Some questions

Here is a reply to someone else’s post from a while back. I post it here because it retains its relevancy: Why would you even mention, at some length mind you, “fraudulent” claims of self determination, including the Confederate South, in earlier historical settings since they have no relevance in the case of Ukraine? If total victory in the eyes of Ukrainians is understood as the complete withdrawal of the Russian troops from Ukraine, are you ready to say that is an “illusion?” Are you ready to permanently concede Russian controlled Ukrainian territories to Putin as an acceptable price to be paid in order to commence negotiations to end the war? Would you support the immediate cessation of military assistance from the U.S. to the Ukrainians? And if so, what do think the fate of Ukraine would be in that event? Is it realistic to think that Putin will negotiate in good faith short of a decisive Russian defeat on the battlefield and greater international pressure? Do you understand Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine as simply reactive and defensive? Isn’t it up to Ukrainians to decide the terms of ending the war? Not some sections of the US left? How do you understand the right to self determination? In general and in the case of Ukraine? Can the struggle of the Ukraine people be framed as an anti-colonial war of resistance? Or is it a second order concern in a proxy war between Russia and the U.S.? How extensively have you read Ukrainian sources, including socialist ones, on the invasion and Ukrainian politics?

Celebrating and remembering Charlene Mitchell

I attended a gathering yesterday at the historic Riverside Church in NYC, memorializing and celebrating the heroic life and multifaceted legacy of Charlene Mitchell. The words of every speaker, especially her dear friend and comrade Angela Davis, were poignant and instructive. Everything else on the program was done with great taste too, capturing Charlene’s passions and strategic acumen as well as her inspirational leadership. The memorial and celebration ended, per Charlene’s request in her will, with the singing of the Internationale.

Rise of authoritarianism

I believe the writer makes some important observations regarding the authoritarian threat that deserve attention and discussion.

Doesn’t pass smell test

The decision of the UAW leadership to withhold their endorsement of Biden is short sighted and dangerous. Outwardly it seems militant and an expression of independence, but substantively it doesn’t pass the smell test. If the union’s new leaders seek some administration job guarantees as the industry transitions to electric cars and trucks before backing the most pro labor president since Roosevelt as other major unions are doing, this tactic, I doubt, will serve that purpose. It could as easily weaken the leverage of the union, not to mention alienate union allies and do nothing at best to change the minds of a significant section of auto workers who support Trump.


I came across this article accidentally. The writer is right. Gorbachev in the early days was a rock star in the USSR and worldwide, representing in his person and words the hope of a democratic socialism and an end to the Cold War. He was a breath of fresh air! While communists here ( and I was one) defended the Soviet Union to a fault during the Cold War, most of us enthusiastically welcomed “Gorby” and his vision of a renovated socialism. Things didn’t work out as he and many of us hoped, but his vision of a democratic and modern socialism and a world at peace still endures around the world and acquires new necessity in present circumstances.

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