• 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, December 19, 2015

Some points from a speech by Gary Younge
  • Labour produced mugs saying it would be tough on immigration; the Tories produced policies.
  • After more than a decade of war and almost a decade of austerity, social democratic parties across the continent and beyond had failed to develop a programme or strategy that could engage with their traditional bases. They no longer spoke the language of reform but instead containment. Their project, it seemed, was to limit the damage inflicted by international capitalism, not to prevent it less still to reverse it.
  • My guess is that the overwhelming majority who attended that [historical] march [against the war on Iraq] ... voted for the government they were demonstrating against and at least a plurality, including many here, voted for them again.
  • When Lula won the presidency in Brazil on a redistributive manifesto in 2002 the invisible hand of the market tore up his electoral promises and boxed the country around the ears for its reckless choice. In the three months between his winning and being sworn in, the currency plummeted by 30%, $6bn in hot money left the country, and some agencies gave Brazil the highest debt-risk ratings in the world. “We are in government but not in power,” said his close aide, Frei Betto. “Power today is global power, the power of the big companies, the power of financial capital.”
  • “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born. In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”
  • We see those symptoms today in the fundamentalisms of Mohammad, the military and the market. The war on the poor; and the wars without end.
  • Whoever you vote for, capital gets in.
  • Grassroots movements and electoral wins across Europe testify to the vitality of the left. But until it works out how to exercise power in the interests of its supporters and challenge global capital, any gains will be shortlived.

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