Turning the tables
IONCE heard Tony Benn giving a speech at Conway Hall in which he revealed the “most dangerous word in the English language.” Only three letters long, but it had the power to elevate one perspective, and dismiss, reject, and encourage vilification of all others on the subject being discussed. The word was “THE.” Nowhere, in recent years, has Benn’s claim been so powerfully illustrated than in the controversies surrounding definitions of anti-semitism. A poorly worded “working definition” of anti-semitism, plus examples of what 21st-century anti-semitism might look like, were first developed for the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) in 2005, by the American Jewish Committee’s researcher, Kenneth Stern. According to Tony Lerman, former director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, Stern’s document was signed off by just five people, one of whom was Mike Whine, long associated with the Board of Deputies and the Community Security Trust. A few years later, as the document was widely criticised, the EUMC dropped it. But in 2016, it had a miraculous resurrection, adopted virtually word for word by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Some IHRA national delegates, however, described it being “railroaded” through.
The Liberal Contempt for Martin Luther King’s Final Year
The anniversary of his assassination always brings a flood of tributes to Martin Luther King Jr., and this Sunday will surely be no exception. But those tributes — including from countless organizations calling themselves progressive — are routinely evasive about the anti-militarist ideals that King passionately expressed during the final year of his life. You could call it evasion by omission. The standard liberal canon waxes fondly nostalgic about King’s “I have a dream” speech in 1963 and his efforts against racial segregation. But in memory lane, the Dr. King who lived his last year is persona non grata. The pattern is positively Orwellian. King explicitly condemned what he called “the madness of militarism.” And by any reasonable standard, that madness can be diagnosed as pervading U.S. foreign policy in 2021. But today, almost all politicians and mainstream media commentators act as though King never said such things, or if he did then those observations have little to do with today. But they have everything to do with the USA now in its twentieth year of continuous warfare. The Pentagon’s constant bombing in the Middle East and elsewhere is the scarcely noticed wallpaper in the U.S. media’s echo chamber.
LONG LIVE THE PARIS COMMAND! GOOD CHANCE TO THE HEROES OF THE PARIS COMMON!
150 years ago, on March 18, 1871, the Paris working class, which led the laborers, dared to stormily conquer the sky, paving the way to the ultimate liberation of humanity. The Paris Commune represents the first seizure of power by the international proletariat. Together with the Commune, the working class raised the red flag, never to lower it again, no matter how many failures and failures on the road to ultimate victory. It is a permanent example of the moral defense of the proletariat willing to make the sacrifice necessary to build a new socialist order in its march towards communism. The Commune revealed the necessity of overthrowing the bourgeois state and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat in the form of a people's democracy, eliminating the old army and building the armed forces of the people. They declared that the church had left the state, that secular education had come into effect, the tithe tax had been abolished, the fines had been canceled, and that all abandoned workshops and factories would be handed over to the workers to organize their production cooperatives.