Sunday, 20 December 2009

PROTO-FASCISM.

 Page 94/95;    
   Neoliberalism is not only an economic policy designed to cut government spending, pursue free trade policies, and liberate market forces from government regulations. It is also a political philosophy and ideology that affects every dimension of social life. Neoliberalism has heralded a radical shift that defines the citizen as consumer, disbands the social contract in the interests of privatized considerations, and separates capital from the context of place.Within this discourse, as Jean and John Comaroff have argued, "the personal is the only politics there is, the only politics with a tangible referent or emotional valence. It is in these privatized terms that action is organised, that the experience of inequity and antagonism takes meaningful shape." Unnder such circumstances, neoliberalism portends the death of politics as we know it, strips the social of its democratic values, and reconstructs agency in terms that are utterly privatized. It provides the conditions for an emerging form of proto-fascism that must be resisted at all costs. Neoliberalism not only enshrines unbridled individualism as a central feature  of proto-fascism, as Herbert Marcuse reminds us, it also destroys any vestige of democratic society by undercutting its "moral material and regulatory moorings," and in doing so, offers no language for understanding how the future might be grasped outside the narrow logic of the market. But there is even more at stake here than the obliteration of public concerns, the death of the social, the emergence of a market-based fundamentalism that undercuts our ability to understand how to translate privately experienced misery into collective action, and the elim ination of the gains of the welfare state. There is  also the growing threat of displacing "political sovereignty with the sovereignty of the market, as if the latter has a mind and morality of its own.'" As democracy becomes a burden under the reign of neoliberalism, civic discourse disappears and the reign of unfetered social Darwnism, with its survival-of-the-slickest philosophy, emerges as the template for a new form of proto-fascism. None of this will happen in the face of sufficient resistance, nor is the increasing move toward proto-fascism inevitable, but the conditions exist for democracy to lose all semblance of meaning----

Extract from; 
AGAINST THE NEW AUTHORITARIANISM   by HENRY GIROUX   1-894037-23-5

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Saturday, 19 December 2009

DEATHS FROM "FRIENDLY FIRE".

     In war we always seem to accept killing but deaths from "friendly fire" are always considered more deplorable. They will make headline news and the inevitable enquiry will follow. But how much more "friendly fire" can you get than being killed by your own family?
     According to the United Nations Population Fund there are an estimated 5,000 women killed each year in what distorted minds call "honour" killings.  Figures from The United Nations Development Fund for Women state that 22 women a day are killed in India because of dowry related affairs. While in South Africa one woman is murdered every six hours by a family member or partner. United Nations special adviser, Asma Jahangir, in a report to the the Commission on Human Rights said, "The perpetrators of these crimes are mostly male family members of  the murdered women who go unpunished or receive reduced sentences on the justification of having murdered to defend their misconceived notions of family honour."
   No country seems to be immune to these male murders of females, a recent survey of cases that received media coverage between 1998 and 2007 concluded that in the UK there were an average of 12 cases investigated a year.
    What state has our civilization reached when we still have male family members killing their own female family members on some personal and transitory notion of honour?
    Of course it will continue as long as we have two classes of citizens, one the so called dominant and the other, the expected to be, submissive. It will only change when each human being respects and accepts as equall all other human beings, giving to each the rights that they claim for themselves.
    Of course you and I know that the present system doesn't lend itself to all being equall, we are graded according to our consumer ability, our macho attitude, our success at exploiting others, possessions mean power, power gives you extra rights.

Monday, 14 December 2009

TO DIE EARNING YOUR DAILY BREAD.

        Day and daily we hear of deaths across the world, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine etc. and they often make headline news. However closer to home the deaths continue, day and daily, ordinary folks die at work, often due to lack of or faulty safety equipment, over-worked through pressure from bosses causing mistakes and a multitude of other avoidable reasons. Today we pay our respects to another worked killed at work but we will probably not read about it in the press.
       Ray Jessop  died yesterday following an  accident at work. Ray, a painter by trade, he fell from a  ladder and died of his injuries soon after.
       Ray was a founder member of the short-lived Hull GMB.  He signed up in January 2002, and was one of only three  members who stayed with the OBU after the collapse of the  Hull branch. Few of the the current membership would have  known him; his last attendance at an event outside of Hull  was at the pre-onference "way ahead" meeting in July 2004. Also he was not in his element at meetings: in  the minutes of the 2003 AGM he is listed as "Softly spoken bloke with long hair and earrings (who the minute-taker couldn't hear)".  But he could always be relied to take part in direct action. He was up for anything in that line. Many causes  have benefitted from his support, practical and financial.  He was a stalwart of the animal rights movement, of the campaign against the arms trade, of the Palestine Solidarity movement. He will be missed in the ranks of these and other radical organisations.
     Ray was 51 years old. As far as I know he leaves no partner or children. Although he was a very outgoing and sociable fellow, we never seem to have got round to discussing his private life.
Details thanks to IWW members.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

A SUGAR COATED BUSH??


     I have always maintained that voting at elections to change a leader is much the same as voting for a new suit for a psychopath. Nothing really changes, it is just at first it looks a bit different. Watching the hysteria after the Obama election I felt saddened that so many people could be fooled by this switch of clothes, same old shit, nice new suit. Now we have Obama, a sugar coated Bush, preaching the " just war", extolling the self sacrificing America giving up its young folks to help the world, and for this duplicity he receives the Nobel Peace Prize and you can feel your stomach churn. The best comment I have read of the Obama acceptance speech at the Nobel Peace Prize event is here

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Saturday, 12 December 2009

OGIES OF REPRESSION.

       As states feel the crunch of collapse they muster their repressive forces, aware of the fact that the people will only take so much. The closer to collapse the state goes the more severe the repression. The police are given a free hand, the military sit in the background waiting their comands, the media pours out its disinformation, all the right wing fascist groups are encouraged to come out of the sewers on to the streets.  Divide, intimidate and misinform the usual strategy of the state is put into overdrive as the survival of the system is what matters, not the will and welfare of the people. As Greece races forward to defaulting on its debt the powers that be are aware of what that will mean, the collapse of any form of social services. so it will try to pre-empt the people's dissatisfaction by every repressive means available. Control  in any form is the states only means of survival. Greece is just a little further down the road than lots of other states, but most are facing the finacial crunch that will put people under stress and onto the streets. We should watch very carefully what is happening in Greece and learn how to be one step ahead of the brutal reprssion that is coming our way.
   More from Greece:
9-12-2009 : RECENT DAYS HAVE SEEN
INCREDIBLE JUNTA ORGIES IN GREECE.
EXAMPLES:
1) Cops with guns in the demonstrations.
2) Motorbike raids against protesters.
3) Cops following peaceful demonstrators in their tracks, wild and indiscriminate arrests.
4) Staged events such as the alleged assassination attempt against the rector of the Pritanea.
5) An enormous number of vague and even criminal charges and arresting people young and old.
6) Closing schools on the pretext of swine flu and the merciless beating of students who wanted to get to their schools.
7) Undercover cops kidnapping young protesters.
8) Higher level visible collaboration between Golden Dawn neo-nazis and the Police.
9) Secret meetings between Chrysohoides and the bosses of the TV channels and journalists to decide on how TV reporting was going to be done over these days.
10) Secret covert cameras and helicopters hovering constantly.

Read the full article here:  http://anarchistnews.org/?q=node/10260

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Thursday, 10 December 2009

TERRORISTS IN UNIFORMS.

The Greek assasination from an eye witness,

this story should be widely distributed ;




       An Exarchia resident whose balcony overlooks the spot where Alexis Grigoropoulos was murdered.

I'm not so involved in any political activities. I'm not an activist. I can only speak about the killing. I can't take a position on all the other things that happened because all these other things are very complicated and I don't have clear thoughts on them.
Exarchia has always been an alternative, counterculture neighborhood. For many years it was a frequent occurrence that something would happen on a street corner in Exarchia and suddenly everyone from the cafes and the bars and the sidewalks would pour out into the streets and run to see what was happening. Usually it was incidents between people and police, some fights, confrontations, insults, shouting matches. In the old times it happened very often. Then there was a period when this didn't happen so much, but in the last years it has started becoming more common again.-----
 
    Read the full story here;  http://anarchistnews.org/?q=node/10247
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Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Bankers bonuses my f**=>^****"

    All this talk of hitting bankers' bonuses is just hogwash. It makes people think that somebody is being made to pay for the real mess and pain that is coming our way. So the bankers are whinging about their £1.5 million bonus being cut to a mere £750,000 each, (gee, how unfair, how will they ever manage) and we are supposed to think that they are hurting?? They will be laughing and in clover for the rest of their lives while you and I face savage cuts to all social services, wage freezes/cuts plus high unemployment. Do we need the bankers and their dodgy dealings, ripping off all and sundry? Forget the bankers and their bonuses, it is the system that has to be destroyed, don't expect the corporate world or the financial institutions to be altruistic, ethical or even honest, that would be bad for their businesses. We need a fairer, more humane and just system that sees to the needs of all our people, not one that tends to the needs of a bunch of greedy parasites. We can create a social system based on mutual aid, voluntary co-operation and sustainability, a system freed from the corporate greed and profit motive of this system of sweaty palmed money crazy shareholders.

Monday, 7 December 2009

CRISIS/OPPORTUNITY?

        Workers today have a great opportunity to compare the present with the past and to be alive to the acts of imperialism that might have, in an earlier time, gone un-noticed by vast swathes of the people of the planet. We the workers have a greater connectivity through the internet and therefore can react more quickly in solidarity with our comrades across the globe.
       No longer can the imperialist conceal their deeds by semantics, censorship and propaganda, the world has shrunk, the internet has turned it into a village and we are aware of the village bullies. We are aware of the rising corporate fascism, regionally and globally, backed up by the militarization of the state. We are also aware of the ever deepening crisis in the capitalist system and know that it needs wars, war contracts feed the shareholders of the military industrial complex that is capitalism today. We have become aware of the continuing rhetoric pouring from Western leaders referring to the peaceful West yet we can’t recall a year when the West was not involved in a war somewhere in the world.
       The workers of the world are now becoming conscious of their homogeneity, perhaps it is the brutality of a system that we created that is causing this consciousness and also the knowledge that we have the ability to destroy such a man made system and create a more just, moral, humane and sustainable system. A system based on mutual aid and voluntary co-operation rather than the profit and greed of the present system.
      However the change must come in the near future if we are to prevent WW3. The crisis the corporate world is facing means that the competing imperialists cannot compete in friendly fashion, they must win to survive and each will do what it believes is necessry to survive and expand. In the eyes of the imperialists, the destruction of the people is an acceptable price to pay for the survival of the system.
 

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Politicians and freedom of speech don't go together.

It seems that the truth and freedom of speech can cost you your job. According to a recent ITN news report:

     A Labour election candidate who called the Queen a "parasite" and "vermin" has been sacked. Would-be local councillor Peter White was axed by party bosses after being forced to apologise for an online rant about the monarch. A Labour spokesman said: "Mr White appeared before a panel of the regional board of the London Labour Party who, after hearing the evidence, decided to remove him from the panel of candidates." The 26-year-old had been due to fight for a seat on Havering Borough Council in east London next year. His comments were posted on the Facebook page of Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, who is campaigning for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee to be marked with a public holiday. Mr White posted: "What is the point of celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of someone who is born into a position of privilege? She is a parasite and milks this country for everything she can."
    He added: "Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with a public holiday but lets (sic) have one that means something, rather than celebrating vermin." 
 
    So there you have it, Labour does not support freedom of speech.  Indulge in that sort of thing and it could cost you your job.
 

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

PATRIOTISM.

PATRIOTISM.



No, I shall not die for the fluttering flag,
if truth be known, ‘tis nothing but a multi-coloured rag
held aloft by some foolish hand
inciting worker and peasant to kill
on some green and wooded hill,
peasant and worker from some other land.

Nor shall I shed blood for the fluttering rag
that brings out fools to stand and brag
of brutal deeds painted grand,
deeds where rustic and craftsman lie so still
killed by my brothers' misguided hand.

No allegiance have I for the Nation
this man made autocratic creation
that divides my brothers in a world so small,
binds us to a country's cause, right or wrong,
bids us follow its drum, sing its song,
then sheds our blood in some border brawl.

No, I'll be no slave to flag or nation,
have no ear for power oration,
though its iron heel is on my breast,
my back feels its leather thong,
at patriotism's barracoon, I'll be no guest.
 

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

CO2 and War.

       So Copenhagen is going to save the planet? They will go into a huddle and dine and wine and have some photo shoots then announce their plan to save the planet. The rich and powerful developed will help the poor and weak to develop while at the same time curtailing the profits of the big corporations so that we cut CO2 emissions and we will all live happily ever after. Well so some sort of fairy tale goes. What they don’t mention is that the rich and powerful need the poor and weak for cheap material and goods, it is this continual searching for cheaper labour and cheaper materials that makes them rich and powerful.
      Of course if they are rally serious about CO2 emissions then they will have to put a ban on wars!! Any scientist worth his salt will tell that what ever savings you make in your CO2 is massively off set by a war. The actual war, manufacturing tons of munitions, all that moving thousands of tons of equipment and arms across the world to be destroyed, shipping all the thousands of people involved, some of them never to return alive or in an able bodied condition, then ensuring they are fed, is an enormous explosion of CO2 into the atmosphere. Then of course you start to blow up all those munitions and keep replacing them, manufacturing more and having them shipped across the world in a continuous logistic nightmare. Then when the explosions stop and the dust settles, and you start to ship what is left back home leaving behind a devastated landscape and thousands of dead, and the need for a colossal rebuilding program, if the poor devastated country can afford that.
       So all the crap that will come out of Copenhagen will not address in any way one of the most gigantic waste of time and resources known to man, war. It will talk of wind turbines and aid to the poor, which will never materialise. Remember the summit to lift Africa out of poverty? They’re still waiting for all that aid that was promised. Summits are great fun for the pompous and the arrogant, it helps to create the illusion that they are actually doing something about the problems we face, when in fact the are the reasons we have these problems.
 

Monday, 30 November 2009

"There is something rotten at the heart of councils!!"

        Refuse collection disputes in Edinburgh, Leeds and Glasgow, all for more or less the same reasons, defending wages, not trying to increase them, just simple trying to hold onto the wage you have. Local councils, like all authorities, always interpret any legislation to their institutional advantage. To them, equal pay means reducing wages to the lowest denominator, not improving the wages of the lower paid, but only at the frontline services. The higher up the ladder you go the less this will affect you. These type of disputes are just a precursor to what we face in the coming year as councils up and down the country start to slash their costs. Don’t forget, we have the bankers debt to pay back. If we have any chance of holding onto our present conditions, let alone improve them, then it will only be with complete support and solidarity with any worker in dispute. Of course while we all go about our business not bothering with anybody else, it is easy for them to pick off one group at a time and slowly work their way through the lot of us. However if we stand together and support all working class people in any dispute, we can win our demands. Before the onslaught of cuts start to overwhelm us we should be organising now in the work place and in the community to meet this head on and win. In the so called “credit crisis” some of the wealthy lost some money, they don’t like it and want it back. They expect us to pay for their blind greed.
        The questions we should all be asking is why is there not enough money to pay a decent wage to all ordinary people, but billions available for bankers, billions available for wars, tax breaks for multi-national corporations and subsidies for big business? The answer, because that’s the way this system works. We are only of use if we can produce more wealth for the rich and the powerful, who have the state to back them up should we start to get a bit annoyed at their greed.
 

Thursday, 26 November 2009

MANIPULATION/CORRUPTION OR BOTH?

Received this in an e-mail, interesting reading.

09 11 24 Three Things You Absolutely Must Know About Climategate
IAIN MURRAY, November 24, 2009

     They’re calling it “Climategate.” The scandal that the suffix –gate implies is the state of climate science over the past decade or so revealed by a thousand or so emails, documents, and computer code sets between various prominent scientists released following a leak from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in the UK.
      This may seem obscure, but the science involved is being used to justify the diversion of literally trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by phasing out fossil fuels. The CRU is the Pentagon of global warming science, and these documents are its Pentagon Papers.
Here are three things everyone should know about the Climategate Papers. Links are provided so that the full context of every quote can be seen by anyone interested.
First, the scientists discuss manipulating data to get their preferred results. The most prominently featured scientists are paleoclimatologists, who reconstruct historical temperatures and who were responsible for a series of reconstructions that seemed to show a sharp rise in temperatures well above historical variation in recent decades.
       In 1999, Phil Jones, the head of CRU, wrote to activist scientist Michael “Mike” Mann that he has just “completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps … to hide the decline”(0942777075). This refers to a decline in temperatures in recent years revealed by the data he had been reconstructing that conflicted with the observed temperature record. The inconvenient data was therefore hidden under a completely different set of data. Some “trick.”
      Mann later (2003) announced that “it would be nice to try to ‘contain’ the putative ‘MWP,’ even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back” (1054736277). The MWP is the Medieval Warm Period, when temperatures may have been higher than today. Mann’s desire to “contain” this phenomenon even in the absence of any data suggesting that this is possible is a clear indication of a desire to manipulate the science. There are other examples of putting political/presentational considerations before the science throughout the collection.
       Secondly, scientists on several occasions discussed methods of subverting the scientific peer review process to ensure that skeptical papers had no access to publication. In 2003, Tom Wigley of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, complained that paleoclimatologist Hans von Storch was responsible for “the publication of crap science ‘in order to stimulate debate’” and that they “must get rid of von Storch” (1051190249) as an editor of the journal Climate Research (he indeed subsequently resigned).
      In 2005, Michael Mann said that there was a “fundamental problem w/ GRL now,” referring to the journal Geophysical Research Letters published by the American Geophysical Union (AGU), because “they have published far too many deeply flawed contrarian papers in the past year or so” and “it is probably best to do an end run around GRL now where possible.” Tom Wigley responded that “we could go through official AGU channels to get him [the editor of GRL] ousted” (1106322460). A few months later, the editor of GRL having left his post, Mann comments, “The GRL leak may have been plugged up now w/ new editorial leadership there” (1132094873).
      Having seemingly succeeded with Climate Research and Geophysical Research Letters, the most recent target of the scientists’ ire has been Weather, a journal of the Royal Meteorological Society (RMS). Phil Jones commented in March 2009, “I’m having a dispute with the new editor of Weather. I’ve complained about him to the RMS Chief Exec. If I don’t get him to back down, I won’t be sending any more papers to any RMS journals and I’ll be resigning from the RMS” (1237496573).
     This issue is all the more important because the scientists involved in these discussions have repeatedly accused their critics of being irrelevant because they fail to publish in the peer reviewed literature. For example, in October this year, Mr. Mann told Andy Revkin of the New York Times:
    [L]egitimate scientific skepticism is exercised through formal scientific circles, in particular the peer review process. Those such as [Stephen] McIntyre [the target of much of the criticism in the CRU Papers] who operate almost entirely outside of this system are not to be trusted.
     If you are saying on the one hand that you will not take notice of someone until they have been published while on the other you are working behind the scenes to stop any such publication, I would venture to suggest that you are not operating with any degree of bona fides either towards the media or the legitimate scientific process.
     Finally, the scientists worked to circumvent the Freedom of Information process of the United Kingdom . Nowhere is this better evidenced than in the email reproduced in full below (minus Dr. Jones’ contact details):
From: Phil Jones p.jones@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
To: “Michael E. Mann” mann@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
Subject: IPCC & FOI
Date: Thu May 29 11:04:11 2008

Mike,
Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t
have his new email address.
We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.
I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!
Cheers   Phil

     The context in the subject header is clearly the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI), while AR4 refers to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. What is most important to know here is that, according to the Taxpayers’ Alliance in the UK , “at least one FOI request on exactly this correspondence had apparently been submitted by a David Holland on May 5th 2008.”
     The Freedom of Information Act, however, explicitly forbids deletion of any material subject to a FOI request. The penalty for such a criminal act is a fine of up to £5,000. Presumably being found guilty of such an act, or even suggesting it, would also bring about significant disciplinary procedures at any reputable university. A complaint has been made to the British information commissioner.
     This is, however, just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to attitudes toward FOI. Numerous other references are made about ways to avoid divulging information (the following summaries are by the blogger Bishop Hill):
    Tom Wigley discusses how to deal with the advent of FOI law in UK . Jones says use IPR argument to hold onto code. Says data is covered by agreements with outsiders and that CRU will be “hiding behind them.”(1106338806)
     Jones says that UK climate organisations are coordinating themselves to resist FOI. They got advice from the Information Commissioner [!](1219239172)
     Jones tells Mann that he is sending station data. Says that if McIntyre requests it under FOI he will delete it rather than hand it over. Says he will hide behind data protection laws. Says Rutherford screwed up big time by creating an FTP directory for Osborn. Says Wigley worried he will have to release his model code. (1107454306)
   There appears to be a prima facie case that there was a conspiracy to prevent the release of information subject to FOI.
   There are many other disturbing revelations in the CRU Papers, including a particularly disturbing assessment by a computer programmer of the state of CRU data. These have yet to be fully analyzed.
     So what does this all mean? It does not mean that there is no warming trend or that mankind has not been responsible for at least some of the warming. To claim that as result of these documents is clearly a step too far. However, it is clear that at least one branch of climate science — paleoclimatology — has become hopelessly politicized to the point of engaging in unethical and possibly illegal behavior.
     To the extent that paleoclimatology is an important part of the scientific case for action regarding global warming, urgent reassessments need to be made. In the meantime, all those responsible for political action on global warming should stop the process pending the results of inquiries, investigations, and any criminal proceedings. What cannot happen is the process carrying on as if nothing has happened.
This could prove to be climate science’s Vietnam.

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Wednesday, 25 November 2009

WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY

      Sometimes the struggle to over come the exploitation of this corporate greed system that we live under, and create a fairer system of justice, mutual aid, voluntary co-operation and sustainability, seems overwhelming, draining and at times impossible. However we are only limited by our imagination and our creativity. We don't need all the best tools, the finest printing press, the best conditions, nor all the electronic wizardry of the state. With imagination and creativity we can outwit, out manoeuvre and out last the bureaucrats. The sum total of the imagination and creativity of our class can overcome anything and create that world we want. Dream your new world and let your imagination and creativity run riot.
     Perhaps the words of Harold H. Thomson, an Anarchist prisoner can inspire us;
     WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY
         Years ago in the now closed Tennessee State Prison, Nashville, an individual, or group assigned to the prison's sheet metal slave labour shop managed to get hold of one .38 calibre pistol cartridge and this single shell sparked at least one creative imagination. Covertly making use of the prison's machine shop equipment and while under direct observation of eagle eyed shop guards, a .38 calibre, single shot pistol with a silencing device was made by one or more prisoners. It was discovered before it could be put to use but it's existence did prove one thing, that you are only limited by your imaginations and creativity. Another example, during WW2 the allies produced and dropped from planes what was known as "Woolworth .45" pistols over various portions of Nazi occupied Europe where partisan forces were very short of arms. The , Woolworth .45 was 'a weapon to get a weapon' as it was meant for close range use only being single shot, not much more than a barrel, simple firing mechanism and three shells within a grip compartment. Ideally, the user had to get close enough to a Nazi soldier to shoot him and steal his weapons. Then they would pass on their woolworth .45, their 'gun to get a gun' to another partisan. These examples and countless others should serve as sparks of inspiration as they illustrate what can be accomplished with a bit of creativity and resourcefulness when resources are scarce.
       Harold H. Thompson was an anarchist prisoner serving life plus sentences in Tennessee, USA after a series of farcical trials. Harold was well known for his work as a 'jailhouse lawyer' and coped with prison by fighting for his fellow prisoner in the courts for some semblance of real justice.
       "I am an anti-authoritarian, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anarchist revolutionary of proud Irish heritage. I am also a vegetarian and strongly support the animal liberation movement. I stand for civil/human rights and will not break, bend nor be intimidated. I stand in solidarity with all people struggling against oppression but most particularly with my brothers and sisters in the anarchist movement".
       Harold passed away on the 11th October 2008 after suffering a heart attack. he was an inspiration to all  who knew him and all those who read his words.  
 
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THE VIOLENCE OF POVERTY.

http://anarchistnews.org/?q=node/10091
Author: Patrizia.      Publication date: September 1989.

      Yet another rape. But today violence against a woman is more amusing if it takes place in a group: of at least 14. This is what happened in a village in Militello, Sicily. A fifteen year old girl was raped by boys between 11 and 18 years old all looking for adventure. An adventure with a girl whose parents had just returned to Sicily after years of emigration.
       The newspapers point out one particular: the girl, who became pregnant as a result of the rape, was mentally disturbed. Her womanhood, her freedom of choice, is trampled on before she starts. First by her parents, who almost kept the fact hidden because of their shame, then the whole village, who interpreted the event as a boyish prank to defend the rapist kids, then the judge. The girl is being prevented from having an abortion. The village priest shows off his sullen moralism.
        This time they couldn’t even use the alibi of a miniskirt, of the seductive gaze of the continental woman who — they say — attracts men and distracts them from their good feelings of father, husband or brother.
In that environment there is a more subtle violence, a violence that comes from ignorance and fear. The ignorance of the boy rapists who pursue images according to which a woman cannot be considered a human being to be respected and loved.
        In the south, as in the north, sex is still something dirty, composed of violence and abuse. In Milan a girl is raped by a male nurse in a hospital bed. In Termini station in Rome eighty people stand by and watch as an attempted rape takes place on a station bench. The rapist was then covered by the crowd and escaped. So, look out. From the tiny Sicilian village to the huge metropolis, rape remains the alternative of idiots, the last beach of interior marginalization and the incapacity to communicate one’s rage in any other way.
But in a little village the authority of the priest, the judge, the carabinieri, the public opinion of “respectable” people who don’t want any scandal, bears a fundamental weight on things. In such an environment it is even possible for abortion to be denied to a girl who has been raped.
        Violence is practically subscribed to by a power structure which itself exercises a double violence on the population: on the girl who must submit to the decisions made by the family and the rest of the village; and on the boys.They are all more concerned with obeying laws and morality than about the life of this young woman.
        We must begin to shout our rage again, but not by asking for more severe laws or the application of new ones: this only helps the system to castrate any possible search for freedom, our own and that of others, men and women alike. If we believe that the practice of rape is born from a precise social condition, then we must not humiliate ourselves with demands for laws that only play the game into the hands of those who rape and exploit us daily.
       We are not interested in whether those who raped the girl are found guilty or innocent. That would be too easy. We must fight the whole structure that contributes to creating the idea of violence against women and against marginalized people and proletarians in general. And, as usual, the latter, instead of beating up the bosses, are fighting among themselves, numbing their minds with all the shit that power produces. Violence often grows from conditions of poverty and survival that create the need to possess at all costs what one cannot have through practices of freedom, be it sex or any other part of normal activity.
       If we want to overcome this profound contradiction between the request to be “regimented” and a search for liberation within human beings, then we must struggle in our own way and with our own instruments against all the relations of dominion that generate violence. Perhaps that day in Militello the boys would have preferred to have beaten up a priest or to have created some perspective for a less rotten life. Today they are locked up in a cell and are asking themselves why. The state will pardon their misdeed, but they will always remain convinced that all that, even their very punishment, was right and fits into the normal way of things.

Source: Retrieved on September 1, 2009 from http://www.geocities.com/kk_abacus/ioaa/poverty.html

Notes: from Insurrection, September 1989.

ann arky's home.

BUY NOTHING DAY.


     It is coming up again, the non-consumer festival, the buy nothing day. Make it a festival with a difference, take the kids for a walk, fix the kids bike, get on your bike, knock the neighbours door and have a chat. Play games on the street and stop the traffic. Play games at home, the non-electric type, you know the ones, those funny games with boards and pieces, Read that book you bought last summer and never got round to reading, try your hand at drawing, you know you always wanted to. Learn a poem, organise a swap shop in your neighbourhood, sit in a huddle giggling and watch the electric meter stop. Do anything that takes your fancy, just don't buy anything.
     Who knows, you might grow to like the idea and then you can tell the boss to shove his overtime. It is surprising how easy it is with a little enterprise how you can short circuit the consumer juggernaut and have fun at the same time. If you really want to be noble you can get your friends to follow you by telling them that you're saving the planet.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

LEEDS STRIKE VICTORY!!

Received this from Alun Parry, singer, song writter and activist. More details 
It is always good to hear of our victories, especially in times like these.


Posted by alun parry  http://www.parrysongs.co.uk/  November 24, 2009
     Eleven days ago, I played a gig in Liverpool as a benefit for the Leeds cleaning workers who had been on strike since September 7th.They faced pay cuts of up to £6,000 and the workers said no.I’m delighted to report that they have won!!
    This is the power of working people united together in struggle. This is the power of the union. If the workers in Leeds had not fought this then some would have had a third of their wages snatched from them.It took 12 weeks of courageous strike action and a lot of solidarity, but in the best traditions of the labour movement, people stuck together to defend each other and won. From threats of massive pay cuts and privatisation, both threats have now been removed.
    They march back to work tomorrow triumphant. Congratulations to the cleaning workers of Leeds. Your victory gives confidence to us all and will stay the hand of other councils who were hoping for your defeat as a cue to wage attacks on their own workers.
We can make the world stop. And we bloody well should!

ann arky's home.

WHOSE LAW??

      The law in most societies says that to kill someone is a crime, yet the same society tolerates killing every day of the week and those who do the killing aren’t even questioned. Of course at the top of the killing tree is the state with its armies and its love of war. However on a much more personal scale we tolerate killers and allow them to walk freely among us. There are those who, for economic reasons, sleep rough, they sometimes die because of the cold while landlords, who are aware of these circumstances, have empty homes and keep them empty. There are children and others that go hungry and in many cases die from hunger. Yet in our streets we have stores bursting at the seams with food. Of course we are complicit in these killings as we are aware of the circumstances and allow it to happen. Our society is a criminal society, as it rewards criminals, its laws enforce and protect criminality simply because the law makers are criminals.
    How else can we describe a world of food mountains, wine lakes and farmers paid not to work their land and at the same time talk of thousands homeless and dying of hunger? If we allow the criminals to make all the rules then we can expect criminality to be the law of the land.
 

A night at the movies.

Friends, activists, radicals, lend me your ears, or in this case your eyes and read this. Some excellent films coming up in Glasgow, how about;

Sunday 6th December, 4pm
Glasgow Social Centre
66/68 Osborne Street
Glasgow G1 5QH

3 short films on the Visteon, Prisme and Vestas workplace occupations.

600 ex-Ford workers at Visteon auto-parts factories are sacked with 6 minutes notice without redundancy pay. They respond by occupying their factories. After the factory occupations and the threat to picket out
workers at Ford's state of the art plant at Bridgend, Visteon and Ford were forced back to the negotiating table - where they conceded a redundancy package better than the Fords package the workers were demanding. It is the biggest redundancy package ever paid out by Ford anywhere! (25 mins.)

Dundee: Prisme occupation.
Another great response to the shutting down of a factory, as the cardbouard packaging workers refuse to leave and plan to reopen the factory as a workers cooperative. (6 mins)

Save Vestas Wind Turbine Factory.
An unprecedented red, green and black coalition support the Vestas workers occupying to stop the only wind turbine factory in England shutting down. (19 mins).

Followed by discussion on workplace struggles and how next year's cuts will affect workers.
Hosted by Clydeside Industrial Workers of the World, A Union For All workers

Or how about;
 Simon Yuill's film "Given to the People" the story of
the "Pollok Free State" and "GalGael"
showing Friday 27th Novenmber 7:00pm in the Electron Club in
the Centre for Contemporay Arts, Sauchiehall Street.

These film showings are FREE, a rare opportunity to look, listen,learn  and enjoy for free in this profit ridden consumerist society.

Then of course there is the Radical Independent Bookfair.

This ‘Book-fair’ has more in common with a wee bookshop than a large book festival. However there are four or five strands to each RiB... stuff for sale, things to swap, materials free to take away, library stock to view and events to engage in...
Glasgow's RADICAL INDEPENDENT BOOK-FAIR project:

NEXT EVENT:
RIB @ the GLASGOW SOCIAL CENTRE - 11 + 12 December 2009 ww.ribproject.org FREE ENTRY.
stalls, free food, book & dvd launches, film screenings, discussions & talks.
Glasgow Social Centre
66/68 Osborne Street
Glasgow G1 5QT  http://www.glasgowsocialcentre.org.uk/

As well as a full selection of RiB stock there will be guest stalls from...
Glasgow Chiapas Solidarity Group, Mute Magazine, Unity & No Borders.
FRIDAY 11th DEC. stalls 12.00 - 9.00pm
Book Event / Film Screening / Public Debate 6.30 - 9.00pm

Cathy McCormack
The Wee Yellow Butterfly is Cathy McCormack’s inspiring story of how, from unpromising beginnings, she has spent her life committed to seeking justice and finding fulfillment. This book is a grassroots analysis of the social, economic and psychological world war waged against the poor under Thatcher, New Labour and the American administrations. At the Sharp End of the Knife - a screening of the documentary film that Barbara Orton and Cathy McCormack made in 1999. “An 'eye-level' view as we go with Scottish activist Cathy McCormack into the township heartlands of South Africa to see how fellow activists are faring, in building the 'New' South Africa. She may be dodging bullets, but in the people she meets, finds energy and inspiration, making intriguing parallels with her own life in Easterhouse and theirs” As well as a relaunch of this book and a rare screening of this film there will be a discussion and public debate around the issues, hosted by Cathy.
Cathy McCormack poderuk@hotmail.com  http://www.argyllpublishing.com/

Note - this film and a selection of related films from Document 7 will be available at the RIB videotheque.
http://www.docfilmfest.org.uk/

SATURDAY 12th DEC stalls 10.00am - 7.00pm Refreshments 12.00pm onwards, BrothMix- Stone Soup.
An empty pot and a stone is the starter for this soup... it takes its form with whatever donations of vegetables, herbs, pulses and other foodstuffs are given to the pot. So look in the back of your cupboard for a lonely potato or lentil, dig up some winter veg or bring in some garnish and help feed everyone who is hungry! Home made breads and other baking will also be on offer.

Discussion 12.00 - 1.30pm May Day Open Discussion.
Reclaim the Day! What does May Day mean? What do we want it to be? How can we all work together? This forum isn't just hippy navel gazing; by planning ahead we can be more efficient, more effective (more mischievous?) So come along and let us know what you think, whether you're representing an affinity group or an army of one. Dissent isn't just encouraged, it's pretty much an assumed prerequisite, but hopefully we can all at least agree on a date.

Workshop / Discussion 1.30 - 2.30pm Gender 101.
A workshop/discussion on sex, gender and sexuality. As well as looking at the basics we'll be exploring radical trans/queer politics and the relationship between gender and class. We'll also be discussing these issues within the context of radical communities and how we can avoid reproducing systems of oppression. All welcome.

DVD Launch 2.30 - 3.30pm  John La Rose Tribute.
John La Rose (1927 - 2006) was a writer and activist who founded the International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books. This new DVD includes documentation of a tribute event for La Rose held in 2006, and features contributions from Linton Kwesi Johnson, Horace Ove, Jim Kelman, Tom Leonard, Raman Mundair, Alasdair Gray and Roxy Harris.

Forum 3.30 - 5.00pm Glasgow Anarchist Forum.
An opportunity for anarchists of all shades to meet, have a chat, see what others are up to and talk about projects and campaigns we'd like to work on. Ideal for those wanting to get involved in activism in Glasgow to find out what's going on and which groups are active.

Discussion 5.00 - 6.00pm How We Organise.
No game playing, no ranting, no moaning, just "organisation".

Film Screening 7.00 - 9.00pm Zapatistas: Chronicle of a Rebellion.
This film has a history of its own. The documentary's first version, originally entitled La Guerra de Chiapas and released in late January 1994, was one of the first journalistic efforts to present and analyse the Zapatista uprising. Ten years later, in 2004, a second version was released. This third and updated edition includes images of the Zapatistas' most recent campaign, ‘la otra campaña’. It also investigates the role of the Zapatistas in the events surrounding the elections of 2006 and their involvement in the (brutally repressed) social movements in Atenco and Oaxaca. Furthermore, this new version documents the Mexican government's strategy of militarization, accelerated under the current presidency of Felipe Calderón, which is putting the Zapatista communities under increasing pressure.

FREE ENTRY.
Also for this end of year event we have chosen the RiB 'nimble nine' recommended reads / views / wears - all very recent or brand new stock...
FOR SALE.
...from No Sweat - FCUK Sweatshops - a new ethical threads T-shirt. http://www.nosweat.org.uk/

...from Rape Crisis Scotland - Woman to Woman, An Oral History of Rape Crisis in Scotland, 1976-1991 - An important document in the continuing fight against sexual violence today. With testimonials, research and information on various campaigns. http://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk/

...from AK Press - You Don't Play with Revolution - This book collects seven never-before-published lectures by Marxist cultural critic C.L.R. James, delivered during his stay in Montréal in 1967-1968. Ranging in topic from Marx and Lenin to Shakespeare and Rousseau to Caribbean history and the Haitian Revolution, these lectures demonstrate the staggering breadth and clarity of James’ knowledge and interest.
http://www.akuk.com/  

FREE ITEMS.
...from the Association of Scottish Literary Studies - The First Men on Mercury - A graphic adaptation by Metaphrog of a poem by Edwin Morgan. As a way to interest children in poetry thousands of these have been distributed across all Glasgow Secondary Schools. We have got our grubby paws on a few hundred so help yourself! http://www.metaphrog.com/mercury

...from Glasgow Games monitor 2014 - The Eastend Eye - A new newsletter produced by a group of residents, activists and campaigners who are concerned about the effects of the regeneration in the East end of Glasgow through projects such as the Commonwealth Games and the Clyde Gateway Initiative.
http://gamesmonitor2014.wordpress.com/

...from the IWW - I don't want scabs touching my mail! - support your local posties with these striking wee stickers - current industrial action may be off, but the new winter of discontent is just starting.
http://www.iww.org.uk/

SWAP BOXES
...as well as hundreds of titles we will also have the most recent issues of Mute, Variant, Black Flag, Scottish Left Review, Burgh Angel, Resistance, Anarchist Critic and the brand new AK Distribution catalogue - perfect for browsing through in between RiB's...

Then there is the exciting RIB @ the RESHUFFLE - Pearce Institute - SAT 6th FEB 2010

This event will include the book launch of - The Rousing of the Scottish Working Class by Jim Young - first published in 1979 and is a story of the working class which resisted economic exploitation and cultural oppression, where industrialisation and subsequent elitist social authoritarianism, mass poverty and cultural imperialism. This new edition, published in 2009 by Clydeside Press, includes a new foreword by the author and 2 new chapters which update the original text.

RiB  "not by the book" http://www.ribproject.org/
The RiB is planned as a long term project to assist others through the ideas of mutual aid and solidarity - if you have materials you would like us to help you distribute and/or if you want to collaborate on an event with us and/or you have or know of a free (or cheap) venue we could use in the future and/or if you would be able to help us with general publicity - please do get in touch. We are always looking for new materials and if we are available are happy to do a stall at your next free event...

ann arky's home.


Monday, 23 November 2009

Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune??

I found this on youtube and found it interesting, then gave myself a shake and remembered that this is how the whole rotten system works. Money, gifts and favours called in, it is all a rich man's club and stinks from top to bottom. There is no truth in the political system, it is all spin, smoke and mirrors. What do you believe when you don't know who is paying the piper? Vested intersts, hidden behind "friendships", influence lies in the hands of those with the money, corrupt politicians who sell themselves to the highest bidder as they seek the power and the glory. You and I used to further their insane visions of glory, you and I paying the price every time. We pay in poverty, bloodshed in war and dangerous working conditions etc., we are kept in ignorance as the power greedy and the extremists do deals behind closed doors. When do we bring the temple down and cast the dealers out. It is our world or it is theirs, there is no room for both.

ann arky's home.

Friday, 20 November 2009

PARANOIA OR EFFICIENCY?

       Recently my passport expired and I had reluctantly to head to the passport office for a renewal. On my previous visit, some ten years ago, it was a matter of taking your place amidst lots of people and watching monitor screens waiting for your number to come up. This time however, it was somewhat different, I arrived and was confronted with an electronic glass door which didn’t open as I approached. I stood there making movements in a Chaplinesque fashion in the hope that it would respond and let me in, then I noticed a security guy on the inside pointing to the left of the door. What he was pointing at was a large button which when pressed magically opened the glass doors, through these doors and heading to a second closed glass door only to be greeted my more gesticulations from another security guy on the inside indicating that it was the other glass door on the left that I should go through. I was now inside the citadel, and in the presence of two women security guards behind a counter and three male security guards on my side of the counter. One of the women asked if I had any sharp objects, keys, knives, scissors etc. If so I was to put them in the little box plus any mobile phones, then I was beckoned by a male security guard to walk through a scanner, once through I got my keys and mobile back, I didn’t have any knives, scissors or any other type of sharp objects.
       What is this all in aid of? Are they expecting some terrorist, illegal immigrant, alien, undesirable or whatever they want to call them, to rush in with a knife, scissors or other sharp object demanding a passport? If it is the suicide bomber that they are worried about, I have no doubt the said psycho would blow himself up as soon as the young woman asked him to hand over his keys, sharp objects, knives, scissor, mobile phone etc., at that point he is already in the building. Perhaps it is protecting the staff from assaults, if so then why not post offices, council offices, benefit offices, rail station ticket offices, chemists, schools, department stores etc.? Perhaps they have these in mind somewhere down the line, along with the thousands of CCTV cameras on “our” streets, plus a number tattooed on your forearm, a compulsory ID card covers as that, as you can’t go anywhere without it.
       This is obviously one of the many symptoms of an extremely paranoid governing class, part of an extremely efficient control system instilling fear and obedience devised by the governing class or a combination of both. It has nothing to do with the well being and safety of you and I on the street.
       This is the world that we seem to be blindly strolling into, a world of controlled movements, every excursion in to your town or city photographed as you make your way to the bus, the shops, the pub with armed police walking the streets. They will keep telling you that it is all for “your” protection, but you must realise it is for “their” protection, they must know what you are up to, who is going on a protest, where and how, who is acting different from the crowd. Only you and I can stop this and take back our world.
 

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

IT’S YOUR LIFESTYLE, SILLY!!!

     Our government is continually telling us that we are unhealthy and die young because of our lifestyle. Never do they mention that the real cause of early death is poverty. What they don’t point out that being born into poverty means that you are predisposed to death from a wide range of diseases. A recent major study of 50 years of data covering Glasgow and Edinburgh showed that people in Glasgow die much younger than those in Edinburgh though the cause of death in both cities is roughly the same.
    I’m not against a healthy lifestyle, but we have to realise that poverty is the real enemy. As we know, under this system of capitalism we still have children born into poverty and that very fact limits there life potential. Focusing on a healthy lifestyle shifts the blame from the system we live under onto the individual. Improving our lifestyle does not eradicate the real killer, poverty. By focusing on lifestyle it does however make the government look as if it is doing something about those who die young.
    If we really want to do something about all those people predisposed to an early death by being born into poverty, then we have to change the system. A capitalist system of dog eat dog, winner takes all and to hell with the hindmost, is hardly likely to mean a decent life for all. We need a mass movement to bring about social change and eradicate the profit motive and replace it with a system of mutual aid, co-operation and sustainability.
    In spite of the gloss, froth and plethora of brand name shops in our city, Glasgow has a large share of the poverty in this country, and eating bananas and going for a walk will not solve that problem.
 

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

WORKERS, KNOW YOUR HISTORY.


Tanks and troops with fixed bayonets, Trongate, Glasgow 1919.

      Since the beginning of capitalism the workers lot has been one of continuous struggle against his/her employer. Any attempt to improve our conditions has been met with stiff and sometimes violent opposition, not only from the employers but also from the state on behave of the employers. This is something that the ordinary worker should remember, but these struggles are however, never taught in mainstream education.
     We have to write our own history and add to it the struggles of today. Each generation has to know it is a continuous struggle and they are part of that struggle. If we don’t record our history and learn from it, then it never happened and we will never achieve that society of equality for all.

Calton Weavers Strike 1787, six weavers shot and killed at Drygate near the Cathedral.
1820 Insurrection, Hardie, Baird and Wilson executed.
Cotton Spinners Strike 1837, strikers sentenced to 7 years deportation.
The Rent Strike 1915, grassroots movement forced the government to freeze all rents until the end of the war.
Clyde Workers Committee 1916, members of the committee arrested by military authorities and removed from the city.
Bloody Friday 1919, mass demonstration in George Square, attempting to gain a 40 hour week, attacked by police, resulting in the largest military mobilization of the British state against its own people, with troops lining the streets of Glasgow and guarding the docks.
Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Work-in 1971/72, to save closure, shipyards occupied for 16 months.

       Recently we have had school occupations to stop closures, factory occupations and strikes. These are not new struggles they are part of that continuous struggle to build a society that sees to the needs of all those in that society. A struggle that requires that we are aware that we are all in the same struggle and should support each other in solidarity for that common aim, justice for all. For more of Glasgow’s working class history click here.
 

PISSED-OFF!? YOU SHOULD BE.

           Throughout history, real social change has happened when ordinary people get pissed off with business as usual, talk to each other, get organized, and take to the streets. We have surely reached the point when we the ordinary people are truly pissed off. We have seen the wealthiest section of society get a wee bit worried and been handed billions of tax payers money. While we have been told that cuts in social spending are unavoidable. We face massive unemployment at the time of these cuts and we get that shit, “We are all in this together”. If we expect the corrupt politicians and the corporate world to sort our problems then we deserve all we get. So, we’re pissed off, can we talk? Can we get organised? Can we take to the streets and bring about real social change?

ann arky's home.

MAINSTREAM MEDIA.

                                                           Picture by John Hartfield.

Some everyday headlines,
WE ARE SPREADING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ.
AFGHANISTAN IS A WESTERN SUCCESS.
THE FREE MARKET SPREADS PROSPERITY.
THIS YEAR WE WILL TACKLE AFRICA'S POVERTY.        

     Who so ever reads the bourgeois press will become blind. Slowly the fog rises, lies build on lies, lies spawn lies, lies shape your vision and reality is lost in a false consciousness. Trivia and mediocrity fill the mind, seek reality outside the putrid puss and you are deemed to be mad, a raving lunatic, possessed. The media teaches us all we need know of scandal and sport, crime and sex, who slept with who and where, depicting life as a smutty peepshow. Through the bourgeois press you’re fed your daily dose of loathsome lies, banal boring bromide, cliched crap, trivia and petty pulp. Our leaders are portrayed as heroes, supermen, and so the lies breed lies, and lies stretch back into the distant past, lies distort history until it is lost in a bizarre deformed fabrication. We then repeat the disasters of yesterday because the lies are everywhere blinding us. We can’t relate to reality, reality always takes us by surprise because we have no grip of reality, only the lies.


From ''Mein Kampf''
"All this was inspired by the principle that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the (public) more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation."   Adolf Hitler.

Monday, 16 November 2009

CHARITY.

     We are all familiar with those can carriers that shake their can under your nose for some charity or other. It could be for a new something at some hospital, or save the children fund, and no doubt, being a caring human being, you are always inclined to give.
     However if we look a little deeper we can see that the only reason we have to have charity funds for something so basic as the health and well being of children is simple because we accept the system of capitalism. We openly allow a system that puts a price on everything, including the lives of all children, to profit from the suffering of children. What other humane and just type society would put a price on the health and care of children?
    So perhaps the next time you drop a few coins in a charity box you could open up a discussion with the can shaker on how we can eliminate the need for such a precarious method of caring for kids by suggesting that we come together to get rid of the profit motive that cripples our ability to give all our kids all the care and attention that they need and deserve.
   Mutual aid, and co-operation should be the basis of any society, not the fat bankbooks of greed merchants in the corporate world. Why should a bunch of parasites get rich because children need help? Why should we gamble with any kids well being in the hope we can raise enough money to achieve a standard we know can be reached if we put enough cash in some corporation’s bank account? It is profit and market share, or it is justice and well being for all, it can’t be both.
 

Friday, 13 November 2009

BBC poll shows widespread disaffection with capitalism

I could have edited, quoted from or re-written this article but I thought it was worth posting in its entirety.

WSWS By Julie Hyland

12 November 2009


     A global poll by the British Broadcasting Corporation’s World Service shows widespread disaffection with the capitalist free market, including a significant opposition to capitalism per se.
       Conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA, the poll interviewed more than 29,000 people in 27 countries, between June 19 and October 13, 2009. These were in the United States , Canada , Mexico , Brazil , Panama , Costa Rica , Chile , Australia , Japan , Indonesia , Philippines , India , Pakistan , China , Russia , Ukraine , Turkey , Poland , Czech Republic , Germany , France , Italy , the UK , Spain , Nigeria , Egypt and Kenya .
       The poll found that more than three in five respondents were opposed to free-market capitalism. Some 89 percent believed that capitalism was not working, with a majority of those questioned in 22 of the countries indicating strong support for government intervention to support greater regulation of business and the market, in favour of a more socially equitable division of wealth.
       Almost a quarter of respondents believed that capitalism should be replaced by a “different system.”
The BBC reported, “If there is one issue where a global consensus seems to emerge from the survey it is this: there are majorities almost everywhere wanting government to be more active in regulating business.”
In only two countries, the United States and Pakistan , did more than one in five people believe the current economic system was working. A majority in 22 of the 27 countries supported greater wealth edistribution—67 percent or an average of two out of three people. In 17 of these countries, a majority responded that they wanted greater regulation of big business. In 15 of these, especially in Russia , the Ukraine , Brazil , Indonesia and France , the majority were in favour of government being more active in owning or controlling major industries.
      Twenty-three percent believed capitalism was “fatally flawed.” An almost equal number of people questioned in France felt that capitalism had failed (43 percent), responding that its inadequacies could be resolved by greater regulation and reforms (47 percent). After France , the highest numbers supporting the replacement of capitalism were in Mexico (38 percent) and Brazil (35 percent). In the 12 countries highlighted on the BBC website, more than 10 percent in each nation supported this position. Those defending the present set-up were a minority in every instance.
      The survey threw up several statistical anomalies. German respondents recorded less support for the view that capitalism had failed than in the US for example. Nonetheless, the majority in each instance—almost 70 percent in the US and more than 80 percent in Germany —registered their disapproval with the status quo.
      Responses as to whether the dissolution of the Soviet Union was “a good thing” were less surprising, with the US, Canada, west and central Europe, and Australia showing a majority in favour (between 73 to 81 percent). In those countries that had felt more directly the impact of the USSR ’s dissolution in terms of their living standards, the loss of political and economic backing or where it was widely viewed as an alternative to capitalism, the trend was the reverse. Some 61 percent of Russians and 54 percent of Ukrainians felt it had a negative impact, as did the majority of those in Pakistan and Egypt . According to the BBC, “Almost seven in 10 Egyptians say the end of the Soviet Union was a bad thing and views are sharply divided in India , Kenya and Indonesia .”
      Overall, a narrow majority (54 percent) of 15 countries polled said the break-up of the USSR was positive, while 24 percent said they did not know.
      The poll was timed to coincide with celebrations marking 20 years since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, which saw overturns of nationalised property relations across eastern Europe and the Soviet Union —presided over by the Stalinist bureaucracy, now become the nascent capitalist class, under Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin.
       The BBC commented that in 1989 it had appeared that free-market capitalism had emerged triumphant from the Cold War. Now, however, GlobeScan Chairman Doug Miller stated, “It appears that the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 may not have been the crushing victory for free-market capitalism that it seemed at the time—particularly after the events of the last 12 months.” This is in reference to the economic crisis that is ruining entire economies and destroying living standards the world over.
      It was under these circumstances that leaders of the major powers gathered in Berlin on November 9 for a “Festival of Freedom” to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall. But the efforts to revive popular enthusiasm for the overturns of the Stalinist regimes were marred by the fact that all over the world, the supposedly capitalist victor is itself in profound crisis.
     At the centre of this global capitalist breakdown is the United States . Having declared itself triumphant following the overturns in the USSR and Eastern Europe, the US is today economically bankrupt.
     In reality, as Leon Trotsky had warned, the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its satellite states was the tragic and inevitable consequence of the reactionary role played by the Stalinist bureaucracy and its policy of building “socialism in one country.”
      As the World Socialist Web Site stated on November 9, “The contradictions between world economy and nation state—between the global character of production that has welded together millions of workers all over the globe in one socially unified process of production, and the division of the world into rival nation states—broke the back of the Stalinist regimes two decades ago. These contradictions, however, also lie behind the growing conflicts between imperialist powers, the escalating wars in Iraq and Afghanistan , the unceasing attacks on the social gains of the working class and the arrogance and greed of the financial elite.”
     Only last month, United Nations aid agencies reported that more than 1 billion people will have experienced undernourishment by the end of this year. An additional 100 million people have joined the ranks of the underfed—which now constitute one sixth of the global population—as a direct result of the global economic recession. Much of the rise is in the poorest regions of the world, such as Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and the Middle East.
     Also in October, the World Bank reported on the devastating decline in living standards that has occurred in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe . Predicting a 5.6 percent fall in economic growth for “emerging Europe and Central Asia ” this year, it reported that unemployment now stands at 11.4 million in the region. One third of the population in the region lives in poverty.
    In western Europe, the backdrop for capitalist triumphalism, the situation is no better. The European Union has warned that the public deficit amongst its member states could rise to 100 percent of gross domestic product by 2014 due to the global crisis. Urging “fiscal discipline,” it stated that five countries were particularly at risk of potential bankruptcy. This includes the UK , the world’s sixth largest economy and the third largest in Europe . Only last week, the British government announced the world’s biggest bailout for a single bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, taking the total of public funds handed over to the banks in aid and stimulus packages to some £1 trillion.
      In the US itself, the election of Barack Obama has seen no let-up in the right-wing, big business policies of its Bush predecessor. Some $700 billion has been given to the banks, with an additional $23.7 trillion made available in loans, subsidies and other guarantees to the financial parasites on Wall Street. The price of this subvention to the super-rich is being extracted from the American working class, as seen in the forced bankruptcy and wage cutting in the auto industry, and the continuing wars of aggression in Iraq , Afghanistan and increasingly Pakistan .
     The BBC poll underscores that the realities of daily life faced by workers across the globe are making their impact on social consciousness. Whatever the facile pronouncements of the powers-that-be, capitalism is being discredited by its own actions. At the same time, the leftward sentiment identified in the BBC poll has no outlet within official political channels. Significantly, the poll received barely any coverage in the mainstream media.
    It should be noted that the poll results reflect the start of a process that portends even greater political shocks and upheavals. In the coming period, the turn to an alternative to the capitalist system—the socialist reorganisation of society so as to satisfy social needs, not private profit—will become a conscious political orientation among masses of people.

Work like you don't need money
Love like you've never been hurt
and dance like no-one's watching

ann arky's home.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

THE MEDIA.

       Though I always scream about the media being the propaganda organ of the state, I sometimes wonder at who does the layout. Quite often you find headlines running one after the other that must raise the ire of the readers or at least must make them think. For example recently there were two headlines one following the other in one of our national papers. The first headline trumpeted, “Unemployment up again.” followed by, “Energy companies say that prices will have to rise.” So not only do you worry about losing your job, but you’ll have to pay more to cook and stay warm. This is not confined to any one paper, they are all at it. The following day in a free paper on the one page, “’Fragile’ economy set to grow faster than forecast.” and facing that, “We could see record home repossessions, says minister.” This is the type of society we have allowed to grow under our noses. It is all subterfuge, smoke and mirrors. The first contrasting headlines are really to instil fear in the ordinary people, hold on to your job at all costs as there will be lots looking for your job and it will be very tough if you get dumped. The other set of headlines is just a little bit of double speak, and can be explained as, recovering economy really means the financial centre is making lots of money again, but you are still up shit creek.
      As the media and all the politicians babble on about recession and recovery, as far as the ordinary people are concerned it has always been much the same. The vast majority have always had to struggle to bring up their families and try to improve their standard of living. In the so called “BOOM” times most ordinary people were just getting by while the “entrepreneurs” were doing very well thank you, and that is how they measure things. In a recession, the ordinary people really hurt and live with the fear of unemployment and deprivation, while the big money mob, weep and sweat because their millions have shrunk a little and there is less opportunities to use their money to screw the workers.
     Why don’t we get wise and dump the bunch of parasites that we carry on our backs, the greed brigade that gamble and speculate with our lives, all in the quest for more money. The profit motive that is only there to feed a bunch of sweaty palmed shareholders who put their profit before the well being of the people. We have the resources and the ability to create a society that is based on the needs of all its people, a society that is both sustainable and fair and also frees all our people from the fear of deprivation. It is just the will that is missing.
 

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

CHANGE!

     Most of those with any insight into the political world we live in, would like me, have viewed the euphoria that surrounded Obama’s election as President, with disdain and disbelief. We would have wondered how can the people be so duped. His trumpet call of “Time for change” made us weep and fear for the future. Well, there has been some change, more funding for war.
     On Wednesday 4th November Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, (US), Admiral Mullen stated that the Pentagon would be seeking additional war funds for the Iraq/Afghanistan wars for coming year 2010. Though he didn’t state an amount, some analysts are quoting $50 billion. However the New York Times stated that on October 30th Jack Murtha, Chair of the Defence Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee said he expected supplemental spending 2010 to be around $40 billion.
    This of course would add to Obama’s glories the dubious honour of rubber stamping the most expensive year for war funding since Bush’s much trumpeted “Global War on Terror” though I believe Obama has now given it the much more civilised title of “Overseas Contingency Operations”, now that’s real change capitalist style.
 

Sunday, 8 November 2009

TIME TO RAGE?

     As we look around at a world where poverty is endemic, war is pusued for wealth and power under the guise of protecting "us", the wealthy swan around floating on a sea of deprivation and death darkens every sunset, what do we do? We have created a system where the many struggle to heap privilege on a bunch of parasites and we talk to the parasites asking them to give us a few more crumbs. Isn't it time to change the way we address this world, isn't time to rage and as an old Korean saying goes, "Enjoy the ecstacy of your righteous anger? It is sometimes easier to say in a few verses of poetry what might take a few pages to otherwise say.

TIME TO RAGE.


Time to rage, like a river running wild.
Time to rise, to save the child.
Time to rage, like a mountain flood.
Time to rise, to stop the blood.
Time to rage, with righteous anger.
Time to rise, to point the finger.


Famine, misery, sickness, death,
stretch across these pleasant lands;
war, greed, hunger, blood,
sour the lovely desert sands,
charity, chat, quiet dismay
is not enough,
prayers, thoughts, what M.P.s say
is useless stuff.


Time to rage, like a river running wild.
Time to rise, to save the child.
Time to rage, like a mountain flood.
Time to rise, to stop the blood.
Time to rage, with righteous anger.
Time to rise, to point the finger.