Category: History

Class Struggle Built the Swedish Welfare State

Swedish social democracy produced one of the most humane societies in history. That wouldn’t have happened without a militant labor movement and a working-class political party.

Source: Class Struggle Built the Swedish Welfare State

Trump uses January 6 to double down on his coup while Fox News pretends it never happened | Media Matters for America

Fox democracy

Let’s be clear from the jump: The pretext for the January 6 attacks were the incessant lies that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. That talk came from not just former President Donald Trump but also his allies, including Fox News.

Source: Trump uses January 6 to double down on his coup while Fox News pretends it never happened | Media Matters for America

In Algeria’s Freedom Struggle, the Spirit of Frantz Fanon Is Still Alive

Critical lessons from Frantz Fanon

Hamza Hamouchene Frantz Fanon died 60 years ago today. In his last decade, he was deeply involved in Algeria’s anti-colonial struggle — providing lessons that can still be used in the country’s fight against dictatorship today.

Source: In Algeria’s Freedom Struggle, the Spirit of Frantz Fanon Is Still Alive

Sam Frost knows nothing about segregation: white settlers co-opting terms used to oppress

Comments like Frost’s demonstrate ignorance towards the many structural inequalities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and other marginalised peoples in Australia.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are also battling vaccine and COVID misinformation. Commentary from Frost and other Instagram influencers is not only dangerous, but also spreads inaccurate narratives of white victimhood.

It is a privilege to reject life-saving health interventions while others experience structural barriers to appropriate medical care.

Source: Sam Frost knows nothing about segregation: white settlers co-opting terms used to oppress

The Hawke Files and the Birth of the 51st State – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The close relationship between actors in Australian and US intelligence of course goes back prior to the Prime Ministership of Whitlam, as evidenced by Australia’s secret role in the overthrowal of the Allende Government in Chile and the Sukarno Government in Indonesia.

As the war hawks today swirl at the spectre of a Chinese paper tiger, it seems we are locked into a more offensive UK-US alliance structure and a government determined to undermine our rights and welfare at every turn. What a betrayal those days of Hawke now seem to those who long for a country that supports social justice and an independent foreign policy. Surely this is the task of a new Labor Government.

 

Source: The Hawke Files and the Birth of the 51st State – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Trump Albatross around Joe Biden’s Neck

Trump knew he had a very short time to break everything and he did. Because he knew it takes much longer to fix things. However he was the one who did it.

Trump was a true rule-breaker who did manage to do quite a lot in the international arena, where he had far greater leeway to make changes beyond congressional control. Much of that activity was destructive, because Trump proved quite adept at smashing things. Indeed, Trump smashed things—the Iran nuclear deal, détente with Cuba—not just because of a peevish desire to destroy his predecessor’s legacy but as part of a scorched-earth policy to FUBAR the federal government for generations to come. As a result, Biden will spend much of his term picking up the pieces—and that’s a whole lot harder when you’re in handcuffs.

Source: The Trump Albatross around Joe Biden’s Neck

You Know Who Else Opposed Vaccine Mandates? Hitler.

Contrary to claims about “fascist” vaccine mandates currently circulating on the Right, the Nazis actually relaxed German vaccine mandates — and hoped doing the same for people they conquered would kill them faster.

Source: You Know Who Else Opposed Vaccine Mandates? Hitler.

Who were Australia’s best prime ministers? We asked the experts

Who have been Australia’s most accomplished prime ministers? Curiously, it’s a question that is seldom asked. We enthusiastically compile lists of the greatest films or sporting champions, but rarely do we apply the same energy to thinking about prime-ministerial virtuosity.

Source: Who were Australia’s best prime ministers? We asked the experts

Truth-telling paves the way to a brighter future

Aunty Geraldine Atkinson of the First Peoples’ Assembly with acting Premier James Merlino and (right) Marcus Stewart at the launch of the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission earlier this year.

The commission will bring the good, the bad and the ugly; imperatives that will help us identify who we are and importantly, where we are going. My hopes? That truth-telling will move to restore Indigenous culture and identity and empower Indigenous people to take control of their future; financially, economically and socially. If we are to measure ourselves in terms of our maturity as a society, then mature societies own the entire history. We don’t get to pick the bits we like, we must own the lot. The fact that Victoria has stepped up to the mark to do this, by way of the commission, shows a level of maturity that other jurisdictions must move towards.

Source: Truth-telling paves the way to a brighter future

HBO’s ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’ Is a Masterpiece | Time

Josh Hartnett in 'Exterminate All the Brutes'This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is GettyImages-86037076-1-1200x1200.jpg

Though he is unsparing in his accounts of colonial violence, Peck’s endgame is not to make white viewers wallow in lonely self-hatred; it’s to encourage change. Citing Rwanda, he argues that the conditions that enabled the Holocaust were not unique, and that humanity will keep committing atrocities until we take a stark look at our history and choose not to repeat it. No wonder Peck feels an affinity for Baldwin, who framed white America’s repressed guilt over centuries of cruelty to Black America as the root of both groups’ misery. “To accept one’s past—one’s history—is not the same thing as drowning in it,” he wrote, “it is learning how to use it.” To that end, Exterminate All the Brutes makes an electrifying instruction manual.

Source: HBO’s ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’ Is a Masterpiece | Time

and

Everything We Learned From Raoul Peck’s ‘Exterminate All The Brutes’ Documentary

Money Honey: An Abridged Review of Some Truly Rotten Bastards, From Then and Now | The Smirking Chimp

Which brings us to the present, where the bastards have metastasized and proliferated until the whole country is threatened. The cancerous growth on the dark side of our politics and the mean and brutish side of our natures has swollen to monstrous size.

Money Honey: An Abridged Review of Some Truly Rotten Bastards, From Then and Now | The Smirking Chimp

UK, USA and horizontal societies

The Anglo-Saxon freak show. 64060.jpeg

The acts are now facts, they happened. Today I am sure while the USA would have no qualms whatsoever about entering a war or bombing campaign against any other country on Earth for whatever reason (Washington after all since the turn of the millennium has proved itself to be the Queen of Liars), I would wager that the United Kingdom would not dare to behave today the way in which it behaved in the past when it had the power and the weapons to mow down defenceless “natives”: “Shoot when you see the whites of their eyes, what?” I would also wager that most Britons would be horrified if someone told them the full McCoy about their history.

via UK, USA and horizontal societies

‘The Government Can’t Airbrush History’: National Archives Denounced for Blurring Out Anti-Trump Signs in Women’s March Photos | Common Dreams News

A detail from an unaltered version of a photograph that the National Archive admitted it doctored to remove anti-Trump references. The picture was taken at the Women's March on Washington,D.C. on January 21, 2017. Massive crowds attended the anti-Trump rally a day after U.S. President Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th U.S. president. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

“It is the job of the National Archives to document history, not alter it to serve the president’s ego.”

“Apologizing is not enough,” she said. “The National Archives must explain to the public why it even took the Orwellian step of trying to rewrite history and erasing women’s bodies from it, as well as who ordered it.”

via ‘The Government Can’t Airbrush History’: National Archives Denounced for Blurring Out Anti-Trump Signs in Women’s March Photos | Common Dreams News

From 1968 to 2018: Angela Davis on Freedom Struggles Then and Now, and the Movements of the Future | Democracy Now!

Legendary scholar and activist Angela Davis’s work around issues of gender, race, class and prisons has influenced critical thought and social movements across several generations. Amy Goodman sat down with her in Washington, D.C., in October to discuss freedom struggles over the past 50 years, and where people’s movements are going next.

via From 1968 to 2018: Angela Davis on Freedom Struggles Then and Now, and the Movements of the Future | Democracy Now!

Far right urging of jailing of Political Rivals linked in History with Bombings

The mass right wing parties of Europe in the 1920s and 1930s were led by charismatic leaders who whipped up the hatreds of mobs by denouncing immigrants and ethnic and religious groups as threats to the nation and as terrorists and saboteurs.

Somehow when politicians set such a tone, in which alternative political leaders and movements are not just seen as a legitimate loyal opposition, but are depicted as criminal traitors who must be locked up, one thing that happens is that bombs start to go off, planted by members of the far Right parties.

If you don’t believe me about the connection, consider a few news articles from the 1920s and early 1930s, as the Fascists came to power in Italy and increasingly agitated in Germany:

via Far right urging of jailing of Political Rivals linked in History with Bombings

Queering the past: the learned absence of homosexuality in Australian history | Overland literary journal

lel

I have been studying Australian history both in an academic setting and as a general interest for a number of years now (not including the minimum education we all received throughout primary and early secondary school – the overview of colonialism and Captain Cook, some history of Indigenous Australia and the 1850s Victorian gold rush). Thanks to second-wave feminism and the establishment of women’s history as a legitimate field of study, I can read into the nation’s past to examine the perspectives and experiences of Australian women, and these histories are only continuing to expand. What I have real difficulty in finding is any information on Australia’s queer history, not so much in the late twentieth-century when pride activism became prominent, but in our colonial and pre-colonial period. There is a lack of resources in this area, and an even greater lack of discussion in the academic and education fields.

via Queering the past: the learned absence of homosexuality in Australian history | Overland literary journal

#NineFairfax deal end of an era for Australia’s media titans

Now, following last year’s changes to media control and diversity rules, Nine and Fairfax Media have “merged”. It seems more like a takeover, with 51.1 per cent of equity to be held by Nine. The CEO, Hugh Marks and chair of the board, another former Treasurer, in this case Liberal Peter Costello, will come from Nine. The new company will be known as NEC (Nine Entertainment Co.).

If shareholders and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approve the transaction, the Fairfax name will be gone from the Australian media.

Two companies, with very different histories and cultures, will be forced to work together in the never-ending search for efficencies and revenue in a brutal landscape for newspapers, magazines and television.

Frank and Kerry Packer (whose 1990s attempt to gain control of John Fairfax & Sons was stymied) are no doubt dancing a jig in heaven (or in hell), as the television company they founded is on the cusp of gaining control of the press assets they envied. Rupert Murdoch remains Australia’s last media titan.

via #NineFairfax deal end of an era for Australia’s media titans

Finding the truth amid Israel’s lies | The Electronic Intifada

The famous – and by now overused – expression that history is written by the victors can be countered in many ways. One way is by unpacking the victors’ publications in order to expose the lies, fabrications and misrepresentations, as well as their less conscious actions.

A rereading of these open sources about the Nakba, mostly written by Israelis themselves, unlocks fresh historiographical perspectives on the big picture of that period – while declassified documents allow us to see that picture in a higher resolution.

This reprise could have been done at any moment between 1948 and today – as long as historians were willing to employ the critical lens needed for such an examination.

via Finding the truth amid Israel’s lies | The Electronic Intifada

The Paris riots of May 1968: How the frustrations of youth brought France to the brink of revolution | The Independent

 

Fifty years ago today the streets of Paris staged a battle between 6,000 student demonstrators and 1,500 gendarmes – within days it had snowballed into civil dispute that saw 10 million French workers go on general strike and brought the economy to a virtual halt. Andreas Whittam Smith recalls the events of ‘Mai 68’

via The Paris riots of May 1968: How the frustrations of youth brought France to the brink of revolution | The Independent

Lesson from an ancient town: Dark ages pass, but knowledge is forever

With Europe into its so-called Dark Ages, the Islamic world was entering its Golden Age.

The House of Wisdom, between the 8th and 13th centuries, attracted Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars from throughout the known world to study and translate the tracts that had underpinned modern thought to that time into Arabic.

Every important and available book and paper known to exist was collected for translation from Greek, Latin, Persian, Indian and even Chinese sources.

By the 9th century, the House of Wisdom contained the world’s largest library, and up to 500 scholars worked feverishly on their own discoveries.

The idea that the Earth was round, its circumference measurable, was no stranger here. Physicians investigated the causes of infection. The number zero, invented as a useful concept in India, reached Baghdad somewhere around AD 770 and became a crucial element in mathematics. Without zero there would never have been a computer, let alone Google.

The pleasure of harnessing knowledge spread rapidly across Arab North Africa, through refined cities like Fez, and beyond.

via Lesson from an ancient town: Dark ages pass, but knowledge is forever

50 Years After My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, Revisiting the Slaughter the U.S. Military Tried to Hide | Democracy Now!

S1 my lai massacre 50 years later

50 Years After My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, Revisiting the Slaughter the U.S. Military Tried to Hide | Democracy Now!

and

The GI Resistance Continues: Vietnam Vets Return to My Lai, Where U.S. Slaughtered 500 Civilians

The Barnaby Affair: Are the Liberals up to making him go?

PRECEDENT IN HISTORY

Not so 50 years ago this month, when the elastic-sided boot was on the other foot and the then leader of the Country Party (later re-named National Party), John McEwen, made it public he would not continue in Coalition with the Liberals if one William McMahon became its leader.

Prime Minister Harold Holt had drowned in the surf, but heir apparent McMahon was seen as too much of a free-trader – a neo-con – while McEwen, the farmer, was hard in favour of tariff protection and campaigned against “dumping” of overseas produced goods at low prices in Australia. He thought of McMahon, morally, as a poor kind of man — as a chronic leaker of Government business to journalists.

We also heard, in grubby whispers, he was influenced by the rumours about McMahon being gay, a story famously junked in that vernacular exclamation from McMahon’s wife Sonia:

“Bill’s not a homo!”

The National Party in those days were all for “conservative values”, no exemptions for sexual licence of any kind, even for party leaders.

via The Barnaby Affair: Are the Liberals up to making him go?

In article on Jerusalem, New York Times falsifies history of 1948, 1967 | The Electronic Intifada

Whitewashing history

This is a gross whitewashing of history, clearly aimed at erasing from the record Israel’s well-documented and systematic ethnic cleansing of the majority Palestinian population whose presence on the land stood in the way of the Zionist goal of creating a “Jewish state.”

In fact, in the months before Israel’s “independence” was declared on 15 May, and before any Arab armies had intervened, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was already well under way.

The Zionist leadership finalized its “Plan Dalet” to expel Palestinians in March 1948. Palestinians from the cities of Haifa and Jaffa, and dozens of villages, had already been expelled before 15 May. The notorious massacre by Zionist forces in the village of Deir Yassin took place on 9 April, and by early May it is estimated that up to 250,000 Palestinians had already fled or been forced from their homes.

By the end of Israel’s so-called “War of Independence,” some 750,000 Palestinians out of 1.2 million had been displaced and more than 500 cities, towns and villages had been destroyed or depopulated.

Accurately reporting this chronology would make it impossible to sustain Israeli myths about 1948, or to obscure events, as The New York Times does, as mere violence by “both sides.In article on Jerusalem, New York Times falsifies history of 1948, 1967 | The Electronic Intifada

Australian homophobia is deeply rooted in its colonial past | Rodney Croome | Opinion | The Guardian

In our early 19th century single-sex prisons the only bond strong enough to withstand the inducements to inform on your fellows, and the punishments meted out to surly inmates, was romantic love.This is why prison officials went to such extreme lengths to separate same-sex convict couples by relocating them to prisons hundreds of kilometres apart.Their fears were real. Same-sex bonds were at the centre of prison rebellions like the flash mob at the Cascades Female Factory or the Ring on Norfolk Island.

Source: Australian homophobia is deeply rooted in its colonial past | Rodney Croome | Opinion | The Guardian

‘The Vietnam War’: The killing of history

The “meaning” of the Vietnam War is no different from the meaning of the genocidal campaign against the Native Americans, the colonial massacres in the Philippines, the atomic bombings of Japan, the levelling of every city in North Korea. The aim was described by Colonel Edward Lansdale, the famous CIA man on whom Graham Greene based his central character in The Quiet American.Quoting Robert Taber’s The War of the Flea, Lansdale said: “There is only one means of defeating an insurgent people who will not surrender, and that is extermination. There is only one way to control a territory that harbours resistance, and that is to turn it into a desert.”

Source: ‘The Vietnam War’: The killing of history

Rewriting our history is not the way to go

Let’s start with a history lesson. Lieutenant James Cook did not “discover” what became known as Australia, or as it then was in the logbooks of early Dutch mariners – Terra Australis Incognita (the unknown southern land).

Source: Rewriting our history is not the way to go

Cape York Indigenous community of Coen flips the roles in violent colonial photos – RN – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A new photography project is confronting the violent reality of colonialism in a remote Indigenous community in Cape York.

Source: Cape York Indigenous community of Coen flips the roles in violent colonial photos – RN – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The tragically powerful story behind the lone German who refused to give Hitler the Nazi salute | Europe | News | The Independent

nazi12.png

Adopted by the Nazi Party in the 1930s, Hitler’s infamous “sieg heil” (meaning “hail victory”) salute was mandatory for all German citizens as a demonstration of loyalty to the Führer, his party, and his nation. August Landmesser, the lone German refusing to raise a stiff right arm amid Hitler’s presence at a 1936 rally, had been a loyal Nazi. Landmesser joined the Nazi Party in 1931 and began to work his way up the ranks of what would become the only legal political affiliation in the country.

Source: The tragically powerful story behind the lone German who refused to give Hitler the Nazi salute | Europe | News | The Independent

History suggests the Islamic State could convince the US it deserves to exist | VICE News

History suggests there are certain criteria that allow insurgents and revolutionaries, even ones with histories of brutal behavior, to engage with the United States.

Source: History suggests the Islamic State could convince the US it deserves to exist | VICE News