Return to Home Page


Archives


      
Jump to:
 
     
      
(Or just scroll down to browse.)
We Free Political Prisoners
to Free Ourselves
     
by Matt Meyer

Remember Malcolm, who told us that “America” means “prison!”

Then remember Martin, perhaps the most famous person in the history of the USA, someone who is now beloved by the establishment, or at least apparently so, because of nonviolence, integration, Montgomery and Selma—though I would say that it’s a very selective love, because they choose not to mention the things they dislike so strongly about Martin: his book Why We Can’t Wait, his opposition to the Vietnam war, his militant resistance to racism, classism, and militarism in general. Here, after all, is a leader who was constantly in prison, and ultimately assassinated, because of his political activities and beliefs.

     

     

     

     
Greece, SYRIZA in Power,
and the Concept
of a "Workers' Government"
 
by Steve Bloom
October 2015

International Viewpoint has published a compilation of articles on Greece and the failure of SYRIZA (http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?breve143). In the present comment I want to deal mainly with the contribution by Alan Thornett, titled “The capitulation of Tsipras leadership and the role of ‘left europeanism’” (http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article4217). We will look, in particular, at Thornett’s assertion that the SYRIZA government was, at least potentially, an example of a “workers’ government”—as that concept was developed by the Comintern in a set of theses adopted at its third congress in 1922. I will assert that Thornett’s approach reflects both a misunderstanding of the Comintern’s text and a disorientation regarding the SYRIZA government itself. 
     


On the 2015 Greek Elections
(and Revolutionary History)
     
by Steve Bloom
 
1) "Thinking Out Loud About Greece"
 
Here is how I would now formulate my frustration with last night's event, pending comment from you and, perhaps, discussion with others:
  
1) The primary conversation was about how Syriza will maneuver, now that it has governmental power, in the face of European capital—German capital in particular. There are two camps in that debate:
  
* Some assess what has already happened, along with future possibilities, in the usual bourgeois-parliamentary or bourgeois-diplomatic terms. This is a completely unrealistic assessment, since posed in this way Syriza's options are most constrained and its negotiating power the weakest.
  
* Others pose the necessity of promoting mass mobilization and an even more radical programmatic stance (nationalizing the banks, for example, or putting a break from the Euro on the table in discussions with the EU) as a way of strengthening Syriza's bargaining position and ability to maneuver--but still in a bourgeois-parliamentary or bourgeois-diplomatic context. This is better, but I would say that it stops half-way in terms of what is actually needed.
 
2) "The 'Workers' Government,' the Communist International, and the Greek Elections"
    
The 2015 Greek election has thrilled the world. An entire nation stands up today, for once, and shakes its fist at the imperial monster saying: “our lives are more important than your profit.” It’s a good feeling. And it feels good to feel good for a change.
    
But we cannot allow ourselves to simply feel good. We also have to prepare for what is coming next: the attempt which the imperial monster will initiate to punish the people of Greece for their effrontery. This is a powerful beast, with many sharp talons in its claws, many weapons at its disposal—economic, political, and (if all else fails) military weapons. The imperialist rulers are experienced in using all of these weapons, and they use them with the arrogance of a social force that expects to win, because they are used to winning.
 
We are not used to winning but we do have the power to win if we can develop a winning strategy. Such a strategy is unlikely to emerge, however, unless we concern ourselves in a rigorous way with the lessons that can be derived from all of the defeats we have suffered (and the few victories) over the last 100 years."
    

        

     

     

The Impact of the Black Struggle on Puerto Rican Immigrants
Racist Oppression Gives Rise to Solidarity
 

by Carlito Rovira
February 2010

The historical struggle of the African American people was the inevitable consequence of the introduction of slavery by capitalists in the Western Hemisphere. The collective experience of the African American people over the course of many generations ran parallel to the development of U.S. capitalism at every stage. Their plight, from the era of the slave trade to the present day, reveals the inherent oppression within capitalism.

Racist terror, degradation, and discrimination were the objective circumstances that compelled into existence the militant tradition of resistance in the African American masses. Their steadfastness in many key moments in history proved exemplary to the U.S. working-class movement, and particularly to other oppressed nationalities. African American history is replete with displays of genuine solidarity with other liberation struggles. The Black press, the Black church and outspoken African American figures such as W.E.B. DuBois, openly condemned the motives behind the 1898 Spanish-American War. The U.S. government and giant banking enterprises sought military conflict with Spain to win colonial control of Guam, the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.


Read More   Download PDF     

     
     
     

  The "Struggle for Organizational Hegemony" 
on the Left—A Formula for Failure

by Steve Bloom
     

It is hard for anyone to avoid noting the fragmented condition of the revolutionary left: multiple small groups each competing with all others for influence and recruits. There are many and complex reasons for this state of affairs. To some extent it does represent genuine and important political disagreements on questions such as how to orient toward contemporary struggles, what strategic path to follow to promote revolution, what forces constitute the revolutionary subject in contemporary society, who are the primary allies, what ideologies should be promoted and which ones combated, plus many similar issues.
     
But there is one factor which has generated considerable fragmentation and which, in my view, ought to be theoretically discarded: The idea that there can be one, and only one, organization that has a truly revolutionary outlook, that this organization with the correct revolutionary outlook is the one I belong to, and that the most essential goal, therefore, is to battle for the organizational hegemony of my group. All other organizations on the left represent the enemy, either actively or by default. 

Read More  Download PDF