A friend recently wrote me, asking me “after how many years/generations do new settlers become Indigenous to a land? So, for example, are the Boers descendants today in S. Africa, African?”
It’s a question i’ve had a number of conversations about, not because i’ve any kind of special standing on the issue, but i think because it’s a question undergirding a lot of ways things are talked about on the radical left and in anticolonial movements. Over the past years i have come to the conclusion that like so many other questions, there are multiple valid answers, and the point ...........READ MORE
this image comes from an article in the mcgill daily dealing with some of the issues discussed here, but from the opposite direction, and drawing very different conclusions
The world has changed over the past fifty years. There are different names for this change — neoliberalism, postmodernism, postfordism, globalization. The term i prefer to use is “neocolonialism”. But despite this clear reference to one specific thing — colonialism, the relationship between oppressor and oppressed nations, which i would argue remains central — the change that has taken place encompasses much more than that, being not just about the fake ...........READ MORE
In Jailbreak Out of History, revolutionary Amazon theorist Butch Lee shows how the anticolonial struggles of New Afrikan/Black women were central to the unfolding of 19th century amerika, both during and “after” slavery.
The book’s title essay, “The Re-Biography of Harriet Tubman”, recounts the life and politics of Harriet Tubman, who waged and eventually lead the war against the capitalist slave system. As Lee explains, “Harriet Tubman was a radical political figure, someone totally involved as a player in the great political ideas and military storms of her day. She was a guerrilla. Someone who lived and taught others ...........READ MORE
Divided World Divided Class charts the history of the ‘labour aristocracy’ in the capitalist world system, from its roots in colonialism to its birth and eventual maturation into a full-fledged middle class in the age of imperialism. It argues that pervasive national, racial and cultural chauvinism in the core capitalist countries is not primarily attributable to ‘false class consciousness’, ideological indoctrination or ignorance as much left and liberal thinking assumes. Rather, these and related forms of bigotry are concentrated expressions of the major social strata of the core capitalist nations’ shared economic interest in the exploitation and repression of dependent ...........READ MORE
Joel is an antifascist prisoner in Sweden. In July 2014, he was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for attempted murder, violent disorder, and carrying an illegal weapon. The sentence followed a collective defense against a Nazi attack on an antifascist demonstration in Stockholm. The interview was conducted in the fall of 2014. Explanatory notes have been added.
You were sentenced in connection with an antifascist demonstration in Kärrtorp, a suburb of Stockholm, in December 2013. Can you tell us about that day?
During the weeks before the demonstration, there had been trouble in Kärrtorp and the ...........READ MORE
“The Messiah comes not only as the redeemer, he comes as the subduer of the Antichrist. Only that historian will have the gift of fanning the spark of hope in the past who is firmly convinced that even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious.”
—Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History”
JMP’s The Communist Necessity is a fine example of what we can call agitational literature. Cast as both a polemic against fragmentary post-Cold War political practice and as what the author whimsically calls ...........READ MORE
The following is a review of J. Moufawad-Paul’s The Communist Necessity by André Moncourt:
The Communist Necessity – that’s a catchy title, I thought. I too think that revolutionary change is absolutely essential, and I think the Marxist tradition provides a lot worthy of consideration if that is going to occur, but in the end, J. Moufawad-Paul’s essay left me with more questions than answers. “What the hell,” I thought, “I’ll just ask him.” Below you will find a series of quotes from J. Moufawad-Paul’s book followed by my questions.
The following paper analyzes the socialist debates on the national question up through 1914. I argue that an effective strategy of anti-colonial Marxism was first put forward by the borderland socialists, not the Bolsheviks. Lenin and his comrades lagged behind the non-Russian Marxists on this crucial issue well into the Civil War – and this political weakness helps explain the Bolshevik failure to build roots among dominated peoples.
Consequently, the Bolsheviks were either too numerically weak and/or indifferent to national aspirations to successfully lead socialist revolutions in the borderlands, facilitating the isolation of the Russian workers’ government and the subsequent ...........READ MORE
Perhaps I shouldn’t find significance in the short subtitle for JMP’s Communist Necessity essay, “prolegomena to any future radical theory” – but I do. The simple meaning of ‘prolegomena’ is prefatory remarks, but there is a more specific reference that is closer to what JMP intends. Kant’s Prolegomena to the Critique of Pure Reason was presented as the necessary basis for any future metaphysics that could lay claim to being scientific. Similarly, JMP offers this essay as the necessary ‘scientific’ basis for “any future radical theory”. He may only claim to have provided some elements of this ...........READ MORE
“There is a categorical difference, often overlooked, between trying to describe an event that has already happened … and trying to describe one that has yet to happen – and one, in addition, for which there is no precedent, or even near precedent, in history. Lacking experience to guide our thoughts and impress itself on our feelings, we resort to speculation. But speculation, however brilliantly it may be carried out, is at best only a poor substitute for experience. Experience gives us facts, whereas in pure speculation we are thrown back on theory, which has never been a very reliable ...........READ MORE