א New at Libcom: Joe Jacobs (Solidarity UK) on the organisational question. (More Joe Jacobs here.)
א At the Morningstar Ranch (Jim Parks, The Legendary). Extract:
[Lou] Gottlieb had a concert grand he put in a hen house at the Morningstar Ranch. There, he played Brahms and other classical works. He meditated, did yoga and clowned while his sidekick, another musician named Ramón Sender Barayón, the son of Ramón J. Sender, the exiled Spanish novelist, played it straight. Sender was literally born amid the sound of machine guns during “Red October,” within close proximity of the opening battles of the Spanish Civil War, in 1934. His father, a native of Aragon, was a co-founder of Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista, or P.O.U.M., the Trotskyist militia whose ranks were filled with international volunteers, including such literary luminaries as George Orwell, author of 1984.
א liber.rhetoricae: on slogans, taglines, enthymemes, and figures of brevity in general. Extract:
Trotsky as agitator allows his contact with the lived experience of the Spanish people to challenge Trotsky as theorist or propagandist. He allows what he learns to challenge his assumptions about historical laws and revolutionary processes. This is important. “Are we not confronted with an historical paradox?” Trotsky asks, and in asking opens the possibility that any doctrine of continuity between world revolution and the Russian revolution requires urgent review and perhaps revision in light of facts discovered on the ground in Spain. Set aside your views on Trotsky or his analysis or the success of Trotsky’s enterprise. This is rhetoric as method, it is the very definition of a rational process, and it is dialectical in character in the classical sense of dialectics. This is a community engaged in review, interpretation, and argument, in the form of communicators testing their arguments in live conditions.
א Jim Sleeper: Gaza needs a George Orwell now. Extract:
If a new Orwell informs us that Israel, although it’s hideously cruel and wrong, isn’t the only evil enemy of freedom in Gaza, will anyone want to know?
א Tom Reimann: 7 Historical Figures Who Were Absurdly Hard To Kill. Extract:
#4: Leon Trotsky
Why He Had to Go
In 1917, Trotsky was Lenin’s right hand man when the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia. He created and commanded the Red Army and was a member of the Politburo, which oversaw all other branches of Soviet government and made all policy decisions. He also wore glasses and had a wicked goatee, so you know he read books and shit.
Quiet, I’m reading this shit.
After Lenin died, Trotsky was expelled from the Communist party and kicked out of Russia. In return, Trotsky attempted to enter the United States to testify before Congress that Stalin was a major douchebag. Upon hearing this, Stalin decided his next move would be to expel Trotsky from life.
How He Went Down
Trotsky was denied entry into the U.S. and eventually found his way to a home in Mexico City. It was there that he was attacked by Ramon Mercader, an assassin working for Stalin.
While Trotsky was home reading some shit, Mercader buried an ice axe into the back of his skull.
This just pissed Trotsky off.
He stood up from his desk, axe in head, and spit on Mercader. Then he went after the assassin, wrestling with him. Trotsky’s bodyguards heard the commotion (where the fuck were they a few minutes ago?) and came running in to subdue the assassin and get Trotsky to the hospital.
Trotsky made it to the hospital and underwent surgery before finally dying a day later from complications related to being brained with a goddamn ice axe. We’re hoping he lived long enough to fire those bodyguards.
א Also: Barcelona Photoblog, Political Chess – Alekhine vrs Trotsky – Apocryphal Account, Typically Spanish: The man who killed Leon Trotsky.