ISSUE 4:
May 2021

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ISSUE 4 ARTICLES

ISSUE 4 POETRY & ART

The Big Man of History

Ghosts

Young Engels

JOSHUA A. HODGES

 

Possibilities

LYDIA KURTZ

 

Carlos Marcos

ANTONY LeROY

Little Fatima Meer

1956

J.C. GOVENDER

Panther and Plough

INLA Freedom Fighters

John Brown

CHRISTIAN NOAKES

Untitled

Untitled

SINDYAN

 

Mauve Sky with Embers

Grolar Bear

Whale Teeth

JOHN HOEL

En Révolution: A Poem in One (1) Hour

KEVIN GREENE

Unnamed

Unnamed

HENRY GOTTSCHLICH

Lenin 1

Lenin 2

J.A. CORTEZ

 

Iron Lungs

CONNOR BLACKBURN

Fuck Joe Biden

RED STARR

John Brown Lives

Twilight

Fidel

Lenin

PKK

Shoulder to Shoulder

IAN MATCHETT

Visiting the Payday Loan Place

ZAYNE CHRYSANTHEMUM

Weaponised Water

SOL CLARKE

Core and Wind

BRIAN DOERING

Marigolds

Morning Commute

Poetry is Subjective

NIKOLAI GARCIA

Nothing to Lose

SONYA THORBJORNSEN

Song for Inherited Teeth

My Father the Foreman

NATHANIEL RICKETTS

Lamentation of the American Dream

MICHAEL CULLEN

Be Like Che

Marx in the Snow

Headframes from Copper Street

M.S. EVANS

Collage

HANNAH KASS

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ISSUE 4 INTRODUCTION

Beginning a project like Peace, Land, and Bread is never easy. To do something that has not been done since at least the days of the Comintern—that is, to produce, from the ground up, an avant-garde, peer-reviewed, and rigorous journal of multidisciplinary communist scholarship—is indeed something of a Herculean task. As we kick off the present issue of Peace, Land, and Bread, our fourth issue, and as we embark upon the second year of our publication, it only seems natural to reflect upon not only the origins of the journal, but upon the process of journal production more generally. 

 

Back when several of our editors worked with the now-defunct Marx Engels Lenin Institute, we produced a solitary issue of what might be considered as the precursor-predecessor to Peace, Land, and Bread—a journal we called Forward! Popular Theory and Practice. Forward! was fraught with editorial mismanagements and was met with a lukewarm reception; but the articles themselves were both critical and important. We realized, as Forward! flopped, that something as important as a scholarly journal of communist theory and practice needed not only a robust institutional and editorial structure to support it, but that it needed a robust and a keen readership ready to engage with the intellectual rigor of advanced proletarian theory. Those several of us—Ember, Ethan, and myself—left the Marx Engels Lenin Institute due not only to a crumbling internal infrastructure, but also due to an overwhelming desire to continue the work of peer reviewed publication.

From this move, our parent research center, The Center for Communist Studies, was born, and we set about quickly in working on the logistical infrastructure for the publication that would eventually become Peace, Land, and Bread. We organized our fledgling journal around several key principles: 1. that all materials must be freely available to readers at no charge—in other words: no paywalls, ever—and that non-profit print sales would only exist for those who work better with the print medium, 2. that the materials we publish must be held to the highest standards of academic rigor, peer-review, and avant-garde scholarship, and 3. that our editorial board must reflect, to an individual, our organizational principles of dedicated public scholarship, international solidarity, and anti-imperial/anti-colonial/pro-communist action. Trusting fully in the intellectual capacity of our readers, and working to deconstruct the oft-impenetrable air of mystique and confusion that surrounds peer-reviewed scholarship, we worked to imagine Peace, Land, and Bread as a ranked academic journal made accessible to those outside of the academy as well.

 

Responding to the debased, capitalistic, hyper-monetization of research, as well as to the growing inaccessibility of knowledge, the mission of Peace, Land, and Bread was, and still is, to make rigorous academic scholarship both accessible and palatable with the interspersion of avant-garde design, poetry, and art; to make it colorful and an actual joy to read—as opposed to the sterile and dry academic journals currently in circulation—and to make a communist journal that refused, on ethical and geopolitical grounds, to engage in the ideological and institutional attacks on socialist states in the Global South. Several journals of communist studies in fact exist, as well as the more popular democratic socialist and social democratic journals which align, in almost every case, with the anti-communist trope of the United States State Department; we envisioned Peace, Land, and Bread and a response to these anti-communist “socialist” journals which reflect, eerily, the many “socialist” (in name only) journals funded by the CIA and the so-called Congress for Cultural Freedom throughout the 1950s and 1960s to polemicize against extant socialist and communist action. Peace, Land, and Bread was to respond to this by taking an explicit communist stance; a stance that fed the publication of rigorous and peer-reviewed materials supportive of extant socialist states. 

 

Further, we envisioned Peace, Land, and Bread as a scholarly journal that united communist action within the Anglosphere toward the purpose of furthering what is, in all actuality, the living political doctrine and thriving liberatory culture of Marxist-Leninist theory. Similar to the cultural commissions of the communist world in the 1930s, Peace, Land, and Bread would showcase the best revolutionary visual arts and poetry alongside cutting-edge academic scholarship.

 

What began in 2017 as a dream of three graduate students and educators has since grown into the journal you read today—a journal recognized with both ISSN and ISBN, cataloged in the various Libraries of State in the Anglosphere; a journal replete with hundreds upon hundreds of pages of full color graphic design, art and poetry; a journal overseen by a solidary and tight-knit editorial board of just around twenty-six editors, readers, and reviewers; and a journal that continues to receive critical international praise for its work, for its rigor, and for its adherence to the anti-imperial political line abandoned by so many radical journals in the modern era.

 

This past year of Peace, Land, and Bread has seen us publish close to a thousand pages of important new scholarship in the field of applied Marxist-Leninist and communist theory, it has seen us interviewed for, and presenting upon, our work through organizations like the Hampton Institute, Arizona State University, The Vanguard, and the Michigan Writer’s Club, and it has, probably most importantly, seen us on the Peace, Land, and Bread editorial board grow as scholars, editors, and as educators. 

 

What you hold in your hands now is the end of a yearly cycle—the last, Herculean, eight and a half by eleven inch, three hundred (plus) page issue. You also hold the herald of a new yearly cycle of Peace, Land, and Bread. Our next issue will come in much sleeker and much more accessible at a svelte one hundred and fifty pages, along with a new seven by ten inch size, as well as a dedicated aesthetic style grounded in the communist avant-garde. Our previous four issues were themed: spring renewal for our first issue, laborwave for our second, constructivist and suprematist themes for our third, and now, here, Soviet science-fiction and an avant-garde of the Soviet film for our fourth issue. We’re excited for the future of Peace, Land, and Bread, and we know you’ll love what we have in store for the journal.

 

The current issue is, in my opinion, our best (and biggest) yet. We’ve brought back our readers’ favorite authors—Christian Noakes, Jackson Albert Mann, and Amal Samaha, to name but a few—and we’ve packed the pages with incredibly critical, poignant, and important works from Thomas McLamb, Talia Lux, Sam Glasper, and more. Our arts and poetry section is more robust than ever, and contains beautiful works of art from Sindyan, Ian Matchett, M.S. Evans, and others.

 

This issue reflects the ethos and the character of Peace, Land, and Bread more generally: that is, it is robust, rigorous, poignant, relevant, and timely. And it is emblematic of the iterative process of journal production as well: we've taken what we've learned over this last year and worked to make issue four the best and most comprehensive issue yet.  

 

We’re incredibly honored to be on this journey of public scholarship and education with you all, in a time where it is most sorely needed—perhaps more than ever. We would not be who we are without our readers, our contributors, and without all of the hands and voices that go into this project, and it is to you all whom we dedicate this, our fourth issue.

 

Ben Stahnke

Editor & Designer | Peace, Land, and Bread

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ISSUE 3:

November 2020

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ISSUE 3 ARTICLES

POETRY AND ART

The Revolutionary

JOSHUA C. GOVENDER

 

Amidst Slumber

ANTON REGALA

 

The Circus Comes (And Beckons!)

AZRIEL ROSE

Jesus and Lenin Smoking Cigarettes in Hanoi

DYLAN PARSONS

Leaves, or Salt

JACOB EDGAR

Stock

JENSEN SAERE

Walls

Working Class Prides

JOHN BEACHAM

The Revolution is Coming

SANDY YU

 

Untitled Poem

JOHN SCHLEMBACH

Nostalgiya

KONSTANTINOS DIMOPO

Guillotine 2020

DUNC X

Local 23

MICHAEL ARAUJO

Self Portrait as Fragile Things

MARTINS DEEP

Violence 2020

NICHOLAS HEACOCK

Alone

A Sense of Being

No Country for the Poor

PRAKASH KONA

1945 - 2020

Maduro

SINDYAN

What Does R Stand For?

NICHOLAS HEACOCK

A Made Up Dialogue Between Myself and Jürgen Habermas

Illusions by the Moonlight

SHANE BRANT

Aureola

Leila Khaled

CHRISTIAN NOAKES

Buffalo Nickel

Store Radio (2)

SUGAR LE FAE

Smash Hindutva Fascism

Victory for Palestine 

REBEL POLITIK

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ISSUE 3 INTRODUCTION

Today, while the neoliberal state and the capitalist class remain infatuated with the hourly convulsions of obscure financial statistics, the tables and graphs produced by epidemiologists seem to tell an unrelated story—one both more clear and more devastating. Capital alone offers no salvation for the ravages of an uncontrolled pandemic. The dual logics of profit and accumulation are directly opposed to epidemiology, to virology, and to public health. And, as we are now able to juxtapose the pandemic impacts in the United States against those of the socialist states—against the examples provided by China, Vietnam, and others—we are able to see most clearly what has been true all along: that the neoliberal state and the capitalist class care nothing for the lives of the public. Profit and accumulation, rested atop a pile of corpses, are their only motivation. Capitalism has utterly failed public health and well-being.

We are witnessing today what occurs when the neoliberal state comes up against a problem untethered from the logic of the market, and we are suffering all the more for it. Amidst the pandemic, amidst political upset, and amidst social uncertainty, capital accumulation continues both unabated and unfettered, concentrating the sum total of an unimaginable wealth into ever fewer hands.

As the domestic politics of the empire descend into an ever greater absurdity, things like systematized racism, electoral uncertainty, and a complete dismantlement of public trust in the institutions of government work to create a maelstrom of friction. The empire itself sits upon the precipice of catastrophe, and still the needs of the working class remain unheeded. As the imperial state itself is contested among warring factions of the capitalist class, the needs of the working poor are increasingly neglected—the great masses left alone with no social sureties amidst death, illness, houselessness, and unemployment. We are left with a barrier, one we know all too well by now, between separated worlds: the world of capital on one hand and the world of life itself on the other.

For those of us who try as we might to live our daily lives in the latter world, we are forced to face the palpable consequences of the whole capitalist system bearing incessantly upon us, intensifying by the hour: unemployment and underemployment, lack of or poor quality healthcare, unsafe working conditions, looming and ever increasing rents, stagnated wages, loss of social benefits, hunger and homelessness, state violence (both threatened and actual), sanctions and coups, and increasing social frictions grounded in a racism as old as capitalism itself.

At this juncture, we are faced with such inhumanity that we would do well to recall Gramsci’s maxim: “Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.” Amidst a disputed election, we know that neither US presidential candidate will change these first nature facts, nor will we find our saviors in the ruling classes of Western and Northern Europe. It is the responsibility of revolutionaries everywhere—those both within and outside of the imperial core—to provide not just a clear view of the catastrophe we face, but to guide society toward a just solution, to provide a diagnosis, and the hope for a cure. We are pessimistic because we see the vast martial and ideological arsenal of the ruling class; optimistic because we know it is the will of the masses that shapes history.

As Evo Morales relates in the introduction to Vijay Prashad’s Washington Bullets, “It is likely that the world that will emerge from the convulsions of 2020 will not be the one that we used to know. Everyday, we are reminded of the need to continue our struggle against imperialism, against capitalism, and against colonialism. We must work together towards a world in which greater respect for the people and for Mother Earth is possible.”[1] It is in this spirit we hope that the third issue of Peace, Land, and Bread makes a lively contribution to the growing literature of rev- olutionary theory with which we confront—and construct—this coming world.

Opening the issue, Taylor Genovese argues for a compelling reimagining of a communist morality with which to confront the new world. On page 38, Christian Noakes provides a poignant and striking account of dispossession, displacement, and community development; and on page 52, Sam Parry argues strongly for that we view the modern European Union as a new era in European imperialism, rather than a salvific force for global reparation. Our poetry and arts section, Poiesis and Physis, is the biggest it has ever been with over thirty pages of revolutionary art, writing, and poetry. And, as we continue to establish our journal as the leading voice of critical scholarship in the Marxist-Leninist tradition, we promise to ensure that revolutionary arts will always have a place alongside revolutionary scholarship.

On page 101, Amal Samaha pays brilliant tribute to the late David Graeber with an innovative and groundbreaking synthesis of Graeber’s own writing with the work of Jürgen Habermas and Zak Cope in Innovators, Bullshitters, or Aristocrats: Towards an Explanation of Unproductive Work. Following Samaha, Lucas Huang writes a brilliant, must-read treatise on the intersection of idol culture and capital in Idol Empire: East Asia’s Pop-Music Industry and the Conquest of Creativity. And in our newest section, Litteratura Comunista, we present three masterfully written articles on the intersection of musical theory, literary analysis, film studies, and Marxism by Jackson Albert Mann, Mark LaRubio, and Sérgio Dias Branco; as well as a poignant review of renowned critical theorist Mackenzie Wark’s newest book, Sensoria: Thinkers for the Twentieth Century.

In our biggest history section yet, Things Before: History and Materialism, we bring you articles by Joe Dwyer, John Forte, and our editor Ben Stahnke, as well as critical articles by Uma Arruga, and Donald Courter. In short, this issue of Peace, Land, and Bread is nothing short of Herculean. At almost 300 pages, issue three is our biggest issue yet.

We on the editorial staff bring you PLB as a labor of love. As committed scholars and activists, Peace, Land, and Bread is part of our contribution to the great and lengthy history of revolutionary writing in the era of capital; it sits in concert with several hundred years of revolutionary publishing—publishing which has often been outlawed, and has seen editors and authors exiled, killed, or driven underground. We bring you Peace, Land, and Bread in this spirit: in the spirit of writing and research amidst dark times, of radical scholarship in the face of empire, and in the spirit of both pessimism and hope—pessimism that what we now face upon the eve of what might be the most troubling winter in a hundred years is nothing short of historic, and optimism that, as communists and as radicals, we shall persevere as we always have: through community, camaraderie, and connection—and overall with solidarity.

Marx famously wrote that revolutions are the locomotives of history. We continue to walk the tracks placed before us—laying down our own tracks upon which the next generations will build ever farther—with Marxism-Leninism as our guiding light, as the science on which we ground our revolutionary work, our community, and our hope.

ENDNOTES

[1] Morales, Evo. "Introduction to Washington Bul- lets," by Vijay Prashad. Washington Bullets. Monthly Review Press, p. 11, 2020.

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ISSUE 2:

SUMMER 2020

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ISSUE 2 INTRODUCTION

Peace! Land! Bread! 

 

This was the unifying cry of the Russian revolutionaries that called for peace for the war weary, land for the landless, and bread for the hungry. It is hard to say if Vladimir Lenin could have predicted just how relevant those words would be some 103 years later. But, in 2020 we once again find ourselves in a position that was not unfamiliar to the Bolsheviks. 

 

Peace is threatened by imperialist conflicts. Land is being bought, sold and exploited by capitalist industries which leave the land barren through unsustainable agricultural and mining practices. Food security is threatened by capitalist trade wars, overexploitation and climate change which drives wide-spread hunger and displacement affecting an estimated 810 million people.[1] We also find ourselves governed by an incompetent political class, under the cloud of a global pandemic and experiencing the resurgence of Fascism.[2] Everywhere you look, it seems, the early-20th century is repeating itself and the writings of Lenin and Marx seem more and more relevant.

 

Marxism is often turned to as the solution when capitalism becomes strained following events such as pandemics. In her book, Laura Spinney argued that it was hard to decouple the revolutionary wave that swept the globe and the effects of the devastating 1918 Spanish Flu.[3] In 1920 Soviet Russia became the first to implement a fully centralised public healthcare system, resulting in the development of the first flu vaccine.[4]  In Ireland, the election of socialist Sinn Féin, the formation of the Limerick Soviet and the sitting of the first Dáil Éirean saw an end to colonial rule and greater rights for the ethnic Irish working class (discussed in David Swanson’s article, page 123). More recently, nationalisation is used to prevent capitalist businesses such as Virgin Australia from collapsing. Perhaps most excitingly, we are seeing people reckon with deep-rooted racism, anti-semitism, and social injustice following the Black Lives Matter protests and the ongoing economic strain of COVID-19. 

 

Many contemporary issues are examined through the Marxist-Leninist lens in the July issue of Peace, Land and Bread. The coronavirus pandemic, capitalism, and the potential for reform is thoughtfully discussed in Maya Bhardwaj’s article (page 15). Decolonisation and imperialism also features prominently in this issue during Zhong Xiangyu’s piece (page 36) and during the exciting interview with Pulitzer Prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen (page 81), in which Viet discusses the story behind his debut novel The Sympathizer with Quynh Vo. Rainer Shea discusses the troubling rise of fascism in his article on America’s imperialistic economic system (page 29). 

 

Although Peace, Land and Bread is a scholarly, peer-reviewed publication, it is our firm belief that revolutionary thinking throughout history has  been expressed through art and literature. In our second issue, we continue our tradition of including artwork and poetry, addressing themes ranging from Black Lives Matter, religion, police brutality, revolution, American imperialism and LGBT+ rights. 

 

The articles and art work presented in our July issue contribute to some of the biggest conversations happening on a global scale. Importantly, these articles shed light on how Marxism-Leninism is best suited to cope with the big issues facing us as a species. We hope these peer-reviewed, scholarly articles will aid our readers in understanding the world around them in the context of communism, and suggest new avenues of debate and thinking. 

References

1. The State of Food Security and nutrition in the world. (2020). United Nations report. Retrieved 18th of July 2020 from http://www.fao.org/publications/sofi

2. Copsey, N. The Radical Right and Facism. (2018). Published in The Oxford Handbook on the Radical right. Oxford University Press.

3. Spinner, L. Pale Rider: the Spanish Flu of 1812 and how it changed the world. (2017). PubliPress Publishing.

4. Barberis, I; Myles, P; Ault, S; Bragganzi, N; Martini, M. (2016). History and evolution of influenza control through vaccination: from the first monovalent vaccine to universal vaccines. JPMH. 57(3)

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ISSUE 1:

SPRING 2020

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ISSUE 1 INTRODUCTION

Peace! Land! Bread! 

 

This was the rallying cry of the Bolsheviks that united the disparate revolutionary factions of Russia in the early part of the twentieth century. Peace for the war-weary; land for the landless; and bread for the hungry.

Now, in the early part of the twenty-first century—as fascism mutates and reemerges in the form of right-wing nativisms sweeping the globe, entrenched within and complementing the structures of capital—communism once again stands to oppose it: to fight the global darkening at the hand of endless imperial war, climatological and economic dispossessions, and of pervasive food insecurity.

In addition to the greater aim of communist revolution, communists today remain committed to the cause of public awareness and scholarship. Lenin roused the jaded Russian proletariat by showing them that a better society could be built with his call for peace, land, and bread.

 

Today, we work to rouse the exploited and exhausted workers of the world and to show them that the twenty-first century demons of capital can be fought with communism. Peace, land, and bread must once again be our rallying cry—the rallying cry of socialists everywhere.

 

In Solidarity,

Peace, Land, and Bread Editors

POETRY AND ART

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