Italy: The Weak Under-Belly of Europe–The Malfunctioning of the Bel Paese by Gaither Stewart

Piazza Venezia (Rome, Italy)

Image by Giampaolo Macorig via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
July 22, 2017

After World War II the USA and NATO labeled Italy the “soft under-belly of Europe”, chiefly because of the presence of The Italian Communist Party (PCI), Europe’s biggest political formation of the left. Because of capitalist Italy’s unpredictable and individualistic character existing like a Trojan Horse inside the European Union (EU), that label stuck even after the PCI died following the dissolution of the USSR. The party’s later iterations were reduced to rivulets as dry as the river Po in August and about which hardly a murmur is heard today. That label however has conditioned US-NATO relations with Italy since then. The Bel Paese became not only a US vassal state but an occupied country, an aircraft carrier jutting out toward North Africa and hosting dozens of US military bases. Today’s La Repubblica, Italy’s major newspaper, reported that 70 American atomic bombs are concealed on the US Airbase of Aviano in NE Italy, the greatest number in one country of the 180 atomic bombs scattered across Europe.

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Chris Hedges, Richard Wolff and Kate Crehan at The Left Forum 2017: Gramsci’s Importance for the Left Today

Thomas Hirschhorn, Gramsci Monument, 2013

Image by Andrew Russeth via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

with Chris Hedges, and

OpenUnivoftheLeft on Jun 5, 2017

Left Forum 2017, Gramsci’s Importance for the Left Today, John Jay College, CUNY, 6-2-2017, New York City, Laura Flanders, Chair, The Laura Flanders Show, Chris Hedges, Truthdig, On Contact RT, Richard D. Wolff, Democracy at Work; Left Forum, Kate Crehan, College of Staten Island, Graduate Center, CUNY

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The Early Christian Communists by Roman A. Montero

The Disciples gather the Bread

Image by Lawrence OP via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

by Roman A. Montero
Libcom, May 4, 2017
May 8, 2017

The early Christian Communities practiced communism, here’s how we know.

When I wrote the book All Things in Common, The Economic Practices of the Early Christians some people suggested I drop my use of the term ”communism” from the text; their reasoning was sound: the term communism has many negative connotations. When most people hear the world “communism”, they think of one of two things: totalitarian regimes such as Stalinist Russia or Maoist China, or some far off utopia where the entire world lives without any property whatsoever or any state. The actual classical meaning of the word, the meaning that actually represents something in reality, is basically nothing more than any social-relationship or structure where the principle of “from each according to his ability to each according to his need” is the primary moral framework of the social relationship or structure. Instead of replacing the term with something else, I went through the trouble of breaking down what communism actually means and contrasting it with other principles of social-relationships like hierarchy or exchange. The reason I stuck with the term “communism” was simple: that term is simply the most fitting term for the economic practices of the early Christians that differentiated them from the larger Roman world; the more I studied the issue the more I became convinced of that.

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Salt of the Earth (1954)

Salt of the Earth

screenshot by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

LikeManyThingThings on Mar 13, 2013

Salt of the Earth (1954) is an American drama film written by Michael Wilson, directed by Herbert J. Biberman, and produced by Paul Jarrico. All had been blacklisted by the Hollywood establishment due to their alleged involvement in communist politics.

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Lukomorye: Poets Pave the Road to the Golden Age by Gaither Stewart

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Image by Luxus M via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
April 13, 2017

The recent death of the Russian poet with whom I was acquainted, Yevgheny Yevtushenko, prompted these considerations of the role of poets in social-cultural-political progress in general and in a particularly spectacular fashion in Russia. In few other countries have poets played a more significant than in Russia. Nonetheless, for centuries Russian poets have been harassed, persecuted, and punished for their songs. Dostoevsky imprisoned, Pushkin exiled, Yesenin, Mayakovsky and Tsvetaeva suicides, Mandelshtam and others perished in the cultural events of 1937. Poets seldom lead easy lives anywhere. The poet sees the ideals but he must flee from the world in order to rejoice in them and he cannot remain unaffected by the caricatures of these ideals around him.

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Fidel Castro Defies US Imperialism Even in Death by Finian Cunningham

fidel

Image by gianluca cozzolino via Flickr

by Finian Cunningham
Writer, Dandelion Salad
East Africa
Crossposted from Strategic Culture Foundation
November 27, 2016

At age 90, Fidel Castro passed away after decades of heroic struggle for social justice, not just for his native Cuba but for all people around the world. Even in his final decade of illness, the iconic revolutionary was still actively fighting; writing articles on international politics and upholding the cause for socialism.

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Trump is Radicalizing the Masses by Larry Holmes

IMG_5505

Image by Elvert Barnes via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

by Larry Holmes
Workers World
November 16, 2016

I want to speak about the big picture in terms of what happened last Tuesday, Nov. 8, with Trump’s election. That event is important for a party like ours, a revolutionary communist party at the center of world imperialism. Yes, U.S. imperialism is weakening, but it is still the center of world imperialism.

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Russian Intellectuals and the Intelligentsia by Gaither Stewart

Moscow August 2011

Image by Deck Accessory via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
May 27, 2016

The Determinant Class of Contemporary Russian History

Russia! What a marvelous phenomenon on the world scene! Russia!—a distance of ten thousand versts (about two-thirds of a mile) in length on a straight line from the virtually central European river, across all of Asia and the Eastern Ocean, down to the remote American lands! A distance of five thousand versts in width from Persia, one of the southern Asiatic states, to the end of the inhabited world—to the North Pole. What state can equal it? Its half? How many states can equal its twentieth, its fiftieth part? … Russia—a state which contains all types of soil, from the warmest to the coldest, from the burning environs of Erivan to icy Lapland, which abounds in all the products required for the needs, comforts, and pleasures of life, in accordance with its present state of development—a whole world, self-sufficient, independent, absolute. — Mikhail P. Pogodin- 1800-1875, Russian historian, journalist, intellectual of the Slavophile movement who held to the Norman theory that the Rus people from whom Russians descended, were Scandinavians.

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Lenin on State and Revolution by Gaither Stewart, Part 5

Lenin

Image by 19th via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
May 14, 2016

“The state is an organ of class domination, an organ of oppression of one class by another; its aim is the creation of ‘order’, which legalizes and perpetuates this oppression by moderating the collisions between the classes…”

The Marxist Theory of the State and the Tasks of the Proletariat in the Revolution

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Lenin on Imperialism and Capitalism by Gaither Stewart, Part 4

Lenin

Image by 19th via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
May 5, 2016

First published in 1917, Lenin’s “Imperialism. The Highest Stage of Capitalism”, his major theoretical work, shows imperialism as a “direct continuation of the fundamental properties of capitalism,” a primary manifestation of capitalism in its late stages.

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Lenin: The Working Class as the Vanguard Fighter for Social Democracy by Gaither Stewart, Part 3

Lenin

Image by 19th via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
April 27, 2016

Above all, due to the grave obstacles it must overcome, the party of the working class must be a party of disciplined, professional revolutionaries…nothing short of this can succeed in acquiring and defending people’s power…

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Lenin on Tactics of the Democratic Revolution by Gaither Stewart, Part 2

Lenin

Image by 19th via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
April 19, 2016

In his work “Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution”, Lenin discusses a vexing Russian pre-revolutionary problem similar to the problem facing American left radicals today. For Russia of that epoch the question was one of timing and tactics: Was the classical Marxian bourgeois revolution leading to a democratic republic as a first step toward the Socialist Revolution necessary, and even possible, considering the pusillanimous nature of the Russian bourgeoisie at the time? Or could Russia bypass bourgeois capitalism altogether and leap directly from backwardness into advanced socialism? Today, more than a handful of people ask: What will be the nature of the long overdue Great American Revolution?

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Lenin on Compromises by Gaither Stewart, Part 1

Lenin

Image by 19th via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
April 15, 2016

In Lenin’s “Left-wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder”, written in 1920 as a polemic against Dutch and British groups in the new Third International meeting that year in its Second Congress in which strategy and tactics were debated. His target was the West European ultra-left communists who had come out against Marxists working in trade unions or running for public office and sitting in bourgeois parliaments.

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“To Leave Error Unrefuted is to Encourage Intellectual Immorality”: A Critique by Fazal Rahman, Ph.D.

occupy socialism bridge2

Image by Andra MIhali via Flickr

by Fazal Rahman, Ph.D.
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Originally published on imperialismandthethirdworld
August 18, 2015

[Note: this is the revised version]

Brief, partial, and necessary critical reviews of some of the stars of American Left: Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Richard Wolff, Stephen Resnick, Noam Chomsky, and Chris Hedges

“To leave error unrefuted is to encourage intellectual immorality.” — Karl Marx

“Dug up a mountain, looking for gold. Only found a mouse. Even that was dead.” — A proverb of South Asia.

“…Fuller of words and emptier.” — Holderlin

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