Friday, 18 January 2013

Radical Glasgow site.

http://www.gcu.ac.uk/radicalglasgow/chapters/index.html

Read about Thomas Muir of Huntershill (25 August 1765 – 26 January 1799)  Republican reformer  inspired by french revolution,  James Wilson ,Scotland Free or a Desert) ,John Maclean,the 1820 insurrection(Hardie,Baird and Wilson) ,Friends of the People in Scotland(for universal suffrage)

 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Penny Red on the Transphobia of Julie Burchill.

On Feminism, Transphobia and Free Speech

Tuesday, 15th January 2013

This weekend, columnist Julie Burchill used her platform in the Observer to launch what may be the most disgusting piece of hate-speech printed in a liberal newspaper in recent years. I’m not the only reader who was shocked to the core at smug attack transsexual women as ‘screaming mimis in bad wigs,’ ‘a bunch of dicks in chicks’ clothing,’ and other playground insults too vile to repeat. Burchill claimed to be protecting a friend, which is a noble thing to do, but I suspect that the friend in question, the writer Suzanne Moore, would rather she hadn’t been associated with this the popping of this particular pustule of prejudice.
Burchill’s article is an embarrassment to the British press, an embarrassment to feminist writing and a shameful abuse of a public platform to abuse a vulnerable minority. The Observer has now issued an apology, and rightly so, although I believe the decision to depublish the piece is not wrong so much as bizarre, since Google Cache never forgets. It’s even more dispiriting to see other mainstream media outlets, including the Telegraph, rally around Burchill’s ignorant screed as a ‘free speech’ issue, as if the right to free speech and the right to publication in a major national newspaper were the same thing at all in the age of Tumblr. That’s why, after a lot of thought, I’ve taken the decision to publish this article independently, on this blog. I don’t want it to become part of the symbolic face-off going on between British press outlets this week. I want us to get back to the issues.
I’m partly writing this piece out of selfishness. I want to make it clear to the readers around the world who were rightly disgusted by the Observer column that Burchill and Moore do not speak for all British feminists, and that not every British columnist is prepared to rally the coaches around bigotry. A young, powerful feminist movement with transsexual and queer people at the heart of the debate is gathering in strength in this country and across the world, and we know that gender essentialism and bigotry hurt all of us, cis and trans, men and women.
Transphobic men and women who promote prejudice in the name of feminism, including writers like Sheila Jeffreys, Germaine Greer, Julie Bindel and now Julie Burchill, are on the wrong side of history. For far too long, a small, vocal cadre of the women’s movement has claimed that transsexuals, and in particular transsexual women, are not just irrelevant to feminism but actively damaging to the cause of women’s liberation. Their arguments are illogical, divisive and hateful, and sometimes just plain bonkers. I’ve been to meetings where transphobic feminists have argued that if they don’t keep a lookout, horrible sexist men will try to sneak into their meetings, marches and seminars in disguise in order to disrupt proceedings.
What precise form the disruption is supposed to take has not been explained, partly because it has never happened, ever. If Jeremy Clarkson ever decides to try it, I can assure you that he will be spotted and stopped - but right now, the feminist movement needs no help from fictional men in petticoats to damage our hopes of winning the wider war on women’s freedom. Far more insidious is the insistence by some feminists on mocking transsexual women and denying their existence.
The word that annoys these so-called feminists most is ‘cis’, or ‘cissexual’. This is a term coined in recent years to refer to people who are not transsexual. The response is instant and vicious: “we’re not cissexual, we’re normal - we don’t want to be associated with you freaks!” Funnily enough, that’s just the kind of pissing and whining that a lot of straight people came out with when the term ‘heterosexual’ first began to be used as an antonym of ‘homosexual.’ Don’t call us ‘heterosexuals’, they said - we’re normal, and you don’t belong.
To learn that the world is not divided into ‘normal’ people and ‘freaks’ with you on the safe side is uncomfortable. To admit that gender identity, like sexual orientation, exists on a spectrum, and not as a binary, is to challenge every social stereotype about men and women and their roles in society. Good. Those stereotypes need to be challenged. That’s why the trans movement is so important for feminism today.
Thanks to a global surge in acceptance and discussion of a spectrum of gender identity, trans people are becoming more and more visible, more angry, and more open about their experiences. The world is changing, and those of us fortunate enough to be born in a body that suits our felt gender identity are going to have to accept that being cissexual, just like being heterosexual, isn’t ‘normal’, merely common.
Transphobic articles in high-profile publications are not harmless. They cause active, quantifiable damage. They justify the ongoing persecution of transsexual people by the medical and legal establishment; they destroy solidarity within political and social circles; they hurt people who are used to hearing such slurs shouted at them in the street, and do not need to hear them from so-called progressives. Worse, they make it seem to the average reader, who might be a friend or relative of a trans person, that the rights of transsexual people to be treated in a humane way are still a subject for reasonable debate.
Some conservative feminists claim that arguing about trans issues is counter-productive to the wider struggle against austerity and sexual violence. They are right about that. Feminism is meant to be about defending women against violence, prejudice and structural, economic disadvantage - all women, not just the ones self-appointed spokespeople decide count, and at this time of crisis, we need to be standing together to defend women who are poor, marginalised and live in fear of violence. We cannot do that if we exclude trans and queer women, who are more than usually vulnerable to gendered violence and discrimination. Entry to feminist spaces should not be conditional on having one’s genitals checked over by Julie Burchill, Julie Bindel or their representatives. If it were, though, it might explain the decline in popularity of the movement in recent years.
It comes down to essentialism, and essentialism, as Suzanne Moore rightly pointed out in a recent Guardian column, is always conservative. Stubborn gender essentialism - the belief that your body and your hormones should define everything about your life - is what women have been fighting since the first suffragettes unrolled their green and purple sashes. For transphobic feminists, though, it all seems to boil down to an obsession with what precisely is inside a person’s underpants, which is at best intellectually vapid and at worst rather creepy, unless you happen to be into that sort of thing.
In fact, nobody on this planet is born a woman. Julie Burchill was not born a woman, unless her mother is a hitherto unheralded miracle of medical science. Just over half of us grow up to become women, and the process is a muddle of blood and hormones and angst and pressure and pain and contradiction. Transsexual women know just as well, and sometimes better than cissexual women what it is to be punished for your felt and lived gender, what it is to fear violence and rape, to be reduced to your body, to be made to feel ashamed, to have to put up with prejudice and lazy stereotypes.
Personally, if I thought that my vagina, which I’ve had since I was born, was my most important feminist accessory, I would let it speak for itself. Unfortunately it hasn’t read much feminist history, and neither, it seems, have transphobic bigots. If they had, they’d understand that taking a stand against violence and gender essentialism is what feminism is all about, and that’s precisely why solidarity with trans women should be the radical heart of the modern women’s movement.
A tipping point has been reached. All over the world, online and in local communities, transsexual men and women are finding their voices, and finding each other. Their struggle for acceptance in a society that still hates and fears those who are different, those who don’t follow the rules of gender and sexuality, is vital to the modern feminist movement. Young activists understand that that’s what feminism is all about, for all of us, men and women, cissexual, transsexual and genderqueer: the fight for equality and freedom of expression in a society that still believes that the arrangement of your genitals at birth should dictate the course of your life. It’s time for cissexual feminists to put hate aside and stand with transsexual women in solidarity.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Favourite Political Writings etc.

Listing here doesn't necessarily mean I agree with the text on every point.

***

General:-
  • Philosophy of Progress by Proudhon.
  • Naomi Klein- Shock Doctrine.
  •  Erik Olin Wright-Envisioning Real Utopias.
  • Proposal to transform the house of lords into a citizens assembly by brighouse and Erik Olin Wright.
  • The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone By Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
  • Basic Instincts:Human Nature and the New Economics By Peter Lunn.
  • Foucault-Discipline and Punish
  • Your Politics are boring as fuck.
  • Listen, Anarchist! By Chaz Bufe. I've saw alot of these problems with anarchism.
  • Listen ,Marxist By Murray Bookchin.Don't agree with all of it,I'm not an anarchist but some interesting ideas.
  •  PROUDHON AND MARX
  • Capitalism - an introduction
  • Anarchist communism - an introduction
The state - an introduction

Class - an introduction

Work - an introduction

Unions - an introduction

Work and the free society - Anarchist Federation







History:-

  • Maclean and the unemployed By Nan MacLean Milton.
  • Why John Maclean Did not join the Great Communist Party of Britain by Gerard Cairns.
  • John Maclean and the Communist International: Two Views of the Revolutionary Process By Walter Kendall
  • Peoples History of United States By Howard Zinn

  • About the Authoritarian Left:-
    •  Understanding left cults (SWP, SP, Spiked, WRP) - a reading list
    • IN THE CROSSFIRE Adventures of a Vietnamese Revolutionary .Note on Stalinism and Trotskyism By Ken Knabb.
    • Paul Mattick- The Masses and the Vanguard.
    • Noam Chomsky: - Notes on Anarchism, Force and Opinion.
    • The Soviet Union Versus Socialism By Noam Chomsky. Nice clear piece showing the logic of soviet union apologists as well as capitalists.Denounces Leninism and reasserts what Socialism is.
    • Cuba: No workers paradise By World Socialist Movement. To me the right position to have on Cuba. It is not what I want!
    •  Chávez - no hero of ours
    • The State and the Socialist Revolution By Julius Martov.
    •  Bolsheviks shooting anarchists,
    • The Bolshevik Myth (Diary 1920–1922) by Alexander Berkman
    • My Disillusionment in Russia- Emma Goldman.
    • My Further Disillusionment in Russia- Emma Goldman.
    • TROTSKY PROTESTS TOO MUCH By Emma Goldman
    • Revolutionary organisation - Maurice Brinton.


    Marxism:-


    •  Karl Marx- Communist Manifesto, Critique of Gotha Programme, The German Ideology,
    A Contribution to the critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right,
    • The Theory of Proletarian Dictatorship and Scientific Communism From Marx's Teaching and its Historical Importance By Nikolai Bukharin( I don't agree with it all)
    Anarchism:-

    • Anarchist FAQ
    • Ken Knabb- The Joy of Revolution.
    • Conquest of Bread-Kropotkin.
    • The Accumulation of Freedom   Writings on Anarchist Economics By Deric Shannon (Editor); Anthony J. Nocella II (Editor); John Asimakopoulous (Editor)
    • We Are Many : Reflections on Movement Strategy from Occupation to Liberation By   Kate Khatib (Editor); Margaret Killjoy (Editor); Mike McGuire (Editor)
    • Libertarian Socialism  By  Juan Conatz.
    • Deric Shannon and J. Rogue- refusing to Wait: Anarchism and Intersectionality
    • Two Dirty Words- Very positive description of anarchism without being pushy,up itself etc.Very human and funny.Everything I like about anarchism.
    • Maurice Brinton-Capitalism and Socialism (1968), A Question of power,Socialism Reaffirmed As We Don't See It By Maurice Brinton, As We See it (1967).
    • Council communism - Mark Shipway.
    • Libertarian Marxism? By  Daniel Guerin.
    • Confessions of a Mild-Mannered Enemy of the State By Ken Knabb.
    • On the Content of Socialism III - Socialisme Ou Barbarie By Cornelius Castoriadis.
    • Libertarian Municipalism: An Overview By Murray Bookchin. I don't agree with all of it and think it might be too utopian in places but it's a useful start in the same way Marx is.
    • ParPolity: Political Vision for a Good Society By Stephen Shalom. Some of it is too utopian and narrowly focused without involving limiting factors but it has interesing ideas.
    • Buddhist Anarchism By Gary Snyder.
    • A world without money: communism - Les Amis de 4 Millions de Jeunes Travailleurs



    Situationist:-
    • Reflections on the Uprising in France -Ken Knabb.
    • Address to All Workers By ENRAGÉS-SITUATIONIST INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE
      COUNCIL FOR MAINTAINING THE OCCUPATIONS ,30 May 1968. 
    • Situationism in a nutshell
    •  Instructions for an Insurrection,SITUATIONIST INTERNATIONAL
      1961.
    • Perspectives for Conscious Changes in Everyday Life By Guy Debord.
    • Aiming for Practical Truth By RAOUL VANEIGEM
      1967.
    • Guy Debord and the Situationists
    • Report on the Construction of Situations and on the International Situationist Tendency’s Conditions of Organization and Action .
    • MAY 1968 GRAFFITI
    • Situationist Theses on Traffic By Guy Debord.
       

    Property/Anti-capitalist:-
  • THE TYRANNY OF THE CLOCK By George Woodcock.
  • The Crime of Owning Vacant Land by Hugh Owen Pentecost.


  • Environmental:-

    • The Practice of the Wild By Gary Snyder.
    • Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered By Bill Devall and George Sessions.
    • The Climate Files By Fred Pearce
    • The Poverty of Primitivism By Ken Knabb.
    • Eco-Socialism:From deep ecology to Social justice by David Pepper.
    • Food Inc Documentary.
    • Animal Liberation Through Trade Unions? (IWW)
    • The Rough Guide to Climate Change, 2nd Edition ,Robert Henson
    • Why Evolution is true, Jerry A. Coyne
    • A Citizens Guide to Ecology.
    • Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why it's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals  By Hal Herzog.


    Gender/Sexuality:-


  • Queering Anarchism .Addressing and Undressing Power and Desire - C. B. Daring (Editor); J. Rogue (Editor); Deric Shannon (Editor); Abbey Volcano(Editor); Martha Ackelsberg (Foreword)
  • Feminism is for Everybody by Bell Hooks.
  • Black Women's Manifesto; Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female By Frances M. Beal.
  • Anarcha-feminist Manifesto.
  • The heterosexual privilege checklist
  • The Transfeminist Manifesto By Emi Koyama.
  • Feminist thought By Rosemarie Tong.


  • Race:-
    White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

    Workplace organising:-

  • Informal work groups and resistance on the sunrise shift.
  • Holding the line: informal pace setting in the workplace
  • 'Photocopying? No thanks!' Teachers 'work to rule' in force
  • Workmates: direct action workplace organising on the London Underground