#17161
Fascism, integralism and the corporative society, H R Morgan. Brazilian integralism is/was weird - a genuinely populist religious nationalism. Catholic social democracy without racism, so inherently doomed to be epic fail in practice.

The cosmopolitanism, i.e. foreign influence, is an evil which is death for our nationalism and our nation. It is our duty to combat it. But, this does not mean a policy of bad will towards the friendly Nations, or to the children of other countries, who work here aiming toward the advancement of the Brazilian nation and whose descendants are integrated into the lives of the Brazilian people. We refer to the customs, which are rooted mainly in our bourgeoisie, and in this current civilization having been brought here from Europe and the United States. Our homes are impregnated with foreign loanwords; our lectures, our way of looking at life, are no longer. The Brazilians of the cities don’t know of the thinkers, writers, national poets. They try to shame the caboclo and the blacks of our land. They have acquired cosmopolitan habits. They don’t know of all the difficulties and all the heroics, all the suffering and all the aspirations, the dreams, the energy, the courage of the Brazilian people. It is covered over by ironies (baldões) to belittle the races (proviemos). Live to enhance all that is outside, despising all national initiatives. Having given us an inadequate political regime, they prefer to blame the disasters of the Country, blaming the Brazilian people, rather than to admit that the regime is incapable and incompetant. Sceptical, disillusioned, weary of pleasures, all who speak these powerful words or those great and petty bourgeoisie, distilling a poison that erodes the soul of youth. Creating ethnic prejudices originating from countries that want to dominate us. Despising all our traditions. And seeking to inculcate and spread the immorality of manners. We are against the pernicious influence of this pseudo-civilization (pseudo-civilização), we want to standardize. And we are against the influence of communism, representing the Soviet Russian imperialism, capitalism, which aims to reduce us to a dominion. Thus arrises a great nationalist movement, to affirm the value of Brazil and of everything that is useful and beautiful in character and in Brazilian customs; to unite all Brazilians in one spirit: the Amazon, the Northeast, tapuio the backcountry of Northern and central provinces, the caiçaras and piraquaras, Cowboys, calús, capichabas, paroaras, garimpeiros, calungas, cattlemen and drovers of Mines, Goiás, Mato Grosso; settlers, ranchers, aggregates, small craftsmen of São Paulo; ervateiros of Paraná and Santa Catarina; the Gauchos of the pampas; the working class of all regions; the youth of the schools; traders, industrialists, farmers; teachers, artists, officials, doctors, lawyers, engineers, workers of all railways; the soldiers, the sailors—all who still have at heart their greatest love and enthusiasm for Brazil. We must rely on our glorious traditions, we must affirm as a people, United and strong, that nothing can divide us. Nationalism for us is not only the cult of flag and National Anthem; is the deep awareness of our needs, of character, of the trends, of the aspirations of the fatherland and of the value of a people. This is a great campaign we undertake.
#17162
was really looking forward to sam william's post this month but he got hospitalized with staph , looks like he's ok though.
#17163

dimashq posted:

was really looking forward to sam william's post this month but he got hospitalized with staph , looks like he's ok though.



damn, I've been checking his blog every day for the last week

#17164
hawwing and hemming about whether to read the first ten pages of Piketty's Capital And Ideology before reading something more personally enriching, probably not gonna
#17165
reading lacan
#17166

Acdtrux posted:

reading lacan



thats good to me.

#17167
time flies when depression hits but ive resumed cyclonopedia

its such a certain insanity and i gotta have my head be at least a bit unsleepy to work through it :\





#17168

toutvabien posted:



yeh I ended up buying a used copy of reza's book. waiting on the sequel about the 11 masters though before I think about getting into nick's work.

#17169
dear god before i pressed on the quoted post i thought you were talking about nick land

i also read cyclonopedia recently which was good fun at least
#17170
ive spent this winter reading and re-reading some of the classics (adorno, lenin, gramsci, lukacs). i am now nearly finished with lukacs' history and class consciousness which is a first time read for me. it is by far my favorite marxist text besides marx. the ways in which he describes and elaborates the dialectical method is impressive both for its profound clarity, as well as for its use of the method throughout the writing itself. i know that's not groundbreaking, but to read about dialectical materialism in such a well-exhibited, perfectly clear and precise manner is extremely rewarding. i am learning and thinking about the world differently, and am kicking myself ten thousand times over for having let it sit untouched on my shelf for the last three years.

this is a general question that has come up and probably belongs in the real life thread but:

given that (1) the material circumstances of current society are arguably more negatively extreme and precarious than when lukacs was writing (due to i.e. the complete mechanization of health/mental healthcare, the disintegration of non-capitalist speculative science & the total monetization of education systems/career training, increased mass incarceration and suppression and distancing of the global south, environmental issues, mass production, mass media, whatever else), (2) that the work conditions for all fields have grown equally extreme (in systemic relation to the other point), (3) what the hell is anybody supposed to do? as in: i know that there is intellectual activity to be done, i know that there is material activity and solidarity activity to be done, and i know that there are options to make those tasks realistic to undertake, but at the end of the day: how is it possible to "opt-out" of whatever employment environment options exist without total failure? how is it possible to make some income and feel halfway decent about it (morally/financially/socially/whatever) so that you are in an adequate position to offer solidarity and critical support to people that need it more than you?

i am continually at a complete fucking loss with those questions and the questions that work under them/beyond them (none of which are well formulated here and i don't feel like editing them right now), and would love to hear some thoughts about them if you have any.
#17171
been reading about the early history of the RCP and there was a struggle between a couple different tendencies.

The Bruce Franklin faction wanted to push for action right away to spark struggle against the imperialism and light a torch for the rest of the world to see.

The Bergman faction wanted to work to build a movement that would demolish us imperialism by laying the groundwork for the future. Whether it took 5 months, 5 years, or 50 years, the idea was to be in it for the long haul.

I think that same basic struggle presents itself today. Is now the time to light a torch and show a break between the current state of affairs and a possible future or do we put our heads down and build the infrastructure for a future movement

Edited by pogfan1996 ()

#17172
reading Jonathan Frankel's Prophecy and Politics which is a history of russian jewish emancipatory thought in the 19th century, clarifies really well how it all coalesced (or rather split off, 1 >> 2 etc.) into Zionist "socialism".

since im posting on the rhizzone im gonna take it for granted that we know the historical situation of every oppressed nation is unique, so of course oppressed nation nationalism isn't bound to reproduce fascism (as anarchists have it, yeah im thinking of YOU the ultra-pacifist tech anarchist studying electrical engineering at REDACTED that everyone seems to think is so smart who wants to develop some kind of insane bullshit communication weapons technology solution to "violence" but thinks Hezbollah is bad). you can see very clearly how socialist Zionism developed into fascism though because of the way the emancipatory movement was kind of co-opted very early on (way before Balfour!). Personally I think it begins with MOses Hess himself, the spinozist (fakebased though) race science utopian socialist guy who happened to edit the REinische Zeitung before Marx, who more or less just cloaked european colonial ideology in jewish garb in Rome & Jerusalem. which is obvious when you think about it, because the first Zionist text is by definition the one that was useful to historical Zionism, it's a retroactive definition in a way, there were other nationalist strains of jewish emancipatory thought, even territorialist ones, that can't be subsumed under Zionism, like creating something analogous to the contemporary vision for the New Afrikan nation in the Pale of settlement, or a mass migration to Spain to take advantage of the bizarre bourgeois-legal manifestation of its overturning the centuries-old expulsion that offered right of return to literally any jewish person lol.

Because the mainstream thinkers and leaders prior to the pogroms were mostly maskilim - supporters of the Haskalah, something like the jewish palette swap of the Enlightenment - and looked for emancipation through bourgeois liberal personal recognition for jews, their only course of action was to create like 19th century NGOs that would petition various European aristocrats. After the pogroms erased any lingering hope in the Haskalah's legalist and assimilationist hopes for emancipation the socialists and communists who came into prominence either opted for nationalism within the russian revolutionary movement i.e. the Bund, or became Zionists, both seeing as the precondition for actual emancipation the abolition of the existing class structure of russian jewry. incidentally this is part of Marx's critique of Bauer in On the Jewish Question, and it's funny how pretty much everyone across the ideological spectrum at the time went way further than Marx in describing jewish society as mercantile or parasitic in what sounds today like anti-semitic terms but in historical context were just describing what you could maybe call the lumpen condition of jewish society. when they were talking about how the class structure was lopsided towards traders and merchants etc. with little peasantry it was with the common understanding that the vast majority of jewish "merchants" would've been almost penniless peddlers just wandering around, totally proscribed from the land and the economic life of russia, not the parasitic merchant and money capitalists of anti-semitic imagination (of course that some money and merchant capital can develop from lumpen strata was useful for anti-semites, not without foresight). It was likewise taken for granted that everyone understood this class structure was the result of a historical process of economic proscription from the medieval era onwards, which historical process is really what Marx meant by the mercantile nature of judaism or whatever he said that always gets misinterpreted. anyway so both Zionist and anti-Zionist socialist movements took up this critique of the Haskalah, but the Zionist version was from the start, before any interactions in Palestine itself, inflected with colonial consciousness. I think lumpenization is a useful lens for this, the widespread hunger for a non-lumpen relationship to production helps explain how european racial supremacy could really quite consciously and calculatingly take root in what was purportedly the revolutionary class of one of the groups it served to oppress (it's clear that it's not just "nationalism" that was the cause of this, since the Bund and non-Zionist territorialists were explicitly nationalist as well). Anyway we know how this turned out history is a single catastrophe piling wreckage etc.

another interesting part of the book is about the narodnaya volya-like movement of yeshiva students in the pale of settlement in the 80s after the pogroms, unlike the russian students in the 70s they were immediately succcessful and a number of communal agricultural projects sprang up almost purely out of enthusiasm (when they didn't fail because of the high ratio of zeal-to-practical planning they were just razed to the ground by pogroms). the book quotes an article by this russian narodnik who was super pissed that they were embraced by the People where he hadnt been, about how jews were prone to bouts of hyper-idealism precisely BECAUSE of their hyper-materialist nature, they're not an oppressed nation yearning for emancipation or anything, never mind that our own utopian socialist movement happened to cheer on the pogroms as the long-awaited millenarian awakening of revolutionary consciousness among the russian peasants,

https://therealmovement.wordpress.com/2020/01/24/whats-wrong-with-this-statement/
also this jehu blog post is cool, i think a kind of millenarianism thats floating in the air isnt necessarily inaccurate, jehu points out this prediction has been accurate once before! and it came to nothing at least for a revolutionary movement, i feel like if anything the labor aristocracy in the 20s and 30s was smaller and weaker than it is now however embattled it's become in the last 40 years (somebody correct me if this is mistaken) and this time there might be even less communist infrastructure around to radicalize the white castoffs of capitalist crisis, so just waiting for the #linegoesdown crisis in the imperial core is insufficient as strategy

Edited by neckwattle ()

#17173
i started reading 'ministry of utmost happiness' by arundhati roy. i've not managed to finish a novel in years, although so far this one is beautiful and enthralling so maybe i can manage.
#17174

pogfan1996 posted:

been reading about the early history of the RCP and there was a struggle between a couple different tendencies.

The Bruce Franklin faction wanted to push for action right away to spark struggle against the imperialism and light a torch for the rest of the world to see.

The Bergman faction wanted to work to build a movement that would demolish us imperialism by laying the groundwork for the future. Whether it took 5 months, 5 years, or 50 years, the idea was to be in it for the long haul.

I think that same basic struggle presents itself today. Is now the time to light a torch and show a break between the current state of affairs and a possible future or do we put our heads down and build the infrastructure for a future movement



In all of this it should be noted that Franklin took the Third Worldist position (primary contradiction is between American imperialism and the Third World and Bergman took the First Worldist position (primary contradiction is between the American working class and the American bourgeoisie)

#17175
From Radical Technologies by Adam Greenfield:

For me, many years of thinking and working in this domain have left behind a clear and vivid picture of they world. It seems strange to assert that anything as broad as a class on technologies might have a dominant emotionally tenor, but the internet of things does. That tenor is sadness. When we pause to listen for it, the overriding emotion of the Internet of things is a melancholy that rolls off of it in waves and sheets. The entire pretext on which it depends is a mileau of continuously shattered attention, of overloaded awareness, and gaps between people just barely annealed with sensors, APIs and scripts.

Implicit in its propositions is a vision of inner states and home lives alike savaged by bullshit jobs, overcranked schedules and long commutes, of intimacy stifled by exhaustion and the incapacity or unwillingness to be emotionally present. The internet of things in all of its manifestations so often seems like an attempt to paper over the voids between us, or slap a quick technical patch on all the places where capitalism has left us unable to care for another.
#17176
the Haskalah is a good topic for Marxists to study, because while it's called the Jewish Enlightenment, it was the ideological product of material self-defense in countries where literate Jews had the most to lose (and many would lose everything in the two centuries that followed). Instead of how the Enlightenment is described in the first chapter of the Communist Manifesto, the Haskalah is an optimistic but last-ditch defense against it. Haskalah conceded ground to secure what could not, in the end, be secured from the "pitiless" and "most revolutionary" aspect of the bourgeoisie's rise to power and defense of that power. So you had stuff like, we will integrate ourselves into Christian society but we will resurrect Hebrew as a living language.

The demarcation in bourgeois histories between the Haskalah and "Jewish nationalism" is not dialectical. The Haskalah contradiction was realized in the "pitiless" self-integration of the secular Zionists into the Western colonial project, a movement recasting a temporal proxy role in global affairs as zealous self-defense even against the secularized Christians that sold the Zionists their weapons. Within the United States, a similarly contradictory reflection appeared, the arms-to-Israel fundraising apparatus that seemed to spring fully formed from the brow of the traditionally antisemitic Christian religious.

The ideological problem of the colonial project in Palestine becomes next to impossible to deny through propaganda when a U.S. administration likely to command the militant support of any remaining Lindbergh fetishist throws itself not just into material support, but theatrical support for the pageantry of Likud Zionism and its teeth-grinding pride in the shattering of Palestine (compared to Labour's morose, self-deprecating execution of the same). And that's not stating the obvious, it's instead a gigantic amount of money and effort shifting from one position to another, though maybe it might seem like it's always been the way it is now if you were born in the 2000s. If there's one good reason to go back and read Noam Chomsky again, it's to compare the careful language of Zionist-colonialists and supporters just twenty years ago against the so-what way the domestic press in Tel Aviv today describes a soldier shooting a child in the face.
#17177
I'd like to recognize our great forums helmsman, getfiscal, for pushing me to change my mind on how fungible United States funding of Tel Aviv's war on Palestine really is, and how quickly it could be yanked away if another proxy ever offers a greater advantage. The Trump administration's marriage to Netanyahu's government and Zionist organizations in the U.S. seems to me like nothing more than rote laziness in a perpetual election cycle, different in no substantial way from how the Clintons and their successors handle campaign finance in the same arena. This cuts both ways, as those organizations are happy to denounce the current administration's neo-Nazi pandering. trakfactri brought up the Clarion Fund again recently, a group that sells tear-jerking stories of reformed far-rightists out of an office space it "shares" with Aish Hatorah, whose mission is to ship young Jews to the front lines of Palestine's Bantustan border wars for tax-sheltered, summer-vacation indoctrination into the resentful cult of the white man's burden.
#17178
oh ok interesting... i don't deny that the haskalah and the secular Zionism are responses to the same contradiction, but i feel like there's obviously a demarcation to be made not in terms of nationalism or whatever but in terms of class. the contradictions of the ascendant and fragile western jewish bourgeoisie and petite bourgeoisie just seem fundamentally different than those of the landless russian Jewry, hence their respective solutions: cultural and ideological assimilation to the european bourgeoisie while maintaining superficial markers of distinction on the one hand, and assimilation of the masses into the fascism of lumpen european colonialism on the other. or are you saying something like that the Enlightenment itself was the ideology of the ascendant bourgeoisie in the 18th century and that the Haskalah was therefore an attempt to integrate into its fascism in the first place?

Edited by neckwattle ()

#17179
I guess I'm saying something more depressing than that, that petty-bourgeois Jews with good intentions can "revive" the language of the Torah under the reign of the bourgeoisie, but the Manifesto's observations about religion and culture hold true. You end up with a Neo-Tokyo dystopian monstrosity re-designed, just like contemporary English, French, etc., to train up those with less time to read on the necessity of dying in the borderlands for big oil bucks. You talk about the role of working-class Jews in contemporary Zionism, and that's a sound point, but more and more nowadays, I keep coming back to the bit in Capital asking, how did it advantage British factory owners to get proletarian kids into schools, to teach them to read, to give them all the tools championed by the reformists who imagined themselves in a struggle against those capitalists for the lives and souls of those poor helpless children?
#17180
yeah i'm 100% with you on that. i'm not saying that they were the source of Zionism's underlying compromise with the european bourgeoisie, just fertile ground for it rather than the western jews paradoxically because they were way more fucked in the present by capitalism (though zionists were still a small minority of russian jews at the time)

Edited by neckwattle ()

#17181
and im not talking about the role of contemporary working class israelis in Zionism, although of course we all know about that, im really interested in how the transition from jews being an oppressed people fighting for emancipation to overseeing one of the most brutal imperialist outposts first happened, it's obviously a secondary revolutionary class transition but given that it's not the one that a numerical majority of european jews were actually fighting for at the time i think it's worth studying how it happened. i kind of elided in my post that i obviously believe the co-option by the european powers is a large part of why we're talking about Zionism and not an independent Pale of settlement or whatever

Edited by neckwattle ()

#17182
just wait til i re-read Zionism and Technocracy and post my freshman seminar takes on it
#17183

pogfan1996 posted:



This is always how adventurists present themselves. It's rheteroic to conceal a liquidation of political tasks, be they 'long term' or 'short term'. Committing some terrorist act never dispels illusions, gives an impetus to the sleeping masses, shows them how it's done, or whatever it is people say, and it's frankly a reification of bourgeois individualism. See what Lenin says about the Narodniks

Edited by marlax78 ()

#17184
ive just read another pendle hill pamphlet, this one #5 "Pacifist Program in Time of War, Threatened War, and Fascism" written in april 1939. there are some interesting ideas there, some ideas i think are misguided, and some major whiffs at predicting the future. eg, advances in aircraft technology make modern warfare in europe impossible because the threat of losing a country's entire industrial base through bombing campaigns is too devastating to contemplate...

ill go over it in more detail sometime in the next couple days
#17185
covid-19 was hooked like bait on the line by the amerikkkan news apparatus and i have been swindled into the bite. i have been pulled aware yet unresisting into a compulsive madness whereapon i bash my brains into the Bad Blue Website and the Bad Grey Website until i am transformed, by my eyeballs, into a broken feeble husk.

"no more" i say out loud to myself in my empty apartment. this quarantine [shall become my very own forge these posts the tongs which i shall to use in hold in place the blade (which is in this metaphorical imagery my brain). "what's the hammer, you ask." i say out loud to myself in my empty apartment well. the hammer is what it has always been the immortal science. i shall emerge
from these unprecendented times not dulled by sharpenedand ready to cut the kkkult of amerikkkan ideology. we will be awash in sea of corpses all politics shall be local and all locales shall be the graveyard but through the unceasing and endless pursuit of the dialectical i shall find strength through the horrors of history and place history into the horrors of today. "a staunch communist must be unyielding and arduous" i misquote mao which only incentivizes me further still to actually reread the little red book, but only after reading through some of his earlier texts which i have present "in my empty apartment" i say outloud so that i can place the quotes into an appropriate context, and....

anyways, going to reread settlers while in quarantine
#17186
over the past ninety years or so the pendle hill quaker center for study & contemplation has been publishing half a dozen pamphlets a year on various topics such as psychology, pacifism, spirituality, biographies of certain quaker personalities, etc. many of the pamphlets are essays written by an assortment of quakers who have spent time at pendle hill. my meetinghouse has accrued a number of pamphlets over the years when a study group or what have you will decide to order a couple to fuel discussion or contemplation

i decided to check out their pamphlets regarding non-violence and pacifism to seek clarity because i value nonviolence but also oppose imperialism. im certainly not going to become a mercenary or support amerika's wars, its real easy to just talk a good game on this topic while being a tax paying amerikan labor aristocrat. i don't see any way by which my own use of violence could actually be effective in ending amerikan imperialism. but i think itd be sorta fucked to deny the legitimacy of oppressed peoples' use of violence to protect themselves and i don't think this empire is going to stop being a death machine just because people here eventually come around to the idea that the whole thing is sorta immoral

earlier i posted a bit about a vietnam war-era pamphlet on non-violent resistance which took the position that non-violent movements of oppressed peoples could be just as effective as violent resistance to free people from imperialist oppression, if not more so. gandhi and mlk played a large role in this essay. while the tone of the essay was sympathetic to people suffering from amerika's terrible crimes, ultimately its message was that the best thing to do when f-4s are incinerating your whole village is to make sure the world can see how righteous you are through your suffering so as to make tax paying amerikan labor aristrocrats feel bad. i admit this is a somewhat unfair summary

pendle hill #5 “Pacifist Program in Time of War, Threatened War, or Fascism” was written in april 1939 by richard gregg. the first item addressed is the question of what pacifism is or must be: "an effort to create by non-violent methods a new and better civilization." just trying to postpone a war, make war less awful, or even to create a permanent state of non-war is insufficent. the creation of a new civilization is necessary because "war is an inherent, inevitable, essential element of the kind of civilization in which we live." all of our political parties, our economic system, and our society as a whole not only supports but requires war. in addition, the "silent, covert violence of economic pressure and exploitation" is recognized as being a threat to pacifist values.

the pamphlet then has a 14 point program for how a dedicated pacifist should act when a war is being threatened. i won't to into each step; most of it is pretty straightforward, like pledging not to fight. theres some practical advice peppered throughout this pamphlet thats easy to overlook, such as advising that the best time to pledge yourself to pacifism is when there's no threat of war. you're not assaulted from all sides by propaganda and jingoism; you have the time and space to think about what you value and how you think the world should work. take advantage of the calm to take a personal assessment with a cool head. know that the government and the media will try to play on your emotions in the lead up to war and it'll be tough to remain resolute especially when most of the country falls for it.

"(The pacifist) should try to realize that we have all, ignorantly or otherwise, supported, condoned, or accepted the benefit of actions and attitudes which lead toward war . . . He should therefore try always to avoid indignation about the acts of other nations"

in addition to conscripting soldiers, governments often offer alternatives to military service, like driving ambulances or hospital work. pacifists should refuse to participate. if there are so few people who support war that those positions to aid and abet the war effort can't be filled, your society probably wouldn't be going to war.

the author is apparently pretty sore about being called a coward for his refusal to participate in war, so he on several occasions makes sure to talk shit about cowards. he brings this up the first time just before advising pacifists to be prepared to go to jail for refusing to participate in war or support it through alternative service. however, the author admits to participating in patriotic ceremonies or displays when there's no good way to get out of it because he's uncomfortable with being seen as an enemy sympathizer or not a true amerikan.

the author makes a couple stands that i wasn't expecting to see. first, there's a section on the importance of paying taxes. among the historic peace churches there have often been protest movements to end the use of tax money to pay for wars, although it's sorta fallen by the wayside in popular discourse among what we have for a left in this country. the argument goes like this: democratic governments couldn't carry on their affairs if every pissant taxpayer or fringe group could dictate exactly how and why their tax money should be spent. if pacifists were allowed to withhold taxes because the government uses that money for war, then christian scientists should be allowed to withhold taxes because the government supports hospitals and doctors. vegetarians should withhold taxes because the government inspects slaughterhouses. refusing to pay taxes is a challenge to the existence of the government and it will stomp down on you hard. of course, pacifists aren't cowards so if you're going to get on your high horse about taxes you better be ready to accept the consequences ie jail. if it helps you feel better, pay your taxes but protest against the use of tax money for war purposes. a pacifist isn't directly morally responsible when the government uses for the purposes of war the tax money that is extracted from them by force of law.

in the midst of this tax discussion in the middle of what is basically a "to do / how to" list for pacifists, the author drops on us his overreaching vision of social change. keep paying your taxes until you "(1) have worked out a better kind of state (2) have worked out a non-violent method of winning power and making changes (3) have got into actual operation a number of the transitional organizations necessary (4) have acquired skill and self-confidence in this non-violent method (5) have in minor ways demonstrated to the public their executive capacity and responsibility (6) in minor struggles have demonstrated to the public the effectiveness of the method and its actual non-violence (7) have achieved an increase of social and political unity between formerly inharmonious groups in their nation and (8) have got into practical working some supplemental economic devices for helping to carry the most depressed part of the population during the stress and change afterward." if that sounds too hard then maybe you don't actually have a hope of effecting meaningful change

the second surprising stand was advising that pacifists refuse to demonstrate with communists-- the section on this topic comes immediately after advising that pacifists aid the struggle of labor (unless there's violence afoot). throughout the pamphlet, for no stated reason, the author makes it very clear that something is deeply wrong with communism. i would have to dig around for some of his other writings to figure this one out, but i haven't bothered to do that yet. it might just be an artifact of his class and national identities during the time of his writing, or his impression of what communism is and how it differs from his vision of future society. as much as is stated about his opposition to communism is that communists are willing to use violent methods, so if you get caught up with them or join a popular front you may wind up participating in or supporting their violent actions.

the biggest surprise was the author's disavowal of anti-war protests and condemnations of war. about half of the whole essay was dedicated to this topic. the primary reasons for this disavowal is that protests and condemnations impugn the spirit and dignity of either the protester, those being protested, or both, and that protest is an ineffective method of persuasion or effecting social change. i read through this section with a sympathetic yet critical eye & i can't say that i agree with the author all around but he does bring up issues that are worthy of consideration. protests and condemnations can blur the line between sin and sinner that prevent one from recognizing the humanity in another person, while "puffing me up with pride and self-righteousness" which is not a state that i aspire to. the author notes that we "should realize that to the extent that we have accepted the comforts and privileges of our civilization and have cooperated with its competition, its divisiveness, its prejudices, and its pride, we are responsible for its evil results. we therefore may not attribute the mistake of war solely to other people. many pacifists as well as others have shared in the mistaken processes which cause war." some motivations to protest war are infantile as opposed to sincere or moral-- liberals in the imperial core suddenly discovering that the lifestyle they enjoy causes or rather requires the unsightly wars that the wrong president started in their name. the author feels that the only folks who have a genuine right to protest war are those who eschew many of the benefits of our civilization and refuse the ill-gotten gains of our economic warfare. to be consistent & sincere we have to embrace voluntary poverty. "we dare not pretend that we are not attached to our usual ways, that the comforts of our civilization are not pleasant. yet if those comforts keep us from disengaging ourselves from certain of our previous ways, over the brink we must go, and our verbal protests and condemnations are not worthy of great respect." this is p good stuff for an amerikan in the 1930s and its definitely something i stew over myself. what to do about war instead of protesting it? the author says silently but steadfastly work to create stronger communities, uplift the oppressed, and educate children in right behavior and values through your encouraging words and actions.

the last section is on pacifism under fascism. not much to say here! basically keep your head down, keep your mouth shut, and do everything pacifists should be doing anyway. sort of a let down

i mentioned in an earlier post a passage that revealed the author's misguided optimism about non-violent future: he hoped that it was possible that "the perfection of the airplane has practically ended large-scale warfare between industrialized European nations. Bombing from the air not only endangers statesmen, but makes probable the destruction of most of the industrial equipment of a nation in a big war. This would not only end the material supply of the fighting forces, but would make it impossible to profit by a victory because the victorious nation would not be able to manufacture for the newly won market." that turned out a few months later to be a huge error. the industrial liquidation of dozens of millions of lives is a far bleaker picture than this vision of human society could bear. there have been successful movements of non-violent resistance, but many of them have run in parallel with movements that relied on violence or military force. i want to learn more about the circumstances in which nvr movements have effected social change & the degree to which they were able to achieve their goals

Edited by 招瑤 ()

#17187
RIP Limonov
#17188
Reading up on how to make my boutique yuppie distillery produce and sell hand sanitizer, building capital and good press while combating the bad guy with bad press who buys it off the shelves and barters it for a Red Bull-branded Yamaha crotch rocket
#17189

swampman posted:

is the eric hobsbawm world history series good for reading.


update: no

#17190
i just finished up listening to an audio book of imperialism, the highest form of capitalism by our volodya ilyich. its like the sixth time ive read it but dang ita real good book. smart boy, he makes me proud
#17191
reading some Weedpunk, the highest form of literature
#17192
https://www.orwell.ru/library/articles/niggers/english/e_ncn

In a prosperous country, above all in an imperialist country, left­wing politics are always partly humbug. There can be no real reconstruction that would not lead to at least a temporary drop in the English standard of life, which is another way of saying that the majority of left-wing politicians and publicists are people who earn their living by demanding something that they don't genuinely want. They are red-hot revolutionaries as long as all goes well, but every real emergency reveals instantly that they are shamming. One threat to the Suez Canal, and ‘anti-Fascism’ and ‘defence of British interests’ are discovered to be identical.


What we always forget is that the over­whelming bulk of the British proletariat does not live in Britain, but in Asia and Africa. It is not in Hitler's power, for instance, to make a penny an hour a normal industrial wage; it is perfectly normal in India, and we are at great pains to keep it so. One gets some idea of the real relationship of England and India when one reflects that the per capita annual income in England is something over £80, and in India about £7. It is quite common for an Indian coolie's leg to be thinner than the average Englishman's arm. And there is nothing racial in this, for well-fed members of the same races are of normal physique; it is due to simple starvation. This is the system which we all live on and which we denounce when there seems to be no danger of its being altered. Of late, however, it has become the first duty of a ‘good anti-Fascist’ to lie about it and help to keep it in being.


Wow, I can't believe Orwell was a MTWist...much to reconsider...

#17193

shriekingviolet posted:

reading some Weedpunk, the highest form of literature



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Weedpunk

never forget

#17194
im reading the darn Decameron!
#17195

filler posted:

https://www.orwell.ru/library/articles/niggers/english/e_ncn

In a prosperous country, above all in an imperialist country, left­wing politics are always partly humbug. There can be no real reconstruction that would not lead to at least a temporary drop in the English standard of life, which is another way of saying that the majority of left-wing politicians and publicists are people who earn their living by demanding something that they don't genuinely want. They are red-hot revolutionaries as long as all goes well, but every real emergency reveals instantly that they are shamming. One threat to the Suez Canal, and ‘anti-Fascism’ and ‘defence of British interests’ are discovered to be identical.


What we always forget is that the over­whelming bulk of the British proletariat does not live in Britain, but in Asia and Africa. It is not in Hitler's power, for instance, to make a penny an hour a normal industrial wage; it is perfectly normal in India, and we are at great pains to keep it so. One gets some idea of the real relationship of England and India when one reflects that the per capita annual income in England is something over £80, and in India about £7. It is quite common for an Indian coolie's leg to be thinner than the average Englishman's arm. And there is nothing racial in this, for well-fed members of the same races are of normal physique; it is due to simple starvation. This is the system which we all live on and which we denounce when there seems to be no danger of its being altered. Of late, however, it has become the first duty of a ‘good anti-Fascist’ to lie about it and help to keep it in being.


Wow, I can't believe Orwell was a MTWist...much to reconsider...


He used that talking point to discredit communists and muddle the issue of imperialism. In this case the argument seems to be leftists (except Orwell) stupidly believe fighting Hitler (=supporting USSR) and ending the Raj is good for English interests. He supported the Munich pact. Slides that little association in the reader's mind while looking like he's chest-beating about the English left's - just the "left" not the English people - monstrous hypocrisy about colonies. Most English people who had anything to do with the colonies (like Orwell) knew all about colonial exploitation, they just didn't care. Or cared in precisely this manner i.e. it's a complex issue with no easy answers so let's keep doing it while also condemning the excesses. Like he says at the end-

Nothing is likely to save us except the emergence within the next two years of a real mass party whose first pledges are to refuse war and to right imperial injustice.



Nothing about freeing them or not fucking them up before being forced to leave. Instead all the English people get together and decide what "righting imperial injustice" means.

#17196

vimingok posted:


Yes, Orwell was a vicious little worm who used socialism as a way to feel self-righteous in comparison to his fellow Etonians.

The Lion and the Unicorn is where he gets explicit about his attitude toward the colonies, and it turns out it's a redux of Bernstein—colonies are good because they allow us good white socialists to uplift the backward natives (while having the nice side benefit of keeping white living standards high):

the Labour Party was a Socialist party, using Socialist phraseology, thinking in terms of an old-fashioned anti-imperialism and more or less pledged to make restitution to the coloured races. It had to stand for the ‘independence’ of India, just as it had to stand for disarmament and ‘progress’ generally. Nevertheless everyone was aware that this was nonsense. In the age of the tank and the bombing plane, backward agricultural countries like India and the African colonies can no more be independent than can a cat or a dog.

To a Labour government in power, three imperial policies would have been open. One was to continue administering the Empire exactly as before, which meant dropping all pretensions to Socialism. Another was to set the subject peoples ‘free’, which meant in practice handing them over to Japan, Italy and other predatory powers, and incidentally causing a catastrophic drop in the British standard of living. The third was to develop a positive imperial policy, and aim at transforming the Empire into a federation of Socialist states, like a looser and freer version of the Union of Soviet Republics.


https://orwell.ru/library/essays/lion/english/e_ter

#17197
Finally tackling Capital (Volume 1) using this series. I've heard good things about Harvey and personally like his way of speaking. Any tips for wrangling this beast?
#17198
pyf tips on how to approach a lecture series created to make a book more approachable
#17199
im just kidding, the way to read Capital with David Harvey is to buy Capital and read it in between the David Harvey lectures on Capital at the same pace as you can get through the David Harvey lectures on Capital. You can even read ahead if you like, what’s he gonna do flunk you?!?! Go nuts!!
#17200
I read Capital the way cars said, it’s a great way to do it. He also has a book based on his Capital lectures that I like as well