Edited by Fayafi ()
plus, read New English Canaan, by Thomas Morton, one of the definitive surveys of the New World, but largely forgotten because Morton was an extremely weird proto-Wiccan
this looks cool, im all about weird guys from the 1600s
this looks cool, im all about weird guys from the 1600s
Yeah it’s good. Morton writes a lot about native species and the Algonquins from his perspective but he was basically a troll at heart. He had a bunch of fights with the Puritans at Plymouth that eventually got him shipped back to England, nominally over religious stuff, but that’s the Puritan version of the story and sort of backwards. Really it was because Morton was selling guns to the Algonquins and was not shy about how much more he liked them than he did Governor Bradford, and because he convinced his business partner’s indentured servants to rebel and seize their colony for themselves.
The horny antlered maypole dancing came later. Morton probably made that deal so extra because he really, really liked pissing off Puritans, more than anything else in his entire life I think. He described his book as a Puritan-inspired manual on how not to start a colony, and for an era-standard colonial cracker he really does spill a lot of ink explaining how much cooler and better the Algonquins are than whitey.
The only time anyone learns about Thomas Morton in school in the U.S. is if they read “The Devil and Daniel Webster”, where he’s on the jury of the damned. It’s probably difficult to explain to middle schoolers that, Hey, this guy’s got an important counter-perspective to the Puritans and Quakers, because he fucks.
Morton as an example doesn’t hurt Sakai’s case, he supports it, but it’s a singularly bizarre and exciting piece of evidence for it in that place and time, since in this case, the settler not only ran guns to the local native tribe with the expressly stated purpose of arming them against the wishes of local white authorities, he also turned his colony into a self-manumitted, multi-racial, Pan-worshiping bone zone, and while Morton claimed to have a project to civilize the Algonquins in the long term and prove his Theory of horny colonialism the superior one, I think he probably did a lot of it mainly because he thought it was real funny and good when the Pilgrims got mad at him, the madder the better.
on the electrodynamics of moving bodies
i dont really understand this but i understand it much better than i did the first time. thats learning.
im reading thomas kuhn's "structure of scientific revolutions" which got karl popper mad in his brain, and a while back i finished benjamin farringtons "greek science" which took a tour through, you guessed it, the science of the greeks. its clear the authour has taken a leaf of historical materialism out of engles family, private property &c... anyway it a nice run through, amoung other things, pre-socratic philosophy from a scientific point of view, the ptolemaic era musaeum, and a double dunk on aristotle and plato. the most interesting part was a discussion as to why ancient greek/roman science never progressed any further than in did (and declined) which he roots in the slave system; and post-slave harnessing of natural power in medieval europe; the worst bit was that it made no mention of arabic science and jumped straigt to gallileo which seemed like a big oversight
Edited by toyot ()
is that what einstein's saying??
yeah that's a very accurate way to put it
I finished caliban and the witch and it was good but i was a little underwhelmed at parts
i know you have a better critique in you then that, let's hear it
next up is Marx & Engels: On Colonies, Industrial Monopoly, and the Working Class Movement
^^ i don't understand it but a teacher told me it was to work out an internal contradiction, between maxwell's electrodynamics equations which predicts a constant speed of light, and mechanics which implied light released by a moving source relative to observer should have a different speed, than light coming from a stationary source. the contradiction meant either electrodynamics would need to be changed, or mechanics, and it was mechanics. teacher couldve been full of shit but i bought it. is that what einstein's saying?? how do we use these theories in our labors!
This is correct and the distinction is actually experimentally distinguishable. there are corrections from both special and general relativity that are necessary for gps to be accurate, for example.
two main things struck me about the book, the first being the large number of thinkers who sound incredibly interesting and seem to have been doing rigorous, intelligent work, none of whom you've likely heard of. the second was the information on nigeria's recent history and economic condition, which he has to explain a bit to put things in context. i wasn't really aware of the severity of the situation there - the economy has been focused on oil extraction for a while but they went through imf mandated structural adjustment programs which made things much worse by cutting wages and lead to massive de-industrialisation, so that vast numbers of people have been lumpenised and exist in this totally precarious position.
anyway, one of the people he mentions is the journalist Niyi Oniororo who is rumoured to have studied in north korea and who wrote lots of books, one of which is called 'Who Are the Nigerian Comrades? The Story of Opportunists, Revisionists, Reformists and Careerists in Nigeria', that's how you do a title folks.
Niyi Oniororo possessed a sense of humour that reminds one of Rabelais. His books are not for the faint hearted, and they are conspicuously devoid of politically correctness, by the standards of 21st-century Western sensibilities. Oniororo was a staunch supporter of Eastern European solutions. Even at a time when Eastern European leaders themselves usually spoke of the necessity of a one-party state with diffidence and a certain sense of shame (the Hungarian dictator Kadar often referred to ‘historical circumstances’), Oniororo had no qualms about advocating one-party dictatorship in the interest of a developmental state.
At a time when everyone expected the military to finally give way to a democratically elected civilian government (in 1978), Oniororo expresses doubts whether the civilian government could achieve anything substantially different, given that the change of system, for him, simply meant that the contractors and compradors of earlier times would now capture political power. Surprisingly, Oniororo calls for a new, non-elitist army (a ‘people’s army’) and the inclusion of its members in the new power structures to come. Recalling the role of soldiers in early Soviets, Oniororo also quotes Mao (without citation) when he emphasises how political power originates in the barrel of the gun. He envisages a United Front, complete with unions and women’s organisations, soldiers, the unemployed, petty traders and construction brigades, along with agricultural cooperatives, to form the backbone of the new government, instead of bourgeois contractors. He sees, especially given the extremely low level of industrial development in Nigeria, a central role for large farms that would function also as voluntary resettlement centres for the urban unemployed. Generally, he unequivocally embraced scientific socialism, a byword in Africa for an Eastern European political system, as something that could help Nigeria industrialise better, or, indeed, at all, given the economics of oil and its way of crowding out investment in other sectors.
another person who sounded interesting to me is the anthropologist Ikenna Nzimiro
Ikenna Nzimiro was a Marxist, but a Marxist whose most seminal academic work dealt with the institution of kingship within the riverine subdivisions of the Igbo, an anthropological study that is still used as a reference work today. It seems entirely natural, in his case, that most of the book was based on extensive fieldwork over the course of five years (1960–64), and conducted in the royal palaces of Igboland where he personally knew all the kings. Nigeria’s elite ‘considered him as one of their own’ even as he attacked them.
Studies in Ibo Political Systems was researched at Cambridge and in Igboland, Nigeria, with the financial help of the Federal Ministry of Education, the University of Ibadan, the Eastern Nigerian government, and several Igbo royals. A towering academic achievement that challenged the prevailing view that Igbo societies were historically always acephalous and which proved that in some regions Igbos also had systems of traditional kingship, the tome was nonetheless entirely devoid of Marxist phraseology and content. Judging by this work, Nzimiro would be more aptly described as ‘a Marxist and an anthropologist’ than as a Marxist anthropologist. Historical materialism, or even broadly materialist interpretations of history, conspicuously do not appear in this volume, so much so that when he describes the resilience of kingship and its associated institutions, he ascribes it to emotional attachment on the part of subjects – a safe and familiar but entirely reactionary line of historical analysis coming from a Marxian author.
Nigerian Civil War: A Study in Class Conflict, another work by Nzimiro, paints a very different picture of the author. Published by Frontline Publishing Company in Enugu in 1982, this volume is still available within Nigeria, at the Library of the American University of Nigeria and elsewhere. This tome grew out of the author’s personal disappointment with the fall of Biafra. ... He makes the important claim that Biafran secession was not, as commonly held, an ethnic conflict at its core, but a class conflict within the ruling classes of the first republic (1963–66). Before trying to prove that main thesis, he obviously had to deal with the problem of whether classes, as such, even existed in Africa, Nigeria or Biafra – something that Western liberals and self-styled ‘African socialists’ questioned at the time. He asserts that classes do exist in Nigeria, appearing as a result of capitalist penetration by multinational corporations (the United Africa Company , Unilever and so on)
i also like the sound of the historian Yusufu Bala Usman, although apparently he turned somewhat reactionary after 1989 and the end of the ussr.
Bala Usman’s works reveal a deeply personal project aimed against an imperialism that he hated at a visceral, indeed sometimes even disturbingly personal level in the vein of Edward Said. In Yusufu Bala Usman, impeccable upper-class British English and a defiantly elegant prose go hand in hand with an expressed disdain for maintaining the colonial heritage in any form. Usman wants to purge the Westerner, or rather, purge the colonial subject from the Nigerian psyche, including his own, even if it involves a certain sense of self-effacement.
The crux of his position was that by neocolonial methods, the US and the UK sucked Nigeria dry of resources: indeed, in his words, ‘It is our countries that give aid to the West and not vice versa.’ He was most unimpressed with Anglo-Saxon liberalism and its intellectual or practical merits:
It is a repetition of that inane notion of Anglo-Saxon liberalism that arbitrary government only arises where the judiciary is not independent, where there is no habeas corpus and all the elaborate machinery of the English judicial system – the type of machinery Alec Douglas-Home is busy planning to set up in Rhodesia to ‘protect’ the Africans from Smith and his gang of white settlers! In fact there is arbitrary government, not only in Africa, but even in countries where the habeas corpus and all that jazz exists, where a strong and pervasive system of social and economic repression keeps the masses of the people in their place so well that serious problems of human survival and dignity never even approach the courts or even get articulated by the victims. Arbitrary government has been perfected in the corporate liberal states of the West, like Britain and America, where the real manipulators are hidden, their existence denied but where even the natural sexual needs and desires of people are used to control and repress them. A term ‘repressive tolerance’ is used by some people, victims of this system, to describe some of its features; it is a system in relation to which old myths like the division of powers, the independence of the judiciary, are completely irrelevant.
In The Manipulation of Religion in Nigeria, Bala Usman attacked the view that religious riots, inter-religious atrocities, religious extremism, the sharia issue or the Maitatsine cult (the early 1980s near-equivalent of today’s Boko Haram) are rooted in Islam as such.
For Usman, at the heart of manipulation lies the main beneficiary of the status quo – the Nigerian comprador bourgeoisie:
This class is created to serve as the link and intermediary between the people and the wealth of Nigeria and the international capitalist system. It is created to serve as the leading agent of the trading post which has been and still is Nigeria. It can only continue to be dominant if Nigeria remains a trading post; that is a trading post, built to export raw materials and import manufactured goods and services; a trading post where ownership and consumption and not production are dominant in the whole system. What I want to get across is that an intermediary bourgeois whether a contractor, financier, bureaucrat, academic, landlord, owner of assembly plants, or transporter lives by appropriating goods and values for consumption which he has no role in creating. He is a broker, a middle man, socially, economically and culturally! He embodies the domination of appropriation over creation; consumption over production. Far from contributing to the creation of material goods, services, or even functioning social and political values and structures, he survives on shortages and blockages in production just as in communication and understanding. He is the quintessential gateman! This is true of the sleek fat cats as it is of the lean cat trying to get fat.
Can this sort of person come out and frankly ask the people to follow him for what he is? So that he can take a piece of paper from one bank to another, from one factory to another, and make millions? What I mean is that the intermediary bourgeois will cease to exist once people can see clearly what his true nature is. Can anybody come out and say ‘vote for me so that I can get contracts and build foreign bank accounts and houses with my foreign partners’? Or ‘follow me and listen to me so that I can get a plot at Ikoyi or Bompai and get a directorship and shares in UAC or Leventis’? Or, ‘follow me so that I can get a big job and you can derive the satisfaction that, although you do not have one square meal a day and your daughter is deformed by and dying of chronic malaria, I am eating dinner costing N15.00 at Federal Palace Suites Hotel on your behalf and that of others in our tribe and religion’? Can anybody come out and say that? No! That is why this class has to obscure its true role and function in our political economy. You cannot stand and win election, even if the electoral college is only two dozen councilors, on the platform that you want to own houses in Ikoyi or London.
What I am getting at is that the intermediary bourgeois cannot appear as what he really is in the political economy of Nigeria. He has to find a cover. He cannot claim political leadership openly on the grounds that he is, or wants to be, an exporter-importer, a contractor, commission agent, shareholder, rentier or rich bureaucrat. He has to take cover as a Muslim or Christian. He has to posture as a ‘majority’ or a ‘minority’. The manipulation of religion in Nigeria today is essentially a means of creating the context for this fancy-dress ball, for this charade of disguises. This game of masks!
there's plenty of other people and groups mentioned in the book as well, but these were the ones that particularly stood out to me. the author seems to have written an article basically summarising some of his arguments from the book here which might be worth a read if any of this sounds interesting to you: http://roape.net/2016/05/26/armed-theory-nigerian-marxism/
there is no gaping in Nevèrÿon, you'll have to go to Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders for that
im reading 'what is history' by e h carr and the parts in the introduction talking about liberal attacks on his history of the ussr make it sound cool, has anyone here read it?
i havent read his ussr stuff but i read 'what is history' and generally enjoyed it. i have vol.1-3 of the ussr history in paperback - a few years back i saw a guy selling all 14 volumes hardcover (!) for like 120 dollars which i wanted but was too much for me to put down on a impulse buy at a market. kinda regretful.
there is no gaping in Nevèrÿon, you'll have to go to Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders for that
*taking notes on a tablet while clicking through Amazon on a second, larger tablet*
Liebknecht in 1869 sounding like a certain someone!
It is true that no nation in the world was more purely formed out of genocide than the u.s. empire. What Adolf Hitler only wanted to be, what the Nazi movement aspired to be, amerikkka already was. It is laughable to think of amerikkka as a "post-racial" society, but it certainly is a "post holocaust" one. It is inescapable, then, that many thoughts about genocide, the ideas and theories of genocide, have likewise always been present within amerikkkan society.
about the war strategy whites use (whites don't mix their war tricks up except in defeat) for genocide, which begins with the capture of the children. it contextualized the war down at the border where white lumpen capture kids then offer to sell them back for $700 or whatever. it contextualized how whites'll straight up steal newborns from black moms when they test positive for drugs, and like airport random screenings the drug test gets performed at doctor discretion.
from the essay Kill The Kids First:
Black women are being slammed as sluts, drug addicts, unfit mothers, sexual criminals. 'Cause if you want to commit genocide that's where you got to strike. You've got to neutralize Black women as women, eradicate them. You've gotta drive them out of housing, nuke them with male violence, flood them with crack, all as a pretext to take their children. You've got to separate Black women from their children, and demand that they stop having children. Only, you got to say it's all just your liberal concern for the poor.
walks thru the history from Indian/elder nation residential schools (genocide as conducted by white women) to how crack legislation was designed to create "more children prisoners than adult prisoners". the white hospitals were raising em as half-formed people, deprived of human contact during critical early months of life. cuz after white nurses snatch the kids you think they give em lollipops and hugs? even the cribs pictured are bare metal bars
And white women, where are we in all this? It's hard to find us. The so-called women's movement says, 'we don't have the same program as Ronnie' -- but they do. Only on the second front of attack, around the back. What position do you expect from the patriarchy? Still, women are the key. You have to separate Black women from Black children. And you've got to convince white women that it's not an attack on women, that it's ok... Too bad all those Black women and children have to die, they think, but look at all the real estate it opens up.
Integration presupposes something -- disintegration. That's the hidden thing no one's talking about. If you're integrating two things then at least one thing has to go (toyo note: like Malcolm said, the opposite of segregation isn't integration), has got to give way and disintegrate, the captured into the captors. So integration means someone's got to move, practically speaking. That's pretty clear. It's also clear that white women mean for New Afrikan women to do the moving. We sure aren't moving to leave our nation. No, they gotta leave their people and come better themselves by moving to us. Gotta leave their oppressed nation (disintegrate) and help strengthen our white nation (integrate). That's what the racial crisis is now.
Edited by toyot ()
Written in 1988 with a progressive view of Gorbachev. One of those weird situations when a particular bourgeois delusion taken to its logical extreme is accidentally profound.