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Showing posts from February, 2017
 “PPE is seen as part of the apparatus of the state … privilege connected to public service” – at a time when fewer and fewer voters believe such a thing is possible. Once widely regarded as “highly qualified people with good intentions”, as Davies puts it, PPE graduates are now “bogeymen”. How did a mere undergraduate degree become so important? The Oxford degree that 'runs' Britain
China wages now higher than in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico
Spurious analysis, marked by defeatism, blame games, and political jockeying masquerading as moral criticism and righteousness became the order of the day in the last months of 2016. The conceptualizations and convictions that were discussed in previous years became axioms to many: “lesser evil” dictatorships vs. Islamist unknowns, “rebellious” imperialism vs. “reactionary” resistance, Sunnis vs. Shi`is, and everyone vs. “terrorism” won the highest marks. The lack of a long view and analysis of slow-moving factors over extended periods of time gave way to instant scholarship that was produced and reproduced based on events and even particular battleground outcomes. A Preface to Critique of Instance Analysis and Scholarship on the Arab Uprisings
"Husbands are deadlier than terrorists" This excludes the number of people killed by the terrorists who have run the US since 1975. Whether directly through wars or indirectly through backing of dictators, arms exports and corporations and US-dominated international institutions.
" The fake anti-élitism of today (and this may be the origin of this mind-boggling verbiage about ‘populism’ that clearly doesn’t exist) is directed at the egalitarians, especially at that odd species we might call ‘liberal egalitarians’ some of whom are just modest social democrats." This is a good piece: The mystery of 'populism' finally unveiled
In late nineteenth-century  " [i]n the Muslim world, the Islamic  burkah , the full body covering of Muslim women, was growing in popularity. Often wrongly regarded as a mark of medieval obscurantism, the burkah was actually a modern dress that allowed women to come out of the seclusion of their homes and participate to a limited degree in public and commercial affairs. Even in this insistence on tradition, therefore, one glimpses the mark of growing global convergence." Uneven and Combined Development (Part 1)
1. Greece's model of capitalism under oligarchic PASOK. 2. Financial terrorism by the Troika 3. As Yannis Retsis says: "It is a crime." 4. "Tsipras is a traitor", many who voted aganist the bailout and more austerity say . The Greek tragedy ... Update: Forbes.com says that the IMF predicts that unepmloyment in Greece will to 12% by 2040! These are good news for those Greeks who could wait and find a job at the age of 60+.
" Mainstream economics is not fatally flawed — but would achieve much more of its potential by questioning itself and listening to other fields." Of course it is not flawed. It just teaches and trains students how to manage capitalism. Yes, there are some malfunctions of the system from time to time, but mainstream economics should justify that and find solutions not to question the functioning itself. Does mainstream economics teach students that there are intrinsic relationships between profit-making as a driving force of capitalism and how 8 people own more than half of the world population, uneven-development, wars, and other crimes? Or, does it teach how to have entrepreurial spirit and business ambition, i.e. individualism, promoting NGOs to massage power relations rather than challenge them, "free-market" as a universal recipe, and "balancing the relationship between labour and capital to serve capital"?
"Disaster Islamism"
"La La Land is a film for our time. With our self-nurturing, self-promotion, clicktivism, Twitterstorms, sexts and selfies, we are all narcissists now." — David Cox, the Guardian
N. Farage, the UK Independent Party leader claimed Mal mo, Sweden, is now the "rape capital of Europe".  The BBC has replied .
France Cuts in corporate tax (that's assuming corporations are paying taxes). How is that even Nordic, Financial Times? One of the things that made Sweden as it is today was that the Social Democrats in the country imposed 40% corporate tax. Slashing of 150,000 jobs and cuts in public spending? The recipe is more riots and more burning of cars. Thos who will lose their jobs could join the police to face the riots :) Whether a right-wing or a far-right government, France will be heading towards serious social conflicts. France: Macron's electoral programme
The erasure of Islam from the poetry of Rumi
The story of the rampaging Arab "sex mob" Et en français
The "British people" have accepted austerity imposed on them because of plunder carried out by the banks. Now "the British people" will have to pay £50+ billion because of a blunder by Cameron and his allies. "The British people", I am almost cetain, will accept this. Juncker, the European Commission president, adds insult to injury with a naive, poor reading of history by praising the criminal racist Churchill.  "We need to settle our affairs not with our hearts full of a feeling of hostility, but with the knowledge that the continent owes a lot to the UK. Without Churchill, we would not be here - we mustn't forget that, but we mustn't be naive."
"Dystopian future of world's megacities"
Walter Benjamin states that "the tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the 'state of emergency' in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must attain to a conception of history that is in keeping with this insight. Then we shall clearly realise that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency, and this will improve our position in the struggle against fascism." In other words, all class society is a permanent state of emergency in which the rulers are always under threat. Fascism is thus not some sort of breakdown of tradition but a continuation of traditional class rule by other means. Overcoming it thus requires not just anti-fascist attitudes but also a destruction of its roots in class oppression. Or, as Horkheimer put it in 1939: "If you don't want to talk about capitalism then you had better keep quiet about fascism."  
The violence of the universal
160,000 march in Barcelona, Spanish demanding the government takes more refugees I am surprised! According to a poll by a Qatari institute and published by Aljazeera , 41% of the Spanish polled oppose Muslim refugees entering Europe.
" Sabsay invokes Wendy Brown’s understanding of liberal rights as  that which we cannot not want . In her most recent book, Brown persuasively argues that neoliberalism undermines the very bases of liberal democracy, which, however, she insists, should remain the point of departure for those who oppose neoliberalism in order to bring about what liberalism promises but never delivers.  I find this an inadequate framework, let alone an ideal political agenda to resist neoliberalism. Brown is not blind to the horrific record of liberal democracy on the question of race, gender, class, and governance more generally, but she still believes that liberal democracy carries “the language and promise of shared political equality, freedom, and popular sovereignty,” to which we must strive. I have always been wary of this dominant academic and intellectual preference for the language and promise of liberalism. For example, would Brown or any American liberal ever be able to overcome their in
Remembering Husayn Muruwwah
Keynes 2030

Gender Studies in the Muslim World

" [T]here are tricks as to how to study “gender” in the Muslim world. If analysts attend to the social and economic factors, to the geographic and historical factors and actors, to culture as a dynamic entity that produces and is produced by social, economic, historic and geographic factors and actors, analysts, whether Asian or African or European or American, will be able to begin to understand and analyse social phenomena based on terms and methods that the local situation on hand itself determines, rather than script them  a priori  with research agendas that are connected to imperial policies, namely developmentalism and orientalist methodologies of culturalism, comparatism and assimilationism.” — Joseph Massad, Islam in Liberalism , pp. 211–12
Inequality after 150 years of Capital and An international conference in Toronto, Canada
“Dialogue” is one of those words, like “diversity”, that can mean all things to all people. It is often used to define shallow, skating-on-the-surface conversations which give the impression of an exchange but which touch upon nothing substantive. It can also mean proper, dig-deep contestations through which we test each other’s ideas and in which we show ourselves willing to be uncomfortable as we ourselves are tested. In universities, and in society at large, there is today too little of the latter and too much of the former; too little real engagement and too great a desire to stay within our comfort zones. Are Soas students right to 'decolonize' their minds from Western philosophers?
Well, you can argue for whatever you think as long as you don't question the fundamental context in which, siyasa, fiqh, maslaha, 'democracy', state, etc operate or determined, i.e. as long as you don't question how the socio-economic structure relates to social justice and law, ownership and social relations and powers. Ms Landes, correctly referred to the "Islamic governments" of the pre-colonial era, but ignored the global entrenchment of the capitalist system in today's "Muslim societies". How can one question the euro centric concepts without questioning capitalist "democracy"?  It's the limit of the liberal thinking. "How to create an Islamic government — not an Islamic state"
From the Middle East achive A CIA document (1983)
Forbes or how to save capitalism and therefore humanity Unless it changes, capitalism will starve humanity by 2050
« La colonisation fait partie de l’histoire française . C’est un crime, c’est un crime contre l’humanité, c’est une vraie barbarie et ça fait partie de ce passé que nous devons regarder en face en présentant aussi nos excuses à l’égard de celles et ceux envers lesquels nous avons commis ces gestes.» La phrase, prononcée à la télévision algérienne,  est d’Emmanuel Macron . Des propos qui ont provoqué de vives réactions, notamment à droite et à l’extrême droite. Même la ministre écologiste Emmanuelle Cosse a réagi ce jeudi matin  en niant le terme de  «crime contre l’humanité » .  Pour l’historien Benjamin Stora, les propos du leader d’En marche n’ont pourtant rien de révolutionnaire.
Visualizing Capital I still think that reading Capital volume 1 gives a better idea than Harvey's illustration.
The Young Karl Marx A film review
France Fscism by another name
Germany "Perhaps due to the academic, middle-class milieu from which many Die Linke radicals emerge, its younger activists in particular tend to accept a false dichotomy of either ignoring people’s concerns or engaging with them at the price of adopting a “right-wing” language and accept an inherently racist framework. That they are immediately repulsed by the slightest sentiments perceived as racist reflects their commitment to a better world, of course. But that commitment has no practical value if it means shutting themselves off from those who do not distinguish antiracism from “political correctness,” or internationalist solidarity from the undemocratic regime of an increasingly cohesive global ruling class." The Wagenknecht Question
The global paradox
The sweatshop feminists
It is interesting to read what the intelligent, but worried, liberals from the ruling class think. Krugman even thinks that only "the people" could stop the slide towards "an American-type authoritarianism ".   How hypocritical of one of the defenders of the system. Krugman is officially known among the mainstream economists as someone who has been critical of this and that policy and how to mangae capitalism and the malfunctions within the system, i.e. a neo-Keynesian. He opposed what others called "the financial terrorism" inflicted upon Greece. He, as the Economist magazine argued, blamed most of the problems on Bush and his administration.
"The Great Shame of our Profession"
" If, according to Zwemer, the truth that Islam fails to grasp is that “Jesus is lord and savior,” and that he must be chosen as such, liberalism demands that the individual, in order to be an individual, must choose liberalism; this, as Massad notes, is a weaponized “choice,” for the only choice that liberalism can accept as a choice is liberalism. The new choice, then, appears as the liberal form of damnation; Muslims who do not choose liberalism, like those who do not choose Jesus, are the new forsaken, to be converted or killed. It is this structure of liberalism, as an ideology of imperial missionary work in the name of secularism, that  Islam in Liberalism  demands that we confront." — Murad Idris
" At its inception, aerial bombardment was a weapon of empire deployed to subdue colonial populations. Soon, during the Second World War, civilians in Europe and Japan came into the bomber’s crosshairs, and ever since non-combatant targets have been at the heart of military strategy. It was a seismic shift in the relations of power: as the state justified the mass murder of civilians, individual combatants, flying high above their victims, were distanced from the act of killing as never before. The ascendance of drones as an instrument of military power is the latest stage in this cruel evolution, which has led to a perpetual low-intensity war on the global scene. As the technology enabling it spreads through the world, the borders of the conflict will grow in proportion." The militarization of everything
"Zionists were demanding Mubarak stay in power back in February 2011 because otherwise extremists were going to take power. No one argues sovereignty to excuse Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen since they were invited in by the Yemeni government. And if anti-imperialism is fine with replacing US imperialism with Russian imperialism, then that’s a bad anti-imperialism. There is also a purposeful ignorance being perpetuated around Syria by those who want us to think the choi ce is either Assad or ISIS, ignoring the existence of local coordination committees and other grassroots formations that could be an alternative and are need of support. "The US left for the most part continued to push the regime change narrative, which again ignored all the actions the United States has pursued to preserve the regime despite all the rhetoric. They mocked the idea that there were moderate Syrian rebel groups, claiming everyone fighting Assad was an extremist and then acted all shoc
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I recommend
I make it clear in the book (something I also made clear in my previous book  Desiring Arabs  in the context of post-1967 Arab intellectual debates) that the failure to take political economy seriously in relation to debates about “women in Islam” and the attendant privileging of the idea of cultural determinants can be historicized in terms of the end of the cold war era. Once the USSR was eliminated, the global public sphere becomes dominated by the ideas of West European and US Human Rights and other “development” NGOs, in addition to the expansion of the purview of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to encompass all of Eastern Europe and the disintegrated Soviet republics (not to mention post-Apartheid South Africa and the post-Oslo yet-still-occupied Palestinian territories). It is then that the liberal language of rights achieves something like global hegemony and questions of political economy recede, almost disappear, in the framing of the problem of “women in
"A sarcastic response to Syria's militants"
Ways of Seeing (episode 4)
"In opposition to the vulgar evolutionist brand of Marxism, Benjamin does not conceive the proletarian revolution as the natural or inevitable result of economic and technical progress, but as the critical interruption of an evolution leading to catastrophe."  — Michael Löwy “One can perceive as one of the methodological aims of this work to demonstrate the possibility of a historical materialism, that has annihilated in itself the idea of progress. Here is precisely where historical materialism has to dissociate itself from the bourgeois habits of thought."  — Walter Benjamin
Confession d'un tortionnaire du régime du Ben Ali
I  think it is a timid article. It doesn't use the term state terrorism to refer to the actions of the imperialist powers. Also, yes, "the public" is also responsible. The public could be responsible for a positive change as well as for perpetuationg atrocities and the status quo, if not through tacit support, it is through passivity, indifference, silence and acceptance.  The public votes for the same criminals in again and again. Is not that a responsibility? The public also votes for the same criminals to perpetuate crimes at home (plunder, privatisation, inequality, etc). Furthermore, the author has not cited "the roots of terrorism" in the plural. He is happy to mention only a couple of the roots. The roots of terrorism
Marx's revenge
" The story of his rise and fall offers a rare insight into how the CIA operated within the confines of  President Obama’s halfhearted Syria policy . It reveals how the rivalries between US bureaucracies — and, even more importantly, the growing divergence between Washington and its Nato ally Turkey — exacerbated Syria’s mayhem. The rise and fall of a US-backed commander in Syria
It is not my government; it is a criminal regime " It’s a country where civilians are driven from their homes because of US- and British-backed violence, then have their pleas for refuge denied, partly on the basis that they may be terrorists. What is the onslaught from Yemen’s skies if not state terrorism?" Britain has blood on its hands over Yemen
Ways of Seeing, Episode 3
I agree with some of the comments: it is blaming the symptoms (the products) rather than the causes . The collapse of the older order. Next, war?
إن الحاضر هو الذي يملك مفتاح الماضي، وليس العكس ... لأن حركة التاريخ ليست استمرارا أو تواصلا وتتابعا، بل حركة تقطُّع تترابط فيها أنماط الإنتاج في قفزاتها البنيوية من نمط إلى آخر بشكل يستحيل فيه قراءة نمط الإنتاج الرأسمالي مثلا في بنية نمط الإنتاج الإقطاعي أو الاستبدادي أو انطلاقا منها... إن فهم  تطور بنية علاقات الإنتاج الرأسمالية مثلا في البلدان العربية في الوقت الحاضر، وفهم أزمات هذا التطور يستلزم بالضرورة الانطلاق بالتحليل من هذه البنية بالذات في شكل وجودها القائم في كل من البلدان العربية، وقد يقود التحليل إلى ضرورة الكشف عن تاريخ تكون هذه البنية. إلا أن  هذا التاريخ، من حيث  هو تاريخ تكون علاقات الإنتاج الرأسمالية في اليلدان العربية، لا يبدأ مع ظهور الإسلام مثلا، أو مع الجاهلية، أو مع بدأ العصر العباسي أو الأموي أو الأندلسي أو عصر الانحطاط إلخ ... بل هو يبدأ مع بدء  التغلغل الامبريالي في النصف الثاني من القرن التاسع عشر.... [إن] نمط الإنتاج المسيطر في البلدان العربية هو نمط الإنتاج الرأسمالي — أو شكل تاريخي محدد منه هو الشكل الكولينيالي ... والرأسمالية في أوروبا ترسخت أسسها في ال
" Hitler's disdain for the complacency of the 'old' bourgeoisie was life-long. But he honoured thrusting meritocrats. Notably, one of Hitler's early and long-standing heroes was the United States automobile magnate, Henry Ford, whom he lauded for his entrepreneurial brilliance and rabid anti-Semitism . Indeed, the Führer celebrated the entrepreneur as a bearer of racial superiority in any national population , and had nothing but contempt for democ­racy in the economy. For example, Hitler rebuked Otto Strasser, an anti-free-market Nazi, in 1930: 'The capitalists have worked their way to the top through their capacity, and on the basis of this selection, which again only proves their higher race, they have a right to lead.' Faced with the prospect of social turmoil or even Communist revolution, the German middle classes were willing to be cajoled by Hitler. The Protestant theolo­gian, Paul Tillich, writing in 1933, anxiously observed the bourgeoisie ready
تونس زار وفد من الاتحاد الأروبي مدينة سيدي بوزيد أيّام كانت حادثة احتراق محمد البوعزيزي تحتفظ ببعض الألق الشاعري.. قدّموا هبة مالية مقدراها أربعة مليون أورو لبناء سوق خضر وغلال لتجميع كل تجار العربات الذين هم على شاكلة البوعزيزي رحمه الله. . انطلقت الاشغال وسط معاناة كبيرة لعدم قدرة اللصوص المحليين على السرقة، اذ كان أصحاب الهبة يتابعون المشروع... أخيرا قارب المشروع على النهاية... سوق ضخم جدا بجمالية واتّساع معماريين لا يوجد له نظير في كل بر تونس بسواحله وقواحله... . ــــــــــــــــــ هذا الصباح شاب صاحب عربة خضار يسكب البنزين على جسده ويهدد بالاحتراق احتجاجا على المحسوبية ونوايا منح دكاكين السوق لأكبر التجار المتحيلين، ومطالبة المعتّرين بمبلغ أربعة آلاف دينار!!! . أقسم بالله العظيم هذا الصباح رأيت غضبا في عيون الشباب المقهور المهدور، من جنس غضب عام 17 ديسمبر. . سيدي بوزيد لِسّه في قبضة اللصوص والقوّادين... كل مسؤول يحلّ بالمدينة، اِمّا يكون مصيره الطرد أو "يطيّحوه" للسرقة والفساد الذي يتعوّذ منه اِبليس. . . - الأمين البوعزيزي-
A product of the endless war of terror
Syria According to a report by Amnesty 13,000 secretly hanged in Saydnaya military prison
" British young people are more rightwing and authoritarian in their views than preceding generations, according to research that contradicts the widely held view that younger people tend to be more progressive." " Although younger people are more socially liberal on matters of equality and women’s rights than preceding generations, they are “more consumerist and individualistic” on issues such as the welfare state, according to one of the paper’s authors Will Jennings, a professor of political science and public policy at the University of Southampton. "Both the Thatcher/Major and Blair/Brown generations are “even more economically rightwing” than people who grew up in the years before the second world war, when Britain faced extreme inequality and had not yet instituted the welfare state as part of the postwar consensus, according to the researchers." But their vote against Brexit was a continuation of their socially liberal attitudes, Mr Jennings argu
" At this critical moment in history, three questions need to be answered: What does the latest scientific evidence tell us about the approach of climate catastrophe? How is today’s monopoly-finance capitalism—with Donald Trump as its authentic representative—contributing to this impending planetary catastrophe? And what possibilities remain for humanity to avert an Earth-system calamity?"
France: penned in
The worst things that the US has done have always happened through political institutions and practices - not through strongmen
Trudeau's double game is interesting to follow ... Meanwhile he presides over a government that is now the second arms supplier to the Middle East. Six months after assuming office, his government signed a $12 billion arms sales to Saudi Arabia .
This is how Trump's chief strategist sees the entire world
The Egyptians: A Radical History of Egypt's Unfinished Revolution
A struggle with history
The 40-year old Israeli document that forms the backbone of an apartheid state