Socialist Radical
This is the website of Hasan Abdulla.  On this website, is a collection of political and other writings. (The business project "Abdul Publishing has had to be abandoned due to complications with business set ups)  
This website is for the purpose of promoting my non fiction articles, which cover the topics of current affairs, and related topics.  I have been  a writer for many years, and I have traveled widely.  I write with a view to promoting my own views which are mainly (Gramscian) Marxist. 

 
This website is a non profit making venture in which I aim to promote material that furthers the cause of workers rights.
Comments and feedback are welcome.  Please use contact form on this page.  Your input will be much appreciated.


The Writings of Hasan Abdulla - Socialist Radical

(For Health and Knowledge, for Justice and Equality)
A Portrait of myself which was taken locally in Reading, UK

Turgenev

 The Character Artist

 

 

On October 28, 1818 a unique and gifted novelist and poet, Ivan Turgenev was born in Oryol, a town in Russia.  His career would catapult to that of being an author of literary masterpieces such as “On the Eve” and “The Torrents of Spring”, placing him along the ranks of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy.  His social and political ideals on the other hand paled in significance to his literary genius and were of little benefit to the eventual Bolshevik uprising in October 1917. 

Graduating from the University of Moscow in 1837, he expanded his education and studied further in Berlin, Germany.  His chosen subjects while in Berlin were Hegelian Philosophy, Philology and History.

     With all the qualifications for a career in politics he nevertheless began a literary career in 1843 with writing poetry.  In spite of continued efforts with his poetry and some prose submissions to newspapers and magazines, he found no success by 1846 and by then he was on the verge of abandoning his chosen career in literature.  However, a turning point in favour of his writing came when “the Contemporary” accepted his poem “Khor and Kalynch”. 

     It was during this decade of the 1840’s that Turgenev became somewhat idealistic with the Western ideals of enlightenment and social justice.  However, he was not a politician by nature; his interest in human society overshadowed his ideological thoughts.  Considering himself a moderate he was unhappy with the upheavals of the Paris Commune. 

     His preference for everything European in contrast to things Slavophil intensified with his long standing affair with Pauline Viardot, a French opera singer.  During the 1840’s he repeatedly travelled in Europe and his frequent visits to her were tolerated somehow by her husband.

     During his literary career, his ability to chronicle Russian society was bolstered by his friend and father figure Belinsky; but Turgenev’s main source of ideas for his literary works was Pushkin, especially the novel “Eugene Onegin” which set the pattern for much of Turgenev’s subsequent stories.

     Although he had written over one hundred short poems by 1837, Turgenev was to prove his real worth in the portraiture of Russian society demonstrated to begin with in his series of short stories entitled “A Sportsman’s Sketches”.  In this collection of stories his characterisation of the Russian peasantry was such that they had a culture and interest worthy of attention for their own sake.

     It was not until 1858 that Turgenev completed his first full length novel, which was entitled “Rudin”.  In this novel and all the other novels, he let Mother Nature supply the backcloth to his fiction and he placed human nature in the foreground.  When reading Turgenev, the characters he portrays dominate his novels more than the geographical background. The lives and destinies of his characters, capture and hold the reader’s attention; they involve the reader in new worlds and in different ways of life.

     Without doubt Ivan Turgenev was a genius of literary fiction especially in his characterisation.  But although he was a prolific character artist, he was not of great value to the working class movement led by Lenin during the early twentieth century.  All the same, Ivan Turgenev’s literary masterpieces remain a valuable guide to Russian society especially that of the nineteenth century.

 

Bibliography:

Books:

Cecil, David. Poets and Story-Tellers: A Book of Critical Essays. New York: Macmillan, 1949. http://www.questia.com/read/1088460/poets-and-story-tellers-a-book-of-critical-essays.

Freeborn, Richard. Turgenev: The Novelist's Novelist, a Study. London: Oxford University Press, 1960. http://www.questia.com/read/23405789/turgenev-the-novelist-s-novelist-a-study.

Turton, Glyn. Turgenev and the Context of English Literature, 1850-1900. New York: Routledge, 1992. http://www.questia.com/read/103909509/turgenev-and-the-context-of-english-literature-1850-1900.

Yarmolinsky, Avrahm. Turgenev: The Man, His Art and His Age. New York: Orion Press, 1959. http://www.questia.com/read/6018226/turgenev-the-man-his-art-and-his-age.

 

Journal Articles:

Turgenev the European, Alexander Kaun, Books Abroad Vol. 7, No. 3(July 1933), pp.274-277.  http://www.jstor.org/stable/40074214

Ivan Turgenev and the Workings of Coincidence, Anthony D. Briggs, The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 58, No. 2(April 1980), pp.195-211.  http://www.jstor.org/stable/4208026

Ivan Turgenev, Kate O’Brien, University Review, Vol. 1, No. 11(Winter, 1956), pp. 17-26. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25504425

 

 

 



With the spirit of William DuBois

Timelines-Notable Marxists

 

Antonio Gramsci

 

 

On 22 January 1891, Gramsci was born in Ales, near Cagliari, Italy

 

1911

He graduated from the Lyceum in Cagliari.

 

1913

He joins the Socialist Section of Turin

 

1915

On December 10, Gramsci joins editorial staff of “Avanti”

 

1917

He is elected secretary of the temporary executive committee of the Socialist section of Turin; becomes director of “Grido del Popolo” (The People’s Cry).

 

1918

The “Grido del Popolo” ceases publication.

 

1919

Gramsci founds “Ordine Nuovo” (New Order); 1st issue was on May 1st.

 

1920

Gramsci takes part in the factory occupation movement; December 24-“Ordino Nuovo” weekly last issue is printed.

 

1921

January 1st: The first issue of daily “Ordino Nuovo” appears.  January 21: Gramsci is elected as member of executive committee of Italian Communist Party (PCI).

 

1922

March: Gramsci is elected to represent the Italian Communist Party (PCI) in the Communist International.  He meets he wife to be, Julia Schucht. 

 

1923

The Italian police issue a warrant for his arrest.

 

1924

August: First issue of L’Unita (Unity) is published.  His son Delio is born in Moscow

 

1926

November 18th: Gramsci receives a five-year sentence of solitary confinement

 

1927

February 7th: He is sent to San Vittore Prison

 

1928

May 19th: Gramsci is tried by the Special Court; later he is imprisoned at Regina Coeli.  On May 28th, the trial against the PCI begins.  June 4th: Gramsci is sentenced to just over twenty years in prison.

 

 

1929

He begins to write “Prison Notebooks.”

 

1931

August: He is in a severe health crisis

 

1932

His sentence is reduced to twelve years and four months.

 

1933

March 7th: Gramsci suffer a second severe health crisis.  December 7th: He is admitted to Dr Consumano’s clinic

 

1934

October 25th: He is granted a conditional freedom

 

1935

August 2nd: After a third health crisis, he is admitted to the Quisisana clinic in Rome.

 

1937

His full freedom is restored.  After a brain haemorrhage, he dies on April 27.

Gramsci is buried at the Verono cemetery in Rome.

 

Gramsci held a solid belief in Socialism as an International Cause; and was unique in that he believed that “we are all intellectuals”, that is to say the Worker can be encouraged to be an Intellectual, and not just a scholar or, say, someone of middle class background. 

 

 

 

Rosa Luxemburg

 

Revolutionary Marxist of Jewish origin.  An Internationalist and adherent to Democracy.

 

March 5, 1871

 

Rosa Luxemburg was born in Zarnosc, in Poland (then in the Russian Empire).

 

1889

 

Luxemburg emigrated to Zurich, where she studied Law and Political Economy. 

 

1898

 

Rosa Luxemburg received her Doctorate; while in Zurich, she becomes involved in the International Socialist Movement; together with her colleagues she forms the Polish Communist Party.  She marries Gustav Lubeck.

 

1905

 

A Revolution occurred in Russia which was a central experience in her life; she was imprisoned in Warsaw due to her membership of the Communist struggle.

 

1907-1914

 

After being released from prison, she became a teacher in the Social Democratic Party School in Berlin, Germany.

 

 

 

 

1914-1918

 

During World War 1, she forms the Spartacus League; publishes a pamphlet in 1916, “The Crisis in German Social Democracy.”

 

Late December 1918

 

Together with Liebknecht, she forms the German Communist Party.

 

January 15, 1919

 

She is arrested and killed by German Paramilitaries.

 

Rosa Luxemburg, throughout her political career, adhered firmly to the belief that Socialism is International and was a firm believer in Democracy in contrast to Democratic Centralism.

 

 

Samora Machel

(Liberator of Mozambique)

 

Opening notes:

 

It should be pointed out to the reader that the events that occur in this timeline, refer to the 1970’s up to the end of the 20th Century.  As such there is no intention to make a slight against or hold on trial the Republic of Portugal mentioned here.

 

September 29th, 1933

 

Samora Machel was born in Chilembene, Mozambique, 200 miles north of the capital, Maputo.

 

As a child he received his education through mission schools

 

After Primary education, he joins the nursing profession in preference to a secondary education.

 

c. 1950’s

 

Machel’s parents were displaced from their land in favour of Portuguese settlers, after being forced to grow cotton.

 

 

 

c. 1960’s

 

His experience as a male nurse radicalized Machel. After ten years in the profession, he joins Frelimo (Mozambique Liberation Front).  During his early membership he is sent to Algeria by his movement for military training

 

1970

 

Samora Machel is appointed Leader of Frelimo, after having risen quickly through the ranks of the leadership; his close comrade Eduardo Mondlane is assassinated.

 

 

1975

 

Mozambique gains Independence; Samora Machel is appointed First President of the newly Independent Mozambique.

 

1975-1980’s

 

Samora Machel administration makes an alliance with Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe; the new Marxist administration of Machel nationalises vast sectors of the economy.

 

1984

 

President Machel signs the Nkomati accord with South Africa; a truce whereby each country agrees not to support the other country’s opposition movements.

 

1986

 

On a return flight from a visit to Zambia, Machel’s plane crashed in South Africa. The Minority Government in South Africa denies involvement in his death, despite evidence to the contrary.

 

1999

 

A memorial is built in South Africa by the ANC Government in honour of Samora Machel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An EU Exit

Is it really for the best?

 

 

 

After reading the arguments against exit from the European Union, it seems as though it is only through EU membership alone that Britain can prosper. There are the Conservative Party members, and other political figures who argue that an exit from the EU could lead to a deep recession, while the majority of the Trade Unions argue that an exit from the European Union could and will lead to job losses and the suffering of those who depend on exports to the EU.

 

First of all, the very idea that Britain could suffer a deep recession on exit from the EU, is not founded on solid grounds.  The 1930’s recession did not occur because Britain was not a member of the European Union. Rather, it was the steep fall in employment caused by a slump in demand for coal.  Indeed, the EU did not take shape until later into the 20th century.  In fact, the then Premier of France, De Gaulle opposed Britain’s attempts at membership.

 

The effect on employment in the event of an exit from the European Union seems a stronger argument. Yet (with all due respect) for most of our nation’s history we have always been trading with a wide range of countries, not least the United States.  Furthermore, there do happen to be countries outside the EU which are almost as prosperous as those in Europe.

 

What is of most pressing concern is the effect on jobseekers, and their livelihood.  A major change in the country’s circumstances regarding the economy is likely to be initially unsettling and disruptive. What is of most concern is that the pressure on such groups as jobseekers to maintain an acceptable standard of living may become intolerable for the initial few years after a possible EU exit.

 

Thus, any departure from the European Union needs careful planning and preparation.

 

 

© ‘An EU Exit-Is it really for the best’ by Hasan Abdulla, 06/2016

 

 

 

Obama Revisited

(A Personal Review of the Obama Presidency)

Hasan Abdulla

 

 

As President, Barack Obama has been unique in the sense that he has been the most powerful Afro-American while at the same time a disproportionate number of Afro-Americans were and continue to remain below the poverty line.  As such he had been placed in a somewhat difficult position. Had he tried to campaign for more equal rights for his own ethnic group he would have been accused of “racism in reverse”.  On the other hand, he could not afford to ignore the demands of better civil rights for African Americans.

 

Overall the legacy of the Obama Presidency remains positive and even more enlightened than that of his predecessors.  His efforts on the gun laws surely cannot be ignored, however limited they may have been.  What is most outstanding about his domestic policies is his achievement in pulling the United States out of a perilous and deep recession and towards an expansion of the U.S. economy.  Furthermore, his efforts to expand medical insurance to reach more people in the lower classes were also noteworthy.

 

However, his foreign policy over the Middle East was somewhat limited in scope.  President Obama was very slow in lending his full support to the Syrian opposition when they most needed him. 

 

Nevertheless, Obama did achieve a historical and constructive breakthrough in lifting sanctions against the Republic of Cuba. The crippling sanctions had been in force for an exceptionally long time.  Barack Obama also made some efforts to reduce tensions against the Islamic Republic of Iran. 

 

Given Obama’s current interest in legendary civil rights activists, especially Langston Hughes, I can only suggest that he take a more vigorous and active role in the campaign to lift African Americans out of poverty.  As a response to his experience in reforming medical insurance, perhaps he should lend his support to the Labour Unions.  The overall verdict on Barack Obama’s Presidency rests solely with the citizens of the United States.

The former President Obama in a confident mood