News in Brief: November 10th 2015

junglefighting

LISBON – Apparently the Portuguese Left has decided to remind the rest of Europe that Portugal exists. Most European leftists responded with shock when they learnt that Podemos was not involved in the as yet unanalysed Lusophone shenanigans. The dastardly Portuguese are up to something, but it is not clear what exactly. ICOR coordinator and known Iberophile Stefan Engel responded to the murky developments in the quasi-country, saying “It makes me wish we had a Portuguese ICOR affiliate, so we could ask them what was up. But we never thought to enquire into possible Portuguese affiliates, because they were all hiding down there, below Spain, where nobody ever looks.”

LONDON – The greatest Greek philosopher since Plato and the sexiest Greek since Alcibiades, Yanis Varoufakis, and the best Yugoslav Stalin-pretender since Tito, Slavoj Žižek, have announced their discussion-based eventoid “Europe is Kaputt. Long live Europe!”, in which they will discuss, nay, DECIDE the future of Europe. Inside sources hint that Žižek will agree with Varoufakis on some banal point before launching into a tangent, and, at another point, “quote someone with whom… [he disagrees] entirely”.

THE JUNGLES OF SOUTHERN THAILAND – In response to a Malaysian government proposal to mandate separate supermarket trolleys for Halal and non-Halal food products, ex-guerrillas of the Communist Party of Malaya called a press conference in a village near the border: “It didn’t start here, and it won’t end here. I think we all know where this is going. Your children are going to be growing up in a Malay-speaking version of Saudi Arabia. Don’t like it? Well, you had your chance, Malaysia. I bet a lot of you wish we had won now, huh? Well, now we don’t have any guns, and you’re stuck with your garbage state. We’re never coming home, so we don’t have to worry about any of that.” When our Worker’s Spatula correspondent in Thailand pointed out that Thailand was looking pretty hopeless itself, the once-upon-a-time rebels curtly informed all present that the conference was over.

SOMEWHERE IN GODDAMN ONTARIO – Jason Unruhe is now accusing people of “wrecking”. He has yet to respond to Worker’s Spatula’s e-mailed enquiry into how anyone can wreck the LLCO, an organisation which appears to consist only of himself and “Comrade Prairie Fire”. Hopefully nothing has come between the two of them, and the entire editorial and writing staff of Worker’s Spatula wishes them nothing but the best.

Solidarity Blames Latin American Left for Strength of US Imperialism

Solidarity

DETROIT – Yesterday, the US Trotskyist extremist organisation Solidarity published an editorial in their journal Against the Current denouncing the Latin American left, as a whole, for their total failure in fighting US imperialism. The article states that after years of Western solidarity with movements and parties of the Latin American left, US imperialism has still yet to be defeated:

“Despite all the efforts on the part of Solidarity, the Venezuelan economy is still too dependent on the export of oil, and other Latin American countries are even further from realising our lofty revolutionary standards. Wall Street still dominates Latin American economies, and US puppets rulers exploit and persecute the worker’s movement unchecked.”

“Cuba, meanwhile, in line with its Stalinist pedigree, has totally failed to combat US imperialism in any meaningful sense.”

“We have invested so much of our time in supporting the Latin American left so that it could topple US imperialism. And what has been the result? Nothing. Thus, it is time for us to change strategy, abandoning the hopeless Latin American left in favour of the Latin American right, whose horrible repression by the Stalinist capitalists in places like Venezuela makes them objectively more predisposed to struggle. The Cuban regime has made many mistakes as well, from their belief in the Stalinist principle of democratic centralism to sending Stalinist doctors to Haiti or Africa, preventing the natives from learning about Permanent Revolution, the only good thing about the Leninist tradition.”

“In short, the entire Latin American left is counter-revolutionary. This is because of the weakness of Trotskyism in their countries, whereas we have reached a new level of Trotskyism here in the US: We believe that the classical concepts Trotsky used to describe the Soviet Union were much too soft and that he should have simply labelled this Stalinist abomination what it was: Capitalism even worse than the Western capitalism, because it was Stalinist at the same time. Along similar lines, we’d like to state that all these incompetent leftists in stupid Spanish-speaking countries are not even proper Marxists like us, but anarchists, but like, statist anarchists or something. It doesn’t matter if they don’t shave, like in Cuba, or chew on coca leaves all day, like in Bolivia. The task of resistance in Latin America falls on our shoulders, as the only real internationalists. Down with authoritarianism, long live the revolution in Latin America!”

Fidel Castro responded in Granma, writing: “I’m just going to say it, since no one’s saying it: Are the Yankees ever going to threaten their own state, or just comment about how we’re doing things down here and discuss their ‘solidarity’ or lack thereof? What more can we do on their behalf? Should we declare an embargo on the US, after the US lifted its embargo against us? We have a lot of drugs in Latin America, but nobody is as drugged up as the Yankees. Those guys should start smoking Cuban cigars instead, now that the embargo has been lifted. Maybe that will wake them up…”

Responses from left-leaning Latin American leaders of a less Marxist-Leninist pedigree were similarly dismissive: Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa simply tweeted: “@SolidarityUS ¡Locos!”. Our correspondent in Caracas asked Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro for comment and received the answer: “Who?”. Similarly, Bolivian President Evo Morales didn’t say anything at all, merely smiling politely.

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias appeared on his TV show La Tuerka with the following comment: “Well, I read that the US left has given up on solidarity with the Latin American left. That’s a big fucking deal, as it probably means that they will stop supporting us as well. Oh, it’s a group called ‘Solidarity’? Did they ever support us? Who are they?”

Renowned Slovenian philosopher and Marxist of some sort Slavoj Žižek devoted the first few minutes of one his lectures to commenting on the editorial: “You know, I read this in some shitty US left magazine… I mean, you know what my good friend Alain Badiou says about the US left… He says, well no, it is too dirty even for me… to… say… it… [sniffs] here, but the thing is, I was married several times, trust me, I know what I’m talking about, and I was married to an Argentinian model once, and I lost all my respect for them afterwards, Argentinian wives mostly, but Latin Americans in general too. The faking of the orgasm and so on and so on. So back to my point, it is like Lacan said in one of his seminars, you know, like in Hitchcock basically, Lacan uses the same technique, but let me explain it with Hitchcock. So, in short, Solidarity is complete nonsense, of course, I mean, literally, but… I think maybe there is something there, beneath the obvious literal statement, if you understand what I am saying.”

Podemos Formulating Secret New Strategy

iglesiasMADRID – According to several reports, the leadership of Podemos is developing a new strategy to combat austerity in the EU. Intense discussions among the leadership have been taking place almost every day since the defeat of Syriza, sources said. “It’s been really productive,” said one associate of Pablo Iglesias. “I mean, we’ve actually started discussing important topics. For the first week or so, it was all about Pablo’s beard and pony-tail. I am not sure what conclusions they reached on that, but I guess he’s not going to get a haircut. I’m really happy about that.”

Statements from Podemos in the wake of the Greek disaster have left supporters all over the EU with a profound sense of unease. Iglesias went on public record stating: “We can’t do more than that. We defend the same thing that Christian Democracy did thirty years ago. But in this chess game in which we have got almost nothing, there’s not much more we can do. Spain can do a little more than Greece.”

Subsequently, in a poll of Podemos supporters, 67% answered the question “Do you approve or disapprove of Iglesias’s statement… [above]?” with the phrase “So why should we vote for you?”

Podemos appear unfazed, however. A member of the Politbureau, who spoke on condition of anonymity, gave Worker’s Spatula some insight into their new strategy: “You see, most of us are political scientists. We evaluated years of research and experience and we have come to the conclusion that politicians never do what they promise before an election. In fact, they mostly do the exact opposite. Thus, we sketched out this brilliant new plan: Starting now, until the election, we will always say exactly the opposite of what we are planning to do when we get elected. And then, after we are elected, we will miraculously emerge advocating the left-wing politics our supporters craved in the first place. You get it? I believe this to be a quite sophisticated strategy. I just hope the people will understand it. Did you get it? You did, right?”

International reaction to the new plan was mixed. Former Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was videotaped downing enormous amounts of ouzo in his apartment by his neighbours, one of whom swore he heard him say: “Where did this grinning, pony-tailed Spaniard come up with this plan? That was it, that’s what we were looking for…”

Sebastian Budgen of Verso Books, and a regular reader of Worker’s Spatula, commented on Facebook that Verso is planning to publish a book on Iglesias and Podemos’s new strategy in their Radical Thinkers series. Immediately, an intense discussion ensued in the comments section of that post. With about 167 comments within 20 minutes, 123 of them from Budgen himself, Budgen’s last comment reads: “Yeah, sure, we’ll probably just offer it as an e-book at 50% off, 3 days after we publish it. After a week we’ll have to bring the price down to 90% off, and after 10 days we’ll give Iglesias the rights to offer it as a free download on his homepage. But you all should really buy it the minute it is out!”

MLPD leader Stefan Engel, apparently still on holiday in Istanbul, tweeted a picture of himself on a boat on the Bosphorus, enjoying raki and grilled fish. The text read: “@ahorapodemos, even I have nothing to say to your right now.”