Rob Urie Quote About Differences on the Political Left

Quote by Rob Urie:

“Differences on ‘the left’ have been between the chide that we need better management of empire versus the counter-argument that capitalist imperialism is the problem that needs to be solved. The charge, addressed below, that Donald Trump represents a ‘unique threat’ falls out on the ‘better management of empire’ side of this divide. The subtext is a contested analogy regarding the genesis of European fascism in the twentieth century. To state: the base difference between left and right political analysis has historically been a focus on society and institutions (left) versus individuals and ‘character’ (right).

“As a child (and opponent) of the Vietnam war, I’ve argued for most of my now substantial years that assessments of the uniqueness of the Nazi threat depends on which side of American power you exist on. The horror of Nazi atrocities can’t be understated. But neither can the basic outline of American history, from slavery and genocide against the indigenous peoples to the people, friends, families, communities and nations destroyed. From Vietnam to Central America to Iraq to the present, I’ve met more than a few American ‘heroes’ who would be understood to be the moral equivalents of Nazi concentration camp commanders but for which side of power they reside on.

“Following WWII, an argument was developed in support of the ‘uniquely evil’ nature of Nazism whose very purpose was to get past American history up to that point. And it depended on ideological explanations of history, purposely leaving aside the economic circumstances behind the rise of Nazism so as to avoid capitalist culpability for the Great Depression. This theory, tied to right-wing economics, is today known as ‘neoliberalism.’”

“The Open Letter and the DNC”

Robert Parry – An Apology & Explanation, Two Years On

Link to an article by Robert Parry:

“An Apology & Explanation, Two Years On”

 

Bonus links: “America’s Reporter: The Hersh Method” and “Making Rebellion Attractive: Why the Establishment Still Hates John Reed” and “Why ‘Russian Meddling’ is a Trojan Horse” and “The Limits of the Web in an Age of Communicative Capitalism” and “Three Variations on Trump: Chaos, Europe, and Fake News”

Bonus quote from Rex Butler:

“in the analysis of ideology, it is not simply a matter of seeing which account of reality best matches the ‘facts’, with the one that is closest being the least biased and therefore the best. As soon as the facts are determined, we have already — whether we know it or not — made our choice; we are already within one ideological system or another. The real dispute has already taken place over what is to count as the facts, which facts are relevant, and so on.”

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor – Five Years Later, Do Black Lives Matter?

Link to an article by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor:

“Five Years Later, Do Black Lives Matter?”

 

This article raises some excellent points and identifies many key issues (for instance, aptly referencing Jo Freeman’s classic essay “The Tyranny of Structurelessness”), though its analysis is often vague and occasionally superficial (that vagueness and superficiality being explainable in political terms)

Bonus links: “Social Service or Social Change?” and Crowds and Party and The State and Revolution and Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail (the gist of Taylor’s theoretical framework is more thoroughly stated in this book) and …And the Poor Get Prison and “Stop Kidding Yourself: The Police Were Created to Control Working Class and Poor People” and “The Left Hand and the Right Hand of the State”

Jacques Pauwels – The Hitler-Stalin Pact of August 23, 1939

Link to an article by Jacques Pauwels:

“The Hitler-Stalin Pact of August 23, 1939: Myth and Reality”

 

This article makes some dubious assertions about the USSR, namely that Stalin knew approximately when Hitler would invade the USSR (when actually Stalin was paralyzed with shock and indecision — see Moshe Lewin’s The Soviet Century) and that the Red Army was knowledgeable and ready, when it suffered a defeat at the hands of tiny Finland and was greatly weakened by Stalin’s purges (again see Lewin’s book).  But the parts about appeasement by Western powers is good.

George Martin Fell Brown – Marxism and the Philosophy of Science

Link to a review by George Martin Fell Brown of Helena Sheehan’s book Marxism and the Philosophy of Science: A Critical History (1985/2018):

“Book Review: Marxism and the Philosophy of Science”

 

This review does suffer from a bit of a Trotskyist (anti-Stalinist) bias, but it still provides a useful historical overview.

Paul Le Blanc – Today’s Struggle for a Green New Deal

Link to an article by Paul Le Blanc:

“Today’s Struggle for a Green New Deal: Lessons from the Freedom Budget of the 1960s”

Bonus links: “What the New Deal Can Teach us About Winning a Green New Deal: Part I” and “What the New Deal Can Teach Us About Winning a Green New Deal: Part III—the First New Deal” and “When the FBI Targeted the Poor People’s Campaign”