Thursday, March 13, 2008

Liberation politics and Internationalism

Welcome to Carnival of Socialism #19 on Liberation politics and Internationalism . If there are posts I've missed which relate to the topic, feel free to leave a link in the comments.


This carnival i wanted to highlight posts in the left blogosphere which not only hardly receive coverage in the mainstream media, but independent and left press as well. My only hypothesis is that since what we know of as the revolutionary left is mostly made up of comrades from Western countries, their focus tends to be on,well, Western countries.

Is it because there is no class struggle in Africa, Latin America or Asia? As the following posts show, it is certainly not the case. There is intense class struggle in Argentina, South Africa, Egypt and other "third world" countries. Is race, gender and sexuality second to economic class? Will racism, sexism and homophobia vanish when the last factory has been expropriated from capitalists and production, consumption and allocation is determined not by a small elite but by all? If not, why are some issues swept under the rug only to appear again or take center stage on certain Days or Months like Black History month or International Women's day. A rain coat only to be worn when the time is right, before being thrown in the back of the closet with the rest of your dirty laundry.

Not here, not no more.

I hope you enjoy this post and the links the comrades have worked hard to share to the world. If not all, check a few of the links out and drop a comment to the posters showing solidarity.

Now, let's get on with the show.

Race, Gender and Sexuality

Afrodissident wrote a revealing piece on the race toture going on at University of Free State in South Africa. Saying "For those of you who thought that the racist UFS [University of the Free State] student video was a storm in a teacup, think again. The Mail & Guardian has uncovered accounts of race-based victimisation, torture and intimidation at UFS residences. Much of this occurred during drunken initiation rites but it is clear from the article that day-to-day life for black students in formerly white hostels hasn’t been much better:".

Stroppy bird wrote a post on how, Mehdi Kazemi, 19, who sought sanctuary in Britain in 2005 when he discovered that his partner had been hanged in Tehran for engaging in homosexual acts, is expected to be returned to Iran in the next few weeks. Gay Uganda and Gay Nairobi Man both comment on this event and it's international impact.

Also, Diary of an Angry Black Woman wrote on Decolonizing Feminism. She states, "I think we need to think of ways to reframe how such women[Congolese] are positioned - not as helpless victims dependent on white or "developed" women over here but as powerful agents doing all they can to resist such oppressive forces and calling on those of us in privileged positions - whether in the U.S. or in Africa, middle-class or working-class - to join them in solidarity." Penny Red delivered a strong speech that she was nice enough to share to the blogosphere". There was recently released an an essay by Parvati, a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and head of that party’s Women’s Department on Woman's leadership in Nepal's People of War. These selected posts highlight how race, gender and sexuality cannot be ignored by those fighting for liberation of all peoples. Which can be witnessed by the recent demo to protest the cut in funding to southall black sisters. Solidarity must be given to these people and groups.

A very public sociologist wrote a very penetrating piece on the economics of Ethiopian coffee. Last year around this time Ethiopia was in a heavy dispute with Starbucks over the beans it supplies. Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, wanted to trademark the names of three coffee-growing regions to force companies that sell its beans to sign licensing agreements and to gain higher prices for its produce. For at that time, the networth of a pound of coffee beans was $1, yet in America, the same pound of coffee would fetch for over $20. Phil BC states,"As long as production is subordinate to the market, as long as workers are not paid the full value of their labour power, superexploitation and one-sided development/underdevelopment will remain the lot of Africa. And no amount of consumption with a conscience will change that." View from Steeltown notes powerfully, "Capitalism cannot win the war on poverty. The notion that social reform and economic development under capitalism will someday overcome and eradicate poverty around the world is absurd. A system which creates vast and profound economic inequalities among people and nations, rewarding a tiny minority while leaving behind the vast majority, cannot, by definition, provide for the most fundamental needs of the majority". In addition, Socialist Banner has an interesting article on Migrating Capital. Ajohnstone posits that "Over and over again , workers learn the hard lesson that businesses exists to accumulate capital and will forever seek fresh pastures and new exploitation."

And learn they shall.

A strike and subsequent sackings at Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS) in Zambia have attracted widespread media focus on Chinese investments in extractives in Africa. On March 2, More than 500 workers at CCS staged a work stoppage to press for improved wages and conditions. Mine Watch Zambia provides an excellent resource of frequently updated news and events correlating to the Zambian mines.

Egypt has been a hotbed for working class action in Africa, and Northern Africa in particular. There has been alot of great activity in the last year, specifically the strikes and workers actions in the text tile industry. Hossam has been writing as well as posting vivid pictures of the strikes and protests going on in Egypt, such as the doctor's strike. Keep your eye on these North African countries for the next year or so. They are the more industrialized nations in Africa and are very critical for the revolution in Africa. Hossam has also issued A Call to Blogo-Arms to try to build up a definitive list of IST bloggers.

Latin America

One of the biggest topics in leftists discussion on Latin America is Cuba, Venezuela and Columbia. Venezeula and Columbia found themselves in a very tense standoff that evenutally cooled down. Renegade Eye, posted information how the accusation that FARC recieved $300 million from Chavez was false. Lonestone Revolution wrote a piece revealing how it is actually Columbian para-militaries and not FARC who are responsible for 70% of human right violations and how in that regard US is backing terrorism. Red Mantis claimed, "In some ways I am both baffled and not surprised at all to see the U.S. media campaign launched in support of Colombia." and goes on to unravel the chirade of US support behind Columbia in the Latin American crisis. There's a web of lies that need to be uncovered and Red Mantis and Renegade Eye both posted released information that the slain Columbian insurgent was having talks with US diplomats.

In regards to Cuba, Leftwing Criminologist made a very interesting statement. That in Cuba "the revolutionary conditions already existed, what was missing was a correct leadership. The leadership that Castro and his comrades gave did influence the direction of the struggle in Cuba dramatically, leading to an overturn of the dominance of capitalism in that country, but a movement led by the workers in that country would have been even more dramatic and fruitful." This was part of a larger piece on the role of the individual in history. The role of the individual is a big debate in leftist theory. Read the article as well as one on the Daily Maybe by Jim Jay and weigh in on it.

Tristen, a South African human rights organizer wrote a speech on Tibet and posted it on Contrary to Authority. He claims, "The situation in Tibet continues to deteriorate in regards to the basic human rights of the Tibetan people and the prospects for self-rule or independence are still remote."

Mike Ely, from the infamous 9 letters blog, posts frequent information the events in Nepal. He claims, "In Nepal, the anti-monarchy struggle and the peoples war has produced a situation where a broad range of parties have agreed to a “Constituent Assembly” — an extra-ordinary gathering outside the ordinary parliamentary framework to decide the future framework of Nepali society and government."

Middle East
SB news reported that"The electricity Workers in many locations had organized series of protest rallies, on Monday morning 4-2 - 2008 after giving a warning to the Ministry of electricity in case their demands were not met."

Sursock relays a report from BBC on young workers. The report claims, "Most of the children work unsupervised. Some wield potentially lethal tools and machines with no protective clothing at all."

Bahrain Youth Society reports, "A NEW law to control websites and radio broadcasting in the region has been attacked by Bahrain human rights organisations under a regional campaign. Thirty-four groups, including three from Bahrain, have rejected the law stating that it is against human rights because it imposes restrictions on freedom of expression."

The latest issue of Al-Manshour, Lebanon's leading left wing magazine, is available online (in Arabic).

Forward from Here
I hope I opened some comrades eyes to the international scope of liberation politcs, for those whom are already aware, I hope I cemented that fact. There's more blog posts that exist that i can cover, but my objective wasn't to report on every report. No, I wanted us to show solidarity to the working class and working peasentry the world over in their struggle for liberation and our collective pursuit for a classless, stateless society. Individually we are weak, but when we come together as a fist, we can knock down anything standing before us.

Put your fist in the air.

Power to the People


Joseph Dubonnet said...

Excellent summary, well put together, good job!

I particularly liked the emphasis on internationalism.

We seldom acknowledge in the "north" that our relative comfort is built upon the unequal relation that we maintain with the the countries of the "south".

blackstone said...

Thanks, comrade! Appreciate the feedback.

Glad you liked the emphasis on internationalism, I think it's absent in alot of our theories and worldviews.

I definitely agree with you on. We seldom acknowledge that our comfort is built and rests on the unequal relation we have with Non-Western Coutnries.

We sit in cafes and discuss that Africa and Latin America has no revolutionary potential while we sip coffee brewed from Ethiopian beans.

Frank Partisan said...

Thank you for the plug.

My blog has several rightists leaving comments, so I provide food.

blackstone said...

I noticed that about your blog. I'm trying to diversify my readership and commentators as well!

But as far as the plug, how could i not? Your Renegade Eye. ;)

Setanta said...

Looks really good, Blackstone.

-YSR from RevLeft

MC Fanon said...

Fantastic edition of the Carnival and I greatly appreciate the nod to both of my posts on the South American diplomatic crisis.

blackstone said...

Good looking out YSR.

and thanks Dave. You definitely had some good information on the South American crisis, so i obviously had to plug you in the carnival!

Buster said...

Thanks for this review and all the links. Lots of fodder for thought.

blackstone said...

yes, lots of food for thought! good luck with your dissertation! And your blog i might add is also good, enjoy the anti-colonial bit.

Ché Bob said...

Thanks for both the plug and the visit. Keep up the great work.

Wheels on the bus are start to come off, one can just sense it. Though I fear things will get much worse before they get better.

blackstone said...

Of course Che. You have a great blog and your anarchist, no? Can't go wrong there. :)

I def hear you, i think we will see a successful revolution somewhere in our lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Hiya - interesting blog. i will comment further when I've had a chance to digest it. Here's our magazine you will not of heard of - yet. Mayday magazine issue 1

Let us know what you or the other readers think of it - perhaps we can dialogue. All the best, Trev

blackstone said...

Thanks for checking out the blog trevor, hope to hear some of your comments. the newsletter looks good, where is this distributed?

Tristen said...

Good work. Keep it up

SeZ said...

Wow, you covered all topics and the links give more information for your message. Reading is knowledge and you have given me some good thoughts.
Good job

blackstone said...

trisen, thanks bro. hit me up sometimes i wanna talk to you about South African unions sometime.

sez, thanks alot i really appreciate you coming through. :)