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But this has no earthly connection with the right of self-determination of small nations.
--Richard Fraser, "Dialectics of Black Liberation" in Revolutionary Integration: A Marxist Analysis of African American Liberation by Richard Fraser and Tom Boot
Some writers frankly placed the discussion in political perspective, but even they demonstrated a wider effort to sharpen their fellow slaveholders' class consciousness by appealing to a sense of moral responsibility.
--Eugene D. Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made
In other news, Patrick Curtin came up on Saturday to attend Open Gaming Convention with me. The Black Goblin stood me up and Mr. Comrade and I decided that he should go to the DSA party instead. Special thanks to my former players, the Royals and Son, for all their help! I probably would never have found any games if it weren't for them! Huzzah!
Didn't get into any PFS like I would have preferred, but we did get to play in an XCrawl game where we gladiators in a United States ruled by a Roman Empire that never fell ruled over by Reagan Maximus.
I got to exercise my role playing abilities by repeatedly shouting out things like "May the invisible hand of capitalism guide my shot!" and "I'ma gonna make the blood trickle down your face!"
Was also proud of myself that I made the autistic, socially disengaged kid at the table happy when we encouraged him to finish off a lizard man and he decided to rip its throat out with his teeth. I think it was the only real smile I saw on the kid's face all session.
After that, we played a game called Cthulu-Doobie-Doo-Clue in which the Mystery, Inc. gang and the characters from Clue teamed up to investigate the death of Mr. Boddy. I was a bit disappointed because there wasn't much (any, IIRC) Cthulu Mythos involved, but I guess that was our own fault because we neutralized the ravings of poor Mrs. White with a soporific Scooby snack.
I was Ms. Scarlett (Patrick was Fred and Mr. Royal was Shaggy) and I like to think that my best line was, after discovering Mr. Boddy's lawyer was taken out by being poisoned with peanut butter, and then discovering that Mr. Boddy had a nut allergy, in an outrageous Southern belle accent: "Honey, I'm from Georgia, and if there's one thing we know in Georgia, it's that a peanut is not a nut, it's a legume."
Was thrilled, after the game was over, to discover that some of the other players were terrified by my character because I kept disappearing and doing stuff on my own, but I was only popping into the kitchen to make and deliver cucumber sandwiches after we weren't able to finish our lunch (peanut butter poisoning of the lawyer and all). It's called Southern hospitality!
Anyway, fun times to be had. Didn't really respark my desire to run a campaign, but, perversely, Mr. Comrade listened to my con stories and now he's all a tizzy and wants to run a Cthulu game.
Yeah, I had decided on Stampp, mostly because I already have it (there it is on the table between DuBois and Colonel Higginson!), but partly because I read the two carried on a polemic for decades. The Oakes book looks interesting, too.
I am also saddened to report that the spine of my copy of Roll, Jordan, Roll gave out around page 275. At first I was like, "Piece of shiznit book!" but then I was like, "Well, it was printed the year I was born and my body certainly doesn't stand up the way it did twenty years ago..."
In addition to that, I thought I read a part earlier in the text, don't remember where, in which he said the WPA narratives had to be taken with suspicion because most (all?) of the interviewees would have been children under slavery and were being asked questions during the Depression when they most probably would have been destitute and would have thus colored their responses.
I also think I read, maybe somewhere else (one of the obits?), that he was one of the first historians to have mastered the WPA material.
I haven't really noticed much of a "Slavery wasn't ALL that bad" skew except in the parts comparing the material conditions (working hours, diet) of slave life in the South to other American slave societies, Eastern European serfs, workers during the Industrial Revolution, but, I admit, I still have 300+ pages to go.
Looking ahead, what, in your opinion, would be a good book to counterbalance this "Slavery wasn't all THAT bad" skew?
Was making good progress on Roll, Jordan, Roll and then all my free time got sucked up going to solidarity stand outs for undocumented workers, Fight for $15 and a nurses strike.
Anyway, finished Part One of Section Two and am pleased to report that my fears were groundless and Genovese's explorations of the roots of the Afro-American church were much more interesting than a 20-year-old Doodlebug would have expected.
I was looking for somewhere appropriate to make a Bastille Day post and remembered this thread.
Don't know why it fell off, what was I doing in February of 2015?
[Pours one out for Comrade Dwarf]
Anyway, reprinted last Bastille Day, but I didn't see it last year, by internationalist martyr Jean Jaurès:
I think Comrade Dwarf and I had an exchange about JJ once, which led to Musical Interludes:
Vive le Galt!
In a second, anyway:
Article I came across while googling earlier:
Umaru Musa Yar'adua University, in case you're wondering (I was), is in Nigeria.
Speaking of historians, La Principessa and her new group, Maoist-Inclined (although less so than before) Independent Red Historian Rival for La Principessa's Affections (Since Vanquished) recently got an article published on their website:
[Heads back out to porch to sit in wading pool and read Genovese]
I think his praise of Phillips is what's usually meant in the obits when they refer to his perverse tendency to heap praise on reactionaries. There's a forty-page essay about UBP in In Red and Black, although, tbh, I only vaguely remember what it says.
I also notice he has an appendix in IRaB about Gramsci and that your first day's reading will end on the chapter about (capital H) Hegemony.
Last night, I had to field one of those depressed, angry, self-loathing calls from La Principessa. She was supposed to be reading/editing a translation from Spanish of an article on Trotsky and the Fourth International for her new group (splitter!) and she couldn't make heads nor tails of it. "I'm so stupid!" she started (that's the self-loathing) before pulling an emotional 180 and shouting "I don't give a f*&& about Gramsci!" (that's the anger).
Gramsci seems to have that effect on people. (What he was doing in an article about Trotsky and the Fourth International, I still don't know.)
I'm on page 133. Further along than I thought I would be, but that's probably because of the pressure. Will be fun to see how quick you lap me. Looking ahead and reading various reviews on the internet, I am reminded of why I never dived in before: it's largely about the development of the black church, a subject that has never really appealed to me before.
Spoiler: The chapter title "Of Concubines and Horses" is a tease.
Thought about following it up with McPherson's Ordeal by Fire and then Foner's Reconstruction to do a whole Antebellum slavery--Civil War--Reconstruction triptych thing; Battle Cry of Freedom would be a better choice to avoid repetition, I agree, but I've read BCoF twice thus far in my life and I haven't read ObF in...oh, I'd guess twenty years. Then started thinking I should also re-read Stampp, then remembered that article from Comrade Dwarf's old thread and thought I should read some Walter Johnson.
Then remembered that new bio of Lenin that a comrade lent me is still kicking around the parlor, then remembered I've got all those Brust novels to read, the Elric re-read I wanted to do, Scott Lynch, Margaret Atwood...then I started to cry.
"Imamu Amiri Baraka captures the tragic irony of paternalist social relations when he writes that slavery 'was, most of all, a paternal institution' and yet refers to 'the filthy paternalism and cruelty of slavery.' Southern paternalism, like every other paternalism, had little to do with Ole Massa's ostensible benevolence, kindness and good cheer. It grew out of the necessity to discipline and morally justify a system of exploitation. It did encourage kindness and affection, but it simultaneously encouraged cruelty and hatred." (p. 4)
Tangentially, I've always known Beat poet turned black nationalist, Amiri Baraka as an exponent of some of the more misogynist and homophobic strains of black nationalism, but I only recently learned that he was in the closet for most of his life.
Anyway, moving along through the first section of Genovese. Set myself a thirty pages per day goal which I will probably stick to until tomorrow when I pick up the Arundhati Roy novel from the library.
Well, I'll start now and you'll probably tortoise and hare me. Except I'll be the tortoise and go first and the you, as the hare, will still beat me to the end.
So, as has happened before, I've never really understood your animus against Genovese. We must be coming at him with different background knowledge, but I've read two books by him and I didn't really pick up anything about prettifying the slaveholders in 'em.
I don't recall anything specific about his use of "paternalism" in The World the Slaveholders Made and In Red and Black, but I vaguely remember that was his attempt at denoting slavery's semi-feudal feeling set of class relationships vis a vis Yankee capitalism; mostly I remember him using when talking about Brazil or the Carribbean (In Red and Black, IIRC, is mostly essays about the new, at the time, field of comparative slave studies) where the slavemasters self-consciously thought of themselves like European feudal nobility and sometimes actually were.
But, I notice, Part 1 of Chapter One is entitled "On Paternalism" and he even begs our patience in the preface, so, we'll see, I guess.
Well, I finished Revolutionary Integration today. I was gonna start in on the Tariq Ali bio of Lenin that a comrade left at the house, but I can hold off if you're gonna start Roll, Jordan, Roll soon.
(I easily found my copy when I set up a lit table for our Juneteenth party.)
[Holds copy of Roll, Jordan, Roll in grubby hands.]
The only thing that I can find is that, according to the wikipedia page for one Henricus Sneevliet (Dutch commie), Princess (later Queen) Juliana used to hang out with commies in the thirties, but she abdicated in 1980 and Livingstone didn't become mayor of London until 2000...so, I don't know if that means anything.
Tangentially...a question for red Brits and and/or anglophiles:
I recently pulled out a 2000ish Mekons record that I bought years ago and never really listened to and, like most Mekons records, it has one song/essay on Britishiznoid radical history:
I did have to refresh my limited knowledge of nonconformist sects to get the Muggletonians, but I have no idea what the first line means.
And, just for clarification, this is just a Fond Farewell to Politrolldom and a thanks to the comrades and politrolls.
I am way too invested in the Good Books thread and ocd-like posting about every record I listen to in the music threads for a complete disappearing act.
Off to work now, so I'll check in with what Comrade Seas has worked up tonight.
Patrick Curtin wrote:
Bon voyage, mon ami. Although we do not agree on politics, I have enjoyed your company and playing Zombicide and discussing books and other sundries over intoxicants at TotalCon. PM me and we'll figure out a time to grab lunch. Maybe we'll grab the one-eyed orc as well.
From what I've been able to gather, your schedule has changed quite a bit, but if you're free the weekend of July 22nd and want to live free or die, we have a pull-out couch with your name on it.
I'll have to contact the G-man, too.
Freehold DM wrote:
"Kirth Gersen, Comrade Freehold, I'm Hiding In Your Closet."
And my last political post before I leave which I hope Paizo.com will overlook because it's about my girlfriend:
Pictured with her chocolate lab, Penny, who never shiznits in the house unlike the two f!~#ing mutts I live with now.
Well, I wasn't able to successfully log on for two days, so I just heard the news.
It's been pretty great over the years, but, alas, all things must come to an end.
"Why, Doodlebug," you're asking me, "did you spend so much time on Paizo, a website for fantasy role-playing games, proselytizing for international proletarian socialist revolution?"
Well, it happened organically. Back in 2010 or so me and my mates switched from third edition to Pathfinder and we discovered this website and I became addicted to it. Then, after a while, my players started getting married and having kids and we met less and less often, then Occupy Wall Street happened, and my dormant communist tendencies were reignited and I became less and less interested in campaigning against orcs and more and more interested in campaigning against capitalism, and, every step of the way, there were posters here who were willing to indulge my every (well, most of them anyway) topic of discussion, so, it happened.
Comrade Crystal Seas pm'ed about setting up some kind of off-site political article sharing thingy and I told her I'd make some kind of thread offering up my Facebook page as a way to stay in touch. Maybe we could make a group page if people are interested. Otoh, not everyone is on Facebook, I don't know. Ironically, I don't post much about politics on Facebook. It's too echo chamber-y and, besides, I prefer being a big goblin in a small cave to a miniscule gobbo in a...well, you get the idea.
Anyway, here go:
(Make sure to include your Paizo handle or I will have no idea who you are)
(It used to be "Commie Mike Gath" a moniker Comrade Omar [RIP] gave me; but Facebook made me change it after a couple of years. Jerks.)
In the meantime, well, it's not farewell like I'll never be back, there's still the books and music threads, but, I imagine my activity will fall off markedly. I mean, I've been supposed to be putting together a Scarred Lands campaign starting with Gallows of Madness for two or three months now and I think I might have to face the fact that, at least for now, I've lost interest in the hobby. (Otoh, I'm hoping to go a local con next month, so, we'll see.)
To wrap up:
Thanks to the staff at Paizo.com for treating me with benign neglect over the past seven or eight years, even if you are a bunch of anti-goblin racists.
Thanks to all the comrades and poltitrolls over the years for making it so much fun: Gark the Goblin, thejeff, Limeylongears, Robert Hawkshaw, The 8th Dwarf (RIP), Citizen K(e)rensky, Yellow Dingo and Lazar X (where ever those three are), thejeff, Ambrosia Slaad, Mean DM, Usagi Yojimbo, Houstonderek, Kirth Gersen, Comrade Freehold, I'm Hiding In Your Closet, Alice Murgatroyd, Dicey, Smarnil le Couard, Guy Humual, Comrade Pravda, Madame Sissyl, Bee Nee, Comrade Fergie, Pan, Kajehase, Comrade Samnell, The White Knife, Bitter Thorn, Bugleyman, Meatrace and a cast of thousands all of whom I can't remember at the moment because I did double-digit hour day in a sweltering 100+ degrees warehouse today and have already drank three Down East ciders (and I sincerely apologize if I forgot you).
And if I ever called you an imperialist stooge, scab, or neoliberal lickspittle, then I apologize (although you probably deserved it) (okay that was a less sincere apology).
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer/We'll keep the red flag flying here
Vive le Galt!!!
23% participation rate, I'm reading.
I, alas, haven't been following, but usually when the rate is so low it's because the independistas are boycotting.
Anyone know if that's the case today?
EDIT: From Reuters:
The island's two main opposition parties boycotted the vote, which gave Puerto Ricans three options: becoming a U.S. state; remaining a territory; or becoming an independent nation, with or without some continuing political association with the United States.
The boycott raised concerns of low voter turnout.
Puerto Rico's former governor Rafael Hernandez Colon said in a statement: "A contrived plebiscite fabricated an artificial majority for statehood by disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of Commonwealth supporters."
Rather than heading to the polls, some 500 Puerto Ricans marched on the streets of San Juan, waving Puerto Rico's flag and chanting in support of independence.
"This is a bogus plebiscite. Our future is independence. We need to be able to decide our own fate," said Liliana Laboy, one of the organizers of the protest.
(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; editing by Dave Gregorio and Grant McCoo
EDIT 2: Went and looked up the two Puerto Rican opposition parties and then, after, the ruling party.
So, the party calling for statehood is the Partido Nuevo Progresista; oddly, from what little there was about the question on wikipedia, members of the PNP can be affiliated either with the Republicans or the Democrats (for example, the previous governor with the former, the present one with the latter; it lists seven gubernatorial candidates with about 3 affiliating with the Republicans and four with the Democrats).
One of the two opposition parties mentioned as boycotting is the Partido Popular Democrático; they are in favor of the status quo and, according to wikipedia, are mostly affiliated with the Democrats, although further down it says that, like the PNP, individual members can go either way.
Finally, the Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño who are also boycotting, but for the opposite reason; they seem to be unaffiliated with any mainland American party, but they are apparently a member of the Socialist International, so that would put their closest affiliates on the mainland as the Democratic Socialist of America. They apparently jettisoned all their M-L factions back in the early seventies.
No mention of Boston, so I guess I didn't miss much.
Graduation party/send-off was a success; Ex-High School Student Comrade scored a copy of the China Miéville history of the Russian Revolution mentioned somewhere above, Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, as Narrated by Herself and A Love Supreme on vinyl which made her very happy, indeed.
Running Subtheme from Closed Thread Continued Here: Rabbits
I watched Lola, a matronly grandmother of a bulldog/terrier mutt, nosing about in the overgrown fire pit, pull something out and ecstatically start rolling around in it. I knew what that meant, and ran over to discover her gleefully squeezing the innards out of yet another dead baby bunny.
Animals are gross.
She was upset that they reported she slammed the door in their face. "What do you want? Fair reporting from the gutter press? It's a badge of honor, [La Principessa]!"
She's been getting congratulations from all her Facebook comrades, so I assume she will calm down soon.
I'm not sure if there is a rule per se, but our organization is predicated upon the political independence of the working class, opposition to the two parties of racist capitalist exploitation, set up a new party of the 99%, etc., etc.
I've never seen the Minneapolis operation on the ground, so I can't comment on stuff I've never seen, but, yeah, seeking or holding positions in the DP (or in Minnesota's case, the DFLP) would be quite the cause for scandal in our ranks.
One exception I do recall (and am not particularly pleased with, but nonetheless) is that we recruited a Bernie delegate out of Washington State and used her position to rally other delegates to walk out of the DNC (yeah, that was, at least, partly us); but that was an exceptional case for a specific purpose. Please let me know if there are any further DFLP/SA shenanigans in your area so that I can rat them out to the rest of my ultraleft friends.
Looks like the thread has taken a real turn since the last time I peeped in; I don't really have the stomach to participate further at the moment and, besides, I'm supposed to be cleaning the house.
La Principessa gave out a vocabulary exercise that included the sentence "Often people who run banks are ________ for preying on the poor and the disadvantaged" (or something like that) with the vocab word being "nefarious."
One of her students brought it home to her father, who is a banker; the latter got upset, shared it with everyone in his office and one of them contacted the New York Post who are apparently running a story on it tomorrow.
She's all a-tizzy (three interns just appeared at her apartment asking if she had a response), and I am having a hard time calming her down because I keep laughing despite myself.
Anyway, I'll link it when I see it.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Yesterday, the day before?, we learned that there was a similar "anti-sharia" demo in Boston. Consensus is that none of the far right watchers knew about it, so they must have just announced it.
Also turns out today is Boston Pride, which also caught us by surprise. I had looked it up and could have sworn it was the 24th, which is also when Lowell Pride and Seacoast (NH) Pride is. Anyway, apparently Pride is centered around Copley Square and the Proud Boys are rallying at Park Street. Doesn't sound great.
But regardless, I'm not going. I'm doing this work six-days-a-week thing, at least until summer is over. Also, we are having a graduation party for Ex-High School Student Comrade who will now leave our lives as she spends the summer with family in Georgia and then proceeds to start her collegiate career at American University in Washington, D.C.
Watching them grow up is so bittersweet.
Anyway, next weekend, Mr. Comrade is planning a fundraiser party in honor of Juneteenth. He plans on procuring a Confederate flag and raffling off tickets at $5 a pop for a chance to burn it.
I was a little hesitant about the ethics of such a plan, but I conferred with Ex-High School Student Comrade, Mr. Comrade's new girlfriend, and the other people of color in my immediate circle and they gave it the thumbs up.
Forgive me, but I had to look up precinct chair and the internet spit out that they were posts within the Democratic Party.
If so, of course there are no Socialist Alternative precinct chairs in your district, because we're not Democrats.
It's true, though. We're still small.
This is where we had all the debate about universities, free speech and the Bad Man, right?
I don't remember. Anyway, if so, CROSS-POST!:
Commies in the News
Well, I know I started with "I can't for the life of me understand," but it isn't really much of a mystery: she was the first one to endorse him and Sachs has been making the rounds as a neoliberal shock trooper turned environmentally-friendly trendy liberal since at least Occupy.
I discovered two dead bunnies in their hole yesterday.
I know Druid Wolf said it was a myth, but the phrase "Nine times out of ten" from the bunny page I linked kept worming its way through my consciousness and I was seized by self-recrimination and -loathing until Mr. Comrade pointed out that it was probably the unseasonably cold rains and exposure that killed them and convinced me that the true culprit was climate change.
Capitalism killed my backyard bunnies and I will be revenged!
Yuck. I can't for the life of me understand the Berniecrats' embracing of Tulsi Gabbard, that anti-Muslim, BJP-connected chauvinist; and Jeffrey Sachs? the former IMF hitman? Yuck, yuck, yuck.
We've well and truly entered the era of the imperial presidency. Unfortunately, the emperor in question isn't Augustus, he's Nero.
Well, that phrase has been bandied about for decades and was even the title of a Schlesinger, Jr. book in the seventies, so...
Yeah, that's about right.
Some local acquaintances in the news:
And a fun story in the wake of that Filippino "I had a slave story" in The Atlantic:
I did try and convince the comrades that we should serve "Boilermakers for Boilermakers!" but something about bourgeois legality and liquor licensing...
Anyway, this morning there was an article announcing that they went back to work, so I hurriedly sent in the money to the fundraiser page. Can't imagine the terms were any good. Apparently, according to one of the workers, whoever acquired Westinghouse, the CEO gave himself a $17 million dollar bonus and then declared bankruptcy.
Now we don't know what to do for the rest of the month's Pride events.
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