Re: [Marxism] Howie Hawkins is the nominee

2020-07-11 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Ventura was actually never in the mix.  Ohio alone produced several
candidates including Hunter, I think, and any number of the virtually
non-existent state parties produced others.

My own sense is that the Hawkins-Walker campaign MUST produce a national
organization.  If it does not, we're going to be forced to conclude that
the Greens have accomplished everything they can and it'll be time to move
on, as Peter Camejo suggested years back.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] Howie Hawkins is the nominee

2020-07-11 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Just on the surface . . . . a bit deeper than what candidates might be
saying at this point . . . .

Hunter was running as a Democrat in local elections just a few years back
and came up through a state "paper party" that has little more than a
nominal existence and has mostly functioned under the leadership of people
who, at least, selectively support Democrats for office.

Hawkins has been an open socialist, and an active Green, campaigning and
promoting the interests of the party as long as I've known him, and has
been the leader and spokesman chosen by a real organization with actual
members.

I make this a lot longer, but this is sufficient, I think . . . .

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] » Socialist Strategy and the Biden Debate

2020-07-07 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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This isn't really just a question of what many would see as a dead-end.

This argument goes back much farther than 1964, of course.  Much farther
back than CP's change-of-line to misapply the Popular Front model to the
Democratic party, which was never a popular front.  In the 1880s, Henry
George was making it when he demolished a genuine, massive labor party in
the interest of the Democrats.  But it's older than that, too.

The point is that, in all this long experience we have never really had a
single case where it was not a dead-end

And we only need look around at our current circumstance to see the fruits
of that long and futile practice.
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Re: [Marxism] Trump in ?fragile? mood and may drop out of 2020 race if poll numbers don?t improve, GOP insiders tell Fox News | The Independent

2020-06-30 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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I do think there's nothing that's going to jolt voters into forgetting what
Trump's record.  His diehard supporters know and don't care.  But I think
he's damaged severely and not bright enough to even attempt to do anything
about it other than to repeat what's worked for him in the past.  Nothing
he does is going to get significantly more than he's already got.

What could lose the election is turnout.  The Democrats are trying hard to
convince people that Joe Biden is some kind of old liberal or more, which
he wasn't.  Neither is he entirely up to the ordeal of a serious campaign
without become too exhausted or frustrated to being making utterly
gratuitous and idiotic comments revealing his arrogance and sense of
entitlement.  Either the Democratic leadership will use him only in very
controlled situations and win or they will let him do what Trump does and
risk losing by persuading voters that it's not worth their while to
participate in such a crappy and demeaning process.

Our task should be to see if we can get Howie Hawkins a percentage of the
popular vote as large as Nader got in 2000.  More is possible.  All else
aside, there was a certain very unmerited popularity for Clinton among some
quarters of the female electorate.  Biden does not have anything like that
. . . well, maybe septuagenarians who think that LBJ was treated badly
because of a misunderstanding or something.  But this leaves a sizeable
constituency of people who had hoped for better than Bidenand that, too, is
a question of whether an insurgent ticket can mobilize and turn out those
voters.
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Re: [Marxism] Don’t Let Blackwashing Save the Investor Class

2020-06-29 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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The point is not whether you have individual leaders issuing instructions.
Quite the reverse\.  The rebirth of BLM after the Floyd murder makes this
issue all the more important.  In part, this is because the larger an
unmarshalled demonstration becomes the easier it is for right-wingers or
police agents to shape what happens.   We've seen it happen.  More
substantively, it's because it shows the potential for it to have an even
greater impact with larger numbers.

When the new wave of demonstrations started, the organizers decided to keep
everything a secret.  No call went out, not even at the last minute for
people to show up a particular location and time.  It was kept, as
explained to me, "private information" so as to "catch the police by
surprise."  Later, there were several demonstrations called publicly by
different groups, including the DSA.  These are flip sides of the same
coin.  The point is to unite in a principled way the largest numbers we
can, and to engage participants to get involved in organizing the next such
action.

Things have improved here and there, as they will with experience . . .
But this is going to be a very uneven process.  I'm terribly encouraged by
the fact that Democrats haven't coaxed them into a political domesticity
yet, as they did so easily with the bulk of Occupy.  The pressure is going
to increase and we can't be surprised if they do successfully blight these
efforts.  But the issue will survive as will the experience.  I am fairly
confident a President Biden will have less benefit of the doubt than Obama
had, so it could be a terribly interesting administration.

. . . But let's hold off on our Lenin analogies until we see what pulls
into Finland Station.
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Re: [Marxism] Don’t Let Blackwashing Save the Investor Class

2020-06-29 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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This goes again to a lack of organization in the movement.  It seems to me
that virtually anyone can present themselves can act in the name of BLM or
be treated as a spokesperson of BLM.

This repeats the earlier problems with Occupy over much of the country.
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Re: [Marxism] From a journal kept by Hans Christian Heg

2020-06-28 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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The full original is online
http://content.wisconsinhistory.org/cdm/ref/collection/quiner/id/29112
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Re: [Marxism] Protesters Attacked a State Senator and Tore Down a Statue of an Abolitionist in Wisconsin - VICE

2020-06-24 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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It can always be infiltrators.

But, as I've always said, the stupidity of the Trump cult and its minions
can be encountered across the political spectrum.

Heg was not just an antislavery activist but associated with the emigre
socialist current among the Wisconsin Free Democrats.  This was one of the
more radical of the early antislavery parties--so much so that it ran
Warren Chase, an open socialist for governor of Wisconsin in the 1850s.
(Chase was, I think, the earliest American member of the First
International.}

If it was not done by right-wing infiltrators, it was an act of supreme
dipshittery, worthy of the dumbest and most idiotic of liberals.



On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 8:34 PM A.R. G via Marxism <
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>
> Wondering if it might be infiltrators. Perhaps someone with contacts in
> Madison can explain what the fuck these people were thinking
>
> Amith R. Gupta
>
>
> On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:34 AM Louis Proyect via Marxism <
> marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
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> >
> > (We evidently have a pandemic of stupidity in the ranks of monument
> > destroyers.)
> >
> > In response to Johnson’s arrest, a large group of protesters gathered in
> > downtown Madison chanting demands for his release. The protesters tore
> > down two statues in front of the Capitol building, one of which was of
> > Col. Hans Christian Heg, an anti-slavery activist who fought and died
> > for the Union during the U.S. Civil War. the protesters decapitated the
> > nearly 100-year-old sculpture and threw it into nearby Lake Monona.
> >
> >
> >
> https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/889xwg/protesters-attacked-a-state-senator-and-tore-down-a-statue-of-an-abolitionist-in-wisconsin
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Re: [Marxism] Minneapolis city council votes to disband police. Will they?

2020-06-08 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Whatever becomes of the reforms, the point is people in massive numbers
have gone into motion and learned how to win victories.  That hasn't been
easily forgotten in the past and it won't be forgotten now.  Most likely,
there will be the usual processes--to get them off the streets so as not to
embarass Biden (over "defunding the police," etc.)  The other day, a whole
coven of corporate entities announced that they were going to throw massive
amounts of money into the fight against racism, which means astroturfing on
a grand scale.

But those hundreds of thousands who went into the streets will remember
what they've done, and will go back out there much more readily having done
it once.

The issue is leadership, of course.  There must be organization confident
enough to structure a demostratic dynamic that isn't there yet, something
that will actually spread that sense of gaining power through independent
actions.  The impulse for such a thing is going to come out of the current
movements, but they are a very mixed bag politically, and are going to
carry this to the next level unevenly.

But we--folks my age--should be feeling very fortunate to have lasted long
enough to see at least the start of something this promising.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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[Marxism] Resolution of the impasse in Washington

2020-06-06 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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The decision of the military and the Defense Department to defy Trump
merits notice here.  That is, they're sending back those troops that Trump
had called to Washington and further instructing the National Guardsmen to
disarm.  And the protests are making some dents, at least on paper, in the
more militarized sectors of the police power.

This is very unlike other developments we've seen over the past twenty
years.  We've seen a movement in the streets score some rather impressive
wins.

What's important is that the people will remember this.  Hundreds of
thousand, if not more, have contributed to turning back the dynamic of the
government.

Where will that lead, eh?

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] Roughed Up And Arrested For Protesting, New Yorkers Spend Hours In "Packed" Cells During Pandemic - Gothamist

2020-06-05 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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This is the sort of thing that's going to happen when people do not accept
the divisions they impose on us.  The more we stand together, the more they
will see us all as enemies and, in their less guarded moments, treat us as
such.

I hope their victim's okay.
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Re: [Marxism] Re antifa

2020-06-04 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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You do realize that that's not the same a coherent movement position, don't
you?   I mean you could cite something I wrote as presenting the Trotskyist
position on such-and-such, but it still wouldn't be that.  It's just be my
position.
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Re: [Marxism] Re antifa

2020-06-04 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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As is usual with people who have not chosen to identify themselves or
formulate a more coherent position among themselves, serious attempts at an
analysis are going to break down.

Follow people in masks who won't share their identity with you has
historically been a good way to wind up following Special Officer Friendly
. . . or worse.
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Re: [Marxism] Re antifa

2020-06-03 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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If they think that, are they proposing to overthrow that government with
baseball bats, because I have news for them . . . .
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Re: [Marxism] Re antifa

2020-06-03 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Antifa"s key premise--that the Nazis came to power because their opponents,
for some reason, failed to fight them--is just historically dead wrong.

On Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 3:47 PM Jeffrey Masko via Marxism <
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> Jeez, antifa is a subculture like punk-rock, actually it's a sub-sub
> culture of punk rock. Ask someone if they belong to punk rock and they will
> shake their head, even if they still go to Gilman street punk rock shows.
> Can subcultures be reactionary and violent? Sure, look at outlaw bikers.
> But to ask if they are revolutionary (whether they be bikers or antifa
> kids) is like asking if a left jab is revolutionary as rioting is a
> technique or move and not even a tactic.
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Re: [Marxism] Riots? Maybe not so radical

2020-05-30 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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MSNBC is reporting Boogaloo and similar groups, but also the shades on
anarchism, dubious at best.  At worst, the Nihilists from "The Big
Lebowski."

On Sat, May 30, 2020, 11:18 AM Tristan Sloughter via Marxism <
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> I wonder if who she is seeing is the Boogaloo Movement
> https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2020/05/27/the-boogaloo-movement-is-not-what-you-think/
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Re: [Marxism] Riots? Maybe not so radical

2020-05-30 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 It's obvious that nobody is ever going to join an action we don't know is
taking place.

I don't know what you mean by asserting that "so many people
demonstrated."   We need the numbers and a network of support, particularly
in the black community.  An issue like this--and I used to say this about
BLM--should be able to mobilize people in the thousands or tens of
thousands in any major American city.

It would be peachy keen if we could help a generation of new militants to
avoid having to relearn the hard-won lessons of earlier movements.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] Riots? Maybe not so radical

2020-05-30 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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There was apparently a big demonstration last night in Cincinnati.  It
reportedly blocked Highway 75 for forty-five minutes.  I live only a few
streets away from the entrance ramp to that interstate. I don't know yet
who organized it, but I assume the remains of BLM with some of the "cadre"
groups.  The point is that I am on every local list and site I could be and
didn't hear a goddamned thing about it.  I also live in a neighborhood
where people surely should have heard about it and I'd be surprised that
any of them did.
Are we so far from the last wave of ongoing mass movements that the
organizers don't know how to build these things--even to the point of not
circulating notices. Or maybe they think the way to do is on the masonic
model?

The only way to address issues like police brutality and racism is with
numbers.  It's an old lesson and we shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel
every generation.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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[Marxism] [SUSPICIOUS MESSAGE] The 1793 yellow fever epidemic and the origins of an American workers' movement

2020-05-19 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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http://secure-web.cisco.com/1QTTreKCz_16RsnwNQrp8E6kbMJv4aQdtAnPes1dMhscdSvk0stTGG0FGMPaRp_kntHIFincuvZjQVtHfelXm0ozgEudMQIe1QSV95lcg1kpoALbkuRbsXBpq4u79wrnRaIym2FbrDCbPu0exqntnBV8bNrlMz61a3RFgWQM0Ob3wQlgStRTyeZgZhb1yRb1ARROL8_N2PEx8cJX719br4r_RFFbG9D-E8x_Z9cUKi31VM8cLBQ0Fx2QFEWo9CIDUebi0KzC-MqTcbAD0SiSpNj0EUzZWEkbcO3pa9AXojSsKtKeBhUhSTPuyTGNb1dj3_iCtSuq-dMmEOWyZp2sBrHfktJoOj_PuXYP3TDChcxnhNZiELtGkg__lqptRcBUa/http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lawcha.org%2F2020%2F05%2F18%2Fthe-contagion-and-a-cure%2F
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Re: [Marxism] "Trump comments prompt doctors, and Lysol, to warn against injecting disinfectants"

2020-04-25 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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The bourgeoisie are still something of a diverse lot, though not enough to
matter in terms of what they have to offer.  On the one hand, Bill Gates
has been making the rounds on TV, sharing his medical insights and his
faith that, after all of this is over, we're going to keep all the yummy
online ways of doing business, etc.  On the other, there are still plenty
of entirely detached Trumpnuts among them.

I'm not even going to bother pushing back on this characterization of FDR
as having been good for us, because it's entirely irrelevant.

Right now, the pro-Democratic wing of the ruling class hasn't been able to
do offer anything better than Mr. Biden, more a John W. Davis than anything.

Cheers,
Mark L.

PS:  People need to think less about stuffing a capitalist ballot box and
more about voting with our feet.
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Re: [Marxism] "Trump comments prompt doctors, and Lysol, to warn against injecting disinfectants"

2020-04-24 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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I have a slightly more ghoulish curiosity about how many of them are
actually ignoring social distancing, gathering in large crows with others
who believe it's all a hoax, and basically taking up his most
self-destructrive and lethal kind of advice, including this latest.  I
mean, it's a very big country and a media that gives him a massive
audience, and his followers include a lot of the most gullible bipeds on
the planet.
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[Marxism] "Trump comments prompt doctors, and Lysol, to warn against injecting disinfectants"

2020-04-24 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Did any of us ever expect to see a headline like that?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/24/disinfectant-injection-coronavirus-trump/
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Re: [Marxism] bellingcat - How (not) to Report on Russian Disinformation - bellingcat

2020-04-16 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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An excellent piece.
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Re: [Marxism] Minnesota: Doctors Receiving Instructions “to Report Covid19 as a Cause of Death, even if Patient was never Tested”

2020-04-11 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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To state the obvious, if you have a health care system that can't get more
than that small part of the population tested, most Covid-19 cases and
deaths are going to take place among the untested.  As was the case in
1918, the epidemic causes a lot of deaths by heart failure and pneumonia.
This is why we only have estimates from 1918--so many of the deaths were
ascribed to those immediate causes of death.

Although I didn't get the details, I did hear the tail end of an interview
the other day reporting that deaths from heart failure are 400% higher than
they ordinarily would be.  I didn't catch the context--where it was,
etc.--but the takeaway on this is that people are already doing these sorts
of studies, and we'll hear much of this in the future, even if it's not
going to be grabbing the headlines.

That approach is going to give us the best real measure of the impact of
the coronavirus . . .

Or we can just embrace the BS cynically spread by officialdom and its
self-serving right-wing apologists.
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Re: [Marxism] The SWP and Social Distancing: a Study in Abnormal Political Psychology | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

2020-04-10 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Maybe the cabin fever's finally pushed them over the edge.  It finally
brought out their predisposition to making the self-emancipation of the
working class about how serious they are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUHk2RSMCS8
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Re: [Marxism] Bernie Sanders Ending Presidential Run

2020-04-08 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 I don't think Sanders ever had a snowball's chance of getting near the
nomination . . . and arguing that the DNC couldn't have prevented it misses
the newest player in all this.  Historically, the DNC had been essential in
tipping the nomination where it wanted to go, especially when tied to a
seated president.  However, I'd argue that no such intervention was needed
in 2020 thanks to the very blatant way in which the "liberal media" covered
this campaign.

They sought to head off Sanders initially by boosting Warren, and, as soon
as her campaign looked as though she could more to fore, they froze her out
(and then wallowed in its faux outrage at how sexism kept her back and not
their own pathetic lying about how a national health care system was simply
unaffordable).,  CNN and MSNBC reported the view she and Sanders
expressed--that health care should be a human right--as an attempt to take
health care away from people. o(It was truly a Democratic version or the
Republican BS about "death panels.")

In the end, they pulled out all the stops to assert (contrary to the
evidence) that Biden was the Democratic contender most likely to defeat
Trump.  And that's what's settled the matter indirectly without any need
for direct action by the Democratic hierarchy.
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Re: [Marxism] Bernie Sanders Ending Presidential Run

2020-04-08 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Or how about just using those funds to set up an organizing committee in DC
capable of bringing several hundred thousand people to the city every time
that Orange Reagan Zombie tries to put someone on the Supreme Court or get
another bailout for "working people"?
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Re: [Marxism] Corbynism Lost, Sandersism is Losing: Why Working Within Capitalist Parties Fails | Left Voice

2020-04-05 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 Chris wrote, "If you can build a big socialist party while having nothing
to do with the Democrats, that will be great."

Experience poses us a different  question.  People have been trying to
build a socialist movement by springboarding off the Democratic party . . .
well, the Owenites started almost as soon as there was a Democratic party.
The real question is when did any of those efforts actually work?  When did
we ever build a big socialist party while working through the Democrats?
Or even a teensy socialist party?

We have already seen the kind of "movement" we can build through the
Democrats, and we don't have to go back to the Locofocos . . . or any
further back than very recent years.  We watched the Democratic party and
its adherents dead end the very promising Occupy movement.  They
sidetracked Black Lives Matter from small but spirited demonstrations into
a kind of philanthropic NGO useful for making moral appeals in cable news
interviews.  And it sent home those massive wonderfully angry women's
marches that greeted the Trump presidency.

The mechanism of demobilizing people is the most well-practiced

In or out of electoral politics, the movement we need has to understand the
only reliable source of its own power and to function accordingly.

I would add that experience also tells us that the discussion around the
predictably doomed Sanders campaign has no practical point other than pave
the way for the equally predictable arguments why everybody has to vote for
Joe Biden.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] Corbynism Lost, Sandersism is Losing: Why Working Within Capitalist Parties Fails | Left Voice

2020-04-05 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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I can think of lots of things more worthy of our time and efforts than
waging a losing fight over the future of the superfluous politics of the
Democratic party.

How about vital fights over environmental issues?  What about the latest
moves to revive the old U.S. practice of Indian Removal?  How about making
something like Black Lives Matter actually matter?   Or perhaps solidarity
work with organizing drives among the new layers of the working class,
which impertinently haven't waited for the official bodies of the labor
movement or the next convention discussion of the socialist grouplets?

But, if I had to think of something less worthy of our time and efforts, it
would probably be the struggle to establish the respectability of the term
"socialist" by redefining it as the struggle to save capitalism 80 years
ago.
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[Marxism] Pastor warns of virus hoax, but . . . .

2020-03-30 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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This from the _Christian Post_:

Pastor Ronnie Hampton of New Vision Community Church, a Free Methodist
Church Planting Project scoffed at all that concern about the pandemic.

He warned::“They’re gonna come up with a vaccine and in that vaccine
everybody is gonna have to take it … and inside of that vaccine there’s
going to be some type of electronic computer device that’s gonna put some
type of chip in you and maybe even have some mood, mind-altering
circumstances … and they’re saying that the chip would be the mark of the
beast."

He died of Covid-19 last Wednesday.
https://www.christianpost.com/news/3-pastors-killed-by-coronavirus-one-thought-god-allowed-infection-so-he-could-get-a-little-rest.html
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Re: [Marxism] How to Beat Coronavirus Capitalism Tickets | Eventbrite

2020-03-26 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Need a bit more notice on these things.

On Thu, Mar 26, 2020 at 4:47 PM MM via Marxism 
wrote:

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> *
>
>
> An online teach-in with Naomi Klein, Astra Taylor, and Keeanga-Yamahtta
> Taylor.
>
> About this Event
>
> Please join an online teach-in with Naomi Klein, Astra Taylor, and
> Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, with a musical performance by Lia Rose
>
> Thursday, March 26, 2020, 5 PM Eastern
>
> Sponsored by Haymarket Books, The Leap, Debt Collective, and Democratic
> Socialists of America
>
> The event will begin at 5:00 PM EDT (2:00 PM PDT) and will be streamed
> live on Youtube through this link:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lxwLHRKaB0
>
> The current crisis is laying bare the extreme injustices and inequalities
> of our economic and social system.
>
> We are in a battle of visions for how we’re going to respond to this
> crisis. We will either be catapulted backward to an even more brutal
> winner-takes-all system — or this will be a wake-up call.
>
> Ideas that were dismissed as too radical just a week ago are starting to
> seem like the only reasonable path to get out of this crisis and prevent
> future ones.
>
> We need to use every tool that we have that allows us to hear each other’s
> voices, to read each other’s words, to see each other’s faces, even if it’s
> just on screens, to stay organized and stay connected. We have to create
> spaces where we’re able to deliberate and strategize about what it means to
> protect our neighbors, our rights, and our planet.
>
> We have to have the confidence to say this is the moment when we change
> everything.
>
>
>
> https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-to-beat-coronavirus-capitalism-tickets-100840167656
>
>
>
> _
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Re: [Marxism] ‘Unworthy Republic’ Takes an Unflinching Look at Indian Removal in the 1830s

2020-03-25 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Not exactly "the war the slaveholders won," though they certainly
inaugurated and implemented it.  However, it was pursued actively by
Northern Democrats, Whigs, and all but the most radical of the Republicans.

Just think "railroads" and you get the point.  America's first Big Business
and the means for accumulating much of the capital for what was to follow
got its first great too-big-to-fail leg up from Indian Removal.
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Re: [Marxism] MIT Article on the new "Big Brother" world

2020-03-20 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Maybe there's a language problem somewhere, but let's agree on two dead
flat obvious and undeniable considerations::

1. While it is the nature of capitalism to take advantage of any situation
as thoroughly as they can, the restrictions imposed on our societies do
not, in any measure, suit its needs.  The measures adopted for slowing the
pandemic is simply bringing down sections of the economy.  Wealth has been
destroyed, profits lost, and unemployment growing rapidly.  The bourgeoisie
is already actively escalating its plundering of the public and social
wealth to make up for those losses.

2. Even if the bourgeoisie decided that it somehow was going to kick the
profit habit cold turkey, the people who would have to assent to this are
not themselves content living within these restrictions. They might
tolerate them for a limited time, but there are a myriad of factors setting
those limits.  While these limits will unfold differently depending on
conditions within various countries, people everywhere must have the
freedom of action necessary to make a living everywhere.
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Re: [Marxism] "personal distancing plus social solidarity" Re: Fwd: [pen-l] If we want everyone to stay home during a coronavirus crisis, we need deep change to make that possible

2020-03-19 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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We can always ask the Pope to pray for us.  That worked well in the
fourteenth century, didn't it?
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Re: [Marxism] "personal distancing plus social solidarity" Re: Fwd: [pen-l] If we want everyone to stay home during a coronavirus crisis, we need deep change to make that possible

2020-03-19 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 Look, it's been very chilly around here and nobody appreciates the hot air
more.  I get it, you want a massive expansion of the health care system
unlike the reformists.  And you suggest mass actions to do this.

But your BS about "the Lockdown Left" chases a discussion that wasn't
taking place into a rhetorical swamp, intoxicates itself with the fumes of
own abstractions, and falls face first into the mud.
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Re: [Marxism] "personal distancing plus social solidarity" Re: Fwd: [pen-l] If we want everyone to stay home during a coronavirus crisis, we need deep change to make that possible

2020-03-18 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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I didn't suggest online petitions and, no, I don't suggest that we start
trusting the capitalist state.

I do trust science.  I trust doctors on epidemics . . . the same way I
trust environmentalists on the climate.  Why would we not?  Most of us know
enough to understand whether these things make sense or not.

And here's the thing about conspiracies.  When there actually are
conspiracies (and sometimes when there aren't), somebody starts blowing the
whistle on it.  No group of serious scientists say that global warming is
anything other than real.  It's no less real when its discussed on the
bourgeois media or by members of the bourgeois state.

Too, no group of serious medical professionals are saying that these
precautions against the pandemic are excessive. Considering that these
precautions are also playing merry hell with the economy, it's a fair bet
that the capitalists aren't playing with some new means to annoy us.

The point is that here--or in Italy or in Spain--these restrictions are
being imposed as temporary measures.  Are there dangers?  There are always
dangers when you deal with these people, so we should stay cautious and
watch their every move.

I suspect, for example, that there's going to be a serious effort to
normalize some of what they've slipped into education--particularly the
shift to online routines.  When this is behind us, there will be major
efforts to impose these more generally, and this will have to be fought.

But how and where we can best fight them should depend on where we can best
mobilize and deploy our forces.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] "personal distancing plus social solidarity" Re: Fwd: [pen-l] If we want everyone to stay home during a coronavirus crisis, we need deep change to make that possible

2020-03-18 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Sorry, I thought my reference to the election made it clear that I was
generally talking about the United States. Howver the warnings about
concentrations of large numbers of people remains valid under these
conditions.

Simply because the capitalist media may say that the sky is blue doesn't
mean that it's pink with Orange polka dots.

On Wed, Mar 18, 2020, 3:20 PM RKOB via Marxism 
wrote:

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>
> I do not agree with you in 2 points:
>
> 1) there has been indeed a global wave of mass protests since mid-2019
> not seen since many decades. This has been even recognized by a recently
> published study of a bourgeois think-tank. We have reported about this
> in an article
> (
> https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/confirmation-of-revolutionary-character-of-historic-period/)
>
> The current counter-revolutionary offensive using the COVID-19 crisis as
> cover is a strike against this global wave of popular uprisings.
>
> 2) Mass lock down of millions of people and suppressing democratic
> rights like demonstrating and assembling helps the ruling class, not the
> oppressed. It also does not help in itself to contain the COVID-19
> pandemic. Look to Italy where you have a lock down and people die. South
> Korea has mass testing, free healt care and and a good health carse
> system. This why it managed the crisis without mass lock down.
>
> Trusting the capitalist state and its propaganda is never a good guide!
>
> Am 18.03.2020 um 12:37 schrieb Mark Lause via Marxism:
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> > *
> >
> > I apologize if I'm repeating points already made in the discussion but
> it's
> > important that they "take" . . . .
> >
> > It is the nature of epidemics like this that people who don't have
> symptoms
> > spread the disease, and this is much worse than other examples because
> the
> > symptoms seem to hit people differently.  A large number of people are
> said
> > to have already had it and shaken it off in a few days, while it can be
> > fatal for a significant minority of those who get it.  Gathering in large
> > numbers spreads the virus quicker.  Not doing this is to avoid crashing
> the
> > resources of an ill-prepared health care system, including the people
> > needed to run it.
> >
> > Beyond these obvious medical realities, this pandemic is not only
> slamming
> > us, but it's starting to pull down their economy, bit by bit, and I heard
> > one of the talking heads on the idiot box are discussing the possibility
> of
> > coming out of this with an unemployment rate of 20% (and they're thinking
> > in government figures).
> >
> > When I look out on the absence of mass demonstrations in the streets
> today,
> > it looks precisely like the absence of mass demonstrations in the streets
> > before the pandemic hit.  There are other reasons we don't have large
> > numbers in the street than the distancing brought on by the pandemic.
> >
> > Building a movement is part of a process.  Take this time of isolation to
> > read a book and discuss it online.  And/or hold online classes.  Make and
> > retain contacts for the future.  There's much productive to be done in
> the
> > here and now that will be useful in the future, particularly with a work
> > force that will be wiser, angrier, and hopefully more ready to take to
> the
> > streets..
> >
> > What will not be useful at this point is getting those willing to gather
> in
> > large groups disproportionately infected or putting them in a position to
> > get their family, friends and coworkers sick.
> >
> > Solidarity,
> > Mark L.
> > _
> > F

Re: [Marxism] Rethinking Voting for Democrats

2020-03-18 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 I do confess to having one single ounce of sympathy for people making this
point.  Calls to deny votes to the class enemy are not impressive coming
from people who are not bending every effort to provide the workers with an
alternative.

In Lenin's day, there was a Socialist Party running someone like Debs, even
if he was behind bars.  Americans on this list should ask themselves why
there is no united socialist effort when it comes to elections here.

Solidarity,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] "personal distancing plus social solidarity" Re: Fwd: [pen-l] If we want everyone to stay home during a coronavirus crisis, we need deep change to make that possible

2020-03-18 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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I apologize if I'm repeating points already made in the discussion but it's
important that they "take" . . . .

It is the nature of epidemics like this that people who don't have symptoms
spread the disease, and this is much worse than other examples because the
symptoms seem to hit people differently.  A large number of people are said
to have already had it and shaken it off in a few days, while it can be
fatal for a significant minority of those who get it.  Gathering in large
numbers spreads the virus quicker.  Not doing this is to avoid crashing the
resources of an ill-prepared health care system, including the people
needed to run it.

Beyond these obvious medical realities, this pandemic is not only slamming
us, but it's starting to pull down their economy, bit by bit, and I heard
one of the talking heads on the idiot box are discussing the possibility of
coming out of this with an unemployment rate of 20% (and they're thinking
in government figures).

When I look out on the absence of mass demonstrations in the streets today,
it looks precisely like the absence of mass demonstrations in the streets
before the pandemic hit.  There are other reasons we don't have large
numbers in the street than the distancing brought on by the pandemic.

Building a movement is part of a process.  Take this time of isolation to
read a book and discuss it online.  And/or hold online classes.  Make and
retain contacts for the future.  There's much productive to be done in the
here and now that will be useful in the future, particularly with a work
force that will be wiser, angrier, and hopefully more ready to take to the
streets..

What will not be useful at this point is getting those willing to gather in
large groups disproportionately infected or putting them in a position to
get their family, friends and coworkers sick.

Solidarity,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] During the Mexican-American War, Irish-Americans Fought for Mexico in the ‘Saint Patrick’s Battalion’

2020-03-17 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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The 1999 movie _One Man's Hero_ was good enough to merit a recommendation
to those who've not seen it.
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Re: [Marxism] Rethinking Voting for Democrats

2020-03-16 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Not so much of a rethinking as a repositioning to the thinking of most
Democratic voters: voting lesser-evil.

And this is actually worse, because most of the latter insist that they are
picking the best option within the race for a particular position.  This
discusses things in terms of the party.

Just out of curiosity, how many people are in this group anyway?  I'm
asking because, as a rule of thumb, the larger the organization the more
pressures in faces to engage in this "rethinking."
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Re: [Marxism] Kevin Coogan

2020-03-15 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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I like first piece though it had no real relation to try the corporate NY
Times project.

The Democratic Review is interesting enough and available online, but it
had absolutely nothing to do with the history of political radicalism.
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Re: [Marxism] Sanders never planned to win; structural elements were always in place to prevent that victory

2020-03-12 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Two things that signaled his lack of seriousness.

The first was the injection of the "'s' word" early on, where it was
absolutely unnecessary (and incorrectly used).  He was actually running as
a New Deal Democrats urging the party to return to its earlier
manifestation.  What was the point of introducing "socialism" into the
discussion?

The other was raising the issue of Cuba at exactly the point in the
campaign where he was easing into the lead.  what was the point of it?
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Re: [Marxism] Sanders is no longer an issue

2020-03-04 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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We know it with all the certainty we can know anything that hasn't happened
yet.  (They're just this minute announcing Bloomberg's out of it, which
means that all of the anti-Sanders eggs are in the Biden basket.)

The media had wall-to-wall Biden promotion to stop Sanders since Nevada.
It worked and there's no reason to expect that it will not use it again if
the campaign threatens a Biden coronation.  Conversely, the more the
Sanders campaigns tries to fight back, the more it is going to be
represented as being divisive and ultimately helpful to Trump's reelection.

Indeed, if, as it seems, Trump will get a second term, I'm certain the
Democratic pundits--and the various Republican pundits standing in for them
on cable "news"--will blame Sanders for damaging the campaign, just as they
blamed him for the defeat in 2016.  (You want to be a Democratic stand-in
for Nader, you will get the heat for it.)

There remains, of course, a chance for Biden to self-destruct with some
thoughtlessly tossed off rambling bit of offensiveness, but remember that
we've already seen this with statements that should have outraged black
voters . . . and some dismissiveness towards women.  But remember how this
worked with Trump?  We seem to be in an age where old white guys doing
self-destructive things in the national spotlight aren't going to
self-destruct if they're not presented or perceived as such.

I don't know where old tigers go to best fight this, my friend.  :-)
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Re: [Marxism] The Speech Bernie Sanders Should Give But Won’t - CounterPunch.org

2020-03-04 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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A good plan.  It was superb six years ago and is worth recirculating an
update.
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Re: [Marxism] Could Sanders win? | Red Flag

2020-03-04 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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It doesn't matter any more.  Sanders isn't going to get the chance to do
anything.  We might as well be discussing Jesse Jackson or what-ifs about
RFK . . .  or William Jennings Bryan.
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[Marxism] Sanders is no longer an issue

2020-03-04 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 The Democratic outcome is clear after last night.

The DNC won't have to pull much sleight-of-hand with superdelegates, etc.
The media beat the drum constantly for Biden after Sanders won Nevada.
With Bloomberg as a backstop, they threw everything into stopping Sanders
by reviving a viable Biden campaign.  Last night, Biden was reechoing the
promises of Sanders and Warren, despite the record of the Obama-Biden
administration on health care--and the free community college talk.  Using
older Southern black voters as a cudgel, they remade Biden's record
advocating mass incarceration, etc. into that of an old civil rights
advocate.

Enough of the electorate fell for it--or figured that most of their peers
would go for it anyway and that it was time to unite the party base . . .
Or the effort successfully demoralized enough of the voters to whom the
Sanders campaign appealed--the young and those who had topped voting or
never voted because of a very realistic skepticism of the corporate shell
game.  (Yes, in the end, disenfranchisement has always been a bipartisan
strategy, differing only in terms of who they sought to disenfranchise.)

The outcome can be no great surprise, given the nature of the two-party
system.  The way it functions predisposes the outside party not to oppose
the party with power so much as to try to mirror what it thinks made that
party successful.  So you get months of worthless self-congratulatory
kabuki about diversity to produce an old white salesman who'll be near 90
if he gets two terms in the White House.

Biden was and is the closest the Democratic party could come to mirroring
Trump.  He's even got the same predisposition to making strange public
gaffes that followers actually embrace as a kind of endearing grandfatherly
confusion, (a trait that is all the more entertaining of those followers
because it maddens those who are not his followers). Too, as with Trump,
the great groundswell is a media creation.

The issue is no longer what the Sanders campaign might do, could do, would
have done, hoped to do, etc.   All that's very abstract right now, because
the relations of power are such at this point that he will not be overtake
the orchestrated Biden momentum.

The question is actually not whether we should vote for Sanders but for
Biden..

Solidarity,
Mark L..
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Re: [Marxism] Could Sanders win? | Red Flag

2020-03-03 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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So, what "structural change" could Sanders enact in the WH without a
majority from a sympathetic party in the Congress (and enough political
moxie to handle the Supreme Court).  Right now, he can't even get fair
coverage from the gasbags on the idiot box.

The bottom line is you'd better be retooling all those old rationalizations
because a bit down the line, you're going to be arguing that we'll get
serious political change by voting for Biden or Bloomberg.
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Re: [Marxism] Vivek Chibber for Sanders

2020-02-29 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 "[The] American Parties have very little control over who can and cannot
run on their tickets. Anyone is free to enter a primary, and if they can
attract enough votes, it is very hard to stop them. And the Party
leadership’s helplessness is becoming palpable."

Anyone who would write such a thing is either ignoring the experience of
history entirely or deliberately choosing to falsify it.  Ultimately, the
party, though its leadership bodies, exercises the legal authority to
decide how it will structure representation in its convention and their
equivalents at the state level can structure representation in such a way
as to not directly reflect the weight of voter opinion.
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Re: [Marxism] Democratic Leaders Willing to Risk Party Damage to Stop Bernie Sanders

2020-02-28 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 The dominant cliques in the Democratic Party have periodically
demonstrated their willingness to let the party lose an election to the
Republicans rather than to lose their control of the party.  This is why
the Sanders strategy is ultimately suicidal.

That is, were Sanders to to win the nomination, they will happily step back
and McGovern him.

And, if he won the presidential election, they'd demonstrate their
prediction that he couldn't get anything through the Senate by joining the
Republicans to squelch anything they view as damaging to the "the party,"
ie. the big donors.

There are no short cuts.  Heaven knows, if there was one, I'd be the first
to buy a ticket.
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[Marxism] The stock market

2020-02-27 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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I'm just a poor country boy that doesn't understand these big city things
and just wants to nationalize the corn belt.  But I am watching the TV and
I just have to ask whether anyone's threatening to jump out the office
windows over on the stock exchange.
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Re: [Marxism] Can Bernie Sanders Make the Democratic Party a Democratic Party? | The Indypendent

2020-02-26 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Abstractions, rhetoric, campaign promises, sales pitches, etc.--however
seriously intended or reasonable--are not strategies.  Strategies are how
we can concretely get from where we are to where we want to be.

Those who can't clearly identify a mechanism for change, can't offer a real
strategy for how to use that mechanism.
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Re: [Marxism] Can Bernie Sanders Make the Democratic Party a Democratic Party? | The Indypendent

2020-02-26 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Positing a remaking of the Democratic Party is not the same as suggesting a
vote for this or that candidate, which might be worth discussing.

The former suggests something for which nobody . . . NOBODY . . . has ever
been able to identify a means and a strategy.  There exists no mechanism
for citizens to remake the party.  Those who talk about an "inside-outside
strategy" don't really have either, but they can't even pretend to be
"inside" of it.  The Democratic party has no members among the citizenry,
just voters . . . or, most accurately, consumers.  It has no membership
meetings, but merely mass consumer satisfaction surveys.

Turn on the TV and take a serious gander at the selection process in these
parodies of "debate."  (Bloomberg wasn't wrong when he referred to himself
and other Democratic contenders as "contestants.")  It is a mechanism for
frustrating anyone expecting a clear discussion of conflicting policies,
much less underlying ideas and values.  It is exactly what it looks like: a
process for corporate capitalism to select a spokesman deemed to be the
most likeable and credible.

The local TV station is auditioning for who we'd like to see on the air as
the next weatherman, but is that even a tiny step towards the kind of
democracy we need to build is one that gets us control over the factors
effecting the stability of the climate?  Can we move towards a more
environmentally friendly mode of transportation by choosing between which
fossil-fuel based machine you want to buy?

If I am mistaken in this thinking, I would ask anyone who wants to remake
the Democratic Party to identify the mechanism for doing this?  You have to
do that before we can begin to discuss a strategy.

Cheers,
Mark L.

PS: None of this is not to say that the Left has done well pursuing an
independent course, but that's a different set of questions.
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Re: [Marxism] Sanders's "turnout" strategy not working

2020-02-25 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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David's right.  The media's sucking those stories about what Sanders
supporters did out of their thumbs.

The gut-level hatred of the Democratic establishment for Sanders is
downright rabid.  The batcrap crazy rant of Chris Matthews comparing
Sanders' victory in Nevada to Hitler's invasion of France was unusually
only in that Matthews is so clueless that he was saying out loud what the
Democratic allies in the media have been hinting at for months.  For a
while, they sought to coax reform-minded voters towards Warren, but when
she started showing strength, they began battering her as well.  Their only
objection to GOP Mayor Bloomberg is whether they can get him to pass his TV
audition.  The current holy war is about Sanders saying basically the same
thing that Obama said about Cuba.  We should remember that the Democratic
bosses would rather lose an election to the Republicans than to allow
themselves and their faction to be pushed from power.  They're already
making noise about Sanders being unsupportable, and I doubt they'll let it
get that far.

That said, we shouldn't be distracted by the bullshit coverage and the
reality TV.  What needs to concern us about voting and national election
campaigns is how we can use them to build something of substance that can
carry some political clout beyond the election.  What we need are not these
consumer satisfaction surveys but feet on the street, hands at work
building for the future.  Going Democratic essentially sets that
consideration aside, which is the essence of why it's unacceptable.

Remember the big movements Obama supporters said we were going build in the
wake of his election?  Never happened.  Then, there were the big marches
against Trump on his inauguration, and the Democrats got control of the
local organizing groups, got everybody off the streets, and insisted that
the party would handle the problems.

Can something be done through the Greens?  Perhaps, if Howie is nominated.
But don't expect the structure of the party to do it. Don't just cast your
consumer preference.  It will take hundreds of committed radicals to get
involved and build some sort of an organization or network of thousands.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] [pen-l] Marx, Lincoln and Project 1619 | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

2020-02-15 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 Douglass actually acknowledged the nomination, thanked them for it, and
declared his support for the Republican ticket.

The backstory on this had to do with the efforts of the Woodhull wing of
the women's movement to keep "universal suffrage" on the agenda" after the
adoption of the `5th Amendment in 1870.  In a very real sense, the
persistent advocacy of woman suffrage represented the left wing of what had
been a rather broad civil rights movements in the wake of the war.  This
was not an unreasonable place for the IWA to want to position itself.
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Re: [Marxism] Marx, Lincoln and Project 1619 | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

2020-02-14 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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There's plenty worth discussing here.

American radicals naturally had a better handle on most of these things
than Marx and Engels.  Those interested in their thinking could consult
_Long Road to Harpers Ferry_, written without the sanction and support of a
Genius Grant from the MacArthur Fellowship or any other corporate
sponsors--or getting regular public service blurbs on cable TV, in between
the insurance ads and the 24/7 arguments to persuade us that
African-Americans are pragmatically shifting their support from Joe Biden
to Mike Bloomberg.

Someone was asking earlier for a radical response to _Winners Take All: The
Elite Charade of Changing the World_ by Anand Giridharadas.  Although there
are obvious problems with the book, I would urge that it be read.  It makes
some very important points that serious radicals need to consider,
particularly the way corporate venues have rather successfully undercut
independent movement-oriented radicalism over the last twenty or thirty
years..

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] A sad commentary on the Left

2020-02-13 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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For years now--and longer--there was nothing stopping radicals from
organizing independent mass actions.  Had we been exercising this function,
we'd not be left as essentially consumers and cheerleaders to electoral
politics.  It can surprise nobody that the Democrats did nothing to build
on the unprecedented mass marches that greeted Trump's inauguration, but
radicals have done very little but watch events from the sidelines.  When
Trump was foisting Kavenaugh onto us, for example, public sentiment was
such as would have supported demonstrations that could have flooded the
capital with supporters and choked the process . . . which would have cut
one of the main motives for the Republicans to sustain their criminal
president.  Over 50% of the public wanted Trump removed from the
presidency, and the Left did nothing more than the Democrats wanted done,
so we're still paying the price for that.

The pathetic history of radicals in the current election campaign simply
extends that role.
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Re: [Marxism] It’s Time for the Left to Build a Force Outside the Democratic Party | Left Voice

2020-02-06 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Yeah, what I proposed, repeatedly, as a course of action for the Greens in
Ohio might well be common sense, but it's certainly NOT what advocates of
independent political action do.   If it had been, we'd be in a much
different place than we are today.

The Greens in all but a few states have repeatedly chosen not to do it.
And the leadership in those few states that have tried to build something
(New York and California, for examples) have been fine with a national
party dominated by paper parties.  That's been the case for a quarter of a
century.

And those who don't like the Greens because they don't label themselves as
a class party have accomplished even less.  Every time you hear someone
say, "why should we put anything into the Greens when we could invest in
building a labor party," you know they're not going to actually do
anything.  Most of them I've heard this from for years are currently
cheering spectators in the Democratic stadium.

And the socialists?  Well, they could have kept their own organizations and
acted together electorally.  They could have done this in 2016  or 2004 or
1992.  But not a one of them has taken any initiative on this over the last
fifty years, what chance is there that they're going to respond any
differently over the next decade or so.

There will be no party without new politics based on actually mobilizing
people--an electoral strategy that reflects the kind of movements we want
to build.  It's not being done.  And the corporate "social justice warrior"
model applied to electoral action will accomplish no more permanent gains
in electoral action than in the wider society.

Solidarity!
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] It’s Time for the Left to Build a Force Outside the Democratic Party | Left Voice

2020-02-05 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 We seem to be so far down the rabbit hole of money-centered
corporate-consumerist politics.   Raising money to open offices and hire
canvassers is no alternative to a system based on that circular process.
The alternative to running as Democrats is not running LIKE Democrats.

A challenge to the structure of electoral politics has to be reflected in
our practice, not just in abstract and aspirational terms.  What we need
are politics based on people.  We need something with membership that will
maintain some coherence between elections and generate recognizably good
advocates that can run for office and--most importantly--plenty of
volunteers to take the case to the wider society.  Some years back, when
the Green party won over 104,000 votes in this state, I put together a plan
to organize and field teams that could cover the state, establishing viable
little groups where the vote was in double digits and cultivating a
statewide network that would circulate speakers and engage in regular
public forums and events.

The old Socialists and other insurgents established membership bodies that
amounted to roughly a tenth of their voting strength.  Out of over 104,000
voters, we could have put together an organization of several thousand and,
with the right work, been able to get a significantly higher vote total in
the next election.   But the self-elected "leaders" feared something of
which they would not be guaranteed control.  And the bulk of them have
since slithered off to the Democrats.

As I've pointed out repeatedly, there is no reason why various groups
couldn't cobble together a united electoral front at the local, state,
regional or national that could do something like this.  Make it
people-focused and have confidence that good politics will always prevail
in a fair fight out in the open.
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Re: [Marxism] The Party's Over: Bernie?s Last Dance With the Dems

2020-02-03 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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If despising capitalist politics is ultra left, sign me up.

On Mon, Feb 3, 2020, 11:27 AM srobin21 via Marxism <
marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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>
> Sounds like nostalgia for good old fashioned ultra leftism. May be
> "radicalism" should mean forming armed cells, robbing banks,  going
> underground etc. At least that is what it meant for part of the SDS.In any
> event, for all their ultra leftism, electorally the SDSers were abject
> supporters of mainstream  liberalism. Hayden et al "went part of the way
> with LBJ" in 1964 and supported RFK in 1968. Somehow support for Sanders
> does not compare unfavorably to that.SR
>  Original message From: Louis Proyect What does it mean to
> be a radical? If it is making speeches about the "billionaire class", then
> it is a different kind of radicalization that young people underwent when I
> was young. These were people who joined SDS. Right? They occupied buildings
> on campus, not passing out literature to help DP candidates get elected.
> That's what galls me about the confusion Jacobin and the DSA have sown.
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Re: [Marxism] The Party's Over: Bernie?s Last Dance With the Dems

2020-02-02 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Michael, I said we had been warned about fascism every four years, and you
responded only that you didn't warm us about fascism.  I take you on your
word and congratulate you for your relative level-headedness.

But I still heard it.

Still, in your relative level-headedness, three of the elections during
which you acknowledge to have raised this cry ended in a triumph for what
you called the fascists.  Reagan won in 1984, Bush in 2004, and Trump in
2016.  Right?

All deplorable and to be fought as hard and effectively as we can.  But not
fascism.  We saw more political repression at other points in our lives and
the racial demagoguery is especially discouraging, but let's not delude
ourselves about Trump's predecessors.

Which gets us back to the question of our effectiveness.  You assert that
this requires supporting whoever the Democrats use to keep Sanders or
Warren from the nomination, but you can't really seperate Reagan's
successes from Democratic subservience to his nonsensical trickle down
creed, or even as he utterly ignored the law in Iran -Contra.

And Dubya's dangerous war-mongering was so dangerous first and foremost
because he faced virtually no opposition from the other party.  Democrats
happily circulated through the news shows, pimping his WMD lies, spreading
the paranoia about germ warfare, funding his invasions, and building whole
new dimensions of the surveillance state in his service.

And before he ran for president as a Republican, Trump spent more time as a
Democrat than as a Republican.

Yes, Trump is different and the most detestable president in our lifetime.
But we got him, in large part, by not building a real opposition.  Easier
to pass the buck to the Democrats, even though we know what they have done
... and have no basis for thinking they will do otherwise.

It is precisely because the stakes are so high that we have to start trying
something different. Finding something that will work.
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Re: [Marxism] The Party’s Over: Bernie’s Last Dance With the Dems - CounterPunch.org

2020-02-02 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Show of hands here . . . does anybody remember an election where we haven't
heard about the imminent threat of fascism?  :-)

Still, the alarm would be serious enough to have my attention if it wasn't
all aimed to get me to vote for Hindenburg . . . .
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Re: [Marxism] Democrats wrap up their case in impeachment trial

2020-01-25 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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If we had been building up to this point over recent years, there could be
mass independent mobilizations that could have thwarted some of the most
objectionable initiatives of the administration and could be pushing
towards removal.
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Re: [Marxism] An Open Letter to the Green Party About 2020 Election Strategy

2020-01-25 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Just a couple points.

The assumption that inept, incompetent, dishonest, and pointless electoral
activism must necessarily be something other than working class is
mistaken.  Maybe we should even expect that working class electoral
politics has to be so if there's no mechanism for collectively evaluating
experience.  We have to work with what we've got.

More importantly, the discussion always seems to veer from the most
fundamental concern we have: to foster self-organized, independent
political action. Talk about parties, candidates, labels, and abstract
"positions matter only insofar as they advance (or retard) the development
of the only force that can address these issues.  That's keeping our eyes
on the prize not dogmatism, blueprints, etc.

That might mean something different for those who have a vehicle that can
seriously make a real bid for power and something else when we don't have a
vehicle in electoral politics to get anywhere near power.  But the idea
that we can address we address the weakness of that power by voting against
it doesn't make sense.

My objection isn't to voting for Sanders in a primary, though I wouldn't
put much time, energy or effort into what's surely a doomed attempt.  My
objection is that, in the end, most of the people making that argument
always wind up supporting Biden, Clinton, etc.

But here's an idea.  Everyone in any and all socialist groups agree to shut
down the treehouse in terms of electoral politics.  Get together and agree
on a few points as the basis of a class platform.  Pick candidates.
Doesn't matter what club they're in, so long as they agree to campaign on
those points.  Vote, pull the names out of a hat, do it in alphabetical
order, but put together a united labor ticket and stick to it until
November.

Cheers,
Mark L..
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Re: [Marxism] An Open Letter to the Green Party About 2020 Election Strategy

2020-01-24 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Yeah, it's absurd to describe something as not a working class formation
because it doesn't label itself as such.  Equally to think that something's
not a working class formation because that it's run by sellouts and/or
idiots.  I've long severed ties with the coalition of flakes and Democrats
in the local party.  The last person they supported as  a "Green" was also
running as a Democrat and I just got an email endorsing him from one of our
big name local machine politicians.

This doesn't mean that the Greens elsewhere might be genuinely independent,
though I think it's politically suicidal for them to retain ties with state
and local parties that don't really exist except on paper and function
primarily as a stopgap measure to bloc any viable independent alternative
from taking form.  But, since it's gone on since the last century, I don't
have high hopes for any corrective.

I won't bore anyone with historical examples.  Electoral politics grows
from an overall principle of fostering independent class self-organization
and self-reliance with its fulcrum resting not on campaign promises and
rhetoric but issues of power.  It's not related to electoral promises or to
pragmatic considerations about the rivalries between Democratic
slaveholders and Whig slaveholders.  (Oops, historical examples are
slipping in, apparently.)  And, btw, the emphasis on Trump as some sort of
meteor strike that came out of nowhere is just silly.

Look at the impeachment with open eyes and you see a crisis inseparable
from Democratic decisions to rely on executive rule by Obama rather than to
fight in the court of public opinion . . . to give Dubya a free pass over
WMDs and Bushdaddy repeated free passes for high crimes and misdemeanors of
all sorts.  And Regan.  And even Nixon, into whose work the Democrats
essentially dropped the investigations after his resignation.  The path to
Trump was paved by Democrats and much as Republicans.  That's the nature of
the system both serve.

Bernie Sanders will be irrelevant in a matter of months.  Despite all sorts
of developments, the party and the media is beating the drum for nominating
Joe "Lock 'em up" Biden or the nearest stand-in they might have to install
to replace him.  And when that happens, the people who offered the Greens
such brilliant "advise" will beat the drum for whoever the Democratic
hierarchy wants, denouncing those of us who aren't buying the kool-aid as
closet fascists.  Heard it all before.

Just to make a practical observation.  We don't have a lot of
alternatives.  Everybody in a socialist group that hasn't done anything to
create such an alternative--and going through the motions hasn't
sufficed--bears some responsibility for this.  You don't like the Greens,
but haven't done diddly to forge something better.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] » An Open Letter to the Green Party About 2020 Election Strategy

2020-01-24 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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The essence of this is the usual liberal BS of blaming left.

If I believed what these people seem to believe--and I sure don't--I'd
focus my efforts on trying to persuade Democratic voters to go for Sanders
or some other "progressive" rather than  crapping on radicals.  I regularly
defend Sanders and Warren against media misrepresentations and the lies of
the DNC types who prevail there, but I don't put time, energy or money into
what I see as a hopeless bid to get the Democratic hierarchy to permit the
nomination of such candidates.  I see this as being as hopeless as trying
to get the Republicans to nominate a socialist in 2020.

I don't base this on abstract theories or "dogma" but on half a century of
watching Democratic politics and a study of how politics worked before I
was here and alert enough to follow it.

These people who are so free with their "advice" to--actually accusations
against--we pathetic mortals  with the audacity to try to learn from
experience and observation is equally of waste of time and effort.  If they
want to win this argument, they should focus their Jedi wisdom on proving us

Get the Democratic nomination for a socialist and then we'll talk.

Of course, I'm still waiting for them to levitate the Pentagon.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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[Marxism] Impeachment

2020-01-21 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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I spent the day working, but had the impeachment trial going on in the
background and stopped regularly to follow it.  Our old expectation of the
American political system was that it was going to shed credibility its
functions became increasingly obvious.

What's striking to me about the present stage is that almost no sentient
observer can seriously muster much confidence in the entire process.

The virtual absence of an independent Left has been a tragic feature of our
politics for decades, but it has never been more painfully acute than it
now is.

Solidarity,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] Capitalism needs racism: A response to the NYT 1619 Project | Joel Wendland-Liu | People's World

2020-01-19 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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I will not post on this subject again until someone makes an intelligent
response to what I posted before. The post the conflict over the American
Revolution in these terms is simply dishonest.

On Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 1:33 PM Louis Proyect via Marxism <
marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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>
> On 1/19/20 1:13 PM, Patrick Bond via Marxism wrote:
> >
> > On 1/10/2020 6:51 PM, Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo via Marxism wrote:
> >>
> https://peoplesworld.org/article/capitalism-needs-racism-a-response-to-the-nyt-1619-project/
> >>
> >
> > Actually, there's such a big theoretical problem here, as to whether
> > capitalism 'needs' racism, or can jettison even its most profound
> > manifestations  - such as apartheid - when more effective systems of
> > surplus extraction emerge. The South African case is exemplary, and the
> > main writers on this have tried over several decades to specify when
> > racism is functional, and when it creates contradictions that become
> > debilitating. If you're interested in identifying the contingent versus
> > the necessary, have a look at Ben Magubane's historical work, e.g.
> >
> http://unrisd.org/80256B3C005BCCF9/(httpAuxPages)/63265CAFF973018D80256B6D005785D1/%24file/dmaguban.pdf
>
> This takes us a bit far afield. The big question prompted by Project
> 1619 is not so much about how surplus value is extracted but over the
> dynamics of American history. WSWS and its historian allies both
> exaggerate the democratic character of the 1776 revolt and minimize the
> importance of slavery in the rise of American capitalism. As I pointed
> out in a piece on this, one of the articles that irked Wood and
> McPherson, two of WSWS's allies, was based on the work of Sven Beckert,
> Edward Baptist et al who come out of the Eric Williams tradition. If
> there was an afterlife, I'd like to think of Jim Blaut up on a cloud
> somewhere grinning at the pendulum swinging in his direction at last.
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Re: [Marxism] Times publishes op-ed from white nationalist Center for Immigration Studies.

2020-01-18 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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A useful caveat for those inclined to see the New York Times as the arbiter
of social enlightenment and proletarian clarity.
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[Marxism] New York Times' fascination with U.S. History continues . . . .

2020-01-17 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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. . . . despite ongoing oversimplifications and gross shortcomings in doing
their homework.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/opinion/1856-election-2020.html
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Re: [Marxism] What Do You Do When Neo-Nazis Crash Your Anti-War Rally?

2020-01-09 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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This is a depressing measure of how much a movement is going to have to
re-invent the wheel.

Relying on small self-selected groups to deal with this is an invitation to
all sorts of trouble.  As a general rule, organizers need to marshal their
demonstrations.  When there's a disruption to distract from the focus of
the march, the disrupters are invited to remove themselves and, failing
that, they are removed by any means that will best minimize the distraction
they intend to cause.  We had this problem locally back when Occupy
exploded on the scene and nobody knew how to deal it when small clusters of
tea party types came in and began chanting batshit crazy slogans.

Of course, the essentially Democratic engineers of the enterprise (and the
architects of its destruction) did just the opposite of what they needed to
do.

Cheers!
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] Waterloo for the anti-anti-Trump left (and all other normalizers): You knew he was a snake | Salon.com

2020-01-08 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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It's noteworthy that we rarely hear denunciation of what "the Left" in
America ithat actually tries to define it in any realistic way.   As a
unitary, coherent entity worthy of being its own proper noun, it exists
only as an abstraction--not a spectre haunting the nightmares of the master
class but mostly as a scapegoat.
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Re: [Marxism] ARE WE ON THE BRINK OF A RENEWED WAVE OF RADICALISATION WITHIN BRITAIN UNDER THE SURFACE OF INCREASING REACTION?

2019-12-31 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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The popularity of Sanders created great opportunities for the Left in the
U.S., which it flubbed up and still flubs up.  The chance that the
Democrats would permit him (or likely Warren) to get the nomination is less
than the prospect of Yellowstone erupting.

Should he (or any "progressive") get the nomination, we have absolutely no
reason to imagine that the Democratic hierarchy will do anything other than
McGovern them . . . that is, it would extend no more than the most minimal
support, and then use the defeat as an excuse for moving ever more
Biden-ward next time.

And if, by some stretch of the imagination, we were to find ourselves with
a President Sanders in 2021, he will face a Congress divided between a
Trumpified GOP and an essentially Nixonized-Reaganized Democratic caucus.
And we have no reason to think that Sanders would embrace a strategy of
mass mobilizations.

Electoral politics will open only after we get and sustain those mass
mobilizations.   I'm hopeful, because there's plenty of sentiment for
radical change.  However, there's no strategic understanding of independent
movements and virtually zero understanding of how to go about the work of
building them.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] Behind the attack on New York Times Project 1619 | Louis Proyect

2019-12-27 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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I've just heard that jaw-dropping clip from the president offering his
expert warnings about the environmental dangers of windmills.  I’m sure
that, between them, the various media outlets have given a far bigger and
louder platform to his idiocy than they've ever given the advocates of wind
power.  Such is life for us, as unwilling denizens of the Opposite World
structured by the American ruling class.



Like the president, corporate media regularly disparages work by anyone
whose perspective they’d prefer to dismisses, perhaps especially so for
those who've spent years, decades, lifetimes actually studying a
subject.  Their
priority is, first and foremost, showcasing whatever will goose its
readership/viewership and the advertising revenues linked to them.


In this context, we should welcome the 1619 Project for popularizing what
scholars of American History generally have been studying and discussing
for half a century:  Race cannot be separated from any major event in our
history, and the nature of power means that these have been shaped by the
imperatives of white supremacy.  These insights should actually surprise
nobody on a Marxism list, though, if they do, we have all the more reason
to praise the project.



However, I would not uncritically embrace the New York Times without a few
caveats.



To state the obvious, causality requires sifting and processed of those
diverse motives.  In a large and complex population, a broad spectrum of
concerns motivates individuals. The nonslaveholders in the Confederate Army
or small town kids of all backgrounds enlisting to fight for the U.S. in
Vietnam might tell us all sorts of things about their motives.  Rather than
take these on face value as explanatory of the general cause of the
war.  Rather
we weigh them critically.



Then, too, we can't take the outcome of the process as an indication of
what motivated those who participated in it.  In particular, people my age
hopefully have recollections of their parents talking about what hopes they
had coming out of the sacrifices of World War II.  Most did not struggle
because they wanted the permanent warfare state and the Mutually Assured
Destruction insanity that emerged.  I suppose you could say that this was
“one of the principal causes” of WWII—it certainly had to motivate some in
power or we wouldn’t have gotten them—but it would be misleading to read
this backwards into the past.  In the wake of the American Revolution or
the Civil War, there were always many people who protested the outcomes as
less than they had expected.



Certainly, some of the slaveholding gentlemen in slaveholding states
opposed secession and became Unionists because they rightly saw secession
and war as likely to result in the destruction of the institution of
slavery.  Did that mean that one of the principal causes of the Union in
the Civil War was the preservation of slavery?  Some with racialist
hypernational politics opposed the Axis in WWII, but that did not mean the
Allies favored fascism.  At least such erroneous assumptions in these cases
would have something from which to leap to a conclusion.



To me, though, the fundamental objection to the assertion that the American
Revolution was about saving slavery from its abolition by the British are
obvious.  This refurbished old Tory whitewash of the British Empire is
applied over an undercoat of American parochialism.  First, the American
colonies did not square off against a British Empire eager to abolish
slavery.


In fact, it did not do so for several generations after the American
Declaration . . .   Maybe somebody had a TARDIS.


Then, too, the empire's move against slavery never emancipated the imperial
economy from slavery.  Indeed, not only did it make a series of exemptions
at the behest of the East Indian Company, but the entire Industrial
Revolution rested as firmly on the textile industry, the cotton trade from
the American South, and its reliance on African slavery.  This British
reliance on slavery provided the Confederacy with a strong base of support
within the government and provided the Confederacy’s main hope for the
salvation of its own independence from the U.S. and the salvation of its
“peculiar institution.”



Most directly, the American Revolution became an American Revolution—a
unitary experience—only after the fact, in the establishment of unified
national government with a unified policy.  In practice, colonists
organized their rebellion through their colonial governments, which forged
a common military force and a foreign policy but balked at almost any other
move the direction of a national policy.  Slavery did not have the 

Re: [Marxism] ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’s’ racist lyrics reflect its slave owner author, Francis Scott Key

2019-12-25 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 I was confused by the title of the article, because--while Francis Scott
Key was a white supremacist--I couldn't recall any mention of race in "the
Defense of Fort McHenry."  The verse in question is:

"No refuge could save the hireling & slave/
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:/
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave/
O’er the land of the free & the home of the brave."
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[Marxism] Historians . . . .

2019-12-17 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Historians' online petition on impeachment . . . . .

https://medium.com/@historiansonimpeachment/historians-statement-on-the-impeachment-of-president-trump-6e4ed2277b16
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[Marxism] Breaking news: U.S. officials have been lying about Afghanistan

2019-12-09 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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To quote Capt. Renault: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is
going on in here!"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/
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Re: [Marxism] Why I Don't Have a Mobile Phone - CounterPunch.org

2019-12-06 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Correction, SCIENCE  isnt the same as technology.

(I'm doing this on a gd mobile phone.)

On Fri, Dec 6, 2019, 10:01 AM Mark Lause  wrote:

> As an aside, technology obviously isnt the same thing as technology.
>
> My wife and I have mobile phones.  I frankly detest them.  However, in our
> part of the city, Ma Bell effectively doesn't support having a land line.
> After wasting hours several weeks in a row with repeated incidents of lines
> just going dead, we had to give up and go for the alternate.
>
> This is a general problem on our street, and I suspect this isnt the only
> city letting the phone company do this in minority neighborhoods..
>
> M
>
>
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Re: [Marxism] Why I Don't Have a Mobile Phone - CounterPunch.org

2019-12-06 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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As an aside, technology obviously isnt the same thing as technology.

My wife and I have mobile phones.  I frankly detest them.  However, in our
part of the city, Ma Bell effectively doesn't support having a land line.
After wasting hours several weeks in a row with repeated incidents of lines
just going dead, we had to give up and go for the alternate.

This is a general problem on our street, and I suspect this isnt the only
city letting the phone company do this in minority neighborhoods..

M
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Re: [Marxism] The Real Barack Obama Has Finally Revealed Himself

2019-11-27 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Are those who saw the real Obama a dozen years ago and called him out still
closet Republicans and reactionary vermin?

Just wonderin'.  :-)
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Re: [Marxism] Robert E. Lee was a traitor, not a hero!

2019-11-19 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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For many years, I have explicitly used your parents as a point of
comparison with the treason of Jefferson Davis, etc.  I recommend it highly.

The conduct of the current president--Roy Cohn's parting gift to American
life--is certainly another.

But this is all capitalism creating the sort of people it always worked to
create.  Oligarchs are oligarchs, wherever they were born and whatever
government they us to rule.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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[Marxism] Fwd: H-Early-America: CFP: Revolutions: Moments and Movements in Historical Perspective

2019-11-14 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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-- Forwarded message -
From: H-Net Notifications 
Date: Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 4:31 PM
Subject: H-Early-America: CFP: Revolutions: Moments and Movements in
Historical Perspective
To: markala...@gmail.com 


Greetings Mark Lause,
A new item has been posted in H-Early-America.
CFP: Revolutions: Moments and Movements in Historical Perspective

by Sean Harvey

*Revolutions: *

*Moments and Movements in Historical Perspective*

What is a Revolution?  Historians have used the term broadly to
describe movements resulting in the toppling of regimes and establishment
of new social and political orders, yet much remains unclear.  Are
revolutions an intrinsically modern phenomenon, or can the concept be
productively applied to events in the ancient and medieval worlds?  Can
revolutions be clearly bounded in time? How do they begin and end? Is there
a common trajectory?  When and why do revolutions arise in interrelated
clusters?  However we choose to answer such questions, the 30th anniversary
of the fall of the Berlin Wall and recent events, from the Arab Spring to
the riots in Hong Kong, remind us that revolutions, whether a cause of hope
or trepidation, have lost none of their force and relevance.

The Department of History of Seton Hall University invites paper proposals
for the symposium “Revolutions: Moments and Movements in Historical
Perspective.” The symposium will consider revolutions broadly in their
social, cultural, and intellectual origins and ramifications, examining the
interactions of ideologies, structures, pivotal moments, and social and
political movements. The committee particularly encourages proposals that
address the following topics:



   - Revolutionary ideas and ideologies
   - Social and political conditions as preconditions for revolt
   - Participation in, and opposition to, revolution by diverse groups
   within and excluded from the polity
   - Cultural productions (including writing, art, material culture, and
   technology) that mobilized people or justified change
   - Foreign influence in promoting or suppressing revolution
   - Internal violence and external war in creating or changing
   revolutionary conditions
   - Establishing revolutionary regimes through legal and political
   institutions
   - Popular rituals enacting protest, intimidation, belonging, or
   allegiance
   - Connections among disparate revolutionary movements



The symposium will be held on Thursday and Friday, February 6-7. A keynote
address by Ervand Abrahamian, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Iranian
and Middle Eastern History and Politics at Baruch College, City University
of New York, will open the symposium on Thursday evening, February 6. The
symposium’s panels and a roundtable discussion will be held on Friday,
February 7. The symposium will be held at the South Orange, New Jersey,
campus of Seton Hall University, about half an hour outside New York City.



The committee welcomes proposals from historians in all fields, including
advanced graduate students. Please send proposals, in the form of a single
document containing (1) a title and an abstract of 250 words and (2) a
short CV, to setonhallhistorysympos...@gmail.com by Friday, November 15,
2019.



Seton Hall will provide two-nights of accommodations for all invited
participants coming from outside the New York City/Northern New Jersey
area, as well as meals for all invited panelists. Travel funding may also
be available on a case-by-case basis.



Please feel free to contact Sean Harvey at sean.har...@shu.edu with any
questions. For more information about History at Seton Hall, please visit
our website, https://www.shu.edu/history/.

   - Read more or reply
   

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Re: [Marxism] DSA rank-and-file strategy

2019-10-24 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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I think what the DSA is up to isn't that different than what other groups
who've done this were up to . . . .

If you have a group with working people as members, you don't have to turn
them into anything . . . . :-)  And there's no reason, at this point, to
invent strategic rationalizations for directing them into specific
colonization efforts.   There's no basis for positing a coherent strategy
and invoking the need for an optimized coordination.  It wasn't possible
for earlier groups to have these things, and people today looking back at
that experience is going to clarify how things are just not possible.

The central challenge has always been to build an organization habitable
over the long run for working people with demanding jobs, families, etc.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] Mark Esperanto? Trump Misnames His Defense Secretary in Tweet

2019-10-20 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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I saw this but just assumed that he had picked someone as his new Secretary
of Defense who could circumvent the language barriers.
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Re: [Marxism] [pen-l] Re: Brief Reflection on Trump?s Impeachment By Roberto Savio

2019-10-18 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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"Mainstream" American politics is always about what defines that
"mainstream."  The pundits and professional politicians tend to treat this
as a contest over the same set of voters.  It isn't.

To take a particularly dramatic example of this, the difference between the
Democratic landslide of 1964  and what the media dishonestly called an
"electoral landslide" for the Republicans in 1980 came down to who voted.
Studies that broke down the statistics indicated that the demographics
broke the same way in both elections, but that those groups favorable to
the Democrats didn't vote in 1980 in the numbers they had in 1964, while
groups inclined to the Republicans turned out in much larger proportions.
Some of the sharper (and more progressive Democrats) understand that the
road to victory leads through mobilizing those voters who are
understandably disengaged from this inbred quasi-masonic 18th century game.

For us, of course, the question is to have to bring the necessary social
and political weight to bear where it counts . . .. in the streets and in
the workplaces . . . and in the numbers to make it matter.

Just imagine what could have been happening over the last year if we had
the political savvy, independent sense, and organization to have brought
several hundred thousand demonstrators to Washington during the great tax
"reform"--or during those Kavenaugh hearings.  Or if we could have brought
to the capital a fraction of the legions of citizens disgusted with the
administration and the Democratic sluggishness in calling it to account.
The major features of Trump's agenda could have been checked--or, if they
had been, would have been generating mass, political disaffection and
radicalization.

And we'd have would have contributed sorely needed examples of how
sustained independent mass action can turn politics on its head--the most
important practical lessons that could have been passed on to young
radicals.

Isn't it a pity it didn't happen?

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] Democratic Party debate

2019-10-17 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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It's also just blatantly transparent that CNN and MSNBC (for which much of
the advertising comes from insurance companies, etc.) is doing their
damnedest to disparage Warren as well as Sanders.  They want Biden and are
continually trying to force feed him to the electorate, though they're
toying with the blatantly pro-corporate alternatives.  Neither the
so-called "liberal media" nor the Democratic hierarchy have learned much
from the Trump disaster they helped to co-author.

If there was any sort of serious Opposition party in the U.S., this
trumpster fire would have been extinguished as soon as it started.  But,
too, it would never have been ignited.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] Democratic Party debate

2019-10-16 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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These "debates" have become less substantive and more of a spectacle every
time they do them.  Their corporate sponsorship and the requirement of a
certain level of campaign moo-lah in order to buy your part of the platform
makes the fundamental nature of electoral politics absolutely
transparent--as much as the motives of the Democratic National Committee
and the various organs of the media in sponsoring and structuring them. All
the commentary building up to them aims at encouraging confrontational
rhetoric and minimizing conflict over substantive questions.  The whole
thing is modeled on a game show and it's no secret that that's what framed
the election of the present Con-artist-in-Chief.

And they've gotten worse every four years.  Next time, I'm expecting mud
wrestling.  Eight years, maybe the swimsuit competition with Trump lurking
in the dressing rooms.

I don't know how anyone with an ounce of respect for themselves and what
they say they're running to promote can go anywhere near them.

ML
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Re: [Marxism] Trump defends abandoning Kurds by saying they didn't help US in WWII - Business Insider

2019-10-10 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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In hindsight, we should have started a catalogue of these idiocies when
Trump took office.

We should add to this the comment of Rep. Matt Gaetz that the Democrats
were running their inquiries like a "kangaroo court" presided over by a
"malicious Captain Kangaroo."  Next up, Rep. Jim Jordan will demonstrate
string theory by tying his shoes.

The ruling class has always had a barely disguised contempt for the
people.  Since the 1980s, the Republicans have turned that into a
successful political formula with a coalition that validates the
self-confident arrogance of the dumbest and the least informed, harnessed
to the most short-sighted and self-interested, including more-or-less
openly criminal enterprises.

And it's in the nature of the two-party partnership that the Democrats have
been enabler of this at every step.
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Re: [Marxism] Tim Wohlforth

2019-09-28 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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The DSA is hardly any kind of social democracy.  It's a lot less than that
. . . and more.   Something like the SDS with a socialist label.

I was just trying to stir interest in a meeting for Howie Hawkins in
Cincinnati.  The DSA and the tiny self-defined cadre organizations also
involved in it seem uninterested in anything but Bernie Sanders.
Supporting a socialist running as a Green would, of course, be supporting a
bourgeois party!  Then, too, the Green party here consists of nothing but
self-appointed leaders who don't want any members--sort of like the Three
Stooges without the choreography..

So, we're left with what the radicals of our generation built . . . which,
thus far, has basically come down to a kind of déjà vu .


.
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Re: [Marxism] [pen-l] Clarence Thomas’s “Black nationalism”: a reply to Corey Robin | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

2019-09-24 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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When Clarence Thomas moved into an office under Missouri's then-Attorney
General John Danforth, he decorated it with a Confederate flag.  That
should say everything essential there is to say about his black
nationalism.  :-)  Ken Blackwell here in Ohio offers another cut from this
mold.  However, you can probably turn on the idiot box and see a parade of
black figures working as reactionary pundits.

In the end, this is a matter of the market demand, isn't it?
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Re: [Marxism] 44 percent of workers in Brandenburg voted AfD yesterday

2019-09-02 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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This doesn't tell us anything about how they're defining the category?  Or
what was going on in other places?

I rethink things continually, but haven't had much reason to reconsider my
sense that these terms have little practical meaning the way most people
use them.


On Mon, Sep 2, 2019, 11:39 AM Angelus Novus via Marxism <
marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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>
>
> Interesting breakdown by social class:
> https://twitter.com/formelfriedrich/status/1168402855880994816
> In confronting the rise of authoritarian far-right populism, Marxists
> should really re-think the old Trotskyist shibboleths about fascism being a
> primarily petit-bourgeois or "Bonapartist" phenomenon.  It's pretty clear
> that the new far-right has a substantial proletarian base.
>
>
>
>
>
>
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Re: [Marxism] Quentin Tarantino, Eileen Jones, and the perils of film school theorizing | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

2019-08-22 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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If higher ed is going to be the yardstick for what is and isn't Marxism, is
it out of order to suggest seppuku.
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Re: [Marxism] The rise of the Republic of Texas

2019-08-13 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Stephen Pearl Andrews, later a member of the International, was living in
Texas at the time and involved in these negotiations with the Britsh in
hopes of flanking the slaveholding U.S.

He wound up being driven out in the middle of the night.

On Tue, Aug 13, 2019, 2:12 PM Dennis Brasky via Marxism <
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>
> The Texas republic was in financial distress, and the always meddlesome
> British were hovering over it with an aim of establishing an alliance of
> mutual convenience with the strug­gling republic. In exchange for financial
> help and military protec­tion, Britain would be positioned to undermine the
> United States's supremacy over the Gulf of Mexico and to menace its
> dominion over New Orleans, gateway to the strategically crucial Mississippi
> River. Besides, if Britain could dominate this southwestern territory, it
> would have the United States neatly hemmed in between that region and its
> Canadian possessions to the north. Britain's premier New World aim was to
> thwart the American dream of a burgeoning power stretching from sea to sea.
>
> https://delanceyplace.com/view-archives.php?p=3909
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Re: [Marxism] The Downside of Jeffrey Epstein’s Suicide: “I was looking to the Epstein case with a lot of hope. Hope for a fair outcome, hope the victims would finally get justice.” | Washington Babyl

2019-08-12 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 I don't think there was ever any chance the authorities were going to
bargain with Epstein to get him to say anything.  His talking without other
evidence would mean nothing but hot air, and, if they have other evidence,
it would be much more credible than anything he would say.  Still, whether
he killed himself, whether the authorities set up a circumstances where he
could kill himself, whether he was killed by other inmates, etc.  may come
out in the wash.  Or not.

The death is of less interest than other matters. I'm amused at the mystery
around the source of his wealth.  The media seems to say it's probably not
as much as he claimed, while family members say it's probably more.  Given
what he had to work with, the most obvious source was that he had and was
willing to keep secrets.  From this perspective, the mystery of his money,
his bizarre legal breaks, etc. make a certain amount of sense.

All this may seem like merely salacious scandal-mongering, but if we
dismiss it as such, we are missing some serious issues.

This has to do with public faith in the institutions of justice and power.
And it should not be permitted to be swept under the rug.  Those of us old
enough to remember the education job market in the mid-1970s might wonder
at Epstein's 1974 employment as a 21-year old college dropout in the
prestigious Dalton School under headmaster Donald Barr, the father of the
present Attorney-General Bill Barr.  Barr had declined to recuse himself
from overseeing the Epstein case.  No conflict of interest here . . . ..
https://heavy.com/news/2019/08/william-barrs-personal-ties-jeffrey-epstein/
At some point, Barr's systemic arrogation of power is likely to create a
serious crisis within the government itself.  I think the real mystery is
not what happened in Epstein's cell but what must be going on right now
inside the Justice Department and other law enforcement bodies.

And this is just to note one problem from the very start of Epstein's
career.

So many questions, so many particulars.

Without leaping from those questions to answers, I would suggest that we
not take the advice to "move along, nothing to see here."  We should keep
our eyes open.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] [pen-l] Louis Proyect Shreds Bhaskar Sunkara’s “Manifesto” | Washington Babylon

2019-08-07 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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My dear fellow,

How many elections have we had where this threat of fascism wasn't deployed
to encourage us to vote for an anti-labor, bought-and-sold corporate center
to center-right Democrat?  I can't think of a single one I didn't hear it.
:-)

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] Eddie Glaude on racism in US

2019-08-07 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Eddie Glaube is one of the only reasons to check who's going to be on
MSNBC.

On Wed, Aug 7, 2019, 1:56 AM Ken Hiebert via Marxism <
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> Also scroll down to James Baldwin and Jane Elliott.
> ken h
>
> https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1158569576168402945 <
> https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1158569576168402945>
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Re: [Marxism] What The Left Must Fight Against | Current Affairs

2019-08-05 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 There's a number of good essays over the last few years available online.
To frame the issue, see
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/14/trump-populism-history-216320

.The standard Marxist view of the Populists is Anna Rochester's little
book, available online at
https://archive.org/details/ThePopulistMovementInTheUnitedStates

The introduction to the short version of Lawrence Goodwyn's groundbreaking
_Democratic Promise: The Populist Movement in America_
https://ratical.org/corporations/PMSHAGAintro.html
Goodwyn's work spawned a series of solid reviews of the subject.

My two cents . . . in a nutshell . . . .

If you're talking about Populism after 1896, you're basically talking about
the Democratic party under the rubric of populism.   The People's party,
coaxed by the silver lobby, aligned itself behind the Democratic ticket
headed by William Jennings Bryan.  While dealing with a mass movement
always allows for cherry picking, but the erosion of the Populist potential
in terms of race--epitomized in the repeated call for the free and fair
ballot in the South--came to end with a distinctive Populism
generally--throttled by the Democratic Party.

Although a rump "middle-of-the-road" group around Tom Watson persisted into
the twentieth century, these mostly represented Southerners unwilling to
accept assimilation into the Democrats.  These took longer to break down
and assimilate into the Democratic Party and their drift towards an
acceptance of white supermacism reflected that drift into the arms of
Woodrow Wilson, etc.

The post WWII American intellectuals, being East Coast liberals, had
rationalized the secular jihad against Communism, and sanctified the
writing out of our past of socialism and radical labor also recast populism
as a movement of easily misled ignorant bumpkins from the middle of the
country and the South.  Too, these thoroughly Establishment authors of
McCarthyism also preferred to attribute McCarthyism to those same kind of
people. In another sense, of course, this anti-democratic, elitist
perspective also seemed to offer a microcosm of how they saw the Cold War
world.

It obviously also echoes in the dishonest and idiotic cant of the media and
punditry about the 2016 election, essentially a cross-town intramural New
York game between Trump and Clinton.  In the aftermath, the people who got
it all wrong as pundits and totally misjudged the state of the country
among the Democratic strategists decided that Trump won because of all the
out of touch parochial dummies in the center of the country.  This, despite
the statistics showing the average Trump voter to be marginally better off
than the Clinton voters, etc.  This despite the demographic studies
indicating that most of those alleged Trump voters sat on their hands.

Cheers,
Mark L.
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Re: [Marxism] What The Left Must Fight Against | Current Affairs

2019-08-05 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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This grissly misrepresents Populism, out of which the Socialist party
emerged.

On Mon, Aug 5, 2019, 9:41 AM Michael Meeropol via Marxism <
marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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>
> Thank you Louis -- I was totally convinced by the article -- I had no idea
> Carlson was such a DANGEROUS mix of accurate economic analysis and
> dangerous racism .
>
> In the 1890s, the Populist Party for a brief moment made an effort to
> create a black and white alliance -- but after the 1896 elections, decided
> that the top dogs in the South had been able to "corral" the black vote ---
> so the Populists opted for disenfranchisement in the hope that they (the
> Populists) would command the white majority based on self-interest --
>
> But in fact from that point on, the only way to get elected in the South
> was to sound the alarm about black folks (using different language of
> course).
>
>
> The last gasp of the black-white alliance (which  included Populists) was
> the terorist insurrection that drove out the elected government of
> Wilminston, North Carolina in 1899 --- The novel THE MARROW OF TRADITION by
> Chesnut (sp?) is a pretty good fictionalization of some of what was going
> on there ... but I bet there are some good historical treatments as well.
>
>
> 
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Re: [Marxism] At least 9 dead, 26 injured in mass shooting in downtown Dayton, Ohio - ABC News

2019-08-04 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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 When the Miscreant-in-Chief was in Cincinnati last Thursday, a 29-year-old
suburban Kentucky thug assaulted a 61-year old demonstrator.  Everywhere he
goes, he encourages such things.

Government balks at identifying white nationalism, and the media provides
its own mealy-mouthed solutions--focused on the dangers of discussions on
social media.

While this is certainly not classical fascism, new technologies--not
electronic communications but military hardware--places what would have
been the power of an organized extralegal armed band in the hands of a
single person or several people.
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Re: [Marxism] Millennial Socialism and Its Limits - Los Angeles Review of Books

2019-07-31 Thread Mark Lause via Marxism
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Yes, the "liberal" MSNBC permitted no progressive voice in showcasing
misrepresentations and scare tactics about the mildest health care
proposals ... in between the insurance company ads.
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