“The permanent constitutional condition of the manufactured man … is sordidness.” So says Captain Ahab of Moby Dick. And Melville was right. This is what we are fighting. We are fighting the manufactured condition of man, and attempting to regain our true nature. That is not romanticism by the way, but an expression of the […]
I want nothing short of revolutionary change, a radical change, a renaissance. I think it is needed – urgently needed: and I do not think that human beings are going to survive at all without it. We have, inadvertently, pressed our backs against a wall. I think we need to rise to a higher level […]
A while back, Mound suggested I read Collapse by Jared Diamond, and I finally got to it. It’s a fascinating read particularly for anyone interested in ancient civilizations. Diamond explores what caused the destruction of various civilizations over the past couple millennia. What interested me, of course, is his final few chapters that clarify what this understand of the world can do for our own understanding of our current position. These are my notes and thoughts as I read:
The Old Problem: Overexploitation of Resources
“The processes through which past societies have undermind themselves by damaging their environments fall into (Read more…)
We Are the Giant, a powerful portrait of five human rights activists in Syria, Libya, and Bahrain, personalizes the multiple, simultaneous, and in many ways ongoing struggles often monolithically referred to as the Arab Spring.
Through first-person interviews as well as archival, news, and cell phone footage, director Greg Barker goes beyond Western media’s surface portrayal of mass protests and celebration of Twitter and social media to give individual voice to the people behind these movements and pinpoint the moments at which peaceful protests devolve into government massacres in these three countries. In this regard the film offers a (Read more…)
Hemp has enormous potential to help us build an ecologically sound society. It can replace most uses of tree-derived paper products and lumber, thus saving vast amounts of forests. It can eliminate and replace most uses of synthetic fibres, which are used in clothing, furniture, carpets and textiles, and virtually all uses of plastics, […]
Today President Obama said America’s invasion of Iraq is nothing compared to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Coffin makers agree.
In 2003 the United States invaded Iraq, a stable country, claiming Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said the US invasion was illegal and it was soon determined that Iraq had no such weapons. In 2005 Iraq held elections while the war was still being waged and American troops occupied the country. By 2013 the Iraq war had killed over 100,000 people, with at least 60,000 (lowest estimate) of those being innocent civilians.
In (Read more…)
Today is Friday. Let’s make it “think for ourselves Friday.”
It’ll work: the government/corporations/1% won’t see it coming!
Twitter / occupythemob: http://t.co/doHx1xWO4l.
December 17, 2013 Fried Squirrels (0) December 20, 2013 Enbridge: What Now? We Escalate Our Fight (4) January 7, 2012 Day Two of Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0) January 7, 2012 Opening Panel from the Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0)
RUSSIA IN REVOLT: THE FIRST CRACK IN TSARIST POWER ‘Russia in Revolt: The First Crack in Tsarist Power’ by David Floyd. Macdonald Library of the 20th Century, Macdonald and Co., London 1969 Good old history light ! The Macdonald Library of the 20th Century is a series of brief books about outstanding events, personalities and trends in that century. The series ranges through the alphabet from ‘The Anarchists’ to ‘Woodrow Wilson’. All are heavy on pictures and light on text, each one readable in one day. Despite their brevity they can be very useful introductions.
This volume (Read more…)
Russell Brand’s Epic Interview With BBC’s Jeremy Paxman Just Might Start A Revolution (VIDEO) The Huffington Post | By Ryan GrenoblePosted: 10/25/2013 4:11 pm EDT
Many have seen Russel Brand’s remarkable interview with Jeremy Paxman, either on TV or YouTube..if not please go to the HuffPo article cited here and see it..the best ten minutes you’ll have today, or the worst, depending on your point of view… Politicians ‘don’t lay a glove’ on Paxman, or bother trying, because they realize that, as ‘progressive’ as he is, he is entertainment and distraction..like our ‘ 22 Minutes,’ funny, and every (Read more…)
I heard Brand’s interview late last week, and I’ve been stewing on it ever since. On a lot of topics, I have to say that I agree with Brand’s frustration. The existing power structures are not healthy – in fact I would argue that they have been subverted by a series of forces and factors over a very long time. Yes, there are enormous problems with environmental destruction, income inequality and political power distribution in general. I agree with Russell Brand on these principals – these issues deserve our attention, and to be addressed on the political stage. (Read more…)
Richard HughesPolitical Blogger
In the last British Columbia election about half of the eligible voters did not bother to vote.
Russell Brand was not among them, but understands the thoughts of those who did not bother.
He was over in Britain sowing seeds of revolution and issuing a challenge to the same old-same old political machine that brought us to this point.
Here he is being interviewed and engaging in debate with Jeremy Paxman on the British TV program Newsnight.
Feeling a tad disconnected and estranged from the current state of affairs?
Check out this video, and ummm relax (Read more…)
A recent Tariq Ali article in Guernica – What is a Revolution – challenges misconceptions about the popular uprisings in the Middle East that some pundits characterise as the Arab Spring or more dramatically as “revolutions.” A key point in Ali’s article is that popular uprisings, however large, do not by implication constitute revolutions.
I’ve argued against the position that mass uprisings on their own constitute a revolution, i.e., a transfer of power from one social class (or even a layer) to another that leads to fundamental change. The actual size of the crowd is (Read more…)
The English translation of Che Wants to See You was recently published. It is a remarkable insider account by Ciro Bustos, a comrade-in-arms who was intimately familiar with Che Guevara and the broader liberation struggle in Latin America. The book adds to the credibility of Bustos who has been unfairly cast as Che’s betrayer in the events that led to the execution of Guevara in Bolivia in 1967.
Ciro Bustos – now 81 – is an artist who lives and works in Malmo, Sweden. He is Argentinian by birth, a native of Mendoza.
When Bustos first heard Che’s voice on (Read more…)
I think everyone should read Chomsky. He’s brilliant, yet far less dense and inaccessible as some people think. He’s a different person than you or me – well, than me for sure. He has a wealth of knowledge and an astute analysis of events pretty much from the beginning of time to now all in his head and instantaneously available to him. I have to look up the word “hegemony” every time someone uses it. But he’s also very down to earth, which makes him all the easier to follow. Most importantly, he gives us a framework of the world (Read more…)
Writer, war correspondent, religious scholar, Chris Hedges has become increasingly radicalized over the past dozen or so years although he would argue it’s society that has truly changed, particularly through the influence of religious fundamentalism and the capture of political power by the forces of corporatism. Whatever the balance of changes and forces, he’s calling for revolution as the last hope.
Corporations write our legislation. They control our systems of information. They manage the political theater of electoral politics and impose our educational curriculum. They have turned the judiciary into one of their wholly owned subsidiaries. They have decimated (Read more…)
Religion is the origin of all social thought – philosophy, science, law, ethics, etc. Like the social thought that we now consider secular, it is also imbued with a referent principle that provides a foundational justification for its imperatives and truth claims. For religion the foundational principle is the will of God, for liberal society it is natural law, for Marxism it is human
On Sunday, March 10 the British Socialist Workers Party held a Special Conference to deal with the crisis that has been raging in its organization since its annual January conference. The trigger for the crisis was an allegation of rape against a member of the party’s Central Committee (CC) that was reviewed by a Disputes Committee composed of long-time colleagues and friends of the accused. I
Left: A Freedmen’s school, a place of learning established by New Afrikans who had escaped the slave-system in the south of the united states. Right: a mob of euro-americans burns a Freedmen’s school to the ground.
It is necessary, first, to overcome the opposition between a physicalist vision of the social world that conceives of social relations as relations of physical force and a “cybernetic” or semiological vision which portrays them as relations of symbolic force, as relations of meaning or relations of communication. The most brutal relations of force are always simultaneously symbolic relations. And acts of submission and
. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: Two Aspects of Power: Consciousness and Physical Force
Politically, sexual violence constitutes both a form of terrorism against its target, and an act of affirmation for the rapists and those who identify with them. It is not normally a form of “horizontal violence” – that would imply that other than this unfortunate slip-up, perpetrator and target would both share the same class position and interests. The prevalence of sexual violence, and its intractability, speaks against this naive theory.Rather than depoliticizing this question, sexual violence should be understood as a form of oppressive violence meant to either establish or defend hierarchies between people. Keeping some people – overwhelmingly
. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: The Gendered Body Public: Egypt, Sexual Violence and Revolution
This interview originally appeared in Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture, 5:2, 259-270. For a PDF of the interview, go here. It is also mirrored on the Kersplebedeb site here.
In the 1960s and 1970s, many activists looked to the prisons for political leadership, while viewing prisons themselves as institutions of repression and social control integral to larger systems of oppression. Around the world, the prisoner emerged as an icon of state repression and a beacon of liberation. If the prison served as the bricks and mortar of oppression, the prisoner became the flesh and blood of
. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: New Interview by David Gilbert
I am thinking about this task I set before me. But what is this task? Every time I define it, I eventually realize that my solution is disconnected from life.
This is happening more and more. When I examine a problem, and break it down into its essential parts, understand why, the answer is always the same. The difference is on the surface and it begins to disappear as you go deeper into it.
To know what is correct, one must know the goal that is sought. The same is true for public policy, which is further burdened by the
. . . → Read More: The Quantum Buddha’s Blog: The New Age