• 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 ...

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Poland

"There are two confronting Polands of roughly equal strength. One, including the PiS supporters, finds its base in eastern Poland among small, pious farmers and working-class families who have lost jobs and income through the change from a state economy to an often ruthless neoliberalism. The other Poland, usually better educated and better off, is desperate to preserve what it sees as the historic achievement of 1989: the first reasonably stable and prosperous liberal democracy in Polish history.

In western Europe, onlookers hear snatches of Law and Justice rhetoric and conclude that the party can be dismissed as “fascist”. It is not. It stands for an old-fashioned authoritarian nationalism, invoking traditional Catholic values (imprudently, some in the Catholic hierarchy lend PiS support). And, strangely for westerners, this frantically rightwing party is also the party of what remains of the welfare state, standing up for those millions for whom the transition to capitalism has brought only loss and bewilderment."
Neil Ascherson, the Guardian, 17 January 2016

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I like this to-the-point piece. It hits the nail on the head of what is fundamental: capital, class and the state. " Parties on the...