Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The reading list

In this week's round-up, I'm highlighting some of my London comrades, in alphabetical order.

24 comments:

skidmarx said...

James Bloodworth(1) - the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP,) who fail to distinguish between the Arab working masses and their reactionary, clerical rulers.
I think that's simply false.

The Marko piece you did last time, just because it was good you don't have to repeat it.

I commented on Carl Packman(2) ther, I don't see any point in repeating myself.

James Bloodworth said...

"the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP,) who fail to distinguish between the Arab working masses and their reactionary, clerical rulers."

I don't see how it can be false when they support Hamas rather than those socialists fighting against such clerical fascism.

skidmarx said...

James, I could cite endless articles in Socialist Worker supporting Arab workers' struggles, I could point you towards SWP analyses that support Hamas against Israel, but don't support its social agenda, but I don't greatly see the point when you have presumably read such stuff, but because you see any backing for Hamas as damning will continue to set such evidence aside as you pursue your thesis.

James Bloodworth said...

"but I don't greatly see the point when you have presumably read such stuff, but because you see any backing for Hamas as damning will continue to set such evidence aside as you pursue your thesis."

You can't back Hamas and back Palestinian workers when Hamas are the enemy of the Arab working masses.

Bella said...

Ben Gidley's piece on Jaqueline Rose is breathtaking! Thank you for the link.

darren redstar said...

can i recomend this
http://workerdandy.blogspot.com/p/manifesto.html
inspiring

Flesh said...

Could you mend the link to Michael Harris' Belarus piece please Bob?

bob said...

Thanks all. I like the dandyism. Link is fixed.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP,) who fail to distinguish between the Arab working masses and their reactionary, clerical rulers'.

Too true. Take, for example, Paul McGarr in 'Socialist Worker', 23rd March 2003:

'The best response to war would be protests across the globe which make it impossible for Bush and Blair to continue. But while war lasts by far the lesser evil would be reverses, or defeat, for the US and British forces'.

This is the regime the SWP supported.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_yQ3RrVdIOKc/S1N_vq0_tmI/AAAAAAAABEY/b7ylS5lAVhQ/s1600/halabja.jpg

sackcloth and ashes said...

'I could point you towards SWP analyses that support Hamas against Israel, but don't support its social agenda'

Such as this?

'To put the matter as starkly as possible: from the standpoint of Marxism and international socialism an illiterate, conservative, superstitious Muslim Palestinian peasant who supports Hamas is more progressive than an educated liberal atheist Israeli who supports Zionism (even critically).

–John Molyneux, writing in International Socialism, a quarterly journal of the Socialist Workers’ Party'

http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?id=456&issue=119

I don't know what sticks out more here. The first is the clearly anti-Semitic message. The second is the Orientalist description of Palestinian Arabs. And the third is the racist assumption that the people of Gaza are to be governed in this manner (see 4:50mins in):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZESS4wDodRs&feature=related

skidmarx said...

Well I suppose at least sackcloth and shes has laid off the libellous abuse foronce, but this really is like shooting fish in a barrel. Two quotes that show the SWP think anti-imperialism is preferable to Zionism. Not an argument.Here we havethe following statement, with highlighting colours,it wouldn't be hard to find similar,but then what's going on here isn't a disinterested search for the truth, but an incompetent attempt to present beliefs that you think are being believed.
Hamas, needless to say, is not a socialist or working class organisation and it certainly does not offer a vision of universal human emancipation. Like the Vietnamese NLF, Hamas has persecuted activists with whom most European socialists would feel much greater political affinity. However, the task at hand is not to pick which Palestinian faction is most ideologically acceptable—there would be few—but to understand the reasons for Hamas’s rise and, from the basis of support for the resistance, search for the possibilities of a working class alternative that goes beyond the limits of Hamas’s politics.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'Well I suppose at least sackcloth and shes has laid off the libellous abuse foronce',

You mean your endorsement of Rwanda genocide denial? That's not 'libel', skidmark. You're on record already:

http://shirazsocialist.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/nocide-denial-here-we-go-again/

‘Christian Davenport deosn’t (sic) appear to deny there was a genocide: The genocide caused, by their (sic) estimate, 100,000 of a total of 1 million deaths. But then that wouldn’t fit your agenda of claiming that anti-imperialists are all David Irving clones…

He’s estimating that 10% of the deaths were due to the genocide, not that only 10% of the deaths actually took place…

As it happens I used to buy into the RPF view of the events in Rwanda. Even after reading a couple of well-written articles at the Tomb last year I still tended to think that the genocide should give Kagame and co. a lot of leeway. But the weakness of the argument put forward here and its support makes me think that the other view was right all along…

[There] were not enough Tutsis left in the country for them to be the sole victims of a genocide that is supposed to have killed a million people’.

sackcloth and ashes said...

It's also no surprise - given the SWP's crypto-fascism - that it sides with Hamas, whose intentions towards Jews (not 'Zionists') are highlighted in its Charter.

skidmark also has nothing to say on the conduct of Hamas' 'security forces' towards the population of Gaza, or indeed their bullying of UN relief workers. Inside every swuppie is a voyeuristic thug who longs for the opportunity to act as a delator or a goon, and to wield the truncheon, or pull the trigger.

http://www.economist.com/node/16219835

sackcloth and ashes said...

And as far as the position of the SWP towards socialists and workers in the Arab world is concerned, we should not forget Lindsey German's efforts to smear Iraqi trade unionists as 'Quislings', and to applaud the scum who were trying to murder them:

http://www.independentlabour.org.uk/main/2009/01/22/coalition-of-the-careless/

skidmarx said...
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skidmarx said...
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sackcloth and ashes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Levi9909 said...

Is this the beta version of the new comments policy or is this the real deal?

bob said...

An edited version of part of the comment thread, which I have deleted. A debate about the SWP, anti-imperialism and Hamas is fine. A debate about genocide denial and pseudo-scholarship in Rwanda. Personal abuse will be deleted.

skidmarx said...

Sackcloth and ashes - [you're] repeating the same passage that suggests the opposite of what you want it too. If you want to show what a libellous idiot, maybe you should do it at HP where they protect themselves from their libellous sewer by regularly purging the comments boxes. But I believe Bob expressed the desire a couple of threads ago that this not become HP,so...

You sidestep the obvious in order to complain that I have nothing to say on subjects that haven't come up! That's not smart as a debating technique, though as an avoidance one it's passable.

James Bloodworth, who has a little more ophistication, might want to argue that in practice the SWP and likeminded leftists aren't supporting the interests of the Arab masses in their support for resistance to imperialism and Zionism. But stated as it is the argument is obviously false. 19 May, 2011 21:42

skidmarx said...

And "delator"?

Delator (plural Delatores) is Latin for a denouncer, i.e. who indicates to a court another as having committed a punishable deed.? 19 May, 2011 21:56

[continues...]

bob said...

[...continued]

sackcloth and ashes said...

[...]

Look skidmark, I don't know how many opportunities I've given you to clarify whether you (a) endorse or (b) oppose Christian Davenport's pseudo-scholarly attempts to minimise the enormity of the Rwandan genocide. What I do know is that you have accused me of distorting your views, but have been very coy about actually saying whether you condemn Davenport's writings or endorse them.

It's not rocket science. Either you think he's right, or you think he's wrong.

I should also add here that you are - by your own words - stating that the 'anti-imperialist' view on the Rwandan genocide is to believe that the Hutu Power mob killed 'only' 100,000 Tutsis, and that anyone who argues otherwise subscribes to the 'RPF view'.

Your words, not mine.

'If you want to show what a libellous idiot,'

Talking of libel, you actually accused me of being a Hutu Power supporter, which from you is akin to someone like Irving or Toben accusing me of being a Holocaust denier.

'maybe you should do it at HP where they protect themselves from their libellous sewer by regularly purging the comments boxes'.

Actually, this was a result of a malicious cyber-attack inspired by a BNP clown called Lee Barnes. [...]

http://hurryupharry.org/2010/04/06/back-to-normal/

'But I believe Bob expressed the desire a couple of threads ago that this not become HP'.

I would expect that Bob wants his blog to be his blog. I can't help noticing that when it came to the 'Ideas meme' about positive and negative influences on the left he felt compelled to quote my remarks (on a HP thread) rather than yours. That should tell you something.

'You sidestep the obvious in order to complain that I have nothing to say on subjects that haven't come up!'

All of my comments above highlight the fact that when it comes to backing leftists in the Arab world against their oppressors, the SWP backs the latter.

[...]

'might want to argue that in practice the SWP and likeminded leftists'

There are no 'likeminded leftists' - unless you count the rump of Healy's old cult. There is the left, and then there are the swuppies. The former is ice cream, the latter are dogshit. The two do not mix very well, and I think that the latter ingredient should be excluded. And - to paraphrase a former chum of yours and a fellow toady of butchers - I'm not the only one.

'aren't supporting the interests of the Arab masses in their support for resistance to imperialism and Zionism. But stated as it is the argument is obviously false'.

You have no relationship whatsoever with the 'Arab masses' you claim you idolise. Their revolts right now are a reaction to their thuggish dictatorships and also an implicit rejection of the 'Zionist/imperialist' rhetoric you spout. The Syrian demonstrators know who their victimisers are, so do the people of Misrata. The Iraqi trade unionists were being murdered by thugs that your party lionised as heroes. You have no right whatsoever to claim your support for progressive causes in the Arab world. 19 May, 2011 22:58

sackcloth and ashes said...

Bob, I will moderate my language. Is it OK if I refer to members of the SWP as finks?

skidmarx said...

So either we can have a discussion about how the claim that the SWP fails to distinguish between Arab masses and their rulers, which might pay some attention to the evidence of what they actually say.
Or we can indulge sackcloth and ashes in his desire to distract the thread with the same lie about Rwanda. I've tried explaining to him plenty of times what I have to say on the issue,(which isn't a great deal) but as he expressed on this blog, he isn't interested in what I have to say, he just wants to "toast my toes". A waste of time.

Note on moderation - my question as to what a "delator" is gets removed, while his accuasation that I'm a "voyeuristic thug" and his lie that I'm a genocide denier stay up. Comment is superfluous.

bob said...

Running to catch a train, so I'll catch up later. Abuse of groups like SWP or even ones I like is fine by me, abuse of individuals is the issue. I missed the "thug" - will check later and maybe delete. "Delator" was pasted into my edited version - I thought it was better chronologically than leaving it orphaned in its original place. Hamas/Rwanda discussion not either/or, both are fine with me. If it's a waste of time, don't take part, although a quick yes/no on the Davenport right or wrong question might save time later.

skidmarx said...

I tried to give a quick answer before, but of course sackcloth and ashes is never going to be happy until he can use this to shut down debate. If you want to copy and paste all my answers from that thread,; I have better things to do than engage with someone who doesn't debate honestly on this subject. And the genocide denial accusation is a serious libel...
Want to discuss Hamas, go ahead. I think I'd pointed out that the SWP position was not as described.