From the archive of struggle no.32

Some old and not so old documents archived, and some recent articles about the radical past. Below the fold, Marxist stuff Entdinglichung has already covered. Browse the rest of the series here.

Direct Action (Solidarity Federation):

* The Great Dock Strike of 1889
* Reviews: Live Working or Die Fighting (Paul Mason); Meltdown: The end of the age of greed (Paul Mason); A Grand Cause: The hunger strike & the deportation of anarchists from Soviet Russia (G. P. Maksimov); The Federación Uruguaya Anarquista (translated & edited by Paul Sharkey); Salvador Puig Antich & the Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación (edited by Anna Key & translated Paul Sharkey)

The Anarchist Library:

* “A Fury For Justice: Lucy Parsons And The Revolutionary Anarchist Movement in Chicago” by Jacob McKean (1994) [source]
* “Facing the Enemy”: A platformist interpretation of the history of anarchist organization by Jason McQuinn, Killing King Abacus [source]
* Wooden Shoes or Platform Shoes?: On the “Organizational Platform of the Libertarian Communists” by Bob Black, Killing King Abacus [source]
* Preface to “Socialist Documents” by Charles Malato (1904) [source]
* Peru: The Ideology Of Apocalypse Shining Path To What? by Manolo Gonzalez (1993) [source]
* “Chavistas open fire, injure eight protestors in Caracas” by Peter Gelderloos (2007)
* “Beer and Revolution: Some Aspects of German Anarchist Culture in New York, 1880-1900” by Tom Goyens (2009) [source]
* “Dreams, Demands, and the Pragmatic Pitfall: The Barcelona Bus Drivers Strike” by Peter Gelderloos (2009)
* “Esperanto and Anarchism” by Will Firth (1998) [source]

Socialist Worker (ISO-US):

* The battle for the docks (the 1934 San Francisco dock strike)
* Labor’s breakthrough in Toledo (the 1934 Auto-Lite strike)

Monthly Review:

*Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: Indigenous Resistance in the Americas and the Legacy of Mariátegui (Review of Marc Becker, Indians and Leftists in the Making of Ecuador’s Modern Indigenous Movements, 2008).

Louis Proyect:

* Mariategui (2009)

US Marxist-Humanists:

*Statement of Principles (2009)
*Towards an organisational history of Marxism-Humanism in the US, Part 1 (2009)

In These Times

* Ralph Seliger on Albert Einstein and Israel/Palestine (2009)

(more…)

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Drawing clear lines

Today’s battles

1. The Popular Front has been one of the great dead ends of the socialist movement. Today, a terrible version of it has emerged in the NO2EU electoral front in the UK, an alliance of Stalinists and Stalinoid trade union hacks with the most reactionary Little Englanders, with a smattering of anorak left groupuscules to give it some hard left legitimacy. Reminiscent of some of the dangerous alliances created by the Communist Party of Great Britain in the 1930s, when they allied with reactionary war-mongerers simply because they were anti-Nazi.  Yourfriendinthenorth neatly analyzes No2Eu here.

2. Historically, the flipside to the “anti-Nazi” Popular Front was (objectively pro-Nazi) pacifism. The argument for pacifism has recently been made by Nicholson Baker in Human Smoke. As mentioned already, Max Dunbar has been taking up the metaphorical cudgels against Baker (here, then here and then here). Terry Glavin has taken note:

I’m happy to see that Max Dunbar has now joined Anne Applebaum, William Grimes, Adam Kirsch and others in helpfully rubbishing Nicholson Baker’s Human Smoke for being an ahistorical apologia for pacifism. Baker’s efforts at redeeming pacifism’s ill-deserved reputation in the context of the Second World War appear to follow exactly the same lines as Mark Kurlansky’s Nonviolence: Twenty-Five Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea, which I was happy to rubbish a while back.

George Orwell was there, of course, long before us, when he noticed that pacifism is “a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security.” Will I still be able to refer approvingly to Orwell’s many expressions of contempt for the bourgeoisie if the Liberal Party proceeds with granting the CHRC its greater powers?

You have to read the whole post for that last sentence to make sense, so please do.

3. The pacifist tradition that Baker and Kurlansky inherit is not an ignoble tradition. In the UK, its home was, for many decades, the Independent Labour Party. I have a lot of respect for the ILP and its heritage. Ken Coates is the contemporary figure who probably most represents the political tradition of the ILP. Over the years I’ve been influenced considerably by Ken Coates, his humanist socialism, his advocacy for workers’ control, his sense of industrial democracy as an extension of the republican liberties fought for by the likes of Tom Paine. However, in his little magazine, The Spokesman, I have long noted an unpleasant drift towards sloppy conspirationist thought, anti-American hysteria, a “New World Order” mentality. Habibi at Harry’s Place nails this trend, and shows how it spills over into very unpleasant antisemitic territory.

After the fold: Historical Notes, From the Archive of Struggle, Book notes, Blog notes. (more…)