Toward a United Socialist States of Left Bloggers

Yesterday I posted links to debates on two left blogs–Gathering Forces and Advance the Struggle.

I’m going to try and do more of this sort of thing in the future because I think American left bloggers need to support one another, even when we have political differences or are in different groups (or no group at all).

The British/Irish left blogging scene is much more developed than it is here in the US. Most days I check out Lenin’s TombSocialist Unity, Liam Mac Uaid, Splintered Sunrise, David Osler, and one or two others.

Obviously there are some problems with left blogging in a period when the socialist and revolutionary movements remain fragmented and divided. The comments section can often degenerate into a sectarian swamp–this happens a lot at Socialist Unity and I witnessed it at first hand over at Advance the Struggle, when a promising discussion about anti-cuts organizing got derailed by one persistent ultra-left troll.

Nevertheless, I think Gathering Forces and Advance the Struggle both show that the left can use the blogosphere to establish a dynamic presence online, and we need more of this.

In that vein, here are a few of my favorite left blogs from the US, in no particular order:

My friend and comrade Baines Cannon always has insightful things to say at Cannon Fodder.

Another comrade has started what promises to be a very interesting project at Sex Under Capitalism.

Yet another new project is New Red Indian, which will cover events in South Asia from a left perspective.

Louis Proyect runs one of the few established and (relatively) high profile American left blogs at Unrepentant Marxist. I don’t much care for the comments section, but it’s worth a look.

If you like your blogging a bit more high-theory, I can recommend Socialism and/or Barbarism.

Finally, the student movement in California produced a slew of new blogs. Some of them espouse a nihilist/insurrectionist politics that’s not really my cup of tea. But Occupy California is an active site with good updates on the movement.

Please let me know if I’m missing anything from my blogroll.



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9 responses to “Toward a United Socialist States of Left Bloggers

  1. Kasama ( is worth checking out. The folks who founded the site are former RCPers; they are grappling with what it means to be revolutionaries today and trying to come to terms with what was problematic about the RCP. The blog gets a fair amount of discussion, some of which is good.

  2. I had thought about adding Kasama, and now I will. There’s some interesting stuff on there.

    On a side note, I was at the anti-SB1070 action in Chicago and the RCP are now literally wearing t-shirts with Bob’s face on them. Wow.

  3. I just found this blog off Gathering Forces, good stuff.

    Just for the record, many of the people who formed Kasama were not ex-RCP. A number were, but a number can from other trends to a common project of communist reconception.

  4. Thanks for the clarification, Eric.

    It’s interesting to me that groups like the Fire Collective and Kasama seem to be developing relationships with the likes of Unity and Struggle and Advance the Struggle. On the surface, at least, it doesn’t seem like a natural fit–Maoism on the one hand, and Marxist-Humanism (which came out of the Trotskyist movement) on the other.

    If you or other readers wanted to shed light on the connections I’d be grateful.

  5. Hmm, well, without speaking for comrades in the other formations you mentioned, I do think there is a particularity to the time period we are in. There currently are no serious revolutionary organizations with the potential to lead a revolution, or even connect with broad sections of people (without abandoning the goal of revolution).

    Our assessment has been that many formations exist which have been more or less doing the same thing for decades. Other have abandoned the revolutionary project altogether.

    Kasama and FIRE both are actually not Maoist formations. We think there is continuing value in Maoism, but that something new will need to be developed. So for us, there is a poverty of both strategy and organization… and this poverty means that communism will have to be rediscovered and reconceived by new generations of revolutionaries, under new conditions, with new lines of demarcation.

    Previous periods left us with a struggle between various lines of demarcation and trends (usually Maoism vs. Anarchism vs. Trotskyism). We no longer believe those are the lines of demarcation for this period, but instead that many revolutionaries will need to engage and develop something that can actually win in our present situation.

    Some in the trends you have mentioned have placed a lot of emphasis on returning to thinkers like CLR James, which will not work in my honest opinion, but I continue to see these people as close comrades in a common process of reconception and regroupment.

    Hope that helps answer your question.

  6. Thanks, Eric, that’s an honest and illuminating answer.

    Obviously it’s very refreshing when socialists are willing to break out of the sectarian mindset and initiate discussion across what were once very rigid lines of demarcation.

    It does seem to me that there are some pretty fundamental political principles at play, though. One example. If I’m right, the folks in Unity and Struggle hold to the traditional ‘Third Camp Marxist’ position that the USSR under Stalin, China post-1949, Cuba, etc, are or were state capitalist regimes.

    You come from a tradition with a very different analysis of those states, am I right? Do you think there’s a way to bridge the gap on disagreements of that magnitude? Is it the case that this is just no longer an important line of demarcation?

    Finally: is the goal here some sort of new organization or regroupment of some kind? Or am I getting ahead of myself..?

  7. I have just started a new (UK) socialist blog and would love a listing. The tone I’m going for is not especially academic, but angry and frequently sarcastic. I’m not aligned to any party and the kind of visitors I’m hoping for are the recently p0liticised looking for a rant and maybe a giggle.

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