Humourless Marxist Reviews: Confederate

Confederate

Knowing Worker’s Spatula’s popularity among the rebel youth and our passion for the subject, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the duo better known as HBO, have invited several Worker’s Spatula writers to a special screening of the pilot episode of their new documentary series, Confederate.

Confederate tells the story of how the US, as a major imperialist state, has somehow managed to preserve slavery as a major pillar of its domestic economy well into the 21st century. The series’s pilot episode begins with a narrator explaining the history of the Republican Party, which began as a bourgeois revolutionary institution bent on overturning slavery. However, the party’s reliance on the imperialist bourgeoisie engaged in settler-colonial conquest of North America meant that the Afro-American masses and the radical left of the party were betrayed to the very southern slave-owning aristocracy the party set out to overturn in the first place.

The narrator is then revealed to be an Afro-American political prisoner in a forced labour camp, explaining this history to his fellow prisoners as he finishes his sub-par meal in a crowded cafeteria.

The pilot unflinchingly portrays the trials and tribulations of modern-day slaves in the United States today, through vignettes of their everyday lives, including painfully rare and short breaks for family, violent confrontations with labour camp guards, and struggles with mental health issues. If the pilot is anything to go by, this series will be extremely uncomfortable, but necessary, viewing for US audiences.

Creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss hinted at big plans for on-screen depictions of relevant historical and social issues in the future during the question and answer session with the Worker’s Spatula team, including an alternate history drama in which Hitler had been born in the Americas and committed genocide against indigenous peoples of the continent, and a drama about a dystopian future in which fascists and socialists are frequently depicted as part of one common ideology known as “totalitarianism”.

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News in Brief: July 15th 2017

CitizenMaxIsHauntingUs

THE INTERNET – Some years after Tumblr stopped being even a vague cultural influence on left-wing politics and well into the division of its former users into those who are engaged in quite broad front practical politics and those who have retreated from politics entirely, Marxist-Leninists on the internet remain convinced of the importance of fighting “SJWs” who are supposedly to be seen at every protest telling white male workers to “check their privilege”.

“Identity politics is dividing the working class,” explained a white man in an imperialist country to his internet audience of other white men in imperialist countries. “How does anyone expect to win over the working class when they talk about gay people and racism all the time?” referring to the all-white, all-male class which he has been extremely successful in winning over, unlike those horrific SJWs.

ST. PETERSBURG – Russian communists are trying to piece together what exactly the US government is accused of doing with the Russian state.

“So… the ‘resistance’ in the US refers to those people who feel the US state is not fighting hard enough for global hegemony?” asked local Враг Капитала reader Vladimir Semyonovich.

“I’m for revolutionary defeatism without exception,” protested Russian Maoist Party member Anna Mikhailovna, “so I don’t want Russian capital interests defended in Washington DC. But is there no one in the US who feel that the interests of capital in Washington DC should not be judged based on their Russianness?”

NEW YORK – ROL infiltration of the DSA is reportedly well underway, with the DSA already embracing national liberation for Afro-Americans and sending off martyrs to die in ICOR-approved armed struggle. Boston-based analysts expect the DSA to be a complete ROL front by 2019, right around the time the Democratic Party officially embraces the Three Worlds Theory as its lone “concession” to “the left”.

ANKARA – Worker’s Spatula correspondents are nervously considering whether or not to publish a story about Erdoğan condemning the French for celebrating Bastille Day, as he might do.

“Like, the joke is about how the Marxist tradition appropriates the French Revolution, and how Erdoğan is an arch-reactionary, and that,” explained [REDACTED 1] to her comrade during a Worker’s Spatula meeting.

“Right, but, even making a joke these days in Turkey makes you wonder,” replied [REDACTED 2]. “Erdoğan could easily say that the storming of the Bastille inspired the July 15th Coup Attempt, and…”

“Yeah…”

“Yeah…”

News in Brief: Eid Edition

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İSTANBUL – Following the AKP’s traditional crackdown on LGBT groups in Turkey, Devrimci Parti have released their traditional Eid/Bayram/Cejn message, which includes the traditional condemnation of ÖDP as anti-Kurdish chauvinists.

TEHRAN – Communists across Iran are enjoying a relaxing Eid of reading uncritical defences of the Iranian regime by foreign Marxists whose ideology puts them at no personal risk, as it does in Iran.

JAFFA – Palestinian Muslims are transitioning from a Ramadan of being mocked by the Zionist media for fasting, to the rest of the year, where they are mocked by the Zionist media for everything else except fasting.

SARAJEVO – Svaki dan je Ramazan, i svaki drot je namazan. Svaki čovjek ima prazen džep: ovaj Balkan je ljudi stvoren za rep.

Unclear if DSA Declaration of “Irony” as Highest Stage of Capitalism Itself Ironic

DSA

NEW YORK/CHICAGO – The DSA have stirred up great controversy in US left circles, still reeling from the discussions of “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism” as the “third and higher stage” of communist ideology several decades too late, with their latest declaration that capitalism itself has reached a qualitatively new stage of irony.

“If you consider Marxism primarily from the perspective of alienation, it’s actually quite obvious,” explained Michael Foreman, a Bronx native and DSA member, to our local corespondent. “Capitalism has advanced so far in terms of alienating us all that even our own internal mental processes have a clear dual audience. Commodification is so total that we can only articulate resistance to the profit motive in terms of ironic humour, even to ourselves.

“O shit waddup,” he concluded.

In the past few months, large numbers of young Marxists have joined local branches of the DSA, an organisation dedicated primarily to making the Democratic Party add “vigorous defence of the legacy of Comrade Stalin” to their Party Platform. Consequently, theoretical discussion at various branches of the DSA have become more rigorous than ever before, with the legacies of such US radical martyrs as Malcolm X, Michael Israel, and Bernie Sanders being mainstays of discussions at meetings. We spoke to Alfonso Casal, professional Malört sommelier and anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist, about developments within the DSA in terms of theory and practice.

“Basically, it’s not untrue that our innermost psychological health is being harmed by capitalism, and that capitalism’s tendency to commodify all things has brought us to this point. The disagreement we have with the DSA is mostly over whether this process, which has been quantitatively increasing since capitalism-imperialism became globally hegemonic, has actually reached some new qualitative stage.

“There was far more merit to the discussion, very popular since the 2008 Crisis, of neoliberalism, with its basis in profit-exploitation, as a qualitatively higher stage of capitalism-imperialism. In this vein, it is our view that the DSA themselves represent a new stage of revisionism. We had the classic revisionists like Bernstein or Kautsky, and then we had the ‘modern revisionists’ of the 20th century that our ‘anti-revisionist’ Marxism-Leninism defines itself in opposition to. However, these have descended so far into revisionism that they are no longer central to our discussions as revolutionaries. In the place of CPUSA or the CPB, we are now primarily concerned with the revisionism of the DSA and Momentum.”

Asked how he perceived a coming struggle with the DSA, Casal responded: “It’s very difficult to say. Just as defectors from the CPUSA played an important role in the struggle with modern revisionism decades ago, I predict contradictions within the DSA will lead to new formations, some of whom will have ideas close to our own.

“Pretty IRONIC, don’t you think?” winked Casal, who, before an explanation could be sought, pulled out an air horn and blew it into the air multiple times. “Capitalism, more like CRAPitalism, AMIRITE?”

The ISO, despite being mentioned much further down the page than they would ever read on a website as “Stalinist” as this one, also had their own analysis of the DSA’s growth and development. We sat down with one of their representatives at Fanxi’s Famous Foods in Manhattan:

“The DSA are reformists, which presents a clear risk of Stalinist growth within their ranks. On the other hand, they call themselves democratic socialists, and we Trotskyists are the real democratic socialists, since we have always militantly defended democracy for the working class, so perhaps we’ll be able to recruit some of them or take them over from within.

“It’s difficult to say, because we always had trouble telling which of their public declarations were ironic, and their latest declaration hardly does anything to clear up that confusion.”

At time of press, the ROL.

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White Britons Told They “Should Do More to Stop Terror”

WhiteBritons

LONDON – The London attack early Monday morning, in which a “white, clean-shaven” man drove a van into Muslims emerging from Ramadan prayers at a masjid in Finsbury Park, killing one and wounding eight, has sent the country once again into shock.

Persons inexplicably given money in order to write newspaper columns were quick to pass judgment.

“What we have here is a failing of the entire White British community,” İbrahim Güneş, a self-appointed terror expert, told the Spatula.

“This man would have been planning this attack surrounded by White British people. He would have been living his life largely surrounded by White British people, and if anyone would have known about his plans to carry out this attack, it would have been White British people.”

“I mean, for God’s sake,” he added. “The van was hired in South Wales or somewhere.”

Welsh commentators were quick to downplay the Welsh connection: “Cardiff and its environs have been invaded by Saxons. The attacker was English. We’re the indigenous Britons, and we’re not the problem. It’s the English you want, they’re the ones who always start all the trouble. We want all white English people deported from Wales for their war on our culture, just as any decent Asian Londoner does. All of our safety is threatened by the English menace. We stand with the victims of this attack and condemn it without reservation,” explained Rhys Jones, a Welsh stereotype and Plaid Cymru spokesperson made up for the purposes of this piece.

Normal, non-white British commentators were unimpressed by Welsh attempts to downplay their culpability: “If you don’t like being lumped in with them, secede already, byti,” chided a passing Somali gentleman, on his way back from buying laver for a traditional Cardiff iftar.

The attack occured around the anniversary of the murder of Member of Parliament and integrated White British person Jo Cox in another terror attack perpetrated by another radicalised White British person.

“There’s a lack of trust we’re seeing among the White British community,” said Rasool Rahman, who writes a column urging that Britain start foreign wars in Christian countries every Thursday for The Times.

“White Britons really have to come out and ask their friends, their family members: did you vote UKIP? And if they did, they need to tell MI5.”

“Neither should we hold back from challenging White Britons around us as to whether they’re planning this type of terrorist atrocity.”

Urging calm, Shadow Home Secretary and national treasure Diane Abbott has assured the nervous British public that White British extremism will not be tolerated, and security services are closely monitoring pubs across the country in response to the attack.

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Scandal as Labour Leaks Plan to Crown Gary Donnelly King

KingGary

LONDON – “I don’t understand!” cried Corbyn, slamming his fist against the wall of his Islington bunker. “They kept trying to link us to the Provos, and what could make it more clear where we stand on them than this?”

“I know, I know…” concurred Diane Abbott. “And we’re even taking an interest in Buckingham Palace, the media is just really unfair to us.”

For hours, sources across the political spectrum in the UK have been reacting with shock and horror to a leaked plan to replace Queen Elizabeth II with Gary Donnelly, who would be crowned King Gary I, King of the Irish Isles.

“You see why I keep emphasising the national interest now, don’t you?” explained noted wheat field runner and part-time Prime Minister Theresa May to the Spatula’s Downing Street correspondent. “None of you believed me, until now, but now you see it. Are you going to let Corbyn bring a Papist into Buckingham Palace?”

“I tried to warn you,” agreed noted Welsh national embarrassment Owen Smith. “I’m as radical as the next one, but this is not how you win elections. I want a Northern Irish monarch as much as Corbyn does, but compromise is key. We could’ve chosen someone from the UDA, for example.”

Reaction from the occupied North of Ireland, however, has been quite positive, with the notable exception of Gary Donnelly himself, who has denied all claims of any connection between himself and Jeremy Corbyn. The RIRA have released a video claiming that they have “thousands” of weapons stashed in Buckingham Palace that they hope to be able to retrieve. INLA, for their part, released a video with similar claims, with the noteworthy difference that they plan to immediately decommission the weapons after retrieving them.

Provisional Sinn Féin, for their part, are ecstatic about this latest development in the saga of Irish Republicanism within the Party of Labour:

“With an Irish monarch in power, we can finally legitimise entering the Palace of Westminster. We look forward to bringing down the Union Jack and raising the tricolour over Londain with the help of our comrade-in-arms, John McDonnell.”

Qantas Under Fire for “Gay Orgy” Plane Sections on all International Flights

Qantas

PERTH – Following Margaret Court’s widely publicised action, official representatives from the Victory Life Centre have issued an official statement calling for a boycott of Qantas by all Australians who have not lost their “moral compass”, owing to the firm’s controversial instalment of “Gay Orgy” sections in all aeroplanes used for international flights.

“We had looked the other way when Qantas announced they would be following European practice and equipping all international flights with a dedicated section for orgies. Obviously we wouldn’t recommend churchgoers take part in the orgies, but technically going through that section on the way to the toilet is no different from walking down a Perth beach on any given Saturday night.

“But when Margaret Court alerted us that dedicated sections had also been installed, we had to intervene. We can’t let Australia descend deeper into the Sodomite mire than it already has.

“Honestly we should’ve cut this all off when men started attended Kylie Minogue concerts,” the church spokesman said, taking a hearty swig from his bottled water.

Pauline Hanson’s favourite “Muslim” made sure to take this opportunity to insert himself into the news: “I just want everyone to know that I acknowledge the role of radical Islam in imposing homosexual depravity on decent, Christian Australians,” said Imam Tawhidi.

Qantas responded to our request for an interview with a corporate representative. That interview is reproduced in full below:

WS: G’day. How’re you doing?

QANTAS: All right. Yourself?

WS: All right. Would you say that Qantas was motivated by a general trend of openly queer bourgeois individuals and a desire to draw such class elements into the mainstream of the capitalist ideological apparatus so as to provide a pro-system outlet for queer youth in Australia who might be getting into radical ideas? Or did someone on the board, or one of their cousins, get hitched recently?

QANTAS: What an incredibly cynical question. No, no, no. Our considerations were neither personal nor financial. It’s just simply the right thing to do.

WS: So we should ignore your CEO, Alan Joyce’s comments, then? Qantas has now adopted a general pro-human rights stance, then?

QANTAS: No, you misunderstand. It’s the right thing to do from the perspective of our role as a front for the Queer International in Australia. This is us crossing the Rubicon.

WS: How do you mean?

QANTAS: Isn’t it obvious? There’s no space in passenger aircraft for multiple orgy sections and non-orgy seating. The entire plane is going to be one massive genderqueer orgy.

WS: Crikey.

QANTAS: Indeed. And don’t think we’ll stop because some washed-up tennis star doesn’t like it. We’re going to turn our entire fleet, domestic flights too, into queer fuckfests.

WS: Wouldn’t this simply drive large sections of Australia to seek out alternatives from your competitors?

QANTAS: They can seek all they like, but you know better than most interviewers I’ve been sat down with this week that capitalism trends towards monopoly. We’re buying them all up, trains, planes, and buses. We plan to make it impossible to travel around Australia without witnessing or taking part in a massive queer orgy by the end of 2018.

WS: Ambitious stuff. What would you say to those who claim that this is simply fetishism of a particular site of social marginalisation that, if it achieved status as dominant social practice, would simply be normalised within the structures of exploitation and oppression that we already experience?

QR: Likely, possible… But it’s certainly funny to watch Margaret Court squirm in the meanwhile, isn’t it?

WS: Fair point. Well, that’s all for my questions. Any closing statement?

QR: Crush the heteropatriarchy. Fly Qantas.

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Humourless Marxist Reviews: Band Aid

BandAid

“Band Aid” is actor Zoe Lister-Jones’s first foray into directing, and a bold foray it was. Not only did she manage to pull off the twin duties of actor and director with significant skill for a first timer, but she did so with an all-woman crew, a choice which makes perfect sense when one considers that Band Aid is a dramatic retelling of the story of Yenigün Müzik Topluluğu, the “women’s choir” Turkish musical group best known for writing songs about 1990s MLKP martyrs.

Set in the United States, this dramatic retelling imagines what it would be like if the Istanbul-based group had been formed in California. And somehow it works! Despite lacking the obvious context of Gazi Mahallesi, watching Lister-Jones’s depiction of dozens of young people raise their fists to martyr songs brought a tear to the eyes of everyone in the audience at our special and exclusive Worker’s Spatula screening of the director’s cut of the film.

Watching “Band Aid” was a unique glimpse into the personal experiences of the women who would go on to sing songs of the struggle within Yenigün Müzik Topluluğu. The role of women in all parts of struggle, the role of arts in morale and healing, the motivation to carry on against all odds in the memory of the lost children whose laughter will be our revenge, truly this is a film that can make even the most foreign leftist feel right at home in this story of Turkish militants. It is astonishing how Lister-Jones is able to tie in music and everyday struggle so masterfully, to the point where the escalation of violence in concert with progressively more melancholy music feels the only natural choice for the audience.

*SPOILER ALERT*

Truly nothing can match the feeling of revolutionary determination one feels together with Lister-Jones’s character in the final scene where she approaches George Zimmerman, to avenge Trayvon Martin’s death by detonating the bomb strapped to her own body. Right at the moment of the detonation, the screen goes black and the soundtrack is silent, and you can hear the people on each side of you breathing, before “Yasemin” starts playing.

Hardcore stuff.

Speaking of bodies and “hardcore”, though, it was a bit unfair that we didn’t get to see Adam Pally’s erect penis during the nude scenes. What gives, Zoe?

Worker’s Spatula Ayatollah Clarifies Acts Prohibited During Ramadan Fast

Ramadan

BAGHDAD – During his traditional start-of-Ramadan address, Grand Ayatollah Hussein al-Sibatula has reiterated the importance of the Ramadan fast to communists around the world, and in particular the importance for the anti-revisionist faithful in refraining from all forbidden acts.

“No sex, which you shouldn’t be having even outside of Ramadan, unless you want to end up like the Iraqi Communist Party. No masturbation, intellectual or sexual, even after sunset. Obviously no food or drink, until the adhan sounds and it is time to feast upon bream and masgouf.

“No leather shoes,” added Ayatollah al-Sibatula, lest anyone forget.

“May Allah shower blessings upon those who complete the fast successfully,” the learned cleric continued to the assembled Bolshevik crowd. “Many of you will be in Sinjar, with the Yezidis, who will not be fasting. If you persevere, inşallah all your deviations of the past year will be forgiven.

“Naturally Ramadan is not only about the fast. It is a time for reflection on Allah’s mercy and the teachings in the Holy Qur’an and the writings of Vladimir Lenin. When Allah revealed His truth to our prophets, He knew that we would be tested. He tests us with the Ramadan fast, just as He tests us with the followers of Muawiyah, Trotsky, and Tito. But in the face of all these tests, we must be pure, in obedience to Allah. Purify your bodies, but also purify your minds, and your practice. Do not slander, do not backbite. Do not deviate to the left, or to the right. Do not engage in voluntarism, sectarianism, or opportunism.

“Whosoever can make it through all of Ramadan without speaking ill of the other three Worker’s Spatula organisations will be forgiven for all the dumb satire they have written, and their organisation will be blessed with many new and disciplined cadre.

“As Allah has willed, you have all made your niyyah. May Allah accept each and every one of your fasts, and may your newspapers be widely read. May the dialectic resolve all contradictions in your favour, and may the workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite.”

“Amin,” responded the gathered communists, reverently, before standing and shuffling out of the mosque, the cleric’s words weighing heavily on their minds for the rest of the day.

Allah bütün oruç tutanların orucunu kabul etsin. –Worker’s Spatula

Point/Counterpoint: Iranian Elections

IranElection

Point: We Must Support Rouhani as the Communist Candidate for Iran

by Worker’s Spatula Representative

Iran is a complicated place, with multiple nations living within its borders, a severely repressed trade unionist movement with roots going back decades, and extremely difficult contradictions with regard to women’s issues. There is no easy answer to the many problems that face Iran, from secularism to socialism, and we must make tactical compromises.

Under the current conditions, it seems that the Rouhani presidency can still play a progressive role. While there can be no substitute for a movement of the streets for Iranian comrades on the ground, they too would reluctantly agree that Rouhani represents the most progressive force possible at his level of “big” politics.

As one of the founders of the Worker’s Spatula Centre for Shariati Studies, I have long had a keen interest in Iran and its politics. As a supporter of the ICMLPO (Unity and Struggle), I am deeply interested in contradictions in the international arena. That’s why, in spite of my many criticisms of Mr. Rouhani, I have nothing but the strongest support for his plan to heal old wounds between our movement and the regime by promoting Hamid Reza Chitgar’s daughter as his choice for the next Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, following the death of Khamenei.

In spite of the Iranian regime’s many flaws, and many compromises with imperialism which possessed an opportunistic rather than tactical character, there is still hope for Iran, even within reformist elements of the regime. Rouhani’s recent interview in which he described Ebrahim Raisi as “a proponent of the revisionist Three Worlds Theory” represents such a hope.

Vote Rouhani in the upcoming Iranian elections, the only candidate who has read Alain Badiou!

Counterpoint: Vote Rouhani to Stem the Tide of Counter-Revolution!

by Twitter Left Representative

Iran is not a complicated country, with so-called “multiple nations” (as all true Marxist-Leninists know, this is an impossibility, as there can only be one Iranian nation), or so-called “contradictions”. It is quite simply this: the most heroic, self-sacrificing anti-imperialist state in the world!

Iran is the greatest, and anyone who criticises Iran for any reason is probably a Trot. Not only do the masses of Iranians wholly support their regime, which is almost as socialist as Syria or China, but the downtrodden peoples in all neighbouring countries, whether Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan, all agree that Iran has always rushed to their defence in times of need.

Since Iran is good, and not bad, any challenge to the established order in Iran is plainly a plot by US imperialism, and must be fiercely opposed. Therefore, anyone who votes for, or encourages a vote for, or stands as a candidate against the legitimate President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is an objective agent of US imperialism, and a wrecker who deserves no fate gentler than immediate execution.

To those who even dream of discussing what the effect of any change to the government in Iran might mean for the position of Supreme Leader following the latter’s death, know this: If the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran chooses to die at any point, this too represents an act of collusion with US imperialism. I call on Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei to resolutely stand against the US imperialist plot of ageing and death, and instead live on forever, in hiding, much like Muhammad al-Mahdi.

In conclusion: Vote Rouhani for stability in the face of the Kurdish and Baloch ethno-nationalist plots of objective agents of US imperialism, like Worker’s Spatula.