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Showing posts from October, 2018
 “They can now see that the reformist leaders are in benevolent accord with the bourgeoisie, and the worst of it is that these masses have now lost their faith not only in the reformist leaders, but in socialism as a whole. These masses of disappointed socialist sympathizers are joined by large circles of the proletariat, of workers who have given up their faith not only in socialism, but also in their own class.” — Clara Zetkin Is there fascism in Brazil?
Today what is happening to Muslims in Myanmar (Burma) amounts to " a genocide ". In the 1960s a Burmese Muslim called for "secularism", the separation of religion from the state. "In Burma, it is the Muslim community that has carried the banner of secularism and opposed government attempts to specify a state religion. U Rashid, a respected member of the Burmese cabinet in the early 1960s and a leader of Muslims, opposed the prime minister's attempt to make Buddhism the state religion. He questioned whether, in view of the religious pluralism that characterized contemporary Burmese society, a state religion could serve to integrate and unite the nation:  'As a Muslim, I believe there should be no compulsion in religion. Everyone should be free to adopt and practice the religion he likes. As a Muslim, I do not and indeed cannot object to or oppose anything that Buddhists and persons professing other religions may do for their own religion. All I can a
"Bolsonaro won mainly because of the disillusionment of the working class with the Workers Party.  After the collapse of commodity prices in resources and agriculture, the economy went into recession. The blame for this and corruption has been laid at the door of the Workers Party." Brazil's Tropical Trump
Civilisation Looking around her, Dr. Mahdi could not fathom the Western obsession with the Saudi killing of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. “We’re surprised the Khashoggi case is getting so much attention while millions of Yemeni children are suffering,” she said. “Nobody gives a damn about them.” No one gives a damn about them
The Egyptian feminist Doria Shafik
France and beyond If liberal media smear Mélenchon as akin to Le Pen, he stands far to the left of the mainstream (including Hamon) on questions of racism and Islamophobia. He strongly condemned the last Socialist government’s state of emergency, made permanent by Macron, whose measures encourage police harassment of ethnic minorities. He is also a stout opponent of French interventions in West Africa and the Middle East. "The Left should welcome Mélenchons"
Photography Unlearning imperial sovereignty
Above all, Guler's photos of Istanbul show us how ordinary people lived: the fisherman, the worker, the day labourer, the travelling salesman and the migrant from the village who moved to the shores of the Bosphorus in the hope of a better life. Obituary: Turkish photographer Ara Guler
Ukraine The Oligarchs
"Notably, the international community and particularly western powers, which were originally sympathetic to Syria's  Arab Spring , accepted the Syrian regime as the lesser evil and gradually abandoned the opposition." Assad's strategic use of ISIL  
China's "1984" What was this large complex with its 16 watchtowers that the authorities were so desperate to stop us filming?  “It's a re-education school,” one hotelier told us.  “Yes, that's a re-education school,” another shopkeeper agreed.  “There are tens of thousands of people there now. They have some problems with their thoughts.” China's hidden camps
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Syria From the archive:  Top Goon (13 episodes)
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لما بدى يتثنى
An interesting admission: we don't live in a progressive world heading towards a progressive future. On the contrary, we are living in a more and more commodified, Orwellian society. 'Surveillance capitalism'
The liberal BBC wants to normalise a neofascist
Ineffective "Mass marches in the UK"
An Interview with Gilbert Achcar
From the first half of the 20th century in Egypt Collecting Cairo's Discarded Images
Like in most analyses, missing is the historical fact of an overlap of sect and class in some Arab countries. Example: one has to look at the position of the majority of the Syrian bourgeoisie towards the uprising and the regime since the outbreak of the uprising and then the war. Postel:  In recent years, a narrative has taken hold in Western policy and media circles that attributes the turmoil and violence engulfing the Middle East to supposedly ancient sectarian hatreds. "Sectarianism" has become a catch-all explanation for virtually all of the regionʹs problems. This narrative can be found across the political spectrum – from right-wing voices with openly anti-Muslim agendas, to softer liberal-centrist articulations and even certain commentators on the left. In its various forms, this sectarian essentialism has become a new conventional wisdom in the West. It is an intellectually lazy, ideologically convenient and deeply Orientalist narrative. The West's "
Many of those condemning the regime today include a cross-section of US government, think tank, and media personalities that are themselves guilty at best of ignoring, and at worse covering up, the authoritarian nature of the Saudi regime and the various forms of systematic violence it deploys (let alone the US role in propping up the regime, providing the means of that violence, and many times participating in the actual acts of violence).  Kashoggi himself was for a long time part of the Saudi regime of power, and only recently fell out with its current top echelons (i.e., Mohammed bin Salman) and thus defected. Saudi Arabia's Long History of Dictatorship and Opposition
Turkey Release jailed construction workers
The outcome of regional strategic calculus and "lesser evil" mentality, especially when "the lesser evil" is "secular". Sections of the left are still in denial. How chemical weapons helped bring Assad close to victory
Tolerance! Hate crimes in England and Wales
Lucky him! He could afford it. "I'm leaving the UK because of the disaster of Brexit"
London   Today on a famous high street in London, another racist attack on me. A young man in his early twenties, bumped into me deliberately and hurled a racist slur at me.
Class and race The Blindspot Revisited
States are no different than warlords. Both seek to dominate, where the only difference is that the former maintains a false air of legitimacy by claiming the monopoly of violence, while the other's violence has not yet appropriated that perverse right. The so-called “general benevolence of democracy” ( De Waal, 2017 ) consequently reflects a testament to the need to placate a population so that it does not revolt against the status quo. Property is the mother of famine
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Social progress in England 40% of young adults cannot afford to buy one of the cheapest homes in their local areas. 35% of 25-34 years olds own a house, down from 55% in 1998. "Inequality and exploitation are good. They give an incentive to people to work harder and harder if they want to buy a home. If they don't it is either them to blame, or that's life, we can't do anything about! After all, the untouchables, the capitalists and the landlords, are the wealth creators!"
Brazil A long walk to betrayal by the Workers' Party has spawned a far-right shift. It was also due to the Venezuela's experiment with its compromise with the capitalists and failure to deepen democracy, genuine democracy. It seem that the reformist left, not just conservatism and socio-economic crisis, that opens the way to the far-right.
Essential Readings: Uprising, Resistance, and Popular Mobilization in the Middle East
Not bad! However, could we speak of economics without considering "uneven and fettered development", regional and global capitalism, productivity, class? The economics of the Arabellion
"Neoliberalism" according to the BBC
تونس 
 من أساطير تونس ما بعد الثورة المباركة: الدولة العميقة والجهاز السري.... 
 فقط للتذكير فالأسطورة لا تعني أن مضمونها خيالي تماما، بل تعني أن الناس يصورون مضمونا واقعيا بطريقة خيالية.... غير أن الفرق بين الأساطير التلقائية للجماعات والشعوب وبين الأساطير السياسية كون الثانية مدبرة باحكام ومسمومة بمحمولاتها الايديولوجية وموجهة لصناعة وعي عام وعمومي.... استراتيجية أسطورة الدولة العميقة هي اعفاء الدولة من جرائمها وفسادها وتفسخها ونسب كل ذلك لشكل مخصوص وخفي للدولة.... أما استراتيجية أسطورة الأجهزة السرية فهي اعفاء الأجهزة "الرسمية" والعلنية للأحزاب من فسادها ومؤامراتها ودسائسها وضلوعها في شتى الجرائم والتصفيات المادية والرمزية ونسب كل ذلك لجهاز حزبي خاص وخفي..... أخيرا فأفضل طريقة لاخفاء الحقيقة هي قولها بطريقة مشوهة، وهذا ما يبرع فيه سياسيو الطبقة السائدة وايديولوجييها وصحافييها وكل مرتزقتها.... 
 محمد المثلوثي، تونس 03 أكتوبر 2018
The average salary in Britain is £26,000. A salary of £51,200 is needed to "afford" to rent a one-bed London home. We have achieved something after hundreds of years of human evolution, technological and scientific development.  The BBC, faithful to Britain's spirit, has filed this infomation in their Business, not Society, section.
"The effervescent Al-Fares has become a lightning rod for all four deaths, and sparked a rare public discussion in  Iraq  about how far women have come in the 15 years since the US invasion, the proponents of which had vowed that civic freedoms and individual liberties would somehow emerge from the ensuing chaos." The US invasion? Britain and Poland, for example were not part of the crime, according to the writer. Under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein women rights were not excellent, but in no way were as bad as they are today The murder of high-profile Iraqi women
This was written by a student two years ago and available in English and Arabic . There is a good point about both Arab nationalism and Islamism being a reaction to the "West". This "West" is not defined though.  In addition, this highlighting of "reaction" ignores or marginalises the action. "Islamism" is neither defined nor specified. The assumption is that ot is homogenous. Islamist currents have not attacked "the West". Even the violent currents have not carried out violent attacks/reacted violently against Israel. Others have always been satified with verbal attacks. Some of them have worked with  Western regimes to undermine the left and the nationalists. Some others have not. Recently, after the Arab uprisings, both the main Islamist parties in Tunisia and Egypt openly demonstrated their friendly relationship with imperialism and have not challenged or tried to question capitalism.  The socio-economic context is excluded f
Salama Kaila (1955-2018) A Palestinian Marxist persecuted by the Syrian regime dies in Amman, Jordan An obituary in Arabic
The Zaghari-Ratcliffe case and Theresa May's outrageous hypocrisy