Wednesday, April 01, 2020

*From "The Rag Blog"- On The American National Anthem

Click on the headline to link to a "The Rag Blog" entry on the American National Anthem.

Markin comment:

I like some of the quirky commentary on this site. As for anthems, I have the solution. Our flag is red, and our anthem is "The Internationale". Let us sing that one when the "red meat" tea baggers raise their heads, especially in Texas. Whoa!

The Internationale [variant words in square brackets]

Arise ye workers [starvelings] from your slumbers
Arise ye prisoners of want
For reason in revolt now thunders
And at last ends the age of cant.
Away with all your superstitions
Servile masses arise, arise
We'll change henceforth [forthwith] the old tradition [conditions]
And spurn the dust to win the prize.

So comrades, come rally
And the last fight let us face
The Internationale unites the human race.
So comrades, come rally
And the last fight let us face
The Internationale unites the human race.

No more deluded by reaction
On tyrants only we'll make war
The soldiers too will take strike action
They'll break ranks and fight no more
And if those cannibals keep trying
To sacrifice us to their pride
They soon shall hear the bullets flying
We'll shoot the generals on our own side.

No saviour from on high delivers
No faith have we in prince or peer
Our own right hand the chains must shiver
Chains of hatred, greed and fear
E'er the thieves will out with their booty [give up their booty]
And give to all a happier lot.
Each [those] at the forge must do their duty
And we'll strike while the iron is hot.


Debout les damnés de la terre
Debout les forçats de la faim
La raison tonne en son cratère
C'est l'éruption de la fin
Du passe faisons table rase
Foules, esclaves, debout, debout
Le monde va changer de base
Nous ne sommes rien, soyons tout

C'est la lutte finale
Groupons-nous, et demain (bis)
Sera le genre humain

Il n'est pas de sauveurs suprêmes
Ni Dieu, ni César, ni tribun
Producteurs, sauvons-nous nous-mêmes
Décrétons le salut commun
Pour que le voleur rende gorge
Pour tirer l'esprit du cachot
Soufflons nous-mêmes notre forge
Battons le fer quand il est chaud

L'état comprime et la loi triche
L'impôt saigne le malheureux
Nul devoir ne s'impose au riche
Le droit du pauvre est un mot creux
C'est assez, languir en tutelle
L'égalité veut d'autres lois
Pas de droits sans devoirs dit-elle
Egaux, pas de devoirs sans droits

Hideux dans leur apothéose
Les rois de la mine et du rail
Ont-ils jamais fait autre chose
Que dévaliser le travail
Dans les coffres-forts de la bande
Ce qu'il a crée s'est fondu
En décrétant qu'on le lui rende
Le peuple ne veut que son dû.

Les rois nous saoulaient de fumées
Paix entre nous, guerre aux tyrans
Appliquons la grève aux armées
Crosse en l'air, et rompons les rangs
S'ils s'obstinent, ces cannibales
A faire de nous des héros
Ils sauront bientôt que nos balles
Sont pour nos propres généraux

Ouvriers, paysans, nous sommes
Le grand parti des travailleurs
La terre n'appartient qu'aux hommes
L'oisif ira loger ailleurs
Combien, de nos chairs se repaissent
Mais si les corbeaux, les vautours
Un de ces matins disparaissent
Le soleil brillera toujours.

Die Internationale

Wacht auf, Verdammte dieser Erde,
die stets man noch zum Hungern zwingt!
Das Recht wie Glut im Kraterherde
nun mit Macht zum Durchbruch dringt.
Reinen Tisch macht mit dem Bedranger!
Heer der Sklaven, wache auf!
Ein nichts zu sein, tragt es nicht langer
Alles zu werden, stromt zuhauf!

Volker, hort die Signale!
Auf, zum letzten Gefecht!
Die Internationale
Erkampft das Menschenrecht

Es rettet uns kein hoh'res Wesen
kein Gott, kein Kaiser, noch Tribun
Uns aus dem Elend zu erlosen
konnen wir nur selber tun!
Leeres Wort: des armen Rechte,
Leeres Wort: des Reichen Pflicht!
Unmundigt nennt man uns Knechte,
duldet die Schmach langer nicht!

In Stadt und Land, ihr Arbeitsleute,
wir sind die starkste Partei'n
Die Mussigganger schiebt beiseite!
Diese Welt muss unser sein;
Unser Blut sei nicht mehr der Raben
und der machtigen Geier Frass!
Erst wenn wir sie vertrieben haben
dann scheint die Sonn' ohn' Unterlass!

(The English version most commonly sung in South Africa. )
The Internationale

Arise ye prisoners of starvation
Arise ye toilers of the earth
For reason thunders new creation
`Tis a better world in birth.

Never more traditions' chains shall bind us
Arise ye toilers no more in thrall
The earth shall rise on new foundations
We are naught but we shall be all.

Then comrades, come rally
And the last fight let us face
The Internationale
Unites the human race.

Monday, March 30, 2020

*The Latest From "The Rag Blog"- Honoring International Women's Day In Texas

Click on the title to link to "The Rag Blog" entry mentioned in the headline.

Markin comment:

Always glad to see and hear about left and progressive events in places that I usually do not get information on, especially Texas. Is that still part of the United States? Good report, though.

March Is Women’s History Month-Honor Communist Leader Rosa Luxemburg- The Rose Of The Revolution

Click on the headline to link to the Rosa Luxemburg Internet Archives.

March Is Women’s History Month

Markin comment:

Usually I place the name of the martyred Polish communist revolutionary, Rosa Luxemburg, in her correct place of honor along with Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin and German revolutionary Karl Liebknecht when we of the leftist international working class movement honor our historic leaders each January. This year I have decided to, additionally, honor the Rose of the Revolution during Women’s History Month because, although in life she never fought on any woman-limited basis in the class struggle, right this minute we are in need, desperate need of models for today’s women and men to look to. Can there be any better choice? To ask the question is to give the answer. All honor to the memory of the Rose of the Revolution- Rosa Luxemburg.

Click on title to link to Rosa Luxemburg's' 1900 major article against the "revisionist" anti-Marxist revolutionary socialist position in the German Social Democratic Party (and internationally), "Reform OR Revolution"





If you need to know in depth, and you should, what Rosa Luxemburg’s contributions to Marxist theory were and about her struggles within various European left-wing socialist parties to fight for her revolutionary perspective then this is not the book for you. You need to read the compilation of her own works edited in Rosa Luxemburg Speaks or read one of her eminent political biographers like P. Froelich or P. Nettl. If, however, you need a short primer about Rosa’s theories and political struggles then this book can provide some insights about what it was like to be a leading revolutionary socialist woman in early 20th century Europe.

Mr. Abraham takes some trouble to go through the details of Rosa Luxemburg’s political education in the early socialist movement in Poland; her rise in the German Social Democratic Party that was her home base for most of her career before her assassination by right-wing soldiers in 1919; and, her various trials and tribulations in connection with the Bolsheviks, particularly over the question of the national right to self-determination for Poland and other oppressed nations. He, thankfully, spends far less time on Rosa’s personal life than that of Ms. Elizabetza Etttinger (see archives) whose biography of Rosa, while admirable in its way, nevertheless almost consciously avoids politics.

I, however, take issue with Mr. Abraham on two points, at least in part. He attempts off-handedly to sneak Rosa into the feminist camp. While feminism may be the fashion in late 20th and early 21st century it is not belaboring the point to note the contempt Rosa held for the feminism of her time. One cannot in fact understand her political career other than as one of seeing that women’s liberation would occur though socialist revolution, or not at all. That, dear reader, has nothing to do with feminism.

The second point is his emphasis on the efforts that Luxemburg made to create a ‘third way’ for Marxist development away from the sterility of bureaucratic German social democracy and the rigidity of Russian Bolshevism. This again is more of a posthumous attempt to use her orthodox Marxist approach to create something more than her theoretical projections would warrant. Otherwise what is one to make of her long term bloc with those very Bolsheviks in the pre-World War I period and of her almost pathological fear of breaking with the German SPD when it was time, in fact past time, to do so, I will definitely take arguments on these disputes.

I read political biographies mainly to get a background look at what makes the subject of the biography tick. After reading this book it struck me, as it did after reading Ms. Ettinger’s more personal account, that even revolutionaries, and particularly revolutionary women, cannot fully transcend the facts of their personal upbringing and their times. Clearly, Rosa was a liberated woman by any measure. However, I got the overwhelming feeling that she could never fully transcend the 'outsiderness' of being Jewish or of the terrible strain of breaking free of the mores of Victorian Europe. It may be a truism of Marxism but true nevertheless that it will take some generations before the ‘new’ man and women fully take on the attributes of socialist comradeship but after reading this book it is also clear that even the ‘vanguard’ intellectuals of the movement can only go so far in transcending their capitalist environment. Nevertheless, Remember Rosa Luxemburg-the Rose of the Revolution.