A few pints

Drinking: The perfect pubA tax on the drinking classes. Absent friend. Double Johnny Walker Blacks.

Arguing: Morning Star’s “fellow feeling” with Cameron on EURichard Gott on the Falklands. Socialism and democracy. Michael Foot the extremist. Anarchism and syndicalism.

Poumicity

Left sectariana: Phoenix Class War post their “joke of the day”, on the Maoist wingnuts of the American RCP at Burning Man festival (note: not to be confused with the British ex-Trotskiyist party of the same name).

Memoires of a democratic socialist: on Michael Foot, Tony Benn and Roy Hattersley.

Tory Francophones: Tawfiq Chahboune posts a quotation from George Orwell on Tory MPs cheering as British ships taking aid to Republican Spain were sunk by the fascist Italian navy – Tawfiq asks if anyone can corroborate this. The resulting comment thread is of an exceptionally high standard, in particular the contributions of Michael Rosen.

Death of an anti-fascist: In this comment thread, Nick Wright also posts the Morning Star obit for its former correspondent Sam Lesser. It’s an odd piece of prose, which manages to smuggle in a good deal of petty and vulgar sectarianism for an obituary. It is also (in typical Morning Star fashion), oddly reticent about Stalinism. It notes that Lesser “was sent by the Daily Worker to cover the 1952 show-trial of Czechoslovakian Communist Party general secretary Rudolf Slansky and 13 other party leaders – an experience which left a deep scar”, but does not explain how he lived with this pain during the subsequent three decades he continued with the Morning Star, including coverage of Budapest in 1956 (where he replaced the great Peter Fryer) and Prague in 1968.

The Spanish cockpit: Darren points me in the direction of a long text I’m not sure if I’ve linked to before: “Spain Turns’ by Roberto, from the International Review, Vol.2 No.3, New York, April 1937. It’s long, and most certainly worth reading. The Socialist Standard adds these further reading recommendations: From the September 1936 issue of the Socialist Standard: The Civil War in Spain; From the May 1937 issue of the Socialist Standard: The SPGB and Spain; From Issue 18 of the journal Subversion (published 1996): Spain 1936, The End of Anarchist Syndicalism?; From the August 2006 issue of the Socialist Standard: For Whom The Bell Tolled.

Petain and the Jews: Modernity points us towards recent research on Vichy France and its shameful record.

This week’s dose of anti-communism: Roger Scruton from 1991.

Also from the archive: The Western Socialist on the Yom Kippur War (1973).

Finally, wearing badges is not enough.

Belated

I can’t believe I missed the death of the talented singer songwriter Llasa de Sela age just 37 at the start of 2010. See Roland/Jams.

And some late additions to my Colin Ward obituaries: from Peter Marshall, author of Demanding the Impossible, from Critical Chatting, and from Robert Graham.

And one more for Michael Foot – the JC with a Jewish angle.

And two more obituaries, via Histomatist: The new issue of Socialist Review has a short article on the founder of the International Socialist TendencyTony Cliff (1917-2000) by Ian Birchall – at work on a forthcoming biography of this critically important twentieth-century revolutionary Marxist thinker. See also Sabby Sagall on the British actor and revolutionary socialist [sic] Corin Redgrave (1939-2010).

Talking of mourning (not that we’re mourning Redgrave), the New Centrist: “Pray for the twenty-nine West Virginia miners who lost their lives and their families. Then get active. Amending Joe Hill’s famous phrase, don’t only mourn, organize.”

Max Dunbar: All shall have prizes. On the Orwell Prize, Stephen Mitchelmore, Nick Cohen, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and George Orwell’s anti-pacifism. Related, did Christopher Hitchens read the SWP’s John Molyneux and blogger Snowball after reading Animal Farm?

Principia D: Eric Hobsbawm: The Marxist who never read Marx. (“Not judging by this survey of Post-war Italy, anyway. “) More on this in a future post, maybe.

From January, Kathedar Blog with two very good interrelated posts: on Alex Callinicos on imperialism and on Marx and the dialectic.

AF: Steps towards re-emergence of anarchism in Cuba. See also here.

Jamie Bartlett: Politics and the English language 2.0.

Continuing our anarchism vs Marxism discussion, these lapidary posts from Lady Poverty are well worth your time: Marx and Foucault; A note about Marx and FoucaultThe point, as it relates to Holden Caulfield and Karl Marx; Marxism vs. identity anarchism. And here, very much less to my taste, is a contribution from a Maoist: Anarchism or revolutionary Marxism? by Arindam Sen of the CPI(ML).

Also chronically belated: New Statesman: Jonathan Derbyshire interviews Terry Eagleton on nostalgia for 1970s socialism.

And some considerable time after Michael Foot’s death, this from Brian Brivati: Foot and Nye Bevan.

Wobbling around the world: a socialist belatedly discovers the IWW.

On Maoism: Richard Wolin remembers the Maoist 1960s, and Apoorvanand analyses Maoism in India, as does Dilip Simeon.

Wolin and Brivati come from Arguing The World, the now not quite brand new trans-Atlantic blog at Dissent. Here is one more from that: Alan Johnson: Žižek or Bobbio? (The blog title is familiar to me from the PBS documentary about the New York intellectuals I link to over to the right – I ought to know whose being quoted: Irving Howe?)

I meant to link to this article on William Morris discovering socialism in Iceland when it came out, then forgot, but was prompted after noticing it at Histomatist – seems kind of timelier now, as Morris would no doubt be enjoying the effects of the volcano on the global tourism and agri-industries.

Finally, how can I post these days without mentioning Hugo Chavez? This is from the Venezuelan anarchist journal El Libertario: Venezuela: the myth of “Eco-socialism of the XXI Century” The author is Professor and Researcher at the Simon Bolivar University in Caracas. This contribution is the revised excerpt from a longer article appeared in Spanish in the Journal of Economics and Social Sciences (FACES-UCV) entitled “XXI Century Eco-socialism and Bolivarian Development Model: the myths of environmental sustainability and participatory democracy in Venezuela “, 2009, vol. 15, No. 1, pp.187-223 

Poumlier

One of the better defences of Leon Trotsky from Robert Service that I’ve seen: by Hillel Ticktin in the Weekly Worker. There’s also an interview with Ticktin, one of Britain’s smartest Trotskyists, in the same issue, as a celebration of Critique‘s 50th issue.

Via Histomatist: A new website dedicated to the socialist novelist Edward Upward (1903-2009) has been launched by one of his grandsons here.

Our comrade Michael Ezra remember’s the glory days of Militant, and gives us a late Valentine’s day classic from the vaults of Tribune.

Talking of Tribune, I missed la Brigada’s mini-series on the late Michael FootEnd Of An EraFootnotePublic Speaking.

From International Perspectives, a left communist view of the “Bolivarian revolution” (posted for “nice“).

From the Christopher Hitchens archive: several videos of him talking about George Orwell, and articles on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and on his pal Francis Wheen’s biography of Das Kapital by Marx.

Ish

To add to my Michael Wood notes, Histomatist, and through him Tristram Hunt. This Foot quote is great:

‘In my opinion, Marxism is a great creed of human liberation. It is the creed which says that when all other empires fade and vanish, our business is to enlarge the empire of the human mind.’

On a different topic, Histomatist writes:

There is a fair chance readers of this blog will have come across New Left Review, celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, but how many readers of Histomat know a great deal about the original Left Review, founded by sympathisers of the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1934? Well, for those who are suitably intrigued, let the late great historian of British Communism Brian Pearce be your guide…

Louis Proyect continues his series with a long and fascinating account of the history of the Third International, which one day I will respond to more thoroughly. He uses an important book by Werner Angress as a key source, and then posts about the Ritchie Boys, one of which Angress was (this is the Jewish paratroopers behind Nazi lines in WW2, the real life inglorious basterds I guess).

Been looking at George Scialabba‘s website lately. Lots of interesting stuff. I think I might have linked to some of this already but here’s some recent texts:

I got to Scialabba via Platypus, which is featuring a conversation with him on intellectuals, which touches on Irving Howe, Michael Harrington and other of my reference points. Also featured: Chris Cutrone on Karl Korsch, Joshua Howard on Lukacs and totality, and Uli von Hagen on Rosa Luxemburg.

Two from Coatesy: towards a reassessment of Michel Raptis and Pabloism, and on crusty feudal Tariq Ali’s historical illiteracy when it comes to French secularism.

At Stumbling & Mumbling, Chris Dillow asks: Is it time for a revival of interest in Baran and Sweezy’s Monopoly Capital?

To note, even though I have not yet bothered to read this, Rob Sewell at In Defence of Marxism, another ortho-Trot take-down of Robert Service on Leon Trotsky.

Also: Paul Buhle: Scottish Workers in History. Stefan Collini: New Left Review at 50. Anarcha-feminism in Barcelona on the CNT’s 100th birthday.

Michael Foot again

http://www.toimg.net/managed/images/10034073/w200/image.jpgI assembled my post for Michael Foot rather hastily yesterday. Here is another attempt. Yesterday, the thought I had was that Foot is remembered today for his 1980s leadership of the Labour Party and the incident of the donkey jacket [sic] at the Cenotaph, and for walking a dog on Hampstead Heath. I wanted to remind people that he was also an important figure in the earlier, complex and contradictory, history of democratic socialism in Britain, with his involvement in the final period of the Independent Labour Party as it tried to stear a course between left social democratic Stalinist fellow travelling and independent, anti-totalitarian democratic socialism – and, later, as that current entered the official Labour Party, Cold War Atlanticist anti-Communist social democracy.

Here are some more recent tributes: (more…)

Published in: on March 5, 2010 at 10:48 am  Comments (8)  
Tags: ,

Michael Foot

Read:

The Tribune obituary, by Geoffrey Goodman.

Arthur Marwick “Leading the Labour Party”: A review of Michael Foot: A Portrait by Simon Hoggart and David Leigh.

Some snips from other sources, about some aspects of Foot’s life less remembered now.

(more…)

Poumaholic

Some alternative histories: The shipwrecked: anti-fascist refugees during WWII. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia a century after his death. Rising East: London radical history day. Karl Pfeifer in Jerusalem.

Marek Edelman: Two more for the list: Terry Glavin’s post has a fascinating comment thread (I agree with The Plump), plus: This mandolin kills fascists.

La lucha continua: Venezuelan anarchism: Introducing El Libertario. Save Obtilia Eugenio Manuel. A visa for Principe Gabriel Gonzalez.

On old and new Stalinisms: Repelling Stalinoid attacks on Makhnovism. Happy Honecker! Nazi-Comintern collaboration and the DDR. A glorious leap backward. Socialist Unity: From Soviet Union to the GDR, and the People’s Republic of China. Stalin a mass murderer after all.

The democratic socialist tradition: The uncollected Michael Foot. Changing times: Minnie Lansbury and Poplarism. Reading about George Lansbury. Tom Paine for today.

Theory and praxis: Murdering the dead: on Amadeo Bordiga today. Castoriadis and magnanimity.

Politics and morality: The IMG and the morality of the Brighton bombing. The new McCarthyism and the BNP. A fitting tribute to Anna Politkovskaya.

See full size imageDurham Miners' Gala, Michael FootFrancisco Ferrer's PicturePolitkovskaya
Below the fold: Libcom’s most recent anarchist biographies. (more…)

Alternative histories

Harry Barnes remembers his father (beautiful piece). Histomatist defends Trotsky. Martin remembers to remember Bastille Day (and Casablanca). Rosie is underwhelmed by Katyn. Dennis Healey remembers the Italian campaign but can’t remember who wrote Lili MarleneEd Walsh reviews Leo Panitch’s call for a renewal of socialism. Conor McCabe remembers the 1955 Irish/Yugoslav soccer international. The Irish Left Archive retrieves the Anarchist Worker of 1979. Bataille Socialiste remember Marceau Pivert with Orwell in Spain. Bataille Socialiste rescue the legacy of Charles Allegier. Entdinglichung archives The Left. Hillel Ticktin and Adam Buick debate Trotskyism.

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