It’s a thug life


Where would we be if intersectionalists did not provide us with the occasional amusing distraction? Last week, the Occupy Goldsmiths network committed a major faux-pas – it used ironyin its public relations material: in reference to alarmist Daily Mail headlines, it referred to a forthcoming film screening and activist event as “a summer of thuggery”. Continue reading

Don’t mourne, think!

queen's speech

For many working class people, the weeks since the Tory victory have been weeks of demoralisation. It is of course possible to be blasé about the situation: what, after all, could a Labour government, possibly in coalition with the SNP, have delivered except more austerity? The devil, however, is in the detail: whether a cabinet commits to cut 1 or 12 billion pounds per year does make a difference in terms of vital support services on the ground. It is difficult right now to imagine how the Tories’ agenda might be accomplished without producing severe social crisis. Continue reading

“Echte Künstler sind Revolutionäre”

Musikalische Marxisten in London fügen zusammen, was zusammen gehört: Musik und Politik.

association of musical marxists

Die Gründung der Association of Musical Marxists (AMM) in London im November 2010 war gewissermaßen eine Reaktion auf die zwei Gesichter der britischen Linken: Wenn sie unter sich ist, verfällt sie in ausufernde Theoriedebatten, die oft wenig mit gelebter Erfahrung gemein haben. In der Öffentlichkeit dagegen richtet sie sich mit bemühter Alltagssprache an »common people«, wirkt aber eher langweilig, denn »gewöhnliche« Menschen – das weiß der Musikschriftsteller und AMM-Mitbegründer Ben Watson – gibt es nicht.

Die AMM liebt die »Klarheit extremer Aussagen« – wie zum Beispiel von Adorno, den Situationisten und William Blake –, bei denen »sich dem einen die Haare sträuben und von denen andere sich inspiriert fühlen«, verrät Watson. Im Mittelpunkt steht Musik – ob nun auf Demonstrationen mit eigenem AMM-Transparent, beim Improvisieren im Pub oder in Publikationen des AMM-eigenen Unkant-Verlags. M&R-London-Korrespondent Maciej Zurowski sprach mit dem musikalischen Marxisten. Continue reading

Border trouble

border controlsShocking, but not unusual news reached us as some 1400 refugees in transition drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in just one week. And the Sun’s Katie Hopkins, never shy to urinate over heaps of corpses, including the unburied, gave the British public that article. Meanwhile, the left reacted in predictable fashion. For the National Union of Journalists’ badly eviscerated NUJ ‘Left’ grouping, the tragedy provided yet another opportunity to lament insufficient press regulation – if it were up to the NUJ, some members continue to fantasise, the Murdoch press could not print such bile with impunity Continue reading

Labour left election fever

nfa miliband

As is always the case in the run-up to general elections, many comrades will have developed a sudden interest in the Labour Party left during the past months. They might have noted the emergence of the unambiguously named the Socialist Campaign For A Labour Victory. Or rather, its ‘re-emergence’ for the first time since 1979. Today it’s being promoted mainly by the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, with signatories including Labour left stalwarts such as John McDonnell and Hull’s ‘Red Labour’ councillors, Gill Kennett and Dean Kirk. Continue reading

Antifa means air raid

A leftwing book presentation in Leipzig was attacked by ‘antifa’ activists earlier this month. I spoke to the main speaker at the meeting, Susann Witt-Stahl

As long-standing Weekly Worker readers will remember, the ‘anti-Germans’ represent something like the historical low point in the long and overwhelmingly sorry saga of anti-fascism.1Initially formed from a number of scurrilous sects that grew out of the German radical left, the pro-imperialist ‘anti-Germans’ endeavour to “deny the German left the right to exist”, as one of their more striking slogans reads. Whether it is anti-war protests or social struggles, virtually any resistance against the operations of the bourgeoisie faces allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ from a movement whose understanding of fascism and ‘totalitarianism’ owes more to Hayek’s Road to serfdom than it does to Marxist analysis. Continue reading

Blockupy Frankfurt

nfa clowns

In the last couple of days, the eyes of the international left have been on Frankfurt and the massive Blockupy protest against the new, billion-euro European Central Bank headquarters in the German finance metropolis. And what images the protests gave us! From the beautiful – such as a massive banner spelling ‘capitalism kills’ unfurled across one of the central bank’s towers – to the surreal, such as clowns waving placards in front of burning police cars: David Lynch meets Dead Kennedys. Continue reading