The sentiment that we are “permanently” doomed to an unequal and squalid political-economic situation is not some brave minority position. Only someone who confused reflexive negativity with thoughtful critique would think so. On the contrary, it’s the most conventional possible type of thinking, beamed at us every hour from almost all mainstream outlets: Don’t think too big or expect too much. Confine yourselves to the pettiest possible political debates.

Ben Davis (via rs620)

yes! and more on (im)possibility…

Willing the impossible: an interview with Judith Butler

Well, there are people who believe in realpolitik and who say: “There’s never going to be one state, there’s never going to be equality, there’s never going to be peace…don’t fool yourself. If you want to be political, get concrete and see what adjustments you can make in the current regime”. Then I just think, ok, what would it mean if we lived in a world in which no one held out for the possibility of substantial political equality, or for a full cessation of colonial practices - if no one held out for those things because they were impossible? People do scoff when you say right of return. I was at a meeting with Palestinians and Israelis where people said: “That will never happen.” So I said, “well it will not be taken off the table.”In fact in politics, sometimes the thing that will never happen actually starts to happen. And there have to be people who hold out for that, and who accept that they are idealists and that they are operating on principle as opposed to realpolitik. If there were no such ideals then our entire political sensibility would be corrupted by this process.

(via todoelajo)

The sentiment that we are “permanently” doomed to an unequal and squalid political-economic situation is not some brave minority position. Only someone who confused reflexive negativity with thoughtful critique would think so. On the contrary, it’s the most conventional possible type of thinking, beamed at us every hour from almost all mainstream outlets: Don’t think too big or expect too much. Confine yourselves to the pettiest possible political debates.

What were the protesters in Ferguson actually protesting on Sunday night? More than the death of an innocent black man, they were protesting the very disposability of the Black Body. The disposition of ‘ontological death’, meaning what constitutes a ‘full person’ (by any interpretation) is not recognized in the black population of America by the prevailing social institutions. So little significance does the Black Body hold that the media would rather talk about broken windows and burned out corner stores than the death of a living, breathing, human being.

The murder of Michael Brown was not a coincidence nor is it unrelated in the scope of American history. It must be contextualized in a long and ongoing lineage of violence against the Black Body and specifically that national oppression of Black peoples which works on behalf of the racist white supremacist capitalism of the United States. Michael Brown wasn’t the first innocent Black man to be murdered by racist pigs and he won’t be the last if we cannot change the course of the future.

There is a war being waged right now against the most basic existence of an entire population, and it’s happening on your street. The systemic oppression of the black population is integral to the very development of the United States as has been observed historically. Black people were and still are the free labor, they were and still are the most poor and vulnerable, they were and still are the ‘societal excess’ by which every ‘symptom’ of capital accumulation could be blamed upon. The war against the Black community is an ‘American war’ in the most authentic sense of the phrase.



Who is really using human shields? The IDF of course.

I think the most ironic thing about this whole “Hamas uses human shields” allegation, is that the IDF is notorious for using Palestinians as human shields.

This is far from unusual:

B’Tselem: IDF uses Palestinians as human shield.

B’Tselem: IDF used Palestinian girl as human shield in Nablus.

Two IDF soldiers charged with using 9 year old human shield in Gaza.

Video showing IDF using Palestinians as human shields in Gaza.

Israel has constantly used this allegation not only against civilians in Gaza, but also when it bombed civilian populations in Lebanon during the 2006 war. Witness accounts and international rights organizations have stated time and time again that no evidence to this has been found either in Lebanon or in Gaza.

But somehow, the word of Israel, a country that needs to hire people to spread its propaganda online, still has a shred of credibility.

We remain convinced that the only viable solutions for humanity lie within socialism. The current global capitalist crises, genocide, senseless wars to impose imperialist interests and environmental degradation, demonstrate for all to see that capitalism is a discredited and barbaric system.

Clear features of a discredited capitalist system can be seen in global warming, environmental destruction, the threat of nuclear war, the ever growing sense of hopelessness, anger, hunger, inequality, unemployment, corruption, among many other human problems — all produced by a global capitalist system that puts profits before people.

The majority of South Africans –- who constitutes the black working class and rural/landless poor -– no longer, feel that the 1994 democratic breakthrough will mean anything beyond periodic elections. The daily experience of the working class and rural/landless poor is that of mass poverty, unemployment and extreme inequalities in a very rich country. Twenty years after our democratic breakthrough, it is patently clear that South Africans are as far apart as they were before 1994.

Much of the despondency of the working class is as a direct result of the failure by the 1994 breakthrough to radically implement the Freedom Charter in full. NUMSA is determined to campaign for the full and radical implementation of the Freedom Charter.

No one, we insist, must pretend that all is well in post-1994 South Africa, when millions of workers, especially young Black workers, cannot find work. Half our population lives substandard lives, surviving well below any decent poverty line. The massive de-industrialisation we have suffered as a result of the reckless neoliberal capitalist policies post-1994, from GEAR [Growth, Employment and Redistribution macroeconomic plan] to the now repackaged, yet identical twin called the National Development Plan (NDP), will simply worsen our plight.

Given our natural wealth, we are convinced South Africa can become a developing and prospering country in which the majority of our people can be provided with meaningful and decent work, share the land, live safe and in peaceful environments. We are convinced that we can have a thriving rural population with sufficient food and a sustainable livelihood. We know that it is very possible to have the wealth of the country benefit all the people of South Africa. This is what the Freedom Charter demands and this is what the rulers since 1994 has abandoned to enrich a tiny minority at the expense of the majority.

To achieve all this and more, South Africa must start and navigate its tough journey towards socialism.



Statement in Solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza and with seekers of freedom and justice world-wide

As Palestinian, indigenous, women of color, anti-racist, and Jewish feminists involved in a range of social justice struggles, we strongly condemn the current massacre of the Palestinians of Gaza and affirm our support for and commitment to the growing international movement for a free Palestine and for racial justice, equality, and freedom for all.

As many of us know from time spent in Palestine and in other movements for justice, the connections between the movement for a free Palestine and anti-colonial struggles for self-determination throughout the world are inextricable.  

The current Israeli attacks on Gaza have resulted in more than 1900 Palestinian deaths, including over 450 children; the displacement of up to 25% of the population; and the destruction of crucial infrastructure such as sanitation, hospitals, and schools.  We condemn and are horrified by the current acts of Israeli brutality, while also recognizing the deeply rooted and ongoing violence that Palestinians are forced to endure on a daily basis- for example, living in ghetto-like conditions in Gaza, systematically having land confiscated, being deprived of their livelihoods, collective punishment, gender and racial violence, and ongoing expulsion and displacement from the Nakba until today.

An extensive prison system bolsters the occupation and suppresses resistance.  Over 5,000 Palestinians are locked inside Israeli prisons; more than 200 are children.  There is ongoing criminalization of their political activity.

We believe in the critical importance, now more than ever, of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions call for Israel to 1) End its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantle the Wall; 2) Recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3) Respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194. The purpose of the BDS campaigns is to pressure Israeli state-sponsored institutions to adhere to international law, basic human rights, and democratic principles as a condition for just and equitable social relations. 

We stand with the Palestinian community and with activists all over the world in condemning the flagrant injustices of the current Israeli massacre against the Palestinians of Gaza; the land, air, and sea blockade of Gaza; and the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

We call for an end to US military aid, at more than 3 billion a year, for the Israeli state and its occupation. 

We call upon all people of conscience to stand with Palestine and to join the worldwide actions in which communities and civil society are stepping up in critical ways. We recognize that all our struggles for social, racial, gender, and economic justice and for self-determination are deeply interconnected and can only gain strength and power from one another. As Audre Lorde taught us, “When we can arm ourselves with the strength and vision from all our diverse communities then we will in truth all be free at last.”


Ujju Aggarwal, INCITE!; New School for Social Research

Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, San Francisco State University

Bina Ahmad, National Lawyers Guild

Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley

Linda Carty, Syracuse University

Ayoka Chenzira, Artist and Filmmaker

Angela Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz

Gina Dent, University of California, Santa Cruz

Zillah Eisenstein, Anti-Racist Feminist Scholar, Activist, Writer

Eve Ensler, Writer, Activist, Founder of V-Day and One Billion Rising

G. Melissa Garcia, Dickinson College

Anna Guevarra, University of Illinois at Chicago

Lisa Kahaleole Hall, Wells College

bell hooks, Feminist critic and writer

Suad Joseph, University of California, Davis

J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Wesleyan University

Nada Khader, WESPAC Foundation

Mona Khalidi, Columbia University

Reem Khamis-Dakwar, Adelphi University

Nancy Kricorian, Writer

Amina Mama, University of California, Davis

Hannah Mermelstein, Adalah-NY; Librarians and Archivists with Palestine

Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Syracuse University

Nadine Naber, University of Illinois, Chicago

Premilla Nadasen, Barnard College

Donna Nevel, Jews Say No!; Nakba Education Project, US

Dana Olwan, Syracuse University

Barbara Ransby, University of Illinois at Chicago

Beverly Guy Sheftall, Author, Atlanta, Georgia

Kimberly M. Tallbear, University of Texas, Austin

Rebecca Vilkomerson, Jewish Voice for Peace

Alice Walker, Writer and Activist

5 August 2014

How black radicals came to see China as a beacon of Third World revolution and Mao Zedong thought as a guidepost is a complicated and fascinating story involving literally dozens of organizations and covering much of the world—from the ghettos of North America to the African countryside. The text following thus does not pretend to be comprehensive; instead, we have set out in this essay to explore the impact that Maoist thought and, more generally, the People’s Republic of China have had on black radical movements from the 1950s through at least the mid-1970s. In addition, our aim is to explore how radical black nationalism has shaped debates within Maoist or “anti-revisionist” organizations in the United States. It is our contention that China offered black radicals a “colored” or Third World Marxist model that enabled them to challenge a white and Western vision of class struggle—a model that they shaped and reshaped to suit their own cultural and political realities. Although China’s role was contradictory and problematic in many respects, the fact that Chinese peasants, as opposed to the European proletariat, made a socialist revolution and carved out a position in world politics distinct from the Soviet and U.S. camps endowed black radicals with a deeper sense of revolutionary importance and power. Finally, not only did Mao prove to blacks the world over that they need not wait for “objective conditions” to make revolution, but also his elevation of cultural struggle profoundly shaped debates surrounding black arts and politics.
What remains of the radical left now operates largely outside of any institutional or organized oppositional channels, in the hope that small-scale actions and local activism can ultimately add up to some kind of satisfactory macro alternative. This left, which strangely echoes a libertarian and even neoliberal ethic of anti-statism, is nurtured intellectually by thinkers such as Michel Foucault and all those who have reassembled postmodern fragmentations under the banner of a largely incomprehensible post-structuralism that favors identity politics and eschews class analysis. Autonomist, anarchist and localist perspectives are everywhere in evidence. But to the degree that this left seeks to change the world without taking power, so an increasingly consolidated capitalist class remains unchallenged in its ability to dominate the world without constraint.
David Harvey, Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism (via apoliticalnonsense)


A few weeks ago rs620 posted a short excerpt from this film made by and about the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, this is the entire documentary.

The League of Revolutionary Black workers emerged from the unionization efforts of DRUM, ELRUM, Student groups around Michigan (esp. Wayne State University)— I think the most famous work on them is “Detroit: I Do Mind Dying” I watched this like 3 years ago (I’m gonna re-watch it right now) but I remember an especially sharp analysis of Black women’s positions within white supremacist capitalist patriarchy being articulated and an small protest with these men shouting “be baaaaaaaddd, be bad! be bad!”




The Times of Israel is a zionist online newspaper founded by a former reporter from the right-wing zionist Jerusalem Post. Its blog section is always filled with incitement and propaganda against Palestinians. Today, however, they crossed a line. Although the moral repugnancy of this sentiment gave no one working at this rag second thoughts, the backlash on twitter has now forced the editors to remove the piece. 

The name of the author is Yochanan Gordon. May this haunt him for the rest of his pathetic life.

[source of top photo]

Benjamin Doherty of the Electronic Intifada managed to save a cached version of the whole article here. It’s exactly as vile as you’d expect.

In the House Intelligence Committee hearings, California representative Jane Harman (Democrat from California and chair of the House Intelligence Committee) put it bluntly: “We can no longer expect an Intelligence Community that is mostly male and mostly white to be able to monitor and infiltrate suspicious organizations or terrorist groups. We need spies that look like their targets, CIA officers who speak the dialects that terrorists use, and FBI agents who can speak to Muslim women that might be intimidated by men”.

For this reason, the [Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence] program wasn’t aimed at students attending Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or other Ivy League schools or internationally renowned universities like Stanford or Berkeley or the University of Chicago. The program’s architects consciously directed it at schools where minority students are the majority—predominantly African American and Latino universities, which are chronically underfunded. Perhaps this reflects the shape of “multiculturalism” in a militarized society: the government’s spy agencies and armed forces recruit minority students from low-income regions in order to “monitor and infiltrate” people (“targets”) that look and speak like them.
Lenin, at the turn of the century, wrote a book entitled Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. If one would read this little pamphlet one would see here that Mr. Lenin had precisely pointed out that all of the world had already been conquered and divided by colonial powers. There was nowhere else in the world left to be conquered and divided by colonial powers. This is the time when Zionism comes to rise. Zionism comes to look for a state when everywhere else in the world had already been dominated. Thus in order for Mr. Herzl to get a country for Zionists what he did was attach himself to imperialism. British imperialism in this case quite specifically. Of course as an African who suffered under the heels of British imperialism, I can have no love for it and certainly I cannot love anyone who attaches themselves to it for the foundation of a state and then call this a “liberation movement”. Liberation movements fight against imperialism – not with it! The legal foundation of the state of Israel is what is known as the Balfour Declaration. This declaration was issued in 1917. A man in the government of Britain named Balfour wrote a paper and promised the Jews a national home. The national home he promised them was an area which Britain was colonizing – Palestine. Palestine did not belong to the British just like Ireland doesn’t belong to the British even though they have troops there. But here these British imperialists signed a note and gave it to the Zionists and they accepted it. Where is the mortality in this? If you say that Israel belongs to you then you do not go to British thieves to get it, you go and take it. Once you go to an immoral being such as British imperialism and this becomes the basis for you getting the land, then clearly those who are true liberation fighters must question this […] Zionism is certainly not a liberation movement because it never fought against any imperialism as a matter of fact today Zionism is the baby child and infant protector of imperialism in the Middle East. It carries out the interests of American imperialism. If our tax dollars would stop being given to Israel, the state would sink tomorrow. And certainly no one can deny that American imperialism is the leading imperialist force in the world. So we cannot see how a “liberation movement” is so tied string and ham to American imperialism.
Kwame Ture, formerly known as Stokely Carmichael, in a lecture on Zionism, White Supremacy, and Imperialism