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Beer Hall Putsch Leftism: Ukraine & the ISO

First, an admission: After three years of writing Return to the Source sporadically, I’m getting tired of roasting the International Socialist Organization (ISO) and tearing apart their positions. The criticisms of their social chauvinist lines on Libya, Syria, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and other countries targeted by imperialism seem to be popular with readers, evidenced by the hundreds of hits this blog still gets despite a long period of inactivity.

At the same time, all signs point towards the ISO discrediting itself and losing ground with leftists around the country. For instance, it’s hard for me to believe that anyone, except the most die-hard cruise missile ISO member, reads Gilbert Achcar’s recent article, What remains of the Arab Spring? and thinks anything besides, “This is a sad, irrelevant man who can’t recognize reality.” The ISO’s bizarre brand of social imperialism is still dangerous, but it’s discredited itself, most notably with regards to Syria.

I preface with that admission before rounding up all of the evidence necessary to totally dismantle the ISO’s closet support for fascism in Ukraine because I don’t want readers to think I’ll be doing this a lot more. At times, though, the US Trotskyites take a position so egregious that it begs for engagement, if for no other reason than to provide a resource to those actual Marxists around the world committed to battling social imperialists in the people’s movement. Read the rest of this entry

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Castro Didn’t “Take The Guns”, Alex Jones: Guns & Socialism

Looks like he missed a few guns…

True, we have a higher gun violence level, but overall, muggings, stabbing, deaths — those men raped that woman to India to death with an iron rod 4 feet long. You can’t ban the iron rods. The guns, the iron rods, Piers, didn’t do it, the tyrants did it. Hitler took the guns, Stalin took the guns, Mao took the guns, Fidel Castro took the guns, Hugo Chavez took the guns, and I’m here to tell you, 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms! It doesn’t matter how many lemmings you get out there in the street begging for them to have their guns taken. We will not relinquish them. Do you understand?

Alex Jones on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, 1/7/13

Of all the most common arguments used by the Right in the US to defend their helter skelter view of the Second Amendment, none stands more dishonest than their indictment of socialist leaders like Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Fidel Castro as ‘tyrants who take guns’.

The argument goes something like this. First, throw out the names of some political leaders demonized in the United States. Second, claim that they banned guns and confiscated firearms from the population and that this act more than anything else facilitated their rise to power. Finally, liken gun control advocates and liberals to these leaders and argue that regulation of gun ownership is a slippery slope towards ‘tyranny.’

The infamous Drudge Report headline, bizarrely likening Stalin to Hitler

Incidentally, this argument has gotten a lot more press coverage in the last week. The now-infamous Alex Jones-Piers Morgan interview was only outdone by a Drudge Report headline from January 9th, which featured pictures of Stalin and Hitler above a caption that read, “White House Threatens Executive Orders on Guns.”

It’s all nonsense, of course, starting with the premise that the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler, warrior of the highest escalations of capital, has anything in common with revolutionary leaders like Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Chavez. Then there’s the bloated death totals we hear quite often in the corporate media and Western academia, parroted most recently by Jones, who claimed that Mao “killed about 80 million people because he’s the only guy who had the guns.”

However, a closer examination of the historical record reveals that the entire argument is based on distortions or outright falsehoods. Guns were not summarily banned in any of these countries – including Nazi Germany, as a matter of historical note. Although firearm ownership took a distinctly different form than the Wild Wild West policies in the United States, which favor individual rights and vigilante justice over social and class rights, guns remained an important part of defending socialism from imperialist aggression. Read the rest of this entry

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