What are your favorite regularly updated Marxist blogs?

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RossWolfe's picture
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Sep 12 2011 02:56

Either way, Platypus isn't even remotely Eustonite, so Proyect is mistaken. British Eustonism is all part of a moral critique of the Left that's made in bad faith. It's a sad and dessicated movement.

yoda's walking stick
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Sep 12 2011 10:42
RossWolfe wrote:
Either way, Platypus isn't even remotely Eustonite, so Proyect is mistaken. British Eustonism is all part of a moral critique of the Left that's made in bad faith. It's a sad and dessicated movement.

That's the thing though. It's not really a movement, is it? It's like three college professors meeting over coffee.

EDIT: But now that I think of it, the same could be said about nearly any anti-capitalist organization today. Geez, being on the left is depressing at the dawn of the 21st century.

SidJames
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Sep 12 2011 14:33

http://working-class-self-organisation.blogspot.com/

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Sep 13 2011 02:00
yoda's walking stick wrote:
RossWolfe wrote:
Either way, Platypus isn't even remotely Eustonite, so Proyect is mistaken. British Eustonism is all part of a moral critique of the Left that's made in bad faith. It's a sad and dessicated movement.

That's the thing though. It's not really a movement, is it? It's like three college professors meeting over coffee.

EDIT: But now that I think of it, the same could be said about nearly any anti-capitalist organization today. Geez, being on the left is depressing at the dawn of the 21st century.

Its status as a "movement" is, to be sure, questionable. They were able to amass a somewhat impressive list of signatories, but in terms of active organization and unified political engagement, they've done practically nothing. Perhaps they could be called a tendency, and a rather lame one, at that.

Again, I would stress for those who are confused by simple-minded generalizations and hearsay, Platypus is not Eustonite, not even remotely.

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Sep 14 2011 06:56

Glad some of y'all like recomposition. Our blog probly doesn't count as a marxist blog. I consider myself a marxist, I think at least one of the others would say he is too. I'm like 90% sure that all of us identify politically as anarchists. We've reposted stuff by some marxists, like Glaberman and Weir for instance, and are eventually gonna do something about David Harvey and what he calls accumulation by dispossession.

I don't read any blogs regularly. I like the Khukuri Theory blog that some people in the Kasama milieu do. I like this blog called Rough Theory too though folk here might find it too academic. I like the Black Orchid Collective blog and the Gathering Forces blog though I think Gathering Forces have kind of stopped posting stuff for now becuase they're busy. I also try to read everything done by Joseph Kay from the Libcom central committee, I think his stuff is always thought provoking and worth taking seriously.

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Sep 14 2011 06:46
RossWolfe wrote:
those who are confused by simple-minded generalizations and hearsay will find Platypus confusing.

Fixed.

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Sep 14 2011 16:46

On the occasion of Ross' mention of Sarabjanov, here's a text from him.

Nate, remember the words of a wise man about academic people:

Quote:
Professors — we have been afraid of them ever since we came into the towns. We did not despise them, we were terrified of them. When confronted by people with piles of learning we felt that we were good for nothing. For Marxists to fear bourgeois intellectuals, to fear professors while not fearing imperialism, is strange indeed. I believe this attitude is another example of the slave mentality, a relic from the time of ‘gratitude for His Majesty’s favours’. We must not tolerate it any longer. Naturally we cannot go out tomorrow and beat them up. We have to make contact with them, educate them and make friends with them. They may have studied more natural science than we have, but they do not necessarily know more social science. They may have studied more Marxism-Leninism but they are incapable of entering into the spirit of it, or really understanding it.

We should not feel ashamed of ourselves. Bernstein, Kautsky, Plekhanov in his late period, all studied Marxism-Leninism much more than we have, yet they were not much good. They transformed the Second International into the servant of the bourgeoisie.

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Sep 14 2011 20:41
Noa Rodman wrote:
On the occasion of Ross' mention of Sarabjanov, here's a text from him.

There we go. I would have probably found more on him if I had tried alternate transliterations. I always go with the Library of Congress system, so "Sarab'ianov" was what I came up with.

Are you sure it's the same Vladimir Sarab'ianov, though? When I do a Yandex search for him, I mostly come up with Vladimir Nikolaevich Sarab'ianov (1886-1952). Yet with that text you linked to on Problems of Architecture the name given was V.A. Sarab'ianov, suggesting a different patronymic. So I'm somewhat confused.

Noa Rodman wrote:
Nate, remember the words of a wise man about academic people:
Quote:
Professors — we have been afraid of them ever since we came into the towns. We did not despise them, we were terrified of them. When confronted by people with piles of learning we felt that we were good for nothing. For Marxists to fear bourgeois intellectuals, to fear professors while not fearing imperialism, is strange indeed. I believe this attitude is another example of the slave mentality, a relic from the time of ‘gratitude for His Majesty’s favours’. We must not tolerate it any longer. Naturally we cannot go out tomorrow and beat them up. We have to make contact with them, educate them and make friends with them. They may have studied more natural science than we have, but they do not necessarily know more social science. They may have studied more Marxism-Leninism but they are incapable of entering into the spirit of it, or really understanding it.

We should not feel ashamed of ourselves. Bernstein, Kautsky, Plekhanov in his late period, all studied Marxism-Leninism much more than we have, yet they were not much good. They transformed the Second International into the servant of the bourgeoisie.

I hate to quibble about points like this, and this may just be because I'm not a big fan of Mao, but it wouldn't make sense to say that Bernstein, Kautsky, and Plekhanov studied "Marxism-Leninism" at length. I mean, obviously they knew about it, but all of them (I believe) were older than Lenin, and had been involved with international Social-Democracy longer than he had. Obviously I agree that all three (especially the first two) betrayed the revolutionary spirit of Marxism. But Marxism-Leninism was only formalized as an ideology following Lenin's death, and it would make very little sense to argue that Bernstein and Kautsky studied Marxism-Leninism at length especially when Lenin was so opposed to both of them (against Bernstein after 1899 with the whole Revisionism controversy and against Kautsky after 1914 with his endorsement of the war). Plekhanov was, early on, Lenin's mentor, so again this would not make much sense.

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Sep 14 2011 21:11
Quote:
and are eventually gonna do something about David Harvey and what he calls accumulation by dispossession

DO IT!

If (when, ideally...) I start re-reading Capital, I'm going to start with AbD and then move on to the beginning of the book.

Also, Libcom Central Committee Mr. T

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Sep 14 2011 22:40

I see, yes the file name is wrong, it is by Nikolaevich in fact, as is stated in the article. Down with Schellingian and Hegelian idealist aesthetic theory of architecture!!

The quote from the Helmsman was a sarcastic comment for Nate, Ross. Kautsky studying Marxism-Leninism wall

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Sep 14 2011 23:56
Noa Rodman wrote:
I see, yes the file name is wrong, it is by Nikolaevich in fact, as is stated in the article. Down with Schellingian and Hegelian idealist aesthetic theory of architecture!!

The quote from the Helmsman was a sarcastic comment for Nate, Ross. Kautsky studying Marxism-Leninism wall

Good stuff. I have trouble reading sarcasm when it's just text, but that's a hilarious fuck-up by the Chairman.

There are no seeders for that Sarab'ianov book on architecture, but I'm very familiar with Hegel's and Schelling's theories of art and architecture. I'd be interested in seeing his critique. I actually correspond and am friends on Facebook with Vladimir Paperny (author of the groundbreaking 1985 dissertation Культура два) and the former Soviet architect Gary Berkovich. They are reading my thesis, along with Sheila Fitzpatrick.

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Sep 15 2011 00:35

V. N. Sarab'ianov (1886-1952) is mainly known for his works on Marxist philosphy. His textbook Concerning Dialectical and Historical Materialism had a press run of 300,000! A former Menshevik, he survived Stalin's purges, lending credence to the crank theory that the purges were the revenge of the Mensheviks on the Bolsheviks.

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Sep 15 2011 12:15

That textbook is online (second edition 1922, 10.000 copies). I did not read his article on architecture, but it's not a critique of Schelling and Hegel (I don't claim that he's an expert on architecture btw).
Sarabjanov debated Bukharin about the latter's book on economy in the transition period and also about his book on historical materialism (just a few of the texts of these debates; here and here , further here and here).

Bukharin at one sentence of Sarabjanov recalls the following from Max Nordau's Degeneration on mysticism, which I thought was funny;

Quote:
O Flowers ! And we groan so heavily under
the very old taxes ! An hour-glass, at which the dog barks in
May ; and the strange envelope of the negro who has not slept.
A grandmother who would eat oranges and could not write \
Sailors in a ballroom, but blue ! blue ! On the bridge this
crocodile and the policeman with the swollen cheek beckons
silently ! O two soldiers in the cowhouse, and the razor is
notched ! But the chief prize they have not drawn. And on
the lamp are ink-spots!' etc. But why parody Maeterlinck?
His style bears no parody, for it has already reached the extreme
limits of idiocy. Nor is it quite worthy of a mentally
sound man to make fun of a poor devil of an idiot.
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Sep 15 2011 20:34
Noa Rodman wrote:
That textbook is online (second edition 1922, 10.000 copies). I did not read his article on architecture, but it's not a critique of Schelling and Hegel (I don't claim that he's an expert on architecture btw).
Sarabjanov debated Bukharin about the latter's book on economy in the transition period and also about his book on historical materialism (just a few of the texts of these debates; here and here , further here and here).

Bukharin at one sentence of Sarabjanov recalls the following from Max Nordau's Degeneration on mysticism, which I thought was funny;

Quote:
O Flowers ! And we groan so heavily under
the very old taxes ! An hour-glass, at which the dog barks in
May ; and the strange envelope of the negro who has not slept.
A grandmother who would eat oranges and could not write \
Sailors in a ballroom, but blue ! blue ! On the bridge this
crocodile and the policeman with the swollen cheek beckons
silently ! O two soldiers in the cowhouse, and the razor is
notched ! But the chief prize they have not drawn. And on
the lamp are ink-spots!' etc. But why parody Maeterlinck?
His style bears no parody, for it has already reached the extreme
limits of idiocy. Nor is it quite worthy of a mentally
sound man to make fun of a poor devil of an idiot.

Very nice! I'm a huge fan of Nordau. Almost a Spengler before Spengler (obviously there were some major differences between their theories of decline, however).

yoda's walking stick
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Sep 15 2011 21:16

I think you folks might find this amusing.

Louis Proyect mentioned this website by name and this thread in particular in the first few minutes of this radio show.

http://169.237.101.62/archives/2011-09-09_1730_32kbps.mp3

piter
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Sep 16 2011 06:04

it's in french, with news and theoretical texts, and links. it's good stuff globally : http://dndf.org/

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Sep 16 2011 11:18
yoda's walking stick wrote:
I think you folks might find this amusing.

Louis Proyect mentioned this website by name and this thread in particular in the first few minutes of this radio show.

http://169.237.101.62/archives/2011-09-09_1730_32kbps.mp3

Thanks for the heads-up on the link. I'm glad to hear that Proyect was "gratified" by the appreciation of his blog by some members of this site; apparently he missed the searing criticism of his political outlook by myself and S. Artesian in particular. Oh well, Proyect was always self-servingly selective.

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Sep 16 2011 12:01

Oh yeah, and to Yoda's Walking Stick --

Here's a piece that is more occasional and popular that appeared on my blog, which you might enjoy more. It concerns Proyect:

Louis Proyect is Again "Provoked by the Platypus"; Again Fails to Say Anything Meaningful in Response

Here are a couple of other more "accessible" pieces I've written:

Hamas, Hezbollah, and So-Called "Resistance" to Zionist Imperialism

Regressive Activism at the Recent G-20 Toronto Conference

Also, you might find my latest piece on architecture less obscure:

Idustrialism and the Genesis of Modern Architecture

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Sep 16 2011 19:13

He had a sort of an underconsumption theory,

Nordau wrote:
Already, the world over, man is laboring beyond all reason and producing beyond all demand. Almost every civilized country is trying to export manufactured articles and import provisions. The markets for the former are beginning to fail. We can say without fear of exaggeration, that the great manufacturing industries of the principal countries in Europe have found all the markets they ever will find. These conditions can only grow worse, never better. The countries which are not yet developed as regards manufactures are gradually becoming so. Processes of labor will be still more improved, machines still further increased and perfected, and then? Then each country will be able to supply its own demand for manufactured articles and have an abundance left over that it will try to dispose of to its neighbor, but in vain, for the latter will have no use for them. The very last naked negro on the upper Congo will have his fifty yards of cotton cloth and his gun, the very last Papuan his boots and his paper collars. The European will have then reached the point of buying a new suit of clothes every week, and having a machine to turn over the leaves of his magazine. This will be the Golden Age of the political economists who are so captivated by unrestricted production, unbounded consumption and an unlimited development of manufactures. And in this Golden Age, when the entire country will be set as thick with factory chimneys as it is now with trees, the people will live on chemical substitutes for food instead of bread and meat they will toil eighteen hours out of the twenty four and die without knowing that they have ever lived. Perhaps it will not be necessary to wait until this Golden Age arrives, for the fact to dawn upon certain enlightened minds or circles, that this excessive, one-sided industrialism is a wholesale suicide of the human race, and that everything which the science of political economy alleges in its favor is a lie and a fraud. We have already become convinced of the fact that a country which exports bread-stuffs, if it exhausts the soil and does not return to it in some way or other, the matter of which it is deprived by the growing grain, is gradually growing poorer, although untold millions may be pouring into it from other countries. We will become convinced of another fact sooner or later, that the exportation of labor, of muscle and nerve, in the shape of manufactured articles, will make a people grow poorer and poorer, no matter how much gold it receives in exchange for them.

(see also De Leon article's on Nordau's anti-imperialism, where I think perhaps Nordau makes more sense even!)

Nordau was against pessimism; he wrote a book in 1916 (Morals and the evolution of man, edited for link), in which, e.g. he was arguing for the progress of morality and civilization (preferring to dream with the ideal of Kant's Perpetual peace, against 'Realpolitiker'). It's quite amazing actually how distorted Nordau's work has been, he's clearly a socialist. Nieuwenhuis claimed his views were anarchist. Rocker translated 2 chapters in Yiddish of 'Conventional lies', in his 1911 book on history Nordau recalled Engels' 'Origins of Family..', in the already mentioned 1916 book he agrees with Guyau's morality wirhout sanctions (though Guyau's mysticism is criticized), I could go on. Nordau was very against the state ideologists (like Treitschke), so he argued e.g. that anarchy, for all its terrible wrong, is better than an immoral law (he gives the example of the Paris commune repression and Bismarck's anti-socialist laws).

As I said, I could go on, but the literature about Nordau is horrible; he should be reclaimed for the left.

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Sep 17 2011 01:16
Noa Rodman wrote:
He had a sort of an underconsumption theory.

(see also De Leon article's on Nordau's anti-imperialism, where I think perhaps Nordau makes more sense even!)

Nordau was against pessimism; he wrote a book in 1916 (Morals and the evolution of man, edited for link), in which, e.g. he was arguing for the progress of morality and civilization (preferring to dream with the ideal of Kant's Perpetual peace, against 'Realpolitiker'). It's quite amazing actually how distorted Nordau's work has been, he's clearly a socialist. Nieuwenhuis claimed his views were anarchist. Rocker translated 2 chapters in Yiddish of 'Conventional lies', in his 1911 book on history Nordau recalled Engels' 'Origins of Family..', in the already mentioned 1916 book he agrees with Guyau's morality wirhout sanctions (though Guyau's mysticism is criticized), I could go on. Nordau was very against the state ideologists (like Treitschke), so he argued e.g. that anarchy, for all its terrible wrong, is better than an immoral law (he gives the example of the Paris commune repression and Bismarck's anti-socialist laws).

As I said, I could go on, but the literature about Nordau is horrible; he should be reclaimed for the left.

I agree. Nordau scholarship is a disgrace. While he was clearly acquainted with the writings of Marx and Engels (as you point out) I would probably guess that he wasn't a full-fledged Marxist. His views corresponded more to the general socialist sentiments that were so widespread at the time.

I would also like to see someone reclaim Nordau for the Left, in much the same way that Adorno salvaged aspects of Spengler's theory in his essay on "Spengler After the Decline."

I find that there was a common apocalyptic mood conveyed in the writings of Nordau, Spengler, and Georges Sorel.

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Sep 17 2011 02:33

Also, Noa, I just read your back-and-forth with Chris Cutrone (the founder of Platypus) on his site. I have to say, your knowledge of Russian and German theorists is impressive. A very intelligent exchange.

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Sep 17 2011 05:41

A friend of mine told me that Platypus are opposed to age of consent laws. I thought he was joking and comparing them to the Spartacist League and Hakim Bey, but he insisted he was serious. Is this true about Platypus?

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Sep 17 2011 12:08
Nate wrote:
A friend of mine told me that Platypus are opposed to age of consent laws. I thought he was joking and comparing them to the Spartacist League and Hakim Bey, but he insisted he was serious. Is this true about Platypus?

I'm fairly sure that there isn't any one Platypus "line" on the issue of the age of consent. Platypus allows for a plurality of positions on a number of single issues, while maintaining a general unity in terms of its understanding of history, theory, and the present configuration of capitalism.

Speaking just for myself, I would say that I view age of consent laws as historically and culturally defined, not hard-and-fast (immutable) biological standards of maturity. I don't see why anyone would necessarily oppose the present laws unless they felt that individuals attained social maturity earlier or later than the age specified by the legislation.

In terms of Platypus' ideological lineage, there is a Spartacist connection. Chris Cutrone belonged to the Spartacists and continues to be inspired by the theories of Trotskii. From what I understand, however, he was dissatisfied with their somewhat antiquated approach to politics and sloganizing, as well as their theoretical lack of sophistication. He is a scholar of Adorno and Benjamin, and so he is influenced by the Frankfurt School and Moishe Postone.

yoda's walking stick
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Sep 17 2011 13:43

What are some good Marxist-feminist blogs?

Spassmaschine
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Sep 18 2011 10:48
yoda's walking stick wrote:
What are some good Marxist-feminist blogs?

http://ludmilap.wordpress.com/

ludmila p wrote:
news and notes from the gender front.

This is a collection of information from mainstream news sources designed to help develop a materialist analysis of gender relations under contemporary capitalism. We are interested in the economic basis of women’s oppression, looking at the links between the labor market, gender divisions of labor, paid and unpaid reproductive labor, feminization, population and fertility policies, and family structures. Our review of global news sources leads us to emphasize certain themes:

+the expansion of a global and racial division of reproductive labor between women, extending to the process of biological reproduction itself

+a reshaping of the gender division of waged labor, related to the current economic crisis

+the signs of a serious attack on female reproductive control in the U.S.

+an ongoing epidemic of sexual and physical violence against women and transgendered people in many parts of the world

+major transformations in family structures, marriage and divorce rates, and female fertility rates related to economic restructuring

+major cuts in state funding for services that disproportionately reach women and children, from welfare to domestic violence shelters

+a concern on the part of nation-states and capitalists to control female fertility and hence population in specific regions and nations

+the tendency of all states, regimes, and parties, whether social democratic, anti-imperialist, communist, Islamic, or neoliberal, to institutionalize patriarchal gender relations, though often in very different ways

We also look for the presence of gender struggle in the headlines, wanting to understand what forms these struggles take. We search the news for traces of conflict and resistance in the form of individual, informal strategies as well as collective movements. We find telling signs in the lurid but commonplace reports of ordinary crimes, which in their descriptions of domestic dramas spell out the violence and oppression of marriage and private life. What we find confirms our belief that the gender struggle is the class struggle.

Against gender, against the family, for communism!

xoxo –

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Sep 18 2011 11:47

http://bataillesocialiste.wordpress.com/ ... and even while disagreeing with them on some or some more issues, I enjoy reading http://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/ and http://kasamaproject.org/ ... I'll end my summer break soon

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Sep 18 2011 12:07

I'm looking forward to new posts on your blog, Entdinglichung!

yoda's walking stick
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Sep 18 2011 16:26

I've been reading I Blame the Patriarchy to sensitize myself more to feminist issues, but the author Jill Posey Smith seems a little bit too mean-spirited for my taste. She's brilliant though.

http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/

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Sep 18 2011 19:34
RossWolfe wrote:
Nate wrote:
A friend of mine told me that Platypus are opposed to age of consent laws. I thought he was joking and comparing them to the Spartacist League and Hakim Bey, but he insisted he was serious. Is this true about Platypus?

I'm fairly sure that there isn't any one Platypus "line" on the issue of the age of consent. Platypus allows for a plurality of positions on a number of single issues, while maintaining a general unity in terms of its understanding of history, theory, and the present configuration of capitalism.

Thanks for the clarification on that, I appreciate it.

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Sep 20 2011 03:59
ajjohnstone wrote:
I'm biased and this is some shameless promotion.

Yeah, so am I: http://materialistinvestigations.wordpress.com/