Paul Mason: “Demonstrations matter – they create the kind of power politicians despise”

People are back in the streets:  ‘Crowds of protesters form lasting connections – and their later revolts always surprise elites. … The point is not that “mass action works” – it rarely does, on its own. The point is that it’s not futile.’

Kali Akuno: “Don’t just Fight, Build!”

Developing a program to organize:  “We’ve got to get ourselves profoundly more organized than we are now. And we are not an organized force. Let’s not kid ourselves. With the unions, with our political parties, we’re not even as organized as we were twenty or thirty years ago. And by organized, I do not mean creating a great Internet platform.”

Russell Means: ‘Revolution and American Indians: “Marxism is as Alien to my Culture as Capitalism”’ (1980)

‘It takes a strong effort on the part of each American Indian not to become Europeanized.’  ‘To cling to capitalism and Marxism and all other “isms” is simply to remain within European culture. There is no avoiding this basic fact. As a fact, this constitutes a choice. Understand that the choice is based on culture, not race. Understand that to choose European culture and industrialism is to choose to be my enemy. And understand that the choice is yours, not mine.’

Panagiotis Sotiris: “How do we create a people? Rethinking resistance, solidarity, and transformation in the European South”

The formation of the people “as the collective subject of emancipation, as the unity in struggle of the subaltern classes, as the collective process of making possible an alternative future, is not something spontaneous or autopoetic but the contingent result of political interventions and projects.”  We should see the people as a process, not as construction or performance.”

Javier Puente: “Making Peru’s Sendero Luminoso: The Mega Niño of 1982-3”

‘In 1980, as Peru returned to democracy after more than a decade of military rule, both the state and civil society faced an unparalleled challenge. Sendero Luminoso – an Ayacucho-based, Maoist party led by philosophy professor Abimael Guzmán – declared an armed struggle against the “reactionary state” and the “bureaucratic-terrateniente dictatorship” embedded within the nascent nominal democracy. Throughout nearly two decades of violence, which slowly escalated into widespread civil warfare, the clash of revolutionary and counterrevolutionary forces produced close to 70,000 casualties.’

‘Protest groups to unite as “The Majority” for massive actions across the country on May 1’

“More than 50 partners representing black, Latino, the indigenous, LGBTQ, refugees, immigrants, laborers and the poor will collaborate from April 4 through May 1, International Worker’s Day, when they’ll launch massive protests across the country.”

“How to Turn an Outpouring of Progressive Activism into a Winning Social Movement”

Three longtime activists propose how the left can build local power, now.

Tariq Ali: “How Lenin’s love of literature shaped the Russian Revolution”

Literature shaped Russian political culture:  “The classicism that was so deeply rooted in Lenin acted as a bulwark to seal him from the exciting new developments in art and literature that had both preceded and accompanied the revolution. Lenin found it difficult to make any accommodations to modernism in Russia or elsewhere. The work of the artistic avant garde – Mayakovsky and the constructivists – was not to his taste.  In vain did the poets and artists tell him that they, too, loved Pushkin and Lermontov, but that they were also revolutionaries, challenging old art forms and producing something very different and new that was more in keeping with Bolshevism and the age of revolution. He simply would not budge.”

 

Anonymous: “Marxism and Anarchism: A Dialogue”

Anti-electoralism now:  “We believe that the struggle against Trump and Trumpism should not bring us closer to the Democrats but rather to the social revolution, and we think specifically that we should be organizing and participating in revolutionary social movements, such as the asambleas populares or popular assemblies that have been sprouting up around the city and around the country.”

Yavor Tarinski: “Individuals and minorities in the framework of direct democracy”

Choice between participation and civil liberties is false: “There is no inherent contradiction between individual freedom and broad civic deliberation. Instead the one contributes for the development of the other. By its very nature direct democracy requires constant polemical debate and questioning of the ‘now’, which demands the creation and maintenance of colorful and pluralist social amalgam.”