Open Threads

Open Threads is an open blogging platform, for debate and exploration of ideas among communists and radicals. Content presented here is contributed by Kasama site users.

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Mike Ely

Mike Ely

Wind in the tower announces storm from the mountains.

 

by MIKE ELY and NAT WINN

The U.S. military has launched a massive attack in the Sunni heartland of Iraq.

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With true courage and searing passion, Cornel West  has said what needs saying: President Barack Obama is a war criminal.

Let's join our voices with his.

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The Supreme court has ruled that companies don't have to obey legal government mandates they don't like if they have religious-moral objections.

 And you hear every rightwing jerk explain (in real life or TV) "

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July 4 question for today's America:

"What would George Washington say?"

He would probably say:

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Thanks to Gregory Lucero.

"For revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival!"

by FREDERICK DOUGLASS, 

Douglass was the most prominent revolutionary leader among African-descended people and slaves before and then during the U.S. Civil War.

PETER-slave-from-new-orleans-1863-kasama edc82"What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?

"I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.

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by MIKE ELY

Glen writes:

"what about the terms 'semi-feudal' and 'semi-colonialism'? do what extent to these terms still hold. ie Is India 'semi-colonial, semi-feudal' in the way that the Indian Maoists describe correct? if not, how to describe India."

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by MIKE ELY

Glen writes:

"to what extent are the terms 'first world' and 'third world' still relevant?" What is the 'second world'?"

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"We and Mike don’t disagree on the need to do whatever is possible to create opposition to imperialism everywhere we can with the First World, and do so in a way to lead to revolution; that is precisely the goal RAIM sets for itself and hopes to carry out in a united front with other communists and whoever can be united. We do however think Mike’s glossing over the imperialist nature of the US class structure is counter-productive for communists; we wish to follow the principle of “going lower and deeper among the masses”, and without a compass we can’t know where lower and deeper actually is."

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This  is one of the most substantive essays to emerge out of the ongoing debate over whether a potential revolutionary social base exists in the U.S. By publishing it here, Kasama is not endorsing these views, but hoping that readers can more easily study it and comment. Its views have not yet been engaged in the discussion so far, and hopefully that  can happen.

The essay originally appeared on Anti-Imperialism. And it is associated with the views of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement (RAIM).

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Image above from the opening days of the Maoist revolutionary attempt in Peru. Young peasant fighters led by the Communist Party of Peru (Shining Path).

by MIKE ELY

In the nearby No Cheap Shots thread, John initiated an important issue. He writes:

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by MIKE ELY

In August 2002, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell warned his boss, George W. Bush, that in their coming invasion of Iraq:

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Nick Brown has been complaining  vocally, that Kasama has not addressed the politics and work of RAIM in the current ongoing discussions of errors and rightism surrounding Third Worldism.

RAIM (Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement) is a small Third-Worldist left grouping with a presence online and in a couple of cities.

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by MIKE ELY

We have been engaged over the last period in a series of exchanges with forces who hold very different views from us. Which is fine. And we (in Kasama) are also engaged in some protracted and detailed discussions over how to expand our basis of unity -- and what to uphold.

For both of those purposes it is worth discussing method:

  • How should we debate?
  • What methods serve the goals of clarity and unity around a revolutionary politics?
  • How should we respond when opponents distort arguments or inject toxic forms of hostility?
  • What is our purpose when engaging in deep discussion of controversies?

I want to argue for (what Maoists call) the high plane of two line struggle

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This essay is part of a series over whether there is a basis for building a communist movement, and a mass movement for socialism, within the U.S.  over the political economy of the U.S. working class, and over whether there are class forces in the U.S. who might potential form a social base for socialist revolution.

It follows Part 1 on working class exploitation, and Part 2  "Identifying a potentially revolutionary social base."

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Everything about this typical liberal response accepts the framework of this system: its wars, its military, its values, its judgements.


swap chatter e1536

 

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This essay is part of an exchange over the political economy of the U.S. working class, and over whether there are class forces in the U.S. who might potential form a social base for socialist revolution.

Part 1 of this is entitled "Working class exploitation in the U.S and the error of "parasitism" theory" and appeared here on Kasama. Leading Light Communist Organization responded with an essay "Reply to Mike Ely's Gut."

Here in Part 2, I respond to some of the argument made by Leading Light.

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The Spanish King Juan Carlos has abdicated. He is infamous for supporting the fascist dictatorship of General Franco, and propping up conservative capitalism in the "post-Franco" period.

The question is raised: "What's next?"

Here is a guillotine erected at the anti-monarchist, pro-republic rallies . 

Answer delivered. Any other questions?

This essay is part of an exchange over the political economy of the U.S. working class, and over whether there are class forces in the U.S. who might potential form a social base for socialist revolution.

 Leading Light Communist Organization responded with an essay "Reply to Mike Ely's Gut."

Then in Part 2 I respond to their arguments in "Parasitism Theory: Identifying a potentially revolutionary social base."

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by MIKE ELY

I have heard of a teenage working class activist (some years ago) threatened by the cops. In a housing project, they pinned him in the back of their squad car and held a gun to his head. They barked out questions about the movement.

Later, he said to us "I had to tell them, they had the gun pointed at me."

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Intro by Mike Ely

Yesterday, i caught a headline that a mining company in West Virginia had been cited for a "pattern of violations."  The newspaper report report noted that there had been "158 "significant and substantial" violations at Fork Creek No. 1 from September 2012 to August 2013." (158!)

Sometimes the mind rebels at the madness put out by the mainstream media. Because they would accept (and announce) that this was some special case, a case where some specific mine has some special "pattern of violations."

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