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Thread: Whats everyone reading now and/or read lately

  1. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by Dhalgren View Post
    They all appear to be in the same general vein...

    They're not. Check out the MLM Mayhem one for instance. They are part of a "dialogue", if you will. Was mostly calling attention to the links to draw solidgold's attention to them.
    "What our fish really cost us now is not the positive labour-pain expressed by the number 10 — for this we should have undergone at any rate — but the negative loss of an enjoyment which we might have had, indicated by the number 12."
    Abstinence makes the hare grow fonder

    "Bern" it down Prop it up

    No Child Left Behind Alive; (White) Race To The Top

    H for America: The White Devil you know is better than the White Devil you don't.

  2. #82
    EC: In the early eighties you wrote Settlers: Mythology of the White Proletariat, a book which had a major impact on many North American anti-imperialists. How did this book come about, and what was so new about its way of looking at things?
    JS: Settlers completely came about by accident, not design. And what was so "new" about it was that it wasn't "inspiring" propaganda, but took up the experience of colonial workers to question how class really worked. It wasn't about race, but about class. Although people still have a hard time getting used to that – it isn't race or sex that's the taboo subject in this culture, but class.[/I]

    Like many radicals who struggle as organizers, i had wondered why our very logical "class unity" theories always seemed to get smashed up around the exit ramp of race? At the time i'd quit my fairly isolated job on the night shift as a mechanic on the railroad, and was running a cut-off lathe in an auto parts plant. The young white guys in our department were pretty good. In fact, rebellious counter-culture dope smoking Nam vets. After months of hanging & talking, one night one of them came up to me and said that all the guys were driving down to the Kentucky Derby together, to spend the weekend getting drunk and partying. They were inviting me, an Asian, as a way of my joining the crew. Only, he said, "You got to stop talking to those Blacks. You got to choose. White or Black."
    It's no surprise Ervin found inspiration from Sakai, thus citing Settlers below his rant (as popularized by the Fidel thread). Ironically--at least in SP's case--Sakai's criticism of the white left in the United States is as literal and powerful as Stalin's most relatable works. A non-credible source leads me to believe he was an admirer of Stalin.

    The U.S. has a unique expression of class, via race, unprecedented in other countries (which only furthers the argument for complex analysis, especially put in the perspective of "the working class has no country"). In 1996, Ervin was practicing a 45% success rate with correct semicolon usage and I was a toddler; meanwhile, the city I currently live in was in the shadow of a white supremacist working class. Whether Neo-Nazi skins or simple blue collar factory workers, the divide in Baltimore was/is stark. I live in a gentrified white/blue collar area, and you can still feel the anger from segregation. The sentiments felt by minority groups in the States cannot be ignored, because they're a genuine reaction to politics...but wait, where is the left in the U.S.? The U.S. working class has much to work on before they can find consciousness.

    That said, understanding doesn't necessitate the alignment with reactionary politics. Economic/social conditions are so that the working class will or will not wake up, regardless of "academic" jargon.

  3. #83
    In fact, rebellious counter-culture dope smoking Nam vets.


    Everybody's got a dope smoking 'Nam vets story. Granted, most of the stories tread on the novelty of doper 'Nam vets without offering much substance (a la "I bet those guys are in heaven with all these new dope laws"..personally I bet if they're in heaven its from old age )

    The U.S. has a unique expression of class, via race, unprecedented in other countries (which only furthers the argument for complex analysis, especially put in the perspective of "the working class has no country").


    Ironically, I think you've hit on the key point even though (actually BECAUSE -- see below) much of this trend of thought seems to be localized in Canada rather than Los Estados Unidos. (aside: there are some living breathing Hoxhaists in Canada -- I wish I could find something ironic in that). The crowd that embraced Sakai (other than SP -- I think he is the one true Black Swan) tends to self-importantly think in terms of an inter-Left conflict and/or a split within Marxism. They trace this split back at least to Lenin's Imperialism (which they attribute directly back to Hobson) and its idea of the Periphery.

    From there its a hop and a skip to some brand of Mao Thought and a defense of the world's oppressed and a highly suspicious eye towards the privileged/complicit left who are seen as keen to deny the Labor Aristocracy, Imperialist rents/super profits, and "oppression" as its own category (separate from Marx's exploitation). Ultimately at issue, perhaps, is Imperialism as the negation of democracy (although in preaching separatism the ML-Mers seem to miss the nuance: "self determination" and "voting with your feet" gives you jack in terms of a say in American/Imperial policy)

    To relate this back to your point, this would all be much more convincing if they weren't from CANADA. They can certainly point to the New Left but a (temporary) black assimilation into the industrial working class bears analysis on its own merits, I think (not to say there was no Little Red Book waving going on). I think this is much more about North America than it is the Long March or the Cultural Revolution.

    Therefore, the question is whether these groups honestly know or care to know the concrete realities that their theory coalesced from -- or if they are simply adopting second hand PTSD (I know this is a bit wacky) as a way to cope with insoluble dissonance (how can a left that is veritably opulent in comparison have any credibility while the rest of the world starves/burns BY THEIR HAND?). Worse, because they construe the matter at least partially in terms of identity, they feel that they are "branded" as part of the same group -- and go to great lengths (shy of asceticism, although sometimes just barely) to assuage their feelings of guilt (thus Fanon is kind of a catharsis -- leaving open his impact/influence on the Periphery itself).

    That's a mouthful I know

    As a lemma of the above, it becomes difficult to determine which "side" has created many of the caricatures that eventually come to be seen as the underlying tenets in dispute. What is certain is that the Periphery thinkers see a crass denial of the Core's incessant and pernicious theft, butchery, assimilation. The question is how to understand this phenomenon without resorting to canards such as property=theft and/or moralistic constructions (perniciousness)

    Let me jot down a few preliminary thoughts

    Labor Aristocracy -- yes, prosperity can buy complacency, but the upkeep cost of prosperity is high. More generally, what we are really talking about is the ideology of social democracy and who subscribes to it (and why).

    Super Profits -- does the concept distance us from Marx, or reinforce his key ideas? Eventually things are spun in a cyclotron until both sides are "ceding" the low ground to their opponents (because lets not talk about high ground here).

    Still, if super profits are problematic (except if theyere "exogenous" I guess), "theft" is even more so (full well acknowledging they they're ALL thieves). If profits flow as returns on investments -- of capital -- and the Core possesses almost all of the capital..an obvious vicious cycle, and not one that cares about the toiling masses. Although, again, conditions conditions..how did things get to where we they are? Why is labor worth ~$1.80 (total cost beyond only wages) in Bangladesh?

    Neo-colonialism -- as elaborated by Nkrumah and others (including Hoxha: Dollar Hegemony) this is inseparable from so-called Financialization. Which ha to be a trap. I read a book recently, which I mean to write about sometime, that argues that an internal contradiction of capital itself is its separation from the means of production in the form of money capital. Marx certainly alludes to this (separation of purchase and sale..). The chief takeaway being that whoever *owns* the means of production also owns the associated (business) risks. At any rate, does it truly matter (to the capitalist) who owns the factory as opposed to who completes the cycle M-C-M'?

    Economic/social conditions are so that the working class will or will not wake up


    Marx embraced the Darwinian perspective as a parallel to his own materialist dialectics -- although it was arguably self-serving as he was well aware of the ambiguous connection between the strictures natural science and his own critical regime relating to society.

    Still, what goes around comes around, no?

    http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/11/the-biologists-who-want-to-overhaul-evolution/508712/

    Zeder argues that there’s a better way of thinking about this transition. Humans are not passive zombies trying to survive in a fixed environment. They are creative thinkers who can change the environment itself. And in the process, they can steer evolution in a new direction.Scientists call this process niche construction, and many species do it. The classic case is a beaver. It cuts down trees and makes a dam, creating a pond. In this new environment, some species of plants and animals will do better than others. And they will adapt to their environment in new ways. That’s true not just for the plants and animals that live around a beaver pond, but for the beaver itself.
    When Zeder first learned about niche construction, she says, it was a revelation. “Little explosions were going off in my head,” she told me. The archaeological evidence she and others had gathered made sense as a record of how humans changed their own environment.
    Early foragers show signs of having moved wild plants away from their native habitats to have them close at hand, for example. As they watered the plants and protected them from herbivores, the plants adapted to their new environment. Weedy species also moved in and became crops of their own. Certain animals adapted to the environment as well, becoming dogs, cats and other domesticated species.
    Gradually, the environment changed from sparse patches of wild plants to dense farm fields. That environment didn’t just drive the evolution of the plants. It also began to drive the cultural evolution of the farmers, too. Instead of wandering as nomads, they settled down in villages so that they could work the land around them. Society became more stable because children received an ecological inheritance from their parents. And so civilization began.
    "What our fish really cost us now is not the positive labour-pain expressed by the number 10 — for this we should have undergone at any rate — but the negative loss of an enjoyment which we might have had, indicated by the number 12."
    Abstinence makes the hare grow fonder

    "Bern" it down Prop it up

    No Child Left Behind Alive; (White) Race To The Top

    H for America: The White Devil you know is better than the White Devil you don't.

  4. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by solidgold View Post
    It's no surprise Ervin found inspiration from Sakai, thus citing Settlers below his rant (as popularized by the Fidel thread). Ironically--at least in SP's case--Sakai's criticism of the white left in the United States is as literal and powerful as Stalin's most relatable works. A non-credible source leads me to believe he was an admirer of Stalin.

    The U.S. has a unique expression of class, via race, unprecedented in other countries (which only furthers the argument for complex analysis, especially put in the perspective of "the working class has no country"). In 1996, Ervin was practicing a 45% success rate with correct semicolon usage and I was a toddler; meanwhile, the city I currently live in was in the shadow of a white supremacist working class. Whether Neo-Nazi skins or simple blue collar factory workers, the divide in Baltimore was/is stark. I live in a gentrified white/blue collar area, and you can still feel the anger from segregation. The sentiments felt by minority groups in the States cannot be ignored, because they're a genuine reaction to politics...but wait, where is the left in the U.S.? The U.S. working class has much to work on before they can find consciousness.

    That said, understanding doesn't necessitate the alignment with reactionary politics. Economic/social conditions are so that the working class will or will not wake up, regardless of "academic" jargon.
    As I mentioned to you earlier I'm from Baltimore myself, from Highlandtown in fact, though I understand they call it 'Brewers Hill' nowadays. Needless to say, I'm white. I have also recently stated that all white people are racists, to varying degrees. For the most part it is a matter of clinging to their white privilege, which is indeed 'white supremacy lite' relatively speaking.(Of course 90% of white folks will deny they are racists, cannot see it as a fish can't see water. Racism is a 'ruling idea' of the capitalist class.) And that, I think, is something that's just gonna have to die out, ya can't change people. My sister has got a black daughter-in-law whom she well likes yet she still talks that trash, makes me crazy.

    What put a burr under my saddle is when I saw some shit where fucking Towsonites were claiming moral superiority over us neanderthals in my old hood. Really? The arrogance of those hypocrites... To be sure, there was an office of the National Socialist White Peoples Party on Eastern Ave, but I only saw it open twice in about a decade and I walked past it a million times. When they left that rather 'armored' location for a more user friendly spot they got serially trashed and folded. That sort of militant racism apparently held little interest for my neighbors but they cling to the privilege. But the suburbanites, secure in their enclaves, practice a more enlightened racism.

    I've been back to visit annually in recent years, staying with a friend who lived a couple blocks off of Eastern Ave. The neighborhood is poorer, seems like the gentrification which drove my sister out much slowed after '08, but it was getting that way when I left in early 80's. Much, much more diverse, I walked down the street inwardly smiling, doing a mental grave dance on my father's and grandfather's generations. Fuck the yuppies, may all of their rooftop decks collapse.

    Best that can be hoped for is that those white folks keep their bile to themselves until they die. I think this is doable, though every time that possibility has glimmered on the horizon it is destroyed by politicians and other tools of the ruling class for whom racism is an easy tool to grasp. Nazis and their ilk get no such indulgence, the camps for them. We'll finish sorting it out during the dictatorship of the proletariat.

    My friend reports an uptick in racist behavior among white folks around B'more and I'm a little surprised, only because I now live on the buckle of the Bible Belt and such behavior has not been locally evident. But then, they're slow to get around to things in these parts.(But imagine my surprise when 5 years after moving to my current digs that there's a Klan rally only a mile from the house! Happily not heard a peep from that self-styled Grand Dragon since. White people...)
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  5. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by Kid of the Black Hole View Post


    Everybody's got a dope smoking 'Nam vets story. Granted, most of the stories tread on the novelty of doper 'Nam vets without offering much substance (a la "I bet those guys are in heaven with all these new dope laws"..personally I bet if they're in heaven its from old age )



    Ironically, I think you've hit on the key point even though (actually BECAUSE -- see below) much of this trend of thought seems to be localized in Canada rather than Los Estados Unidos. (aside: there are some living breathing Hoxhaists in Canada -- I wish I could find something ironic in that). The crowd that embraced Sakai (other than SP -- I think he is the one true Black Swan) tends to self-importantly think in terms of an inter-Left conflict and/or a split within Marxism. They trace this split back at least to Lenin's Imperialism (which they attribute directly back to Hobson) and its idea of the Periphery.

    From there its a hop and a skip to some brand of Mao Thought and a defense of the world's oppressed and a highly suspicious eye towards the privileged/complicit left who are seen as keen to deny the Labor Aristocracy, Imperialist rents/super profits, and "oppression" as its own category (separate from Marx's exploitation). Ultimately at issue, perhaps, is Imperialism as the negation of democracy (although in preaching separatism the ML-Mers seem to miss the nuance: "self determination" and "voting with your feet" gives you jack in terms of a say in American/Imperial policy)

    To relate this back to your point, this would all be much more convincing if they weren't from CANADA. They can certainly point to the New Left but a (temporary) black assimilation into the industrial working class bears analysis on its own merits, I think (not to say there was no Little Red Book waving going on). I think this is much more about North America than it is the Long March or the Cultural Revolution.

    Therefore, the question is whether these groups honestly know or care to know the concrete realities that their theory coalesced from -- or if they are simply adopting second hand PTSD (I know this is a bit wacky) as a way to cope with insoluble dissonance (how can a left that is veritably opulent in comparison have any credibility while the rest of the world starves/burns BY THEIR HAND?). Worse, because they construe the matter at least partially in terms of identity, they feel that they are "branded" as part of the same group -- and go to great lengths (shy of asceticism, although sometimes just barely) to assuage their feelings of guilt (thus Fanon is kind of a catharsis -- leaving open his impact/influence on the Periphery itself).

    That's a mouthful I know

    As a lemma of the above, it becomes difficult to determine which "side" has created many of the caricatures that eventually come to be seen as the underlying tenets in dispute. What is certain is that the Periphery thinkers see a crass denial of the Core's incessant and pernicious theft, butchery, assimilation. The question is how to understand this phenomenon without resorting to canards such as property=theft and/or moralistic constructions (perniciousness)

    Let me jot down a few preliminary thoughts

    Labor Aristocracy -- yes, prosperity can buy complacency, but the upkeep cost of prosperity is high. More generally, what we are really talking about is the ideology of social democracy and who subscribes to it (and why).

    Super Profits -- does the concept distance us from Marx, or reinforce his key ideas? Eventually things are spun in a cyclotron until both sides are "ceding" the low ground to their opponents (because lets not talk about high ground here).

    Still, if super profits are problematic (except if theyere "exogenous" I guess), "theft" is even more so (full well acknowledging they they're ALL thieves). If profits flow as returns on investments -- of capital -- and the Core possesses almost all of the capital..an obvious vicious cycle, and not one that cares about the toiling masses. Although, again, conditions conditions..how did things get to where we they are? Why is labor worth ~$1.80 (total cost beyond only wages) in Bangladesh?

    Neo-colonialism -- as elaborated by Nkrumah and others (including Hoxha: Dollar Hegemony) this is inseparable from so-called Financialization. Which ha to be a trap. I read a book recently, which I mean to write about sometime, that argues that an internal contradiction of capital itself is its separation from the means of production in the form of money capital. Marx certainly alludes to this (separation of purchase and sale..). The chief takeaway being that whoever *owns* the means of production also owns the associated (business) risks. At any rate, does it truly matter (to the capitalist) who owns the factory as opposed to who completes the cycle M-C-M'?



    Marx embraced the Darwinian perspective as a parallel to his own materialist dialectics -- although it was arguably self-serving as he was well aware of the ambiguous connection between the strictures natural science and his own critical regime relating to society.

    Still, what goes around comes around, no?

    http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/11/the-biologists-who-want-to-overhaul-evolution/508712/

    Lot of my buds were those 'counter-culture dope smoking Nam vets' and yeah, most of those are dead now. But I gotta say that I cannot recall such overt racism among them or the people I hung with. Maybe my memory is at fault or maybe it was 'the water I breathed', or maybe something has changed. Which is not to say they were truly progressive, just that they didn't think about it much(privilege).

    Yep, it is the Anthropocene, more work.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  6. #86
    Too Many People?
    Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis
    by Ian Angus and Simon Butler
    Foreword by Betsy Hartmann and Joel Kovel

    An evocative and well-documented refutation of the idea that overpopulation is at the root of our many environmental problems today.
    Too Many People? provides a clear, well-documented, and popularly written refutation of the idea that "overpopulation" is a major cause of environmental destruction, arguing that a focus on human numbers not only misunderstands the causes of the crisis, it dangerously weakens the movement for real solutions.

    No other book challenges modern overpopulation theory so clearly and comprehensively, providing invaluable insights for the layperson and environmental scholars alike.

    Ian Angus is editor of the ecosocialist journal Climate and Capitalism, and Simon Butler is co-editor of Green Left Weekly.

    https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books...oo-many-people

    Just finished this, it is useful, providing a lot of numbers to drive home that 'population' is being entirely scapegoated for the ruination which capitalism is. As per the MR types there is no 'revolution' here, just a lot more reasons for one.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  7. #87
    Marxism and the Earth: A defence of the classical tradition

    Issue: 153

    Posted on 3rd January 2017
    Martin Empson

    A review of John Bellamy Foster and Paul Burkett, Marx and the Earth: An Anti-Critique (Brill/Haymarket, 2016), £21.99

    Marxist analyses of the natural world have been the focus of intense debate recently, and the publication of any book that further explores what Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels thought about the subject is something to be welcomed. John Bellamy Foster and Paul Burkett have proven track records of writing some of the clearest books on the subject, and while Marx and the Earth is not a specific response to some of their recent critics, it is an important defence of Marx’s and Engels’s original work.*

    The authors call their work an “anti-critique”, in the vein of books such as Engels’s Anti-Dühring, as a way of reasserting and developing their core arguments in the context of a defence of the original work. As they write: “We have gradually come to see our own efforts to define a historical materialist ecology, in opposition to those ecosocialists who want to dump the greater part of the classical Marxist legacy, as taking on the overall character of an anti-critique” (pix). As such the book systematically examines the work of those who have critiqued (and in some cases tried to develop) the work of Marx and Engels on ecological questions.

    The authors’ starting point is very clear. They argue that at the heart of classical Marxism is an “absolute general law of environmental degradation under capitalism” but that this is not simply an economic rule. The degradation of the natural world is a dialectical counterpart to the “general law of capital accumulation” but could not be reduced down “to the internal logic of capital accumulation”. While this allows capitalists to separate the environmental crises caused by capitalism from their economic system, some Marxists fell into the same trap.

    The authors point to James O’Connor’s concept of “the second contradiction of capitalism”, where the ability of capitalism to accumulate wealth is itself undermined by environmental degradation. The problem with this approach is that it sees environmental problems only through the prism of the economic realities of capital. But the environmental crises caused by capitalism, from the sixth mass extinction and the biodiversity crisis to the problems of nuclear waste, oceanic dead zones and climate change, are issues that stretch far beyond the undermining of production under capitalism.

    In contrast, the historical materialist approach puts the dialectical relationship between humans and nature at the heart of history. It sees environmental problems as arising out of that relationship, but under capitalism they are exacerbated because of the way that the system is driven by accumulation for the sake of accumulation. The outcome of this approach is that the only path to a sustainable society is one that transforms our relationship to nature, so that, as Marx said in Capital, volume 3, “private property of particular individuals in the earth will appear just as absurd as the private property of one man in other men”.

    This general approach has, in no small part due to the work of the authors of this book, become generally accepted by the Marxist left. However, there have been some important critiques of the ecological content of Marx’s and Engels’s work, with some arguing that they failed to develop an ecological approach. This book seeks to address these in order to strengthen classical Marxism’s analysis of environmental questions. These debates are, it must be said, of a highly specific nature which means the authors must delve deep both into the works of Marx and Engels and their critics. The key arguments taken up by Foster and Burkett are the distinction between organic and inorganic nature in some of Marx’s writings, the question of energy and the laws of thermodynamics and how they pertain to the question of production, the question of entropy and finally Marx’s reproduction schemes. Here I want to focus on one particular aspect of these debates as it illustrates the authors’ approach well in defending classical Marxism. This is the question of energy.

    As a result of the invention of the steam engine, scientific interest in questions of heat and energy dramatically increased in the 19th century. Scores of scientists published books and papers on the subject, and Marx and Engels displayed a keen interest in these; both attended lectures and debated the latest scientific ideas. Despite this, a number of authors, such as James O’Connor and the Spanish economist Joan Martinez-Alier, have suggested that Marx neglected the energy question.

    In his influential 1987 book Ecological Economics Martinez-Alier noted the pioneering work of the Ukrainian socialist Sergei Podolinsky, who attempted to link the labour theory of value to the laws of thermodynamics, and suggested that Marx and Engels had responded negatively and thence ignored Podolinsky’s work. For Martinez-Alier this was the origin of “the Marxist neglect of ecology” (p90).

    Podolinsky was a fascinating activist whose early death likely robbed the socialist movement of many interesting writings. In a series of articles developing the themes of human labour, socialism and energy, “Podolinsky tried to use the new thermodynamic perspective to develop an agricultural energetics, combining elements from physics, physiology, and Marxian economics. His goal was to explore the centrality of human labour to the accumulation of energy on Earth” (p99).

    Two of Podolinsky’s articles on this subject are helpfully reproduced as appendices to Marx and the Earth, and while they show an admirable attempt to link Marxism with the emerging theories of thermodynamics, they are limited in this by both a limited grasp of the science and a problematic approach which sees value in the Marxist sense as being reduced to energy. In contrast, as the authors point out, for Marx value is a material-social relation that arises out of human social relations in interaction with the natural world.

    Foster and Burkett critically explore Podolinsky’s work to show that Marx and Engels had read it and discussed it and that Marx had made detailed notes on the material. By comparing published editions, they argue that Martinez-Alier’s criticisms of Marx don’t stand up. For instance, the version of Podolinsky’s manuscript read by Marx was missing the sections that are usually seen as most useful to value theory.

    Foster and Burkett argue that Marx’s whole approach took questions of contemporary science very seriously:

    Because Marx’s dialectical conception of value gives it from the very start a twofold character, both use value and exchange value, which together constitute commodity relations. Use value incorporates the conditions of production and in particular the natural-material properties embodied in production that are universal prerequisites. Exchange value, in contrast, is concerned with the enhancement of economic surplus value for the capitalist… Marx’s method is never to ignore either part of this dialectic but to analyse their developing relations and contradictions together. Hence, every chapter of Capital addresses conditions related to physics and economics (p138).

    Marx and the Earth is a rigorous defence of Marx’s and Engels’s engagement with wider scientific ideas that are of importance to ecology. But because it also reasserts how Marx puts the dialectical interaction between society and the natural world at the heart of his ideas, the book highlights the strength of a Marxist approach for understanding modern environmental crises. As Marxism and ecology is once again a subject for debate on the left, this is an important defence of the core ideas of the classical tradition.

    Martin Empson is the treasurer of the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union group and the author of Land and Labour: Marxism, Ecology and Human History.

    http://isj.org.uk/marxism-and-the-earth/
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  8. #88
    Just came out, looks like something needing reading. I've seen a bit on twitter but might wait a few months until I can get it dirt cheap used.

    Yezhov Vs. Stalin: The Truth About Mass Repressions and the So-Called 'Great Terror' in the USSR Paperback – December 30, 2016
    by Grover Furr (Author)



    Yezhov Vs. Stalin is the first accurate account of the so-called "Great Terror" in the Soviet Union in 1937-1938. In this book, Grover Furr answers the central questions concerning the mass repressions known as the "Ezhovshchina" or, by anticommunists, the "Great Terror": What caused it? Did hundreds of thousands of innocent victims meet their deaths? Was Joseph Stalin responsible for these murders, as is universally claimed? If - as the evidence demands that we conclude - Stalin was innocent and in fact put a stop to this massive crime, why were Ezhov and his men able to go on killing many innocent people for more than a year? The present study answers these questions. Grover Furr has studied all the available evidence, most of it from formerly-secret Soviet archives. He offers original translations of key historical documents and detailed analysis of their significance in an important synthesis that effectively reconsiders one of the pivotal events of Soviet history.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  9. #89
    A few comments off a review of : "The Murder of Sergei Kirov: History, Scholarship and the Anti-Stalin Paradigm":

    The demonization of Stalin is the very foundation of anti-communist propaganda. Many progressives push the view of Stalin as a monster. I think progressives, many of them, are reluctant to antagonize the capitalist class, fear to do so, and join the chorus against Stalin to reassure the capitalist class that they really have nothing to fear from them--oh, we wouldn't be communists, not to worry. Some progressives, while not such cowards, are just intellectually lazy and accept the propaganda smearing Stalin and comparing him to Hitler without inquiring into this important matter--for it is important to understand the great achievements of the Russian people under the leadership of Stalin. Their first achievement was creating an outstanding system of production (alas, later sold out, asset-stripped, by the Nomenklatura under Khruschev); their second achievement was winning the war against fascism in Europe.

    ....

    If you look at evidence instead of rumors it was hundreds of thousands that were executed from 1921 to 1953 not millions. And let's keep in mind that a lot of these people were executed for the wonderful practice of hoarding grain to artificially increase prices and enrich themselves by starving others. (J. Getty, Gabor Rittersporn, and Victor Zemskov, "Victims of the Soviet Penal System in the Pre-War Years: A First Approach on the Basis of Archival Evidence".

    ...

    https://www.amazon.com/review/R28BT5...wasThisHelpful
    The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

  10. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by blindpig View Post
    Just came out, looks like something needing reading. I've seen a bit on twitter but might wait a few months until I can get it dirt cheap used.

    Yezhov Vs. Stalin: The Truth About Mass Repressions and the So-Called 'Great Terror' in the USSR Paperback – December 30, 2016
    by Grover Furr (Author)



    Yezhov Vs. Stalin is the first accurate account of the so-called "Great Terror" in the Soviet Union in 1937-1938. In this book, Grover Furr answers the central questions concerning the mass repressions known as the "Ezhovshchina" or, by anticommunists, the "Great Terror": What caused it? Did hundreds of thousands of innocent victims meet their deaths? Was Joseph Stalin responsible for these murders, as is universally claimed? If - as the evidence demands that we conclude - Stalin was innocent and in fact put a stop to this massive crime, why were Ezhov and his men able to go on killing many innocent people for more than a year? The present study answers these questions. Grover Furr has studied all the available evidence, most of it from formerly-secret Soviet archives. He offers original translations of key historical documents and detailed analysis of their significance in an important synthesis that effectively reconsiders one of the pivotal events of Soviet history.
    an excerpt:

    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  11. #91
    I have been working through Lenin's "State and Revolution". It is taking me a while to say 'I am finished', because I go to sources Lenin sites, then have to reread sections of "S and R", because I had made a bad assumption or now it makes more sense or whatever. But you could have an entire college course on just this title, alone.
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  12. #92
    Quote Originally Posted by Dhalgren View Post
    I have been working through Lenin's "State and Revolution". It is taking me a while to say 'I am finished', because I go to sources Lenin sites, then have to reread sections of "S and R", because I had made a bad assumption or now it makes more sense or whatever. But you could have an entire college course on just this title, alone.
    When I was 11 or 12 I set out to read Origin of the Species, laying on the floor with a dictionary at my side. I made a lot of assumptions about what some words meant, which were generally at least 1/2 wrong. Somehow I got the gist of it, to the despair of the nuns.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  13. #93
    So I'm reading 'Ten Days That Shook The World'. It's a 1960 'Modern Library' printing. The editor is some sort of trot or other reactionary who feels the need to contradict Reed in footnotes every few pages while consigning Reed's footnotes to the back of the book. Agenda much? Nonetheless it's great, the first chapter strongly bringing to mind current events in Venezuela, the attitudes and actions of the classes are so similar.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

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