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


Results are only viewable after voting.

Bachafach^^^

ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
Dec 6, 2019
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How Churchill Broke the Greek Resistance
BYJOËLLE FONTAINE
How Winston Churchill and the British government attacked the Greek Resistance and sowed the seeds of civil war.


Winston Churchill leaving the HMS AJAX to attend a conference in Athens. / Wikimedia Commons

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On May 8, 1945, Hitler’s successors signed Germany’s capitulation. By that point, Greece had already been liberated for six months. Across more than three years, the Greek people had waged a mass resistance against the fascist occupiers — the Italians, the Bulgarians, and above all the Germans — in which they had shown heroic courage in the face of a boundless terror.

Yet a new terror now began to strike the country; for while collaborators preserved their posts at the head of the army, the police, and the organs of state power, the partisans were persecuted, deported, and executed anew. For long years, up until 1974, the Greek resistance was presented as a criminal enterprise by successive governments. While the Resistance was finally recognized in 1982, it is still not the object of any official commemoration.
Fear of a Red Greece
You are responsible for maintaining order in Athens and for neutralizing or destroying all EAM-ELAS [National Liberation Front – Greek People’s Liberation Army] bands approaching the city. You may make any regulations you like for the strict control of the streets or for the rounding up of any number of truculent persons…. It would be well of course if your command were reinforced by the authority of some Greek Government…. Do not, however, hesitate to act as if you were in a conquered city where a local rebellion is in progress…. We have to hold and dominate Athens. It would be a great thing for you to succeed in this without bloodshed if possible, but also with bloodshed if necessary.
The man who wrote these lines was none other than British prime minister Winston Churchill. This was in December 1944: Nazi troops were still resisting the Allies, which were making slow progress in Italy and being pushed back in the Ardennes faced with the Wehrmacht’s final counter-offensive. Yet the “bands” here targeted by Churchill were not groups of collaborators, but the partisans of the great National Liberation Front (EAM), which had for three years mounted mass resistance against the German occupiers.

Throughout the nineteenth century, the eastern Mediterranean had been the center of a rivalry between Britain and Russia. The Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917 having put an end to the latter country’s ambitions in the region, in the early 1940s, Greece was under unchallenged British influence. In this context, the country was of some strategic importance.

The development of a Resistance allying the Communists with small pro-socialist parties had very quickly caused alarm within the British Foreign Office, which feared “Russian” penetration in the Mediterranean. In disgrace among the population and associated with general Ioannis Metaxas’s 1936-41 fascist dictatorship, the Greek monarchy seemed to Churchill to be the only force capable of assuring the maintenance of British domination.

In this context, London’s allies allowed it to act as it pleased. Despite the Wilsonian tradition — which was officially hostile to spheres of influence, above all when they troubled the penetration of US capital and US goods — Franklin D. Roosevelt supported Churchill. As for Joseph Stalin, he aimed above all to put an end to the war, seeking to avoid compromising his fragile “grand alliance” with the United States and the British. Ever since May 1944, Churchill had sought an arrangement over the Balkans; Stalin could accept this all the more easily as his interlocutor left him a free hand in Romania and Bulgaria.
Throughout the war, Churchill was subject to the “Greek storm.” As early as March 1941, when the German threat to the Balkans became clear, he had ordered his Near-East HQ to detach fifty thousand men to be sent to Greece. This initiative interrupted the victorious British offensive in Libya, albeit without preventing the Wehrmacht’s advance over Greek territory the following month.

The King of Greece, George II, took up exile in London together with his government — which was largely the same as under Metaxas’s dictatorship. His armed forces were partly reconstituted in Egypt and fought by the side of the British, who kept a close watch over them; indeed, the soldiers challenged the fact that most of the officers leading them were royalists.
In Greece itself, a mass resistance movement rapidly developed. The National Liberation Front emerged in September 1941. It organized imposing demonstrations in the big cities, and in spring of 1942, it moved to the creation of maquis units under the leadership of its people’s army, ELAS. At the same time, the agents of Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE) — created by Churchill in 1940 to carry out sabotage actions behind enemy lines, in collaboration with the resistance movements in the occupied countries — developed their own activities in relative autonomy.

The British tried without great success to encourage — or create — organizations competing with the EAM. But the leaders of the other parties were little tempted by active resistance. The EAM-ELAS remained by far the main resistance organization, indispensable from a military point of view. In exchange for its participation in the operations planned by the British, its representatives were received in Cairo in August 1943, in view of an accord with the exile government.

Here the British got a measure of the importance the EAM had taken on, as well as the extent of the desire for change among the population. At the same time, during the Quadrant Conference with Roosevelt in Quebec (August 17-24, 1943), Churchill saw his last hopes of an Allied landing in Greece vanish. Meanwhile, the Red Army’s advance beyond the USSR’s own frontiers was no longer in doubt. Churchill now took matters directly in hand, despite his advisers’ reticence, blocking off any possibility of negotiation and sending the EAM delegates home. At the same time, in a note to his high command, he drafted what would later become the MANNA plan: namely, to send an expeditionary corps to Greece after the German troops’ withdrawal.

 
Aug 18, 2013
3,314
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Odd none of the lefties showed up here with beer? They figured the dudes with 6 packs would at least give them one.....
 

DynamicMoves

Member
Apr 13, 2014
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discordapp.com
This is aimed at BOTH sides.......before Haggis starts having one of his usual meltdowns.

Last time I went to vote I got handed a flyer from a republican telling me how to vote on all the issues, followed by one from a democrat doing the same.
I was pretty pissed about that, they think I'm a mindless asshole who would blindly vote down party lines? Course, guess that's how it is for plenty out there, need the party to tell them what to think.
 

Bachafach^^^

ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
Dec 6, 2019
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The Political George Orwell



BY
DAVID N. SMITH
George Orwell was born 115 years ago today. He is often remembered as a paragon of lucidity and truth-telling. But he was also deeply serious about socialist politics.


Getty

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George Orwell Illustrated is out now from Haymarket Books.

George Orwell was serious about politics.

That might seem obvious, given the pervasively political valence of “Orwellian” discourse and the politically charged touchstones of Orwell’s famous novels, the Bolshevik revolution in Animal Farm and totalitarian thought control in Nineteen Eighty-Four. But the degree to which Orwell was steeped in the crosscurrents of radical politics has been routinely underestimated. So much has been said about Orwell’s legendarily plain speech and his free-thinking worldview that he now figures, for many, as an icon of non-doctrinaire and even anti-doctrinaire thought.

George Orwell, whose most celebrated novel features a thirty-page tract by a fiery Trotsky-like ideologue on “the theory and practice of oligarchical collectivism,” is often treated as a quixotic naïf whose socialism was moral rather than theoretical, intuitive rather than intellectual. The truth is more complex.

Orwell was an iconoclast, but within the socialist tradition, not outside it. His satires of ideological excesses rang true because he knew those excesses intimately — ideologically, culturally, and theoretically.

As we now know, thanks to his Complete Works published between 1986 and 1998, Orwell was very much at home in the arcana of left politics. In 1945, when he rebuked pro-Soviet writers for exaggerating Stalin’s role in the Russian revolution, he drew his evidence from an unexpected source: the man who had served as Stalin’s Foreign Minister from 1930 to 1939 and who had returned to the foreign ministry after serving as Russia’s ambassador to the United States during World War 2.

“I have before me,” Orwell wrote, “what must be a very rare pamphlet, written by Maxim Litvinoff in 1918 and outlining the recent events in the Russian Revolution. It makes no mention of Stalin, but gives high praise to Trotsky, and also to Zinoviev.”


Readers who may have casually noticed, in passing, that characters inspired by Leon Trotsky are central to both Nineteen Eighty-Four (Goldstein) and Animal Farm (Snowball) are often surprised to encounter discussions of Trotskyism in Orwell’s letters and essays — unfiltered, heretical Trotskyism. In his 1945 essay “Notes on Nationalism,” Orwell offered a regular catalogue of political tendencies, including “3. Trotskyism,” in which he said that this term is frequently “used so loosely as to include Anarchists, democratic Socialists and even Liberals. I use it here to mean a doctrinaire Marxist” and “hostility to the Stalin régime.”

He warned, further, against confusing the doctrine with its namesake: “Trotskyism can be better studied in obscure pamphlets or in papers like the Socialist Appeal than in the works of Trotsky himself, who was by no means a man of one idea.” He was equally interested in many other currents, major and minor.

This was not an eccentricity. Orwell never romanticized left groups, even those he favored, like the Independent Labour Party in Britain or the militia of Spain’s Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification, with which he fought in the Spanish civil war. But he admired dissent, and he knew that building an oppositional force, however small, is an achievement. “I have never seen him so enthusiastic,” Arthur Koestler later reminisced, as when they decided to work together to found a human rights organization in 1946.

When groups he opposed but respected were victimized, he rallied to their defense, both privately and publicly. During the war he was sharply critical of anarchist war resisters, but when Scotland Yard raided their press in 1944, Orwell published a stinging criticism in the socialist Tribune.

When Vernon Richards and others were jailed for opposing the war, Orwell accepted their invitation to serve as vice chair of the Freedom Defence Committee. Upon their release, he helped Richards and Marie Louise Berneri set themselves up as photographers. He was newly famous as the author of Animal Farm, and the photos they took (of the reticent author and his son Richard) were commercially valuable. They also remain our best photos of Orwell.

Organizing takes effort and courage, and Orwell saw no shame in starting small. He collected pamphlets from even the smallest groups, and he took them seriously. The 214-page inventory of his 2,700-item collection includes pamphlets by the All-India Congress Socialist Party, the People’s National Party (Jamaica), the Polish Labour Underground Press, the Leninist League, the Groupe Syndical Français, the Workers’ Friend, Freedom Press, Russia Today, the Meerut Trade Union Defence Committee, the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship, and myriad others.

This is not how Orwell is ordinarily understood. His publishers, and his critics, capitalized on his early death to promote the stereotype of the steadfastly anti-intellectual prophet, whose dystopian fables sprang from either good common sense or pitiable idiosyncrasy.

Neither stereotype is helpful. Orwell wrote lucidly, and he scorned casuistic hair-splitting, but he was far from naïve or anti-intellectual. Even in his tubercular final years, as his energy flagged and he labored to finish Nineteen Eighty-Four, he read prolifically.

This had been true for many years, but I was struck when I learned, from the final volume of the Complete Works, that Orwell became acquainted with Ruth Fischer in the spring and summer of 1949. Fischer, who had briefly been the General Secretary of the German Communist Party — before breaking with Russia in 1926 — had just published a massive study, Stalin and German Communism, published in 1948.

In April 1949, Orwell wrote to Fischer: “No doubt you have been overwhelmed with congratulations, but I would like to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your book Stalin and German Communism.” Fischer replied soon after, thanking him for his “encouraging remarks” and saying she hoped to “squeeze out enough time” to visit him in the Cotswold Sanatorium during her impending visit to England. She had just re-read Orwell’s “very stimulating” Homage to Catalonia, and she hoped to discuss it with him in person.

 
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Bachafach^^^

ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
Dec 6, 2019
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Australia, a Counterrevolutionary Colony
BYFREG J. STOKES
With the British settlement of Australia, Europe’s long history of overseas convict transportation entered one of its most bizarre chapters, as an entire continent was excised as an open-air prison for England’s criminalized lower classes.


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Are You Reading Propaganda Right Now?
Liza Featherstone
Four Futures
Peter Frase
The Red and the Black
Seth Ackerman
Why We Publish
Bhaskar Sunkara
On November 24, 1792, in the midst of the French Revolution, the curtains rose on a new play in Paris. A motley collection of French princes, barons, priests, and bankers stumbled across the stage, exiles in “an uncultivated country” in the distant south. These remnants of the French upper class had been escorted from “a ship at anchor” by revolutionary “French volunteers.” The local indigenous people, led by a “Chief Oziambo,” joined the volunteers in raising an obelisk to commemorate the occasion.
This play, Les Emigres aux Terres Australes (The Emigrants to the Southern Lands), was the first to be set in colonial Australia. The subtitle was Le Dernier Chapitre d’une Grande Révolution, Comedie (The Last Chapter of a Great Revolution, a Comedy). The playwright, a certain Citizen Gamas, had reimagined the invasion of Australia and flipped it upside down. In place of the English sending their criminalized lower classes to the Antipodes, the French had sent their aristocrats — a tongue-in-cheek alternative to the guillotine.
If Gamas’s satirical inversion was revolutionary, then by implication, Britain’s colonization of the Australian continent was counterrevolutionary. Eric Hobsbawm describes this era as the first global Age of Revolution: in France Louis XVI would be beheaded within two months, in the Caribbean the Black Jacobins of Saint-Domingue had risen up in revolt, and from Connecticut to Cuzco the peoples of the Americas were challenging the divine right of monarchs to rule.
Great Britain may have lost its colonies in North America, but it was rapidly accumulating territory in India, and had no intention of letting its own lower classes sabotage its plans for global hegemony. While the Sans-Cullotes revolted in Paris, many of Britain’s vagrants, petty criminals, and political dissidents were exiled to the far side of the world, put to the service of settler colonialism and capital, which seized Aboriginal land and resources in Australia.

By the time it formally ended in 1868, England’s criminological experiment in the South Pacific had assisted in staving off political revolution at home, while defending the propertied interests behind the industrial revolution. The precise effects of the Australian penal colonies in deterring political dissidence (such as the English Chartist movement) and property crimes (such as the Swing riots) are impossible to quantify, but the intention behind their establishment is clear. Virginia and its neighboring colonies were first established to muscle in on the pillage of the Americas, with the outflow of convicts to these settlements occurring as a handy by-product.
In Australia, by contrast, the long history of European overseas convict transportation entered one of its most bizarre chapters, as an entire continent was excised as an open-air prison for England’s criminalized lower classes. The subsequent expansion of settler colonialism in Australia added another more sophisticated dimension to this counterrevolutionary strategy. The British ruling class maintained its hegemony at home, while white settlers in Australia pursued progressive labor reforms alongside the acquisition of Aboriginal land.
Blueprint for a New Colony
Plans for the British colonization of Australia were first floated in reaction to the American Revolution. Joseph Banks, the botanist who accompanied James Cook’s 1770 expedition to the east coast of Australia, was the first advocate for a British invasion of the continent, but the original blueprint for the new colony was written by James Matra, a New York–born sailor and diplomat. Matra had also sailed with Cook and Banks on their expedition, and had subsequently fled the United States following its independence. As he put it, a new colony in Australia would “afford an asylum to those unfortunate American loyalists to whom Great Britain is bound by every tie of honour and gratitude to protect and support.”
Modestly, Matra proposed that he himself could be the governor of an outpost at Botany Bay. In contrast to later Australian immigration restrictions imposed during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Matra also imagined that “we may draw any number of useful inhabitants [for the colony] from China.”
Matra explicitly laid out the benefits of the potential colony to English commerce and the ongoing stability of its political system:
A body of emigrants … may in a commercial view be of great and permanent service to their parent community in some remote part of the world, who, if they continue at home, will probably live to see their own ruin, and will be very prejudicial to society.
By “society,” read the interests of the English ruling class. While Matra was keen to forestall further political revolutions, he had no qualms about promoting an economic one:
With good management, and a few settlers, in twenty or thirty years [the climate and soil of Australia] might cause a revolution in the whole system of European commerce, and secure to England a monopoly of some part of it.
Lord Sydney, the British Home Secretary, agreed to implement the plan, on the proviso that Matra reframe the colony as a penal settlement. Lord Sydney’s idea was far from novel. Convict transportation and European colonization had gone hand in hand since the early 1500s, when Portuguese felons were dumped on the Brazilian coast to act as emissaries to local indigenous groups. Indeed, the first known Europeans to see out their lives in Australia were Dutch rather than English convicts. The soldier Wouter Loos and the cabin boy Jan Pelgrom De Bye were abandoned on the Western Australian coast in 1629, as punishment for their participation in the Batavia mutiny.
The British government too had engaged in previous penal transportations, exporting over 50,000 convicts to its North American colonies prior to their independence. Nevertheless, no North American settlement had been established exclusively as a penal dumping ground. Virginia, which received the largest number of convicts, functioned primarily as a commercial plantation colony. The founder of Georgia, James Ogelthorpe, initially planned to populate the colony with inmates from debtors’ prisons, but this project was never realized. Following the American revolutionary war, the British government sought a new location to discard its troublesome lower classes, identifying Australia as the ideal location.
Australian Settlement Amidst Global Insurrection
As Claire Anderson and Hamish Maxwell-Stewart have noted, Australia’s great selling point as a penal colony was its distance from other networks of unfree labor in the British empire. Penal colonies for Indian convicts were established in 1789 in the Andaman Islands; convicts from Britain and Ireland, however, would be sent to Australia. While not all convicts who came to Australia were white, the overwhelming majority were, and this penal segregation allowed the British Empire to maintain racialized labor hierarchies in its Atlantic and South Asian colonies.
The first Australian penal colony at Botany Bay was established during an unprecedented revolutionary upswell across Europe and the Americas. The American Revolution was the earliest successful manifestation of this phenomenon, but it was far from the most radical. The founding fathers of the United States came from the propertied classes and maintained slavery as an institution. In stark contrast, Toussaint L’Ouverture and his allies amongst the slaves of Saint-Domingue took the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen to its logical conclusion and overthrew their French oppressors. The revolution in Saint-Domingue became the only slave uprising in history to establish a new nation-state, Haiti, in 1804.

Simultaneous to the American war of independence, a massive indigenous insurrection in the Andes, led at first by Túpac Amaru, a descendant of the Incas, was suppressed by the Spanish at the cost of up to 100,000 lives. Even as counterrevolution triumphed in Europe after Napoleon’s final defeat in 1815, the president of the newly independent republic of Paraguay, Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia, nationalized royal estates and church lands, handing them to the country’s Guaraní speaking farmers. President Francia, described by Paraguayan writer Guillermo Sequera as “Robespierre in a Poncho,” went so far as to ban marriages between members of the white Spanish elite to break their hold on the fledgling nation’s economy.
Revolutionary ideas also found their way to Britain and Ireland, but many of those advocating them were quickly identified and arrested, with transportation to Australia wielded as a key punishment. In the 1790s, English and Scottish radicals advocated for universal suffrage, annual parliaments, progressive taxation, women’s rights and a universal basic income funded by an inheritance tax (described by the writer and propagandist Thomas Paine as “groundrent”). The Tory government viewed these demands as a local manifestation of French Jacobinism, claiming that the dissident groups were advocating for:
The entire overthrow of the British constitution, the general confiscation of property and the erection of a Democratic Republic founded on the ruins of all religion and of all political and civil society, and framed after the model of France.
The government responded quickly, with Scottish reformists such as Thomas Muir were transported in 1793. When a French-backed uprising was defeated in Ireland in 1798, many of the Irish republican rebels were also sent to Australia. The majority of the 162,000 convicts transported to Australia between 1789 and 1868 were petty criminals arrested for nonviolent property crimes; the number of political prisoners sits at somewhere around 3,600. While this is a small proportion of the total, the targeted transportation of political dissidents was designed as a general deterrent to others who might be tempted to take up such ideas. The transportation of large numbers of petty criminals, in turn, also served a less explicit counterrevolutionary purpose, preventing these unruly, excess inhabitants from swelling the ranks of any future uprisings.
The British ruling class agreed with James Matra that political revolution should be avoided, while economic revolution should be encouraged at all costs. It was fear that the Haitian Revolution might encourage similar slave revolts in the English Caribbean colonies that contributed to the growing strength of Britain’s abolition movement, with the empire’s plantation owners redirecting their profits into the nascent industrial revolution. The Manchester textile industry exploded as slave-trading merchants sunk capital into the development of steam-engine technology, cotton mills, and railways. The subsequent profits cemented Britain’s position as the great industrial capitalist power of the nineteenth century.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/02/australia-british-empire-settler-colonialism-counterrevolution
 

Bachafach^^^

ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
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Toward a Radical New Deal

Michael Gibson | July 28, 2020




2020 will go down as one of the most potted years in recent history. In the span of just a few months, which have seemed like decades each, we have experienced a global health pandemic, massive waves of unemployment in the US nearing the levels of the Great Depression, sustained public protests over racial injustice and police brutality, and continued environmental degradation. The shock of these concurrent crises has been such that when the US government revealed the authenticity of UFO evidence in April, it was met with collective public indifference. The timing may have been coincidental, but it was not enough to distract from the revelation that major multinational corporations jumped the queue to be first in line to siphon up the major share of pandemic relief funds authorized by Congress, while millions of US citizens waited (and many still are waiting) for an anemic one-time stimulus check — not enough to cover the average monthly rent.

These crises have continued unabated: the pandemic is now at its highest rates across the US, with many states completely reopened, hospitals at critical capacity, and major events like national holidays and school reopenings occuring in fairly quick succession. Nearly 1.5 million new unemployment claims are filed weekly while CARES Act benefits and renter protections expire at the end of the July. If Congress does not act, over 40 million unemployed Americans will see a 50-75% reduction of the meagre benefits they currently receive, while also finding late fees and evictions reactivated simultaneously. And, despite significant reduction in air and land travel in April and May, climate change is on an acceleration track that is pushing us dangerously close to the point of no return. The Arctic, for instance, is in the midst of record-setting temperatures that have not occurred in that area for millions of years, while temperatures and glacial melt rates are now hitting points that previous predictive models did not forecast to occur until 2090.

A lone bright spot is the burgeoning protest movement for racial justice occupying the streets and public spaces across the country. Through the organizational work of advocacy groups like Black Lives Matter, as well as newer, younger organizers, protests have spread rapidly and organically throughout the US (and beyond, sparking international action). The protest movement demonstrates not only that public collective action is possible, but also that it is essential and efficient.

In the span of a month of continual protests, we have witnessed the swift removal of toxic symbols of white supremacy and intimidation, such as confederate monuments, as well as concrete action in many municipalities and states to address critical issues of policing, community investment, and discriminatory institutional policies. Some cities and states have taken seriously the abolitionist call to restructure law enforcement and reallocate major budgetary outlays, divest from militarized police forces and dramatically increase public services and community investment. As well, on the headwinds of the protests, a number of Black progressive candidates won strong Democratic primary victories against centrist, white, neoliberal candidates, shocking the ossified party leadership and retiring several DNC ‘crime-bill’ era relics. These candidates ran on leftist platforms that recognized the interlocking nature of racial, social, economic, and environmental justice.



Unveiling the Legacy of Racial Injustice

The protests and primary victories provide an important opening for the left to create a broad, wide-ranging platform and an energetic, multi-racial coalition. These events bring to the foreground, more forcefully than ever before, how racial injustice has deep roots extensively embedded in the governing institutions and economic systems that dominate American life.

Take policing as one example. Critics and abolitionists do not focus just on tactics and training, though these are the most visible policy targets. Rather, they focus on how cities, states, and the federal government spend money and allocate resources: e.g., massive outlays for police departments and equipment coupled with austerity measures for housing, health, education, and vital services. Communities are disenfranchised and depleted while being surveilled and harassed. As Michelle Alexander and Angela Davis have powerfully demonstrated, these policies are directly linked to the notorious 1994 Crime Bill and the creation of the vast mass incarceration complex, which generated entire sets of new criminal laws and penalties that required a beefed-up enforcement apparatus, while cementing a relationship between public police and court systems and private, for-profit prisons).

Policing is also thoroughly entangled with US foreign policy in at least two ways. On the one hand, a high percentage of current US police officers are military veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, two wars hallmarked by the surveillance and brutalization of non-white bodies. Many of the tactics employed by US police are importations of tactics learned in conflicts overseas. On the other hand, during the Bush administration and increasingly under the Obama administration, US police departments across the country became militarized units through a program in which the federal government orchestrated massive fire sales of surplus military equipment to police. Because of these sales, it is not unusual for small, rural police departments to have mine-resistant vehicles, tanks, and military-grade hardware on hand — larger cities are even more heavily supplied. In this way, the war has come home and our ‘public safety’ departments are equipped to do battle with those they are sworn to serve and protect.

Policing, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s most recent publication, Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Home Ownership, traces the terrible legacy of discriminatory housing policy, underscoring the collusive relationship between the federal government, banks, and the real estate industry to deny and defraud Black communities. This involves much more than just the notorious ‘sunset’ towns and suburban flights of old, but the patently racist and discriminatory policies inscribed into the banking deregulations, bankruptcy reforms, and ‘welfare’ overhauls of the 1990s and 2000s.

The constellation of legislation in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in significant reductions in public housing funding and availability, as well as a simultaneous loosening of standards around lending practices (e.g., subprime mortgages) and a tightening of bankruptcy protections, all of which was designed to enable large banks to profit excessively off of financial precarity, particularly of non-white clients. The banking codes championed by the ‘Senator from MBNA’ also allowed the major banks to run licensed title pawn and payday loan shops, which, on account of the elimination of usury laws, could charge exorbitant and high frequency compounding interest rates.

The result of the latter policies was the explosion of piracy-banking businesses in communities of color and the near disappearance of traditional banking in these same communities. Because of this, even before the financial crisis of 2008, non-white communities were marginalized by the economic system that was enjoying a (temporary) boom. The financial crisis of 2008, predictably, had an outsize impact on non-white citizens: nearly 80% of Black wealth was destroyed in the meltdown; as well, the economic ‘recovery’ of the Obama years did not restore any of this, as Black wealth continued to decline during this period on account of the governments decision to foam the runwayfor financial institutions while refusing to intervene on behalf of citizens.

If this was not outrageous enough, government and industry policies around environment and health are even more disgraceful. Dorceta Taylor’s work, Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility, documents the horrifying history of how the US government has allowed — often legally — corporations and industries to dump toxic waste and hazardous materials in and around poor, non-white communities, which has resulted in exceptionally high rates of cancer, leukemia, asthma, neurological disorders, and diseases and defects in children. In the South, especially, this has coincided with further interlocking sets of policies around housing, healthcare, and social services.

 

Bachafach^^^

ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
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Ghosts of the Paris Commune
BYDONAL FALLON
The methods and politics of the Paris Commune served as inspiration for Easter Rising leaders like James Connolly.


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When Karl Marx looked at the revolutionary self-governance of the 1871 Paris Commune, he saw an embodiment of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Decades later, James Connolly, the leading Irish Marxist, seized on that same ethos of worker democracy. Writing in Workers’ Republic in May 1899, Connolly argued, “[T]he Commune, if it had been successful, would have inaugurated the reign of real freedom the world over — it would have meant the emancipation of the working class.”
The 1871 Paris Commune, an urban insurrection that lasted from March 18 until its brutal suppression on May 28, has always retained an important place in radical history and memory, synonymous with workers’ barricades in the streets and defiant red flags.
Its similarities with the 1916 Easter Rising, a nationalist rebellion put down after less than a week, are less frequently noted. But viewed through the lens of Connolly, the Commune comes into focus as an important antecedent to the 1916 rebellion.
A syndicalist who joined the Industrial Workers of the World while in the United States and later led the Easter Rising, Connolly’s “co-operative commonwealth” shared much with the Paris Commune’s manifesto. A student of history and leader of the Irish Citizen Army, Connolly also found much to learn from the urban warfare that marked the last days of the Commune.
In the aftermaths of both the Paris Commune and the Easter Rising, the Irish establishment used the specter of left-wing radicalism to bludgeon domestic leftists. These were early examples of anticommunist tropes that would persist for decades. But in at least one respect, they weren’t wrong: the methods and politics seen in the Paris Commune did shape Irish revolutionaries, particularly Connolly.
The Menace Abroad
Less than twenty years after the events of Paris, Irish socialist Jim Connell, inspired by the Commune, wrote the now-iconic anthem “The Red Flag.”

Connell’s positive view of the Paris Commune was not widely shared in Ireland. Denunciations were heard from the pulpit and pressroom. Some of the most vocal condemnations of the Paris Commune came from the Nation, a newspaper with origins in the 1840s Young Ireland movement.
The aspirations of the Commune, the Nation declared, were
utterly repugnant to the genius of the Irish race. Religion and Patriotism, the two most holy and glorious principles known to human nature, have ever been the guiding lights of the Irish people, the motive power of all their actions.
Likewise, the Freeman’s Journal lamented how “the women of Paris have been prominent in the streets, with a red flag, demanding arms . . . and conducting themselves like ugly fiendish sisters of the witches in Macbeth.”

Above all, it was the anticlericalism of Commune partisans that rankled many in Ireland. In the Commune, they saw a dangerous threat to the Catholic Church. And indeed, anti-church sentiment ran strong. One Parisian publication sympathetic to the Commune declared that “as Jesus Christ was born in a stable, the only treasure that Notre-Dame ought to possess is a truss of straw.” During the Commune, churches were appropriated for communal purposes amid popular anger over their accumulated wealth and conservative politics.

The history of the Catholic Church in Ireland engendered a drastically different view of the clergy. Subjected to enormous repression in the decades before 1829 Catholic Emancipation, the Church was popularly regarded not as an oppressor like in France, but as an institution that had itself been oppressed.
With strong support among the populace, the Church’s antipathy toward the Commune proved harmful to early socialist organizing efforts. When part of the Socialist International’s Dublin branch met in a small room above a Dublin shop less than a year after the suppression of the Commune, a contemporary newspaper reported that the speaker was interrupted and informed that “the Internationalists had shot the Archbishop and priests of Paris.” A “great uproar ensued.”
The landlord of the house was not keen on the gathering.
[He] burst into the room in an excited state, and called those present a set of ruffians and blackguards. He said he had been led to the room on the pretence that the meeting was to be for a discussion of the labour and wages question, and that he would sooner burn the house over his head than hire it for the nefarious purposes of Internationalism.
Connolly and the Commune
For radicals in the late nineteenth century Ireland was a barren environment but the exception to this was James Connolly’s Irish Socialist Republican Party (ISRP). The party took a prominent role in the centenary celebrations of the 1798 United Irish rebellion, participated in protests against the celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and in anti–Boer War agitation.

Gaining its strength from its attempt to synthesize socialism with anti-imperial separatism, one British newspaper noted disapprovingly that the party was “composed of a number of the most extreme and least reputable representatives of the nationalists of Dublin.”

Earlier socialist organizations in the city, such as the Socialist League, had organized commemorative meetings of the Commune in private, for fear of being broken up. But those hostile to the revolutionary politics of Paris had plenty of reason to reproach Connolly’s party. The ISRP held annual commemorations, with Connolly himself gave a lecture on the Commune in Dublin in March 1898.
 
Jul 29, 2012
18,752
3,972
Belfast, Ireland
Ghosts of the Paris Commune
BYDONAL FALLON
The methods and politics of the Paris Commune served as inspiration for Easter Rising leaders like James Connolly.


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When Karl Marx looked at the revolutionary self-governance of the 1871 Paris Commune, he saw an embodiment of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Decades later, James Connolly, the leading Irish Marxist, seized on that same ethos of worker democracy. Writing in Workers’ Republic in May 1899, Connolly argued, “[T]he Commune, if it had been successful, would have inaugurated the reign of real freedom the world over — it would have meant the emancipation of the working class.”
The 1871 Paris Commune, an urban insurrection that lasted from March 18 until its brutal suppression on May 28, has always retained an important place in radical history and memory, synonymous with workers’ barricades in the streets and defiant red flags.
Its similarities with the 1916 Easter Rising, a nationalist rebellion put down after less than a week, are less frequently noted. But viewed through the lens of Connolly, the Commune comes into focus as an important antecedent to the 1916 rebellion.
A syndicalist who joined the Industrial Workers of the World while in the United States and later led the Easter Rising, Connolly’s “co-operative commonwealth” shared much with the Paris Commune’s manifesto. A student of history and leader of the Irish Citizen Army, Connolly also found much to learn from the urban warfare that marked the last days of the Commune.
In the aftermaths of both the Paris Commune and the Easter Rising, the Irish establishment used the specter of left-wing radicalism to bludgeon domestic leftists. These were early examples of anticommunist tropes that would persist for decades. But in at least one respect, they weren’t wrong: the methods and politics seen in the Paris Commune did shape Irish revolutionaries, particularly Connolly.
The Menace Abroad
Less than twenty years after the events of Paris, Irish socialist Jim Connell, inspired by the Commune, wrote the now-iconic anthem “The Red Flag.”

Connell’s positive view of the Paris Commune was not widely shared in Ireland. Denunciations were heard from the pulpit and pressroom. Some of the most vocal condemnations of the Paris Commune came from the Nation, a newspaper with origins in the 1840s Young Ireland movement.
The aspirations of the Commune, the Nation declared, were

Likewise, the Freeman’s Journal lamented how “the women of Paris have been prominent in the streets, with a red flag, demanding arms . . . and conducting themselves like ugly fiendish sisters of the witches in Macbeth.”

Above all, it was the anticlericalism of Commune partisans that rankled many in Ireland. In the Commune, they saw a dangerous threat to the Catholic Church. And indeed, anti-church sentiment ran strong. One Parisian publication sympathetic to the Commune declared that “as Jesus Christ was born in a stable, the only treasure that Notre-Dame ought to possess is a truss of straw.” During the Commune, churches were appropriated for communal purposes amid popular anger over their accumulated wealth and conservative politics.

The history of the Catholic Church in Ireland engendered a drastically different view of the clergy. Subjected to enormous repression in the decades before 1829 Catholic Emancipation, the Church was popularly regarded not as an oppressor like in France, but as an institution that had itself been oppressed.
With strong support among the populace, the Church’s antipathy toward the Commune proved harmful to early socialist organizing efforts. When part of the Socialist International’s Dublin branch met in a small room above a Dublin shop less than a year after the suppression of the Commune, a contemporary newspaper reported that the speaker was interrupted and informed that “the Internationalists had shot the Archbishop and priests of Paris.” A “great uproar ensued.”
The landlord of the house was not keen on the gathering.

Connolly and the Commune
For radicals in the late nineteenth century Ireland was a barren environment but the exception to this was James Connolly’s Irish Socialist Republican Party (ISRP). The party took a prominent role in the centenary celebrations of the 1798 United Irish rebellion, participated in protests against the celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and in anti–Boer War agitation.

Gaining its strength from its attempt to synthesize socialism with anti-imperial separatism, one British newspaper noted disapprovingly that the party was “composed of a number of the most extreme and least reputable representatives of the nationalists of Dublin.”

Earlier socialist organizations in the city, such as the Socialist League, had organized commemorative meetings of the Commune in private, for fear of being broken up. But those hostile to the revolutionary politics of Paris had plenty of reason to reproach Connolly’s party. The ISRP held annual commemorations, with Connolly himself gave a lecture on the Commune in Dublin in March 1898.
I still have this Easter Rising special issue
 
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Bachafach^^^

ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
Dec 6, 2019
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Varaždin, Hrvaška
How Yugoslavia’s Partisans Built a New Socialist Society
AN INTERVIEW WITHGAL KIRN
Yugoslavia’s partisan movement singlehandedly defeated Nazi occupation and paved the way for a radical transformation of society. Yet socialist Yugoslavia was ultimately broken by its own internal contradictions — and its unwillingness to push that transformation further.


Josip Tito and German Chancellor Willy Brandt in Bonn in 1970. Bundesarchiv / Wikimedia Commons

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Are You Reading Propaganda Right Now?
Liza Featherstone
Four Futures
Peter Frase
The Red and the Black
Seth Ackerman
Why We Publish
Bhaskar Sunkara
INTERVIEW BYLoren Balhorn
The rise and ultimate defeat of the Yugoslav Communist movement is one of the twentieth century’s most compelling and heartbreaking political sagas.

Founded in Belgrade in 1919, the fledgling Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY) remained a small, isolated force hampered by harsh state repression well into the 1930s. Yet when Nazi Germany, together with its Italian, Hungarian and Bulgarian allies, invaded the Balkan country in April 1941, it was the CPY who rose to the occasion. Under the leadership of Marshal Josip Broz Tito, it built an armed force of hundreds of thousands — liberating Yugoslavia almost without outside intervention.
The mass enthusiasm following this victory would mark the country’s first free elections after 1945, which also saw the introduction of women’s suffrage. Ninety percent voted for the anti-fascist liberation front and the creation of a federal Yugoslavia without its former king. The CPY, as the leading force, then established the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), a multinational entity encompassing six republics and two autonomous regions that occupied a unique position between both sides in the Cold War.

For decades, Yugoslavia was noted for its unique experiments in workers’ self-management, market socialism, and its key role in founding the Non-Aligned Movement. It was widely admired as a possible alternative to capitalism in the West and Stalinism in the East.
Yet four decades after Tito’s death, the legacy of Yugoslav socialism today appears lost. With the collapse of the SFRY in the early 1990s, the Balkans were plunged into nationalist bloodshed, casting a harsh light on the weaknesses of the effort to create a multinational state. Only now, as a new generation born after socialism begins to reevaluate the past, has the SFRY’s lost potential again come into view.
Gal Kirn is the author of Partisan Ruptures, a new history of socialist Yugoslavia. Jacobin’s Loren Balhorn spoke to him about the Yugoslav partisan movement’s successes, the difficulties of building socialism after 1945, and lessons for socialists today.
LB
Your recent book chronicles the rise of socialist Yugoslavia from the partisan resistance in the 1940s to the heyday of the Non-Aligned Movement and the SFRY’s ultimate collapse. The book identifies three distinct “ruptures” useful for describing this trajectory. What do you mean by this term?
GK
My book focuses on what I see as three “partisan ruptures” that initiated a relatively autonomous path to building socialism in Yugoslavia.
The term “rupture” is largely indebted to the work of French Marxist Louis Althusser, who came out of French structuralism. It stands opposed to crude Hegelian and teleological-linear understandings of history that see progress as central to historical evolution through stages.

Contrary to the claim that the future is already decided (also known as There Is No Alternative, or “the end of history”), rupture’s main features are precisely its contingency and unpredictability. As we know from Marx, we act under given circumstances, but social forces and processes are shaped and recreated by the masses.
As far as the partisan part is concerned, I criticize an influential reading of the figure of “the partisan” developed by the fascist thinker Carl Schmitt. His formalist approach is dominated by a “telluric” [“rooted in the soil”] understanding of partisan struggle, which not incidentally links up nicely with Nazi “blood-and-soil” ideology.
My take on the liberation struggle was to point out how the national aspect was inscribed from the outset into Yugoslavia’s horizon of international antifascist solidarity, multinational and federative organization, and social transformation. There was a dialectical relationship between national and social liberation. This went far beyond the preceding bourgeois conception of “national liberation” in the early twentieth century, when Balkan political elites had sought to cleanse their lands of the decaying Ottoman Empire.

LB
What, specifically, constituted these ruptures?
GK
The first and most important rupture took place during the people’s liberation struggle from 1941 to 1945. It not only waged a successful and relatively autonomous antifascist struggle — similar to the Albanian and Greek resistance, Yugoslav partisans liberated themselves from fascist occupation on their own — but also conducted a veritable social transformation that resulted in federative and socialist Yugoslavia. This represents, in Althusser’s words, “a rupture with strong consequences;” it draws a clear distinction between “resistance” and then a revolutionary transformation with a horizon of liberation and anticolonial struggle.
The next rupture came in 1948 with the split between Tito and Stalin. Though isolated from both West and East — and, through this split, losing Soviet loans for industrial reconstruction — Yugoslav Communists were able to draw on their partisan experiences and mass popular support to address the new situation. After a series of discussions among the party leadership, Yugoslavia initiated a new form of social governance: workers’ self-management.

I argue this was a sort of continuation of partisan politics by other means that constituted the second, internal rupture away from the command economy and excessive reliance on bureaucracy. This genuine innovation of Yugoslav socialism pushed “nationalization” of the means of production one step further. This meant shifting the political concentration of power towards working people, and socializing the means of production — social ownership, or what today some call the “commons.”
At the same time, international isolation forced Yugoslav Communists to reorient themselves in the global context. The active participation and conception of the Non-Aligned Movement constitutes the third rupture, breaking with the bipolar constellation of the Cold War. Support for anticolonial struggles, nuclear disarmament and the creation of solidarity economies that could be self-sufficient became pillars of Yugoslavia’s foreign policy in the 1960s.
This triple “partisan rupture” of partisan struggle, self-management, and non-alignment stretching from 1941 to 1965 constitutes the core of the Yugoslav experiment and a legacy we can draw on today. It went against the grain both in terms of theory as well as politics at the time. It became a model for a specific, more “democratic” form of socialism in many parts of the globe.
LB
You argue that the partisans’ councils and mass organizations were genuinely popular-democratic institutions, not mere extensions of the Communist Party. Yet surely the party had a powerful influence over them? To what extent did the movement function independently of the Communist leadership, and was “democracy” even possible under wartime conditions?

GK
You’d be surprised what’s “possible” during war and occupation. When we think about armed struggle, we usually think of weapons, sabotage, and guerilla warfare. Democratic participation or the cultural empowerment of those involved appear fairly secondary.

However, many twentieth-century antifascist and anticolonial movements were deeply engaged in the social, political, and cultural transformations of their respective environments, in which the dispossessed masses had often been robbed of political representation and excluded from the cultural sphere. The same is true in the case of the Yugoslav partisans, who cultivated an impressive array of cultural forms and production.

There is no doubt that the Communist Party was the most important political subject of the liberation struggle. It had been banned in the old Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1921 after receiving massive support in the first elections after World War I. Party members were arrested and had to work under illegal conditions, with many cadres either exiled, killed or imprisoned.
During this period, the party’s approach was largely Stalinist and conspiratorial, with the leadership exercising control over policy. Only through rising strike actions in the mid-1930s did public organizing resume, while at the same time around 1,700 Yugoslav volunteers joined the International Brigades to fight in the Spanish Civil War.

World War II presented the Communists with a historic opportunity for revolutionary transformation. They knew that to win, they would need to mobilize the people. To this end they invented the idea of a “new Yugoslavia.” This idea itself was regarded as heretical, since for many people the old Yugoslavia stood for national oppression and exploitation, while at the same time, the new, revolutionary entity strongly contradicted Stalin’s official policy — shared by the Western Allies — that sought to actively avoid popular uprisings or regime changes in Europe.

From the beginning, the partisans not only fought foreign occupation and local collaboration, but also liberated territories, such as the Republic of Užice in Western Serbia, which lasted from September to November 1941. Communist Party cadres undoubtedly occupied pivotal roles, but they were also extremely attentive to the local population.
Aware that mass participation in the struggle was crucial for victory, the new political institutions created under partisan control were open both to men and women. At the same time, Communists waged ideological struggles against forces like the church, local landlords, and nationalists.

Building popular institutions was one of the partisans’ highest priorities, because it was seen as a way to build mass support in a context where 70 or even 80 percent of the peasant population was still illiterate. The committees and councils at all levels of the liberation struggle became the backbone of what was called the National Liberation Front.
The Front’s annual meetings culminated in the November 1943 meeting of the Antifascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) in Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the creation of a federal Yugoslavia was officially declared and Tito was appointed Marshall, the supreme leader of the antifascist resistance. This was a leap into the unknown, given that all of the Allied powers were staunchly opposed to the move.

The Yugoslav partisans practiced a form of revolutionary democracy that combined democratic activities from below and a stricter party organization from above, albeit a party whose line fluctuated considerably. Interactions between the party leadership and the broader resistance — most notably the Communist youth organization and the Women’s Antifascist Front, numbering 2 million members by the end of the war — helped to drive new ideas and build new institutions of popular power.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/06/yugoslavia-tito-market-socialism