Monthly Archives: May 2011

An image of Orion’s Belt, yoinked from Wikipedia.  The picture has a click through link to the wikipedia page for Orion.  Sitting next to the left-most star of the belt you can also see the Flame Nebula.

This is a sort of self-indulgent post of rumination, rather than one with life changing details of current society.  You have been warned. 🙂

I love stars and gazing at the sky at night.  One of the things I least enjoy about living in the city is that there are so few stars to see; in fact alongside Ursa Minor the only constellation you can really make out is Orion (not that I know constellations well), yet it’s always Orion that I’ve most been drawn to.

When I look at the sky and see the stars, it begins to play with my head and boggle my mind.  For example the Flame Nebula you can see in the picture is between 900 and 1,500 light years away.  That is to say the distance it is from us, it takes at least 900 years for the light from the gaseous formations to reach us.  To put things in perspective, it takes 8 minutes for light from the sun to get to us.

When you look at the stars, you’re looking into the past.

Everything you’re looking at when you look into the night sky has changed before you’ve even seen it.  It’s not just changed slightly, it’s changed a lot.  It’s moved on, it’s done something else.  You are never going to know what, because you’ll be long dead before you even get near to where it was when you looked vaguely in it’s direction.

The night sky has no purpose attached to it, it doesn’t exist for our indulgence.  Indeed it has no knowledge of our existence.  Our daily trials and tribulations, our struggles and successes, our arbitrary gains and losses that to our own lives have so much meaning have absolutely no consequence on the great behemoth that is the universe.

Our own sun isn’t the biggest star, it’s not the smallest star.  It’s not the youngest nor the oldest, not the brightest nor the coldest.  It is, as stars go, really quite mediocre.

Our own planet earth isn’t the biggest planet.  It’s not the smallest planet, nor the hottest nor the coldest.  It simply is a planet.  We associate it as “our planet” but it’s not really.  It was here before us and it’ll be here after us, in whatever state we leave it.

The sun, the planets, the stars, the galaxies, the universe: these things have no rhyme nor reason behind their existence.  They were not placed here for us, we came from them and return to them.  They won’t blink to have known us nor care for our passage.  It’s estimated that in our galaxy alone there are some 200 billion stars; imagine how many of those stars have their own planets, each of varying sizes and make up.  Our experiences of them will probably never be anything more than through a telescope, and they’ll never experience us.

There is no right and wrong in any of this.  The stars have no ethics, they don’t know pain or suffering.  They exist.  They are.  That’s what they do.  They don’t do it because that’s their purpose, they do it just because they do.  They don’t comprehend the beauty they represent, they have no vanity in their passage through space.

They are bigger than us, they are stronger than us.  They are much, much older than us.  They will be here after we have gone.  They will simply carry on.

I like looking at the stars.  It’s good to know how inconsequential I am.

Link

worldbyharoon:

livingispolitical:

worldbyharoon:

Think of this post as a continuation of my older post “In defense of Nationalism”. If you have not read that one; then please do that before you criticize this piece. I strongly recommend to all that they read that piece before moving on to reading this one. Why? because this is more of a…

I was going to write a reply to your previous post (the defence of nationalism) but wasn’t entirely certain how I wanted to start or where I wanted to go, so I sort of got half way and then just left it.  This new post has broadened the discussion up enough for me to get a better footing in where the discussion is going and how best to respond.

Let me start off by saying that at my core I’m a supporter of cosmopolitanism.  That isn’t to say that I’m avowedly anti-nationalist, with mindless fervour.  I recognise that nationalist notions do have their place and undoubtedly have played an important role in liberation movements.  However nationalism is a tool, and only ever that.  It is a socially constructed identity created to pull people together in liberation from or in defence against other constructed national identities.  This is clearly shown in the way Rousseau first spoke on the matter in his advice to Poland: the notion of nationalism is promoted in so much that if Poland were conquered (primarily by Russia) territorially they would not be conquered as a people/nation.

In your previous post the examples you’ve used have been of similar instances: Palestinian resistance builds a Palestinian national consciousness to fight against the Israeli nationalist oppression, the Cuban revolution built upon a Cuban national pride to liberate from U.S. neo-imperialism, the Venezuelan national pride fought against U.S. interference.  Similar instances provide the examples for the fight against colonialism in Africa, Latin American, Middle East; the national identity was built to combat the external or alien, oppressing national identity.  In Iran the national identity worked to overthrow the U.S. backed Shah, but even then it could be argued that the constructed Iranian identity incorporated Islam as a major facet, and it was as much this sense of religious identity that built the revolution as it was the national identity.  Lets also not forget that in the U.S. the end of apartheid was combatted by the concept of black nationalism as a focal point for the civil rights movement.

For me the primary blind spot of what you say on the matter of nationalism is because you forgo considering what nationality is in the first place.  This is something of key, fundamental importance in considering how to progress further on the matter.  Nationality is the concept that you are bound together with somebody in camaraderie on the basis of a unified idea of culture, of religion, of language, of ethnicity or geographic place of birth.  Give or take some other social cleavages I haven’t thought of off the top of my head.  These are not set in stone and they are flexible to someone’s own consciousness and life experiences, and also that of the society within which they exist.

To some people in the U.S. to be “an American” is to be white, Christian, English speaking, have been born in the U.S..  To be “a good American” similarly has connotations of a certain cultural value system attached to it (“that sounds socialist to me, you’re not a Red are you!?” – you get the picture).  For such people if you were to try to re-appropriate the notion of “American” nationality it would be counter productive and they would be alienated as a result, just as to not use the language at all could be similarly alienating.

So we must also look at where this notion of nationalism really built from and how it was first used, to then further consider it’s use in a modern context.  By most accounts the real first success of nationalist identity which caused a change in the way people associated themselves occurred and spread as a result of the French Revolution.  French nationalism was built as a rallying call to end the oppression of the monarchy and the aristocracy and enable the people to have the vote.  The sense of enlightenment nationalism is that it connects with a necessity for self-determination through representative democracy.  These similar notions are still used today in the Arab uprisings with Libyan, Egyptian and so on struggles to achieve a vote for the everyday person in representative democracies.

The conflict itself to which you refer is entirely different in nature: the liberation of the proletariat from the bourgeoisie (if I may be so bold as to use Marx’ terminology).  In the U.S., the U.K. and other “western” or “economically developed” states the struggle is entirely different because their governments are seen as being of the same nationality, without the foreign interference and already with an operative sense of self-determination.  You cannot, in Britain, overthrow what is in the public consciousness a British government by decrying them as not British enough.  Not unless you intend to invest a lot of time completely redefining (or predefining?) exactly what Britishness curtails.  (Does David Cameron not eat enough fish and chips, does he not play enough tennis?  Does this in itself legitimise the necessity of revolution?)

Even if you should succeed in re-appropriating the nature of the nationalist discourse the problem then arises as to what you are able to redefine it as because the concept of nationality is by definition a divisive thought process – to claim to be of a nationality that requires self-determination is to then create, define, label or associate other nationalities as being inherently different, alien, foreign.  In instances where the people do not view themselves as being oppressed the tact must change entirely.  To continue to use the nationalism argument for liberation, in a “democratic free state” is to make it necessary to construct a phantom nationality that oppresses which must be fought against.

The key in these revolutions is not that we must fight to build a national identity that cannot capture the necessary rhetoric of democratic liberation, nor does it have an oppressing nation to push against.  The key is to transform the consciousness of the people and alter where their perception of shared interests lie.  To bring to them realisation that they are oppressed by the corporations, by the ruling classes and by the bourgeoisie.  Not to create a movement for a revolution that relies upon a national identity which is flexible, fluid and so easily able to be co-opted and mis-appropriated.

Instead it is necessary to create and reinforce identity which is inclusive to all irrespective of skin, language, faith – the consciousness of the proletariat and workers solidarity.  A solidarity which transcends national identities, geographical borders and other arbitrary divides and unites all peoples.

Without succeeding in doing this the revolution is destined to fail as isolated and unable to expand or work with other groups.  What’s more the building of this trans-national consciousness is important at the early stages because the domino effect caused by such solidarity is clear to see – from the way movements across North-Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the U.S. (notably the struggles in Wisconsin) have been able to communicate, inspire and incite.  To lose this path and to get bogged down in a redefinition of nationalism to suit a new purpose is not only a waste of time, it is counterrevolutionary.  It has its time and its place, but the U.S. movement is not one that will be benefited.

You’ve quoted Che on revolution already, so I shall quote him again to perfectly surmise exactly what it is I’m referring to.

“… the transition took place from a revolution of national liberation to a socialist revolution.”

– from Cadres for the New Party in Che Guevara Speaks.

worldbyharoon:

No, your response turned out great and made sense. NOT rambling in any way. I agree with you on many points, such as the definition of nationalism. I see your point about how nationalism can mean different things to different people and can divide them. Though to me, i believe that revolutionary movements need to reject those “white, protestant, american” notions of Nationalism that have taken roots in our society. They need to redefine what being American truly is. Is that a huge, almost impossible task? yes. But i do not see an alternative. They need to define that true american values are those of acceptance and integration etc. For too long, the notion of being American has been Bastardized and have led to mean white and protestant etc. Why do i believe that it is necessary? because to the extent of my knowledge, there has only been one movement, throughout history, that have united people together on such a massive scale, in such parameters and led them to fight for revolution. The only thing that has been bigger, is religion. Yet to base a revolution off of religious grounds would prove futile in America, so the only other movement that i can think off is the nationalist movement. Please do let me now if you have some other massive forces in mind that can be applied to unite such a diversity of people as found in United States.

Your second point that pertains to the NATURE of struggle itself is valid too. I agree with you on that a 100%. The Bourgoeise vs the proletariat is a different struggle than sovereign vs. foreign, and to the people of United States, it is the former that applies. But i think that “To transform the consciousness of the people and alter where their perception of shared interests lie”, a nationalist movement would still be necessary. Not to the extent as found in Cuba, or Venezuela; but definitely to the extent that was found in Bolshevik revolution or, as you quoted, the French revolution. Indeed you trace back the very notion of Nationalist movements to the French revolution. Which was a struggle b/w the Proletariat and Bourgoise, but it was only possible under the unification of the people, under a nationalist banner. Only when the people were united as a nation, could they rise up against the Bourgoise. The same trend was seen in the French revolution, the Bolshevik revolution, and i believe, a similar trend is necessary to rise against the Bourgoise of today.

For the corporations have spent time, money, and countless resources to divide our society. You, me, among other individuals are aware of that. They have done so by changing the very meaning of nationalism, and Americanism. Like you said, people would today ask you if you are a Red, if you are white, protestant etc. All those dividing attributes have been ingrained into Nationalist American sentiments.

That is why, and this is the main point of my articles, a new, revolutionary nationalist thought is needed. One that is not dividing, but uniting, and that new nationalist thinking needs to be American in nature as well. Just as the French took that nationalist thinking and put it behind promoting the declaration of rights of man (for better or for worst is a different debate), just as the Cubans took their nationalist pride and used it to promote human rights and fight oppression; Why can’t Americans use their Nationalism to promote human rights? to fight oppression? to overthrow the Bourgoise?

Now, at the end of the day. I do not call for a complete redefinition of Nationalism, for yes, it would be counterrevolutionary. But what i am asking revolutionaries to do is to un-alienate the nationalist forces in the U.S. I ask them to try and reach out towards the masses, and to spread knowledge about what is truly American. To USE nationalist thought in their revolutionary struggle instead of alienating it. When providing an argument in a debate, not only just make humanitarian arguments, but also American arguments. Say WHY, corporations are hurting AMERICA, not just the third world. For only then, will they be able to appeal to the majority of Americans. Does that make sense?

I understand what your intention is and why, and I definitely see the validity of it, however I think there are a great many risks in dabbling with nationalism.  It is, however, definitely true that revolutionary discourse can tend to take on a certain insular nature so perhaps building a nationalism into the movement would help prevent that.

For my point of view what we should be building into the hearts of people is a love and respect for their fellow person without emphasising where they’re from or what their culture happens to be.  Perhaps because I don’t associate as part of an ethnically or culturally oppressed group the way I approach the situation is different.  Perhaps also because I’m from the U.K. and not the U.S. I don’t live in a society that so heavily promotes the, now commercialised, concept of the “American dream”, so my perspective is to circumvent that rhetoric rather than battle through it.

Either way I think the discussion is important and your argument definitely has strength to it.  I just wonder how, if a geographic nationalist route is taken, you’ll be able to transform it into something greater when the time comes.  For me, my love is for humanity and true freedom, so I’m willing to support every movement of true liberation regardless of how it geographically binds itself.

The World: The mistake of U.S revolutionaries

Link

worldbyharoon:

Think of this post as a continuation of my older post “In defense of Nationalism”. If you have not read that one; then please do that before you criticize this piece. I strongly recommend to all that they read that piece before moving on to reading this one. Why? because this is more of a…

I was going to write a reply to your previous post (the defence of nationalism) but wasn’t entirely certain how I wanted to start or where I wanted to go, so I sort of got half way and then just left it.  This new post has broadened the discussion up enough for me to get a better footing in where the discussion is going and how best to respond.

Let me start off by saying that at my core I’m a supporter of cosmopolitanism.  That isn’t to say that I’m avowedly anti-nationalist, with mindless fervour.  I recognise that nationalist notions do have their place and undoubtedly have played an important role in liberation movements.  However nationalism is a tool, and only ever that.  It is a socially constructed identity created to pull people together in liberation from or in defence against other constructed national identities.  This is clearly shown in the way Rousseau first spoke on the matter in his advice to Poland: the notion of nationalism is promoted in so much that if Poland were conquered (primarily by Russia) territorially they would not be conquered as a people/nation.

In your previous post the examples you’ve used have been of similar instances: Palestinian resistance builds a Palestinian national consciousness to fight against the Israeli nationalist oppression, the Cuban revolution built upon a Cuban national pride to liberate from U.S. neo-imperialism, the Venezuelan national pride fought against U.S. interference.  Similar instances provide the examples for the fight against colonialism in Africa, Latin American, Middle East; the national identity was built to combat the external or alien, oppressing national identity.  In Iran the national identity worked to overthrow the U.S. backed Shah, but even then it could be argued that the constructed Iranian identity incorporated Islam as a major facet, and it was as much this sense of religious identity that built the revolution as it was the national identity.  Lets also not forget that in the U.S. the end of apartheid was combatted by the concept of black nationalism as a focal point for the civil rights movement.

For me the primary blind spot of what you say on the matter of nationalism is because you forgo considering what nationality is in the first place.  This is something of key, fundamental importance in considering how to progress further on the matter.  Nationality is the concept that you are bound together with somebody in camaraderie on the basis of a unified idea of culture, of religion, of language, of ethnicity or geographic place of birth.  Give or take some other social cleavages I haven’t thought of off the top of my head.  These are not set in stone and they are flexible to someone’s own consciousness and life experiences, and also that of the society within which they exist.

To some people in the U.S. to be “an American” is to be white, Christian, English speaking, have been born in the U.S..  To be “a good American” similarly has connotations of a certain cultural value system attached to it (“that sounds socialist to me, you’re not a Red are you!?” – you get the picture).  For such people if you were to try to re-appropriate the notion of “American” nationality it would be counter productive and they would be alienated as a result, just as to not use the language at all could be similarly alienating.

So we must also look at where this notion of nationalism really built from and how it was first used, to then further consider it’s use in a modern context.  By most accounts the real first success of nationalist identity which caused a change in the way people associated themselves occurred and spread as a result of the French Revolution.  French nationalism was built as a rallying call to end the oppression of the monarchy and the aristocracy and enable the people to have the vote.  The sense of enlightenment nationalism is that it connects with a necessity for self-determination through representative democracy.  These similar notions are still used today in the Arab uprisings with Libyan, Egyptian and so on struggles to achieve a vote for the everyday person in representative democracies.

The conflict itself to which you refer is entirely different in nature: the liberation of the proletariat from the bourgeoisie (if I may be so bold as to use Marx’ terminology).  In the U.S., the U.K. and other “western” or “economically developed” states the struggle is entirely different because their governments are seen as being of the same nationality, without the foreign interference and already with an operative sense of self-determination.  You cannot, in Britain, overthrow what is in the public consciousness a British government by decrying them as not British enough.  Not unless you intend to invest a lot of time completely redefining (or predefining?) exactly what Britishness curtails.  (Does David Cameron not eat enough fish and chips, does he not play enough tennis?  Does this in itself legitimise the necessity of revolution?)

Even if you should succeed in re-appropriating the nature of the nationalist discourse the problem then arises as to what you are able to redefine it as because the concept of nationality is by definition a divisive thought process – to claim to be of a nationality that requires self-determination is to then create, define, label or associate other nationalities as being inherently different, alien, foreign.  In instances where the people do not view themselves as being oppressed the tact must change entirely.  To continue to use the nationalism argument for liberation, in a “democratic free state” is to make it necessary to construct a phantom nationality that oppresses which must be fought against.

The key in these revolutions is not that we must fight to build a national identity that cannot capture the necessary rhetoric of democratic liberation, nor does it have an oppressing nation to push against.  The key is to transform the consciousness of the people and alter where their perception of shared interests lie.  To bring to them realisation that they are oppressed by the corporations, by the ruling classes and by the bourgeoisie.  Not to create a movement for a revolution that relies upon a national identity which is flexible, fluid and so easily able to be co-opted and mis-appropriated.

Instead it is necessary to create and reinforce identity which is inclusive to all irrespective of skin, language, faith – the consciousness of the proletariat and workers solidarity.  A solidarity which transcends national identities, geographical borders and other arbitrary divides and unites all peoples.

Without succeeding in doing this the revolution is destined to fail as isolated and unable to expand or work with other groups.  What’s more the building of this trans-national consciousness is important at the early stages because the domino effect caused by such solidarity is clear to see – from the way movements across North-Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the U.S. (notably the struggles in Wisconsin) have been able to communicate, inspire and incite.  To lose this path and to get bogged down in a redefinition of nationalism to suit a new purpose is not only a waste of time, it is counterrevolutionary.  It has its time and its place, but the U.S. movement is not one that will be benefited.

You’ve quoted Che on revolution already, so I shall quote him again to perfectly surmise exactly what it is I’m referring to.

“… the transition took place from a revolution of national liberation to a socialist revolution.”

– from Cadres for the New Party in Che Guevara Speaks.

The World: The mistake of U.S revolutionaries

Link

thedesertdervish:

derrickof:

Why the fuck is everyone posting this bullshit about mulisms being cool or the religion being ok and good?

 

They are sick fucking people that are all going to hell, I don’t care how arrogant I sound. I hate everything about the religion, I really don’t hate the people; I think those people are confused, and really the religion has no good sense of wrong from right.

 

I will fucking SPIT on the Quran before I hold it, just to show how fucking pathetic it really is. I’ve never seen such a disgusting religion.

ugh, I don’t even want to write anymore because I’m just getting more and more angry.

Really, if you think this sick shit is right, UNFOLLOW me. You don’t even deserve to read my posts; and to be honest, I get at least  new followers a day so I won’t even care. There are plenty more where you came from.

This is what I think and would love to do to the Quran:

image

I’m sorry you’re so angry and think that finding one verse, out of context and without knowledge of the actual incident makes you educated about a way of life to over a billion people on the planet. But allow for me to clear something up for you.

First off that translation is very rough but ok, let’s go with it. Here’s some very brief history about that verse.

“This verse and the verses before and after were revealed about the Battle of Badr, which occurred in Arabia in the early seventh century. A battle in which the pagans of Makkah traveled more than 200 miles to Madinah with an army of about 1000 to destroy Muslims. Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and fellow Muslims had suffered severe persecutions and torture for 13 years in the city of Makkah. And now that they had fled Makkah and found a sanctuary in the city of Madinah, they were once again threatened. Muslim Army was only about 300 strong. God Almighty gave the order to Muslims to fight to defend their lives and faith. The enemy came to them with the intent to kill Muslims. It was a war to defend themselves and their Faith. It was a war imposed upon Muslims. “

So basically for 13 years people were stoned, tortured, humiliated and more if they believed in the new Religion of Islam. The Prophet never fought anyone until that verse came down to DEFEND those who are being persecuted.

And the next verse if you’d like to read just ONE EXTRA LINE (I hope that’s not too much for you) is

“But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards 

peace, and trust in God: for He is One that hears and knows (all things).”

But I get it, it’s cool to pretend you know things you don’t. I hope you don’t lose followers over this post and I really hope you don’t get hate mail. You’re just making observations based on assumptions and we all do that sometimes. I just hope you understand that next time you should do a little research.

Reblogging for commentary.

I’m not great fan of any religion, but what I’m even less a fan of is this spreading Islamaphobic attitude that thinks it’s ok to completely de-contextualise a quote from a holy book to misconstrue the entire nature of a faith.  There are few religious texts where you won’t be able to find a similar line (there are plenty in the Old Testament of the Bible).

The point is you don’t use the faith somebody ascribes themselves to as a way to define the quality of their character.  There are plenty of self-identifying Christians who do atrocious things (Westborough Baptist Church anyone?) just as there are plenty who do good things (ChristianAid for example), just as there are plenty of self-identifying Muslims who will do good things and plenty who will do bad.

Don’t spin lies, hatred and misconceptions to push people apart.  Judge people on their deeds and not your prejudices.

Wear your scars like jewels: I hope I lose some followers for this post.

What distinguishes the various economic formations of society — the distinction between for example a society based on slave-labour and a society based on wage-labour — is the form in which this surplus labour is in each case extorted from the immediate producer, the worker.

Karl Marx – Das Kapital (via revolutionism)

Anarchists, in contrast [to groups that have vanguardist intentions], tend to refer to their strategy as “contaminationist.” The assumption is that direct action and direct democracy are infectious; almost anyone exposed to them is likely to be transformed by the experience.

David Graeber (Direct Action, An Ethnography)

Graeber’s a clever bloke but I think there’s a risk with over-focussing on this sort of attitude.  There’s the problem that not everyone will encounter an action and it can be easily spun by the media or ignored completely.  Vanguardism shouldn’t be ignored because it creates a focal point for the public which can clarify what it is that a movements all about and get people to the streets so that they can be subjected to the effects of “contaminationism”.  Without this people just sit in front of their TV kids complaining about “students playing at anarchists” and so on.

fucknobristol:

A ride home (by MichaelOwenTaylor)

“Early on – 2nd round of disturbance on Stokes Croft.”

Remind anyone else of Bottom?

Realising what they have done, they attempt to dispose of the body: hiding it under the carpet; trying to eat it; and trying to stick it on top of a passing bus (writing in his log that he was pursuing his hobby of “bus surfing”)

Metric – Handshakes

Say you wanna get in
And then you wanna get out
When you get the money
To buy yourself a castle
How will you wear your leisure
Zipper back and front
On the fence together
Weekends in leather

Flip to the right
Slip back to the left
For handshakes at the ranch
Small talk at the crossroads
Rubbing up to the ladder
Sucking on every rung
Coming up forever and hanging on

That’s entertainment
When the Cameras roll
Can you face the pavement
For a happy dog and pony show
Everybody loves you baby of course they do
Do you miss me
I miss you

Buy this car to drive to work
Drive to work to pay for this car

Is there any moral reason to accept economic migration from states that have not been caused direct harm by the receiving state?

Is there any moral reason to treat one human being as less worthy than another human being based on the lottery of where they happened to be born?

Is there any moral reason as to why we’d accept arbitrary lines in the ground that mean we differentiate one place from another and declare that some people can live inside this imaginary boundary, where as other people don’t get it?

I’d argue no to all three.

Edit: damnit did I get carried away or what … I’d argue yes to the first and no to the other two, precisely because I’d answer no to the other two would I answer yes to your question.  Now I look stupid.

Link

lailatov:

youcantoccupyasmile:

How about never.

And statements like yours is exactly why we cannot have peace. Israelis aren’t going to leave, and neither are the Palestinians. That’s the truth, whether you like it or not. If we don’t come up with some sort of solution, we will all end up dead in the end. Palestinians need recognition from Israel and Israel needs recognition from Palestinians in order for a peace treaty/state recognition to be functional. “How about never” is a blatantly ignorant and frankly, immature, statement to make. This is the real world, and there have to be real solutions. Completely dismissing either peoples’ cases for a home is just not going to work.

I can no more accept as legitimate the concept of a “Jewish state” than I can accept the concept of a “Christian state”, a “Muslim state”, a “white state”, a “black state”, a “heterosexual state”, a “male state” as being legitimate (irrespective of how they’re evidently present, that does not legitimise them).

States are places people happen to live and happen to be born.  They have no right to define who we are, nor do they have the right to devalue a person’s existence when that person doesn’t happen to fit the mould of what they claim to be.  The concept of a racial enforcement of a Jewish state is as racist as people who march shouting that latino people shouldn’t be in America, that Muslim people shouldn’t be in Britain, that black people shouldn’t hold power in South Africa.

Until people throw off the shackles of socially enforced and accepted racism, sexism, xenophobia, heteronormativity and religious primacy, there will be no peace. Regardless of who you are, where you’re from, what your culture is – you are all my brothers and sisters.  The only obligation you have is to work together and accept each others differences instead of using them to instigate fear and hate.

Time for Palestinians to say ‘I will accept a Jewish state’: Netanyahu

A 21st fascism would not look like 20th century fascism. Among other things, the ability of dominant groups to control and manipulate space and to exercise an unprecedented control over the mass media, the means of communication and the production of symbolic images and messages, means that repression can be more selective (as we see in Mexico or Colombia, for example), and also organised juridically so that mass “legal” incarceration takes the place of concentration camps. Moreover, the ability of economic power to determine electoral outcomes allows for 21st century fascism to emerge without a necessary rupture in electoral cycles and a constitutional order.

Global capitalism and 21st century fascism – Opinion – Al Jazeera English

Been digesting this article since this morning.

(via sneak046)

Great article

(via notevensurewhy)

Your reply to the ask relating to the disagreement between Obama and Netanyahu was extremely well written, and I wholeheartedly agree that a secular, proportionally elected, democratic single Palestinian state is the only long term solution. But, like you seem to say, I believe that international peace talks will never achieve this goal and will continue to pander to Israeli interests.So on that note? How do you think the Palestinian people and their supporters achieve this goal? What is your opinion of Palestinian militancy?

Thank you 🙂

On the subject of how the goal is achieved, that’s a very tricky question to really answer.  I think the trap that is inherent within the situation is that, especially with Israel so well funded by lobbying groups and western states, the counter attacks in defence of the Palestinian people is as self-defeating as it is necessary.

I have massive respect for the militants that are willing to take up arms and defend themselves and their families against the Israeli military hegemony.  I also think there’s a problem with having a simplified view of suicide bombers as being inherently evil without understanding that often they’ll be people driven to the edge of desperation before they’ll commit such an act.  That said I think at all times we must question the real motivations behind groups such as Hamas and Fatah, and recognise that rather than being popular movements they’re instead political groups with their own agendas of power.  The actions they initiate are in their own interests of maintaining themselves in positions of power, not necessarily in the absolute best interests of the Palestinian people.

Simply attacking back with inaccurate and ineffective Qassam rockets, or suicide bombings or similar, doesn’t seem to be a particularly productive approach.  It isn’t a direct confrontation of the Israeli military (and lets be honest nobody would really want to put their head on the chopping block and risk that), and attacks on civilians are damaging to the cause because it plays into the rhetoric machines of the mainstream media in painting Israel as under threat from these big bad enemies and simply struggling to survive.  Although the reality is clearly very different.  Yet at the same time to not have militancy and simply do nothing would create a very real risk of giving Israel carte blanche to expand without repercussion.

What needs to happen at the same time is to create co-operative communities of both Palestinians and Israelis, demonstrating that they can live together in harmony without worrying about religious background, genetic heritage or some other arbitrary definition.  Of course, that’s how things were in Palestine some 70 years ago before zionism really took such a hold. How people can be convinced to leave their lives/prejudices behind to set up such communities, especially without Israeli government interference, is obviously the hardest question there is.  But I think the most effective step at the point in which the situation is, is to demonstrate that the Israel/Palestine situation isn’t just a question of who has the bigger gun, but the fact that there are real people trying to make a living on both sides of the fence.

By bias, I mean.. if I am reading something I know is obviously bias, it causes me to then want to seek another source – on the other side – (to verify validity of facts, etc, maybe) and, sometimes, I just want the news [the best account of what went on that all/most parties can agree on].So if I get a clearer/’calm’/more ‘neutral’ account of something, I take it in more, then will seek other sources – that may be emotional – to understand the different sides, presuming I care enough to search.E.g., Friend A is annoyed at Friend B for something they did, but Friend B thinks Friend A’s reaction is stupid. Friend C is caught in the middle of this argument, not particularly on any side. Who would I rather go to first if I wanted to understand what was going on? Friend C. Friend C can tell me what happened, what A and B think and maybe what they think. I don’t want to go to Friend A or B first or any of their allies, they are too involved/emotional.-_- Ha ha, sorry, I’m often bad at analogies. I just hope you can see what I might be getting at. Not saying all newspapers are like that, I don’t come across most and – although I stumble on them daily – I don’t pay too much attention to them as a whole.I think I meant the Socialist Workers Party. =) Ahh, but I like people voting and contributing to the system in such a way… although I appreciate why some don’t.Yeah, I don’t much care for the way our education system is run. I came out of it pretty badly due to such pressures. Not grades-wise, but I’ve ‘suffered’ from exam stress since age 11, ha ha! Sad, sad times. S’why I worry about Uni., only the last year of A-Level exams did I not get sick during an exam period. = So, my stress-coping is better, but it’s not perfect.Exactly, I just didn’t know if I would change my mind. Then I figured, after three years, I probably do want to do it (actually, Japanese + Law, but oh well, beggars can’t be choosers..). Admittedly, I needed a push to do it and I’m terrified about it. The anticipation is what stresses me though. As soon as I am there, I’m sure I’ll be fine. I certainly wouldn’t have applied if I didn’t think so.

I think university, for all of it’s ups and downs, has been the best thing to happen in my life.  The people that I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had have shaped me into who I am today.  It’s less about the exams and more about the living 🙂

http://www.pjstar.com/free/x1555986490/Netanyahu-at-White-House-after-Obama-challengeYou may have already read this, I was just wondering what you think.

I recall having read an article or watched a video that’s very relevant to this and posted it previously, so I’ll have a look to see if I can find it.

To be cynical none of this rhetoric really surprises me at all.  It’s very similar to the approach made by Clinton in his peace talks regarding the Israel/Palestine situation, and while compared to Bush the fact Obama references the 1967 borders is quite a significant step, it’s also a very ineffective one.

The way the state of Israel functions is to support and provide security for, without significant repercussions, the vast majority of illegal settlements.  They cut into the West Bank under the 1967 agreement, criss-cross it with road networks and misdirect water sources for their own needs.  In addition to this the way the security wall functions is to cut into the West Bank and claim open land, while leaving Palestinian villages isolated and disconnected but not incorporated into Israel.  The purpose is to create as much open land for Israel without taking on an arabic population that would threaten this concept of a “Jewish state”.

A two state solution has simply been made implausible.  There’s no possible way you can convince the illegal settlers to leave their fortified villages because to their minds it’s their land and it’s an offence for arabic people to inhabit the area.  Netanyahu knows this and has played to this: Zionist civilians take it upon themselves to build settlements, the state of Israel slaps them on the wrist and says they’ve been very naughty, and then constructs the infrastructure to defend the stolen land.

So Obama is falling back on the normalised “liberal” conversation approach to the situation in talking about the 1967 borders, despite the fact that Israel has made this impossible to create.  What’s more is the concept of a “Jewish state” is inherently racist – the analogous idea are the people running around in the UK declaring we’re on the verge of introducing Sharia Law and we need to keep Britain for the British.  As I see it the most suitable format of state that could be created would be a single, possibly federal, state with a proportionally elected government.  These new middle east peace talks will just lead to the standard song and dance which essentially gains nothing, while Israel carries on just as it ever did.

I think I know what you mean. People try and persuade me to get help with some things (not because anything’s bad, more of a ‘just because’ thing), but because I don’t feel so restricted by my ‘problems’ that I can’t function, live well, be happy or get to where I want to be… I don’t see any of it as a big enough issue. And, yeah, by ‘playing up’ to some things, I’d also feel as if I were taking advantage. But, if I felt I were in need, I would take it.Ha ha, I’m sure you wouldn’t be a Milgram experiment though… =P That stuff is crazy! I wonder how I would’ve reacted under it. I saw it acted out on one of Derren Brown’s shows and just couldn’t understand how people could carry on. Maybe it’s just ’cause I find it hard to injure anyways. If someone says, “Punch me in the arm has hard as you can”, I just can’t do it. I always soften up by the time I get to their arm ’cause I’m so worried. Ha ha, even though I am weak~.Ahh, that’s an interesting idea [becoming a journalist], I think it would be fun! Although, I do not like newspapers too much. I often don’t like people’s styles of reporting, it’s a bit too emotional/bias and I don’t like that, ha ha. Maybe I should be nicer about it, but it makes it harder to read, I think. I knew of a few people who worked for the BBC, a journalist for the website was pretty groove and seemed to love his job! Regarding Parliament-ness, I did once think to be an MP (and I wish I could, just so I could then become a Speaker!). However, I completely lack the qualities to tolerate the world of a polictian, I’m afraid.Hmmm, you are anti-Capitalist, aye? Are you a supporter of the Socialist Party at all? I, admittedly, don’t know much about them. I understand socialist and communist ideologies on a basic level, but I don’t know much about its representative political parties’ practical proposals. I think I’ll add it to my “things to find out” list. =)Anyways, I ask about that party because they always seem quite active (well, I see them on Stokes Croft occasionally and such at least, ha ha! << It’s amazing – to me – that you happen to live where I’m from). I reckon they’d be awesome to speak to about what you could do or set up. Err.. not that you’d need to go through those lengths… but it’d be fun to ask anyways? =DThat’s true. I am going to be doing a Japanese Studies course in September. Some people are like, “Err… a language course?…” and warn me that I won’t necessarily become fluent, etc. However! It’s something I believe I will enjoy. It’s not like it’s a sudden choice. I actually chose not to go to Uni (at 21) because I wanted to be sure of whether I wanted to do it or not (I know, I take ages..). I will keep with me forever in my personal life at least, so – worse comes to worst – it will not be a complete waste to me, even if it appears that way to others. Ha ha(Sorry for talking so much =O I’m quite the chatterbox, unfortunately).

Milgram is quite an odd one.  I think it plays upon working its way into getting you to do something without you realising what you’re doing until it’s too late.  The research is important for understanding how peole are susceptible to that though, and once you know about the susceptibility you can better guard yourself against falling into the trap.

I know what you mean about journalism.  It’s something you have to be aware of how you use it and what it’s being used for.  I think the concept of bias is quite interesting because it sort of assumes there’s some level of neutrality – I don’t agree that that’s possible.  I don’t really think neutrality exists, or if it does we can know what it is or where it lies.  The main thing is being conscious of what the bias is for a writer or paper and whose interests they’re working for, and then being conscious of that as you read an article when it comes to how you analyse it.

Yup, anti-capitalist.  When you say Socialist Party, so you mean Socialist Workers Party or Socialist Party?  In either case I support that they exist, and think they play an important role in building a movement.  I don’t affiliate myselves with them, or any political party, because at least for the time being I’d rather remain free of working myself into a system.  I do have a few friends that are SWP members though, and when they organise events I take an interest and try to get involved.  All the members I’ve met are friendly, sociable and good people though so I’m sure if you ever go up to them for a chat about something I’m sure they’d be more than happy.

I think if you weren’t certain about what you wanted to do, it’s good that you’ve waited.  I don’t like the way the schooling system is set up: in year 9 you’re told to pick these courses that will help you do well in this job you choose for you to go into.  And you’re what, 13?  And then you’re told the same thing at 16, and at 18.  As if you’re never going to change your mind about it.  Balls to that, do what you think is good for you and don’t bottle neck yourself into something you’ll live to hate!

Hello!I stumbled across your Tumblr and wondered, do you have a career or area of politics in mind that you would like to pursue? Once graduating from University, I mean. And – if so – is there a particular reason for it?And, by the way, I can relate to a few things you mentioned on the about me thing you were tagged on, but mostly when it comes to a short concerntration span. I currently have thirteen tabs up on my webpage and I constantly switch between them because, I swear, I cannot focus on one for too long. It can, therefore, take me an entire day to write something up about something I’ve read (particularly as I’m writing them all between each other too). -_- I don’t know why I do that. I could perhaps try not to, ’cause I know I’ve not always been like that. I think just, as soon as I wanted to know more about the world, the more I got impatient about it. Ha ha, ahhhhh… sorry to ramble, x.

Naah that’s cool 🙂  thanks for the question and comment!  I know what you mean about there being too much in the world.  Because my ADD and dyspraxia are diagnosed I’m technically able to get a grant for equipment to “help” me, but other than a than someone shouting at me and giving me an electric shock every time I look away I’m not sure the stuff I’d get would be all that useful.  Not to mention I’d probably turn into a tragic example of the Milgram experiment acted out in reality!

I sort of feel, as well, that I’d be sort of taking advantage if I did make use of a grant.  I mean, I’m just me and I carry on as ever – my life is normal and I don’t really have anything of great substance wrong with me.  I’m just bad at concentrating, there are many other people in the world who’d benefit from it much more than I would … so I’ve never gotten round to filling in the forms to claim it (well, that and filling in forms is just … well … definitely what happens all the time in one of the circles of hell!)

I’m not really sure what I want to do after University.  I’ve considered quite a number of things, but because I bear such a grudge against the nature that our (U.K.) parliamentary democracy takes I’m not sure what I could do without it being a drain on my conscience.  I’ve contemplated a few things but the idea I most like is to do a masters in journalism and try and get a job writing for a paper, where I hopefully don’t have to feel like I’m being just another cog in the system and also try to have a positive impact.  Another idea that’s been playing in my head would be to see what can be done with regards to political activism, or some sort of more ethical body rather than a massive, soulless corporation.

But I don’t really have one particular direction I want to go in life, and I sort of prefer not trying to tie myself down to one thing or another.  Especially because I’m much more interested in political philosophy than political science, taking the degree is far more about how it can enrich my knowledge and life experience, and can be taken with me through life no matter what I do, rather than being about employability once I’ve left the great education machine!

cuntymint:

 

“This extraordinarily important book cuts to the heart of one of the central reasons movements to bring about social and environmental justice always fail. The fundamental question here is: is violence ever an acceptable tool to help bring about social change? This is probably the most important question of our time, yet so often discussions around it fall into clichés and magical thinking: that somehow if we are merely good and nice enough people, the state will stop using its violence to exploit us all. Would that this were true.”—Derrick Jensen, author of Endgame, from the introduction.

Pacifism, the ideology of nonviolent political resistance, has been the norm among mainstream North American progressive groups for decades. But to what end? Ward Churchill challenges the pacifist movement’s heralded victories—Gandhi in India, 1960s antiwar activists, even Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement—suggesting that their success was in spite of, rather than because of, their nonviolent tactics. Pacifism as Pathology was written as a response not only to Churchill’s frustration with his own activist experience, but also to a debate raging in the activist and academic communities. He argues that pacifism is in many ways counterrevolutionary; that it defends the status quo, and doesn’t lead to social change. In these times of upheaval and global protest, this is a vital and extremely relevant book.

Ward Churchill is a prolific writer and lecturer, having authored, co-authored, or edited over twenty books. He is a member of the leadership council of Colorado AIM (American Indian Movement).

PDF here:

 

wiki.cambridgeaction.net/images/c/c7/Pacifism_As_Pathology.pdf 

I’m redacting the previous my-gift-to-you video and replacing this one.  Same again though, good things come to those who wait.  Make it past 3 minutes in and you’ll appreciate life a whole lot more.  Thank you for the well wishes ❤

Animal Collective – Graze

Let me begin
Feels good ‘cause it’s early
Ease open my eyes
And let light in

Some ideas are brewing
The radio abides
With flying string
Old ideas worth doing
Are taking their time

Fine
Let’s not hurry
It’s our morning
(Spread out)
Let’s not worry
It’s our morning
(Spread out)

How does a band
Turn into such a thing
If I had a hand
What would you say about
What’s in my face
That warrants all this sass
And to have a band
That cracks the point of fame
(To be in the city)
Why does a band make me
Less settled in
Rounding up my friends,
We might not feel so bad
(To be in the city)
Once in a while
I’ll think of you to smile
Some daydreams marked
By many little strikes out
(To be in the city)

(Let me begin)

Comfort, comfort
Why do you run for it?
Why can’t you keep doing
What you’re supposed to do?

Why can’t I reach you?
When I most need you
You’re at the beach and
I’m in some strange bed

Comfort, comfort
Why do you run for it?
Why can’t you keep doing
What you’re supposed to do?

Why do you have to go?
Why do you have to go?
I’m in the dark unknown
And you’re staying home

smasherkins:

On Thursday 22nd April, a riot broke out 2 minutes from where I live in Stoke’s Croft, Bristol, after the attempted eviction of a squat on Cheltenham Road. There were helicopters and riot police and it culminated in both police and civilians being injured and a newly-opened Tesco branch (which was the focus of a diverse campaign of resistance by locals) being attacked; the unrest carried on into the early hours of the morning. I’ve been following the aftermath very closely, especially on Twitter, and contributing where I could; partly due to ideological reasons, but mostly because it’s all happening in my back yard and I see its impact on the community every time I set foot outside my front door. You can read what I believe to be the most unbiased report of the incident here.

Many reasons have been offered as to why it happened, and what chain of events led to what was dubbed ‘The Battle of Bristol’ by The Independent the next day. It’s led to a flurry of activity in the blogosphere, with almost everyone tweeting on #stokescroft linking back to posts elucidating their take on the issue. This particular post was one of my favourites, although I do wish the author would reconsider shopping at Tesco. The Guardian website also offered an astute analysis of the cultural and social landscape of Stoke’s Croft, and the reasons why the residents have taken on the behemoth that is the third largest retailer in the world.

The video is well worth watching; it was made by a resident of Stoke’s Croft and shows what people local to the area believe led to the largest riot Bristol has seen since 1980.

From what I gather that Tesco opened back up again today.  I’ll be catching a bus past tomorrow and having a look to see.  Not sure what will happen if that’s the case, I expect some mates will be back outside there protesting but there again they may be too busy with exams.  I don’t expect this is the end of it though.

Just as the worst slave-owners were those who were kind to their slaves, and so prevented the horror of the system being realised by those who suffered from it, and understood by those who contemplated it, so, in the present state of things in England, the people who do most harm are the people who try to do most good …

Oscar Wilde in The Soul Of Man Under Socialism

Online transcript available here: http://www.online-literature.com/wilde/1309/

The Greatest Truth

repulsingthemonkey:

Is a random act of kindness that no one will ever know about.

Like if someone drops a piece of litter, and you pick it up and throw it away for them with no grudge.

Or leaving a random uplifting message for someone to find.

Or sincerely telling a random stranger that he or she is beautiful, and walking away never intending to see them again.