The New Left's Cultural Revolution; Trotsky the Icon. Peter Myers, July 6, 2002; update August 6, 2008. My comments are shown {thus}; write to me at contact.html.

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Communism has "fallen", yet it seems to reign in our universities and courts. Open Borders, Gay Marriage, Political Correctness ... these are the signs. The secret: what has fallen is Stalinism; that's all.

In its place, the New Left largely dominates our culture.

Trotsky's backers have not gone away. Many, "coming out" as Zionists, are now "Neocons".

And the New Left is largely Trotskyist in inspiration. The Frankfurt School (devoted to Marx and Freud; opposed to Stalin as much as Hitler) has had a great impact. And perceptions of the Left have been largely shaped by Isaac Deutscher, a Jewish Trotskyist prominent in New Left Review: deutscher.html.

Despite New Left intellectuals' thinking of themselves as oppositionist "outsiders", Deutscher's material was published by such establishment bodies as The Economist and the BBC. The winners of the Deutscher Prize are announced in the London Review of Books, and the Deutscher Memorial Lecture is presented at the London School of Economics.

(1) Trotsky the Icon (2) The New Left is the heir to Trotsky and the vehicle of the Cultural Revolution (3) Isaac Deutscher's central role in New Left Review (4) How the Six-Day War in June 1967 changed Jewish identity (5) The effect of the 1973 Mid-East War on Jewish consciousness (6) Yuri Slezkine on Jewish Radicalism in the New Left (7) Rick Kuhn wins the Deutscher Prize

By portraying Trotsky as a martyr, and covering up the true nature of the early Bolshevik Government, the "New Left" hinders historical understanding. "New Left" academics are entrenched as one of the main factions in Western universities.

(1) Trotsky the Icon

{from a letter to Israel Shamir}

My target is not Trotsky the Man - I am not an assassin, and he can't be killed twice, anyway - but Trotsky the Icon.

He's dangerous because this Icon is protected from deconstruction (demythologising).

For some other people, but not for me, Hitler is similarly an Icon. Renouncing him is mandatory, and constantly demanded in the documentaries and everyday discourse, yet Trotsky's image shines brightly within our universities, untouchable. The man who wrote the book called The Defence of Terrorism (also published as Dictatorship Vs. Democracy), justifying the Red Terror (against the criticisms of another Jew, Karl Kautsky), is the hero of those who lead the demos world-wide.

Here in Canberra, the Australian National University offers a course called Classical Marxism, taught by Rick Kuhn of the (Trotskyist) International Socialist Organisation (ISO). Could it be anything but pro-Trotsky? I would not mind, if I were hired to teach a counter-course (yes, I am that open-minded!). But there is no course on offer, presenting the sort of material I feature.

Look at the central role in New Left Review, of Isaac Deutscher, Trotsky's leading interpreter in the West.

The Deutscher Prize "is one of most prestigious in the English-speaking world"; its winners "are announced in the London Review of Books"; and each year the recipient presents "the Deutscher Memorial Lecture at the London School of Economics". Deutscher lectures "often are published in New Left Review".

{quote} James Holstun, a professor in the Department of English, has won this year's Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize, one of the most prestigious of its kind in the English-speaking world, for his book, "Ehud's Dagger: Class Struggle in the English Revolution," published last year by Verso Books. ...

He is faculty advisor to the Graduate Group for Marxist Studies and teaches courses in Renaissance literature, Marxist theory, the literature of proletarian struggle, early gay and lesbian writing, and the history and culture of Buffalo.

The Deutscher Prize, founded in 1969, is awarded annually to a work of English-language scholarship that "exemplifies the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition."

It is named for the distinguished Polish-born socialist historian Isaac Deutscher, author of a biography of Stalin, a three-volume biography of Leon Trotsky, and many other works, and his wife, Tamara, a gifted writer and intellectual in her own right, who devoted most of her life to collaborating closely with her husband and then to perpetuating the influence of his ideas.

The prize, whose winners are announced in the London Review of Books, carries an invitation to present the Deutscher Memorial Lecture at the London School of Economics the following November, and be the guest of honor at the reception that follows. Deutscher lectures often are published in New Left Review. ...

Look at the extent to which Trotskyist movements shape our thinking. All the major universities seem to have strong branches of the ISO, the Democratic Socialist Party, Socialist Alliance or similar.

These bodies protest the War, but make sure that the Israel lobby is not mentioned as a causative factor - merely ancillary, as Uncle Sam's sheriff. They thus distort the debate.

On every campus, they keep people like me ostracised. They influence Green and other New Left lobbies.

Communism has "fallen", yet it seems to reign in our universities, courts, and the UN. Open Borders, Gay Marriage, Political Correctness ... these are the signs. The secret: what has fallen is Stalinism; that's all.

In its place, the New Left largely dominates our culture. The New Left is the heir to Trotsky and the vehicle of the Cultural Revolution.

They portray Trotsky as an idealist who was betrayed; Deutscher calls him a "prophet". It's as if Trotsky won the Cold War.

The Frankfurt School (devoted to Marx and Freud; opposed to Stalin as much as Hitler) has had a great impact. It has led to Deconstruction and Postmodernism, which are attacking the transmission of our civilizational heritage.

Despite New Left intellectuals' thinking of themselves as oppositionist "outsiders", Deutscher's material was published by such establishment bodies as The Economist and the BBC.

Consider the book by Isaac Deutscher called The Great Purges, edited by Tamara Deutscher (Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1984).

On p. 7, Tamara says that Isaac Deutscher wrote the text for the BBC. It was broadcast twice by the BBC in 1965, and also in Germany, Sweden and the USA.

Can you name one production by the BBC, or any other documentary on free-to-air TV,  which presents Troysky's sins, such as his justification of the Red Terror and his role in the Kronstadt Massacre?

Here is the quote from Tamara:

{p. 6} Preface

This book narrates - in authentic words and pictures - the horrifying  story of what Trotsky called "the greatest forgery in the world's  political history". Throughout the momentous decade of the 1930s the  duel between Stalin and Trotsky occupied the centre of the Soviet  political scene. Stalin harnessed the immense resources of power and  propaganda of his state into the struggle against Trotskyism. ...

{p. 7} The authentic visual material which David King has been assembling  for many years, adds another dimension to the written text and  effectively illustrates the haunting quality of the historic drama.

Tamara Deutscher, May 1984

The text was originally written for the Home Service of the  BBC, at the initiative of the late Lawrence Gilliam, head of Features  Department, and transmitted twice in the course of 1965. It was  also transmitted in Germany, Sweden and the USA.

For more see deutscher.html.

In 1997, I started a Dip. Ed. course to try to start a new career as a teacher. Three weeks in, the lecturer said we must not say, "Good Morning, Girls and Boys", or "Good Morning, Ladies and Gentlemen", because these terms are discriminatory. Instead, "Good Morning, People".

It was just the worst case of the brainwashing in the course; I pulled out, and have stayed unemployed since: engagement.html.

Aboriginal marriage practices in Australia's Northern Territory are being forcibly modified to conform to a UN Convention that girls under 16 cannot marry.

The same UN that bans traditional Aboriginal marriage, insists on the right of Gays to marry. This is unprecedented in human history, but those behind it aim to rework human nature.

Feminist/Green politicians here are pushing for condom-vending machines in all high schools; Canberra's local government favours this policy.

By implication, it's ok for girls under 16 to have casual sex with boys their own age or a little older, but a jailable crime for a girl under 16 to get married to an older man.

Diversity and Tolerance are a sham. What is being imposed, via the UN, is a single standard for all, a secular variant of monotheism. World Government will mean more and more of this.

In the early USSR, homosexuality was normalised, and traditional marriage laws were abolished, such that defacto relationships were treated the same as marriage. Polygamy in Islam regions was stamped out.

Stalin reversed these laws. He made marriage more serious, divorce difficult, and sodomy illegal.

Now with the fall of Stalin's "false Communism", we are getting the "real Communism" once more.

(2) The New Left is the heir to Trotsky and the vehicle of the Cultural Revolution

Only 2% of the population in the U.S. is Jewish; less than 1% in Australia.

Yet Jewish author Philip Mendes writes, in his book The New Left, The Jews, and the Vietnam War 1965-1972 (Lazare Press, North Caulfield, Victoria, Australia, 1993):

{p. 21} In the USA, it has been estimated that roughly one-third to one-half of New Leftists were Jews. Jews made up approximately two-thirds of the Freedom Riders that went South in 1961 ...

In 1965 at the University of Chicago's Selective Service demonstration, 45 per cent of the protesters were Jews. At Columbia University in 1968 one-third of the demonstrators were of Jewish origin; three of the four students killed at Kent State in 1970 were Jewish ...

Many of the important national officers in Students For A Democratic Society (SDS) were of Jewish origin. These included the founder ... Nearly half the delegates to the 1966 SDS convention were Jews ...

In fact, the Jewish presence was so large that it concerned and, at times, even embarrassed the SDS leadership. An examination by Arthur Liebman of the New Left's theoreticians and intellectual articulators again revealed a significant Jewish presence. From 30 to 50 per cent of the founders and editorial boards of such New Left journals as Studies on the Left, New University Thought, and Root and Branch (later Ramparts), were of Jewish origin. Similarly, in Britain ...

Jews were involved in particularly large numbers in the two main Trotskyist groups, the International Marxist Group and the International Socialists.

{p. 22} In France, a number of prominent New Left leaders including Alain Krivine, Alain Gaismar and Daniel Cohn-Bendit were Jewish, and it is believed that about three-quarters of the members of the Trotskyite groups in the Paris area were identifiably Jewish.

Sigmund Freud on the connection between Akhnaton and Jewish "Universalism": moses.html.

Many were even anti-zionist, until the 1972 Munich Olympics split them and led many to return to their religion. They felt that the 1973 Middle East war was, unlike the Vietnam War, a just war, and rallied to the fold. The Gulf War was a similar test. They have called both for the abolition of na-tion-states, and the establishment of Israel as a nation-state. These goals are contradictory: if the former applies, why bother with the latter?

The New Left called itself "New" in opposition to Stalin, and "Left" in identification with Lenin. This combination was pioneered by Trotsky, and still amounts to Trotskyism.

Phillip Mendes argues that the New Left no longer exists. Yet I maintain that it still dominates intellectual life, via its separate components, namely Feminism, the Gay movement, the Green movement, the Children's Rights movement, and other "minority" movements.

What these components have in common is "bottom-up" control: children "taking control" of their own lives, preventing their parents from raising them; women "taking control" of their lives and/or marriages. The Soviet Union was supposed to be based on workers "taking control" of the workplace, but the Kronstadt massacre, ordered by Trotsky, put an end to that illusion: kronstadt.html.

The New Left has also promoted Free Trade, to dissolve the independence of nations, and create instead a World economy. After Capitalism, they look to a re-socialization of property: xTrots.html.

Feminism and the Gay movement in the West are following in the footsteps of the early Soviet Union (not Stalin's "reaction" to it): sex-soviet.html.

Isaac Deutscher wrote that the Bolshevik Government, in its first years, was run by "emigres had lived many years in the West", who looked down on Russian "backwardness" and pursued "internationalist" politics:

"... they were Marxists in partibus infidelium, West European revolutionaries acting against a non-congenial Oriental background, which ... tried to impose its tyranny upon them. Only revolution in the West could relieve them from that tyranny ...

"No sooner had Bolshevism mentally withdrawn into its national shell than this attitude became untenable. The party of the revolution had to stoop to its semi-Asiatic environment. It had to cut itself loose from the specifically Western tradition of Marxism ... "

Beria and Gorbachev attempted to return to this "Western" Marxism: each emphatically rejected Stalin. But Deutscher was a Jewish Trotskytist, and this "Western" Marxism is Trotskyism by another name: convergence.html.

(3) Isaac Deutscher's central role in New Left Review

3.1 Holstun wins Deutscher Prize is one of most prestigious in the English-speaking world

{note how respectable this prize is in academic and literary circles}

VOLUME 33, NUMBER 13 THURSDAY, December 6, 2001

By PATRICIA DONOVAN Contributing Editor

James Holstun, a professor in the Department of English, has won this year's Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize, one of the most prestigious of its kind in the English-speaking world, for his book, "Ehud's Dagger: Class Struggle in the English Revolution," published last year by Verso Books. ...

He is faculty advisor to the Graduate Group for Marxist Studies and teaches courses in Renaissance literature, Marxist theory, the literature of proletarian struggle, early gay and lesbian writing, and the history and culture of Buffalo.

The Deutscher Prize, founded in 1969, is awarded annually to a work of English-language scholarship that "exemplifies the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition."

It is named for the distinguished Polish-born socialist historian Isaac Deutscher, author of a biography of Stalin, a three-volume biography of Leon Trotsky, and many other works, and his wife, Tamara, a gifted writer and intellectual in her own right, who devoted most of her life to collaborating closely with her husband and then to perpetuating the influence of his ideas.

The prize, whose winners are announced in the London Review of Books, carries an invitation to present the Deutscher Memorial Lecture at the London School of Economics the following November, and be the guest of honor at the reception that follows. Deutscher lectures often are published in New Left Review. ...

3.2 Isaac and Tamara Deutscher

The following biographical sketch was composed by Tamara Deutscher in May 1968, and formed the preface to The Non-Jewish Jew & Other Essays. ...

ISAAC DEUTSCHER 1907- 1967 by Tamara Deutscher

... About 1927 he joined the outlawed Polish Communist Party and very soon became the chief editor of the clandestine and semi-clandestine communist press. In 1931 he travelled widely in the U.S.S.R., acquainting himself with the economic conditions of the country under its first Five Year Plan. He declined offers of academic positions at the Universities of Moscow and Minsk as a professor of history of socialism and Marxist theory. In the following year he was expelled from the Communist Party.

The official reason for his expulsion was that he 'exaggerated the danger of Nazism and was spreading panic in the communist ranks'. Soon after his return from the U.S.S.R. he had founded, together with three or four comrades, the first anti-Stalinist opposition in the Polish Communist Party. His group protested against the party line according to which Social Democracy and Nazism were 'not antipodes but twins' ...

In April 1939 Isaac Deutscher left Warsaw for London as a correspondent of a Polish-Jewish paper which had employed him for fourteen years as a proof reader. It was his good fortune that, when the war broke out and he was cut off from his income, a Yiddish newspaper in London rejected his contribution. This compelled him to apply himself with the utmost energy and zeal to learning English. Flanked by dictionaries, grammars, and textbooks, he wrote his first article in English and sent it off to The Economist. It was published the following week and from that time his contributions appeared regularly.

In 1940 Isaac Deutscher joined the Polish Army in Scotland, but most of his 'army life' was spent in the punitive camps as a 'dangerous and subversive element' - the return for his unceasing protests against the anti-semitism rampant in that army. Released in 1942, he joined the staff of The Economist and became its expert on Soviet affairs, military commentator, and chief European correspondent. He also joined the staff of The Observer for which he became, inter alia, a roving European correspondent writing under the pen-name Peregrine.

In 1946-7 he left Fleet Street and regular journalism for less ephemeral work. Stalin, A Political Biography was published in 1949. Described as 'the most controversial biography of our time', it went into very many editions and appeared in a dozen languages. The enlarged 1967 edition contains a postscript on Stalin's last years.

The publication of Stalin led to the recognition of Isaac Deutscher as an authority on Soviet affairs and the historian of the Russian revolution; his Trotsky trilogy - The Prophet Armed (1954), The Prophet Unarmed (1959) and The Prophet Outcast (1963) - established his reputation also as a master of English prose. His biography of Trotsky is based on detailed research into the Trotsky Archives at Harvard University. Much of the material contained in the third volume is unique, for he received special permission from Trotsky's widow, the late Natalya Sedov, to read through the Closed Section of the Archives which, by the will of Trotsky himself, is to remain unopened till the end of the century.

Isaac Deutscher planned to conclude his biographical series with a study of Lenin, and he often expressed the hope that his works would be seen as 'a single essay in a Marxist analysis of the revolution of our age and also as a triptych of some artistic unity'.

As G. M. Trevelyan Lecturer at Cambridge University for 1966-7, Deutscher addressed overflow audiences and was rewarded by their extraordinary attentiveness and warm-hearted response. The same response was granted him during his six weeks' stay at the State University of New York at Binghamton, Harpur College, and also when he lectured at New York University, Princeton, Harvard, and Columbia in the spring of 1967. The G. M. Trevelyan Lectures, under the title The Unfinished Revolution, appeared almost simultaneously in fourteen or fifteen countries. But none of his books, though they went into many editions and were translated into many languages, has so far been published in the countries of the Soviet bloc. There is evidence, however, that even there he has not a few courageous and devoted readers. ...

Tamara Deutscher: 1913-1990

Tamara Deutscher

By Daniel Singer, published in The Independent, August 10th 1990.

... By the mid-sixties came the psychological reward. Deutscher's books were no longer just greeted with critical acclaim. They were a source of inspiration to an entirely new generation brought into politics by the movement against the war in Vietnam. But they were to have very little time to enjoy this new mood. In 1967 Tamara's world was shattered by Isaac's sudden death.

... Devoting her time to the Deutscher memorial prize committee, editing and prefacing his books and essays, preserving and extending the circle of younger friends, notably of the New Left Review, she had the feeling of remaining true to the cause of genuine socialism. ...

Daniel Singer

Tamara Lebenhaft, writer, born Lodz 1 February 1913, married 1947 Isaac Deutscher (died 1967; one son), died London 7 August 1990.

'An historic partnership'

by Ralph Miliband, published in The Guardian, August 9th 1990

... She had a large circle of devoted friends, and was close to members of the editorial board of New Left Review. "What will Tamara' think?" was a question which mattered to many people.

3.3 The Deutscher Prize

Every year, this prize is awarded for a book which exemplifies the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition.

There is a modest prize of £250, the winning title is announced in the press, and the author is invited to deliver the following year's Deutscher Memorial Lecture which generally takes place towards the end of November, and which has often been subsequently published in the New Left Review.

Current members of the Deutscher Jury include Chris Arthur, Terry Byres, Elizabeth Dore, Diane Elson, Alfredo Filho, Justin Rosenberg, Elizabeth Wilson.

3.4 Review of a book by Fred Halliday

IV337 - January/February 2002 - 17 - Review Making peace with America Two Hours Which Shook the World, by Fred Halliday, Saqi books, London 2002, £12.95. Phil Hearse

Subtitled "September 11, Causes and Consequences" Fred Halliday's book says little about the "two hours which shook the world", but is in fact an assessment of the international political factors which gave rise to the attack, notably the questions of Islamic fundamentalism, globalisation and United States capitalism.

... One of Fred Halliday's literary projects not mentioned in the long list at the front of the book, is his editorship of a collection of writings by Isaac Deutscher, Russia, China and the West; Halliday clearly saw himself as a pupil of Deutscher.

Deutscher of course was a militant anti-Stalinist, and we now know he wrote articles in the 1960s under a pseudonym for the theoretical magazine of the Socialist Labour League, at the time the main Trotskyist organisation in Britain - with whom he later broke over their use of violence.

Nothing justifies the ignorant abuse which Deutscher suffered from sectarians for having allegedly 'capitulated to Stalinism'. But it is true that in Deutscher's writings there is an ambiguous strand, and his last book The Unfinished Revolution (1967) espouses considerable confidence (hope?) for the self-reform of the Soviet system. This is also the import of the last chapter of his biography of Trotsky (see "Victory in Defeat", The Prophet Outcast, OUP).

3.5 Christopher Hitchens & Trotsky

The Christopher Hitchens Web ... Hitchens has written introductions for David R. Dow and Mark Dow's Machinery of Death: The Reality of America's Death Penalty Regime

and The Prophet Armed: Trotsky 1879-1921 by Isaac Deutscher

3.6 PERRY ANDERSON: Marxism and the New Left

Published Autumn 2003

PERRY ANDERSON: Marxism and the New Left

by Paul Blackledge

For over forty years, Perry Anderson has been one of the most influential figures on the intellectual Left. Through his writings, publishing, editing of New Left Review, and teaching at UCLA, he has introduced and disseminated a range of European Marxist opinion to the English speaking world: Deutscher, Gramsci, Sartre, Lukács, Althusser, Poulantzas, to name a few. His own books are seminal contributions to political theory. This survey of Anderson's works explores a range of political writings, considers the evolution of an influential current of New Left thinking from the 1960's onwards, and reviews its engagement with critical theorists such as Brenner, Fukuyama and Jameson. ...

3.7 Perry Anderson Interview: Conversations with History; Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

History and Theory

Let's talk now about the period when you were at Oxford. What years were you there?

'56 to '59.

These were intellectually very exciting times. Tell us a little about that period. ...

Let me go back to the formative period around the late fifties/early sixties in England. What came out of the crisis and the ferment of late 1956 was, among other things, what came to be known as the New Left, which was originally British. Of course, the Americans spoke of their New Left, and the phrase has gone around the world, there's now a very lively Chinese New Left causing difficulties with the authorities there. But the English New Left was really the first one, and it came out of the idea of a double rejection. You were on the New Left if you were against what the Russians were doing in Hungary and you were against what the European governments, not the American government in this case, but the British and French governments were doing in Egypt.

And so from the immediate political reaction, [there was] the need to demonstrate in the streets, to take a stand against what our government was doing in Egypt, but also against what the Russians were doing in Hungary. Out of that came an attempt to understand what are the larger structures in the world which produced these events, what kind of left is it that ... it was actually a social democratic prime minister in France, for example, who launched the attack against Egypt. And, of course, it is the communist tradition, Stalinist tradition, which produced the monstrosity of the suppression of the Hungarian Revolt. So that was the background.

The British New Left defined itself as neither of those two things. And in doing so, it meant you had to try and think through a series of public questions, which were also intellectual and theoretical questions. It was about the history of the left, about the history of empire -- Soviet Empire/British Empire.

It's about this time that you become part of the New Left Review, is that correct?

Yes, very shortly after. The New Left Review was founded in 1960, the year after I had graduated. I suppose I wrote my first article for it in '61, and became editor in '62.

Tell us a little about this journal, in the context of the history, because it became an outlet for a discussion about both what was happening in the world and how it related to broader sets of theory.

Yes. When I and my immediate cohort took over the Review a couple years after it was founded, our aim was to produce a journal which had the seriousness, the capacity to publish something which was a very developed argument, which you associated with journals in the academy, in academic journals, not just journalistic or educational materials. But at the same time, ones that would be free from the professional apparatus, the necessary ivory tower aspects, of any purely scholarly journal. So it was an attempt to produce a journal that would be radical and scholarly, and at the same time aimed at a general intellectual public.

... England is famous for having had the most gifted, extraordinary levy of Marxist historians. We didn't have Marxist philosophers, but we did have this very, very great group of Marxist historians -- Edward Thompson, Eric Hobsbawm, Rodney Hilton -- there are many, many others ...

One of your mentors intellectually is Isaac Deutscher, and in an introduction to a set of his papers, you wrote that he had "serene political fortitude ... a spiritual independence characterized his work ... " and that the universality of what he wrote was given by literary power. Is it fair to say that those are virtues that, in a way, have to characterize this kind of theorizing? Can we extend your description of him to the way you think about what you do yourself?

3.8 E. H. Carr and Isaac Deutscher: A Very Special Relationship

London Socialist Historians Group

London Socialist Historians Group

Posted By: Michael Cox <> Date: April 2001

In Response To: Issue 12: Summer 2001 (The editor)

Earlier this year, the New Socialist Approaches to History seminar hosted a round table on 'E. H. Carr, Isaac Deutscher and the politics of the Western left during the Cold War era'. This article is taken from Michael Cox's introduction to the discussion.

E. H. Carr and Isaac Deutscher played a crucial intellectual role during their twenty year period of close association between 1947 - when they first met in London - and 1967 when Deutscher suddenly and tragically died in Italy.

For the left in particular the two men performed a major, almost indispensable function. Most obviously, they helped inform the left about the early years of the Russian revolution, an event that both defended on historical grounds (a not insignificant contribution in the chill days of the early Cold War). Through their massive research they also helped educate a generation about the crucial political battles of the 1920s in the USSR, in the process making it clear that the differences between Lenin and Stalin - and by implication Leninism and Stalinism - were fundamental.

And in their own, very different ways, they did a great deal too in rescuing the reputations of Trotsky and Lenin from their various critics and enemies. True, Carr was more drawn towards Lenin than Trotsky. But he remained an admirer of the great prophet who was first 'armed' and then 'outcast', and indeed observed in one of his reviews of Deutscher's famous trilogy that Deutscher's three volume biography was not only one of the outstanding literary masterpieces of the twentieth century, but more than did justice to the towering historical importance of its subject matter.

The close relationship between the two men was certainly noted (and criticised) at the time. Isaiah Berlin, no less, once remarked that the problem with Carr was not that he was a Marxist himself, but rather that he provided a mantle of respectability for those like Deutscher who were. The right-wing critic, Leopold Labedz, was less restrained. This 'unusal pairing', he noted, were a most formidable team who together probably did more than anybody else in the West to challenge conservative truths about the nature of the Russian revolution. Zbigniew Brzezinski was even less ambiguous. Deutscher, he felt, was beyond the pale, while Carr, in his view, was possibly one of the most dangerous men in Britain. Praise indeed from the doyen of the US Cold War establishment!

Basically, three things brought and kept the two men together: the Cold War itself and their marginal status during the dark days of the McCarthyism; a profound desire to write about the Soviet experince in a serious but sympathetic way; and a critical urge to understand the logic of Stalinism as a complex phenomenon that both challenged the ideals of the October revolution and yet preserved some of its social and economic gains. Neither was an apologist for the USSR. On the other hand, in a bipolar world where there appeared to be little possibility of socialist change in the West, one had only one of two choices they reasoned: either to join in the anti-Soviet chorus, and so fuel the Cold War, or defend the USSR against its liberal and right-wing critics. There was, they believed, no real alternative.

Of course, there were very real differences between Carr and Deutscher of which they were only too well aware. Thus Carr once accused his friend Deutscher of being too much of a 'utopian'. Deutscher in turn took Carr to task of being too drawn to Lenin the state builder and not to Lenin the revolutionary dreamer and thinker.

But this only reflected a more profound chasm. At heart Deutscher remained a Marxist in the classical mode; Carr on the other hand - as Carr himself readily accepted - could never quite escape his English empiricist roots. There were political differences too. Deutscher always saw himself as a revolutionary waiting for the tide to turn.

Carr remained, as Tamara Deutscher once observed, an honest radical who had less interest in revolutions and revolutionaries (though he wrote about both with tremendous verve) than in seeing the creation of a less wasteful, more rational, planned economy probably run by people like Carr himself. Indeed, Carr once opined that even if capitalism was in decline, there was little chance of proletarian revolution. And to that degree, he admitted in 1980, he was 'perhaps' not a Marxist.

But if Carr was no Marxist, he was nonetheless greatly attracted to Deutscher, or more precisely the Deutschers - Isaac and Tamara together. It was not however the most obvious or natural of relationships, bringing together as it did a Jewish revolutionary emigre with one foot in and one foot outside the Trotskyist camp, and someone like Carr, who as Bob Davies has so shrewdly noted, was never quite at home with either the rebels or the rulers of this world.

Yet he was at home with Deutscher it seems, whose books he frequently and positively reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement, whose career he often tried to help along (as he did when he got him to do the Trevelyan lectures in Cambridge in 1967), and whose memory he held dear until his own death at the age of 90 in 1982.

Tamara Deutscher put it nicely in 1983 in a short, but moving description of the two men which appeared in the New Left Review (a journal that both men influenced greatly):

'At first sight their personal amity might seem puzzling: on one side a self-educated former member of the Polish Communist Party, and on the other an English historian who was an unmistakable product of Cambridge, a former member of the Foreign Office schooled in a diplomatic service famous as a bastion of the British establishment'.

Yet, the relationship she noted, managed to flourish for the better part of twenty years. Born in the dark days of the early Cold War and cemented by profound personal bonds, it was a most special relationship.

3.9 The birth of the "New Left"


Fw: The birth of the "New Left"?

From: Sol Dollinger Subject: Fw: The birth of the "New Left"? Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2000 13:27:21 -0800

Memory plays tricks on you after four or five decades. The regroupment that Ken speaks of as an initiative of AJ. Muste is correct but the leading force in bringing these meetings to fruition were the forces around the Socialist Union of America and The American Socialist. They initiated the movement for a regoupment of the left when we launched the American Socialist in 1954. A December 1956 meeting is advertised in the American Socialist under the sponsorship of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. ...

-----Original Message----- From: <> To: <> Date: Wednesday, March 01, 2000 7:41 PM Subject: Re: The birth of the "New Left"?

Actually, the sequence was somewhat more convoluted than Lou wrote. The New Left was born mainly from groups leaving the Communist Parties who remained Marxists after the East German protests of 1953, Poland 1956, and the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956; from British and North American youth moving leftward in opposition to nuclear weapons, especially the unilateral disarmament wing of the peace movement that was heavily influenced by Japanese leftists; from French and British students opposed to the invasion of Suez in 1956; and, ironically, from all of the above inspired by (what they regarded as the economic/technological triumph of socialism reflected by) the launch of Sputnik at the same time that Soviet political influence over Western leftists was ebbing. In the U.S., C. Wright Mills was the preeminent intellectual force for this current.

In English, the first political stirrings of these currents grouped around two journals: Universities and Left Review (the student left) and The New Reasoner (ex-CP, led and edited by E.P. Thompson, who did not follow Peter Fryer to Trotskyism). NR merged with U&LR to form New Left Review in 1959, if my memory serves. Its U.S. proxy was the Wisconsin Socialist Club at Madison (last vestige of the LYL, but by the late 50s mainly Deutscherite). But that gets ahead of the story.

The first significant response to the Stalinist disarray in the U.S. was the socialist regroupment movement, especially A.J. Muste's American Forum for Socialist Education, which I still think was the best political attempt of that period. The Shachtmanites split on the question, most notably the Young Socialist League, whose left went to the SWP and became the YSA, and whose right, led by Michael Harrington and Bogdan Denitch, merged with the YPSL as the parent ISL merged with the Socialist Party. The external force of McCarthyism (a poor word for the broad-based red scare) combined with the distraction of these maneuvers and considerable demoralization among people leaving the CP sapped the best regroupment efforts, which led almost everyone still engaged to fall back on New Left alternatives. Harrington went to England in 1958; upon his return he wrote a YPSL perspective pamphlet titled The New Left, but the Madison group trumped that with the 1959 launch of Studies on the Left, and its direct links to NLR. Somewhat to the right of Studies was the Chicago journal collective New University Thought, which was simultaneously pro-Soviet and pro-Democratic Party.

That was about the time I joined the (left wing of) YPSL. Young followers of Shachtman and Hal Draper had entered the Student League for Industrial Democracy and started a leftish factional struggle which eventually broke SLID away from the parent LID, changing its name to Students for a Democratic Society. The Harrington leadership instructed all campus-based YPSLs to join SDS, which then controlled it, proclaiming itself to be the authentic New Left, until the Port Huron conference which dumped Harrington. That is where most of the standard histories pick up the story. Ken Lawrence

3.10 Into the watch-tower: Deutscher and Anderson

REDS ? Die Roten > Trotskyism | Trotzkismus > Callinicos

Alex Callinicos

3 Orthodoxies
3.3 Into the watch-tower: Deutscher and Anderson

The contradictions discussed in the previous section all derive from the effort to uphold Trotsky's analysis of the USSR as a workers' state, at the price of effectively recognizing Stalinism as a revolutionary force, while seeking at the same time to maintain an independent Trotskyist movement. There were two ways out of the dilemma involved ? to abandon the theory of degenerated and deformed workers' states, as the tendencies discussed in Chapters 4 and 5 did, or to give up the project, formulated by Trotsky in 1933, of building revolutionary organizations independent of Stalinism and social democracy. The most distinguished representative of the latter alternative is Isaac Deutscher. Deutscher's formidable literary gifts ? Perry Anderson (1984b: i) calls him 'one of the greatest socialist writers of this century' ? were demonstrated above all in his classic biography of Trotsky, which played a major role in preserving the latter's reputation and introducing the generation radicalized in the 1960s to the classical Marxist tradition. Yet the thrust of Deutscher's writings was fundamentally opposed to the political direction taken by Trotsky after 1933. Active in the Polish Trotskyist group in the 1930s, Deutscher drafted the arguments on which their opposition to the formation of the Fourth International at the 1938 founding conference was based (Reisner 1973: 296-7; Deutscher 1970c: 421, n.1). During wartime exile in Britain he drifted out of the Trotskyist movement. Whether cause or consequence of this decision, Deutscher's mature analysis certainly provided it with a rationale.

Shachtman (1962: 270) observed: 'Deutscher is overwhelmingly fascinated - you might also say obsessed - by ... analogies between the bourgeois revolutions (the French in particular ...) and the Bolshevik revolution'. These analogies play the function of establishing a broad identity of structure between bourgeois and proletarian revolutions. This identity thus posited is politically important for two reasons. First, Deutscher postulates a general historical law according to which revolutions move from a phase of popular mobilization in which the revolutionaries enjoy mass support to one in which they are compelled by events to establish a minority dictatorship that preserves the conquests of the revolution at the price of repression aimed at, among others, an extreme Left which denounces the betrayal of the original uprising's ideals, The emergence of Stalin, like that of Cromwell and Napoleon before him, was historically inevitable. Moreover, he represented, not the betrayal of the revolution but its continuation. Discussing the methods of compulsion and armed expansion used by the Bolshevik leaders during the Civil War, Deutscher (1970a: 515) traced

{quote} the thread of unconscious historic continuity which led from Lenin's hesitant and shamefaced essays in revolution by conquests to the revolutions contrived by Stalin the conqueror. A similar subtle thread connects Trotsky's domestic policy of these years with the later practices of his antagonist. Both Trotsky and Lenin appear, each in a different field, as Stalin's unwitting inspirers and prompters. Both were driven by circumstances beyond their control and by their own illusions to assume certain attitudes in which circumstances and their own scruples did not allow them to persevere ? attitudes which were ahead of their time, out of tune with the current Bolshevik mentality, and discordant with the main themes of their own lives. {endquote}

Stalin's peculiar virtue lay precisely in his lack of scruple and of sympathy with the classical Marxist tradition, which allowed him to act as 'the guardian and the trustee of the revolution' in its conservative phase, launching at the end of the 1920s the 'second revolution' of collectivization and industrialization (Deutscher 1949: 361,294) and transforming Eastern Europe after 1945 ''from above and from outside' ? by conquest and occupation' (Deutscher 1970c: 257). Here we may note a second aspect of the analogy Deutscher drew between bourgeois and socialist revolutions. The English and French Revolutions were bourgeois, not because capitalists led them - on the contrary, '[t]he leaders were mostly 'gentlemen farmers' in England and lawyers, doctors, journalists and other intellectuals in France' - but because of the benefits they brought the bourgeoisie: 'Bourgeois revolution creates the conditions in which bourgeois property can flourish' (Deutscher 1967: 22). Anderson (1966: 232) drew out the implication of extending this feature of bourgeois revolution to its socialist counterpart: 'Capitalism does not automatically or everywhere require a victorious industrial bourgeoisie to launch it - any more than socialism requires a victorious industrial proletariat to impose it.' Much more explicitly than was usual in the orthodox Trotskyist mainstream, Stalinism was thus acknowledged as a revolutionary force and the classical conception of socialism as proletarian self-emancipation abandoned. Deutscher's Trotskyist critics were quick to challenge his identification of bourgeois and socialist revolutions and to argue that the working class, because of its separation from the means of production under capitalism, can only become economically dominant by taking political power (Shachtman 1962: chs.12 and 13; see, more generally, Callinicos 1989).

Stalin becomes, on Deutscher's interpretation of the Russian Revolution, not the aberration which Trotsky regarded him to be, but an instrument of historical necessity. In a revealing passage, Deutscher (1970c: 241-7) invoked Plekhanov, the great theorist of Second International Marxism, to refute Trotsky's 'startling conclusion' that without Lenin the October Revolution would not have occurred. Alasdair MacIntyre (1971: 59) commented: '[W]e can see why this is necessary for [Deutscher's] ... whole argument. If from time to time history presents us with real alternatives, then I am not just part of an inevitable historical progress' (see also Callinicos 1987a: 79-82). Whereas Trotsky's Marxism, even when he came closest to predicting the inevitable economic breakdown of capitalism in the late 1930s, laid great stress on the 'subjective factor', the role of conscious human agency in transforming society, (see Section 1.3 above), Deutscher preferred to explain events in the light of an unfolding historical necessity. This had direct political consequences. In the post-war world, Deutscher (1970c: 518) argued, 'the class struggle, suppressed at the level on which it had been traditionally waged', was 'fought at a different level and in different forms, as rivalry between power blocs and as cold war'. Though Deutscher's sympathies were with the Soviet bloc in this struggle, he preferred to any form of organized political activity withdrawal to 'a watch-tower' from where to 'watch with detachment and alertness this heaving chaos of a world, to be on a sharp lookout for what is going to emerge from it, and to interpret it sine ira et studio' (Deutscher 1984: 57-8). The most positive development Deutscher detected from his watch-tower was the emergence in the USSR after Stalin's death of reformers who he expected would carry out from above the political revolution which Trotsky had believed would come from below: Deutscher cast first Beria, then Malenkov, and finally Krushchev in the role of leaders of this revolution (see Cliff 1982: 166-91). Deutscher (1984: 145-6) thus condemned the 1953 Berlin rising - which was concentrated in the working-class areas which had supported the Communists in the Weimar era - as 'objectively counter-revolutionary' because it compromised the idea of a gradual relaxation of the Stalinist regime advocated by such 'reformists' as Beria.

Though Deutscher's adopted role as a critical observer of events ruled out any attempt on his part to build a political organization, his ideas have continued to exert an influence since his death in 1967 as a result of their impact on the gifted group of young British intellectuals who took over the New Left Review (NLR) in 1962 and transformed it over the following two decades into perhaps the major journal of social theory in English (see, on NLR's history, Birchall 1980) Perry Anderson, editor of NLR till 1983, is best known for the two volumes of his genealogy of the modern state so far to have appeared (1974a; 1974b). But he is also the main exponent of a Deutscherite version of orthodox Trotskyism. He contrasted Trotskyism to Western Marxism as the continuation of the classical tradition (Anderson 1976: 96-101), and praised it for having 'alone ... proved capable of an adult view of socialism on a world scale' (Anderson 1980: 156). Nevertheless, Anderson maintained a critical distance from the Trotskyist movement ? though other NLR editors (notably Tariq Ali, Robin Blackburn, and Quintin Hoare) were for much of the 1970s leading members of the USFI's British section, the International Marxist Group. While describing Trotsky's 'fundamental hypotheses' as 'unsurpassed to this day as a framework for investigation of Soviet society' (Anderson 1980: 117), Anderson criticized them for depicting Stalinism as 'merely an "exceptional" or "aberrant" refraction of the general laws of transition from capitalism to socialism'. On the contrary, '[t]he structures of bureaucratic power and mobilization pioneered under Stalin proved both more dynamic and more general a phenomenon on the international plane than Trotsky ever imagined' (Anderson 1984a: 125-6). Indeed,

{quote} Stalinism ... proved to be not just an apparatus, but a movement - one capable not only of keeping power in a backward environment dominated by scarcity (USSR), but of actually winning power in environments that were yet more backward and destitute (China, Vietnam). (Anderson 1984a: 127) {endquote}

In line with the contrast between East and West which is one of the main themes of Anderson's historical writings, it seems that, while a classical revolutionary strategy remains appropriate in the bourgeois democracies of advanced capitalism (Anderson 1976-7), Stalinism is the normal form taken by anti-capitalist movements in the Third World (see, for example, the suspiciously Andersonian tones of the criticism of the 'sectarian workerism' of the Workers' Party of Brazil in Sader 1987).

Other NLR editors drew eminently Deutscherite conclusions from this analysis. Thus Fred Halliday (1983) argued that the Second Cold War that broke out in the late 1970s was a continuation of Deutscher's 'Great Contest', an 'inter-systemic conflict between capitalism and communism' in which the sympathies of the Western Left should be with the Eastern bloc as the embodiment, however bureaucratically distorted, of the world proletariat in the global class struggle between capital and labour. And, as tensions between NATO and the Warsaw Pact were at least temporarily alleviated in the era of glasnost and perestroika, Tariq Ali, who acknowledged the influence of 'Isaac Deutscher, Leon Trotsky and Ernest Mandel (in that order)', hailed Gorbachev as the agent of 'the political revolution (which is already under way)' in the USSR, a 'revolution from above' dictated by the dependence of the Soviet Union's survival on the 'abolition of the bureaucratic caste' (Ali 1988: ix, xiii). The connection between these conclusions, which depict the Stalinist states globally and the reform wing of the Soviet bureaucracy domestically as progressive forces, and the orthodox Trotskyist theory of bureaucratic workers' states should be clear in the light of the present and preceding chapters. Let us now consider the ideas of those Trotskyists who, in order to avoid such conclusions, rejected the theory.


(4) How the Six-Day War in June 1967 changed Jewish identity

The following book documents the return to religion and orthodoxy among the 1960s Cultural Revolutionaries.

This is the beginning of their development into Neo-Cons - Internationalists coming out as Nationalists, or, Having their Cake and Eating it Too.

Robert Ellwood, The Sixties Spiritual Awakening: American Religion Moving from Modern to Postmodern (Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick NJ, 19940.

{p. 95} H. Richard Niebuhr brought out Radical Monotheism and Western Culture (1960), a much-cited work that, amid the rising incense clods of mysticism, reasserted the fundamental premise of Western religion: "a single transcendent center of value that is more than merely subjective and beside which everything without exception must be weighed and judged".

{a secular variant of monotheism might be defined in the same way; the notion of a single standard is frequent in Marxist critiques}

{p. 234} Judaism in the Later Sixties

{p. 235} To begin with, Jews participated in disproportionate numbers  in the civil rights movement, in the counter culture, and in antiwar activity. Although percentages obviously unvolve subjective assessments of how participation in such fluctuating causes is defined, 30% or so, as compared to just 5% of the population then jewish, would probably not be misleading. Not a few prominent voices in all these activities, from Allen Ginsberg to the Yippies Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, were of Jewish background. This participation certainly had roots in longstanding Jewish commitment to social justice, based in turn on Jewish experience of pogroms and persecutions. Even after arriving in the United States, Jews knew firsthand the lot of unempowered immigrants, and what discrimination from the Anglo-Protestant establishment could mean. Theirs was a proud heritage of activity in the labor movement and in the campaigns for reform and civil liberties of the Old Left.

But the deepest roots of Jewish activism undoubtedly lay in the long Jewish traditions of being a people set apart, always a little different, and so able to appreciate and flourish in the role of the marginalized, the cheerful iconoclast, or the outsider with a message. Over against formal universalisms, whether of church or state, Judaism has a way of saying, "Yes, but ..." If anyone is a stranger in some grand human scheme, the Jewish experience says, it is not truly complete or truly human. If it is a religion of mystical oneness or of a particular plan for salvation, or a social order based on a particular monolithic ideology or ethnic identity, and it leaves out Jews as such, Jews rightly say, "Yes, but ..." We Jews are here, Judaism seems to say, as perennial outsiders to show that human reality is always larger than any map can make, and the last word has not been said.

{p. 236} Thus the relative assimilationism embraced by American Judaism in the Fifties and early Sixties was something of an anomaly, through not without precedent. Being so accepted and so successful, at least on the surface, was both welcome and disturbing to many Jews. Not a few wondered how real this new situation was, how long it would last, and what the cost would be to Jewish identity, questions to which the Sixties would give mixed and sometimes unexpected answers. Further, was there not something important about the Jewish witness that called one instead to be somewhat marginalized, to have the clear-eyed outsider's angle of vision and to identify with the weak and oppressed? ...

{what about Palestinians?

Uneasy rumblings arose from Judaism in response to the secular and Death of God theology of the mid-Sixties. That Christian phenomenon permitted much opportunity for Jews to say, "Yes, but ..." A great deal of the new terrain, new to Christians, was familiar to jews; the this-worldly emphasis on salvation in and through history, the secular city apotheosis of urban life, for liberal jews the downplaying of the personal God, were congenial themes up to a point. But secularism as a religious system evoked anew an edgy sense that we've seen it all before, and it leaves us out.

{p. 237} For Jewish experience in the Sixties, as well as for the American Sixties generally, 1967 was a hinge year. But it was so in a very special sense for Jews. The Six-Day War in June {1967} indelibly marked American Jewish experience and sense of identity from then on in a degree comparable to, but different from, the searing of American copnsciousness generally by Vietnam.

Thus Vietnam was not the only conflict to stir American feelings in 1967. This was also the year when, with lightning speed and apparent ease, Israel defeated a coalition of much more populous Arab neighbours to secure its safety and acquired occupied territories that troubled its existence ever since. In Israel a wild euphoria prevailed.

{p. 238} "I can't believe it, I can't believe it" was reportedly on everyone's lips. The Old City of Jerusalem was now Israeli forever, it seemed, as was the Golan Heights, from which Syrian guns had shelled Jewish settlements in the valleys below for years. The Six-Day War lasted from June 5 through June 10 and stood in painful contrast to America's ponderous and apparently interminable effort in Southeast Asia.

{being more like Hitler's blitzkriegs}

All this had a remarkable effect on American Jewish consciousness. Pride in being Jewish soared; posters of the dashing commander Moshe Dayan garbed as Superman sold in the tens of thousands. For American Jews this conflict involving Israel had quite a different aura from Vietnam. According to an article by arthur Hettzberg in Commentary, "The mood of the American Jewish community in general underwent an abrupt, radical, and possibly permanent change. In general, the immediate reaction of American Jewry to the crisis was far more intense and widespread than anyone could have forseeen." Many Jews found themselves surprised at how deeply they felt Israel's crisis and triumph as they lived through it. Hertzberg wryly noted that "it is ingrained in the American Jewish soul that the correct response to a danger is to give money," and in the period between the closing of the Gulf of Aqaba by the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser on May 25 and the Israeli victory of June 10, more than $100 million was realized by the Israeli Emergency Fund of the United Jewish Israel Appeal.

More than money was involved, however. Lucy Dawidowicz observed that the impact of the war on young Jews was intense. Accustomed to the atmosphere and ideology of the anti-Vietnam War movement otherwise so pervasive in mid-1967, many "were perplexed and dismayed that the events did not conform to their political notions . ... Views on pacifism, civil disobedience, resistance to government, and the inherent evil of military might were suddenly questioned. Unlike the confrontation in Vietnam, this was a just war, a war of self-defense against the threat of military genocide."

{p. 239} Many pacifistic Jews like Nancy Weber, although appalled by Vietnam, could not help but see their spiritual homeland's relatively "clean" desert triumphs in a very different light from the dirty jungle war on the other side of Asia. Although Jews were disproportionately represented in that antiwar movement (there was even a button that said, "You Don't Have To Be Jewish To Oppose the Vietnam War"), polls found that 99% of American Jews supported Israel's position in its war.

Indeed, in the eyes of a writer like Jacob Neusner, the 1967 victory served to complete the sacred meaning of the Holocaust - to make it part, but now only part, of a "Judaism of Holocaust and Redemption" that has become a "public, civil religion of American Jews."

{quote} The extermination of European Jewry could become the Holocaust only on 9 June when, in the aftermath of a remarkable victory, the State of Israel celebrated the return of the people of Israel to the ancient wall of the Temple of Jerusalem. On that day the extermination of European Jewry attained the - if not happy, at least viable - ending that served to transform events into a myth, and to endow a symbol with a simple, ineluctible meaning. {endquote}

{p. 244} Indeed, after the pivotal year 1967 came a period of Jewish revival: of pride in Jewish ethnicity and interest in study of it. The Holocaust inself recovered as a field of enquiry, for reasons already suggested, and Orthodoxy underwent something of a renaissance. There was fresh inquiry into connections between Judaism and the new spirituality of the counterculture, showcased in an upsurge of interest in Jewish mysticiam, kabbala, ads such Jewish communiarian ways of life as in the Israeli kibbutzim.

These concerns may have had roots in the considerable Jewish participation in the counterculture, but they embraced the discovery that Judaism itself was a counterculture of very long standing, with its own mystical and magical strands as potent as any imported from Tibet or conjured up in Haigh-Ashbury. Judaism, because of things that started around 1967, emerged from the Sixties more spiritual (for

{p. 245} some), more confident, and yet also more traditionalist and wary of complete assimilation, than before.

None of this was without pain and conflict. I recall that one in those years I was asked to speak at a conference of Reform rabbis as a last-minute replacement for a distinguished philosopher of Jewish background who had become ill. The topic was the appeal of Eastern and esoteric spirituality for the young and was certainly related to the concern of those rabbis over the number of young people who were leaving their temples to explore other pastures.

{end of quotes}

Israel started the 1967 war. It attacked and sank the USS Liberty, a spy ship, to destroy the evidence that it started the war. Mark Bamford's book Body of Secrets reveals that the NSA (National Security Agency) had a plane in the air which obtained recordings of the whole event, including transcripts from the Israeli pilots showing that they knew exactly what they were doing. has two reviews of Bamford's book Body of Secrets:

(a) by Suzy Hansen:

(b) by Bruce Schneier:

Here is the Baltimore Sun's review:

The Baltimore Sun

Roland Perry wrote of the 1967 war in his book The Fifth Man:

{p. 293} ... Israel's Signals Corps cracked enemy army codes, intercepted messages and transmitted false ones, in much the same way that British Intelligence did against the Nazis in the Second World War. Israeli and Egyptian troops massed on either side of the border. Nasser delivered an ultimatum demanding the removal of the UN buffer force in Sinai. The force left. Nasser's troops occupied the

{p. 294} region of Sharm-el-Sheikh, which threatened to blockade the sea route to the Israeli port of Eilat. The move made war inevitable.

Israel's Intelligence readiness was now to be tested. The large amount of data gathered indicated how vulnerable and unprepared the Arab armies and airforces were. Once the Egyptians made their anticipated moves in Sinai, the Israeli air force mobilized and carried out pre-emptive air strikes. The Israelis boldly sent false messages about Egypt's success in Sinai to Jordan in order to draw that country into the conflict.


Why draw Jordan into the war? Had Egypt been drawn in too? Why sink the Liberty?

For more of Perry see perry.html.

Professor Israel Shahak, recently deceased, wrote in his book Jewish History, Jewish Religion:

{p. 8} In 1956 I eagerly swallowed all of Ben-Gurion's political and military reasons for Israel initiating the Suez War, until he (in spite of being an atheist, proud of his disregard of the commandments of Jewish religion) pronounced in the Knesset on the third day of that war, that the real reason for it is 'the restoration of the kingdom of David and Solomon' to its Biblical borders. At this point in his speech, almost every Knesset

{p. 9} member spontaneously rose and sang the Israeli national anthem.

For more of Shahak see shahak1.html.

The Biblical statement about Solomon's borders is at 1 Kings 4:21. Archaeologists have not been able to find evidence that it ever existed (see The Bible Unearthed, by Israeli archaeologists Israel Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman): archaeology-bible.html. Yet it is the basis of promises that Jews will rule those lands again - at Genesis 15: 18, Exodus 23: 30-31, Deut 11: 24, and Josh 1:4.

In the Soviet Union, the 1967 War led to the wave of Jewish emigration: jewish-emigration-ussr.html.

The 1967 War led Jews to leave Poland too, as Jaff Schatz documents in his book The Generation: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Communists of Poland: schatz.html.

Kevin MacDonald's review of The Generation: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Communists of Poland: poland.html.

The Jew in the Lotus: A POET'S REDISCOVERY OF JEWISH IDENTITY IN BUDDHIST INDIA (about dialogue between Jews and Tibetan Buddhists): lotus.html.

(5) The effect of the 1973 Mid-East War on Jewish consciousness

Giles Kepel, The Revenge of God: The Resurgence of Islam, Christianity and Judaism in the Modern World (Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, Pa., 1994).

{p. 141} 4 The Redemption of Israel

In April 1984 the Israeli police arrested members of a Jewish terrorist group suspected of having murdered several students of the Islamic university of Hebron and perpetrated attempts on the lives of Palestinian mayors. The network was brokjen up just as some of its activists were preparing to blow up buses crowded with Arabs. Others had drawn up a plan for dynamiting the Dome of the Rock {see dome.html} and the Al Aksa mosque - the third most sacred place in Islam - situated on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Jewish people's most holy place. {see tmf.html}

Many Israelis were profoundly shocked by the discovery of this 'jewish underground', especially when it was realized that many of the accused belonged to the inner core of Gush Emunim (the Bloc of the Faithful), a politico-religious movement born in the aftermath of the Arab-Israeli war of October 1973, which ended in a psychological defeat for the Jewish state. ...

As it planted more and more settlements in the Occupied Territories (even in defiance of the authorities) and contested every step of the retreat from Sinai that followed the Camp David

{p. 141} accord, the Gush was replacing the legal concept of the State of Israel by the biblical concept of the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael), which legitimated the occupation of the territories by virtue of the specific pact that God made with the Chosen People.

{From the Nile to the Euphrates: 1 Kings 4:2 , Genesis 15:18; Exodus 23:30-31; Deut 11:24; Josh 1:4 - see tmf.html}

{p. 142} In the 1970s the entire Jewish world was affected by a teshuvah (or tshuvah, a term which signifies 'return to Judaism' and 'repentance', that is to say the return to full observance of the Jewish law, the Halakah). The 'penitants' (baalei teshuvah) break with the temptations of secular society and reorganize their existence, basing it solely on the commandments and prophibitions derived from the sacred Jewish texts. This break necessitates a strict separation between Jews and goyim (non-jews, gentiles) in order to combat assimilation, the supreme threat to the perpetuation of the Chosen People. Teshuvah also means, within the Jewish people itself, a redefinition of identity. Merely to be a Jew is not enough: one must observe all 613 of the religious prohibitions and obligations (mitsvot) that regulate Jewish existence, from the most trivial daily bodily functions to the organization of life in society.

The 'return movement' spread, to differing degrees, in countries as different as the United States, the Soviet Union, France and Israel, affecting Jews of many different persuasions: 'assimilated Jews', communists and Zionists, Jews only vaguely aware of their Jewishness and militant supporters of the secular Zionism embodied in the Jewish state.

It was in the mid-1970s that the phenomenon surfaced in various guises: the creation of movements like Gush Emunim (1974); the opening of the great yeshivot (talmudic colleges) in Jerusalem for 'penitents' such as Machoin Meir or Ohr Hahayim (1974); the coming to power of the religious conservative coalition led by Menachem Begin (1977); and the conversion to orthodoxy of former militants who had made a name for themselves in the counter-culture or the left-wing movements of 1968.

{Even Bob Dylan was seen in a synagogue again}

From repentance to proselytism: life histories

For it was at that time that accounts began to appear, written by Jews who previously had been non-religious, secularized or even atheists, celebrating their discovery of religion and calling on their

{p. 143} readers to keep the commandments of the Law. They claimed that their move had been prompted by contemporary 'postmodernism', which was characterized as a crisis of values showing that secularism was at a dead end. As with Protestant Fundamentalism in America, and the Islamicist movements or Communion and Liberation, these enthusiastically religious autobiographers took great care to emphasize that there was absolutely no incompatibility between their zeal for their faith, their minute observance of ritual and their command of the latesrt and most sophisticated knowledge or technology.

{p. 149} The Jewish 1960s revisited

The 1960s brought considerable social, cultural and political changes in societies in which Jews were strongly represented. They were inimical to the ideals of merely nominal Judaism, which dilute the qualities specific to the Chosen People in a universalist humanism. They were the first signs of the many-faceted 'return' movement that really got into its stride in the following decade.

In the United States, two great problems impressed themselves on Jewish consciousness during the decade: conflicts with the Blacks, and the emergence of the counter-culture.

... The Black riots in the mid-1960s, in which Jewish property was more, rather than less, at risk, reminded some among them of the pogroms by Russian or German mobs.

{p. 150} And because young Jews had three times the average representation in higher education, they played an important role in the counter-culture.

{p. 151} When the twentieth anniversary of May 1968 was celebrated, many commentators pondered the 'Jewish nature' of that event - a topic which, some years earlier, would have been dubbed far right anti-semitic propaganda. But in essence such questions show that the discovery of Jewish identity by certain '68 militants was actually retrospective. It was common knowledge that many of the leaders in those uprisings were Jewish. Indeed, there was a joke (one among many) which said that the only reason why Yiddish was not spoken at the politbureau of the largest Trotskyite organisation in France was that one of the committee members was a Sephardic Jew. And although some studies have linked the revolutionary commitment of the May '68 Jews with the fact that their families had been in the immigrant communist movement, the Resistance or the fight against Hitler, the 'Jewish nature' of this commitment was sublimated by the strictly atheistic revolutionary messianism with which left-wing militants were imbued at that time.


(6) Yuri Slezkine on Jewish Radicalism in the New Left

The Jewish Century, by Yuri Slezkine (Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2004)

{p. 348} The Jewish participation in the radical student movements of the 1960s and early 1970s was comparable to the Jewish participation in Eastern European socialism and prewar American Communism. In the first half of the 1960s, Jews (5 percent of all American students) made up between 30 and 50 percent of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) membership and more than 60 percent of its leadership; six out of eleven Steering Committee members of the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley; one-third of the Weathermen arrested by the police; 50 percent of the membership of California's Peace and Freedom Party; two-thirds of the white Freedom Riders who went to the South in 1961 to fight racial segregation; one-third to one-half of the "Mississippi Summer" volunteers of 1964

{p. 349} (and two of the three murdered martyrs); 45 percent of those who protested the release of students' grades to draft boards at the University of Chicago; and 90 percent of the sample of radical activists studied by Joseph Adelson at the University of Michigan. In 1970, in the wake of the invasion of Cambodia and the killing of four students at Kent State (three of whom were Jewish), 90 percent of the Jewish students attending schools at which there were demonstrations claimed to have participated. In a 1970 nationwide poll, 23 percent of all Jewish conege students identified themselves as "far left" (compared to 4 percent of Protestants and 2 percent of Catholics); and a small group of radical activists studied at the University of California was found to be 83 percent Jewish. A large study of student radicalism conducted by the American Council of Education in the late 1960s found that a Jewish background was the single most important predictor of participation in protest activities.

When, in 1971-73, Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter surveyed 1,051 students at Boston University, Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the University of Michigan, they discovered that "53% of the radicals were of Jewish background, as were 63% of those who engaged in seven or more protests, 54% of those who led three or more protests, and 52% of those who formed three or more protest groups." Most important, they found that "the dichotomy between Jews and non-Jews provided the most parsimonious means of accounting for the many other social and psychological aspects of New Left radicalism. ... After examining our results, we concluded that there was little point in dividing the non-Jewish category into several ethnic or denominational components, because these subgroups differed only slightly in their adherence to radical ideas. Jews, by contrast, were substantially more radical than any of the non-Jewish religious or ethnic subgroups."

Among Jews, "radicalism rose substantially as religious orthodoxy declined. Reform Jews were more radical than orthodox or conservative Jews ..., and Jews who specified no further affiliation were more radical still." {endquote}


(7) Rick Kuhn wins the Deutscher Prize

* Tom OLincoln

at 10:53 am on Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rick has won the prize for his study of European Marxist, Henryk Grossman. This is an important book, and of course many of us know the author, so I thought I should write something about it. But then Rick sent me a media release that sums it up pretty well, so here it is.

Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism

The biography of the organizer of down-trodden Jewish workers in Poland who later developed a powerful account of how economic crises occur has won a prestigious international award for its author, Rick Kuhn. His Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism was published this year by University of Illinois Press in paper and hardback, . The Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize is awarded in London every year for a book which exemplifies the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition. In the area of radical social analysis it is the Pulitzer and Booker prizes rolled into one. The eight member jury announced on November 9, that Rick Kuhn had won the prize for 2007 for Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism.

Dr Kuhn is a Reader in Political Science at the Australian National University and a long term political activist. A member of Socialist Alternative, in 2002-2003 he convened the peak anti-war organization in Canberra that campaigned against the invasion of Iraq, in which Australia participated. ÒToday, when governments are using racism to build their popularity and the world economy is in a particularly fragile state,Ó Kuhn said last night. ÒGrossmanÕs experiences and work are more relevant than ever.Ó


Conflict between Blacks & Jews: j-over-b.html.

The early Soviet Union - after Lenin and Trotsky, but before Stalin's ascendancy: soviet-union-early.html.

Making sense of Stalin: stalin.html.

The Communist movement was irretrievably split by the Trotsky/Stalin divide. Jewish communists, over time, moved increasingly to the Trotsky camp, with its ambivalence about the Soviet Union. At first they were inclined to preserve it - hopefully with Trotsky back at the helm. Later they turned against it. Some co-operated with the CIA, and the CIA used them to drive a fatal wedge into the Communist camp: cia-infiltrating-left.html.

Richard Kostelanetz traces the rise of "Marxist Anti-Communism" - the Marxist-Freudian movement in the West - which is anti-Stalin and pro-Trotsky. He says that Jewish-American writers have rerouted the Western intellectual tradition: kostel.html.

Convergence between Capitalism and Communism: convergence.html.

Roger Scruton on the Frankfurt School: correctness.html.

Write to me at contact.html.