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.

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]

Grrrr…

UPDATE: An amendment beneath the fold.

It is not the purpose of this blog to get involved in contemporary political debates, even very trivial ones. But I was incensed at the nonsense spouted by Andy Newman, top socialist blogger, in the comment thread here.

It is not of course unheard of for anarchists to find common ground with fascists.

Sergio Pannunzio and Filippo Corradini went so far as to join Mussolini’s fascisti and become the main ideologues of Italian fascism, while still considering themselves anarchists.[…]

am saying that a certain type of ‘ squadristi ‘ mindset, which stresses localism, is broadly “anti-politics”, and a mythical shared community of working class life is a phenomenon that is mirrored on both the right and in some anarchist circles.

The fact that some anarchists in London are prepared to take time off from their PhD dissertations in order to condemn “Islamic extremeism” at precisley the time when media hysteria against such alleged extremism is being used to seek to demonise and marginalise mainstream Muslim activists is an illustration of what little grasp of politics you really have.

Ian Bone deals with the smears here.

One thing to add: “squadristi” is a term of abuse with a history.* It was used by the Italian Stalinists to smear the independent working class anti-fascist movement when the latter refused Communist control. It was later taken up by the SWP in the late 1970s, an essentially Stalinist party in form if not in content, to smear their working class former comrades who went on to form Red Action.

Bonus link: the Whitechapel Anarchist Group. (more…)

From the archive of struggle no.47

Independent Labour Party

La Brigada with timely blast from the past: Mr Asquith versus Labourism 1895.

New Left Review

I’m not sure if I already linked to Stefan Collini’s piece in The Guardian on NLR at 50, an exceptional piece of writing in the noughties Grauniad. A piece with a similar slant, by Nikal Saval, appeared in n+1 magazine. Here’s our occasional contributor Michael Ezra reminding us of a less glorious moment in the NLR‘s history.

Ramparts

Comrade Ezra again, from David Horowitz’s old redoubt, Ramparts.

Class War

And here’s Michael again, with extracts from Bash The Rich: True-Life Confessions of an Anarchist in the UK.

Socialist Workers Party

Mark Perryman in 1995 on Tony Cliff and his cult. (Yes, Michael again.)

Herblock

On a great anti-communist cartoonist. (Not Michael.)

Below the fold: selected highlights from the Marxists Internet Archive and Entdinglichung’s Sozialistika: (more…)

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