The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Culture Corner:
Killers of the Flower Moon & Revolutionary Spring

Oct 16, 2023

Film: Killers of the Flower Moon, premiering in local theaters Oct. 20th.

Director Martin Scorsese’s latest film is set in the 1920s. Huge deposits of oil are discovered in the Oklahoma territory of the Osage Tribe, but as the film shows, the oil rights are primarily and corruptly controlled by white businessmen, lawmen, and con artists. Simultaneously, in the same area, there are a series of brutal murders stretching over years sowing a climate of fear, known as the Reign of Terror. Finally, the federal government can’t ignore the obvious abuses and gets involved.

In the midst of all this, the film focuses on an Osage woman who marries a white man. Their relationship is a microcosm of the horror and dilemmas around them. This film is long, 3 hours 26 minutes, however, it is a truly stupendous film with incredible attention to detail, feeling, and history, and demands we question where we have been, and where we are going.

Book: Revolutionary Spring: Fighting for a New World 1848–1849, by Christopher Clark, 2023.

This book is a vibrant and sometimes exciting telling of the revolutions in 1848 in Europe and around the world, their aftermath, and their long-term impact on the world’s social order.

Though the book is long, it immerses you in the events. You see revolutions spreading like wildfire across Europe, jumping from city to city. The working class demands better wages and lower food prices, and the petty bourgeoisie demands the right to vote for all in the property-owning classes, free speech, the right of assembly and a national republic. And you see the two forces combine against the vestiges of feudalism, corruption, and royalty and more or less sweep them away.

Though it tells that many gains were reversed a year later, and the moving forces of the revolutions of 1848 may have been pushed back, the lines were drawn. Will the future be working class internationalism or liberal nationalism?