MIKE FAULKNER—What was particularly disturbing was the way in which most of those who regarded themselves as Marxist-Leninists made no attempt to apply Marxism in any meaningful way to what was happening. They seemed happy to accept whatever issued from Beijing as the truth. In fact, a prominent member of the editorial board of a publication with which I was connected told me that he thought it was our job to be clear about what the Chinese were saying and to repeat it in language more suited to an English readership. They often acted more like followers of a religious faith, accepting edicts from an infallible priesthood. This became impossible to accept when the Chinese leadership, on the basis of what was claimed to be the application of Mao’s theory of contradiction, came to the conclusion that the principal contradiction in the world was no longer the contradiction between the peoples of the world and imperialism, led by U.S. imperialism, but rather that between the peoples of the world and what they had now come to call “Soviet-Social Imperialism”.
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CAITLIN JOHNSTONE—Back in September The Intercept ran an article trying to conflate opposition to Syrian interventionism with white nationalism, and I said back then things were getting increasingly shady with this particularly outlet. The repeated WikiLeaks smears, which have no place outside mainstream media, mean that people like me are going to be distancing ourselves from that publication and ceasing to look at it as a reliable outlet.
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TREVON AUSTIN & DAVE WALSH—The Golden Globes ceremony stank of reaction and self-satisfaction. It was a celebration of inquisitions and unsubstantiated allegations. Increasingly, masses of working class people, female and male, struggling to keep their heads above water, will see through this.
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RAMIN MAZAHERI—When perhaps the top daily-news leftist website – the World Socialist Web Site – has the phrase “brutally exploited Iranian working class” in their first sentence, something is clearly out of balance.
Because if Iran’s working class is “brutally” mistreated, then what is the working class in, say, the United States? Do they call it the “astronomically, incredibly, stupendously, racially exploited US working class”?
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FRED GARDNER—The coffee-table book version of The Vietnam War,” based on the film version of the series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick,” includes five essays. The one by Todd Gitlin is called “Vietnam and the Movement.” The Sage of the Sixties repeats his thesis that “the Weatherman faction of Students for a Democratic Society destroyed the largest left-wing organization in the country.” This line may be superficially true but it’s profoundly misleading.