US imperialism is sophisticated and insidious. Although reliant on outright force and invasion when needed, it is also capable of much more nuanced tactics. The US has overthrown around 100 governments in the last century and has covertly stewarded the politics of many more. It is not controversial to point out that the shadowy limbs of the US state are effective at this task. Nonetheless, there continues to be much talk about the frustration of US goals in Iraq, and to a lesser degree, in Syria and Libya. …

A common element in the leftist resurgence in the Euro-American world is a reductive approach to defining what qualifies someone as a ‘leftist.’ Newer and younger members of organizations like the UK Labour Party or the US DSA try to forego any connection to previously existing leftist identities (like Leninists, Trotskyists, etc); viewing such labels as the domain of the sectarian dinosaurs of the Old Left. But in their attempt to create a new post-sectarian identity, they have created a new factious politics that is inherently unable to build political power. …

The recent independence referendum in Catalonia (and the concurrent crackdown by the Spanish state) have led to a great deal of confusion in the left. The variety of different actors and different interests has muddled the ability to generate quick takes on what is happening. As always, a dialectical, historical, and materialist analysis of the different players and events can help unravel the complexity of the situation.

Some have been quick to essentialize the referendum into eternal judgments on self-determination, separatism, and constitutional law. Others have pulled at one particular string to develop an incomplete assessment of the situation.


Ali Terrenoire

Between the darkness and the dawn, there rises a red star.

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