Not that I’m anti-intellectual–because I believe political theory & method are very important–but if anyone were to ask my advice to young people who want to make this world a better place for human beings, I would say ‘start with the oppressed’. Start with those standing against war, occupation, persecution, genocide. Start with those fighting injustice & inequality. If you are part of the struggles against oppression, theoretical questions will confront you, the problems of political method will confront you & you will come to respect the importance of theoretical study. But if you ignore oppression & try to wing it by reading the latest trendy gurus or the old hacks, you will end up indifferent to the suffering of humanity & be nothing more than a political vegetable sucking off the body politic for oxygen. Take my word on that.
If it weren’t for social media, I wouldn’t realize how apolitical most of the left is. They post about Jeffrey Epstein, Bernie Sanders, obscure textual analyses of Kautsky vs Lenin, Sanders vs Warren, more on the 2020 US elections, more obscure textual analyses of God-knows-what-&-who gives-a-damn, & a lot of other boring crap. Under their tenure, capitalism can thank its lucky stars even as it avalanches into barbarism.
When India puts on an extravaganza tomorrow to celebrate 72 years of independence from British colonialism, remember Kashmiris have been fighting all that time for their independence from Indian colonialism.
(Photo from August 8th, 2019 by Atul Loke for the NY Times)
Whatever Russia did or did not do regarding the US elections, it’s small potatoes compared to its endorsement of India’s abrogation of Article 370 & military siege of Kashmir. But of course Russian endorsement for Modi & Hindutva nationalism in Kashmir is of a piece with carpet bombing Syrian civilians for nearly four years & arming the Rohingya genocide.
#StandWithKashmir rallies in Detroit, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, London, & Bologna.
Fascist & Assadist propagandist Eva Bartlett has just returned from Russia where she declared the protesters (who could be arrested & jailed for protesting) “apathetic,” just there for the bands & singers, & denied reports of police brutality against the protesters. She’s back just in time to join the chorus of Assadists, including Max Blumenthal & Ben Norton, who are denouncing the Hong Kong protests as US-orchestrated to bring down China. At what point will the camp followers of the Assadist cult understand that the leitmotif of Assadist politics is defense of autocratic, repressive regimes & opposition to popular movements for democracy?
A valuable Democracy Now interview with Kashmiri writer Mirza Waheed, Indian filmmaker Sanjay Kak, & Indian writer Siddhartha Deb.
Not a great article but a necessary one about the Kashmiri activists & leaders arrested by India during the blockade. They have not yet released the names, the actual numbers arrested, or where they are being held.
A NY Times video report on the blockade of Kashmir: