The Leftist theory, politics, and activism discussion Thread

Where on the left spectrum do you fall?

  • Anarcho-Communist

  • Democratic socialist

  • Liberal

  • Centre-Left/Social Democrat

  • Anarchist

  • Anarcho-Syndicalist

  • Marxist

  • Maoist

  • Leninist

  • Other


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Bachafach^^^

ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
Dec 6, 2019
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Varaždin, Hrvaška
A Movement for Civil Rights Underpinned Republicanism in Northern Ireland
BYMATT COLLINS
Mainstream accounts of republicanism in Northern Ireland tend to focus exclusively on the armed campaign that produced one of the most devastating conflicts in postwar Europe. Left out, however, is the radical, grassroots movement for civil rights that was a driving force for popular republicanism from the late 1960s.


Irish civil rights campaigner Eamonn McCann (center, smoking a cigarette) taking part in a campaign speech with other activists in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, circa 1970. Keystone Features / Hulton Archive / Getty

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Review of Daniel Finn, One Man’s Terrorist: A Political History of the IRA (Verso, 2019).
There currently exists a wide range of literature published about the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) — not all of it of high quality. What sets Daniel Finn’s One Man’s Terrorist apart from others in the field is its combination of a rigorous — and very readable — assessment of the changing politics of the modern Republican movement alongside a thorough understanding of the wider forces that wracked the North of Ireland during the “Troubles,” a journalistic euphemism for the period of low-level armed conflict that claimed the lives of some 4,000 people at the end of the last century.
The essential context for understanding these events — often been quite deliberately mischaracterized — includes the mass upsurge for civil rights directed against the Unionist’s one-party regime in the late 1960s, a challenge that faced a wave of repression from the “Orange State” and its supporters among hard-right loyalists, and later from British military and security forces. This led to a permanent crisis for the government at Stormont, and opened the door to a sustained period of communal violence from the 1970s onwards, where the Provisional IRA became the main protagonist in an armed struggle to end the partition of Ireland.
Beyond Violence
Historiography on Irish republicanism tends to focus obsessively on the machinations of the armed campaign, bolstering a now well-worn narrative that attributes blame for the emergence of conflict disproportionally on the Provisionals. While Finn does not avoid the many — at times brutal and, indeed, indefensible — instances in which Republicans committed atrocities, unlike much of the genre his work does not lose sight of the absence of basic democracy or the propensity for state repression intrinsic to the Northern state throughout its existence. One Man’s Terrorist, therefore, offers a nuanced and balanced account, and one willing to look out beyond the “pathological” narrative to which so much of the literature subscribes.
Crucial to this perspective is Finn’s willingness to accept that there must have been some basis beyond a predilection for violence that drove thousands of mostly young and idealistic men and women — primarily from the most deprived working-class communities in the North — to throw in their lot with the Provisionals and commit to an armed campaign to end British rule. Finn maintains a certain focus on the movement’s most significant leadership figures in modern times, in particular on Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, and those who surrounded them. At the same time, he pays careful attention to the “paths not taken” (including the consideration of successive splits) as well as its often under-acknowledged left-wing influences, including socialist organizations like the People’s Democracy which emerged out of the New Left of the late ’60s.

Modern Irish Republicanism lays claim to a long anti-imperialist history, encompassing a range of many militant struggles launched from within Britain’s oldest colony. What set 1970s Republicanism apart — and this is a critical difference — is that it emerged mainly in urban working-class areas during a period of popular insurgency against the Northern state. The demise of the civil rights movement and the wider context of state and loyalist violence that buried the reform program is central to understanding the rise, and later dominance, of the Provisionals.
1968 was a seminal year for popular struggles internationally — a period to “demand the impossible,” as Che Guevara once urged. In Ireland, the spirit of ’68 encouraged an attempt to overcome the long-standing sectarian divisions in the North and an audacious, frontal challenge to the power of a government that had practiced discrimination and repression for its five-decades-long history. The civil rights movement was Ireland’s most prominent manifestation of the global revolt, and the Provisionals emerged from the upheaval when nonviolence could not find a way through state repression.
Finn has done a great service to historians by peeling back the layers of misunderstanding that have long distorted readings of the Troubles, presenting a far more balanced picture of the turn to violence, and one that those who lived through it will recognize. For the most part, historiography has tended to present the civil rights campaign as a well-meaning movement that took up genuine grievances, but which was ultimately wrecked by its own internal contradictions. The left-wing of the civil rights campaign are often charged with having pushed “too far, too fast” ahead in pursuit of unrealistic goals, thereby provoking a sectarian reaction and the downward spiral toward the Troubles.
The arch-bigot Ian Paisley was the first to insist that the civil rights movement was little more than a Trojan horse for Republican subversion, and academics and journalists have mostly swallowed this whole. Such interpretations have always involved a level of victim blaming, in which nonviolent civil rights demonstrators — often themselves the victims of violence — are essentially held responsible for bringing about conflict. The key focal point is the Burntollet march (1969), when nonviolent student marchers were violently attacked by loyalists and off-duty B-Specials (auxiliary police) who were aided and abetted by the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
Finn skilfully reveals this turning point in the civil rights movement, drawing out the violent response to the protest — which signified the Unionist states’ inability to reform — and underscoring how a minority of civil rights activists have since been scapegoated for the descent into violence. In this Finn finds himself in the company of a small minority of working historians who have challenged “revisionist” attempts to downplay the sectarian violence and division that was endemic to Britain’s colonial role in Ireland, and the state that it established in the North. Fergal McCluskey notes how the major tenets of this revisionist discourse view Britain’s role in the conflict as “a neutral arbiter intervening in a sectarian struggle between two tribes (or nations)” in which “republicanism constituted an intrinsically sectarian, irrational and reactionary ideology.” The perception that the British military was a pig in the middle among warring tribes of republicans and loyalists has become a common sense viewpoint. But it does not hold up to serious historical research. Loyalist and state violence significantly predated the formation of the PIRA and both would continue, often in direct collusion, throughout the course of the conflict.

 
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Bachafach^^^

ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
Dec 6, 2019
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Varaždin, Hrvaška
The Tories Can’t Save the UK From Economic Calamity
BYGRACE BLAKELEY
The United Kingdom is headed for a massive economic crash. Unsurprisingly, the Tories' proposals for fixing it fall far short. We need significant intervention by the state, not a wild throwing of money at corporations and praying they'll use it to help us.


Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak looks on as Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a press conference about the ongoing situation with the coronavirus outbreak, at 10 Downing Street on March 17, 2020 in London, England. (Matt Dunham - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

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Figures released by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) this week have shattered any illusions that an early easing of lockdown would deliver a “V-shaped recovery.” As some have noted on Twitter, if you observe the graph very closely, you can just about see a tiny “v” at the very bottom — not exactly the bounce-back the government was hoping for.
The report notes that GDP fell by a quarter between February and April 2020 and that output is likely to fall around 12 percent by the end of the year. The OBR also anticipates that unemployment will reach 12 percent by the fourth quarter of 2020, driven up by firms opting to lay off furloughed workers when the scheme ends.
The long-term “scarring” effect that tends to impact the employment and wage prospects of those who suffer unemployment during a recession means that unemployment is likely to remain around 56 percent by 2025. This makes for grim reading. Coronavirus looks set to exacerbate many of the preexisting weaknesses of the British economy, leading to long-term — perhaps irreversible — damage. In this context, Rishi Sunak’s much-touted giveaways look like a drop in the ocean.
How, then, should the government be responding to this monumental economic, political, and health challenge?
A shock as profound as the one we are currently experiencing requires significant intervention by the state. Rather than throwing money at corporations in a desperate attempt to encourage them to retain workers, the state should be picking up the slack in the labor market by employing people to undertake much-needed investment in decarbonization.

Doing so would kill three birds with one stone. First, it would reduce unemployment and increase demand in the economy today, lessening the immediate impact of the recession on living standards. Second, it would alleviate the “scarring” effect of long-term unemployment, facilitating a swifter recovery. Third, it would increase the long-term productivity and carbon efficiency of the British economy for many decades to come.
It’s a no-brainer. Many economists from across the political spectrum will be arguing for some sort of Keynesian Green New Deal, because they are aware that doing so is the best way to support private investment and consumption. While the Tories might be more comfortable throwing money at the private sector today than they would be employing workers directly for the foreseeable future, businesses would ultimately be helped more by the latter.
This is where the left version of the Green New Deal should diverge significantly with the liberal version. State spending to support big business and big finance has become the norm in today’s new economic normal of stagnation and crisis.
Capital is becoming used to massive bailouts — whether that means the state temporarily taking an equity stake in their business, providing them with cheap loans, or simply loosening monetary policy to such an extent that borrowing effectively becomes free for many large businesses.
The problem is very obvious: capitalism can no longer survive without extensive state support. In fact, it has never been able to survive without it. It is hard to imagine modern capitalism functioning without central banks, financial and corporate regulation, and legal tools like limited liability and intellectual property rights.
A typical Keynesian Green New Deal to boost private investment and consumption is the natural extension of such a model. Businesses need demand to increase so they can go back to selling their goods and services — especially given the dramatic contraction in export demand that is likely to set in over the coming months.
Ultimately, the Tories are likely to give in to some version of this strategy — though their version will be far smaller than Roosevelt’s New Deal and will probably be very light on the “green” side.
As well as arguing for a much more expansive Green New Deal that provides good jobs in the health, care, and education sectors while completely transforming our transport, energy, and agricultural systems, the Left needs to be arguing for a democratic recovery.
Rather than simply creating money or issuing debt to channel into the private sector, the state should seek to socialize and democratize ownership in the economy. Many businesses are likely to go under over the course of the next several years — the state should stand ready to nationalize those worth nationalizing and directly employ those laid off in other sectors.
These new state-owned industries should then be subject to democratic popular control — whether that means giving them elected boards or turning them into worker-owned enterprises. These enterprises should then be used to undertake the investment needed as part of the Green New Deal.
A similar model should also be encouraged at the local level. Local authorities can learn from the likes of Preston by bringing service provision back in-house, encouraging the growth of the local cooperative sector, and starting new local organizations like community banks.
At the international level, the first and most pressing priority must be a debt write-off for the Global South. After this, deep-seated reform to international trade and investment law is required to tackle tax avoidance, promote innovation, and prevent imperial extraction from the Global South.
In the meantime, states must commit to undertaking direct resource and technology transfers to states in the Global South.
Of course, we can’t expect any such interventions from the Tories. Nor are we likely to see such bold thinking from Keir Starmer. But, when the sputtering recovery fails even to deliver a return to the normal stagnation of the last twelve years, the Left must be prepared to demonstrate that there is an alternative.

 

SwollenGoat

Deicide
May 17, 2013
60,973
20,810
The House that Peterbilt
It's educational. Marxism is hard because there's a lot of theory to analyze.
View attachment 13930
Im STILL trying to get through the copy of Capital I picked up a while back...................like,YEARS back............

Nothing funnier than bringing it with me to the doctors or whatever so I can sit and read it in public [I refuse to use a phone as a pacifier]

The reactions I get when folks politely ask what Im reading :lol:
 
Reactions: Bachafach^^^
Jul 25, 2012
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Im STILL trying to get through the copy of Capital I picked up a while back...................like,YEARS back............

Nothing funnier than bringing it with me to the doctors or whatever so I can sit and read it in public [I refuse to use a phone as a pacifier]

The reactions I get when folks politely ask what Im reading :lol:
So he's not trolling and you're following him down the retard path. :patsch

It's good to read Das Kapital as long as you realize it is some big utopian bullshit.
 

Bachafach^^^

ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
Dec 6, 2019
5,445
4,185
20
Varaždin, Hrvaška
Im STILL trying to get through the copy of Capital I picked up a while back...................like,YEARS back............

Nothing funnier than bringing it with me to the doctors or whatever so I can sit and read it in public [I refuse to use a phone as a pacifier]

The reactions I get when folks politely ask what Im reading :lol:
Yeah it's a slog. It shows you how effective American propaganda was that an economic theory book is treated like mein Kampf.
 

Bachafach^^^

ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
Dec 6, 2019
5,445
4,185
20
Varaždin, Hrvaška
Class Struggle Built the Finnish Welfare State
BYTATU AHPONEN
Lots of myths and half-truths circulate about Nordic countries like Finland. But make no mistake: socialists and militant workers built the Finnish welfare state — not an enlightened or pro-business elite.


Helsinki Senate Square, January 2017. Tyg728 / Wikimedia

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Late last year, news circulated that freshly minted Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin, a thirty-four-year old Social Democrat, wanted to reduce the working week to four days and thirty hours. The plan quickly garnered international attention — Finland, it seemed, was yet again setting the standard for ambitious progressive reforms.
Marin rushed to clarify that the proposal was her own, not that of her center-left government — but the episode nonetheless highlighted the continuing appeal of the Finnish model, a sort of shining city on the hill for those outside the Nordic countries.
Often, discussions about the Finnish model turn into a debate about whether Finland is in fact socialist. The latest article to enter the fray was a December New York Times op-ed by Anu Partanen and her husband Trevor Corson. Partanen is a seasoned Finland hand in the US press, often called on to explain the particularities of the Nordic welfare states to US audiences. In the article the two argue that, far from a socialist redoubt, Finland is a “capitalist paradise” — surely balm to many liberals in the United States and right-wingers in Europe who wish to claim the welfare state’s accomplishments without giving in to the Left.
Partanen and Corson tout, among other things, Finland’s public education, childcare, and health care system — while noting that the country also boasts a robust entrepreneurial sector that benefits from these services. “While companies in the United States struggle to administer health plans and to find workers who are sufficiently educated,” the authors write, “Nordic societies have demanded that their governments provide high-quality public services for all citizens. This liberates businesses to focus on what they do best: business.”
So are the two right? Is Finland more capitalist than socialist?

Partanen and Corson aren’t entirely off base. If by socialism we mean the state socialism of the Soviet Union, it would be silly to call Finland socialist. The Nordic business sector is alive and well, as are electoral democracy and the press. Nor can we say that the Nordic countries have achieved democratic socialism. While unions are strong and the public sector accounts for a much larger share of the economy, it’s not as if workers own and control the means of production.
Finland and the United States are both mixed systems, with doses of socialism and capitalism. Yet Finland is clearly more socialistic than the United States. As Matt Bruenig has noted, state ownership and unionization in the Nordics are orders of magnitude larger than in the United States. “The Finnish government,” Bruenig writes, “owns nearly one-third of the nation’s wealth. For the United States to match that amount, the US government would need to move about $35 trillion of assets into public ownership.” And as for union density? “Around 90 percent of Finnish workers are covered by a union contract. To get America up to Finnish levels, it would need to unionize an additional 119 million workers.”

 
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SwollenGoat

Deicide
May 17, 2013
60,973
20,810
The House that Peterbilt
"The Fight Isn't Over," Say Anti-War Groups as 139 House Democrats Vote With GOP to Reject 10% Pentagon Budget Cut

"Though our amendment didn't pass, progressive power is stronger than ever. We will keep fighting for pro-peace, pro-people budgets until it becomes a reality," said Rep. Mark Pocan.





The final vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment sponsored by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) was 93-324, with 139 Democrats joining 185 Republicans in voting no.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/21/fight-isnt-over-say-anti-war-groups-139-house-democrats-vote-gop-reject-10-pentagon




our 'left wing' party couldnt bring itself to cut military spending by FUCKING TEN PERCENT

while we pile up record deficits,record debt and are teetering on the edge of a new Great Depression with tens of millions out of work and MONTHS behind on things like rent,mortgages and car payments...................we couldnt manage to save TEN FUCKING PERCENT of the worlds largest military budget for shit like,I dont know,WE THE PEOPLE

utter cunts

324-93 folks

324-93
 
Reactions: Bachafach^^^
Jul 29, 2012
20,157
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"The Fight Isn't Over," Say Anti-War Groups as 139 House Democrats Vote With GOP to Reject 10% Pentagon Budget Cut

"Though our amendment didn't pass, progressive power is stronger than ever. We will keep fighting for pro-peace, pro-people budgets until it becomes a reality," said Rep. Mark Pocan.





The final vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment sponsored by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) was 93-324, with 139 Democrats joining 185 Republicans in voting no.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/21/fight-isnt-over-say-anti-war-groups-139-house-democrats-vote-gop-reject-10-pentagon




our 'left wing' party couldnt bring itself to cut military spending by FUCKING TEN PERCENT

while we pile up record deficits,record debt and are teetering on the edge of a new Great Depression with tens of millions out of work and MONTHS behind on things like rent,mortgages and car payments...................we couldnt manage to save TEN FUCKING PERCENT of the worlds largest military budget for shit like,I dont know,WE THE PEOPLE

utter cunts

324-93 folks

324-93
The Democrats are as owned as the Republicans by that machine. That was obvious during the Obama administration, is obvious now, and will be obvious for the next dozen administrations.
 
Reactions: SwollenGoat

SwollenGoat

Deicide
May 17, 2013
60,973
20,810
The House that Peterbilt
The Democrats are as owned as the Republicans by that machine. That was obvious during the Obama administration, is obvious now, and will be obvious for the next dozen administrations.
yer preaching to the choir three,eh?

been saying it for.................well,forever

the dems are supposed to be able to at least make the small gesture,eh? to PRETEND to be somewhat less owned............

good cop/bad cop style,eh?

still fuckin cops but playing slightly different roles in the game............

this is a fuckin disgrace
 
Jul 29, 2012
20,157
4,730
yer preaching to the choir three,eh?

been saying it for.................well,forever

the dems are supposed to be able to at least make the small gesture,eh? to PRETEND to be somewhat less owned............

good cop/bad cop style,eh?

still fuckin cops but playing slightly different roles in the game............

this is a fuckin disgrace
Oh I know you know that. Not going for a debate. Just kinda...venting. When I saw some of the names likely to work in the Biden administration some the defense "consultant" space I just threw my hands up. What an easy goddamn opportunity to not set us up to do more shitty things.

I'm not sure if I'm more angry that they aren't even making a valiant effort to pretend, or if I'm grateful that the crumbling facades make it so patently obvious that it is time to get out of here.