• 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 ...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A very good analysis that avoids economic determinism.

"But the truth is sometimes uncomfortable. Cultural attitudes aren’t always "caused" by anything else in some immediate or obvious sense. To explain how people "got" to believe in racist and xenophobic status hierarchies is to explain hundreds of years of Western history and the complicated story of how race and national identity were made in the West.


As a result of this history, many people value their culture and identity as much as they value economic security. When their vision of the way the world should work is threatened, they see it as a personal threat. They’re racist because race and hierarchy and group identity have come to play integral roles in how humans understand the world.
To deny that is to deny that both identity and the past matter, to assume everything is reducible to some kind of material or economic ultimate cause. History has shown, conclusively, that this is a mistake."

However,

"Western governments can’t simply ignore the far right. Brexit proved its ability to destabilize major Western institutions and the global economy. Most importantly, these parties threaten the most cherished values in Western society: our all-too-recent embrace of equality and tolerance."

The author seems to have quickly forgotten that those very same governments he appealing to to do something to stop the far-right, are the one that have laid the ground for the wave of immigration through their wars and caused economic instability in the first place. They are the very same intolerant governments which have bombed a score of countries and imposed economic policies for decades in a post-colonial set 
up. "Equality"? Well, the author himself has cited evidence of the unprecedented level of inequality.

White riot

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Researchers chart rising inequality across millennia Washington State University