False Universals: Why Alain Badiou Misunderstands China

STALIN'S MOUSTACHE

After researching this material more than a decade ago, I did not think I would return to it. I speak of the curious philosophical positions of Alain Badiou – an old French philosopher (older than me) in whom some people happen to be interested. Recently I ran a small seminar on one of his first books to be translated into English, Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism. It took place at Renmin University of China, in Beijing, by request of some masters students who were trying to understand Badiou. There is also a Chinese translation, made directly from the French, so we were able to compare both translations.

Much could be said about the book: it is not so good upon a rereading; it suffers from a central contradiction, namely that the paradigmatic truth-event of Paul the Apostle is based on an event Badiou sees as a fable (the…

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Narratives of Betrayal: A ‘Western’ Trope

STALIN'S MOUSTACHE

A characteristic feature of European-derived, or North Atlantic[1] approaches to communism is the narrative of betrayal: at some point, a communist revolution was betrayed by someone, betrayed itself, ran into the mud, ‘failed’.

I was first struck by this narrative some years ago when I was working intensely on Lenin.[2] And it was inescapable in much of the secondary literature when I was engaging deeply with Stalin.[3] Recently, it has struck me once again while delving into the theory and practice of the socialist state. Let me be clear: the betrayal narrative is one found mostly in European-derived traditions. Although Marxists in these parts are fond of the narrative, it is also common among liberals and conservatives. One can find stray examples other parts of the world too, in the mouths of one or two who have been unduly influenced by this narrative. In what follows, I…

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What about the Uyghurs?

STALIN'S MOUSTACHE

I begin with a caveat: for more than six months I have not read corporate (sometimes called ‘western’) news sources. Instead, I read more reliable and in-depth sources, for reasons I have explained elsewhere. I find corporate news sources given to selective sensationalism, in which they select a few items, give them a twist and distort them, so as to produce a sensationalist account that does violence with the facts, fits into a certain narrative and attracts a certain readership (some ‘western’ Marxists among them). It is like a toxic drip into the brain, with which I can well do without.

By word of mouth and from reliable sources, I have heard that it has become fashionable in some quarters to switch from the ‘vegetarian between meals’ (Dalai Lama) and focus on the Uyghurs, mostly concentrated in Xinjiang province in the far western parts of China. Supposedly, the whole of…

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Do Publicly Owned, Planned Economies Work?

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Compared to capitalism, the USSR’s publicly owned, planned economy worked remarkably well.

By Stephen Gowans

http://www.barakabooks.com/catalogue/patriots-traitors-and-empires/ The Soviet Union was a concrete example of what a publicly owned, planned economy could produce: full employment, guaranteed pensions, paid maternity leave, limits on working hours, free healthcare and education (including higher education), subsidized vacations, inexpensive housing, low-cost childcare, subsidized public transportation, and rough income equality. Most of us want these benefits. However, are they achievable permanently? It is widely believed that while the Soviet Union may have produced these benefits, in the end, Soviet public ownership and planning proved to be unworkable. Otherwise, how to account for the country’s demise? Yet, when the Soviet economy was publicly owned and planned, from 1928 to 1989, it reliably expanded from year to year, except during the war years. To be clear, while capitalist economies plunged into a major depression and reliably lapsed into recessions…

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Petition for Verso Books and Monthly Review Press to Publish Domenico Losurdo’s biography of Stalin

I have created a petition to get either Verso Books or Monthly Review Press to publish an English edition of Professor Domenico Losurdo's biography of Stalin. Sign and share it. Here is the full text of the petition as well as the link to it below: In 2008, Italian professor Domenico Losurdo has his book, … Continue reading Petition for Verso Books and Monthly Review Press to Publish Domenico Losurdo’s biography of Stalin

“Peasant-Style Suits” and Other Things the Western Media Say

Kim Jong-un, leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), in a Zhongshan suit. At the beginning of the new year, the New York times published an article regarding the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong-un wearing a Western-style suit during his New Year's address. Of course, there is nothing wrong … Continue reading “Peasant-Style Suits” and Other Things the Western Media Say

The crimes of Winston Churchill

A good primer on how horrifying former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was:

Crimes of Britain

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England celebrates their genocides. The ‘Winston Churchill note’ has enteredcirculation. Honouring a man who swilled on champagne while 4 million men, women and children in Bengal starved due to his racist colonial policies.

The trial of Churchill:

Churchill was a genocidal maniac. He is fawned over in Britain and held up as a hero of the nation. He was voted ‘Greatest Briton’ of all time. Below is the real history of Churchill, the history of a white supremacistwhose hatred for Indians led to four million starving to death, the man who loathed Irish people so much he conceived different ways to terrorise them, the racist thug who waged war on black people across Africa and in Britain. This is the trial of Winston Churchill, the enemy of all humanity.

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THE TRIAL OF WINSTON CHURCHILL:

Afghanistan:

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Churchill found his love for war during the time he spent in Afghanistan. While there…

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