Poumicated

I have not posted much here for ages. Here are some radical history items I’ve spotted in my recent browsing.

libcom.org launches new working class history Facebook page

Today, 30 July, anniversary of the first recorded strike in North American history, we are launching a new working class history page on Facebook to celebrate our history: people’s history.

Rosie Bell: Flippant Nihilist

I only know Alexander Cockburn as an editor of the creepy Counterpunch, and his airy dismissals  of anyone who thought Israel Shamir a dodgy piece of work.

There’s a fascinating account of him by Paul Berman.

Cockburn is reminiscent of Christopher Hitchens – the English journalist who lives in America and writes stylishly about American and international affairs. The political framework may be leftwards, the cultural references English literature, quoted with ease to point the moral and adorn the tale.[...]

Naomi Weisstein: The Chicago Women’s Liberation 
Rock Band, 1970-1973

A Memoir and Reflection on Badass 
Boffo Revolutionary Feminist MusicImage

In Chicagoland, in 1970, almost every teenage girl listened to rock. They considered it their music—hormonal, quasi-outlaw, with screaming guitars and a heavy, driving beat. But it was sooo misogynist! This wasn’t the Beatles’ playful woman-affectionate songs.

 For many years the dominant trend in scholarship on C.L.R. James has been to emphasize his cultural and literary writings. Arguably the most popular way to frame his legacy has been to situate him as a forerunner to cultural studies, post-colonial studies, and identity politics. Grant Farred, for example, has criticized “earlier modes of James studies” that addressed “debates that occupied sectarian James scholars” and welcomed “the centrality of cultural studies within James scholarship,” while Brett St. Louis has argued that the “march of identity politics and post-modernism” is “irresistible,” and that James’s work is of value precisely because it “grapples with a proto-post-marxist problematic.”

ImageDan La Botz: Ricardo Flores Magón – Mexican Anarchists and American Socialists

Claudio Lomnitz.The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón. New York: Zone Books, 2014. 594 pages. Notes. Index of Names. Photos. Hardback. $35.95.

If it were a house, Claudio Lomnitz’s The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón would be a rambling, decaying mansion with various jerrybuilt stories and wings, a ramshackle place filled with archives and artifacts, old political posters and antique typewriters, a building straddling the U.S.-Mexico border, a shared abode whose residents are an interesting and odd collection of characters, some of them lovely people, some noble, and others quite disagreeable, coming and going at all hours, sometimes reciting poetry. And don’t be surprised if, while you’re visiting, the place is raided by Furlong or Pinkerton agents, by the police or the Texas rangers who carry off some of the boarders to prison; some of whom will be gone for years at a time.

Ian Birchall: Lenin: Yes! Leninism: No?

That Lenin was an important revolutionary leader, and that his life and work repay our study today, are not in doubt. But what of “Leninism”?

Paul Le Blanc: Leninism, No?

There is a distinctive political approach and body of thought that can legitimately and constructively be termed Leninism.

Marshall BermanTodd Gitlin: Hurling the Little Streets Against the Great: Marshall Berman’s Perennial Modernism

For Marshall Berman, the street was not just the site where modernism was enacted; it was modernism incarnate. {…}

 Ingo Schmidt: Rosa Luxemburg – Economics 
for a New Socialist Project

Right-wing militias killed Rosa Luxemburg and dumped her dead body into the Landwehr Canal after the Spartacus uprising in Berlin. Social democrats and communists finished off her intellectual and political legacy by putting her on their respective pedestals. She became a principal witness against Bolshevik organizing practices for the former and was praised as a co-founder of the German Communist Party and a revolutionary martyr by the latter.

Andrew Coates: Jean Jaurès: The Anniversary of his Assassination, July 31st 1914. A Tribute.

Jaures l'Humanite

Jaurès was killed blindly, yet with reason:/‘let us have drums to beat down his great voice’. (The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy. Geoffrey Hill.)

A hundred years ago today, Jean Jaurès the leader of French socialism (SFIO, Section française de l’Internationale ouvrière), and Editor/Founder of l’Humanité were preparing an article against the coming war. Jaurès had supported the call of the Socialist International, launched by Keir Hardie and the Frenchman, Édouard Vaillant, to launch a general strike if armed fighting broke out.

By 1914 Europe was on the brink of war. At the end of July an emergency meeting of the Socialist International was held in Brussels, which endorsed a call for peace. On the 29th of July Jaurès spoke with Rosa Luxemburg, at a rally of seven thousand people against militarism and the coming confrontation at the Cirque Royal. He had already warned that fighting would lead to a catastrophe, “Quel massacre quelles ruines, quelle barbarie!” (Discours de Vaise. 25th July 1914) Now he talked of his “hatred of our chauvinists” and that we would not “give up the idea of a Franco-German rapprochement”. This looked less and less probable. Jaurès’ newspaper column (published after his death) would describe of the climate of “fear” and “anxiety” spreading across the continent.

Jaurès paused from his journalism and went to the near-by Café du Croissant to eat. At 20.45, the nationalist student Raoul Villain approached him and fired two bullets. One stuck his neck and was fatal. Villain claimed to have acted to “eliminate an enemy of the nation.”[...]

100 years after Jean Jaures’ murder, his name still inspires

Jean Juares

By Dick Nichols, Barcelona. July 31, 2014 — Green Left Weekly — When you travel through France, there’s one name that appears most in public space ― on streets, schools and metro stations. Not Jeanne d’Arc, Napoleon, or even World War II resistance leader and later president Charles de Gaulle. No, the name you can pretty safely bet you’ll find on some sign in the next sleepy village is that of Jean Jaures. Jaures was France’s most famous socialist leader and deputy, a tenacious and passionate fighter for workers’ rights and against war, anti-Semitism, clericalism and colonialism. Trying to explain his huge impact, the young Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky said in 1909: “As an orator he is incomparable and has met no comparison … it is not his rich technique nor his enormous, miraculous sounding voice nor the generous profusion of his gestures but the genius’s naivete of his enthusiasm which brings Jaures close to the masses and makes him what he is.”

One hundred years ago, on the evening of July 31, an extreme right-wing nationalist called Villain shot Jaures dead in Montmartre’s Cafe du Croissant. Jaures, accompanied by the editorial staff of l’Humanite, the socialist daily he had founded in 1904, was having dinner before finishing the next day’s edition. [...]

Archive ImageKate Redburn: Unite Queer

Out in the Union, a new book by Miriam Frank, shows that unions have been crucial to the growth and success of the modern LGBT rights movement. {…}

Ian Birchall reviews Ernie Tate’s ‘Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s & 60s’

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal readers can read an excerpt HERE. To order a copy, email terryconway@tiscali.co.uk.

August 6, 2014 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Anyone who was active in Britain’s Vietnam Solidarity Campaign (VSC) in the late 1960s will remember Ernie Tate, whose energy and enthusiasm made such a contribution. Now, 45 years later, he has published two volumes of memoirs from the 1950s and 1960s.

The first volume deals with the period 1955 to 1965. Tate was born in deep poverty in Belfast – he left school at 13 and tells us he “had never known or met anyone who had been to a secondary school, never mind university”. His only university was the revolutionary movement, and to judge by his later development it gave him a fine education.

Andrew Coates: Imperialism, Anti-Imperialism, and the Left. A Reply to Andrew Murray.

Imperialism, the Marxist historian Victor Kiernan claimed, shows itself, “in coercion exerted abroad, by one means or another, to extort profits above what simple commercial exchange can procure.” Andrew Murray begins Imperialism has Evolved since 1914, but it still Rules to World (Morning Star. 2.8.14. reproduced on 21st century Manifesto), by citing this assertion to observe that the “wars of 1914 and 1939 are the outstanding examples of what happens when that international system of extortion breaks down.” “Break-down and crisis” are as much a feature of “imperialism” as growth and slump are of capitalism. We might explain this, as a critic of Kiernan once noted, as the result of an inherent “atavistic” tendency to revert to type. [...]

Portales, Suceso (1904-1999)Suceso Portales

 Martin Oppenheimer: New Light on the KKK

 Sit-ins at lunch counters by black students began in Greensboro, North Carolina, on February 1, 1960. Blacks had traditionally not been served there or anywhere in the South at that time. Within a week the sit-ins spread to Durham and Winston-Salem. Eleven of the first sit-ins were within 100 miles of Greensboro. After many arrests, and assaults by white hoodlums, on July 25 all Greensboro stores targeted by the sit-ins agreed to serve blacks on an equal basis.

 Alan Wald: Astonished by the present – The impatient life of Daniel Bensaïd

Daniel BenSaid

 Let us start, like Dante, in the middle. At age twenty-two, Daniel Bensaïd (1946–2010), a French-Algerian-Jewish philosophy student, vaulted eagerly onto the world stage of the international youth radicalization of 1968. His political stardom came by way of a leading role in the actions igniting the largest general strike in the history of France. At the suburban campus of the University of Paris at Nanterre, Bensaïd joined with his German-Jewish classmate Danny (“The Red”) Cohn-Bendit (b. 1945) to form the March 22nd Movement. This was a surprising partnership of anarchists, situationists, Trotskyists, and Maoists who seized an administrative building to proclaim demands addressing class discrimination and bureaucracy in the educational system. Bold for its time, the Nanterre occupation is customarily credited with detonating the chain of student strikes and protests climaxing in the sensational actions in Paris six weeks later: The May 6 demonstration of 20,000 at the Sorbonne and the May 10–11 all-night battle on the Left Bank.

Angiolillo’s vengeance

The story of Michele Angiolillo, an Italian anarchist who assassinated the repressive Spanish Prime Minister Antonio Cánovas in 1897

E. Haberkern: When the Red States Really Were Red

 The labor- and third-party movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have been studied and written about extensively by academics and writers on the left. Most readers of this journal are probably familiar with much of this material. This book, however, is of particular interest today for a couple of reasons. For one thing, the author concentrates on the South and emphasizes the biracial nature of the movement.

The tragic week, Spain 1909 – Murray BookchinGeneral strike, Barcelona, 1909

A short history of the ‘Star of Peru’ Bakery Workers’ Federation (FOPEP)

Mark Kosman: World War I and 100 years of counterrevolution

accuserJohn Maclean: the accuser of capitalism

To mark the 100th anniversary of the first world war, People & Nature today publishes Accuser of Capitalism: John Maclean’s Speech from the Dock on 9 May, 1918. (Introduction here, text of speech here.) Maclean, a Scottish Marxist, was one of a small number of socialists across

Europe who denounced their governments’ participation in the war, urged workers to resist it, and hoped that it would be superceded by class war.

The Slocum massacre, 1910Descendants of some of the victims of the massacre

Poumastica

In the Atlantic:  The Lawyer Who Told FDR He Couldn’t Censor a Trotsky Speech.

From Howie’s Corner:  Why do they call themselves “Socialist” Unity? / Martin Smiths “confidential resignation” / Is the Socialist Party heading for a split? / The “forgotten” Socialist Party (of Great Britain)..

From the archive of struggle, no.78

I have recently discovered Monoskop Log. Here are some treasures from it:

*Zenit, International Review of Arts and Culture, No. 1-43 (1921-26) [SH/FR/DE/RU]

*Graham Roberts: The Last Soviet Avant-Garde: OBERIU – Fact, Fiction, Metafiction (1997)

*Mary Gabriel: Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution (2011)

*Peter Linebaugh: Ned Ludd and Queen Mab: Machine-Breaking, Romanticism, and the Several Commons Of 1811-12 (2012)

*Marcel Duchamp: The Afternoon Interviews (2013)

And from a similar site, UbuWeb:

*Man Ray (1945-1998): Les Mystères du château de Dé (1929) / Emak Bakia (1926)  / Le Retour à la raison (1923)  / L’Étoile de mer (1928)  / Home Movies (1923-1937)  / Home Movies (1938) / The Bazaar Years (1990, documentary)

*Klaus Kinski Singt Und Spricht Berthold Brecht:

  1. Und Was Bekam Des Soldaten Weib? 6:16
  2. Der Anstreicher Spricht Von Kommenden Grossen Zeiten (Intro) 0:56
  3. Der Barbara-Song Oder Die Ballade Vom Nein Und Ja 10:58
  4. O Du Falada, Da Du Hangest… 7:06
  5. Ballade Vom Weib Und Dem Soldaten 6:17
  6. An Die Nachgeborenen 6:39
  7. Kinderkreuzzug 1939 14:05
  8. An Meine Landsleute 3:50
  9. Vier Aufforderungen An Einen Mann Von Verschiedener Seite Zu Verschiedenen Zeiten 1:36
  10. Vom Sprengen Des Gartens 0:54

In the Marxist Internet Archive:

*Added to the Andreas Nin ArchiveFinal Declaration to the Police 21st June 1937

*Added to the Grace Lee Boggs Archive in the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL)The Chinese Sailors “Mutiny” (as Ria Stone) (1942) / “March on Washington” Movement Stirs Again (as Ria Stone) (1942) / Negroes, March on Washington! (as Ria Stone) (1942)

*Added to the Irving Howe Archive in the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL)Labor Action Replies to Christian Science Monitor (1942) / The Saturday Evening Post Slanders the Jewish People (1942) / Labor Action Answers California Eagle Attack (1942) / Stalinists Defend War Profiteers! (1942) / Jim Crow – Who Will Win the New Orleans Race? (1942)

*Added to the Hugo Oehler Archive in the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL)The Negro and the Class Struggle (series) (1932) / The S.P. “Lefts’” Program (1932) / The Slogan of the Defense of the U.S.S.R. (1932)

And here’s a sample of new material added to the wonderful Early American Marxism website: (more…)

Poumathon

(Montage stolen from The Tablet. Clockwise from top left: La Laetti/Flickrurbanartcore.eu/Flickrfrischundsauber/FlickrChristian Dalager/Flickr,ms.akr/FlickrXurxo Martínez/Flickrsvennevenn/Flickr, and Sr. X/Flickr.)

Some reviews of Jonathan Sperber’s new biography of Karl Marx: an amusing and virulently anti-communist one with a Jewish angle by David Mikics at The Tablet; a perceptive though not wholly factually accurate one by Richard J Evans in the LRB.

Good stuff from Ian Bone: Game of Trots, which you’ll find hilarious if you follow the British leftuscules; If only everyone on the left was like Andrew Burgin (a surprising outbreak of non-sectarian friendliness); and some interesting archival stuff on Class War and Red Action, and on the latter’s original electoral vehicle, the Red Front.

A very interesting article: Faith, flag and the ‘first’ New Left, E. P. Thompson and the politics of ‘one nation’ by Michael Kenny.

Also interesting: Jeffrey C Isaac on “the mirage of neo-communism”, a critique of Jodi Dean. Also in DissentCheerleaders for Anarchism by Nikil Saval.

From Infantile & Disorderly, a re-reading of Danny Burns’ important pamphlet on the anti-poll tax movement, and what it means today.

Revolutionary biscuits

..and then you’ve got your Peek Freans Trotsky Assortment

Published in: on May 22, 2013 at 11:32 am  Comments (2)  
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Poumadrama

Radical Archives: Mina Graur: Rudolf Rocker debates Otto Strasser.

The JLC’s call for a posthumous medal of freedom for the great Bayard Rustin.

Ross Wolfe: Some preliminary thoughts on Endnotes’ critique of Platypus (for the pointyheads amongst you)

Coatesy on Applebaum on totalitarianism and on the Movement for Workers’ Control.

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Published in: on April 30, 2013 at 11:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Poumerotica

Some miscellaneous reading:

From Mehmet Ali to Mubarak: a history of Egyptian nationalism.

Trotsky’s killer in Santa Fe Haagen-Dazs.

Ross Wolfe on utopia and programme.

From Insurgent Notes: Matthew Quest: C.L.R. James’s Conflicted Intellectual Legacies on Mao Tse Tung’s China; John Garvey: Trotsky Reconsidered: Claude Lefort’s Perspective. [Hat tip: Ent.]

From Critique Sociale: Victor Griffuelhes et l’action syndicalisteLire Rosa Luxemburg : entretien avec Peter Hudis.  [Hat tip: Ent.]

Michael Löwy: Der Urkommunismus in den ökonomischen Schriften von Rosa Luxemburg – Für eine romantisch-revolutionäre Geschichtsauffassung (1989)   [Hat tip: Ent.]

Flesh is Grass: The Spirit of ’45.

Interview with Noah Gataveckas on the Ted Grant and the spectre of Trotsky.

Peter Camejo: Problems of Vanguardism (1984)

Dave Renton revisits dissident Marxism.

Published in: on April 14, 2013 at 6:58 pm  Comments (1)  

On this day 100 years ago: Paterson

Strike leaders Patrick Quinlan, Carlo Tresca, ...

Strike leaders Patrick L. Quinlan, Carlo Tresca , Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Adolph Lessig, and Bill Haywood. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the Modern School:

April 3, 1913 - Pietro Botto, socialist mayor of Haledon, N.J., invited the Paterson silk mill strikers to assemble in front of his house. 20,000 showed up to hear speakers from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Upton Sinclair, John Reed and others, who urged them to remain strong in their fight. (From Work Day Minnesota)  The Patterson strike lasted from Feb. 1 until July 28, 1913. Workers were fighting for the eight-hour workday and better working conditions. Over 1800 workers were arrested during the strike, including IWW leaders Big Bill Haywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. Five were killed. Overall, the strike was poorly organized and confined to Paterson. The IWW, the main organizer of the strike, eventually gave up. (From the IWW: Its First Seventy Years, by Fred Thompson and Patrick Murfin).

Je suis marxiste

“Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.” – Groucho Marx

Welcome to 2013 at Poumista. Here’s a taster of some stuff I’ve been reading lately.

Bloggery

Norman Geras: Long overdue justice for Victor Jara; War memory: what is it good for?

David Osler: Two Milibands on the monarchy.

Book reviews

David Osler: Maonomics by Loretta Napoleoni; Bash the Rich by Ian Bone.

From the archive of struggle

At radicalarchive.org:

*Murray Bookchin: Anarchism vs Syndicalism (1992)
*Murray Bookchin: using x-rays for hair removal and fitting children’s shoes (1962)

Espace contre ciment:

*Rudolf Rocker: Seid aktive Nichtwähler! (1924)

At David Osler’s blog:

*Duncan Hallas: Cult Becomes a Cropper (1985) [on Healy's WRP, but eerily relevant to the current enjoyable crisis of the British SWP]

Happy new year: wake up and fight

Via Lists of Note, here’s some rulins from Woody Guthrie.

As 1941 drew to a close, the great Woody Guthrie sat and drew up an illustrated list of 33 resolutions for the following year, 1942. The charming result of his efforts, entitled “New Year’s Rulin’s,” can be enjoyed below.

Transcript follows. Image — a larger version of which is here — courtesy ofThe Woody Guthrie Foundation

Image: The Woody Guthrie Foundation; Large version here.

Transcript

NEW YEAR’S RULIN’S

1. WORK MORE AND BETTER
2. WORK BY A SCHEDULE
3. WASH TEETH IF ANY
4. SHAVE
5. TAKE BATH
6. EAT GOOD – FRUIT – VEGETABLES – MILK
7. DRINK VERY SCANT IF ANY
8. WRITE A SONG A DAY
9. WEAR CLEAN CLOTHES – LOOK GOOD
10. SHINE SHOES
11. CHANGE SOCKS
12. CHANGE BED CLOTHES OFTEN
13. READ LOTS GOOD BOOKS
14. LISTEN TO RADIO A LOT
15. LEARN PEOPLE BETTER
16. KEEP RANCHO CLEAN
17. DON’T GET LONESOME
18. STAY GLAD
19. KEEP HOPING MACHINE RUNNING
20. DREAM GOOD
21. BANK ALL EXTRA MONEY
22. SAVE DOUGH
23. HAVE COMPANY BUT DON’T WASTE TIME
24. SEND MARY AND KIDS MONEY
25. PLAY AND SING GOOD
26. DANCE BETTER
27. HELP WIN WAR – BEAT FASCISM
28. LOVE MAMA
29. LOVE PAPA
30. LOVE PETE
31. LOVE EVERYBODY
32. MAKE UP YOUR MIND
33. WAKE UP AND FIGHT

 

Published in: on January 1, 2013 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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After the storm

Català: Placa Andreu Nin a Biblioteca Pública ...

Català: Placa Andreu Nin a Biblioteca Pública de les Rambles de Barcelona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gabriel Schoenfeld had an article about why he supported Mitt Romney. Bizarrely, he thanks Max Shachtman. [h/t TNC]. Eric Lee also writes on Shachtman’s legacy. Remembering Hilda Friedstein: Hashomer Hatzair activist and animal rights pioneer. James Bloodworth:  Chavez’s dark side; It’s time to give Christopher Hitchens a statue. Andrew Coates: On the left press; European revolutionaries and Algerian independence 1954-1962.

Blogging Victor Serge: A wonderful series by Adam David Morton. The Lectern on The Case of Comrade Tulayev. More links from Sarah J Young.

Blogging George Orwell: On the publication of The Road to Wigan Pier.

From WSWS: Exhibition of photographer Agustí Centelles in Barcelona: Many unanswered questions about the Spanish Civil War; Wolfgang Brenner’s Hubert in Wonderland: A life in the shadow of Stalinism; The reactionary politics of Grace Lee Boggs; The dead-end of Catalan independence.

Below the fold, some items from Entdinglichung’s Weekly Worker feature: (more…)

Talking History

Reificationofpersonsandthings posts a wonderful video of EP Thompson and CLR James talking history in (presumably) the mid-1980s. I can’t find much information about this film, apparently released in 2007 in Ipswich, Suffolk by Concord Media.

According to Amazon,

This classic filmed conversation between two radical historians covers many issues: from the threat of nuclear war to the significance of the Solidarity movement in Poland, the independence struggle in Zimbabwe and the overthrow of the Shah in Iran. Do these movements offer encouragement to those suffering repression in other parts of the world? What does the future hold for India and the black African states? The film illustrated with archive footage and music is provided by Spartacus R.

Spartacus R died two years ago. He was the bassist in the great Osibisa. Here is his MySpace page.

Update: Histomatist has also posted it.

Update 2: Principia Dialectica on EP Thompson and George Lichtheim on William Morris.

Published in: on October 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm  Comments (1)  
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From Film Threat, via J:

THE BOOTLEG FILES: PEOPLE OF THE CUMBERLAND

BOOTLEG FILES 259 “People of the Cumberland” (1937 pro-union propaganda short).

LAST SEEN: Available at online vide sites.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: I am not aware of its video release.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A seriously obscure title.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE : It is possible, but not likely at the moment.

“People of the Cumberland” is probably among the most obscure films to be featured in this series – I only first learned of it a few weeks ago, and only then I stumbled over it by accident. But as with many obscure films, it has a strange and fascinating history that deserves attention.

This 20-minute film was the product of Frontier Films, a collaborative effort of left wing creative artists who sought to use motion pictures as a vehicle to spread their political messages. The group had its genesis with the the Worker’s Film and Photo League, a Communist organization created in 1930, which later transformed into Nykino in 1935, before becoming Frontier Films in 1936. The group’s members included prominent independent and avant-garde film leaders of the 1930s, including Willard Van Dyke, Paul Strand and Leo Hurwitz.

Frontier Films wanted to depict aspects of American life where left-of-center political input saved the day. In the case of “People of the Cumberland,” that meant the arrival of labor unions. Although Frontier Films operated without the blessing or backing of any specific union, its pro-union message was loud and clear – or, in the case of this film, it was condensed into the succinct slogan “Get wise, organize!”

(more…)

Linkage

Jim D on Eddie Yeats, the Higginsites and me: a confession. Tendance Coates on Richard Seymour (the Palme Dutt of the SWP) versus Hitchens. Gus Tyler on Milton Friedman’s inventions. Eric Lee on the turn to left antisemitism of the American SWP in 1972. Marko Attila Hoare on Montenegrins, Serbs and anti-fascists.

From Entidinglichung’s archives: (more…)

Published in: on August 10, 2012 at 9:26 am  Comments (1)  

Slow

I know I’ve been a slow blogging here lately. Here are some of the things I’ve been reading in my absence, if you know what I mean. Beatrix Campbell and the “invisible” women of Wigan Pier. Hitchens’s introduction to Orwell’s Diaries. Algeria: Fifty Years of Independence. An evening with the SWP. Malatesta on Bakunin as “too marxist”. Book notes: Michael Staudenmaier on the Sojourner Truth Organization. Back to that first International? In what senses can we describe certain political, religious and social movements of the English Revolution (1640-1660) as radical?

Below the fold, some of the gems from Entdinglichung’s weekly workers series. (more…)

¡Pistoleros!

Carlo Tresca (1879-1943) was an Italian-born A...

Carlo Tresca (1879-1943) was an Italian-born American anarchist, newspaper editor, and labor agitator. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the wonderful Christie Books site:

Book Review: ¡Pistoleros! – The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg, Vol. 3: 1920-24 by Phil Ruff

Spanish anarchism and revolutionary action – 1961-1974 by Octavio Alberola and Ariane Gransac, ChristieBooks (Kindle edition)

The anti-Francoist guerrilla in Galicia — Mario Rodríguez Losada (O Pinche) by Antonio Téllez (Kindle edition)

And, below the fold, From the archive of struggle, no,75, mostly via Entdinglichung: (more…)

Reading

Some material that has been on my to read list for a few weeks.

Shawn Hattingh: Venezuela and the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’: Beacon of hope or smoke and mirrors? (anarkismo.net)

“There are some hopeful signs. Sections of the Venezuelan working class have been willing to protest and go out on strike when they have felt that they have been attacked, or their interests undermined, by the state, capitalists, the PSUV and the ‘Bolivarian’ elite. It is here that the hope for the future of working class struggles in the country lies. If a genuine social revolution is to come about such struggles are going to have to be built on and transformed into a counter-power that can challenge the pro-US faction of the ruling class, imperialism and the ‘Bolivarian’ ruling class faction. This can be done by winning reforms today from the state, local capitalists and corporations from imperialist powers, and building on them so that momentum is gained in a revolutionary direction. By definition this also means such struggles will have to break with the state and organise outside and against it. The working class, therefore, needs to organise against the state and capitalists to force concessions from them; and not go down the path of embracing sections of the elite in the name of ‘Bolivarianism’. It is, for that reason, vital that the working class identify the ‘Bolivarian’ elite and the state as class enemies, and recognise the state for what it is: a central pillar and instrument of the ruling class, which can and does also generate an elite from its ranks.” [via]

Solidarité Ouvrière: Quelques notes sur la résistance ouvrière au nazisme

“On a tendance à voir dans l’Allemagne de 1933 à 1945 un pays entièrement nazifié, oubliant que le national-socialisme était une réponse de la bourgeoisie à la fois à la crise du capitalisme et à la combativité de la classe ouvrière. C’est d’abord contre le mouvement ouvrier allemand que s’est dirigée la violence terroriste de l’Etat nazi. Ainsi, de 1933 à 1939, 225.000 personnes sont condamnées pour motifs politiques à des peines de prison plus ou moins longues et un million d’Allemands et d’Allemandes sont envoyés en camp de concentration pour raisons politiques. De 1933 à 1945, 32.500 anti-fascistes allemands sont condamnées à mort et exécutées pour motifs politiques et on estime à 1.359 le nombre de personnes sont assassinées par des agents du régime nazi entre le 30 ja2nvier 1933 et le printemps 1936.” [via]

David Childs: Fritz Theilen: Member of the Edelweiss Pirates, the children who resisted Hitler

“Fritz Theilen was a working class lad, who as a leading member of the anti-Nazi Edelweiss Pirates narrowly escaped public execution. He was born in the Ehrenfeld district of Cologne, an industrial, working-class area, in 1927. Like most other school boys he was enrolled in the Hitler Youth. He was expelled in 1940 for insubordination but on leaving school at 14 he was taken on as an apprentice toolmaker by Ford motors, which had opened in Cologne in 1931. There he saw the exploitation of slave labourers.” [via]

Published in: on May 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

The anti-Stalinist left: some notes from the literature. Part II: The New York intellectuals

Part II in a short series of notes from the academic literature on the anti-Stalinist left.

THE AMERICAN ANTI-STALINIST LEFT AND THE NEW YORK INTELLECTUALS

In this edition, we focus on the American anti-Stalinists, especially the New York scene around James T Farrell, Dwight Macdonald and the Partisan Review. (more…)

The anti-Stalinist left: some notes from the literature. Part I: The French anti-Stalinist left

This post is the first in a short series that include extracts from the academic literature on the anti-Stalinist left. Part of the purpose of the series is to argue that there has been a strong a cohesive entity that could be called “the anti-Stalinist left”, a position I take in opposition to those who would simply say that some leftists have happened to be anti-Stalinist. Hence, it is not intended to form some kind of coherent narrative, but rather gathers together evidence from the literature for the existence of such an entity.

THE FRENCH ANTI-STALINIST LEFT

In this edition, we focus on the anti-Stalinist intellectuals associated with the surrealist movement, including Andre Breton and Georges Bataille.  (more…)

From the archive of struggle, no.73: sound edition

From Ubuweb:

Bertolt Brecht’s Audio Works A sweep of recordings and interpretations of Brecht’s plays and speeches, both historical and contemporary. Includes Brecht singing two songs from “Die Dreigroschenoper” (rec. 1928/29), his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee (1947), plays by the legendary Berliner Ensemble from the mid-50s, as well as archival radio plays of Brecht’s work including “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,” “Mr Puntila & His Man Matti,” “In The Jungle of Cities,” “The Life Of Galileo,”The Trial of Lucullus,” “A Respectable Wedding,” “Schweik in the Second World War,” and “The Threepenny Opera.”

George Grosz Das Gesicht der herrschenden Klasse: 57 politische Zeichnungen (1921); Mit Pinsel und Schere: 7 Materialisationen (1922)

Kurt Schwitters Anna Blume: Dichtungen (1919); Memoiren Anna Blumes in Bleie: Eine leichtfassliche Methode zur Erlernung des Wahnsinns für Jederman (1922)

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Not exactly sure if thee fit here, but there’s a fascinating post at the Meretz USA blog about Inventing Our Lives, a new documentary on the history and evolution of the kibbutz movement, including some interesting details about the history of the Israel left (the Hashomer Hatzair linked Kibbutz Artzi Federation, the Mapam/Meretz socialist-Zionist tradition, and the alternative left Sheli party).

And Facing the War deploys an excellent paragraph by Lezcek Kołakowski to think about anarchist rhetoric in the anarchist movement and other problems of the left today.

And Julian Wright reviews some books about Jean Jaures.

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Other material from Entdinglichung beneath the fold: (more…)

From the archive of struggle, no.71

From Entdinglichung:

auf archive.org:

- Esther Corey: Lewis Corey (Louis C. Fraina), 1892-1953: A Bibliography with Autobiographical Notes (1963)
– Louis Fraina: Syndicalism and Industrial Unionism (1913)

auf La Bataille Socialiste:

- Fernand Loriot/Pierre Monatte/Boris Souvarine: Pour la solidarité prolétarienne (1920)

auf Libcom:

Loren Goldner: Worker Insurgency and Statist Containment in Portugal and Spain, 1974-1977
– Edouard Berth: Anarchism and syndicalism (1908)
– Ted Perlmutter: Comparing Fordist cities: urban crisis and union response in Detroit 1915-45 and Turin 1950-75 (1898)
– Studs Terkel: Working: people talk about what they do all day and how they feel about what they do (1972)
– Sam Dolgoff: The anarchist collectives: workers’ self-management in the Spanish Revolution 1936-1939 (1974. Einleitung von Murray Bookchin)

im Marxists Internet Archive:

- Yamakawa Hitoshi: A change of course for the proletarian movement (1922)
– Amadeo Bordiga: Le marxisme face à l’Église et à l’État (1949)
– Eugene Debs: A Letter from Debs on Immigration (1910), The McNamara Case and the Labor Movement (1912), The IWW Bogey (1918),Sacco-Vanzetti:Socialist Leader Makes Stirring Plea for Two Italian Labor Men  (1922), The New Age Anniversary: The Socialist Leader Says Support Labor Press that Opposed the War (1922), God’s Masterpiece: Woman  (1922), From Atlanta Prison:A Letter from a Prisoner with a Warning  (1922), Railroad Unions General Strike:Debs Says Concerted Action of Rail Unions Can Bring Victory to All Strikers (1922)

Published in: on April 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm  Comments (2)  
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