Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Systematic servitude

The most overwhelming method of societal control is debt. The extortion of tuition fees provides institutional punishment for intellect and academic determination, while pricing out those with potential but not circumstantial wealth to become part of  a surplus of wage slavery for corporate power. Chomsky describes this as "disciplinary" state policy. David Foster Wallace notes how those privileged enough to attend American universities to earn liberal arts degrees, such as in philosophy or literature, usually go on live in complacency and comfortable careers in finance or public relations:

Whereas Panoptic state school curriculums mainly serve to indoctrinate such uniformity. We live in dire existence if Masters degrees are mostly sought for wage rises.

Without trade unions, employees won't object or subvert towards poor wages, corruption or abusive work conditions if they have debts or mortgages to pay off. Of course, governments serve financial oligarchy with hypocrisy. There is an infinite amount of money to support a crooked system, but not society itself. The law of United States has the incomprehensible absurdity of allowing judicial and civil recognition of corporations as individuals. "Corporations are people, friend", says Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But perhaps this isn't so inaccurate? Maybe we are deemed to serve as the individual corporation. Humanly transparent, automatically concreted. "Austerity" is destroying basic human dignity and culture as an expense, so as long as the outmoded and illegitimate economic system can remain. We the people are aware, and say no.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A secular perspective of celebrating Christmas

As the late Christopher Hitchens pointed out, what do flying reindeers and decorated confier trees have to do with resurrection myths originating in bronze age Palestine? I have as much reason to believe in Father Christmas as I do the impregnation of virgins, and of course, Yahweh. But we can certainly appreciate the cultural existences deriving from Christian faithfulness. John Betjeman was correct to campaign for the restoration of Anglican churches, and "Silent Night" is a profoundly beautiful hymn to me. I will happily be a Larkin-style church goer. The Christmas festival itself derives from the cultural amalgamation of the pagan solstice that has existed for thousand of years, with early Christianity, to make invading cultural enforcement more palatable with the peasant dwellers of Europe. This is accordingly why it made its way to North, South and Central America, and Australasia through colonialism of other forms. The Jehovah's Witnesses sect are theologically consistent in this regard. Christmas accords to false idolisation and detraction from Biblical patriarchy, and is therefore inherently Satanic (or perhaps Santanic) in its now faded but underlying cultural paganism of millenia. We do of course have as much reason to dislike and reject purposeless consumerism, that is just as unattuned to humanity as the Abrahamic primitivism that prohibits Xmas as a minority cult. What difference is there between opportunistic post-Christmas consumerism and the riots and looting of past August? Currency and vandalism. Relevant is Philip Womack's post on J.G. Ballard's perception. We appreciate the festivities for basic human reasons: compassion, comfort and appreciation for that which we might take for granted.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

"Quantitatively Eased", a poem

Published here at The Recusant

'Plexiglass divide,  
To deposit worthless paper in line,
To vacant faces in vacancy, 
Gazing dead to those snide eyes.
Paper crumpled, hoarded and 
Discarded, freshly printed,
Brittle and thin, 
Granted little, as they can see.

Plexiglass shields,
That shall contain them in line. 
Parents are wardens of their children. 
Oh the deposition, suspicion!
Shall spirits be broken, like faces, 
Bloodied and bandaged skulls and futures?
They and the windows shall -
Empathy not pity.
It is the cry of those and what they shall be -

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Summarizing Iraq

It is rhetorically easy to justify foreign interventions under the notion of supporting and defending democracy and human rights. Indeed, I have a general conclusion that freedom will triumph as long as there is a consistent allegiance to these values. Pictured above is Donald Rumsfeld, the first Secretary of Defense in George W. Bush's cabinet, and his friendly meeting in 1983 with Saddam Hussein in Iraq. His purpose was to supply the chemical and biological weapons that the Ba'ath Party regime went on to use to commit its mass genocide and ethic cleansing against the resistance movement in Kurdistan. It is somewhat one-dimensional to describe the 2003 invasion of Iraq as merely a war over oil; but the primary reason behind the United States intervention in the first Gulf War was just that. Directly and indirectly, it preserved the profitable fossil fuel interests of multinational corporations; it should be noted, contributing to climate change, alongside Saddam's tactical destruction of natural ecology when allowing the spilling of barrels of Kuwaiti oil into the Persian Gulf.

There are numerous occasions on which Saddam's dictatorship could have been overthrown by Iraqi dissidents. There can be no doubt of its unbelievable  brutality, corruption, fundamentalism and sadism. But the efforts of these underground movements for liberal democracy: comprising of activists, women's rights advocates, secularists and pseudonymous journalists, were crushed viciously, as direct consequence of the arms supplied by western administrations. Two of the most prominent subsidizers of Saddam Hussein's regime were the governments of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, a support much similar to their affinity for Augusto Pinochet's Chilean junta.

Hosni Mubarak's dictatorship was supplied with multi-billions of military aid for over 30 years, and was only disowned by the U.S. government until its position became entirely untenable. During this sympathetic diplomacy, encouragement of the Egyptian revolutionaries was at the very least tepid. Now covert support and provision of American-made tear gas and ammunition has shifted to the Egyptian SCAF instead. The facility of moral determination speaks for itself.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

"Various species grouped together, according to their past beliefs"

I originally wrote this one year ago today, on the day of the passing of great Don Van Vliet, most well known as Captain Beefheart. It sounds mawkish, but it's legitimate.

I knew Don Van Vliet had been suffering from multiple sclerosis for many years, but this is a complete blow to the soul. I discovered the Captain a year ago, aged 16, now 17, and cannot describe the extent to which his music fulfills and enthralls me today. I eventually “got” Trout Mask Replica, like Matt Groening, and now hold it as one my most beloved musical works. Typical enough to his nature, I listen to the on par Lick My Decals Off, Baby newly acquired and experienced on the day of his passing, sullenly appreciating the man. The influence of his absolutely uncompromising innovation as an artist is unsurpassable. Don Van Vliet was a man who lived with an intrinsic appreciation of nature, grounded with a sense of humour, that reflected society and human nature with an incomparable profundity. His absence is that of something. But his music will help us find it always. “I’m doing a non-hypnotic music to break up the catatonic state… and I think there is one right now.” You’ve left us at a time where that’s true more than ever. Woe-is-uh-Me-Bop.

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Passing of the Hitch

I write this commemoration to the life of Christopher Hitchens, and his influence on my life, with an immense sense of absence and debt to fully articulate its importance, beyond any selfish grief. This post will therefore probably be somewhat meandering. I was never able to meet or directly communicate him, but some degree of procrastination may contribute to this on my part. In this mind there permeates the typical sense of regret.

I am still young. Literally, not patronizing myself, I recognize my general absence of constant experience. But genuinely  no matter what occurs to me from now in whatever timespan, one of the defining contributions to the paths and ambitions I take are in Hitchens's writings and lectures, which I have spent many hours over years watching and taking notes from on YouTube. I think it's easy to sense an obvious imitation of these styles from anyone familiar.

I have often expressed my interest in writing and journalism to have derived from two novels: George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four and Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. No doubt the individual greatness of these two authors, but Hitchens's immense literary criticism and elaboration of sociopolitical poignancy defines what lead me to them. 

Bigotry, prejudice, totalitarianism, anti-intellectualism, mediocrity: he revolted against them. No matter what obvious disagreements a person could hold with him, he pioneered some of civilization's most idealistic and sacrosanctly timeless values. In that how we appreciate life itself. God is not Great. He made this clear more than any of the "New Atheists", in truly as the Voltaire of his age. "Violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children: organized religion ought to have a great deal on its conscience". The oppressive cancer of all those humanistic values. The facility of those somehow celebrating his death are clear in their own never-ending, infantile, religious idiocy.

If anything, we mourn the loss of a human being who dedicated themselves to intellect, culture and humanity. This is the least any of should aspire to, and due to my own lack of capability to fully realize his greatness, I call on anyone unfamiliar to make themselves accustomed.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A second Russian revolution?

The electoral standards of Russia's parliamentary elections have proven themselves to be legitimately on par with any corrupt, authoritarian dictatorship. This is perhaps due to Vladimir Putin's control of government comprising what we can clearly deem one. This said, the Russian state's stance on numerous international issues has been fairly and appropriately eccentric. President Dmitry Medvedev once expressed his support for Wikileaks; this is contrasted to its complacent defence of the Assad regime in Syria.

Though Russia is not a one party state, its ruling oligarchical and state powers blatantly and criminally enforce United Russia's electoral and political dominance, on both literal and propagandist levels. When not merely overwhelmingly ignored within the country, opposition party advocates and activists in general are regularly harassed, assaulted and intimidated. And may we never forget Anna Politkovskaya, who was killed in 2006 for her human rights activism. Though this is usually on the part of the state's secret service agents, it is worth watching Peter Oborne's Unreported World documentary for Channel 4 on the 'Nashi' movement, an organised group of 17 to 25-years-olds comprising a reconstructed Komosol and Putin's own virtual Hitler Youth. Unsurprisingly obnoxious, they travel around as leather jacketed-ad hoc vigilantes. A police officer who apprehends them for vandalizing pavement in front of the American embassy cowers away when they identify themselves as part of this pro-Putin activist group. A younger man vapidly expresses his hatred for blacks and Jews in Russia, while Young girls gushingly sing songs about Putin, in a headquarter building adorned with Stalin-style paintings and murals of him. (There is a certain irrelevancy to the Stalinism of the Russian Communist Party when Putin is a Stalinist sympathizer himself). 

But they are very much a minority. Instigated by the fraudulent election results on December 4, and obviously inspired the the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement, an eruption of demonstration against Stalinist/mafioso rule chanted "Down with Putin" on the streets of Moscow. The response to this dissent was obvious: mass containment and arrest. Though unlike "democratic" western governments, the Russian state did not resort to rubber bullets or tear gas. This is an interesting juxtaposition of justifications. (The former powers can easily take extreme violent against their people for granted, whereas nations already mistrusted according to media narratives of their apparent unfreedom cannot. I wonder that an American tank would more easily get away with running down a lone resister).

Though Russians undoubtedly face deeply illiberal and pernicious forces, they are nowhere near those in Middle Eastern regimes. In more direct context of the Velvet Revolutions of Eastern Europe, let us hope this forms into a revolutionary movement we can declare solidarity to.

Friday, 25 November 2011

The Labour Left's Red Book - The True Labour Party

Labour Left, The Red Book, 23 November 2011 (1)

Though I am not as of yet officially a member of the Labour Party, I identify with its historical and ideological stand for radical, progressive, socially liberal and libertarian democratic socialism, as defined by the writings, actions and words of figures such as Attlee, Bevan, Foot and Wilson. This intellect and activism is exemplified by GEER, who have complied this manifesto in a stand for a truly left-wing Labour Party.

George Orwell was a supporter of the Labour Party: though he wished it well in parliamentary successes compared to Tory rule, it is an important perspective that he organizationally left in greater favour of the anti-Stalinist Independent Labour Party. Even in the late 1940s, Orwell disdainfully found it hard to distinguish the homogenized opportunism of establishment Labour figures from that of the Conservatives. The current Labour leadership patronizes strike actionwith full rhetorical agreement from the right-wing government that has destructive contempt for the rights of workers—while the overwhelming majority of trade unionists and Labour grassroots members are evidently in favour of it. Many of my fellow left-wing travellers, general socialists or anarchists alike, completely disfavour any sort of cooperation or membership of the Labour Party, deeming the influence of New Labour neoliberalism to be completely ineradicable. I understand and can empathize with this viewpoint. I did so growing up with the betrayals and authoritarian tendencies Blair/Brown administrations. But they did achieve many great and positive things, and frankly, I'm certain we would have far, far preferred a decade of Brown compared to living through the policies of the ConDem coalition. Who did so many in the left flock to based upon these disillusionments?...the Liberal Democrats. Which is clearly a remarkable thing to consider now. Labour is a broad church. If we believe and derive anger from Labour's betrayal of its principles, then we can surely realize that those principles are our principles. If we believe in "#solidarity", we should consider to reclaim its direction accordingly.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Effective non-violence

Malcolm X said that non-violence is fine, so as long as it works. I agree with this sentiment. He is overwhelmingly misquoted as coining the principle of "any means necessary", a term originally paraphrased from Jean-Paul Sartre. There was factionalism in the African-American civil rights movement between those committed to Martin Luther King's pacifism and Malcolm X's justification of defense through physical force. But even Mahatma Gandhi, as I have noted before, advised Indians to take up arms and exert direct action against colonial rule. MLK derived his civil disobedience from Gandhi's; though Gandhi would have perfectly agreed with the sentiments of Malcolm X and Sartre, his non-violence was devotional and strict.

This casual pepper-spraying and beating of completely peaceful, non-resistant student demonstrators has swiftly become an iconic image of the Occupy movement. The footage on the face of it is horrifying. The psychopathic, emotionless riot cops inflict their violence like routine activity. The gas-brandishing officer in question sprays the faces of the evidently dehumanized students, who are occupying and striking against severe education cuts and tuition fee rises, as if doing a spot of gardening, as Russell Brand describes it. But actually watching the video is remarkably inspiring. Their clear intention was the tactic of enticing violence in attempt to discredit and justify state brutality against peaceful protesters. But instead, total non-violence was something they had no idea how to respond to. They retreat in shame and defeat.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Thoughts on the poppy debate

Though red poppies are worn with general intention to commemorate the sacrifices and service of war veterans, they specifically relate to the harrowing conflicts, solace, and eventual armistice of World War I. Though World War II succeeded it as directly consequential, we can discuss that "good war" as the fight against the fascism that was originally favoured to be appeasement by aristocratic powers.  I could elaborate that WWI embodied nothing but mass suffering, genocide and mass, expandable deployment of young men (my great-grandfather Thomas Richardson being one of them) in the name of nothing but imperialistic colonialism by pitiful and jingoistic political agendas (which it was), compared to the home front-style resistance movement pioneered by Michael Foot's Guilty Men and the speeches of Winston Churchill. But this would be intellectually and ethically dishonest. Though taking the side of Soviet totalitarianism was justifiable in the longterm, atrocity and abomination is inherent to all mass warfare. We have no need to mention the Holocaust. But we should put the bombing of Dresden or the U.S. nuclear obliterations of Japan on par with it.

When the commemorative red poppies were first introduced in 1926, socialist pacifists and war widows proposed that "No More War" be painted in their middles. When these efforts failed, they created their own white poppies, bearing "Peace" (which you can buy here). Of course, these are only matters of interpretative symbology. I choose to wear both the red and white poppy on the same lapel, in both warning and tribute to the crimes and liberations of armed struggles.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The ethno-cultural suppression of Palestine

For the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's mere acknowledgement of the notion of Palestine representing a cultural contribution in the world, the United States government has withdrawn all of its funding to the organization. For UNESCO's audacity to recognize the existence of a Palestinian culture on a slight and non-political diplomatic level, support for an institution that promotes historical understanding and education (including on the Holocaust and the strifes of the Jewish people throughout history), the arts and humanities, development of science and technology, and international human rights law. Along with the singularly pathetic, disgraceful and arrogant posturing of Susan Rice and her fellow diplomats against Mahmoud Abbas's peaceful efforts for the acceptance of Palestine to have some slight degree of political representation at the United Nations, exhibited once again is the extraordinary, laughable and institutionalized contempt the U.S. government has for Palestinian democracy.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

The war in Oakland: a turning point

To describe the actions of the police forces in the city of Oakland, California, on October 25 2011, as police brutality, would be an understatement. It was more an all out combat assault, ordered by the state to suppress , intimidate and attack the Occupiers in the region; men, women, children, elderly and disabled people among them. Severely injured with tear gas, military grade flash grenades, and shotguns loaded with rubber bullets, additionally exacerbated by plainclothes provocateurs.

The man shot in the face in the above video is Scott Olson, a marine veteran of the Iraq War, who following the attack was at one point hospitalized in critical condition. He may very well suffer from a slight to moderate degree brain damage for the rest of his life. The war did not do this to him. His life or welfare was never scarred or taken on the battlefield. But the government that easily uses, discards and ignores the service and sacrifices of those in the military, has done so. The doublespeak is how national leaders would condemn scenes such as these occurring in Arab nations, as during the Egyptian and Tunisian regimes, but excuse and ignore it when it occurs in their own. But the Egyptians who overthrew the Mubarak dictatorship have not. This is why on the 28th of October, they marched on the United States embassy in Tahrir, for the same reason they have done in defence of their brothers and sisters struggling in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria.

'The Same Goal'. Whether it calls itself the Arab Spring or the Occupy Movement, we can declare the revolutionary goal an international one. Against corruption and authoritarian power, for social justice and individual freedom. Where governments cannot deceive, indoctrinate or conceal, they manifest corporate power in fear and violence.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Manufacturing Dissent: Why does Chomsky dismiss social media?

Through Twitter, I discovered that Professor Noam Chomsky would be giving a speech at the Occupy Boston camp in his native Massachusetts. Through a link on the #OccupyBoston hashtag, I watched a live stream of his speech, and read the in time quotations of his lecturing through others also posting and watching live. Through this discussion and promotion his wisdom was forwarded throughout the Occupy movement as a whole. 

It therefore seems shortsighted for Chomsky (as I read in an article linked to by Roger Ebert), to dismiss Twitter, or social media in general, as superficial, shallow, evanescent.” Of course, nobody should naively consider the internet as a replacement, or an equally effective method of campaigning, as advocacy, activism, at length speaking and publication, and indeed direct action. It is a worthwhile critique and grounding for journalists like Evgeny Morozov to remind us that retweeting something, or "liking" a cause on Facebook, is not equatable to taking to the streets in favour of it. That said, in his Newsnight interview with Jeremy Paxman , Chomsky noted the April 6 Youth Movement, a Facebook group created in 2008, even before the Iranian Green Movement, by a technologically directed younger generation supporting the strikes by Egyptian trade unions against the injustices and stagnation of Honsi Mubarak's rule. Such campaigns, uniting labour movements with modern activism, were arguably foundational to the facilitation and organization of Egypt's revolutionary protest demonstrations. There is a primary reason why authoritarian regimes impose censorship or total prohibition of the internet. China has already been quick to block all search engine terms relating to "Occupy".

Friday, 21 October 2011

Gaddafi and the problem of vengeance

The problem with the killing of dictators, extrajudicially or otherwise, is the empathy those executed can claim from them. Whether it be a mobbed Mussolini hung up like a slaughtered pig on a petrol station, the trapdoor giving way in the middle of Saddam reciting his prayers, an unarmed Osama bin Laden shot in the face, or a pitiful Colonel Gaddafi dragged out of a sewer pipe bathed in blood. These final, individual acts of brutality are a concentration of the inhumanity these individuals and regimes inflicted. They are much different to the cowardice of Hitler's suicide. Any semblance of compassion for them in these undignified fates is contrasted to their psychopathic absence of this morality that they committed en masse. In this we can define a civilized preference to see the forces of totalitarianism in the docks of courts of justice instead.

Take Slobodan Milošević tried by the International Criminal Court:

This is a sight I find far more satisfying.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

I live in the United States and have a U.K. related question. Do U.K. politics revolve around a two party system, where one is strictly conservative, and the other strictly liberal?

Since the mid-1920s, the two main political parties in the UK have been the right-wing aristocratic/corporate Conservative Party and left-wing democratic socialist Labour Party. Before then, the Conservatives (Tories) vied for power with the Liberal Party (originally known as Whigs), the latter being nominally radical and progressive throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. The Liberal agenda and ideology has always been inconsistent however, sometimes reactionary. The Conservative Party currently govern in a coalition government with the deceitful, traitorous Liberal Democrats; we are suffering under their vicious "austerity" and authoritarianism, destroying the great institutions created by the post-war Labour government from 1945 to 1951. The Labour governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were in power from 1997 to 2010. Many, such as myself, are strongly disillusionment with the Labour Party, due to its Orwellian draconianism and appeasement of corporate vested interests in these 13 years. So directly addressing your question, our political situation is slightly less one-dimensional to that in the United States.


A scientific analyzation of corporate control

The network of global corporate control is a fascinating and concise scientific study, by  
Stefania Vitali, James B. Glattfelder and Stefano Battiston. It algorithmically charts the levels of influence by monopolizing transnational corporations, ranking them in terms of profit and control of political powers. Here are the forces that seek to control us exactly:

3 FMR CORP US 6713 IN 8.94
4 AXA FR 6712 SCC 11.21
6 JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. US 6512 SCC 14.55
9 UBS AG CH 6512 SCC 18.46
10 MERRILL LYNCH & CO., INC. US 6712 SCC 19.45
17 NATIXIS FR 6512 SCC 24.98
19 T. ROWE PRICE GROUP, INC. US 6713 SCC 26.29
20 LEGG MASON, INC. US 6712 SCC 26.92
27 INVESCO PLC GB 6523 SCC 30.82
28 ALLIANZ SE DE 7415 SCC 31.32
29 TIAA US 6601 IN 32.24
31 AVIVA PLC GB 6601 SCC 33.14
32 SCHRODERS PLC GB 6712 SCC 33.57
33 DODGE & COX US 7415 IN 34.00
37 CNCE FR 6512 SCC 35.57
41 ING GROEP N.V. NL 6603 SCC 36.96
46 BNP PARIBAS FR 6512 SCC 38.56

Saturday, 15 October 2011

How to abolish the deficit

The bailout of banks in the United Kingdom, whose corrupt greed and corporate incompetence on an international level caused the global financial crisis and ensuing near depression, cost in official figures to the country's taxpayers around £850 billion (including £107.1 million in "financial advice").  While according to Bank of England governor Mervyn King, this figure may have been as high as £1.2 trillion. Since the recession, the salaries and luxuriant lifestyles of multinational CEOs and investment bankers have risen, from taxation of the citizens suffering under the austerity of budget cuts and tax rises. The UK coalition government has lowered the rate of corporation tax while being complicit in multi-billion pound corporate tax evasion, lifted the cap on the billions bankers are permitted to pay themselves in bonuses, while raising VAT to 20%, hitting the incomes of working families the hardest.

The UK government uses the budget deficit as its robotically bleated propaganda line to excuse a vicious agenda of budget cuts and privatizations (the trebling of tuition fees being a most prominent example).

Office of National Statistics figures show the country's entire budget deficit, to be "£1105.8 billion, equivalent to 76.1 per cent of GDP. " In general terms, £1.1 trillion. 

A progressive government could implement a radical program of taxation and reform, or a New Deal, of the banking sector. Every penny of the £850 to £1 trillion that the banks were bailed out with would be reclaimed by the treasury, easily affordable from their greatly increased interest since then. Annually raised, would be £25 billion through a war on tax evasion, and  £20 billion from a Robin Hood financial transaction tax. £888 million subsidy of the arms trade that sells weapons to genocidal dictators and juntas would additionally end, while the £130 billion Cold War Trident nuclear weapons system would be abolished. (Many more multi-billions will occur to me through further research and consideration).

This revenue of £1.2 trillion could eradicate the deficit into budget surplus, with no devastating injustice and economic contraction caused by public service, jobs, education, welfare, culture and infrastructure cuts.

Update, on day of the beginning of the Occupation of the London Stock Exchange: this more comprehensively cited blog post by Dr Éoin Clarke sets out £400 billion of cuts. I primarily forgot to mention  the £217 billion spent on wasteful and inefficient "private finance initiatives" in the public sector. Make it £1.3 to 1.5 trillion.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The fallibility of "crises"

It's an entirely false preconception to describe our economic situations as crises effecting the existence of a constantly presupposed economic system. These deteriorations of inhuman late capitalism, are inherent to its historical methodologies in political power. It is irrelevant and outmoded to human needs and existential direction. On this human level, there is a profound disillusionment with the constructed hierarchies of power, the futility of wage slavery and the manipulated algorithms of worthless currency and "credit", otherwise overwhelmingly accepted and indoctrinated without significant absence of complacency until now.

Late capitalism is essentially a corpse, being constantly reanimated on a metaphorical life support of shedded blood of the living and productive human organism (austerity).

Beyond this metaphor, the consciousness of this human being is waking, immediately and inherently opposing damaging conditions to its well being. Fundamental to the attempts of pacification is weakening of the metaphorical defenses to disease it imposes.

Violence manifests in varying forms: from the forces of the state against the people, the insurrectionism of those who believe it to be effective, and the kind directionless vandalism and materialism we saw in the summer riots.

Monday, 10 October 2011

World Mental Health Day

Anyone with psychological conditions and traumas must be directly honest and supportive with all others suffering or concerned with these struggles, and most importantly with themselves. There is a profound frustration to be seemingly inhibited from the actions and activities that actually make us happy, if so demeaned in guilt and sickness of whatever resentments, regrets or anxieties we have. I confront my depression, and know that in my will of living it will be overcome. We can never deny or importance and greatness to those who truly do care about us. Even if we have some confounded and self-hating absence of hope, we can never give in to that which makes us feel utterly meaningless; we're not.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Why Bob Dylan deserves the Nobel Prize in Literature

What we call "folk music" is not merely confined to its aesthetic categorization, in stereotype or the charts of marketing. Louis Armstrong: "All music is folk music. I ain't never heard no horse sing a song. Bob Dylan is arguably the most important and defining figure of this art form from the entirety of the past century. He has always resented and eschewed his "spokesman of a generation" description, but regardless, he has expressed and portrayed civil strifes and emotional disillusionments for decades. Though from many occassions, he is what I would be inclined to describe as resisting against the absurdity of fame. With such a deep resentment of his impersonal idolization, he quite harshly insulted the American folk revival establshment, and releases an album such as Nashville City Skyline, during the most revolt and indginancy in 1968. Whether or not regarding his musicianship, which in its own accord in the height of its melody and  performance equally as great, his lyrics easily stand by themselves, and are completely superior to plenty of popular doggerel that passes itself for poetry or creative writing generally. On the value of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan alone in my view, yes, he deserves the Nobel Prize.

As noted by "Zook", there are multitude who also have not:

"Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen, Thomas Hardy, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Soseki Natsume, Bertolt Brecht, Joseph Conrad, HG Wells, Graham Greene, Virginia Woolf, W.H. Auden, Jorge Luis Borges, Maxim Gorki, Henry James, D. H. Lawrence, Vladimir Nabokov, August Strindberg, Franz Kafka, Robert Frost, Emile Zola, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Italio Calvino and Mark Twain.
And then there's Dylan Thomas, William Carlos Williams, Antonin Artaud, Robert Lowell, Paul Celan, Philip Larkin, Henry Miller, Paul Bowles, Allen Ginsberg, Jean Genet, George Orwell, Ralph Ellison, Guillaume Apollinaire, James Baldwin, Norman Mailer, Tennessee Williams, Thomas Pynchon, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kurt Vonnegut, Philip Roth, Philip K Dick, JG Ballard... and Bob Dylan".

Gordon Ball - Dylan and the Nobel

Sunday, 2 October 2011

On the construct of electoral democracy

Consider something metaphorical. In a the middle of circled field, two people are being savagely beaten by another six. It would be worth proverbially picturing the victims in fifteenth-century style haggard brown robes, and their attackers with the elaborate silk and crowns of hedonistic princes and dictators. Twenty other people surround this hideous scene. They are a perfectly diverse variation of citizens, with the capable strength to intervene to undo this injustice, but they do not. One or two of them might snidely condone the crime, but regardless, all of them lower their heads with servile shame. They are all as equally complicit. However, with their hands behind their backs, they decide to hold an ad hoc straw poll with some pieces of paper on whether they should request a detached authority to intervene to stop the brutality inflicted by their rulers, even though they are unaware of whether this separate body would in fact do so, whether or not turning a blind eye. While the beaten become all the more bloodied and bruised, they spend the time forming this ultimately irrelevant consensus. Once it is formed, those they would actually intend to morally defend and save are probably dead.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The 99%

My empathy is dulled in anger, with the indigancy of my mind in solidarity with those on this Tumblr. Like the Arab Spring, the occupation of Wall Street just as relates to a collective cry against such social injustice and subjugation as it does an intellectual organization of civil disobedience against political oppression. In reference to "austerity", Noam Chomsky notes: '"Tough love" is just the right phrase: love for the rich and privileged, tough for everyone else''.

Those serving these agendas are truly loveless. The hatred we have against this tyranny ultimately upholds our love.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

To make it quite clear

Because we repeat ourselves:

The financial crisis of 2007 was the consequence of the crooked corruption, risk and greed, of multinational corporations and investment bankers, alongside their monopolized political establishments who deregulated and remained complicit to their practices. The current debt crisis is the consequence of that financial crisis, and the  people that these governments preside under are being being made suffer the "austerity" that preserves the vested interests of the criminal corporate banker cartels. Those internationally resisting this through exerting civil disobedience and democratic human rights are met with the manifested violence of the state.

Concise enough?

Sunday, 25 September 2011

What about Iran?

In light of the Middle Eastern uprisings we call the Arab Spring, it surprises me how little attention is payed or considered in context of similar movements in Iran. Remarkably, in political consciousness and journalism, it appears to less than even a vestige in terms of reference. In the future span of history, we could very well view the Iranian Green Movement as being the first mass popular political demonstrations and revolts, that effectively utilized the internet's "social media" to organize and educate its cause. I can say so myself that I first heard of something called "Twitter" in the coverage of these events.  Though not geographically "Arabic", Iran is in all cultural and political proximites the same (apart from its variations in Islamic faith, practiced or enforced); the "sea of green" in 2009,  vestiged in June's rigged presidential election of Ali Khamenei's theocratic proxy Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was the Arab Spring before the Arab Spring.

There is a distinction in that indeed, the popular movement itself was crushed by the regime's ruthless brutality: through the arrests, executions, beatings, shootings, and gang rapes of the "Revolutionary" Guard's indoctrinated thugs. So the democratic Iranian revolution, festers in its rage, and continues its struggles intellectually; exiled and covertly rather than directly. In a Chinese way, the totalitarian authority continues its rule and enacts its judicial international crimes, coldly but wearily.

Iranian dissidents appear to have been subdued by a comparable fear. But since the Iranian Spring, the Arab Spring, in both civil resistance and military doing, has been successful in its re-instigation of the belief that these Iranians first assembled in their incomparable tenacity and importance two years ago. May they take heed and reconceive what they began.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Cost cutting lives

As we very often quote, at the National Health Service's foundation, Aneurin Bevan called Conservative Party politicians "lower than vermin" for denying the underprivileged the right to healthcare based upon the interests of private profit. But for sending out letters to the terminally ill claiming benefits, already often insufficient to live with for a basic quality of life and dignity before they die, they are much lower than this. At least rats and mice have the instinctual altruism to find food for their offspring. The mentality of the Tories that dehumanizes and suppresses the sick and vulnerable is of reptilian mentality. It would be more accurate to describe them as parasitical sub-vermin scum. I have come to the conclusion that it would morally justified and responsible to respond and prevent these crimes like the Jews in Nazi Germany of the Warsaw ghetto.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

All art is parody

All culture is a satire of all. Perhaps on a more profound level, R.S. Thomas says that the "nearest we approach God…is as creative beings. The poet, by echoing the primary imagination, recreates. Through his work he forces those who read him to do the same, thus bringing them... nearer to the actual being of God as displayed in action." So what is God? Just the conceived incapability to express?

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Occupy Wall Street - Charging Bull Moose

In the United States, Adbusters has directed the organized direct action and occupation of  Wall Street in New York. In protest of the state-supported corporate and investment banker oligarchy that caused the financial crisis, that and enslaves, subjugates and devastates lives with its multi-nationally conglomerated vested interests that criminally control political establishments. It speaks for itself! It must not be overwhelmed with provocateur agitation in its bravery. 

A malevolent representation of the defending police brutality seems to be Wall Street's Charging Bull, an arrogantly vicious ode to its occupants:

Note that this hashtag has been censored by Twitter.

However, to me, the Bull reminds of President Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive "Bull Moose" Party. The Roosevelt, in his rally against corruption and monopoly, who wrote in an article entitled THE CONTROL OF CORPORATIONS AND THE "NEW FREEDOM", in articulate refutation of Woodrow Wilson: 

"If he reads the newspapers at all, he must know that practically every man representing the great financial interests of the country, and without exception every newspaper controlled by Wall Street or State Street, actively supported either him or [Republican Party nominee] Mr. [William Howard] Taft, and showed perfect willingness to accept either if only they could prevent the Progressive party from coming into power and from putting its platform into effect."

"But if he means that I say that corporations can do well, and that corporations can also do ill, he is stating my position correctly. I hold that a corporation does ill if it seeks profit in restricting production and then by extorting high prices from the community by reason of the scarcity of the product; through adulterating, lyingly advertising, or over-driving the help; or replacing men workers with children; or by rebates; or in any illegal or improper manner driving competitors out of its way; or seeking to achieve monopoly by illegal or unethical treatment of its competitors, or in any shape or way offending against the moral law either in connection with the public or with its employees or with its rivals. Any corporation which seeks its profit in such fashion is acting badly. It is, in fact, a conspiracy against the public welfare which the Government should use all its powers to suppress. If, on the other hand, a corporation seeks profit solely by increasing its products through eliminating waste, improving its processes, utilizing its by-products, installing better machines, raising wages in the effort to secure more efficient help, introducing the principle of coöperation and mutual benefit, dealing fairly with labor unions, setting its face against the underpayment of women and the employment of children; in a word, treating the public fairly and its rivals fairly: then such a corporation is behaving well. It is an instrumentality of civilization operating to promote abundance by cheapening the cost of living so as to improve conditions everywhere throughout the whole community."

And written in the Progressive Party presidential manifesto of 1912:

"Behind the ostensible Government sits enthroned an invisible Government, owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible Government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.... This country belongs to the people. Its resources, its business, its laws, its institutions, should be utilized, maintained, or altered in whatever manner will best promote the general interest." 

Accordingly, I believe the Occupy Wall Street, Day of Rage revolutionary movement in the United States, should claim the iconography of the Bull as its own. Though it does lack antlers. Maybe it should resurrect the Moose to designate its own noncompliance.

Internationally, we must obviously take heed and stand to take direct action in our own ruling financial institutions.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Revolutionary understanding of criminal tyranny is necessary

While Cameron and Sarkozy pose triumphantly in Libya, it embodies again the doublespeak of the Orientalist narrative. They preside under administrations subsidizing an arms trade, with its DSEi fair in London, selling weapons of mass murder, torture and shackles of rendition to regimes equally as totalitarian, horrific and in violation of international law as Gaddafi's Libya, including those resisting tyranny as part of the Arab Spring in all too forgotten Saudi Arabia or Bahrain.

Therefore, with all due respect to Libyan revolutionary forces and demonstrators, and their transitional government, they should not engage in sycophancy towards the establishment figures supporting and financing the genocide of their fellow Arab and African brothers and sisters.

I would wish to say to you directly, we have never faced terror or bloodshed such as yours, but in Britain, in France and across continental Europe, for any intellectually directed dissidence, we bear the beatings and the detainment from riot squads, the surveillance and intimidation of authorities, and a legal system overwhelmingly facile to the injustice of our states. This we must universally reject in solidarity.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

How to solve unemployment

The public programs of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal in the United States have always astounded me. The Works Progress Administrationnot only rebuilding the country's infrastructure, creating longterm opportunities in localized projects of repairing bridges, roads and rail lines, or embarking on a mass literacy campaign to educate the impoverishedincluded support for culture, such as theatre  and literature, and a Federal Arts Project with contributions from abstract expressionists such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.

In a UK presided over by austerity corporatism that concedes to the monopolization of multinational manipulation, unemployment  is higher than it has been for decades, while the United States embodies the highest rate of poverty in the developed world. (Reactionary Republicans are unlikely to accept President Obama's somewhat bold and comprehensive jobs program).

With my more detailed elaborations on capitalistic social injustice already available, I will try and be succinct: we should invest in the things that pay for themselves. The investments that create longterm surpluses and reduce deficits. We cannot have economic growth or social development with suppressed if not absolutely impossible social mobility. This being, like the Works Progress Administration, funding the jobs and public programs directly: science, technology and engineering to provide modern and publicly provided transportation, and fully sustainable and renewable forms of energy; support for the arts and humanities, grants to small businesses and entrepreneurs, and provision of universal education. 

Monday, 12 September 2011


On a dialectical level, we can elaborate truth and the burden of truth quite simply. Logically, to define its meaning beyond abstraction, we confounded and are confined in attempts to actualize it directly. We establish the principles that are individual but interdependent:

1. Creative propositions and abstract ideas (the relative).
2. The singular, constant and literate existences (the absolute).
3. The methodology of objective understanding relative to the absolute, namely science when applied to the psychical universe (the empirical).

The first I will represent with p, the second with q and the third with y.

q is of its own cognitive dimension. Humanity can define everything; we call it everything. It exists regardless of p, but we depend upon p, no matter how accountably mistaken or indirect, to define and develop our conception of q through y, which is the most direct actualization of q. 

Sunday, 11 September 2011


I have always described the affect of the occurrences of ten years ago today on my generation as something of a passive realization. Many of us were old enough to have witnessed the attacks, yet too young to have understood them, or mature enough to have felt their intended fright. I do remember the stereotypical personal location: the small television in my grandma's kitchen, as the happy-faced eight-year-old in his neatly blue school uniform. I remember the desolated twin buildings on the frontpages of newspapers, but can't remember being aware of the hell in front of the Pentagon. Perhaps this can only apply to us who saw them in this detached sort of way. We later had our minutes of silence at school.  In another that may have been on the first anniversary, our teacher thoughtfully told us to think of the suffering and the grief of those involved. For whatever reason, I can still see a singular woman running away from the debris in Manhattan, and the bloodied office workers merely walking and confounded. Only through the advent of our technological advances have I been able to truly confront them, taking a decade afterwards to be overwhelmed with the sickness of that day.

And in this feeling, what a disgrace it will always be to have used these atrocities to excuse the war crimes, the torture, the totalitarian erosion of basic civil freedoms, that the perpetrating forces of theocratic tyranny have always approved of.  Osama bin Laden being shot in face and dumped in the ocean is irrelevant. He is the Emmanuel Goldstein of this propaganda narrative. "Anti-terrorism" laws are used to justify arrests of dissidents, suppression of activists and protesters, intimidation of peaceful resistantance against local authorities, and photographers in public spaces. "Anti-terrorism" is the reason for a future of total surveillance, national DNA databases, and absolute contempt and presumed guilt of all persons. If we are to believe this is justifiable, then we wish to let the terrorists win. In fact, the west has been well indoctrinated by the tactically comparable forces.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Selective extremism

On September 11, 1976, a terrorist attack occurred in New York City. After the perpetrators hijacked a plane, they revealed the location of a bomb in the Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. The disarmament of the bomb was not undertaken adequately; thirty people were killed. In the aftermath of the 9/11 atrocities exactly 25 years later, those responsible for the Grand Central Terminal attacks were immediately considered as the possible perpetrators: Croatian nationalists, with ideology likely inclined to far-right Christian fundamentalism, white supremacist racism and neo-fascism. These Balkan movements that preceded and glorify sectarian ethic cleansing are among the malevolent forefathers of the crimes of Anders Behring Brevik, included in the manifesto justifying his massacre of young Norwegian socialists. Brevik has indicated his association with these groups as well as many others: Christian "Patriot", Tea Party and conspiracy theorist militia movements in the United States, viciously brutal skinheads in Russia, or English Defense League thugs in my own country, some of them pictured in a manner easily comparable to al-Qaeda militants:

In another context, I have never seen any televised news coverage of the terrorism committed by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda, which pledges itself to establish Biblical theocracy through unspeakable brutality against native Muslim and animist civilian populations. The lessons are clear: the threat of Christofascism is just as pernicious, and minority, as the Islamofascism that committed the monstrosities of September 11, 2001.

Friday, 2 September 2011

OU against the cuts

I wish to bring attention to OU activists, Open University students and academics standing against the government's budget cuts, privatizations and extortionate rises in tuition fees in public education. The Open University is only one of so many institutions affected, and is resisting, protesting and occupying against them accordingly. When universities across the country are being permitted to raise their fees to £9,000 a year, the OU are raising their own to £5,000, significantly less compared but still more than the indebtedness to students prior to the infliction of the government's agendas. While only being unconventional as a university in terms of not having a specific physical location, the Open University does provide opportunities in alleviation of the country's inequalities in a highly universal and meritocratic principle. While the state's attack on all public education must be defeated, this is why such assault on the OU is so particularly contemptible.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Misogyny and feminism

Patriarchy affects us all. Committed by men and women, discriminating against men and women.

A curious aspect of its oppressive attitude is the way in which patriarchally conditioned women degrade and refer to men in the characteristic of the culture of misogyny itself. Men not engaging in behaviors, attitudes or recreational activities generally disrespectful and objectifying to women, are routinely demanded to "man up"; deemed and vilified to be effeminate, perhaps in equal homophobia as a "faggot." Perhaps for advocating feminism, and/or social equality of the genders. 

In such we learn that the female eunuch knows her place: the male is demanded to fulfill his inherent superiority, and she is the doll, the prize, the accessory and the fuck toy. For affirming and echoing the sentiments of her patriarch, she earns a pat on the head for the gratification she provides, under the smug delusion of being his friendly equal.

Quoting Simone de Beauvoir: "Man is defined as a human being and a woman as a female - whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male." We can easily exchange "woman" for "man" and this quote is equally as relevant. The supposedly separate,
honourable traits of the genders is what defines the greatness of humanity. In its compassion,  ethics, bravery, affection, stoicism, principle, and indignation to the oppression of patriarchy's inhumanity and anti-intellectualism. Reinforcing sociopolitical violence and supression at all levels. Where persons reflective and compassionate on a basic level, whatever their gender identities, are dehumanised.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Wage slavery

(Also published here at the The Activists publication).
If writing was not a necessary function for the the purposes of wage slavery, its schooling would likely be gradually phased out. The corporate intents of literacy have no interest in intellect or literature of the creative or compassionate humanities. Similarly, monopoly capitalist wage slavery’s breadth of thinking and range of communication is limited to only its bear purposes of order and action. Through the methodology of Panoptic indoctrination, they are literally conditioned to be followed without question, and if disobeyed met with institutionalized intimidation and humiliation.
The individually vilified workers do not resist to such treatment and subjugation due to abject dependence and subsistence on the wages of their employers (slave masters). It is monopoly of the life, and a hierarchy of oppression and conformity beyond any supposedly ideological or cultural definitions. However, it is the democratic purpose and historical struggle of the world’s trade unions, advocacy groups, activists, cultural thinkers and labour movements that have advanced and overcome the suppression of such inherent injustice, in a constant resistance to overcome the agendas enforced by capitalist authoritarian states. Any engaged preoccupation of political processes is essentially directed by a concern for the human condition; one that is universal, to be defended with every fibre of our beings lest we eventually descend into dystopia as we define it.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Why we should fight to the death to defend fascists

The Home Secretary Theresa May has banned the right of the far-right English Defence League to march upon Tower Hamlets in London as they intended to in the coming days. I oppose and despise the EDL as much as any civilized person should. Beyond the stupidity of their opportunistic racism and fascism, they pose a deep threat to the well being and cohesion of our communities, and are primarily known for their long standing violent thuggery, as well as habituation of terrorism, and international associations with such organizations and individuals. 

But I absolutely oppose the prohibition of their public demonstration. We do not defeat fascists by censoring them. This only gives power to their propaganda narrative about being "persecuted." In defending the universal rights of free expression for all, we defeat prejudice and bigotry in open debate and confrontation.  We can refute its dishonesty easily, which people like the EDL do by merely speaking for themselves, and as did BNP leader Nick Griffin in his hilarious Question Time appearance in September two years ago. What are we afraid of? The authority of government deciding what is an "acceptable" protest or not. This I think we should be. 

When Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists were stormed into retreat by anti-fascist and progressive forces in the Battle of Cable Street, they were essentially defeated as a dangerous political movement. But what if the government had banned the attempted display under influence from "anti-racist" organizers? Mosley's Blackshirts could have very well grown in their recruitment. We can't say ¡No pasarán! with nothing to face and stride against.

Thursday, 25 August 2011


The person first historically documented to define themselves as a libertarian was French anarchist Joseph Déjacque, imprisoned during the French revolution for his dissidence, and later a campaigner for the abolition of slavery. For the greatest span of its existence as a qualifier, libertarianism has stood in its foundations for these anti-authoritarian and Enlightenment ideals, originating in the European continent in opposition to all forms of tyranny and suppression. They inspired in revolutionary wave to South and Central America, and of course the Thirteen Colonies, exemplified by the intellect of Jefferson and Franklin, or the English emigrant pamphleteer Paine. 

Defined contritely by Oxford Dictionaries, a libertarian is “a person who advocates civil liberty. A person who believes in free will.” Libertarianism is essentially the foundation of a free and democratic civilization, defending individualism against all dehumanizing or coercive hierarchies of control. The foundation of democracy is the decentralized and intrinsically collective  individual understanding of personal fulfillment, rather than uniformity of authority, subjugation or ignorance. In this respect it is inherently non-aligned and post-ideological, while being distinct from anarchism, and not precisely a mere antonym. In a governmental sense, libertarianism is minarchism, the belief that the only legitimate purpose of the state is to protect these inalienable rights: it should only be as large as it necessarily needs to be, as small as possible according to the will of the people as human beings in voluntary association, held accountable by their open communication. It would therefore not respect the patently absurd notion of corporate personhood.

As republican volunteer Victor Garciá described the anarcho-syndicalist and anti-fascist resistance movements of the Spanish Civil War, Libertarian Youth movements, while often dysfunctionally disparate, ”never failed to proclaim the orthodox position of all anarchists: war on the state, authority, privilege, religion, [and] right up to militarism”.

It is only since the middle of the past century that “libertarianism” has been homogenized by the intellectual dishonesty of those who are as “libertarian” as North Korea or the Congo are “Democratic Republics” of. It has become overwhelmingly politically monopolized to refer to nothing but belief in “free-market” state-monopoly capitalism, at worst by authoritarian fundamentalists without even any respect for the freedom of individuals from discrimination or violence of the state at all. The right of corporations to undermine their rights of workers, prohibiting voluntary unionisation; or the “libertarian” astroturfed Tea Party movement in the United States, demanding the central government's suppression of civil rights for non-Christians or gay and lesbian people according to their prejudices; or the “libertarians” in our own country campaigning online for the return of capital punishment. There are too many examples of this appallingly flagrant and mindless hypocrisy. We should be aggravated by it. And rather than conceding to the defeatism of those who refer to this demagoguery as “Libertarianism”, we must fight to refound and elaborate the legitimate meaning of the term.