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Showing posts from January, 2009

Class independent leadership is key

Class collaboration doesn't favor the working class. It never has. No matter how practical it seems, the working class always ends up being subjugated.

This situation reminded me of something I read a couple days ago.

As in revolutionary Russia, the importance of class independence isn't recognized by many on the left today (even within the "radical" left). The result is an NDP coalition with Liberals in Canada and sizable left support for Obama here in the States. Unlike the US and Canada, however, revolutionary Russia also had a large group of people who understood class collaboration to be a mistake. Victor Serge wrote the following some eighty years ago in his account of the Bolshevik led Russian Revolution:

Nothing is more tragic at this juncture than the moral collapse of the two great parties of democratic socialism. The Socialist-Revolutionaries had carried considerable weight, through their distinguished record and their influence in the countryside, on the int…

"Guns, Germs, and Steel"

Over Christmas, while in Canada at my grandfathers, I picked up his copy of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel. It is a few years old, and I had always been meaning to read it, but hadn't got around to it yet. It actually was really easy to read and I finished it quite quickly.

Diamond's thesis is, contrary to what was accepted by most people and still is by many, environment is the major reason certain areas of the world developed more than others, not race and culture. It was simply an accident of geography that Europe and Asia developed guns, writing, general technology, and domesticated animals. This made the Spanish able to easily rout South American societies, as well as the English in Australia and North America, the Dutch and French in parts of the "new world," and still others who colonized areas all over the world.

This seems obvious, but it is no doubt hard for some to realize as many of us have had near meaningless catchphrases like "personal r…