Sep 06 2020

CULTURAL APPROPRIATION – A REACTIONARY DEBATE

E&L has appreciated the significance of cultural arena in the struggle for self-determination. We are posting this article by Gearoid O’Loingsidh which addresses the issue of cultural appropriation.

CULTURAL APPROPRIATION – A REACTIONARY DEBATE

 

 

In the world of identity politics and the myriad expressions of it, one topic pops its head up on a fairly regular basis, that of Cultural Appropriation. There is not one definition of it, but it basically goes that people from one particular culture use artefacts, expressions, musical forms, clothing and other things from a culture other than their own, generally to make money, but not always. Sometimes the mere use is enough to provoke the ire of identitarians and the liberal hangers on. Though it is an accusation generally levelled at white people, as Rihanna and Beyoncé found to their cost, anyone can be accused of it. The debate around Cultural Appropriation makes a number of assumptions and ignores the glaring elephant in the room. The first assumption is that culture is static and “belongs” to a particular group. It also makes assumptions about who that group is. Continue reading “CULTURAL APPROPRIATION – A REACTIONARY DEBATE”

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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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Nov 29 2018

FAKE NEWS AND CONSPIRACY MYTHS

We are posting two related articles. The first is from Media Lens and is about their book, Propaganda Blitz, which addresses the issue of corporate control of the mainstream media. The second is written by Thomas Klikauer and looks at the connection between ‘fake news’ and the far right.

There is a connection between the two. The mainstream media’s promotion of the fake news story about Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction” contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East and the ‘suicide’ of Dr. David Kelly. The AltRight has built on this fake news precedent to develop their own on-line communities, addicted to conspiracy myths, amongst isolated individuals. Their longer tem aim is to mobilise these communities for their own Far Right ends.

 

1. PROPAGANDA BLITZ

 

When we started Media Lens in 2001, our guiding aspiration was that independent, web-based activism would have a profoundly positive impact on public discourse. Continue reading “FAKE NEWS AND CONSPIRACY MYTHS”

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Dec 02 2016

ST. ANDREWS DAY OR JOHN MACLEAN DAY?

The Irish Workers' Republican Starry Plough does not have an equivalent accepted by the working class in Scotland

The Irish Workers’ Republican Starry Plough does not have an equivalent accepted by the working class in Scotland

Today is St. Andrews Day. It is not yet a full-blown public holiday, although there is some partial observance. The following article was written by Allan Armstrong for the Lothian SSP bulletin in November 2007. It is even more relevant today, when Scottish nationalists try to subsume all of us under the saltire.
Continue reading “ST. ANDREWS DAY OR JOHN MACLEAN DAY?”

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Apr 09 2016

TOWARD A SECULAR SOCIETY

Eric Chester (RCN) takes David Cameron to task over his promotion of a Christian UK.

Forgive us our debts and hallowed be thy tax havens

Forgive us our debts and hallowed be thy tax havens

During his recent Easter weekend address, Prime Minister David Cameron made a point of declaring that the United Kingdom was a “Christian country.” This is not the first time Cameron has used religion to advance his conservative agenda. In his speech, he argued that Christians had certain values, including compassion, that were those held by the UK as a whole. This is ironic coming from the proponent of the bedroom tax and a budget that cuts funds for the disabled, but hypocrisy has always been a trademark of mainstream politicians.
Continue reading “TOWARD A SECULAR SOCIETY”

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Sep 13 2015

CLASS AND NATION IN CONTEMPORARY SCOTLAND

CLASS AND NATION IN CONTEMPORARY SCOTLAND CONFERENCE

September 17th-18th

The Renfield Centre, 260, Bath Street, Glasgow,  G2 4HZ

Last September the Sociology Department at Glasgow University held a successful conference on ‘Racism: from the Labour Movement to the Far Right’. We are pleased to announce that we are holding a second conference next month, with a slightly broader remit this time. The aim of our event is to provide a platform for academics, different kinds of activists (political, community, trade union), and for people simply in their capacity as citizens to debate and discuss the meaning of ‘Class and Nation in Contemporary Scotland’ following last year’s independence referendum. We are hosting a key note lecture on Thursday 17 September, followed by a one-day conference on Friday 18 September. We have attached a programme for the conference which details the panels and speakers confirmed.
Continue reading “CLASS AND NATION IN CONTEMPORARY SCOTLAND”

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Aug 05 2015

WHAT THE FUK? – Fascist UK, Britannia and the Far Right

Gavin Bowd’s book Fascist Scotland, Caledonia and the Far Right has given succour to unionist opponents of Scottish self-determination. Allan Armstrong (RCN) provides a republican and international socialist critique.

WHAT THE FUK?

Fascist UK, Britannia and the Far Right

th-5

 

1) What is a fascist organisation?

Gavin Bowd’s book, Fascist Scotland, Caledonia and the Far Right, contains a lot of useful material about far right writings, culture and organisation in Scotland since the 1920s. However, Bowd does not define what he means by fascism, nor distinguish it from other forms of reactionary or right populist politics. These often invoke similar chauvinist, ethnic or racist themes. The purpose behind Bowd’s lack of clarity over the political basis of fascism only emerges gradually.
Continue reading “WHAT THE FUK? – Fascist UK, Britannia and the Far Right”

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Jan 21 2015

THE RCN AND THE CAMPAIGN FOR SCOTTISH SELF-DETERMINATION

THE REPUBLICAN COMMUNIST NETWORK, THE RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CAMPAIGN,

AND THE CAMPAIGN FOR SCOTTISH SELF-DETERMINATION

Photo of RCN banner – Patricia Kirk & John Lannigan

Contents

A) The emergence and clash of Left British unionism and Left Scottish nationalism

B) The politics of the Scottish independence referendum campaign

C) How the Left responded to the demand for greater national self-determination in Scotland

D) Carrying over lessons learned from the SSP experience

           i)   the need for political platforms

           ii)  the need for a revolutionary pole of attraction

           iii) the need for political balance sheets to avoid repeating earlier mistakes

E) Promoting socialist republicanism and ‘internationalism from below’

           i) The political legacy of the Republican Socialist Conventions and the Global Commune events

           ii) Debating with other socialists during the Scottish independence referendum campaign

           iii) promoting socialist republicanism and ‘internationalism from below’ in RIC

           iv) the debate over secularism

           v) the debate over Ireland

F) Debates and differences within the RCN

          i) in the lead up and during the referendum campaign

          ii) since the September 18th referendum

          iii) the future for RIC, the all-islands Republican Socialist Alliance and the Scottish Left Project

Appendix

 

___________________

 

Continue reading “THE RCN AND THE CAMPAIGN FOR SCOTTISH SELF-DETERMINATION”

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Jan 11 2015

THE RCN’S UPDATED ‘WHAT WE STAND FOR’

Over the RCN weekend away from November 7th-9th 2014 held near Dunfermline and our aggregates held on January 11th in Edinburgh and February 21st, 2015 in Glasgow, we updated our What We Stand For in the light of our recent engagement with the struggle for Scottish self-determination and our ongoing discussions on communism, secularism and patriarchy.  Here are the results of our discussions and debates.

 

newbanner

 

WHAT WE STAND FOR

1)      Another world is possible – a joyful, creative, new world communism which emancipates us all from oppression and frees us all from exploitation, and which forms a new sustainable relationship between humanity and the environment.
Continue reading “THE RCN’S UPDATED ‘WHAT WE STAND FOR’”

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Oct 20 2014

MORE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE RCN’S ‘WHAT WE STAND FOR’

The RCN will be debating new amendments to our ‘What We Stand For’ on our annual weekend away being  held on November 8th. The first set of amendments proposed by Allan Armstrong were posted at:- http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/08/09/proposed-amendments-to-the-rcns-what-we-stand-for/. Eric Chester has proposed another set of amendments, which are posted below.

 

Add to point 5: We call for the immediate withdrawal from NATO and the European Union. We will work toward the formation of a federation of European states.

Continue reading “MORE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE RCN’S ‘WHAT WE STAND FOR’”

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