Jul 12 2020

THE UK STATE, RIGHT POPULISM AND REACTIONARY UNIONISM IN 2020 – rUK IT or fUK IT?

Allan Armstrong has produced his third online pamphlet, following The Continuing Shift from Neo-Liberalism to Right Populism. This follows the last update which looked at the impact of Right Populism and reactionary unionism on the politics of the these islands after the December 12th UK and February 8th Irish general elections. The contents  of the latest  pamphlet ( https://allanarmstrong831930095.files.wordpress.com/2020/07/dec12th-covid-19-and-blm-scotland2-4.pdf) are shown below. This is followed by two sections from the pamphlet specifically relating to the recent and current situation in Scotland, which form the basis for Allan’s talk on the Campaign for a European Republican Socialist Republican Party Zoom meeting.

 

THE UK STATE, RIGHT POPULISM AND  

REACTIONARY UNIONISM IN 2020

rUK it or fUK it?

 A republican communist analysis in the aftermath of December 12th general election, Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter 

Allan Armstrong. 6.7.20

 

 

Contents

A. FROM THE DECEMBER 12TH WESTMINSTER GENERAL ELECTION THROUGH THE COVID-19 CRISIS

Continue reading “THE UK STATE, RIGHT POPULISM AND REACTIONARY UNIONISM IN 2020 – rUK IT or fUK IT?”

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Jul 02 2020

In memory of Neil Davidson: The West – No Better Than All the Rest

 Allan Armstrong was reading  How the West Came to Rule – The geopolitical origins of capitalism, by How the West Came to Rule – The geopolitical origins of capitalism by Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nisancioglum, as he learned of the tragic death of Neil Davidson. This book was influenced by Neil’s work on Uneven and Combined Development at a world scale.

Allan has engaged in several debates with Neil about how Socialists can address Scottish history. He decided to write a review of Anievas and Nisancioglum’s book, and look at  aspects of British and Scottish history, through the lens they provide.

Allan  sent this review to Conter. He thought that the second  issue of the magazine would be well served if it had a number of articles  in Neil’s memory. However, the Covid-19 crisis has delayed this issue.

 

THE WEST – NO BETTER THAN ALL THE REST

 

Challenging Eurocentric views of the world

I was reading How the West Came to Rule (HtWctR) when I learned of the death of Neil Davidson. Neil is acknowledged by the book’s authors, Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nisancioglu, as one of their inspirers.[1] HtWctR places the Uneven and Combined Development Theory (UCDT) at the centre of its analysis, referencing Neil in doing so.[2] Neil had been making a major contribution to reviving and applying this theory to global history. This led to the conference entitled ‘Uneven and Combined Development for the 21st Century’ held in Glasgow between the 5-7th September 2019. Anievas addressed this conference, albeit on another topic than HtWctR.[3] Although this conference placed historical development in Scotland under the UCDT spotlight, its contributors also examined historical developments over a far wider arena. HtWctR addresses these developments at the global level and represents the most ambitious attempt I have read to utilise UCDT both historically and geographically, whilst also drawing upon other theories. Continue reading “In memory of Neil Davidson: The West – No Better Than All the Rest”

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Jul 02 2020

NEIL DAVIDSON MEMORIAL MEETING, 11.7.20

NEIL DAVIDSON MEMORIAL MEETING

Saturday, July 11th, 20.00

 

 

Join comrades and friends in an online event to remember Neil Davidson who died on 3 May 2020.

You need to REGISTER to receive details by email of how to join this Zoom event: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAof-yorjktEtGWmauKAb958o3TEgvpAD–

Neil Davidson was a socialist militant and a highly innovative Marxist historian and sociologist, a member of revolutionary socialism in the 21st century (rs21), a prominent figure in the Scottish left and a lecturer at Glasgow University.

Speakers:
Sara Bennett (opening remarks, Unite / rs21)
Alex Law (Friend and comrade)
Michelle Campbell (PCS)
Steve Edwards (HM editorial board)
Cat Boyd (Radical Independence Campaign, Conter editorial board)
Satnam Virdee (Co-editor No Problem Here)
Jamie Allinson (Salvage editorial board)
Smina Akhtar (Contributor No Problem Here)
Charlie Post (Spectre Journal editorial board)
Maureen McBride (Contributor No Problem Here)
Raymond Morell (Unite / rs21 / Conter editorial board)
Open mic for memories and tributes

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1079869152407045/

You can read an obituary by Neil’s friend and comrade Raymond Morell and add your own memories and pictures here: https://www.rs21.org.uk/2020/05/07/obituary-neil-davidson-1957-2020/

If you’ve not used zoom before there’s a beginners’ guide to joining a zoom call here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UGE128WVZWxNKe1qxubbxgV17ucN9QBFXpPK0V6ibyU/edit?usp=sharing. If you need any help or want to have a practice please ask in good time.

The event will start at 8pm UK time (UTC+1). Please join by 8pm. Participants other than planned speakers will be in the zoom ‘waiting room’ and let in to the event around 8pm.

Hosted by revolutionary socialism in the 21st century. Co-hosted by Conter, Haymarket Books, Historical Materialism and Salvage Quarterly.

 

__________

also see the following obituaries from Raymond Morell, rs21 and George Kerevan in bella caledonia

Obituary: Neil Davidson, 1957–2020

https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2020/05/07/an-appreciation-of-neil-davidson-1957-2020/

 

and the following memorial review by Allan Armstrong

In memory of Neil Davidson: The West – No Better Than All the Rest

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Jun 15 2020

PAULINE BRADLEY SINGS WORKERS’ SONG

Category: Cultural CelebrationRCN @ 10:28 am

Pauline Bradley sings her latest Workers’ Song.

 

 

also see:-

PAULINE BRADLEY SINGS ABOUT HELEN MACFARLANE ON MAY DAY

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May 18 2020

KEVIN KEATING – An Appreciation

It was with great sadness I learned of the death of Kevin Keating.  I first met Kevin and his partner, Anne Conway, at the Socialist Democracy (Ireland) weekend schools held near Kippure, in the upper Liffey Valley in  Wicklow Mountains, from 2007-9. The political debates  were of a very high standard, and the camaraderie and shared meal-making and social drinking very enjoyable (for which thanks must also go the ‘master of ceremonies’ – John McAnulty).

When the first of these weekend schools ended, I stayed with Kevin and Anne in their north Dublin house. I stayed again before and after the following years’ weekend schools. I much appreciated their very informative discussions based on their trade union and community experience in Dublin. Kevin used to take me to The Cobblestone in Dublin’s Smithfield, where he joined the other musicians who played and sang there. It reminded me of Sandy Bells in Edinburgh. I had always hoped that he and Anne would make it over to Scotland, my most recent invite following the birthday greetings Kevin sent me this February. Although I did not know it, Kevin was already seriously ill. My thoughts go out to Anne for whom the invitation still very much stands.

Knowing Kevin relatively fleetingly I am posting the the following two much fuller appreciations:-

Kevin was interviewed by the Irish Revolution blog this February about his years of activism. This interview can be seen at:-

https://theirishrevolution.wordpress.com/2020/02/24/interview-with-veteran-irish-working-class-and-marxist-activist-kevin-keating/

A political appreciation from a comrade and friend, Gearoid O’ Loinsigh 

http://www.socialistdemocracy.org/RecentArticles/RecentKevinKeatingATribute.html

A political appreciation from his Socialist Democracy (Ireland) comrades first appeared on the Socialist Democracy website.

http://www.socialistdemocracy.org/RecentArticles/RecentKevinKeatingPresente.html

A political appreciation from his Socialist Democracy (Ireland ) comrade and historian Rayner O’Connor Lysaght

http://socialistdemocracy.org/RecentArticles/RecentKevinKeatingAnAppreciation.html

 

KEVIN KEATING – PRESENTE!

 

 

Our dear comrade Kevin Keating has died. Continue reading “KEVIN KEATING – An Appreciation”

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May 11 2020

IDEOLOGY AND SCIENCE

In the political  climate since the 2008 Financial Crisis and now with  the Coronavirus pandemic, there has been a marked increase on anti-science thinking. Whilst particularly prevalent on the Far Right, such thinking has spread far wider. Thus article, first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland), examines this phenomenon in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

IDEOLOGY AND SCIENCE

Sir David King, former Chief Scientific Advisor

 

It has been reported by the Sunday Times newspaper that Sir David King a former Chief Scientific Advisor to the British Government is to set up an alternative scientific advisory group to the current one. The alternative advisory group are to go online with their recommendations and conduct open access conversations with the best scientists willing to participate in democratic debate, mainly on YouTube. The former scientific adviser says his patience has finally run out with how things are being handled by the existing Government SAGE committee. He points out that the current group is not acting as others did in the recent past, it is pledged to offer independent scientific advice but how can it do that when political watchdogs like Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s principal political advisor, are participating members of the SAGE panel:-

‘Dominic Cummings is a political advisor to the PM, and the chief scientific officer is an advisor to the PM, and I think this is very dangerous for only one of them really understands the science.’ Continue reading “IDEOLOGY AND SCIENCE”

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May 11 2020

INTERNATIONALISM FROM BELOW, Volume 4, part A

Allan Armstrong is in the process of writing Volume Four of the Internationalism from Below series. This volume is entitled, Communists, nation-states and nationalism during the 1916-21/3 International Revolutionary Wave’.

Due to the Coronavirus lockdown, Allan has not been able to complete the research to finish this. However, the part which deals with the situation in Latvia, Finland and Ukraine, between the February 1917 Revolution and the Treaty of Brest Litovsk in March in 1918, has been finished.  This begins with an examination of the role of Social Democrats, including the Leninist wing of the Bolsheviks and the Radical Left in addressing the ‘National Question’. It also outlines the beginnings of a renewed ‘Internationalism from Below’ approach, which was later to develop in Ukraine.

This part of Book Four can be accessed at:-

https://allanarmstrong831930095.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/internationalism-from-below-book-4a-3.pdf

This E&L website will give notice when the full book is available. Continue reading “INTERNATIONALISM FROM BELOW, Volume 4, part A”

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Apr 26 2020

INDEPENDENT WOMEN FOR AN INDEPENDENT LAND

Pauline Bradley sings Independent Women for an Independent Land

also see:-

 

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2020/03/31/pauline-bradley-the-virus/

 

TRUMPITY TRUMP

 

 

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Apr 18 2020

INTERNATIONALISM FROM BELOW – Volume 3

Allan Armstrong has completed the third volume of his book – Internationalism from Below: Reclaiming a communist tradition to challenge the nation-state and capitalist empire. This volume is titled, Revolutionary Social Democracy, Nation-States and Nationalism in the Age of High Imperialism and the Second International (1889-1916). It can be read online at:-

https://allanarmstrong831930095.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/internationalism-from-below-book-3doc-1.pdf

Most of the theories the Left uses today to address the ‘National Question’ have their origins in the period of High Imperialism leading up to the First World War and the outbreak of the 1916-21/3 International Revolutionary Wave. These theories are linked to the names of Kaul Kautsky, Otto Bauer, Rosa Luxemburg, Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin. All emerged in the context of a Second International struggling with the impact of High Imperialism and the growing threats of war.  The authors  of these theories sometimes competed over their claims to provide  an orthodox Marxist underpinning for their approach to the ‘National Question’. However, during this period an ‘Internationalism from Below’ trend also emerged. It was less concerned with being orthodox, but analysed the latest developments in the formation of nations and nation-states from the perspective of revolutionary Social Democrats living in oppressed nations. These writers and activists included James Connolly in Ireland, Kazimierz Kelles-Kreuz in Poland and Lev Iurkevich in Ukraine. Their theories were to be tested in the 1916-21/3 International Revolutionary Wave, which forms the subject of Volume 4. Continue reading “INTERNATIONALISM FROM BELOW – Volume 3”

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Mar 31 2020

Review of ‘Quines’ by Jim Aitken

We are posting this review by one of our contributors, Jim Aitken, of Quines, Poems in tribute to the women of Scotland, written by Gerda Stevenson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerda_Stevenson). This review was first posted by Culture Matters. Accompanying illustrations of textiles are by artists from EDGE: Textile Artists Scotland.

 

A FEARLESS GAZE OF HOPE – ‘QUINES’

 

 

The second edition of Gerda Stevenson’s Quines came out with some fanfare as it was launched to coincide with International Women’s Day. The launch at the Central Library in Edinburgh was also accompanied by a unique exhibition in honour of some of the poems in the book by EDGE: Textile Artists Scotland. Continue reading “Review of ‘Quines’ by Jim Aitken”

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