“Nameless in the crowd of nameless ones…” : Some thoughts on The Story of A Proletarian Life, by Bartolomeo Vanzetti, 1923
Ninety-one years on and Vanzetti still has much to offer me. I am thankful I have had the chance to read him and I am thankful to him for his words that have always encouraged me to think, question and act.
Open the door, turn on the light, heat up the water, check the refrigerators, lay out the chairs, clean the tables, light the candles, put out the ashtrays, check the register, count the change, cut the limes, put on music, wash the glasses, turn on the fan, pour the beer, mix the drinks, serve the customers, listen to their stories, comfort their loneliness, make the ice, clean the counter, tell a joke, take the money. The floor is wet, pool table scratched, darts bent, ash on the couch, smoke in the air, glasses broken, wallets stolen, clothing torn. The night is long and full of terrors.
A response to Kropotkin's classic pamphlet, discussing its strengths and limitations
A brief discussion of the origins, decline, and fall of modern working class culture as a culture of resistance to capitalism, a process that led to our current condition of “perpetual present” “without time or memory”, concluding with some reflections on the possible reemergence of “communities of struggle” that will rediscover history, as the system can only “overcome its contradictions … by plunging into even greater ones”, thus unleashing new conflicts in a society that has become increasingly more unpredictable due to the proliferation of unhinged, “desperate identities” in search of a remedy for their “feeling of uprootedness”.
Marxist academic Ralph Miliband's extensive and detailed analysis and critique of the role played by the state in advanced capitalist society. It examines each part of the state, including the government, civil service, legal system and armed forces and their relationships with business, the media, religion and trade unions. Written in 1969, most of the tendencies he points to are even further advanced today, so while there is little mention of race and gender this remains an invaluable text.