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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.

Keith Olbermann Wants Jimmy Dore Banned From All Platforms

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 31/07/2021 - 10:29pm in

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Proving once again he doesn’t care who he has to step on to claw his way to rock bottom, fallen liberal media hero Keith Olbermann has called for the complete removal of left wing comedian and podcaster Jimmy Dore from all internet platforms.

“Time to ban this feral succubus Jimmy Dore from Twitter and other platforms,” Olbermann told his one million Twitter followers on Friday.

Olbermann’s wrath was incurred by a short video clip bizarrely described as “misogynistic” in which Dore portrayed out of touch liberal elitist Emma Vigeland as an out of touch liberal elitist, saying that if people like her ever tried to bring their esoteric university Marxist wankery around actual working class people they’d get punched in the face and told to go back to their cul-de-sac. It probably also didn’t help that Dore has done multiple segments on Olbermann’s slide into flag-draped gibbering lunacy following the election of Donald Trump, including his public apology to war criminals George W Bush and John McCain, his demented Russia hysteria, and his support for NSA surveillance of US media figures.

“Someone got their feels feels hurt and now they wanna censor their critics like a regular authoritarian fascist,” Dore responded to Olbermann’s post.

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You can always count on the less reality-anchored pundits to say out loud what the rest are thinking in private. Support for internet censorship is now a mainstream position among the so-called “moderates” of the warmongering corporatist Democratic Party, not just for people to their right but for people to their left as well. If it were up to these freaks the entire internet would just be a bunch of Wall Street liberals agreeing with each other that Trump is bad and Jen Psaki is a strong yet sensual warrior princess.

The Emma Vigeland tweet that Dore was riffing on in the clip was more hand-wringing about a “red-brown alliance” that all grown adults should realize by now was never anything other than a narrative management campaign to keep leftists from moving too far from the establishment-authorized Overton window of acceptable opinion. For years a strain of western leftist thought has been shrieking hysterically about an impending alliance between socialists and fascists, and yet the only evidence they’ve been able to produce in all that time that this is happening are things like Glenn Greenwald going on Tucker Carlson, Dore interviewing an antiwar Boogaloo Boy one time, and me making some mistakes early on in my writing career. Only by the most determined mental gymnastics is this anywhere remotely close to the same universe as the Night of the Long Knives Strasserism fantasy that “red-brown alliance” fearmongers have been masturbating to, and it’s time for everyone to admit that they were wrong about this imaginary threat.

And while everyone was freaking out about the idea of imaginary fascism sneaking in through the back window, actual fascism strolled through the front door. More and more excuses are being invented to censor, deplatform and marginalize everyone outside the Overton window of war, oligarchy, ecocide and oppression, and more and more people within that window are becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea. Internet censorship, jailing journalists for telling the truth about the powerful, mind-warping mass propaganda campaigns and rapidly escalating authoritarianism are all becoming normalized throughout our society, and it can’t lead anywhere good.

___________________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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It’s About The System, Not The Individuals: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 30/07/2021 - 10:21pm in

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If the working class had as much class solidarity as the ruling class has there never would’ve been a ruling class.

Stealing someone’s labor is worse than stealing their property, because it’s theft of their life; you can replace property if you want, but you can’t replace hours of life. And rigging the system so people need to work longer hours in order to survive is this form of theft at mass scale.

Right now it’s ass backwards: people have to spend their lives away from their loved ones in pointless jobs, and if you tell the cop your employer stole hours from you he’ll just shrug while if your employer tells the cop you stole a company iPad you’ll be hauled off in chains.

This would all be a lot less confusing if we said people get paid by the Life Unit instead of by the hour, because it makes it much clearer what you’re actually trading. “You want a unit of my life for seven dollar bills and a quarter? Fuck you.”

Six months into Biden’s presidency it’s definitely not okay to be a grown adult and still believe Trump was a uniquely monstrous president.

Biden may be stopping all progress and breaking most of his campaign promises, but he did also campaign on bringing back the Obama years so in that sense he kept all his campaign promises.

Focusing on individuals instead of the system creates the illusion that if you replaced the individuals you could fix the problems with the system. The individuals are symptoms of the disease.

This is true whether you’re talking about oligarchy or the official elected government. Leave the systems in place and get rid of Jeff Bezos and another greedy plutocrat will just move into his niche. Get rid of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema and you’ll just get different Democrats killing progress in the senate. It’s fine to criticize them, but it’s not about them. You criticize them to draw attention to the systems.

Sociopaths will keep getting elevated to the top as long as there are systems in place which elevate sociopaths. Right now wealth and political power go to whoever’s willing to do anything to get to the top and step on anyone in their way. That’s what actually needs to change.

Really the people just need to find a way to seize power and create systems which work for everyone instead of rewarding greed, sociopathy and corruption. But they’ll never do that by working within the current systems, because those systems are designed to do the exact opposite.

Sure Biden is shit. That’s what happens in a system which elevates shit. That’s why his predecessor was shit, and why his replacement will be shit. Without that system Biden would just be some creepy asshole in an assisted living facility who all the caregivers try to avoid.

But also it’s never actually about Biden; it’s about a system wherein mass-scale human behavior is driven by profit, and where war, ecocide, exploitation and corruption happen to be profitable. As long as that’s the case it will just be endless assholes ruling our world until they get us all killed.

  1. Be a government
  2. Do evil things
  3. Make it illegal to report those evil things
  4. Sentence anyone who does to draconian prison terms as a deterrent
  5. Keep the public from knowing what you’re doing
  6. Force them to guess
  7. Label this guessing “conspiracy theory”
  8. Censor them

For every whistleblower you make an example of you prevent a thousand others.

Republicans live in such an awesome world. There’s a war on white men, powerful anarchists rule the streets, the president is a Marxist, and US officials are being taken out by communist microwave beams.

Feds definitely knew about the Capitol raid in advance and definitely let it happen yet you’re meant to believe the only reason rioters didn’t lynch Nancy Pelosi and take over the US government is because their diabolical plot was thwarted at the last minute.

Imagine if the memesters who went to Area 51 in 2019 actually got in (because military forces opened the doors for them), wandered around for a bit and then left, and then this was hailed as worse than 9/11 and used to advance authoritarian agendas and legal precedents… and people believed it.

It would have been exactly note-for-note identical to what happened with January 6th. The one and only difference is that there was no ideological angle on the Area 51 memesters.

As a kid I certainly never imagined that I’d end up spending such a significant portion of my adult life arguing with strangers who think the government should be allowed to do extremely evil things in secret.

Still shits me how we all know our governments and institutions lie to us all the time about important things but when people are distrustful of those institutions they get treated like they belong in a straight jacket. Sure this distrust can manifest in ways that are not well-informed or truth-based, but expecting all rank-and-file members of the public who work full time to have a perfectly erudite understanding of every situation is absurd. The distrust is reasonable and it’s not their fault.

If people distrust their government and institutions, the blame rests exclusively on the shoulders of the government and institutions who created that distrust in the first place. You can’t create distrust and act like people are crazy for distrusting you. That’s not a thing.

___________________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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The Nazis and the Tory Destruction of British Civil Liberties

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 24/07/2021 - 7:13pm in

A few days ago, Mike over at Vox Political commented that our smirking, intriguing Home Secretary, Priti Patel, had gone from Fascism to Nazism in her latest assault on democracy. Hacks publishing leaked documents can now be punished with up to 14 years imprisonment for embarrassing the government. This is in addition to her massively authoritarian, racist approach to dealing with the influx of illegal immigrants crossing the Channel. This isn’t hyperbole. The Nazis passed similar legislation when they seized power in 1933, making it illegal to defame the government. See Martin Broszat’s The Hitler State: The Foundation and Development of the Internal Structure of the Third Reich, page 66, for how the Nazis banned and intimidated Communist, Socialist and liberal newspapers using the laws against defaming the government.

This follows creeping Tory legislation gradually destroying civil liberties and further restricting constitutional limits to Conservative authoritarianism. Patel has passed further legislation limiting the right to demonstrate, abolishing fixed-term parliaments so that the Tories can choose when they hold elections rather than have to abide by the limits set by law, and further limiting the courts’ ability to hold them to account. This all reminds me of the Nazi suspension of German civil liberties following the Reichstag fire and the passage of the emergency decrees as shown in this piece of Nazi legislation

By the authority of Section 48 (2) of the German Constitution the following is decreed as a defensive measure against Communist acts of violence endangering the State:

  1. Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus restrictions of personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and association, and violation of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property rights are permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.

In J. Noakes and G. Pridham, Nazism 1919-1945, 1: The Rise to Power 1919-1934 (Exeter University Publication 1983) 142.

The Tories haven’t gone that far yet with outright bans on newspapers and opposition publications, but this is clearly the direction they are going unless the process is halted. We are heading for a Tory dictatorship.

But stopping this means having an effective opposition, something which is glaringly lacking in the Labour leadership of Keir Starmer.

Our World Is Dying Because We Don’t Value Un-Making Things

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 23/07/2021 - 11:28pm in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/05adf85705ae0ad0ba38182bc722e38e/href

I talk a lot about how we’re destroying our environment with a global system where human behavior is driven by the pursuit of profit, how the power structure which dominates that system does so by violence, exploitation, oppression, and the threat of nuclear war, and how we’re all going to die if we don’t change this system.

Whenever I say this I get a bunch of capitalism cultists bleating “You just don’t understand economics bruh,” which is the line they’ve been trained to say to anyone they see criticizing capitalism. It’s silly for a number of reasons, among them the fact that nobody who regurgitates that line understands economics themselves, and the fact that one’s understanding of economics has nothing to do with the death of the ecosystem our species relies on for survival.

The claim that anyone who opposes capitalism “just doesn’t understand economics” is premised on the notion that unfettered capitalism is the best way for a civilization to attain economic growth, which is arguably true; governments like China saw their economies explode when they started implementing elements of capitalism for pragmatic reasons. If you want to create a bunch of stuff and generate a tremendous amount of wealth, a good way to do that is by giving the capitalist class the protection of the state so they can rake in billions of dollars exploiting the global proletariat without being guillotined.

Problem is, that only looks like a valid point if economic growth is the only value by which you judge a system’s success. If you value quality of life, overall happiness, health, average lifespan, education, eliminating poverty, homelessness and hunger, and many other possible metrics, nations like the United States are far from ideal. If you value avoiding climate collapse, then the only way to think capitalism is the answer is to espouse on blind faith the belief that the world will be saved by greedy union-busting tech oligarchs who just want to make more stuff and send us all to space.

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That’s not to say that socialism in and of itself has all the answers on this front either. Nations which have attempted socialism have not historically had the best environmental records, and even a hypothetical ideal socialist society where workers own all the means of production would not be inherently dissuaded from destroying the environment for profit.

What we need, if we are to turn away from the path of extinction and begin working in collaboration with our ecosystem, is a society which values the un-making of things.

Since the dawn of civilization humanity has valued achievement, conquest, invention, creation; it has valued doing things, and it has not valued the undoing of things. Creating a new kind of machine will bring you fame and fortune and put your name in the history books, while figuring out how to clean up all the pollution caused by the manufacturing and operation of that machine will not. Discovering a new way to kill thousands of people at a time will make you rich, while choosing to sit on that invention instead of unleashing that horror upon the world will not. Cutting down a tree to make toothpicks will make you money, while leaving it to grow for future generations will not.

Interestingly this disparity parallels with the inequality in traditional gender roles throughout the ages. While hunter-gatherer societies were largely egalitarian, after the invention of agriculture some twelve thousand years ago women came to be generally regarded as second-class citizens because they were unable to do fieldwork or conquer other tribes for their land. Since that time women have had very little say in the construction of our society and its values systems, and for that reason the work they traditionally do — cleaning, caring, conserving, resolving conflicts and building community — has gone unrewarded by money or esteem compared to traditional men’s work. Doing and making are valued, undoing and unmaking are not. The rise of capitalism poured rocket fuel on this dynamic.

Most mothers will tell you it’s a pretty thankless job compared to how much labor you pour into it from the moment you wake up in the morning to the moment you lay your head down at night. Because so much of her work goes into disappearing things — dirty diapers, laundry, messy floors, dishes in the sink, owwies, tears, tantrums — people who are conditioned by a society that has for millennia only valued making and doing tend to only notice when her work doesn’t get done. Their attention scans right over all the undoing she spent all day working on; it’s not paid, it’s not rewarded, and for the most part it’s not even appreciated.

In the same way, and for the same reason, people’s attention tends to scan right over the obvious solutions to the ecocidal trajectory our species has been on. Because thousands of years of conditioning have trained us to value doing things and making things and turning over a profit, our attention skips right over the simple solution right under our noses to do less and unmake things and stop pursuing profit at the expense of future generations.

This is why people who are awake to what’s going on in our world so often feel hopeless and despondent, and why the quote “it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism” resonates with so many. Because we live in a society that has no framework or conceptual infrastructure for valuing the disappearing of things, and because making things and turning a profit has no answer for our situation, solutions look impossible.

But solutions are not impossible. They just won’t involve turning millionaires into billionaires and billionaires into trillionaires.

Cleaning up this mess will take a lot of work and cost a lot, and the reward for that investment won’t be anyone getting rich or any power structure securing a geostrategic advantage, it will be a future for our children and grandchildren. The oceans for example are one of our planet’s biggest carbon sinks, and their ability to function as such is being choked off by plastics in the water. Getting that plastic out of there in an environment-friendly way won’t turn a profit like clearing a forest or drilling an oil field will, so if we leave it to the Captains of Industry nothing will be done about it. Capitalism offers no incentive to do it.

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Ending growth for its own sake, producing less, consuming less, paying people to stay home instead of commuting to pointless jobs; all of these would help the ecosystem far more than producing some new battery made of strip-mined materials. But there’s no profit, so they’re overlooked as viable solutions. You’re only ever going to look for solutions to problems through the reality tunnel you’ve been conditioned to look through. For thousands of years human civilization has been valuing the making of more things and devaluing the unmaking of things, when the latter is what we need right now.

A hidden cost is mental illness. In order to manipulate people to buy things that they don’t need with money they don’t have to keep capitalism from collapsing, you need to keep up a non-stop barrage of trauma-inducing consumerist propaganda. We are all suffering from various mental disorders, from the subtle to the extreme, as a result of this relentless onslaught of brainwashing. Some of these disorders are so prevalent that people assume they are normal. Everything from eating disorders and obesity, to hoarding and shopping addictions, can be traced back to advertising constantly and repetitively ringing our pavlovian bells, while also constantly reminding us that we are not perfect or whole or worthy of love (but maybe if you buy this you will be).

Many readers will attest that you don’t have to be that far along in your waking up journey to start becoming really sensitive to the psychological violence of TV advertising. A TV ad break suddenly becomes physically repellant. In the future we will look back on how coercive and non-consensual mass-scale advertising is and shake our heads in wonder that it was ever allowed to be a thing. Of course, by then, advertising will barely work because too many people will be too awake to manipulate in mass numbers.

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But for now, we are manipulated by the millions into consuming massive amounts of products that aren’t good for us, don’t serve us, or are just another thing that we won’t hardly use but we need to find some cupboard space for. Ending advertising would allow so much health to rebuild in our minds and reduce consumption of materials dramatically; but ending advertising would mean ending capitalism. They are inseparable. We have the tools now to find everything we need via word-of-mouth, but capitalism requires infinite growth. Even your mom-and-pop shop owner feel the pressure to grow in order to keep up cash flow and cover increasing overheads.

Growth is baked in to capitalism, and right now we need more than anything just to chill. Do less, be less, compete less, expect less of ourselves and each other, produce less, consume less, commute less; but take more naps, be more kind, be more gentle with ourselves and each other, laugh more, cry more, feel more, and regenerate all the energy stolen from us from a rat race that we were never gonna win anyway.

Only when we have systems in place that make this possible will we find the energy to start cleaning up our world and begin living in harmony and integrity with the very ecosystem that we are intrinsically a part of.

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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.

Social Explosion in Cuba: The Ignored Signals

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 22/07/2021 - 1:39am in

In my opinion, there are two determining factors that have led to this moment of malaise. On the one hand, the inability of our rulers to channel a successful reform path...On the other hand, there is the ability of citizens to submit this incapacity to public judgment, which is something new.

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The post Social Explosion in Cuba: The Ignored Signals appeared first on New Politics.

Cuban Protests and the American Reaction

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 22/07/2021 - 1:18am in

The moment that thousands took to the streets in unprecedented national demonstrations in Cuba on July 11 demanding “freedom,” everyone in Cuba and in the United States recognized that we are at a critical moment.

Read more ›

The post Cuban Protests and the American Reaction appeared first on New Politics.

Neil Coyle and Adolf Hitler on the Threat of Jews in Parliament

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 21/07/2021 - 6:53pm in

Yesterday I put up a piece attacking Neil Coyle, a Blairite Labour MP, for demanding the expulsion of Jewish Voice for Labour from the Labour party along with other ‘Commies’. I pointed out that it was very much like the anti-Semitic rants of the Nazis, who rejected democracy as a Jewish plot to enslave ‘Aryan’ Germans. For example, in 1922 Hitler gave a speech which explicitly stated it.

And the Right has further completely forgotten that democracy is fundamentally not German: it is Jewish. It has completely forgotten that this Jewish democracy with its majority decisions has always been without exception only a means towards the destruction of any existing Aryan leadership. The Right does not understand that directly every small question of profit or loss is regularly put before so-called ‘public opinion’ he who knows how most skilfully to make this ‘public opinion’ serve his own interests becomes forthwith master in the State. And that can be achieved by the man who can lie most artfully, most infamously: and in the last resort he is not the German, he is, in Schopenhauer’s words, ‘the great master of the art of lying’ – the Jew….

(O)ne day it will turn to those who have most consistently foretold the coming ruin and have sought to disassociate themselves from it. And party is either the Left: and then God help us! for it will lead to us to complete destruction – to Bolshevism.

From: J.W. Hiden, The Weimar Republic (Harlow: Longman 1974).

Coyle’s demand for the expulsion of Jewish Voice for Labour comes from the same vicious factionalism that has resulted in the NEC voting to expel other left-wing groups within the Labour party – Resist, Socialist Appeal, Labour Against the Witch-Hunt and Labour in Exile. It’s the partisan hatred of Blairite neoliberals for real socialists, the kind of people that actually build the Labour party with the trade unions, founded the welfare state and NHS, and gave us the mixed economy. For all its faults, the mixed economy in which the utilities were owned and managed for the state actually provided these vital industries with the investment they needed and gave better service than under privatisation. This is why Blair Stalin, I mean, Kier Starmer, is running scared from these policies which were promoted by Corbyn and supported by a majority of the British public. It’s why the railways are failing spectacularly and the Tories are desperately fighting off having to renationalise them.

But Jewish Voice for Labour, Labour Against the Witch-Hunt and Labour in Exile are also being attacked and smeared because they state and argue unequivocally that the expulsions of Labour party members for supposed anti-Semitism are politically motivated. It’s not just just a hatred of socialists, but also a fanatical desire to protect Israel from reasonable criticism for its barbaric treatment of the Palestinians through conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Many of Israel’s most trenchant critics are decent, self-respecting, God-fearing or secular Jews. People like Jackie Walker, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Tony Greenstein, Ilan Pappe and Martin Odoni. These people are subject to particular abuse, vilification and sometimes even physical assault because they show that the Jewish community is not and has never been uniformly behind Israel, no matter how many laws Netanyahu passed to say that Jewry and the state of Israel were one and the same.

Coyle was undoubtedly motivated by a fear of Marxism and pro-Israel fanaticism when he made his noxious attack on JVL, rather than anti-Semitism per se. But he repeats very closely the real anti-Semitic, anti-democratic and anti-parliamentary denunciations of the Nazis.

Despite the attacks on Corbyn for anti-Semitic tropes, the real Nazi rhetoric is coming from the ultra-Zionists and Blairites.

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.

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