A Democratic Socialist's Almanac

A Democratic Socialist's Almanac

A Democratic Socialist’s Almanac is a podcast exploring all things relevant to Socialism today, from the latest scholarship regarding the socialist tradition to socialist reflections on our current moment and where to go from here. Below is a partial prospectus with a subject by subject bibliography. Written by Lelyn R. Masters with a Memphis Music Soundtrack by Harry Koniditsiotis Marx’s Epicurianism Fusaro, Diego. Marx, Epicurus, and the Origins of Historical Materialism. Permanent Press, 2017. The French and Haitian Revolutions Davidson, Ian. The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny. Profile Books, 2016. Furet, François, and Karl Marx. Marx and the French Revolution. University of Chicago Press, 1988. Israel, Jonathan. Revolutionary ideas: an intellectual history of the French Revolution from the Rights of Man to Robespierre. Princeton University Press, 2015. James, Cyril Lionel Robert. The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution. Penguin UK, 2001. Scott, Julius S. The common wind: Afro-American currents in the age of the Haitian Revolution. Verso Books, 2018. Not Marx’s Capital Anderson, Kevin B. Marx at the margins: on nationalism, ethnicity, and non-western societies. University of Chicago Press, 2016. Israel, Jonathan I. The Enlightenment that Failed: Ideas, Revolution, and Democratic Defeat, 1748-1830. Oxford University Press, 2019. Marik, Soma. Revolutionary Democracy: Emancipation in Classical Marxism. Haymarket Books, 2018. Rosenberg, Arthur. Democracy and socialism: a contribution to the political history of the past 150 years. Beacon Press, 1939. Eternal Life, Abolition and Class Brooks, Kinitra D. Searching for Sycorax: Black Women's Hauntings of Contemporary Horror. Rutgers University Press, 2018. Carruthers, Charlene. Unapologetic: A Black, queer, and feminist mandate for radical movements. Beacon Press, 2018. Du Bois, W. E. B. Black Reconstruction In America: An Essay Toward A History Of The Part Which Black Folk Played In The Attempt To Reconstruct Democracy In America, 1860-1880. New York: Russell & Russell [1966, c1935. Print. Foner, Eric. The second founding: How the civil war and reconstruction remade the constitution. WW Norton & Company, 2019. Nadler, Steven. "Spinoza's' Ethics': An Introduction." (2006). World War I, Original Sin and Karl Kautsky Clark, Christopher M. Iron kingdom: the rise and downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947. Harvard University Press, 2006. Clark, Christopher. The sleepwalkers: How Europe went to war in 1914. Penguin UK, 2012. Donald, Moira. Marxism and Revolution: Karl Kautsky and the Russian Marxists, 1900-1924. Yale University Press, 1993. McMeekin, Sean. The Russian Origins of the First World War. Harvard University Press, 2011. Spinoza, Baruch. Spinoza: Complete Works. Hackett Publishing, 2002. Nero, Oreste, Stalin, Trotsky Deutsher, J. "The prophet armed." (1979). Deutscher, Isaac. The prophet unarmed: Trotsky, 1921-1929. Verso, 2003. Sgambato-Ledoux, Isabelle. Oreste et Néron. Spinoza, Freud et le mal. Classiques Garnier, 2017. Trotsky, Leon. History of the Russian revolution. Haymarket Books, 2008. Broué, Pierre. Communistes contre Staline. Fayard, 2003. The Spanish Civil War Reconsidered Beevor, Anthony. "The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939 (London, 2006), 106–7 and 269–70 and Albertí." La Iglesia en llamas: 277-86. Graham, Helen. The Spanish Republic at War 1936-1939. Cambridge University Press, 2002. McKay, Claude. Amiable with Big Teeth. Penguin, 2017. Morrow, Felix. Revolution & Counter Revolution in Spain. Pathfinder Press, 1974. Orwell, George. Homage to Catalonia/Down and Out in Paris and London. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016. A Guide to High Maoism Isaacs, Harold Robert. The tragedy of the Chinese revolution. Haymarket Books, 2010. Lovell, Julia. Maoism: A Global History. Random House, 2019. A History of the Russian Revolution as if Ukraine Mattered Raleigh, Donald J. Provincial landscapes: local dimensions of Soviet power, 1917-1953. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001. Serge, Victor. Midnight in the Century. New York Review of Books, 2014. Snyder, Timothy. Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin. Random House, 2011. Snyder, Timothy, and Tony Judt. Thinking the twentieth century. Random House, 2013. From the Black Panther Party to Ta Nehisi-Coates, a Vanguard in our time Bloom, Joshua, Waldo E. Martin Jr, and Waldo E. Martin. Black against empire: The history and politics of the Black Panther Party. Univ of California Press, 2016. Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the world and me. Text publishing, 2015.APA Johnson, Cedric. Revolutionaries to race leaders: Black power and the making of African American politics. U of Minnesota Press, 2007. McWhorter, Ladelle. Racism and sexual oppression in Anglo-America: A genealogy. Indiana University Press, 2009. Perry, Ravi K. Black mayors, white majorities: The balancing act of racial politics. U of Nebraska Press, 2013. Rothstein, Richard. The color of law: A forgotten history of how our government segregated America. Liveright Publishing, 2017. The 2016 Election, A Fascist in the White House Crenshaw, Kimberle, eds. Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed The Movement. New York : New Press : 1995. Gessen, Masha. The future is history: How totalitarianism reclaimed Russia. Granta Books, 2017. Jamieson, Kathleen Hall. "Cyberwar." How Russian hackers and trolls helped elect a president (2018). Lewis, Michael. The fifth risk: undoing democracy. Penguin UK, 2018. Pomerantsev, Peter. Nothing is true and everything is possible: The surreal heart of the new Russia. Public Affairs, 2014. Snyder, Timothy. The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America. Tim Duggan Books, 2018. Wadhia, Shoba Sivaprasad. "National Security, Immigration and the Muslim Bans." Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 75 (2018): 1475. The Syrian Revolution Abouzeid, Rania. No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria. WW Norton & Company, 2018. Anderson, Eric A. The role of the military in Syria: the Shishakli years (1949-1954). Diss. 1971. al-Dik, Majd and Nathalie Bontemps (tr). A l'est de Damas, au bout du monde. Témoignage d'un révolutionnaire syrien: Témoignage d'un révolutionnaire syrien. Don Quichotte, 2016. Batatu, Hanna. Syria's peasantry, the descendants of its lesser rural notables, and their politics. Princeton University Press, 1999. Dagher, Sam. Assad Or We Burn the Country: How One Family's Lust for Power Destroyed Syria. Hachette UK, 2019. Hourani, Albert. A history of the Arab peoples: Updated edition. Faber & Faber, 2013. Kassab, Elizabeth Suzanne. Enlightenment on the Eve of Revolution: The Egyptian and Syrian Debates. Columbia University Press, 2019. Majed, Ziad. Syrie, la révolution orpheline. Éditions Actes Sud, 2018. Memmi, Albert. Decolonization and the Decolonized. U of Minnesota Press, 2006. Memmi, Albert. The colonizer and the colonized. Routledge, 2013. Minoui, Delphine. Les Passeurs de livres de Daraya: Une biblioteque secrete en Syrie. Editions du Seuil, 2017. Pearlman, Wendy R. We crossed a bridge and it trembled: Voices from Syria. Custom House, 2017. Rogan, Eugene. The Arabs: a history. Basic Books, 2012. Sentence to Hope: A Sa'dallah Wannous Reader. Yale University Press, 2019. Singh, Naunihal. Seizing power: The strategic logic of military coups. JHU Press, 2014. Sirees, Nihad. The Silence and the Roar. Pushkin Press, 2013. Yassin-Kassab, Robin, and Leila Al-Shami. Burning country: Syrians in revolution and war. Pluto Press, 2018. Yazbek, Samar. The Crossing: My journey to the shattered heart of Syria. Rider Books, 2015. And Much More!

Episodes

November 2, 2020 28 min
_[This episode was recorded live at Five and Dime at noon on August 14, 2020] _ That’s it for the first season of A Democratic Socialist’s Almanac. Some odds and ends may float up afterwards, some updates or conversations, but further episodes will not add anything essential to what has been said here. The goal was to articulate a particular vision. If success were measured by a change in the attitudes of the bulk of the US left...
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Mr. Jennings taught me US History in High School. Music by Harry
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August 4, 2020 65 min
Regardless of whether I agree with Joe Biden’s politics, after reading about him in depth I really like Joe Biden. I did not expect to like Joe Biden. I expected to find him to be an acceptable alternative to Donald Trump. But now I have real hope that a Biden presidency could transform our nation. Hear me out! In 2010 Jules Witcover published an excellent biography of Joe Biden entitled: “Joe Biden: A Life of Trial and Redempt...
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July 30, 2020 54 min
[correction: At the 2019 DSA National Convention it was proposition 15 that defined the DSA position as Bernie-or-Bust, not proposition 32 as I mis-state in the episode. From the motion to adopt: "Primary motivation: We endorsed Bernie whether or not you agree. But if he fails to gain the Democratic nomination, we need to decide what to do. My reso says we know that the other Democratic Party politicians don’t jive with DSA....
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July 28, 2020 70 min
[Correction: I tried really hard to say "Ukraine" and not "The Ukraine" but I didn't get every instance. I'm very sorry. It's a hard habit to break. I mean no disrespect. ] The fate of Ukraine is now intimately tied to American politics, and oddly American politics seems doomed now precisely because we have failed Ukraine in some important ways. Hopefully by the end of this podcast you’ll understand...
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July 23, 2020 46 min
[update: here is a link to the OPCW report regarding responsibility for the 2014 chemical weapons attack in Eastern Ghoutta:   https://www.opcw.org/sites/default/files/documents/2020/04/s-1867-2020%28e%29.pdf ] Now that we’ve put Syrian voices first in explaining how the revolution first came about, we should discuss western involvement in Syria through this period. American involvement in Syria in the past decade has not been h...
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July 21, 2020 43 min
The Syrian revolution, any revolution, should not serve as a confirmation of received political ideas, but rather as a challenge to all that has heretofore been thought. We are not here to supply Syrians with an ideology that would have succeeded in their situation, but to ourselves be transformed in the light and heat of their actions. Some claim that we as Americans must focus on the enemy at home, but if we ourselves cannot sh...
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July 16, 2020 68 min
Joseph Daher is an internationalist, a Socialist, a Swiss-Syrian revolutionary and academic working in Switzerland. His most recent: Syria, We want to live http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article6710&utmsource=dlvr.it&utmmedium=facebook COVID-19 and the Syrian Regime – an Opportunity to Tighten its Authoritarian Control over Society http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/beirut/16329-20200708.pdf ...
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July 14, 2020 57 min
A Democratic Socialist’s Almanac has finally arrived in our own times. To begin our discussion of where we are and what our tasks are, let me first of all lift up Stacey Abrams. In 2018 Stacey Abrams ran for Governor of Georgia, and when she showed up to vote for herself she was at first denied because the records wrongly showed that she had already voted in absentia. She very narrowly lost that election, but she did use her new...
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July 9, 2020 58 min
I have a few friends and acquaintances who are Maoists, so let me just put this out there: if I say something here about Maoism that is unfair or untrue @ me. For real, I’ll be doing a whole episode of legit corrections. I hope you listen to this all the way through, and give it some serious reflection. And I hope it makes you want to know your own tradition better, because all the times I’ve ever talked to Maoists about wha...
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July 7, 2020 64 min
Albert Memmi was a Tunisian Jew born in 1920, a philosopher and political thinker educated at the Sorbonne. He was also an activist and revolutionary who fought for Tunisian independence, which was achieved in 1952. The new state of Tunisia made Islam the official religion of state and published several anti-Jewish decrees, so Memmi found himself officially excluded from a state which he had supported before its founding and inde...
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July 2, 2020 62 min
From: https://www.versobooks.com/authors/266-paul-buhle "Paul Buhle is the author or editor of more than three-dozen books. Formerly a Senior Lecturer at Brown University, he produces radical comics today. He founded the SDS Journal Radical America and the archive Oral History of the American Left and, with Mari Jo Buhle, is coeditor of the Encyclopedia of the American Left. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin." After the inter...
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Correction: I cannot find anywhere Stalin uses the phrase "internal colonization." What Stalin did was colonization, and forcible starvation of millions of people, a world historic moral crime. There are no factual errors in the account presented here, other than this mistake about a phrase. Stalin called his crimes "collectivization," a disgusting euphemism designed to cover over his evil deed. My understanding...
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I have a lot of sympathy for the view that the Spanish Civil War was a terrible tragedy. The attempts people make to impose on events a spin that supports their ideological priors are all less convincing the more one knows about the conflict. Nevertheless, imperfect knowledge is not complete ignorance, and there’s a lot to learn from the sad story of the Spanish Republic. The Spanish Civil War is an important event in world histo...
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[extensive fact checking of Reid-Ross' Multi-Polar Spin article at the bottom] On April 25th I was blessed to be able to interview Alexander Reid-Ross. Before our interview he was good enough to give written responses to my questions, and those are presented below. How would you like to be introduced on the podcast? Alexander Reid Ross, PhD candidate at Portland State University and doctoral fellow at Centre for the Analysis o...
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Some of my listeners, I hope, are committed antifascists, people who show up in public to fight the fash. Welcome, brothers and sisters! I too have counterprotested the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups. We deplatform them and deny them a legitimate presence in the public square. This is all for the good. The German SPD also did those things, and they were organised for fighting fascists on a much grander scale t...
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June 16, 2020 71 min
Spinoza is often thought of as the thinker who stated most strongly that might makes right. “By the right of Nature, then, I understand the laws or rules of Nature in accordance with which all things come to be; that is, the very power of Nature. So the natural right of Nature as a whole, and consequently the natural right of every individual, is coextensive with its power. Consequently, whatever each man does from the laws of h...
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Before we talk about WWI I want to discuss the problem of evil. Some of my listeners may not know the Trolley problem. In the Trolley problem you are driving a Trolley, and it is hurtling down a track at a group of people. You can switch the trolley onto another track where there is only one person. Should you allow a group of people to die, or choose that one person should die? There are endless variations on this basic scena...
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Jason Hicks recently received an MA in Social Ethics from Union Theological Seminary and along with the Degree received the Charles Briggs award. I met Jason as part of activism in solidarity with the Arab Spring, and in this podcast we discuss his article laying out the socialist case for supporting Joe Biden for President. You should also take time to read his article, his book suggestion and other related materials linked belo...
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June 4, 2020 32 min
The first socialists were not political. Groups like the followers of St. Simon were trying to block themselves away from the rest of society and create a utopia as an example to everyone else. At the same time you had radical democrats, many of whom remembered the French revolution as a kind of lost glory or lost opportunity. Marx was one of these radical Democrats. Some say that in the late 1840s he became a socialist, which ...
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