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Decolonization and Communism: What Can We Do About Settler Colonialism?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 01/08/2021 - 4:36am in

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Decolonization and Communism

 

 

By Nodrada

“We have to give life to Indo-American socialism with our own reality, in our own language.
Here is a mission worthy of a new generation.”
-José Carlos Mariátegui, “Anniversary and Balance,” José Carlos Mariátegui: AnAnthology

 

June 26, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Orinoco Tribune — While the turn towards analyzing ongoing settler-colonialism has finally reached the mainstream of North American political discussions, there is still a lack of popular understanding of the issues involved. Settler-colonialism is, ironically, understood within the framework of the ways of thinking brought by the European ruling classes to the Americas. By extension, the conceptions of decolonization are similarly limited. Although the transition from analyzing psychological or “discursive” decolonization to analyzing literal, concrete colonization has been extremely important, it requires some clarifications.

Settler–colonialism is a form of colonialism distinct from franchise colonialism. The colonizers seek primarily to eliminate the indigenous population rather than exploit them, as in the latter form of colonialism. Decolonization is the struggle to abolish colonial conditions, though approaches to it may vary. Societies formed on a settler-colonial basis include the United States, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, and Australia. For our purposes, we will focus on the United States in analyzing local ideas of settler-colonialism and decolonization.

Among North American radicals, there are two frequent errors in approaching decolonization.

On the one hand, there are the opponents of decolonization who argue that settler-colonialism no longer exists. In their view, to identify specific concerns for Indigenous peoples and to identify the ongoing presence of settler-colonial social positions is divisive and stuck in the past. They believe that settlers no longer exist, and Euro-Americans have fully become indigenous to North America through a few centuries of residency.

On the other hand, there are proponents of decolonization who believe that Euro-Americans are eternally damned as settlers, and cannot be involved in any radical change whatsoever. The most extreme of these argue for the exclusion of Euro-Americans from radical politics entirely.

Settler-colonialism is not over, contrary to the first view. Rather, Indigenous peoples still struggle for their rights to sovereignty within and outside reservations, especially ecological-spiritual rights. Their ostensibly legally recognized rights are not respected, either. The examples of the struggles of the Wet’suwet’en, Standing Rock Lakota, Mi’kmaq, and other peoples in recent memory are testimony to this. Indigenous peoples are still here, and they are still fighting to thrive as Indigenous peoples. Capitalists drive to exploit the earth, destroying ecology and throwing society into what John Bellamy Foster calls a metabolic rift. This means that the demands of capital for expansion are incompatible with the ‘rhythm’ of ecology, destroying concrete life for abstract aims as a result.

An atomistic, individualist worldview is what undergirds the view of settler-colonialism as over and of contemporary Euro-Americans as being just as indigenous as Indigenous peoples. When settler-colonialism is seen as an individual responsibility or guilt, we are left with a very crude concept of it.

The denialists of settler-colonialism assume that it must be over, because the colonization of the Americas is apparently over. Thus, they think that modern Euro-Americans cannot be blamed for the sins of their forefathers, since individuals shouldn’t be held responsible for things which happened outside of their lifetimes. Guilt in this conception is an assessment of whether an atomistic individual is responsible for extremely specific crimes, such as participating in something like the Paxton Boys’ ethnic cleansing campaign in 1763 Pennsylvania.

The same ideological approach characterizes the other side, which obsesses over the individual status of “settler” and micro-categorizing the contemporary residents of North America within an abstract concept of settler-colonialism. They argue that having the individual status of “settler” means one is eternally damned, one is marked as a specific person by the crimes of a social system always and forever. This hefty sentence has high stakes, thus the obsession with categorizing every unique case within a specific box.

Neither of these approaches offers a successful insight into settler-colonialism. Instead, they project the thinking of European bourgeois liberalism. The individual is defined in an atomistic way, in their characteristics, rights, crimes, and so on. The individual as a node on a web of social relations is totally out of the question here. Yet, that is how we must think if we wish to understand settler-colonialism and, therefore, abolish it.

To focus primarily on categorizing atomistic individuals, instead of focusing on social relations, loses sight of the true engine of settler-colonialism. It is not that individuals choose one day to behave brutally, or that it is simply the nature of a specific people. Instead, it has very concrete historical motivations in the global system and the rise of settler-colonialism within it. For example, North American settler-colonialism was motivated significantly by the land hunger of capitalists who grew cash crops like tobacco and cotton, which were sold on the world market. Thinking in broad, structural terms is important in order to avoid reductive analyses and approaches.

While the side which focuses on damning individual Euro-Americans certainly have land in mind while thinking about this subject, they have a static and simple concept of land. In their minds, settlers are settlers because they are present in a certain place, to which a specific Indigenous group has an abstract, moral right to exclusive habitation in. To put it simply, their thought process is “if X person is in Y place, which belongs to Z people, then they are a settler.”

They do not understand the social relation of Indigenous peoples to their homelands, which extends into the aspects of ecology, history, spirituality, etc. That is, Indigeneity as itself a social relation. Indigenous peoples explicitly refer to their nations and homelands as relations. Their relation to land is not to land as an abstract thing, but to specific spaces that are inseparable from their specific communal lives.

In the context of describing his people’s history, Nick Estes (Lower Brulé Lakota) said in Our History is the Future:

“Next to the maintenance of good relations within the nation, an individual’s second duty was the protection of communal territory. In the east, the vast wild rice patties and seasonal farms that grew corn, beans, and squash demarcated Dakota territory. In the west, Lakota territory extended as far as the buffalo herds that traveled in the fertile Powder River country. For Dakotas, Lakotas, and Nakotas, territory was defined as any place where they cultivated relations with plant and animal life; this often overlaid, and was sometimes in conflict, with other Indigenous nations.”

Identity and mode of life in communalist societies is specific to spaces, because keeping in the ‘rhythm’ of these spaces is a basic guiding logic of life. Because land is a relative, there was and is significant resistance among Indigenous peoples to the settler seizure of land and commodification of their non-human relative. The European bourgeoisie, meanwhile, was more concerned with what value could be extracted from the land, their worldview being based in abstract concepts of Right, Justice, Liberty and so on.

The faction in question does not understand settler-colonists as part of social relations which seek to negate that communal land social relation for concrete aims. They lack broad perspective, they only see society as a collection of atoms, falling into micro-categories, bundled together.

Having critiqued these two views, we can now give a better idea of how to properly approach the category groupings involved in analysis of settler-colonialism.

Indigeneity is defined by continuity of long-standing communal relations and identities indigenous to a certain region. Relation to a specific homeland or region is important to this, but the loss of direct ties to land does not necessarily negate Indigeneity. Rather, the continuity of belonging to a certain ‘mode of life’ and community is key.

A settler is one who is outside of these relations, and plays an active role in the negation of these Indigenous relations. A settler is not merely a settler because they are foreign. Rather, they are a settler because of this active negating role.

To play an active negating role does not necessarily mean one personally enforces colonial laws. Instead, it means that one directly benefits from their participation in the destruction of these relations, such as by gaining residencies or employment at the expense of those land-relations. An important aspect of being a settler is being a socio-political citizen of a settler-colonial society. This means that, in law and in social practice, one has the full rights of belonging to the settler-colonial nation, and is recognized as such in ideology.

Many analysts of settler-colonialism, such as Jodi Byrd (Chickasaw), use a third category in their analysis: arrivants. Arrivants are those who are part of social structures which dissolve those land-relations, but lack the citizenship and agency of settlers. An example of this would be Filipino debt peons. They cannot fully belong to the settler structures, in practice or in ideology, but they are still part of those structures. In North American history, these groups have at various times been explicitly excluded from the potential to own property or obtain full legal citizenship. Said citizenship was directly defined around whiteness, first de jure, and later de facto.

These categories should be treated in a nuanced way, as tools to understand a concrete society and history. We should avoid trying to bend reality to fit abstract categories. Otherwise, one assumes these categories are destiny. One assumes that Indigenous peoples cannot be part of settler-colonial structures, or that all settlers are eternally damned and cannot overcome their social role.

In history, there are many examples of Indigenous peoples participating in settler-colonial processes, such as with Tohono O’odham warriors participating in the Camp Grant Massacre against Apaches, or the Indigenous Vice President Charles Curtis sponsoring assimilation and allotment of communal lands. There are also examples of people without full socio-political citizenship participating in these processes, such as with Black Buffalo Soldiers fighting on the front lines of Manifest Destiny.

There are also examples of Euro-Americans defecting to Indigenous societies in order to escape bourgeois “civilization.” Cynthia Ann Parker was abducted and adopted as a child by a Comanche war band. Texas Rangers, who had massacred her adopted relatives, had to force her to return to Euro-American society. While adopted Euro-Americans remained Euro-Americans, inclusion in those communal relations transformed them. Instead of playing a negating influence on the part of bourgeois society, they became participants in Indigenous relations. To be a settler is not destiny, but is a status which can be negated through a revolutionary transformation of society. In a word, through decolonization.

To obsess over policing micro-categories is not helpful for understanding or fighting settler-colonialism. Being conscious of it is important, but the key is to focus on broad social structures. The way we alter individuals is by altering social relations, and the way we fight for Indigenous sovereignty is by abolishing the negating forces in society. To successfully treat a disease, one must keep in mind the body as a system rather than a simple collection of parts. The same applies to society.

Settler-colonialism in North America is the conflict of two social forms, one fighting to negate the other. The capitalist system: private, individualist, focused on expanding an abstract ‘god’ (capital). The Indigenous communal modes of life: premised on relationality, collectivist, focused on viewing the individual as a part of a whole.

The bourgeoisie seek exclusive, private ownership of land as property to be bought and sold as a commodity. They do not recognize communal land rights, or anything like having a social relation with a place. Instead, they seek to cut off the nerves connecting every aspect of communal life in order to box things in as commodities, so that they can be abstracted into an exchange-value.

The 1887 Dawes Act, which dissolved Indigenous communal landholdings in the United States, was aimed at forcing this system on Indigenous peoples. In the eyes of the ruling class, this was simply “civilization.” The bourgeoisie had to go to war with these communal ways of life to construct a capitalist system in its place. In the communal systems, unlike capitalism: land itself has rights as a relative instead of being merely a vehicle for value, people live off the land as a community instead of being landless wage-laborers, and exploitation is heavily frowned upon.

The first Red Scare in the United States was not during the 1919–1920 assault on organized labor and anti-war activists, but during the struggle of the government and capitalists against Indigenous communal modes of life.

This war of generalized commodity production, capitalism, against alternative ways of being extended to ways of knowing. When forcing Indigenous children into boarding schools, the colonizers worked hard to destroy languages, religious practices, and cultural practices. In their place, they promoted individualism, bourgeois values, and a future as wage-laborers.

The liberal view of individuals is quite representative of typical bourgeois thinking. Liberalism posits individuals in an atomistic way, without considering them as concrete beings with concrete relationships in a real world. It sees individuals as simply bundles of rights, obligations, and so on. It premises meaning on extremely abstract, albeit universalizing concepts, such as “justice.” The rights of the liberal citizen are rights they have apart from society. Their freedom is a space separate from society, since they see others as fundamentally competitors.

This abstract thinking, individualism, and competitive view makes plenty of sense for a bourgeois. Their well-off conditions and obsession with preserving their private property against others reflect in their lack of concern for positive rights (rights to things, like food or shelter). What they want is to realize their capital, defeat their competitors, and pay as little as they have to for the working class’s living.

They only concern themselves with concrete things as far as they relate to their mission to realize abstract, congealed labor: capital. Capital commands them. If they do not expand their capital through exploitation and investment, they fall behind and decay in the rat race. Thus, the bourgeois is shrewd, atomistic, and anti-social.

By contrast, the communal view of individuals which is characteristic of Indigenous nations is focused on very concrete things. Individuals are part of specific communities with specific histories, who are relatives with specific land-spaces. To preserve balance in one’s real relations is an important value, contrasting sharply to the obsession with satisfying the god of abstract capital by feeding it concrete sacrifices. The key to this worldview is keeping in the ‘rhythm’ of life: the rhythm of one’s human relatives, non-human relatives, the ecology, the spirits, etc.

The latter view has a sibling in the views of Karl Marx. In the sixth thesis from Theses On Feuerbach, Marx said: […]the essence of man is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In reality, it is the ensemble of the social relations.

Further, Marx was very concerned with the metabolic rift wrought by capitalism. In his view, while capitalism had for the first time linked up the whole world and all people into one global social system of production, it had also unleashed forces it could not control. While everyone in capitalism depends on everyone else, the system is controlled by self-interested bourgeoisie, who have no concern for humans, animals, or ecology.

Therefore, there is a need for a working class revolution, where the people who produce what the world runs on establish social control of this social production. Through that social control, they must restore the balance of humanity and nature, using the planning of production to end the chaos and blindness characteristic of capital. Once they have fully developed this system of social control and planning and brought about a world where all people contribute to the social product instead of anyone exploiting anyone else, they will have established a communist society.

The basis for Pan-Indigenism in North America was laid by the proletarianization of Indigenous peoples during and after World War II. The Federal government explicitly hoped to use this to assimilate Indigenous peoples by removing them from communal life on reservations. Instead, the contact of many distinct peoples in urban workforces and communities led to the development of a new, broad concept of Indigeneity. These proletarians thought of themselves not only as, for example, Standing Rock Lakota or Chiricahua Apache, but also as “Indigenous.”

This had precedence with people such as Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa, the Shawnee leaders of a Pan-Indigenous resistance to settler-colonialism in late 18th and early 19th century Ohio, or Wovoka, the Paiute founder of the Ghost Dance movement in the late 19th century. However, it had never reached this scale before. The same forces which sought to destroy Indigenous identity created means of establishing a new political movement in defense of it.

This universalization of identity from particular to general, without necessarily negating the particular, is something which must be done by social revolution as well. Proletarianization unites many distinct peoples into one class, leading to radical contacts between worlds. It lays the basis for a revolution which for the first time establishes a real community of all of humanity.

Decolonization ties directly into this project of social revolution. Capital attacks communal relations to establish and reproduce itself, yet by doing this it lays the foundation for a more universal form of communal life: communism. To decolonize is not to merely undo history and return to the past. We cannot undo centuries of change, of destruction.

Instead, as advocated by anti-colonial theorists like Aimé Césaire and Frantz Fanon, we must assert indigenous aims on the basis of the world colonialism has brought. This must take the form of the social revolution, because capital leaves intact the negating force against communalism and the relations of domination between groups of people.

In our theorizing of communism, we must avoid the thought patterns of the bourgeoisie. We must not only avoid individualism, but avoid the denigration of communalist ways of life. Indigenous peoples are at the forefront of the defense of bio-diversity. They are staunch protectors of the earth, of their ways of life and of their relation with the earth. They resist capitalist primitive accumulation, defending their sovereignty, daily. Communism cannot be some form of universalized bourgeois society, nor can it carry over the denigrated view the bourgeoisie have of life. Instead, it must be communalism reasserted on a universal scale.

Decolonization does not mean one throws out settlers. It does not mean we send Euro-Americans back to Europe. This belief is premised on a bourgeois, colonial thinking about life. It assumes that behavior is ahistoric, inscribed into the DNA of people. Rather, it is social relations that we must expel, transforming people through incorporation into new ones.

In the past, the adoption of Euro-Americans served as an alternative to their behavior as settlers. A decolonized society can follow this model on a broader scale, while preserving the sovereignty of Indigenous peoples over their homelands. Indigenous conceptions of land are not based on bourgeois exclusive right, but the right of specific people to have an ongoing relation with specific spaces. Abolishing the negating force, capitalism, and asserting these ways of life while working to establish the universalist form, communism, must be our program.

To put it simply, decolonization should be understood as the indigenization of settlers. This necessitates a social revolution in all aspects of life. It does not mean settlers must immediately “play Native.” Within the context of bourgeois settler-colonialism, that is part of a process of dissolving Indigenous communities, destroying their ability to remain sovereign. Rather, it means that we must destroy the capitalist society which drives these antagonisms.

This decolonization also necessitates a conscious revolution in ideology as part and parcel of social transformation. As discussed, communalist societies have a strong sense of concrete locality, of specificity according to a space and the relations of that space. Capitalism seeks to negate that in favor of universalist abstractions. Communism must take the universalizing capitalism has engaged in and place it on a concrete, conscious basis.

We ought to oppose the negation of local life capitalism engages in, while having the universal goal of revolution. That is, unite the particular with the universal, establish the particular as the basis of the universal. The old, European bourgeois ways of thinking, lacking metabolism or relationality with other humans and with ecology, must be overcome.

Communism is the abolition of the present state of things on the basis of existing premises. The emancipatory project of communism should not be hostile to, but a student of Indigenous peoples. When all people are one kin, when they are not divided by class or other social antagonisms, then we will all be free. That is the relation of decolonization to communism.

DSA’s Flawed International Outlook: The Appeal of the Mass Party and its Contradictions

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 28/07/2021 - 8:11am in

There’s something contradictory in this position that needs to be pointed out. The parties that DSA has focused on weren’t always mass parties. Often, they began as just the kind of plebeian networks or far left grouplets that DSA eschews as irrelevant.

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The post DSA’s Flawed International Outlook: The Appeal of the Mass Party and its Contradictions appeared first on New Politics.

Starmer: A Puppet Opposition in a Sham Democracy

Is Starmer monumentally stupid and deluded, or deliberately trying to destroy the Labour party? I ask this because it’s now been reported that the party’s membership crisis has reached such an extent that it now faces bankruptcy and extinction. Although reviled as everything from a Communist, Trotskyite and anti-Semite, Jeremy Corbyn and his policies were inspirational. Hundreds of thousands of traditional labour members and supporters return to the party after leaving it under Tory Tony Blair. As a result, Labour had a membership that outstripped the Tories and was the richest political party. Now all that’s vanishing into the wind due to Blair Stalin’s utter incompetence, factionalism, racism and vindictiveness. Starmer betrayed the genuinely popular policies put forward by Corbyn, from whom he had the whip removed. He carried on purging left-wing members, showed a complete contempt for party democracy by suspending constituency parties and officials who defied him, parachuted in his preferred candidates against the wishes of local parties and their supporters and turned his back on Black and Muslim members and supporters. He has done nothing about rising levels of Islamophobia in Labour and refused to investigate and punish the abuse and bullying of Black MPs like Diane Abbott and David Lammy. As for combating the Tories, he’s has been a total failure. So much so that Johnson has been ridiculing him as ‘General Indecision’ and ‘Major Hindsight’. He has no policies to speak of, although a spokesman for this vacuity in a suit told an interviewer that he did, but they were secret and so he couldn’t say what they were. As a result the party is haemorrhaging members and has suffered a string of defeats at the local elections. According to Private Eye, Starmer has appointed a Blairite pollster as his head of Strategy, which means that he’s seeking to revive Blairism long after that’s been proven a massive failure. Albert Einstein once said that insanity was performing the same experiment twice expecting a different result. If politics are likened to scientific experiments, then Starmer must be absolutely bonkers.

But another possibility has occurred to me. Starmer is deliberately trying to destroy the Labour party, at least as an effective socialist opposition. His supporters were actively conspiring to get Labour to lose the 2017 and 2019 elections, including calling for Lib Dems and Tories to enter it to take power away from the real Labour members who had returned and some members of the party bureaucracy were even members of Tory internet groups. It looks like Starmer and his supporters are determined to destroy the party, rather than see it return to socialism.

But they also remind me of the bizarre constitution of the former East Germany. This was a Communist dictatorship, but on paper it constitution, drawn up by the allies after the War, proclaimed it to be a multiparty democracy. And indeed there were other parties, which all duly recognised the leading role of the East German Communist party and were there to provide the illusion of genuine democracy even though the reality was very different. Boris Johnson is taking us towards real Fascism at a rate of knots with his curbs on the right to demonstrate, the ability of the courts to hold the government to account and now Priti Patel’s new laws to impose jail terms of 14 years for any journo who embarrasses the government. All this could very well lead to the establishment of what would be effectively a Tory dictatorship. But the Tories also need to claim some democratic validity, and hence I wonder if that’s Starmer’s role. He’s there to maintain the illusion that there are opposition parties even though their leadership has reduced them to impotence. Lobster once quoted an MI5 official, who said that there wasn’t a political organisation in the country where their man either wasn’t in a position of leadership, or was in a position to call someone off and place their man in charge instead. I wonder if that hasn’t happened to Labour with Starmer inserted by the establishment and secret state. After all, Red Ken’s 1987 book, Livingstone’s Labour, described how in the 1970s there were plans for a military coup in which radical MPs, trade unionists, journalists and activists would be rounded up and interned.

Perhaps I’m being too paranoid here. Generally, I prefer to believe that things are bad because of incompetence and unforeseen circumstances rather than the result of conspiracies, although genuine conspiracies by the secret state have certainly existed.

But such is the magnitude of Starmer’s incompetence and sheer partisanship at the expense of the party he’s running and the working class it was founded to represent and defend, that I wonder.

Labour Anti-Semitism: Blairite MP Neil Coyle Demands Expulsion of Jewish Voice for Labour

I put up a post yesterday about Keir Starmer’s plans to purge four left-wing groups from the Labour party – Resist, Labour Against the Witch-Hunt, the Labour in Exile Network and Socialist Appeal. He and his fellow Blairites despise Labour Against the Witch-Hunt and the Labour in Exile Network because they challenge the lie that the people purged from the party were anti-Semites. They weren’t. Many of them were Jewish, like Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein, and were very firmly anti-racist with a firm commitment to combating real anti-Semites and Fascists, such as Marc Wadsworth, a Black anti-racism activist who worked with the Board of Deputies of British Jews to fight BNP anti-Jewish attacks in the Isle of Dogs. The real reason they were purged was that they were socialists, who wanted a return to the mixed economy of the post-War consensus, a nationalised NHS and a welfare state that genuinely supported the poor, the unemployed, the disabled and elderly. They were targeted because they supported Jeremy Corbyn’s superb programme and, like him, they were opposed to Israel’s brutal dispossession and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, or defended those who did. Mike was smeared as an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier because he wrote a document showing that Ken Livingstone was perfectly correct when he stated that Hitler initially supported Zionism.

The left-wing members of Labour’s NEC are determined to stand against the proposed purge. They fear it is an attack on Labour democracy and will lead to further purges and the erasure of the left-wing and Bennite traditions in the party. I believe very strongly that they are correct. As news of the proposed purge broke, various noxious MPs came out howling for the expulsion of other Labour party groups. One of them was Neil Coyle, who demanded that Jewish Voice for Labour should also be expelled along with other groups because they were ‘Communists’.

Not far enough. JVL should be gone too. And other outright Communists who have their own political party/ies they can ruin.

Mike in his great article about this latest piece of factionalism from Starmer points out that this anti-Semitic.

“There’s no reason to suggest that Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) are Communists. Or that any of the organisations Starmer will purge are “poisonous”, “toxic” or “warped”.

But it is easier to persuade doubters with emotive language than it is to actually provide a reasoned argument for the unreasonable thing Starmer is about to do.

Coyle’s tweet is anti-Semitic. JVL argues that the purge of Labour Party members on grounds of anti-Semitism is false – from a Jewish standpoint. Coyle is therefore prejudiced against these Jews because they are Jews, which is the classic definition of anti-Semitism. And Starmer is perfectly happy with that, meaning that he is also an anti-Semite, notwithstanding his familial connections to Judaism.

Absolutely. The malignant and intolerant ultra-Zionist right of the party despise Jewish Voice for Labour because they stood up for Corbyn, and denounced the attacks on the Palestinians. The Israel lobby is particularly harsh on Jewish critics of Israel, because they visibly contradict the lie put into Israeli law by Netanyahu that Jewry and Israel are synonymous and the Jewish state has the support and affection of the world’s Jews. Hence, Jewish critics of Israel are smeared as self-hating, anti-Semites and reviled as ‘traitors’ and ‘kapos’ – the last a reference to the officials in the Warsaw ghetto to whom the Nazis delegated the responsibility of selecting the victims destined for Auschwitz and the other murder factories.

Coyle’s own comment, however, is extremely close to real Nazi anti-Semitism.

The Nazis railed against ‘Jewish Bolshevism’, considering that Communism and ‘Marxist’ socialism, along with capitalism, liberalism, democracy and trade unions were all part of the overarching Jewish conspiracy to enslave White gentiles. They also claimed that Jews were disproportionately represented in the Social Democrats, the German equivalent of the British Labour party, and these socialist Jews were working to reduce the number of ‘Aryan’ members of the Reichstag as part of their insidious conspiracy. While Coyle isn’t a Nazi, his comment contains many Nazi tropes. If it came from a Corbynite group, they would be accused of anti-Semitism and expelled. But Coyle is safe because of the partisan bias of the NEC and because his noxious comment is directed against socialist, genuinely anti-racist Jews.

But it is a form of anti-Semitism, and racism in the party against Blacks and Muslims has risen under Starmer, whose followers in the NEC were responsible for the racist bullying of Black MPs and activists such as Diane Abbott.

The four groups Starmer wants to purge are not a threat to the Labour party. Starmer and his supporters in the NEC are, and it is they who should be purged and expelled as Thatcherites and racists opposed to genuine Labour values and policies.

Guardian Reports Starmer Planning Purge of Left-Wing Labour Groups

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 20/07/2021 - 12:14am in

Yesterday, the Groaniad published a piece by Rajeev Syal reporting that Keir Starmer was planning to purge the Labour party of four left-wing groups supporting Jeremy Corbyn’s leaderships. The report begins

Keir Starmer is preparing to support a purge of far-left factions that were vocal supporters of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

After 15 months of being party leader, Starmer is expected to support a proposal before the party’s governing body on Tuesday to proscribe four named groups.

The proposal, first reported in the Daily Mirror, has angered leftwing members who believe this may be part of a wider purge of the party.

Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee will be asked to proscribe Resist and Labour Against the Witchhunt, which claims antisemitism allegations were politically motivated, and Labour In Exile Network, which expressly welcomes expelled or suspended members.

Socialist Appeal, a group that describes itself as a Marxist voice of Labour and youth, would also become a banned group. Anyone found to be a member of any these groups could be automatic expelled from the Labour party.

Several left-leaning groups are organising a picket of the NEC meeting at Southside, Labour’s headquarters in Victoria, central London, to protest against the proposals.

The article quotes the founder of Labour in Exile, Norman Thomas, as saying  “There is wide agreement Starmer is pretty pathetic at fighting the Tories, but he’s in overdrive when it comes to attacking his own members. He has destroyed democracy in Labour to get rid of the thousands of people who joined after Jeremy Corbyn became leader.”

I don’t doubt for a single moment that the witch-hunt against Labour party members and activists accused of anti-Semitism was politically motivated. It Included Jews like Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein, as well as the Black anti-racism activist Marc Wadsworth and others like Ken Livingstone and Mike over at Vox Political. Mike’s crime was to put together a document showing that Ken Livingstone’s comment about Hitler initially supporting Zionism was factually correct. The witch-hunt’s victims were all members or supporters of the Labour left and Jeremy Corbyn, and/or were critics of Israel’s barbarous persecution and decades-long ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. Starmer and the NEC that supports him are Blairites, determined to carry on Blair’s transformation of the party into an alternative version of the Tories. They support the Tories’ policies of privatisation, including NHS privatisation and the destruction of the welfare state. As for anti-Semitism, many of those targeted in the witch-hunt were firmly opposed to anti-Semitism as well as all other forms of racism. But Starmer is an ardent Zionist, who received thousands of pounds of funding from pro-Israel donors.

Starmer has been appalling as party leader. He has brought nothing but factionalism and division to the party, while doing precious little to oppose the Tories. Hence Johnson has ridiculed him as ‘Captain Hindsight’ and ‘Major Indecision’. When campaigning for the party’s leadership, he promised to support and retain Corbyn’s policies that were genuinely popular – the renationalisation of the NHS, the nationalisation of electricity and water, greater rights for workers and a welfare state that actually worked and supported the unemployed, the disabled, sick and elderly. He has broken this promise, and offered no policies of his own. The result has been that no-one knows what he stands for. This was clearly displayed in a car-crash interview in which one of his shadow cabinet or aides told the interviewer that, yes, Starmer had policies, but they were secret and he could tell the interviewer what they were.

There is also a nasty undercurrent of racism there as well. The party is losing Black and Muslim members because of Starmer’s complete lack of interest in punishing the party bureaucrats that racially bullied and abused a number of Black MPs and activists, including Diane Abbott, and in tackling rising Islamophobia in the party. This is costing the Labour party valuable support and votes, quite apart from being against ordinary decency and justice. The result has been a poor performance in the council elections and barely hanging on to the seat at Batley and Spen.

Starmer is an incompetent Tory, who is wrecking the party. But he and his fellow Blairites are determined to hang on to power any way they can. And that means ordering further purges of left-wingers and supporters of his far more worthy predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.

Right Campaigns to End Abortion in America

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 15/07/2021 - 10:27am in

White Evangelical churches, which are the driving force of the anti-abortion movement, are also a core constituency of the Republican Party and the most fervent supporters of former president Trump.

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Maureen Lipman Shows Us She’s Really A Tory on Gogglebox

Maureen Lipman’s the veteran British actress and comedienne who’s resigned several times from the Labour party whining about anti-Semitism. She did it a few years ago when Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour party because he was a terrible anti-Semite as shown by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Chief Rabbi and the noxiously misnamed Campaigned Against Anti-Semitism and the British press, media and political establishment. Well, the British Jewish establishment hated Corbyn because they’re Zionists, and Israel had defined Corbyn and Jackie Walker – yep, a Black Jewish academic and grannie, who I don’t believe has a single anti-Semitic bone in her body – the No. 10 threat to Israel. Because they stand up for the Palestinians for the same reason they stood up against apartheid South Africa, the campaigns against real racism here in Blighty. And that included firm opposition against anti-Semitism. One of the piccies Mike put up about the former Labour leader shows him warmly greeting a group of Orthodox Jewish gents, who were there to express their appreciation for his support to stop the historic North London synagogue from being redeveloped. I think it was the first, or at least one of the first Haredi synagogues in the UK. Which the Board of Deputies, the political wing of the United Synagogue, wished to tear down and redevelop. But the good Lord forbid anyone from seeing anything sectarian or ‘anti-Semitic’ in their attempt to demolish what is clearly an historic site dear to another part of Britain’s diverse Jewish community. Corbyn definitely ain’t an anti-Semite by any stretch of the imagination, and neither was ever a Communist, Trotskyite or whatever other bogeyman haunts the imaginations of our right-leaning press and political elite.

Lipman’s claims of anti-Semitism in the Labour leadership are also weakened by the fact that she left the Labour party, again citing anti-Semitism, years before, when Ed Miliband was leader. Yes, Miliband, who’s Jewish, the son of Ralph Miliband, highly respected Marxist scholar and immigrant from Belgium, who fought for this country against the Nazi jackboot during WWII. And who was monstered for his trouble by the Heil, who ran a hit piece against him as ‘the man who hated Britain’. Well, he hated the public schools and the British class system, which is entirely reasonable and proper. Especially when it creates thugs and parasites like David Cameron and Boris Johnson. But Miliband senior actually fought for this country, unlike Paul Dacre’s father, who stayed at home and was the rag’s showbiz correspondent. Or Geordie Grieg’s old dad, who was a member of one of the pro-Nazi appeasement groups. Why did she think the Labour party was ridden with Jew-hatred? Again, Israel. Miliband had offered mild criticism of the Israeli state’s abominable treatment of the Palestinians. This was too much for Lipman’s fanatical Zionism, and she stormed out.

Well, she was on Gogglebox last Friday with Giles Brandreth watching and commenting on last week’s ‘great telly’ (sic). One of the pieces they were watching was Matt Hancock’s resignation because of his Ugandan discussions, as Private Eye calls it, with his secretary. Lipman thought that all the abuse was dreadful, considering how well he’d done as Health Secretary. Yep! She really said that. Well, as Kryton once said about Rimmer on Red Dwarf, ‘Oh for a world class psychiatrist!’ Either that or she’s been taking some, er, heavy duty non-prescribed medication with her evening glass of Horlicks. Because Hancock’s record as Health Secretary has been abysmal. He’s corrupt, giving vital contracts away to companies, simply because his mates run them. He was unable to get proper supplies of PPE, thus causing some of our professional and heroic frontline staff to die unnecessarily and putting the lives of others in serious danger. Especially staff from the Black and Asian communities, who were particularly vulnerable and hard hit. Care homes were left exempt from measures that were in place to protect hospital patients, thus causing even more deaths among the elderly and infirm. He is responsible for running down and privatising the NHS, as part of long term Tory and Blairite policy, so that waiting lists are growing. And it’s thanks to him and Boris that Britain had the worst death rate in Europe and the second worse in the world.

There are three explanations why Lipman believes a glaring incompetent like Hancock has done a good job. The shame at appearing in Carry On Columbus back in 1992 has, after 21 years, finally caught up with her and driven her mad. Arguing against this is that Julian Clary and Alexei Sayle also appeared in it, and although it wasn’t their finest hour, both of them are still mentally hale and happy. On the other hand, perhaps whatever herbal tea she may take contains the active ingredient in Cannabis. There are strong arguments for its medical use, such as to treat the pain from some diseases as well as the sickness some cancer patients experience. But I don’t think Lipman is on it, or anything containing it or other drugs. She seems far too genteel and personally wholesome.

Which leaves the third explanation: she never was really Labour. She may have joined the party or supported it for tribal reasons. Her family, like many Jews a generation or so ago, supported Labour. But as the very Jewish Tony Greenstein has shown, that allegiance changed as the Jewish community became more prosperous. 62 per cent of Britain’s Jews are upper middle class, and accordingly vote Tory. Lipman appears to have been a Blairite Red Tory, who particularly liked Blair because he was an outright supporter of Israel. That changed when Miliband became leader and showed he had something of a backbone when it came to condemning the Jewish state’s atrocities against the Palestinians.

But Blair wanted the privatisation of the Health Service, something no real Labour party member or supporter should ever back. And it appears Lipman supports it too from her comments about how well Matt Hancock has done as Health Secretary.

That bit on Gogglebox tore the liberal mask off, and showed the Tory face underneath. She never was a real member of the Labour party, and the party lost nothing from her loud and mendacious departure.

Best Wishes and Commiserations to the Enland Team for their Great Performance

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/07/2021 - 3:35am in

I know I’m late publishing this, but I wanted to express my admiration for the great performance of the England players during the FA cup. They really took it all the way to the top, and football nearly came home. I didn’t watch it, due to simple superstition. I had the irrational feeling that if I watched it, they’d fail for sure. But I understand they lost on penalties. Still, very, very well done. We almost got there.

Unfortunately, the excellent sportsmanship of both teams has been marred by the violence in London between the rival England and Italy fans. Like everyone else with half a brain, I’m sickened by such hooliganism and wish it were kicked out the game along with racism. It’s revolting that the superb achievement of the England team in getting so far is being brought down by this idiocy.

Captain’s Log, Supplemental, as Captain James Tiberius Kirk used to say.

Since I put this up, Sargon of Gasbag’s bunch, the Lotus Eaters, have put up a nasty little video blaming ‘wokism’ for Britain’s defeat. Apparently it was a few of the Black players who missed the vital penalty shots, and the racists have come out of the woodwork to abuse them. Thus the Lotus Eaters have put up a piece entitled ‘Wokism Is Not Our Strength’ with the subtitle, ‘The England Team Lost’ and a thumbnail of a White player grabbing one of the Blacks from behind. Now I honesty can’t say that diversity is our strength. It’s made British society different, less homogenous, but this has also brought strains and tension as well as more positive benefits, like the skills, hard work and enterprise of many immigrants and people of immigrant descent. But there’s a nasty streak of racism in all this, which has been condemned by people right across the political spectrum, including Boris Johnson. I think the England did excellently to get so far, and defeat so many nations, and to lose the cup by penalties. I’ve seen similar performances from England teams with a far smaller proportion of Black players. This is sheer Daily Mail anti-immigrant ranting. Literally. Way back in the 1990s Paul Dacre or one of the wretched rag’s other columnists wrote a piece predicting that we would lose the world cup in 2020 because the England team were mostly Black. It was attacked for its bigotry at the time. As it stands, that prediction has come true, I admit. But I don’t believe we lost because we had Black players, who in any case did superbly well along with their White team mates. I speak as someone who, like Arthur Dent, was always bad at sport.

I’m not going to link to the wretched video. I haven’t watched it, but it simply appears to be nasty and racist. So let’s celebrate our team’s impressive achievement, and kick racism out of football.

Sokal and Bricmont on the Harm Done to Developing Countries by Postmodernism

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 11/07/2021 - 4:56am in

I’ve put up a number of articles recently attacking various forms of postmodernism, such as Critical Race Theory, for their radical rejection of Enlightenment values of rational debate and liberalism. In the case of Critical Race Theory, this has produced an ideology with definite Fascistic characteristics in its appeal to irrationalism, feelings and racial feeling against Western rationalism, which is held to be a form of enslavement when taken up by or foisted on Blacks. This is exactly like the Nazi denunciation of democracy as a Jewish plot to enslave Aryan Germans. Postmodernism is modern philosophy that explicitly preaches radical scepticism. It states that there is no such thing as objective fact and questions scientific objectivity with the claim that scientific theories are merely the product of particular historical events. It was developed by radical sociologists of science, such as the French scholar Bruno Latour, from the work of Willard Quine and Paul Feyerabend. Latour’s anti-scientific scepticism went so far as to question the death of one of the pharaohs from tuberculosis, as suggested by medical researchers in the ’70s. He did so, not because of any medical evidence suggesting another cause, but because tuberculosis was only identified as a specific disease in the 19th century. He stated that the disease only began when it was discovered by Koch, and so couldn’t have existed back in ancient Egypt to kill the pharaoh.

One of the first major attacks on Postmodernism was by the American mathematicians and physicist Alan Sokal and the Belgian philosopher Jean Bricmont. Sokal had kept a dossier of postmodernist papers which cited scientific and mathematical concepts and terminology, but were in fact utterly nonsensical. The two published a book based on these, Intellectual Impostures, which showed how these philosophers abused science and maths. Sometimes they had a vague notion what they were talking about, but the concepts cited were used loosely with no explanation why they were supposed to be relevant to what was supposed to be the subject of their papers, like psychoanalysis. In short, they were attempts by the postmodernists to make their arguments sound more impressive than they really were by couching them in incomprehensible prose and arbitrarily selected bits and pieces of science and maths.

They write that postmodernism is harmful in the Developed World, but the real damage is being done in the Developing World through the postmodernist demand for respect for indigenous traditions, even when they are exploitative, citing a left-wing Indian activist and scientist, Meera Nanda. They write

Unfortunately, postmodern ideas are not confined to European philosophy departments or American literature departments. It seems to us that they do the most harm in the Third World, where the majority of the world’s population live and where the supposedly ‘passe’ work of the Enlightenment is far from complete.

Meera Nanda, an Indian biochemist who used to work in the ‘Science for the People’ movements in India and who is now studying sociology of science in the United States, tells the following story about the traditional Vedic superstitions governing the construction of sacred buildings, which aim at maximizing ‘positive energy’. An Indian politician, who found himself in hot water, was advised that

‘his troubles would vanish if he entered his office from an east-facing gate. But on the east side of his office there was a slum through which his car could not pass. [So he] organized the slum to be demolished.’

Nanda observes, quite rightly, that

‘If the Indian left were as active in the people’s science movement as it used to be, it would have led an agitation not only against the demolition of people’s homes, but also against the superstition that was used to justify it… A left movement that was not so busy establishing ‘respect’ for non-Western knowledge would never have allowed the power-wielders to hid behind indigenous ‘experts’.

I tried out this case on my social constructionist friends here in the United States … [They told me] that seeing the two culturally bound descriptions of space at par with each other is progressive in itself, for then neither can claim to know the absolute truth, and thus tradition will lose its hold on people’s minds.

From Sokal and Bricmont, Intellectual Impostures (London: Profile Books 1998) 94-5.

Now, 23 years after that was written, the philosophical and moral relativists who demanded a completely uncritical respect for indigenous tradition are demanding that it should be incorporated into western science and culture in order to decolonise them. Thus we had the squalid spectacle of a video that appeared a little while ago of a debate in a South African university in which a Black student angrily claimed that western science was racist because it did not accept that African shamans could cause it to rain. The reason why science does not do so is because the supernatural is, by its nature, beyond and outside science’s purview.

But such radical postmodernism and attacks on science and rationality threaten the very foundations of civilisation and spread ignorance and prejudice, leading to the further impoverishment and exploitation of the very people the postmodernists claim to want to help.

James Lindsay Versus the Postmodernists Who Think 2+2=4 Is Racist

No, I’m really not making this up. This is what some of the idiots who support Critical Race Theory actually believe. And it really does frighten me what will happen if this morons ever get the power they’re aiming for.

I came across the video from The Same Drugs in which host Meghan Murphy talks to James Lindsay. Murphy’s a feminist, who graduated in gender studies. She’s very definitely on the left and says that her views on welfare and the economy are socialist. However, she now describes herself as a liberal because of the immense importance of defending free speech and debate. Lindsay is also a man of the left. He’s a doctor of mathematics, although he says that he’s been away from the discipline for so long that he wouldn’t describe himself as a mathematician. He’s a member of the group with Peter Boghossian and Helen Pluckrose that attacks and refutes Critical Race Theory and the other forms of Postmodernism which reject rationality, evidence and reasoned debate because these are all supposed to be the oppressive values of White males.

I started watching this video, but didn’t get any further than about ten minutes because I was so astonished at what I was hearing. Lindsay apparently got into an internet argument with radical postmodernists and racial activists, who really do believe that 2+2=4 is a form of colonial oppression. Lindsay says the fight started when he put up a kind of Devil’s Dictionary in the tradition of Ambrose Bierce, giving satirical definitions of words sending up CRT and related ideologies. In this instance, it was about Critical Race Theorists rejecting 2+2=4 because by choosing four as the solution, other values were suppressed. This was then picked up by his opponents on the other side, who then posted on Twitter and social media that, yes, 2+2=4 was racist. One of these was the woman in charge of decolonising Seattle’s educational curriculum. Another was a Guardian hack, who snidely posted that it was rich of him to say that while using Arabic numerals. He points out that she couldn’t refute his mocking definition, because that really was what she believed. She could only respond by attacking him. And then he was met by a flood of people trying to prove that 2+2=5. When asked if you can do this, he replies by saying that it isn’t. All the proofs they’re using are wrong. This was then followed by people talking about how western traders cheated the various indigenous peoples around the world, who can’t count beyond three. Yes, they also exist. This was to show that 2+2=4 really was part of an ideology of imperialist and colonialist oppression. Lindsay states that the people arguing against him were maths educators rather than mathematicians, including someone on a science and technology course at Edinburgh University in Scotland.

This is genuinely frightening as it’s a rejection of one of the simplest, foundational sums of mathematics, and by extension, all maths simply for reasons of ideology. Of course people have been speculating that their might be other regions in the cosmos or multiverse in which 2+2=5 for some time. There’s a bit in the Tim Burton SF flick, Mars Attacks, in which Piers Brosnan’s scientist character explains this to a fashion journalist. Back in the 1990s I picked up a postmodernist book on maths, which claimed it was taking God out, and the body back in. And when I was at school there were various books for children which contained trick sums that gave stupid values for simple sums like 2+2=4. These were always based on a carefully concealed mistake.

Well, western maths goes all the way back to ancient Sumeria, Babylon and Egypt, and I’m very certain that these African and Asian cultures knew exactly that 2+2=4. As did the superb mathematicians of Islam, India, China and Japan. And I think it’s insulting to any Black people wishing to study maths and science that these idiots are now telling them that the foundational principles of western mathematics aren’t suitable for them and are a form of ideological enslavement which must be torn down in order to decolonise the discipline.

I am sure the people, who believe this nonsense regard themselves as intellectual sophisticates at the very cutting edge of maths and progressive politics. But I think they’re really just barbarians, who will wreck maths and science with pseudointellectual gibberish, destroying western civilisation for an intellectually bankrupt, racist ideology.

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