"This kind of neoliberal urbanization is happening in many parts of the world. But when you start doing it in a place like Dubai where there are not that many neighborhoods with history, you are pretty much getting rid of any connection to your past, even if that connection is tenuous and that past is not an extended past like you have in other cities. It’s a central loss. And it’s happening in the Gulf and in other parts of Dubai. I think this should be an important area for research—why this is being done, why there is no resistance against that. The developer who is doing this project, Meraas, is a private company. But it is owned by Dubai’s ruling family, so they are basically operating as a private developer but with access to all that land."

Urban loss in the shadow of the Gulf urbanity
Given the state of British capitalism today, 
will capital tolerate even a modest social-democratic measure?
“It’s a snapshot of the old Middle East with its incredible multiculturalism,” says Dr Wagner. “This whole idea of one nation, one faith, one language is a very European concept that then penetrated the Middle East. These letters came before the time when this kind of thinking began poisoning things.

Letters from Arab merchants hidden for more than 200 years
"property in Britain, and especially London, is part of the plumbing of the international financial system. Without tackling this financialization of housing, no amount of construction will end the crisis."

Britain's housing casino
British values

Via Michael Roberts and the FT


The companies of which country after Russia were engaged in money laundering using the Estonian branch of Danske Bank?
Answer: Britain
UK corporate entities were the second-biggest proportion, behind Russian, of 15,000 non-resident customers at the Estonian branch of Danske, the bank revealed this week.

Up to €200bn flowed through those 15,000 customers’ accounts between 2007 and 2015. Danske estimates that much of this will be suspicious, making it one of the biggest money-laundering scandals ever.
English LLPs and Scottish limited partnerships have been linked with financial crime and money-laundering. The structures essentially give anonymous shell companies a UK wrapper and can be registered through an official formation agent for as little as £50.
British LLPs were the “preferred vehicle” for moving non-resident money and detailed how one customer had filed false information to Companies House, the UK’s corporate registrar. The whistleblower alleged that this entity had links to both the family of President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federal Security Service, according to the bank’s report.
Here is how an eminent liberal and Keynesian praises Trump,

“As Trump moves from populism to policy, liberals should not turn away in disgust and despair, but rather engage with Trumpism’s positive potential. His proposals need to be interrogated and refined, not dismissed as ignorant ravings.”  — Lord Robert Skidelsky

But since then nothing has come of Trump’s infrastructure promises.  All that has happened is that corporate profits are up, the stock market is booming, inequality has rocketed further, real wages are stagnant and public services are being slashed.  So much for Trump’s ‘positive potential’.

Lord Skidelsky and Keynes' big idea


We are all in it together!

Council cuts in England
"Processes of capitalist urbanization may be thriving in the region, but city life for far too many urban residents appears suspended over the abyss of the anti-city."

The Urbanization of Power and the Struggle for the City
Wrath of Silence
(A Chinese movie. Beware of pop-up windows)
"The British curriculum dedicates plenty of attention to the violence of others - in Nazi Germany or during the American Civil War - and goes into great detail on a few events in medieval and pre-Victorian English history, like the Plague, the Great Fire of London, and the reign of Henry VIII. But a British school would not teach you anything about the brutality of British colonialism."

It is time to teach colonial history in British schools
Development

In Rodney's view, "the disproportionate weight and importance of even a small African working class offered potentially a more stable base of resistance. But, he emphasizes, that possibility cannot be fully realized as in the “developed” world because production in Africa proceeded on a different path than in Europe. In the latter, the destruction of agrarian and craft economies increased productive capacity through the development of factories and a mass working class. In Africa, he argues, that process was distorted: local craft industry was destroyed, yet large-scale industry was not developed outside of agriculture and extraction, with workers restricted to the lowest-paid, most unskilled work. “Capitalism in the form of colonialism failed to perform in Africa the tasks which it had performed in Europe in changing social relations and liberating the forces of production.” 

How Europe underdeveloped Africa: the legacy of Walter Rodney

Further reading

> Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century by John Smith
> Debt, the IMF and the World Bank by E. Toussaint and D. Millet
"Worst of all, there is a growing international consensus that the regime is the best solution for the devastation it has wrought. The international community is now shifting its focus toward reconstruction, rehabilitating the regime through rewarding those responsible for the country’s devastation, and pressuring refugees to return to a country where their safety is far from assured."

Is impossible that one day, we see that "secular", unveiled wife of Al-Assad in London or Washington, prepraring teh ground for full rehabilitaion of the regime?

The coming assault on Idlib
An even at the British Academy, London

Radical physics: science, socialism and the paranormal
"Western liberals were widely perceived as ‘false friends’, as Conor Cruise O’Brien reported from Africa in the 1960s, and liberalism itself as an ‘ingratiating moral mask which a toughly acquisitive society wears before the world it robs’. Distrust of the Western discourse of human rights was likewise constant and deep. The Indonesian thinker Soedjatmoko challenged its presumption of universal morality, pointing to the global inequalities perpetuated by the champions of human rights. Arundhati Roy spoke in 2004 of an ‘alarming shift of paradigm’: ‘Even among the well-intentioned, the expansive, magnificent concept of justice is gradually being substituted with the reduced, far more fragile discourse of “human rights”’ – a minimalist request, basically, not to be killed, tortured or unjustly imprisoned. As a result, she argued ‘resistance movements in poor countries … view human rights NGOs as modern-day missionaries,’ complicit in the West’s attempt to impose an ‘unjust political and economic structure on the world’."

The mask it wears

UK 2019 Elections

Imperialism and internationalism