I just wanted to expand or clarify a few issues from raised by todays ‘Monday interview’ concerning myself and this blog that was published in todays RG.
In the picture concerning the Anti-Racism Rally the caption reads:
“In December 2006, anti-racism rally organiser jonathan Starling stepped in after Portuguese activist Robert Pires angrily approached the podium after speaker, former Senator Calvin Smith made controversial comments and was heckled. Mr Starling asked Mr. Smith to finish his speech.”
The Rally was actually held on July 14th, 2006. This date was chosen partly due to its closeness to the attack that inspired it, and also due to the symbolism of the July 14th storming of the Bastille with the idea to storm the bastille of racism that still holds sway in our society, and the call of the French revolution for liberty and equality for all, that inspired the revolutionaries in Haiti. I had asked the honorary French representative to speak, and he really wanted to, but due to the short notice of organising the event it proved impractical, similarly with many others who wanted to speak but who had scheduling conflicts. Readers should recall the event was largely organised within 72 hours, which is not always conducive to getting all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed. The caption itself may be misintepreted as implying that I asked Brother Calvin Smith to end his speech. Rather, I asked that he avoid the hecklers and not to get distracted from his original point, and to finish his speech as he had intended. just wanted to make sure there weren’t any misperceptions on that.
On the reference to me not liking drunkards, that is true. But it shouldn’t be mistaken as implying that I have a puritanical approach to alcohol. Those close to me are having a good laugh at that implication. I advocate responsible consumption of this drug, and while the occassional drunken episode happens to us all, I generally view drunkeness as a symptom of a wrong approach to alcohol consumption, and I do not enjoy the company of drunkards.
It notes that I support Independence. This is entirely true, although I fear I mangled myself on this issue. Firstly, I advocate the formation of a British Federal Republic, ultimately with the inclusion of the entire Commonwealth into a Federl Republic on a voluntary basis, no doubt with the federal capital being moved to india should that occur. Realistically I see Bermudian independence and subsequent unification with a Caribbean Federal Republic as a more likely development. All the same I think former colonial citizens should at the very least recieve home fees and visa-free travel to the UK as ‘…the least they could do for the crimes committed during the empire.’
I do support full and expanded conscription, but with a radical change to the existing model that is the Regiment. I envision combining it military training with first year college level technical and academic education and a National Service type system. I find the focus of the existing model on field infantry tactics as pointless as they are useless from the perspective of defending Bermuda from an invading military force. Only an urban guerrila resistance approach to such an invasion would have any realistic chance of defeating an invasion, or, at the very least, increasing the cost of such an invasion to such a degree as to make it prohibitive for the invading force. Greater emphasis on post-hurricane reconstruction and coastguard services are also necessary.
When the Soviets came they were full of ideas and passion for the idea of ‘socialism with a human face’ as gorbachev called it, and the debates raged over glasnost, perestroika and the like. Many were oncerned that the gains of the revolution might be lost and capitalism restored in a counter-revolution. The vast majority were for a democratic socialist society and not for capitalist restoration. As we all know, the counter-reveolution succeeded and the ‘katastroika’ of capitalist restoration still haunts the former Soviet peoples today. but their passion for a democratic socialist society was very influential for me all the same.
What exactly is a ‘libertarian Marxist?’ I knew this might cause confusion. I could have used different words to describe my position, but all of these would have had problems. Basically I am for a non-authoritarian socialism that is dependent on both the social and political revolution. I find the authoritarian socialism of the former Soviets of Maoism as essentially fascism with socialist rhetoric. Libertarian connotes opposition to authoritarianism. In the West we know the word more for its use to describe anarcho-capitialism/libertarian capitalism. I could have used the term anarcho-socialist, but was worried that people would confuse this with individualistic/nihilistic anarchism. I could also have used the terms ‘Left Communist,’ ‘Council Communist’ or ‘Marxist-Luxemburgist’ but these are relatively specialised political terms and I thought they would unnecessarily complicate things.
I hope that makes for a greater clarification of these issues. I’ll be happy to further discuss any of these below.