european workers

Lenin’s insistence on a total break with those “socialists” who were unwilling to support anti-colonial revolutions in deeds was proven correct. The shallow argument that “racist” European workers would be brought to revolutionary enlightenment by union activity and reformist economic movements (the same arguments preached here in Amerika) was proven to be totally untrue.

While in every mass there are those who have backward or chauvinistic prejudices in this yet-to-be-cleaned corners of their minds, Lenin insisted that this was not the primary problem. Under imperialism “racist” politics were an outward manifestation of a class “alliance” with the imperialists.

—  J. Sakai

I don’t really post my thoughts on tumblr but I’ve been doing a good amount of research into modern South Asia and I just gotta talk about it, particularly Swami Vivekananda who I have rediscovered in a secular context during my studies.

Swami Vivekananda is a severely underutilized resource by leftists, outside the Vedantan and Hindutva traditions he is basically unheard of, which really is a shame. His perception of spiritual capacity as innate to all people and not determined by caste, faith or ethnicity was huge in its effect on the 19th century Hindu reform movements as well as the struggle against colonialism and caste discrimination, particularly the Dalit rights movement.

His rejection of colonialism using a syncretism of native Hindu thought and anti-capitalist thought influenced the majority of Indian nationalist and revolutionary thinkers and helped recover the intellectual confidence of an entire group of colonized peoples, while also remaining critical of the deep inequalities of pre-colonial Indian society and promoting a programme of the liquidation of privileges of the propertied classes and giving the toilers their due share in the national wealth.

He, in the 1890s, predicted and supported Sudra(workers/peasants) revolutions but said that Marx was wrong in where they would happen. Saying that instead of in industrialized Western European states, that sudras/workers would seize power in either Russia or China first.

In 1893 he was a delegate for Hinduism at the world parliament of religions, which in many respects was a convention influenced in equal parts by western Christian chauvinism and orientalism; the intent being to put a series of foreign religions on display and then debated into submission by westerners. But he spoke so convincingly and well that he essentially leveled the playing field and allowed for a degree of authentic interfaith dialogue at a conference designed to assert Christianity as dominant.

The intellectual and revolutionary history of India is so remarkably rich and so often ignored. Leftists tend to see India as only Gandhi, Nehru and the Naxals but thinkers like Vivekananda offer valuable historical, theological and ideological insights and contributions not only to our understanding of modern India but the effects of colonization on people’s identities, religious and social practices as well as society as a whole. Everyone from Hindutva nationalists to the Gandhians to the various Communist Parties of India hail him as a revolutionary thinker and the base of their respective ideologies.

Modern leftists should really utilize his socio-political works, as his philosophical contributions were central in the foundations of one of the largest and most impactful anti-colonial struggles in history. The CPI stated, “That there is enough food and ammunition in Vivekananda’s works to last all who are searching for India’s social, cultural and spiritual development.” Vivekananda was a revolutionary, a socialist and a proponent of state secularism, while also being a key figure in reforming Hinduism and Vedanta towards social action and inclusivity. His influences can be found in nearly every contemporary Indian political movement. I would go as far as saying that Vivekananda’s impact on South Asian intellectualism and philosophy is similar to that of Kant’s impact on the development of western philosophy, in that almost every thinker and intellectual movement after him is either based on or addresses Vivekananda’s works on spirituality, humanism, nation, and ethics.

This Is Important

People who are beautiful:
Trans men
Trans women
Nonbinary people
Sex workers
People who practice kinks safely and flag their stuff as NSFW

People that are ugly, smelly, and shitty:
Asses who don’t flag jack shit and pretty much uses their kinks as an excuse to abuse their lover

Imperialism is not a stage, not even the highest stage, of capitalism: from the beginning, it is inherent in capitalism’s expansion. The imperialist conquest of the planet by the Europeans and their North American children was carried out in two phases and is perhaps entering a third.

The first phase of this devastating enterprise was organized around the conquest of the Americas, in the framework of the mercantilist system of Atlantic Europe at the time. The net result was the destruction of the Indian civilizations and their Hispanicization-Christianization, or simply the total genocide on which the United States was built. The fundamental racism of the Anglo-Saxon colonists explains why this model was reproduced elsewhere, in Australia, in Tasmania (the most complete genocide in history), and in New Zealand. For whereas the Catholic Spaniards acted in the name of the religion that had to be imposed on conquered peoples, the Anglo-Protestants took from their reading of the Bible the right to wipe out the “infidels.” The infamous slavery of the Blacks, made necessary by the extermination of the Indians—or their resistance—briskly took over to ensure that the useful parts of the continent were “turned to account.” No one today has any doubt as to the real motives for all these horrors or is ignorant of their intimate relation to the expansion of mercantile capital.


The second phase of imperialist devastation was based on the industrial revolution and manifested itself in the colonial subjection of Asia and Africa. “To open the markets"—like the market for opium forced on the Chinese by the Puritans of England—and to seize the natural resources of the globe were the real motives here, as everyone knows today. But again, European opinion—including the workers’ movement of the Second International—did not see these realities and accepted the new legitimizing discourse of capital. This time, it was the famous “civilizing mission.” […] The second phase of imperialism is at the origin of the greatest problem with which mankind has ever been confronted: the overwhelming polarization that has increased the inequality between peoples from a maximum ratio of two to one around 1800, to sixty to one today, with only 20 percent of the earth’s population being included in the centers that benefit from the system. At the same time, these prodigious achievements of capitalist civilization gave rise to the most violent confrontations between the imperialist powers that the world has ever seen. Imperialist aggression again produced the forces that resisted its project: the social revolutions that took place in Russia and China (not accidentally all occurred within the peripheries that were victims of the polarizing expansion of really existing capitalism) and the revolutions of national liberation. Their victory brought about a half-century of respite, the period after the Second World War, which nourished the illusion that capitalism, compelled to adjust to the new situation, had at last managed to become civilized.


Today we see the beginnings of a third wave of devastation of the world by imperialist expansion, encouraged by the collapse of the Soviet system and of the regimes of populist nationalism in the Third World. The objectives of dominant capital are still the same—the control of the expansion of markets, the looting of the earth’s natural resources, the superexploitation of the labor reserves in the periphery—although they are being pursued in conditions that are new and in some respects very different from those that characterized the preceding phase of imperialism.

Samir Amin, “Imperialism and Globalization”
As a history of US workers of European origin, Settlers is profoundly flawed. The main problem is how it makes sense of what it documents (the genocidal oppression of indigenous peoples, African slavery, the reactionary actions of white workers etc.). As a result, it paints a misleading picture in which workers of colour who have supported multiracial organizing are dupes, since even the most militant and democratic unions have in the end been tools for white workers to control workers of colour. This kind of analysis simplifies history and leads to dead-end politics.The roots of the problem are in the book’s crude theoretical framework, one of many versions of the Maoist “Marxism-Leninism” that flourished in the “New Communist Movement”(NCM) of the 1960s and 1970s.
—  J. Sakai’s Settlers and Anti-Racist Working-Class Politics - Sebastian Lamb
Many of “Western Civilization’s” alleged achievements–for instance, the conquest of political liberties–were not handed down to us, as if through a legal transaction, by qualified representatives of the “Western Spirit.” Far from it, most of “the West’s” celebrated gains, particularly at the level of political rights, were worked and fought for by many who were not considered “Westerners.” Indeed, many of our political rights were wrenched into existence against the resistance of the most typical “Westerners.” The “Western Civilization” “legacy” metaphor also hides the role European and non-European workers (both were considered outside the pale of “civilization”) have played in building the wealth and culture of Europe and America. Typically, credit for technological development is laid at the doorstep of Greek Rationalism or is presented as the logical unfolding of a Promethean inner “Western” predisposition; rarely is it asked “Who built the factories?”
—  Silvia Federici, Enduring Western Civilization: The Construction of the Concept of Western Civilization and its “Others”

so many arguments in that post going around tumblr about how whiteness is understood in Europe…

  • i absolutely get that we don’t want people in places where they access white privilege to complain that they suffer racism and derail conversations non-white people are having. but what disconcerts me is people making it into oppression olympics- especially people who don’t live in europe asserting that X POC have it worse and derailing a post that was first and foremost explaining how whiteness is understood differently in Europe. That isn’t ‘European POC don’t face racism’. It’s a ‘whiteness is kind of messy and incoherent in Europe compared to the US today’ post.

  • the simplest way I can put it: most of these European ethnic/nationality faultlines are very deep because they long predate the modern construct of whiteness. like there are countries and ethnic groups that spent centuries oppressed by another more powerful European country. things like antisemitism, which has been around since the Romans? it’s a form of racism that doesn’t exactly fall simply into the white/non-white analysis precisely because it predated it.

  •  however, thanks to some countries managing to forge global maritime empires and things like the Atlantic slave trade, Europe later conceived itself as being in some way collectively ‘white’. especially vis a vis increasing numbers of non-Europeans arriving there or in their overseas colonies. still, because of the depth of the old European ethnic faultlines, the modern construct of whiteness isn’t enough to get Europeans to de-emphasise ethnicity and just group themselves as all being uniformly ‘white’. Such as the Northern Europe/Mediterranean divide, which goes all the way back to the days of the Roman Empire- the difference being that in that era it was the Roman colonisers looking down at Northern Europeans as barbarians and savages. Today, the conceptualisation of North Africa as ‘non-white’ and Southern Europe’s historical connection to it also further feeds into Northern Europe’s perception of ‘not really white’. 
  • plus we’re not really talking non-white Europeans enacting ‘reverse racism’ against Polish, Greeks, Italians, Ukrainians, Albanians etc. we’re talking about whiteness itself being complicated in Europe: discrimination in the sense of Northern Europeans —> Southern Europeans and Western Europeans —> Eastern Europeans. And in both cases, Northern/Western Europeans usually kind of have more economic power and Southern/Eastern Europeans may be migrant workers in those places. All of this happens not in place of, but in addition to the racism against people of non-European descent, like migrants from former European colonies.
  • so…why is it it ridiculous these ethnic faultlines exist? isn’t it natural they do, because they’re older than the idea of ‘white people’? the same way ‘Japanese/Korean/Chinese’ is older than the idea of ‘non-white’ or ‘East Asian’. that’s exactly why the shared experience of Western imperialism in Asia hasn’t created some sort of shared ‘Asian identity’ that papers over all our ethnic faultlines. we still tend to think of ourselves as a specific ethnicity, not just ‘Asian’. basically what happens in Europe. the world did not always divide itself up via the modern white/non-white dichotomy simply because in the sum of human history, Europe’s maritime empires were a VERY recent phenomenon. 

This is really why I think a number of replies are derailing that OP- it’s a similar experience I’ve gotten when I talk about racism in Asia. People start to tell me it can’t be racism because Chinese, Japanese and Koreans are the same race- when the Western tendency to lump us together as the ‘same race’ isn’t at all how we see ourselves IN Asia. And that post is talking about whiteness IN Europe. Like I can’t help but see it as subtle US imperialism to project the US understanding of ‘white’ in Europe. Yes, there are similarities between Europe and the US- but not everything is the same.

sensualclown  asked:

Do you have any costume references for pagan Slavic peasant clothing? Or just general European workers clothes? I'm designing a human character set in the Kievan Rus timeline and lm deciding on the dress type They would be young with masculine clothing If you have anything like this, it would be v helpful!

I can’t think of any resources for that off the top of my head. Luckily you seem to have a good idea of the time period and location for your character, so that makes research easier!

I googled a couple things and found some pages that might be helpful:

☭ – Rest in Peace, Comrade Lenin! – ☭

On the 21st January of 1924, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, more commonly known as Lenin, departed our world after a series of strokes left him incapacitated. 

From orchestrating the Great October Socialist Revolution to uniting the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic with former territories of the Russian Empire to form the Soviet Union, the first workers state in the world, Lenin was the leader and symbol of the Soviet proletariat in its early beginnings, and beyond his death an immortal icon for all the peoples in the world struggling against capitalism and imperialism.

You have seen during the past few days the pilgrimage of scores and hundreds of thousands of working people to Comrade Lenin’s bier. Before long you will see the pilgrimage of representatives of millions of working people to Comrade Lenin’s tomb. You need not doubt that the representatives of millions will be followed by representatives of scores and hundreds of millions from all parts of the earth, who will come to testify that Lenin was the leader not only of the Russian proletariat, not only of the European workers, not only of the colonial East, but of all the working people of the globe.


melissareyesch  asked:

Hello Fr. Angel, hope all is well. I believe the spread of Christianity in the Americas came with the Spanish colonization, with indigenous people forced to convert. Tons of terrible things were done. I've been thinking about this lately after celebrating Día de los Muertos and how the alters are a mix of indigenous and Catholic beliefs. As a Catholic, how do I go about this subject? As a Mexican, how do you feel about this part in Christianity history? If I'm wrong please tell me! Thank you.


I’ll say this over and over, till I’m blue in the face. Beware of simplistic theories about history and historical events–including the canard that all indigenous people became Catholic because they were forced to accept the Catholic faith.

Beware of stereotypes and generalizations that are neither accurate nor satisfactory to explain the conduct of Europeans arriving in the time of the conquest. Among Americans, you could not get more differences between New Yorkers and Californians, between Democrats and Republicans, and between wealthy educated people and blue collar, working class folks.

So it is in the time of the Conquista by Spain, and so it is when you deal with Catholic priests, bishops, friars, monks, and nuns during the first 100 years of the colonization. Their behavior was wildly different depending on what part of Spain they came from, depending on what religious order or diocese they came from, and depending on what their intentions were when they arrived in the Americas.

There certainly were forced conversions, as Spanish officers would explain to the “indios” that if they did not become baptized Catholics, Spain would make war upon them and subjugate them in the name of the Gospel. 

They were seen as savage, and Europe was seen as civilized and enlightened by the teachings of Jesus Christ. In the name of pure European culture, learning, and faith, every type of oppression against the indigenous peoples of the Americas was justified. Even inter-marriage and having children was widespread in order to spread the “good blood” of Europeans with the “lesser blood” of indigenous people and hopefully dilute it with good European genes.

But it is simply untrue and actually an insult to the indigenous peoples to say that they just sat there and put up with this without any resistance. 

It is also an urban legend to say that Europeans spent all their free time massacring the conquered if they resisted. Let us remember that the Spaniards and Portuguese both set about establishing commercial and business interests. It is plain bad business to kill all your workers because they resist you and make you mad.

Of course, there were rebellions against the conquerors and these were brutally put down with blood letting. But if the Spaniards and Portuguese could find a way to work with the indigenous people and get them to collaborate, they would rather do this and put the natives to work in their new businesses and agricultural enterprises.

The Europeans grew to be quite clever and cunning in convincing the natives in varying regions to accept European rule. They always had tricks up their sleeves–more than I can describe in this short post. The Europeans were also experts in diplomacy and getting the natives divided and jealous of each other, so that the Europeans would come out looking like the benevolent white rulers who alone could lay down law and order.

When it comes to clever and cunning, we have to include the European workers of the Catholic Church. Again, there were many varieties and differences among them. Some of the Catholic missionaries were racist and haughty and were mean to the natives. In some cases, friars would whip or punish the natives for disobeying the rules of the Catholic Church.

However, among the Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits who set about setting up missions, there were also brilliant and holy missionaries who set about learning indigenous language, indigenous religion, and culture with zeal and enthusiasm. 

They made very close friends with chieftains and village elders, and began to teach them practical skills for improving their lives and farming. Before you know it, there were conversions among the political indigenous leaders and with them followed the conversions of various natives in the less powerful strata of villages and provinces.

In those areas where Catholic missionaries were oppressive and menacing, there were fewer conversions, and the natives often pretended to accept baptism, and be Catholic, while keeping secret devotions to their old religions alive. This was one area of failure in Catholic missiology.

There were also lay Catholics who were frustrated in getting their workers to be Catholic, and were satisfied if the natives did a syncretistic mixing of their old religions and customs along with the Catholic faith of Spain and Portugal. So you get native and European hybrids and various Europeans saying, “Hey, as long as they work hard for me, who am I to judge?” Not all Catholics were oppressive or fanatical that the natives had to follow all Catholic dogma, if you know what I mean.

And then there are the success stories of Catholic missionaries who were kind, protective, and respectful of the natives. They were clergy and laity who came to love the natives, and go up to bat for them. This caused some nasty fighting between priests and the conquistadores, and between priests and the hierarchy of the Church, and even nasty fighting among diocesan priests and religious order priests, and between one religious order and another religious order.

The adherents of the Catholic faith, throughout the Americas, were not this big giant, monolithic corporation who agreed on everything and acted in cooperation with each other. 

That is why it is stupid and erroneous to think that all the natives were forcibly converted by this mega-European religion that supposedly acted like the Empire from Star Wars.

Believe it or not, there were numerous indigenous adherents who came to love the Catholic missionaries and the way they acted. Some of the Franciscans and Dominicans, in Mexico, for instance, were truly saints. They lived poorly, they learned native languages and they won over their converts with Christian love and friendship. Some of the friars even dressed like the natives and took on their mannerisms and customs, in respect to native culture.

Some missionaries were so protective of their converts that they would not allow diocesan priests or missionaries from other orders into their parishes. And they were not afraid to say to fellow priests or friars, “I don’t want you working with my converts, because your an asshole, so get lost.” So, no, there was not always agreement among Catholic missionaries about how to work and how to treat the natives.

Where you had dedicated missionaries who offered teaching, gave practical skills, protected the rights of natives against the abuses of the other Europeans, and truly lived among the natives with respect, you have some wildly successful conversion stories of indigenous peoples who not only converted (without force) to the Catholic faith, but who became very successful missionaries in their own right working among their native tribes.

There is so much variation and differing narrative on this subject, historically, that I’ll just stop there. My take is that I am sad for the exploitation and abuse of the natives, where this occurred. At the same time, I am honored and proud of the Europeans and the Church’s workers who came and worked with the love of Christ, with sincere intentions to bring natives to Christianity through a path of love and respect. In the conquista, there is both the good and the ugly. It’s a very mixed bag. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel
The ‘biggest global threat to the internet’ was just approved, and you probably had no idea
An agreement that some campaigners have called the “biggest global threat to the internet” has just been signed, potentially bringing huge new restrictions on what people can do with their computers. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the conclusion of five years of negotiations, and will cover 40 per cent of the world’s economy. Its claimed purpose is to create a unified economic bloc so that companies and businesses can trade more easily — but it also puts many of the central principle of the internet in doubt, according to campaigners.

The day the internet died. I’m not even kidding. But not just that, this is a corporate empowerment act that finally elevates global corporations above national governments and their democratic laws. 

Expect draconian copyright mafia laws, crackdowns on generic medicine, internet censorship, consumer and worker protections thrown under the bus, jobs exported overseas and insane sums extorted from governments over democratic legislation. 

It’s probably inevitable now that TTIP -the European-American equivalent- also passes, and they both will make life worse for virtually everyone except a few rich and powerful individuals. 

Oh, and say goodbye to the internet as you know it, as this agreement included every piece of legislation written by the media industry to prevent end user violations through censorship and forcing ISPs to monitor user activity by making them liable for infringements.

In a few years, people will see the cost, but by then lobbyists will have dug in too deeply to change anything.

It’s over. Americans, Europeans, Asians, Workers, Pensioners, Students, everyone lost a decisive fight against corporations finally growing more powerful than governments. 

Welcome your new corporate overlords. It’s over. 

i know it’s easy to dismiss the Leave movement and the far right as a whole as racist and xenophobic, but we have to rise above that. the Leave movement and new-nazi parties – just like the original nazi party – are valid social criticisms, but they’re spoken in a different language than we’re used to hearing in politics. 

the Leave voters aren’t actually privileged  – yes, they’re white, but we have to remember other aspects. they’re also working class, they’re also less educated than Stay voters. when the financial crisis of 2008 hit, it disproportionately affected the working class. the eu benefits its members as a whole, but the free movement of labour forces western european workers to compete with eastern european workers, who are able to sell their labour much cheaper. furthermore, the eu is widely criticized for its lack of transparency. only people with a very particular sort of education has any chance of understanding fully what goes on in brussels. 

we can’t just dismiss an entire movement for being racist. yes, it is racist, and it uses racist arguments, but if you look a little further, this racism is rooted in very real issues that the working class simply does not have the cognitive tools to translate into traditional political arguments. the truth is that politics have for a while now been the project of the economic and cultural elite, with eu being a brilliant example of this, and the working class is protesting against this, by leaving eu, by voting trump, by scapegoating foreigners. 

we have to take everyone seriously, or it’s not a democracy. and just look at the brexit vote; look at the u.s. presidential elections. the working class has always had the majority, and when they’re ignored by the ruling class, they’ve always been able to overthrow the system.

anonymous asked:

I have followed your blog for w good amount of time and as a person from the lower class (under poverty line) I really admire your blog and the attention you bring to classism. I was wondering, however, what you think about how to solve the issue of classism? Specifically, what economic system do u think would get rid of, or minimize, classism?

We’ve talked about it before (we’re all leftists of one kind or another) but to continue off the ask about the middle class, I find it interesting that the ‘middle class’ has become such a depoliticized thing, associated with old manufacturing industry and the rise of the office rather than political struggles.  I was freaking livid a year ago when Obama said something to the tune of “Our middle class came from manufacturing and that’s not there anymore”.

Because there’s nothing inherently middle class about steel welding, or building cars, or any other manufacturing job.  During the early 20th century a hundred and ninety (mostly Eastern European migrant) workers died in the steel works in Appalachia alone, and they were paid poorly if they weren’t paid in company scrip.  The transformation of manufacturing into a ‘middle class’ career path didn’t come from something inherent in iron but from political struggles, led almost entirely by the left (and in steel and auto industry by the out-and-out Communist CIO) towards turning those careers into something that could support a family.  And the ambition to reignite that struggle is there, and you can see in strikes for living wages in Walmart and McDonalds workers that people are fighting for it.  I feel like we need to coordinate more because social media means that these struggles get a couple weeks of focus at best by the broader public but it’s happening, now.  And the only way to ‘solve’ classism is through economic and political struggle.

Mod R

I’d also like to point out that getting rid of classism isn’t really the end goal— it’s getting rid of classes entirely. The issue here isn’t “the people on the top should be nice to the people on the bottom,” it’s that there shouldn’t be a top and a bottom. Capitalism and the class system, by definition, require that some portion of the population produce labour that is devalued, that is compensated very little or not at all—that the results of their labour are taken from them, and that their livelihood is constantly at risk. Capitalism is first and foremost a means of artificially creating marginalized populations in order to extract labour from them—just like sexism, racism, etc.

This ties into what Mod R is saying: political struggle is the only way to end this system. There is no way that any kind of equality can exist while this system is in place.


I’m gonna focus on good things:
  • Team Russia was awesome even without Aliya and this makes me hope for the future
  • Team Romania had a chance to redeem itself through Andreea Munteanu and is going home with a gold medal
  • THESE EUROS WERE SUPER EXCITING and very diverse in terms of countries who made finals which is fantastic
  • Darya Spiridonova reminded us that she wasn’t born to be an all-arounder, but her bars are what dreams are made of
  • The Afanar lives and is looking better than expected
  • Sanne Wevers got a UB bronze medal!
  • Claire Martin won BB bronze at home <3
  • Erika Fasana is the 4th best AA European gymnast and FX worker (and forever 1st in my heart)
  • Martina Rizzelli hit every single routine in these championships and placed 9th in the AA (how did that even happen?!) and 5th in UB EF
  • Giulia Steingruber looked amazing and won three well-deserved medals
  • Even though she didn’t hit BB when it counted, Maria Kharenkova proved she can be a reliable all-arounder despite what the haters always said
  • Ellie and Becky Downie were on the same team and both made UB EF, which is really cute
  • Maria Paseka didn’t make the team but won a gold medal cause that’s how fabulous she is
  • Despite the disastrous BB EF, none of the girls got injured and that’s a relief
  • Everyone in FX EF hit, and that made the competition super gripping and exciting to watch
  • Some of the leos in this championship were TO DIE FOR!