Sunday 22 December 2013

Red Dylan - The Social Vision of Dylan Thomas by Victor Paananen



 
"I take my stand with any revolutionary body that asserts it to be the right of all men to share, equally and impartially, every production of man… from the sources of production at man’s disposal". Dylan Thomas, New Verse (1934).

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY REPUBLISHED ON 50th ANNIVERSARY OF DEATH OF DYLAN THOMAS AND WE ARE REPUBLISHING HERE HAS PART OF THE AFFLONYDDWCH MAWR'S DEFENCE NOT ONLY OF OUR HISTORY BUT OUR SOCIALIST CULTURE.

THE AFLONYDDWCH MAWR HISTORY COMMISSION WILL REPORT IN 2014 ON OUR HISTORY AND BEGIN A NEW SERIES ON DEFENCE OF WELSH CULTURE.

THROUGHOUT THIS YEAR there will be events and publications to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death, at the early age of 39, of Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, short-story writer, dramatist, and film writer. Interest in Thomas remains high, and many of his poems (such as ‘Do Not Go Gentle’ and ‘Fern Hill’) continue to have a wide popular appeal that few other 20th century poems retain. Discussion of Dylan Thomas in this anniversary year must acknowledge not only that Thomas was a poet of astonishing technical gifts but a man fully conscious of social conditions, a thinker with a grounding in Marxism, and a self-proclaimed revolutionary socialist.

Writing about Dylan Thomas got off to a bad start with a book by Henry Treece (Dylan Thomas: ‘Dog Among the Fairies’) that asserted that Thomas had outgrown the Marxism of his youth. Treece’s book is a confused polemic against the practice of ‘left-wing poets and critics’, and when Thomas was given chapters to read in manuscript, he wrote to Treece to say, "surely it is evasive to say my poetry has no social awareness – no evidence of contact with society", adding "actually, ‘seeking kinship’ with everything… is exactly what I do do" (Thomas, Collected Letters, pp310-11).

Thomas made his opinion of Treece’s book even more clear when a friend asked him to inscribe a copy for him, and Thomas wrote in it ‘to hell with this stinking book’.

With Treece as a forerunner, literary critics like ML Rosenthal assigned Thomas a role as the poet of ‘introspective personalism’. It was readily admitted by the critics that most of Thomas’s ideas and language were already there in his adolescent notebooks, but they assumed that he had jettisoned his Marxism and retained the poetic materials of this period. More recently, however, the letters collected by Paul Ferris in 1985, the memoirs of friends and acquaintances that have been published with some frequency, and especially the film scripts unearthed and published by John Ackerman in 1995, have provided powerful evidence for a consistent social – in fact, socialist – vision in Thomas’s work and life.

A socialist to the end


JOHN MALCOLM BRINNIN, Thomas’s host and chronicler of his visits to the USA, found him "actually more censorious of the status quo than any of the other British poets".

The less than sympathetic Brinnin says that Thomas "expressed himself strongly on political matters and tended indiscriminately to support the far left".

From these American visits, Professor William York Tindall of Columbia University, offered an important report that has been ignored by Thomas’s biographers. "Thomas told me (in 1952) that he was a Communist. My disbelief was shaken, however, at a party a few days later. Here Thomas suddenly arose, kicked the cat which turned and bit me and, to the embarrassment of our hostess, called a distinguished and once radical American novelist, who was also a guest, both ‘renegade’ and ‘prick’."

One must regret the unfortunate outcome that Thomas’s explosion had for the cat, but the incident does point to convictions passionately held by Thomas. No doubt Thomas had, as so often, been drinking, but in vino veritas [there is truth in the wine].

The reports from Brinnin, Tindall and others all express surprise that, at what proved to be the end of his life, Thomas had political interests and convictions. His description of himself as a communist is greeted with ‘disbelief’. Nevertheless Thomas’s support for a revolutionary party had been publicly announced nearly twenty years before. Thomas’s statement in New Verse in 1934 – "I take my stand with any revolutionary body that asserts it to be the right of all men to share, equally and impartially, every production of man… from the sources of production at man’s disposal" – was written during his close association with AE (‘Bert’) Trick, a man twenty-five years older than Thomas, and his political mentor. In letters from the time of his association with this socialist grocer – identified as ‘a Communist’ by Thomas’s wife Caitlin and others, but now known to be a revolutionary socialist who remained in the Labour Party – Thomas’s politics can be seen taking shape.

Twenty-five percent of the population of Thomas’s native Swansea were chronically out of work and the letters reflect Thomas’s awareness of the resulting conditions. In November 1933, writing to Pamela Hansford Johnson, Thomas, just 19, speaks of "an outgrown and decaying system" in which "light is being turned into darkness by the capitalists and industrialists... There is only one thing you and I, who are of this generation, must look forward to, must work for and pray for", writes Thomas. "And, because, as we fondly hope, we are poets and voicers not only of our personal selves but of our social selves, we must pray for it all the more vehemently. It is the Revolution. Later, in another letter, I will give you a more reasoned outline of Revolution, the hard facts of communism... and hope that you, too, may don your scarlet tie... The precious seeds of revolution must not be wasted". (Letters, pp55-56)

The letter with the ‘more reasoned outline of Revolution’ was apparently not written, but Thomas does write to Trevor Hughes in January 1934 that "society to adjust itself has to break itself; society... has grown up rotten with its capitalist child, and only revolutionary socialism can clean it up". "Capitalism is a system made for a time of scarcity", observes Thomas, who has reached the socialist insight that capitalism, because it seeks only profit for the few, is not an efficient mechanism for satisfying the needs of the many. With modern technology, it would, under socialism, be possible to make "the truth of today the truth of fertility" (Letters, p92).

In a letter to Glyn Jones, Thomas labels himself a ‘socialist’ but on 2 May 1934 he tells Hansford Johnson, "I could go to Russia with a Welsh Communist organisation" (Letters, p127). On 3 July 1934, when Harry Pollitt, general secretary of the Communist Party (CP), and Tom Mann, another well-known British Communist, were on trial for ‘seditious speeches in the South Wales coalfield’ Swansea seemed "the centre of all revolutionary activities" (Letters, p146). Thomas’s characterization of the moment is understandable: thousands marched to the Swansea Assizes at which Pollitt and Mann were being tried. "I have just left the Socialist Party]", Thomas tells Hansford Johnson, "and offered my services to the Communists" (Letters, p146).

Later in July 1934, Thomas wrote to Hansford Johnson, "If it can be forced home on the consciousness of the people that the present economic system is ethically bad, the seed has been planted that may in time grow into a fine revolutionary flower". He saw a society "composed, at top and bottom, of financial careerists and a proletarian army of dispossessed. Out of the negation of the negation", he said, "must rise the new synthesis". He expressed impatience with parliamentary processes for the achievement of social ownership: "Alternatively, there is the confiscation of property by force... If constitutional government cannot, in the space of a year after the next general election, fulfil their policies... the army and the police force must be subdued, and property taken by force" (Letters, pp158-59). At a meeting of a Swansea literary society in October of that year, Thomas was "introduced... as a Young Revolutionary" and answered questions about "the Communist Erewhon" [anagram of ‘nowhere’, meaning ‘utopia’] (Letters, p171-72).
Whether Thomas was actually a member of the CP is, in fact, impossible to resolve with any sources now available. His frequent labelling of himself as a C/communist in reported conversations in fact left it to the transcriber to supply either a capital C or a small one. There were and are communists, small c, who belong to other organizations. Bert Trick, whom Thomas called a ‘communist grocer’, small c, was – as his son Kerith Trick said at the Dylan Thomas Festival in Swansea in 2000 – "always a member of the Labour Party, albeit on the extreme left". Until the era of Tony Blair, the Labour Party included socialists, many of them Trotskyists, but now of course Clause Four advocating public ownership has been dropped, and most socialists not expelled from the Labour Party have left.
All the evidence points to Thomas’s holding revolutionary convictions both before he moved from Wales to London in 1934 and throughout his life. In 1944, for instance, Thomas wanted the Communist Party cultural journal Our Time to publish ‘Ceremony after a Fire Raid’, ‘pressing’ the poem "upon [Arnold] Rattenbury because, he said, he wanted to advertise that he remained a socialist" (Hobday, p233). Thomas contributed not only to Our Time but to its successor Communist Party periodicals Arena and Circus. On his 1952 visit to America, he also agreed to do a poetry reading for the Socialist Party of the USA without expecting his usual fee. And, as we have seen, Thomas called himself a communist and relished opportunities for political discussion in the final days in New York city.
Not surprisingly though, Thomas, who was ill-at-ease with the university-educated and with academics, disliked the sort of communist intellectual that was a characteristic product of the 1930s. As he said, he disliked them precisely "as revolutionaries and as communists, for, born in fairly wealthy middle-class homes, educated at expensive prep schools, public schools, and universities, they have no idea at all of what they priggishly call ‘the class struggle’ and no contact at all with either any of the real motives or the real protagonists of that class struggle" (Letters, p185). These were the kind of people that Bert Trick had taught him to call ‘Parlour Pinks’. Thomas, in his own "semi-proletarian, bourgeois, provincial upbringing" had seen in Depression era-Wales the material basis for the class struggle that a Marxist understands to be the motive force of history. In opposition to theoretical Marxists, who would as poets try to versify theory, Thomas appealed to concrete experience and to a perspective that embraces what Karl Marx would call the totality of human life-activity. "The individual in the mass and the mass in the individual", Thomas said, "can be made poetically important only when the status and the position of both mass and individual are considered by that part of the consciousness which is outside both" (Letters, p185).
In this often misunderstood rejection by Thomas of the literary Marxists of the 1930s, one can in fact recognize the stance that he would take in his own poetry, rejecting propagandizing for the search for that authentic human being-in-the world that awaits humanity when alienation and indeed class struggle ceases. Of course, as the language in the letters shows, Dylan Thomas had some knowledge of Marx, gained, probably, under Trick’s tutelage. And, as his prose writings and film scripts reveal, he understood poverty and class consciousness and could describe them as experienced in Wales and the world.

Dylan Thomas as social writer

BECAUSE THERE IS not room here for a close analysis of Thomas’s socially conscious writing, a few examples must suffice. ‘The Peaches’, one of Thomas’s finest and most often reprinted stories, is, for instance, a story about class consciousness. Annie, based on Thomas’s beloved aunt, Ann Jones, ‘brown-skinned, toothless, hunchbacked,’ forgetfully wearing her usual tennis shoes, despite having changed into her best dress, tries to please her wealthy relative, Mrs Williams, by serving a can of peaches she has saved for a long time. Mrs Williams, whose physical uneasiness in a poor household has been evident throughout, will not eat in Mrs Jones’s smelly parlour: ‘I can’t bear peaches’. This refusal leads to a final break between these class-divided relatives, with Mr Jones in his rage demanding, "Who does she think she is? Aren’t peaches good enough for her? To hell with her bloody motor car and her bloody son! Making us small". Because of the refusal of the peaches, Mrs Williams’s son, Jack, and the young Dylan are, at the end of the story, on opposite sides of the barrier of class: "The chauffeur came back. The car drove off, scattering the hens. I ran out of the stable to wave to Jack. He sat still and stiff by his mother’s side". There can be few demonstrations in literature of how class consciousness is created more sensitive or more accurate than ‘The Peaches’.
The film-scripts reveal a socialist understanding of the cost to humanity of a failed economic system. Wales – Green Mountain, Black Mountain was too political for the British Council to show overseas. One memorable passage answers the early critics who said that Thomas ignored the social reality of Depression-era Wales:
Remember the procession of the old-young men
From dole queue to corner and back again,
From the pinched, packed streets to the peak of slag
In the bite of the winters with shovel and bag,
With a drooping fag and a turned up collar,
Stamping for the cold at the ill lit corner
Dragging through the squalor with their hearts like lead
Staring at the hunger and the shut pit-head
Nothing in their pockets, nothing home to eat,
Lagging from the slag heap to the pinched, packed street.
Remember the procession of the old-young men.
It shall never happen again.
The ‘old-young men’ have been denied the opportunity for free creative labour that humans require. Such lives are over before they have begun: a point made again in the image of "the hunger born pit boy" that Thomas uses to invoke Wales in Our Country, another of his documentary films. Socialists demand a society "in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all" (Marx), and Thomas, with his concern for unlived lives, makes such a demand. In A City Re-born, which focuses on Coventry in England, Thomas’s commentary asserts that "After the war there can be no thinking of returning to the good old days, the days of cramped housing in crippling streets". In the same film, the comment about war-time production is that it "makes you think what a hell of a lot they can produce if it’s for use and not for sale...". No wonder that, as John Ackerman writes, "there were objections to some sections of the film" which had the appearance "of political propaganda".
The Introduction to John Ackerman’s 1995 edition of Thomas’s film scripts announces a changed view of Thomas’s political commitment from the opinions that had been usual since Treece. Ackerman writes, "Instinctively on the left, [Dylan Thomas] was one of the few poets of the 1930s who remained steadfast in his political allegiance throughout his life". The British documentary film movement was from the days of John Grierson onwards leftwing in its orientation and, as Ackerman says, "Dylan Thomas was comfortably at home with the political ethos of those working on the documentary propaganda films". Quoting Thomas’s statement that "writers should keep their opinions for their prose", Ackerman says that Thomas’s "work on these documentary films encouraged him to articulate political and social views".

The Marxist poet: beyond propaganda

THOMAS’S SOCIAL VISION is one that longs for an outcome in which alienated existence ends and humanity assumes its place in natural process. But Thomas would not write ‘propaganda’ poetry, or rather he would not ‘publish’ such poetry except as it would be heard as commentary in the film-scripts. A study of his notebooks supports Ralph Maud’s recognition that "Thomas could write about ‘the century’, ‘the state’, ‘civilization’, and ‘man’s man-made spare time’ (ie unemployment) with the rest of the thirties poets". The differences between the notebooks and the collected poems reveal a conscious decision, however, not to include direct social commentary in his published work. Thomas, with his revolutionary outlook, saw through bourgeois social arrangements – of which he offered a critique in his letters, his published prose, and the film-scripts – to the more fundamental and enduring processes of nature.
Thomas chose, in his poetry, not to write propaganda within bourgeois society, but to write for the timeless realm that comes with the removal of classes. This approach appears in one of Thomas’s earliest poems:
And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.
Here Thomas speaks out of the freedom that is the consciousness of necessity. He is not tied to a self-absorbed ego, but he loses self in common humanity and in process. When Thomas writes, ‘Though lovers be lost love shall not;/ And death shall have no dominion’, he recognizes that the individual passes but that what his fellow poet and critic Christopher Caudwell calls "desires as ancient and punctual as the stars" endure.
Perhaps Dylan Thomas should have written propaganda poetry as did his less radical contemporaries; but what he did write gives him a stronger claim to readers in the more fully human world of the socialist future in which social conflict and inequality will no longer inhibit human development and self-knowledge.

Works cited

Baldanza, Frank. Iris Murdoch. New York: Twayne, 1974.
Brinnin, John Malcolm. Dylan Thomas in America. Boston: Atlantic-Little, Brown, 1955.
Caudwell, Christopher. Illusion and Reality[1937]. New York: International Publishers, 1973.
Cox, Idris. The Fight for Socialism in Wales. Cardiff: Welsh Committee of the Communist Party, 1948.
Croft, Andy. ‘Authors Take Sides: Writers and the Communist Party 1929-56’. Opening the Books: Essays on the Social and Cultural History of British Communism, ed. Geoff Andrews, Nina Fishman, and Kevin Morgan. London: Pluto Press, 1995.
Hawkins, Desmond. When I Was: A Memoir of the Years between the Wars. London: Macmillan, 1989.
Hobday, Charles. Edgell Rickward: A Poet at War. Manchester: Carcanet, 1989.
Lindsay, Jack. Meetings with Poets. London: Frederick Muller, 1968.
Marx, Karl, Manifesto of the Communist Party (with Friedrich Engels).
Maud, Ralph, ed. Poet in the Making: The Notebooks of Dylan Thomas. London: Dent, 1968.
Rosenthal, ML. The Modern Poets: A Critical Introduction. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1960.
Thomas, Caitlin, with George Tremlett. Caitlin: Life with Dylan Thomas. New York: Holt, 1987.
Thomas, Dylan. The Collected Poems, ed. Walford Davies and Ralph Maud. London: Dent, 1988
- The Collected Stories. New York: New Directions, 1984.
- The Collected Letters, edited by Paul Ferris. London: Dent, 1985.
- The Film-scripts, ed. John Ackerman. London: Dent, 1995.
Tindall, William York. A Reader’s Guide to Dylan Thomas. London: Thames and Hudson, 1962.
Treece, Henry. Dylan Thomas: ‘Dog Among the Fairies’. London: Lindsay Drummond, 1949. (Second edition: London: Benn, 1956.)
Trick, Bert, ‘The Young Dylan Thomas’. Texas Quarterly 9 (1966).
Trick, Kerith. ‘Bert Trick – The Original Marx Brother’. New Welsh Review 54 (Autumn 2001).

NADOLIG LLAWEN A BLWYDDYN NEWYDD DDA - THE NSA IS COMING TO TOWN


 
Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr will be back on 7th January 2014

Happy Christmas and Happy New Year to our readers
 



Thursday 19 December 2013

YR AFLONYDDWCH MAWR SUPPORTS INTERNATIONAL CALL TO DENOUNCE BRAZILIAN GOVERNMENT !

 
At this very moment, in Brasil, a massacre is preparing against landless farmers in the State of Rondônia. State and Federal repressive forces are about to assault poor farmers under the pretext they occupy a wildlife reserve. Riots have already taken place and the landless have been victorious from a first eviction attempt.
But a recent statement of the State governor (a big landowner), where he calls the landless farmers ‘hooligans’ and ‘criminals’, didn't bode anything well.
  
While general capitalist crisis increases, the situation in semi-colonial countries (so-called ‘South’) is getting more and more difficult.
 
As crisis deepens, imperialist pressure on these countries to harness their resources and monopolize new markets is causing numerous unrests and troubles.
The most apparents are the direct or indirect imperialist interventions of the last years (Lybia, Mali, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Centrafrique etc.), but this also means, for the working classes and peoples of Asia, Africa and Americas, a constant worsening of their social situation, not counting with ecological disasters caused by dantesque explotation of anything able to bring in some dollars or euros.  
 
Brasil is not an exception to this general situation. Behind the tale of economical growth and ‘emerging country’, mounted by IMF and ruling ‘Workers’ Party, actually lies a tragic situation for most people.
 
June 2013 people's uprising came to remember us that the ‘BRICS’ group as ‘new powers’ is nothing but a myth.
 

Football World Cup of 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro should complete this propaganda about a Brasil got out of underdeveloment.
 
But reality is stubborn !
 
 
Far from getting out their subordination to imperialist countries, South America's ‘left’ governments actually are the perfect go-between of world monopolist rule.
 
This results in a concrete worsening of living standards and working conditions, housing rents defying comprehension, galloping inflation, increasing police violence, basic social services in a sorry state or nonexistent, and widespread bribery.
50% of Brazil’s budget is dedicated to repay the huge interests of national debt ; billions are spent in projects to develop infrastructures and facilites for imperialist monopolies whereas hospitals are closed.
 
  
The situation in the countryside is far as tragic. The promised Land Reform never came and worse, the repression against farmers' movements increases. Summary executions of farming leaders, common torture by police forces, acts of intimidation, everything is done to spread a climate of terror in the people.
 
Five millions of rural families have no land to farm and the latifundistas (big landowners) and other big agro-capitalist owners are present in all the State machinery, whereas media monopolies criminalize any form of protest.
 
Today, with global capitalism, every struggle in the world is intimately linked to the others ; Brasil just as India is a major actor of world economical system. It's one of these World's farms dedicate to supply global merchandized food to the whole planet, so the more revolution will go on in Brazil, the more imperialist will weaken and we'll easily fight it in imperialist countries.
 
We call all worldwide revolutionaries and genuine progressives to support revolutionary struggles in these countries. We shall get out from ideological euro-centrism ; change comes from these Old World's peripheries, from where the wind of a New World is blowing to the Centers of capitalism.
 We call to support Agrarian Revolution in Brazil and denounce the violences to the People, in particular those current in the State of Rondônia.
 
We strongly and more than ever call to BOYCOTT the mafia called FIFA and the Football World Cup 2014, just as the future Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro ; and to DENOUNCE so-called ‘left’ Dilma Rousseff government's lies.
 
We address a brotherly and revolutionary salute to all Brazilian people's fighters, struggling at the risk of their lives for a free and egalitarian Humanity.
 
LONG LIVE AGRARIAN REVOLUTION IN BRAZIL!
LONG LIVE FARMER'S JUSTIFIED STRUGGLE IN RONDÔNIA AND ALL AROUND THE WORLD !
DOWN WITH FIFA !
NÃO VAI TER COPA !

All revolutionaries and genuine progressives, organizations but also collectives, websites and other groups are called to sign this solidarity message to struggling Brazilian landless farmers:

Solidarity from:

- Servir le Peuple – Sheisau SorelhAuba Vermelha (Comité de Construction du Parti communiste révolutionnaire des Terres d’Òc, Occitània, État/Prison-des-Peuples "France") [à l’initiative de l’appel]


- revue internationale Maoist Road (du PC maoïste d’Italie, PCmF, PCR Canada etc.)

- Great Unrest Group / Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr (communiste-révolutionnaire de libération nationale, Pays de Galles, État "britannique")
  
- collectif Feu de Prairie (média pour une culture révolutionnaire, État français)  

- Gran Marcha hacia el Comunismo (maoïste, Madrid, État espagnol) 

 
- Action antifasciste Aube Champagne-Ardenne (État français)  


- Comité de Construction du Parti communiste maoïste de Galice (Galiza, État espagnol ; site Dazibao Rojo)  


- Libertat! (Gauche révolutionnaire d'Occitanie, État/Prison-des-Peuples "France")  


- Organisation communiste Futur Rouge et Parti communiste maoïste de France (État français) 

 
- Breizhistance Dieub ha Sokialour (Gauche indépendantiste de Bretagne, État/Prison-des-Peuples "France")


 Odiodeclase - Cantabria État espagnol http://odiodeclase.blogspot.fr/



Sunday 15 December 2013

Support Petition to repeal Treason Felony Act of 1848 which outlaws Republicanism in British Isles





Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent of Guardian writes

A 165-year-old law that threatens anyone calling for the abolition of the monarchy with life imprisonment is technically still in force – after the Ministry of Justice admitted wrongly announcing that it had been repealed.

The Treason Felony Act 1848 has been the subject of repeated legal confusion this century.

It was the subject of a high court challenge by the Guardian in 2003. This week, in a footnote to a list of new offences, the Ministry of Justice said the powers in section 3 of the Act had finally been swept away in a belated, legislative pruning of unwanted laws.

The act – which makes it a criminal offence, punishable by life imprisonment, to advocate abolition of the monarchy in print, even by peaceful means – has not been deployed in a prosecution since 1879.

The Ministry of Justice said: "Section 3 of the Treason Felony Act 1848 has not been repealed.

The Ministry of Justice has removed this publication and is reviewing its contents."

SIGN PETITION HERE:



PLEASE SIGN PETITION HERE TO REPEAT THIS ACT :
 
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/52840

Saturday 14 December 2013

The government has confirmed that republicanism is still punishable by life imprisonment and that it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen.Treason Felony Act 1848 still in operation says Guardian Newspaper

 
Welsh Socialist Republican Flag in 21st Century

In full, section three of the Treason Felony Act 1848 reads:

If any person whatsoever shall, within the United Kingdom or without, compass, imagine, invent, devise, or intend to deprive or depose our Most Gracious Lady the Queen, from the style, honour, or royal name of the imperial crown of the United Kingdom, or of any other of her Majesty's dominions and countries, or to levy war against her Majesty, within any part of the United Kingdom, in order by force or constraint to compel her to change her measures or counsels, or in order to put any force or constraint upon or in order to intimidate or overawe both Houses or either House of Parliament, or to move or stir any foreigner or stranger with force to invade the United Kingdom or any other of her Majesty's dominions or countries under the obeisance of her Majesty, and such compassings, imaginations, inventions, devices, or intentions, or any of them, shall express, utter, or declare, by publishing any printing or writing ... or by any overt act or deed, every person so offending shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable ... to be transported beyond the seas for the term of his or her natural life

The government has confirmed that republicanism is still punishable by life imprisonment and that it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen.

Although the law has not been used to prosecute anyone since 1879, it means that it is still theoretically possible to imprison for life anybody who even so much as "imagines" overthrowing the Crown or waging war against the Queen.

Source: Guardian Newspaper


PLEASE SIGN PETITION HERE TO REPEAT THIS ACT :
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/52840
 

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Aflonyddwch Mawr: What point or purpose to so called 'Welsh Independence' if we are to become Corporate Colony Cymry



What point or purpose to so called 'Welsh Independence' if we are to becomeCORPORATE COLONY CYMRU and that is where WAG Collaborationist are taking us.


 
Patriots Become Partisans,
Join the Radical Resistance.

Brwydr Bont Irfon 1282 Lost but the Battle of Mynydd y Gwair 2014 plus is yet to be fought and won, sure it is if you can find the courage to make a real stand and fight of it, well?

TARO NOL

Tuesday 10 December 2013

11 RHAGFYR 1282 REMEMBRANCE DAY MESSAGE FROM THE YR AFLONYDDWCH MAWR - THE GREAT UNREST



The Aflonyddwch Mawr on our foundation in 2012 made Land the basis of Welsh Liberty in the video above  and issued the call for A Welsh Land Act Here:

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/land-act-for-wales.html


Patriots on this day and whilst rallying at Cilmeri will do well to remember that the Conquest, Capitulation and Colonization of 1282 continues to this day. 

This time around it is Utility and Windmill Companies backed by International Stock Market Venture Capitalism which seeks to make of Wales Corporate Colony Cymru. 

No more blatantly can we witness the new Cheque Book Conquest by these 'New Conquistadores' than on Mynydd y Gwair where they are in league with an 'Old Conquistadore' the Marcher Lord Dukes of Somerset Family aka 'Beauforts' also in collaboration with the WAG and Swansea Council Tan 8 Traitors aka 'Colonial Collaborators'. 

At this moment in time the 'Exploiters' seek to enclose land on Mynydd Y Gwair so as to build a road across the Mountain, including through the archaelogical remains of ancient settlements on Mynydd Psygodlyn and other location close by. 

We must resist this wanton desecration and further expropriation of our land and resources in a campaign of protests that becomes a struggle to take back the land - Cymrwch y Tir yn Ol.

Patriots become Partisans and join the beginnings of our National Liberation Struggle.


Statement from Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr 10th December 2013



A memorial stone to Llywelyn ap Gruffudd was erected on the site in 1956 and serves as the focal point for an annual day of remembrance on the anniversary of his death.

Monday 9 December 2013

France: Solidarity with 20 people arrested in Corsica by French Maoists



Following the arrest of twenty people in Corsica] , PCMF and OC-FR offer their total and unconditional support for the arrested and their families. The activists are known for their involvement in the Corsican National Liberation movement .

The imperialist French State has accused them of actions against the cost of living, against real estate speculation and against symbols of government repression .
The first raid took place in Corse-du -Sud, in the villages of Propriano, Sartène and Olmeto under the command of the judge Gilbert Thiel ( responsible for the arrest , imprisonment and deportation to Spain of the of comrades PCE (r) and GRAPO and the detention of many Breton revolutionary militants). 
Not less than 140 policemen , including a group of the GIGN , with the support of the Office of Counter-Terrorism ( BLAT ) of the gendarmerie, were involved in the arrests.
The second raid took place in Bastia and Luri (Haute- Corse) on the sidelines of the investigation of an ” attack ” against the sub-prefecture of Corte, 2012. 
Those arrested belong or are close to the organization Ghjuventù Indipendetista (Youth independence ), one activist Nicolas Battini , is currently incarcerated in the prison of Bois d’ Arcy (Yvelines) . In response, Ghjuventù Indipendentista blocked access to the university Monday afternoon in Corte .
Similarly, the association for the defense of prisoners Sulidarità organized two rallies Monday night : one in front of the police in Bastia , in Ajaccio another before the gendarmerie. 
The PCMF and OC-FR demand the release of the arrested comrades and the release of all prisoners fighting against national oppression and colonialism Corsican , Basque and thoseof Guadeloupe, Martinique, Kanaky , Réunion, Guyana , etc..
LIBERTA PER TUTTI I PATRIOTTI CORSI INCARCERATI !
RIGHT OF SELF DETERMINATION FOR CORSICA!
FORWARD WITH PEOPLE AND NATIONS oppressed by the FRENCH STATE ! 11/26/2013
Maoist Communist Party of France ,
Communist Organization – Future Rouge

Yr Aflonddwch Mawr offers its solidarity to those arrested in Corsica - Long live the struggle for Freedom of the People of Corsica from the French State - Long Live the Struggle of the Welsh People from the British State - your struggle is our struggle.






Thursday 5 December 2013

Remembering Nelson Mandela and his true Welsh Friends





                                                 Bert Pearce - Welsh Communist


Y Aflonyddwch Mawr remembers Nelson Mandela's visit to Cardiff in 1998 to receive the freedom of the city, he praised Bert Pearce the former Welsh Secretary of the Communist Party for his support of South Africa's struggle for freedom on that visit.

Nelson Mandela never forgot those that helped him in his struggle even when he became big and powerful and he knew there were Welshmen like Bert Pearce and the Welsh Miners there who supported his struggle in the darkest hours.

Today we remember the Nelson Mandela a man who always thought of others and knew who his true friends in Wales were like Bert Pearce from Pembroke Dock.


Wednesday 4 December 2013

Boris Gecko* the Thatcherite zombie speech at Centre for Policy Studies




The undead are notoriously difficult to kill, the base reason being because they are already dead.


All the contradictions of British Conservatism in 21st century are here at Centre for Policy Studies speech of Boris Johnson  - getting excited when Britain ruled the world and proud that there were only 22 counties that Britain has not invaded left in the world  - but we still have time thinks our smart aleck.

Nobody's interested in the Empire death count. Its all King and Country and 1914.

The concept of Britain has long passed its sell by date, this 18th century merger of Empire with the notion of Britishness gestated in Tudor and Stuart England is dead, but the conservative ideology cannot recognise this death has Johnson is one of its zombies.

It is not only British Conservatism that holds onto the obsolete social construct of Britishness but also the Social Imperialist Labour Party the spiritual heirs of Robert Blatchfords Merrie England the Murdering Englanders of 1914.

England needs freedom from London just has Wales, Scotland, Kernow does.

Humour is great but the price of Boris's humour are the Empire which never counted its dead. Ernest Jones the Chartist leader said of the British Empire the blood never dried.

My view from the bottom looking up at of the Thatcher era in Wales was untold misery and heartache and the demolition of the twin pillars of the Welsh Economy Iron and Steel and Coal Industry that had taken 200 years to build destroyed in two terms of Thatcher Government.

The Centre for Policy Studies is a think Tank - Tank being the operative word with its love of British Militarism and its self contained universe in a tank that really thinks charity of the rich is the answer to our problems - get out of your tank and see the misery of Britain and its component parts England, Wales, Scotland, Kernow today not the fake government statistics for foreign consumption to attract investments that Boris is so proud of  - Tour your foodbanks in everytown this Christmas before you dine in your five star London restaurants and see the misery that is Britain.

England Wales Scotland and Kernow want better than what is on offer from Boris Gecko the Thatcherite zombie

Nickglais



*Greed is Good" tirade in the film Wall Street from Gordon Gecko.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Wales and First World War by Nickglais Part 3 : AJ Cook - Class not Nation


War against War must be the Workers Cry
AJ Cook in 1917

It is argueable that the South Wales Coalfield reached it highest degree of class consciousness in the period called The Great Unrest - Y Aflonyddwch Mawr in 1910 to 1912.

Its historic moment was the publication of Miners Next Step a document still worth reading with a section about leadership which has lessons for today and certainly anticipated the personality effect on the leadership of Socialist and Communist Movements in the 20th century.

The Miners Next Step was a product of the Miners Unoffical Reform Movement and one of  the authors of this collective work was A J Cook a Miner from the Rhondda Valley.

However this class consciousness was to evaporate into thin air in 1914 amid a welter of Anti German propaganda and a parade of Union Jackism.

Members of the Unoffical Reform Movement were stunned into silence by the patriotic fevour Noah Ablett and AJ Cook outstanding leaders of the Miners Unoffical Reform Movement remained silent in 1914.

W.F Hay was the exception that made a stand and put his head above the parapet and declared that he was opposed to the War and that War was :

"The Sport of Kings, the hired assassins trade"

Charle Gibbons of the URC joined the Medical Corp and people like Frank Hodges and George Parker who were linked to the URC declared themselves pro War urging Miners and others to enlist in the forces and fight for King and Country.

The Social Imperialist Robert Blachfords "Merrie Englanders" were converted into "Murdering Englanders" and the obscenity of working people murdering each other was urged on by Christian Churches and the British Social Imperialists.

AJ Cook did not make any patriotic jingoistic speeches but choose to remain silent, he had written articles in 1913 in the South Wales Worker criticising the military build up but that was his limit.

We stressed in our First Chapter the psychological war in which the mass media principally the Northcliffe Press played in creating the anti German hysteria and how the radical population was stunned into silence with the honourable exceptions of Niclas y Glais and W F Hay in Wales.

1915 began to see some movement when the Miners Federation of Great Britain (MFGB) refused to be part of a Treasury Agreement giving up the right to strike and against a so called "Industrial Truce".

In March 1915 the MFGB demanded a 20% wage increase to compensate for the rising inflation during wartime.

The coalowners flatly refused and the South Wales Miners struck alone in 1915.

The Government intervened and agreed to an eighteen and half percentage rise.

                                                                  AJ Cook

In South Wales it was as if the Unoffical Reform Committee was brought back to life and by 1916 AJ Cook was making his opposition to the war apparent and stated :


"Daily I see signs amongst the working class with whom I move and work of a mighty awakening. The chloroforming pill of Patriotism is failing in its power to drug the mind and consciousness of the worker.

He is beginning to shudder at the stupidity of allowing himself to be party to such a catastrophe as we see today.

The chains of slavery are being welded tighter upon than ever.The ruling classes are ever overreaching themselves in the hurry to enslave us.

Economic conditions are forcing the workers to think- the scales are lifting from their eyes.

Men are wanted who will give he lead.

Comrades I appeal to you to rouse your union to protect the liberties of its members.

An Industrial Truce was entered into by our leaders behind our backs which has opened the way to an encroachment upon our rights and liberties.

Away with the Industrial Truce !

We must not stand by and allow workers to be exploited and our liberties taken away".

AJ Cook has been described as a lightening rod for the Lewis Merthyr Colliery men and this speech in 1916 was indicating that he was going to be part of something bigger in future an anti War movement.

When the Government planned to lift War exemption for Miners and conscript 20,000 of them into the forces AJ Cook turned up his anti War speeches and actions. Notices appeared at Pit Heads telling Miners not to report for medical examinations for military service.

Soon after the Chief Constable of Glamorgan Captain Lionel Lindsey had Arthur Cook in his sights and requested the prosecution of AJ Cook under Defence of the Realm Act (DORA), but his requests were turned down.

AJ Cook was becoming more bold everyday and in 1917and declared :

" I am no pacificist when war is necessary to free my class from the curse and enslavement of capitalism.

What then is my opposition to the "comb out".

As a worker I have the interests of my class than any nation.

The interests of my class has not benefited by the war, hence my opposition.

Comrades let us take heart, there are thousands of Miners in Wales who are prepared to fight for their class.

War against War must be workers cry"


On April 17th 1917 a mass meeting of Lewis Merthyr chaired by AJ Cook called on the SouthWales Miners Federation Conference:

"To get a resolution passed in favour of peace by negotiations"

In June 1917 AJ Cook and other Rhondda militants attended the Leeds Convention summoned to welcome the Foreign Policy of the Russian Provsional Government.

AJ Cook spoke in Ynyshir and Porth and declared :

"Since the day of declaration of war I have unflinchingly opposed the same. To hell with everbody bar my class. To me the hand of the German and Austrian is the same as the hand of my fellow workman at home. I am an internationalist. Russia has taken the step, and it is due to Britain to second the same and secure peace and leave the war and its cost to the capitalist who made it for the profiteer."

Certainly his silent opposition in 1914/15 had now become very vocal in 1917 and his explicit Marxist views were reaching the authorities again.

Deputy Chief Constable of Glamorgan John Williams reported that the economics classes that AJ Cook was giving were "an insdious campaign against law and order"

Captain Lindsey of Glamorgan Police said of AJ Cook.

"Anyone with the slightest knowledge of human nature must be aware that to punish a conceited upstart of this type always gives universal satisfaction"

At a meeting at Ynyshir on the 20th January 1918 AJ Cook declared :

" Are we going to allow this war to go on ? The Government wants a 100,000 men, they demand 50,000 immediately and the Clyde workers would not allow the Government to take them. Let us stand by them and show that Wales can do the same.

I have two brothers in the army who were forced to join but I say No ! I will be shot before I fight. Are you going to allow us to be taken to the war, If so I say there will not be a ton of coal for the Navy."

In March 1918 the Home Office agreed with Captain Lindsey's request for AJ Cook to be charged under DORA along with his said accomplice George Dolling.

AJ Cook was sentenced at a crowded Pontypridd Police Court to three months in prison and George Dolling was acquitted.There were a few sporadic strikes in protest at AJ Cook's imprsonment but AJ Cook only spend two months in prison before being released and was back in the Rhondda by July 1918.
                                                                AJ Cook
                                                         

This later period also saw the formation of the South Wales Socialist Society really a revival of the old Rhondda Socialist  Society with AJ Cooks help.

The South Wales Socialist Society was open to all who accepted the class war theory and the society was composed of groups or trades that would consider their own problems and recieve the co-operation of the whole in bringing about reforms in their own industries.

The South Wales Socialist Society was strongly anti Parliamentarian and Syndicalist in outlook.This outlook was to dominate AJ Cook's thinking even in short lived further incarnations of his ideas like the Communist Party of Wales and the West of England.

Summation

We do not tire of repeating the immense hostility to anyone who questioned the First World War in Wales in 1914 and while we can be proud of Niclas Y Glais and W.F Hay we should not dismiss AJ Cook who bided his time until he could have some effect - which he certainly did from 1916 -1917 onwards.

The South Wales Coalfield like the whole of Wales and the British Isles succumbed to the worst excesses of Jingoism and Union Jackism. AJ Cook unlike Niclas y Glais did not have deep Welsh roots to fall back on has he came from West of England and the saw class struggle through British eyes and not the Welsh eyes of Niclas y Glais.

Essentially AJ Cook could not oppose British Imperialism or deconstruct and destroy it like James Connolly did in Ireland and John Maclean did in Scotland because he thought in terms of a British Labour Movement and absorbed the ideology of the centralising British Imperial State even though he was a syndicalist, even Niclas y Glais the best revolutionary Communist Wales produced joined the Communist Party of Great Britain, and the historic revolutionary moment following the Russian Revolution was stabilised by the British State precisely because the ideology that could have combined national and social liberation in these islands was not developed at the critical hour.

In fact the British State shot Connolly to death in 1916 and caused early the death of John Maclean in 1923 by forcing rubber tubes down his throat, the very men that combined national with social liberation were treated with the utmost brutality.

It made sure that revolutionary ideology of national and social liberation in the British Isles never got a grip in peoples consciousness has that would be end game for the British Imperial State.

The Left in Britain basically pursued Reform of the British State after 1920 and were scared to death of smashing the British State which would have been a consquence of revolutionary movements in Scotland and Wales and Kernow for national and social liberation in the 1920's.

The deconstruction of the notion of Britishness a practical 18th Century social construct that merged with the idea of British with the idea of Empire has origins with London Welsh trying to sell the idea of Brythonaeg from Tudor and Stuart times to the English has ideological preparation for Empire.*

Learning the lessons of revolutionary failure can be instructive if we have the will to revisit our past mistakes and draw lessons for the future - the movement that arose in opposition to the First War World throughout the British Isles is instructive in that respect and nowhere more so than Wales.


*Unpublished paper of David Lawrence