Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

June 21, 2016

Tariq Ali joins with Smears against Jo Cox.

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 6:12 pm

Tendance Coatesy


Tariq Ali: Better off tilting at Windmills than engaging in Politics.

Recently former Marxist Tariq Ali made a return to British politics.

He starred at the 13th of June Camden “rally of shame” calling for Brexit, or as they tried to call it, Lexit (left Exit, geddit?).

London says #Lexit: The Left Case Against the EU – Tariq Ali.

Ali stood on the same platform as Caroline Tacchella, a representative of the Parti ouvrier indépendant démocratique, a French Trotksyist group, whose historical record even a genial codger like Tariq must remember with loathing.

The group from which this micro-party originates (the ‘Lambertists’) are famous for opposing the French students in 1968.

In a celebrated confrontation hundreds of this sect’s Service d’ordre  paraded in military style, demanding that the petty bourgeois intellectuals not build barricades in the Sorbonne but wait for the working class and its vanguard (not unrelated…

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May 27, 2016

Party, class, and Marxism: Did Kautsky advocate ‘Leninism’?

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 10:30 pm

John Riddell

By Eric Blanc. (Eric Blanc is an activist and historian based in Oakland, California. For the text of the Kautsky article discussed here, see “Karl Kautsky: Sects or class parties”.)

Karl Kautsky Karl Kautsky

The question of broad parties has been heatedly debated by socialists in recent years. Many have argued that “Leninism” should be discarded in favor of wider formations such as Syriza, Podemos, the British Labour Party, the Greens, etc. Others have rejected participating in such structures, on the “Leninist” grounds that building independent revolutionary Marxist parties remains the strategic organizational task for socialists.

Intertwined with this debate has been a serious reassessment of “Leninism” itself. Particularly following the publication of Lars Lih’s monumental Lenin Rediscovered, big questions are being asked: Did Lenin break in theory and/or practice with the “orthodox” strategy articulated by Marxist theoretician Karl Kautsky? Were the Bolsheviks, in other words, a “party…

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May 20, 2016

How the Syrian Revolution has transformed me

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 1:06 pm

The world revolves around Palestine, or so I thought until 2011. The Palestinian cause, I argued, was the litmus test for anyone’s commitment to freedom and justice. Palestine was the one an…

Source: How the Syrian Revolution has transformed me

March 6, 2016

The Revolution continues chant the Syrian revolutionaries

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 11:41 pm

On Friday March 4, 2016 massive popular demonstrations throughout the liberated areas of Syria occurred under the slogan “The revolution continues”. More than 100 protests were recorded on this day, according to various opposition figures. In the demonstrations, protesters were chanting the original songs of the revolution: “The people are one and united”, “Death rather than humiliation”, “The People want the downfall of the regime”, “The Syrian people want freedom”, “Revolution for dignity and Freedom”, etc….The spirit of the beginning of the revolution could be felt with democratic and non-sectarian slogans, and as a protester wrote on his placard: “the doors of the peaceful revolution reopen”. The Syrian revolutionary flag was seen everywhere. It is interesting to note that salafist djihadist military forces and their symbols were absent from these popular demonstrations, while Jabhat Al-Nusra soldiers organised a small demonstration against the massive popular demonstration in in the city Ma’aret al-Naaman, Idlib, and chanted slogans against democracy and secularism, and for an Islamic state. They also told the demonstrators on the squares to wear the full niqab as real men go to fight on the military front.During the past week, protests against the Assad regime were also organised in Aleppo, Damascus countryside (Daraya and Dhumeir), Da’el and the countryside of Quneytra. As a protester said in the besieged town of Daraya, “Of course we’re going to seize this opportunity (to protest) because the rest of the time there were constant barrel bombs and shelling”. In the free neighborhood of Aleppo, mass demonstration erupted the second day of the truce, chanting: “The people want the downfall of the regime”. Another protest occurred in Aleppo countryside, Al-Atareb, on February 27, demanding for opposition military factions to unite under the Free Syrian Army banner, and express their solidarity with the villages that are being bombed amid the truce, while calling on the Jabhat Al Nusra to exit their city. Civilians and activists in Al-Atareb declared during the preparation of the Friday protest their will to revive the peaceful Syrian revolution, which demanded freedom and justice and dignity according to them. Many protesters across the country express a similar will to encourage peaceful demonstrations as a way to come back to the spirit of the revolution.

Source: The Revolution continues chant the Syrian revolutionaries

March 2, 2016

Striking Russian Truckers: A Call for Solidarity

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 3:43 am

Truck Drivers in Russia Urgently Need Your Solidarity In Russia, despite crackdowns against independent labour union activists, a group of truck drivers organized themselves in mid-November of last…

Source: Striking Russian Truckers: A Call for Solidarity

March 1, 2016

The Chameleons of Rojava

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 5:37 pm

The recent exploitation of the collapse of the rebel front line in Aleppo by the PYD’s armed wing (YPG) and its allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces took some observers by surprise. Having …

Source: The Chameleons of Rojava

February 28, 2016

The Kurdish PYD’s alliance with Russia against Free Aleppo: Evidence and analysis of a disaster

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 1:48 pm

Above: Aleppo Free Syrian Army statement calls on “the honorable Kurds” in Efrin “to put pressure on those gangs to withdraw from those violated towns.” by Michael Karadjis This piece deals with an…

Source: The Kurdish PYD’s alliance with Russia against Free Aleppo: Evidence and analysis of a disaster

February 25, 2016

Edgy-Op: Open Letter to my Leftist Friends: Why we must support Putin

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 10:50 pm

by Angela Baker So like, I’m a hardcore radical leftist. I’m anti-war, anti-imperialist, anti-militarism, anti-Zionism, etc. I marched against BusHitler’s war on Iraq in 2003, Obo…

Source: Edgy-Op: Open Letter to my Leftist Friends: Why we must support Putin

February 19, 2016

Bloody Counterrevolution in Aleppo: on Russian Blitzkrieg and US “betrayal”

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 1:19 pm

Source: Bloody Counterrevolution in Aleppo: on Russian Blitzkrieg and US “betrayal”

February 13, 2016

William Randolph Hearst: populist Democrat

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 1:57 am

William Randolph Hearst

From Wikipedia:

Under William Randolph Hearst, the New York Morning Journal remained loyal to the populist wing of the Democratic Party, and was the only major publication in the East to support William Jennings Bryan and Bimetallism in 1896. Their coverage of that historic election was probably the most important of any newspaper in the country, exposing both the unprecedented role of money in the Republican campaign and the dominating role played by William McKinley’s political and financial manager, Mark Hanna, the first national party ‘boss’ in American history. Only a year after taking over the paper, Hearst could boast that sales of the Journal’s post-election issue (including the Evening and German-language editions) topped 1.5 million, a record “unparalleled in the history of the world.”

William Hearst’s outlook from the 1930s was ultra-conservative, nationalist and anti-communist. His politics were the politics of the extreme right. In 1934 he travelled to Germany, where he was received by Hitler as a guest and friend. After this trip, Hearst’s newspapers became even more reactionary, always carrying articles against socialism, against the Soviet Union and especially against Stalin. Hearst also tried to use his newspapers for overt Nazi propaganda purposes, publishing a series of articles by Goering, Hitler’s right-hand man. After his visit to Hitler, Hearst’s sensationalist newspapers were filled with ‘revelations’ about the terrible happenings in the Soviet Union – murders, genocide, slavery, luxury for the rulers and starvation for the people; all these were the big news items almost every day. The material was provided to Hearst by the Gestapo, Nazi Germany’s political police. On the front pages of the newspapers there often appeared caricatures and falsified pictures of the Soviet Union, with Stalin portrayed as a murderer holding a dagger in his hand.

So you might think that something happened between 1896 and the 1930s, right? A kind of David Horowitz or Christopher Hitchens evolution, you’d think.

Well, maybe not.

From Greg Mitchell’s “Change of the Century”:

At the 1932 Democratic convention, [Joseph P.] Kennedy helped swing the support of William Randolph Hearst, who controlled the make-or-break California delegation, to Roosevelt. As head of the party’s finance committee, he raised an estimated one hundred thousand dollars from his Wall Street cronies, donated twenty-five thousand dollars of his own money to the FDR campaign, and lent the party another fifty thousand dollars. He wooed A. P. Giannini, the leading California banker, out of the Hoover camp and into Roosevelt’s. During a vacation trip with FDR, Kennedy’s secretary, Edward Moore, amused fellow guests with the prediction that if everyone lived long enough, they would witness one of Joe’s sons taking office as the nation’s first Catholic president.

Meanwhile, Joe Kennedy—the father of DP icons Jack, Bobby and Teddy—had his own issues with Nazism as Seymour Hersh pointed out in his book “The Dark Side of Camelot” (this was before he lost his mind):

There is no evidence that Ambassador [Joseph] Kennedy understood in the days before the war that stopping Hitler was a moral imperative. “In­dividual Jews are all right, Harvey,” Kennedy told Harvey Klemmer, one of his few trusted aides in the American Embassy, “but as a race they stink. They spoil everything they touch. Look what they did to the movies.” Klemmer, in an interview many years later made avail­able for this book, recalled that Kennedy and his “entourage” generally referred to Jews as “kikes or sheenies.”

Kennedy and his family would later emphatically deny allegations of anti-Semitism stemming from his years as ambassador, but the German diplomatic documents show that Kennedy consistently minimized the Jewish issue in his four-month attempt in the sum­mer and fall of 1938 to obtain an audience with Hitler. On June 13, as the Nazi regime was systematically segregating Jews from German society, Kennedy advised Herbert von Dirksen, the German ambas­sador in London, as Dirksen reported to Berlin, that “it was not so much the fact that we wanted to get rid of the Jews that was so harmful to us, but rather the loud clamor with which we accompanied this purpose. He himself understood our Jewish policy completely.” On October 13, 1938, a few weeks before Kristallnacht, with its Brown Shirt terror attacks on synagogues and Jewish businesses, Kennedy met again with Ambassador Dirksen, who subsequently informed his superiors that “today, too, as during former conversations, Kennedy mentioned that very strong anti-Semitic feelings existed in the United States and that a large portion of the population had an un­derstanding of the German attitude toward the Jews.”

Kennedy knew little about the culture and history of Europe be­fore his appointment as ambassador and made no effort to educate himself once in London. He made constant misjudgments. In the summer of 1938, for example, he blithely assured the president in a letter, described in the published diaries of Harold Ickes, FDR’s secretary of the interior, that “he does not regard the European situation as so critical.” Diplomats serving on the American Desk in the British Foreign Office quickly came to fear ­ and hate ­ Kennedy. They compiled a secret dossier on him, known as the “Kennediana” file, which would not be declassified until after the war. In those pages Sir Robert Vansittart, undersecretary of the Foreign Office, scrawled, as war was spreading throughout Europe in early 1940: “Mr. Kennedy is a very foul specimen of a double-crosser and defeatist. He thinks of nothing but his own pocket. I hope that this war will at least see the elimination of his type.”

Kennedy remained insensitive, at best, about the Jewish issue through the later war years, when the existence of concentration camps was widely known. In a May 1944 interview with an old friend, Joe Dinneen of the Boston Globe, Kennedy acknowledged, when questioned about his alleged anti-Semitism: “It is true that I have a low opinion of some Jews in public office and in private life. That does not mean that I hate all Jews; that I believe they should be wiped off the face of the earth. . . . Other races have their own problems to solve. They’re glad to give the Jews a lift and help them along the way toward tolerance, but they’re not going to drop everything and solve the problems of the Jews for them. Jews who take an unfair advantage of the fact that theirs is a persecuted race do not help much. . .. Publicizing unjust attacks upon the Jews may help to cure the injustice, but continually publicizing the whole prob­lem only serves to keep it alive in the public mind.” Kennedy’s discussion of anti-Semitism was withheld from publication at the time by the editors of the Globe, but in 1959 Dinneen sought to include a portion of it in a generally flattering precampaign family biography. Advance galleys of the Dinneen book, entitled The Kennedy Family, had been given to Jack Kennedy, who understood how inflammatory his fa­ther’s comments would be and had no difficulty in successfully urging Dinneen to delete the offending paragraphs. The incident is described in Richard Whalen’s biography of Joe Kennedy.

When I read this sort of thing, I am reminded of why I took an oath never to vote for a Democrat, not even if was Bhaskar Sunkara running for President rather than Bernie Sanders. It’s BS to me across the board.

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