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1. A specter is haunting world capitalism: the specter of the Russian Revolution. This year marks the centenary of the world-historical events of 1917, which began with the February Revolution in Russia and culminated in October with “ten days that shook the world”—the overthrow of the capitalist provisional government and conquest of political power by... Read More
The Cold War is over, but Bernie Sanders goes marching on. Too bad. In the Baltic, the Russian air force has been having some fun harassing our planes doing routine reconnaissance flights in international airspace near Russia’s borders. [Russian Su-27 barrel rolls on U.S. spyplane over the Baltic Sea. Once again, The Aviationist, April 29,... Read More
In the preceding part (The Donald Trump Phenomenon: Part 1: The American Nations), I talked about the geographic (and hence ethnic) variation in support for the various 2016 U.S. presidential candidates. In this part, I will focus on the turmoil in this particular election cycle, and what it means for our society and acceptance of... Read More
"Dalton Trumbo was a socialist, but he loved being rich." So says Bryan Cranston, who stars in "Trumbo," out this week, and plays the screenwriter who went to prison with the Hollywood Ten in the time of Harry Truman. Actually, Trumbo was not a socialist. Bernie Sanders is a socialist. Trumbo was a Stalinist, a... Read More
What does it take to make a nation great? What makes a country a great place to live, a healthy society, and a bastion of stability? Various theories and ideas have been put forward, and I think they are all pretty much bunk. I think we can apply a little reductionism here, and conclude that... Read More
April the 15th marked Holocaust Memorial Day. Nearly everyone knows about the industrial killing of 6 million Jews, for no other reason than that they were Jews. "Serious historiography" of the subject has ensured that The Shoah, Holocaust in Hebrew, is "consigned to posterity"; its lessons remembered and commemorated throughout the civilized world. Although shefailedto... Read More
Raise the scarlet banner high!
I was reading one of the angrier conservative bloggers the other day when I came to a sentence where he referred to President Obama as a “communist.” It stopped my eye. I am no fan of Obama, and I have a high tolerance for vituperation. (I like the late Auberon Waugh’s definition of opinion journalism... Read More
A remarkable historian has died -- but does it matter that he was a Stalinist?
The death of Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm at the age of 95 two days ago set me down memory lane. The one time I met this illustrious historian was when Gene Genovese (who predeceased Hobsbawm by just a few days) introduced him to me at a meeting of the American Historical Association in Boston in... Read More
Review of Revolution from above, Manufacturing Dissent in the New World Order, by Kerry Bolton, 250 pages. Arktos 2011, UK
The Left – including Communist Left – is manipulated by the super-rich in their own interests. These super-rich conspire to destroy tradition and create a collectivist world order of despotism under their own guidance, and the Left are “useful idiots” of these greedy for power and money people. This is main thesis of a new... Read More
Edit, 3/13/14 8/24/13: Post updated. See below! This started as an e-mail I wrote to a friend to sum up the important events of the Middle Ages for Europe and the Near East. Then I decided that this was blog post worthy, so here it is: a nice, fairly concise summary of the events of... Read More
Rodong Sinmun building, Pyongyang. Source In my last post, I discussed how South Korea has “gone global.” Its business community has emancipated itself from the nation state and is now outsourcing employment to lower-wage countries and “insourcing” lower-wage labor. The eventual result? A downward leveling of incomes. And a profound ethnic and cultural transformation. South... Read More
Having just seen the film Julie and Julia, based on a book by Julie Powell and a screen play by Nora Ephron, I’ve certain unanswered questions about some of the historical details that went into the plot. Of the two main characters, the more interesting by far is the longtime interpreter of French cuisine for... Read More
Toronto — Canada will soon make an important contribution to the cause of historical accuracy, human rights, and justice. To coincide with last week's visit to Ottawa of Ukraine's president, Viktor Yushchenko, the Canadian government announced it planned to recognize the mostly forgotten 1932—1933 genocide in Ukraine. Ottawa's decision was motivated as much by ethnic... Read More
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Orlando Figes and The Whisperers
Orlando Figes' The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia is in its most literal sense an act of collective memory, and the only quibble I have with the author's tremendous achievement is that homage to those he rightly calls "the heroes" of his book comes not at the beginning but at the end in "Afterword... Read More
A debate in the French weekly Courrier International (December 21, 2006) held between Polish political scientist Marek Cichocki and Claus Leggewie, a widely respected German professor at the University of Giessen, points to two diverging paths into the European future. Both commentators explain how their views about the end of the Second World War have... Read More
“We lived in a communist paradise and weren’t aware of it.” I have heard this sentence from many ex-citizens of the ex-USSR, from Russians and Tajiks, Ukrainians and Balts, and I agreed with them wholeheartedly: Soviet Russia was a land of spiritual and educated men who loved their work, were proud of their country, despised... Read More
Do not take my polemics with Alan Woods for a learned discussion of the Russian Revolution; the argument is not about Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin (let their souls rest in peace in the bosom of Marx in the Communist paradise) but about extremely relevant issues of our day, though presented in historical perspective. Woods... Read More
The year now coming to its end has marked the centenary of three fine British anti-Communist writers: Evelyn Waugh, George Orwell, and Malcolm Muggeridge. Each tried his hand at different kinds of writing, but I do not think it seriously unfair to tag them by the work they are best known for — as, respectively,... Read More
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The Recent Confirmation of Soviet Espionage in America
Today our entire Corporate Media is shrilly proclaiming---on the basis of absolutely no public evidence---that Christian Russia is on the verge of subverting and seizing control of the American government via the election of Donald Trump. It is therefore highly ironic that in the past all of these same media organs had viciously attacked and... Read More
Eric Alterman Cheapens Holocaust
On the last Nation cruise I was on a panel about nuclear proliferation. (Yes, even afloat off Baja California, the liberal conscience is always on guard duty.) Trying to juice up the panel a bit, I remarked that there was one bit of proliferation that seemed to me indisputably okay, which was when the Soviet... Read More
The sequence of capitalist expansion, destruction of traditional bonds andglobal integration was, according to Marx, the process of creating a unified working class, conscious of its class interests and linked across national boundaries. His chain of reasoning lacks a clear understanding of the importance traditions and social bonds preceding capitalism played in creating social solidarity... Read More
'How can we get rid of the ruling Pigs and join Humankind?' asks a piglet.
Recently sifting through the archives of George Orwell I came across a long letter apparently written by one of the late writer's friends. The letter purports to be a follow-up to the events which took place on Animal Farm, that unique experiment in animal self rule: Dear George, My research brought me to the Farm... Read More
Of Myth and Reality
For over three decades Joseph R. McCarthy has been a central figure in liberal demonology. His name has become part of common parlance to mean the practice of making baseless accusations and engaging in the character assassination of innocent victims. According to the liberal McCarthy myth, his alleged witch hunts for Communists ruined the lives... Read More
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