Friday, December 09, 2011

This weekend's mix

First, Andrew C's books, blogs and journals of the year, which includes a good book selection, but also this:
Dave’s Part pursues a vigorous public debate, and very readable posts, on key political issues for the Left. Socialist Unity , while going adrift on Iran – part of its tenderness for the pious Islamist bourgeoisie, and publicising pantomime dame, George Galloway – produces useful contributions to trade union and anti-cuts politics. Harry’s Place bores the arse off everyone with its obsession about Israel, and reheated indignation about leftist totalitarians. But it publishes worthwhile criticism of muddle-headed thinking on Islamism and the far-right and shows concern for social issues. 
Rosie Bell shows continued fineness of spirit. Delicateness is not always a feature of Shiraz Socialist but it produces informed insights into the movement, particularly the inner workings of UNITE union, and much on international issues that others ignore. Organised Rage equally brings news to our attention that we’d miss otherwise, particularly obituaries of left figures. Harpy Marx is a significant Blog that underlines the importance of welfare issues and poverty. The Spanish Prisoner has become a must-read for its film reviews – up there with Philip French and Mark Kermode, to exaggerate only slightly. Obliged to Offend is a heartening read, as is Representing the Mambo.[...] 
Entdinglichung is one of the most valuable, multilingual, left resources around. Poumista also covers many countries, bringing to our attention the often forgotten heroes and heroines of the independent left. 
Bob From Brockley is the clear front-runner in the UK. Bob writes acute commentary, principally on British politics, and offers a stunning range of material and Blogging links.
Now for the rest:
Matthew Lyons on the Occupy movement: Anti-capitalism versus populism (quotes me). Peter R on literature, history and conflict. Lucy Lips on Gilad Atzmon leading the pleasant white middle aged middle class church-going fascists of Bradford in anti-Jewish chanting. HiM@N on N30 in London. Kenan Malik on the marketplace for outrage. Sarah AB on "honour" killings in the UK. Martin Bright on antisemitism in Scotland. Dave Douglass on Keith Pattison and David Peace on the 1984-85 miners strike. Chris Strafford on "21st century Marxism" the Morning Star-sponsored meeting of nationalists, anti-Semites, and homophobes. Coatesy on Leftists, Secularists and Workers confronting Islamists in Tunisia.

Music: Shahryar Ghanbari’s "Forbidden", via Maryam Namazie

7 comments:

jams o donnell said...

Posted the Ghanbari song too. I am glad Maryam translated the lyrics

Neither Harry's Place not Socialist Unity are regular ports of call for me ( I doubt that saying that about SU would surprise you!) but my interest was piqued by a post by Gene regarding a Socialist Unity piece on Pearl Harbor.

Do comenters on either site engage brain before posting? I know this may be a big ask but it would be nice if people left their dogma at home before commenting on matters of history.

bob said...

The SU Pearl Harbour post http://www.socialistunity.com/?p=8725 encapsulated up several of the things I dislike about Andy Newman and in fact was thinking about blogging about it, but oddly none of my problems are the one that Gene fixed on http://hurryupharry.org/2011/12/07/a-post-which-will-live-in-infamy/

AS HP deletes all comments, I'll preserve yours Jams for posterity here: As a piece of historical analysis the article is a piece of crap simplistic and ignores a lot. For someone who describes the respones of workers to the fight against fascism as nuanced, he certainly shows little of the same in the article!
QM it has nothing to do with dumbing down of history teaching . Editing out inconvenient facts and plain twisting history to fit an agenda is as old as history itself

Well said.

bob said...

And two from Ignorance is BlissL
I think it is quite correct to argue that for some years prior to the US-Japanese war, a trade war between the two countries was occurring. However, by 1941 the world had changed and the war’s immediate context had changed. In the US, it was the fascist right who opposed intervention. Most on the left – and not the jerks who are on the left now – recognised what fascism was and knew it had to be militarily opposed. Newman’s post offers a great disservice to the left of the time. (It is also true that many non-socialists also realised the evils of nazism and fascism; Churchill being one of them!)
It may be interesting to check the archive, but it would not surprise me if in the UK some on the left (pacifist and non-pacifist) prior to 1939 did if not defend nazi Germany, then, at the least, argued about how it was a victim of ‘imperialist injustices’ and should be allowed to re-arm, etc. (which is not to deny the Versaille treaty was bloody stupid to say the least). As I say, just a feeling.

Interesting that Newman refers to 1941 Stalin’s Russia as ’socialist’ as opposed to ‘deformed worker’s state’, ’state capitalist’ or simply authoritarian. Funny how he has such a soft spot for mass murderers (which is not to discount the bravery of Soviet soildiers and the privations the Soviet Union had to suffer).
Funnily enough, the only consistent, unwavering opponent of nazism and the only one of the few who refused all compromise with Hitler was Churchill. (This alone sets him apart from Stalin and the ’socialist’ USSR) Churchill did this in the face of quite strong opposition within the ruling ranks/class inn the UK.


Of course, however, Newman has also written posts extolling Churchill's virtues, I think. Newman equates the Popular Front strategy with the Stalin-Churchill alliance, which is a bit questionable, and leads to bad versions of anti-fascism today.

bob said...

Oh, Jams, I see HP also took up the Raelian story: http://hurryupharry.org/2011/12/07/gilad-atzmon-honorary-raelian-priest/

jams o donnell said...

Haha It's good that Atzmon the Raelian has legs as a story!

People who want to express outrage that Atzmon still has a pulse have a new (and fun) line of protest!

I know that he should be taken on for what he writes and says but playing his Raelian links would be far more fun!

jams o donnell said...

When it comes to history the most important thing anyone can do is to stare it in the face, accept that you won't like what you see, but then do something that few do and that is bloody well learn from history!

The response of a fair few people on HP - "what do you expect frpm lefties" is just lazy thinking and that pisses me off

Some of the crap spouted in teh comments on Newman's post sadly reinforce that view.

Sorry to ramble on but there was one item that pissed me off on the SU comments and that was to old chestnut "why didn't the allies bomb the rail tracks into Auschwitz?"

One can huff and fume about anti semitism and crass priorities until one is blue in the face but there is one very prosaic reason why it wasn't done and that was it just couldn't be done!

Well it could have been but it would have required a couple of Mosquito squadrons to be based on Soviet held land and Stalin wasn't having that.

I like what Ignorance is BlissL has to say.. Is that Luther Blissets?

modernity said...

Well Bob,

Whilst I like Dave's Part, you could hardly say it "pursues a vigorous public debate"

Much of the discussions there make socialists and the Left seem like marginalised cranks, with slightly less relevance to society than Phillumenists.

Still, debates at Dave's are better than the craziness that you find at SU blog, but all in all it is depressing to see how poor and irrelevant some socialists have become..

I hope you saw the piece about Alan Ayling and Ann Marchini, the money behind the EDL?

http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/news/article/2051/unmasked-wealthy-backers-behind-far-right-lea