“A spectre takes on solid form and haunts the world, before conjuring itself out of existence.” — Tony Wood
What we’re reading :
Bastani, A. (2019) Fully Automated Luxury Communism: A Manifesto. Verso.
This week we’re reading Fully Automated Luxury Communism, a manifesto by Aaron Bastani that outlines a radical vision in which automation and technological advances, by transforming the nature of work and production, will provide the basis for the founding of a new global society based on social justice. These transformations that he argues constitute the “Third Disruption” will not just ensure world’s survival, but the creation of a new world of social justice with “limitless public services and consumer commodities [...] free or affordable to all.” Further reading : Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Aaron Bastani – a manifesto for the future
Wood, T. (2019) “Toward a Global History of the Communist Party,” The Nation.
In “Toward a Global History of the Communist Party,” Tony Wood offers a poignant review of James McAdam’s Vanguard of the Revolution, a novel which chronicles the global history of the communist party from the Communist Manifesto to the collapse of the USSR. After presenting McAdams’ basic premise of the recurrent tension throughout history of the communist movement’s ideals and the political structures created to enact them, Wood argues that such a categorical distinction “ultimately elides much of the historical substance he is trying to analyse and explain.” He goes further, arguing that the complex interaction between internationalism and nationalism throughout the history of the party was, in fact, more influential than the opposition between ideals and organisations.
Sundar, N. (2016). The Burning Forest: India’s War Against the Maoists. Verso.
In The Burning Forest: : India’s War Against the Maoists, Nandini Sundar provides a detailed historical account of the ongoing war between the Indian government and the armed guerillas of the Communist Party (Naxalites) in the Bastar region of India. Drawing upon 27 years of engagement with the subject, Sundar sets out to tell the story of the atrocities committed against the Adivasi people, due to competing interests for land, forest and minerals in the region, conflicts cloaked in discourses of nationalism, development and systemic vilification of the indigenous population. Alongside being a comprehensive and informative account of the modern history of the conflict, Sundar’s book is fundamentally a story of ressource frontiers and dispossession.
What we’re watching :
Interview : (2018). “Angela Davis on feminism, communism and being a Black Panther during the civil rights movement,” Channel Four.
Activist and professor Angela Davis, a leading figure of the Black Panthers during the Civil Rights movement and former member of the Communist Party USA, speaks in an interview with Channel Four on feminism, communism and her time as an activist with the Black Panthers.
What we’re listening to :
Podcast : (2018). Thomas Sankara: "The Che of Africa" and Marxist Martyr. Revolutionary Left Radio.
Who was Thomas Sankara? This week we’re listening to a podcast from Revolutionary Left Radio on the life, politics, and legacy of the Marxist revolutionary and Pan-African leader of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara, often referred to as the "The Che of Africa."
Podcast : (2018). Maoism. Thinking Allowed (BBC).
In this episode of Thinking Allowed, Julia Lovell, Alpa Shah and Dennis Tourish are invited on to explore the origins and development of global Maoism, to provide a glimpse into the lives of a group of Maoist guerrillas in modern day India, and to look at Maoist organisations within the context of research in political cults.
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