The Revolt That Shook The World


By Pete Dolack for The Indypendent. History does not travel in a straight line. I won’t argue against that sentence being a cliché. Yet it is still true. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t be still debating the meaning of Russia’s 1917 October Revolution on its centenary, and more than a quarter-century after its demise. Neither the Bolsheviks nor any other party played a direct role in the February revolution that toppled Tsar Nicholas II, for the leaders of those organizations were in exile abroad or in Siberia or in jail. Nonetheless, the tireless work of activists laid the groundwork. The Bolsheviks were a minority even among the active workers of Russia’s cities then…

Venezuela’s Fragile Revolution: From Chávez To Maduro


By Steve Ellner for Venezuela Analysis – The Venezuelan experience of nearly two decades of radicalization, extreme social and political polarization, and right-wing insurgence offers valuable lessons for the left. The country’s current crisis should be an occasion for constructive debate around the struggles, successes, and failures of the Bolivarian Revolution. By pinpointing strategic errors–especially in the context of unrelenting hostility by powerful forces on the right–Chavismo’s supporters and sympathizers can offer a corrective to the sweeping condemnations of the government of Nicolás Maduro now coming from both right and left. This article thus has two aims: to shed light on the major lessons of the years of Chavista rule, and to put some of the government’s more questionable actions in their proper historical and political context. The common perception of the Chavista leadership as incompetent administrators who disdain democracy ignores the complexity of achieving socialism through democratic means, a process whose dangers and demands have shaped the government’s decisions, for better and worse. Only by reckoning with that complexity can we understand both Venezuela’s current situation and its turbulent recent history.

World Premiere: In The Shadow Of The Revolution


By Staff of The Caracas Chronicles – Caracas Chronicles is proud to be the venue chosen by long-time friend and much-appreciated copy-editor Clifton Ross, and his colleague J.Arturo Albarrán, to premiere their latest film project, In the Shadow of the Revolution. The authors hope this timely work will challenge the Bolivarian government’s narrative about itself and the opposition through interviews with Left social movement activists, journalists, academics and intellectuals. Through this latest collaboration, Albarrán and Ross hope to reach an international public that has been subject to a bombardment of propaganda from the Bolivarian government. You’d be surprised how many people still buy into chavismo propaganda, and the narrative in which a popular, Left-wing government that brought great benefits to a nation is under attack by imperialists and a right-wing “fascist” opposition. The film disputes that line and offers a much-needed alternative view from the perspective of social movements and a democratic left. That this narrative comes in the voice of the very supporters that chavismo claimed to champion, now disillusioned and oppressed, is what really lends this film its powerful authenticity.

Radical White Workers During The Last Revolution

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By Richard Moser for Counter Punch – During the 1960s and 1970s, radical activists set out to organize the white working class. They linked the pursuit of working class interest and economic democracy with anti-racist organizing. They discovered, and helped others realize, that white supremacy and racism are not a friend to white people but one of the main obstacles to fulfilling our own destiny as a free people. The context was the last revolution. The civil rights, black power, feminist, student movements and community organizing set the stage for working class whites to make important contributions to the democracy movements of the time. While these efforts were initiated by various groups, the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), radicalized working class youth, and the Black Panthers, they all eventually depended on the leadership of working class communities. The organizers had been deeply radicalized by the social upheavals of the time. Yet, their own working class backgrounds often placed them on the margins of the New Left. But the activists knew the white working class had enormous untapped potential. The movement to stop the War in Vietnam, fight the bosses, and win the battle against racism needed the hard work and political vision that everyday working people could help provide.

Talking About A Revolution


By Jim Naureckas for Other Words – Saving people and the planet means upending virtually every kind of business — starting with the media. It’s long been clear that if we want to avoid catastrophic climate disruption on a scale that threatens human civilization, we need to leave vast amounts of fossil fuels in the ground. Environmental writer Bill McKibben pointed out the math in a crucial 2012 article for Rolling Stone: To avoid disaster, 80 percent of the carbon already discovered by private and state-owned energy companies has to be left alone — to be treated as useless rock. The problem is, the energy companies are some of the richest, most powerful entities on Earth. Corporations are designed to act like organisms with a single goal: maximizing profits. And the fossil fuel industry’s future profits — roughly 80 percent of them — depend on extracting that carbon and burning it, climate and civilization be damned. They’ve been using and will continue to use their vast influence to thwart any effort to avert that disaster. Does humanity have the collective power to tell the current owners of carbon deposits that they don’t have the right to take them out of the ground and sell them as fuel? That the companies simply don’t own those assets anymore?

Eve Of Destruction…Or Revolution?

Flickr/ teofilo

By Ron Jacobs for Counter Punch – “In order to replace capitalism with an ecological society we need a revolution.” That modest sentence is how Fred Magdoff and Chris Williams, the authors of Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation, begin the last chapter of their new book. Although the chapter is the end of the book, it is also an opening to a new direction, a new movement. It is also the essence of the entire text. Capitalism is the reason our biosphere is collapsing and the only way humanity and the rest of earth’s species can survive is by ending capitalism. Given that capitalism and those who profit most from it have proven time and time again that not only are they unwilling to give up the rapacious economy that is destroying earth, but that they even refuse to admit that it is that system which is the cause, the only solution is revolution. This text is written by two environmental activists (and teachers) with credentials that more than back up the science they explain in this book. Indeed, it is their understanding of the science involved when discussing the ecological crisis we face that has helped inform their Marxist politics.

Is The Post-Capitalism Revolution Already Arriving?

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By Staff of The Free – Take the Cooperativa Integral in Catalonia. . It’s a mixed consumer and producers coop and like many Iberian ventures has its own money, the Ecu. (which is interchangeable with the Euro and other alternative currencies, but not issued or directly controlled by the banks or the State). You can exchange, or gift or buy online, via Faircoop. Tiny tiny, you may say, but this coop is also behind FAIRCOIN, which is a blockchain currency, like Bitcoin but collectively owned and managed without speculation to finance alternative projects and coops., In theory Faircoin could expand exponentially. It could develop into a world Coop currency and money-free credit system quite apart from State and Bank control.. (see #faircoop.. Occupying free economy with Anti-money.. #faircoin and many links below.) The hot organisational topic right now is ‘Democratic Confederalism’, a system elaborated by the heretical anarchist Murray Bookchin. The ideas were adopted by the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan in his lifelong prison cell, and proposed, taken up and adapted by the revolutionary ‘Kurdish Spring’. The Kurds replaced the old hierarchical stalinist resistance of the PKK movement and renounced the goal of a new Kurdish state..

Fourth of July Like You’ve Never Seen It Before!


By Mike Ferner for War Is A Crime. A historically critical article about the American Revolution would typically discuss how the democratic promises of the Declaration were left hanging at war’s end, followed by a decidedly undemocratic constitution six years later. Examples of that would include abandoning ideals stated in the Declaration like: “all men (sic) are created equal” and have unassailable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It could cite that: Slaves weren’t included in “We the People,” they were only the property of their owners. Because this human property, unlike a bale of cotton, could plan to run away, particular attention was paid to securing it. “A person (the indelicate word “slave” never appeared) held to service or labor in one state…escaping to another…shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.” ( IV, sec. 2) To appease Southerners interested in gaining the maximum number of seats in the new House of Representatives, the Fathers of Our Country declared, in writing, that these “other persons” would each count as three-fifths of a human. ( I, sec. 2) Women did not have the right to vote, nor did Catholics and Jews in some states. White, Protestant, men had to own qualifying amounts of property. Thus, only about 6% of the new nation’s population was eligible to vote in the first presidential election and only 3%, or 38,818 people actually did.

Climate Change, Hope, And Revolution: Notes For Dark And Gloomy Times

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By John Foran for Resilience – The other day I was invited to speak in a colleague’s Environmental Studies class, called, simply, “Hope.” It happened to be the day after Donald Trump had uttered his calculated, genocidal stupidities about the Paris Agreement (which he kept calling the “Paris Accord”). By now, a hundred thousand words of outrage, resolve, and analysis have been written and spoken. Let’s go in the opposite direction, then. I’m trying to remember when I first associated hope and revolution. I had been working on a theory of revolutions (long story, longer project). I was searching for what prompted ordinary people to leave everything behind and engage in what seem to outsiders to be extraordinary acts of courage and determination. After some time I felt this arose from what I have come to call (sociologist that I am fated to be) strong and vibrant political cultures of opposition and creation. The bedrock of what I mean by a radical political culture is the subjective side of life here on Mother Earth: memories, experiences, and emotion. Ideologies – generally this meant some form of “socialism” throughout the twentieth century, or today, thinking wishfully, perhaps, “ecosocialism”

Script For Plans To Destroy Bolivarian Revolution Was Written In Washington

Protests in Venezuela have become more violent and better organized as projected in non-conventional warfare strategy. Photo: AVN

By Sergio Alejandro Gómez for Granma – The U.S. doctrine of non-conventional war is based on manipulating citizens to encourage confrontations with authorities, to achieve the strategic objectives of a foreign power without having troops on the ground BREAKING the law, creating a parallel government, organizing alternative economic institutions, harassing public officials, destroying property, hoarding of goods, marching, obstructing social events, boycotting elections, disrupting schools, using false identities, seeking arrests, launching hunger strikes, and overwhelming the state administrative systems – are only a few of the 198 methods to overthrow governments proposed by CIA coup expert Gene Sharp, more than 40 years ago. Finding just one of these techniques that has not been used against Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution is difficult. These last several years, President Nicolás Maduro’s administration has faced particularly intense attacks and the implementation of so-called Non-Conventional War, based on psychological manipulation, social protest, coups, and irregular armed struggle.

Single Payer Congressional Progressive Caucus And The Cuban Revolution

Single payer protest in NYC by Occupy

By Staff of Single Payer Action – And the only Senate member of the Progressive Caucus — Bernie Sanders — is dragging his feet on introducing a companion single payer bill in the Senate. Recalcitrant Democrats say they are too busy defending Obamneycare to get behind single payer. Typical is Progressive Caucus member Don Beyer who said that while he has voiced support for single payer in the past, his immediate priority is “protecting the health care achievements of President Obama.” There is a history here, of course. Back in 2009, a young single payer activist, Nick Skala, ran into the same kind of stonewall from the Progressive Caucus, when he presented the case for single payer.

Manufacturing Dissent Out Of Control Of Our Puppet Masters


By Mitchel Cohen. CJ Hopkins has penned, below, a very perceptive, snide (and funny) analysis of what we’re facing. Might as well call it “Manufacturing Dissent.” I pretty much agree with it, except that as a participant in many radical movements I’ve noted that things happen in the course of movements that the puppet-masters can’t control, although they try. So the neoliberal Dems’ bolstering of the anti-Trump movement is a gambit that they’re willing to risk, just as they’ve done many times in the past. Usually they’ve emerged victorious, but with unanticipated side effects. Our job is to make those “side effects” come back to haunt them. Remember when the robber-baron Jay Gould in the 1880′s bragged that he could hire half the working class to kill the other half? His observation was correct — and so workers organized into the Knights of Labor, Western Federation of Miners, the Wobblies, and other militant working class organizations whose goals included unifying sectors of the working class around defending workers through direct action.

Transformation: Means And Measure Of Revolutionary Change

by jar [o] | CC BY 2.0

By Richard Moser for Counter Punch – Truly massive movements take shape around affirmations of goodness most powerfully represented by the promise of universal values. Our task is to fulfill this promise, recognizing that we doom our efforts to win people’s support and allegiance if we too often rely solely on criticism, resistance, and opposition. It is far, far better thing that we be authors of a new world rather than critics of the old one. If we envision revolution as radical departure or complete discontinuity from the existing world we are likely to both overlook real change and leave the millions behind. A transformative movement works on culture and works with history.

On Martin Luther King Day: Revolutionary Love In An Era Of Trump

Joel Suárez and Berta Zúñiga Cáceres at the Martin Luther King Memorial Center in Havana. (Photo: Beverly Bell)

By Beverly Bell for Truth Out – In the toxic political environment of the US, love is an act of protest. At least, that is what Dr. Martin Luther King, whose 88th birthday we celebrate Monday, said in many ways. As just one example, he wrote in his book Strength to Love, “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” But today, with such dangerous and violent power at play, is love a priority? Should it, or even can it be a fundament of our organizing and mobilization, especially amongst the sectors suffering the rampant attacks and threats?

Universal Values Are Revolutionary Values

Resistance – Find The Cracks

By Staff of Be Freedom – Independence is more than freedom from empire or oppression. Independence is the power to achieve self-governance. In its Constitution, the United States asserts that power as belonging to “We the People.” For the Irish it’s “Sinn Féin” (“We Ourselves.”) In Xhosa, South Africans chanted “Amanda Awethu!” (“Power is Ours!”) The Black Panthers “All Power to the People” became “Power to the People,” perhaps the most widely loved ideal in the movements of the Sixties and Seventies. Listen to John Lennon or Rootz Underground sing it. All these revolutions — and many more — aspired to universal values and moved millions. We need millions because the challenge is steep. Surely, we have lost our democracy.