• 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 ...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Contradiction, Systemic Crisis and the Direction for Change: An Interview with Wang Hui


"The transition in China’s form of development is currently framed in terms of “upgrading and updating” and industrial transfer. From the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, many people—from the standpoint of very different political aspirations—have predicted that a similar situation would occur and even encouraged one to occur in China. But, disappointingly for these people, this expected “revolution” has not yet appeared in China, while street revolution is already widespread in Euro-America. Why? It is not because social contradictions and conflicts do not exist in China or because there are no problems with China’s mode of development. It is rather due to two reasons: First, the fact that China is vast and regions are unevenly developed has ironically acted as a buffer in the context of the financial crisis. Regional disparity, rural–urban disparity, disparity between the rich and poor and so forth have all provided room for adjustment in China. Second, China has actually been in a constant process of adjustment during the past ten years. This adjustment results from a range of social practices, including internal jockeying, social struggle, public discussion, policy changes, local experiments and so forth. Social experiments and debates about different modes of development still continue in Chinese society. This indicates that there is still the possibility of self-directed, autonomous reform. But because the situation is changing so quickly, if action in this direction is not taken immediately, this possibility may be fleeting and quickly disappear. But introducing something resembling a “color revolution” from the outside, it seems to me, can only induce turmoil and can hardly produce a positive result."

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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...