• 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, December 05, 2016

 Nationalism "in any imperialist society is bound up with chauvinism, and Britain is an imperialist society, with England its historical core, which has always been defined by its status in the imperialist hierarchy, whatever William Hague says to the contrary.  Orwell’s efforts to situate the basis for socialism on the terrain of culture and “Englishness,” which admittedly had a certain proto-Gramscian quality in its approach to popular culture as a strategic factor in political struggles, surely represent the last serious attempt to articulate something like a left-wing “Englishness.”  It was certainly light years ahead of the mawkish, demagogic detritus that passes for the same attempt these days.  Yet it failed rather badly, for two reasons.  First, because it misjudged the class basis for any post-war socialism, estimating that the perpetual growth of a functionary and technician class would be the basis for a rational yet national post-capitalist system.  This isn’t how things worked out at all.  Second, because the elements of “Englishness” as he saw it, which he seemed to regard as being in some way given and thus not to be resisted or bargained against, don’t stand up very well today.  One could go on."
Mad Dogs and "Englishness"

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This is a nice piece. The philosophical roots of rights-based liberal individualism lie in efforts to legitimate imperial expansion