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Archive for the ‘socialism’ Category

The Writing Life

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 15, 2019

I’m on a roll. I use an example to illustrate a social reality. Then I give the background to the example and the social reality. Finally, I go off on a tangent from that social reality. Voilà, I have three completed pieces.

For the past month I’ve been on a writing jag. In all I’ve written three non-fiction political columns, each of approximately 1,500 words. The first uses the term tertium quid to segue into the topic of Perón and justicialismo as a way of introducing the subject of Third Positionism generally. The second delves deeply into Third Positionism, using Perón’s meeting with Ernesto “Che” Guevara to develop the concept of Third World Third Positionism and then circle back round to First World adherents to Third Positionism. Finally, I use a chance comment about Labor Zionism’s implied Third Positionism in my second column to write a detailed essay about the promise and problems of socialist Zionism partially from experience to compare and contrast with my personal experiences on the US Left. Instead of being exhausted by this marathon writing session, I’m wired and itching to write more.

I’ve decided to cap this sudden series as a three-parter instead so now I’m rewriting and reworking all three. Then I’ll give them to my copyeditor one at a time for a final polish before I give them to MRR and publish them on my website. Life is good.

Posted in "What's Left?" by "Lefty" Hooligan, anarchism, Fascism, life, Maximum Rocknroll, MRR, socialism, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Frank Espada, 1930-2014, Que En Paz Descanse

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on February 18, 2014

I had the privilege of knowing Frank Espada through my wife. Frank founded the organization, Bay Area Photographers Collective, of which my wife is a member. Being an opinionated, cantankerous old/New Leftie, he eventually quit BAPC due to political and artistic differences, but he continued to mentor and inspire local photographers with his skill and talent. I own his book The Puerto Rican Diaspora: Themes in the Survival of a People, a brilliant portrait of his community whose black-and-white photographs are visceral and tactile. I’m proud to say that my wife and I own a number of Frank Espada original, old school darkroom prints, which hold an honored place on our walls and shelves.
Just one Frank Espada story. I remember attending one of his exhibitions, where the above iconic photograph was prominently displayed. I was admiring it when Frank walked up alongside me. Noticing that the Malcolm X photo was actually quite reasonably priced, I asked him if there were copies of the print available for sale. He said no, that this was the one print available at that time, and that he didn’t do large runs of particular photographs. Then he asked me whether he thought the price and quantity of his photography should be commercially determined. When I said yes, unthinking, with an eye toward owning my own copy, he immediately came back with the comment that the value of art, all art, should never be determined by the market. From there our discussion turned to criticizing “art for art’s sake,” the social responsibility of the artist, the need for art to be accessible, etc. Frank was a socialist with an abiding critique of capitalism, one of the things I liked and admired about him.

Frank’s papers and photos were recently acquired by Duke University, and his website can be found here.

Que En Paz Descanse.

Así son las cosas de la vida.
One obituary
Another obituary
Yet another obituary
A final one

Posted in capitalism, Frank Espada, life, socialism | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Let me make one thing perfectly clear…

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on October 13, 2013

I’m a stone communist, on my best days. When I’m feeling idealistic I’m an anarchist, and when I’m feeling practical I’m a socialist. I’m a liberal when I’m depressed.

Recently, I started a series on my experiences in Paris while on vacation, and how this relates to living in San Francisco. If you’ve been paying attention, I’m NOT blogging anything about the current political mess in this country. That’s because US politics amounts to a steaming pile of dog shit, whether I’m feeling like a communist, anarchist, socialist, or liberal. I don’t want to spoil your appetite with a jpeg of that now, do I? You want my full-on commie pinko analysis of the current state of politics, in America or the world? I will occasionally break for a semi-relevant political post on this blog, but the really juicy stuff can be found on my other blog at “What’s Left?”

Posted in American Experience, anarchism, communism, liberalism, life, Paris, politics, San Francisco, socialism | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Medea’s response to being pied

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on July 2, 2007

Medea’s response to being pied can be read here.

I find some of her statement, in particular the pop psychological stuff about the people who pied her being resentful and angry and not having the love of family and friends, to be a bit disingenuous. It’s a common ploy for defenders of the status quo to reduce youthful rebelliousness to a matter of hating one’s parents. Revolutionary socialism is thus dismissed as problems with authority that stem from the revolutionary’s family of origin, a smug Freudian put down that could apply to Medea as well as to those who pied her.

In turn, this is part of a broader critique of psychology and psychiatry as mechanisms to help fucked-up people fit into an even more fucked-up society. That’s the subject for a book, not a post. For the moment, I want to note that Medea’s dichotomy between resentment and anger on the one hand, and love and empowerment on the other hand, is extremely simplistic, and not very useful.

Or, to quote Johnny Lydon from the PiL song “Rise:” “Anger is an energy.”

Posted in anarchism, anarchists, Bakers Without Borders, black bloc, Code Pink, Global Exchange, Medea Benjamin, politics, revolutionary, socialism, the Left | 1 Comment »