One of the purposes of this blog is to join the dots in a history of the anti-Stalinist left: transnational traditions of dissident Marxism, democratic and libertarian socialism and class struggle anarchism which have actively resisted totalitarianism in all its forms. I came across this  at the blog Psychadelic Bolshevik, and I take the liberty of reproducing it here. I’ve covered a lot of this material before (click on the tags at the bottom for more), but this puts it all together well. After I pasted it in, I realised most of it is the text by Nick Heath published on libcom, to which I have added a hyperlink where the quotation starts. However, in re-reading that, I am a little confused on the different French Trotskyists twists and turns, so added a note on that. If anyone can check that and let me know if I’ve got it right, I’d be grateful.



After the storm

Català: Placa Andreu Nin a Biblioteca Pública ...

Català: Placa Andreu Nin a Biblioteca Pública de les Rambles de Barcelona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gabriel Schoenfeld had an article about why he supported Mitt Romney. Bizarrely, he thanks Max Shachtman. [h/t TNC]. Eric Lee also writes on Shachtman’s legacy. Remembering Hilda Friedstein: Hashomer Hatzair activist and animal rights pioneer. James Bloodworth:  Chavez’s dark side; It’s time to give Christopher Hitchens a statue. Andrew Coates: On the left press; European revolutionaries and Algerian independence 1954-1962.

Blogging Victor Serge: A wonderful series by Adam David Morton. The Lectern on The Case of Comrade Tulayev. More links from Sarah J Young.

Blogging George Orwell: On the publication of The Road to Wigan Pier.

From WSWS: Exhibition of photographer Agustí Centelles in Barcelona: Many unanswered questions about the Spanish Civil War; Wolfgang Brenner’s Hubert in Wonderland: A life in the shadow of Stalinism; The reactionary politics of Grace Lee Boggs; The dead-end of Catalan independence.

Below the fold, some items from Entdinglichung’s Weekly Worker feature: (more…)



Comrade Eamon Lynch.


Jim Denham on the Life and Fate of Vassily Grossman. Amador Fernández-Savater on Lawrence of Arabia and the (Non) Battle of Sol. James Bloodworth on why Hitchens is no Orwell. Michael Ezra on Socialist Unity’s Stalinist approach to Trotsky’s war policy.


The Big Game Benjamin Péret ; translated with an introduction by Marilyn Kallet. Black Widow Press, 357 pages. via Criticism etc:

Black Widow Press has released a translation (by Marilyn Kallet) of The Big Game, a 1928 work by Surrealist Benjamin Péret. In addition to being André Breton’s most committed Surrealist co-thinker, Péret was the the Surrealist most consistently involved as an organizationally engaged revolutionary. He was one of the contributing founders of Brazilian Trotskyism (see Robert Alexander’s Trotskyism in Latin America for details), participated in the ranks of an anarchist militia in the Spanish revolution, and co-led a dissenting troika (with Grandizo Munis and Natalia Trotsky) within the Fourth International which agitated against the official line of defensism and workers’-statism.

Selma James Sex, Race and Class—the Perspective of Winning: A Selection of Writings 1952-2011 (Forthcoming March 2012) PM Press, 300 pages. via Criticism etc:

PM Press continues to offer an interesting list of new titles including Sex, Race and Class—the Perspective of Winning, a forthcoming collection of works by feminist and theorist of the wages for housework movement Selma James. James was a member of the Johnson-Forest Tendency and a co-author of A Woman’s Place, the feminist pamphlet issued by Correspondence Committees in 1953. She accompanied C.L.R. James to England after he was forced to leave the U.S. under threat of deportation that year and the two were married. She worked with him during his extended stays in Trinidad, the couple active first as supporters, then critics of, Eric Williams. Selma James became grew estranged from her husband during this period and became heavily involved in the British radical feminist movement. She also established links with the Italian feminist movement and worked with Mariarosa Dalla Costa. Criticism &c. looks forward to this book and in particular its potential to rekindle much-needed discussion on the relationship of Marxism and feminism.

Published in: on October 5, 2011 at 12:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Benjamin Péret: songs of the eternal rebels

From History is Made at Night:

Benjamin Péret (1899-1959) was active in the Surrealist movement from its formation until his death. Among other things he edited at one stage the journal ‘La Révolution surréaliste’.


Péret was one of the first of the Surrealists to break with Stalinism. In the early 1930s, living in Brazil (with his wife, the singer Elsie Houston) he joined the trotskyist Communist League. In the Spanish Civil War, he worked first with the independent socialist POUM and then an anarchist militia fighting on the Aragon front. Later he was part of a group called the Union Ouvriere Internationale which broke with the trotskyist movement over the latter’s defence of the Soviet Union as a degenerate workers state (see this biography of Ngo Van Xuhat for more about this)

In a 1949 poem, A Lifetime, Péret looked back on his long association with Andre Breton and wrote of:

‘the songs in raised fists of the eternal rebels thirsting for ever new wind
for whom freedom lives as an avalanche ravaging the vipers’ nests of heaven and earth
the ones who shout their lungs out as they bury Pompeiis
Drop everything’.

Main source: Benjamin Péret, Death to the Pigs and Other Writings, translated by Rachel Stella and others (London: Atlas Press, 1988). The best source online is L’Association des amis de Benjamin Péret (in French)

Published in: on January 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm  Comments (2)  
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