- Oh yeah: see also The New York Review of (Little Red) Books, Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, January 30, 2008…
Uncle Joe was quite a guy, and it’s little wonder that he continues to inspire Youth — especially as gaiety was the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union. Of course, I trust no one, not even myself. Further, gratitude is a sickness suffered by dogs. And unfortunately, history shows that there are no invincible armies, while education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed. Put simply, everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach. Speaking of which, the Stalinist League of Australia has reached the shores of Fark, and is there striking Terror into the assembled ranks of nerds, goths, fat people, oldies, geeks and capitalists. This will no doubt gladden the heart of the League (latterly also known as the Soviet Left Faction). As for me, I believe in one thing only, the power of human will.
Another believer in human will is Bob Avakian, the reclusive leader of the largest Maoist sect in the U$A, the Revolutionary Communist Party. He’s been profiled in The Boston Globe by a capitalist running-dog named Mark Oppenheimer (Free Bob Avakian!, January 28, 2008):
IT WAS HARD to miss, splashed recently across a full page of The New York Review of Books: an advertisement featuring the boldface words, “Dangerous times demand courageous voices. Bob Avakian is such a voice.”
Wrapped around those words, Talmud-page-style, were, to the left, a short essay about the importance of Avakian’s “compelling approach to Marxism” and, to the right, a list of dozens of signatories, including academic superstars like Cornel West, performers like Rickie Lee Jones and Chuck D., and activists like Cindy Sheehan.
Some of the signatories were regulars on left-wing petitions, but even for people often associated with radical causes, signing a pro-Avakian ad seemed bizarre. Did they not know what he stands for – or did they just not care?
Avakian is the chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, a tiny Maoist organization whose most visible activity is running several branches of a store called Revolution Books. (There’s a branch on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge.) Through the bookstores, the party’s website and newspaper, and his prolific pamphleteering, Avakian has advanced his views: Mao Zedong’s China was “wondrous,” according to Avakian’s autobiography, and, despite the show trials, mass purges, and other acts of tyranny that Avakian acknowledges, Joseph Stalin had “an overall positive historical role.”
Locally, the remnants of the Maoists Down Under are assembled at the little red website Last Superpower. From there they lob ideological grenades at what they term the fake Left. In their own words: “This site was established by leftwingers who support the war in Iraq. We called it “Last Superpower” because we believe that US imperialism is weaker than it has ever been before and is no longer the almighty superpower it makes itself out to be. This is a place for people who want to discuss what it really means to be progressive and left-wing in the 21st century – and where we can go from here.”
The real Left, on the other hand, consists of (other) private school boys turned revolutionaries turned functionaries. Like, say, Jim Bacon. Thus, on the one hand:
Jim Bacon was not just a student activist at Monash University. He was a leader of the Young Communist League and the Worker Student Alliance, and remained a revolutionary when he moved on to the labour movement. He was a disciplined Marxist-Leninist until he withdrew honourably from the Red Eureka Movement in the late 1970s.
Like many others, he was no theoretician, and his commitment to revolutionary communism waned during the decades between high tides. But Jim never repudiated his original stand and remained on the side of the oppressed against oppressors…
[*See also Sushi Das, ‘ASIO files full of Hyde and seek’, The Age, September 23, 2005: “FOR years he thought he was just being paranoid. Now he knows the truth. A few months ago, after a freedom-of-information request, author Michael Hyde finally got all 13 files ASIO had kept on him between 1967 and 1974.”]
While on the other:
The selling-out of Tasmania
July 22, 2004
Among the many bewildering responses to former Tasmanian premier Jim Bacon’s passing, few came more bizarre than that of Albert Langer and his colleagues (“Vale comrade Jim Bacon”, on this page on July 2) presenting Bacon as ever “on the side of the oppressed against the oppressors”. Unfortunately, history tells a less uplifting tale.
Under Bacon, Tasmania was given away to the rich at the expense of the poor… clearfelling of globally unique native forest accelerated… forests disappeared, rivers began drying up, thousands of protected native animals were killed with 1080, and Gunns shares increased in value by more than 700 per cent.
Then there is Bacon’s record on democracy. In 1997 Bacon drove the deal with the Liberals under which Tasmania’s highly democratic electoral system was fundamentally altered to reduce minority representation, which had resulted in the Greens twice having the balance of power. The result was an enfeebled parliament.
Bacon had no tolerance of dissenting opinions, making no secret of his fury with those who differed from his point of view, no matter how small the difference.
Hailed as a champion of the arts, Bacon famously attacked Tasmanian artists and writers who spoke out against his policies as “cultural fascists” (a term coined by Stalin), signalling clearly to his bureaucracy who was and wasn’t going to be part of Bacon’s much-trumpeted New Tasmania.
None of this, though, was to interfere with the myth of the great leader being woven around the man whose nickname was the Emperor. Jim Bacon began as a Maoist and ended up a mini-Mao, his funeral replete with oversize imagery, overwrought testimonies and apparatchiki falling over each other to prostrate themselves…
Fucking Maoists. On which point: Rage Against the Machine done gone toured Australia, spreading the revolutionary Gospel and pocketing approximately $3 million in the process. Huh! / Yeah, we’re comin’ back then with another bombtrack / Think ya know what it’s all about / Huh! / Hey yo, so check this out / Yeah! / Know your enemy! / Come on!
THE Big Day Out series of youth concerts is a massive event—more than 40 bands are appearing on one of seven stages in each of the six cities (Sydney, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland) hosting the event—and organisers will earn roughly $30m in ticket sales alone. But the event is just as important for the sponsors, as they are able to interact with their customers while they are having fun, and their brands are associated with something all concert-goers love—music.
Concert festivals are growing in popularity, with more than a dozen being held around the country. Livid, Splendour in the Grass, Good Vibrations and Field Day are just some that have emerged in the past few years. But it was the Big Day Out that set the standard and now, 12 [sic] years after its first event, sponsors are lining up to get on board.
According to Adam Zammit, principal of Peer Group Media, which has the commercial rights to several festivals including the Big Day Out, about 55% of the crowd is aged between 18–24, 30% is aged 25–32 and 15% is aged 16–18. “This group is hard to reach and there are not a lot of events like this,” Zammit says. [Marketers have] so much desire for brands to get down and dirty and often their only chance to do this is in the retail environment. “The beauty of these experiences is that they are interactive and [can’t be replicated] elsewhere. It is also unusual because the brands are giving something back. “It is at the beginning of the year so [attendees] return to school and uni talking about the event and are generally seen as opinion leaders by their peers,” Zammit says.
Whether they want to supply refreshing water, a place to chill out or the opportunity to go backstage, sponsors are spending up big to interact with this hard-to-reach youth demographic. Morph Monitors account manager Lauren Prince says when targeting this extremely mobile, highly independent decision-making generation, licensing is becoming critical. “Marketers are borrowing the equity of a license—it’s what gets these consumers to look at their brands,” Prince says…
Eat the shit up kids!
See also : U2’s Manager Calls For Mandatory Disconnects For Music Downloaders, Slashdot, January 29, 2008 | Silicon Valley’s hippy values ‘killing music industry’, Owen Gibson, The Guardian, January 29, 2008 | Axis of Justice