See the video of the meeting here. (Editor’s note, added July 2, 2018.)
“Assisting the Self-Development of #TheResistance to Trumpism & to Authoritarianism in Europe”
We invite everyone to participate in a public meeting on Wed., June 6, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. sharp. It will feature talks by Ravi Bali and Andrew Kliman. The venue is historic Jefferson Market Library, 425 Ave. of Americas (corner of West 10th St. & 6th Ave.), in the Willa Cather Community Rm.
Ravi Bali is a veteran activist of the British left. He currently works in London with Marxist-Humanist Initiative, having rejected both the vanguardism and the acceptance of capitalism that mark his former comrades. He sees the election of Trump and the growth of racist reaction in Europe as a threat to humanity and a barrier to achieving a decent society for all. Bali writes for MHI’s web journal With Sober Senses, and he works as an electrician.
Andrew Kliman is the author, most recently, of “Combatting White Nationalism: Lessons from Marx.” His many writings include two books, Reclaiming Marx’s “Capital”: A Refutation of the Myth of Inconsistency (Lexington Books, 2007) and The Failure of Capitalist Production: Underlying Causes of the Great Recession (Pluto Books, 2012). He also writes frequently for With Sober Senses.
They will discuss how we can assist the self-development of #TheResistance to Trumpism, and the grass-roots movements fighting authoritarianism in Europe.
Trumpism and resurgent authoritarianism have generated a tidal wave of opposition around the globe. In the U.S., a movement of millions of people in active revolt against Trumpism—known as #TheResistance—has emerged. Its self-development requires that we support its independence from the Democratic Party and from “leftists” who would co-opt or derail it. We must also combat the idea that the left can somehow win over the “base” that supports Trump and other authoritarians and turn white nationalists towards revolutionary socialism. That is a pipe dream of a segment of the “left” that wants power for itself and which acted in ways that helped Trump win the 2016 U.S. election.
Raya’s claims have not stood the test of time. She was not the first to discover that the USSR was state capitalist and she was not the first to theorize state capitalism. Moreover, she tended to idolize rather than criticize Lenin, and failed to notice that Lenin’s ideas may have suited the situation in Russia pre 1917, but were not suited to other historical conjunctures. In practice she herself was a Leninist and maintained a strict control over her group, which, like so many sectarian groups, expelled those who had ideas of their own or who failed to adhere closely to the party line. In the end her group was a cult of personality organized around the person of Raya. Personality cults disarm critical thinking. Consequently, today her group (News and Letters) and its offspring (MHI, International Marxist-Humanist Organization (IMHO)) require nothing less for membership than a willingness to obey the leader or leaders and to ignore the prompting of individual intellect and conscience. Following Raya, they have abandoned Marxism by, for example, opportunistically multiplying the subject of revolution and abandoning internationalism for such categories as the people or the nation by, for example, advocating “national self-determination” in the Ukraine and elsewhere. Sorry comrades, but that’s the sad truth of Dunayevskaya’s legacy.
After reading the above comment by “Harry Black” posted July 17, 2022 accompanying the 2018 MHI public meeting announcement on the topic “Assisting the Self-Development of #The Resistance to Trumpism & to Authoritarianism in Europe”, I was reminded of what Ygritte said to Jon Snow in the television adaptation of Game of Thrones: “You know nothing Harry Black”. There are so many misrepresentations by “Harry Black” regarding Raya Dunayevskaya (whom “Harry Black” disrespectfully refers to simply as Raya!) and Marxist-Humanism that there is no point here, in this limited space) to discuss them. That is for another time, under conditions of open, public debate unrestricted by the “individual intellect and conscience” of one, “Harry Black”.
In the interim, those who want more than the musings of “Harry Black” would do well to start with reading “Who We Are” on the MHI Home page.