Circle in the Darkness is a veteran journalist’s lucid, uncompromising tour through half a century of contemporary history intended especially for those who may aspire against all obstacles to change its course for the better. Diana Johnstone recounts in detail how the Western Left betrayed its historical principles of social justice and peace and let itself be lured into approval of aggressive U.S.-NATO wars on the fallacious grounds of “human rights”. Subjects range from caustic analysis of the pretentious confusion of French philosophers to the stories of many courageous individuals whose struggle for peace and justice ended in deep personal tragedy, with a great deal in between.
Diana Johnstone’s just published book, Circle in the Darkness: Memoir of a World Watcher, is the best book I have ever read, the most revealing, the most accurate, the most truthful, the most moral and humane, the most sincere and heartfelt, and the best written. Her book is far more than a memoir. It is a history that has not previously been written. If you want the truth of the last 60 years in place of the contrived reality constructed for us by controlled explanations, it is in this book.
This book is so extraordinary in its truthfulness and conciseness that it is difficult for a less gifted writer to do it justice. It is a book without a superfluous sentence.
Herein I will provide some of the books message. In future columns I hope to present some of the history in the book.
One of the former spies, an ex-MI6 officer named Richard Seddon, helped run a 2017 operation to copy files and record conversations in a Michigan office of the American Federation of Teachers, one of the largest teachers’ unions in the nation. Mr. Seddon directed an undercover operative to secretly tape the union’s local leaders and try to gather information that could be made public to damage the organization, documents show.
Respondents who put themselves at the center of the political spectrum are the least supportive of democracy, according to several survey measures. These include views of democracy as the “best political system,” and a more general rating of democratic politics. In both, those in the center have the most critical views of democracy.
Some of the most striking data reflect respondents’ views of elections. Support for “free and fair” elections drops at the center for every single country in the sample. The size of the centrist gap is striking. In the case of the United States, fewer than half of people in the political center view elections as essential.
What they share, in addition to enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders, is a deep skepticism of the Democratic Party’s mobilization against the president. The left’s struggle against the center-left is the axis around which their politics revolves. From that perspective, the Russia scandal and impeachment are unnecessary and even reactionary.
While incomprehensible to liberals, centrists, and even many leftists who work within two-party politics, left-wing anti-anti-Trumpism has a coherent logic. It takes as its starting point a familiar critique that Trump won because liberalism failed. Trump, while bad, is merely a meta-phenomenon of the larger failure of the Democratic Party and the political and economic Establishment.
While there are only a few days left before the October 27 elections, most Uruguayans maintain their firm rejection of right-wing politicians and their proposals.
The DHS’s identification of left-wing and oppositional political movements with violent extremism in the US is part of a growing international trend. The German Secret Service (Verfassungsschutz) has maintained a list of “left-wing extremist” groups as “objects of observation” by the state.
As is also the case in the US, all of the major parties of Germany’s ruling establishment have encouraged the development of extreme right-wing and neo-fascist political parties, the primary preoccupation of the state is the growth of support for socialist politics within the working class and among students.
Progressive movements as well as “The Left” in Western Europe and the U.S. have largely been coopted, often financed by elite corporate foundations.
Politically, the most obvious conclusion to be drawn from the interview is that Sunkara is little more than a moderate Democrat. For this he receives the praise of the Democratic and Republican commentators.
While proclaiming his support for the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, Sunkara also declares that he will back Elizabeth Warren if she beats out Sanders and Joe Biden if he is eventually the Democratic Party nominee. “I think the mentality has to be to call for people to vote for Joe Biden, especially in swing states,” he states. It is necessary “to avoid a third-party candidacy”—that is, any break from the Democratic Party—on the basis of the “strategic knowledge and commitment to getting rid of Trump.”
Sunkara adds, “Even a Biden presidency would be great” because there “will be plenty of room for socialists to be opposition.” There are, in other words, positions to be acquired.
Why is socialism having a moment in America right now — and is it the future of the political left? This week on “The Argument,” Michelle Goldberg talks with Bhaskar Sunkara, the editor of Jacobin magazine, about his new book, “The Socialist Manifesto.” They discuss what distinguishes democratic socialists from liberals, the failures of past socialist movements and why Sunkara favors Bernie Sanders over Elizabeth Warren in 2020.
Then, Ross Douthat and David Leonhardt join Michelle to debate socialism’s role on the political left.
As a left-wing campaigner for 35 years, I’ve been arrested on picket lines, led anti-imperialist demonstrations and spoken at anti-deportation protests outside police stations. I’ve made speeches at street rallies, in prisons and universities and at pubs.
Yet yesterday, in an unexpected twist of events, I found myself sitting next to Nigel Farage, announcing my intention to stand as a candidate for his Brexit Party in the European elections on May 23.
– Nigel Farage announced five more candidates for his Brexit Party european election fight next month
– Ex-Marine James Glancy awarded Gallantry Cross for fighting in Afghanistan during three tours of country
– Ex-Revolutionary Communist Party member Claire Fox will stand but doesn’t agree with Farage on much
– Moral Maze star said: ‚Don’t get me wrong, I’m from the left. But the question now is whether we are going to let democracy be overturned‘
– A smoked salmon millionaire, an ex-NHS worker and a charity boss also among the five new candidates
(16.4.2019) Exactly how many people died as a result is unknown, but the conspiracy led to the deaths of at least 100 people in Argentina. And according to the CIA document dated 7 April 1978, European spies were keen to find out how it worked.
German and Spanish lawmakers protested against Julian Assange’s detention on Monday, gathering outside a London prison to urge Britain and the EU to prevent his extradition to the United States.
Two leftist German MPs, Heike Hansel and Sevim Dagdelen of Die Linke, and a Spanish Green member of the European Parliament, Ana Miranda, had been due to meet their „friend“ Assange in London’s Ecuadoran embassy later on Monday.
What the left wants to talk about: …
What the left ends up talking about: …
(9.5.2017) The political left might consider itself more open-minded than the right. But research shows that liberals are just as prejudiced against conservatives as conservatives are against liberals.
(1972) As long as the structure of the group is informal, the rules of how decisions are made are known only to a few and awareness of power is limited to those who know the rules. Those who do not know the rules and are not chosen for initiation must remain in confusion, or suffer from paranoid delusions that something is happening of which they are not quite aware.
Bannon seems to have discovered something that for members of the American intelligentsia is not only strange, but practically incomprehensible: Racism is not an issue that interests the majority of Americans. The economy, not racism, was the issue of the election. What truly interests Americans is not the Mexicanness of illegal migrants, but the illegality of so much Mexican migration. “The Democrats,” Bannon told an infuriated Robert Kuttner at The American Prospect a few days before he was sacked from the White House, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”
Bannon is moving to Europe to set up The Movement, a populist foundation to rival George Soros and spark a right-wing revolt across the continent.
(3.7.2018) Today, we’re talking about Italy, where a so-called “populist” alliance of the Five Star Movement and right-wing League just took over the government with anti-migrant and Euro-skeptic agenda. Dan’s guest is David Broder, a historian of French and Italian communism and frequent contributor to Jacobin. The Five Star Movement was for a time welcomed by some on the left. But it’s not of the left; rather, it is a product of the Italian left’s collapse.
(24.6.2018) At the end of last month, European Commissioner Günther Oettinger scolded rebellious Italian voters who are fed up with European Union bureaucrats and European Central bankers dominating their country. “The market will teach Italians how to vote,” Oettingerm said.
He had made this remark when it seemed Italy was heading toward fresh elections after the latest political crisis. At the time the spread between Italian and German bonds jumped more than 300 points, aggravating Italy’s heavy public debt. In other words, Oettinger was convinced that the need for financial stability would force upstart Italian voters to get back in line with what the bankers want.
In France, Poland, Greece and Italy left-wing parties are being wiped off the map. Is this terminal or can they recover?
Podemos, which helped Sanchez to oust Rajoy, said it wants to be in the government. The anti-austerity party wants generous welfare policies and tougher regulations and taxes on banks.
(23.2.2018) When news first broke that Medium, one of my primary blogging platforms, had closed the accounts of Trump-supporting pundits Mike Cernovich, Jack Posobiec and Laura Loomer, I tweeted the following in response:
„The only people cheering for this are leftists who haven’t been paying attention and centrists who have. This ongoing trend of marginalizing online dissent is already impacting the far left, and will do so more and more. The #MAGA crowd are the canaries in the coal mine, lefties.“
Hours later, right on cue, prominent Mother Jones Senior Reporter Shane Bauer was singing the praises of Medium’s recent account suspensions, and tagged Medium’s Twitter account saying they need to take it further and include left-wing writers like myself due to my repeated criticisms of the pro-regime change Syria narrative.