James P Cannon

Guns, controls and the labour movement

Submitted by Matthew on 28 February, 2018 - 10:53 Author: Gerry Bates
Second amendment

The US constitution famously states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed”; historically, revolutionary democrats insisted on this right as a guarantee against arbitrary state power and the development of tyranny.

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Submitted by peewee29 on Fri, 02/03/2018 - 12:11

The pro-gun lobby and right wing libertarians tend to ignore what the Second Amendment actually says (though I note the important words are underlined in the graphic at the top of this piece):

"A *well regulated Militia*, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" (my emphasis).

Interestingly, many of these people also quote George Orwell, writing about "that rifle on the wall" of a worker's house, being a guarantee of our liberty. I eventually tracked down where this quote actually comes from, and it's from something Orwell wrote in WW2 about the Home Guard ("Don't let Colonel Blimp run the Home Guard"), which again seems to emphasise the point about being part of a "well regulated militia."

Submitted by peewee29 on Fri, 02/03/2018 - 15:37

Further to my last comment:
Bernard Crick in his book “George Orwell A Life” has the following quote in Chapter 12 The Challenge and Frustration of war (1939-41).

“Even as it stands, the Home Guard could only exist in a country where men feel themselves free. The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do: they cannot give the factory-worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. THAT RIFLE HANGING ON THE WALL OF THE WORKING-CLASS FLAT OR LABOURER’S COTTAGE, IS THE SYMBOL OF DEMOCRACY. IT IS OUR JOB TO SEE THAT IT STAYS THERE.”

Crick correctly attributes the quote to an 8 January 1941 article Orwell wrote for Evening Standard. The article was titled “Don’t Let Colonel Blimp Ruin the Home Guard”

Submitted by peewee29 on Fri, 02/03/2018 - 15:38

Submitted by Jason Schulman on Fri, 02/03/2018 - 21:47

A smart contribution to the conversation.

http://www.solidarity-us.org/node/3806

(I can't figure out how to switch to plain text so that the link will actually work. Webmaster, please fix. Thank you.)

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Trotskyism, Stalinism and the Second World WarMatthewWed, 25/10/2017 - 10:42

Barry Finger reviews The Two Trotskyisms Confront Stalinism: the Fate of the Russian Revolution volume two, edited by Sean Matgamna (Workers’ Liberty, 2015).


­Revolutionary socialism at its liveliest is always a vast theatre of ideological battlegrounds, a Permanent War of Questions, as Julius Jacobson — a one-time follower of Max Shachtman — so aptly put it.

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Embers of Light: review of "The Two Trotskyisms Confront Stalinism"

Submitted by AWL on 13 October, 2017 - 9:03 Author: Barry Finger

Revolutionary socialism at its liveliest is always a vast theater of ideological battlegrounds, a Permanent War of Questions, as Julius Jacobson – a one-time follower of Max Shachtman – so aptly put it. For those, and there were precious few, who still valiantly retained the capacity, the sitzfleisch as well as the activists’ militant vigor, in the years leading up to and through the second world war, to think through and refine volumes of innumerable majority and minority reports, theses and resolutions, what was at stake was nothing short of a desperate race to outpace history.

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