Radical media, politics and culture.


jim writes:

"Didn't See The Same Movie"

Loren Goldner

Reviewing Max Elbaum, Revolution in the Air:
Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che

London/New York, Verso, 2002

"The sleep of dialectical reason will engender monsters."

Without exactly setting out to do so, Max Elbaum in his book Revolution In The Air, has managed to demonstrate the existence of progress in human history, namely in the decline and disappearance of the grotesque Stalinist-Maoist-'Third World Marxist" and Marxist-Leninist groups and ideologies he presents, under the rubric New Communist Movement, as the creations of pretty much the "best and the brightest" coming out of the American 1960's.

Who controls the past, Orwell said, controls the future. Read at a certain level, Elbaum's book (describing a mental universe that in many respects out-Orwells Orwell), aims, through extended self-criticism, to jettison 99% of what "Third World Marxism" stood for in its 1970's heyday, in order to salvage the 1% of further muddled "progressive politics" for the future, particularly where the Democratic Party and the unions are concerned, preparing "progressive" forces to paint a new face on the capitalist system after the neo-liberal phase has shot its bolt.

An anonymous coward writes:

"Comics Grow Up (Again):

World War 3 Chips Three Off the Old Block"

Paul Buhle

The Metamorphosis

By Peter Kuper

Crown, 79 pages, $18.00

Johnny Jihad: A Graphic Novel

By Ryan Inzana

NBM, 92 pages, $9.95

Portraits of Israelis & Palestinians (for My Parents)

By Seth Tobocman

Soft Skull Press, 120 pages, $15.95

We seem to be in the midst of a comics revival that comes, unanticipated and unbidden, from several quarters at once. Consider, for instance: On the heels of familiar Marvel figures at the megaplex, American Splendor serves up the art-house version, with Harvey Pekar as the Spider-Man of the smallish screen (and apparently on its way to Oscar nominations). Consider, at the literary highbrow level, the almost embarrassed miniburst of attention to assorted graphic-story hardbacks and their artists by the New York Times and New York Review of Books during the last 18 months or so, after an indifference decades in the making. And consider the current output.

"The Radical Imagination of Cornelius Castoriadis"

Scott McLemee

Paris in the forties was a city awash in forged identities and remade lives.
But few transformed themselves as completely as Cornelius Castoriadis. When
the young Greek émigré arrived, in 1945, he settled down to write a doctoral
thesis on the inevitable culmination of all Western philosophies in "aporias
and impasses." But by the end of the decade, he had quit academia to lead a
curious double life. As Cornelius Castoriadis, he worked as a professional
economist, crunching numbers at the Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development. Meanwhile, adopting a number of aliases, he developed one
of the most influential bodies of political thought to emerge from the
non-Communist left over the last half century. Mr. Castoriadis's covert
writings helped to rally France's beleaguered anti-Stalinist left in the
fifties and to inspire the spectacular Paris revolt of 1968.

Ryan Griffis reviews:

Domain Errors! Cyberfeminist Practices

A subRosa project, edited by Maria Fernandez, Faith Wilding, Michelle M. Wright

Published by Autonomedia, 2003

"Mesa says that many of the women she worked with in the clean rooms are dead, gone before their time. 'I alone know of ten women who worked with me who are no longer here. It's more than just a coincidence.'" Ioffee, Karina, "The Clean Room Paradox," El Andar Magazine, Fall/Winter 2001

"Well the bosses think they're pretty clever with their doubletalk, and that we're just a bunch of dumb aliens. But it takes two to use a see-saw. What we're gradually figuring out here is how to use their own logic against them." Indian microelectronics worker quoted in Prema Murthy's "Mythic Hybrid"2002

"First-," "Second-" and "Third-Wave." It is interesting that the same metaphor has been used to describe social-technological paradigms as well as historical movements in feminism. Feminism may not often be associated with technological developments in the popular imagination, but there is a record of linkages between the trajectories of gender consciousness and technology.

House of Nehesi Publishers writes:

"Two New Books by Amiri Baraka"

SINT MAARTEN (October 2003)—The Essence of Reparations and Somebody Blew Up America and Other Poems, by controversial American author Amiri Baraka have just been published here by House of Nehesi Publishers.

Linebaugh's London Hanged

John Lea

Reviewing The London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century (second edition)

Peter Linebaugh, 2003 London: Verso books.

ISBN 1-85984-638-6, 491 pages

This review first appeared in The Chartist

Verso have done a great service by republishing Peter Linebaugh's magnificent study, first published in 1991, of the men and women of eighteenth century London hanged on the gallows at Tyburn. Linebaugh set out, as he put it, to "explore the relationship between the organised death of living labour (capital punishment) and the oppression of the living by dead labour (the punishment of capital).” Through a meticulous study of the historical documents and court records he demonstratedthat those hanged at Tyburn were, in the main, representatives, not of some special class of professional criminals or a lumpen ‘underclass’, but ordinary working men and women, largely indistinguishable from the working masses as a whole. The ‘crimes’ they had committed were in fact varieties of resistance to the growing imposition of the capitalist wage relationship by means of the criminalisation of traditional forms of distribution tolerated by and integrated into the lives of the poor as a whole.

This review was published by the excellent Counterpunch

"Rhymsters and Revolutionaries:
Joe Hill and the IWW"
Peter Linebaugh

Reviewing Joe Hill: The IWW & the Making of a Revolutionary Workingclass Counterculture

By Franklin Rosemont, (Charles H. Kerr: Chicago, 2003).

It's the right man by the right biographer at the right time.

Joe Hill's the man, the artist and song-writer of the Industrial Workers of the World. Franklin Rosemont's the biographer, the Chicago surrealist activist and publisher; the time is ours when warring monotheistic capitalism rains terror against a polyglot planetary proletariat privatized out of clean water, health care, and home. Joe Hill composed a song while awaiting execution under sentence of death by the authorities of the state of Utah. The song unifies the demands of the antiglobalization movement, not for "Communism," but a commons of actual equality and reparations of actual justice.

Workers of the world, awaken!
Rise in all your splendid might;
Take the wealth that you are making,
It belongs to you by right.
No one will for bread be crying,
We'll have freedom, love and health,
When the grand red flag is flying
In the Workers' Commonwealth.

Sergio Bologna* Reviews

Storming Heaven: Class Composition and Struggle in Italian Autonomist Marxism.

By Steve Wright (Pluto Press, London 2002)

Storming Heaven is the outcome of research carried out for a PhD thesis and as such is also the first attempt at a critical historical reconstruction of the thought and militant practice of Italian operaismo. The research follows criteria of critical analysis of sources and shows a necessary detachment from events as well as an ability to comprehend its object that derives from a strong feeling of personal involvement with the ideas and motives of revolutionary movements.

"Do We Know What We Want?"

Geert Lovink, Nettime

Review of George Monbiot, The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World

London: Flamingo, 2003 (published in the US by The New Press, early

No doubt the times they're a-changing when internal strategic debates of the
'anti globalisation movement' make it into mainstream publishing. According
to Amazon "Naomi Klein's No Logo told us what was wrong. George Monbiot's
The Age of Consent shows us how to put it right." Its publisher, Rupert
Murdoch's HarperCollins sells Monbiot's manifesto as "authoritative and
persuasive de facto figurehead for the contrarian movements in the UK."
Environmental activist Monbiot is columnist for the Guardian and author of a
bestseller about UK's privatisation disasters. Thanks to Rupert's
distribution network The Age of Consent made it into a newsagent at Sydney
airport where I purchased a copy.

TSOG: The Thing that Ate the Constitution

Book Review by Jaye Beldo

In Tsog: The Thing That Ate the Constitution, an array of dimensionally challenged simians eating away at what remains of our freedom are aptly exposed. Robert Anton Wilson takes on radically illogical feminists, Faith Based Organizations, The Piss Police, CSICOPS, Bushware 2.0 and other elements of the Tsarist Occupation Government at large using his scientifically grounded wit and cannabis inspired candor to do so. Yet, sad to say, there is evidence of the author's non-Aristotelian amnesia throughout much of this tome."

Full story: http://newworlddisorder.ca"


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