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From Harry Barnes:

Karl Marx reviews Downton Abbey:


“His family history, the history of his house etc – all this individualises the estate for him and makes it literally his house, personalises it. Similarly those working on the estate have not the position of day-labourers; but they are in part themselves his property, as are serfs; and in part they are bound to him by ties of respect, allegiance and duty….It is necessary that this appearance be abolished.”

From “Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844″.

Karl Marx will next be reviewing the programme “Who Do You Think Your Are?”.

From Paul Stott:

Of all the anti-fascists to make a stand, perhaps the bravest are those who did so in Nazi Germany.

Jean Julich was one of the Edelweiss Pirates, teenagers who rebelled against Nazi society, and physically fought the Hitler Youth, at great cost to themselves. Jean died in October last year aged 82, but I have only just come across this excellent obituary from the Telegraph of 7 February 2012. It is a tremendous testament to the ability to resist.

And:

The quote below is from today’s Telegraph Review, where amongst the book reviews Dan Jones considers Paul Preston’s work on the Spanish Civil War and its fascist butchery, The Spanish Holocaust.

Jones writes:

“Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell and the rest sent back graphic dispatches from the front line, and their work has left the historical impression that Europe’s first open war between fascists and the combined forces of communism, socialism and social democracy was well covered and understood. Yet away from the eyes of the war reporters, argues Paul Preston, there was another Spanish Civil War, in which thousands of civilans were systematically murdered, and their deaths subsequently obscured”.

Whilst accepting his latter point, the former is a re-writing of history. In this analysis, all those Anarchists in Barcelona and much of southern Spain must have been a figment of the imagination. I do hope that Preston’s book is considerably better than Jones’ summary above!

From the Fat Man:

But where Anarchist practice really triumphs is in the course of everyday life among common people who would not be able to endure their dreadful struggle for existence if they did not engage in spontaneous mutual aid, putting aside differences and conflicts of interest. When one of them falls ill, other poor people take in his children, feeding them, sharing the meagre sustenance of the week, seeking to make ends meet by doubling their hours of work. A sort of communism is instituted among neighbors through lending, in which there is a constant coming and going of household implements and provisions. Poverty unites the unfortunate in a fraternal league. Together they are hungry; together they are satisfied …

A miniscule society that is anarchistic and truly humane is thus created, even though everything in the larger world seems to be in league to prevent its being born – laws, regulations, bad examples, and public immorality.

Elisée Reclus (1894)

Papadopoulos, who spent 17 years abroad with MSF and returned to her native Greece three years ago, sees hope among the rubble. “What keeps me going is an increasingly strong sense of solidarity among the Greek people,” she said. “Donations to MSF, for example, have of course gone down with the crisis, but donors keep giving, they remain active.”

She sees a refreshing new phenomenon of self-organisation and social action. “In the past year of this crisis I have seen really encouraging, really exciting things happening – people are seeing the power of organising themselves. We have to support them.”

Jon Henley, this from the latest in a series of illuminating reports on the social impact of the crisis in Greece.

Here is just one example of why Greece is still a great place and why you should go there and spend your money, despite all the negativity in the press. But it is also a reminder that, whilst the financial markets are settling into the warm glow of complacency with the conclusion of the latest deal, the crisis is far from over and that none of the major economic contradictions have been addressed. Even though EU leaders think that they have successfully quarantined Greece (a policy that is the antithesis of solidarity), Portugal, Italy, Spain and Ireland are waiting in the shadows and even the Netherlands can’t meet the terms of the extraordinarily restrictive fiscal rules that they so assiduously helped to impose. There is no resolution, events are merely pausing for breath.

From the Shirazites:

From the archive of struggle no.66

On This Deity:

* 1ST JANUARY 1804THE BLACK JACOBINS AND THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION

*1ST JANUARY 1994THE ZAPATISTA UPRISING

*4TH JANUARY 1960THE DEATH OF ALBERT CAMUS

*8TH JANUARY 1972THE DEATH OF KENNETH PATCHEN

*11TH JANUARY 1943THE ASSASSINATION OF CARLO TRESCA

From Bastard Archive, via Ent.:

Anarcho-Surrealist Insurrectionary Feminists, September 1973 from Melbourne/Australia from Bastard Archive, with the article Desire and Need by Murray Bookchin.

J.A. Andrews – A brief biography

by Bob James. Published by Monty Miller Press. Originally published in 1985. John Arthur Andrews was an Australian anarchist and early member of the Melbourne Anarchist Club in the nineteenth century. This brief biography by Australian anarchist historian Bob James covers his emergence into the Australian labour and anarchist scene at the turn of the century.

From archive.org via Ent.

* Dittmar Dahlmann: Land und Freiheit. Machnovschina und Zapatizmo als Beispiele agrarrevolutioärer Bewegungen (1986)

* Arthur E. Adams: The Great Ukrainian Jacquerie (1977) Article in the anthology The Ukraine, 1917-1921: A Study in Revolution, edited by Taras Hunczak, 1977

Anarchism Tree (by Hogeye Bill)

Image by Adam Crowe via Flickr

From libcom via Ent.:

-  John Foster: Class Struggle and the industrial revolution: early industrial Capitalism in three English Towns

- Robert Weldon Whalen: Like fire in broom straw: Southern Journalism and the Textile Strikes of 1929-1931

- Antonio Negri: Books for Burning: Between Civil War and Democracy in 1970s Italy

- Lucien Van Der Walt/Michael Schmidt: Black Flame: The revolutionary class politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism

- Benjamin Franks: Rebel Alliances: The means and ends of contemporary British anarchism

- Errico Malatesta: At the Café: Conversations on anarchism

Anarchist Alexander Berkman speaking in Union ...

From the Irish Anarchist History archive:

Anarchist Workers Alliance expose fascist meeting – April 1981

Alexander Berkman -The Only Hope of Ireland (1916)

From anarkismo:

Del desgaste del modelo neoliberal al ciclo de protestas. by Horacio Vergara Tello

polonia.gifAniversario del golpe militar en Polonia (dic. de 1981) y del colapso de la URSS (dic. del… by Frank Mintz

“The Anarchist Movement In Egypt 1860–1940″ by Anthony Gorman (2010)

*Emilienne Morin

mejias_collazo.jpg*Las luchas revolucionarias de la región, a calzón quitado by Daniel Tirso Fiorotto

facon_grande.jpg*Facón Grande: en la Patagonia cuentan proezas del legendario carrero entrerriano by Daniel Tirso Fiorotto

From the Marxist Internet Archive:

*Added to the Raya Dunayevskaya ArchiveState Capitalism and the Bureaucrats, 1960. This is what Criticism etc has to say about it:

A January 1960 text by Raya Dunayevskaya—”State Capitalism and the Bureaucrats“—has just been released by the Marxists Internet Archive. This article originally appeared inThe Socialist Leader, the newspaper of the Independent Labour Party. Although long past its heyday of the 1920s and 1930s, the ILP maintained a newspaper until it re-merged into the Labour Party in 1975.

Dunayevskaya had just visited Italy to attend an international conference of tendencies adhering to a state-capitalist (regarding the USSR) position, which was organized by Onorato Damen. The text of speeches she delivered to workers in Genoa and Milan on this occasion can be found in the microfilmed Raya Dunayevskaya Collection (see #9470 and #9474). Dunayevskaya also visited the UK on this trip, meeting with Peter Cadogan, who was instrumental in publishing her Nationalism, Communism, Marxist Humanism and the Afro-Asian Revolutions in Britain in 1960, and the Scottish Marxist-Humanist Harry McShane.

The text is a stirring indictment of the theory and practice of what can be called the high era of automated production. This piece is notable for Dunayevskaya’s discussion of such figures as sociologist C. Wright Mills, the philosopher Hannah Arendt, and Norbert Weiner, the father of now largely forgotten school of cybernetics. Note that in this piece she cites her 1947 manuscript, Marxism and State Capitalism (see The Raya Dunayevskaya Collection, #472-#504). This was the text that was to be developed into Marxism and Freedom, published in 1958.

*Added to the French  Boris Souvarine ArchiveAprès le Congrès de Tours et la scission salutaire [1920]

*Added to the Maurice Brinton Internet Archive:  France: Reform or Revolution, Solidarity Leaflet (May 1968); France: The Theoretical Implications, Solidarity, V, 8 (March 1969); The Events in France, Solidarity, V, 9 (April 1969); A Question of Power, Solidarity Leaflet (July 1969)

*Added to the Chris Harman ArchiveResponse to Christopher Hitchens (1994) (Letter to the London Review of Books)

*Added to the new Arthur Rosenberg ArchiveA History of the German Republic, 1936

* The Spanish Section greets the new year with the addition of a text to the Archivo Andreu NinEl marxismo y los movimientos nacionalistas (1934)

*Added to the French Trotskyists under the Occupation History ArchiveBulletin interne of the Parti Communiste Internationaliste, 1944

From radicalarchive.org:

*Murray Bookchin: Anarchism vs anarcho-syndicalism (1992)

Music Mondays: Anarchist fado

Via Sam Geall’s Twitter, here is some rare anarchist fado.

According to the info on YouTube, this is a clip from the documentary Mariza and the Story of Fado.

Here are the lyrics: (more…)

Published in: on November 28, 2011 at 2:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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Occupy!

Rudolf Rocker, German Anarchosyndicalist

Image via Wikipedia

Phil Dickens’ quote of the day…

…comes from Martyn Everett’s introduction to the 1988 Phoenix Press edition of Anarcho-syndicalism by [Rudolf] Rocker;

Historically the oppressed and the disaffected have rallied to the standard of socialism because of its oppositional position within capitalism – an oppositional position which provides the appearance of a radicalism it did not possess. During periods of revolutionary potential, however, people see opportunities to go beyond attempts to ameliorate capitalism, and to instead abolish it altogether. It is important to realise, however, that this is not usually an apocalyptic conversion into revolutionary activity, but is an emerging process involving continual, but unsuccessful attempts to reconstruct a movement of socialist opposition, find new forms of organisation and activity as well as new forms of protest and expression. New movements appear, representing the interests of groups which have not previously confronted capital, and so lack the burden of tradition and the “password” phraseology of socialism, but which nonetheless possess greater potential for revolution. New ideas and new forms of organisation flourish.

Reading this today, I was struck at how readily – though Everett was referring to the movements of the late 80s – this analysis could apply to the anti-cuts struggles of now.

I’ve written before on how UK Uncut, alongside the student movement, had managed to mobilise a whole new generation of people and inject life into anti-cuts struggles. They pushed beyond the traditional leadership structures of the left, and their actions were far ahead of their politics. Adam Ford takes the analysis further in looking at the “Occupy” movement, set to explode globally tomorrow. In essence, what we have is ordinary people looking for new ways to resist and challenge the system, though not necessarily yet having adopted a revolutionary analysis to go alongside it.

This analysis is important because, as Adam says, it is the “no politics” mantra “which enables the formerly social democratic parties and their ‘left’ hangers on, against the building of a true revolutionary movement.” And the failure of such occupations to mirror the Egyptian experience by linking up with workers’ struggle is leaving it prey to a liberal vanguardism which takes ideas such as “direct action” and put a very different spin on them.

As Solidarity Federation argue;

Radical liberal activism talks about ‘direct action’, but it has a very different take on what that means compared to anarchists, based on a very different reading of history. For anarchists, Emile Pouget sums up the concept eloquently: “Direct Action is a notion of such clarity, of such self-evident transparency, that merely to speak the words defines and explains them. It means that the working class, in constant rebellion against the existing state of affairs, expects nothing from outside people, powers or forces, but rather creates its own conditions of struggle and looks to itself for its means of action.” This is the original idea of direct action as mass, collective, working class action carried out by workers themselves. For anarchists, it is mass struggles which change the course of history – winning things from the 8-hour day to universal suffrage.

However, the clarity and self-evident transparency that Pouget saw in the term ‘direct action’ has given way with the later emergence of a rival conception which in many ways is the opposite of the anarchist one. This radical liberal version is best summed up by an oft-quoted maxim by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Here instead of mass, collective, working class action we have individual, exemplary action by ‘committed citizens’. A clearer example of the gulf between anarchism and liberalism would be hard to find.

READ THE REST

Published in: on October 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm  Comments (2)  
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Anarchism or your money back

Some great anarchist humour at Twitter’s #anarchistfacts. Here are some:

Anarchists have an antistate instead of a prostate gland.

Kropotkin, was the anarchist formerly known as Prince.

anarchists only use lower case type as they are opposed to capitalism

In 1973, a meeting organised by an anarchist group in a terraced house in didsbury was attended by an incredible 7 people.

The SWP knows more about anarchists than anarchists know about themselves.

If you don’t get why anarchists prefer herbal tea then you’re probably not an anarchist.

The anarchist/Marxist split began when Bakunin claimed to Marx he had a better beard. (more…)

Published in: on April 23, 2011 at 11:43 am  Comments (4)  
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Poummm

The Road to Wigan Pier

Image via Wikipedia

Paul Stott: History Retold: From Wigan Pier To The Paris Commune

Two interesting uses for Twitter and Blogging.

Seventy five years on, the people behind the Orwell Prize website have been reposting daily extracts from George Orwell’s The Road To Wigan Pier. The format seems to suit Orwell perfectly, and to take one example - his description of Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire, is evocative to anyone who has every visited a sight out of season.

A second use of this method comes from Alex Butterworth, who is tweeting a daily update of events at the Paris Commune, reproducing the voices of the participants - shame we know how it ended!

And a third to mark 200 years on from the days when the Luddites rioted across the north and the midlands - even would you believe, in Wilmslow!

Jim D at Shiraz Socialist:

Of course, the New Statesman has form. Back in the 1930′s it refused to publish George Orwell’s writings on the Spanish Civil War for fear of offending the Comintern and their local agents. Orwell never forgave the then-editor Kingsley Martin, a supple-spined “left” power-worshipper who seems to have uncannily prefigured both Peter Wilby (editor 1998-2005) and the present incumbent Jason Cowley.

The final straw, for me,  came last week with an edition edited by upper class “wadical” Jemima Kahn, largely devoted to promoting the preening anti-semitic loon Julian Assange and other posh friends and relatives like her Tory brother Zac Goldsmith and her ex-hubby Hugh Grant. The high-spot of the issue is Jemima’s own interview with her friend  Nick Clegg , who wails, “I’m not a punchbag: I have feelings.”

Rosie Bell:

On the left there is a hero gap.  Che is dead, Castro too old, Ortega is compromised, and Chavez is a bit of a buffoon. Enter Assange to fill the space.  His appearance adds to the mystique.  He is pale, and looks slightly alien and that along with his giant computer-like brain gives him the air of someone from a science fiction world, some sister planet of Vulcan where they have not evolved pointed ears.  He came as the man of mystery and enigma.

Also:

Witty anarchists: Red Star Commando on Marxism and anarchism. Anarchist jokes.

Earnest Trotskyists: Lenin and James Connolly on the Dublin labour war of 1913. Peter Taaffe on Eric Hobsbawm. SOYMB on Chris Bambery. (OYMB not the earnest Trots – Bambery is!)

Alternative socialist traditions: Andrew Coates on GDH Cole, guild socialism and Blue Labour, and via him an interesting Guild Socialism blog, with posts on Karl Marlo and loads more.

Towards a theory of radical history: Dave Osler on generations, and the 2010 generation of radicals.

Unrelated: Dali and the Jews.

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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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…)

Poumatica

Debs Poster USA 1904

Image via Wikipedia

“Stalin proclaims the happiness of the people, distributes decorations, photographs, watches, with both hands and has his picture taken kissing little girls of all the old races of Asia….The widows of dead aviators thank him, the entire press is nothing but praises for the “beloved leader”, “the wisest and greatest of all ages”…Everything revolves around the new Imperator cult. And never will the paean of praise attain a higher pitch of exaltation than the day after the leader has massacred his oldest comrades in struggle, the men who had worked with Lenin.” (’From Lenin To Stalin’, Monad Press, New York,1973, p.82. Via Des Derwin)

The past in the present

*Paul Mason: Interviewing Karl Marx on the economic crisis.

*Orwell’s Indian birthplace has been declared a protected site. (See here for background.)

*Christopher Hitchens: A nice cup of tea. (See also Freemania: “Tea, like modesty, irony and imperialism, is something that we Brits understand far better than Americans do (indeed, we have our imperialism to thank for our tea expertise). Perhaps the USA would benefit from the establishment of a Campaign for Real Tea, to promote this simple, vital but apparently not self-evident truth.”)

*Victor Serge: Tunisia, A Restless Winter Walk. Beautiful.

*CLR James: Haiti: The Black Jacobins

*David Rosenberg: ‘The Battle of Cable Street’ – 75 years on

*Louis Proyect: Rethinking the question of a revolutionary program (love the photo illustrating the post)

*Carl Packman: Internal bickering versus “whistling in the dark” (citing Paul Mattick); The Independent Labour Party and the scourge of left wing politicsA reply to Jim Jepps.

*Paddington: We want our teachers back!

*Tony PinkneyMasters of the universe: Paul Lafargue on the present banksters’ crisis.

*Luisa Passerini, Lance Thurner: Memory, history, and activism on the Mexican border:

*Andrew Stone: the state of history teaching in British schools today in the latest issue of International Socialism journal. [H/t Snowball]

*The Resolute Reader: Karl Kautsky’s The Agrarian Question

*Owen Hatherley; Why have you come to Murmansk?

*American Leftist: Anarchism in the city; Serge’s Unforgiving years.

*Sasha Abramsky: A house of books (on Chimen Abramsky)

*David Osler: The right to sell socialist newspapers (“have no time for the RCG’s peculiar brand of nutty semi-Stalinist third worldist ultraleftism. But this development will surely worry everybody who has ever stood outside a shopping centre or an industrial workplace trying to flog revolutionary socialist agitprop.”)

*River’s edge: “If you want a picture of the future, imagine an Armani stiletto, stamping on a human face, forever.”

*Kellie Strom: A stain on a wall: Erich Kastner in Tunisia.

*Jim Denham: Police spies in our midst.

*Histomatist: Journalists and Revolution: The Case of Arthur Ransome

From the archive of struggle (more…)

Published in: on January 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm  Comments (2)  
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Today in 1918: Rocker deported to Holland

From IISG:

Rocker to his wife Milly, Rocker papers inventory number 26. Enlarge image

Rudolf Rocker, born in 1873 in Mainz of Catholic parents, became an anarchist and settled in London at the end of the nineteenth century. During the First World War, Rocker, though by no means a German patriot, was interned as a public enemy by the British government. His wife Milly suffered the same fate. The correspondence of this detained couple is not only personal but offers many political insights and commentary as well.
The Russian October Revolution made the Rockers very happy, and they hoped to be deported to the promised land, just like other revolutionaries. Milly Rocker, who was of Russian-Jewish origin, solemnly believed that this would happen. But Rudolf called it an illusion in his letter of 9 January 1918. And he was right: in the course of 1918 the Rockers were indeed deported, but to neutral Holland instead of Russia.

See also:

•  Rudolf Rocker papers
•  Search IISH collections and databases for ‘Rudolf Rocker’

Rocker at Blackened.net. Some  music: Shaky Egg by Rudolf Rocker. Below the fold: Rocker at the Daily Bleed. (more…)

Poumacetic

detail of bertram d wolfe from proletarian unity|walker evans|July–August 1933|1994.256.295The past in the present: After last week’s echoes of the Spanish civil war in the UK student protests, here is a superb post by Marko Hoare finding echoes of Trotsky’s vacillations in contemporary Lib Dem policy: “Trotsky ‘massively regrets’ breaking pre-revolution pledge to give power to the proletariat”.

From the vaults: Black Flag 1976 with some wonderful insane leftist comments on sex (hat-tip me). And “What is the trad left?” Maurice Brinton from 1969.

Marxist theory/anarchist theory: Andrew Coates on Lars Libs’ Lenin Rediscovered: good analysis of some of Lenin’s (and Leninism’s) strengths and weeknesses. At Anarchist Writers, a Freedom text against Leninist distortions of anarchism from ca.2000. As they say, “With anarchism back in the news thanks to the student protests in 2010, we can expect the likes of the Socialist Workers Party to have patronising and inaccurate articles on “anarchism” in their publications.” Along the same lines, two anarchist letters to Socialist Resistance from 2004. Into more esoteric territory, they have a long critique of Allan Engler’s Economic Democracy: The Working-Class Alternative to Capitalism. And slightly less esoterically, here is “Bob” on some influential left-wing ideas, and here is Norman Geras’ take on a couple of them.

Anti-communism: This week Barry Rubin at PJM on Bertram Wolfe, right-Communist turned apostate turned Cold Warrior. I will at some point return to this, because Wolfe is an interesting and important figure, badly served in this hatchet job.

Published in: on December 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm  Comments (4)  
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Anarchism and the student protests, etc

The lessons of the Spanish Civil War continued: Carl Packman has a thought-provoking post on “left unity” in the context of student activism in the UK today, drawing out some of the lessons of the Spanish Civil War. I’m not totally sure what he’s saying about the POUM, but I think I agree with what he says about the students.

Anarchism re-evaluated: Comrade Coatesy has a post on anarchists and the student protests. He makes excellent points. I was thinking about the long history of the relationship of centrist Marxism to anarchism, of which Keir Hardie‘s defence of the anarchists at the formation of the Second International is one example, and the POUM-CNT axis another.

Here, meanwhile, is the most embarassing defence of anarchism I’ve seen in a while, from someone my uncle describes as “famous mediocre intellectual” and “a stupid child who never grew up — and is proud of that fact.”

ADDED: Ian Bone asks why today’s anarchists are so scruffy.

Principia Dialectica on Ralph Rumney:

New exhibition of Ralph Rumney’s works here through December 2010.

The funny thing about Rumney is what Debord told me about him. According to Debord, a cow’s tail dipped into paint would have done better than what Ralph Rumney produced as art. Strangely enough Debord was diverting what Krutschev said about Picasso.The SI NEVER criticized Picasso’s art. Since his stuff was against socialist-realist art. The day Stalin died in 1953, L’Humanite , the paper of the PCF asked Picasso to do something for their beloved dead leader. The drawing by Picasso was really funny, Stalin had an enormous moustache. It created as scandal amongst the faithful of the PCF and also amongst the fellow-travellers. RUMNEY NEVER CREATED A SCANDAL Now some people seem determined to cash in on his name and his membership to the SI.. A sad affair. But then again art is dead …

Below the fold, some items from the archive of struggle: (more…)

Poumuccino

AKcal_02February
Today’s post is mainly anarchist.
History notes: E

xchange on Black Flame between Spencer Sunshine and the authors, in recent Anarchist Studies. /

George Fontenis RIP.Anarchist Publications of the May Fourth Era by Daniel S. S. Cairns / Guy Alfred Aldred (1886 – 1963) by Martin Robb (more on Aldred to come soon at Poumista) / Wayne Price: the Korean war 60 years on. / Frank Mintz on Bakunin, Kropotkin and the Spanish libertarian workers movement (in Spanish).

New site: Libertarian Communist Webzine. Includes: Durutti: A New World in Our Hearts / Cool photo of Freedom Press, London / AF North: Why we are not on the LeftThe Proletarian ConditionThe IWW by David BaileyNestor Makhno 1889 – 1934 /  In memory of Leah Feldman / Rosa Luxemburg on Living MarxismMay Day by Grethe Christensen / YouTube music Spain in 1936.

AKcal_07July

Consumerism: New books and stuff to buy: WORK: A 2011 Calendar by Justseeds and AK Press (see images to the right). / Dancing with Dynamite: States and Social Movements in Latin America. / Argentina’s anarchist past: Paradoxes of Utopia. / Anarchism and the City: Revolution and Counter-revolution in Barcelona, 1898–1937. / Black Flame: the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism. / The Third Revolution?: Peasant and worker resistance to the Bolshevik government. Loads more.

Theory: Sam Haraway on Kropotkin and capitalism.

Cuba: A letter to those who still look to Cuba.

Below the fold, From the Archive of Struggle no.54 (more…)

Published in: on November 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm  Comments (1)  
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From the archive of struggle no.51

Proclamation of the Lyon Commune of 1870, co-w...

Image via Wikipedia

Some radical history notes:

Big Flame history blog: on some other radical history projects on the web.

Trotskyism: new blog on IS origins; new blog on IMG history.

Anarchism: Brighton SolFed on the IWA conference in Leon, Spain. An anarchist flow-chart by Division by ZerO. Celebrating 100 years of the CNT.

Labour history: A tale of two speeches – John Lewis to the CIO, 1937, Richard Trumka to the AFL-CIO, 2010.

Democratic socialism: Happy birthday, Oscar Wilde, Fabian anarchist.

New and not so new archival material below the fold. (more…)

Revolutionary Ghosts of Waldheim Cemetery

From Andrea Gibbons, on a Chicago cemetary, a year ago. Some extracts:

Haymarket…back from the time we didn’t have at least the stated standard of an 8 hour day. To win it there was a general strike on May 1st, 1884. On May 3rd, police killed two strikers. On May 4th there was a rally in Haymarket square, a bomb went off, people died. I think it was probably the Pinkertons, but the police arrested 8 anarchists for simply inciting the act and hanged 4 of them. It didn’t help when they were later cleared of all blame…the damage was done, the press had crucified all ideals of justice and so we live in a country that inspired May Day and yet has never celebrated it properly…

(more…)

Poumastise

Anarchism versus Marxism

A Greek tragedy (on the Leninist fight against petit bourgeious violence in the revolution).

Marxist theory

Reading The Grundrisse; Thinking About Athens’ Rage

Bonapartism, Bureaucracy, Categories, Lessons And The Revolution Betrayed

Chris Harman: not all Marxism is dogmatic

Daniel Bensaid: Working class, social movement, alliances – and the limits of radical democracy

Stalinism and anti-Stalinism

Stalin, Robeson, and Me.

Claire Berlinski at City Journal wonders why hardly anyone cares about the unread Soviet archives [via Michael Totten]. Ron Radosh responds. Berlinksi replies to him. Ron comes back again.

Human Rights Watch in the NYRB on Castro’s Cuba. (And Radosh’s response to that.)

Anarchist theory

Murray Bookchin’s political development.

Dave Graeber interview (original source here, with unreadable formatting).

Iberian culture

Anarchism versus Leninism

I’ve still not followed this up, but Andy brings to our attention a whole spate of recent Leninist critiques of anarchism. The most sophisticated is Marxism and anarchism byPaul Blackledge in International Socialism Journal. Most of the others are by crude defenders of ortho-Marxism like Alan Woods. Slightly different, and worth reading, are Steven Strauss’ socialist indictment of Noam Chomsky (Freedom Road Socialist Party) and “The Historical Failure of Anarchism” [pdf] by Christopher Day, then of Love and Rage.

The question is, I suppose, why are Leninist so keen right now to take up arms against anarchism? Is it a sign that anarchism is ascendant, that anarchism has better expressed working class rage at the economic crisis at a time when the left should be growing but isn’t?

Anarchist notes

A few bits and bobs, not quite a full edition of my From the Archive of Struggle series.

Anarcho-syndicalists in the Mexican revolution: the Casa del Obrero Mundial

A critical account of the Mexican anarcho-syndicalist union the Casa del Obrero Mundial which took up arms against revolutionary peasants. From the Anarchist Federation, at LibCom.

The IWW and Music: Creating a Working Class Counter-Culture

This article discusses how the early IWW used music both as an organising tool and as a means of developing a sense of community among its members. It puts these activities in the context of the politics and practical activity of the IWW during this period.

KDVS Interview with Lucien van der Walt, co-author of “Black Flame”

The interview covers issues like defining anarchism, anarchism and trade unions today,  the issue of centralisation, anarchism and globalisation then and now, the Soviet Union and Communism,  the Spanish Civil War, anarchism and immigration today, the relationship between class struggle and other forms of oppression, anarchism after Seattle, and anarchism and postmodernism.

Proudhon, Marx and the Paris Commune

This update of Property is Theft! is focused on two key issues, Proudhon and Marx as well as Proudhon’s influence on the Paris Commune (which explains why it has been updated on the 18th of March!). The two are inter-related, simply because many key “Marxist” positions are first found in Proudhon’s work or date from the 1871 revolt and, ironically, simply repeat the ideas raised by the Communards who in turn found them in Proudhon…  The update involves the appendix of texts from the Commune as well as Proudhon’s 1846 letter to Marx and extracts from System of Economic Contradictions (both volume 1 and volume 2, some of the later translated for the first time).

Towards an anarchist history of the Chinese revolution

By Andrew Flood. Outside of a few events including the Long March and the Shanghai commune the development of the Chinese revolution is relatively unknown on the western left in comparison with the revolutions in Russia in 1917, Spain in 1936 or even the Paris spring of 1968. Those sections of that left influenced by or proclaiming themselves to be Maoist haven’t helped that situation much. Their histories have tended towards simple tales focusing on the role of one man and collapsed a 100-year history of revolution into the events important to him. [Italiano]

Organise! magazine anti-Poll Tax articles scanned in Issues 14-27 from 1988-1992

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of non-payment of the Poll Tax in England & Wales (following non-registration in 1989 and solid mass non-payment in Scotland), to remember the commitment of community campaigns which helped us support each other in non-payment, and to take inspiration from the great Poll Tax Riot in London on 31th March 1990 and smaller uprisings in many local areas, we present all of the scanned in articles published in Organise! magazine over the period 1988-1992 spanning fourteen issue.

Poumtang

Resources for critical thought:

Kronstadt and its revenges… an anarchist dissection of the corpse of Trotskyism today.

Platypus: Review of Dave Renton’s Dissident Marxism.

Platypus: Review of Perry’ Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism.

Andrew Flood: Towards an anarchist history of the Chinese revolution.

Paul LeBlanc: Marxism and revolutionary democracy (review of Simon Pirani and Soma Marik).

Paul LeBlanc: Trotsky lives! (on Robert Service).

Larry Gambone: Principled Bakuninism in Latin America.

Declaration against re-intensified oppression in Cuba. [Spanish source, and signatories.]

International Communist Tendency: Kronstadt 1921: The beginning of the counter-revolution.

On Arthur Koestler: Christopher Hitchens, Louis Menand, Bernard Avishai, Christopher Caldwell.

Iain McKay: anarchist-communist critique of mutualism.

Libertarian communist forum in Moscow.

Catalunya: Amadeu Casellas announces new hunger strike.

Heather Gautney: Which Anarchism? Which Autonomism? Between Anarchism and Autonomist Marxism.

From the archive of struggle, no.41: Anarchist poster special

Today’s feature is the Just Seeds Visual Artsts’ Co-op.

18Pesadilla_170.jpgRafael Baca
Nuestro Mas Hermoso Sueño es tu Peor Pesadilla/Our Most Beautiful Dream is Your Worst Nightmare

ElMaizEsNuestro_170.jpg Favianna Rodriguez
El Maíz Es Nuestro

Dill170.jpg Brains, Brilliancy, Bohemia: Art & Politics in Jazz-Age Chicago.

rio170.jpg Favianna Rodriguez
Rio

16PINK_170.jpg Lapiztola
Emiliano Zapata silkscreen

02emmag_170.jpg
Ben Rubin
Emma Goldman

From the archive, below the fold: (more…)

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