“We have encountered already the drive-train, which, turned by agrarian advances, will spin the wheels of the Industrial Revolution. The race for productivity, the very basis of capitalist development, means the replacement of labor power with means of production, living labor with dead, variable capital with constant.
Amid this arise General Ludd and Captain Swing, one leading sallies against the textile industries, the other in the agrarian theater of combat. Both movements described themselves in military terms, never better than in a letter “Signed by the General of the Army of Redressers Ned Ludd Clerk.” They took oaths, stocked arms.” Joshua Clover, Riot. Strike. Riot
***Since the very first machines were destroyed during the Luddite uprisings of 1811-1813 culminating in a region-wide rebellion in Northwestern England, militant direct action has been a weapon of the working class and a form of resistance against their rulers.
('Preston attack on the Military: two rioters shot’, Illustrated London News, 13th August, 1842)
On Friday 13th November, 129 people lost their lives in a series of attacks in Paris reportedly carried out by Islamic State. They join the dead of Beirut, Suruç, Syria, Iraq and countless other war-torn regions as innocent victims of a conflict that knows no civilians.
The urgency with which we have to pull ourselves back from the brink is signalled not only by the brutality of the reactions, but by the fact that they are by now entirely predictable: airstrikes abroad, destructive of life but strategically pointless; attacks on muslim populations in the west, dubbed 'revenge' by a racist media.
All is fuel on the fire. More than ever, we need to understand the situation in all its complexities.
Since storming to victory on September 14th with 59.5% of the vote in Labour's leadership election, Jeremy Corbyn has continued to ruffle right-wing feathers: not singing the national anthem; cancelling an appointment with Her Majesty; and, most recently, appointing Seumus Milne as his Director of Strategy.
"Real Labour voters read tabloids, love the Queen and join the Army. They don't relate to Guardianista apologias for terrorism", insisted the Telegraph. Of course, others may have been pleased that Corbyn chose to appoint an award-winning journalist known for his criticisms of Western imperialism, commitment to uncovering the corruption of the British State, and left-wing principles.
From his devestating expose of the Thatcher government in The Enemy Within to his analysis of the United States' stumbling empire in The Revenge of History, Milne has long been one of the most distinctive and critical voices in the British media.
Read more on Milne, the Labour Party, and British and international politics below.