[Marxism] For all 'Sanderistas' out there: Bernie campaign inspires radical movement.

2020-03-05 Thread Ratbag Media via Marxism
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https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/green-left-issue-1256
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[Marxism] British Ex-Trot on the verge of abandoning the IMT

2020-03-05 Thread Aaron Kyereh-Mireku via Marxism
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Hello folks,
So I sent an email to Louis about this, but thought it was worth introducing 
myself. I'm a 20-year-old student from Britain who is currently a member of the 
Grantite IMT led by Alan Woods, and the British section known as Socialist 
Appeal. We have a membership of just over 400 people and at my university 
myself and the comrades run the 'Marxist Society'.
Over the past month and a half I have had a crisis of faith which has led me to 
abandon Trotskyism entirely. It all began as an investigation into the facts of 
the Kronstadt rebellion. It is clear that Trotsky's explanation is complete 
bullshit, and that the rebel sailors were not counter-revolutionaries at all. 
They were murdered in cold blood for defending the genuine ideas of October. 
Our organisation promotes Trotsky's false narrative. Falsehood of any kind 
makes me incredibly angry. Being forced to defend these lies in the name of 
'democratic centralism' makes me even more angry.
But it didn't stop there. I began reading more about the USSR's degeneration 
and am no longer convinced that it was entirely down to 'objective factors'. I 
think we have to concede that the Bolsheviks made some bad decisions which did 
not help matters at all and did pave the way for Stalin. I admire Lenin and 
Trotsky but if we are genuine Marxists we must be honest and objective and 
accept that they made mistakes which made possible the monstrous totalitarian 
nightmare that came after them. This does not mean rejecting Bolshevism 
entirely, but critiquing it and learning from it. Blind idolatry and worship of 
these figures is preposterous. That is not a Marxist or a scientific approach 
to history, yet so-called Marxists will defend their heroes to the death, even 
abusing dialectics to do so. However, if we take a dialectical approach to the 
question of the USSR, we must accept the interplay of subjective and objective 
factors. To praise Lenin and Trotsky for all the good things and blame all the 
bad things on the 'objective' situation is hypocritical formalism. It also 
manages to zig-zag between 'Great Man' history, which is idealist, and crude 
materialism, both of which are equally anti-Marxist.
I also stumbled across Louis' blog around the same time and have been convinced 
by his withering critiques of 'Leninism' and 'democratic centralism', which has 
produced nothing but sects and cults. The IMT is no exception to this. Trapped 
in an echo-chamber, I was a true believer who thought only our organisation 
could lead the working-class to socialism. Little did I know that so many 
groups have tried the exact same thing and failed, not because they didn't have 
the 'correct' leaders but because the whole model is inherently flawed and 
based on Zinovievist methods of organisation.

I went to the trouble of openly expressing my heresy with a couple of leading 
comrades - both the branch secretary who runs the society and the full-timer 
for our region. Both went into panic mode. After a failed attempt by the branch 
secretary to talk me out of my heresy I was dissuaded from raising these issues 
in branch because the new recruits had a 'low political level' (i.e. were 
stupid) and could easily be swayed by my heretical ideas. The full-timer gave 
me a call in which he brought out the whole gamut of 'from a scratch to 
gangrene' nonsense about how I was in danger of losing my soul to liberal 
hellfire unless I returned to the path of true Bolshevism and stopped reading 
the 'wrong' people about what happened in the Russian Revolution. I considered 
this bullshit, but I shouldn't be surprised. After all, he is paid to spout the 
party line and police comrades like some Grand Inquisitor for any sign of 
dissent.
A day after this phone call I had a reading group with the full-timer, the 
branch secretary and another comrade on a book written by Ted Grant and Alan 
Woods called 'Russia: From Revolution to Counter-Revolution'. We covered the 
introduction and first chapter. I pointed out some inaccuracies and problems 
with our narrative about the revolution's degeneration, and easily rebutted 
many of the frankly weak and tired cliches they kept putting forward. I even 
brought up stuff they had no knowledge of. So ignorant were they that they 
hadn't even read that Trotsky set a date for the German revolution in 1923, or 
that he made a 'rotten compromise' with Stalin around the time of Lenin's 
illness and death. The next day I had the full-timer message me on Facebook 
accusing me of 'lowering the political level' (i.e. not bowing down to the 
all-knowing full-timer trying to impose the correct 'line') and other nonsense. 

[Marxism] **Media Alert - EMPEROR starring James Cromwell, Bruce Dern, Kat Graham....

2020-03-05 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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Got an invitation to a press screening on this. Too bad it is in LA 
rather than NY.


"Inspired by the true story of Shields Green, a slave who makes a daring 
escape to freedom, meets Frederick Douglass, and decides to fight 
alongside John Brown at Harpers Ferry."


https://mailchi.mp/75c5863d0fa3/premiere-emperor-march-1675857
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[Marxism] The Bleak Job Landscape of Adjunctopia for Ph.D.s

2020-03-05 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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NY Times, March 5, 2020
The Bleak Job Landscape of Adjunctopia for Ph.D.s
By Kevin Carey

The humanities labor market is in crisis. Higher education industry 
trade publications are full of essays by young Ph.D.s who despair of 
ever finding a steady job. Phrases like “unfolding catastrophe” and 
“extinction event” are common. The number of new jobs for English 
professors has fallen every year since 2012, by a total of 33 percent.


In response to these trends and a longer-term decline in academic job 
security, the Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has made 
a proposal. In exchange for federal funding to reduce public college and 
university tuition to zero, he said, at least 75 percent of college 
courses would have to be taught by tenured or tenure-track professors. 
Currently, that proportion is less than 40 percent and dropping.


How this happened is a story of a rupture in the way the academy 
produces and consumes people with scholarly credentials.


In 1995, roughly 940,000 people were employed teaching college. Of 
those, about 400,000 had tenure or were on track to get it. They enjoyed 
professional status, strong job security, relatively good pay (on 
average), and the freedom to speak their minds.


The rest were so-called contingent or adjunct faculty: some employed 
full time, others filling in a course or two per semester. They had 
lower pay, less status and tenuous job security, particularly if they 
spoke their minds. There were also thousands of graduate students, not 
counted in the numbers above, teaching as part of their training. (The 
University of California, Santa Cruz, which is known to be progressive 
even by the standards of academia, recently fired 54 graduate assistants 
who were striking for higher pay.)


The percentage of professors on the tenure track had been slowly 
declining since the 1970s. In the late 1990s came a demographic event 
that would ultimately throw the university labor market into a tailspin: 
the first college years of the so-called millennials, those born from 
the early 1980s to the mid-1990s.


Colleges swelled with students over the next decade and a half, with 
undergraduate enrollment increasing from 12.2 million in 1995 to a peak 
of 18.1 million in 2011. Colleges needed to hire hundreds of thousands 
of additional professors.


Administrators had options. They could have kept the ratio of tenured to 
nontenured about the same, using new tuition revenue to create more 
tenure-track positions.


But that’s not what happened. Instead, the number of contingent faculty 
more than doubled, to 1.1 million. The number of tenured and 
tenure-track faculty, by contrast, increased by only 9.6 percent, to 
436,000.


It is not the case that there are fewer tenured college professors now 
than there used to be. In absolute terms, there are more. But 94 percent 
of the net increase in college professors hired to teach the millennial 
generation were contingent, meaning off the tenure track.


For colleges, this was cheaper. The halls of academe are known to be 
hospitable to people with radical views on power relationships between 
capital and labor, but colleges themselves are often merciless actors in 
the labor market. Many adjuncts earn only a few thousand dollars per 
course, with no health insurance or retirement benefits. Twenty-five 
percent of part-time faculty receive some form of public assistance. 
Some adjunct postings don’t require doctorates.


At the same time as the contingent ranks were growing, a new generation 
of students was completing bachelor’s degrees, and enrollment in Ph.D. 
programs increased. Because doctorates can take eight years or longer to 
complete, many millennials were still in graduate school when the higher 
education industry took a turn for the worse after the Great Recession.


The 2008 economic downturn hammered state budgets, resulting in major 
cuts to public university funding that persisted well into the 2010s. At 
the same time, the millennial demographic wave crested. Undergraduate 
enrollment dropped by 1.2 million between 2011 and today. Universities 
needed fewer professors, and they had less money to pay them.


The timing of the recession surprised many experts. But universities 
knew that the business cycle still existed. They knew when the 
demographic tide would recede, it being a function of the number of 
births that had occurred 18 years earlier. (The total number of 
undergraduates declined significantly even after a huge increase in the 
number of international students from China and elsewhere.) And they 
understood the academic labor market, since they created and 

[Marxism] US Presidential election: following the money | rs21

2020-03-05 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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By Kim Moody.

https://www.rs21.org.uk/2020/03/04/us-presidential-election-following-the-money/
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[Marxism] Some notes on viruses & infection prevention

2020-03-05 Thread Ken Hiebert via Marxism
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There is nothing wrong with the message that Louis forwarded.  
https://louisproyect.org/2020/03/03/some-notes-on-viruses-infection-prevention/ 

It is legitimate.  Later versions have included an ad for Cold-Eeze, referring 
to it as The Silver Bullet Against Coronavirus.
ken h

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/zinc-lozenges-coronavirus/ 

We reached out to Robb to ask if he was the author of this letter. Via email, 
he told us that he did indeed write it, but that it was never meant to be for 
anyone besides family and close friends, and that it was not intended to be an 
advertisement for any specific product:
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Re: [Marxism] Super Tuesday Aftermath

2020-03-05 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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On 3/5/20 9:31 AM, Dan Sedov via Marxism wrote:


US, Democratic Primaries || Super Tuesday Aftermath: Establishment Wages War 
Against the Left



US, Democratic Primaries || Super Tuesday Aftermath: Establishment Wages...

International Socialist Alternative

As the dust settles after a frenzied Super Tuesday, one thing is crystal clear: 
the race is now narrowed to bumb...


I guess this was a link to this:

https://www.socialistalternative.org/2020/03/04/super-tuesday-aftermath-the-war-is-on-between-the-establishment-and-the-left/

As a rule of thumb, your browser should have an option under file to 
share a link. When you are on a page that you want to call our attention 
to, just go to file/share/email link (the combination in Chrome). 
Firefox and Safari will be very similar. Just look under file.

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Re: [Marxism] Black Agenda Report/UNAC

2020-03-05 Thread John Reimann via Marxism
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Louis writes: >When a revolutionary left is built in the USA, I expect to
be fighting
alongside Glen if I live so long. I also hope that you will be with us,
even if your stuff on Nicaragua and Venezuela gives me the heebie-jeebies.<

Regarding Glen, as I said I knew him a little bit and had some friendly
conversations with him in the past. However, he has seriously degenerated,
as his speech shows. Sure, he and similar types like UNAC and Code Pink
would form a tendency in any mass socialist movement, revolutionary or
otherwise. This tendency would include support for such dictatorial regimes
as that in Syria and Iran. Likewise for Putin. Behind that stands a
"campist" view of international politics. This means an inability to
seriously link up with the working class around the world. Domestically, as
Ford's speech shows, it means a tendency to see the likes of Trump as a
lesser evil to the liberal Democrats, not overtly stated but implied.

Louis and I have very different experiences, as do many on the socialist
left. It is inevitable, therefor, that we will have different takes on
different situations and issues. It is imperative that we learn to work
together and to debate and discuss our differences without resorting to
personal attacks, swearing, etc.

For anybody who wonders why my views on Venezuela give Louis "the
heebie-jeebies", they can take a look at this letter to Venezuelan workers.
We put together this letter because of an important development: The fact
that Maduro calls himself a "socialist" has given socialism a bad name in
that country. This alone shows why it's important to oppose the tendency to
support these repressive regimes that happen to find themselves in conflict
with US imperialism - nor not, in the case of Assad.
https://oaklandsocialist.com/2019/10/29/for-independent-workers-movement-in-venezuela/

John Reimann


-- 
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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Re: [Marxism] Southern Labor is Key to Change in the United States

2020-03-05 Thread John A Imani via Marxism
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 A most interesting article that  is focused upon events in Alabama and how
progressive it was.  Centered upon unions.
Have not read the book that the article is based upon but I did read Robin
D G Kelley's "Hammer and Hoe" 
about the Communist Party organizing black and white sharecroppers
alongside Birmingham mine and iron workers.  Excellent piece of work.

In the article there is a good description of "Big Jim" Folsom
 and how relatively progressive
he was.  Was sorry that there was no mention of Richmond Flowers Sr and Jr

who took similar unpopular stances.  Damn.  Just thought about it:  Folsom
prison might be named after "Big Jim".  Irony.  But I remember those two as
I'm sure that bells were rung reading their names.

Also brought to mind from the politics of that time and place is John
Patterson, arch-segregationist governor, maybe better known than the two
above because of movie based on his life "The Phoenix City Story"

As I recall it was centered upon corruption and Patterson's father was
killed by gangsters.  Wallace's loss to Patterson led him to make the
promise that he "would not be out-niggered again".

JAI
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[Marxism] Super Tuesday Aftermath

2020-03-05 Thread Dan Sedov via Marxism
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US, Democratic Primaries || Super Tuesday Aftermath: Establishment Wages War 
Against the Left


| 
| 
| 
|  |  |

 |

 |
| 
|  | 
US, Democratic Primaries || Super Tuesday Aftermath: Establishment Wages...

International Socialist Alternative

As the dust settles after a frenzied Super Tuesday, one thing is crystal clear: 
the race is now narrowed to bumb...
 |

 |

 |



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[Marxism] This Is Why We Need a Party for Socialists in the U.S. | Left Voice

2020-03-05 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://www.leftvoice.org/this-is-why-we-need-a-party-for-socialists-in-the-u-s
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[Marxism] My experience regarding elections

2020-03-05 Thread John Reimann via Marxism
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One reason I was always a little skeptical about the belief that Sanders
could bring out a whole new layer of voters was my own personal experience:
I was active for many years in the Carpenters Union. For many of those
years I ran for office. In my local, about 10-15% of the membership
actually bothered to vote. I ran insurgent campaigns against the
established leadership. I spoke to a lot of the issues that the members
were concerned about on the job. Most times, I ran as part of a slate of
candidates. We never succeeded in getting any significant increased turnout
in elections (although I did win about half or more of the elections I ran
in). But here's something else: In 1999 we had the big rank and file
wildcat strike. Some 2,000 carpenters wildcatted. Attendance at union
meetings went up about 10 times over. I am certain that if there had been a
local election at that time, when the mood was hot, that we would have seen
a similar increase in the number of members who came out to vote. In other
words, it's action that inspires voting, not the other way round.

John Reimann

-- 
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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Re: [Marxism] Black Agenda Report/UNAC

2020-03-05 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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On 3/5/20 1:32 PM, John Reimann via Marxism wrote:

  It's hard to know where to begin
as far as critiquing it - from its implicit pro Assad approach to its
complete failure to even begin to understand Trump's links with Putin, and
a lot of points in between. But for those outside of the US, it gives a
good example of the absolutely devastating confusion that reigns on the
left here.


When a revolutionary left is built in the USA, I expect to be fighting 
alongside Glen if I live so long. I also hope that you will be with us, 
even if your stuff on Nicaragua and Venezuela gives me the heebie-jeebies.

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[Marxism] Black Agenda Report/UNAC

2020-03-05 Thread John Reimann via Marxism
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The largest left "anti war" coalition - UNAC - recently held its conference
in NY. It clams that "around 300) people registered. That means that it was
probably a little over 200 that attended. UNAC is one of the worst of the
pro-Assad and pro-conspiracy theorist groups on the left. Their keynote
speaker was Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report, which is right in sync
with UNAC. Below is a link to his speech. It's hard to know where to begin
as far as critiquing it - from its implicit pro Assad approach to its
complete failure to even begin to understand Trump's links with Putin, and
a lot of points in between. But for those outside of the US, it gives a
good example of the absolutely devastating confusion that reigns on the
left here.

As for Ford himself, I used to know him a little bit. I had quite a bit of
respect for him although even then he showed a tendency to be reluctant to
stand up and be counter when it was unpopular.
Here is Ford's speech:
https://blackagendareport.com/black-america-endless-war-and-evil-genius-russiagate?fbclid=IwAR0GKohFF5vbB5g-RNFPRAe7qSYGa8ha53W8lpNs-g80HXSRHBjcoX_ptuA

John Reimann

-- 
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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Re: [Marxism] Erdogan?s imperial play comes undone

2020-03-05 Thread John Reimann via Marxism
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Whatever term one wishes to use, all capitalist states are driven by the
same forces that drive the most powerful. How could it be otherwise? And
that means that where they can, they will economically, politically and
militarily dominate another state. What was it when Brazil sent troops into
Haiti? What was it when, under Nasser, Egypt dominated a number of other
Arab states? Why should it be that the actions of a relatively powerful
state - the Russian state - in Syria can be considered imperialist, when
the same actions of two weaker ones - Iran and Turkey - are not?

I used to know a refugee from Afghanistan. He described to me how small
time business men from Iran swagger around and bully people in Afghanistan.
Why should those small time investors be in some way fundamentally
different from the larger US investors somewhere? It's the same forces that
drive them all.

It seems to me that those who deny that a state can be both imperialized
and imperialist are engaging in a sort of black-or-white and
non-dialectical thinking.

John Reimann

-- 
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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Re: [Marxism] sub-imperial characteristics - was Erdogan’s imperial play comes undone

2020-03-05 Thread Patrick Bond via Marxism

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Comrades, apologies for self-referential posting but just by 
coincidence, the latest version of our analysis of impi U.S. and 
sub-impi BRICS political economy can be found in a brand new (and 
decommodified) book from the University of the Witwatersrand Press, 
where below, editor Vishwas Satgar sums up two chapters by myself and 
two Brazilians. I'm in debate with BRICS anti-imperial claims offered by 
Jacob Zuma, Gennady Zyuganov and others, and critiques of sub-imperial 
analysis by Yash Tandon, William Robinson, Bill Martin etc.


BRICS and the New American Imperialism: Global rivalry and resistance

http://oapen.org/download?type=document=1007788

(Thanks to the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation for subsidy allowing free 
download/sharing.)


And in case you want to see the data I mention way below, it's also 
provided:
Figure 4.3 Profit flows, 2015–2017 (average dividend receipts as a per 
cent of

dividend payments)
Source: SA Reserve Bank (personal correspondence, 1 October 2019).

Feedback is very welcome.

***

(from Vish Satgar's intro)

... Patrick Bond provides an analysis of the BRICS as an ersatz bloc of
subimperial countries. The concept of subimperialism has been explained 
by Ruy
Mauro Marini and David Harvey, using characteristics ranging across 
class structure,

geopolitics and the displacement of overaccumulated capital, to which Bond
adds a vital component: select middle-income countries’ contributions to 
neoliberal

global governance. One of the best examples of the phenomenon is the BRICS
bloc, which for a decade since 2009 has rhetorically asserted an 
‘alternative’ strategy
to key features of Western imperialism, while in reality fitting tightly 
within it. This
fit works through amplified neoliberal multilateralism serving both the 
BRICS and
the West, the regional displacement of overaccumulated capital, 
financialisation
and persistent super-exploitative social relations. In short, in spite 
of what some
term the ‘schizophrenic’ character of subimperialism, the BRICS all 
generally

promote extreme spatio-temporal fixes and the predatory condition known
as accumulation-by-dispossession. They thus amplify the world’s 
‘centrifugal’

BRICS and the New American Imperialism

capitalist crisis tendencies, instead of providing a coherent bloc and 
the purported

alternative to Western power. While Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin remain
Washington’s most durable potential competitors, the other BRICS 
countries are
splintering in unpredictable ways. Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist 
defeat of

the Congress Movement in 2014, Cyril Ramaphosa’s replacement of Jacob Zuma
in 2018 and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s ascension in 2019 
together confirm
the rightward political drift. The ‘anti-imperialist’ potential of the 
BRICS, if it ever
existed, is exhausted, although fierce debate continues over the merits 
of subimperial

theory. Bond takes on this debate to provide a strong defense of subimperial
analysis. All told, he concludes that a much more brutal period appears 
on the horizon
– in social, political, economic and ecological respects – unless ‘BRICS 
from

below’ forces can make their resistance more coherent.

In chapter 5, Ana Garcia and Karina Kato draw on Rosa Luxemburg’s 
inside-outside

model of capitalism and the subjection of the natural economy to capitalist
accumulation, and Harvey’s innovation of accumulation by dispossession to
explore a detailed case study of Brazilian and global interests in the 
development
of the Nacala Corridor in Mozambique. Their study reveals increasing 
expansion
and penetration of Brazilian capital, in a symbiotic relationship with 
the global
power structure, to deepen resource extraction in Mozambique. This spans 
massive
investments in coal, gas, construction and food production as part of 
the Nacala
Corridor. Brazil’s leading corporations, like Vale, are at the vanguard 
of this and
have invested heavily to create an export pipeline that brings together 
coal and gas
extraction, transport infrastructure (including an export terminal) and 
external

markets. At the same time, the ProSavana farming programme pushes a model of
export-led agriculture that also connects with this value chain. The 
dispossession,
social conflict and violence associated with this necessitates thinking 
in terms of the
subimperial dynamics shaping Brazil–Mozambique relations. In response to 
this
subimperial accumulation by dispossession, Garcia and Kato, like Bond, 
make the

argument for a ‘BRICS-from-below’ approach to resistance.
...

On 3/5/2020 11:51 AM, Patrick Bond via Marxism wrote:
Just briefly, qualifying as sub-imperialist entails 

[Marxism] What next after "Super Tuesday"?

2020-03-05 Thread John Reimann via Marxism
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Bernie Sanders strategy has been based on an appeal to younger voters and
the belief that he could get increased turnout of that age group. While
there has been some reason all along to question that belief, Super Tuesday
gives a more clear – although not yet definitive picture.

Young voters
While many were enthusiastic, they did not turn out in the numbers Sanders
has hoped for. Overall, people age 18-29 compose 21% of the adult
population. But voters of that age only composed between 11% (Tennessee and
Colorado) to 16% (Massachusetts) of total voters on Super Tuesday.

Young voter turnout
Exit polls taken by USAtoday actually seem to show that he’s gone backwards
from 2016. According to USAtoday, while the number of primary voters in
Virginia inceased from 800,000 in 2016 to 1.3 million in 2020, that
increase seems to have been confined to older voters

if Sanders fails to win the nomination, what will remain? True, there will
be mailing lists and other contact information, but how will it be used
after the election?

The history of progress in this country is a history of mass, disruptive
movements in the streets and work places. That goes for the labor movement,
which only made real progress through the sit-in strikes and similar
tactics in the 1930s, to the struggle of black people against white
supremacy, which only made any real progress through similar tactics in the
1960s.

Full article:
https://oaklandsocialist.com/2020/03/05/what-next-after-super-tuesday/

John Reimann
-- 
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook
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[Marxism] Wet'suwet'en struggle/ International Women's Day

2020-03-05 Thread Ken Hiebert via Marxism
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This is a local, free publication, rather eclectic.  They print 7,500 copies.  
I don’t know how many are picked up and read.

If you scroll through to pages 18 and 19, you can see how IWD is being observed 
in a small, West Coast city.

On page 73, you’d find an article on the Wet'suwet'en struggle, written by two 
young activists in Victoria, BC.

https://cowichanvalleyvoice.com/ 

ken h
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[Marxism] [UCE] Why is Biden Winning? – New Politics

2020-03-05 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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By Dan La Botz

https://newpol.org/why-is-biden-winning/
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Re: [Marxism] The Unlikely Life of a Socialist Activist Resonates a Century Later

2020-03-05 Thread Andrew Pollack via Marxism
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A search at marxists.org of her name turns up lots of stuff by and about
her - including her role in the CP leadership in the early '20's. See btw
the letter by James P. Cannon to her arguing against a separate women's
group.

On Thu, Mar 5, 2020 at 9:32 AM Louis Proyect via Marxism <
marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

>   POSTING RULES & NOTES  
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> *
>
> NY Times, March 5, 2020
> The Unlikely Life of a Socialist Activist Resonates a Century Later
> By Jennifer Szalai
>
> Rebel Cinderella
>  From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes
> By Adam Hochschild
> Illustrated. 303 pages. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. $30.
>
> She was an impoverished Jewish immigrant from Russia who had started
> working in a cigar factory at the age of 11; he was the scion of an
> old-money Episcopalian family who enjoyed a mansion on Madison Avenue
> and a weekend house with a bowling alley.
>
> When Rose Pastor married James Graham Phelps Stokes on the shores of
> Connecticut in 1905, the couple insisted on omitting the word “obey”
> from the ceremony. They became active members in the Socialist Party,
> lending their support to a labor movement under siege during a time of
> widening inequality.
>
> Rose’s socialist commitments were seamlessly aligned with her life
> experience; Graham’s were more surprising, but he took to them with the
> ardor of a convert. Writing to his “darling Mother,” who like many women
> of her station put a lot of stock in her own charitable deeds, he asked
> whether she “recognized the injustice of the system which provides you
> with your great income at the expense of others; and whether you
> recognized the relation between this system and the terribly widespread
> suffering which you endeavor so earnestly to relieve.”
>
> In “Rebel Cinderella,” Adam Hochschild writes movingly about an unlikely
> pair who also served as a potent symbol. The public was so fascinated by
> the couple that some Americans kept scrapbooks documenting Rose’s
> fairy-tale ascent. For several years, she was mentioned in the press
> more than any other American woman. Hochschild notes that as the Gilded
> Age yielded to the Progressive Era, Rose and Graham seemed like the
> ideal embodiment of socialist ambitions: “What could better symbolize
> the hope of human brotherhood than such a marriage of rich and poor,
> native-born and immigrant, Gentile and Jew?”
>
> Hochschild is a superb writer who makes light work of heavy subjects,
> having published books about the conflagration of World War I and the
> brutal colonialism of Belgium’s King Leopold II. In “Rebel Cinderella,”
> he brings his roving curiosity to bear on a figure whose public life
> coincided with the roiling decades of the early 20th century, with its
> grotesque economic disparity, vicious anti-Semitism, seething white
> nationalism and swelling anti-immigrant fervor. The time of upheaval
> that he writes about bears an unnerving resemblance to our own.
>
> The name Rose Pastor Stokes may no longer be familiar, but Hochschild
> found plenty of newspaper clippings in his research, along with
> thousands of letters, unpublished memoirs, Rose’s diary and even reports
> detailing the surveillance of her by the predecessor of the F.B.I.
> Unearthing some mournful poetry Rose wrote about her time in the cigar
> factory, Hochschild corroborates her grim portrait with notes made by a
> factory inspector. Where information is scant or nonexistent, he deploys
> elegant workarounds that evoke a vivid sense of time and place. About
> Graham’s bachelor years before meeting Rose, he writes: “For unmarried
> men of his class and time, any sexual experience was likely to be
> furtive and paid for.”
>
> When Rose met Graham she was working as a reporter for The Jewish Daily
> News (a job she was offered after writing an occasional column about
> factory life), living on the Lower East Side as the sole breadwinner in
> a household that included four of her younger siblings and their mother.
> Graham had a medical degree and was living in settlement housing, where
> the wealthy lived alongside the poor, which appealed to his sense of
> noblesse oblige. He was charmed by her, recounting in a letter how much
> he enjoyed her 25th birthday, when she invited him to her humble
> apartment and offered him a glass of milk, bread and butter, an egg and

[Marxism] We Who Were Nothing and Have Become Everything Shall Construct a New and Better World: The Tenth Newsletter (2020).

2020-03-05 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://mailchi.mp/thetricontinental.org/we-who-were-nothing-and-have-become-everything-shall-construct-a-new-and-better-world-the-tenth-newsletter-2020
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[Marxism] The Unlikely Life of a Socialist Activist Resonates a Century Later

2020-03-05 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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NY Times, March 5, 2020
The Unlikely Life of a Socialist Activist Resonates a Century Later
By Jennifer Szalai

Rebel Cinderella
From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes
By Adam Hochschild
Illustrated. 303 pages. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. $30.

She was an impoverished Jewish immigrant from Russia who had started 
working in a cigar factory at the age of 11; he was the scion of an 
old-money Episcopalian family who enjoyed a mansion on Madison Avenue 
and a weekend house with a bowling alley.


When Rose Pastor married James Graham Phelps Stokes on the shores of 
Connecticut in 1905, the couple insisted on omitting the word “obey” 
from the ceremony. They became active members in the Socialist Party, 
lending their support to a labor movement under siege during a time of 
widening inequality.


Rose’s socialist commitments were seamlessly aligned with her life 
experience; Graham’s were more surprising, but he took to them with the 
ardor of a convert. Writing to his “darling Mother,” who like many women 
of her station put a lot of stock in her own charitable deeds, he asked 
whether she “recognized the injustice of the system which provides you 
with your great income at the expense of others; and whether you 
recognized the relation between this system and the terribly widespread 
suffering which you endeavor so earnestly to relieve.”


In “Rebel Cinderella,” Adam Hochschild writes movingly about an unlikely 
pair who also served as a potent symbol. The public was so fascinated by 
the couple that some Americans kept scrapbooks documenting Rose’s 
fairy-tale ascent. For several years, she was mentioned in the press 
more than any other American woman. Hochschild notes that as the Gilded 
Age yielded to the Progressive Era, Rose and Graham seemed like the 
ideal embodiment of socialist ambitions: “What could better symbolize 
the hope of human brotherhood than such a marriage of rich and poor, 
native-born and immigrant, Gentile and Jew?”


Hochschild is a superb writer who makes light work of heavy subjects, 
having published books about the conflagration of World War I and the 
brutal colonialism of Belgium’s King Leopold II. In “Rebel Cinderella,” 
he brings his roving curiosity to bear on a figure whose public life 
coincided with the roiling decades of the early 20th century, with its 
grotesque economic disparity, vicious anti-Semitism, seething white 
nationalism and swelling anti-immigrant fervor. The time of upheaval 
that he writes about bears an unnerving resemblance to our own.


The name Rose Pastor Stokes may no longer be familiar, but Hochschild 
found plenty of newspaper clippings in his research, along with 
thousands of letters, unpublished memoirs, Rose’s diary and even reports 
detailing the surveillance of her by the predecessor of the F.B.I. 
Unearthing some mournful poetry Rose wrote about her time in the cigar 
factory, Hochschild corroborates her grim portrait with notes made by a 
factory inspector. Where information is scant or nonexistent, he deploys 
elegant workarounds that evoke a vivid sense of time and place. About 
Graham’s bachelor years before meeting Rose, he writes: “For unmarried 
men of his class and time, any sexual experience was likely to be 
furtive and paid for.”


When Rose met Graham she was working as a reporter for The Jewish Daily 
News (a job she was offered after writing an occasional column about 
factory life), living on the Lower East Side as the sole breadwinner in 
a household that included four of her younger siblings and their mother. 
Graham had a medical degree and was living in settlement housing, where 
the wealthy lived alongside the poor, which appealed to his sense of 
noblesse oblige. He was charmed by her, recounting in a letter how much 
he enjoyed her 25th birthday, when she invited him to her humble 
apartment and offered him a glass of milk, bread and butter, an egg and 
a banana. She was charmed by him, too, recalling years later that he had 
reminded her of “the young Abe Lincoln.”


They embarked on a partnership that was remarkable — at least at first. 
His ample funds afforded a material security that allowed them to devote 
all of their time to the socialist cause. Rose proved to be a 
charismatic orator, holding forth with the exuberance and volume that 
were essential before the advent of loudspeakers and mics. She would 
eventually take to writing plays, believing they were a tool for 
justice, and she had an instinct for theatrical gestures. During a 
restaurant workers’ strike, she suggested putting salt in the sugar 
bowls and replacing the drinking water with vinegar.


As 

[Marxism] Southern Labor is Key to Change in the United States | Michael Goldfield | Marxist Sociology Blog

2020-03-05 Thread Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo via Marxism
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https://marxistsociology.org/2020/03/southern-labor-is-key-to-change-in-the-united-states/


Sent from my iPhone

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[Marxism] The Long History of Elite Rule: What Will It Take To End It? - CounterPunch.org

2020-03-05 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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World history of class rule in under 10,000 words.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/03/05/the-long-history-of-elite-rule-what-will-it-take-to-end-it-2/
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[Marxism] Super Tuesday Special - COSMONAUT

2020-03-05 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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Donald, Parker, and Christian are joined by one of the greatest 
political commentators of our time, Jake from Swampside Chats, to 
discuss the struggle between Social-Democracy and Woke Liberalism in the 
Democratic Party. What lies ahead? How can the left benefit from the 
Bernie movement/campaign? Are Boomers holding us back? Join us for a 
discussion on a historic election.


https://cosmonaut.blog/2020/03/05/super-tuesday-special/
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[Marxism] Tropical forests losing their ability to absorb carbon, study finds | Environment | The Guardian

2020-03-05 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/04/tropical-forests-losing-their-ability-to-absorb-carbon-study-finds
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[Marxism] sub-imperial characteristics - was Erdogan’s imperial play comes undone

2020-03-05 Thread Patrick Bond via Marxism

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Just briefly, qualifying as sub-imperialist entails some or all of the 
following political-economic characteristics:


* playing the role of a 'key nation' in imperialism's expansion (as Ruy 
Mauro Marini stressed), which in my view would entail substantial 
assimilation into the G20 (e.g. at capitalism's worst crisis moment, 
October 2008) and much greater financial subsidisation of (and greater 
voting power within) multilateral agencies that blatantly support 
corporate rule at the expense of poor countries, of peoples and of the 
environment (Bretton Woods Institutions, WTO, UNFCCC, etc);


* suffering a high degree of overaccumulated capital and needing to 
export it (as David Harvey alerts us to in The New Imperialism);


* regional 'deputy sheriff' duty when, e.g. in Latin America, Eastern 
Europe, South Asia, East Asia and Africa it is apparent that each of the 
BRICS' ruling classes has ambitious economic, geopolitical and often 
military ambitions; and


* within world-capitalist surplus flows, being unable to retain net 
multinational corporate profits and dividends at the same level the 
imperialist powers do (which is typically 150%+), and instead operating 
at a net surplus retention of just 20-80% (my data are unpublished 
dividend repatriation accounts compiled by the SA Reserve Bank so let me 
know if you'd like to see these, offlist, as they're in graphic format 
so can't be posted here).


Amendments or corrections are warmly welcomed.

Cheers,

Patrick

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