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Daniel Bensaïd, Charlie Hebdo (Charb) and Tariq Ali.

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 Daniel Bensaïd: Illustrated by Charlie Hebdo Editor, ‘Charb’.

More on Marx, mode d’emploi (2009) on Contretemps.

Book Launch (Daniel and Charb)

Yesterday the Verso Spring catalogue arrived.

Amongst the books they present it this one:

Bensaid_-_impatient_life-max_221

Published February 2015.

“France’s leading Marxist public intellectual.” –Tariq Ali.

And this – which indicates a lot about the ideology of Verso and New Left Review.

Delphy_-_dominating_others-max_221

Verso Books.

To announce this book’s publication Verso have put this on their site by Christine Delphy (from 2007).

Religion: a private affair? A rebuttal of a commonplace idea by Christine Delphy.

The introduction by Mike Watson says,

“Among other forms of intellectual, ethical and political regression, since the massacres of 7–9 January we’ve seen a brutal and authoritarian neo-laïcisme [French state secularism] coming back into force. And let’s say it frankly: it’s targeted against Muslims. Indeed, this neo-laïcisme radically subverts whatever may have been emancipatory about secularist thought and legislation between 1880 and 1905. More particularly, today we’re again hearing the absurd refrain about the supposedly secularist need for religion to stay ‘personal’ and ‘limited to the private sphere’.

For all these reasons, we thought it opportune to republish a short but punchy history lesson, taken from a book whose title [Un universalisme si particulier; ‘A very particular universalism’] is, unfortunately, once again very much relevant.”

It begins, with her statement,

Though it is a constant element of laïcard [aggressively secularist, in an atheist key] propaganda, the idea that religion belongs to the ‘private sphere’ is rarely contested. No one ever defines this ‘private sphere’: the term ‘private’ has many different definitions depending on the context, including as regards law. The laïcards are anti-Muslim, and mask their opposition to this particular religion in claiming to be opposed to all religions.

This text (above)  is translated by David Broder.

We stumble here. David fails to note that ‘laïcard’ is by definition pejorative – it’s as if we start by saying that “Islamophobics are hostile to Islam”. That is what the suffix, ‘ard‘ means, as in Trotscard. This is argument by assertion.

It is used by the enemies of laïcite (secularism).

It is hard to see that anybody hostile to secularism ever saw anything ’emancipatory (or there ‘may have been’ something good) about it.

It is the language of the enemies of secular freedom, from the Catholic far-right onwards.

Just as the enemies of Trotskysim call Trotskyists – in French – Trotscards . 

It is true that some on the French far-left (a small minority) also use the term.

To analyse the article seriously is not worth while.

It is essentially a sustained rant, whose quality can be judged by this statement,

The laïcards don’t attack freedom of expression, but defend it; and they would even be right to do so, if only they weren’t so selective. For them, this right is absolute when it comes to ridiculing Muslims and Islam, but not when you draw a policeman with a pig’s nose, which is a grave insult against the state – indeed, it’s close to blasphemous

It ends with this hysterical scream.

Is this country doomed to stumble from one form of intolerance to another? Will atheism become a new state religion, while those who believe in a god or gods will become the new ‘freethinkers’ – hounded, persecuted and imprisoned?

If Verso thinks this kind of statement is worth reproducing – and the following obscure ruminations about sects (his dada) by former Comités communistes pour l’autogestion (CCA) member Didier Leschi – then they are in a bit of a pickle. 

This all leads us to ask about Christine Delphy’s politics. These are well known. She has some very reactionary views (against civil/gay marriage on the grounds that it is a ‘bourgeois’ institution), and is associated with figures in the orbit of the Muslim Brotherhood, Tariq Ramadan and has vauinted the British education system as a model, far better than French laïcité at accommodating Islam (indeed!) (More here).

The above text comes from the L’Indigène de la république site and this is her background with this group:

“In 2004-2005, she participated in the birth of the movement, the ‘indigènes de la République’.” (French Wikipedia).

We have covered them before, a homophobic, anti-laïcard (an expression we note with origins on the extreme right and Christian believers), the militant wing of post-colonial studies pretending to be the voice of the ‘banlieue’.

Here is one notorious example of their thinking:

Houria Bouteldja principal speaker of the  Indigènes de la République  « le mode de vie homosexuel n’existe pas dans les quartiers populaires

The homosexual way of life does not exist in working class and deprived areas.” (from here).

The Charnal House writes more widely on the groupuscle,

Marxism? Enlightenment? Universalism? Rationality? All inventions of the decadent bourgeois West, apparently. Bouteldja situates her own indigenous perspective somewhere in the rarefied epistemic space of radical alterity. Decolonial thought, she contends, “defied the imposed margins: the margins of enlightenment thinking, of western rationalism/rationality, of Marxism, of universalism, of republicanism.” She therefore implores her fellow indigènes to “resist the ideology of White universalism, human rights, and the Enlightenment.” In Bouteldja’s view, the “the cold rationality of the Enlightenment leads…to the fanaticism of market and capitalist reason,” and engenders an “outrageous and arrogant narcissism to universalize historical processes (i.e., secularism, the Enlightenment, Cartesianism) that were geographically and historically located in Western Europe.” Karl Marx himself was nothing more than a white, Eurocentric chauvinist when he dismissed religion as the opiate of the masses. “There are societies which don’t need the separation between the Church and the State, and for which religion is not a problem,” Bouteldja has written. “Religion is not the opium of the people.”

This is Tariq Ali’s comment (26th January)  on the Charlie Hebdo and Kosher supermarket massacres,

How serious is Islamophobia in France and other European countries?

France is the worst in Europe and tries to mask it by proclaiming its secular values (sound familiar?), but these values don’t apply to Islam. In fact, French secularism means anything but Islam. And when satirical magazines taunt them, they react. It’s as simple as that.

It is not expected that Verso has reproduced these cartoons by our murdered comrade Charb that appeared in Marx Mode d’emploi to illustrate the Daniel Bensaïd book.

https://i2.wp.com/www.politis.ch/carnets/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/blvspavbun14pnqfhmlzgl7vo1_500.jpg

 

 

42 Responses

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  1. If we look at what is going on in the Middle East today, the war between the Sunni and the Shia, then that is a very strong argument for a secualr society. By the way, that picture ilooks like it should be on the cover of ‘Fifty Shades of Gray’. Tells you something about the fashionista mindset of these clever things.

    Sue R

    March 28, 2015 at 1:17 pm

  2. 1) homosexuality is not, in itself, something which the working classes as a whole champion. it is an obsession of certain left elites, such as the guardian.
    2) with the exception of middle class intellectuals, it is not considered widely important.
    3) gay marriage equality is not really a human right.
    4) we live in a topsy turvy world, which in some ways disproves marx. ie the dominant ideas of the ruling class are not religious, they are secular, pro homosexual, pro abortion etc.

    to put it bluntly, marx is not entirely relevant anymore; he is partly relevant, partly dated.
    charlie hebdo doesnt mean anything to most working class people in france or elsewhere. it is irrelevant. the right of gay men to have children is not something most people, working class and especially of 3rd world origin, are going to accept. you just have to accept that.

    dave

    March 28, 2015 at 1:38 pm

  3. Oh no I don’t!

    Andrew Coates

    March 28, 2015 at 1:51 pm

  4. actually, no you dont have to accept it. but it is, or seems to me, the reality.
    but in particular, i am genuinely curious to know your thoughts, if the ‘dominant ideas of the epoch’ are the ‘ideas of the ruling class’, the is it correct to say that the dominant ideas of our epoch are precisely leftist liberal multicultural secular atheistic and materialistic.

    gay marriage equality is a very radical move pushed forward by the Conservatives. are you allowed to reject this? not in liberal left political circles, which are not really oppressed in any real sense. there is no right for gay men to have children at all, and thankfully, most of the world doesnt accept this law. it could be that it is the west that are wrong on this issue.

    this issue is obviously a different one to class struggle; marx has something to say, but what he has to say also limited.

    dave

    March 28, 2015 at 2:05 pm

  5. No sign of ‘Charlie Hebdo had it coming to them’, Tariq Ali.

    Andrew Coates

    March 28, 2015 at 5:06 pm

  6. Sections of the so-called “left” exemplified by Christine Delphi and Tariq Ali, now openly attack and denounce Enlightenment ideas, secularism and rationality itself, and increasingly openly promote religion (primarily Islam) as somehow progressive. Obviously, Marxism must be included in their attacks on Enlightenment values and secularism At least Delphi does this openly: the craven Tariq Ali still (as far as I’m aware) claims to be some kind of “Marxist”.

    Jim Denham

    March 28, 2015 at 5:28 pm

  7. It’s a last gasp thing for Verso.

    In the case of the old New Left Guard, and their younger staff, it’s no doubt fuellled by fond memories of reading Baroness Orczy by torchlight in the prep school dormitory,and dreaming of rescuing maidens from the clutches of nasty French secularists.

    They have seized on people on their way out – Delphy is 74 years old. Sad, really, in the 1970s she was quite a secularist and a real feminist,

    Now the best she come out with is the above stuff about,wondering if “atheism become a new state religion”.

    Nobody takes the Indigènes seriously. For all their loud-mouthed shouting they are just post-colonial studies students.

    NLR has ended up in a dead-end.

    Andrew Coates

    March 28, 2015 at 5:42 pm

  8. those responsible for attacking ‘enlightenment values’ are not mainly Muslims or religious reactionaries. They have been undermined by ‘postmodernism//poststructuralism’ itself first. As these French tendencies emerged from the left itself, to a large extent, it is not surprising that Tariq Ali and others have an inconsistent view of religion and secularity.

    if you want to defend Enlightenment values, then define Enlightenment. Charlie Hebdo is not enough, nor much of an advert for good enlightenment values.

    NLR is at a dead end; thats true.

    marxism doesn’t have one registered copyright. tariq ali is a marxist, as you are, but just differ over some matters.

    dave

    March 28, 2015 at 6:12 pm

  9. also are ‘enlightenment values’ also ‘western values’? or are the terms to some extent interchangable?
    what to make of this; on the rap star macklemore who is promoting gay rights. it is not accepted by most of the people in hip hop as being authentic.

    dave

    March 28, 2015 at 6:21 pm

  10. what would you say to the rappers on the video? they are homophobes? or are they defending their culture from wealthy white liberal agenda which does not emerge from their culture at all .

    dave

    March 28, 2015 at 6:23 pm

  11. Unfortunate, especially insofar as I think Delphy’s one of the more interesting feminists to emerge from France. She was Simone de Beauvoir’s favorite of the younger generation. Recently she has drawn a lot of flak for her supposed transphobia, however, as she signed a letter urging open debate on questions of trans* identity.

    Ross Wolfe

    March 28, 2015 at 6:56 pm

  12. Ross – is ‘transphobia’ really a working class issue? or is it an extreme minority issue, and nothing more can be done than pass laws forbidding harassment. most working class people do not see ‘transphobia’ as their issue.

    dave

    March 28, 2015 at 7:26 pm

  13. The problem with “working class issues”, from the point of view of those in charge, is that they can cost a lot of money to address. So, for that matter, can certain race or sex equality issues, especially those relating to employment and welfare rights. The great thing about the sexophobias is that they are cheap. Since they are mainly about people’s attitudes rather than significant income or wealth redistribution, they are safe for the bosses, safe for the middle classes, and just perfect for any CEO or Tory MP who wants to look “right on”. And if they sow divisions among the have-nots, well, what’s not to like?

    Francis

    March 28, 2015 at 8:45 pm

  14. The neo-reactionaries, or are they paleo-reactionaries, are really crawling out from under their rocks now. This or that is ‘not a working class right’ or ‘shouldn’t be allowed’ … ‘god made Adam and Eve – not Adam and Steve’.

    It’s absolutely the stuff of fantasy that the ruling class supports LGTBIQ equality or abortion rights or even women’s equality. They pay lipservice to the notion of equality because public sentiment obliges them to do so. Anyone who is ignorant of the fact that there are homosexual and trans people in all social classes is either living in a biscuit tin or is deliberately promoting a reactionary agenda.

  15. demi-liberté demi-égalité demi-fraternité – the slogan of the neoreacts

  16. dave writes: “marxism doesn’t have one registered copyright. tariq ali is a marxist, as you are, but just differ over some matters.”

    This is going to be very crude and will no doubt, lay me open to all sorts of attack. But here goes …

    As a revolutionary socialist basing myself upon a Marxian view of the world, I am in favour of rationalism, secularism, atheism (though I would not make that a condition of joining the movement), and enlightenment values.

    I believe that only the working class can bring about socialism. I am therefore in favour of working class unity, which means equal rights for all people ,regardless of race, creed, colour, religion, sexuality, etc.

    I am against religion, irrationality, superstition of any kind, and any belief that one race, creed, gender (etc) is superior to any other.

    However, I do believe that my view of the world (Marxism) is superior to all others. Therefore I will argue for and fight (intellectually) for my view, and criticise, mock, disrespect and ridicule, other views.

    So-called “Marxists” (like Tariq Ali) who are not prepared to do this, are not Marxists at all, but relativists who can spout some pseudo-“Marxist” rhetoric.

    Being willing to think through your own political/philosophical stance, based upon reading, experience and inner consideration, and then to arrive at a provisional, working, conclusion is what is known as being a rational human being.

    Jim Denham

    March 28, 2015 at 11:06 pm

  17. The thing about “my class, right or wrong” types is that they don’t usually count everyone in that class as equally part of it, and usually are deeply reactionary against any kind of new developments within the class – whichever class they believe themselves to be defending uncritically.

    Sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re wrong. I can’t shed a tear about Auberon Waugh or Peregrine Worsthorne not having counted the teen and twentysomething future Cameronites as part of the class they increasingly selectively defended in their later years, even though those people were born and brought up entirely within that class, because even when compared to their predecessors within the same class, who had a much greater sense of ‘noblesse oblige’ and social conscience towards those less privileged, I don’t see those people’s values or outlook as remotely worth defending. But when Leftists talk about “the working class” but don’t count Stormzy or Scrufizzer – and are only interested in hip-hop to the extent that certain elements within it can be used to score points against the supposed bourgeois social Left, and would in any other circumstances be as bitterly and fearfully reactionary against the post-1980 black Atlantic as any Mailite – those are whole other and far more disturbing circumstances.

    Interesting how I defend the position that “the ruling class has changed, and therefore so should our position” when it comes to the Leftist position on the sort of rock music the Blairites grew up listening to (the stuff the Cameronites know best isn’t the same thing because it never had any real Left cred in the first place) but don’t take it over the matter of LBGT advancement. Obviously, I look at each case differently. I don’t really have a basic feeling over the former matter but I do in the latter example, so my judgement is different. To some extent I embrace the argument that rock music influenced neoliberalism but I don’t feel the same way about people having different sexual orientation. I don’t see the two as equals.

    But I certainly don’t think that simply because people are from a more marginalised group, their opinion must automatically be favoured over those accused of “appropriation”. That really is the enemy of reason. And without reason, we have no hope.

    februarycallendar

    March 29, 2015 at 12:05 am

  18. The thing about “my class, right or wrong” types is that they don’t usually count everyone in that class as equally part of it, and usually are deeply reactionary against any kind of new developments within the class – whichever class they believe themselves to be defending uncritically.

    Sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re wrong. I can’t shed a tear about Auberon Waugh or Peregrine Worsthorne not having counted the teen and twentysomething future Cameronites as part of the class they increasingly selectively defended in their later years, even though those people were born and brought up entirely within that class, because even when compared to their predecessors within the same class, who had a much greater sense of ‘noblesse oblige’ and social conscience towards those less privileged, I don’t see those people’s values or outlook as remotely worth defending. But when Leftists talk about “the working class” but don’t count Stormzy or Scrufizzer – and are only interested in hip-hop to the extent that certain elements within it can be used to score points against the supposed bourgeois social Left, and would in any other circumstances be as bitterly and fearfully reactionary against the post-1980 black Atlantic as any Mailite – those are whole other and far more disturbing circumstances.

    Interesting how I defend the position that “the ruling class has changed, and therefore so should our position” when it comes to the Leftist position on the sort of rock music the Blairites grew up listening to (the stuff the Cameronites know best isn’t the same thing because it never had any real Left cred in the first place) but don’t take it over the matter of LBGT advancement. Obviously, I look at each case differently. I don’t really have a basic feeling over the former matter but I do in the latter example, so my judgement is different. To some extent I embrace the argument that rock music influenced neoliberalism but I don’t feel the same way about people having different sexual orientation. I don’t see the two as equals.

    But I certainly don’t think that simply because people are from a more marginalised group, their opinion must automatically be favoured over those accused of “appropriation”. That really is the enemy of reason. And without reason, we have no hope at all.

    februarycallendar

    March 29, 2015 at 12:06 am

  19. hi jim

    the problem with what you say is that all the other marxists of whatever stripe say the same thing. i can see you have a rational thought out view of the world, but so does tariq ali, or any of the other leftist leaders such as Callinicos, Rees, etc. there are so many one and only true churches of jesus christ…

    redkorat- you are what is called a ‘totatolerant’ or ‘liberal totalitarian’. everybody is equal, and no argument can ever be had about it. if you dare to question it, then you are a reactionary etc. you only tolerate what you agree with; religion cannot be tolerated. i dont believe for a moment that two gay men should ever be allowed to either adopt or through costly and artificial means become parents. i honestly wonder how many abuse cases will be covered up with same sex parents… another rotherham is quite possible.

    the ruling class absolutely does promote a lgbtq agenda. this article is about a US sponsored LGBT event in pakistan.
    http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/07/05/156134.html

    african leaders and putin have also complained about this. you are blind if you seriously believe this agenda is about liberation of anyone. if anything, lgbt people are being used as pawns in a dangerous game.

    dave

    March 29, 2015 at 12:41 am

  20. the brilliant and controversial Sacha Baron Cohen makes excellent social commentary in this clip of Bruno and his ‘son’ OJ.

    which is probably the reason for songs like this:

    dave

    March 29, 2015 at 12:49 am

  21. dave or jackson or whatever you are calling yourself today: ‘blah blah, soecial pleading for entrenched/arbitrary/authoritarian power, and a very vile libel and nasty bit of bigotry throen in for good measure’

  22. this punk song is also good, and is proper working class music.

    dave

    March 29, 2015 at 12:56 am

  23. I made a long post earlier which has not appeared. Is there any chance that it will?

    “Proper working class music” – would you say that about this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQxpXBG2fqs

    februarycallendar

    March 29, 2015 at 1:10 am

  24. Comrade Feb, yeah comments are getting crunched. Maybe third time lucky…

    dave or jackson or whatever you are calling yourself today: ‘blah blah, special pleading for entrenched/arbitrary/authoritarian power, and a vile libel and very nasty bit of bigotry thrown in for good measure’

    redkorat☭ (@red_korat)

    March 29, 2015 at 2:37 am

  25. Comments get sent to the Spam box for no reason that I can discern.

    I am interested in Ross Wolfe’s comments about Delphy’s ‘transphobia’.

    This is the big issue now in some quarters.

    “Against Socialist Resistance’s Hosting of Transphobes.”

    “‘I’ve been to prison and I’ve been raped by men — straight men!’ In these words at her speech to the 1973 Christopher Street Liberation Day Rally, Sylvia Rivera outlined the conditions still faced by trans women today. Trans women suffer primarily at the hands of men, yet much of the feminist movement passes over this patriarchal violence in silence. A fixated minority within the movement is uncontent even with this, and actively contributes to the villainization of their trans sisters.

    To read a piece written by a feminist refusing solidarity with trans women has sadly become quite unsurprising. From its false distinction between trans women and feminists, to its insinuation that trans women are the agents of men (rather than all too often their victims), the piece ‘Trans women and feminism: why is there a debate?’ is quite typical. This kind of analysis can be found everywhere from the opinion columns of mass publication newspapers, to obscure blogs run by dedicated anti-trans hate groups.

    What is unusual is firstly that this document, and its defenders, style themselves as ‘materialist feminists’, and secondly that the piece was commissioned by a leftist group: the UK’s ‘Socialist Resistance’ (an affiliate of the Fourth International). We reject the idea that this framing for debate — as “feminists” versus “trans activists” — is representative, either of reality, or of a materialist feminist approach to the topic.

    We reject the idea that solidarity with trans women is a legitimate topic for “debate.” We do not see extending support to the many trans women fearing for their lives on an everyday basis as a topic for discussion. We do not accept contributions to the debate which elide the central aspect of male brutality in the name of crude bodily and decidedly ahistorical “materialism’. We do not accept excuses from leftist groups who host these efforts, in the name of ‘open discussion’.”

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/against-socialist-resistances-hosting-of

    Richard Seymour has signed this petition.

    What more needs to be said about what side to take in this dispute?

    Back Socialist Resistance!

    Andrew Coates

    March 29, 2015 at 11:19 am

  26. Of course, the relative cheapness of sexophobia issues works both ways – people with power who want to look “right on” can champion them; other people with power (and there are many more of them around the world) who want to deflect people’s attention into harmless (to them) channels can use them to create moral panics. Russia’s ruling elite has been rather successful in doing that in recent years.

    Francis

    March 29, 2015 at 11:21 am

  27. Always nice to be told what I mean to say, yeah well I shit in the mouth of your non-existent god.

  28. It’s easy to say, but I’ll say it, when there’s fights like the Kurdish struggle against ISIS going on, it’s also convenient that some parts of the left (and not just students) get involved in disputes about identity rather than taking sides on this issue.

    Pretty obviously that is an easier option.

    They are unable to deal with the PKK and its Syrian wing without creating more enduring internal splits: apart from being secular (that is in their eyes, “laïcard”) is prepared in cases of dire need to call on the US for air strikes.

    Incidentally, Jim, Tariq Ali is calling for a Green Vote this time: he’s dropped the Liberal Democrats he backed in the past (2005).

    http://www.lynnefeatherstone.org/2005/03/tariq-ali-urges-a-vote-for-lib-dems.htm

    Apparently he abstained in 2010.

    To many people this sounds like the voting behaviour pattern of a Guardian columnist, ‘Marxist’ or not.

    Andrew Coates

    March 29, 2015 at 12:29 pm

  29. ” Christine Delphy’s politics. These are well known. She has some very reactionary views (against civil/gay marriage on the grounds that it is a ‘bourgeois’ institution),”

    This is kindof the position of the former Australian PM, Julia Gillard. She claims it’s an old feminist anti-marriage as institution position [see http://www.smh.com.au/comment/gillard-take-on-samesex-marriage-had-new-ring-20131001-2uqn2.html%5D

    There are also some gay men who argue against marriage as a political priority, or a bourgeois one [eg Fagburn, who’s a gay tankie Belieber]. The history is that gay marriage really became an issue because of arguments advanced by gay conservatives, most notably Andrew Sullivan. I don’t agree with the anti-equal marriage people because marriage as an institution is the real world and everyone, poor lesbians included, needs the benefits which flow from it.

    Regarding Dave’s various rants backing up this gay = bourgeois crapola. Needs to get a copy of Pride, the story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners and learn some shit about solidarity.

    I can recall hearing twats like Dave at that time. There was a guy from Militant who got involved and left Militant because of their Dave-type BS, interview is online somewhere.

    Paul Canning

    March 29, 2015 at 1:08 pm

  30. Just on Davey’s attempt to coopt Authentic Street Young Blacks to his cause, vis rap. The answer, you idiot, is that there are plenty of other Authentic Street Young Blacks who would tell these Authentic Street Young Blacks where they’re wrong. Setting up Authentic Street Young Blacks against White Rappers MAcklemore ain’t going to fly.

    This stuff has been going on within rap since the beginning. Heck, a number of the most famous rappers from my time actually were gay! That they were closeted became a thing and that famous rappers began arguing for gay rights is now a big thing. As is openly gay rappers.

    Dave The Desperate …

    Paul Canning

    March 29, 2015 at 1:26 pm

  31. To say that gay adoption will lead to “another Rotherham” is straight-up bigotry. I’d say ignorance but really it’s the worst, the sickest, kind of homophobia which has always lead with the idea that gays harm children.

    The idea that gay issues are marginal to working class people because gays are a minority ignores their families, the friends, their comrades. It is saying that all those other people *because they are working class* will have no interest in their fellows rights and issues. It is calling working class people lumpen. As I have previously reported, this does not represent the evidence regarding working class people or any other group put forward as somehow intrinsically hostile to gay rights. This extends to UK Muslims who have been shown in surveys to have a religious objection to homosexuality *yet accept the concept of non-discrimination*.

    I could go on about the stupid of claiming Putin as some sort of Alternative World Leader for Family Values …

    Paul Canning

    March 29, 2015 at 1:46 pm

  32. “It’s easy to say, but I’ll say it, when there’s fights like the Kurdish struggle against ISIS going on, it’s also convenient that some parts of the left (and not just students) get involved in disputes about identity rather than taking sides on this issue.” – Andrew

    I think you are being a bit unfair to Socialist Resistance, Andrew. They are one of the few left groups who have been solid behind the Kurds against ISIS.

    http://socialistresistance.org/6529/defend-kobane-against-isis

    And their comrades in Denmark voted to send military aid to the Kurds –

    “The parliamentary group of the Red-Green Alliance (RGA – Enhedslisten) voted together with all out parties for sending a Hercules airplane to Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government. The plane will transport weapons and ammunition to the Kurdish militias fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).”

    http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article3601

    John R

    March 29, 2015 at 3:38 pm

  33. I was indulging in a sweeping generalisation John.

    What you say it absolutely true about Socialist Resistance, one of whose members has been active in Haringey with the latest Kurdish protests from the word go.

    The same is true of many I(not all, see Caliphate John) people in Left Unity such as Salman Shaheen who has praised the heroism of the Kurds.

    I was thinking of the creepy types around Socialist Action, SWP, Counterfire, StWC, and those in the current NUS leadership and elsewhere in the labour movement, who have prevented the NUS from taking a clear stand on the Kurdish issue.

    Andrew Coates

    March 29, 2015 at 3:45 pm

  34. Thanks to Paul for saying a lot of things I wanted to say but couldn’t say so clearly / instantly understandably.

    februarycallendar

    March 29, 2015 at 5:04 pm

  35. redkorat says: “well I shit in the mouth of your non-existent god.” that offensive and religiophobic.

    Paul- not really. this is what you want, it is not reality. lgbtq culture is a western invention and export. deviant sexual practices have always been, but they were not recognised as equal, because they are not. it is the west vs the rest on this issue.

    also, you should look as groups such as nambla in the US and PIE in the UK, there has been an agenda to legitimise paedophilia from the lgbtq community. you cannot write this out because it doesnt suit your own agenda. see this: there are many more documented instances.

    dave

    March 29, 2015 at 6:20 pm

  36. Using the word “deviant”.

    Equating the majority of the modern-day Left with a minority in an entirely different time (four decades ago).

    How does this differ from the bearpit of Mail Online comments, exactly?

    februarycallendar

    March 29, 2015 at 7:11 pm

  37. @ Paul

    Indeed, Gillard would have made life much easier for herself if she had expressed her reasons for opposition to marriage equality more explicitly from the beginning. While I have no problem with her logic, while we have the institution of marriage, I must also support marriage equality (and I don’t recall her agitating against hetero marriage in any statement inside or outside the House either).

    Isn’t talking about Tariq Ali fascinating?

    redkorat☭ (@red_korat)

    March 29, 2015 at 8:03 pm

  38. Dave, you are nothing but a homophobic thug. A low life. I would hope and assume that anyone claiming to be ‘left’ would shun you as poisonous. It’s a cliche but move to Russia, join the ‘anti pedophiles’ thugs there who seek gay youth online to torture and pour urine on. You’d be right at home.

    Either that, Dave, or you’re actually mentally ill. Obsessed with the evils of deh gaze … or just obsessed with bum sex.

    Shudder.

    I’ve no probs with ‘platforming’ Davey either, Andrew. Better to hear this screw loose shit and counter speech with speech.

    On that subject, just a comment on the no platforming of ‘transphobes’. I don’t agree with Greer et al either but note that there are numerous trans activists who disagree with no platforming. Jane Fae springs to mind but there are others. Maybe mention that to those claiming to be protecting the poor, ‘marginalised’ trans people.

    These kids who think they invented activism … ya didn’t. Listen to this ancient queen, Larry Kramer (look it up if you DON’T KNOW WHO TAFOOK HE IS) talking about the attempted genocide of gay men and other minorities.

    Paul Canning

    March 29, 2015 at 11:19 pm

  39. Dave, I could go out and dig up countless statements supporting gay rights from the ‘global south’ from leaders and socialists and progressives. But I’d rather you do that.

    What sprang right into mind though was Coretta Scott King. You spit on me, you spit on her. Think on.

    1996 Atlanta Gay Pride Festival Speech by Coretta Scott King

    (and you spit on Bayard Rustin, try looking him up.)

    Paul Canning

    March 29, 2015 at 11:41 pm

  40. “The great thing about the sexophobias is that they are cheap. Since they are mainly about people’s attitudes rather than significant income or wealth redistribution, they are safe for the Labour left, safe for the middle classes, and just perfect for any council leader or soft-left wanna-be MP who wants to look “right on” and get their seat in parliament”

    dagmar's mid-1980s time machine

    March 30, 2015 at 7:40 pm


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