Monday, 18 May 2015

READING LIST ARISING FROM SUKANT's INTERVIEW WITH MARK McGOWAN


Finally brother Mark McGowan, AKA Artist Taxi Driver, and I met up and he kindly interviewed me me for his excellent youtube channel.

For those who do not know McGowan, he is one of the very few relatively successful online personalities in the last decade in england who has developed a platform which advocates for the rights of the oppressed who are victims of the British state and of 'western' imperialism generally. He is a very decent comrade, and has a open political heart to many trends within radical politics, and I especially respect him for taking a lot of time to point peoples attention to the Scottish peoples experience of mass politicisation towards countering the war and militarism, racism and xenphobia, privatisation and austerity which defines the neo-colonial governments in London.

I am also really appreciative of the very positive feedback I have received on twitter as a result of the interview, especially from our Scottish family and those in england who are open to these issues.

I am going to suggest some further readings etc, as a few people on twitter requested such.


I start by discussing the historical genesis of what brought about thing which is sometimes called 'capitalism, 'democracy', 'the west', 'modernity', ie., the system of global colonial and now neo-colonial domination.

I discuss some of the first steps in this genesis which was the new capitalist ruling classes' (and often in alliance with the older feudal ruling classes, the latter merging into the former) war against the poor which lasted from roughly the 16 through to the late 19 century in what is called the 'clearances' or 'enclosures', which is nothing but actually a massive brutal class war against the peasants. Actually Scotland was one of the last region of the british isles that saw the english colonialists complete their process of domination through the clearances.

I am not going to go into all the details of this terrible process of perhaps the start of what became global colonialism and capitalism, but needless to say this was a a war on all fronts to strip the land away from the peasants, literally replaced the masses from the land in order to replace them with the more lucrative sheep and deer pastures for the cotton industry and in the case of vast areas of land in Scotland, so that the rich could hunt game!

Marx in chapter 27 of his revolutionary critique of the rise of capitalism (note: when 'capitalism' in the western sense, is synonymous with colonialism, the two terms are interchangeable) lays out some of the details to this oppression and its impact on the masses, which can be read HERE

In this piece, Marx with his characteristic scathing revolutionary wit, denounces the english rich in complaining to about the enslavement of African peoples in north america when they themselves are conducting such horrific acts in Scotland, and states only the victims of english capitalism amongst the poor in england, Scotland and Ireland have the right to attack the enslavers in north america!

I also mention that the war on the peasants was also a war on women. Indeed, these oppressions are not narrowly class-based in their nature, but encompass the traumatisation of all aspects of human relations, and human relations between ourselves and nature, and also a 'ideological genocide' in that this oppression also wiped out ancient systems of knowledge of the peoples handed down the generations. Often those who would hand down these healing and pro-people knowledge systems were women in these communities, and being in that position of intergenerational bearers of knowledge in terms of healing and nutritional plants, and also hold responsibility for reproductive, child rearing and child birth issues, these societies saw an open war against women, which resulted in millions of them being lynched in a systematic way for centuries in what is dismissively called by the mainstream (mis)education system the 'witch hunts'.

For a fantastic book on this issue, which weaves together how the emergence of capitalism was also of colonial was also of a war on peasants and was also a war on women, is the book by Silvia Frederici called 'Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation', someone has very kindly put the book into a PDF here. I am personally not a supporter of 'wages for housework' as Frederici is, but that is another discussion and this book is just an amazing piece of work. THIS is also a good youtube interview with Frederici on the same subject.

On the subject of putting people outside the zone of humanity into the zone of animals, which is one of the unique contributions of the colonialists to the world, is laid out in this piece by decolonial scholar Ramon Grosfoguel.

I then discuss issues relating to Nato's war against Libya and the war the british have always teamed up with the very depraved sectarian death squad forces ('AlQaeda', 'Isis' etc). Mark Curtis' book called 'Secret Affairs: britain's secret relationship with radical Islam'. While I do not agree that what Curtis is referring to is Islam at all (rather it is actually a very british perversion of Islam!), nonetheless, the book is without competition in terms of its thorough nature and the research makes this a very authoritative piece. One can read the introduction to the book HERE.

On the issues to do with Libya, on can always flick through my dozens of appearances on this subject on youtube in my interviews on Press TV and RT as well as others. But the best books on the subject is by Horace Campbell, Cynthia McKinney, for the best historical book on Libya please see Jonathan Bearman's Gaddafi's Libya (extract of which here). Also Maximillian Forte, Fancis Boyle's books, and I have written quite a bit on Libya which can be found looking through the tag 'Libya' on my blog Sons of Malcolm. 

On the recent controversy over the deaths of Asian and African people being sent to their death by mafia (who were brought to power by Nato in Libya) is covered here in this sharp article by one of my long time colleague and comrade Dan Glazebrook. He also presents his book HERE which lays out very well the current strategy of british imperialism currently especially in the Middle East and North African region: divide and ruin.

I mention that colonialism was directly used by the english imperialists to corrupt the british working class (working not so well on the Scots at the moment), and here is the direct quote from Cecil Rhodes that I cite:

"I was in the East End of London (a working-class quarter) yesterday and attended a meeting of the unemployed. I listened to the wild speeches, which were just a cry for 'bread! bread!' and on my way home I pondered over the scene and I became more than ever convinced of the importance of imperialism.... My cherished idea is a solution for the social problem, i.e., in order to save the 40,000,000 inhabitants of the United Kingdom from a bloody civil war, we colonial statesmen must acquire new lands to settle the surplus population, to provide new markets for the goods produced in the factories and mines. The Empire, as I have always said, is a bread and butter question. If you want to avoid civil war, you must become imperialists.

To develop the analysis further, this is one of the most important texts in the USA context which lays out an analysis as to how the working classes are deeply corrupted by a settler-colonial consciousness: J Sakai's 'Settlers' and a further development of the analysis by Sakai (who built upon the initial thesis and analysis by Lenin) of Divided World Divided Class by Zak Cope.

Lenin himself wrote extensively about this issue especially in his work 'Imperialism and the Split in Socialism', in which he quotes Marx and Engels on the same issue:  “"..The English proletariat is actually becoming more and more bourgeois, so that this most bourgeois of all nations is apparently aiming ultimately at the possession of a bourgeois aristocracy and a bourgeois proletariat alongside the bourgeoisie. For a nation which exploits the whole world this is of course to a certain extent justifiable." (Engels in a letter to Marx, Oct 7 1858, quoted in Lenin's Imperialism and the Split in Socialism) 

Furthermore:

 “You ask me what the English workers think about colonial policy. Well, exactly the same as they think about politics in general. There is no workers’ party here, there are only Conservatives and Liberal-Radicals, and the workers gaily share the feast of England’s monopoly of the world market and the colonies.” (letter to Kautsky, Sept 12 1882, quoted in Lenin's Imperialism and the Split in Socialism)

On the Bengal Famine, the best work by far yet published is Madhusree Mukerji's 'Churchill's Secret War', there are two youtube videos featuring Mukerji in relation to her work here and here.

On China and Africa, as well as the official Forum on China and African Cooperation website, there is also THIS very interesting paper, and I used to run a blog called Friends of China which still has some very good content on in. I would like to reinvigorate that Friends of China project, but do not gave the human resources at the moment to do so.

Other multilateral bodies of the Global South I would encourage people to learn about are the following:


Learning about these groups of the Global South, and also others such as the African Union, will give people a much more rounded understanding of where we are right now in history in the long march of our peoples struggle for liberation against colonialism and imperialism and for a world that is in harmony with other peoples and nature, something I and many other people across the world would call socialism, ie., the rule and management of society run by those interests who seek peace, mutual respect and friendship and respect for nature and pro-people systems of knowledge and/or liberation ideologies of our peoples.

Specifically on Africa, and Britain's planned but failed war of aggression and invasion on Zimbabwe, please see HERE and HERE, and also another comment on this by another giant of the African liberation struggle, SWAPO/Namibian leader Sam Nujoma HERE.

Finally, HERE is my article on the 10 preconditions imho for a rebuilding of the english left post the last general elections.

I hope these links are of some use to people. I would really encourage people to engage with this kind of materials, as it really humanises our peoples histories and helps us chart ways in our pursuit of achieving for ourselves and the coming generations a world which is not dominated by the 'biggest purveyors of violence in the world'  to paraphrase Dr King, which are the regimes of london, paris and washington.

- Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm






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