When Red Flags started out, it was a lonely blog. A year or two later, and there's been an explosion of communist activity online taking advantage of the Web 2.0 technologies that allow for an entirely new degree of interactivity and discussion. What's challenging is that many of the disputes that previously took place in isolated rooms now flow online 24 hours a day. What's exciting is that intellectual ferment currently shaking the communist movement is finding expression in public forums in a way previously rare.
My old comrade Left Spot wrote up a preliminary summation of the Red blogosphere and Modern Pitung's All Our For the Fight has been thinking outloud about how we can use these technologies without getting used by them.
NPR ran a profile of Gaddar, who I can only call the Fela of South Asia, an "Indian man who can barely finish a sentence without breaking into song." He was once a soldier in the Naxalite movement, but has brought art to the science of revolution. Listen.
Serving as long-time editor of Workers World newspaper, Leslie Feinberg is perhaps best known for writings on transgender liberation, including the novel Stone Butch Blues about a working class transgendered lesbian in Buffalo, NY. Workers World has been running a lengthy history of the LGBT movement's intersections with, and conflicts within, the communist movement. With around 80 installments so fa you can learn something new every day.
I'll just post this one without introductory commentary, except by way of historical introduction.
Here's an American professor of Marxism (at NYU no less!), giving a lecture in Havana in 1991 as Cuba went into a complete economic collapse with the end of Soviet subsidies resulting from their own disintegration as a contending world power.
One of the most successful publishing projects to develop in the aftermath of Seattle, Clamor Magazine, has announced that they can no longer afford to publish. Produced in Ohio (!), Clamor served as the politico-cultural magazine for the (predominantly white, DIY) anti-capitalist movement over the last few years.
"It is not, contrary to what it might appear to be, a photograph from
a scene from a Marx Brothers film. It is, rather, the true history of
yesterday’s session of the Mexican National Congress, the distinguished
hall in Mexico City where, on Friday, according to the Constitution of
the Republic, Felipe Calderón must take the oath of office and put on
the presidential sash in order to legalize his status as the nation’s
Not all the members of that esteemed lawmaking body are in agreement that Calderón was elected to the presidency last July 2" [photo: DR2006, La Jornada]
Mexico: A Powder Keg: On
the walls of La Realidad, the base-village of the Zapatista movement
deep in the Lacandona jungle, the paintings of Emilio Zapata, Che
Guevara and Subcommandante Marcos have faded over the last three years.
If you've been waiting until the Christian fascist movement started
filling stadiums with young people and hyping them up to do battle in
"God's army" to get alarmed, wait no longer.
In recent weeks, Battle Cry, a Christian fundamentalist youth
movement, has attracted more than 25,000 to mega-rally rock concerts in
San Francisco and Detroit and this weekend they plan to fill Wachovia
Stadium in Philadelphia.
They claim their religion and values are under attack but, amidst
spectacular lightshows, hummers, Navy Seals, and military imagery on
stage, it is Battle Cry that has declared war on everyone else! Their
leader, Ron Luce, insists: "This is war. And Jesus invites us to get
into the action, telling us that the violent--the 'forceful' ones--will
lay hold of the kingdom."
First watch this amazing Flash preview of Sir, No Sir! The amazing story of GI resistance to the Vietnam War that you can send by link to friends and family getting preyed on by military recruiters. Now indulge a personal tangent: By 16 I'd dropped out of school and was casting around 1980s Chicago. Marginally employed, surly, a little macho, prone to vice and mad at the world in a loving way, I was like so many kids looking for a way to get my act together.
Even though the florescent-light distopia of secondary education wasn't for me [my school building looked exactly like the local juvie hall in a Borg-cube kind of way], I loved to read and hungered to understand the ways of the world. I wanted to go to college, but every school of interest cost more money in tuition than my father made a year. I didn't want to go to a "13th Grade" college. I wanted to learn, not just to earn.
The Cold War was wrapping up in the late 80s. For the first time in my life, war didn't seem imminent. Even though I had no love for the government and made the most of my young rebel years, I actively considered joining the Marine Corps. The week after participating in a militant break-away march to disrupt the main recruiting depot in downtown Chicago because of interventions in Central America, where a bad-ass nun handed the youth red paint in styrofoam cups to douse the station with, I discretely snuck back to meet with a friendly recruiter on my own time.