Can’t make an omelette without…: From the vaults of the Manchester Guardian, Beatrice Webb, the ultimate Stalinist fellow traveller, and her hatred for the working class.

The First war on terror: via @ndy:

The first war on terror Laura Miller Salon.com June 20, 2010: Miller reviews “A new history of bomb-throwing anarchists and conniving intelligence agents in the 1800s”; it is “chillingly familiar”. Three months earlier, so did Stuart Christie (The World That Never Was: A True Story of Dreamers, Schemers, Anarchists and Secret AgentsThe Guardian, March 27, 2010). I think The Slow Burning Fuse: The lost history of the British Anarchists by John Quail is neat, while the Kate Sharpley Library continues to find bodies buried beneath the mounds of bourgeois history. The International Campaign Against Anarchist Terrorism, 1880-1930s (Richard Bach Jensen) provides some historical context for the antics of the anarcholocos

Book reviews: Andrew Coates on Callinicos’ Bonfire of Illusions and Perry Anderson New Old World. And from Phil Dickens via @ndy:

Adam Form has excellent reviews of both The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and Simon Pirani’s The Russian Revolution in Retreat, 1920-24. The latter offering historical context on the Russian revolution which ties in nicely with my Property is Theft post on Communism and the State.

Hitch 22: Ian Buruma in NYRB, Carlo Strenger, BJ Bethel and the Hitch himself on Christopher Hitchens.

Franco and the Nazis: Modernity on the even darker side of Spain’s dictator.

A patriotic left: Michael Kazin on loving one’s country (2002), from the Dissent archive via Arguing the World’s 4th July post.

Gnome Chomksy: the latest Chomskyiana from Bob’s gnomic series.

Marxism 2010: on Alex Callinicos’s week case for the triumph of historical materialism, and a dissection of what might have happened at this year’s SWP sh’bang, whose last day is today. (Possibly more on this in a future post.)

French Stalinism: I have already linked to this piece by Andrew Coates on the new leader of the French Communist Party, but I did so very flippantly and want to re-link with a recommendation to read it. The post comes from a solidly anti-Stalinist perspective, but also shows something of the grandeur of some elements of the French Stalinist tradition, as well as explaining a little about the complexity of the PCF’s internal politics.

The passion of Arthur Koestler: Roger Boylan on a complicated man.

Published in: on July 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. question on the french left. at a local bookstore i can buy La Forge, from the communist worker’s party of france. the language is easy enough to use to keep my french going, such as it is. they seem to be have a third worldist, national libertionist, euro-communist position (they were very worked up about the lisbon treaty), but i don’t know enough about the political scene to place them. anything you can add? thanks!

    • The Parti Communiste des Ouvriers de France, PCOF, is I think one of the tiny handful of parties which follows Enver Hoxha thought – Hoxha being the “anti-revisionist” Marxist Leninist dictator in Albania, who aligned with the Chinese rather than the Soviets, but who turned against them in the 1970s. That is, it is one of the most hardcore of Stalinist parties.

      I think the British analogue was the RCPB-ML and I think the American equivalent is the Marxist–Leninist Party.

      • smashing, thanks. i’ll do a little more digging now.

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