Friday, September 30, 2011

For the weekend

Returning to something more like normal service, although I have another controversial guest post by a very different guest blogger coming up. Here's some stuff I've been reading in the last week or so.

[Added: meant to space my posts out better, but too innumerate to schedule for when I mean to, so don't miss my longer and more important post on left antisemitism.]

Site of the week: Southern Fried Chicken, documenting South London's favourite food (see Transpontine on Deptford as the deep South). For more South Londonism, Crossfieldswhat sets out the case against the Convoys Wharf redevelopment plans. See also: Deptford Is...

Cable Street stuff, and future and past anti-fascism: I hope you have checked out my Cable Street anniversary listings and worked out what you're going to. Meanwhile, here's Jim Denham on Cable St revisionism. There's more stuff at Steve Silver's blog. Silver is a bit of a tankie Stalinist, as far as I can see, as well as a Searchlightnik, so a pinch of salt, but do read his reviews of Roger Mills' book and David Rosenberg's book on Cable Street (both of which you should buy) and his post on Cable Street, the East End and Bolshevism. That mentions one of Silver's relatives who returned to Russia in 1917 and was never heard from again - a common story in the area: significant numbers of East Enders, especially anarchists (the dominant group on the left there up to 1917) must have died in the gulags. The Rosenberg review mentions both him and Rosenberg were in Anti-Fascist Action together in the 1980s "before it went through a leadership change" - there's a lot of history left implicit in those few words, as Searchlight and AFA split due to Searchlight being believed to be spreading lies about anarchists, fomenting divisions and passing information on activists to the police, while I presume Rosenberg went with the ARAFA group based in Islington, which advocated a more anti-racist, community-based policy for AFA. I'm slowly reading Beating the Fascists, which addresses the Searchlight split quite well but the ARAFA split very inadequately and possibly dishonestly. More on that in a future post. Incidentally, Rosenberg is one of the people viciously and personally attacked by Gilad Atzmon in his new book, subject of my last post here. And talking of anti-fascism, here's the Great Unrest on UAF triumphalism - I'll return to that post later.

More on the EDL: Paul Jackson, a Searchlight-linked researcher at Northampton, on the EDL as a social movement (h/t Flesh).

Anti-capitalism: There's a new print issue of Shift magazine out, and worth getting down to yer local anarchist infoshop to buy, or order on-line here. The riots are the main theme. The issue editorial is here, and editor Raphael Schlembach writes on "Insurrection and a conservative revolution" here. From a related place, here's Ross Wolfe on regressive resistance on Wall Street, and Doug Henwood's account of Occupy Wall Street.

Anti-Zionism: Slack Andy on Max Brenner, blood and chocolate in Australia. Matthias Kuntzel and Colin Meade on Gilbert Achcar: In the Straightjacket of Anti-Zionism: A critical review of Gilbert Achcar’s The Arabs and the Holocaust. Achcar responds.

The Arab Spring in its Autumn: Hussein Agha and Robert Malley on The Arab Counterrevolution.

Grub Street: James Bloodworth on why Hitchens is no Orwell. Everybody Hates a Tourist awards the Mail a fail.

Anti-Catholic racism: Andy Newman on a neglected topic.

Literature, evil, extreme heavy metal etc: Graeme's new place A Wandering Ghost.


Waterloo Sunset said...

although I have another controversial guest post by a very different guest blogger coming up.


I see no logical reason why you wouldn't consider him a legitimate candidate for a guest post. In fact, several of the defences used for Jogo could be repeated, which will save effort.

Richard S. said...

Bob (or anyone else who's curious), I hope you've stopped my blog to witness all my internal conflict, on-one-week-and-off-the-next attitudes, etc., regarding our Occupy Wall Street Protests.

I tried to participate in this group's early General Assemblies, before they ever landed in the park, but I moved out of the core because of my differences with them. Nonetheless, after a week of almost feeling as though I should forget about it, I started going to more of their protests, and I am finding myself becoming quite pleased with this movement, almost in spite of myself.

So, after nearly dismissing it, this week I started to once again give it my critical support. And now I'm inclined to say, my enthusiastic critical support. Because...something is happening to create an opening for, well, open opposition that just hasn't existed around here. (And there is more dialogue going on - including ideas about revolution - than people might realize, even though that talk isn't prevailing on the surface right now.) Plus it connects to a global movement, too.

Yes, things are happening - maybe not exactly the things we Marxists and socialists want to see at the moment - but there is a historic shift taking place. And after thinking about all of this yesterday while I was standing in a crowd trapped by the police on a bridge (right before I managed to slip away without getting arrested :)), I came to the conclusion that it is all both necessary and good.

bob said...

Thanks Richard. Folks, the link is