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Lenosphere Round Up 8.14-8.28

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Since I didn’t do the round up last week I’m doing one for the past two weeks.

CF (France) blogs about sports, the Olympics, and Marxism:

On peut aussi lire dans presse militante des articles analysant, de façon tout à fait juste, le rôle du sport de compétition sous le capitalisme. C’est sûr, le sport et l’exercice physique seront toute autre chose dans une société socialiste où il n’y aura plus cette pression de gagner à tout prix, et l’argent et le nationalisme ne feront plus la loi. Mais en général ils sont écrits par des gens qui manifestement ne se sont jamais passionnés pour le sport. Ont-ils même supporté un club de foot quand ils étaient jeunes ? Dave Zirin est une des rares exceptions, mais il y en a eu d’autres, et pas les moindres, comme le géant intellectuel marxiste CLR James, qui était journaliste sportif en son temps et spécialiste du cricket.

Snowball (U.K.) blogs:

‘This is why Hallward’s outstanding book is not just about Haiti, but about what it means to be a “leftist” today: ask a leftist how he stands towards Aristide, and it will be immediately clear if he is a partisan of radical emancipation or merely a humanitarian liberal who wants “globalisation with a human face”.’

Matt Jones (Canada) blogs:

Hailed as a subversive action flick for its portrayal of weapons industry corruption, Iron Man is a disappointing techno-imperialist fantasy, but its special effects will keep die-hard gadget fetishists on the edge of their seats.

Eshteraky (Egypt) blogs:

حين بدأت الظلمة في حصار السيارة، كانت إرادتي انتهت من الإنهيار، فلم أستطع سوى أن اقتحم المقابر، “ايتها النفس المطمئنة أرجعي الي ربك راضية مرضية” “كل نفس ذائقة الموت” فتذكرت أننا أول من قدس الموت وصنع له إلاهاً، حقاً انه الملاذ الأخير كم أشتاق إليه وأتمناه

Roobin (U.K.) blogs:

I’m not going to argue with Major General Barney White-Spunner (who seems to be an estate agent in his spare time) but British troops were always likely to be pulled out in 2009. The British government has always stood as close as it could to the American government, especially when it comes to war. In 2009 the new president will be charged with getting troops out of Iraq. Unless something dramatic happens (either way) the British army will follow. The trick, for the government and the establishment, is to make it look like they’re leaving of their own free will (it’s getting late… the tube’ll be shut soon… the babysitter’ll be wondering where we are… I don’t want to take a taxi).

Cliffite (U.K.) blogs:

If we call for Nato intervention we will be both siding against minority rights in Georgia (for the sole reason that Georgia is a Nato ally) and more inportantly calling for our government to escalate conflict with Russia. Does NUS want to call for a new cold war between Russia and NATO? Because that is what your position would amount to. Oh and what right do we have to talk about not invading a soverign nation? I wonder where Russia got its justification from…

Hossam (Egypt) blogs:

A tremendous breakthrough in the fight for independent trade unions in Egypt, coupled with security intimidation….

The first provincial union branch for the “Independent General Union of the Real Estate Tax Collectors” has been established on the ground and officially declared in the Upper Egyptian province of Bani Sueif. This is the first independent union micro-entity to exist, since 1957, outside the framework of the state-controlled General Federation of Trade Unions.

The Bani Sueif tax collectors quietly carried out the elections, after an overwhelming majority endorsed the call for a free union. Nine union officers were elected, representing the nine directorates in the province, and held their first meeting on Sunday, 24th of August.

Gaber (Egypt) shows us his latest artwork on the Arabic Network for Human Rights:

انا عارف اني متأخر كتير في اني اقول الإعلان دا بس مش فاكر ايه اللي شغلني و خلاني نسيت اعلن عن الرابط الجديد للشبكة العربية لحقوق الإنسان .. عموما ملحوقه و ياريت كل الشباب اللي مغيرتش الرابط القديم في مدوناتها تغيره للرابط الجديد و هو

Lenin (U.K.) blogs:

The latest statistics suggest that unemployment in the US has risen to 5.7%. But that is the official, joke figure. At the height of the Clinton boom in 1997, unemployment was estimated by the Council on International and Public Affairs to be around 11.4% – more than double the official figure at the time. Almost ten years later, in early 2007 and before the housing crisis started to hammer the stock market, the official US unemployment rate was 4.5%, but the real figure was closer to 13%, nearly three times the official figure. So, when you hear that today it is around 5.7%, you have to think that the real figure is close to 15%, which is about 23 million people.

The official poverty rate in America is 11-12%. About 40% of Americans fall below the federal poverty level at some point in a given ten year period. But that is the official figure, an ‘absolute’ poverty threshold based on an absolute minimum income that would be required to meet the basic material needs. At present, it is set at $10,400 (£5,570) for a single person. Most anti-poverty campaigns use a relative measure, and for good reason. Poverty is a matter of social justice, not of charity

Mustafa (Egypt) shares some music with us.

Left Punch (Norway) blogs on Georgia and Western imperialism:

Den amerikanske presidentkanidaten John McCains dobbeltmoral forteller oss en hel del om amerikanernes nye verdensorden. Han uttrykte dette om den pågående krisa i Georgia: “In the 21st century (…)nations don’t invade other nations.”

Unntaket fra denne moralen er selvfølgelig Afghanistan og Irak der den innvaderende part jo er USA selv. McCain forlanger en umiddelbar tilbaketrekning av alle russiske soldater fra Georgia og han insisterer på “territorell integritet” – dette selv om han hevder USAs rett til å okkupere Irak i de kommende 100 år.

Snowball (U.K.) blogs:

To celebrate Histomat reaching the 250,000 hit mark (or thereabouts), I have decided to put up a video of Trotsky defending himself in the Moscow Trials.

Renegade Eye (U.S.) reviews movies.

Jesseray (U.S.) blogs:

The New York Times explains how this latest and fiercest offensive by the Taliban is putting 2008 at a pace to be the deadliest year for NATO forces.

Also, “For the third month in a row, more US troops have been killed in Afghanistan than in Iraq.”

thr (Austrailia) blogs:

This blog will be doing very little for the next three months, as I’ll be doing some travel.
Whilst I won’t be writing very much, I will be checking in frequently, and keeping an eye on other people’s blogs whenever possible. Please feel free to continue leaving comments/suggestions/witty abuse…

AkaiRed (Japan) blogs (and gives us pictures):

We’ve just returned from Marxism 2008 in Seoul, an amazingly inspiring four day event hosted by All Together. Over 1200 activists crammed in to Korea University to take part in a whole range of discussions, debates and cultural celebrations.

John Mullen (France) blogs on the Convention of the Left:

Le gouvernement travailliste de Gordon Brown en Angleterre, enfant du blairisme, se porte très mal dans les sondages, et il le mérite. Depuis 11 ans il continue la politique de guerre et de privatisations installée par Thatcher.

En septembre 2008, lors du congrès du parti travailliste (chaque années moins démocratique), la gauche radicale a organisé, dans la même ville, des Etats Généraux de la gauche. Suivez le lien pour voir leur site web. Je trouve la présentation très accessible et dynamique.

Matt Kennard (U.K.) gives a guest post at Lenin’s Tomb on Neo-Nazi’s infiltrating the army:

The neo-Nazi movement has had a long and tense relationship with the U.S. military reported back as far as the Korean and Vietnam wars, possibly before. The leaders in the movement have often encouraged members to sign up in an effort to receive combat and weapons training to bring to the Race War domestically.

The U.S. military command in turn has periodically introduced legislation and guidelines in an effort to stifle the infiltration of white supremacists and neo-Nazis into their ranks.

Since September 11 2001 and the two-front war in Afghanistan and Iraq, this fraught relationship has taken a new turn. In January 2008, there were 158,000 U.S. military personnel in Iraq, with 17,000 in Afghanistan. In all, nearly a million individuals have served in both wars.

Sean Purdy (Brazil) blogs:

This is what King had to say about American society and the movment: “The black revolution is much more than a struggle for the rights of Negroes. It is forcing America to face all its interrelated flaws—racism, poverty, militarism, and materialism. It is exposing evils that are rooted deeply in the whole structure of our society … and suggests that radical reconstruction of society is the real issue to be faced.”

Can you imagine Obama saying something like this?

For an earlier lengthy post on this subject, see here.

Socialist Students (Egypt) blogs:

تعريف بـ (جريدة التضامن العمالي Hawpshti Kre`kari) (هاوبشتي كريكاري) :

هي جريدة اشتراكية عمالية تصدر في كردستان العراق، ويرأس تحريرها أسطه حسين صالح البناء، و تسعى الجريدة التي تواترت على الصدور خلال السنوات الـ( 14) الاخيرة بصورة غير منتظمة إلى تطوير الوعي العمالي الاشتراكي بين العمال وأن تصبح جسراً للتواصل ومركزاً يحتشد حولها النشطاء العماليون بغض النظر عن توجهاتهم السياسية. الجريدة غير حزبية ولكن توجهاتها السياسية هي اشتراكية-عمالية.

Dave (U.K.) blogs:

Fair play to them. When you think Pride is supposed to be about an oppressed group of people refusing to hide or be ashamed of themselves, asserting their right to be themselves in public, it does seem wrong for the Gay Village to be walled off, out of reach to all but the “Queer Elite”. “Too poor to be gay,” bemoaned one of the protestors’ banners. I guess this tells you something about the extent to which sexual liberation can be acheived under capitalism; no sooner has homosexuality ceased to be a taboo than it is commodified, a lifestyle choice that one can by into, and image that one has to fit.


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