Posts Tagged ‘revolutions’

The Contours of Recent American Foreign Policy

August 3, 2009

Searching For Enemies

By Gabriel Kolko, Counterpunch, July 31 – August 2, 2009

War, from preparation for it through to its aftermath, has defined both the essential nature of the major capitalist nations and their relative power since at least 1914. War became the major catalyst of change for revolutionary movements in Russia, China, and Vietnam. While wars also created reactionary and fascistic parties, particularly in the case of Italy and Germany, in the longer run they brought about domestic social changes of far-reaching magnitude. The Bolshevik Revolution was the preeminent example of this ironic symbiosis of war and revolution.

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Propagandist of the American Revolution

June 11, 2009

British socialist and author Mike Marqusee pays tribute to one of history’s great revolutionaries on the anniversary of his death 200 years ago.

Socialist Worker, June 11, 2009

Thomas Paine (Auguste Millière)

Thomas Paine (Auguste Millière)

“THIS INTERMENT was a scene to affect and to wound any sensible heart. Contemplating who it was, what man it was, that we were committing to an obscure grave on an open and disregarded bit of land, I could not help but feel most acutely.”

The occasion for this lament was the sparsely attended funeral of Thomas Paine, who died 200 years ago in June 1809, at the age of 72, and was buried in the small farm he owned in what was then the rural hamlet of New Rochelle, 20 miles north of New York City.

Not long before, New Rochelle’s bigwigs had barred Paine from voting, claiming he was not a U.S. citizen. Paine, who had virtually invented the idea of U.S. citizenship, was furious.

But this was not the end of his indignities. When he sought a place to be buried, even the Quakers would not oblige him. Hence, the muted funeral of the man who had inspired and guided revolutions in North America and France–and equally important, the revolution that did not happen in Britain.

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