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Who are some unknown, forgotten, or under-rated leftists? [message #51] Sat, 19 January 2019 03:20 Go to next message
AnarchPrim
Messages: 2
Registered: January 2019
Who are some leftists/revolutionaries that are unknown or ignored by the general anticapitalist left?
Re: Who are some unknown, forgotten, or under-rated leftists? [message #53 is a reply to message #51] Sat, 19 January 2019 04:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ahad
Messages: 1
Registered: January 2019
Marx
Re: Who are some unknown, forgotten, or under-rated leftists? [message #60 is a reply to message #53] Sat, 19 January 2019 07:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Camarade René
Messages: 14
Registered: January 2019
If you mean theorists, I'm a big fan of Guy Debord, even though he wasn't perfect, I think his description of the spectacle and the monopolisation of time outside of work by class relations is super important. Althusser is fairly well known, but his writing on contradiction and Mao is not, which is unfortunate. Engels is probably less read than Marx, for me it was Anti Duhring that really made Marxist dialectics click for me. (Along with Althusser, who explains the difference between Marxist and Hegelian dialectics.Wink I think the "general anticapitalist left" probably doesn't read much anyway, I wish more people would read Marx and Engels and Lenin and then branch out to secondary and tertiary writers.

If you're looking for people, Alphonse de LaMartine was a writer from an aristocratic family who was de facto leader of France for a short period in 1848 and got usurped by the bourgeoisie for being too based. From Britannica:
"Lamartine interrupted his literary endeavours to become more active as a politician. He was convinced that the social question, which he himself called "the question of the proletariat," was the principal issue of his time. He deplored the inhumanity of the worker's plight; he denounced the trusts and their dominant influence on governmental politics, directing against them two discourses, one in 1838 and another in 1846; and he held that a working-class revolution was inevitable and did not hesitate to hasten the hour, promising the authorities, in July 1847, a "revolution of scorn." In the same year he published his Histoire des Girondins, a history of the right, or moderate, Girondins during and after the French Revolution, which earned him immense popularity with the left-wing parties...Lamartine became, in effect, head of the provisional government. Among the reforms passed during the early months of the Second Republic were the adoption of universal male suffrage and the abolition of slavery in French territories. The propertied classes, who were at first startled by this new government, pretended to accept the new circumstances, but they were unable to tolerate the fact that the working class possessed arms with which to defend themselves... The bourgeoisie, represented by the right-wing parties, thought they had elected in Lamartine a clever manipulator who could placate the proletariat while military forces capable of establishing order, such as they conceived of it, were being reconstituted. The bourgeoisie was enraged to discover, however, that Lamartine was, indeed, as he had proclaimed himself to be, the spokesman of the working class. On June 24, 1848, he was thrown out of office and the revolt crushed."

Edit: Forgot to mention that one of LaMartine's novels, Graziella, is one of my favorite books. It is Romantic style + class consciousness

[Updated on: Sat, 19 January 2019 07:24]

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Re: Who are some unknown, forgotten, or under-rated leftists? [message #75 is a reply to message #51] Sat, 19 January 2019 15:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Durruti
Messages: 21
Registered: January 2019


  • John Stewart Mill
    Considered "The Father of Liberalism", It's often overlooked (and deliberately edited out of the American editions of his books) that by the end of his life he was a comitteed socialist, believing the end of capitalism to be inevitable within a short timespan.
    In his very early writings, he was a Negative Liberal, ie. Freedom means freedom from state interference. He very quickly (along with most of the European philosophers of his generation) changed to Positive Liberalism (although they wouldn't have called it that). Positive Liberalism is the freedom to act, without being constrained by eg. structural poverty or lack of education. JS Mill saw that the only way to allow people to realise their full potential and escape barbarism was a socialist economy.

    Good for BTFOing "Classical Liberals" with one of their own icons.

    Quote:
    "I confess I am not charmed with the ideal of life held out by those who think that the normal state of human beings is that of struggling to get on; that the trampling, crushing, elbowing, and treading on each other's heels, which form the existing type of social life, are the most desirable lot of human kind, or anything but the disagreeable symptoms of one of the phases of industrial progress."
  • Simone de Beavuoir
    Misrepresented by IdPol types, "The Second Sex" argues that women should break out of the definitions of male and female, stop aspiring to be more "man-like", and rather aim to become something unique.
    More interesting, however, for "The Ethics of Ambiguity", in which she explores the morality of actions, and the interplay of ideology. Human existence, she argues, is always an ambiguous admixture of the internal freedom to transcend the given conditions of the world and the weight of the world which imposes itself on us in a manner outside of our control and not of our own choosing. In order for us to live ethically then, we must assume this ambiguity rather than try to flee it. She argues against blind ideology, and that any action could be "good" depending on the circumstances, even violence. The only way to act morally is to think long and hard before acting; the more radical the action (eg violence), the longer and harder you'd better think.

    She essentially builds from a kind of nihilist perspective, but argues that a nihilist life is the least fulfilled. We should create our own meaning in life, and the most fulfilling meaning to choose is that of spreading freedom and meaningfulness to others.

    Quote:
    "A freedom which is interested only in denying freedom must be denied. And it is not true that the recognition of the freedom of others limits my own freedom: to be free is not to have the power to do anything you like; it is to be able to surpass the given toward an open future; the existence of others as a freedom defines my situation and is even the condition of my own freedom. I am oppressed if I am thrown into prison, but not if I am kept from throwing my neighbor into prison."
    Quote:
    "Therefore the misfortune which comes to man as a result of the fact that he was a child is that his freedom was first concealed from him and that all his life he will be nostalgic for the time when he did not know it's exigencies."
    Quote:
    "The notion of ambiguity must not be confused with that of absurdity. To declare that existence is absurd is to deny that it can ever be given a meaning; so to say it is ambiguous is to assert that it's meaning is never fixed, that it must be constantly won."
    Maybe I misrepresent her argument (she is, after all, French...), but that's how I understand it.

[Updated on: Sat, 19 January 2019 15:36]

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Re: Who are some unknown, forgotten, or under-rated leftists? [message #77 is a reply to message #75] Sat, 19 January 2019 16:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mazdak
Messages: 5
Registered: January 2019
Location: leftpol

Monte Melkonian; Armenian nationalist and communist who fought in the Artsakh War and the 1982 Lebannon war against Israel. He also tried to reform the Armenian communist guerrilla group AZALA to be less of a terrorist group but he was expelled.
Re: Who are some unknown, forgotten, or under-rated leftists? [message #130 is a reply to message #77] Tue, 22 January 2019 11:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ackoli
Messages: 42
Registered: January 2019
Eusocial insects
Re: Who are some unknown, forgotten, or under-rated leftists? [message #160 is a reply to message #130] Fri, 25 January 2019 17:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Karl
Messages: 87
Registered: January 2019
The group that exposed COINTELPRO was based. They single-handedly exposed an entire program of domestic spying in the U.S.

From wiki:
Quote:
The Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI was a leftist activist group operational in the US during the early 1970s. Their only known action was breaking into a two-man Media, Pennsylvania office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and stealing over 1,000 classified documents. They then mailed these documents anonymously to several US newspapers to expose numerous illegal FBI operations which were infringing on the First Amendment rights of American civilians. Most news outlets initially refused to publish the information, as it related to ongoing operations and they contended disclosure might have threatened the lives of agents or informants. However, The Washington Post, after affirming the veracity of the files which the Commission sent them, ran a front-page story on March 24, 1971.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens%27_Commission_to_Inve stigate_the_FBI
Re: Who are some unknown, forgotten, or under-rated leftists? [message #255 is a reply to message #160] Sat, 16 February 2019 03:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Karl
Messages: 87
Registered: January 2019
Che Guevara is kind of underrated these days since everyone has forgotten what he actually did. Capitalism turned him into le cool t-shirt guy.
Re: Who are some unknown, forgotten, or under-rated leftists? [message #257 is a reply to message #255] Sat, 16 February 2019 18:11 Go to previous message
bptech
Messages: 10
Registered: January 2019
Gilles Deleuze, mainly because Lacanians hate him.
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