• Books: Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild, Endless War: Hidden Functions of the "war on terror" by David Keen, Capital Vol. 1, Tin Drum by Günter Grass, What is Islam? by Shahab Ahmed, Desiring Arabs by Joseph Massad, Spies, Soldiers and Statesmen by Hazem Kandil, La Condition Humaine by André Malraux, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Imagined Community by Benedict Anderson, Culture and Imperialism by Edward Said, The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon, The Richness of Life by Stephen Jay Gould, Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz, The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell, Noli me Tangere by José Rizal, Age of Extremes by Eric Hobsbawm, ذهنية التحريم لصادق جلال العظم, Karl Marx by Francis Wheen, وليمة لأعشاب البحر لحيدر حيدر, Candide by Voltaire, النزعات المادية في الفلسفة العربية الإسلامية لحسين مروة, Listen Little Man by Wilhelm Reich ..
  • Films: Alexanderplatz by Rainer Fassbinder, Clockwork Orange, Apocalypse Now, The Battle of Algiers, films by P. P. Passolini, Persepolis, Midnight Express, 1984, Papillion, Gangs of New York, Sophie Scholl, Life of Brian, Ivan the Terrble, Battleship Potemkine ...

Saturday, February 24, 2018

"New forms of industrial action need to be instituted against managerialism. For instance, in the case of teachers and lecturers, the tactic of strikes (or even of marking bans) should be abandoned, because they only hurt students and members (at the college where I used to work, one-day strikes were pretty much welcomed by management because they saved on the wage bill whilst causing negligible disruption to the college). What is needed is the strategic withdrawal of forms of labor which will "New forms of industrial action need to be instituted against managerialism. For instance, in the case of teachers and lecturers, the tactic of strikes (or even of marking bans) should be abandoned, because they only hurt students and members (at the college where I used to work, one-day strikes were pretty much welcomed by management because they saved on the wage bill whilst causing negligible disruption to the college). What is needed is the strategic withdrawal of forms of labor which will only be noticed by management: all of the machineries of self-surveillance that have no effect whatsoever on the delivery of education, but which managerialism could not exist without. Instead of the gestural, spectacular politics around (noble) causes like Palestine, it’s time that teaching unions got far more immanent, and take the opportunity opened up by the crisis to begin to rid public services of business ontology. When even businesses can’t be run as businesses, why should public services?"

— Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism

In Arabic

The "civilised world", "the human rights defenders" are silent again while the Syrian regime backed by Iran and Russia is committing another massacre. Hang on, the victims are not white Western journalists or Christian Arabs!
The very same Syrian regime and its backers that is responsible for 93 percent of the civilian deaths so far. Hang on, what about ISIS? ISIS has killed mostly white Westerners in some European cities and the US.


It is not only the cospiracy theorists and the alt-right, we shouldn't forget "the liberal defense of murder" in the Iraq case prior to 2003.

A lesson from Syria
How to "hide" crimes

According to a report by the World Bank itself "the development of biofuels has caused a rise of 75 in food prices between 2002 and February 2008 (out of the 100 percent global rise, while the prices of energy and fertilisers accounted for only 15 percent). 

This estimate is much higher thatn the 3 percent figure retained by the U.S. administration. According to the World Bank teh hike in prices has already cost consumers $324 billion in poor countries and could drive 105 million more people into poverty. So as not to displease President Bush, the World Bank did not publish this report. It was a leak in the press that allowed the information to emerge.

This analysis of the World Bank remains ideologically tainted by neoliberalism. The development of agro-fuels is not responsible for the 'disorganisation of the markets' but reveals their irrational policies and their criminal consequences [my emphasis]. Eat, drink, or drive, the free market will not us to choose. 

"It is a crime against humnaity to convert agricultural productive soil into soil ... which will be burnt into biofuel." — Jean Ziegler, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, October 2007.

Debt, IMF, and the World Bank by E. Toussaint and D. Millet, 2010, p. 122
The BBC online: 
Britain is set for the coldest February week in five years as freezing air arrives from Russia.

Putin's regime has done it again! The sanctions have been proved ineffective.

Italy

They also began pushing for policies the left had given up hope of ever hearing again, such as the renationalisation of Italy’s banking, communications, health, transport and energy sectors. They cited the most progressive aspects of Mussolini’s politics, focusing on his “social doctrines” regarding housing, unions, sanitation and a minimum wage. CasaPound accepted that the racial laws of 1938 (which introduced antisemitism and deportation) were “errors”; the movement claimed to be “opposed to any form of discrimination based on racial or religious criteria, or on sexual inclination”.

CasaPound was borrowing leftwing clothes: imitating the strategy of the Italian Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci, it aimed for what Gramsci had called “cultural hegemony” by infiltrating the cultural and leisure activities of everyday Italians.


In reality ... there was no Italian equivalent of Germany’s denazification: throughout the postwar period, one far-right political party – the Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI) – kept alive the flame of Mussolini, at its height in 1972 winning 9% or 2.7m votes.

For a generation, through the 1980s and early 1990s,fascism seemed finished. But when Silvio Berlusconi burst into politics looking for anti-communist allies, he identified the MSI as his ideal political partner.

CasaPound’s job is already done. It has been essential to the normalisation of fascism. At the end of 2017, Il Tempo newspaper announced Benito Mussolini as its “person of the year”. It wasn’t being facetious: Il Duce barged into the news agenda every week last year. A few weeks ago, even a leftwing politician in Florence said that “nobody in this country has done more than Mussolini”. Today, 73 years after his death, he is more admired than traditional Italian heroes such as Giuseppes Garibaldi and Mazzini.
The fascist movement that has brought Mussolini back to the manistream


Friday, February 23, 2018

"A social system based on private ownership of production can’t support the kind of planning that could avert environmental catastrophe. The owners of capital are fragmented and compelled by competition to look after their own interests first, and any serious planning would have to override property rights — an action that would be aggressively resisted." 
Sam Gindin

"New forms of industrial action need to be instituted against managerialism. For instance, in the case of teachers and lecturers, the ...