The Victory of the Red Army at Stalingrad

Philosophy Football’s Victory at Stalingrad Film

Featuring Seumas Milne, Clare Solomon, Matthew Collins with Geoffrey Roberts author of Stalin’s General : The Life of Georgy Zhukhov and Susan Richards of OpenDemocracy Russia plus performances by Thee Faction and the Trans-Siberian March Band. Gregg McDonald’s film of the Philosophy Football’ 70th Anniversary of the Victory of Stalingrad Night combines political commentary, military history with some great live music. A showcase event for a different way of doing politics, mixing ideas with having a good time, learning from the past, looking forward to a better future, and all on a Saturday night out.

17 comments on “The Victory of the Red Army at Stalingrad

  1. Watching this, I regret not being able to make it to London even more.

    But I have bought Milne’s latest book and some Trans-Siberian March Band.

    Philosophy Football should ask them for a finder’s fee.

  2. Yes it was a great night out. The fact that this video has now been posted absolves me (I think) from the promise I made to MarkP and others to do a review of it.

    I will say. that I wasn’t sure what Claire Solomon’s role was. Maybe the video, (which I have watched without sound and no rt listened to yet) may provide a bit of enlightenment.

    I will add that I loved the TSMB but Thee Faction (while musically excellent) did come accross as a bit of an unintentional spoof, possibly because I’m too familiar with Alexei Sayle.

    On the latter point my wife and I profoundly disagreed- she thought they were marvellous all round.

    Excellent venue btw.

  3. Vanya

    No absolution, not even in the ecumenical left. Review, and your feedback both required!

    Clare I thought made a useful contribution connecting the history of Stalingrad to the remaking of a political idealism of today. We need our history, Seumas makes that point powerfully in the film. But it needs to be framed in such a way so we’re not trapped by the past either. Again in the film Clare makes this point very well.

    I loved both bands, very different. The dancefloor filled by Trans-Siberian March Band mind.

    The wider point though, is that if we are to ‘crawl from the wreckage’ that the outside left has become is we need nights like this , on all sorts of themes, up and down the country every weekend. I really cant see any kind of worthwhile political renewal, connecting to tens of thousands, not just a few hundred diehards, without such a project. The film, rather neatly , captures what this might look like.

    Mark P

  4. Vanya,

    An ‘unintentional spoof’ comrade? An intriguing possibility. We’ve been accused of being too ‘knowing’ on a number of occasions. Now we’re not ‘knowing’ enough? Anyway, it won’t surprise you to hear that we agree with Mrs Vanya’s analysis. There’s no spoof, either knowing or unknowing. We’re not po-faced or sombre. We don’t do protest songs or humourless self-congratulation. We do dancing and fun and joy and hope. We play it for laughs, cos we socialists often don’t laugh enough. Not least at ourselves. But it’s not a spoof. It’s a celebration. Solution songs. Packed with fun. Come and see us again and we will chat. Lovely of you to write about us. ‘Musically excellent’ is very generous. Onward!

  5. #5 I made pretty much the same point to your lead singer (not sure if that’s you). I also repeat that I am more than happy to see you again, particularly if you do a gig in Mnachester.

  6. Vanya,

    Ha ha! Nope. I’m the fat bearded guitarist. I shall grill Billy on what answer he gave you. We will do all we can to come to Manchester, but what Engels called ‘the dull compulsion of the economic’ makes it hard.

  7. Thanks John.

    It was indeed a great event, neatly captured by Gregg’s film. We try to put on 2 or 3 of these nights a year. his was one of the best, attracting a diverse crowd of around 200.

    But just imagine if there was a network of such ventures all across the country, resourced by the trade unions wih some start-up funds. Any serious project to remake the Outside Left is going to require something of this order. If we simply continue in the old ways ours will be a movement of diminishing returns.

    If politics can’t be fun, then why bother?

    Mark P

  8. Mark P,

    Interesting idea Mark. I have found in the CP when we organise events with music, poetry, meals, walking…etc a lot more people turn out than for the standard branch/district meeting or if we just put on a speaker.

    With a couple of poets, actors and musicians in Manchester we have been toying with the idea of having a regular Morning Star social. They do it in Sheffield and it draws in a lot more people (and money for the Star’s fighting fund) to have a ‘fun’ event.

  9. George Hallam on said:

    Baby Face: what Engels called ‘the dull compulsion of the economic’

    I think you meant to say: what Marx called “the dull compulsion of economic relations” Capital Vol. I Ch. 28

  10. George Hallam,

    Oops! Thanks. Why did I think it was from Anti-Duhring? Or, more to the point, why have I been labouring under that impression for decades? Thanks for pointing me back in the right direction.

  11. George Hallam on said:

    Baby Face:

    No problem. I often find I misremember quotes myself. It’s always best to check when posting to this site. There are such lot of pedants here.

  12. This was a fantastic night, I really enjoyed it and look forward to similar events in the future.

    George H – your sentence ‘There are such lot of pedants here’ is missing an a and should of course read ‘There are such a lot of pedants here’. Just saying ;)

  13. George Hallam on said:

    SteveS: George H – your sentence ‘There are such lot of pedants here’ is missing an a and should of course read ‘There are such a lot of pedants here’.

    Touché!