"Under the relentless thrust of accelerating over-population and increasing over-organization, and by means of ever more effective methods of mind-manipulation, the democracies will change their nature; the quaint old forms—elections, parliaments, Supreme Courts and all the rest—will remain. The underlying substance will be a new kind of non-violent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorial—but Democracy and freedom in a strictly Pickwickian sense. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit."

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited, published 1958
The Market is God, say the "free market" fundamentalists

"I am determined to pursue an aggressive strategy of opening up the markets in all the regions of the world."*

— Bill Clinton, firmer U.S. president, address to the WTO, May 18, 1998. Quoted in Debt, the IMF, and the World Bank by Éric Toussaint and Damien Millet, 2010

One can scratch her head and thinks about what effects that has had in the U.S. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Venezuela, Egypt, South Africa, Argentina, and other countries. Clinton in fact was not pursuing something new, the "shock doctrine" was already apace, and it would be soon complemented by "shock and awe". 

At least there is a mention of the complicity of the capitalist Western companies and the hypocrisy of the "Western leaders" who preach "human rights" and "freedoms" but do business with authoritarianism.

The Thoughts of Chairman Xi
Learning assessment has not spurred discussion of the deep structural problems that send so many students to college unprepared to succeed. Instead, it lets politicians and accreditors ignore these problems as long as bureaucratic mechanisms appear to be holding someone — usually a professor — accountable for student performance.
All professors could benefit from serious conversations about what is and is not working in their classes. But instead they end up preoccupied with feeding the bureaucratic beast. “It’s a bit like the old Soviet Union. You speak two languages,” said Frank Furedi, an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent in Britain, which has a booming assessment culture. “You do a performance for the sake of the auditors, but in reality, you carry on.”

The misguided drive to measure 'learning outcomes'

The UK, U.S. and the EU loathe to impose sanctions, "for fear of hurting the ordinary people or derailing a delicate democratic experiment."
Hahahah! The humanist imperialists who stood by and watched during Rwanda's genocide, hurt around 200,000 Iraqis, mostly children, and then invaded a country where there was no "democratic experiment". Then they watched again during a Syrian revolution turned into a war in which the regime is the main killer and torturer.


"Seven years into this process – first counter-revolutionary and now exterminatory – the Ghouta has tumbled to the lowest pit of hell. This didn’t have to happen. Nor was it an accident. Local, regional and global powers created the tragedy, by their acts and their failures to act. And Arab and international public opinion has contributed, by its apathy and relative silence."

The Ghouta Slaughter and Arab Responsibility
"Scientific education for the masses will do little good, and probably a lot of harm, if it simply boils down to more physics, more chemistry, more biology, etc to the detriment of literature and history. Its probable effect on the average human being would be to narrow the range of his thoughts and make him more than ever contemptuous of such knowledge as he did not possess." 
Orwell, What is Science, 1945
“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” 
George Orwell
"New forms of industrial action need to be instituted against managerialism. For instance, in the case of teachers and lecturers, the tactic of strikes (or even of marking bans) should be abandoned, because they only hurt students and members (at the college where I used to work, one-day strikes were pretty much welcomed by management because they saved on the wage bill whilst causing negligible disruption to the college). What is needed is the strategic withdrawal of forms of labor which will "New forms of industrial action need to be instituted against managerialism. For instance, in the case of teachers and lecturers, the tactic of strikes (or even of marking bans) should be abandoned, because they only hurt students and members (at the college where I used to work, one-day strikes were pretty much welcomed by management because they saved on the wage bill whilst causing negligible disruption to the college). What is needed is the strategic withdrawal of forms of labor which will only be noticed by management: all of the machineries of self-surveillance that have no effect whatsoever on the delivery of education, but which managerialism could not exist without. Instead of the gestural, spectacular politics around (noble) causes like Palestine, it’s time that teaching unions got far more immanent, and take the opportunity opened up by the crisis to begin to rid public services of business ontology. When even businesses can’t be run as businesses, why should public services?"

— Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism

In Arabic

The "civilised world", "the human rights defenders" are silent again while the Syrian regime backed by Iran and Russia is committing another massacre. Hang on, the victims are not white Western journalists or Christian Arabs!
The very same Syrian regime and its backers that is responsible for 93 percent of the civilian deaths so far. Hang on, what about ISIS? ISIS has killed white Westerners in some European cities and the US.

It is not only the cospiracy theorists and the alt-right, we shouldn't forget "the liberal defense of murder" in the Iraq case prior to 2003.

A lesson from Syria
How to "hide" crimes

According to a report by the World Bank itself "the development of biofuels has caused a rise of 75 in food prices between 2002 and February 2008 (out of the 100 percent global rise, while the prices of energy and fertilisers accounted for only 15 percent). 

This estimate is much higher thatn the 3 percent figure retained by the U.S. administration. According to the World Bank teh hike in prices has already cost consumers $324 billion in poor countries and could drive 105 million more people into poverty. So as not to displease President Bush, the World Bank did not publish this report. It was a leak in the press that allowed the information to emerge.

This analysis of the World Bank remains ideologically tainted by neoliberalism. The development of agro-fuels is not responsible for the 'disorganisation of the markets' but reveals their irrational policies and their criminal consequences [my emphasis]. Eat, drink, or drive, the free market will not us to choose. 

"It is a crime against humnaity to convert agricultural productive soil into soil ... which will be burnt into biofuel." — Jean Ziegler, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, October 2007.

Debt, IMF, and the World Bank by E. Toussaint and D. Millet, 2010, p. 122
The BBC online: 
Britain is set for the coldest February week in five years as freezing air arrives from Russia.

Putin's regime has done it again! The sanctions have been proved ineffective.


They also began pushing for policies the left had given up hope of ever hearing again, such as the renationalisation of Italy’s banking, communications, health, transport and energy sectors. They cited the most progressive aspects of Mussolini’s politics, focusing on his “social doctrines” regarding housing, unions, sanitation and a minimum wage. CasaPound accepted that the racial laws of 1938 (which introduced antisemitism and deportation) were “errors”; the movement claimed to be “opposed to any form of discrimination based on racial or religious criteria, or on sexual inclination”.

CasaPound was borrowing leftwing clothes: imitating the strategy of the Italian Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci, it aimed for what Gramsci had called “cultural hegemony” by infiltrating the cultural and leisure activities of everyday Italians.

In reality ... there was no Italian equivalent of Germany’s denazification: throughout the postwar period, one far-right political party – the Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI) – kept alive the flame of Mussolini, at its height in 1972 winning 9% or 2.7m votes.

For a generation, through the 1980s and early 1990s,fascism seemed finished. But when Silvio Berlusconi burst into politics looking for anti-communist allies, he identified the MSI as his ideal political partner.

CasaPound’s job is already done. It has been essential to the normalisation of fascism. At the end of 2017, Il Tempo newspaper announced Benito Mussolini as its “person of the year”. It wasn’t being facetious: Il Duce barged into the news agenda every week last year. A few weeks ago, even a leftwing politician in Florence said that “nobody in this country has done more than Mussolini”. Today, 73 years after his death, he is more admired than traditional Italian heroes such as Giuseppes Garibaldi and Mazzini.
The fascist movement that has brought Mussolini back to the manistream

"A social system based on private ownership of production can’t support the kind of planning that could avert environmental catastrophe. The owners of capital are fragmented and compelled by competition to look after their own interests first, and any serious planning would have to override property rights — an action that would be aggressively resisted." 
Sam Gindin
"There has been a shift in the mood of liberals. Less than a decade ago, they were confident that progress was ongoing. No doubt there would be periods of regression; we might be in one of those periods at the present time. Today, liberals have lost that always rather incredible faith. Faced with the political reversals of the past few years and the onward march of authoritarianism, they find their view of the world crumbling away. What they need at the present time, more than anything else, is some kind of intellectual anodyne that can soothe their nerves, still their doubts and stave off panic.

This is where Pinker comes in. Enlightenment Now is a rationalist sermon delivered to a congregation of wavering souls."

In an excellent interview at the Register.com, the documentary film-maker Adam Curtis identifies the contours of this regime of affective management. 

TV now tells you what to feel.
It doesn’t tell you what to think any more. From EastEnders to reality format shows, you’re on the emotional journey of people – and through the editing, it gently suggests to you what is the agreed form of feeling. “Hugs and Kisses”, I call it. 

I nicked that off Mark Ravenhill who wrote a very good piece which said that if you analyse television now it’s a system of guidance – it tells you who is having the Bad Feelings and who is having the Good Feelings. And the person who is having the Bad Feelings is redeemed through a “hugs and kisses” moment at the end. It really is a system not of moral guidance, but of emotional guidance. 

Morality has been replaced by feeling. In the ‘empire of the self’ everyone ‘feels the same’ without ever escaping a condition of solipsism. ‘What people suffer from,’ Curtis claims, 

"is being trapped within themselves – in a world of individu- alism everyone is trapped within their own feelings, trapped within their own imaginations. Our job as public service broadcasters is to take people beyond the limits of their own self, and until we do that we will carry on declining. 

The BBC should realize that. I have an idealistic view, but if the BBC could do that, taking people beyond their own selves, it will renew itself in a way that jumps over the compe- tition. The competition is obsessed by serving people in their little selves. And in a way, actually, Murdoch for all his power, is trapped by the self. That’s his job, to feed the self.
In the BBC, it’s the next step forward. It doesn’t mean we go back to the 1950s and tell people how to dress, what we do is say “we can free you from yourself” – and people would love it."

Curtis attacks the internet because, in his view, it facilitates communities of solipsists, interpassive networks of like-minds who confirm, rather than challenge, each others’ assumptions and prejudices. Instead of having to confront other points of view in a contested public space, these communities retreat into closed circuits. But, Curtis claims, the impact of internet lobbies on Old Media is disastrous, since, not only does its reactive pro- activity allow the media class to further abnegate its function to educate and lead, it also allows populist currents on both the left and the right to ‘bully’ media producers into turning out programming that is anodyne and mediocre. 

Curtis’s critique has a point, but it misses important dimen- sions of what is happening on the net. Contrary to Curtis’s account of blogging, blogs can generate new discourse networks that have no correlate in the social field outside cyberspace. As Old Media increasingly becomes subsumed into PR and the consumer report replaces the critical essay, some zones of cyber- space offer resistance to a ‘critical compression’ that is elsewhere depressingly pervasive. Nevertheless, the interpassive simulation of participation in postmodern media, the network narcissism of MySpace and Facebook, has, in the main, generated content that is repetitive, parasitic and conformist. In a seeming irony, the media class’s refusal to be paternalistic has not produced a bottom-up culture of breathtaking diversity, but one that is increasingly infantilized. By contrast, it is paternal- istic cultures that treat audiences as adults, assuming that they can cope with cultural products that are complex and intellec- tually demanding. The reason that focus groups and capitalist feedback systems fail, even when they generate commodities that are immensely popular, is that people do not know what they want. This is not only because people’s desire is already present but concealed from them (although this is often the case). Rather, the most powerful forms of desire are precisely cravings for the strange, the unexpected, the weird. These can only be supplied by artists and media professionals who are prepared to give people something different from that which already satisfies them; by those, that is to say, prepared to take a certain kind of risk.

— Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism 

“Thus, while capital must on one side strive to tear down every spatial barrier to intercourse, i.e. to exchange, and conquer the whole earth for its market, it strives on the other side to annihilate this space with time, i.e. to reduce to a minimum the time spent in motion from one place to another. The more developed the capital, therefore, the more extensive the market over which it circulates, which forms the spatial orbit of its circulation, the more does it strive simultaneously for an even greater extension of the market and for greater annihilation of space by time." 
Karl Marx
"For the sceptical reader the whole strategy of the book looks like this. Take a highly selective, historically contentious and anachronistic view of the Enlightenment. Don't be too scrupulous in surveying the range of positions held by Enlightenment thinkers - just attribute your own views to them all. Find a great many things that happened after the Enlightenment that you really like. Illustrate these with graphs. Repeat. Attribute all these good things your version of the Enlightenment. Conclude that we should emulate this Enlightenment if we want the trend lines to keep heading in the right direction. If challenged at any point, do not mount a counter-argument that appeals to actual history, but choose one of the following labels for your critic: religious reactionary, delusional romantic, relativist, postmodernist, paid up member of the Foucault fan club."

The Enlightenment of Steven Pinker

And also a review of  Pinker's previous book on "the decline of violence"

Steven Pinker's Apologetics for Western-Imperial Violence

"Human rights concerns are fine when they can be used as an ideological weapon to undermine enemies or to restore popular faith in the nobility of the state. But they are not to interfere with serious matters, such as dispersing and crushing the rascal multitude forming associations against the interests of the men of best quality."
Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy (1991)

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims... but accomplices”

George Orwell
"Masters in the art of deceipt, the accused institutions [the IMF and the World Bank] concede some mistakes so as to remain at the center of international affairs. Far from being worried by the increasing poverty that it causes, the World Bank seems more concerned with social troubles that put neoliberal globalisation in jeopardy. In a semi-confidential report, under the guise of a mea culpa, it continues to promote an economic model that has deliberately denied impoverishment people vital protections from the insatiable appetite of the most ferocious economic actors. From now on, the new edifice that ensures the expansion of the model of capitalist agriculture consists in making access to land subject to market forces, but also water resources, which amounts to a privatisation of biological life. Finally, it promote the concentration of agricultural resources and encourages speculation."
Debt, IMF, and the World Bank by E. Toussaint and D. Millet, 2010, p. 123

Investing in education is investing in future generations.

It is passivity, compliance, acquiescence, and more that make the English students and their parents accept the tuition fees.
It is the mentality, and the ideology, of business. 
It is about packaging and selling debt, hedge funds, etc.
It is about creating a teacher-customer relationship.
It is the most aggressive neoliberal capitalist economy in Europe.
It is the myth of "we cannot afford scrapping tuitions fees" and "it is too costly for the state".
It is the objective of reproducing compliant workforce that will think less and be at the service of the same ideological dogma.
A Danish at an elite London university has told me how discussions in class are controlled and how they are much more open in Denmark, and how there is much less hierarchy.

A better comparison would be a Germany, a country with a bigger population and woth no tuition fees.

English and Danish tuition fees compared

"The growth of large-scale migration is after all part of the system of corporate globalisation that took hold in the past 30 years and widened inequality both within and between countries. It's also been fuelled by 15 years of western wars and intervention from Afghanistan to Somalia. And in Eastern Europe, the exploitation and migration of low-waged and skilled workers has been central to the neoliberal model imposed after 1989."
Seumas Milne, the Guardian online, 01 January 2013

Italy as an example

'Migrants are more profitable than drugs'

Raped, beaten, exploited

"We the signatories of this statement, refuse to separate our opposition to U.S. imperialism and any imperialist war drive on Iran, from our support for the progressive and revolutionary social justice struggles of Iranian women, workers and oppressed minorities against their regime."

Statement in Solidarity with Iranian Women
"Algeria's angry young men! Racism in all its splendour. These orientalist cliches of the Arab-Berber man are really hard to dislodge even in the most "progressive" spaces (and I am not talking about the Guardian here). When, as an Arab, you speak up your mind, you show your anger and emotions, you are being upfront and direct in your behaviour, you are dubbed unreasonable, difficult to communicate with, not rational (not cartesian like the European), too emotional and above all you need to be controlled, tone-policed, disciplined and in need of civilising and enlightening in the European ways. I go through this almost every day and it is exhausting and painful!" 
— Hamza Hamouchene, commenting on this.

Indeed, you wouldn't see Ms Hannah speaking about the British or Wetsern youth as narcisistic, football addicts, commody lovers, their ignorance of their history, indifferent to other people's sufferring, to their governments wars, support of the Algerian dictatorship, lies, corruption, rendition, harbouring of oligarchs, unprecedent inequality, exploitation, subservience, acceptance of corporate expensive higher education in Britain, etc, etc.
How fundamentalism works

"As economics is not an exact science, the number of counter-examples is irrelevant. If I put forward a hypothesis in physics which is proved wrong by an experiment, I must question the theory. And the theory progresses through such invalidation. In economics, you can undermine the existence of millions of people, but none of that human evidence will affect the ideology of structural adjustment."

— Susan George, vice president of ATTAC France, December 6, 2000

See also

"How poor countries develop rich countries"

"A tonne of cocoa is roughly US $1,300, while one 4x4 vehicle is now about US $120,000. So you need about 92 tonnes of cocoa to exchange for one 4x4. But to get one tonne, you will need not less than 20 acres of land. The average cocoa farmer in Ghana has only around 2-3 acres, meaning it would take him or her well over 500 years to produce enough cocoa to buy a 4x4.”
John Opoku, human rights lawyer and activist, Ghana.

Colonialism's new clothese: the EU Economic partneship agreements with Africa
"...the British and other governments of the democratic and liberal world, so far from protesting (Saddam Hussein's regime which killed several thousands of his citizens with poison-gas bombs), kept quiet and did their best to keep their citizens in the dark, as they encouraged their businessmen to sell Saddam more arms including the equipment to gas more of his citizens. They were not outraged, until he did something genuinely insupportable...he attacked the oil fields thought vital by the USA." 
Eric Hobsbawm, On History, p. 350
I couldn't finish reading this. I was holding myself not to throw up.

The return of Dubai's ultimate folly
The SSNP, the fascists, and Syria
Scroll down to read the section related to the title above
“The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion […] but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.”― Samuel P. HuntingtonThe Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, 1996, p. 51

"The interesting thing about Rojava is that while the YPG and YPJ are lauded worldwide for their struggle against the Islamic State, the fact remains that the solidarity shown for the Syrian Kurds is based on a notion of a common enemy rather than shared truths. While ISIS was globally understood in the terms of science fictional apocalypse, the city of Kobane became a metaphor for secularism, heroism, anti-terrorism and patriotism, all values assumed to prevent the arrival of the doomsday and behind which, the world, specifically the western world, would securely stand. Ironically however, the ideas that inspire what’s happening in Rojava developed from a critique of western paradigms of capitalism, positivism, individualism and professionalism. Therefore, it is urgent to become informed about the ideals of the Kurdish Liberation Movement and what it does on the ground so that now a larger support can be mobilized for it as it is dealing with Turkish attacks and its abandonment by the U.S., Russia and Europe."
Women's strike
08 March 2018
"A lot of truth in this. But there is a real problem with the tendency to see all this in terms of ‘turning away from western values’-as if fascism wasn’t a western value-as if justice was the sole possession of the west-as if movements for democracy were all about a desire to be western. In so many ways this whole discourse is part of the problem-people who have never expanded their universalism beyond a constricted eurocentric post-war vision. I do think we’re confronted by discursively similar discourses in this respect-both flowing out of an amazing theoretical laziness and ennui."
— John Gamey

Indeed, is Germany's complicity with Isreal in crimes a Western value or not? The decades long of Western states support of dictatorships in the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere a Western value or not? Is the state of Europe today, including the consequences of neolibral capitalism, the rise of the far-right, corruption, relentless privatisation, curtailing unions and attacks on labour rights, Brexit, Trump, drones, deportaion, indifference to refugees, commodification of our bodies and private data, etc, etc , Western values or not? Is the hypocrisy of the Western states, especially the US, in overthrowing Saddam Hussein but not Bashar Al-assad, for its own geopolitical interests a Western value or not? Is the epedemic of identity politics propagated by the liberals and neoliberals to deflect people from fundamentsl issues thus contributing to the rise of Islamophobia, xenophobia and neo-fascism a Western value or not?

The left-wing/right-wing alliance of Al-assad apologists

Carter told Brzezinski and secretary of state Cyrus Vance as early as January 1979 that it was vital to "repair our relationships with Pakistan" in light of the unrest in Iran. One initiative Carter authorized to achieve this goal was a collaboration between the CIA and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI); through the ISI, the CIA began providing some $500,000 worth of non-lethal assistance to the mujahideen on July 3, 1979—several months prior to the Soviet invasion. The modest scope of this early collaboration was likely influenced by the understanding, later recounted by CIA official Robert Gates, "that a substantial U.S. covert aid program" might have "raise[d] the stakes" thereby causing "the Soviets to intervene more directly and vigorously than otherwise intended.

That same Carter now considers the U.S. an oligarchy
"The neoliberal bourgeoisie no longer acts according to the rules of classical Marxism. The CEOs of the DAX 30 companies will not suddenly arrive like Batman to save centrist politics. The economic elite is, after all, the client of the state – always dependent on handouts, outsourcing, deregulation and implicit subsidies. Both Trump and Brexit show: the corporate elite will take what it they are given – and they usually learn to like it.
So the German left must outline a new long-term strategy.
The first question is: what does it mean to be progressive in 21st century Germany? At a micro-level this is answered every day by the altruistic actions of young people and trade unionists: to do volunteer work with migrants and refugees; to attend democratic political and cultural events; to cycle and to recycle; to uphold the rights of women, ethnic minorities and gay people. To confront unflinchingly the memory of the Holocaust. To trace, as the Marxist philosopher Georg Lukács once did, the through-line of nationalist irrationalism which emerged from Nietzsche to Spengler to Rosenberg, and to resist its re-emergence in German thought.
... to construct an alliance of petty nationalisms with the conservatives and racists ruling in Hungary, Poland and Austria – would be just as self-defeating as Brexit for the British. Given the elites of these countries are increasingly aligned towards Kremlin foreign policy, it would also be geopolitically dangerous."

Paul Mason
"We formed an alliance with Stalin right at the end of the most murderous years of Stalinism, and then allied with a West German state a few years after the Holocaust. It was perhaps not surprising that in this intellectual environment a certain compromise position about the evils of Hitler and Stalin—that both, in effect, were worse—emerged and became the conventional wisdom." — Thimothy Snyder, a Professor of History at Yale, US.

An interesting perspective.

Stalin vs. Hitler: who was worse?

Who killed more: Hitler, Stalin, or Mao?
White do white people like what I write?

The documentation in Coates’s essays is consistently impressive, especially in his writing about mass imprisonment and housing discrimination. But the chain of causality that can trace the complex process of exclusion in America to its grisly consequences – the election of a racist and serial groper – is missing from his book. Nor can we understand from his account of self-radicalisation why the words ‘socialism’ and ‘imperialism’ became meaningful to a young generation of Americans during what he calls ‘the most incredible of eras – the era of a black president’. There is a conspicuous analytical lacuna here, and it results from an overestimation, increasingly commonplace in the era of Trump, of the most incredible of eras, and an underestimation of its continuities with the past and present.

 ‘Every white Trump voter is most certainly not a white supremacist,’ Coates writes in a bitter epilogue to We Were Eight Years in Power. ‘But every Trump voter felt it acceptable to hand the fate of the country over to one.’ This, again, is true in a banal way, but inadequate as an explanation: Trump also benefited from the disappointment of white voters who had voted, often twice, for Obama, and of black voters who failed to turn out for Hillary Clinton. Moreover, to blame a racist ‘whitelash’ for Trump is to exculpate the political, business and media luminaries Coates has lately found himself with, especially the journalists disgraced, if not dislodged, by their collaboration in a calamitous racist-imperialist venture to make American great again.

Convinced that the presumption of inequality and discrimination underpinned the making of the modern world, Du Bois placed his American experience of racial subjection in a broad international context. Remarkably, all the major black writers and activists of the Atlantic West, from C.L.R. James to Stuart Hall, followed him in this move from the local to the global. Transcending the parochial idioms of their national cultures, they analysed the way in which the processes of capital accumulation and racial domination had become inseparable early in the history of the modern world; the way race emerged as an ideologically flexible category for defining the dangerously lawless civilisational other – black Africans yesterday, Muslims and Hispanics today

Compared to these internationalist thinkers, partisans of the second black president, who happen to be the most influential writers and journalists in the US, have provincialised their aspiration for a just society. They have neatly separated it from opposition to an imperial dispensation that incarcerates and deports millions of people each year – disproportionately people of colour – and routinely exercises its right to assault and despoil other countries and murder and torture their citizens.

Coates has little to say about its manifestation in the new world order ... He has so far considered only one of what King identified as ‘the giant American triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism... My President Was Black’, a 17,000-word profile in the Atlantic, is remarkable for its missing interrogations of the black president for his killings by drones, despoilation of Libya, Yemen and Somalia, mass deportations, and cravenness before the titans of finance who ruined millions of black as well as white lives. Coates has been accused of mystifying race and of ‘essentialising’ whiteness. 

The crimes of the American state,’ Coates writes in one of the introductions to We Were Eight Years in Power, ‘now had the imprimatur of a black man.’ Yet the essays themselves ultimately reveal their author to be safely within the limits of what even a radicalised black man can write in the Atlantic without dissolving the rainbow coalition of liberal imperialism or alienating its patrons.

Why do white people like what I write?

"Russia’s economic decline continued, but this could now be presented as the price of foreign glory. Through September 2015, the main subject could be Ukraine. That October, it changed to Syria.
The new Russian wars are a Bonapartism without a Napoleon, temporarily resolving domestic tensions in doomed foreign adventures, but lacking a vision for the world. Ideals are recognized in order to be mocked.

In the parts of southeastern Ukraine under Russian and separatist control, millions of people have lost their homes and thousands their lives, but the property of the oligarchs is untouched—and those separatists who believed they were fighting against oligarchy have been murdered."
"By 2003, the Libyan government had entered into relations with the International Monetary Fund, privatizing a number of state-owned enterprises. In 2004, Libya opened up 15 new offshore and onshore blocs to drilling. Campbell also chronicles the burrowing actions of the “Western-educated bureaucrats [who] worked to bring Libya into the fold of ‘market reforms,’ and the deepening commercial relations with British capital.” In 2007, British Petroleum inked a deal with the Libyan Investment Corporation for the exploration of 54,000 square kilometers of the Ghadames and Sirt basins. It also signed training agreements for Libyan professionals, helping create a base for neoliberalism within the government. By 2011, 2800 Libyan professionals were studying in the United Kingdom, learning “Western values” of destatization and thus the removal of the possibility for production and power to be responsive to the demands of the people. 

Libya under Qadhaffi was mercurial, but against the ambitions of the plotters who would later depose him in a coup d’état, it was not a country sold to Western capitalists and their domestic helpers, the “reformers” who had “internalized neoliberal economic thinking and wanted Libya to become like Kuwait or the Gulf States – basically client states of Western capital,” as Campbell puts it.

Ibrahim el-Meyet, told the U.S. embassy that there would be “no real economic or political reform in Libya until [Qadhaffi] passes from the political scene,” something which would “not occur while [Qadhaffi] is alive.” Taking that advice to heart, the imperial core set in motion its plan to turn the country which he governed into ruin.

Campbell has provided an important glimpse into the massive segment of that responsibility most relevant to a U.S. readership: its own. Indeed, counter-intuitively, he perhaps underplays that responsibility. For the deterioration of the Qadhaffi government happened not through purely internal decay, but through processes in which Western financial institutions, corporate organs, universities, and the insistent specter and reality of U.S. violence played a major part. And what is inescapable is this: their ability to do so rests on the inability of Western resistance forces to destroy such mechanisms."

Notes on Libya

It is easy to forget that in 2005 Theresa May was a shadow minister going into a general election with a Conservative manifesto promising to scrap all tuition fees, the BBC reminds us.

"People always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be until they have learnt to seek out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises." — L.

"Social phantoms always emerge in moments of crisis. Hatred of the foreigner is the result of a lethal cocktail of bad politics, irresponsible information and economic crisis. Now in Italy all bearings have been completely lost and a climate of endless electoral campaigning has triggered a chain reaction that no one seems able to keep in check: the entire political campaign is focused on the subject of immigration."

Keep silent. Don't talk about it

Michael Roberts reporting from a Labour Party conference

Models of public ownership


Why did Labour lose in 1983?

"In a way, the myth that it was the 'hard Left' that cost Labour the election is an inverted form of Bennite optimism. It lays all the emphasis upon ideology, agency and leadership, albeit in a thin, polemical way that asks no searching questions of the Labour Right and Centre, long its dominant forces. But, then as now, agency and leadership turn out to depend on far bigger historical processes. And it's their obliviousness to those larger processes that leaves Corbyn's right-wing critics out in the cold, fantasising about re-staging the battles of the 1980s."
Stay out of it

Like Houda Sharawi, Jamila Bouhired, Nawal Saadawi, and thousands others, many more today are fighting all sorts of oppression.

Fatma Ramadan (an Egyptian trade unionist)
Narges Hosseini (currently detained for her protest against compulsory 'hijab')
Tunisian women protesting against the IMF
Iraqi women protesting against new law that would allow child marriage

Western women, you who consider Arab and Muslim women unfit and want to "empower" them, and  claim "to defend human rights", stay out of it. Arab countries and people have had enough of 
- imperialist states wars and destruction  
- support of stability and dictatorship 
- co-opting uprisings, 
- hypocrisy 
- the "rhetoric of 'freedom' and 'democracy'
- marketing this or that Arab/Muslim woman to your public
- promoting a Clooney or a Jolie as embassadors 

Invest in a regime change at home, and in empowering women exploited in workplaces and commodified by capital.
And here is some narrative with some crap on the top
A liberal is telling us how/why "the West" should have saved Syria. I know that amnesia is prevalent nowadays, but I personally remember well how "the West", "the international community" and "the free world" have "saved" Iraq and Afghanistan, and Rwanda before that.

"Syria: the failure of our age"


The boy who started the Syrian revolution, before it became a war
There were no red banners in Navalny’s largely teenage and twenty-something audience. But if Russia has any revolutionary energy left, it isn’t to be found among Stepakhno’s ‘left patriotic youth’, but here, among Navalny’s supporters. Not that 1917 itself is much of a marker these days: young people are taught next to nothing about the October Revolution, said Violetta Grudina, who heads Navalny’s small but active Murmansk cell. ‘The very word “revolution” has been branded extremist. Better not to talk about it – what if people find out that it’s possible?’ 

[A Russian] Diary
A rare use of the word bougreoisie by the Financial Times, without inverted commas.
Before 2008 the word 'capitalism' itself was almost absent except among some far left-wingers. The Western ruling class, the corportae media and other defenders of the system see Trump as a liability, but also some other 'excesses' of the system (such as inequality) might threaten the 'credibility' of capitalism.

The discreet terror of the American bourgeoisie

"this account rather downplays the role of collectivities, especially trade unions, which probably did more to shape Britain’s distinctive labour relations, and certainly did more to sustain working-class incomes, than any state programme. More troubling to me, however, is the way Renwick’s teleological narrative approach limits the analytical power of the book. We are told a story of how this welfare state came about, but because there is neither a comparative framework nor any real analysis of the way social structures (not just people) shape both visions and outcomes, the distinctiveness of Britain’s choices never really emerges. The book does provide a good and readable account of the making of the Beveridgean welfare state. But without a sharper analytical focus, and especially some attention to Beveridge’s ideas about how to provide income security without disordering family life, the book not only ignores the welfare state’s disciplinary function but also rather overlooks how poorly it served disadvantaged groups – notably mothers – when the social relations Beveridge thought so stable came apart." 

Welfare state
Race as a social construct

The Cheddar Man
When doves cry

Note: there is no word about the selling of submarines, for example, to the settler colonial state of Israel. 
Complicity in crimes for jobs and accumulation of capital.
"Under the new, ‘improved’ system, if a college can demonstrate that its internal assessment systems are effective, it will only have to undergo a ‘light’ inspection. But the downside of this ‘light’ inspection is obvious – surveillance and monitoring are outsourced from OFSTED to the college and ultimately to lecturers themselves, and become a permanent feature of the college structure (and of the psychology of individual lecturers). The difference between the old/heavy and new/light inspection system corresponds precisely to Kafka’s distinction between ostensible acquittal and indefinite postponement, outlined above. With ostensible acquittal, you petition the lower court judges until they grant you a non-binding reprieve. You are then free from the court, until the time when your case is re-opened. Indefinite postponement, meanwhile, keeps your case at the lowest level of the court, but at the cost of an anxiety that has never ends. (The changes in OFSTED inspections are mirrored by in the change from the Research Assessment Exercise to the  Research Excellence Framework in higher education: periodic assessment will be superseded by a permanent and ubiquitous measurement which cannot help but generate the same perpetual anxiety.) 

In any case, it is not as if the ‘light’ inspection is in any sense preferable for staff than the heavy one. The inspectors are in the college for the same amount of time as they were under the old system. The fact that there are fewer of them does nothing to alleviate the stress of the inspection, which has far more to do with the extra bureaucratic window-dressing one has to do in anticipation of a possible observation than it has to do with any actual observation itself. The inspection, that is to say, corre- sponds precisely to Foucault’s account of the virtual nature of surveillance in Discipline And Punish. Foucault famously observes there that there is no need for the place of surveillance to actually be occupied. The effect of not knowing whether you will be observed or not produces an introjection of the surveillance apparatus. You constantly act as if you are always about to be observed. Yet, in the case of school and university inspections, what you will be graded on is not primarily your abilities as a teacher so much as your diligence as a bureaucrat. There are other bizarre effects. Since OFSTED is now observing the college’s self-assessment systems, there is an implicit incentive for the college to grade itself and its teaching lower than it actually deserves."  
— Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism

"The Parallax View is in a sense a meta-conspiracy film: a film not only about conspiracies but about the impotence of attempts to uncover them; or, much worse than that, about the way in which particular kinds of investigation feed the very conspiracies they intend to uncover. It is not only that the Warren Beatty character is framed/killed for the crime he is investigating, neatly eliminating him and undermining his investigations with one pull of a corporate assassins trigger; it’s that, as Jameson noted in his commentary on the film in The Geopolitical Aesthetic, his very tenacity, quasi-sociopathic individualism, make him eminently frameable.

The terrifying climactic moment of The Parallax View – when the silhouette of Beatty’s anonymous assassin appears against migraine-white space – for me now rhymes with the open door at the end of a very different film, Peter Weir’s The Truman Show. But where the door in the horizon opening onto black space at the end of Weir’s film connotes a break in a universe of total determinism, the nothingness on which existentialist freedom depends, The Parallax View’s ‘final open door ... opens onto a world conspiratorially organized and controlled as far as the eye can see’ (Jameson). This anonymous figure with a rifle in a doorway is the closest we get to seeing the conspiracy (as) itself. The conspiracy in The Parallax View never gives any account of itself. It is never focalised through a single malign individual. Although presumably corporate, the interests and motives of the conspiracy in The Parallax View are never articulated (perhaps not even to or by those actually involved in it). Who knows what the Parallax Corporation really wants? It is itself situated in the parallax between politics and economy. Is it a commercial front for political interests, or is the whole machinery of government a front for it? It’s not clear if the Corporation really exists – more than that, it is not clear if its aim is to pretend that it doesn’t exist, or to pretend that it does.

There are certainly conspiracies in capitalism, but the problem is that they are themselves only possible because of deeper level structures that allow them to function. Does anyone really think, for instance, that things would improve if we replaced the whole managerial and banking class with a whole new set of (‘better’) people? Surely, on the contrary, it is evident that the vices are engendered by the structure, and that while the structure remains, the vices will reproduce themselves."

Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism

"In posing the question, ‘who is the subject supposed to recycle?’ [Campbell] Jones denaturalizes an imperative that is now so taken for granted that resisting it seems senseless, never mind unethical. Everyone is supposed to recycle; no-one, whatever their political persuasion, ought to resist this injunction. The demand that we recycle is precisely posited as a pre- or post-ideological imperative; in other words, it is positioned in precisely the space where ideology always does its work. But the subject supposed to recycle, Jones argued, presupposed the structure not supposed to recycle: in making recycling the responsibility of ‘everyone’, structure contracts out its responsibility to consumers, by itself receding into invisibility. Now, when the appeal to individual ethical responsibility has never been more clamorous – in her book Frames Of War, Judith Butler uses the term ‘responsibi-lization’ to refer to this phenomenon – it is necessary to wager instead on structure at its most totalizing. Instead of saying that everyone – i.e. every one – is responsible for climate change, we all have to do our bit, it would be better to say that no-one is, and that’s the very problem. The cause of eco-catastrophe is an impersonal structure which, even though it is capable of producing all manner of effects, is precisely not a subject capable of exercising responsibility. The required subject – a collective subject – does not exist, yet the crisis, like all the other global crises we’re now facing, demands that it be constructed. Yet the appeal to ethical immediacy that has been in place in British political culture since at least 1985 – when the consensual sentimentality of Live Aid replaced the antagonism of the Miners Strike – permanently defers the emergence of such a subject."

—  Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism

"The analysis of Department for Education figures by researchers at Huddersfield and Sheffield universities shows that since 2010, council areas with the highest levels of deprivation and need have faced the biggest cuts."

Another proof that "there is a class war, and they are winning it." (The quote is originally Warrent Buffet's)

Poorest areas face biggest cuts in children's services
"How does a rationality that is expressly amoral at the level of both ends and means (neoliberalism) intersect with one that is expressly moral and regulatory (neoconservatism)? How does a project that empties the world of meaning, that cheapens and deracinates life and openly exploits desire, intersect one centered on fixing and enforcing meanings, conserving certain ways of life, and repressing and regulating desire? How does support for governance modeled on the firm and a normative social fabric of self-interest marry or jostle against support for governance modeled on church authority and a normative social fabric of self-sacrifice and long-term filial loyalty, the very fabric shredded by unbridled capitalism?

 [T]he choosing subject and the governed subject are far from opposites ... Frankfurt school intellectuals and, before them, Plato theorized the open compatibility between individual choice and political domination, and depicted democratic subjects who are available to political tyranny or authoritari- anism precisely because they are absorbed in a province of choice and need-satisfaction that they mistake for freedom."

— Wendy Brown, ‘American Nightmare: Neoconservatism, Neoliberalism, and De-democratization’ 


"The good thing about the developments of the past two or three years is that most demonstrations have avoided using sectarian slogans...