Revenants

Transpontine channels Victor Serge. James Horrox channels Gustav Landauer. Jill Mountford channels Mary MacArthur, the chainmaker’s champion. The AWL channels Pierre Broue on the Bolsheviks as they really were. Lars Lih channels Lenin.

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Today in 1918: Bavarian Free State

From IISG:

Kurt Eisner flanked by ms Eisner and minister of social affairs Hans Unterleitner (BG A4/537)

In the aftermath of the First World War there was an insurrection in Munich headed by the leader of the Bavarian Unabhängige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (USPD), Kurt Eisner. Eisner proclaimed the Free State of Bavaria on 8 November 1918. The main political feat of Eisner’s government was to organize elections in January 1919. The USPD was roundly defeated. Eisner was murdered on 21 February 1919 by a rightist radical. A leftist radical government now came to power. This Soviet Republic of Munich existed only about two months.

See also:

•  Gustav Landauer papers

Wikipedia: Bavarian Soviet Republic. Two more images from an odd Russian site, Fractal Vortex. The first is where Kurt Eisner was murdered. The second is the Munich Red Flag.

Published in: on November 8, 2010 at 2:54 pm  Comments (1)  
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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…)

Catching up belatedly

Welcome back to the sphere On A Raised Beach, whose un-explained departure caused some concern. La Brigada has been reading Vasily Grossman.

Thanks to Mikey E, my most devoted fan, for the huge amount of traffic I got from Harryistas when he re-posted my material on the Stalinist victims of the anti-Stalinist SWP’s Stalinist practices.

More Harryism: Armin Rosen on Ian Buruma comparing Christopher Hitchens to the Marxist supporters of Japan in WWII.

Left Harryism: Raincoat Optimism on Hugo Chavez.

Totally un-related: The State as a Social Relationship: Gustav Landauer Revived – Dov Neuman of Jewdas interviews Gabriel Kuhn. More on this some other time. Maybe.

Also totally un-related: Coatesy on Koestler and Coatesy on Vincere.

To add to the blogroll: In the hands of the many.

I need quite a bit of time to catch up with: Arthur Bough.

Published in: on August 6, 2010 at 11:50 am  Comments (4)  
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From the archive of struggle no.44

I have fallen behind on this task, not having done it for about 6 weeks. Below the fold are basically my personal choices from Entdinglichung’s Sozialistika series.

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From the archive of struggle no.43

Ultra-lefitsm galore. Guy Debord, Sam Moss, Chris Harman, Peter Kropotkin, Sylvia Pankhurst and more in English, and, further down, stuff in several languages.

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From the archive of struggle no.37

In previous issues, I have featured the Labadie Collection, the Holt Labor Library, and other American archives. Today, we turn to Ireland.

The MultiText Project in History is an innovative educational project, brought to you by the History Department, University College Cork. It is the largest and most ambitious project undertaken by any university to provide resources for students of Modern Irish History at all levels: University students, the general reader, and second-level students. The project aims to publish a minimum of 12 books, each dealing with a separate period of Irish history. Each book contains accounts of key personalities, concepts, and detailed elucidations of some case studies in the period.

Among the project’s galleries are one on James Connolly and one on James Larkin, and a case study of the 1913 strike and lockout in Dublin . Here are some of the features:

Farewell dinner for Connolly, New York, 1910.
Farewell dinner for Connolly, New York, 1910.
Farewell dinner on the occasion of Connolly’s departure from New York to return to Dublin, 14 July 1910.
Election leaflet in Yiddish.
Election leaflet in Yiddish.
Election leaflet in Yiddish in support of James Connolly in his campaign for election to Dublin Corporation for the Wood Quay Ward in 1902.
Moscow3
Larkin in Moscow as representative of the Workers’ Union of Ireland at the Fifth Congress of the Comintern.

From the archive of struggle, no.35: Holt Labor Library special

In previous editions, I have featured the Labadie Collection and the Greater Manchester Collection. This week, we focus on the Holt Labor Library, with more below the fold. Browse the whole series here.

The Holt Labor Library in San Francisco has a truly exemplary website. Below are some snippets from some of its exhibitions, which are hyperlinked to their source pages.

The Bob Mattingly Button Exhibit.

[1991] Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) was formed in 1976 from a number of reform groups including Teamsters for a Democratic Contract and UPSurge. They were reacting to corruption within the union caused by leadership being too close to businesses, as well as their alleged affiliation with organized crime and the Nixon administration. Professionals Drivers’ Council (PROD) merged with TDU in 1979, bringing their lobbying and legal expertise, and new members from the East Coast and South. As a reform group within the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, TDU believes in a democratic union with control resting in the membership. Their Rank and File Bill of Rights emphasizes election of union leadership, majority approval of contract votes, equality throughout the union, workplace standards and fair salaries. Over the years, several of their goals have been implemented union-wide. In 1988, Majority Rule on Contracts became part of the IBT Constitution. TDU won direct election of officers through a federal RICO lawsuit in 1989. With the election of TDU-backed Ron Carey as Teamsters president in 1991, officers’ pay was slashed and financial waste ended. The TDU was active in the successful 1997 UPS strike. They supported Tyson Foods workers in Pasco, Washington in 1999 who called a strike even without IBT support. Today they continue their reform struggle against current IBT president James Hoffa, Jr., who they blame for new corruption and a loss of union membership.

[1984] United Farm Workers (UFW) leader César Chávez called for a third boycott on California table grapes in 1984. Whereas previous UFW boycotts had been about farm worker conditions, this one called for a ban on five major pesticides used in grape fields. The UFW claimed in their 1989 film, “Wrath of Grapes,” that the chemicals caused cancer and birth defects, and that they were getting into the ground water of surrounding communities. Chávez went on a 36-day hunger strike in 1988 to promote the boycott, receiving support from many politicians and celebrities. Later that year, city leaders in San Francisco, San Jose and Alameda County joined the boycott. UFW continued its boycott after Chávez’s death in 1993, ending it in 2000 when four of the five pesticides in question had been banned and the fifth regulated.

[1996] “The long-running, low key but aggresive campaign to organize a new party anchored firmly inside the American Labor Movement, will culminate next June in Cleveland, Ohio when delegates from across the nation formally launch a grassroots, working class-based political movement.” (Labor Party Advocate, August 1995) According to the organization’s website, the founding conference attracted “1,400 delegates from hundreds of local and international unions as well as individual activists.” They adopted a 16-point program, the “Call for Economic Justice,” that “demands that everyone who wants to work have a right to a decent-paying job. As long as millions of us remain jobless or employed at jobs that pay poverty wages, all of us will suffer.” (Labor Party: FAQs. http://www.thelaborparty.org/a_faqs.html )

Holt Labor Library Audio Collection

A selection of the library’s audio collection is online in mp3 format, hosted by the Marxists Internet Archive. Currently, lectures by George Breitman, James P. Cannon, Farrell Dobbs, Tom Kerry, Ernest Mandel, Robert Langston, Larry Trainor, Evelyn Reed and Harry Ring are available, with more to be added.

There are also special features, each with lots of links, on topics such as the San Francisco General Strike of 1934 (including folk song sheet music), the late Sylvia Weinstein, Sacco and Venzetti, Joe Hill, the Lawrence textiles strike, and the United Farm Workers of America.

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