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Posts Tagged ‘Imperialism

Jeff Monson, Pugilist, to Speak at Tankie Fest of the Year.

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US Red-Brown ‘Anti-imperialist’ Front.

Full marks to Michael P, Ace Spotter.

Friends & Comrades,

The International Institute for the Study of Empire & Revolution (IISER) has appointed a five-person Provisional Leadership Committee.

This committee is working together to create the organizational foundation for a successful and influential anti-imperialist think tank.

Please stay tuned.

In Solidarity,

The IISER Provisional Leadership Committee.


Speaker, David Courter:

Speaker, Christopher Helai.

Editor’s note: Christopher Helali is the international secretary of the Party of Communists USA and a PhD candidate in philosophy and China Government Scholar for Sino-U.S. Cultural Communication at Tongji University.

China, a strong upholder of peace and stability under CPC leadership. July 2022.

“The CPC over the course of 101 years has proven that it is capable of providing the leadership and resources to continue to build a better world for all. .”

This lot organised as the ‘Provisional Leadership Committee’, who may provisionally described as utter filth, seem to have madman pugilist Jeff Monson in their tow.

May 2022. The American MMA fighter who became a Russian wartime propagandist.

Last month, the All-Russia People’s Front—a political coalition started by Russian President Vladimir Putin—posted several videos featuring American MMA fighter Jeff Monson.

Entitled “Top Truth: Donbass,” the videos saw Monson regurgitate Kremlin disinformation regarding Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. Dressed in a simple brown v-neck shirt, the former UFC title challenger claimed that Russia was not interested in occupying Ukraine and that its only intention is to rid the country of fascism.

“I have friends in Europe who think Russia is the bad guy or Russia is the aggressor that is trying to attack Ukraine, take over Ukraine, occupy Ukraine, which is absolute nonsense,” Monson said on the video, which was published on the coalition’s Telegram channel. “Russia doesn’t have the desire nor the economic or military capacity to hold a country that doesn’t want to be held. They are trying to help the people of Donbas and are trying to rid Ukraine of Nazis and fascism.”

Jeffrey William Monson (born January 18th 1971) is an American-Russian mixed martial artist who competes primarily in the Heavyweight division.

Wikipedia.

Monson is an anarcho-communist. He presently hosts a multi-platform (TV/social media) political and social commentary program on RT called, Monson TV.[5]

In 2015, Monson sought Russian citizenship, citing that he felt “Russian in spirit.”[28] He was granted Russian citizenship in 2018 by President Vladimir Putin.[29]

In April 2016, Monson expressed his desire to join the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in a video appeal to the party and praised socialism as “the only way as a human species that we’re going to survive.”[30] Soon after, he was invited to meet Communist Party of the Russian Federation leader Gennady Zyuganov in his office in the State Duma, where they discussed the future of communism in Russia and globally.[31] Monson later led a procession across Red Square into Lenin’s Mausoleum together with Zyuganov dedicated to the anniversary of Vladimir Lenin‘s birth.[32] He was appointed as a special representative for international cooperation by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation‘s Sport Club in June 2016.[33]

Monson was the subject of a party political advertisement released in the run-up to the 2016 State Duma Elections.[34]

Jeff Monson and Ambassador of Zimbabwe to the Russian Federation Mike Nicholas Sango in Moscow.

In an interview, Monson stated his political views as follows: “I am an anarchist, someone who would like to do away with all class hierarchy in society and the institutions that promote this inequality.”[35]

In solidarity, Monson is also a member of the Industrial Workers of the World.[36]

On September 11, 2016, Monson announced on Twitter that he had become a citizen of the Luhansk People’s Republic to support local people who suffered in the War in Ukraine.[3] He was made an honorary citizen of the Republic of Abkhazia in October 2016 for “supporting nations striving for self-determination.”[4]

On September 9, 2018, Monson was elected to the City’s Duma (local city parliament) of Krasnogorsk, a city located near Moscow. Monson won the mandate as a candidate on the list of the ruling party “United Russia,” which nominated him without membership in the party. In order to be able to carry out the mandate, Monson had to give up his American citizenship in accordance with Russian law.[37][38]

Monson has expressed explicit support of 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine.

All we have is tubby former Boxer John Wight, fellow multipolarist, Morning Star Stalwart, one time RT chap, supporter of the CCP, and author of this classic of the workers’ movement, Metrosexuals, “Four men, successful professionals in Edinburgh in the run up to the 2008 crash, are obsessed with shopping, achieving the perfect body, and sex.”

Written by Andrew Coates

December 9, 2022 at 12:39 pm

The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World. Kehinde Andrews. Review: “A fraudulent portait of the Enlightenment”. 

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“Kant “used his ‘intellect’ to devise way to inflict torture on Africans.”

The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World  Kehinde Andrews.

Thomas Clarkson (1760 – 1846) was one of the greatest of the abolitionists. In 1786 he published An essay on the slavery and commerce of the human species, particularly the African. In 1887 he helped found the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade. In contact with Abbé Gregoire, of the Société des amis des Noirs, which argued during the French Revolution for extending liberty, equality and fraternity to the colonised and abolishing slavery, he took a keen interest in debates on this in the Assemblée Nationale. He had reports published,  “two researchers, Andrew Coates and David Jones, have recently unearthed a long series of unsigned articles about French events and the Haitian Revolution which Clarkson quietly sent to the provincial newspaper in Ipswich, Suffolk.” (English Abolition: The Movie. Adam Hochshild.) The articles burn with enthusiasm for Enlightenment ideals, for popular rule and for human rights. For revolts against slavery Clarkson had nothing but solidarity.

Early in 1792 abolitionist leader Thomas Clarkson insisted that while the French Revolution had presented the slaves with an opportunity to vindicate their humanity, the insurrection in Saint-Domingue could be attributed only to the slave trade and the oppressive system it produced. [Yet] despite the radical principles of the French Revolution, there was awareness that the French government, whose bankruptcy ignited the revolutionary crisis, drew crucial revenues from slave colonies; and that millions of French jobs in port cities like Bordeaux depended on the slave trade and the stability of the slave system. Thus the French slave trade continued to receive an official subsidy until 1793 – even after the abolition of the monarchy and the execution of Louis XVI.”

Slave Revolts in the French Colonies.

Sympathetic to domestic radical causes, which caused him difficulty during the period of British reaction against the Revolution, and the war with France, of great personal warmth, a friend of the essayist and poet Charles Lamb and his advanced circle, Clarkson is buried in Playford, near Ipswich under a monument that commemorates his life-long fight for freedom and equality. A street near the town centre is named after him.

“It is not possible to think of anything in the world, or indeed out of it, that can be held to be good without limitation except a good will.” declared Immanuel Kant (Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals 1785). Clarkson could be said, if we can apply this precept in the light of his extant biography, to have lived out his life on such a basis. On the evidence of The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World, whose opening chapter describes the German philosopher as a “violent and ugly racist”, the author, Kehinde Andrews, is limited to the worst of wills.

In the section flagged up as the “Enlightenment as white identity politics” the Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University, we hear of “so-called universal human rights” and their bond to “racial science”. Locke, Hume, Kant, Voltaire and Hegel are applaud for their heroic theories of individual rights and freedom. The only problem is that you cannot separate their theories of rights from their racism, which goes to the core of their intellectual output.” Having established this on the basis of an extensive knowledge of a few collections of excerpts from their works, and some secondary commentaries, Andrews declares, “The Enlightenment was a product of the first stage of Western imperialism, with slavery and colonialism clearing the ground for its intellectual project.” Kant “used his ‘intellect’ to devise way to inflict torture on Africans.” He “is one of the most important architects of the new age of Empire.”

The ill-featured philosopher of Königsberg had habits so regular that housewives could set their watches by his legendary afternoon walk, only interrupted once, the story has it, when news of the French Revolution reached him. His views on race, many argue, are incompatible with the universalism of his ethical framework. That much takes a moment’s reflection.

Exploring the theme in more depth, an authority on Kant, the American philosopher Allen W. Wood, argued, “Kantian anthropology is anything but a deterministic natural science of human behaviour conceived exclusively from the standpoint of a detached observer.””Kantian anthropology assumes from the start that humans are free…” (Kant’s Ethical Thought, 1999) Human history was marked above all was marked by “unsocial sociability”, “antagonism as the engine of history” and the growth of “socially productive powers” which Wood compares to Marx’s picture of class struggle and of economic development.

If Kant, in common with writers of his time, considered Europe as the “civilised world”, this needs exploring in more detail, Pauline Kleingeld, (Kant’s Second Thoughts on Race), has argued, “Kant is perfectly clear about the fact that he regards all ‘races’ as humans, as illustrated by the essay ‘Determination of the Concept of a Human Race’. Furthermore, “Kant changed his earlier views on the status ofnon-whites. The oft-defended thesis that Kant’s racism remained constant thus needs correction, and one should not use evidence from the 1780s in support of claims about his views in the 1790s” “Kant gave up the hierarchical view of the races in the context of his elaboration of his political theory and theory of right. The time when he changed his views on race falls within the period during which his political theory and philosophy of right underwent significant transformations, in the wake of the French Revolution. Examples of other important developments in Kant’s political theory around this time are his notion of citizenship, his republicanism, and the concept of cosmopolitan right.” In brief, the glow that had illuminated Thomas Clarkson touched the writer of a Critique of Pure Reason.

From such ideas it is hard to picture Kant as an inspiration behind present day “regimes of knowledge”. This, one takes, is a garbled reference to Michel Foucault’s picture of the relationship between savoir and puissance. How treating people as, in Kant’s immortal terms, ends in themselves, rather than means to an end, forms part of imperial rule, genocide and oppression, is not explained. Or of relevance to what Andrews asserts is a “global economy” “built in the image of White supremacy that was so neatly outlined by the Enlightenment thinkers” – even Johann Herder, one of their bitterest opponents, to whom the academic erects his own statue in this sombre Pantheon.

The New Age of Empire claims to “provide readers with a solid grounding in the 500-year history of racial capitalism – the enduring significance of the genocide of Native Americans, the transatlantic slave trade and European colonialism – as he works, convincingly, to reveal the “colonial logic and neocolonialism” still at play in the workings of contemporary global institutions such as the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO. ” – as a friendly reviewer put it in the Guardian.

It does nothing of the sort. The book is premised on a fraudulent portait of the Enlightenment, with “whiteness at the heart”. There is little in the way of explaining slavery’s relationship to capitalism, or economic processes, across the vast span of time that begins in antiquity, ancient Empires, and extends to the 20th century’s bonded labour that goes beyond the picture of a kind of racist ‘bounty’. transformed into commodities. That the wealth created in the “horrendous trade in human flesh helped create some of British industry fails to explain why people like Thomas Clarkson would campaign against it. Revolts against the violence of our imperial inheritance, are treated with a less than sketchy account of anti-colonial movements, and the struggles for national liberation. There is little less than nothing on homegrown opposition to Empire and support in Europe for these movements, (to widen from this book’s narrow English speaking focus there is this, amongst many studies, Histoire de l’anticolonialisme en France Claude Liauzau. 2011) Liazau begins from the contradiction between universal human rights, in the first declaration of the rights of Man, the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen de 1789, “Les hommes naissent et demeurent libres et égaux en droits”, and slavery, its abolition during the convention, its re-establishment under the Consulat and Napoléon. He outlines the glorious role of Toussaint l’ouverture, the Black Jacobin, inspired the revolutionary ideas of 1789, in fighting for the emancipation of slaves and the independence of what would become Haiti. Imprisoned and brought to France he died in 1803, in a French gaol in the Fort de Joux.

The immense historical condescension of a Professor of Black Studies may ignore Toussaint, but The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (1938)  of C.L.R. James remains inscribed on many of our hearts, as does this poem by William Wordsworth,

Though fallen thyself, never to rise again,
Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind
Powers that will work for thee; air, earth, and skies;
There’s not a breathing of the common wind
That will forget thee; thou hast great allies;
Thy friends are exultations, agonies,
And love, and man’s unconquerable mind.

TO TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE. 1803.

Themes, which continues to this time, with the Algerian war of national liberation still in living memory, illustrating the conflict between universal ideals and colonial logic, mark France and countries who had early empires, Britain, Holland, Germany, Spain and Portugal, not to mention the ever-present legacy of the Ottoman Caliphate. The present book, written from an anglo-centric and patriarchal standpoint marked by the author’s own cultural imperialism, imagines that the fight for human rights, which has extended across the globe, fails to notice the extension of the ‘rights’ from men to women, from the propertied to the properties, from the empires to colonies, to raie a whole spectrum of issues, driven the actions of people themselves, not books. It is significant that even within its limited sphere Andrews fails to mention Tom Paine’s Rights of Man, “The book appeared on March 13, 1791, and sold nearly a million copies. It was “eagerly read by reformers, Protestant dissenters, democrats, London craftsmen, and the skilled factory-hands of the new industrial north”  An indictment for seditious liberal followed, for both publisher and author, while government agents followed Paine and instigated mobs, hate meetings, and burnings in effigy. Paine was an abolitionist, calling slaves an “unnatural commodity”. Should Andrews ever become interested in the history of the working class radical movements in Europe and the independence of the US from Britain, and the wider fight for democracy, John Keane’s Tom Paine: A Political Life (2002) is a good place to start.

Post-colonial states politics across the world, from Asia and Africa to Latin America are shrunk because the “real power in the system is in the West”. His alternative to ‘Imperial democracy” is largely found in the USA and Britain. His cockles are warmed by DIY ‘new social movements’ Occupy, – a few sentences on the Arab Spring apart -, Jeremy Corbyn, and much more on the Black Lives Matter movement, which has yet to offer international solidarity with any cause in Africa. “Enlightenment narratives of science and progress as the solution to he world’s ills are still the foundation of the various branches of the left” laments Andrews. Scoring a happy rhyme he continues, “A narrow focus on full humanity for workers in the West, and merely the right to life or those in the Rest”.

What of the future? Andrews sighs, “When the centre of empire shifts to China, or robots take over production, it may well mean the West moves to its next stage. None of these developments will mean ending the racist political and economic system, and ay best they only offer a slightly more bearable format. “”How to “overhaul this wicked system” he asks.” Will violence consume the West, the “chickens come home to roots”? Environmental catastrophe looms. A “radical rethink is necessary for humanity to continue”. “Malcom” as he familiarly reminds us, “was right when he warned that it will be ‘the ballot or the bullet, liberty or death, freedom for everybody or freedom for nobody”.

Who is going to chose the targets of the bullet?

To the surprise of few Kehinde Andrews has launched a media career.

Wikipedia entry:

The New Age of Empire

Written by Andrew Coates

December 1, 2022 at 3:02 pm

As International Solidarity with Ukraine Grows, the Last Stand of Campism.

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A word that has come back into use recently is ‘campism’: “referring to the notion that the world is fundamentally divided into two camps, one imperialist and the other anti-imperialist.” Originally it referred to those who took the stand of the ‘Socialist’ states against the Western Imperialism. It was argued, by many New Left voices, that despite the bureaucracy and the repression of these regimes, that they were a counterweight, a stimulus to domestic welfare and security to buttress social support, and, a powerful force of support for the anti-colonial movements that continued to shake Western imperialist rule up till the 1970s. Evidence of much help, outside of Indochina and the far-East (a topic of enough complexity to need a book) from the Chinese Communist Party for anti-imperialism is scant, muddied by the conflict between Beijing and Moscow, and the former’s claims of “Soviet Social Imperialism.”

During the Cold War, Perry Anderson argued, reflecting a wider consensus, “Soviet foreign policy was essentially defensive: intransigent in its requirement of a security glacis in Eastern Europe to prevent any repetition of the invasion it had just suffered, no matter what degree of political or military repression was required to enforce this, but more than willing to ditch or hobble any revolution—in Greece or China—outside this zone that threatened to provoke trouble with a West plainly so much more powerful than itself.” (IMPERIUM. 2013)

The end of the Soviet regime in the USSR and Eastern Europe, has seen what passed as a planned socialist economy replaced in the Russian Federation by what is often called “Crony Capitalism”. This, whatever one may think of the term, does not look an economic motor for the expansion of a state with imperialist ambitions. In 2015 Anderson described President Putin, “Cornered by economic crisis and Western boycott, the regime has now fallen back on Russian nationalism as its ideological mainstay” (INCOMMENSURATE RUSSIA) The Russian President, he opined, is condemned to run with “the hare of a military cameralism (Translator’s note: strong centralised state management) and hunting with the hounds of a financial capitalism”. 

By invading Ukraine Putin has done more than tidy-up border conflicts with the Kremlin’s customary brutality. It looks as if it’s an attempt to recreate the earthworks defending the old USSR from the West. But there is a lot more involved. And it not just the obviously ‘campist’ remnants of the organised far-left, some of whom consider, say China, to be socialist, and even a few who still think something of the workers’ state lingers in Moscow, who have responded with the ‘phantom limb’ reactions that recall the older Cold War division of the world.

Some writers for New Left Review (NLR) its Sidecar Blog, fell back on the same older certainties, talking of “Yet the pitch of hysteria is as high as anything after 9/11 – the free world, civilisation, good and evil, all hang in the balance once again – there is less unanimity of opinion behind it. ” Addressing a limited audience Alexander Levin continued in March, “At a minimum, the US left should summon what modest reserves of independence and strength it has to call on its own government to de-escalate, pursue direct and indirect talks, to trade guarantees of neutrality for a ceasefire and troop withdrawal. A refusal to contemplate any alteration to a post-Cold War order forged in hubris by the victors is not toughness. It is war mongering.”

A more measured approach by Tony Wood in April (MATRIX OF WAR), while laying the responsibly on Russia, still ends,

If the reigning political-economic order remains in place, it is difficult to see this ramping up of military expenditures not coming at the cost of what little remains of social safety nets. Neoliberal security states will trade growth for still more missiles and razor wire. It is hard not to see parallels here with the twilight of the Belle Epoque. Then as now, inter-imperial tensions fed a headlong arms race. Then as now, too, public opinion readily rallied behind national governments. In 1914 the parliamentary parties of the left followed suit, voting for war credits in their national legislatures and thus enabling the bloodbath they had pledged to avert two years earlier. This is, of course, another century, and the left is in a far weaker position, with far less influence on the course of events. By the same token, it is much more vulnerable to being swept along or swept aside by a militarized great-power confrontation it played no role in creating. Some of the old tools—internationalism, class solidarity, a fierce and uncompromising analytical clarity—will be needed to rearm the left against this new round of inter-imperial contention: against the powerful, against both their wars and their peace.

The German nationalist and sovereigntist Wolfgang Streeck wrote in July, Means of Destruction,

Unspeakably awful as it is for the Ukrainian people, the current fighting in the Donbas is no more than a sideshow in a much larger story: that of an approaching shoot-out between a declining and a rising would-be global hegemon. One function served by the war in this context is the consolidation of the US hold over its European allies, who are required as backing for the American ‘pivot to Asia’ (Obama) – to what used to be the South China Sea and is now referred to by the loyal Western mediacracy as the Indo-Pacific. 

Our old comrade Toni Negri, writing with Nicholas Guilhot, said in August ( New Reality?), still focuses on the USA.

Europe must also keep a safe distance from a US grand strategy that has not yet found the political formula for accommodating the global decline of American power and its loss of prestige. Going back to the Cold War will not restore American supremacy but it will hurt Europe. It will not restore prestige either: leading a global fight for ‘democracy’ is less convincing when the leading country is one whose Senate is holding hearings about a coup attempt, where women’s rights are trampled by the jurisdictions supposed to protect them, and where the possibility of civil war is a recurrent conversation topic. Unsurprisingly, most of the world does not go along.

It would be a mistake for Europe to throw its lot in with this strategy. Rather, it should bet on the rising cadre of ‘restrainers’ in Washington who advocate a different and less bellicose foreign policy, far from the unctuous homilies about the liberal international order and its military underpinnings.

All of which leads back to Susan Watkins’ New Left Review editorial line: an “avoidable war“, “In Ukraine, Obama’s erstwhile (Note: that is, not the present day one, by a long shot) Director of the cia has candidly explained, the us is fighting a proxy war with Russia.” “Russia now appears to be trying to regroup and dig in, besieging, one by one, the grimy Ukrainian-held cities of the Donbas. In doing so, it continues to play into Washington’s hands.

But the war is there.

It is terrifying. In one piece on the NLR site that focuses on the actor who caused the invasion the American New Leftist, Mike Davis, suggests , “By all accounts, Putin, who surrounds himself with as much astrology, mysticism and perversion as the terminal Romanovs, sincerely believes that he must save the Ukrainians from being Ukrainians lest the celestial destiny of the Rus becomes impossible. The present must be smashed in order to make an imaginary past the future.  ” (Thanatos Triumphant. March 2022). The real issue is that has been created by a state animated by his “aggressive synthesis of Stalinist Communism and Great Russian Tsarism”, “driven by a mission, to defend a conservative and identitarian world-vision, an alternative to Western decadence”, as Edwy Plenel eloquently states in L’Épreuve et la Contre-épreuve. De la Yougoslavie à l’Ukraine.

It is not our job to stand aside. There is little of the alleged war-mongering in the air, and certainly not a hint of “rallying behind national governments” by most of the population, left alone the left. ‘Analytical clarity’ demands we stand with the oppressed, not to dredge from the depths the wreckage of campist arguments. The use of invective, or, disguised innuendo about the West, shown in these statements published by the New Left Review, is not just irrelevant faced with the urgent need to back the victims, enveloping the issues in fog. It is a kind of attentisme, a call to a waiting game, that is aimed at those who wish to show solidarity. Or at worse, a voice from those who wish no solidarity at all.

Going from the open old style campism of Galloway’s gang, the seething resentment those whose narrative about neo-liberal globalism and the horrors of the European Union cuts no ice at present, to the fumbling academic effort to come to terms with the reality of Russian nationalism, a variant of national populism with roots too complex to sum up in a few phrases. By their effect, if not their aim, is simple. They boil down to one point: the US and its arm NATO are still there at the root of the problem.

We say, with Plenel, “Internationalism stands on the side of the dominated against their oppressors, whoever they may be, across frontiers.” It is not a demand to back the internal policies of the Ukrainian government, beginning with their labour laws. It is not – the very idea! – to back our rulers. It is to stand with the Ukrainian people whose courageous resistance is an inspiration across the world.

There are some remnants of political campism left with wider influence than the academic or political fringes:

This chap here, claiming to be ‘even-handed’, offers another angle on the same theme:

Skwawkbox:

GrayZone journalists appeared on the now-infamous chart compiled by supposedly left journalist Paul Mason as part of his apparent cooperation with UK security services in shutting down inconvenient news sources and were particularly targeted by Mason and his intelligence services correspondent in emails leaked to Gray Zone by hackers. Mason has claimed that the emails ‘may be’ fake.

In this country, the Establishment media’s attempts to misinform UK citizens has even seen the BBC u-turn on its own reporting of the rise of nazism in Ukraine to then tell viewers that reports of nazis in Ukraine were exaggerated and even mere Russian propaganda. Acts by Ukrainian president Zelenskiy to shut down journalism and workers’ rights in Ukraine have been almost entirely ignored by the UK media – and the supposed ‘opposition’ leadership, which is as committed to war in Ukraine and suspends members who dare point out inconvenient facts.

Some say that Skwawkbox, Steve Walker, fancies himself as a modern Tintin, a courageous reporter. Others suggest he went Explorers on the Moon (On a marché sur la Lune) and has yet to come back.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 8, 2022 at 1:02 pm