From the archive of struggle no.84: A Libcom special

The IWW since 1932 – George Pearce

Organizing “wall-to-wall”: the Independent Union of All Workers (1933-1937) – Peter Rachleff

What is “Alternative Unionism”? – Staughton Lynd

An article by Staughton Lynd about the militant unionism of the 1930s.

Wobbly driplines: strikes, stowaways & the SS Manuka

Built in 1903 and wrecked off New Zealand’s southern coast in 1929, the Manuka was a floating fragment of class society—and of class warfare. This article uses the Manuka to tell the wider story of syndicalism, transnationalism, anti-militarism, and the IWW in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“The American blindspot”: Reconstruction according to Eric Foner and W.E.B. Du Bois – Noel Ignatiev

Noel Ignatiev’s review of two books about Reconstruction, which was the period in American history where the victorious Northern federal government attempted to transform the state and society in the South.

The Spanish revolution 1931-1939 – Pierre Broué

An essay on the “political” dimension of the revolution and the years immediately preceding it in Spain during the 1930s, “the struggle of the Spanish workers and peasants for their rights and liberties, for the factories and the land, and finally, for political power”, examining not only “demonstrations, strikes, storming the prisons, militiamen clad in overalls, barricades, dinamiteros, summary executions and collectivizations” but also “contradictory exegeses, theoretical debates, polemics and personal conflicts, and battles between political machines, fractions and tendencies”, as well as the “ever-present” menace of the counterrevolution.

The search for a useable past: an interview with Paul Buhle on Radical America

An interview of Paul Buhle, the founder of the radical journal, Radical America.

Anarchist portraits – Clifford Harper

A beautiful set of 36 woodcut style portraits of anarchists by Clifford Harper, originally published as a set of picture cards by Freedom Press. If you enjoy these images please donate or buy materials from Freedom or Clifford from their websites.

Images from Radical America

Images from Radical America, a magazine associated with the New Left and published from 1967-1999.

Bakunin – Guy Aldred

A pamphlet by Scottish anarchist communist Guy Aldred on Mikhail Bakunin, the founding figure of modern anarchism, published in 1940.

Ned Kelly’s ghost: the Tottenham IWW and the Tottenham tragedy – John Patten

Red years, black years: anarchist resistance to fascism in Italy

A detailed pamphlet on the history of the Italian anarchist resistance to fascism from the 1920s to 1945 and beyond by region. First published in 1973, translated to English by Alan Hunter and published in 1989 by ASP.

Personal recollections of the anarchist past – George Cores

Cartoons and images from The Voice of the People

Art, images and cartoons from ‘The Voice of the People’, a New Orleans based newspaper of the Industrial Workers of the World published from 1913-1914.

Manifesto of the Socialist Party of Canada 1944

Western Socialist 1933

This pamphlet was first published in 1910 as the Manifesto of the Socialist Party of Canada. During the ten-year period ending in 1920, five editions, totalling more than 25,000 copies, were issued. The growing insistence of members and sympathisers impels us to place the Manifesto once again in the hands of the working class. The present edition consists of 5,000 copies.

An Interview with Miguel Amorós – Cazarabet-El Sueño Igualitario

In this 2015 interview, Miguel Amorós discusses his book about Buenaventura Durruti, Durruti in the Labyrinth (2006), the controversies and enigmas surrounding the untimely and mysterious death of this charismatic figure of anarchism, and the impact of his death on the anarchosyndicalist movement in Spain during the civil war, which Amorós says was not dependent on the actions of any single individual, but that his demise demoralized the rank and file of the anarchist movement and reinforced the trend towards bureaucratization in the CNT-FAI by providing those institutions with a martyr for propaganda purposes to rally the masses behind the war and government collaboration.

The War and The Socialist Position

Socialist Standard September 1914

The text is taken from the original leaflet, THE WAR AND THE SOCIALIST POSITION, produced and printed by The Socialist Party of Great Britain. The leaflet was published for distribution to the working class until being prevented from being circulated at meetings by the capitalist State on the spurious grounds that it was considered “likely to cause disaffection to His Majesty or to interfere with the success of His Majesty’s forces by land or sea etc.” with the imposition of The Defence of the Realm Regulations enacted in November 1914.

Advertisements

On this day in 1917: Frank Little lynched

From on this Deity: 

  Ninety-three years ago today on 1st August 1917, Frank Little – labour leader, militant activist, agitator, executive board member of the Industrial Workers of the World and anti-war dissident – was asleep in the room he was renting in … Continue reading →

Published in: on August 1, 2011 at 10:17 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

This day 1913: Paterson

Read the story here.

Published in: on June 7, 2010 at 10:05 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

Belated

I can’t believe I missed the death of the talented singer songwriter Llasa de Sela age just 37 at the start of 2010. See Roland/Jams.

And some late additions to my Colin Ward obituaries: from Peter Marshall, author of Demanding the Impossible, from Critical Chatting, and from Robert Graham.

And one more for Michael Foot – the JC with a Jewish angle.

And two more obituaries, via Histomatist: The new issue of Socialist Review has a short article on the founder of the International Socialist TendencyTony Cliff (1917-2000) by Ian Birchall – at work on a forthcoming biography of this critically important twentieth-century revolutionary Marxist thinker. See also Sabby Sagall on the British actor and revolutionary socialist [sic] Corin Redgrave (1939-2010).

Talking of mourning (not that we’re mourning Redgrave), the New Centrist: “Pray for the twenty-nine West Virginia miners who lost their lives and their families. Then get active. Amending Joe Hill’s famous phrase, don’t only mourn, organize.”

Max Dunbar: All shall have prizes. On the Orwell Prize, Stephen Mitchelmore, Nick Cohen, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and George Orwell’s anti-pacifism. Related, did Christopher Hitchens read the SWP’s John Molyneux and blogger Snowball after reading Animal Farm?

Principia D: Eric Hobsbawm: The Marxist who never read Marx. (“Not judging by this survey of Post-war Italy, anyway. “) More on this in a future post, maybe.

From January, Kathedar Blog with two very good interrelated posts: on Alex Callinicos on imperialism and on Marx and the dialectic.

AF: Steps towards re-emergence of anarchism in Cuba. See also here.

Jamie Bartlett: Politics and the English language 2.0.

Continuing our anarchism vs Marxism discussion, these lapidary posts from Lady Poverty are well worth your time: Marx and Foucault; A note about Marx and FoucaultThe point, as it relates to Holden Caulfield and Karl Marx; Marxism vs. identity anarchism. And here, very much less to my taste, is a contribution from a Maoist: Anarchism or revolutionary Marxism? by Arindam Sen of the CPI(ML).

Also chronically belated: New Statesman: Jonathan Derbyshire interviews Terry Eagleton on nostalgia for 1970s socialism.

And some considerable time after Michael Foot’s death, this from Brian Brivati: Foot and Nye Bevan.

Wobbling around the world: a socialist belatedly discovers the IWW.

On Maoism: Richard Wolin remembers the Maoist 1960s, and Apoorvanand analyses Maoism in India, as does Dilip Simeon.

Wolin and Brivati come from Arguing The World, the now not quite brand new trans-Atlantic blog at Dissent. Here is one more from that: Alan Johnson: Žižek or Bobbio? (The blog title is familiar to me from the PBS documentary about the New York intellectuals I link to over to the right – I ought to know whose being quoted: Irving Howe?)

I meant to link to this article on William Morris discovering socialism in Iceland when it came out, then forgot, but was prompted after noticing it at Histomatist – seems kind of timelier now, as Morris would no doubt be enjoying the effects of the volcano on the global tourism and agri-industries.

Finally, how can I post these days without mentioning Hugo Chavez? This is from the Venezuelan anarchist journal El Libertario: Venezuela: the myth of “Eco-socialism of the XXI Century” The author is Professor and Researcher at the Simon Bolivar University in Caracas. This contribution is the revised excerpt from a longer article appeared in Spanish in the Journal of Economics and Social Sciences (FACES-UCV) entitled “XXI Century Eco-socialism and Bolivarian Development Model: the myths of environmental sustainability and participatory democracy in Venezuela “, 2009, vol. 15, No. 1, pp.187-223 

Anarchist notes

A few bits and bobs, not quite a full edition of my From the Archive of Struggle series.

Anarcho-syndicalists in the Mexican revolution: the Casa del Obrero Mundial

A critical account of the Mexican anarcho-syndicalist union the Casa del Obrero Mundial which took up arms against revolutionary peasants. From the Anarchist Federation, at LibCom.

The IWW and Music: Creating a Working Class Counter-Culture

This article discusses how the early IWW used music both as an organising tool and as a means of developing a sense of community among its members. It puts these activities in the context of the politics and practical activity of the IWW during this period.

KDVS Interview with Lucien van der Walt, co-author of “Black Flame”

The interview covers issues like defining anarchism, anarchism and trade unions today,  the issue of centralisation, anarchism and globalisation then and now, the Soviet Union and Communism,  the Spanish Civil War, anarchism and immigration today, the relationship between class struggle and other forms of oppression, anarchism after Seattle, and anarchism and postmodernism.

Proudhon, Marx and the Paris Commune

This update of Property is Theft! is focused on two key issues, Proudhon and Marx as well as Proudhon’s influence on the Paris Commune (which explains why it has been updated on the 18th of March!). The two are inter-related, simply because many key “Marxist” positions are first found in Proudhon’s work or date from the 1871 revolt and, ironically, simply repeat the ideas raised by the Communards who in turn found them in Proudhon…  The update involves the appendix of texts from the Commune as well as Proudhon’s 1846 letter to Marx and extracts from System of Economic Contradictions (both volume 1 and volume 2, some of the later translated for the first time).

Towards an anarchist history of the Chinese revolution

By Andrew Flood. Outside of a few events including the Long March and the Shanghai commune the development of the Chinese revolution is relatively unknown on the western left in comparison with the revolutions in Russia in 1917, Spain in 1936 or even the Paris spring of 1968. Those sections of that left influenced by or proclaiming themselves to be Maoist haven’t helped that situation much. Their histories have tended towards simple tales focusing on the role of one man and collapsed a 100-year history of revolution into the events important to him. [Italiano]

Organise! magazine anti-Poll Tax articles scanned in Issues 14-27 from 1988-1992

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of non-payment of the Poll Tax in England & Wales (following non-registration in 1989 and solid mass non-payment in Scotland), to remember the commitment of community campaigns which helped us support each other in non-payment, and to take inspiration from the great Poll Tax Riot in London on 31th March 1990 and smaller uprisings in many local areas, we present all of the scanned in articles published in Organise! magazine over the period 1988-1992 spanning fourteen issue.

This day in 1911: Carlo Tresca murdered

1943 January 11 Carlo Tresca, editor of the Socialist Italian-language newspaper Il Martello, is murdered in Manhattan after seeking political asylum in the United States. Tresca’s assassination, supposedly carried out by mobster Carmine Galante, was said to have been arranged by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s fascist government. [source]

Gerald Meyer: Carlo Tresca: The Dilemma of an Anti-Communist Radical.

More from Wikipedia.

The Daily Bleed below the fold. (more…)

Libertarian socialism?

My last post was on anarchist history, the one before on Marxist theory. This post links to some blog posts that try and think through the relationships between those two traditions. Many of these take as their starting point Staughton Lynd and Andrej Grubacic Wobblies and Zapatistas: Conversations on Anarchism, Marxism and Radical History (which you can buy here).

Lady Poverty: Politics and class; Communists/Rudolf Rocker.

Socialist Humanism with a human face: Towards socialism; Anarchism and Marxism.

Eric Kerl, International Socialist Review: Debating how to change the world.

Revol68, LibCom: Marxism and Anarchism.

Upping the Anti: Wobblies and Zapatistas.

Independent Working Class Association: Economic democracy – the need for a vision, part 1.

All The Right Enemies

From Slack Bastard:

The death of Grods has brought new life to the blogosphere, and A Fresh Start in August. I’d tell Bron to cheer up but the definition of a pessimist is someone who hasn’t yet heard the bad news. Instead, I’ll simply refer to the title of Dorothy Gallagher’s biography of Carlo Tresca: All the Right Enemies.

Often described as a “freelance revolutionary,” Carlo Tresca (1879-1943) was one of the most compelling and colorful figures of the American left prior to World War II. A newspaper editor, labor organizer, civil libertarian, anarchist, anti-Fascist and anti-Stalinist, Tresca had absorbed his fiery socialist principles and had been active as a trade-unionist and editor in his native Abruzzi before immigrating to the United States in 1904.

After joining the International Workers of the World (IWW) in 1912, Tresca was involved in a number of strikes, including the Lawrence, Massachusetts textile strike (1912), the New York City hotel workers’ strike (1913), the Paterson silk strike (1913), and the Mesabi Range, Minnesota, miners’ strike (1916). He edited a newspaper called L’Avvenire (The Future), first in Pennsylvania and, from 1913, in New York City. Its successor, from 1917, was Il Martello (The Hammer). Tresca’s uncompromising anarcho-syndicalist views resulted in frequent clashes with local and federal authorities, and repeated confiscation of his publications.

He devoted considerable energy to campaigning on behalf of Sacco and Vanzetti in the 1920s and also became preoccupied with the struggle against fascism. Pursued by the U. S. government at the behest of the Mussolini regime, he survived several assassination attempts by fascist supporters. The Spanish Civil War intensified his anti-Communist activity and propaganda, earning him more enemies on the American left.

On the evening of January 11, 1943, Tresca was shot to death on the sidewalk in front of his office at Fifth Avenue and 15th Street. Over the years there has been a lively debate about which of Tresca’s many enemies might have been behind the murder. His murder was never prosecuted.

In the same post, Slack Bastard notes:

Poumista, as ever, offers a truly superb neat-o experience dining on radical history… although Poumista’s blogroll suffers from one, rather obvious, lapse.

I’ll correct that ommission when I finish this post.

Also in the same post, this link:

ZAPAGRINGO is a blog by RJ Maccani, who sounds like a righteous d00d. His (?) blog documents the continuing relevance and global effects of the Zapatista uprising of 1994, a revolt by some of the poorest, most oppressed sectors of Mexican society, whose struggles continue and whose determination continues to inspire creative resistance everywhere.

Finally, a great Billy Bragg and Wilco YouTube: Woody Guthrie’s ‘Aginst Th’ Law’ from Mermaid Avenue Volume II.

Talking of Woody, here’s a snippet from a communist blog:

I am a communist. According to a number of talking heads and a handful of vocal rightist mobs, I should be ecstatic. After all, they say a bona fide socialist is sitting in the White House at this very moment! But skewed politics and fear mongering aside, the reality is that Obama is as far from socialism as I am from George Bush.

Socialism is born out of proletarian revolution, in which the working masses rise up and take control of the tools and technology they use for making and distributing the things people want and need. In the process of democratizing production and reorganizing it to meet human need, the working class does away with the very basis for the existence of classes. This opens the door to the establishment of communism, a worldwide, classless society in which all affairs are administered in common. This is what was advocated as historic necessity by people like Albert Einstein, Woody Guthrie, Jack London, Harry Belafonte, Stephen Jay Gould and Karl Marx.

Read the rest. It’s relevant to this.

Sorry, I said finally, but this Slackster post on ex-Sojourner Truth Organization cadre Leonard Zeskin is kind of relevant to our topic.

Everything in the world archived

I have only recently discovered the infinite joy of the Internet Archive, archive.org. Here are a few examples:

Audio:

George Sossenko is an 88-year old veteran of the Spanish Civil War. At the age of 16, he left his home in France to fight against Franco’s fascists with the anarchists of the Durruti column. A dedicated, life-long anarchist, George is still an active organizer as he travels and gives lectures on this important period in revolutionary history. Here, looking back from 2008, he talks about the lessons of the war.

A lovely “chill out” version of the Spanish anarchist classic “A las barricadashere. No information on singer or trumpeter.

Here, the dull, ponderous and vastly over-rated Stalinist Paul Robeson sings the classic “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night” to a Scottish miners’ benefit after the war.

Vastly superior is this, Harry McClintock (aka Haywire Mac, of “Big Rock Candy Mountain” fame) singing his Wobbly anthem “Hallelujah! I’m A Bum” in 1926.

Video:

The Archive of the Anonymous Narrated Image curates here some ordinary people’s family photos from the Spanish Civil War.

Books:

Here, via the National Yiddish Book Center is a reproduction of Rudolf Rocker’s memoirs in Yiddish, published in Argentina in the 1970s.

Here are the proceedings of the 1966 Socialist Party USA convention. Delegates included Norman Thomas, Michael Harrington, David McReynolds, Joshua Murachivik, Max Shachtman and Erich Fromm.

[From the archive of struggle, no.15]