anonymous said:

so I was reading economic problems of socialism and something just occurred to me. Stalin argues that the law of value doesn't decide economic development because one of the things he mentions is that the less profitable heavy industries get most of the investments. but wasn't heavy industry also emphasized under Brezhnev, and if so how can you argue that capitalism was restored?

Heavy industry did get the lion’s share of state investment’s under Brezhnev’s rule, yes.  However, during this period heavy industry was quite obviously tied to military production,

According to official Soviet statistics, the Soviet Union’s national income is about 66 percent of that of the United States, while actual military spending tops that of the United States by 20 percent. In 1974, 35 percent of the Soviet Government’s expenditure was swallowed up by its military machine." (“New Tsars Feverish Arms Expansion and War Preparations”, Peking Review, 1975, No. 48, p.9.)

In order to serve its imperialist ambitions, the new capitalists in the Soviet Union have militarized the economy: 60% of industry is directly or indirectly related to the military. In 1960 the Soviet revisionists spent 13.1% of its national income on military expenditures, but by 1974 this had increased to 19.6%. This proportion surpasses pre-war Nazi Germany (19%) as well as U.S. imperialism even at its periods of conducting wars of aggression in Korea (15%) and Vietnam (10%).” (source

Arms exporting to third world countries in general was pretty lucrative for the Soviets as well.  But yeah, Soviet military production was essential for it to be able to keep its grip on Warsaw Pact states (see Czechoslovakia in 1968), and you may read about exploitative relations between the USSR and the East European states here.  The revisionist USSR also put its military to use in suppressing Eritrean national liberation, aiding India against China, outright attacking China during the GPCR, and a long list of social imperialist interventions elsewhere in the world.

Even though state investments mostly went to heavy industry (which was profitable due to its relation to grossly inflated imperialist military spending), it doesn’t really matter since investment decisions were dictated by expected rates of returns, and state grants accounted for a marginal amount of investments for soviet firms which, for the most part, operated off self-financing,

In making investments on account of its own development fund or bank credit, an enterprise will choose alternatives which enable it to increase profit and raise the level of profitability… Of all the alternatives an enterprise will choose one that provides for the biggest rise in profitability”.

(T.S. Khachaturov: “The Economic Reform and Efficiency of Investments”, in: “Soviet Economic Reform: Progress and Problems”; Moscow; 1972; p. 156 qtd. in Bill Bland, The Restoration of Capitalism in the USSR)

'We Have Always Fought': Challenging the 'Women, Cattle and Slaves' Narrative

An incredible article about the myths of women’s role in history, our biases from patriarchal education and media, and how not addressing those biases creates a feedback loop in fiction that perpetuates sexism.

A must read!

We forget what the story’s about. We erase women in our stories who, in our own lives, are powerful, forthright, intelligent, terrifying people. Women stab and maim and kill and lead and manage and own and run. We know that. We experience it every day. We see it.

[T]he trouble is, it’s often hard to sort out what we actually experienced from what we’re told we experienced, or what we should have experienced. We’re social creatures, and fallible.

http://aidanmoher.com/blog/featured-article/2013/05/we-have-always-fought-challenging-the-women-cattle-and-slaves-narrative-by-kameron-hurley/

super-nerd-wants-to-fight reblogged your post swimminindaprivilege: finneydsd repli… and added:

I’m confused, isn’t revisionism a good thing in the historical field?

It’s honestly been reduced in popular culture to a buzzword to insult whoever you think is on the “other side” of the sociopolitical tug-of-war American educational “canon” has become.

Wikipedia actually has a pretty good brief summary of what it actually means:

In historiography, historical revisionism is the reinterpretation of orthodox views on evidence, motivations, and decision-making processes surrounding a historical event.

Though the word revisionism is sometimes used in a negative way, constant revision of history is part of the normal scholarly process of writing history.

History is constantly being revised and re-examined, I’m just trying to lend some transparency to the process and show how it serves the status quo, or alternately, can be used to undermine it.

As I’ve pointed out before, using 300 year old scholarship to teach in classrooms today is pretty in need of revision. Then again, what the extreme right did to make textbooks show “the sunny side of slavery" was also revision.

The problem with using “revision” as an insult it that it’s based on the false premise that something older is more true. Which as you might notice, is counter to the actual process of writing, creating, and learning history.

There is no difference between a ‘Jewish’ person and a ‘Greek’ person. None but name. They are all of the same “european” bloodline derived from a people once called Edomites now called Caucasians, the first of which being Esau written of in the bible Gen.25:25. What does antisemitism mean ? Seriously, what’s a Semite ?? There’s no such thing…
—  Shit People Respond With
[T]he right has gotten almost everything about the March wrong, in a way that’s actually shocking, though I guess it shouldn’t be. Maybe we should be glad that they start from the premise that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a great American hero, albeit one they think his commemorators are misrepresenting. Maybe it’s progress that a man once reviled as a Communist and thoroughly disrespected by the mainstream media – as evidenced by his hostile interrogation on “Meet the Press” the Sunday before the March – is now lauded by righties from Bill O’Reilly to Laura Ingraham to David Brooks as a beloved hero whose dream has been betrayed – but by the left, not by them.

These faux-devotees of the great MLK, these history-challenged concern trolls, remember only King’s admittedly inspiring line about wanting his children judged “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” They don’t remember that he was a radical, in fact, a socialist. That he was about to launch a multiracial Poor People’s Campaign that was unpopular even with some of his top lieutenants, who didn’t think the movement was ready to venture beyond black issues. They forget the New York Times editorialized against his joining the movement against the Vietnam War (a move that even some of his closest allies, including Bayard Rustin, second guessed). Their tributes never mention that he died supporting a strike by mostly African American sanitation workers in Memphis.
—  Joan Walsh, “The right’s outrageous MLK ignorance.”
… I was on holiday once, and there was this little girl on the beach, little American kid. She says, “Hi, there. I’ve just been doing a Beatles appreciation class in school.” I said, “Wow, that’s great.” I think, “I know, I’ll be really cool here. I’ll tell her a little inside story.” So I go on about how something happened, and it was a fun story – and she looks at me, she says, “No, that’s not true. We covered that in the Beatles appreciation class.” I’m going, “Oh, fuck.” There’s no way out, man! They’re teaching this stuff now.
—  Paul McCartney (via Rolling Stone)
Britain’s empire was in reality built on genocide, vast ethnic cleansing, slavery, rigorously enforced racial hierarchy and merciless exploitation. As the Cambridge historian Richard Drayton puts it: “We hear a lot about the rule of law, incorruptible government and economic progress - the reality was tyranny, oppression, poverty and the unnecessary deaths of countless millions of human beings”.

Some empire apologists claim that, however brutal the first phase might have been, the 19th- and 20th-century story was one of liberty and economic progress. But this is nonsense. In late 19th-century and early 20th-century India up to 30 million died in famines, as British administrators insisted on the export of grain (as they had done during the Irish famine of the 1840s) and courts ordered 80,000 floggings a year. Four million died in the avoidable Bengal famine of 1943 - there have been no such famines since independence.

What is now Bangladesh was one of the richest parts of the world before the British arrived and deliberately destroyed its cotton industry. When India’s Andaman islands were devastated by December’s tsunami, who recalled that 80,000 political prisoners had been held in camps there in the early 20th-century, routinely experimented on by British army doctors? Perhaps it’s not surprising that Hitler was an enthusiast, describing the British empire as an “inestimable factor of value”, even if it had been acquired with “force and often brutality”.

thescienceofchictumbls said:

For real though, thank you for all of the time and research you put into this blog. Up until recently, which is rather embarrassing to admit, I wasn't aware of the prevalence of PoC in Europe prior to that whole slave thing that certain parts of the US are now trying to erase from our history books.... yeahhh... I just wanted to drop a line and let you know how appreciated you are since I'm still trying to get rid of my white blindness.

Thanks!

There’s a lot to learn; the problem is the amount of effort that’s gone into obscuring it.

More on the American erasure of “that whole slave thing" as you so blithely put it…

Rewriting History: Erasing White Guilt from American Textbooks

Judge Upholds Law Banning “Ethnic Studies” Classes

More on Arizona’s “Ethnic Studies” Ban

Tennessee Tea Party Demands That References to Slavery be Removed from History Textbooks

Texas’s Revisionist Stranglehold on the American Public Education Curriculum

Texas Conservatives Win Battle Over Textbook Content

Texas School Board Rewrites US History with Lessons Promoting god and Guns

Norman Finkelstein Should Not Be Your Token Jew: Part 1

i’m going to be making a series of posts about Norman Finkelstein, everyone’s favorite token Jew used to deflect accusations of anti-Semitism. responses in the community have shown me that apparently everyone adores this man and believes that there is no potential way he could be a Holocaust denier or a revisionist, so i’m here to deconstruct at least some of those views. this is Part 1, covering some Holocaust denial, chapters 1 and 2 of The Holocaust Industry, some interviews, etc. to address some of my concerns with Finkelstein.

a quick disclaimer on this post: i agree with a lot of Finkelstein’s views, including the fact that Israel commonly exploits haShoah narratives in order to justify atrocities. i also agree with much of his anti-Israel statements (though i don’t endorse a two-state solution or complete condemnation of BDS). i am calling this out as a Jew calling out another Jew, not as a Zionist calling out an anti-Zionist or a pro-Israel calling out an anti-Israel. this exists outside of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, much as Finkelstein himself exists outside of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Finkelstein fucks up way more often than i can count, so i’m likely to miss some major things in this. forgive me for not covering anything. i’ll organize these into sections like interviews, specific books, etc. and hopefully manage to cover the scope of his shitty liberal, revisionist world view. he’s not my ally in any way, and i don’t enjoy seeing pro-Palestinian goyim tokenize him as a Good Jew when in reality he is a revisionist who furthers anti-Semitism and promotes lies. 

The Holocaust Industry: Introduction, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2

Introduction

"…one of the world’s most formidable military powers, with a horrendous human rights record, has cast itself as a “victim” state, and the most successful ethnic group in the United States has likewise acquired victim status…

here, Finkelstein alleges that Jews are the most successful ethnic group in the United States. remember that Finkelstein is a white-passing Ashkenazi Jew whose experiences are largely Eurocentric, considering that the majority of his influences in his youth come from opposition of the Vietnam war based on his mother’s left-wing tendencies. his influence also comes from Noam Chomsky, whose views on linguistics are outstanding but whose views on politics often fall short (and also who invokes the Holocaust to justify his views on U.S. foreign policy, but maintains that the U.S. is the ‘greatest country in the world,’ as is fairly typical of privileged American males). for him to make the claim that Jews are the most successful ethnic group is ignorant to the extreme.

i am going to give him the benefit of the death and assume that ‘ethnic group’ means ‘ethnic minority’ and therefore is meant solely to mean that ethnic Jews as a group surpass other ethnic minorities—which would be true. the fact that Jewish Americans represent a model minority is just as true as the fact that Asian Americans represent a model minority. 

this is problematic because it posits that model minorities—i.e., successful on the basis of economic success—do not face discrimination or oppression…coming from a white-passing Jew. to claim that since we are often financially successful (though not all of us are—i can guarantee that many of us are still very recent immigrants without proper credentials and are kept in poverty by racism and anti-Semitism) and therefore cannot be “victims” is ridiculous. read all of this and maybe you’ll get why people shouldn’t make claims that Jews are “too successful” to be victims. you can also read this page’s religious section (as i’ve seen this going around a lot in response to these statistics—this in no way makes Islamophobia a ‘myth,’ so don’t even come at me acting like it does. Islamophobia is still a huge fucking problem and anti-Semitism does not undo that in the least and is a very fast-growing one; this is more due to the fact that Muslims did not get as much attention until more recent times than Muslims being more acceptable than Jews).

this is all from the first paragraph of Finkelstein’s introduction to his book. it isn’t even part of the book itself.

Chapter 1: Capitalizing

this entire chapter generally deals with blaming ‘American Jews’ for the entirety of Americans ignoring the Holocaust. he’s right that it was a way to facilitate assimilation (and also absolve the U.S. of blame for any of its role in WWII), but to claim that this is evidence of haShoah not affecting Jews worldwide is ridiculous. Finkelstein himself exploits the fear of Jews and attempts to remain safe following haShoah to fit his own revisionist narrative, attributing it all to ‘but Jews are the ones who did it to be mean to the evil Germans.’ he’s placing the blame of the United States’ ignorance/denial solely on the shoulders of a marginalized people who were coerced into assimilation. 

As anti-Semitic barriers quickly fell away after World War II…

here, he assumes that we live in a society that has largely progressed past anti-Semitism—at least, he assumes that American society has done so. the crime statistics have already shown that this is not even close to the case. you all possess the ability to Google further anti-Semitic hate crimes. those ‘barriers’ are still very much so there.

Yet, among groups decrying their victimization, including Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, women, gays and lesbians, Jews alone are not disadvantaged in American society. In fact, identity politics and The Holocaust have taken hold among American Jews not because of victim status but because they are not victims.

further proof that Finkelstein endorses the view that Jews are never oppressed solely on the basis of being Jewish. this belief clearly comes from an inherently privileged position in society, including white-passing privilege and relative economic security, and the strange ability to justify anti-Semitism with “but Israel does bad things.” that’s supposed in part by this quote: “It precluded the possibility that animus toward Jews might be grounded in a real conflict of interests…" when talking about the definition of anti-Semitism.

Chapter 2: Hoaxers, Hucksters and History

this entire chapter is basically Finkelstein trying to claim that goyim have never hated Jews except for a select few, despite our long history of oppression, persecution, attempted extermination/expulsion…all of that is effectively erased by Finkelstein because it fits his anti-Zionist narrative to imply that anti-Semitism has rational basis:

The historical evidence for a murderous Gentile impulse is nil.

If all the world wants the Jews dead, truly the wonder is that they are still alive — and, unlike much of humanity, not exactly starving.” [this statement is funny because of how many Jews starved to death during haShoah. ha ha.]

In the Holocaust framework, Gentile anti-Semitism is not only ineradicable but also always irrational.”

…anti-Semitism as “divorced from actual Jews,” “fundamentally not a response to any objective evaluation of Jewish action,” and “independent of Jews’ nature and actions”…”

By conferring total blamelessness on Jews, the Holocaust dogma immunizes Israel and American Jewry from legitimate censure." [in which Finkelstein asserts that Jews are partially to blame for their own oppression and persecution prior to haShoah]

Because Jews are better, or more successful, they suffered the ire of Gentiles, who then murdered them.” [he makes this statement sarcastically, but it’s an eerie parallel to his constant references to how ‘privileged’ Jews are in comparison to everybody else in society and how that negates any victim status]

"There were few sadists. Not more than five or ten percent."" [this is a quote of a quote, originally a claim made by Ella Lingens-Reiner, in an attempt to state that there were not very many sadistic Nazis in concentration camps, ignoring that he was attempting to counter claims of sadistic officers with a statement from a prisoner doctor that isn’t even contradictory. this is also his attempt to refute that they were necessarily anti-Semitic or violent.]

”...even in Switzerland — neutral Switzerland — all the Gentiles want to kill the Jews." [a claim that goyim cannot be anti-Semitic if their governments remain neutral in a war, as governments represent their people—which is at odds with the fact that he’s defending German civilians as not being anti-Semitic despite their own government’s actions. he was comfortable making said accusations simply because he knew ahead of time that Wilkomirski was a fraud. this is all used to justify Finkelstein’s view that all Holocaust survivors lie about their experiences…except for his own parents. they’re exempt because they fall into step with his view of the world.]

Incidentally, if the Mufti figured so centrally in Hitler’s Final Solution, the wonder is that Israel didn’t bring him to justice like Eichmann." [Finkelstein tries to sell this as proof that Arab nationalism has never been anti-Semitic in nature, citing Hajj Amin al-Husseini’s case as an ultimate example of Arab nationalism that targets Zionism rather than Jews. if that isn’t a smug assertion and tokenization typical of leftist men, then i’m really not sure what is.]

apologists desperately sought to tar the Arabs with Nazism…Michael Berenbaum of the Washington Holocaust Memorial Museum generously allowed that “the stones thrown by Palestinian youths angered by Israel’s presence … are not synonymous with the Nazi assault against powerless Jewish civilians.”" [yet this fails to address the fact that Aravim were not exempt from Nazism, nor was Arab nationalism in general exempt. Finkelstein seems to quickly forget the Arab nationalists who saw fit to murder almost 200 of my people in Baghdad in 1941 in an event coined the Farhud, leading to 80 percent of our population in Iraq leaving the country. this was born of Nazi propaganda reaching the Mashriq and therefore Arab nationalists; while Mizrahim in Iraq had previously been considered Aravim, Nazi propaganda led to Mizrahim being stripped of their Arab status and later their murder and persecution. in other words, they were targeted solely because they were Jewish—and because Arab nationalism is not free of anti-Semitism or Nazism. Finkelstein is unapologetic in his reductive outlook and ignorance of anybody but the richest Ashkenazim in the United States and Western Europe.]

The central thesis of Goldhagen’s book is standard Holocaust dogma: driven by pathological hatred, the German people leapt at the opportunity Hitler availed them to murder the Jews." [Finkelstein’s constant apologism for the Germans and attempts to separate them from Nazism and haShoah continues. really, this is the man you’re all heralding as a great ally to Palestina?]

"The Jews were murdered by people who, to a large degree, did not actually hate them…. The Germans did not have to hate the Jews in order to kill them."" [originally a quote from Yehuda Bauer, which Finkelstein only questions when it becomes apparent that Bauer later claims that Germans really did sign onto the anti-Semitism of the Third Reich, which he takes issues with. he refuses to engage in post-Holocaust debate that does not include, frankly, the extensive ass-kissing of the oppressors and exterminators.]

Yet not Jews but Communists were the first political victims, and not Jews but the handicapped were the first genocidal victims, of Nazism.” [presented without commentary.]

[this quote i actually removed because it uses G*psies despite the word being an ethnic slur, but he basically said that the persecution of Rroma precludes the Holocaust being even a primarily Jewish phenomenon]

as you can see, this book is basically one huge collection of fuckery—so for now, i’ll move onto Holocaust denial.

Holocaust denial

yes, Norman Finkelstein is a Holocaust denier and a revisionist despite having Jewish Holocaust survivors for parents. that really won’t sit well with the tokenizers, but it’s…sort of obvious:

  • he casts doubt upon the six million figure, referring to the numbers in quotation marks because there are apparently too many survivors to sustain the numbers. his doubt is clearly based solely on personal testimony—e.g., “how could there be so many survivors if so many Jews died?”—rather than actual citation of statistics, and seems to have an emotional basis. he’s convinced that exploitation of haShoah must include falsification of statistics in all cases, leading to denial of the Holocaust and how many Jews it killed. he is more concerned with this than he is with whether his anti-Semitic friends can actually back up their falsified bullshit with regards to haShoah.
  • he is a revisionist and supports revisionists themselves, including David Irving (a known Holocaust denier who sympathizes with Nazis to the point of claiming that no gas chambers existed in Auschwitz, trying to redeem Hitler through biographies by stating that he was unaware of much of the Holocaust’s atrocities [not to mention the claim that Hitler was actually the ‘biggest friend’ that Jews had], and spoke at actual neo-Nazi rallies), whom he referred to as contributing immense knowledge to the World War II dialogue.
  • he refers to U.S. enemies in World War II as ‘fabricated,’ basically excusing the actions of all these governments and countries in favor of casting blame upon Jews for haShoah.
  • being correct on the exploitation of the Holocaust to justify Israeli atrocities is NOT the same as acting as if Jews exaggerate the Holocaust. exploitation≠exaggeration, and Finkelstein’s accusations of exaggeration are based on anti-Semitic and revisionist ideas. this is something i need all of you to actually try to comprehend: talking about the exploitation of haShoah is not the same as supporting and endorsing lies about haShoah or claiming that it is fabricated. 

General lack of knowledge about anything ever

  • "Jews invented the word chutzpah because of the Holocaust!" chutzpah is a word that entered Yiddish via Hebrew and has been used since the late 1800s. [this is from an interview with CounterPunch magazine and is not an exact quote; the exact quote is "…it is no accident that Jews invented the word ‘chutzpah.’"]
  • he says that the difference between Israel terrorism and Hamas terrorism is that Israel terrorism is 3 times more lethal, which to me signals that he doesn’t really have a grasp of how baseless much of Israel’s terrorism is or know much about Hamas. to me, this is a reductive view that more so harms the Palestinian cause than promotes it. it claims that Israel and Hamas somehow have the same view in mind, therefore positing them as ‘equals,’ which doesn’t really represent the situation at all (this isn’t a call-out of anti-Semitism; i have no sympathy for Israel’s representation here.)
  • he views his parents as the only legitimate Holocaust survivors, and the reason for this is that they do not speak much on haShoah. the basic message here is “you are not a survivor unless you are silent and fall into step with my world view.” much as he criticizes American Jews for capitalizing on the Holocaust in a ‘Holocaust industry,’ Finkelstein uses his parents’ experiences to defend himself from any criticism or accusation.
  • he feels it is his place, as a white-passing American Ashkenazi male, to claim that Palestinian Aravim and Israeli Aravim are worse off than black South Africans under apartheid. 
  • his criticisms of ‘the Holocaust industry’ are ones he’s clearly guilty of—he is just as willing to exploit the experiences of his parents for his political agenda as American Jewry is to exploit the experiences of Holocaust survivors as a whole, and possibly even more willing. he is quick to cosign anyone who potentially fits his agenda—whether that be the pro-Palestinian agenda (while he does this with good intentions, he also ignores many factors, including whether the author is actually Palestinian or whether they are actually espousing anti-Semitism) or his Holocaust revisionist agenda. 
  • when called anti-Zionist, his response was “…I am opposed to any state with an ethnic character, not only to Israel.” yet he endorses a two-state solution. feel free to try to figure that one out.
  • "Were it not for the fact that my late parents passed through the Nazi holocaust, I myself would probably would be a skeptic by now." he admits that he would not believe in the Holocaust if it weren’t for his parents. read: he would be a Holocaust denier if it weren’t for the fact that somebody personally close to him lived through it.
  • it’s notable that the historian who inspired The Holocaust Industry, Peter Novick, dismissed the book as being inaccurate and not grounded in historical fact. 

so no, my hatred of Norman Finkelstein is not ‘using the same tactics’ that Dershowitz used to discredit him. Finkelstein discredits himself by being a huge fuck-up, a Holocaust revisionist/denier, and ignoring history to fit his own political ideals. his so-called rebuttals don’t mean shit when he refuses to revoke any of his idolization of Nazi sympathizers or denial of the Holocaust.

time for goyim to step off when they talk shit about him being a reeeeeal Jew (unlike me?). bye bye now.

'Human Rights' are contradictory to the rights of the people, because rights are based in man as a social product, not man as an abstract with innate rights. 'Human Rights' are being used as a weapon by the revisionists to promote pacifism and class reconciliation, and used by the oppressing and exploiting classes to promote feudalism and imperialism. Never forget the right to rebel, the right to exercise all-round dictatorship over the former exploiting classes and the right of revolution.
— 

Communist Party of Peru - Sendero Luminoso (PCP) on International Human Rights Day (December 10)

Thanks to Thomas van Beersum

The sanitisation of progress

Western popular history is, broadly speaking, extraordinarily sanitised. By that, I don’t purely mean the books that we consume – indeed, many of those positively revel in the violence, gore and horror of history, but the history that permeates our public discourse and consciousness. Gandhi. Mandela. Luther King. Even the Suffragettes. Time and again, British politicians reference these movements, mostly to demonise protests that turn violent and to implicitly justify the extreme violence of the police forces that suppress our demonstrations. What these politicians peddle about protest movements; be it the civil rights movement in the USA, the anti-Apartheid movement, the Indian nationalist movement or the women’s suffrage movement in this country is that they are peaceful. What utterly absurd and disgraceful revisionism. The worst thing is that we all believe them. Find people on the street, and a tenner says that most of them think that the Raj crumbled in the face of some idealist pacifists sitting down. They think the same about the racist policies of South Africa and the United States. The most ignorant will even think that about the women’s suffrage movement.

What this amounts to is what I’d call the sanitisation of progress. We are supposed to be conned, lulled into the notion that our peaceful demonstration will achieve something, and that a policy of no resistance to the violence of the state. We are supposed to believe that the only legitimate violence can be dealt out by a state. We are to be conned into believing violence has never achieved anything. Our politicians and our discourse as a whole even suggests that we are in the wrong to point out the role violence has played in past progress. That’s utter balls. Violence has been central to any movement that ever achieved anything. As Trotsky said in his defence of the October Revolution:

No ruling class has ever voluntarily and peacefully abdicated. In questions of life and death, arguments based on reason have never replaced the arguments of force. This may be sad, but it is so.

If I may expand on Trotsky, then I might suggest that no existing order has ever truly been toppled without violence of some kind.

Allow me to demonstrate. The Suffragettes, the anti-Apartheid struggle and the struggle for Civil Rights in America were all movement that make for a great example of this – Ed Miliband mentioned them all in his address to the March 26th Anti-Austerity protest:

We come in the tradition of movements that have marched in peaceful but powerful protest for justice, fairness and political change.
The suffragettes who fought for votes for women and won.
The civil rights movement in America that fought against racism and won.
The anti apartheid movement that fought the horror of that system and won.

No. All three included elements of violent struggle. And that, along with so many other struggles against the existing order, is what made them successful. Let’s start with the Suffragettes, almost the most absurd of all these revisionisms. There were the Suffragists – women of letters and words, and the Suffragettes – summed up by Emmeline Pankhurst as valuing ‘deeds not words’. The Suffragettes were women who thought the vote so valuable that they smashed windows, chained themselves to parliament in the freezing cold, firebombed the houses of MPs, some starved themselves to death in prisons and Emily Davidson threw herself under the King’s horse for the right to vote. Powerful, for sure. But by definition the Suffragettes were radicals, despised by polite society, and they thought peaceful protest useless.

Perhaps I ought to cut poor Ed Miliband some slack – after all, he only did PPE – and to be fair, there was a distinct non-violent segment to the American Civil Rights movement with Luther King playing a key role in promoting passive resistance and non-violence. But that’s not the only side to the Civil Rights Movement – especially in the later days of the movement – there emerged a second, far more violent struggle that, whilst accepting progress had been made, realised that peaceful protest had achieved all it could, and shifted the focus toward a more violent resistance – centred around Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party. Indeed, Martin Luther King’s later campaigns ran into trouble as he was met by violence in the northern industrial cities of the US, which exposed the limits of his non-violent strategy. Limits we ought still to recognise.

Now, before moving onto Mandela, I must explain that my South African history is none too hot – and that I really haven’t ever studied it in any detail – so I’m just going to make the simple point that it is common knowledge that the struggle was violent, to the extent that it was described as a terrorist campaign. From the 1960s onwards, violent campaigns were mounted against politicians and other high profile targets. Now you, like me, might think that in this case the ‘terrorists’ had a point – they were ‘freedom fighters’ perhaps. But I suppose that depends whose AK-47 you’re looking down.

Clearly in all three cases Ed Miliband was talking utter revisionist bollocks when he spoke of powerful, peaceful protest, and in all three cases, we can see the effect of violent direct action – and the attempt of western politicians [not historians, by and large] to sanatise these political struggles and make them an acceptable part of a historically progressive narrative. This does a disservice and a dishonour not only to the lying bastards themselves, but more pressingly to those brave men and women who in all three cases did what they believed right, and went to extraordinary lengths to make our world a better place. If I may quote Trotsky again, in a fuller form than before:

The active intervention of the masses in historical events is in fact the most indispensable element of a revolution. [..] No ruling class has ever voluntarily and peacefully abdicated. In questions of life and death, arguments based on reason have never replaced the arguments of force. This may be sad, but it is so. It is not we that have made this world. We can do nothing but take it as it is.

Their courage is something that we should be awed and inspired be, rather than distorting to pretend that our peaceful protest will achieve the world we want. Our politicians distort and pervert the struggles of our recent history – those struggles which almost fit an outdated Whiggish narrative of progress – in order to calm dissent. We are told that past struggles were non-violent in the hope that we will believe violence has achieved nothing. If anything, peaceful protest has been ignored until it becomes violent struggle, and as everyone from Marx to Mandela knew – violence, or perhaps more properly, force is not an illegitimate tool in the idealist’s arsenal. 

right so let’s talk about how that godsawful scene could have been written to not be, yanno, ten pounds of bullshit in a two-pound bag

Tossing some ideas out there:

SUZIE. TURNS. HIM DOWN. Because she made her choice, no one made it for her, and she’s HAPPY NOW even though it’s hard – which could have stood as a sharp contrast to the way Dean took away Sam’s choice wrt Ezekiel & dying, showing him that sometimes people make difficult decisions for themselves that those around them can’t understand and maybe, just maybe, helping him realise that he’s chosen peace over freedom this time – all the while subverting the literally harmful stereotype that sex workers are nymphomaniacs who can’t say no to a good dicking. Vesta nabs them both anyway because agreeing to stop doing a thing doesn’t magically erase the fact that you did it in the first place.

"You’re not like the other guys in town, are you Dean? …But you’re exactly like so many guys I’ve met before. I get it. You think because I did all those men in the videos I’ll do anyone. That this whole…purity thing is just an act, and I’m just dying for some bad boy to remind me what I really am. But you know what, I have something called self-respect, and it’s not about having sex or not, it’s about making my own choice.”

or how about

One of the women herds Dean off instead of the other way around. He’s not oblivious of course, but a bit wary and disbelieving. It turns out she’s in the purity group thing out of some sort of familial pressure to “preserve her worth” which she thinks is complete bullshit with which she’s 500% done – or just something she used to think was a good idea but has decided isn’t really for her after all. When abducted, she refuses to be blamed: she’s not really there because she “ruined herself” with sex but because their abductor is a fuckin’ marauding psychopath, thus attacking both victim-blaming and slut-shaming at the same time.

"Hey you’re here too. You broke your vow the same as the rest of us."

"I’m not here because I broke some stupid promise, I’m here because the Human Torch up there hates women!"

or maybe

It proceeds as aired up to the point where Suzie is crying, and Dean has a moment of “WTF am I doing”, and they have a goddamn discussion, because he’s not the type to prey on grief FFS. A callback to Dean and Ellie, reversed. He tells her she shouldn’t be ashamed of her past, that she was amazing, etc. She admits she’s not entirely happy with the chastity thing but it’s her choice, and she really was tired of the lack of intimacy. Dean shrugs, sturgeonfaces, points out that since it’s her choice she gets to set the guidelines. She considers this, seeming to mull over way he described sex as being such an intimate, mutualistic thing, and decides she deserves physical comfort if that’s what she wants – and sex is on.

[No dialogue, just Dean staring/gazing at Suzie like she’s some kind of hero as he sinks down to his knees out of the shot; she grins, biting her lip, and draws in a shuddering gasp.]

anonymous said:

"American democracy and the Soviet system may peacefully exist side by side and compete with each other." - Stalin the proto-kruschevite

You goof, Chairman Mao debunked this same erroneous and lazy attempt to conflate Lenin and Stalin’s line of peaceful coexistence with the Khrushchevite line fifty-one years ago.  To provide you with a brief quote from the aforementioned source, 

"Just consider. What do [Khrushchov’s] views have in common with Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence?

Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence is one followed by a socialist country in its relations with countries having different social systems, whereas Khrushchov describes peaceful coexistence as the supreme principle governing the life of modern society.

Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence constitutes one aspect of the international policy of the proletariat in power, whereas Khrushchov stretches peaceful coexistence into the general line of foreign policy for the socialist countries and even further into the general line for all Communist Parties.

Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence was directed against the imperialist policies of aggression and war, whereas Khrushchov’s peaceful coexistence caters to imperialism and abets the imperialist policies of aggression and war.

Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence is based on the standpoint of international class struggle, whereas Khrushchov’s peaceful coexistence strives to replace international class struggle with international class collaboration.

Lenin’s policy of peaceful coexistence proceeds from the historical mission of the international proletariat and therefore requires the socialist countries to give firm support to the revolutionary struggles of all the oppressed peoples and nations while pursuing this policy, whereas Khrushchov’s peaceful coexistence seeks to replace the proletarian world revolution with pacifism and thus renounces proletarian internationalism.

Khrushchov has changed the policy of peaceful coexistence into one of class capitulation. In the name of peaceful coexistence, he has renounced the revolutionary principles of the Declaration of 1957 and the Statement of 1960, robbed Marxism-Leninism of its revolutionary soul, and distorted and mutilated it beyond recognition.

This is a brazen betrayal of Marxism-Leninism!”

Good shot at presenting me with the “gotcha!” argument though, you almost got me there :P

Text
Photo
Quote
Link
Chat
Audio
Video