Date   

Against Outrageous Stupidity: From WMD to Woman Erasing “Wokeness”

Dennis Brasky
 


Re: troll

Marla Vijaya kumar
 

As I made it clear, I am not going to debate on this. I have my own sources and my stand is with the CPI 

and CPIM.

So, please excuse me.

Vijaya Kumar Marla

On Sunday, June 12, 2022, 10:23:02 PM GMT+5:30, Michael Pugliese <michael.098762001@...> wrote:


On Sun, Jun 12, 2022 at 7:17 AM Marla Vijaya kumar via groups.io
<marlavk=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote: Several paragraphs , I will
comment on , mainly via presenting website links contesting or
opposing assertions made , in just about every sentence.

Repression against Communists and Socialists, of all tendencies and
alignments , whether one is categorizing them as coming from Stalinist
or neo-Trotskyist or post-Trotskyist or other traditions outside those
somewhat archaic sets of two boxes, in Ukraine , is very real,
https://fuckyeahmarxismleninism.tumblr.com/post/627910831883124737/august-30-1987-birthday-of-andrei-brazhevsky
("Andrei Brazhevsky was born on August 30, 1987. He was one of the
most active participants in the anti-fascist and Marxist movement in
Odessa, Ukraine, and one of the founders of Union Borotba (Struggle)
in Odessa. He died at the hands of the neo-Nazis on May 2, 2014, as he
tried to protect defenseless people in the House of Trade Unions...")
. Investigations into human rights violations related to the violence
in Odessa on 2 May , 2014 , see ,
http://ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/UA/HRMMUReport15June2014.pdf , in
particular pages 9-17 , via ,"
Odesa "Massacre" Propaganda vs. the Facts ,
https://khpg.org/en/1407453894 , for a counter-narrative.

https://nitter.koyu.space/_AIF1/status/1534975570739482624#m (Mikhail
Kononovich of the Komsomol of Ukraine , and his Brother , who were
arrested some months ago and have had their ribs broken , I assume by
SBU interogators , in 2014 , Mikhail was stabbed and beaten ,
https://challenge-magazine.org/2022/03/07/meeting-mikhail-kononovich/
, further info see ,
https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/ukrainian-communist-youth-leaders-reportedly-arrested-by-government-targeted-for-death/
& https://www.internationalmagz.com/articles/set-the-kononovich-brothers-free
.

Re : "geocide (sic.) of Russian speaking populations , on the Partido
FB Group , this rather badly written Russian report , was posted
recently, https://democracyfund.ru/userfiles/Ukrainian_Crimes_2017-2020.pdf
, co-written by Maxim Grigoriev and D.V. Sablin. The credibility of
Grigoriev , can be assessed as rather low given he asserted to a
reporter from Telesur ,  the massacre in Bucha was a fake news story ,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z207WkNftgE . On the 14,000 killed in
the Donbas , since 2014, see,
https://www.stopfake.org/en/fake-ukraine-committed-genocide-against-donbas-inhabitants/
.

You note : "Here in India we have access to many videos of Donetsk Red
forces, saluting to Red Flag. The communists have a significant role
in the DPR forces. Wherever they occupy a city, they raise the red
flag.  I wonder why the Left in the West ignores this." I have seen
many of those via Twitter and Telegram channels, and FB Groups which
align with the DPR such as Solidarity with Donbass & Antifascists in
Ukraine. However , in reply to Patrick Lancaster , a pro-DPR
"journalist," whose dispatches I have seen , not only via his YouTube
channel, but, via an Indian TV News outlet as well , see ,"K @KevNFNY
Mar 2 , Replying to @PLnewstoday
"Members of Russian far-right groups have played an important role
among the pro-Russian separatists, more so than on the Ukrainian side.
Leaders of the Donetsk People's Militia are closely linked to the
neo-Nazi party Russian National Unity (RNU) led by Alexander
Barkashov" https://twitter.com/KevNFNY/status/1499229759691177988?s=20&t=OeLKWK0PX4WbxX_nSuxRUw
.

On Lancaster , see,
https://www.reddit.com/r/UkraineWarVideoReport/comments/tzmyxa/patrick_lancaster_is_a_russian_propagandist/
, https://glasnostgone.org/2022/02/22/in-ukraine-russia-uses-corpses-in-false-flag-attack/
, (Lancaster on the far right channel of Alex Jones ,
https://brandnewtube.com/watch/american-reporter-in-ukraine-exposing-the-globalist-ww3-russian-false-flag-op-in-real-time_vOMd7s3O1Y3Fzk2.html
) , https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2022/02/28/exploiting-cadavers-and-faked-ieds-experts-debunk-staged-pre-war-provocation-in-the-donbas/
,

On the stellar human rights record of the "Donetsk People's Republic ,
" see , the reportage contained in this book by a journalist from
Donetsk , ,"In Isolation : Dispatches from Occupied Donbas," by
Stanislav Aseyev. https://books.huri.harvard.edu/books/in-isolation .
Excerpts of each chapter , are at the url. A gruesome and graphic
account of torture in a DPR torture center follows , via
https://khpg.org/en/1608809257

"In ‘Izoliatsiia’, a separate room with a table and relevant equipment
was used to administer electric shocks. For example, one detainee was
tied to the table, hand cuffed and hooded. Perpetrators attached one
electrode to his genitalia and inserted a metal tube with a second
electrode into his anus. He was subjected to painful electric shocks
for several minutes, during which he lost consciousness several times.
When he screamed, they put a cloth into his mouth. Another detainee
told OHCHR that he was put on the table, hooded and with his arms and
legs tied. Perpetrators attached electric wires to his feet and poured
water on them. Some detainees held in ‘Izoliatsiia’ could not prevent
themselves from urinating and defecating during electrocution.
[…A]nother detainee told OHCHR that [...h]is genitalia was also
repeatedly hit with a metal rod. As a result of this torture and
sexual violence, the skin on his genitalia turned black and peeled off
over several weeks. After refusing to confess to espionage, one
detainee was put in a cell where one of the cellmates took off his
pants and attempted to force the victim to engage in oral sex. Another
detainee said that he witnessed the head of the ‘Izoliatsiia’
detention facility come to the cell and order detainees to engage in
oral sex. One detainee told OHCHR that while in ‘Izoliatsiia’, he
heard guards scream at female detainees on their way to the shower:
‘Go shave your [vaginas]. You are about to go upstairs to work it
off.’ […] Several detainees reported that in ‘Izoliatsiia’, a health
professional was present during their interrogations and torture. The
man revived those who lost consciousness, and guided the perpetrators
about how to torture to inflict maximum pain without causing death. He
also examined detainees before the torture and asked about their
medical conditions; measured their blood pressure or pulse; and gave
injections. He told one detainee during torture: ‘We can kill you
anytime we want.’”

Oddly, not only pro-Ukrainian and accidental civilians, but also
numerous former so-called “insurgents” (opolchentsy) – i.e. previous
DNR/LNR volunteer fighters or mercenaries from both Ukraine and Russia
– have been held in Izoliatsiia and other detention facilities. During
his more than two years at Izoliatsiia, Aseyev personally met and
talked to:

Yurii Tchaikovskii – a Colonel of the DNR’s so-called "5th Brigade,”
Andrei Bogomaz – a Major General of the DNR’s so-called "Ministry of
Emergency Situations,”
Vitalii Ivanienko – a Lieutenant Colonel of the DNR’s so-called
“Vitiaz’ Battalion,”
Andrei Ibragimov – a Russian citizen and Major of the LNR’s so-called
"4th Brigade,”
Evgenii Tverdovskii – a Russian citizen and Lieutenant of the Russian
Federation’s navy,
Sergei Stavnichnii – a Lieutenant Colonel of the LNR’s so-called "4th LNR,”
Aleksei Sidorov – a Captain of the DNR’s so-called "Legion Battalion,”
Aleksandr Trudnenko – a Russian citizen and Senior Lieutenant of the
DNR’s so-called "Vitiaz’ Battalion,”
Denis Kustov – a Russian citizen and member of the DNR’s
Radio-Electronic Intelligence Battalion,
Aleksandr Shestakov – a Russian citizen accused of drug trafficking.

There were additional pro-Russian Ukrainian or Russian inmates during
Aseyev’s term held in Izoliatsiia. These fighters not only sat in the
same cells as those Ukrainians accused and sentenced because of their
real or alleged pro-Ukrainian activities. The pro-Russian prisoners at
Izoliatsiia went through similarly brutal torture often designed to
extract preformulated confessions on, for instance, spying for Kyiv.
The brutal persecution of “one’s own people” is a practice reminiscent
of the Stalinist purges of the Bolshevik party and Soviet regime of
the 1930s.

Stanislav Aseyev is an Expert on the Donbas with the Ukrainian
Institute for the Future in Kyiv, and author of, among other books, “A
‘Light Path’: The History of a Concentration Camp” (L’viv: Old Lion
Press, 2020).

Andreas Umland is a Research Fellow at the Stockholm Center for
Eastern European Studies, and editor of the book series “Soviet and
Post-Soviet Politics and Society” published by ibidem Press in
Stuttgart.



A larger report on prisoners in the occupied Donbas has been published
in April 2021 by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs here:
https://www.ui.se/butiken/uis-publikationer/ui-report/2021/prisoners-as-political-commodities-in-the-occupied-areas-of-the-donbas/.






WP concludes that Israeli soldier killed Shireen Abu Akleh — building pressure on U.S. gov’t

Dennis Brasky
 

The Washington Post publishes a lengthy investigation bearing out what eyewitnesses said on May 11, an Israeli soldier killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in occupied territories. The Post openly disputes the shifting Israeli "claims" about who killed Abu Akleh, and all but accuses the Israeli army of withholding evidence from the public. The investigation will add pressure on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to actually demand an independent investigation and accountability for the Israelis.

https://mondoweiss.net/2022/06/washington-post-concludes-that-israeli-soldier-killed-shireen-abu-akleh-building-pressure-on-u-s-govt/



Re: With the resistance of the Ukrainian people for its victory against the aggression

Bobby MacVeety
 


I’m not a troll, I am a retired daycare worker and activist going back to the SDS struggle for a worker student alliance. I have been following marxmail silently for a couple of years but I truly don’t understand how arming Ukrainians in a fight between corrupt oligarchies furthers the cause of international worker solidarity.
My understanding is that the goal is secure borders and an independent Ukraine. That’s what we have here in the USA. We also have a massive armed worker population. How do these conditions move the struggle forward?
The modern world is divided into nation states, each with its government (“democratic” or “authoritarian”)  and police and military.
This arrangement naturally leads to entrenched bureaucracy and worker oppression. Why would we fight for a nation? Isn’t the goal a borderless world with free movement of the world wide united workers? This is the contradiction that bothers me. 
I apologize again if my tone is too polemical,  it’s my passion leaking 


On Jun 13, 2022, at 7:38 AM, Les Schaffer <les.schaffer@...> wrote:


Bobby

These short rhetorical flourishes posed as questions are not adding much to the discussion. At the moment I do not think you're a troll. But I just reread Brad's post and you're not really taking on his argument. Do you have something to add to this discussion? If so, get on it, make a case. 

Les

On Mon, Jun 13, 2022, 6:36 AM Bobby MacVeety <bobbymacveety@...> wrote:
We need to arm Ukrainian socialists now in their defense against Russian oppressors so when they win they can turn their arms against the capitalist exploiters (in a civil war?)
Did I get that right?


Rediscovering Katharine Susannah Prichard | Review of *The Red Witch: A Biography of Katharine Susannah Prichard*, by Nathan Hobby | David Carter | The Morning Star

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 



Rediscovering Katharine Susannah Prichard

DAVID CARTER welcomes the publication of the first biography of the Australian, writer, journalist, feminist and founder member of the Communist Party of Australia


Katharine Susannah Prichard  Photo: cpa.org.au

NATHAN HOBBY takes on the challenging task of sorting out the complicated details of Katharine Prichard’s life as celebrity, journalist, poet, novelist, short-story writer, social activist, public speaker and communist.

It is remarkable that we have had no full-scale independent biography of Prichard to this date. So The Red Witch is timely.

It can be read alongside works by figures such as Carole Ferrier and Drusilla Modjeska, and later literary scholars, who have been rediscovering the role of Australian women as novelists, journalists and critics in the interwar and postwar decades.

Prichard is a key figure in Australian literary history, intellectual history, and left-wing political history.

She was controversial as a communist activist, for those inclined to discover such controversy, but her friendships and family ties were seldom bound to political allegiance in any narrow way.

They were more often defined by the intensity and commitment of the friendship she asked for and offered.

The Red Witch is not written for “scholars,” as Hobby explains, despite Prichard’s ongoing interest for literary critics and historians. It has been written for “a general readership drawn to the peculiar pleasures of biography: the true drama of a life, the glimpses of a lost but familiar world, the recoverable details of the past.”

Prichard’s father, a committed journalist and editor, was an arch-conservative. He was religious, later depressed, and eventually suicidal.

The early portraits of him in Fiji with his family at the time of Prichard’s birth remain entangled in much of the story beyond his life, despite the “outrageous” distance Prichard travelled from her father’s aspirations.

Prichard’s early religious entanglements were in dialogue with her father. So were her later departures towards the causes of labour, women’s rights and socialism.

Her initiative and originality emerged early in her taking on the tasks of governess, teacher, part-time student, and then journalist. These qualities were evident, too, in her early writing and involvement in local drama societies.

Early contacts became lifelong friendships. She remained on close terms with Hilda Bull (later Hilda Esson), Nettie Palmer, and Christian Jollie Smith — three women who also had remarkable careers.

Hobby stresses the significance of Melbourne in Prichard’s maturation as a writer and in shaping her complicated political engagements.

Her family connections and her activities in journalism and literary circles led to influential contacts, from Alfred Deakin to the academic and essayist Walter Murdoch, the poet Bernard O’Dowd and, later, Miles Franklin.

Her politics developed over the same period, through the whole range of socialist philosophies. She embraced pro-suffragist, rationalist and materialist positions, with what she herself later called “idealistic naivety.”

WWI confirmed her left-wing politics. She voted No in the second referendum on conscription. Her commitment to peace was cemented in place at this stage, not least because of her brother’s death in France.

The Russian Revolution would reinforce the directions her politics were taking, Prichard was a founding member of the Communist Party of Australia in 1920 with Jock Garden, Tom Walsh, William Paisley Earsman and Adela Pankhurst (daughter of Emmeline).

Prichard’s political activity in this period, and right through to the 1960s, is extraordinary.

She participated in a wide range of social groups, left-wing and women’s associations, the Movement Against War and Fascism, the Writers’ League, the Australian Peace Council, and many more.

Her support of communism and the Soviet Union remained firm from the 1920s on. In her utopian book The Real Russia (1935), she displays an extraordinary passion and, in her own way, a modernist desire for change.

Prichard’s first published book The Pioneers (1915) won Hodder & Stoughton’s prize for novels from “colonial and Indian authors.”

The Pioneers has recently attracted new critical interest for its complicated portrayal of the Australian bush, its relative “quietness,” and its structure and characterisation.

Prichard’s potential significance for literature, and Australian literature in particular, was noted in reviews at the time.

Intimate Strangers, published in 1937 after numerous delays and revisions, contains stories of sexual desire and violence and its psychological entanglements remain challenging.

What comes across throughout much of The Red Witch, right through to Prichard’s death, and alongside her sensuous identifications with nature, region and character, is the “unglamorous” dimension of the life of a working writer.

Hobby covers the recent controversies surrounding Aboriginal representation in Coonardoo (1929), but affirms the novel’s ongoing power.

Australian writer and feminist Miles Franklin was one of the first to emphasise the central role of both women and Aboriginal peoples in Prichard’s fiction.

Her life was marked by the suicide of those closest to her — her father and then her husband, Hugo Throssell — and beyond her marriage by threats of sexual violence or rape.

Personal life often exposed the tensions between fidelity, desire and intimate relations.

These later elements reappear directly or indirectly in her fiction, making it edgier and more powerful than the work of many of her contemporaries. There is little in Prichard’s fiction that sits comfortably with more mainstream investments in the Australian bush.

The Red Witch offers only “notes towards” a sense of Prichard’s engagement in the intellectual history that her politics and literary aspirations demanded.

Her extensive reading of Marx and other political literature is noted, but little of the intellectual or political imperatives of such reading at such a time is explored.

Despite disagreeing with the Communist Party’s criticism of the Soviet Union at the time, Prichard paid up her membership three days before her death in October 1969.

Events such as the Spanish civil war and Soviet communism itself are sometimes presented as being very remote from readers’ understanding.

The Red Witch joins a cluster of recent publications about Australian women authors from the interwar and post-war decades: Georgina Arnott’s edited Judith Wright: Selected Writings and Ann-Marie Priest’s My Tongue Is My Own: A Life of Gwen Harwood.

Last year saw Eleanor Hogan’s Into the Loneliness an account of the “unholy alliance” between Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates which produced international bestseller The Passing of the Aborigines in 1938.

This cluster of titles suggests that we now have a rich archive of stories and studies of these writers’ lives and their personal and intellectual networks.

And yet my impression at the moment is that the institutional structures and support for such a grouping are disappearing rather than emerging, despite the enthusiasm we see for contemporary Australian fiction in our festivals, bookstores, reading groups and among new postgraduates.

Let’s hope The Red Witch attracts new readers, for much of it will be news to many.

David Carter is professor emeritus of The University of Queensland. This an abridged version of an article is republished from theconversation.com under a Creative Commons licence.

The Red Witch: A Biography of Katharine Susannah Prichard
by Nathan Hobby was published last month by Melbourne University Publishing.




Re: With the resistance of the Ukrainian people for its victory against the aggression

Les Schaffer
 

Bobby

These short rhetorical flourishes posed as questions are not adding much to the discussion. At the moment I do not think you're a troll. But I just reread Brad's post and you're not really taking on his argument. Do you have something to add to this discussion? If so, get on it, make a case. 

Les


On Mon, Jun 13, 2022, 6:36 AM Bobby MacVeety <bobbymacveety@...> wrote:
We need to arm Ukrainian socialists now in their defense against Russian oppressors so when they win they can turn their arms against the capitalist exploiters (in a civil war?)
Did I get that right?


Re: With the resistance of the Ukrainian people for its victory against the aggression

Bobby MacVeety
 

We need to arm Ukrainian socialists now in their defense against Russian oppressors so when they win they can turn their arms against the capitalist exploiters (in a civil war?)
Did I get that right?


On Jun 12, 2022, at 7:28 PM, Bradley Mayer <blmayer062@...> wrote:

Question:  Are Ukrainians historically and at present oppressed as a people by both Russia and the EU?

Again, why do we solidarize with Palestinians?  

Why should we care about the oppression of women?

I could go on and on, but you get the point.

Which is why we always state, "workers and oppressed".  Not every just struggle is a class struggle.  Class struggle does not directly explain every social phenomenon. Marxism will not explain the Cosmic Meaning of Life. Does that mean that Marxists should abstain from such matters?

Marx's Eighteenth Brumaire is an excellent example of the account of a phenomenon that does not immediately meet Marxist class struggle criteria.  History painted grey on grey.  Marx was describing a reactionary process.  Today, we live through the most reactionary historical period since the 1930's.  Not surprisingly, class struggle is often submerged beneath a welter of phenomena often not directly related to the class struggle of workers and capitalists.  Not surprisingly, that's the whole point of reactionary politics.  The point of revolutionary politics is to (re) surface that class struggle.  In practice this means working through the obscuring layers of non-class struggle phenomena, such as nation, race and gender.

Understanding the relation of class struggle to its negations is to understand Marxism as science.

In the case of Ukraine, the general military mobilization will put arms and combat experience in the hands of individual workers, among other people.  There is no guarantee that this would strengthen the hand of Ukrainian workers as a class, of course, as that requires independent class political organization.  But once their lousy capitalist regime betrays the military struggle against the Russian invasion, as is inevitable, there will be a lot of angry veterans of the struggle who could turn their arms on that capitalist regime.  Should we just say, "Eh, there is no revolutionary proletarian party in place in Ukraine, there is nothing we can do here"?  Would that not be to abandon the field to the far right and fascists?  That abandonment is the essence of the politics of "Brown-Redism".  It is the politics that claims that we must pander to the prejudices of the oppressor - white, male, great power chauvinist and so forth - in order to get at the exploiter.  Except that exploiter is often, white, male, great power chauvinist and so forth.  At the end of that road is the profound demoralization called "Brown-Redism".  Why would we not approach both oppression and exploitation in their unity, in their combination and simultaneity,  rather than like the post-structuralists and postmodernists - another reactionary trend of a "Western" intellectual type that has happily receded -  proceed from the standpoint of their difference?

Might there then be a connection between the international ascendency of the Far Right, and a Left, including especially the socialist Left, whose political and ideological behavior is stuck fossilized in a 80 year time warp?  How has repeating the same behaviors over and over again worked out in the long run?  Restoration of capitalism, that's how.

That is the fundamental motive behind Ukraine Socialist Solidarity:  To shatter once and for all the fossil framework that binds and constrains the socialist Left into abstentionism or worse. The Ukraine war acts with a powerful polarizing effect that has already clearly crystallized where various sections of the socialist Left really stand, on everything.  The target is now in sight. We "just need more ammo". 

This is one of those conjunctural "testing times" we've read of in the history books, like with the outbreak of WW1 and so forth.  You are either going to pass or fail. 

Which side will you be on?  Because in the "next period" it will literally become a "choice" between life and death.  To abstain because reality doesn't immediately present itself in the form of class struggle, is to betray a lack of confidence that socialists can actually surface a revolutionary class struggle for power, through all the obscuring layers piled atop it.

In "the next period", the "fossil Left", young or old, will be wiped out and consigned to the dustbin.   Which side of that historical divide do you want to be on?


The Birchers & the Trumpers | Review of *A Conspiratorial Life: Robert Welch, the John Birch Society, and the Revolution of American Conservatism*, by Edward H. Miller | James Mann | The New York Review of Books

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 


https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2022/06/23/the-birchers-the-trumpers-john-birch-society-james-mann/

The Birchers & the Trumpers

Members of the John Birch Society pledging allegiance to the flag at a meeting, Chicago, 1961

Reviewed:  A Conspiratorial Life: Robert Welch, the John Birch Society, and the Revolution of American Conservatism by Edward H. Miller University of Chicago Press, 456 pp., $30.00 

During the insurrection at the US Capitol last year, the so-called QAnon Shaman, sporting a painted face and horned cap, sat on the Senate dais and offered a prayer. He thanked God “for allowing us to get rid of the Communists, the globalists, and the traitors within our government.”

With those words he paid homage, however unintentionally, to the John Birch Society, the conspiracy-obsessed anti-Communist organization that became a fixture in American life and, especially, Republican politics in the 1960s.

The John Birch Society may be little remembered today, but in its time it had a dues-paying membership of at least 30,000, a staff of 240 people, and more than 400 bookstores across the United States. The conspiratorial thinking of the Birchers became part of popular culture. In 1962 Bob Dylan wrote a folk song about them, “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues”: “I was looking everywhere for them gol-darned Reds/I got up in the mornin’ ’n’ looked under my bed…”

Robert Welch, a successful candy manufacturer, founded the organization on December 8, 1958, by convening a group of eleven conservatives, almost all of them prominent business leaders, for a two-day gathering at a private home in Indianapolis. The businessmen (they were all men) had for years complained that America was moving toward socialism and that Dwight Eisenhower, the first Republican president in a quarter-century, was doing little to reverse the drift. But Welch’s new group—named after a Baptist missionary and longtime military intelligence officer who had been killed by Chinese Communist forces just after the end of World War II, and whom Welch considered the first American killed in the cold war—took a different tack than earlier anti–New Deal business leaders. The John Birch Society had the same interest in domestic economic conflicts but portrayed them as the result of foreign conspiracies. Welch took Joseph McCarthy’s anticommunism to heights beyond even his imagination. While McCarthy was infamous for his attacks on specific officials involved in foreign policy, the Birch Society focused on broader, more amorphous targets and plots.

Edward H. Miller’s new biography of Welch, A Conspiratorial Life, traces the origins and history of the John Birch Society and, in the process, provides historical perspective on the far-right populism of the Trump era. Many of the issues, themes, and causes the Birchers seized upon six decades ago can still be found on the political right today. In an essay titled “There Goes Christmas,” Welch complained that department stores were, in Miller’s words, “stocking subversively secular UN holiday propaganda”; because the stores did not have enough “Merry Christmas” decorations, Welch complained, they were trying to take Christ out of the holiday. The Birch Society called for defending the police against charges of brutality, opposed putting fluoride in the water supply with the fervor of today’s anti-vaxxers, and fought efforts at gun control, which they depicted as the preliminary step for confiscation and a Communist takeover of the United States. Much like Donald Trump and his base today, the Birchers refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of political opposition, suggesting that those who disagreed with them were acting in bad faith, if not as part of a sinister conspiracy.

There are even some blood ties between the Birchers and the modern far right: one of the business leaders Welch assembled to create the Birch Society was Fred Koch, the father of Charles and David, who became longtime donors to conservative causes.

Welch’s first anti-Communist tract was published by Henry Regnery, the founder of the Regnery Press, which still specializes in books by conservative authors such as Ann Coulter and Josh Hawley. And Roger Stone, admittedly a questionable source, once told an interviewer that Trump’s father, Fred Trump, was a quiet funder of the Birch Society and a friend of Robert Welch.

From its origins at the Indianapolis meeting, the group grew quickly. In early 1959 Welch first organized chapters in Massachusetts, his native state, and then began touring the country, giving his standard stump speech eighty times over a three-year period. He founded a magazine (its initial title was One Man’s Opinion, but it soon was renamed American Opinion) to propagate the Birch Society’s version of events, informing his followers that President Eisenhower was a Communist, the Soviet Union had faked the Hungarian revolution, Sputnik was a hoax, and Communists within the US government had planned for the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 to fail in order to help Fidel Castro. It was Welch who came up with the epithet “comsymp” to disparage Americans who weren’t Communists but were said to be sympathizing with them.

The Birchers’ views appealed to some middle-class white Americans worried about various changes in the 1950s and 1960s, such as the civil rights movement and the expansion of the federal government. The Birch Society’s “Impeach Earl Warren” billboards were aimed at those opposed to the new mandate of Brown v. Board of Education to integrate public schools. Welch also courted the support of doctors who were opposed to the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. His conspiracy theories suggested either that Communists had orchestrated these and other changes in American society, or that the changes were themselves a form of creeping communism. “The storm over integration,” he wrote of Brown, “has been brought on by the Communists.”

In the early 1960s, after McCarthyism had subsided and Eisenhower had left office, anticommunism became too narrow a cause. Welch and the John Birch Society took aim at a wide range of new targets, all subsumed under the epithet “globalists”: the United Nations, international and multilateral organizations, even the staid, moderate Council on Foreign Relations. (In this, Welch and his society were influenced by a 1962 book, The Invisible Government, by a broadcaster named Dan Smoot, which claimed to find a conspiracy by a hidden “establishment” within the United States, with the Council on Foreign Relations as a leading force.)

The group’s targets didn’t need to be involved in international affairs: the Birchers also railed against socialists or, simply, Democrats. “Our menace is not the Big Red Army from without, but the Big Pink Enemy within,” observed one Bircher. “Our menace is the KKK—Kennedy, Kennedy, and Kennedy.” It was clear that the Birch Society’s anticommunism was not really the same as that of, say, an émigré from Eastern Europe, China, or Cuba; rather, for the Birchers, “communism” became a term used to smear liberalism. President John F. Kennedy once aptly said of them, “They equate the Democratic Party with the welfare state, the welfare state with socialism, and socialism with communism.”

The Birchers had considerable influence upon Republican politics, particularly in California and the Southwest, regions then growing fast with newcomers from the East and Midwest. Republican politicians fretted about the risks of alienating the Birchers in much the same way that Republicans today worry about running afoul of Donald Trump’s base. When George H.W. Bush, the incarnation of mainstream Republicanism, ran against Ronald Reagan for the party’s 1980 presidential nomination, he resigned from the Council on Foreign Relations.

For a time, some feared a possible infiltration of the military by the John Birch Society, much as the Trump supporters’ insurrection at the Capitol has sparked concerns about possible sympathizers within the police or military. In both instances, the worry was that the uniformed forces might be politicized in such a way that they might intervene, or refuse to intervene, in some future political crisis. In the case of the Birch Society, those fears were heightened by General Edwin Walker, a military commander and society member who instructed his troops to read Welch’s Life of John Birch and other right-wing material. He was relieved of command in 1961, resigned from the army, and toured the country giving speeches on behalf of Bircher causes.

In 1961, Stanley Mosk, then the California attorney general, mockingly depicted the John Birch Society’s supporters as “little old ladies in tennis shoes.” The Birchers, however, had many elite connections. Welch had attended Harvard Law School, and two of the founding members in Indianapolis had served as presidents of the National Association of Manufacturers, of which Welch was a board member. Although the Birch Society was known for its clout in the Sunbelt states, Welch ran it for decades from an office in Belmont, Massachusetts, and lived for a time in Cambridge, where he had founded the company that eventually became known as Welch’s Candy, the maker of popular treats like Sugar Daddies and Sugar Babies.

The society was funded by membership dues and magazine sales. At one point in the 1970s Welch had to send out a letter to friends saying the organization’s financial situation was “desperate,” but the Birchers could usually depend on wealthy businessmen to bail them out—in particular, the Texas oil magnate Nelson Bunker Hunt, the organization’s biggest benefactor, whose intermittent contributions helped keep the Birch Society afloat for many years.

The business leaders who supported the Birchers were unified by their continuing opposition to Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal reforms. (Years later, when President Richard Nixon signed into law the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Welch, with his standard hyperbole, called it “the worst piece of tyranny ever imposed on any people by any government.”) In this sense, the Birch Society’s base was different from the Trump movement today. The domestic manufacturers of the 1950s, often based locally and run by a single family, have in many cases evolved into large corporations with overseas operations; worried about exports and their corporate images, they generally avoid taking political positions that could provoke backlash. The Trump movement includes some important individual donors from the business community, but it has been more hostile to corporations than the Birchers were.

Still, when it came to grassroots support, the Birchers drew on many of the same sorts of sentiments we now see among the Trumpers. The businessmen seeking lower taxes and deregulation were able to enlist, through conspiracy theories, the support of those who felt that the America they had grown up in was being undermined or destroyed—and that some malign organization or force must be behind these social changes.

Once the John Birch Society began to spread through the country, conservative leaders had to decide how to deal with it and what to say about it: Should they renounce the Birchers, and if so, how bluntly? This is, of course, roughly the same issue that confronts prominent Republicans, from Liz Cheney to Mitch McConnell, in grappling with the Trump movement today. William F. Buckley Jr.—who in 1955 had founded National Review to serve as the main organ of conservative thought—initially praised some of Welch’s early writings, observing that he was “the author of two of the finest pamphlets this country has read in a decade.” (They shared a publisher: Regnery had published Buckley’s God and Man at Yale before putting out Welch’s The Life of John Birch, one of the pamphlets Buckley was referring to.) Yet Buckley grew increasingly uncomfortable with Welch’s conspiratorial theorizing, and he began to criticize Welch in his magazine.

The turning point for Buckley seems to have been Welch’s allegation that Eisenhower was a Communist. Welch first made this claim in 1954 in a letter he sent out to hundreds if not thousands of conservatives, saying that it was his firm belief “that Dwight Eisenhower is a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy.” This was several degrees more outrageous than the other red-baiting of the 1950s; even McCarthy hadn’t gone that far. It also clashed with what the public had come to know of Eisenhower. “Eisenhower isn’t a Communist. He is a golfer,” observed another prominent conservative, Russell Kirk. Buckley’s National Review mocked Welch’s conspiracy theories. One essay from 1959, for example, said that Welch and the Birchers “concede to the Communist world a monolithic perfection, a super human cleverness, which does not and could not exist outside a fiction 1984.”

Buckley also took his opposition to the John Birch Society beyond these published comments: in early 1962, during a meeting with Senator Barry Goldwater in which Buckley and other conservatives were encouraging Goldwater to run for president, Buckley urged him to denounce the society in public.

Goldwater balked. He did write Buckley a letter saying he would like to see the John Birch Society disband, yet he would not issue a public repudiation. For Goldwater, the Birchers were an important constituency in states like California. Instead of a direct repudiation, Goldwater and other conservative leaders began to resort to some of the phrases, evasions, and rationalizations that eventually became standard fare to maintain the support of a repugnant movement.

The first of these can be called the “good people” evasion. Goldwater called the Birchers “the finest people in my community” and said they were “the kind [of people] we need in politics.” (After the 2017 riots by neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump told a press conference that there were “very fine people on both sides.”) A second type of evasion is to single out the leader (or some other individual within the movement) for censure, thus deflecting criticism away from the membership and the organization itself. In the 1960s Republican politicians took to denouncing Welch personally for going too far in his conspiracy theories, while avoiding comment on the many Birchers who believed them. Goldwater, for example, asserted at one point that Welch should resign. Buckley, too, at first chose to blame Welch rather than the Birch Society as a whole. Nixon crossed this line: while running for governor of California in 1962, he called upon Republicans to “repudiate once and for all Robert Welch and those who accept his leadership and viewpoints.” Nixon won the California primary over a Birch Society member, but then lost the general election because the Birchers refused to vote for him.

Most Republicans today are similarly unwilling to directly criticize Trump for fear of offending his supporters and losing Republican primaries. For just a few days after the January 6 insurrection, it appeared that some Republican politicians (Lindsey Graham, for example) were willing to condemn him while seeking to maintain the support of his base. These efforts collapsed, and the Republicans returned to Trump. For the moment, at least, Trump not only maintains hold on his movement but is its raison d’être. (Yet in the most successful Republican political campaign since Trump’s departure, Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin took pains to keep him at a distance while courting his supporters.)

The third technique Republican politicians used to avoid condemning the John Birch Society was the “endorsement,” a term that Ronald Reagan employed to perfection when he was running for governor of California in 1966. Reagan first worked out with his advisers the general idea: “Any member of the society who supports me will be buying my philosophy. I won’t be buying theirs.” He then distilled this into his stock campaign line: “I didn’t endorse them—they endorsed me.” (During his 1980 presidential campaign, Reagan flipped his formula around while courting the support of evangelicals: he told a convention of fundamentalist pastors, “I know this is nonpartisan, so you can’t endorse me, but I want you to know that I endorse you.”)

On the whole, as Miller’s book makes clear, Republican politicians of the early 1960s were more eager to court the John Birch Society than to distance themselves from it. Indeed, Goldwater’s famous line from his acceptance speech at the 1964 Republican National Convention—“Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice”—can be read as an apologia for the Birch Society.

Miller captures the crucial difference between the John Birch Society’s beliefs and William Buckley’s brand of conservatism. “Unlike Welch, Buckley never believed that domestic Communists, as opposed to foreign ones, were a greater threat to America’s survival,” he writes. For Welch and the Birchers, the main targets were liberalism and the elites.

Miller’s book, however, is curiously dismissive of Buckley’s efforts to curtail the Birch Society’s influence. It is hard to see how much more Buckley could have done (Miller doesn’t offer any suggestions): after having appealed to Goldwater to denounce the Birchers, in 1965 Buckley published a special fourteen-page section of National Review condemning the organization. The Birch Society magazine American Opinion had just argued that the major branches of the US government were under Communist domination, suggesting that the real Communist enemy was at home, not abroad. In a column for National Review’s special section, Buckley called that “drivel” and said the Birch Society was “a grave liability to the conservative and anti-Communist cause.” Readers responded to the issue with more than 1,500 angry letters and roughly as many subscription cancellations. Yet despite Buckley’s denunciations, the conspiratorial thinking of the Birchers took root on the right wing of the Republican Party and remains there today. As Miller writes, “Robert Welch was never excommunicated by William F. Buckley.”

Welch, who had maintained tight personal control over the John Birch Society for more than a quarter-century, suffered a stroke in 1983 and died two years later. The organization still exists, but without the prominence, power, and influence it once had. Nevertheless, the spirit of the Birchers lives on in the web of fictions we see in public life today—not merely in cults like QAnon, conspiracists like Alex Jones, and fringe politicians like Marjorie Taylor Greene, but also in many of the leaders of the Republican Party, who dispute the results of the 2020 election with one fable after another. Indeed, the penchant for conspiracy theories seems stronger today than it was during the Birchers’ heyday in the 1960s.

Right-wing conspiracy thinking survived the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe because it became an instrument not just of anticommunism but of expressing resentment of educated elites—which not only continues but has arguably increased—and also because social media can spread conspiratorial ideas instantaneously to a mass audience. The persistence of this evidence-free theorizing raises the question of whether conspiracy theories have become necessary to the Republican Party’s existence. Conspiracies are, in short, a way for the party to keep feeding its populist base while more quietly pursuing economic interests (cutting taxes, opposing government regulation) that the party’s powerful, well-heeled members and donors find vital.

A Conspiratorial Life sometimes makes its case for the relevance of the John Birch Society in recent years in a heavy-handed, breathless fashion. “America had become Welchland,” Miller writes, a classic example of a biographer overstating the importance of his subject. “Now the ideas of the John Birch Society are everywhere—even in the White House. Even in your own house.” Such passages seem almost the mirror image of the Birch Society finding Communists under every bed.

It is clear that, just as the style of the Birchers outlasted Welch’s death and the collapse of the Soviet Union, so too the spirit of Trumpism will endure well beyond Trump’s lifetime. Outlandish statements, rivaling the claim that President Eisenhower was a Communist, have now become common. Not long ago, on Fox News, Lara Logan, once a prominent CBS foreign correspondent, compared Anthony Fauci to Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who did experiments on prisoners at Auschwitz.

On January 20, 2021, those who were watching President Biden’s inauguration on television could see that an unidentified man of Asian descent stood either behind Biden or at his side throughout the ceremonies. He was David Cho, a Korean American Secret Service agent who had been placed in charge of Biden’s presidential security detail (after having earlier protected Trump). Yet American social media soon lit up with speculation that this man was a Chinese agent, assigned by Beijing to control the new president. “I just asked why has [Biden] got a Chinese handler,” read one typical tweet. Robert Welch could not have said it better.

[James Mann is a Fellow in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. His most recent book is The Great Rift: Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and the Broken Friendship That Defined an Era.] 



Poland Shows the Risks for Women When Abortion Is Banned

Dennis Brasky
 

Poland’s abortion ban has had many unintended consequences. One is that doctors are sometimes afraid to remove fetuses or administer cancer treatment to save women’s lives.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/12/world/europe/poland-abortion-ban.html



Re: troll

Avram Rips
 

Definitely wasn’t. He couldn’t stand Mate, Norton et al. They weren’t trolls per se , but in general didn’t put up with the then pro Assad bs now basically pro Putin.


On Saturday, June 11, 2022, Dayne Goodwin <daynegoodwin@...> wrote:
I don't recall Louis being patient with trolls.


Re: Boycotting the Ukrainian Resistance Is Neither Internationalist Nor Socialist!

sartesian@...
 

""Sartesian's "united action program" has "withdrawal of Russian troops" as point a, 
the first point. But what action is being proposed that would get the Russian 
government to withdraw its troops? Unless there is some means to achieve such 
goals as the withdrawal of Russian troops,...."

1.Well, if it's a united action program, then the appeal is to the workers of all the contesting forces.  But at this juncture, it's put out there as an alternative to the pro/anti-Russian discourse that ignores, and absolves, capitalism as capitalism from being the cause of this war.    As for getting the Russians to withdraw, if such a program were to be put forward and agreed  upon by groups representing workers from the contesting forces, I would think strikes might be proposed, hot cargoing might be proposed, and agitation within the armies themselves would be a possible tactic.  Now I'm sure Joseph and others will dismiss all of that as pure idealism,  never stating the assumption behind the uncritical substitution of national self-determination for class struggle, or an iteration of revolutionary defeatism, which is simply, that workers don't and won't have enough class consciousness to grasp the "nuance" of such a position and advancing self-determination instead, despite the fact that this is  most definitely not a case of an oppressed nationality struggle against a economy that has exploited and suppressed their own development, because it's... well the dominant discourse........ because it's so popular.   

 "Let's see, to be in accord with the 
rest of Sartesian's program, Ukrainians must work to "defeat" their own 
government and they must do this by "internal revolutionary struggle". The 
Ukrainian resistance also must not take weapons from any substantial outside 
source or make use of militias formed of Ukrainians who are simply fighting for 
the right to self-determination of Ukraine (hence nationalism) rather than 
socialism."

2. Well, do the Ukrainian workers need to defeat their own government, yes or no?  It's not opportune to bring it up?  Indeed......so conclude the opportunists.  Did the Ukrainian workers need to defeat the government the day or the week or the year or the decade before the Russian invasion?  I think so. So why now do they not need to defeat their government.  Because the government has the weapons.  Okay, and how's that working out for the Ukrainian people?  I think it's kind of working out a  bad way for them.   But the real theoretical issue is this--when Green says "who are simply fighting for the right to self-determination of Ukraine (hence nationalism)".  In a nutshell, Green's statement presumes that a right to self-determination supersedes class, that the struggle can justify class collaboration, and more than justifies, it requires subordination of even critical analysis to the demands of the opportunity.  Struggles for self-determination are NEVER struggles for self-determination but are initial eruptions of class struggle that must transition from a form-- the "nation"-- to a content, state power.  Self-determination is akin to the "democratic phase" of the emerging social revolution that Trotsky analyzed in 1905-- an initial eruption that will either give way to class revolution or will perpetuate the exploitation and misery at the core.

"Perhaps Sartesian could give us a rough estimate of how many 
Ukrainians are organized, or ready at this time to be organized, in a way that is 
acceptable to his action program, and how they could defeat the combined forces 
of the Russian army, the Ukrainian government's army, the non-socialist militias, 
the World Bank, the IMF, NATO, and so on. "

3. Nope, can't tell you.  Don't have the slightest idea.  But numbers change and are changed by circumstances and how well political programs reflect those changes.  So maybe there is an alternative.  I don't know Green's positions, but I've run into this same argument to justify support of Syriza (There Was No Alternative), the MFA in Portugal (There Was No Alternative), even Corbyn in the UK.  If there is no alternative to subordinating class struggle, and the independence of the workers, then why even bother to call yourself a marxist.   If expressing class opposition to the dominant, ruling ideas, of this or that section of a ruling class is sitting on one's hands then you a) should show how submitting has proved to be viable  for the advance of workers' interests or b) admit you have no alternative.  

4. Finally, the list of "demands" doesn't imagine any of these line items "drop from the sky," nor is it presented as commandments on stone tablets.  It's basically presented in some not small part to urge those who call themselves "Marxists" -- this is Marxmail is it not-- to examine the reasons for and the results of continued replacement of class struggle by "national determination."



Re: With the resistance of the Ukrainian people for its victory against the aggression

Bradley Mayer
 

And on Zimmerwald, the Russo-Ukraine War does not attain the "spirit" either.  I'll just leave off with Marx at the foundation of the First International: 
--
If the emancipation of the working classes requires their fraternal concurrence, how are they to fulfill that great mission with a foreign policy in pursuit of criminal designs, playing upon national prejudices, and squandering in piratical wars the people’s blood and treasure?... the shameless approval, mock sympathy, or idiotic indifference with which the upper classes of Europe have witnessed the mountain fortress of the Caucasus falling a prey to, and heroic Poland being assassinated by, Russia: the immense and unresisted encroachments of that barbarous power, whose head is in St. Petersburg, and whose hands are in every cabinet of Europe, have taught the working classes the duty to master themselves the mysteries of international politics; to watch the diplomatic acts of their respective governments; to counteract them, if necessary, by all means in their power; when unable to prevent, to combine in simultaneous denunciations, and to vindicate the simple laws or morals and justice, which ought to govern the relations of private individuals, as the rules paramount of the intercourse of nations.
The fight for such a foreign policy forms part of the general struggle for the emancipation of the working classes.
Proletarians of all countries, unite!


Re: With the resistance of the Ukrainian people for its victory against the aggression

Bradley Mayer
 

Question:  Are Ukrainians historically and at present oppressed as a people by both Russia and the EU?

Again, why do we solidarize with Palestinians?  

Why should we care about the oppression of women?

I could go on and on, but you get the point.

Which is why we always state, "workers and oppressed".  Not every just struggle is a class struggle.  Class struggle does not directly explain every social phenomenon. Marxism will not explain the Cosmic Meaning of Life. Does that mean that Marxists should abstain from such matters?

Marx's Eighteenth Brumaire is an excellent example of the account of a phenomenon that does not immediately meet Marxist class struggle criteria.  History painted grey on grey.  Marx was describing a reactionary process.  Today, we live through the most reactionary historical period since the 1930's.  Not surprisingly, class struggle is often submerged beneath a welter of phenomena often not directly related to the class struggle of workers and capitalists.  Not surprisingly, that's the whole point of reactionary politics.  The point of revolutionary politics is to (re) surface that class struggle.  In practice this means working through the obscuring layers of non-class struggle phenomena, such as nation, race and gender.

Understanding the relation of class struggle to its negations is to understand Marxism as science.

In the case of Ukraine, the general military mobilization will put arms and combat experience in the hands of individual workers, among other people.  There is no guarantee that this would strengthen the hand of Ukrainian workers as a class, of course, as that requires independent class political organization.  But once their lousy capitalist regime betrays the military struggle against the Russian invasion, as is inevitable, there will be a lot of angry veterans of the struggle who could turn their arms on that capitalist regime.  Should we just say, "Eh, there is no revolutionary proletarian party in place in Ukraine, there is nothing we can do here"?  Would that not be to abandon the field to the far right and fascists?  That abandonment is the essence of the politics of "Brown-Redism".  It is the politics that claims that we must pander to the prejudices of the oppressor - white, male, great power chauvinist and so forth - in order to get at the exploiter.  Except that exploiter is often, white, male, great power chauvinist and so forth.  At the end of that road is the profound demoralization called "Brown-Redism".  Why would we not approach both oppression and exploitation in their unity, in their combination and simultaneity,  rather than like the post-structuralists and postmodernists - another reactionary trend of a "Western" intellectual type that has happily receded -  proceed from the standpoint of their difference?

Might there then be a connection between the international ascendency of the Far Right, and a Left, including especially the socialist Left, whose political and ideological behavior is stuck fossilized in a 80 year time warp?  How has repeating the same behaviors over and over again worked out in the long run?  Restoration of capitalism, that's how.

That is the fundamental motive behind Ukraine Socialist Solidarity:  To shatter once and for all the fossil framework that binds and constrains the socialist Left into abstentionism or worse. The Ukraine war acts with a powerful polarizing effect that has already clearly crystallized where various sections of the socialist Left really stand, on everything.  The target is now in sight. We "just need more ammo". 

This is one of those conjunctural "testing times" we've read of in the history books, like with the outbreak of WW1 and so forth.  You are either going to pass or fail. 

Which side will you be on?  Because in the "next period" it will literally become a "choice" between life and death.  To abstain because reality doesn't immediately present itself in the form of class struggle, is to betray a lack of confidence that socialists can actually surface a revolutionary class struggle for power, through all the obscuring layers piled atop it.

In "the next period", the "fossil Left", young or old, will be wiped out and consigned to the dustbin.   Which side of that historical divide do you want to be on?


Re: Boycotting the Ukrainian Resistance Is Neither Internationalist Nor Socialist!

Dayne Goodwin
 

touche!, Joseph

On Sat, Jun 11, 2022 at 7:57 PM Joseph Green <jgreen@...> wrote:
Sartesian's "united action program" has "withdrawal of Russian troops" as point a,
the first point. But what action is being proposed that would get the Russian
government to withdraw its troops? Unless there is some means to achieve such
goals as the withdrawal of Russian troops,  it is just window-dressing to denounce
the current struggle while saying that "withdrawal of Russian troops" is part of
one's  "action program". Overall, Sartesian's program looks like an inaction
program of contempt for the ongoing struggle. Let's see, to be in accord with the
rest of Sartesian's program, Ukrainians must work to "defeat" their own
government and they must do this by "internal revolutionary struggle". The
Ukrainian resistance also must not take weapons from any substantial outside
source or make use of militias formed of Ukrainians who are simply fighting for
the right to self-determination of Ukraine (hence nationalism) rather than
socialism. Perhaps Sartesian could give us a rough estimate of how many
Ukrainians are organized, or ready at this time to be organized, in a way that is
acceptable to his action program, and how they could defeat the combined forces
of the Russian army, the Ukrainian government's army, the non-socialist militias,
the World Bank, the IMF, NATO, and so on. Or should they just sit on their hands
until there is an imminent socialist revolution, and regard sitting on their hands as
the proper form of "united action" today? Is the important thing to cover one's ass
by having "withdrawal of Russian troops" and "no partition of Ukraine" as part of a
list of things that would be good if they dropped from the sky somehow, or to
provide some means of struggle -- struggle to be carried out at this time -- to
achieve these goals and the other ones that one is putting forward as part of a
"united action program" for the world left and the Ukrainian people?


BBC radio documentary on the Black Panthers

Alfredo Giannantonio
 



an exceptional BBC radio documentary on the Black Panthers:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b07x12m5


Re: troll

Avram Rips
 


On Sunday, June 12, 2022, Bradley Mayer <blmayer062@...> wrote:
Thanks Michael.  For a deep historical background on "Red-Brown alliances" that is also linked up to the cast of characters referenced by Michael, see also https://libcom.org/article/investigation-red-brown-alliances-third-positionism-russia-ukraine-syria-and-western-left


Re: Socialist Internationalism and the Ukraine War

Mark Baugher
 

On Jun 9, 2022, at 9:00 PM, Dayne Goodwin <daynegoodwin@...> wrote:

Yes, fascist organizations of post-WWI to WWII organized mass - petit-bourgeois based - movements in order to take state power and establish dictatorships (and then liquidate their most populist, mass-oriented factions). Have you seen the suggestions that because ideologically fascist Putin already controls the state, the Russian fascist regime has been built without the mass movement characteristic of the 1920s-1930s?

Consider Russian socialist Ilya Budraitskis' comment:

From Managed Democracy to Fascism
Putin’s Imposition of Obedience and Order on Russian Society
by Ilya Budraitskis, Tempest, April 23
https://www.tempestmag.org/2022/04/from-managed-democracy-to-fascism
This seems to be in line with work written by Karl Polanyi, who the author references and whom I like very much. But in this case, I'm inclined to go with Trotsky, who pointed out that not every authoritarian dictatorship, no matter how brutal, is fascist.

But why debate the definition at all? I think it's worthwhile to make distinctions between political regimes because those distinctions are important in how to organize against them. In a letter to the US leadership, for example, Trotsky recommended physically breaking up fascist meetings. Generally, that's a self-defeating tactic - when it doesn't match the realities of a society fragmented into paramilitary organizations that attack each other.

I can't argue about Russia because I don't know enough. But I would not expect a fascist country to experience immediate turmoil caused by a war of choice to realize the vision of the supreme leader; hundreds of troops would not refuse service even if the invasion did not turn out to be a Blumenkrieg. It would be futile to hope for mass dissent to appear in the ranks of the army of a fascist state as it did in the US Army's FTA period. It's hard to tell exactly what is fact and what is war propaganda at this point.

Mark


Re: troll

Bradley Mayer
 

Thanks Michael.  For a deep historical background on "Red-Brown alliances" that is also linked up to the cast of characters referenced by Michael, see also https://libcom.org/article/investigation-red-brown-alliances-third-positionism-russia-ukraine-syria-and-western-left


Re: troll

Michael Pugliese
 

On Sun, Jun 12, 2022 at 7:17 AM Marla Vijaya kumar via groups.io
<marlavk@...> wrote: Several paragraphs , I will
comment on , mainly via presenting website links contesting or
opposing assertions made , in just about every sentence.

Repression against Communists and Socialists, of all tendencies and
alignments , whether one is categorizing them as coming from Stalinist
or neo-Trotskyist or post-Trotskyist or other traditions outside those
somewhat archaic sets of two boxes, in Ukraine , is very real,
https://fuckyeahmarxismleninism.tumblr.com/post/627910831883124737/august-30-1987-birthday-of-andrei-brazhevsky
("Andrei Brazhevsky was born on August 30, 1987. He was one of the
most active participants in the anti-fascist and Marxist movement in
Odessa, Ukraine, and one of the founders of Union Borotba (Struggle)
in Odessa. He died at the hands of the neo-Nazis on May 2, 2014, as he
tried to protect defenseless people in the House of Trade Unions...")
. Investigations into human rights violations related to the violence
in Odessa on 2 May , 2014 , see ,
http://ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/UA/HRMMUReport15June2014.pdf , in
particular pages 9-17 , via ,"
Odesa "Massacre" Propaganda vs. the Facts ,
https://khpg.org/en/1407453894 , for a counter-narrative.

https://nitter.koyu.space/_AIF1/status/1534975570739482624#m (Mikhail
Kononovich of the Komsomol of Ukraine , and his Brother , who were
arrested some months ago and have had their ribs broken , I assume by
SBU interogators , in 2014 , Mikhail was stabbed and beaten ,
https://challenge-magazine.org/2022/03/07/meeting-mikhail-kononovich/
, further info see ,
https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/ukrainian-communist-youth-leaders-reportedly-arrested-by-government-targeted-for-death/
& https://www.internationalmagz.com/articles/set-the-kononovich-brothers-free
.

Re : "geocide (sic.) of Russian speaking populations , on the Partido
FB Group , this rather badly written Russian report , was posted
recently, https://democracyfund.ru/userfiles/Ukrainian_Crimes_2017-2020.pdf
, co-written by Maxim Grigoriev and D.V. Sablin. The credibility of
Grigoriev , can be assessed as rather low given he asserted to a
reporter from Telesur , the massacre in Bucha was a fake news story ,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z207WkNftgE . On the 14,000 killed in
the Donbas , since 2014, see,
https://www.stopfake.org/en/fake-ukraine-committed-genocide-against-donbas-inhabitants/
.

You note : "Here in India we have access to many videos of Donetsk Red
forces, saluting to Red Flag. The communists have a significant role
in the DPR forces. Wherever they occupy a city, they raise the red
flag. I wonder why the Left in the West ignores this." I have seen
many of those via Twitter and Telegram channels, and FB Groups which
align with the DPR such as Solidarity with Donbass & Antifascists in
Ukraine. However , in reply to Patrick Lancaster , a pro-DPR
"journalist," whose dispatches I have seen , not only via his YouTube
channel, but, via an Indian TV News outlet as well , see ,"K @KevNFNY
Mar 2 , Replying to @PLnewstoday
"Members of Russian far-right groups have played an important role
among the pro-Russian separatists, more so than on the Ukrainian side.
Leaders of the Donetsk People's Militia are closely linked to the
neo-Nazi party Russian National Unity (RNU) led by Alexander
Barkashov" https://twitter.com/KevNFNY/status/1499229759691177988?s=20&t=OeLKWK0PX4WbxX_nSuxRUw
.

On Lancaster , see,
https://www.reddit.com/r/UkraineWarVideoReport/comments/tzmyxa/patrick_lancaster_is_a_russian_propagandist/
, https://glasnostgone.org/2022/02/22/in-ukraine-russia-uses-corpses-in-false-flag-attack/
, (Lancaster on the far right channel of Alex Jones ,
https://brandnewtube.com/watch/american-reporter-in-ukraine-exposing-the-globalist-ww3-russian-false-flag-op-in-real-time_vOMd7s3O1Y3Fzk2.html
) , https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2022/02/28/exploiting-cadavers-and-faked-ieds-experts-debunk-staged-pre-war-provocation-in-the-donbas/
,

On the stellar human rights record of the "Donetsk People's Republic ,
" see , the reportage contained in this book by a journalist from
Donetsk , ,"In Isolation : Dispatches from Occupied Donbas," by
Stanislav Aseyev. https://books.huri.harvard.edu/books/in-isolation .
Excerpts of each chapter , are at the url. A gruesome and graphic
account of torture in a DPR torture center follows , via
https://khpg.org/en/1608809257

"In ‘Izoliatsiia’, a separate room with a table and relevant equipment
was used to administer electric shocks. For example, one detainee was
tied to the table, hand cuffed and hooded. Perpetrators attached one
electrode to his genitalia and inserted a metal tube with a second
electrode into his anus. He was subjected to painful electric shocks
for several minutes, during which he lost consciousness several times.
When he screamed, they put a cloth into his mouth. Another detainee
told OHCHR that he was put on the table, hooded and with his arms and
legs tied. Perpetrators attached electric wires to his feet and poured
water on them. Some detainees held in ‘Izoliatsiia’ could not prevent
themselves from urinating and defecating during electrocution.
[…A]nother detainee told OHCHR that [...h]is genitalia was also
repeatedly hit with a metal rod. As a result of this torture and
sexual violence, the skin on his genitalia turned black and peeled off
over several weeks. After refusing to confess to espionage, one
detainee was put in a cell where one of the cellmates took off his
pants and attempted to force the victim to engage in oral sex. Another
detainee said that he witnessed the head of the ‘Izoliatsiia’
detention facility come to the cell and order detainees to engage in
oral sex. One detainee told OHCHR that while in ‘Izoliatsiia’, he
heard guards scream at female detainees on their way to the shower:
‘Go shave your [vaginas]. You are about to go upstairs to work it
off.’ […] Several detainees reported that in ‘Izoliatsiia’, a health
professional was present during their interrogations and torture. The
man revived those who lost consciousness, and guided the perpetrators
about how to torture to inflict maximum pain without causing death. He
also examined detainees before the torture and asked about their
medical conditions; measured their blood pressure or pulse; and gave
injections. He told one detainee during torture: ‘We can kill you
anytime we want.’”

Oddly, not only pro-Ukrainian and accidental civilians, but also
numerous former so-called “insurgents” (opolchentsy) – i.e. previous
DNR/LNR volunteer fighters or mercenaries from both Ukraine and Russia
– have been held in Izoliatsiia and other detention facilities. During
his more than two years at Izoliatsiia, Aseyev personally met and
talked to:

Yurii Tchaikovskii – a Colonel of the DNR’s so-called "5th Brigade,”
Andrei Bogomaz – a Major General of the DNR’s so-called "Ministry of
Emergency Situations,”
Vitalii Ivanienko – a Lieutenant Colonel of the DNR’s so-called
“Vitiaz’ Battalion,”
Andrei Ibragimov – a Russian citizen and Major of the LNR’s so-called
"4th Brigade,”
Evgenii Tverdovskii – a Russian citizen and Lieutenant of the Russian
Federation’s navy,
Sergei Stavnichnii – a Lieutenant Colonel of the LNR’s so-called "4th LNR,”
Aleksei Sidorov – a Captain of the DNR’s so-called "Legion Battalion,”
Aleksandr Trudnenko – a Russian citizen and Senior Lieutenant of the
DNR’s so-called "Vitiaz’ Battalion,”
Denis Kustov – a Russian citizen and member of the DNR’s
Radio-Electronic Intelligence Battalion,
Aleksandr Shestakov – a Russian citizen accused of drug trafficking.

There were additional pro-Russian Ukrainian or Russian inmates during
Aseyev’s term held in Izoliatsiia. These fighters not only sat in the
same cells as those Ukrainians accused and sentenced because of their
real or alleged pro-Ukrainian activities. The pro-Russian prisoners at
Izoliatsiia went through similarly brutal torture often designed to
extract preformulated confessions on, for instance, spying for Kyiv.
The brutal persecution of “one’s own people” is a practice reminiscent
of the Stalinist purges of the Bolshevik party and Soviet regime of
the 1930s.

Stanislav Aseyev is an Expert on the Donbas with the Ukrainian
Institute for the Future in Kyiv, and author of, among other books, “A
‘Light Path’: The History of a Concentration Camp” (L’viv: Old Lion
Press, 2020).

Andreas Umland is a Research Fellow at the Stockholm Center for
Eastern European Studies, and editor of the book series “Soviet and
Post-Soviet Politics and Society” published by ibidem Press in
Stuttgart.



A larger report on prisoners in the occupied Donbas has been published
in April 2021 by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs here:
https://www.ui.se/butiken/uis-publikationer/ui-report/2021/prisoners-as-political-commodities-in-the-occupied-areas-of-the-donbas/.


Ukraine Update: Kiev Forces Facing Growing Desertion, Significant Losses And Depleting Ammunition | Countercurrents

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 

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