Sunday, October 31, 2010

Soviet videos on The Peoples Channel

Monday afternoon (unless the tentative scheduling was changed) Chronicle of October - 1917, a dubbed half hour video on the Great October Socialist Revolution will be on The Peoples Channel.  The anniversary of the beginning of the socialist stage of the Russian Revolution is November 7th (it was October 25th under the calendar Russia used at the time, thus the name).  I'm working to arrange a dedicated slot on cable access in Orange and Durham counties to air historical and cultural documentaries donated by the US Friends of the Soviet People ( and videos on current events, depending on technical issues and copyright, starting in November.  This puts the communist view out there (though it should be noted that the views expressed aren't necessarily mine), and the videos have retro historical or ethnographic value.  If you have a video that might fit, drop me a line.      
If you are in New York City, the national USFSP branch is meeting November 6th, with guest speaker Thomas Kenny, who wrote Socialism Betrayed with Roger Keeran.    

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The candidates for Congress and the General Assembly

US Senate
I voted for Elaine Marshall in the primaries and plan to vote for her in November.  While the statements on her website ( condemn the occupation of Afghanistan on the grounds of costs and benefits instead of anti-imperialism, she still calls for ending the war and opposes so-called nationbuilding around the world.  She wants to make Big Business live up to its responsibility for the economic crisis, retain and better pay teachers, increase renewable energy use (though I question the use of wind power when turbines may be killing a lot of wildlife, and we won't see the evidence if the turbines are offshore), end legal discrimination against LGBT people at the Federal level, opposes recent free trade agreements, and advocates other progressive and populist policies.  
Her campaign was apparently weakened by having to go through a runoff to defeat the national Democratic Party's favored candidate, who ran to Marshall's right, another example of the Democratic Party working to sabotage its left wing.          
North Carolinians don't hear much from Senator Burr (or Kay Hagan, for that matter), but judging by what Burr says during the elections, he is serving a very rightist agenda, without being as loud about it as Senator Jesse Helms was.  I was surprised when someone from his office called me after I wrote to them, which hasn't happened when I have contacted any of our other members of Congress (or since then with Burr), but constituent services or Federal funding for NC projects are little compared to his reactionary platform.     
US House of Representatives and NC General Assembly incumbents 
I'm leaning to not voting for Representative David Price or the incumbent Democrats running for the General Assembly.  On the other hand, the media is starting to get to me.  I don't want to contribute to a Republican landslide, especially given their candidates for the General Assembly, but it could be a case of the Democrats fearmongering for votes.  Even if there is a landslide, a bitterly gridlocked Congress with Republicans in control of only one house could tie the imperialists' hands at the Federal level, while a Republican Congress could still be limited by Obama's veto, unless they have enough votes to override it.       
Representative Price has, or had a pretty safe and left leaning district, yet he isn't a left Democrat like Dennis Kucinich.  Price can be counted on to endorse Israeli aggression, and he can't be counted on to do what he can to stop Obama from starting a war with Iran or the DPRK or further bombing Pakistan, Yemen, and who knows where else.  Price did oppose the invasion of Iraq to some extent, no doubt galvanized by the occupation of his Chapel Hill office, but I think he has supported every war funding bill since.  Republican BJ Lawson's website ( links to a March 10th vote on Kucinich's bill for withdrawal from Afghanistan in which every NC representative but Republican Walter Jones voted no.  Price could have voted to investigate Bush's crimes, and it even might have helped him win votes, but now Obama is covering some up and legalizing others.
Lawson seems to be running further to the right this year and his website comes across as pretty rightist, though his ideas probably haven't really changed much.  If he is really more anti-war than Price and can't do too much on the domestic front, he could be an improvement over Price, though Price is generally left of Lawson.    

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Long live Enver Hoxha!

Today is the anniversary of the birth in 1908 of Albanian communist Enver Hoxha, born in southern Albania when the nation was just gaining independence after centuries of foreign rule.  Under his leadership, the anti-fascist Partisan guerrillas liberated Albania from Italian and German occupation during WWII, at a staggering cost in lives and property and relying on their own forces.  The Partisans went on to liberate parts of Yugoslavia, while the other occupied countries in Europe had enough trouble driving the fascist forces from their own territory.  Hoxha became First Secretary of the Party of Labor of Albania and held various government posts, leading Albania from the hardscrabble rural economy inherited from the Zog dictatorship to socialism, with an advanced industrial base and a drive for self-sufficiency.  During this time the PLA also fended off take over attempts by the UK, USA, Greece, and Yugoslavia, and then, almost alone among the communist parties with state power, refused to follow the destructive revisionist road of the USSR after the 50's and denounced the revisionism of its Chinese ally in the 70's, despite the economic cost.  Even Albanian counterrevolutionaries have to admit that Hoxha's policies defended Albanian sovereignty, liberated women, increased education and public health, encouraged study of Albanian history and culture, and modernized the economy.  Of course there were also mistakes, and a counterrevolution succeeded, but socialist Albania's experience and Hoxha's many books should be studied by other communist parties, and Hoxha deserves a place among the great figures who fought for a socialist society in the 20th century and created a valuable legacy for those of us in the 21st.   
Hoxha died April 11, 1985 and the PLA took a revisionist course, allowing a counterrevolution in the 90's, leading to the rule of the so-called Democratic Party of Albania.  They made Albania a lackey of the EU and USA, and then they wonder why they were snubbed by the imperialists during the wars in the former Yugoslavia, despite the just demands of ethnic Albanians in the former Yugoslavia and the rights of Kosova under the Yugoslav constitution.  Today the PLA has been reconstituted, under its original name, the Communist Party of Albania, and Hoxhaism remains influential in the international communist movement, including here in the USA.  
I think the CPA's current website is, but it could be a different group.  An Albanian site dedicated to Enver Hoxha is at and some of his works are online at, and sites referenced on Wikipedia, and some WWII and early socialist Albanian history is referenced in the Kosova timeline at