Everyday Subkulak

A while back a friend was illustrating the many ways in which Slavoj Zizek fell short as a Marxist theorist (I had retained some sympathies from when I first discovered him as a liberal) with a pretty bad bit of writing on Mao Zedong. To Zizek’s credit, as usual, it’s at least… [read more]

Geopolitics and human rights: from liberal historical revisionism to imperial universalism

Nowadays it is almost commonplace to recognize that the fall of the USSR was a turning point in world history, after which market economy and Western-style democracy became almost unquestionable values. What is less discussed is the extent to which this process controls not only… [read more]

On Chomsky

Far too much has already been said and written about Noam Chomsky, and some of it has the counter-productive effect of further enhancing his myth. This is because his fans often read his being attacked from “both the right and the left” as inherent proof of his brilliance. The… [read more]

On Orwell

The only people who misunderstand George Orwell’s 1984 are those that go around trying to imagine it has a leftist message. It is mistaken to imagine that children in the English-speaking world get his work drilled into them like a mantra because, somehow, genuine socialists… [read more]

Two Peruvian Constitutions

Whenever there is a political incident in Latin America, instead of informing and clarifying, many “experts” set out to insist over and over that the situation is too complex to be understood in terms of archaic left-right dichotomies. [read more]

The American’s Job

“Free market capitalism” is in terminal decline, to be replaced in this century or early in the next with state capitalism and other presently undeveloped form of socialist hybrid states. The decline is structural, political, but also social and cultural. By the end of February… [read more]

Men value my opinion

In the past couple of months two men have asked me to read their unpublished manuscripts and give them my opinion, because they value my opinion. In a roundabout way and amid euphemism they clued me into the fact that they were worried about the presence of problematic… [read more]

On Bracketing: Pugilistic Lessons for the Left

I have long decried the fact that the right wants power while the left wants approval. This was never more evident that in the months up to and including the last election when the Tories and Libdems bent truth and law to breaking point, while Labour bent over backwards to prove… [read more]

Western Marxism, the Fetish for Defeat, and Christian Culture

There is a fundamental contradiction in many of the Marxist studies that are produced in the West. Every time that they speak of Marxism in Asia — in China, Korea or Vietnam — or when they speak of popular movements in Africa such as in Egypt or Libya, they highlight the… [read more]

Marx, Capital, Anti-imperialism, and Socialism

I want to try to answer directly a set of questions that I keep encountering now that I publicly defend communist theory and history, legitimate questions that I have grappled with myself. I hope this particular synthesis of existing ideas sheds some light and understanding on… [read more]

Fidel Castro in Guadalajara (1991)

The US tried hard to build Fidel Castro into a boogeyman. We translated this 1991 interview to help dismantle the myth. Holding forth on immigration and environmentalism, Castro embodies what Muriel Rukeyser said on communists being “exiles from the future”. [read more]

“Tankies”

Tankies don’t usually believe that Stalin or Mao “did nothing wrong”, although many do use that phrase for effect (this is the internet, remember). We believe that Stalin and Mao were committed socialists who, despite their mistakes, did much more for humanity than most of the… [read more]

Marketing Socialism

When I was a kid I also believed ‘communists should ditch that label, for PR reasons.’ Now I think we make more headway owning it than dishonestly disavowing it. Not least because someone will almost always bring up Stalin no matter what we call ourselves. [read more]

Cults & Miracles

HackerNews is a discussion forum hosted by YCombinator, Silicon Valley’s premier “startup accelerator” investment fund. It has a longstanding and reflexive hostility to any ideas critical of the tech-worker turf, so I was surprised when a write-up of how to escape “toxicity in… [read more]

What is “neoliberalism”?

Neoliberalism is not particularly hard to define. It’s not only an ideology or a set of principles; it’s a system of practices, and an era, the one we’re living in now. What it means, over and above everything, is untrammeled ruling-class power, an end to the… [read more]

White Supremacy and Magic Paper

White Supremacy is having a good month: On March 5th, the ACLU put its weight behind Pro Football Inc.’s fight to keep its Washington Redskins trademark. A few days later, legal scholars from the right and permissible left along with The New Republic scolded Oklahoma University… [read more]

On Identitarianism: A Defense of a Strawman

The universal has been blunted by difference, language games have overthrown universal reason, and solidarity has been betrayed by individualism: a common, severe doxa in our age of austerity. At the root of this threefold betrayal is the principle of identity which has allegedly… [read more]

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised… Nor Will It Be Brought To You By Russell Brand, Oliver Stone Or Noam Chomsky

Not too many years ago, when protesters were running riot through the streets, disrupting meetings of the WTO, G7, and other international organizations, the Canadian newspaper The National Post served up a flattering and generous portrait of young people who had eschewed the… [read more]

Who’s Afraid of the End of History?

In this paper I propose briefly to re-visit Francis Fukuyama’s in/famous end-of-history hypothesis, a little more than twenty years after the publication of his original essay in The National Interest. I will not delve again into the details of Fukuyama’s conception or compare… [read more]

Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth

Along with the blood drenched landscape of religious conflict there is the experience of inner peace and solace that every religion promises, none more so than Buddhism. Standing in marked contrast to the intolerant savagery of other religions, Buddhism is neither fanatical nor… [read more]

Flight from History? The Communist Movement between Self-Criticism and Self-Contempt

In 1818, in the middle of the Restoration and just at that time when the collapse of the French Revolution seemed obvious to all, some of those who had initially welcomed the events of 1789 now placed them at arms length; for them it had become a colossal misunderstanding or… [read more]

The Politics of Imagination

In the days before Glasnost cast its first pale and tentative light over what conservatives refer to as The Empire of Evil, authors from the West who went there as cultural emissaries found it bracing — “inspiriting” was the term used by Hortense Calisher — to be in a world where… [read more]

Reform is the only way for China to develop its productive forces

We did a great deal of work between 1949, when the People’s Republic of China was founded, and 1976, when Chairman Mao Zedong passed away. We were particularly successful during the period of transition from new-democratic revolution to socialist revolution, in which we carried… [read more]

The Tyranny of Stucturelessness

During the years in which the women’s liberation movement has been taking shape, a great emphasis has been placed on what are called leaderless, structureless groups as the main — if not sole — organizational form of the movement. The source of this idea was a natural reaction… [read more]

In Defense of Self-Defense

We should understand there is a difference between the rebellion of the anarchists and the black revolution or liberation of the black colony. [read more]

The Path Which Led Me To Leninism

After World War I, I made my living in Paris, then as a retoucher at a photographer’s, now as painter of “Chinese antiquities” (made in France!). I would distribute leaflets denouncing the crimes committed by the French colonialists in Viet Nam. [read more]

J. V. Stalin interviewed by H. G. Wells

H. G. Wells was a very famous English novelist, and has been referred to as the “Shakespeare of science fiction.” He interviewed Joseph Stalin during his trip to the USSR in 1934. [read more]

J. V. Stalin interviewed by Emil Ludwig

Emil Ludwig was a German-Swiss author, known for his biographies and study of historical “greats.” He interviewed Joseph Stalin in Moscow on 13 December 1931. [read more]

On Authority

A number of Socialists have recently launched a veritable crusade against what they call the principle of authority. It suffices to label this or that act authoritarian for them to condemn it. This summary procedure is abused to such an extent that it has become necessary to look… [read more]