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Showing posts from November, 2012

Pigs and Running Dogs

In some sectors of the mainstream left at the centres of capitalism there seems to be a bizarre fixation on the military and the police as possible sites for organization and agitation.  Indeed,  my recent post about "running dogs"  encouraged a surprisingly significant population of self-proclaimed "marxists" or "socialists" to complain in an unexpected manner––only one of whom bothered to register this complaint in my comments section.  While my post was mainly concerned with what I took to be the problematic and pseudo anti-imperialist slogan of "bring the troops home", some people seemed [strangely] distressed by the fact that I did not see soldiers or cops as potential revolutionary recruits and were angry that I was dismissing the supposed necessity of incorporating them into a revolutionary movement.  Hopefully, this bizarre fixation on the imagined need to politicize and recruit soldiers and cops for the revolution is a minoritarian trend

The Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan responds to the Avakianites (pdf of CmPA document included for download)

The Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan [CmPA] has begun its response to that pompous 58 page critique the Revolutionary Communist Party USA [RCP-USA] which was sent to the Afghanis and those international revolutionary parties and organizations who have been trying to restart the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement [RIM].  In the process of this restarting, the CmPA and other organizations have launched significant theoretical attacks against the RCP-USA's "Avakianite" revisionism (a term that is indeed used by the CmPA in its current response) and thus the RCP-USA, eager to defend its dogmatic obsession with a theoretical deviation that is neither "new" or a very significant "synthesis", wrote over 50 pages attacking the international maoist movement. Although I am generally of the mind that people should just ignore the RCP-USA now since, whatever its past significance, it is now a dwindling and cultish organization filled with dogmat

Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine and the Limitations of Abstract Moralism

You would think that in the context of Israel's current ethnic cleansing offensive in Gaza it would be rather inappropriate to publicly flaunt zionist propaganda.  For though the mainstream discourse surrounding Israel-Palestine is still unabashedly liberal, even the liberal world is reacting with a certain level of shock, no matter what qualifications they make, at the unfolding events in Gaza.  So you would think, with this in mind, hard-line zionists might feel a little shame.  Not so with the woman standing beside me on public transit the other day, proudly reading Alan Dershowitz's The Case for Israel (that reactionary piece of zionist "history" that, despite being rather fraudulent , is still treated as a viable source by racists seeking scholarly justification for their backwards views), as if another case for Israel wasn't being made, at the very moment, by the military beloved by the author of her book. Obviously I am being somewhat facetious because I

All Those Running Dogs Coming Home

In recent articulations of American and Canadian pop culture there appears to be a focus on soldiers returning from Afghanistan and their struggles reintegrating with their respective imperialist nations.  A few nights ago, exhausted from child care and trying to zone out in front of the television with the five channels our aerial can receive, I encountered three shows (the names of which I will not bother to mention because I don't want this accidental television viewing to represent my tastes!) where this was either the primary or secondary theme.  The jaded and mentally scarred veteran of Afghanistan is home and, cast aside by the military machine or completely mind-fucked by his experience (for it was a he  in all three cases), is presented as a sympathetic character.  Thus, the "bring the troops home" slogan––which was always more of a liberal than a properly left slogan––has in some ways begun to insinuate itself in pop culture. Since pop-culture is most often a

School of Mystification

Since Marx wrote that "philosophers have only interpreted the world, the point is to change it," those of us whose training is in philosophy but who declare some sort of fidelity to marxist theory have often wondered whether we are anachronistic.  Many of us have tried to explain away this quote in various ways, sometimes going so far as to make bold and self-aggrandizing statements that Marx really meant that the point of philosophy is to change the world–– even though it is highly doubtful Marx thought that armies of philosophers should be unleashed to reason our way to communism.  Thus, when I exited student life with a PhD in philosophy I found myself, like many other marxists with similar degrees, a bit jaded by this whole thing called "philosophy" and whether it had any use. And though I've been working on a manuscript that examines this problem––what it means to do philosophy as a marxist, how to make sense of this quote from the Theses on Feuerbach ––t

In Defense of Proletarian Feminism: a response to Signalfire's critique

Although I have great respect for the Signalfire blog (not only because it spends a lot of time reporting on people's wars and revolutionary movements around the world but because there are often some theoretical interventions that have been extremely excellent), it was with slight annoyance that I read a recent post critiquing proletarian feminism in general and the PCR-RCP 's understanding of proletarian feminism in particular.  Obviously, since I posted recently on proletarian feminism , it should be evident to most readers that I am interested in the development of this theory within the revolutionary communist tradition; it should also be evident that, being a supporter of the PCR-RCP, I am also interested in any critique made of its political line. To be fair, I am actually quite critical of the chapter in the PCR-RCP programme that Signalfire examines ("Women of the Proletariat") and think there are a lot of important critiques to be made––indeed, I've m

What We Should Remember Today

Since today, in Canada, it is Remembrance Day  I figured it might be worthwhile remembering, as revolutionary communists, the social context and historical meaning of this day.  Readers from outside of Canada might not be aware that November 11th is a day where the "sacrifices" of soldiers to Canada's existence as Canada are expected to be recognized––this is a day to celebrate and mourn war veterans with an entire minute of silence, poppy pins, and other such conventions.  Readers from inside Canada might not be aware that there is a vital communist tradition of remembering that might rub against the grain of this supposedly sombre day.  So, with all of this in mind, let's begin the remembering. Today, on November 11th, we remember that Remembrance Day and the convention of wearing a poppy pin was instituted just after World War One and our involvement in this war as part of the British [colonial] commonwealth.  It was not initiated after World War Two and is n

"The Communist Necessity" - yet another downloadable pdf!!

Due to the popularity of my long screed about Maoism and Trotskyism that I made downloadable in a previous post, I have decided that it might be worthwhile to post other prolonged theoretical engagements for download on this blog.  As an academic I have been trained to be long-winded but sometimes my long-winded writing is not necessarily academic; occasionally I end up writing pages upon pages in a manner that is not academically acceptable and, due to this fact, will never be submitted to a journal, edited book, or presented at a conference.  And since this blog is often a place, as I've maintained, where aborted academic ideas are relegated, I figured it might be best to post longer versions of these aborted attempts for public perusal. Moreover, due to my current circumstances where I am generally house-bound because I have to care for my new-born child, I have a lot of time on my hands where, between looking after my daughter and eating, I can read and write and peruse the

Obituary: Han Suyin

Several days ago, on November 2nd, Han Suyin died.  Aside from the obligatory obituaries in official newspapers , her death was met with little attention: she died in obscurity, like so many revolutionary women, almost forgotten by a world that was once forced to pay attention to her literature.  If she is still remembered in popular culture––if she has affected the memory of those who will ask who?  at the mention of her name––then it is probably because of the 1955 movie adaptation of her novel A Many Splendored Thing that also inspired a pop song and subsequent cliche.  But when people speak the banal colloquialism that "love is a many splendored thing" it is doubtful that they know anything of Han Suyin or what she represented.  And she represented so much more than a terrible movie adaptation of a novel she wrote when she was young, let alone its even more terrible pop song and trite saying. At one point Han Suyin was an apologist for the Chinese Revolution.  Born

Upcoming Revolutionary Youth and Student Conference

As advertised months ago , the PCR-RCP is holding a semi-closed conference for revolutionary youth and students in Toronto in early December.  This conference is important, following the events in Quebec City (in which the PCR-RCP's student mass organization was involved), since it is an attempt to produce a revolutionary youth movement that might be able to intervene in these rebellions with something more than a movementist ideology.  Anyone interested in participating should email  for further details. Also if you're interested in participating you probably shouldn't be older than 25 since the conference is geared towards a younger generation of anti-capitalist activists and not to those of us who imagine we're young––who might want to hold unto their glory days of student activism––but are in their thirties and thus should not be considered "youth".  This disqualifies me, of course, as much as I would like to pretend I'm