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Civil War

The Spanish Civil War: Lessons In Economic Democracy

The Spanish Civil War and Revolution of 1936 was arguably the 20th century’s greatest experiment in economic democracy. Seizing the opportunity opened by the conflict between the Spanish Republic and right-wing Nationalists, Spain’s workers and peasants built a new economy in the midst of the chaos. Altogether, approximately 18,000 enterprises – nearly all industries in Catalonia and 1700 villages across the country – were collectivized between 1936 and 1937. For a brief moment, ordinary people – not capitalists or bureaucrats – were in control of the economy.

The Chris Hedges Report: The Monstrous Myth Of Custer

The playwright Eugene O’Neill said that one of the few events worth celebrating in American history took place on June 25, 1876, when Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho, led by Crazy Horse and Chief Gall, annihilated a unit of the 7th Cavalry under the command of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer. There are few battles in American history that have generated as much controversy or been as meticulously dissected and examined. And with good reason. The death of Custer and his command stunned the nation. It turned Custer into a martyr for the cause of western expansion and imperialism. His death, portrayed as the ultimate sacrifice for the nation that was at the time celebrating its centennial, was used to justify a massive military campaign against Native Americans that would culminate in the massacre of some 300 Native Americans in 1890 at Wounded Knee.

What Really Happened On Juneteenth

If you saw my column about Juneteenth posted here over the last few days, or a previous version on the website of Be’chol Lashon several years ago, or a video version currently presented by Be’chol Lashon, you would know I had bittersweet feelings about the history of the day. I no longer do. I am outraged by it. My change in emotion comes after learning from historian friends that the oft-repeated tale of Union soldiers arriving in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865 to inform enslaved African Americans that they were free is pure fiction. Not because they weren’t legally freed 2-½ months earlier when Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. Or technically freed 2-1/2 years before when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring slavery null and void in areas under rebellion, very much including Texas.

‘How The South Won The Civil War’

If you think about the Civil War as a war between two different ideologies, two different concepts of what America is supposed to be, is it supposed to be a place where a few wealthy men direct the labor and the lives of the people below them, the women and people of color below them, the way the Confederacy argued? Is that America? Or is America what Lincoln and his ilk in the Republican Party in the North defined the democracy as during the Civil War? Is it a place where all men are equal before the law and should have equal access to resources? And of course, I use the word man there, but that’s because that’s the language that Lincoln used.

Four Giant Reasons To Remove The Statues

I’m a descendant of General Robert E. Lee. My family also descends from George Washington and John Marshall, the fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court. (The oligarchy was a rather small club back in the day.) And I, along with many other Lee descendants, say: Remove the statues. Yet, this week President Donald Trump has made it his mission to catch and prosecute those who have taken down statues. I’m positive he’s not doing it out of any racist ideology, although it doesn’t help that he also retweeted a white power message soon afterwards.   With that said, here are four exceedingly stupid reasons to keep the statues in place, and how to refute them. If you agree with any of these arguments… ummm, stop doing that.

The US Military Has A Boogaloo Problem

The U.S. military appears to have a brewing boogaloo problem. Active-duty military are flocking to online networks frequented by the anti-government movement, known for its meme culture and Hawaiian shirt-clad adherents, who are often called Boogaloo Bois. “Boogaloo” is code for civil war, which is the ultimate goal of the movement, and some of its followers trade in memes glorifying violence against federal agents and crack jokes about the impending “Boog.” Recently they’ve become regular fixtures at anti-lockdown and Black Lives Matter protests in states that allow open-carry of military-style firearms. An analysis of some of the largest private Facebook groups catering to the boogaloo movement found that scores of members self-identified as active-duty military on their personal profiles.

History: June 19, 1865 ‘Juneteenth Emancipation Day’

Any bright high schooler or Constitutional law expert would say that African Americans were formally liberated when the Georgia legislature ratified the 13th Amendment on December 6, 1865, guaranteeing its addition to the U.S. Constitution.  Yet freedom came in varied ways to the four million enslaved African Americans long before the end of the Civil War.  Some fortunate black women and men were emancipated as early as 1861 when Union forces captured outlying areas of the Confederacy such as the Sea Islands of South Carolina, the Tidewater area of Virginia (Hampton and Norfolk) or when enslaved people escaped from Missouri, Indian Territory, and Arkansas into Kansas. 

Group Behind Confederate Monuments Also Built A Memorial To The Klan

It was a Saturday. The mailman never comes to my door, but there was his knock. A couple days earlier I had ordered a book on Amazon that I had seen before only in a library. "Sorry to bother you," he said, "but I had to have you sign for this one." The return address on the padded manila envelope was a post office box in Charlotte, North Carolina. No name. I cut the shipping tape and carefully pulled out the contents, wrapped inside a grocery bag. The worn 1941 first edition of Mrs. S.L. Smith's "North Carolina's Confederate Monuments and Memorials" — one of the only compilations by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) itself, written by the historian of the North Carolina Division — had a new home.

Armed Militias Are Taking Trump’s Civil War Tweets Seriously

It might seem tempting to dismiss this language as of a piece with President Trump’s typical Twitter rhetoric. But it is worth paying particular attention to this tweet—because among the people who read it were militia groups enthusiastic about exactly what Trump portended. And while no violence has yet resulted from the president’s tweet, it would be foolish to underestimate the power of Trump’s comments to call rogue militias to action, particularly if there is an impeachment and he continues to use this rhetoric to fan the flames.

The Black American Holiday Everyone Should Celebrate

By Jamelle Bouie for Slate. Officially, the Emancipation Proclamation freed “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State” where the residents were “in rebellion against the United States.” In practice, it applied only to those slaves who lived near Union lines, where they could make an easy escape or take advantage of the Northern advance. News of emancipation would move slowly, which would be compounded by the mass migration of slave owners, who fled their holdings in Louisiana and Mississippi—slaves in tow—following the Union victories at New Orleans in 1862 and Vicksburg in the spring and summer of 1863. Tens of thousands of slaves arrived in Texas, joining the hundreds of thousands in the interior of the state, where they were isolated from most fighting and any news of the war.

Signs Of Stoking A Civil War In Venezuela Continue

By Fabiola Sanchez for AP News - CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Pro- and anti-government factions dug themselves further into their trenches Monday amid Venezuela’s deepening political crisis, with each side staking a claim to the powers granted them by dueling national assemblies. The new chief prosecutor who replaced an outspoken government critic outlined plans for restructuring the Public Ministry, while the opposition-controlled National Assembly vowed to continue meeting at the stately legislative palace — a short walk across a plaza from where the all-powerful constitutional assembly is expected to hold its next meeting Tuesday. National Assembly president Julio Borges told fellow lawmakers they should keep an active presence in the building despite threats from the new assembly to swiftly strip them of any authority and lock up key leaders. Borges called the building, with its gold cupola, the “symbol of popular sovereignty.” “We are a testament to the fight for democracy,” he said at a meeting cobbled together amid mounting uncertainty about the legislature’s future. “It should be known this assembly was true to its mandate.” In theory, both the National Assembly and the pro-government constitutional assembly can rule simultaneously, but the new super body created through a July 30 election that drew international condemnation has the authority to trump any other branch of government — and Venezuela’s leaders have promised to do just that.

Venezuela: A New Direction For US Regime Change Operations

By Staff of Moon of Alabama - On Sunday Venezuela will hold an general election of participants of a constitutional assembly. Half of the representatives will be elected from regular electoral districts. The other half will be elected from and by eight special constituencies like "workers", "farmers", "employers", etc. The second part may be unusual but is no less democratic than the U.S. system which gives voters in rural states more weight than city dwellers. The new assembly will formulate changes to the current constitution. Those changes will be decided on in another general vote. It is likely that the outcome will reinforce the favorite policies of a great majority of the people and of the social-democratic government under President Manduro. The more wealthy part of the population as well as the foreign lobbies and governments have tried to prevent or sabotage the upcoming election. The U.S. has used various economic pressure points against the Venezuelan government including economic warfare with ever increasing sanctions. The opposition has held violent street rallies, attacked government institutions and supporters and called for general strikes. But the NYT propaganda pictures of opposition rallies in the capitol Caracas show only small crowds of dozens to a few hundred of often violent youth.

Obama’s Legacy In Africa: Terrorism, Civil War And Military Expansion

By Eric Draitser for Mint Press News - The corporate media is predictably churning out nauseating retrospectives of Obama’s presidency, gently soothing Americans to sleep with fairy tales about the progressive accomplishments of President Hope and Change. But amid the selective memory and doublethink which passes for sophisticated punditry within the controlled media matrix, let us not forget that in Africa the name Barack Obama is now synonymous with destabilization, death, and destruction. The collective gasps of liberals grow to a deafening roar at the mere suggestion that Obama is more sinner than saint, but perhaps it would be useful to review the facts and the record rather than the carefully constructed mythos being shoehorned into history books under the broad heading of “Legacy.”

Time To Exorcise The Ghost Of Franco

By Jorge Martín for In Defense of Marxism - The main reason for this is the fact that the civil war was won by the ruling class, which backed the fascist military uprising. The Franco dictatorship which followed it for about 40 years, was not overthrown but rather, the regime made a deal with the leaders of the workers’ parties in order to prevent its revolutionary overthrow. That led, through the swindle of the so-called Transition, to the bourgeois democracy which we’ve had for 40 years since 1976, one which has many birthmarks from the Franco regime.

Bookchin’s “The Spanish Civil War” — An Excerpt

By Staff of ROAR Magazine - Between myth and reality there lies a precarious zone of transition that occasionally captures the truth of each. Spain, caught in a world-historic revolution fifty years ago, was exactly such an occasion — a rare moment when the most generous, almost mythic dreams of freedom seemed suddenly to become real for millions of Spanish workers, peasants, and intellectuals. For this brief period of time, this shimmering moment, as it were, the world stood breathlessly still, while the red banners of revolutionary socialism and the red-and-black banners of revolutionary anarchosyndicalism...
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