the end of our rope is a noose

A short fuse to scatter steady hands if I forget to remember that better lives have been lived in the margins, locked in the prisons, and lost on the gallows than have ever been enshrined in palaces.

Anonymous asked: 1000 years later: Capitalism still in deep crisis! On its last leg! We swear, this isn't like the Second Coming of Christ or anything.

Considering the environmental damage incurred on the Earth, I actually don’t think we’ll have capitalism in 1000 years regardless of if we have socialism or not.  Capitalism as global phenomenon will probably be impossible and we’ll be in some weird feudalistic shit.  Or who knows, we could go Full Collapse.

Anonymous asked: I am assuming that you have read a great deal of CLR James? Can you please explain his link with Kwame Nkrumah and anti-colonialism? It sounds weird that a Marxist writer who produced a critique of state capitalism in Russia, and developed such an anti-Stalinist reputation, also associated with pro-USSR third world nationalist "Marxists".

Sure.  James was actually quite supportive of national liberation struggles in Africa, identified with Blacks and Black struggle, and considered himself a Pan-Africanist.  His book “A History of Pan African Revolt” documents this sort of  “bottom up” / “everyday life” approach (that he’s sort of known for) to looking at resistance to colonialism.  Now, I haven’t specifically read his book on Nkrumah, but I know that his support for Nkrumah and also Julius Nyerere was controversial within his circle.  However, James was never anti-state and that’s important.  His idea of a state was somewhat of a break from mainstream Marxism, but he still believed in the dictatorship of the proletariat.

This is speculation on my part, because, quite frankly he never addressed this stuff, but my opinion is that 1) a lot of leftists were very supportive of these regimes at first, especially because they promised or appeared to be different than the existing socialist regimes, so James may have been starry eyed over them* 2) if you look at the mythos around African Socialism, it appears to be really anti-authoritarian and all about decentralization, even Nyerere’s ujamaa programs and TANU/CCM’s platform are pretty revolutionary on paper 3) James had hangovers from Trotskyism that never really left him throughout the years.

And perhaps he was just being pragmatic.  From a historical perspective, I think national liberation struggles were going to happen with or without the support of anarchists or marxists.  Independence was coming like the “winds of change” (to quote Harold Macmillan) and in any movement there are a multiplicity of components and there will be people trying to set up a traditional state.  When you consider the politics at the time (Nkrumah comes to power in 1956), with the workers movement pretty tame and the Cold War — and then to see Ghana become independent of Britain and claim a socialist path independent of the USSR and China, I really don’t think it’s hard to see why so many people were supportive of him.
Here’s a critique of James’ support of this stuff.

The only other thing I’d say is that Nkrumah is worth reading, despite his legacy in office.  Class Struggle in Africa is pretty good and Neocolonialism is pretty essential.  I do find it hilarious he named his autobiography Ghana though.

*James was wrong about stuff and sometimes he even knew he was wrong but didn’t admit it.  It’s totally possible he changed his mind of Nkrumah and Nyerere and simply didn’t publicly recant it.  I don’t know.  There is a good article from Insurgent Notes critiquing CLR James for knowing that Lenin did fucked up shit but intentionally omitting it from when he spoke about him.


"The time is past when it was necessary to seek arguments to prove the cultural maturity of African peoples…In spite of colonial domination (and perhaps because of this domination) Africa has been able to impose respect for her cultural values. She has even been shown to be one of the richest of continents in cultural values. From Carthage to Giza to Zimbabwe, from Meroë to Benin and Ife, from the Sahara or Timbuctoo to Kilwa, across the immensity and the diversity of the continent’s natural conditions, the culture of African people is an undeniable fact: in works of art as in oral and written traditions, in cosmogony as in music and dances, in religions and creeds as in dynamic equilibrium of economic, political, and social structures that African man has been able to create.” 

Amilcar Cabral, Guinea-Bissauan and Cape Verdean political leader
National Liberation and Culture, February 20, 1970

(via afrikanspirit)

well i havent been on tumblr in like a month.  huh.

crypto-hoxhaist asked: I apologize if this is a question about an old topic, but what exactly do you mean when you say that the concept of 'the ussr becoming state-capitalist' is "ultraleft"? I know that its mostly associated with anarchists and trotskyites, but aren't there maoists and "hoxhaists" who uphold the state-capitalist thesis as well?



there’s essentially three different versions of the state capitalism thesis:

  1. the anarchist/left-communist version which believes that the party quickly became a new exploiting class and an elite and thus the ussr was state-capitalist almost from the start
  2. the cliffite version which believes that the ussr was socialist until the rise of stalin, when a bureaucratic class apparently took over the state and thus it became state-capitalist
  3. the maoist/”hoxhaist” version which believes that the ussr was socialist either until it became revisionist in 1956 or so, OR that it became state-capitalist with the passing of the kosygin reform in 1965 which is supposed to have abolished central planning. this was the version i clung to for a long time

versions 2 and 3 claim to stem from a marxist analysis, which from the start means they have to heavily revise the traditional marxist definition of capitalism. capitalism as a system is many-sided and requires circulation and competition to exist, and its that competition and circulation which creates many of the objective laws of capitalism - the boom/bust cycle, immiseration, centralization etc. so to hold that the ussr was capitalist is to say that it was a capitalist social formation that somehow overcame all the contradictions of capitalism, because there was only one capitalist - the state. it’s actually very similiar to the kautskyite theory of ultraimperialism, which was derided for being revisionist by lenin, but i mean, you have to chuck out capital vol.2 and 3 completely, and good chunks of capital vol.1 to maintain this kind of analysis of capitalism as a system.

its true that lenin did speak of state capitalism as a set of relations of production, but it was specifically in reference to actual capitalists who were to a large extent under the control of the state during the NEP period. state capitalism exists in capitalist countries in the form of nationalized companies which nevertheless are run along capitalist lines, for example coal and the railways in britain from the 1940s until the 1980s/90s. state capitalism is only ever a supplement to an existing mode of production, whether that be private capitalism or socialism (as it was during the NEP)

the definition of capitalism as a system, as used in classical marxist literature, is always labour-power as a commodity, and that wasn’t clearly evident in the ussr, prc etc. either, because it was effectively impossible for SOEs to fire people, and there was no real labour market in existence, no unemployment etc. and the arguments of all three versions that labour markets did exist tend to focus on unimportant similiarities in form, rather than on the essence of how labour-power functioned in the soviet union.

the state capitalism thesis is ultraleft in that it conjures an extreme and ahistorical definition of capitalism as a means of critiquing an imperfect socialism.

Let’s be real here, though. It was a very imperfect socialism.

lol that’s not what left communists think but nice try.  that’s not even the JFT critique.

Propaghandi was awesome and I got this.

Propaghandi was awesome and I got this.

propagandhi soooooooooooooon :)


Maxamillion P. Catsworthy just doing what he does

miaoupurr is this cheeseburger’s brother or something?


Maxamillion P. Catsworthy just doing what he does

miaoupurr is this cheeseburger’s brother or something?

permanent addition to muh body

permanent addition to muh body

Anonymous asked: Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeettttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaddddddddddddd thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan RED.