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Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Lot more to say, but I should prepare for the Marxist reading circle in a few hours.
Does that work like a magic circle against capitalism?

I wish.

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Second Annual In Honor of Ona Judge Black History Forum
Sat, Feb 17, 2018 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM EST

Sponsored by the Class Struggle Education League

This Black History Month forum will focus on the Haitian Revolution, and will include speakers from the Internationalist Group. For more information about the meeting, see below.

You can join this public meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (646) 749-3122

Access Code: 780-736-221

First GoToMeeting? Let's do a quick system check: https://link.gotomeeting.com/system-check

The meeting is being held at The PLAN Office, 1 Washington Street, Suite 320, Dover, NH. If you cannot attend in person, you can view and hear it by clicking on the above links, or dialing in.

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Tfw, your Second Annual In Honor of Ona Judge Black History forum is tomorrow, and you've done a pretty good job building it all around town, and you've got DSA kids and SP members coming, a carload of IG members from New York, some former SAlt comrades from Providence, and are expecting a carload up from PSL Boston*; you distributed hundreds of copies of the flyer at the Portsmouth Women's March, and at the appearance of Ona Judge's biographer at St. Anselm and many, many elsewheres; it's less than 24 hours away, but you've been too busy driving undocumented workers in hiding to communist rallies in Boston and intervening into Teamster strikes and rallies for sacked UNH lecturers to actually, you know, write your speech for tomorrow, so you end up logging onto Paizo.com to recycle a bunch of the shiznit you said last year.

*This year, Nino Brown is coming to OUR forum, which is a nice change of pace and, hopefully a harbinger of things to come.

Pushing the envelope, and appending article I wrote that got put up on the IG comrades' website.

Boston: Let Siham Byah Come Home!
No Deportations!
By Class Struggle Education League

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Had a road-to-Damascus type conversion during my vacation in New York/Philadelphia last week.

First we went to hand out bilingual leaflets to Teamsters at NY's largest grocery distribution center in the Bronx. They were about to go on strike, but came to a tentative agreement at 6 am the next morning.

Not that we knew at the time, because we were up at 3 the next morning to be in Philadelphia at 8 to pack the courthouse on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal. That turned out to be anticlimatic because the court hearing had been postponed, but we still had a nice little demo in front of the courthouse before decamping to Reading Market for lunch. Nice place, that.

The next day I attended a reading circle. We discussed the first chapter of Daniel Guerin's 100 Years of American Labor and it was awesome. Everyone was really smart and knew what they were talking about which was a refreshing change from the organization I used to be in. One young woman even asked a question that, two or three days later, led me to understand how we've been doing trade union work wrong for the last five years.

Anyway, something happened while I was down there, and since I have gotten back, I have been so excited and full of self-confidence, it's like a total sea change. I don't think I ever realized how much Socialist Alternative's social democratic nonsense was holding me back.

I regaled the poor denizens of the secret Red Dice Facebook page about how I've been "Reaganing it" (see episode of 30 Rock) since I got back and I won't repeat myself, but one example:

Some of you may remember that we held an In Honor of Ona Judge, a Red Anti-President's Day Black History Month event last year. This year, we decided to do it again, but this time we decided to center it around Toussaint L'Ouverture and the Haitian Revolution (and we decided to do it before recent comments by someone in the White House about certain countries, so that was a pretty fortuitous decision on our part). We learned that Ona Judge's biographer was speaking at a small Catholic college in Manchester, so we went to distribute flyers for our event. During the question and answer period, I took the mic (we call it an "intervention" in the commie biz) to talk politics and promote our event. Ona's biographer almost fell off her seat, she was so delighted. We riffed back and forth, for example, on the similarities between fugitive slaves and undocumented workers today, and it turned into half intervention/half flirting ("Well, I sent you a Facebook friend request earlier today..."). Afterwards, we got our picture taken with signs that we displayed at the Woman's March in Portsmouth. It was awesome.

Erica Armstrong Dunbar and the Class Struggle Education League

Anyway, I bought a copy of her book, Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge and she inscribed it thusly: "To [Doodlebug], Find strength in Ona's courage! My best, Erica." (Unfortunately, she didn't include her phone number.)

Vive le Galt!!!

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff.

I'm enjoying it thus far.

Eugene D. Genovese--From Rebellion to Revolution: Afro-American Slave Revolts in the Making of the Modern World

Which I chose mostly because it's short and can be hidden in my pocket at work.

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
was rooming in Brooklyn with another Moreonite upon whom I developed a crush before learning that she is gay.

Who put out a video from Buenos Aries last night or this morning.

Another important disagreement came about because the South American Secretariat wanted to impose a specific form of organization mirroring the Russian Communist Party, but many political parties were resistant to this.

--Arielle Concilio and Jimena Vergara, "José Carlos Mariátegui, Latin American Communism, and the Russian Revolution," in Left Voice #3; "Memories of the Future: 100 Years from the Russian Revolution," Winter 2017-2018

(In which La Principessa gets promoted to the Editorial Board, and one of the authors of the piece was rooming in Brooklyn with another Moreonite upon whom I developed a crush before learning that she is gay.)

I don't think that the southern Negroes require a slogan in order to create defense guards, for this is already in their consciousness.

--Richard S. Fraser, "Contribution to the Discussion on the Slogan 'Send Federal Troops to Mississippi'" originally published in the Socialist Workers Party (US) Discussion Bulletin Vol. 18, No. 13 (October, 1957), republished in In Memoriam: Richard S. Fraser; An Appreciation and Selection of His Work, published by the Prometheus Research Library

The beneficiaries of this campaign were to be that narrow segment of the black population which is middle class or close to it and is commonly called "the black bourgeoisie."

--from "Black Power--Class Power: Once Again on Black Power," Spartacist West Vol. 1, No. 8, 30 September 1966; reprinted in Marxist Bulletin 5 (Revised): What Strategy for Black Liberation? Trotskyism vs. Black Nationalism as printed by the Internationalist Group

In Spain in the 1930s, the social force and organizations of the proletariat were much stronger than in Russia of 1917, and yet the Spanish Revolution failed.

--Santiago Lupe, "Class, Party and Leadership: Lessons from the Spanish Revolution" in Left Voice #2, Spring 2017

A key moment came in 2012 when the GI [Grupo Internacionalista] had its first national conference where it fused with the Permanent Revolution Study Group in Oaxaca and with the Revolutionary Hip-Hop Activists (ARH).

--"International Perspectives of the League for the Fourth International," conference document from the First National Conference of the Internationalist Group, printed in The Internationalist, No. 40, Summer 2015

About two-thirds of the way through Kropotkin, a couple of short chapters after the September Massacres.

Multiple commie periodicals, some, like my old group's newspaper, which can be read whole in about fifteen minutes; others, like La Principessa's group's quarterly, or the Internationalist Group's theoretical journal, which weigh in at about 100 pages a pop and I should start entering them into the 5th sentence on page 55 thread.

Other than that, re-read The Tempest.

End of the year-wise, I have, yet again, been assigned to Sugar Candy Mountain for the holiday season, but this year I am responsible for sorting the flow instead of loading a trailer, and thus far, have found it much less rewarding, reading-on-the-clockwise.


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Speaking of 19th century American history, Mr. Comrade and I stumbled across this 2006 History Channel program about Reconstruction that was pretty awesome.

Especially the second part. I thought I knew something about Reconstruction, but I had never heard of the four incidents of anti-Klan organizing that the film demonstrates: Parson G. Brownlow, the self-proclaimed "Rebel Ventilator" and governor of Tennessee who faced down Nathan Bedford Forrest and the first iteration of the KKK; D.P. Upham, a Union soldier from Massachusetts who moved to Arkansas after the war, became a successful "carpetbagger" and then, if the dramatization is to be believed, became a one-man 1860s antifa; the Lowrie gang, Lumbee Indians from North Carolina who waged war against the white supremacists and, in a move of great bravura, stole the $20,000 reward money that was posted for their capture; and Lewis Peacock, an East Texas "scalawag" who...well, actually I already forget his story.

Anyway, I looked them up in all the books I've got on Reconstruction (Foner, DuBois, etc.) and only Brownlow showed up in the index (of some of them).

Later that week, we attended a "teach-in" about the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Panthers and the Young Lords, and I sold my copy of Foner's Reconstruction so now I need to get another copy before he comes and visits Lowell in the spring.

Anyway, Aftershock: Beyond the Civil War

No, I guess she didn't.

Pan wrote:

November 8th time for a song for Ginger;

Front Bottoms

Did she win? Last I saw she had won the first rank votes but there was speculation that the other ranking votes would knock her out of the lead.

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I think I remember reading reviews of that when it came out.

Got Pyotr Kropotkin's The Great French Revolution 1789-1793 out of the library. If I finish it before returning it to the interlibrary loan program, it will be, by far, the longest book I've ever read by an anarchist.

Let's see, don't think I mentioned this on this website before, but back at the end of September, Mr. Comrade and I resigned our membership in Socialist Alternative, U.S. section of the Committee for a Worker's International. Since then we've been courted by a half-dozen further left groups but we have decided, for now, to constitute ourselves as the Class Struggle Education League (CSEL) and launch our initial reader's circle on "Black Liberation Through Socialist Revolution!" so I've been spending a lot of time re-reading The New Jim Crow, Black History and the Class Struggle pamphlets and essays and pamphlets about Marxism and the Afro-American struggle.

On top of that, am mostly through Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook by Dartmouth (the New Hampshire Ivy League school) lecturer Mark Bray, who's made quite a name for himself over the past couple of months. Anyway, first three chapters is chock full of interesting history some of which is new to me (43 Group), some of which I was all too familiar with (the campaign against the World Church of the Creator in the early 2000s). Was surprised about how many quotes there were from punk rock mag Maximum Rock'n'Roll which was kind of a bible for me back in the mid-'90s.

Also, finally started Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things which takes place in the Indian state of Kerala. A family drama, thus far, there are enough mentions of communism and communists (as the accompanying wiki page suggests) to include under the Comrade Anklebiter hat. Enjoying it thus far, but not too far into it. Have to spend a lot of time putting down he book and looking up Indian vocab and geography.

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Strange article that came across my feed:

How ‘Hobbit Camps’ Rebirthed Italian Fascism--From 1977, crowds of militant youth gathered to discuss Tolkien and totalitarianism.

Peter Kropotkin, the anarchist philosopher, was living in comfortable exile in England when the Russian Revolution erupted.

--Tariq Ali, The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism, War, Empire, Love, Revolution

In March 1999, the United States and its European Union junior partners launched a murderous bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.

--Party of Socialism and Liberation (no individual credit), Imperialism in the 21st Century: Updating Lenin's Theory a Century Later including Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism by V.I. Lenin

And, no page 55 in the next very short pamphlet, so, from page 5:

On certain occasions that was precisely how Lenin spoke; for example, at the Stockholm Congress, when he replied to Plekhanov, who had rebelled against the "utopia" of seizing power: "What program are we talking about?"

--Leon Trotsky, What Is the Permanent Revolution? Three Concepts of the Russian Revolution

Tariq Ali's bio of Lenin turned out to not be a biography so much as a rambling series of essays about whatever tickled Tariq Ali's fancy. Sure, there's some about ol' V.I.'s personal life, but then there will be two pages about Ernest Jones who died a year before the former was born, a page about the origins of Japanese Marxism, etc., etc.

If you've ever seen Tariq Ali's show on Telesur, this book is like is his interviews: erudite, learned, and a bit too much in love with the author's ability to show off. I enjoyed it, though.

Then I read Imperialism in the 21st Century: Updating Lenin's Theory a Century Later which I bought from a visiting tankie about a year ago but then didn't read in disappointment at my smart shopping skills when it turned out to be an 80-page introduction to a reprinting of Lenin's Imperialism, which I already have multiple copies of. The 80-page intro was fine, but I don't think it was worth fifteen dollars.

Yesterday, we traveled two and a half hours each way to attend an anti-alt right rally in Augusta, Maine. That was enough time in the car to re-re-read an old pamphlet by Trotsky's called "What Is the Permanent Revolution?" which is on the internet under its original title Three Concepts of the Russian Revolution.

Fiction-wise, not too much, just a couple plays in the Euripides collection. I swear I'm going to start Arundhati Roy next.

Completely unrelated, I didn't have much internet access over the past month and only recently learned that a former comrade passed away from a heart attack at the end of July. We had briefly been in the same organization back in 1995-6, and I only got reacquainted with him two springs ago, so that was sad. From the FB memorials I learned that he had become a literature professor at my semi-alma mater and had written at least one published novel and another called The Chagall Position which never saw the light of day. Further internet searches revealed that he was a bit of a figure on the Boston literary scene:

His novel on Goodreads

Blurb in some literay quarterly about him communing with the ghost of Dostoyevsky and smoking

Interviewed by Boston's alt weekly about "Cultural Districts" and gentrification (second half of the interview)

I'm not sure if he was the creator of the next exhibit, or just a participant, but someone on his FB page related how he would go to area bookstores and insert the following bookmarks into best sellers:

Anti-Epiphany Bookmarks (Revised edition)

Either way, rest in peace, Ed, and [Clenched fist salute]

My reading was interrupted by various out-of-town visitors, transgender equality rallies and building for anti-fascist mobilizations in Boston, so, alas, I am still stuck in the middle of Genovese's discussion of the slave family in Roll, Jordan, Roll. At this rate, I fear I may not ever be able to finish another book again.

Unrelated, I recently re-watched Ran and promptly took King Lear out of the library so I don't have to put any unnecessary wear and tear on the illustrated complete works my grammie gave me when I was but a wee little gobbo.

CrystalSeas wrote:

A secret group on Facebook has the following protections:

Only members of the group can see the group page.
Only members of the group can see the membership list
Only members of the group can see the posts in the group.

People who can see your account cannot see your posts in the group, or even the fact that you are a member of the group.

This particular group is set so that anyone can invite a new member but only two of us (me and Comrade Anklebiter) can actually approve new members.

It's about as safe as it gets on the internet.

No, I use an alias there and have for more than 5 years. Granted, it's a "real" sounding alias, but I've never had any questions. (It's the name of an obscure character in a relatively obscure sci-fi book)

We're up to seven Paizoians (I think, I'm not really sure who everybody is) and Mr. Comrade, who I like to think of as an honorary Paizoinian.

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

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I've still got my VHS cassette copy of that one.

The Mad Comrade wrote:

Cthulhu, dear Comrade, Cthulhu. ;)

Huh, I never realized. I blame Metallica.

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Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophers VII: Left Wing Adventures

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.

Samnell wrote:

Finished Genovese a few days ago. Got to be a slog.

Good on him if he's the first to master the WPA narratives, but I think he's too reliant on them. They're almost the only slave voices we ever get. I didn't hate the book, but I do see his historiographical thumb firmly on the scale. On paper he's being sort of even-handed, but I read a whole lot more mitigation of horrors than acknowledgement. Both are there, but it came off like he structured most sections around how slavery wasn't so bad, then tacks on a note somewhere that really it was. The point that there's a constant dynamic of tension is a good one, but I felt like he only cared much about the one end. It was especially grating to me in the discussion of violence, where he uncritically relies on Time on the Cross for the Barrow stats. Those are problematic for a few different reasons.

There's a book that's a specific response, Oakes' The Ruling Race, which I haven't read. (It's on the list.) I honestly think Stampp is the better general survey, even though it's twenty years older. Kolchin's American Slavery is broader chronologically but so short it's not really in the same ballpark. Johnson's River of Dark Dreams is a much better history of the Lower South, but it's not as wide-ranging. Soul by Soul is a necessary companion for a bit more of the selling people end and the more direct counterpart to Genovese's interest in master-slave dynamics. Neither is easy reading for the obvious reasons.

Baptist's The Half Has Never Been Told handles slave testimony much better, but his main innovation is on the economic end and is under dispute for reasons I don't quite follow. (Complicated econhist stuff, some of which sounds like protesting too much and some of which looks like him being really sloppy. Plus he cites his own unpublished research, which is just rude.)

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:

How Should We Judge the Revolutionaries?

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:

Class, Religion and Capitalism in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion

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:

The Oath: The Story of the Jewish Bund

[Heads back out to porch to sit in wading pool and read Genovese]

Further thoughts:

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.

Samnell wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
So, as has happened before, I've never really understood your animus against Genovese.
I take that back. I guess I just compartamentalize Left Genovese from Right Genovese in my head and then forget about right Genovese, but I guess RG was around for twice as long as LG.

It is that. His later work still gets favorable citations, but by the time he's a rightwing op-ed guy I have the sense that a lot of people go out of their way not to say too much.

Hahn's profile is a fair portion of where I get my impression of him as a person. I also read a few pieces about how RJR dominated the field to its detriment for way too long, though that's not Genovese's fault so much as it is the result of a hard turn toward cultural history in the Eighties. I suspect that as a student he would have wowed me -I love a good lecturer and big knowledge drops give me a massive brainer- and for the most part I like him as a writer. He's nasty to his critics in a few ways that read...familiarly. :)

There's clearly valuable insight in Genovese. Sometimes I even see right where he's coming from. If you take a pretty dark view of humanity, which is second nature to a lot of people who study horrors and/or self-identify as fairly far from the mainstream, many of the basic inclinations just follow. I get what he means when he says the Southern Agrarians had a better grasp on human nature than 19th century antislavery types. I think he's wrong, but you can make the case.

Genovese's paternalism is not usually considered good history anymore and none of the outlines of it that I've seen lead me to think that's a misjudgment. There are touches of it in PE, but that's really what I'll be watching for in RJR. I wonder if part of the problem is just that he chose a poor word. Paternalism does convey a familial connection, but most of us probably see those bonds as pleasant and non-violent. At least I hope we do.

"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.

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
So, as has happened before, I've never really understood your animus against Genovese.

I take that back. I guess I just compartamentalize Left Genovese from Right Genovese in my head and then forget about right Genovese, but I guess RG was around for twice as long as LG.

Looking for clues, I found his memorial article in The New Republic, but although it hinted at the controversies, it was pretty adulatory.

From Radical to Right-Wing: The Legacy of Eugene Genovese

Samnell wrote:

I'll have Kolchin done tonight. Then it's Political Economy of Slavery before the big book. At present rates, that should take me about five days. I think I'll go straight in, which would put the big book starting on the sixth and probably done on the 18th.

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.

Samnell wrote:

Hit on my first semi-sympathetic explanation of Genovese's ideas about paternalism in the Kolchin book. It's...not good. Kolchin is admittedly written a very quick survey and tells you upfront that nuance is out the window, but if all Genovese really means by the term is that enslavers saw the enslaved as people I bet you could find that in Jamestown in 1619. Seeing them as people and treating them well don't correlate at all in my mind but, per Kolchin, Genovese wants them to.

Going to end up reading Genovese anyway, but even the highlights version has me thinking more that Genovese was just a weird dude.

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.]

I considered a possible Glorious Revolution connection, but it didn't seem to fit the mold of the other references in the verse.


I'll take it to Facebook, I guess.

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.

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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:

The Queen of Holland went to meet Red Ken
With the Ranters and the Quakers and the Fabians
William Blake, William Morris, Tony Benn
The Levellers and the Diggers and the Muggletonians

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.



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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.

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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.

Open Gaming Convention

I'll have to contact the G-man, too.

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Freehold DM wrote:

You did not mention me!

Not that we discuss politics much.


Besides, come to the alternate history thread. No politics there, and your eye for historical stuff that was missed is always appreciated.

"Kirth Gersen, Comrade Freehold, I'm Hiding In Your Closet."

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And my last political post before I leave which I hope Paizo.com will overlook because it's about my girlfriend:

In Defense of [La Principessa], Bankers Should be Slammed!

Pictured with her chocolate lab, Penny, who never shiznits in the house unlike the two f$+#ing mutts I live with now.

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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:

Mike Gath

(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!!!

Fall's fine by me. The last bunch of recruits ended up being readers and their books (Tariq Ali, Dilemmas of Lenin, Richard S. Fraser, Revolutionary Integrationism, V.I. Lenin What Is Soviet Power?) are waiting to be read, not to mention all the fantasy novels in the world.

I have no idea, and I have no idea what this website's all about, but

Misconceptions about Puerto Rico and Statehood: Puerto Rico Would Be a Blue State

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.

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