in Norman Thomas’s Socialist Party. When they were expelled, they united with Muste as the Socialist Workers Party, reflecting each group’s antecedents.

Eventually Muste abandoned Marxism and became a Christian pacifist. As a leader of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Muste became critical in the formation of the Vietnam antiwar coalitions that would challenge the imperialist war-makers. One crucial difference between Muste and Sharp was their chosen arena of struggle. Muste targeted his own government while Sharp saw his role as providing leadership to struggles elsewhere, particularly in the Soviet bloc countries. During the Korean War Sharp spent nine months in a federal prison in Danbury, Conn., as a conscientious objector. He also took part in some civil rights protests but from the 1960s onwards his emphasis has been on providing consultation to people in other countries.

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