Return to materialism

Peter Camejo prepared this discussion piece in 1995, following the 16th national conference of the Australian Democratic Socialist Party in December 1994-January 1995. The piece was not published, even internally, in the DSP, and thus was not polished for publication. It circulated at the time in the leadership of the DSP and among some dissidents and former members of the DSP, and among collaborators of Peter Camejo in North America. Minor grammatical errors have been corrected in this digital version.

Introduction

As we reach halfway through the 1990s certain errors that characterized much of the left in the radicalization of the 1960s and 1970s are now somewhat clearer. In this article I want to focus on the sectarianism and dogmatism that dominated much of the left for a period. Specifically I want to try to make an evaluation of the strength and weakness of the movement that based itself on Leon Trotsky’s interpretation of the rise of Stalinism (and therefore decline of Marxism.)

The reason I am returning to this topic is because I believe it is still an issue today in various organizations. Some, which are hopelessly sectarian, I do not wish to deal with concretely because there is no immediate hope to see them become part of the living struggles for social progress in the world.

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From Chiapas to Rojava: seas divide us, autonomy binds us

Featured in ROAR Magazine

Despite being continents apart, the struggles of the Kurds and Zapatistas share a similar purpose: to resist capitalism, liberate women and build autonomy.

 

Power to the people can only be put into practice when the power exercised by social elites is dissolved into the people.
— Murray Bookchin


This article was originally published at Kurdish Question and has been edited and republished with the author’s permission. Author Petar Stanchev

 

Only six months ago very few people had ever heard of Kobani. But when ISIS launched its futile attack on the town in September 2014, the little Kurdish stronghold quickly became a major focal point in the struggle against the religious extremists. In the months that followed, Kobani was transformed into an international symbol of resistance, compared to both Barcelona and Stalingrad for its role as a bulwark against fascism.

The brave resistance of the People’s and Women’s Defense Units (YPG and YPJ) was praised by a broad spectrum of groups and individuals — from anarchists, leftists and liberals to right-wing conservatives — who expressed sympathy and admiration for the men and women of Kobani in their historical battle against the forces of ISIS.

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Podemos: Politics by the people

Andrew Dolan interviews Eduardo Maura of Podemos, the people-powered party that is transforming Spanish politics
February 2015

Originally featured on Red Pepper

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Photo: Podemos Ciutat de Valencia

Less than a year after its formation, a populist left-wing party is claiming more than 200,000 members and topping the opinion polls in Spain. Its leader, Pablo Iglesias, has the highest approval rating of any Spanish politician and opinion polls show Podemos, which was only launched in January 2014, surpassing one or both of the major two parties and even entering government at the next election.

Podemos (‘We can’) first put its popular support to the test in May’s European elections. It secured nearly 1.25 million votes (8 per cent) and five MEPs, a remarkable achievement for a newly-formed party with no established infrastructure, little money and limited mainstream media coverage.

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