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A Travesty of Scholarship

A Review of Samuel Farber's 'The Politics of Che Guevara'

Renzo Llorent

Farber's book contains many claims that are demonstrably false, coupled with a great deal of careless scholarship and numerous dubious interpretations. The cause of these problems is twofold. First, and most importantly, Farber chose to neglect a large amount of what Che actually said and wrote. Secondly, Farber's disdain for the Cuban Revolution, which prevents him from achieving a modicum of fairness, colors his book from beginning to end. Thus, instead of an accurate exposition of Che's political thought, Farber has produced a work that thoroughly distorts or misrepresents many of Che's ideas, and some of his actions (including, as we shall see, Che's role in the possible execution of innocent people). I have already drawn attention to some of the most glaring inaccuracies in Farber's account of Che's thought in a brief book review published last year, but the space limitations of that review prevented me from discussing more than a small number of the countless problems with The Politics of Che Guevara. The present essay offers a more comprehensive examination of the inaccuracies, errors, distortions and falsehoods in Samuel Farber's study of Che Guevara. The errors in Farber's study of Che begin on practically the first page: in the "Selected Chronology" preceding the "Introduction," Farber has Che "graduating as a doctor" the month before he took his final exam, and also lists the wrong date in stating when Che was granted Cuban citizenship (he is off by a month). Such inaccuracies are, in themselves, relatively insignificant, and certainly of much less importance than the errors that I discuss below. Moreover, to this day there remains some uncertainty as regards the exact dates of some episodes in Che's life. Still, the errors that I have mentioned are significant insofar as they testify to the carelessness of Farber's scholarship, while also heralding those errors..

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Colin Kaepernick, the Black Panthers, and Fred Hampton

Simon Wood

Whatever Kaepernick's and his followers' good intentions, they must be aware that any movement that gains popularity and has potentially revolutionary appeal will be either subverted and rendered harmless by the state apparatus, or - if or when that fails - mercilessly crushed. That second stage has not been reached here, and it will not, as all the signs are there of a major media operation to re-direct and dilute the mass of outrage away from the true target, namely class oppression and the system that enables it - capitalism. By giving support and condemnation, the media subverts the anger of the people and crafts the debate on its terms. Black versus white, the people versus Trump, freedom of speech - whatever. What it absolutely must not ever mention or encourage understanding of is the reality that this injustice stems directly from oppression by the ruling classes. Just keep the people arguing among themselves. Divide and rule. This is a class issue, and to understand that requires class awareness, the very concept identity politics was deployed to destroy. The one single thing that petrifies the looting warmongers in control of the world's 'democratic' institutions is a mass awakening of class awareness, from which follows the ability to discern between truth and fraud, fact and misdirection, reality and illusion - in other words, the only means to tackle the disease. If you listen carefully, as the right bang on and on about respecting the flag and the left argue among themselves, demanding some kind of vague 'justice' for the victims of police violence, on a quiet night you can hear the ruling classes laughing over champagne in their ivory towers. You may also hear the sound of Fred Hampton rolling fitfully in his grave. Fred Hampton was the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP), and deputy chairman of the national BPP..

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Jordan Peterson

Reactionary Guru and Accidental Incel Intellectual

Matthew Dolezal

But shortly thereafter, mere minutes into his monologue, the "self-help" facade began to crumble. Peterson promptly advanced his discourse by using lobster "dominance hierarchies" as a vague metaphorical justification for hierarchies in human society. This enigmatic notion got me thinking. First of all, if any behavior in nature should either be mimicked by humans or is "natural" when conducted by humans, then what about eating your babies? Does Peterson advocate cannibalism? Secondly, if he's saying that human hierarchies are inherently justifiable simply because hierarchies exist in nature, then, in order to be logically consistent, he would have to say slavery, Jim Crow, apartheid, and other racial hierarchies were justifiable, as well as all other iterations of human dominance and coercion throughout history. At this point I had more questions than answers. But I could surmise that Peterson was simply using the naturalistic fallacy in order to rationalize his pre-existing ideology. If I wanted to be really creative, I could defend one of my own beliefs in a similar fashion. For instance, abortions happen all the time in nature; they're called "miscarriages." Therefore, abortion is morally justifiable. To be clear, I do think abortion is morally justifiable, but for other reasons (such as bodily integrity). I'm not arrogant enough to claim that my specific moral views are warranted by some pseudo-pantheistic "order." Unfortunately, my entire moral outlook hinges on my..

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The Unions and Class Struggle

A Marxist Analysis

The Socialist Party of Britain

What should be the attitude of socialists toward trade unions? Unions are the workers most effective means of defense under capitalism. In the absence of unions, the workers have no way of braking the downward pressure on their living standards and their working conditions. Only by means of their combined numbers in labor unions are the workers able to put up same form of resistance against the insatiable drive of capital for more surplus value. Only through unions can the workers ease the strain and stress on their nerves and muscles in the factories, mills, and mines. Since surplus value is produced at the paint of production, the most violent manifestations of the class struggle break out at that point. The history of the labor movement proves the Marxian contention that wages are not regulated by any "iron law" but can be modified by organized militant action on the part of the workers, the value of the workers labor-power is not only determined by physicall limitations of the human body, but also by what Marx calls historical and social factors. One of the most weighty of these factors is the class war. A comparison of the living standards of organized to those unorganized workers tells the story in a nutshell. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics issues statistics showing a breakdown of figures proving that wages are lowest in those occupations in which the workers are not organized or are at best only partly organized. American workers have long organized in unions..

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