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My ankle was sore, so I only did one shift today. Mr. Comrade texted to say he's at some meeting to demand that UML become a "sanctuary school" and he's planning not one, but TWO inauguration day protests (one in Manchester, one in Lowell). He sure is ambitious.
Anyway, more Cornel West.
And while I'm at it,
and a profile of the org in former far-leftist turned far-rightist David Horowitz's website
and finally, another Jacobin article, although I think I missed Fred's b-day
Back to To the Finland Station:
Romp through Marx and Engels bios going swell, although I was largely disappointed by the chapter "The Myth of the Dialectic." Next chapter, "Marx and Engels Go Back to Writing History" revealed that Engels's The Peasant War in Germany is a gaping hole in my Marxist classics reading list that should be addressed soon.
I oppose protectionist campaigns among the American unions because it fosters the illusion that American workers and American capitalists have the same interests and tends to lend credence to campaigns to demonize workers from other countries, particularly Mexico and/or China. The murder of Vincent Chin back in the eighties is a good example of protectionism fueling chauvinism in the working class. In contradistinction to protectionism, communists put forward international workers solidarity.
As for when the government does it, I tend to view tariffs and whatnot through the prism of "trade wars lead to shooting wars" but I am aware that this reflects my position as a resident in the most powerful imperialist nation in history and I might have a slightly different view if I lived in, say, Venezuela, or, more to the point, Cuba.
Second Part Dealt with Dudes I Was Way More Familiar With
Last chapter in section was a survey of the utopian socialist communities, starting with a bit on this guy:
and a couple of others:
Next section starts up a bio of Marx and Engels; covers all the familiar ground (Young Hegelians who I think I covered in my old thread, Feuerbach, controversy with Proudhon), but Wilson is a bit of a genius at prose stylin', so it's fun read. Read five chapters at work yesterday, let's see where I get today!
La Principessa's Guatemalan Anarcho-Syndicalist Playwright Friend just posted this on FB, which I thought was nice:
"Say what you will about Fidel, he was a true believer, and in a region of the world ruled by caudillos, his caudillo rule was far more beneficial and merciful than the butchers he fought against. Latin American reformism died during Guatemala's coup in 1954. Che was in the country during the CIA sponsored bloodshed and fled for Mexico, where he met Fidel. No competent revolutionary would attempt reformism after seeing how the Americans responded. The American founding fathers recognized that a nation constantly at war couldn't be free, and Cuba's perpetual conflict with the US was not of their choosing. You can't understand the Cuban Revolution without understanding the overthrow of Arbenz in Guatemala and the effect it had on leftists, anti-racists and the poor of Latin America. Cuba has many problems, but it also has strengths and accomplishments beyond what other similar countries accomplished. May Cuba continue to improve, develop and maintain the anti-imperialist struggle."
To which he appended a short video about Fidel in South Africa.
Anyway, time to go back to work.
In which a former comrade interviews a dude that we keep running into at Massachusetts labor events.
In which curmudgeonly blogger criticizes said dude that we keep running into at Massachusetts labor events.
In which American Cliffites solidarize with my most famous comrade
Man, that Theon Greyjoy's a real jerk.
Not true, but whatever.
"My primary opponents aren't conservatives; they are defenders of capitalism."
That one's true.
"You are a forthright fan of capitalism."
"I've become a capitalist over the past 15 years, it's a system that works really well for large portions of the economy. I think a fair and appropriately regulated economy is better than trying to determine every aspect from on high."
That seems pretty forthright to me. Not uncritical, true, but pretty forthright. I guess one could split hairs between "fan" and "supporter" if one were so inclined.
"We are opponents."
Have been for a long while on a wide array of issues. Oh, sure, we agree sometimes, but I agree with most people sometimes.
"I don't see any point in continuing this conversation, but I don't wish to be rude."
Well, I don't wish to be rude, but sometimes I am.
It was raining when I woke up and I didn't feel like driving for an hour and a half by myself to stand in the rain for two hours to drive back for an hour and a half before heading into special double-time-and-a-half overtime, even if there is a new formation in NH we need to check out called Seacoast Young Socialists.
I know, I know, I'm a slacker. Will probably spend the rest of the morning eating leftovers and reading Clash of Kings.
A) The article doesn't lay it at the Clintons' feet, which you would discover if you actually read the article.
B) The line that you object to mentions three things: the legacy of welfare reform, Congressional spending priorities (I assume they are referring to, among other things the 2014 Farm Bill Obama signed that cut food stamps by $8.7 billion) and slow wage growth. Your fixation on defending the Clintons says more about you than it does about the article.
C) My primary opponents aren't conservatives; they are defenders of capitalism. You are a forthright fan of capitalism. We are opponents. I don't see any point in continuing this conversation, but I don't wish to be rude.
Speaking of which National Mourning Day was aight, if somber.
Leftist Bingo-wise: Both wings of Marcyite tankies (including La Principessa's friend Comrade Imani from Flatbush), black nationalists, Black Israelites, who aren't really leftists but you don't see them everyday, some Cliffites, and we were the only Taafeites.
Up early tomorrow for Black Friday, woo hoo!
So you're aware, I wrote my first paper criticizing the 1996 welfare reform bill back in 1996. I'm not defending that at all. I'm calling that first article cheap and insubstantial. Yes, the plight of those people is awful, and it does them a disservice by explaining the causes poorly IMO.
The article's cheap and insubstantial because I pulled out one line that mentioned Clinton's welfare reforms? Man, you are touchy.
I'd continue to ignore you because we have already determined that your thoughts are worthless, but I guess it'd be rude to ignore you in my own thread.
Have a Happy National Mourning Day.
Well, I only gave them cigarettes, so there's that.
"Tankie" is a term that comes out of the Communist Party of Great Britain (or just Britain, I forget, Comrade Longears might know better) and refers to those western communists who, during the 1956 revolution in Hungary (and, later, the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia in 1968) supported the Soviet Union and called for "sending in the tanks."
In the case of PSL, and the group they came from, the Workers World Party, their progenitor, Sam Marcy, was the head of the Buffalo, NY branch of the then-Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party who split with said Trotskyists over the latter's defense of the Hungarian Revolution, so "tankie" still fits. Both groups, PSL and WW, are often called "Stalinists" by their detractors, but members of each one have confided to me that they are "internally Trotskyist."
Nowadays, it is used more figuratively. In the case of PSL, their opposition to US imperialism in Syria, for example, tends to bleed over into defense of the Assad regime and repeating Ba'athist talking points; glorification of Mao and Maoist China; they defended the post-Maoist Chinese regime during the Tiananmen incident; I'm sure there are more.
For Comrade In the Closet, if he's out there--
PSL in action:
Also, Running Subtheme: Standing Rock
Well, have the weekend sorted, I think:
Thursday: 47th Annual National Day of Mourning 2016 and then a late Thanksgiving meal because I am a hypocrite.
Friday: Black Friday Protest which will hopefully combine the New Hampshire union activists, the still-running Occupy Seacost and a new group that popped up called Seacoast Young Socialists.
Saturday: Anti Trump Rally I'll probably be at work, but we need to get back to Keene to consolidate our second Young Gay Autistic Comrade (yes, we have two of them now). Although, tbh, I think we're gonna try and pawn him off on Worcester. They're an hour closer than we are.
Tuesday: See if I can convince the young and unemployed comrades to trek down to Boston for the Fight for $15 strike.
Oh yeah, and overtime, overtime, overtime.
Not saying you're wrong, but the 29th apparently marks the fourth anniversary of when NYC fast food workers first walked out.
Thousands of low-wage airport and fast-food workers across US plan to protest on fourth anniversary of first major action in light of Trump’s election victory
"The findings raise questions over the legacy of Bill Clinton’s landmark welfare-reform legislation 20 years ago as well as the spending priorities of Congress and the impact of slow wage growth. Evidence of teenage girls turning to 'transactional dating' with older men is likely to cause particular alarm."
But, you know, birds are chirping and folks are going to work...
Responding to Facebook comments about Edmund Wilson brought me to this essay about the only other book of his that I ever read. Probably should go into the Good Books thread, but whatever.
Revisiting one of the most important and confounding books ever written about the Civil War.
I never thought I'd be linking South Park.
Also, that voter turnout rate is abominable.
Running Subtheme: Standing Rock
Watched some livestreaming on FB last night of DAPL protesters getting hit with water cannons and concussion grenades. Haven't seen any articles yet.
In other such news, former CAJE members, Anarcho-Syndicalist Hipster and Local Teacher-Turned-Rappel-From-a-Bridge-To-Stop-the-Oil-Trains-Environmentalist -Direct Actioneer are speeding across the midwest in a Penske truck filled with supplies for Standing Rock collected throughout northern New England. On their list of needed supplies they listed Marlboro Reds and Camels, so I perversely donated a carton of cigarettes.
Lowell rally went pretty well, from what I hear. Young Gay Autistic Comrade's BF made his debut speech in front of a crowd of 200 and Mr. Comrade said it was great.
Afterwards, eighty or so peeps retired to Mill Number Five, Lowell's ground zero for hipster gentrification, and had a long meeting about what to do next. Mr. Comrade proposed a mass protest on Inauguration Day, as per the party line. Other proposals were also made and they were all dutifully listed on a easel. The facilitators then revived an old Occupy ranked voting with stickers system. When no one was looking, longtime (well, two years) fellow traveler, Lebanese-American Women Who Is Always Inebriated, gave the comrades extra strips of stickers and Mr. Comrade's proposal carried.
The system is rigged!
Don't know what's happening this week. Lots of overtime, I imagine. Will be the first year in a while that we didn't organize a Black Friday Wal-Mart picket, but I see that there are a few going on in the area. We'll see.
UNITE-HERE Local 26 victory party for the UML dining hall workers was pretty fun, the Lowell Queer Labor Mafia was out in force, had some plantains and other Dominican food, Professor Bob Forrant is always a pleasure, and the punk rock lass who made eyes at me at the UMass Feminist Club meeting shyly confessed that she had been trying to get my attention for half an hour before I said "Hello." Ended with a rousing rendition of "Solidarity Forever" even though most of the attendees didn't know the words/
On the way back to the car, we ran into Mr. Comrade's new girlfriend and her sister. Sister attached herself to me in what I thought was an attempt to give Mr. Comrade and his new girlfriend room to talk, but, later, when Mr. Comrade told his new girlfriend to apologize for his rudeness in not saying "hi" to the sister, new girlfriend replied that her sister hadn't said "hi" to him because she was distracted by me.
La Principessa better make up her mind soon.
Manchester "What Next?" wasn't exactly on fire, but we did turn out a few new faces.
Now I gotta go make flyers for the Lowell rally before I go to work.
--No time to comment on Bannon's alleged "Leninism," but I remember Karl Rove was alleged to be an admirer as well.
Finished The Black Jacobins. Excellent read, but I was a little underwhelmed given its reputation.
Also made some creeping progress in A Clash of Kings; Dany just got to Qarth.
Managed to get myself to Sugar Candy Mountain for this peak season, so that's a plus; although, thus far, I've only been able to get a few pages in each day.
It's early Friday (my Saturday) afternoon, I already drove to Hooksett to get the keys to the Plumbers' and Steamfitters' hall for tomorrow's "What's Next?" meeting, Mr. Comrade's on a nature-walk date and won't be around until evening when we go to the LGBTQ+ mixer to rabble rouse for the rally in Lowell on Sunday, half my branch (including Comrade Who Was Published in Jacobin and the Nigerian Princess) quit to go start a New Hampshire branch of the Socialist Party USA, the other half are at school or work (well, Young Gay Autistic Comrade's probably out having adventures, but I had to chaperone him through last night's International Trans Remembrance event in Lowell which he showed up to drunk and then proceeded to smoke a joint during the march--"But it's legal now!" "Not until December 15th!"--and then passed out at the name-reading; he's a lot to handle, I think I'll see him soon enough), me and the Black Goblin don't work the same shift anymore so I hardly see him, my D&D group fell apart, like, seven months ago when I refused--after eight years--to be the Dungeon Master anymore, La Principessa and I aren't on speaking terms at the moment and now I can't talk about politics with any of my Paizo friends!
Guess I should go rake the lawn or something.
I don't want to get dragged back into the Bernie debate, because I never supported him, but I seem to remember him getting red-baited by Team Hillary for his support for the Sandinistas (which, IIRC, wasn't that far left back in the days when the Democrats were passing the Boland Amendment to stop Reagan from funding the Contras) and his positive comments about Castro.
Anyway, article I haven't fully read yet--
but I was taken by one of the points: if a couple hundred thousand of those Hillary votes were spread throughout other states, we'd all (well, not me) be talking about how progressive and equality-minded the American electorate is.
In other news entirely, I recently discovered that Trump Supporting Teamster voted for Obama in '08 and was arrested with his father-in-law sometime in the late eighties/early nineties for punching a Klansman at a rally somewhere in the Massachusetts North Shore area.
There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, etc.
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
It's less a slogan of communists (although, it is) and more of a slogan of the labor movement. For example, it's printed on my Teamsters membership card.
I don't know much about La Riva personally, but her Party of Socialism and Liberation is a pretty well-known quantity. Locally, they run the Mass Action Against Police Brutality coalition and their spokesman, with the awesome name (given or assumed, I'm not sure) of Nino Brown, worked with us at our anti-Trump rally in Lowell last January, as well as speaking at our mass anti-Trump rally in Boston last week.
Nationally, they have been prominent in the anti-Trump rallies, they were key organizers in the Akai Gurley case, and they are usually neck deep in any direct action against ICE and deporting undocumented workers.
They have a few "tankie" positions that I don't like, but, tbh, there are far worse groups one could join and they certainly teach their members how to organize.
Oh yeah, and Celebrity Leftist Heartthrob, Abby Martin, is dating one of their members. Here, she interviews La Riva: The Empire Files: Meet the Socialist Woman Running for President
Good news and bad news:
Bad news first: We abandoned our office at the end of October. There was significant water damage to the ceiling from an overflowing sink on the floor above and they never fixed it. Apparently, the landlord moved to Hawaii and after, two months, we bailed. Sorry to waste your money, Comrade Longears.
Good news: The dining hall workers at UMass Lowell, who used to meet in our office, won recognition of UNITE-HERE Local 26 as their bargaining-unit representative. Huzzah!
Victory party this Saturday and, then, onwards to the fight for a first contract!
Organize the unorganized!
Vive le Galt!!!
Yeah, I know. Have no idea why the What Next? thread was locked, but maybe I missed some deleted posts.
Anyway, I'm all for abolishing the electoral college and, while we're at it, the Senate. The presidency, too. Also, appointed Supreme Court justices. Elect that shiznit.
So, anti-Trump protests in New Hampshire were alright. About 100-150 people in Concord on Friday evening, no sizable right-wing presence; Manchester the following day was about 400-500 with heavily armed Oath Keepers, Soldiers of Odin, etc. In fact there were so many death threats on the FB event page that I can honestly say this was the first demonstration that I've been to with open-carrying liberals. (New Hampshire, baby!)
Won't go into it much, but, one thing that I noticed:
Despite the contigent of red flags and the delegation from New England Anti-Fascist Action, most of the protesters were young, well-heeled women. All of the right wing counterprotesters were scruffy-looking working class dudes with beards. Most of the protest marshals (including myself and Mr. Comrade) were scruffy-looking working class dudes with beards (we did have a few women and POC men, but the white beardos outnumbered them). There were a couple of times that the well-heeled liberal women taunted the scruffy-looking working class counterprotesters with cries such as "What are you going to do when Trump cuts off your food stamps?!?" or "Look at your shoes, are you on welfare?" or "You just want your factory jobs back!"
At one point, late in the demo, the crowd surged across the street and surrounded the counterprotesters. We quickly set up a cordon of marshals between the two groups. While we stood there keeping the liberals from the reactionaries, I turned around and noticed a comely young women staring at me with hate and screaming "MY BODY, MY CHOICE!" It took me a while to figure out that, based on my appearance, she assumed I was one of the Trumpers. "What the f~~%?!? I'm on your side!" I shouted, gesturing towards my arm band. She kept it up for awhile, until her friends noticed and started yelling in her ear. Then she got all red-faced, started mouthing "I'm sorry" over and over again and, I think, started to cry.
Gee, I can't understand why the Trumpers think the Democrats are a bunch of elitist snobs.
Anyway, after the demo, we were invited to join a host of newly-sprung up NH groups ranging from LoveTrumpsHate New Hampshire to the John Brown Militia*. Mr. Comrade's got two contact sessions while I go to work, and the entire New Hampshire left thinks we're the shiznit.
Anyway, as a good anti-accelerationist, I used to pooh-pooh the argument that a Trump election would be better for the Far Left. I guess I still do, but I admit I underestimated how many new layers would be propelled into action. Hope we're up to the challenge.
Still don't know anything about these peeps, but