Date   

Re: The Guardian on a New US Civil War

Mark Lause
 

It seems to me that talk of the impending civil war started on the Right, partly to soil the diapers of the infantile liberals. 

What we see today doesn't depart from the American norm--white Christian nationalism and rampant racism are not a departure from the past but pretty much the default.  As others have noted, the American constitutional system never worked as well as advertised.  Checks and balances (always evaluated in arbitrary ways) have long since ceased to mean much. But it's not a fascist takeover.  They don't need fascism.  They're just tightening the screws on us that they've always had and used. 

And it's a serious mistake to think that they're not facing serious pushback.  What the January 6 hearings have demonstrated is that when the usually dead useless Democrats and the corporate media actually get around to informing the people, public opinion gets a lot more unmanageable by the reactionaries.  What we've seen for some time--escalating with Trump--amounts to a serious overreach by the Right.  Public approval of Biden, they're fond of saying, is low, but it's been even lower for the Congress and the Supreme Court is discussed today on their own news outlets as "illegitimate."  So the jack boots aren't coming down the street for us yet.

There are primarily two related wild cards that make things different.  First, the insane proliferations of military grade weapons. And, second, the general technological changes that have provided the State with the tools of unprecedented levels of propaganda, surveillance and repression.  Whatever they're confident in doing with the latter, they've had the capacity to do for some time and are probably doing it as they feel they can get away with it.  (Assange, etc.)  The guns make life in the American city very unpleasant, but it's not as though these are an organized Sturmabteilung.  Might just be me, but I worry more about the police than the neo-Nazis.  They've murdered many more unarmed civilians.  Aside from the sociopathic mass shooters and the small numbers of trained experts at such things, most of the good ol' boys playing at revolution are less likely to employ their firepower in any coordinated way than, than to shoot their eye out--just like Mommy warned them about their BB gun--like that one yahoo leading the Proud Boys (I think it was) .

We have time.  We have space.  We can prepare an effective response.

Solidarity,
Mark L.

l


Re: The Guardian on a New US Civil War

Mark Lause
 

American working class radicals regularly talked of their class position in terms of wages slavery and chattel slavery.  The 1850 National Industrial Congress passed a resolution giving a breakdown of how they saw class in the United States.  They described enslaved labor as part of the same class.  For all the reasons pointed out here, I think they were right.

Cheers,
Mark L.


The literal corruption of the "left"

Ken Hiebert
 

The article provided by David Green is from April of 2009 and now seems very dated.

https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/king-hate-business/tnamp/ 

In the wake of Charlottesville and January 6 the warnings issued by the SPLC now seem quite prescient.  

SPLC is accused of having raised a lot of money and of paying their lawyer and staff very well.  But what would it mean if someone is accused of Dancing to the tune of ..the SPLC?"

ken h


With haters on the wane, what will the hate-seekers do?


A mere 21 percent of the adult population identify themselves as Republicans. 

….. people who raise money and make money selling the notion that there’s a right resurgence out there in the hinterland with legions of haters ready to march down Main Street draped in Klan robes, a copy of Mein Kampf tucked under one arm and a Bible under the other, …..


Re: Interview with Boris Kagarlitsky: "Putin's war driven by domestic politics"

RKOB
 

I share your sentiment.

One can discuss about the degree of popular pro-Russian sentiment in Donbass (yes there was some, but this did not represent the majority; see our Donbass Theses, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-on-donbass/).

But the fault of Kagarlitsky was not so much that he misunderstood this sentiment. It was rather

a) that he ignored or even denied the imperialist character of Russia;

b) that he supported the military intervention of Russian imperialism in Donbass in 2014.

c) that he resp. his magazine Rabkor offered a tribune for the extreme right-wing Great Russian chauvinist Strelkov

This is what we call “social-imperialism”. This is no better than the social democrats supporting their imperialist “fatherland” in 1914 or “socialists” supporting the Western invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq.

For quotes and sources of Kagarlitsky see chapters VIII and XXV in my book “Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry”, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/

 

Am 04.07.2022 um 04:57 schrieb Dayne Goodwin:

Although Kagarlitsky has recently put some daylight between himself and the Kremlin, imo (like that of the late Louis Proyect) Boris should not be looked to for a revolutionary socialist understanding and perspective.  See this critique of "the Red Putinist" from the Ukraine Solidarity Campaign in 2015:
KAGARLITSKY, THE WAR AND POLITICAL CORRUPTION
A Critique of the ‘Red Putinist’
Original by Volodymyr Zadyraka  (31.03.2015) Translated from Russian by Hrytzko Chorny
https://ukrainesolidaritycampaign.org/2015/04/21/kagarlitsky-the-war-and-political-corruption/

Next below is some material i put together for a discussion elsewhere on why i question the image of the 'People's Republics of Donbas' as the creation of indigenous popular uprising.
Dayne

...Key to Russian government propaganda is to confuse "Russian speakers" with ethnic Russians.  We should understand that in Russia's historic colony of Ukraine there are obvious reasons why many ethnic Ukrainians speak Russian (and there is a significant Russian settler population).  Still both the oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk are majority ethnic Ukrainian (both about 38% ethnic Russian).  Both oblasts voted overwhelmingly (over 83%) for independence from Russia in Ukraine's 1991 referendum.  In his landslide 2019 presidential election victory Volodymyr Zelensky (who grew up speaking Russian in central Ukraine) won his highest votes in eastern Ukraine, i.e. over 89% in the then unoccupied geographic majority section of Luhansk oblast.

Below are two references which clarify that the Donetsk and Luhansk "Peoples Republics" were creations of Russian military aggression in the first phase of this imperialist war of conquest.

Russian White Guards in the Donbass
by Zbigniew Kowalewski, International Viewpoint, July 4, 2014
https://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article3440

How the Ukrainian Working Class Was Born
interview with Marko Bojcun
by David Broder, Jacobin, March 26
https://jacobinmag.com/2022/03/ukrainian-working-class-formation-ussr-nato-war-national-identity
  .  .  .
DB: What explains why the working class identified ever more as Ukrainian during this early post-1917 period?

MB: It’s a paradoxical result of the development of the Soviet Union that industrialization, the acquisition of universal literacy, and urbanization strengthened Ukrainian national identity. This was difficult for the ruling party to manage, because the desire for self-determination among people who were beginning to occupy higher echelons in society and government, the army, and so on, meant that they wanted to control and decide the basic issues of their lives. ...
  .  .  .
MB: This is certainly a complicated and intricate question. What I can say is, first of all, the Ukrainian identity as a choice for self-determination, which grew stronger in the 1920s, in conditions that allowed Ukrainians to enter into political life, was brutally brought to an end in the 1930s and driven underground with the Stalinist purges and the terror. The large majority of all Ukrainian political and cultural leaders were eliminated: 140 out of 142 members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine in 1933 ended up in the camps and prisons or executed outright. There was a wipeout of the intelligentsia during the famine of 1932–33, which broke the back of the peasantry as an autonomous political force.
  .  .  .
DB: It seems obvious that the 2014 war, and especially this one, have hardened Ukrainian national identity, even among the Russian-speaking population. But how about areas like the Donbas?

MB: First, I should say that Russian speakers are everywhere in Ukraine, and they are not only Russians. They are Russians and Ukrainians, Jews and Crimean Tatars, Armenians and Greeks. So the Russian language is not itself a significant marker of national identity or political allegiance, except for far-right nationalists. What is significant is whether you identify with your fellow citizens who live here in this country, as one nation.

Many in the international left don’t grasp this when they say that there is this Russian population dissatisfied because it faces discrimination. That is simply not true. It is a claim made by the propagators of the ideology of the russkiy mir (the Russian-world civilization) to which all of Ukraine, they say, rightfully belongs, including Donbas. ...

When Viktor Yanukovych was elected in 2010, he brought with him to government in Kiev a faction of oligarchs from Donbas. They lined up behind him because he controlled access to licenses to trade abroad, for instance, oil, gas, and chemicals processed in Ukraine. His ministers basically came from the Donbas region. When he was ousted by the Maidan in 2014, he fled to Russia, but his party established itself as a rump force in the Donbas. They tried to mount a response from there and to maintain a foothold in Ukraine. The Russian Federation under Putin came in and backed them militarily. First, Russia seized Crimea in February 2014, and then the people behind that seizure moved to the Donbas and established, with the local Russian nationalist parties and remnants of Yanukovych’s party, the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics.
  .  .  .
MB: We can’t achieve a durable peace by reforming the blocs. The right to national self-determination has to be at the heart of global peace. The view of the crisis as one that can be resolved by a new relationship between Russia and the West is not the way of approaching the problem. There are a lot of countries between the West and Russia. Russia has twenty-one military bases and installations outside of its own borders, eighteen of them in independent ex-Soviet states. These are instruments of the Kremlin as a gendarme of the entire region. ...

Marko Bojcun is a (retired) university lecturer, a British economist and political scientist of Ukrainian descent. Bojcun was born in Australia in 1951 to a family of Ukrainian immigrants. He emigrated to Canada in 1968 and from there to England in 1985. He wrote his Masters dissertation on Ukrainian nationalism during World War Two and his PhD on the workers' movement during the Ukrainian Revolution and Civil War of 1917-20. He has worked as a journalist, campaigner for national, civil and workers' rights, documentary film producer, trainer of civil servants and co-operative farmer. His published books are The Workers' Movement and the National Question in Ukraine 1897-1918 (2021), The Chernobyl Disaster (1988), Ukraine and Europe: a difficult reunion (2001), East of the Wall (2015) and Towards a Political Economy of Ukraine: selected essays 1990-2015 (2020). Since 2014, he is a member of the London-based Ukraine Solidarity Campaign.



On Sun, Jul 3, 2022 at 6:47 AM Chris Slee <chris_w_slee@...> wrote:
> http://links.org.au/putins-war-driven-by-domestic-politics-boris-kagarlitsky
>
> This interview is interesting for several reasons.
>
> Kagarlitsky refutes the idea that Putin's invasion of Ukraine was a response to the expansion of NATO.  He argues that it was a response to growing discontent within Russia.  Putin hoped a short, victorious war would boost his popularity.  He miscalculated, but refuses to admit it.
>
> Kagarlitsky explains why the anti-war movement in Russia is not very strong.  Soldiers sent to Ukraine come from remote villages.  People in the cities are largely unaffected.
>
> Kagarlitsky also explains what happened in Donbas.  He says there were "three sides" in the conflict - the Ukrainian government, the Russian government and the local people.  The 2014 Donbas rebellion was a response by local people to the overthrow of the Yanukovych government, which most people in eastern Ukraine had voted for.   For them the new government in Kyiv had "no legitimacy".  They saw it as the product of a coup.
>
> Kagarlitsky saw the Donbas uprising as a "popular rebellion".  But the intervention of Russia changed the situation.  The Russian government "did everything to undermine the popular democratic movement".  Many of the leaders of the uprising were murdered by pro-Russian forces.  The Donbas "peoples republics" are now run by "totally corrupt puppets installed by Moscow".
>


Re: Covid deaths in the US (over 1 million) and China (about 5000)

Alan Ginsberg
 

Hari Kumar referred to a New York Times article comparing Australian and U.S. COVID responses. I believe Hari was referring to "How Australians Saved Thousands of LIves While Covid Killed a Million Americans", May 15, 2022 (updated May 17, 2022).

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/15/world/australia/covid-deaths.html


Re: The literal corruption of the "left"

John Reimann
 

David Green denounces Alexander Reid Ross for "dancing to the tune of the ADL". In the first place, please give the quotes in this article where he does that. It's true that Reid Ross exposes the anti-Semitism of some of those who criticize Israel, but where does he defend Israel in any way?

Far more important is this: It's a rhetorical trick to simply denounce an article by denouncing the author; the question is whether Reid Ross's article is accurate. I understand that for some Medea Benjamin and Code Pink are above criticism, but that doesn't make such criticism invalid. After Singham's politically (and possibly legally) criminal role in NUMSA, it seems to me that any force connected with this shady character is seriously suspect. If that means I'm dancing to the tune of the ADL, then so be it. To me, I think that those who are connected with Singham are more dancing to the tune of the Chinese government as well as that of the Iranian dictatorship.

The one aspect in which I disagree with Reid Ross is that he seems to think it's all a matter of literal financial corruption, as organized by Singham and his type. In my view, it was the corruption of ideas that came first, going all the way back to the rise of Stalinism and its variation - Maoism. And more, in fact.

John Reimann

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


Alfred McCoy - What Difference Does a War Make? The Geopolitics of the New Cold War

Dennis Brasky
 


Re: The Guardian on a New US Civil War

John Edmundson
 

I agree entirely. I just felt that it is evidence that slavery in the US existed in the context of the dominance of capitalism, unlike earlier forms of slavery.

Comradely,
John

On Wed, 6 Jul 2022, 16:06 , <sartesian@...> wrote:
That's true.  But the leasing of slaves to industry, to mines, was not the defining, dominant relation in and to the South, no more than the breeding and sale of slaves made the slaveholder a merchant capitalist.


Re: Covid deaths in the US (over 1 million) and China (about 5000)

hari kumar
 

Hello Dennis:

Of course you are quite right to remind us that the COVID thing is not "over".

However I'd be very cautious about some of the interpretations on EU vs USA. Forgive me I am still not 'quite' at my desk with hikes here and there. So I cannot easily give chapter and verse. But:

i) In the NYT article a while back where USA comparisons to Australia were present, this theme was raised. (I cannot lay my hands on it - the search function at NYT is pretty poor & I am not quite so adept at googling).
There it made the point also that rates within the EU were varied.
ii) And that is the point - rates do vary enormously within the EU - and while they vary within the USA - there are national differences underlying a lot of the national policy characteristics. For example, Eastern Europe - is horrific in its vaxx rates and correspondingly the consequences. 
iii) Country by country, there was data that German and Canadian mortality was comparable, and pretty much lower than in the USA; and that correspondingly Vaxx rates were higher. Of course that is *not* randomised data - but the time and the point for that type of study, is well over now. But it brings up the point also of efficacy of the differing vaxxes, and earlier - I had detailed some of the machinations over the Astra-Z variant vaxx (perhaps to be known as the UK Chauvinist variant). 

Sorry for not re-linking to various articles in the NYT & my prior mails-Berlin Left & ML Currents Today - bit hurried right now. 

But thx for reminding us that this remains a major issue, and will of course get worse once we go into Autumn and Winter. 
How individual countries will respond in terms of relief to labour, is of course rather uncertain also - given their proclivity to reduce inflation by cutting workers small portions of the national cake. 

By the way the highest cause of USA childhood mortality until very recently - I have not brought myself up to date yet - was ... gunshot wounds. Obviously lots of competing health care needs, and now for women and their families accentuated by the USA Supreme Court decision on Roe obviously.
All of which solutions are to be found ultimately in social policy - read social revolution. Capitalist sticking plasters obviously  helps.. and needs us to continue to agitate on. But...

Cheers H


Re: The literal corruption of the "left"

David Green
 


Re: The literal corruption of the "left"

David Green
 

https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/king-hate-business/tnamp/


Re: The literal corruption of the "left"

David Green
 

Morris Dees was corrupt, and the organization is filthy rich. Their hate-mongering is a complement to the ADL's. Alexander Cockburn always saw through them. 
"King of the Hate Business" https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/king-hate-business/tnamp/


Re: The literal corruption of the "left"

Ken Hiebert
 

David Green says, "Dancing to the tune of the ADL & SPLC is not exactly a good look. .

I am aware of the ADL as a pro-Israel organization.  I had never previously, in a left forum, seen a denunciation of the SPLC.  What is the knock against them?

ken h




Re: The Guardian on a New US Civil War

sartesian@...
 

That's true.  But the leasing of slaves to industry, to mines, was not the defining, dominant relation in and to the South, no more than the breeding and sale of slaves made the slaveholder a merchant capitalist.


Ending Pandemic Aid Created A Disaster

Steven L. Robinson
 

New government data show that after the government terminated pandemic relief programs, millions more Americans began struggling to survive.

 

In all, roughly four in ten Americans say they are having difficulty paying their bills — a nearly 50 percent increase since last spring, according to a Lever review of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

 

Full at:

 

 

 


Re: The Guardian on a New US Civil War

John Edmundson
 

Capitalism employs all kinds of unfree labour. That still includes slave labour I some places and circumstances, such as in US prisons  courtesy of thec13th Ammendment. But it does sonic the context of capitalism as the dominant social relation. The overwhelming bulk of labour is "free" in the sense that it has been decoupled from Feudal obligation and bonding to land.

I think a lot of Marxists still see the "free labour" criterion as contrasting with slavery and still equate 16th - 19th century chattel slavery to previous (eg Greek or Roman) slave modes of production. Even in the US south though, slavery was quite flexible. Slave owners leased surplus slaves to factory owners, so they earned extra money for their slave estate while the factory owner made a profit (is it technically surplus value?) from the labour of the slaves  by costing their labour into the product at greater than the cost they paid to lease the slave.

Comradely 
John

On Wed, 6 Jul 2022, 10:30 , <sartesian@...> wrote:
Yes, Marx calls the plantation owners capitalists, in their dependence on exchange, on markets for their commodities.  They are capitalists in their proximity to developing capitalism.  They are however an anomaly- and that anomaly resides precisely in the fact that the labor source is itself not a commodity, is not mediated by "free exchange," but rather by direct compulsion. 

No one is arguing that slavery in the US was not an integral part of the development of capitalism, but slavery did not produce, nor reproduce the class relations  of capital and labor. The slave mode does not reproduce itself as wage labor which has to be simultaneously aggrandized and expelled from the labor process, and replaced by the value accumulated in the means of production.  And it did not do so in the South. Hence the "undeveloped" nature of railroads, telegraphs, roads in the South compared to the North

Marx does not say, anywhere, that the slaves were a "proletarian labor force." You can ignore the actual substance of the Grundrisse, which is precisely an examination, a veritable treatise on the difference between "free labor" mediated by exchange value, and unfree labor compelled by direct force, but you can't pretend that Marx characterized the slaves in the US or the Caribbean as the proletariat, as a class sharing the same condition of labor which more than spurs, determines, the same accumulation of the means of production as exchange values, as capital, and because that condition of labor does in fact determine capital, the same condition, wage-labor, become the negation of capital.

As for this "Du Bois made the argument that abolition was completed due to a General Strike of slaves fleeing the plantations into the arms of the Union armies (who incidentally would have preserved their bondage, and did in some instances)," well, first you make the argument for David and myself-- that where and when the Union Army approaches, the slaves flee towards their lines.  Exactly, the presence of the Union Army drives home the point that Lincoln in his first inaugural and through 1862 wanted to ignore-- that the war was about slavery; that the North could not win the war without destroying the South's mode of production; without confiscating, consuming, destroying the property base of the South.  That confiscation, consumption, dispossession, destruction occurs by, through, when, the Union Army penetrates the South.  That confiscation etc. is exactly the meaning of revolution-- the overthrow of the opposing mode of production, the opposing property relations, the opposing condition of labor. For the argument of self-emancipation to hold water, you would have to show where that revolution occurs without the advance of the Union Army.  Show us the  general strike absent the Union Army.

As for "preserving the bondage" of the slaves-- no kidding, Sherlock.  Lincoln and the North did not come to the realization that to keep the union, slavery had to be destroyed on day 1,or day 2.  It took time to penetrate their skulls.  But, the Union army, even before the emancipation proclamation, was confronting the issue in the field, and in certain cases was way ahead of the government in DC, with general officers trying to thread the needle to protect the former slaves without their actions in the field being reversed by the cabinet in Washington.

And after the emancipation proclamation where did the Union Army restore the former slaves to the Confederate slaveholders as property, as a rule, not the exception to the rule, as policy?




Re: The literal corruption of the "left"

David Green
 

Dancing to the tune of the ADL & SPLC is not exactly a good look. Alexander Reid Ross rides a funding wave for ideological obeisance like everyone else. Not a trustworthy character to say the least, playing implicitly Zionist cards by lumping in Islamophobia with anti-Semitism.


Re: The Guardian on a New US Civil War

sartesian@...
 

Yes, Marx calls the plantation owners capitalists, in their dependence on exchange, on markets for their commodities.  They are capitalists in their proximity to developing capitalism.  They are however an anomaly- and that anomaly resides precisely in the fact that the labor source is itself not a commodity, is not mediated by "free exchange," but rather by direct compulsion. 

No one is arguing that slavery in the US was not an integral part of the development of capitalism, but slavery did not produce, nor reproduce the class relations  of capital and labor. The slave mode does not reproduce itself as wage labor which has to be simultaneously aggrandized and expelled from the labor process, and replaced by the value accumulated in the means of production.  And it did not do so in the South. Hence the "undeveloped" nature of railroads, telegraphs, roads in the South compared to the North

Marx does not say, anywhere, that the slaves were a "proletarian labor force." You can ignore the actual substance of the Grundrisse, which is precisely an examination, a veritable treatise on the difference between "free labor" mediated by exchange value, and unfree labor compelled by direct force, but you can't pretend that Marx characterized the slaves in the US or the Caribbean as the proletariat, as a class sharing the same condition of labor which more than spurs, determines, the same accumulation of the means of production as exchange values, as capital, and because that condition of labor does in fact determine capital, the same condition, wage-labor, become the negation of capital.

As for this "Du Bois made the argument that abolition was completed due to a General Strike of slaves fleeing the plantations into the arms of the Union armies (who incidentally would have preserved their bondage, and did in some instances)," well, first you make the argument for David and myself-- that where and when the Union Army approaches, the slaves flee towards their lines.  Exactly, the presence of the Union Army drives home the point that Lincoln in his first inaugural and through 1862 wanted to ignore-- that the war was about slavery; that the North could not win the war without destroying the South's mode of production; without confiscating, consuming, destroying the property base of the South.  That confiscation, consumption, dispossession, destruction occurs by, through, when, the Union Army penetrates the South.  That confiscation etc. is exactly the meaning of revolution-- the overthrow of the opposing mode of production, the opposing property relations, the opposing condition of labor. For the argument of self-emancipation to hold water, you would have to show where that revolution occurs without the advance of the Union Army.  Show us the  general strike absent the Union Army.

As for "preserving the bondage" of the slaves-- no kidding, Sherlock.  Lincoln and the North did not come to the realization that to keep the union, slavery had to be destroyed on day 1,or day 2.  It took time to penetrate their skulls.  But, the Union army, even before the emancipation proclamation, was confronting the issue in the field, and in certain cases was way ahead of the government in DC, with general officers trying to thread the needle to protect the former slaves without their actions in the field being reversed by the cabinet in Washington.

And after the emancipation proclamation where did the Union Army restore the former slaves to the Confederate slaveholders as property, as a rule, not the exception to the rule, as policy?




Justice Alito sez .... Wait.... what???

Gibbons Brian
 

What Alito Gets Wrong by Comparing His Opinion in Dobbs to Brown v. Board of Education

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2022/07/alito-roe-v-wade-abortion-ban-school-segregation-brown-v-board-of-education.html

Brian Gibbons


In Sea Change, US Presbyterian Committee brands Israel’s Occupation of Palestinians Apartheid, calls for end to Collective Punishment in Gaza for

Dennis Brasky