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Showing posts from July, 2016

Britain

Modern Slave Trade
"Today´s ruling classes are not threatened from within. Thus, they can do what even fascists wouldn’t dare to do. They are smashing real wages, pensions, welfare systems, public schools, free healthcare, cheap public transport, cheap social housing and so on. Who will stop the ruling class?" " These are middle class movements that fear and despise the lower classes and the poor. They are open partisans of the class society – class warriors from above. They aren’t proposing anything new, they are just defending the repression, the exploitation and the injustice of today. Look at the situation in Poland or in Hungary. Have these societies had become more generous, more cohesive, and more collectivist at least within the white middle class? Of  course not. This is just rhetoric." " Look at people like David Cameron, François Hollande, Miloš Zeman. These people have no idea, they’re just blundering around. This is really serious. Then look at all the decadence
Britain's New African Empire
Why most Syrian men are not joining ISIS
Syria's Secret Library
Globalisation and whose recovery? Yes, some of the so-called recovery is based on low-paid jobs. Some of it is based on precarious jobs.  A Bogus Concept?
Thousands of Turkey coup prisoners "raped, starved and hogtied"
The long depression Via Michael Roberts " Back in work, still out of pocket : Labour market recovery since the Great Recession - the jobs gap will not be closed until 2017 at the earliest AND the wages gap may never be closed. Some countries have real wages over 20% below where they would have been without the Great Recession and subsequent weak recovery. The UK scores worse than Greece on this relative measure . According to a study by the OECD, the labour market recovery in OECD countries has been steady but slow s ince the Great Recession. More worrying is the fate of wage growth over the same period.  The jobs recovery has been underway since the first quarter of 2010, when the OECD average employment rate reached its post-crisis trough, with only 58.6% of the population (ages 15-74 years) employed. This was 2.2% lower than the employment rate in 2007, corresponding to 20.3 million missing jobs. Despite the slow and uneven nature of the economic recovery, the jobs de
"Marx the Moor" There is an interesting reading of Marx on Islam and Muslims in History of Islam in German Thought by Ian Almond “And without total abandonment of the law of the Koran [argues opposition MP Cobden], it was impossible to put the Christians of Turkey upon an equality with the Turks.” We may as well ask Mr Cobden whether, with the existing State Church and laws of England, it is possible to put her working-men upon an equality with the Cobdens and the Brights? —Marx, The Eastern Question , p. 260 
In 1993 Halim Barakat wrote:  "One may also suggest that the greater the socioeconomic inequalities in mosaic societies, the more the likelihood of uprisings. However, such uprisings are more likely to result in civil wars (in which one controlling elite is substituted for another), rather than popular revolutions (in which society is transformed, and the dominant order is replaced by a new order). The reverse pattern is more likely to emerge in relatively homogeneous societies. In the latter, the greater the inequalities, the greater the class solidarity, mobilization, and prospect of revolution. If these assumptions are correct, one should expect the first Arab popular revolution to take place in Egypt or Tunisia. This does not, however, exclude the possibility that revolutions may occur in more pluralistic societies as well."  — Halim Barakat, The Arab World: Societ, Culture and State , pp. 15-17, 1993.

Britain

Why Corbyn so terrifies the Guardian and A free ebook by Richard Seymour
"Regardless of whether Erdogan is at its helm, Turkey will continue down its expansionist path, a path that was unlikely to be short-circuited by a haphazard coup led by a motley group of Islamists and nationalists. Turkey is on this course, at this stage in history, because geopolitics wills it. But nobody said it would be a smooth ride... Thus [Turkey's policy]  contradictions will "become more frequent, and  Turkey's actions may appear almost schizophrenic . A Coup as Audacious as Turkey's Future
Tunisie Lear, une tragédie ouvrière contemporaine
"What does it mean that Trump has done well among middle-income and higher-income voters but not the most-educated? This suggests that his real base of support is small-business owners, supervisory and middle-management employees, franchisees, landlords, real estate agents, propertied farmers, and so on: those who are not at the executive pinnacle of corporate America (who largely have MBAs and other similar degrees) and those who are not credentialed professionals (doctors, lawyers, and the like), but the much wider swath of those people whose livelihood is derived from independent business activity or middle-band positions in the corporate hierarchy." From Slump to Trump
The persistence of communal cleavages "complicates rather than nullifies social class consciousness and struggle. This persistence of communal cleavages and vertical loyalties in some Arab countries is owing to the perpetuation of traditional systems in which communities are linked to their local za'ims (traditional leaders) through patron-client relationships. To the extent that constructive change can be introduced in these areas, such traditional systems will give way, increasingly, to other social and class relationships.  "... Western functionalists ... view these communal cleavages as 'a premodern phenomenon, a residue of particularism and ascription incompatible with the trend toward achievement, universalism and rationality supposedly exhibited by industrial societies.' Western sociologists whose point of departure is a sociobiological paradigm have argued that ethnic and racial solidarity are extensions of kinship sentiments. For instance, Pierre van d
The report is written by a liberal institution. Contrary to the report, in my opinion the Guardian and the Daily Mirror , are not left-wing (itself a loose term). The Guardian , for example, gives voice to some left-wingers, but it is generally liberal. The last few decades has made anyone who is not (neo)liberal, a left-winger. The dominant press of the 5 families have redefined what a left-winger is.  Journalistic Representation of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Press
That Far Left Entryist Takeover of the Labour Party
The Revolutionary Projects of Two Lebanese Communists Note: you may need a free subscription to download the PDFs file.
When Martin Wolf and the FT say this , it means the ruling class is worried.
“We attacked a foreign people and treated them like rebels. As you know, it's all right to treat barbarians barbarically. It's the desire to be barbaric that makes governments call their enemies barbarians.” — Bertolt Brecht The 'war on terror' (i.e, state terrorism) goes on. Now it's almost draw*. Nice attack will definitely be the last attack in France and in the West in general. *The French pilots are not using smart enough weapons to kill only 84 civilians.  Obviously, you do not have to be with ISIS or a similar organization to carry out such attacks**. Personally, I have grievances and been angry since 1991. Life in a Western country has made me more radical.  **According to what we know about the Orlando and Nice attacks that the perpetrators did not have a record of being Islamic activists.  Update:  no word on the bbc yet .
Erdogan is not Chavez, but one should remember how a few of the Guardian columnists vilified Chavez using the same jargon of populism and authoritarianism .
It has been entertaining to see the liberals reactions to Trump . The  liberals preach capitalist democracy, but they would oppose it if people elected the wrong person. 
London housing: the collusion between councils and capital Aysen  Dennis loves her flat. Two bedrooms, a neat kitchen-diner, a cosy living room, lots of light, a separate toilet and bathroom, and a much broader hallway than in the poky million-pound Victorian houses that surround her in south London – all for £110 a week, plus £30 heating and service charge. Her flat is warm, and no one can see into it. “I feel free in my home,” she told me recently. “I can take off my clothes without worrying about curtains.” She still has the original 1960s kitchen cupboards, miracles of space-saving and clever joinery. South  London  hipsters would love them. Dennis is not a hipster. She is 57, single, and has been unemployed for four years. She used to work in a women’s refuge.  Before that, three decades ago, she came to London from Turkey: a leftwing activist fleeing the aftermath of a military coup, during which she had been shot at and imprisoned, and some of her friends had been killed.
Paradoxical Modernity: Passolini and Israele
"Typically, however, neither the US nor the EU condemned the coup before it became clear which side was going to win... as long as the military bases remain open, the fight against ISIS is not undermined and the flow of refugees stemmed." — Umut Ozkirmili If the coup had succeeded, would the US have played along? " A look back at the United States’ relationship with Turkey over the last half-century makes it clear that democracy is most definitely not a requirement for NATO membership. Whatever Obama said Friday night, history suggests that, come Saturday morning,  Washington would have found a way to work with whoever emerged the winner in Ankara.  With a vengeful Erdogan now once again at the helm, a stormy period in U.S.-Turkish relations is almost certain. But history gives Turkey’s president little reason to fear that Washington will take a firm stand on democracy so long as U.S. interests in the region remain dependent on his country’s cooperation." — fo
Pourquoi la ''bisexualité'' du tueur de Nice est primordiale
A Brief History of Fortress Europe
The Life and Resistance of a Chinese Worker
Turkey coup Background and context: Liberalized Islam, Post-Sufis, and the Military in Turkey   Coup Aftermath Between Neo-Fascism and Bonapartism
"Influence, n.: In politics, a visionary  quo  given in exchange for a substantial  quid ."  —  Ambrose Bierce
The Long Depression: How It Happened, Why It Happened, And What Happens Next
Former CIA Officials Give Turkish Coup Plotters Advice On CNN
"One of the most important questions regarding political parties is their “opportuneness” or right-ness for the times”; that is to say, the question of how they react against “habitude” and the tendency to become mummified and anachronistic. In practical terms, political parti es come into existence [as organisations] in the wake of historical events that are important for the social groups they represent, but they do not always know how to adapt to new epochs or historical phases, or they are unable to develop in accordance with the ensemble of the relations of forces [and therefore with congruousm forces] in their particular country or in the international sphere. In this analysis, one must make distinctions: the social group; the mass of the party; the bureaucracy of general staff of the party. The latter is the most dangerous in terms of habitude: if it organises itself as a separate body, compact and independent, the party will end up being anachronistic. This is what bring
Why does France keep being attacked? The Rotten Heart of Europe And a forecast by Stratfor (October 2015) In Europe, the process of integrating foreigners will remain problematic, especially because migrant workers tend to have fewer job opportunities than their native peers. Right-wing parties and groups will continue to resist arriving foreigners, attack migrant shelters and protest immigration policies. Although immigration can somewhat mitigate the effects of a  shrinking and aging  population, it cannot reverse it, nor will all EU members attract foreigners to join their workforces .
Turkey Context of a failed coup "This analytical framework is then used to examine the outcomes in four countries where modernizing, nationalist projects took shape under the direction of secular elites: Turkey, Iran, Egypt and Tunisia. By the closing decades of the twentieth century, all four had reached an impasse. The Egyptian and Tunisian regimes had largely discarded their nationalist trappings and become Western client states, in thrall to the Washington Consensus—especially Tunisia, which was, in Tuğal’s words, ‘the most orthodox neoliberal regime in the Arab world’ and something of a poster-child for the  IMF ." See book review here Note: It is likely that the failed coup in Turkey going to strengthen the AKP project: Islamism, 'neoliberalism' and more authoritarian rule. Reactions: " Portraying Erdoğan and the fascist AKP dictatorship as if they were democratic after this coup attempt is an approach even more dangerous than the coup atte
لنفترض أن العملية البشعة التي وقعت في فرنسا حدثت في اسرائيل.....لا شك أن الفيسبوك كان سيشتعل بالتهليل، وكان منفذ العملية سيسمى "استشهاديا"، والضحايا كانوا سيسمون "قطعان اليهود الصهاينة"، والعملية نفسها ستسمى "عملية فدائية"....وما الى ذلك.... هذا علما وأن مثل هذه العمليات التي تستهدف أناسا أبرياء سيكون من ضمنهم لا شك أغلبية من المسحوقين والفقراء، أي ضحايا النظام المستهدف، لا تؤدي إلا لتعزيز هذا النظام وتفتح له الباب لمزيد العسكرة والقمع والاحتماء بأكثر القوانين زجرية وكتم الأن فاس، وتعزز ما يسمى "بالوحدة الوطنية"، أي التوحد في حضن النظام، وتأجيج النزعات العنصرية والشوفينية سواء حدثت هذه العمليات في فرنسا أو اسرائيل أو في دولة على كوكب المريخ.... في فرنسا أو في اسرائيل، في أمريكا أو في تونس، المجموعات الارهابية لا يمكن أن تمثل عنصر تحرر، ولا تحمل في برامجها أي بديل تحرري للبشر من الاستغلال والطبقية، لذلك فعملياتها، أينما كانت، تصب حتما في خانة النظام السائد فتشد أزره بقدر ما تحطم معنويات الشغيلة وعموم الكادحين، وتفرض صراعا جانبيا يهمش مح
The Long Depression: Marxism and the Long Crisis of Capitalism by Michael Roberts (Haymarket Books, 19 July 2016)
Britain Peter Taaffe: "It would be better if the Right resigned and formed their own full capitalist party, but failing that it would be much more preferable to have a Labour party which goes back to its socialist roots." ( an article published by the Express , a supporter of the Ukip and owned by the 48th richest person in Britain)
سيظل الفقراء والمسحوقين وقودا للحروب البورجوازية طالما أنهم لا يصارعون لحساب تحررهم الخاص والحركة القومية العربية بيسارها ويمينها هي الوجه الآخر للحركة القومية الصهيونية كلاهما يضع الشغيلة وعموم الكادحين رهينة نزاعاتهم التي هي ليست سوى نزاعات المنافسة الرأسمالية.....لنتذكر كيف أن دولة اسرائيل والبورجوازية الفلسطينية قد سارعا الى عقد اتفاقات بينهما للحيلولة دون تطور الانتفاضة الأولى والثانية (اتفاقات  أوسلو) ولقطع الطريق أمام أي تضامن بين الشغيلة الفلسطينيين واخوانهم في اسرائيل الذين بدأت تظهر احتجاجاتهم وتنامت في صفوفهم موجة رفض الانخراط في الجيش ورفض القتال، وذلك بتغذية النزعات الأكثر شوفينية وعنصرية، علما وأن دولة اسرائيل هي من درب أولى دفعات الحرس الخاص بدولة فلسطين، وهي من يدفع لها شهريا جزء من ميزانيتها. الحرب الحالية هي من جهة اسرائيل تأتي كرد على تنامي الحركة الاجتماعية من اضرابات واسعة وحتى مظاهرات ضد آثار الأزمة الاقتصادية التي تضرب بقوة منذ 2011، وهذا يهدف خلق حالة "وحدة وطنية" تسمح لآلة القمع بكتم كل نفس احتجاجي باسم الدفاع عن "الدولة المهددة بالعصابات
"nine truths about terrorism that nobody wants to hear" Note: this does not include state terrorism .
مقتطف من قصيدة تل الزعتر لمظفر النواب
Sanders' has officially endorsed Clinton? Well, what about those who had illusions in him? Being selective and picking up this or that point in his social democratic programme is not seeking real change, but it is trying to manage what you have in a slightly better way. I've never trusted him since the day I read about his would-be Middle East policy.
The Brexit crisis (a free ebook)
Viva La Revolución by Eric Hobsbawm review – Latin America from leftwing hopes to bloody dictatorships
Yes, not only in Greece and not only minimum wages.   In the time of the fall in the rate of profit, wages in general and everywhere, have to stay as they are or decrease in relative terms. "Destructive creation" in general has to accelerate if we want investment to resume and capitalist growth to follow suit. That's the recipe. Take it or leave it.
" All human societies, whether tacitly or overtly, assume that nature has ordained their social arrangements. Or, to put it another way, part of what human beings understand by the word ‘nature’ is the sense of inevitability that gradually becomes attached to a predictable, repetitive social routine." Those who create and re-create race today are not just the mob that killed a young Afro-American man on a street in Brooklyn or the people who join the Klan and the White Order. They are also those academic writers whose invocation of self-propelling ‘attitudes’ and tragic flaws assigns Africans and their descendants to a special category, placing them in a world exclusively theirs and outside history—a form of intellectual apartheid no less ugly or oppressive, despite its righteous (not to say self-righteous) trappings, than that practised by the bioand theo-racists; and for which the victims, like slaves of old, are expected to be grateful. They are the academic ‘libera
Capitalist democracy Around  70 percent  of Britain’s newspapers are owned by just three companies: Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, the Daily Mail’s General Trust, and Trinity Mirror. A university professor told me the other that we had a "participatory democracy". He didn't at least say "a representative democracy" as the dominant version goes. These people who believe in the system are in denial. It is no about reality or facts anymore; it is about belief and having faith in the system.  The Media Against Jeremy Corbyn
Latin America "The End of Post-neoliberalism"
The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between  by  Hisham Matar
Here is another one-dimensional way of thinking : A piece that never mentions the why (i.e. the geo-politics, the global and regional context, the so-called 'national-interest' cover or motive, etc) behind the belief, but focuses on the individual's neurons and the way that belief is held. Note also that Blair is a trained barrister by profession. His main skill is to know how to plead in court, using arguments and rhetoric not just knowledge of the legal system. Lawyers in general work within the system and they rarely challenge it. In fact they work to justify it most of the time.
مقتطف من رواية ”وليمة لأعشاب البحر“ لحيدر حيدر أحدهما كان يحدق عبر السهب وانعكاسات أصيل الشمس على أثباج الماء، وهذا الغروب المتكرر الذي يليه شروق، وفي مواجهة هذه القامات المحنية، قامات البشر المجوَّفة من الداخل والمكسورة بتعاقب الزمن الذي لا يحمل غير الفقدان وانتصار الأعداء وجراثيم الخيانة والمذابح الأهلية الفاشلة والبكاء على الضحايا والمفقودين والذين رحلوا بلا عودة. بينما يواصل الآخر رسم جبال وأشجار ومياه دفاقة، صائغا من صلصال خياله وموج رغباته بشرا آخرين. بشر صلاب، يتحركون بخطوات واثقة بين الجبال والكهوف ومجاري الأنهار وأنفاق المدن. بشر أينما هبطوا يوقدون النار ليردوا دوائر الظلمة الهابطة من حنايا الزمن، الزمن الذي لا بد من تحويل مجراه كي لا يُستعاد كما كان، وكما صُنع من خمائر الوحل والرماد والدماء المخثرة والحيض والبخور والصلوات وأصوات الندب والتخاذل والخيانات والتصدعات. ص ١٤٦ أمس نزلت إلى السوق وشفت الناس. رأيت الحوانيت الممتدة في شرايين المدينة ورأيت السلع المعروضة من آخر مبتكرات الموضة إلى السيارات الأمريكية والفرنسية وأجهزة التلفزيون إلى حوانيت الذهب والماس. لم أسم
Hipster Colonialism and the 'ruin' of Cuba
Note : Jeremey Corbyn is not a radical leftist or from the hard left. He is advocating a social democratic programme, a programme of a project which social democrats have dismantled or in the process in dismantling (the latter process is happening even in countries like Sweden and Denmark). Anatomy of a Failed Coup in UK Labour Party
"The Threat Now Lies Among Muslim Immigrants"
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... of the absurdities in history, of the contradictions in humans ... Jerusalem 2016
"The signifier ‘immigration’ has come to stand for all the powerlessness and immiseration experienced by a large segment of the British population, but rather than embodying the totality of oppression, all this does is ensure that all the anger and fury of a wounded impotence is sent screaming at the migrants themselves." "Defend, free movement, without illusions"
Interesting stuff " There’s a basic article of faith in leftist thought, held especially dearly by most among the U.S. left. It is so entrenched and so seldom challenged that it has attained the status of myth, an unquestioned origin story on par with the Book of Genesis, as the latter must have been regarded within Christendom during the Middle Ages." Brexit, Trumpism, Sanders, and the Decrepit State of Capitalism: Against Political Determinism
Soviet Lithuania in Pictures (1970s - 1990s)
"Astonishingly, the US mainstream media have barely covered what everyone here calls “the massacre.” Make no mistake: If police in Venezuela had shot down 11 unarmed demonstrators, a pack of American reporters would have raced there." Rebellion spreads in Mexico after police massacre
Working Class Militancy in the Global South
" I asked Kadhim what he would do if he could meet Tony Blair.   "I would say to him you are a criminal, and I'd spit in his face." And what would he say to George Bush? "I'd say you're criminal too. You killed the children of Iraq. You killed the women and you killed the innocent. I would say the same to Blair. And to the coalition that invaded Iraq. I will say to them you are criminals and you should be brought to justice." ( Bitterness in Baghdad ) Yes, Khadim. And people in Britain and the US not only don't really care, they even vote the criminals back in office! They call it democracy, something you and your people cannot understand or have.
The Lobster: Debt, Referenda, and False Choices I recommend you watch the film before you read this analysis
From the archive The Truth about the Criminal Bladbath in Iraq  
"A second position argues against transition, which is transitology itself. It is well known—especially among economists—as the sudden mobilization of a considerable mass of experts who are generally foreigners,generally Western, who come to preach the good word and to propose ready-made models of democracy. The science of the transition has become a financial windfall, a market. And the word transition has of course become a reflex of language, a term of reference, a call for tenders ( appel d’offres ) to which the whole society was supposed to respond.  Consequently, the reticence that one can express is the following: our history is framed, transition is a heteronomy. Every democratic revolution is henceforth supposed to take a unique, imposed path, which is, at the same time, indistinctly democratic and liberal (or neoliberal). A more or less non-“negotiable” package.  It is necessary to highlight the imposed character (and imposed from the outside) of this coming to trans
The biggest terrorist state on earth is failing to fight individual terrorism What a surprise!
[Upon] closer scrutiny, the operation of retrieving, commemorating and mourning proves to be deeply problematic and hypocritical. For this tragic loss of life was not an unfortunate “accident” but the result of political decisions taken, amongst others, by the very state actors who are now claiming a high moral ground by recovering and mourning the dead. The forgotten 22,000 First of all, the 18th of April shipwreck is only one among many more incidents that have led to more than 22,000 documented deaths at sea over the last 25 years. These have been the structural product of EU migration policies that have denied legal access to EU territory to the impoverished citizens of the global South since the end of the 1980s. The militarization of border controls and their externalization to North African states has forced migrants wishing to reach EU territory to resort to smugglers and to take longer and ever more dangerous routes. Italy, as a “frontline” state of the EU, has for many
From my flickr collections   (a 2010-photo)
“Every industrial and commercial centre in England possesses a working class divided into two hostile camps, English proletarians and Irish proletarians. The ordinary English worker hates the Irish worker as a competitor who lowers his standard of life … This antagonism is artificially kept alive and intensified by the press, the pulpit, the comic papers, in short by all the means at the disposal of the ruling classes.” " If remain had won, we would already have returned to pretending that everything was carrying on just fine. Those people who have been forgotten would have stayed forgotten; those communities that have been abandoned would have stayed invisible to all but those who live in them. To insist that they will now suffer most ignores the fact that unless something had changed, they were going to suffer anyway. Those on the remain side who felt they didn’t recognise their own country when they woke up on Friday morning must spare a thought for the pensioner in Redcar o
Modern imperialism and the working class