whitecolonialism said:

Hey, I'm Angel. I love your blog and I've noticed we have a lot in common. However, I was a bit worried about your response to the whole Stalin question. Without a doubt I'm positive that the United States and other western nations have used their power to dictate our perception of Stalin and the Soviet Union, but at the same time I don't think its wrong to assume that Stalin did betray a lot of the principles of socialism. Would you agree with that assumption, or do you agree with the actions-

taken by Stalin during his time in power?

I have my problems with Stalin. I don’t believe that he was a counter-revolutionary dictator, and I think he was one of the better presences in the Party. But this doesn’t mean I agree with everything he was about, and I think being in complete agreement with anybody from the past is a mistake. Nobody can be completely correct, and a Marxist approach to history has to be one that assesses positives and negatives and crafts a better approach than the one we had before. If you are concerned with the apparently astronomical death tolls, I’ll link to the same thing I suggested that the last anon I got should read. Other than this, the question is about what socialist principles you think Stalin went against? One of the most popular criticisms of Stalin from an MLM perspective is that he tended toward a mechanical materialism in place of a dialectical outlook. I think this is accurate, and it doesn’t just come out in his writing, but in how he preferred to deal with class struggle. Many counter-revolutionaries were executed, and while I don’t consider it to be too big a deal that reactionaries aspiring to overthrow socialism were shot, the fact remains that this is not an effective way of going beyond the class struggle. Instead of attempting to deal with this from a seat in the Central Committee, I think Mao shined the light on a better method with the Cultural Revolution. On the other hand, a common Trotskyist argument is that building “socialism in one country” is a deviation from correct socialist principles, and I would say this view is idealistic and essentially a line of defeatism. 

6

December 17, 1944: Internment of Japanese-Americans Comes to an End.

On December 17th, 1944 the United States under the direction of U.S. Major General Henry C. Pratt issued Public Proclamation No. 21 stating that on January 2nd, 1945 all Japanese-Americans “evacuees” from the West Coast could return back to their homes.

The internment of Japanese-Americans began exactly ten weeks after the Empire of Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which gave authorization for the removal of any or all people from military areas. As a result the military defined the entire West Coast, home to a majority of Japanese-Americans as military area. Within a couple of months over 110,000 Japanese-Americans were relocated to internment camps built by the US military scattered all over the nation. For the next two years Japanese-Americans would live under dire living conditions and at times abuse from their military guards.

Throughout World War II ten people were found to be spies for the Empire of Japan, not one of them was of Japanese ancestry. Forty-four year would pass until Ronald Reagan and the United States made an official apology to the surviving Japanese-Americans who were relocated, and were given $20,000 tax-free.

2

Cetshwayo kaMpande and the Anglo-Zulo War.

Cetshwayo kaMpande was the King of the Zulu Kingdom from 1872 to 1879 and their furious leader during the Anglo-Zulo War. Considered by many historians to be the last King of the Zulu Kingdom (modern day South Africa) Cetshwayo is mostly remembered for his outstanding victory against the British Empire in the Battle of Isandlwana.

The British Empire would ultimately defeat the Zulu Kingdom in the Anglo-Zulo War, but nevertheless Cetshwayo kaMpande is honored for his short-lived triumph against the much more advanced British Empire. 

African slavery is hardly to be praised. But it was far different from plantation or mining slavery in the Americas, which was lifelong, morally crippling, destructive of family ties, without hope of any future. African slavery lacked two elements that made American slavery the most cruel form of slavery in history: the frenzy for limitless profit that comes from capitalistic agriculture; the reduction of the slave to less than human status by the use of racial hatred, with that relentless clarity based on color, where white was master, black was slave.
—  A Peoples History of the United States, Howard Zinn. 
2

This Day in History, September 4, 1886, Apache chief Geronimo surrenders to U.S. government troops. For 30 years, the mighty Native American warrior had battled to protect his tribe’s homeland; however, by 1886 the Apaches were exhausted and hopelessly outnumbered. General Nelson Miles accepted Geronimo’s surrender, making him the last Indian warrior to formally give in to U.S. forces and signaling the end of the Indian Wars in the Southwest.

"With all this land, why is there no room for the Apache? Why does the White-Eye want all land?"

3

February 11, 1990: Nelson Mandela Released From Prison.

Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, is released from prison after 27 years on February 11, 1990. 

In 1944, Nelson Mandela a lawyer, joined the African National Congress, the oldest black political organization in South Africa. In 1952 he became deputy national president of the ANC, in which he advocated the use of nonviolence in order to bring an end to apartheid in South Africa. However, after the massacre of peaceful black demonstrators at Sharpeville in 1960, Mandela helped organize a paramilitary branch of the ANC in order to engage in guerrilla warfare the white minority government. 

Convicted and sentenced to five years at Robben Island Prison, he was put on trial in 1964 on charges of sabotage. On June 1964, he was convicted along with other members of the ANC and sentenced to life in prison. 

Mandela spent the first 18 years of his 27 years in jail at the Robben Island Prison. In which he endured hard labor in a quarry and was only allowed to see a visitor once a year for 30 minutes. However, Mandela’s fight against apartheid would continue, as he began to lead a movement of civil disobedience within the prison where he was located. He was later transferred to another location, where he lived under house arrest.

In 1989, F.W. de Klerk became the President of South Africa and set about dismantling apartheid. De Klerk lifted the ban on the ANC, suspended executions, and on February 1990 ordered the release of Nelson Mandela. 

Nelson Mandela became leader of the ANC and led negotiations with the white minority government for an end to apartheid and the establishment of a multiracial government. In 1993, both Mandela and de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. One year later Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa in its first free election. 

6

October 14, 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis Begins.

On October 14, 1962 the Cuban Missile Crisis commences, bring the Soviet Union and the United States to the brink of a nuclear conflict. After the failure of the United States attempt to overthrow Cuban head of state Fidel Castro, the Soviet Union and Cuba secretly began to build bases in Cuba for a number of medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic missiles with the ability to strike most of the continental United States. 

The United States in 1961 placed Jupiter IRBMs in Italy and Turkey with the capability of striking Moscow, Russia. Two days after photographs were taken of the base in Cuba, Kennedy was made aware of the situation and a blockade on Cuba was placed. 

For the next two week the United States and the Soviet Union would come as close to a nuclear war as they ever had. 

"The Black Man’s Burden"
Image by: L. Maxime Faivre, 1800.

Pile on the Black Man’s Burden. 
'Tis nearest at your door;
Why heed long bleeding Cuba, 
or dark Hawaii’s shore?
Hail ye your fearless armies, 
Which menace feeble folks
Who fight with clubs and arrows
and brook your rifle’s smoke. 
Pile on the Black Man’s Burden
His wail with laughter drown
You’ve sealed the Red Man’s problem, 
And will take up the Brown,
In vain ya seek to end it,
With bullets, blood or death
Better by far defend it
With honor’s holy breath.

"The Black Man’s Burden"
By: H. T. Johnson

This poem was a response to Rudyard Kipling’s poem entitled “The White Man’s Burden: The United States and The Philippine Islands,” written in 1899 which advocated that the United States take up the “burden” of empire, as Britain and other European nations.

H.T. Johnson responded by advocating in his poem that the mistreatment of brown people in the Philippines was an extension of mistreatment of black Americans at home.

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