#jacobin Tumblr posts

  • gravitascivics
    25.01.2022 - 4 hours ago


    [This blog is in the midst of a series of postings that aims to share with the reader a history of the nation – albeit highly summary in nature – from the perspective of a dialectic struggle.  That is the struggle between a cultural perspective that emphasizes more communal and cooperative ideals of federalism and the individualistic perspective of the natural rights construct.

    The general argument this blog has made is that federalism enjoyed the dominant cultural position in the US until World War II, and after a short transition, the natural rights view has been dominant.  Whether one perspective is dominant or the other; whichever it is, that fact has a profound impact on the teaching of civics in American classrooms.]

     Spurred by the introduction of the New Nationalism of Theodore Roosevelt, the nation considered whether it wanted to leave its more local, communal approach of governance – its federalism – or take on a more national and centralized approach.  The latter is known as a Jacobinism-style model of governance.  This blog, in the last posting, reviewed and compared two levels of centralization, Jacobinism and consociationalism.  

    That is, Jacobinism is a highly centralized model, and consociationalism, a less centralized and, consequently, a less democratic model.  This posting will move in the non-centralized direction and compare consociationalism and federalism, an even less centralized and democratic model.  Daniel Elazar provides the needed explanation of these models as he reports on the work of Arend Lijphart.[1]  

    First, in this other comparison, one points out that both consociationalism and federalism are types of non-majoritarian forms of governance.  Lijphart calls the more centralized form, the Jacobin-style, the Westminster system.  He calls both consociationalism and federalism by the descriptive term, “compound majoritarianism.”  This is in line with the designation James Madison promotes in Federalist Paper, No. 51.

    Elazar writes,

     … Madison presents the compound republic as the best republican remedy for republican diseases, in contrast with the simple republic … [In what he proposes] majority rule is not rejected, but majorities are compounded either from distinct territories (territorial democracy [read federalist arrangements]) or concurrent groups (consociationalism), [which are] not counted through simple addition.[2]

     That is, one can compound this notion of majority in various ways.  So, a key distinction is that consociationalism divides the populous in aterritorial ways whereas federalism relies on territorial divisions.  

    Examples of consociationalism-style are, as mentioned in the previous posting, the Netherlands (with its “three pillars”), but also Austria (with its grand coalition) and Israel (with its camps and parties).  The reader is invited to look up these references to glean their distinguishing structural makeups, but here, this blogger continues this posting’s definitional explanation.

             For the sake of that explanation, one should note that what is highlighted by such compounded systems is how they characterize the majority. As opposed to just counting noses, they outline a system, where to be successful in getting policy enacted, one needs to build coalitions.  In turn, the type of coalition depends on the structural character of the system in which one is operating.

    That is, how one goes about forming a coalition will depend on the type of compounded arrangement in which he/she is functioning.  What those strategies should be is a topic for another venue, but the point here is that these compounded settings call for wider consensus of support to enable them to successfully achieve policy either in the derived laws or the actual implementation of those laws.

             The timing of this posting could not be more apropos as the nation is witnessing the difficulty that Democrats in Congress are facing.  That is, in the two initiatives President Biden has proposed (voting legislation and the “Build Back Better” legislation), he and supportive Democrats have been unable to pass them into law.  This is the case even though polling indicates that those bills, substantively, have overwhelming support among the American public.  And in this, to the extent that majoritarian proposals go wanting, it reveals a potential problem for Americans.

             In line with this development, a lot of what is in the news lately has been about how democracy in America is under attack. The attack on the Capitol in Washington is just a visible reflection that things are a bit shaky.  Many are questioning whether the basic assumptions most Americans make concerning the health of their governmental system and its democratic quality still hold.

             Observed through this “compounded” lens, what might be a basic underlying malfunction – one Elazar alludes to – is whether the federalist nature of the system relies too much on its structural composition and not enough on the federal values and beliefs that provide the rationale for their existence.  

    Many governmental arrangements around the world and in history have set up those structures, but are basically centered, simple majoritarian systems and do not promulgate or utilize federal values.  But perhaps that is not the problem in the US today.  To be federal is not just a matter of being sufficiently decentralized, but of not being centralized enough.  

    That is why defenders of federalism do not use the term, decentralized, but instead use the term, non-centralized, to describe their dispersion of power.  And in that, has the American system drifted toward becoming too un-centralized or too indifferent to majority wishes?  The need is for the right balance between a respect for minority interests and the desires of the majority.

             Unlike consociationalism, which is based more on a social system and relies on its culturally based institutions – religion, ethnicity, and other social groupings – federalism relies on a set of principles. Elazar lists Lijphart’s federalist principles:

     1.    A written constitution which specifies the division of power and guarantees in both the central and regional governments that their allotted powers cannot be taken away;

    2.    A bicameral legislature in which one chamber represents the people at large and the other the component units of the federation;

    3.    Over representation of the smaller component units in the federal chamber of the bicameral legislature [is provided];

    4.    The right of the component units to be involved in the process of amending the federal constitution but to change their own constitutions unilaterally; [and]

    5.    Decentralized government, that is, the regional government’s share of powers in a federation are relatively large compared to that of regional governments in unitary states [as in the case of France].[3]

     What this blog has hinted at is in terms of principle #3; with the filibuster and other provisions, perhaps the balance is too much in favor of non-central, overall minority rights.  And the minority being favored in the US today is that element made up of conservative factions or what some might call their reactionary desire to reestablish a white population-centered polity.  In that polity, racial and other ethnic minorities are “kept in their place.”  

    While this is debatable, one can see that the debate needs to be held or one can expect that current anti-democratic developments will continue to grow and threaten what has been America’s style of democratic rule.  After all, ask the typical American what type of system America has and he/she is apt to say it’s a democracy.

             In any event, this posting will end with one more Elazar quote,

     Nevertheless, both [with consociationalism-style and federalist arrangements] the political wisdom that popular government is not only not enhanced by simple majoritarianism but is often defeated by it because civil society in a democracy is both complex and pluralistic and both its complexities and its pluralism must be properly accommodated.[4]

     While the narrative this blog is sharing has progressed to the first years of the twentieth century (with a review of the Progressive movement), one can see those debates – in this case over how federal the US system should be – have not been settled or resolved. The debates – sometimes in the open and loudly expressed, a la the January 6 attack on the Capitol, and other times subtle and below the surface – continue; the dialectic beat beats on.

    [1] Daniel J. Elazar, Exploring Federalism (Tuscaloosa, AL:  The University of Alabama Press, 1987).

    [2] Ibid., 19.

    [3] Ibid., 22-23.  Whereas with consociationalism, they have two primary characteristics, grand coalitions and segmental autonomy, and two lesser characteristics, proportionality and veto power among minorities.

    [4] Ibid., 26.

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  • redshift-13
    23.01.2022 - 2 days ago
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  • youneedone2
    23.01.2022 - 2 days ago

    White-necked Jacobin Hummingbird, Ecuador by Jorge Alcivar

    #photography#nature#birds #White-necked Jacobin Hummingbird #Ecuador#beauty
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  • gravitascivics
    21.01.2022 - 4 days ago


    [This blog is in the midst of a series of postings that aims to share with the reader a history of the nation – albeit highly summary in nature – from the perspective of a dialectic struggle. That is the struggle between a cultural perspective that emphasizes more communal and cooperative ideals of federalism and the individualistic perspective of the natural rights construct.

    The general argument this blog has made is that federalism enjoyed the dominant cultural position in the US until World War II, and after a short transition, the natural rights view has been dominant. Whether one perspective is dominant or the other; whichever it is, that fact has a profound impact on the teaching of civics in American classrooms.]

     This posting and the next take on a challenge that bloggers should avoid.  It’s going academic.  And the main focus is to not only be definitional – as to the meaning of federalism – but also to distinguish it from two other obscure terms, consociationalism and Jacobinism. The purpose for this madness is for the reader to more readily understand what one means by using the term republic by comparing three forms of this type of governance.

               By way of contextualizing, federalism doesn’t just mean something that sounds appropriate for some organizations to name themselves as in “The Federation of” whatever (such as workers, builders, teachers, etc.).  And it means more than a governing arrangement that has a central government and state governments.  It is a whole way of seeing how a people should or could be governed through their own auspices.  

    It would be interesting to test Americans and see how they define the relationship between a central government and that of the states.  This writer worries that in the minds of most in this federated nation, people see states more like provinces than sovereign entities.  Yes, states, by being part of the US system, have relinquished certain sovereign powers but have retained others.

             But this is getting into the weeds without defining the outer boundaries of what federations are.  And in getting at this, this blogger relies on a name the readers of this blog have encountered many times.  That is the name, Daniel J. Elazar, and with the help of Arend Lijphart, Elazar provides his readers with basic definitions – in political science speak – of the above terms.  And in doing so, Elazar does what many contemporary political scientists hesitate to do.

             He writes,

    For those who are willing to take … [a] normative step or at least to recognize the normative implication of the term [federalism], it may also be empirically useful in describing what is, after all, a universal phenomenon of particular significance in our age of highly complex governmental structures, relationships, and processes.[1]

    And key is the use of the term, “intergovernmental relations,” since such a concern is universal among all nations.  

    They all have, perhaps with the exceptions of city-states (Monaco comes to mind), cities, county like divisions, provinces, states, and other regional designations with constitutionally defined powers and limitations.  Therefore, every nation needs to find the procedural modes of operation by which to govern between and among these entities, hopefully in coordinated fashion.

             A comparative term, therefore, that one can use to assist in comparing political systems is “intergovernmental relations” that focuses on how and why these entities “mix it up” – which can be cooperative, competitive, communal, and/or collaborative – in either conducting both long range governance and in engaging in the politics of the day.

             And here a more common term comes into play. One can ask how democratic the system under analysis is or simply highlight the level at which the majority of citizens has its way to determine governmental policy.  Reminder (for long term readers of this blog): federalism argues for instituting a qualified majority rule.  It, federalism, mainly sees pure democracy as problematic in that it easily leads to the majority oppressing or exploiting a minority.

             In the US, for instance, and this is currently very much an active issue, its people’s migration to the urban centers, if the system were a purely majoritarian democracy, would lead to the abuse of rural populations.  So, the system holds certain constitutional protections for the less densely populated areas.

    They include having equal representation among the states in the US Senate, the Electoral College provision, and the prohibition of the central government governing certain local affairs that don’t have constitutional protections – usually in the form of individual rights – such as in running public school systems. Of note, many believe that these anti-majoritarian provisions have tilted the system too much to protect this minority and they, in turn, are abusing the majority.

             So, at an ideal level of concern, systems that shy away from pure majoritarianism need to be conscious and directed toward respecting whatever level of democracy they choose to pursue or have established within their constitutional makeup.  And once one leaves the direct democracy model of an ancient Athens, representation comes into play.  That is, the people don’t directly choose their policies, but their representatives do and that makes such systems republics.  

    But a question remains:  how dispersed will power be within such republics?  How respectful will a given system be in honoring the prerogatives of local governments or local populations?  Elazar identifies three levels of dispersion.  The most centralized system is Jacobinism and that can be found in France.  The purpose here is to point out that that system has the authorities in Paris having a strong hand in what policies will be implemented from a national to a local level – at least that has been that nation’s traditional approach to governance.

             But there has been of late a movement to allow for more localism in France’s governance, a movement of the last forty years or so.  Here is a general description of how localism has gained that respect in this Jacobin oriented system:

    While local government in France has a long history of centralisation, the past 20 years [as of the writing of this source in 2003] have brought some radical changes. … In France there are three main tiers of local administration:  the commune, department and region.  These are both districts in which administrative decisions made at national level are carried out and local authorities with powers of their own. Legally speaking, a local authority is a public-law corporation with its own name, territory, budget, employees, etc. and has specific powers and a certain degree of autonomy vis-à-vis central government.  In addition, there are France’s overseas territories and regional bodies (collectivities territoriales) with special status (Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Corsica, Mayotte and Saint-Pierre-et-Mequilon).[2]

    Apparently in France, there have been popular demands to soften its Jacobinism, although this description does not indicate a less majoritarian character of that nation’s polity.

             The next level – one of more dispersion – is -style democracy and is exemplified by the Netherlands.  That nation is a constitutional monarchy (the head of state is a King or Queen with constitutional powers – albeit limited), but instead imparts the bulk of governmental powers on ministers.  

    That is, the key characteristics that consociationalism-style arrangements exhibit are a grand or overall coalition, proportional distribution of power, mutual veto power, and autonomy dispersed to segmented territories. But the most defining element is the executive power-sharing arrangement, usually in the hands of an executive committee of what are called unionist or national ministers as exists in the Netherlands.  They can be more proactive policy makers than are allowed in federalist systems, but less so than in Jacobin-style systems.

    That is, “consociational systems are dependent upon concurrent majorities, generally aterritorial in character.  Both [consociationalism and federalism] involve the systemic building of more substantial consensus than in simple majoritarian systems [i.e., Jacobin-style polities].”[3]  Therefore, both are not as proactive systems as simple majoritarian systems can be.

    While much more can be said of these first two forms – Jacobinism and consociationalism – the purpose here is to merely introduce the reader to these other two republican forms of governance so as to better judge federalist systems in regard to majoritarian power arrangements and dispersion of power.  It turns out these two characteristics are related to each other.  The next posting will finish this review of these three forms of republican governance by focusing on federalism.  It will emphasize how federal systems deal with dispersion and majoritarian rule.

    But before leaving this posting, a reminder:  the topic of republicanism and how Americans were to define it became an issue with the New Nationalism that Theodore Roosevelt introduced at the beginning of the twentieth century (see the last posting, “A Split in the ‘Bigness’ Debate,” January 18, 2022).  His proposal not only flew in the face of what Louis Brandeis – a more federalist advocate – favored but countered the historical foundation that the nation assumed its political culture to be.

    [1] Daniel J. Elazar, Exploring Federalism (Tuscaloosa, AL:  The University of Alabama Press, 1987), 17.

    [2] Nick Swift and Guy Kervella, “A Complex System Aims to Bring French Local Government Closer to the People,” City Mayors Government (June 23, 2003), accessed January 20, 2022, https://www.citymayors.com/france/france_gov.html .  British spelling used except for French terms.

    [3] Elazar, Exploring Federalism, 20.

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  • guerrilheiro-urbano
    19.01.2022 - 6 days ago

    A CIA está municiando o terror neonazista na Ucrânia

    A CIA vem treinando secretamente grupos anti-russos na Ucrânia desde 2015. Tudo o que sabemos aponta que estes grupos são neonazistas - e eles estão inspirando terroristas de extrema direita no mundo todo.


    O governo dos EUA tem um histórico bem documentado de apoio a grupos extremistas como parte de uma panóplia de desventuras na política externa, que inevitavelmente acabam voltando e explodindo na cara do público norte-americano. Na década de 1960, a CIA trabalhou com radicais cubanos anti-Fidel Castro que transformaram Miami em um centro de violência terrorista. Na década de 1980, a agência apoiou e encorajou os radicais islâmicos no Afeganistão, que iriam orquestrar o ataque de 11 de setembro anos depois. E, na década de 2010, Washington apoiou os rebeldes não tão “moderados” da Síria que acabaram causando uma série de atrocidades entre civis e forças curdas que deveriam ser aliados dos EUA na região.

    Com base em um novo relatório, parece que em breve poderemos adicionar outro conluio a essa lista de lições fatalmente não aprendidas: neonazistas ucranianos.

    De acordo com uma reportagem recente Yahoo! News, desde 2015, a CIA treina secretamente forças na Ucrânia para servir como “líderes insurgentes”, nas palavras de um ex-oficial de inteligência, caso a Rússia acabe invadindo o país. Funcionários atuais estão alegando que o treinamento é puramente para coleta de inteligência, mas os ex-funcionários que falou com o Yahoo! disse que o programa envolvia treinamento em armas de fogo, camuflagem, entre outras práticas paramilitares.

    Dados os fatos, há uma boa chance de que a CIA esteja treinando nazistas, literalmente, como parte desse esforço. O ano em que o programa começou, 2015, também foi o mesmo ano em que o Congresso aprovou uma lei de gastos que incluía centenas de milhões de dólares em apoio econômico e militar à Ucrânia, que foi expressamente modificado para permitir que esse apoio fluísse para milícias neonazista no país, como o Regimento Azov. De acordo com o The Nation na época, o texto do projeto de lei aprovado em meados daquele ano continha uma emenda explicitamente barrando “armas, treinamento e outras assistências” a Azov, mas o comitê da Câmara encarregado pelo projeto foi pressionado meses depois pelo Pentágono para remover a linguagem, dizendo que era falsa e redundante.

    Apesar da sua histórica relação com o nazismo – um ex-comandante disse uma vez que a “missão histórica” da Ucrânia é “liderar as raças brancas do mundo em uma cruzada final por sua sobrevivência” em “uma cruzada contra os untermenschen [subhumano] liderados pelos semitas” –, o grupo Azov foi incorporado à Guarda Nacional do país em 2014, devido à sua eficácia no combate aos separatistas russos. Armas norte-americanas fluíram para a milícia, oficiais militares da OTAN e dos EUA foram fotografados se reunindo com eles, e membros da milícia falaram sobre seu trabalho com treinadores dos EUA e a falta de triagem de antecedentes para eliminar os supremacistas brancos.

    Diante de tudo isso, não seria surpreendente que os neonazistas de Azov tenham sido treinados no programa clandestino de insurgência da CIA. E já estamos vendo os primeiros sinais de bumerangue da história se repetir.

    “Vários indivíduos de grupos de extrema direita nos Estados Unidos e na Europa buscaram ativamente relacionamentos com representantes da extrema direita na Ucrânia, especificamente o Guarda Nacional e sua milícia associada, o Regimento Azov”, afirma um relatório de 2020, do Centro de Combate ao Terrorismo da Academia Militar dos EUA de West Point. “Indivíduos baseados nos EUA falaram ou escreveram sobre como o treinamento disponível na Ucrânia pode ajudá-los em suas atividades paramilitares.

    ”Uma declaração do FBI de 2018 afirmou que Azov “acredita ter participado de treinamento e radicalização de organizações de supremacia branca sediadas nos Estados Unidos”, incluindo membros do movimento supremacista branco Rise Above, processado por ataques planejados a contra manifestantes em eventos de extrema direita, incluindo o comício “Unite the Right” de Charlottesville. Embora pareça que o atirador do massacre da mesquita de Christchurch não tenha viajado para a Ucrânia como ele afirmou, ele claramente se inspirou no movimento de extrema direita de lá e usou um símbolo usado por membros de Azov durante o ataque.

    Desde que assumiu o cargo, Joe Biden lançou uma incipiente “guerra ao terror” doméstica com base no combate ao terrorismo de extrema direita, embora a estratégia vise discretamente atingir manifestantes e ativistas de esquerda também, algo está sendo feito. No entanto, ao mesmo tempo, os três últimos governos, incluindo o de Biden, têm fornecido treinamento, armas e equipamentos para o movimento de extrema direita que está inspirando e até treinando esses mesmos supremacistas brancos.

    Destruindo a vila para salvá-la

    Vale lembrar o absurdo que é a razão pela qual Washington tem dado assistência aos nazistas ucranianos para que eles possam servir como um baluarte contra a Rússia, que os falcões de guerra comparam, como sempre, ao regime de Adolph Hitler e sua expansão pela Europa na década de 1930. Embora a Rússia de Vladimir Putin possa ser um ator malévolo em várias frentes, as recentes incursões de Putin em Estados vizinhos como a Ucrânia são impulsionadas em grande parte pela expansão da aliança militar da OTAN até suas fronteiras e as implicações de segurança que a acompanham.

    Em outras palavras, para frear o que os falcões da guerra classificam como o próximo Hitler e a Alemanha nazista, Washington tem apoiado milícias neonazistas na Ucrânia, que por sua vez estão se comunicando e treinando supremacistas brancos nos EUA, que Washington, por sua vez, está alimentando uma burocracia repressiva ameaçadora para combater. É o que alguns chamam de “enxugando gelo” – as forças de segurança nacional dos EUA estão criando as mesmas ameaças que dizem combater. Em vez de acalmar as tensões simplesmente concordando com as antigas demandas russas de estabelecer um limite rígido para a expansão da OTAN para o leste, Washington aparentemente decidiu que o domínio militar planetário ilimitado é tão importante que vale deitar na cama com fascistas reais.

    A aliança dos EUA com a Ucrânia, infectada pelos nazistas, já se mostrou estranha para um presidente que está tentando contrastar com seu antecessor de extrema direita para estabelecer a Casa Branca como líder de um esforço global para fortalecer a democracia. No final do ano passado, em uma votação que passou completamente despercebida na imprensa, os EUA foram um dos dois países (o outro é a Ucrânia) a votar contra um projeto de resolução da ONU “que combate a glorificação do nazismo, neonazismo e outras práticas que possam contribuir para alimentar formas contemporâneas de racismo”. Ambos os países votaram repetidamente contra esta resolução todos os anos desde 2014.

    O governo Biden empregou uma explicação quase idêntica e clichê para o voto negativo que Donald Trump usou, citando o direito constitucional à liberdade de expressão mesmo para aqueles com opiniões repugnantes. Mas essa preocupação é difícil de conciliar com o texto, que simplesmente expressa preocupação com memoriais públicos, manifestações e reabilitação dos nazistas, condena a negação do Holocausto e a violência de ódio e pede aos governos que eliminem o racismo por meio da educação e enfrentem ameaças terroristas de extrema direita – tudo mais ou menos alinhada a própria retórica de Biden.

    A verdadeira preocupação de Washington aqui reside na descrição da resolução como “tentativas veladas de legitimar as campanhas de desinformação russas que denigrem as nações vizinhas” – ou seja, a Ucrânia. Mas as conexões da Ucrânia com o nazismo moderno estão longe de ser notícias falsas russas, e são de fato extensas e bem documentadas: desde a incorporação oficial de Azov nas fileiras da polícia ucraniana e funcionários do governo com laços de extrema direita até tributos patrocinados pelo Estado a colaboradores nazistas e promoção da negação do Holocausto.

    Não é pouca ironia que o presidente dos EUA, eleito em grande parte para deter a marcha do fascismo, continue alimentando essa relação histórica com os nazistas no que pode muito bem ser o nexo do fascismo internacional. E se esses nazistas ucranianos realmente estão entre os insurgentes treinados pela CIA, não será uma tragédia pequena se um dia seguirem a mesma trajetória de Osama bin Laden.

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  • guerrilheiro-urbano
    15.01.2022 - 1 week ago

    Não prestar para nada

    Mark Fisher, autor de "Realismo Capitalista", nos deixou cedo demais, há exatos 5 anos. Ele sabia que depressão era um fenômeno coletivo, e não meramente individual, como afirma a ideologia dominante —e por isso nos convidava a lutar para converter o sofrimento privatizado em raiva politizada.


    No dia 13 de janeiro de 2017, Mark Fisher nos deixou. Aos 48 anos tirou a própria vida em um episódio agudo de depressão, condição com a qual lutava desde a juventude e sobre a qual escrevia abertamente. Só agora, com o lançamento da edição de Realismo Capitalista pela editora Autonomia Literária, é que ele começa a ser mais lido e debatido no Brasil. Suas reflexões foram parar até no GregNews, chegando a centenas de milhares de pessoas.Fisher foi um crítico cultural afiado, um teórico influente na nova geração de militantes socialistas, e ele mesmo um ativista político comprometido. Cofundador na década de 90 do hoje célebre Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (Ccru), tornou-se conhecido nos círculos digitais britânicos nos anos 2000 por meio do seu blog K-Punk, onde discutia música, cultura pop e política. A notoriedade pública veio em 2009, com a publicação de sua obra mais importante, na qual argumenta que a grande vitória do neoliberalismo foi ter consolidado um senso comum no qual não há alternativa possível ao capitalismo, bloqueando nossa imaginação utópica e obliterando formas de consciência coletiva que orientem para um horizonte emancipatório pós-capitalista. Como escritor, professor sindicalista e intelectual público, Mark Fisher deu uma contribuição imensurável para afrouxar as amarras do “realismo capitalista” nos cérebros da juventude da classe trabalhadora, em primeiro lugar na sua terra natal, a Inglaterra. Essa influência, contudo, tem se tornado cada vez mais ampla, conforme sua obra vai sendo traduzida para outras línguas – o novo presidente eleito do Chile, Gabriel Boric, por exemplo, foi também um leitor de Fisher.A notícia, súbita e horrorizante, do precoce falecimento de Fisher atingiu a mim, e a muitos dos que acompanhavam seu trabalho, como um frio e doloroso golpe de desesperança. Perdíamos nosso amigo, nosso camarada, justamente ele que melhor tinha diagnosticado as raízes sociais de nossa miséria, que havia apontado a “privatização do estresse”, com a individualização da depressão e da ansiedade, como um problema de classe, que havia nos animado à ação coletiva para a superação de sofrimentos compartilhados, que tantas vezes nos disse que não estávamos sozinhos, que a culpa não era nossa. “Saber” não foi o bastante – nunca é. Nos dias seguintes, sob o peso da tristeza, traduzi junto com meu amigo Jorge Adeodato, o pequeno artigo “Good for nothing”, na qual Fisher aborda sua própria experiência com a depressão, no esforço de politizar, e tornar mais coletivo, o debate sobre saúde mental. Rápido e curto, é uma das coisas mais pessoais e afetivas que Fisher escreveu, e toca especialmente os jovens trabalhadores que, como ele, têm o constante sentimento de que não servem para nada. A “reconstrução da consciência de classe”, para a qual apontava Fisher, é ainda uma tarefa a ser realizada: converter a angústia privatizada em digna raiva politizada.Ao tornar público esse texto (publicado também no anexo da edição brasileira de Realismo Capitalista) queremos celebrar a memória e a vida do nosso camarada. Mas esperamos também atiçar a curiosidade a respeito da obra de Fisher, que segue uma arma útil e poderosa na nossa luta coletiva para abrir, contra o melancólico “cancelamento do futuro”, um novo futuro comum.

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  • usergreenpixel
    14.01.2022 - 1 week ago

    Well, fuck.

    I’m positive for Covid-19, Citizens and Neighbors. I hope you are safe at least.

    I’m going to reschedule all of my exams now real quick because I’m going to isolate myself for two weeks.

    But I’m honestly lucky that my symptoms are mild, that I’m young and that I’m relatively able-bodied. I hope I’m going to be fine.

    My activity here might get reduced a bit because I will keep studying and because I feel a bit weak, but, other than that, I’ll still be here. And I’ll still post my reviews because the Revolutionaries don’t give up.

    Stay safe, everyone!

    #personal update#update #jacobin fiction convention #malmaison media salon #im not going anywhere #frev community
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  • usergreenpixel
    13.01.2022 - 1 week ago

    Hey, everyone!

    So, my test results still aren’t ready (they can take up to 48 hours to arrive, yay...), but I researched omicron and my symptoms are compatible with it.

    Still need the PCR, but that can explain why I thought it was just a cold.

    Anyway, I have an update! The next meeting of the Jacobin Fiction Convention will be about “The Gods are Athirst”, a book by Anatole France!

    Stay tuned!

    #the gods are athirst #french revolution#frev#history #jacobin fiction convention #review update#personal update
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  • usergreenpixel
    12.01.2022 - 1 week ago


    1. The Introduction

    Hello, Citizens! Welcome to the new meeting of the Jacobin Fiction Convention. Unfortunately, I can’t be here in person today because I might have Covid and I’m not feeling well, but the power of technology is here to aid me!

    Anyway, today is our 20th meeting, which makes it our second anniversary! Yay! To mark this, I present you a 1921 silent movie - “Orphans of the Storm”.

    I found out about it on Wikipedia and then on IMDb, but I kept hearing stuff about it before. Nothing good, mind you, but I got curious regardless, as I usually do with infamous pieces of media. I found it on YouTube and it’s readily available there if you’re curious.

    And oh boy, is this movie BAD. REALLY REALLY BAD. So bad, that this is going to be a rant, more so than a review. But hopefully it will still be informative and entertaining.

    Grab some snacks, take a seat and let’s fucking go.

    Citizen @stalinistqueens , this review is dedicated to you!

    2. The Summary

    This is the story of two orphaned sisters, Louise and Henriette, who got caught up in the events of the Revolution while staying in Paris.

    Also, apparently it uses Frev as commentary on the dangers of Bolshevism and Socialism.... Okay then, let’s see how it turned out!

    3. The Story

    (Spoilers ahead!)

    I have a lot of complaints here, chief of which is the fact that misery and trouble just keeps piling up on the sisters until it just becomes impossible to believe it!

    You see, for me personally, storytelling is like baking a lemon cake. You need lemon juice (aka drama) but you also need sugar (aka happy moments) to balance it out. However, the movie is the equivalent of using an entire bottle of lemon juice with only a spoonful of sugar!

    First Louise becomes blind after an illness and she and Henriette lose their parents, then Henriette is kidnapped by a marquis who lusts after her, then Louise is tricked and kidnapped by evil paupers who force her to beg, then Henriette is arrested and locked up... and so on and so forth.

    Do you see what I mean, Citizens? All the misery just becomes too much after a while, to the point where I personally stopped believing it and stopped caring for the characters, which is the opposite of what a storyteller is supposed to achieve. I’m only an amateur writer but even I get that!

    Aside from that, there ends up being too many characters and just too much stuff happening so, in my opinion, the movie can get really confusing and a lot of scenes just drag on for way too long.

    Oh, and there’s also a standard saccharine happy ending that’s so cheesy and sweet it’s ridiculous, especially because it portrays the Thermidor and The Directory as good things and “true democracy triumphing over tyranny”. Yeah, true democracy my ass!

    Oh, and the entire narrative is laced with propaganda like a cupcake with frosting! Take a look at this intro:

    Honestly, no comments are needed here because all the comments I do have will have to be censored. Nothing like the tired old propaganda about “The Great Land of the Free” being shoved in the face...

    That said, there are a few moments that I do like, like the tender scenes where Henriette cares for Louise and looks out for her. That’s the devotion I can appreciate! Still not enough to redeem the movie though.

    4. The Characters

    I don’t have much to say here. I don’t give a fuck about most of the characters, to be honest.

    The sisters and Henriette’s love interest are too good, Robespierre is the stereotypical dictator, Danton is the hero who saves the day...

    You get the idea. And they’re not even in the “so serious they become funny” category either! They’re just fucking boring and more plain than oatmeal with water!

    And also the revolutionary men (except Danton and that love interest) are shown as one bloodthirsty crazy mob, while revolutionary women wear short skirts and act suggestively so they’re pretty much portrayed as promiscuous. Nothing new here.

    5. The Acting

    The acting here is...okay, I guess. I get that there’s only pantomime to work with so it is going to be a bit over-exaggerated, but the actors seemed to have gone overboard regardless.

    I blame the director though, because usually this is out of control of the cast.

    6. The Music

    The music here is decent, and this is about the nicest thing that can be said about this shit. At least they didn’t fuck up this one aspect!

    7. The Setting.

    Here’s where I have to agree with Citizen @stalinistqueens . It looks pretty, but that’s about it. It’s like dog poop wrapped up in a nice gift box. All style and no substance. Or rather, a lot of truly awful substance that is impossible to watch.

    8. The Conclusion

    I get that this movie was made as propaganda and commentary on Bolshevism. Heck, this is why there’s a 1935 adaptation of Les Mis with Enjolras as the villain (no, I didn’t make it up). I get that they wouldn’t portray revolutionaries as the good guys.

    But even then, the propaganda is extremely obnoxious and they just had to promote American supremacy in the bluntest and most obvious way possible. But, even with inaccuracies moved aside (because I don’t tackle them often), it’s just not worth your time if you ask me.

    A melodramatic confusing story, a bunch of bland characters and only the pretty style to make up for it.

    Citizen @stalinistqueens , you said that it’s surprising the creators even remembered that Frev happened in France and, considering how much propaganda and outright lies there are, I can only agree with you because that’s the best way to put it.

    Anyway, with that, let us finish today’s meeting. Please stay tuned for updates and stay safe, okay?


    - Citizen Green Pixel

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  • usergreenpixel
    11.01.2022 - 2 weeks ago

    Okay, so, I’m sorry to say it but I have to postpone both of my reviews until tomorrow, as I’m feeling kind of weak and my nose is runny again so I can’t really think well enough to write cohesive reviews.

    I’m really sorry that I let you down like this, Citizens and Neighbors.

    #orphans of the storm 1921 #napoleon 2002 #jacobin fiction convention #malmaison media salon #review update#update#sorry everyone
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  • usergreenpixel
    11.01.2022 - 2 weeks ago

    Okay, Citizens and Neighbors.

    Here’s an update that’s not very good. I might have COVID - 19. At least the nasal test I took 20 minutes ago shows 2 stripes so I’m going to call a doctor real quick.

    Considering the fact that my exams are supposed to be in a few days... Yeah, perfect timing. 🙄

    That said, I still don’t have any fever or any other serious symptoms so I’m going to post my reviews today, most likely in the evening. Stay tuned

    #review update #jacobin fiction convention #malmaison media salon #update
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  • microcosme11
    10.01.2022 - 2 weeks ago

    De Comeau was an old schoolfellow of Napoleon at Brienne and in Paris, but he remained a Royalist and emigrated, fighting with forces opposed to the revolutionary government. Eventually he was in Bavaria which allied itself to France and he was ordered to bring ammunition to the French HQ. He was summoned by Napoleon.

    Ses victoires, ses actions, la mort surtout du duc d'Enghien occupaient désagréablement mon cœur et mon esprit. Je suis tombé des nues lorsque, dans le costume le plus simple, je n'ai trouvé en lui vis-à-vis de moi que le ton, les manières d'un camarade aimé, estimé, retrouvant avec plaisir celui dont il est séparé depuis quelque temps par des causes émanant de notre commune profession, le service militaire. Il était à cheval, avec sa capote grise, au milieu de son brillant état-major. Je portais le grand uniforme bavarois, avec l'écharpe en sautoir. Comme je m'approchais, un factionnaire arme son fusil et me couche en joue. L'Empereur se sépare de sa suite et vient vivement à moi. Il met pied à terre et s'assied sur une borne en tenant son cheval; je m'approche aussitôt et veux le lui tenir, mais il me dit : «Laissez, laissez, ce n'est pas votre affaire. » Un chasseur arrive au galop ; Napoléon lui jette sa bride et lui fait signe de s'éloigner. J'étais ému, mais je rappelais mes sens pour que cette émotion ne put être attribuée à ce factionnaire qui venait de me coucher en joue. Napoléon me regardait fixement: — « Ah! vous voilà? Je vous ai demandé depuis Strasbourg. Non seulement je vous connais, mais je vous ai connu. C'est vous, qui, à Besançon, à la table des lieutenants, avez jeté ma serviette au milieu de la table en disant au domestique que vous ne vouliez pas être à côté d'un officier qui allait au club ! Voilà une vieille affaire qu'il faut vider aujourd'hui. »


    His victories, his actions, especially the death of the Duke of Enghien, disagreeably occupied my heart and my mind. I fell from the clouds when, in the simplest costume, I found vis-à-vis with him only the tone, the manners of a beloved comrade, esteemed, finding with pleasure one from whom he has been separated for some time by our common profession, the military service. He was on horseback, with his grey coat, in the middle of his brilliant staff. I wore the grand Bavarian uniform, with the long-necked scarf. As I approached, a sentry armed his rifle and aimed at me. The Emperor separated himself from his suite and came swiftly to me. He set foot on the ground and sat on a post holding his horse; I immediately approached him and wanted to take it, but he told me: "Leave it, leave it, it’s not your job." A chausseur arrived at a gallop; Napoleon threw his bridle to him and signaled him to go away. I was moved, but I recalled my senses so that this emotion could not be attributed to the sentry who’d just aimed at me. Napoleon stared at me: “Oh! You’re here? I’ve asked for you since Strasbourg. Not only do I know you, I knew you. It is you, who, in Besançon, at the lieutenants' table, threw my napkin in the middle of the table. telling the servant that you did not want to be next to an officer who went to the club! This is an old case that needs to be cleared up today.”

    — Souvenirs des guerres d'Allemagne pendant la Révolution et l'Empire par le baron de Comeau.

    #the club must be the Jacobin club #memoirs #encounters with Napoleon #Baron Comeau#artillery #Napoleon always remembers some slight against him but he wants to reconcile
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  • usergreenpixel
    10.01.2022 - 2 weeks ago

    Okay, so I have four announcements.

    Firstly, I’m sick. Not seriously so but I don’t feel all that well and my voice is a bit raspy.

    Secondly, the next meeting of the Jacobin Fiction Convention is about a movie called Orphans of the Storm (1921), so stay tuned.

    Thirdly, the Malmaison Media Salon will make a comeback soon, as the next soirée will be about “Napoleon”, the 2002 miniseries! I’ve already heard things about it from @joachimnapoleon and @tairin but I figured it would still be interesting to review as an outsider, without historical accuracy being a point in the review itself.

    Last but not least, both reviews are coming out tomorrow. Hopefully I’m going to feel better by then.

    P. S. I actually have @joachimnapoleon and @tairin to thank for introducing me to the miniseries. Especially @tairin . Both of these Neighbors are good friends of mine and I have them to thank for inadvertently giving me an idea for a review!

    #french revolution#frev#history#frev art #jacobin fiction convention #frev movies #orphans of the storm 1921 #malmaison media salon #napoleonic media#napoleonic art#napoleon 2002 #napoleonic tv series #review update#update
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  • usergreenpixel
    08.01.2022 - 2 weeks ago


    1. The Introduction

    Greetings, Citizens and Neighbors! Welcome to a special Christmas review of the Jacobin Fiction Convention! Today, January 7th, is Christmas in Russia, even though it’s only celebrated by people of Orthodox Christian faith.

    But, guess what, I am an Orthodox Christian and I do celebrate this holiday so here is my Christmas present for everyone. This review is dedicated to @saintjustitude , @stalinistqueens , @suburbanbeatnik , @jefflion , @idieonthishill , @theravenclawrevolutionary , @joachimnapoleon , @josefavomjaaga , @tairin , @fountain-ring , @fireortheflood , @michel-feuilly , @taleonne , @janellefeng , @revolutionary-catboy , @revolution-and-football , @spunkyjacobin , @donpishya , @maggiec70 , @edgysaintjust , @quercusfloreal , @aminoscribbles , @elisabeth515 , @robespapier and a newcomer in our Convention, Citizen @jaeee-e !

    Okay, now we can begin! Once again, I found a movie that is Napoleonic and FRev- related at the same time! Thanks, IMDb! Apparently there are two movies with this title but today we’re only discussing the 1961 one, with Sophia Loren.

    As I’m a big fan of older movies and I really like it when media tackles obscure people, I knew I had to watch this one and review it for both communities!

    Unfortunately, most of you will only be able to find it on Amazon Prime Video so it’s not exactly readily available online, but, if anyone manages to dig something that doesn’t require subscriptions up, call me.

    Anyway, I’m excited for this so let’s just proceed! On with the show!

    2. The Summary

    The titular Madame Sans-Gêne is Catherine Lefebvre (née Hübscher), wife of Marshal Lefebvre and Duchess of Danzig.

    This is the story of her journey from a simple laundress to war hero to a noble, and of the trials and tribulations that she has to overcome while fighting for her happiness with her beloved husband.

    I’m not a fan of love stories for the most part, but let’s take a closer look at this one.

    3. The Story

    For once, the pacing wasn’t confusing to me! Yay! The movie doesn’t try to squeeze in too much time chronologically and instead it treats us to a couple of time skips where the subtitles on screen and the narrator helpfully explain the historical bullet points to give us the context.

    This is awesome, especially for people who don’t know much about Frev and/or the Napoleonic era, as it spares them the unnecessary confusion. Therefore, more people can enjoy this movie.

    I also love the fact that, while romance is basically an essential part of the plot, it’s rather skillfully intertwined with quite a bit of action, comedy and even drama.

    Besides, for once, I was actually sold on the love story of Catherine and Lefebvre. I’m sure the actors also contributed to this, but I personally actually believed that the main couple actually was madly in love and ready to do anything to stay together. And trust me, they do some truly ballsy shit, especially Catherine. More on her later.

    There is also some filler that does a pretty good job at character establishment and character development, but not so much that it becomes unbearable and is just filler.

    (Spoiler alert!)

    That said, I kind of wish that the main conflict, what with Napoleon wanting to make Lefebvre King of Westphalia on the condition that he divorces Catherine after the latter’s blunt remarks cause a scandal, wasn’t resolved as quickly as it was and just brushed aside, but I still enjoy this certain naïveté.

    Not all stories have to be extremely complex thrillers and I still enjoyed it. Sure, the theme of “the power of love” might be cliché, but there’s nothing wrong with exploring it yet again. Love in any form is indeed a universal concept and, let’s face it, sometimes we do need simpler stories such as this one.

    There’s also a bit of foreshadowing about Napoleon becoming Emperor that’s a bit too obvious for my tastes, but that’s not a serious complaint.

    Alright, let’s look at the characters.

    3. The Characters

    (Spoiler alert!)

    Boy, do I love Catherine here! She is basically the personification of the phrase “old habits die hard”.

    Blunt, witty, rude, hardworking and independent, she is not afraid to speak her mind to anyone, soldier or emperor. That said, she is also loyal and caring. She follows her husband to war, cares for wounded soldiers and even gets wounded herself. I also like the fact that her blunt remarks are picked up by the press and provoke a scandal. It shows that our heroine isn’t some Mary Sue who is completely above consequences.

    Moreover, she and Lefebvre BOTH wreak absolute havoc in the camp of Austrians, who had captured them earlier and wanted to execute them. Catherine is a fucking badass! Sure, she still displays realistic emotions like fear and sadness, but she is a strong woman who never goes down without a fight.

    Her playful banter with Napoleon and Augereau is also genuinely entertaining.

    Lefebvre is a badass here too (in real life he took part in the battle of Fleurus, Citizens), but he doesn’t have the courage to stand up to Napoleon at first. It is indeed daunting because Napoleon is the Emperor and can actually make Lefebvre a King and can make him divorce Catherine.

    Realistically, Lefebvre hesitates because he genuinely loves Catherine but also doesn’t find the courage to oppose Napoleon...until he does. This is what I like the most about his character in the movie. His hesitation is understandable but he finds the strength to go straight to Napoleon, tell him he can’t divorce his wife and add that he doesn’t need a throne nor his title if it means that he will have to be without his beloved.

    I love characters who fight for their happiness no matter what, and I love the way Lefebvre overcomes his fear in the movie. Plus he has a cute kitten here and there’s a sweet scene involving him and Catherine cuddling her.

    Napoleon here is actually complex. As a common general, he has playful banters with Catherine and messes around with her, but later he becomes Emperor, gets arrogant as fuck and even has a few really angry outbursts. One of said outbursts is directed at his own siblings when they’re discussing who should get Westphalia.

    Napoleon complains that everyone in his family is a leech and they wouldn’t be where they are without him, which is kinda true but it also looks like here the power went to his head.

    That said, when he recognizes Catherine and when she manages to convince him not to make the divorce happen, he reverts back to the way he acted with her before - that same witty banter! He even admits his defeat and he and Catherine have a good laugh while remembering the past.

    Napoleon’s siblings (Jerome, Caroline, Elise and Pauline) are shown as petty arrogant assholes who try to put Catherine in “her place”. Jokes on them because she wastes no time ranting about how she did more (on the battlefield) than all of them (at home) and how they all would be nobodies had the Revolution not happened so they end up utterly humiliated.

    Augereau, Jourdan and Masséna make cameos and Catherine uses them to prove her point how all of them were commoners before.

    Augereau playfully pinches Catherine’s ass at one point, but it’s not portrayed as harassment, more as a joking thing on his part. They seem to be quite friendly in this movie.

    Last but not least, F**ché. He literally listens to the Bonaparte family while hiding behind a secret door and skillfully manipulates people and situations. But, like the snake he is, he knows all the right words to say and is polite and deceivingly friendly at times.

    In general, the characters feel like real people here. They bicker, they talk about their plans for Sunday or the future in general, they overcome conflicts and they all have something interesting about them!

    4. The Acting

    I really like Sophia Loren here, but almost every single actor does a fantastic job. Nothing but mad respect for that!

    5. The Music

    I love music in older movies. I don’t know why but it really appeals to me. Plus, they insert revolutionary songs in the beginning, which is a plus in my book!

    6. The Setting

    The settings and the costumes are gorgeous, even though I’m not sure they’re always accurate. At least the Frev costumes are on point though, as far as I can tell.

    7. The Conclusion

    I really enjoyed this movie and I low key wish it was available online for free, but I still recommend it. It definitely has a charm to it. Just a nice relatively simple story that manages (at least for me) to be a truly exciting piece of media and makes me happy that I discovered this gem.

    Anyway, I hope you enjoyed our Christmas meeting. Stay tuned for updates and stay safe, everyone!

    Merry Christmas,

    - Citizen Green Pixel

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  • y2shae
    04.01.2022 - 3 weeks ago


    Sunrise: 4 January 1901

    Cyril Lionel Robert James

    C. L. R. James

    The Black Jacobins Toussaint L'Overture and the San Domingo Revolution

    #Cyril Lionel Robert James #CLR James #The Black Jacobins #Toussaint LOverture#San Domingo#Revolution
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  • usergreenpixel
    01.01.2021 - 3 weeks ago

    Once again, Happy New Year, Citizens and Neighbors!

    I have a new announcement for you! The topic of the next meeting of the Jacobin Fiction Convention is going to be “Madame Sans-Gêne” (1961), a movie about Catherine Hübscher, aka the wife of Marshal Lefebvre.

    It tackles Frev and the Napoleonic era so both communities are invited to join the fun on January 7th! (That’s Orthodox Christmas by the way)

    Stay tuned!

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