For too long 'populism' has been a term of political abuse. The time has come for the American Left to reclaim the mantle of one of its most illustrious ancestors.
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Stories about Thinking Politically.
In a recent incident in the United States, yet another unarmed man was shot dead by police after opening his front door in response to their knock. The police were going to serve an arrest warrant on a domestic violence suspect – the man’s neighbour – but went to the wrong address. See ‘Police kill innocent man while serving warrant at wrong address’.
For those who follow news in the United States, the routine killing of innocent civilians by the police has become a national crisis despite concerted attempts by political and legal authorities and the corporate media to obscure what is happening. See ‘Killed by Police’ and ‘The Counted: People killed by police in the US’.
In recent years Marxist philosopher Slavoj Zizek has engaged in a rather interesting project: editing and introducing writings by great revolutionary leaders. In 2002 Revolution at the Gates, a collection of Lenin’s writings from 1917 (including the critical “April Theses”) was published. In 2007 writings by Robespierre, Trotsky, and Mao for Verso’s “Revolutions” series followed. The most recent offering is Lenin 2017: Remembering, Repeating, and Working Through.
A reprint of a classic article stating the case against anti-communism from a socialist perspective.
That rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.
— George Orwell1
In a sympathetic but critical review, Bhaskar Sunkara provides an overview of the Bolshevik Revolution from the vantage point of a century later.
With its theme a little-known event of over a century ago, the film was ancient in cinema terms, its rather unsuccessful premiere was way back in 1926 and the performance Monday evening marked an event even earlier than that, one which is rarely discussed and even less celebrated. Yet the theatre was sold out and the final ovation lasted many, many minutes, with some loudly cheering and many standing.
The film was Potemkin, its showing was almost exactly 100 years after the Russian Revolution in October or November 1917 (the month depending on which calendar is used). The place was the Babylon in downtown Berlin, near its eastern center, Alexanderplatz.
In “progressive” Portland, Oregon the city’s police stand out as political outliers. Whereas most of the city leans left the average cop is, unapologetically, on the far-right of the political spectrum. Portland’s rightwing cops mirror the politics of police across the country, reflected in the early endorsement that the nation’s largest police union gave to Trump at a time when the sleaziest politicians found him too repulsive.
It’s an open secret that Portland’s police have a racism problem, the worst example being the infamous case of officer Mark Kruger, who was caught erecting a Nazi shrine in a public park in 2010. Officer Kruger has since been promoted to Captain, and his discipline for Nazi-praising scrubbed from his personnel record.
Andrew Hartman examines the life and career of John Reed, author of Ten Days that Shook the World.
Eric Blanc discusses the history of the Minnesota Farmer-Labor party as showing why socialists ultimately need to break with the Democratic party.