Following on from this, read this:
Within its Shade We’ll Live…..
The Morning Star (see below) has published a list of 10 Leftists who never sold out.
There are surely better candidates than many of theirs.
We accept that they should be twentieth and twenty-first century figures (otherwise we could go back to Ur).
However, the rules should be a bit laxer than the Star’s. They concentrate exclusively on Office Holders. Having a degree of political or social power and influence should be the major criterion. In any kind of politics (from Cabinets to movements). This would mean no pure academics or theorists. But would embrace a wide swathe of those who’ve helped shaped the world for the better. Without them necessarily having been in charge of government.
Here are some suggestions.
- Rosa Luxemberg. Three things stand out. Her utterly uncompromising defence of democratic freedom – against all comers. Her activism on behalf of the power and ability of ordinary people to organise and decide for themselves. And Rosa’s brilliant contribution to Marxist theory. Murdered by Fascist Freikörps backed by German Social Democrats. Our greatest Martyr.
- Jean Jaurès. A founding democratic socialist Jaurès combined ethical idealism, French republicanism, internationalism, and undogmatic Marxism. In 1914 shot by nationalist. Paid for his anti-war campaigning with his life.
- Andrés Nin. Leading figure in the Spanish POUM. Independent Marxist and anti-Fascist fighter, defender of the Republican cause. Tortured to death under the supervision of Stalin’s NKVD.
- Antonio Gramsci. Leader of young Italian Communist Party. Imprisoned by Mussolini until his death. Active supporter of workers’ councils, and theorist of hegemony.
- Emma Goldman. For her love of life, her free spirit, and her contribution to the cause of liberation. Loathed by bullies: from the USA’s plutocrats to the bureaucrats of Soviet Russia.
Now for some more recent people.
- Michalis N. Raptis (’Pablo’). Innovative Marxist who developed out of Trotskyism into a backer of self-management. participated actively in the Algerian Revolution, and backed Thrid World Causes before this became fashionable.
- Alain Krivine. The living embodiment of the best in European Marxist activism.
- Evo Morales. A real Latin American leftist leader. From his work in the Indian communities of Bolivia to the mines and urban centres, Morales is a democrat and a socialist who’s got his feet on the ground. Not his head wrapped in self-promotion and glorious deeds.
- Aimé Césaire. Poets are the ‘unacknowledged legislatures of the world’. One of the greatest, he helped bring ”Third-world’ culture to the World at large.
Died prematurely, but not too young to have turned down the chance to sell out:
* Rosa Luxembourg
* Andreu Nin
* Jean Juares
Lived plenty long enough for us to be sure about them:
* CLR James
* William Morris
* Rudolf Rocker and Millie Witkop
* Daniel Guerin
* Emma Goldman (actually got much better with age)
* Pierre Bourdieu
Might be too early to tell:
* Evo Morales