• 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 ...

Monday, February 22, 2016

"Thanks to ... three kingdoms – Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran – the policies of the powerful international powers have prioritised stability: thus effectively sponsoring the states’ transformation into security agencies, and permitting them to eradicate their subjects if they get out of hand, and not interfering with the internal matters of the dynasties and juntas which rule over their citizens’ lives. This prioritisation of stability has benefited despotic regimes, including the Assad regime, and has never been in the interest of the populace and their demands and political activities.
Isn’t this, rather, the most important source of the antiquated, which controls all other sources?
Overall, the fast-moving current of antiquation that is engulfing us all appears to be a result of three springs merging into one: the spring of religion, which offers legitimacy to existing and soon-to-exist despotic authorities; the spring of despotic states that receive assistance and legitimacy from a world system centered around stability; and the spring of this world-system itself, which acts as a pillar for different forms of discrimination, privilege and prejudice. The antiquated is a mixture of discrimination and prejudice protected by force, which in turn protects privilege. It is the face of rising reactionarism in today’s world.
I am referring to the interlacing of three factors. The US and the West more generally, including Israel, dominate the world system; it is Syria’s bad fortune that Russia too is a partner in this domination. I am inclined to consider the world system as the dynamic source of antiquation in our lives; the source of reactionary tendencies, including religious brutality and states’ despotism. That is because the strongest archaic is the archaic of the strongest. The democratic West is the patron of Israel and Saudi Arabia. It is largely thanks to the democratic West that al-Qaeda was established (which emerged from jihadi movement in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union in 1980s), and the West is the structural supporter of state despotism, even when it may make the political choice to not support some such states."

— Yassin Al-Haj Saleh (born in A-Raqqah in1961) is a Syrian writer, intellectual and former political prisoner. 

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