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north america / mexico / anti-fascism / review Thursday October 01, 2020 13:28 byLAMA

A review of a book about the extreme-Right in the contemporary USA.

Christopher Ketcham (Editor), Jeff Schwilk (Photographer); Paul Street (Contributor): Shane Burley (Contributor); Tizz Bee (Contributor)

Publisher: AK Press
Format: Book
Binding: pb
Pages: 88
Released: September 1, 2020
ISBN-13: 9781849353953

2020 is more than half over and maybe the United States is too. Trump seems to be working on a smooth transition of power from himself to himself regardless of any upcoming election results. Below him, society is fracturing in ways his rhetoric has welcomed and encouraged from day one of his candidacy. There has been a complex mix of influences affecting and effecting this, but undoubtedly prominent among them are various Right-Wing organisations. They have mushroomed in the dark over a number of years but have in recent times fully come to light. Its timely then that Unflattering Photos of Fascists: Authoritarianism in Trump’s America has just been published. This short collection of essays and photos looks at the growth of the Ultra-Right under Trump and the interplay between them.

Though this book is certainly welcome, some criticism is required. The title is a bit misleading. Firstly, while fascism has always been a slippery term, there are some people depicted in the photos that perhaps don’t qualify for the label. The inside cover actually has a lengthy and well considered disclaimer to that effect. Perhaps it would have been better to be more selective in the choice of photos or to have changed the title of the book?

Secondly, a case can be made that with one or two exceptions, the pictures aren’t especially unflattering. You could argue that merely being in one of these pictures is an unflattering thing in itself. Certainly to anyone on the Left that’s axiomatic. However, if you want to make a better case in order to convince others, these photos might not do it. Yes, some of the subjects are wearing sub-cultural signifiers that appear silly or outlandish to us, but not necessarily to anyone else. They could easily just see a guy with a beard wearing a Trump T-shirt and sunglasses as, well, just that. Or youthful Trump supporters holding amateurishly rendered cartoons on homemade placards as just poor artists. The fact the cartoons once decoded demonstrate a commitment to a brutal ideology is chilling when contrasted with the fresh faced appearance of their makers. That’s not the same as saying the photo is unflattering. The amateurism of their rendering could be interpreted as endearingly ernest.

The photographer Jeff Schwilk writes “The photos included may depict the subjects looking ridiculous. It would be easy to dismiss them as fools harmlessly enacting a fantasy. But core white supremacists are as deadly serious today as they have been throughtout the county’s history. Future oppressors are often viewed as bumbling idiots. But if we are too complacent, hindsight may show us to be the fools, blind to the threat” (p. 47). These are excellent points and his stated intention was sound.There must have been photos that missed inclusion, that either through choice of subjects or composition could have unambiguously portrayed their subjects unflatteringly? There are some photos here that give food for thought in their juxtapositioning of content. Overall the photo section feels like Schwilks camera didn’t quite match his honourable intentions. A respectable, slightly missed opportunity in that regard.

Despite the title, this is not in fact solely a photo essay. It contains written contributions that definitely add to the tome’s worthiness. Schwilk writes movingly about his personal experiences tackling fascists from as early as the 90s’ and his own activism. Paul Street’s article looks at a taxonomy of fascism and how the phenomenon occupies a Venn diagram with Trumpism. He also usefully deconstructs the myth of Trump as a working-class hero. His article is written in a lively, no-holds-barred-style with some wonderful labels and turns of phrase (Trumpenproletariat, Donito Trumpolini, Great Tangerine God) that rightly find a balance between sound analysis and no respect for his subject. Shane Burley’s section charts the rise and fall of the hipster fascist Richard Spencer and delves into the (probably little known to those of us elsewhere) historical legalised racism that existed in Oregon. Tizz Bee also writes on Oregon with a specific focus on Portland. Bee’s most useful portions establish the nexus between fascists, cops and environmentally destructive businesses in that area. Lastly, there is also a visual glossary of fascist symbols that usefully explains some of the otherwise innocuous-seeming or obscure stuff worn by fascists.

On balance this book is a helpful explanation of what’s going on in the America Trump wants. One of the first steps in dealing with an opponent is to understand who they are and this book does that. Not for the purpose of reasoning with them though. As Street explains “The Trumpenvolk are impervious to rational persuasion. And this is the point: You don’t reason with fascists. You organise against them and defeat them” (p. 64). This is a message with universal applicability. That’s another reason this book is worth getting.

No Pasaran!

international / the left / opinion / analysis Monday September 28, 2020 10:38 byLAMA

A review of the selected writings of Maurice Brinton.

Maurice Brinton, For Workers’ Power
Publisher: AK Press
Format: Book
Binding: pb
Pages: 440
Released: August 4, 2020
ISBN-13: 9781849353830

Karl Bookchin, Murray Marx, Maurice Brinton.

As they used to say on Sesame St “One of these things is not like the other!”. While this trio of names is made up, only one had an actual person behind it. Brinton was the pseudonym of Chris Pallis (1923-2005). He was the Indian-born scion of an Anglo-Greek family, educated in Switzerland and a neurologist by training (try saying that sentence after 4 vodkas and a Molotov cocktail!). He lead a distinguished medical career while simultaneously engaging in revolutionary Left-wing politics in England, hence the use of a cover name. This saw him embark on a trajectory from ephemeral Communist Party membership caused by expulsion for questioning the leadership, to membership in one of the small Trotskyist sects. This too resulted in expulsion by the group’s odious leader, causing Pallis/Brinton and other expellees to establish the group Solidarity. This group was always small but gained a foothold on the Left in Britain, especially as the 1960’s progressed. Its position is probably best described as a kind of iconoclastic libertarian strain of Marxism.

Recently AK Press produced a collection of Brinton’s writings under the title For Workers Power. To some today that title will seem archaic and off putting. That’s partly because the neo-liberal Right has been very effective on a super-structural level in atomising working people, causing us to perceive ourselves as individuals. We are not encouraged to identify ourselves as a unified class, with agency and shared interests. Coming from a different perspective, some on the contemporary Left will balk at what they see as an implied class reductionism in the title. It doesn’t appeal to a sense of intersectionality, but comes across as a crude throwback to a late industrial age that hasn’t got much to say to us today. While the title may dissuade some from delving into the content of this collection, he arguably still has something to say to today’s Left.

Stylistically Brinton is at his best when describing events he personally witnessed. For example, he provides entries from his diary as a witness to a General Strike in Belgium in 1960. His use of the active voice and often short sentences “It is an impressive sight. The crowd swarms over the pavements, overflows the neighbouring streets.” (p.37), provides vivid descriptions that often put the reader in the midst of the action.
Likewise, his fortnight among the workers and students in France during the uprising of May 68 yielded a diary with a similarly propulsive feel. For example “We wave. They wave back. We sing the Internationale. They join in. We give the clenched fist salute. They do likewise. Everybody cheers. Contact has been made [between youthful workers and students]” (p.305).One vignette concerns an activist from a small unnamed Left group who arrives in a crowded street with a suitcase full of leaflets. “There is an unquenchable thirst for information, ideas, literature, argument, polemic. The man just stands there as people surround him and press forward to get the leaflets. Dozens of demonstrators, without even reading the leaflet, help him distribute them. Some 6000 copies get out in a few minutes. All seem to be assidulously read. People argue, laugh, joke. I witnessed such scenes again and again.” (p.285). At times he can sound quite poetic, like one of the slogans from May 68 itself “The reality of today, for a few hours, has submerged all of yesterday’s patterns” (p. 288).

Occasionally the writer sounds a bit clunky. For example the alliterative excess of “Those who are not prepared to allow workers to control their own organizations here and now serenade sundry simpletons with fanciful tunes as to their fate in the future” (p. 210). Mostly Brinton writes plainly, though assuming a readership familiar with the basic jargon of classical Leftist discourse. Given his target audience, which is not the political neophyte, this is largely excusable. A lot of the time acronyms are explained and this helps keep the actors in events clear. Otherwise it could be hard for those English monoglots not well versed in the Portuguese Revolution of 1975 to figure out that the IRA is actually the Institute for Agricultural Reorganization! (p.229). Oh and anyone who can say with absolute confidence that they instantly know what “edentulous” (p.231) means, needs to get more fresh air.
Moving from style to substance, it has to be acknowledged that Brinton was not a major theorist and never claimed to be. He was primarily a capable polemicist and populariser of ideas that had limited circulation at the time he wrote. In the early 60’s the UK Labour Party and authoritarian Left had the union bureaucracy and a lot of other institutions sewn up between them. This changed somewhat later in the decade as society as a whole and the student movement in particular became radicalised globally. However, Brinton and his associates’ contribution in keeping the spark going during the dark times should be more widely remembered. Likewise his often excoriating invective directed at the authoritarian sects was an important contribution to dissident Left-wing observation.

His close observations of the counter-revolutionary machinations of the Stalinists in France is a telling indictment of the latter. The Trotskyists also come in for moments of derision, as in this passage about events in Portugal “At the end of the procession a mass of red flags and a few hundred very young people shouting raucously: ‘Unidad sindical, unidad sindical’. One might be dreaming. They want the PCP [Communist Party of Portugal] and PS (Socialist Party) to take power, in order to expose them. And Intersindical [union] too. To form a government ‘without generals or capitalists’. Yes, the Trots. In their rightful place. The tail end of an Stalinist demonstration” (p. 239). Likewise the Maoists are blasted “The proletariat, as seen by the Maoists is clearly more brawn than brain the sort of animal any skillful Leninist could easily ride to the revolution!” (p. 238). For anyone thinking of being a Tankie, Brinton’s description of what happened in Portugal, where Left-wing elements in the military, Stalinists and Maoists interacted, will hopefully disabuse them of that weird modern inclination (pp. 248-251).
Lest any Anarchists get smug about Brinton’s choice of targets, he also had the occasional barb for some among our number. He rightly describes Bakunin as “muddleheaded” (p. 113) and the chronicler of the Russian Revolution Voline is accused of having “…an over-simplified analysis” (p.373) of those events. Possibly valid comments of individuals not withstanding, Brinton sometimes oversteps the mark a bit. For example, his comment in a preface of another writer’s work that “We won’t be examining what happened in Spain in 1936…because it only has limited relevance to the problems of an advanced industrial country, in the last third of the twentieth century.” (p.172) still seems uncharitable in 2020. Overall, Brinton’s Orwell-like iconoclasm towards the Left while still being on the Left, was a healthy quality many would do well to emulate now. As he points out “The revolution is bigger than any organization, more tolerant than any institution ‘representing’ the masses, more realistic than any edict of any Central Committee” (p. 285). Brinton was specifically referring to France in 68 but it still has general applicability as a warning to the present and future.

One of Brinton’s most useful contributions to historiography was probably ‘The Bolsheviks and Workers Control’ which was published as a substantive 100 page essay and is re-produced in this selection. It has been translated into a number of languages, seen multiple editions and has been widely read. It breaks down into slow chronological chunks the steps that lead eventually to the crushing of workers power and potential grassroots democracy and its replacement with a hideous one-party dictatorship. It isn’t a unique account, but its contribution of a Libertarian Socialist perspective to the vast historiography on the subject is one that should be appreciated. Likewise, The Irrational in Politics, a booklet that explores the role of sexual repression in causing political and social obedience via a Reichian paradigm, is testament to the fact that Brinton’s concerns were not solely related to workers in the workplace.

To conclude, if your sole concern is the use of personal pronouns, you won’t be happy with Brinton’s area of focus or style. However, if you are open to considering questions of the best and worst ways for working people to escape the current system of economic and political domination, he still offers something worth thinking about. Why? Well, the answer and last words should be Brinton’s…”But men and women have always dreamed ‘impossible’ dreams. They have repeatedly sought to ‘storm heaven’ in the search for what they felt to be right. Again and again they have struggled for objectives difficult to attain, but which they sensed to embody their needs and desires. It is this capacity which makes of human beings the potential subjects of history, instead of its perpetual objects” (p. 255).

greece / turkey / cyprus / anti-fascism / press release Sunday September 27, 2020 01:39 byVarious anarchist organisations

In the evening of 16/9/2020 at Thessaloniki, Greece, during a social intervention, anti-fascists were collectively erasing fascist hate slogans and graffiti, which were written a few days earlier by members of the new neo-Nazi party “Greeks for Fatherland” (Έλληνες για την Πατρίδα) - founded by Ilias Kassidiaris, an ex-representative of the Nazi party “Golden Dawn” (Χρυσή Αυγή) – and replacing them by antifascist graffiti instead. Around 10:30 PM our comrades were surrounded by a large group of police forces that attacked them without reason. Fifty-one comrades were taken into custody to the Police General Headquarters in Thessaloniki and kept there 2 to 4 days under the most deplorable conditions. In total, fifteen of them were injured while another two were even admitted to the hospital due to the heavy injuries caused by the police officers involved in the attack. Both during the arrest and under custody, the police did not cease to provoke and abuse their power - the ability to rule and control given to them by the state -, attempting to break the spirit of our comrades.

International statement of solidarity with the 51 antifascists who were arrested in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 16/9/2020.

In the evening of 16/9/2020 at Thessaloniki, Greece, during a social intervention, antifascists were collectively erasing fascist hate slogans and graffiti, which were written a few days earlier by members of the new neo-Nazi party “Greeks for Fatherland” (Έλληνες για την Πατρίδα) - founded by Ilias Kassidiaris, an ex-representative of the Nazi party “Golden Dawn” (Χρυσή Αυγή) – and replacing them by antifascist graffiti instead. Around 10:30 PM our comrades were surrounded by a large group of police forces that attacked them without reason. Fifty-one comrades were taken into custody to the Police General Headquarters in Thessaloniki and kept there 2 to 4 days under the most deplorable conditions. In total, fifteen of them were injured while another two were even admitted to the hospital due to the heavy injuries caused by the police officers involved in the attack. Both during the arrest and under custody, the police did not cease to provoke and abuse their power - the ability to rule and control given to them by the state -, attempting to break the spirit of our comrades.

The 51 antifascists arrested were presented before the prosecutor and the investigator who made the following outrageous and untrue accusations against them: i) disobedience, because they refused to have their fingerprints and photos taken; ii) breach of the public peace (a very common charge that is pressed against the accused whenever there is a protest); iii) destruction of the public site, for antifascists painted graffiti and slogans with antifascist content to cover the fascist ones. This proves us that, apparently, for the greek bourgeois “justice” courts the only permitted form of speech to be written on the walls of the city is fascist hate speech; iv) violation of the law on the protection of antiquities; v) illegal possession of weapons, for the activists who attended wielded anarchist flags and helmets; and vi) criminal prosecution for “monument damage”. That last claim was made by the curator of antiquities, which had no problem supporting this obscene lie, even though the “monument” which was damaged is nothing less but some benches located near the actual historical monument of Thessaloniki, the White Tower. What is also interesting about such a claim is that the construction of those benches in 2008, which were part of Vasilis Papageorgopoulos’s plan for business regeneration, was the one who destroyed the area around the historical monument of the city. Papageorgopoulos is no one less but the former city mayor and member of the now ruling right-wing party New Democracy, who was set free from prison after embezzling 30.000.000 euros from the municipal funds. Not unexpectedly, the antifascist slogans were easily cleaned the following days by the city street cleaners, of course leaving intact the fascist ones.

This provocative attack against the members of the anti-fascist movement demonstrates the true colors of capitalist oppression and the State's tolerance towards the fascists, whom they constantly nourish as their most reactionary reserve. What happened on September 16 against our comrades is for us an evident provocation by the state and the police, coinciding with the annual antifascist demonstration on the anniversary of the assassination of Pavlos Fyssas (anti-fascist hip hop musician who was murdered by members of Golden Dawn only a few days away from this year's incidents) and with the completion of the trial against the criminal neo-Nazi organization Golden Dawn (in which the prosecutor gave favorable treatment to the Nazis). And yet, on September 18 massive demonstrations took place all over the country and gave out a strong message of resistance and struggle against the State, the capitalists, and the fascists' involvement within the State. In the city of Thessaloniki alone, around 3000 protestors filled the streets for the antifascist demonstration.

We will not let our comrades or any member of the anti-capitalist and anti-fascist movement fall into the hands of state oppression. Our solidarity towards the antifascists arrested on September 16 will endlessly be provided. It is our collective obligation to create a safety net to defend them before the vindictive prosecution of the State. Offering political support and solidarity to our comrades is part of our duty as members of the international anti-fascist movement. As anarchists and anti-fascists we will stand by them in all ways possible, continuing our unwavering collective fight for social emancipation and contributing to the achievement of proletarian justice.


☆ Αναρχική Ομοσπονδία (Greece)
☆ Federación Anarquista de Rosario (Argentina)
☆ Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (New Zealand/Aotearoa)
☆ Federación Anarquista Santiago (Chile)
☆ Federación Anarquista Uruguaya (Uruguay)
☆ Coordenaçao Anarquista Brasileira (Brazil)
☆ Organización Anarquista de Córdoba (Argentina)
☆ Die Plattform-Anarchakommunistische Organisation (Germany)
☆ Libertaere Aktion (Switzerland)
☆ Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland)
☆ Anarchist Communist Group (Great Britain)
☆ Grupo Libertario Vía Libre (Colombia)
☆ Alternativa Libertaria / FdCA (Italy)
☆ Organisation Socialiste Libertaire (Switzerland)
☆ Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (South Africa)
☆ Union Communiste Libertaire (France)
☆ Embat, Organització Libertària de Catalunya (Catalonia)

north america / mexico / anti-fascism / non-anarchist press Friday September 25, 2020 12:18 byClyde W. Barrow

In The Dangerous Class: The Concept of the Lumpenproletariat (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming 2020), I argue that US President Donald Trump should be understood as a “Prince of the Lumpenproletariat.” The question that will confront us on November 3rd and long afterward is whether Donald Trump will become “Emperor of the Lumpenproletariat.” These terms are taken from Karl Marx’s 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, where he applied them to Louis Bonaparte III. I argue that Trump has followed the script of the 18th Brumaire, which is the story of the exceptional rise to power of a lumpenproletariat organized and led by an authoritarian populist.

Marx described Louis Bonaparte III as an authoritarian dictator:

“who constitutes himself chief of the Lumpenproletariat, who here alone rediscovers in mass form the interests which he personally pursues, who recognises in this scum, offal, refuse of all classes [i.e., the lumpenproletariat] the only class upon which he can base himself unconditionally… An old crafty roué, he conceives the historical life of the nations and their performances of state as comedy in the most vulgar sense, as a masquerade where the grand costumes, words and postures merely serve to mask the pettiest knavery… the serious buffoon who no longer takes world history for a comedy but his comedy for world history.”[1]

In his preface to a second edition of the 18th Brumaire, Marx observed that the purpose of his book had been to “demonstrate how the class struggle in France created circumstances and relations that made it possible for a grotesque mediocrity to play a hero’s part.” It is no coincidence that the cover of Time (June 18, 2018) features an image of Donald Trump looking at his reflection in the mirror and seeing a king reflected back in the mirror. The July 4, 2018 New York Daily News portrays Trump as “the clown who plays King.” The language used to describe the Trump Administration as a theatrical but dangerous “clown show” played out on a world stage is remarkably similar to Marx’s description of Louis Bonaparte in the 18th Brumaire.

Longing for Greatness, Again

In the 18th Brumaire, Marx chronicles the defection of the peasantry and the urban petite bourgeoisie from the February Revolution of 1848, because even though they were “working classes,” they were also small proprietors whose commitment to private property made them leery of the more radical demands for a social republic put forward by the industrial proletariat in the ensuing June Days. These classes were not only threatened by the ‘socialistic’ demands of the proletariat; they were also nostalgic for an older capitalism based on local small producers and small farmers (peasants), who had flocked to the armies of Emperor Napoleon I – a dictator who had once made France great for them. As Marx observed, the urban and rural petit bourgeoisie longed to make France great again.

In the 18th Brumaire, Marx also identified numerous fractions of the bourgeoisie, which was far from unified in its preferred response to the revolutionary proletariat and even in its commitment to a republic in any form. The bourgeoisie, as Marx defined it, included large landowners (real estate), the finance aristocracy (bankers), large industrialists, and the professions – senior officers of the army, university intellectuals, priests, lawyers, and the press. The division of interest within the bourgeoisie, and the nostalgic longings of the peasants and the petite bourgeoisie, set the stage for Louis Bonaparte’s election as president of the Second Republic in December 1848. However, with little support in the French National Assembly, and facing the prospect that he would have to leave office due to a likely electoral defeat in 1854, Louis Bonaparte staged a coup d’état on December 2, 1851, with the support of army officers, who led the Mobile Guard and then the Society of 10 December, and the approving acquiescence of the finance aristocracy.

Bonaparte had initially won an election with support from the finance aristocracy and the votes of the rural and urban petit bourgeoisie, who were swayed by his promise to reduce their taxes and his pledge to make France great again. However, Bonaparte’s coup d’état ultimately relied on the mass support and violence of the lumpenproletariat. Marx and Engels did not consider the lumpenproletariat capable of independent political action, because of its dependent position at the margins of capitalism. Thus, when the lumpenproletariat does become politically active, it is often because it has been organized into in the political arena by other classes, although the lumpenproletariat is usually brought into the class struggle by the ruling class as a counterweight to the proletariat’s superior numbers. The ruling class will most often enlist the lumpenproletariat as “bribed tools of reactionary intrigue” by enrolling them in counterrevolutionary militias and special police forces directed against the working class. A uniform, a steady salary, medical care, a pension, and a gun are an appealing “bribe” to someone whose “conditions of life” offer no prospects for the future.

When Louis Bonaparte was elected President of Second Republic, he first relied on the Mobile Guard, which was the military arm of the Republican Provisional Government. Bonaparte disbanded the Mobile Guard and replaced them with a secret society called the Society of 10 December – the Decembrists – which had been organized by military officers seeking to ensure the election of Louis Napoleon as president of the Republic of France on December 10, 1848. Marx describes the Mobile Guard (and later the Decembrists) as belonging:

“for the most part to the lumpenproletariat… a recruiting ground for thieves and criminals of all kinds, living on the crumbs of society, people without a definite trade, vagabonds, gens sans feu et sans aveu, varying according to the degree of civilisation of the nation to which they belong, but never renouncing their lazzaroni character.”[2]

Bonaparte’s coup d’état was made possible by the armed support of the lumpenproletariat and it was tolerated by the finance aristocracy so long as the latter class was allowed to pillage the state treasury with mounting public debt and corrupt financial schemes – “the pettiest knavery” pursued openly in public view, while the petit-bourgeoisie is quite literally lulled into a narcotic coma with promises of making the nation great again. Similarly, Trump promises to return the United States to its traditional (if mythical) way of life – white men working good jobs in mines and factories, intact nuclear families, Protestant religious values, and manifest destiny.

There is nothing new about the reactionary and nostalgic longings of the American petit-bourgeoisie, which has always suffered from what Richard Hofstadter called status-anxiety when squeezed by economic power of corporate and finance capital and the demands of a proletariat demanding higher wages and more public services (e.g., universal healthcare, free higher education). What is new in the United States, however, is the rise of a white lumpenproletariat, which now similarly is moved by nostalgic masculine images of a time when American men mined iron ore, oil, copper, coal, and bauxite from American soil, built automobiles sold around the world, and built military and civilian aircraft that dominated the world’s skies. Some political economists still call this class a deindustrialized proletariat, but the problem with the latter term is that these ‘masses’ are no longer a proletariat and they never will be again in their lifetimes. They have fallen into the ranks of the lumpenproletariat and, as Marx wrote in The Communist Manifesto, they have become “the ‘dangerous class’, the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of old society may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue.”

Under President Donald Trump, there has been a massive expansion of special federal police forces with paramilitary capabilities and they are profoundly loyal to the president. One can substitute Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs & Border Protection (CBP), and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for the Mobile Guard.[3] The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 165 armed militia groups in the United States, including the Oath Keepers and the 3 Percenters, and this tally does not include numerous run-of-the-mill thugs like Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys. Donald Trump has an army of lumpenproletarian shock troops that he can activate on “December 2” to raise himself from the status of Prince to Emperor. President Trump has long boasted that his own security team is “rough” with those who challenge him and he encourages local police to not to be concerned about preventing physical harm to people being taken into custody.[4]

Meanwhile, the President’s HSI “jump out boys” whisk away protestors in unmarked vehicles with no official markings to identify them as law enforcement officers.[5] President Trump refers to armed neo-Nazis, fascists, and white supremacists as “fine people” and he hints that civil war is looming by claiming that “I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough – until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”[6]

This is the script of the Eighteenth Brumaire. This is the Chief of the Lumpenproletariat, who gleefully declares that “I love the poorly educated!”[7] Yet, from the standpoint of class analysis, it is therefore important to recognize that the mere act of removing Donald Trump from the Office of the President will not reverse the underlying logic of post-industrial capitalist development that has led to the rise of an angry and violent white lumpenproletariat. Donald Trump did not cause the white lumpenproletariat, although his words and actions have mobilized and unleashed them in a variety of alt-right, neo-Nazi, fascist, and white nationalist organizations, including armed militias that will probably become more active if Trump is denied the presidency.

The emergence of a white lumpenproletariat is the result of a long-term process of class formation that has generated an army of counter-revolutionary shock troops that will not disappear because of an election. The lumpenproletariat is armed and dangerous and, consequently, no matter the outcome of the 2020 election, a question will remain as to what is to be done with the white lumpenproletariat? In case you are wondering, The Dangerous Class is a pessimistic book and it does not have a happy ending – at least not in the foreseeable future.

Karl Marx. “Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,” in Marx-Engels Collected Works, (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1979), Vol. 11, pp. 149-50. Elsewhere, Karl Marx, “189 Marx to Engels in Manchester [London] 12 October 1853,” in Marx-Engels Collected Works (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1983), Vol. 39, p. 388 refers to Louis Bonaparte as “the lumpenproletarian emperor.”
Karl Marx, “The Class Struggles in France, 1848 to 1850,” Marx-Engels Collected Works, Vol. 10 (September 1849-June 1851), p. 62. Italics added by author. Cowling, “Can Marxism Make Sense of Crime,” p. 59 correctly concludes that Marx and Engels “associated crime with the lumpenproletariat,” but only to the degree that it is a “recruiting ground for thieves and criminals of all kind,” but they do not view the lumpenproletariat, as a whole, as a criminal underclass.
Mitchell Ferman and Manny Fernandez, “In the Rio Grande Valley, the Border Patrol is the ‘Go-To’ Job,” New York Times, April 14, 2019.
Philip Bump, “Trump’s Speech Encouraging Police to Be ‘Rough’, Annotated,” The Washington Post, July 28, 2017.
Baynard Woods and Brandon Soderberg, “Think Federal Cops in Portland are Scary? Cops Use ‘Jump Out Boys’ All the Time,” The Guardian, July 29, 2020.
David Jackson, “Donald Trump Stirs Controversy with Breitbart Interview About His ‘Tough’ Supporters,” USA Today, March 15, 2019.
Dylan Stableford, “Donald Trump: I Love the Poorly Educated,” February 24, 2016,; Maya Oppenheim, “Jared Kushner ‘Admitted Donald Trump Lies to His Base Because He Thinks They’re Stupid,” The Independent, May 31, 2017.
Clyde W. Barrow is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He is the author of Toward a Critical Theoy of States: The Poulantzas-Miliband Debate After Globalization (SUNY Press, 2016) and his newest book is The Dangerous Class: The Concept of the Lumpenproletariat (University of Michigan Press, 2020).
ireland / britain / history of anarchism / link to pdf Wednesday September 23, 2020 19:08 byKSL

KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 102, September 2020 has just been posted on our site.

Stuart Christie portrait
The Kate Sharpley Library and Stuart: an appreciation "It would have been easy for Stuart to play the role of hero and champion. He rejected that and any other idea of him being a leader, which shows the measure of the man."
Stuart Christie 1946-2020 Anarchist activist, writer and publisher by John Patten “Without freedom there would be no equality and without equality no freedom, and without struggle there would be neither.”
KSL Update Sept. 2020
Worth a Second Look No. 2. Re-reading Kuwasi Balagoon’s ‘Anarchy Can’t Fight Alone’ by Devin Hoff "Re-reading it still makes me feel like everything is possible and the revolution is just around the corner."
Berta Tubisman by Sergei Ovsiannikov. "This woman in her fifties evidently refused to confess to anything. Otherwise she would have received a death sentence." - Anatoly Dubovik
Prisoner 155: Simón Radowitzky by Agustín Comotto [Book review] by Richard Warren "As you sit out your pandemic isolation, pondering on the glaring inefficiencies of the state, the potential of local mutual aid, and the shape of the future, you could do worse than take a bit of inspiration from this impressive tale of one man’s resistance, modesty and commitment to justice."
Barcelona 1936 by Hugo Dewar "They too were storming heaven – do you think they fought in vain"
Insulting the flag (1938) by André Prudhommeaux "every French person whose bond with the land of their birth is not made up exclusively of sordid jealousy and greed, is duty-bound to consider themselves a foreigner in their own country."

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George Floyd: one death too many in the “land of the free”

George Floyd: one death too many in the “land of the free”


Wed 21 Oct, 19:38

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unflattering.jpg imageBook Review: Unflattering Photos of Fascists Oct 01 13:28 by LAMA 0 comments

workers_power.jpg imageBook Review: 'For Workers' Power' Sep 28 10:38 by LAMA 0 comments

photo_20200926_133047.jpg imageInternational statement of solidarity with the 51 anti-fascists who were arrested in Thess... Sep 27 01:39 by Various anarchist organisations 0 comments

textDonald Trump: A New Emperor of the Lumpenproletariat? Sep 25 12:18 by Clyde W. Barrow 0 comments

textSeptember 2020 Kate Sharpley Library Bulletin online Sep 23 19:08 by KSL 0 comments

savage_pic.jpg imageMovie Review: 'SAVAGE' Sep 22 20:22 by LAMA 0 comments

2015_bayanusa_justiceforjenniferlaude_r02_v01_nr_square.jpg imageAn Open Letter to Anti-fascists in the USA Sep 15 17:42 by Filipino and Filipinx autonomists 0 comments

philippines2k1920x1080.jpg imageAbolitionism against pandemic policing in the Philippines Sep 10 20:27 by Simoun Magsalin 0 comments

usscarlvinsonmod.png imageNo war on China Sep 08 21:09 by Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group 0 comments

textDavid Graeber, anthropologist and author of Bullshit Jobs, dies aged 59 Sep 06 00:24 by Sian Cain 0 comments

deciding.jpg imageBook Review: 'Deciding For Ourselves' Aug 25 21:22 by LAMA 0 comments

belarusriots.jpg imageHow did the Belarusians come to rebellion against the dictatorship Aug 12 00:11 by Pramen 0 comments

dont_vote.jpg imageWhy We Don't Vote Aug 08 17:04 by AWSM 0 comments

photo_20200806_024947.jpg imageSolidarity with the Struggle of the Mapuche People Aug 06 19:09 by Various anarchist organisations 1 comments

too_much_and_never_enough_front_cover_2020_first_edition.jpg imageMary Trump on the Political Psychopathology of President Donald Aug 01 02:46 by Wayne Price 2 comments

unnamed.jpg imageGrave diggers: the grim tale of states, capitalism and COVID-19 Jul 15 01:40 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

460_0___30_0_0_0_0_0_200785180_e4e16812d7.jpg imageWhy anarchism isn’t a popular idea? Jul 13 20:26 by Zaher Baher 0 comments

textWhy Did the US Fund Anti–Hugo Chávez Rock Bands in Venezuela? Jul 13 07:49 by Tim Gill 0 comments

ca4a6b9a71cb49e3879e6041e6d863de.jpeg imageThe Oppressed Classes Rise Up Against Racism and Discrimination Jul 10 15:49 by Various anarchist organisations 0 comments

antiracismin2020_brightzine.jpg imageWhy Racism? Why Anti-Racism? Jul 06 06:01 by Wayne Price 0 comments

trumpfrontpage2000x1111.jpg imageIs President Donald Trump a threat and danger? Jul 02 20:15 by Zaher Baher 0 comments

screen_shot_20200629_at_16.21.png imageDemocratic Confederalism and Movement Building in South Africa Jun 29 22:48 by Shawn Hattingh 0 comments

textAgenda for the Global South After COVID-19 Jun 28 03:34 by Vijay Prashad 0 comments

2644.jpg imageWe condemn the Turkish state attack and invasion of the Iraqi Kurdistan Jun 25 22:46 by Kurdish-speaking Libertarians 0 comments

interfemen.jpeg imageWomen under lockdown all around the world Jun 24 00:37 by Various anarchist organizations 0 comments

5568.jpg imageSolidarity with BLM and Bristol Jun 23 21:56 by Some people active in Haringey Solidarity Group 0 comments

screenshot20200616at21.10.png imageRecent publications and new editions from Zabalaza Books Jun 20 00:29 by Zabalaza Books 0 comments

textThe Mass Psychopathy of Shamelessness: From Israel to the UN Jun 13 06:28 by Judith Deutsch 0 comments

textRacism a disease of antogonistic class relation Jun 07 22:52 by Jan Makandal 0 comments

protestsgeorgefloyd_1.jpg imageJustice for George Floyd Jun 07 21:48 by Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group 0 comments

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