Speechification and cake

A big thank you to Kellie for the lovely cake, although it was so rich I felt a little sick after I gobbled it all down in one go…

Thanks, too, for the introduction to Speechification. Among the archival radio treats I have bookmarked are: Alexei At The Seaside With The Unions (Alexei Sayle‘s memories of attending NUR AGMs with his family); Hope Against Hate (on anti-fascism in the Bangladeshi East End in the 1970s); Musical Migrants (a Belgian bandaleon player in Argentina); Night Waves: Timothy Garton Ash (on Orwell, the Eastern bloc and more); Double Borges (on Jorge Luis).

Published in: on September 30, 2010 at 12:06 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

75 years of the POUM

Today in 1935…

… POUM was formed as a communist opposition to Stalinism by the revolutionaries Andreu Nin and Joaquín Maurín. The two were heavily influenced by the thinking of Trotsky, particularly his Permanent Revolution thesis. It resulted from the merging of the Trotskyist Communist Left of Spain and the Workers and Peasants’ Bloc against the wishes of Trotsky, with whom the former broke.

For more information, go here.

Hat tip: Entdinglichung.

Published in: on September 29, 2010 at 12:28 am  Comments (7)  

Today in 1864: A Soiree


A month of music Mondays: Gotan Project

Gotan Project: El Capitalismo Foráne

Can anyone identify the sample?

Published in: on September 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

A month of music Mondays: Mercedes Sosa

Mercedes Sosa: Gracias a la vida

Published in: on September 20, 2010 at 12:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

José Antonio Labordeta (1935 – 2010)

Another fine life lost.

Published in: on September 19, 2010 at 1:16 pm  Comments (2)  


Five (5) pesos. Mexican Revolution. Álvaro Obregón

Image via Wikipedia

Blog posts:

Vincente Navarro: Salvador Dali, Fascist

Lauryn Oates: Hitchens Had it Right Then, and Now

Bernard-Henri Levy: Yes We Can (Save Sakineh)

Bob from Brockley: A tourist on the left

Michael Lebowitz: The spectre of barbarism, and its alternative

Next year county: Viva Mexico!

Theory and history:

Andrew Cheeseman: Two souls of socialism

Barry Biddulph: The red Jacobins

David Adam: Marx and Bakunin

Sheila Cohen: Syndicalism for the 21st century

Martine Bourne: Potere opero


Tom Behan (see also this review of his book on working class resistance to Mussolini)

Edmund Kovacs

Barbara Zeluck

Ron Silber

More highlights from Against the Current, mainly on the Mexican revolution, below the fold.


James P. Cannon’s greatest hits

On papery; on boxing.

Published in: on September 15, 2010 at 9:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Andy sez

David Walsh writes (September 8, 2010) on behalf of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) regarding The Stieg Larsson phenomenon, and he detects several troublesome notes, including the fact that:

The books exhibit a type of left-wing or anarchist “vigilantism” that will not help anyone. Salander in particular is remorseless in exacting personal and painful revenge, and generally the reader feels urged to side with her. The books revel in Salander’s desire for retribution, including her childhood fantasy of setting her malevolent father on fire. Even her researching, i.e., computer hacking, has overtones of physical violence: “If there was any dirt to be dug up, she would home in on it like a cruise missile. … Her reports could be a catastrophe for the individual who landed in her radar.”

What’s not to like?

What indeed?

Published in: on September 15, 2010 at 9:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Mourning and celebration

Georges Fontenis, 1920–2010, RIP

The Mexican revolution, 1910-2010 [interview with Adolfo Gilly on the Zapatistas]

Victor Jara, 1932-1973

Hopefully, more on all of these when I have time.

Published in: on September 14, 2010 at 4:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

A month of music Mondays: The Clash

I know I’ve gone on longer than a month, but I’m enjoying it…

The Clash: Guns of Brixton

Calexico: The Guns of Brixton

Nouvelle Vague: The Guns of Brixton

Do you have a favourite?

Published in: on September 13, 2010 at 12:24 pm  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , ,

Wilebaldo Solano

Wilebaldo Soledano, homenatge a Andreu Nin

Image by Jose Téllez via Flickr

Wilebaldo Solano joined the POUM in 1935, when it was founded, and was its secretary from 1947. He was our last real link to the tragic, glorious era of the Spanish Revolution. Exiled to France in 1939, incarcerated by Vichy, served with the maquis, Ant-fascist, anti-colonialist, socialist. Journalist, fighter. Rest in peace.

Texts in English:
*The Spanish Revolution: The Life of Andreu Nin
*The POUM’s Seven Decades
*Our POUM Comrade Critique 28: Victor Serge
*Review of Ken Loach’s Land and Freedom
*The Life of Andreu Nin

Also read: La Bataille Socialiste; EntdinglichungAndrew Coates; Funda Nin.

Published in: on September 12, 2010 at 1:06 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Welcome to the ‘sphere Kate

A new blog which I will be following: Notes from the KSL, imaginatively subtitled “Blog of the Kate Sharpley Library”. First post: Mat Kavanagh and the History of Anarchism. It’s about one of our themes here: the history at the margins of a movement, and how a movement remembers its history.

You heard it here first folks. (Actually, not first. I see Anarchists in the Gulag and AK Press got there before me.)

Published in: on September 10, 2010 at 10:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wilebaldo Solano est mort

Thanks to Entdinglichung for alerting me to this very sad news. I will post more later…

Published in: on September 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Also noted in passing

Changing Trains, Nearing the Terminus (Rosie on Hitch). // History Lessons from the SWP (Bamberry on Hitler and Trotsky on WWII) – see also Andrew’s reply. // Principia Dialectica versus American Marxist Humanists on Kronstadt. // The Maoist insurgency in India: End of the road for Indian Stalinism? An interview with Jairus Banaji.* // 170 years of anarchist theory. // Gramsci and Left Managerialism. // Tony Judt and elitism.

Jaime Semprun RIP: Obituaries: Principia Dialectica. Not Bored. Obituary by Jules Bonnot de la Bande. Libcom. Loren Goldner.

Andy’s anarchist notes below the fold. (more…)

Published in: on September 8, 2010 at 1:33 am  Comments (1)  

Late Labor Day post

Not being American, and being suspicious of the idea of Labor Day being in the wrong month (i.e. not May), I missed it yesterday. Here are some links:

Molly’s anarchist thoughts on Labor Day; Michael Kazin on the disappearance of the working class from the pages of The New Republic; EJ Dionne on why he misses Big Labor; Ron Radosh on Kazin and Dionne; Elizabeth Chann on the unfinished task; Terry Glavin on Labor Day under the Bolivarian revolutionTedski with some apt music and on the meaning of Labor Day; Kay Street on the conservative attack; Mark Steyn on “16 Tonnes” and Brad DeLong on Labor Day 1894.

Published in: on September 7, 2010 at 12:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

A month of music Mondays: Flaco Jimenez

Flaco Jimenez: Viva Seguin

Published in: on September 6, 2010 at 12:20 pm  Comments (1)  

From the archive of struggle no.50: the thin red line

All of these are second hand, mostly from Entdinglichung and some from Platypus and Caring Labor, but I’ve added some annotation. Some I might have already posted. I have organised it like this to make more explicit the “thin red line” of the political tradition this blog celebrates. (more…)