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Mike Marqusee

Dave Zirin on the death of the irreplaceable Mike Marqusee

Mike Marqusee

Mike Marqusee.

Mike Marqusee was always keen to allow his excellent articles to be posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. They are collected at http://links.org.au/taxonomy/term/594.

By Dave Zirin

January 13, 2015 -- The Nation -- Radical journalist Mike Marqusee, the greatest professional influence on my life, has died, and I’m wrecked about it. Losing Mike is like losing several pints of blood. I’m left dizzy by the prospect of his absence.

Mike Marqusee: A level playing field? Global sport in the neoliberal age

The idea of sports competition as a mirror or metaphor for capitalist competition is misconceived.

Read more by Mike Marqusee HERE. Click for more on sport and capitalism, the soccer World Cup and cricket.

By Mike Marqusee

June 2, 2014 -- Red Pepper, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Mike Marqusee's permission -- One of the hallmarks of the neoliberal age has been the exponential expansion of commercial spectator sport -- in its economic value, political role and cultural presence. All of which will be thrown into high relief during the coming World Cup in Brazil.

Tony Benn (1925-2014): A great communicator of the socialist cause

By Phil Hearse

March 15, 2014 -- Socialist Resistance, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- It is a bitter irony that Tony Benn has died in the very same week as Bob Crow, two giants of the labour movement who will be cruelly missed.

Numerous instant obituaries and comments have concentrated on Benn’s determination, his speaking and writing talents, his humour and his personal kindness. Of course. But in celebrating his life the important thing for the left, especially the younger generation, is to make an assessment of Benn and Bennism as a political phenomenon, why it constituted such a threat to the existing powers that be (including in the trade unions and Labour Party) and why such an array of forces gathered together to attempt to put an end to it.

Mike Marqusee: Further on BDS and 'singling out' Israel

“We in Swaziland are not doing enough for Palestine”, he said sternly. I replied that I thought they had their hands full already. And I couldn’t help but smile. But the comrade was not amused. He shook his head impatiently. “That’s not how it works. We ask for solidarity so we must give solidarity.”

By Mike Marqusee

January 17, 2014 -- http://www.mikemarqusee.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Further to “If not now, when?” On BDS and ‘singling out’ Israel", opponents of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against apartheid Israel accuse its supporters of unfairly “singling out” Israel while neglecting a host of other deplorable regimes. It seems that until we simultaneously campaign against all outstanding injustices, any campaign against a particular injustice will remain illegitimate.

Presumably, however, the liberal critics of BDS have no objection to the Palestinians themselves “singling out” Israel and campaigning against the particular injustice that affects them. So they’re permitted to call for international support but we are not permitted to answer that call.

Mike Marqusee: 'If not now, when?' On BDS and 'singling out' Israel's apartheid

By Mike Marqusee

January 4, 2014 -- http://www.mikemarqusee.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- This is an edited version of a letter I've just sent to a relative in the United States who's been trying to figure out the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) issue in the wake of the recent onslaught against the American Studies Association's decision to support the academic boycott of apartheid Israel.

* * *

The “singling out” objection seems to me quite perverse. It's not possible to campaign against any injustice anywhere without “singling it out”. When people campaigned and boycotted South Africa, they were “singling it out” -- and that accusation was in fact frequently made by apologists for South Africa. “What about the black dictatorships in Africa?”, they would say. This was always an evasive manoeuvre, a poor excuse for allowing gross racial oppression to continue unhindered. Many of those who raise this objection now in relation to Israel would have or indeed did dismiss it when it was raised in relation to South Africa.

Britain: Mike Marqusee on Left Unity -- 'A party to dream of'

Mike Marqusee.

For more on the left unity process in Britain, click HERE. For more by Mike Marqusee, click HERE.

By Mike Marqusee

September 27, 2013 -- Red Pepper, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- I’m one of the thousands who signed up to the Left Unity appeal issued by Ken Loach in March to discuss the formation of a new party of the left. I did so because I believe the continued absence of an effective left alternative to the Labour Party hampers our resistance to austerity, racism, war and environmental degradation.

Left Unity has no shortage of doubters. There are many who reject electoral politics altogether and others who remain committed to working in the Labour Party. And not a few who simply doubt the left’s capacity to measure up to the challenge.

Mike Marqusee at the Olympics: 'Individual excellence at the service of the nation-state and multinational capital'

"The Tommie Smith/John Carlos 'black power' salute of 1968 – two medal winners overturning the symbolism, refusing to let their individual excellence serve the forces that degraded them and their people." 

For more discussion of issues surrounding sport and politics, click HERE. For more on the Olympics, click HERE.

By Mike Marqusee, London

August 4, 2012 -- Mike Marqusee.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- I enjoyed my afternoon at the Olympics, sitting in my public lottery assigned £50 seat at the ExCel, with a fine view of the men’s boxing. And I enjoyed it not least because I was finally able to watch the sport itself without the surrounding hype, the layers of commentary. For a moment there was only that pleasure special to sport: the spontaneity of a story being fashioned in front of your own eyes, once and once only (despite digital repeats), robustly itself and not pretending to be anything else.

Mike Marqusee on Occupy in 2012: 'Mass action has returned'

Occupy the London Stock Exchange.

By Mike Marqusee

January 23, 2012 -- Red Pepper (February-March 2012) via Mikemarqusee.com -- 2011 has been hailed in the media as a year of “protest” in the abstract, but it’s been more challenging and concrete than that. In defiance of received political wisdom, mass action in the streets returned with undeniable impact. Contests over space and the public domain became vehicles for the assertion of radical alternatives, which thereby forced their way into a discussion long restricted to a narrow consensus.

In Europe and North America, this democratic insurgency sought to free democracy itself from the straitjacket imposed by neoliberalism, which has deepened the historic tendency of capitalism to confine “politics” to the non-economic realm. Raising the banner of the 99%, the Occupy movement (with associated developments) broke through 30 years of neoliberal ideological hegemony to make the system itself – and the interests that drive it – the subject of debate. As a result, perceptions of the possible have been redefined. Horizons broadened. We do not have to be slaves of the financial sector, sacrificial victims to appease angry fiscal gods. Whatever else, this systemic challenge means the struggles of the coming years will be fought out on different terrain.

Demands

Swaziland: Thousands defy monarchy in second global week of protest


On September 6, 2011, the king's portrait is burned during a pro-democracy demonstration in Swaziland's biggest town, Manzini.

By Mike Marqusee

September 7, 2011 -- Red Pepper, via MikeMarqusee.com -- The second Global Week of Action in Swaziland, organised by the Swaziland Democracy Campaign, which concludes September 9, has already scored remarkable successes amid terrible sacrifices. The week marks a new highpoint in the ongoing confrontation between an absolute monarchy that for decades has plundered the country and an increasingly emboldened democracy movement.

Events kicked off on September 5 with a mass demonstration through the heart of the capital city, Mbabane. One of the COSATU delegates who joined the protest reported: “The streets of Mbabane have been occupied by a range of different people, including workers, students, the legal profession, community and church activists, and all marching in unison and toyi-toying for freedom. They are united in one purpose, to challenge the continuing rule of Africa’s last absolute monarchy. There is an almost carnival atmosphere in the air!”

Mike Marqusee: Riots, reason and resistance

By Mike Marqusee

August 16, 2011 -- MikeMarqusee.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Mike Marqusee's permission -- “Criminality pure and simple” was British Prime Minister David Cameron’s initial verdict on the rioting. From the right came the mantra, “Down with sociology! Up with water cannon!” Don’t think but do act – harshly, punitively, peremptorily.

In the wake of the riots, a powerful vested interest has been at work – a vested interest in people not making links, not searching for causes, not weighing contexts. Above all, an interest in derailing the growing resistance to the government’s austerity programme.

In the vast realm of human phenomena there are few things as impure or as complex as a riot, with its ever-shifting array of motives and circumstances. It is a social phenomenon and requires a social analysis and response. It’s the denial of that duty that’s reckless and irresponsible, not the alleged “socioeconomic excuses” reviled by conservatives.

Mike Marqusee: Thoughts on Libya and liberal interventionism

[For more on Libya, click HERE.]

By Mike Marqusee

In the Guardian, Jonathan Freedland writes that liberal interventionism is “fine in theory” but goes wrong “in practise”. I’d suggest that it goes wrong in practise because it’s deeply flawed in theory.

March 25, 2011 -- www.mikemarqusee.com -- The hypocrisy, double standards and selectivity displayed in the Western military action in Libya defy enumeration, but just for a start….

In Yemen and Bahrain Western-backed regimes are violently repressing the democracy movement the West claims to back in Libya. In Iraq a US-sponsored regime protected by 47,000 US troops is trying to do the same – shooting demonstrators, detaining thousands and subjecting many to torture.

Mike Marqusee: Behind cricket's latest scandal -- Pakistan cricket and its discontents

By Mike Marqusee

September 3, 2010 -- MikeMarqusee.com -- On top of floods, war, bombs, a corrupt and incompetent government with a much feared military in the wings, the long-suffering people of Pakistan have now been betrayed, once again, by their cricketers. Most will not be shocked or will profess not to be shocked: over the last 15 years there has been a steady erosion of faith in Pakistan cricket, which has come to be held in the same low esteem as many of the country’s other institutions. It’s one of the reasons cited, along with exorbitant ticket prices, for the low turn-out from the Pakistani diaspora at this summer’s test matches in England.

But while people in and from Pakistan may not be shocked they are bitterly aggrieved. And rightly so. The antics of the three players accused of spot-fixing in the Lord’s test have destroyed the little portion of relief cricket affords for millions coping with trying conditions.

Swaziland: Small country, big struggle -- global day of action for democracy

In Swaziland you can get locked up for wearing this T-shirt.

[The Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC), formed by trade unions, political parties, civil society groups and churches, has called for a global day of action on September 7, 2010. It will include a mass protest and show of “defiance” in Swaziland. Delegates from the international labour movement will join the action in Swaziland and messages of support for the SDC are to be delivered to Swazi embassies worldwide. Click HERE to download the international call, or read the document below the article.]

* * *

By Mike Marqusee

August 23, 2010 -- MikeMarqusee.com -- Swaziland is a small country with a big problem. The 1.3 million inhabitants of the land-locked southern African kingdom live under the thumb of one of the world’s last absolute monarchies, a venal and repressive regime whose plunder of the country is systematic and comprehensive.

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