Poumiseration

Top recommendation: Martin in the Martins: Chile: mine rescue stirs memories.

A rather tedious series of articles at the snappy-looking World Socialist Website relate to some meetings held by the German Socialist Equality Party (Partei für Soziale Gleichheit, PSG), Mehring Publications and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE), on the occasion (close enough anyway) of Trotsky’s assassination by Stalinist agents. This post introduces them; this post is about a talk by American historian Alexander Rabinowitch on his new book The Bolsheviks in Power: The First Year of Bolshevik Rule in Petrograd; and here is International Committee of the Fourth International tsar David North‘s speech Seventy years since the assassination of Leon Trotsky”. Here, on a different note, is Trotsky turning in his grave in 1989.

Slack Bastard has a funky new design featuring nuns with guns. One great recent article is on Benson ka-Ngqentsu, Brian Bunting District Secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP), who recently released a statement condemning the Abahlali baseMjondolo organisation and claiming that ‘blockading public roads’ — one of the tactics employed by the organisation — is ‘anarchy and reactionary’. The article goes on to an excellent harsh analysis of South African Stalinism.

In another post, he republishes “Hitler’s Ghost” by Christopher Hitchens in Vanity Fair June 1996. This is a great piece of writing, taking on both Daniel Jonah Goldhagen and his Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust and the evil Holocaust denialist David Irving. Meanwhile, Roland posts a YouTube of Hitchens in top form, tragically hairless due to chemo, debating his brother.

Meanwhile, the Gabber has an exclusive from Jairus Banaji, the veteran Indian Marxist (ex-IS), on the ironies of Indian Maoism. Highly recommended historical and critical account of the Naxalite movement.

More left sectariana: Bob from Brockley’s memoir of recruitment to the Spartacist League prompts some other great memories of teenage sect behaviour. And, via Phil, we have the best blog ever, that of the RNCPGB(ML) – Revolutionary New Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist). A must visit, for all fans of Michael Jackson or North Korea.

Vaultology: Operation Icepick, 1976; “Death to the generals!” Socialist Worker, 1979Vietnam Workers’ Party, 1953Jews Against the Vietnam War, ca.1970.

Quick links: No Israel boycott for Pete Seeger. Peter the Painter and his footballing legacy. Chetniks and Jews.

More links from Roland. I’ve also taken the image above from his place.

Advertisements

Spring/Autumn notes

Spring up here, but Autumn down there. Some extracts from Andy’s notes:

Anarchism / History

Wisdom earned the hard way – “The Tragic Procession: Alexander Berkman and Russian Prisoner Aid” [Review]:

It is not news to report that the Bolsheviks destroyed the anarchist movement in the Soviet Union. But how, and what were the consequences? These reprinted bulletins from the Joint Committee for the Defense of Revolutionists Imprisoned in Russia and the Relief Fund of the International Working Men’s Association for Anarchists and Anarcho-Syndicalists Imprisoned or Exiled in Russia show it as it happened. They ‘shed a little light on the struggles of our comrades and keep their names alive’ (p.x)…

See alsoBlack Flag: Bulletin of the Anarchist Black Cross (April 14, 2009) | The Unknown Revolution, 1917-1921 by Voline (1882-1945) | Leninist critiques of anarchism (March 25, 2010).

State/Politics / Trot Guide

Another call for unity on the left, this time by SA in Victoria (Socialism of the 21st century’ and left unity): “In Victoria this year we will most likely have both federal and state elections. It would be a real step forward if all socialist groups publicly supported the candidates of other socialist organisations (Socialist Alliance, Socialist Party, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Communist Party of Australia) and advocated a first-preference vote for them.”

The Socialist Equality Party — the Australian section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), the world party of socialist revolution — is not included in this list, probably not without reason, as the SEP only make reference to the SA in order to denounce it, whereas the SA do what most everybody else does with regards the SEP, and ignore it.

    Links — which is published by SA nee DSP — has published a statement by COSATU on “the brutal murder of Eugene Terre’Blanche on April 3, 2010″. Oddly, for an Australian-based publication, Links is most popular in the US, and by a fairly wide margin.

It’s unlikely — to put it mildly — that SA or any of the other Marxists parties will trouble any former lawyers as they make their way to their rightful place to a seat in State Parliament — although stranger things have happened. For my money — and keep in mind I live below the poverty line — the only possible exception would be inner-city Melbourne, where several seats — Brunswick, Melbourne, Northcote and Richmond — which are otherwise the property of Labor are under pressure from The Greens.

See alsoWhat happened to the Left? (February 27, 2010).

[…]

History / Media / Music

History is Made at Night – The Politics of Dancing and Musicking is neat-o, especially1990: Trafalgar Square Memories (March 31, 2010), which is all about how the Militant saved the day… or not.

The bad old days will end is “Home of the Freedom Pass Anarchists and the wonderful world of professional wrestling, psychogeography, allotments and the class struggle.” The author writes: “On the day that I retired from my final job as a lockkeeper I left the following on the wall… I started work at fifteen years of age. Worked on the river and at sea but I also worked in factories and fields. In the circus and in films. I never achieved much. But I never crossed a picket line. Never judged a fellow worker by their colour or creed nor sucked up to the bosses for my own ends. Pretty much sums it all up.”

See alsoRefuting the stupid left’s charge sheet against Orwell (March 29, 2010).#

Also from History is Made at Night:

Stars Campaign for Inter-Racial Friendship: rock against racism in the 1950s? (Trad jazz versus the White Defence League)

Dancing at the Peckham Experiment (anarchism, social democracy, and dancing)

On Hugo Chavez, defender of Iranian theocracy, and his defenders in the Trotskyist movement:

Via Andy again, and relevant to this:

Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency: The Clique and Chavez’s policy towards the IRI

Criticism of Chavez by Iranian labour activists and Marxists is nothing new. (more…)