On a roll, no.1

A friend of mine was complaining about the length of my blogroll. She assured me that size does not matter. I keep intending to parcel it up into more digestible categories, but I can’t work out the taxonomy. Instead, as a service to readers, I have decided to start this new series where I highlight some of the links on the roll. In the spirit of honouring the underdog, I’ll start at the bottom of the alphabet, and in each entry highlight five blogs and five non-blogs, and see how we go.

Five Blogs


This blog, whose title means Awaken (I think), seems to have fallen asleep in 2010. It’s a revolutionary, anti-assimilationist, anarchist blog, in Yiddish. Featuring: lyrics to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” in Yiddish; lyrics to Crass’ “Where next Columbus?” in Yiddish; a poem about the Botwinists, the Jewish brigade in the Spanish civil war; and the template for some Yiddish anarchist stencil graffiti (right).


One of my favourites. Contrarian democratic socialism from Northern Ireland. Poumistas might like, for example, Ignoring the inevitable?, on totalitarianism in North Korea, or this post on what Facebook would have looked like a couple of centuries ago.

What in the hell…?

An extremely smart, readable and good-looking blog from an activist in the Workers Solidarity Alliance, a North America anarchist organisation in a broadly syndicalist tradition. The shtik is that every post answers a “What in the hell…?” question, as in … is the big deal about tenure? or … is the relationship between local history and radical history? or … was I on about? In fact, looking at it now, I realise that I’m going to have to go and print off lots of the posts and read them properly. Go get stuck in.

Virtual Stoa

The elder statesman of my corner of the blogosphere, the Virtual Stoa, Chris Brooke’s blog, has been going since May 2001. Among the features are Dead Socialist Watch, obituaries for socialists, part of a larger “Leftwingery” section.

Utopia or Bust

According to the tin, “Utopia Or Bust is a blog and online repository based out of Portland, OR. The aim of Utopia Or Bust is to formulate a relevant practice and cohesive theory for the living-out of everyday life under the decidability of our own desires, and connecting the dots between technology, social antagonism, art, critical theory, and urban design. Many intellectual motifs used in this blog come from the Situationist International, the Italian Autonomist movement, and others found in the tag section.” Greatest hits are here. Perhaps slightly highbrow for me, but well-written, witty and fascinating.

Five other web resources

Yale Annals of Communism

This is a publicity site for a Yale University research programme and book series. Among its gems, this podcast: WBEZ (Chicago) broadcast featuringSpain Betrayed and Stalin’s Secret Pogrom; and electronic documents like these: Enemies within the Gates? The Comintern and the Stalinist Repression, 1934-1939; and Voices of Revolution, 1917. The site is now in need of some updating, but has a fair bit for any student of Stalinism to munch on.

Wu Ming Foundation

Wu Ming is an Italian collective authorship project with roots in the post-autonomist social centre movement. Most relevant to Poumistas would be 54, already mentioned here, which moves from anti-fascist Italian partisans via Cary Grant to the repression of autogestion in Yugoslavia. They also have a blog. See e.g. The hero who killed Giovanni Gentile.

World in Common

This rarely updated website represents the diverse current of the ‘anti-market anti-statist sector’. It has links to a vast library of important texts from this tradition, featuring Marx, Kropotkin, Pannekoek and all sorts of others. It has a large link directory. And its hosts three issues of a journal Common Voice.

Workman’s Circle/Arbeter Ring

More Yiddishism. The New York Workman’s Circle was once a major institution of secular, proletarian Jewish cultural life, intimately linked to the labour movement. It survives today to promote Yiddish culture, progressive politics and secular Jewishness. This text explains its dynamic reinvention in its second century of existence.

Workers Liberty

One of the smallest but most perfectly formed of all of Britain’s Trotskyists sects. The party, led by reb Sean Matgamna, has gone through many incarnations since it began as a faction within the IS, the predecessors of today’s SWP. It practises a heterodox Trotskyism, more closely linked to Max Shachtman and Hal Draper than with the moribund mainstream of orthodox Trotskyism.

Published in: on November 17, 2010 at 11:54 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “Arbeiter Ring”
    i pass it every time i go to penn station.

  2. […] Continuing where we left off here… […]

  3. hey thanks for the kind words on my blog, I really appreciate it. My blog is mostly me thinking out things I’m puzzling over. Currently that faces in two or three main directions, but I hope from a variety of subjects pretty regularly. The main direction politically is summed up by this pair of posts –


    I’ll eventually get the posts categorized properly, i had them categorized for a while but my interests have changed a lot and in ways I’ve not been 100% clear on until after the fact so I’ve not kept up the categorization. Anyway, thanks.

    take care,

  4. […] On a roll, no.1 (poumista.wordpress.com) […]

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