Date   

When Italy’s Communists Made Comics for Children | Juri Meda | Jacobin

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 


Re: How the Taliban came to power — again. | Emile Schepers | Communist Party USA

RKOB
 

This is, how shall I say, an extraordinary article!

The title is “How the Taliban came to power — again.” Nevertheless, it does not say A SINGLE WORD about the Taliban’s 20 years of struggle against the U.S. occupation!

Not only this. The whole “analysis” starts with the British in the 19th century and stops with 2001. And this despite a considerable length of more than 1,500 words!

How can such an absurd presentation be explained? Obviously, it is because the CPUSA – like many other Stalinist parties in the world – attempts to present the victory of the Taliban not as a result of their struggle against the U.S. occupation but rather as a conspiracy of Washington in order to bring their agents to power!

So much for dialectics and materialism in the outlook of Stalinism!

For those interested, here is a link to a pamphlet which criticizes such an approach of many leftists.

Afghanistan and the Left: Closet Social-Imperialism

A critique of reformist and centrist forces which are outraged about the Taliban’s victory against the U.S. occupation in Afghanistan

A Pamphlet by Michael Pröbsting, 24 September 2021

https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/afghanistan-and-the-left-closet-social-imperialism/

(for those who prefer to read it in Spanish language: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/afghanistan-and-the-left-closet-social-imperialism/#anker_5)

 

 

Am 16.10.2021 um 07:04 schrieb Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo:


John Deere Put Temporary Workers On The Factory Floor...

Gibbons Brian
 


... It's Going About As Well As You'd Expect

https://jalopnik.com/john-deere-put-temporary-workers-on-the-factory-floor-1847872374

Comments that follow article worthwhile to take in

Brian Gibbons


The Belmarsh Tribunal Comes To London / Stand-Ups for Assange

Charles Keener
 



The War on Terror is put on trial in London through the Belmarsh Tribunal.

Just after the bombshell revelations about the CIA plot to kidnap and assassinate WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange while he sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, the Progressive International comes to London with the first physical Belmarsh Tribunal. The intervention comes ahead of Assange’s extradition proceedings, which are set to continue in London’s High Court from 27 to 28 October 2021.
Inspired by the famous Russell-Sartre people’s tribunal, the Belmarsh Tribunal places the War on Terror on trial and holds the US government accountable for its war crimes. It is named for the London prison that has held Assange in permanent confinement for the last two years, as he faces extradition to the US, whose government plotted his assassination. The Belmarsh Tribunal will hold its first physical proceedings in London on the 22 of October 2021 at the Convocation Hall, Church House, Westminster, which was used for sittings of parliament during the Second World War.
The Belmarsh Tribunal will gather leading figures from politics, the law and journalism, to shed light on the US crimes that were revealed by WikiLeaks – torture, violence, illegal spying – but also to speak about the existing crimes of both US and UK against Julian Assange for exposing their illegal and unjustifiable actions. Among the speakers who will appear both in physical presence and via “live-stream” are Tariq Ali, Renata Ávila, Apsana Begum, Richard Burgon, Jeremy Corbyn, Rafael Correa, Özlem Demirel, Deepa Govindarajan Driver, Daniel Ellsberg, Selay Ghaffar, Markéta Gregorová, Heike Hänsel, Srećko Horvat, Ken Loach, Annie Machon, Stefania Maurizi, John McDonnell, Yanis Varoufakis, Ben Wizner and Eyal Weizman.


Starbucks Workers Are Organizing — and Management Is Worried | Faith Bennett | Jacobin

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 


Cuba responds to Miami-based provocation. The unconventional war against Cuba continues | Charles McKelvey | Cuba-Network in Defense of Humanity. In defense of the truth and plurality information:

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 


H-Net Review [H-Diplo]: Monteith on Walker, 'Jamaica Ladies: Female Slaveholders and the Creation of Britain's Atlantic Empire'

Andrew Stewart
 



Best regards,
Andrew Stewart

Begin forwarded message:

From: H-Net Staff via H-REVIEW <h-review@...>
Date: October 16, 2021 at 8:44:42 AM EDT
To: h-review@...
Cc: H-Net Staff <revhelp@...>
Subject: H-Net Review [H-Diplo]:  Monteith on Walker, 'Jamaica Ladies: Female Slaveholders and the Creation of Britain's Atlantic Empire'
Reply-To: h-review@...

Christine Walker.  Jamaica Ladies: Female Slaveholders and the
Creation of Britain's Atlantic Empire.  Williamsburg  Omohundro
Institute of Early American History and Culture and Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 2020.  336 pp.  $22.95 (paper),
ISBN 978-1-4696-5879-7; $90.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-4696-5526-0.

Reviewed by Kathleen E.A. Monteith (University of the West Indies)
Published on H-Diplo (October, 2021)
Commissioned by Seth Offenbach

_Jamaica Ladies_ explores the roles of free and freed women--white
and those of mixed African and European/British ancestry--as both
colonizers and slaveholders in Jamaica in the period from the second
half of the seventeenth to the mid-eighteenth century. Mining a
variety of sources, Christine Walker argues quite convincingly that
women were an integral part of the creation of a society and economy
based on enslavement. Indeed, as stated by Walker, "if merchants and
sailors oversaw the purchase and transportation of captive Africans,
then free and freed women acted as the handmaidens of empire, weaving
these captives into the warp and weft of colonial societies" (p. 5).
Walker extricates women's lives, thoughts, and actions by craftily
and deftly employing a "gendered-eye" analysis of information
contained in letters, business accounts, wills, parish registers,
inventories, maps, and plans to provide deeper understanding of
Jamaica's early society and economy. In so doing, Walker challenges
previous interpretations of the lives of free and freed women in
early British colonial Jamaica, providing compelling evidence and
nuanced analyses of their economic role and lives in this period.
Walker convincingly shows colonial free and freed women to have been
"powerful agents of enslavement and colonialism," far from being
marginalized and exploited within a dominant male society. Indeed,
she shows that "female slaveholders wielded novel and significant
legal, social and economic and cultural autonomy, which they enacted
wisely and outside the household" (p. 9). Walker argues that they
were able to do this because the normative European/British gender
ideologies and proscriptions of women's roles never took root in
societies such as Jamaica's, which were dominated by black African
enslavement. Hence the understanding of what a "lady" was, in the
European/British context, was not replicated in the colonial slave
context.

_Jamaica Ladies _consists of an introduction and six simply titled
chapters, followed by a conclusion. Chapters 1 and 2, titled "Port
Royal" and "Kingston" respectively, establish the presence of more
free women than free men, in relatively significant numbers, than
were previously thought to have existed. Walker notes that in "Port
Royal" during the second half of the seventeenth century, free women
and children made up one-half of the permanent population; free men,
35 percent; and enslaved people, 16 percent (p. 42). For Kingston, in
1731, the ratio was more balanced, with 516 white women and 607 white
men being recorded (p. 72). Within these bustling urban commercial
centers, while others lived on the margins, impoverished or just
scraping by, some free (both white and women of color) or freed women
were active participants in the burgeoning slave economy,
participating in the transatlantic trading system, running successful
businesses, not only taverns and lodging houses, but also retail
textile establishments, providing credit to others, and specializing
in the importation of manufactures from Europe, the Middle East and
Asia (p. 44).

By providing granular detail on their economic activities, Walker
craftily and deftly challenges the stereotypical view of the role of
women in late seventeenth- and mid-eighteenth-century colonial
Jamaica, when the plantation economy and society was being
established and during which time a significant amount of wealth was
being generated, in which businesswomen were active participants.
That women, including married women, operated on their own account is
established, with Walker illustrating that some decidedly avoided
coverture to operate as independent agents or "femes sole." This
might very well have been for practical purposes given the high
mortality rates of the period, but it also demonstrates their agency
in managing their business affairs, forming partnerships with men and
other women, and advancing credit to others.

The type of wealth and fortune that some were able to amass is
illustrated with reference to Anna Hassall. Walker opens her second
chapter with a fascinating description of the extravagant and
self-orchestrated burial of Anna Hassall, who died at age
thirty-seven in 1750, in London's Westminster Abbey. Having taken
control of her husband's mercantile business following his death in
1748, Hassall continued the business with skill and acumen,
demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the markets for the
goods she traded in. Walker suggests that Hassall, who was raised in
Kingston, learned the craft of business from her mother, Sarah
Shanks, who herself ran a successful business enterprise which among
other activities included investments in privateering activity and
money-lending to affluent sugar estate owners. Hassall's wealth and
fortune, like that of her white male counterparts, afforded her the
ability to become an absentee owner with her relocation to England,
from where she continued to manage her Jamaican business affairs
until her death.

In "Plantations," the third chapter, Walker demonstrates that free
women in the early eighteenth century were also more involved in the
daily management of not just small-scale, non-agricultural
enterprises but also of medium-sized sugar estates, such as Spring
and Barbican in St. Andrew parish. This was previously overlooked,
Walker points out, perhaps because of the way in which information
was recorded at the time, leading to an obfuscation of the presence
of women as owners, part owners with relatives, and managers. A
closer reading of manuscript surveys, maps, and plans reveals that
plantation agricultural enterprise in this period was not the sole
preserve of men, and that women were far from being "weak and
ineffective victims" (p. 128). Indeed, as demonstrated by Walker,
their management ethos concerning enslaved labor was no different
from that of their male counterparts. Walker concludes that women
like Mary Elbridge, part owner with relatives of Spring sugar estate;
Priscilla Guy of Guy's Plantation; and Sarah Williams of Williams
Plantation help lay "the groundwork for what was to become the most
profitable and most exploitative agricultural economy in the British
empire in the eighteenth century" (p. 119).

In the fourth chapter, "Inheritance Bequests," Walker gleans
information from censuses and wills written by women that reveals
their wishes and instructions concerning the disposal of their
property, thereby elucidating societal dynamics among the inhabitants
of Jamaica during the period 1665-1761. They also reveal colonial
women's use of British laws and precepts to avoid coverture, which
married women were subject to, thus making sure they maintained
control over their property. In so doing, colonial women evidently
challenged the legal definition of marriage whereby the wife was
subsumed under the husband's identity.

In chapter 5, "Nonmarital Intimacies," Walker illustrates the
accepted norm of sexual permissiveness which resulted in a high
proportion of children born to single women, white and free and freed
women of color. She notes the importance of baptism in ensuring
freedom for a child, as well as conferring "legitimacy" and
"respectability" within this context. "Manumission," the final
chapter, illustrates through an examination of women's wills the
reasons for manumission. Walker concludes that manumission
"transitioned people from positions of marginality to greater
belonging and incorporation" in Jamaican society (p. 264). In so
doing, it may very well have assisted in maintaining the status quo,
while ultimately serving to undermine it in the long run.

Overall, this is a rich and compellingly well-researched book that
builds on excellent work in the field and makes a major contribution
to scholarship on women in the early colonial slave context. It
elucidates just how complex slave societies were, and how free and
freed women contributed to the creation of that complexity. In that
regard, it underscores the contribution women made to the
creolization process in Jamaican society. _Jamaica Ladies_ is an
essential study of the gender, social, and economic history of the
island and region as a whole.

_Kathleen E. A. Monteith is professor of Caribbean history at the
University of the West Indies, Mona. Her most recent publication is
_Plantation Coffee in Jamaica, 1790-1840_ (2019). Her other
publications include _West Indian Business History: Enterprise and
Entrepreneurship_ (2010); _Depression to Decolonization: Barclays
Bank (DCO) in the West Indies, 1926-1962_ (2008); and _Jamaica in
Slavery and Freedom: History, Heritage and Culture _(2002)._

Citation: Kathleen E.A. Monteith. Review of Walker, Christine,
_Jamaica Ladies: Female Slaveholders and the Creation of Britain's
Atlantic Empire_. H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews. October, 2021.
URL: https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=56373

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States
License.



Cherry-Picking Polls to Hide Public Support for Biden's Spending Plan | David Moore | FAIR

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 


Myanmar: is ‘D-Day’ upon us? Or is the INUG betraying the revolution?

Cort Greene
 


Myanmar: is ‘D-Day’ upon us? Or is the INUG betraying the revolution?

15 October 2021

Twitter, Kriang Krai

On 7 September 2021, the self-proclaimed Interim National Unity Government (INUG) declared a state of emergency and declared a civil war against the military junta. It is not difficult to declare war online by announcing a state of emergency. It is even easier for those who are safely in exile in the United States. If you have a good internet connection, you can declare war at the stroke of a keyboard.

Before INUG announced this state of emergency, there was a false hope among many people in Myanmar that all of the anti-junta militias would wage an insurrection on 'the same day' against the junta. Many also expected INUG would call for D-Day when the PDFs and guerrilla armed forces are ready to fight against the junta. After that, victory will ensue. This rumor was spread by the so-called online social influencers, who are also diehard supporters of NLD and the INUG. The latter’s pronouncement on 7 September, then, renewed this hope among the people.

However, carrying out an armed uprising to overthrow a military dictatorship is not as simple as making an announcement online. Even a child knows this fact. Everyone knows that armed insurrection is a serious matter, and not something you can suck out of your thumb artificially at will at any moment. Yet the INUG and their supporters often wrote that the cruelty of those “war demons” in the “fascist” military is so intolerable that the people have no choice but to answer their call to take up arms.

The despicable cruelty on the part of the military of course cannot be disputed. However, if it could be simply toppled by a call to the people to fight their cruelty, revolutions would occur across the whole world overnight and the world we all aspire to could have been realised long ago.

An armed struggle cannot be waged based on sentimentality alone. Marx once said that insurrection is an art and it must be taken seriously. Lenin added:

“To be successful, insurrection must rely not upon conspiracy and not upon a party, but upon the advanced class. That is the first point. Insurrection must rely upon a revolutionary upsurge of the people. That is the second point. Insurrection must rely upon that turning-point in the history of the growing revolution when the activity of the advanced ranks of the people is at its height, and when the vacillations in the ranks of the enemy and in the ranks of the weak, half-hearted and irresolute friends of the revolution are strongest. That is the third point.” (Marxism and Insurrection, Lenin, September 1917)

Just one month before the 1917 October uprising, Lenin reiterated Marx’s teachings that insurrection must be treated as an art and he specified the objective conditions under which an insurrection could be called for. In September 1917, Lenin urged the Bolshevik Central Committee to conclude that an armed uprising was on the order of the day, for all three objective conditions had been fulfilled. In the same letter, however, he also explained that there was no such situation on 3-4 July, and that the insurrection could not have been successful at that time.

At that time:

“(1) We still lacked the support of the class which is the vanguard of the revolution.

We still did not have a majority among the workers and soldiers of Petrograd and Moscow. Now we have a majority in both Soviets. It was created solely by the history of July and August, by the experience of the ‘ruthless treatment’ meted out to the Bolsheviks, and by the experience of the Kornilov revolt.” (Ibid.)

That explains why in July the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin and Trotsky, tried to restrain the spontaneous uprising of the soldiers who came to them. In Petrograd, the capital city, they could have seized power. But they postponed it as they considered it premature. They adopted the tactic of “patiently explaining” to win over the majority of the vanguard* class of the revolution to their program.

(*NB: the word “vanguard’” was used widely during the period of the Burmese Revolution. Some groups of people used to call themselves a “vanguard” despite the fact that they were a handful of men. Some people described INUG as the “vanguard”. It is clear that they do not understand the real meaning of the concept of “vanguard”. Marx and Lenin firmly maintained that the vanguard class of the revolution is the working class, not the peasants, not the students - although they can be allies of the working class - and certainly not the bourgeois liberals.)

Lenin continues:

“(2) There was no country-wide revolutionary upsurge at that time. There is now, after the Kornilov revolt; the situation in the provinces and assumption of power by the Soviets in many localities prove this.”

“(3) At that time there was no vacillation on any serious political scale among our enemies and among the irresolute petty bourgeoisie. Now the vacillation is enormous. Our main enemy, Allied and world imperialism (for world imperialism is headed by the “Allies”), has begun to waver between a war to a victorious finish and a separate peace directed against Russia. Our petty-bourgeois democrats, having clearly lost their majority among the people, have begun to vacillate enormously, and have rejected a bloc, i.e., a coalition, with the Cadets.” (ibid.)

Are any of the objective conditions that Lenin examined present in the country today? Let us consider the situation.

The working class, the vanguard class of the revolution, had fought on the front lines since early February 2021. They fought on the streets, while the middle class liberals fell for the military’s false propaganda online, which said that this was not a coup - that the military (also known as “sit-tat”) were just holding power for a brief period, and that the masses should stay at home so as not to provoke them.

It is obvious which class is the vanguard of the revolution by just looking at this one fact. Not only that, but the general strike of the working class in all walks of life had paralysed the whole of society, bringing the rest of the oppressed people into the revolution.

2021 Myanmar Protest in Hleden Image public domainIn February and March, the working class fought back valiantly but was unable to form a revolutionary party made up of its most advanced elements. That is what allowed liberal bourgeoisie to occupy the position of leadership. / Image: public domain

This is what happened at the end of February and March. The working class fought back valiantly but was unable to form a revolutionary party made up of its most advanced elements. That is what allowed liberal bourgeoisie to occupy the position of leadership. This situation is similar to one where “lions are led by donkeys”, as the English saying goes.

So, what is happening to the vanguard class of the revolution in the present period? They are exhausted after such a long period of strikes and street protests, after seeing all their struggles fail to remove the military, and they are forced to work for the miserly wage of 3600 kyats (equivalent to US$2), which is lower than the official minimum wage of 4800 kyats (US$3) for eight hours a day.

To be successful, an insurrection must base itself on the vanguard class of the revolution. How can one expect the working class to launch this when they are in a state of exhaustion? How do you wage an armed uprising at a time when even trade unions cannot be organised? Or are we imagining here a scenario where one can simply drive the mass of urban population, and the working class in particular, into the jungle for military training to carry out an insurrection?

Marx and Lenin fully understood that it is not enough to have an uprising of the advanced class alone for the revolution to be successful. That is why they emphasised, as a second point, that there must be a nationwide revolutionary upsurge of the entire people.

We have to ask ourselves honestly whether there is such an upsurge in Burma. Yes, there was such a nationwide revolutionary upsurge in the last days of February and March, but not now. Does the flash mob activity of tens of people shouting for a few minutes: “Accept NUG, Reject Military” indicate that the revolutionary tide is on the rise? Or is it presently in deep decline? Everyone with a thinking brain knows what the answer to that question is.

As to the third point, that we must base ourselves on a turning point in the history of the growing revolution, what conclusions can we draw? By assessing if the revolution is growing or has ebbed, one can clearly see that there is a lack of the third condition.

The vanguard class is merely struggling for the means of subsistence so as not to die from starvation. The advanced ranks of the people are so weakened that they cannot even fight back against the daily forms of oppression in the workplaces. Is this situation a turning point in the history of a growing revolution or is it the period of suffering under the white terror of counter-revolution? It is necessary to make a sobre analysis of the current situation.

Marx and Lenin would have defined calling for an insurrection in such a situation as “Blanquism”. For those unfamiliar with this term, it can be understood as “adventurism”. Adventurism is usually a result of a leadership that previously attempted opportunistic tactics and failed miserably, only to swing to the ultra-left that would also lead to failure. There are many precedents of this in history. In the 1920s, Trotsky criticised the way that the bureaucratised Comintern led the Chinese Communist Party to go from adapting to the bourgeois KMT into leading premature insurrections against it:

“The strength of Marxism lies in its ability to foretell. In this sense, the Opposition can point to a complete confirmation of its prognoses by experience: first, concerning the Guomindang as a whole, then concerning the ‘Left’ Guomindang and the Wuhan government, and finally, concerning the ‘deposit’ made on the third revolution, that is, on the Canton insurrection. What other confirmation could there be of a correct theoretical standpoint?”

“The very same opportunist line which, by the policy of capitulation to the bourgeoisie, already brought the revolution, at its first two phases, the heaviest defeats, ‘grew over’ in the third phase, into a policy of adventurous attacks upon the bourgeoisie, and made the defeat final.”

Not having understood why the revolution failed, there can be the tendency to blame the working class itself for the failure, instead of understanding the need to build a mass revolutionary party of the working class. This in turn, can either lead to ultra-left tendencies or opportunist tendencies, or even a combination of both. And in both cases there is no independent role for the working class, which must either hope in salvation at the hands of the armed guerrillas or the liberals and reformists.

One should never play with insurrection

An armed uprising is a special form of the political struggle which is subject to special laws. Marx, who said to treat the insurrection as an “art”, also explained the principal rules of this form of struggle, as Lenin explained:

“(1) Never play with insurrection, but when beginning it realise firmly that you must go all the way.”

“(2) Concentrate a great superiority of forces at the decisive point and at the decisive moment, otherwise the enemy, who has the advantage of better preparation and organisation, will destroy the insurgents.”

“(3) Once the insurrection has begun, you must act with the greatest determination, and by all means, without fail, take the offensive. ‘The defensive is the death of every armed rising.’”

“(4) You must try to take the enemy by surprise and seize the moment when his forces are scattered.”

“(5) You must strive for daily successes, however small (one might say hourly, if it is the case of one town), and at all costs retain ‘moral superiority’. (Advice of an onlooker, Lenin, October 1917)”

If we apply the principles of both Marx and Lenin we can only conclude that the online insurrection announced by INUG is like digging one’s own grave!

Conclusion

The objective conditions necessary for a successful insurrection have been outlined above. None of them are present at this time. In addition, the INUG’s actions reveal an extremely unserious attitude towards insurrections, contrary to what Lenin advised above. This has the danger of driving the advanced layers to adventurist methods, which in the present conditions can have very serious consequences, including the unnecessary deaths of many courageous workers and youth.

They are artificially making an insurrection online. Those who are actually dying on the ground on a daily basis are the workers, the peasants and other oppressed layers who cannot flee to America as the liberals did.

Therefore, the only logical conclusion of all this is that the INUG is not a revolutionary vanguard, nor is it an ally in the revolution. This layer of reactionary opportunists has merely usurped a leadership position. We must expose their treacherous role carrying out a ruthless criticism of them and find the correct revolutionary strategy and tactics.

2021 Myanmar Armed Forces Day 16 Image Mil.ruThe bourgeois liberals of the INUG will never be consistent or serious in waging a war against the military, they are part of the capitalist class / Image: Mil.ru, Wikimedia Commons

We have to understand that the bourgeois liberals of the INUG will never be consistent or serious in waging a war against the military. This is due to the fact that they are part of the capitalist class, and while they have their differences with the military over how to run the country, they fear the revolutionary mobilisation of the masses more than they fear the military regime. The way they declared the civil war - without any real, serious preparation on the ground - reveals this abundantly clearly.

Things are, however, different when it comes to workers and youth activists who are sincere about waging an armed struggle that can lead to an insurrection and the overthrow of the regime. While we agree with their burning desire to topple the military, we must look at the present conditions objectively and see whether an insurrection is possible at this time. What we are discussing here is not whether we are for or against revolutionary methods, including insurrection, to overthrow the present regime. The discussion is about the concrete objective conditions we find ourselves in.

We need to look at what kind of revolution is necessary. Is it to be a democratic revolution that preserves capitalism intact and place the bourgeois liberals back in office, or ist it to be a socialist revolution which places the working class - in alliance with the peasants - in power?

If you study the works of Marx and Lenin, you will find that the Stalinist/Maoist “protracted warfare” strategy, which relies solely on the peasantry, is also flawed. The peasantry can be won to a genuine socialist revolution, as the Bolsheviks managed to achieve in the October Revolution, but the leading role belongs to the working class, as it did back in 1917. Where peasant guerrilla wars have succeeded, such as in China in 1949, the working class did not achieve healthy workers’ democracy. This also explains the present situation in China where capitalism has been restored, but that requires a more in depth analysis than can be given here.

The urgent task today is to return to the basic ideas of Marx and Lenin, understand the role of the working class in society and begin the building of a Marxist cadre organisation around which a future mass revolutionary party of the working class can be formed in the future when the working class and youth rise up again.

This road may seem arduous and long, but there are no shortcuts that can bring into being such a mass party. We must learn the lessons of the past, of our own past here in our country, the failed attempts at armed struggle in the 1950s and 1980/90s, and the experience of other countries as well.

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Re: How the Taliban came to power — again. | Emile Schepers | Communist Party USA

Michael Meeropol
 

I find this article very interesting and informative (and depressing).   It raises the question of the "road(s) not taken" ---

Back in 1973, when domestic radicals (communists??) overthrew the King what could they have done differently so as not to provoke such a strong reaction from the rural populations?    

It appears both the Chinese and the Vietnamese (and the Cubans) by situating their movement among the rural population came to better understand them -- and therefore were able to work with them in the post revolutionary period (though remember, there was a pretty serious problem in the first round of (North) Vietnamese land reform in 1956).   The Afghans seemed to be attempting to imitate Stalin's treatment of the rural population during the push for collectivization but the Soviet military was obviously able to stifle whatever active resistance the peasants of Russia, Ukraine, and Byeolorussia put up whereas the urban based Afghanis were no match for the rural opposition and their American and Pakistani helpers.

The people of Afghanistan have paid a VERY HEAVY price for their strategic location and the ambitions of "great powers" in that region .... and unfortunartely, there is no positive end in sight.

On Sat, Oct 16, 2021 at 1:04 AM Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo <kklcac@...> wrote:

https://www.cpusa.org/article/how-the-taliban-came-to-power-again/




Re: US workers are in a militant mood

John Reimann
 

As is absolutely typical of Jacobin, the most important aspect of the developments within the labor movement goes entirely ignored. That is what seems to be a tendency of the rank and file to rebel against its leadership. This was seen in Western Washington carpenters first and now among UAW John Deere workers, over 90% of whom rejected a tentative agreement proposed by the leadership. By ignoring this, Jacobin is covering up for the leadership. But what else is new? The great majority of the left does the same.

John Reimann

--
“Science and socialism go hand-in-hand.” Felicity Dowling
Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook


Re: Is America experiencing an unofficial general strike? Jack Rasmus & Robert Reich

Dayne Goodwin
 

I agree with your evaluation of the gilets jaunes as a model.  Our basic problem is capitalism but i don't see any organization or movement with capacity for revolutionary solution in the near term.  If your prognosis of the near-term danger is sound maybe responding to that crisis will arouse not just a defense of the status quo ante but stimulate revolutionary social change.  Otherwise there are a variety of current progressive struggles that we should support and participate in, including labor struggles.  Successful struggles can be contagious.  I will be encouraged when labor unions are drawn into mass movements for transitional demands or non-reformist reforms.


On Sat, Oct 16, 2021 at 1:37 AM Farans Kalosar <fkalosar101@...> wrote:
People keep suggesting that something like the gilets jaunes is a great idea.  I disagree. The gilets jaunes is a weakly anarchist protest movement incorporating right-wing elements.  In French terms, this is one thing. But the big near-term danger in the US if and when the Republican Party gain a congressional majority and eventually the White House is the corruption. paralysis, and collapse of the national government.  In many ways, this political crisis has a US character that does not map one-to-one onto the French model. No ideologically incoherent, partly or largely red-brown protest movement will be capable of providing the organized, disciplined, and programmatic resistance necessary to deal with the coming collapse and also fill the vacuum left by the abandonment of governance.  Something more politically advanced is called for.   

What exactly is the moment "ripe" for? IMO the political situation in the US is one where we need to leap over the gilets jaunes moment in order to survive.


Re: Cooperation with China on climate but conflict elsewhere won’t work | John Bachtell | People's World

Cort Greene
 

No class analysis or even discussion of the inter-imperialist rivalry in this article and as Lenin once pointed out that  “an essential feature of imperialism is the rivalry between several great powers in the striving for hegemony, i.e., for the conquest of territory, not so much directly for themselves as to weaken the adversary and undermine his hegemony” that is what is happening here not a so-called "cold war".

Seems like so many from Code Pink to the CP-USA and others are saying that if we would just let capitalism with “responsible competition without conflict” happen there would be heaven on earth.

Here in Venezuela, many would love for Code Pink or the CP-USA to speak out ( proletarian internationalism) like many other Communist Parties, the IMT and other tendencies have on the attacks, jailings and repression of the left, trade unionists and organizers, those workers who have spoken out against and exposed  corruption, the ability to run in elections unfettered  and of parties and grouping centered around the  #AlternativaPopularRevolucionaria including the Communist Party of Venezuela but all we hear is silence on those questions...Rojo Rojito, Cort

abstract from Lenin on Imperialism by Leon Trotsky 

Since war is waged by both imperialist camps not for the defense of the fatherland or democracy but for the redivision of the world and colonial enslavement, a socialist has no right to prefer one bandit camp to another. Absolutely in vain is any attempt to “determine, from the standpoint of the international proletariat, whether the defeat of one of the two warring groups of nations would be a lesser evil for socialism.” In the very first days of September 1914, Lenin was already characterizing the content of the war for each of the imperialist countries and for all the groupings as follows: “The struggle for markets and for plundering foreign lands, the eagerness to head off the revolutionary movement of the proletariat and to crush democracy within each country, the urge to deceive, divide, and crush the proletarians of all countries, to incite the wage slaves of one nation against the wage slaves of another nation for the profits of the bourgeoisie – that is the only real content and meaning of the war.” How far removed is all this from the current doctrine of Stalin, Dimitrov, and Co.!

It is impossible to fight against imperialist war by sighing for peace after the fashion of the pacifists. “One of the ways of fooling the working class is pacifism and the abstract propaganda of peace. Under capitalism, especially in its imperialist stage, wars are inevitable.” A peace concluded by imperialists would only be a breathing spell before a new war. Only a revolutionary mass struggle against war and against imperialism which breeds war can secure a real peace. “Without a number of revolutions the so-called democratic peace is a middle-class utopia.”

The struggle against the narcotic and debilitating illusions of pacifism enters as the most important element into Lenin’s doctrine. He rejected with especial hostility the demand for “disarmament as obviously utopian under capitalism.”


On Fri, Oct 15, 2021 at 5:40 PM Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo <kklcac@...> wrote:

https://peoplesworld.org/article/cooperation-with-china-on-climate-but-conflict-elsewhere-wont-work/






Re: Is America experiencing an unofficial general strike? Jack Rasmus & Robert Reich

Farans Kalosar
 

People keep suggesting that something like the gilets jaunes is a great idea.  I disagree. The gilets jaunes is a weakly anarchist protest movement incorporating right-wing elements.  In French terms, this is one thing. But the big near-term danger in the US if and when the Republican Party gain a congressional majority and eventually the White House is the corruption. paralysis, and collapse of the national government.  In many ways, this political crisis has a US character that does not map one-to-one onto the French model. No ideologically incoherent, partly or largely red-brown protest movement will be capable of providing the organized, disciplined, and programmatic resistance necessary to deal with the coming collapse and also fill the vacuum left by the abandonment of governance.  Something more politically advanced is called for.   

What exactly is the moment "ripe" for? IMO the political situation in the US is one where we need to leap over the gilets jaunes moment in order to survive.


'It Was Torture': African Asylum-Seekers Describe Restraint Agony on ICE 'Death Flights'

Charles Keener
 


'It Was Torture': African Asylum-Seekers Describe Restraint Agony on ICE 'Death Flights'

With images of U.S. Border Patrol agents using horses and whip-like reins to round up Haitian asylum-seekers fresh in their minds, Black immigrants' rights advocates this week filed a human and civil rights complaint condemning what they called the torture of African deportees last year by Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel.

The document alleges ICE's use of a "human restraint" device known as the WRAP during the mass deportation of African asylum-seekers to war-torn Cameroon last October and November "violates the United Nations Convention Against Torture, constitutional due process, and ICE's own detention standards on the use of restraints and the use of force," as well as federal civil rights laws and state criminal and tort statutes.
"In Cameroon, I had been beaten with a machete until my feet swelled and bled, and I was struck again and again with a metal belt buckle," a complainant named Ray said in the document. "But the day I was put in the WRAP by ICE, I wanted to die. I have never felt such horrible pain. It was torture."


How the Taliban came to power — again. | Emile Schepers | Communist Party USA

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 


More "Mainstream" Awareness of Strike Wave

Farans Kalosar
 


Re: Is America experiencing an unofficial general strike? Jack Rasmus & Robert Reich

Dayne Goodwin
 

"Labor Notes on ABC News"

US Workers Are in a Militant Mood
by Alex N. Press, Jacobin, October 15

Across the US, a more militant mood among workers is beginning to make itself felt. An uptick in private-sector strikes and record numbers of workers quitting their jobs are just two signs that the pandemic has changed workers’ willingness to accept a bad deal.
 . . .
The mood is unmistakable, the moment is ripe. As one worker on the UAW Local 74 strike line at John Deere described it, there is a sense that the strike is not isolated. As that worker said, “Labor is finally ready to fight.”
  # # #


The Great Resignation Is Accelerating - A lasting effect of this pandemic will be a revolution in worker expectations.

Dennis Brasky
 


H-Net Review [H-SHERA]: Boivin on Fenghi, 'It Will Be Fun and Terrifying: Nationalism and Protest in Post-Soviet Russia'

Andrew Stewart
 



Best regards,
Andrew Stewart

Begin forwarded message:

From: H-Net Staff via H-REVIEW <h-review@...>
Date: October 15, 2021 at 6:14:09 PM EDT
To: h-review@...
Cc: H-Net Staff <revhelp@...>
Subject: H-Net Review [H-SHERA]:  Boivin on Fenghi, 'It Will Be Fun and Terrifying: Nationalism and Protest in Post-Soviet Russia'
Reply-To: h-review@...

Fabrizio Fenghi.  It Will Be Fun and Terrifying: Nationalism and
Protest in Post-Soviet Russia.  Madison  University of Wisconsin
Press, 2020.  Illustrations. 312 pp.  $79.95 (cloth), ISBN
978-0-299-32440-7.

Reviewed by Jennifer Boivin (University of Alberta)
Published on H-SHERA (October, 2021)
Commissioned by Hanna Chuchvaha

In the fall of 2013, Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych (b. 1950)
rejected a deal for greater economic integration of Ukraine into the
European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia. In the Ukrainian
capital city of Kyiv, violent riots involving police, unknown
shooters, and protesters known as the Euromaidan or the Revolution of
Dignity (2013-14) culminated in the president fleeing the country and
the overthrow of the government. Following Russia's annexation of
Crimea, the world witnessed the beginning of a major civil war in
Donbas (eastern Ukraine) where pro-Russian separatist troops fought
the Ukrainian army, with soldiers coming from all over the Russian
Federation, European countries, the United States, and South America.
Many of these pro-Russian groups displayed the Ribbon of Saint
George, Russian flags and coat of arms, and communist, Soviet, and
fascist symbols. At the time, I did not understand how these
different ideological symbols fit with these events.

My recent reading of Fabrizio Fenghi's book, _It Will Be Fun and
Terrifying: Nationalism and Protest in Post-Soviet Russia_, has
brought light on and a new understanding of the events of 2013-14. In
this volume, the author examines how the aesthetics and culture of
radical countercultural movements influenced the development of
Russian protest culture and the formation of state ideology during
the Vladimir Putin era. More specifically, Fenghi focuses on two
far-right groups inspired by revolutionary aesthetics and
performance, which played a role in the 2014 Donbas war: the National
Bolshevik Party (NBP) and the Eurasia Movement. Both groups reject
mainstream culture and Western ideology and perceive Russia as the
only site where a new society can be created.

The NBP was founded by Eduard Limonov (1943-2020), an underground
poet in the Soviet Union, emigré writer, and political activist.
Many of Limonov's novels are semi-biographical, and the author
skillfully crosses the blurry line that lays between his fictional
and real life events. Like Limonov, his characters live at the
margins of society and threaten the social order by use of violence,
sexuality, and crude language. Thus, performativity plays a crucial
role in Limonov's novels, politics, literature, and public persona
(chapter 1). In both his writings and actions, the poet challenges
established values and hierarchies and longs for an alternative
imagined community influenced by the Western punk movement, a style
and spirit known for "its aggressive stance and radical rejection of
bourgeois and mainstream values" (p. 35). More specifically, the
NBP's aesthetics were influenced by the art of punk musician Yegor
Letov (1964-2008) and experimental composer and performer Sergey
Kuryokhin (1954-96). Limonov's political action was at first mostly
artistic performances (real and fictional), influenced by the
aesthetics of constructivism, the Russian and the Soviet avant-garde,
and revolutionary culture, as seen in the radical aesthetics and
content in the party's publication, _Limonka_ (chapter 2). He
believed that only through radical performance and revolutionary art
a new liberal opposition and social order can be created.

The creation of the NBP in the mid-1990s marked the first post-Soviet
counter-public activity. It was among the most vocal opponents of
Putin's government and supported human rights activism. Its
activities later influenced other performance groups, such as the
Voina (War) art collective and Pussy Riot (chapter 3). However,
throughout the years, the NBP's countercultural principles and
protest against the status quo changed to display a strong
anti-Western and anti-capitalist sentiment, a rejection of modernism,
a military aesthetics, and radical conservative thinking. In
Limonov's thought, war is perceived as a beautiful and formative
experience and Russia is the last possible site for an alternative
modernity and utopian society. By 2014, his activities, which first
focused on human rights and dissident movement, converted toward
clear support of the Donbas war and Putin's annexation of Crimea.

The second important figure in this Russian countercultural movement
is Aleksandr Dugin (b. 1962), an underground mystical artist
philosopher from the writing circle of nonconformist author Yuri
Mamin (b. 1946). Dugin was fascinated by cultural and political
fascism and had the idea to create a red-brown coalition that
combined radically different ideologies of the right and left wings,
including leftist radical Stalinism, anarchism, classicism, and youth
countercultures and subcultures (radical artists, skinheads, punks,
etc.). This ideology emerged in force after the fall of the Soviet
Union as a reaction to its unsuccessful transition to democracy and
capitalism. In the NBP, Dugin endorsed the role of theoretician and
ideologue while Limonov played the man of action. They eventually
split and became political adversaries in 2005, as Dugin's newly
founded Eurasia Movement actively promoted repressive measures
against any liberal opposition.

The Eurasia Movement is also resistant to mainstream culture and is
defined by a cult of the late Soviet underground, paradoxical and
esoteric thinking, bohemianism, and the cult of death and the
apocalypse. It assimilated radical political strategies, imperial
aesthetics, and the concept of "otherness," as seen in the work of
artists Aleksey Beliaev-Gintovt (b. 1965), Georgy Gurianov
(1961-2013), and Timur Novikov (1958-2002) (chapter 5). Like the
extremist youth group Nashi (Ours), the Eurasia Movement was created
in 2005 to counteract a possible emergence of an "orange" wave of
liberalism, as seen in Ukraine in 2004. Unlike the NBP though, the
Eurasia Movement is by and large a virtual entity that is trying to
colonize and recolonize Russian cultural and political space against
Western agents by producing preconditions for violence and conflict
through their influence of mainstream media. The Eurasia Movement has
struggled against capitalism and Western liberalism and has supported
Putin's government through political technology and pro-government
grassroots organizations. Dugin's theoretical vision included forms
of postmodern performance, philosophical ideals, street politics,
counterculture, media manipulation, trolling, and political violence
(chapter 4).

In this well-balanced book, Fenghi reveals the complex
interconnections existing between the art world and the political
sphere in contemporary Russia as art appears to be the main channel
for political dissent. The ways the author merges art, performances,
queer representation, and revolutionary culture as a new post-Soviet
performative mode of political dissent is absolutely fascinating. He
certainly shows how the creation of a new form of political dissent
produced alternative forms of cultural production and lifestyles.
Indeed, both Limonov and Dugin reimagined post-Soviet society and
managed to create a sort of _gesamtkunstwer_k community where
political radicalism becomes the center of their social organization,
language, material culture, and rituals. In this book, Fenghi
presents these communities without any prejudice that Western values
often create. In that sense, _It Will Be Fun and Terrifying_ reassess
how to address Soviet and post-Soviet culture outside of the scope of
the status quo norms and stands as a true revolutionary book.

Fenghi's study of pioneering radical political communities is based
on archival and ethnographic research (interviews and participant
observation) he conducted in Moscow in 2015. The book is enriched by
many fascinating testimonies of former and actual members of both
groups. The author uses a wide range of media, such as novels, art
exhibitions, paintings, performances, punk rock concerts, and protest
actions, to support his argument. With the exception of a challenging
introduction where all of Fenghi's concepts are presented, the book
is quite accessible to nonspecialists. The author's argument is easy
to understand and is well supported by many examples, making the book
a valuable contribution to the classroom. Furthermore, as I mentioned
at the beginning of this review, studying the right-wing political
performance protest in Russia will resonate with many other
contemporary events, such as the Euromaidan in Ukraine or the 2021
attacks on the US Capitol. Therefore, the book will be of interest to
Slavicists but also to anyone interested in art history, politics, or
sociology.

Citation: Jennifer Boivin. Review of Fenghi, Fabrizio, _It Will Be
Fun and Terrifying: Nationalism and Protest in Post-Soviet Russia_.
H-SHERA, H-Net Reviews. October, 2021.
URL: https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=55833

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States
License.


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