Poumastica

In the Atlantic:  The Lawyer Who Told FDR He Couldn’t Censor a Trotsky Speech.

From Howie’s Corner:  Why do they call themselves “Socialist” Unity? / Martin Smiths “confidential resignation” / Is the Socialist Party heading for a split? / The “forgotten” Socialist Party (of Great Britain)..

From the archive of struggle, no.78

I have recently discovered Monoskop Log. Here are some treasures from it:

*Zenit, International Review of Arts and Culture, No. 1-43 (1921-26) [SH/FR/DE/RU]

*Graham Roberts: The Last Soviet Avant-Garde: OBERIU – Fact, Fiction, Metafiction (1997)

*Mary Gabriel: Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution (2011)

*Peter Linebaugh: Ned Ludd and Queen Mab: Machine-Breaking, Romanticism, and the Several Commons Of 1811-12 (2012)

*Marcel Duchamp: The Afternoon Interviews (2013)

And from a similar site, UbuWeb:

*Man Ray (1945-1998): Les Mystères du château de Dé (1929) / Emak Bakia (1926)  / Le Retour à la raison (1923)  / L’Étoile de mer (1928)  / Home Movies (1923-1937)  / Home Movies (1938) / The Bazaar Years (1990, documentary)

*Klaus Kinski Singt Und Spricht Berthold Brecht:

  1. Und Was Bekam Des Soldaten Weib? 6:16
  2. Der Anstreicher Spricht Von Kommenden Grossen Zeiten (Intro) 0:56
  3. Der Barbara-Song Oder Die Ballade Vom Nein Und Ja 10:58
  4. O Du Falada, Da Du Hangest… 7:06
  5. Ballade Vom Weib Und Dem Soldaten 6:17
  6. An Die Nachgeborenen 6:39
  7. Kinderkreuzzug 1939 14:05
  8. An Meine Landsleute 3:50
  9. Vier Aufforderungen An Einen Mann Von Verschiedener Seite Zu Verschiedenen Zeiten 1:36
  10. Vom Sprengen Des Gartens 0:54

In the Marxist Internet Archive:

*Added to the Andreas Nin ArchiveFinal Declaration to the Police 21st June 1937

*Added to the Grace Lee Boggs Archive in the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL)The Chinese Sailors “Mutiny” (as Ria Stone) (1942) / “March on Washington” Movement Stirs Again (as Ria Stone) (1942) / Negroes, March on Washington! (as Ria Stone) (1942)

*Added to the Irving Howe Archive in the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL)Labor Action Replies to Christian Science Monitor (1942) / The Saturday Evening Post Slanders the Jewish People (1942) / Labor Action Answers California Eagle Attack (1942) / Stalinists Defend War Profiteers! (1942) / Jim Crow – Who Will Win the New Orleans Race? (1942)

*Added to the Hugo Oehler Archive in the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL)The Negro and the Class Struggle (series) (1932) / The S.P. “Lefts’” Program (1932) / The Slogan of the Defense of the U.S.S.R. (1932)

And here’s a sample of new material added to the wonderful Early American Marxism website: (more…)

From the archive of struggle, no.73: sound edition

From Ubuweb:

Bertolt Brecht’s Audio Works A sweep of recordings and interpretations of Brecht’s plays and speeches, both historical and contemporary. Includes Brecht singing two songs from “Die Dreigroschenoper” (rec. 1928/29), his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee (1947), plays by the legendary Berliner Ensemble from the mid-50s, as well as archival radio plays of Brecht’s work including “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,” “Mr Puntila & His Man Matti,” “In The Jungle of Cities,” “The Life Of Galileo,”The Trial of Lucullus,” “A Respectable Wedding,” “Schweik in the Second World War,” and “The Threepenny Opera.”

George Grosz Das Gesicht der herrschenden Klasse: 57 politische Zeichnungen (1921); Mit Pinsel und Schere: 7 Materialisationen (1922)

Kurt Schwitters Anna Blume: Dichtungen (1919); Memoiren Anna Blumes in Bleie: Eine leichtfassliche Methode zur Erlernung des Wahnsinns für Jederman (1922)

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Not exactly sure if thee fit here, but there’s a fascinating post at the Meretz USA blog about Inventing Our Lives, a new documentary on the history and evolution of the kibbutz movement, including some interesting details about the history of the Israel left (the Hashomer Hatzair linked Kibbutz Artzi Federation, the Mapam/Meretz socialist-Zionist tradition, and the alternative left Sheli party).

And Facing the War deploys an excellent paragraph by Lezcek Kołakowski to think about anarchist rhetoric in the anarchist movement and other problems of the left today.

And Julian Wright reviews some books about Jean Jaures.

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Other material from Entdinglichung beneath the fold: (more…)

My obsessions

Leon Trotsky:

A good review by Andrew Coates of Patenaude and Robert Service‘s books, and a rather plodding defence of Trotsky from Service by Peter Taafe.

Ignazio Silone:

Silone on liberty. An interview with Tim Parks that touches on the “Silone question” (via The Perfect Package, see last quote). Any Persian readers reading this? Here’s some Silone in Farsi.

Albert Camus:

Coates on Camus in the Pantheon.

The Spanish Civil War:

Wilebaldo Solano on the POUM (more on this later). Review of An Anarchist’s Story: The Life of Ethel MacDonald.

Bertolt Brecht:

Excellent post by The Fat Man on a Keyboard, contra Nick Cohen on The Good Soul of Szechuan.

Kronstadt:

Finally, I am sad that I missed the New York Queer Film Festival, where I could have seen this:

Closing Night: Maggots & Men
Seeing Cary Cronenwett’s Maggots and Men, you have nothing to lose but your perceptions of gender. This utopian re-visioning of the Kronstadt Uprising of 1921, featuring film history’s first cast of over 100 transgender actors, paints an idyllic portrait of formerly pro-Soviet sailors at the Kronstadt naval garrison who rebelled against the perceived failures of the new Bolshevik state.

Leon Trotsky drinking Mexican coffee

Robert Service on Trotsky again: Service was on the weekend’s The Forum on the BBC World Service. The Service bit starts at 27 minutes. I don’t like Service’s analysis, although he is partly right. Service is right about Trotsky’s personality: cold, prim, glacial, disdainful, arrogant, self-centred. But Service basically says Trotsky and Stalin are “blood brothers”, that Trotsky was as ruthless as Stalin, who in turn was as much a “man of ideas” as Trotsky. This is surely not right, despite Trotsky’s faults. However, Service is right that Trotsky would have suppressed the peasants to achieve industrialisation, less brutally than Stalin but nonetheless harshly.

One interesting point Service makes is that other Russian exiles were making similar analyses of Soviet Russia, and have been forgotten. (He doesn’t name names, but Victor Serge, Ante Ciliga, Boris Souvarine, Voline, the exiled Mensheviks André Liebich writes about in From the Other Shore, and so on.) Service suggests that it was because Trotsky was a great writer and subsequently a great martyr that he became so important. I think this is true, but the third factor, both Trotsky’s strength and his flaw, his hubris perhaps, was that he was a great factionalist, with a sense of himself as a leader of a movement, something that was untrue of the other, more modest key figures of the anti-Stalinist left. Anyway, I still prefer Hitchens’ version. Lots more here.

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Heroes: Josef Frantisek. Marek Edelman, Steve Cohen and Mercedes Sosa. John Saville. Bongani Mkhungo.

Villains: Nat Hentoff.

George Orwell: His lessons for combating antisemitism today.

Histories: The Communist Party in the French resistance. New York elections: from honourable Jewish socialists to odious Marxoid cults. The end of the left’s Cuba romance? The state of Bund historiography [pdf]. The Labour Party and the Battle of Cable Street.

Book reviews: Platypus on Communist Chicago. Colin Waugh’s Plebs. Geoffrey Foote on Paul Flewers’ New Civilisation. Andrew Coates on Flewers and two other books on Communism.

Interviews: Nick Cohen in Black Flag.

The Kaminski affair: Bob has a good round-up (scroll to “Strange alliances”).

Marxist theory: Louis Proyect on John Molyneux on party democracy. Playtpus on Karl Korsch. David Black (Hobgoblin London) on philosophy and revolution.

Un-Marxist theory: Irving Howe “Class and sociology” 1957, plus replies by Lewis Coser and Dennis Wrong.

If sharks were people: From Brecht’s Tales from the Calendar.

Consumerism: Buy Zapatatista coffee! And buy the new edition of Zapata of Mexico. And buy The Workers’ Next Step. And The Insurrectionists by Bill Fishman.

In the Mexican suitcase

Robert Capa’s “Mexican” Suitcase.  photo © Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Gerda Taro, Air Raid Victim in the Morgue, Valencia, 1937.

Highbrow

Lowbrow

Folkish

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