Letter from S. Africa NUMSA members - NUMSA take over by capitalist

John Reimann

Numsa has been captured and must be saved and only the members of Numsa can save it. What are we talking about?
People who have a lot of money are using it to decide what happens inside a workers organisation. Who are these people who have taken over?

  They give some organisers cars and then mess up who must pay what and then the car is more expensive then if you bought the car yourself. They take a loan from Numsa for many millions but they dont want to pay it back.
If you are not wanting to sell their products then they speak to your chairperson over drinks to discuss how to get you fired.

“Science and socialism go hand-in-hand.” Felicity Dowling
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The Guardian on a New US Civil War

Michael Pugliese

How Civil Wars Start : And How to Stop Them, , which was widely noted and reviewed a couple months ago in mainstream outlets, 
  Because her work is heavily quantitative, using concepts like a “Polity Score,” , and she writes from a liberal , not a radical perspective, I don’t expect others here to have heard of her work, or agree with it. Especially since she serves on the CIA Instability Task Force, as mentioned by the WaPo’s , Dana Milbank. I figure though, the CIA , just like allied think tanks such as the Rand Corporation, probably have a pretty informed risk assessment as to our threats to our regime, in the coming decades. 

FW: The imperial system in crisis (Claudio Katz)

Richard Fidler

Re: The Guardian on a New US Civil War

Michael Pugliese

On Sun, Jul 3, 2022 at 11:14 AM Michael Meeropol <mameerop@...> wrote:
Subscribers to this list might find this hard to believe, but William A. Williams (a dedicated left wing historian who considered himself an appreciative student of Marx) in his book AMERICA CONFRONTS A REVOLUTIONARY WORLD, 1776-1976 argued that Lincoln should have let the South secede in 1860 … 

See chapter 6 of the book noted by Michael above, 
 . As an advocate of a “decentralized socialism,” as noted by anti-interventionist libertarian scholar, Joseph Stromberg, in a piece also printed in the paleo-conservative monthly , Chronicles, a few months ago, , letting the South secede, thus breaking up the US Continental Empire, as an undivided land mass, would have opened up greater possibilities, in his version of a decentralized, communitarian socialism, than fighting to retain the South. 
    Contra , , it is arguable that Williams was a Marxist, despite his authoring, “ The Great Evasion: An Essay on the Contemporary Relevance of Karl Marx and on the Wisdom of Admitting the Heretic into the Dialogue about America’s Future,” in 1964. 
  As noted by other self-declared conservatives, such as A.J. Bacevich, Williams was a heterodox scholar, who drew on a certain set of conservative sensibilities, as much as on leftist ones, in his critque of Empire. 


Blue MAGA's Big Lie

Charles Keener

Blue MAGA's Big Lie -

As a Green who just watched the morally bankrupt Dem establishment railroad our stellar Senate candidate off the ballot in North Carolina, this piece really strikes a chord with me.


Re: How to get involved in the mass mobilizations erupting after Roe overturned

Bradley Mayer

As Mark L. correctly points out, it is not a question of counterposing "conversion of activists into 'hard-core Marxists", to intervention into "Democrat-dominated political venues". It's not about either-or, it's about doing both.  It must be added that in general, this is not a perspective that seeks to "convert" activists into Marxists, hard or soft core.  That is up to the activists to decide for themselves, as self-determining subjects. That is because there hardly exists a mass - or even mass vanguard - revolutionary proletarian Marxist party that would be a pole of attraction.   Creation of that is the specific responsibility of Marxists.

BTW, these artificial counterpositions also "smell like Democratic Party spirit", with apologies to Kurt Cobain.  As such, references to "white activists" indicate typical Democratic Party divide and conquer tactics extended into a Marxism list.  So too with the references like "hard core" or "keyboard".  Knowingly or not, this betrays a typically Democratic Party hatred of Marxism and contempt for the Left, also transmitted into this list, a hate natural to this conservative capitalist party. 

I think we can all agree that there is no "progressive wing of the ruling class" working in the Democratic Party.  The long running record of Clinton, Obama and now Biden confirm that beyond all possible doubt.  The Democrats are but an obstacle to be gotten out of the way, not an obstacle to reinforce.

In the particular case of the overturning of Row vs Wade, the Democrats seek to shield the Far Right Supreme Court from a righteous mass anger, in the same spirit that Nancy Pelosi seeks to "save the Republican Party".  (Through material aid to Far Right Trumpists in that party, apparently!  Go figure...)

In general, one does not confound the fact that left interventions in the US almost always take place in the shadow of the Democratic Party, with OTOH the act of adapting to and channeling of TeamBlue's reactionary political party line. Therein lies a real, and not artificial, distinction that makes a difference.  The USA is not a democracy, after all, where you have a choice of electoral party.

Re: The Guardian on a New US Civil War


On Mon, Jun 27, 2022 at 04:25 PM, Bradley Mayer wrote:
The social revolutionary element of the civil war - the abolition of slavery - was accomplished by Blacks themselves, against the wishes of the political regime governed by the Lincoln Republicans, who after all emerged out of the Jacksonian system as very much a "Jacksonian-style party".  The Lincoln government, confronted with a fait accompli, opportunistically adapted themselves to the independent self-determination of Black people breaking the chains of bondage.  They worked to channel and coopt the social revolutionary movement of Black people, and to subordinate the Black social revolution to (a still) Jacksonian political regime.  

Hence the Black social revolution was eventually halted and politically (not socially) reversed after 1876.
The history is a bit more complicated than the above description admits.  The revolutionary element of the war, the breaking up of the slave system was accomplished in the physical destruction of the plantation economy, and this was in every case the result of the actions, or proximity of, the Union Army, causing the plantation owners to flee. This allowed those enslaved to seek sanctuary within the Union Army lines. 

No doubt the Lincoln Administration was initially ensnarled in its own racism and fidelity to property rights to take immediate advantage of this and arm the ex-slaves and incorporate them into the Union forces, so for example we get the Fremont's removal in the west for declaring a general emancipation in the territory, but you also get Butler using the argument for confiscating the seditionists' property to "justify" the refusal to return escaped slaves and to access their labor.

Eighteen months or so into the war, the need to recruit train and arm black troops for combat on the Union side broke through some of the racism of the administration.  This "elevation" of African-Americans to combat status electrified the struggle, but it is significantly different than the slaves accomplishing their own liberation.  The African-American troops were under the command of white officers and did not function autonomously.

Post-civil war and post Lincoln, the hostility of Johnson to African-American equality led to his defeat in 1868, the ascension of Grant, and the full force of Congressional Radical Reconstruction under the protection of the Union Army.  This protection was eroded by the 1) inability of the Grant Administration to enforce an expropriation of the former slaveholders' landed property 2) the re-formation of the confederate power through terrorist attacks on African-American political individuals  and social organizations. 

The revolutionary struggle was circumscribed within the confines of private property, and the emancipation of black labor was sacrificed to these terrorist attacks and activities beginning even before Grant's second term in 1872, to the disgust of active Union Generals, like Phillip Sheridan, who wanted to use the full force of the Union Army against the terrorists, imposing military justice.

1876 was the moment of encapsulation, where the very same bourgeoisie that had been so critical in the mobilization to defeat the Confederacy, having already supported and accommodated Redemptionist governments in the South withdrew its army and abandoned the field to the very forces defeated a decade earlier?  Why?  Not because there was a African-American social revolution threatening.... but because there was money to be made.  For example, Tom Scott, of the Pennsylvania Railroad, so fundamental to the successful movement of the Army of the Potomac to Tennessee to relieve Rosencrans "delivered"-- was able to seal the deal delivering the electoral votes for Hayes in exchange for the troop removals  AND US government guarantees for $30 million in Texas and Pacific RR bonds, a railroad owned by the same Tom Scott, the president of the PRR.  Neat, sweet, and complete.

Scott makes another appearance in 1877 during the railway strikes, when in response to the workers complaining about hunger, gives a uniquely American twist to Marie Antoinette's "let them eat cake," by urging Rutherford B. Hayes to use the army to "feed the workers a lead diet."

The point of all this being there really wasn't a black social revolution  that in and of itself realized itself in the victory over the Confederacy.

There was a bourgeois social revolution that displaced the political power of the South that had interfered with the bourgeoisie's westward expansion.

Re: The Guardian on a New US Civil War

David Walters

This discussion has actually become more interesting, albeit somewhat centrifugally, than when it started. I totally disagree with the post-structuralist comment by Brad about "...the social revolutionary element of the civil war - the abolition of slavery - was accomplished by Blacks themselves, against the wishes of the political regime governed by the Lincoln Republicans..." I find there is really is little evidence for this at all despite the spate of books published in the last 15 years extolling this. It is easy to make this assertion, less so to back this up, especially given the roll of the Union army in actually freeing slaves! The entire existence of Radical Republican Reconstruction was dependend on one force and one force only: the Union army that occupied the for the former CSA. Even the Black militias that formed were armed and, often officered by white, often radical, Union army officers. Contributions abound in the roll of the army, radical Republicans and the abolitionist movement.

Fun fact: I try to point out in lectures on this about the great battle of the Colorado Militia, made up of miners, that turned back the CSA expeditionary force after the latter burned down Union army outposts in what became New Mexico. Turned back in is not accurate, slaughtered the CSA slaver army. However, this same militia became a bulwark for the genocidal slaughter of the remaining Native people's of the region.


Re: How to get involved in the mass mobilizations erupting after Roe overturned

Alan Ginsberg

A transcript of the Democracy Now interview mentioned by Andrew Stewart can be found at

Ukrainians and Buryats share a history of Russian abuse

Dayne Goodwin

The Republic of Buryatia: invasion of Ukraine is an extension of
Russia’s domestic dominance over the country's ethnic minorities
Ukrainians and Buryats share a history of Russian abuse
by Roman Shemakov, Global Voices, June 30, 2022

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Russia’s
poorest regions have faced disproportionate losses in the war. Both
within and outside of Russia, the people of Buryatia and Dagestan,
primarily because of their non-Slavic appearance, have become
overwhelming associated with the war. As the families of the soldiers
in Ulan-Ude (the capital of Buryatia) wait for their sons to return
from one of the few jobs available in the region, the Russian
government continues to emphasize national unity — all the while
refusing to invest in education, heritage preservation,
infrastructure, or economic opportunity.
. . .
Despite ending up on opposite sides of the war, Ukrainians and Buryats
have been subjected to the same imperial treatment: erasure of
language, history, and political self determination. The Republic of
Buryatia is located in Russia's far east and on the shores of Lake of
Baikal. Historically tied to the Mongols, the region was incorporated
into the Russian Empire in the 18th century. In 1923, it became an
autonomous republic within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist
Republic. With a total population of 970,000, two-thirds of the
Republic of Buryatia is made up of ethnic Russians; ethnic Buryats
constitute a minority 30 percent. According to the official government
census, there are 461,389 ethnic Buryats spread across Siberian

The Russian Federation’s losses in Ukraine continue to be veiled in
secrecy. While definitive estimates remain impossible, many of the
ongoing counts note the war’s disproportionate impact on Russia’s
poorest regions. Mediazona, in collaboration with the BBC, has
estimated Russian casualties at 3,798, based primarily on “publicly
available reports–including social media posts by relatives, local
media reports, and local authorities’ statements.” The overwhelming
majority of the soldiers were under the age of 23. Russia’s poorest
and most distant regions, particularly Dagestan and Buryatia, have
suffered the greatest losses, 207 and 164 respectively. Based on
Mediazona’s analysis, both Moscow and St. Petersburg only have 34
casualties. [St. Petersburg/Moscow combined population about 17
million, dg]
. . .
Public displays of support for the Russian invasion in Ulan-Ude have
been continuously met with vandalism. A Russian flag with the letter
“Z,” a nascent national symbol of “special operations” in Ukraine, was
cut in the middle of the night. On April 26, a woman demanded the
letter “Z” be removed from the public minibus, before being taken by
the bus driver to the police station. A lawyer in Chita who wrote
critical posts on social media and wore a green ribbon in opposition
to the Russian invasion was fired from her job and charged with three
offenses: dissemination of fake news, discrediting of the Russian
army, and promoting Nazism.

All the organizations and individuals that have spoken out against
Russia’s war in Ukraine have been prosecuted into silence. Thus, vocal
domestic opposition has remained in the shadows. Simultaneously, the
Buryatia diaspora has become a vocal opponent to the war.
. . .

anti-war resistance among Russian soldiers

Dayne Goodwin

Documents Reveal Hundreds of Russian Troops Broke Ranks Over Ukraine Orders

Desertions and refusal to engage in the invasion have put Moscow in a bind over how to punish service members without drawing attention to the problem

Matthew Luxmoore Wall Street Journal June 1, 2022


Hundreds of Russian soldiers have escaped the fighting in Ukraine or refused to take part during the early stages of the war, according to military decrees viewed by The Wall Street Journal as well as accused soldiers and lawyers defending them.

Russia’s army stumbled badly early in its invasion of Ukraine and suffered thousands of casualties and the loss of an estimated quarter of its deployed military hardware, a senior Pentagon official said in April. Desertions and insubordination among soldiers, Interior Ministry troops and members of the National Guard are compounding the problem.

The desertions place Russian authorities in a bind over how to punish those who refuse to serve without drawing more attention to the issue, defense experts said. The Russian military is short on manpower and seeking recruits to help turn the tide in Ukraine.

Penalties have so far been largely limited to formal dismissals from service. Because Russia hasn’t declared war on Ukraine, there also are few legal grounds for criminal charges against those who refuse to serve abroad, according to a lawyer and former military prosecutor’s assistant who is defending soldiers fired for insubordination.

“So many people don’t want to fight,” said Mikhail Benyash, a Russian lawyer representing a dozen members of the National Guard, a domestic military force that quashes protests in Russia. Mr. Benyash is assisting soldiers appealing their dismissals after they refused orders to enter Ukraine in February, according to National Guard documents. Members of the guard were sent into Ukraine to patrol streets and suppress dissent in occupied areas.

Russian soldier Albert Sakhibgareev, 24 years old, was ordered to Russia’s Belgorod Region on Feb. 8 for military exercises, he said. After President Vladimir Putin gave his Feb. 21 speech dismissing Ukraine’s right to statehood, Mr. Sakhibgareev said most of the troops at his base had their phones confiscated and were told to wear bulletproof jackets. They unloaded projectiles and ammunition from Soviet-era trucks but didn’t know what was to come.

He was startled awake by close artillery fire around dawn on Feb. 24. Two shells landed a mile and a half from his barracks on Russia’s side of the border with Ukraine. Military helicopters and other aircraft flew overhead, appearing to head into battle. Mr. Sakhibgareev said he learned what was happening only after furtively scrolling a news headline on Telegram: “Russia Invades Ukraine.” He got scared, fled the army base and went into hiding.

“None of us wanted this war,” Mr. Sakhibgareev said. His mother, Galina Sakhibgareeva, said her son enlisted out of patriotism and because there were few other career opportunities in their small town in Russia’s Ufa region, located about 700 miles east of Moscow.

A military career was a chance to make a life for himself. “I brought up a tall, athletic son and gave him away for the defense of the country,” she said.

By the book

Mr. Benyash, the lawyer, said that within several days of publishing a March 24 post about his National Guard cases, more than 1,000 service members and employees of the Interior Ministry, which oversees policing in Russia, reached out for legal assistance. Many had defied orders to enter Ukraine for combat or to suppress protests in towns occupied by Russian forces, he said.

On March 17, Russian human-rights group Agora launched a Telegram channel where service members and their relatives could seek legal help for refusing orders. Pavel Chikov, the group’s director, said 721 members of the army and security forces responded over the following 10 days.

A March 4 military decree signed by a Russian base commander ordered the dismissals of several hundred army servicemen who refused orders while on duty near the Ukraine border, according to a copy of the document viewed by the Journal. It is unclear if the ex-soldiers faced further penalties.

Another document viewed by the Journal, signed by a judge at a military court in the city of Nalchik and dated May 25, rejected an appeal by 115 members of Russia’s National Guard who were dismissed from service for refusing to enter Ukraine in late February and early March.

Russian law calls for penalties of up to 10 years in prison for service members who abandon sworn duties. Deserters can be spared criminal charges if they can prove they acted under immense pressure or had personal issues that prompted them to flee. Service members also have a right to refuse orders they believe are illegal.

Punishment for refusing orders in what Mr. Putin calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine has so far been limited to firing soldiers without paying back wages or by stripping them of special mortgage plans and other service benefits, said Pavel Luzin, a Moscow-based defense expert.

“If it hypes these cases, the government will inadvertently amplify the scale of desertion, which is small in percentage terms but will continue to grow,” he said.

A message stamped on one discharged Russian soldier’s military identification said: “Prone to treason, deception and dishonesty. Refused to participate in the special military operation,” according to a photograph of it published last month by the soldiers’ lawyer, Maksim Grebenyuk.

‘Bring your lawyers’

Transcripts from two audio files purportedly recorded by soldiers and published April 22 by Russian independent outlet Mediazona documented instances of soldiers who refused orders.

“You can’t not go,” a base commander said in a recording heard by the Journal. “If you don’t go there, you’ll spend 15 years stamping across a [prison] courtyard.”

The soldier said he had talked to lawyers who said he didn’t risk prison for refusing to fight in Ukraine.

“Bring your lawyers here,” the commander replied. “We’ll have a chat with them.”

Western intelligence agencies say there is broad evidence of chaos and disorder among Russian forces in Ukraine.

A senior U.S. defense official told reporters last month that Russian “mid-grade officers at various levels, even up to the battalion level…have either refused to obey orders or [are] not obeying them with the same measure of alacrity that you would expect an officer to obey.”

In the First Chechen war, from 1994 to 1996, thousands of Russian soldiers deserted after being sent to fight in the mountains of the Caucasus, often with little more than a month of training, military experts said.

Afterward, Moscow imposed stiffer penalties for desertion, including the maximum 10-year prison sentence. Mr. Putin made revamping the military a priority after the country’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 exposed shortcomings in equipment and training.

Low pay, corruption and hazing of new service members continue to undermine morale, according to an April report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, an international network of investigative journalists.

Lawyers defending Russian deserters, as well as journalists reporting about the cases, are endangered. On April 13, Mr. Benyash was charged with “discrediting Russia’s armed forces” for statements he made in a YouTube video published in the first days of the war, according to documents viewed by the Journal. The case has since been dropped.

On the same day Mr. Benyash was charged, Mikhail Afanasyev, a journalist who had earlier published an article about 11 National Guardsmen in the Khakassia region of Siberia who refused orders to enter Ukraine, was arrested. He was charged with spreading “fake news” about the Russian military.

“My whole life I’ve fought for my right to be a journalist and tell the truth,” he said before his arrest. He faces 10 years in prison.

Military prosecutors eventually reached Mr. Sakhibgareev and his mother by phone and persuaded him to return to service. They allowed him a transfer to another base, one far from the front lines.

Mr. Sakhibgareev faced more serious criminal charges the longer he stayed away, his lawyer Almaz Nabiev said. Authorities are awaiting the results of Mr. Sakhibgareev’s medical examination. They could pronounce him unfit for service or decide to press charges for desertion.

Mr. Benyash said many soldiers who refuse orders to go to Ukraine figure it is easier to risk a criminal case than risk their lives to fight.

  #  #  #

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

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:
A Critique of the ‘Red Putinist’
Original by Volodymyr Zadyraka  (31.03.2015) Translated from Russian by Hrytzko Chorny

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.

...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

How the Ukrainian Working Class Was Born
interview with Marko Bojcun
by David Broder, Jacobin, March 26
  .  .  .
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:
> 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: The Guardian on a New US Civil War

Anthony Boynton

A few comments.

1) David Green should be more careful. Black Lives Matter did not receive funding until it had already become an important movement and was in the process of becoming a mass movement. IMHO, it was funded by Democratic Party types including Soros to coopt its leadership and that effort was largely successful. 

Green is also off on the amount of violence and the role of the police, but his implication that the violence was mostly initiated by BLM is slanderous. For the figures and details you can go here

2) I mostly agree with Bradley's comments on the constitution. I think the Constitution's main purposes were to keep the white male rabble mobilized behind the statein weatward expansion, genocide and land theft while preventing the rabble (slaves, Indians, and poor whites) from gaining control of the government through exclusions of most, through layers of institutions protecting the apex of the state from the part of the rabble which could vote. At the same time, its centralized/decentralized form allowed for widely divergent social and political regimes (especially the slave system and the small holder/wage labor system) from region to region held together in one larger continental state.

3) The Constitution itself did not define the Supreme Court as it is today, but left its definition more or less open. Its role was soon defined by Chief Justice Marshall. The Court makes the decisions the legislative branch feels are too politically explosive to make.

Those decisions can represent consensus within the ruling class, or they can represent the will of one class fraction against another or others.  Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific RailRoad is a perfect example of this, since the mass of the petty bourgeoisie (including the small farmers who were the voting base of the Republican Party) plus important sectors of the big bourgeoisie who shipped goods on the RRs opposed the ruling at the time.

4) I think one of the key feudal institutions of state that was not included in the Constitution was an established church. That omission has always strengthened secular thought and science in the United States, both of which are hated by the far right today. However, the division Bradley mentioned between the far right Catholics of Opus Dei te al. and the Evangelical Protestants, especially the Dominionists, prevents them from addressing the issue….for now.



Re: The Guardian on a New US Civil War


On Sun, Jul 3, 2022 at 06:18 PM, Roger Kulp wrote:
You can't tell me if Texas did secede, there would not be people who would offer poor African-American people, immigrants, etc funds to move
That's a fine answer.  You propose secession and to those abandoned to the less than tender mercies of reactionaries you think charity is a realistic solution. Sure thing because the rest of this country is just so different than Texas, it can't wait to fund a migration of millions.  '

Those advocating support for the secession of Texas can't be serious, are "taking the piss" as our British comrades would put it.

Ukraine Socialist Solidarity Forum featuring Simon Pirani

Anthony Boynton

Ukraine Socialist Solidarity Campaign Forum

Prelude to 2022: 2014, Russian Annexation of Crimea and the “People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk”

Featured Speaker: Simon Pirani

Simon is the author of The Russian Revolution in Retreat 1920–1924: Soviet workers and the new communist elite (2008) and Change in Putin's Russia: Power Money and People (2010).

Pirani’s other works include The Russian Gas Matrix: How Markets Are Driving Change (co-editor and contributor) and Burning Up: A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption. Pirani worked as a journalist, and from 1990 to 1995 he was the editor of the British mineworkers’ union journal.

He received his PhD in Russian studies in 2006 and is currently Honorary Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Durham. Simon writes two blogs which include many articles and essays on issues related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine as well as other issues.


Forum times on Sunday July 10

US Pacific Coast: 9:00 AM     UK time: 5:00 PM         Eastern Australia: 2:00

US Central Time: 11:00 AM   W. Europe: 6:00 PM      AM  July 11

US Eastern Time: 12:00 noon Kyiv/Moscow time: 7:00 PM



January 6th and coming attractions

Gibbons Brian

From Vanity Fair 

01/06 Was Only the Beginning


January 6 Was the Beginning of Ashli Babbitt as martyr in Trump’s cult. To Trump’s true believers, the insurrection was an act of faith, Ashli Babbitt is a martyr, and white is not only a race, but a spiritual state

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Brian Gibbons

Re: The Guardian on a New US Civil War

Roger Kulp

Sartesian wrote

Same thing was said by certain abolitionists 160 years ago.  And where would that have left the enslaved African-Americans?

Today 14% of the population in Texas officially lives in poverty.  Millions more have no health insurance.  Tough thing to sentence them to a future firmly in the hands of the Texas ruling  class.

You can't tell me if Texas did secede, there would not be people who would offer poor African-American people, immigrants, etc funds to move.

Re: How to get involved in the mass mobilizations erupting after Roe overturned

Andrew Stewart

Democracy Now had a story on this a few days ago. While I certainly am adamantly pro choice and absolutely support whatever means that a woman opts for in order to have an abortion, it also is important to give credence to the fact that this method can, in some instances, have complications that are not simply slept off overnight. Medical professionals are still going to need to be involved so to maintain the safety of the abortion, otherwise things could go sour in some cases.

Re: The Guardian on a New US Civil War

Bradley Mayer

Wow, this thread is still going...on William Appleman Williams, in Contours of American History he characterized the 1787 Constitution as "feudal".  That is a gross overstatement based upon my own historical research.  He also characterizes the early Anglo-American bourgeoise as a "gentry", perhaps based upon the need of slaveowning planters to also own land as means of production.  This is wrong:  The early US bourgeoisie, planters, carry-traders and back-country storekeepers all, were an early modern merchant (commercial) bourgeoisie, merchant capitalists, the first such merchant bourgeoise to free itself of most of the fetters of deeply decayed, but still substantial, relics of a Western European feudalism.  As such, the former British-Americans were the ultimate cumulative product of the general crisis and decay of that feudalism, in a process that began in the 14th-15th centuries and spanned hundreds of years.

In overturning British imperial-colonial rule, they eliminated the most substantial of those feudal relics:  The autocratic rule of monarchy and of the London Parliament in the colonies, also a feudal relic, and with it, of the actual English landlord gentry.  But they left behind other feudal relics: Counties and their courthouses and sheriffs ("shire reeves" first appear in the 9th century).  Organized religion. Courthouses refer us to the judicial system, and that points to the present nemesis: The Supreme Court. 

The very word, "court" refers to its origins in the literal courts held in the halls - Old English heall "spacious roofed residence, house; temple; law-court," any large place covered by a roof, from Proto-Germanic *hallo "covered place, hall" - of the feudal nobility, from the king's courts to that of the shire lord holding only one manor court.  Prior to the appearance of the English Parliament, this only at the end of the 13th century, the feudal court acted as both a judiciary in deciding particular cases, and as a legislature pronouncing what amounted to statutory law covering an entire territory, in the monarchy's case covering all of England.  Hence the king's courts were the law common to all England, and hence were the common law courts that only developed in the mid 12th century.   Parliament and therefore the whole "legislative/representative tradition" developed directly out of the English feudal courts system in the course of the 13th century struggles between the "baronage" and the monarchy of Henry III, taking the form of two "baron's revolts", the first over Magna Carta, the second producing Parliament by the end of that century.  Mediated by baronial councils, Parliament was in origin but an expanded feudal court, but one whose members were elected by their peers in the shires and towns (hence also including the politically weak feudal merchant bourgeoisie of the English towns, the origin of the early modern "rotten boroughs" after some feudal towns withered away in the feudal crisis), who also got to vote on whether the monarchy could tax them.   

This is the origin of the eventual separation of judicial from legislative state functions, only consummated by the English bourgeois revolutions of the 17th century, accomplishing with the end of Royal prerogative also the subordination of judicial functions of the monarchal courts to the Parliamentary legislative.  Coke and Blackstone then rationalized the legacy common law courts as the repository of "custom from time immemorial", propagated for the future on the basis of "stare decisis", covering up their origins as autocratic instruments of monarchical prerogative.   The landlord gentry and merchant bourgeoisie of 18th century Britain could continue to propagate the King's law without the King's arbitrary autocracy.

In this light the creation of the Supreme Court was a step backward, combining again judicial with "negative" legislative functions.  Striking down decades of campaign finance law, for example is a form of legislation.  Exercising this combined power was clearly the Virginia slaveowner James Madison's intent in support of the creation of a "Supreme Tribunal", precisely to kill State legislation on debt, but was only realized under the Virginia slaveowner John Marshall, general council for the Tidewater planters who were arch-Federalists before they became "old Republicans" a la "Tyler too" as he plotted the predatory war on Mexico with "Young Hickory" James Polk in the early 1840's.,year%20tenure%20as%20chief%20justice.

Of course in striking down their own prior rulings, exposing the fraud that are the pretentions to English common law "stare decisis procedure", the Supreme Court flirts with illegitimacy as it exposes itself as the arbitrary, autocratic, quasi-monarchical institution that it is.   "A republic, if you can keep the quasi-feudal-monarchical  bits we cleverly embedded in it, madam.  As otherwise, we the bourgeoisie will have to overthrow it", to paraphrase Franklin.  That is where the far right is headed now.

On another note, correct me if I am wrong, but Peter Greens comments on BLM/George Floyd uprising strike me at best as a reductionism:  BLM was supported by big corporate capital and Davos Man, ergo BLM/George Floyd  was but an instrument of this sector of capital in its struggle against Trump; Ukraine is supported by NATO, ergo Ukraine is but a proxy instrument of NATO policy against Russia.  This reductionism at worst defines the slippery slope to Brown-Red-Think.  In either case it exposes a profound cynicism.

For myself, I wholeheartedly supported the BLM/George Floyd uprising as a glorious and much needed smack in the face and bloody nose to Trumpism. Slava! The George Floyd uprising correlates with the first real blow to Trumps approval ratings, check out the before and after poll data!  It was obvious at the time that the liberals saw its anti-Trump uses for their own class purposes, and gave favorable coverage in their media outlets. I could give a squat what they thought their intent was, the George Floyd uprising was a 100% righteous event, period.

It is just as obvious that the Far Right will act to drown the next uprising in blood in an American Tiananmen Square, if they can just get their hands on the Executive in 2024.  Their immediate short to medium term goal is to totally smash the actually existing Left.  They aim to do that with Tom Cotton's "101 Airborne", and not with the piddling little groups of Proud Boys fascists, thus reviving the long tradition of the USA deploying Federal troops against "its own people".

Like Schindler, the big capital liberals can live with all of that as well as with George Floyd uprisings.

Re: Archives

Michael Schreiber

As the former editor and designer of Socialist Action newspaper, I have dozens of pdf facsimiles of the old issues of SA in my computer, and I have promised David W. that I would contribute them to the Marxist internet archives. I have most of the monthly editions from 2010 until the end of 2019. The older copies are on floppy disks and might be more difficult to retrieve. The first edition of SA newspaper, incidentally, appeared in December 1983.

On Sun, Jul 3, 2022 at 3:21 PM David Walters <dwaltersmia@...> wrote:

This is a huge and fascinating question. In fact at labor tech conference in a few weeks I'll be reporting on this very issues.  The most important aspect of scanning/digitizing our common history's working class publications is one of...will. One needs to find folks willing to do this and develop a constructive "OCD" attitude in order to accomplish what can be considered a droll and repeative physical function of running a scanner titled "Scanning documents, journals and books to create PDFs on the Marxists Internet Archive [v2.0]" It is located here:


The only financial impact on this is acquiring a tabloid sized scanner: 11 inches/28 cm by 17 inches/43 cm at the minimum. Many of us have used used GT1500s from Epson which has singularly wonderful software needed to tweak the pages. They run, used from $300 USD to around $800 USD on ebay and other venues.


Ken, read the scanning guide and then resubmit the questions.


In the MIA's case, we had two folks, myself and Marty Goodman (not the MG from SA, another one with the same name but similar politics) who was of the financial means to acquire such a scanner and even larger one to do broadsheet scanning as well. He was OCD/dedicated enough to run through multiple newspapers of the "old" and "new" left eras listed on that page but would get, understandably, board so he would normally only do the first 10 years of any publication or less. Thus SA, which was started at the very end of 1984 I think he ran it until 1992 though it still under publication. Einde O'Callahan who also scans periodicals have also put an upper chronological limit of "10 years"...that is we won't run to the current date of publications, but only until, as of now, 2012. It is not a rule but a self imposed limit.


There are still tons of US and especially British publications that have to be scanned and should be a commitment for all left groups to document their history this way and provide those willing to scan material the necessary back issues to do so.

David Walters,

Marxists Internet Archive